A HISTORY OF HOMOEOPATHY IN BRITAIN

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A HISTORY OF HOMOEOPATHY IN BRITAIN
by Peter Morrell
Honorary Research Associate in the History of Medicine, Staffordshire
University, UK

Homeopathy was introduced into the UK by Dr Frederick Hervey Foster
Quin (1799-1878) in the 1830's, politically and socially the most
volatile and turbulent decade of the entire century (see Brown &
Daniels; Finlayson; Harrison; Thompson). Born and schooled privately
in London, Quin was of aristocratic birth, and is widely regarded as
the love-child of Lady Elizabeth Cavendish (1758-1824), the Duchess of
Devonshire and the Irish peer Sir Valentine Richard Quin, 1st Earl of
Dunraven (1752-1824; [visit the Dunraven webpage http://proni.nics.gov.uk/...].
Along with the Dukes of Westminster and Bedford, the Dukes of
Devonshire were at that time among the top five richest families in
Britain (see Cannadine, p.710).


Dr. Quin, Lady Eliz Foster & Lady Caroline Lamb (Elder sister of Eliz)


VLB Hervey (Lady Eliz's Father) & Dunraven 4 the Earl that is the son
or grandson of Quin's alleged father.

After graduating MD in 1820 in Edinburgh (his thesis was on Arsenic
poisoning), Dr Quin then became the Duchess's family physician and
travelled with her entourage. He met Hahnemann, and travelled
extensively in Europe, residing for a time both in Rome and Naples.

In July 1821, he commenced practice in Naples and his social
attributes made him popular with all the English residents there.
These included Sir William Gell, Sir William Drummond and the Countess
of Blessington. [Bonnard, p.32]

He successfully used Camphor against Cholera in Moravia
(Czechoslovakia) and cured himself of the condition on Hahnemann's
advice (Bradford, Cook, Hobhouse, Haehl). During the 1830's and 40's
he was often in Paris among the inner circle of Hahnemann's protégés.
He was a lifelong asthmatic, which was eased by homeopathic treatment.

A fluent French-speaker and francophile, Quin was revered by the
French as Hahnemann's greatest successor, and appointed on Hahnemann's
death as the Honorary President of the Gallic Homeopathic Society (see
Bonnard, p.32 and Blackie, p.29): a post he held until his death.
Whenever he attended their meetings, Quin could occupy the special
chair which had been originally created for Hahnemann, and which
always remained empty in his absence (see Haehl, Vol 1, 233, 429;
Blackie pp.26-29).


Dr. Margery Blackie and Sir John Weir

He introduced homeopathy into the very highest levels of English
society: to Dukes, Counts, Lords, minor Royals and Baronets [Nicholls,
1988, p.111; Leary, 1998, pp.252-3]. That was the world he was at ease
with and in which he had moved since birth. As a young man he was a
very popular socialite and wit on the fashionable London circuit, a
great friend of Charles Dickens (1812-1870), William Thackeray
(1811-1863) and the Royal portraitist, Sir Edwin Landseer (1802-1873),
[Jump to Landseer in the National Gallery http://www.nga.gov/...]
amongst many others, and no society party, or social gathering, it was
said, was complete without him. By nature of a very pleasing
disposition, he was a man of great personal charm (Leary, 1998, p.
252). He was also latterly one of the regular dining partners of
Edward, Prince of Wales (1841-1910), the future King Edward VII
(Leary, 1998, p.252-3; see also Hobhouse, p.248; Handley, p.99 and
Quin's entry in the Dictionary of National Biography). As a measure of
the respect and affection with which he regarded Dr Quin, the Prince
sent four empty horse-drawn royal carriages to join the cortege at his
funeral: probably the highest honour ever paid by a Royal to a
commoner.'Had he not abandoned orthodoxy he [Dr Quin] would certainly
have been knighted and been one of the leading medical figures of his
time...he was a friend to almost everyone of importance in the
country.' [Leary, 1989, p.209]

The modern British royal devotion to homeopathy also began through Dr
Quin. Though Victoria never used it, but all later Royals have:

"Queen Mary and King George VI were firm followers of homeopathy, the
King even calling one of his horses Hypericum which won the 1000
Guineas race [in 1946]." [Inglis, 1964, p.81-2] The practice Samuel
and Melanie Hahnemann established in the heart of Paris soon became
fashionable. The wealthy people of the city and, indeed, of Europe
generally, were more than ready to try a new medicine... they were
predominantly members of the French and British upper and professional
classes: nobles, clergy, military officers, doctors... the British
were among the earliest visitors: Lord Elgin... Lady Kinnaird
represented Scottish aristocracy... Dr Quin... Baron Rothschild...
Viscount Beugnot... countess Musard... Lord Capel... Lady Belfast and
Lady Drummond, the Duchess of Melford...' [Handley, 1997, pp.20-22]

Sir John Weir (1879-1971), once the Queen's physician, was reputedly
Physician Royal to six monarchs: Edward VII, George V (1865-1936),
Edward VIII (1894-1972), George VI (1895-1952), Elizabeth II, King
Gustav V of Sweden (1858-1950) and King Haakon VII of Norway
(1872-1957). The latter's wife, Princess Maud (1869-1938), was the
youngest daughter of King Edward VII [see UK monarchy webpage
http://www.royal.gov.uk].


