Biography of Samuel Levenston
Samuel Levenston was born in London in the early 1800s, son of Dr Michael Jacob Levenston, and brother to Joseph Levenston. In his childhood Samuel travelled throughout England with his father dispensing medical help. These early “Drs.” were not M.D.s sanctioned by the medical profession but were ‘medical botanists’ dispensing unorthodox remedies for a wide variety of ailments.
A black notebook belonging to Samuel’s nephew and Joseph’s son – Solomon Alexander – is still in the hands of the Levenston family. In it are “lists of over 40 remedies for such ailments as gonorrhoea, chancre, buboes and other sexual disorders, neuralgia, nervous disability and intestinal complaints as well as treatments for hair loss and to make mustaches ‘luxuriant’. There are a number of general tonics many of them based on herbal and botanic remedies.
Samuel first matriculated at the University of Glasgow in 1856 and he graduated with an MD in 1859. Samuel’s graduation record can be seen in Addison’s roll of honour on page 330.Members of the Levenston family called themselves doctors but Samuel was the only to be formally trained as a physician. Samuel was the first Jewish medical graduate in Scotland to have devoted his entire medical career to practice in Scotland.
W.Addison’s, Roll of Graduates, p.330
R8/1/2, Library matriculation records, p.174 no. 29
Collins, Kenneth, ‘Orthodoxy and Reform: Differing Medical Practices in a Glasgow Victorian Family’, available online here
, external source
Levenston, Michael, family relative, external source