William White, apothecary of Basingstoke, died 1636
William White, an apothecary (pharmacist) made his own potions and remedies to sell to the people of Basingstoke and the surrounding villages. He kept a fascinating range of remedies and ingredients in his shop in 1636. Apart from items like raisins, which were clearly imported, a number of the items in Mr White’s shop appear in the list of imported drugs shown in the Act of Parliament (1656 ch.20) entitled, A Book of Values of Merchandize imported, according to which Excise is to be paid by the first Buyer. This indicates that he was buying those items from merchants, almost certainly in London, and arranging for them to be transported to Basingstoke.The purpose of each has been researched in 17th century and modern sources. The full list is attached as an asset including references to Nicolas Culpepper who, in his Complete Herbal published 1636, suggested that:
- hops were used for many complaints such as cleansing the blood, preventing and treating skin conditions such as ringworm, to get rid of intestinal worms, cure jaundice etc.
- saffron was an excellent remedy when used to treat epidemical diseases such as plague, smallpox and measles.
- liquorice was useful in a great number of complaints, including respiratory problems such as TB, urinary troubles and irritation of the eyes.
Content derived during research for the new VCH Hampshire volume, Basingstoke and its surroundings.