History Luncheon for Apothecaries, Grocers and Distillers

The unveiling of the portraits last year of our founders: Gideon De Laune (Apothecaries) and Sir Theodore de Mayerne (Distillers), was the catalyst for the organising of this event.

The attendees at the Luncheon

PM David Sills and Lorne Mackillop representing the Distillers, together with representatives from the Apothecaries and Grocers Livery Companies gathered at a Lunch given by the Apothecaries at their spectacular Hall to hear from their archivists. The topic was the schism of the Apothecaries from the Grocers Company which was finalised in 1617 after much acrimonious toing and froing. The Court Minute Book for 1617 was on display at the page where the reasons for splitting away from the Grocers was documented – a fascinating thing to behold.

The Court Minute Book for 1617

Then, in 1638, the Distillers split apart from the Apothecaries, and more than 90 apothecaries are listed in our 1638 charter who may well have been “renegades” from the Apothecaries are listed in this charter. PM David Sills has already extracted the list of these names and will be sharing this information with the archivists of the Grocers and the Apothecaries, and we will pool our records so that a more composite picture of the events at the time can be drawn up, rather than a history-line from a single Company’s viewpoint.

The Apothecaries’ Company are particularly fortunate to have full records from 1617 as, during the Great Fire of 1666, all the treasures and documents were removed in time before the Hall was destroyed by the fire, to be re-built in 1672.

L-R: Lorne Mackillop, Upper Warden; Dr Jonathan Holliday CVO, Master Apothecary; Deputy James Thomson, Master Grocer

We all agreed to rejoice in our common heritage, and to create another Livery Group to share our common interests, and to do joint activities and events together, and I much look forward to progressing this in my year, if elected.

Lorne Mackillop MW
Upper Warden