Mr Twining and his electro-galvanic machine (1851)

Oxford Journal, 12 April 1851

MACHINE,    manufactured    for  and    sold   by   Mr.   D.
TWINING,  Surgeon,  Winslow.    Smaller  instruments   £3 6s.,
£3 12s., £5 18s.
 Mr. T. respectfully begs to recommend the perusal of his Pros-
pectus, which  may  be  had  from  him  on receipt of two penny
stamps, to defray the postage.   Among the many important ad-
vantages to be derived from the use of the improved Apparatus
are the following:-

  1. Immediate and favourable effect on application.
  2. Agreeable sensation, even when the greatest quantity of the
    Galvanic fluid is introduced.
  3. A recirculation of the chyle, or nervous fluid, thereby
    strengthening the whole nervous system.
  4. Immediate relief from pain.
  5. The unpleasantness of taking nauseous drugs dispensed with.
  6. Rest to those who cannot sleep at night.
  7. And, above all, complete restoration of health.

  A  trial of  the  improved  Apparatus  will  shew that the advan-
tages here held out are not over-rated.

David Twining is recorded at what is now 4 High Street in the 1851 census with a varied household:

David Twining Head married 54 Surgeon, Chemist & Druggist & c., Grocer, Stationer & Spirits Merchant b. St Dogmaels, Pembs
Ellen Twining Wife married 40   b. Crickhowell, Brecon
Charles William John Kerr Lodger unm 50 Clergyman having no cure of souls b. Farnham, Surrey
John Grey Apprentice   13 Apprentice Chemist & Grocer b. Winslow
Festus Uff Servant unm 22 Grocer (Journeyman) b. Waddesdon
Elizabeth Smith Servant unm 19 House Servant b. Swanbourne

He was a lithographer in Haverfordwest in 1841, and that was one of his trades when he came to Winslow c.1843. He tried to leave in 1846, but stayed until c.1853.

Northampton Mercury, 3 Jan 1846

In the improving Post and Market Town of WINSLOW, Buckinghamshire,
A small OFFICE of TYPES, PRESS, &c. and a LITHO-GRAPHIC PRESS and Materials, the whole nearly new. Also a QUANTITY of STATIONERY.
This will be found a good opportunity for any person with a small capital, or for one disposed to carry on the additional business of a druggist.
The necessary Instructions in the Art of Lithography, will be given to the Purchaser, if required;  and there is now a capital House, at a low rent, in one of the best situations (the Square) in the town, to be let.
Apply to Mr. D. TWINING, Winslow, Bucks.

Bucks Herald, 23 Jan 1847
WINSLOW – LITHOGRAPHY – Of all the modern inventions, there is not one that bears a more conspicuous or useful part, as regards the assistance rendered to the Fine Arts through its aid, than Lithography; but being a chemical process, and requiring considerable time to obtain a thorough knowledge of it, it has hitherto been chiefly confined to the Lithographer. Mr. Twining of Winslow has, however, made such a discovery in this department of printing, that the most inexperienced can now draw, or put any device upon the Lithographic Stone, and also strike off an unlimited number of impressions. The importance of this discovery will at once be seen by the artist and amateur, and also by all those who, in business or otherwise situated, may require circulars, bill heads, plans, cards, labels, &c, &c as having a press of their own they can get quantity Lithographed at their own establishments.
LITHOGRAPHERS STONES, ROLLERS, INK, and every requisite SOLD by D. TWINING, Printer, Lithographer, and Stationer, Winslow.
NB. - Stones lent for Drawing and other purposes.

He was also a chemist, and advertised one of his inventions:

Bucks Herald, 3 July 1847
A CERTAIN and an Instantaneous CURE FOR THE TOOTH ACHE. Prepared by Mr. D. TWINING, Medical Hall, Winslow
Sold in Pots at 1s 1½d, each and forwarded by Post on receipt of 18 Postage Stamps.
Hand pointingSole Agent for Aylesbury, Mr. STEDMAN.

Bucks Gazette, 28 February 1848 (Buckingham County Court)
Previous to the cases of the day being called on, an application was made to his Honour by Mr. Baker, attorney for David Twining, of Winslow, chemist, druggist, printer, and schoolmaster, for an order of protection, on presenting his petition for relief under the Insolvency Act of the last Session of Parliament, by which jurisdiction in matters of insolvency under 300 is transferred to the County Courts. The order was made, and other steps taken, for bringing the insolvent up to the next County Court, on his first hearing.

Oxford Chronicle
, 4 March 1848
George Cross, linen draper, Winslow, v. David Twining, chemist, etc., of the same place, an action to recover 15l. 9s. for goods supplied.   Defendant admitted the debt.  An order was made for payment in a month.  This order, however, will be of no effect at present.  An order of protection having been granted as mentioned above.

