Update: to encourage me to finish this (ha) and to improve the coverage, I’m going to make an entry for every public house in Launceston (city and suburbs), with whatever information I have at the moment. Some of these will just be a name and street/suburb. I’ll can then finish them off later. These entries will be marked with **. This is in progress
There’s 130 completed posts on this blog, which means there are 130 hotels that I’ve tracked.
But there’s another 88 in drafts (started but not finished) and probably half that again that I have yet to do anything on, and realistically, I might not get to them as I’m busy with other projects. New projects are shiny and want attention. But… I still like to work on these when I have a reason. So, if you have an interest in an old hotel (your great-grandmother ran it, you’ve driven past it, you’ve heard the name and wondered where it was), drop me a comment below and come back in a few days weeks. (And yes, I’m do sometimes wander out to the nearby towns, although I can’t guarantee I have current photos for all those.)
Elizabeth & Wellington Streets, possibly NE corner
1834-35 John Backer Harwood, Freemasons Tavern, Launceston
1835-36 Henry Harris, Freemasons Arms, Launceston
1836 John Peter Armstrong, Freemasons Arms, Elizabeth Street
1836-1837 John Jacobs, Freemasons Tavern, Elizabeth Street
These seem to be the same house, despite the different name.
Advertisement J. B. HARWOOD, JJAV1NG taken those premises, know as the Commercial Warehouse, at the corner of Elizabeth and Wellington Streets, begs leave to inform his friends and the public, that he has oa Sale the undermentioned articles, viz:— Hyson Skin Tea, ex Lady Hayes Isle of France Sugar Prime Sydney Butter and Cheese American Negro Head Tobacco Manilla Cigars English and Colonial Soap Red Herrings, Starch, &c, &c. The above articles will be sold cheap for cash, as the premises are going to b Opened, and will be known as the Free Mason’s Tavern, where the best and choicest description of wines, spirits, ales, porter, and cordials, will be kept, wholesale and retail, N. B.—A Meeting at the above Tavern by the Brethren of the Masonic Order, will be held in the early part of next month, of which due notice will foe given. Launceston, Sep. 3, 1834. The Independent, 17 September 1834
EACH of the undermentioned parties residing in the Division of the Island of Van Diemen’s Land commonly called “Cornwall” has applied for and obtained a license to retail wines and spirits &c., for the period ending the 29th day of September in the year now next ensuing, provided it be not forfeited before such day. . . John Backer Harwood, Freemason’s Tavern, [Launceston] Launceston Advertiser, 16 October 1834
SIR,– I was greatly surprised at hearing a case at the Police Office in this Town on Tuesday week last, wherein it appeared on clearest evidence possible, that a party of Captains of ships and Merchants who had met at the Freemason’s Tavern, where at the early hour of eight o’clock in the evening disturbed by a band of constables, headed by a district constable named Keenahan, who entered the room, and in the most insulting manner insisted on remaining there; that the Landlord and Landlady both begged the constables not to intrude their company upon a private part of friends, who of the highest respectability,–yet, this district constable insisted on doing so, and with the least provocation assaulted and beat those? ? about the head with bludgeons in a shameful manner and dragged them bleeding to the watchouse, and to add to their brutality, forced them into a cell amongst prisons in irons?.
