Sue Young Histories

Douglas Morris Borland 1885 - 1960

August 31, 2008

Douglas Morris Borland 1885 - 1960 was an influential British homeopath. In 1908, he studied with James Tyler Kent in Chicago, and he brought Kentian homeopathy back to England.

Borland qualified MB, ChB at Glasgow University in 1909. After various hospital posts he went to Chicago to study under James Tyler Kent, going as an open minded sceptic and returning as an astonished and convinced homeopath.

He then took an appointment at the London Homeopathic Hospital, followed by active service during World War I with the Royal Army Medical Corps.

After the war he established a consultant practice in London and returned to the staff of the London Homeopathic Hospital, where he subsequently became senior consultant physician and chairman of the staff.

He died in 1960.

Kathleen Gordon Priestman worked under Douglas Borland during her post as resident at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, following this by a career in a general homeopathic practice.

Borland studied alongside John Weir and lectured alongside Charles Edwin Wheeler, and he taught Margery Grace Blackie who wrote of him:

“A giant among doctors”. Borland was a “born doctor”, she said, and eminently suited to be a homeopath, because he was always interested in the whole person – body, mind and spirit, so much so that there had been a time when he was undecided whether to go into the Church or into medicine.

At a first meeting Dr. Borland (who was a Scot from Glasgow) often gave an impression of aloofness. But this was only a mask for his shyness. Behind it there was an utterly charming, gentle, and generous personality.

Margery Grace Blackie also wrote:

And I was recommended then To Dr. Borland, best of men. He sat me down upon a chair And started with an absorbing stare.

I felt his eyes investigate The deepest secrets of my state … His stare bored down into my heart, I felt the perspiration start –

My feet, my knees, my hands, my head, All shook with a consuming dread … Oh! What a power for a physician To know by force of intuition His patient’s scandalous condition.

When I had almost ceased to hope I thought I saw his fingers grope And from his pocket came to light A tiny powder wrapped in white.

One sinewy arm he forward flung And placed that powder on my tongue – Scarce had I swallowed the contents I felt its marvellous influence –

I ceased to sweat, I ceased to shake I ceased to gibber and to quake. I felt as certain as old Nick That Dr. B. had done the trick. What an experience indeed For one so long an invalid!

Borland wrote Pneumonias, Influenzas, Homeopathy in Theory and Practice, Homeopathy in Practice, Homeopathy for Mother and Infant, Homeopathic Paediatrics and Acute Prescribing, Some Emergencies of General Practice, Children’s Types, Digestive Drugs, The Treatment of Certain Heart Conditions by Homeopathy, and Post-graduate Correspondence Course in Homeopathy with Margaret Lucy Tyler and John Weir.