Lord Donoughmore

The fact that this aristocratic patronage of homeopathy in the UK
extended well into the 1940's, and beyond, can be easily demonstrated.
In the Homeopathic Medical Directories there are lists of patrons of
the dispensaries and hospitals. They read like an extract from Burke's
or Debrett's [Jump to their homepage http://www.debretts.com]. Some
examples include: The Dukes of Beaufort, Dukes of Cambridge,
Marquesses of Anglesey, Earl of Essex, Lord Gray of Gray, Viscount
Malden, Earl of Donoughmore, Lord Ernle, Earl of Kintore, Earl of
Kinnaird, Duchess of Hamilton and Brandon, Earl of Wemyss & March, the
Lords Paget, Dukes of Sutherland, Earls of Dudley, Lord Leconfield,
Earl of Wilton, Earl of Albermarle, Viscount Sydney, Lady Radstock,
Duchess of Teck, Duke of Northumberland, Earl of Scarborough, Earl of
Dysart, Marchioness of Exeter, Countess Waldegrave, Countess of
Crawford & Balcarres, Lord Headley, Earl of Plymouth, Lord Calthorpe,
Earls of Shrewsbury, Lord Horder, Lord Gainford, Lord Moynihan, Lord
Ernle, Lord Ampthill, Lord Home, Viscount Elibank and the Earls of
Lichfield. And to this list we can also add numerous knights, barons,
Army officers and clerics.[this data extracted from the Homeopathic
Medical Directories 1867, 1874, 1895, 1909, 1931; see also Morrell,
1998 thesis; see also Nicholls, 1988 and 1998 op cit; see also LHH,
Sixty Five Years Work: A History of the London Homeopathic Hospital,
London, 1915; for Earls of Shrewsbury see also Hobhouse, op cit, 247;
re Lord Donoughmore, see his Obituary, Health Through Homeopathy, BHA,
7:11, Nov 1948, 250; also his Obituary, Daily Telegraph, London, 19
Oct 1948; re Lords Ernle, Gainford and Ampthill, and Viscount Elibank,
see Heal Thyself 1935; re Lord Home see Heal Thyself 1931-2; re Pagets
see Heal Thyself 1938; re Lord Horder Heal Thyself 1937; re Duchess of
Hamilton and Brandon see Heal Thyself 1932, 1933 and 1938.]


Duchess of Teck

Royal patronage of homeopathy also continues. The Queen Mother
continues her work as Patron of the BHA [see BHA, Birthday Greetings
to our Patron, HRH Queen Mother, Homeopathy 40:4, July 1990, 97, and
BHA (http://www.nhsconfed.net), The Physicians Royal, Homeopathy 40:4,
July 1990, 98], while the homeopathic pharmacy Ainsworth's in New
Cavendish Street, London, [jump to their homepage http://www.westward.nildram.co.uk]
holds all three Royal warrants as ŒChemists Royal' -- ie. for Prince
Charles, the Queen Mother and the Queen.

Quin concentrated exclusively on introducing homeopathy amongst
medically qualified doctors and their predominantly upper-class
clientele (Inglis, p.85). This level of high society support for
homeopathy, generated by Quin's efforts, worked enormously to its
advantage, smoothed its passage and greatly assisted its easy
acceptance into the British medical marketplace. The fact that many of
the German relatives of the British Royal family were also devoted
patrons of homeopathy, including Queen Adelaide (1792-1849), wife of
King William IV (1765-1837), also assisted its rapid social acceptance
in Britain (Morrell, 1995; Leary, p.252-3).


Queen Adelaide, in 1835

Rich patrons of homeopathy (eg. the first Marquess of Anglesey, Sir
Henry William Paget (1768-1854), companion at Waterloo of the Duke of
Wellington (1769-1852)) not only formed its client-base, but also
funded and numerically dominated the committees which ran the many
homeopathic hospitals and dispensaries of the last century. Leading
figures of this period include Drs William Bayes (c1820-c1890), Robert
Dudgeon (1820-1904) and Richard Hughes (1836-1902) (Morrell, 1995).

