Cross Keys Inn – Railway Tavern

Cnr of George and Cimitiere Streets, possibly north-east corner. Google Maps.
Southern side of York St, between Bathurst & Wellington Streets. Google Maps, approximate location

182930 James Anderson, Cross Keys, George Street
1831- Abraham Lenoy, Cross Keys, George Street
1832-36 Mary Lenoy, Cross Keys, George Street
1837-48 William Brean, Cross Keys, York St
1849 Robert Blake, Cross Keys, York Street
1850-51 Henry Mills, Cross Keys, York Street
1852 Abel Blades, Cross Keys, York Street
1853 James Lewis, Cross Keys, York Street
1856 John West, Cross Keys, York Street
1858 John Partridge, Cross Keys, York Street
1859-62 William Jones, Cross Keys, York Street
1862 Job Haycock, Cross Keys, York Street
1863-67 Edward Spencer, Railway Tavern, York Street
1868-70 William Darcy, Railway Tavern , York Street
1870 George Butterworth, Railway Tavern, York Street
1871 Licence Refused

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Intersection of Cimitiere and George Sts. (Left side is the north-east corner.)

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Southern side of York Street, between Bathurst & Wellington Sts.

Launceston Advertiser, 1 March 1830
Launceston Advertiser, 1 March 1830

The use of Charles Street there appears to be an error.

At the Cross Keys (lately kept by James Anderson, but at present by Abraham Lenoy), the very best of accommodation to be had, together with the best of liquors, careful attendance, and moderate charges. The old friends of the house and the former friends of A. L. will find that they cannot be so well and so cheaply be accommodated in any other house in town. Good cheap beds, and diet by the meal, day, or week.
Launceston Advertiser, 19 April 1830

RGD34-1-1 no 2571
Death of Abraham Lenoy, publican, in 1831 (RGD34-1-1 no 2571), after which the licence transferred to his wife, Mary. (Abraham married Mary Steers in 1828.)

RGD36-1-3 no 4039
In 1837, William Brean married Mary Lenoy (RGD36-1-3 no 4039) and now he becomes the licensee for the Cross Keys.

Launceston Advertiser, 29 June 1837
Launceston Advertiser, 29 June 1837

Moving from George Street to York Street, and the old building is taken by F.J. Houghton (below). “Nearly opposite the Prisoners’ Barracks” suggests the north-east corner of the intersection.

Cornwall Chronicle, 7 April 1838
Cornwall Chronicle, 7 April 1838

Launceston Advertiser, 20 December 1838
Launceston Advertiser, 20 December 1838

Cornwall Chronicle, 23 January 1841
“Cornwall Chronicle, 23 January 1841

Cornwall Chronicle, 2 August 1845
Cornwall Chronicle, 2 August 1845

This opportunity doesn’t seem to have been taken up as Brean continues as the proprietor for a few more years.

LICENSED VICTUALLERS.
A meeting of the licensed victuallers was held at the Cornwall Hotel, on Tuesday evening, for the purpose of consulting upon the best means of procuring a repeal or modification of a clause in the act, under which several convictions have lately taken place, for allowing probationers to “tipple” on the premises. There were from twenty to thirty present. Mr. William Brean, of the Cross Keys, was voted to the chair.

[continued]
Launceston Examiner, 28 February 1846

Annual Licensing Meeting, Launceston Examiner, 5 September 1846
Annual Licensing Meeting, Launceston Examiner, 5 September 1846

Noting that at this time, the Cross Keys is well regarded, or at least well conducted.

Cornwall Chronicle, 4 April 1849
Cornwall Chronicle, 4 April 1849

This time he seems more successful in finding a taker, as the following month the licence is transferred to Robert Blake. It appears to be under Blake that the premises started to decline, as noted when the licence was transferred to its next holder. Although there isn’t much indication of how it regarded during the time of Mills & Blades.

