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Ginger Beer Brewers N.S.W.  |



Charles Vavasour & Thomas Moulden

Chemist & Druggist

Larbalesteir & Earle, George Street South, Sydney (1841)

Earle, C. V., George Street South, Sydney (1841)

Earle, C. V., High Street, Maitland West (1842, 1845-1853)

T. M. Earle & Co. High Street, Maitland West (1843-c.1845)

Earle, C. V., South Head Road, Sydney (1859)

Earle, C. V., 550 George Street, Sydney (1859-1863)

Aerated Water Factory

High Street, Maitland (1846-1847)

226 Elizabeth Street, Sydney (1854-1856)

Publicans Licence

Circular Quay Hotel, Sydney (1853-1854)




'C, T. EARLE' 






10 oz

Ginger Beer Bottle Fragment

Courtesy D. Stanley


Fowler (Glebe Pottery I-II)

Pottery Chronology 


Provenanced Example

Private Collection 2018​


Thomas Moulden Earle arrived in Sydney aboard the Augustus Caesar via London, England in April 1839; his brother Charles Vavasour Earle migrated from Winchester, England in February 1840 per the Andromache, arriving at Port Phillip in late June only to be delayed until August in reaching Sydney.[i]  


T. M. Earle (c1815-1864) was engaged in the wool trade in 1839-40 operating from Erin Cottage, Parramatta for the firm of Messrs. Earle & Sons, Winchester.[ii]  C. V. Earle in partnership with Francis Larbalesteir established a Surgery and Chemist shop in Sydney at George Street South, near the Hay Market which was fitted out in April 1841.  The partnership was dissolved in May 1841 and Earle continued alone until June at least.[iii]  He removed to Maitland where he married in December 1841.[iv] He commenced a new Chemist business in High Street, Maitland West by June 1842.[v] Earle was bankrupted in October 1842 and his stock-in-trade was auctioned at the premises in December 1842, however, the estimated value was not realised and did not cover the rent owed.  The record of his stock-in-trade and debtors indicates his debts stretched back to his initial venture in Sydney in 1841 and that both businesses were limited to that of a Chemist and Druggist.[vi]


Earle sought to continue trading by taking his brother Thomas Moulden Earle (c.1808-1862) into partnership. The firm traded as T. M. Earle & Co. during at least 1843 and probably until 1845. Earle relocated to new premises fitted out, across from the Sportsmans Arms, at the western end of High Street on the north side, in Maitland West, in January of 1843.[vii] Charles Earle continued to act as the chemist in the business T. M. Earle & Co.  He was censured during a court case in March 1844 for selling poisons (January 1844) to a person that ultimately used them for murder.[viii] There is no evidence that T. M. Earle was other than the notional principal though he took an auctioneer’s licence in October 1843. [ix]


Following release from bankruptcy in May 1845, C. V. Earle resumed his position as principal of the Chemist business and, in late 1845, the business was still on the north side of High Street but, more centrally located, across from the Angel Inn near Bulwer Street. He advertised during 1845-46 a soda water, cordial and ginger beer manufactory at the rear of his premises in High Street.[x] Earle claimed at this time to have manufactured soda water in Paris. The aerated water side of the business is not recorded after 1847 and in 1849 Earle had become the local agent for Sydney Cordial makers J. V. Lavers & Co.[xi]


C. V. Earle sold his Maitland business in 1853 and returned to Sydney where he took on the licence of the Circular Quay Hotel until March 1854.[xii]  Later that same year, Earle returned to soda water manufacturing at 226 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, one door from Liverpool Street.[xiii]  A mortgagee sale of his possessions and business assets was forced by a court order in March 1856.  This included a Hayward Tyler soda water machine and 200 dozen soda water bottles.[xiv] It appears that Earle was in the gold mining district at Rocky River in c.1856-57. His daughter, Mary, was christened at Newcastle in July 1858, Earle was then described as an Apothecary.[xv] Earle continued as a chemist on South Head Road Sydney and in July 1859 advised his customers that he would move to 550 George St., Sydney in November the same year. Earle sold his Chemist business at George Street in 1863 and died in Sydney in mid-1864. [xvi]


Thomas Earle announced a new fellmongering and wool classing business at Maitland, in June 1847.[xvii]  By c.1849-51 he was also a teacher at Dungog in c1849-51. Earle was on the Bingara gold fields, at times with his family, as early as 1854, and this apparently supplemented his income as a tutor. All of his children after 1855 were born in the Bingara/Warialda region.  He died at the Bingara digging in March 1862.[xviii]

Although C. V. Earle at least twice operated aerated water factories, the Earle brothers are known to have been in business together in only c1843-45. T. M. Earle left Maitland district c.1848.

Full references available upon request.

© Martin Carney


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