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The Medicines of Katherine, Duchess of Norfolk, 1463–71

  • Hannes Kleineke (a1)


This article discusses the medicinal remedies consumed at the court of the Yorkist kings of England in the light of a lawsuit in the court of common pleas (edited in an appendix) between John Clerk, king’s apothecary to Edward IV, and Katherine Neville, Duchess of Norfolk, over the partial non-payment of the apothecary’s bills. It argues that the consumption of apothecaries’ wares in large quantities was not merely a direct result of the excessive diet of the late medieval aristocracy, but in itself represented a facet of the conspicuous consumption inherent in the lifestyle of this particular social class. The remedies supplied by Clerk over a period of several years and listed in the legal record are set in the context of contemporary collections of medical recipes, particularly a ‘dispensary’ in the British Library’s Harleian collection generally attributed to the king’s apothecary.

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1. Rawcliffe, Carole, ‘The Profits of Practice: The Wealth and Status of Medical Men in Later Medieval England’, Social History of Medicine, 1 (1988), 61–78: 74–5; F.M. Getz (ed.), Healing and Society in Medieval England (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991), xix.

2. See, for instance, the dispute between the London surgeon Nicholas Sax and the Southampton merchant Edmund Broke over the fee for cure of a fistula (The National Archives (Public Record Office) [hereafter TNA], C 1/42/108; C.H. Talbot and E.A. Hammond, The Medical Practitioners in Medieval England: A Biographical Register (London: The Wellcome Historical Medical Library, 1965), 229), the suit by another London surgeon, John Broun, against John Dobson, vicar of Melbourne in Cambridgeshire, whom he had treated for palsy (TNA, C 1/131/8; Talbot and Hammond, op. cit., 128), or the litigation between the surgeon John Dagvyle and Thomas Medewe, the parish priest of Aspden in Hertfordshire, over payment for various remedies (TNA, C 1/150/8).

3. Rawcliffe, Carole, Medicine and Society in Later Medieval England (Stroud: Alan Sutton, 1995), 160161. And cf. the substantial debt of £30 that the infirmarer of Westminster abbey owed to the apothecary Thomas Walden by 1350: Barbara Harvey, Living and Dying in England, 11501540 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1993), 84.

4. The classic general study by G.E. Trease, Pharmacy in History (London: Baillere, Tindall and Cox, 1964) is usefully complemented and updated by Rawcliffe, op. cit. (note 3), ch. 7. On the origins of the apothecaries’ trade in those of the early importers of spices, see T.D. Whittet, ‘Pepperers, Spicers and Grocers – Forerunners of the Apothecaries’, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 61 (1968), 801–6; Pamela Nightingale, ‘The London Pepperers’ Guild and some Twelfth-Century English Trading Links with Spain’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 58 (1985), 123–32 and, for the identification of early practitioners in the English provinces, the work of Leslie Matthews and T.D. Whittet published in the 1960s and 1970s. On the evolution of the apothecary’s profession see inter alia B.P. Flood, ‘Sources and Problems in the History of Drug Commerce in Late Medieval Europe’, Pharmacy in History, 17 (1975), 101–5; J.K. Borchardt, ‘Medieval and Renaissance European Apothecaries: The Apothecary Profession’, Drug News and Perspectives, 9 (1996), 372–6; Jean-Pierre Benezet, ‘Apothicaires et pharmaciens entre mobilité et sédentarité’, Revue d’histoire de la Pharmacie, 86 (1998), 397–406; Piers D. Mitchell, Medicine in the Crusades: Warfare, Wounds and the Medieval Surgeon (Cambridge: University Press, 2004), 13–4, 31–2 and passim; S.H. Smith, ‘“The Physician’s Hand”: Trends in the Evolution of the Apothecary and his Art across Europe (1500–1700)’, Nuncius, 24 (2009), 97–125. For the nuts and bolts of the apothecary’s trade, see also G.E. Trease and J.H. Hodson, ‘The Inventory of John Hexham, a Fifteenth-Century Apothecary’, Medical History, 9 (1965), 76–81; R.E. Zupko, ‘Medieval Apothecary: Weights and Measures: The Principal Units of England and France’, Pharmacy in History, 32 (1990), 57–62. On the regulation of the profession see, most recently, Volker Henn, ‘Apothekerdienstbriefe, Apothekerordnungen und Arzneitaxen: Quellen städtischer Gesundheitspolitik des späten Mittelalters’, in Rudolf Holbach and Michel Pauly (eds), Städtische Wirtschaft im Mittelalter: Festschrift für Franz Irsigler zum 70. Geburtstag (Cologne, Weimar, Vienna: Böhlau, 2011), 149–77. Specifically for the apothecaries serving the court of the medieval kings of England see G.E. Trease, ‘The Spicers and Apothecaries of the Royal Household in the Reigns of Henry III, Edward I and Edward III’, Nottingham Medieval Studies, 3 (1959), 19–52; Leslie Gerald Matthews, The Royal Apothecaries (London: The Wellcome Historical Medical Library, 1967), 1–60, and for comparison idem, ‘King John of France and the English Spicers’, Medical History, 5 (1961), 65–76.

