hydrastisJohn Pattison MD FRMSL (21 April 1818 – January 1876) was a British orthodox physician and cancer specialist, affiliated with New York University, who converted to homeopathy,

John Pattison had over thirteen years and 4000 cases of cancer to report on when he began to publish his research in 1866.

John Pattison claimed to haveĀ been the first person who used hydrastis in the treatment of cancer as early as 1852. Both he and William Bayes had been working with this new remedy, and he was happy to instruct homeopaths as to the use of his ‘paste’ consistin of hydrastis mixed with chloride of lime). However, an undignified spat did break out in the homeopathic community in 1866 over this issue, when his students Robert MacLimont and Charles Henry Marston (erroneously named as Marsden in several accounts) wrote an article which did not acknowledge John Pattison’s work in this area sufficiently. A follow up article in the homeopathic press apologised for this oversight.

Pattison was born in Glasgow in April 1818 to merchant Matthew Moncreiff Pattison (1789 – 1857) and his wife Rebecca Monteith (1796 – 1829).

Pattison obtained his M.D. from New York University in 1843.

He was a fellow of the London Microscopical Society.

In October 1844 Pattison married New Yorker Maria Colden Hoffman (1813 – 1887). They had two children, Matthew Moncrieff Pattison M.D. (1846 – 1884) and Edward Seton Pattison LRCP [Edin.] (1856 – 1924).

John Pattison was a colleague of William Bayes, William H Burt, D A Colton, A M Cushing, Carroll Dunham, J Weldon Fell, E J Fraser, Edwin Moses Hale, Bernhard Hirschel, William Henry Holcombe, Joseph Hooper, Temple S Hoyne, Henry R Madden, C. H. Marson, John Meyhoffer, George Lennox Moore, William Morgan, Edward Harris Ruddock, Edward Barton Shuldham, James John Garth Wilkinson, and many others.

John Pattison practiced at 10 Cavendish Road, St. John’s Wood, and at 26 Welbeck Street, Cavendish Square

John Pattison practiced in London in the mid-1800’s. Early in his career, he used the bloodroot (Sanguinaria) paste that has been widely reported in medical literature since the first studies were conducted at Middlesex Hospital by J. Weldon Fell, a contemporary of John Pattison.

J. Weldon Fell’s work has been peer reviewed for almost 150 years. Frederic E. Mohs does not mention either J. Weldon Fell or John Pattison in his work, but Frederic E. Mohs microsurgery uses a similar paste (not identical) and a variation of the J. Weldon Fell method.

John Pattison first published a bloodroot (Sanguinaria) protocol and later (1866) one based on goldenseal (hydrastis).

John Pattison advocated the use of hamamelis in dysmenorroea, and Sanguinaria for the treatment of cancer and wrote widely on the subject. His 1866 book Cancer: It’s Nature and Successful and Comparatively Painless Treatment extolled the virtue of homeopathic remedies.

In June 1869 Pattison was struck off the register by the General Medical Council over a spurious breach of professional protocol. In July 1871 Pattison petitioned to be restored to the register but the GMC committee, all orthodox medical men, refused to reverse their decision.


Select Publications:


Of interest:

Matthew Moncrieff Pattison M.D. (1846 – 1884) was the son of John Pattison. He died in Brooklyn, New York, in April 1884.

John Pattison’s youngest son, Edward Seton Pattison MRCS LRCP (1856 – 1924) was also a physician who spent much of his career at Charing Cross Hospital, London.

John Pattison had a distinguished uncle, also a physician, Granville Sharp Pattison (1791 – 1851).

Mark Pattison, (no direct relation) was an English author and a Church of England priest. He served as rector of Lincoln College, Oxford.

W.P. Pattison, a wholesaler at St John’s Street Road EC, contributed to the Memorial Fund for Matthew James Chapman,