The Society of Homeopaths
March 17, 2011
Founded in 1978, the Society of Homeopaths is the largest organisation of its kind in the United Kingdom. Its members carry the qualification RSHom and they are non medically qualified homeopaths, subject to registration, a Code of Ethics and complaints and disciplinary procedures - today there are thousands of members see The Society of Homeopaths website.
Jerome Whitney has written a history of the Society of Homeopaths, and I have borrowed briefly from his information for the following, and I am indebted to Jerome Whitney who was kind enough to provide me with (*see below) photocopies of the minutes and documents that led to the set up of the Society of Homeopaths 1 and 2 in 1970 and in 1977 (see below).
John Henry Clarke encouraged and supported the study of homoeopathy by those who were non medically qualified. The nature of British Common Law is such that anyone can practice any therapy on humans, but not on animals, as long as they do not claim to be able to cure: cancer, TB, Aids etc. There was and still is no limitation on the practice of homeopathy or any other type of therapy by the non medically qualified public in Britain.
Encouraged by John Henry Clarke, and later by Donald MacDonald Foubister as well as other doctor members of the Faculty of Homeopathy, lay homeopathy began to gradually grow in strength as the 20th century progressed. Before, during, and following WW II the primary active energy input into spreading the knowledge of homeopathic prescribing became centred in a small but dedicated circle of non doctor homeopathic practitioners. These committed people engaged in home study, attending lectures of doctor homeopaths, and open meetings of the British Homeopathic Association. In turn they held homeopathy classes for interested members of the public.
Among this group were Phyllis Speight, Edwin D W Tomkins, John DaMonte, Thomas Lackenby Maughan, and others. It is from the germinating efforts of this group that the contemporary Society of Homeopaths ultimately emerged…
A major contribution that Thomas Lackenby Maughan and John DaMonte were to bring to homeopathy was the integration of Samuel Hahnemann, Paracelsus, Emanuel Swedenborg, Johann Gottfried Rademacher, James Tyler Kent, and James Compton Burnett along with a study of ‘Subtle Anatomy’ the science of the treatment of the endocrine glands and the Chakras or vital energy centres that are associated with them.
Their approach was to utilise homeopathy not merely to match the outer physical, emotional, and mental symptom picture of the patient but to match remedies to the state of the energy field surrounding the physical body and the condition of the endocrine system which is its biological counterpart. Thus was opened a new dimension for homeopathy whose surface has only been scratched.
The disastrous plane crash of 1972 in Staines Middlesex (**see below) was a symbolic event in the history of British medical homeopathy. The Faculty of Homeopathy carried on but the energy was lacking. Secretly, some doctors who were enrolled in the Faculty of Homeopathy courses began to attend those of Thomas Lackenby Maughan as well. Several even came for private tuition. Today these same doctors make no mention of their past connection and grow uncomfortable and embarrassed when asked about it. Between 1970 and 1975 the South London and North London Homeopathic Groups grew in size and intensity and depth of study, a creative self sustaining dynamic had emerged, the fire had been lit. And not too soon!
John DaMonte suffered a heart attack in September of 1975 and died in October. Many of his group began to attend Thomas Lackenby Maughan’s classes. Then in June of 1976, Thomas Lackenby Maughan died of lung cancer. At this point some of the group had only been studying homeopathy for a short time. Many had not yet attained to a deep understanding or appreciation of the depth and breadth of homeopathy that these two homeopathic healers were teaching.
Both South London and North London groups continued to meet and study homeopathy. During 1977 Robert Davidson, Martin Miles, Peter Chappell, Kaaren Whitney, Jennifer Maughan (wife of Thomas Lackenby Maughan), Lynn Lovell, and Mary Titchmarsh; and Margaret Koolman of the South London Group began a series of discussions for the purpose of setting up a homeopathic society. Later they invited Misha Norland, Kaye Samuel, and Michael Haggagg of the North London Group, to share in the dialogue. (Remember, everybody knew everybody) The document that became the reference point for their discussions was the Constitution of the earlier 1970 Society of Homeopaths of which Thomas Lackenby Maughan was Chairman and John DaMonte, Secretary.
On July 26, 1978 the Constitution of ‘Society of Homeopaths’ was signed by Robert Davidson, Martin Miles, Misha Norland, Peter Chappell, Kaye Samuel, Mary Titchmarsh, Michael Haggagg (?Haggaig), and Lynn Lovell. Martin Miles was elected the first Chairman.
The College of Homoeopathy
Meanwhile, Robert Davidson and Martin Miles were also very busy setting up a new formal homeopathic educational institution. During September of 1978 the ‘London College of Homeopathy’ took on board its first class of students, with a far greater enrolment beyond their most optimistic expectations. The result was that the Society of Homeopaths and the College of Homeopathy were born simultaneously as two parallel events as institutional expressions of the same group dynamic.
