Sue Young Histories

The Liverpool Homeopathic Hospital

November 25, 2009

The Liverpool Homeopathic
Hospital The Hahnemann Homeopathic Hospital in Hope Street was built to an innovative design which originated with the wonderful work done by Peter Ellis and John James Drysdale and John William Hayward in 1860 onwards.

The Drysdale family were also pioneering in their design of the Liverpool Homeopathic Hospital and for their designs of experimental houses, and also for their innovative planning and management strategies, which had a large sphere of influence across Britain. (See J J Drysdale, John Williams B Hayward, Health and Comfort in House Building, Or, Ventilation with Warm Air by Self-Acting Suction Power: With Review of the Mode of Calculating the Draught in Hot-Air Flues; And with Some Actual Experiments, (reprint by Nabu Press, 27 Sep 2011).

John William Hayward and John James Drysdale explained that healthy houses were to be likened to healthy bodies and healthy living, indeed, they were ‘overlapping systems‘, the houses were built and their designs were presented to the Architectural Society in Liverpool, claiming that living in such houses dramatically improved the health of the occupants.

John William Hayward and John James Drysdale explained that as doctors, they saw the inside of many homes, and they criticised architects for placing their emphasis on aesthetics and not on healthJohn William Hayward and John James Drysdale were active in the Domestic Sanitation Movement, and John Wiliam Hayward also went on to contribute to the design of the Liverpool Hahnemann Homeopathic Hospital, the first hospital in the country to contain early hydraulic lifts and an innovative heating and ventilation system.

With very grateful thanks to Peter de Figueiredo Historic Buildings Advisor at for supplying the following information: See Peter de Figuiredo, The Octagon Building 117 Grove Street, Liverpool Heritage Statement, May

  1. See also Robert Ainsworth, Graham Jones, In the Footsteps of Peter Ellis: Architect of Oriel Chambers and 16 Cook Street, Liverpool, (Liverpool History Society, 2013). Pages 189, 190, 192, 200, 201, 202. See also Peter Ellis (1805-1884) worked with the Drysdales in the design of the Hardman Street Homeopathic Dispensary, opened in 1860 - ‘… Peter Ellis was a keen supporter of homeopathic medicine and his death certificate was signed by John James Drysdale, the dispensary’s leading physician…’ 

The archives of the Hahnemann Homeopathic Hospital on Hope Street and for the Homeopathic Dispensary on Hardman Street are specified within Ainsworth and Jones, who give J J Drysdales address as 44 Rodney Street where the inaugural meeting was held on 6.5.1857, and detail the 1st few meetings to set these two institutions running at Dr. Roche’s House at 79 Canning Street (3rd meeting) and Dr. Stoke’s house at 13 Bedford Street North (6th meeting).

Ainsworth and Jones also detail (at the 15th meeting) the decision to charge a subscription of 1 guinea (10/6d for country members) to fund a medical library and museum collection of specimens at Hardman Street. This meeting also elected to fine non attenders to meetings, and Dr. Hayward was indeed fined 2/6d for non attendance on 4.12.1861! The meeting of 5.2.1862 set the fees at 1d for each prescription,and 1 shilling, or half a crown for visits, thus we can see that the non attenders fees paid for one patient to be seen free of charge for one month!

Large donations were also gratefully received, as the one from Henry Tate (of Tate and Lyle sugar fame) of £25 (£1079 in 2005 money), who would later fund the Hahnemann Homeopathic Hospital in Hope Street. Opposite the door of the Hardmann Street dispensary (entrance in Baltimore Street), Peter Ellis erected a ‘… heroic sized statue... standing upon a massive pedestal of polished Aberdeen Granite…’ of Samuel Hahnemann, and he donated £20 at the outset of the project.

In the report for 1884, it was recorded that the Hardmann Homeopathic Dispensary had seen 27,646 indoor attendances and 12,628 outdoor attendances and even more patients were seen at the Roscommon Street Dispensary in Everton. In 1884, the Homeopathic annual general meetings were of such importance they were held in the Town Hall with the Lord Mayor in the Chair. The Lord Mayor also donated £10 at this meeting and gave a speech in support of the Dispensary, received by frequent outbursts of ‘hear, hear!’

This was all in the teeth of opposition from local allopaths (reported in the Liverpool Mercury, 26 November 1860) which led to frequent heated exchanges between the proponents of the old medicine and John William Hayward. The Hardman Street Homeopathic Dispensary was demolished and replaced by the Hahnemann Homeopathic Hospital on Hope Street in 1887.

