Melbourne Homeopathic Hospital.
Image source: State Library Victoria

John Maffey L.R.C.P. L.R.C.S. (18 October 1845 – 22 August 1909) was an English homeopathic physician and surgeon who practiced in Wakefield, Bradford, Nottingham, and later New South Wales, Australia.

Maffey was a good friend of Edward Harris Ruddock. He was a colleague of Philip Douglas Smith (1871 – 1953) among others.

John Maffey was born in October 1845 in Clun, Shropshire, England, to Inland Revenue Supervisor Stephen Maffey (1817 – 1861) and Sarah Shepherd Clements (1813 – 1868).

In 1869, he received his Licences from the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh and Royal College of Surgeons (Guys), as well as his Licentiate in Midwifery.

By 1871, Maffey was practicing in Wakefield, Yorkshire. In August of that year he married Anne Harrison (1844 – 1926) in Ripon Cathedral. The had a son and two daughters.

In 1874, while still maintaining his practice at Normanton, Wakefield, Maffey was also practicing in Nottingham, where he had joined Dr. William Bradshaw at the Nottingham Homoeopathic Institution.

Maffey was one of the members who attended the British Homoeopathic Congress meeting in Manchester in September, 1875.

In 1879 – 1880, Maffey was listed as a physician and surgeon at 95, North Parade, Bradford, Yorkshire.

By 1883, Maffey had emigrated to Australia and settled in Melbourne. Maffey became senior surgeon at the Melbourne Homoeopathic Hospital.

John Maffey was a longtime Freemason. He had been initiated into the The Lodge of Sincerity in Wakefield, Yorkshire, as early as August 1870, aged 24. After moving to Australia he became a member of the Shakespere Lodge, Melbourne, in September, 1887, and in March 1897 was initiated into the Cambrian Lodge of Australia.

By 1905, Maffey had moved to Tasmania where he was one of the honorary medical officers, along with Dr. Philip Douglas Smith, at the Launceston Homoeopathic Hospital. However, towards the end of 1906 Maffey had tended his resignation due to his ill-health.

John Maffey contributed articles to homeopathic publications. Some of Maffey’s papers are archived at the State Library of NSW.

John Maffey died 22 August 1909 in Ryde, NSW, Australia from cerebral hemorrhage. He was buried at Gore Hill Cemetery, St. Leonards, NSW.

Maffey’s Obituary was in the February 1910 edition of Homeopathic World:

We regret to announce that we have just learnt of the death of John Maffey, L.R.C.S., L.R.C.P. Edin., on August 22nd, 1909, at the age of sixty-three. Dr. Maffey had been suffering for over three years, and finally died at Ryde near Sydney, N.S.W.,of cerebral ) hæmorrhage. Dr. Maffey had of late years rather dropped out of prominence through ill-health, but in earlier days at Bradford, Yorks, was a contributor to our homeopathic journals, and well known as an able physician. He was a great friend of the late Dr. Ruddock, and published an excellent little tract on scarlet fever, and its treatment and prophylaxis. It was published at Bradford in 1875 on the occasion of a severe epidemic. It was in this town that Dr. Maffey mainly worked, and there he notably advanced the cause of homeopathy.


Select Publications:

Scarlet Fever: Being an Attempt to Point out How the Ravages of This Very Fatal Disease May be Limited (1875)


Of Interest:

Reginald William Harrison Maffey M.D. (October 1874 – 9 August 1942), son of John Maffey, was also a physician. Born in Nottingham, England, he died in Singleton, New South Wales.