George Inn (1)

St John Street, eastern side between William Street and Cimitiere St (see bottom)

Previously in George Town
1835 John Gardiner Thomas, George Inn, Launceston
1836-39 John Gardiner Thomas, George Inn, St John Street
1840 John Gardiner Thomas, George & the Dragon, Launceston

Moved to Wellington Street but I’m not sure when it moved. At the annual licensing meeting in
1839 it is in St John Street. On 6 February 1841 (see first advertisement below) it is in Wellington St.

Became Temperance Coffee House

Cornwall Chronicle, 30 September 1837
(So far this is the earliest mention of St John Street as the location)

Part of much longer advertisement for “Land Premises Situate in St. John-street, between Messrs. Hewitt, Gore & Co., and Messrs. Smith, Raven, & Co’s. Stores, the whole being divided into four lots, as now let to the respective tenants.
Cornwall Chronicle, 13 October 1838

AN IMPROVEMENT. – A public-house near the wharf, known as the George and Dragon, has been converted into a Temperance Coffee-house, and is, we understand, conducted in a very respectable manner by Mr. Stoneham. This will be a very gratifying token of improvement to all advocates of temperance.
Launceston Advertiser, 21 January 1841

Location notes

This is from Smythe’s map of 1835. The street marked with a dotted line is St John Street, near the wharf.  The two buildings on the corner of William Street were, at the time, Ship Inn  and Sailor’s Return. (The 1838 advertisement above details adjoining buildings & an 1852 advertisement put Connolly & Co (formerly Hewitt, Gore & Co) on the corner of Cimitiere Street.) The most likely position is in the group of buildings between Cimitiere & William Streets,

On George Fuller’s map, he places it part way along this block, with the note “Captain John Gardiner Thomas in the thirties, this was before the kept the “George Inn”-it was situated north end of row two story weather board buildings, Mr Ritchies mill is on part same site.”. The Ritchies Mill building is here (brick building with cream trim).

Black Horse (1) [Tailor’s Arms, Hand & Shears]

York & St John Street

1834 William Woods, Black Horse, Launceston

THOSE eligible Premises at the corner of York and St. John Streets, now in the occupation of Mr. John Furlong.
The Premises consist of a House containing seven Rooms, and a good Loft of 40 feet long, well calculated either for a comfortable Private Residence, or for a public House. For further particulars apply to the proprietor, on the premises.
Cornwall Chronicle, 8 August 1835

The Independent, 19 July 1834

To be Let.
With immediate Possession, that well known Public House, the “Black Horse,” at the corner of York and St John Streets, lately occupied by William Woods. The House is in tenantable repair, and contains seven rooms, with a store above 40 feet long. There is a large Yard, Stable and Skittle Ground, with a good Garden, well stocked with Fruit Trees, &c. Rent moderate to a respectable tenant.
Apply to Mr. John Furlong, corner of, Elizabeth and Wellington Streets, or at this Office.

John Furlong seems associated with a number of public houses that don’t seem to exist outside of one notice/advertisement


1835 John Furlong, Tailor’s Arms, Launceston

Cornwall Chronicle, 28 November 1835


Furnished or Unfurnished,
THAT well-known house, situate at the corner of York and St. John-streets, lately occupied as a Public House, by the sign of the HAND and SHEARS, containing 7 large and commodious rooms, with yard adjoining. The situation is so well known, either for public or private business, that comment is unnecessary.
The fixtures, which are of the best description for the Public Line, may be had at a valuation. Apply lo Mr. John Furlong, on the premises.
Launceston Advertiser, 10 November 1836

Sailor’s Return

Cnr St John & William Streets. Google Maps.

The building marked with a red 1 is the Ship. If the Sailor’s Return is on the corner of St John St and William St and opposite the Ship, it must be the building marked with a red 2. (Click for a larger version. From Smythe, H. W. H., Plan of the town of Launceston, VDL, 1835)

1832 John Dunn, Sailor’s Return, St John Street
1833-34 William Mellish, Sailor’s Return, St John Street
1835-36 John Tildesly, Sailor’s Return, St John St

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London Tavern

NE corner of St John and Cameron Streets. Google Maps.

Cnr of St John & Cameron St, August 2016.