Homeopathic Dispensaries

year
No

1840 0

1846 7

1850 c15

1857 33

1860 c45

1867 64

1868 70

1870
80

1874
117

1876
120

1880
45

1895
39

1900
35

1909
34

1930
25

1932
20


[Sources: Homeopathic Medical Directories: 1867, 1874, 1895, 1909,
1931; Nicholls, 1988; Homeopathic World, May 1932]

Quin established the British Homeopathic Society (BHS) in 1843, a
London hospital in 1850 and the British Journal of Homeopathy (BJH) in
1844. The BHS became the Faculty of Homeopathy in 1944, while the BJH
became the BHJ in 1911. The Faculty is the training and controlling
body of medical homeopathy in the UK and also trains many homeopaths
from abroad, especially many from India. Through his many influential
contacts in the world of politics (eg. Lord Ebury, 1801-93), Quin was
able to obtain an amendment to the 1858 Medical Act, withholding a
recommendation about the type of medicine approved in Britain (Leary,
1998, p.253; Nicholls, pp.144-5; Inglis, p.80). As a result of this
skilful manouevre, homeopathy was indirectly tolerated without
challenge and thus never censured by Parliament as an unacceptable or
deviant mode of medical practice.

'Dr Quin was able to obtain an amendment to the Medical Registration
Bill; a clause was added enabling the Privy Council to withdraw the
right to award degrees from any university that tried to impose the
type of medicine practised by its graduates. ' [Inglis, p.80]

The rather draconian 1858 Act established for the first time the
professional status and legal regulation of formally qualified medical
practitioners, as distinct from quacks, and still regulates the
practice of medicine in the UK today. Very much a product of the
times, the law was specifically designed to outlaw quackery, which was
rife at that time, by establishing a Register of approved
practitioners. Initially these guidelines were interpreted very
strictly, confining those on the Register only to holders of UK
medical degrees, licences and diplomas. The reasons at the time were
clear enough:

'...a need to restrict entry to what was seen as an overcrowded
profession.... medical practitioners were concerned both to control
the number of qualified practitioners entering the profession and to
reduce the competition from practitioners who were not
qualified.' [Waddington, 1984, p.139] '...of the 10,220 practitioners
listed in Churchill's Medical Directory of 1856, 1524 possessed only
the diploma of the Royal College of Surgeons, and 879 possessed only
the licentiateship of the Society of Apothecaries.' [Holloway, 1964,
p312]

'In 1851 there were an estimated 6000 unlicensed medical practitioners
operating in the UK but only 5000 regular doctors, apothecaries &
surgeons', (Griggs, 1981, p.224)

Even the holders of Continental medical degrees and diplomas
(graduates of the esteemed medical schools of Vienna, Berlin,
Heidelberg, Paris, Montpellier, Padua and Brussells, and clearly some
of the finest European doctors), were excluded from the Medical
Register, for fear of encouraging deviant forms of medical practice in
Britain, ie. quackery. Probably a good example of 'throwing the baby
out with the bathwater'. In more recent times these rules were
relaxed, even allowing American medical graduates the right to
practice, whose degrees had previously been scorned as worthless
pieces of paper. All foreign graduates must still apply directly to
the General Medical Council to be granted permission to practise
medicine in Britain.

There were attempts by some more radical homeopaths in the 1840's,
comprising some medically qualified and some laypersons, who formed a
breakaway but shortlived English Homeopathic Association, to
popularise homeopathy amongst the lower classes in Britain, but in the
nineteenth century these efforts were eclipsed by its continued
dominance by the medically qualified and their wealthy clientele
(Nicholls, 1988). Many of these radical and plebeian homeopaths were
also linked to political radicalism (distantly inspired by the French
Revolution) and religious non-conformity, as well as a host of other
medical sects, such as Phrenology, Spiritualism, Mesmerism,
Hydrotherapy, Galvanic medicine and Medical Botany (Barrow; Morrell,
1998). There was a remarkable medical eclecticism at that time. Many
homeopaths also employed other techniques like hydrotherapy or
Galvanic medicine. A good example is Dr James Gully (1808-83), a big
friend of Charles Darwin (1809-82), who set up a highly successful
hydropathic institution in Malvern (Desmond & Moore, p.364 and p.
392).

"Darwin...was not alone in extending the ethical net from oppressed
men to the forlorn brutes. The Quaker doctor John Epps - London
phrenologist, homeopathist, and disestablishment campaigner - had
'come to consider all creatures as being equally important in the
scale of creation as myself; to regard the poor Indian slave as my
brother.' (Epps, Diary, p.61)

... 'the whole creation travaileth and groaneth'. This was Epps's
reading of St Paul. He was adamant that 'animals enjoy mind - and with
it personality, desires and pain' (Epps, Elements, p.118)." [Desmond &
Moore, Darwin, 1991, p.238]

Quin distanced himself entirely from the radical homeopaths and the
other medical sectarians in general, regarding them all as thoroughly
disreputable amateurs bordering on quackery, though he would never use
that term himself (Nicholls, pp.110-14). Leading radicals included Drs
John Epps (1805-69), Samuel Partridge (c1810-80), Spencer T Hall
(1812-85), J J Garth Wilkinson (1812-99) and Paul Francois Curie
(1799-1853).


