Bell and Huntley Homœopathic Pharmacy

  • Date Established:
  • State:
    New South Wales
  • Suburb/Town:

(Material researched & presented by Barbara Armstrong)


Although there was no mention of John Bell in Cox & Co’s Sydney Post Office Directory for 1857, an advertisement in the 1863 Directory states that he established his pharmacy in 1856. (In fact, an advertisement of December 1856 announced that the pharmacy would open during January 1857.) At first, he ran this pharmacy along with Mr Frederick Huntley.


The advertisement ran as follows:



street, opposite Bridge-street, conducted by Messrs.

BELL and HUNTLEY, Homœopathic Pharmaceutists. –

This institution has been established with the view of

meeting the daily and increased wants of the homoeo-

pathic public in New South Wales and the Australasian

colonies generally. The main object of the proprietors

will be the preparation and supply of every homœopathic

medicine as recognised by the English and continental

pharmacopoeas, and will be prepared according to the

adopted centesimal and decimal scales.

The advantage to be derived from the preparation of

The medicines in the colony, instead of by importation, is

Too obvious to need any comment.

Another equally important object of this establishment

Will be the dispensing of prescriptions, an operation re-

quiring nice exactness and delicacy – an essential feature

In homœopathic pharmacy. The proprietors, in alluding to

this branch of the business have permission to state that

on and after the 2nd January, 1857, the prescriptions

of Dr. Bellamy will be dispensed at the Pharmacy; and

having obtained the confidence and patronage of that gen-

tleman, the public may rest assured that every prescription

will not only be most accurately dispensed, but charged on

a moderate scale.

In addition to the above there will be constantly on sale

The various external remedies required for professional and

Domestic use.

Medicine cases fitted up for globules or tinctures; with

“Domestic Guides.”

The different publications of the day on the subject of

Homœopathic regularly in stock, with a variety of useful


The best prepared homœopathic cocoa, and farinaceous foods, &c., &c.

P.S. – The above establishment is intended to be opened

On or about the 2nd day of January, 1857.



In fact, the opening of the business was delayed until 12th January, 1857.



                                         An advertisement in 1858

In 1858 a meeting of influential people determined to establish the Sydney Homœopathic Dispensary and arrangements were made with Mr Bell and Mr Huntley to use a portion of their Pharmacy for the Dispensary.


The partnership between John Bell and Frederick Huntley was dissolved by mutual consent on 31 December 1858.  Later advertisements recorded the business as being “John Bell (Late Bell and Huntley)”.


When Dr Mackern, surgeon of the London Homœopathic Hospital, visited Sydney in 1859, he reported that Mr Bell was “the zealous and intelligent homoeopathic chemist of Sydney, and the honorary secretary of the dispensary. His establishment is well supplied with drugs, and all needful appliances, together with a stock of the ordinary homoeopathic literature.”


Between the years 1863 and 1870 John Bell was listed in the annual Sand’s Sydney and Suburban directories as operating the John Bell (Homœopathic) Pharmacy at 227 George Street (the Lyon’s Building), on the west side of the street and on the corner of Charlotte Place.



                                      An advertisement in 1864

               (offering a service to Queensland customers)


In 1859 Bell advertised his services in The Moreton Bay Courier in Queensland. In 1864 he also advertised his services in the Queensland Post Office Directory.


                                         An advertisement in 1865



It appears that John Bell died in the first half 1870, as there is an advertisement in a July edition of The Brisbane Courier stating that the Sydney Homœopathic Pharmacy was available for sale by tender “in consequence of the death of the late proprietor, Mr John Bell”. According to the advertisement “the business is supported by the leading Homœopathic Medical Practitioners in the Australian Colonies.” The medicines included all the newest remedies and had been “carefully examined by Drs Brereton and Hartmann, who have kindly consented to bear testimony as to their quality and efficacy.”


Although the 1871 post office directory listed the Sydney Homœopathic Pharmacy with Mrs M. Bell as proprietor, the pharmacy had been bought by Frederick Nelson Collins by January 1871.  He traded under the name F.N. Collins Homœopathic Pharmacy.


©   Barbara Armstrong     


  • Created:
    Thursday, 20 January 2011
  • Last modified:
    Thursday, 14 November 2019