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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury and the Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury People

What is the Bloomsbury Project?

The Leverhulme-funded UCL Bloomsbury Project was established to investigate 19th-century Bloomsbury’s development from swampy rubbish-dump to centre of intellectual life

Led by Professor Rosemary Ashton, with Dr Deborah Colville as Researcher, the Project has traced the origins, Bloomsbury locations, and reforming significance of hundreds of progressive and innovative institutions

Many of the extensive archival resources relating to these institutions have also been identified and examined by the Project, and Bloomsbury’s developing streets and squares have been mapped and described

This website is a gateway to the information gathered and edited by Project members during the Project’s lifetime, 1 October 2007–30 April 2011, with the co-operation of Bloomsbury’s institutions, societies, and local residents

Richard Jefferson Dodd (c. 1862–1926)

a summary of his Bloomsbury connections

He was a chemist and druggist who had qualified in 1884 (Pharmaceutical Journal, 1926)

In the 1890s he was a member of the St Pancras vestry; he was also a purveyor of his own brand of patent medicines

Jefferson Dodd’s Corrective (2s 9d per 4 fl. oz bottle) was apparently a decoction of aloes, minus the saffron, with additional chloroform, and an ABV of 5.3% (British Medical Association, More Secret Remedies: What They Cost & What They Contain, 1912)

It was estimated to cost 9/10 of a penny for enough of these ingredients to make four ounces at cost prices from a wholesale druggist; excluding costs of preparation and packaging (British Medical Association, More Secret Remedies: What They Cost & What They Contain, 1912)

Jefferson Dodd’s Female Pills (1s 1½ d for a box of 36) were a compound of dried sulphate of iron, aloes, powdered liquorice, excipient, and moisture, each weighting about 3.4 grains, and coated with French chalk; the ingredients for these were estimated to cost about 1/6 d for a box of 36 (British Medical Association, More Secret Remedies: What They Cost & What They Contain, 1912)

In 1896 he appeared in The Times as Richardson Jefferson Dodd (sic), chemist, of Tottenham Court Road, with five summonses by the Inland Revenue, for selling Dodd’s Female Corrective, Dodd’s Female Pills, and Dodd’s Female Tonic without stamps affixed to them, as required by law (The Times, 5 March 1896)

He pleaded Guilty, his solicitor Robert Todd “urging that he was not present when the articles were sold to the Inland Revenue officer, and that he was greatly in the hands of his assistants”; he was fined £40 in total, having apparently been fined previously for a similar offence (The Times, 5 March 1896)

He had been fined £32 10s in 1895; his address was then 70 Tottenham Court Road (Pharmaceutical Journal, 1895)

The 1891 census has him (then aged 30 and born Sunderland) at this address, which was clearly also residential, as he occupied it with his 26-year-old wife Louisa, née Clark, born Barking, Essex, and their two young daughters, Louisa (4) and Gertrude (11 months), both born in St Pancras parish, as well as two members of his wife’s family and a servant

By the night of the 1901 census, however, he was a widower staying at the Bedford Head Hotel (238–241 Tottenham Court Road); his daughters were at boarding school in Canterbury

In the 1890s he was for a time the Dispenser to the new St Paul’s Hospital, but they dismissed him in 1898 after he was censured by the Coroner at an inquest into a woman’s death

He was elected to the London Borough Council in Ward 7 of St Pancras in 1903 (The Times, 4 November 1903)

In 1904 his chemist’s business went into receivership (The Times, 28 December 1904); it was then at Tottenham Court Road, Edgware Road, Hampstead Road, Judd Street, Euston Road, and Gray’s Inn Road

Records of it as a wound-up company dating from 1905 are part of the Board of Trade records at the National Archive, ref. BT 31/11284/86302

In 1906 his company, Jefferson Dodd Ltd, brought an action (heard in the Chancery Division of the High Court in 1907) against his successors in business, Dodd’s Drug Stores Ltd, to prevent them passing themselves off as the same company and similarly selling a product as Dodd’s Female Pills (Jefferson Dodd Ltd v Dodd’s Drug Stores Ltd (1907) 25 RPC 16)

He was again summoned on 14 March 1922, perhaps once more in connection with his patent medicines (Chemist and Druggist, 1922)

This page last modified 7 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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