Collection of nineteen manuscript and printed documents, including accounts, relating to the Liverpool Apothecaries Company, and to the resignation of John Abraham, head of its Dispensing Department from 1838 to 1843.

John Abraham (1813-1881), head of the Dispensing Department of the Liverpool Apothecaries Company, 1838-1845, and latterly of Clay & Abraham, pharmaceutical chemists
Liverpool Apothecaries Company
Publication details: 
Liverpool and London, between 1838 and 1843.
SKU: 10564

The Liverpool Apothecaries Company was founded in 1836 with a capital of £100,000, its premises comprising a warehouse, chemical and pharmaceutical laboratories, and a retail shop in Seel Street. John Abraham ran the dispensing department from 1838 until his resignation in 1843, going on in 1845 to found, as junior partner, the pharmaceutical chemists Clay & Abraham. (A cultured individual, Abraham is described in one obituary as 'an active member of numerous scientific and philanthropic societies, a founder of the Liverpool Microscopical Society, of the Naturalists' Field Club, of the Tradesman's Guild, [...] on the board of the Polytechnic Society, and the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society, a founder of the Chemists' Association'.) The present collection consists of nineteen items (sixteen manuscript and three printed) retained by Abraham from his time with the Company. The three printed items all date from 1843, and comprise: firstly, a notice by manager Robert Wingate of the annual meeting (8vo, 1 p), with a list of the twenty-eight names of the proprietors; secondly, a statement (4to, 1 p) by Henry Harrison, John Smith and Hugh James Sanderson, dated 4 March 1845, 'shewing the Loss in the Warehouse Department of the Apothecaries' Company from the commencement of the Establishment, to 30th June, 1844'; thirdly, a circular (4to, 2 pp), in reply to one 'signed by Messrs. Harrison, Smith, and Sanderson' containing 'gross errors' in 'their calculations'. It gives three sets of accounts giving the results of management by three sets of committees. These are amended in pencil with additional manuscript calculations. Of the sixteen manuscript items, three consist of sets of Abraham's accounts (two pages in landscape folio and one page in 12mo), one giving a 'Half yearly Summary exclusive of Amounts', both 'Retail' and 'Dispensary', between 1839 and 1844; the other two sets of accounts are more extensive, providing breakdowns in ten and fourteen columns, with figures for cash sales on both the dispensary and retail sides, purchase, stock and salaries. The other thirteen manuscript items include: a letter (22 November 1838; 4to, 2 pp) from Abraham to his father, relating to the 'Opening of Apothecaries Hall'; a letter from him to the Company (30 August 1839; 4to, 2 pp), 'preferring a claim to an addition to my salary'; a letter (12 January 1841; 4to, 2 pp) from the Company's manager Wingate to Abraham, giving conditions for offering him improved terms; four copies of letters from Abraham to the Company (all from 1843, and totalling 9 pp in 12mo and 3 pp in 4to), complaining of the terms of his employment ('For some time back I have been required to give an amount of attendance upon business which is inconsistent with the enjoyment of health and social comfort'); a copy (5 August 1843; 4to, 2 pp) of a letter from Abraham to Dr Anderson of the Company, explaining how he has been 'misinformed on the subject'; a draft copy of a proposal (12mo, 2 pp) by Abraham regarding the hours of attendance of staff of the dispensary; a copy (4to, 1 p) of a Company resolution regarding Abraham's employment; a letter (5 December 1843; 4to, 1 p) from Company manager Wingate, accepting Abraham's resignation; a copy (8 January 1844; 4to, 1 p) of the resolution of the Company's general committee; and a letter (11 December 1843; 12mo, 3 pp) to Abraham from his sister Margaret expressing concerns at his resignation.