Sue Young Histories

Harris F Dunsford 1808 - 1847

January 18, 2009

**Harris F Dunsford **1808 - 1847 was a British orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy.

Dunsford was a student of Samuel Hahnemann, and a colleague of Hugh Cameron, John Chapman, John James Drysdale, Thomas Engall, John Epps, Gilish, William Hering, Victor Massol, Frederick Hervey Foster Quin, Samuel Thomas Partridge and many others.

Dunsford was also friends with Paul Francois Curie, the co-founders of the radical and breakaway English Homeopathic Association, in direct opposition to the British Homeopathic Society.

Dunsford was the homeopathic physician of Queen Dowager Adelaide, the Marquis of Anglesey, and Dora Wordsworth, and he was a friend of Charles Mansfield Clarke 1st Baronet, Charles Locock 1st Baronet,

William Charles Ellis applied to Frederick Hervey Foster Quin for more information about homeopathy, and as a result, Frederick Hervey Foster Quin sent him his colleagues Guiseppe Belluomini, Harris F Dunsford, and Paul Francois Curie to assist him at Hanwell Lunatic Asylum at William Charles Ellis’s invitation. (note Charles Augustus Tulk 1786 - 1849, a close colleague of  James John Garth Wilkinson, was Chairman of the Hanwell Asylum in the 1840s ref: The Swedenborg Society: a very short history by Richard Lines Company Secretary and past President of the Swedenborg Society.)

Dunsford practiced at 26 Somerset Street, Portman Square.

George Atkin, in his Medical Directory for 1855, thus mentions this distinguished man: He was one of the first English medical practitioners who adopted the homeopathic system of medicine.

Born in the year 1808, he became a licentiate of the Apothecaries Company in 1829.

In 1830 he accepted the appointment of medical attendant to the family of the Marquis of Anglesey and traveled with one of the members thereof on the continent.

In 1833 he took his degree of M. D. at Freiburg. In 1834 he returned to and commenced practice in London, as a hmoeopathic practitioner.

In 1838 he published a work bearing the following title: _The pathogenetic effects of some of the principal homoeopathic remedies_.

And again, in 1841, he published _The Practical Advantages of Homeopathy_ which he was permitted to dedicate to Her Majesty, Queen Adelaide; and was at the period of his death engaged on a translation of Hartmann’s Therapie.

Dr. Dunsford enjoyed the personal esteem of Samuel Hahnemann, and doubtless it was from that master spirit himself that he imbibed those large and comprehensive views of Homeopathy which so eminently characterize his writings, and so successfully appeared in his practice.

Immediately after his return to London, Dr. Dunsford’s practice began to extend and increase - his quiet and gentlemanly bearing, his patient attention to the tale of the afflicted, combined with a quick apprehension of the nature of the disease labored under, and a generally fortunate mode of treatment, so enhanced his reputation, that he speedily rose to one of the first physicians in the city, and had the honor of prescribing for Her late Majesty, Queen Dowager Adelaide, during the lifetime of the king.

Dr. Dunsford died at London on the night of the 17th of June, 1847 in the 39th year of his age. The immediate cause of his death was cerebral congestion and effusion into the ventricles.

Cut down in the prime of his days, and at the very time when his talents were becoming known, his death was widely and deeply deplored, and his name to this day, is held in affectionate and grateful remembrance by many of his former friends and patients.

Dr. Dunsford left a widow and five children.

The following is the report of Mr. White Cooper, who made the post mortem:

“Post mortem made about twenty hours after death. The examination was confined to the head. Some difficulty was experienced in the preliminary steps in consequence of the unusual density and thickness of the cranium.

“The necessary section having been completed, endeavors were made to remove the upper portion of the cranium, but so firmly adherent was the dura mater that it was found impracticable to do so. During the removal of the brain between two and three ounces of serum escaped from beneath the arachnoid, and possibly from the ventricles.

“The sinuses of the brain were gorged with blood. The dura mater having been reflected, the pia mater presented the appearance of great vascularity, and on the tipper surface of the left hemisphere there was a small quantity of gritty deposit. The brain was of large size and somewhat beyond the usual weight.

“The cerebral substance was of a natural consistence, but highly vascular throughout. The lateral ventricles contained a small quantity of fluid, but there was reason to believe that a portion had previously escaped. The third ventricle was dilated. The lining membrane of the ventricles was much injected.

“The cerebellum and pons varolii were congested, but otherwise healthy. The medulla spinalis was engorged and much blood flowed from the divided vessels of the membrane. There appeared to have been effusion into the theca. These were the only abnormal appearances discovered upon careful examination.

(Brit. For. Hom. Med. Directory. London. 1855. p. 205. British Journal of Homeopathy, vol. 5, p. 399. Pierre Augustus Rapou, vol. I, pp. 76-79.)

Harris F Dunsford’s Obtituary is in The British Journal of Homeopathy.

Dunsford wrote Homeopathic Remedies, Practical Advantages of Homeopathy, The Practical Advantages of Homeopathy Illustrated by Numerous Cases, The pathogenetic effects of some of the principal homoeopathic remedies, and he translated several homeopathis books from German.


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