Sue Young Histories

John Ozanne 1816 - 1864

October 17, 2008

John Ozanne (BL MD Paris 1840) 1816 - 1864 was an orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy.

John Ozanne was a student of Paul Francois Curie, and he was a Resident Physician ( at a small hospital at Paul Francois Curie’s house (Richard HaehlSamuel Hahnemann: his life and work in two volumes, Volume 2, (The Homeopathic Publishing Company 1922 (German edition), 1926 (London Edition), republished by B Jain and Co (India) 1971). Page 508), alongside Barry, Edward Charles Chepmell, Sydney Hanson, William Leaf, Victor Massol, Jas Bell MetcalfeWilliam Parsons,

John Ozanne was the editor of The Monthly Homeopathic Review and The Medical Observer and a member of the British Homeopathic Association (John James Drysdale, Robert Ellis Dudgeon, Richard Hughes, John Rutherfurd Russell, The British Journal of Homoeopathy, Volume 23, Obituary of John Ozanne, (1865). Page 350).

Francis Bellamy was a student of John Ozanne, and Robert MacLimont practiced in Guernsey, where he was in partnership with John Ozanne,

In 1820, the young John Ozanne was a member of the Society for the Promotion of Permenent and Universal Peace (Anon, The Herald of Peace, Volume 3, (Hamilton, Adams, & Company, 1821). Page 158), and was politically active in Guernsey, and in 1828, interested in history (Anon, The Guernsey and Jersey Magazine, Volumes 3-4, (1837). Page 227).

In 1841, John Ozanne converted to homeopathy and went to London (Louisa Lane, Redstone’s Guernsey guide, or, The stranger’s companion for … Guernsey, by the author of ‘Recollections of Sark’, (1841). Page 137) to study under Paul Francois Curie, alongside Francis Black, Thomas Engall, Thomas Roupell Everest, William Leaf, Samuel Thomas Partridge and many others.

In 1843, John Ozanne was a Physician at the Homeopathic Dispensary in Ely Place, and Physician at Hanover Square with Paul Francois Curie (Anon, The British Homeopathic Review, Volume 9, Obituary of John Ozanne (1865). Page 62).

In 1844, John Ozanne moved back to Guernsey where he practiced for twenty years, and he died at the age of 48 at 22 Saumarez Street, Guernsey in 1864.

In 1849, the Jersey Homeopathic Insitute was founded (George Atkin, The British and Foreign Homeopathic Medical Directory and Record, (Groombridge & Sons, 1853). Page 78), and the Guernsey Homeopathic Dispensary at 2 Clifton New Town was also founded, with John Ozanne and Francis Bellamy.

In 1849, John Ozanne was residing in St. Pierre Le Rade in the Channel Islands (Anon, The People’s Medical Journal, and Family Physician, (1850). Page 115).

In 1849, John Ozanne took out a libel action against Dr Lisle (see below) (Anon, The Journal of Health and Disease, (1849). Page 301). He was involved in a dispute with Dr. De Beauviour de Lisle (Anon, The People’s Medical Journal, and Family Physician, (1850). Page 115), an allopathic physician, who abused him verbally (John James Drysdale, Robert Ellis Dudgeon, Richard Hughes, John Rutherford Russell, The British Journal of Homeopathy, Volume 8, (Maclachlan, Stewart, & Company, 1850). Page 208) because he was a homeopath in front of his patient. The Jury at Guernsey Royal Court lost no time in upholding John Ozanne’s defence and in fining the prejudiced Mr Lisle £35 10 shillings plus costs, and damages of 5 shillings to John Ozanne and 2shillings and 6 pence to the Queen (Anon, The People’s Medical Journal, and Family Physician, (1850). Page 115). John Forbes and William Henderson of the University of Edinburgh came to give evidence for John Ozanne’s defence (Anon, The Journal of Health and Disease, (1849). Page 311).

In 1851, John Ozanne was on the committee which formed The Association for the Protection of Homeopathic Practitioners and Students.

