Daniel Brophy

From Hotels of Ballarat
Daniel Brophy
Daniel Brophy
Born 13 November 1832
Castecomer, Kilkenny, Ireland
Died 10 May 1895
Ballarat, Victoria
Nationality Irish
Occupation Miner, publican, company director, mayor, MLC
Known for Atlantic Hotel
Brophy's Hotel
Spouse(s) Ellen Mary Berkery
Children William, Maria, Margaret, Bartholomew (1865), Daniel, Ellen, James, Thomas, Ellen, Kathleen
  • William Brophy (father)
  • Margaret Purcell (mother)

Daniel Brophy was a miner, publican, businessman and politician in Ballarat, Victoria.

History[edit | edit source]

Daniel Brophy was born on 13 November 1832 at Castlecomer, County Kilkenny, Ireland[1] to farmer William Brophy and Margaret nee Purcell.[2][3] The family left Ireland for Quebec in 1847 on board the "Abbotsford" one of the infamous fever ships.[4] His mother died on the voyage, and his father soon after arriving.[3] Strattens Commercial Directory of Cork, Dublin and South Ireland, later said:

"...it may not be out of place to mention the name of Mr. Daniel Brophy, millionaire, of Ballarat. This gentleman, who is a " Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great,", and a "Count of the Holy Roman Empire," left his birth­place, Castlecomer, County Kilkenny, in the "Black" famine year of 1847, when only 14 years of age, for America. Eventually, on the discovery of Gold in Australia, he went to Ballarat where he made an immense fortune.[5]

Brophy came to Australia in 1852 and began prospecting at Taradale, before settling in Ballarat in 1855.[4] In 1856 he was a partner in the Green Harp claim in Sturt Street. This was reported on 28 years later:

A CURIOUS gathering took place the other day at the Unicorn Hotel, Ballarat, when four gentlemen casually met together who had, twenty-eight years ago, worked as miners on the ground over which they then stood. The gentlemen named were Messrs Fitzpathrick, J.P., Daniel Brophy, Thomas Colgan, and Simon Jackson, who, in 1856, were mates in the Green Harp claim, the shaft of which was situate behind the Unicorn Hotel. The four veterans were all looking as hearty as possible, and seemed as if they were good for twenty-eight years more of this life.[6]

In 1859 he was in court over a dispute:

LOCAL COURT. Thursday, 12th March, 1857.
Brophy v. Everingham.-For balance due. No appearance of defendant. Daniel Brophy, defendant, deposed, that he had lost his miner's right that morning from his pocket. He had transferred to defendant a sleeping half-share, in September last, on Frenchman's, for £1 10s. per week till gold was found. Defendant had paid £10 only, and a balance was due, which plaintiff now sued for. The Court ordered payment of £8 17s. and costs.[7]

He married Ellen Mary Berkery (c1834-1892), daughter of Patrick Berkery and Mary Ryan in Victoria in 1859. They had 10 children.

Brophy worked as the sluiceman at the Band of Hope mine.[4] In January 1861, his wife, Ellen, was listed as one of the shareholders when the United Extended Band of Hope Company increased its shareholdings from 3200 to 12,800, registered under the Limited Liability Act.[8]

He took over the licence of the adjacent hotel.[4] In 1864 Brophy was advertising his new hotel:

DANIEL BROPHY having opened the Atlantic Hotel (late Prince Charlie) Sebastopol road, solicits a call from all old friends.[9]

A son, Bartholomew Patrick, was born at the hotel in 1865[10]:

On the 11th March, at the Atlantic Hotel, Redan, Mrs Daniel Brophy, of a son.[11]

The hotel was next door to the Band of Hope mine, which while it brought in extra visitors, was in danger from mining accidents. In April 1866, one of the mines four boilers exploded:

Mr Brophy, landlord of the Atlantic Hotel, was standing in an almost direct line to the northward of the boiler, which, as before stated, passed to the southward. As it was, however, Mr Brophy had a narrow escape, owing to the descending in rapid succession of great pieces of timber, &c, in all positions around him. Mr Bird and another gentleman were also standing close by Mr Brophy, but they also escaped unhurt. The Atlantic Hotel from its contiguity to the boiler house might be regarded by most people as in a position of great danger, but excepting the chances of damage from falling timber or stones, this building is tolerably safe, the direct line from the boilers being to the eastward of it.[12]

He advertised the hotel for sale in October 1866, promising not to open another hotel business:

The Auctioneer has been requested by Mr Brophy to contradict the rumor that he intends to build another hotel. He will give a guarantee to the purchaser of the Atlantic of £1000 that he does not go into the public line again for years.[13]

In January 1868, his mother in law died at the hotel:

On the 28th January, at the residence of her son in-law, Mr Daniel Brophy, Atlantic Hotel, Skipton street, Mrs Mary Berkery, aged 75 years, late of Borrisoleigh, county of Tipperary. Ireland.[14]

Her funeral was large, the "...funeral procession that reached from the corner of Armstrong and Sturt streets to the old Cemetery, a distance of a mile and a quarter."[15]

In 1869, Daniel Brophy moved his hotel business to the British Hotel which he renamed as Brophy's Hotel.[4] As a businessman who benefited from Ballarat's mining boom, he invested and greatly enlarged the hotel. Early photos seem to suggest it was a three story building.[16] The hotel was on the south east corner of Sturt Street and Doveton Street (in 2016 the location of the National Bank). He was still advertising the hotel in 1882.

