The appointment letters of John Durancé George, Dental Surgeon

Writer: Lady Lyttleton

Date: 31st August 1848

Address: Hagley Hall, Stourbridge

Eight Five guineas
use piece of wood

Lady Lyttelton presents her
compliments to Mr. George
& begs to inform him that
her little girl’s teeth next
to the front ones are in their
right places one side, the
under tooth shutting
behind the front one, but
the upper tooth which corresponds
the other side does not close
quite over the under one.

Lady L would like to know
if she could not improve
the mouth on that side
by making her little girl
bite a little bit of wood
every day, so as to get the
teeth into the right places.

Ly L thinks the mouth altogether
very much improved &
would be much obliged
to Mr. George to let her
know what she is indebted
to him.

Hagley Stourbridge
August 31st 1848


Durancé George's notes can be seen at the top of the letter, where he indicates that Lady L.'s bill should be five guineas. He also seems to approve of the suggestion to "use a piece of wood" to correct the girl's bite. Poor girl!

Mary Glynne, daughter of Sir Stephen Glynne, and sister-in-law of William Gladstone, married Lord Lyttleton in 1839. George William Lyttleton, 4th Baron Lyttleton, (1817 - 1876) was a Tory politician. In January 1846 he was appointed Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies in the administration of Sir Robert Peel. He founded the region of Canterbury, New Zealand, with Anglican colonists; the port of Canterbury bears his name.

Lord Lyttleton committed suicide at the age of 59 by throwing himself down the stairs at Hagley Hall.

If you wonder about the efficacy of a piece of wood in orthodontics, see the letter from Theobald Fitzwalter Butler .

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