Auctioning a wife

Newspaper headlines are used to attract the attention of the reader. While one of our History Society members was doing some research, the headline above did its job very effectively.   

The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter of 1 March 1817 reported that “A Hibernian whose finances were rather low brought his wife to the hammer this morning, and although no way prepossessing in appearance, to the amazement of all present, she was sold and delivered to a settler for one gallon of rum and 20 ewes. From the variety of bidders, had there been any more in the market, the sale would have been very brisk!

One wonders whether our researcher thought that such a sale could not have occurred unless the wife was happy to go and leave the Hibernian behind.  Perhaps it was the case of anything had to be better!

Further research into this story yielded nothing other than the fact that the headline used in 1817 was good enough to raise attention when the story was cited once again in 1890 (Launceston Examiner 10 May 1890) in an article about the writings of Mr James Bonwick, F.R.G.S. who, the story states, had provided another important contribution to Australian literature through his paper on “Early Struggles of the Australian Press.”

The headline continued to grab attention when the Hobart publication, World on 12 Mar 1921 published a response to a speech by the then Governor who referred to Governor Arthur as “my distinguished predecessor”.  The article was all about the immoral and crooked acts of some of the then Governor’s distinguished predecessors and in particular, ”mad Colonel Davey, the second Lieutenant Governor of Tasmania.”

This man, the article states concealed his departure from England from his family, and it was only at the last moment that they accidentally discovered he was sailing for Tasmania.  Apparently it gave him a most disagreeable surprise when they also came “tumbling on board.”

Davey sent his luggage by another vessel that happened to be intercepted by American pirates.  He sought compensation from the Government for the loss of luggage and was rewarded and “by the tallest lying succeeded in obtaining the biggest grant of land ever conferred in Tasmania, 3000 acres.” 

He is said to have also “imported 200 women by the brig Kangaroo, which he obtained from Macquarie, who had “an inexhaustible penal store”.  Apparently it was “a case of first come, first served, and the whole 200 vanished into settlers’ homes in one day”.  One of these women was the unfortunate woman sold by the Hibernian and this very episode was used as a claim of what life was like under Davey.

The article goes on: “Blessed be Davey—he laid the foundation stone of St. David’s Cathedral, and proclaimed a day of thanksgiving.  Incidentally, he ordered a pint of rum to be given to every soldier and constable.  He was known as Davey the Drunk.  He made a curfew law, and lashed everybody, bond or free, who left their house at night.  He was, however, quite jovial at Government House.  There was a nightly orgy and rum, and in the early hours Government House would empty its contents into the streets, and they would wend their way home with wild, drunken yells.

He, Governor Davey, ordered 200 lashes to a man who broke into another man’s house; he also ordered iron collars for women.  However, he was a most estimable parson.  He fined a man £1 for “breaking the Sabbath Day by driving a cart and bullocks loaded with sawn timber through the streets of Hobart.  Likewise he prohibited bakers from making bread on Sunday, because doing so was a profanation of the Lord’s Day, vulgarly and improperly called Sabbath breaking.

At that time, out of ten of Davey’s officers, not one was living with his wife, but all had concubines, who were very much under orders.

All persons ‘neglecting to send their men to church, if near enough, will be deprived of assigned servants,’ proclaimed Governor Davey.

It is quite clear that it is an excellent idea to call one of our chief streets ”Davey Street.”

This information about Davey would not have been revealed to the researcher if not for the eye-catching headline!

RAAF 7 Elementary Flying School

Tasmania’s only RAAF Flying Base during World War 2 was established at the site of the current Launceston Airport on 29th August 1940, and No 7 Elementary Flying Training School commenced training in September of that year. By the time training ended in late 1944, over 1800 pilot trainees had passed through the base as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme before the base was disbanded on 31st August 1945.

Consequently the Evandale History Society, in conjunction with the R.A.A.F. Association, Launceston Branch, decided to build a memorial dedicated to all those who trained and served at Western Junction. This also commemorates the ten servicemen who died while based there and also honours the approximately one third of the 1801pilots trained there who died whilst in training at other bases or on active service in all theatres of war.