Drs John Epps (1805-69)

Dr Epps 'was of short stature and sturdy frame, and had a beaming,
self-confident expression. He was regarded by many of the working-
classes as a prophet in medicine... he impressed many people
with...his great earnestness... and his evident desire to benefit his
fellow creatures. He had a great command of words, a fine sonorous
voice, and an animated manner. His philanthropic efforts and personal
acts of kindness were numberless.' [DNB, p.800]

An Edinburgh graduate, Dr Epps lectured on Materia Medica and Botany
at the Hunterian School of Medicine in London and at the London
Homeopathic Hospital in the 1850's. He was also 'an ardent champion of
liberal causes at home and of oppressed nationalities
abroad.' [Wheeler, BHJ 1912, p.525]. Which I suppose is a very polite
way of saying he was also well-connected with many other rebels of the
day. These included Guiseppe Garibaldi (1807-82), the Italian patriot;
Lajos Kossuth(1802-94), the Hungarian revolutionary who stayed in
London for a time in the 1850's where he 'was received with respect
and sympathy' [Chambers Dictionary of Biography, 1996, p.839]; and
Guiseppe Mazzini (1805-72), another important Italian patriot who
'found refuge in London in 1837' [ibid, p.995]. No doubt at Dr Epps's
house.

Virtually every member of the Epps family (based in Blackheath,
London) came to be associated with homeopathy, either as doctors or
pharmacists. They ran a very famous London chemists called Epps
Thatcher, which was first established in 1839 and which thrived until
1962. Last of the Epps lineage was James Washington Epps, c1875-c1955;
Epps Thatcher and Co, 1839-c1962, homeopathic chemists at 60 Jermyn
Street, London SW1, but gone by 1962 [see London Telephone Directory,
1962].

'George Napoleon Epps, 1815-74, homeopathic practitioner, Surgeon to
the homeopathic hospital in Hanover Square, London, 1845, whose chief
work: 'Spinal Curvature Its Theory and Cure' 1849.' [DNB, 1995, p.936]

...at his residence in Wellgarth Road, Hampstead, there passed away as
gently as he had lived, Washington Epps, the last medical
representative of a family intimately associated with the rise and
progress of homeopathy in the UK. He was the youngest son of Dr George
Napoleon Epps, and nephew of Dr John Epps, of Dr Richard Epps, and of
Mr James Epps, the homeopathic chemist, all of whom were intimately
concerned, in the early days of homeopathy, in its being brought, by
means of lectures and pamphlets, within the purview of the intelligent
laity all over the kingdom.' [from Wheeler's BHJ Obituary, 1912, p.
525]

So great was their influence and popularity throughout the 1850's that
the medical radicals and sectarians all seemed set to lay siege to
orthodoxy (Barrow). Such great dreams were gently laid to rest by the
1858 Medical Act [see also Weatherall, Maple, Bynum and Porter,
Harrison, Rankin and Pickstone].

As a result of its continued domination by the medically qualified and
by upper-class patronage (Nicholls, pp.114-16 & p.135), British
homeopathy could never really shake off its aristocratic gloss, and
thus it never established itself at a popular level amongst the lower
classes, which was in marked contrast to the other sects, all of which
enjoyed a good deal of mass, working-class support. Homeopathy was
always regarded, therefore, as the 'rich man's therapy', and the
exclusive preserve of the wealthy, privileged and titled. While this
allegiance with the upper classes had undoubtedly worked to the
benefit of UK homeopathy in its early days, later on it became a great
burden, especially when it sank into decline after the 1880's.

'...Quin's social connections, useful though they were in introducing
homoeopathy into Britain, gave it an aristocratic aura which it could
not shed... it never really put down any roots among the workers, or
the lower middle classes, except in a few scattered practices... they
resisted overtures from... the unqualified lay homoeopaths... which...
encouraged the development of an internal orthodoxy...which gave it,
to outsiders, an appearance of rigidity... their original progressive
ideas had crystallised into a narrow creed.' (Inglis, 1964, p.85)

