John Chapman 1821 – 1894

John Chapman (1821 – 1894) MRCP, MRCS was a British physician, author and publisher, based at 142 Strand, London. John Chapman was an ‘invaluable enabler’ who gave the start to the careers of many famous writers. John Chapman was the owner of The Westminster Review, which published widely on homeopathy and upon the radical new ideas of the day. John Chapman had the tenacity to edit The Westminster Review for forty two years through countless crises, during which time The Westminster Review was the unrivaled radical periodical of its day.

Please note: a *John Chapman (?-?) MA Cantab was a homeopath, and ^^John Chapman (1801-1854) was a cousin of publisher John Chapman (1821-1894)! Matthew James Chapman (1796-1865) was also a homeopath. The information below is all related to publisher John Chapman (1821-1894), and the information on the homeopathic Chapmans is located in the ‘of interest’ section at the end of this blog – so please be aware of the potential confusions possible here!

From Rosemary Ashton’s 142 Strand and The Dictionary of National Biographies: Publisher John Chapman was the son of William Chapman, who kept a chemist’s shop. His mother died in 1824 aged about 35, and John Chapman was apprenticed to a watchmaker in Worksop, but he left to stay with his brother Thomas Chapman who was studying medicine in Edinburgh.

Thomas Chapman sent his brother John Chapman out to Adelaide in 1839 to start in business as a watchmakers and optician, but he returned to Europe in 1842, married in 1843, travelled to Paris in 1844 to study medicine, and returning to London, he continued his medical studies at St. George’s Hospital, finally qualifying in 1857.

John Chapman married Suzanne Brewitt in 1843, she was 36 and John Chapman was 22, but Suzanne had inherited some money from her father, a lace maker. John Chapman wrote a book, Human Nature: A Philosophical Exposition of the Divine Institution of Reward and Punishment, to John Green and then used £4,600 of Suzanne’s inheritance to buy John Green’s bookselling business at 121 Newgate Street, a business specialising in Unitarian and Transcendental publications.

John Chapman transferred his new business to 142 Strand, and in 1851, he became the editor and proprietor of the Westminster Review.

In April 1852, the Westminster Review published an article on Physicial Puritanism (pages 217 – 236), which embraced homeopathy, hydropathy, vegetarianism, temperance, teetotalism, non smoking, mesmerism, animal magnetism and hypnotism.

In 1852, Thomas Carlyle recommended Aurelio Saffi to John Chapman,

In 1857, John Chapman took his medical degree at St. Andrews and began to practice as a physician, advocating the spinal ice bag as a treatment for sea sickness and cholera.

In 1860, John Chapman handed over his publishing business to George Mainwaring, and in 1874, he moved to Paris where he continued to edit the Westminster Review.

In 1866, John Chapman was an Occasional Lecturer at the Working Woman’s College at 29 Queen Square Bloomsbury. James John Garth Wilkinson was a subscriber to this college at this time (Anon, Second annual report of the council of teachers, London working women’s college, (1866). Page 2).

In 1866 Thomas Hahnemann Hayle wrote to John Chapman to report on the success of John Chapman’s ice bags in preventing sea sickenss, (note that Thomas Hahnemann Hayle was also a Vice President of the British Homeopathic Society, as was the homeopath John Chapman)

John Chapman died in Paris on 25.11.1894 from the result of being run over by a cab.

Charles Darwin had contributed articles to the Westminster Review, and John Chapman was responsible for publishing Thomas Henry Huxley‘s articles promoting Charles Darwin‘s The Origin of Species in the Westminster Review‘s April 1860 issue. Charles Darwin‘s first paid employment was as scientific reviewer on the Westminster Review, the radical quarterly periodical that John Chapman bought in 1851 and turned into the best journal of the century.

This publication probably did more for the promulgation of Charles Darwin‘s work than any other source. The Westminster Review was the leading radical periodical of its day.

‘Charles Darwin lay low at his home in Kent’ while John Chapman published The Origin of Species and Thomas Henry Huxley earned his reputation as Darwin’s Bulldog in the pages of the Westminster Review.

Publisher John Chapman was the inventor of the spinal ice bag and qualified as a medical practitioner in 1857.

John Chapman purchased the Westminster Review in 1851. The Westminster Reviewdid a review on homeopathy, mesmerism, hydrotherapy and phrenology in 1842, and also in 1842, the Westminster Review published an article on Emanuel Swedenborg by James John Garth Wilkinson.

It is not surprising therefore that John Chapman was eager to obtain this particular periodical.

In 1852 the Westminster Review reviewed all of the vegetarian and homeopathic societies, and the April issue included an article called ‘Medical Puritans’ by Samuel Brown which was reviewed in the 1852 British Journal of Homeopathy.

The British Journal of Homeopathy mentions the Westminster Review again in 1853. The Westminster Review was also widely reported in America by the American Institute of Homeopathy and in India by the Indian Homeopathic Review.

John Chapman was associated with this publication for the rest of his life, enabled by financial contributions from George Combe, Edward Lombe, Samuel Courtauld, Octavius Smith (the uncle of Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon), Harriet Martineau, John Stuart Mill and Edward Henry Stanley.

John Chapman assembled a glittering intelligentsia around the Westminster Review, which was the was the leading radical periodical of its day, including Alexander Bain, Lydia Ernestine Becker, Wathen Mark Wilks Call, William Benjamin Carpenter, Robert Chambers, Arthur Hugh Clough, Charles Darwin, George Eliot, Ralph Waldo Emerson, W J Fox, William Rathbone Greg, George Grote, George Jacob Holyoake, George Henry Lewes, Harriet Martineau, Karl Marx, Giuseppe Mazzini, John Stuart Mill, John Lothrop Motley, Francis William Newman, Bessie Rayner Parkes, Mark Pattison, Agnes Pochin, Thomas Southwood Smith, Herbert SpencerJohn Tyndall, William Hale White, and many others.

John Chapman was a friend of Moncure Daniel Conway, Charles Dickens, Robert Browning, Erasmus Alvey Darwin, and Thomas Carlyle, Charles Babbage, Charles Darwin, Harriet Martineau, George Everest and his brother, homeopath Thomas Roupell Everest, Robert Everest (?brother of George Everest and Thomas Roupell Everest – a geographer who lived in India). Charles Lyell and Thomas Henry Huxley were also part of this group.

John Chapman also knew George Henry Lewes and his life partner George Eliot, who was a patient of James Manby Gully. Publisher John Chapman was George Eliot‘s publisher. *John Chapman MA Cantab was a homeopath who worked alongside James Manby Gully.

John Chapman maintained an establishment at 142 Strand from 1847 to 1854. 142 Strand was originally a hotel and had many rooms for rent which supplemented his publishing income.

Over these years, many people stayed with John Chapman who went on to become famous, but initially they all needed the helping hand they received from John Chapman, including Americans Ralph Waldo Emerson and Horace Greeley

142 Strand was positioned right at the centre of London’s publishing trade, with The Morning Chronicle at 332 Strand, The Illustrated News at 198 Strand, The Economist at 340 Strand next door to The Railway Monitor, where Herbert Spencer worked and lived. The Strand was also thick with other publishers, including Chapman and Hall, Thomas Cadell, John Limbird, William S Orr and Co, John W Parker and Son and many others.

John Chapman was also well known in America and many famous Americans came to stay at 142 Strand, including Ralph Waldo Emerson (Chapman was his British publisher), and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a friend of Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon, who mentions that:

I have seen quite a good deal this summer of Doctor Chapman and his wife, the editors of the Westminster Review….

John Chapman rejuvenated the Westminster Review and brought it back to the level, standards, and influence it had attained during the years John Stuart Mill was editor.

George Eliot described John Chapman’s Circle of Westminster Reviewers as an ‘assemblage of intellectuals‘.

The Westminster Review was strongly supportive of the Suffragette Movement and published works on the morality of marriage, and the Westminster Review also published works on phrenology.

John Chapman was ‘long known as an extensive importer and publisher of American works‘ and an American edition of the Westminster Review was established.

The Westminster Review was founded in 1823 by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill as a quarterly journal for philosophical radicals, and was published from 1824 to 1914.

In 1851 the journal was acquired by John Chapman based at 142 Strand, London, a publisher who originally had medical training.

The then unknown Mary Ann Evans, later better known by her pen name of George Eliot, had brought together his authors, including Francis William Newman, William Rathbone Greg, Harriet Martineau and the young journalist Herbert Spencer who had been working and living cheaply in the offices of The Economist opposite John Chapman’s house.

