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Medicines advertised in eighteenth-century Bath newspapers.

Medicines advertised in eighteenth-century Bath newspapers. MEDICINES ADVERTISED IN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY BATH NEWSPAPERS by P. S. BROWN* The advertisements for patent and a of Bath proprietary medicines in sample news- papers, from 1744 to the end of been to to assess the century,' have examined try the importance of the medicines marketed in this way. A previous which report, described the sample in more detail, how of emphasized deeply the proprietors newspapers, of circulating libraries and bookshops were involved as retailers these products and that to Bath a of which suggested the visitors represented section society formed a for major market advertised medicines.2 The sample contained advertisements for 302 different of medicines, some which could be further divided into varieties prepared by different makers. The present report is mainly concerned with the medicines themselves. AND OF THE SOURCES DISTRIBUTION MEDICINES Before discussing the medicines, a brief consideration of their manufacture and dis- tribution to the Bath retailers is necessary. The advertisements in the sample named 108 proprietors or manufacturers of the half of medicines. For about these, no occupation or trade was "Dr." of stated, though some styled themselves The occupations the remain- der were given in the advertisements or can be obtained from the patent literature.3 Two were clergymen4 and the rest were divided approximately equally between the following five categories (their numbers shown in vari- being parenthesis): dentists, ously described (13), surgeons (12), practitioners of physic (11), apothecaries (1 1) and chymists or chymists and druggists (10). Some had patented their medicines and, despite vagueness and ambiguity in the advertisements, patents for 41 of the 302 preparations can be identified with a fair degree of A further four can certainty. be identified tentatively. Some of the makers of medicines distributed their own but proprietary products, relied on to market their medicines for them. Some of many distributing agents these. agents were chemists and druggists with nostrums of their own and some were printers or booksellers. Two well-known whose medicines were advertised distributors, through- out the whole of the present sample, both started in the provinces but later moved their headquarters to London. One was founded John who had com- by Newbery menced business in a a Reading and became famous as publisher as well as dealer in medicines.5 After his the business to his son Francis.6 The other death, passed major concern derived from that of William and Cluer Dicey.7 At the beginning of the and their sample they advertised from their printing office in Northampton medicines were sold in London at Dr. Bateman's warehouse in Bow Church Yard.8 were They S. 65 Northover Bristol BS9 *P. Brown, B.A., B.M., M.R.C.P., Road, Westbury-on-Trym, 3LQ. 152 Medicines advertised in 18th-century Bath newspapers also associated with Benjamin Okell who was described as a chymist when he patented Bateman's Pectoral Drops.9 In 1770, advertisements referred to "Dicey and Okell's great original 0 ElixirWarehouse"' but, until the final years of the century, the long lists of medicines were commonly advertised as sold by Messrs. & Dicey Co., at 10 Bow Church Yard. At the end of the century, Dicey & Beynon were advertising from that address11 and John Wye, who described himself as "late partners with Dicey & Co.", had established a medicinal warehouse in Coleman London.12 Street, Another active distributor was the London firm of Thomas Jackson who, in 1757, had an "Elaboratory and Medicinal Warehouse" in Wich Street.13 Later, Jackson & Co. 14 operated from 95 Fleet Market in and, late the century, the business had ap- parently been taken over by James Barclay.15 Other London distributors of medicines appearing less frequently in the Bath advertisements were R. Baldwin of Pater Noster Row, Mr. Bacon of Oxford Street, J. Fuller of Covent Garden and Hilton Wray & Co. of Birchin Lane; and there were fourteen others, mostly in London, who appeared from the Bath to be for a papers agents more limited number of products. THE MOST FREQUENTLY ADVERTISED MEDICINES Ten of the 302 medicines were advertised more than 160 times in the present sample. As a total of 636 of issues newspapers were examined, and a preparation was rarely advertised more than once in the same issue, these ten medicines must have appeared on average in at least one issue in every four. They therefore merit individual consideration. Scots Pills were advertised 256 times, usually as the familiar Anderson's Scots Pills. They had been in existence at least since 1635, and their early is history detailed by Wootton.1" In 1744, at the beginning of the present Anderson's sample, Scots Pills prepared by D. Inglish "at the Unicorn, over-against the New Church in the Strand, London" were being sold in Bath and the advertisement described the elaborate seal in black wax.17 A rival preparation, also sold in being Bath, was advertised by R. Raymond and was called "Dr. Boerhaave's Aurea or the Medicina, Scots-Pills Improv'd". They also carried a seal in black wax but were in an packed oval box. Raymond's advertisement first warned that the medicine would not cure every disease but continued: "They are taken with wonderful Success for all Pains and Diseases of the Head, Stomach, and Bowels of Men and but for Women, especially the Head-Ach, Giddiness, Vapours, Phrensy, weak and sore Loss of Eyes, Deafness, Palsy, Appetite, Melancholy, Choler, Phlegm, Worms, Ulcers, Rheumatism, Gout, Gravel, Scurvy, Dropsy, Cholick or Gripes, and all Obstructions whatever, either in Men, Women or Children."18 Anderson's Scots Pills were supplied both and & by Newbery Dicey Co., and a retailer stock might more than one variety. Thomas of Boddely, printer the Bath did so and Journal, announced that he sold Scots Pills in "both round and oval Boxes".'9 Other proprietors of Scots in Pills advertised the eighteenth-century Bath newspapers included and Anderson from who were Kennedy Scotland, in lodging Bristol;20 James Inglish at the Thomas and Robert of Unicorn;21 Irvine;22 Anderson Bristol.2A Though the to Scots Pills were there proprietary rights contested, was little probably about mystery their main were in of ingredients. Recipes given popular medical books 153 P. S. Brown century: William Buchan described purging pills which would "answer the eighteenth all the purposes of Dr. Anderson's pills, the principle ingredient of which is aloes",24 wrote that Scotch Pills could be made by warming hepatic aloes and John Wesley a small amount of sweet oil and water, with or without the addition of liquorice with powder.25 Adair simply wrote that "Anderson's Pills are aloes with oil of aniseed".26 in the nineteenth century, numerous formulae were published. Paris's recipe for Early Aloes with a proportion of Jalap, and Oil of Aniseed"27 was quoted with "Barbadoes in to the pharmacopoeias, druggists' recipe books and early many others supplements issues of the Lancet.28 None of these formulae was exactly like that of an official pre- but Cooley29 quotes what is claimed to be Anderson's original specifications paration are like those of Pilulae aloes cum myrrha (PL). and these mentioned 229 times, was the next most frequently advertised pre- Daffy's Elixir, Its seventeenth-century origin and subsequent history were traced byWootton paration. who stated that it was still being sold in 1910.30 It did not, however, figure in the for the British Medical Association in the early twentieth century,81 nor analyses made in Robert Hutchison's list,32 so it could have been of little commercial significance by that time. But in the eighteenth century, Daffy's Elixir must have been very well known. Bath newspapers show that Newbery, Dicey & Co., Jackson & Co. and John Wye The all distributed the elixir, and recipes appeared in popular books. Two were published by Wesleyss and two were quoted in The Complete Housewife with the statement that John the elixir was excellent for colic, gravel in the kidney, griping of the guts or any obstruc- two or three times a An in tion of the bowels and that it purged day." advertisement wider claims for True Daffy's Elixir "in the cure of the Stone, Gravel, 1790 made Kidneys, the Gout, Rheumatism, Cholic, Phthisic, Dropsy, Scurvy, Surfeits, ulcerated disorders to Women and Children, Consumptions, the Piles, Convulsions, peculiar of Blood, Pains in the Breast, Limbs, Joints etc."5 Fevers, Agues, Fluxes, Spitting Elixir was not but its composition was well known and there can be Daffy's patented medical doubt that it resembled an official preparation. Numerous authorsX little in the and early nineteenth centuries equated the elixir with writing eighteenth Tinctura sennae (PL) or Tinctura sennae composita (PE). 212 was in and the which was advertised times, patented 171217 Stoughton's Elixir, both and & Bath advertisements were for preparations supplied by Newbery by Dicey Co. It was sometimes described as a "Stomachic Cordial Elixir", indicating its main in the nineteenth in use. The various recipes published early century agreed suggested of with various additions: in a that the elixir was a tincture gentian Paris, suggesting that was "a tincture of with the addition of succinct footnote, said it Gentian, typically and some other aromatics".38 Rennie'3 Orange Peel, Cardamoms, Serpentaria, amara or Tinctura and the it with Tinctura gentianae composita (PL) equated "Tinctura dicta vulgo Elixirum doctoris Stoughton".40 French Codex quoted Amara, It would, therefore, seem fair to say that the elixir was at least similar to an official preparation. advertised 211 were in 1743 by John Hooper, Hooper's Female Pills, times, patented man midwife and of He made both Newbery and the Diceys apothecary Reading." advertised as a "most useful for the product.42 The pills were agents distributing the Female Sex are to.... Health is those general Complaints subject Remedy against 154 Medicines advertised in 18th-century Bath newspaperg recover'd, and the Patient that looked like Death restor'd to a lively Complexion. They are the best Medicine ever discover'd for young Women, when afflicted with what is vulgarly call'd the which two or will Green-sickness, three Boxes certainly cure; and are also excellent for the Palpitation of the Heart, Giddiness, Loathing of Food, bad Digestion, Pains of the a of the Arteries of the Stomach, Beating Neck, short Breath upon every little Motion. . ."