The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries

Black Friars Lane, London.

From Wikipedia:

The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. Originally, apothecaries, or pharmacists, were members of the Grocers’ Company (1345) and before this the Guild of Pepperers formed in London in 1180. The apothecaries separated from the Grocers in 1617, when they were granted a Royal Charter, and during the rest of the 17th century its members (including Nicholas Culpeper) challenged the monopoly of the College of Physicians.

The Apothecaries Act 1815 granted the Society the power to license and regulate practitioners of medicine throughout England and Wales. Today, the Society retains such a role as a member of the United Examining Board. Also, the Society grants diplomas in general areas such as Medical Jurisprudence, Medical History, Medical Philosophy, and in specialized fields such as HIV Medicine.

The Society of Apothecaries is well-known due to its foundation of the Chelsea Physic Garden in Chelsea, London, in 1673, one of the oldest botanical gardens in Europe, and the second oldest in Britain. After Sir Hans Sloane granted the Society the use of the Manor of Chelsea, the four acre (16,000 m²) garden became the richest collection of medicinal plants in Europe, under the direction of Philip Miller. Under its seed exchange program, originally initiated with the Leiden Botanical Garden, cotton was planted for the first time in the colony of Georgia. Jealously guarded during the tenure of the Society, in 1983 the Garden became a registered charity and was opened to the general public for the first time.

The Society is based at Apothecaries’ Hall in Blackfriars. The original Hall was Cobham House, purchased in 1632. This building was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. A new Hall was built on the same site and completed in 1672 to the designs of Edward Jerman. An Elaboratory was included for the first ever large-scale manufacture of drugs. A major restoration and building programme was carried out in the 1780s. Although the Hall underwent major re-development in the 1980s, its external appearance has altered little since the late-eighteenth century. It is the oldest extant livery company hall in the City, with the first-floor structure and arrangement of the Great Hall, Court Room and Parlour remaining as re-built between 1668 and 1670.

The Society, which is the largest of the Livery Companies, is the fifty-eighth in the order of precedence for Livery Companies. Its motto is Opiferque Per Orbem Dicor, a Latin reference to the Greek deity Apollo, meaning I Am Called a Bringer of Help Throughout the World.

Notable people who qualified in medicine as a Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries (LSA) include John Keats, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, who thereby became the first woman to gain a medical qualification in the UK, and Ronald Ross.

Sat across the street and had a glass of Chianti at an Italian outdoor cafe.

Site of the Mitre Tavern

Site of the Mitre Tavern
Site of the Mitre Tavern, originally uploaded by swanksalot.


From Time Out London:

Some way down Mitre Place, the black brick alley widens out a yard or two, opens up to the sky, and reveals a tiny pub with a frontage of oak and opaque leaded windows. The date on the sign says 1547, but this version of the Mitre was actually built around 1772, soon after the demolition of the nearbyPalace of the Bishops of Ely – the origin of all the geographical and historical anomalies in these parts.

Built in 1291, St Etheldreda’s Church – aka Ely Chapel – is the oldest Catholic church in England and the only surviving part of Ely Palace. With 58 acres of orchards, vineyards and strawberry fields, plus fountains, ponds and terraced lawns stretching down towards the Thames, the Palace was the London residence of a long line of Ely Bishops, and a seat of great power. The Bishop of Ely and his strawberries feature in Shakespeare’s ‘Richard III’, while Ely Palace itself provides the setting for John of Gaunt’s ‘This scepter’d isle’ speech in ‘Richard II’. In 1531, a five-day feast was attended by Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, the Lord Mayor of London, sundry foreign ambassadors, barons and aldermen: between them, they tucked away ‘24 great beefs, the carcase of an ox, 100 fat muttons, 91 pigs, 34 porks, 37 dozen pigeons, 340 larks’ and the King’s contribution of 13 dozen swans.

The original Mitre Tavern was built for servants at the Palace 11 years into the reign of Elizabeth I. In 1576 she commandeered a gatehouse and a goodly portion of the Palace grounds for her court favourite Sir Christopher Hatton, and regularly came visiting. After stints as a prison and a Civil War hospital, the Palace reverted to the Crown in Georgian times and was demolished – although the rebuilt pub had built into its front wall a stone mitre from a palace gatepost and a cherry tree, which once marked the boundary separating the ground gifted to Hatton and the Bishop’s remaining diocese.

Didn’t actually go inside, this vist.

Statue of Queen Elizabeth – 1766

Lightbox version

Fleet Street, London.

inscription reads: ” This statue of Queen Elizabeth stood on the west side of Ludgate That gate being taken down in 1760, to open the streets, it was given by the City to Sir Francis Gosling, knight and alderman of this ward, who caused it to be placed here.

More history from
Churches of Fleet Street

The other ornament was the figure of Queen Elizabeth, which stood at the east end of the church, above a cutler’s shop. This figure [was] set up in 1766…

On the demolition of the church, the figure was sold for £16, 10s., and apparently lay neglected for some time, as we read in the Times for April 25, 1839, the following reference to it : ” The workmen engaged some time since in taking down an old public house adjoining St. Dunstan’s Church, in Fleet Street, discovered in one of the cellars the ancient stone statue of Queen Elizabeth, which formerly stood in the nave of the old church. The parochial authorities have resolved to place it on the south end of the church, fronting Fleet Street.” Here it may now be seen.

