James John Garth Wilkinson 1812 – 1899

James John Garth Wilkinson National Portrait GalleryJames John Garth Wilkinson 1812 – 1899 (photo 1 from National Portrait Gallery) (photo 2 from Carl Theophilus Odhner, James John Garth Wilkinson: A Biographical Sketch, (Academy Book Room, 1901)) was a British orthodox doctor, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (Anon, Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, Volume 9, Issues 1-6, (Stanford, 1865) Page 113.), who converted to homeopathy, graduated from the Hahnemann College in Philadelphia, and became a surgeon at the Hahnemann Hospital at 39 Bloomsbury Square and a member of the Hahnemann Medical Society.

The Wedgwood family seem to have known James John Garth Wilkinson and his wife from at least 1848. On 15th April 1848, Garth Wilkinson wrote to his wife Emma: ‘… Emma and Florence (their two eldest daughters) spent the day at the Scotts on Thursday and were very good and happy; they met there the little Wedgwoods…’ (Swedenborg Archive Family Register A148b Temple Bar loose leaf Documents and Summary Enclosed. Garth Wilkinson is referring to the home of Alexander John Scott first principal of Owens College, Manchester). In 1866, a Ms. Wedgwood and a Mrs. Garth Wilkinson were both subscribers to the London Working Women’s College (Anon, Second annual report of the council of teachersLondon working women’s college at 29 Queen Square Bloomsbury, (London, 1866). Page 16), and they both knew Ralph Waldo Emerson and Thomas CarlyleEmma Wedgwood and Mrs. Garth Wilkinson were sponsors of the National Anti-Vivisection Society in 1887 (Anon, The Animal’s defender and zoophilist, Volume 6, (National Anti-Vivisection Society (Great Britain), 1887). Page 83), (NB: Emma Wilkinson died in 1886)  (Emma Wedgwood subsequently married Charles Darwin).

In 1849, Ralph Waldo Emerson was able to introduce James John Garth Wilkinson to London society via his publisher John Chapman who Ralph Waldo Emerson had known since 1832 (on 25th April 1848 (Swedenborg Archive K125, letter 25th April 1848), James John Garth Wilkinson invited Ralph Waldo Emerson to his house along with Mr. and Mrs. John Chapman– though we do not know whether this was the publisher John Chapman or the homeopath John Chapman, who James John Garth Wilkinson would have known very well from his student days at The Hahnemann Hospital at 39 Bloomsbury Square).

James John Garth Wilkinson was the homeopathic practitioner of Margarete Conway (Moncure Daniel ConwayAutobiography Memories and Experiences of Moncure Daniel Conway, Volume 2, (reprinted by Elibron.com, 2001). Page 10), John Winston Spencer Churchill 7th Duke of Marlborough, Thomas Lake Harris (Unknown World 1894-1895, Arthur Edward Waite, (Kessinger Publishing, 2003). Page 169. See also Thomas Frederick Robinson (Ed.), A remembrancer and recorder of facts and documents illustration of the genius of the New Jerusalem dispensation, 1864Page 364.), Daniel Dunglas Home (James John Garth Wilkinson (using his pseudonym VERAX), The Spiritual Herald; a recording of spirit manifestations, Volume 1, Evenings with Mr. Home and the Spirits, (H. Balliere, 219 Regent Street and 290 Broadway, New York, February 1856). Preface page 2, and also pages 4-11), Lola Montez, Augustus de Morgan, Elizabeth Robins (Angela John, Elizabeth Robins: Staging a Life ; 1862 – 1952, (Routledge, 1995). Page 197), Elizabeth Siddal, the wife of Francis William Newman, Nathaniel Hawthorne (Arthur Versluis, The esoteric origins of the American Renaissance, (Oxford University Press, 8 Mar 2001). Page 82), Florence Theobald and Genevieve Ward:

… In February of the year 1866, a great trouble and anxiety fell upon Newman while he and his wife were staying at Hastings. For nine or ten days she seemed to be dying. “We got her through the acute crisis…. I resigned her a full month ago, and have since not dared to hope that she can do anything but linger. Nevertheless her life is less distressing and more worth having than it was. She moves from her bed into an arm-chair; sits at table for dinner…. She talks cheerfully, and can enjoy seeing her sisters. When I look at her I fancy she is pretty well;… yet I feel that she might be carried off very suddenly. Indeed, this was her mother’s case, who had the very same combination of disease, and retained much muscular strength to the last. We had two physicians at Hastings, and here she is under Dr. Garth Wilkinson….’ (Giberne Sieveking, Memoirs and Letters of Francis W Newman, (reprinted by Kessinger Publishing, 2004). Page 139).

Garth Wilkinson was also the homeopath of James Outram 1st Baronet 1803 – 1863

‘… In 1861, Garth Wilkinson took an autumn trip to Spain with his friend Decimus Hands 1805 – 1872, meeting up with General Outram on board ship… ‘… who in these his last days is quite a picture and a study to me. He talks very unreservedly of his past life…’ ( Clement John Wilkinson, James John Garth Wilkinson; A Memoir of His Life, with a Selection of His Letters. (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co, 1911). Page 42).

