Notes on the Devonshire Colic and its connection to Cider
Trans. Devon Assoc., vol. 17 (1885), pp. 324-334.
Prepared by Michael Steer
Devon colic is a condition caused by lead poisoning that occurred in Devonians during parts of the 17th and 18th centuries. The first written account comes from 1655. Symptoms began with severe abdominal pains and the condition was occasionally fatal. William Musgrave's publication De arthritide symptomatica (1715) included the first scientific description of "Devonshire colic" However, the precise cause was not discovered until the 1760s when Dr George Baker observed that the symptoms were similar to those of lead poisoning. He pointed out that lead was used in the cider making process both as a component of the cider presses and in the form of lead shot which was used to clean them. Publication of his results met with some hostile reaction from cider manufacturers, keen to defend their product. Google with the Archive Organization has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. The Internet Archive makes available, in its Community Texts Collection (originally known as Open Source Books), books that have been digitised by Google from a number of libraries. These are books on which copyright has expired, and are available free for educational and research use. This rare book was produced from a copy held by the University of Michigan Library, and is available from the Internet Archive.
Page A Andrew, Dr 332 B Baker, Sir Frederick 331 Baker, Rev George 331-3 Baker, Sir George Bt. MD 325, 329-31, 334 Bamfylde, Sir Richard Warwick Bt 331 Blane, Sir Gilbert, Bt, MD, FRS 327 Boerhaave 329 Budd, Dr Christian 333-4 C Cecil, Secretary 327 Citois, Dr Francois 332 Courtenay, Sir William Bt 328 D Drewe, Rev Herman 327 Dymond, R 328 E Edward I 326 Elizabeth I 325, 328 G George I 328 George III 331 H Hawker, Rev Treasurer 324 Harrison 325-6 Henry IV 326 Henry VII 326 Henry VIII 326 Hollinshed 325-6 Humphrey, Ozias RA 331 Huxham, Dr John 330-2 Huxham, Dr Samuel 325, 327-32 J Jenner 327 L Lind 327 Lysons 325 M Munk, Dr 328 Munk, William MD 328-9, 331 Musgrave, Richard 328 Musgrave, Samuel 328 Musgrave, Dr William 325, 328, 332 O Oliver, Dr 326 P Parker, John Esq 331 Peacock, Edward FSA 329 Pole, Sir John Bt 328 Polwhele 325, 327, 329-30, 333 R Richelieu, Cardinal 332 Rolle, Robert Esq 328 S Stallenge, William 326 W Westcote 326-7 Weston, Dr Stephen 331 Worth, Mr 330