18th Century Herbal Notebook

Here’s another little gem of synchronicity that guided me in my research of 18th century Scottish herbal remedies:

My friend was gardening for a regular client one day, and noticed she seemed somewhat ‘solemn’. Being a compassionate soul, my friend enquired as to her client’s wellbeing.

The woman gratefully responded that she was writing an obituary for her late friend, and wanted to write a tribute that would leave a lasting impression of her amazing life-time achievements, of which there were many.

My friend suggested she could listen to the woman read what was written so far and offer some words of advice. It turns out that the late Agnes Walker had been a physician and botanist and a font of knowledge when it came to native herbal medicines.

In the library of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, she had come across an 18th century handwritten notebook that she believed it to be a course in herbal medicine. She proceeded in the last days of her life to transcribe this personally, so that it could be turned into a digital copy.

Agnes Walker was an academic, published author and great asset to the preservation of herbal medicine in Scotland.

Of course my friend immediately told her client of her ‘passionate herbalist friend, Claire’ [Me] Who was keen to research the traditional origins of herbal medicine in Scotland. On hearing this, the woman gleefully gave Karen books which had belonged to Agnes to pass on to me, along with instructions of her research.

At this I contacted the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons and was able to access Agnes’ notes.

It has become a matter close to my heart to continue with the research that is the legacy of Agnes, and to carry on the great work which she began.

This is the digital version of the notebook, which you can flick through online, courtesy of ElectronicScotland.com -and of course Agnes!

*Some of the format in the Gaelic medical manuscript Materia Medica- appears to look very similar to this layout.

#RCPSG #18thCenturyHerbs #ScotsPharmacopoeia #AgnesWalker



Here you will find blog-posts and details of our plan to create a pharmacopoeia of Highland herbs, based on research and Materia Medica from the early Gaelic medical manuscripts.


This is a HUGE task and we hope to provide interesting snippets of our finds along the way.  The result will hopefuly be a pharmacopoeia compendium of Highland medicinal plants that will make history.  


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slàinte leat!

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