William Townley Pinhey was the son of
Lieutenant William Townley Pinhey of the Royal Marines, New
Shoreham, Sussex, England.
He arrived in Australian in 1835
and was employed by apothecary
Lipscomb in Maitland by the 1840's.
1845 Pinhey announced that
he was opening his own business in High Street:
Hall, West Maitland. William Townley Pinhey, Chemist and Druggist,
begs to apprise his friends and the public, particularly the
inhabitants of the townships of E and W Maitland and the surrounding
districts that he has commenced business in High St. West Maitland
in the above line and trusts by strict attention and punctuality
combined with adequate experience in the several branches of his
profession and moderation in his charges to merit a reasonable share
of their patronage and support. Families and others may depend upon
all medicines purchased at this establishment being genuine.
Physicians prescriptions accurately prepared. Horse sheep and cattle
He vowed that the poor would receive
advice and medicines gratis, upon the recommendation of any
clergyman or magistrate, and pledged that no chemical or
pharmaceutical preparation would be issued from his establishment
without having been subjected to the strictest examination. He hoped
that by continuing to exercise the 'greatest carefulness in the
dispensing department coupled with unremitting personal attention,
he would receive the support which has been so largely bestowed upon
Some of his stock he held included:
Finest cold drawn castor oil, purified Epsom salts, turkey rhubarb,
Balsam copibae, adhesive, plaster, venice turpentine, best calcined
magnesia, camphor, linseed meal, calomel, essence bergamotte, poppy
heads, Kreosote, prepared charcoal, carbonate of soda, essence of
lemon, oxalic acid, scented soaps, trusses, suspensory bandages,
senna leaves, chamomile flowers etc as well as Pinhey's family
antibilious pills, opodeidoc for sprains, bruises etc and Pinheys'
concentrated essence of ginger for spasms, indigestion and
Occasionally apothecaries were called on to
testify at inquests or trials when death or illness had occurred in
mysterious circumstances. This was the case soon after Mr. Pinhey
opened his business in High Street, in May 1845 when he supplied
laudanum for Mrs. Sanders.
Mrs. Sanders' son Guilford later
died and it was thought he may have taken laudanum. Mr. Pinhey
testified that he supplied two drachms of laudanum in a bottle he
had filled for Mrs. Sanders on previous occasions. Suspicions were
unfounded however as
Liddell found in the post mortem that Sanders had died
from a blood clot. Again later that year William Pinhey testified in
court when the four year old daughter of tailor John Stewart became
seriously ill after opium was mistakenly placed in food she was
given by Thomas Ramplin. Ramplin had purchased the opium from Mr.
Pinhey to overcome sleeplessness. His expertise was called on in
1846 when George Turner was charged with throwing rubbish into
Wallis's Creek causing the water to be unfit for use. William Pinhey
provided a certificate for Turner's defence stating that the water
had not been made unfit for consumption as he had analysed a portion
and found it contained no 'injurious matter'. The case against
Turner was then dismissed.
William Pinhey remained in his
first High Street store for only a few months before announcing that
he was moving to new and spacious premises facing the Stores of
Captain Russell where he would prepare
physicians prescriptions carefully and compound horse and cattle
medicines in accordance with the formularies of the Royal Veterinary
Colleges. At his new premises, which were situated on the corner of
High and Hunter Streets, surgeon
Montague Parnell also kept consultation rooms.
William Townley Pinhey married Mary Bell, eldest daughter of John
Thomas of the Col. Architect's department Sydney on Saturday 18th
March 1843. A daughter Ann Hobbs was born to the couple in 1844. Ann
died aged 5 on 16 September 1849 and is buried in the Glebe
cemetery. On 22nd December 1845 Mrs. Pinhey gave birth to a son
Charles and William was born on 9th February 1848. A daughter Mary
was born in 1850.
Following the example of his former
employer William Lipscomb, William Pinhey worked on committees in
the township as well as subscribing to many fundraisers. In 1846 as
secretary he was making final arrangements at a meeting at the
Waterloo Inn for a select ball soon to be held
in the township. He was also a church warden for St. Mary's Church.
Apothecaries were highly regarded in the town and were
sometimes the first to be consulted in a crisis. Badly injured Peter
Coulton 'Old Peter' was taken to Mr. Pinhey for treatment when he
was struck by a gig driven by Mr. Wade in High Street in 1848. Deaf
and elderly, Coulton had been standing in the middle of the road
with a few other people and failed to hear a warning call. His
injuries consisting of broken ribs and punctured lung were too
serious for Mr. Pinhey to deal with and he sent Coulton on the the
MMaitland Hospital to be dealt with by surgeon
As well as dispensing medicine at
his shop, inhey also sold other items such as Trevallyn preserves
in winter, Abraham's Baking powder 'for the making of bread without
yeast' and Holloway's pills. He also supplied the hospital with
Chloroform and supplied the public with 'Family medicine chests
fitted with really useful medicines, with directions'.
