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William Rolfe Steele is mentioned by Tuckfield and Ewers as being in 1830 the publican of the South Seas Public House on the corner of High and Henry Streets. (Tuckfield spells the name 'Steel'.)
The original grantee of Lots 80 and 81 was William Rolfe Steele. He arrived in 1829 on the Lotus. He established one of the first four licensed premises, the South Seas Public House (Tuckfield), the name of which was changed to Royal Hotel by 1840. He was the publican of the Rose and Crown hotel at Guildford in 1846, before leaving the colony in 1852.
Hitchcock records a W.R. Steele as being the purchaser of town lots 80 and 81 on the corner of Henry and High Streets, where the Marich Building is now. By 1840 the name of the hotel had become the Royal Hotel.
STEELE, William Rolfe, b. 1799. arr. 6.10.1829 per Lotus, m. Mary Ann PAVE b. 1803. Chd. Mary Anne b. 1830, William b. 1832, Sidney b. 1834, Amelia b. 1836, Alfred b. 1838. Emma b. 1841, Cora b. 1844 d. 1919. Publican "South Sea Hotel" Fremantle 1.1.1830. Licensee of "Royal Hotel" 1840 & "Rose & Crown" at Guildford 1846. Land & stock agent & made several voyages to Eastern colonies & Far East. Dep. 188.8.131.52 per Louisa for Victoria.
Erickson, Rica 1987 (et al.) Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians, UWAP.
Ewers, John K. 1971, The Western Gateway: A History of Fremantle, Fremantle City Council, with UWAP, rev. ed. [1st ed. 1948]: 11.
Hitchcock, JK 1929, The History of Fremantle, The Front Gate of Australia 1829-1929, Fremantle City Council: 110.
Tuckfield, Trevor 1971, 'Early colonial inns and taverns', Early Days: Journal and proceeedings of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society, 7, 3: 65-82; Part 2, 7, 7: 98-106.
Allen Graham's map in the Fremantle Library collection shows Fremantle hotels 1829-1857.
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