E.S. Wigg & Co / Radcliffe & Tilly

  • Date Established:
  • State:
    South Australia
    Western Australia
  • Suburb/Town:

(Material researched & presented by Barbara Armstrong)


(See also the article by Barbara Armstrong, The Introduction of Homœopathy to Adelaide”, Similia, December 2006, Vol 18:2, the Journal of the Australian Homœopathic Association. Also The Adelaide Homœopathic Dispensary”, Similia, June 2007, Vol 19:1)

                         E.S. Wigg's Domestic Homœopathy
               Reproduction courtesy of Barbara Armstrong

Edgar Smith Wigg (1818–1899) arrived in South Australia in 1854 and was associated with the book and stationery business in Australia. It is reported that in 1858 he became involved in the sale of homœopathic medicines within his bookshop. The first edition of the Adelaide Almanack, Town and Country Directory to mention Wigg’s homœopathic activities was in 1864.


This side of Wigg’s business grew to the point where a separate shop was necessary. Wigg eventually established a dedicated homœopathic pharmacy and medical bookshop in Adelaide’s King William Street, and he also established a homœopathic pharmacy in Murray Street Perth.


Wigg imported and sold homœopathic texts, and printed small domestic first aid guides to accompany his sales of homœopathic pilules and tinctures. He also sold domestic medicine chests “fitted to any work that may be desired”. Veterinary medicine chests were also available.


Wigg was a “Member of the Homœopathic Pharmaceutic Association of Great Britain”.


In 1882-3 the pharmacy was renamed Wigg & Poole.


By 1892 Wigg & Co had opened a branch in Perth (see below).

wigg advert 270363 sud austral

                      Advertisement, Friday 5 June 1863

                                  Süd Australische Zeitung

Wigg eventually retired in 1892 and sold his homœopathic businesses to Charles Radcliffe, who had a shop next to Wigg’s in Rundle Street. Radcliffe subsequently joined up with Arthur Lindsay Tilly to form Radcliffe and Tilly. (Arthur Lindsey Tilly was born in England in 1869 and died in Perth in 1947.)


By 1895 Radcliffe & Tilly were advertising in the post office directory of Western Australia.

                  Radcliffe's Homœopathic Medicines
             Reproduction courtesy of Barbara Armstrong


The pharmacy was the training ground for several other chemists, although at this time it is unknown to what extent they continued providing homœopathic medicines within their own establishments: (See also the Cyclopedia of South Australia.)


  • Henry James Poole, born in England in 1850, came to South Australia from Victoria in 1876 and became associated with Wigg’s pharmacy. He also became Honorary Secretary of the Adelaide Homœopathic Dispensary.


  • Edward Dawson, born at North Adelaide in 1869, joined Wigg’s pharmacy as a youth, and then became associated with Radcliffe & Tilly, with whom he stayed for about seven years. He was then appointed manager for the same firm of their branch at Lower North Adelaide, and then in 1897 was transferred to Unley, on Unley Road, where he held a similar position. After a few years he purchased the business. He was on the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society.


  • Edward Hoile was born at Kent, England, in 1862, and came to South Australia in 1873. He was brought up in the homœopathic tradition at Wigg’s pharmacy, where he remained in their employ for ten years. He then transferred to work at Faulding’s to learn the allopathic side of the business. He subsequently established himself as a chemist and druggist at Laura and then at Main Street, Petersburg.


  • Albert Bright Cowling was born at Moonta, South Australia in 1873. He served his articles as a chemist at Wigg’s pharmacy, where he remained for seven years. For 12 months he occupied the position of manager of their branch at Melbourne Street, North Adelaide, after which he purchased the business there. He subsequently established a branch at North-East Road, Menindie, and in 1903 erected premises at Norwood. He held a position as member of the Pharmacy Board.


  • Walter Henry Baker was born in Victoria in 1857, where he completed his indentures as a chemist. In 1881, after a stint in New Zealand, he went to South Australia, where he worked with Birk’s pharmacy, followed by Wigg’s, where he remained for five years. In 1887 he opened his own pharmacy at “The Corner”, Glen Osmond Road, Parkside. He also became a member of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of South Australia.
© Barbara Armstrong


  • Created:
    Wednesday, 17 June 2009
  • Last modified:
    Monday, 08 September 2014