George James Hilbers M.D. M.R.C.S. L.S.A. (16 June 1818 – 30 October 1883) was an orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy and became a student of Paul Francois Curie and Friedrich Wilhelm Karl Fleischman.
George Hilbers was a member of the Northern Homeopathic Medical Association alongside George Edward Allshorn, Booth, Hugh Cameron, Samuel Cockburn, John James Drysdale, George Dunn, Grey, William Simpson Craig, Thomas Hahnemann Hayle, George Calvert Holland, Irvine, Joseph Laurie, Adam Lyschinski, MacDowall, George MacLeod, John Murray Moore, Charles Thomas Pearce, Phillips, Alfred Crosby Pope, Charles Ransford, John Rutherford Russell, William W Scholefield, William Sharp, John Stuart Sutherland, Walker, Wright, and many others.
George Hilbers practiced in Norwich, and at the Liverpool Homeopathic Dispensary with John James Drysdale. He was also a Consulting Physician at the Brighton Homeopathic Dispensary, and he also practiced privately at 8 Cavendish Place Brighton.
George James Hilbers was born in London, in 1818, the youngest son of H. G. Hilbers and Diana Whichcote. He chose medicine as a profession and became a medical student at Guys Hospital. He was admitted as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1841, and the following year received his Licentiate from the Society of Apothecaries.
Also in 1842 Hilbers married Louisa Susannah Matthews (c. 1818 – 1906). They had two sons and eight daughters.
In 1843 George James Hilbers set up in practice at Upton in Cheshire. There he made the acquaintance of Dr Matthew James Chapman, a Liverpool-based homeopath. Chapman successfully treated Hilbers’ wife of neuralgia using homeopathy and as a result Hilbers became convinced of the efficacy of homeopathy.
In 1845 Hilbers left his country practice and took his M.D. at the University of St Andrews. He immediately journeyed to Vienna to study homeopathy with Friedrich Wilhelm Karl Fleischman. While in Vienna he reported in the British Journal of Homeopathy on the position of homeopathy in Austria, recording the work of Dr Reiss at the Sisters of Charity Hospital in Linz.
In December, 1845, George James Hilbers wrote a letter to The Medical Times to inform the public that John Gideon Millingen 1782 – 1862, a British orthodox physician, Surgeon to the Forces and Physician at Hanwell Lunatic Asylum, a resolute opponent of homeoapthy was open minded enough to study and experiment with homeopathy. On discovering its efficacy, Millingen wrote favourably about homeopathy and, at the end of his life, he converted to homeopathy.
George Hilbers returned to England and settled in Norwich where he was the first homeopath to apply for an appointment at a public hospital, the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, in 1847. Although unsuccessful, he remained in the town for eighteen months, before leaving to succeed Dr Chapman in Liverpool.
Hilbers enjoyed a thriving and successful practice in Liverpool where he remained for several years, until ill-health necessitated moving once more, this time to Brighton. His Liverpool practice was taken over by Gloucestershire homeopath, Dr. Adrian Stokes.
During his final illness Hilbers was attended to by homeopaths Henry Belcher and James Bell Metcalfe. George Hilbers’ Obituary is in The Monthly Homeopathic Review and The Homoeopathic World in 1883, and in The Medical Counselor in 1884.
Hilbers’ friend and colleague, Robert Douglas Hale proposed establishing an homeopathic hospital in Brighton in Hilbers’ memory, a project that unfortunately never materialized. After his death, Hilbers’ family invited Hale to take over his friend’s extensive Brighton private practice which he did in 1883.
- Homoeopathy. A letter to the members of the Liverpool Medico-Ethical Society (1850)
- Plain Directions for the Homœopathic Treatment of Diarrhœa (1854)
- Homoeopathy: A Letter Addressed to a Friend (1876)
Herman Gerhard Hilbers B.A. L.R.C.P. L.R.C.S. L.F.P.S. L.M. (1855 – 1915), son of George James Hilbers, was an homoeopathic physician who followed his father by practicing homeopathically in Brighton where he was physician to the Sussex County Homoeopathic Dispensary, established in Brighton in 1884 in honour of his father. H. G. Hilbers, along with John Ockenden, attended Dr. James Bell Metcalfe during his final illness in 1890