• Full Name:
    Dr William Goodwin Chadbourne Clark
  • Role:
    Registered practitioner
  • Occupation/s:
    Homœopathic physician, surgeon
  • State:
  • Date first identified using homoeopathy in Australia:

(Material researched & presented by Barbara Armstrong)


Born at Reading, near Boston, Massachusetts, Dr William Goodwin Chadbourne Clark was an American who graduated from Boston University School of Homœopathic Medicine in 1895. In 1897 he was appointed as one of two resident medical officers appointed to the Melbourne Homœopathic Hospital, the first since the appointment of Dr Bouton in 1885. The 1900 edition of the Australasian Medical Directory (the official list of registered medical practitioners) recorded that he was employed by the Melbourne Homœopathic Hospital. Templeton's book about the hospital recorded the following:

William Clark, while serving his period of residence, fell in love with a nurse. Her parents thought all Americans "barbaric" and heartily disapproved of the match. So the vivacious Dr Clark eloped with his bride to Tasmania, where he took up an appointment at the Hobart Homœopathic Hospital.
His bride was Miss Emma Kate Dixon.

According to the Launceston Examiner, Dr Clark was gazetted as a registered medical practitioner in January 1901. In Wise's Post Office Directory for Tasmania for 1903, Dr Clark was listed as being a House Surgeon at the Hobart Homœopathic Hospital. He also established a practice at Franklin and in 1907 was appointed to be Port Health Officer at Port Huon and Hospital Bay.

In July 1908 it was reported that Dr Clark had decided to take up residence in Launceston early in September and had consented to be nominated to a position on the staff of the Homœopathic Hospital there. He also commenced practice at 148 St John Street. During his time in Launceston he gave several lectures; one was on the topic of "the merry little microbe", while another was about "homœopathy: what it is and what it can do".

In the 1911 Australasian Medical Directory he was listed as being Honorary Medical Officer at the Launceston Homœopathic Hospital. However, by this time he had decided to move to Richmond, Tasmania, where he was appointed as Officer of Health for the district, and in 1913, Justice of the Peace for Richmond.

According to the 1918 edition of the U.S. School Catalogue, Dr Clark was listed as: Physician, Government referee of pensions, health officer of Richmond, Spring Bay and Brighton (Tasmania), Magistrate, Bridge Street, Richmond.


In 1918 Dr Clark was appointed to the salaried position of house surgeon to the Hobart General Hospital, a position which he held until 1922 when he was suspended and eventually dismissed by the Board of Management of the hospital because of "friction between staff" and "insubordination" because he refused to resign. He brought a case against the hospital for wrongful dismissal, which he won.


Except for the five years at the Royal Hobart Hospital, Dr Clark practised at Richmond until he retired in 1949. His home was "Oak Lodge", Richmond. According to his obituary, he claimed that at Sorell Hospital he assisted with the births of more than 1,000 babies and never lost a case.


Dr Clark died at Bracknell on 18 July 1949, in his 80th year. He was survived by his wife, two daughters and three sons.


©   Barbara Armstrong

  • Created:
    Monday, 21 March 2011
  • Last modified:
    Thursday, 13 November 2014