The Law and George Bollen: A Man of Influence

  • Abstract:
    This article provides an overview of the early legislation in South Australia which related to the registration of medical practitioners, and the various moves over time to tighten those laws. In this context, it also provides the story of the person who was a trigger for changes to the laws in the late 1880s. It is suggested that the controversies surrounding these legal changes contributed to the gradual reduction in the use of homœopathy in South Australia in the 19th century.

    Keywords: Homœopathy; Homeopathy; History; South Australia
drbollen-s
                                 Dr George Bollen

                 Photo courtesy of Michael Bollen

(Material researched & presented by Barbara Armstrong)

 

INTRODUCTION

When studying the history and the fate of homœopathy in South Australia in the 19th century, George Bollen’s name looms large. Depending on the observer’s school of thought, he was either a dedicated practitioner who was persecuted because of his homœopathic leanings, or a dangerous quack; an energetic defender of his right to practise, or a belligerent man who bullied his way into acceptance by the authorities; an inspiration for good in his community, or a person who led unsuspecting people astray. It appears that people either loved and admired him, or they reviled him. Few people were neutral.

 

It is this author’s contention that George Bollen was also a trigger for changes in legislation in South Australia which finally brought to an end the relatively liberal laws regarding medical registration and the practice of medicine which had existed up till that time.

 

THE LEGAL BACKGROUND

On 3 September 1844 South Australia’s Medical Practitioners Bill was passed. This Act established The South Australian Medical Board, which was given the power to determine who should be deemed to be a “legally qualified medical practitioner”. The requirements were relatively liberal, and included “a regular graduate in Medicine of some Foreign University [i.e. meaning non-British] which shall appear to the said Medical Board to be of sufficient credit and authority”, and Members of the Company of Apothecaries of London or Dublin.
 

It should be noted that there was no restriction on the use of the title “doctor”, or restrictions on non-registered people continuing to practise. 

 

The Act of 1846 clarified the status of London-trained apothecaries. It also introduced a “grandfather clause” for those who were in practice as an apothecary prior to 1815, allowing them to become registered.

 

These Acts exhibited the liberal attitudes and allowances which were made for those early colonists who were starting out in a new environment, and who did not have the opportunities to “upgrade” or re-train in Australia. It also reflected a pioneering era when South Australia attracted free-thinking newcomers, and when the colony had a shortage of doctors. The colony struggled in the early years, and even more so during the years of the gold rush when thousands of South Australians left their jobs and tried their luck on the goldfields in Victoria. As Bowden commented:

 

With the diggers from South Australia came South Australian doctors. The population of South Australia was so depleted by mass migration to the goldfields, and money was so scarce that it was not worth their while to stay there in practice.7

 

The South Australian legislation allowed trained homœopaths such as Samuel Kidner, and others who were not “legally qualified practitioners”, to provide medical services to patients without contravening the laws of the time. 2 It meant that there were no grounds to refuse registration to homœopathic practitioners such as Dr Wheeler and Dr Allan Campbell, who had allopathic qualifications, despite the Medical Board’s antagonism towards homœopathy. 2 But it also meant that people who had no qualifications or medical training whatsoever could establish a medical practice.

 
bollen-weddingcakehouse02-s

                                   Dr Bollen's residence in Mt Barker

                                         (often called the "Wedding Cake House")

                                    Photo courtesy of Peter Torokfalvy

CALLS FOR CHANGE

Not all were happy with such liberal laws which allowed anyone at all to set up practice in competition with qualified and registered allopaths. The Register published various articles on the topic of "Unqualified Medical Practitioners".21 It appears that this opposition increased with the corresponding increase in popularity of homœopathy in South Australia in the 1860s.

 

In 1864 several letters to the editor were published, the first in the series recommending that “the attention of the Legislature needs to be directed to the importance of preventing persons not duly qualified practicing as surgeons or medical men”.1 The relatively new 1862 law in Victoria was tougher than that in South Australia, restricting the use of the title “doctor”.

