Gould’s Pharmacy, Hobart

  • Date Established:
  • State:
  • Suburb/Town:
  • Variations on Business Name:
    Benjafield's Homœopathic Pharmacy
    The Homœopathic Pharmacy, Hobart
    H.T. Gould & Co.

(Material researched & presented by Barbara Armstrong)



Gould’s Pharmacy Hobart - late 1800s
Corner Elizabeth & Bathurst Streets

(Managed by Henry Thomas Gould)


Records in the Tasmanian Archives, held under the title of Gould's Pharmacy, commence in the year 1878. While some sources state that it was Mr F. Styant Browne who originally established The Homœopathic Pharmacy in Elizabeth Street, Hobart, in fact the origins of this famous pharmacy date back to an initiative of Dr Harry Benjafield. It was Dr Benjafield who, in January 1878, announced the opening of "A Homœopathic Pharmacy" at 58 Elizabeth Street (corner of Elizabeth and Bathurst Streets).  At the same time, Dr Benjafield moved his consulting rooms to that location.  (From around 1884 the street number was altered to 78 Elizabeth Street, and from 1910 it was re-numbered 94 Elizabeth Street, after which the business moved to 73 Liverpool Street.)

On 2 February 1878, The Mercury reported:

A want has been supplied, and an improvement in the appearance of a prominent building has been made, by the opening of an establishment for the sale of homœopathic medicines at the corner of Bathurst and Liverpool streets *. The building was formerly occupied by Mr. Rout as an ironmonger's shop; but it has been re-shingled, completely renovated both internally and externally, and transformed into an attractive establishment. The large number of homœopathists in this city will appreciate a pharmacy of this character. We may mention that Dr. Benjafield's consulting rooms are at this shop.

*[The newspaper article incorrectly stated the address.  It was in fact on the corner of Bathurst and Elizabeth Streets.]


                  Gould’s Pharmacy Hobart - in 2000
                              73 Liverpool St, Hobart

Photo courtesy of Peter Torokfalvy

Because the Pharmacy arose out of the existing medical practice of Dr Benjafield, there was already a large client base. This is reflected in the existing prescription books for the first year of the Pharmacy, showing over a thousand family names, and over three and a half thousand homœopathic prescriptions recorded.

Goulds Homoeopathic Pharmacy Tasmania2014-s
               Gould’s Naturopathica Hobart - in 2014
                              73 Liverpool St, Hobart

Photo courtesy of Peter Torokfalvy


 Shortly after it opened, the Pharmacy produced and published a booklet: "What is Homœopathy? with simple directions for the treatment of common complaints; by an M.B."  It was provided free-of-charge upon request.  Presumably the author was Dr Benjafield.


Dr Benjafield hired a manager to run the pharmacy side of the business, and orders for medicines were to be addressed to the Manager of the Homœopathic Pharmacy. Some sources state that the first manager and instigator of the Pharmacy was F. Styant Browne.



               Gould's front counter - c. early1900s

However, he did not arrive in Hobart until November, 1882.   Therefore the first manager could not have been Mr Browne. Nor could it have been Henry Thomas Gould, as he did not arrive in Tasmania until 1880. There is one advertisement of 1878 which appears to indicate that "A. McLeod" was the manager. No further information about Mr McLeod has been discovered at this stage.


       Gould's front counter - in 2014

Henry Thomas Gould came to Tasmania in 1880 after studying pharmacy at the Westminster College of Pharmacy in England. In July 1881 it was announced that Mr Gould was licensed to practice as a dispenser of medicines in Tasmania. He joined the practice of Dr Benjafield as his dispensing chemist and manager of the Homœopathic Pharmacy.


In 1883 The Homœopathic Pharmacy published a home self-help book called "The Medical telephone: containing hints on the preservation of health, notes on nursing and feeding, plain directions for treating diseases, ambulance lectures on wounds and fractures."  Probably an updated version of the "What is Homœopathy" brochure mentioned above, it was distributed via both the Hobart and Launceston pharmacies owned by Dr Benjafield.  Later, in 1895, Gould's Pharmacy advertised that the brochure was available free-of-charge and that upward of 20 thousand copies had already been circulated since it was produced.



Copy kindly donated by Roger McLennan

Photo courtesy Peter Torokfalvy


Press for tincture preparation

Photo courtesy Peter Torokfalvy

with the kind permission of Roger McLennan

F. Styant Browne arrived in Hobart in November 1882. He was a friend and fellow college student of Gould's and worked with him for a short period. In early 1883, prior to the establishment of Dr Benjafield's (F. Styant Browne's) Homœopathic Pharmacy in Launceston later that year, Mr Gould advertised the sale of medicines to those living in the northern parts of Tasmania:

Finding our Northern friends are unable to obtain ourmedicines readily, I have made arrangements for forwarding all orders of the value of five shillings and upwards, which are accompanied by a remittance, FREE by post or rail, and all orders so received will be promptly executed.

H.T. Gould, Manager, Homœopathic Pharmacy, Hobart.




In mid-1884 the Pharmacy underwent further renovations under the design and direction of Dr Benjafield, as recorded by The Mercury:



Storage cabinet  - Late1800s

Photo courtesy Peter Torokfalvy

with the kind permission of Roger McLennan

At last the scaffolding has been removed from 58 Elizabeth-street, and the Pharmacy looks very different to what it did six months ago.  Dr. Benjafield tells us that when the contemplated improvements were suggested, he asked a contractor to go carefully over the proposed work, and write out specifications, etc, but, after a month's cogitation, he told him it was impossible to put a top on the old building, and charged him £2 2s. for the advice. Owing to this, the doctor turned builder for the nonce, employing men to do the work, and the fine corner which has resulted proves the wisdom of the step taken. The City Council appreciate the improvements thoroughly, having raised the assessment on the property at one bound from £160 to £500 per annum. As most of the work has been done by immigrants and new arrivals, more than usual interest attaches to it. The stucco work strikes one as being of a very superior class; the corner, with its bust of Hahneman and ornamental quoins, giving the block a very good appearance. This, including the casting of the bust, is the work of Messrs. Mantell and Baker, and is their first work here. The Pharmacy fittings, although unfinished, are sufficiently advanced to give an idea of what is intended, and two immigrants (Messrs. Gooding and Butler) and have certainly shown the natives that they do not used to be taught how to use carpenters' tools. The floor strikes the eye as something very unique, and gives a good idea of what our commonest gum timber is like when properly worked. The window fittings and shelving are made of polished blackwood, and we have seen no fittings in Hobart to equal them, whilst the doors, also of the same material, well finish off the whole. The rest of the block has been subdivided into three other shops, two of which are already let. The building adds much to the appearance of the locality.



                'Mother tinctures' imported from New York


Photo courtesy Peter Torokfalvy

with the kind permission of Roger McLennan


Mr Gould entered into partnership with Dr Benjafield, Dr Gibson


  Remedies manufactured by H.T. Gould


Photo courtesy Peter Torokfalvy

with the kind permission of Roger McLennan


and Mr M. Mason. However, the Pharmacy became known by his name. Advertisements which had previously described him as 'Manager', in later advertisements used his name as part of the title of the business. Eventually Gould was the last survivor of the partnership. A later member of the firm was Mr F.W. Colman, who left to join another firm.

In December 1914 the Pharmacy was moved to its present site at 73 Liverpool Street, Hobart.

Mr John Henry Gould, Henry's eldest son, subsequently joined the partnership and ran the business after his father's death in 1928.


©   Barbara Armstrong      



  • Created:
    Wednesday, 17 June 2009
  • Last modified:
    Friday, 21 November 2014