Sue Young Histories

Benoit Jules Mure 1809 - 1858

January 02, 2009

Benoit Jules Mure 1809 - 1858 was a French orthodox physician who was a homeopath and anarcho communist, and who was a patient of Comte Sebastien Gaeten Salvador Maxime Des Guidi.

Jules Mure was inspired by the utopian socialism of Francois Marie Charles Fourier, he introduced homeopathy to Palermo in 1834, to Malta in 1836, to Paris in 1839, to Brazil in 1842, and to Cairo and the Sudan in 1852.

See The Article on Jules Mure written by John Henry Clarke


By 1854, Benoit Jules Mure had conducted some thirty eight provings and translated them into English, including a number of new snake venoms and guano. In the heat of the Nubian desert, he produced a Logarithm Repertory using Greek letters in a code that required a cryptographer to use (Francis Treuherz, Homeopathy Around the World; from a paper presented to the International Foundation for Homeopathy, Seattle, USA on Thursday April 4th 1991, (The Homeopath, 1992).

Jules Mure was a high dilutionist, and a student of Samuel Hahnemann.

From After finishing medicine studies at the University of Montpellier, he travelled throughout Europe, and spent time in Sicily trying to cure his tuberculosis.

The search for a cure, he became an adept of homeopathy, which he practiced in such places as Sicily and Malta, before settling in Brazil in 1840.

He attempted to expand his activities in 1842, by creating an Institute in Saí, Santa Catarina (Instituto Homeopático de Saí) training locals in homeopathy, which he saw as a weapon in combating the endemic diseases within underprivileged communities - especially the Afro-Brazilian one.

Inspired by the utopian socialism of Francois Marie Charles Fourier, Mure also created a Phalanstère near São Francisco do Sul (Falanstério do Saí or Colônia Industrial do Saí), which expanded to surrounding areas such as Vila da Glória (Colônia do Palmital).

He received backing from Antero Ferreira de Brito and the rest of Santa Catarina’s government of the period, but the project was not to survive. He left for Rio de Janeiro in 1843, and founded the Instituto Homeopático do Brasil, serving as its president until 1848 (when he returned to Europe).

In 1852, he started homeopathic activities in Cairo, Alexandria, and other areas of Egypt (including Turkiyah Sudan). He died there six years later.

From The editor of the British journal in a review of Dr. Mure’s book gives the following account of this notable man: Doctrine de l’ École de Rio de Janeiro et pathogénésies Brésiliennes. Paris, 1849.

This work is the production of Dr. Mure, the indefatigable apostle of Homeopathy, of whom many of our readers may have heard, though they may not be aware of the immense energy displayed by this zealous disciple of Samuel Hahnemann, in the propagation of the new system.

We think it may not be uninteresting to our readers to give a slight sketch of the labors of Dr. Mure, as far as we are able from the documents to which we have access.

His whole career bears such an air of knight errantry and romance about it that it seems something like a fiction, but we have every reason to believe that all the facts we are about to relate are in the main true, though perhaps somewhat highly colored by the zeal of the narrators.

M. Mure was a French merchant, well known at Palermo, and having fallen into extreme ill health (phthisis pulmonalis is said to have been his malady) he was given over by his allopathic physicians.

Apparently in the last stage of consumption the Organon of Samuel Hahnemann fell into his hands, which he eagerly perused, and struck by the new light revealed in this extraordinary work a ray of hope beamed upon him, and he hastened away from Palermo to seek that relief from the hands of the homeopaths which he was unable to obtain from the adherents of the old school.

On his arrival at Lyon he placed himself under the care of the venerable Comte Sebastien Gaeten Salvador Maxime Des Guidi.

Such was his miserable condition on leaving Sicily, his friends scarcely expected he would survive the fatigues of the sea voyage. Their astonishment was great when they saw him return in a few months in perfect health. All Palermo flocked around him and begged he would give them information respecting the system which had produced on him these marvellous results.

He made some cautious experiments with homeopathic remedies, and with complete success. Several physicians of Palermo were convinced by the proofs they saw of the efficacy of Homeopathy, and set about studying it with diligence.

Mure was now resolved to consecrate the life that had been saved by homeopathy, to its propagation, and, abandoning his commercial pursuits, he went to Montpellier to study medicine and obtain the legal qualifications for practicing as a physician.

Having completed his studies and obtained his degree, he began to devote himself to propagate homeopathy. Malta was the first spot he chose for his operations. He arrived there in 1836.

