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LifeofDr.Clarke
HomeopathicJournal::Volume:5,Issue:1,Nov2011(CentreStage)fromHomeorizon.com

Author:SueYoung, MCPH,PGHomeopathy,MemberoftheSocietyofHomeopaths

ArticleUpdated:Dec01,2011

John Henry Clarke 18531931 was a British orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become a consultant at the
LondonHomeopathicHospitalandtheeditorofTheHomeopathicWorldfortwentynineyears.

JohnHenryClarkewasalsothepublisherofTheBritishGuardian.

John Henry Clarke was a student of Edward William Berridge, and he taught many lay homeopaths, including J Ellis Barker,
Ephraim Connor, Edward W Cotter, John DaMonte, Thomas Maughan, Noel Puddephatt, Phyllis M Speight, Edwin D W Tomkins,
Canon Roland Upcher, Frank Parker Wood, and he was a colleague ofEdward Bach, Marjorie Blackie, James Compton Burnett,
RobertThomasCooper,JamesDouglasKenyon,PercivalGeorgeQuinton,ThomasSkinner,JohnWeir,CharlesEdwinWheeler,and
manyothers.

In1905,JohnHenryClarkeheavilycriticisedthemedicalhomeopathsforthelackofadequatetraininginhomeopathyandhebegantotrainlay
practitioners,andtoraisefundsforaProfessorshipinHomeopathicTherapeuticsinmemoryofJamesComptonBurnett.TheBritishHomeopathic
Associationsetoutto meet the challenge of John Henry Clarke's criticisms. John Henry Clarke dedicatedhisbookHomeopathyExplained to the
BritishHomeopathicAssociation,

As a teacher at the London Homeopathic Hospital, Clarke taught Marjorie Blackie. Hemet regularly with James Compton Burnett and Robert
ThomasCooper.ClarkehimselfwastrainedbyEdwardWilliamBerridge.

JohnHenryClarkewasapermanentsecretaryoftheLigaMedicorumHomeopathicaInternationalis.

At the turn of the century there were four distinct though entangled threads emerging in UK homeopathy. They were the Cooper Club, the
increaseduseofnosodes,theinfluenceofJamesTylerKentandthegeneraldeclineofmedicallyqualifiedpractice,whichcoincidedwiththerise
ofthelaypractitioner...ThesecondmainphaseofBritishhomeopathywasundoubtedlythemainfiguresoftheCooperClub...fourdistinguished
homeopathicdoctorsusedtomeetregularlyandweretohaveamajorinfluenceonitsfuture.

These were Thomas Skinner, Robert Thomas Cooper, James Compton Burnett and John Henry Clarke... They met and dined weekly and shared
their notes and experiences over a period roughly from 1880 to 1900... This group also continued to meet after the deaths of Robert Thomas
CooperandJamesComptonBurnett.

And,afterthedeathofThomasSkinnerin1906,JohnHenryClarkecontinuedthetraditionbymaintainingvigorouslinkswithothermajorBritish
homeopathsandbyhavingregularmeetingsforthediscussionofnewideasandofcases.

These meetings continuing after 1906 were with a select band of people who were in effect tutored by John Henry Clarke in all aspects of
homeopathy. This also took place outside the British Homeopathic Society, with which John Henry Clarke more or less severed all contact after
1908.Italsoincludedseveralpeoplewhoweremedicallyunqualifiedamateurpractitioners.

This group included Noel Puddephatt, Canon Roland Upcher and J Ellis Barker, who, as proteges of John Henry Clarke, soon became important
torchbearersforthemovementwellintothetwentiethcentury...IhavenotyetseenanymaterialevidencethattheothermembersoftheCooper
Clubtaughtnondoctors,buttheymaywellhavedonesoinsecret.

It would not be surprising considering that John Henry Clarke despised the rest of his profession as traitors of homeopathy in general and of
Britishworkingpeopleinparticular.

John Weir and Charles Edwin Wheeler were also members. One suspects thatEdward Bach, James Douglas Kenyon, Percival George Quinton and
severalotherswerealsomembers,andtaughtlaypersons,thoughthereisnodirectevidenceandanairofsecrecyshroudsthegroup.TheClub
continuedtomeetintothe1930sunderJohnHenryClarkeandCharlesEdwinWheeler...

Severalkeyfeaturesofthesedoctorsneedemphasising.Theywerefiercelyopposedtoorthodoxmedicalpracticeandmadeapointofcastigating
that system at every opportunity. Not only did they castigate it, but for the usual reasons of using suppressive, dangerous drugs which did not
treatthewholepersonandwhichwereunsafeandproductiveofonlyillusorychangeinshiftingsymptompatternsratherthantruecure.Theseare
thesamereasonsthatallhomeopathshaveusedtocriticiseallopathy,evenfromSamuelHahnemann'sday.

