Medical Men of Brisbane – Workers for Science and Medicine – Story of the O’Doherty’s – Work and Romance of “Eva” of the Nation
One of the prominent men in Queensland history was Dr. Wm. Hobbs, who, when I came to Brisbane, was prominent in the Legislative Council and in the medical profession. He was of middle height, sturdily built, and of a sanguine complexion – clean shaved, with the exception of very short reddish brown “side lever” whiskers.
Dr. Hobbs was a very energetic citizen. His home was the present Church House on the Adelaide Street front of the great property which Bishop Webber secured for the Church of England. It had been occupied in the days of Sir George Bowen as Government House.
To me the Doctor was interesting as the first to put dugong oil on the market as a substitute for codliver oil. Dugong bacon and the ordinary meat were known to me in the North.
In “Tom Petrie’s Reminiscences”, pages 55 – 66 the following is given:- “The natives were great believers in the curative properties of the dugong. Father has seen sick blacks, unable to walk, apparently in consumption, carried carefully to the mouth of the Brisbane River, and there put into canoes and taken across to Fisherman’s Island, to where dugong were being caught. There they would live for some time on the flesh of the dugong, and the oil would be rubbed all over their bodies, and in the end they would return quite strong and well. In the early days of Brisbane my father mentioned how he had seen this for himself to Dr. Hobbs, who was greatly interested, and afterwards recommended the use of dugong oil as a remedy similar to codliver oil, and this is how it came to be first used medicinally in Queensland.”
It will be understood that the writer was the daughter of Tom Petrie, Constance Campbell Petrie, who later became Mrs. Geo. Stuart, of Brisbane, and is, alas, with us no more for ever.
In my earlier days in Brisbane Dr. Cannan lived and had his consulting rooms on the corner of George and Margaret Streets, in one of the blocks known as Hodgson’s Terrace. Later the buildings were converted into the big boarding house known as Menzies, and now, upon further conversion, as the private hotel, Kingsley.
Dr. Cannan had been coroner in the days when “Crowner’s Quests” were held in Brisbane.
He drove round on his visits with a good, steady horse and a buggy, and had a good practice, but many of his patients were on the free list. He was rather a philanthropist than a money-maker.
One of his sons was Mr. John K. Cannan, whom I had known at Townsville as manager of the Queensland National Bank. Later he joined the Royal Bank of Queensland.
Of his sons – the grandsons of Dr. Kearsey Cannan –one is a well-known lawyer, another, Major Herman Cannan, made the supreme sacrifice in Gallipoli – a brave soldier and a warm hearted, cheery comrade – and another is General “Jim” Cannan, who went over to Gallipoli as commander of the famous 15th Battalion, A.I.F., and returned as a Brigadier-General, with practically ever honour that could be earned in the hardest of all the fighting of the Great War.
Those who knew old Dr. Cannan intimately, as I did, will know how splendid a thing it would be for him to visualize so fine a roll of descendants. We cannot say whether there is knowing of these things by those who have passed to the other life. At any rate, the Cannans of the younger generations have a pleasant reflection that the original of the family in Brisbane was one of a noble profession, and whose kind heart is often gratefully remembered.
Dr. Hugh Bell was a venerable, handsome man, who when I came to Brisbane had given up his post as Medical Superintendent at the Brisbane General Hospital, and had a general practice.
His home was in Adelaide Street, in a tiled roof cottage, partly embowered in the gleaming leaves and deep orange flowers of one of our most beautiful vines.
Later Dr. Bell moved to the old house at Milton that had been the property of Mr. J. F. McDougall, and which, with its 20 acres of land, had been bought by a syndicate and cut up into allotments. The grounds were bounded by the River Road, by Cribb Street, Park Road, and the railway line.
And there the worthy doctor spent the evening of his days, honoured and well loved. I knew him as a reformer in hygiene. He mad many practical tests with the view of improving the sanitary conditions of Brisbane; but, alas, in those days, when a system in accordance with civilization might have been so cheaply instituted, people looked beyond it, but at earth, not the stars.
And the saddest part of it all was, and is, that people are so accustomed to sordidness that they really don’t see why “a few cranks” should look for anything better.
Dr. Bell was not only a medical man and surgeon, but was a lover of art and of good music.
