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Anderson, Patrick (1579/80–c. 1660), physician and manufacturer of patent medicines, was born in Scotland. By 1618, when his first work appeared, he was already an established physician in Edinburgh; the book, about the cold spring of Kinghorn Craig in the Firth of Forth...

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Beecham, Thomas (1820–1907), manufacturer of patent medicines, was born at Curbridge, Oxfordshire, on 3 December 1820, the eldest of three sons and four daughters of Joseph Beecham, an agricultural labourer, and his wife, Sarah, daughter of James Hunt. He received a year's schooling before becoming a shepherd's boy at the age of eight. For the next twelve years as a shepherd, he educated himself and acquired herbal lore. From 1840 onwards he undertook casual work at ...

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Browne, John Collis (1819–1884), physician and manufacturer of patent medicine, was born on 18 June 1819 at Maidstone in Kent, and baptized at the church of All Saints with St Philip in that town. His parents were Captain William Browne of the 13th light dragoons...

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See Cockle, Sir James

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Corbyn, Thomas (1711–1791), pharmaceutical chemist, was born on 13 February 1711 in Worcester, the son of John Corbyn and his wife, Candia, daughter of John and Cecilia Handley of Pontypool. His parents were members of the Society of Friends. He was apprenticed for eight years from September 1728 to ...

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Daffy, Thomas (1616/17–1680), inventor of the ‘elixir salutis’, was probably the son of Giles Daffy (d. 1643?), of Abingdon, Berkshire, though the Abingdon registers contain no entries for the family. Among the administrations in the parish of St Clement, Eastcheap, London, in 1643, was one for a ...

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Eno, James Crossley (1827/8–1915), manufacturer of patent medicine, was born in Newcastle, the son of James Eno (c.1793–1829), a general shopkeeper, and his wife, Elizabeth (1792/3–1874), daughter of John Jackson. After leaving school, he was apprenticed to a Newcastle retail chemist, and in 1846 became a dispenser at the infirmary there at ...

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Gilbert, Charles Sandoe (1760–1831), druggist and topographer, the son of Thomas Gilbert, was born in Kenwyn, near Truro, Cornwall. With a Mr Powell he earned considerable sums travelling throughout Devon and Cornwall selling medicines. Calling himself Dr Gilbert he continued the business alone after ...

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Godfrey, Thomas (d. 1721), apothecary and inventor of Godfrey's cordial, was probably one of the many Thomas Godfreys who were baptized in various Hertfordshire parishes during the middle years of the seventeenth century. He should not be confused with Ambrose (Hanckwitz) Godfrey (...

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Gowland, John (d. 1776), apothecary and inventor of Gowland's lotion, was the grandson of Ralph Gowland, attorney and antiquary of Durham, his first cousin being Ralph Gowland (c.1722–c.1782), an undistinguished MP successively for Durham and Cockermouth. John Gowland did not follow the family tradition of the law; he may have been the ...

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Thomas Holloway (1800–1883) by William Scott, 1845 Archives, Royal Holloway, University of London (RHC PH/281/4/3)

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Holloway, Thomas (1800–1883), manufacturer of patent medicines and philanthropist, was born on 22 September 1800 at Devonport, the eldest of six children and elder of two sons of Thomas Holloway (d. 1836), a baker formerly in the Royal Navy, and his wife, ...

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Keating, Thomas (c. 1787–1870), chemist and druggist, was born in Homerton, Middlesex, the son of William Keating, attorney. Little is known of his early life but the court minute-book of the Wheelwrights' Company records that he was admitted to the company by redemption on 3 July 1812 and admitted to the livery on 20 October 1815. It was probably in the former year that he took over the retail chemist's business of ...

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Maddock, James (1718–1786), nurseryman and florist, was born on 10 August 1718, at Eaton, Cheshire, the son of Mordecai and Sarah Maddock, active members of the Religious Society of Friends. Maddock made his reputation as a nurseryman first in Lancashire, at Warrington, but after a period working in ...

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Sackler, Mortimer David (1916–2010), psychiatrist, pharmaceuticals executive, and philanthropist, was born on 7 December 1916 at 83 Montrose Street, Brooklyn, New York City, the second of three sons of Isaac Sackler (1874–1945) and his wife, Sophie, née Greenberg (1893–1963). His parents were Jewish immigrants: his father was born in ...

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Sermon, William (bap. 1629, d. 1680), physician and inventor of medicines, was almost certainly the William, son of John Surman, who was baptized on 8 November 1629 at Eldersfield, Worcestershire. He had a brother John, and was a near relative of Edmund, son of ...

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Solomon, Samuel (1768/9–1819), manufacturer of patent medicines, was born in 1768 or 1769. Neither the identity of his parents nor the place of his birth is known, but he was of Jewish origin. He is said to have been a street urchin, hawking either black-ball shoe cleaner in ...

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Ward, Joshua (1684/5–1761), medical practitioner and inventor of medicines, was the son of William Ward, owner of an alum works, of Guisborough, Cleveland. He had at least two brothers, one being the wealthy and dishonest businessman and MP John Ward of Hackney (...

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Joshua Ward (1684/55–1761) by John Faber junior (after E. Loving) © Copyright The British Museum

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Wood, Sir Matthew, first baronet (1768–1843), druggist and politician, was born at Tiverton on 2 June 1768, the eldest of the ten children of William Wood (1738–1809), serge maker, and his wife, Catherine, née Cluse (d. 1798). Matthew, who was brought up as a dissenter, received a brief education at ...