Wright Nankivell M.D. M.R.C.S. (c.1843 – 6 April 1912) was a homeopathic physician who was Surgeon to St. James Homeopathic Hospital, Doncaster, Surgeon at the Liverpool Homeopathic Dispensary, Surgeon at the Birmingham Homeopathic Hospital, physician to the Bournemouth Hahnemann Convalescent Home and Homoeopathic Dispensary, and Consulting Physician to the Southampton Homoeopathic Dispensary.

Herbert Nankivell served as President of the British Homeopathic Society in 1903-4, and Vice-President in 1901 and 1902. He was a member of the Hahnemann Publishing Society, in which he served on the Repertory Committee. Nankivell was active in the homeopathic professional community and participated in the British Homeopathic Congress in 1879, the World’s Homeopathic Convention in 1880, and he was the President of the British Homeopathic Congress at Norwich in 1885. He was one of the honorary vice-presidents at the 8th Quinquennial International Homeopathic Congress, held in London on July 17th – 22nd 1911.

Herbert Wright Nankivell was born in St Columb, Cornwall, the son of homeopathic surgeon John Hicks Nankivell (1809 – 1888) and Elizabeth Amy Best (1816 – 1878).

Herbert Nankivell received his medical education at the University of Edinburgh, where he received his M.D. in 1864. The following year he was elected a member of the Royal College of Surgeons (England). He was a scholar and associate of Kings College.

Early in his career Herbert Nankivell practiced at Priory Place, Doncaster, but by 1870 was Medical Officer at the Bournemouth Homoeopathic Dispensary on Commercial Road and was residing at Penmellyn, Bournemouth.

Nankivell later became chairman of the committee and consulting physician for the Bournemouth Hahnemann Convalescent Home and Homoeopathic Dispensary on West Cliff. He was a colleague of William Vallancey Drury.

In 1867 Nankivell became a member of the Northern Homoeopathic Association, and in 1868 became a member of the British Homoeopathic Society. He later became a Fellow of the BHS.

In June 1867, Nankivell married Cornish-born Etheldreda Aitken (1843 – 1882). They had three children: Arthur Hay Aitken (1869 – 1939), Robert William Day (1872 – 1939) and Elizabeth Wilhelmina Nankivell (1879 – 1914).

Etheldreda died in March 1882 aged just 38. Mary, Lady Cairns, wife of Hugh McCalmont Cairns, 1st Earl Cairns, both patients of Nankivell’s, along with two other women associated with the Bournemouth Hahnemann Convalescent Home, endowed a bed in the home in her memory.

In 1886 Herbert Nankivell married Constance Alice Hull (1864 – 1940). They had three more children: Geoffrey Herbert (1891 – 1943), Evelyn Joyce (1892 – 1961), and Constance Audrey Nankivell (1895 – 1969).

Throughout his career Nankivell was a low-potency homeopath in the old school tradition of Richard Hughes, William Bayes, and John James Drysdale. He submitted cases and articles to various homeopathic publications, including The Treatment of Syphillis, The Climate of Bournemouth, Chronic Diuresis, On Poisoning by Kali Bich, Some Present Day Therapeutics.

For several years Nankivell was editor of The Homeopathic Medical Directory of Great Britain and Ireland

Herbert Nankivell died in 1912.

Select Publications:

  • A Repertory, Or, Systematic Arrangement and Analysis of the HomÅ“opathic Materia Medica (1874)
  • On the Position of Therapeutics as a Science and an Art, Being the Presidential Address, Delivered at the British Homoeopathic Congress, Held at Norwich, September 25, 1885 (1885)
  • Cardiac Debility (1901)

Of interest:

John Hicks Nankivell (Nankivelle) M.R.C.S. L.S.A. (1809 – 1888), father of Herbert Wright Nankivell, was a British orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become Surgeon at the York Homeopathic Dispensary and General Secretary to the British Homeopathic Congress in 1872.

John Howard Nankivell M.R.C.S. (c.1849 – c.1904), son of John Hicks Nankivell and brother of Herbert Wright Nankivell, was a physician who practiced in South Africa.

Frank Nankivell M.D. C.M. M.R.C.S. (1852 – 1926), son of John Hicks Nankivell and brother of Herbert Wright Nankivell, was a British homeopath in Sydenham, London in 1900, and in Exeter, and at 134 Aukland Road, Upper Norwood.

Bertram Wright Nankivell M.R.C.S. L.R.C.P. (12 August 1870 – 29 July 1931), son of Commander Edmund Nankivell RN (1844 – 1895), grandson of John Hicks Nankivell and nephew of Herbert Wright Nankivell, was Registrar and Pathologist at the Bournemouth Hahnemann Convalescent Home, Physician to the Bournemouth Homeopathic Dispensary, and Surgeon at the Victoria Home for Crippled Children, Westbourne, Bournemouth. Bertram Wright Nankivell also practiced at Woodstock, 2 West Cliff Road, Bournemouth.