• Full Name:
    Henry Allan Fisher
  • Role:
  • Occupation/s:
  • State:
    New South Wales
  • Date first identified using homoeopathy in Australia:

[c. 1850 - 1903]


Henry Allan Fisher, born around 1849/50, was the youngest son of Rev. James McNaught Fisher and Elizabeth Goldie Colvin.


At this time it is unknown when Henry arrived in Australia, or where he disembarked. Four of his relatives were early pioneers in South Australia; it is possible that their reports about Australia encouraged his move to Australia.


To-date the first documentary evidence for Henry is his marriage to Caroline Rebecca Gibbs by a Presbyterian minister in Brighton, Victoria on 3 January 1877. (Does this mean that for a period he had lived in Victoria, where he met his future wife?) The newspaper notice for their marriage called Caroline 'Ina'. Born in Victoria, she was the eldest daughter of local solicitor Edward Maddox Gibbs and Caroline Eliza Carr. According to the marriage certificate Henry was 28 years of age, born in London, England. His occupation was 'chemist'. His usual residence at that time was in Sydney, although the exact address was not provided, and there is no indication of how long he had lived there.


A branch of Melbourne's homœopathic pharmacy called Martin & Co. had opened in Sydney in 1876, just a few months before Henry's marriage. In January 1877, shortly after his marriage, the Sydney firm was re-named Martin and Fisher, and in 1878 it became Fisher and Co. Had Henry worked for Martin & Co. in Melbourne before moving to Sydney? Had he helped them establish the new branch?


The Macleay Argus, 21 April 1900

Henry and Caroline's son was born on 20 August 1879 at 160 Bourke Street, Wooloomooloo, New South Wales.


Henry became registered as a Member of the Pharmaceutical Association of New South Wales.

According to the Post Office Directory for 1886 Mr Fisher and his family were living at 'Fernleigh' 15 Darlinghurst St. Henry became insolvent in 1886.


In May 1887 an advertisement appeared in the newspapers stating that 'Mrs Allan Fisher has resumed tuition.' The address given was 'Fernleigh' at Darlinghurst. Presumably this was Henry Allan Fisher's wife. She gave lessons in singing and voice production. (Interestingly their son, Allan Keith Colvin Fisher eventually moved to Melbourne and became a musician.) Advertisements for Mrs Fisher appeared through to 1889 when Henry was declared bankrupt. In August 1889 the contents of Fernleigh were sold.

The Hebrew Standard of Australasia, 2 March 1900


However the firm continued to trade under the name 'Fisher & Co', even after he left the business in 1896.


The last mention of Henry in the newspapers was a large advertisement in The Hebrew Standard of Australia in 1900 where he declared that 'in spite of reports to the contrary spread abroad by interested persons I AM NOT DEAD!' He declared that he was at 15 Castlereagh Street, Sydney and that he was still manufacturing a drink called Kola Nut Tonic of which he was the originator. He further stated that he had 'no connection whatever' with the business conducted under the name of Fisher & Co.


Henry died in 1903. Unusually, there was no death notice in the newspapers of the time.


©   Barbara Armstrong


  • Created:
    Monday, 25 May 2009
  • Last modified:
    Sunday, 02 July 2017