Frederick B. Wilson

From Hotels of Ballarat
Frederick Buick Wilson
Born 1842
Green Hill, Ballymena, Ireland
Died 27 August 1918
Melbourne, Victoria
Nationality Irish
Occupation Publican
Years active 1869-1918
Known for Exchange Hotel
Cumberland and Durham Hotel
Buck's Head Hotel
Home town Ballarat
Spouse(s) Mary Wright
Children Frederick Samuel Buick (1866-1937)
Marion Frances Alfreda (1868- )
Mabel Gertrude Inglis (1869-1954)
Ida Blanche Lynne (1870- )
George Ankatell Wright (1873-1915)
Hector Hanley Horace (1875-1876)
Hector Henslus Reside (1878-1952)
Norman Leslie Galloway (1880-1961)
Eileen Myrtle Phyllis (1885-1968)
  • Samuel Wilson (father)
  • Mary Ann Hair (mother)

Frederick B. Wilson was a publican in Ballarat, Victoria

History[edit | edit source]

Frederick Buick Wilson was born at Green Hill, Ballymena, Ireland in 1842[1], to Mary Ann Hair and Samuel Wilson.[2] He came to Australia in November 1859 sailing from Liverpool on the Champion Of The Seas.[2] In the 1860s he took the license for the Exchange Hotel in Bridge Street. He married Mary Wright, also from Ballymena, in Victoria in 1866.[2] They had a number of children including[2]:

  • Frederick Samuel Buick (1866-1937)
  • Marion Frances Alfreda (1868- )
  • Mabel Gertrude Inglis (1869-1954)
  • Ida Blanche Lynne (1870- )
  • George Ankatell Wright (1873-1915)
  • Hector Hanley Horace (1875-1876)
  • Hector Henslus Reside (1878-1952)

Wilson.—On the 17th August, at the Buck’s Head Hotel, the wife of F. B. Wilson of a son.[3]

  • Norman Leslie Galloway (1880-1961)
  • Eileen Myrtle Phyllis (1885-1968)

From at least 1869 to August 1876 he held the license for the Cumberland and Durham Hotel, also in Bridge Street.[4][5][6][7]

He began renovating the Cumberland and Durham in 1869:

Lately the old wooden front of Mr F. Wilson’s Cumberland and Durham hotel disappeared, and in its stead has been built a lofty brick front that promises to make a handsome apparance,. The hotel is also undergoing renovation internally, the cost of the whole work being £1000.[4]

In August 1876 Wilson moved to the Buck's Head Hotel.[8] He took over an old wooden building and began a process of renovating and rebuilding over the next 20 years.

His wife Mary died in Ballarat in 1896.[2]

In 1909 Wilson was living at 1102 Mair Street, as well as sometimes at the hotel and there were several people leasing the hotel until 1918. In June 1918, Wilson held a clearing sale at Mair Street:

FRIDAY, 21st JUNE, At 11 o'clock "WINDARA" 1102 MAIR STREET HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE BUILDING MATERIAL, BUILDINGS FOR REMOVAL SPRING DRAY AND HARNESS, ETC. DOEPEIL and CHANDLER have been instructed by Mr F. B. Wilson, to sell by public auction (by their Mr W. H. Chandler)— SURPLUS FURNITURE, consisting of Scotch Chests of Drawers, single and double iron bedsteads, dining table and covers, 2 Chesterfield armchairs, music stand, Davey vacuum cleaner, kitchen table and utensils, linos., carpets, door mats, hall and other curtains, Vienna and kitchen chairs, meat safe, large quantity of crockery and glassware, dishes, dish covers, large boilers, looking glass, lamps, kerosene heater, bird cages, paste board, lot of pictures and engravings, also frames, marble and alabaster pedestals and ornaments, plaques, glass fish, bowl, number of pot plants and pots lot of books and games, child's chair beautiful brass and opal hanging lamps (new), tennis and croquet sets; also large quantity of bric-a-brac, beautiful ornaments, and sundries.

OUTSIDE— Large lot of jars and demi-johns (all sizes), step ladders, casks, lawn mower, garden tools, riding saddle, two wheelbarrows, seives, 3 ladders, saw stool, oil drums, hose, large vinegar cask, also tubs and casks.

