Robert James Peck was born on 20th July 1789, the son of Floyd Clay Peck (a chymist, druggist and wine-merchant of Chelmsford, Essex – see The history of medical treatments, training, qualifications and regulation for more on chymists and druggists). It’s also of note that his mother was Elizabeth Hawes, the daughter of Richard Hawes, a surgeon from Cavendish, Suffolk (see The Pecks for more on the wider family, especially its medical members).
Little is known about Robert Peck’s life between his birth and the start of his medical career in about 1812 (in October 1844 he stated that he’d been in practice for 32 years – see image below). In particular his training is an unsolved mystery. It might have been a fairly informal mixed bag. We know that he had no formal qualifications from another part of the 1844 document, and his Medical Directory entries (1847 & 1848) – see references with further images below. His chemist father had died in 1802 (and medical grandfather Richard Hawes in 1801), when Robert was too young to have been apprenticed to either of them. He might have picked up some early knowledge from his father at least though, and he had some medical relatives called Beck at Needham Market in Suffolk on his grandfather’s side who could have contributed to his training (see The Pecks for more details). Also his mother was still working as a chemist and druggist before and after 1808 when the family business burnt down, so he could have obtained several years of training from her? He would have been aged 18 when the fire happened and yet still 4 years from when he regarded his medical career as having started. However, from accounts written at the time, it does not appear that Robert was at home when the fire happened, and the survival of the 16th century family Bible to this day suggests that he was not there (it would have been in his possession by then – fortunately it appears he hadn’t left it with his mother!). It’s perhaps more likely that he was serving as an apprentice elsewhere in 1808 until 1812, when he would have been 23 years of age. Peck family tradition has it that he was apprenticed to a member of the Minter family in Folkestone, Kent. He later married a Minter in Folkestone (see further below), and in 1819 he mentioned having been ‘in extensive Practice at Elham, in Kent, for several years’ (see further below also), so perhaps he trained and practised there before coming to Newmarket (again see The Pecks for more details). The other main possibility is that he trained with the army. He certainly served with the army in 1813 (mentioned on the 1844 document), so he might have trained with them too? According to the Medical Directory he appears to have had links with the ‘Essex Royal Militia’ as late as 1847, so perhaps, being from Essex originally, he had trained with an Essex regiment? It’s perhaps even the case that the comment is there to indicate a form of qualification, rather than indicating a current role?
So, whatever his training, Robert James Peck regarded his medical career proper to have started about 1812. Likewise, we know that in 1813 he was serving as an Assistant Surgeon in the Army, where he might have trained. We also know that he practised at Elham in Kent for a few years (see image below – unless, as discussed above, he meant a pre-1812 apprenticeship). So when did he come to Newmarket? In October 1844 he stated that he’d been working in Newmarket for 25 years (see image above). However, at his death in November 1848 he was said to have been in practice at Newmarket in excess of 30 years. Also, in January 1819 when Newmarket’s Woodward Mudd died, he was already in partnership with him according to a public notice placed in The Bury and Norwich Post at the time (again see image below), which must have been a very short partnership if these dates and timings are accurate. That might account for why such a public notice was necessary, since his partnership with Woodward Mudd might not have been well known in January 1819, after only a few months in the town. It’s unclear whether Woodward Mudd knew that he was terminally ill (see the page on Woodward Mudd). It’s perhaps most likely that he did, and so this could have been a planned handover partnership, quite like the later handover partnership between Robert Peck’s son Floyd and William Day, and many other examples in Newmarket’s medical history. The public notice is also remarkably like the notice placed by Woodward Mudd on the death of William Sandiver 2 a few years earlier, which definitely was a transition with little if any overlap. All things considered, the evidence suggests that Robert James Peck came to Newmarket in about October 1818, so perhaps the most likely sequence of events is training pre-1812 (various possibilities), the army for about a year in 1813, then Elham in Kent from 1814 to 1818, followed by Newmarket.
So why Newmarket? What connections did Robert Peck have with Newmarket? He had no obvious connection to Woodward Mudd, but there are some intriguing possible links between the Pecks and Sandivers, who Woodward Mudd had succeeded only 5 years earlier. In fact whilst researching this history, before I discovered that Woodward Mudd was the connection between Robert James Peck and William Sandiver 2, I’d suspected a direct link, based partly on the co-incidence of dates, but also because of the Isaacson family. They seemed to form a link. William Sandiver 2’s daughter Elizabeth was close to the Isaacsons of Lidgate, described as ‘much loved ffriends and Relatives’ in his will of 1813 (William Sandiver 2’s mother had been Hannah Isaacson of Burwell Manor), and Lidgate Isaacsons were sponsors at the baptism of two of Robert Peck’s children. Also, Lidgate is not far from where Robert’s maternal grandfather had been in practice. Perhaps the Isaacsons were friends of the Hawes/Pecks and were taking an interest in the continuation of the Sandiver medical practice? Perhaps they were related even; in his will of 1836 Robert Peck mentioned his ‘copyhold messuage and heretidaments holden of the Manor of Swaffham Prior’, the neighbouring parish to Burwell on the Isaacson’s Manor side. This seems a strange thing for him to have had, especially since he still had a mortgage of £1000 on his house in Newmarket when he died. Was this something he’d inherited from the Isaacsons of neighbouring Burwell Manor? No further evidence has emerged, but it’s intriguing.
Soon after his arrival in town Robert James Peck married Sarah Minter of Folkestone, in July 1819. Nine months later their first child was born in April 1820, then between 1820 and 1834 they went on to have 13 children in 14 years (none of whom were twins)! Of particular note from a Newmarket medical history point of view is their eldest son, Floyd Minter Peck, born on 20th April 1820. He trained with his father, worked with him for much of his career, then continued the practice after his father’s death (see the page on Floyd Minter Peck for details).
When Robert Peck married Sarah Minter he was said to be of All Saints’ parish, Newmarket. Twenty years later, in 1839, a trade directory described his practice as being on the High Street. The 1841 census shows the Pecks living at Mentmore House, in between The Crown and Waggon and Horses pubs on the High Street, but that’s in St Mary’s parish. Moreover, all of their children were baptised at St Mary’s church, so it’s possible they’d lived in Mentmore House from shortly after their marriage. However, on the 1821 enclosure map of Newmarket, Mentmore House appears to have been in the possession of someone called George Haxall (although he owned two other properties round the corner). They might initially have leased it from him before buying though, as the Gray’s did with Lushington House. Unfortunately, unlike with Lushington House, I have not been able to locate any old deeds for Mentmore House, which might have shed more light on its ownership and occupancy. When the house was put up for auction in 1850 it was described as where Robert James Peck had lived for ‘many years’.
