Friday, September 28, 2018

A9 The Menzies Centre

Menzies Institute Hobart

The photos have been taken by Ann Williams-Fitzgerald, who is a current student with the Wicking Centre housed in this building.  She is a descendant of the Jillett's first born son, William Bradshaw.

Menzies Institute cnr marking Liverpool and Campbell Streets, whilst, on the opposite side, creating a dialogue with the landscape of the Domain and the vehicular movement of the Brooker Highway.

The building is entered through a formal archway on the street corner that leads into a glazed atrium.

During the excavations on the site, which would have contained many old buildings, photos were taken by the archaeologists involved. 



Aerial view of 53 Campbell St after excavation Excavated building showing wall footings, steps and fireplace, Menzies Institute.

1820’s stables exposed within later 20th century motor garage shed.



The Cesspit was possibly not on the original house, given the dating. of 1840

Various artefacts were located.   Some are not from the original Jillett house.
These two are very likely to have been discovered on the original house.


The Jillett house was taken over by the Government, and used for Government purposes, according to one of the Colonial Secretary reports, its location to the Barracks made it able to be used for Government purposes.

Its location was near the first Market Square.

There is mention of a garage at the stable area.

There was an engineering business at 17 Liverpool Street Hobart.  It operated until around the 1960's.

Examining the Artefacts

There was a Chemist operating in Liverpool Street, and his name was Andrew Paton Miller
Mr Andrew Miller, chemist, of Hobart Town, proved that he had sold to prisoner on 9th or 10th March 24oz. of nitric acid, a gross of phials, and some quicksilver ; on the 24ith witness got some liquor from the Superintendent of Police, and found it to be composed of nitric acid, quick silver, and water.
Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899) Saturday 4 April 1874

A saddle horse having got at liberty in front of Mr. Miller's chemist shop, Hobart Town, turned on the pavement opposite Messrs. Kerr and Young's drapery establishment, in Liverpool-street, where it fell. It rose again, entered, and trotted up the centre of the shop until it came opposite a mirror, where, seeing its own counterfeit presentment, it stood immovable. The rider having arrived led the animal quietly away.

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Thursday 8 February 1883, page 7


The Industrial Exhibition was opened this afternoon by the Governor, with much ceremony. A public half holiday had been proclaimed, and all the shops were closed. The Governor and Commodore were received by a guard of honour consisting of members of the Rifle Regiment on entering the Exhibition. The Orchestral Union under Herr Schott, played the National Anthem. Mr. James Harcourt, the president, presented an address to his Excellency, who suitably replied. He stated that the undertaking had his warmest sympathy, and declared the Exhibition open, amidst great cheering. All the members of the Ministry, the Mayor, and Corporation, and other public officials were present. The building presents a very creditable appearance, especially considering that it had been converted for its present use out of the old market.

The chief Victorian exhibits are the Oriental Tea Company's Pagoda, Messrs. Cullis and Hill's furniture, Swallow and Ariell's biscuits, Henry Young's jewellery, Howland's cordials. Chief among the Hobart exhibits was J. Bidencope's hat display, with men at work, showing the manufacture of hats. Mr. Golding exhibits a handsome case of jewellery; Mr. Evans, of Launceston, has an excellent display of soap ; Mr. Stuart, of Launceston, shows locally manufactured jewellery ; Mr. A. P. Miller, chemist, of Hobart, has a fine show of Tasmanian parfumery;  Messrs. Wignall and Bridges exhibit basketware ; and Moir's cabinet of minerals of Tasmania proved a great attraction. The building to-night was crowded, and illuminated by the Brush electric light with good effect. A grand concert was given. It is generally acknowledged that the whole display is far beyond the sanguine expectations of the promoters.

