Edward Swarbreck Hall


Westbury at about the time Hall was medical officer there (AOT, PH7/1/71)

Edward Swarbreck Hall (180581), medical practitioner, emigrated from Britain in 1832 and worked as a medical officer in Hobart, Brighton, Spring Bay, Bothwell and Westbury. Appointed as Hobart Hospital's house surgeon in 1853, he severely criticised heavy infant mortality at the Cascades Female Factory. This made him unpopular, though it led to beneficial reform. He resigned when ordered to Norfolk Island in 1855.

Hall became an outspoken and tireless advocate of public health reform (in advance of the other colonies), campaigning for vaccination against smallpox, sanitation and improvements at the Orphan Schools. He reported the first recorded case of hydrophobia in the Australasian colonies, and his incessant striving to banish medieval hygiene prompted the 1859 appointment of a health officer to the Hobart Town Council; Hall himself gained this position in 1875.

Further reading: ADB 1.

Wendy Rimon