[continued] The Independent, 15 November 1834
Extract from “To the Editor”: I was present during the whole of the investigation at the Police Office on the 4th inst. (if as you say investigation it may be called) and a friend of mine took down the whole of the evidence. The only disinterested witnesses who were examined were Mrs. Fenton, and Mr. Scott, both of whom are very creditable person indeed. Mrs. Fenton stated : that she and Mrs. Harwood the Landlady, : both begged district constable Keenahan not to intrude his company upon the Gentlemen who were dining up stairs; yet he swore he would do so, abused them grossly, and called them the most filthy and opprobrious names. Mr. Scott stated, he had not been in the room more than ten minutes when Keenahan forced his way into it, and that Mr. Harwood, the Landlord requested him quietly to go away, when he replied in an Irish accent “by J—-s I will not,” this is a licensed house, and I will stop as long as I like, and go into every room I please;” that some words ensued between him (Keenahan) and the Company, and that Keenahan collared one of the gentlemen and struck him upon the head with his bludgeon; that this was the first blow, and the Commencement of the affray. The Independent, 22 November 1834
TO LET.— The undersigned is desirous to let on lease for the unexpired term of 5 years, all that two-story House and Premises, known as the FREEMASON’S TAVERN. The House has an extensive shop, capable of carrying on a first-rate Business, being in the most commanding situation in town, situated at the corner of Elizabeth and Wellington-streets. Any person wishing to continue the license, early application is necessary, in order that it may be transferred the ensuing quarter. The stock on hand may be had at a fair valuation, which consists of Champaigne, Constantia, Port, Sherry, Madeira, Brandy, Gin, Rum, Cordials, Bottled Ale, Porter, Segars, Tobacco, Pipes, Furniture, and a variety of other goods. A first-rate Billiard Table, complete, by Curie and Co., Calcutta, the best finished in this colony. N. B.— The undersigned being called away on urgent business for a short time, is the only reason for letting the premises. All particulars may be known on application to Mr. J. B. HARWOOD, on the premises, or to Mr. Henry Davis, Auctioneer, Hobart Town.
Launceston, Feb. 28, 1835. Launceston Advertiser, 5 March 1835
TO BE SOLD. TO be Sold by Private Contract, an Allotment situate in Elizabeth-street, adjoining the Freemason’s Tavern, and on which there are erected two weather-boarded Houses, fronting the street, with garden behind the me, stable, and other conveniences. Apply the office of Mr. Paterson, St. John-street, or the owner, Robert Stenhouse, of the Crown Public House, Bathurst-street. Launceston Advertiser, 4 June 1835
TO BE LET. ALL those well-known premises situate in Elizabeth-street, at the principal entrance to Launceston, known as the “Freemasons’ Arms,” the proprietor Intending to leave the Colony. Particulars may be known by applying to Robert Day, the proprietor, on the premises. Launceston, July 8, 1835. Launceston Advertiser, 23 July 1835
Launceston, February 6, 1836.— At a Quarterly Meeting of Justices held on at the Court House, Launceston, on Monday, the 1st of February instant, the following transfers of Licenses were approved of :- To John Peter Armstrong, of Launceston, to keep the house known by the sign of the ‘ Freemasons’ Arms,” in Elizabeth-street, Launceston, formerly licensed to Henry Harris Launceston Advertiser, 18 February 1836
From “Quarterly Licensing Meeting”: Mr. Edward Brodribb applied, for a newly-built house at the foot of the Cataract-hill, lower part of Brisbane-street, to be called the Freemasons’ Tavern. Mr. Breton said he had been given to understand a licensed house was required there, in consequence of the rapid increase of the neighbourhood; and, unless the street leading thereto was repaired, it would be almost impossible for the inhabitants to have access to any other licensed house. Granted. Launceston Examiner, 7 May 1845
TO BE LET ON LONG LEASE OR SOLD, the following ALLOTMENTS of valuable property, in good condition: . . . . Lot 5, the “Free mason’s Tavern,’ a TWO-STORY HOUSE, Brisbane-street, Launceston. Immediate possession and due facility to purchasers and tenants will be given by the proprietor James Johnstone. Cornwall Chronicle, 14 February 1846
TO BE LET,— The “Freemason’s Tavern,” Brisbane-street, at present unoccupied. The above Inn will be let to a respectable tenant on very moderate terms. Possession can be given on the 1st July next. For further particulars apply to James Johnstone, St. John’s Tavern, comer of Charles and Elizabeth-streets. Cornwall Chronicle, 13 June 1846
From “Annual Licensing Meeting”: Edward Broderick, Freemasons’ Tavern.-In this case the police magistrate stated there were two applications, one by Broderick and another by a new applicant; he understood the first applicant had left the colony. Broderick was called three times and not answering, the license was refused. Launceston Examiner, 5 September 1846