5. One such example is the far shorter list of treatments provided by the London practitioner Richard Trewythian for the skinner Nicholas of Ely in 1444: Carole Rawcliffe, Leprosy in Medieval England (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2006), 206; and Sophie Page, ‘Richard Trewythian and the Uses of Astrology in Late Medieval England’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 64 (2001), 193–228 (for Trewythian). The account is found in British Library [hereafter BL], MS Sloane 428, fol. 18v. For three years in the 1350s, the records of Westminster Abbey provide the precise recipes of the medicines made up for ailing monks by the monastery’s principal apothecary, Thomas Walden, senior: Harvey, op. cit. (note 3), 95.

6. Dyer, Christopher, Standards of Living in the Later Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 227.

7. For Edward IV’s gluttony, see A.R. Myers (ed.), The Household of Edward IV (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1959), 123; C.A.J. Armstrong (ed.), The Usurpation of Richard III (Gloucester: Alan Sutton, 1989), 67; Hannes Kleineke, Edward IV (London and New York: Routledge, 2009), 180–1; Thomas More, ‘History of King Richard III’, in Paul Kendall (ed.), Richard III: The Great Debate (London: Folio Society, 1965), 32.

8. Matthews, Royal Apothecaries, op. cit. (note 4), 50–2, 58, 176; Calendar of the Patent Rolls, 1461–7 (London: HMSO, 1897), 122; Myers, op. cit. (note 7), 245.

9. The distinction between the early apothecaries and the pepperers and spicers, that is, those who traded more generally in spices, is blurred. In London, the apothecaries had apparently become sufficiently numerous to form an association of their own by the early fourteenth century, but within a few decades they were once more subsumed into a wider ‘mistery of the Grossarii, Piperarii and Appotecarii’ (Whittet, op. cit. (note 4), 802–4; Nightingale, op. cit. (note 4), passim). In the provinces, where the apothecaries were fewer in number, they often remained part of the associations of spicers and grocers throughout the medieval period (T.D. Whittet, ‘The Apothecary in Provincial Guilds’, Medical History, 8 (1964), 245–73).

10. Caroline Barron, London in the Later Middle Ages (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 287, note 120. Clerk’s sales to the Duchess of Norfolk between 1463 and 1471 were said to have taken place in the parish of St Mary Woolchurch: cf. appendix, below.

11. For Marchall, see, most recently, Linda Ehrsam Voigts, ‘A doctor and his books: the manuscripts of Roger Marchall, d. 1477’, in Richard Beadle and A.J. Piper (eds), New Science out of Old Books: Studies in Manuscripts and Early Printed Books in Honour of A. I. Doyle (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1995), 249–314; eadem, ‘Marchall, Roger’, in Oxford DNB, sub nomine; and also Talbot and Hammond, op. cit. (note 2), 314–5.

12. Peter Murray Jones, ‘Witnesses to Medieval Medical Practice in the Harley Collection’, electronic British Library Journal, 2008, article 8; Tig Lang, ‘Medical Recipes from the Yorkist Court’, The Ricardian, 20 (2010), 94–102: 95.

13. TNA, PROB 11/7, ff. 62v–63r. Clerk’s family connexions in London, which may be established from his will, are of no relevance to the present discussion. The identity of his first wife, Joan, has not been established, but his second wife, Katherine, was the widow of the fishmonger William Hayes, and brought him three stepchildren by her first husband, to add to his own three children, Humphrey, John and Christiana: ibid.

