Peter Bougourd and Henry Cumber, 1837

From The Star of April 10, 1837. Proceedings in the Royal Court, Thurday, April 6th, 1837.

A man named Peter Bougourd, of the Vale parish, was brought up by Mr Hocart, one of the constables of that parish, charged with having improperly, and without authority from the Court, practised the art and mystery of surgeon,1 and imposed on the public credulity by pretending that he was commissioned by Providence, and that the Holy Spirit had inspired him with a knowledge of the means to effect cures in the most difficult cases. He was specially accused of having treated a woman named Anne Tostevin, at present in the Hospital, for a diseased thumb, in doing which he gave proof of his ignorance, and probably will be the cause of her losing her left hand.

The Court, after hearing Bougourd, who though destitute of a diploma from the College of Surgeons, declared he had derived his anatomical knowledge from heaven, and appeared deeply concerned at the Court’s being disposed to intervene by prohibiting the exercise of his divine calling,—and also a surgeon and other witnesses—forbade Bougourd to impose any longer on the credulity of others, or to treat in future any case of surgery or medicine, under a penalty of £202 to the King; besides being answerable for all the consequences of improper treatment. Mr Henry Cumber, druggist and cupper, was charged with having put the life of a man named Tostevin in the greatest danger, by treating him for a disease which required the most delicate investigation, without having seen the seat of the disorder, and this, notwithstanding a previous order of the Court forbidding him to act as surgeon or apothecary, but to confine himself to his business of druggist and cupper. The Court, after hearing a surgeon and other witnesses, repeated the said order, and prohibited his practice as surgeon or apothecary under a penalty of £20 to the King, besides answering for any consequences that might follow from any improper treatment.

The Star, April 21st, 1834. BERGER and CUMBER, SURGEON-DENTISTS.

H. CUMBER,2 in returning his grateful acknowledgments to the gentry and public generally, for the patronage he has received during the last fifteen years, takes the opportunity of reminding them that he continues to fix MINERAL TEETH, from a single tooth to a complete set, on the most approved principle. Decay in teeth arrested by various cements applied according to circumstance. Children's teeth regulated when deformed though neglect. Cleaning, scaleing, and every other operation connected with Dental Surgery, performed as usual.

Arcade, April 21, 1834. N.B. Mr. Berger, now resident in Jersey, respectfully elicits any commands through his partner, H. Cumber.

1 In the Indenture of 1829 between John Thorne and Eléazar de la Rue, Eléazar becomes apprentice to John Thorne to learn the 'Art, Trade, or Mystery' of Apothecary. See Quarterly Review of the Guernsey Society, VII (3), Autumn 1951, p. 15.

2 Henry Cumber's shop 'established 1818' stood in the High Street and was taken over by Grut's in 1963. For a photograph see Carel Toms' St Peter Port people and places, 2003, p. 31. Henry Cumber Junior obtained a licence to practice as a chemist in the island in 1881.

The Star, September 24th, 1822: Commodious apartments to let, for next quarter: inquire of H. Cumber, old Market-Street.

H CUMBER, CUPPER AND DRUGGIST, Old Market-street, Market-place

Knowing his gratitude is due to many, since his late accident by fire,1 and return from London, hopes that his endeavours to please his friends and customers will merit a continuance of favours. H. C. continues to scale and clean teeth; also to stop or extract the decayed. All persons applying to him for advice on any dental operation, or other branches of his profession, will receive impartial advice to the best of his knowledge(gratis.) Hot, Cold, and Steam baths may be had daily. The Machine for Cold Bathing will be discontinued after the 30th of this month; persons having tickets, and those desirous to have them, are recommended to embrace the fine weather.

1 See L'Indépendance, 9th February, 1822; Henry Cumber defends himself in a letter against insinuations about the cause of the fire. Cumber was a Quaker and married the daughter of Thomas Gallienne, who was famously made an example of as an early dissenter. See Edith Carey's 1918 pamphlet, The Beginnings of Quakerism in Guernsey.

2 The Star of May 8th 1837; Cumber is fined £20 for having dispensed medicine when forbidden by the Court from doing so.