Observations of a traveler to Evandale 1903 (Highways and Byways)

The following article about Evandale appeared in the Daily Telegraph

(Launceston, Tas. : 1883 – 1928)  Monday 9 November 1903, page 6


[By our Special Travelling Representative]


To reach Evandale there is a choice of getting their either by road or rail, the time occupied is short, but either route may be chosen, as the distance to be covered is only about twelve miles.

By the road it is a nice drive through shady trees, hawthorn hedges, and waving fields of corn. By rail the train also sweeps through somewhat similar surroundings. Now just here, to anyone making the trip by train, a word of advice, if heeded, may be found of value, that is, get out at the junction, go from there by the bus to Evandale, it is only a distance of about a mile and a half, to the post office. If to Evandale direct by train, it will be found on alighting that a steep hill has to be negotiated to gain the level road, and then a walk of a quarter of a mile undertaken before coming to a comfortable halting place.

Besides, from the railway station, not a vestige of Evandale is to be seen, the high bank facing it completely obscuring the view. A feeling of disappointment and loneliness is thus apt to creep over the wayfarer. However, a foot track up the bank to the road is found, but while pausing in the climb for a breather, and at the same time glancing upwards, a shudder passes through as the eye catches sight of a frowning castellated tower with cannon pierced embrasures, Visions of moat, drawbridge, portcullis, and dungeon keep, are conjured up, but bracing up courage and gaining the level those fears arc dispelled. There is no siege to be made, nor gauntlet to be run before the citadel can be entered. The apparently warlike edifice is after all only a water cistern; It is the ‘water tower’, and of great value it really is. In its usefulness it keeps the town, except at rare intervals, well supplied with good pure water from the South Esk river. The height of the tower from the base is 40ft, and the capacity of the reservoir within gained from the river at a point about a mile away, where a weir has been placed across. From there it is driven by a turbine pump through a 3in pipe, up to the tower. The motive power for working the turbine is secured by a flume, which taps the river 40ft higher up. The town is reticulated by a 3in main, having 1in branches.

The tower was erected in 1895, and the water turned on in 1888 by Mr J. C. von Stieglitz. The supply and the works in connection therewith are under the control and management of a water trust, Mr H. Patterson being the caretaker in charge of the works. During dry seasons the supply has at times been inadequate, but bearing that in mind, and also the necessity for providing for increasing demands, the trust has decided to erect another tower on the highest town level. It will have a capacity of 100,000 gallons. This will then, it is thought, meet all the requirements for some time to come. A unique experience occurred during the rainy season this year, that of having to cart water from the river for domestic purposes. ‘Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.’ The famine arose through the river being in flood, and the turbine getting fouled with the debris so brought down.

After passing the water tower, the road to the town leads between an avenue of pines (Pinus insignis). These pines were planted in our late Queen’s jubilee year (1887), and although that -is only sixteen years ago, their growth has been rapid and strong, affording shade from the sun, and shelter from the wind. The road continues on to Nile and Deddington.

The Evandale district covers miles and miles of uneven country; the land in its unevenness does not present any serious difficulties to the agriculturist, rather the reverse, as the knolls, rises, and generally undulating nature of the country secures good drainage, and so assists the growth of cereals. This season is one that has gladdened the hearts of the farmers; the crops are expected to be most prolific and top all previous yields. Sheep breeding, both for stud market and wool, is also carried on successfully the runs being clean, dry, and sheltered; Merinos seem to be the class most favoured. Of course, there are crossbreeds and come-backs as well, but all are notable for the cleanness and excellent quality of the staple, the clips from many of the estates around coming appreciably near top prices at the sales. Shearing is now going on at several places, and there appears to be no difficulty in getting ‘full sheds’, the recent smallpox scare having prevented many of the shearers from migrating to the mainland.

Evandale has a most salubrious climate; it has an altitude of about. 600ft above sea level. There is nearly always a cool breeze blowing and at nights the temperature is all that could be wished for. Why some of our city magnates should not nick upon this suburb, for it really is only a suburb, on which to erect their mansions, is hard to say. The drive in and out is short and pleasant, and the road good. For a short spin, cyclists could not choose a better run, and if. they wished to go farther there are plenty of pleasant roads available to satisfy all their desires. As far as the streets are concerned Evandale has not been laid out with what one may call mathematical precision and detail. A good idea of the diversity of angles may be formed by looking at an ordinary spider’s web; this irregularity may be accounted for from the fact that where the township now stands was never meant to be Evandale at all, the site selected having been surveyed in what was at the time known as the Black Forest. That forest is now no more, and green crops are now growing where Evandale should have stood.

Old village towns have during their lifetime many episodes some historical and some better forgotten, and in this way, Evandale is no exception. Many of those reminiscences are interesting, and remembered well by residents still in the flesh, who were born, in the district, and chats with two of those, Mr David Collins, Council clerk, and Mr William Farmer, saddler, both of whom are good raconteurs, will be found most entertaining and instructive regarding the early days. Few of the present generation will remember anything of the old time ‘stocks,’ a form of punishment for minor offences in days gone by. Fifty years ago, Evandale had a set capable of accommodating six culprits; these would mostly be drunks, who, on being sentenced had to do their penance pinioned by the legs in the stocks, in the street, where they had to suffer the gibes and jeers of the more fortunate passers-by. The remains of the old lock-up used 60 or 70 years ago may still be seen and more strange still the same lock-up, is now in use, the. cells feebly exhibit, through their rottenness evidence of their ancient roughness and strength, but the police offices attached are decaying rapidly, and their collapse must be near at hand. A new building is urgently required, as no one resides in the present quarters, and prisoners placed in the cells remain there all night without a guard, where they may die by sudden illness or be burnt to death by fire before aid or alarm could be given – a most reprehensible state of affairs. Regarding these old cells many a tale is told, but one of the most horrifying is that relating to a man named Murray, who at the time, perhaps fifty years ago who was confined with two others in one of the cells, tore down a slab or batten from the wall and murdered one of his fellow inmates, the other escaping notice and probable death also, by crouching in a corner.  Murray was suffering from delirium tremens at the time.  The lock-up keeper heard the disturbance but had not courage to render assistance.

