Adrian Stokes M.D. (10 December 1815 – 1 January 1885) was a British orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become Secretary of the Liverpool Branch of the British Homeopathic Society, Physician at the North of England Southport Children’s Sanatorium, and Senior Physician at the Liverpool Homeopathic Dispensary.

Stokes was Vice President of the Hahnemann Publishing Society (established 1848) and contributed to the Cypher Repertory and the new Homoeopathic Materia Medica.

Stokes was also a founder member of the Liverpool Homoeopathic Medico-Chirurgical Society, where his colleagues included John James Drysdale, James P. Gelston, John William Hayward, John Murray Moore, Raphael Roche, Benjamin Simmons, and Thomas Henry Willans.

Stokes came under great criticism from the Gloucester Medical Association when he converted to homeopathy, and was obliged to resign from the society. Stokes was also the nephew of the late President of the Gloucester Medical Association.

Adrian Stokes practiced in Wickwar, Gloucestershire, 19 South Bedford Street, Liverpool, and at 61 Hoghton Street, Southport.

Adrian Stokes was born on December 10, 1815, at Wickwar, Gloucestershire, the son of local gentleman and surgeon Edward Stokes (1785 – 1828) and his wife Celia Alway (1788 – 1857), a schoolmistress.

After completing his schooling, Stokes was apprenticed to his general practitioner uncle, Thomas Stokes, who was in practice for more than half a century in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire. Following this, Adrian Stokes went up to the University of Edinburgh where he obtained his M.D. in 1844.

Stokes returned to his native parish where he set up in practice. The local rector was Thomas Roupell Everest, a lay homeopath who had returned from Paris, where he had been a patient of Samuel Hahnemann. Everest introduced Stokes to the practice of homeopathy and Stokes quickly adopted Hahnemann’s system.

Stokes’ conversion to homeopathy was not well received by his orthodox colleagues. Stokes was a member of the Gloucestershire Medical Association, and in 1851 his uncle Thomas Stokes was the retiring President. At the annual meeting of the Association an allopath, Dr Brookes, led a hostile effort to have Adrian Stokes expelled from that professional body owing to his embrace of homeopathy. Stokes had anticipated this attempt to humiliate and ostracize him and had already tended his resignation. The report of this meeting was printed with relish by The Lancet.

The following year, 1852, Dr George James Hilbers, then of Liverpool, invited Stokes to succeed him in his practice there. Stokes accepted and proceeded to work in private and dispensary practice in Liverpool until 1863.

In 1854, Stokes married Eliza Rippingille (born 1822), daughter of artist Alexander Rippingille (c. 1796 – 1858).

In 1857, Stokes, John James Drysdale, and Raphael Roche, inaugurated The Homeopathic Medico Chirurgical Society of Liverpool.

Adrian Stokes was also a colleague of George Atkin, Juan Norberto Casanova, Henry Cresswell, James P. Gelston, John William Hayward, John Murray Moore, John Rutherford Russell, Charles Fabre-Tonnerre, and William Wright. Stokes was the attending homeopathic physician to Tonnerre during his final illness in 1884.

Stokes believed that medicine must be placed on a much more scientific basis, and he was a prover of Naja Trupudiens and Hypericum.

Stokes submitted cases and articles to various homeopathic publications, and he contributed to The New Repertory.

In 1863, Stokes relocated to Southport, where he remained until 1877, when he was poisoned by sewer-gas and obliged to resign his practice. This was taken over by Dr. Henry Blumberg, the founder of the Southport Children’s Sanatorium.

Adrian Stokes was also a musician, and two of his original compositions were given favourable mention in the April 1874 edition of the Homoeopathic World.

Stokes and his wife relocated to Sidmouth where, in early 1884, he attended French homeopath Charles Fabre-Tonnerre in his final illness.

However, they were again exposed to bad drainage and subsequently moved to Exeter. Adrian Stokes died suddenly of heart disease at their home, 16 Howell Road, Exeter, on New Year’s Day 1885, aged 70.

Of Interest:

Adrian Stokes M.D. was the grandson of Thomas Stokes of Stanshawes & Hardwick (1725 – 1803) and his wife Anne Aldey (1737 – 1803). The Stokes’ were a notable gentry family in the Bristol area, and for four centuries owned Stanshawes Court.