These authors met during that summer to give their support to this flagship of free thought and reform, joined by others including John Stuart Mill, William Benjamin Carpenter, Robert Chambers and George Jacob Holyoake. They were later joined by Thomas Henry Huxley, an ambitious young ship’s surgeon determined to become a naturalist.

George Eliot became assistant editor and produced a four page prospectus setting out their common beliefs in progress, ameliorating ills and rewards for talent, setting out a loosely defined evolutionism as “the fundamental principle” of what she and John Chapman called the “Law of Progress”.

The group was divided over the work of Thomas Malthus, with George Jacob Holyoake opposing it as the principle of the workhouse which blamed the poor for their poverty, while to William Rathbone Greg and Harriet Martineau this was a law of nature encouraging responsibility and self improvement.

John Chapman asked Herbert Spencer to write about this divisive matter for the first issue, and Herbert Spencer‘s Theory of Population deduced from the General Law of Animal Fertility actually appeared in the second issue, supporting the painful Malthusian principle as both true and self-correcting.

After 1853 John Tyndall joined Thomas Henry Huxley in running the science section of the Westminster Review and formed a group of evolutionists who helped pave the way for Charles Darwin‘s 1859 publication of The Origin of Species and gave it backing in the ensuing furore.

The term “Darwinism” was first put in print by Thomas Henry Huxley in his favourable review of The Origin of Species, in the April 1860 issue of the Westminster Review.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia, published in 1907, notes that the Breeches Review was then a nickname for the journal on account of the fact that Francis Place, a breeches maker, was a major shareholder in the enterprise. (This refers to the Westminster Review in its early days and before John Chapman took over this publication).

Through the excellent work George Eliot did when she worked as assistant to publisher John Chapman at the Westminster Review, an influential social intelligentsia developed. Although John Chapman was the named editor, it was George Eliot who did much of the work in running the journal for the next three years, contributing many essays and reviews.

John Chapman was concentrating on his medical degree and writing:

John Chapman acquired the philosophical radical journal the Westminster Review in 1851, and provided a platform for emerging ideas of evolution.

His assistant George Eliot brought together authors including Francis William Newman, William Rathbone Greg, Harriet Martineau and the young journalist Herbert Spencer, and later John Stuart Mill, William Benjamin Carpenter, Robert Chambers, George Jacob Holyoake and Thomas Henry Huxley.

This network of social contacts grew wider. Beatrice Webb and her husband Sidney Webb were close friends of homeopathic supporter George Bernard Shaw and a life long friend of Herbert Spencer, whose publisher was John Chapman. Beatrice Webb also knew Thomas Henry Huxley.

John Chapman was enthusiastic about his contributions to homeopathic publications also, and he used the pages of the Westminster Review to lambast the Royal College of Physicians and the medical profession of the time.

John Chapman knew the editors of the British Journal of Homeopathy, **John James Drysdale and Richard Hughes, who published his articles. John Chapman was the inventor of the Spinal Ice Bag and he wrote about his spinal cold and heat cure in the British Journal of Homeopathy in 1864, and it was also advertised in The London and Provincial Homeopathic Medical Directory in 1866 (John Chapman MD MRCP).

The Westminster Review published Marmaduke Blake Sampson‘s article Central America and the transit between the oceans in April 1850, the year before John Chapman took it over. Marmaduke Blake Sampson was the Chairman of the British Homeopathic Association, and the financial editor and city editor of the London Times. Marmaduke Blake Sampson was active in the London Phrenological Society and a colleague of George Combe.

John Chapman wrote to The Times to describe his use of ice packs to treat cholera patients in Southampton.

John Chapman’s entry in the Concise Dictionary of National Biography, (which incidentally contains a few errors – his date of birth is wrong, and ‘Life of Jesus’ translation 1846; Feuerbach translation 1854 – 8 years later, not 7) reads:

“Chapman, John (1822-1894) physician, author, publisher; apprenticed at Worksop and was in business in Adelaide; studied medicine in Paris and at St George’s Hospital, London; publisher and bookseller in London; editor and proprietor of Westminster Review, 1851; graduated in medicine at St Andrew’s University 1857, and practiced as physician; wrote medical and other works”.

According to Emma Darwin’s diary, John Chapman visited Darwin on 20 May 1865. John Chapman was proprietor and editor of the Westminster Review, to which Thomas Henry Huxley had been a regular contributor.” For his woes, John Chapman had Charles Darwin using bags of ice applied to the spine.

From  the Guardian review of 142 Strand: A Radical Address in Victorian London by Rosemary Ashton

On July 24 1847 John Chapman, a handsome, ambitious young publisher of 26, placed the following advertisement in the weekly press:

“MR CHAPMAN, Bookseller and Publisher, begs to announce that he has REMOVED his Business from 121 Newgate Street, to more spacious premises on the South side of the STRAND, No 142, a few doors West of Somerset House; and requests, therefore, that all communications may be forwarded to the latter address.”

For the next seven years John Chapman’s “spacious premises” – consisting of the bookselling and publishing business, his family home, and rooms for literary lodgers – was the chief resort for writers with a radical or unorthodox book to publish.

The move to a handsome house on the Strand signalled John Chapman’s arrival in the heart of the metropolis. The Strand was the longest street in London and the city’s main east-west thoroughfare. It had long been one of London’s most important streets. From the middle ages until the later 17th century, its south side was lined with mansions built for lords and bishops who found its easy access to the Thames invaluable when they visited London from their country estates in order to attend court or Parliament. Their gardens ran down to the river, where boats were moored ready to take them to Westminster.

In the 19th century, the Strand retained its importance as the geographical link between court, Parliament and Westminster Abbey in the west and the financial centre, heart of the legal establishment and St Paul’s Cathedral in the east. But the character of the street had changed, as the grand mansions along the south side had decayed and were demolished when, from the later 17th century, courtiers chose to build their London homes in Whitehall and St James’s, closer to Parliament and the court. By the mid-19th century only two great houses remained on the Strand, Northumberland House near Trafalgar Square and Somerset House.

At this time the Strand was London’s foremost shopping street. A sense of its variety is given in John Tallis’s London Street Views, a series of cheap, handy booklets containing detailed line drawings of the buildings of London, published in 1847, soon after John Chapman moved to the Strand. The words “John Chapman Bookseller and Publisher” appear on Tallis’s plan alongside shoemakers, watchmakers, tailors, wax-chandlers, tobacconists, umbrella-makers, cutlers, linen-drapers, pianoforte-makers, hatmakers, wigmakers, shirtmakers, mapmakers, lozenge manufacturers and sellers of food of all sorts, including shellfish, Italian oil and Twining’s famous tea, sold at number 216, near Temple Bar.

Warren’s Blacking Manufactory was at number 30, on the south side. The name struck lifelong horror into Charles Dickens, who in 1823, when his father got into debt, was sent aged 11 to work in its shabby namesake round the corner, near the river, for six shillings a week. He never forgot the humiliation of his four months at Warren’s, and reproduced it feelingly in David Copperfield (1849-50), in which the young David endures a similar experience at Murdstone and Grinby’s wine warehouse.

Further east, at numbers 101-2, was Ries’s Grand Cigar Divan, a resort for gentlemen both respectable and bohemian who wanted a quiet place to smoke or play chess.

Charles Dickens‘s rival William Makepeace Thackeray, who was both respectable, by virtue of his family and education, and bohemian, by inclination and habit, frequented a number of such all-male establishments on or near the Strand.

It was he who popularised, in Vanity Fair (1847-8), the term “bohemian” to mean, in the words of the Oxford English Dictionary, “a gipsy of society; one who either cuts himself off, or is by his habits cut off, from society for which he is otherwise fitted; especially an artist, literary man, or actor, who leads a free, vagabond, or irregular life, not being particular as to the society he frequents, and despising conventionalities generally.”

These establishments offered entertainment of a risqué kind. The Cider Cellars on Maiden Lane, described by another contemporary, the theatrical man-about-town John Hollingshead, as a “harmonious sewer”, specialised in “flash” or bawdy songs and ballet girls.

On the Strand itself the Coal Hole, positioned exactly opposite Exeter Hall, famous for its huge meetings of reforming and evangelical groups, including the Temperance League, had as its main attraction naked or near-naked women arranged in “poses plastiques” or “tableaux vivants”.

William Makepeace Thackeray‘s “bohemian” set consisted of young men of varied backgrounds and education set loose in London to pursue a career. They gathered mainly in the Strand because many were journalists, working for some of the 30 or so newspapers and magazines that had their offices in or near the Strand; others were fledgling lawyers who lodged in bachelor chambers in the Inns of Court, just off Fleet Street.

Most of these men were radical in their social and political views. William Makepeace Thackeray himself was equivocal, never campaigning overtly for political reform and keeping his religious scepticism to himself. In June 1851 he confided to John Chapman on a visit to 142 Strand that, although his religious views were “perfectly free”, he did not “mean to lessen his popularity by fully avowing them”.

Of John Chapman’s other regular visitors, most were radicals, but hardly any could be described as bohemian. Even John Chapman himself, who kept a lover at 142 Strand in addition to his wife and children, was no urban vagabond, but a man who worked hard, loved his children (if not his wife) and took himself seriously as a radical thinker.

The people among whom John Chapman moved had a number of attributes in common with William Makepeace Thackeray‘s bohemians. John Chapman’s friends were writers, many of them journalists; they were mainly young and mainly poor.

Unlike the bohemians, however, some of them were women, and none of them – ranging from Marian Evans, before she became famous as George Eliot, to Unitarian leaders such asJames Martineau and his redoubtable sister Harriet Martineau, American authors and visitors including Ralph Waldo Emerson, the as yet unknown social philosopher Herbert Spencer and the young scientist Thomas Henry Huxley – could possibly be described as an idle saunterer or frequenter of taverns in the small hours.

George Henry Lewes, whom John Chapman introduced to George Eliot in 1851, was the nearest to a bohemian among John Chapman’s friends and colleagues. He consorted with the Punch writers and was well known in London’s literary circles for his “open” marriage.

George Henry Lewes‘s miscellaneous journalism included many light-hearted sketches and dashed-off articles, but he also wrote serious books and essays on English and European literature, philosophy, history and science; in 1854 he settled into a happy, monogamous and lifelong relationship with George Eliot.

John Chapman published works by all these young writers, each at the beginning of a career that would become illustrious. He was their enabler, the man who gave them their start. Herbert Spencer despaired of getting his sociological writings published until John Chapman took him on. (It was he, not Charles Darwin, who coined the phrase “the survival of the fittest”).

Thomas Henry Huxley, later famous as the most ardent supporter of Darwinism, calling himself Darwin’s bulldog and cheerfully going into battle with bishops over The Origin of Species while Charles Darwin lay low at his home in Kent, was plucked from poverty and obscurity by John Chapman. Charles Darwin‘s first paid employment was as scientific reviewer on the Westminster Review, the radical quarterly periodical that John Chapman bought in 1851 and turned into the best journal of the century.

Most significant of all, John Chapman brought George Eliot from her home in Coventry to lodge at 142 Strand and edit the Westminster Review for him. John Chapman had already published her translation of David Friedrich Strauss‘s sceptical Life of Jesus, and he gave her free rein on the journal, for which she wrote some of the best literary and historical criticism of the century before turning her hand to fiction under the pseudonym George Eliot. She was living with the married George Henry Lewes and was known as the “strong-minded woman” of the Westminster Review.

Others whom John Chapman encouraged and employed were a set of young men from Oxford, many of them destined for the church as a career until they found themselves unable to sign the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England, an act required not only in order to be ordained, but also in order to graduate or take a fellowship.

The poet Arthur Hugh Clough, the historian and biographer James Anthony Froude and Francis William Newman, the younger brother of John Henry Newman, were three such Oxford exiles; all of them found in John Chapman a willing publisher of their books and articles.

European exiles, too, gravitated towards 142 Strand on their arrival in England from repressive regimes. Refugees of many nationalities fled to London, especially after the failed uprisings in European capitals, from Paris to Vienna, in 1848. A number of them, including the Italian nationalist Giuseppe Mazzini, who had found refuge in London several years before, and Karl Marx, who arrived in 1849, became acquainted with John Chapman, attending his soirées at number 142 and in some cases publishing their books and articles with him. (Karl Marx tried unsuccessfully to borrow money from John Chapman, who was almost as hard up as Karl Marx himself, since his kind of publishing did not pay).

John Chapman was keen to play a part in the reforming of British society and institutions. The distinguished Unitarian lawyer Henry Crabb Robinson described him in 1849 as “the U [ie Unitarian] – & worse publisher”, thus suggesting the two sorts of books for which John Chapman was known, those that were unorthodox because Unitarian in opposition to the Trinitarianism of the Church of England, and those that were unorthodox because unbelieving.

With George Eliot‘s (anonymous) Strauss translation chiefly in mind, a writer in The Critic in 1852 referred to John Chapman as the chief publisher in England of “German rationalism”; Thomas Carlyle summed him up perhaps best of all when he called him, in a letter to Robert Browning in October 1851, a “Publisher of Liberalisms, ‘Extinct-Socinianisms’ [ie Unitarianism], and notable ware of that kind, in the Strand”.

The novelist and critic Eliza Lynn Linton, who lodged with John Chapman and his wife, referred to him in her autobiography as “the Raffaelle bookseller” on account of his striking good looks, which often drew comparisons with Lord Byron.

John Chapman’s adventures with women other than his wife were many; unlike Charles Dickens and other respectable married men of the time, he did nothing to hide them. Indeed, he wrote articles in favour of liberalising the divorce laws to give women equality with men, and published pamphlets advocating reforms to women’s education and property rights by early feminists such as Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon, later the founder of Girton College, Cambridge.

The activities John Chapman pursued during the best part of a decade at 142 Strand represented a challenge to conservatism in all its forms. His intelligent curiosity, his energy and the usefulness to others of his chosen profession ensured that he was at the centre of Victorian radicalism.

Through him a number of important writers and thinkers from different backgrounds came together. Nowhere was the speech freer and the speculation more serious and intelligent than among the authors who gathered round John Chapman in his headquarters at 142 Strand.

After his death, the editorship of the Westminster Review passed to John Chapman’s second (common law) wife Hannah.

From: 142 Strand: A Radical Address in Victorian London by Rosemary Ashton:

John Chapman is buried in Highgate Cemetery in the Dissenters Section.

**Charles Robert Drysdale delivered a short address.

**John James Drysdale (the elder brother of Charles Robert Drysdale) was the editor of the British Journal of Homeopathy and had died in 1890. It is intriguing that Charles Robert Drysdale attended publisher John Chapman’s funeral and one wonders what the connection is?*John Chapman MS Cantab was a close homeopathic collegue of John James Drysdale.

William Hale White wrote an appreciation of John Chapman in the Athenaeum, and the Westminster Review paid tribute to this astonishing man.

John Chapman’s son Ernest was a chemist and he co-authored a book on drinking water in 1870, but he died tragically at the age of 26 in a laboratory accident in Germany.

John Chapman’s deaf and dumb son Walter, brought up by Susanna’s brother in the West Country, lived until 1922.

His daughter Beatrice married and had three children (his grandson John Wallis Chapman compiled Beatrice Chapman’s memories into an article John Chapman’s Children) and she died in 1914.

His first wife Susanna died in 1892 at the age of 84.

His second wife Hannah died in poverty in 1916 when she apparently set fire to herself accidentally.

John Chapman wrote Medical Charity, Seasickness, Functional Diseases of the Stomach, Christian Revivals, Chloroform and other anaesthetics, The Bookselling System, Characteristics of Men of Genius, Human Nature: A Philosophical Exposition of the Divine Institution of Reward and Punishment, Diarrhœa and cholera: their nature, origin, and treatment through the agency of the nervous system, The medical institutions of the United Kingdom: a history exemplifying the evils of over-legislation, Neuralgia and kindred diseases of the nervous system: their nature, causes, and treatment: also, a series of cases, preceded by an analytical exposition of them, exemplifying the principles and practice of neuro-dynamic medicine, Cases of Neuralgia and of Other Diseases of the Nervous System, Cholera curable: a demonstration of the causes, non-contagiousness, and successful treatment of the disease, Chloroform and Other Anæsthetics: Their History, and Use During Childbirth, Prostitution: Governmental Experiments in Controlling It, Functional Diseases of Women and their treatment by cold and heat, Sea-Sickness and how to Prevent it, Functional Diseases of the Stomach: Part I. Sea-sickness, Cheap Books and how to Get Them: Reprint from the Westminster Review, and in 1940 Gordon S. Haight wrote George Eliot & John Chapman: with Chapman’s Diaries.

Of interest:

The Chapman surname seems to have originated in Whitby about 1400 AD, and therefore they become quite numerous by the 19th Century. There are branches of this family in Yorkshire, Dublin, Hitchin, Kent and Surrey, with references to Tooting also in the records. Another branch of the family lived in Snettisham Norfolk and they were all millers.

There was obviously an immigration to America and Canada as numerous mentions of the American and Canadian Chapmans can be found. The Chapmans also immigrated to New Zealand. History of Chapman family in England and America. Chapman entries in the National Biography Dictionary.

Alternatively, he may be related to this branch:

John Chapman Durham 1767 – 1849 (buried with Joseph Chapman (4th and youngest son of John and Mary Chapman) who died 1828 aged 27, and George Chapman who died 1836 aged 36, and Margaret Chapman died 1836 aged 32, and of Mary Chapman herself aged 68) married 1795 to Mary Robinson (copy of Will) children John Robinson Chapman, William Chapman (^see below), George Chapman (had 3 sons), Mary Chapman (spinster), Margaret Chapman 1795 – . Grandsons Joseph Chapman, William Chapman (son of John Robinson Chapman), Margaret Chapman.

John Chapman 1767 – 1849 seems to have rented a farm from the Maire family of Lartington. In 1800 he moved to Hedlam Hall (also rented from the Maire family) and ran a ‘School for the sons of gentlemen’. By 1834 John Chapman had moved from Headlam Hall to a house in Headlam rented from William Clarke. By 1840 he had purchased the Alwent Hall estate. The Alwent estate also contained a watermill which may have been the place where Richard Wilson Chapman, his grandson, learnt his trade as a miller.

In the 1849 issue of The concluding task of the disciples of homœopathy, an address by Marmaduke Blake Sampson, a Captain Chapman RA FRS is recorded as a subscriber to the London Homeopathic Hospital at 32 Golden Square.

In 1852, A P Chapman of Brighton was a member of The Association for the Protection of Homeopathic Students and Practitioners,

*John Chapman MA Cantab at the moment it is not possible to determine who John Chapman MA Cantab is and if there is any connection to publisher John Chapman. However, what we do know about homeopath John Chapman MA Cantab is below (please also note the confusion between Matthew James Chapman and John Chapman by later historians, but also see below that nobody at the time confused the two men!):

In 1841, a Dr. Chapman and John James Drysdale opened the Liverpool Homeopathic Dispensary at 14 Benson Street. Dr. Chapman was an orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy and who had been practicing in Liverpool for several years, but he decided to be exclusively homeopathic in 1841 when he joined John James Drysdale at the Liverpool Homeopathic Dispensary. Shortly thereafter, he left Liverpool to practice in London.

In 1844, John Yate Lee, John Chapman, Edward Hamilton and others founded a Bank of Deposit and National Assurance and Investment Association.

In 1845, a Dr. Chapman MA Cantab of Liverpool submitted papers to the British Journal of Homeopathy,

A John Chapman MD Cantab is mentioned in the Homeopathic Medical Directory of Great Britain and Ireland in 1845 and it is clear that he is a competent homeopath.

In 1846, a J Chapman of Liverpool is mentioned in the British Journal of Homeopaths.

J Chapman MD was the Vice President of the British Homeopathic Society in 1849 (President Frederick Hervey Foster Quin), and a radical campaigner for the establishment of the London Homeopathic Hospital and campaigner for the relief of the poor. John Chapman was a member of the management board of  the Hahnemann Hospital at 39 Bloomsbury Square (Anon, Homeopathic Record, Volumes 1-2, (Arthur Crowden CliftonJames EppsHenry Turner, 1851). Page 277). John Chapman resigned from the member of the management board of  the Hahnemann Hospital at 39 Bloomsbury Square amidst some controversy, described and detailed at length in David WilsonA letter to the governors and subscribers to the Hahnemann hospital, (1852). Multiple pages.

For a detailed introduction to the historical background of Frederick Hervey Foster Quin‘s London, and a comprehensive explanation of the benefits of a hospital appointment, and of a full medical qualification and the crucial structure of graduate and postgraduate supervision leading to success, Felix von Reiswitz‘s paper The ‘Globulisation’ of the Hospital Ward is most instructive.

Felix von Reiswitz outlines the groundbreaking work of Frederick Hervey Foster Quin in enabling professional homeopaths through the British Homeopathic Society, and how Frederick Hervey Foster Quin was actually not opposed to lay homeopaths, establishing the British Homeopathic Association which clearly sanctioned a lay branch of homeopathy alongside its principal function of collecting funds for the establishment of a hospital.

Felix von Reiswitz explains that Frederick Hervey Foster Quin laid down Law 47, which Frederick Hervey Foster Quin called the ‘fundamental law’, which stipulated that only members of the British Homeopathic Society (ie: fully qualified medical physicians) could become eligible for positions in the new homeopathic hospital. This is the flashpoint that may have separated Frederick Hervey Foster Quin from his Vice President John Chapman, and ?led to his taking a different route into the publishing trade.

Reading homeopath John Chapman’s speeches in The concluding task of the disciples of homœopathy, an address by Marmaduke Blake Sampson, it is quite clear he shares the same radical ideology as publisher John Chapman. The homeopathic John Chapman mentions again and again how women are essential to effect these radical changes.

J Chapman MA Cantab is known to be a colleague of James Manby Gully from the British Homeopathic Society in 1849.

This J Chapman MA Cantab is again mentioned by John Epps in his Homeopathy and Its Principles Explained in 1850.

In 1850, John Chapman submitted A Few Notes on a Few Medicines to The British Journal of Homeopathy (when he was still Vice President of the British Homeopathic Society), and in the same issue, it is reported that John Chapman Chaired a discussion in his role as Vice President of the British Homeopathic Society) with **John James Drysdale and many others,

In 1850, John Chapman was practicing at The Hahnemannian Medical Institution and Dispensary at  Welbeck Street, corner of Bulstrode Street, Manchester Square – Patron: Arthur FitzGerald Kinnaird, 10th Lord Kinnaird, Henry Tate, alongside David Dyce Brown, Amos Henriques, Kelly, Henry Kelsall, Joseph Laurie, Henry P Osman, Sherwood,

in 1850, John Chapman treated Charles Darwin alongside James Manby Gully. Charles Darwin wrote to William Darwin Fox on 4.9.1850, confirming that John Chapman was a homeopath who worked alongside James Manby Gully, Charles Darwin‘s other homeopath.

Our homeopathic John Chapman was again working alongside John James Drysdale in 1851 when together they formed the Committee for the Association for the Protection of Homeopathic Practitioners and Students.

And the same homeopathic John Chapman, George Atkin, Frederick Hervey Foster Quin and Robert Ellis Dudgeon, John Rutherford Russell, James W Metcalfe and an anonymous ‘friend’ put together a Directory of British and Foreign Homeopaths and their supporters to counter the suppression of all mention of homeopaths and their supporters by the editors of the London and Provincial Medical Directory in 1853.

On 22.1.1852, The Homeopathic Times records a schism in the Hahnemann Hospital at 39 Bloomsbury Square, caused by an advertisement placed for Clinical lecturers in the local newspapers, and the appointment of Paul Francois Curie and Amos Henriques.

These appointments led to the resignation of John Chapman, Edward Charles Chepmell, Joseph Hands and David Wilson. The grounds for contention were that the Hahnemann Hospital was founded to eliminate medical cliques, and to promote medical equality. It was felt that by awarding Paul Francois Curie and Amos Henriques the title of Clinical Lecturer and Professor, this rule was breached.

The Association for the Protection of Homeopathic Practitioners and Students had just been founded in 1851, and its members included George Atkin, Francis Black, John Chapman, Paul Francois Curie, John James Drysdale, Robert Ellis Dudgeon, George Fearon, Edward Hamilton, William Hering, C. B. Kerr, Joseph Laurie, John Ozanne, John Rutherford Russell, David Wilson and many others.

John Chapman, Edward Charles Chepmell, Joseph Hands and David Wilson felt strongly enough about the issue of medical cliques and elitism to resign, but the overwhelming feeling of the rest of the staff was in full support of these principles. Apparently, there had been some ill feeling inherited from the earlier establishment under William Leaf, and as Paul Francois Curie and Amos Henriques were not prepared to abandon their titles as Clinical lecturers, a schism occurred.

From Thomas Lindsley Bradford, Life & Letters of Samuel Hahnemann, (B. Jain Publishers, 1 Jan 2004). Page 471. In 1853, Dr J Chapman writing to the London Homeopathic Times says ‘My reason for addressing you is to prove what was the actual practice of Hahnemann during his residence in Paris, and to the close of his life. I have before me, while I write, the box of medicines he carried about with him…’

… `Since my last letter I have seen two boxes of homeopathic medicines which Hahnemann selected for a patient in the years 1841-42… among them is Arnica and Euphrasia 6 and other low dilutions. None is higher than thirty… the dilutions are 6, 9, 12, 18, 24 and 30. I have what I consider the best possible authority for stating that Hahnemann used no medicine beyond thirtieth dilution.’

This original Homeopathic kit belonging to Samuel Hahnemann is still on display at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital today – John Chapman visited Paris sometime in the 1840s and either met Samuel Hahnemann – or it was just after Samuel Hahnemann died – to bring this case back to England.

However, this John Chapman’s name is missing from the The British and Foreign Homeopathic Medical Directory and Record in 1855.

In his letter to Thomas Henry Huxley dated 27.5.1865, Charles Darwin states:

but I now begin to hope that through the aid of an acquaintance of yours (Dr Chapman) my health will receive some considerable improvement from the application of ice to the spine.

The confusion between the two John Chapmans, or is it just the one John Chapman?, is not yet settled, but the argument in favour of there being only one John Chapman who was both publisher and homeopath is as follows:

1. Homeopath John Chapman and John James Drysdale were close colleagues.

2. John James Drysdale was a close friend of Charles Darwin.

3. in 1850, homeopath John Chapman treated Charles Darwin alongside James Manby Gully. Charles Darwin wrote to William Darwin Fox on 4.9.1850, confirming that John Chapman was a homeopath who worked alongside James Manby Gully, Charles Darwin’s other homeopath. Thomas Carlyle, Arthur Hugh Clough, and George Eliot were also patients of James Manby Gully and knew publisher John Chapman intimately.

4. In his letter to Thomas Henry Huxley dated 27.5.1865, Charles Darwin states:

but I now begin to hope that through the aid of an acquaintance of yours (Dr Chapman) my health will receive some considerable improvement from the application of ice to the spine.

5. As both Charles Darwin, James Manby Gully and John James Drysdale all knew homeopath John Chapman quite intimately, then it seems impossible that they could be confused as to his identity.

6. Charles Darwin knew both the publisher John Chapman and the homeopath John Chapman and would definitely not confuse the two, especially if one relieved his symptoms bodily, and the other promoted the Origins of Species to ultimate World wide acclaim!

7. Thomas Henry Huxley knew both the publisher John Chapman and the homeopath John Chapman and would definitely not confuse the two, especially as he was also a close friend of James John Garth Wilkinson, who was a Physician at the Hahnemann Hospital at 39 Bloomsbury Square alongside homeopath John Chapman and Matthew James Chapman. Thomas Henry Huxley was also a very close friend of publisher John Chapman and was widely known as Charles Darwin‘s bulldog. Publisher John Chapman also knew a great many people who were intimately involved with homeopathy, and not one of them felt the need to point out the possible confusion between two different people, see especially Charles Babbage, Robert Browning, Robert Chambers, Erasmus Alvey Darwin, Thomas Henry Huxley, Charles Lyell, Harriet Martineau, and John Tyndall,

8. It does seem rather odd that at no time did any of these close friends and confidants of publisher John Chapman and the homeopath John Chapman try to distinguish between them as different individuals, nor is there any reference to any potential confusion between them at the time, thus leading us to conclude that there are actually one and the same person.

9. Both publisher John Chapman and homeopath John Chapman were in Paris in 1844, or thereabouts studying medicine (or homeopathy).

10. Thomas Hahnemann Hayle was also a Vice President of the British Homeopathic Society, as was the homeopath John Chapman, Matthew James Chapman, and Thomas Hahnemann Hayle also seemed to know the publisher John Chapman – was this because they are the same man?

11. Adrian Desmond and James Moore Darwin published 1991 also conclude that John Chapman the homeopath and John Chapman the publisher were the same man – page 392:

The focus for their alliance (literary freethinkers) was the house of John Chapman at 142 the Strand. Chapman was a medical man by training – once Dr. Gully’s homoeopathist in fact – and a publisher by vocation.’

Adrian Desmond, James Moore and Janet Browne Charles Darwin published 1991 also add the detail that John Chapman (the publisher) treated Charles Darwin with his spinal ice bags,

12. It was rumoured that the publisher John Chapman and Barbara Bodichon were lovers. Barbara Bodichon knew James John Garth Wilkinson, who knew both Frederick Hervey Foster Quin and his colleague, the homeopath John Chapman and Matthew James Chapman. James John Garth Wilkinson knew both the publisher John Chapman and both of the homeopaths John Chapman and Matthew James Chapman. In 1845 Ralph Waldo Emerson (James John Garth Wilkinson met Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1848) stayed with his publisher John Chapman while Ralph Waldo Emerson was living in London. In 1848, James John Garth Wilkinson had committed to his conversion to homeopathy and began to meet all the homeopaths in Bloomsbury. James John Garth Wilkinson was right at the homeopathic centre of this falling out between Frederick Hervey Foster Quin and the homeopaths John Chapman and Matthew James Chapman!  Yet again – it is most strange that all these people who knew both John Chapmans never had to distinguish between them in any way, nor did they indicate that it was Matthew James Chapman (Jas Chapman) they were all indeed referring to!!?? Was this because both John Chapman’s were the same man and not Matthew James Chapman who everybody referred to as Jas Chapman??

13. 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 [3] letter 25th April 1848 from James John Garth Wilkinson to Emerson, James John Garth Wilkinson invited Ralph Waldo Emerson to his house along with Mr. and Mrs. John Chapman). 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), and he would also have known Matthew James Chapman as well. It is strange that neither Ralph Waldo Emerson or James John Garth Wilkinson confused the two John Chapman’s at any time, nor did they feel the need to designate who was who. Was this because they were the same man?

14. There is an obvious confusion between John Chapman and Matthew James Chapman in the reported histories – but none of the people who knew Matthew James Chapman ever referred to him as John Chapman or vice versa!!?? See the Obituary of Matthew John Chapman below). Indeed, if people at the time needed to distinguish between the two men, they called Matthew James Chapman ‘Jas Chapman’, never John.

^^John Chapman 1801 – 1854 was publisher John Chapman’s cousin who was a political agitator and writer in Loughborough originaly until he moved to London.

He was married to Mary Wallis and left three surviving children. He died of cholera in 1854 and his unfinished paper on Humboldt‘s Sphere and the Duties of Government and the Government of India was published in the Westminster Review the same year.

With thanks to Rosemary Ashton who wrote 142 Strand: A Radical Address in Victorian London:

There’s a 50 page biography of him by John Wallis Chapman, published in 1983 – ‘Philosopher John: John Chapman of Loughborough 1801-1854, Engineer, Inventor, Political Writer’.

He came to London some time after 1834, when his firm making bobbin machines failed in Loughborough.  He wrote for the ‘Railway Times‘ and became involved in making improvements to Hansom cabs, registering a patent cab in the name of Gillett and Chapman in December 1836.  Quarrels ensued and he resigned from the partnership in 1840.  Worked on an ‘aerial steam carriage’.  Was involved in promoting Indian’s first railway in 1844 and went to India in August 1845.  Left again for home September 1846.  Quit the Railway Board in August 1848.  Publisher John Chapman published his book ‘the Cotton and Commerce of India’ in 1851.

He lived off journalism and writing, in Westbourne Park Road in London.  Got compensation from Great Indian Peninsular Railway in July 1852 (seems to have fallen out over salary etc earlier). Was Deacon of Baptist church in Praed Street, Paddington.  Died suddenly of cholera 11 September 1854 while writing an article for publisher John Chapman’s ‘Westminster Review‘ on ‘The Sphere and Duties of Government’.

Publisher John Chapman introduced it, explaining the circumstances, in Westminster Review October 1854.  This John Chapman’s son, John Wallis Chapman (the first), an architect, married publisher John Chapman’s daughter Beatrice in 1879.  The John Wallis Chapman who wrote the little book is/was the great-grandson of both publisher John Chapman and the Loughborough one.  Complicated!

Chapman and Hall Publishers Edward and Frederick Chapman. This branch of the Chapman family come from Hitchin originally but they do not seem related to John Chapman, though their publishing firm was just down the road at 186 Strand, and they were in operation at the same time as John Chapman and shared quite a few authors between them.

Matthew James Chapman (17961865) MD Edin 1820 BA 1832 MA 1835 Trinity Cambridge, born in Barbados, son of John Chapman (1777?-1835?)

Matthew James Chapman was born in Demerera in British Guyana, and sent to Britain for his education. He was educated in Macclesfield, and aged 15, he was studying medicine at Guy’s Hospital under Astley Paston Cooper, graduating in Edinburgh in 1820. Returning briefly to British Guyana, he returned to Britain for health reasons and studied at Trinity College Cambridge, obtaining a BA in 1832 and an MS in 1837. In 1840, he was studying homeopathy in Liverpool under John James Drysdale, and in 1848 he moved to London. In London, Matthew James Chapman practiced at the Hahnemann Hospital with Paul Francis Curie.

He married Mary Anna Reed in 1837 was also a poet who wrote The Idylls of Theocritus, Bion, and Moschus, Jephtha’s Daughter, Hebrew Idyls and Dramas, Barbadoes, and Other Poems.

Matthew James Chapman practiced at 25 Albermarle Street, Piccadily.

Matthew James Chapman is listed as a Fellow of the British Homeopathic Society in 1845 alongside Frederick Hervey Foster Quin. He was a colleague of Mathias Roth, and Matthew James Chapman also wrote a book on Per Henrik Ling called Ling’s educational and curative exercises in 1875.

Matthew James Chapman MA Cantab MD Edinburgh is mentioned in the The British and Foreign Homeopathic Medical Directory and Record in 1853 as a contributor of several articles to the British Homeopathic Journal and The Homeopathic Times (he was editor of the Homeopathic Times and many other publications), and he wrote articles on Manual Magnestism, Biomechanical Therapeutics, and Gymnastics in The British Journal of Homeopathy in 1854, and an article on Glycerine and another article on electricity by a Dr. Chapman is printed in the The British Journal of Homeopathy in 1857.

Matthew James Chapman is listed in The Journal of the British Homeopathic Society in 1863 as Vice President (of the British Homeopathic Society), and again he is acting as Chairman of the British Homeopathic Society and was in the 25th year of his practice as a homeopath, so he would have qualified in 1838. Also in 1863, Matthew James Chapman is the chairman of the discussions in the Journal of the British Homeopathic Society, presiding at charity dinners in support of the Society. Matthew James Chapman reported that in 1863, the British Homeopathic Society boasted between 200 – 300 recognised and registered members.

Matthew James Chapman of 25 Albermarle Street, Picadilly, doctor educated at Trinity College Cambridge, author of Greek Pastoral Poets: Theocrites, Bion and Moschus, homeopath for the last twenty five years of his life, obituary and details of the Chapman Memorial Fund published in the British Homeopathic Review in 1866. Matthew James Chapman’s Obituary is in The British Journal of Homeopathy and in the British Homeopathic Review in December 1865, an event widely reported in America. The Obituary includes a note from his friend Arthur de Noe Walker. His colleague George James Hilbers chaired the Memorial meeting. The British Homeopathic Review obituary is reported in full in the comments section below (thank you John September 7th 2013).

NB: Here is an example of people at the time distinguishing between John Chapman and Matthew James Chapman: ‘… James Chapman MA Cantab. In 1850 Jas Chapman MA Cantab is mentioned in the London Medical Gazette as a Medical Officer at the Hahnemann Hospital at 39 Bloomsbury Square, he is mentioned again (as ‘… MA Cantab and MD…‘) in The British Journal of Homeopathy in 1850 practicing at 28 Grosvenor Street,  and he is mentioned again in 1851 in The British Journal of Homeopathy. In John Bright, Robert Alfred John Walling (Ed.), The Diaries of John Bright, (1931). Page 136, John Bright told us that he visited London to consultant a Dr. Chapman, a ‘… homeopathist in Grosvenor Street…’ who prescribed him pusatilla and charged him 1 guinea (From Helen Kelsall, The Development of Voluntary Medical Institutions in Rochdale 1832-1872), Transactions New Series Number 4, (1994, Rochdale Literary and Scientific Society)…’

Robert Cleaver Chapman 18031902 Pastor, teacher and evangelist. Known as the “apostle of Love”.

Robert Cleaver Chapman, son of Thomas Chapman, was a member of the Plymouth Brethren and knew Edward Cronin.

Robert Cleaver Chapman was born in Helsingor, Denmark, in a wealthy Anglican merchant family from Whitby, Yorkshire. Robert was educated by his mother whilst the family was in Denmark and later at a boarding school in Yorkshire, after the return of the family to England. At the age of 15 Robert moved to London to work as an apprentice clerk in the legal profession.

^William Chapman MRCS, MD Member of Royal College of Surgeons 1823, homeopath practicing in London at 19 Nottingham Street, Marylesbone in 1850, until 1851 when he emigrated to New Zealand on the Labuan (possibly to join the ‘first Government Officer of the colony on the island of Labuan in New Zealand who was an ‘earnest member of the British Homeopathic Association‘ mentioned by Marmaduke Blake Sampson in 1849?):

William CHAPMAN was the second son of John CHAPMAN and Mary (ROBINSON) who were married in the parish of Romaldkirk, (Yorkshire North Riding, England) on 8 April 1795 and baptised in Cotherstone on 24 September 1797. The family moved to Headlam, Co. Durham, in 1804, where John was a schoolmaster at a boarding establishment in Headlam Hall, a position later taken up by the first born CHAPMAN, John Robinson.

William took and passed ‘The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries’ qualifying examination in medicine on 20 December 1821 in London, and on 3 January 1823 duly gained his Diploma of Membership to the Royal College of Surgeons. He practised in London till his departure for New Zealand in 1851. During this time he became interested in Homeopathy and was associated with the Hahnemann Medical Institution.

During the passage to New Zealand, William travelled as Ship’s Surgeon, his wife Sarah, and his two eldest daughters Mary Sarah Robinson 18 yrs, and Alice Margaret Robinson 17 yrs accompanying him in the Chief Cabin. His other five children William Robinson 13 yrs, John Alwent 12 yrs, Ann Isabella 9 yrs, George Carr 7 yrs, and Amy Maud 5 yrs, travelled in the Intermediate Cabin.

The family settled in Christchurch, where in 1852 William Chapman had a dispensary initially in Cathedral Square, then in Manchester Street, where he practised as ‘Surgeon and Accoucheur’ until he left Chistchurch for the then thriving settlement of Waikouaiti, in Otago. His eldest two daughters had both married sons of the whaler/farmer Johnny JONES, who was based in Waikouaiti at this time. The eldest son, William Robinson, died very shortly after the family’s arrival in Christchurch. John Alwent, moved to Dunedin where he was a Mining and Shipping Agent. Ann Isabella at this time is unaccounted for. George Carr was appointed Postmaster of Waikouaiti in 1863. And Amy Maud married my great grandfather Denis Jones COCKERILL 28 December 1871 in Waikouaiti. William born 1797, died 20 November 1867, and Sarah (LISGO) born 1809, died 1896, are both buried at St John’s Church, Beach Street, Waikouaiti.


17 thoughts on “John Chapman 1821 – 1894”

  1. Dear Lady Sue Young,

    Greetings!

    As a homeopath since 25 years ago and retired, and experimental Professor of Homeopathic therapeutics and also author of dozens medical books on Homeopathy published in Brazil and on sale in Portugal!!!!

    I thank you so much for your marvelous and enlightened History of Homeopathy data never made before in the internet since last decade of 20th century…

    In name of all remarkable legacy of homeopaths worldwide I ask God bless you by all my heart..

    Please continues your remarkable work in favour of homeopathy for all your readers worldwide…

    Best regards,
    Prof.Paulo de Lacerda,MD,Ph.DScHom

  2. Hi Sue,

    I was very interested to read your article about the Chapmans, because I’m currently researching John Chapman (1801-1854). I see you say that he and John Chapman the publisher were cousins, but I can’t find any confirmation of that – do you have any further information?

    Regards,
    Mary

  3. Hi Mary

    My source is Rosemary Ashton’s 142 Strand: A Radical Address in Victorian London which has only recently been published and contains lots of relevant information.

    I have spoken to Rosemary Aston about the confusions over the various John Chapmans, and I am still trying to discover more about the homeopathic John Chapman – so far to no avail.

    see

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/142-Strand-Radical-Address-Victorian/dp/070117370X

    and good luck – do let me know if you discover anything more about any of the various John Chapmans!

    Sue

  4. Will do – I already know who the parents of John the inventor were (John Chapman clockmaker of Loughborough and Sarah Parkinson of Quorn), but I haven’t found much about John the publisher: his father was William, but I don’t know when William was born or who his parents were.