James John Garth Wilkinson was also the homeopath of John Bright ‘… Just before Christmas 1892, James John Garth Wilkinson wrote to a Mr. John Marten from 4 Finchley Road: ‘… One day, years ago, a pious churchman of militant character, knowing that John Bright was an acquaintance and patient of mine, said to me, tell John Bright from me that he is an Ass. I said to him, before you vilify an Ass, as you here intend to do, remember that Christ, on a Royal Progress, rode on an Ass into Jerusalem. My friend, a very strong man to look at, turned pale, & almost fainted away… (Swedenborg Archives K125 [44] Christmas 1892))…Also ‘… I knew Dr. Roth the elder, [Mathias Roth (1818- 1891)] a Hungarian disciple of Ling’s Swedish Kinetic treatments. His son married a daughter of John Bright MP, [John Bright (1811-1889)] who was a patient of mine…’ (Swedenborg Archive K125 [44] Letter dated 8.10.1896 from Garth Wilkinson to John Marten).

Garth Wilkinson himself was a patient of Robert Ellis Dudgeon (who also treated his daughter in her final illness in 1893). On 11th April 1893, Garth Wilkinson wrote to John Marten from 4 Finchley Road: ‘… Being a North County man I have been always used to a ‘wee drop’: & now it does me good. My physician, Dr. Dudgeon, says it is, like wine, & all alcohols, ‘poison’; partly because from his ever youthful temperament, it is contrary to him, dulling his faculties. My faculties are dull & hypochondriac to begin with, & what poisons his, brightens them…(Swedenborg Archives K125 [44] letter dated 11.4.1893 from Garth Wilkinson to John Marten)…

Garth Wilkinson was also a patient of Robert Masters Theobald, who also acted as his locum. On 31st July 1894, Garth Wilkinson wrote to Robert Masters Theobald from 4 Finchley Road: ‘… If my dear Friend and Patient Mi/s Sharpe of 30 Alma Square, St. John’s Wood, asks you to see her, will you do so for me, and I will make it right when I return. My ears are better for nat mur 30, and kali sulph 30. Thank you!… (Swedenborg Archives K125 [45] letter dated 31.7.1894 from Garth Wilkinson to Robert Masters Theobald) …’

Garth Wilkinson was a friend of William BoerickeRobert Browning, James Compton Burnett, Thomas CarlyleWilliam Benjamin CarpenterJohn Henry Clarke, Frances Power Cobbe (Swedenborg Archive Address Book of James John Garth Wilkinson dated 1895), Robert Thomas Cooper, Paul Francois Curie (Garth Wilkinson was his student – Swedenborg Archive K125 [2] letter dated 2.11.1894 from Garth Wilkinson to William Boericke), Charles Dickens, Hugh Doherty, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Epps, James Anthony Froude (Swedenborg Archive Address Book of James John Garth Wilkinson dated 1895), Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Howitt, Henry James Snr, Charles John Kean, Eliza Lynn Linton and her husband William James Linton (William James Linton, Threescore and ten years, 1820-1890: recollections by W. J. Linton, (C. Scribner’s sons, 1894). Multiple pages. See also Eliza Lynn Linton, The Autobiography of Christopher Kirkland, Volume 1, (reprinted by Kessinger Publishing, 2004). Page 26), Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, George MacDonald, Edward Maitland, Horace Mann and his wife,*Amelia Matilda Murray (see below), the Oliphants, Robert Owen, Coventry Kersey Dighton Patmore, George Ripley,  Henry Crabb Robinson (who had met Johann Wolfgang von Goethe), Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Michael Rossetti, Mrs. Salis Schwabe (in his address book in 1895, at Glyn Garth, Bassetts Bury, High Wycombe, and also at Ex Collegio Medico Largo, S Aniello, Napoli, and 28 Clarges Street, W London. Swedenborg Archive Address Book of James John Garth Wilkinson dated 1895), Elizabeth Siddal, James Spiers, Edward Strachey (Swedenborg Archive Address Book of James John Garth Wilkinson dated 1895), Algernon Charles SwinburneAlfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Masters Theobald, Charles Augustus Tulk, Mrs. Wagstaff, Alfred Russel Wallace and many others, and he attended Spiritualist meetings with Thomas Henry Huxley, Edward Bulwer Lytton, John TyndallPercy Roberts Wilde (Swedenborg Archive Address Book of James John Garth Wilkinson dated 1895). NB: James John Garth Wilkinson had the names and address of the Miss/s Tyrwhitt (Drake and Miss Mary) in his address book at Dulas Court, *Pontrilles, Herefordshire, (Swedenborg Archive Address Book of James John Garth Wilkinson dated 1895). NNB: James John Garth Wilkinson also has another Vernon in his address book – W H Vernon at 34 Gaisford Street, Kentish Town, and also at 45 South Hill Park, Hampstead (Victorians did tend to move rather frequently) (Swedenborg Archive Address Book of James John Garth Wilkinson dated 1895). See http://sueyounghistories.com/archives/2009/12/14/william-warren-vernon-1834-1919/ and http://sueyounghistories.com/archives/2009/06/27/harold-edgar-tyrwhitt-1890-1960/ and http://sueyounghistories.com/archives/2009/08/27/robert-vernon-heber-percy-1911-%E2%80%93-1987/

With thanks to Francis Treuherz Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy: Vol. 77 No 4 1984. T7 The Origins of Kent’s Homeopathy:

The mid eighteenth century spiritual scientific works of Emanuel Swedenborg were translated by an English physician, John James Garth Wilkinson, in the 1840’s; he then became a homeopath. His translations were distributed through Henry James Snr to the homeopathic and Swedenborgian community of the USA….