... did Hooper's patent specifications not disclose the composition of the pills but recipes were in the published early nineteenth century and Paris suggested that they were Pilulae aloes cum with the myrrha addition of sulphate of iron, and canella bark, with a of black." A formula portion ivory quoted by Rennie suggests that each pill contained about 9 of iron as ferrous mg sulphate and 22 mg as the the adult dose four If this was the carbonate, being pills.u so, pills well have might contributed to the treatment of chlorosis and iron any deficiency underlying the anaemic symptoms in the the suggested advertisement, though purgative effect of the aloes, at about 2.2 gr. have limited the dose of per pill, might iron which could be tolerated. The iron content of several other of the quoted recipes was much lower and a large number of the pills would have been needed for any therapeutic effect in iron deficiency. It is that the would have been beneficial to likely pills some of the women who took them and this be the reason for their may persistence on the market. They were still sold in at the same box as in 1790 and with being 1907, price per advertising copy like that of remarkably 1744, many phrases being identical." British advertised 200 was Michael and Oil, times, patented by Thomas Betton in 1742.47 It was advertised as a versatile medicine "which cures by Bathing before the Fire all old Contusions and Contractions of the or Nerves, Contracted or Withered Limbs, Strains, Ulcers, old and all fixed and Sores, wandering Pains: It greatly re- lieves in the Palsy; cures Lameness, St. Swellings, Inflammations, Anthony's Fire, King's Evil. . . ". Inwardly taken it "cures Ulcers of the Lungs, Shortness of Breath, and almost all Pains and Consumptions, Phthisick, Coughs, Disorders of the Breast or Lungs."48 The described its patent specifications preparation from a rock over lying the coal in but were coalmines, nineteenth-century recipes mostly similar to that quoted in the Lancet which mentioned oil of turpentine, Barbadoes tar and oil of rosemary.49 Such substitutes were in use in the probably eighteenth century, as was implied by William Lewis who wrote "some mineral oils, procurable among ourselves, are used by the common and often with benefit: the people, empyrical medicine, called British is of the same nature with the oil, petrolea; genuine sort being extracted by distillation from a hard bitumen."'5 Two further medicines in this advertised were widely group declared by their names to be purgative. Dr. Bostock's Cordial advertised Purging Elixir, 194 times, was supplied by the firm of and was mentioned the term of Dicey throughout the present sample. It differs from the other nine under discussion in that products numerous recipes for this medicine did not in appear nineteenth-century formularies. Dr. Radcliffe's Famous advertised a total of 191 times Purging Elixir, throughout the sample, was also a of the and numerous formulae were product Diceys published. That in and the main the Lancet is fairly representative shows ingredients as tinctures of and with and senna.5" aloes, jalap gentian powdered scammony, jalap The action of the medicine must have fulfilled the of its title. promise 155 P. S. Brown The remaining three of these ten medicines all contained a substantial amount of opium. Bateman's Pectoral Drops, advertised 194 times, were not sold purely for respiratory complaints: they were "not to be parallel'd by any Medicine in the known World for curing and giving immediate Ease in all Colds, Coughs, Agues, Fevers, Fluxes, Pains of the Breast, Limbs and Joints; as also in all Fits of the Gout, Rheu- matick Pains, Stone, Gravel, Cholick, etc."52 They were patented in 1723 by Benjamen OkellU and distributed by Dicey & Co. and, later, by John Wye. No patent specifica- tions were enrolled but many formulae were published from early in the nineteenth Paris wrote that the drops consisted principally of tincture of castor with century. portions of camphor and opium, flavoured with anise seed and coloured with cochineal." The amount of opium varied considerably among the published formulae and the recommended dose was not usually stated. The medicine did not match an official preparation in Britain but was eventually included in the American National as Tincture ofOpium and Gambir."5 Formulary Compound Grand advertised 181 times, was "the Greatest Restorative in the Squire's Elixir, World" and was offered for much the same set ofcomplaints as the previous medicine.56 There was general agreement among the nineteenth-entury formulae that opium was the prime ingredient.57 The final medicine of this group is Godfrey's Cordial. It was advertised 162 times and its widespread use brought numerous published warnings in the nineteenth century of the dangers of the opium it contained, especially when it was used for children.58 The perils of the "sleeping Cordial", which might well have been Godfrey's, were even detailed in verse by George Crabbe in The borough (1810). As early as 1757, a Bath newspaper carried an advertisement for a Carminative Mixture, however, presumably Dalby's, which attacked Godfrey's Cordial as a treatment for infants with in the bowels": Medicines stand recommended for a Cure, "griping pains "Many the which Cordial stands yet in repute, but being administered amongst Godfrey's and by unskilled Hands, has too often had fatal Effects, so that a injudiciously, Writer on the Care due to Children, says, It has obtain'd the emphatic judicious Name of Lord have alluding to the affected Squall of hireling Nurses, on Mercy, their dead after an over Dose thereof, to allay its Cries, finding Charge administering caused the of Pains."59 This advertisement may echo Walter Harris by Agony griping who forbade the use of opiates for treatment of any disorders of children except if were dignified with the name of "cordial" "obstinate Vomiting", even they medicines, invented .... For who can "for the Name of Cordial was cunningly and artfully imagine him a Cordial? And it is a of that any Harm can happen to after taking yet Matter whether of those who have not died a violent Doubt with some of the best Physicians, Diseases or Cordials. "6 on later Death, more have perished by by Writing consumption all three of the opium-containing medicines in the century, John Fothergill mentioned just discussed with the comment that "the mischiefs that have proceeded from and other in the Bateman's drops, Squire's elixir, heating anodynes Godfrey's cordial, William also considered hands of ignorance, are scarcely to be enumerated."'61 Hawes Cordial "a and one of the few he had to Godfrey's very pernicious opiate" good things of the author of Primitive physic was that he did not recommend this preparation.2 say official Cordial cannot be matched with an preparation in Britain but, Godfrey's 156 Medicines advertised in 18th-century Bath newspapers like Bateman's Pectoral Drops, it was included in the American National Formulary as Mixture of Sassafras and Opium."3 of Recognition these two preparations may simply have been to regularize the position of medicines which were widely used and by so doing to standardize their content of the potentially dangerous opium. Most of the ten medicines so far discussed were probably popular in America. In 1824, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy saw fit to publish formulae for Anderson's Scots Pills, Hooper's Female Pills, British Oil, Bateman's Drops and Godfrey's Cordial,64 and Young mentions American eighteenth-century newspaper advertisements for all of the ten except Radcliffe's Elixir.65 The selection of preparations available to Americans he attributes to the commercial of enterprise Robert Francis Turlington, Newbery and Dicey & Okell. These distributors also may have had a considerable influence on the pattern of self-medication the among visitors to Bath: the four medicines most frequently advertised in the present sample were all distributed both by Newbery and by Dicey & Co. THE SAMPLE AS A WHOLE The 302 medicines mentioned in the advertisements have been roughly classified to the conditions for which according were offered and the they distribution into categories is shown in Table 1. Even the classification is though necessarily it rough, shows some similarities to the distribution of advertisements for medicines found by Flemming in forty in southern newspapers circulating in 1911.66 The England three most in frequently advertised his were also types sample for preparations gastro- intestinal symptoms, local applications and if general medicines, the latter is taken to embrace of his categories blood mixtures and panaceas, tonics, tonic wines. The medicines advertised in a biased newspapers may give sample of the whole range of proprietary medicines available to the public. Many may never have been advertised in this Joshua way: Ward's medicines did not in appear the sample from Bath until after his when their sale was death, Sir being organized by John Fielding and Robert Some test of the Dingley.67 of the list of completeness medicines extracted from the can be obtained newspapers by it with the comparing schedules attached to the Acts of Parliament regulating duties on stamp proprietary medicines.68 The Act of 1785 listed only 83 and 61 of preparations these can be identified in the sample. But there is a greater discrepancy between the and the more sample comprehensive schedule of the 1802 Act which listed about 450 152 of preparations. Only these can be identified in the list from the so it is to newspapers, necessary remember that the latter may not be of representative the whole field. It must also be remembered that the present list is derived from a only of sample newspapers. The general medicines did not form the most numerous the group in sample but they figured in the number of greatest advertisements. The two most frequently advertised preparations, Anderson's Scots Pills and Daffy's were in this Elixir, and category typical advertisements for such have been products quoted. Towards the end of the a about a century paragraph general medicine which almost appeared met the Oliver Goldsmith in suggestion, humorously developed Letters the by from citizen the world as the of (1762), that, advertised medicines were said to be so effective, D P. S. Brown TABLE 1. THE TYPES OF MEDICINES ADVERTISED IN A SAMPLE OF EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY BATH NEWSPAPERS: THEIR NUMBERS AND FREQUENCY OF ADVERTISEMENT. Types of medicines Total number Number of of advertisements medicines General medicines: claimed as effective in many unrelated conditions or in general 1651 28 debility from various causes. disease and symptoms. 1022 44 For gastro-intestinal Local applications for skin lesions, 974 43 etc. injuries Dental preparations: dentifrice, tincture for etc. 825 52 the gums Antiscorbutics and medicines taken lesions. 638 13 internally for cutaneous For mental symptoms and diseases ofthe 597 19 nervous system, such as epilepsy. For respiratory disea, including 568 32 consumption. and prevention ofvenereal 534 19 For treatment disease. 301 6 For complaints offemales. 281 13 For arthritis and gout. 233 1 1 For fevers and ague. ofthe renal tract. 93 7 For calculi Unclassified 271 15 for a to restore the dead to life. Re- they should be tested possible ability Sibly's was advertised for the "Restoration of Life in cases of animating Solar Tincture causes such as sudden death". After listing "blows, falls, fits, suffocation, strangu- thunder and assasination, duelling, etc" it was lation, drowning, apoplexy, lightning, "will not fail to restore the and advised that the medicine life, provided organs juices are in a fit for which are much oftener than is disposition it, they undoubtedly a line of advertisement in Bath in This would seem to have been good imagined."69 of the dead must have had some the 1790s when resuscitation apparently publicity. Thomas who had been associated with Anthony Fothergill and, later, Cogan, closely Bath.70 The Bath Humane was founded the Humane moved to Society Royal Society, William who contributed an ode to in 1805 and its first report was printed by Meyler which won him the medal of the Humane the contents.7' Fothergill's essay gold Royal 158 Medicines advertised in 18th-century Bath newspapers Society was printed in Bath by Samuel Hazard.72 Both printers were proprietors of circulating libraries and active venders of proprietary medicines.73 Meyler was one of Bath venders of Sibley's tinctures. the One general medicine particularly relevant to Bath was the Bath Restorative for which the following rather pathetic advertisement appeared in Salmon's Mercury: "The Author regular Physician at Bath) has for 30 years found this remedy superior (a to all as a General Restorative; it is the greatest cordial in nature; in the last decays of life it will supply the vital lamp with some recruits; it is admirable for those who almost worn out women and wine, and will restore such as have suffered have been by by acute diseases: ... and those who have impaired their constitution, by the act of Self-Polution, will find this a certain remedy, as well as in all nervous cases."74 from Bath which have been classed as general Two other medicines originating Dr. Brooke's Roman Pills and Neapolitan Restorer.75 Brooke was medicines were not a regular physician but he published a volume of letters from Italy which explained the Italian origin both of his medicines and his doctorate.76 The Pill Unique of W. D. have been classified as a medicine associated with Bath, but it Knight would general the did not appear in sample.77 of medicines is that containing nineteen preparations Another interesting group concerned with venereal disease, because some were offered for prophylaxis. The medicines designed