Pharmacopoeia Londinensis 1618 and its descendants
Clare J Fowler
The Pharmacopoeia Londinensis 1618 was a landmark publication of the College of Physicians, being the first standard list of medicines and their ingredients in England. Using original records, the author describes the difficult origins of the Pharmacopoeia Londinensis within the College and depicts the individuals who conceived and wrote it, and how it was used in the struggles that marked the separation of two professions – the physicians and the apothecaries.
An important consequence of this publication was its eventual evolution into the British Pharmacopoeia. Another important direct ‘descendant’ of the Pharmacopoeia Londinensis was Culpeper’s 1649 translation into English, which became much valued by ‘common man’ thereafter as a source of information about the medicinal attributes of plants and their place in treatment of disease.
The author includes a brief illustrated description of the Pharmacopoea Londinensis gardens, now flourishing in the grounds of the Royal College of Physicians’ London home.