The memorial has been built in the historic village of Evandale which is close to Western Junction and where many R.A.A.F. personnel were billeted during the war. This also allows the 7 EFTS Monument to be honoured on ANZAC Day each year along with the other war monuments located there.

On Saturday 21st August 2010 over 170 formal guests were invited to a formal unveiling of the memorial by Group Captain Glen Coy CSC, Officer Commanding, Air Training Wing, East Sale. This was followed by a dedication service by Chaplain Wing Commander Ken Box and the laying of wreaths.

Among the guests were 20 original veterans from 7 EFTS who had come from Tasmania, Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales to attend and over 60 families of those veterans, servicemen died during the war and veterans who have consequently passed on. This was followed by a luncheon for veterans and guests and a visit to the Tasmanian Aero Club at Launceston Airport to view old 7 EFTS buildings.

This dedication service also honoured the 70th Anniversary of the base foundation and 65th Anniversary of the base closure.

The dedication was supported by other R.A.A.F. units such as fly past from the Roulettes, the Air Force Band and Catafalque party and Australian Air Force Cadets from Launceston. In addition staff under the command of Wing Commander Charles Hill, Commanding Officer 29SQD/SAFOT gave invaluable support to the success of the dedication service.

The Evandale History Society has established a photographic and historical collection on 7 EFTS and seeks any additional photos or historic information.

This will support the Photo Mural and Propeller Memorial on display at Launceston Airport (Western Junction)

The Evandale History Society welcomes any information or photos relating to 7 EFTS and can be contacted at 18 High Street, Evandale, Tasmania or by email. 

Western Junction WW2 – 7EFTS Base and airfield
7EFTS student in Trainer aircraft WW2
7 FTS Memorial Evandale Community Hall

Pubs and Publicans – The Plough Inn

Mr William Sidebottom (died 1849) applied for a licence for the Plough Inn in 1840, but this was refused on the ground of the situation being “very objectionable”.  Another application in 1841 was refused.

The Cornwall Chronicle of 2 September 1843 states that a licence application was made by “William Peck, for premises at Evandale. Objected to by Messrs. Wales, Cox and Hartley, as unnecessary.”  The application was refused.

The Cornwall Chronicle of 1 August 1846 states that an application was made to transfer a licence held by William Peck for the Plough Inn to Steven Murphy.  The transfer was reported in The Britannia and Trades’ Advocate on 13 August 1846 as allowed on 3 August. This suggests that the Plough Inn was licensed to William Peck somewhere between 1843 and 1846.

The Launceston Advertiser of 3 September 1846 reported on the application for renewal of a licence held by “John” (probably Steven) Murphy, for the Plough Inn at Evandale.  The hearing was told that Murphy was suspected of Sunday trading. Mr. Breton and Major Wellman spoke to the character of Murphy but Mr Wales said two houses were sufficient for the necessities of Evandale; at the present time there were four. The licence for the coming year was refused.

However, the Launceston Examiner Sat 5 September 1846 reports the hearing slightly differently stating “Mr. Bartley objected to the applicant.  He held the license by transfer from Launceston, but the license he originally held had been cancelled by two magistrates for a breach of his recognisance; therefore he transferred a nullity, and was selling illegally.” 

This report stated that a Mr. Dry and a Major Wellman spoke well of the applicant’s character but added that a Mr. Collett strongly objected stating the house “had been most disorderly and very improperly conducted.

Steven Murphy is known to have been granted a licence for a year in October 1845 for the Young Queen Hotel in Launceston but this licence was transferred to a Mr Wicks in 1846 and Mr Wick’s application at the annual renewal hearing of that year was refused on the grounds that the house was ill-furnished and dirty, and strongly suspected of dishonest practices. So it is likely that no licence had been transferred from Launceston as claimed by Mr Bartley and that Murphy was operating on the licence transferred by William Peck.

The Launceston Advertiser of 24 September 1846 reports that Stephen Murphy, of Evandale, put in an appeal about a licensing decision, but did not appear when the matter was called and the matter was therefore not entertained.

