Hilbers the Blood Royal Homeopath

His grandfather was the 7th Baronet Whichcote and  his father was an accountant. On his mothers side, George Hilbers could trace his lineage back to Edward III and is listed in the Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal.

Qualifying as a medical doctor at St Andrews in 1841, Hilbers was not long in this calling, and converting to a practitioner of Homeopathy becoming a member of the Northern Homeopathic Medical Association and practicing at Norwich.

In 1847 he made a kind of history by being the first homeopathic practitioner to seek appointment art a public hospital; also the first such seeker to be rejected.

Moving to Brighton, a centre for alternative healers even then, Hilbers commenced practice at the Brighton Homeopathic Dispensary on Prince Albert Street. A significant voice within the homeopathic movement, Hilbers penned several stout defences of the system, attempting to rebut critics from within the mainstream (allopathic) school.

Although harshly critical of mainstream medicine, Hilbers was happy to lend his support to alternative practitioners of other disciples. Henry Harrap was another of the Brighton success stories of that time; born in Helston Cornwall, He served in the army, and left the service whilst his regiment was stationed at Brighton. Taking trade as a cobbler, he became acquainted with ‘shampooing’ surgeon Sake Deen Mahomed, and picked up the healers art by observation, becoming well respected as a ‘rubber’ – using massage, manipulation and ointments to cure a range of ills. The historian John Ackerson Erredge wrote glowingly of Harrap, whom he credited with saving his leg from certain amputation. In 1860 Harrap was prosecuted in a civil action brought by an unhappy patient, and Hilbers intervention in support of Harrap helped ensure that he won the case, being awarded damages of £300.

Hilbers is remembered in the churchyard by the remains of a substantial cross placed by the path to the west of the edifice.


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