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Early Colonial Taverns and Inns

Trevor Tuckfield

Tuckfield, Trevor 1971, 1975, 'Early colonial inns and taverns', Early Days: Journal and proceeedings of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society, Part 1, vol. 7, part 3: 65-82; Part 2, vol. 7, part 7: 98-106.

The woad-smeared people of Ancient Britain had a drink called mead, which they made from fermented honey. Some 2,000 years later, when their descendants arrived at the Swan River Colony, they had progressed somewhat and the vogue leaned more towards beer made from hops, barley and so forth.

When the colonists landed on the sandy shore at Fremantle in 1829, after stretching their ship-weary legs, the first thing they did, apart from cursing the flies, sand, and limestone outcrops, was to erect tents or bush shelters.

Almost the next thing some of them did was to brew beer, either because they missed its tang and the feeling of well-being it engendered or because they felt it was a quicker and easier way of making money.

It is not known how many of these bush shanties there were, or for that matter, how many coffee tents, but it wasn't long before the local governing body found that uncontrolled brewing and selling of beer could easily get out of hand. Possibly it also found that licensing was a quick and easy way of providing necessary revenue, so in less than six months after the founding of the colony the government decided to establish a licensing board and advertised that on 1st January 1830 liquor licences would be issued.

On that date, the licensing court, consisting of magistrate W. H. Mackie, James Henty, J.P., and Joshua Gregory met at Perth and reported that seven liquor licences would be issued for 'houses of public entertainment'—four for Fremantle and three for Perth. Later, in April, a licence for a roadside inn was issued for a house on the Perth-Fremantle road at a place they referred to as Freshwater Bay and today known as Peppermint Grove. This inn, the first licensed wayside house in the colony, was established by John Butler, who, planning to be a farmer, had arrived with his wife and children and his brother, Archibald, on a small vessel, the Skerne in January 1830. The Butler brothers had purchased this ship especially to convey themselves and their chattels to the colony.

John Butler was granted 250 acres at Freshwater Bay, known as Swan location 84, and here he began his farm. He built a house and before long was the owner and licensee of what he called the Bush Inn - but more usually known as the Halfway House. This was first mentioned in a letter from Mackie to the Colonial Secretary, Peter Brown, dated 4th April 1830, stating that the licensing board of J.Ps. had agreed that John Butler was the best person to have a licensed house at Freshwater Bay. Possibly others had


applied, but may not have been owners of land in that area. Furthermore, Butler already had a suitable building alongside the Perth-Fremantle track.

The Bush Inn was situated a few yards off the original Perth-Fremantle track. The road itself ran from Preston Point, where travellers crossed the river by ferry. The track then picked its way between heavy limestone outcrops or patches of heavy black sand — past the Bush Inn — following close to where Loreto Convent now stands. The convent was originally the Hotel Osborne, a most lavish building and grounds quite ahead of its time and a favourite honeymooners' resort. The track, still hugging the highland of Claremont, passed behind the Methodist Ladies' College and the other big houses that overlook the bay and then through to Ned's Land [Nedlands} and so to Perth.

The present location of the Bush Inn site is in a square formed by Forrest Street, McNeil Street, View Street, and the bay, and residents in that area, on looking at their rate notices, will find it listed as part no. so-and-so of location 84. As was mentioned, Butler's grant was location 84, and it took in Butler's Hump, or Keane's Point, as it is known today, and included all the foreshore as far as Rowe's tearooms and boat sheds.

Butler's manner of entry into the inn business is a fair example of how many of the wayside inns later sprang into existence along the ever-expanding tracks that radiated from Fremantle and Perth as more and more settlers went further afield. Many farmers, in settling on their grants, found that to open as a wayside inn was a profitable sideline, at least until the farm itself matured to a first harvest. Some were jockeyed into turning their farmhouses into wayside inns when their location was in a strategic position along the main track — usually beside a stream or river, or at a place where satisfactory wells could be sunk, and travellers along these primitive tracks found such places a heaven-sent haven. It mattered not whether it was a farm, an inn, or a mixture of the two. It is perhaps of little import as to how these wayside inns first came into being; the important thing is that, to the outback farmer, teamster, or traveller, they were a vital necessity when the backbone of the early colony was its primary industry, while its very lifeblood was the produce that later flowed from these farms. Too little emphasis has been placed on their importance in colonial life. The gracious homes and stately buildings that were later erected in the main towns, even the churches, were to the colonial farmer, more or less the froth on a mug of ale. Over such tracks, whether the complete journey was three or 300 miles such stopovers, especially for driven stock lumbering bullock or horse teams which could take a week or more to reach their destinations, the inns were more of a necessity than just a welcome convenience, especially under those


conditions of cold, rain, or blistering sun, and the ever-present menace of unpredictable natives and their 8ft. spears. Most certainly the shelter at night of even the primitive mud-walled, thatched roofed cottages was infinitely preferable to sleeping in the open.

It was compulsory for a wayside inn to have a lighted lamp outside the premises. To allow it to go out was certain to bring a fine to the licensee.

In the case of some wayside inns, the government allowed the inn-keeper a free licence, sometimes in return for feeding and bedding the mail carrier and his horse, or for operating a ferry or toll-gate, and also if the inn were placed where the takings were not commensurate with the cost of a licence, but provided nevertheless a convenience to travellers. Such was the case of John Butler and his Bush Inn, whose revenue from the road was meagre. The heavy sand on most parts of the track between Perth and Fremantle precluded the carting of goods by wagon-teams or drays, or even carts. Practically all that would pass his way would be a horseman in a hurry. It is almost certain that the bulk of Butler's trade came from the river, for travellers with time to spare found it more comfortable to travel by boat. As the inn was only a few hundred yards from the bay, it became a convenient stopping place, and Butler could depend on the bargees who were well known for their drinking proclivities, and could always be depended upon to develop a thirst when nearing Freshwater Bay. Admittedly, Butler later found a formidable opposition when Alfred Waylen opened his inn almost opposite at Point Walter. Nevertheless, the river traffic was large and consistent, and there was plenty of trade for both inns.

Of the seven other inns (or hotels as their pretentious licensees preferred to call them) first licensed in 1830, Robert Thomson received his licence at Fremantle for a 'house of public entertainment'—the genteel name for a pub—under the name of the Stirling Arms, situated on the corner of High and Pakenham streets, which at that time were streets in name only on the newly-drawn survey map. Thomson, after whom a bay was named at Rottnest, also had a licence for a ferry across the Swan River at or near the present North Fremantle railway bridge.

Robert Collins received a licence for what he called Collins' Hotel, but after the first year it was heard of no more, at least under that name. William Rolfe Steel, with a little more originality, named his pub the South Seas Public House, but soon changed it to something easier, the Royal, while William Dixon was issued with a licence for the King George IV Public House.

In Perth, licences went to Louis (Lewis) Mayo for his Perth Hotel, to James Kenton for his Swan Hotel, and to Thomas Dent, with a misplaced enthusiasm, for his Happy Immigrant Public House. He himself was not the happy immigrant when in 1833 at Fremantle he received three months in jail for beating-up his wife.


Those first licensees were informed that their brand-new licences would not permit them to barter liquor for warming apparel, household furniture, or working tools—the reason was obvious. Also pubs could not open during the hours of divine service, Christmas Day or Good Friday.

At the Petty Sessions held at Perth in July of the same year, more licences were issued and Richard James received a licence for Tranby House in Fremantle; Lionel Lukin received a licence (retail) for his farm, Lilburn, across the Swan at North Fremantle, where he had established a solid house and a large garden. It is not known whether he had a store of some kind or whether he used his house as an inn. Like many others, he was heard of no more in this respect. John Duffield received a licence for a place, as the magistrate's report stated, 'on the Swan River flats about a mile above Perth.' Also in July 1830, Henry Rice Bond, who, up to this point, was indentured to Thomas Peel, was granted a licence for an inn at Woodman Point, South Fremantle, while one John Thomas was granted a conditional licence for his house at Clarence (Peel's proposed town that never got off the drawing board). A condition imposed on Thomas was that he obtain a satisfactory discharge from the service of Thomas Peel, to whom he also was indentured.

Peyton Meares, when applying for a land grant in July 1830, mentioned a public house at Clarence. This may have been Bond's place, but six months later, Bond applied for a government job that was vacant, adding that the licence he held for the James Wreck Inn at Clarence was not much benefit to him, and he was willing to give it up for another job. For some time it was wondered why Bond gave this intriguing name to his hotel. Then I found that in May 1830, the 200 ton brig James was one of ten ships anchored in Cockburn Sound when a sudden nor'-wester put six of them ashore, and four of them, including the James became total wrecks. As Bond's 'hotel' was opposite the wreck, then the James Wreck Hotel it became.

There is no mention of what restrictions were placed on people making their own beer or liquor for their own consumption, but whatever restrictions there may have been, there would still be sly groggeries then as today. However, with the smaller population of the earlier colonial days, any sly grog shanties would soon have their problems.

