Thursday, July 15 1756

About 4 o’clock in the morning I rose and went down to Joseph Fuller’s and called up Joseph, T. and Richard Fuller and got their horse and set out about 5 o’clock and called at Whyly to inform Mr French of our intentions. I found him abed, but called him up, and as Mrs French was just going to breakfast, I stayed and breakfasted with them. I got to Lewes about 6:20 where I called up Mr Davy and also Mr Snelling. I borrowed of Mr Snelling in cash 7.4.0. I also left with Mr Thomas Scrase, whom I called up, 6.15.0, which he was to pay Mr George Kemp, taking up a bill which he had of the same value, drawn on me by Mr Richard Waite, which bill he was to send me by the post. Mr Snelling, Mr Davy and myself came to Mr Porter’s about 10 o’clock, where we went in and stayed just the time of eating a bit of bread and drinking a glass of wine.

We came up to my house where we provided ourselves with all things necessary for the operation; to wit, a bottle of wine and another of brandy and aprons and napkins, together with a quantity of fragrant herbs such as mint, savory, marjoram, balm, pennyroyal, roses etc., and threaded all the needles. We then proceeded to the house when we duly examined the nurse, who confirmed all we had heard before, with the addition that it was such a case as she never saw before and that she was fearful all was not right. The doctors then proceeded to the operation after they had dressed themselves and opened their instruments. They first made a cut from the bottom of the thorax to the os pubis and then two more across at the top of the abdomen as under:

[T shape]

The operation was performed in mine and the nurse’s presence. They also opened the uterus where they found a perfect fine female child, which lay in the right position and would, as they imagined, have been born in about 48 hours. And as the membranes were all entirely whole, and the womb full of the water common on such occasions, there was convincing proof she never was in travail. The ileum was all very much inflamed, as was also the duodenum, but they both declared they could see no room to suspect poison. But if anything else had been administered, it had been carried off by her violent vomiting and purging (though they said circumstances looked very dark and all corroborated together to give room for suspicion).

We came back to my house about 1 o’clock, and Mr Snelling and Mr Davy went to Mr Porter’s. The doctors both allowed this poor unhappy creature’s death to have proceeded from a bilious colic (so far as they could judge). After dinner they both came up to our house when I paid Dr Snelling the 7.4.0 I borrowed of him in the morning and also gave each of the gentlemen one guinea for their trouble… T. Cornwell made me a present of a loin of venison.

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