In August 1873 he was one of the original shareholders in the Atlantic Quartz and Alluvial Gold Mining Company of Smythesdale, having purchased 40 shares at £2 2s each.[17]

In September 1887 his daughter was married:

The marriage of Miss Maggie Brophy, daughter of Mr D. Brophy, J.P., and Mr M. J. Mungovan, teller in the Ballarat Banking Company, took place yesterday morning, at the conclusion of the 8 o’clock mass, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The wedding was private. Bishop Moore performed the ceremony.[18]

Business interests[edit | edit source]

Apart from his hotel businesses, Brophy was involved in a number of other Ballarat businesses. He worked as a mine manager, and speculated in mining investments.[19] The Ballarat Star reported in 1864 that:

A special meeting of the shareholders in the Kossuth Company, Snake Valley, was held at Brophy's Atlantic Hotel, Ballarat, on Tuesday evening. About twenty shareholders were present. Mr James Lowe occupied the chair. Messrs [illegible], Wm. Fern, James Lowe, Daniel Brophy, and Jungwirth were appointed directors.[20]

He was a senior partner in Brophy, Dowling & Co., auctioneers and finance agents.[2][3] He was a Director of the Phoenix Foundry and chairman of the board of directors from at least 1883 to 1889.[21][22] He was also a director of the Band of Hope and Albion Consols Co. (gold mining) and the Ballarat Woollen Mill.[3]

Overseas trip[edit | edit source]

Brophy went on an overseas trip in 1889 and went back to visit Ireland. This may have been triggered by a prolonged strike at the Phoenix Foundry, or simply a coincidence:

The Phoenix Foundry Company to-day refused to accept Mr. Brophy’s resignation, and gave him 12 months leave of absence.[23]

The friends of Mr. Daniel Brophy, J.P., ex-M.L.A., tendered him a farewell banquet in the City-hall this evening, on the eve of his departure for England. There were about 150 gentlemen present, including Mr. Henry Cuthbert, Minister of Justice, and |Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, M.L.A., Mr. R. Ford, Railway Commissioner, Messrs. Murphy, Forrest, Butterly, M.L.A.'s, Mr. W. Anderson ex M.L.A., Mr. G. G. Morton, the members of the city and town councils, &c. Mr. C. B. Finlayson was in the chair. The CHAIRMAN proposed the toast of the guest of the evening, and presented Mr. Brophy with a diamond ring for Mrs. Brophy and one for himself, the gold in which had been obtained from the Band and Albion mine. Mr. Whelan also presented to the guest a gold goblet, on behalf of his fellow directors of the Band of Hope and Albion Consols Company, of which he is chairman.
Mr. BROPHY, in reply, stated that his health had not lately been of the best, and this was partly the reason for his taking the trip. Various other toasts were given, and the proceedings lasted until a late hour.[24]

His return to Ballarat was reported in detail:

Our respected townsman, Mr. D. Brophy, K.G.G., returned to Ballarat after a visit of ten months to the home country. The trip appears to have benefited him very much, as he looks hale and hearty. He was warmly welcomed by his friends, prominent among whom were his Worship the Mayor of the town, Mr. Edward Murphy, M.L.A., and Mr J. J. Fitzgerald, J.P. He was interviewed by a reporter of the Star, who gives a very interesting report of same. Mr. Brophy, during his visit, had an interview with his Holiness the Pope, who received him very kindly, and asked him many questions about Australia, a part of the globe in which his Holiness evinces a deep interest. While Mr. Brophy was in the home country he had an opportunity of being present at two byelections — Elgin and Nairne, and Peterborough — where he found the farmers and artisans in favour of Home Rule for Ireland. He attended several radical meetings in London, at which all the speakers agreed that every other question should be left aside until this question was decided. Mr. Brophy is of opinion that if there was a general election to-morrow the Unionist-Liberals would be "wiped out." He also was presentat a meeting of the Great Liberal Club in London, where the question was put as to how the move for Home Rule would be affected by the death or retirement of either Mr. Gladstone or Mr. Parnell, or both? The answer was given that the question now was not one of leaders or of men, but of doing justice to Ireland. Mr. Brophy had an interview with Cardinal Manning with reference to the dockers' strike, but his Eminence did not express any decided opinion in respect to it, his sole aim was to make peace, that the working men very very poor, and that what they were fighting for was not too much. The Cardinal said that Mr. Burns and the other leaders were honourable and good men. Before leaving, his Eminence, who evinced a great interest in Australia, presented Mr. Brophy with a copy of a little work by himself, " Confidence in God," with his autograph. While in Dublin he attended a Land League meeting, where he was called upon to speak. He also was present at a conference at Thurles, where the first organisation of the new Tenants' Defence Fund took place. It was orderly and enthusiastic. Everywhere he went he found the Irish people quiet and contented, and full of confidence in the Liberal party in England getting them what they wanted. He went through Luggercurren, County Tipperary, where is the Smith-Barry estate, in which evictions had lately been carried out. He also was present at the trial of Fr. Dwyer and others at Middleton. At this place he saw a young man, who had apparently done nothing, jostled against by two constables, and pitched into the street on his hands and knees. Down in Tipperary, where all the evictions had recently taken place, he never saw anything approaching to rowdyism. On many estates there, as well as elsewhere, be saw houses built and in course of erection for the evicted tenants out of the funds which were collected by Mr. Dillon on his late visit to Australia. During his visit Mr. Brophy saw Mr. William O'Brien in the Galway prison, whom he describes as a very quiet, gentlemanly man. He also had the pleasure of seeing that true patriot, Michael Davitt, who presented him with a copy of his latest work.[25]

Community and politics[edit | edit source]

Brophy stood for election to the south ward of the Ballarat council in August 1871. He held a rally at the Redan Club Hotel with about 150 ratepayers present. He argued that the south ward was bringing in more revenue than other wards, but was receiving less of the expenditure of the council.[26]

Brophy was Mayor of the City of Ballarat from 1876-7[3] and as such was the ex-officio member of the Ballarat School of Mines Council. He was elected to the Victorian Parliament as a Member of the Legislative Assembly representing Ballarat East in 1877-1880[3]. He was involved in the establishment of the Ballarat City Rowing Club, along with J. W. Graham, Henry R. Caselli and Peter Cazaly.[27] He was a member of the Ballarat Water Commission, president of the Ballarat Hospital and Ballarat Orphan Asylum. He was also a member of the Old Colonists' Association, Ballarat. He was a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great and a Count of the Holy Roman Empire.[5]

Death[edit | edit source]

Brophy's wife Ellen died in 1892:

The funeral of the late Mrs. Daniel Brophy, which took place this afternoon, was attended by representatives of every institution in the district. The cortege was over a mile long, and the wreaths sent covered the grave several feet deep. A requiem mass was celebrated at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and at the grave the Rev. Dr. Delaney officiated. The Bishop of Ballarat, Dr. Moore, would have been present but for the fact that he was administering the rite of confirmation in another part of the diocese.[28]

Daniel Brophy died on 10 May 1895 in his home "Corner Ville" on Sturt Street, Ballarat.[3] He is buried in the Ballaarat Old Cemetery - Area E2, Section 18, Row 1, Grave 1.

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Mr. Daniel Brophy, senior partner in the firm of Brophy, Foley, Dowling, and Co., auctioneers, died to-day. He had been suffering for some time, and his end was not unexpected. The funeral will take place on Sunday from St. Patrick's Cathedral.[29]

Mr. Daniel Brophy, J.P., for many years closely associated with public affairs in Ballarat, died to-day shortly after 12 o'clock. The deceased gentleman, who had been ill for nearly two months, suffered from tumor on the liver, but the immediate cause of death was dropsy. Mr. Brophy for some years represented Ballarat East in the Legislative Assembly. During his illness he underwent five operations for the removal of dropsical water, but in each instance the relief afforded was only of a temporary character. Mr. Brophy was unconscious since Friday last, and he passed quietly away surrounded by the members of his family. Subsequently flags were, as a tribute of respect to his memory, hoisted at half-mast at the city hall, town hall, hospital, public offices, Old Colonists' Club Rooms, Orphan and Benevolent Asylums, Band and Albion Consols and other mines and elsewhere throughout the city and town. The news of the death of Mr. Brophy will cause regret not only in the Ballarat district, but also in various centres of the colony. A requiem mass for the repose of his soul is to be celebrated at St. Patrick's Cathedral, where the remains are to be placed on a catafalque. The funeral, which will move from the cathedral on Sunday, is expected to be the largest ever seen in the district.[30]