14. For brief biographical details of these individuals, see G.E. Cokayne et al. (eds), The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, 12 vols (London: St Catherine Press, 1910–59), vol. 1, 249–50 (Maltravers), vol. 2, 389–90 (Buckingham), vol. 4, 378–82 (Dynham), vol. 10, 826–7 (Richmond), vol. 12(2), 385, 392–3 (Warwick); J.C. Wedgwood (ed.), The History of Parliament: Biographies of the Members of the Commons House, 1439509 (London: H.M.S.O., 1936), 389–90 (Grayson), 605–6 (Montgomery), 740–1 (Sapcotes).

15. Another of these was Lady Katherine Moleyns, wife of Sir John Howard, one of Edward IV’s carvers, who in 1465, during what was to be her final illness, bought from Clerk unspecified medicines to the value of 20s: Anne Crawford (ed.), The Household Books of John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, 146271, 14813 (Stroud: Richard III and Yorkist History Trust, 1992), pt 1, 505.

16. George, Duke of Clarence, was executed in 1478; Thomas Rotherham, styled Bishop of Lincoln in the dispensary, was preferred to that see in 1472 and translated to York in 1480; Richard III appears both as king and as Duke of Gloucester; a recipe for Lady Dynham is dated expressly to 31 July 1483: Jones, op. cit. (note 12), 10, 11.

17. For what follows, see Rowena E. Archer, ‘Neville, Katherine, Duchess of Norfolk’, in Oxford DNB, sub nomine; Anne F. Sutton and Peter W. Hammond (eds), The Coronation of Richard III: The Extant Documents (Gloucester: Alan Sutton, 1983), 377; Cokayne et al. (eds), op. cit. (note 14), vol. 9, 606–7.

18. Joseph Stevenson (ed.), Letters and Papers Illustrative of the Wars of the English in France during the Reign of Henry the Sixth, King of England (2 vols in 3, London: Longman, 1861–4), vol. 2(2), [783]. The annalist was at pains to overstate further the age difference between the couple (which was certainly substantial): as Katherine’s parents did not marry until 1396, she could not have been ‘almost eighty years of age’ in 1465, as the Annales claim.

19. Michael Hicks, ‘The changing role of the Wydevilles in Yorkist politics to 1483’, in Charles Ross (ed.), Patronage, Pedigree and Power in Later Medieval England (Gloucester: Alan Sutton, 1979), 60–86: 68–9; J.R. Lander, ‘Marriage and Politics in the Fifteenth Century: The Nevilles and the Wydevilles’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 36 (1963), 119–53, repr. in idem, Crown and Nobility 1450509 (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1976), 94–126: 110–1.

20. Sutton and Hammond, op. cit. (note 17), 34, 167, 169, 311, 350.

21. Jennifer Ward, English Noblewomen in the Later Middle Ages (London and New York: Longman, 1992), 84; C.M. Barron, ‘Centres of Conspicuous Consumption: The Aristocratic Town House in London 1200–550’, The London Journal, 20 (1995), 1–16: 9–10.

22. Jonathan Hughes, Arthurian Myths and Alchemy: The Kingship of Edward IV (Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 2002), 197, 284; Rawcliffe, op. cit. (note 3), 164.

23. John H. Baker (ed.), Legal Records and the Historian (London: Royal Historical Society, 1978), 3; Philippa C. Maddern, Violence and Social Order (Oxford: University Press, 1992), 27–31; M. Christine Carpenter, Locality and Polity (Cambridge: University Press, 1992), 705–9.

24. It is just possible that the outstanding sum represented the bills run up during the period of the duchess’s marriage to Sir John Wydeville from January 1465 to August 1469, but no such claim was recorded in court, and in the light of the difference in the couple’s age and status it is in any event probable that Katherine maintained a household separate from that of her husband.

25. Edward Powell, ‘Arbitration and the Law in England in the Late Middle Ages’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, fifth series, 33 (1983), 49–67; idem, ‘The Settlement of Disputes by Arbitration in Fifteenth-Century England’, Law and History Review, 2 (1984), 21–43; Carole Rawcliffe, ‘“That kindliness should be cherished more, and discord driven out”: the settlement of commercial disputes by arbitration in later medieval England’, in Jennifer Kermode (ed.), Enterprise and Individuals in Fifteenth-Century England (Stroud: Alan Sutton, 1991), 99–117.

