The Society of Apothecaries was incorporated as a City Livery Company by royal charter from James I on 6 December 1617 in recognition of apothecaries' specialist skills in compounding and dispensing medicines. The Society received its Grant of Arms six days later.
The Society of Apothecaries is no.58 in order of precedence, and one of the largest, of the livery companies of the City of London. In addition to its traditional civic, ceremonial, social and charitable activities, the Society has been licensing doctors to practise Medicine since 1815.
The Apothecaries acquired their Hall in Blackfriars in 1632. Re-built on the same site immediately after its destruction in the Great Fire of 1666, it is the oldest extant livery company Hall in the City.
The Society's Coat of Arms, dated 12 December 1617, is signed by William Clarenceux King of Arms. It features Apollo (the god of healing) killing the dragon of disease, supported by two unicorns (from King James's royal arms), and a rhinoceros as the crest (the powdered horn was believed to be medicinal). The motto, from the first book of Ovid's 'Metamorphoses', translates: "I am spoken of all over the world as one who brings help"
Under its current constitution, 85 per cent of the Society's membership must have obtained a medical qualification registrable with the General Medical Council, or a pharmacist’s qualification registrable with the General Pharmaceutical Council
Membership of the Society's Faculty of the History and Philosophy of Medicine and Pharmacy (established 1959), and of its Faculty in Conflict and Catastrophe Medicine (established 2005), both of which are charities by constitution, is open to the general public.
Master: Prof M N Rossor MA MD FRCP FMedSci
Senior Warden: Professor M J G Farthing BSc MD FRCP
Junior Warden: Prof J Anderson CBE PhD MB BS FRCP
and 21 Assistants
The Master and Wardens each serve a term of office of one year and are elected at the Court meeting in August.
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Contact: Nicholas Wood, Curator@apothecaries.org
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Black Friars Lane
London EC4V 6EJ
020 7236 1189
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