The Doctor’s Dispensatory

The whole Art of Physick restored to practice and The Apothecary’s Shop Opened. London 1657. A bit late for the 1640s I admit, but there is a nice illustration on the front cover of this book, one of those ones that you read and by the time you get to the end, you imagine you’ve got most of the ailments described within.

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Here’s the doctor and two ladies who have brought him a sample for examination. M’lady looks a tad worried. Perhaps a course of leeches? The doctor is in his professional clothes, a gown to prove he went to university and what looks like a canterbury cap which presumably also indicates his training for this sort of thing. The lady is smartly dressed in bodice and petticoat with a sharp neckerchief, apron and chaperone hood. The goodwife behind is in slightly lower class garb, (what we can see), with a linen coif on her head, the baby wrapped in a blanket.


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Here is the apothecary opening his shop as it were. The customer in a typical 1650s short doublet, unbuttoned at the lower end to show off his shirt linen and, of course his codpiece (or fly as we would call it). Open breeches at the leg and some smart shoes. The apothecary looks to be wearing a coat, or maybe a heavier weight doublet and wide brimmed hat. Obviously not a college man.


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