Wilkinson went once to Iceland for a holiday and observed that the animals which fed in the pastures where the finer ashes of Mount Hekla fell, suffered from immense maxillary and other exostoses. Being an adherent of the scientific system of medicine founded for us by Samuel Hahnemann. He brought some Hekla Lava [see http://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/the-trip-to-iceland-to-obtain-hekla-lava-1868/] home with him (and James Epps made the remedy), and it has already been successfully used to cure affections similar to those which it is capable of causing. Hekla Lava has been shown to consist of silica, alumina, calcium, and magnesia with some ferric oxide. We are, therefore, not astonished that it can cause and cure exostosis….

Wilkinson was a prolific correspondent, writer, translator and homeopath…

He was a reluctant physician, following his father’s wishes. He qualified in 1834, when the work of a general practitioner was more that of a pharmacist than today, he had to recommend the copious consumption of physic, for it was from physic that he derived profit, but he was described as having a conscience, and a horror of promiscuous drugging.’

In the 1830’s, Wilkinson began to practice medicine, and having at first few patients he had time for other activities, notably translating Emanuel Swedenborg from the Latin.

In addition to obviously spiritual works like The Doctrine of Charity and Arcana Coelestia, he translated Regnum Animalis (The Animal Kingdom), “the greatest and noblest work on Human Physiology which has ever appeared in the world”, as Wilkinson described it in a letter to his fiancee. The work took four years to translate, from 1839 to 1843.

He wrote a biography of Emanuel Swedenborg published in 1849 (reissued in 1885 (?possibly 1883 with Rudolf Leonhard Tafel (1831-1896), and published by the Swedenborg Society)). His work came to the attention of Henry James Snr, the editor of a Fourierist newspaper, The Harbinger of New York, a polished writer on theological and metaphysical subjects, father of William James and Henry James jnr. The two became intimate friends and regular, copious and affectionate correspondents.

It was through Henry James Snr that Wilkinson became acquainted with homeopathy. “You more than any other man led me into homeopathy,” wrote Wilkinson.

And it was through Henry James Snr that the numerous adherents of the New Church of Emanuel Swedenborg in the United States became acquainted with the translation of Emanuel Swedenborg by Wilkinson.

Wilkinson went on to translate Oeconomia Regni Animalis (The Economy of the Animal Kingdom), with an analytical introduction separately published and among many other of Emanuel Swedenborg‘s writings The Final Cause of Creation and The Intercourse between the Soul and the Body.

A preoccupation with spirituality and formative causation is disclosed, also found in the related ideas of Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy. Through his friendship with Henry James Snr and Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the spread of his writings in the United states, Wilkinson has been viewed as a transcendentalist, and there was pressure on him to become a Fourierist.

Wilkinson was a friend of Hugh Doherty, chief disciple of Charles Fourier, in England, also a Swedenborgian.

Among Wilkinson’s homeopathic discoveries were two new nosodes, Glanderine and Farcine (also known as Hippozaeninum) and another two delightfully idiosyncratic works on the treatment of insanity with spiritualism, and painting with both hands, also known as stereoscope in art, or bimanual pictures. In 1855 his services to homeopathy were recognised by his election to the Presidency of the Congress. Wilkinson began to lecture on physiology up and down England in Mechanics’ Institutes and the like; the line of thought he pursued led to his The Human Body and its Connection with Man in 1851.

During these years, from the time that Frederick Hervey Foster Quin introduced homeopathy to England in 1837, and when Henry James Snr drew it to his attention, Wilkinson underwent a gradual conversion – the word conversion with its connotations of religion is used by his biographer.

Up to 1850 he was a writer specialising upon theology from a Swedenborgian outlook, who practiced physic for a maintenance; from that time forward he was a physician who found time to write upon the old subjects.’

From the publication of The Human Body in 1851, which was very widely read, his homeopathic practice grew and his writings took second place. He practised with great success in the Hampstead and St. John’s Wood area of London until his death in 1899….

Wilkinson studied homeopathy in the 1840’s, at a time when he was aware that homeopaths were, as his nephew Clement John Wilkinson wrote, not only knaves or fools, lucky if they escaped condemnation under both headings but if a patient died under the care of one of their number, it was darkly hinted that the verdict of manslaughter should follow…

Having been reluctantly pushed into medicine by his father, he was at last discovering good reasons for remaining. He became enthusiastic, even a high dilutionist, using extremely attenuated remedies.

He wrote to Henry James Snr: “To what you say about small doses Homeopathic and large doses ditto, I have only one thing to answer, that I find my minute potions do their work, surely, swiftly and sweetly. If others And bigger things do the same, there is not any quarrel between us.

“But I do aver and maintain my own position. Everyday’s practice confirms me in the thought, if the right remedy is given, the quantity is a secondary affair: though also the quantity in that case by all the rules of causes, may be smaller than in the other case of inexacter skill”.

