The drugs used by the physicians and apothecaries were purchased from the grossarii or sellers in gross, who were subsequently called 'grocers, some of whom specialized as druggists and others as chymists or chemists.
The frauds and adulterations were probably due in part to the apothecaries, for Dr Merrit, a collegiate physician of London, stated that " such chymists which sell preparations honestly made complain that few apothecaries will go to the price of them."
The medicinal preparations which required the aid of a furnace, such as mineral earths, were undertaken by the chymists, who probably derived their name from the Alchymists, who flourished from the 14th to the 16th centuries.
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