for cure were often advertised as containing no mercury,78 though Swediaur suggested that mercury was frequently present in a disguised form.79 Their use was commonly described as safe, pleasant and effective, without confinement or and of concealed even from close associates.80 hindrance to business capable being The six preparations designed for the prevention of venereal disease appeared late of them not advertised before 1790. George Crabbe, among in the sample, five being and commented in The these prophylactics borough (1810) others, deplored In mean to plainer English-ifyou sin, and Fly to the drops, instantly begin. John Wesley would presumably have felt the same: he included a treatment for lues in his Primitive because he had known an innocent sufferer who venerea physic only a "foul nurse".81 In Samuel Hannay had tried to patent had been infected by 1774, "his new invented medicine, consisting of a liquid, which, by washing the part, in time within hours of absolutely prevents the communication men, any eight coition, venereal let it be of or virulence whatsoever"; but the Lord of the disease, any degree Chancellor refused to let this pass the Great Seal.82 The advertisements in the present were not their attitude being like that of the one sample, however, apologetic, general Abb6 Blondel's which was both and thera- for the Chymical Specifick prophylactic advertiser said that "so a should ever be in the the sovereign remedy possession peutic: or the habit of of such as either through juvenile inclination, gallantry, persons haunts of frequent the pollution."83 William the of venereal disease did not seem to According to Buchan, prevention interest the and "prophylaxis has been generally left to quacks, regular practitioners their pretended antedotes, have amassed fortunes, while credulous who, by puffing to their have been tricked out of their and their lives."84 lies, money men, by trusting 159 P. S. Brown The advertisements commonly claimed infallibility for the prevention of the disease, and Buchan comments that "I have known a dignified nostrum-monger insist that a gentleman had not the lues, merely because he had used his lotion according to the printed directions". There appears to have been considerable proliferation of these preparations and Kieman, writing in 1815, reported that the idea of a prophylactic had "opened a fertile field to empyricism; and the patent warehouse is loaded with preventative washes, and specifics for this purpose; indeed the list of preventatives is too numerous of to be reduced to any regular account them".85 AND COMPOSITION EFFECTIVENESS of of of Many the sources information about the composition the proprietary medicines have already been mentioned. When they were patented their composition should have been declared: but even in the mid-eighteenth century no specifications were provided for some medicines and, in the case of the well-known Dr. James's Powders, it was alleged that the medicine could not be prepared according to the declared method.86 Most of the eighteenth-century publications which have been quoted only gave recipes for a small number of the best known preparations but a larger compilation was that of James Makittrick Adair. He searched out patent specifications and quoted analyses of unpatented preparations so that he was able to publish the composition of twenty-three proprietary medicines.87 Detailed recipes were made public in a few special cases, the best known example being those for Joanna Stephens' medicines for the stone.88 The composition of Joshua Ward's medicines was also described in detail because, at his death, Ward passed his formulae to John Page, who published them and set up an organization to prepare the medicines, to market them and to devote the proceeds to the Asylum for the Support of Female Orphans and the Magdalen for the Protection of Penitent Prostitutes.89 The formulae published early in the nineteenth century were for a wider range of proprietary medicines. Gray, in his Supplement to the Pharmacopoeias in 1818, explained that he had obtained the formulae used by the leading druggists to com- pound these nostrums which were in great demand."° He quoted numerous recipes giving, for example, eleven methods of preparing Daffy's Elixir. Rennie, eight years later, supplied further details and the topic was of sufficient general interest for the Lancet in its first volume to give recipes for thirty-one "quack medicines".9' The footnotes to Paris's Pharmacologia have been mentioned repeatedly and were frequently quoted by contemporary writers. Formulae for sixty-four of the 302 medicines advertised in the sample were given by Paris, Gray or Rennie. The of similarity some of the most advertised medicines to official preparations has been and the of Thirteen of already stressed, same is true the rest of the sample. the medicines were noted one or of by more these three authors to be very similar to preparations in the London or Edinburgh Pharmacopoeias. Even when the published formulae do not approximate closely to those of official medicines, they usually call for similar and familiar ingredients. This situation may reflect some bias towards crediting the nostrums with orthodox ingredients because it is these which would be most easily recognized and which would be the easiest to use as substitutes for un- identified materials. But even with this possible caution, it seems likely that many of 160 Medicines advertised in 18th-century Bath newspapers the proprietary medicines did not differ radically from medicines that might have been prescribed by regular practitioners. In the present age of formal clinical trials we can hardly expect to be convinced of claims that the eighteenth-century nostrums were of therapeutic value. At the time, the apparent efficacy of Mrs. Stephens' medicines was certified by a distinguished conunittee and two individual certificates were signed, one by the President of the Royal College of Physicians.92 The possible benefit from some preparations containing iron has been mentioned and there can be little doubt that many of the medicines, including several of the most frequently advertised, were effective purgatives. This was clearly the desired effect and the belief that purgation was a general benefit and great aid to health has died hard: in the present century writers such as Sir Arthur Hurst still had to plead on behalf of the unhappy colon.93 The confident advertise- ments of the sellers of nostrums must also have frequently had a useful psychological effect. The physicians of Bath would have had good opportunities for observing the effects of suggestion. William Corp was well aware of the use of medicines as charms'4 and John Haygarth, who revealed the true basis of the effectiveness of metal tractors, realized that suggestion might "account for the marvellous recoveries frequently ascribed to remedies" and that "magnificent and unqualified promises empirical minds with confidence."95 inspire weak implicit In the modem clinical trial, the effectiveness of a new treatment can only be compared with the effectiveness of some other treatment, even if that is merely a placebo. Equally, in the present case it would be appropriate only to compare the effectiveness of eighteenth-century proprietary medicines with that of the medicines offered by the apothecaries and physicians. We have already seen that several nostrums coincided in their composition with official preparations and that similarities existed with others. Thus the contrast between the official and unofficial treatment may not have been sharp, though the prescriptions of the regular practitioners would have had the advantage of associated medical supervision. This might have been particularly important with the more toxic preparations. PRICE of the medicines were advertised with a retail price, though the volume of Many fluid in a bottle or the number of pills in a box was only rarely stated. Table 2 shows the distribution of prices quoted for the cheapest pack of the medicines so advertised in the sample. Prices were mostly steady from 1744 to 1770, so data for that present with period have been pooled. Half of the seventy-four medicines advertised price then cost from ls. to ls. 9d. Thereafter, prices tended to rise though the increase was usually duties in 1783 and 1785." modest and, in many cases, simply met the stamp imposed Bateman's Pectoral Greenough's Tinctures, Fryar's Balsam, Stoughton's Elixir, Drops, Elixir and Female Pills were all retailed in Bath at ls. in Radcliffe's Purging Hooper's 1744 and at ls. in 1799: the Act of 1785 had imposed a duty of on medicines Iid. lid. mode had shifted not Is. in price. Table 2 shows that the for prices up by exceeding and had at 5s. to 5s. 5d. about one shilling in the 1790s further small peaks appeared at 6d. of 5s. 5d. as a is explained by the duty of 6d. and lOs. to lOs. The popularity price on medicines costing less than 5s. imposed by the Act of 1783. The two most expensive 161 P. S. Brown medicines in the sample were Donna Maria's Lotion at 25s. the bottle and Restorative Salo Pills at 22s. the box. Both preparations were for female use and have been mentioned previously.97 The list of proprietary medicines published in the Gentleman's Magazine in 1748 showed prices in 165 instances.98 Their distribution is also shown in Table 2 and is, perhaps, more like that of the 1790s sample from Bath than the 1744/ 1770 group. TABLE 2. THE OF MEDICINES ADVERTISED IN VARIOUS PRICE-RANGES IN A SAMPLE NUMBERS OF BATH NEWSPAPERS, OR AS SHOWN IN A LIST PUBLISHED IN THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY Gentleman's Magazine. Price Bath newspapers Gentleman's Magazine Atleast but Lessthan 1744-70 1790-9 1748 - i~ ~ 5 5 11 ~~s ls 2s 37 43 52 2s 3s 13 46 25 3s 4s 8 8 32 4s 5s 3 5 6 5s 6s 5 21 22 6s 7s 2 3 4 7s 8s 1 1 4 8s 9s 0 0 0 9s lOs 0 0 0 lOs uls 0 6 8 lls 26s 0 4 1 74 142 165 Total These figures show that the advertised medicines were sold at prices that covered a wide range and some were clearly in the luxury class. A small number were sold at less was in this at 6d. in 1744 and until than Is. and Godfrey's Cordial group: priced 1770, it was in 1790, 8d. in 1798 and 9d. in 1799. Various preparations of Cephalic 71d. Snuff and Clinton's Imperial Royal Golden Snuff were offered in the same price range were Clinton's for headache, drowsiness, vapours and deafness. Others in the group Dr. Waite's Worm Medicine and Oil for deafness, Palsy Drops, Bathing Spirits, advertisements were not aimed Aromatic Tooth Water. The newspaper obviously 162 Medicines advertised in 18th-century Bath newspapers primarily at those who could only afford the cheapest medicines, and cheaper nostrums well have been available from which may other sources are less well documented. While it may be easy to list some of the rich and famous who used the well-known proprietary such as medicines, James's Powders," it is unlikely that records will sur- vive of the unknown poor who used the cheaper products. James Lackington, however, recorded that his wife received apparent benefit from a "Cephalic snuff" recommended to them by an old woman at a time he an when was impecunious journeyman shoe- maker.'