A key feature of Robert Peck’s practice was the training of apprentices who went on to pass the Society of Apothecaries LSA examination, despite the fact that Robert Peck himself had no such qualifications. In this sense his career bridges the gap between when apothecaries trained by apprenticeship but entered no examinations to gain qualifications (pre-1815), and after that date, when the LSA became compulsory (see The history of medical treatments, training, qualifications and regulation for more details). He trained five apprentices in total, who passed their LSAs in 1820 (Edward Sankey), 1822 (George Edwards), 1826 (Thomas Busick Haylock), 1828 (Michael Minter, his wife’s younger brother – see The Pecks for more details) and finally, significantly later than the others, his son Floyd in 1841. It’s interesting that the first two must have started their 5 year apprenticeship with him before he came to Newmarket (unless he took them on from Woodward Mudd?). Also of note is that he advertised for a ‘pupil’ in 1827 and 1833, but nothing appears to have come from those adverts (Floyd’s apprenticeship started well over a year after the 1833 advert, in July 1834).
Aside from apprentices, Robert Peck had an assistant called Francis Charles Pyman from 1827 to 1828, for whom he gave an interesting reference in October 1828 (see the references below). After that he had another assistant, Andrew Ross, who became his business partner in 1833, but this partnership was dissolved in 1837 when Andrew Ross moved on. It’s of interest that their business was officially legally defined as ‘Surgeons and Apothecaries’. His most significant colleague though was his son, Floyd Minter Peck. After completing his training at Bart’s in 1841, Floyd likely returned to Newmarket to work with his father; certainly he was there by April 1842 when he obtained a post with the Newmarket Union. They were listed as ‘Peck Rt. James and Son’ in an 1844 trade directory. Also in 1844 they were involved with a fascinating case together, published in the Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal by a consultant who they called in (see the details regarding this and his other medical activities further below). However, in October 1844 Floyd resigned his position as a Medical Officer of the Newmarket union to practice in Kent for a while. Nevertheless, he was back by early 1848, probably late 1847. (There’s a small possibility that Samuel Gamble came to Newmarket to fill this gap – see the page on Samuel Gamble for details, and below.)
There were some interesting changes in the other practices in town during Robert Peck’s time. When he arrived Walter Norton ran the main rival practice, likely working alone at that stage, and there was also someone called James Hustler in town. The latter soon left, but Walter Norton was joined, probably after Robert Peck’s arrival, by James Taylor and Henry Kendall. These were Newmarket’s four medics by the time of Pigot’s 1823 trade directory, i.e. Robert James Peck and the triple partnership Norton, Taylor and Kendall. That was still the case in 1830, but by 1840 the Norton, Taylor and Kendall practice had ceased to exist (an amazing story – see The Edwards-Norton-Taylor-Kendall-Thomas-Bullen practice chain). Three new practices sprang up at this time to make the four who would dominate 19th century Newmarket, the others being headed up by Richard Faircloth, Robert Fyson and Frederick Page. One of the Pecks performed a post-mortem alongside Richard Faircloth in 1843. Frederick Page tried to take on the Pecks’ Newmarket Union role in 1844 on Floyd’s departure to Kent, but his application was regarded as ‘premature’ and there is no evidence that he tried again. In 1845 Samuel Gamble (who probably had joined Robert Fyson by that stage, unless he was working for Robert Peck as mentioned above) called on Robert Peck for a second opinion regarding a head injury case. Aside from these involvements with the other Newmarket medics, he was also present at the foundation of the Eastern Provincial Medical and Surgical Association in 1835 at Bury St Edmund’s, seconding some interesting remarks made in a speech given by someone from Norwich (see the references below).
Aside from his general work as a surgeon and apothecary, Robert Peck held some official poor law roles too. In 1822 the St Mary’s vestry minutes record that ‘Robert James Peck shall attend the poor of the parish as surgeon from 22nd day of November 1822 to the 22nd day of November 1823 for the sum of twenty five pounds, and to be paid ten shillings and sixpence for every midwifery patient’ (see the page on the Newmarket Union for an image of this). Interestingly, 10 years later a similar note appears stating, ‘It was agreed that Mr Robert James Peck Surgeon should attend the Poor of the Parish upon the same Terms as was agreed upon at a Vestry Meeting held in this Parish on the 26 Day of December 1822’, and ‘Mr Robert James Peck Surgeon propose to attend all casual Poor for the annual Sum of Ten Pounds, when such proposition was [ordered/advised?] to be taken into consideration and determined upon at the next meeting’. There was a similar minute in 1834. With the advent of the new poor law in 1836 (see the page on the Newmarket Union), he was appointed to Divison 5 (there were 7 divisions not defined). However, a couple of weeks later he resigned from that position. Why he did so is not stated. However, when the divisions were rearranged from 7 to 5 later in 1836, Le Neve, Peck’s replacement, covered Ashley, Gazeley, Lidgate, Dalham, Ousden, Moulton and Kennett. Robert Fyson was the medic for St Mary’s, so likely he’d obtained that area initially too, with Robert Peck being allocated some of these outlying villages later covered by Le Neve. A couple of them (Lidgate and Ousden) are a very long way from Newmarket and would have been quite onerous to cover from a Newmarket base (Le Neve lived in Barrow). However, in 1842 Floyd took on Division 3, which at that time comprised the villages of Cheveley, Woodditton, Ashley, Moulton and Kennett (a smaller, less far flung patch), a role which Robert Peck took on when his son moved away in 1844, and which he held until his death in 1848. Interestingly though, in 1847 he offered to cover for Thomas Kerry, who was from Lidgate, and whose patch (Divison 4) covered the villages of Kirtling, Lidgate, Ousden, Dalham and Gazeley at that stage. As mentioned above, another role mentioned in his 1847 Medical Directory entry was ‘Assistant-surgeon to the Essex Royal Militia’, although it’s not entirely clear whether that was a current role or referring back to his 1813 post, and he might even have listed it as the equivalent to a qualification (which it was for the purposes of his poor law job – see details in the references below). Kelly’s 1846 Post Office Directory adds that he was also ‘agent to Crown life assurance company, & medical referee’.