That some of them were making and selling beer on a small scale was certain. This was indicated in October 1830 when John Hardey, a settler on the Peninsula at Maylands, wrote that while visiting Capt. Byrne he enjoyed a glass of colonial beer made by 'a gentleman named Bull who lives up the Canning and brews and sells it at 3/- a gallon'. It is possible that Lieut. Bull, R.N., may have had a free licence, but there is no such record.


In 1830 there was no record of any licences being issued for Guildford, which is strange as most of the Upper Swan was already taken up, and for which Guildford was the port and was equally as old as Perth.

Prior to the issue of the first licences on 1st January 1830, some colonists, anxious to do the right thing, applied for a licence. One Isaac Jecks had no sooner arrived on 2nd September 1829 with his wife Hannah and the usual contingent of children, when he applied for a licence twelve days later and was informed that no licences were as yet being issued for spirits. Were the powers disregarding the sale of beer? It is hoped that his and other such applications were not the reason the government awoke to the potentialities of establishing a liquor licensing board.

Apart from other land grants, Jecks obtained a small block at the foot of Mount Eliza, where he built a substantial house, and again requested a licence to sell 'spirits' at his house on the Swan. But woe to him, in February 1831 he had obtained a position as assistant engineer with the Public Works at £100 a year, but had lost it soon afterwards for losing his temper and raising his voice to the Magistrate, Mackie. 'Gross insult', as Mackie put it. Apparently he had refused to do something or other and added, fortissimo, in effect, that nobody was going to something or other-well make him either. Then later, on 9th April 1833 he wrote to the Colonial Secretary for permission to erect an inn, store, and ferry at Mount Eliza. In the last-mentioned, he could not have been au fait with the latest happenings, because Thomas Mews, who lived at the small settlement at Mount Eliza (near where the Swan Brewery is today) and was engaged in boatbuilding there, already had a ferry running across the narrows at Point Belches. And it certainly was wishful thinking that he would obtain a liquor licence, because Mr. Mackie was the senior member of the liquor licensing board and there was little wrong with his memory. Isaac Jecks never did get a licence, but two of his sons and several grandsons did so later on. In the meantime, Jecks lost some of his land at Mount Eliza for having failed to fulfil the location duties necessary to obtain the fee simple. He then moved to Guildford.

Another thwarted customer in Guildford was Dr. G. S. F. Cowcher. But at least he did get command of the Guildford ferry. In July 1830, Cowcher arrived in the ship Medina (Capt. Pace) as did several other notables, including Anthony Curtis, John Bateman and Alfred Waylen, and all of these men pursued their colonial destinies along similar lines, and possibly at the instigation or stimulation of Capt Pace. It is possible that the conversation at the captain's table may have dwelt overlong on the possibilities of pubs, because Pace had already opened a store at Fremantle, which he kept supplied with merchandise, while his wife kept a hotel.

Curtis and Bateman themselves eventually became prominent ship-owners


and storekeepers and began their colonial careers with a partnership in the Black Swan Hotel in Cantonment street, while Waylen added 'publican' to his name and Dr. Cowcher nearly did. It wasn't Cowcher's fault that he failed. However, like all the colonists, the first thing he did was to apply for land. The doctor received several country grants and one town grant alongside the river at Guildford. Possibly Pace's enthusiasm caused the doctor to overlook his medical experience, or perhaps Cowcher was aware that unless he obtained a position as a government doctor, private practice would be a little strained and unremunerative, as most of the settlers had arrived overburdened with ploughs, livestock and other farming requisites, but with little or no ready cash. Anyhow, in March 1831 the doctor wrote to the Colonial Secretary asking to be granted the lease of a ferry to be used at Guildford near his river land, which was nearly opposite where the Cleikum Inn was later. The following months he repeated his request and submitted a plan for a proposed hotel. The government approved of his ferry request, but there was no mention of a hotel. In 1833, the doctor again applied for a liquor licence, intimating that he would build his hotel, to be called the Guildford Hotel, and that, having a large family, he thought he might be relieved of the licence fee. However nothing came of it, and besides, by this time James Dodd's Cleikum Inn was already established on the opposite side of the river. Later the doctor removed himself and his seven children from Guildford. Today one might ask anyone around Williams and Quindanning if he has heard of the Cowchers. More than likely he will answer, 'Of course! I'm one'.

Although man can't live by bread alone, he soon found he couldn't live without it. The government also was soon made aware of this when so many around Perth and district began petitioning for a supply of bread from the government stores, usually on some kind of loan and promise basis. J. C. Cooper in 1832 complained to the Colonial Secretary of lack of bread for his family. John Bateman, who had started out with his [Black] Swan Hotel, full of rosy dreams, soon found that, with a wife and five children, to maintain a hotel at a time when provisions were dear was an impossible task, and he therefore sought a government job to keep them from starving; John Gregory of the Pineapple Inn on the Guildford road, Maylands, petitioned that he was unable to provide bread for his family. To list all the petitioners would grow monotonous. Wheat was being grown and ground to flour, but there wasn't enough of it to go round, and many had insufficient ready money to buy what little there was.

Nevertheless, the colony continued to grow and expand further into the hinterland and the country settlers often suffered from a feeling of isolation. For those on the coast it was alleviated by the sight of a sail on the horizon and the momentary excitement of new faces; the vessel could well bring an answer to some urgent


request sent to the government a month or so before. Such a mail service was too slow. There had to be something better and quicker. Soon a mail service by land was started, and mailmen (many of them natives) with saddle packs containing letters, began weaving their long and arduous way from settlement to settlement; sometimes they were held up for days by bushfires or floods, but often they were faster than a mail by sea, and it was the only way for the hinterland.

With the sporadic journeys of parties on survey or private investigation, the trails the mailmen blazed slowly grew into roughly-defined tracks. Wayside inns sprang up at suitable situations and the tracks brought hopes and visions of roads of the future. Nevertheless, such realities were slow to materialise. Even as late as 1842, the Revd. J. R. Wollaston, domiciled at Picton, wrote in his diary of trips to Perth, York, and Albany, and of engaging native guides. On more than one occasion, unable to obtain a guide, he became lost through inadvertently following the wrong 'pad'. He also mentioned Sutton's Inn at Mandurah, and McLarty's at Pinjarrah, and thought the latter was the better.

As more and more land-hungry settlers pushed out along these tracks, only the most courageous chose land far from the established settlements attended by military detachments, although even those were not free from sporadic depredations of the blacks; stock was stolen, homes were sometimes gutted by fire, and it was no isolated case when a settler, one of his family, or a servant fell riddled with spears. Native ambuscades along the long, lonely tracks did not tend to make life any easier when added to the discomforts of extremes of weather. It all made travelling an unenviable experience.

The traveller might be jolted and jostled for most of the day on a horse, in a spring cart or dray, winding in and out of trees and boulders, fording rivers or deviating for miles if a river or creek were in flood, climbing or descending hills—sometimes through heavy sand—sometimes over slippery clay or loose gravel. Travelling was hardly a pleasant jaunt, and when there was also the fear of spears in the back the trip could be almost unbearable. Riding on horseback was quicker, but otherwise little better.

No wonder that the appearance of a whitewashed building ahead, showing through the scrub and tall timbers brought a heartfelt sigh of relief. If night had fallen, a twinkling light would also tell the traveller that ahead was a temporary respite from the unenviable strain of travelling along such a track through the dark of a silent forest practically uninhabited for miles except for the unpredictable savages. No wonder the government made the lighting of a lamp outside a wayside inn compulsory.


Should the traveller find that he was arriving at a farm and not an inn, he knew that he would still find shelter and food and drink for himself and any thirsty animals under his care.

Those early farmers would never turn anyone away, and who would deny a drink! but no wonder that many farmers situated on the track at such strategic positions were more or less forced to turn their farmhouses into wayside inns.

As the number of travellers became more frequent, a newly-established settler found that the possession of a liquor licence for a wayside inn considerably helped his establishment. It was also a form of defence. He could not afford to supply each visitor with free drink; for if he accepted payment and had no licence, he was in trouble for sly-grogging. A retail licence would cover the selling of liquor, but a wayside inn meant supplying food and lodging also, and the government kept it so. If he persisted in ignoring the government's idea of a 'house of convenience to travellers' and neglected to find food and shelter for man and beast, the innkeeper would find that when he applied for a renewal of his licence for the following year it would not be forthcoming. Even today there are many hoteliers in the country who would concentrate on the bar trade but for the stringent rules of the Liquor Licensing Board, which still leans heavily towards the provision of a house of convenience to travellers.

The first real track developed eastward from Guildford when Ensign Dale discovered the fertile land along the Avon River where York and Northam now stand. Others were formed from the Canning River to Kelmscott, and from the Canning ford to Fremantle. Following surveyor Smythe's 1833 survey, the last-mentioned more or less followed the river and terminated (according to Smythe) at lot no. 105, in other words, in front of the Stirling Arms at Fremantle, with which arrangement, no doubt, subsequent travellers were in complete agreement.

