• Full Name:
    Dr Sidney Rudge Robinson
  • Role:
    Registered practitioner
  • Occupation/s:
    Physician, homœopath, surgeon-dentist
  • State:
  • Date first identified using homoeopathy in Australia:
[1816 – 1898]

Born in Dursley, Gloucestershire, Dr Robinson received his medical qualifications in England (MRCS, 1838 and LSA, 1843).  In 1847 he was married to Katherine Emily Cooper at St Paul’s Church Auckland, New Zealand.  Katherine was born in Ireland in about 1827.


According to the 1851 English census Dr Robinson and his wife lived in Lydney, Gloucestershire along with their two children Horace and Emily.  Horace aged two was born at sea, presumably on the return journey from New Zealand, while Emily aged one, was born in Lydney.


Dr Robinson and his family (wife and 6 children) arrived in Melbourne aboard the “Copenhagen” in November 1860. In February 1861 he advertised his business as a homœopathic practitioner and surgeon dentist at 118 Collins Street East.  In June 1861 he advertised that he had taken over the dental practice of Monsieur Beurteaux, and now occupied the suite of rooms at Mr Ford’s, chemist, at 67 Swanston Street. Unfortunately, he over-extended himself, and in November of the same year he was declared insolvent because of “depression in trade and pressure of creditors”.


By mid 1862 he was practising at Albert Street Windsor, when he wrote a series of letters to the Editor of The Argus which were antagonistic towards Melbourne’s pioneer homœopaths who did not possess qualifications which were acceptable to the Medical Board – qualifications such as his own. He also shared 90 Collins Street East with Gould’s Homœopathic Pharmacy, where he practised as a homœopath and dentist.  From 1863 to 1865 he had an entry in the Post Office Dirctory stating that he lived in a cottage on the South side of Robe Street, St Kilda.


During October 1864 The Mercury (Hobart) advertised that Dr Robinson, homœopathic practitioner and accoucheur, had at the request of some friends consented to make a short professional visit to Hobart Town. He advertised that he could be consulted at his residence, Buckingham House (a boarding house), 22 Davey Street, near the Congregational Church. He remained about a fortnight.  Prior to returning to Melbourne, he advertised that for a few days only, on and after Saturday 15 October, he could be consulted at his Launceston residence at Mrs De Dassel's, St John Street, opposite the Theatre.  


He then returned to his practice at 103 Collins Street East.


The 1865 edition of Sands and McDougall’s Melbourne and Suburban Directory listed him as being a surgeon and dentist at 103 Collins street East, between Russell Street and Stephen Street (now Exhibition Street), at the same address as Dr HR Madden, another homœopath. Dr Robinson also had an entry for 11 Robe Street, St Kilda.


In 1865 he was also listed as being on the General and Executive Committees of the Melbourne Evangelical and Philanthropic Mission, an organisation described as being “unsectarian”, where “philanthropic ministrations [were] proferred to all classes, ages and denominations”.


                    Dr. Sidney Rudge Robinson, Myers Street, Geelong c.1895

                        (The girl on the step could be a daughter or granddaughter)

                             Photograph courtesy of the Geelong Heritage Centre Collection

                                                                                GRS 2009/245


However, during 1865 he moved to Geelong, where he took over Dr Teague’s Ryrie Street practice. In the Australasian Medical Directory of 1886 he was recorded as being at Myers Street (the location of the Geelong Homœopathic Dispensary), and in 1896 and 1898 he was recorded as being at Fenwick Street, Geelong. He provided honorary services twice a week to the Geelong Homœopathic Dispensary, and in 1868 was presented with a microscope for his services.


Robinson and wife Katherine had two more children in Australia. Katherine died on 14/6/71 at her residence, in Myers Street. She was aged 44. Their youngest son, Cecil Charles, died at the age of 16 years on 2 /3/1878 at “Sutherland House” in Myers Street. Robinson married again, to Margaret Ann (Annie) Gray.


Dr Robinson was well-known in Geelong because he undertook his daily rounds to patients, travelling on a large-wheeled tricycle (designed for adults), rather than the more usual horse and buggy. He was a strong churchman, and a vestryman of Christ Church. He died on 7 July 1898 aged 82, and his obituary was in the Geelong Advertiser 8 July 1898.



©   Barbara Armstrong      



  • Created:
    Sunday, 01 March 2009
  • Last modified:
    Monday, 08 December 2014