Sue Young Histories

Thomas Robinson Leadam 1809 - 1881

October 04, 2008

Thomas Robinson Leadam **1809 - 1881 MD Cleveland 1853 **MRSC Eng 1853 LRCP Edin. was a British orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become Surgeon to St. Olave’s Union, Surgeon Accoucher the London Homeopathic Hospital, Surgeon and Surgeon Accoucher to the Marylebone Homeopathic Dispensary.

Thomas Robinson Leadam was active in the foundation of the London Homeopathic Hospital, which was established at 32 Golden Square in 1851. He was a was a colleague of Frederick Hervey Foster Quin, the first President of the British Homeopathic Society, and Marmaduke Blake Sampson, the Chairman of the British Homeopathic Association, and many other homeopaths.

Thomas Robinson Leadam was on the Medical Council of the London Homeopathic Hospital and a member of the British Homeopathic Society and a member of the British Homeopathic Association in 1849, and Honorary Secretary to the British Homeopathic Society in 1855.

From _[Some Abiding Themes Hewn from British Homeopathic History]( by Peter Morrell. '... In contrast to devotees of high potency, for doctors like ‘… [John James ](/archives/2008/07/29/the-drysdale-family-and-homeopathy/)_[Drysdale](/archives/2008/07/29/the-drysdale-family-and-homeopathy/)… low dilutions did best and he found no advantage above the 3rd decimal…’ _(Frank Bodman, _Richard Hughes Memorial Lecture_, _British Homeopathic Journal 59,_ (1970). Page184). [Thus the 3x became the officially approved and standard tool of UK homeopathic practice from 1830 to 1900]( The early UK homeopaths therefore comprised ‘… _a remarkably able cohort of 3x men –  [Stephen Yeldham](/archives/2008/10/01/stephen-yeldham-1810-1896/), [John Galley Blackley](/archives/2008/11/21/the-blackley-surname-and-homeopathy/), [John Moorhead Byres Moir](/archives/2008/12/06/john-moorhead-byres-moir-1853-1928/), [Washington Epps](/archives/2008/07/30/the-epps-family-and-homeopathy/), [C T Knox Shaw](/archives/2009/03/27/c-t-knox-shaw-1865-1923/), etc…’ _to which we can also add the names of ‘… [John Epps](/archives/2008/07/30/the-epps-family-and-homeopathy/)_, [Paul Francois Curie](/archives/2008/07/26/paul-francois-curie-and-homeopathy/), [David Wilson](../archives/2008/10/04/david-wilson-1811-1889/) as well as [Alfred Crosby Pope](/archives/2009/03/29/alfred-crosby-pope-1830-1908/), [Richard Hughes](/archives/2008/07/04/richard-hughes-and-homeopathy/), [David Dyce Brown](/archives/2008/12/14/david-dyce-brown-1840-1910/),… [William Bayes](/archives/2008/08/05/william-bayes-and-homeopathy/), Thomas Robinson Leadam and [Robert Ellis Dudgeon](/archives/2009/05/18/archives/2009/08/29/robert-ellis-dudgeon-1820-1904/)_…’' (A Taylor Smith, _letter re Dr Borland’s Obituary_, _British Homeopathic Journal 50.2_, (July 1961). Page 119 and page 123).

In 1851, he was on the committee of the Association for the Protection of Homeopathic Students and Practitioners.

Thomas Robinson Leadam was also a colleague of William Edward Ayerst, Hugh Cameron, John Chapman, Matthew James Chapman, Edward Charles Chepmell, Paul Francois Curie, William Vallancy Drury, George Napoleon Epps, James Epps, John Epps, James Manby Gully, Edward Hamilton, Stephen Yeldham, Richard Hughes, Joseph Kidd, Victor Massol, J Bell Metcalfe, Samuel Thomas Partridge, Henry Reynolds, John Rutherford Russell, David Wilson and many others.

Thomas Robinson Leadam was a contributor to the Quarterly Homeopathic Journal in 1849 and he was also a contributor to The British Journal of Homeopathy in 1850. His articles were also published in The North American Journal of Homeopathy in 1852, and his articles, cases and practice were much quoted in homeopathic publications around the World.