 

While the writer didn’t mention homœopathy or homœopaths in that first letter, subsequent responses made it quite clear that these were the topics specifically being targeted. It is a shame that the authors of the letters are unknown to us (because they signed with nom de plumes), as the arguments, both for and against, were enlightening and at times amusing. For example: “Your correspondent ‘Caustic’, who, I presume, uses this substance in homœopathic doses, as his letter seems so slightly tinctured with the article ….” 1

 

Until the 1880s there was little support from either the general public or the legislators for changes to the law which would restrict practice. Many members of the Legislature were ardent supporters of homœopathy. In general, people supported the idea of choice.

 

The Legislature at home could not interfere with the privilege of any one prescribing, and at the same time grant licences for patent medicines; nor are they likely so far to interfere with the personal liberty of their subjects as to prohibit them, under heavy penalties, from applying in any direction they please for relief from their ailments. It is sincerely hoped that the medical profession (confessedly one of the most unsatisfactory sciences, both with respect to its results and its principles) will never be able to create for itself a monopoly in medicine.1

 

While these attitudes prevailed, and while non-registered practitioners acted responsibly and within the law, homœopaths and other practitioners could practise with the continued support of the majority of the population, and without major restrictions.

 

This changed with the death of a man in December 1879.

 

THE CASE

Obviously, there had been many deaths of patients over the years – from natural causes and from negligence, under the care of registered medical practitioners, as well as under the care of non-registered practitioners of all sorts. This was not a normal case, however, as potentially it had major implications for the safety and financial viability of the Port of Adelaide, and hence for Adelaide and the rest of South Australia.

 

On 20 December 1879, Mr R. Johnson became extremely ill with severe vomiting and diarrhœa, and he died the next day.22 Mr Johnson’s practitioner mis-diagnosed the death as being the result of “Asiatic cholera”, and signed a death certificate to this effect. In addition, the practitioner failed to notify this disease to the relevant health authorities. If the diagnosis was correct, failure to report it placed at risk the whole of Port of Adelaide and the colony. If the diagnosis was incorrect, and yet the port was placed under compulsory quarantine (as should have happened with Asiatic cholera), it could have caused financial ruin for businesses and the colony as a whole, for no legitimate reason.22

 

Therefore, it was a high-profile case in which the whole population had a stake, and an opinion.

 

Unfortunately, the practitioner concerned was a homœopath, and a practitioner who was not registered with the Medical Board. This incident was reported in the newspapers, and resulted in numerous letters to the editor. Once again, the focus of the letters revolved around arguments both for and against more stringent legislation to define the qualifications of medical practitioners and who should be eligible to sign death certificates.

 

Some asserted that good medical treatment could be provided only by properly qualified, gazetted doctors. Others pointed out that they had received excellent treatment from unregistered doctors, and had “witnessed sufficient to convince me that in too many instances qualified doctors are admirably qualified to maim and to kill.” 25 One satirical writer reported how, when a child was seriously ill, he had “foolishly” rejected the incoherent remarks of a registered doctor who was drunk, and instead sought treatment from a highly competent yet unregistered practitioner.24

 

People objected to being advised that they should respect and use the services of a “gazetted” doctor “who was, is, and always must be ‘properly qualified’, be he drunk or sober, lazy and neglectful, or diligent and attentive, inexperienced, or the intelligent observer through many years of practice.”24 Another writer reported cases of qualified doctors who had injured people for life.

 

The fact is when an unqualified practitioner makes a mistake the hounds hunt him down at once, but should the qualified man commit an error, all is right.25

 

Despite all these arguments, homœopathy’s detractors finally had a case with sufficient notoriety and impact to influence the attitudes of the community and the legislators. The practitioner concerned was George Bollen.

 

AN INTRODUCTION TO GEORGE BOLLEN

The story of George Bollen is a fascinating tale, much of it reported in The Register. His obituary of 23 September 1892, following his accidental death the day before, tells some of the story.27 When the news of his death reached Port Adelaide where he had lived, the flags on all the buildings in the Port were put at half mast.

