According to a correspondent of the Monthly Gazette of Health (vol 5 1825), the proprietor of Goss & Co was a former shop assistant going by the unlikely name of Mr Crucifix.
While Mr Crucifix insisted that his company had genuine surgical credentials, it had a terrible reputation among the medical profession. The Medical Adviser and Guide to Health and Long Life, edited by Alexander Burnett, particularly had it in for him, mounting a sustained campaign against Goss & Co in 1824:
Goss and Company! Good God! Was there ever such a heap of filth and infamy as this swindling firm of straw! Was there ever such a cancer upon society – such an adroit and plausible system of rapacious plundering!
The Adviser also remarked that the letters M R C did not stand for Member of the Royal College, but for MURDERING, ROBBING CHARLATAN.
“Domus et placens uxor.”—HOR.
Thy house, and (in the cup of life,
That honey-drop) thy pleasing wife.
H A P P I N E S S “the gay to-morrow of the
mind,” is ensured by marriage; “the strictest tie
of perpetual Friendship” is a gift from Heaven, cementing
pleasure with reason, by which, says Johnson, we approach
in some degree of association with celestial intelligence.”
Previous, however, to entering into the hallowed obliga-
tion of marriage, it becomes an impressive duty not only to
regulate the passions, but to cleanse the grosser nature from
those impurities which the freedom of unrestricted pleasure
may have entailed upon it. To the neglect of such atten-
tion, are attributable many of those hapless instances,
which while they excite the commiseration of the behold-
er, should also impress him with the fear of self-reproach.
Luxurious habits will effeminate the body—a residence in
the tropics will too much relax the elastic fibre—but more
especially does the premature infatuation of youth too fre-
quently reduce the natural dignity into a state of inanition,
from whence the agonized sufferer more than doubts the
chance of relief. To all such, then, we address ourselves,
offering hope–energy–muscular strength–facility; nor
ought our advances to appear questionable, sanctioned as
they are by the multiplied proofs of twenty-five years suc-
The easy cares of married life are sometimes disturbed
by the want of those blessings which twine the nuptial
wreath—for the female habit is often constitutionally weak
—yet it can be strengthened, and deficient energy improved
into functional power.
In every case of syphilitic intrusion, as well as in every
relaxation of the generative economy, we pledge our reputa-
tion to cure speedily and permanently. Earnestly solicitous
to expel the unfeeling empyric from the position so pre-
sumptuously taken by him, we deviate from general prin-
ciples with less hesitation; and confident in our own
honourable integrity as Members of the College of Surgeons,
we invite sufferers of either sex, (especially those entering
into matrimonial life) at once to our house, where daily
attendance is given for personal consultation; and imme-
diate answers are returned to country letters, which must
minutely describe the case, and contain a remittance for
advice and Medicine, which can be forwarded to any part
of the world, however distant. No difficulty can occur, as
the Medicine will be securely packed, and carefully protected
GOSS & Co., (M.R.C. Surgeons).
7, Lancaster Place, Waterloo Bridge, Strand, London.
*** Just published (Twenty-First Edition), 1st, The AEGIS
of LIFE, a similar commentary on the above Diseases.—
2d. HYGEIANA, addressed exclusively to the Female Sex.—
3. The SYPHILIST, a Treatise on Lues Venerea, Gonor-
rhoea, &c. May be had at 23, Paternoster-Row, London; F.
Hobson, Leeds; and of all Booksellers, Price 5s.
Source: The Leeds Mercury, Saturday 29 April, 1837
A correspondent to the Medical Adviser described his experience thus:
When I wrote to Goss & Co., I enclosed a pound bill, and asked their advice. I received a letter by return of post, asking all particulars, (useless to them), for example whether I was fair, tall, handsome, and many other things of little consequence. I was quite disgusted; they concluded with a request for 5l., and they would send me a box of medicine. I received the medicine and a modest request for 25l. and they would cure me … Their medicine I took to a Chemist, and he said I could have got it, bottles and all, for 5s.