Hunter Valley Colonial Medical Practitioners


Francis Gale Snelling Street



Francis Gale Snelling Street was born in Exeter, Devonshire. He married Martha Reed in 1838.

The Sydney Monitor reported the arrival of the Andromache in Australia in January 1839 with 220 emigrants and cabin passengers including Mr. Street and Miss Street. (4)

Martha, the wife of Francis Gale Snelling Street gave birth to a son on 21st July 1839 at Petwynne Valley (4)

Over the next few decades, Francis Street practiced medicine at Hinton, Maitland and Raymond Terrace. He was the elder brother of Charles Drew Street.

In 1846 when nine year old Samuel Bryant fell ill, chloroform was still not in use, vaccinations were primitive and antibiotics were in the future. The causes of illness were not always known and diagnosis and treatments were based on the knowledge and the skill of the medical professional available. Often there was no opportunity to consult with others.   Samuel Bryant, a stout healthy lad, who resided at Wallalong near Hinton and was employed driving bullocks for his father had been ill for nine days before he died. It was stated at the inquest into his death that there were several marks of wounds about him but none of a recent date, except a very slight abrasion on the skin on the thigh caused by his father having struck him with a whip. He became ill a week later and sat about on wet grass while herding cattle. A few days later he was lame in one knee and complaining of spasms. He grew gradually worse and soon died. According to Dr. Street, death was caused by idiopathic tetanus, which might be brought on by a blow, or by sudden transition from great heat to a moist and cold atmosphere, or other causes.(1)

In May 1847 Dr. Street was called to treat a young girl, Mary McGillivray the daughter of a small settler on Mr. Hickey's farm below Hinton. She had been badly burned when her clothes caught fire. He rushed to the scene and found Mary very extensively burnt on her back and legs.  He treated her for nearly a fortnight as she lay in great agony before she finally died on the 15th May.(2)

Five months later in November, Dr. Street was also unable to save his own son Edward who died at Hinton from influenza aged fifteen months.

In 1849 he moved his practice moved from Hinton to Hunter Street, West Maitland opposite the Catholic Chapel.

The Maitland Mercury reported the death of Francis Gale Snelling Street (M.R.C.S.) at Raymond Terrace  - He died on 21st December 1870 in the 64th year of his age.


Notes & Links:

The Medical Gentlemen of Bow

Australian Medical Pioneers Index

Bailliere's Post Office Direction 1867 - Raymond Terrace



(1) Maitland Mercury 9 May 1846

(2) Maitland Mercury 2 June 1847

(3) Sydney Herald 1 February 1839

(4) Sydney Monitor 7 August 1839







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