Sue Young Histories

Edward William Berridge 1844 - 1920

August 04, 2008

Edward William Berridge 1844 - 1920 was a British orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy. Edward Berridge trained at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in 1864, and then travelled to America to study at the Homeopathic College of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1869.

Berridge was a founding member of the *International Hahnemannian Association. Edward Berridge found his homeopathic feet in America, forging contacts with Edward Bayard and Elizabeth Cady Stantonwho recommended him highlyElizabeth Cady Stanton was in London in 1883, when she consulted David Wilson, Edward William Berridge and Mary J Hall (?-?), the only woman practicing homeopathy in Britain at this time (Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Ann Dexter Gordon (Ed.), Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony: When Clowns Make Laws for Queens, 1880 to 1887, (Rutgers University Press, 25 Sep 2006). Page 297).

Berridge cured Thomas Skinner of his debilitating ill health and converted him to homeopathy. Thomas Skinner stayed with Berridge at  Thomas Lake Harris‘s Fountain Grove commune, where offered a commendation for the wine served there ‘… It possesses peculiar nourishing and vitalising properties and it is certainly the most delicious wine of the kind I have ever tasted… (advertising flyer from the commune ?dated 1870s)…’)

Berridge was most influenced by Thomas Lake Harris and Alice Bunker Stockham’s Tokology A Book For Every Woman and Karezza Ethics of Marriage. Berridge was also the homeopath of Andrew John Jukes (1815- 1901) (James Gregory, Reformers, Patrons and Philanthropists, (Taurus Academic Studies, 2010). Page 160).

Edward Berridge was a member of The Golden Dawn and ’assumed a position of importance’ there, supporting Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers within the Order, and opening an Isis Urania Temple Number 3 with Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers’s blessing and acting as his representative. Edward Berridge was a follower of Thomas Lake Harris and Andrew Jackson Davis.

From Edward Berridge returned to England in the 1870s and founded an Adventist organization called the Brotherhood of the New Life, devoted to the “reorganization of the industrial world.” He was also interested in psychosexual theories and practices in relation to the occult.

Edward Berridge cured, taught & influenced Thomas Skinner. He was an early ‘Kentian’ prescriber (see James Tyler Kent).

The Kentian influence also came to these shores with Robert Gibson Miller in Glasgow, who studied with James Tyler Kent in 1884 in St Louis.

(With thanks to Peter Morrell) Robert Gibson Miller in turn began to influence UK practice chiefly in Scotland, from where the ‘high potency habit’ formed a separate and parallel strand to that centred mainly in Liverpool with John James Drysdale and Edward William Berridge.

Edward Berridge graduated MB BS London 1867, and MD Homeopathic College of Pennsylvania 1869, post-graduate school of homeopathy 1892, Member International Hahnemannian Association 1880, Member Hahnemann Academy of New York 1875, Medical Officer at Liverpool Homeopathic Dispensary 1868-9.

Berridge is widely acknowledged as one of the most important teachers of homeopathy in England and especially in Liverpool. He was a high potency prescriber who had trained in Philadelphia. He trained John Henry Clarke, James Compton Burnett, Thomas Skinner, Giles Forward Goldsborough and many others.

He is also very typical in the fact that he held formally accepted British medical qualifications as well as those in homeopathy from the USA. Almost a ‘belt and braces’ approach which guaranteed him work on both sides of the Atlantic if he so wished.

The Organon Journal 1878 - 1881 Though in existence for only a short period of time, The Organon Journal was one of the most important homeopathic publications of the 19th century. It was edited by Adolph Lippe, Samuel Swan, Thomas Skinner and Edward Berridge. Cured cases were presented based on sound principles, and materia medica was derived from provings, augmented with clinical experience.

Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers then appointed Edward Berridge as his representative, who proceeded to begin working the ceremonies and rites of The Golden Dawn in West London as early as 1903… historical evidence shows that there were “twenty three members of a flourishing Second Order under Berridge-Mathers in 1913.”

Edward Berridge joined The Golden Dawn in May 1889, taking the magical name “Respiro” and the motto “Resurgam” (I shall rise again). He associated with the London members who supported Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, including Aleister Crowley, who later ridiculed Berridge with typical malice in his Confessions and under the name “Dr. Balloch” in the novel The Moonchild.

Edward Berridge wrote Complete repertory to the homeopathic materia medica. Diseases of the eyes, The Pathogenetic Record: An Arrangement of the Pathological & Toxicological … , The Brotherhood of the New Life; an Epitome of the Work and Teaching of … , Heart disease cured with Gelsemium and many journal articles, A Repertory to the Materia Medica, and he did many drug provings, including cannabis indica and medorrhinum.

*International Hahnemannian Association 1880

Of interest:

C M Berridge was also a member of The Golden Dawn (NB: though reputedly, this was just another of Edward William Berridge’s pseudonyms - Alex Owen, The Place of Enchantment: British Occultism and the Culture of the Modern, (University of Chicago Press, 1 Mar 2007). Page 95.).


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