Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Trivia Tuesday: The Apothecary

Following on from the popularity of my 'genealogical trivia' theme for the A-Z Challenge, I am going to continue on.  Not at the frantic pace of the Challenge (a post a day, following the alphabet), but a post per week.  I started by looking up the word 'trivia' - Wikipedia insists it means "obscure and arcane bits of dry knowledge", but I hope that the trivia I choose will not be 'dry'.


Do you have an apothecary in your family tree?  These were the forerunners of today's doctors, and used medicines, perfumes, spices, herbs, comfits, antidotes, aphrodisiacs, antiseptics, tonics, purgatives, laxatives, emetics, astringents, and general cure-alls [The Oxford Companion to Local and Family History, David Hey].  So you can see that you went to the apothecary for more than just the common cold! They even dispensed something called "Dragon's Blood"...

And, in case you thought anybody could 'set up shop' as an apothecary: the apprenticeship for this profession took five years and you had to be licensed.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved


  1. Five years!!! No I don't have an apothecary ancestor, but I wish I did because I find it an interesting profession (and a cool word)!

    1. I don't have an apothecary ancestor, either, but I agree with you - such a cool word!

  2. Interesting word! I don't think I have any in my family as of yet.



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