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Robert Collins's hotel, on Lot 41 in Mouat Street, was known by his name when he began trading at the beginning of 1830, but by June he had changed its name to the Commercial Hotel. He got out of the hospitality business after one year and apparently into trading of some kind. He died in his forties in 1844. (William Heard had taken over the hotel over from Collins in 1831.)
COLLINS, Robert, b. 1798/1800, d. 4.4.1844. arr. 19.10.1829 per Atwick with wife Georgiana b. 1804 & dtr. Georgiana b. 1825. Chd. Mary b. 1843. Granted 787 acres, 100 in Swan & remainder in Avon district. Licensee Collins Hotel Frem. Sold his premises & dep. for Mauritius 13.4.1831, & returned 10.2.1832 per Bee. Claimed unsuccessfully 4% on goods sold from the Bee by the Captain & Mr Sullivan. Lived at Perth where his wife worked as a nurse. She left for S.A. 5.1.1845 per Roseanna & again (or her dtr.) in 12.1845.
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. ...
Meanwhile, in Fremantle [by 1834?], of the four original 1830 licences, Robert Collins' hotel had disappeared in name ...
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. Tuckfield: 67, 77, 102.
Graham, Allen 2023, Inns and Outs of Fremantle: a Social History of Fremantle and its Hotels 1829-1856, Xlibris.
Tuckfield, Trevor 1971, '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.
Garry Gillard | New: 5 February, 2019 | Now: 25 August, 2023