Launceston Examiner, 9 May 1849
“Launceston Examiner, 9 May 1849

Cornwall Chronicle, 5 September 1849
Cornwall Chronicle, 5 September 1849

Cornwall Chronicle, 1 December 1849
Cornwall Chronicle, 1 December 1849

Launceston Examiner, 13 April 1850
Launceston Examiner, 13 April 1850

Cornwall Chronicle, 8 May 1850
Cornwall Chronicle, 8 May 1850

“It was made by the latter a place of gambling, and of every irregularity.”

Cross Keys. — An advertisement intimates, that this house has passed into the hands of Mr. H. Mills, and as the public are interested in the respectable conduct of such places. We advert with approval to the observation of Mr. Robertson in assenting to the transfer. Mr. Mills’ character is a guarantee for the respectability of the house be will keep ; and it will be observed that he continues to carry on the timber trade.
Cornwall Chronicle, 8 May 1850

Cornwall Chronicle, 11 May 1850
Cornwall Chronicle, 11 May 1850

Cornwall Chronicle, 22 March 1851
Cornwall Chronicle, 22 March 1851

LICENSING MEETING.–The quarterly meeting of justices for the granting of transfers was held on Monday. The only business transacted was the transferring of the license for the “Cross Keys” from Henry Mills to Abel Blades.
Launceston Examiner, 4 February 1852

INFORMATION CASE.–Brown v Blades.— Abel Blades, was brought up by information, charged by D C. Brown, with having on the 20th June last, between six and seven o’clock in the evening of Sunday, delayed admission to D. C. J, Leary, who continued to knock for admission nearly thirty minutes : only one person was found in the house. This was construed into a violation of the Act, which makes, and provides, that such an offence shall be subject to a fine, not more than £50, and not less than £5. Mr. Blades pleaded guilty on behalf of his wife, he being at the time of the occurrence at the gold diggings. The bench, Messrs. Gunn and Evans, took the most favourable view of the case, and imposed a fins of £5 and costs.
Cornwall Chronicle, 17 July 1852

Launceston Examiner, 10 February 1853
Launceston Examiner, 10 February 1853

Launceston Examiner, 5 July 1853
Launceston Examiner, 5 July 1853

From “Quarterly Licensing Meeting”:
The Cross Keys, York-street, from James Lewis to John West. The Police Magistrate said he was glad a change was being made, and expressed the hope that there would be no reason to complain of the conduct of the new occupant.
Launceston Examiner, 6 May 1856

Cornwall Chronicle, 7 May 1856
Cornwall Chronicle, 7 May 1856

(I wonder if the refurbishing was a condition of the new man taking over, or a requirement before the transfer was approved?)

Cornwall Chronicle, 17 May 1856
Cornwall Chronicle, 17 May 1856

Mr. J. Lewis’s application for a transfer of the license to the Victoria Hotel, George-street, from Mrs. J. Feutrill was distinctly opposed by the Police Magistrate, on the ground that, when Mr. Lewis kept the Cross Keys, he had not conducted it properly, and. many complaints had been made respecting it.
Mr. Byron Miller in support of the application supposed that the best guide for the justices in their decision, would be the number of former convictions against the applicant, and if they found there wore none, they would consider the locality in which the Cross Keys was situated, and the difficulty of keeping a licensed house in such a low neighbourhood in such a way as to prevent all complaints, but the house Mr. Lewis now applied for was respectably situated, and would no doubt be respectably conducted, if not there was the remedy— the law, and the Police, could see that the provisions of the act were put in force. But he trusted the bench would not go beyond the law, which even in the case of a man who forfeits his license by repeated breaches of the act, does not say he shall for that reason be always prohibited from holding a license, but only for the period of three years. The transfer was urgently requited on account of the stale of Mrs. Feutrill’s health, and he trusted tho bench would not do more, than the legislature had done, and refuse this transfer to a man, against whom, although he had long kept a licensed house, there had not been a conviction.
Transfer granted.
Cornwall Chronicle, 6 August 1856

Launceston Examiner, 19 July 1858
Launceston Examiner, 19 July 1858

“A large population of mechanics and artisans surrounds it, and no change in the social condition of the town can prejudicially affect the trade of the house.”

