Frederic Neild in 1870. Image courtesy John Neild.

Frederic Neild M.D. C.M. L.R.C.P. (27 August 1847 – 29 January 1926) was an orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become a Consulting Physician at the Tunbridge Wells Homeopathic Hospital. Frederic Neild was the founder of and Physician at the Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall Homeopathic Dispensary and Cottage Hospital.

Frederic Neild was one of many future homeopaths who, as students at Edinburgh, were taught by Joseph Lister, including Alfred Midgley Cash, Alfred Edward Hawkes, William Henderson, John Moorhead Byres Moir, William Cash Reed, Gilbert Dewitt Wilcox and many others.

Frederic Neild was born in Cheadle, Cheshire in August 1847, the seventh of eight children born to accountant Isaac Neild (1802 – 1862) and Hannah Thorp (1805 – 1891).

Frederic Neild studied medicine at University of Edinburgh where, in 1872, he graduated M.B and C.M. That year he also received his Licentiate from the Edinburgh Royal College of Physicians.

Also in August 1872, Frederic Neild married Edinburgh-born Annie Miller (1846 – 1900) in her home town. Together they had eight children: Edith Neild (1874 – 1927), Jane Miller Neild (1875 – 1962), Mabel Miller Neild (1877 – 1966), Annie Miller Neild (1879 – 1970), Frederic [Fritz] Miller Neild (1883 – 1965), Charles William Miller Neild (1885 – 1945), Hannah Mary Neild (1887 – 1956), and Theodora Katherine Neild (1889 – 1973).

In 1874 Frederic Neild received his M.D. from University of Edinburgh, and by early January 1874 the family had relocated to Plymouth, Devon, where their first child and future homeopathic physician, Edith, was born. All of their other children were born in Plymouth, until the arrival of Hannah and Theodora, both of whom were born in Tunbridge Wells.

Frederick Neild practiced homeopathically in Devon, where he founded the Homeopathic Dispensary (later, hospital) in Plymouth. Neild remained Honorary Physician of the Dispensary, while Dr. William Cash Reed, also from a Quaker background, became the institution’s long-serving Medical Officer.

In 1885 Neild became a member of the British Homeopathic Society.

Around 1886 Neild and his family left the west country and he took up practice in Tunbridge Wells. There he was instrumental in the foundation of the Tunbridge Wells Homeopathic Hospital that opened in 1890.

Neild’s wife, Annie, died in June, 1900, at their home, Belvedere House, Tunbridge Wells, aged 53. Frederick Neild and his wife were Quakers.

In July, 1910, the British Homoeopathic Congress was held in Tunbridge Wells, with Frederic Neild as President and his second daughter, Jane Miller Neild, hosting.

During WWI, Neild was actively involved in raising support for the Hôpital Militaire Auxiliaire, No. 307, the Anglo French American homeopathic Hospital at Neuilly sur Seine. Frederic Neild “presided and commended the Neuilly plan to the sympathies and support of the friends of Homeopathy in Tunbridge Wells.”

Frederick Neild wrote an article Observations on Diphtheria for the British Homeopathic Journal in 1887, and he contributed cases and articles to various homeopathic publications.

Frederic Neild died on 29 January, 1926, at his home in the village of Hartfield, Tunbridge Wells, aged 78. He was buried alongside his wife Annie and, later, with daughters Edith and Jane, at the Kent and Sussex Cemetery and Crematorium.

Of interest:

Edith Neild MB (London), LRCP, LRCS (Edinburgh), LFPS (Glasgow) (1874 – 1927), daughter of Frederick Neild, was an Honorary Physician at the Tunbridge Wells Homeopathic Hospital, and a third assistant officer resident at the London Homeopathic Hospital, and Edith Neild was the first female member of the British Homeopathic Society, elected in 1898. [See Sandra L. Chaff, Women in Medicine: A Bibliography of the Literature on Women Physicians, Volume 1, (Scarecrow Press, 1977)]

Frederic [Fritz] Miller Neild M.B. (1883 – 1965), son of Frederic Neild, also became a physician.

Frederic Neild was a distant relative of James Neild (1744 – 1814), Quaker jeweller and prison reformer.