Near the Canning ford, Lieut. Bull took up a grant in 1830, and here apparently he was making his beer and selling it at 3/- a gallon. Bull Creek, which joins the Canning River, was named after him, and at or somewhere near the junction of the two nearby tracks, an inn called the Leyson Arms was established in 1833 or before. The only mention of it that can be found is when in 1833 W. Higgins advertised;—'The Leyson Arms. Good entertainment for man and horse.'

A little further along the Fremantle track, Alfred Waylen took up a grant of land, bordered on the north by Point Heathcote, Point Dundas, Alfred Cove and Point Waylen. The next grant was held by Archibald Butler, brother of John Butler of the Bush Inn at Freshwater Bay. Archibald had trouble with the natives when his servant, a man named Entwistle, was speared to death. The brother John also had trouble, and in 1834, complained that several


of his goats had been speared, while Waylen's house at Point Walter was burnt down by natives in 1833.

Long before this, military detachments were garrisoned at most settlements to protect the settlers from such native depredations, and possibly their presence was something of a deterrent, but not altogether. Several lonely wayside inns also applied for soldiers to be garrisoned at the inns as an added protection.

By the end of 1830, Perth and Fremantle seemed to be well provided with public houses, but unless they made their own beer, there would be days of drought until the next ship arrived with a further supply. However it was not long before such breweries came into being. There was Lieut. Bull in 1831 doing his bit at the Canning, and in 1835 William Devenish started a brewery in conjunction with his inn at Guildford and advertised: 'because of the pureness of the water in his well, the best beer in the colony'.

A year later in 1836 James Stokes started his Albion Brewery in Perth. He later renamed it the Stanley, and it was subsequently taken over by Ferguson and Mumme. Today, the Emu Brewery marks the spot. In 1838-9 our friend Edward Barron was advertising his brewery at Wattle Grove, but anything further about it is a historical secret. Then in 1841 the old Perth Hotel of 1830 was taken over as a brewery. In 1842 Henry Strickland started a brewery in St. George's Terrace and a year later Anthony Curtis opened a brewery in Fremantle. When, in the earliest period, the innkeeper had a full-stocked cellar, so few customers had cash that it was soon apparent that the landless immigrants were not the only ones to become sad, sorry and disgruntled. But by the time all these breweries were in full swing, it was hoped that the situation would be changed.

Richard Morrell stated in a letter of 8th August 1832: 'Fremantle is mostly built of stone. Perth of wood ... Fremantle contains nearly 120 houses and about 500 inhabitants'. He could have added that there were six or seven pubs—one for each 90 or so persons.

Of course there was also a small floating population with the arrival of a ship full of eager, expectant settlers, who were easily I identified by their growing air of bewilderment and by their quickly-erected tents in which they served their allotted period of purgatory while awaiting the whims of a tardy government.

Prior to 1833, too little is known. Too much information has been lost or never recorded. Admittedly, there were a few attempts to produce a hand-written newspaper, but none of these lasted long, and very few issues have survived to tell what was going on. Nevertheless, one paper announced, significantly, that the newly-formed Agricultural Society decided that farmers should refrain


from purchasing spirits or beer for their labourers, but only supply them with ale, wine or other untaxed liquor.

In January 1833, the first printed newspaper appeared with the grand title of the Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal. Apart from government proclamations, shipping news and storekeepers' advertisements, it carried this announcement:


Jane Barron respectively intimates that having renewed her licence, she has opened her house, No. 1 Murray St., Perth as the Wheatsheaf Tavern where by assiduous attention to the comfort of her guests and from the quality of her liquors, she hopes for a continuance of the patronage with which she has been hitherto favoured.

J.B. continues her dairy and having made arrangements for a regular supply of flour, she has commenced baking and will at all times, make it her study to supply her customers with the best bread on the most reasonable terms. Breakfasts, dinners etc. on the shortest notice.—Perth, Jan. 5th 1833.

No information is obtainable about the business Mrs. Barron conducted previously.

Jane was the wife of Edward Barron, a colour-sergeant in the detachment of the 63rd regiment which was sent out with the first settlers for their protection. While Barron was still in the army, his wife ran the business. The inn was situated on the north-west corner of the intersection of Barrack and Murray streets. For many years, Murray street ran westward only from Barrack street, while from there eastward the street was called Goderich; hence the Wheatsheaf Inn being located at No. 1 or lot no. VI.

Despite complaints that military personnel were carrying on outside business, i.e. they held two jobs, Barron owned also lot Nos. V2, 3 and 4 as well as other blocks elsewhere, but of course it was his wife who was running the business. Today there is a branch of the Bank of New South Wales where the Wheat Sheaf once stood, while on Barron's adjacent blocks now stand the Grand Theatre, a chain store, a fruit shop, and portion of Boans' department store.

In a like manner, another couple, Private George Bell Hodges, also of the 63rd, and his wife, Mary, conducted a business. On 5th September 1829 Mary Hodges was assigned lot no. L3 in occupancy. This was the birth of the United Service Tavern, which, until 1970, was still in business, snuggled between modern skyscrapers in St. George's terrace, Perth; it was then the oldest public house still in business in the city. The Criterion, previously under several other names, now holds this honour, and strangely enough, the site was first occupied for a pub by Edward Barron. In May 1832 Mary  Hodges applied for the fee simple to her holding:


Buildings, dwelling house, bakery and outhouses of brick valued at £250: Enclosures, £35.10; Cultivation £5, Drains £1.10; Clearing £5.

This valuation was accepted and lot no. L3 which extended from St George's terrace to Bazaar terrace, became her property. For the years 1833 and 1834 she held a licence and apparently opened her place as an inn or hotel. In August 1835 George Hodges, who by now had received his discharge from the army and had been assigned lot no. 7, announced in the Perth Gazette that he thanked patrons of the United Service Hotel and that he had opened a new lodge and commodious house on no. 7, Bazaar terrace. A month later James Dobbins, also an ex-member of the 63rd regiment, announced that he had taken over the United Service Hotel, but because Hodges had also named his new place the United Service Hotel, Dobbins changed the name of his premises from Hotel to Tavern. Any further confusion was obviated when Hodges' place became known as Hodges' Hotel; well known as a meeting place for a number of societies and so forth, it was close to the main Perth wharf at William street and close to where the doomed Esplanade Hotel is today.

In April 1836 Hodges announced that he had enlarged his premises and that a shop was attached. In April 1841 G. B. Hodges and family announced their intention to leave the colony at the first opportunity. Whether they did or not is unknown, but at least neither he nor his wife were listed again as holders of the annual licences.

Just where the other hotels were situated in Perth is a problem. On 26th January 1833 the Perth Gazette announced that the Perth Hotel (for which Louis Mayo received a licence in 1830) was making great alterations and providing adequate stabling. A bagatelle table was being installed, as well as a skittle ground adjacent—the second-named no doubt equivalent to the modem beer garden, but with provision for more exercise. This hotel was situated on lot no. F4, which extended from St. George's terrace to Hay street at the terrace end. On the site today are part of London Court and the City Mutual building. This Perth Hotel was the gathering place for the inaugural meeting of what is now the Royal Agricultural Society. Since most of the members lived in Guildford or on their farms in the Swan area, it was decided that tedious travelling would be avoided in future if the meetings were held at Guildford. One historian has claimed that the first meeting was held at Dodd's Cleikum Inn, but further research shows this to be an error. The first Guildford rendezvous of this society was at George Williams' inn which is thought to [have been] at the Woodbridge farm (later occupied by Walter Jones and Jonathon Jecks as a hotel and later by J. Seabrook) but I have never been sure of the exact location of this farm house.


This rendezvous is verified by an advertisement in the Perth Gazette showing that on 1st March 1833 a meeting was held in Williams' inn at Guildford with Whitfield in the chair, and in May, the secretary Ridgely called a special meeting at the same place for the 21st instant; another notice in June of the same yean announced that the quarterly meeting was also held at George Williams', with Tanner in the chair.

If one excludes Dodd's Cleikum Inn, which was situated on the Bassendean side of the Swan river (near the bridge), then It seems that Williams' inn could have been the first in Guildford. However, to keep the record straight—early in 1834 Williams left Guildford to take up the licence of the Perth Hotel, and the society then transferred their venue to Dodd's Cleikum Inn.

During the previous year, 1833, the Perth Hotel was advertised for sale or rent, and in November it was taken over by J. H. Monger, who had left his block in the vicinity of Lake Monger, complaining that the natives there were becoming too much of a nuisance, After having a timber business at Mount Eliza for a while and then occupying the Perth Hotel for a time, Monger removed himself to York, and there his hotels, stores and mill are well known in the town's history.