°° John when the of Ward's Page, publishing composition medicines, listed prices from 3d. to 2s. 6d. with the "The low ranging following comment: very price, at which it is intended they shall be sold, has been but let not circums- mentioned: this tance, which shews how little cost they in making, and renders them attainable to the Lower Class of Mankind, cause them to be despised by the Highest."101' Early in the next century, Crabbe summed the situation in The up borough (1810): No class escapes them-from the poor man's pay, The nostrum takes no trifling part away; CONCLUSIONS The advertised medicines covered wide range in price, in type and in pretensions. and Some were expensive flamboyantly advertised, with an appeal dependent upon the personalities of their often well-known proprietors. Many others were probably so familiar as to be common household medicines, sold at a modest and steady price through the decades, the purgatives among them probably being safe enough in ordinary usage, though not in some acute illnesses, but the opiates a potential hazard at all times, especially when used to treat children. Those containing mercury were particularly dangerous but so they probably were in the hands of the regular practitioners. of to Many the other advertised nostrums seem have been unambitious preparations or ones which short lived of local were or distribution. Their formulae do not appear in nineteenth-century publications and will probably never be known but, by analogy with the more famous preparations, their ingredients were probably orthodox in enough most cases. The similarity between proprietary and official preparations, which has been men- tioned repeatedly, was in admitted the better argued attacks of the regular practitioners on the "nostrum mongers" and "empirics". The physicians claimed that their own prescriptions were the result of and deep learned consideration of the diagnosis and the requirements in an individual case. In what purports to be a letter from a physician in London to a gentleman in Bath in 1749, the "empirics" are attacked for their lack of both and general medical education. The argument that the proprietary medicines were effective preparations, likely to do good despite their proprietors, was countered with the following sentiment: "Diseases are not cured by Medicines and Receipts, but a learned and by methodical Use of them, whereunto Empiricks cannot attain."102 Adair, in similar attacks, complained of the proprietors of nostrums that "these men, at least most of them, have pilfered their nostrums from regular practice." As an example he quoted Ward's medicines which, except for his "had been in paste, long regular practice before he adopted them."'03 He then listed many others with their 163 P. S. Brown equivalents among the medicines used by the regular practitioners. For their part, the sellers of proprietary medicines often boasted of the respectable origins of their pre- that Dr. Hooper parations. It was claimed in the Bath advertisements, for example, as a Man-Midwife and had used his Female Pills "in his own Private Practice, Apothecary" ;104 that Dalby's Carminative had "been many years administered in a course of reputable practice" ;'(" and that British Pills had been "invented long since by a regular Physician, and administered in private practice only."'" No matter how like their own medicines the proprietary nostrums were, the regular practitioners could put forward the same argument against their use. Paris, comment- ing on Dalby's Carminative early in the nineteenth century, admitted that it was a well-conceived preparation but echoed the London physician quoted above. Paris wrote: "In examining the pretentions of this combination, it must be allowed that it is constructed upon philosophical principles; this however is no reason why the physician should recommend it; the mischievous tendency of a quack medicine does not depend its composition, but upon its application."'107 upon How the practitioners used their medicines is another problem, effectively regular which fortunately need not be discussed here: but William Buchan makes an interesting on modem ears. He observation about their behaviour which falls sympathetically of the out something very akin to quackery in the performances physicians pointed themselves, and wrote: "Quackery is founded on ignorance. The man who writes a medical prescription, couched in mystical characters and in an unknown tongue, countenances quackery, the very existence ofwhich depends on disguise." 108 The attitude of the physicians and apothecaries was their defensive posture against the medicines which probably impinged appreciably on their practice. proprietary Adair wrote of his "duty as a physician, and consequently an avowed enemy to all pretensions."'09 But considerable ambivalence existed and it was possible to empirical be a and still to be the proprietor of patent medicines. This was the respected physician case with Robert James, though he was censured by medical authors. An obituary which acknowledged the virtues of his fever powder qualified its approval by comment- ing that "it cannot, however, be mentioned without regret, that he should have it necessary to conceal his method of preparing it.""10 Munk echoed this thought sentiment."' As a further example of this ambivalence of contemporary attitudes it is person than John Hunter who wrote interesting to end with a quotation from no lesser he had invented to Edward Jenner suggesting that he capitalize on an improved method but Hunter's for preparing tartar emetic. The suggestion was not carried through, of all tartars .... Had you not letter reads: "I am puffing off your tartar, as the tartar Oxford did his magnesia? Let it be better let a bookseller have it to sell, as Glass of or If that mode would do, I called Jenner's Tartar Emetic, any body's else you please. will speak to some, viz. Newbery, etc.""12 SUMMARY for medicines in a sample of Bath The advertisements patient and proprietary have been scrutinized. The 302 medicines, which are roughly newspapers (1744-1800) classified according to the conditions for which they were offered, are discussed in and price are detail; and their sources, distribution, composition, effectiveness, 164 Medicines advertised in 18th-century Bath newspapers examined. A previous report (Medical History, 1975, 19: 352-369) described in detail the retailers of these products. REFERENCES 1. Bath Journal (hereafter referred to as B. J.) issues for the years March 1744 to February 1745, 1750, 1761, 1780 and 1789; Bath Chronicle (B. C.) issues for years 1790 and Bath Advertiser (B. A.) for Decenber 1760 to December 1761, 1770, 1799; Herald and Bath both for the March the year 1757; Bath (B. H.) Register (B. R.) year 1792 to occasional issues of Farley's Bath Journal, Bath Gazette and February 1793; The is described more and in the Salmon's Mercury. sample fully precisely paper cited in note below. advertised in Bath news- 2. P. S. Brown, 'The venders of medicines eighteenth-century 1975, 19: 352-369. papers', Med. Hist., 3. Bennet Woodcroft, Titles ofpatents of inventions, chronologically arranged, London, Queen's Printing Office, 1854. B. C. 22 March 1770. 4. B. J. 12 November 1750; A the last Okeden & 5. Charles Welsh, bookseller of century, London, Griffith, Farran, Welsh, 1885. national B. 25 1770. 6. Dictionary of biography: C. January cards the 18th B. T. 7. A. Heal, London tradesmen's of century, London, Batsford, 1925, H. R. the and booksellers who were at work in plate 29; Plomer, Dictionary of printers to 1932. 1726 1775, London, Bibliographical Society, England, J. 20 1744. 8. B. August 9. Bennet see note 3: B. J. 4 1745. Woodcroft, op. cit., February B. 4 1770 10. C. January 11. B. C. 3 January 1799. 12. B. R. 29 September 1792. 13. B. A. 9 July 1757. 14. B. C. July 1770. 15. B. J. January 1798. vol. 168-170. 16. A. C. Wootton, Chronicles ofpharmacy, London, Macmillan, 1910, 2, pp. 17. B. J. 9 April 1744. B. 1744. 18. J. 4 June B. 5 19. J. March 1750. B. see Okell's advertisement in B. 20. C. 26 March and 13 August 1761; also Dicey & C. June 1761. 21. B. 18 March 1790. C. 22. B. C. 11 November 1790. 23. B. C. 2 May 1799. 24. William Buchan, Domestic medicine, 9th ed., London, Strahan & Cadell, 1786, p. 743. 25. 114. John Wesley, Primitive physic, 24th ed., London, G. Whitfield, 1792, p. 26. James Makittrick Adair, Medical cautions; chiefly the consideration of invalids, for 2nd R. 84. ed., London, printed by Cruttwell, C. Dilly, 1787, p. 27. J. 5th vol. 2, W. Phillips, 1822, p. 44. A. Paris, Pharmacologia, ed., London, 28. S. F. Gray, A supplement to the pharmacopoeias, London, Thomas and George Underwood, 1818; James Rennie, new supplement to the pharmnacopoeias, London, Sidmouth, the author, Baldwin, Cradock & Joy, 1826; Thomas Penn, Pharmacology, quack medicines', Lancet, 1823, i: 30, 62, 89, 138, 345. 1822; 'Composition of 29. W. North (ed.), Cooley's cyclopaedia of practical receipts, 7th ed., London, J. & A. Churchill, 1892, p. 1319. 30. Wootton, op. cit., note 16 above, pp. 172-173. 165 P. S. Brown 31. Secret remedies, 1st and 2nd series, London, British Medical Association, 1909 and 32. Robert Hutchison, 'Patent medicines', Lancet, 1903, ii: 1492-1495. 33. Wesley, op. cit., note 25 above, p. 113. 34. E. Smith, The complete housewife or accomplished gentlewoman's companion, 18th ed., London, J. Buckland, J. & F. Rivington, J. Hinton, 1773, p. 35. B. C. 24 June 1790. 36. John Quincy, Pharmacopoeia officinalis et extemporanea: or a complete English dispensary, 14th ed., London, Longman, 1769, p. 447; William Lewis, An experi- R. mental history of the materia medica, London, Willock, 1761, p. 522; Buchan, op. cit., note 24 above, p. 755; James Makittrick Adair, op. cit., note 26 above, p. 84; Richard Reece, practical dictionary ofdomestic medicine, London, Longman, Hurst, Rees & Orme, 1808, appendix; Paris, op. cit., note 27 above, p. 433: Gray, op. 28 114. cit., note 28 above, p. 274; James Rennie, op. cit., note above, p. 37. Patents for inventions. Abridgments of specifications relating to medicine, surgery and dentistry, 1620-1866, London, Patent Office, 1872. 38. Paris, op. cit., note 27 above, p. 221. 39. Rennie, op. cit., note 28 above, p. 115. 40. Codex medicamentarius sive pharmacopoea Paris, Gallica, 1818. 41. Patents for inventions, op. cit., note 37 above. 42. B. J. 20 August 1744. B. J. 9 July 1744. 44. Paris, op. cit., note 27 above, p. 44. 45. Rennie, op. cit., note 28 above, p. 159. 46. 'The composition of certain secret remedies, "Female medicines"', Br. med. J., 1907, ii: 1652-1658. 47. Patents for inventions, op. cit., note 37 above. 48. B. J. 4 February 1745. 49. 'Compositions of quack medicines', Lancet, 1823, i: 89. 50. Lewis, op. cit., note 36 above, p. 435. 51. 'Compositions of quack medicines', Lancet, 1823, i: 345. 52. B. J. 4 February 1745. 53. Patents for inventions, op. cit., note 37 above. 54. Paris, op. cit., note 27 above, p. 130. and J. B. 55. C. H. LaWall, Four thousand years of pharmacy, Philadelphia London, Lippincott, 1927, p. 417. 56. B. J. 22 June 1761. 57. For example, Paris, op. cit., note 27 above, p. 321. 58. Ibid., p. 371; Rennie, op. cit., note 28 above, p. 151; Henry Beasley, The druggist's James general receipt book, 9th ed., London, J. & A. Churchill, 1886, pp. 178-179; from the near Edinb. med. Clarke, 'Report general hospital Nottingham', surg. J., 1808, 4: 265-285. 59. B. A. 12 November 1757. 60. Walter Harris, A treatise of the acute diseases of infants, translated by John Martyn, London, Thomas Astley, 1742, p. 76. 61. J. Fothergill, 'Remarks on the cure of consumptions', Medical Observations and Inquiries, 1771, 4: 299. 62. An the Rev. Mr. John Primitive 2nd W. Hawes, examination of Wesley's Physic, ed., London, Browne, Dennis & Wade, 1780, p. 29. 63. LaWall, op. cit., note 55 above, p. 418. medicines in 64. J. H. and G. B. 'Old Young Griffenhagen, English patent America', 714-722. Chemist Drugg., 1957, 167: N. Princeton Uni- 65. James Harvey Young, The toadstool millionaires, Princeton, J., 3-12. versity Press, 1961, pp. 166 Medicines advertised in 18th-century Bath newspapers 66. Charles E. S. Flemming, 'Quackery in rural districts', Br. med. J., 1911, i: 1246-1248. 67. B. C. 5 July 1770. 68. 23 Geo Ill. Cap 62, 1783; 25 Geo III. Cap 79, 1785; 42 Geo III. Cap 56. 1802. 69. B. H. 10 November 1792. 70. Dictionary of national biography. 71. Bath Humane Society, instituted in the year 1805; supported by voluntary contributions, Bath, printed by William Meyler, 1806. 72. Anthony Fothergill, A new inquiry into the suspension of vital action, in cases of drowning and suffocation, London, printed by S. Hazard, Bath, Rivingtons, Hookham, Dilly & Johnson, 1795. 73. Brown, op. cit., note 2 above. 74. Salmon's Mercury and General Advertiser, vol. 1, no. 10 [n.d.], but contains advertise- ment dated 22 January 1779 (copy in Bath Reference Library). 75. B. C. 23 and 30 May and 13 June 1799. 76. N. Brooke, Observations on the manners and customs of Italy, Bath, R. Cruttwell, 1798, pp. 132, 197, 216 and 268. 77. W. D. Knight, A concise statement of the properties and effects of the pill unique and vegetable decoction, Bath, printed by R. Cruttwell, sold J. Shepperson & Co., London and the booksellers of 1796. Bath, 78. For example B. C. 25 December 1760 and 15 April 1790. 