Frederick Royds Ratcliffe

From Hotels of Ballarat
Frederick R. Ratcliffe
Born 1851
Mount Pleasant, Victoria
Died 1922
Occupation Publican
Years active 1877-1914
Known for Halfway House Hotel
Halfway House Hotel
Commercial Hotel (Rokewood)
Victoria Hotel
Commercial Hotel (Ballarat)
National Hotel (Natimuk)
Home town Rokewood
Spouse(s) Mary Ann Holland
Children Catherine Elizabeth (1874)
Thomas Henry (1875)
Frederick Royds
Mary Ann (1881)
Rudolph Charles (1884)
Brigid May Camm
  • Frederick Royds Ratcliffe (father)
  • Catherine Brown (mother)

Frederick Royds Ratcliffe was a publican in the Ballarat district <1877-1914>.

History[edit | edit source]

Ratcliffe was born in Mount Pleasant, Ballarat, in 1851, to Catherine Brown and Frederick Royds Ratcliffe.[1] His older sister, Caroline Frances Ratcliffe married Rudolph Hager who also were publicans around Ballarat.[2] Another sister, Mary Ratcliffe married Edward Keys and they had hotels in Linton, Geelong, and Ballarat.

In 1873 he married Mary Ann Holland.[3] A daughter, Catherine Elizabeth was born at Smythesdale in 1874.[4]

In July 1874 Ratcliffe took over the Halfway House Hotel from his brother in law, Rudolph Hager.[5]Ratcliffe was granted the license for a hotel in the Smythesdale Licensing District in December 1876 and 1877, described as being at Cardigan.[6][7]

In 1886, his daughter Brigid May was born at Sago Hill. (Brigid and her husband Leslie Bertram Camm took over the license of the Commercial Hotel at Rokewood in 1925).[8]

In December 1895, Frederick Ratcliffe transferred his license for the Halfway House at Mount Clear, to his son in law, Michael Fiscalini.[9]

By 1900, he was at the Commercial Hotel in Rokewood, where he helped look after an injured policeman who stayed at the hotel before being moved to the Geelong Hospital.[10]

In May 1902, Ratcliffe applied for the license of the National Hotel at Natimuk, Victoria:

THE LICENSING ACT 1890. APPLICATION TO TRANSFER A VICTUALLER'S LICENSE. I, AUGUST GOTTLIEB NITSCHKE, of Natlmuk, the licensee of the National Hotel at Natimuk, do hereby give notice that I desire to obtain and will at the sitting of the Licensing Court for the Licensing District of Natimuk to be holden at Horsham on the thirteenth day of June, 1902, apply for the transfer of the license of the said the National Hotel to FREDERICK RATCLIFFE, of Rokewood, formerly licensed victualler, at present out of business. Dated this 28th day of May, 1902. A. G. NITSCHKE, Licensee. And I, the said FREDERICK RATCLIFFE, do hereby apply for such transfer. Dated this 28th day of May, 1902. FRED. RATCLIFFE, Proposed Licensee.[11]

In December 1902 his license at Rokewood was renewed.[12]

In August 1905 the license was transferred to his son Rudolph Charles Ratcliffe.[13]

In December 1906, Ratcliffe was injured in a buggy accident:

BUGGY UPSETS. CANDIDATE THROWN OUT. Mr. Desmond Dunne, in company with Mr. F. Ratcliffe, of Rokewood, had a sensational experience when driving to Berringa last night. In passing along a bush track one of the wheels struck a stump, upsetting the vehicle and throwing the occupants out. Mr Dunne escaped with a few bruises, but Mr Ratcliffe injured his left arm, necessitating medical aid. The buggy was damaged and the harness destroyed.[14]

In November 1907 Frederick Ratcliffe took over the license of the Commercial Hotel at Rokewood from his (wife/sister?):

TRANSFERS. LICENSING ACT 1890—NOTICE OF APPLICATION FOR TRANSFER OF LICENSE.— We, Mrs M. A. Ratcliffe, of Rokewood, the holder of a Victualler License for the house and premises known as Commercial Hotel, situate at Rokewood, in the Licensing District Pitfield, transferror, and Frederick R. Ratcliffe, of Rokewood, proposed transferree, do hereby give notice that it our intention to apply to the Licensing Court for the said Licensing District on the Nineteenth day of November, 1907 at twelve o’clock noon, at Smythesdale for a transfer of the said license from the said Mary Ann Ratcliffe to the said Frederick R. Ratcliffe. Given under our hands this Eighth day of November, 1907. M. A. RATCLIFFE, Transferror. F. R. RATCLIFFE, Proposed Transferee[15]