From “Launceston Annual Licensing Meeting”:
The Police Magistrate said that when on his round of inspection he had found the Cross Keys the dirtiest and worse state of any house in town. The back premises were all open and unfenced, and he was informed that the holder of the license had another man’s wife living with him in a very unproper state. He regretted that his public duty compelled to to make these statements, as Mr Patridge had served under him, and he had a great respect for him for a long time.

Mr Partridge admitted that the house was in a dirty state when the Police Magistrate visited it, but that was in consequence of the six children having been kept inside ? the previous wet weather. With reference to his housekeeper alluded to, he had endeavoured to get her husband to take her home but the husband was neither able nor willing to support her and instead of doing so had endeavoured to extort money from him by raising false reports respecting her position in the family although he had begged that she might not be discharged from her situation. She had the charge of his (Mr. P’s) children slept with his daughters and when he discharged her as he would, he would be compelled to get another female servant to take care of his children. As for the premises, he had already repaired two of the rooms, and intended to put the whole in a thorough state of repair.

Mr. De Dassell as agent for the landlord Mr Lewis who was in Victoria, said that he would immediately call for tenders for having the yard properly enclosed. It was the tenants duty to keep the house in repair, and Mr. Partridge it appeared was inclined to do so, as the premises were then in better order than when he went to them. The Mayor said that a widower like Mr. Partridge with a large family laboured under great disadvantages under the circumstances mentioned, but he believed that an elderly person of good character might be now easily procured to lake the charge of Mr. Partridge’s children. It was absolutely necessary that he should change the servant he had in consequence of the reports circulated.

Lieutenant Wettenhall feared that if they were to believe all the reports in circulation he was afraid the private character of very few would remain clear.

Mr. Charles Thomson said he feared the meeting was proceeding on a wrong principle altogether in granting licenses to premises merely on the understanding that they should be put in repair, and he thought that it would advisable for the future to grant licenses only to those premises which at the time were in proper repair and good condition.

The meeting agreed with Mr. Thomson on that head and granted the licence.
Cornwall Chronicle, 4 December 1858

Launceston Examiner, 15 March 1859
Launceston Examiner, 15 March 1859

Launceston Examiner, 22 March 1859
Launceston Examiner, 22 March 1859

From “Licensing Meeting”:
TRANSFERS.
Cross Keys, from assignee in the estate of John Partridge, insolvent, to Wm. Jones.
The Mayor, as Police Magistrate, said there was no objection to the character of the transferee, but at the last general meeting an objection was raised by Mr. Gunn to the state of the premises as wanting repair; and Mr. De Dassel, at that meeting, appearing on behalf of the owner, said it should be done, but up to a recent date nothing had been done.
The Superintendent of Police informed the board that the alteration or repair had been effected. The application was then granted.

Launceston Examiner, 3 May 1859

Launceston Examiner, 14 September 1861
Launceston Examiner, 14 September 1861.

There don’t seem to have been any takers on this.

Cornwall Chronicle, 18 December 1861
Cornwall Chronicle, 18 December 1861

Cornwall Chronicle, 18 June 1862
Cornwall Chronicle, 18 June 1862

Launceston Examiner, 4 November 1862
Launceston Examiner, 4 November 1862

From “Quarterly Licensing Meeting”
Mr. Browne, the, Deputy Clerk of the Peace, said:the next application was for the, transfer of the “Cross. Keys” public-house, York-street, from Job Haycock to John Bowater.
The Police Magistrate handed to the Chairman a letter purporting to be signed by Haycock, requesting that the application might be withdrawn.
Mr. Bowater, in reply to the Chairman, said he was not aware of Mr. Haycock’s reason for wishing for the withdrawal of the application. He had fulfilled his part of the engagement by paying the deposit required.
Mr. Haycock not being in attendance, the Chairman said he would adjourn the application until all the others had been disposed of, as by that time Mr. Haycock might make his appearance. The application could not be taken into consideration unless both parties were present.


