Jenner

  • Full Name:
    Andrew John Baden Jenner
  • Role:
    Unregistered practitioner
  • Occupation/s:
    Homœopathic physician
  • State:
    Queensland
    Tasmania
    America
  • Date first identified using homoeopathy in Australia:
    1861

(Material researched & presented by Barbara Armstrong)

 

[1836 - 1909]

 

Andrew John Baden Jenner was born on 30 December 1836 at Highworth, Wiltshire, England. He was the eldest son of Robert Jenner and Sophia Baden. Robert died in 1847 when Andrew was just 10 years of age. However, Robert must have been fairly wealthy as the 1841 shows that he was a man of independent means, and the 1871 census states that his widow, Sophia, was living on income from houses, land and dividends.

 

According to England's 1851 census, at age 14 Andrew was a scholar at Christ's Hospital, Christ's Church, Newgate Street, London.

 

According to the Directory of Deceased American Physicians, in 1859 Andrew obtained medical qualifications from the University of London Faculty of Medicine, and in 1866 he had obtained a diploma from the Homœopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania. The latter documents stated that he was qualified as a practitioner of allopathic medicine as well as homœopathic medicine. (Note that the 1859 date for his first qualification is incorrect.)

 

However, Jenner's history after his arrival in Australia casts some doubt upon the truth of his claims. Mr Jenner was involved in several court cases, both in Queensland (1862) and Tasmania (1868 and 1870) regarding his qualifications to practise. It is from the testimony provided in these cases that we learn something about his background.

 

According to the court case of 1862, Jenner first arrived in Melbourne in 1854. A person with the name of Andrew Jenner of about the right age arrived aboard the "Medina" in July 1854. According to a witness, Jenner lived and worked in Geelong between the years 1854 and 1861, where he was engaged as a wharf clerk to a firm there. To this statement, Jenner replied that at that time all types of qualified people - doctors, lawyers, parsons - were having to take on whatever jobs they could.

 

By 1861, he had moved to Queensland, initially living in Brisbane Street and advertising himself as a homœopathist and surgeon dentist. In November 1861 he commenced a series of lectures on "The Chemistry of Common Life: What to eat, drink and avoid". These lectures continued into 1862.


In 1862 Jenner was charged with practising medicine without being registered, thus contravening the Medical Act of Queensland. Jenner's defence was that he hadn't advertised as a medical practitioner within the meaning of the Act, and that the Act did not apply to homœopathy. Still, Jenner received a fine. At this time he admitted that he "did not have a diploma as a homœopathist, but expected it by every mail from America". It is obvious from this statement and from later evidence provided when he was in Tasmania, Jenner did not attend the American college, but had gained the qualification based on the answers provided to each of the professors, as well as the final examination of his knowledge. He stated that he had also sent copies of English and French credentials, from the University College of London and the University of Paris.


In 1864 Jenner was appointed as "corresponding secretary" for the Order of Independent Odd Fellows of Brisbane. Later that year he was presented with "a beautiful jewel, worked in gold" as a mark of appreciation for his services as Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Queensland. He was also selected by the Brisbane officers to open the Toowoomba Lodge. "Much if not all the success which had attended the opening of the lodge was attributable to the good taste and gentlemanly conduct of Dr Jenner."


In early 1864 he moved to Mary Street, the third house from Braysher's Metropolitan Hotel. He also advertised in the Rockhampton newspaper, stating that medicines, books and medicine cases could be obtained from Hart's Commercial Hotel.


The Pugh's Almanac & Queensland Directory for 1865 listed him as Andrew J.B. Jenner, UCL (presumably University College of London). He was one of two homœopathic practitioners listed (the other being William Smith). His practice was in Mary Street. At that time there were only 5 allopathic doctors listed in the Directory. In October that year he moved to "more commodious premises next door to the Club".


By this time, however, it appears that Jenner was experiencing financial difficulties, as evidenced by court cases against him for not paying accounts.


In February 1866 Jenner moved to Tasmania, initially settling in Hobart. There he provided a lecture about homœopathy. Later in the year he was to provide another lecture. However, he met with a serious accident in Macquarie Street when his pony suddenly bucked and threw him on his head, landing against the kerb stone.


By mid 1867 he had moved to Launceston where, on 19 June, he gave a lecture on the topic of "Fashion". He particularly mentioned the wasted form, disfigurement and distortion of women's bodies which resulted from the practice of tight lacing.


It was while he was in Launceston that he finally received the American diploma he had applied for when he was in Brisbane. He then applied to the Medical Board to become registered as a medical practitioner but was refused.


15 August 1867, he gave a lecture on homœopathy at the Mechanics Institute. It was reported that nearly three hundred people attended, and the lecture was subsequently published in full as a pamphlet.


In May 1868 Jenner was again before the Court charged with having practised as a physician although he was not a legally qualified medical practitioner. Once again his defence was that he was a fully qualified homœopathic practitioner and that this type of practice was not included as part of the Act. There were several witnesses who stated that they were satisfied with his treatment and had no complaints. Nonetheless, he was fined ten pounds and costs.


In the Assessment Roll of 1 December 1868 he was listed as renting a house in George Street, near the corner of Canning Street.


By 1870 Jenner had moved to Torquay in northern Tasmania, now re-named Devonport. It appears that he was a replacement for Dr Edmund Braithwaite who had died in April 1869.  In January his house was burned and gutted, although he had been able to remove his medicines and furniture. However, in February he was again fined by the Bench of Magistrates at Torquay for practising as a physician.


Presumably Jenner realised that there was no future for him in Australia, so he returned to England. He was recorded in the 1871 census as living with his mother and sister. He was unmarried and his occupation was listed as "Physician, not practising".


By 1874 Jenner had moved to Detroit, Michigan, where his credentials were accepted. Over subsequent years he was listed in the city's directories as being a physician.


On 24 June 1880 he married Emma J. Phillips (from England).


He died 15 April, 1909.

 

 

©   Barbara Armstrong

 

       www.historyofhomeopathy.com.au


  • Created:
    Tuesday, 22 March 2011
  • Last modified:
    Wednesday, 05 November 2014