Richard Lawrence Hool

Richard Lawrence Hool

kevin brown
kevin brown

October 17th, 2008, 2:07 am #1

I have recently read "Common Plants and their Uses in Medicine"by Richard Lawrence Hool.This absolutely fascinating book was published in 1922,two years after the author's death.It contains a biography of Hool by W.H.Webb,about whom more can be found in Barbara Griggs "Green Pharmacy".

The are a number of reasons I found the book so interesting,apart from a very easy to read style of writing:
1.In 1872 he opened a herbalist's in Bolton,Lancashire which is still in existence,owned and operated by members of the Hool family.Until January 2007,the shop occupied the very same premises in which it was established.
2.The book was published by the Lancashire Branch of the National Association of Medical Herbalists[now NIMH].At that time the NAMH provided training through a postal tuition course set up by Mr.Webb.The Lancashire Branch provided post-graduate clinical training for local members.At that time there were quite literally hundreds of herbalistspractising in Lancashire and Yorkshire.
3.The book contains a photograph of Hool,who died at age 73,that is very much that of a kindly "Victorian uncle".

The book itself shows the wide range of ailments herbalists of that treated on a regular basis.Some,such as scarlet and typhoid fever and tuberculosis,have almost disappeared in Britain due to better public health and improved hygiene.Very serious diseases and yet in his writing Hool shows absolute confidence in the herbal treatments he used.

Kevin
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Joined: December 18th, 2007, 1:07 pm

October 17th, 2008, 9:58 am #2


Ohhhh Kevin! Now I have to add another book to the list of ones to source, buy and read lol! Things are getting so bad here I'm going to have to make room for another bookshelf! I do find the information from the older books interesting historically, you can see how far we've come culturally with herbs, but you can also see what we left behind in the rush to surplant (no pun intended) herbal medicines with manmade ones. And one can't help but wonder if leaving herbs behind in favour of man made drugs we may have killed off some of the diseases then, but opened up the diseases of today?

Very interested to find out more about the Hool shop, next time I'm up that way I'll take a detour. Please keep these findings coming, when I get a moment, I must put up the list of books I've recently acquired that I think you may be interested in.

Debs
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June Lewis
June Lewis

October 21st, 2008, 1:32 pm #3

Mr. Hool does indeed have a herbalist shop - right in the middle of Bolton's Ashburner Street market - surrounded by fruit and vegetable stalls. He is usually around to advise customers on what to buy for their particular problems and he also gives talks on herbal remedies to interested societies.
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Joined: December 19th, 2007, 10:46 am

October 21st, 2008, 5:47 pm #4

Hi June

I do hope the current Mr Hool is a relative or are your local societies successful in recruiting speakers from "the other side"?


Sarah
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kevin brown
kevin brown

October 22nd, 2008, 3:34 am #5

Ohhhh Kevin! Now I have to add another book to the list of ones to source, buy and read lol! Things are getting so bad here I'm going to have to make room for another bookshelf! I do find the information from the older books interesting historically, you can see how far we've come culturally with herbs, but you can also see what we left behind in the rush to surplant (no pun intended) herbal medicines with manmade ones. And one can't help but wonder if leaving herbs behind in favour of man made drugs we may have killed off some of the diseases then, but opened up the diseases of today?

Very interested to find out more about the Hool shop, next time I'm up that way I'll take a detour. Please keep these findings coming, when I get a moment, I must put up the list of books I've recently acquired that I think you may be interested in.

Debs
Hi Debs,
I am glad this post provoked some interest.Look forward to your list of books.I am browsing through a few old ones and shall post a list shortly.

One of the things that fascinates me about the old books is the absolute confidence that comes through in the writing.

I mentioned in a previous post that I was looking through old commercial directories on line.Anyway in an 1880's Kelly's Directory of Devon I came across an advertisement for a Plymouth herbalist W.H.Box,quite adamant that his pills cure legions of diseases.Actually this is another old firm that still survives,it was absorbed into Rickard Lane's another old Plymouth firm.The history can be found on their website.

Kevin
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Anthony George Lyman-Dixon
Anthony George Lyman-Dixon

October 22nd, 2008, 9:04 am #6

At risk of being accused of blowing my own trumpet, I was fascinated to come across this the other day
http://www.vieux.montreal.qc.ca/inventa ... 40-52-2542. Presumably you copy and paste this address if you are interested.

By time of the photographs, the family firm had been operating for almost a century and had evolved quite a way from scratching about the frozen woodlands looking for herbs, that said, great grandfather's "distillation room" which is in one of the small pictures (though I have a blown-up one from another site) looks remarkably like my seed store today. And to show that things come down as well as up, like the mortgage lenders repeatedly tell us, I am still scratching about looking for herbs

Anthony
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Joined: December 18th, 2007, 1:07 pm

October 22nd, 2008, 3:53 pm #7


What an interesting find Anthony, didn't realise you had druggists in your family <IMG height=14 src="http://www.network54.com/images/happy.gif" width=14> I'm rushed this morning but when I get more time I'll pop the text into the google translation engine and&nbsp;read what it says properly. I'm currently learning French but can only pick up a few words from the text.&nbsp;Did this family firm every trade in England or was it just in Montreal? Please share what you discover or already know,&nbsp;so little&nbsp;information&nbsp;is on the internet about old herbalists and druggists, I'd love to get some info up on this site.

Debs&nbsp;
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Anthony George Lyman-Dixon
Anthony George Lyman-Dixon

October 22nd, 2008, 6:06 pm #8

The family did trade in England and I was hoping that Kevin might trip across a mention of it somewhere because it has completely defeated me. I suspect the only answer is to cross the Atlantic and have a look at the archive. Great great grandfather travelled round Europe, I know that because he used his prayer book as a sort of diary and entered the name of the city where he heard the collect for the day in it. Around 1900 they became a bit bored with herbs for humans and,although maintaining tight control of the company, turned to herbs for feeding caterpillars instead, hence the enormous entomological collection at McGill. Curiously until I switched back, it was the butterfly interest that was sustained through the subsequent generations. All the same, I am a member of Butterfly Conservation because it is a charity that fits in so well with growing herbs.For those that don't know it, it is worth joining not just because it is a very "greeny" thing to do but because they publish a stunningly beautiful magazine three times a year. (After such a glowing encomium do you think they will give me a free subscription?!)
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kevin brown
kevin brown

October 23rd, 2008, 7:48 am #9

Hi Anthony,

I have not had any luck yet but I am still trying!
Regards
Kevin
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June Lewis
June Lewis

October 23rd, 2008, 6:50 pm #10

Hi June

I do hope the current Mr Hool is a relative or are your local societies successful in recruiting speakers from "the other side"?


Sarah
Hi, Sarah

Yes, it IS a descendant of the original Mr. Hool who currently owns and sells in the herbalist shop in Bolton market.

June
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