The Superintendent of Police said that Haycock had not arrived, and Bowater was leisurely walking down the street. Bowater did not care much about the transfer. Mr. Gunn said that if the application had come on he had intended to name several objections to it. The application, under all the circumstances, was therefore refused.
Launceston Examiner, 5 May 1863

Launceston Examiner, 3 November 1863
Launceston Examiner, 3 November 1863

Launceston Examiner, 3 December 1863
Launceston Examiner, 3 December 1863

FELONIOUSLY RECEIVING.
John Allen and Edward Spencer were charged with receiving certain money, the property of one Peter Smart, well knowing the same to have been stolen.
Mr. Rocher appeared for the prisoners.

Peter Smart deposed—I recollect meeting with George Hely in Bell and Westbrook’s yard, and going to Spencer’s public-house with him ; I had then in my pocket two £5 notes ; I changed half-n-sovereign there ; I think Spencer asked me to let him take care of my money for me ; I did not do so ; I showed my money to a girl named Lee, who was in the house, because she said I had no money ; I stayed in the house for some time ; I was not drunk, having only had six glasses of ale ; I think I was outside the house when I lost my money ; I missed it at eight o’clock ; I was quite sensible when I got home, and sent my wife to the police with the number of the notes ; I took the number of the notes the same day I got them ; the numbers on that memoranda (produced) are the numbers of the notes, and the name of the Bank (Commercial) ; I next saw the notes in the hands of the police.
By Mr. Rocher—I got those notes from Bell and Westbrook ; I was not paid by cheque on that day ; when I got that money I had other money on me, some pound notes, seven or eight ; I took the numbers of the £5 notes when I went home ; I went with Holy from Bell and Westbrook’s to the “Horse and Jockey,” and I had one glass of ale there ; then to the “Coach and Horses,” where five or six of us had two pots of ale ; I then went to dinner ; we then went to the Market Tavern, and had one glass of ale ; we then went to the Railway Tavern ; I was then quite sober ; I had had six glasses of ale ; the girl Lee came in afterwards—perhaps an hour ; before she came in we had had some beer ; I remained at the public-house till about 8 o’clock ; I might have had five, six, or seven glasses of ale ; when I left I was neither drunk nor sober ; I went from there to Chester’s with my friend ; I remained there about 10 minutes ; I had there a glass of ale ; from there I went home ; I missed my money before I went to Chester’s ; I made no search for my money when I missed it ; I don’t re- collect telling Spencer I had lost it ; when I was outside the girl Lee stood alongside of me ; I had the money in my pocket when I went out ; I wouldn’t swear the girl took it ; I knew what I was about when I got home ; it was about 8 o’clock when I missed my money ; I told the truth in my statement at the Police Court ; what I have stated here is true (Mr. Rocher here had read the evidence of Smart at the Police Court, in which he stated that he recollected nothing after changing the half-sovereign.

