It would be easy to fill these page with hotel keepers, for I come across many of them in my Launceston Hotel project. It was a common occupation for women, and the licensing board, at least in Launceston, preferred married couples, although the case was sometimes argued for a young, single male on the basis that he’d just be the licensee in name and it was really his mother running the place. So, it’d be easy to fill these pages with just Launceston hotel keepers and I want variety in location and occupations, therefore I wasn’t going to include any more… until I came across the note above (larger version) which fits into my desire to include things other than extracts from newspapers. So, Mary Butterworth:

This pretty much tells her story.

DEATH OF MRS BUTTERWORTH
Among the many old residents who have recently died, we have to record yet another, Mrs Mary Butterworth, late of the Court House Hotel. The deceased lady was widely known and respected, and the news of her death will be specially regretted in the mining districts, where she is well known, having taken a lively interest in the development of the mineral resources of the colony. She was a lady of singular business capacity, having conducted her hotel with rare tact and discretion, and was well known to be of a kind and charitable disposition. Native of Dorsetshire, England, deceased arrived in the colony in 1854, with a young family, who are now well known residents. She was then the relict of Mr Johnathan Powell, of Redcliff Hill, Bristol, and sister of the late Mr Josiah Pitcher, of the Rising Sun, Prospect Village. Shortly after arriving she was married to the late Mr Thomas Butterworth, and since 1856 has resided at the Court House Hotel, and of late years had the entire charge of the business. She was seized with paralysis three months ago, and succumbed to the disease yesterday afternoon at 3.30 p.m.

Cornwall Chronicle, 24 August 1880

She was born Mary Pitcher, in Dorset in about 1807. In 1818 her older brother, Josiah was an unwilling passenger on the Hibernia after committing a felony and being sent to VDL for life. He ended up in Launceston as licensee of the Rising Sun and, maybe of more interest, the Hibernia (now Irish Murphy’s in Bathurst St), which was one of the better hotels in town. (There’s seem to have been another brother in Launceston, John, who died 1843, but he was born about 1818.)

Now Mary, back in England, married and had a handful at kids as usually happens but then her husband went and died. There she was, in her 40s with a young family to look after, so she packs them up and heads off to the other side of the world to join her brother in Launceston.


RGD 37/1/13

A few months after arriving, she marries Thomas Butterworth, then a hotel keeper at Hadspen. About a year after their marriage, they move to Launceston and take over the running of the Dolphin Inn, on the corner of Wellington and Paterson St.

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A couple of years later, Mary is again widowed when Thomas dies. She takes over the running of the hotel, and changes the came to the Couthouse, being as it is opposite the courthouse.

Cornwall Chronicle, 13 September 1862
Cornwall Chronicle, 13 September 1862

Court trials bring lots of people into town, who then need to find reasonable priced, decent accommodation, so having a hotel opposite is a good business opportunity. (Interesting to note, one of her sons, Josiah, became a barrister & solicitor.)

Cornwall Chronicle, 8 December 1869
Cornwall Chronicle, 8 December 1869

Judging by advertisements, Mary seemed quite willing to take up any opportunities that came her way.

Launceston Examiner, 17 October 1865
Launceston Examiner, 17 October 1865

Launceston Examiner, 23 March 1876
Launceston Examiner, 23 March 1876

Launceston Examiner, 28 November 1878
Launceston Examiner, 28 November 1878

Brandy Creek was a goldfield, location of a small rush in the late 1870s. The town was later named Beaconsfield.

Finally, as previously noted, Mary died in 1880, aged 73 (and there’s a copy of her will).

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