Commercial Hotel (Beaufort)

From Hotels of Ballarat

For other hotels with the same or similar names, see Commercial Hotel.

Commercial Hotel
Town Beaufort
Closed September 1921
Known dates 1884-1915

The Commercial Hotel was a hotel at Beaufort, <1884-1915>.

Site[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

The hotel was at Beaufort.[1] The site is now a supermarket.

Map[edit | edit source]

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History[edit | edit source]

In May 1886 there must have been a problem with drainage at the hotel, as noted at the Riponshire Council meeting:

The engineer to report and give an estimate of the cost of deviating the water flowing from the rear of the Commercial hotel into Neill street[2]

In March 1893 the licensee, Mary Ann Thompson faced serious charges after a man died at the hotel:

SERIOUS CHARGE AGAINST A LICENSEE. BEAUFORT, Tuesday. (FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.) Mr W. H. Foster, P. M., presided at the Beaufort Police Court on Monday, when Superintendent Parkinson prosecuted Mary Ann Thompson, licensee of the Commercial hotel, Beaufort, for serving liquor to a drunken man.

William Bennett, a laborer, deposed to shouting for four or five persons there on Saturday afternoon, 4th inst., a man named Joseph Penfold, who was drunk, being amongst the number. Miss Thompson served Penfold, and later on Mrs Thompson, who held the drink to Penfold’s mouth while he drank, a policeman passing at the time; and as Penfold was on his knees incapable of getting up, the licensee asked a man named Cameron to lay hold of him and fetch him in. As they could not manage him, witness carried him into the dining room, and laid him on the sofa. On Monday morning he was told that Penfold was dead.
For the defence Alex. Cumming swore that he was present between 4 and 5 o’clock, and Penfold, who was perfectly sober, only had one drink so far as he knew. In cross-examination he said he could not say that Bennett was sober, but that Penfold was talking quite rational.
John Cameron, a laborer, working at the hotel in question, corroborated last witness by saying that Penfold was exceedingly sober, and absolutely compos mentis. Penfold had made no complaint about being ill till Sunday afternoon, when Dr Johnston attended to him, and Penfold died in witness' arms. In cross-examination he denied that Penfold was carried out of the bar, as he walked out himself into the bedroom. Defendant swore positively that she did not supply Penfold with any drink in Bennett’s presence; also that Penfold was not carried out of the bar. He was boarding at the hotel from Tuesday to Sunday. He did not complain of being sick, only of having a bit of a cold. No one else had ever died in her house from the effects of liquor. She had been fined once for a similar offence. Miss Thompson corroborated last witness.

Mr Foster said he was convinced that Bennett had given his evidence truthfully, and was under the impression that Penfold was drunk, but as a good deal of doubt had been thrown on the matter he would give the licensee the benefit of it and dismiss the case.[3]

The hotel's license was reviewed by the Licenses Reduction Board in February 1912.[1]

Mr S. Young appeared for the owner of the Commercial Hotel (Mr W. P. Schlict), and for the licensee (Mrs M. A. Hellyer): Superintendent Milne said his opinion was that hotel was not required, as four hotels were sufficient for Beaufort. The conduct of the hotel had, not been good, and there was one conviction for Sunday trading against the licensee. Assuming that the Board accepted the surrender of the Main Lead Hotel, he would not say that the Commercial Hotel should not remain. He would not in that case press for it to go. He would prefer to see the Commercial left before leaving more than one at Waterloo. Mr Young made out a good ease for the retention of the hotel, and after hearing the evidence of six witnesses, the Board reserved their decision.[4]

In September 1920 it was reported that owners had surrendered the license:

Mr W. P. Schlicht. (the proprietor) has decided to surrender the license of the Commercial hotel, Beaufort, a local hostelry, of some 60 years’ stand ing. The lease of the premises held by Mr W. J. Lidgerwood (licensee) expires shortly. If the surrender is accepted by the Licenses Reduction Board, the hotel will be closed when the license expires at the end of the present year. The building will be used by Mr T. W. Schlicht as an auctioneer’s office and residence. It is interesting to note that there were nine hotels in Beaufort a few years ago, and that when the Commercial is closed only three will remain. The licensee (Mr Lidgerwood) will probably be leaving the district. He has lived in Beaufort about seven years, and has made many friends because of his cheerful disposition and ready wit. The loss of such a good type of citizen and licensed victualler as Mr Lidgerwood will be keenly regretted by all local residents, and especially the sporting fraternity of which he is one of the leading spirits.[5]

After closure[edit | edit source]

After closing at the end of 1920, the hotel building became the offices and residence for Theo Schlict. It later became a supermarket.

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1912 'LICENSES REDUCTION BOARD.', Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 - 1929), 16 January, p. 5. , viewed 21 Sep 2017,
  2. 1886 'RIPONSHIRE COUNCIL.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 14 May, p. 4. , viewed 22 Sep 2017,
  3. 3.0 3.1 1893 'SERIOUS CHARGE AGAINST A LICENSEE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 29 March, p. 4. , viewed 14 Jan 2024,
  4. 1912 'LICENSES REDUCTION BOARD.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 February, p. 4. , viewed 14 Jan 2024,
  5. 5.0 5.1 1920 'BEAUFORT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 20 September, p. 2. , viewed 15 Jan 2024,
  6. 1884 'BEAUFORT ANNUAL LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 24 December, p. 4. , viewed 04 Oct 2017,
  7. 1887 'BEAUFORT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 March, p. 4. , viewed 11 Aug 2018,
  8. 1896 'BEAUFORT LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 11 December, p. 1. , viewed 11 Aug 2018,
  9. 1915 'LICENSING COURT.', Riponshire Advocate (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 4 December, p. 3. , viewed 22 Sep 2017,

External Links[edit | edit source]