Butchers' Arms (Mopoke Gully)

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For other Butchers' Arms hotels, see Butchers' Arms.
Butchers' Arms
Picture needed
Town Ballarat
Street Peel Street
Known dates 1861-1865
Other names White Flag Hotel

The Butchers' Arms was a hotel in Mopoke Gully, Ballarat, Victoria, <1861-1865>. It was later called the White Flag Hotel.

Site[edit | edit source]

The Butchers' Arms was in Peel Street North, Mopoke Gully.[1][2]

Background[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

In July 1864, John Williams, a miner, died after a drinking spree at the hotel. At the inquest, Williams' wife said she had begged the publican, William Stillman to stop serving drink to her husband:

A man named John Williams died is his own house in Mopoke Gully, Ballarat East, on Tuesday, death being caused by apoplexy of both lungs, brought on by his excessive use of spirituous drinks. The deceased was a married man, a native of Liverpool, and aged about forty-four years. He had been twenty years in the colony, about that length of time married, and was the father of seven children, living.

At the inquest held on the day of his death his wife, Caroline Williams, stated that her husband was a miner, but had not been working for a fortnight as he had been drinking on and off during that time. He went to his claim on Monday, but did not work, and returned home about nine o'clock in the morning, lay down and slept the greater part of the day. At nine at night he got up and went down to Stillman's, who keeps the Butchers Arms Hotel. He returned at midnight, and, after sitting up a few minutes, went to bed in the dark and alone. It was evident from his voice that he had had drink, and as witness was angry with him for going out and drinking she slept on the kitchen floor. She awoke about three o'clock in the morning, and, not hearing her husband breathe, she got up and went into his room in the dark, but felt his head off the pillow, hand cold, and body dead. Assistance was then sent for, and a light procured. Her husband was not in the habit of drinking, and never drank as he did during the last fortnight. She had gone down four different times to the hotel, and begged of both Mr Stillman and his wife not to give her husband drink; but they said they dared not refuse him as he was a man of good principle and was a good customer. They knew that he would pay them, and that they had their license, and should serve whoever came. Witness then asked them for the sake of his children, and that she knew if they would not give him drink, he would go to his work, as usual. Witness' husband told her that he had paid Stillman on Saturday for what he had got and also for what he had got since.
Thomas Morris, laborer, who was sent for on the morning of the death of Williams, deposed that a Mrs Drummond took a bottle from beneath Williams' head when the body was lifted out of bed. He had known the deceased to be on the spree occasionally two or three days together.

William Stillman, publican, deposed that Williams had been daily at his hotel (drinking more or less each time) every day for the last three weeks. Witness never saw him tipsy, but twice. He came to the hotel on Monday evening, between eight and nine o'clock, and had a nobbler of brandy. He made himself comfortable and remained until about eleven o'clock, but as he was about leaving for home, he called for half a pint of brandy, which witness gave him in a bottle. Mrs Williams, one day, came down to the hotel and abused witness fearfully for giving her husband drink, but witness told her he could not refuse a man so long as he was sober, as the license justified sale. The medical evidence was tendered by Mr Bunce, surgeon, who found that the cause of death was the extreme state of congestion of the whole of both lungs, constituting what is called apoplexy of the lungs, such being caused by excess of stimulants, accelerated by hypertrophy of the heart. The jury found a suitable verdict.[3]

August 1867 - Mrs Seifert v. Mrs Stillman, £20, damages for assault; Mr Lewis for the plaintiff, and Mr Harris for the defendant. The plaintiff in this case was the landlady of the Butchers' Arms hotel, Mopoke, and her complaint was, that on the evening of the 14th instant the defendant, whose husband owned the premises, came in quest of rent. The plaintiff's husband was absent, and she told her so, whereupon the defendant abused her, smashed a pint pot over the counter and assaulted her; the plaintiff stated the defendant was the worse of liquor at the time, and she called several witnesses in support of her statement, which was fully borne out by their evidence. One of the witnesses stated that the defendant wished him to shout for her, and when he refused she offered to toss him, or shake him for all hands. The defendant's female companion, who was the witness called in her defence, was stated to have to gone to sleep on the floor, so overcome was she by the effect of her potations, but on being called she indignantly denied the charge. The bench had no doubt whatever of the assault, and made an order for 20s. damages and 25s costs.[4]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Licencing Court for Publicans," The Star, Thursday 19 June 1862, pg. 4, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66324943, (accessed January 17, 2014)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hargreaves, John. Ballarat Hotels Past and Present, pg. 27, 1943, Ballarat
  3. 1864 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 20 July, p. 2. , viewed 21 Apr 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66346592
  4. The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924) Wed 21 Aug 1867 Page 3 POLICE.
  5. 1864 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 15 April, p. 4. , viewed 05 Jan 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66344233
  6. 1865 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 October, p. 2. , viewed 19 Sep 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112879471
  7. The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924) Sat 3 Mar 1866 Page 2 POLICE.
  8. The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924) Wed 21 Feb 1866 Page 4 Advertising
  9. The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924) Saturday 1 September 1866
  10. The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924) Mon 3 Sep 1866 Page 3 Advertising
  11. The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924) Sat 4 Jul 1868 Page 3 POLICE.

External Links[edit | edit source]