History of Abbotts of Leigh

Abbotts of Leigh was founded by Charles Abbott 1889-1983. His interest in herbalism began when he was 17 years of age when he was cured, against all expectations, of tuberculosis by a Bolton herbalist under whom he then studied. Despite having no formal qualifications, he opened his herbal clinic on Railway Road in 1910 when he was 21 years old.

Charles (Charlie) Abbott's traditional herbal medicine practice was straightforward for the time. He also made all the medicines that he used on the premises. However, controversially in 1929 he introduced an electronic black box diagnostic machine which used a spot of the patient's blood and vibrations to determine which herbal medicine was required. He often clashed with doctors of the time over this. He was taken to court but found innocent and acquitted of manslaughter in a case following the death of a boy with meningitis. He later published the trial transcript under the title “Hocus Pocus”.

For 60 years he had clashes with coroners and disputes with medical opinions over his beliefs and herbal treatments. However, his practice thrived and he claimed to see 10,000 patients a year drawn from all walks of life, including the titled and famous. He became a household name throughout Lancashire and Cheshire. In 1972, aged 83, Charlie was still practising and had 2400 registered patients and a long waiting list. 

He died in November 1983 at the age of 94 after being hit by a lorry in Manchester. His third wife continued the practice after his death. At least one Radio 4 programme about him has been broadcast in recent years. The clinic continued with  herbalist Zoe Naylor, employed by Napiers, until 2013 when due to the economic downturn in Britain - which was especially hard felt in the north of England and Midlands - it sadly had to close.

Today many similar combination formula medicines are on the market under the new THR Scheme which would have had Charlie Abbott immediately publishing a pamphlet! Some very complex formulas such as the Sure Cure that Charlie Abbott used to help the citizens of Leigh get through the Spanish influenza outbreak in 1920,  are no longer legal to make under the new EU herbal directive.

Charles Clement Abbott 1889 - 1983


Unfortunately the Abbotts of Leigh clinic is closed.

If you have any questions regarding continuing your medical support (including repeat prescriptions) please contact us at head office.

Telephone 0845 002 1860

© Napiers Herbals Ltd 2020 • Bathgate, Edinburgh & Glasgow • Herbalists and Medical Botanists since 1860
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