At one time Evandale was noted for its race meetings and events on the programme always drawing good fields, and horses from all parts of the country were entered, the Point to Point Steeple being the most attractive item during the day’s sport, the gentlemen riders filling the pigskin and taking the fences in rare good style. The racecourse was marked out on the Loch Bay estate and was one admirably suited for the purpose. The writer passed the spot the other day and the surroundings are suitable as ever for the same purpose and here is no apparent reason why those pleasant gatherings should not be again revived, even if it is fifteen years since the last was held. In Warrnambool in the western district of Victoria, the steeple there over a natural course is there is one of the finest fixtures of the year and draws one of the most representative crowds of gentlemen sportsman that could be met anywhere, why not the same in Tasmania?

Another institution has passed into oblivion —the Morven Agricultural Society— reckoned in its day to be of some importance. It was also held in high favour by the ladies in the district, for they, by their energy and industry in organising a successful bazaar and collecting subscriptions, succeeded in raising sufficient funds to enable a show ground site to be purchased, and to erect a pavilion thereon. This was in 1869, but about fifteen years afterwards interest flagged, and the society dropped out of existence, bequeathing in its death struggles the pavilion and grounds to the municipal council, receiving a promise from that body in return that they would keep the bequest in good repair. Death-bed promises are not always remembered and the one made on this occasion seems to have been forgotten, for neither the grounds nor pavilion appear to be receiving much attention. A small sum judiciously expended would soon make the property look attractive.

It was only last year, with all disadvantages, that the N.T. Licensed Victuallers’ Association held a. very enjoyable picnic on the ground, and several Sunday schools use the grounds for the same purpose. The pavilion is used by the volunteer company as a drill-room, and a gymnastic club practised there last year; they do not seem to have continued this very healthy and muscular pastime and their very complete outfit of parallel bars, ladder, trapeze, dumbbells, boxing gloves, etc., is getting ‘blue-mouldy’ for want of use: this should not be so.

The Volunteer Company— F. Co. Evandale 12th Australian I.R. — is a fine body of men; its reduced strength is now only 60 men. The company was raised entirely by Colonel Cameron, whose patriotism is well known. It is commanded by Captain S. Hartley, of Ridgeside, and holds weekly drills. Every fortnight Staff-Sergeant O’Connor, of Campbell Town, attends to give instruction. A new drill-room will shortly be erected, Mr J. W. Cheek, of Cambock, having generously presented the company with a piece of ground near the recreation reserve, on which the Federal Government are about to erect the building- The company lost two of its members by death in South Africa, one Private H. Button, killed at Jasfontein, February 19, 1900; the other, Private J. Butler, dying of enteric fever whilst on service at Johannesburg, June 1, 1900. An obelisk has been erected in a prominent part of the town to their memory, the cost of which was defrayed solely by their former comrades in the company.

The recreation reserve is a fine piece of ground, which is kept in good order. It is planted around with trees and has a neat little grandstand. Sports are frequently held there, and the football and cricket, clubs also use it for their matches.

The public library and reading-room which was established in 1885, is largely availed of by the residents, the reading-room being provided with magazines and newspapers, the library containing no less than 3000 volumes, embracing instructive and entertaining literature, heavy and light reading suitable for all. The State school is a commodious, well-lighted and ventilated building, and in every way adapted for its purpose, which is saying much. The head teacher is Mr Albin Roper, who has with him three lady assistants; the children on the roll number 120.

There are only three religious denominations represented, viz., the Church of England, Presbyterian, and Methodist. The church belonging to the first mentioned is an imposing edifice attaining such distinction on account of its spire the architecture of the church being early Tudor, without embellishment. The spire, however, is that which attracts attention, its height being about 110ft may be seen towering skywards from various points from great distance off. The building is comparatively modern, only having been erected about 30 years ago. It was built to replace the old church, which had to he pulled down on account of having become unsafe.

The inside fittings of the church are very plain indeed buy their plainness could be made brighter were the present dull windows replaced with stained glass and emblematical scriptural figures.

The rector has made an attempt to impart warmth to the surroundings in the church, but there is still much to be desired. There is a memorial tablet in the chancel stating that the Venerable Alfred N. Mason, late Archdeacon of Hobart, had been incumbent from 1867 to 1877. The present. rector, Rev. H. D. Atkinson, has had charge of the district for the past thirteen years.

The Presbyterian church on the other side of the road, however, carries its age well; it is now 65 years old, and excepting the natural wear and tear of over half a century, it still stands firm and solid. The outside appearance has nothing to commend itself to attention, but on scrutiny, the two monolith pillars fronting tile entrance door would by the curious be found to have been cut out of a solid block of stone, as the pillars are over 20ft high. The question naturally arises, where did they come from, and how did they get there? Unfortunately, this question must for the present remain unsolved. In front of the church a beautiful monument has been erected to perpetuate the memory of the first minister, who preached there, Re. Robert Russell occupied the pulpit from 1838 to 1873. The base, pedestal, and crown of the monument are constructed out of Malmsbury, Aberdeen, and Peterhead marbles, being surmounted by a perfectly sculptured marble statue representing ‘Hope.’ It is said that the cost of this memorial ran close to £1000. The present minister is Rev. John Russell, who has been in charge of the congregation for twenty-four years. Although claiming the same name, the present minister is not related to the first one. Mr Russell has had relationship thrust upon him at times when some ‘hard-up,’ seeking relief, in trying to impress his claim, has assured Mr Russell that ‘he knew his father the first minister’. The veracity of such a statement on the face of it, was doubtful and the hoped-for sympathy was not obtained, as it was at variance with fact, the first Mr Russell never having been married.

The Methodist body has no resident minister, and services are only held occasionally. The present church building is a wooden one, erected a few years ago, when the little brick building formerly used was found to be too small for the increasing congregation.

The municipal council of which Mr J.B, Gibson of Pleasant Banks is Warden and Mr David Collins is Council Clerk, looks after the wants and welfare of the town, and this they do make a very creditable manner, and at the same time with commendable economy. The funds- available for the purpose do not frequently overflow the treasury. If at any time before next winter a surplus should become available, an extra lamp or two for street lighting purposes would fill a “long-felt want”.

Friendly Societies are represented by the Oddfellows, M.U. and the U.A.O Druids. The Oddfellows Lodge has been established for many years and is a very strong body. The Druids has only recently been formed but already its membership amounts to about forty.

