AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area

Pereira, Jonathan (1804-1853)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 MSS.5943-5944
Held at: Wellcome Library
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Full title: Pereira, Jonathan (1804-1853)
Date(s): 1837-1851
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 volume, 1 file
Name of creator(s): Pereira | Jonathan | 1804-1853 | pharmacologist
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Jonathan Pereira (1804-1853) was born in Shoreditch, London, of Sephardic Jewish descent, and educated locally. At sixteen he was articled to an apothecary in the City Road, then in 1821 became a student at the General Dispensary, Aldersgate Street. He attended courses in chemistry, materia medica, and practical medicine by Henry Clutterbuck, on natural philosophy by George Birkbeck, and on botany by William Lambe. Shortly before his nineteenth birthday he qualified as as licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries and became apothecary to the Aldersgate dispensary. Thereafter he also studied surgery at St Bartholomew's Hospital, qualifying as a surgeon in 1825.

Whilst at the Aldersgate dispensary he taught widely, giving private lessons to medical students and writing textbooks: he published Synopsis of the Chemical Decomposition that takes place in the Preparations of the London Pharmacopoeia in 1823, an English translation of the newly revised Pharmacopoeia Londinensis and Selectae e praescriptis (a selection of medical prescriptions) in 1824, A Manual for the Use of [Medical] Students in 1826 and A General Table of Atomic Numbers with an Introduction to Atomic Theory in 1827. He had succeeded Clutterbuck as the dispensary's lecturer in chemistry in 1826 and in 1828 began to teach materia medica. Teaching duties slowed down his publication schedule from 1827 to 1835 but proved lucrative.

In 1832 he was appointed Professor of Materia Medica at the new medical school in Aldersgate Street and lecturer in chemistry at the London Hospital. In 1841 he became Assistant Physician to the London Hospital, having passed the examination to become a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians after a quick course of study, and obtained the degree of MD from Erlangen. In 1845 he became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and was made a member of the pharmacopoeial committee and curator of the museum. He became full physician at the London Hospital in 1851.

His work on The Elements of Materia Medica and Therapeutics first appeared in 1839, based upon his published lectures; an enlarged second edition followed in 1842. He spent much of the succeeding years working on the third edition but died before all parts were complete; it was published in 1853 having been completed by Alfred Swaine Taylor and George Owen Rees. The work improved upon all previous publications on materia medica through its scientific exactitude. During these years he was also closely associated with Jacob Bell in the setting up of the Pharmaceutical Society.

In 1838 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. He was a fellow of the Linnean Society and a member of the Phrenological Society and the Meteorological Society. He died in 1853.


Scope and content/abstract:

The elements of materia medica and therapeutics, by Jonathan Pereira. Author's copy, interleaved with additional notes and correspondence.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Readers are restricted to 100 photocopies in twelve months. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Finding aids:

Described in: Richard Palmer, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine: Western Manuscripts 5120-6244 (London: The Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine, 1999).

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Presented by Mrs L A Ridge, 1964.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Copied from the Wellcome Library catalogue by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
In compliance with ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description - 2nd Edition (1999); UNESCO Thesaurus, December 2001; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Jan 2009

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Personal Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"