Regarding Robert James Peck’s medical activities, we have very little detail except from the fascinating 1844 case mentioned above, in which he treated a mouth abscess caused by a piece of barley getting stuck. He used leeches (the account doesn’t say where these were applied, but perhaps the scene looked something like that on the left, with the leeches instead applied a little further forward, under the jaw, unless he was deliberately applying them near major blood vessels? – see also the page on the Pecks’ successor William Henry Day for more on leeches). He also tried a blister (again, it doesn’t say where this was raised), senna and calomel (mercury) for the bowels, and punctured the abscess using a surgical instrument called a bistoury. The last of these interventions was obviously the only one that was likely to have done any good, the others being standard interventions for pretty much anything and everything it seems at the time. Since the patient rapidly became worse a consultant from Bury was called for who added brandy, ammonia and morphia to the treatment regimen, but the patient died. Mr Peck’s son (presumably Floyd) was mentioned as present at the post mortem. Other incidents found to date involving Robert Peck’s medical activities come from his work as a Poor Law Medical Officer, in 1843 certifying someone insane, the result of which was their removal to a Lunatic Asylum, and in 1845 reporting a case of overcrowding at Woodditton in a family infected with typhus fever. The remedy for the latter appears to have been for the Relieving Officer to deal with the overcrowding in some unspecified way. It’s also of note that he 1834 vestry book entry mentioned above shows that he must have treated fractures and been involved with midwifery cases. A newspaper report from 1848 shows him attending a railway accident as well.
Towards the end of his career, in January 1847, Robert Peck attended a remarkable demonstration of surgery under ether anaesthetic at the Suffolk General Hospital. This was also attended by Richard Faircloth and Frederick Page from Newmarket (for a very interesting report of the event click here). He might have had the opportunity to try ether in his own practice after that? It’s interesting to consider how it might have changed what he could do, but sadly he died relatively suddenly not long afterwards, in November 1848 at the age of 59, of pneumonia after a short illness of just 5 days. He was laid to rest in the little cemetery that still exists east of Church Lane in Newmarket. Unfortunately his memorial is no longer legible, and it’s exact position is unknown, but a transcription made in 1928 has survived. It pays tribute to him as a ‘chirugus’ of Newmarket for over 30 years.
Robert Pecks’ house and possessions were put up for auction in 1850, but Floyd continued the practice from the other end of the High Street (see the page on Floyd Peck for more details). The rest of the Newmarket family apparently relocated to Folkestone at some point, possibly by 1850.
Note: oddly a trade directory lists Robert Peck as a surgeon in Railway Street in 1851. Was this a mistake, or perhaps did Floyd continue calling the practice after his father for a few years? And why Railway Street? Did Floyd Peck perhaps temporarily relocate to Railway Street before apparently moving to what was to become Cardigan Lodge?
Image 1: From a private collection; image ©, reproduced with kind permission of the Smith family. [Note: see below or click here for more details on this image and its source etc.]
Image 2: 1844 form of queries, reference MH12/686 (cropped); image ©, reproduced with kind permission of The National Archives.
Image 3: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Jan 6 1819: 2 (cropped); image © The British Library Board, all rights reserved, reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive, www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk. [Note: clicking here leads to the specific page on their website, but requires logging in to it.]
Image 4: Colour reproduction of a lithograph by F-S. Delpech after L. Boilly, 1827, from the Wellcome Collection (cropped); image used under CC BY 4.0, reproduced with kind permission of the Wellcome Collection. [Note: click here for the source.]
Image 5: 1844 form of queries, reference MH12/686 (cropped); image ©, reproduced with kind permission of The National Archives. [Note: this is in the references below.]
Note: see comments regarding images and copyright © etc. on the Usage &c. page as well.
1789, 25th August: Robert Peck (born 20th July 1789) son of Floyd Peck baptised, Chelmsford, Essex. Reference: Essex England Select Church of England Parish Registers 1518-1960 (online database, not image), ancestry.co.uk (accessed 6th April 2019). [Note: unlike with most such references on this website, I haven’t seen the original register yet, or at least an image of it, but this entry would be consistent with his date of birth in the Family Bible – see below, which is my main source for this and other Peck family data.]
1791: Peck Floyd Clay, ‘Chymist, Druggist, and Wine-merchant’, Chelmsford, Essex [listed under ‘Physic.’]. Reference: The Universal British Directory of Trade, Commerce, and Manufacture. London: Printed for the patentees, at the British Directory Office, Ave Maria-Lane; and sold by Champante and Whitrow, Jewery-Street, Aldgate; 1791.
1808, 19th March: ‘DREADFUL FIRE AT CHELMSFORD. A dreadful fire, attended with most melancholy consequences, broke out on Saturday morning, about three o’clock, at Mrs. Smith’s, milliner, in Middle Row, Chelmsford… the houses of Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Peck, druggist, and Mr. Hill, shoemaker, adjoining, were totally destroyed’, which included the ‘shop-stock’. Reference: The Norfolk Chronicle. Saturday Mar 26 1808: 2.
1808, 19th March: Report on the fire at Chelmsford on this date. Reference: ‘In the Midst of Life we are in Death. Narrative of the late deplorable fire, at Chelmsford…’. [2nd edition]. Chelmsford: R. H. Kelham, jun.; 1808. [Note: this account describes Mrs Peck as a chemist, and in her household at the time of the fire (3.30am) was a female servant and a male ‘shopman’. It also notes that Mrs Peck’s had learnt only the week before that her youngest son, eldest brother and a cousin had died at sea. It also includes extracts from the Chelmsford Chronicle newspaper and an otherwise unpublished notice, which describe her as a Chemist and Druggist and reveal that her business reopened after the fire, and included the sale of drugs/medicines and perfumery, including horse medicines, ‘physicians’ prescriptions carefully prepared’ and interestingly ‘electricity performed’ using ‘a capital Electrifying Machine’ either in the shop or on home visits.]
1813, 4th March: The will of William Sandiver of Newmarket in the County of Suffolk Surgeon (probate 16th March 1814). Reference: The National Archives, Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, PROB 11/1554/155.
1813, 3rd July: Woodward Mudd arrived in town to take on William Sandiver’s patients. ‘W. MUDD, SURGEON, &c. BEING REMOVED from Walsham-le-Willows to NEWMARKET, humbly solicits the favours of the employers of the late much-respected Mr. Sandiver, and the public in general.- July 3, 1813.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Jul 14 1813: 2.
1818, 23rd December: Under deaths, ‘On Wednesday last, most universally and deeply lamented, in the 35th year of his age, Mr. Woodward Mudd, surgeon, of Newmarket.- He possessed those essential qualities in the medical character – a tender, sympathizing, and benevolent heart, formed upon the basis of genuine philanthropy.- The poor, to whom he was the friend as well as physician, will sincerely regret his loss.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Dec 30 1818: 2.