 

George Bollen was born in England in 1826 and arrived in Australia in 1854. He lived for many years at Mt Barker, where his wife, Rebecca, gave birth to nine children. (His house, which he designed, still survives there, usually called the “wedding cake house”. He also built the bridge over the Mount Barker Creek. 16) There he had several occupations – as cooper, district council clerk, surveyor, and agent. As district clerk for Mt Barker, Bollen made applications to the Destitute Board for rations for those who were in dire circumstances, particularly women who had been abandoned or whose husbands had died.17 He also became a Methodist preacher.

 

At some stage several years after his arrival, he began private studies in medicine, paying particular attention to homœopathy. Reportedly, his training was provided by Dr Wheeler, a local registered medical practitioner who was also a homœopath.5 By 1869, the popularity of homœopathy in Adelaide was obvious to all, and the Adelaide Homœopathic Dispensary had been established. In the same year, Bollen’s occupation was listed in Boothby’s Directory as “homœopathist”.6

 

In 1872, Bollen decided to obtain a formal medical degree, so he travelled to the United States, where he studied at the Hahnemann Medical College of Chicago, Illinois. In 1873 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Upon his return to Australia, he moved to Port Adelaide, where he conducted a medical practice at 77 St Vincent Street. There he “soon acquired the reputation of being a highly skilled physician and gained much distinction as a homœopathist”.9 He was a member of the American Institute of Homœopathy, and was appointed consulting homœopathist in connection with the World’s Convention.9

 

As a resident of Port Adelaide, Bollen was not part of the upper-class establishment in Adelaide, and certainly not part of the conservative medical establishment. Most medical practitioners were Church of England rather than Methodist, the latter denomination having associations with the working class. The Kapunda Herald described him as

 

…. one of the best fellows and truest Christians whom I have ever known. In him was no nonsense whatever, nor the least shade of humbug. 11

 

His local newspaper described him as

 

Sincere and simple in his life; his manner, although in exterior at times rough, was actuated by a warm love for his fellow, which led him without ostentation, or desire for worldly praise to perform acts of true charity, whenever he had an opportunity. 15

 

Bollen’s “at times rough” exterior extended to his manner when writing letters to the editor and other authorities. Where others might have admitted they were wrong, demurred or apologised, or stayed away from controversy, Bollen went on the attack. He defended his diagnosis and asserted, against the opinion of the Colonial Surgeon, that Asiatic cholera was not always an epidemic disease (which presumably was his justification for not reporting the case to the authorities). In addition, his letter challenged the motives and credibility of the rest of the medical profession in Adelaide:

 

… some of my pseudo-medical friends, who love to air their own erudition and at the same time advertise themselves cheaply, will rush into print.22

 

And

 

… you say that if I have made a mistake in my diagnosis I am not fit to practice medicine. Now, if you apply this rule, I think you would clear out the whole medical profession in a year, for I would guarantee that  every practitioner in the colony, however high his attainment, makes a mistake in his diagnosis at the very least once a year, as the various opinions various doctors express on the same cases testify. 22

 

Thus began the long-term, ongoing, and apparently very personal battle between Bollen and the medical establishment in South Australia.

 

THE INVESTIGATION 

Dr Allan Campbell and Dr Verco were appointed by the Local Board of Health at Port Adelaide to investigate the case. Their conclusion was that it was not a case of Asiatic cholera, but that, according to a contemporary expert on such matters, individual cases of English cholera (which were considered non-contagious) “may present the most deceptive resemblance to Asiatic cholera.” In such cases, only time could help prove the diagnosis via evidence of the existence or absence of an epidemic. As no epidemic was found, therefore it could not have been Asiatic cholera. The report concluded that Mr Johnson was

 

specially prone to derangements of his digestive organs; that, being for years a delicate person, he succumbed to the prostration incident to the disease and died, whereas a strong healthy man would probably have rallied and recovered.23

 

There appears to have been no implication that Bollen’s treatment of Mr Johnson was wrong, or that if a gazetted doctor had treated the patient, he would have recovered. 18 It was also noted that “even among those professional gentlemen whose letters have appeared in our columns there is a material difference of opinion as to the symptoms by which Asiatic cholera may be detected”.23