Rabbits in Evandale district do not seem to abound as they do in the Midlands, and trapping is not carried on to the same extent. A good deal of killing however is done with poison. Mr. M. Coghlan is the Government inspector. The guardians of the peace are well represented by Mr Conlan, Superintendent for the district, Sub-Inspector Lyndon and Constable Ross. Mr. Thomas Perkins, ex-Superintendent of Police has taken up residence at Evandale. Mr. Perkins is one of the oldest policemen in the State and has a long and faithful service to his credit, covering no less than 48 years with 33 years as superintendent, his last position as such being at Bothwell. He rose rapidly by his own merit starting in the ranks and in three months gained the rank of serjeant, afterwards detective sergeant and so on before made superintendent. Mr. Perkins is now a municipal councillor and has been for the past five years. He is also a justice of the peace and on the bench, his police training is found very useful.

Mr. William Hartnoll M H R also resides in Evandale and is a justice of the peace, and when his Parliamentary duties will permit, takes a great interest in local affairs.

Before quitting reference to Evandale locally and the incidents relating to its early history, it may be said that at one time it must have been a very busy centre, especially in the coaching days. It had a brewery, no less, a flour mill-and five hotels; money must have circulated then. The home now occupied by David Collins was known over sixty years ago as ’The Patriot King’. Mr. Drake now occupies the ‘Royal Oak’ and the ‘Macquarie Hotel’ was burned down seventeen years ago. The ‘Prince of Wales’.  It is a very old hotel, perhaps the oldest in the place. ‘The Clarendon’ is kept by Mr E. Waller, well known in Launceston, and, prior to coming to Evandale, boniface at Zeehan. He has affected many improvements, both to the house and the table. The first is so modernised that it would hardly be credited the building was 53 years old, while. as regards the table kept, well, Mr Waller is an epicure, and heads-the table himself — a good recommendation. The Clarendon Hotel took its name from ‘Clarendon, the estate of the late Mr. Cox. It was built by the late Mr Thomas Fall. Both those gentlemen met in Sydney about 1832, Sir Fall having just arrived there in the. ‘Portland’, en-route for Van Diemen’s Land, intending to settle there.

Mr Cox was over in Sydney on a visit and took the opportunity to return back by tie Portland, but the vessel got wrecked at the Fourteen-Mile Bluff and did not reach port. The passengers and crew were saved, and the two voyagers became fast friends. Mr Fall died in 1888. The Clarendon Hotel is one typical of the old English inn. It has the large yard, enclosed by high walls, a row of stables, coach house, hay loft, and groom’s quarters, two large gates through which coaches could drive in and out, resting in the yard whilst man and beast got refreshed. Looking at the place now it is easy to picture on the mind’s eye those scenes of old. Indeed, in those days everything must have borne great similarity to the customs and manners so recently left behind them in the old country by the early settlers in this sunny land.

Mr James Cox, the great grandfather of the present owner of the Clarendon estate, was “a real old English gentleman, one of the olden time”. He drove to church on Sundays in a coach and four, his servants bringing up the rear another. To Captain Barclay R.N., of Cambock, some of the estates owe their patronymics, the Nile and Trafalgar being two naval engagements in which the gallant captain took part.

The Launceston Ministering Children’s League Convalescent- Home near the Evandale Junction. The building, although an old one. is very suitable for the purpose.  It was built by the late Mr William Hartnoll as his residence on the Leighton estate and is now leased to the league by his son. Three acres have been apportioned from the farm including the orchard and attached to the home. The little children that come here after their illness to gather up health and strength, have every comfort and attention given them, and, with the pure clear air, and lovely scenery to, cheer them on, soon regain the health they had lost. The home can accommodate six children at a time: there are two cots and four beds. Miss Dearle is the matron, Lady Braddon is the president of the League, Miss Winter treasurer, and. Miss Morgan secretary.

Evandale district -being so largely agricultural, it is only reasonable to assume that a good deal of threshing and chaff cutting goes on. To meet demands in that direction, Mr Enos Atkins and Mr G. A. Bryan have each got large threshing plants, with up-to-date machinery, for threshing, chaff cutting, and pressing, and traction engines for working same, and during the season both plants are kept busy. Mr G. A. Bryan, in his spare moments, finds time to act as secretary and collector for the Road Trust, a position which he has filled for the past 38 years.

It is impossible in a notice like this to mention every estate in the district, even if your representative had time at his disposal to visit them all. Space will only admit of a few being noticed and, arid, with this apology, will start Cambock, the first homestead in the north. The land was a government grant made to Captain Barclay in 1806. The residence, which he built io 1826, is still there, and occupied as such by the present owner. The captain named the estate after his birthplace — Cambock, Fifeshire. N.B. — An antiquated cannon, which he brought there, still remains, and was in noisy evidence at the Mafeking relief rejoicings at Evandale. Mr Cheek intends to get it re-mounted, and, as the entrance gates are quite close to the water tower, if placed there it will add greatly to the grimaces already referred to, of that dummy fortification. Mr J. W. Cheek, the present owner of Cambock, purchased the estate about, fourteen years ago. The property has a frontage to the South Esk, and contains about ’00 acres, half of which is generally under crop in barley, wheat, oats and peas, the other portion being used for fattening lambs for market. The fallow land is sown with rape for that purpose. The lambs are bred from a cross of Leicester and Southdowns. Pigs are also bred, and a good number find their way to market, and no less than £200 was realised from that source last year. Water is laid on to the paddocks; and also the house, and while referring to water, it may be interesting to mention that when the original scheme of bringing water into Launceston was being carried out it was from the South Esk at Evandale it was to be taken, and thence through Cambock. On the estate brick shafts were put down, and a tunnel commenced, but in driving the ground was found to be quite unsuitable for that purpose, and so the scheme was abandoned. Depressions may now be seen in some of the paddocks showing where the tunnel has fallen in. To resume, the soil is a heavy day, and must be worked when fairly dry, otherwise, if wet, it pugs, therefore, recognising the necessity of quick ploughing, Mr Cheek invested in a traction engine, working nine ploughs thus inaugurating steam ploughing in. the district. He now gets over the work quickly, and at the same time more economically. Wheat in fallow land for the last seven years has yielded an average of 36 or 37 bushels, end hay has for the same time averaged 6 tons to the acre, but last year, being a bad one, it went only half a ton. Charlook, or mustard plant, has obtained a firm told in the district, and Cambock is no exception. It was so bad there about fifteen years ago that the crop in a paddock of 50 acres had to be destroyed. Mr Cheek has tried several ways to eradicate the weed and in some has met with success, two of which are, pulling up the weed in the thin patches, in the thick using a special American harrow. The harrowing he has done fortnightly, and as often as six times. The crop afterwards from this field yielded equal to 48 bushels.  The other method is spraying with a solution of sulphate of copper with good results. Rain, however, sometimes destroyed the effect. If spraying is done under correct conditions, the crop sustains no injury.

