Pills and Potions

This article originally appeared in Belbroughton Parish Magazine in April 2013.

In our archives, we have the following advertisement for pills and ointment sold by Mr Bate of Belbroughton, presumably in the late 1860s. 

Welch’s Purifying Pills and African Pearl Ointment



Tumours, Cancers, Scorfula, Scurvey, Enlarged Joints, Diseased Bones, Bad Wounds, &c.

The following selections from a long list of Testimonials that have been forwarded with the express desire that they should be made known for the benefit of others who may be suffering in a similar manner:-

                  Mrs Smith, Dudley Road, Halesowen, had been suffering intense pain for a long time, from a large wound in the leg, attended with great inflammation and swelling, so that when cloths wet with lotion were applied, steam arose from the leg as from a fire, she applied on the 15th December 1868, the first time, and the first week in February, 1869, she called to say her leg was perfectly well, and returned thanks for the attention and cure she had received.

Lytchampton, near Worcester, March 26th, 1868

Dear Sir – Having a few minutes to spare, I think I cannot do better than employing them by writing you a few lines, expressing the gratitude I feel toward you for benefit received while under your treatment.  If a description of my case will be of any benefit to any patients you may have under your care, you are quite free to make use of this.  Tell them I have been suffering for upwards of fifteen months with an enlarged knee joint (generally known as a white swelling), and for seven months had been under the treatment of two of the most eminent Surgeons of Worcester, without deriving any benefit. Tell them I could not walk without the assistance of a crutch, but in less than four months after being under your treatment, I am able to throw the crutch away.  My knee is gradually gaining strength, and I am now able to walk a distance of two miles comparatively easy.  This happy result under God’s blessing, I attribute entirely to your treatment, for which you will always command my deepest thanks.  You are free to make what use you like of this note, Sincerely hoping you are well, I remain, dear Sir, yours truly

                                                                        W S WILLIS

Mr John Welch.

                  Mr JOHN AMBURY, JUN, Lay Works, Brierley Hill, had been suffering with enlarged knee joint, diseased ankle joint, and several large wounds in the leg; had been unable to attend to any business for twelve months, was discharged from Birmingham Hospital, and never expected to be any better; he was advised by a friend to apply to Mr Welch, and at once commenced taking his medicine, any by a steady perseverance in the same, attended by the divine Blessing, is now restored to perfect health, and continues his business with ease and comfort.  (This man’s knee was nearly as large as his head.)


Mr BATE, Belbroughton.