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Archibald Colquhoun (1850–1892)

Sincere regret was expressed on all sides yesterday, when the information reached this city that Dr. Archibald Colquhoun had died during Wednesday night in the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne. The news was not unexpected, as it was known that the deceased gentleman had been in a very low state for the past few months. The cause of death was paralysis of the brain and consumption.

The deceased doctor was 42 years of age, and was a native of Glasgow, Scotland. He obtained his degrees at the Glasgow University, and a few years afterwards he came out to the colony. His first appointment out here was in the Alfred Hospital, where he remained for about seven years, earning the respect and esteem of all who came in contact with him. On leaving that institution he carried on a private practice in Moonee Ponds, a suburb of Melbourne, for some time, until he obtained the appointment of doctor to the Bendigo United Friendly Societies Dispensary and Medical Institute. The doctor came amongst us with first-class credentials, and it was not long before he firmly established his reputation as a physician of this first order. The Medical Institute rose quickly in the estimation of members of the Friendly Societies, and this was doubtless due to the favorable impression made by the doctor. About 12 years ago, he was appointed resident surgeon to the Bendigo Hospital and here too he soon established himself in the eyes of the gentlemen constituting the board of management of that institution, while among the patients and their friends for his skilful treatment and kindly, thoughtful attentions to those unfortunate people, who by force of circumstances were compelled to seek medical relief in the institution. The efficiency and usefulness of the hospital was well maintained during the period that the doctor had charge. It was mainly on the recommendation of Dr. Colquhoun that the committee decided to introduce the female nurse system, which has been found to work so well. The doctor conducted several courses of lectures to young ladies desirous of obtaining knowledge in nursing. Examinations were conducted and certificates issued by the committee to the successful candidates, showing that they were duly certificated nurses. For his exertions in this direction the deceased doctor was entitled to much credit. About nine years ago he married the daughter of Mr. W. Gemmell, and much sympathy is felt for the young widow and her three little children, two boys and a girl, the eldest of whom is about eight years of age.

About the beginning of the year Dr. Colquhoun resigned his position as resident surgeon of the Bendigo Hospital, and on severing his connection with that institution he was presented with a very complimentary testimonial, which was nicely illuminated. He then entered into private practice in View-street, but after the lapse of a few months his health broke down, and he left the city with the intention of going to the seaside for a month or two in the hope of recuperating his strength. An attack of paralysis however overtook him, and at his expressed desire he was removed to the Alfred Hospital, with which institution, as stated above he had previously been connected. There he remained, hovering between life and death, until Wednesday night, when he passed quietly away.

Dr. Colquhoun, although of a retiring disposition, was a warm supporter of the School of Mines, Science Society, Mechanics' Institute, and other organisations of a similar character. At the meeting of the School of Mine last evening, the president (Dr. Macgillivray) feelingly referred to his demise. He said that as the deceased had occupied a seat on the Administrative Council of the school it was only right that they should enter a minute on the records expressive of their appreciation of the services he had rendered the school, and that a letter of condolence should be sent to the widow and family. He moved accordingly. The resolution was carried unanimously.

The doctor's father and brother, are residing in Melbourne. The latter is the well-known artist, and his picture "Divided attention" is familiar to visitors to the local Art Gallery. His cousin, Dr. Colquhoun, of Clunes, died about five years ago, and his demise appeared to have a serious effect on the deceased who was greatly attached to him.

The funeral will take place in Melbourne today, the place of interment being the Melbourne Cemetery.

Original publication

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Citation details

'Colquhoun, Archibald (1850–1892)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


16 July, 1850
Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland


9 November, 1892 (aged 42)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death


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