The aristocratic link meant that British homeopathy tended to be very
largely confined to fashionable spa towns (eg. Buxton, Leamington,
Harrogate, Bath), to wealthy coastal resorts (eg. Eastbourne,
Brighton, Bognor Regis) and to London and southern England in general,
unlike Botanic medicine, which was popular in northern, industrial
cities. It thus never established itself at working-class level. And
thus it had no popular support to fall back on as the aristocrats went
into decline after 1890 (see Cannadine). Three exceptions to this
geographical pattern, and which are hard to explain, are Glasgow,
Bristol and Liverpool, all of which had large, thriving homeopathic
hospitals. Liverpool (Hahnemann Hospital est 1837) and Bristol were
major ports linked to the USA, where homeopathy thrived. They were
also places where rich families patronised homeopathy: Wills the
Tobacco firm in Bristol and the Tate sugar family in Liverpool. Other
examples of rich business families supporting homeopathy include the
Cadbury chocolate family in Birmingham and the Quaker family of
chocolate manufacturers in York, Rowntree. It was such families who
funded the building of these homeopathic hospitals. Glasgow might be
explained as a centre of great homeopathic activity, due to its
subdominance to Edinburgh as an internationally renowned medical
teaching centre and thus perhaps more tolerant of 'medical deviance'
than its more conformist rival.


Sir Edwin Tate

The continued decline of homeopathy caused some homeopathic doctors to
despair for its future in Britain. As a result of these fears, a small
minority of homeopathic doctors (eg. Dr J H Clarke, 1853-1931) broke
away from the BHS (Clarke in 1908), began to teach some laypersons the
rudiments of homeopathy and to publish books (eg. Clarke's 'The
Prescriber') directly aimed at the self-taught lay practitioner and
home-prescriber. [see Dr J H Clarke's Obituary, British Homeopathic
Journal 10, 1, 1932; Dr Clarke - Appreciation & Biographical Sketch,
British Homeopathic Journal 79, 1990, 52; see also An Appreciation of
Dr Clarke, by Dr Edgar Whittaker, The Homeopathic World, Jan 1932;see
Dr J H Clarke's Obituary, British Homeopathic Journal 10, 1, 1932, in
which Sir John Weir, the King's physician, admits being instrumental,
during the 1920's, in trying to woo Dr Clarke 'back into the BHS
fold', but without success.]


Canon Roland Upcher

Dr Clarke certainly taught three laypersons: Canon Roland Upcher
(1849-1929), a Church of England prelate, J Ellis Barker (1869-1948),
a doctor's son from Cologne, and political writer, and Noel Puddephatt
(1899-c1971), who had all been his former patients (Morrell, 1995).
All three became practitioners to some extent, the two latter also
becoming influential teachers of homeopathy in their own right
(Morrell, 1995). It is notable that the tolerant, laissez-faire legal
system of the UK (law of precedent) still allowed anyone to practise
medicine, unlike most countries with written constitutions and rule by
law of statute. At least four other homeopathic doctors are now known
to have also taught laypersons: Drs Percival George Quinton
(c1894-1953), Otto Leeser (c1890-1964), William W Rorke (c1886-1962)
and Donald Foubister (1902-1988) (see Morrell, 1995).

As a result of these developments, a new tradition of lay homeopathy
was established in Britain. While the number of homeopathic doctors
went first into decline and then into stagnation, the lay movement of
the 1920's and 30's, by contrast, enjoyed great popularity, extending
well into the 40's and 50's. There were approaching 300 homeopathic
doctors at its peak in the 1870's, but only 200 or so between 1900 and
1970 (Nicholls, pp.134-5; pp.215-6; Blackie, p.34; Inglis, p.81).


The Faculty of Homeopathy

year total females percentage
1844 11
1848 51
1857 200
1867 251
1869 258
1874 290
1875 279
1888 278
1895 240
1907 202
1909 196
1927 190
1930 c190
1932 185
1939 219 28 12.8%
1969 125 41 32.8%
1972 244 43 17.6%
1974 259 37 14.7%
1985 487 106 21.8%
1988 586 154 26.3%
1998 1600 576 36.0%

[Sources: Faculty Lists 1939-98; Nicholls, 1988; Homeopathic World,
May 1932]

The figures vary due to different ways of counting and whether
associate members are included or not. Thus these figures give a basic
overall impression of the numbers but not a definitively accurate
picture. Pre-1944 are members and fellows of the BHS [MBHS or FBHS];
post-1944 are members and fellows of the Faculty [MFHoms and FFHoms].
There have also always been some doctors practsing homeoapthy who were
not members of the BHS or Faculty. The figure for 1998 is the official
figure but I suspect it is somewhat inflated. I doubt very much there
are even 1000 homeopathic doctors practising regularly in Britain at
this time. 700 would be a more likely figure.


Sir Henry Tyler (1827-1908)

Through stark recognition of the grim facts of decline (Nicholls,
1998), several notable attempts were made to resuscitate British
homeopathy, as its fortunes began to collapse after 1890 (see
Nicholls, p.215 & pp.218-19). For example, the re-establishment of the
British Homeopathic Association (BHA) in 1902, to obtain more funds to
train doctors; the setting up of the Missionary School of Medicine in
1903, to train Christian missionaries in the elements of
homeopathy,tropical medicine and surgery -- some of whom were
important disseminators of homeopathy abroad (see Petursdottir); also
the sending of young UK homeopathic doctors to Chicago to train with
Dr Kent in 1908-13, under the Sir Henry Tyler Scholarship. Yet all
these efforts failed to revive interest in the therapy amongst UK
clinicians, or to elevate the numbers of homeopathic doctors, which
continued to fall, and homeopathy thus remained a stagnant backwater
for most if this century, until the late 1970's (Nicholls, pp.215-16 &
pp.134-5).