Later in 1848 he was listed in the London Gazette as a chemist petitioning for insolvency.

Bucks Chronicle, 8 May 1848
THE COUNTY COURT OF BUCKINGHAM was held in the Town Hall, on the 30th March, presided over by the Judge, John Wing, Esq.  ...  The most important business of the day being a case of Insolvency which came before the court; on the first hearing of the insolvent, David Twining, of Winslow, chemist, druggist, dealer in cigars, letterpress and lithographic printer, and schoolmaster.  Upon his petition under an Order of Protection, granted at the court, of February last; the total amount of debts of the petitioner are nearly £300, and the available assets very small.

Mr. Baker, solicitor, appeared in support of the petitioner; and Mr. Davis King, solicitor, appeared on behalf of two creditors;  Mr. Cross, draper and maltster, of Winslow, and Mr. Maydon, butcher, of the same place.

The examination of the insolvent was opened by Mr. Baker, who said the insolvent had offered 5s in the pound, and that all had acceded but the two opposing creditors.  The petitioner, in his examination, said he had resided in Winslow five years as a schoolmaster, stationer, &c., and that he embarked in a speculation when he thought he had every opportunity of improving his circumstances, and paying off his debts.  Previous to that, he made application for a loan of £200[?], and was disappointed in not getting it.  He afterwards […]ted two lodgers, at £30[?] per annum, for whose rooms he had purchased furniture, and who did not continue to rent his apartments after Christmas last, to which he partly attributed his insolvency.  Had expected an appointment of £5 per week, and was disappointed in not getting it.  Had formerly held an occupation at Haverfordwest, in Wales, of that value.

Examined by Mr. King. – Had received from all his businesses, in July last, only £1 18s., not including his occupation as schoolmaster.   His loss by his lodger, Mr. Dannery, was £10 10s., but at the time of filing his petition the £10 10s. was not due;  his other lodger, Mr. Jones, left him in December;  had suffered no great loss by him.  Debts amounting to £281 had been incurred since Lady day, 1847.  The presumed value of his stock left was only £[..].  Had not paid debts to the amount of £20 to creditors in Winslow in last six months.   His salary of £11, as mentioned in his schedule, was incorrect, as it includes £1 salary received as secretary to a benefit society.    In December last was insolvent;  but had paid £8 to Mr. Jackson, of Aylesbury, and £2 to a creditor of Haverfordwest.  All the debts owing to his estate were £35.  Was engaged in a law case between Mr. Lowndes, of Whaddon, and a Mr. Davis, for which he received two guineas per diem.  Had received a gratuity of £20 from Mr. Lowndes within the last three years. Had played at cards, but not recently.  Had not won £6 18s. of a Mr. King of Winslow.  Had never intimated to his creditors that he had expected to get £400 for his specific for stopping decayed teeth; but had written to his creditors in terms hinting at the possibility of their getting 10s. in the pound.  Had had no ready money; but had borrowed £10 to pay for his schedule.

Examined by the Judge.- The speculations embarked in were in addition to the business of a chemist &c.  Had not suffered by bad debts.  Could not account for the great deficiency over his expenditure in the last three years.

Mr. King then addressed the Court, and contended the petitioner had been reckless in his expenditure, and that his petition ought to be dismissed.

The insolvent’s solicitor, in his reply, admitted he went to greater expenses, and incurred debts under all the circumstances unjustifiably, and that he was blameable in not keeping private accounts.  That he was sanguine of success from the sale of his tooth paste.  One of the items of his disbursements – his household expenditure – he had laid at £7[?] per month as an average of his expenditure.   Some friend had offered since the petition had been filed to aid the petitioner with an advance to enable him to pay 5s. in the pound.

His Honour then observed that the case was one of no small importance – to all persons in trade and others in the habit of incurring debts.  That these cases were too frequently treated with bad private feelings by opposing creditors, but he should deal with this as a matter of example to the public, who are in the habit of incurring debts.   Scarcely any debt incurred since 1844 by the insolvent had been paid, he should, however, favourably consider the circumstance of insolvent having offered 5s. in the pound.   It appeared the balance sheet was in some respects incorrect, and it also appeared that the insolvent’s expenses exceeded by £49 his annual income during the last three years.

His Honour remarked that he did not sit as between two or three creditors and the insolvent, but between the public and the insolvent.   Some of the statements made in the schedule were perfectly improbable;  the insolvent had no family, yet his household and other expenses were £123[?] per annum;  he could not conceive how this state of things were justified by the insolvent, who had kept no account of his expenditure.   The matter called for his reprobation, inasmuch as the insolvent’s income was insufficient to meet his credits, his expenditure was 75 per cent. over his income.   The course he should take was not to discuss the petition, but to what was best to be done for the creditors, by retaining jurisdiction over the petitioner, and name no day for making the final order.