Some of our readers will remember, no doubt, that we (Mercury ) called attention some time ago to a very beautiful glass case, containing perfumes in bottles and other Articles pre pared and sold by Mr Miller, chemist, of Hobart. The case was a richly ornamented one, and the glass was the very thickest plate procurable, bevelled at the edges, which glass can only be procured from  England. The case would have made a very elegant exhibit, creditable alike to Mr Miller and the colony, but it met -with such treatment on the voyage as that it. reacted Calcutta a perfect wreck. Mr Miller has received a letter from Mr Just, in which our Commissioner states that the large and thick sheets of glass were smashed literally to atoms, the three glass shelves were also smashed, the brass work considerably damaged, and, generally, the. whole case was a wreck. As plate glass could not be procured, Mr Just had to put lead down the centre, and repair the damage as best he could with common window glass. The result was, of course, that Mr Miller's elegant and expensive case was deprived of all its beauty, and the - work and taste entirely thrown away. Mr Just states that he has given the P. and Co. notice that they will be held responsible for the damage done, but whether Mr Miller will get any satisfaction remains to be seen.

Mr Miller says, that after this experience he is not likely to again send exhibits beyond the seas, and we do not wonder at his resolution.

His business was at the corner of Murray and Liverpool Streets, confirmed in this advertisement 1888.

Miller was a man of great enterprise and he immediately introduced a number of specialties which made his name famous for he was one of the first in Tasmania to manufacture eucalyptus oil from the leaves of the pure blue-gum tree and the product was formulated into eucalyptus toilet vinegar, ointment & salve, veterinary ointment, pastilles, cream, dentifrice, and soap, as well as many others.
His eucalyptus oil was shipped world-wide and included the Parke, Davis & Co. firm in Detroit, Michigan. In addition he distilled on his premises a “a fragrant and refreshing perfume, being an exquisite combination of exotic and Tasmanian flowers .....put up in elegant ‘Tasma caskets” of Tasmanian ornamental woods, containing the perfume in chaste cut-glass bottles” of 2 sizes, costing £2 2s. and £3 3s.

Mr. Andrew Paton Miller was educated at Ayr Academy in Ayr, Scotland, he served his apprenticeship in Paisley, Scotland, and came out to Melbourne in 1856, where he remained until he settled in Hobart in 1871. His son Andrew John Miller was born in Hobart on 26 January 1872, was educated locally, joined the VDL Bank in 1889, and after 18 months he apprenticed with his father, later graduating in Melbourne at the College of Pharmacy, became associated with his father’s pharmacy again, and in 1893 was admitted into partnership in the firm.

This information was extracted from ‘The Cyclopedia of Tasmania’ article (Volume 1, 1900) which spent so much time extolling the virtues of the 3-story (second) building, as well as the myriad of the medicaments made from the distilled eucalyptus oil, that it never mentioned his full name, nor when A.P. Miller was born (he was said to be 28 in 1871, so his birth was ca. 1843), and he was still alive at the time of publication of the article. An idea of the extensiveness of the business is given by the number of those employed, 13 in their town premises, and from 12 to 15 at the Eucalyptus Distillery.
Andrew Paton Miller was described as a good employer, public-spirited and a liberal-minded citizen, prominent in all important movements for the improvement of Hobart, and the promotion of healthy recreation amongst its citizens. He had been a pioneer mining speculator, but not prominent in political life, although he had considerable influence with the electors generally. 

 Once again I am indebted to Margaret Harman, Heritage Collections, State Library of Tasmania, Hobart, for the information used in preparing this article.
Addendum (November 2007):   This registered cover from DALBY/ 9A/ DE 28/ 1905/ QUEENSLAND is addressed to Mr. A.P. Miller, Chemist , Hobart, Tasmania (Figure 4).

David McNamee's definitive book  'Catalogue and Handbook of Tattersall's Covers (2006)' gives additional information on the Miller father and son on page 127. I highly recommend this book in regards to the great documentation of Tattersall's covers. 