William Pinhey later moved to Glebe, Sydney. Glebe was proclaimed a
municipality in 1859. Since its formation in 1859 the Glebe Council
had been the domain of local professionals and businessmen. William
Pinhey was an early Glebe Alderman. Others from Glebe in the years
1859 to 1875 included solicitor George Wigram Allen, (Mayor for 18
consecutive terms from 1859 to 1877), the architects Edmund Blacket
and George Allen Mansfield, surveyor Thomas Harwood, retail trader
Michael Chapman, and the future State Premier George Dibbs.
Mary Bell Pinhey died on 2nd November 1872 at Bishopthorpe, Glebe Point Road,
Sydney. William Pinhey died age 75 on 27 October 1895 at his
residence in Glebe Point Road. His former employment was given as
Deputy City Coroner. Mary Bell and William were buried in St Jude’s
Churchyard, Randwick, Sydney as was their son William Hamnett Pinhey
who died 10 June 1948.
The Late Mr. 'W.
T. Pinhey, J.P.
The large circle of friends of Mr.
William Townley Pinhey, J.P., Deputy City Coroner, will
regret to learn of his death, which took place on the
morning of Sunday, October 27, at his residence, Glebe-road,
where he had re sided for nearly 40 years.
deceased gentleman, who was a well-known figure, not only in
connection with pharmaceutical matters, but also in legal
circles, was born at Shoreham, England, on the 26th March,
1820, where his father, Dr. William Townley Pinhey, lived
and practised for many years. When old enough to begin
school life Mr. Pinhey was sent to Christ's Hospital,
London, otherwise known as the Bluecoat School, where he
remained until the age of 14.
He arrived in Sydney
early in the year 1835, and was soon engaged to Mr. Foss,
who had the most extensive pharmacy business in Sydney at
that time. Fifteen months later he accepted employment from
Mr. George Allen, solicitor, father of the late Sir Wigram
Allen. After again resuming pharmacy, he in 1841 once more
entered into the employment of Mr. Allen, remaining there
for four years. From 1845 until 1877 Mr. Pinhey earned on
the business of a chemist and druggist, first at West
Maitland and then in Sydney.
He took a leading part
in the formation of the Pharmaceutical Society, and was
elected its first president. Two years later he accepted the
position of secretary of the society, which he held up to
the time of his death. He also held the position of
secretary of the Pharmacy Board.
gentleman was married in March, 1843, to Miss Mary Bell
Thomas, who died in November, 1872. There were, six children
by his first marriage, five of whom, are living. The eldest
son is Mr. Charles Hart Townley Pinhey, Registra- General;
the second son, Mr. William Hamnett Pinhey,. is an inspector
in the employ of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney ;
and the third son, Mr. John Edmund Pinhey, holds the
position of manager of the Milton branch of the Commercial
Banking Company of Sydney. The daughters of the deceased are
Mrs. I. S. Clements, of Strathfield and Mrs. Bingle, wife of
Mr. Whiter Bingle of the Lands Department.
deceased was married to his second wife (the daughter of Mr.
John Bingle, of Newcastle, who survives him) in the year
Mr. Pinhey was appointed a justice, of the
peace in the year 1859, and had for many years honourably
occupied the position of Deputy City Coroner. Mr. Pinhey had
been ailing for several months, but was not debarred from
carrying on his duties until about three weeks ago, when
after holding two inquests he was compelled to suddenly
return home in a cab and take to his bed. He was attended by
Dr. Ashwell up to the time of his death, which occurred as
stated at the age of 75 years, the cause of death being
The funeral took place on Monday, the
28th. The cortege moved from the deceased gentleman's
residence, on the Glebe-road, at half-past 2 o'clock to the
Randwick cemetery, where the interment was made. Service was
conducted in the church, and subsequently the funeral
service was read at the grave. Both services were conducted
by the Rev. Dr. Corlette and the Rev. W. Hough. The coffin,
which was of polished cedar, silver-mounted, was covered 9
with wreaths, tokens of sympathy and esteem from the
Pharmaceutical Society, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Pinhey, and
others. - Sydney Mail 9 November 1895
Notes and Links:
1). William Townley Pinhey (senior) joined the Royal Marines on 1 October 1805
as a Second Lieutenant in the Woolwich Division. He joined H.M.S.
Lion 64 on 8 January 1806 and served his entire active service
career aboard this ship, staying with her for two full commissions
until she was paid off up the Homoaze, Plymouth, on 23 May 1814. He
was promoted to Lieutenant in September 1809 and was First
Lieutenant of Marines aboard the Lion at the capture of Java on 25
August 1811. Pinhey was placed on half-pay on 1 September 1814 and
afterwards practised medicine in Poplar, Leyton and New Shoreham,
Sussex. He died in Brighton on 16 December 1856. He was awarded the
Naval general service medal with Java clasp.
Photographs of the Pinhey family are held at the State
Library of NSW
3) In 1851 William Pinhey was
responsible for the apprehension of murderer Patrick McNamara whom
he recognised from his Maitland days -
Bathurst Free Press 20 December 1851
son Charles Townley Hart Pinhey was appointed Registrar-General in
Australian Town and Country Journal 1890