It was originally incorporated with the grocers by James I., 1606; but eleven years afterwards he granted the apothecaries a distinct charter, forbidding grocers and others from retailing any medicines and nostrums, and ordaining the sale of such articles to be entirely under this company. There were then only 104 apothecaries' shops in London and the suburbs. They have since gained various privileges by act of parliament. The freehold of the physic garden at Chelsea was given to the apothecaries by Sir Hans Sloane, on condition that they should present annually to the Royal Society 50 new plants till the number should amount to 2,000. This condition was punctually fulfilled, and the specimens are yet preserved in the society's collection. The company's hall is a spacious building in Water lane, Blackfriars, where unadulterated drugs are sold to the public as well as to the profession. The whole of the medicines used in the navy are received from this hall.
In examination before the House of Commons in 1747, it appeared that there were 700 apothecaries' shops about London; that not one half of them were free of the company; that there were many dishonest vendors who sold "bad medicines and trash," &c. The company gained increased authority to search for and destroy adulterated drugs, &c.
Once yearly, for the improvement of students, apprentices, &c., a general herbarizing takes place amongst the members of this company and several others, but to a less extent, are made in the course of the summer.
Medicine and Surgery.
....College of Physicians
....Royal College of Surgeons
....Red Cross-street Library
....(Lectures: with names of Lecturers)
Source: Leigh's New Picture of London. Printed for Samuel Leigh, 18, Strand;
by W. Clowes, Northumberland Court. 1819