Subsequently, the Cornwall Chronicle of 16 December 1846 advertised the following:

TO BE LET, with immediate possession, together with sixteen acres of land, the dwelling house lately in the occupation of Mr. S. Murphy situate in the improving township of Evandale. The house contains ten sitting and bed rooms, convenient kitchens, stables, sheds, and other outhouses, and an extensive garden attached, is in a good state of cultivation, and the whole would form a desirable situation for a boarding and day school, the neighbourhood being populous and increasing. To a respectable tenant the rent will be very moderate, and the proprietor would be happy if any one required it, to let the house and appurtenances without the land which is bounded by the South Esk River, and is considered one of the best pieces for cultivation in the district. For further particulars, apply to Wm. Sidebottom on the premises, Evandale.

It seems that with no licence, Murphy departed the scene and the owner of the place, Mr Sidebottom was now endeavouring to set up a different use for the Plough Inn.

The location of the Plough Inn is not known.  An advertisement placed in The Cornwall Chronicle on 25 August 1858 stated that Bell and Westbrook had been engaged to sell the Evandale Coaching Establishment belonging to Mr John Hanney who was “proceeding shortly to England” and that this sale was to occur at the “Plough Inn Yards” on 1 September.  While this was an Evandale business, it is quite probable that the “yards” referred to were at the Plough Inn in Launceston.

It is noted that The Cornwall Chronicle of 6 October 1849 states that a William Murphy was granted a licence for the Plough Inn in Longford.  It is not known if the two Murphys are related.

                                Licensees of Plough Inn

1843? – 1846 William Peck
1846? – 1846? Steven Murphy

Pubs and Publicans – Prince of Wales Hotel

The Prince of Wales was said to be built by William Sidebottom in circa 1836.  Karl von Steiglitz (1946) states that William Sidebottom came to Evandale in 1820 from England and “Soon after arrival he built a tannery and boot factory—which supplied Government and private contracts—with as many as 25 men working for him, on Fyfe’s Corner, as some of us still call it, opposite where Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Bean now live. This was a wooden building and later occupied by the Halls, who at one time tried to obtain a licence for it as an hotel, but failed. Later, Simon Fyfe had his stables there when he ran the coaches, but during his son’s (John) tenancy after Simon’s death, the old place was burnt down. William Sidebottom built a brewery at Evandale (William East was the last brewer), near the Clarendon Hotel. He also built the Prince of Wales Hotel and several other places from bricks made in the old brick kiln on Woodlands (now part of Andora), which were delivered on the site for 5/- a hundred.”)

At the annual licensing meeting in 1842, Miss Eleanor Perkins (who had been the licensee at the Patriot King William) and William Sutton both applied for licenses at Evandale.  The Launceston Courier on 5 September 1842 reports “The sense of the meeting was taken as to whether another house was required in the district. Upon a division, there were six on each side, and the Chairman decided in favour of a second house. The respective merits of the two applications were then discussed, and a decision given in favor of Mr. Sutton by the Chairman’s casting vote.

The Launceston Advertiser of 20 October 1842 carries the following advert from Mr Sutton: “PRINCE OF WALES, EVANDALE. – THE Undersigned, begs most respectfully to inform his friends and the public in general, that he has taken those commodious premises at Evandale, lately occupied by Mr. Sidebottom, which he has opened as an Hotel. The premises having undergone a thorough repair, will afford every accommodation to those who may favor him with a call.”

In 1843, Sutton was involved in a curious case reported in the Launceston Examiner 30 August 1843. “On Saturday week a novel kind of information was tried at the Evandale police office, before Robert Wales and James Cox, Esquires. The following is an outline of the case. A man named Peter Morgan, formerly in the employ of a settler at Norfolk Plains, went to the house of Mr. Sutton, who keeps the ” Prince of Wales” inn, at Evandale, and gave into the safe keeping of the landlady two promissory notes, one for £13 10s., the other for £51 10s. He remained at the house drinking for nearly a fortnight, representing himself (as there is reason to believe) as a man of property. As often as payment was requested he gave a cheque upon the bank, until having repeated this process three several times, Mr. Sutton thought it necessary to ascertain whether he possessed any funds at the bank upon which he so largely drew. He accordingly brought him in a gig to Mr. Henty’s, where he repeatedly said he had upwards of £300. Certainly the man must have been labouring under some hallucination of the kind, derived from the debauchery in which he had been indulging, for on arriving at the bank he walked in with all imaginable consequence, and asked for his £300! I The cashier, however, knowing nothing about him, he returned as he came, in company with Mr. Sutton to the “Prince of Wales” once more. He then gave the landlord a promissory note for £51, accepted by Mr. Mitchell, his former master. Morgan had previously taken away two colts, which, at his first coming to the house, he had left there. After giving Mr. Sutton the bill he went away, but returned soon afterwards and demanded back his two promissory notes. He was then informed that his account exceeded £110, and that both the notes would be retained as part payment, and that unless he gave up the colts summary proceedings would be adopted against him! The consequence of this threat was the present in formation against Mr. Sutton, for taking a promissory note in payment for liquor instead of the current coin of the realm, contrary to the act of council. The bench considered the case fully made out, and fined Sutton in the extreme penalty of £50, exclusive of costs. Mr. Douglass, who appeared in his behalf, gave immediate notice of appeal.”

