Sue Young Histories

William Barclay Browne Scriven 1823 - 1906

May 12, 2009

William Barclay Browne Scriven 1823 - 1906 AB, MB Trinity College 1840-2, MRCS London 1842, was an Irish orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy, formally a travelling physician, he became a member of the British Homeopathic Society, and Physician at the Dispensary of the Irish Homeopathic Society, and a Member of the Provincial Medical Council of the London Homeopathic Hospital,

William Scriven was the homeopathic practitioner of Agnes Strickland, Richard Whately. William Scriven explained that Richard Whately was converted to homeopathy when his favourite dog, given up by allopathic vets, was cured by homeopath Karl Sutton.

William Scriven was a colleague of Matthew James Chapman, Edward Charles Chepmell, Samuel Cockburn, William Vallancy Drury, William Todd Helmuth, William Henderson, Joseph Kidd, Charles W Luther, Jas Bell Metcalfe, John Ozanne, Frederick Hervey Foster Quin, Charles Ransford, John Rutherford Russell, George Wyld, Stephen Yeldham, and many others.

William Scriven practiced at 31 South Asia Street, Dublin, and at 40 Stevens Green, Dublin.

See article in The Journal of the Irish Society of Homeopaths Vol 13, No 1, Spring 2011: The Luther Legacy 2 The Scriven Family by Rhoda Ui Chonaire LIc ISH, ISHom

William Scriven visited the Turkish Baths in Lower Temple Street Dublin:

W B B Scriven, a mechanical engineer by profession, who described it as  ’… small but good’ in an article published in 1860 in a homeopathic journal.

W B B Scriven The Turkish bath as an auxiliary to medicine, reprinted from the British Journal of Homeopathy July, 1860. The Turkish Baths were built by Hydrotherapist Dr. Barter.

William Scriven worked at the Dispensary of the Irish Homeopathic Society at 31 South Asia Street Dublin with Charles W Luther and Arthur de Noe Walker,

William Scriven wrote the following letter in 1852, detailing the presumed mystery of Frederick’ Hahnemans visit to Dublin in 1823:

“Your number of Saturday, the 21 st inst., contains a letter from Dr. Massy, of Worcester, in which it is stated that the venerable reformer, Samuel Hahnemann, practiced Homeopathy in Dublin in the year 1823, and that his bust at present exists in the studio of Mr. Kirk, the well known sculptor of that city.

“The minutest incidents of Samuel Hahnemann’s life are too dear to the Homeopathic public to be allowed to remain long secret; and his numerous personal friends, admirers and immediate disciples chronicled each event of his truly important career so accurately that it seems impossible so noteworthy a circumstance as a visit to the British Isles should tip to the present have escaped the notice of his biographers.

“In no record of his life that has fallen into my hands is there mention of such a journey; on the contrary, all seem agreed that in 1823 he was enjoying at Coethen comparative repose and professional freedom, after his stormy sojourn at, and final expulsion from Leipsic.

“As regards the bust in question, allow me to add that I have frequently seen it in the studio of Mr. Kirk, with whom I formed an acquaintance some years ago in Rome, which I was happy to renew in settling here in 1850.

“Mr. Kirk was then under the impression that the bust was that of the founder of Homeopathy; but the first glance suffices to convince anyone acquainted with Samuel Hahnemann’s well known head that it never could have belonged to him, though a certain family resemblance is unmistakably traceable.

“It is, in fact, that of his son Frederick Hahnemann, who practiced here at that time, and made no little noise in the Dublin world; driving a coach and four, and keeping a handsome establishment in Dawson St.

“The face is expressive of fiery energy, the eves possessing a penetrating vividness, which is wonderfully rendered in the clay: but the head, which is bald in front, though striking and remarkably fine, does not exhibit the massive squareness and breadth of forehead of the father, being rounder and less lofty.

“The lower part of the face is concealed by a large beard and mustache. It is evidently the head of no ordinary man, and never fails to attract the attention of those who visit the studio of my talented countryman. His age might be guessed at from thirty five to forty.

“The bust was executed by the father of the present Mr. Kirk while Frederick Hahnemann was in attendance on one of his sons, whom he cured of a distressing malady and is one of the numerous proofs of the remarkable facility possessed by that lamented artist of infusing speaking life into the inanimate marble.

“As a memento of one to whom fate attaches a melancholy mystery, independent of tile interest connected with all that relates to the great Samuel Hahnemann, this mist would form an acquisition to the study or gallery of the Homeopathist or dilletante.

“I had already requested Mr. Kirk to furnish me with a copy, as a pendant to a bust of the father, to which, as I before remarked, it bears a family resemblance. I remain, etc., W. B. B. Scriven. 40 Stevens Green, Dublin, Aug. 24, 1852.

William Scriven’s Obituary is in The Pacific Coast Journal of Homeopathy in 1906.

William Scriven wrote The Last Illness of Archbishop Whatley in the Journal of the ___British ___Homeopathic Society in 1864. William Scriven also wrote The Treatment of Splints in Horses, Homeopathy Briefly Explained by a Practitioner,

Of interest:

George Scriven MD Dublin 1884, MB 1880, BCh Dublin, one of two sons of William Scriven, was also a homeopath, Physician at the Dublin Homeopathic Dispensary at 33 Stephen’s Green Dublin, and a Consultant at the London Homeopathic Hospital.

George Scriven arranged funds for The Anglo French American Hospital: An Account of the Work Carried on Under Homeopathic Auspices During 1915-1916, at the Hôpital Militaire Auxiliaire, No. 307, Neuilly sur Seine, in Conjunction with the French Red Cross Society.

Katie Morris from California wrote to say that Jane Medlicott married to J. Scriven, was the mother of Joseph Medlicott Scriven, he wrote the hymn, ‘What a Friend We Have In Jesus’.

His story says he was baptised by her brother, Rev. Joseph Medlicott, a Wiltshire Vicar.  She was a ggggrandmother to me. Her daughter Jane Bury Scriven married Edward Kentish Evans and they came to the United States.

Katie went on to say: “In our family here Jane Bury Scriven born May 28, 1828, Winchester England, near South Hampton (daughter of Jane Medlicott and John John Scriven) married Edward Kentish Evans in 1860. Their son Edward William Mervyn Evans wrote some family stories down.

‘They mention, of Jane Bury Scriven “a sister married a man named Medlicott and she was the mother of the tall nice Charley.” “Grandma was one of a rather remarkable family, quite large, but when she came to America, she was the third to leave the old home. One brother went to India; then there was Uncle Joe Scriven, a beloved and well known clergyman in Canada. There is a beautiful shrine and monument to his memory near Quebec. He was known for his good works, but we know him for another reason.

‘At the death of a brother in England, he was unable to go to his Mother, so he sent her a beautiful poem as consolation. This was set to music and is in many hymnals as “What a Friend We Have In Jesus”.

‘Also “There was one of the brothers called “Handsome Jack of the Queen’s Own, so he must have been in the British Army in the Queens regiment.

‘We have been able to find that a W.B.B. Scriven was William Barkley Brown Scriven, a brother to Joseph Medlicott Scriven. His marriage to Sarah was performed by Joseph Medlicott.’