Another of the old school of medical men – and many of them had the M.D. degree- was Robert Hancock, who lived in George Street, in a two-storied brick house which adjoined the Shakespeare Hotel. The Shakespeare of the old days has long since gone, and our friend, the late Mr. Richard Gailey, built over the “remains” and in its place the Hotel Cecil. If the “Shakespeare” was good enough, it was not sufficiently fashionable. Later on Mr. S. Glasgow of Gympie – the father of Senator Sir William Glasgow, K.C.B., etc. and a very great deal of etcetera – bought the property.
Just beyond the Shakespeare, and on the corner, was a big block of land occupied by a long, low-roofed cottage, in which lived my friend and colleague, John Flood. Dr. Hancock used to be chaffed by his intimates with being “the glass of fashion and the mould of form.” He wore a black silk hat, a frock coat with an inevitable buttonhole bouquet, and was turned out in the very smartest style. He was a robust man, but like a great artist described by Borrow in “Lavengro,” was inclined to be what the racing men term “a bit close to the ground.” The very beautiful daughter of Dr. Hancock married Captain McCallum, who was under Colonel Blaxland (Commandant) and Major Moore (now Colonel Moore, and ex-Chief Police Magistrate), on the permanent staff of the Volunteer Force of that day.
In the early 1880s we had no more conspicuous man in Brisbane, socially and professionally, than Dr. Kevin Izod O’Doherty, a member of the Legislative Council. It is not proposed to repeat here the often written history of this pioneer, but to give a few of my remembrances of him and his family. Of course, as every one knows, Dr. O’Doherty was sent out to Australia, as was John Flood and other of the finest Irishmen we have ever had in the country.
He was connected with the Home Rule cause in Ireland, which was then better known as the Fenian movement, but like Flood, he was no more a sanguinary revolutionist than our present Governor-General or the heads of any of the Orange Lodges of Australia.
He was a reformer, and with his colleagues sought a form of Home Rule for Ireland, preserving the place of that country within the British fold, and within what afterwards became the Empire fold.
John Flood once said to me” We desired a loyal Ireland with its own Parliament and the same status in the Empire – we had then become an Empire – as the colony of Queensland.”
In many conversations with Dr. O’Doherty, no variation of that story was given. Yet these two men were transported because they sought a form of autonomy – since granted on much wider grounds – for their country.
I do not say there were no indiscretions, no wild talk, and no violent deeds, but who in Australia who knew them failed to regard both O’Doherty and Flood with warm affection and profound respect? Once in reply to a direct question Dr. O’Doherty told me that the immediate cause of his arrest and transportation was a leading article written by him in a Dublin paper. He thought it was a mild article, but it was linked up with certain acts of violence on the part of the extreme element, and he had to suffer. His escape from Australia to France, and the completion of his medical studies, and his romantic reunion with “Eva” of the “Nation” are well known
O’Doherty was pardoned, he returned to Ireland and to England, and the poetess “Eva” became his wife. Then he cam back to Australia and practised in Brisbane. My introduction to him was through John Flood, and we had a very close friendship for many years. I was one of those who gave him a “send-off” in Brisbane, in 1885, when he went over to the old land and was returned unopposed to the House of Commons as member for North Meath.
Dr. O’Doherty at the time of my coming to Brisbane had his home and consulting rooms in Harris Terrace, George Street. Later he built “Frascati” in Ann Street. This fine home was bought years afterwards by Dr. A. B. Carvosso, who in turn sold it to the Church of England, and it is now part of the St. John’s Cathedral and St. Martin’s Hospital areas between Ann Street and Adelaide Street. Dr. O’Doherty took an active part in the political life of Queensland as a member of the Legislative Council, but he was not at all a partisan. At the house warming at “Frascati” we had a very merry “bachelor” party. The doctor’s boys were then all grown up.
Ned O’Doherty, the eldest son, married a daughter of General Sir George French, of the Royal Artillery, who was commandant of New South Wales after having reorganized and commanded the Canadian and Queensland Forces. Ned had qualified, and was in practice in Brisbane, and a prominent member of the Johnsonian Club.
Willie had been over to Philadelphia for a degree in dentistry, and was also practising in Brisbane.
Vincent was in the Queensland National Bank; and the youngest, Kevin, was with the Colonial Sugar Refining Company.
