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Ouch! Talks Programme

The Museum is holding a series of online talks and demonstrations, featuring historic herbal remedies, patent medicines and the services provided by doctors, apothecaries and medical instituions over time.

Tickets are £5 and can be purchased at the Museum or from our online shop:

8 September 2021, 7 pm (1.5 hours)

Pills, potions and poisons: an apothecary’s tale

Nicholas Wood, Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, Fabio Parmeggiani, Politecnico di Milano and Helen Cooke, Nantwich Museum

In past times, apothecaries prepared medicines from herbs, minerals and animal products, which they supplied to other medical practitioners or dispensed directly to patients. The health benefits of the remedies would have been mixed! This talk explores the history of apothecaries, introduces 17th century Nantwich apothecary Raphe Walley and includes some exciting chemistry demonstrations using ingredients which Raphe had in his shop. 


15 September 2021, 7 pm (1 hour)

Renaissance and early modern medicine; changes in medical and surgical practice 1500-1700  

Nick Coles, Historical medicine educational consultant


22 September 2021, 7 pm (1 hour)

Tales from Chester Asylum

Claire Chatterton. Visiting Professor at the University of Chester, a Staff Tutor at the Open University and former Chair of the Royal College of Nursing’s History of Nursing Society

The County Lunatic Asylum for Cheshire opened in Chester in 1829 and was later to be known by a variety of names including Chester Asylum, Upton Mental Hospital, the Deva Hospital and West Cheshire Hospital.  This talk will consider its first hundred years and discuss some of the staff and patients (some of whom were from Nantwich) who lived and worked within its walls.


29 September 2021, 7 pm (1 hour)

When cholera hit Nantwich

Keith Lawrence, Nantwich Museum

Over the centuries, cholera has affected most parts of the world and Nantwich was no exception, being hit by an epidemic in the mid-19th century. This talk explores the causes of cholera, its impact on local people including some of their personal stories, the aftermath and steps taken to prevent future outbreaks of the disease.


6 October 2021, 7 pm (1 hour)

Made in the Old Medicine House: a century of patent medicine manufacture in an unlikely setting 

Valerie White, Blackden Trust

This talk will explore the kinds of medicines available to ordinary people who could not afford those prescribed by qualified practitioners. The family firm established by Samuel Johnson sold its products all over the country (and beyond) from the late 19th century until the 1960s from its “Factory” in Wrinehill. The business archive, now held by The Blackden Trust and examined by the speaker throws light on an era when most people would try a home remedy first, only calling the nurse, doctor or pharmacist when all else had failed. 


13 October 2021, 7pm (1 hour)

John Gerard, English herbalist

Graham Dodd, Nantwich Museum

Nantwich-born John Gerard was an eminent Tudor surgeon and gardener, who published his "Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes" in 1595. The talk encompasses development of the herbal, draws on the descriptions of a selection of plants and considers Gerard’s eminent associates.


20 October 2021, 7pm (1 hour)

Having a Baby in Nantwich during the mid- to late Seventeenth Century 

Sara Read, Loughborough University and Janette Allotey, De Partu History of Childbirth Group and Nantwich Museum

This joint talk explores the role of midwives during the mid to late seventeenth century, which includes the Civil War period. It will also describe how one Nantwich midwife achieved local notoriety for all the wrong reasons and spent many years trying to clear her name and regain her licence to practise midwifery.  Her case is well documented in archival records and has become of interest to modern-day social historians. 


Wednesday, September 8, 2021 7:00 pm - Wednesday, October 20, 2021 8:00 pm
United Kingdom
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