 Andrew Miller was born at Ayr, in Scotland. According to his obituary, this was in 1843, although some other sources cite 1839. He was educated at Ayre Academy and served his apprenticeship as a chemist at Paisley and passed his examinations with distinction.
He emigrated to Melbourne where he became an assistant chemist before purchasing his own pharmacy business.
In 1869 Mr Miller moved to Tasmania where, on 30 November 1869, he married Ann Mary McAllan.
In 1871, aged 28, he purchased the Hobart pharmacy business of Dr Smart. It was at this time that his advertisements included statements that he sold homœopathic medicines.
According to his obituary, Mr Miller proved to be "an estimable citizen being well endowed with those faculties of energy, industry, and enterprise which have made Scotchmen famous all the world over in their mastery of business and commercial affairs generally. ... In all his dealings Mr Miller was remarkable for his honesty of purpose, liberal-mindedness, and integrity of principles, though making no open profession of those virtues. He had the courage of his convictions, and there was nothing of the hypocrite, the envious spirit, or the 'little Hobartian' about him, for he heartily sympathised with all progressive efforts."
He was involved with the Tasmanian Racing Club, one of the pioneers of the mining industry in Tasmania, especially on the West Coast, and was one of the first in Tasmania to commence the manufacture of pure eucalyptus oil from the leaves of the blue gum, establishing an oil distillery.
Mr & Mrs Miller had two sons and four daughters. He died suddenly on 2 April, 1904.[2]

He died in 1904, and his will confirms his address. 

From the National Trust 1990, this was his site. From

Name/Title Corner of Liverpool and Murray St, Hobart, Tasmania[3]
About this object D. P. Miller's Pharmacy site at the corner of Liverpool and Murray Streets, Hobart, Tasmania.

Scarlet Fever - Diphtheria - The Deaths of Children

The whole reason there is a Family Reunion, stems from the death of 7 children in a 6 week period in Oatlands, between January and February 1859.  Grandchildren of Robert and Elizabeth Jillett, who never had a chance to live.

Killed by an epidemic.  Scarlet fever raged across Tasmania and other places and in the period 1850 to 1859, over 6,900 children died.  An enormous number of deaths, never recorded anywhere, that was until the descendants of Thomas Jillett found the family crypt nothing but a piece of rubble in St Peter's Cemetery at Oatlands.  Next to his was his brother's crypt John and his wife lost 4 children in 1859, and another in 1854.

A terrible tragedy, for a family, who brought their children to Hobart for treatment, and were ostracised by the local medical folk for doing so.  There is every possibility that they sought the assistance of Dr Richard Bright or his son Dr Richard Bright Junior.  Little did we know that we would be staying at his home in Hobart! 

What would be the connection?  In 1868, John Jillett died of diphtheria, in Hobart at the house of his sister in Liverpool Street.  Just around the corner from Dr Bright, and the second house of Robert and Elizabeth Jillett.

John passed away, and less than 6 weeks later so did his wife Phoebe.  It is 150 years since those deaths.

Thomas's family,  contributed significantly to the restoration of the Thomas Jillett Family Crypt. 

We are very proud of that achievement, and on the crypt we recognise it as a Memorial to those other 6,900 children.

Restoring a Heritage Listed Crypt in a Heritage Listed Cemetery was not easy, however we were fortunate to obtain 50% funding from the Historic Sites Programme from the Federal Government, and the help and assistance from the people of Oatlands and the Council.   Our restoration is the only one ever done in Tasmania in a Heritage Listed Cemetery.

$25K was only part of the cost of the restoration, and as family, none of us even knew each other.  To find them and then ask them for a huge commitment for the restoration was not easy.

Over those 8 years so many of the descendants are now connected, something that is fantastic to achieve.   It is vitally important to preserve history, and just as vitally important to ensure that historical facts are correct.

Not only were John and Thomas Jillett criticised for taking their sick babies to Hobart, but so to was Dr Richard Bright

To the Inhabitants of Tasmania.

There is a time for all things, and I believe now is the time for every-one to speak his mind.