Willie was my favourite, a tall and comely young fellow, but of delicate health. It was a coincidence that there was something tragic and peculiarly sad in the deaths of the old doctor’s first three boys. Ned and Vincent married and left children. Willie was unmarried and I lost sight of young Kevin. At the “Frascati” house-warming, Dr. O’Doherty was congratulated upon having four sons to worthily uphold his name. I well remember the old man’s words, when in response to an enthusiastic toasting of his health, he referred to the boys. He said: “Well, they are here today bright and cheery, but they are in God’s hands, and we do not know what the future holds for them.” I was at the time pretty young, and we were often a wild lot; but the words of old Dr. Doherty seemed to clutch my heart as with an icy hand. Was it the Celtic premonition?
I met Mrs. O’Doherty only a few times, for until her later years she was away from Brisbane a good deal. She was tall, distinguished looking rather than beautiful, and was one of the least assuming of all intellectuals the great workers in our literature and art. A few years ago I sometimes went with my wife and had tea with Thomas Hardy at “Max Gate,” near Dorchester, in England, and had the pleasure of a visit from that great writer and his distinguished wife (also a writer) at my headquarters at Weymouth. Thomas Hardy was one of the most homely of men, and found great pleasure in the fact that my wife knew his poetical works, and above all, she was agreed with his wife and himself that “The Tramp Woman’s Tragedy” was the best and most powerful of his ballads. On one occasion only did I speak to Mrs. O’Doherty of her verse written as “Eva” of the “Nation,” and she noticed that I liked best a few of the smallest things which had in them an undercurrent of sadness. I said: “I can see that the sadness comes from the sense of failure of Ireland to realise her aspirations, and perhaps from some feeling that she has not shown the capacity which we call worthiness.” Also I said that much of the verse seemed quite impersonal, though generally attributed to a personal romanticism.
Mrs. O’Doherty said: “The best that we do must have in it some inspiration from outside things – patriotism, affection, and events; but of my best I do not think there is much that counts.”
Frankly, I may say that I silently agreed with her estimate of her work. It had in its grace, sensitiveness, but in it I failed to find breadth of vision. My view is that the work of “Eva” caught the public mind of Ireland at a susceptible moment, and that her own personal romance and the romance of the gallant young Irishman who was to become her husband, threw round the verse a false atmosphere. The work, perhaps, was too often, viewed through glasses violet-hued by sympathy, and that tenderness coming from the old assessment of the world’s love for lovers. It must not be assumed that there is not much in the poems of “Eva” of the “Nation” which is true, and which is charming; yet readers of today will not find in them the quality of greatness with which we surrounded then between forty and fifty years ago.
After the death of her husband, Mrs. O’Doherty lived at Heussler Terrace, near Auchenflower, though the terrace no longer bears the name of that fine old gentleman, who, though of German birth, was ever loyal to the country of his adoption, and a fine, enterprising citizen. At a quiet little home looking out on the beautiful western hills of our Brisbane, Mrs. O’Doherty saw the skies flame with scarlet and gold, saw the fragrant tones soften and deepen, saw the purple mists of the range fade to grey, and the grey to a darkness frowning in the ravines and thrilling the foliage of the slopes. The hour of rest had come, and the Sweet Angel of Peace gently touched the weary brow and left its message there.
In Toowong Cemetery are two Queenslanders from Ireland – Dr. Kevin Izod O’Doherty and his sweet wife, the mother of his children. “Eva” of the “Nation” – gone back to the earth until the day comes for the Great Awakening. How few of the present generation know their story; how few appreciate their service to the world. Not that it matters much to them; but it matters much to us. It is just the story of human kind –devotion, service, disappointment, old age – and death. But, thanks to the Great Father of us all, though that may end the chapter, it does not close the book.
Dr. O’Doherty left Queensland at the invitation of some of his friends in the Irish Party in the House of Commons – John Dillon, Michael Davitt, John Redmond, and others who had seen much of him here. He became a candidate for North Meath, and as already stated, was returned unopposed to the Mother of Parliaments; but he did not stay there very long. He found the atmosphere not altogether congenial; he could not stand up to the association in the public mind of all the Irish Party with crimes which stained the history of his motherland. And he was a stranger. The old intellectuals of his young days with their Fabian methods were forgotten. Save with a few there was little glory for those who in the past had served and suffered for Ireland. And he did not like Parnell, then at his zenith. It was not like that, like other of Ireland’s most brilliant leaders, Parnell was a Protestant, a son the Presbyterian Church, for O’Doherty always stood for the idea that Irish Home Rule was purely a political and in no sense a religious movement.