Incidentally, the Perth Hotel survived for many years under a host of owners or licensees and became in turn a hotel, a store, a brewery, and finally, in about the 1870s (after many additions and subtractions) became known as the place of Farmaner's store.

Further along the terrace, on lot no. F10, at the corner of William street where the Palace Hotel now stands, was the site of the Freemasons' Hotel. It is logical to suppose that William Dixon may have moved his George IV Hotel to this site in 1830. There are several good clues to support this, but nothing definite, In 1829 Dixon received the grant of this lot no. F10; the block was reassigned to William Leeder in October 1831, and by then there would most likely have been a building of some kind erected to conform with the location duties and allow Leeder to obtain the fee simple, which he did; about this time he was advertising his King's Head Hotel at this location, but it was more often known as Leeder's Hotel. Undoubtedly the anonymity of the King's Head fitted in better with the fact that George IV by this time was dead and it was not known in the colony for some six months that William IV had succeeded to the reins of State; perhaps King's Head was a safer name. This hotel was not known as the Freemasons' until some years later when Carr took over the licence.

Just where Thomas Dent's Happy Emigrant or James Kenton's Swan Hotel of 1830 vintage were located is not known [for] although there are a few clues. On 15th August 1833, the Perth Gazette ran an advertisement:— 'House and allotment at Perth for


sale. The property of T. Dent (in occupancy of J. Solomon, who has the lease for 3 years)'. In October 1834, it was announced that L. & W. Samson were about to open a wholesale and retail store at the house lately occupied by James Solomon. There it goes! If we can find out where Samson's store was, then we know where Dent's pub was.

Kenton very soon gave away his Swan Hotel for reasons unknown. After only six months, in July 1830, the licence was taken over by William Hokin, senior, who with his family, had arrived on the Parmelia. He likewise did not last long, for a good reason. In December 1831, while he and a man named Vines were bringing a boatload of limestone from Freshwater Bay, the boat either capsized or swamped somewhere in Melville water and both men were drowned. What eventually happened to these two pubs has not yet been discovered.

In December 1833 a memorial from sundry people (as the Colonial Secretary's Office described them) regarding the licensing of the sale of spirituous liquors requested that 'wholesalers be restricted from selling in less than gallon quantities'. The publicans might also have been restricted from dealing in articles of merchandise generally, as most of the pubs had stores attached. There is little doubt that the aforementioned sundry people were the retail storekeepers and no doubt they included those possessing a gallon or retail licence.

In 1834 Mary Mason's name appeared on the liquor licence list and in October of that year a notice appeared saying that the Freemasons' Hotel was for sale or lease, as John Mason was going to King George Sound where he was to take up a job as constable in charge of the jail. This Freemasons' was apparently a play on the complete name, and must not be confused with Leeder's Hotel, later also called the Freemasons'. However, in the same year, the Mason's Arms was mentioned and the Mason's Arms it remained. This hotel was situated on the corner of Hay and Barrack streets. Much later it became known as the Devonshire Arms. Today, the lower portion contains Sharp's tobacconist shop. The lot number was F20, and it was granted in 1829 jointly to J. Mason and J. Duffield. Possibly it was here that John Duffield intended to establish a hotel in 1830 if he were to obtain a licence; failing to get the licence he opened a house on the Swan river flats at Perth as before-mentioned.

Meanwhile, in Fremantle, of the four original 1830 licences, Robert Collins' hotel had disappeared in name, as had Dixon's George IV, although in February 1833 it was announced a building was to let: 'House called George IV Inn'. Whether someone took it over as a hotel under another name is not known. Steel's hotel, the South Sea Public House renamed the Royal, stood on lot no. 81 in Henry Street. Steel had two adjoining blocks, 80 and 81; the


former was on the corner of Henry and High streets; next door to Steel's lot no. 81 was Robert Thomson's Stirling Arms on lot no. 105. Just who owned the building and land is not known, but in 1830 two lots, nos. 104 and 105, were granted to G. F. Johnson. This gentleman did not remain in possession for long. In January 1833 a quarrel came to a head between Johnson, merchant of Fremantle, and William Nairne Clarke, solicitor, minor explorer, newspaper proprietor, and a stormy petrel. They fought a duel at the rear of the Richmond House, belonging to William Temple Graham, also a solicitor and a retired army officer. Johnson fell mortally wounded. The attending doctor. Surgeon Harrison, retired hurriedly to Albany, where it was much quieter now that Clarke had left the Kojonup district where he had been exploring etc. previously.

In 1832 or before, William Keats opened the Union Hotel; whether on one of his two blocks, nos. 93 or 128, or whether it was one of the aforementioned hotels under a new name is not known, but in July 1832 William Dixon took it over and announced he was opening the Union Hotel. In August the same year, it was offered for sale or to be let for two to three years, but in 1834 Dixon was still the licensee. Later in 1834 it was again offered to let: 'Apply Mrs. Pratt or J. Solomon, now of Perth.' An advertisement of July 1834 ran: 'Dixon's Union Hotel for sale by public auction, comprising 9 rooms, spacious billiard room and kitchen, with outhouses etc.'

In May 1833 Mr. and Mrs. Keats reappeared and advertised that they had taken out a licence for their house, the King's Arms in Henry Street, adjoining Steel's.

In December of the same year, Anthony Curtis advertised that he was to open his house as a hotel in January 1834. This, as mentioned before, was not Curtis' first venture into the liquor world, as he and John Bateman had previously opened the Black Swan Inn on Cantonment Street—more or less halfway between the town proper and the North Fremantle bridge and as Bateman said, 'close to the ferry'.

As mentioned earlier, Curtis and Bateman arrived together in the ship Medina (Capt. Pace) on 6th July 1830, Bateman as a passenger and Curtis working his passage as a steward. Curtis had been here before on a Royal Navy ship, and having taken a liking to the place, resigned from the navy and worked his way back to the colony. In October 1830 he and Bateman applied for a publican's licence; they proposed building a good stone house with four or five rooms on the ground floor and good bedrooms above, to be called the Black Swan. All of this was carried out, possibly on a block of four lots facing Cantonment street and backing almost to the harbour's [river's] edge.


Although this venture could not be called a success, both men were subsequently successful. They both became large shipping owners, traders, and property owners. It is not known what happened to the Black Swan when Curtis left to open his own place, which he called the Stag's Head in High street. Possibly Bateman let or sold the place, because in March 1832 he was seeking employment with the government because of the high cost of provisions and the slackness of the hotel trade. In November the same year he appealed for help because of his rather large family. He failed to get the vacant postmastership but received a place in the Harbour Master's Office under Captain Daniel Scott.

As the history of pubs and publicans unfolds, it shows they were a restless lot. The pubs changed their names nearly as often as they did their licensees. Robert Thomson was a fair example, although he was outclassed by many others. It is only possible to follow his movements approximately. Thomson's name did not appear as a licensee of the Stirling Arms after 1830, but it is known that he at least resided there for a couple of years. In 1830 he received a licence for a ferry which plied between Fremantle and the north shore and applied to erect a ferry house for the accommodation of the public on the north shore. In 1831 he wrote to the Colonial Secretary regarding ferry charges and gave his address as the Stirling Hotel. In September 1833 the government approved his removal of the ferry to Preston Point (close to where H.MAS. Leeuwin and the Fast Fremantle Sailing Club are now). He also owned a block in the embryo town of Kingston on Rottnest Island and later lived on the island in government employ for a short while. Apparently the Preston Point ferry was not long in Thomson's hands, because in the same year, 1833, John Weavell ran an inn in conjunction with his ferry at Preston Point (and it is unlikely there would have been two ferries). Weavell was given a free licence for a year, and in May 1833, while he had the ferry, he mentioned that he had opened a new road from Fremantle to the Bush Inn, a distance of four miles. He had also erected two small jetties and afforded every accommodation and facility for the conveyance of passengers, all at his own expense. He complained that although the Fremantle ferry was only licensed to carry passengers, horses were also being conveyed and this was a serious injury to him. This is a digression from pubs, but it helps to paint an overall picture and shows that Weavell's road went past Butler's Bush Inn and was part of the Perth-Fremantle road, which ran on both sides of the river, the two parts linked by the Preston Point ferry.

Several publicans flitted from one pub to another, sometimes remaining in a place only a year, sometimes for less. The two licence holders mentioned, Joseph Cooper and William Heard, are examples, and cause problems. Whether they had places of their own or were just lessees of existing places under another name can


only be conjectured. Heard may have leased the Stirling Arms once Thomson had moved to Rottnest. Cooper may have leased Bateman's Black Swan; if so, it was under a different name, because from 1833 to 1835 or later, Joseph Cooper had a licence for a house called the Plough, and in 1833 John Cooper was charged with keeping a disorderly house. Luckily for him the charge was dismissed; without further information, it would be unfair to say more. There were a number of J. Coopers who were either John or Joseph or James and not all related; as all correspondence was handwritten, Christian names, and even surnames, were sometimes misinterpreted.