Pleasant Banks — This estate is owned by Mr J. B Gibson, M.H.A. and its history also belongs to the early days. The house was built nearly eighty years ago, by the late Mr. David Gibson.  The freestone used in its construction was brought from Ross, and. even in those days, the cost of this, and the labour and workmanship, must have been enormous as the finish and elaboration of design bear favourable comparison with much more modern homes. The estate Contains 1400 acres, 200 of which are under crop, the rest is used for grazing stud sheep principally Merinos. Mr Gibson also keeps some excellent hunters — Uno, Liberty, and Lancer. Uno has taken a number of prizes, perhaps more than any other horse in Tasmania. There is a fine frontage to the South Esk and this portion of the stream, Mr. Gibson has kept preserved and well stocked with the best class of salmon trout. A very nice garden surrounds the house, with flowers in profusion. At hand, a private golf links has been marked off. Mr. Gibson at last election gained the seat as member for South. Esk. He has been municipal councillor for seventeen years, is now Warden, and has filled that position for six years.

Andora — This is Mr J. O. von Stieglitz’s estate, and has a frontage of nearly two miles to the South Esk. It is 1100 acres in extent and is used for grazing and agricultural purposes. Merino sheep is the class bred by Mr. von Stieglitz and as the ground is very suitable for Merinos, being clean and dry, the clip from the sheep is always a good one. About 250 acres is nearly always under a crop of oats, wheat, and barley, giving an aggregate return during the year of 9000 bushels of grain. The residence is quite a modern one, having only been erected about seventeen years ago. It is elegant in construction and possesses all the latest improvements and conveniences. In naming the estate, Mr von Stieglitz was led to do so by having noticed, when passing through Italy, “Andora” over a railway station there. Mr. von Stieglitz is the son of one of six brothers that came out from Ireland to Tasmania in the twenties but afterwards got distributed to various parts of Australia, the mining town of Stieglitz, in Victoria taking its name from one of the six. Mr von Stieglitz owns a large battle station in Queensland, on the Lower Burdekin, and uses Andora, mostly as a residence.

Redbanks — This estate lies next to Andora, and is the property of Mr J. Hart, and consists of 1100 acres, 160 acres of which are under crop, in wheat oats, and barley, one field of barley looking remarkably well. The ground, although in some places lying low, does not hold the flood water long and the crops are therefore not retarded in any great measure in their growth. Mr. Hart breeds both cattle and sheep for the market and has had the estate for about ten years.

Ridgeside. — Mr S. Hawley owns this property, which contains about 900 acres, and crops about 150 acres with wheat, oats, and barley, and expects this season to be one of the best he has ever had. Besides the acreage named, Mr. Hawley also holds 2000 acres for grazing purposes, and carrying 2000 sheep, bred for the market as well as for wool. Shearing is now going on in full swing. The clip is a heavy one, and in grease; it is baled and hand-pressed at the shed and forwarded into Launceston for sale.

Harland Rise — This is a snug little property of, 600 acres, and in the. early days belonged to the late Mr J.- W. Gleadow, Solicitor, Launceston. Mr H. S. Smith is on the estate now and uses it for breeding Merino stud sheep. There is plenty of grass feed and the sheep look well.

Logan — Mr Henry Reed is the owner of this estate, which covers 6700 acres. Mr. Reed has also estates near Avoca and Chudleigh – Hanleth. 9700 acres and Wesleydale, the home farm, 2700 acres respectively. The three estates in the aggregate carry 10,000 sheep, the bulk of which are Merinos. . These are bred for the market, as well as wool. The clip is always a good, clean one, and when sold obtains a price not far from top. -Mr Reed has his shearing done by hand. This is going on at Hanleth just now, and, when cut out there, will be continued at Logan, probably in a fortnight from now. Under cultivation, there are about 300 acres altogether, also fallow land upon, which the sheep are fattened for market. Mr Reed purchased Logan about twenty years ago, and quite recently erected a very fine residence there, displacing the old one which stands about half a mile away.

– The Nile and Deddington will receive attention in the next article.

Pubs and Publicans – The Trafalgar Inn

The Cornwall Chronicle 6 September 1851 states a licence application from Francis Ansell for Trafalgar Inn in Evandale was refused.  Another application by Mr Ansell, for another public house at Evandale was withdrawn in 1852.  It appears that such a licensed premises never came into being.

Pubs and Publicans – The Railway Hotel

Karl von Stieglitz (1946) states that William Sidebottom “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.”

The compiler cannot find (at this time) any record of licences having been granted for a Railway Hotel in Evandale nor any such approval to run railway refreshment rooms at the railway station. Certainly, there has been no licence issued from 1892 to the present.

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 – Patriot King William IV (Blenheim Inn)

Blenheim, the imposing building at 16 High Street was by one account (On the Convict Road), commenced in 1826 and another as circa 1832 as a hotel by John Williatt on part of a grant of 36.5 acres of land (or 372 acres according to K Von Stieglitz) on which he also built “The Laurels”.  The hotel was first licensed on 29 September 1832 and was called the “Patriot King William IV” after the then reigning sovereign.

The hotel was a rather grand establishment which included an assembly room upstairs that was used for concerts, dancing and a meeting room for the Masonic Lodge and other groups.  It was said to also have a skittles alley.

Outbuildings included a brew house, stables and loose boxes, hay loft, blacksmiths, a cottage and accommodation for grooms.  Some of these buildings were destroyed by fire; the blacksmith shop and cottage were latter demolished.

Mr Williatt was generally well regarded as a person of good character, however in 1838, he was convicted by the magistrate at Morven, for a breach of the licensing act, in that he kept “open the outer door of his house at improper hours”.  Despite an appeal of the conviction, “a patient investigation, confirmed the decision of the magistrates”. One wonders now whether this conviction was just the start of an ongoing stoush between Mr Williatt and the Assistant Magistrate for Morven, Mr Robert Wales because in September 1840, he and Mr Wales had another battle.

In September 1840, Mr Williatt applied for renewal of his publican’s.  Mr. Wales objected strongly to a license being granted and in a lengthy speech related in what manner he had been insulted by Mr. Williatt.  The Launceston Advertiser of 3 September 1840 reported that Wales said the Williatt was “in the habit of tampering with the constabulary, and by this means raising an opposition against him in his magisterial office, and thereby enabled to violate the laws with impunity”.  The report goes on to say “It was impossible, he said, to obtain a conviction against Mr. Williatt on account of the intimacy which existed between him and the constabulary of the district. He also objected to the situation of the house— being so placed that no one could approach it without being observed, by which an opportunity was afforded for allowing the escape of any person improperly tippling upon the premises, he called upon his brother magistrates to support him in his office.

