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2 Common-place books with medical receipts and prescriptions, and with gardening hints

 Fonds — Box: CLX-A-622
Identifier: Coll-1555

Scope and Contents

The common-place books are written in the same hand, largely, and are described as:

  1. 1 x common-place book, small 4to, with 174pp numbered, dating from 1817-1837, though a later style of handwriting on last unnumbered 4 pp feature the date 1849. Original lightly diced Russia, lacking spine. Manuscript medical receipts, prescriptions. Entries feature named Scottish doctors or Scottish periodicals. An extensive case-history dated Edinburgh, March 1830, is written in the first person. Inserted between pp.36-37 is a visiting card of 'Rev'd John Ainslie / Dirleton' and elsewhere in the volume is a loosely inserted ruled sheet for keeping the pages regular.
  2. 1 x common-place book, small 4to, filled to the extent of only som 30pp or so, largely unnumbered. Binding is half dark green morocco. Titled on the spine as 'Hints on Gardening'. Entries dated 1828-1836, not confined to horticulture but extend to agriculture including notes on sheep-breeding. At either end are advertisements pasted in: for James Pilton's 'Invisible Fence for enclosing Pleasure Grounds'; and for 'Plans for Roseairies' by Lee and Kennedy, Hammersmith.


  • Creation: 1810-1860

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance of visit.

Biographical / Historical

Commonplace books (or commonplaces) were a way of compiling knowledge, usually by writing information into books. The books were, in effect, scrapbooks filled with items such as medical recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables, proverbs, prayers, legal and mathematical formulas. Commonplaces were used by readers, writers, students, and scholars as an aid for remembering useful concepts or facts that had been learned. Every commonplace book was unique to the particular interests of the creator.

In this instance, the commonplace books concern themselves with notes about medical receipts and prescriptions, and gardening hints.


2 Volumes

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired by purchase. Accession no: E2014.44.

Processing Information

Catalogued by Graeme D. Eddie 29 May 2014

Collection of 2 common-place books written in the same unknown hand, one descripbing medical prescriptions and receipts, and the other containing gardening hints - circa 1817-1849
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379