College of Heralds. 134

College of Heralds.

VII. That a Freeman of London might lawfully be imprisoned by the College. VIII. That no Man, tho' never so learned a Physician, or Doctor, might Practice in London, or within Seven Miles without the Colleges License.

Of late Years many learned and careful Members of this College, for the better help of the poorer sort that fall sick; and that their Medicines might be better, and more correctly made up for their own Credit, have set up three Shops, or Warehouses for Physick, in and about the City of London; the One at the College; another in St. Peter's Cornhill; and a Third at Westminster; which they call Dispensaries, because thence are Medicines dispensed to several Hundreds of Patients Weekly; besides the making up of all the Shops Preparations of Retailing Apothecaries.

Dispensaries set up by the Physicians.

The Apothecaries complained much against this, as an unjust Invasion upon them. But the Physicians say, first, That they have a Right to give Medicines to all their Patients, if they please, by Vertue of the Statute, 32. Hen. 8. that empowereth Physicians to practise Physick in all its Parts. And the Apothecaries Charter, granted by King James, reserved that Power to them. They say likewise, that the Apothecaries, enhaunce the 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 Prices, or 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 them in 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 of Parliament, by comparing the Bills of Charges given into Patients, with the Bills of Prescription.

The Apothecaries Complaint upon this.

The Physicians Answer thereunto.

Apothecaries Bills.

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 Poor, after the Apothecaries had been solicited in vain to do the same Thing. And that they were moved hereunto, not only from a Principle of Charity, but by the Intreaty of a 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. For when the Apothecaries were found fault with for practising, they used to alledge in their Justification, that the Poor having no more to give to a Physician, they would perish for want of being taken care of, if they [the Apothecaries] did not look after them. This gave Occasion to the Physicians to set their Care of the Poor in the View of the World, not only in these Dispensaries giving them their Advice gratis, but also by helping them 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 other of the Subscribers to these Dispensaries. Which still is kept upon the File, and also transcribed into a Book. So that all the rest of the Subscribers, the Patient, or whosoever else that is concerned, may at any time be fully satisfied what was given. And here the Physician having no other Interest or Design but to cure and oblige his Patient, prescribes but a few Things, and those the most effectual he can invent. For seeing he hath no Profit by the Medicines, he hath no Temptation to multiply them, nor to disguize ordinary cheap Things, to obtain great Prizes for them. He ordinarily divides his Prescriptions, between the Dispensary and the Patients Family, directing the latter to prepare what is easy to make, and the former what requires more Art. Nor do the Apothecaries that are employed here ever take the Liberty to put one Thing for another, a Cheap for a Dear, because they would get nothing by it, if they did, as having a certain Salary, which neither Profit nor Loss affects.

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 care to buy in, the choicest Drugs they can meet withal. That they do so, the Druggists they deal with will bear them witness; and their Stock in the Repository may bear them 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 only for the Dispensary there, but for the two others also. They are constantly every Day from 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 out the Medicines, that is the Work of Servants or Porters; so that all the prescribed Physick is dispensed with the uttermost Dispatch and Exactness. The Apothecaries being still upon the Spot, no Patient runs the Risque of a Boys Carelessness or Ignorance. And Lastly, hence Medicines are dispensed at a cheaper Rate, than any Physician, that 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 and dispensing his Medicines; whereas four Apothecaries, and three Dispensaries serve all the Subscribers, which doth considerably contract the Charge. And this good Husbandry is wholly for the Benefit of the Patients. For the Subscribers have not a Farthing profit; the Price of the Physick being calculated merely to defray the Servants Salaries and House Rent.

Drugs and Preparations here always good.

But (notwithstanding these charitable Ends shewed) there are many of the College that come not into this Combination; nor subscribe to the foresaid Dispensary.]



This College, or Corporation, consists of a certain Number of Persons skilled in Coat Armour. This Business being for the granting of Arms to Persons of Wealth and Merit; for the Registring of Descents and Pedigrees at their Visitations or otherwise; for the regulating of Abuses in such as bear Arms, not belonging unto them, but perhaps to others. And they are made use of in publick Affairs of State for the proclaiming of 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 these Times they are to be in their Heralds Coats. And generally what concerns Honour is their Care and Study.

The Office of Arms and their Business.

R. B.

This College is seated near Doctors Commons, betwixt St. Benet's Hill and St. Peter's Hill; and was the ancient House of Thomas Stanley, an Earl of Derby: given to their Society by Queen Mary; to the end they might reside together, for the better consulting 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 Court of Honour; together with a Library, and Houses and Apartments for the Kings, Heralds and Pursuivants.

The House first given by the Earl of Derby.

By their Charter, first granted them by King Richard III. and after by succeeding Kings, they have several Privileges allowed them, and are

Their Privileges.