Sue Young Histories

George Wyld 1821 - 1906

October 09, 2008

George Wyld MD Edin. 1821 - 1906 was a British orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy in 1851, when he was treated homeopathically for nervous tension brought on by studying for his medical degree, and he became a Physician at the Hahnemann Hospital at 39 Bloomsbury Square, and he was also President of the Swedenborg Theosophical Society (NB: this is not the Theosophical Society founded in 1875)). In 1876, he was the acting President of The British Homeopathic Society.

George Wyld was a founder member (Logie Barrow, Independent Spirits: Spiritualism and English Plebians 1850-1910, (Routledge, 1986). Page 82) of the Liberal Unionist Party in 1887 and in alliance with the Conservatives, and a Director of the London District Railway for 20 years, George Wyld was the brother in law and cousin of John Stuart Blackie, and he was related to William Ewert Gladstone, George Wyld was an advocate of Turkish Baths, the Water Cure, Temperance and purity of diet and mind, and a friend of Arthur Conan Doyle.

George Wyld practiced at 12 Great Cumberland Place. George Wyld is listed in James John Garth Wilkinson’s address book at Wimbledon Park, Surrey (Swedenborg Archive Address Book of James John Garth Wilkinson dated 1895).

George Wyld knew the Staff of the Hahnemann Hospital at 39 Bloomsbury Square which included John Anderson, William Henry Ashurst,, William Thomas BergerChristian Karl Josias Bunsen, W A Case, James Chapman, Edward Charles Chepmell, Paul Francois Curie, J M Douglas, Robert Ellis Dudgeon, Thomas Egerton 2nd Earl of WiltonThomas Engall, Thomas Roupell Everest, G H Flatcher, John Fowler, Joseph GloverRobert GrosvenorRobert HamiltonJoseph Hands, Sydney HansonAmos Henriques, Thomas Higgs, Charles Hunt, T H Johnstone, Henry Kelsall, Joseph Laurie, Henry Victor MalanWilliam Leaf,  Charles Powell Leslie, John Miller, James More Molyneux, Chas Pasley, Mathias Roth, Frederick Sandoz, W Stephenson, Samuel Sugden, Allan Templeton, Major Tyndale, William Warne, A Wilkinson, James John Garth Wilkinson, David Wilson, S Wilson and many others.

In 1858 George Wyld attended a Festival in aid of the London Homeopathic Hospital 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, Stephen Yeldham, and many others.

George Wyld was interested in mesmerism in 1839 and experimented with chloroform, and he was a member of the Phrenology Society in 1844, and Vice President of the British National Association of Spiritualists, having visited Daniel Dunglas Home, and in 1881 he became a member of the Society for Psychical Research (Alan Pert, Red Cactus: The Life of Anna Kingsford, (Alan Pert, 2006). Page 90). George Wyld joined the Theosophical Society in 1878 and he was the President of the Theosophical Society in 1880 - 1882 (Janet Oppenheim, The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England, 1850-1914, (Cambridge University Press, 26 Feb 1988). Page 174), though he parted company early with Madame Blavatsky and left the Theosophical Society as a result.

George Wyld was active in the London Smoke Abatement Society and the Society for the Simplification of Legal Proceedings, believing that legal advice should be free for the poor, and many other good causes alongside his colleague James John Garth Wilkinson. George Wyld was on the Committee on Sanitary Science at the Society of Arts in 1857.

From The following information comes from writings by Claud Leonard Broun: ‘… My mother’s father, George Wyld, born in 1821, also came of an old Scottish stock - in fact the Wylds claimed descent from Merlin! My great great grandfather John Wyld was in business at Penicuik; his son James married Marion Stodart, of a Lanarkshire family; her mother was Marion Haig of Bemerayde [actually Alison Turnbull; Robert Stodart’s mother was Marion Haig] - James bought Gilston in Fife, and there his large family was brought up.

“My grandfather graduated M.D. at Edinburgh and then went to London, where he built up a flourishing practice, though somewhat spoilt by his adherence to spiritualism and to homeopathy. He was one of the first volunteers in the London Scottish, of which his red beard and six foot stature must have made him a striking feature.

“In London he made the acquaintance of a family of Scottish extraction, but domiciled for a century in England - the Kennedys. It was this family with which my grandfather became friendly, and he eventually married Mary Emily Kennedy, (born in 1829), in 1852 (recorded as George Wyld, son of James Wyld of Gilston in The Gentleman’s Magazine Vol 192).