_The Octagon Building 117 Grove Street, _was the home of John William Hayward (John James Drysdale’s partner and professional Colleague) in 1867 and designed by Peter Ellis. Peter De Figueiredo’s excellent Heritage Statement of this remarkable building details the astonishing modernity and innovation of a domestic building which contained a clever air management and heating system and ventilated air spaces and pierced cornices. These intelligent ideas were later to be put to good use when the Hahnemann Homeopathic Hospital in Hope Street was built in 1887.

From the Liverpool Record Office (which contains all the records of the hospital from 1852 - 1972 and included the Liverpool Branch of the British Homeopathic Society), and from  The Liverpool Homeopathic Dispensary had been a Free Medical Charity from at least 1842 and consisted of the following dispensaries. The South End Homeopathic Dispensary was established in 1841 at 41 Frederick Street by John James Drysdale, later moving to a house in Benson Street, then to 2 Harford Street. Later, the Dispensary moved to a building in Hardman Street, erected by public subscription in 1860, and transferred to Hope Street when the Hahnemann Hospital was built in 1887. The North End Homeopathic Dispensary opened in Wilbraham Street in 1866, moving to 10 Roscommon Street in 1872. The old Dispensary was pulled down and a new building erected by public subscription, which was formally opened in December 1905. The Roscommon Street Dispensary was closed in July 1940. The Hahnemann Hospital, 42 Hope Street, was built and equipped by Henry Tate as a free gift to the citizens of Liverpool, and was presented in September

  1. The hospital was erected with a view to its being incorporated with the Homeopathic Dispensary, and so was named the ‘Liverpool Hahnemann Hospital and Dispensary’, for the treatment of the poor, both as in and out patients. During the First World War the hospital was requisitioned by the War Office as an Auxiliary Military Hospital. During the Second World War it became part of the Emergency Medical Service. The hospital came under state control in 1948 under the National Health Service Act of 1946, forming part of the South Liverpool Group of hospitals. It was then renamed as the Liverpool Homeopathic Hospital, and in 1969 changed again to the Hahnemann Hospital. In preparation for the reorganisation on Merseyside of the National Health Service, the Hahnemann became part of The United Liverpool Hospitals in 1972. From the early 1960’s there had been talk of actually closing the Hahnemann as part of the above reorganisation; this was finally done in April 1976, some of the staff transferring to the new Department of Homeopathic Medicine at the Liverpool Clinic.

The Liverpool Homeopathic Dispensary 1841

Instituted 1841 at 2 Hartford Street, Mount Pleasant,

Patron: Thomas Egerton 2nd Earl of Wilton,

Treasurer: J J Edgar,

Honorary Secretary: Jasper S Capper,

Chairman: John Yate Lee,

Physicians: Edward William Berridge, John Chapman, John Henry Clarke, Henry Cresswell, John James Drysdale, James P Gelston, Giles Forward Goldsbrough, William Gwynn, John William HaywardGeorge James Hilbers, William Hitchman, Edmund Lord Hudson, John Murray Moore, Platt, Peter Proctor, Raphael Roche, Adrian Stokes, Herbert Henry Wilde, Wilkin, Willans, John Armstrong Wright.

1842 - the dispensary relocated to 14 Benson Street, and is supported by contributions and donations from ’benevolent friends and patrons of homeopathy’, and by subscription

1842 - the report of the dispensary records 725 patients admitted and 1676 prescriptions issued between December 1841 and mid Novemner 1842,

1843 - the report of the dispensary records 897 patients admitted and 3252 prescriptions issued between the months of January - March 1843,

1845 - Robert Ellis Dudgeon trained with John James Drysdale at the dispensary,

1847 - the Dispensary sees approximately 15,000 patients annually,

1848 - a homeopathic hospital in Liverpool was endowed with $100,000,

1849 - the death rate from cholera at the dispensary was 25%

1849 - William Headland is providing the remedies to the dispensary (by post),

1849 - the report of the dispensary records total patients seen between January to August 1849 = 19,408,

1855 - the Dispensary has seen 38,650 patients since its inception,

1856 - *Eugene O’Neill was a Physician at the dispensary,

1857 - The Liverpool Medico Chirurgical Society meets at the Dispensary,

1858 - the return of the dispensary records 5536 prescriptions issued between January and March 1858,

1860 - Harriet Martineau tells Florence Nightingale that the Town Council in Liverpool has voted money for homeopathic dispensaries, which had eased the ‘dreadful paucity’ of qualified practitioners there.

Hardman Street 186o

1860 - the building in Hardman Street, erected by public subscription in 1860,

1861 - Josephine Elizabeth Butler’s ‘house’ was located next door to the Homeopathic Dispensary in Liverpool, and in 1861, Josephine Elizabeth Butler started the Liverpool Clinic, based firmly on the model of the Liverpool Homeopathic Dispensary, and their emphasis of providing health care to the poor and destitute.