The old public-house referred to remained standing till 1859. It had been in the occupation of the Buttons for forty years. In 1750, it was known as the ‘ Haunch of Venison,’ and later as the Clifford’s Inn Coffee House. An insurance office now occupies its site.

Lloyds Bank Ltd Law Courts Branch



a beautiful old ornate lobby, but I don’t think I got any good photos of it. In a hurry to make it somewhere before 5, so didn’t linger working on proper interior exposure…

doh, camera Raw is more resilient than I thought.

The lobby of Lloyds Bank Ltd Law Courts Branch


lobby of Lloyds Bank Ltd Law Courts Branch

Not your typical bank lobby – I mean where is the ATM machine located?


The Royal Courts of Justice

The Royal Courts of Justice
The Royal Courts of Justice, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

London. Lightbox version

From Wikipedia:

The Royal Courts of Justice, commonly called the Law Courts, is the building in London which houses the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and the High Court of Justice of England and Wales. Courts within the building are open to the public although there may be some restrictions depending upon the nature of the cases being heard. The building is a large grey stone edifice in the Victorian Gothic style and was designed by George Edmund Street, a solicitor turned architect. It was built in the 1870s. The Royal Courts of Justice were opened by Queen Victoria in December 1882. It is on The Strand, in the City of Westminster, near the border with the City of London (Temple Bar) and the London Borough of Camden. It is surrounded by the four Inns of Court and London School of Economics. The nearest tube stations are Chancery Lane and Temple.

Those who do not have legal representation may receive some assistance within the court building. There is a Citizens Advice Bureau based within the Main Hall, which provides free, confidential, and impartial advice by appointment to anyone who is a litigant in person in the courts. There is also a Personal Support Unit where litigants in person can get emotional support and practical information about what happens in court.

Actually right across the street from Twining’s

Doorway at Twinings

Doorway at Twinings
Doorway at Twinings, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

Established 1706. Purveyor of fine teas…

Apparently this was their first tea room

Went inside for a moment, but the room was so narrow, that I became a bit claustrophobic, and left without purchasing any tea. Smelled great though.

William Lilly – Master Astrologer


From Wikipedia:

William Lilly (1 May (O.S.)/11 May (N.S.), 1602 – 9 June 1681), was a famed English astrologer during his time. Lilly was particularly adept at interpreting the astrological charts drawn up for horary questions, as this was his speciality.

Lilly caused much controversy in 1666 for allegedly predicting the Great Fire of London some 14 years before it happened. For this reason many people believed that he might have started the fire, but there is no evidence to support these claims. He was tried for the offence in Parliament but was found to be innocent.

“William Lilly’s History of His Life and Times from the Year 1602 to 1681” (William Lilly)

I had not heard the term, Hoary Astrology before

Horary astrology is an ancient branch of horoscopic astrology by which an astrologer attempts to answer a question by constructing a horoscope for the exact time at which the question was received and understood by the astrologer. There is disagreement amongst horary astrologers as to whether to use the location of the person who asks the question – the querent – or the location of the astrologer. Normally they are in the same place, but in modern times many astrologers work online and by telephone. These days the querent could be in Australia and send an email with the question to an astrologer in Europe. The horoscope would in this case be radically different. Many European practitioners take the location of the querent, but there are strong voices in traditional English schools who advocate using the location of the astrologer. The answer to the horary question might be a simple yes or no, but is generally more complex with insights into, for example, the motives of the questioner, the motives of others involved in the matter, and the options available to him.

(click to continue reading Horary astrology – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

Courgetts (or Courgettes)

Courgetts (or Courgettes)
Courgetts (or Courgettes), originally uploaded by swanksalot.

There isn’t much of a language barrier in the UK for an American visitor, but this word baffled me in a few restaurants before stumbling upon this farmers market. Ahh, zucchini.

From Wikipedia:

Zucchini, like all summer squash, has its ancestry in the Americas. However, the varieties of squash typically called “zucchini” were indeed developed in Italy, many generations after their introduction from the “New World”.

In all probability, this occurred in the very late 19th century, probably near Milan; early varieties usually included the names of nearby cities in their names. The alternate name courgette is from the French word for the vegetable, with the same spelling, and is commonly used in France, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. It is a diminutive of courge, French for squash. “Zucca” is the Italian word for squash and “zucchina” is its diminutive, becoming “zucchine” in the plural. However, “zucchino”, the masculine form, becoming “zucchini” in the plural, is just as commonly used and is prevalent in Tuscany. Italian dictionaries such as “lo Zingarelli 1995, Zanichelli editor”, give both forms. “Zucchini” is used in Italy , and in Australia, Canada and the United States. ‘Zucchini’ is plural in Italian whereas in English it is singular. The first records of zucchini in the United States date to the early 1920s. It was almost certainly brought over by Italian immigrants and probably was first cultivated in the United States in California.

I didn’t even notice it was misspelled on the sign until Frank1 pointed it out…

  1. aka The Irish Samurai []