John Thomas Bacon & Abigail Newman

Apothecary - Wikipedia

Apothecary is an historical name for a medical practitioner who formulates and dispenses materia medica to physicians, surgeons and patients a role now served by a pharmacist.

In addition to pharmacy the apothecary also offered general medical advice and a range of services that are now performed solely by other specialist practitioners, such as surgery and midwifery. Apothecaries often operated through a retail shop, which in addition to ingredients for medicines, would also sell tobacco and patent medicines.

In its investigation of herbal and chemical ingredients, the work of the apothecary may be regarded as a precursor of the modern sciences of chemistry and pharmacology, prior to the formulation of the scientific method.

From the 15th century the apothecary gained the status of a skilled practitioner, but by the end of the 19th century the medical professions had taken on their current institutional form, with defined roles for doctors and surgeons, and the role of the apothecary was more narrowly conceived as that of dispensing pharmacist.

In England, the apothecaries merited their own livery company, the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, founded in 1617. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson became the first woman to gain a medical qualification in Britain when she passed the Society's examination in 1865.

Apothecaries used the now obsolete apothecaries' measure to provide precise weighing of small quantities.

What do we know of the Bacon family?
BACON, JOHN THO., Apothecary, North Main-str.
Irish Names and Surnames says: "the name of an English family who came to Ireland soon after the Anglo-Norman invasion and settled in Co. Meath"

Anne's father, John Thomas Bacon, was an Apothecary and it is possible that his sons were other apothecary's (see opposite). He was trading at Main North Street in 1797 and in Patrick Street 1805 to 1811.

John married Abigail Newman, daughter of a surgeon, in 1772, see below.

Richard's son Francis later lived at 58 Sunday's Well Road (see "Francis Guy"). The house is called Verulam - a name linked to Baron Verulam of Verulam - Francis Bacon (1561-1626). Does this imply a family connection with Francis Bacon, or was Francis simply using it as a play on the "Francis" and "Bacon" names he more or less shared?

From Apothecarie's Hall, Dublin : 1791-1829

A return of the name of each person in each year since 24 June 1791 who has been examined by the Governor and Directors of the Apothecaries Hall in Dublin and who has received a certificate of his Qualifications to open a shop and practice as an Apothecary or who has received a certificate to become an apprentice to learn the business of an apothecary. The date is when the certificate was awarded.

Richard Bacon 1801 City of Cork, apprentice
William Bacon 1804 City of Cork, apprentice
Richard Bacon 1815 City of Cork, Apothecary

Holdens Cork Directory 1797, North Main Street, City of Cork
John Thomas Bacon, Apothecary

Holdens Cork Directory 1805 to 1811,Patrick Street, City of Cork
John Thomas Bacon, Apothecary

William West Cork Directory 1809-1810, St Patrick's Street, Cork City
John Thomas Bacon, Apothecary

Anne Bacon's mother was Abigail Newman who was born c. 1751 to Charles Newman, surgeon. Abigail married John Thomas Bacon on the 2nd July 1772.

There are some later references to Newmans in trade directories (see opp.) and the IGI shows quite a few living in Cork at this time.

The name Newman is also linked to the Travers family in Cork (see the Travers page): Elizabeth Newman whose father was Dillon Newman was the grandmother of Sir Eaton Stannard Travers.

NLI - Newspaper Microfiche
2 July 1772 at Christchurch Mr John Thomas Bacon apothecary to Miss Newman, daughter of Charles Newman, Surgeon.

NEWMAN & HEFFERNAN, Cork-tavern, Crone?s-lane, North Main-st.
NEWMAN, ADAM, Esq., Alderman & Justice, Newberry
NEWMAN, WILLIAM, Cooper, Caroline-st.

Pigot & Co.'s Directory 1824 - Cork City
Newman Chas. tallow chand.
Newman John, merch.
Newman John, cooper
Newman R. & G. gunsmith
"The charity school and alms house, in Christ Church lane, were endowed in 1742 by Mrs. Shearman, for educating 15 poor boys of the established church, and the alms house was particularly endowed by Mrs. Newman, for the support of the poor of both sexes."

Notes & References
  1. Unless otherwise noted this information is from private communications with Martyn Guy.
  2. International Genealogical Index
  3. Other sources are noted in the text.
  4. Cork Ancestors