John Woofe

From Hotels of Ballarat
John Woofe
Born 1822
Welshpool, Montgomeryshire, Wales, United Kingdom
Died February 1890
Occupation Publican
Years active 1858-1873
Known for Kangaroo Hotel
Home town Slaty Creek
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Bowker (1855-1922)
Children Percy Herbert (1875)
John Smallman (1879)
William (1880)

John Woofe was a publican at Slaty Creek, Victoria, <1858-1873>.

History[edit | edit source]

John Woofe was born in 1822 at Welshpool, Montgomeryshire, Wales, United Kingdom.[1]

In November 1856, Woofe was running the Kangaroo Store at Slaty Creek:

£5 Reward if lost; £10 if stolen. LOST or stolen, from Slaty Creek, a chesnut horse, blotch brand on near shoulder, both hind fetlocks white, stripe down face, and a scar on the near side of the back under saddle. Whoever finds the same and brings him to the Kangaroo Store, Slaty Creek, will receive the above reward. JOHN WOOFE. 5th November, 1856.[2]

In June 1858 Woofe was granted the license of the Kangaroo Hotel on the Melbourne Road at Slaty Creek.[3] Woofe still had the license in December 1871 and 1873.[4]

In January 1868, Woofe was charged with having destroyed the Wesleyan Chapel and school building at Slaty Creek:

A curious case came before the Ballarat Police Court, Tuesday— Liddle v. Woof and Chaffers. A church had been built at Slatey Creek by public subscription, which was take possession of by Liddle on behalf of the Wesleyan body, who subsequently had the building removed to another allotment. Woof and Chaffers, in retaliation, knocked the building down and carted it away, and for this were summoned for injuring and destroying a building. The case was dismissed.[5]

In October 1870, Woofe chaired a meeting of creditors of Maurice Franklyn, of the Suburban Hotel.

We are informed on reliable authority that a meeting of the creditors of Mr Franklin, of the Suburban hotel, was hold on Tuesday, the 11th inst., Mr John Woofe, of Slaty Creek, as the largest creditor, in the chair. It seems that the bank has a lien on the whole property to its full value. The unsecured debts amount to near a thousand pounds sterling, and the only available asset seems to be a miniature representation of a quorum of the members of the Bungaree Road Board embodied in stuffed monkeys. It was therefore unanimously agreed to put the estate into the Insolvent Court.[6]

His license renewal application in December 1871, gave details of the hotel:

LICENSE.—To the Licensing Magistrates at Ballarat. I, JOHN WOOFE, of Slaty Creek, do hereby give NOTICE that I desire to obtain, and will at the next licensing meeting APPLY for a PUBLICAN’S LICENSE for a house situate at Slaty Creek, Bungaree, containing six rooms, exclusive of those required for the use of the family. The house will be known as the Kangaroo Hotel. The fifth day of December, A.D. 1871. (Signature of Applicant), JOHN WOOFE.[4]

In February 1872 Woofe administered first aid after a snake bite:

We have to record another case of snake-bite in this district, which occurred yesterday, the victim, being an old resident at Slaty Creek, named Coker. It appears he was bitten in the leg, just above a blucher boot, and the wound was immediately sucked by Mr Woofe, whilst brandy was profusely administered to the sufferer. A messenger was despatched to Creswick for medical aid, and Dr Stokes hurried to the scene, but six hours had elapsed since the wound was inflicted. At a late hour last night the galvanic battery was sent for, which occasioned fears that it would terminate fatally.[7]

He was issued a new license in June 1873.[8] His license was renewed again in December 1873.[9]

In April 1875, Woofe wrote to the Water Commission, seeking young fish to put in the reservoirs around Slaty Creek.[10]

On 21 July 1875, a son, Percy Herbert, was born:

WOOFE.—On 23rd July, at Slaty Creek, Creswick, the wife of Mr John Woofe, of a son; both doing well.[11]

In November 1888 Woofe was fined for damaging a water race at Slaty Creek:

