In the 19th Century opium was commonly used as a remedy for a large number of common ailments. It is hard to believe that it was possible to walk into a chemist shop and buy without a prescription cocaine and laudanum. Opium preparations, (‘little white powder’) were freely sold in towns and markets and in the countryside by travelling ‘hawksters’. Taking opium became as popular as alcohol. Surprisingly, opium was also used as a ‘quieten’ tincture for children.
Dr Eric Somerville will talk about the use of opium, laudanum and other derivatives, particularly in the Fens and the growth of addiction, called ‘elevation’ amongst the female population.
The Society’s Christmas Social with entertainment by Bedford Gallery Quire.
Stuart Orme, the Curator of the Cromwell Museum will talk to us about Oliver Cromwell’s first campaigns in 1643 at Huntingdon, Peterborough, Crowland and the Battle of Gainsborough on 28th July.
Adrian Moss will talk about John Howland of Fenstanton and how as the man servant of Governor John Carver he sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 to settle in Plymouth in the ‘New World’. John Howland was an indentured servant when he set sail on the Mayflower but in later years he became personal secretary to the Governor and was instrumental in the making of a treaty with the local native American tribe, Sachem Massasoit.
Mr Tom Grimes will talk about the History and Collections of the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society