Educational institutions need lecturers: But where were competent lecturers to be found at this point? The answer was to draft teaching personnel from within their own ranks. This meant that Misha Norland, Kaye Samuel, Robert Davidson, Martin Miles, and others were drawn on in order to teach an eager student enrolment.
During its first years the College was to train many people who later become ‘household names’ in the field of homeopathy as well as principals of colleges and lecturers at many of the thirty colleges that have since emerged. These include: Barbara Harwood, Jeremy Sherr, Ernest Roberts, Francis Treuherz, Tony Hurley, Susan Curtis, Janet Snowden, and many more. Following this initial group of those who studied with Robert Davidson and the College of Homeopathy, are David Howell and Chris Hammond…
*extracts from photocopies of the minutes and documents that led to the set up of the Society of Homeopaths 1 and 2 in 1970 and in 1977:
*T_he Society of Homeopaths **_Phase 1 10.1.1970_***_
\Against a background of a revisions of the Medicine Act in the UK Parliament in 1970, together with some rulings coming from the Board of the Common Market, the EEC, which posed the possibility of limitation on the practice of homeopathy as well as the manufacture of homeopathic remedies, some lay practitioners, the Faculty of Homeopaths and some homeopathic manufacturers became concerned.*
An extraordinary general meeting was called and held at 10a Airlie Gardens, London SW7 at 6pm on 10.1.1970.
*Those present were: Mrs. H Biddie, Mr. S Biddie, *Major J Blyth Praeger, John DaMonte, Mr. W Fletcher, Mrs. Fletcher, Mrs. N Hills, Thomas Lackenby Maughan, Mrs. J Moore, The Honorary Rosemary Russell, Edwin D W Tomkins, Miss K White, **Mrs. Jane Wilcox, Mr. John Wilcox,*
1. John DaMonte opened the meeting and introduced Edwin D W Tomkins to relate the work he has done since he became aware of the difficulties practicing homeopaths who are not on the Medical Register could encounter if nothing was done to present their case to the officials of the Ministry of Health who will be implementing the Medicines Act.
The matter was discussed at length and questions were answered by Edwin D W Tomkins from the correspondences at hand, and by John Wilcox who has studied the Act.
The members unanimously resolved that:
a. Although we shall derive some benefits from the representations the Homeopathic Manufacturers Association are making, we should as a single body present our case to obtain exemptions similar to those given to the Herbalists.
b. To elect a committee and form the Association to represent all existing practicing homeopaths and to seek legal advice.
2. Society - the members discussed various names and subject to the proposed name being available, it was resolved unanimously to call the association - Society of Homeopaths.
3. Objects - The meeting also resolved to consider at this stage, the first objects of the Society - to represent practicing homeopaths not on the medical register, and to protect and promote their interests.
4. Board of the Society - few suggestions were made and the members unanimously resolved the following nominations:
Chairman: Thomas Lackenby Maughan
Secretary and Treasurer: John DaMonte
Committee members: Edwin D W Tomkins, W Fletcher, John Wilcox (as available)
5. Initial Function - The chairman Thomas Lackenby Maughan suggested that the membership be open to all practicing homeopaths, that the secretary be instructed to recruit new members and to draw up a membership application form for distribution, and that the fee of £3.00 be temporarily fixed. These proposals were unanimously resolved.
The members also resolved that the Society should take all necessary steps of legal, administrative and financial nature to enable the Society to function. The Secretary proposed that all matters covering rules, procedures etc be left to the committee to formulate and be put on the agenda of the first general meeting of the members of the Society and that for the time being the Society be deemed as formed. The motion was unanimously approved. Mr. Biddle proposed that we petition through our respective MPs, it was agreed that this would be a useful step, and the Secretary undertook with the members approval to look into the wordings and the eventual procedure of the proposal.
6. The general outline having been approved, the members had no time to go into the necessary administrative points which needed legal advice, and it was unanimously agreed to adjourn the meeting until a date to be set by the committee.
*The next extraordinary meeting of the Society of Homeopaths was called by John DaMonte for 21.2.1970 via the circulation of a membership application form. The meeting was held at Centre House, 10a Airlie Gardens, London at 7pm for the purpose of considering, and, if thought fit, passing resolutions in respect of:*
1. Rules of the Society
2. Election of further members to the geneeral committee
4 Action about the Medicine Act
5. Other business
The first official meeting of the Society of Homeopaths was held on 1.10.1970 at 25 Lindfield Gardens, London NW3 (time not recorded) (amendments hand written by Thomas Lackenby Maughan on the photocopy documents have been incorporated into this transcript):
1. The name of the Society shall be the Society of Homeopaths.
2. The address of the Society until further notice shall be 25 Lindfield Gardens, London NW3.
3. The objects of the Society shall be: the promotion and propagation of homeopathy, the establishment and maintenance of professional standards, the establishment of courses of instruction and the protection and representation of qualified homeopaths.
