Samuel Basil Carlingford 1824 – 1892

Church gateSamuel Basil Carlingford 1824? – 1892? MD was an orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy,

Carlingford wrote Who wins?: Being the autobiography of Samuel Basil Carlingford, MD, where he describes how he was converted to homeopathy by his friend Archer Arundel.

Carlingford was a close friend of William Wordsworth,

Carlingford spent many years travelling abroad, and he learnt much about homeopathy there, especially when he visited Vienna. Vienna was buzzing with the success of homeopathy in the treatment of the recent cholera epidemics (1831, 1836 and 1847), and Carlingford began an earnest study of the new doctrine.

Carlingford determined by his own studies just how many new remedies homeopathy had added to the field of medicine,

On his return to London, Carlingford was surprised to find a number of converts to homeopathy amongst his friends and colleagues, despite the social censure of some colleagues and patients, doctors were prepared to risk these reactions to embrace the new medicine of homeopathy.

Carlingford and his friend Tremore reminisced about the terrible effects of allopathic medicines, remarking how astonishing it was that they had survived childhood at all, and they visited together the London Homeopathic Hospital, marvelling at the experience.

They went on to visit a dairy where the cows were being treated homeopathically, learning how the cowman marvelled about homeopathy and explaining to them how he had lost half the cattle  his neighbours had lost during the recent cow flu epidemic due to homeopathic treatment of his herd, which incidentaly had only cost a third of the price of allopathic treatment.

Carlingford returned to the home of his childhood, meeting again the friends of his youth. Everywhere he went, he heard tales of the value of homeopathy, from his childhood friend Tremorne who was enthusiastic about homeopathy (and encouraged cousin Sylvia to begin her own homeopathic practice), from his friend Rachel who had taught herself homeopathy and married a missionary Mr. Ravenshaw, already a convert to homeopathy (they had spent many years in Africa and used their remedies extensively there), from his cousin Sylvia who used homeopathy to treat many local people, (Carlingford planned to marry Sylvia and he encouraged her to continue her homeopathic practice).

Carlingford describes the vicious reactions of local allopaths to his homeopathic conversion, and of how his house was beseiged with requests for treatment by local people. Carlingford how the residents of Kendal begged him to set up practice there, and of how he decided to stay in his own home and reside with his friend Tremorne who would continue to practice by the allopathic method.

Carlingford describes how outrage at his conversion to homeopathy led to Sylvia’s relatives forbidding the marriage, especially her stepmother Mrs. Kennicot. However, one day he rescued Mrs. Kennicott and cured her horse with homeopathy, and finding Sylvia ill and unhappy, he cured her too! The marriage was soon arranged.

Mrs. Kennicot thus became a staunch advocate of homeopathy, taking up the study of homeopathy and procuring for herself a ‘little chest’ of remedies.

Carlingford was the son of William Carlingford, and Samuel describes the loss of several siblings to various illnesses during his childhood. He describes how he and Sylvia had two boys and one girl, all reared homeopathically and all alive and well. Carlingford tells how he often passed the ‘great tomb’ in Grasmere churyard containing the mortal remains of his siblings and parents who sadly died so young from such simple ailments.

Carlingford concludes his book with a brief history of the characters surrounding the birth of homeopathy, including Carl Julius Aegidi, Brendt, Dusterbourg, Duke Ferdinand of Anhalt Kothen, Granier, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Guizot, Samuel Hahnemann, Christian Theodore Herrmann, Christoph Wilhelm von Hufeland, Joseph Laurie, Matthias Marenzeller, George Lennox Moore, The Mueller (Muller) Family, Musbeck, Georg von Necker, Jose Nunez Pernia Marquis de Nunez, Petersen, Joseph Freiherr von Quarin, Edward Harris Ruddock, Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, The Schlegel Family, William Sharp, including a history of the spread of homeopathy around the World.

One thought on “Samuel Basil Carlingford 1824 – 1892”

  1. Hi Sue

    Carlingford’s novel has come up in some research I’m doing at the moment, but I can’t seem to find anything on Carlingford himself. I was just wondering where you got the information for the birth and death dates here. Do you have any sources on Carlingford other than the novel? Anything you can offer is much appreciated.

    All the best,
    Holly

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