Sue Young Histories

Arthur de Noe Walker 1820 - 1900

February 12, 2009

Chevalier Arthur de Noe Walker 1820 - 1900 MD St. Andrews, MRCS, LSA, was a British orthodox physician and a Captain in the 6th Madras Native Infantry (an interpreter), who converted to homeopathy.

Arthur de Noe Walker was a friend of homeopath Matthew James Chapman for over twenty years, and he was also a friend of Walter Savage Landor who dedicated poems to him (Arthur’s wife and children often stayed with Walter Savage Landor), Robert Browning, Lady Paget and Count d’Orsay.

Walter Savage Landor was a friend of the Countess of BlessingtonThomas Carlyle, Charles Dickens, Albany William Fonblanque, John Forster, Edward Bulwer Lytton, Kenneth Robert Henderson MacKenzie, Frederick Hervey Foster Quin, Alfred Lord Tennyson, so it seems possible to assume that Arthur de Noe Walker also knew these people.

Arthur de Noe Walker was also a colleague of Hugh CameronJohn Chapman, Matthew James Chapman, Edward Charles Chepmell, Paul Francois Curie, John James Drysdale, Harris F Dunsford, Edward Hamilton, Joseph Kidd, Thomas Robinson Leadam, Charles W Luther J Bell Metcalfe, Victor Massol, Frederick Hervey Foster Quin, Henry Reynolds, John Rutherford Russell, William Barclay Browne Scriven, David Wilson, Stephen Yeldham and many others.

Arthur de Noe Walker worked at the  Tunbridge Wells Homeopathic Dispensary.

Arthur de Noe Walker attended meetings at the Royal Insitution of Great Britain in 1862, and he was an antivivisectionist, who appeared for the RSPCA in 1874 at a Commisson to condemn such experiements on animals at home and abroad. Arthur de Noe Walker was a colleague of Frances Power Cobbe (who was a friend of Contessa Gertrude Baldelli).

Arthur de Noe Walker was the son of Captain C N Walker, who had served under Horatio Nelson. Arthur de Noe Walker was the brother of Harriet Horatia Walker Wilson 1826 - 1907 and Contessa Gertrude Baldelli, and the grandson of Mrs. Walter Riddell. Arthur de Noe Walker served (an interpreter) in the 6th Madras Native Infantry in 1837 and was wounded in China in 1842. After leaving the East india Company, he returned to England to study medicine, and he volunteered as a surgeon in the Crimean War.

Arthur de Noe Walker was a trustee of the Mappleton Estate, who in 1891 was a physician living at Carlyle Square, Chelsea. He also lived and worked in Paris.

We now come to Walter Savage Landor’s correspondence with his friend Arthur de Noe Walker. More than sixty years ago an English boy, living with his family at Florence, made the acquaintance of Landor’s sons. Going with a companion to see them at the Villa Gherardesca, they saw Landor himself, of whom, from the idle stories they had heard in Florence, they stood not a little in awe.

And just as Ralph Waldo Emerson found none of the ‘Achillean wrath and untameable petulance ’ he had been warned to expect, but the most patient and gentle of hosts, so the two English lads were pleasantly disillusioned.

It was no choleric, unapproachable man of wrath who came out to greet them, but the true Walter Savage Landor who, as his manner was, gave them a right royal welcome, and insisted on their staying to dinner.

‘How kind he is,’ whispered one of the boys; and twenty years afterwards the other repeated the remark to Walter Savage Landor, who was delighted at the appreciation.

This was Arthur Walker’s first meeting with Walter Savage Landor, and shortly afterwards he went out to India as a Company’s Cadet, being presently posted to the 6th Madras Infantry. It was then that he was induced by a friend in the Civil Service to read Walter Savage Landor’s books; and when his regiment was quartered at Cuttack, he met Walter Savage Landor’s brother in law, at that time a captain in the Bengal Artillery.

Invalided during the campaign in China, Captain Walker ’ after hot days in the wild wastes of war,’ left the service and came home. Walter Savage Landor was now living in Bath, and Captain Walker took the earliest opportunity of renewing his acquaintance withone whom he had since learnt to admire, not only as a genial friend, but as a great writer.

An inscription in a copy of the two volume edition of Walter Savage Landor’s works - ’Walter Savage Landor, to his friend Arthur Walker, Feb. 5, ‘47 ’ - commemorates this second meeting. Thenceforward they met frequently.

The earliest letter I have found is dated from 3, Rivers Street, Bath, and appears to have been written in 1853. Walter Savage Landor alludes to the beginnings of their friendship : ‘I do not remember the first visit you made to me, but I well remember the last, hoping that it may not bear that name much longer. I think I must have owed to Arnold the former, but the next will be the result of your kindness towards me.’

On leaving the Indian army, Captain Walker turned his attention to the study of medicine and surgery, and in 1854 he volunteered for service, as a surgeon, with the army in the Crimea. He arrived at the British camp a few days after the Battle of Inkermann…

The remaining letters of (Walter Savage Landor to his friend Dr. Walker) in this series were written after Walter Savage Landor’s return to Italy in 1858. They mostly refer to the Heroic Idyls, which Dr. Walker, at his request, saw through the press… (Walter Savage Landor was staying with Arthur de Noe Waller’s sister Contessa Gertrude Baldelli).

Arthur de Noe Walker’s Obituary is in The British Homeopathic Review in 1900.

Arthur de Noe Walker wrote On the Prevailing Ignorance of the Materia Medica in the Recognised Schools of Medicine, Reflections on Professor [W.] Rutherford’s experiments on the biliary secretion of the dog, On the Interpretation of Pathogenetic States and Therapeutic Facts, On the therapeutic action of atomic doses, The Prophylactic power of copper in epidemic cholera, Ovariotomy, Vivisection, and the Bishop of Peterborough, Vivisection: To the Editor of “The Home Chronicler”, Address on vivisection: Read at the International Congress for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Held in London, 1874, The British Medical Association and the Vivisection Bill, The British Association for the Advancement of Science and Vivisection, and he  also contributed to various homeopathic publications in Britian and in America, including work on homeopathic provings. Arthur de Noe Walker also wrote for orthodox medical publications.

Of interest:

Alexander Walker LRCP, LM, was a homeopath in 1873, Physician at the Brixton Homeopathic Dispensary,

Robert Walker was a physician at the Manchester Homeopathic Hospital in 1852.