I am from circumstances placed in a different situation to any other medical man in the colony, forever since I have been in this colony my character has been attacked; for what? Is it that some p '-. ties took a dislike to me on my arrival, or that f would not fall into a net or belong to a clique, or that I possessed more credentials than many others, remembering that produced testimonials that I was ti Phj aldan, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, London, and a Licentiate of the Apothecaries Company, and, I might have added, I was sworn in , a Chemist before the Lord Mayor of London  Now, him, for what has my character been attacked? Is it that I have been more unsuccessful than some, or is it that I interfered with their practice, or is it that  have been more successful and have never interfered with them, except in defence? The latter I believe to be the cause.
It is my duty to state facts, and what can be proved. It is well known that for many years I attended the late Mia, Wilson, and why? Because nearly fifteen years since other medical men then said more than once she could not survive 21 or 48 hours.

Yet, wither tho assistance of the Almighty, she lived, solely under my care, between 14 and 15 years, such or friends can testify to the truth of. I shall mention another case of a similar nature, where a child was dangerously ill and insensible, and when the distressed mother repeatedly asked him other medical gentleman, if her daughter lived, would she regain her senses, his repeated answer was "Don't distress your mind about her senses, no power on earth can save her." My opinion was totally different through the whole of her illness, and I am happy to say she is now in the full enjoyment of health and senses.

I extract the following from a letter before me from Mrs. Walker, of Moreton Bay, formerly of this colony :
" Gratitude compels me to make a public acknowledgment of the blessings that I have received at your hands, as I could not express to you what I had suffered, having been treated by four medical practitioners, and regret to say I always found myself worse than before. My dear sir, I can assert that I was not undergoing your treatment a week before I was much relieved, and ultimately you entirely removed not only tho disease but the cause, as I have never felt the slightest symptoms up to the present time."-For the truth of this I am authorized to give references.

A great many similar cases I could mention?

We have had of late years epidemics. What has been the result Why, two, three, four, and in one instance five were cut off in a family. A father and mother lost every child. I proposed a plan of treatment which I had adopted and watched very closely before l promulgated it. It was ridiculed and sneered at. I persevered in that treatment and only lost one patient during the last epidemic, that I was called to as tho first Medical Man. We are now visited with another fatal disease which has carried off two in two different families. 

I have been called to severe cases of Diphtheria (in one that had boon given over) ; my treatment has been as it always is in dangerous cases, active from the first ; the result has been that I have not lost a single case up to the present time.

I shall only add that with all the fractures or dislocations,  I have been called to attend in this Colony, how few have terminated otherwise than favourable to the patient, many are living at the present time to speak for themselves.

53 Collins-street. Hobart Town,
November 7th, 1859.

There a many similar stories to be found in the newspapers of the day.

Tasmanian News (Hobart, Tas. : 1883 - 1911), Monday 28 October 1901, page 4

There passed away at 9 o’clock this morning one of the most widely-known and respected medical practitioners in the community. Dr. Richard Stonehewer Bright, M.R.C.S., England, L.M . and L.S.A., was born in South Audley street, London, in 1835. His father, the late Dr. Richard Bright, who was then a medical practitioner in London, came to Tasmania in 1842 and practised his profession here for 20 years, dying in 1862. The deceased was educated at Christ’s Hospital and King’s College, London, and served his apprenticeship with Mr Fram, surgeon, in the city of Derby. In 1857 he passed his examination for a member of the Royal College of Surgeons and L.M ., and in the following year that of L.S.A ., London, having been four years previously, from 1854 to 1858, pursuing his studies at King’s College and Hospital, London. Coming to Tasmania in December of the latter year Dr. Bright began the practice of his profession in Hobart in 1859, and was practising up to the time of his death.

He was one of the honorary surgeons to the General Hospital, Hobart, since 1860, and was senior member of the medical branch of the Hospital. He was a member of the Hospital Board, and only resigned a few weeks ago owing to ill health. He was president of the medical section of the Royal Society of Tasmania, president of the Court of Medical Examiners, and Chief Medical Officer of the A.M.P. Society since the society opened a branch in Hobart in August, 1877.

