Chosen by Timothy J McCann, former member of staff
This is, at first sight, a printed list of ‘All Sorts of Medicines and Drugs, Prepared and Sold, on the most Reasonable Terms, by E. Axford, Practitioner in Physick, Surgery, and the Eyes, at Glauber’s Head, in the East Street, Chichester.’ It is interesting as a rare list of the drugs etc available from a medical practitioner in the eighteenth century, as well as the physical treatment Axford considered himself qualified to undertake.
It is also a very rare example of the work of William Andrews, the first known Chichester printer.
The list of medicines and drugs available from Axford includes an array of now mysterious treatments for a wide range of equally mysterious maladies, including:
Dr. James’s Fever Powder
Greenough’s Tincture for preserving the teeth and gums
Deliscot’s Opiate for cleaning the Stomachic Lozenges
Pectoral Lozenges of Tolu
Hooper’s Female Pills
Mr Axford’s neat linament for the Itch, which perfectly cures at the first time using, and perfectly safe to the tender Infant
Also his powder for Worms or Worm Matter in Children
All of which is more than enough to make me grateful for the existence modern medicine!
However, what makes this document even more interesting is that on the back of it are the minutes from the will of Bragg Blagden, clerk, the Rector of Slindon, 22 February 1776, with the draft will of Mary the wife of Bragg Blagden, also dated 22 February 1776. He was to die in 1781 and she in 1795.
Close inspection of the will shows that the Blagdens were to keen to ensure that their property was split evenly and fairly amongst all their children, without splitting their lands and properties into small parcels – although this only only becomes clear thanks to Mary’s will.
While Bragg Blagden leaves his properties to their sons, Richard and John, and daughter Lydia, Mary leaves her property only to their spinster daughter, Mary. She is at pains to point out that this is due ‘to no undutifulness on one side, nor disregard on the other’, and that ‘it indicates no Preference, but rather that we were desirous to show our equal esteem, by making their Provision as nearly equal, as the circumstances of our Fortune wou’d admit, without splitting Freeholds or multiplying Copies’ – explanations which are missing from Bragg’s will.
So, two very different documents for the price of one if you like.