He knew that of the seven members of the Home Rule Council, the majority – I think five – were Protestants or members of the Church of England. It was something in Parnell’s personality that repelled the warm hearted Irish Queenslander. “He was cold, autocratic, intolerant, and without a scrap of human sentiment,” was O’Doherty’s description of the great leader to a few friends in Brisbane. That was not quite correct, for Parnell’s Waterloo was a woman – another man’s wife.
But it really was not, in the main, any of these things which brought Dr. O’Doherty back to Brisbane. Things had gone wrong here financially, and he had to come home and endeavour to straighten them out. He did not altogether succeed, though sincere friends stood by him, and, in the ordinary acceptation of that term, he went out of the world pretty nearly as poor as he came into it.
Of one thing we may be sure, that he took nothing away with him. Yet, he took much: a great deal of love, a great deal of warm respect, and many a prayer from the poor whom he had helped, and the sick whom he had served in tenderness and Christian charity.
I have made no reference to Miss O’Doherty, the daughter of the union, for the reason that I only met her once, and then on a sad occasion – a tall, slight girl, sensitive, and a home lover, now the wife of Mr. O’Sullivan, ex-Inspector of Queensland Police.
It is not quite sure whether Dr. Bancroft was a botanist or a plant industry promoter. At any rate, he was a most excellent physician with the ordinary surgical – and, perhaps, a little more – skill of the general practitioner. The passing of Dr. Bancroft was not so long ago as to debar remembrance of him by some of the younger generation. He went to his rest after something like a half century here of diligence in his profession, and much usefulness otherwise as an economic botanist.
So far as my memory goes, he was practising on Wickham Terrace in the early 1880s, and then built a fine brick house on the corner of Ann Street and Wharf Street. Dr. Bancroft had made a beautiful home on Ithaca Creek, at Kelvin Grove, before building the brick house at the Ann Street, Wharf Street corner, and there he carried out his plant acclimatization and development. He had a fine knowledge of Queensland plants and tress, and his friend, Frederick Manson Bailey, shows a perpetuation of his name in Queensland botanical nomenclature. The doctor had also a fine property on the shores of Deception Bay, running back towards Burpengary. There he established works for the preparation of a meat food, which was called pemmican, and which had some vogue with the British War Office. He also had a very useful method of fish preservation. A relative continued the work at deception Bay, but ultimately the industry was dropped.
A bluff old Englishman was Dr. Charles Prentice, who lived out on the road between the Fiveways, Woolloongabba, and Baynes’s Paddock, or the bridge across the upper waters of Kingfisher Creek, this side of Stone’s Corner. He came with the remnant of a fortune lost in Cornish tin mines, and lured by legends of Victorian gold.
He had many and varied experiences in the Southern Land of Promise before he finally set his face northward to the “Queen of the Colonies.”
Dr. Prentice was one of the acknowledged leading botanists of Australia. As an instance of his repute in this respect, it may be mentioned that on one occasion a plant discovered in Queensland, after being sent to the late Baron von Mueller, of Melbourne, by him to the Cape, thence to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew for classification, was acknowledged from the great headquarters of botanical research – with the simple reply, “Why do you send to us, when you have one of the best authorities on this subject in Dr. Prentice of Queensland?”
He was Gold Medallist of his year in Botany at University College, London, 1842. Chess was an absorbing recreation, he being one of the founders of the Brisbane Chess Club, and an old contributor on the subject to the columns of the “Field.” Public instruction also was a life long interest. With the late Sir Samuel Griffith, Sir Charles Lilley, Hon. John Douglas, and others, he was a member of the Royal Commission on education in 1874, upon which our existing system is modeled.
My first knowledge of that cultured Scot, Dr. John Thomson, more familiar to me as Colonel Thomson, was when he was medical superintendent of the Brisbane General Hospital. He was a wonderfully fine administrator, as well as a general practitioner, and in his long hospital experience he developed into a very clever surgeon, as well as physician. Dr. Thomson joined the Queensland Volunteer Force, later the Defence Force, and remained an active officer, the principal medical officer, with General Sir George French, who was the organiser of our new system under the Defence Act of 1884.
Colonel Thomson laid the foundation of a very well organised medical staff, and in turn was succeeded by an officer whom he had trained, - the late Colonel Sutton, C.B., C.M.G., etc whose much deplored death was consequent upon the grueling which he received in the early days of Gallipoli, and later in France.
