John Le Gay Brereton 1827 – 1886

John Le Gay Brereton 1827 – 1886 was a British orthodox physician, MD St. Andrews, MRCSE, LAC 1851, Medical Poor Law Officer for the township of Little Horton, Bradford (George AtkinThe British and foreign homœopathic medical directory and record, (Groombridge & Sons, 1853). Page 58) who converted to homeopathy, became a follower of Emanuel Swedenborg and a member of the Hahnemann Medical Society, who emigrated to Australia (Edgar Crook, Vegetarianism in Australia – 1788 to 1948: A Cultural and Social History, (Lulu.com, 2006). Page 73) (Henry Turner (Ed.), The Homeopathic Medical Directory of Great Britain and Ireland, (1872). Page 190).

He wrote a book of Poems in 1865. John Le Gay Brereton (The Elder), Poems, (Low, 1865)

On 15th April 1857, James John Garth Wilkinson wrote to his wife Emma from 4 Finchley Road: ‘… Beloved Partner in Lives … Dr. Brereton [John Le Gay Brereton] came on Monday night, a fine powerful fresh coloured, vigorous, poetical man: a kind of substantial & living Edition of Daniel Morell: & a most ardent & intelligent Swedenborg Spiritualist.…[Swedenborg Archive K124 [a] Letter dated 15.4.1857 to Emma Wilkinson]’

On 20.10.1852, the Medical Board refused to examine Brereton and his colleague Patrick A Brady 1826? – 1878 because they were homeopaths (Anon, The lancet London: a journal of British and foreign medicine, surgery, obstetrics, physiology, chemistry, pharmacology, public health and news, Volume 2, (Elsevier, 1852). Page 412.) (Anon, The American journal of homoeopathy, Volumes 7-9, (C. G. Dean., 1852). Page 105).

In 1853, Brereton lived at Little Horton House, Bradford, York (George AtkinThe British and foreign homœopathic medical directory and record, (Groombridge & Sons, 1853). Page 58).

Brereton attended a Festival in aid of the the London Homeopathic Hospital on 21st April 1858 alongside Arthur Wellesley 1st Duke of WellingtonHenry Charles FitzRoy Somerset 8th Duke of BeaufortGeorge Ponsonby O’Callaghan 2nd Viscount LismoreArthur Algernon Capell 6th Earl of Essex (Viscount Maldon), Henry Robinson Montagu 6th Baron RokebyThomas Egerton 2nd Earl of WiltonLord Cosmo Russell, and many others including the founder  Frederick Hervey Foster Quin (John Fitzgibbon Geary, Some local and general excrescences of Homoeopathy: being reviews of Dr. Hering’s “Homoeopathist, or domestic physician,” and of the homoeopathic “Materia medica pura”, (Henry B. Ashmead, 1858). Page 5).

In 1860, Brereton was in Australia, working at the Sydney Homeopathic Dispensary, (Anon, Australian almanac, (1860). Page 48), where in 1861, he opened the first Turkish bath in Australia,  in Sydney, (Robert William Dixon, Veronica Kelly, Impact of the modern: vernacular modernitities in Australia 1870s-1960s, (Sydney University Press, 2008). Page 257).

Brereton was the family doctor of Andrew Garran 1825-1901 and his wife Mary Isham and he delivered Robert Randolph Garran 1867 – 1957 (David John Headon, John Matthew Williams, Makers of miracles: the cast of the federation story, (Melbourne University Press, 2000). Page 98) (Jill Roe, Beyond belief: theosophy in Australia, 1879-1939, (New South Wales University Press, 31 Jan 1986). Page 39)

Brereton was a colleague of James John Garth Wilkinson, and in 1883, he wrote John le Gay Brereton, James John Garth WilkinsonOne teacher, one law: with an appendix on the scriptural use of anatomical terms, (James Speirs, 1883).

