Mistress Agnes has heard tell that it be National Gardens Week. She hast been out tending her herbs. If anyone be unwell in the area, she can advise; her tinctures be greatly preferable to the more invasive ‘cures’ that Master Christopher may inflict. She hath a new receipt book, which doth provide a wonderous cure, advocated by Dr. Lower, for Master Christopher’s most common ailment.
To drive away all wind fleamge, crudities and indigestions from ye stomach
Take of fiera-picra (made of aloes and canella bark) 2 drams, of ye topps of centaury, & wormwood of each two pugill (handfuls), steepe them in a pint of Brandy till it becomes of a reddish colour then take two spoonfuls at night & two in ye morning.
She be making up vast quantities in preparation for their forthcoming journey to Birmingham. She has heard tell that it be a wool and leather-making town of some 3000 persons, where some new metal working trades be setting up.
[Recipe from an unpublished manuscript: original in Totnes Museum]