Alderman Evan Fraser L.R.C.S. L.M. (1826 – 8 April 1906) was a Scottish-born orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become surgeon and later the Senior Medical Officer at the Hull Homeopathic Dispensary.

Fraser’s colleagues at the Hull Homeopathic Dispensary included George Atkin, James Pyburn, Charles Graves, and homeopathic pharmacist Joseph Dixon (c. 1821 – 1883).

Evan Fraser joined the Northern Homoeopathic Society when it was revived in 1862, and served as its President and, later, as General Secretary and Treasurer.

In addition to his homeopathic duties, Fraser served as Councillor, Alderman, and Sheriff in Hull. He was also the first President of the Association of Port Sanitary Authorities:

he was a GP practicing at 52 Spring Bank, Hull and Chairman of the Hull & Goole Port Sanitary Authority and a Hull Councillor from 1876. In the Hull Cholera epidemic in 1893 he was Chairman of the Cholera Sub-Committee which met daily, including Sundays. He was also the founder of the “Baker Street Saturday Evenings for the People” – a successful enterprise to counter the attraction of the gin palace and public house. He was also Chairman of “The Hull People’s Public House Company” which had several branches providing non-alcoholic drinks at cheap prices and serving early breakfasts for workmen. The Evan Fraser Hospital (smallpox isolation hospital) at Sutton upon Hull was opened in 1900 and so named in recognition of his unstinting and invaluable efforts to safeguard public health in the city.

Evan Fraser was born in Duddingston, Midlothian, in 1825 to James Fraser (b. 1791) and Elizabeth Erskine (1803 – 1875). He pursued medical studies in Edinburgh and obtained his Licence from the Royal College of Surgeons there in 1857.

In July 1858, Fraser married Sarah Hewat (c. 1829 – 1898). They had four children: James William (1859 – 1943), Anne (1863 – 1870), William Alexander (b. 1863), and Evan John Hewat Fraser (1871 – 30 June 1925).

Fraser settled in Kingston on Hull, where he practiced at 3 Brunswick Terrace and was appointed as surgeon to the Hull Homeopathic Dispensary at 30 Whitefriargate.

Evan Fraser was actively involved in the annual meetings of British homeopaths that recommenced in 1870 after a fourteen year hiatus. Fraser was one of the Secretaries, along with James Gibbs Blake, for the 1870 British Homoeopathic Congress held in Birmingham. In 1873 at Leamington, 1874 in London, and Manchester in 1875, he was Congress Treasurer, and was a member of the Congress Executive Committee, alongside Doctors Francis Black, Charles Phillips Collins, John James Drysdale, Gibbs Blake, William Sharp, and Edward Wynne Thomas.

Fraser contributed papers and articles to homeopathic publications.

Evan Fraser was a committed proponent of public health and was a member of a number of local, national and international health organizations, including the Sanitary Institute of Great Britain (renamed in 1904 the Royal Society for Public Health) and as a member of the British Congress on Tuberculosis for the Prevention of Consumption he was a delegate at the international meeting held in London in July 1901. He had also previously attended the Seventh International Congress of Hygiene and Demography held in London in August 1892, on behalf of the Hull Corporation.

In 1901-2, Fraser served as President of the Association of Port Sanitary Authorities that had been founded in 1898. He chaired the annual meeting of the Association that convened in Hull in November 1901.

A new smallpox hospital was opened in Sutton, just outside of Hull, in 1900. It was named the Evan Fraser Hospital in his honour.

Fraser continued to regularly attended the Homeopathic Dispensary clinic until the very end of his life, when he was joined by Charles Graves, who took over many of the duties as Medical Officer. Evan Fraser was finally forced to take to his bed and died at his home, Spring Bank, on 8 April, 1906, aged 79.

Of Interest:

James W. Fraser M.D. M.B. M.R.C.S. (1859 – 1943), eldest son of Evan Fraser, was a Scottish international rugby union player and medical doctor. He was the senior medical officer with the Hull Education Authority.

Evan John Hewat Fraser M.D. M.B. C.M. F. R.C.S. (1871 – 30 June 1925), youngest son of Evan Fraser, followed his father in becoming School Medical Officer for Hull.