26. These waters were probably similar to the herbal waters referred to in the Lilye of Medicynes, a Middle-English translation of Bernard of Gordon’s Lilium Medicinae, owned by Robert Broke, master of the distillatories and ‘Maker of his Excellent Waters’ to Henry VI: Linda Ehrsam Voigts, ‘The Master of the King’s Stillatories’, in Jenny Stratford (ed.), The Lancastrian Court (Donington: Shaun Tyas, 2003), 233–52: 248.

27. Camille, Michael, ‘The Corpse in the Garden: Mumia in Medieval Herbal Illustrations’, Micrologus, 7 (1999), 297318.

28. For a recipe, see Dirk Schultze, ‘Hippocras Bag, Oil of Exeter and Manus Christi: Recipes in BL Harley 1706’, Anglia, 126 (2008), 429–60.

29. A recipe is found in BL, MS Harley 2378, fol. 158v.

30. Jones, op. cit. (note 12), 7–8; Christiane Nockels Fabbri, ‘Treating Medieval Plague: The Wonderful Virtues of Theriac’, Early Science and Medicine, 12 (2007), 247–83.

31. Trease and Hodson, op. cit. (note 4); TNA, PROB 2/195.

32. Jones, op. cit. (note 12). For a small collection of medical recipes associated with the household of another late medieval noblewoman, Elizabeth Scrope, Viscountess Beaumont and countess of Oxford, at one time wife of Katherine’s stepson William, Viscount Beaumont, see Schultze, op. cit. (note 28). The preparations made by Katherine’s first husband, John Mowbray, for Henry V’s Agincourt campaign in 1415 included the acquisition of a range of medicinal remedies similar to those later consumed by his widow, among them ‘chardequynse’, rosewater, various electuaries against the pestilence and the flux, plasters and various pills: Berkeley Castle Muniments, Gloucestershire, General Account Rolls D1/1/130, m. 23. See Rowena E. Archer, ‘The Mowbrays, Earls of Nottingham and Dukes of Norfolk, to 1432’ (unpublished DPhil thesis: University of Oxford, 1984), ch. 5, and eadem, ‘Preparing for Agincourt’: The Accounts of John Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham and Earl Marshal’, forthcoming. I am grateful to Dr Archer for drawing this document to my attention.

33. Jones, op. cit. (note 12), passim.

34. The manuscript has most recently been discussed by M.C. Jones, ‘Vernacular Literacy in Late-Medieval England: The Example of East Anglian Medical Manuscripts’ (unpublished PhD thesis: University of Glasgow, 2000), 130–4. Some of the recipes within are printed by George Henslow, Medical Works of the Fourteenth Century (London: Chapman and Hall, 1899), 74–122.

35. BL, MS Harley 1628, ff. 14v, 35v, 68v, 155; MS Harley 2378, fol. 168v.

36. BL, MS Harley 1628, fol. 98; MS Harley 2378, fol. 164v.

37. BL, MS Harley 1628, ff. 2v, 14v, 35v, 98v, 156.

38. BL, MS Harley 1628, fol. 29v. Recipes for other electuaries containing gemstones, sapphires, gold and silver leaf for unnamed patients are found elsewhere in Harley 1628 (ff. 23, 24).

39. Jones, op. cit. (note 12), 7–8; Nockels Fabbri, op. cit. (note 30), 247–83. In the late 1470s the East Anglian Paston family were particularly anxious to have theriac imported from Genoa: Norman Davis (ed.), Paston Letters and Papers of the Fifteenth Century, 2 vols (Oxford: Early English Text Society, 2004), vol. 1, no. 313.

40. For the various imported commodities and the prices they commanded in mid-fifteenth-century London, see Helen Bradley (ed.), The Views of Hosts of Alien Merchants, 1440–4 (Woodbridge: London Record Society 46, 2012), 6, 7 (saffron, mace), 6, 10, 12, 14 (green ginger), 6, 11, 16 (cinnamon), 11 (cloves), 11, 16 (ginger), 19, 40, 48 (sandalwood), 25, 41, 55 (sugar candy), 26 (rhubarb), 31, 38, 56 (galingale), 107 (rose water), 107 (damsons), 134 (liquorice). In 1471 the East Anglian gentlewoman Margaret Paston, who was herself interested in medicine, instructed her son, John III, to procure for her in London as much sugar and dates as half a royal (5s.) would buy, and to let her know the prices that commodities like pepper, cloves, mace, ginger, cinnamon, almonds, rice, galingale and saffron commanded in the capital: Davis, op. cit. (note 39), vol. 1, no. 209A.