Wilkinson’s spirited defense of the essence of prescribing his high dilutions, for its style, as much as its content. The first paragraph deals with scientific exactness; the second with dilutions, and the “spiritual force;” the third paragraph quoted deals with “odium modicum.”

The main point of interest in Wilkinson’s adoption of homeopathy lies not only in his exploratory attitude and discovery of Hekla Lava, nor only in his place in the chain of the transmission of ideas across the Atlantic, but in the similarity which can plainly be seen in his homeopathic medical beliefs and his Swedenborgian theological creed.

The Doctrine of Correspondence is the working key of the Swedenborgian New Church attitude towards God and conduct, in medical matters the correspondence of drug effects and disease effects is the whole of homeopathic practice.’

The similarity was a striking one to Wilkinson, whose attachment to medicine had never been strongly marked. The convinced and enthusiastic followers of Emanuel Swedenborg found the system of Hahnemann a scientific statement of the Doctrine of Correspondence, in terms of medicine.

It was the Doctrine of Correspondences which made and kept Wilkinson a homeopath as a manifestation of the bond between his religious and medical creed, It crops up in his tract Emanuel Swedenborg among the Doctors written following an encounter with Robert Thomas Cooper, the friend of John Henry Clarke and James Compton Burnett.

Wilkinson had been invited [1895] to meet the Cooper Club of homeopathic physicians to discuss “Emanuel Swedenborg as a scientist”, restricting his conversation to medicine; the guests were informed that theological discussion is especially to be avoided’. There must have been polite resistance to spiritualism.

Since Wilkinson could not exclude theology from the discussion, he declined the invitation to the meeting and politely contributed a paper instead, combining his views without offending hospitality. He called it Emanuel Swedenborg among the Doctors. ….

Emanuel Swedenborg‘s ideas of 1734 to 1744 were buried in Latin for almost a century until Wilkinson’s translations made their timely arrival, on the eastern seaboard of America….

James John Garth Wilkinson was also inspired by Emanuel Swedenborg, to the elucidation of whose writings he devoted much of his life.

James John Garth Wilkinson’s brother William Martin Wilkinson 1814 – 1897 was an officer at the Swedenborgian Society and a spiritualist). Between 1840 and 1850 he edited Emanuel Swedenborg‘s treatises on The Doctrine of Charity, The Animal Kingdom, Outlines of a Philosophic Argument on the Infinite, and Hieroglyphic Key to Natural and Spiritual Mysteries.

Wilkinson’s preliminary discourses to these translations and his criticisms of Samuel TaylorColeridge‘s comments on Emanuel Swedenborg displayed an aptitude not only for mystical research, but also for original philosophic debate.

The vigour of his thought won admiration from Henry James Snr and from Ralph Waldo Emerson, through whom he met Thomas Carlyle and James Anthony Froude; and his speculation further attracted Alfred Lord Tennyson, the Oliphants and Edward Maitland.

He wrote an able sketch of Emanuel Swedenborg for the Penny Cyclopaedia, and a standard biography, Emanuel Swedenborg: A Biography (1849); but these were not his only interests.

He was a traveller, a linguist, well versed in Scandinavian literature and philology, the author of mystical poems entitled Improvisations from the Spirit (1857), a social and medical reformer, a convinced opponent of vivisection and also of vaccination. He is commemorated by a bust and portrait in the rooms of the Swedenborgian Society in Bloomsbury Street, London.

Homeopathic physician, translator and biographer of Swedenborg and a writer on a variety of religious, medical and social topics. He edited the first letter press edition of William Blake‘s Songs of Innocence and Experience.

His greatest friend was the American Swedenborgian thinker Henry James Snr, who named his third son Garth Wilkinson James in his honour, and Wilkinson named his daughter Mary James Wilkinson in return.

An early practitioner of homeopathy, he saw Hahnemann‘s system as a scientific application of Swedenborg’s Doctrine of Correspondences.

Henry James Snr financed Wilkinson’s work:

Henry James Snr began to finance Wilkinson’s translations of Swedenborg, which were distributed by Otis Clapp in Boston. As a result of this relationship, Ralph Waldo Emerson derived much of his knowledge of Swedenborg in the 1840s from Wilkinson and Henry James Snr. Ralph Waldo Emerson lectured on Swedenborg for several years and finally published his lecture as “Swedenborg the Mystic” in Representative Men.

Wilkinson’s methods for the homeopathic treatment of insanity were linked to a stream of consciousness technique he had developed for the speaking, writing, and drawing of literary subjects; and we know that Wilkinson’s unpublished manuscript on a case of hysterical fasting in a young girl was one of the most highly prized pieces in William James‘s personal library.

Wilkinson and William James also shared a mutual contempt for the arrogance of orthodox medical men concerning their claim to have superior ability over the mental healers in caring for the mentally ill….

This variation on Swedenborg’s doctrine of use, inherited through Henry James Snr, modified by Wilkinson’s views on mental healing, and interpreted through Peirce’s philosophy, was to have a profound effect on the late nineteenth and early twentieth century development of a uniquely American functional psychology.