[continued]
Launceston Examiner, 8 February 1868

William Darcy, Railway Tavern, York street.
Mr Coulter said the fence around a brothel next to this house was down, and access could be had by means of a wicket gate to the publichouse. Both houses belonged to the same landlord
Mr Mason said that a conviction for Sunday trading was difficult at this house, on a count of the means of escape.
The Mayor said he understood that the landlord refused to do anything to the premises, and repairs and fencing to the extent of £25 were required, otherwise the tenant must run the risk of losing his license and means of livelihood. This was but too common a case on account of what be must termed the penuriousness of the landlords.
The Chairman said an adjournment could be made for a week to give the landlord an opportunity of effecting the requisite repairs.
Mr Darcy said that his landlord (Mr Reading) had timber on the ground for the purpose of putting up the fence. and he was prepared to stop up the wicket gate and not use it in future.
The Mayor said, a strong wind would blow the fencing about the premises down. The whole required thorough repair.
Mr De Little said in cases where public houses were supported by brothels that must be bad for the morality of the town, and the Bench in this case should insist on the repairs being accomplished in a week.
Mr Weedon said this was the first time he had ever heard that the publichouses of Launceston were supported by brothels, and he must deny that such was the case.
The Mayor said as the Chief Magistrate of Launceston he could not permit as sweeping an assertion as that upon the character of the licensed victuallers to go uncontradicted. The facts as recorded at the Police-office would go to contradict such an assertion, as only two convictions were recorded against licensed victuallers daring the year. If the morality of the community had fallen so low that publichouses were supported by brothels, the police must have sadly neglected their duty in not preventing such a state of things. He must take exception to the remark of Mr De Little, as it was not founded on fact.
The Chairman did not understand Mr De Little’s remark in the same light as the Mayor, or consider that it reflected upon the manner in which the police per formed their duty ; but it was very difficult to get at such nuisances as brothels, so as to bring them under the operation of the law for their suppression.
Mr De Little explained that what he referred to was a case which he had in tended to bring before the licensing bench, and he told the Superintendent of Police of his intention. In consequence of this the nuisance had been suppressed, and he had no opportunity of bunging the matter before the meeting, except in connection with a similar case that was now before the meeting.
Mr Mason said the law provided a remedy, for any licensed victualler could be proceeded against tor allowing a prostitute to be on his premises .
The Mayor said he had only objected to Mr De Little’s remark on account of its being of such a sweeping nature.
Mr De LittIe said he did not mean that it should be so applied, as he knew that the men to whom licenses had been granted that day were as respectable men as any in their line of life.
Mr. Coulter said Mr. De Little had directed his attention to an instance where a licensed victualler had sublet a tenement next his own to a person of improper character, and he had informed that licensed victualler that if he let his House in that way it would he made a ground of objection at the annual meeting, to his license being renewed. The objection having been removed he (Mr Coulter) had not referred to it .
Mr. Dean said that with reference to the repairs these were too often only spoken of and then passed by without anything being done. He would move that the application of Mr Darcy stand over for a week to have the repairs effected.
This was seconded and carried.
Subsequently Mr Reading appeared in Court, and informed the Chairman that the repairs would have been done before that, as the timber was on the ground, but his carpenter was employed completing repairs at another house. He would have the repairs done within the week.
Cornwall Chronicle, 2 December 1868

Railway Tavern. — Mr George Butterworth and Mr D’Arcy had each sent in an application for a license for the Railway Tavern.
Mr Butterworth said that Mr D’Arcy had given Mr Reading, the landlord, notice to leave and the house had been let to him, but since then Mr D’Arcy said he would continue in the house.
Mr Reading said Mr D’Arcy had given him notice that he would leave, but had since said he would continue in the house, and he (Mr Reading) had no objection to either Mr D’Arcy or Mr Butterworth as tenants.
Mr D’arcy said Mr Butterworth had offered him £40 for the goodwill of the house, and he told Mr Butterworth to put the money down and he would go out of the house.
License granted.

Cornwall Chronicle, 2 December 1870

From “Annual Licensing Meeting”:
G. Butterworth, Railway Tavern, York-street.
Mr. Mason said that in the block where this house was situated there were seven licensed houses, five of which had been reported by the Superintendent of Police as not being required. It would be for the meeting to decide whether they would adopt the suggestion made by the Licensing Association to refuse licences to houses not required as opportunity offered.
Mr Coulter, on being called, said that in that locality there were seven licensed houses. The traffic had gone from the neighbourhood, and he considered this house was not required.
The application was refused.

