• Full Name:
    Thomas James Crouch
  • Role:
  • Occupation/s:
    Architect; Surveyor; Treasurer & Secretary Melbourne Homœopathic Dispensary; Vice-president Melbourne Homœopathic Hospital
  • State:
  • Date first identified using homoeopathy in Australia:

(Material researched & presented by Barbara Armstrong)


[1832 - 1889]


Thomas James Crouch was born in Hobart in December, 1832, the eldest son of Thomas James Crouch (under-sheriff of Hobart) and Sarah Rothwell.


Thomas and Sarah were Wesleyan Methodists, supporters of the temperance movement, and were involved in many charitable organisations. Thomas was a founder of the Tasmanian Temperance Alliance and the Hobart Town Benevolent Society. Sarah was involved with organisations which provided support for destitute women. The Australian Dictionary of Biography states that Sarah "was reputed to have kept her own dispensary where she gave medicines to the needy". If this is true, given her sons' public support of homœopathy and homœopathic organisations, it is possible that they gained their interest in this form of medical treatment from their mother.


Thomas junior moved to Victoria in 1852. By 1856 he had established himself as an architect and according to the 1856 Electoral Roll he was living at Major Davidson's Paddock, Punt Road, Prahran. In 1857 he married Mary Emma Bloor Turner.


Initially Mr Crouch's practice was located at the City Chambers, corner Collins and Swanston Streets. He was one of the founders of the Victorian Institute of Architects. He entered into a partnership with Mr Ralph Wilson, creating the firm of Messrs Crouch and Wilson. They designed the plans for the Blind Asylum, the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, the Methodist Ladies' College, and various churches throughout Victoria. He was on the committee of the Melbourne Benevolent Asylum for many years, and was a member of the St Kilda Borough Council, holding the office of mayor twice during his term of service. Like his father, he took a great interest in all matters relating to the Wesleyan Church.


Mr Crouch was also involved with the formation and management of Melbourne's homœopathic dispensary and the homœopathic hospital which emerged from the dispensary. In 1859 he attended the very first meeting which aimed (unsuccessfully) to establish the dispensary, and was available for service again ten years later when the dispensary was finally opened. He was elected as treasurer and secretary, a position which he held until 1874. In 1876 he was made a life governor in recognition of his valuable services as honorary secretary to the Dispensary from its foundation.


In 1876 he was vice-president for the proposed Hospital until his resignation in 1880. Mr Crouch was the architect who provided the designs for the hospital in St Kilda Road. (Interestingly, his younger brother, George Stanton Crouch, was also involved with the formation and management of Hobart's Homœopathic Hospital and was vice-president of that organisation.)


Mr Crouch died on 4 December 1889 and was survived by his widow and nine children.


© Barbara Armstrong 


  • Created:
    Sunday, 13 July 2014
  • Last modified:
    Sunday, 05 October 2014