A long discussion here ensued; most of the stipendiary magistrates supported Mr. Wales, and on the other hand Mr. Williatt was strongly supported by Mr. Sinclair, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Stewart, Mr. Bryant, Mr. Sams; all of whom spoke in the highest terms of Mr. Williatt, and, from their own personal experience, bore testimony to the good management, respectability, and accommodation of his licensed house. A document to this effect was also handed in, and read, signed by most of the magistrates in the neighbourhood. The supporters of Mr Williatt did not forget to point out the honourable testimony borne by Mr. Wales as to the efficiency and integrity of the police under his jurisdiction, when he asserted that they were guided more by the frown or the smile of Mr. Williatt, than by the fear of magisterial displeasure, or the hope of magisterial commendation.

After a prolonged discussion, interspersed with loud cries of order and chair, during which time a great deal of confusion took place, inasmuch as, by way (we presume) of getting through the business with greater celerity, every one spoke at once, the question was put to the vote, and Mr. Williatt lost his license by a majority of 12 to 8”.

The Cornwall Chronicle of the 12 September drew the following response by a contributor.

“The conduct of the Magistrate upon the occasion forming a Bench for the granting of Licences to publicans, has been, for the past two or three years, for the most part, unexceptionable; the public is, therefore, the more astonished at the treatment received by Mr. Williatt at the annual licensing day on the 1st of the present month; and, we are quite sure, that every gentleman who sat on that occasion in his official capacity, must sincerely regret having been misled with regard to Mr. Williatt, now the facts of the case have become public.

Mr. Williatt has, for many years, kept the only public-house at Evandale.  He is a respectable man, and his house has been remarked as one of the best, if not the best, conducted licensed houses on this side of the Colony.  Gentlemen, when travelling have called, have been accustomed to receive to good accommodation at the “Patriot King”, — the house too, being so quiet and “unlike a public-house” that no person hesitates to make it his quarters. It has been quite usual with gentlemen, disposed for recreation for a day or two, to go out to Williatt’s, where they were sure to find the best attention, -the best accommodation-, and actual retirement.

The house is in every way suitable for affording accommodation to travellers and visitors except, perhaps, to those of that class who would consider that house to be the best fitted for public accommodation that afforded the largest tap-room, and in which rioting and debauchery were permitted. Such folk Mr. Williatt had not accommodation for, and, as a matter of course, his house was not patronised by them. Respectable people had nothing to complain of, — but everything to be satisfied with.

Of Mr. Williatt we are borne out in saying, that he has always maintained an independent character — his conduct has been unassuming and just; he lives within his income,— pays his debts— and has an unencumbered estate.

On the Licensing day— when Mr. Williatt’s name was read, as a matter of course, for the renewal of his License—Mr. Robert Wales, the Police Magistrate of Evandale, addressing the Bench, objected to it for stated reasons, which the Magistrates took for granted were correct.

The Bench was bound to credit the assertions made publicly by Mr. Wales, in his capacity of Police Magistrate, and without calling in Mr. Williatt to hear the charges made against him, refused his licence.

Mr. Williatt denies the truth of many of the assertions made by Mr. Wales to the Bench, and attributes his opposition to an ill feeling towards him, Mr. Williatt. Mr. Wales gave as one reason for refusing the License, that he had often summoned Mr. Williatt as a juror on Coroner’s Inquests— that he had never attended and had advised other persons not to attend when summoned. Now, Mr. Williatt states, that he was summoned on three occasions, — the first he attended, and sat as foreman, — on the second he attended, and sat at a juror, — and the third time he arrived at the Inquest too late, for which he made an apology to the Coroner, who laid that his absence was of no consequence, as the jury had easily been made up.

Mr. Williatt moreover asserts, that he had expressed his willingness at any lime to attend on Inquests, and requested he might be called upon at any time when a difficulty existed in composing a jury.

But presuming it to be the fact that Mr. Williatt did refute to attend on inquests, was that a sufficient reason why the public should be denied the accommodation of a respectable and orderly conducted public house at Evandale?

Again. Mr. Wales complained that Mr. Williatt had more authority over the constabulary than he had. — A strange confession for Mr. Wales to make.  He also complained of the situation of Mr. Williatt’s house, he said that no one could approach it without being observed, by which an opportunity was afforded for the escape from it of persons improperly tippling. Logical objection that, of the Police Magistrate, and singular too, that the house he proposed to license, (which, by the bye, belongs to the owner of the house Mr. Wales lives in,) should be objected to by another magistrate, because the floor of it was level with the street.

The objections made by Mr. Wales to Mr. Williatt license would have come better from him had he not taken much pains on many occasions to show an unfriendly feeling towards him. We learn from Mr. Williatt, that on one occasion, about 9 o’clock on a, Saturday morning, Mr. Wales went into his tap-room, where he saw a man lying on a bench. Without speaking to any one he went to the Police Office, and shortly returned with a constable, whom he directed to take the man to the watch-house for being drunk. The man, who happened to be sober, refused to be taken into custody, alleging that he was a free man and was sober.  Mr. Wales then called for Mr. Williatt and charged him in the Queen’s name to aid and assist to take the man into custody for being drunk, Mr. Williatt refused, as the man was sober and free, unless a warrant or some legal authority was produced for his apprehension.

For this refusal Mr. Wales threatened to take away Mr. Williatt’s license and his assigned servant.

We refrain from commenting on the conduct of Mr. Wales in this affair, understanding that Mr. Williatt has commenced legal proceedings against him for damages.”

As a result of losing his licence, the hotel was operated by Mrs Eleanor Perkins.  Her licence was granted by the Court of Quarter Sessions on 2 November 1840 (Cornwall Chronicle 4 November 1840).  She attempted to get a licence in Evandale for another hotel when Williatt’s licence was renewed but her bid was unsuccessful.

The person referred to above as the owner of the house where Assistant Police Magistrate Wales lived is Mr Thomas Fall.  In 1843, Mr Fall took over the licence for the Patriot King Hotel although the ownership of the building was maintained by Mr Williatt.  During his time as licensee, Mr Fall set about constructing his own hotel in Russell Street.  The Clarendon Arms, as it is currently known, was completed in 1847 on the site of the old watch house and convict cells.  It was first licensed on 2 September 1849, but not until after another legal battle with Mr Williatt had ensued.