1830-33 London Tavern, George Sinclair Brodie, Cameron St
1833-37 Edmund Bartlett
1837  George Coulstock, London Tavern
1838-44 Benjamin Hyrons, London Tavern
1844  Nicholas Clarke, London Tavern
1844-48 Samuel Storey, London Inn/Hotel, St John & Cameron Streets
1849-51 Benjamin Walford, London Inn, Cameron & St John Streets
1851-55 Henry Godfrey, London Inn, St John & Cameron Streets
1855-58 George Adams, London Hotel, corner of St John and Cameron-streets
1859-60 David McQuestion, London Tavern, St John and Cameron Streets
1861-66 Charles Maryon Crooks, London Tavern, St John and Cameron Streets
1868-69 Feltham Bold Watson, London Family Hotel, St John and Cameron Streets
1870-71 Feltham Bold Watson, London Hotel, St John and Cameron Streets
Included the Olympic Theatre 1840s – 1850s.

Photo showing London Tavern, 1861-1866
(Cropped from an image in the QVMAG collection, QVM:1986:P:0803

Engraving of London Tavern, c.1870
(Not sure where I obtained this. It was in the folder where I keep material for this blog.)

Hobart Town Courier, 27 November 1830
Hobart Town Courier, 27 November 1830

Hobart Town Courier, 4 June 1831
Hobart Town Courier, 4 June 1831

Launceston Advertiser, 10 October 1833
Launceston Advertiser, 10 October 1833

Launceston Advertiser, 27 April 1837
“Launceston Advertiser, 27 April 1837

HTC 17 November 1837
Hobart Town Courier, 17 November 1837

Cornwall Chronicle, 3 November 1838
“Cornwall Chronicle, 3 November 1838

Launceston Courier, 5 September 1842
Launceston Courier, 5 September 1842

From “Licensing Day”:
Mr. Rocher, who appeared in support of the application, defended the couduct of his client [Nicholas Clarke], and contended that he had quilted the London Tavern merely from prudential motives, having, as it appeared, made the discovery that in resigning the Union for the above-mentioned house, he had made an unprofitable exchange.
Cornwall Chronicle, 4 September 1844

From “Annual Licensing Meeting”:
Samuel Storey, London Tavern.-One conviction, dirty, frequented by prostitutes.
It was pleaded that, as the theatre was held in Mr. Storey’s premises, an allowance ought to be made; but very little discussion followed, and the magistrates refused the license, reserving in favour of the applicant the opportunity of applying again at the quarterly meeting. Some discussion took place as to the grounds of refusal to be recorded. The clause of the act was read- from which it appeared, if the objection were made to the character of the applicant, he was debarred from renewing his application, and as no objection could be raised against the premises, it was by some considered, that they were bound to record the objection as being against character. This was disputed by others, some of whom wished to withdraw their votes, unless liberty were given to Mr. Storey to apply again. The votes were taken upon the question, and the majority were in favour of adopting course which enabled the applicant to apply again; but we could not collect what objection was recorded.

Launceston Examiner, 5 September 1846

From “Quarter Sessions”:
Mr. Douglas appeared for Mr. Storey of the “London Tavern,” and the license was granted with very little discussion.
Launceston Examiner, 23 September 1846

Cornwall Chronicle, 23 February 1850 - London
Cornwall Chronicle, 23 February 1850

The Theatre has, we understand, changed hands; Mr. Godfrey, of the “Horse and Jockey,” having rented the London Inn.
Cornwall Chronicle, 31 December 1850

Cornwall Chronicle, 5 February 1851

H. Godfrey, London Inn, corner of St. John and Cameron-streets ; granted. The police magistrate had no objection to the house ; it was well conducted and cleanly, but he thought it would would be beneficial if theatrical performances were prohibited on the premises ; the play house was the primary cause of many irregularities, and he should endeavour to deprive it of a theatrical license.
Cornwall Chronicle, 4 September 1852

Cornwall Chronicle, 28 June 1854

Cornwall Chronicle, 11 March 1857

Cornwall Chronicle, 23 February 1859

Cornwall Chronicle, 21 December 1861

Cornwall Chronicle, 29 June 1864

Charles Maryon Crooks, London Tavern, Cameron and St. John-streets.
The police magistrate said he must most decidedly object to this application. The house was dirty and badly kept; there was great regularity; there were complaints of the house being kept open all night, and reports of prostitutes frequenting it, and altogether there was not a worse conducted house in town.

