Charles Kelway Bamber

From Hotels of Ballarat
Charles Kelway Bamber
Born 7 September 1828
Brixham, Devon, England
Died 3 February 1879
Exeter, Devon, England
Occupation Publican
Years active 1863-1867
Known for Forest Hotel
Home town Daylesford
Spouse(s) Emma Jones
Sussanah Wade
Sarah Moore
Children Emma (1848)
Charles Henry Kilway (1852)
Mary Ann Kilway (1854)
Adelaide Louise (1864)
  • Charles Henry Bamber (father)
  • Jane Rendle (mother)

Charles Kelway Bamber was a publican, farmer, and storekeeper in Bullarook, Victoria, 1863-1867.

History[edit | edit source]

Charles Kelway Bamber was born in Brixham, Devon, on 7 September 1828, the eldest son of Charles Henry Bamber, a surgeon, and Jane Rendle.[1][2] Charles Henry had travelled to New South Wales on 10 May 1839 as the assistant surgeon on the Asia, carrying 272 emigrants.[3] The passengers were:

273 Highlanders, natives of the nearby shires of Banff, Cromarty, Inverness, Moray, Nairn, Perth and Ross. They were mostly farmers, mechanics and shepherds.[4]

In July 1839 Dr. Bamber was registered as a medical practitioner in Sydney.[5]

Charles Kelway Bamber married Emma Jones in Birmingham. Warwick, England, on 10 July 1848.[6] They had a daughter, Emma, born 1 November 1848, who died at, or shortly after birth.[2] His wife died a few weeks later.[7]

Bamber married Sussanah Wade in Stepney, London, England, in 1852.[7]

Bamber arrived in Melbourne on 12 October 1852, on the Mobile from Liverpool.[8]

Bamber's son, Charles Henry Kilway, was born in Collingwood, on 5 December 1852.[9]

Sussannah returned to England, with her son, on the Mercia in October 1853, where a daughter, Mary Ann Kilway, was born at Limehouse, Middlesex, in May 1854.[7] She remarried Henry Johnson in 1861.

In 1856 Bamber married Sarah Moore.[10]

In March 1860 Bamber was listed as insolvent:

Charles Bamber, of Daylesford, restaurant keeper. Causes of insolvency : depression in trade, endeavoring to establish n conveyance a between Daylesford and Castlemaine, and pressure of creditors. Debts, £150 16s 10d; assets, £255 10s 6d; surplus, £96 2s 8d.[11]

Bamber held the license for the Forest Hotel in Bullarook by 1863.

He was granted the license in August 1863.[12]

On 15 November 1864 a daughter was born at the hotel. This was most likely, Adelaide Louise K. Bamber, whose birth was registered at Bullarook in 1865.[13]

On Tuesday, 15th November, at the Forest Hotel, Bullarook, the wife of Mr C. K. Bamber, of a daughter.[14]

In January 1865, Bamber was a key witness at an inquest at the White Hart Hotel into the death of John Elmore. The official cause of death was pleurisy, however the jury returned an open verdict as Elmore had been given a severe beating on Xmas Day near the Brian Boru Hotel, and again at the Warrenheip Hotel.

Charles Carey Bamber, licensed publican, Bullarook (Forest hotel), deposed that he had known the deceased for nine months. Saw him on Boxing Day at his (witness') store, and seeing marks on his face witness asked what was the matter, and he complained of pains in his side and ill usage. Deceased came three times there, and each time asked for raspberry vinegar to allay his thirst, which he attributed to his pain in the side. Deceased had no beer, wine, or spirits there. Witness sent him to the hospital in his own dray. Between Boxing Day and 7th January deceased was at witness place nearly every day, and always seemed to be in pain. Saw him in the hospital the Sunday after his admission...The deceased said at the hospital, those men don't think me as ill as I am. Those wretches have killed me. Mr Superintendent Hill-Did you acquaint any of the authorities at the hospital of what you now say? Witness-No, I did not.[15]

In a fraud case in 1868 against W. Watson and Thorn, brewers, it was stated in testimony that Bamber had purchased the hotel from Southward and Sumpton:

Joseph Southward (Southward and Sumpton) deposed—I know Watson. We had no bills from them, but we had two from Bamber, who lived in Bullarook. He bought for 800l our store and hotel there, and the first two bills in payment were to be his own and the others Watson and Thorne's. The bills were endorsed to us, and we sued on one. Mr Fellows—He (Watson) told us last night the bills were given for your accommodation —that you were hard pressed or something. Witness—Twelve or sixteen months' bills would be of very little use for us. In fact, the bills never went out of our possession. I estimate the brewing property at 500l or 600l. Cross-examined—I am responsible for the costs of this action. I was not asked to sign the paper with the other creditors. Bamber wanted terms, and we agreed to take bills, and that Watson and Thorne's bills should be accepted. It was one of those we sued upon.[16]

He was declared insolvent in June 1867:

Charles Kelway Bamber, of the Border Saw Mills, Bullarook, hotelkeeper and storekeeper. Causes of insolvency : Decrease in the population in the district where insolvent resides, and the consequent falling off in business, bad debts and inability to meet the demands of his creditors, who have refused to allow time for payment. Liabilities, £959 9s 7d; assets, £486 18s 7d ; deficiency, £472 11s.[17]

The hotel was sold to recover money owed:

FRIDAY, 21st JUNE. RARE OPPORTUNITY. ABSOLUTE SALE of HOTEL AND STORE. In the Insolvent Estate of CHAS. K. BAMBER of Bullarook, Publican and Storekeeper. With the Concurrence of the Mortgagee. ALEXR. KELLY has received instructions from Mr MITCHISON to sell by auction, on the above named day, on the premises, near the Border Saw Mills, Bullarook, Without Reserve, Lot 1—That capacious and well known Property, the FOREST HOTEL and STORE, substantially built, and containing bar, sitting, and bedrooms, store, well fitted, and containing in all 12 apartments, built on a half acre of land, securely fenced, with stabling, and outhouses attached. The above is also used as a post-office at £20 per annum., and in the hands of an energetic person is a certain fortune. Also, the whole of the STOCK-IN-TRADE, consisting of— Teas, sugars, oilmen's stores, haberdashery, boots and shoes, furniture and fittings. Two horses, express waggons, harness, saddlery, dray, pigs, fowls, and a quantity of sundries too numerous to particularise. Sale at Twelve o'clock sharp. Terms—For buildings, Easy, declared at sale : for stock—Cash. Full particulars to be obtained at the office of the Official Assignee, Lydiard street, Ballarat.[18]

By September 1867 it appears he was able to clear his debts:

Third Meetings.— C. K. Bamber, Bullarook: Some debts were proved, the official assignee announced that a small dividend was expected, and the meeting closed.[19]

In March 1869 he was farming on the water reserves at Bullarook, and was prompted to write this angry letter to the Ballarat Star:

THE WATER RESERVES. TO THE EDITOR OP THE STAR. SIR,—On perusing your report of the meeting of Water-Supply Committee, before which a letter of mine came, asking permission to remain on the reserve and recrop the land for another year only, offering to pay a fair rental and further agreeing to remove off the ground on or before 30th June, 1870, I was surprised to read the engineer's report. A more complete fabrication of falsehoods could not have been uttered by one in his position and assuming the title of gentleman. I am prepared at any time to come before the committee and prove the falseness of his statement, and produce reliable witnesses who can assert that I have, on the contrary, advised a settle ment with the commission. Furthermore, if what Mr Bagge has stated be correct, what reason would I have in writing asking permission to remain. Also the expression he makes use of is not one of mine. I have since 23rd January been at times removing some of my building, fencing, &c. I trust you will pardon this intrusion, but thinking I am in duty bound to vindicate myself I have taken the liberty. This is not the first of Mr Bagge's stretches of imagination which has come under my notice. —Yours, &c., C. R. BAMBER. Border Saw-mills, Bullarook, 19th March.[20]

Plan to deal with creditors, June 1869:

