James Dore Blake M.D. M.R.C.S. (18 May 1805 – 13 October 1874) MD MRCS became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1847, having attended the School of Medicine in Charlotte Street, Bloomsbury, Surgeon to The Taunton Convent, The West of England Proprietary School, the Accidental Death Insurance Company and the Provincial Life Assurance Company, was an orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy. He graduated from the Hahnemann College in Philadelphia in 1853, and he was also a member of The Hahnemann Medical Society, and a member of the Association for the Protection of Homeopathic Students and Practitioners, alongside George Edward Allshorn, George Atkin, Francis Black, John Chapman, Paul Francois Curie, John James Drysdale, Robert Ellis Dudgeon, George Fearon, Edward Hamilton, William Hering, C. B. Kerr, William Kingdon, Joseph Laurie, Thomas Robinson Leadam, John Ozanne, John Rutherford Russell, David Wilson and many others.

James Dore Blake was born in Salisbury and educated in Lymington, Hampshire and Wellow, Isle of Wight. After a career in commerce Blake resolved to become a physician. While in Bristol in 1841 met retired naval surgeon William Henry Trotman who had studied under Samuel Hahnemann in Paris. Trotman introduced Blake to homeopathy and encouraged him to take up a medical vocation.

Blake studied at University College, Middlesex Hospital, and George Derby Dermott’s School of Medicine in Charlotte Street, London. He received his diploma in May 1846 and commenced practice in Taunton.

However, he was immediately censured because he was a homeopath, although the charges against him were ‘jumped up’, as the declarations of his examination medical competence bear witness. He wrote about this experience in Homeopathy at Taunton: The Case of Mr. James Dore Blake and the Royal College of Surgeons in 1848.

The persecution of James Dore Blake by orthodox medical men continued. Nevertheless, his reputation and practice only grew. Word of his ordeal even crossed the Atlantic and in 1853 Blake was awarded an honorary M.D. by the faculty of the Homoeopathic Medical College of Philadelphia. Even this qualification, however, did not prevent Blake again facing the threat of proceedings in 1871 for signing a certification of admission to a lunatic asylum in breach of the Lunacy Acts, his M.D. not being recognized by the General Medical Council.

James Dore Blake practiced in Taunton, Somerset, as Surgeon to the Taunton Convent and the West of England Dissenters Proprietary School, and as physician at the Taunton Homoeopathic Dispensary.

He made many medical converts to homeopathy during his career.

In June 1830, James Dore Blake married Elizabeth Nicholson Gibbs (1803 – 1876). They had ten children: Phillip James Blake born 1831, James  Gibbs Joseph Nicholson Blake (1833 – 1900), Libra Augusta (1834 – 1909), Joseph born 1836 (died), Joseph Nicholson Blake (1836 – 1899), Elizabeth Ann (1844 – 1934), Edward Thomas born 1843, Mary Ann Marion born 1845, Sarah Margaret born 1847, and Samuel Hahnemann (1850 – 1925)

James Dore Blake’s Obituary is in The British Journal of Homeopathy 1875.


Select Publications:

James Dore Blake wrote Homeopathy at Taunton. The Case of Mr. James Dore Blake and the Royal College of Surgeons (1848)


Of interest:

His son James Gibbs Blake M.D. (1833 – 1900) was an homeopathic physician at the Birmingham and Midland Homeopathic Hospital. He was an attendee and one of the three secretaries at the 2nd International Homeopathic Congress, held in London on 11th-18th July 1881.

Joseph Nicholson Blake M.R.C.S. (1836 – 1899) was Physician at the Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall Homeopathic Dispensary (later the Plymouth Homeopathic Dispensary and Cottage Hospital). He later moved to Yorkshire and is listed in the 1890 Medical Register as Honorary Consulting Surgeon at Totley Orphanage.

Edward Thomas Blake M.D. (1842 – 1905) was the 4th son of James Dore Blake and was also a homeopath. He began his career as medical officer at the Wolverhampton and Stafford Homeopathic Dispensary before eventually moving to London where he established himself as a gynecological specialist.

Samuel Hahnemann Blake (1850 – 1925) also became an homeopathic surgeon, living and practicing in Bolton, Lancashire. He promised to contribute to the British Homoeopathic Journal in 1911.

F. Blake (no apparent relation) was a Steward at the Annual Festival in aid of the funds of the Charity, and in commemoration of the opening of the London Homeopathic Hospital on Thursday, the 10th of April 1851.