The Cornwall Chronicle of 5 September 1849 reported that Mr. Thomas Fall’s application to transfer the “original license” for the Patriot King William IV “to the premises lately erected by him at Evandale” was refused on the ground that the transfer would be injurious to the proprietor of the Patriot King, Mr. Williatt.  The lawyer for Mr Fall, Mr. Tarleton argued that “If you reject Fall as an original holder, you must consider him as a new applicant.”  This argument was persuasive, so ultimately a new license was granted to Mr. Fall for the Clarendon, and Mr. Williatt’s put in a successful application for the transfer of the original license for the Patriot King back to him.

The Courier of 16 June 1849 carries the following advert –

To let or lease from 1st September next, 1849  THOSE SUBSTANTIALLY-BUILT , and EXTENSIVE PREMISES situate at Evandale, within 12 miles of Launceston, known as the “PATRIOT KING WILLIAM the FOURTH” Inn; now in full trade. Established in 1832. The house is large and replete with every convenience, and requisite accommodation for a first-rate hotel. Brewhouse, cellar, commodious stabling, loose boxes, coach and harness house, with lofts over the whole. Sheep and cattle yards, and a well of excellent water on the premises. For particulars, and to treat for the same, apply personally, or by letter post-paid, to the undersigned. – JOHN WILLIATT.  – Elkington, near Evandale, June 11.”

In May 1853, Mr Williatt transferred the licence for the Patriot King to William Wright. It is thought that Wright held the lease until 1857 at which time the remaining 18 months of the lease was put up for sale (The Cornwall Chronicle 11 April 1857).  It appears that Mr John Duffell took up that offer as The Cornwall Chronicle of 23 May 1857 states “Dr Wigan has commenced the practice of his profession at Evandale, and will be found at his rooms, at Mr. Duffell’s, the Patriot King Hotel, from 8 to 11 in the morning.

Another advert in The Courier on 28 June 1858 shows that Mr Williatt put the hotel out for lease for 5 years and Mr Duffell also took up this lease.  John Duffell was still licensee in 1862 although a newspaper of the day gave his name as Duffett.  By 1871, his wife, Dinah Duffell had become licensee and would remain so until at least 1874.

In December 1873, Mrs Dinah Duffell, pleaded guilty to having an illicit still in her possession, but in extenuation said she was not aware that it was a still. After more than a decade at a pub, it was highly likely she knew what a still was and what it looked like.  She was fined £10 and costs.

In 1884, the property, then known locally as Duffell’s Hotel was put up for sale but apparently was not sold and remained in the Williatt estate.  A notice published in the Launceston Examiner of 24 June 1876 by Richard Chugg of the Macquarie Hotel tells us “NOTICE.–As Mrs Duffell has closed the hotel, known as the Patriot King, the undersigned will provide dinners, etc. for the accommodation of the public attending the sales at the above place.”

In the 1890’s the house became the home of David Collins and his family.  He was at one time, Warden of Evandale and later became Council Clerk.  Karl von Stieglitz states that the Collins family occupied the home for 60 years, however, we know from the Examiner of 8 Aug 1912 that the family did not initially own the property.  It was in this year that the estate of the late John Williatt was again put up for sale; “FOR SALE

The following desirable lots, situated in High-street

Lot 4, occupied by Mr. David Collins, 3a. 2r 29p.; large Brick House and Brick Stables; weighbridge on this lot.

Lot 5 “Ingleside,” occupied by Mrs. Hawley, 3a. 1r. 29p.; comfortable W.B. Cottage, Brick Stable, Outhouses; Fruit, Vegetable, and Flower Gardens.

Lot 6-Cottage and Land, 2a. 0r. 16p., adjoining “Ingleside.” Lots 5 and 6 are offered together.

                                Summary of Licensees of Patriot King William IV

1832 – 1840 John Williatt
1840 – 1842 Eleanor Perkins
1842 – 1843 John Williatt
1843 – 1849 Thomas Fall
1849 – 1853 John Williatt
1853 – 1857 William Wright
1857 – 1871 John Duffell
1871 – 1874 Dinah Duffell

Pubs and Publicans – The Macquarie Hotel

The Macquarie Hotel was located on the corner of White Hills Road (Barclay Street) and Macquarie Street and said by von Stieglitz to have been built around same time as Royal Oak (1840).  Now the establishment may have been built around this time, but it is likely that it was later, because at a Licensing Board meeting in December 1861 a new license was granted to Mrs. Richards for “a house to be called the Macquarie Hotel”.

The hotel was destroyed by fire on 14 August 1887 so it had a relatively short life.  The Daily Telegraph of 15 August reported the fire this way “The Macquarie Hotel was totally destroyed by fire at 7 o’clock this morning. The building was empty except the large room, which was used by the Evandale Brass Band to practice in, and some of their forms and seats were destroyed. Mr Webber’s water-cart came in time to save the adjoining shop, and the local fire brigade worked well under the direction of the police.”  This report suggests it was not operating as a hotel at this time. 

There was some surprise around town at the time that the fire was not being investigated.  It had previously been deliberately set on fire but the flames had been extinguished. The newspaper, The Tasmanian, of the 20 August that year reported “The whole building except the brick walls was consumed in about two hours. The building belonged to Mr. R. W. Chugg, and was insured for its full value.” 

Ann Richards is known to have operated the hotel from 1862 till 1870 but she did not own it.  Solicitors were instructed by Mr. W. Atkin, Executor to the Estate of the late Wm. Richards, to sell by auction, at their Rooms, on Monday, 20th instant, at twelve o’clock, “that well-known property at Evandale, the Macquarie Hotel, with cottage at the corner of Cambock and Macquarie Streets. The Hotel which is in good repair contains 12 rooms, one of which is 41 x 16 feet, suitable for meetings or concerts, detached stable and outbuilding. The cottage contains four rooms, substantially built.  The land has a frontage on White Hills Road of 250 links, and on Macquarie Street of 200 links.  Title Guaranteed.  Terms at sale. The above property must be sold.” (Launceston Examiner 2 Feb 1865)

There is mention of the hotel in 1867 where an event was catered for and reported in the newspaper. “The large room at the Macquarie Hotel was densely crowded, and the applause was rigorous and genuine.”  (The Cornwall Chronicle 21 Sep 1867)

In December 1871, Phillip Mullane was granted a renewal of his licence for this hotel, so we know it was licensed in 1871 and 1872. The licence was also renewed in December 1873 for 1874.