William Heares Smithers was another excellent example of perambulating publicans. Apparently the hotel trade was his prime reason for coming to the colony. He arrived on the Gilmore with other settlers brought out by Thomas Peel; he was not an indentured servant, but apparently had some agreement with Peel. When he landed on the beach at Clarence with his wife and six children, he soon found that his patron was no help to him at all.

On 6th June 1830, Smithers complained to the Colonial Secretary that two people were selling liquor without a licence and that he himself was unable to set up his liquor business as previously arranged with Peel, because Peel had supplied him with only 5 dozen bottles of claret, 3 gallons of brandy and 18 gallons of beer; furthermore, he was unable to cash one of Peel's £20 notes.

Then emulating Dick Whittington, even to the cat, as will be mentioned later, he 'humped his bluey' to the big town. It seems he must have had some assets, because before long he had acquired a town grant in Fremantle, lot no. 117, on which he built a house and opened it as the Albion Hotel [Albion Inn]. He also acquired a parcel of land at the Upper Swan, which he called Albion Town. Perhaps he had visions of himself as mayor when it became a town in reality—which it never did! Today, strangely enough, under the same name, it is still a farm—or more strictly speaking, a vineyard.

In between times, he was seeking land here and there, with little success. Then in March 1833 the paper announced that Alfred Waylen's house at Point Walter, recently occupied by Smithers, was burnt to the ground, presumably by natives. In 1834 his Albion Hotel [Albion Inn] was offered for sale or let, and a month or so later Smithers announced that he had taken over Steel's billiard room and the Royal Hotel. To this he made alterations and additions, or at least the owner did.

In December 1835 he offered for sale the furnishings etc. of the Royal Hotel, as he was leaving Fremantle. He had already leased his Albion Hotel [Albion Inn] to his son-in-law, William Blackmore Oakley, who established a bakery business there. Then Smithers became the licensee of the Half-way house on the York road, but left it in 1839 to return to Albion Town because of his wife's ill-health.


His wife, Susannah, died soon afterwards and was buried in the grounds of Albion Town; a marble stone still marks the grave. Smithers returned to Fremantle, and in August 1839 placed a notice in the Perth Gazette:

Whereas a native named Wag-up stole a knife and three silver spoons from the house of W. H. Smithers at Fremantle and next day took two spears and would have speared the aforesaid W. H. Smithers had not another native named Min-da held him. Whoever apprehends the said Wag-up will receive the sum of £2 on his conviction. W. H. Smithers.

Nine months later Smithers announced that he was taking over the Cleikum Inn at Guildford. In January 1843 he left for London on the Houghton-le-Skerne.

It could not be said that Smithers led a humdrum, stay-at-home life in the colony. When he first arrived, he sued George Leake, a prominent merchant of Fremantle, for the return of a house cat which he (Smithers) had brought to the colony. He complained to the Governor of the failure of the Revd. J. B. Wittenoom, J.P., to give an order for the cat's return and also of his conferring in private with the defendant or his lawyer, and this he considered most unconstitutional, to say the least. However, he got his cat back.

Going back to the Half-way house which Smithers had leased. This wayside inn began as a farm when in July 1832 Thomas Carter obtained a grant of land of 370 acres beside a perpetual stream and soak (one of the few on the York road). This was half-way between Guildford and York. Carter named his place Merrow Farm. As the Avon valley became more populated and Carter's farm became a popular stopping place, in self defence he was practically forced to turn his place into a wayside inn. So with good grace he became mine host, and renamed his place the Traveller's Joy, but his increasing clientele called it the Half-way house and the name stuck. When Carter moved to York, the inn was leased by several licensees; of whom Smithers was one. Another was Charles Smith, who later moved to his grant at Mount Kokeby, near Beverley and York, where he began farming. Today, his descendants are still in and around Beverley. The Half-way house was situated a couple of miles south of the 'Lakes' (Lake Mannering), at the junction of the York and Northam roads, and should not be confused with another pub built in 1850 when the York road was re-routed straight from York to the Lakes. Robert Doncon built this pub and also had the name Half-way house thrust upon it. This new stretch of road from York to Chidlow was known as the King Dick line, and the argument between the York people and the Surveyor-General and government is another long and silly story altogether. Doncon was also for some time the licensee of the King's Head Hotel just out


of York, on the way to Beverley. This has just had its face lifted—so high that who can now tell what it was?

The original Half-way house, where two men were speared, one to death, fell into disrepair and disappeared from sight, except for the grave beside the stream of a child named Henry Chapman Smith. His father, Charles Smith, had married Ann, the sister of George, Henry and James Chapman of the Vasse. George was licensee of a pub at Wonnerup called the British Queen. Brother Henry had a flour mill at the same place, and because of the family connection with Anthony Curtis, it is still known today as Curtis's mill. James had a two-storey home in the town of Busselton which is now the museum. Until 1845 the Half-way house was the only lodging place between Guildford and York and the only inn until the old military barracks at Mahogany Creek was included in the grant taken up by the Habgood brothers, merchants of Perth. Incidentally, one Habgood married a daughter of Smithers. It was a small world! The Habgoods leased this building to Edward Byfield, who opened it as the Prince of Wales, and it remained such certainly as long as 1851-2 when Lieut. DuCane, of the Royal Engineers, drew a sketch of it. This rather valuable sketch was presented by Lady Hasluck to the erstwhile pub which is now the Mahogany Inn museum at Mahogany Creek.

By this time wayside inns were beginning to show up along the newly-made roads. Some still remain, like Trigwell's Anchor and Hope at Donnybrook, Pollard's inn at Bannister on the Albany highway, and also the foundations of the 36-mile pub on the same highway. There were many others that are just a memory and others since forgotten, but as Perth, Fremantle, and the outlying districts slowly progressed and publicans still played their unique form of musical chairs, wayside inns also continued to increase until the turn of the century when the arrival of the 'horseless carriages' with associated garages and petrol pumps more or less replaced the inns.


It has been mentioned previously, in part 1, that Anthony Curtis, who had been doing well in his two-storey Stag's Head Hotel on the south corner of High and Pakenham Streets, became ruthless (like so many of his ilk) and, for reasons best known to himself, he announced that his hotel would be closed for a few months during his temporary absence. In 1841 he was back again as the licensee.

It appears that in February 1839 the Resident Magistrate at Fremantle at that time, Mr. Richard McBride Brown (brother of Peter Broun, the Colonial Secretary), reported that William Rolfe Steel suggests lumping the Stirling Arms and the Royal under the one licence to do for the two houses.

Although the Liquor Licensing Board was of the opinion that the two houses couldn't be licensed under the one licence, something of the sort must have occurred because Curtis (who had been the first complainant) stated in his case that Mr. Steel (Royal) having lately purchased the adjacent allotment on which stands another old establishment (formerly Thomson's Stirling Arms) sells liquor from both houses under the one licence and that Pearce is managing the adjacent hotel for Steel, and further stating that although it is on the adjacent block and in another street, it is exactly opposite his own block (lot 106).

However, this state of affairs didn't last long because Steel eventually sold out.

Mr. McBride Brown, in another report, stated that lot 45, which had been granted to Captain Pace, had one house and sundry buildings, while his other block (lot 46) had only a stone wall. The house etc. was where Mrs. Pace had her boarding house and later hotel, and no doubt where Captain Pace had his store.

In 1846, Mrs. Pace was still the licensee and in the following year it was announced that Patrick Marmion was taking over from Mrs. Pace. Marmion didn't last long and, in 1849, George Wood was the licensee. In 1851, Oliver Lodge had taken over. In 1852, David Romayne took over and for many years it was called the Victoria Hotel and various licensees carried on this hotel until 1885 when the licensee was William Conway. Later the Victoria changed its name to the P. and O. and continued as such until the present time. Before losing sight of Mr. Conway—he took over the National Hotel on the corner of High and Market Streets (later, by coincidence, the premises of the National Bank).


Conway lost his licence in June 1887 and his life in November of the same year. It appears that he was accustomed to sample his own liquor, and one evening, full of samples and exuberance, he staggered over to the Town Hall where a children's ball was in progress. The doorkeeper, an elderly man named Snook, stopped him because he had no ticket and his sample was showing. Conway turned on his heel, staggered back to his hotel and returned with a revolver with which he shot Snook, who died some weeks later. On 19th November the West Australian stated that 'on the 18th Conway was hanged' the paper went on to say that 'the knot had been placed wrongly and Conway died slowly of strangulation'.

Close to the Victoria Hotel on lot 45, was the Emerald Isle on lot 62.

This hotel first came to my knowledge in 1849, when Patrick Marmion applied for a licence for what he was going to call the Commercial. But in 1850 it was announced that he was opening the Emerald Isle with a store attached. Later, he must have died because the licence for 1857 was made out to Mrs. Caroline Marmion, and in 1867 to M. E. Marmion (a son?).

