Apothecaries Act 1815

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Apothecaries Act 1815[1]
Long titleAn Act for better regulating the Practice of Apothecaries throughout England and Wales.
Citation55 Geo 3 c 194
Royal assent6 July 1825
Other legislation
Amended byApothecaries Amendment Act 1825 6 Geo 4 c 133
Repealed byStatute Law (Repeals) Act 1989
Status: Repealed
Text of statute as originally enacted

The Apothecaries Act 1815 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (citation 55 Geo.lll, c.194) with the long title "An Act for better regulating the Practice of Apothecaries throughout England and Wales". The Act introduced compulsory apprenticeship and formal qualifications for apothecaries, in modern terms general practitioners, under the license of the Society of Apothecaries. It was the beginning of regulation of the medical profession in the UK. The Act required instruction in anatomy, botany, chemistry, materia medica and "physic", in addition to six months' practical hospital experience.[2]

Despite the Act, training of medical people in Britain remained disparate. Thomas Bonner, in part quoting M. Jeanne Peterson,[3] notes that "The training of a practitioner in Britain in 1830 could vary all the way from classical university study at Oxford and Cambridge to a series of courses in a provincial hospital to 'broom-and-apron apprenticeship in an apothecary's shop'".[4]


  1. ^ The citation of this Act by this short title was authorised by the Short Titles Act 1896, section 1 and the first schedule. Due to the repeal of those provisions it is now authorised by section 19(2) of the Interpretation Act 1978.
  2. ^ Porter, Roy (1999) [1997]. The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Humanity from Antiquity to the Present. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 316–317. ISBN 978-0-393-31980-4.
  3. ^ Peterson, M. Jeanne (1978). The Medical Profession in Mid-Victorian London. University of California Press. p. 5.
  4. ^ Bonner, Thomas Neville (1995). Becoming a Physician : Medical Education in Great Britain, France, Germany, and the United States, 1750-1945. Oxford University Press. p. 167. ISBN 9780195362657.

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