 

DEMANDS FOR CHANGES TO THE LAW

These points, however, and Bollen’s apparent previous good record, were not sufficient to stop the calls for major changes to be enacted. On 10 January 1880, just three weeks after the death of Mr Johnson, Adelaide’s doctors met at Trew’s South Australian Club Hotel to discuss the need to alter the Medical Act “to protect the public”.25 It should come as no surprise to the modern reader that there was no suggestion that there should be government-approved standards and government-approved registration for non-allopathic practitioners, to improve the safety of the alternatives to allopathic treatment. Instead it was hoped that stricter, punitive controls would serve to “secure to legally qualified medical practitioners the fair and honest results of their toil.23 It should be noted that by this time doctors believed that the medical profession was overcrowded, and it was this perception which helped drive the campaigns against their competition.12 No doubt it was hoped that through exclusion and punishment, all alternatives and competition would wither and die.

 

On October 28 1880, the Medical Act in South Australia was altered so that an applicant’s qualifications had to be recognised by the Medical Council of the United Kingdom or the Medical Boards of the Australian colonies (which by this later time required a minimum of three years of medical study). Clause 12, however, stated that the Board should register any qualification which would entitle the holder to practice in all branches of medicine in any foreign state, and also to hold medical Government appointments in such state. This clause was intended to enable “certain German practitioners” to become registered medical practitioners, an important feature in a colony with so many German settlers.10 There were still sufficient staunch supporters of homœopathy in the legislature to ensure that the new act did not prevent homoeopaths from practising, although most would not be eligible to become registered medical practitioners. A notice was placed in the Government Gazette, inviting practitioners to apply for registration according to the new regulations.

 

APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION

The unintended result of the change to the Medical Act was that it gave George Bollen the opportunity to apply for a certificate as a legally qualified medical practitioner. His application of 30 June 1881 was based upon the new provisions of Clause 12 of the Act, which he believed also applied to him and his personal circumstances, not only to German practitioners. He provided supporting documentation from the American consular agent. The Board did not recognise his qualification or the supporting information, however. His case was postponed, pending further information from the U.S. government. The South Australian Medical Board was by now a branch of the British Medical Association (B.M.A.), which ran concerted campaigns against all alternatives to allopathic medicine. They were particularly antagonistic towards the standards of American degrees.12 The Advertiser newspaper implied that qualifications from colleges in Chicago could be bought, and that their graduates had not achieved their qualifications “through hard study and real knowledge”. 18

 

By late 1882, the case had not been resolved. In November that year, Mr Mattinson, one of the members of the Assembly for Port Adelaide, took up Bollen’s case and moved in Parliament that Dr Bollen was entitled to the certificate to practice under the rules of the Act. There was a stream of correspondence between the Doctor and the Board, with Bollen presenting his credentials and support from the Senate Board of Health at Illinois, and the South Australian Medical Board replying that they were not satisfied with the information he had provided. At the request of Mr Mattinson, this correspondence was presented to the Parliament, and published in The Registeron 8 August, 1883.26 Dr Bollen’s frustration at the delays finally showed in the following lines to the Board:

 

Therefore, if such evidence as I have from time to time placed before you still remains insufficient to prove to your satisfaction that I am entitled to be registered as a legally qualified medical practitioner of South Australia, I cannot see what stronger proof I can bring, and am forced, though reluctantly, to the conclusion that your prejudices against me personally, or against diplomas issued by homœopathic colleges, are too strong to permit you to fairly carry out the intention of our Legislature as embodied in the Medical Act of 1880. In conclusion, permit me to request that you will promptly decide my case, so that, if not registered, I may appeal to the Government, the Parliament, or the Supreme Court, as I may be advised.26

 

During all these proceedings, Bollen was still practising successfully in Port Adelaide. His occupation in the South Australian Directory was listed as ‘medical practitioner’. He was a Councillor of the Port Adelaide Corporation for many years, and from 1882 to 1883 he was Mayor of Port Adelaide. In 1884 he was listed as a Justice of the Peace.

