William Gwynn L.R.C.S. (Irel) [1854], M.B. (Dublin) [1857] (1831 – 11 August 1869), was an Anglo-Irish orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become House Surgeon at the Liverpool Homeopathic Dispensary and Consulting Physician at the Southampton Homeopathic Dispensary.

William Gwynn was born in 1831 in Lerne, County Antrim, the son of Reverend Stephen Gwynn, Rector of Agherton Parish Church near Coleraine, Ulster.

In 1848 Gwynn entered Trinity College, Dublin from where he graduated M.B. (Arts and Medicine) in 1854. The same year Gwynn was awarded his Licentiate from the Royal College of Surgeons (Ireland).

Soon after graduation Gwynn took up the study of homeopathy and in 1855 was appointed to the position of House Surgeon at the Mount Pleasant Liverpool Homoeopathic Dispensary.

In October 1856, William Gwynn married Laura Anne Sothern (1832 – 1868), daughter of Liverpool merchant John Sothern and sister of the noted actor, Edward Askew Sothern.

Controversially, in 1860, William Gwynn was refused admission to the Doctor of Medicine degree by the University of Dublin on the grounds that he had “adopted a particular theory of medicine” and his appeal to the Medical Council was summarily dismissed.

The fact that he was a homeopath had singled William Gwynn out for discipline, despite the fact that he had completed his medical studies and passed all his examinations.

After a short period in private practice in Derby, Gwynn took over the recently deceased William Henry Mayne’s busy homeopathic practice in Ipswich.

In April 1861, William and Laura Gwynn had a son, William Percival. He died on the Isle of Wight on 16 December 1869, aged 8. In January 1863, they had a daughter, Alice Mary, who died in 1866 aged 3.

The strain of work in Ipswich took its toll on Gwynn and his ill-health forced him to retire from practice in 1863. The family moved to the south coast, where they took up residence at Holly Lodge, Hampshire. It was there, at South Stoneham, Southampton, that Gwynn’s wife Laura died on 21 August 1868, while giving birth to their stillborn third child.

Gwynn survived his wife by just twelve months and succumbed to consumption at Beulah Villas, Monkton Street, Ryde, Isle of Wight, on 11 August 1869. The executor for both the will of his wife Laura and his own will was named as Rudolph William Basil Feilding, Earl of Denbigh.

William Gwynn was buried in the Old Cemetery on Ryde, the Isle of Wight; his only son William Percival was buried alongside him four months later. Wynn’s obituary is in The British Journal of Homeopathy in 1869.

Of interest:

Charles A. Gwynn (1867 – 1905), no relation to William Gwynn (1831 – 1869) was the son of Welsh-Irish homeopathic physician William M. Gwynn (1835 – 1906), who had emigrated to the United States. Like his father, Charles Gwynn was also a homeopath.

Below, Reverend Stephen Gwynn, ca. 1850.