Catherine Foley

From Hotels of Ballarat
Catherine Foley
Occupation Publican
Years active 1860s
Known for Great Britain Hotel
Home town Ballarat
Spouse(s) Abraham Morwitch

Catherine Foley was a publican in Ballarat, <1866>.

History[edit | edit source]

Foley unsuccessfully applied for the license of the Great Britain Hotel in Main Road, Ballarat. The application was opposed by the police, and her brother in law. She was described at the hearing as being a person of bad moral character, and the mistress of Abraham Morwitch. She is said to have encouraged the thieves and prostitutes that frequented her hotel.

Catherine Foley applied for a license for the Great Britain hotel, Main street; Mr Lewis supported the application. Mr Paynter supported objections by certain inhabitants, including the applicant's brother-in-law. Inspector Ryall also represented objectors. Mr Lewis put in the names of some near residents in support of the application. Mary Foley, "Tim Foley's wife," deposed that she had been servant at Morwitch's hotel and the applicant was there as mistress and was drunk every day. The house was the resort of thieves and prostitutes, and the applicant asked witness to prostitute herself. She could not swear that the applicant and Morwitch slept together, but she often saw them together in the bedroom. Witness herself had a child before marriage to Foley whose first wife was the applicant's sister. Tim Foley deposed that his wife died from drunkenness, induced or encouraged by her sister, the applicant, whose language and conduct at the hotel in question were the worst possible. His opinion was that if she had the license some harm would be heard of there as she encouraged thieves and prostitutes. He opposed the application in the interests of morality, after having tried to keep the applicant out of improper practices, and to get her to go and work for her living honestly. In cross-examination, the witness said he had no ill-will against the applicant, but he had gone round with the petition against her, and Mr A. F. Rowe, Mr Campbell, and others had refused to sign. Sergeant Larner deposed that he had known the applicant for several years, and during that time she bad been before the court by summons in assault cases and so forth but had never been charged with robbery. She was reputed to be a drunkard, and he had seen her perhaps a little the worse for liquor. All the houses that way were mostly the resort of thieves and prostitutes. He did not consider the applicant or any single woman a fit person to have a license. Morwitch had been summoned several times, but not lately, and witness had often opposed licenses to bad houses and still the bench granted the licenses; and, of course, when the police were beat down in that way they could do nothing. This was not a worse case than some others, but in this case the public had come forward to the support of the police. Mr Paynter-Ah ! there is the £25 to be got by the council. Mr Rodier said it was not so. He personally objected to such houses being licensed, but what he wanted to know was, why some houses should be objected to and not all. Mr Lewis called for some other of the objectors, but none appeared and he urged that as a proof that it was Tim Foley's spite only. Mr Clissold-Call some of the supporters of the application. Mr Lewis did so, but none appeared at first, save a person named Rossen, who said he had a wife and two young children at the applicant's house, and he would not let them be there if he thought the house a bad one. He attended the bar himself, and in the concert hall at night. He saw Abraham Morwitch there, too, as late as midnight, and had left him there when witness shut up the house at midnight and went home. A "professional singer" named Cook, one of the concert ball gentlemen, deposed that he considered the applicant "a good woman to keep a hotel." Another "professional" deposed that Morwitch now appeared to be the applicant's servant. Another "professional" Kate Hayes, was called and she said she got her living honestly and straight forwardly and knew nothing against the applicant. The bench refused the license,[1]

In 1867 she went with the Morwitch brothers to the new goldfields at Gympie, Queensland, where it was claimed she was Abraham's housekeeper. In October 1875 she is a witness in a case brought by Morwitch to try and recover money he believed was owed to hi.[2]

In October 1876, while an "employee" of Morwitch, she was fined £30 for sly grog selling.[3]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1866 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 February, p. 2. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE BALLARAT STAR), viewed 21 Apr 2017,
  2. 1875 'District Court.', Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette (Qld. : 1868 - 1919), 16 October, p. 3. , viewed 01 Sep 2019,
  3. 1876 'GYMPIE.', The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), 17 October, p. 2. , viewed 01 Sep 2019,

External links[edit | edit source]