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Correspondence and miscellaneous printed papers, mainly on the subject of lemon juice as a preventive of scurvy, 1793-1817

MS. Eng. c. 7330
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request

Comprises (fols. 1-54) original letters and notes, including

  1. (fols. 1-2) 'Letter from Dr Harness requesting an order to purchase Bark and Lemons for the Sick of the Fleet', 1793
  2. (fols. 3-4) 'Letter from Sick & Wounded Board to Secretary of the Admiralty dated 13th Dec. 1793', c. 1815
  3. (fols. 5-6) 'Letter from Adm. Gardner to Sick & Wounded Board dated 24 Dec. 1793', c. 1815
  4. (fols. 7-8) Lord St. Vincent's communication to and reply from Dr Harness regarding his appointment as 'Physician of the Naval Hospital at Gibraltar', n.d.
  5. (fols. 9-10) Lord St. Vincent's letter to the Sick & Wounded Board about Harness's conduct, 1798
  6. (fols. 12-13) note on Harness's role in having the fleet blockading Toulon in 1793 supplied with sufficient quantities of lemon juice, n.d.
  7. (fols. 16-17) letter from G.P. Towry, Victualling Commissioner, 1815, acknowledging the importance of lemon juice and Harness's role, and recalling the figures for scurvy in the Seven Years War and then in the war years 1779-83, as one who "was Master of the Fogueux [presumably the Fougueux] ... under the command of Boscawen"
  8. (fols. 18) letter from an anonymous friend advising Harness not to mention money-saving but life-saving benefits of citric acid, n.d.
  9. (fols. 19-22) autograph certificate (with covering letter) of Admiral Hood stating that in 1793 'Dr. Harness ... strongly recommended ... the use of lemon juice as a cure & preventive [of scurvy]', 1815
  10. (fols. 24-7, 34-5, 40-1 and 44-7) 5 letters from D. Boyle giving advice on how to deal with the lemon juice issue, 1815-16
  11. (fols. 28-31 and 48-51) 2 letters from J. Pickering in support of Harness's claim, 1815-16
  12. (fols. 32-3) letter from J. McArthur giving details of supplies of lemons and onions to the Fleet in 1793 (in Toulon) and 1794 (in Corsica), 1815
  13. (fols. 36-9) copy letter from Harness to Dr. Gilbert Blane, 1816 pointing out the omission in Blane's pamphlet On the health of the Navy of any mention of Harness in respect to the health of the Fleet in 1793
  14. (fols. 42-3) Dr. Trotter's letter to editor of The Sun in response to Harness's "letter to the Right Hon. Lord Melville ... on the use of citric acid in the Royal Navy" published in the 12 Jan. 1816 (no. 7287) issue
  15. (fols. 52-3) Admiral Thomas Hardy's reply to Harness's request for his and Lord Nelson's opinion on the effect of lemon juice on the health of the crews, 1816

also (fols. 55-97) draft and copy letters forming Harness's argument for his claim, evidently intended for publication and including

  1. (fols. 62-3) copy of Harness's letter to the Earl of St. Vincent mentioning Admiral Nelson's supposed remark that a statue of gold should be erected to Harness, 1815
  2. (fols. 66-7) draft of part of the pamphlet A letter to the Right Honourable Lord Melville, First Lord of the Admiralty, &c. &c. on the use of citric acid in the Royal Navy, watermark 1808, eventually published in 1815
  3. (fols. 78-84) draft of the letter to Dr. Gilbert Blane mentioned above (fols. 36-9), 1816
  4. (fols. 86-7) copy of Harness's letter to Admiral Thomas Hardy (the reply to which is amongst the original letters above, fols. 52-3), 1816
  5. (fols. 88-95) 5 drafts of Admiral Gardner's correspondence with the Sick and Wounded Board, the last with printing instruction at head, watermark 1812
  6. (fols. 96-7) Harness's letter to J.P. Beresford, in which he expresses his discontentment with the level of his pension, and repeats Admiral Nelson's remarks about his value to the Navy (see fols. 62-3), 1817

with (fols. 98-118) correspondence between or about family members, including some accounts

  1. (fols. 98-113) family correspondence, 1795-1822
  2. (fols. 114-18) accounts, 1807-12

and (fols. 119-124) miscellaneous printed material

  1. (fols. 119-20) Corrected copy of directions how to use Sir John Dalrymple's wort and hop cake, and yeast powder, at sea (4 pp.), n.d. [watermark 1794]
  2. (fols. 121-2) The Sun, Number 7287, Friday 12 Jan.1816 (4 pp.) with (fol. 121) an article 'Health of the Navy'
  3. (fols. 123-4) The Sun, Number 7343, Monday 18 Mar. 1816 (4 pp.) with (fol. 123) an article 'Citric acid'


  • Creation: 1793-1817


124 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • English


MS. Eng. c. 7330

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom