Ephraim Connor 1893 – 1981 was a self taught Scottish lay homeopath and homeopathic vet.
From http://homeoint.org/morrell/british/connor.htm Peter Morrell writes: Ephraim Connor was a lay homeopath based in Motherwell and later in the Scottish Highlands. Francis Treuherz went to see his widow and compiled an article about him Ephraim Connor [1893-1981], Treuherz, 1986 in The Homeopath].
Connor was a self taught lay homeopath who ‘wrote a book about dogs, ended up as a publican at the bottom end of the Caledonian Canal and was a queer old stick’ [Brown, 1991]. He published Simplified Dog Cures in 1946, [Homeopathic Publishing Company] which was also reviewed in Heal Thyself, 1946-7.
Connor appears to have been a strange figure who kept a big house near Motherwell with a huge stock of old remedies from all the main manufacturers. Little is known of how his original contact with homeopathy came about, for example, or if he was taught by any doctors in Glasgow.
Ephraim Connor’s son, James Connor, [born c.1919] hailed from Glasgow. He qualified LRCP LRCS [Edin.] LRFPS [Glas] in 1943, and lived at 14 Belmont Crescent, Glasgow [Medical Directory 1948]. He is now in London, Ontario, Canada [Brown and Pert] and is no longer listed in the Medical Register.
I have had some contact with his son Dr. Jim Connor in Toronto, Ephraim’s grandson. His father James Connor is deceased.
With thanks to Francis Treuherz, I here reproduce his article Ephraim Connor 1893-1981 The Homeopath 1986 :
Ephraim Connor practiced in Mothrwell, then Glasgow, and finally in semi retirement in the Highlands.
I recently visited his widow and talked with her. I offered her the opportunity to write about her late husband for us, but she declined most politely.
He apparently had the effortless skill we declare to be that of an intuitive prescriber, but it appeared that he was entirely self taught, and what we call intuition was the result of study and experience. The study was obviously intense, as he had the most extensive private library known in Scotland, according to P W Thomas, Librarian to the Faculty of Homeopathy.
His latest home was a rambling cottage which had been the servants quarters to a highland shooting lodge. In a damp, but beautifully pannelled outhouse, which had been the gun room, I saw a few hundred volumes, from every era of British and North American homeopathy. They were a confused jumble, the relics of a rich life and practice, now sadly decaying and mildewed.
I learned that his son is now a homeopathic physician in Canada, and that some forty chests of books had already left these shores. Also scattered around the gun room were hundreds of remedies in every potency from 0 to 50M, bearing the labels from wherever. Thomas Skinner, James Tyler Kent, John Pert, Nelson, William Boericke, Adolf Tafel, Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Ehrhardt, Karl, James Epps, Thatcher, M F Thompson, and later Pert of West Nile Street, Glasgow, and Scottish Homeopathic and Biochemical Supplies of Buchanan Street, Glasgow.
They had been subjected to extremes of Scottish weather and many of the liquid potencies had dried out completely. There was a jar of yellow sulphur marked 0 next to a white 1X, making a gentle contrast on the shelves of an exquisite medicine chest as large as I have ever seen.
Indoors, was a wonderful desk like an ancient monument, potencies spilling out of every nook and crannie. A late photograph showed an irrascible, short, frowning gentleman in a kilt, with a venerable shock of white hair and a moustache to match.
He began in Morthwell as a homeopathic vet, and even wrote a book about dogs (Simplified Dog Cures). Another passion was guns, and he became Honorary Vice President and Chairman of the County of Lanark Smallbore Rifle Association.He obviously had a busye practice, employed a huge slection of remedies and potencies, read widely, and drew patients from far and wide, even in the Highlands. A motoring accident led to a decline in his last years. Non unitilis vix.
There have always been lay practitioners of homeopathy in Britain, but few of them from the older generation appear to have taught extensively in recent years, with the notable exception of the late Thomas Maughan and the late John DaMonte, and few have written, notably Phyllis M Speight.
I am aware of two lay homeopaths in their seventies, one in Somerset and one in Yorkshire. I should like to think while they are still alive and well, that we undertake a little oral history project, finding their expertise and historical knowledge, and sharing it before it is too late. we should secure a future for their libraries. Our practice must be to recreate the skills which once existed, and where they still exist, to harness them.
