Materia Medica Etc.

Scope and Content

The first section of the manuscript, which constitutes ff.1-92r, contains a detailed materia medica. Most, but not all, of the entries are plants and are listed in alphabetical order with thorough descriptions of their origins, properties, use, administration, and dose.

The second section, constituting ff.92v-104, contains a number of recipes for medical preparations with a brief contents page at the beginning. These recipes are usually brief but there are more detailed writings on acetic acid, distilled spirits, ointments, tinctures, essential oils, extracts, and potassium.

A third section on ff.105-110 contains detailed descriptions of the chemical breakdown of various water sources. These include those at Clapham, Cheltenham, Drinkald dock water, Deptford, and Shap Fells.

Following on from this on ff.111-116 are a number of extracts and recipes from the pharmacopoeia of Guy's Hospital, London.

The rest of the manuscript contains an assortment of medical recipes, and writings on plants, chemicals, preparations, and geological formations. Some of the dates referenced in extracts in the latter half of the manuscript suggest it was still used by Windsor right up until the 1860s, not long before his death, whereas early references and the address in the front suggest it was begun when he was a student. This is further reinforced by the gradual alteration in the handwriting.

The manuscript begins with a note to say that William Allen died in 1843 and that John Windsor had lived with him from 1807 to 1811.