IN the INSOLVENT ESTATE of CHARLES KELWAY BAMBER, of Bullarook, in the Colony of Victoria, Hotelkeeper.-Geelong Circuit District Notice is hereby given, than an ACCOUNT and PLAN of DISTRIBUTION of AVAILABLE ASSETS in the above estate now lies at the office of the Commissioner of Insolvent Estates for the Circuit District of Geelong, in the colony ef Victoria, at the Insolvent Court, Myers-street, Geelong, for the Inspection of the creditors thereof, and that any creditors or other person interested therein objecting to the same, must lodge a caveat, stating the grounds of such objection, at the office of the said Commissioner of Insolvent Estates, within 14 days from the date hereof. Dated at Geelong, this 15th day of June, A.D. 1869. JAMES SIMSON, Official Assignee[21]

Bamber died in Exeter, Devon, on 3 February 1879:

BAMBER.—On the 5th February, at Exeter, Devon, England, Charles Kelway, eldest son of the late Charles Henry Bamber, surgeon; aged fifty years. Late of this district.[1]

His wife Sarah, remarried Alfred Roper in Exeter, Devon, a civil servant, and in 1881 she was working at the post office.[22]

His son, Charles Henry, returned to Australia in 1869. He was charged with many times for theft and petty larceny, spending time in gaols in Melbourne, Maryborough, Sydney, Newcastle, Berrima, Goulburn and Armidale.[7]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1879 'Family Notices', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1883; 1914 - 1918), 14 October, p. 2. , viewed 02 Jan 2020,
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bamber, Charles Kelway, Family Tree,,
  3. 1839 'Shipping Intelligence.', Commercial Journal and Advertiser (Sydney, NSW : 1835 - 1840), 11 May, p. 2. , viewed 03 Jan 2020,
  4. 1939 'PIONEERS OF UPPER COPMANHURST', Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1915 - 1954), 2 June, p. 11. , viewed 03 Jan 2020,
  5. 1839 'MEDICAL WITNESSES.', The Colonist (Sydney, NSW : 1835 - 1840), 10 July, p. 4. , viewed 02 Jan 2020,
  6. England, Marriages, 1538–1973. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013. FHL Film Number: 0919797-799, 0919800, 0918845-46
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Bamber, Roger, 'Charles Kelway Bamber',,
  8. Inward Overseas Passenger Lists (British Ports). Microfiche VPRS 7666, copy of VRPS 947. Public Record Office Victoria, North Melbourne, Victoria.
  9. 1852 'Family Notices', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 13 December, p. 4. , viewed 02 Jan 2020,
  10. Australian Marriage Index, Victoria, 1856, Ref. No. 2153
  11. 1860 'NEW INSOLVENTS.', Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), 16 March, p. 3. , viewed 03 Jan 2020,
  12. 1863 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 7 August, p. 4. , viewed 01 Oct 2017,
  13. Australian Birth Index, Victoria, 1883, Ref. No. 223
  14. 1864 'Family Notices', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 24 November, p. 2. , viewed 02 Jan 2020,
  15. 1866 'ENQUIRY AS TO THE DEATH OF JOHN ELMORE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 27 January, p. 3. , viewed 02 Jan 2020,
  16. 1868 'CIRCUIT COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 1 May, p. 4. , viewed 02 Jan 2020,
  17. 1867 'NEW INSOLVENTS.', Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918, 1935), 22 June, p. 13. , viewed 02 Jan 2020,
  18. 1867 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 19 June, p. 3. , viewed 02 Jan 2020,
  19. 1867 'GEELONG INSOLVENT COURT.', Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918, 1935), 7 September, p. 28. , viewed 02 Jan 2020,
  20. 1869 'THE WATER RESERVES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 24 March, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE BALLARAT STAR), viewed 02 Jan 2020,
  21. 1869 'Advertising', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 16 June, p. 3. , viewed 02 Jan 2020,
  22. 1881 England Census, Newton St. Cyres, Class: RG11; Piece: 2231; Folio: 158; Page: 4; GSU roll: 1341537

External links[edit | edit source]