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Bach, Edward (1886–1936), homoeopathic physician, was born at The Hollies, Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham, on 24 September 1886, the son of Walter Best Bach, a brass-founder, and his wife, Ada Brenda Tipper. He was educated at Winterloe School, Moseley, Birmingham, but left aged sixteen and worked in the foundry for three years in order to collect the money to pay for his medical education. However, when his father realized that his ambition was serious, he agreed to give him a sufficient allowance for him to enter ...

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Barter, Richard (1802–1870), physician and hydropath, was born at Cooldaniel, co. Cork, Ireland. The death of his father and the formative experience of the local Whiteboy insurrection, during which he 'often joined the peasantry in their midnight scampers through the country' (Recollections of the Late Dr. Barter...

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Blackie, Margery Grace (1898–1981), homoeopathic physician, was born on 4 February 1898 at Redbourn, Hertfordshire. She was the youngest of ten children of Robert Blackie (c.1852–1936), a man of independent means, and his wife, Elizabeth (d. 1941), daughter of Rowland Rees...

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Margery Grace Blackie (1898–1981) by Mayotte Magnus, 1977 © Mayotte Magnus; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bodie, Walford [real name Samuel Murphy Bodie] (1869–1939), music-hall entertainer, was born on 11 June 1869 at 33 George Street, Aberdeen, the son of William Bodie, journeyman baker, and his wife, Margaret, née Murphy. Educated at Robert Gordon College, Aberdeen, he joined the ...

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Bostock, Bridget [called the Cheshire Doctoress] (b. c. 1678, d. after 1749), faith healer, details of whose parentage are unknown, lived in Coppenhall, Cheshire, throughout her life and was uneducated. 'Aged about 70 years' (GM, 18.414), Bostock came to national attention in August 1748 as the result of a report about her in a local newspaper. She had been healing locally for many years with the use of fasting spittle, a little liquor of 'a red complexion', touch, and prayer. In 1748 people of all social ranks began to visit her, and by September she was receiving crowds of 600–700 a day. She was said to cure blind, deaf, and lame people, and those with rheumatism, the king's evil (scrofula), hysteric fits, falling fits, shortness of breath, dropsy, palsy, leprosy, and cancers (though not syphilis). ...

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Braid, James (1795–1860), surgeon and hypnotist, son of James Braid and his wife, Anne Suttie, was born on 19 June 1795 at Ryelaw in a detached part of the parish of Portmoak, Kinross, Scotland. His father owned land in Ryelaw and in neighbouring ...

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James Braid (1795–1860) by unknown engraver, 1851 Wellcome Library, London

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Colquhoun, John Campbell (1785–1854), writer on animal magnetism, was the third of five sons (there were four daughters) of Sir James Colquhoun of Luss, second baronet (1741–1805), sheriff of Dumbarton and principal clerk of session, and his wife, Mary, daughter of James Falconer...

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Combe, Andrew (1797–1847), physician and phrenologist, the fifteenth child and seventh son of George Comb, a brewer, and his wife, Marion (née Newton), was born in Edinburgh on 27 October 1797. Among his siblings was George Combe, the leading British proponent of phrenology. Although the family home was cramped and in an insalubrious location, ...