Albion H. Nicholls

From Hotels of Ballarat
Albion Hadlock Nicholls
Born c. 1827
Boston, USA
Died 2 December 1855
Nationality American
Occupation Hotel owner
Years active 1855
Known for United States Hotel
Adelphi Theatre
Home town Ballarat

Albion H. Nicholls was a hotel owner in Ballarat, <1855.

History[edit | edit source]

Albion Hadlock Nicholls was from Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He was involved with William John Emery in the United States Hotel in Main Road, Ballarat, as well as several other ventures including the Adelphi Theatre.

Nicholls was present at the Fourth of July Dinner celebrated at the Golden Fleece Hotel, Lydiard Street, in 1855. As one of the organisers he sat at the head table. As part of the dinner he read aloud the Declaration of Independence. Later in the evening he also apologised for the unavoidable absence of Dr. Otway.[1]

On 1 December 1855 a fire started at the hotel, which also burned down many other businesses. Nicholls initially escaped the fire but went back into the hotel to get his trousers which had a large amount of money in the pocket. He was severely burned and died a few hours later from his injuries.

...the coroner proceeded to the Montezuma Hotel for the purpose of holding an inquest on the body of Mr Nicholls, proprietor of Adams' Express Store, and part proprietor of the Adelphi Theatre and the United States Hotel. Henry Holton Moody sworn : I was awakened last night about one o'clock by the cry of fire. I got up and went to the door. I saw somebody on fire rolling in the middle of the road. I went to the body; I thought it was Mr Nicholls, but I was so agitated, and the body was rolling so much in agony, that I could not make sure. Some men came up and carried him away. He did not speak to me. He was carried down to Mr Smith's store near the Montezuma Hotel. William Rough sworn : I was awoke this morning about a quarter to one by the crackling of burning timber. I went out and saw Mr Nicholls come out through the private door of the United States Hotel. He was quite destitute of clothing, and burned all over ; pieces of skin as big as my hand were hanging about him. He asked me to get some doctors for him. Some others came up, and we got him on a stretcher; we then carried him to Mr Smith's store. Verdict, ' Died from accidental burning.'[2]

Poor Mr Nicholls expired about half-past ten, and as we said in our former edition, retained his consciousness up to a very short time prior to his dissolution. He was very severely burned, and must have endured the most excruciating agony whilst alive. His face was so much disfigured that it was almost impossible for his most intimate friends to identify him About eight o'clock he appeared to be aware that his end was approaching, and called for Mr Emery, his partner, to whom he said, "Well Emery, I think I am going. If you see my mother and sister, or my brother, just tell them, what happened to me, and say I remembered them all in my last moments. Good bye ; God bless you ; I shall soon go." He then called for some brandy, which was given him, as also some morphia, when he appeared to be more composed. About ten o'clock a change took place, and he began to struggle violently, so much so that his kicking and struggling shook the whole house, and in about half an hour he breathed his last. The body was removed to the Royal Mail Hotel, as also the bodies of the other two sufferers. It was announced that the funeral was to take place at two o'clock, and there could not have been fewer than two thousand persons of both sexes congregated on the Main road in front of the hotel where the bodies were lying. The Rev. Mr Martin, Presbyterian minister, performed the last offices, and prayed most eloquently and fervently. After the rev. gentleman had done his sad duty the friends of Mr Nicholls were admitted to view his remains. Everything appeared hushed in mournful silence as the procession moved slowly along the Main road in the direction of the township. The flags of the various stores were lowered half-mast. On arriving abreast the camp, the Union Jack, which is always flying in front of the Court House, was lowered by orders of the officers of the camp, as a mark of respect to the deceased. On arriving at the burial ground, the Rev. Mr Potter received the bodies and performed the last rites of the Christian Church, which by its forcible simplicity, and by the affecting manner of the rev. gentleman, appeared to make a most solemn impression on the multitude around, and lead their thoughts to the contemplation of the uncertainty of human existence, and that "in the midst of life we are in death." Mr Nicholls was a native of Boston, Mass., U. S., and was 27 years of age when this melancholy event put an end to his existence. May he rest in peace.[3]

Before mid-day Mr. Nicholls, of the Adams's Express Store, who had been dangerously injured, died. Mr. Nicholls had received most of the injury while attempting to return to his bedroom for his trousers, in the pocket of .which there was a large sum of money.[4]

See also[edit | edit source]

+ William John Emery

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1855 'BALLARAT -Fourth of July Dinner.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 10 July, p. 6. , viewed 30 Dec 2016,
  2. 1855 'THE FIRE AT BALLARAT.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 4 December, p. 5. , viewed 30 Dec 2016,
  3. 1855 'BALLARAT.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 7 December, p. 5. , viewed 30 Dec 2016,
  4. 1855 'THE LATE FIRE AT BALLARAT.', Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (NSW : 1851 - 1904), 22 December, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE BATHURST FREE PRESS), viewed 30 Dec 2016,

External links[edit | edit source]