• Full Name:
    Rev Benjamin Gilmore Wilson
  • Role:
    Lay homœopathic practitioner
  • Occupation/s:
    Clergy, Lay homœopathic practitioner
  • State:
  • Date first identified using homoeopathy in Australia:

Born 16 March 1823 in Ireland, the son of a Quaker farmer, he subsequently moved to England. He was ordained for the ministry in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He helped to found the Young Men’s Christian Association in Bradford. He also studied homœopathic medicine under Dr John Le Gay Brereton who at that time (prior to his move to Australia) had a large practice in Bradford. Reverend Wilson’s aim was to become a medical missionary.


In 1858 he travelled to Brisbane, in response to a published letter which sought a clergyman to take charge of a Baptist church in Brisbane. On the voyage to Australia he treated many conditions using homœopathic medicines, and apparently his treatments were more successful that those of the ship’s doctor. He was Brisbane’s first Baptist minister and first medical missionary. He was located at the Wharf Street Baptist Church.


In Brisbane he practised homœopathy and treated members of his congregation as well as the general population. He frequently acted as locum tenens for Brisbane doctors, and is known to have issued some death certificates  - one in 1858 and another in 1860.


In 1863 he wrote a letter to the Brisbane Courier, providing homœopathic advice for people who had “purging of the bowels”, with or without vomiting. He pointed out that in certain cases, doctors only should give medicines. However, he provided some simple general directions “to be adopted when needs be, and which, in no case, need interfere with the medical attendant’s treatment if he has been sent for”. “My only object in laying this before the public is simply to benefit those who may require a few plain directions, easily understood, and easily applied.”


While in Brisbane he suffered from “an affliction of the throat” and had to give up preaching and twice had to leave Brisbane, once in 1873, and another time some years previously. His expenses were paid by his congregation.


He died 11 February 1878 at his home on Gregory Terrace. (See his obituary)


© Barbara Armstrong


  • Created:
    Wednesday, 30 March 2011
  • Last modified:
    Tuesday, 12 August 2014