1819, 1st January: ‘Mr. PECK, SURGEON, of NEWMARKET, respectfully informs the inhabitants of that Place and Neighbourhood, that he purposes to continue the Practice carried on by the late Mr. Mudd and himself; and he hopes by unremitting attention to secure the same encouragement and support so liberally afforded to his Predecessor and late Partner.- Mr. P. having been in extensive Practice at Elham, in Kent, for several years, flatters himself he shall be found deserving of that confidence and patronage he respectfully solicits, and be enabled to give to the Friends of the late Mr. Mudd satisfaction equal to that which they derived from the attendance of that gentleman. Newmarket, Jan. 1, 1819.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Jan 6 1819: 2. [Note: see image above.]
1819, 16th January: ‘To DEBITORS and CREDITORS. ALL Persons to whom the late Mr. MUDD, Surgeon, of Newmarket, stood indebted at the time of his decease, are requested to send their respective demands to Mr. Peck, Surgeon, of the same place, within two months from the date hereof; and all persons who stand indebted to the Estate and Effects of the late Mr. Mudd, are requested by his Executors to pay their respective debts to the said Mr. Peck, who is duly authorised to receive the same, within the said period.- Newmarket, Jan. 16th, 1819.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Feb 3 1819: 2. [Note: a similar notice dated 1st January appeared on 6th January, except with a fortnight’s deadline. Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Jan 6 1819: 3.]
1819, 3rd July: Robert James Peck, of All Saints’ parish Newmarket, married Sarah Minter of Ss Mary and Eanswythe parish, Folkestone. Reference: Online image of Folkestone Ss Mary and Eanswythe marriage register held at the Canterbury Cathedral Archives, findmypast.co.uk (accessed 24th July 2017). [Note: the marriage was performed by the curate of Elham – see the 1st January 1819 reference above.]
1819, 3rd July: Under marriages, ‘Saturday se’nnight Mr. Peck, surgeon, of Newmarket, to Sarah, youngest daughter of J. Minter, Esq. of Folkstone [sic].’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday July 14 1819: 2.
1820, 6th July: Edward Sankey passed the LSA examination, apprenticed to Robert James Peck of Newmarket for 5 years, evidence of apprenticeship and testimonial of moral character by ‘R J Peck’, followed by 6 months attendance at the Surry [sic] Dispensary. Reference: Court of Examiners Candidates’ Qualification Entry Book, The Society of Apothecaries Archives, Apothecaries’ Hall, Black Friars Lane, London EC4V 6EJ. [Note: see the page about The history of medical treatments, training, qualifications and regulation for an image.]
1821: George Haxall in possession of property number 206 in the High Street on the Newmarket St Mary’s 1821 enclosure map. Reference: FL610/1/6, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: he also possessed two other properties round the corner, perhaps increasing the likelihood that Robert Peck’s family were his tenants – see comments in the main text above.], [Note also, see the page on Mentmore House as well.]
1822, 25th April: George Edwards passed the LSA examination, apprenticed to ‘Mr. Robt. James Peck of Newmarket’ for 5 years, evidence of apprenticeship and testimonial of moral character by ‘R J Peck’ followed by 6 months attendance at the London Dispensary. Reference: Court of Examiners Candidates’ Qualification Entry Book, The Society of Apothecaries Archives, Apothecaries’ Hall, Black Friars Lane, London EC4V 6EJ. [Note: he would have overlapped with Edward Sankey above for several years, and Thomas Haylock below.]
1822, 26th December: ‘At a Vestry meeting held this twenty sixth day of December 1822 it was agreed that Robert James Peck shall attend the poor of the parish as surgeon from 22nd day of November 1822 to the 22nd day of November 1823 for the sum of twenty five pounds, and to be paid ten shillings and sixpence for every midwifery patient’, in Newmarket St Mary’s parish vestry book. Reference: FL610/1/2a, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: see the introductory section about poor laws on the page about The Newmarket Union for an image, which includes Robert James Peck’s signature, the same is in the image above.]
1823: ‘Peck Robert James’ listed under ‘surgeons and apothecaries’ in Newmarket, Cambridgeshire. Reference: Pigot and Co.’s London & provincial new commercial directory, for 1823-4. London: J. Pigot; 1823, pg 172ff. [Note: Norton, Taylor & Kendall are listed separately.]
1823, 18th August: Examined a victim of sexual assault at the request of a magistrate. Reference: Cambridge Chronicle and Journal. Friday Mar 26 1824: 4.
1826, 14th December: Thomas Busick Haylock passed the LSA examination, apprenticed to ‘Mr. Robert James Peck of Newmarket’ for 5 years, followed by 12 months attendance at the Central Infirmary. Reference: Court of Examiners Candidates’ Qualification Entry Book, The Society of Apothecaries Archives, Apothecaries’ Hall, Black Friars Lane, London EC4V 6EJ. [Note: he would have overlapped with Edward Sankey and George Edwards above and Michael Minter below.]
1827, 22nd October: ‘MR. PECK, Surgeon, NEWMARKET, has a Vacancy for a well-educated Youth as a PUPIL.- Application to be post-paid.’ Reference: Cambridge Chronicle and Journal. Friday Oct 26 1827: 3.
1828, 24th February: Michael Minter passed the LSA examination, apprenticed to Robert James Peck of Newmarket for 5 years, evidence of apprenticeship and testimonial of moral character by ‘R J Peck’ followed by 9 months attendance at the Surry [sic] Dispensary. Reference: Court of Examiners Candidates’ Qualification Entry Book, The Society of Apothecaries Archives, Apothecaries’ Hall, Black Friars Lane, London EC4V 6EJ. [Note: Michael Minter was his brother-in-law. In 1845 he wrote his life story in Latin, which has subsequently been translated, and a copy is in the posession of the Peck family (see other sources consulted below), and the full text of the translation can be accessed in Appendix 4 here: http://www.theminters.co.uk/johnspages/newstyle_helenspages_wholedoc.php). In it he mentions being put for two years under the care of a ‘very learned man’ at Newmarket in a private academy, followed by further education by a clergyman in Elham, Kent (cf. 1st January 1819 reference above) after which he became an apprentice to ‘Dr. Peck’. He gives an interesting account regarding the chronology of his training: Starting in 1822 with Dr Peck, after 2 years he went to the Surrey Dispensary to study the pharmacopoeia, followed by classes at St Thomas’ Hospital in anatomy and Guy’s Hospital in obstetrics, chemistry and medicine. Then he records returning to Newmarket with ‘Mr. Peck’ for a while, followed by going back to London to study botany, chemistry, anatomy, surgery and obstetrics until 1827, after which he passed his examination. Of note also, the Peck family Bible (see other sources consulted below) records ‘Mr Michael Minter (my apprentice)’ as a sponsor at the christening of Sarah Maria Peck at St Mary’s church, Newmarket on 1st September 1827.]
