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The Waterton Name

Waterton Pharmacy is named after Charles Waterton.

Using his name for the pharmacy was suggested by David Roberts,who advised us when we set up our pharmacy. He used to fish on the Waterton family's estate as a boy.

Waterton was of a Roman Catholic landed gentry family whose ancestry is alleged to include seven saints: Vladimir the Great, St Anne of Russia, the Holy Martyrs Boris and Gleb, King Stephen of Hungary, Queen Margaret of Scotland and Mathilde of Germany. He was brought up in a large country house just south of Wakefield, Yorkshire. The house, Walton Hall, was the local manor and his father was the Squire, who was a pioneer canal builder and parkland improver. The estate covered over 900 acres of woodland and parkland and the young Waterton developed an interest in natural history and spent many hours studying the birds and animals around his home. At the age of 10 he was sent away to school and in 1796 when he was 14 he went on to Stoneyhurst, a Catholic boarding school which had been founded 2 years before.

By then he was already a bit of a daredevil. He was often absent on bird nesting expeditions and was appointed rat catcher and fox taker to the school. The headmaster caught him climbing the face of a tower in search of a jackdaw and ordered him down just before a large chunk of masonry fell. Then in later years as a young man when as a devout Catholic he was on a visit to Rome, he climbed to the top of a lightning conductor of St Peter's and climbed a tower in the Vatican and hung his gloves up there as proof. The Pope asked him to remove them so he climbed the tower again.

Waterton explored South America and later described his discoveries in his book Waterton's Wanderings in South America which inspired young British schoolboys like Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace. He was a highly skilled taxidermist and preserved many of the animals he encountered on his expeditions.

He is also credited with bringing the anaesthetic agent curare to Europe.

In the 1820s he returned home to Walton Hall and built a nine foot high wall around three miles of his estate, turning it into the world’s first wildfowl and nature reserve, making him one of the western world's first environmentalists. He also invented the bird nesting box.

Charles Waterton has a Wakefield Road and primary school named after him, and now a Suffolk pharmacy too.

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