In 1853, John Ozanne travelled to Paris to witness the clinical research comparing homeopathy with allopathy conducted ( by Jean Paul Tessier, research which lasted for 15 years over many thousands of patients at three hospitals, and clearly favoured homeopathy over allopathy.

John Ozanne was also involved in the foundation (Marmaduke Blake Sampson, The concluding task of the disciples of homœopathy, an address by M.B. Sampson delivered at a general meeting of the British Homeopathic Association, together with a report of the proceedings of the meeting, (1849). Page 86) of the London Homeopathic Hospital.

In 1858. Ozanne was briefly in a rather contentious medical partnership with Robert MacLimont,

In 1862, Colonel Slade, Governor of the Channel Islands [John Marcus Slade 1801 - 1872], appointed John Ozanne to Surgeon of the Royal Guernset Militia (John James Drysdale, Robert Ellis Dudgeon, Richard Hughes, John Rutherfurd Russell, The British Journal of Homoeopathy, Volume 23, Obituary of John Ozanne, (1865). Page 350), much to the rage of the allopathic physicians (John Churchill, The Medical Times and Gazette, (1862). Page 255), who resigned en masse in protest. Nine months later, the resignations of the allopathic physicians were accepted by the Home Secretary [Henry Austin Bruce 1st Baron Aberdare 1815 – 1895], though the regimental officers who had protested were told to resume their duties. John Ozanne was retained as Head and sole representative of the medical staff of the Guernsey Militia. The allopaths who had opposed him all had large private practices and sustained hefty financial losses as a result of this judgement (John James DrysdaleRobert Ellis DudgeonJohn Rutherford RussellRichard Hughes (Eds.), The British Journal of Homeopathy, Volume 23, (Henry Turner, London, Groombridge, London, E A Lodge, J C Pottage Edinburgh, William Radde Detroit and Michigan, 1865). Page 350).

John Ozanne practiced homeopathy in the Channel Islands for twenty years.

John Ozanne’s Obituary is in The British Journal of Homeopathy in 1864, and in The British Homeopathic Review.

John Ozanne wrote The Homeopathic Treatment of Acute Peritonitis, A Complete Statement of the Facts Connected with the Dissolution of Partnership Recently Existing Between Drs. Ozanne & Maclimont, Together with Remarks Upon Medical Eclectism, A Refutation of Dr. Maclimont’s Reply to Dr. Ozanne’s Statement, and he also wrote many articles for The Homeopathic Times, The British Journal of Homeopathy, including On Epidemic Measles in Guernsey, On the Treatment of Apoplexy, Acute Inflammatory Disease and many more.

Of interest:

Ozanne vs De Lisle 1849

On Guernsey in 1849, John Ozanne, a homeopathic practitioner, was in consultation with his patient William Wakley.

An allopathic physician De Beauviour De Lisle was also present.

De Lisle was prejudiced against homeopathy, and he abused John Ozanne in front of his patient.

From Anon, The Journal of Health and Disease, (1849). Page 301. ”You are no professional man, you are an impostor”. “You are only a quack, you are no professional man”. “You are no medical man or no professional man”. “One of us must leave, I cannot meet you”. ”I don’t want to meet you anywhere“.

John Ozanne came from a reputable Guernsey family, and he had obtained his MD from the University of Paris, and he had obtained permission from the Royal Court of Guernsey to practice medicine. Subsequently, he had studied homeopathy in London under the famous Paul Francois Curie, the grandfather of Pierre Curie.

The case was heard at the Royal Court of Guernsey.

Witnesses for the Defense were called. William Wakley, his son and his wife. His son was distressed at the time. “O gentlemen I can’t bear this; I beg you will stop that”.

Colonel De Havilland gave witness that he had been cured of the gout by John Ozanne, after suffering much under allopathic physicians, including De Lisle for eight years previously. His weak eyes were also better.

The next witness was an allopathic practitioner Dr. Magrath, who was unfavourable to homeopathy, but whom The Journal of Health and Disease notes that ’he has put himself beyond the notice of men who perceive truth by ascertaining that no professional man could practice homeopathy’, and he added that ”homeopathy and allopathy were incompatible“.

