In the past, most English towns had apothecaries who prepared and dispensed medicines. Over the centuries there were many in Nantwich, serving the town and surrounding area. People may have travelled long distances to get the medicines they needed.
By the mid-19th century, the term apothecary had gone out of use in Nantwich trade directories, being replaced by ‘chemist’ and ‘druggist’.
The Museum has a list of local wills and probate inventories (listings of household and other items which belonged to the deceased) for the 17th century. It includes an inventory for apothecary Raphe Walley (1625-61), which is the focus of a research project.
A recording of a talk about apothecaries based on this research is available on the Museum’s YouTube channel. A shorter version of this talk can be given in person or online. Please contact the Museum for more information.
A booklet describing the history of apothecaries and Raphe Walley’s story is available in the Museum shop.
An analysis of the items in Raphe Walley’s inventory, listing the remedies and ingredients in his shop and the diseases they treated, is available here. This is still under development so will evolve as our research progresses.
The poster here, which summarises our research, was presented at an event in the Apothecaries’ Hall, London, in May 2022.