The firm of Hatton and Laws had its origin in 1853 when J. Douglas Hatton and Horace Laws bought out the John G. Towers Pharmacy. In 1880, Mr Frederic Holmes, the former manager of the F.C. Spicer Pharmacy in Brisbane Street, formed a partnership with J.W.C. Laws to purchase both the business and the property of Hatton and Laws. From 1880 until his death in 1916, Frederic Holmes was the proprietor of Hatton and Laws, with or without partners. Four generations of Holmes-Atherton became owners and proprietors of Hatton and Laws, including three of Frederic's sons: Frederic Thomas, Charles and Louis; his grandson Percy (son of Frederic Thomas); his grandson Fred Atherton (son of his daughter Nell); and great-grandson Ken Atherton. Hatton and Laws grew into a large wholesale and retail pharmacy, with two branches in Launceston including the business known as "The Corner" on the corner of Brisbane and Charles Street and branches at Latrobe, Sheffield, Queenstown, Ulverstone and Longford.