Welcome to Peter Harrington Books

125234 125234_1 125234_2 125234_3
MILLER, Joseph.

Botanicum Officinale; or a Compendious Herbal:...

giving an account of all such plants as are now used in the practice of physick. With their descriptions and virtues.

Availability: In stock

Published: London Printed for E. Bell, J. Senex, W. Taylor, J. Osborn, 1722

Stock Code: 125234

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First edition. Botanicum Officinale may "be regarded as the first text-book of vegetable Materia Medica, worthy of the name, in the English language" (American Journal of Pharmacy, vol. 78, 1906, p. 320). "In 1722 was published Joseph Miller's Botanicum officinale. This well-printed octavo volume was sold at five shillings. It is written in English and the author made use, during the preparation of his work, of Samuel Dale's Pharmacologia seu manuductio ad materiam medicam, first published in 1693. It appears from his preface that Miller compiled his herbal for the use of apothecaries in order to give them a better botanical knowledge of the plants they used in making up medical prescriptions, and to save them from 'the gross impositions frequently practised by the common herb-folks' who made 'no scruple of selling one thing for another, very often directly contrary to the intention of the prescriber'. The dedication is addressed to Sir Hans Sloane as President of the Royal College of Physicians, and reference is made to Sloane's 'late noble present of the physick-garden at Chelsea to the Apothecaries company, on condition of its being kept up to the improvement of botany'. The plants are arranged alphabetically in accordance with their Latin names as published in the Pharmacopœia londinensis, a new edition of which had been issued by the College of Physicians in 1721... Joseph Miller was an apothecary who reached a considerable eminence in his profession. He served 'for the year 1738-9' as Master of the Society of Apothecaries, and in 1743 was elected 'Praefectus horti and Demonstrator of plants' at the Chelsea physic garden. This post he held until his death on 29 March 1748" (Henrey).

Confused? Read our glossary


Octavo (195 x 118 mm). Contemporary calf, spine bands and covers ruled in gilt.


Contemporary ownership signature to front free endpaper: "Hannah Shaw's Booke 1728 Price 6s:6d". Covers a little marked, minor wear at extremities, joints just starting, front free endpaper a little loose at head, a few page corners lightly creased. A very good, clean copy.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200. View Full Details


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book

Peter Harrington Limited. Registered office: WSM Services Limited, Connect House, 133-137 Alexandra Road, Wimbledon, LONDON SW19 7JY.
Registered in England and Wales No:3609982 Copyright © 2018, Peter Harrington. All rights reserved.

credit cards logo