79. F. Swediaur, Practical observations on venereal complaints, 3rd ed., Edinburgh, Johnson, 1878, p. 80. B. A. 1 B. J. 2 B. C. 4 1770 and 28 January 1757; February 1761; January January 81. note 25 75. Wesley, op. cit., above, p. 82. Patents for inventions, op. cit., note 37 above. 83. B. 15 1790. C. April 84. W. Buchan, Observations concerning the prevention and cure of the venereal disease, 2nd ed., London, T. Chapman, 1797, p. 57. 85. F. A treatise and observation on the and treatment of Kiernan, practical nature, variety, the venereal disease, 2nd ed., London, Highley & Son, 1815, p. 81. 86. and observations to the composition of George Pearson, 'Experiments investigate James's Phil. Trans. R. Soc. 81: 317-367. Powder', Lond., 1791, M. on T. P. 193- 87. James Adair, Essays fashionable diseases, London, Bateman, 1790, pp. A collection some to the 88. David Hartley, of particulars relating discovery of these their use and as medicines, publication, efficiency, printed supplement to Stephen An account some and observations on Mrs. Hales, of experiments Stephens's medicines the T. for dissolving stone, London, Woodward, [n.d.]. and the use 89. John Page, Receipts for preparing compounding principle medicines nmde of by the late Mr. Ward, London, Whitridge, 1763. note 28 viii. 90. Gray, op. cit., above, p. cited in note 28 above. 91. See sources note 88 above. 92. Hartley, op. cit., 'The i: 1483-1487. 93. A. F. Hurst, unhappy colon', Lancet, 1935, An on the in the the 94. William Corp, essay changes produced body by operations of mind, 43-44. James London, Ridgway, 1791, pp. the as a and as a cure disorders 95. John Haygarth, Of imagination cause of of the body, R. sold Cadell & 29. London, printed by Cruttwell, Bath, by Davies, 1800, p. Acts of Parliament cited in note 68 above. 96. See note 2 above. 97. Brown, op. cit., 18: 346-350. Gentleman's 98. 'Pharmacopoeia empirica', Mag., 1748, of no. 4: Brian 'An 18th cure 24-26. 99. Hill, century all', History Medicine, 1969, 1, 167 P. S. Brown James Memoirs the the 100. Lackington, of forty-five first years of life ofJames Lackinton, 13th ed., London, the author, [n.d.], p. 124. 101. Page, op. cit., note 89 above. 102. [Anonymous], Two lettersfrom a physician in London, to a gentleman at Bath, London, Charles Corbett, 1749, 61. p. Adair, op. cit., note 87 above, p. 193. 104. B. J. 9 July 1744. 105. B. A. 18 September 1756. 106. B. C. 25 February 1790. 27 286. 107. Paris, op. cit., note above, p. 108. 84 Buchan, op. cit., note above, p. 37. 109. A and medical the James Makittrick Adair, philosophical sketch of natural history of and the human body mind, London, printed in Bath by R. Cruttwell, sold by Dilly, and all the booksellers in Bath, 254. 1787, p. 110. Medical and philosophical commentaries, 1776, 4: 116. 111. William Munk, The roll of the Royal College of Physicians of London, vol. 2, London, Royal College of Physicians, 1878, p. 269. 112. John The Edward 69. Baron, life of Jenner, London, Henry Colburn, 1838, vol. 1, p. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Medical History Pubmed Central

Medicines advertised in eighteenth-century Bath newspapers.

Medical History , Volume 20 (2) – Apr 1, 1976

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Abstract

MEDICINES ADVERTISED IN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY BATH NEWSPAPERS by P. S. BROWN* The advertisements for patent and a of Bath proprietary medicines in sample news- papers, from 1744 to the end of been to to assess the century,' have examined try the importance of the medicines marketed in this way. A previous which report, described the sample in more detail, how of emphasized deeply the proprietors newspapers, of circulating libraries and bookshops were involved as retailers these products and that to Bath a of which suggested the visitors represented section society formed a for major market advertised medicines.2 The sample contained advertisements for 302 different of medicines, some which could be further divided into varieties prepared by different makers. The present report is mainly concerned with the medicines themselves. AND OF THE SOURCES DISTRIBUTION MEDICINES Before discussing the medicines, a brief consideration of their manufacture and dis- tribution to the Bath retailers is necessary. The advertisements in the sample named 108 proprietors or manufacturers of the half of medicines. For about these, no occupation or trade was "Dr." of stated, though some styled themselves The occupations the remain- der were given in the advertisements or can be obtained from the patent literature.3 Two were clergymen4 and the rest were divided approximately equally between the following five categories (their numbers shown in vari- being parenthesis): dentists, ously described (13), surgeons (12), practitioners of physic (11), apothecaries (1 1) and chymists or chymists and druggists (10). Some had patented their medicines and, despite vagueness and ambiguity in the advertisements, patents for 41 of the 302 preparations can be identified with a fair degree of A further four can certainty. be identified tentatively. Some of the makers of medicines distributed their own but proprietary products, relied on to market their medicines for them. Some of many distributing agents these. agents were chemists and druggists with nostrums of their own and some were printers or booksellers. Two well-known whose medicines were advertised distributors, through- out the whole of the present sample, both started in the provinces but later moved their headquarters to London. One was founded John who had com- by Newbery menced business in a a Reading and became famous as publisher as well as dealer in medicines.5 After his the business to his son Francis.6 The other death, passed major concern derived from that of William and Cluer Dicey.7 At the beginning of the and their sample they advertised from their printing office in Northampton medicines were sold in London at Dr. Bateman's warehouse in Bow Church Yard.8 were They S. 65 Northover Bristol BS9 *P. Brown, B.A., B.M., M.R.C.P., Road, Westbury-on-Trym, 3LQ. 152 Medicines advertised in 18th-century Bath newspapers also associated with Benjamin Okell who was described as a chymist when he patented Bateman's Pectoral Drops.9 In 1770, advertisements referred to "Dicey and Okell's great original 0 ElixirWarehouse"' but, until the final years of the century, the long lists of medicines were commonly advertised as sold by Messrs. & Dicey Co., at 10 Bow Church Yard. At the end of the century, Dicey & Beynon were advertising from that address11 and John Wye, who described himself as "late partners with Dicey & Co.", had established a medicinal warehouse in Coleman London.12 Street, Another active distributor was the London firm of Thomas Jackson who, in 1757, had an "Elaboratory and Medicinal Warehouse" in Wich Street.13 Later, Jackson & Co. 14 operated from 95 Fleet Market in and, late the century, the business had ap- parently been taken over by James Barclay.15 Other London distributors of medicines appearing less frequently in the Bath advertisements were R. Baldwin of Pater Noster Row, Mr. Bacon of Oxford Street, J. Fuller of Covent Garden and Hilton Wray & Co. of Birchin Lane; and there were fourteen others, mostly in London, who appeared from the Bath to be for a papers agents more limited number of products. THE MOST FREQUENTLY ADVERTISED MEDICINES Ten of the 302 medicines were advertised more than 160 times in the present sample. As a total of 636 of issues newspapers were examined, and a preparation was rarely advertised more than once in the same issue, these ten medicines must have appeared on average in at least one issue in every four. They therefore merit individual consideration. Scots Pills were advertised 256 times, usually as the familiar Anderson's Scots Pills. They had been in existence at least since 1635, and their early is history detailed by Wootton.1" In 1744, at the beginning of the present Anderson's sample, Scots Pills prepared by D. Inglish "at the Unicorn, over-against the New Church in the Strand, London" were being sold in Bath and the advertisement described the elaborate seal in black wax.17 A rival preparation, also sold in being Bath, was advertised by R. Raymond and was called "Dr. Boerhaave's Aurea or the Medicina, Scots-Pills Improv'd". They also carried a seal in black wax but were in an packed oval box. Raymond's advertisement first warned that the medicine would not cure every disease but continued: "They are taken with wonderful Success for all Pains and Diseases of the Head, Stomach, and Bowels of Men and but for Women, especially the Head-Ach, Giddiness, Vapours, Phrensy, weak and sore Loss of Eyes, Deafness, Palsy, Appetite, Melancholy, Choler, Phlegm, Worms, Ulcers, Rheumatism, Gout, Gravel, Scurvy, Dropsy, Cholick or Gripes, and all Obstructions whatever, either in Men, Women or Children."18 Anderson's Scots Pills were supplied both and & by Newbery Dicey Co., and a retailer stock might more than one variety. Thomas of Boddely, printer the Bath did so and Journal, announced that he sold Scots Pills in "both round and oval Boxes".'9 Other proprietors of Scots in Pills advertised the eighteenth-century Bath newspapers included and Anderson from who were Kennedy Scotland, in lodging Bristol;20 James Inglish at the Thomas and Robert of Unicorn;21 Irvine;22 Anderson Bristol.2A Though the to Scots Pills were there proprietary rights contested, was little probably about mystery their main were in of ingredients. Recipes given popular medical books 153 P. S. Brown century: William Buchan described purging pills which would "answer the eighteenth all the purposes of Dr. Anderson's pills, the principle ingredient of which is aloes",24 wrote that Scotch Pills could be made by warming hepatic aloes and John Wesley a small amount of sweet oil and water, with or without the addition of liquorice with powder.25 Adair simply wrote that "Anderson's Pills are aloes with oil of aniseed".26 in the nineteenth century, numerous formulae were published. Paris's recipe for Early Aloes with a proportion of Jalap, and Oil of Aniseed"27 was quoted with "Barbadoes in to the pharmacopoeias, druggists' recipe books and early many others supplements issues of the Lancet.28 None of these formulae was exactly like that of an official pre- but Cooley29 quotes what is claimed to be Anderson's original specifications paration are like those of Pilulae aloes cum myrrha (PL). and these mentioned 229 times, was the next most frequently advertised pre- Daffy's Elixir, Its seventeenth-century origin and subsequent history were traced byWootton paration. who stated that it was still being sold in 1910.30 It did not, however, figure in the for the British Medical Association in the early twentieth century,81 nor analyses made in Robert Hutchison's list,32 so it could have been of little commercial significance by that time. But in the eighteenth century, Daffy's Elixir must have been very well known. Bath newspapers show that Newbery, Dicey & Co., Jackson & Co. and John Wye The all distributed the elixir, and recipes appeared in popular books. Two were published by Wesleyss and two were quoted in The Complete Housewife with the statement that John the elixir was excellent for colic, gravel in the kidney, griping of the guts or any obstruc- two or three times a An in tion of the bowels and that it purged day." advertisement wider claims for True Daffy's Elixir "in the cure of the Stone, Gravel, 1790 made Kidneys, the Gout, Rheumatism, Cholic, Phthisic, Dropsy, Scurvy, Surfeits, ulcerated disorders to Women and Children, Consumptions, the Piles, Convulsions, peculiar of Blood, Pains in the Breast, Limbs, Joints etc."5 Fevers, Agues, Fluxes, Spitting Elixir was not but its composition was well known and there can be Daffy's patented medical doubt that it resembled an official preparation. Numerous authorsX little in the and early nineteenth centuries equated the elixir with writing eighteenth Tinctura sennae (PL) or Tinctura sennae composita (PE). 