Wilkinson was a fighter for homeopathy. According to Peter Morrell:

I therefore hope that the following quote from an article about the Swedenborgian homeopath, John James Garth Wilkinson by Logie Barrow, will convey some of the tone of that ‘golden age of medical liberalism’ which were the 1850s, and serve, ever so slightly perhaps, to illuminate our darkness:

‘…the ‘bible of nature’ would be opened to the public as well as to the professions; and the professions themselves must be content to… stand… in a clear… connection with the common sense of mankind.’

Addressing a congress of British homeopathic practitioners during the mid 1850s, Wilkinson thundered that, even were they to become

‘the recognised Drug medicine of tomorrow, it could never set up into the old benches which its predecessor had occupied… the homeopaths would have to smash the current institutional structure of medicine.’

Anything less and they would find themselves at the apex of what he called ‘a second medical despotism’. Around the 1850s many plebeian practitioners [most consistently the Botanists] seem to have shared Wilkinson’s confidence that they were about to lay siege to orthodoxy.’

Wilkinson discovered the remedy Hecla Lava [See http://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/the-trip-to-iceland-to-obtain-hekla-lava-1868/] on his many travels. In 1868, he travelled to Iceland and became very interested in Icelandic Sagas. In 1869, he travelled to America. Wilkinson’s brother William Martin Wilkinson 1814 – 1897, was also active in Swedenborgianism and in Spiritualism:

In 1855 Daniel Douglas Home came to England and held a séance at the London home of Dr Garth Wilkinson, homeopathic physician, friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry James Snr, translator of Swedenborg and a well-known member of this Society.

Wilkinson was sufficiently impressed by Daniel Douglas Home’s performance to write a detailed account, which was published in a daily newspaper, The Morning Advertiser.

He reported that during the seance a large hand appeared with fingers extended. Daniel Douglas Home recoiled from it, saying: ‘O! keep me from that hand! It is so cold! Do not let it touch me’. The hand disappeared and was replaced almost immediately by a hand wearing a glove.

Garth’s brother, the solicitor William Martin Wilkinson 1814 – 1897 (at that time Secretary of the Swedenborg Society) was even more involved with spiritualism. He edited the Spiritual Magazine for a number of years and actually ‘ghosted’ the bulk of Daniel Douglas Home’s memoirs, Incidents in My Life, published in 1863, and wrote a preface to the second edition published the following year.

As Secretary of the Swedenborgian Society, William Martin Wilkinson 1814 – 1897 supported the efforts of the agent and manager William White to introduce spiritualist literature into the Society’s shop (then at 1 Bloomsbury Street), but left office when the Society’s committee took legal proceedings to evict William White from the building.

For Garth Wilkinson, the interest in spiritualist manifestations appears to have been a passing phase. Twenty years later he made plain his final attitude:

‘… I do not deny, but prize, in their place, spontaneous motions of the spiritual world upon and in the natural world… On the other hand, solicited intercourse with the spiritual world is, to me, a mistake, and with my convictions, it would be a sin to take part in seances, or any other means, in such solicitation…’

That seems to me to be a good summary of the Swedenborgian position with regard to spiritualism.

James John Garth Wilkinson wrote Epidemic Man and his Visitations, On Human Science, Good and Evil, and its works: and on Divine Revelation and its Works and Sciences, War, Cholera, and the Ministry of Health. An appeal to Sir Benjamin Hall and the British People, The Book of Edda Called Voluspa, Emanuel Swedenborg: A Biography, The Development of Both Hands, Improvisations of the Spirit, The Forcible Introspection of Women for the Army and Navy by the Oligarchy considered physically 1870 (in support of Josephine Elizabeth Butler‘s work). Wilkinson was a prolific writer, including articles On the Cure, Arrest and Isolation of Smallpox by a new method 1864, The Infectious Nature of the Vaccine Disease, and the necessity of excluding the vaccinated and the revaccinated, during that disease, from intercourse with healthy persons 1874 (quoted in Peter Baldwin, Contagion and the State in Europe, 1830-1930, (Cambridge University Press, 19 Aug 1999). Page 290), The cases of the Welsh fasting girl & her father: on the possibility of long-continued abstinence from food by William Martin Wilkinson, James John Garth Wilkinson, and Charles Edouard Brown Sequard published by J. Burns in 1870,

James John Garth Wilkinson An Introduction by Frederick Henry Evans. Originally printed in The Homeopathic World volume 47,No. 553 on 1.1.1912 pages 7-12, No. 553 on 1.2.1912 pages 70-86, No. 555 on 1.3.1912 pages 116-128, and reprinted in 1936 by his youngest daughter Mrs. Frank Claughton Mathews with Turnbull and Spears Edinburgh, include Obituary notes from The Whig.

Of interest:

*Amelia Matilda Murray (1795-1884) ‘…one of Queen’s Victoria’s Maids of Honour, and Extra Women of the Bedchamber; daughter of Lord George Murray, Bishop of Saint David’s…’ social reformer, traveller, author. Amelia was a close friend of James John Garth Wilkinson ( Swedenborg Archive Family Register A148a Temple Bar loose leaf Documents and Summary Enclosed English Documents from 1662 (Latin documents begin 1621, letter from James John Garth Wilkinson dated 19.6.1851).

