J.J. Cocking Homœopathic Pharmacy

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CockingsVial-02 CockingsVial-01

(Material researched & presented by Barbara Armstrong)


Following the death of Mr Charles Cook in 1903, Mr John James Cocking took over his pharmacy, commencing business in November of that year. He advertised as a Homœopathic Specialist, late of Messrs Martin & Pleasance. Presumably he had been one of their apprentices and assistant chemists. He hoped for "a continuance of the patronage extended to the late Pharmacist". The pharmacy was located in High Street, Bendigo, next to the City Family Hotel.


He also placed advertisements in the Riverine Herald (Echuca) of 1905, calling his business the Bendigo Homœopathic Pharmacy.


An advertisement of 1915 stated that the pharmacy was at Charing Cross, opposite the fountain.


On 12 January 1917 the Bendigo Advertiser announced that the pharmacy was at the corner of Hargreaves and Mitchell streets in Bendigo, and published an article about Mr Cocking's new pharmacy:





Mr J.J. Cocking, the well-known chemist of this city, who has been in business in Charing Cross and High-street fir the past thirteen years, has secured the handsome and centrally situated premises at the corner of Hargreaves and Mitchell streets. The new and commodious premises are lit throughout by the famous Watt lamps and fitted in the most up-to-date manner, having been modelled according to Mr Cocking's own ideas after an extensive tour of all the leading pharmacies of the State. They combine comfort and utility to the last degree. The fittings are of imported oak and fancy glass, and give the shop a very attractive appearance. Mr Cocking is now able to cater for all the pharmaceutical wants of the public, both homœopathic and allopathic, and has all patient and proprietary medicines in stock, together with a full range of all fancy goods and toilet articles. We understand that Mr Cocking will as usual devote a good deal of his time and energies to the preservation of the health of the little ones, for whom his fame extends far and wide, and we wish him every possible success in his worthy undertaking, which is deserving of whole-hearted public support. The majority of his lines are for that purpose, and relieve the anxiety of parents for the health of their children. As in the past he makes a leading specialty of his famous teething pilules, which have a very extensive sale throughout the State. He is welcoming all patrons, old and new, to his new premises, especially during the three opening days commencing yesterday, and is making a point of presenting a valuable little souvenir to all purchasers of goods to the value of 1/ and upwards, patent medicines alone excepted.



CockingsTeethingBendigoAdvertiser 17-10-1916
CockingsTeethingBendigoAdvertiser 21-11-1923

Mr Cocking became famous for the "Cocking's Teething Pilules" which were initially called "C. Cook's Homœopathic Teething Lollies for Children" when he first took over Mr Cook's business. In December 1912 it was announced that he had received so many orders for the Teething Pilules from Melbourne that had had increased his staff to meet the demand, and that he would shortly place the product on the Melbourne Market. Shortly afterwards, advertisements for the product appeared in Melbourne's Argus newspaper as well as Bendigo's newspaper.


CockingsTeethingBendigoAdvertiser 22-8-1923
CockingsWindBendigoAdvertiser 9-12-1918

According to an item in the Bendigo Advertiser during February 1915, the Teething Pilules "are put up in pleasant lolly-like form which the little chap will take to at once. Give him these during dentition, and you'll have the brightest, bonniest little chap you ever saw, while you'll both enjoy your rest and sleep." According to the advertisement, "for over 50 years their supremacy has been acknowledged" - referring to their production in earlier years (from around 1865) by Mr Cook.


© Barbara Armstrong


  • Created:
    Wednesday, 31 July 2013
  • Last modified:
    Tuesday, 19 August 2014