 

In 1886, George Bollen’s name was published in a national List of Unregistered Practitioners, as an appendix to the Australasian Medical Directory.19 Probably as a result, Bollen’s solicitor sent a letter to the Medical Board requesting that they immediately resolve Bollen’s application.  The case dragged on.

 

In 1888 further evidence was received from Chicago, and the Crown Solicitor’s opinion on the matter was that, according to the Act, Dr Bollen was qualified to be placed on the register. In February 1889 the Attorney-General ruled that, according to the wording of the existing Medical Act, Bollen should be registered. In the end, the Supreme Court ordered the Medical Board to register him. Dr Bollen was registered on 27 August 1889. The entire Board resigned; their legal expenses were paid by the B.M.A.10 Throughout the whole saga, Dr Bollen had to pay his own expenses.


MORE LEGISLATIVE CHANGES

On 27 June 1889, Dr John Cockburn, a registered medical practitioner, became Premier of South Australia. He advised Parliament that he would again alter the Medical Act. During the debate about the proposed changes to the Act, the registration of homœopaths was raised again.

 

An amended Act was passed on 6 December 1889, just months after Bollen’s registration. The new Act gave the Medical Board the sole discretion to approve or disallow qualifications, without interference from the Supreme Court.

 

Still, the medical establishment was not happy with the wording of the Act. It had a “grandfather clause” which allowed those who had practised medicine and surgery continuously in South Australia for the previous five years to continue to use the title “doctor”. It also allowed unregistered practitioners to sign certificates of the cause of death where the death occurred more than five miles from a legally qualified practitioner – a distance which was thought to be “much too little”. (Ten or even 15 miles was the preferred distance, although it was conceded that this was a necessary provision for the more thinly populated districts.) Also, “the interests of quacks of five years’ standing are carefully conserved at the expense of the ignorant public.” 4

 

WHAT INFLUENCE ?

As mentioned in the introduction, it appears that people either loved and admired Dr Bollen, or they reviled him.

 

The Mt Barker Courier described his predominant characteristics as being

 

… intense energy and unflagging perseverance – qualities which were evidenced during his successful progression from a comparatively humble position in life to that of an honored member of a distinguished profession.13

 

Other descriptors from the obituaries included: wonderfully tough, notwithstanding the fact that he looked as fragile as a bent and withered reed; a kind-hearted and charitable disposition; benevolent; unostentatious in his acts of philanthropy; sincere and simple in his life; a man with dry wit; broad and radical in his views on politics; a valued and respected citizen; and an independent and original thinker in his preaching.

 

Like most homœopaths of the time, Dr Bollen was a devout Christian – a well-known Wesleyan Methodist preacher, and president of the Port Branch of the British and Foreign Bible Society for several years. He gave money or goods to the poor and treated them without the usual fee, while respecting their privacy and dignity. One reporter stated that he had seen just a few pages in his ledger “which represented  £1,300 worth of accounts for the payment of which he had never asked, and in respect of which he would not consent to take a single halfpenny.” 11 He was also applauded for “attending with patience and study to the duties of his profession.” These characteristics “did much to build up the great confidence in his skill which was generally felt by his many patients.” His influence “was always to be found on the side of truth and progress.”15 He also helped form the charitable organisation called the Port Adelaide Seamen’s Mission, holding the position of president till the time of his death.

 

Indeed, altogether the old doctor was so thorough a man in many ways that you could have got no better to heal your bodily sickness, to pray for your soul, or to entertain and help you with worldly-wise counsel. 11

 

The Cyclopedia of South Australia stated: “Among the names of those who have taken a leading part in building up the City of Port Adelaide and its kindred institutions, that of Dr George Bollen must be given a foremost place.” 9 He was a keen supporter of the Temperance movement, and during his term of office as Mayor, caused a stir when he gave a banquet and “excluded intoxicating liquor from the table”.20 There is some suggestion that this may have lost him another term as Mayor.