Godfrey Wedgwood (1833-1905)Julia Snow Wedgwood (1833-1913) and Garth Wilkinson were all subscribers of the Egypt Exploration Society in 1888 (Herbert Wallace Schneider, George Lawton, A Prophet and a Pilgrim, Being the Incredible History of Thomas Lake Harris and Laurence Oliphant: Their Sexual Mysticisms and Utopian Communities, (Columbia University Press, 1942). Pages 110, 111 and 566. See also Anon, Report of the … Ordinary General Meeting, Subscription List and Balance Sheets, Volumes 2-15, (Egypt Exploration Society, 1888). Pages 25. 45, 35 and 39).

Alfred George Wilkinson (1845-1923), MRCS (England), LSA was a homeopath who lived at 28 Newland, Northampton, in 1908. Obituary in the BMJ 1923 September 22, 2(3273): 544 ‘… Dr. Alfred George Wilkinson, a veteran practitioner of Northampton, died on September 15th (1923), aged 88. He took the diplomas of MRCS Eng. in 1857 and of LSA in 1866. While still a student he went to the **Crimea as a dresser, and worked with Florence Nightingale; he assisted in attending the wounded after then charge of the Light Brigade. Dr. Wilkinson settled in practice in Northampton in 1870, and he continued to work until a few days before his death…’ Alfred George Wilkinson worked with Arthur Crowden Clifton at the Northampton Homeopathic Dispensary at 57 Abingdon Street and 21 Clare Street Northampton in 1885. (Anon, The Homeopathic Medical Directory of Great Britain and Ireland, and Annual Abstract of British and American Homeopathic Serial Literature, (1873). Page 67).

Clement John Wilkinson ?1825 – ?1894 senior (cousin of James John Garth Wilkinson) was on the Management Committee of the Hahnemann Hospital at 39 Bloomsbury Square (Anon, Homeopathic Record Volumes 1-2, (Arthur Clifden, London; James Epps, 112 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury and 8 Old Broad Street, Manchester; and Henry Turner, 41 Picadilly, 1851). Page 277),

Clement John Wilkinson 1860 – ? junior MRCS (England), LSA (London) was a homeopath in 1908, (nephew of James John Garth Wilkinson), was on the Management Committee of the Tunbridge Wells and West Kent Homeopathic Dispensary, and he wrote James John Garth Wilkinson: a memoir of his lifeAssociated Symptoms in Provings and Disease Without Obvious Pathological Basis in Windsor (published in 1911), Acute Nephritis with special reference to Cantharide and Cantheridine in 1905, and he was a colleague of Charles Edwin WheelerPercy Roberts WildeDudley d’Auvergne Wright, in 1911,

James John Wilkinson (father of James John Garth Wilkinson) was a Special Pleader (Judge), born in Durham, and he had 8 children with his wife Harriet (James John Garth Wilkinson was the eldest),

James John Garth Wilkinson himself had three daughters and one son) Emma married Hermann Pertz, Florence married Benjamin St. John Mathews, and Mary married Francis Claughton Mathews. Florence and Mary had no children, but Florence had a wide social circle that included Anthony Wedgwood Benn, Stanley Owen Buckmaster, Israel Gollancz, Etheldreda Hull, and Henry James Junior.

Emma Marsh Wilkinson had two daughters and two sons, and James John Garth Wilkinson‘s great grand daughter was Cecilia Helena Payne Gaposchkin, the first astronomer to show that the Sun is mainly composed of hydrogen, contradicting accepted wisdom at the time. Cecilia Helena Payne Gaposchkin was also related to Charles Lyell through her Aunt Katherine Lyell, who was Charles Lyell‘s sister in law. Anthony Wedgwood Benn was a close friend of Florence Wilkinson, the daughter of James John Garth Wilkinson. (Anthony Wedgwood Benn received homeopathic treatment from Sheila Hubacher, his researcher for most of the 1990s, who was a homeopathic practitioner).

John Gardner Wilkinson 1797 – 1875, (no relation) – the “the Father of British Egyptology”, made a study of homeopathy.

William Martin Wilkinson 1814 – 1897 Solicitor, brother of James John Garth Wilkinson, was a was an officer at the Swedenborgian Society and a spiritualist), and a colleague of Thomas Shorter, his co-editor of The Spiritual Magazine:

Toward the end of 1860 The Spiritual Magazine was founded by William Martin Wilkinson (brother of James John Garth Wilkinson) and became the leading organ. It ran until 1875. Thomas Shorter and William Martin Wilkinson were the editors for the greater part of its existence, and William Howitt was the chief contributor.

William Martin Wilkinson…. actually ‘ghosted’ the bulk of Daniel Douglas Home’s memoirs, Incidents in My Life, published in 1863 and wrote a preface to the second edition published the following year.

As Secretary of the Swedenborgian Society, William Martin Wilkinson supported the efforts of the agent and manager William White to introduce spiritualist literature into the Society’s shop (then at 1 Bloomsbury Street), but left office when the Society’s committee took legal proceedings to evict William White from the building.

The Veterinary Connection:

Professor William Sewell 1780 – 1853, ?maternal uncle of James John Garth Wilkinson, was a famous veterinary surgeon.