1828, October: Francis Charles Pyman’s application for the post of Apothecary and Secretary to the Suffolk General Hospital published in the Newspaper, with references, including from the Newmarket medics Robert James Peck, W Norton, J Taylor and Henry Kendall. Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Oct 22 1828: 3. [Note: the reference from Robert James Peck Reads ‘To the Governors of the Suffolk General Hospital. My Lords, Ladies, and Gentlemen,- I have sincere plea-sure in offering my testimony to the fitness of Mr. F. C. Pyman for the situation of Apothecary and Secretary to the Suffolk Hospital. During his residence of fourteen months with me as an assistant, I have had opportunities of judging of his professional talents, and I assure you that they are of the very highest order. His opportunities of seeing Hospital Practice have been great, and he has not lost sight of them. From his well-grounded knowledge in anatomy, and his ex-tensive medical reading, his zeal in acquiring professional in-formation during his studies must have been unwearied.- From his general conduct during his residence with me, I feel confident that he will most conscientiously, skilfully, and kindly execute the very important office he so earnestly solicits. I have also to add that his moral conduct is unexceptionable. I am, my Lords, Ladies, and Gentlemen, your obedient humble servant, ROBERT JAMES PECK, Surgeon. Newmarket, Oct.2d.’], [Note also, he got the job. Reference: The Suffolk Chronicle. Wednesday Oct 25 1828: 3, but resigned in 1833 to join the India Service (see the page on Richard Faircloth, who applied unsuccessfully to replace him).]
1830: ‘Peck Robert James, Newmarket’ listed under ‘surgeons & apothecaries’ in ‘Newmarket, &c.’ Cambridgeshire. Reference: Pigot and Co.’s national commercial directory. London & Manchester: J. Pigot & Co.; 1830. [Note: Norton, Taylor & Kendall, and Handcock Charles, Burwell are listed separately.]
1832: ‘It was agreed that Mr Robert James Peck Surgeon should attend the Poor of the Parish upon the same Terms as was agreed upon at a Vestry Meeting held in this Parish on the 26 Day of December 1822’, ‘Mr Robert James Peck Surgeon propose to attend all casual Poor for the annual Sum of Ten Pounds, when such proposition was [ordered/advised?] to be taken into consideration and determined upon at the next meeting’, in Newmarket St Mary’s parish vestry book. Reference: FL610/1/3, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1833, 25th February: ‘Mr. PECK, SURGEON, NEWMARKET, re-spectfully announces to his Friends and the Public generally, that he has received his Friend and late Assistant, Mr. ROSS, M.R.C.S. Ed. into Partnership. N.B. A Vacancy for a well-educated Youth as Pupil. 25th of February.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Feb 27 1833: 3. [Note: see the page on Andrew Ross for an image.]
1834, 11th April: ‘It was agreed that Mr. Robt. James Peck surgeon should attend the Poor of this Parish, and all the casual Poor and attend six Midwifery cases, and cases of fracture included for the sum of thirty six pounds from 25th. March last to the 25th. of March 1835’, in Newmarket St Mary’s parish vestry book. Reference: FL610/1/3, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: it goes on to mention ‘Casual fractures or Illness of Paupers not belonging to the Parish’ but it’s not clear what it says about them.], [Note also, Robert James Peck’s signature appears on this page, very similar to that in the image above and on the page about the Newmarket Union, with his name written out in full and underscore with characteristic loops.], [Note also, it’s not clear how they knew in advance that he would attend six cases, unless any beyond six would attract additional fees?]
1835, 18th September: ‘R. G. [sic] Peck’ and ‘J. [sic] Ross’ Newmarket signatories to ‘EASTERN PROVINCIAL Medical & Surgical Association. We, the undersigned, feeling that it is desirable to establish a Society of the above denomination, request those GENTLEMEN of the FACULTY, residing in the counties of NORFOLK, ESSEX, and SUFFOLK, and also in CAMBRIDGESHIRE, LINCOLNSHIRE, and HUNTINGDONSHIRE, who are willing to promote the measure, to meet at the ANGEL INN, BURY ST. EDMUND’s, at One o’clock, on FRIDAY, the 25th day of September instant, for the purpose of setting on foot the said Society.’ Reference: Cambridge Chronicle and Journal. Friday Sept 18 1835: 3.
1835, 25th September: Present at the formation of the Eastern Provincial Medical and Surgical Association. Mr Crosse of Norwich, on whose initiative the association was formed, gave a speech in which he made the following interesting remarks, ‘Every man of experience in practice meets with something that might prove profitable if communicated to his brethren. Let us offer to each other a channel of such communication, either verbally at our meetings, or in writing through our transactions. During my twenty-five years’ resi-dence amongst you, I have known many enlightened, able, and zealous practitioners, though often in very retired situations. I have seldom met with any man of common intelligence who had not something of his own to communicate worth knowing’. This speech was seconded by ‘Mr. Peck, Newmarket’. Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Oct 7 1835: 4. [Note: see the reference above also.]
1836, 11th March: ‘Robert James Peck of Newmarket Surgeon’ was elected Medical Officer for district 5 of the Newmarket Union. Reference: 611/11, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1836, 25th March: ‘Mr Peck’ resigned from medical district 5 of the Newmarket Union. Reference: 611/11, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: he was replaced by George Le Neve from Barrow.]
1836, 19th October: The will of ‘Robert James Peck of Newmarket in the County of Suffolk Surgeon’ (probate 30th December 1848). Reference: The National Archives, Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, PROB 11/2085/122. [Note: he mentions that all his ‘medical, philosophical and ecclesiastical books’ and ‘surgical instruments’ should be given to his eldest son ffloyd ‘on his attaining the age of twenty one years if he continue in the profession of a surgeon but not otherwise’. He mentions that if ffloyd should ‘succeed to the half of the business of a Surgeon and Apothecary in which I am now engaged’ (the other half would have been Andrew Ross at the point of writing this will) he should pay Sarah Peck his widow £50 per year out of the profits of the business. He also mentions that ffloyd be given first refusal on the sale of his home i.e. his Newmarket residence, but interestingly also mentions his ‘copyhold messuage and heretidaments holden of the Manor of Swaffham Prior’.]
1837, 4th July: ‘Notice is hereby given, that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between the undersigned, Robert James Peck and Andrew Ross, both of Newmarket, in the county of Suffolk, Surgeons and Apothecaries, was, on the 1st day of July instant, dissolved by mutual consent.- Dated this 4th day of July 1837.’ Reference: The London Gazette. July 7 1837; Issue 19517: 1728.