It is quite likely that because of this case, Sutton lost his licence. We do know that Sutton owed money to Mr Sidebottom because The Cornwall Chronicle of 19 Aug 1843 advertised a sale “Sidebottom v Sutton.  – BY MR. FRANCIS. – On the Premises, known as the Prince of Wales public-house, Evandale, on THURSDAY next, the 24th August, at 1 o’clock precisely, under distraint for rent, unless this execution is previously satisfied, – ONE Horse and Gig, two Colts, two Cows, and one Calf – also – The Household Furniture, consisting of horse hair bottom chain, tables, bedsteads, bed and bedding, kitchen utensils, etc. – Terms – Cash.”

In September 1843, the licence was granted to Patrick Walsh.  “Some argument took place respecting the granting of this license, but it was ultimately carried, on the consideration that two licensed houses were

better than only one, to prevent monopoly” (The Cornwall Chronicle 2 September 1843).  The following year, the licence to Walsh was renewed (The Cornwall Chronicle 7 September 1844).  As owner of the establishment, this licence was transferred to Mr Sidebottom in May 1846 according to The Cornwall Chronicle Sat 9 May 1846 and Launceston Advertiser 7 May 1846.  However, the Cornwall Chronicle of 1 August 1846 then states that an application was made to transfer the licence from Sidebottom to William Peck.  The transfer was reported as allowed in The Britannia and Trades’ Advocate on 13 August 1846 on 3 August.

However, the Cornwall Chronicle of 2 September 1846 states that at a hearing before Justices, a certificate to apply for renewal of a licence as refused because “William Peck, Prince of Wales, Evandale.—Badly conducted house and a dealer in licenses.”  (Peck had only one month earlier transferred his licence for the Plough Inn in Evandale to take up the Prince of Wales.)

Peck must have been able to overcome this set back because he did hold the licence for the Prince of Wales from 1846 to 1848.

John King was the next licensee, holding the licence until 1852.  It is known that consideration of an application from Mr George Smith, for the Prince of Wales Inn, Evandale, formerly kept by Mr. King, was postponed until the 16th September 1852 but only after the clerk of the peace read a letter from the police magistrate of Morven, recommending the rejection of the applicant on the grounds that “had he been a man of respectable character, he might have obtained certificates of character from several gentlemen, residents on the Nile.”

Mr. Douglas, solicitor, stated that the applicant had resided some years on the Nile, and by a course of frugality, and honest industry, had collected a sum of money sufficient to embark in the business of a publican; he was considered, however, on hearsay evidence and idle rumours, as unfit for that business; although there was nothing tangible against him. He (Mr. Douglas) begged an adjournment, in order that be might produce satisfactory certificates of Mr. Smith’s character.

The Cornwall Chronicle of 18 September 1852, reports that at the re-scheduled hearing Robert Wales, the Assistant Police Magistrate for Morven was reported to have said — “My principal reason for opposing the license is because I consider the applicant incapable of keeping an orderly house; I have known Smith thirteen years, and in my opinion he is unqualified for the business of a licensed victualler; I have no documentary evidence against him, but could, if I were disposed, call up reminiscences anything but creditable to him. Besides, public opinion is against him, and the Magistrates of Morven have protested against his holding a license; applicant had recently conducted a tap nominally for Mr. King — but in his (Mr. Wales’) opinion, virtually for himself; the house since then had been badly conducted.