In 1873, Patrick Malony (late of the Shamrock Hotel, Perth) took over. His was a good Irish name that drew another not so good Irishman to the hotel in 1875. He was John Breslin but he gave his name as 'Collins', and he was there until April 1876 when his plans were completed for the escape of a number of Fenians from Fremantle jail. They all got away safely to Rockingham and escaped to America in the American whaler Catalpa.

In 1878, a Fred Caesar (whose name was connected with several other hotels at various times) took over, and he still had the Emerald Isle in 1897. In 1906 it appeared as the Orient. (I knew it in the twenties when it was kept by one of the Leunigs.) It was still there until a few years ago.

In 1839 Mrs. Pace was the licensee of the Crown and Thistle on the corner of High and Henry Streets (lot 61). In 1840, Alex Francisco announced that he was taking over from Mrs. Pace. Francisco was the grandfather of Sir Walter James, K.C. It is pleasing to note that 'Turtle soup could be had daily at the Crown and Thistle'. In 1860 the hotel was taken over by James Wellard who, with Padbury, was the first to establish the sheep industry around Cossack and Roeburne. Wellard had this hotel for several years under the name of Wellard's Hotel. Then for a few years (from 1868 to 1877) J. J. Harwood was the licensee and in 1878 it was known as Meagher's Hotel (Meagher previously had the Guildford Hotel).

In 1840, Anthony Curtis's Stag's Head Hotel was still going strong.

In 1841, Edward Back (who had married Curtis's sister) had the hotel for a few years then back to Curtis. There is a blank between 1845 and 1848 when Curtis appears again stating that 'he intended to reopen and with a dinner (21/-) to commemorate the opening by the original proprietor—R. McBride Brown in the chair.'

Curtis died at the beginning of 1853, aged 53. His properties were considerable and were sold by auction in 1855 to John Wellard. (Curtis's Mill, at Busselton, built by Henry Chapman got that name through a Curtis marrying a Chapman.)

In February 1841 an advertisement stated that the Globe Hotel at South Beach was for sale with two frontages—together with furnishings. But that I never heard of again.

In September 1835 another advertisement stated 'For sale or let, the Waterman's Arms—apply W. H. Edwards (William Hugh) who is about to leave the country.' I don't know how he got into the act because he was listed as the Government boat-builder who, about this time, was applying to be repatriated to England because of ill-health. The sale apparently didn't eventuate because, in 1842, it was announced that a supper and ball was to be held at the Waterman's Arms (W. Heard). And in 1844 it was announced: 'For sale, Waterman's Arms—tap room, bar room, parlour, bed-


rooms, good stabling, outhouses, kitchen, well with pump attached—Wm. Heard on the premises.'

I have never proved who owned this place but it was on lot 56 and William Heard had been granted crown lots 55 and 56 earlier so it seems as if the hotel belonged to Heard. Lot 55 was on the corner of Phillimore and Henry Streets, while 56 (next door) was in Henry Street.

Then in 1853 I find that Oliver Lodge was licensee of the Castle Hotel in Henry Street. Whether the two places were the same building under the two names I know not, but at the turn of the century the building became the Fremantle Workers Club.

Another hotel with rather an interesting selection of guests was the Exchange Hotel on the corner of Cliff and High Streets (but later blossomed forth as the Union Bank). It was situated on Lot 5 and the first notice was in July 1872 when G. E. Seubert was advertising private board and lodging. I think Seubert's real claim to fame and fortune was when a ship called the New Perseverance grounded on a sandbank at Cossack and was declared a total wreck. She lived for some years longer as a unique kind of inn or grog shop when Seubert took it over and was, I suspect, the one who was selling a poor kind of beer, made in Perth, and known as 'Shy-poo'. At this time, English imported beer was said to be selling in Cossack at 12/6 a bottle—Shy-poo was only 6 pence a quart. Seubert was not satisfied with that, he later took over the Fremantle Exchange Hotel and in 1874 he lodged a person at his hotel known as the biggest liar on earth (Louis de Rougement) a Swiss, who arrived in the colony as a butler to Governor Robinson and whose real name was Louis Grin. Grin stayed at Seubert's for a while before sailing off on his real and imaginary adventures.

Bully Hayes was another suave gentleman who was said to have stayed at Seubert's. He impressed socially—was engaged to Daniel Scott's daughter but after diddling everyone right and left, sailed off to Queensland as a black-birder and was later killed by his cook. In 1880 Seubert took over the Albert Hotel (lot 411) in High Street, from John Thomas. Seubert changed the name of the Exchange and occupied it until 1884 when it was advertised for sale—comprising 7 sitting rooms, one large assembly room, kitchen, stables attached. Private contract sale—A. Cornish.'

There are still Cornishes in hotels all over the State. However, it brings to mind the Freemason's Hotel and Tavern (lot 221) on the corner of Henderson Street and South Terrace. In 1856 it was announced that Nicholas Paterson had opened a new house of entertainment under the name of the Freemason's Hotel and Tavern and the following year it was advertised for sale—comprising 7 sitting rooms, one large assembly room, 8 bedrooms, stabling for 20 horses, etc. But apparently it wasn't sold because in 1859, Nicholas Paterson still had the licence. In 1860 to 1865, W. Rummer (late of the Guildford Hotel and still later, the Stirling Arms of Guildford). In 1866 to 1875, James Herbert had the licence, but whether it was senior or junior is not known. In 1876 it said the licensee was James Herbert (owner Andrew Cornish) and it continued thus until 1885. Other licensees were Otto Wershett 1895, Algar Burrayard 1900. This place is still going strong and is one of the oldest existing hotels in Fremantle. Cornish and Paterson still kept the partnership, long after taking up land at Pinjarra. In 1854, just before Paterson opened he was the licensee of the Race Horse Tavern which was advertised as having 10 rooms, weatherboard dwelling, wine cellars etc., stables for 10 horses, spacious hay lofts, etc. Later it was announced that T. Prosser (well-known in Fremantle) 'has taken over the Race Horse in Leake Street with store attached'. Then in 1859, Prosser had taken over the Anchor and Crown Chop House.

The Anchor and Crown Hotel [Rose and Crown], on the corner of High and Queen Streets (that later became a government girls' school) was no relation to the chop house.


Belatedly we give praise to the brave deed of Robert Collins, who had the licence for Collins Hotel in January 1830. I found that he had a licence for the Commercial but whether it was the same is not known, but I presume it was near Cliff Street and the harbour, because the hand-written newspaper, The West Australian Gazette of Fremantle, said on June 30th 1830:—

Mr. Collins, landlord of the Commercial Inn showed his bravery in a sea rescue when he proceeded to the beach to save the crew of a small boat capsized trying to cross the bar. Captain Byrne's boat being at hand, Mr. Collins immediately pushed off and was the happy means, after pulling, to rescue them perhaps from a watery grave. Mr. Brockman, late of the (unintelligible); Mr. Marshall, late of the Bombay and Mr. Edward Bolger were clinging to the keel of the boat at the providential arrival of Mr. Collins. This is the fourth instance of Mr. Collins' praiseworthy activity and humanity in the prompt way in which he has always been ready to save the lives of fellow creatures. But—sorry are we to relate that the former assistance rendered received little or no thanks.

Although the Perth Gazette of 1835 said the old Australian Inn was for sale, that is absolutely all I have ever seen of this hotel. I think it may have been on lot 77 and that is in Henry Street.

In 1851, William Rolfe Steel's hotel (Royal) was leased in March for three years by Anthony Curtis after the whole of the property was purchased by Edward Hamersley.

On the property of Captain Graham (lots 286 and 2861) was Graham's house known as Richmond House and where the W.A. Gazette was written and was published or 'written' by W. T. Graham. Richmond House was where the duel between G. F. Johnson and Nairn Clark took place and where Johnson was shot dead. Much later, on this block, stood the Richmond Hotel. In 1895 it was occupied by Fred Caesar. In 1900 the licence was held by Arthur Denyer. Later it was demolished for railway extensions—as was the East Fremantle rail siding nearby—long since forgotten.

In 1882 E. H. Fothergill had the licence for the Cleopatra Hotel on the north side of High Street (between Mouat and Henry Streets). It is still there and was next to the old post office of 1892.

The Welsh Harp Hotel in Pakenham Street in 1886-7, John and Hall (probable owners) with Edwin Tonkin as manager, I think it was on lot 122. The Peerless Hotel [Pearlers Hotel] was in Leake Street, and in 1895 Bresford and Coppin were the owners or licensees. Later it became the Terminus Hotel and in 1900 it was licensed by Mike Mulcahy.

In 1849, the name John Thomas appeared again as the licensee of the Southern Cross Hotel, but it didn't say whether it was the father or the son. Senior previously, in 1830, had a hotel at Clarence and a row with Peel. The son had a block at Kelmscott in partnership with William Gaze, who was speared to death, but Thomas escaped. None of the hotels that blossomed forth after the turn of the century have I listed and many have been missed I'm afraid; so now we move to Perth.