In the Grand Hall of the Knights of Provence, at Valetta, he got up an exhibition of his cures; something, we suppose, in the style of those formerly witnessed in this country, though on a more extensive scale, but not on that account of less questionable propriety, but Dr. Mure in his proselytizing ardour was no stickler for professional etiquette.

He succeeded in making converts of some medical men there, particularly of Drs. Fennich, Buona via, and De Claude.

The cholera having broken out in the kingdom of Naples, he crossed over to Palermo in 1837, and on the voyage wrote some papers on the progress of homeopathy and the homeopathic treatment of cholera, with Samuel Hahnemann’s instructions for the cure of that disease. These he published on his arrival.

The cholera not appearing in Sicily, he went elsewhere to propagate the faith, but was speedily recalled to Palermo by the invasion of the Pest in June, 1837; he did not arrive there, however, until the disease was already in its decline, after having carried off near a quarter of the population in forty days.

Whilst most of the allopathic physicians had fled from the town during these fatal days, two of Mure’s disciples, Drs. De Blasi and Bartoli, remained faithful to their post, and were instrumental in rescuing a number of persons from the grave.

However, the Academy of Palermo, which had erased De Blasi’s name from among its members on account of his heretical opinions, refused to register the cases treated by the homeopathists, but the Government, appreciating the excellence of their treatment, took care to spread a knowledge of the method pursued by them among the parts of the country still ravaged by the plague.

Our hero now set about translating a repertorium from the German, for the use of the Silician physicians, and established a pharmacy, where he made all the homeopathic preparations with his own hands.

He here invented a machine for triturating the medicines, and another for succussing the dilutions, of which he has given us drawings in the Bibl. Hom. de Genève, and also in the work before us.

His plan was to triturate every substance, mineral, vegetable and animal, up to the third attenuation, and with his succussion machine to give 300 shakes to each dilution. He undertook to supply every medical man gratuitously with all the homeopathic preparations.

Not being able to obtain bottles in sufficient quantity, he established a glass blowing manufactory, himself instructing the workmen, whereby he was enabled to supply with pocket pharmacies all the medical men who applied to him, and who were by no means few in number.

During this time he translated, into Italian, Gottlieb Heinrich Georg Jahr’s Manual.

In the beginning of 1838 he opened a dispensary at Palermo, and soon afterwards a second in the centre of the town on a magnificent scale. In less than a year the number of patients daily seen here amounted to upwards of 200, and above six physicians were occupied in attending to them.

Physicians, students, lawyers, priests, literary men, flocked to this temple of charity to hear from the patients themselves an account of their astonishing cures, we are told; and thus this dispensary became the centre of the propaganda for Sicily.

The allopathic physicians, our informant assures us, found themselves almost deserted by their patients, the apothecaries begged to be allowed to sell the homeopathic medicines, and the wards of the great hospital were almost forsaken.

In some public hospitals homeopathy was adopted, viz., in the hospitals of Morreale, Mistretta, Pietra perzia, and that of the brothers of San Giovanni de Dio, their physicians having become converts to the new system.

In a very short time about thirty physicians declared themselves favourable to the new doctrines, the principal of whom were Tranchina, De Blasi, De Bartoli, Morello, Tripi, Calandra, Bandiera, the Marquis Inguagiato, Vasallo, Lipomi, Cinirella, Aceto, Maglienti, Strina, Selvaggio, Perez, Evola, Bonelli,, Bataglia, Magri.

Under the editorship of De Blasi the Annali di la med. Omeopatica, a periodical journal for the propagation of homeopathy, was established.

A homeopathic society was formed, which in 1844 was formally recognized by government and converted into The Royal Homeopathic Academy. Courses of lectures on homeopathy were delivered.

Having thus given the impulse to homeopathy in Sicily, our indefatigable colleague, desiring a new field for his beneficent conquests, turned his eyes towards Paris, and thinking things were not going on quick enough there to his liking he resolved to stir up the energies of his dormant confreres.

Arrived in Paris in 1839, he immediately set about the foundation of a homeopathic Institute, for the purpose of spreading the system, by practice, instruction and publications.

A dispensary was opened every day for the poor; courses of lectures were announced, on clinical Homeopathy, by Simon Felix Camille Croserio, on the theory and history of homeopathy and on materia medica, by Gottlieb Heinrich Georg Jahr.

Two newspapers for the indoctrination of the public were set a going - a daily one, the Capitole, and a weekly one, the Nouveau Monde.

A homeopathic pharmacy was established, provided with all Dr. Mure’s ingenious apparatus. A library containing all the homeopathic works necessary for the student was formed.