“In religion, my forbears had all, so far back as I know of them, been adherents of Presbyterianism, except the Kennedys who were Unitarians. In 1843 ( the Disruption ) the Wylds had become enthusiastic Free Kirkers; my great aunt Augusta used to describe to me how she and other members of the family had accompanied the disrupting ministers from the Assembly in St Andrew’s, George Street, down the hill to the hall in Canon mills where they organised their schism from the Established Kirk.

“The result of migration to London however was that my grandparents ultimately conformed to the Church of England.”

And from an earlier set of writings:

“Next year [Claud Brown] married his cousin, Marion Wyld. My father’s grandfather, George Robert Broun, had married Amelia Isabella Wyld. According to a tradition the Wylds were descended from Merlin!

“In the 18th century this particular family appears at Penicuik; James, Amelia’s brother, bought a house in Fife, and became James Wyld of Gilston. He married Marion Stodart, whose mother was Marion Haig of Bemerside (Alison Turnbull: ed). They had 15 children. Robert, the eldest, was a philosopher and at one time Provost of South Queensferry. William was a soldier in the Indian Army, and fought in the Sikh war and in the Mutiny.

“George, my grandfather, was M.D. of Edinburgh, but he migrated to London; there he nearly spoilt an excellent practice by taking up Spiritualism and Homeopathy. He was also one of the first recruits of the London Scottish. He was over 6 foot and had a bushy beard, originally red; his nickname among the boys of Edinburgh was Carrotyheid.

“In London he met at church a family as large as his own named Kennedy…” George Wyld’s involvement with spiritualism is well documented on the web. You can read more about his time as President of the Theosophical Society and his subsequent rift with Madam Blavatsky, and some of his writings… The 1861 census shows him residing at 12 Great Cumberland Street, St Marylebone, London with his wife, Emily, his first two daughters, Marion and Maud, and his first son, George, plus some servants and a lodger…’

George Wyld was the son of James Wyld 1776 - 1860 (Managing Director of the Commercial Bank of Scotland (later became the Royal Bank of Scotland) for a year, rescuing them from financial collapse. He was also a successful wine merchant), and Marion Wyld, close neighbours of William Ewert Gladstone’s uncle Thomas. The Wylds and the Gladstones were intermarried,

George Wyld’s sister Eliza was married to John Stuart Blackie, and she had a prejudice against orthodox medical practitioners due to a previous ‘unhappy experience’.

George Wyld was also related to Henry Campbell Bannerman (Prime Minister 1905 - 1908), James Lorimer 1818 - 1890, and his sons Robert Stodart Lorimer 1864 - 1929, and John Henry Lorimer 1856 - 1936 (father of Hew Lorimer 1907 - 1993), Henry Cecil Kennedy Wyld 1870 - 1945, Catherine Carswell 1879 - 1946, Anna M Stoddart 1840 - 1911, David George Ritchie 1853 - 1903 (a friend of Arnold Toynbee

There were several other siblings, including Augusta, Isabella, William, Janet, Robert Stodart Wyld 1855 - 1891, Mary, and his daughter Marion Janet Wyld, married Rev. Claud Brown 1850 - 1929,

George Wyld attended (Anon, The Homeopathic World, Volume 43, (1908). Page 236) the 2nd International Homeopathic Congress held in London (Anon, The Medical Counselor, Volume 7, (The Michigan State Homeopathic Society, 1883). Page 347) in on 11th-18th July 1881 (Anon, The Homeopathic World, (August 1,1881)) at Aberdeen House, Argyll Street, Regent Street.

George Wyld’s Obituary is in the British Homeopathic Review in 1906.

George Wyld wrote Theosophy and the Higher Life, Or, Spiritual Dynamics and the Divine and Miraculous Man, Mesmerism, Hypnotism, Christian Science, & Mind Healing, Christo-theosophy, Or Spiritual Dynamics and the Divine and Miraculous Man, Miracles as not contrary to nature, but as due to the accentuation of natural force through the direct action of spiritual power, Homeopathy: an Attempt to State the Question with Fairness, and to Analyze the Relative Merits of the New and Old Schools of Medicine, Clairvoyance: Or, the Auto-noetic Action of the Mind, Vaccination, is it Worthy of National Support?, Notes of my life, Diseases of the Heart and Lungs: Their Physical Diagnosis, and Homeopathic and Hygienic Treatment, The Christian saints; their method and their power, The Turkish, Or Hot-air Bath, Consumption: Its Nature, Treatment and Prevention, and many Journal articles. George Wyld edited The life, teaching, and works of … Jesus Christ, arranged as a continuous narrative of the four Gospels, and he contributed to The Light on the Path.