He was appointed president of the Intercolonial Medical Conference, which was to meet in Hobart in February of next year, and he worked hard to ensure the success of this gathering. Dr. Bright was director of the Alliance Insurance Company, a member of the Council of the Museum, and a warm supporter of its usefulness to the state. He had under a stern manner a kind and warm heart, and on all sides he is spoken of as one that was looked up to as an honourable man, and in his profession he commanded the respect of all. His death came as a shock to the community.

On Saturday evening he was quite cheerful, and yesterday he was in his usual health, and when he retired to rest last evening he seemed to be quite himself, and not the slightest sign of illness. For some time past the doctor has suffered from shortness of breath, supervening on a severe attack of influenza contracted some months ago. This accounted largely for his retirement from the Legislative Council election contest.

This morning at 7 o ’clock, when Mrs Bright rose Dr Bright was then sleeping placidly. At a quarter to 9 o’clock, on his not coming down-stairs, she went to call him and found him dead, he having passed away peacefully in his sleep. There was not the slightest sign of his having suffered or moved in his bed. He had simply passed away while asleep.

Drs. Sprott and Butler were called in, but the deceased had breathed his last, the immediate cause of death being attributed to heart trouble. The subject of this notice was married in 1863 to Miss Nicholas, of Meadsfield, near Bothwell, and had issue one daughter, who was married to Mr L. Macleod, of the Union Bank. The death of Dr Bright will cause a void in medical and social circles which will not easily be filled.

Campbell Street, Hobart at the time was home to some worthy occupants.

In 1842   On Sunday, 1st May, Mrs. W. L. Crowther, 33, Campbell-street, Hobart Town, of a son.
Mr Crowther is well known and recognised in early Hobart History, as was his son, and later a grandson, who became Premier.

In 1845, Mr Giblin had a school operating from 33 Campbell Street.

Unfortunately many of the papers of William Lodewyk Crowther were destroyed so there is relatively less primary documentary material relating to him than for succeeding generations. However, items of particular interest include:

- newspaper cuttings on the political, medical and scientific activities of William Lodewyk Crowther
- articles written by W.E.L.H. Crowther on William Lodewyk’s life,
- obituary notices (1885)
- Handwritten notes and memories on William Lodewyk by his son, Edward Lodewyk Crowther, including whaling, guano and timber industries, early schooling, voyages, trade, encounters with Aborigines and bushrangers etc.
- Cash book (1840s-1850s)
- Typescript copy of journal kept from Van Diemens Land to England on board the barque Emu (1839)


- newspaper cuttings relating to the medical, political and defence related contributions of Edward Lodewyk Crowther
- handwritten notes by him on his life and that of his father (W.L.)
- handwritten journal of Edward Lodewyk Crowther of his voyage on the Royal Alfred from Sydney to England (1864-1865) and typescript copy
- a large collection of letters, reports, and ephemera relating to his involvement in the Southern Tasmanian Volunteer Artillery Corps (STVA)
- book of medical case reports (1850s-1880s)
- misc. correspondence relating to personal and professional matters
- correspondence, reports, lists of shares and ephemera relating to mining activities.

William Crowther (1788-1839) arrived in Hobart with his young family in 1825. Unable to secure an official post, he established a private medical practice and was involved in the early stages of the movement to end the transportation of convicts to Van Diemen's Land.

Successive generations of Crowthers - William Lodewyk (1817-1885), Edward Lodewyk (1843-1931), and William Edward Lodewyk Hamilton (1887-1981) - practised medicine. W.L. and E.L. Crowther both entered politics: W.L. was Premier 1878-9. W.E.L.H. Crowther served at Gallipoli and on the Western Front during the First World War. Knighted in 1964, he donated a large collection of books, manuscripts, pictures and other artefacts to the State Library of Tasmania.