Gout – the Georgian disease par excellence – is a form of arthritis that usually affects the big toe, ankle, heel and knee, forming when an excess of uric acid crystallizes in the joints and immediate tissue. It often occurred through overindulgence in high purine fare such as alcohol, mushrooms, and shellfish etc. – hence its epithet, Rich Man’s Disease.
The seventeenth-century herbalist and physician, Nicholas Culpeper, has a very tasteful remedy for gout: “The berries or roots [of the Cuckoo-Pint – Arum vulgare] beaten with hot ox-dung, and applied, easeth the pains of the gout.” 
Anything from an up-turned bucket to a serf on all-fours could be employed to elevate the leg in order to assuage the excruciating pain, but by all accounts, this practice only provided limited relief, further encouraging the sufferer to remain immobile and consume even more wine and rich foods. Nonetheless, any remedies (and there were many) or alleviations were in high demand amongst those well heeled patricians with un-well heels.
Wealthy patronage soon sought out the dedicated gout stool. Not wanting to pass over the excessive consumptive ailments of his clientele, George Hepplewhite included a design for a multi-positional “Gouty Stool” in his pattern book, The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Guide.
Neither I, nor my wife suffers noticeably from gout, but we’re both as partial to putting our feet up as any sluggard. I’m told a gout stool would be a goodly and useful addition to our sittingroom, so I’ve undertaken to make one. However, if the stool causes the usual domiciliary accord to erupt into a fracas, I may have to knock up a second one – for myself.
 Culpeper’s Complete Herbal: Consisting of a Comprehensive Description of Nearly All Herbs with Their Medicinal Properties and Directions from Compounding the Medicines Extracted From Them, Culpeper, Nicholas, 1616-1654.
Originally published in 1652 under the title: The English Physician.