Thomas Robinson Leadam practiced at 12 Wyndham Place, Bryanstone Square and at the Maryblebone Homeopathic Dispensary in Adelaide Street West. He was a member of the British Homeopathic Society and of the Physical Society at Guy’s Hospital.

In 1858 a Festival in aid of the London Homeopathic Hospital was held with many Aristocratic and minor gentry patrons attending, alongside Dr. Ayerst, William Bayes, Hugh Cameron, Edward Charles Chepmell, William Vallancy Drury, George Napoleon Epps, Arthur Guinness, Edward Hamilton, Frantz Hartmann, Amos Henriques, Joseph Kidd, Thomas Robinson Leadam, J Bell Metcalfe, Frederick Hervey Foster Quin, Henry Reynolds, John Rutherford Russell, Charles Caulfield Tuckey, George Wyld, Stephen Yeldham, and many others.

Thomas Robinson Leadam is listed in A Register of the Scholars Admitted Into Merchant Taylor’s School in 1815.

In 1848, Leadam was a witness called before the Metropolitan Sanitary Commisioners. Leadam was the Medical Officer and Surgeon to the Poor Law Union of St. Olave’s, Southwark, and present during the Cholera and Typhus epidemic in 1848, when he partitioned off part of a workhouse to become a Cholera Hospital.

In his report to the Metropolitan Sanitary Commisioners on this epidemic, Leadam described his district as a very poor area with no water supply beyond a few street taps, with cesspools and open stagnant ditches such that the stench outside his house was terrible.

Leadam continues that the effluvia often floods into the houses. Leadam recommended that Parliament should instruct landlords to connect the houses to the sewers and initiate appropriate sanitation and drainage, as well as street paving.

With thanks to Peter Morrell: Thomas Robinson Leadam:

In contrast to devotees of high potency, for doctors likeDrysdale…low dilutions did best and he found no advantage above the 3rd  decimal,” [3; 184]. Thus the 3x became the officially approved and standard tool of UK homeopathic practice from 1830 to 1900.

The early UK homeopaths therefore comprised “a remarkably able cohort of 3x men – Stephen Yeldham, John Galley Blackley, John Moorhead Byres Moir, Washington Epps, C T Knox Shaw… to which we can also add the names of ”John Epps, Paul Francois Curie, David Wilson as well as Alfred Crosby Pope, Richard Hughes, David Dyce Brown,” [4; 123], ”William Bayes, Thomas Robinson Leadam and Robert Ellis Dudgeon,” [4; 119].

Robert Ellis Dudgeon, for example, was “critical of Samuel Hahnemann’s Psora theory and of dynamisation,” [3; 181], and he was not very happy either about the increasing use of nosodes. In reporting to colleagues on his US trip to the American Institute of Homeopathy Congress in 1876, Richard Hughes “was discouraging about Robert Thomas Cooper’s introduction of new remedies…Adolph Lippe and Constantine Hering…came in for unfavourable comment, and so did Charles Julius Hempel, who was accused of Swedenborgian mysticism,” [3; 187]

Thomas Robinson Leadam’s obituary is in The British Homeopathic Review and the Monthly Homeopathic Review in 1881, which mentions that Thomas Robinson Leadam was the son and the grandson of medical doctors.

Thomas Robinson Leadam wrote The diseases of women homeopathically treated, Homeopathy as applied to the diseases of females and the most important diseases of early childhood, A popular and practical treatise on the only really safe management of labour, Homeopathy and the Ancients, Case of Supposed Hydrophobia.

Of interest:

Thomas Seaton Leadam 1855 - 1917 a Merchant of 37 Hugh St, Pimlico, son of Thomas Robinson Leadam and his second wife Georgiana Harriet Saunders, married in 1889 to Isabel Constance Toulmin.

Blanche Adine Leadam, third daughter of the late Thomas Robinson Leadam married Charles Eward Beevor in 1882.

In 1876, the third son of Thomas Rovinson Leadam was called to the Bar.


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