1839: ‘Peck Robert James, High st’ listed under ‘Surgeons & Apothecaries’ in ‘Newmarket and Neighbourhood’ Cambridgeshire. Reference: Pigot and Co.’s royal national and commercial directory and topography of the counties of Bedford, Cambridge, Essex, Herts, Huntingdon, Kent, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey and Sussex…. London & Manchester: J. Pigot & Co.; 1839, pg 65. [Note: Bullen Mark Edmund [sic], High st, Faircloth Richard, High St, Fyson Robert, High St, and Page Frederick, High St are listed separately.]
1839: ‘Peck Robert James’ listed under ‘surgeons’ in Newmarket, Cambridgeshire. Reference: Robson’s royal court guide and peerage, with the commercial directory of London and the six counties forming the Norfolk circuit, viz. Beds, Bucks, Cambridgeshire, Hunts, Norfolk, and Suffolk:… . London: William Robson & Co.; 1839, pg 48. [Note: Bullen Mark, Faircloth Richard, Fyson Robert, and Page Frederick, are listed separately.], [Note also, see the page on Frederick Page for an image of this.]
1841, 6th June: Robert Peck, aged 50, surgeon, together with his wife Sarah, four of his children, and three servants. St Mary’s parish, Newmarket. Reference: The National Archives, 1841 census. [Note: the households either side were of Francis Bloss, Publican, and John Martin, Publican, helping to identify their location as Mentmore House, in between The Crown and the Waggon and Horses pubs respectively. John Martin was still in the Waggon and Horses on the 1861 census, which is named on that census, as is Mentmore House (by that time occupied by George Mead) and The Crown. The 1851 census for Newmarket St Mary’s is missing.], [Note also, Ffloyd was not in the household, being recorded as a 21 year old ‘surgeon’ in London, with two others defining themselves as students of medicine. Although he had not yet passed the LSA (see below), perhaps he had already passed the MRCS, which he did gain in 1841, and was keen to use his new designation? – see the page on Floyd Minter Peck for an image.]
1841, 29th July: Ffloyd Minter Peck passed the LSA examination, apprenticed to ‘Mr Robert James Peck of Newmarket, Suffolk his said father’ for 5 years, and 18 months attendance at St Bartholomews Hospital. Reference: Court of Examiners Candidates’ Qualification Entry Book, The Society of Apothecaries Archives, Apothecaries’ Hall, Black Friars Lane, London EC4V 6EJ. [Note: the apprenticeship is recorded to have started on 3rd July 1834 and he started attending lectures in October 1837, yet his apprenticeship was 5 years, attendance at Bart’s 18 months and total training 7 years. So he must have started attending lectures in London whilst still an apprentice in Newmarket, with a two year overlap.]
1842, 19th April: ‘Floyd Minter Peck of Newmarket Saint Mary’ elected as Medical Officer for District 3 of the Newmarket Union. Reference: 611/14, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1843, 12th May: Performed a post mortem alongside Richard Faircloth. References: The Cambridge Independant Press. Saturday May 20 1843:2 and The Ipswich Journal. Saturday May 27 1843:3. [Note: this could have been Floyd Peck, the articles only state ‘Messrs. Peck and Faircloth’.]
1843, 22nd August: A ‘pauper at Dullingham reported on the Certificate of Mr R. J. Peck Medical Officer to be insane’ was ‘forthwith removed to a Lunatic Asylum’. Reference: 611/15, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: interestingly Robert James Peck was not a medical officer of the Union at this point, but Floyd Minter Peck his son and partner was, so either he was deputising or this was an error in the minutes, likely the former – see 10th October 1844 below.]
1844: ‘Peck Rt. James and Son’ listed under ‘Surgeons’ in Newmarket. Reference: History, Gazetteer, and Directory, of Suffolk, and towns near its borders… . Sheffield: W. White; 1844, pg 719. [Note: Faircloth Rd., Fyson Robert and Page Fredk. are listed separately.]
1844, 26th September: Attended a medical meeting in Chelmsford. Reference: The Essex Standard. Friday Oct 4 1844: 2. [Note: likely he was visiting some family members who still lived there too – see The Pecks.]
1844, 28th September to 1st October: Attended a case of abscess caused by a piece of barley becoming lodged in the mouth (details described in the text above). Reference: Ranking WH. Death from the impaction of a por-tion of the beard of barley under the tongue. Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal 1844;8(30):462-463.
1844, 1st October: ‘Mr F M Peck the Medical Officer for the District of Cheveley sent in his resignation of the Office, at the same time stating that if accepted, his father, if approved by the board, would fulfil his contract entered into with the Board for the performance of his duties until 25th March next whereupon the Clerk was instructed to ascertain whether Mr Peck Senr possessed the requisite qualification’. Reference: 611/16, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1844, 8th October: ‘Upon the board being satisfied that Mr Rob James Peck the father of Mr F M Peck the Medical Officer for the district of Cheveley, was duly qualified according to the Medical Regulations of the Poor Law Commissioners the Board accepted the resignation tendered by Mr F M Peck as well as the offer made by Mr R J Peck for the fulfilment of his sons [sic] contract with the Union by performing the duties of the Office until March next when he would offer himself as a candidate for the vacant office’. Reference: 611/16, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: the qualifying criteria referred to included various qualifications that R J Peck didn’t have, or ‘A warrant or commission as surgeon or assistant-surgeon in Her Majesty’s Navy, or as surgeon, or assistant-surgeon, or apothecary in Her Majesty’s Army, or as surgeon, or assistant-surgeon in the service of the Honourable East India Company, dated previous to the 1st day of August, 1826’ – see the next reference below. Reference: http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1845/feb/11/medical-officers-of-poor-law-unions (accessed 11th February 2017), and see the image above from the October 1844 form below as well.], [Note also, this is followed by reference to a letter from ‘Mr Page’ offering himself as a candidate for the role, to which the board replied stating that his ‘application was premature’.]
1844, 10th October: Letter from the Newmarket Union to the Poor Law Commissioners stating that Floyd Minter Peck had resigned and that ‘Mr Robert James Peck, the father of Mr F M Peck, and the substitute named by the latter at the time of his election, offered to fulfil his son’s engagement with the Board for the current year’. It goes on to state, ‘Mr R.J. Peck is a resident practitioner in Newmarket, from whence the District of Cheveley is distant two miles, and that he possesses the qualification of a commission as Surgeon in Her Majesty [’s? – not visible in fold of page] Army dated previously to August 1826.’ Reference: MH12/686, Newmarket Correspondence 1843 to 1846, (The National Archives). [Note: this is followed by a note that they should request to be informed of the cause of Mr Peck junior’s resignation if known, followed by a draft form of a letter dated 14th October to the Newmarket Union requesting to be informed of that but mainly enclosing a ‘Form of Queries’ to be filled in (see next reference below and image above) – the actual letter sent is in: Reference: 611/2, Letters to Guardians from Poor Law Commissioners (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).]