41. Bradley, op. cit. (note 40), 24, note 57.

42. Pedro Gil-Sotres, ‘The regimens of health’, in Mirko D. Grmek (ed.), Western Medical Thought from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, Antony Shugaar (trans.) (Cambridge MA and London: Harvard University Press, 1998),291–318; Nancy G. Siraisi, Medieval and Early Renaissance Medicine (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990), ch. 4.

43. Peter Murray Jones, ‘Herbs and the medieval surgeon’, in Peter Dendle and Alain Touwaide (eds), Health and Healing from the Medieval Garden (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2008), 162–79: 168.

44. Rawcliffe, op. cit. (note 5), 64–72.

45. J.L. Bolton, ‘Looking for Yersinia pestis: scientists, historians and the Black Death’, in Linda Clark and Carole Rawcliffe (eds), The Fifteenth Century XII: Society in an Age of Plague (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2013), 15–38: 33; TNA, CP 40/813, rot. 1.

46. BL, MS Harley 1628, ff. 28v, 33v, 34r, 35v, 75r, 96v, 156r.

47. Rosemary Horrox, The Black Death (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1994), 173–6; J.M. Riddle, ‘Amber and Ambergris in Plague Remedies’, Sudhoffs Archiv für Geschichte der Medizin und der Naturwissenschaften, 48 (1964), 111–22.

48. Woolgar, Christopher, ‘Fast and feast: conspicuous consumption and the diet of the nobility in the fifteenth century’, in Hicks, Michael (ed.), Revolution and Consumption in Late Medieval England (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2001), 725.

49. On the regimina sanitatis, see Carole Rawcliffe, ‘The concept of health in late medieval society’, in Simonetta Cavaciocchi (ed.), Le interazioni fra economia e ambiente biologico nell’Europa preindustriale secc. XIII–XVIII/Economic and Biological Interactions in Pre-Industrial Europe from the 13th to the 18th Centuries (Florence: Firenze University Press, 2010), 317–34, and the literature cited there.

50. Myers, op. cit. (note 7), 123; Armstrong, op. cit. (note 7), 67.

51. Dyer, op. cit. (note 6), 55–69.

52. Devon Record Office, Exeter receiver’s account 29–30 Henry VI, m. 2.

53. Rawcliffe, op. cit. (note 3), 40.

54. Beichner, P.E., ‘The Grain of Paradise’, Speculum, 36 (1961), 302307 303–4.

55. BL, MS Harley 1628, fol. 98.

56. Devon Record Office, Exeter receiver’s account 29–30 Henry VI, m. 2.

57. But note that in 1479 the Stonor correspondent Thomas Betson was treated for an unspecified but potentially fatal illness by a physician named Brinkley with ‘plasters to his hede, to his stomake, and to his bely’: Christine Carpenter (ed.), Kingsford’s Stonor Letters and Papers, 1290483 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 344.

58. Medieval medical theory did not recognise the harmful effects of alcohol on the liver in the same way as modern science. The liver was regarded as the second digestive organ after the stomach, where the food, processed by the stomach and intestines, was transformed into the humours. Complaints of the liver were thus regarded as essentially digestive in nature. See eg. Margaret S. Ogden, ‘Guy de Chauliac’s Theory of the Humours’, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 24 (1969), 272–91: 275–6.

59. Rawcliffe, op. cit. (note 3), 40; Rawcliffe, op. cit. (note 1), 76.

60. Mumcuoglu, K.Y., ‘Control of Human Lice (Anoplura: Pediculidae) Infestations: Past and Present’, American Entomologist, 42 (1996), 175178.

61. Anderson, Trevor, ‘Dental Treatment in Medieval England’, British Dental J., 197 (2004), 419425 422.

62. Freedman, Paul, ‘The medieval spice trade’, in Pilcher, J.H. (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Food History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 324340: 329.

63. BL, MS Harley 2378, fol. 151.

64. Weisshaar, Elke, Grüll, Verena and König, Agathe, ‘The Symptom of Itch in Medical History: Highlights Through the Centuries’, Int. J. Dermatology, 48 (2009), 13851394.

65. Rawcliffe, op. cit. (note 1), 76.

66. Ibid., 74–5; Lang, op. cit. (note 12), 97.

67. TNA, C 76/159, m. 16.

68. TNA, C 1/15/311.

69. TNA, CP 40/854, rot. 151d. Fifty-four of these barrels were said to have been purchased on 10 April 1465, the remaining 102 barrels on 4 October 1469.