Ah Tan v John Woofe, wilful damage to property, value of injury done being set down at £15. Mr Finlayson, instructed by Mr S. F. Mann, appeared for complainant, and Mr Salter for the defendant. The facts of the case as disclosed by the evidence of the witnesses were that complainant was the registered owner of water right in the Slaty Creek locality. The races carrying the waters from its source, “Drake’s Creek,” traverses a portion of Mr E. Rowlands’ well-known property near Wattle Flat. This gentleman desiring to alter the course of a portion of the race which bisects one of his paddocks, arranged with the complainant Ah Tan to carry the water by a fluming alongside the boundary fence of the paddock, and to close the old race, which was accordingly done. Defendant stated that the result of this action was to divert the whole of the creek water from its original course, depriving himself and others lower down the creek of water for mining or domestic purposes. The evidence on this point was conflicting, defendant stating that not a bucketful of water could be obtained below the point where the diversion took place. Mr Whalley, M.M.B., of Creswick, deposed that he had visited the locality, and found the creek almost dry, merely a little water trickling along its bed. Complainant’s witnesses averred that as much water went down the creek now as before the fluming was constructed. Defendant (Woofe) had pulled down and displaced several lengths of the fluming, hence the damage claimed. The water right had been in existence 20 or 22 years. Since the damage to the fluming complainants had been deprived of the use of any water. Mr Salter contended that defendant was perfectly justified in the action he had taken in defence of his rights under the “common law.” The bench retired for a brief consultation, and upon returning announced their decision, “ that defendant had no reasonable grounds to believe that he was justified in his action.” He was fined £2, with damages £5, and costs £5 18s.[12]

In January 1888 Woofe was selling a large block of land at Slaty Creek:

SATURDAY, 7th JANUARY, 1888, At 12 o’clock sharp, At the Auctioneer’s Office. To Wood Merchants, Farmers, and Others. SALE BY AUCTION OF 55 ACRES LAND, AT SLATY CREEK, Very Heavily Timbered. Known as the Property of Mr John Woofe. CHAS. WALKER and C . have received instructions to sell by public auction, without the slightest reserve, as above. This land, which is within about seven miles of Ballarat, is very heavily timbered with large and choice trees, in addition to a great number of young wood now in prime for milling props. There are also five large and well-made dams on the ground, from which alone the owner draws an annual rental of £30, the water being sold to miners for sluicing purposes. Terms easy. Any further particulars may be had from CHAS. WALKER and CO., Auctioneers, opposite Craig’s Hotel, Ballarat.[13]

Woofe died in February 1890:

THE Friends of the late Mr JOHN WOOFE, late of Slaty Creek, are respectfully invited to follow his remains to their last resting place, the Ballarat New Cemetery. The funeral will leave the residence of his nephew, R. F. Woofe, Robert Burns hotel, Humffray street north, on Tuesday, at 2 o’clock p.m. STEPHEN WELLINGTON, Undertaker, 3 Dawson opposite Roman Catholic Church, and next Adelphi Hotel. OLD COLONISTS' ASSOCIATION.—The members of the above are requested to MEET at the Robert Burns Hotel, Humffray street north, This Day, at 2 o'clock, to follow the remains of Br JOHN WOOFE to their last resting-place, Ballarat New Cemetery. Rosettes to be worn, craped. J. W. GRAHAM, Secretary.[14]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. John Woofe (1822-1890), Family Search,
  2. 1856 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 29 November, p. 4. , viewed 02 Mar 2020,
  3. 1858 'CRESWICK LICENSING BENCH.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 19 June, p. 2. , viewed 30 May 2017,
  4. 4.0 4.1 1871 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 6 December, p. 3. , viewed 30 May 2017,
  5. 1868 'THE COUNTRY.', Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918, 1935), 11 January, p. 23. , viewed 02 Mar 2020,
  6. 1870 'COMMERCIAL INTELLIGENCE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 14 October, p. 2. , viewed 02 Mar 2020,
  7. 1872 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 February, p. 2. , viewed 02 Mar 2020,
  8. 1873 'QUARTERLY LICENSING BENCH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 21 June, p. 3. , viewed 02 Mar 2020,
  9. 1873 'LICENSING BENCH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 24 December, p. 4. , viewed 07 Nov 2018,
  10. 1875 'WATER COMMISSION.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 1 May, p. 4. , viewed 02 Mar 2020,
  11. 1875 'Family Notices', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 29 July, p. 2. , viewed 02 Mar 2020,
  12. 1888 'BUEGAREE POLICE COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 17 November, p. 4. , viewed 02 Mar 2020,
  13. 1888 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 4 January, p. 3. , viewed 03 Mar 2020,
  14. 1890 'Family Notices', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 18 February, p. 3. , viewed 02 Mar 2020,

External links[edit | edit source]