Alfred Midgely Cash
Image Source: Wellcome Collection

Alfred Midgley Cash M.D. M.B. C.M. M.R.C.S. F.B.H.S. (1850 – 14 March 1936) was an English orthodox physician and member of the Royal College of Surgeons who converted to homeopathy. Cash had served as Resident Physician and Surgeon at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. He was a member and Fellow of the British Homeopathic Society, and a physician at the Torquay Homeopathic Dispensary.

A. M. Cash was an external member of the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh. He was also Medical Consultant to the Scottish Accident and Insurance Company and the City Life Assurance Company.

In 1871, Alfred Midgley Cash, alongside Sophia Jex Blake, received a Certificate of Merit from the University of Edinburgh.

Alfred Midgley Cash trained at Edinburgh, where he was a student of Joseph Lister and was one of Lister‘s surgical dressers, alongside homeopaths Alfred Edward Hawkes, William Henderson, John Moorhead Byres Moir, Frederick Neild, William Cash Reed and many others.

Alfred Midgley Cash was the homeopath of Charles Thomas Pearce and Enriqueta Augustina Rylands, and he was one of three homeopaths, alongside Thomas Hahnemann Hayle and John James Drysdale, who attended Liberal statesman John Bright during a protracted illness.

Alfred Midgley Cash was born in Birstwith Tormoham, Yorkshire, the son of Quakers John Walker Cash and Martha Cash. He was educated at the Friend’s School in Bootham, York, and University College, London, where he studied English Literature in 1869.

Cash switched to medicine at the University of Edinburgh and in August 1873 qualified M.B. and C.M. That year he became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.

In August 1876, A. M. Cash was awarded his M.D. with commendation from the University of Edinburgh. He subsequently conducted postgraduate medical studies in Berlin and Vienna.

On his return to England, Cash joined Dr. James Smith Ayerst, former homeopath of Charles Darwin, in his practice in Torquay.

In July 1878, Alfred Midgley Cash married fellow Quaker Ellen Gray (1859 – 1922) at the Glasgow Friends’ Meeting House. They had four daughters, Edith Lilias, Florence, Mabel, and Violet Mary.

By 1879 Cash had established residence at Penton Villa, Tor Church Road in Torquay. A decade later he had relocated to “Limefield” in Torquay and succeeded Ayerst there as Medical Officer for the Torquay Homeopathic Dispensary, first established in 1848.

In 1883, Cash took over the thriving Torquay practice of homeopathic veteran Charles Hills Mackintosh and attended on Mackintosh during his final illness in March 1893, alongside Plymouth homeopath Dr. William Cash Reed and Dr. Samuel Henry Woodgates of Exeter.

Cash became a Fellow of the British Homeopathic Society, and was an active participant in homeopathic meetings. He also contributed papers to a number of homeopathic publications including “The Homeopathic Treatment of Some Diseases Common in Old Age,” The Electro-Cautery in Chronic Throat Diseases,” and “Some Types of Neuralgia and their Treatment.”

In addition to his medical duties, Cash was a member of the Devonshire Association and, from 1875, the Torquay Natural History Society.

In 1924, Cash had remarried to Mary Waterfall (1852 – 1946), in Newton Abbott, Devon.

By the mid-1920s Cash was living at “Brookfield” in Bovey Tracey, Devon. He remained a lifelong Quaker, and in February 1936 The Friend published a photograph Cash had submitted of Spiceland Meeting House, near Uffculme, Devon.

Alfred Midgely Cash died there, on 14th March 1936, aged eighty-five years.

Select Publications:

A Clinical Study and Analysis of a Few Cases of Carcinoma (1876)