Letter 3156

John Burnet to Hans Sloane – April 7, 1725

Item info

Date: April 7, 1725
Author: John Burnet
Recipient: Hans Sloane

Library: British Library, London
Manuscript: Sloane MS 4047
Folio: ff. 333-334

Original Page


James Pym is traveling to England and will relay news from the New World. Dr Halley has not returned Burnet’s friend’s quadrant. Burnet sends an account of a ‘Negro boy’ who had Mal de St Lazaro. He wonders whether ‘inoculateing the small pox on the Lazarens would not prove a Cure?’ Burnet was going to send curiosities with Pym, but could not get them packed up in time. The Spanish have sunk several Dutch ships. John Burnet worked for the South Sea Company in the West Indies and later served as the Physician to King Philip V of Spain.

Patient Details

  • Patient info
    Name: N/A Unnamed
    Age:Between '12 or 14 years of Age'.
  • Description

    The patient was a 'Negro boy'. He had Mal de St Lazaro and smallpox. Further, 'four Large Imposthems one on each arm & one on each thigh which discharged a vast deal of Matter' developed.

  • Diagnosis

    Smallpox; Mal de St Lazaro.

  • Treatment
    Previous Treatment:
    Ongoing Treatment:

    The boy is 'now perfectly recover'd'.

  • More information
  • Medical problem reference
    Mal de St Lazaro, Smallpox