Apothecaries and Pharmacies
p 076 Ref to the earliest medical body in Ireland of whose incorporation there is any record is the fraternity or guild of the art of barbers, or Guild of St Mary Magdalene of the City of Dublin which was established by Royal Charter on the 18th October 25 Henry Vi (1446) for the promotion and exercise of the art of chirurgery. - to consist of men as well as women
A copy of the Charter was extant in 1747 but appears to have since been lost.
There was also a later Charter of 1576
In Scotland the Barber surgeons were incorporated in 1506 see London Medical and Physical Journal vol xxvii p 116.
In England they were incorporated in 1461 Act of Ed IV.
p 080 Apprentices were required to enrol themselves within 2 months after being bound, otherwise the indenture was void. The guild had the power to arrest runaway apprentices. They might admit women as members. Some of the members were obliged to take yearly 2 of the poor boys from the Hospital at Oxmantown (Blue-coat or King's Hospital) for 7 years.
p 084 A committee was appointed in 1698 to prepare a bill to regulate the practise of physic in Ireland, and in 1703 another was named to bring in the heads of a bill to regulate the practise of physic and chirurgery and of apothecaries in the City of Dublin.
See Jnls of Irish House of Commons Vol ii p 125 and same vol ii p 322
p 085 In the year 1735 an Act received the sanction of the Legislature - for preventing frauds and abuses in the making and vending unsound, adulterated and bad drugs and medicines. See Irish Statutes Vol vi p 203 9 Geo II c 10. It provided for 4 Inspectors of apothecaries shops to be annually appointed by the College of Physicians to act with 2 apothecaries of good repute, or if they refuse to act without them; with power to burn or otherwise destroy any usound drugs which might occur to them in their inspection, with a penalty for obstruction of £10. All aopthecaries, chemists and druggists were to enrol with the Registrar of the College of Physicians before the 1st Sept 1736, and to pay a fee of 1 shilling for registration, otherwise they were to be considered unlawful professors of the art or mystery.
p 086 There was also later in 1745 a Corporation of Apothecaries or Guild of St Luke Charter dated 18th Sept 1745 Geo II.
p 090 In 1767 7 Geo III c 15 An Act was passed for directing the application of £7,000 granted to the Dublin Society for the encouragement of such trades and manufactures as should be directed by Parliament; and the Society were, by the 3rd section, empowered to appropriate sums not exceeding £250 towards erecting
and establishing a - Pharmacopoeia Pauperum, for dispensing medicines to the poor of the City of Dublin according to the plan of John Wade chemist.
Wade's - Chymical Elaboratory and Dispensary for the Poor - was accordingly established in Capel Street, for supplying the apothecaries with pure, unadulterated medicines, and for relieving the poor on cheap and easy terms, the plan having been previously honoured with the sanction of - our learned College of Physicians and that the Institution might be rendered as beneficial as possible, and the purity of every composition be established on the surest principles, Mr Wade devoted his whole attention and industry to chemistry, to which science pharmacy is not only indebted but owes its chief support.
From a return made to the Dublin Society 1st Nov 1770, it would appear that from 2nd June 1768 to 25th October 1770 - 1,570 indigent persons were relieved; and that of this number a great part had been attended at their respective habitations, in the most remote parts of the city and its environs - gratis. The object of the institution seems to have been the same as that of the dispensaries established by the London College of Physicians towards the end of the 17th century - to supply the poor with advice without charge, and with medicines at cost price.
Note - It was at first intended that medicine as well as advice should have been given gratis at these establishments, but the College of Physicians found it impossible to carry out this intention. They bound their members to prescribe for the poor gratis; and 53 of the fellows subscribed £10 per annum each, and opened 3 dispensaries, at which the medicines prescribed was sold to the poor at its intrinsic value. The opposition of the apothecaries to this measure is thus described by Sir S Garth in his humorous poem - The Dispensary :-
The Faculty of Warwick Lane design,
If not to storm, at least to undermine;
Their gates each day ten thousand night caps crowd,
And mortars utter their attempts aloud.
If they should once unmask our mystery,
Each nurse, e'er long, would be as learned we,
Our art exposed to every vulgar eye,
And none in complaisance to us would die.
What ! if we claim our right t'assassinate,
Must they needs turn apothecaries straight.
Our manufactures now they meanly sell,
And spightfully the intrinsic value tell.
p 100 Ref to Farr's Medical Annual 1839 ??
Re women as well as men as barber surgeons under charters of Henry Eliz and James.
Source: From the Dublin Quarterly Journal of Medical Science 1848
Vol 06 502 pp at Wellcome Institute London.
Originally From the Radford Library St Mary's Hospital Manchester.
August and November 1848.
Submitted by Alan Longbottom
Page updated March 12, 2008 by Rossbret