Duchess of Kent Hotel

From Hotels of Ballarat
Duchess of Kent
Picture needed
Town Ballarat
Street Main Road
Opened c 1855
Known dates 1855-1870
Other names Hotel d'Europe
Demolished April 1872

The Duchess of Kent Hotel was in Ballarat, Victoria, <1855-1870>.

Site[edit | edit source]

The Duchess of Kent Hotel was in Main Street, Ballarat.[1] In August 1856, Silas E. Crain, surgeon and physician, had his office opposite the hotel.[2] In 1857 it was described as being opposite W. T. Jackson's timber yard.[3] In 1862 the site was described as being opposite a two storeyed boarding house which was the source of a fire that destroyed 30 buildings.[4]

Background[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

In January 1857 the hotel advertised its benefits:

DUCHESS OF KENT HOTEL, MAIN ROAD. WILLIAM ROBINSON begs to inform visitors to Ballarat, that they will find his Hotel replete with every accommodation. His stock of WINES AND SPIRITS are of the very best vintages and brands. The lovers of a glass of PRIME ENGLISH ALE can obtain from his cellar an article unsurpassed in the colony- " Clear, Sparkling and Cool." The Victualling Department is presided over by a first-rate cook, and the table is regularly supplied with every delicacy in season Families requiring privacy can be accommodated with Neat Suites of Apartments. Every Monday and Saturday evening the lover of harmony can enjoy a song and his glass in the good old Free and Easy Style and listen to one pf the best instruments on Ballarat, presided over by an efficient pianist. Those who delight in home associations can regale themselves with the CHIMING of The only set of Hand Bells in the Colony and dream

"Of love and hope, and that sweet time
When first they heard that evening chime."


During the license application hearing in June 1857 the cleanliness of the hotel was criticized:

Mr Inspector Taylor said the house itself was all very well, but the back premises were in a filthy state. Mr Dunne remarked that this had been remedied since the place was inspected.[6]

In June 1858 the hotel keeper was assaulted:

Miel v Dowby-A summons for damages ; for an assault. Complainant deposed that Dowby violently assaulted him in the bagatelle room of the Duchess of Kent Hotel of which he (complainant) is the keeper. Corroborative evidence was given, and defendant, who did not appear, was ordered to pay £5 or distress to issue, and in default one week's imprisonment.[7]

In December 1858 the publican was fined for having an unlicenced bagatelle table:

Chas. Scorer, Duchess of Kent Hotel, for having an unlicensed bagatelle table. The defendant said the town clerk had told him the police would not interfere until certain correspondence between the Government and the Municipal Council had ended. The magistrate said the Municipal Council had no jurisdiction over licensed houses, and if publicans were fools enough to listen to such advice as that mentioned they must take the consequences. Under the circumstances, however, a mitigated fine of 10s only would be imposed.[8]

The hotel was flooded during the Ballarat flood of 9 December 1860.[9]

In April 1870 a man was charged for his behavior outside the hotel:

George Gunmow, a young man, was charged with threatening behavior in front of the Duchess of Kent hotel. He had been found by the police conducting himself in a disorderly manner, and threatening in very objectionable terms to knock off the head of a passer-by. He, however, pleaded that he had no intention of doing what he said, and that he had merely said what was attributed to him in fun. Mr Gaunt discharged him.</ref>1870 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 5 April, p. 4. , viewed 07 Nov 2022, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article219307489</ref>

The hotel was pulled down in April 1872 and removed to Windermere:

Some time ago the old Duchess of Kent hotel and Hotel d’Europe, Main street, was sold, if we remember rightly, for £100. Tenders were invited by the purchaser to take down the hotel and cart it to Windermere for re-erection. The work of removal is all but completed; none but the main timbers being left standing. The building possesses historical interest, having been used on frequent occasions as a place of meeting for many years during the early days of Ballarat.[10]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

  • Ballarat Gas Company, June 1857,meeting to discuss the engineer's report into establishing a gas works.[11]
  • Ballarat Building Association, July 1857, meeting of directors and others interested in establishing the association.[12]
  • In December 1857 the Municipal Council of Ballarat East held their meetings at the hotel.[13]
  • Ballarat Rifle Regiment, August 1858, meeting to appoint a sergeant-major, and to discuss uniforms.[14]

Inquests[edit | edit source]

  • April 1857, an inquest into the death of Peter Fabrew, a miner found nearby:

At the Duchess of Kent Hotel, on the body of Peter Fabrew, a colored man, aged about 40. It appeared from the evidence, that deceased had been complaining for upwards of twelve months, and on Friday was seen fossicking near his tent above Sharp and Co.'s shaft, behind the Duchess of Kent, about twelve o'clock. About two o'clock he was found lying on a water-box near the same shaft, and on examination was found to be cold and quite dead. A post mortem examination shewed that death was caused from the effects of dropsy of the chest and pericardium. - Verdict accordingly. - The deceased left property to the amount of about £50, which the Coroner took possession of to be handed over to the Curator of Intestate Estates.[15]

The People[edit | edit source]

Thomas Robinson, Duchess of Kent Hotel, Main Road. Mr Scorer appeared and said the application should have been in his name but he had been absent when the application was made. Granted, the name to (be) changed.[18]

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 19, 2014)
  2. 1856 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 14 August, p. 1. , viewed 07 May 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66039225
  3. 1857 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 11 July, p. 4. , viewed 06 Jan 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66043114
  4. 1862 'ANOTHER DESTRUCTIVE FIRE AT BALLARAT.', Gippsland Guardian (Vic. : 1855 - 1868), 5 December, p. 3, viewed 8 November, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article109906184
  5. 1857 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 7 January, p. 4. , viewed 23 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66040371
  6. 6.0 6.1 1857 'GENERAL ANNUAL LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 13 June, p. 2. , viewed 10 Aug 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66042654
  7. 7.0 7.1 1858 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 18 June, p. 2. , viewed 10 Aug 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66048737
  8. 8.0 8.1 1858 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 13 December, p. 4, viewed 20 October, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66332732
  9. 1860 'THE FLOODS AT BALLARAT.', Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), 12 December, p. 3. , viewed 16 Jun 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87948634
  10. 1872 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 April, p. 2. , viewed 16 Sep 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197628052
  11. 1857 'BALLARAT GAS COMPANY.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 20 June, p. 2. , viewed 07 Dec 2023, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66042775
  12. 1857 'BALLARAT BUILDING ASSOCIATION', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 29 July, p. 3. , viewed 07 Dec 2023, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66043427
  13. 1857 'Local and General News.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 21 December, p. 3. , viewed 15 Sep 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66045736
  14. 1858 'BALLARAT RIFLE REGIMENT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 31 August, p. 2. , viewed 07 Dec 2023, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66049960
  15. 1857 'Local Intelligence.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 4 April, p. 2. , viewed 15 Sep 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66041608
  16. 1856 'POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 6 December, p. 3. , viewed 24 Dec 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66040038
  17. 1858 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 16 June, p. 2. , viewed 02 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66048685
  18. 1858 'SPECIAL LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 24 July, p. 2. , viewed 20 Nov 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66049342
  19. 1859 'AFTERNOON SITTINGS.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 14 June, p. 3. , viewed 25 Sep 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66053609
  20. 1861 'LICENSING SESSIONS.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 23 May, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR.), viewed 06 Jun 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66339430
  21. 1868 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 July, p. 4. , viewed 08 Nov 2022, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113845499

External Links[edit | edit source]