TheseblisteringattacksuponorthodoxyweremainlydeliveredbyJamesComptonBurnettandJohnHenryClarkeandusuallypouredforthfrom
thepagesofTheHomeopathicWorld , which they edited between them at various times between 1870 and 1931. It is as if they took their cue
fromSamuelHahnemannhimselfandsofeltdutyboundto'showtheirmettle'bycontinuingasabrerattlingtraditionofsuchattacks.Asitwas,
thetwo'camps'becameutterlybattlehardenedandstaunchlyopposed,astheyhaveremainedthroughoutmostofthiscentury.

JohnHenryClarkewasabusypractitioner.AsaphysicianhenotonlyhadhisownclinicinPiccadilly,London,buthealsowasaconsultantatthe
LondonHomeopathicHospitalandresearchedintonewremediesnosodes.

FromHowIbecameahomeopath,JohnHenryClarkewrote:

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"Perhaps it may not be uninteresting to reader if I state at the outset of how my own conversion to homeopathy
cameabout.Asisusuallythecase,IknewnothingwhatsoeverabouthomeopathywhenItookadegreeinsurgery,
sinceitisrarelymentionedbyprofessorsintheordinarymedicalschool,andthenonlytobemisrepresented.

After my graduation as a western medical doctor at Edinburgh Medical School, by the advise of the late Angus
Macdonald(oneofthebestfriendsIeverhad),ItookavoyagetoNewZealandinchargeofemigrants.

On my return, having fixed on Liverpool as a likely field in which to start practice, I asked Angus Macdonald to
introducemetosomeofleadingdoctorsinthatcity.Thishepromisedtodo,andeventuallyhedidIhavetheletter
tothisday.

They were never presented, for the reasons which will be appreciated. The relatives with whom I was staying
happens to be a homeopath, and they suggested that I might do worse then to go to Homeopathic Dispensary at
HardmanStreet,Liverpoolandseewhatwasbeingdonethere.

Asthelettercamenot,bywayofutilizingmytimeIwent.LikeCaesar,Inotonly'went',butI'saw',"butherethe
parallelendedIdidnotconquerinsteadhomeopathyconqueredme!

I may say that at this period, having absorbed over 80% (if marks go for anything) of the drug lore Sir Robert
Christianhadtoimpart,andhavinghadsufficientopportunityfortestingitsvalueinpractice,Ihadcomeprettynear
theconclusionofOliverWendellHolmessaying,"Ifalldrugswerecastintothesea,itwouldbesomuchbetterfor
manandsomuchtheworstforthefish."

Ibelievedthen(andbeliefhasbecomeratherfashionablesince)thatthechieffunctionofamedicalmanwastofind
outwhatwasthematterwithpeopleifhecouldandsupplythemwithcommonsenseifhehappenedtoposses
any.Withdutytotreatpeopletocurethemwasoutofquestionanditwouldbethebetterforhonestyifhemade
nopretensetoit.

AfterfewweeksofobservationattheLiverpoolHomeopathicDispensary,acasewaspresentedtomeinprivate.A
small boy of five, a relative of my own, was brought to me by his mother. Two years before, he had been badly
scratchedontheforeheadbyacat,andwhenthescratcheshealed,acropsofwartsappearedonthesiteofthem,
andtheretheyremaineduptothattimeinspiteofdifferenttreatmentbyallopathicdoctor.

AsanallopathIcoulddonomorethanhe,soIturnedtohomeopathytoseeifthatcouldhelpme.Iconsultedthe
authorities,andfoundthattheprincipaldrugwhichiscreditedtoproducingcropsofwartsisThujaOccidentalis.

Iorderedthis,morebywayofexperimentthanexpectingmuchresultbutIsaid,iftherewastruthinhomeopathy,
it ought to cure. In a few days improvement was manifest in three weeks the warts were al gone. Rightly or
wronglyIattributed,andstillattributetheresulttoThuja,throughitwillnodoubtbesaidthatcharmshavedonethe
sameway.

Verywell,I'dsayonewillgivemeasystemofcharmsthatIcanusewithprecisionandproducewithsuchdefinite
effects, I shall be very glad to try it. As it was, I concluded that if homeopathy could give me results like that,
homeopathywasthesystemforme.

Yoursfaithfully

DrJ.H.Clarke,Liverpool,England.