We regret to record the death of Mr Daniel Brophy, which occurred at Ballarat, May 10. Mr Brophy, who was born in Castlecomer, sailed for Australia in 1847 in one of those fever ships, called "floating coffins." Of the 350 souls on board when the anchor was weighed only ninety-five lived to see the new country, one of these was young Brophy in his 18th year. The young emigrant worked his way to the gold fields, and by perseverance and industry, built up a huge fortune. His well-known ability and undoubted integrity won respect and honour for him everywhere. In the course of time he became Mayor of Ballarat, filling the position with such dignity, honour and satisfaction to the ratepayers that they presented him with a piece of silver worth £300. He was afterwards elected to Parliament, where "Honest Dan," as the Castlecomer man was deservedly styled, redeemed his pledges and distinguished himself by much practical work. His visit to his native land a few years ago is well remembered. On his return voyage he had an audience with Pope Leo XIII., who conversed with him for an hour and a half, and conferred upon him the Order of St Gregory the Great. It would be difficult, indeed, to describe the sorrow that is felt at his death by people of every rank and class in Ballarat.[31]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Warren Perry, The School of Mines and Industries, Ballarat, Ballarat School of Mines, Ballarat, 1984, p53; GoIreland.com http://www.goireland.com/genealogy/family.htm?FamilyId=457 accessed 25 January 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dianne Campbell, Anglo-Irish Lawyers in Post Goldrush Ballarat, Masters theses, 2002, p.183.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 'Brophy, Daniel (1832–1895)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/brophy-daniel-3070/text4531, published first in hardcopy 1969, accessed online 12 November 2016
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 1895 'DEATH OF MR D. BROPHY.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 11 May, p. 4. , viewed 12 Nov 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article203161478
  5. 5.0 5.1 Cork Past & Present: (Stratten's) Dublin, Cork and South of Ireland | Cork Past & Present, Maurice Roynane, Page 235, accessdate: November 12, 2016
  6. Colonist, Rōrahi XXVII, Putanga 3836, 22 Haratua 1884, Page 3. Digital copy accessed via Papers Past.
  7. 1857 'LOCAL COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 13 March, p. 5. , viewed 12 Nov 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66041293
  8. 1915 'FIFTY YEARS AGO.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 16 January, p. 7. , viewed 31 Jul 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154587764
  9. 1864 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 2 July, p. 3. , viewed 12 Nov 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66346139
  10. Australian Birth Index, Victoria, 1865, Ref. No. 587
  11. 1865 'Family Notices', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 24 March, p. 2. , viewed 07 Mar 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112885584
  12. 1866 'BOILER EXPLOSION AT THE BAND OF HOPE COMPANY'S No. 2 SHAFT.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 17 April, p. 6. , viewed 12 Nov 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155044880
  13. 1866 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 17 October, p. 3. , viewed 07 Oct 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112858774
  14. 1868 'Family Notices', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 27 January, p. 2. , viewed 12 Nov 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113600720
  15. 1918 'FIFTY YEARS AGO', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 2 March, p. 7. , viewed 12 Nov 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154730890
  16. Ruyg, John, Historic Hotels of Ballarat, 2016, [1]
  17. 1873 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 August, p. 4. , viewed 08 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article199006697
  18. 1887 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 21 September, p. 2. , viewed 28 Dec 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207774925
  19. Perry, Warren, The School of Mines and Industries, Ballarat, Ballarat School of Mines, Ballarat, 1984, p53.
  20. 1864 'MINING INTELLIGENCE.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 3 November, p. 3. , viewed 12 Nov 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66349438
  21. 1883 'PHŒNIX FOUNDRY CELEBRATION.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 14 April, p. 12. , viewed 12 Nov 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8511364
  22. 1889 'Ballarat Iron Workers Strike', Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 - 1954), 9 April, p. 4. , viewed 12 Nov 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18587595
  23. 1889 'THE IRONWORKERS' STRIKE, AT BALLARAT.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 8 May, p. 6. , viewed 12 Nov 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6244776
  24. 1889 'BANQUET TO MR. D. BROPHY.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 8 May, p. 6. , viewed 12 Nov 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6244780
  25. Melbourne Advocate, 29 March 1890.
  26. 1871 'THE CITY ELECTION.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 1 August, p. 2. , viewed 23 Feb 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197564752
  27. RootsWeb: AUS-VIC-GOLDFIELDS-L twilight talks: RootsWeb: AUS-VIC-GOLDFIELDS-L twilight talks, accessdate: November 12, 2016
  28. 1892 'BALLARAT.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 24 November, p. 6. , viewed 12 Nov 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8485455
  29. 1895 'COUNTRY NEWS. BALLARAT.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 11 May, p. 8. , viewed 12 Nov 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article9357712
  30. 1895 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 11 May, p. 8. , viewed 12 Nov 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article203621050
  31. New Zealand Tablet, Rōrahi XXII, Putanga 23, 4 Whiringa-ā-nuku 1895, Page 11. Digital copy accessed via Papers Past.

External links[edit | edit source]