1863 - Liverpool Town Council provide ‘a liberal annual sum’ to fund the hospital,

1864 - the dispensary returns for this year list 26,140 patients seen,

The North End Homeopathic Dispensary opened in Wilbraham Street in 1866

1866 - The Liverpool Homeopathic Dispensary at Hardman Street sees an average of 35,000 patients annually and conducts many home visits (Anon, North American Journal of Homeopathy, Volume 14, (William Radde New York, Otis Clapp St. Louis, Henry Turner and James Epps London, 1866). Page 340),

1867 - Peter Proctor report on Homeopathy and Cholera in Liverpool, when the Dispensary allied to the Sisters of Mercy, raised a fighting fund and leafleted the area advising a bag of hot salt to the abdomen and 5 drop doses of spirits of camphor every 10 minutes, the camphor was distributed free to patients, the cholera was especially bad down by the docks, and less common on higher ground, the peak of the epidemic was at the height of the heat wave when the rain fell incessantly, on 18th and 19th September, when many cases presented in the collapse stage and died, and lessened as soon as the weather cleared. The last case presented on 26.10.1867. Peter Proctor used the remedies camphor, arsenicum, cuprum, aconite, phosphorus and veratrum. Tartar emetic and secale were disappointing. 156 cases of choleric diarrhoea (no cases developed into cholera), and 99 cases of cholera were seen by Peter Proctor, 14 died and 85 recovered. 13 additional cases were transferred to allopaths, 10 of which died.

1868 - Eugene O’Neill Physician at the Dispensary,

1868 - Edward William Berridge Medical Officer at the dispensary,

1870 - J Penn Harris Vice President of the Liverpool Northern Homeopathic Society,

The North End Homeopathic Dispensary moved to 10 Roscommon Street in 1872

1872 - James Compton Burnett studied under John James Drysdale at the dispensary,

1872 - John Murray Moore was a Medical Officer at the dispensary,

1873 - Alfred Edward Hawkes Medical Officer at the dispensary,

1875 - Thomas Skinner studied under Edward William Berridge at the dispensary,

1877Alexander William Crawford Lindsay 25th Earl of Crawford 8th Earl of Balcarres 1812 – 1880 became a Vice President of the hospital,

?1878 - John Henry Clarke converted to homeopathy after a visit to the dispensary (John Henry ClarkeHomeopathy Explained, (originally printed 1905, reprinted by Nanopathy, 1 Jan 2001). Page 5),

1884 - Herbert Henry Wilde is Medical Officer at the dispensary,

1885 - The princely gift of $50000 has just been made for the establishment of a homeopathic hospital at Liverpool… and Henry Tate donated £20,000 [£966,200.00 in today’s money] to The Liverpool Homeopathic Hospital.

\*The Hahnemann Homeopathic Hospital 1887 ***

Sponsors: Henry Tate,_ **(his wife was **_Deputy Chairman),

Chairman: J Carlton Stitt,

Management Committee: George Atkin JP, T H R Bartley, George W Bennett, Rev. E R Barrett,

Physicians:Alfred Edward Hawkes, Howard Henderson Patrick c.1881-1959, William Henry Roberts,

1887 - John William Ellis Honorary Physician at the Hahnemann Hospital Liverpool at 18 Rodney Street,

1887 - The Hahnemann Hospital opens,\* ***

Liverpoor Homeopathic Hospital Hope
StreetThe Hahnemann Homeopathic Hospital in Hope Street 1888

1888 - Orsini Stuart was on the Management Committee of the hospital,

1892 - Charles William Hayward Surgeon at the Hospital’s ENT Department at 117 Grove Street, Liverpool,

1905 - The Roscommon Street Dispensary is rebuilt,

1908 - Enriqueta Augustina Rylands left £3000 to the hospital in her will,

1909 - Ms. Kent Davies Lady Superintendant of the Liverpool Homeopathic Hospital was added to the Territorial Force Nursing Service,

1912 - Howard Henderson Patrick is House Surgeon at the hospital,

1913 - the hospital  is a General Hospital for Medical and Surgical cases, with a special departments for the Diseases or Women and Children,

1915 - William Cash Reed Physician at the Hospital

1921 - The Hahnemann Hospital in Liverpool reports 18,977 attendances at Hope Street

1921 - two Suart brothers donate to the hospital,

1921 - the Hahnemann Hospital affiliated with the The Royal London Homeopathic Hospital to facilitate the training of nurses,