Edward Broderick, Lamb and Flag, Bathurst and York-streets. It was intimated that be had left the colony— he was then directed to be called, and not answering, the license was refused. . . . Edward Lawrence, Patriotic Six, Bathurst and York-streets. Mr. Dry. — I shall support that application ? (a laugh.) Refused. Cornwall Chronicle, 2 September 1846
From “Quarter Sessions”: An instance was within his own knowledge of an unintentional injustice having been done to an applicant at the last meeting, because he had not the opportunity of explaining himself. He referred to the application for a license to the” Patriotic Six,” which was treated as a new application, whereas in fact it was an old licensed house, formerly known as the “Freemason’s Tavern.” The license was refused upon the principle established by the magistrates, that no increase of licensed houses was required. Launceston Examiner, 26 September 1846
From “Publicans’ Licenses”: Wm. Forbes, Rainbow Inn (late Freemason’s Tavern.)-Objection recorded against the premises, and therefore the application shared the same fate as the preceding, and was not entertained. Launceston Examiner,4 November 1846
1840-41 Bernard Sweeney, Star Inn [transfer]
1842-49 Bernard Sweeny, Star Inn, Charles Street
1850-54 Mary Sweeney, Star Inn, Charles street
1854 John Joseph Moore, Star Inn, Charles Street
1854 Henry Bevan, Star Inn, Charles Street
1854-59 John Joseph Moore, Star Inn, Charles Street [new]
1859-60- John Sheridan
1870- Charles Cooley, Star Hotel, Charles-street
-1877-1885 William Chester
1885-1890- Hannah Chester, Star Hotel, Charles-street
From “Launceston Police Report”: This was an information brought on by the Chief Constable against the defendant, the landlord of the Star Inn, Charles street, for neglecting to keep his outer door closed on the evening of the 12th March last. Mr. Rocher, who appeared for the defence, endeavoured to have an informality in the information, which the bench overruling, the case proceeded. The evidence in support of the information stated, that Mr. Byron und two petty constables went to the house of the defendant between seven and eight o’clock on Sunday evening, the 12th of March last, and that in one room there were no less than ten soldiers drinking and smoking, five pots and eleven glasses being on the table, containing as the witness supposed, malt liquor. In another apartment, a prisoner of the crown, employed in the marine department, was quietly seated, taking his wine and water, in company with a ticket of leave-man, who, it was stated, resided at Mr. Sweeney’s. The evidence for the information having been gone through, Mr. Rocker insisted that nothing wag proved against his client respecting not keeping his outer door closed— had the’ charge been for tippling, it would have been different. ..The Bench would not admit of Mr. Rocher’s objection, but called upon him to prove, if he could, that the parties were bona fide travellers or guests of the landlord. Nothing daunted «t the difficulty, Mr. Rocher proceeded with his case, and called first the government man that was taken out of the house (and who appears to be a, man of good character,) ,. and fully proved that the said1 man was there by Mr. Sweeney’s
invitation to dinner, &c. and was bona fide a visitor. To overcome the military part of the business, Mr. Rocher called one of the soldiers, who stated that himself and some of his comrades called at Mr. Sweeney’s on the evening in question, and requested to be served with liquor; that Mr. Sweeney declared his inability to serve on a Sun day, but, being an old soldier himself, he would not see them want for a glass of beer, and as he could not sell them any, why, out of regard to the cloth, he would make them a present of a gallon of ale, and accordingly it was in the midst of their enjoying the said ale, that Mr. Byron and his deputies popped suddenly upon them. No money was paid for the beer so drank, and several of the party were to corroborate the witness, if necessary. The Bench felt inclined to believe the defence. Captain Gardiner sagely remarking, that no doubt Mr. Sweeney was throwing out a sprat to catch a salmon. — The case was accordingly dismissed. Launceston Courier, 27 March 1843
CHARLES STREET. LAUNCESTON.
BERNARD SWEENEY, grateful lo his friends and the public generally far the liberal support given him for several years past, in soliciting a continuance of their favours, begs most respectfully to intimate that, in addition to the previous accommodations, he has made extensive alterations, amongst which are four capital well-furnished bed-rooms.
Also, a large sitting-room, well adapted for the reception of a family from the country, or commercial gents, who may have private business to transact. There is an excellent five-stalled stable, with gig houses, A careful ostler always in attendance.
N.B.— Country settlers will find the “Star Inn” well adapted for a temporary residence. Parties boarded by the day or week.
B. S. is determined to spare neither pains nor expense to deserve the patronage of his friends, feeling assured that a strict attention to business, punctuality, and au earnest desire to promote the comfort of his customers, will ensure the support it will be his study to deserve, and pride to acknowledge.
