Larmer’s Homœopathic Dispensary

  • Date Established:
  • State:
    New South Wales
  • Suburb/Town:
  • Variations on Business Name:
    Sydney Homœopathic Dispensary

(Material researched & presented by Barbara Armstrong)


William Larmer and his family arrived in Sydney on 16 December, 1852 aboard the Anglesey. In June of the following year he purchased a chemist and druggist business in 341 George Street, Sydney, and advertised his services as a chemist and dentist.


Over time the street number of his business in George Street changed several times, possibly because of the change in street numbering rather than a change of premises.  Cox and Co’s Sydney Post Office Directory for 1857 listed William Larmer as a chemist at 367 George Street.  Sand’s Sydney and Suburban Directory for 1871 listed him as being a Homœopathic Druggist at 323 1/2 George Street.


It appears that he did not sell homœopathic medicines in his earlier years, just allopathic and patent medicines. The first know advertisement for him as a homœopathic chemist was in September 1865, when he advertised as follows:



323, George-street. - W. LARMER has the pleasure to inform the patrons of Homœopathy in Sydney and the colony in general that he has, regardless of expense, just completed extensive alterations in his establishment, and fitted up a separate and most complete Dispensary, with every appliance for the correct dispensing and preparation of Homœopathic prescriptions &c .  In making this announcement, coupled with the fact of arrangements being entered into with the first London houses for monthly supplies of all the best and newest remedies, W. LARMER respectfully yet confidently solicits a share of public patronage.  323, George-street.


In providing this title for his business, he preempted a meeting on 4 October, 1865 which set out to re-establish the defunct Sydney Homœopathic Dispensary.  At that meeting some people complained that some individuals in Sydney 'would not come to a homœopathic dispensary held in premises occupied by an allopathic chemist.  If Mr Larmer was a homœopath, there was not much appearance of it.'  However, Dr Bellamy assured the audience that Mr Larmer had been a homœopath for eight years and that his family had been under Dr Bellamy's care.


Sand’s Sydney and Suburban Directory for 1871 listed Mr Larmer as being a Homœopathic Druggist at 323 ½  George Street. The address in the 1875 directory listing was 323 George Street. 


A unique survival from the past is an 1870s cedar Domestic Medicine Chest of 24 corked bottles from the ‘Homœopathic Dispensary’ of William Larmer. (Information obtained from Australiana Magazine, Vol 12:2, 1990.)


 ©   Barbara Armstrong     


  • Created:
    Wednesday, 17 June 2009
  • Last modified:
    Sunday, 23 April 2017