212 was in and the which was advertised times, patented 171217 Stoughton's Elixir, both and & Bath advertisements were for preparations supplied by Newbery by Dicey Co. It was sometimes described as a "Stomachic Cordial Elixir", indicating its main in the nineteenth in use. The various recipes published early century agreed suggested of with various additions: in a that the elixir was a tincture gentian Paris, suggesting that was "a tincture of with the addition of succinct footnote, said it Gentian, typically and some other aromatics".38 Rennie'3 Orange Peel, Cardamoms, Serpentaria, amara or Tinctura and the it with Tinctura gentianae composita (PL) equated "Tinctura dicta vulgo Elixirum doctoris Stoughton".40 French Codex quoted Amara, It would, therefore, seem fair to say that the elixir was at least similar to an official preparation. advertised 211 were in 1743 by John Hooper, Hooper's Female Pills, times, patented man midwife and of He made both Newbery and the Diceys apothecary Reading." advertised as a "most useful for the product.42 The pills were agents distributing the Female Sex are to.... Health is those general Complaints subject Remedy against 154 Medicines advertised in 18th-century Bath newspaperg recover'd, and the Patient that looked like Death restor'd to a lively Complexion. They are the best Medicine ever discover'd for young Women, when afflicted with what is vulgarly call'd the which two or will Green-sickness, three Boxes certainly cure; and are also excellent for the Palpitation of the Heart, Giddiness, Loathing of Food, bad Digestion, Pains of the a of the Arteries of the Stomach, Beating Neck, short Breath upon every little Motion. . ."... did Hooper's patent specifications not disclose the composition of the pills but recipes were in the published early nineteenth century and Paris suggested that they were Pilulae aloes cum with the myrrha addition of sulphate of iron, and canella bark, with a of black." A formula portion ivory quoted by Rennie suggests that each pill contained about 9 of iron as ferrous mg sulphate and 22 mg as the the adult dose four If this was the carbonate, being pills.u so, pills well have might contributed to the treatment of chlorosis and iron any deficiency underlying the anaemic symptoms in the the suggested advertisement, though purgative effect of the aloes, at about 2.2 gr. have limited the dose of per pill, might iron which could be tolerated. The iron content of several other of the quoted recipes was much lower and a large number of the pills would have been needed for any therapeutic effect in iron deficiency. It is that the would have been beneficial to likely pills some of the women who took them and this be the reason for their may persistence on the market. They were still sold in at the same box as in 1790 and with being 1907, price per advertising copy like that of remarkably 1744, many phrases being identical." British advertised 200 was Michael and Oil, times, patented by Thomas Betton in 1742.47 It was advertised as a versatile medicine "which cures by Bathing before the Fire all old Contusions and Contractions of the or Nerves, Contracted or Withered Limbs, Strains, Ulcers, old and all fixed and Sores, wandering Pains: It greatly re- lieves in the Palsy; cures Lameness, St. Swellings, Inflammations, Anthony's Fire, King's Evil. . . ". Inwardly taken it "cures Ulcers of the Lungs, Shortness of Breath, and almost all Pains and Consumptions, Phthisick, Coughs, Disorders of the Breast or Lungs."48 The described its patent specifications preparation from a rock over lying the coal in but were coalmines, nineteenth-century recipes mostly similar to that quoted in the Lancet which mentioned oil of turpentine, Barbadoes tar and oil of rosemary.49 Such substitutes were in use in the probably eighteenth century, as was implied by William Lewis who wrote "some mineral oils, procurable among ourselves, are used by the common and often with benefit: the people, empyrical medicine, called British is of the same nature with the oil, petrolea; genuine sort being extracted by distillation from a hard bitumen."'5 Two further medicines in this advertised were widely group declared by their names to be purgative. Dr. Bostock's Cordial advertised Purging Elixir, 194 times, was supplied by the firm of and was mentioned the term of Dicey throughout the present sample. It differs from the other nine under discussion in that products numerous recipes for this medicine did not in appear nineteenth-century formularies. Dr. Radcliffe's Famous advertised a total of 191 times Purging Elixir, throughout the sample, was also a of the and numerous formulae were product Diceys published. That in and the main the Lancet is fairly representative shows ingredients as tinctures of and with and senna.5" aloes, jalap gentian powdered scammony, jalap The action of the medicine must have fulfilled the of its title. promise 155 P. S. Brown The remaining three of these ten medicines all contained a substantial amount of opium. Bateman's Pectoral Drops, advertised 194 times, were not sold purely for respiratory complaints: they were "not to be parallel'd by any Medicine in the known World for curing and giving immediate Ease in all Colds, Coughs, Agues, Fevers, Fluxes, Pains of the Breast, Limbs and Joints; as also in all Fits of the Gout, Rheu- matick Pains, Stone, Gravel, Cholick, etc."52 They were patented in 1723 by Benjamen OkellU and distributed by Dicey & Co. and, later, by John Wye. No patent specifica- tions were enrolled but many formulae were published from early in the nineteenth Paris wrote that the drops consisted principally of tincture of castor with century. portions of camphor and opium, flavoured with anise seed and coloured with cochineal." The amount of opium varied considerably among the published formulae and the recommended dose was not usually stated. The medicine did not match an official preparation in Britain but was eventually included in the American National as Tincture ofOpium and Gambir."5 Formulary Compound Grand advertised 181 times, was "the Greatest Restorative in the Squire's Elixir, World" and was offered for much the same set ofcomplaints as the previous medicine.56 There was general agreement among the nineteenth-entury formulae that opium was the prime ingredient.57 The final medicine of this group is Godfrey's Cordial. It was advertised 162 times and its widespread use brought numerous published warnings in the nineteenth century of the dangers of the opium it contained, especially when it was used for children.58 The perils of the "sleeping Cordial", which might well have been Godfrey's, were even detailed in verse by George Crabbe in The borough (1810). As early as 1757, a Bath newspaper carried an advertisement for a Carminative Mixture, however, presumably Dalby's, which attacked Godfrey's Cordial as a treatment for infants with in the bowels": Medicines stand recommended for a Cure, "griping pains "Many the which Cordial stands yet in repute, but being administered amongst Godfrey's and by unskilled Hands, has too often had fatal Effects, so that a injudiciously, Writer on the Care due to Children, says, It has obtain'd the emphatic judicious Name of Lord have alluding to the affected Squall of hireling Nurses, on Mercy, their dead after an over Dose thereof, to allay its Cries, finding Charge administering caused the of Pains."59 This advertisement may echo Walter Harris by Agony griping who forbade the use of opiates for treatment of any disorders of children except if were dignified with the name of "cordial" "obstinate Vomiting", even they medicines, invented .... For who can "for the Name of Cordial was cunningly and artfully imagine him a Cordial? And it is a of that any Harm can happen to after taking yet Matter whether of those who have not died a violent Doubt with some of the best Physicians, Diseases or Cordials. "6 on later Death, more have perished by by Writing consumption all three of the opium-containing medicines in the century, John Fothergill mentioned just discussed with the comment that "the mischiefs that have proceeded from and other in the Bateman's drops, Squire's elixir, heating anodynes Godfrey's cordial, William also considered hands of ignorance, are scarcely to be enumerated."'61 Hawes Cordial "a and one of the few he had to Godfrey's very pernicious opiate" good things of the author of Primitive physic was that he did not recommend this preparation.2 say official Cordial cannot be matched with an preparation in Britain but, Godfrey's 156 Medicines advertised in 18th-century Bath newspapers like Bateman's Pectoral Drops, it was included in the American National Formulary as Mixture of Sassafras and Opium."3 of Recognition these two preparations may simply have been to regularize the position of medicines which were widely used and by so doing to standardize their content of the potentially dangerous opium. Most of the ten medicines so far discussed were probably popular in America. In 1824, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy saw fit to publish formulae for Anderson's Scots Pills, Hooper's Female Pills, British Oil, Bateman's Drops and Godfrey's Cordial,64 and Young mentions American eighteenth-century newspaper advertisements for all of the ten except Radcliffe's Elixir.65 The selection of preparations available to Americans he attributes to the commercial of enterprise Robert Francis Turlington, Newbery and Dicey & Okell. These distributors also may have had a considerable influence on the pattern of self-medication the among visitors to Bath: the four medicines most frequently advertised in the present sample were all distributed both by Newbery and by Dicey & Co. THE SAMPLE AS A WHOLE The 302 medicines mentioned in the advertisements have been roughly classified to the conditions for which according were offered and the they distribution into categories is shown in Table 1. Even the classification is though necessarily it rough, shows some similarities to the distribution of advertisements for medicines found by Flemming in forty in southern newspapers circulating in 1911.66 The England three most in frequently advertised his were also types sample for preparations gastro- intestinal symptoms, local applications and if general medicines, the latter is taken to embrace of his categories blood mixtures and panaceas, tonics, tonic wines. The medicines advertised in a biased newspapers may give sample of the whole range of proprietary medicines available to the public. Many may never have been advertised in this Joshua way: Ward's medicines did not in appear the sample from Bath until after his when their sale was death, Sir being organized by John Fielding and Robert Some test of the Dingley.67 of the list of completeness medicines extracted from the can be obtained newspapers by it with the comparing schedules attached to the Acts of Parliament regulating duties on stamp proprietary medicines.68 The Act of 1785 listed only 83 and 61 of preparations these can be identified in the sample. But there is a greater discrepancy between the and the more sample comprehensive schedule of the 1802 Act which listed about 450 152 of preparations. Only these can be identified in the list from the so it is to newspapers, necessary remember that the latter may not be of representative the whole field. It must also be remembered that the present list is derived from a only of sample newspapers. The general medicines did not form the most numerous the group in sample but they figured in the number of greatest advertisements. The two most frequently advertised preparations, Anderson's Scots Pills and Daffy's were in this Elixir, and category typical advertisements for such have been products quoted. Towards the end of the a about a century paragraph general medicine which almost appeared met the Oliver Goldsmith in suggestion, humorously developed Letters the by from citizen the world as the of (1762), that, advertised medicines were said to be so effective, D P. S. Brown TABLE 1. THE TYPES OF MEDICINES ADVERTISED IN A SAMPLE OF EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY BATH NEWSPAPERS: THEIR NUMBERS AND FREQUENCY OF ADVERTISEMENT. Types of medicines Total number Number of of advertisements medicines General medicines: claimed as effective in many unrelated conditions or in general 1651 28 debility from various causes. disease and symptoms. 