4. The Society shall consist of full members and associate members.
5. The first members shall be the following persons;
Mrs. H Biddie, Mr. S Biddie, John DaMonte, Mr. W Fletcher, Thomas Lackenby Maughan, The Honorary Rosemary Russell, Edwin D W Tomkins, Miss K White, Mrs. Jane Wilcox, Mr. J Wilcox - __who, having determined on 10.1.1970 to form themselves into a Society are herein referred to as the founder members. Every applicant for full membership and associate membership (other than the founder members) must be proposed by one member of the Society and seconded by another. Every application for membership must be made on the prescribed form. Election to membership shall be at the discretion of the General Committee of the Society who shall be under no obligation to give any reason for declining an application.
6. No person shall be admitted to full membership or to associate membership until his first annual subscription has been paid to the Treasurer.
This meeting also set out the rules of the Society of Homeopaths governing:
_ COMMITTEE AND OFFICERS, TRUSTEES, SUBSCRIPTIONS, FINANCES AND ACCOUNTS, GENERAL MEETINGS, CONDUCT OF MEMBERS, NOTICES AND ALTERATION OF RULES._
_The Society of Homeopaths Phase 2 18.12.1977
The first meeting of the Society of Homeopaths was held on 8.12.1977 at 7.30pm at 52 Guild Road, Charlton, London SE7
REVIEW: Prior to this meeting several meetings had been held to formulate the structure and function of a professional society for non doctor homeopaths; the above members were present at these meetings, and at this meeting it was decided to formally form the Society.
1. The information obtained since the last meeting was first discussed.
a. The reply from the Registrar of Friendly Societies was considered and it was unanimously decided that we would attempt to register under the Industrial and Provident Society Act of 1965.
b. Information concerning the issuing of assembly licences for homeopathic preparations was discussed.
c. It was decided that Peter Chappell would attempt to contact four known persons who might have knowledge of the supposed defunct previous Society of Homeopaths.
d. It was proposed and unanimously agreed that we apply to the BCNT for associate or full membership as the BCNT saw fit. In this connection Robert Davidson would write up an outline of present training and intended developments of the training programme, whilst he and Martin Miles woud complete the application form.
e. The idea was discussed of the Hahnemann Society being a suitable society for us to join rather than forming our own society.
3. The meeting then elected __Martin Miles as Chairman, __Peter Chappell as Secretary and __Robert Davidson as Treasurer. The office address to be first registered was 28 Coleraine Road, Blackheath, London SE3 7PQ.
(the meeting then discussed and resolved the rules and modifications thereof of the Society of Homeopaths and closed at 11.25pm)
*The next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday 4.1.1978 at 8pm at 52 Guild Road, Charlton, London SE7 and on 26.7.1978 the Memorandum of Association of the Society of Homeopaths was registered under The Companies Acts, and the following personel were registered as subscribers: Martin Eric Miles 28 Coleraine Road, Blackheath, London SE3 (homeopath). Misha Norland 10 Ridge Road, London N8 (homeopath), Michael Simon Haggagg 15 West Heath Road, London NW3 (publisher), Robert Graham Ferguson Davidson 52 Guild Road, Charlton, London SE7 (homeopath), Mary Titchmarch 4 Normanhurst Road, London SW2 (homeopath), Margaret Kathleen Samuel 17 Welgarth Road, London NW11 (homeopath), Lynn Lovell 99b Rowley Way, London NW8 (teacher), Petter Lee Chappell 59 Norfolk House Road, Streatham, London SW16 (homeopath)*
**Homeopaths and homeopathic supporters Isabel Campbell, Dudley Wooton Everitt, Marjorie Golomb, Kay Kadalla, Sergei William Kadleigh, V L Lanza, S Linger, Mary Stevenson, Joan MacKover, John Robertson Raeside, P Glennis Smith, Elizabeth Somerville Stewart and Thomas Fergus Stewart died in the fatal Staines air crash in 1972
Articles written: Blyth-Praeger, J. (1958). “Between Three Stools.” 5(1): 8-12. Article from the British Society of Dowsers, Blyth-Praeger, J. (1963). “Further thoughts on colour.” 10(2): 24-28. Talk given by a Vice-President of The British Society of Dowsers, Blyth-Praeger, J. (1966). “The Infinite Spiral.” 12(3): 21-32. Article, Blyth-Praeger, J. (1970). “Methods of “Valorisation”.” 16(4): 29-30. Article Blyth-Praeger, J. (1972). “How does Radionics work?” 18(2): 11-15. Article Blyth-Praeger, J. (1972). “Thought.” 18(4): 12-15. Article Blyth-Praeger, J. (1974). “The Infinite Spiral.” 20(4): 26-34. Article Blythe, P. (1978). “Stress, The Modern Disease.” 25(1): 16-19. Article from a talk which he gave in July 1977 at a conference for the Biomagnetic Development Trust and the Bretforton Trust, Medical Dowsing with Rules and Discs,
Blyth Praeger also contributed to The Aylesford Review, a literary quarterly sponsored by the British Carmelites, 1955-1968,