Thomson was a scientist apart from his profession of medicine, and he knew much of astronomy and bacteriology, and he specialised in photography. He was one of the keenest of students of human psychology. It was very hard, indeed, to “put anything over him.” A good many years ago a man brought an action against the Railway Department of Queensland, claiming damages for injuries through falling from a train near Clifton. It was alleged that he had leant against a carriage door, and , it being unfastened, gave way, and he fell out. His injuries were supposed to be to the spine, with paralysis of the lower part of the body supervening. Medical men testified as to the injuries, and it looked like a guinea to a gooseberry in favour of very heavy damages. But we all reckoned without Colonel “Jock” Thompson.
Something akin to intuition led him to doubt the whole story, and especially the alleged paralysis. He made investigations on behalf of the Crown and applied tests. Later on he told me that he had never before met with a human being whose will power so absolutely dominated his physical being; but ultimately the patient scientist got certain little evidences, and then unhesitatingly declared the whole thing to be a fraud. Other doctors said “Nothing of the sort,” for the usual tests for paralysis had bee applied – jolly cruel tests some of them sounded to a layman. The controversy was waxing warm, and the something happened. The reports of the case in the “Courier” were read in other the States, and three of these came out with the admission that the poor injured man had played the same game and secured substantial damages from all of them. The interrogatories phase of operation by this accomplished swindler and a confederate was stopped by the almost uncanny judgment of the Brisbane medical man. Colonel Thomson said on an occasion: “I’m not so sure that the ruffian did not deserve some reward for the way he stood the tests we applied. Often they were so severe that I felt inclined to ask if I might not possibly be wrong.” Later, in the Brisbane Gaol, the paralytic took up his bed and walked, and confessed to the whole story.
Every one who was in Brisbane in the 1880s will remember Dr. Herbert Churchill Purcell, who was about 20st weight, and yet was one of the most active men. He was a remarkable demonstrator of high kicking. It was his boast that he could kick the hat off any man’s head without touching the man, and he was always willing to back himself. One day a few of us laid a trap for him. We decoyed him into the Longreach Hotel, and while a couple discussed the science of the French savate with him, another couple held in readiness in another room, an unconscious accessory in the person of Mr. Gough, P.M., colloquially known as “Long Gough.” When the doctor had been led up to a reiteration of an offer to kick any man’s hat off, a signal was given, and Mr. Gough was ushered in by the second section of conspirators.
“Well, Purcell, try it with Gough!”
Now, Mr. Gough – as the people of Warwick will remember – stood to about 6ft 6in. Dr. Purcell was Irish, a real Dublin “jackeen,” and he saw the joke. So did Gough, who was what we now describe as a “sport.”
Well, the little room was cleared. Gough, with some trepidation, tilted his hat back a little, and stood to attention. Purcell made two quick steps forward, and his great bulk rose. The left leg shot upwards like the arm of a semaphore, and Gough’s hard felt hat went bang against the ceiling. In those days there was the peculiar practice of defeated conspirators making peace by the purchase for their intended victims and his friends of certain pleasantly stimulating beverages. I know that I had to pay my share of the little bill. Gough said: “By jove, doctor, you are wasting your time. You ought to be in a circus.” Dr. Purcell rather seemed to agree. Dr. Purcell was interested with a nephew, one of the Churchills, in the distillation of a preparation of eucalyptus oil from ti-tree, with works at Nundah, which then was pretty well “out in the bush,” but I fancy the enterprise was not a financial success.
Quite the opposite personally to Dr. Purcell was Dr. William Lyons, who was first practising in Harris Terrace, and later in Gipps Street, Valley. Dr. Lyons was a very clever man, and he and Mrs. Lyons entertained a great deal. It was at their house that I first met Robert and Mrs. Brough, who were playing in “Iolanthe,” Brough as the Lord Chancellor and Mrs. Brough (then known as Florence Trevelyan) as the statuesque Queen of the Fairies.
It is a bit of journalistic history the fact that Mrs. Lyons was the first of what we may term the society writers in Brisbane. It was my job to write a special article on Cup Day at the Queensland Turf Club races, and in it the social as well as the sporting and philosophic elements were developed. It occurred to me that some of “Those Present” notes, with special reference to dresses, would be an interesting feature, and so I asked Mrs Lyons if she would give me about half a column. Mrs. Lyons was a very clever and accomplished woman, and she not only consented, but did the job remarkably well, and to the extent of a column.