I have been deliberately vague about the locations to protect the families of the people mentioned from unwelcome intrusions. I hope that colleagues will contact me personally to share information about other examples of this kind. I should love to read some real memories of past practitioners and teachers.
With grateful thanks to Kate McIntosh www.stirlinghomeopathy.co.uk, friend and student of Ephraim Connor, February 2012:
Obituary of Ephraim Connor 1892-1981. Ephraim Connor, during the varied phases of his life, influenced many people. He is remembered as a real crusader, who polarised people’s opinions one way or the other. He was very well respected, especially when he was Captain of the Home Guard. He became interested in Homoeopathy early in his life and built up a considerable practice both in Motherwell and later in the Kelvinside district of Glasgow. He had the largest library of Homoeopathic books in Europe, all of which went to Canada when he passed away. He said there was only one other Homoeopath in the world, who had a bigger library, and I have reason to believe it was in India and may have been Dr Patel.
Ephraim was largely self taught-he read and read books well into the small hours and he had a terrific capacity to retain what he read. He had a very analytical mind, which gave him amazing insight into the cause of disease and he prescribed the simillimum medicine with great success. Two of his most respectful patients, Patrick Joseph Dollan a former Lord Provost of Glasgow and Charles A Hepburn prominent in the whisky trade persuaded him to take a degree in medicine at the University of Glasgow. He gained entrance and went in 1940 into the same year as his son Dr James Connor, also a homoeopath. He completed 3 years of the course, but his home was bombed in the Clydebank blitz and due to financial constraint he was unable to complete his degree.
He had a great love for dogs and for many years bred springer spaniels. He had disregard for people who didn’t keep their dogs in good health and shape. He wrote only one book in 1944 called “Simplified Dog Cures”, now out of print, in which you are aware of his sound understanding of Homoeopathy and his wit. It’s a gem!
He had been involved in politics in his 20’s and became disillusioned with the state of the country in the late 1950’s. He consequently moved out of the mainstream and up to Roy Bridge in 1959. There he worked as a “teetotal” publican after refurbishing the Glenspean Lodge Hotel (the former hunting lodge of McIntosh of McIntosh). He also kept his practice very much alive with people travelling from all over the world for treatment because of his reputation and successes.
In 1972 tragedy struck, and he lost many friends and colleagues in the Staines air disaster at Heathrow. The plane was going to the International Homoeopathic League Congress in Brussels. This loss had a devastating loss for the Homoeopathic hospitals in London and Glasgow and far reaching effects on the recognition and development of Homoeopathy in the UK. While he was visibly upset by this, he continued to work with tremendous energy helping others right up to the time of his death in 1981. He himself suffered a car accident in 1978 and while in hospital in Fort William was found telling the nurses what medicine would aid his recovery!
He was an honest, compassionate and humble advocate and pioneer for Homoeopathy, but never in the limelight. He helped so many people, bringing many back from the brink of death. He was on a par with some of the best known British Homeopaths like Margaret Lucy Tyler, John Henry Clarke, J Ellis Barker and Marjorie Grace Blackie. His memory is very precious to those who had the privilege of knowing him, being made well again by his unsurpassed skill, and being taught by him.
He has this verse in his book:
“What you do not grasp does not exist for you
What you do not think you can’t imagine true
What you do not weigh, for you no weight can hold
What you do not coin, you think cannot be gold”
This shows his disregard for those who dare doubt the science of Homoeopathy. Some people are just further down the road than others or perhaps more enlightened! KDM
Dr James Connor, c.1921- , Glasgow, Son of Ephraim Connor, LRCP LRCS Edin. LRFPS Glas 1943, 14 Belmont Cres, Glasgow (Med. Dir. 1948) “Now living in Canada.” (Brown and Pert). Not in 1988 Med. Reg. ‘… He is now living in London, Ontario, Canada…’ [Dr Jim Connor, 1995, grandson of Ephraim Connor, who is a medical historian at University of Toronto, in an email to Peter Morrell] (Jim Connor, or more formally Dr. J.T.H. Connor, is John Clinch Professor of Medical Humanities and History of Medicine… read more here http://www.med.mun.ca/munmed/171/connor.htm)