Mr. Rocher appeared in support of the application. He said the house, on account of its proximity to the Police Office, and municipal buildings, was in a position where stricter surveillance could be exercised than on any other house in town, and yet there had only been one conviction during the year. Then frequently there were entertainments going on at the Mechanics’ Institute and Town Hall, and Mr Crooks could not help persons coming from those entertainments to his house. As for the reports respecting persons of bad character frequenting the house, why had not informatlons been laid against Mr. Crooks for the Police Act was stringent enough. If the house was badly conducted it was the fault of the police. After some further remarks, Mr. Rocher appealed through the Chairman to the Superintendent of Police as to the manner in which the house was conducted. The Superintendent of Police said he could fully bear out what Mr. Gunn had stated.
The Police Magistrate, referring to Mr. Rocher’s remarks respecting the house being close to the Police Office, said that the Police Office closed at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, whilst the irregularities took place at night.
The licence was refused.
Mr. Rocher submitted that evidence should be given of the irregularities mentioned: a mere re port or complaint was not sufficient. The Chairman said this had never been the practice here.
Launceston Examiner, December 1865

Cornwall Chronicle, 5 January 1867

Cornwall Chronicle, 16 November 1867

The Annual Licensing Meetings will be held on Monday next. Amongst the applications is one from Mr 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.” Mr W. F. Green applies for a. license for “The London Tavern,” St. John and Cameron streets, and Mr Robert Fox Mitchell for a license for “The O’Connell Inn,” Wellington and Frankland streets.
Cornwall Chronicle, 30 November 1867

Cornwall Chronicle, 4 December 1867

THE LONDON HOTEL — This Hotel, next to the Public Buildings, Launceston,has been taken by Mr. F. B. Watson, formerly of Longford. It is to be newly fitted up as a General and Family Hotel. The London Hotel is very conveniently situated for Visitors from the adjoining Colonies, being close to the Post-office, Town ball, Mechanics’ Institute, Public Buildings, and all the Banks.
Cornwall Chronicle, 18 January 1868

From “Annual Licensing Meeting, Launceston”:
Feltham Bold Watson, London Hotel, St. John and Cameron-streets
The Mayor said this house was so very much out of repair; so much so that it was impossibly to keep it in good order. He would recommend that a note be made of this for the information of the landlord.
The Tasmanian, 9 December 1871

The Mayor said the Building Surveyor had thought it his duty to present a report with respect to the building opposite the Town Hall known as the London Tavern, which he would request the Town Clerk to read. Letter read as follows:–

Building Surveyor’s Office,
23rd September, 1872.
To the Worshipful the Mayor and Alderman
GENTLEMEN–I beg to report that having examined the structure at the junction of Cameron and St. John-streets known as the “London Tavern”, I consider it to be in a dangerous state, and nature of former alterations and the fact that it overhangs the footpath in St. John-street, I am of opinion that it cannot be shored up, or otherwise secured. I therefore recommend that it be at once taken down.– I have the honor to be, gentlemen, your obedient servant,
G. Babington

The Mayor said on looking over the Building Act as to what action, the council should take it appeared the surveyor should, with any other competent surveyor, examine the building and report to the council that day week, giving a certificate of his opinion as to the condition of the structure; and on that the Council would come to a decision how to act. His Worship added that he had had it under his own eyes, for some time, and if the Council would notice the roof, they would see the rafters were coming apart from the wall plates, and the end wall and front very much bulged out.
Alderman Murphy moved that the action prescribed by the Building Act be taken. 
Alderman Hart seconded, and remarked that it was a matter of importance to be attended to at once, as the building in question was on the street line, and no doubt it was dangerous, and the Council would be culpable it they did not take action. 
Alderman Webster–The building has not been occupied for some time, I believe? 
The Mayor–Not since Mr Watson left.
The resolution for the building to be inspected inside and out by the Surveyor and another competent surveyor, and to report on Monday next, furnishing a certificate, was then agreed to.
Launceston Examiner, 24 September 1872

I see the Council are at last moving about the old London Tavern, and not a bit too soon, for the place has been gradually falling for some considerable time past. I have had many opportunities of observing it from the Cameron street stand and I have often had a good look at it and speculated as to how soon it would be before it came toppling over into the street, and how many people It would be likely to kill in its fall !
Launceston Examiner, 28 September 1872

The Mayor referred to the correspondence with Mr Cameron as to the London Tavern. Mr Cameron said he had made a commencement inside the building, and the putting down would be proceeded with as soon as certain arrangements had been made. His Worship said he saw Mr Cameron on the 10th November and he asked him to delay the matter as he was making an arrangement with Mr Titmus for removing the building; but time was wearing on and nothing had been done. In his (the Mayor’s) opinion the building should be proceeded with at once, and if not done by the owner probably he (the Mayor) ought to take more active steps.
Alderman Douglas said he was aware Mr Titmus had been in communication with Mr Cameron, and as far as Mr Cameron was concerned he had left it to Mr Titmus.

