• Full Name:
    Charles George Eastland Platts
  • Role:
    Seller of homœopathic medicines
  • Occupation/s:
    Bookseller & Stationer
  • State:
    South Australia
  • Date first identified using homoeopathy in Australia:

(Material researched & presented by Barbara Armstrong)


[1813 - 1871]


Charles Platts was born to James Platts and Sarah Platts (nee Northleigh) on 9 December 1813. The birth was registered as being at St James Piccadilly and he was baptised on 2 January, 1814 at Westminster. His parents had been married on 28 April, 1811 at St George, Hanover Square, Westminster.


In early 1839, Charles and his wife Marie (or Maria) Louise Platts emigrated to South Australia.


Prior to emigrating to South Australia, Charles was an organist at a church in London, and in September 1839 it was reported that he was the organist at Trinity Church, Adelaide.


Soon after his arrival, he opened a Circulating Library in Gilles Arcade where he advertised that he had items that were "lent to read". He also sold stationery and "music in great variety". By March 1841 his Adelaide Circulating Library had moved to larger premises in Hindley Street, nearly opposite Rosina Street, and opposite London House.  The business became known as "Platts's Library". In addition to the stationery, he also sold penknives, violins and bows, and violin and guitar strings. In 1841 he advertised that, in connection with the Circulating Library, he had opened a Reading Room and Chess Club for subscribers only, offering English and colonial papers. "Gentlemen from the country having business to transact will appreciate the advantage of an establishment which has so long been required." It was open from 10 in the morning till 10 at night.


By October 1844 he considered that there was a "superabundant supply of Stationery in the Colony", such that he decided to slash the price of all the goods he sold. His premises was at London House, Hindley Street.


In 1846 he had made mention of a delivery to "one of my shops", implying that he had more than premises at that time. He opened an even larger business at the corner of King William and Hindley Streets. From 1857 onwards he advertised that also sold homœopathic medicines and books on this topic.


Although his business was reported to be highly successful, Mr Platts suffered from ill-health and in November 1859 he returned to Europe (with a period of time spent at Malta), with a view to seek treatment and consequent improvement.  He spent some years there before he, his wife and his niece Annie (then aged 19) returned to Australia via Melbourne aboard the "Superb", arriving in Melbourne on 27 December 1866 before continuing on to Adelaide.


After his return, his health seemed to have been partially restored, although he was still very feeble. In 1871, however, he suffered a relapse and on 14 November 1871 he died at his residence, "Anniescot" at Fullarton. It was reported that "his constitution, which was never very strong, gave way beneath the pressures of accumulated troubles and disappointments" and that "recently he has been unfortunate in his affairs". Because of his general feeble health, "his decease excited no surprise". The immediate cause of death was given as rheumatic gout. "It was thought he was recovering from a sharp attack, and he was congratulating himself on recovering the use of his legs and hand when the disease suddenly attacked the brain. For a few hours his sufferings were intense, but delirium supervened, and in that state he died."


According to his obituary:


"... his kindly spirit and quaint and genial humour attracted all who knew him intimately, and he received a gratifying proof of the esteem in which he was held in the number of friends who rallied round him in his late misfortunes. His love of music and his skill in that science brought him into connection with the profession very soon after his arrival; but in after years his increasing business connections absorbed the whole of his attention."


He was survived by his wife, Marie. They had no children. In 1872, the Platts residence at Fullarton was advertised as being "To Let", with 10 rooms, 2 kitchens, 2 large dry cellars, with outhouses, fruit and flower gardens, lucerne and other paddocks - 9 acres in all. In 1875 his niece, Annie, married William Bacon Carter, and Marie lived with them until her death on 22 October 1880 at their residence, College Town.


 (For more details see the entry in Homœopathic Pharmacies, Dispensaries & Manufacturers)


© Barbara Armstrong


  • Created:
    Sunday, 01 March 2009
  • Last modified:
    Sunday, 10 August 2014