It was mentioned in Part 1 that Jane and Edward Barron had the Wheatsheaf Inn. Apparently towards the end of 1830, the Barrons left it, because in 1842 it was announced that W. Spencer was taking out a retail licence for No. 1 and 2 Murray Street. In May 1844 there was an advertisement stating that W. R. Steel was selling the remainder of his lease and in June sale of stock, also the lease of the Wheatsheaf Inn.

In October of the same year an advertisement stating: 'Saddles, bridles pistol holsters on the premises of the late Wheatsheaf Inn—C. von Bibra' (who was a saddler, etc.). Then this place seemed to disappear from the story—as an inn anyway.


It may be noted that Edward Barron later opened an inn in Howick Street—between Barrack and Pier Streets. Then, in 1848, a sale notice— 'For sale allotment O14, recently a public house by Ed. Barron.' Today, the Criterion occupies the spot. However, Barron sold [it] and it became the John Bull Inn and the licensee was T. Roach and later (1850) M. A. Rodgers (transferring from T. Roach). Rodgers had it until 1854. Possibly he died because from 1854 to 1860, Mrs. Rodgers held the licence. From 1865 to 1867, H. A. Dore had the licence—then it transferred to Patrick Maloney who had it from 1868 to 1870 (and who had held the licence for the Shamrock Hotel from 1871 to 1872 and then, as already mentioned, transferred to the Emerald Isle Hotel in Fremantle. From 1871 to at least 1885 the licence for the John Bull Inn was held by John C. Chipper. In 1898 to 1899 W. Herrington held the licence. I have no record of when it was changed to the Criterion (but it was already changed in 1885).

On the site of the present Savoy Hotel (on lot 18) in Hay Street was the Shamrock Hotel and in 1848 to 1851 it was held by Michael Condron. In 1852 to 1854 it was licensed by Condron and Toovey. Lomas Toovey later drove the Albany coach. His name appears later in 1887 in an inn at Round Swamp (today known as Tenterden) on the Perth-Albany highway. Portion of the old place is still visible as part of a modern farmhouse and still owned by a Toovey. Then in 1858 J. L. Lambley held the licence for the Shamrock until J. Bowra had it, followed by William Henry Strickland of the old family who had the United Service Hotel at one time also the Freemason's Hotel in Albany. In 1866, James Ogden (or Ougden) held the licence until 1870 when (as mentioned) it was held by Patrick Maloney for two years.

In 1873 J. A. Lucas was announced as having leased from Maloney. Then Lucas held it until 1884 when from 1884 and 1885 T. F. Quinlin took it over. Various others held it after the turn of the century, including W. Gerloff, John Mulcahy and Reg Harrison.

The James Ougden mentioned before first appeared in January 1835 when he gave his address as the Daniell Arms (where this was is unknown to me). In April 1844 James Ougden advertised that—'He has for a long time had the Jetty Tavern and provided the best accommodation and a complaint that appeared in the Perth Gazette is damaging to the lessee.' In 1845, it was advertised that J. Ougden's house, known as the Jetty Tavern has lodging, stabling and does smithy work (J.O. was a blacksmith). This inn was at the foot of William Street near the main wharf. In 1847, J. Ougden announced that he was letting his place, and in 1852 it appeared as the Pier Hotel and Boarding House. For several years it opened and closed or was switched from unlicensed to licensed premises and seemed to disappear about 1871. It is mentioned in Jesse Hammond's book—The Western Pioneers and facing page 14 is a picture of the waterfront around William Street pier or wharf during the 1870s and at the left is the two-storey hotel.

At the small settlement that used to be near the present Swan Brewery was a place called Institution House and occupied in 1835 by W. E. Oakley (of the Fremantle Oakleys). This place was taken over in 1836 by F. Frazer Armstrong for a native mission and later by Shoales junior as a juvenile immigration centre and Oakley went to Pinjarra and tried to obtain a licence there, but was baulked by the joint efforts of Peel and Singleton. The reason given was that Oakley's inn (if he had his licence) would attract men from their work. Both the objectors' properties were well on their way to Mandurah, while Oakley's place was on the other side of Pinjarra, at the junction of the Murray and Oakley Rivers—just where the road to Williams begins. However, Oakley eventually got his licence, which he held from 1842 to 1849 at least.


The United Service Hotel was on lot 3. It began business about 1830 and lasted until it was taken over by Henry La Roche Cole, who was better known as 'Old King Cole'. He held it from 1844 until 1854 and during that time to a few years ago many alterations and additions were made and during that time it never closed its doors and yet when it was bull-dozed it was on lot 1. Every addition was made on the eastern side and the older parts pulled down and the lots sold.

In 1844, he applied for a slaughterman's licence for the premises. Outside the premises (in a picture I have—taken in the 60s) stands a flag pole. On this a flag was hoisted whenever a ship entered Fremantle—mail is in—Cole's free service to the community!

In 1854 he handed over to James B. Dolbear (another 63rd Regiment). Then Fred Fordred took it over for two years. Then in 1863, Cole occupied it again. In 1865-6 Henry Robert Strickland had the licence (while his son had the Freemason's in Albany) in 1867 Steven Chipper took it over. In 1870, Henry and William Strickland had it again. In 1871 G. G. Chipper took over. Then in 1873, Henry Strickland was back again. In 1895, it was W. and H. Strickland again and in 1898 John Giles. Today the hotel is but a memory.

An inn, the Devonshire Arms (diagonally opposite the Town Hall, now occupied by Sharp, the tobacconist), was first taken over from Mary Mason by John Dolbear who later transferred to the United Service. Next door was another place also owned by Mary Mason. Now in 1837 not long after Mrs. Pace (of Fremantle) took over this place next to Mason's Hotel (the Devonshire part came much later). She called it the Whaler's Arms.

In 1841 John Mason died and in May of that year a Mrs. Crisp took over from Mrs. Pace and in July Nicholas Goguey stepped into the late Masons Arms and was advertising stabling, spirits, etc. under the name of L'Alliance. Things then got more tangled—Goguey disappeared and Mary transferred her licence to W. Gibbs, but according to the list she was still holding a licence in 1846, so was Gibbs.

In the previous year, a tradesmen's ball was held at the Mason's Arms—limited tickets. However, in 1841 Martha Crisp had advertised the Whaler's Arms for sale or let for twelve months and in 1842 a Robert D'Arcy appeared and was going to open a school in the ex-Whaler's Arms.

In 1845 D'Arcy advertised that he was going to apply for a licence to open an inn at Strelley (on the Swan) but this was refused.

In June 1844, the Whaler's Arms is listed as a two-storey house occupied by Mrs. Crisp and owned by Mary Mason, and in the previous month of May W. H. Sholl, surgeon, was the occupier in the two-storey building next to Mrs. Mason. He didn't last long there because the next I saw was that he was taking over a place in the Terrace. In 1845 H. H. Hall took over the Whaler's Arms for a store. The building was stated to be a two-storey, with 4 large rooms, kitchen and store room attached. Hall was another who flitted from pillar to post. In June 1837 he was advertising goods for sale at the Perth Hotel, possibly goods left over from the previous tenant, John Wade. Hall had probably turned the building into a brewery because in 1841 there was another advertisement in the paper—'Let/sale. The Western Australian Brewery and unexpired licence, formerly known as the Perth Hotel; consisting of convenient dwelling house, a brewery, excellent supply of water, fitted up for ext. business and malt kiln, twelve-foot square. A most approved principal and an excellent malt floor, stable, garden etc., immediate possession—apply Henry Hastings Hall.'

In March 1843 an advertisement appeared—'Perth Hotel lately occupied by Mrs. Hall' and in May appeared 'Mrs. Lamb has moved from Hay Street to Mrs. Hall's (Perth Hotel) and will open a boarding and lodging house—double and single sleeping rooms.'


However, in May 1844, Fred Croft, in a memorial, applied for a publican's licence for an old dwelling called the Perth Hotel, also for a new building and store built by him which said 'building almost adjoins'. He wanted to carry out business as a publican in both houses.

In April 1844, apparently J. Seabrook took over the old premises from Mr. Williams ( I think George Williams) as a licensed victualler. In the same month a notice that Fred Croft will open his new premises in St. Georges Terrace in connection with his present business on May 1st—wine, spirits etc. (it seems as if he had a gallon licence for his shop part of the Perth Hotel).

He also advertised that there was a large room above the said premises.

In Jesse Hammond's book Western Pioneers a map of Perth in 1871-72 shows Mitchell's store and next to it, Furmanar's store. These were previously Croft's store and the Perth Hotel.

The Perth Hotel was on lot F4 (London Court is there now).

