VII. That a Freeman of London might lawfully be imprisoned by the College.
That no Man, tho' never so learned a Physician, or Doctor, might Practice in
or within Seven Miles without the Colleges License.
Of late Years many learned and careful Members of this College, for the better
the poorer sort that fall sick; and that their Medicines might be better, and
made up for their own Credit, have set up three Shops, or Warehouses for
and about the City of London; the One at the College; another in St. Peter's
and a Third at Westminster; which they call Dispensaries, because thence are
dispensed to several Hundreds of Patients Weekly; besides the making up of all
Shops Preparations of Retailing Apothecaries.
Dispensaries set up by the Physicians.
The Apothecaries complained much against this, as an unjust Invasion upon them.
the Physicians say, first, That they have a Right to give Medicines to all their
if they please, by Vertue of the Statute, 32. Hen. 8. that empowereth Physicians
practise Physick in all its Parts. And the Apothecaries Charter, granted by
reserved that Power to them. They say likewise, that the Apothecaries, enhaunce
Prices of their Commodities, which they attribute in part to their Trades being
overstocked by great Numbers. And as their Numbers increase so must their
else they must starve. And that the Apothecaries Bills rise so high, half
thereof was in
consideration of their Advice and Attendance; and the remaining half brought
greater Profit for their Medicines, than what any other Tradesmen would reckon
to be a
moderate Gain. And that this was true, the Subscribers to the said Dispensary
undertook to demonstrate, either in any Court of Justice, or before a Committee
Parliament, by comparing the Bills of Charges given into Patients, with the
The Apothecaries Complaint upon this.
The Physicians Answer thereunto.
The Physicians say moreover in behalf of their Dispensaries, that they were
first set up
by divers charitable Members of the College, for the Use and Benefit of the sick
after the Apothecaries had been solicited in vain to do the same Thing. And
were moved hereunto, not only from a Principle of Charity, but by the Intreaty
Committee of the Common Council of London; and to justify themselves from a
Slander cast upon them by the Apothecaries, that they took no care of the Poor.
when the Apothecaries were found fault with for practising, they used to alledge
Justification, that the Poor having no more to give to a Physician, they would
want of being taken care of, if they [the Apothecaries] did not look after them.
gave Occasion to the Physicians to set their Care of the Poor in the View of the
not only in these Dispensaries giving them their Advice gratis, but also by
to Physick at a very low Value.
The Physicians Account of their Dispensary.
Present State of the Practice of Physick by Dr. Pitt.
At these Dispensaries, not a Dram of Physick is given out by Bill from one or
the Subscribers to these Dispensaries. Which still is kept upon the File, and
transcribed into a Book. So that all the rest of the Subscribers, the Patient,
whosoever else that is concerned, may at any time be fully satisfied what was
And here the Physician having no other Interest or Design but to cure and oblige
Patient, prescribes but a few Things, and those the most effectual he can
seeing he hath no Profit by the Medicines, he hath no Temptation to multiply
to disguize ordinary cheap Things, to obtain great Prizes for them. He
divides his Prescriptions, between the Dispensary and the Patients Family,
latter to prepare what is easy to make, and
the former what requires more Art. Nor do the Apothecaries that are employed
ever take the Liberty to put one Thing for another, a Cheap for a Dear, because
would get nothing by it, if they did, as having a certain Salary, which neither
The Usefulness thereof shewed.
Further, as these Repositories there is the greatest Assurance possible, that
all the Drugs
and Preparations are good. The Subscribers by two and two in their Turns take
buy in, the choicest Drugs they can meet withal. That they do so, the Druggists
deal with will bear them witness; and their Stock in the Repository may bear
Witness. And as to the simple or compound Preparations of them, the Head
Apothecary at the College perfectly understands them all, as well Chymical as
Galenical. And he with his Assistant prepares all the Store of Medicines, not
the Dispensary there, but for the two others also. They are constantly every
Morning till Night in this Business, and so are always at Hand to make up the
Subscribers Bills as they come in. They neither fetch in the Bills, nor carry
Medicines, that is the Work of Servants or Porters; so that all the prescribed
dispensed with the uttermost Dispatch and Exactness. The Apothecaries being
upon the Spot, no Patient runs the Risque of a Boys Carelessness or Ignorance.
Lastly, hence Medicines are dispensed at a cheaper Rate, than any Physician,
should make and give out his own Physick apart, could possibly afford them. For
every one must keep one Servant at least, and employ two Rooms, for preparing
dispensing his Medicines; whereas four Apothecaries, and three Dispensaries
the Subscribers, which doth considerably contract the Charge. And this good
Husbandry is wholly for the Benefit of the Patients. For the Subscribers have
Farthing profit; the Price of the Physick being calculated merely to defray the
Salaries and House Rent.
Drugs and Preparations here always good.
But (notwithstanding these charitable Ends shewed) there are many of the College
come not into this Combination; nor subscribe to the foresaid Dispensary.]
This College, or Corporation, consists of a certain Number of Persons skilled in
Armour. This Business being for the granting of Arms to Persons of Wealth and
for the Registring of Descents and Pedigrees at their Visitations or otherwise;
regulating of Abuses in such as bear Arms, not belonging unto them, but perhaps
others. And they are made use of in publick Affairs of State for the
Peace or War. They are to attend at Feasts of Kings or Princes, at Cavalcades,
Coronations, Funerals, &c. of Kings, Queens, and Persons of Quality. And at
Times they are to be in their Heralds Coats. And generally what concerns Honour
their Care and Study.
The Office of Arms and their Business.
This College is seated near Doctors Commons, betwixt St. Benet's Hill and St.
Hill; and was the ancient House of Thomas Stanley, an Earl of Derby: given to
Society by Queen Mary; to the end they might reside together, for the better
the Affairs of the Office, and for the keeping their Books of Arms, Descents,
&c. in an
Office together. Since the Fire of London, Anno 1666, which consumed the whole
House, it is fairly and conveniently rebuilt, with a large Room for keeping the
Honour; together with a Library, and Houses and Apartments for the Kings,
The House first given by the Earl of Derby.
By their Charter, first granted them by King Richard III. and after by
Kings, they have several Privileges allowed them, and are