Mr Frederick C. Atkinson’s Homœopathic Establishment

  • Date Established:
    1848
  • State:
    Tasmania
  • Suburb/Town:
    Hobart

(Material researched & presented by Barbara Armstrong)

 

(See also article by Barbara Armstrong, Early Knowledge of Homœopathy in Australian Colonies, Similia, December 2009, Vol 21:2. Journal of the Australian Homœopathic Association.)

 

The earliest advertisement for a pharmacy specialising in homœopathy which I have been able to find to-date comes from Hobart's newspaper, The Courier. On 6 May 1848 the following item appeared:

 

Homœopathic Establishment.
The proprietor of the HOMŒOPATHIC
ESTABLISHMENT not requiring
boxes, scent bottles, and many articles such as
generally sold by retail chemists and perfumers, will
dispose of them on advantageous terms.
Enquire at the HOMŒOPATHIC ESTABLISHMENT
81, Macquarie-street.

 

The item infers that the proprietor had been in business as a chemist for some time. This is confirmed by a later advertisement:


Hobart Town Homœopathic Establish-
ment, 81, Macquarie Street.
"Similia Similibus Curentur."
MR. ATKINSON, after many years' experience
in the efficacy of Homœopathic Practice,
which is making silent and rapid strides in England,
France, and Germany, has decided on confining his
treatment of diseases solely to that branch of the
healing art. He may be consulted daily at the above
Establishment from 10 to 12 a.m., and 6 to 8 p.m.
Advice to the poor gratis every morning.

 

Later advertisements identify the chemist/consultant as Mr Frederick C. Atkinson, or Mr F.C. Atkinson. Mr Atkinson must have had reason to believe that homœopathy was sufficiently known and used in Hobart Town to warrant the establishment of a specialist homœopathic pharmacy.


Mr Atkinson then advertised that Dr George Delvin Nugent, surgeon and accoucheur from Dublin, who had worked for many years at the London Lying-in Hospital, could be consulted at the Homœopathic Establishment. Later, Atkinson announced that Dr Nugent would provide a course of lectures on midwifery and the diseases of women and children at those premises. It is unknown whether Dr Nugent used homœopathic medicines as part of his treatment plans for his patients, although obviously he would have had access to the medicines via the Homœopathic Establishment and may have availed himself of this opportunity. It can be imagined that Mr Atkinson would have expected Dr Nugent to use the homœopathic preparations from the Establishment, and to have encouraged his patients to do so as well.


It appears that the arrangement between Atkinson and Nugent did not last long, as the dissolution of the partnership was announced just one month later. Nugent had been a convict, shipped to Van Diemen's Land in 1843 after stealing pistols and a shirt from a public house in Wellington, New Zealand. Atkinson had hired Nugent as his servant at the Prisoner's Barracks, but it appears that the partnership ended when Nugent obtained his ticket-of-leave. There followed a series of acrimonious public letters, with Atkinson telling people not to allow Nugent to obtain credit in Atkinson's name. Nugent replied that he had never requested credit in Atkinson's name, and that he would give Atkinson his 'infinitesimally small dose' of humanity and another opportunity of acting honourably.


After the above altercations, Mr Atkinson disappeared from Tasmania's public records.

 

©   Barbara Armstrong

       www.historyofhomeopathy.com.au

 

  • Created:
    Wednesday, 17 June 2009
  • Last modified:
    Saturday, 01 July 2017