JohnHenryClarke...establishedhimselfasaverysuccessfulandhighlyinfluentialLondonhomeopathinthe1870s.Buthe'fellout'withfigures
likeRichardHughesandRobertEllisDudgeon,whocontrolledthemovement,tosuchanextentthatallofficesbecameclosedtohim,exceptthe
editorshipofTheHomeopathicWorld,whichheretainedtotheend.

HelefttheBritishHomeopathicSocietyindisgust,c1900,neverto'returntothefold.'Hethusbecameapowerful'loosecannon'andeffectively
dividedthemovement.

Thiswassofortwomainreasons:

Firstly, he was wholly disenchanted with the direction English homeopathy had taken. He disliked the way it eventually failed to continue
challengingallopathyorwinningmanynewconvertstoitsdwindlingranksespeciallyafter1900.

Anditseemedtolackthewillforagoodfight.Itsimply'gaveup'inhisviewandcametooccupyanalltoocosynichewithinVictoriansociety,
convenientlydevotingitselftoservingsolelytherichupperclasses.

Thesecondpointisconnectedtothefirst:hestartedtoteachlaypersonsallabouthomeopathy[e.g.CanonRolandUpcher,NoelPuddephattandJ
EllisBarker],towardswhommanyofhisbooksweredirected,andhebecameincreasinglyconvincedthatitsfuturelaywiththemratherthanwith
serviledoctorswhohad'soldout'toallopathy.

Thisveryradicalviewpointturnedouttobeanastonishinglyaccuratepremonition,really,assubsequenthistoryhasshown.

Single handedly, by the 1920s, John Henry Clarke had created a completely divided movement, composed of doctors on the one hand, and lay
practitionersontheother.Anditwas mainly the latter who carried British homeopathy forward throughout the dismal1930s,40sand50s,their
lightneverdimming.

Yet the two strands had little contact with, and only contempt for, each other. Even in the 1960s, homeopathy was still very much a ridiculed
medicalminorityanddeepinthedoldrums.

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Not until the late 70s did it start taking off again, and that was mainly due to the lay revival, not to any action on the part of the doctor
homeopathswho,infact,neverliftedafingertopromotehomeopathy.

Andwhyshouldthey?FromtheirlucrativeLondonpracticesinHarleyStreetandWimpoleStreet?

It is quite true that Clarke was a typical early century right wing fascist and an anti Semite, which does not endear him to anyone today. How
weird,therefore,thatheformedsuchafruitfulallegiancewithJEllisBarker,whowasa(radicalMarxist)leftwinger?

J Ellis Barker was handed the editorship of TheHomeopathicWorld in the spring of 1932, just after John Henry Clarke died, and this brilliantly
stage managed act caused great ripples of embarrassment to flow through UK homeopathy a pervasive horror, really, that this prestigious
positionhadn'tbeenpassed,asexpected,toanotherdoctor,buttoalaypractitionerandaGermanimmigranttoboot!

HowsweetJohnHenryClarke's revenge must have been, even from the grave! He must have lain smiling in his coffin. With some justification,
JohnHenryClarkeregardedhisfellowdoctorhomeopathsasthevilestoftraitorstohomeopathy,whohadsucceededonlyinturningthemselves
intotheeasilymanipulatedandservilepuppetsoftheirricharistocraticclientele.

Heregardedthemwithenormouscontempt.

Thus we can justly regard John Henry Clarke as the single most important English homeopath of this century and truly the darling of the
movement.Intermsofboldandexperimentalideasandmethodsforhiswritingsforhisfierceindependencehisgreatenergy,whichhepoured
intohomeopathywithabandonasapoliticalforcewithinthemovementandfinallyforhisdeepradicalismregardinglaypractice,hetowerslike
acolossusoveralltherest.

FromhimflowsnearlyeverytraditionorstrandwithinthefabricofmodernBritishhomeopathy,otherthanKentianism.

Yetitissurelyaveryrichirony,thatarightwingfascistshouldcometobetheonewhoturnedhisbackonthestuffyhomeopathicestablishment,
accusingthemofhumbugintheirfailuretogivehomeopathytothemasses!

Ironicalsothatittook his alliance with the Marxist, J Ellis Barker, to establish a new lineage of British homeopathy, wholly devoid of any roots
withintheclasssystem,andthustotrulytransformitintoa'toolofliberation'IvanIllichstyle....

Whatever else we might think of him as a human being, if it weren't for the wayward John Henry Clarke, and the laypersons he taught, there
would be precious little homeopathy practiced in the UK today it would still be the exclusive and minority preserve of the stuffy old rich and
titled.