1022 44 For gastro-intestinal Local applications for skin lesions, 974 43 etc. injuries Dental preparations: dentifrice, tincture for etc. 825 52 the gums Antiscorbutics and medicines taken lesions. 638 13 internally for cutaneous For mental symptoms and diseases ofthe 597 19 nervous system, such as epilepsy. For respiratory disea, including 568 32 consumption. and prevention ofvenereal 534 19 For treatment disease. 301 6 For complaints offemales. 281 13 For arthritis and gout. 233 1 1 For fevers and ague. ofthe renal tract. 93 7 For calculi Unclassified 271 15 for a to restore the dead to life. Re- they should be tested possible ability Sibly's was advertised for the "Restoration of Life in cases of animating Solar Tincture causes such as sudden death". After listing "blows, falls, fits, suffocation, strangu- thunder and assasination, duelling, etc" it was lation, drowning, apoplexy, lightning, "will not fail to restore the and advised that the medicine life, provided organs juices are in a fit for which are much oftener than is disposition it, they undoubtedly a line of advertisement in Bath in This would seem to have been good imagined."69 of the dead must have had some the 1790s when resuscitation apparently publicity. Thomas who had been associated with Anthony Fothergill and, later, Cogan, closely Bath.70 The Bath Humane was founded the Humane moved to Society Royal Society, William who contributed an ode to in 1805 and its first report was printed by Meyler which won him the medal of the Humane the contents.7' Fothergill's essay gold Royal 158 Medicines advertised in 18th-century Bath newspapers Society was printed in Bath by Samuel Hazard.72 Both printers were proprietors of circulating libraries and active venders of proprietary medicines.73 Meyler was one of Bath venders of Sibley's tinctures. the One general medicine particularly relevant to Bath was the Bath Restorative for which the following rather pathetic advertisement appeared in Salmon's Mercury: "The Author regular Physician at Bath) has for 30 years found this remedy superior (a to all as a General Restorative; it is the greatest cordial in nature; in the last decays of life it will supply the vital lamp with some recruits; it is admirable for those who almost worn out women and wine, and will restore such as have suffered have been by by acute diseases: ... and those who have impaired their constitution, by the act of Self-Polution, will find this a certain remedy, as well as in all nervous cases."74 from Bath which have been classed as general Two other medicines originating Dr. Brooke's Roman Pills and Neapolitan Restorer.75 Brooke was medicines were not a regular physician but he published a volume of letters from Italy which explained the Italian origin both of his medicines and his doctorate.76 The Pill Unique of W. D. have been classified as a medicine associated with Bath, but it Knight would general the did not appear in sample.77 of medicines is that containing nineteen preparations Another interesting group concerned with venereal disease, because some were offered for prophylaxis. The medicines designed for cure were often advertised as containing no mercury,78 though Swediaur suggested that mercury was frequently present in a disguised form.79 Their use was commonly described as safe, pleasant and effective, without confinement or and of concealed even from close associates.80 hindrance to business capable being The six preparations designed for the prevention of venereal disease appeared late of them not advertised before 1790. George Crabbe, among in the sample, five being and commented in The these prophylactics borough (1810) others, deplored In mean to plainer English-ifyou sin, and Fly to the drops, instantly begin. John Wesley would presumably have felt the same: he included a treatment for lues in his Primitive because he had known an innocent sufferer who venerea physic only a "foul nurse".81 In Samuel Hannay had tried to patent had been infected by 1774, "his new invented medicine, consisting of a liquid, which, by washing the part, in time within hours of absolutely prevents the communication men, any eight coition, venereal let it be of or virulence whatsoever"; but the Lord of the disease, any degree Chancellor refused to let this pass the Great Seal.82 The advertisements in the present were not their attitude being like that of the one sample, however, apologetic, general Abb6 Blondel's which was both and thera- for the Chymical Specifick prophylactic advertiser said that "so a should ever be in the the sovereign remedy possession peutic: or the habit of of such as either through juvenile inclination, gallantry, persons haunts of frequent the pollution."83 William the of venereal disease did not seem to According to Buchan, prevention interest the and "prophylaxis has been generally left to quacks, regular practitioners their pretended antedotes, have amassed fortunes, while credulous who, by puffing to their have been tricked out of their and their lives."84 lies, money men, by trusting 159 P. S. Brown The advertisements commonly claimed infallibility for the prevention of the disease, and Buchan comments that "I have known a dignified nostrum-monger insist that a gentleman had not the lues, merely because he had used his lotion according to the printed directions". There appears to have been considerable proliferation of these preparations and Kieman, writing in 1815, reported that the idea of a prophylactic had "opened a fertile field to empyricism; and the patent warehouse is loaded with preventative washes, and specifics for this purpose; indeed the list of preventatives is too numerous of to be reduced to any regular account them".85 AND COMPOSITION EFFECTIVENESS of of of Many the sources information about the composition the proprietary medicines have already been mentioned. When they were patented their composition should have been declared: but even in the mid-eighteenth century no specifications were provided for some medicines and, in the case of the well-known Dr. James's Powders, it was alleged that the medicine could not be prepared according to the declared method.86 Most of the eighteenth-century publications which have been quoted only gave recipes for a small number of the best known preparations but a larger compilation was that of James Makittrick Adair. He searched out patent specifications and quoted analyses of unpatented preparations so that he was able to publish the composition of twenty-three proprietary medicines.87 Detailed recipes were made public in a few special cases, the best known example being those for Joanna Stephens' medicines for the stone.88 The composition of Joshua Ward's medicines was also described in detail because, at his death, Ward passed his formulae to John Page, who published them and set up an organization to prepare the medicines, to market them and to devote the proceeds to the Asylum for the Support of Female Orphans and the Magdalen for the Protection of Penitent Prostitutes.89 The formulae published early in the nineteenth century were for a wider range of proprietary medicines. Gray, in his Supplement to the Pharmacopoeias in 1818, explained that he had obtained the formulae used by the leading druggists to com- pound these nostrums which were in great demand."° He quoted numerous recipes giving, for example, eleven methods of preparing Daffy's Elixir. Rennie, eight years later, supplied further details and the topic was of sufficient general interest for the Lancet in its first volume to give recipes for thirty-one "quack medicines".9' The footnotes to Paris's Pharmacologia have been mentioned repeatedly and were frequently quoted by contemporary writers. Formulae for sixty-four of the 302 medicines advertised in the sample were given by Paris, Gray or Rennie. The of similarity some of the most advertised medicines to official preparations has been and the of Thirteen of already stressed, same is true the rest of the sample. the medicines were noted one or of by more these three authors to be very similar to preparations in the London or Edinburgh Pharmacopoeias. Even when the published formulae do not approximate closely to those of official medicines, they usually call for similar and familiar ingredients. This situation may reflect some bias towards crediting the nostrums with orthodox ingredients because it is these which would be most easily recognized and which would be the easiest to use as substitutes for un- identified materials. But even with this possible caution, it seems likely that many of 160 Medicines advertised in 18th-century Bath newspapers the proprietary medicines did not differ radically from medicines that might have been prescribed by regular practitioners. In the present age of formal clinical trials we can hardly expect to be convinced of claims that the eighteenth-century nostrums were of therapeutic value. At the time, the apparent efficacy of Mrs. Stephens' medicines was certified by a distinguished conunittee and two individual certificates were signed, one by the President of the Royal College of Physicians.92 The possible benefit from some preparations containing iron has been mentioned and there can be little doubt that many of the medicines, including several of the most frequently advertised, were effective purgatives. This was clearly the desired effect and the belief that purgation was a general benefit and great aid to health has died hard: in the present century writers such as Sir Arthur Hurst still had to plead on behalf of the unhappy colon.93 The confident advertise- ments of the sellers of nostrums must also have frequently had a useful psychological effect. The physicians of Bath would have had good opportunities for observing the effects of suggestion. William Corp was well aware of the use of medicines as charms'4 and John Haygarth, who revealed the true basis of the effectiveness of metal tractors, realized that suggestion might "account for the marvellous recoveries frequently ascribed to remedies" and that "magnificent and unqualified promises empirical minds with confidence."95 inspire weak implicit In the modem clinical trial, the effectiveness of a new treatment can only be compared with the effectiveness of some other treatment, even if that is merely a placebo. Equally, in the present case it would be appropriate only to compare the effectiveness of eighteenth-century proprietary medicines with that of the medicines offered by the apothecaries and physicians. We have already seen that several nostrums coincided in their composition with official preparations and that similarities existed with others. Thus the contrast between the official and unofficial treatment may not have been sharp, though the prescriptions of the regular practitioners would have had the advantage of associated medical supervision. This might have been particularly important with the more toxic preparations. PRICE of the medicines were advertised with a retail price, though the volume of Many fluid in a bottle or the number of pills in a box was only rarely stated. Table 2 shows the distribution of prices quoted for the cheapest pack of the medicines so advertised in the sample. Prices were mostly steady from 1744 to 1770, so data for that present with period have been pooled. Half of the seventy-four medicines advertised price then cost from ls. to ls. 9d. Thereafter, prices tended to rise though the increase was usually duties in 1783 and 1785." modest and, in many cases, simply met the stamp imposed Bateman's Pectoral Greenough's Tinctures, Fryar's Balsam, Stoughton's Elixir, Drops, Elixir and Female Pills were all retailed in Bath at ls. in Radcliffe's Purging Hooper's 1744 and at ls. in 1799: the Act of 1785 had imposed a duty of on medicines Iid. lid. mode had shifted not Is. in price. Table 2 shows that the for prices up by exceeding and had at 5s. to 5s. 5d. about one shilling in the 1790s further small peaks appeared at 6d. of 5s. 5d. as a is explained by the duty of 6d. and lOs. to lOs. The popularity price on medicines costing less than 5s. imposed by the Act of 1783. The two most expensive 161 P. S. Brown medicines in the sample were Donna Maria's Lotion at 