Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Francis Gale Snelling Street

Hunter Valley Medical Practitioner

Francis Gale Snelling Street was born in Exeter, Devonshire, the son of Thomas Street, a surgeon and Catherine nee Snelling. He was christened on 19 May 1806.

He married Martha Reed in 1838.

Arrival in Australia

Francis G.S. Street arrived in Australia as a cabin passenger on the emigrant ship Andromache in January 1839. James Douglas was surgeon superintendent on the Andromache. [1]

His younger brother Charles Drew Street was already in the colony having arrived in 1834. Charles Street resided at Petwynne Valley in 1839. Martha, the wife of Francis Gale Snelling Street gave birth to a son on 21st July 1839 at Petwynne Valley

Over the next few decades, Francis Street attended patients at Hinton, Maitland and Raymond Terrace.


In 1846 when nine year old Samuel Bryant fell ill, chloroform was still not in use, vaccinations were primitive and antibiotics were in the future. The causes of illness were not always known and diagnosis and treatments were based on the knowledge and the skill of the medical professional available. Often there was no opportunity to consult with others. In the case of Samuel Bryant below the illness was recognised but the cause unknown Samuel Bryant, a stout healthy lad, who resided at Wallalong near Hinton and was employed driving bullocks for his father had been ill for nine days before he died. It was stated at the inquest into his death that there were several marks of wounds about him but none of a recent date, except a very slight abrasion on the skin on the thigh caused by his father having struck him with a whip. He grew gradually worse and soon died. According to Dr. Street, death was caused by idiopathic tetanus, which might be brought on by a blow, or by sudden transition from great heat to a moist and cold atmosphere, or other causes.[2]

Sadly many young children died as a result of their cloths catching fire. In May 1847 Dr. Street was called to treat a young girl, Mary McGillivray the daughter of a small settler on Mr. Hickey's farm below Hinton. She had been badly burned when her clothes caught fire. He rushed to the scene and found the child very extensively burnt on her back and legs. He treated her for nearly a fortnight as she lay in great agony before she finally died on the 15th May.[3]

Five months later in November Dr. Street was also unable to save his own son Edward who died at Hinton from influenza aged fifteen months.

West Maitland

In 1849 he moved his practice from Hinton to Hunter Street, West Maitland opposite the Catholic Chapel.

Raymond Terrace

Francis Gale Snelling Street (M.R.C.S.) died at Raymond Terrace on 21st December 1870 age 64.

His wife Martha Proctor Street died age 75 at her son's residence at Bulladelah in 1893. [4]


[1] Sydney Herald 1 February 1839

[2] Maitland Mercury 9 May 1846

[3] Maitland Mercury 2 June 1847

[4] Daily Telegraph 24 March 1893