Sue Young Histories

James Gibbs Blake 1833 - 1900

November 12, 2009

univeristy of birminghamJames Gibbs Blake 1833 - 1900 BA, MD, MB 1854, MB 1856, winner of a 1854 and 1856 Gold Medal Award from University College Medical College, was an orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become the Physician at the Taunton Homeopathic Dispensary, the Wolverhampton Homeopathic Dispensary, Physician at the Birmingham Homeopathic Hospital, the Editor of the Monthly Homeopathic Review, member of the Northern Homeopathic Medical Association, member of the British Homeopathic Society, General Secretary to the British Homeopathic Congress in 1882, Vice President of the Midland Homeopathic Society, Chair of the Midland Chemists Association, member of the Royal Sanitary Institute.

James Gibbs Blake was a Secretary (Anon, The Homeopathic World, Volume 43, (1908). Page 236) of the 2nd International Homeopathic Congress held in London (Anon, The Medical Counselor, Volume 7, (The Michigan State Homeopathic Society, 1883). Page 347) in on 11th-18th July 1881 (Anon, The Homeopathic World, (August 1,1881)) at Aberdeen House, Argyll Street, Regent Street.

James Gibbs Blake (*photo used courtesy of Homéopathe International by Sylvain Cazalet at PHOTOTHÈQUE HOMÉOPATHIQUEwas the homeopathic practitioner and Trustee of the Sir Josiah Mason Orphanage alongside Edward Wynne Thomas, and he was also the President, Chairman of the Trustee and the Chairman of the Council of the Mason Science College in Birmingham, and a Co Founder and Vice President of the University of Birmingham. James Gibbs Blake was the homeopathic physician of Josiah Mason, and he practiced in Birmingham, at 24 Colmore Road, 24 Bennetts Hill, and 23 Waterloo Street.

From As you might imagine, Josiah Mason became extremely wealthy and in the 1850s he turned his thoughts to philanthropy. In 1858 he opened almshouses in Station Road, Erdington, Birmingham, for spinsters and widows over 50 and orphan girls, providing accommodation in furnished rooms 14ft x 11ft with coal, gas and a small annual income provided.

These premises proving inadequate to the purpose, in 1869 a second, larger orphanage was opened in Bell Lane (now Orphanage Road), Erdington, with rooms for 26 women and dormitories for 300 children. (The health of the children is placed under the care of two homeopathic practitioners James Gibbs Blake (trustee) and Edward Wynne Thomas).

On 4.12.1856, James Gibbs Blake of Taunton, Somerset, passed his Apothecaries examinations,

On 12.12.1870, James Gibbs Blake, Josiah Mason and George James Johnson executed the Foundation Deed of the University of Birmingham:

On February 23, 1875, Josiah Mason, the Birmingham industrialist and philanthropist, who made his fortune in making key rings, pens, pen nibs and electroplating, founded Mason Science College. It was this institution that would eventually form the nucleus of the University of Birmingham.

In 1882, the Departments of Chemistry, Botany and Physiology were transferred to Josiah Mason Science College, soon followed by the Departments of Physics and Comparative Anatomy.

The transfer of the Medical School to Mason Science College gave considerable impetus to the growing importance of that college and in 1896 a move to incorporate it as a university college was made.

As the result of the Mason University College Act 1897 it became incorporated as Mason University College on January 1, 1898, with the Right Honourable Joseph Chamberlain MP becoming the President of its Court of Governors.

Gibbs Blake’s Obituary is in The British Homeopathic Review, Volume 44 in 1990,

Gibbs Blake submitted papers to the House of Commons, and he submitted many cases and articles to various homeopathic publications, including Parasitic Disease: tape worm and trichonoe, and he wrote A lecture addressed to the medical profession … on The place of the law of similars in the practice of medicine,

Of interest:

James Edward Huxley Blake MD, Church Canon, son of James Gibbs Blake, was the first student to register at the Mason Science College, who subsequently graduated BA from the University of Birmingham, and he was a member of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and he wrote Gravestones in Midland Churchyards for the Birmingham Archaeological Society,

From Mason Science College was founded by Josiah Mason in 1875 (1870), the buildings of which were opened in Edmund Street, Birmingham, England on 1 October 1880. In 1900, it was incorporated into the new University of Birmingham.

Notable alumni include:

  • C.W. Hobley, pioneering colonial administrator in Kenya.