In May 1874 a former policeman Peter Smith made an application to transfer the licence.  This application was refused on the grounds of poor character.  The licensee at this time was likely Phillip Mullane but it is not apparent if it was also owned by him. (We know from latter reporting that the land was at one time owned by Mr Barrett.) Smith had commenced the purchase of the property and now he was seeking the licence to operate the hotel.

It was a perilous situation; he had paid money for a hotel he could not legally run.  Therefore a subsequent application was made to the annual licensing bench in by Smith in December 1874.  “Messrs J. Whitehead and R. H. Douglas constituted the licensing bench here on Tuesday, and they renewed all the existing licenses. Mr Peter Smith applied for a new license for the Macquarie Hotel.  Mr Whitehead left the bench, and declined to consider the application. Mr Douglas could not constitute himself a licensing bench, and he also retired.” (The Cornwall Chronicle 4 December 1874) 

By May 1875, Peter Smith was before the Court of Bankruptcy in Launceston. “Before my bankruptcy I kept the Macquarie Hotel, Evandale. I was to pay £650 for the hotel to Mr Atkins, as agent for the owners. I paid £100 on account of the purchase. I gave up possession in January to Mr Richard Chugg on condition that he would arrange with Mr Atkins to take it on the same terms that I had bought it.” (Weekly Examiner 22 May 1875)

The two fires mentioned above where not the only fire to have occurred here.  The Cornwall Chronicle 3 February 1875 reports “Fire at Evandale.— On Saturday night about 11 o’clock a stable in the rear of the Macquarie Hotel, at Evandale, caught fire and could not be extinguished until it burnt down, destroying a valuable horse and a ton and a half of hay.” The horse belonged to Mr Richard Chugg.

Chugg continued to operate the Hotel through 1876 as attested by the following from the Launceston Examiner of 1 April 1876.  “PIGEON MATCH AT EVANDALE.  (From our own Correspondent.) A capital day’s sport was enjoyed by lovers of the gun at Evandale on Wednesday, the centre of interest being a much talked of match between two well known cracks, Messrs W.. Russell and Jas. Rose, for £25 aside. There were a large number of visitors from both town and country present on the ground, the spot chosen being in a paddock not far from the Macquarie Hotel, Mr R. Chugg having the management of the necessary details for the shooting. Mr Chugg had a refreshment booth on the ground and provided an excellent dinner at the hotel for the visitors after the conclusion of the sport.

In May 1877, Chugg’s licence was transferred to Alexander Wilson (The Hobart Town Gazette 22 May 1877).

The Hotel ceased to operate sometime during or after 1878.  This is known because a licence was issued to Alexander Wilson for 1878 (The Hobart Town Gazette 15 January 1878), however, a local correspondent for the town reported in the Launceston Examiner of 18 Nov 1879 “I understand an attempt will be made to get a license for the old Macquarie Hotel. We, the public of this municipality, do not require any more houses of refreshment of this kind—just now, at any rate.

The large room of the hotel was still in use for functions in 1884 because a wedding reception was known to be held in the hotel in February of that year. (The Mercury 26 Feb 1884)

The land was subsequently cleared after the fire and in 1885 Visitors to Evandale were encouraged “if they wish to note the many improvements that are being pushed forward in the building line, ought not to neglect to take a walk or drive round in the locality of the old Macquarie Hotel. They will there see the commodious premises lately erected by Mr E. Atkins. The ground on which they stand once belonged to the late Mr Barrett, and the building is a striking contrast to the former bare paddock.(Daily Telegraph 23 Jun 1885)

                                Summary of Licensees of the Macquarie Hotel

1861 – 1870 Ann Richards
1871 – 1874 Phillip Mullane

Pubs and Publicans – The Jolly Farmer Inn

The Hobart Town Courier of 3 October 1829 provides a list of persons to whom certificates for Public House Licenses for Cornwall were granted by the bench of Magistrates.  This list included Mr J Collins for the Jolly Farmer, South Esk River.   However the Colonial Times of 20 November 1829 states that a Public House Licence in the County of Cornwall was granted to George Collins, for the Jolly Farmer, South Esk River.

George Collins lived on Collin’s Hill it what is now Briar Lane Cottage.

This makes the Jolly Farmer the first licensed premises in the town.  It was not to last however.  The Hobart Town Courier of 9 January 1830 tells a story of  “a regular pitched battle” that was fought on 30 December 1829, “near the public house kept by Mr. Collins between James Glew, a man well known by the lovers of pugilism in New South Wales and John Williams, the champion of this place”.  By this report, “upwards of 700 persons, a greater concourse of people perhaps than was ever assembled before on such an occasion in this island”, witnessed the event.  Even the constables from Launceston did not try to have the pugilists desist, the prisoners to return to their masters’ deserted farms, and the rest of the mob to disperse”  Indeed, “that guardian of the public peace, it appears, was busily employed making bets much against appearances, and it is said (that being in the secret) he made a good job of it, for it is the public opinion that it was a sold battle or what is called by the fancy a cross fight, but so artfully had the plan been laid, and so successfully executed, that not only several hundred pounds but thousands are said to have been won and lost, and that cattle and horses have also changed owners upon the occasion”.

The article goes on to state “We trust the ringleaders of this disgraceful occurrence will be punished as they deserve, and if any man clothed with authority, has forgot himself so far as the constable alluded to seems to have done, that justice will be awarded him for the sake of example to others”.  Such justice may have been afforded to George Collins as the Launceston Advertiser of 20 September 1830 states “the Magistrates have granted licenses to three new applicants, and have refused only one license, viz.. Mr. George Collins, near Gibson’s ford, which license they refused to renew.”

                                Summary of Licensees of Jolly Farmer

1829 – 1830 George Collins

Pubs and Publicans – Royal Oak Hotel

The first licensee was John Morrison.  Colonial Times of 9 Nov 1844 stated that Mr Morrison had applied for a licence (22 September 1844) to keep an inn at Evandale but it was refused “on account of not being wanted, in the opinion of the Justices”. That report goes on to say the case came on again on but the decision was “deferred until the 22nd, when no doubt, having heard the decision on this side in Mr. Bonney’s favour, their Worships will grant the applications.”  While details of the decision on 22nd have not been found, we know that Morrison held the licence in 1845 so we can assume it was granted.  He held the licence until 1852 when he died on 11 May 1852 at the age of 44. His wife, Eleanor Morrison took over the licence that same year.  Mrs Morrison is known to have transferred the licence to Mr Abraham Banks in February 1853 (Launceston Examiner, February 10, 1853).

