Main content

Prescription book


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Born in Colne, Lancashire, England to Ann and James Cowgill, who was a surgeon. Brian (or Bryan) Cowgill became a chemist and druggist. He had his own pharmacy in Burnley, Lancashire. Cowgill's children were assistants at the pharmacy, including his young daughters. After Cowgill's death in 1865 his son Brian Horatio ran the pharmacy. Brian Cowgill married his first wife Ann Webster in 1845 they had five children: Ellen Eliza, born in 1847; Brian Horatio, born in 1848 and died in 1922; Charlotte Ann, born in 1851; Mary, born in 1853; and James born in 1855. Ann Cowgill died in 1860. Brian Cowgill married Eliza Phelps Frood in 1863.

This volume is probably the second volume of several pharmacy prescription books kept by Brian Cowgill. The volume is comprised of formulas for prescriptions spanning five years from 1863 to 1868. There are over over 400 prescriptions in the volume written in several hands. The volume was probably created in Cowgill's shop located in Burnley, Lancashire, England. The prescriptions are arranged chronologically and numbered beginning with number 1179 and ending with number 1609. Written for each numerical entry is the patients name, formula, and the initials or name of the chemist or prescribing physician. Some items have the patient dosage and use instructions. Ailments or titles of the prescriptive formulas are rarely listed. There are some formulas for cordials, cough drops, draughts, hair washes, liniments, mixtures, and powders. Some recipes used arsenic, mercury, morphine, and quinine. The drugstore served many patrons in Burnley such as the Bailey family, Lord Alexander Gordon-Lennox, Lord and Lady Norreys, Captain Charles Schwabe, and the Towneley family at Towneley Hall. Many items were prescribed by Dr. William Miller Coultate. Two items are laid in: a note regarding the volume by chemist and druggist Robert J. Hayhurst, who ran several pharmacies in Lancashire; and a printed advertisement for odorine a cleanser for teeth.

Bookplate inside front cover: Robert J. Hayhurst

Sold by Antiquates Fine & Rare Books (Dorset, England), 2018.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Donna Brandolisio
Finding Aid Date
January 2019
Access Restrictions

This codex is available for research.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

Request to View Materials

Materials can be requested by first logging in to Aeon. Then, click on the ADD button next to any containers you wish to request. When complete, click the Request button.

Request item to view
Prescription book, 1863-1868.
Volume 1

Print, Suggest