October 28. Cornwall Chronicle, 30 October 1847
From Mary Sweeney, Star Inn, Charles-street, to John Joseph Moore. The police magistrate intimated that since the annual meeting Mrs. Sweeney had been married to Mr. Moore. Transfer granted. Hobarton Guardian, 6 May 1854
From “Transfer Day”: From John Joseph Moore to Henry Bevan, “Star Inn,” Charles street. The chairman enquired if applicant understood that the transfer could only be granted to the end of the year; to which Major Welman replied – “Sure he is one of the government officers, and he knows.” Granted. Launceston Examiner, 7 November 1854
From “Annual Meeting of the Justice of the Peace”: John Joseph Moore, “Star Inn”.—-The Police Magistrate stated he knew of no objection to this application, save one started a few days ago viz. : that there was a shop containing a few books and stationery attached to the premises. He had visited the premises very recently, and it appeared to him that the shop was a very temporary affair, and there was no communication with it from the house ; only through the back yard. The Chairman read the 35th. clause of the Act referring especially to this point. Dr. Casey said he should oppose this application, he drew attention to the abstract impropriety of the Act : being evaded by allowing a shop to be kept on the premises of a licensed house. The applicant was the Editor of an inflamatory Newspaper, and this shop was kept as an office and for the sale of the Papers in direct violation of the Act of Council in it was part of the premises of the Star Inn. He knew nothing could be. advanced against the house it had a considerable country connection ; he did not object to the proprietor, and only made the remarks for the public benefit and in a spirit of equity. Mr. Moore requested permission to state that the clause of the Act referred to, had nothing to do with the granting of the License; had he been brought up, and convicted at any time of a violation of the law, it would be a different matter. Dr. Casey had made two charges against him, it was only necessary to refer to the first, that of keeping a shop for the sale of newspapers. Mr. Moore declared that no paper nor anything else had ever been sold there, and explained the position, the shop had originally been a passage to the back premises, this he had temporarily roofed over, and placed a window in the front where he exhibited his newspaper for, the benefit of poor persons who could not afford to purchase one, and he regretted, that any gentleman upon the bench could make a statement that was not true. Who had ever bought a paper in’ the shop? he defied Dr. Casey to prove what he said on the bench In reply to Captn. Drew, Mr. Moore said that neither he nor any one else ever entered that shop for the purpose of buying a paper. After some discussion amongst the magistrates the license, with the exception of Dr. Casey’s vote, was unanimously granted. The People’s Advocate, 3 December 1855
From “Annual Licensing Meeting”: John Joseph Moore, Star Inn. Dr. Casey drew attention to the thirty.-fifth section of the Act, which prohibits the keeper of a licensed house from having a shop on his premises. ‘That prohibition applied to the applicant, who had a shop adjoining his house, and it certainly applied to such an objectionable occupation as that of editor of an Inflammatory newspaper. After some discussion as to whether the shop formed part of the premises in the sense Intended by the Act, Mr. Moore stated that It had no connection with the house, and was merely used as a paper store, and not for the sale of newspaper or stationery. In reply to Major Welman, the chairman stated that the Act did not prohibit a holder of a license from following any other occupation. Captain Drew was of opinion that as no Information laud been laid against the applicant on the ground referred to, the license ought to be granted, which was accordingly done. Launceston Examiner, 4 December 1855
From “The Municipal Assessment”:
J. J. Moore,; “Star Inn,” Charles-street, 2001. Mr. Moore submitted that he was over rated, both as to the value of the premises and by comparison with properties in the same street. The Mayor said 60l. had been added for improvements, but the amount was the same as at the last assessment. Mr. Moore said he had intended to have appealed last year, but was too late. Alderman Weedon observed that the promises at the corner of Charles and Patterson-streets, occupied by Mr. Davis, were assessed at the rate of 1301., although far inferior to Mr. Moore’s. Reduced to 1601. Launceston Examiner, 1 April 1856