1844, 22nd October: Letter from the Newmarket Union to the Poor Law commissioners stating that ‘The cause for Mr. F.M. Peck’s Resignation was his having [?] to practice in his Profession in the County of Kent’ and returning the ‘Form of Queries’. This form is a few pages later and includes the following information: Age 55 years, ‘in practice as a Medical man’ ‘32 years (25 in Newmkt)’ (see image 2 in the main text above), ‘Was in Practice as an apothecary in 181[?]’ [the number is concealed, but is likely 5, since one of the questions included a request to state whether he ‘was in prac-tice as an Apothecary in August, 1815’, ‘was assistant Surgeon [? concealed word] the army 1813 – [it’s not clear if an end date is concealed at this point], and the district covers ‘Cheveley – Ditton – Ashley – Moulton – Kennett’. Reference: MH12/686, Newmarket Correspondence 1843 to 1846, (The National Archives). [Note: see image 4 above showing the semi-concealed entries.]
1845, 25th March: ‘Mr Robert J Peck of Newmarket’ re-elected Medical Officer for District 3 of the Newmarket Union, comprising the villages of Woodditton, Cheveley, Ashley, Moulton and Kennett. Reference: 611/16, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1845, 29th April: ‘A letter from Mr Peck relative to the crowded state of a family infected with Typhus fever at Woodditton was read when the Relieving Officer was directed to take such steps as the Medical Officer considered necessary for remedying the evil’. Reference: 611/16, Newmarket Union Minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1845, 12th September: Report of being called to assist Samuel Gamble with a severe head injury case, ‘I returned to him with Mr. Peck, whom I called in’. Later ‘Mr Peck and myself made a post-mortem examination’. Interestingly Samuel Gamble’s initial treatment involved ‘leeches to the temple’. There is no mention of what Mr. Peck recommended should be done. Reference: The Chelmsford Chronicle. Friday Sept 12 1845: 3.
1846: ‘Minter & Peck, surgeons’ and ‘Minter Michael, M.D’ and ‘Peck F. M. esq’ in Sandgate, ‘Minter Michael, surgeon, Sandgate road’ in Folkestone (but Floyd not mentioned there), and ‘Peck Robert James, surgeon, agent to Crown life assurance company, & medical referee, High street’ in Newmarket (but Floyd not mentioned there). Reference: Post Office Directory of the nine counties; viz.:- Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk, with Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Middlesex, Surrey, and Sussex. London: W. Kelly and Co.; 1846, pgs 273-275(Folkestone) 360-361(Sandgate) 1131-1133(Newmarket). [Note: Faircloth Richard, surgeon, High street, Fyson Robert, surgeon, High street and Page Frederick, surgeon, High street are listed separately – see the page on Samuel Gamble (mentioned in the reference above) for the likely reason for him not being included here.]
1847: ‘PECK, ROBERT JAMES, Newmarket – Gen. Pract.; in practice prior to the Act of 1815; Assistant-surgeon to the Essex Royal Militia; Medical Officer to the Newmarket Union’. Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1847. [Note: I have not been able to establish for certain what the Essex Royal Militia was. Apparently the Essex Rifle Regiment was sometimes called the Royal Essex Militia after 1853, and perhaps sometimes erroneously before that date (personal correspondence with http://www.essexregiment.co.uk/ and the Essex Regiment Museum), but no records have been uncovered relating to R J Peck in the relevant surviving archives).], [Note also, see The history of medical treatments, training and qualifications for an image of this entry.]
1847, 26th January: Attended a ‘PAINLESS OPERATION UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF AETHER’ at the Suffolk General Hospital. Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Jan 27 1847: 2. [Note: click here for more details.]
1847, 2nd February: ‘Mr Robert Jas Peck of Newmarket a duly qualified medical practitioner’ appointed by Mr Thomas Kerry as his substitute. Reference: 611/17, Newmarket Union Minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: this would have been during sickness or other absence etc. Thomas Kerry was from Lidgate and covered District 4 of the Union, which comprised the villages of Kirtling, Lidgate, Ousden, Dalham and Gazeley. Kerry had been appointed to this role the month before.]
1848: ‘PECK, ROBT. JAS., Newmarket – in practice prior to the Act of 1815; Med. Off. Newmarket Un.’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1848.
1848, 10th May: Attended the passengers at a railway accident in Newmarket. Reference: Cambridge Chronicle and Journal. Saturday July 29 1848: 2.
1848, 2nd November: In the obituary section of The Medical Directory, ‘Nov. 2. – At Newmarket, after a short illness, ROBT. J. PECK, aged 59. He practised his profession for upwards of thirty years in the town where he died.’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1849, pg 528.
1848, 2nd November: Memorial stone: ‘(Ridge – Latin) Rob. Jas. Peck ‘chirurgus’ (!) here more than 30y. 2 Nov. 1848 ag.59.’ Reference: J562/69, microfilm transcript, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: this stone is no longer identifiable. The transcript was made in 1928 when it was still legible and identifiable. The transcript identifies the stone as being in ‘Section A – east of Church Lane’. This little graveyard is still present and full of illegible stones very neatly arranged. Whilst there one day I was informed by a passing elderly Newmarket resident that ‘it’s a fake’. By this he meant that the stones had been cleared then set up randomly in neat rows a number of years earlier. I assume the exclamation mark in brackets and quotation marks around chirurgus (surgeon) were added by the transcriber – perhaps (s)he didn’t know what it meant or was reflecting on what it meant at that date!]
