Robert Boyle (1627-91): Work-diary VI ('Memorialls Philosophicall Beginning this Newyears day 1649/50')

Content: Medical recipes in English from 1650; most are from Benjamin Worsley, with two from Gerard Boate

General Information

Work-diary entries

/original pagination, p. 1/

/BP 28, 309/

[Authorial heading]:
Beginning this Newyearsday 1649/50 & to End with the Year
And so, by God's Permission, to be
annually continu'd during my Life

Entry 1: Editorial notes:

Mr. B. Worsley gave me the ensuing Receit as on [e] [supplied, tear in page] most excellent for the Tooth-ach, {Rx} Mithridatis, & Ph [i] [supplied]lonii Romani, ana q. S. F. E. magnitudine Palmæ, & applic [et] [supplied] lateri dolenti. The Plaster must be thinne spread up [on] [supplied] Leather or Paper; & used only when the Paine is felt & [to] [supplied] be taken of when it ceases.

Entry 2: Editorial notes:

He likewise commended to me as an Admirable [spe] [supplied]cificke Remedy, for the Breeding of Teeth (or rather [approximately 5-6 letters illegible, ] Dentitionis,) in Children, to Take a Cocke, & cutting [approximately 5-6 letters illegible, ] rubbe twice (or thrice at most) the Child's Gums, with t [he] [supplied] that drops warme from the Combe.

Entry 3: Editorial notes:

He likewise gave me as the best Plaster that he [approximately 4-5 letters illegible, ] yet us'd or heard of, a Mixture made of, One part [approximately 4-5 letters illegible, ] Powder of the Tarras-stone, Ground & searc't; as mi [approximately 4-5 letters illegible, ] the Sheards of Stone-bottles come out of Germany, o [approximately 4-5 letters illegible, ] Ground & Searc't also; as much of Quicke-Stone Lime, [approximately 4-5 letters illegible, ] a part of Wood-ashes searc't. These Powders well mix with Small beere, or (which is better, ) Butter milk to be made up into a Mortar.

Entry 4: Editorial notes:

A most excellent Lute against the Fire, is to be made of equall Parts of Scrap't (white-) Chalke & Ry [e] [supplied] flower, made into a stiffer Lute with Whites of Egges.

Entry 5: Editorial notes:

The Lute I line those Furnaces with, which are to endure the highest violence of the Fire, is made of equall Parts of Common-mortar; Tobacco-pipe-Clay; (or, in lieu thereof scrap't Chalke) Rye-Flower, Horsedung made up into a very stiffe Mortar by beating extreame [ly] [supplied] well beaten together, with a little Flockes or Haire [approximately 2-3 letters illegible, ] as little Water, Beare, or Butter-milke, as possibly will [suf] [supplied]fise.

Entry 6: Editorial notes:

A Generall Ferment to set Spirituous, or rathe [r] [supplied] [approximately 2-4 letters illegible, ] nous Liquors, a fermenting Againe, is made of 3 qua [rts] [supplied] of Water in which a pound of sugar (white but not [approximately 2-3 letters illegible, ] is dissolv'd boyl'd away till it come to a Pottle. To t [he] [supplied] Liquor that is to be fermented, a sixth (sometimes an eighth part will suffice) of this Generall Ferment is to be [added] [supplied]

/original pagination, p. 2/

/BP 28, 310/

Entry 7: Editorial notes:

To ripen Beere, Two Gallons of the best o [ld] [supplied] Sacke, (or a third part of March beere) to a hogshead of new beere, will ripen it two months sooner (as Mr W. Tells me.)

Entry 8: Editorial notes:

To recover Beere that begins to grow flatt, put to it a third part of Wort., somewhat stronger then that the Beere was made of. Mr. W.

Entry 9: Editorial notes:

A Third of Old Vinous Liquor to 2 thirds of New, ripens it: & a third of New to 2 thirds of old, makes it referment. Mr. W.

Entry 10: Editorial notes:

In Malignant Feavors (& in them only,) Mr Worsly uses to apply <as a Poltesse> to the Soles of both Feet once in 12 howres, Three parts of Leaven, one part of Piggeon's [first 'g' altered from 'd'] Dung; & one part of Onyons & Garlicke made up into a kind of Past with a little Turpentine.

Entry 11: Editorial notes:

For the knots of the sides in the Rickets, Mr W. hihly commends, Morning & evening, a Mixture of 2 parts of oyle of Mace & one part of oyle of hypericon, made up into a Ointment.

Entry 12: Editorial notes:

Mr W. Communicated to me his Oleum Febripellens, which upon severall Tryalls he highly commends in Agues, the Mother, & the Small Pox. The Receit he deliver'd me in these very Termes {Rx} Ol: Hyperici-Sympl. {ounce} ii Ol: macis Oriental: {ounce} i Aranearum vivarum no 40. Simul infundantur, & lentè coquantur per quadrantem horæ. Deinde adde, Theriacæ Androm. {drachm} vi Flor. Sulphur. {scruple} iiii Misceantur. Hoc oleo inungantur Tempora, Malleoli, & Spina Dorsi, ægri, paulò ante Accenssionem Febris, & in lecto ad sudandum disponatur. In the Fits of the Mother & the Small Pox anoint the backe only. This is to be repeated Twice, or (at the most) Thrice, with 24 houres of Intervall betwixt.

Entry 13: Editorial notes:

Mr W. also assured me that he never found any thing so powerfull to quench unnaturall Thirst in hot Feavors, as Flower of Brimston given at any convenient times, from 20 to 40 graines in a little Syrrup of Violets.

Entry 14: Editorial notes:

Dr G. Boat's Medicine with [altered from 'wh'] which he cur'd so many Agues, was only a good Nutmeg, scrap't (not grated) to Powder; & to this powder he added an equall quantity of burn't Allum; This Mixture he divided into 3 equall Parts, one of which he administred at a Time some 2 howres before the Fitt was expected; in a Spoonfull of Good White-wine Vinegar; of which he also made the Patient take 3 or 4 Spoonfulls after The Powder. This Medicine he communicated to me himselfe, & assurd me he knew a Bohemian Doctor, who constantly ['o' altered from 'a'] /original pagination, p. 3/ /BP 28, 311/ radically & infallibly, cur'd all intermitting Feavers with an Outward Application to the wrists. Dr Boate assur'd me that this Bohemian Physitian, (whose name I cannot readily remember,) fayld not to cure Agues of all sorts, in persons of all Ages, Sexes, & Complexions, in 24 howres or thereabouts: he added that this Secret dy'd with the Inventor; only that he knew the Principall Ingredients were Snails & Cob-webs; & that by this Knowledge, & conjectures at the Natures of the rest, Dr. Boate himselfe had cur'd many Agues with such an outward Application.

Entry 15: Editorial notes:

Dr Boate likewise assur'd me that ['t' deleted] he had cur'd severall Agues, by an Application of the Skinne within the Shell of an Egge, to the Patients little Finger. But that these Cures being perform'd by the Medicines procuring a peculiar Fermentation, & it's ['dras' deleted] raysing a Blister; the Patients was put to so much paine that the Dr desisted ['d' at end of word altered from 'ng'] from further using so painfull a Remedy.