From “Licensing Meeting”: Star Inn, from J. J. Moore to John Sweeney. Mr. Rocher appeared for the applicant and stated the ground of the application as being to protect the license, Mr. Moore having left the colony, and not being likely to return. Some discussion took place as to the power of the bench to grant a transfer in the absence of the holder of a license, it being the opinion of several justices that they had not the power. Mr. Rocher withdrew the application. Launceston Examiner, 3 May 1859
Mr Wecdon sold at his rooms yesterday, the following property of the late D Robertson, Esq:—The Star Inn property to Mr John Sheridan, for £1610; Mr Ward’s shoe shop to Mr Wm Stepney, £960; the allotment in the rear to Mr John Sheridan, £345 ; the property adjoining the Black Horse, in Wellington street, to Mr John Cameron, £510; allotment (lot 8) with house, Mr D Room, £500 ; lot 6, Mr P Miller, £270; two small allotments at the rest, £20 cash. The Brisbane street property was sold to Mr John Knight for £505; allotment of two acres at George Town, to Mr W Johnstone for £100. Hobart Town Advertiser, 4 June 1859
Mr. Jn. Mason, landlord of the “Ship Inn,” Queen’s Wharf, with his usual liberality, and with the view of encouraging healthy and harmless athletic amusements, has given a reward or prize of a very handsome pair of mounted pistols, to be rowed for in three Watermen’s boats, (Sisters, Green Linnet, and Jubilee), by some of his amateur aquatic friends at five o’clock this evening. The boats to start from Green’s Wharf round the second pile in Tea Tree Reach and pull back to Green’s Wharf. From the known skill of the pullers and aptitude of the little coxswaine, an interesting half hour’s contest is anticipated. Cornwall Chronicle, 28 January 1860
The Annual Licensing Meetings will be held on Monday next. Amongst the application is one from Alfred Stephen Harris for a license to the house at the corner of Bathurst and York-streets, formerly “Lamb and Flag.” Mr Hely intends to alter the designation of “The Ship Inn,” Wharf, to that of “The Duke of Edinburgh,” and Mr Walter Harris intends to alter the title of his new premises at the corner of Charles and Patterson-streets from “The Turf Hotel” to “The Plough Inn.” Cornwall Chronicle, 30 November 1867
1823 Nathaniel Lucas
1824-25 Nathaniel Lucas, Ship Inn
From a lecture by Mr E. Whitfield. 1897 (not always the most accurate source): In 1820 came the first public house, “The Black Swan,” kept by G. Burgess, corner of Brisbane and Wellington streets. Then came in 1823 the Launceston, the Plough Inn, kept by W. Field, where Hart and Sons are now, and the Hope and Anchor, kept by Nat. Lucas. The Launceston Hotel, was built by Richard White, familiarly known as “Dicky White.” Launceston Examiner, 6 February 1897
In 1823, Nathaniel Lucas receives a license for an unnamed house. In 1824, he is given a licence for the Ship inn (no location given).
Tasmanian & Port Dalrymple Advertiser, 19 January 1825
1884-85 Gottlieb Sulzberger, Railway Hotel, Upper Piper
1885-86 John Crisp, Railway Hotel, Upper Piper
1886-87 George Cunningham, Railway Hotel, Upper Piper (new building)
1887-88 William Henry West, Railway Hotel, Upper Piper
1889-90 William H. West, Railway Hotel, Lilydale
1890-91 Gottlieb Sulzberger, Railway Hotel, Lilydale
1891 Frank J. Somerville, Railway Hotel, Lilydale
1891-92 John William Stevenson, Railway Hotel, Lilydale
1892 Edward Williams, Railway Hotel, Lilydale
1893 Gottlieb Sulzberger, Railway Hotel, Lilydale
1893 David Hamilton Johnston, Railway Hotel, Lilydale
Gottlieb Sulzberger, the enterprising son of German settlers, opened the first licensed hotel in 1884 on his property near the intersection of Lalla and Main Roads . . . The ten-roomed timber Railway Hotel adjoined Sulzberger’s house and post office/ store; however, after the first year it was leased to a licensee. The hotel’s name was possibly chosen because the building was situated within about 150 metres of the railway line under construction through his property, and possibly also suggesting that Sulzberger anticipated trade associated with the railway. No doubt there was considerable custom from railway workers during the construction phase, both for accommodation and for refreshments. After the line opened in 1889, the hotel would not have been especially well located for associated trade as the station was some distance away on the north-western outskirts of the settlement (more than a kilometre via Main and Station Roads, although there may have been a more direct track at the time). At some stage Sulzberg ererected a new Railway Hotel, still on his farm block but near its northern boundary and fronting onto the Main Road. This remained open as licensed premises until 1893. Part of this building is said to survive in the present house, much altered in the 1960’s; split timber boards can be seen on its northern wall.
