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Virtual Quack Tour Debut

9th January 2021


This week we began a brand new tour: the Quack Doctor Tour in virtual reality. 

The quack is Lionel Lockyer who has a grand tomb in Southwark Cathedral, by London Bridge on the south side of the River Thames, designed and paid for by himself naturally with his invented coat of arms above - three boar's heads on a black shield separated by a chevron. The College of Heralds has no record of such a designated indeed it would have been slightly disappointing if they had. We would expect a medical charlatan to invent his own illustrious ancestry. We leave the cathedral, virtually, and visit St Thomas Street where Lockyer lives and has his factory. He manufactures the Sunlight Pill, the pilula radiis solis extracta to give it its pompous Latin name, which sells really well from 1660 onwards to customers not just in London but throughout the UK and across the Atlantic in the new colonies as well. The first customer is the matron at St Thomas' Hospital who has ordered a dozen boxes. She highly recommends the Sunlight Pill for almost any ailment you care to name. It's even effective against plague, she promises. We continue across London Bridge where, with the panorama of the City in front of us, Lockyer points out where others of his customers are. Some patients send him letters of thanks which he quotes and uses in his advertising. We stop at the Monument and consider the Great Fire of London which it commemorates. The Fire and the Great Plague in 1665 and 1666 affected his business greatly. Both events increased demand and Lockyer became immensely rich. We continue to Leadenhall Market where Lockyer bought his herbs and on to Bishopsgate where he had several customers. His business partner and apothecary Thomas Fyge lives outside Bishopsgate and it is to him that he will bequeathe the business when he dies. We follow the winding alleys of the City to the Jamaica Inn which is the place not only to drink rum and coffee but also to do business with the colonies at Kingston and New York. Lockyer leaves half a dozen boxes for delivery. At the Mansion House we deliver supplies to two more traders and then on to Poultry and Old Jewry where a patient is living at Olave Street. In Great Bell Alley, we drop half a dozen boxes at the Samuel Butler pub which is named after another quack doctor from a previous age. At the Guildhall we stop to see Lockyer's will which is kept at the library there. He was extremely generous. Two hundred poor families in Southwark benefited from his largesse. The tour concludes at the Barber Surgeon's Herb Garden which celebrates the achievement of Gerard and his Herball Book. 





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