D is for Distiller: "Drop as Rain Distill as Dew"
By MORTON, James; and Charles BEDELL , 1760

James Morton & Charles Bedell Distillers. … Make & Sell Rich Citron Water little inferior to Barbardo’s at Ten Shill.s P Gallon Green Usquebaugh with great Variety of other Cordials

  • Author: MORTON, James; and Charles BEDELL
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: At the Cordial Warehouse in Ludgate Street
  • Publication date: c1760
  • Physical description: Engraved trade card, loss to upper left corner.
  • Dimensions: 210 by 165mm. (8.25 by 6.5 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 17981


Morton & Bedell also distilled “Plague Water,… Doctor Stephen’s Water,… Hungary Water,… Aqua Mirabilis,… Spirit of Saffron,. Spirit of Scurvey Grass,… Distilled Vinegar at 3s p Gallon Spirit of Wine for Lamps at 5s p Gallon. Likewise Sell Arrack, Rum, Brandy, Hollands Geneva, Barbado’s, Citron and Mint-Water, French Perceco, and Neat Wines, at the Lowest Prices”.

Plague water, would have been a best-seller for Morton & Bedell, as the Plague continued to haunt London until the nineteenth century. Their recipe may have contained any, or all, of these ingredients: Rue, Agremony, Wormwood, Selandine, Red Sage, Balm, Mugwort, [Snap] Dragons, Fetherfew, Burnett, Sorril,Tormentil, Scordium, Cardus-Benidictus, Dittanter, Bittany, Marigolds, Scabius, Peniroyal, Rosemary, Angellico leaves, Elingcompane roots, Cowslips, Burage, Clovegilly flowers, Aniseeds, Coriander, steeped in white wine and brandy, before distilling…

The Beinecke Library holds a similar trade card for Charles Bedell on his own, dated c1757, presumably after parting ways with Morton (of whom no more is known). Bedell was appointed “Distiller in Ordinary to his Majesty” in January of 1758, upon the death of C. Collins, a position which he held, according to the registers, until at least 1820.

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