On lot 8F was a building known as Embleton's Commercial Rooms. Sometimes it was a licensed premises and sometimes not. In September 1833 it became one of Perth's first hospitals when an agreement in the C.S.O. states—'to let a large room of his house to Dr. Collie as a hospital and Embleton will guarantee to find one person who will act as nurse, giving proper attention to cooking, washing etc. and Government will pay.' I found no further mention of this hospital. In May 1844 there was an announcement of a tradesmen's ball and supper at Embleton's Commercial Rooms—7/6 ladies, 12/6 gents.

On June 1844, it was stated that George Embleton had a licence in the commercial room in St. Georges Terrace on lot 8. In 1845 he was holding a licence also in 1846. Then some time prior to 1847 it seems he had the Commercial in Barrack Street, and it was announced that owing to a domestic tragedy he has let same to David Romayne. In 1848-9 it was known as Romayne's Hotel. In 1850 Romayne advertised a tradesmen's ball—single tickets 7/6, double 10/6.

From 1866 to 1873, William Sloan was the licensee of this Commercial Hotel. In 1874-5 George King was the licensee. George died and it was taken over by Hannah King until in 1880-1 E. O. Cockran (late of Gin-Gin) had taken over and with the advent of the Fremantle-Guildford railway the inn became the Railway Hotel. The said Edward Oxon Cockran held the licence until it was taken over by Alfred Dearden who held it from 1884 to 1889 when Thomas McCarthy took over. This pub is still in Barrack Street.

While in Embleton's Commercial Rooms, Charles von Bibra had taken them over as licensed premises tinder the grandiose name of the Royal Commercial and Agricultural Hotel and for which he had the licence until 1854 when he advertised it for sale or let. The next heard of von Bibra was in Port Gregory (1855-7).

Another hotel that still exists (under the name of the Bedford) was first called the Vine Tavern on lot V26 in Murray Street. In March 1851 a Steven Hyde applied for a licence to keep a public house at his home and premises in Murray Street. In November 1852 Hyde advertised it for sale, also the adjacent block. In January 1853 it was in the occupation of H. Towton whose tenancy was to expire on the following September. However, Towton continued the occupancy under the name of No Place Inn and continued to hold it until George Budd took it over in 1871 until 1878 when Towton took it over again. In 1881 it was transferred back to George Budd. In 1883 Vincent King had the licence. In 1895 John Clifford and in 1898-1900 Patrick Caffety.


On lot F10 on the corner of William Street and St. Georges Terrace and on which the Palace Hotel precariously stands was the previously mentioned King's Head Hotel, which later was transferred to William Leeder in October 1831, who occupied it until 1839 when it was advertised, 'for sale or let—the King's Head—occupancy in three months—apply W. Leeder.' In 1841 Leeder was still trying to unload it and in March of that year it was announced 'for sale/or let Leeder's Hotel, established house—W. Leeder leaving the colony for a while.' He also had a store attached. In 1841, George Williams appeared as the licensee. In 1843, William Rolfe Steel (late of the Royal Fremantle) had the licence. In May 1844 it was announced that W. Leeder was opening his old established inn. In January 1845 he advertised that he was leaving the colony for a while—business as usual. Then it was stated that J. G. Carr was taking over from Mrs. Hannah Leeder and in May 1848, the first of a series of tradesmen's balls for recreation etc. and Carr was still the licensee (and had changed the name of the hotel to The Freemason's Tavern and Hotel). In 1854, W. L. Leeder took over from Carr and retained the name that Carr gave it. In 1858, the two Stricklands appeared again as the licensees. It might be remembered that on July 9th the first theatrical entertainment, by amateur performers, in the colony took place and was staged at Leeder's Hotel.

In 1859-60 Henry Strickland was the licensee until 1864 when E. James took over and held it for 6 years when possibly he died because in 1879 Lucy James held the licence. In 1882 A. Sylvester took over and in 1884 James Dearden was the licensee. In 1895, W. S. Savage. In 1898 with a new building in its place it became DeBaun's Palace Hotel.

In Murray Street (or Goderich Street as this part was then known) a hotel appeared called the Horse and Groom in 1851. When it ceased as a hotel it became the Cremorne Gardens (and I have a feeling the Cremorne Hotel is now the Y.M.C.A. building—with additions). However, in 1851 G. Hayson was applying for a licence and in June 1852 it was announced that George Hayson would open the Horse and Groom Tavern in Murray Street in July. In February 1859 Hayson was advertising [that] alterations and enlargements including lock-up coach and gig house, large ballroom—firewood supplies as usual.

Hayson occupied until 1868 when in May he died and Charles Taylor took over from Mrs. Harriet Hayson. Taylor remained until 1870 when James Lewis Lambley's name appeared again (late of the Shamrock) when he took over. In 1873 it was licensed in Mrs. Lambley's name and in 1874 to 1888 or later Edward Connor was licensee. A number of inns flashed across the screen and were seen no more. In 1851, the Cricketer's Arms appeared in Adelaide Terrace. We know it was near the Causeway and the old police station and that John Crane occupied it from 1851 to 1860. In July 1844, G. S. Watts had opened a public house near the Causeway with refreshments and accommodation. Then no more. G. S. Watts turned up later with a hotel at Wandering. We know that in 1830 William Boudenit also had a place 'at the Flats above Perth' and in the same year Duffield also got a licence for a public house 'on the flats above Perth' but I can't discern whether these were different establishments or one and the same. The Brewers Arms could perhaps come into it. Just in passing, this inn was on Camfield's property (called Burswood—now Rivervale) on which Camfield, a rabid teetotaller, was growing hops for beer.

The Trumpeter's Arms in King William Street (Perth) appeared and W. Tates held the licence in 1852-3. In 1852 H. Hughes was applying for a licence for a place on the corner of King William and Murray Streets. Later the licence was granted, but I don't know if it had any connection with a Chip's Inn in King William Street. It stated 'to let' apply J. Stokes, Stanley Brewery. He was either a creditor, owner or agent. In 1854, Thomas Briggs took over the Trumpeters Arms (Briggs later took over the Albion Hotel,


in Cottesloe). There was also the City Arms occupied in 1848 by Edward Barnard. In 1859, the Hall of Recreation, King William Street, was taken over by George Robinson from the committee of total abstinence and he 'will supply lemonade, ginger beer and a restaurant.' To beat that the City Restaurant and Temperance Hotel, St. Georges Terrace stated—'A glass of beer costs 3 pence and will muddle the brain, but a cup of tea or coffee will cost a penny less and will refresh the body etc.—Alfred Chopin.'

I have not done much research on hotels that sprang into existence after the turn of the century because so many sprang into existence with the opening of the railway. Some are still in existence others have disappeared or changed their names. There was The Wellington opposite the railway station, and in 1883 M. McMahon had it followed by James Mews and T. G. M. Mollons (possibly now it is the Imperial).

In 1886, The Grosvenor (family hotel) was mooted, on the corner of Hay and Hill Streets and in 1898 it was held by Mrs. Katherine Kelly. The Royal Hotel near the railway station on the corner of William and Wellington Streets was occupied in 1883 by F. C. Foster and in 1895 by Fritz Schruth. The Goldfields Hotel on the corner of Pier and Wellington Streets. The Hotel Esplanade and the Imperial in Wellington Street.

The Ozone Hotel in Adelaide Terrace. The Empire on lot H53 afterwards The George Hotel on the corner of Murray and George Streets and in 1895 was held by Michael Clifford. The Kensington on the corner of Lord Street and occupied in 1895 by William Armitage. It had its verandah knocked off. Recently it sat forlorn and then became a hospital building. Today it is a parking lot.

The Melbourne Hotel on the corner of Hay and Milligan Streets was known in 1883 as the Eagle Hotel and then The Retreat. The Grand Hotel on the corner of Barrack and Murray Streets on lot F20 was held in 1895 by Alfred Lee. The Cape [Cafe?] de Paris in Murray Street (between William and King) on V22 was held in 1895 by Mrs. Jacoby. Then by F. Jacoby. It changed its name to The Bohemia. The Globe Hotel, Wellington Street, between William Street and Forrest Place was first noticed in 1895 and occupied by Mrs. Gateswood. The Australia Hotel (now the Hotel Australia) in Murray Street was occupied in 1895 by Harry Blake.

The Palace Hotel and Duke of York Restaurant in Murray Street (between Barrack and William) was occupied in 1895 by J. C. Parer.

The Metropole on lot F3 was on the south side of Hay Street (between Barrack and William Streets) and was occupied in 1895 by James Pearce. The Star and Garter in Goderich Street between Cemetery Road and Bennett Street was occupied in 1895 by Albert Thomson and I believe changed its name to The Carlton. The Beaufort Arms in Goderich Street, between Ellis and Beaufort Streets, was occupied in 1895 by a Mrs. Smith. The Federal Hotel on the corner of Wellington Street and George Street.

So ends the romantic story of Perth's early hotels.

Garry Gillard | New: 3 February, 2019 | Now: 20 April, 2024