At this point, the Court decided to exclude homeopathy, and the Baliff declared that opinions on homeopathy could not influence the decision of the Court in the case before them.

Mr. Tupper, De Lisles’ Defense Council, though not in favour of homeopathy explained that it would be difficult to define quack medicine as James’s Powder, which had a secret composition was prescribed by allopaths.

The next few witnesses were all hostile to homeopathy, but on cross examination, the Court heard that most of these doctors had not read about or studied homeopathy, though Dr. Mansell had read about it and declared ’that if their system was true, all he had learnt was false‘.

There followed a series of quotes from allopathic publications defaming homeopathy.

Mr. Tupper explained by comparing De Lisle, who stood in relation to John Ozanne in the same manner as a Minster of the Church of England would stand towards another Minster who had left the Church, therefore he asked the Court to deny John Ozanne’s case against his client.

The Queen’s Comptroller explained that the Law presumed malice when the words used were insulting. As John Ozanne was not claiming financial damages, he was claiming reparation for the insult offered to him. The words spoken were injurious, and they were spoken without provocation.

The merits of homeopathy had nothing to do with the case, and the assertion that homeopathy was condenmed by the allopaths was ‘no defense whatsoever’.

Every man was considered to be honest until the opposite was proved.

The Queen’s Comptroller was surprised that:

The practitioners of medicine, above all men, ought to hesitate in pronouncing positive opinions on the science they professed. That science was, more than any other, undefined in its principles.

‘It was even at the present moment a mass of doubts and obscurities. Its Professors were still walking in the dark, and so uncertain was their science that it changed from day to day. What were considered indisputable truths twenty years ago, were now condemned and proscribed as errors.

‘And yet the Professors of this vague science ventured to dogmatise, and to pronounce authoritatively on the doctrines of others. This however, had always been the case in medicine as well as in other sciences. The regular Professors of those sciences have always been found the antagonists of new truths.

‘All great discoverers in morals and science had been treated by those who assumed to be the guardians of knowledge and truth, as impostors.

‘Such was the case in respect to Harvey’s circulation of the blood, and Jenner’s theory of vaccination, and in the present day, we have seen Richard Cobden and the other great discoverers in political science treated in the same manner.

The Queen’s Comptroller strongly denounced Mr. Tupper for comparing the disagreement to the Church. It’was monstrous’ to assert that a religious Dissenter became an impostor.

Were illiberality of this kind to be indulged in we might just as well say that a medical man who changed his opinion on any point of practice was an imposter‘.

The Queen’s Comptroller condemned the allopathic witnesses who condemned without authority, study or in most cases, knowledge of homeopathy, and when pressed most of them did not even know what homeopathy was. Their opnions therefore, were worthless.

The articles and publications read before the court defaming homeopathy were ’a mass of scurrilous expressions of party feeling which was entitled to no attention‘.

The authorities who were better informed on this subject, such as the celebrated John Forbes, admitted that it was ’but simple justice to admit that Hahnemann was a man of profound learning and perfect integrity, and that many of his disciples were sincere, honest and learned men‘.

The Queen’s Comptroller declared that the defense of De Lisle was a ‘great aggravation’ to the original offense, and thus he was ’obliged to ask him for much heavier damage than he originally contemplated’ and sentenced him to pay £35 10 shillings to John Ozanne.

The Baliff declared that the words charged in the action had been proved. Had De Lisle confined himself to claiming that homeopathy was quackery and not applied those terms to John Ozanne, and that using this Court case to defame homeopathy was not applicable. De Lisle used his words to defame John Ozanne, which were not justified.

The Baliff presented a precedent, and said further:

The opinion of the profession was declared to be that homeopathy was quackery, but if an individual took on himself to say that a person practicing homeopathy was a quack, he made himself liable to an action unless he proved his assertion‘.

Thus the Court awarded damages of £5 to John Ozanne and 2 shillings and 6 pence damages to the Queen.

The Ozanne family have been numerous in Guernsey for many years.

Robert John Thorpe Ozanne 1862 - born in Guernsey son of John Ozanne MD


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