Launceston Examiner, 2 December 1871

An appeal made by Mr. George Butterworth against the decision of the justices at the annual licensing meeting in refusing to grant him a certificate for a license for the Railway Tavern, York-street, was heard. The appeal was supported by Mr. Henry Reading, the landlord of the premises, who represented the injury that he had sustained by the depreciation in value of his property in consequence of the license being refused to the applicant.The certificate had been refused at the annual meeting on the ground that the houses was not required as a licensed house in the neighbourhood, and the Court declined to entertain the appeal.
The Tasmanian, 13 January 1872

The Tasmanian, 20 January 1872
The Tasmanian, 20 January 1872

Damaging Unoccupied Property.—
In February last the premises known as the Railway Tavern, or Cross Keys, was unoccupied, the Licensing Bench having refused to renew tho license for it. Apparently it was then considered legitimate prey for the “larrikins’ of Launceston to operate upon, and accordingly active measures were commenced upon a store in the rear. The shingles were torn off to get at the leaden guttering, which was torn away in long sheets, and about 35 feet of it carried off in triumph to a painter and plumber, who purchased it, melted some of it down, and gave up the remainder to Detective Sergeant Wilson when he called in search of it.
[continued]
The Tasmanian, 27 April 1872

From the account of a murder case:

Eliza Jackson deposed: I live at Benjamin Brown’s, at the old Cross Keys, in York Street ; it in a residence for young girls ; there are only there of us there ; I knew the dead child ; her mother, “Broomey,” called her Mary
Cornwall Chronicle, 14 August 1876

Eliza Jackson, residing at Benjamin Brown’s formerly the Old Cross Keys Hotel, deposed : Brown’s was a house of ill-fame. There were three girls residing there. She knew the deceased child, and its mother called it “Mary.” The mother went by the name of “Broomey.”
The Mercury, 14 August 1876

Launceston Advertiser, 23 November 1878
Launceston Advertiser, 23 November 1878

From “Meetings”
George Kiddle, King William Hotel, York street.
Mr Coulter said this was the site of the old Cross Keys. The hotel was not necessary.
Mr Dowling said that there was an understanding that licensed publichouses should not be increased in that vicinity.
Mr Mason stigmatised the present site of the proposed publichouse as a den for immoral character, the most notorious in the town.
Mr Collins said that if Mr Harrap had been present he would have testified to the respectability of the applicant. He also held a petition signed by numerous residents, including some Good Templars, for the establishment of the house.
Mr Mason said that the applicant had deserted his wife and family, who had received money from the Government to join him in Victoria, besides being on the Benevolent Society for some time.
The application was refused.
The Tasmanian, 7 December 1878

From “Quarterly Licensing Meeting”
APPLICATIONS FOR NEW LICENSES.
Municipality of Launceston
Governor Weld Hotel, York-street.
Frederick Wallen applied for a license for this house.
Mr Coulter opposed the application, and stated that the house was the old Cross Keys, the license of which had been taken away because the house was not required in the neighbourhood. Similar applications for a license for this house had since been refused on the same grounds. The house was at present a lodging house, and the applicant was a respectable man, but the issue of a further license for that neighbourhood was objectionable.
The application was refused.
Launceston Examiner, 3 May 1881

Report on the Launceston Town Council meeting included “the following return of dilapidated buildings
was submitted by the Town Surveyor”
Owner, Mrs R. R. Palmer ; vacant (Cross Keys), York-street. May be repaired, but only at great cost.
Daily Telegraph, 1 June 1886

Launceston Examiner, 22 July 1886
Launceston Examiner, 22 July 1886

And that seems to be the last mention of it. So, to finish:

Mr William Jones died at his residence on Tuesday morning, after a long illness. Tho deceased was a very old resident of Tasmania, and was about ninety years of age. In the early days he kept the Cross Keys and Scottish Chief hotels in Launceston, afterwards coming here [Campbell Town], where he was engaged in the Caledonian (now the Commercial) Hotel, first as waiter, then later on as landlord. He was of a quiet, unassuming disposition, and generally respected.
Daily Telegraph, 29 November 1905

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