Temple Row, BirminghamJoseph Lawrence M.R.C.S. L.S.A. (January 1808 – 30 January 1900), was an orthodox surgeon who converted to homeopathy. He served as president of the Midland Homoeopathic Society and was a founder and consulting surgeon at the Birmingham (Midland) Homeopathic Hospital.


Joseph Lawrence was born at Whitfield Manor, Bromsgrove, in January 1808 to an old Worcestershire family. He studied in London and Paris before receiving his diplomas in 1832 and commenced practice as an orthodox surgeon in Bromsgrove.

By 1843 Lawrence was living in Birmingham and that year  he was introduced to homeopathy. He was invited to watch the administering of homeopathic treatment to his friend and neighbour William Parsons, who was suffering from quinsy. Both Lawrence and Parsons were impressed by the results and promptly began studying the homeopathic method themselves.

In conjunction with Parsons and Dr’s Gibbs Blake and George Fearon, Lawrence was one of the founders of the new Birmingham Homeopathic Dispensary in Old Square, Birmingham. When this expanded to become the Birmingham Midland Homeopathic Hospital and Dispensary and moved to Easy Row, Lawrence continued as consulting surgeon until his death.

In 1862 Lawrence married Emma Jane Knowles (previously Morton, 1833 – 1914), the widow of his colleague George Stevenson Knowles, who had died the previous year. They had two children, Emma Charlotte (1869 – 1957) and Joseph (1870 – 1930).

By 1871 Lawrence was listed in private practice at number 10 Colmore Row in Birmingham.

In 1873 Lawrence was elected President of the Midland Homoeopathic Society for its ninth session.

After fifty years of practice in and around Birmingham ill-health obliged Lawrence to retire to the village of Ombersley where he died on 30 January 1900.