But Mr Douglas, acting on behalf of Smith discharged his duty fearlessly; “even though Magistrates spoke under excited feelings, were he right he would not submit. Mr. Wales knew his client was being deprived of a license on idle rumour; it was usual for the police to bring forward data on which to condemn a man, not mere hearsay evidence; the fact of his client having resided fifteen years in one district, without having incurred the displeasure of any one — without even being known to any one — was prima facie proof of the unimpeachableness of his character. Mr. Smith had not been fairly dealt with, inasmuch as the sins of Mr. King had been visited on his devoted head. How, he would ask, was Mr. Smith accountable for Mr. King’ s neglect? If Mr. King had done wrong, why was he not punished? Surely they would not saddle his client with Mr. King’s imperfections.

Mr. Douglas was “in possession of a number of certificates which he felt convinced would prove his client worthy of holding a license; they were from persons, who knew Smith personally, and must have more weight than an ipse dixet (an assertion without proof) of individuals entirely unacquainted with him; he would lay the documents before the bench, leaving them to make their own impression. Mr. Douglas contended that the bench should adduce tangible proof before they refused his client’s application.

The newspaper then reports that Mr. Douglas then read favourable certificates from several people including George Collins, Jnr., Mr H Glover and John R Glover.  The report continues “Mr Wales said, with regard to the respectability of the certificates, he only knew of two in which he could place reliance, Mr. H. Glover’s, and Mr. Collin’s; although he did not wish to reflect on the private character of individuals, in the discharge of his magisterial duty he felt it incumbent on him to state that Mr. John R Glover was too dissipated in his habits to render his testimony worthy of belief; and he would simply enquire, why did not Smith procure recommendations from the Magistrate of the district? The fact of there being no magisterial recommendations proved him unworthy to be entrusted with, a licensed house.

Mr. Douglas — The magistrates of the district were unacquainted with the man, and consequently could not recommend him.

Despite Mr Douglas’ efforts, the panel was guided by Mr. Wales, and the vote was against Smith by a show of five to one – the application was refused.

In 1852, Mr Edward Davis advertises “Prince of Wales, EVANDALE.  E DAVIS, late of Perth, begs to inform his friends and the public in general, that having taken the above spacious premises, and been to great expense to put them in complete repair, trusts by civility, attention and moderate charges, to merit a portion of their patronage.  The beat of Wines, Spirits, and Malt Liquors, always on band, well aired beds, superior stable and an attentive ostler.  Dinners provided for large or small parties on the shortest notice.”   (The Cornwall Chronicle 18 September 1852)

In February 1855, Davis once again takes to the adverts to say that having been late of the Prince of Wales in Evandale, he has moved to the Australian Wine Vaults in Launceston, (The Cornwall Chronicle 17 February 1855).  It is suggested that Davis transferred the licence to Mr Hall in 1854 because in December of that year, Hall had his licence “renewed” for 1855.

Mr Hall has been recorded in the press of the time as Arthur Samuel Hall and Samuel Arthur Hall.  The family notice announcing the birth of a son in The Cornwall Chronicle on 31 January 1855 states that it was S A Hall.  It is known that Samuel Hall held the licence until at least 1858.

It is not known by the compiler who had the licence from 1858 to 1862 but it is likely to have been Samuel Hall and William Sidebottom, Jnr.  It is known that William Sidebottom Jnr held the licence in 1862 until August 1870, at which time, it was transferred to Robert Saunders (Launceston Examiner 18 Aug 1870).  Saunders then held the licence through to at least 1874.

Edward Hardman held the licence from at least 1883 until 1891. On 28 June 1891, Edward’s wife, Jane Harriett, had a son. Just 16 days later on 14 July she died at the age of 31.  This event must have had some impact of the decision to get out of the hotel, because in November of that year Michael Markey submitted an application for the licence.  On 9 November 1891, a correspondent of the Launceston Examiner (12 November 1891) reports that “Mr Michael Markey, of the Prince of Wales Hotel, is suffering from severe concussion of the brain, the result of a fall from a restive horse, and is in a critical state.  He died on 14 November at age 44. His widow, Elsie Markey took over the hotel and ran it until 1903.                          

