• Full Name:
    George Stanton Crouch
  • Role:
  • Occupation/s:
    Auctioneer, Alderman, Vice-president Hobart Homœopathic Hospital
  • State:
  • Date first identified using homoeopathy in Australia:

(Material researched & presented by Barbara Armstrong)


[1834 - 1914]


George Stanton Crouch was born in Hobart on 1 May, 1834, the second son of Thomas James Crouch (under-sheriff of Hobart) and Sarah Rothwell.


Thomas and Sarah were Wesleyan Methodists, supporters of the temperance movement, and were involved in many charitable organisations. Thomas was a founder of the Tasmanian Temperance Alliance and the Hobart Town Benevolent Society. Sarah was involved with organisations which provided support for destitute women. The Australian Dictionary of Biography states that Sarah "was reputed to have kept her own dispensary where she gave medicines to the needy". If this is true, given her sons' public support of homœopathy and homœopathic organisations, it is possible that they gained their interest in this form of medical treatment from their mother.


From 1854 to 1863 George Crouch was a farmer at Kangaroo Valley, Tasmania. On 17 January 1871 he married Jane Brown. From 1863 he lived in Invercargill, New Zealand, where he was a clerk and book keeper for the Southland News. He and his family returned to Hobart in 1871, where he ran an auctioneer's salesroom. His wife, Jane, died in 1880 and in 1882 he married Sarah Anne Wilkinson.


In 1883 George was elected alderman of the City of Hobart. In 1893 he was Mayor of Hobart. For many years he was a member of the Hobart Benevolent Society, and he took part in the foundation of the Temperance Hall.


It is unknown when George Crouch first became interested in homœopathy. As mentioned above, it may have been as a result of his medical treatment during childhood. Certainly, his older brother, Thomas James Crouch, was publicly supporting homœopathy in his 20s, by 1859. However, the first public mention of George's support was in April 1898 when George presided over the meeting which discussed the position of homœopathy in Tasmania and the threats to its existence as a result of boycotts by local allopaths. Members of the local branch of the British Medical Association were being instructed not to consult with nor assist in any way, medical practitioners who practised homœopathy. At that meeting it was decided that an association be formed for the furtherance of the cause of homœopathy in Tasmania.

Mr Crouch was elected as a vice-president on the committee which proposed the formation of the Hobart Homœopathic Hospital, and remained as vice-president after its successful opening. (Interestingly, his older brother, Thomas, was also involved with the formation and management of Melbourne's homœopathic dispensary and the homœopathic hospital which emerged from the dispensary.)


When, in 1903, the City of Hobart selected a doctor to become the Medical Officer of Health, from the three applicants they selected Dr Gerard Smith, a homœopath. When the Central Board of Health tried to reject Dr Smith's appointment, Alderman Crouch strongly advocated the retention of Dr Smith as being the best candidate because he was a duly qualified medical practitioner and because of his prior experience in public health activities in England. There were no reasonable reasons for the Board refusing to confirm Dr Smith's appointment. According to newspaper reports of the time, Mr Crouch characterised the opposition to Dr Smith "as coming from a sort of trades unionism on the part of those who should know better - the medical fraternity who were allopaths". "The best man had been selected and the aldermen should not be trampled on by men whose ideas were not up to date".


Mr Crouch died in the 81st year of his life, on 11 June, 1914. According to his obituary, he left a family of one son (Richard James Crouch) and three daughters, one whom (Annie Mary) was a missionary in India.


© Barbara Armstrong


  • Created:
    Sunday, 13 July 2014
  • Last modified:
    Thursday, 13 November 2014