Thomas Slappe’s Booke of Physicke


At some time in the early eighteenth century, a remarkable handwritten book was produced by a Norfolk man, Thomas Slapp, or one of his family.  Containing a mixture of herbal remedies and recipes for wines & preserves, the book lists a wide range of ingredients from around the world, as well as wild flowers still common in the countryside today.  Faithfully transcribed and researched, here are those pages, presented for a modern audience. 
Here you will find concoctions that range from the intriguing to the bizarre to the downright unpleasant…

An Oyntment for the piles

Take three handfull of Elder leaves
one handfull of violet leaves 
a few Rosemary topps    
one handfull of summer savory  
three heads of house leek     
three leaves of orpin
stamp stamp them all in a morter and boyle it in two pound of fresh butter  
straine it very hot through through a strainer  
then putt into it a quarter of a pound of unwrought bees wax and let it bee slowly boyled againe and cleane scumed and so straine it againe
 make it [in] may and keep it
Enjoy reading this book, but whatever you do, don’t try these at home!

‘Thomas Slappe’s Booke of Physicke’  edited by Pip Wright 
ISBN 978-0-9548298-7-2  This is now "out of print" but a few slightly imperfect copies are available on request

Bee Skep – honeycombs clearly visible (photo by kind permission of Brian Buffery)

Centaury – A herb widely used medicinally: named after the Centaur Chiron, famous in Greek mythology for his skill in the use of medicinal herbs.

Cover of the book – The Walled Garden, Benhall, Suffolk

The physicke garden at Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk
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Frolic, Fervour and Fornication
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News from Essex, 1720 - 1900
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Thomas Slappe’s Booke of Physicke
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Witches in and around Suffolk
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"The Suffolk Gipsy"
Death Recorded
I read it in the Local Rag
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