 

There is strong feeling against Dr Bollen having again the Mayorship on account of him being so rigid a teetotaller. He did not give His Excellency the Governor a drop of anything stronger than lemonade at the late opening of the Swing Bridge, and His Excellency rather sneered at it. But Bollen declared, by way of retort, that he meant to stick to his principles. A lot of Port folks don’t like that sort of thing, which they contributed to stinginess. 14

 

Bollen had a significant influence on others who were interested in homœopathy. It is likely that it was he who encouraged at least four other South Australians to study at the Hahnemann Medical College of Chicago. John R. Stephens (graduated 1875) was a fellow Methodist who practised subsequently as a homœopath at Kooringa and Mongalatala; Samuel Blackney (graduated 1888) was a Port Adelaide man with similarly humble origins as a grocer and storekeeper. Two were George’s sons – Christopher (graduated 1887) and Percival (1892). Christopher, Percival, and another son, Frederick, also obtained allopathic qualifications from overseas universities, as did Samuel Blackney. Christopher and Percival Bollen, and Samuel Blackney, gained their additional allopathic qualifications from Toronto, where just one year of additional study in a “British approved” country suddenly translated their American homœopathic qualifications from “unacceptable” to “acceptable”. Frederick Bollen gained his qualifications from London. They obviously had no desire to undergo the same battles with the Medical Board which George Bollen had experienced.

 

Dr Bollen’s staunch supporters came from the residents of Port Adelaide, Mt Barker, members of the Methodist congregations, and presumably most, if not all, of the homœopathic community. These were the people who knew him as a person, with all his weaknesses and strengths, including his dedication to his community, his profession, and his patients. The Port Adelaide News, Mt Barker Courier and the Christian Weekly newspapers reported his passing “with very sincere regret” and “real sorrow”.

 

But many people, particularly allopaths, saw only his much-publicised error, his adherence to the heresy of homœopathy, and his perceived belligerent, stubborn nature when defending himself. And it was for these aspects, and his legacy in terms of changes to South Australian legislation, that he became remembered. The obituaries in most newspapers reported that Dr Bollen was one of Port Adelaide’s most valued and respected citizens, and made no mention of his battle with the medical establishment. However, the more widely-read newspaper, The Register, was not as reserved in its reporting. In addition to providing a summary of his contributions to the community, his charitable and unostentatious manner, and comments on his “quaint and humorous sayings”, their obituary repeated the stories of his difficulties in gaining registration with the Medical Board.27

 

THE LEGACY

In its early pioneering days, South Australia had been a “paradise of dissent”, deliberately attracting free people with differing social and religious ideas. However, the colony had struggled. Sanitation and other conditions in the city were poor. There was a shortage of doctors. These factors had enabled non-registered practitioners of all sorts to thrive.

 

During this later period in its history, South Australia was becoming successful, and its citizens were desirous of establishing improvements and standards in all areas – buildings, roads, sanitation, higher education, hospitals and health services. Many more people had migrated from Britain, including doctors. There were increasing demands for higher standards in training and registration which matched those which had been introduced in Britain.

 

As part of his argument to spur the legislators to alter the medical registration standards, one writer ascribed a derogatory term to all unregistered practitioners, calling them “our colonial quacks”.23 At this time, Australians were starting to consider themselves as part of a nation, rather than as “colonials” in a backwater of the world. It is possible, therefore, that the comment helped goad the legislators, as they wanted to prove that South Australia did not warrant such insults.

 

Also, the pioneering self-made men and homœopaths were keen that their sons gain university-based qualifications and professional recognition. This next, more conservative generation, found themselves in the situation of creating laws which would exclude people of their parents’ generation. For example, Dr Magarey, son of pioneer Thomas, obtained his medical qualifications from Melbourne University. Although a homœopathic practitioner, he stated in the South Australian parliament that the Acts which had suited possibly the requirements of the colony in the primitive stage of its existence were unlikely to meet the requirements of the expanded community as it was in 1889. He therefore advocated much tighter restrictions for medical registration.

