I. R. B. Neale, Chemist, Carlton


These pot bases have been recorded in at least two sizes: 55 mm and 66 mm diameter.
Interesting underglazed printed pot from a small Carlton pharmacy. The chemist was in fact John Richard Bathe Neale who met a rather unfortunate and untimely end which you can read about from the newspaper reports reproduced below. Neale’s probate records don’t show a lot that is surprising, apart from rent, his major debts were due to Rocke, Tompsitt & Co., Duerdin & Sainsbury and Felton, Grimwade & Co., all large wholesale Melbourne chemists. His total estate however was valued at over 2000 pounds, suggesting that Neale had been quite successful considering his relative youth at the time of his death.

June 5th 1891: The Melbourne Argus.

Fatal Accident at Carlton.

A well known resident of Carlton met his death in a shocking manner yesterday morning by falling down a flight of stairs at his residence. The deceased is a Mr. John R. B. Neale, chemist, carrying on business in Lygon-street. The facts connected with his untimely end showed that on the previous evening he attended a quadrille party at Carlton. He returned home shortly after midnight accompanied by some gentlemen with whom he had spent the evening. His friends remained with him at his residence for a brief space of time, and on leaving the deceased expressed his intention of retiring to rest. About half-past 7 o’clock yesterday morning Mr. Harridge, who resides on the premises, and who acted as an assistant, was horrified, on descending the stairs for the purpose of opening the shop, to find the deceased lying at the bottom of the staircase. On making a cursory examination of the body it was found that life was extinct, and that death had apparently occurres a few hours before. It would appear from the position of the body at the foot of the stairs that death had probably been caused by suffocation. The head of the deceased was inclined forward to such an extent that his chin appeared to rest on his chest. It is conjectured that the deceased, whilst ascending the staircase, slipped and fell backwards. There is a sharp curve in the stairs, and it was at this point that the deceased is supposed to have missed his footing. In falling a distance of 8ft. or 9ft. the deceased probably turned a somersault backwards, and alighted in a crouching position. Mr. Harridge states that he heard the deceased go down stairs and in the direction of the back yard, but did not hear him returning to the house. Mr. Neale was 31 years of age, and unmarried. His parents reside at Windsor. An inquest will be held at 3 o’clock to day, and Dr. Cole will conduct the post-mortem examination.

June 6th 1891: The Melbourne Argus

The Death of Mr. J. R. B. Neale. Apoplexy the Cause.

The death of Mr. John Richard Bathe Neale, late chemist of Lygon-street, formed the subject of an investigation by the city coroner, Dr. Youl, yesterday afternoon, at the Leinster Arms Hotel. The evidence adduced showed that Mr. Neale returned to his shop at 1 o’clock on Thursday monring with two friends, after having spent the evening at a social gathering. The two friends, who were his assistant, Mr. Harridge, and Mr. John Cole, a dentist, remained with him some time, Mr. Cole leaving at half-past 2 o’clock in the morning, and at that hour Mr. Cole says Mr. Neale was quite sober. In the morning when Mr. Harridge was about to open the shop for business he discovered Mr. Neale lying dead at the foot of the stairs. A post-mortem examination made by Dr. Cole disclosed that the cause of death was apoplexy, and that the skull and body were quite free from injuries or marks of violence. This evidence suggested that Mr. Neale in ascending the stairs was suddenly seized with a fit and fell dead in a crouching position at the bottom of the staircase. A verdict of death from apoplexy was returned by the jury.

July 20th 1891: The Argus.


Tenders are invited until noon 20th inst., for the purchase of the business of the late J.R.B.Neale Lygon-street, Carlton Stock sheets seen and all particulars obtained on premises 2 to 4 daily. Highest or any tender not necessarily accepted. Usual 10 per cent on tender by marked cheque or cash. A.Neale

August 10th 1891: The Argus.

Chemist’s business of the late Mr. J. R. B. Neale, Lygon-street, Carlton for sale. Rocke, Tompsitt & Co.

Please fill out all the fields marked with *
Looks good!
Please provide your first name
Looks good!
Please provide a valid email address
Phone: 0417 830 939
Call Enquire