In September 1912, Ratcliffe was main witness in a charge of larceny against a local man who had stolen a sovereign form an Indian hawker staying at the Commercial Hotel.[16]

By March 1914 he was at the Victoria Hotel in Armstrong Street, Ballarat, which was renamed as Ratcliffe's Commercial Hotel:

Fred Ratcliffe, of the Victoria, Ballarat, is a thorough believer in " that to laugh is to grow fat," His Commercial experience at Rokewood has served him in good stead.[17]

In December 1914 the police mounted a strong challenge to Ratcliffe's license being renewed. They claimed he allowed the hotel to become a venue for illegal betting and gambling. The court found that Ratcliffe's evidence was deeply suspicious, at one stage referring to it as absurd, but allowed the license hoping he would take their comments as a warning.[18]

Ratcliffe died in 1922 at Ballarat.[19] He4 is buried in the Old Cemetery: Location J, Section 04, Row 1, Grave 31[20]

OBITUARY. Ratcliffe:-The funeral of the late Mr Frederick R. Ratcliffe, a very much respected resident of Ballarat, and formerly of Rokewood and Natimuk, took place on Tuesday last, when his remains were interred in the old cemetery. The cortege which left the residence of his son-in-law, Mr M. Fiscalini, Imperial Hotel, was a very lengthy one, many prominent commercial and business men attending to pay the last tribute of respect. The deceased gentleman leaves a widow and grown-up family to mourn their loss. The casket-bearers Messrs Frederick, Rudolph and James Ratcliffe (sons of the deceased), Micheal, Rudolph and Frank Fiscalini (nephews). The representative gentlemen present were A. W. Hager, Chris Hager, Chas. Hager, W. White, Jas. Lyons, Chas. and Frank Fiscalini, P. J. Early (secretary L.V.A.), L. Camm, W. Stanbrook. F. G. Herman (Goller and Co.), J. Walton (M'Leod and Co.) Senior Constables Wallace and Hayes, ex-Constable W. O’Brien, Messr E Geo. Scott, C. Cutter, M. Devine, J. Nolan.,D. H. White, J. Irwin, J. Sweeney, W. Ratcliffe (Goodfellow and Co.), D. Foley, H. Baker, H. Rimington, R. Scarfe, N. Chisholm. and numerous others. The Rev. Father H. Gleeson officiated at the grave side, and the mortuary arrangements were carried out; by Steve Wellington and Son.[21]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Australian Birth Index, Victoria, 1851, No. 5171
  2. Australian Marriage Index, Victoria, 1860, Ref. No, 1421.
  3. Australian Marriage Index, Victoria, 1873, No. 517
  4. Australian Birth Index, Victoria, 1874, Ref. No. 12239
  5. 1874 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 18 July, p. 4. , viewed 17 Feb 2017,
  6. 1876 'POLICE INTELLIGENCE. CITY COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 16 December, p. 4. , viewed 22 Jul 2019,
  7. 1877 'POLICE INTELLIGENCE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 December, p. 4. , viewed 12 Apr 2018,
  8. 1925 'LICENSING COURT.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 20 January, p. 13. , viewed 14 May 2018,
  9. 1895 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 December, p. 2. , viewed 16 Mar 2018,
  10. 1902 'GEELONG COUNTY COURT.', Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 - 1929), 3 October, p. 4. , viewed 17 Mar 2018,
  11. 1902 'Advertising', The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), 30 May, p. 3. , viewed 18 Mar 2018,
  12. 1902 'SCARSDALE LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 10 December, p. 3. , viewed 17 Mar 2018,
  13. 1905 'TRANSFERRED LICENSES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 5 August, p. 8. , viewed 25 May 2022,
  14. 1906 'BUGGY UPSETS.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 8 December, p. 21. , viewed 17 Mar 2018,
  15. 1907 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 9 November, p. 10. , viewed 09 May 2016,
  16. 1912 'A DANGEROUS “LARK.”', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 20 September, p. 4. , viewed 17 Mar 2018,
  17. 1914 'It Is Said.', Berringa Herald (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 7 March, p. 3. , viewed 17 Mar 2018,
  18. 1914 'BALLARAT LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 2 December, p. 6. , viewed 08 May 2016,
  19. Australian Death Index, Victoria, 1922, No. 3896
  20. Ballarat Cemetery Trust
  21. 1922 'OBITUARY.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 11 May, p. 2. , viewed 17 Mar 2018,

External links[edit | edit source]