    I’ll try to visit the Notts archives next time I’m in the UK, to see if I can find out any more.

    I thought John Chapman the publisher and the homeopath were the same person, but I don’t think JC the publisher went to Cambridge. I’ll see if I can find anything about the homeopath too.

    Mary

  5. Hi Mary

    I thought the homeopath and the publisher were the same person too – and I argued with Rosemary Ashton about this at length – she was really very good with me! She did eventually convince me they are not the same person, and she checked through my blog for me, so we are both agreed about the contents at the moment.

    However, Rosemary said that she has very few details about publisher John Chapman before 1851, and the homeopath John Chapman just disappears from the records in 1851.

    Previously the homeopathic John Chapman was Vice President to Frederick Hervey Foster Quin, who was very important and very well connected. It seems astonishing that his Vice President would just disappear!

    We have checked all the homeopathic records we can get our hands on, but so far, no Obituary and no information as to what happened to him. Matthew James Chapman just takes over his role without comment.

    Homeopath John Chapman is MA Cantab, and we don’t believe publisher John Chapman was, but we do not know. Publisher John Chapman did go on to achieve medical qualifications in later life – was he finishing off his training or starting this from scratch? And why did he move to France at the end of his life?

    Was homeopathic John Chapman a fully fledged medical doctor or had he only just done the MA bit? Checking this with a local GP, I was told that Cambridge medical degrees have not changed in essence for centuries, and that the MA Cantab part is just the first part of the medical training, but in 1851, many people would have gone into practice with less training, and I believe there was some legislation later in the 19th century to prevent this, which may explain why the MA Cantab may have not been considered sufficient to practice later on? This all needs checking.

    All in all, there are lots of queries here, and if you can discover any more info, this would be grand!

    Sue

  6. I do have a bit more information, yes. I’ve been having a look at the Medical Directories on Ancestry, which cover the period 1859-1959 (not published every year).

    They take quite a while to search, but so far I’ve found a person who I’m sure must be John the publisher in 3 directories: 1871, 1875 and 1879. His address in the first two is given as 1 Albion St., Hyde Park, London (the 1861 census shows him living at 4 Albion St.), and the third one gives the address 25 Somerset St., Portman Square, London (Harris Dunsford practised at no. 26).

    He registered as a doctor on 30/12/1859, and gives his qualifications in the first two directories as M.D. Univ. St. And., 1857 and M.R.Coll.Phys. Lond. 1857. In 1859 he adds M.R.Coll.Surg. Eng. 1861.

    It wouldn’t be surprising for him to go to St. Andrew’s University, because Scottish universities were very popular with English medical students at the time, and it’s confirmed by the entry in the Concise Dictionary of National Biography quoted in your blog.

    There are some other John Chapmans listed; one of them gives his address just as “London”, but he doesn’t have a university degree. None of them is an MA Cantab.

    I’ve found John the publisher in all the censuses from 1851 onwards, but not in 1841. He doesn’t seem to be in Scotland (there are 3 John Chapmans born in England on the Scottish census, but they have the wrong occupations: a soldier, an ag lab and an iron worker). I haven’t found him in England yet, but there are a lot of JCs to check.

    Matthew James Chapman appears in the 1859 medical directory, and the only qualification listed is MD Edin, 1820; in the 1851 census, his occupation is “MD Edin., practising as physician”. However, I’ve just checked the Cambridge Alumni database, and he did get an MA from Trinity College. I can’t see an obvious candidate for John the publisher at Cambridge, but there are loads of them and it’ll take a while to check.

    Matthew was born in Barbados c1797, and his father was called John – I wonder if he was a homeopath too?? Matthew was in London in 1851, but I haven’t found him in 1841.

    I’ll try and finish going through the medical registers today or tomorrow – would you like me to e-mail you my findings?

    By the way, in case you’re interested, I’ve written a short article on John Chapman the inventor, which has just been published in the Family Tree Forum’s online magazine:
    http://tinyurl.com/d7lstw

    and I’m thinking of doing a similar one about John the publisher.

    Mary

  7. Hi Mary

    Great stuff! Do please let me know whatever you find!

    If we can find John Chapman MA Cantab homeopath, this would be grand! It would be most interesting to finally solve this mystery.

    Matthew’s father ?John may well be a contender for our John Chapman MA Cantab homeopath, as this may explain how he was able to take over John Chapman MA Cantab’s role so easily.

    All in all, quite fascinating, and thank you!

    Your article on John Chapman the inventor is wonderful!

    Sue

  8. I am very interested in this email exchange because John Chapman the publisher and medical practicioner and John Chapman the engineer are both ancestors of mine. This arose because John Chapman the publisher ‘s daughter Clara Beatrice Chapman married John Chapman the engineer’s son John Wallis Chapman.

    I read Mary from Italy’s excellent article. I have a fair amount of information, much of which was put together by my uncle (also John Wallis Chapman) in researching for his short life of John Chapman the engineer, which also provides a family tree reaching back to the 16thC.

    DerekC

  9. Hi Derek

    This is grand!

    I would be so very pleased to receive more information here, on John Chapman the publisher – and on John Chapman the homeopath – so many people have been out searching for this…

    What fascinating ancestors you have!

    Any further information you could offer me, Rosemary Ashton and Mary from Italy would be greatly appreciated.

    Sue

  10. Dear Sue, Mary, and Derek,

    I am concerned that “John Chapman” may have been a common name, and we may be mixed them up. The Dr John Chapman who was the homeopath to Dr. James Manby Gully (Darwin’s homeopath and water-cure author) visited Hahnemann in the 1840s. As such, this Dr. John Chapman was probably not the same Dr John Chapman who registered as a doctor in 1859.

    That said, I am anxious to hear from Derek and am hoping that he can provide some clarification…

  11. Hello

    I’m another descendant of Dr John Chapman the publisher. I think it’s very unlikely my ancestor was the same person as the homeopath, as he certainly did not go to Cambridge as he and all his family were noncomformists. His granddaughter wrote in a memoir of her mother, Clara Beatrice (daugher of JC) of her mother’s memories of his pursuing his medical studies during her childhood, and his degree was obtained at St Andrews. As to why he went to Paris, this appears to have been largely because of the complexities of his private life – his marriage to his second wife, Hannah, remained a common law one, as he and his first wife Susannah were judicially separated but not divorced. Incidentally, these Chapmans originated in the Midlands, and they were probably descendants of two William Chapmans, father and son, who were MPs for Derby in the fourteenth century. If there is a connection between them and the Chapmans of Whitby, I think it must be a very long way back.

  12. Hi Lissa

    Thank you so very much for getting in touch.

    It would be great to solve this mystery, as we do not know what happened to the homeopathic John Chapman, which is quite mystifying!

    What an amazing ancestor! You must be thrilled to have such an interesting and illustrious great, great, great, great? grandfather – without publisher John Chapman, we would probably not have Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species – Darwin might have got it published – but it may also have been torn up by the religious forces of the day, if the Westminster Review had not been such successful advocates of his new theories!

    We have a lot to thank him for – and for many other successes of his Westminster Review!

    If we can determine the actual facts around this mystery, it will be a triumph in itself. Then we can separate – or join – these two together and really understand what was going on.

    London was a village in 1851, and it is highly likely they knew or knew of each another. The publishers of the Westminster Review and the Homeopathic publishers were a stone’s throw apart.

    We will all keep on digging at this most intriguing puzzle.

    Thanks again for your comment, and obviously, I would be extremely interested in any other information you or your family can provide.

    Sue

  13. Sue,
    I happened across your research into John Chapman by way of the reference to him buying John Green’s religous bookselling business. The John Green in question being my wifes great, great, great grandfather.
    John Green was married three time (twice widowed) and had seven children and one step child.We have always been curious as to why none of the children appeared to have taken over the business or what eventually happened to it….I suspect that you have solved this one for us.
    I would be grateful if you have any further relevent information you can pass on other than the details pertaining to John Chapman’s purchase detailed in the text above.
    Bob

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  15. The following may help a bit:

    OBITUARY. 1865 [THE BRITISH HOMEOPATHIC REVIEW Dec 1865]

    DR MJ CHAPMAN. [Matthew James Chapman]

    It is with the deepest sorrow that we announce the death of Dr Chapman, long known as one of our most learned, oar most highly valued colleagues.

    Quis desiderio sit pudor aut modus
    Tarn can capitis? Prsecipe lugubres
    Cantua, Melpomene, cui liquidam pater
    Vocem cum cithara dedit
    Ergo Quinctilium perpetuus sopor
    Urguet! cui Pudor, et Justitiae soror
    Incorrupta Fides, nudaque Veritas
    Quando ullum invenient parem:’
    Horace.