Frank Parker Wood

In the 1930's a diverse range of assorted lay therapists (mostly
homeopaths, herbalists, vegetarians, antivivisectionists, bonesetters,
diet therapists, hydrotherapists) became active, including probably
500+ lay homeopaths (see Morrell, 1995). Most towns at that time had a
herbalist and a homeopath. Leading figures of the 30's, 40's and 50's
include Noel Puddephatt, J Ellis Barker, Rev Harold Tyrwhitt (c1890-
c1960), Leslie J Speight (1901-94), Edward Cotter (c1890-c1970),
Arthur Jenner (born c1916), Frank Parker Wood (c1890-1965), Eric F W
Powell (c1895-1991), George Pettitt (c1890-c1965), Harry Benjamin
(c1890-c1950), Darnall Cooper (c1890-c1960) and Edwin D W Tomkins
(1916-92).

'Dear Mr Barker... I intimated some years ago to the BHA that a
vigorous campaign was needed to 'create a demand' for homeopathy, but
I was taken to task because such a procedure would 'offend against
professional etiquette'. I said then, and believe more strongly than
ever, that publicity is needed...'. [Letter, Edward Barnett, Essex,
The Homeopathic World, June 1932, 223]

'Dear Sir, I am delighted with your vigorous criticism of those
doctors who have mismanaged homeopathy for so many years...' [Letter
in The Homeopathic World, June 1932, 224]

'...we shall never be able to get a sufficiency of homeopathic doctors
unless homeopathy is made popular by suitable propaganda... ' [Letter,
The HomeopathicWorld, June 1932, 224]

'...organised homeopathy followed a policy of secretiveness, that no
list of homeopathic doctors was obtainable, that homeopaths did not
indicate their speciality on their brass plates and on their
stationery... the leaders of the homeopathic organisations must be
crazy, cowardly or utterly stupid.'[ibid, 225]

'...a distinguished homeopath... said to me: The British Homeopathic
Association is useless, absolutely useless, worse than useless.
Unfortunately, this is only too true....'founded in 1902 for the
extension and development of homeopathy in Great Britain'. Since that
time the number of homeopathic doctors, chemists and of homeopathic
hospitals, dispensaries and other institutions has steadily shrunk in
the most lamentable manner.' [JEB in The Homeopathic World, June 1932,
226]

'...it is declining and decaying in this country owing to the
disastrous policy which incompetent leaders have followed for
decades... during the last sixty or seventy years the number of
medical men and chemist's shops has approximately trebled, the number
of practising homeopathic physicians has shrunk by about one half and
the number of homeopathic chemist's shops to about one fifth of the
former figure... this is a disgraceful state of affairs... and the
leaders who have caused this debacle ought to retire and to hide their
heads if they possess any sense of responsibility and of shame.'[ibid,
The Homeopathic World, June 1932, 231-2]

These letters clearly demonstrate a deep rift between the plebeian
homeopaths of the thirties and their medically qualified brethren
about how homeopathy should be presented to the public. Ellis Barker
castigated both the BHS and the British Homoeopathic Association (BHA)
for blocking any further expansion or popularisation of homeopathy at
grassroots level. Editorial after editorial of his lambasted them
mercilessly as 'rich-men's talking shops' just as Drs Clarke and
Burnett had done as Editors in the 1880's and 1890's [see The
Homeopathic World, July 1932 267-8, 279, 290; September 1932 367,
371-2, 394-8; June 223 & 221-234]. Barker also incited the lay
practitioners to 'take homeopathy to the masses'. He was thus the
inspiration for the first, brief though glorious, mass movement of
alternative medicine in Britain.[see Morrell, 1995, Stuttgart Paper,
op cit and Brief History, op cit; and J Ellis Barker, Why This
Ridiculous Secrecy?, The Homeopathic World, May 1932: 177-82; Barker,
J Ellis, My Testament Of Healing, John Murray, London, 1939, 73; see
also Who's Who, 1948, 144; see Barker's Obituary, Heal Thyself, sept
1948, 235-8]