I cannot say that the article was received with much enthusiasm in the office, but outside it created rather a pleasant sensation. The only defender of it in the office was Mr. Charles Hardie Buzacott, but even he, while thinking it a journalist coup, feared that it might degenerate “to the level of some of the English papers.”
After the death of Dr. Lyons his widow married Mr. Heath, who was a solicitor with Hart and Flower, and lived on the hill on the eastern side of the railway line, just beyond Taringa railway station; and the last I heard of Mrs. Heath was in connection with a very bad street smash in Paris.
I remember well Dr. John W. F. Blundell because he was a leader writer for the “Courier” and for the “Telegraph,” and contributed to other papers; but I did not know him at all intimately. As a fact, Dr. Blundell, though gentle by nature, and entirely without assertiveness, was temperamentally exclusive. He was a son of Thomas Leigh Blundell, M.D., who was rather an eminent physician in his day. The records show that he was consulting physician to the Duke of Cambridge, and honorary physician to the Royal Maternity Charity in the early Victorian days – the Queen Victoria days.
When Dr. John Blundell came to Queensland he devoted himself rather to literature than to the practice of his profession, though he was an M.D., and L.R.C.P. of Edinburgh. He was the author of several medical works, and had a very wide knowledge of contemporary as well as earlier writers.
It was interesting 45 years ago, when we were nearer early Australian history, and to a great tragedy of the Arctic, to know that Dr. Blundell was a relative of Sir John Franklin. He had his home and clinic – though we did not speak of clinics in those days – over in Vulture Street, and had a quiet practice, but very few knew of his fine qualifications or of his contributions to the passing literature of those long ago days. A son of Dr. Blundell is well known in Queensland, Mr. P. A. Blundell, the managing director of the Queensland Trustees Ltd., who had his younger training in finance and business, and perforce had to stand up to the world and his fellows, but who, nevertheless, has much of a literary, and particularly of an artistic, taste. That, of course, is an inheritance.
Dr. John Campbell practised in Maxwell Place, Ann Street. Maxwell Place had then rather a genteel atmosphere – a row of single storied brick buildings, with the inevitable, and to me, abhorrent, stucco fronts. The property now belongs to the Church of England, part of the St. John’s Cathedral area.
Dr. Campbell was a Scot, though there are plenty of Campbells in Ireland and England, and a popular man, cheery, and an indefatigable worker. Later he married Mrs. Watt, who had a school for ladies in Harris Terrace, and I think he then practised in the George Street row, which was in the early 1880s quite affected by the medical profession. Mrs. Watt, I remember, was the widow of a Presbyterian clergyman, who came to Queensland at the instigation of the original David McConnell, of Cressbrook, and whose parish was in the district of which the prosperous town of Toogoolawah is now the centre – Cressbrook, Eskvale, Mount Brisbane, and so on. At Mrs. Watt’s school were the older daughters of Mr. Matthew Goggs, who was a well-known pastoralist, living up at Wolston.
One may be permitted to say at this remote period that they were very beautiful girls, whom we all very greatly admired from the aesthetical point of view. And the first of the Misses Goggs became the wife of Edwyn Lilley, a young barrister, the eldest son of the Chief Justice, Sir Charles Lilley, and she has sons and daughters who have distinguished themselves in medicine and in other walks of life with a special remembrance for a great service when our Empire needed every brave heart and strong hand.
Dr. Campbell has been long years dead. Mrs. Campbell lately passed away in Brisbane. I remember her as a stately lady with a touch of gold in a mass of brown hair, distinguished and gracious, and with a great capacity for work. A son of Dr. and Mrs. Campbell id Dr. Argyll Campbell, M.D., D. Supreme Court., member of the Research Staff, National Institute for Medical Research. He was a Brisbane Grammar School boy, and after qualifying in medicine and taking his science degree, was employed on research work in the East. He married a daughter of the late Mr. T. S. Cowell, of Brisbane.
Another M.D. was Dr. John Neill Waugh, also M.R.C.S. of England and L.S.A., who was born in London in 1818. Dr. Waugh was the first homoeopathist I had known in practice, though the Hahnemann system, the simila similibus curantur, was getting old even in 1881. Many wrong impressions exist as to this form of medical practice, but, however great its virtues may be, it has not spread. At the time of Dr. Waugh’s death, in August, 1900, it was mentioned that he was a student of St. Bartholomew’s, London, taking his first degree in London in 1840, and the M.D. at St. Andrews.
