Trial of Joseph Webb, for Manslaughter, at York Summer Assizes, 1834; Containing the Brief, (Drawn up by Mr. Finch,) and all the Important Depositions, Taken on Oath, to Prove that the "Universal Medicines," if promptly and plenteously administered, are in all cases of disease, and particularly in small pox, almost universally efficacious, and not "deleterious" . . . Gratis. Medical Fraud, defendant Joseph Webb, Trials.

Trial of Joseph Webb, for Manslaughter, at York Summer Assizes, 1834; Containing the Brief, (Drawn up by Mr. Finch,) and all the Important Depositions, Taken on Oath, to Prove that the "Universal Medicines," if promptly and plenteously administered, are in all cases of disease, and particularly in small pox, almost universally efficacious, and not "deleterious" . . . Gratis.

London: Printed by G. Taylor, 1834. First edition. 8vo, removed pamphlet (no wrappers), 109, [2] pages. Some general light soiling and wear; in very good condition. Item #18927

A sterling and entrepreneurial example of taking legal lemons and transforming them into marketing lemonade, the account of a trial of Joseph Webb, a self-styled "hygeist" who prescribed for an ailing Richard Richardson a course of Morison's Universal Vegetable Pills, a powerful purgative intended to purify the blood; Richardson died (either in spite of the pills or, as was more likely, because of them) and Webb was convicted of manslaughter--though as the terminal leaf of "Remarks" here notes, along with allegations of bias from a judge under pressure from vindictive physicians, "The humane and moral character of the man was evinced by the extraordinary *fact* of seven-hundred and twenty of his fellow-citizens and neighbours, signing (in less than ten hours) a Petition to the Judge, praying an acquittal, or a leniency of *sentence;* among whom were many who bore testimony to his judicious treatment and cure of their various complaints. . . . The echo of this kindly feeling has resounded through every City and Town in the United Kingdom; by the astounding fact of the signatures of upwards of 30,000 names having been recorded in a Petition to His Most Gracious Majesty, for a remission of the remaining part of the Sentence." Of James Morison (1770-1840), the entrepreneurial genius behind the Universal Vegetable Pills and the motive force behind the Hygeian Journal and the British College of Health in Euston Road, the DNB notes, "From the early 1830s onwards, Morison's advice to take his pills in very large doses precipitated a sequence of sudden deaths and harsh observations by coroners. When some of his agents were convicted of manslaughter, he cheerfully paid their fines, and to one who was gaoled he gave a piece of silver plate. By 1834 it was becoming too hazardous for Morison to remain in Britain, and he decamped to Paris." Though Morison is not named in the imprint, the printer George Taylor was elsewhere styled "printer to the British College of Health" and the house printer for Morison's concerns. Vestigial rear wrapper or rear free endpaper.

Price: $350.00