The opening of this Institute on the 10th November, 1839, was rendered peculiarly imposing by the presence of Samuel Hahnemann himself, and a long oration was pronounced by Gottlieb Heinrich Georg Jahr, which is reported in, the Bibl. Hom. de Genève for 1840, where also may be found, numerous particulars relative to the impulse given to homeopathy in France by Dr. Mure, the opposition, he encountered and the spirit with which he attacked his adversaries.

But this restless spirit yearned like Alexander for new worlds to conquer; he desired to find some land where he might be the first to break the ground, and to convey blessings hitherto unknown to a race of men ignorant of the glorious doctrines of Samuel Hahnemann.

He determined to cross the ocean and rear the standard of homeopathy in the virgin soil of South America. Accordingly he sailed for Rio de Janeiro, and arrived there in 1840.

The traces of homeopathy in the Brazilian empire were but few before this time. In 1834 a Dr. Maya had published an article against homeopathy.

In 1837 a M. Jahn had presented a thesis on homeopathy to the Faculty of Medicine of Rio, in which he related some cases of homeopathic treatment, but these were performed with massive doses of medicines in the crude state, and were not crowned with much success. Dr. Mure himself had before this time sent books and medicines to Brazil, but no one seems to have taken any notice of them.

Shortly after his arrival in Rio he converted a young surgeon of considerable celebrity as a skilful operator, A J Souto de Amaral, who died two years afterwards without ever abandoning entirely allopathic procedures.

He was shortly after his arrival dispatched by the Brazilian Government to Ste. Catherine, in order to found a phalansterian colony, for our hero is an ardent Fourierist, and a disciple of Emanuel Swedenborg to boot.

On his journey he treated many patients and spread abroad a knowledge of the system.

At Sainte Catherine, he made a convert of Dr. T de Silveira.

We do not know what success his phalansterian scheme met with (heaven grant it did not prove like Cabet’s Icarie!), but at the end of March, 1841, we find him again at Rio, where he was joined by Dr. Lisboa, and he soon succeeded in converting a number of allopathic physicians, and vigorously assailed the old school by his publications and successful practice.

He traveled about from place to place creating wherever he went a homeopathic public, whom he left in charge of some medical man, of whom he had made a convert. His custom, we believe, was, when he arrived in any new town, to address appeals to the priests, in the name of charity and Christianity, to assist him in the propagation of the system, and by this means he made numerous converts among the clergy, whose influence with the laity served to spread a knowledge of homeopathy in a very short time, and crowds speedily flocked to his gratuitous consultations.

His resources being speedily exhausted in these disinterested efforts to spread the cause, he found himself forced to settle down to remunerative practice, which he did in Rio in 1842. Towards the end of that year, with the assistance of Dr. Martins and Dr. Lisboa, he founded the Brazilian Institute, and open the first dispensary in Rio.

In July, 1844, the foundation of homeopathic school was laid, and the course of study was opened in January, 1845… These studies are distributed over a period of three years after a prolonged struggle and numerous difficulties, among which the incarceration of some of the homeopaths accused poisoning, accusations of assassinations, etc., may be mentioned at length, in 1846, the Secretary of State for Justice authorise the school to give certificates of study to prove the capacity of the students; and on the 2nd of July, 1847, a grand assembly was held in order to confer the first certificates.

The description of the ceremony in a hall hung with crimson damask and ornamented with gold and silver flowers and portraits read amazingly fine, and was doubtless very imposing.

The president (Dr. Mure) made a touching speech, and was followed by the secretary (Dr. Martins), then the vice president and director (Dr. Moreira) announced that he had examined the candidates, and found them fully entitled to certificates of study, and in virtue of the imperial ordonnance so and so, the homeopathic school would now proceed to grant these certificates.

Here upon eight of the members, including the president, each put round their necks a white ribbon with two knots - the colour indicating the purity of their motives, the form denoting the orbital human knowledge, the knots representing religion and science, which bind man to God and his neighbour, the whole signifying the inexhaustible mercy of the Deity, wherein is a refuge from error and falsehood.

The profound significance of Lord Burleigh’s celebrated shake of the head is totally eclipsed by that of this bit of white ribbon. continue reading:

Benoit Jules Mure wrote Materia Medica; Or, Provings of the Principal Animal and Vegetable Poisons, Dr. B. Mure’s Materia Medica: Or, Provings of the Principal Animal and Vegetable Poisons of the Brazilian Empire; and Their Application in the Treatment of Disease,