Alderman Webster suggested that the Mayor should see Mr Titmus, and if he not the power to act, Mr Cameron could then be applied to.
The matter then dropped.
Launceston Examiner, 3 December 1872

Almost the first start given to theatrical enterprise in Launceston was the leasing of the old Olympic Theatre by Mr. George Coppin, who may truly be designated as one of the foremost pioneers of the drama throughout the Australian colonies. The Theatre Royal Olympic, which was in those days the principal place of amusement in Launceston stood at the corner of St. John and Cameron streets, directly opposite where the Town Hall now is. Connected with it was the London Tavern, and altogether it was rather a primitive description of structure to be the principal home of the drama in a town. However, a great number of plays, most of them being of the “blood and thunder class,” containing as Henry James Byron, the talented author of the popular comedy “Our Boys,” describes it, “An opening chorus about glorious wine, a broad sword combat every sixteenth line,” were produced here by various companies, and the audiences as a rule were numerous and appreciative. On the 3rd of March, 1845, George Coppin first took up the reins of management in Launceston, and brought out most of the popular farces and comedies of the day with success. Previous to this date, however, we find that dramatic companies and various other classes of public entertainments frequently visited the town, while now and then the amateur societies, most of which were connected with the military regiments that were stationed here, occupied the boards of the local theatre. Thus in 1844 we find the amateurs connected with the 86h regiment giving a benefit on behalf of the poor of Launceston, at the Olympic Theatre, and producing Oliver Goldsmith’s comedy ” She Stoops to Conquer,” and the burlesque “Bombastes Furioso.” On Monday, April 22, 1844, Mrs. Clarke, lessee of the Victoria Theatre, Hobart (now the Theatre Royal), commenced a dramatic season here, her company being composed of Rogers, one of the best character actors the world has over produced, Young, F. Howson, and others. The opening piece was the ” Country’ Squire,” in which Rogers sustained the leading part. On Monday, February 3, 1844, Professor Rea, a ventriloquist and mimic, appeared at the Olympic for a few nights in a variety entertainment. Various companies occupied the boards of this Theatre until 1856, when the Lyceum Theatre was opened on May 20, under the management of Mr. Jones Melville.
Launceston Examiner, 27 May 1882

OBITUARY.-Our George Town correspondent reports the death yesterday morning of a well-known resident, Mr. Feltham Bold Watson, Mr. Watson was an actor and manager in his earlier days, and first came to Launceston from Hobart, He rented and improved the old Lyceum Theatre, a wooden structure that stood on the ground fronting on Cameron-street, near the Bank of Tasmania, now occupied by Capt. S. Tulloch’s new stores, and he introduced several good actors to the Launceston public. He afterwards had a good deal to do with the old Theatre Royal in St. John-street, and was the last landlord of the well-known London Tavern, which stood on the corner allotment opposite the Town Hall. He resided at Longford for a time, and some ten or twelve years ago removed to George Town, where he has since resided.
Launceston Examiner, 10 January 1884

The old London Tavern and Theatre stood at the corner of St. John and Cameron streets, where the Post-office is now situated. The theatre was a properly constructed one, but small. It was in the London Theatre that Mr George Coppin, now the hon. Mr Coppin, played so frequently when in Tasmania, and there also Rogers, one of the finest character actors the world has produced, had portion of his early stage training. George Herbert Rogers was the son of a Wesleyan minister in England. Disliking the monotony of home life he ran away and joined the army. His regiment was sent out to this island, and he became an expert amateur actor during his sojourn at Hobart. Ultimately his discharge was purchased and he entered the theatrical profession. The early records of the Melbourne stage tell us that on June 14, 1845, a small coasting vessel called The Swan dropped anchor in the Yarra, bringing over from Launceston Mr and Mrs George Coppin and their company. The members of that company comprised Mr and Mrs Rogers, Mrs Thompson, Mr and Mrs Hambleton, Mr Thompson, Mr Opie, the scene painter, and a small orchestra led by Mr Megson. Charles Young, an exceedingly clever actor, was also with him. This talented company had been playing at the London Theatre, Launceston.
Launceston Examiner, 22 December 1894

From “Early Launceston, Mr Whitfield’s Lecture, No. 5.”
Still following along St. John-street, we come to its intersection with Cameron-street, Post-office corner. Here stood the London. Tavern, on the signboard of which was at one time depicted a view of London and St. Paul’s, but afterwards altered to the London Coat of Arms. The last landlord was F. B. Watson, who was at one time associated with the stage. On the top storey of the London was a comical little theatre, the Olympic I believe it was called, but it fell into disuse after the erection of the Theatre Royal in St. John-street, where the Bijou now stands. 
Launceston Examiner, 8 July 1897

Three Grand Masters–Shakespeare Hotel

1860-1879: southern corner St John St & the Quadrant Google Maps
1880+: SE corner St John & York Streets. Google Maps.
Later Metropolitan Hotel.