 

The Bollen case occurred at a time and in an environment where there was a strengthening opposition to unqualified and unregistered doctors. It also appears that Bollen’s manner engendered antagonism towards him personally, which had nation-wide ramifications in terms of attitudes to him and to homœopathy. The case was a trigger which appears to have lessened the generally strong support for treatment alternatives which had existed previously, and eventually forced changes in legislation.

 

It has been noted elsewhere that, by the late 1800s, even those in South Australia who had been ardent supporters of homœopathy began to omit, or disguise, their connections with homœopathy. 3 Even Dr Bollen’s two sons mentioned only their allopathic qualifications in the Australasian Medical Directory, and omitted any mention of their qualifications from the Hahnemann Medical College of Chicago. Homœopathy continued to thrive in Victoria and Tasmania, and reached a peak in Sydney in the early 1900s. In South Australia, while homœopathy did not “die”, particularly in the German-speaking areas of the State, it steadily became “politically incorrect” in many circles to admit to such leanings.

 

It is possible that part of the demise of homœopathy in South Australia was the desire of people not to be associated with the bad press which came with Bollen’s ten year-long, very public battle with the Medical Board, with all its negative (and unjustified) allegations of quackery.

 

It can be seen that, given a particular set of highly contentious circumstances which could affect the wider community, the actions of one practitioner can have a significant damaging, detrimental, and long-term effect on the whole of the profession, despite the good intentions of the practitioner involved.

 

CONCLUSION

It is quite possible that there is a generation of people on earth today because, through his dedication, skills and generosity, Dr Bollen improved the health and welfare of one of their ancestors. All his philanthropy and successes have been forgotten, however, in the wake of the legacy in terms of legislative changes and their effect on the gradual demise of homœopathy in South Australia.

 

Dr Bollen’s funeral was held at Woodville Cemetery (now called Cheltenham Cemetery) on 24 September 1892.  The Cemetery authorities have reported that the burial sites for George Bollen and his wife were reused, and the headstones were destroyed many years ago.8

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

With thanks to research assistant, Alison Hicks, without whose assistance this article could not have been written.

 

©   Barbara Armstrong

       www.historyofhomeopathy.com.au

 

  • References:
    (1) Adelaide Observer. 6 August, 1864.

    (2) Armstrong, Barbara. ‘The Introduction of Homœopathy to Adelaide’. Similia, Vol 18:2, [December 2006].

    (3) Armstrong, Barbara. ‘The Adelaide Homœopathic Dispensary’. Similia, Vol 19:1, [June 2007].

    (4) Australasian Medical Gazette. Vol. IX. pp.102-103. 1890.

    (5) Bollen, Michael. Private email.

    (6) Boothby, South Australia Almanac and Directory, 1869.

    (7) Bowden, KM. 1974, Doctors and diggers on the Mount Alexander goldfields. Hedges and Bell. Victoria.

    (8) Cheltenham Cemetery. Private email.

    (9) Cyclopedia of South Australia.

    (10) Fraenkel, G.J. & Wilde, D.H. 1994, The Medical Board of South Australia 1844 – 1994. Adelaide: Medical Board of SA.

    (11) Kapunda Herald. 27 September, 1892.

    (12) Martyr, Philippa. 2002, Paradise of Quacks: an alternative history of medicine in Australia. Sydney, Macleay Press.

    (13) Mt Barker Courier. 23 September, 1892.

    (14) Northern Territory Times and Gazette. 1 December 1883 (“Our Adelaide Letter of October 30, from our special correspondent)

    (15) Port Adelaide News. 23 September, 1892.

    (16) The Advertiser. 10 December, 1859.

    (17) The Advertiser. 6 April, 1860.

    (18) The Advertiser. 26 January, 1880.

    (19) The Australasian Medical Directory and Hand Book. Sydney, 1886.

    (20) The Christian Weekly and Methodist Journal. 21 October, 1892.

    (20) The Register. 21 & 27 February, 1854.

    (22) The Register. 3 January, 1880.

    (23) The Register. 6 January, 1880.

    (24) The Register. 8 January, 1880.

    (25) The Register. 26 January, 1880.

    (26) The Register, 8 August, 1883.

    (27) The Register. 23 September 1892.