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17th Century Plague Cure Goes on Show at Cheshire Record Office Open Day

Published: 13th July 2011 10:11

An early 17th Century medical recipe book containing a panacea for the ‘Pestilence' or Plague is among an exhibition of priceless treasures being staged by the Cheshire Record Office.

Caroline Pico and Lynette BanksArchivist Caroline Picco and Conservator Lynette
Banks with some of Caroline's family photographs.

The tiny tome, lists a family's home-spun remedies for conditions ranging from the ‘tooth-ache', the ‘running gout that burneth', and a ‘sore legge' to a ‘treacle to destroy all manners of poisons' between 1620 and 1760.

The Record Office is to hold an open day at its Duke Street headquarters in Chester from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, July 23rd.

Exhibits on display include a 14th century Book of Hours; a Warrant signed by Henry VIII; an entry in the Nantwich Parish Register noting the sighting of the Armada, and a Trade Charter granted to the City of Chester by Henry II in 1175.

There is also an inventory belonging to the third wife of the 17th century poet John Milton which lists two copies of ‘Parradice'.

And for those who bemoaned the passing of the Great British institution - the pub - there is a ‘Drink Map' of Birkenhead listing 300 plus hostelries, produced by the Birkenhead Vigilance Committee - an organisation committed to exposing the evils of drink.

On the day visitors are welcome to bring some of their own family documents and 19th century photographs. Archivists will be on hand to help visitors decipher them and conservators to advise their preservation and date.

Said Archivist Caroline Picco: "Many people own early photographs of relatives, and like all original records, they need to be treated carefully and stored in the correct way.

"In fact, I have had to learn from our Conservator, Lynette Banks about the correct way to store, display and date my own family photographs which, like countless others owned by families across the country, will in the future constitute an important social record."

Visitors will have a chance to see behind the scenes at the Record Office and enjoy talks on using newspapers for family history and preserving digital records - a frequent question to archivists.

The Cheshire Record Office boasts literally miles of records dating from the 12th to 21st centuries and stores many more underground in the former Cheshire Salt Mines.

And that plague panacea?

 ‘Take six spoonfulls of dragons water, ii spoonfulls of good vinagre and as much treacle of Jeane as a litle walnut. Dissolve the treacle in the water and vinagre against the fire and let it be drunken blood warme fasting within xx hours after he is sick, and neither eat nor drink for six houres after. This drink expelleth all poison from the heart. And if any botch appeare under the eare, the arme or groine, lay presently a plaister therto of Flos unguentorum, which will draw out the sore'.

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Comments

Candy Snow
At 14:49 on 20th July 2011, Candy Snow commented:
Do any of our Neston stores still sell dragons water? (and if so how much is it?)
**
At 17:55 on 20th July 2011, ** commented:
I’m sure if you got in touch with Theo Pathitis or Duncan Bannatyne, they would happily sell you some of their, ahem, water, for a reasonable price…

You need to log in before you can do that! It's only a quick registration process to join the AMA network and completely free.

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