BUILDERS' MATERIAL, Etc.— Doors window frames, lot glass, iron and piping, gas pipes and fittings, several marble mantelpieces, lot dressed bluestone, large piano case, grindstone, carpenter's bench and tools, drain pipes, galvanised iron wire netting, loading ramp, wood drinking trough, large tarpaulin (good order), gravel grading screen, about 24 dozen sacks, several galv. iron tanks (up to 2000 gals.), large quantity of good picket fencing, pig styes, tennis room (14 x 10, with 7 lockers and verandah), shed (14 x 10), wood single room (20 x 12, with lot of good shelving), also good spring and harness and a host of sundries.[9]

Wilson's son George, died from poisoning at the hotel in December 1915:

CORROSIVE SUBLIMATE TAKEN IN MISTAKE. BALLARAT, Thursday. George Wilson, 43, surveyor, son of the licensee of the Buck's Head Hotel, Bridge street, Ballarat East, died in Ballarat Hospital to-day from poisoning, caused by swallowing a quantity of corrosive sublimate. At a magisterial inquiry evidence was given by Mr. F. B. Wilson, father of deceased, that his son had resided at the hotel during the past 12 months. He occupied a bedroom adjoining that of witness, and at about 1 a.m. to-day he heard deceased vomiting. He went to his room and found him standing on the floor in severe pain. Witness asked deceased what was the matter, and he replied, 'I have taken corrosive sublimate in mistake for salts. Dr. Davies was called in, and deceased made a similar statement to him. Evidence was given by Dr. Davies that death was due to corrosive sublimate poisoning. Deceased said he had taken a teaspoonful of the poison, one grain of which would cause death. There were traces of drink on deceased. Deceased had suffered from the effects of malarial fever and had been under medical treatment. In reply to Detective Rogerson, who appeared for the police, Mr. Wilson said that once or twice during the past year his son, when suffering great agony, said he would be better dead. There was no reason why he should commit suicide. He had been a contractor in various parts of Australia and Papua. At the conclusion of the inquiry the deputy coroner announced that he would give his verdict to-morrow.[10]

The deceased, who was very well known and highly respected, was a native of Ballarat. About 20 years ago he went to Western Australia as a surveyor, and subsequently he was appointed to a Government position in Queensland. Later on he was a Government surveyor at Papua, where he contracted malarial fever, and about 18 months ago he returned to Ballarat, and had lived most of the time till his death at this father's hotel.[11]

More information was revealed at the inquest:

Thomas Garland Skewes, chemist stated that the deceased was his brother-in-law. He last saw him alive on the 20th inst., at the Buck's Head hotel and he was then looking well, and was in a good state of health. Three or four years ago witness took a bottle of corrosive sublimate to the residence of Mr F. B. Wilson, in Mair street, where he (witness) and his wife lived, to prepare a wash, the sublimate being a powerful disinfectant. After using what he needed he threw the rest out, and the empty labelled bottle was kept on a shelf in his house. Four or five months ago the deceased called at the shop with the empty bottle, and asked that it be refilled, as the corrosive sublimate was wanted at the Buck's Head Hotel, where renovations were being made. It was at a time when witness was get ting short of the sublimate, and he asked the deceased to try and purchase it somewhere else. The deceased did so, and as far as witness remembered he obtained two lots, which to the knowledge of witness, were used at the hotel. This would account for the corrosive sublimate being found on the premises. The deceased had handled very large quantities of the poison in contracts which he had carried out, and he knew how deadly it was. It was known to the deceased that a few grains would be sufficient to kill a man, and if he wished to take his his life he was not likely to take anything like a teaspoonful. The deceased frequently took quinine and salts for malarial trouble. He kept so many bottles in his room that witness had on one occasion said to him, It is like a little chemist's shop here." The deceased was not careful with the bottles; and had them all mixed up together. Knowing the status of the deceased's health, witness believed he would get up in the middle of the night to take a dose of medicine.[12]

Wilson died on 27 August 1918 in Melbourne:

By the death of Mr F. B. Wilson, which occurred yesterday in a metropolitan private hospital, Ballarat has lost one of its most progressive citizens. Mr Wilson, who was best known here on account of his long career in business as proprietor of the Buck's Head hotel, was born at Green Hill, Ballymena, Ireland, in 1842, and arrived in Australia in 1859. Shortly after his arrival he followed mining, but soon went info business as the landlord of the Exchange hotel, Bridge street, afterwards taking the Cumberland hotel, and later the Buck's Head. He was proprietor of the last named business for 40 years. Mr, Wilson was an enterprising man, and ready to associate himself with any developmental movement. He was one of the founders of the Ballarat Land Mortgage Company, and was a director until quite recently, when he retired on account of ill-health. He was a large speculator, and met with varying fortunes. One of his unfortunate ventures was in connection with the Melbourne Tram Company, in which he lost several thousands of pounds. Another speculation which cost. Mr Wilson some thousands was a sheep run on King Island, which he starred in partnership with the late Mr Gregory. The failure was due to the island proving unsuitable for sheep on account of the existence of a poisonous weed. Mr Wilson's wife predeceased him 20 years ago. The deceased leaves three sons and four daughters The sons are Dr Wilson, Mr F. Wilson (of Campbell and Wilson), and Mr Hector Wilson.[1]