ItwasJohnHenryClarkewhobrokethemoldanditwashislaypractitionerswhohavereviveditsfortunesinrecentyears.

HaroldFergieWoodswroteJohnHenryClarke'sobituaryinTheHomeopathicWorld,January1932:

Anyone who had met Clarke but a few times, even only once, must have been impressed with the feeling of an exceptional human being, a
forcefulpersonality,amanapart.

Hewasliterallyamanapart,ashetookhisworkandhismissionsoseriouslythathegavehimselfverylittletimetomixwithothers.Perhaps,
also,therewereveryfewwithwhomhefeltinharmony.

He was a prodigious worker, as his published works testify, to say nothing of the hosts of private patients from all parts of the world. He was
editorofTheHomeopathicWorldforaltogethertwentynineyears.

Hewasindeedanoutstandingcharacter,andifonecancomparehimwithanother,itiswithhimwhowasprobablythegreatesthomeopaththat
theUnitedStateshasproducedJamesTylerKent.

They had the same forcible way of expressing themselves combined with an inherent retiring nature, the same intolerance of anything second
rate,especiallyasrelatingtotheirbelovedsystemoftherapeutics,thesamescornandcontemptfortimeservers.

And each gave to the world of Homeopathy the greatest and most valuable book that their respective countries have produced, indeed, in our
opinion, the two most indispensable works written since the days of Samuel Hahnemann the Dictionary of Materia Medica and the
RepertoryofMateriaMedica.

JohnHenryClarkewrote

ThePrescriber:HowtoPracticeHomeopathy,
ThePrescriber:ADictionaryoftheNewTherapeutics,
ADictionaryofPracticalMateriaMedica
AClinicalRepertorytotheDictionaryofMateriaMedica,
PrescribertoAllen'sKeynotes,
ConstitutionalMedicine,
VitalEconomy:Or,HowtoConserveYourStrength,
TheEnthusiasmofHomoeopathy,
Indigestion:ItsCausesandCure,
LifeandWorkofJamesComptonBurnett,
TheRevolutioninMedicine:BeingtheSeventhHahnemannianOrationDelivered...,WhatDoYouKnowaboutHomoeopathy?,
Abird'seyeviewofHahnemann'sOrganonofmedicine,
NonsurgicalTreatmentofDiseasesoftheGlandsandBones,
RadiumasanInternalRemedy,
HaemorrhoidsandHabitualConstipation,
Cholera,Diarrha,andDysentery:HomopathicPreventionandCure,
Appendicitisfromahomeopathicphysician'spointofview,
Iodideofarsenicinorganicdiseaseoftheheart,
TheCureofTumoursbyMedicines:WithEspecialReferencetotheCancerNosodes,
WhoopingcoughCuredwithPertussin,ItsHomoeopathicNosode,

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WhoopingcoughCuredwithCoqueluchin,ItsHomoeopathicNosode,
DiseasesoftheHeartandArteries,
HeartRepertory,
Catarrh,ColdsandGrippe,
Coldcatching:Coldpreventing,Coldcuring,withaSectiononInfluenza,Rheumatism&Sciatica,
Therapeuticsoftheserpentpoisons,
ADictionaryofDomesticMedicine,
M.PasteuratBay:FailureoftheExperiment,
M.PasteurandHydrophobia,Dr.Lautaud'sNewWork,
ThePasteurCraze,
HomeopathyExplained,InternalOrHomeopathicVaccination,
ExperimentalPathologyExplainedandExemplified,
GunpowderasaWarRemedy,
"PhysiologicalCruelty".:AReplyto"Philantropos",
OurMeanestCrime(vivisection),
Monkeys'BrainsOnceMore:SchaeferV.Ferrier(vivisection),
WhytheVivisectionActisObjectedto,
OdiumMedicumandHomopathy:'TheTimes'Correspondence,
HahnemannandParacelsus,
FromCopernicustoWilliamBlake,
TheGodofShelleyandBlake,
WilliamBlake(17571827)ontheLord'sPrayer,
TheCalloftheSword,
WhatisMan?,
EnglandUndertheHeeloftheJew,aTaleofTwoBooks,
WhiteLabourVersusRed,
WhiteLabour:Or,theJewandInternationalPolitics.

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Thearticledisplayedhereistheprintedversionoftheoriginalworkfoundonlineatwww.homeorizon.com.WhenyouwanttoknowanythingonHomeopathyvisitHomeorizon=Homeopathic
Horizon,visitwww.homeorizon.com.

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