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Francis Hardey Faulding (1816–1868)

by A. F. Scammell

This article was published:

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Francis Hardey Faulding (1816-1868), by unknown photographer

Francis Hardey Faulding (1816-1868), by unknown photographer

State Library of South Australia, SLSA: B 3203

Francis Hardey Faulding (1816-1868), manufacturing chemist, was born on 23 August 1816 and baptized at Swinefleet, Yorkshire, England, son of Francis Faulding, surgeon, and his wife Mary Ann, née Hardy; his parents had been married by licence on 7 September 1815. Influenced by his family environment and by the experimental work of Joseph Priestley (1733-1804), chemist and 'discoverer' of oxygen, young Faulding served an apprenticeship with his father and qualified as a chemist and surgeon. He sailed from Liverpool as a surgeon-superintendent in the emigrant ship Nabob and arrived at Sydney in February 1842. Seeking better opportunities he sailed in the Dorset for Adelaide, but found the economic slump deeper there than in Sydney. With courage he weathered the storm. At 5 Rundle Street on 19 May 1845 he opened an establishment as 'Chemist and Pharmicien', assuring customers that he would stock only the purest and choicest drugs and personally supervise the dispensing of all prescriptions. He imported supplies from England but necessarily had to rely on his own manufacturing supplies. The pharmacy flourished and the premises were soon too crowded for the manufacturing and wholesale side of his business, so Faulding transferred it to a two-storied warehouse in Clarence Place, off King William Street. By 1850 he had many qualified employees, among them Joseph Bosisto, and his salesmen travelled far into the country on horseback with packs of samples. The business suffered in the exodus to Victorian goldfields but quickly revived as Faulding increased his supplies of remedial medicines for livestock, especially after 1861 when he took Luther Scammell into partnership. The firm of F. H. Faulding & Co., wholesale druggists and manufacturing chemists, was then founded.

Faulding's interests were by no means limited to his business. In 1849 he became a leading shareholder of the South Australian Building and Investment Society, and in 1850 was an active promoter of the abortive City of Adelaide Gas Light and Coke Co. In 1861-62 he was a member of the Adelaide City Council, in 1865 a director of the Bank of Adelaide and in 1867 a trustee of the Savings Bank of South Australia. He visited England in 1857-59, 1861 and again in 1863 when he ordered on behalf of the Adelaide City Council a set of eight bells, the Albert Bells, for the tower of the Town Hall.

On 16 September 1852 Rev. Thomas Stow married Faulding to Eliza, daughter of R. F. Macgeorge at her father's home, Urrbrae (now in the Waite Agricultural Research Institute); they had no children. Although Faulding was dedicated to the elimination of disease and squalor of afflicted humanity, he was not physically robust. He died on 19 November 1868 at Wooton Lea, the home he had built at Glen Osmond and later part of Seymour College. He was buried in a vault at the West Terrace cemetery. His estate was valued for probate at £56,000 and his bequests included generous sums to his relations in England and to the missionary work of the Wesleyan Church. On 1 December 1869 his widow married Anthony Forster.

F. H. Faulding and Co. Ltd, which became a private company in 1921, was taken over by a subsidiary of Mayne Nickless Ltd in 2001, and sold again to American interests in 2007. It was then acquired by another American pharmaceutical group, Pfizer Inc., which announced plans in 2017 to close Faulding’s Thebarton plant in South Australian by the end of 2021.

Select Bibliography

  • F. H. Faulding & Co. Ltd, A Century of Medical Progress 1845-1945 (Adel, 1945)
  • Australian, 22 Feb, 26 Apr 1842
  • Register (Adelaide), 20 May 1845, 26 May 1849, 9, 12, 17, 26 Jan 1850.

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

A. F. Scammell, 'Faulding, Francis Hardey (1816–1868)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1972, accessed online 24 July 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, (Melbourne University Press), 1972

View the front pages for Volume 4

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Francis Hardey Faulding (1816-1868), by unknown photographer

Francis Hardey Faulding (1816-1868), by unknown photographer

State Library of South Australia, SLSA: B 3203

Life Summary [details]


23 August, 1816
Swinefleet, Yorkshire, England


19 November, 1868 (aged 52)
Glen Osmond, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

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