    Dr Chapman was the son of a physician of high repute in his day in Demerara, where he was born in 1796.

    At an early age he was sent to this country, and received his preliminary education at the Macclesfield Grammar School. In his fifteenth year he was entered at Guy’s Hospital, under Sir Astley Cooper, by whom he was a much-favoured pupil. He was subsequently house-surgeon at the Westminster Lying-in Hospital. After having spent four or five years at these two hospitals he proceeded to Edinburgh, where he graduated in 1820.

    On his return to British Guiana he engaged in the active duties of a general practitioner. He was at this time employed by Government to draw up a report on the climate and the rates of mortality in the West India Islands. Under the pressure of hard work and the influence of an unsuitable climate his health broke down, and he returned to England. Always devoted to literature, he occupied the time requisite to recruit his strength in its cultivation; and for this purpose entered at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1832 he took the degree of BA, when he was bracketed Junior Op. with Mr Shilleto; and in 1835 proceeded to the degree of MA.

    He did not resume practice until 1837, when he married a daughter of James [ie JOHN G REED] Reed Esq, of Dochfour, British Guiana, and settled in Liverpool.

    In 1840 his attention was, by a variety of incidents, simply and strikingly narrated by himself in his ‘Plea of a Convert’, drawn to homoeopathy. Having convinced himself that it was his duty to investigate our therapeutic system, he did so both in his study and at the bedside. His researches and experiments more than satisfied him of the superior value of the homoeopathic over any other known method of treatment, and he at once announced himself a follower of Hahnemann; taking at the same time various opportunities of still further familiarising himself with homoeopathic practice. He was one of those—of whom, alas! but few now remain—who attended the lectures of the late Dr Curie at the London Homoeopathic Institution, from whom he gratefully acknowledges having received many useful hints. He subsequently associated himself with Dr Drysdale in conducting the Liverpool Homoeopathic Dispensary. In 1848 he removed to London. Here he early secured the confidence of a large circle of patients among the higher classes of society, as well as that of his medical brethren, by whom he has ever been held in the highest estimation.

    On the foundation of the Hahnemann Hospital in 1850, he was appointed one of the physicians thereto; resigning his connection with that Institution when those dissensions arose between the Board of Management and the medical officers which ultimately led to its closure. For several years he has been one of the vice-presidents of the British Homoeopathic Society, and a very regular attendant at its meetings, over which he not unfrequentiy presided.

    For some time past his obviously failing health has been a source of much anxiety to his friends. Last autumn he went abroad for his annual holiday, and while at Spa was seized with a severe attack of cerebral congestion accompanied by a threatening of paralysis. From this he soon rallied, and in a fortnight was at home. He however felt the necessity for continued rest, and had determined on retiring from practice for at least a year, when on the 18th ult. cerebral congestion of a very acute type suddenly occurred, and was rapidly followed by serous effusion. In a short time after the first symptoms appeared coma set in; from this state he was never completely roused, his death taking place within forty-eight hours afterwards.

    The literary abilities of our deceased colleague were considerable, and had been diligently cultivated. In 1888 he published a work entitled Barbadoes and other Poems; in 1884 Jephtha’s Daughter, a Dramatic Poem; and in 1886 a translation of Theocritus, Bion and Moschus. In Fraser’s Magazine appeared a collection of Hebrew Idylls from his pen; to Blackwood he was also a large contributor. Recently he had intended to collect, arrange and re-publish the best of his essays, and had for this purpose seen two volumes through the press, when the chill hand of death put a period to his earthly labours. These two were to have been followed by other two. We trust that some literary friend will be found -willing to to select and arrange the remaining papers, as to enable the four volumes to appear as their author had intended they should do.

    To the literature of homosopathy Dr. Chapman contributed considerably. At one time he was one of the principal editors of the Homoeopathic Times, a weekly journal whose publication ceased some ten years back. In the pages of this periodical, as through those of the British Journal of Homeopathy and of our Review, are scattered many papers by Dr Chapman of great practical value. Essays from which the experienced practitioner as well as the student of homeopathy may derive much useful information.

    His faith in hoimeopathy was thorough. Against coarse drugging and needless auxiliaries he never ceased to lift up his voice; while he was ever most earnest in enforcing the importance of accuracy in diagnosis and of care in the selection of remedies. To inculcate a high tone of professional honour amongst his medical brethren was at all times his constant aim.

    In the person of Dr Chapman we feel that we have lost one of the ablest men in our body. One who as a Christian, a gentleman, a scholar and a physician reflected nothing but honour upon the cause he so ardently espoused, upon the colleagues by whom he was surrounded; one whose estimable qualities of head and heart will be long remembered; one upon whose like we shall not soon look again.

    MEMORIAL TO THE LATE DR. CHAPMAN.
    A Meeting of the friends of our lamented colleague was held at the house of Professor Georgii on the 24th ult, for the purpose of taking steps to raise a fund to provide a suitable memorial of the esteem in which Dr Chapman was so universally held. Dr Hilbers of Brighton occupied the chair. Numerous letters were read, expressing the hearty sympathy of the writers with the object before the meeting. A committee, half of whose members will be medical men, will shortly be appointed, to whom will be entrusted the details of the memorial. Several most liberal contributions were announced. We trust that the sum raised, and the object to which it will be devoted, will be sufficiently worthy to, in some degree, at least, represent the high position Dr Chapman held amongst his medical brethren, and that large circle of friends to whose medical wants he so skilfully, so kindly ministered.

  16. Hi John

    Brilliant!!! Thanks so very much – I have edited my bio to take the information in Matthew James Chapman’s obituary into account and it helps – quite a lot! Confusion between the two – or possibly one John Chapman – unfortunately still remains…

    However, it is now increasingly obvious that later historians have conflated the histories of John Chapman and Matthew James Chapman… it is also clear that people at the time did differentiate between John Chapman the Homeopath and ‘Jas Chapman’ – our Matthew James Chapman – so we now clearly know that these two men are distinct from each other.

    Unfortunately, it is also now clear that people at the time did not need to differentiate between John Chapman the publisher and John Chapman the homeopath – so we still do not know if they are distinct individuals or the same man!!

    Sue

  17. From Stanley R Criens via email 13.5.15…

    To “complete” your information concerning Matthew James Chapman, hereby the info which I have collected concerning the Students of the Western Hemisphere who have studied on the Universities of the Netherlands (1652-1945)

    CHAPMAN, Mattheus Jacob (Barbuda, ca. 1796 – 1865)
    1819, 21 Sept. Mattheus Jacob Chapman Barbuda Indus Occid. 24, M. (Album Studiosorum Academiae Lugduno Batavae MDLXXV-MDCCCLXXV, kol. 1252). (Index to English speaking students who have graduated at Leyden university / by Edward Peacock, F.S.A. – London : For the Index society, by Longmans, Green & co. 1883, p. 19, 1252).
    1819, 21 Sept. Chapman, Matthew [sic] Jacobus [sic]. Barbuda Indus Occid., Sept. 21, 1819, aet. 24. Med.
    M.D. Edin., 1820. Dedicated to John Chapman, M.D. On the thesis he is described as M.R.C.S. One of this name author of Barbadoes and other Poems, 1833. This is dedicated to Sir Astley Cooper. (English-speaking students of medicine at the University of Leyden / R.W. Innes Smith. – Edinburgh/London : Oliver and Boyd, 1932, p. 44).
    1820. Mattheus Jacobus Chapman, Barbadensis. De Affectibus Animi. (List of the graduates in medicine in the University of Edinbrugh from MDCCV. to MDCCCLXVI [1705-1866] / published by University of Edinburgh – Printed by Neill & company in Edinburgh, 1867, p. 61).
    Bibliografie: Matthew James Chapman, George Husband Baird
    1820. Tentamen inaugurale de affectibus animi : quam … ex auctoritate … D. Georgii Baird …pro gradu doctoris … / publisher: Excudebat Joannes Moir, 1820. – 29 pages.
    (List of the graduates in medicine in the University of Edinbrugh from MDCCV. to MDCCCLXVI [1705-1866] / published by University of Edinburgh – Printed by Neill & company in Edinburgh, 1867, p 61).
    http://books.google.com/books/about/Tentamen_inaugurale_de_affectibus_animi.html?id=uZ1KHAAACAAJ

    Kind Regards, Stanley R. Criens

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