From the Australian Dictionary of Biography http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/brereton-john-le-gay-3051 ‘… John Le Gay Brereton (1827-1886), physician and author, was born in Bawtry, Yorkshire, England, son of Thomas Le Gay Brereton, doctor of medicine, and his wife Mary Ann, née Taylor. John studied medicine at Edinburgh (M.R.C.S., 1851), became a licentiate of the Apothecaries’ Company, London, and received his M.D. from St Andrews University in that year. In later poems he recalls Hawthornden with affection and mentions visits to the Grampians. His acquaintance with these districts probably dates from his student days in Scotland, where he may also have met the artist brothers, David and William Bell Scott. Brereton practised medicine in the north of England, probably near Doncaster. As a poor-law surgeon he saw epidemic outbreaks of both typhus and diphtheria. While still in England he was converted to the principles of homeopathic medicine and became an early disciple of David Urquhart, the diplomat who introduced the Turkish bath into Britain. Brereton first saw it in practical operation at Dr Richard Barter’s hydrotherapy centre in County Cork.

‘… At 29 in Brixton Brereton married Mary Tongue. About this time he must have met Thomas Mort, who later claimed to be responsible for bringing Brereton to New South Wales. The Breretons arrived in Sydney in 1859; they rented Andrew Garran’s house at 213 Macquarie Street and later moved to Richmond Terrace. Soon after his arrival Brereton set up in medical practice and in Spring Street established Sydney’s first Turkish bath. It was so successful that larger and improved quarters were opened in Bligh Street on 14 March 1861. He was involved in the life of the colony in a variety of ways. In the 1860s he delivered a number of public lectures on such topics as the Turkish bath, cremation and rational clothing. He was made a justice of the peace and appointed medical visitor to the lunatic asylum at Tarban Creek (Gladesville) but was dismissed from this position after some controversy in 1865. In 1881 he gave evidence before a committee of the Legislative Assembly, opposing the principle of compulsory vaccination. Throughout his life in Sydney he was on terms of close friendship with many of the leading members of the literary community, numbering among his acquaintances the poet, Henry Kendall.

‘… In 1860 Brereton bought the farm cottage, Osgathorpe, in Gladesville, a building supposed to have been Ludwig Leichhardt’s last lodging place before his fatal expedition in 1848. Brereton made many alterations and additions to Osgathorpe, and in 1882, having achieved sufficient prosperity to retire, moved there permanently. He died aged 59 on 28 October 1886 from Bright’s disease, and was buried in St Anne’s cemetery, Ryde. He was survived by his wife, five sons and two daughters; five children had died in infancy. The most notable of his children was John who became Challis professor of English in the University of Sydney.

‘… Although a Quaker in early life, Brereton was converted to the doctrines of Swedenborg and in Sydney became a leader of the New Jerusalem Church. In 1874 his wife translated into English a catechism written in French by Bishop Francois Bugnion for use in his ‘Brotherhood’ colonies, and Brereton authorized its printing by the New Church Publishing Society. Most of his own writings are connected with his religious beliefs. His first volume of verse, The Travels of Prince Legion, and Other Poems, was published in 1857 before he left England. In Sydney he produced further books of poetry, Poems (1865), The Goal of Time (1883), and Beyond: And Other Poems (1887). His principal prose works are One Teacher: One Law (1883) and Genesis and the Beatitudes (1887). The works, both prose and verse, tend to be heavily didactic and retain their interest less as imaginative literature than as minor documents in the intellectual and literary history of the nineteenth century…’

 

From http://www.onenamedstudy.tribalpages.com/ ‘… Notes of Paul Le Gay Brereton: My great grand father Dr. John Le Gay Brereton (formerly Brewerton) (b.1827 Bawtry Nott. d.1886 Sydney) & his wife Mary Tongue (b.1839 d.1923 Sydney) who were married at Brixton in 1857, arrived in Australia at Melbourne in July 1859 — they then travelled on to Sydney, where they remained & built their family. They had lost their first child in Bradford before leaving. Mary was again with child when they started their voyage out to Australia aboard the ship “Dover Castle” but sadly, after an accident aboard in rough weather, Mary again lost the child. Out of twelve children they were to loose five. Dr. John came out to Australia as Brereton, but was using his family name of Brewerton before that. “The son of Thomas Le Gay Brewerton, was John Le Gay Brewerton, who changed his name back to Brereton about the time of his marriage to Mary Tongue in 1857 at Brixton.” 

