"Don't worry," Ambrose Lloyd reassured the concerned wife. "I have cured worse than him."

But four days later, the patient was dead.

Lloyd was a charlatan, incapable of grasping the obvious signs of tuberculosis, despite professing to cure wounds and diseases.

Robert Galsworthy had been under his care for several weeks but instead of improving, his condition deteriorated, so badly his distraught wife Anne sought a second opinion and contacted Dr Pardey who just by looking at her husband realised no hope could be entertained for him.

Letting her down gently, he could only suggest she took him home so they could spend his last hours together.

"But before you go, please answer me one thing? How has he been allowed to get into such an advanced state without medical advice?"

She told him he had been under the care of a Dr Lloyd who had convinced her he was not suffering from consumption.

Pardey knew otherwise and in a clandestine visit to his premises in The Ditches, Southampton, saw a handbill which he took with the consent of his shop assistant in Lloyd's absence.

"That's not our best bill," she told him. "Others have more cures in it."

Pardey replied: "My object is not to be cured by Mr Lloyd but I wish to see what authority he uses and his diploma in medicine."

And with that he left.

Four days later he received a letter - littered with spelling errors and grammatically incorrect- from Lloyd which read as follows:

"Sir, I have just sent this to informe you that this is my advertisement and I am not awhear that I am doeing anything wrong in so doeing as for that paper which you took from my shop has nothing to do which as it is not circueleated in the town, it is brokeing up for od uses the young man that wrote it can be witnesses to the mistake aney day and likewise the printer as not awhear of the misstake untill they came home in print the printer will remember the remark I past at the time those Bills are no yous to me now through that the Bill never be mad aney use of it is twelve months ago those bills whear printed I nerver called myself Doctor in my life my proffesseshion is an herbelest and to retail Drugs by licence as I have them to show. I remain A Lloyd."

Pardey returned to his shop where Lloyd in ackowledging the letter, was adamant he had not intentionally done anything wrong. However, Pardey drew his attention to the plate on his front door which stated 'Mr Lloyd, Professor of Medicine.'

On that basis he took out a private prosecution at the town's magistrates court on June 2, 1859, charging him with wilfully and falsely pretending to Mrs Goldsworthy that he was a practioner in mediciine.

Asked how he would plead, Lloyd prevaricated: "I can't say whether I did or did not. I am in the habit of selling syrups and medicines and I will tell the truth. If I am wrong, I hope you will have mercy on me."

Pardey said he brought the case to warn the public there were many herbalists and parties in Southampton professing to be medical men.

However he did want Lloyd to be severely punished. "I believe he was acting in ignorance of the law and I merely wish to show him how far the law extends."

Mrs Goldswothy then told the court how Lloyd had been treating her husband twice or three times a week and four days before his death he had convinced her that he was not suffering from consumption, and thought it was something to do with his windpipe.

"He took out a bottle of medicine and thought that would do him some good. On one occasion, he said he thought he should soon get him all right as he had cured some worse than him and he had a cold in his lungs."

Asked why she had consulted Lloyd, she replied: "On the recommendation of my neighbours, one of whom had a leg cured after a doctor had failed and I believed him to be a very clever man. He never gave me to understand that he was a doctor or physician. The medicine was wrapped up in bills and I had some of them besides."

In addition to holding the honour of being the town's mayor, the presiding magistrate Cllr Barnard was also a chemist by trade who knew how the penniless would seek alternative medicine.

"Hundreds of poor people go to myself and other druggists when suffering from a specific ailment and seek a remedy for which they pay their penny or twopence and obtain relief. Such persons would never think of going to a medical man."

The Bench considered the case was not of the most aggravating character, yet one which required the law to be vindicated albeit with a fine of just 1s plus costs.

"However, Mr Lloyd, you must remove the sign of 'professor of medicine.'

Lloyd concurred: "I am very much obliged to you all and give you many thanks. You will not be finding me doing wrong any more."