Homeopathy 2009; 98(04): 299-301
DOI: 10.1016/j.homp.2009.09.003
Social and Historical
Copyright © The Faculty of Homeopathy 2009

20 years ago: The British Homeopathic Journal, October 1989

S.T. Land

Subject Editor:
Further Information

Publication History

Received07 September 2009

accepted07 September 2009

Publication Date:
15 December 2017 (online)

The Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital

October 10th 1989 was the 140th Anniversary of the founding of the (Royal) London Homoeopathic Hospital: fourteen pages of this issue, in three articles, deal with its history.

In “Frederic Quin, the founder of the Hospital”, Bernard Leary described the man who is normally regarded as the founder of British homeopathy, although he was the third doctor to practise it in this country. He founded the British Homeopathic Society (later the Faculty) and was also the driving force behind the British Homoeopathic Association, which raised the funds needed for the foundation of the London Homeopathic Hospital. This was made possible largely because of his social position, but also because of his charismatic personality. He was personal physician to the Duchess of Devonshire. The author paints a very engaging portrait of the man: “He had the entrée into the greatest houses but it was his wit, good humour and trustworthiness as a friend that ensured that he was always welcome. Because he was so well liked the aristocracy helped him in every way that they could and because he was assisted, homeopathy was also”; and he quoted Lord Ronald Gower “(Quin) never did or said anything ill natured and his great popularity in society was doubtless owing to this”. Despite being a doctor to the rich and famous, he wanted to bring homeopathy to the general public. In 1843, he opened the St. James's Homoeopathic Dispensary; then, through his tireless fund-raising and networking efforts, saw the establishment of the first London Homoeopathic Hospital, Golden Square in 1849, which dealt with the cholera epidemic. This was followed in 1859 by the larger one in Great Ormond Street. There are large sketches of both the buildings. The author gave a detailed description of these foundations and the complications involved with the development of the British Homoeopathic Association. In his final paragraph, he spelt out the ways in which, without Quin, homeopathy in this country would have disappeared.[ 1 ]

The second article, “The history of the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital” by Hilary Jenkins, gives a detailed description in six pages of the various stages in the development of the hospital and its operation. There are several photographs, from the 1890s to the 1950s. In September 1948 it acquired the title ‘Royal’, just one year before the celebration of its centenary.[ 2 ] Finally, “The future of the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital” is a guest editorial by MD Jenkins, Chairman of the Medical Staff Committee of the Hospital. He outlined the chequered career of the hospital since the reorganization of the National Health Service in 1974, before which the hospital was a small general one with its own management board. Since then, the author considered it had suffered in terms of loss of identity, inadequate capital investment and uninterested management. The present management structure, under the Middlesex Hospital, had proved far from satisfactory. The traditions and aspirations of the two hospitals had little in common, and the RLHH, which did not fit into the scheme of things, had suffered as a result. The author was greatly encouraged by the recent White Paper ‘Working for Patients’, which envisaged a motivated and committed management of a self-governing NHS Hospital Trust. The committee believed that “if the hospital were seen to be independent there would be very considerable scope for raising funds from charitable sources and from the private sector to finance the redevelopment of the hospital as an active progressive national and international centre for practice, teaching and research in homoeopathy and complementary medicine”.[ 3 ]