Copy of a Letter from JOHN TURNBULL, Esquire, Chairman to the Board of Trade, to E. COOKE, Esquire, Under Secretary of State, &c. &c. &c.
In my capacity of General Chairman of the Merchants trading to the Mediterranean, and in consequence of the commercial relations which I have long maintained with Gibraltar, I think it my duty to submit, with great deference, to the consideration of Lord Castlereagh certain observations respecting the late dreadful calamity, which afflicted that garrison. The great mortality which then prevailed, and which carried off almost the whole of the civil inhabitants, was in a great degree to be imputed to the want of medical assistance for the poorer classes of the people, who are chiefly foreigners. The physicians and surgeons attached to the army, had every moment of their time fully occupied by the care of the troops immediately under their charge. If even they could have spared a little attention to the miserable objects just mentioned, it could probably have produced but a very inadequate effect. As the medical gentlemen could not be supposed to be acquainted with the various foreign dialects that these people could only make use of, they were therefore obliged to be abandoned to their fate; and by their numerous deaths, and the intercourse they had with one another, necessarily occasioned a deplorable increase of contagion. It is therefore respectfully suggested, that, as the return of such a disorder ought at any rate to be guarded against, it would be highly desirable, that a medical gentleman, conversant with the languages of the southern parts of Europe, should be appointed as physician to the civil inhabitants of Gibraltar, and for their express and immediate care. There is now in London, a gentleman (Doctor Buffa), Physician to His Majesty's Forces, who appears to be peculiarly well qualified for such an appointment. He is possessed of superior medical abilities, and particularly in the disorders of the plague and yellow-fever, in the treatment of which he has had much experience and success; and having been born in Piedmont, he is well acquainted with the southern languages of Europe. If Lord Castlereagh should be pleased to approve of Doctor Buffa being placed at Gibraltar, in the situation which I have taken the liberty to suggest, it would occasion no extraordinary expense to Government, Doctor Buffa being now one of the Physicians to the Army, and might eventually be productive of the most beneficial effects.
I have the honour to be, most respectfully,
Your most obedient and
Most humble servant,
(Signed) JOHN TURNBULL.
Guilford Street, 5th August 1805.
E. Cooke, Esq. &c. &c. &c.
Letter from the Secretary of the Transport Board to Dr. BUFFA.
Transport Office, 16th October 1805.
I am directed by the Board to acquaint you, that a passage to Gibraltar has been provided for yourself, Mrs. Buffa, your family and brother-in-law, on board the Active transport; and that you may embark on board that ship at Deptford immediately.
I am further directed to add, that it will be necessary for you to find your own provisions.
I am, Sir,
Your most obedient servant,
A. WHITEHEAD, Secretary.
To Dr. Buffa,
&c. &c. &c.
Extract of a Letter from JOHN TURNBULL, Esq. Chairman of the Committee of Merchants trading to the Levant, &c. to Dr. BUFFA.
MY DEAR SIR,
On your arrival at Gibraltar, I was favoured with two letters from you; but have not since had the pleasure of hearing from you. Nor have I written to you, as, notwithstanding the unremitting endeavours, and the constant attention, on every occasion, of His Royal Highness and myself, it has not been in our power to do any thing effectual to serve you. The Medical Board continue to give all the opposition that they possibly can, and made a very unfavourable report, in consequence of a strong representation that I made in your favour to Mr. Windham.
London, 7th July 1806.
Extract of a Letter from JOHN ROSS, Esq. Acting Consul General at Tangiers, to Dr. BUFFA.
Friday, 7th May 1806.
I heard only to-day of your arrival at Tetuan on your way to Larache, and this evening received an express from Indy Mahamed Slawey, Governor of that place, to request that, if I knew you had been in this country, you would use every possible endeavour to come to him at Larache; and to accompany him to the Emperor who wished to see you.
Let me therefore request your moving as quick as possible to Larache direct from Tetuan, and join him before he departs. Should you miss him, he has left orders to his Lieutenant-governor there, to forward you to Sidy immediately.
Letter written to JOHN ROSS, Esq. Acting Consul General at Tangiers.
Larache, May 17th, 1806.