70. Sugar candies for the chest. A recipe for ‘Penydes’, made with sugar, water and egg whites, is found in BL, MS Harley 2378, ff. 157v–158r (Henslow, op. cit. (note 34), 121–2).

71. A recipe is found in BL, MS Harley 2378, fol. 120r (Henslow, op. cit. (note 34), 105).

72. Roses, plums, crabapples and tamarinds. For a recipe for a conserve of roses, see BL, MS Harley 2378, ff. 165v–166r.

73. Dragonwort, hyssop, roses and honeysuckle. Water of dragonwort was said to ‘sle the wormes $\text{w}^{\text{t}}$ inne’ a man, while water of honeysuckle ‘sleth þe cankyr in þe mouth or in þe body’: BL, MS Harley 2378, ff. 150v–151.

74. A recipe containing scabiosa, pimpernel, common tormentil, smearwort, bolus armenicus, terra sigillata, theriac, conserve of roses, sugar and gold leaf is found in BL, MS Harley 1628, fol. 96v.

75. Recipes for various ointments are found in BL, MS Harley 1628, ff. 89v–96r and MS Harley 2378,ff. 151r–152r.

76. A confection made from rosewater, sugar and ground pearls. For a recipe, see Schultze, op. cit. (note 28).

77. Recipes are found in BL, MS Harley 1628, ff. 14v, 98v.

78. Candied fruits.

79. Ms coctarum. Presumably sugar of the third cut (of the sugarcane), the highest quality sugar: Bradley, op. cit. (note 40), 24, note 57.

80. A composite powder, here apparently of four ingredients. For recipes see BL, MS Harley 1628, ff. 68v, 156v.

81. A quince marmalade. For a recipe, see BL, MS Harley 2378, fol. 161r–v. In November 1452 Margaret Paston asked her husband John to send her a supply of ‘chardeqweyns’ from London, ‘for the eyeres be not holsom in this town’: Davis, op. cit. (note 39), vol. 1, no. 144.

82. A confection of sugar and honey with ginger, mace and cloves. A recipe is found in BL, MS Harley 2378, fol. 158v.

83. For a recipe for a plaster for the stomach made of wheat bread, cumin, wormwood, mint and rose leaves, see BL, MS Harley 2378, fol. 28r; another recipe is found in MS Harley 1628, fol. 54r–v.

84. Perhaps a composite water for the liver (Lat. epar, epatis). BL, MS Harley 1628, fol. 32 has a recipe for an electuary ‘contra lapidem et pro epate’. But note that Matthews, Royal Apothecaries, op. cit. (note 4), 48 identifies ‘epithemata’ as a removal of the skin.

85. Green ginger, a sweet and sour ginger preserve. For a recipe, see BL, MS Harley 2378, fol. 162r–v.

86. Mace.

87. For a recipe, see BL, MS Harley 2378, ff. 160v–161r.

88. Diatessaron theriac, a universal remedy against poison, but also recommended for stomach or liver trouble: Getz, op. cit. (note 1), 151–2. Recipes for both diatessaron and ‘great’ theriac (the latter including four times as many ingredients) are found in BL, MS Harley 1628, ff. 88v–89r.

89. Cinnamon.

90. For recipes for a variety of syrups, see BL, MS Harley 1628, ff. 79v–84v. A range of syrups was among the stock of John Hexham: Trease and Hodson, op. cit. (note 4) 79.

91. Among the goods of John Hexham were no fewer than eighty glass bottles with various unspecified waters: Trease and Hodson, op. cit. (note 4), 79.

92. Mint.

93. A gum prepared from Egyptian mummies, used for treating the abdominal area: Getz, op. cit. (note 1), 343.

94. Presumably an electuary of rhubarb.

95. A pomander, against the pestilence. Recipes are found in BL, MS Harley 1628, ff. 14v, 35v, 68v, 73v, 155r and BL, MS Harley 2378, fol. 168v.

96. Stavesacre (Delphinium staphisagria).

97. Ms termeriti.

98. Galingale.

99. Saffron.

I am grateful to Professor Carole Rawcliffe and this journal’s anonymous referees for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this article. The paper is based on work done by the author during the AHRC funded ‘Londoners and the Law’ Project (award no. AR119247).


The Medicines of Katherine, Duchess of Norfolk, 1463–71

  • Hannes Kleineke (a1)


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