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On 14 March 2006 the British Society for the History of Medicine held its 12th biennial Poynter lecture at the College. It was given by Dr David Allen and entitled ‘Remedies from our natural flora: piecing together an under-rared tradition’. Beofore the lecture delegates were able to view the Hunterian Museum and a selection of the following early herbals were put on display in the library. From various parts of Europe knowledge and techniques were developing and ideas were being shared, sometimes, as this article points out, without due acknowledgement to their originator.