William Waylett's Praescription Book 1758 - 1815, Lydd, Kent
From which we can gather that Waylett was nothing if not eclectic in his choice of
A Remedy for the Whooping Cough. Bruise Garlick in a mortar with some hog's lard
and anoint the Back Bone, Soles of the feet and Palms of the hands, twice a day or
oftener, if the child is bad.
A Remedy for the Bite of a Mad Dog. Take three Yolks of Eggs and Oil of Olive as
much as will fill three half Egg Shells, put this together into a frying Pan on a gentle
fire....by continually stirring together with a knife mix it well together, and continue
doing this till it turns into a conserve of thick Jelly, which, when made will fill a great
tea Cup. The manner of using it as follows: He who is bitten must take (the sooner
the better after the Bite, the effect being uncertain if not apply'd within nine days) the
above mention'd doses (on) two successive days --- the wound must be scraped open
twice a day with a pen of burnt wood for nine successive days ...... and dressed with
the same remedy....
Neither were all the 'praescriptions' strictly medical. Among those listed are; 'A liquor
to preserve Polish'd metalls from rusts; Take a parcell of deadly Nightshade, Berries
and all (gathered in the Months of June or July...) ;' a receipt for husk in dogs: to
make yeast as done in Persia; gold coloured varnish for brass or silver; for the rot in
sheep; a composition to preserve weather boarding; to preserve butter for several
years; a paste to stop holes in boots and shoes; and one to keep mutton sweet.
DESCRIPTION OF WILLIAM WAYLETT - by William Cock, MD, FSA.,
'He was the last in the neighbourhood to wear the old-fashioned 'double-
decker' wig with two rows of curls at the nape (as is worn to this day by state
coachmen), He habitually held a daisy flower clenched between his teeth as a
prophylactic against fevers." '
It is highly probable that he qualified to practise medicine by apprenticeship
only, as many did in his day; no record has so far been found of his having sat
a formal examination. He died a bachelor on 25 October 1815, leaving
something over £2,000. He was buried 'in woollen' acccording to the time, in
the chancel of All Saints, Lydd. His total funeral expenses were £32.10s, the
shroud took six yards of superfine flannel at 3s.6d per yard and the coffin was
lined with five yards of fine flannel at 2s. 6d per yard. There is no memorial
tablet to William Waylett in the church, so let Dr.Cock provide his epitaph;
' A brave old man' !
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This page last modified on Monday, March 17, 2008