Sue Young Histories

Ernst Louis Ambrecht 1818 - 1891

March 06, 2009

Ernst Louis Ambrecht 1818? - 1891? was a German pharmacist and a student of Samuel Hahnemann, who came to London in 1860 to found Nelson’s Homeopathic Pharmacy.

Ambrecht was the third person to set up a homeopathic pharmacy in Britain, after Paul Francois Curie and James Epps (in 1837, Paul Francois Curie set up a homeopathic dispensary in Finsbury Circus, and in 1839, he opened a small homeopathic dispensary (Paul Etienne François Gustave Curie, Annals of the London Homoeopathic Dispensary, No. 31, Ely Place, Holborn: Physician - Dr. Curie, (Published by Thomas Hurst, 1840).) at 31, Ely Place in Holborn. In 1842 William Laidler Leaf (1791-1873) paid for Paul Francois Curie to open another establishment at Hanover Square (John James Drysdale, Robert Ellis Dudgeon, John Rutherford Russell, Richard Hughes (Eds.), The British Journal of Homeopathy, Volume 12. (Maclachlan, Stewart, & Co., 1854). Page 161), from where a school of homeopathy soon sprang up.  James Epps (1812-1907) opened his pharmacy in 1839 at Jermyn Street, SW1, and another (full) brother, George Napoleon Epps (1815-1874), opened a homeopathic druggist shop at 30 Upper King Street, Bloomsbury in 1840, which moved to 112 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury in 1842).

Ambrecht would have known all the leading homeopaths of his time, including William Edward Ayerst, Hugh Cameron, John Chapman, Matthew James Chapman, Edward Charles Chepmell, Paul Francois Curie, William Vallancy Drury, George Napoleon Epps, John Epps, James Manby Gully, Edward Hamilton, George Calvert Holland, Richard Hughes, Joseph Kidd, Thomas Robinson Leadam, Victor Massol, J Bell Metcalfe, Samuel Thomas Partridge, Frederick Hervey Foster Quin, Henry Reynolds, John Rutherford Russell, David Wilson, Stephen Yeldham and many others.

In Europe, he would have also known many of the European homeopaths, including Albrecht, Baumann, Ernst von Brunnow, Jean Barthelemy Arles Dufour, Pierre Dufresne, Anton Fischer, Carl Franz, Gaumann, Gustav Wilhelm Gross, Comte Sebastien Gaeten Salvador Maxime Des Guidi, Carl Georg Christian Hartlaub, Frantz Hartmann, Carl Haubold, Hofrath, Kretschmar, Kruger Hansen, William Leaf, Johan Joseph Wilhelm Lux, Moritz Wilhelm Mueller, Georg August Heinrich Muhlenbein, Charles Gaspard Peschier, Rohl, Mathias Roth, Ernst Ferdinand Rueckert, Rummel, John Ernst Stapf, Suffert, Timotheus Samuel Thorer, Karl Friedrich Gottfried Trinks, George Adolph Weber, Friedrich Wolf, Paul Wolf, and many others.

In 1860, Ernst Louis Ambrecht founds a pharmacy in London and begins producing homeopathic medicines; he is later joined by his son, Nelson, who changes the company name to A. Nelson & Co.

Ambrecht was a student of Samuel Hahnemann:

In 1860, his student, Ernst Louis Ambrecht, moved to England from Germany and opened a homeopathic pharmacy in Ryder Street, London. The pharmacy soon outgrew its premises and relocated to its current location at 73 Duke Street. Choosing a very English name, Ambrecht changed his name to Nelson, and the Nelsons brand was born. The Nelsons Homeopathic Pharmacy was to become the centrepiece of Nelsons’ heritage and experience for over 140 years, and, alongside its sister store in Dublin, continues to provide the same high quality medicines, advice, expertise and service.

The founder of homeopathy, Ernst Louis Ambrecht, set up A Nelson & Co nearly 150 years ago, making the family business Europe’s oldest retailer of natural medicines. Its holding company, Nelson and Russell Holdings, is now run by two of his descendants, Patrick and Robert Wilson, who have built the business into the UK’s largest manufacturer of homeopathic remedies. The company made profits before tax of £4.5m in the last financial year, on turnover of £29.9m - a profit margin of 15pc. A Nelson and Co now produces a range of alternative medicines from its laboratory in Wimbledon, which are then dispensed at its flagship London pharmacy and in chemists and health food stores. Telegraph 28.2.09

1860 - Ernst Louis Ambrect, a young pharmacist and pupil of Samuel Hahnemann, came to London to publicise his knowledge of homeopathy. In 1860 he founded Nelsons and was succeeded by his son, Nelson Ambrect. Keene and Ashwell, founded by Lawrence Thomas Ashwell, was a Homeopathic Pharmacy in New Cavendish Street, London, 6 South Molton Street, and at 74 New Bond Street, London (where consulting rooms were available), a firm which later became Nelson’s Homeopathic Pharmacy and is still operating today,

1980 - the Edward Bach Centre invited Nelsons Homeopathic Pharmacy to take over full distribution of the Bach Flower Remedies. This was initially through a dedicated bottling plant in Abingdon which later moved to Wimbledon. The relationship between Nelsons and the Edward Bach Centre continues to this day.


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