Mr Banks held this licence until 1871, at which time “Richard Hood was granted permission to sell liquors in the Royal Oak hotel under the licence held by Abraham Banks, until the next licensing meeting”.

In 1855, Mr Banks was involved in an interesting case, one considered of considerable importance to all public house licensees, had it been successful. It was “an information” laid by A. T. Collett Esq. against Mr. Banks, at the Police office in Evandale.  “It involved having refused to receive the horse of a traveller, not being a guest at his inn, on Sunday last, the 7th January. The circumstances were these: Mr. Collett, who resides about two and a half miles from the township, drove to Evandale in his gig for the purpose of attending divine service, when he found Bank’s yard gate locked and secured, and was refused admission by Banks, and he was compelled to put up his horse at a friend’s place. There was a full attendance of magistrates (six), who unanimously dismissed the information, contending that Banks was perfectly justified in refusing to receive on Sunday any but travellers, and that persons coming to church could not be so designated. Another information against Banks for refusing to admit Mr. Collett into his licensed house on the Same day, in his capacity as a Justice of the Peace, arising out of the former case, was withdrawn by Mr. Collett.”

Upon obtaining the licence from Mr Banks, Mr Richard Hood soon set about leasing the business to someone else.  On 9 October 1871, he advertised “To BE LET BY TENDER-That well known business public house known as the Royal Oak Inn, Evandale. Tenders to be sent in on or before November 1st , 1871. Not bound to accept the highest or any tender. Apply to Mr R. Hood, near Trafalgar, Evandale.”  It is not known how successful this attempt was but we do know that Hood remained licensee until August 1874 at which time he transferred it to Elizabeth Hanney.  The Hobart Town Gazette of 18 January 1876 shows that Hanney was granted a licence until 31 December of that year.  The following year, the Hobart Town Gazette of 16 January 1877 states that a licence was now granted to Thomas Trant until 31 December that year.  However, The Tasmanian 15 December 1877 carried an advertisement that stated “WANTED TO BE KNOWN. – THAT I, the undersigned, have taken the Royal Oak Hotel, Evandale, lately in the occupation of Thomas Trant, and I beg to solicit a fair share of patronage. Good accommodation, stabling, etc. The best wines and spirits always on hand. – HENRY VINEY, Proprietor.” 

Viney held the licence until 29 May 1880 and the Hobart Town Gazette states that the licence was transferred from Viney to William Banks (1 June 1880).  That licence was renewed for 1881.

Mr Hood took back the licence in 1881 and held it till 1886.  In September that year he advertised to let or sell the Royal Oak and records show that George Herbert Wills successfully applied for licence and initially permission to continue selling liquor from Hood’s Royal Oak. Mr Wills continued as licensee until July 1887, at which time, Mr. Benjamin Cutler made an application to transfer the licence.  Cutler was then granted permission to sell under Wills’ license until next licensing day (normally December). 

It seems that Mr Cutler was very quick to get himself into the community by making his hotel available for many social events.  For example he hosted a pigeon shoot in 1889 and used his licence to set up booths at various sporting events.  For example, in 1887 he provided a scoring board for the pigeon shooting match at Longford and then “At the Evandale Races in May 1888, Mr. Benjamin Cutler, of the Royal Oak, Evandale, had a booth on the ground and did a brisk business, and also provided an excellent luncheon.” (Launceston Examiner 3 May 1888).  In September 1889 Cutler is also reported to have provided an excellent refreshment and luncheon booth at a ploughing competition of the Evandale Ploughing Association.  Something he repeated in 1889.  He did not confine himself to sporting events; in 1889 he provided dinner and refreshments to the Morven St. Andrew’s Benefit Society at the Council Chambers and then in 1890 he hosted a dinner for the anniversary of the Benefit Society at his hotel.

Mr Cutler held the licence until 1892.  The Launceston Examiner of 14 Oct 1892 states that a solicitor, Mr J J Rumpff of Patterson Street Launceston had “for sale the tenant rights, furniture, goodwill, and effects” for the Royal Oak.

In November 1893, Samuel Colgrave applied for a Justices’ Certificate approving of him receiving a public-house licence.  This may or may not have been granted.  The Mercury newspaper of Hobart on 6 December 1893 records that “Evandale Licensing Bench has decided to close Royal Oak Hotel, on the ground that it is not required for public convenience.

                                Summary of Licensees of Royal Oak Hotel

1844 – 1852 John Morrison
1852 – 1853 Eleanor Morrison
1853 – 1871 Abraham Banks
1871 – 1874 Richard Hood
1874 – 1876 Elizabeth Hanney
1877 – 1877 Thomas Trant
1877 – 1880 Henry Viney
1880 – 1881 William Banks
1881 – 1886 Richard Hood
1886 – 1887 George Herbert Wills
1887 – 1892 Benjamin Cutler
1892 – 1893? (possibly) Samuel Colgrave

Pubs and Publicans – The Imperial Inn

Karl Von Stieglitz (1946) suggests the Imperial Inn was the first “inn” in Evandale but was never licensed.  This author states that it was owned and built by John Williatt (1792 – 1875) who subsequently established the second licensed establishment in the town, the Patriot King William IV in 1832. 

Von Stieglitz asserts the Imperial Inn was later called Ingleside.  It had been a comfortable home in its day but had fallen into disrepair and was eventually demolished and only the stables remain.  Von Stieglitz reports that during demolition, “reminders of its original use, including the Imperial Inn sign, were found, and among the litter under the floor was one of the old fashioned, square, black gin bottles, still corked and full to the neck with gin.  In his surprise at this discovery, the man at work on the job dropped his hammer on to the bottle, and then to his horror saw its contents slowly gurgle away in the dust, leaving behind only a tantalising aromatic smell.”

New evidence now casts doubt on the existence of the Imperial Inn.  Mr Williatt did not own the land encompassing Ingleside Homestead until after the Patriot King was established and if the Imperial Inn was operated by a previous owner, then it would have been nothing more than an opportunistic sly grog shop and likely not to have been as brazen as to display an advertising sign.  Licences to operate a public house were required from at least 1816 (The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter 6 Sep 1817).

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