25s. the bottle and Restorative Salo Pills at 22s. the box. Both preparations were for female use and have been mentioned previously.97 The list of proprietary medicines published in the Gentleman's Magazine in 1748 showed prices in 165 instances.98 Their distribution is also shown in Table 2 and is, perhaps, more like that of the 1790s sample from Bath than the 1744/ 1770 group. TABLE 2. THE OF MEDICINES ADVERTISED IN VARIOUS PRICE-RANGES IN A SAMPLE NUMBERS OF BATH NEWSPAPERS, OR AS SHOWN IN A LIST PUBLISHED IN THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY Gentleman's Magazine. Price Bath newspapers Gentleman's Magazine Atleast but Lessthan 1744-70 1790-9 1748 - i~ ~ 5 5 11 ~~s ls 2s 37 43 52 2s 3s 13 46 25 3s 4s 8 8 32 4s 5s 3 5 6 5s 6s 5 21 22 6s 7s 2 3 4 7s 8s 1 1 4 8s 9s 0 0 0 9s lOs 0 0 0 lOs uls 0 6 8 lls 26s 0 4 1 74 142 165 Total These figures show that the advertised medicines were sold at prices that covered a wide range and some were clearly in the luxury class. A small number were sold at less was in this at 6d. in 1744 and until than Is. and Godfrey's Cordial group: priced 1770, it was in 1790, 8d. in 1798 and 9d. in 1799. Various preparations of Cephalic 71d. Snuff and Clinton's Imperial Royal Golden Snuff were offered in the same price range were Clinton's for headache, drowsiness, vapours and deafness. Others in the group Dr. Waite's Worm Medicine and Oil for deafness, Palsy Drops, Bathing Spirits, advertisements were not aimed Aromatic Tooth Water. The newspaper obviously 162 Medicines advertised in 18th-century Bath newspapers primarily at those who could only afford the cheapest medicines, and cheaper nostrums well have been available from which may other sources are less well documented. While it may be easy to list some of the rich and famous who used the well-known proprietary such as medicines, James's Powders," it is unlikely that records will sur- vive of the unknown poor who used the cheaper products. James Lackington, however, recorded that his wife received apparent benefit from a "Cephalic snuff" recommended to them by an old woman at a time he an when was impecunious journeyman shoe- maker.'°° John when the of Ward's Page, publishing composition medicines, listed prices from 3d. to 2s. 6d. with the "The low ranging following comment: very price, at which it is intended they shall be sold, has been but let not circums- mentioned: this tance, which shews how little cost they in making, and renders them attainable to the Lower Class of Mankind, cause them to be despised by the Highest."101' Early in the next century, Crabbe summed the situation in The up borough (1810): No class escapes them-from the poor man's pay, The nostrum takes no trifling part away; CONCLUSIONS The advertised medicines covered wide range in price, in type and in pretensions. and Some were expensive flamboyantly advertised, with an appeal dependent upon the personalities of their often well-known proprietors. Many others were probably so familiar as to be common household medicines, sold at a modest and steady price through the decades, the purgatives among them probably being safe enough in ordinary usage, though not in some acute illnesses, but the opiates a potential hazard at all times, especially when used to treat children. Those containing mercury were particularly dangerous but so they probably were in the hands of the regular practitioners. of to Many the other advertised nostrums seem have been unambitious preparations or ones which short lived of local were or distribution. Their formulae do not appear in nineteenth-century publications and will probably never be known but, by analogy with the more famous preparations, their ingredients were probably orthodox in enough most cases. The similarity between proprietary and official preparations, which has been men- tioned repeatedly, was in admitted the better argued attacks of the regular practitioners on the "nostrum mongers" and "empirics". The physicians claimed that their own prescriptions were the result of and deep learned consideration of the diagnosis and the requirements in an individual case. In what purports to be a letter from a physician in London to a gentleman in Bath in 1749, the "empirics" are attacked for their lack of both and general medical education. The argument that the proprietary medicines were effective preparations, likely to do good despite their proprietors, was countered with the following sentiment: "Diseases are not cured by Medicines and Receipts, but a learned and by methodical Use of them, whereunto Empiricks cannot attain."102 Adair, in similar attacks, complained of the proprietors of nostrums that "these men, at least most of them, have pilfered their nostrums from regular practice." As an example he quoted Ward's medicines which, except for his "had been in paste, long regular practice before he adopted them."'03 He then listed many others with their 163 P. S. Brown equivalents among the medicines used by the regular practitioners. For their part, the sellers of proprietary medicines often boasted of the respectable origins of their pre- that Dr. Hooper parations. It was claimed in the Bath advertisements, for example, as a Man-Midwife and had used his Female Pills "in his own Private Practice, Apothecary" ;104 that Dalby's Carminative had "been many years administered in a course of reputable practice" ;'(" and that British Pills had been "invented long since by a regular Physician, and administered in private practice only."'" No matter how like their own medicines the proprietary nostrums were, the regular practitioners could put forward the same argument against their use. Paris, comment- ing on Dalby's Carminative early in the nineteenth century, admitted that it was a well-conceived preparation but echoed the London physician quoted above. Paris wrote: "In examining the pretentions of this combination, it must be allowed that it is constructed upon philosophical principles; this however is no reason why the physician should recommend it; the mischievous tendency of a quack medicine does not depend its composition, but upon its application."'107 upon How the practitioners used their medicines is another problem, effectively regular which fortunately need not be discussed here: but William Buchan makes an interesting on modem ears. He observation about their behaviour which falls sympathetically of the out something very akin to quackery in the performances physicians pointed themselves, and wrote: "Quackery is founded on ignorance. The man who writes a medical prescription, couched in mystical characters and in an unknown tongue, countenances quackery, the very existence ofwhich depends on disguise." 108 The attitude of the physicians and apothecaries was their defensive posture against the medicines which probably impinged appreciably on their practice. proprietary Adair wrote of his "duty as a physician, and consequently an avowed enemy to all pretensions."'09 But considerable ambivalence existed and it was possible to empirical be a and still to be the proprietor of patent medicines. This was the respected physician case with Robert James, though he was censured by medical authors. An obituary which acknowledged the virtues of his fever powder qualified its approval by comment- ing that "it cannot, however, be mentioned without regret, that he should have it necessary to conceal his method of preparing it.""10 Munk echoed this thought sentiment."' As a further example of this ambivalence of contemporary attitudes it is person than John Hunter who wrote interesting to end with a quotation from no lesser he had invented to Edward Jenner suggesting that he capitalize on an improved method but Hunter's for preparing tartar emetic. The suggestion was not carried through, of all tartars .... Had you not letter reads: "I am puffing off your tartar, as the tartar Oxford did his magnesia? Let it be better let a bookseller have it to sell, as Glass of or If that mode would do, I called Jenner's Tartar Emetic, any body's else you please. will speak to some, viz. Newbery, etc.""12 SUMMARY for medicines in a sample of Bath The advertisements patient and proprietary have been scrutinized. The 302 medicines, which are roughly newspapers (1744-1800) classified according to the conditions for which they were offered, are discussed in and price are detail; and their sources, distribution, composition, effectiveness, 164 Medicines advertised in 18th-century Bath newspapers examined. A previous report (Medical History, 1975, 19: 352-369) described in detail the retailers of these products. REFERENCES 1. Bath Journal (hereafter referred to as B. J.) issues for the years March 1744 to February 1745, 1750, 1761, 1780 and 1789; Bath Chronicle (B. C.) issues for years 1790 and Bath Advertiser (B. A.) for Decenber 1760 to December 1761, 1770, 1799; Herald and Bath both for the March the year 1757; Bath (B. H.) Register (B. R.) year 1792 to occasional issues of Farley's Bath Journal, Bath Gazette and February 1793; The is described more and in the Salmon's Mercury. sample fully precisely paper cited in note below. advertised in Bath news- 2. P. S. Brown, 'The venders of medicines eighteenth-century 1975, 19: 352-369. papers', Med. Hist., 3. Bennet Woodcroft, Titles ofpatents of inventions, chronologically arranged, London, Queen's Printing Office, 1854. B. C. 22 March 1770. 4. B. J. 12 November 1750; A the last Okeden & 5. Charles Welsh, bookseller of century, London, Griffith, Farran, Welsh, 1885. national B. 25 1770. 6. Dictionary of biography: C. January cards the 18th B. T. 7. A. Heal, London tradesmen's of century, London, Batsford, 1925, H. R. the and booksellers who were at work in plate 29; Plomer, Dictionary of printers to 1932. 1726 1775, London, Bibliographical Society, England, J. 20 1744. 8. B. August 9. Bennet see note 3: B. J. 4 1745. Woodcroft, op. cit., February B. 4 1770 10. C. January 11. B. C. 3 January 1799. 12. B. R. 29 September 1792. 13. B. A. 9 July 1757. 14. B. C. July 1770. 15. B. J. January 1798. vol. 168-170. 16. A. C. Wootton, Chronicles ofpharmacy, London, Macmillan, 1910, 2, pp. 17. B. J. 9 April 1744. B. 1744. 18. J. 4 June B. 5 19. J. March 1750. B. see Okell's advertisement in B. 20. C. 26 March and 13 August 1761; also Dicey & C. June 1761. 21. B. 18 March 1790. C. 22. B. C. 11 November 1790. 23. B. C. 2 May 1799. 24. William Buchan, Domestic medicine, 9th ed., London, Strahan & Cadell, 1786, p. 743. 25. 114. John Wesley, Primitive physic, 24th ed., London, G. Whitfield, 1792, p. 26. James Makittrick Adair, Medical cautions; chiefly the consideration of invalids, for 2nd R. 84. ed., London, printed by Cruttwell, C. Dilly, 1787, p. 27. J. 5th vol. 2, W. Phillips, 1822, p. 44. A. Paris, Pharmacologia, ed., London, 28. S. F. Gray, A supplement to the pharmacopoeias, London, Thomas and George Underwood, 1818; James Rennie, new supplement to the pharmnacopoeias, London, Sidmouth, the author, Baldwin, Cradock & Joy, 1826; Thomas Penn, Pharmacology, quack medicines', Lancet, 1823, i: 30, 62, 89, 138, 345. 1822; 'Composition of 29. W. 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John Quincy, Pharmacopoeia officinalis et extemporanea: or a complete English dispensary, 14th ed., London, Longman, 1769, p. 447; William Lewis, An experi- R. mental history of the materia medica, London, Willock, 1761, p. 522; Buchan, op. cit., note 24 above, p. 755; James Makittrick Adair, op. cit., note 26 above, p. 84; Richard Reece, practical dictionary ofdomestic medicine, London, Longman, Hurst, Rees & Orme, 1808, appendix; Paris, op. cit., note 27 above, p. 433: Gray, op. 28 114. cit., note 28 above, p. 274; James Rennie, op. cit., note above, p. 37. Patents for inventions. Abridgments of specifications relating to medicine, surgery and dentistry, 1620-1866, London, Patent Office, 1872. 38. Paris, op. cit., note 27 above, p. 221. 39. Rennie, op. cit., note 28 above, p. 115. 40. Codex medicamentarius sive pharmacopoea Paris, Gallica, 1818. 41. Patents for inventions, op. cit., note 37 above. 42. B. J. 20 August 1744. B. J. 9 July 1744. 44. 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Medical HistoryPubmed Central

Published: Apr 1, 1976

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