Bunhill Fields

The other side of Dame Mary Page's tomb.


"In 67 months she was tap'd 66 times

Had taken away 240 gallons of water

without ever repining at her case

or ever fearing the operation"

  • bootpainter PRO 9y

    Good grief.I think I'd have repined now and then...
  • Simon Crubellier PRO 9y

    I'd have been repining the bloody house down by about the third go, believe me.
  • Justin Cormack PRO 9y

    Ah yes I was looking at that just at the weekend.
  • David Inglesfield PRO 9y

    'tap'd' ? The water was siphoned off?
  • Simon Crubellier PRO 9y

    dubmill - yes; I've always assumed that she had some sort of cyst, since these can get absolutely enormous if not removed (there have been cases of cysts that weighed significantly more than the patient) and can produce astonishing quantities of fluid. The figures given here work out at about a pint a day; compare the cases cited in Gould & Pyle's Anomalies & Curiosities of Medicine:
    [...] Stockard describes an instance of this nature in a negress of fifty, the mother of several children. About twelve years before a cyst in the right iliac region was tapped. The woman presented the following appearance: The navel hung below her knees, and the skin near the umbilicus resembled that of an elephant. The abdomen in its largest circumference measured 68 inches, and 27 inches from the ensiform cartilage to the umbilicus. The umbilicus was five inches in diameter and three inches in length. Eight gallons and seven pints of fluid were removed by tapping, much remaining. The whole tumor weighed 135 pounds. Death from exhaustion followed on the sixth day after the tapping.

    Ovarian cysts, of which by far the greater number are of the glandular variety, form extremely large tumors; ovarian dropsies of enormous dimensions are recorded repeatedly throughout medical literature. Among the older writers Ford mentions an instance of ovarian dropsy from which, by repeated operations, 2786 pints of water were drawn. Martineau describes a remarkable case of twenty-five years' duration, in which 80 paracenteses were performed and 6630 pints of fluid were withdrawn. In one year alone 495 pints were withdrawn. Tozzetti mentions an ovarian tumor weighing 150 pounds. Morand speaks of an ovarian cyst from which, in ten months, 427 pounds of fluid were withdrawn. [...]
  • David Inglesfield PRO 9y

  • Glyn Thomas PRO 9y

    I feel nauseous. I work about five minutes from here and, to my shame, have never noticed this. If you see some flowers here in the next few days, they're from me. Btw how many people use your final tag?
  • Valerie 9y

    gruesome. ew. must. go. wash. hands. now.
  • Simon Crubellier PRO 9y

    Glyn1 - surprisingly few, but it's always good to get in early with these things.
  • marnanel 9y

    I used to live in London, and I used to eat my lunch in Bunhill Fields. Now I live in Philadelphia and haven't been back to England for years. Last night, my partner and I watched a film where a character had an operation to remove a buildup of fluid, and I remembered Mary Pace (but not her name). So this morning I went to flickr, and lo! someone had taken a photo of her tomb and transcribed it. Thank you!
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Taken on February 21, 2006
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