                                Summary of Licensees of Prince of Wales

1842 – 1843 William Sutton
1843 – 1846 Patrick Walsh
1846 – 1846 William Sidebottom Snr
1846 – 1848 William Peck
1848 – 1852 John King
1852 – 1854 Edward Davis
1854 – 1862 Samuel Arthur Hall
1862 – 1870 William Sidebottom Jnr
1870 – 1875 Robert Saunders
1876 – 1880? Abraham Banks
1880 – 1881 John Waldron
At least 1883 – 1891 Edward Hardman
1891 – 1891 Michael Markey
1891 – 1903 Elsie Markey

Pubs and Publicans – Clarendon (Arms)

Thomas Fall built the Clarendon Hotel, starting in 1847, while he held the licence for the Patriot King.   In September 1849, Mr Fall attempted to transfer the licence he held for the Patriot King over to “premises lately erected by him”.  This application was refused on the ground that the transfer would be injurious to the proprietor of the Patriot King, Mr. Williatt.  The impasse was solved by considering Mr Fall as a new applicant and allowing Williatt to apply for transfer of Fall’s licence for the Patriot King back to himself.

Thomas Fall held the licence until his death on 4 September 1888.   The Colonist of 15 September 1888 reported the following: “The remains of the late Mr Thomas Fall were interred in the Church of England cemetery, the service being conducted by the Rev. J. Chambers. The funeral was well attended, notwithstanding that the day was cold and wet. The Rev. Archdeacon Mason, the Hon. W. Dodery, Messrs. W. Atkins and Maurice Nathan acting as pall-bearers. The deceased gentleman will be greatly missed on the township, as he was a resident of 50 years. There were very few houses here when he came to make Evandale his home, he was a large property holder here and in Launceston, and having only had two in family, they are left well provided for. He arrived in the colony in the barque Portland in 1832, the late Mr and Mrs J. Cox, of Clarendon, being also amongst the passengers. The vessel, it will be remembered, was wrecked at the Fourteen Mile Bluff. The deceased succeeding in saving Mrs Cox from a water’ grave, but her son was lost, the remains afterwards being interred at George Town. Mr Fall lost all he possessed by the wreck, but he commenced business in Launceston, and removed to Franklin Village, and finally settled at Evandale. After being in the colony a few years, he married a Miss Russell, cousin of Henry Russell, the celebrated composer and song writer. Although deceased had reached the age of 89 years, he could read without spectacles and write freely within a few days of his death. He never took an active part in politics, but was a shrewd observer and criticiser of passing events, and was charitable in his disposition.

After Fall’s death, and the rather long occupation of a single licensee, there was a succession of short tenure publicans.

Oscar Bottcher became the next licensee.  However, his tenure at the hotel ended abruptly when he died in 1889.  William Atkins, acting executor to Mr Bottcher, applied for renewal of the licence on 24 October 1889.

Walter Smith followed and he lasted only to 1892 when, in November 1892, Kate Nichols applied for a Justices’ certificate to allow her to apply for the licence to run the Clarendon.  However, the Launceston Examiner of 30 March 1893 carried the advert “TO LET-The Clarendon Hotel, Evandale, lately occupied by Mrs Nichols. This well known hostelry, partly furnished, is now being thoroughly renovated, and will be let to a suitable tenant on liberal terms. Apply W. ATKINs, River View, Evandale.

Launceston Examiner 6 April 1893 reported that an application to transfer the licence was made by William Atkins to Michael John Ryan and this was later granted in May 1893.  Michael Ryan held the licence through to the turn of the century.

The first recorded use of the current name “Clarendon Arms” located is in The Cornwall Chronicle of 26 July 1854.  However, there are many later recorded occurrences where the term “Arms” was not used.

                        Summary of Licensees of Clarendon Hotel

1849 – 1888 Thomas Fall
1888 – 1889 Oscar Bottcher
1889 – ? William Atkins, acting executor to Bottcher
? – 1892 Walter Smith
1892? – 1893 Kate Nichols
1893 – 1893 William Atkins, acting executor to Bottcher
1893 – 1900+ Michael Ryan