John Da Monte

Under Ellis Barker's editorship of Heal Thyself lay homeopathy boomed,
especially in the thirties, but the fifties and sixties saw a phase of
deep stagnation return. Leading figures in the sixties and seventies
include Phyllis Speight (born c1920), John Da Monte (1916-75) and
Thomas Maughan (1901-76) (see Morrell, 1995, 1996). Suddenly, in 1978,
and after two decades of inactivity, a group of lay practitioners
established their own Society of Homeopaths, a Register, College (The
London College of Homeopathy), Journal (The Homeopath) and Code of
Ethics, inadvertently imitating the medical professionalisation
process of the 1850's. These had all been London students of Thomas
Maughan and John Da Monte, and included Elizabeth Danciger, Misha
Norland, Peter Chappell, Robert Davidson, Martin Miles and Sarah
Richardson (see Morrell, 1995). Growth of the Register of the Society
can be easily demonstrated:


Thomas Maughan


year total
RSHoms female
RSHoms
1979 15
19 80 28
1981 41
1982 45
1983 50
1984 54
1985 62
1986 65
1987 67
1988 82 40 (48.8%)
1989 132 81 (61.4%)
1990 165 99 (60%)
1991 180 112 (62.2%)
1992 210 137 (65.2%)
1993 260 182 (70%)
1994 360 264 (73.3%)
1995 427 310 (72.6%)
1996 465 357 (76.8%)
1997 493 381 (77.3%)
1998 542 418 (77.1%)
1999 595 459 estimate

[Source: Soc Hom Registers 1979-98]

This sudden burst of renewed activity led to a very rapid expansion of
homeopathy in the UK, and more Colleges became quickly established
during the 1980's and 1990's, such that there are now more than 20,
including 1 in Wales, 2 in Scotland and a dozen in London and the
south of England. The lay movement is now a semi-legitimised
profession with its own mode of registration, unified teaching
syllabuses, training procedures and self-regulation. And now degree
status (see advertisement for LCCH degree course, The Homeopath 62,
July 1996, p.598). It sits on the brink of full legal recognition.
There are approximately 1000 registered homeopaths working in the UK
at present with probably the same number of licensed and unregistered
homeopaths, and around 1000 medical doctors who practise some form of
homeopathy. Many of these practitioners only practise on a part-time
basis, and thus these numbers are slightly misleading. The movement is
expanding at roughly 8-9% per year. There are thus two strands of the
current movement -- the medically qualified, and the lay
practitioners. The latter dislike the pejorative title 'lay
homeopath', preferring to be referred to as 'professional homeopaths'.

Homeopathy in Wales, Scotland and EireHomeopathy in the British Isles
has not been entirely confined to England. There has been almost no
homeopathy at all in Wales and no-one seems to know precisely why.
There was a homeopath in Dolwyddelan in mid-Wales in the 1860's and
also one in Llandudno in north Wales, but no others that I know of. It
seems strange because British homeopathy tended to become associated
with religious non-conformism and that should have suited the Welsh.
My feeling also is that Wales is a largely unstratified society with a
working class culture which simply did not gel with homeopathy.

There has also been very little in Ireland, where it was confined to
certain towns like Dublin, Galway, Cork and Limerick, as well as some
in the Belfast area in the north. Apart from that almost none.

One of the first homeopaths in Ireland was Dr William Walter (c1818-
c1890) of Dublin, MD St Andrews 1847 (Medical Directory, 1863, p.892).
He taught Dr Samuel Kidd (see below). Another important Irish
homeopath was Dr Michael Greene (1819-c1890) of Ennis, near Galway,
who was the first to use Crataegus (Hawthorn). MRCS England, 1841
(Medical Directory, 1863, p.844).

Probably the most famous Irish homeopath was Dr Samuel Kidd b1824 in
Limerick the 17th of 18 children. At 17 he became an apprentice to Dr
James O'Shaughnessy (1815-c90; of Limerick; MRCS England 1837 (Medical
Directory, 1863, p.874)) in Limerick, and then in 1842 went to Dublin
and studied with Dr Walter. Dr Kidd treated people homeopathically in
the Irish Potato famine (1850's), and later became physician to
Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81), the British Prime Minister, during his
final illness.

The single most active Irish homeopath this century was probably Dr
William Henry Roberts (c1862-c1955), who ran the Dublin Homeopathic
Dispensary for many years until its demise in the early 1950's (Heal
Thyself 1932-54). Dr Roberts lived at 63 Lower Mount St, Dublin and
was LRCP Edin 1895, LRCS Edin 1885, LMR Dub 1882, and formerly at the
Hahnemann Homeopathic Hospital Liverpool. He contributed articles
regularly to 'Heal Thyself' during the nineteen forties and fifties.


Hahnemann Homeopathic Hospital Liverpool

In more recent years there has come into being the Irish Society of
Homeopaths, based in Galway. Homeopathy must have seemed very English
and aristocratic to the Irish, and as with the Welsh, it might have
been viewed therefore as an unwanted aspect of English Imperialism.


