Sailor passed away

Surgeon’s journal

On the 2nd day of this month Roelof Siegers, a sailor born in Norway, came to me with complaints. I learned that he had been ill for about four weeks in the fatherland. He had debris quotidiana, a regular fever; he was vomiting and he could not eat. I gave him a laxative and a powder against fever (prescription 1). But the fever persisted, causing him to get weaker by the day. I prescribed to take a spoonful of sudorific mixture every two hours. I gave him the elixir (prescription 3) in the morning, after which he, on the 20th of November, resumed his duties again. But he fell back into illness; he coughed severely and emaciated completely. I let him lick the eclegma. After I had tried everything he gave his soul in the hands of his Creator on the 24th of this month, 1761.


Prescription 3

R/ Fac eclegma [make an eclegma; a syrup on licorice root sucked for the relief of cough]

  • Balzamum peruvianum [balsam from Peru; weak antiseptic]: ʒ I
  • Oleum anisi [anise oil]: gutta, plural guttaedrop gt XX
  • Mel album [white honey]
  • Sijrupus altheae [common marshmallow (heemst) syrup after Fernelius’ recipe; used to treat coughing]: āā ℥ II


  • ʒ drachma = 3 scruple, so approximately 4 g
  • ℥ uncia = ounce = 8 drachmae, so approximately 31 g
  • āā en ān: and ānn = ana (Gr.) take an equal amount of all