“Rural Launceston Heritage Study”, Margaret Tassell, 2000, p. 179 (available here)
From “Annual Licensing Meeting”: Gottlieb Sulzberger, Railway Hotel, Upper Piper. Mr Collins presented a petition with 85 signatures in favor of the house, and numerous letters of recommendation. Mr Armstrong stated that the house was necessary, all the requisite accommodation was provided. If the house was refused it would result in a lot of sly grog-Belling. Mr Miller objected on behalf of some of the inhabitants of the district, but the objection was not allowed, and the license was granted. Daily Telegraph, 2 December 1884
Advance Tasmania. — In anticipation of the influx of passengers by the railway to Scottsdale, which is not yet commenced, local enterprise has already provided at the Upper Piper a Railway Hotel ; at Turner’s Marsh, in all haste, another house of accommodation, bearing the same name, is being built, and is to be immediately followed by a second new hotel, for fear the first-named should not be equal to the occasion. Who can now dare call us “Sleepy Hollow.” Daily Telegraph, 14 July 1885
BREACH OF LICENSING ACT.
John Crisp pleaded guilty to having on the 23rd ultimo, allowed persons to enter his licensed house, the Railway Hotel, Upper Piper, after 10 p.m., and was fined 10s and costs. Daily Telegraph, 7 June 1886
George Cunningham applied for a transfer of the house held by J. Crisp at the Railway Hotel, Piper River, and for the license to be transferred to a new house he had erected. Mr. Supt. Armstrong said these was no police objection. Mr. G. T. Collins, in supporting the application, explained that the transfer was a double one, and in addition to the transfer from Crisp to Cunningham, the latter wished to remove to a new house he had erected, which would be more commodious and convenient for the travelling public. The application was granted. Tasmanian, 7 August 1886
1858-1875 Thos. Hardman, Farmers’ Arms, White Hill
In published licensing lists 1860-1873, but there are mentions from earlier and later in news stories.
CORONER’S INQUEST.-On Thursday Wm. Gunn, Esq., held an inquest at Mr. Thomas Hardman’s, the Farmer’s Arms, White Hills, respecting the death of Ann Steel. The Courier, 14 June 1858
BREADALBANE ROAD DISTRICT WE the undersigned landholders and Householders in the Road District of Breadalbane, do hereby convene a meet- ing of the landholders and householders of the above Road District, to be held at Mr. Thomas Hardman’s Inn, White Hills, on Tuesday, the thirty-first day of August,, 1858, at the hour of eleven in the forenoon, for the purpose of electing Trustees, for the purposes of superintending, providing for, and effectuating the construction, repair, and maintenance of the roads in such District, and for carrying out within such District the provisions of the Cross and Bye Roads Act, 1853, tor the ensuing year. Cornwall Chronicle, 11 August 1858
WHITE HILLS . PLOUGHING MATCH.–A, meeting, will take place at Hardman’s Farmers’ Arms Inn, on Thursday, 1st of September, at 6, o’clock in the evening. All, persons interested will please attend. Launceston Examiner, 1 September 1870
From “Supreme Court, Launceston”: The ATTORNEY-GENERAL opened the case for the Crown, and called the following witnesses : James Hand, labourer, residing at Breadalbane, deposed : Was at Hardman’s public-house on the evening of 29th November last , and saw Walters there between 12 and 1 o’clock. Prisoner called witness an ” Irish Papist Fenian,” and witness then struck him. Prisoner then pulled a knife out of his pocket as witness went out. . . . Thos. Hardman, licensed victualler, White Hills, deposed : Knew both prisoners, and was at home when they were at his house on the 29th November. He saw -lined with a stick in his hand and bleeding. He took the stick from Hand and went to Walters and found the knife produced in his possession. Hand said Walters had stabbed him. The blade of the knife had no blood upon it.’ He dressed the wounds of Batted and had him sent to the hospital. The Mercury, 8 January 1876
The following persons have received Public-house licenses at Launceston, in addition to those already published in our Paper : Mr. Edward Dryden, Plough; Mr. William Fraser, Lamb; and Robert Taylor, Wheatsheaf. Colonial Times, 27 October 1825
From “Brady and his Associates”, serialised in the Tasmanian, 4 February 1888: On Saturday night, the 6th April, five men being starved out approached Roger Taylor’s Wheat-sheaf Inn, at the Springs, near the Cocked Hat. Those men were immediately arrested, there being a dozen muskets levelled at them ; they were Brown, Code, M’Andrew, Logan, and Watson. On the following Sunday night two more were arrested at Mary Townsend’s Bird-in-Hand Inn, Long Meadow, (now King’s Meadows). Their names were Sullivan and Fagan. The three men who were seen travelling to the right made their appearance at what is now called Breadalbane, knocking at the old public, house called the Opossum. They demanded food and drink here, but imbibed a little too freely, and on Sunday morning staggering to what was known at that period as the Cherry Tree Avenue, they laid down and fell asleep.
