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Biographical entry Hall, Edward Swarbreck (1805 - 1881)

30 July 1881
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


Edward Hall qualified as a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons and Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries, and practiced in Liverpool before migrating to Tasmania in 1832. He held various government and municipal appointments as surgeon and physician over the next 49 years. Hall was an outspoken public health reformer, particularly relating to sanitation, the potential for outbreaks of smallpox and diphtheria, and child welfare. Despite attracting much criticism for his views, he was largely responsible for the passage of the compulsory Vaccination Act. Hall was a committed Catholic layman, and a member of the Royal Society of Tasmania.



Life event - Migrated to Tasmania
1853 - 1855
Career position - House Surgeon, Hobart Hospital
Career position - Chairman of the Executive Committee, Benevolent Society
Career event - Appointed Municipal Health Officer, Hobart

Archival resources

Archives Office of Tasmania

  • Edward Swarbreck Hall - Records, 1825 - 1937, NS 308; Archives Office of Tasmania. Details

Royal Society of Tasmania

  • Edward Swarbreck Hall - Records, 1856, Ms 50; Royal Society of Tasmania. Details

Published resources


  • Denholm, Carey and Petrow, Stefan, Dr Edward Swarbreck Hall: colonial medical scientist and moral activist (Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2016), 231 pp. Details

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Curson, Peter, 'Edward Swarbreck Hall (1804-1881): Pioneer Australian Demographer: an Assessment and Selected Bibliography', Journal of the Australian Population Association, 2 (2) (1985), 104-113. Details
  • Petrow, Stefan, 'Lay defender of Catholicism: Dr Edward Swarbreck Hall in Tasmania 1833 - 1881', Journal of religious history, 40 (4) (2016), 565-88. Details


McCarthy, G.J. and Helen Cohn