1848, 7th November: ‘The death of Mr Peck the Medical Officer of District No 3 was reported to the Board and the election of his successor was fixed for Tuesday the 19th Decr next, the notice whereof was to be confined to the present entry on the minutes. The Clerk was instructed to report the same to the Poor Law Board and to inform them that his son Mr Floyd Minter Peck, who was his partner in his profession and substitute in his office, would perform the duties for the remainder of the quarter ending at Christmas next and that the appointment of a successor to commence from Christmas will take place on Tuesday the 19th Decr’. Reference: 611/18, Newmarket Union Minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1848, 14th November: ‘A letter was laid before the Board from Mr Floyd Minter Peck consenting to perform the duties of Medical Officer of District no 3 rendered vacant by the death of his father until Christmas as requested by the Board and offering himself as a candidate for the future appointment to that office.’ Reference: 611/18, Newmarket Union Minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1848, 19th December: Floyd Minter Peck elected Medical Officer for no 3 District ‘on the same terms as the late Mr Robert James Peck held the Office’. Reference: 611/18, Newmarket Union Minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1849, 2nd January: Letter from the Poor Law Board sanctioning the appointment of Mr Floyd Minter Peck as above. Reference: 611/18, Newmarket Union Minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1850, 27th March: Notice regarding the auction on 8th and 9th April of the late Robert James Peck’s household furniture (including 250 volumes of books) and ‘freehold family residence situate in the High Street, Newmarket’, described as a ‘spacious dwelling-house’ and ‘for many years in the occupation of the said Robert James Peck. £1000 may remain on mortgage. Possession may be had immediately after the sale’. Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Mar 27 1850: 3. [Note: the fact that ‘Possession may be had immediately after the sale’ suggests that the Pecks had already moved out. It’s known that they relocated to Folkestone and that their daughter Emily married John Hammond from Ashley Hall near Newmarket at Folkestone on 11th April 1850, which rather suggests that the Pecks had already relocated to Folkestone by that point: Under marriages, ‘HAMMOND-PECK.-April 11, at Folkestone, by the Rev. R. Baldock, rector of Kingsnorth, John Hammond, Esq., of Ashley Hall, Cambridgeshire, to Emily, fifth daughter of the late Robert James Peck, Esq., of Newmarket, Suffolk.’ Reference: Kentish Gazette. Tuesday Apr 23 1850: 3. However, it’s not yet been possible to locate the family on the 1851 census, which is surprising, and since the 1851 census of Newmarket St Mary’s is missing it raises the possibility that they were in Mentmore House, at least on the day of the census. If it didn’t sell and they still owned it they might even have used it as a Newmarket base for a while?]
1851: ‘Peck Robert, Railway-street’ listed under ‘Surgeons’ in Newmarket. Reference: History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Cambridgeshire… . Peterborough: Robert Gardner; 1851, pg 409. [Note: Faircloth Richard, High-st., Fyson Robert, High-street, Page Frederick, High-street are listed separately], [Note also, Railway Street is now part of All Saints’ Rd.]
Helen Connell, Meryl Stanton and Patrica Selkirk, descendants of Robert James Peck in Australia. Also Stephanie Anderson and Simon ffloyd Smith, descendants of Floyd Minter Peck via his son Henry ffloyd Rutherford Peck. Early in this research, in 2013, The Society of Apothecaries in London helpfully put me in contact with Helen Connell, realising that we were researching the same person. A very large number of emails ensued, as we shared information and attempted to solve puzzles together over the subsequent months. [Note: the portrait above is an image of an old photograph of a painted portrait in the possession of Simon ffloyd Smith. The back indicates that the photograph is of ‘Robert Peck Henry’s grandfather’ i.e. Robert James Peck and gives his correct date of death (2nd November 1848) but oddly the wrong date of birth (giving his son Robert’s date of birth). However, there is another picture of that younger Robert, who looks younger and different, so it seems likely simply the wrong date of birth has been added. The photograph has been professionally dated to the 1860s, of someone in 1840s dress, and is a carte-de-viste by the Misses Venables of Sandgate Road, Folkestone. It would make perfect sense for the residual English Pecks, who were living in Folkestone by the 1860s, to have had a photograph taken of the old family portrait of Robert James Peck to send to Australia.]
Newmarket Union Minutes 1836-1849. Reference: 611/11-18, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: not all entries regarding Robert James Peck in these minutes have been detailed above, but most have. Those not recorded are largely about routine payments.]
Shops History Newmarket. http://www.newmarketshops.info/index.html. [Note: newmarketshops.info has been supplied with information regarding the medical history of Newmarket by the author of talkingdust.net since August 2013 (see footnotes on some of the pages). Both websites continue to be developed, and in this sense are mutually symbiotic.]
Suffolk Medical Biographies. http://www.suffolkmedicalbiographies.co.uk/Profile.asp?Key=2209 (originally accessed pre October 2013). [Note: see comments regarding this website on the Francis Greene page], [Note also, for anyone interested this website also has a page on the consultant called in, whose name is spelt without the ‘g’ there: http://www.suffolkmedicalbiographies.co.uk/Profile.asp?Key=2339 (originally accessed 22nd May 2017; at the time of writing it does not have the 1844 reference above).]
The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1847-48. [Note: see above references for details of the entries.], [Note also, this publication has been known by various titles over the years. Initially it just covered London, but from 1847 it had a wider remit, being variously known as the London and Provincial Medical Directory, The Medical Directories, The Medical Directory, etc., essentially the same work with minor variations and developments. It is usually referred to as The Medical Directory (as opposed to The Medical Register), so that is how it’s consistently referred to on talkingdust.net.]
The Peck family Bible (see The Pecks for details). With reference to Robert James Peck it records that he was the son of Floyd Clay Peck of Chelmsford (a chemist), who died there in 1802. Robert James was born on 20th July 1789. He married Sarah Minter at Folkestone on 3rd July 1819. They went on to have 13 children in Newmarket: Ffloyd Minter Peck born 1820, Robert William Peck 1821, Ann Elizabeth Hawes Peck 1822, Mary Anne Peck 1824, Frederic John Peck 1825, Harriott Jane Peck 1826, Sarah Maria Peck 1827, Emily Peck 1828, Charles James Peck 1830, Martha Clay Peck 1831, unnamed female 183? (died a few hours old), James Peck 1833 and Henry Peck 1834 (all of the Christenings took place at St Mary’s church, Newmarket). A particularly interesting feature is that the Bible also records when these children were vaccinated (i.e. against smallpox) and when they had measles or whooping cough. Of particular note also it records that the Lidgate Isaacsons were sponsors at two of the children’s christenings. Also, ‘Mr Ross (my Partner) of Edinborough’ [sic] is recorded as a sponsor at the Christening of James Peck on 24th October 1833. Finally it records that Robert James Peck died of pneumonia after five days of illness at 8pm on 2nd November 1848. [Note: details taken from a transcript supplied to me by the Peck family and images of some original pages – the the page on The Pecks.]
Note: For published material referenced on this website see the ‘Acknowledgements for resources of published material’ section on the ‘Usage &c.’ page. The sources used for original unpublished documents are noted after each individual reference. Any census records are referenced directly to The National Archives, since images of these are so ubiquitous on microfilm and as digital images that they almost function like published works. Census records are covered by the ‘Open Government Licence’ as should be other such public records (see the ‘Copyright and related issues’ section on the ‘Usage &c.’ page for which references constitute public records, and any other copyright issues more generally such as fair dealing/use etc.).