Thomas Skinner George MacLeod

Homeopathy in Scotland has a long and very distinguished record. It
has been practised there from its very inception in the UK and has
enjoyed repeated flowerings, quite independent of the tradition in
England. It has tended to be centred mainly in Glasgow. Many of the
greatest homeopaths in Britain have come from Scotland, born and
educated there, even though they may have 'made their mark' south of
the border. Examples include Robert Dudgeon, John Weir, John Drysdale,
William Henderson, Thomas Skinner, George MacLeod, John and Elizabeth
Paterson, Ephraim Connor, Gibson Miller and William Boyd, Duncan Ross,
Robin and Sheila Gibson and more recently David Taylor Reilly, and all
of whom probably rank as great homeopaths in world terms. Dr Robert
Gibson Miller (c1860-1919) was enormously influential and trained with
Kent in St Louis in the 1880's. There have been many important and
influential Scottish homeopathic doctors since, based mainly at the
Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital. That requires a separate history of its
own. Visit the webpage of the main Glasgow Homeopathic pharmacy
(http://www.freechem.co.uk).

By way of summary, we can make an interesting point about British
homeopathy today as compared with its condition in the 1840's. How
sharply the two now differ! Then, homeopathy was entirely dominated by
a medically-qualified elite with a wealthy clientele of aristocrats
and only a microscopic lay movement. Today the opposite holds true: it
is numerically dominated by professional homeopaths, who have,
singlehandedly, brought about its resuscitation from a 'near-death
experience' in the mid-seventies. And their client-base is almost
entirely composed of middle and lower-class patients. The medically
qualified today are in a minority and seem always to be responding to
new ideas and techniques originating in the lay movement, rather than
being the leaders of it they once were.

Homeopathy in Wales, Scotland and Eire

Homeopathy in the British Isle has not been entirely confined to
England. There has been almost no homeopathy at all in Wales and no-
one seems to know precisely why. There was a homeopath in Dolwyddelan
in mid-Wales in the 1860's and also one in Llandudno in north Wales,
but no others that I know of. It seems strange because British
homeopathy tended to become associated with religious non-conformism
and that should have suited the Welsh.

There has also been very little in Ireland, where it was confined to
certain towns like Dublin, Cork and Limerick, as well as some in the
Belfast area in the north. Apart from that almost none. The single
most active Irish homeopath was probably Dr W H Roberts, who ran the
Dublin Homeopathic Dispensary for many years until its demise in the
early 1950's (Heal Thyself 1932-55). In more recent years there has
come into being the Irish Society of Homeopaths, based in Galway.

Homeopathy in Scotland has a long and very distinguished record. It
has been practised there from the very origins of the therapy in the
UK and has also enjoyed repeated flowerings, quite independent of the
tradition in England. It has tended to be centred mainly in Glasgow.
Many of the greatest homeopaths in Britain have come from Scotland,
born and educated there, even though they may have 'made their mark'
south of the border. Examples include Dudgeon, Weir, Drysdale,
Henderson, Skinner, George MacLeod, John Paterson, Ephraim Connor,
Gibson Miller and William Boyd, and more recently David Taylor Reilly,
and all of whom probably rank as great homeopaths in world terms. Dr
Robert Gibson Miller was enormously influential and trained with Kent
in St Louis in the 1880's. There have been many important and
influential Scottish homeopathic doctors since, based mainly at the
Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital. That requires a separate history of its
own.

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Brian Inglis

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Alternative Therapy 2, INRAT Conference Papers, Univ Odense Press,
Sweden
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Alternative Therapy 3, INRAT Conference Papers, Univ Odense Press,
Sweden
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Alternative Therapy 4, INRAT Conference Papers, Univ Odense Press,
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http://www.homeoint.org/morrell/articles/pm_brita.htm

Citizen Jimserac

unread,
Jul 18, 2008, 8:38:25 PM7/18/08
to
On Jul 17, 8:15 am, rpautrey2 <rpautr...@gmail.com> wrote:
> A HISTORY OF HOMOEOPATHY IN BRITAIN
> by Peter Morrell
> Honorary Research Associate in the History of Medicine, Staffordshire
> University, UK
>
> Homeopathywas introduced into the UK by Dr Frederick Hervey Foster

> Quin (1799-1878) in the 1830's, politically and socially the most
> volatile and turbulent decade of the entire century (see Brown &
> Daniels; Finlayson; Harrison; Thompson). Born and schooled privately
> in London, Quin was of aristocratic birth, and is widely ..

Excellent post regarding the introduction and growth
of Homeopathy in Britain.

For those who are not familiar with Dr. Marjorie Blackie,
she was a woman of extraordinary intellect and empathy
as was her mentor, Dr. M. Tyler.

Blackie's book, "The Patient, Not the Cure" is an outstanding read,
though now out of print, it is easily found.

Citizen Jimserac


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