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Dr. ROBERT JAMES's Powder for Fevers And all INFLAMMATORY DISORDERS. Published by Virtue of His Majesty's Royal Letters Patent.

pp. 4. Folio sheet uncut, folded to four pages, with a faint centre horizontal fold, signed by R. JAMES in the lower margin of page 1 [see page 4 of this item - '.... many Persons are wicked enough to sell a counterfeited Sort, to the great Disappointment of the Purchasers, and often to the Destruction of those who take them, the Public are desired to take Notice, that to prevent such Impositions, each Packet is sealed by Mr. F. Newbery, Junior, with the Impression in the Margin, and each Direction is signed in Writing, by Dr. James himself.'], an unusually nice copy of considerable rarity.

*ROBERT JAMES (1703 23 March 1776) an English physician best known as the author of A Medicinal Dictionary, the inventor of a popular "fever powder", and as a friend of Samuel Johnson. His early education was at Lichfield Grammar School, where he became acquainted with his fellow student Samuel Johnson. He then attended St John's College, Oxford, from which he received the degree of A.B. on 5 July 1726. He was admitted as an extra-licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians on 12 January 1727/8, and in May of the same year was created doctor of medicine at Cambridge by royal mandate. He practiced at Sheffield, Lichfield, and Birmingham before moving to London, where he was admitted as a licentiate of the Royal College on 25 June 1765. James patented his 'Fever Powder' in 1746, though to prevent anyone from being able to copy it, the true composition was in question for many years, and was believed to be continually changing throughout its production. Determining its formula "was a challenge to the growing field of analytic chemistry," according to John Crellin. It is believed to have been a mix of antimony and calcium phosphate. The retail of this powder was given over to John Newbery, book publisher, and on his death in 1767, to his son Francis. This was a fruitful partnership, the Newberys advertising the powder in the children's books that they published and helping to build a formidable following especially amongst literary groups - Horace Walpole declared that he would take the powder even if his house were on fire. Oliver Goldsmith, another fervent adherent, is thought to killed himself by overdosing. Newbery's son-in-law, Christopher Smart, dedicated many of his poems to Robert James. The final section of this broadside states - 'As this Powder has been lately ordered to be used on board His Majesty's Navy, Dr. James has thought it very necessary to add the following Instructions, for the better Guidance of Naval Surgeons........... As the Gentlemen, who have the Directions of the Medicine to be employed in the Navy, have lately ordered that this Powder should for their Use, be put up in Bottles, the Surgeons who administer them are desired to take Notice, that there is in every Bottle twelve Papers of the Powder..........'. The Fever Powder was among the first medicines to be issued in multidose bottles and was so popular as to be included in the London Pharmacopoeia in 1787, remaining until at least well into the 20th. century. SEE - ERIC JAMESON Natural History of Quackery, pp. 62-63; C. J. S. THOMPSON Mystery and Art of the Apothecary, pp. 248-9; MUNK'S Roll - page 269 : 'He was a person of very considerable attainments .......... but he tarnished the fair fame he might otherwise have obtained, by patenting his powders, and falsifying their specification.'; LIND Essay on Diseases Incidental to Europeans in Hot Climates - in this text Lind gives a scathing attack on James's Powder as he could not determine its composition nor find any reason for its inflated reputation - see also LLOYD & COULTER Medicine and the Navy, v.III, various references.

N.p. N.p.

Date Published: No date - not later than 1776. Folio sheet folded.

Stock No. 62670

Price: 1,200.00