1832-35- William Russell, Opossum, White Hills
1844-45 Henry Yeend, Farmer’s Arms, Patterson’s Plains
1845-1846 Matthew Mason, Farmer’s Arms, Patterson’s Plains
–> moved to Sandhill
The Opossum Inn stood on a 15 or 16 acre block by the old main road to Hobart on the western side of the Rose Rivulet valley, near that road’s junction with a local road crossing Rose Rivulet to give access to the White Hills district. There are no surface remains of the building, but in past years cultivation of the site has revealed brick fragments and bottles. The old road formation still runs south from this, past the Corra Linn (Relbia) homestead site and on towards the modern Lower White Hills Road.
“Rural Launceston Heritage Study”, Margaret Tassell, 2000 (available here)
A very warm contest next ensued, relative to the propriety of granting a license to Robert Yeend, formerly attached to the Launceston Police, for a house originally known as the “Opossum,” situate on the road to Patterson’s Plains. Almost every magistrate present concurred in giving the applicant a most undeniable character, but on the other hand several members opposed the application on the grounds of its holding out an inducement to assigned servants and others, to forget their masters business in the allurements of drinking. Mr. Mulgrave supported the petition, he considered that a well conducted house in the locality referred to, as affording the very best method of putting down the numerous sly-grog shops, with which the neighbourhood was known to swarm ; and he was quite sure that as respected runaways and other loose and dissolute charac ters, Mr. Yeend would at all times be found amongst the foremost to aid in their detection and capture. The Police Magistrate expressed an equally favorable opinion, and a show of hands being called for, it finally appeared that there were ten for and nine against the application. The house thus licensed will in future be designated the ‘ Farmer’s Arms,’ and we entertain but little doubt of its being conducted in a manner alike creditable to the landlord and beneficial to the public. Cornwall Chronicle, 4 September 1844
TO THE EDITOR OF THE LAUNCESTON EXAMINER. PATTERSON’S PLAINS. SIR,-As I was much interested, in common ‘with my neighbours in the proposed licensing of the house, formerly known as the “The Opossum,” in this neighbourhood, I heartily joined in the request made, that the house should not be licensed; and I assure you, sir, the giving a license to such a house, is felt to be a serious injury to the neighbourhood. I was much surprised, sir, to find that a magistrate should * * * * * express his conviction that the license was necessary, as he believed a great number of sly grog-shops existed in the neighbourhood ! You will, perhaps, allow me to state some facts in opposition to the assumption of the magistrate in question. In the first place, the police magistrate and other magistrates of the district were opposed to the license. In the next place, I have been resident here many years. When “The Opossum” existed, the drunkenness of my servants was intolerable. Since the house remained unlicensed, the same servants have become sober men, (so long as they remain out of town where temptation overcomes them) and so continue to the present moment–which I cannot believe they would do, if the inducements and temptations connected with sly grog-shops, existed hereabouts. At any rate, perhaps Mr. Mulgrave will explain how it is, that when we had a licensed house at hand, drunkenness prevailed; and that, with no public house, but with sly grog-shops, (Mr. Mulgrave says) temperance rules? I do not like public-houses or sly grog-shops; but, if temperance amongst my servants and sly grog-shops go together-and intemperance and licensed houses together, let me be far enough from licensed houses say I. I do not understand the law about the limiting the number of public houses, but it is clear by your remarks, that the justices can refuse a license to premises not fit for public accommodation. And I can only tell you this, sir, that the house licensed here is not only not required by travellers, but that it is altogether in an unfit state of repair, excepting for use as a mere low road-side pot-house. * * * * * The license was given by a majority of one!