Some Nottinghamshire cures

Photo:A sprained ankle

A sprained ankle

Photo:An egg yolk

An egg yolk

The home cures of a Laxton villager

By R B Parish

In an excellent book called Life at Laxton memories of Edith Hickson, in which the author relates some country cures. One of the most curious is that of a protective red flannel petticoat called a Hannington which was used for ‘delicate chested young women’. She relates that when her father contracted pneumonia and the doctor’s daughter sent for one from Retford. Whether it was important in the cure she does not known and I haven’t heard of anything similar so far in my research.

Edith Hickson also records a notebook with some notable cures. Many she relates could be found in the top shelf of a cupboard and many home cures used linseed, mustard, even bread and brown paper. For rheumatism she records that:

“one quart of cider, 2 ozs cream of Tartar, 2 ozs best mustard, 2 ozs brimestome. Put all in a pan and stand it by the fire till thoroughly mixed but do not boil. A small wineglassful to be taken three times a week.”

For sprained ankles a yoke of an egg was mixed with mustard and placed on it.

For a sore throat one could either put goosegrease and camphorated oil on the throat and sleep with a woollen stocking around the neck otherwise:

“2 drams of Hyoid of Potash, 11/2 ozs of soap liniment, 11/2 ozs rose water, mix and make a liniment.”

This was the to be rubbed into the neck as often as she says you can bear it! Indeed, she noted that the remedies read worse than the ailment!

The author is researching customs and folklore of the county and would welcome any correspondence on the matter.

This page was added by R B Parish on 21/03/2013.

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