Dr. John was a very prominent Dr. in Sydney — he was appointed medical officer to the two Princes (Edward & George) when they came out to Australia. He was an advocate for Urn burial. He was also a poet, & was friends with Henry Kendal the Australian poet.

BRERETON, JOHN LE GAY (1827-1886), physician and author, was born in Bawtry, Yorkshire, England, son of Thomas Le Gay Brereton, doctor of medicine, and his wife Mary Ann, née Taylor. John studied medicine at Edinburgh (M.R.C.S., 1851), became a licentiate of the Apothecaries’ Company, London, and received his M.D. from St Andrews University in that year. In later poems he recalls Hawthornden with affection and mentions visits to the Grampians. His acquaintance with these districts probably dates from his student days in Scotland, where he may also have met the artist brothers, David and William Bell Scott [William Bell Scott].

Brereton practised medicine in the north of England, probably near Doncaster. As a poor-law surgeon he saw epidemic outbreaks of both typhus and diphtheria. While still in England he was converted to the principles of homeopathic medicine and became an early disciple of David Urquhart, the diplomat who introduced the Turkish bath into Britain. Brereton first saw it in practical operation at Dr Richard Barter’s hydrotherapy centre in County Cork.

At 29 in Brixton Brereton married Mary Tongue. About this time he must have met Thomas Mort, who later claimed to be responsible for bringing Brereton to New South Wales. The Breretons arrived in Sydney in 1859; they rented Andrew Garran’s house at 213 Macquarie Street and later moved to Richmond Terrace. Soon after his arrival Brereton set up in medical practice and in Spring Street established Sydney’s first Turkish bath. It was so successful that larger and improved quarters were opened in Bligh Street on 14 March 1861.

He was involved in the life of the colony in a variety of ways. In the 1860s he delivered a number of public lectures on such topics as the Turkish bath, cremation and rational clothing. He was made a justice of the peace and appointed medical visitor to the lunatic asylum at Tarban Creek (Gladesville) but was dismissed from this position after some controversy in 1865. In 1881 he gave evidence before a committee of the Legislative Assembly, opposing the principle of compulsory vaccination.

Throughout his life in Sydney he was on terms of close friendship with many of the leading members of the literary community, numbering among his acquaintances the poet, Henry Kendall. In 1860 Brereton bought the farm cottage, Osgathorpe, in Gladesville, a building supposed to have been Ludwig Leichhardt’s last lodging place before his fatal expedition in 1848. Brereton made many alterations and additions to Osgathorpe, and in 1882, having achieved sufficient prosperity to retire, moved there permanently. He died aged 59 on 28 October 1886 from Bright’s disease, and was buried in St Anne’s cemetery, Ryde.

He was survived by his wife, five sons and two daughters; five children had died in infancy. The most notable of his children was John who became Challis professor of English in the University of Sydney. Although a Quaker in early life, Brereton was converted to the doctrines of Swedenborg and in Sydney became a leader of the New Jerusalem Church. In 1874 his wife translated into English a catechism written in French by Bishop Francois Bugnion for use in his ‘Brotherhood’ colonies, and Brereton authorized its printing by the New Church Publishing Society. Most of his own writings are connected with his religious beliefs. His first volume of verse, The Travels of Prince Legion, and Other Poems, was published in 1857 before he left England. In Sydney he produced further books of poetry, Poems (1865), The Goal of Time (1883), and Beyond: And Other Poems (1887). His principal prose works are One Teacher: One Law (1883) and Genesis and the Beatitudes (1887). The works, both prose and verse, tend to be heavily didactic and retain their interest less as imaginative literature than as minor documents in the intellectual and literary history of the nineteenth century...’

One thought on “John Le Gay Brereton 1827 – 1886”

  1. A medicina homeopática sobrevive há 200 anos e desponta como a medicina do século XXI, pois Hahnemann estava muito avançado para seu tempo e já possuía uma mente quântica.

    Homeopathic medicine has survived for 200 years and is emerging as the XXI century medicine because Hahnemann was very advanced for its time and already had a quantum mind.

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