City of London Livery Companies Commission. Report; Volume 1. Originally published by Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1884.
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Society of Apothecaries
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.
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 medical bodies.
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 body.
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.
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.
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.
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 them.
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.
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.
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 ?—