• Full Name:
    Dr Henry Wheeler
  • Role:
    Registered practitioner
  • Occupation/s:
    Homœopath, medical practitioner
  • State:
    South Australia
  • Date first identified using homoeopathy in Australia:
Henry Wheeler was born at Clifton, Bristol, England about 1834. He
                               Dr H. Wheeler, c. 1865

                        Reproduction courtesy of State Library

                             of South Australia. SLSA: B 45153

gained his medical qualifications (MRCS, LRCP) in London in 1860 and was an honorary physician at the London Homœopathic Hospital.

He arrived in Adelaide in 1862. When he applied to be registered with the South Australian medical Board, his credentials were questioned because he practised homœopathy. He had “orthodox” qualifications in addition to his homœopathic knowledge, however, so his registration was approved. In addition to being included in England's general medical register and directory for 1863, his name was included in the 1866 edition of the London and provincial homœopathic medical directory.


In 1867 Dr Allan Campbell joined Dr Wheeler in his practice. He also became involved with the establishment of the Adelaide Homœopathic Dispensary, and became its first Honorary Medical Officer, along with Dr Campbell. He provided his services to the Dispensary during 1868 and 1869.


Dr Wheeler returned to England in 1870. In 1873 he was listed at 1 Portland Place, Clapton East, London. For a period he was Physician to the London Homœopathic Hospital.


Dr Wheeler and his wife Janet (Home) had two children during their time in Adelaide - Mary, born in 1865 and Charles, born in 1868. Four more children were born in England - Henry, born at Penrose Cottage, Clifton, Gloucestershire in 1870; George Home born at Portland Place, London in 1872 (died in 1876); Frank Hamilton, born in 1877 at Clapton; and Janet Mabel, also born at Clapton in 1880.


In June 1889 Dr Wheeler and his family returned to Australia aboard the Austral. This time he decided to moved to Melbourne, where he initially announced (in September 1889) that he had commenced practice as a Homœopathic Physician and Surgeon at Barford, corner of Lydiard and Henry Streets, Hawthorn. In addition to providing consultations at Henry Street, he also consulted from 147 Collins Street East. In February 1890 he announced that he had moved to new chambers over the Martin & Pleasance pharmacy at 178 Collins Street (previously numbered 85 Collins Street East).


Dr Wheeler eventually moved to "Poynton", Auburn Road, Auburn.  A 'ghost sign' has been preserved on the side of the building at 453 Burwood Road, Hawthorn.  Located on the corner of John Street, Hawthorn from 1892 - 1898 the premises were used by a branch of Martin & Pleasance.  This is now part of Swinburne University, which has preserved the facade of the terrace of shops.  The sign advertises Dr Wheeler and his residence at "Poynton" in Auburn Road, which is now number 37  between Harcourt Road and Molesworth Street.


Wheeler Dr Henry 319 Burwood Rd-adj-s
 'Ghost sign' on side of a Swinburne University Building

Photograph courtesy of Hawthorn Historical Society


In December 1889 Dr Wheeler offered his services to work in the Outpatients Department of the Melbourne Homœopathic Hospital, an offer which was accepted. He took the role of Dr Seelenmeyer who wished to concentrate on his own practice and had resigned from working in an honorary capacity in the Outpatients department. 


Wheeler immediately became involved with the activities of the Hospital, including becoming one of the lecturing staff who provided lectures to the school for nurses on topics such as elementary anatomy, elementary physiology, general nursing, and hygiene. In June 1890 the other lecturers were stated as being Dr Teague, Dr W.R. Ray, Dr Seelenmeyer and Dr Wallace.


Dr Wheeler was responsible for two publications:


“On some common affections incidental to city life, together with remarks on children’s ailments and some infectious diseases, with their appropriate homœopathic treatment.” Published by Martin & Pleasance in July 1890, it was the second edition of an English work, adapted ‘to the needs of colonial life’.

His second work was titled:

“The hurry and bustle of business, the keen competition of trade, compelling men nowadays to work in such a manner as our forefathers never dreamed of, having their effects upon the organism, health, and comfort.”

In February and March 1894 advertisements announced the sale of Dr Wheeler's collection of artworks and his other belongings, as he was retiring from practice and returning to Europe.
Dr Wheeler died at Norwich in 1909.
His son, Charles Wheeler, followed in his father's footsteps and also became a doctor, graduating in 1892 at the University of London. In Britain he became a prominent homœopath, editor and translator.

[For more details see the document on Homœopathic Pharmacies, Dispensaries & Manufacturers on this website. Also see the article on this website by Barbara Armstrong on The Adelaide Homœopathic Dispensary in Similia June 2007, Vol 19:1, the journal of the Australian Homœopathic Association.]


© Barbara Armstrong


  • Created:
    Wednesday, 30 March 2011
  • Last modified:
    Wednesday, 27 July 2016