John Wilkinson and James Wilkinson (?unrelated) were homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons in 1868, and colleagues of William C Lord. Both James Wilkinson and John Wilkinson are recorded on the India Office and Burma Office list in 1823. James Wilkinson 1800? – 1879?  MRCVS, ?brother of John Wilkinson Veterinary Surgeon, was an orthodox Veterinary Surgeon who converted to homeopathy. James Wilkinson practiced at 60 Miles Street, Toxteth Park, Liverpool, and in Forfarshire, ScotlandJohn Wilkinson 1799? – 1871 MRCVS, was an orthodox Veterinary Surgeon of the 2nd Regiment of the LifeguardsPrinciplal Veterinary Surgeon at Woolwich BarracksRoyal Army Veterinary Corps 1854Veterinary Surgeon to the Duke of Cambridge’s Own 17th Lancers (most famous for its participation in the Charge of the Light Brigade in the **Crimean War), who converted to homeopathy. In 1867, John Wilkinson was an activist against vivisection, and he was kept fully appraised of the homeopathic treatment of epidemics in horses by his colleague of William C Lord. John Wilkinsonalso practiced at Aigburth Road, Liverpool,

10 thoughts on “James John Garth Wilkinson 1812 – 1899”

  1. This is another love letter to you, Sue, because I love the work that you are doing.

    Below is another excerpt from my book, “The Homeopathic Revolution.” This excerpt is from my chapter on “Clergy and Spiritual Leaders” which includes some information about Swedenborg, where I reference a great, even amazing, quote about Wilkinson from Emerson…

    John James Garth Wilkinson, MD (1812–1899), a homeopathic physician who trained at the Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia, was introduced to the work of Swedenborg by his friend Henry James, Sr., the influential publisher of a newspaper of utopian ideas and father of the American writers William James and Henry James, Jr. Wilkinson, who was also a widely knowledgeable scholar, began translating Swedenborg’s work (which Henry James, Sr. financed), and Wilkinson’s work is known to have helped create the Swedenborg movement (Treuherz, 1984).

    Emerson lectured on Swedenborg for several years, and in 1850 he published his lecture “Swedenborg the Mystic” in Representative Men, which also included biographies of Plato, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Napoleon, and Goethe. In another book, Emerson eloquently wrote:

    “Wilkinson, the editor of Swedenborg, the annotator of Fourier [the French utopianist], and the champion of Hahnemann, has brought to metaphysics and to physiology a native vigor, with a catholic perception of relations, equal to the highest attempts, and a rhetoric like the armory of the invincible knights of old. There is in the action of his mind a long Atlantic roll not known except in deepest waters, and only lacking what ought to accompany such powers, a manifest centrality. If his mind does not rest in immovable biases, perhaps the orbit is larger, and the return is not yet: but a master should inspire a confidence that he will adhere to his convictions, and give his present studies always the same high place.” (Emerson, 1856)

    Later, Emerson wrote that Swedenborg “saw and showed the connections between nature and the affections of the soul. He pierced the emblematic or spiritual character of the visible, audible, tangible world. … The importance of the Swedenborgian attraction lay in its thrust … towards an ordered and predictable universe, towards a synthesis of matter and spirit” (Emerson, 1903, 113)

  2. You just posted a new photo of Wilkinson, and I again tip my hat to you for uncovering another treasure.

    Today, in the USA, the most famous doctor is Mehmet Oz, MD, a cardiovascular surgeon who has held a long-term interest in natural and alternative medicine and who ultimately advocates for “integrative health care.” He has been one of Oprah Winfrey’s most popular guests, and his appearances on her tv show led to his own tv show which is shown 5 times a week and is increasingly popular, called “The Dr. Oz Show.”

    Readers will be intrigued to know that he and his family are Swedenborgians. The history of their involvement stems from Mehmet’s wife (Lisa) and her parents. Lisa’s father, Jerry Lemole, is a cardiothoracic surgeon, and her mother, Emily Jane, got her masters degree in religion (and she did her thesis on Swedenborg).

    It is intriguing to note that when Lisa and Mehmet were courting, she told Mehmet about her interest (even passion) for Swedenborg, and she told him about many of the most famous people over the past several hundred years who have also been appreciators of Swedenborg (just as Sue Young and I have sought to do with our writings on homeopathy and its many famous and highly respected advocates).

    Hopefully, the masses (or at least a significant minority) of modern-day people will one day soon wake up to the wisdom that presently exists in homeopathy and in Swedenborgian thought and practice…one day VERY soon.

  3. Hi Sue, Dr Alfred George Wilkinson was my Gt gt gt grandfather I have several newspaper articles from Northampton Independent newspaper, I also have in my possession several photos of the good doctor if they are of use please feel free to reply.
    Kind regards Paul Wilkinson.

  4. Hi Paul

    Thanks so much for getting in touch – I would indeed be very interested to see whatever you have and to put up a picture of your notable ancestor!