He was at his professional genesis a ship’s surgeon of the Old East India Company, in the army of which my own grandfather and great grandfather had served before coming to Australia in 1818.
Dr. Waugh spent a few years in India, and was for some years physician at the Homeopathic Hospital, in Great Ormond Street, London. He was a muscular Christian, specialised in rowing, being an original member of the Ilex Rowing Club, and he rowed in a winning boat in 1848, receiving a silver oar as a trophy. He liked well to remember that he was a foundation member of the London Rowing Club.
He came out to Queensland with Mrs. Waugh in the early 1860s, and practised in Stanley Street, but was flooded out – and that will not surprise those who remember 1893 – and moved over to North Quay to one of the cottages recently demolished by the Tritton extensions. Later, Dr. Waugh moved farther east on North Quay to the brick house where members of his family still live. He went to his rest in 1900. A son is Mr. George Waugh, solicitor, who is very well known in the profession, and in connection with the social and municipal life of Brisbane. My association with the doctor was in connection with the Royal Geographical Society of Queensland, of which he was for many years President.
Dr. John Mullen was a tall man, and in his youth had been very strong and active. Probably he was about 6ft 2in., And at, say, 30 years of age, would have been about 14st. It was no unusual thing to find Irish athletes weighing up to 14st., who could shake evens for 100 yards, crack a mile in 4.40, and jump 6ft high.
Dr. Mullen had his rooms, when I knew him, in Ann Street, on the left after passing the Union Hotel, going towards the Valley. – a two storied brick house. He had a good practice, and was very comfortably off. He knew how to make money and to stick to it. As a legislator he was not conspicuous, indeed very few were in the Legislative Council in those days, when a speech maker – unless such a man as Sir A. C. Gregory or F. T. Brentnall, or A. J. Thynne, or Dr. W. F. Taylor – would not have been tolerated. Yet in the Upper House there were other very able men. Dr. Mullen had a son, a very smart and handsome young fellow, and a daughter. Miss Mullen was a good musician.
Dr. Mullen and Dr. O’Doherty were not the only two of the profession whom I knew in the Legislative Council. Dr. W. F. Taylor , who had been practising at Warwick, came along to Brisbane, and was called to our local Lords. He has been and still is, a prominent and well loved citizen, one of the ablest and kindest of men. He took a keen interest in the Queensland geographical Society and other science organisations here.
Dr. Marks, too, was a very useful legislator and a bust practitioner. He has always loved the country, and I knew him well when he spent his holidays at Scarborough, at the old Hobbs house on Reef Point, now rebuilt by Mrs. Jocumsen. The doctor now has an abode out Mountain Camp way, in the hills and stillness. He had a quiet way, but was a keen debater on subjects which he specially understood, and it soon became apparent in the Council that he had a very warm sense of humour.
Mr. Patrick Macarthur, of Cunnamulla, a son of the Patrick Macarthur earlier mentioned, who was the Sheriff and the father-in-law of Mr. Justice Chubb, tells me that Macarthur père had been Police Magistrate at Roma, Surat, Ipswich, Rockhampton, and finally Bowen, when he retired, and he and his wife afterwards lived and died at Clayfield, near Brisbane. I remember him at Cooktown, when he was Sheriff of the Northern Supreme Court, and came on circuit with Mr. Justice Sheppard. One daughter was the late Mrs. C. E. Chubb, as already mentioned, wife of Mr. Justice Chubb; another married Aulaire Morissett, Inspector of Police, and another married Dick Barker, of Eungella Station, near Mackay, a son of William Barker, of the Logan, and of Nunnington, Kangaroo Point, one of the most hospitable of Brisbane homes. My contemporaries of the Barker family in Brisbane were Harry and Fred., both of whom were fine horsemen. Harry Barker was the owner of a few good racehorses, a gallant old chestnut being one of the best we had at Eagle Farm over the hurdles. Harry Barker married one of the beautiful Macdonald sisters, the other becoming Mrs. Hervey Murray-Prior, and later Mrs. Charley Smythe. Fred Barker, one of the best, is in Brisbane again with his wife, and it seems only yesterday – or the day before yesterday, perhaps – that Mrs. Fred was a Brisbane belle, and they like other properly constituted young folk, would dance all night and keep going all day for a week at a time.