Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Apothecary, a term applied until comparatively recently to a member of the inferior branch of the medical profession. In 1606 the apothecaries of London were, together with the grocers, incorporated by James I.; but in 1617 they were freed from this combination. At this time they were allowed to dispense and sell medicines, but not to prescribe: this injunction was removed in 1703, while in 1815 an Act was passed giving the Society of Apothecaries the privilege of licensing and examining all such medical men as dispensed drugs in England and Wales. Later legislation, however, has amended this law in several respects, apprenticeship, which was formerly essential to the would-be practising apothecary, no longer being necessary.