William Vallancey Drury (1821 – 26 April 1892) was an Irish-born orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become Physician in charge of the Diseases of Children at the London Homeopathic Hospital.

William V. Drury was a Fellow and an active member of British Homeopathic Society. He served as Secretary, Vice-President, and President of the Society. Drury was also a former President of the Royal Physical Society and Hunterian Society of Edinburgh, and was a member of the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh. He was also Honorary Secretary of the short-lived British Institute of Homoeopathy.

William V. Drury was a second cousin, through his grandfather, General Charles Vallancey, of Anglo-Irish homeopathic pioneer, Edward Cronin M.D.

After his conversion to homeopathy, William V. Drury practiced initially at 3 Crescent, Camden Road, Regent’s Park, and for the remainder of his career at 7 Harley Street, Cavendish Square, London.

William Vallancey Drury was a colleague of William Edward Ayerst, Hugh Cameron, John Chapman, Matthew James ChapmanEdward Charles Chepmell, Paul Francois Curie, George Napoleon Epps, James Epps, John Epps, George Fearon, George Frost, Evan Fraser, James Manby Gully, Edward Hamilton, William G. Hardy, George Calvert Holland, Richard Hughes, Joseph Kidd, Thomas Robinson Leadam, John Hamilton McKechnie, Victor Massol, James Bell Metcalfe, Herbert Nankivell, Samuel Thomas Partridge, Frederick Hervey Foster Quin, Henry Reynolds, John Rutherfurd Russell, David Wilson, Stephen Yeldham, and many others.

William Vallancey Drury was born at Sandymount near Dublin, Ireland, to army Captain Charles John Chesshyre Drury (1798 – 1837) and Elizabeth Hart (1797 – 1881). William V. Drury was the grandson of Royal Navy Vice-Admiral William O’Bryen Drury (1754 – 1811) and Letitia Preston Vallancey, herself the daughter of antiquarian and surveyor General Charles Vallancey F.R.S. (1726-1812).

Drury studied medicine at Edinburgh University, where he was a clinical assistant to Professor William Henderson. He received his M.D. in 1842.

After graduating, Drury spent two years in Dublin, where he lectured in materia medica at the Park Street School of Medicine. In January 1843, Drury was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy.

Drury relocated again and commenced general practice in Darlington. However, the climate was not agreeable to him and in 1850 he settled in London, first at Maida Vale, later at Harley Street, Cavendish Square.

It was while in London that Drury was introduced to homeopathy by Doctors John Epps, David Wilson, and Edward Chepmell:

“Under the direction of the two latter he made a practical, clinical study of Hahnemann’s method, and with the usual result.”

Drury was admitted as a member of the British Homeopathic Society in 1854. Following the death of Dr. John Rutherford Russell in 1866, he became Secretary of the Society. Subsequently, he served as Vice-President and, in 1882 and 1883, as President.

In 1855, Drury joined the medical staff at the London Homeopathic Hospital as physician-accoucheur. He later took charge of the hospital’s children’s ward. Drury also became a member of the Hospital Medical Council.

The same year, Drury was listed as a Medical Officer at the Metropolitan Homeopathic Hospital for the Diseases of Children and Vaccine Establishment, alongside William Edward Ayerst, Charles W. Luther, and David Wilson.

W. V. Drury was one of a number of physicians who were present for a Festival in aid of the London Homeopathic Hospital that was held in April, 1858. Many Aristocratic and gentry patrons attended, alongside medical homeopaths such as Drury, William Edward Ayerst, William Bayes, Hugh Cameron, Edward Charles Chepmell, George Napoleon Epps, Arthur Guinness, Edward Hamilton, Frantz Hartmann, Amos Henriques, Joseph Kidd, Thomas Robinson Leadam, James Bell MetcalfeFrederick Hervey Foster Quin, Henry Reynolds, John Rutherford Russell, David Wilson, Stephen Yeldham, and many others.

In 1866, Drury was the target of allopathic protests after he was appointed as a medical officer by the Linen and Woollen Drapers Institution, a London-based mutual aid society. Several allopathic physicians already employed by the charity forced Drury’s resignation, despite his re-election by his colleagues.

Two years later, in September, 1868, William V. Drury was also present at a meeting of homeopathic chemists held at the London Homeopathic Hospital to consider The Pharmacy Act. The outcome was the creation of a committee to observe the implementation of the Act, and to take appropriate steps to protect the rights of homeopathic chemists. Drury was one of the ten men selected for this committee.

In September 1882, Drury was elected President of the British Homeopathic Congress, held at the Windsor Hotel, Edinburgh. He was re-elected for the following year.

Also in 1882-3, Drury was a Council Member of the British Homeopathic Society, alongside Hugh Cameron, Robert Ellis Dudgeon, Robert Douglas Hale, Edward Hamilton, Richard Hughes, John Hamilton Mackechnie, Henry Ridewood Madden, James Bell Metcalfe, Alfred Crosby Pope, Charles Ransford, George Wyld and Stephen Yeldham.

In 1884, William V. Drury succeeded Dr. Henry Madden as editor of the British Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia and oversaw the publication of the second and third editions, with the assistance of homeopathic pharmacists John Middleton Wyborn and Franklin Epps.

Drury prescribed both low and high potency remedies during his career, although he considered that the low doses were generally more successful. He wrote several books on homeopathic medicine and contributed articles and discussion papers for The British Journal of Homeopathy, and many other journals and periodicals.

In 1878, Drury retired from private practice, and settled permanently in Bournemouth. There he devoted his time to evangelistic and philanthropic activities for such societies and institutions as the Y.M.C.A., Cairns’ Memorial Home, The Colportage Association, The Bible Society, The Moravian Missions, and the Bournemouth Hahnemann Convalescent Home.

Drury’s health had been in decline throughout 1891, and in the spring of 1892 he was afflicted with pulmonary congestion and heart failure. He died on 26th April at the family home, Lingmoor, Dean Park, Bournemouth, aged 70.

William Vallancey Drury was married three times, and had nine children.

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