General regret will be expressed at the news of the death of Mr Fred. B. Wilson, till recently licensee of the Buck's Head Hotel, Bridge street. Deceased, who was born in Belfast in 1842, arrived in Ballarat in 1859. He soon entered into the hotel business. He was manager of Bayers' Hotel in 1865, and later he held the license of the Cumberland and Durham Hotel in Bridge street. He was the licensee of the Buck's Head Hotel since 1875. He conducted the business on original lines, which met with the approval of a large circle of customers. The old gentleman had a decided literary bent, and his library was well worth an inspection. He was one of the founders of the Ballarat Land and Mortgage Company, of which body he was elected a director in 1915. He donated generously but unostentatiously to many clubs and institutions. He was a widower, and leaves a grown-up family.[13]

In his will he left real estate valued at £9,000 and personal property valued at £6,709 to his children and sister, subject to bequests to the Ballarat District Hospital, Ballarat Benevolent Asylum, Ballarat Orphanage, Ladies' Clothing Society, and the Canadian Children's Home.

Wilson was buried in the Ballarat Old Cemetery on 28 August 1918, Area : H Section 6A Row : Grave : 8.[2]

The funeral of the late Mr F. B. Wilson took place yesterday. The funeral, although private, was well attended. The remains were interred in the Old Cemetery. The pall-bearers were:—The Mayor of the City (Cr T. T. Hollway, Cr Alex Bell, M.L.C. (chairman), and Mr W. G. Finlayson (manager), representing the Ballarat L. and M. Co.; Mr John Glasson (manager), Mr John McLeod, Mr F. Herman (representing Ballarat Trustees); Messrs A. Fraser (Water Commission), A. Kenny (Orphanage, and Messrs Jas. Lyons, James Tyler, W. E. Longhurst, J. N. Oates, J. Grieves, H. Tonner, G. Cowdell, W. T. Glenn, J. Sainsbury, F. McDougall, and Dr Davies. The Rev. John Walker officiated at the grave. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr H. Laughlin.[14]

His estate kept the hotel and offered it for lease in 1921:

TENDERS CLOSE BUCK'S HEAD HOTEL BALLARAT, In the ESTATE of F. B. WILSON, Deceased. TENDERS for a five years' Lease of this old established Hotel will close at the office of the executors, The Ballarat Trustees, Executors & Agency Company Limited, 101 Lydiard-street Ballarat, on Saturday. 8th January, 1921, at 12 o'clock. Particulars at Her Majesty's Hotel, South Yarra or at the office of the company. JOHN GLASSON, Manager.[15]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1918 'PERSONAL.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 28 August, p. 2. , viewed 31 Jul 2018,
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Wilson, F. B., Ancestry. com,
  3. 1878 'Family Notices', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 19 August, p. 2. , viewed 23 Sep 2020,
  4. 4.0 4.1 1919 'FIFTY YEARS AGO.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 29 November, p. 10. , viewed 28 Jul 2018,
  5. 1871 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 19 October, p. 2, viewed 23 December, 2015,
  6. 1873 'LICENSING BENCH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 December, p. 2. , viewed 09 Jun 2017,
  7. 1874 'BALLARAT EAST LICENSING BENCH. ANNUAL MEETING.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 December, p. 4, viewed 17 December, 2015,
  8. 1876 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 11 August, p. 4. , viewed 30 Jul 2018,
  9. 1918 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 June, p. 5. , viewed 02 Aug 2018,
  10. 1915 'CORROSIVE SUBLIMATE TAKEN IN MISTAKE.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 24 December, p. 9. , viewed 02 Aug 2018,
  11. 1915 'STRANGE POISONING CASE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 24 December, p. 7. , viewed 02 Aug 2018,
  12. 1915 'INQUEST ON THE VICTIM.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 24 December, p. 7. , viewed 02 Aug 2018,
  13. 1918 'OBITUARY.', The Evening Echo (Ballarat, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 27 August, p. 1. , viewed 02 Aug 2018,
  14. 1918 'OBITUARY', The Evening Echo (Ballarat, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 30 August, p. 2. , viewed 02 Aug 2018,
  15. 1921 'Advertising', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 5 January, p. 12. , viewed 02 Aug 2018,

External links[edit | edit source]