1940 - The Roscommon Street Dispensary is closed,

\*The Liverpool Homeopathic Hospital 1946 ***

1946 - the hospital was renamed as the Liverpool Homeopathic Hospital,

1948 Edward Cronin Lowe was a Pathologist at the Hospital,

1951 - the hospital has 54 beds and a busy out patient department

1958_ - the homeopathic hospitals are the main (?only) recruiting and entry point for British Medical graduates at this time... _

**1960 - **Ms Lashley was born in Barbados and came to Britain in the Fifties when she was 17. She trained as a nurse in Hampshire, where she met the man who became the father of her four children; she moved to Liverpool because the ships he worked on docked there. She worked as a nurse at the homeopathic hospital, brought up her children, and became an equal opportunities officer in the NHS, and later with the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Trust,

1969 - the hospital’s name was changed again to the Hahnemann Hospital,

1976 - the staff of the Hahnemann Hospital transferred to the new Department of Homeopathic Medicine at the Liverpool Clinic,

1987 - A brief history of the Liverpool Hahnemann (Homoeopathic) Hospital, 1887-1972 was written by Clifford Brewer,

2001 - _Homeopathic Treatment for Chronic Disease: A 6-Year, University-Hospital Outpatient Observational Study. _David S. Spence, Directorate of Homeopathic Medicine, United Bristol Healthcare, National Health Service Trust, Bristol, United Kingdom. Elizabeth A. Thompson, University Department of Palliative Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom. S.J. Barron, Directorate of Homeopathic Medicine, United Bristol Healthcare, National Health Service Trust, Bristol, United Kingdom. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2005, 11(5): 793-798. -  includes data from the Liverpool Department of Homeopathic Medicine in 2001, where 76% of 1,100 patients reported an improvement of their condition.

2007 - Liverpool Homeopathic Hospital, Liverpool Department of Homeopathic Medicine, Old Swan Health Centre, St Oswald’s Street, Old Swan, Liverpool L13 2GA Phone: 0151 285 3707 - This hospital runs a complementary cancer clinic offering treatment with homeopathic remedies and Iscador. There is also a branch at Liverpool Homeopathic Hospital, Department of Homeopathic Medicine, Mossley Hill Hospital, Park Avenue, Liverpool, L18 8BU Phone: 0151 285 3707,

The Liverpool department receives referrals from all over the North West of England, West Yorkshire and the North Midlands.  Patients are seen by fully qualified doctors who have specialized in Homeopathic medicine.  The department treats a wide range of illnesses…

The Department of Homeopathic Medicine in Liverpool is part of North Mersey Community Trust. The department sees about 1000 new patients a year and treats a total of around 5,500 patients every year.

An audit is currently underway at Liverpool in which outcomes for a total of 150 patients in various categories, including all new referrals in one particular month and all new arthritis patients during two consecutive months, are being scrutinised.

Results so far are extremely positive, with a high percentage of patients showing an improvement in their presenting complaint, often a significant improvement.

An overview of two weeks’ clinics shows of patients being treated for asthma, 77% showed a moderate or significant improvement, while for eczema the figure was 68%, for depression 66%, for migraine 66% while for patients with menstrual-related problems and those with irritable bowel syndrome, the figure was 100% with moderate or significant improvement.

2008 - From the Liverpool Daily Post 26.2.2008:

Campaigners submitted an application to English Heritage to list two buildings on Hope Street – including former homeopathic hospital the Hahnemann Building – which are currently subject to plans for conversion into a boutique hotel, apartments and shops.

The Hahnemann has now been granted Grade II listed status but Maghull Developments, which has put forward a planning application for the part demolition and part conversion are confident the listing will not affect a planning committee decision due today.

The three storey building was built in 1886-7 and was designed by architects F & G Holme and funded by Henry Tate as a free gift to Liverpool citizens. It was originally called the Liverpool Hahnemann Hospital and Dispensary, being renamed the Liverpool Homeopathic Hospital in 1948.

In recent years it was used as part of Liverpool JMU’s School of Art and Design. The current plans would convert the building into a hotel with restaurant, bar, spa and conference facilities. This would involve its partial demolition.

Campaigners are now waiting to hear whether a application to list neighbouring Josephine Elizabeth Butler’s House, also included in the development plans, has been successful. It was formerly the Radium Institute, and was one of the first places in the country for patients to receive cancer treatments.

Cllr Berni Turner, executive member for the Environment said:

“When I saw the plans for the Hahnemann Building I, along with Cllr Flo Clucas, immediately contacted English Heritage to see if we could get this amazing building listed.

