RepositoryLondon Borough of Bromley Archives
LevelCollection
Ref No617
TitleDr Thomas Ilott
Date1809-1847
DescriptionThese records form part of the records of a medical practice carried on in Bromley by William Roberts and Thomas Ilott. Roberts was the partner and successor of William Child, who retired in 1807. Ilott, who came from Oxfordshire, may have joined the practice in 1808. Roberts died in 1832 and Ilott in 1849.

This volume was probably the third in a series of ledgers, and may once have been labelled `C'. (Traces of a label on the spine, now lost, were noted). Some of the accounts it contains, e.g. that of the Marchioness of Exeter (p. 13) are continued from an earlier volume, referred to as `B', and carried into a further book, `D'. Fragments of D and later volumes are present as loose bills, probably selected for preservation because of the status of the patients.

It can be seen from this volume that the practice covered a wide area. Patients are recorded as far away as Newington and Dulwich, even one in London (perhaps temporarily). Most however lived within the area of the present London Borough of Bromley, and they included all sections of the community. Names of long established tradesmen can be found - Ayling of Bromley, Blackney of Chislehurst - and local landowners such as John Wells of Bickley. The doctors also contracted to provide medical care for the poor of some of the parishes in the borough; accounts for Beckenham, Bromley, Cudham, Hayes, Keston, Knockholt and Orpington appear in this volume. At the other extreme, they attended the nobility and other prominent residents of the neighbourhood. The names of Lord Gwydyr, Lord Auckland and the Attorney-General, Sir Vicary Gibbs, may be found
Lady Byron, wife of the poet, spent some time at Beckenham after their separation, and Dr Ilott attended her and her household. The letter (617/25), besides enclosing payment of his bill, mentions her health and her daughter's, and their intention to return to Beckenham from Hastings. The loose account headed `Lord Byron' (617/8) refers to the poet's cousin and successor in the title.

The bulk of the account book is taken up with prescriptions, noted in abbreviated medical Latin. The charges ranged from 6d to 5s. A visit (`iter') was generally not charged. There are occasional brief notes of treatment, including tooth extraction and syringing of ears. Deliveries (1 guinea) and smallpox innoculations (10s 6d) are also noted.

The following glossary of the terms most frequently used may be useful:
anod. anodyne pain relieving
aper. aperient slightly cathartic
calom. calomel mercury chloride
cath. cathaisic purgative
cerat. cerata wax
empl. emplastrum plaster
gutt. gutta drop
haust. haustus draught
linc. linctus
mist. mistura mixture
pil. pilula pill
pulv. pulvis powder
reduc. reduco replace ends of fractured bones, or dislocated joint
rep. repeat
robor. roboro strengthen, a tonic
ung. unguentum ointment
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