Sue Young Histories

James Peddie Harper 1830 - 1906

November 11, 2010

James Peddie Harper ?1830 - ?1906 LRCS Edinburgh 1848, MD Edinburgh 1848, MBHS, was a British orthodox physician, Physician at the Fever and Casualty Hospital in Leith, Surgeon to the Edinburgh Artilery Regimental Militia, House Surgeon at the Royal Dumfries Infirmary, Assistant Medical Officer at Minto House Hospital and Dispensary, who converted to homeopathy to become a Member of the British Homeopathic Society, the Physician at the Windsor Homeopathic Dispensary, and the successor to Hugh Cameron’s homeopathic practice in Hertford Street, and homeopathic physician of Florence Nightingale’s sister,

In 1850, Harper lodged at 21 Trinity Place Windsor,

In 1866, Harper was still in the army,

From 1868, Harper lived at Clydesdale Villa, Osbourne Road, Windsor, and worked at the Windsor Homeopathic Dispensary,

In 1882, Harper moved from Windsor to take over the practice of Hugh Cameron in Hertford Street, and his grateful patient’s at Windsor had a collection for him:

The accompanying casket, containing two hundred and fifty guineas, was presented to James Peddie Harper, Esq., MD, LRCS Edin., by the undermentioned among his patients and friends of all classes, in token of their gratitude for his unremitting sympathetic professional attention, their recognition of his great medical skill…’

In 1890, Florence Nightingale asked Harper to see her sister, who had refused to consult Andrew Clark 1st Baronet again as he had made her condition worse.

In 1903, Harper was practicing at 43 Hertford Street, Mayfair, and living at Millburn House, West Norwood,

Harper wrote Homeopathy Tested by Facts,

Of interest:

Captain George Peddie - 1869 was decorated for serving at Sebastopol in 1854 with the Welsh Regiment of Foot,

Alexander Peddie 1810 - 1907, brother of James Harper 1795 - 1879, ?uncle of James Peddie Harper, MD Edinburgh 1835, President Royal College of Physicians 1877, President the Harveian Society in 1890,

Alexander Peddie’s Obituary is in the British Medical Journal 1907;1:291-293,

With thanks to Peddie facts: ’Alexander Peddie belonged to the “Brahmin caste, ” as the Autocrat puts it, and was the son of an eminent minister in Edinburgh.  Born in 1810,  his earliest memories centred in the stirring scenes marking the decline and fall of the great Napoleon.

At the High School he was a member of one of the large classes characteristic of the time:  that to which he belonged included many men who afterwards attained distinction,  all of whom passed away before him.  On leaving school,  he spent a few years in a bank,  but, on the advice of John  Abercromby,  he decided to study medicine,  and became in 1830 an apprentice to James  Syme at Minto House,  where he was associated with his lifelong friend,  John Brown.

Graduating at the University five years later,  he repaired to the Continent,  and devoted himself more particularly to study in Paris,  whose medical school was then at the zenith of one of its most famous epochs.  It is of interest to note that on his return to engage in practice,  he was the first to introduce the stethoscope to Edinburgh. In addition to engaging in private practice,  Dr.  Peddie,  in combination with John Brown and Dr. Cornwall,  accepted the charge of the hospital at Minto House.

From this time onwards until his retirement,  a few years ago,  Dr.  Peddie spent an active life and enjoyed a large practice in his native city.  He did not restrict his energies,  by any means,  to medicine,  but allowed his wide sympathies free scope in many directions; his professional duties, however,  were ever first in his thoughts.  At all times possessed of an open mind,  he was quick to detect any possibility of advances in knowledge.  As a proof of this,  it may be mentioned that he was the earliest to demonstrate in Edinburgh the animal parasites of skin diseases.  In two other directions,  at least,  he was far in advance of his compeers.  At a comparatively early period of his career he recognized the infectious nature of puerperal fever,  and strove with all his energies to obtain wide recognition of the fact…

In another branch of medicine Dr.  Peddie initiated beneficial changes.  Impressed by the failure attendant upon attempts to deal with inebriates,  he suggested views in regard to pathology a nd treatment far in advance of those at the time in vogue.  Earnest consideration of the questions involved  led him to the conclusion that inebriety is to be regarded as the outcome of cerebral disease,  and he, therefore proposed that the management of such cases should be based upon modern scientific conceptions.  The practical outcome of his work in this direction has certainly been of the highest value.

Led by the results of wide observation to recognise the want of it,  he was amongst the enlightened men who initiated the movement in favour of the institution of a hospital for children,  and to his advocacy of the cause the foundation of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children is in great part due.  Dr.  Peddie contributed numerous papers and articles upon these and many other subjects to medical literature,  the largest number of which appeared in the pages of this Journal… continue reading:

Barbara Peddie, wife of James Harper 1795 - 1879,

From the rare book flyleaf The Discreet Princess; or, the adventures of Finetta. A Novel (_volume of eight chapbooks including _The Life and Perambulation of a Mouse): … The signature of Barbara Peddie appears on the recto of the frontispieces to The Life and Perambulation of a Mouse, vol. ii, dated January 1806, and The History of the Holy Bible Abridged, dated 1805. This may be the Barbara Peddie ‘daughter of Dr. James Peddie, a family long associated with many religious movements in Edinburgh.’ She married Dr. James Harper, minister of the United Presbyterian Church at North Leith and Principle of the UPC Theological College, now New College (University of Edinburgh), with whom she had fifteen children. Given the similar publication dates of most of these chapbooks, it may be that they were collected originally by Barbara Peddie.

Barbara Peddie, 2nd wife of Rev James Peddie,

With thanks to Peddie facts: Rev Dr James Peddie married twice,  his first marriage being to Margaret Coventry, which brought a link by marriage with the civil and railway engineers Benjamin Hall Blyth and Edward Lawrence Blyth which was to be important later.  His second marriage to Barbara Smith,  daughter of Lord Provost Donald Smith of the private bank Donald Smith & Company, brought a significant range of business connections… continue reading:

James Harper 1795 - 1879, ?father of James Peddie Harper, Minister of Secession and United Presbyterian Church at North Leith, 1817-79; Professor of Theology to Secession and United Presbyterian Churches from 1843; Principal of United Presbyterian Divinity Hall from 1876,

William Peddie Harper 1830 - 1916, son of James Harper 1795 - 1879, ?brother of James Peddie Harper,