Society of Apothecaries
The deputation withdrew.
The following gentlemen attended as a deputation
from the Apothecaries' Society :—
Mr. J. Saner, Master, and
Mr. J. R. Upton, Clerk.
3305. (Chairman to Mr. Saner.) You represent the
Society of Apothecaries, I understand?—Yes.
3306. You have sent us a statement upon which
you are prepared to answer any questions, I suppose ?
3307. That is the object of your coming here today, I presume?—Certainly.
3308. No one, I see, can be a member of your
society who is not an apothecary?—No.
3309. And under the powers of your first Act of
Parliament you have become one of the licensing
bodies examining persons qualified to become apothecaries?—Yes.
3310. That is under the Act of 1815?—Yes.
3311. Was that your first Act?—That was our first
3312. Then you have occupied yourselves a good
deal in securing to the public the use of unadulterated
drugs, I understand?—Very largely.
3313. You say that you have done that by means
of a body created out of yourselves and allowed to use
your name but placed under your control; what body
is that?—The body is defunct now. A certain number of our members were allowed to subscribe and form
themselves into a body to carry on the trade. It was
what they called the United stock, and they carried on
the trade until within about three years ago, when, in
consequence of a change of business, the trade failed
in a measure, and it was all wound up; now the society
carry it on on their own account at the present time.
3314. Then what is your connexion with Apothecaries' Hall?—That is the place where we transact all
our business affairs entirely. The trade and the court
of assistants all meet there.
3315. I see also you state that you were the first of
the medical bodies to institute an examination in
classics, mathematics, and science to test the liberal
education of candidates seeking to become medical
men?—Yes, we first instituted that examination ourselves, but now it is very largely followed by all the
3316. You obtained an amendment of your Act of
1815 some years ago?—Yes, in 1874, in order that
we could elect a better class of examiners by opening
it to all physicians and surgeons as well as to our own
3317. And you have founded scholarships in medicine and surgery?—Yes.
3318. And also appointed a lecturer on botany ?—
3319. Then, putting it generally, your contention
is that your society have active duties to perform, and
are actually performing them to the general satisfaction of the public?—Quite so. I do not know anything that is left undone under our charter or those
two Acts of Parliament. I believe every point is
rigidly carried out to the letter, and more than that,
we have endeavoured to improve in every way to suit
the requirements of the times in which we live.
3320. Are you still the possessors of the Botanic
Garden at Chelsea?—Yes, we cannot part with it.
We have 5l. a year to pay to Lord Cadogan to keep
hold of it, that is all.
3321. You are bound to maintain it for its present
3322. (Mr. Firth.) The Company is now trading
in drugs, I understand?—Yes.
3323. Then you are a trading Company?—Yes, we
are a trading Company.
3324. I understood you to say that no one could
become a member of your Company unless he was an
apethecary, was that so?—That is so.
3325. Then have not you admission by patrimony ?
—Yes, but the person admitted by patrimony is an
(Mr. Upton.) There are two instances to the contrary. Persons could be admitted, but as a rule the
Company have admitted nobody but apothecaries with
3326. (To Mr. Saner.) You laid down the law or
rule, as I understand it, stringently that they must be
apothecaries?—Yes, we do so.
3327. According to your charter?—Yes, that is so.
We have only two exceptions where they are not
3328. Is your charter different in that respect from
that of any other company, so far as you know?—So
far as I know it is.
3329. And I notice that you expend on the Chelsea
garden 525l. out of an income of 2,414l. Is anything
else spent in the direction of the trade in anyway ?—
We have a curator who receives 100l. a year.
3330. That is included in the 2,414l.?—Yes. I
was explaining how we spent so much. It is keeping
the gardens up altogether. The curator has 100l. a
year, and so on.
3331. But the rest is spent in keeping the Company
up, I think, so far as I see. Do you consider your
right of search still existing?—Well, I suppose it still
exists, but we do not use it, because the apothecaries'
shops have so altered.
3332. But you did use it down to the present generation?—Yes.
3333. (Mr. Alderman Cotton.) You were originally
united with the Barbers' Company, were you not ?—
3334. And they took over the bulk of the properties
I think, when you separated from them, you almost
had to begin again?—(Mr. Upton.) Yes, they were
the original Company, and we were dissociated from
3335. You are a great public benefit, I believe ?—
(Mr. Saner.) We consider that we have done a great
deal of good since 1815.
3336. (Chairman.) In any case there is no mistake
about the fact that you do perform certain functions
entrusted to you by Act of Parliament?—Certainly
we do a great many.
3337. (Mr. Pell.) I see you continue the system
of apprenticeship?—Yes, but, unfortunately, we have
very few apprentices come up now, the times are so
altered now that very few apprentices come to us.
3338. How many have you apprenticed within the
last three years?—Well, I suppose not more than eight
3339. Who are those lads apprenticed to?—To
general practitioners always.
3340. Are they supposed to require any knowledge
beyond that of mixing drugs and compounding drugs ?
—Yes, now they do particularly. Formerly their
particular occupation was mixing drugs, because the
general practitioners compounded and sent out their
own medicines instead of giving prescriptions, but now
they do not do that so much.
3341. This is one form of medical education ?—
3342. Is there any advantage in that over the education which a medical man might derive without
apprenticeship?—No, I think not. Of course he is
only apprenticed really for the purpose of becoming
a member of the Company, he is not apprenticed for
the purpose of becoming a medical man.
3343. But supposing he was apprenticed to a medical
man and he afterwards abandoned that particular line
of life, would he then become a member of your
Company, or could he be admitted?—The question
would arise whether he could claim by patrimony ?—
3344. He would have to fall back upon patrimony ?
—Yes. We took advice some little time ago as to
whether anybody could claim admission who was not
actually an apothecary.
3345. (Mr. Alderman Cotton.) I believe you are
celebrated for the sale of genuine drugs?—That has
been our pride all along.
3346. And you supply a very large number now ?
—Yes, to hospitals and dispensaries.
3347. You are really most useful in your generation?—That is so; we have prided ourselves upon that