Sue Young Histories

Charles Corfield 1819 - 1890

November 21, 2009

Simiia Similibus
curantorCharles Corfield 1819 - 1890 was a British homeopathic chemist at 26, Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, and at the Birmingham Homeopathic Hospital and Dispensary,

Charles Corfield’s brother Richard Corfield, attended Shrewsbury School with Charles Darwin, and Charles Darwin stayed in his home in Valparaiso in 1834 and in 1835,

Established in 1846, Chemist to the Birmingham Homeopathic Hospital and Dispensary, Prepares all the Medicines used under Homeopathic Treatment. Homeopathic Medicines in Tinctures, Globules, Pilules, and Triturations, supplied in the greatest Purity.

Charles Corfield died at Great Malvern, and his Obituary is in The British homoeopathic review, Volume 34,

Charles Corfield wrote Reasons for adopting homeopathic treatment in the diseases of animals (1859),

Of interest:

Richard Corfield 1810 - 1885, brother of Charles Corfield, attended Shrewsbury School with Charles Darwin, where he was engaged in trading or shipping business at Valparaiso, where he married Thereza Gonzales, a Columbian woman,

Letter 248Charles Darwin to Darwin, E. C., 20–9 July 1834: Valparaiso is a sort of London or Paris, to any place we have been to.— it is most disagreeable to be obliged to shave & dress decently.—

We shall stay here two months, instead of going North-ward, during which time the ship will be refitted & all hands refreshed. You cannot imagine how delightfull the climate feels to all of us, so dry, warm & cheerful: it is not here as in T. del Fuego where one fine day, makes one fear the next will be twice as bad as usual.—

The scenery wears such a different aspect, I can sit on the hills & watch the setting sun brighten the Andes, as at Barmouth we used to look at Cader-Idris.— The time of year, being now winter, is very unfortunate for me, it is quite hopeless to penetrate the Cordilleras; There is a mountain, near here, at Quillota, 4700 feet high.

I am going in a few days to try to ascend it; I fear however the snow will be too thick. R. Corfield is living here, I cannot tell you how very obliging & kind he is to me.— He has a very nice house & before long I am going on shore to pay him a visit; he presses me most good naturedly to make his house my headquarters.—

Letter 254Charles Darwin to FitzRoy, Robert, [28 Aug 1834]: Corfield took me to dine with a Mr  Kennedy, who talks much about the Adventure & Beagle; he says he saw you at Chiloe…

Letter 263Charles Darwin to Henslow, J. S., 8 Nov 1834: if you know any person in Liverpool who would post your letters to me by any of the numerous ships to this port I should receive them a couple of months sooner.— in this case, they must be directed to the care of R. Corfield Esqr

Letter 275Charles Darwin to Darwin, S. E., 23 Apr 1835: I arrived at this place a week since, & am as before living with Corfield. I have found him as kind &  good-natured a friend as he is a good man…

Do mention to Mr Corfield of Pitchford, under what obligations I lie to his son… Corfield cashes the bill & sends it to his Father, who will bring it to the old Bank, where I suppose it can be transacted…

Corfield and Corfield Homeopathic Pharmacy in Birmingham closed in the 1960s:

In 1851, Charles Corfield was an agent for the sale of the Hahnemann Soap Tablet, manufactured by John Parton Berry, Perfumer in Ordinary to Queen Victoria,

In 1890, upon the death of Charles Corfield, Corfield and Corfield was carried on by his nephew Edward Corfield,

From the The Pharmaceutical Journal Vol 269 No 7228 p872-874 14 December 2002: I first met Dennis Bagshaw when I moved from the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry, to take up the post of staff pharmacist (production) at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in 1979.

Dennis taught me most of what I know about radiopharmacy. Not only was he a great teacher and mentor, he had the ability to make the experience fun. I shall never forget the twinkle in his eye and his sometimes mischievous nature.

Dennis also had a way with computers and in the days of the first steam driven personal computers, Dennis wrote a program that calculated radioisotope decay. This allowed the appropriate volume of injections to be drawn up. The program also enabled the production of labels for use with these.

The fact that we are still using the program today, with only minor modification, is a great tribute to Dennis. Dennis retired in 1985 a very young 65. I remember thinking to myself at the time that he was 65 going on 24.

Dennis was a credit to the profession and will be sadly missed by his family and friends. I count myself lucky to have known him.

ROGER SKEWS, chief pharmacist at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, writes: ‘When I first met Dennis Bagshaw in 1981, he was already well established in the second phase of his career.

Having completed his pharmacy training at Nottingham University in 1944, he had continued his studies and also qualified as an optician in 1947.

For nine years he practised as managing director of Corfield & Corfield City Homeopathic Pharmacy in Birmingham, then moved to Shrewsbury as manager of John Adams Chemists, practising there for the next 20 years.

In 1975, after recovering from a serious illness, he decided on a second phase to his career, a new challenge, and moved to the Copthorne Hospital pharmacy in Shrewsbury, rapidly gaining both new skills and promotion.

Here he developed the embryonic radiopharmacy service and when in 1977 the new Royal Shrewsbury Hospital opened, Dennis at once chose to specialise in radiopharmacy, initiating many of the new techniques and facilities required.

Hugely enthusiastic, highly intelligent and an eloquent teacher, Dennis pioneered these services throughout the hospitals in Shropshire in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

His self-taught skills as a computer programmer also enabled him to convert the complex mathematics necessary into automated programs (so elegant they are still used today).

Elected a full member of the British Nuclear Medicine Society he was a man ahead of his time.

In 1985 at 65 years of age, Dennis was far too young to retire, but his family was all important, and he did. His ever present mischievous grin, enthusiasm, and inherent concern for both colleagues and patients, endeared him to us all. I was truly privileged to work with such a shining example of the pharmaceutical profession.

Comment on Bnet blog: ‘In answer to the many letters about the ‘magic book’ said to cure warts, I used to work at a chemist’s shop near Birmingham Town Hall. It was Corfield & Corfield at 39 Bennetts Hill.

We did not have a book for recording details of people’s warts but I still have a Corfield’s book detailing common complaints and their treatment. A brown, sticky liquid called Thuja was prescribed to be painted on warts. Corfield’s was closed down in the 1960s but Thuja should be available from any chemist dealing in homeopathic remedies. SUZANNE EDWARDS Ashby de la Zouch