–and there can be no doubt how the casting vote of the respected chairman would have been, when he saw amongst the noes, the whole magistracy of the district, and the yeas composed of town, and remote country magistrates, who knew nothing more about the house, nor the district, than that an ex-constable, recommended by the Launceston police magistrate, wished to have a license in it. I hope you will put these few lines in your paper, and you will oblige A PATTERSON’S PLAINS FARMER. [As the writer has given his name, we publish his letter, striking out some objectionable passages, and an allusion, which if true, should be made the ubject of legal proceediugs.-E. L. E.] Launceston Examiner, 11 September 1844
Transfers.–At a quarterly transfer meeting on Monday, the following were approved:-The “Ferry House,” Tamar-street, from Capt. Tulloch to Mr. J. Cordell, jun The “Farmers’ Arms,” Patterson’s Plains, from Mr. Yeend, to Mr. Mason. The ” Green Gate,” Wellington-street, from Mr. M. Mason to Mr. I. Shaw. Permission was obtained by Mrs. Sprunt to carry on the “Hadspen Inn,” recently conducted by the the late Mr. Sprunt. Launceston Examiner, 9 August 1845
Matthew Mason, Farmer’s Arms, Patterson’s Plains.–No conviction-premises the most miserable and wretched -liquors not ” good and wholesome.”
Mr. Bartley thought the house was not required.
Mr. Atkinson had opposed the license formerly, but as it was carried, he should not now object. It would be unjust to cancel the license without some reason, but the only objection now raised, that against the premises, existed when the licence was granted.
Mr. Sinclair thought a licensed house there, prevented the establishment of sly grog shops.
Lieutenant Friend said, the police had con trout over licensed houses, but sly grog shops were dangerous, and most difficult to suppress.
Mr. Dumaresqu differed; he though there was more control over a sly grog shop than a licensed house; the latter having by their license a sanction or excuse, for all kinds of improprieties.
Major Wellman said something in favour of the license.
Mr. Bartley rose, and protested against his voting or interfering, as he was interested in the matter, having a mortgage on the property.
Major Wellman admitted the fact, but declined to receive Mr. Bartley’s advice.
Mr. Bartley said he wished to save him from the penalty of £100, for voting in a case in which lie was interested.
Mr. Sams said, it would be a great hardship to deprive the applicant of his license, for he had purchased the lease.
Mr. Bartley argued, the lease of a public house was not a vested right, and they ought not to take a man’s speculations into consideration at all. He begged to ask Mr. Sams one question; was he not executor to the owner of the property?
Mr. Sams–I am.
Mr. Bartley sat down and said no more.
Mr. Cameron thought a house necessary in that locality.
Mr. Breton and Mr. Collett suggested, that the applicant should be cautioned, to improve the premises before next licensing day. The question was put, and a majority voted for granting the application.
Major Wellman.-You see Mr. Bartley, I didn’t vote that time to accommodate you. Launceston Examiner, 5 September 1846
1834 John Biles, Currency Lad, Brisbane Street
1835 John Biles, Currency Lad, Bathurst & Frederick Streets ( Gardener’s Lodge)
1835 Edward Symonds, Bathurst St
Original building demolished:
The Information and Complaint of John Peers who being sworn saith–I reside in Launceston and carry on business as a Builder in Partnership with Thomas Twinning–About three months ago Thomas Twinning and myself purchased of George Hamilton certain premises in Brisbane Street which were Known as the Currency Lad Public House We shortly afterwards pulled down the House and other premises attached to it, for the Purpose of improvement, and during the Progress of pulling it down, a quantity of Timber, consisting of flooring boards was feloniously stolen.
1 January 1836
(QVMAG MS154 B 18)