“It was the first homeopathic dispensary in the country and the second homeopathic hospital and we do not want to lose a building with an amazing history such as that.

“We have been supported by Save Our City and other organisations and this success in safeguarding part of our history shows the value to the city of having a champion for the historic environment.

“Now we are campaigning to have Josephine Elizabeth Butler’s House, which is threatened with demolition, listed.”

But Mike Hanlon, managing director of Maghull Developments is confident the development will still go ahead. He said:

“We welcome the news that the Hahnemann building has been granted Grade II listed status and we have worked closely with the local planning authority, conservation officer, Victorian Society and English Heritage for two years to secure this.

“We presented our scheme to the city council planning officers on the basis that the building already had listed status.

“We feel confident that our plans will enhance the Hope Street area in general.”

Wayne Colquhoun, chair of Liverpool Preservation Trust added:

“We need some kind of heritage bureau to make sure buildings like this are not threatened in the first place.”

2008 - From Local History Online 22.4.08:

English Heritage have listed the former Liverpool Hahnemann Hospital and Dispensary on Hope Street, Liverpool, as a building of national significance.

This is in response to a campaign by local people and the Victorian Society, who fought plans to extend and demolish part of the Victorian homeopathic hospital which was built by F&G Holmes with money from Henry Tate, the Liverpool sugar magnate.

Recognising the importance of the 1886 Queen Anne Revival building, which is notable for its early hydraulic lift and innovative heating and ventilation system, English Heritage listed the building as Grade II.

Now campaigners hope the decision will be enough to convince Liverpool City Council to ask the owners to rethink their conversion scheme.

Alex Baldwin, the Society’s Conservation Adviser, says

‘This is excellent news. The Hahnemann building is an attractive example of an homeopathic hospital built according to Victorian principles of hospital design. It is clearly very popular locally and has a lot to contribute to Liverpool’s historic character’.

The Victorian Society thinks the former hospital could be turned into a hotel.

2009 - The Maghull Group purchased the building in a sale and leaseback agreement:

with LJMU in January 2006. Planning was agreed in September 2009 to convert the Hahnemann Building at 42 Hope Street and its neighbour 58 Hope Street into a four star 51 bedroom boutique hotel with bar, restaurant and day spa.

In the meantime, The Maghull Group have taken vacant possession of the building from LJMU and will be undertaking temporary refurbishment works to provide short-term flexible office accommodation.

Flexible Office Space will be available from 500 sq ft to 10,000 sq ft on short-term flexible contracts and temporary refurbishment works will commence in shortly.

November 2011 - Dr Elizabeth Thompson, DMOxon, MBBS, MRCP, FFHom, Lead Clinician/Consultant Homeopathic Physician and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Palliative Medicine, University Hospitals, Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, The Bristol Homeopathic Hospital From a reply to an email 21.11.11 comments: ‘… The Liverpool Homeopathic Hospital has relaunced as a social enterprise and has just won an NHS contract… in order to engage in a new way with commissioning bodies across the UK…’

2nd December 2011: NHS homeopathy thriving in Liverpool:  A new clinic is now providing homeopathic treatment to NHS patients in Liverpool. The Liverpool Medical Homeopathy Service (LMHS) operates from the Old Swan Health Centre in Old Swan and is staffed by medically trained homeopaths. Patients can gain NHS access to the service through a letter of referral from their GP .

Liverpool PCT is commissioning the new service from the LMHS which is a Community Interest Company, a limited company created to provide a service for the benefit of the community and not purely for private advantage. The setting up of the clinic also highlights the new approach to commissioning NHS services being adopted as part of the government’s NHS reforms.

Dr Hugh Nielsen, Clinical Director at the clinic said: “The opening of LMHS represents the next chapter in a long and distinguished history of homeopathic provision in Liverpool. There has been a homeopathy service in the city for more than a century, which became part of the NHS at its inception in 1948.

“Patient satisfaction with Liverpool homeopathy is very high. A patient experience survey conducted by Liverpool Community Health during 2010 at the NHS Liverpool department of homeopathic medicine showed that of 165 people questioned, 80 per cent rated the service as excellent, 14 per cent deemed it very good and 5.5 per cent rated it as good.”

Of interest:

*Eugene O’Neill ?1835 - ?1900 MRCS England 1852, MD Erlangen 1856, Gold Medalist Cork School of Medicine, was an Irish orthodox physician, Surgeon to the 93rd Highlanders, who converted to homeopathy to become a Physician at the Birkenhead Homeopathic Dispensary, Physician at the Liverpool Homeopathic Dispensary, O’Neill also practiced at Melville Place, Grange Lane, Birkenhead,