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In around 1670 purging mineral waters were discovered on the western slopes of Shooter’s Hill near Woolwich, to the east of London. They were promoted through an anonymous broadsheet, a single copy of which is held by the British Library. The probable author of this has been identified as Nathaniel Hodges, a physician who remained in London treating the sick during the plague year of 1665. Epsom Salts were produced at Shooter’s Hill around 1700 and undercut in price those from Epsom and Acton to the west of London. The waters continued to be used by local people for...

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