Various additional services were on offer:

Bucks Herald, 16 Dec 1848
T E E T H.
THE Clergy, Gentry, and Inhabitants of BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, are respectfully informed that Mr. G. LEVASON, SURGICAL and MECHANICAL DENTIST, (Pupil of his Father Mr. Levason, formerly of Gower Street London, and of Leamington, Warwickshire,) having just returned from a Seven Years’ residence on the Continent where he has studied his Profession, and for the convenience of his Patients during the Winter, may be consulted on all Cases relative to the TEETH AND GUMS, EVERY WEEK on Mondays and Tuesdays at Mr. Watkins’s, builder, Bridge Street, Leighton Buzzard;  on Wednesdays and Thursdays at Mr. Harris’s, shoemaker, Market Place, Buckingham;  and on Fridays and Saturdays at Mr. G. King’s, coachmaker, New Road, Aylesbury – his father having kindly offered to attend for him DAILY, at his Residence, MARKET PLACE, WINSLOW.
* Families attended at their own Residences if required.
Bucks Herald, 10 Feb 1849
Levason’s Tooth Brushes, Powder, and Lotion.
SOLE AGENT for the SALE of the above, Mr. D. TWINING, Chemist, Winslow.
Mr. LEVASON, Dentist, attends Daily in Market Square Winslow.
Bucks Herald, 13 Oct 1849
MR. JAMES KING respectfully announces that he is commissioned to offer for SALE by AUCTION, on THURSDAY, the 25th Day of OCTOBER, 1849, AT Two o’Clock, at the House of Mr. Twining, Market Square, Winslow, Bucks;  the above VERY SUPERIOR LOT OF WINES, consigned to him by a London Agent.

He also had trouble with customers and in 1850 had court judgments for several to pay him in instalments. In 1851 he was warned by the Board of Guardians after he "attended a woman in Mursley in a case of midwifery and that in consequence of his mal treatment her life was all but sacrificed". He added to his qualifications in 1852:

Oxford Chronicle, 14 February 1852
MR. DAVID TWINING, of Winslow, having passed the necessary examinations, has been admitted a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. As this gentleman must have received his instruction in the medical profession many years ago; - to pass the court of examiners of the present day must therefore be highly to his credit; - as we are well aware that to go through an examination before them is a trying ordeal.

The Calendar of the Royal College of Surgeons lists David Twining in 1852 as an unregistered member, but another contemporaneous source suggests that he was admitted as a surgeon by the College. He described himself as surgeon in directories of 1853 and 1854, and an inquest in September 1853 heard that he treated Thomas Bradbury of Mursley for a week after he had fallen downstairs (Mr Bradbury died). Twining must have left Winslow later in the 1850s, and his death was registered at Cardigan in 1864.

The Twinings were also involved in a murder trial in 1850-1. Ann Pell of Paulerspury was accused of poisoning two of her children with arsenic. She was committed for trial by Towcester magistrates on 19 August 1850, and the trial took place in March 1851. Ellen Twining gave evidence to the magistrates that Pell had come to her shop around 7 p.m. one day in July 1850 to buy twopennyworth of arsenic to kill rats and mice, which she refused to sell her as she did not know her and did not like the look of her. She identified Pell in court. However, Pell was found not guilty: the evidence was circumstantial, and the defence counsel said it had not been proved that she really did try to buy arsenic at Winslow - perhaps because, if the Northampton Mercury reported it correctly, Ellen Twining's evidence changed to 5 p.m. and onepennyworth of arsenic.

Electro-galvanic machineMedical treatment by electricity was pioneered in London in the 1780s by Dr Graham and his Temple of Health which catered for the very rich. Luigi Galvani (1737-98) popularised the theory of animal electricity and may have influenced Frankenstein. Electro-galvanic machines (see example on right) were supposed to send a current of electricity through the patient "in one direction only" to treat a variety of medical problems. One by Horne, Thornwaite & Wood was shown at the Great Exhibition in 1851.

This advertisement does not include any names or addresses, but very probably refers to another of Twining's ventures:

Oxford Chronicle, 10 Sep 1853

BATHS, Winslow, Bucks
THE following BATHS are ready daily (Sundays excepted):-
1. Aromatic, 2 Iodide of Iron, 3 Iodine, 4 Sea Water, each     3s 0d
5 Bran, 6 Hot, 7 Astringent, each     2s 0d
8 Tepid    1s 6d
9 Shower, 10 Breast, 11 Ascending, 12 Sitz, 13 Cold, each  1s 0d
Respectable Attendants
Printed particulars, showing the Medical Properties of each bath, may be had on application to the Bath Attendant; if per Post one Stamp to be transmitted.

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