No. 337: Piccadilly, W1
Annenberg Courtyard, Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1. Photo © Roger Dean 2011
The Medical and Physical Journal; Containing the Earliest Information on Subjects of Medicine, Surgery, Pharmacy, Chemistry, and Natural History, Volume III – T. Bradley, R. Batty, and A.A. Noehden, 1800:
J.S. gathered early in the morning of the third of October (1799), in Green Park, what he supposed to be small mushrooms; these he stewed with common additions in a tinned iron saucepan (this accuracy may seem trivial, but I have met with people who supposed the following symptoms might have arisen from the use of a copper vessel). The whole did not exceed a tea saucerful [sic], which he and four of his children ate the
first thing, about eight o’clock in the morning, as they frequently had done without any bad consequence; they afterwards took their usual breakfast of tea, &c. which was finished about nine, when Edward, one of the children, (eight years old,) who had eaten a large proportion of the mushrooms, as they thought them, was attacked with fits of immoderate laughter, nor could the threats of his father or mother restrain him. To this succeeded vertigo, and a great degree of stupor, from which he was roused by being called or shaken, but immediately relapsed.
The pupils of his eyes were, at times, dilated to nearly the circumference of the cornea, and scarcely contracted at the approach of a strong light; his breathing was quick, his pulse very variable, at times imperceptible, at others too frequent and small to be counted; latterly, very languid; his feet were cold, livid, and contracted; he sometimes pressed his hands on different parts of his abdomen, as if in pain, but when roused and interrogated as to it, he answered indifferently, yes, or no, as he did to every other question, evidently without any relation to what was asked.
About the same time the father, aged forty, was attacked with vertigo, and complained that every thing appeared black, then wholly disappeared; to this succeeded loss of voluntary motion and stupor; his pupils were dilated, his pulse slow, full, and soft; breathing not affected; in about ten minutes he gradually recovered, but complained of universal numbness and coldness, with great dejection, and a firm persuasion that he was dying; in a few minutes he relapsed, but recovered as before, and had several similar fits during three or four hours, each succeeding one less violent and with longer intermissions than the former. Harriet, twelve years old, who had eaten but a very small quantity, was attacked also at the same time with slight vertigo.