Location, cnr Quadrant and St John Street.

Cnr St John and York Streets.

Cnr St John and York Streets.

Photo, 1940s, as the Metropolitan.

1860-1862 Benjamin Hyrons, Three Grand Masters, Quadrant. G
1863 Thomas Bruff, Shakespeare Hotel, Quadrant name changed
1864-55 Benjamin Hyrons, Shakespeare Hotel, Quadrant
1866 Matthew Wilkes, Shakespeare
1866-67 Mr J. Solomon, Shakespeare Hotel, St John-street
1868-73 Joseph Dyson, sen Shakespeare Hotel, Quadrant
1874-78 Joseph Dyson, Shakespeare Hotel, St. John street and Quadrant
1880-88 Joseph Dyson, sen., Shakespeare Hotel, St. John and York streets location changed
1889-92 William Job Spearman, , York and St. John streets, Shakespeare Hotel
1893-1902 Hugh George Webb, Shakespeare Hotel, York and St John street
1903 Hugh Huston, Shakespeare Hotel, St John-street
1904 Edwin Waller, Metropolitan Hotel name changed

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Ship Inn (2, 4)

George and Cimitiere Streets
cnr St John & William Streets

The building marked with a red 1 was the Ship and the red 2 is the Sailor’s Return, later Market Tavern. (Click for a larger version. From Smythe, H. W. H., Plan of the town of Launceston, VDL, 1835)

1827?-1828 John McDiarmid, Ship Inn, George St
1829 John McDiarmid, Ship Inn, St John St
1829 Patrick Carolan, Ship Inn, St John & William St
–>Moved to Charles Street.
+This site became Commercial Hotel and then Star &  Garter and then Ship again.
1835-37 James Whitehead, Ship Inn, Wharf/St John Street
1837-50 Robert Brand, Ship Inn, St John Street
1851-55 Mary Ann Brand, Ship Inn, St John & William Streets
1855-57 Thomas Wells, Ship Inn, St John & William Streets
1857 Burnt down. New location refused.
(Later located at “the Wharf” but that is still a work in progress)

Hobart Town Courier, 12 July 1828

Launceston Advertiser, 10 August 1829
Launceston Advertiser, 10 August 1829

Mr. Mc Diarmid is an Inhabitant of Launceston, who after having with honor to himself, and satisfaction to the Public, conducted himself from his arrival in the Colony (and at home he was highly respectable) became about the year 1827 a Licensed Victualler. He however found a public business not congenial to his feelings, or even consistent with his habits as a Practical Brewer, and therefore in September last relinquished the Ship Inn in favor of Mr Carolan, since which he has supplied the Town with Ginger Beer by wholesale quantities.
Launceston Advertiser, 22 February 1830

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Commercial Tavern (2)

Cnr St John Street and William Street.

Previously Ship Inn
1830 Alexander Wales, Commercial Tavern, St Johns Street
1832 George Dodery, Commercial Tavern, Wharf
Later Star & Garter & Ship Inn

In 1830, under “New Licenses Granted”:
Alexander Wales, Commercial Tavern, Saint John’s-street

Launceston Advertiser, 18 October 1830
Launceston Advertiser, 18 October 1830

Mr. GEORGE DODERY, formerly Proprietor of the Canning Tavern, at Sydney, and subsequently conductor of the “King’s Arms,” in Launceston, takes leave, in respectfully thanking a generous community for the patronage already shown him, to announce that he has entered into possession of those most eligibly situated, conveniently arranged, and extensive Premises, known as THE COMMERCIAL TAVERN, at the Wharf, which he, at a very considerable expense has earnestly endeavored to fit and improve so as to afford all possible accommodation. Mr. Dodery will be found at all times solicitous to make his House a Home for every becoming Guest, however humble. Boarders will be received on the lowest terms compatible with the expense of a good Table, and with the principle of economy. The premises comprise seven Travellers’ Chambers, a Billiard Room, Two excellent Parlors, the accommodation of a small but Select Library, in conjunction with all the papers published in this Colony, and at Sydney ; and an uniform desire on the parts of him self, his wife, his son, and the servants, to be come patronised by deserving patronage.

The Shades, which are attached to the “The Commercial Tavern,” are well known by the Jolly Sons of Neptune, whose continued support is, with gratitude for past favors, hereby entreated.
Merchants, or others, having occasion to meet in a retired room, for the arrangement of business, will experience at Mr. Dodery’s, every attention.

N. B. The Billiard Room will be opened for the accommodation of the Public, on the 2nd proximo.

Launceston Advertiser, 15 November 1832

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