  5. Dear Sue, Do you hold any information regarding Elizabeth Wilkinson, WMW’s wife and their children please? I am writing a PhD thesis and have need of names and dates.
    With thanks, Ann

  6. Hi Ann

    Information below…


    William Martin Wilkinson (brother of JJGW) married Elizabeth Andrew on 9.12.1840, and they had five sons, William John Wilkinson 25.7.1844 – ?, Edward Tidd Wilkinson 9.12.1845 – ?. 8.1856, Percival Wilkinson 16.12.1847 – ?, Hugh Wilkinson 13.1.1850 – ?, and Charles James Wilkinson 2.1.1854 – ?. Their son William John Wilkinson married Gertrude Bell on 14.6.1870 and they had a daughter and two sons, Eleanor Gertrude Wilkinson 14.1.1872 – ?, William Durham 13.10.1873 – ?, John ?Heward Wilkinson 21.12.1874 – ?, all born at Bow Cottage Ealing, (?information taken from a record made by Rev. T H Wilkinson at Barnes ?date (rest of this entry illegible ?were there another two children Ethel Mary Wilkinson ?11. 9 .? – ? and Martin Blakiston Wilkinson 1877 – ?. Entry continues legibly with Mary Ridley Wilkinson 1817 – 22.2.1862 who married William Andrew ? – ?.3.1869 of Manchester on 6.11.1845 and they had one daughter Mary Elizabeth Wilkinson 31.8.1846 – ?, who married William St. George Ross ? – 5.1.1880 of ?Disley Cheshire on 28.4.1870, and they had three daughters and two sons Osborn St. Vincent 31.5.1871 – ?, Estelle 20.11.1872 – ?, Francis Olive ?.4.1874 – ?, Fabian Blakiston 21.1.1876 – 4.1.1880, and Irene May Ross 11.6.1877 – ? )[1]

    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percival_Wilkinson
    Percival Wilkinson (1848 to c. 1891) son of WMW was a rugby union international who represented England in 1872 against Scotland in his only appearance for the national side.

    1. Baptism Registry entry Parish of St. Pancras, 1.3.1814, family living in Acton Street, father James John Wilkinson, Mother Harriet Wilkinson

    2. 1851 Census Parish of St. John’s Hampstead, family living at New West End in Hampstead, WMW is an Attorney (born St. Pancras), wife Elizabeth (born Winkworth in Derbyshire (died 1900 according to Richard Lines email dated 27.10.11), and 4 children William John (aged 6 born St. Pancras), Edward Tidd (aged 5 born St. Pancras), Percival, (aged 3 born in Hampstead), Hugh (aged 1 born in Hampstead), and Ann Susannah Davis (nurse and servant), Julia Hawks (?cook), Hannah Borrington (?housemaid)

    3. 1861 Census Parish of Hampstead, family living at 2 St. Mary’s Cottage in Hampstead Village, WMW is Solicitor, EW and 3 children, Percival (aged 13), Hugh (aged 11), Charles James (aged 7), and Maria Austin (cook), Mary Harris (house maid), Sarah Ellen Andrews (house maid). NB: Edward Tidd Wilkinson died 1856 death Registry entry

    4. 1871 Census Parish of St. John’s Hampstead, family living at The Oakfields, WMW is an Attorney, wife EW, and 3 children, Percival (aged 23 Articled Clerk to Attorney), Hugh (aged 21 student Barrister Lincoln’s Inn), Charles James (aged 17), and John H Gleastanes (visitor), and Christina Frazer (servant), Isabella Adie (servant)

    5. 1891 Census Parish of Llanfihangel Yn Nhowyn in Anglesea, family living at Cymyran, WMW is Solicitor, wife EW, son Charles James (aged 37 Articled Law Clerk to Solicitor), Lilian Nathalie Wilkinson (aged 10 born Ealing, London), James Alexander Wilkinson (aged 52, nephew, Secretary of Charity on Voting Reform, born Southwark in Surrey), Emma Cottrel (parlour maid and domestic), Mary Gumbleton (cook)

    6. Burial Registry report 8.7.1897 Parish of Hampstead, ashes of WMW who died 6.6.1879 aged 83 and was cremated in Cymran, Llanfinangel on Anglesea

    [1] Swedenborg Archive Family Register A148a Temple Bar loose leaf Documents and Summary Enclosed English Documents from 1662 (Latin documents begin 1621). This genealogical entry is all entered in the same hand – apparently all in one go ?after Fabian died in 1880)

  7. I would appreciate informations on a lecture by James Wilkinson to the Royal College of Surgeons of London, in 1847, entitled “Science for all”

    Thank you,
    José Manuel do Carmo, Portugal

  8. Dear Sue,
    Fabulous information. I am researching my family tree and my great great great grandfather is George Blakiston Robinson, he is James John Garth Wilkinsons uncle. George’s mother Eleanor Robinson (nee Blakiston) my Great great great great grandmother is JJGWs Maternal Grandmother and his memoirs have some lovely stories about spending time with her at Ryhope. The Blakiston side has some amazing history back to Hugo de Blakiston B 1290 , knights and lords etc… All listed in Surtees down to Eleanor his Grandmother B1762.

    This has been fascinating reading.
    Kind regards
    Denise Robinson-Hurst

  9. I have enjoyed reading all this super information, thank you! I happened on this whilst researching my family genealogy. My family connection is Emma Marsh Wilkinson, a distant cousin of mine. Another cousin, whom I sure she would have been quite close to, was Sir Edward Howard Marsh, Prime Minister Wilson Churchill’s private secretary. All very fascinating.

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