Mary Fitzgerald

From Hotels of Ballarat
Mary Fitzgerald
Born 1854
Died 22 February 1919
Occupation Publican
Hotel owner
Years active 1884-1913
Known for Wattle Flat Hotel
Home town Wattle Flat
Spouse(s) Charles McCulloch.
  • John Fitzgerald (father)
  • Sarah (mother)

Mary Fitzgerald, later Mary McCulloch, was a publican and hotel owner in Wattle Flat, <1884-1912.

History[edit | edit source]

In December 1884 the license for the Wattle Flat Hotel was granted to Mary Fitzgerald.[1] Wattle Flat is a locality about three kms south of Dean. Her license was renewed in December 1885.[2]

In December 1886 the license was transferred from Mary to her husband, C. McCullock (McCulloch).[3] The license was transferred back to Mary in December 1887.[4]

In February 1897 Mary was assaulted by her husband:

Yesterday afternoon Mounted-Constable Shaw arrested Charles McCulloch on warrant, charging him with having unlawfully assaulted his wife on the previous day. Mrs McCulloch is the licensee of an hotel at Wattle Flat, near Dean, and her husband, who is a laborer, working in the same locality, is alleged to have severely beaten her on Thursday. McCulloch will appear at the City Court this morning.[5]

Charles M’Culloch was charged at the City Police Court on Saturday with having assaulted his wife, who is the licensee of the Wattle Tree hotel, at Dean. Mrs M’Culloch stated that she had been married to the accused for over 11 years, and during that period he had frequently illtreated her. She was afraid that the prisoner would do her some injury, as when under the influence of drink he behaved in a most violent manner. Mounted-constable Shaw gave evidence in support of the charge. The defendant said he was drunk at the time when he assaulted his wife. He declared that his misconduct had been exaggerated, and that he had no intention of injuring his wife. The bench were satisfied that the case had been sustained and Mr Permewan (the chairman) severely rebuked the prisoner for behaving in such a cowardly manner. A fine of £5 was imposed, or in default the defendant is to be imprisoned for one month. M'Culloch was warned that a repetition of his misconduct would be punished.[6]

In December 1899, Mary took legal action against her brother after he assaulted her in the hotel's store:

Mary M'Culloch v George Fitzgerald and a cross case, was the third assault investigated by the City bench yesterday. Messrs Coltman and Graham, J's.P., presided. Mrs M'Culloch is the licensee of an hotel and store at Wattle Flat, and Fitzgerald is her brother. The evidence showed that Fitzgerald called at his sister’s place on the 6th inst., and ordered some bread. While the complainant was getting it, he began to question her about some family affairs, and subsequently he leaned over the counter and struck her in the face, and then jumped over and threw a loaf at her. She picked up an empty bottle and tried to keep him off; but he pelted her with bread, and also hit and kicked her. She took out a summons, and some days after received one herself. Fitzgerald had married witness' stepdaughter. A witness named Michael Kane deposed to the assault by Fitzgerald. For the defence it was claimed that the case was only a family squabble. The bench however considered the case proved, and fined Fitzgerald 20s. or seven days, with £1 8s 6d costs, and dismissed the cross case. Mr T. Robinson appeared for Mrs M'Culloch, and Mr M. Lazarus for Fitzgerald.[7]

Her license was renewed in December 1900.[8]

She tried unsuccessfully to sell the hotel at auction in November 1902:

Messrs Chas. Walker and Co. will sell at their offices at 12 o’clock to-day (Wednesday), a snug-country wayside hotel, known as the Wattle Flat hotel, occupying a good position for business purposes, between Glenpark and Dean, about 8 miles from Ballarat. There is a good trade attached to the house, besides small store and post office, and the sale offers a very good opportunity for a suitable man to secure a snug business at a low figure. The property must be sold, and easy terms can be arranged with the auctioneers.[9]

In May 1903 the license was transferred from Mary McCulloch to Annie Bethune.[10]

In May 1912 the license was transferred from Mary McCulloch to Thomas W. Ryan.[11]

The hotel was destroyed in a fire in 1912 and the license was surrendered to the License Reduction Board in November 1912.[12] The owner was paid £100 compensation, and the licensee £30.[13]

Mary died on 22 February 1919. She left a large estate over just over £3000. Half was left to her husband and rest divided between her brothers and their children.[14]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1884 'BUNGAREE POLICE COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 25 December, p. 4. , viewed 13 May 2021,
  2. 1885 'LICENSING MEETING.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 29 December, p. 4. , viewed 08 Apr 2019,
  3. 1886 'CRESWICK.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 December, p. 4. , viewed 09 Jun 2016,
  4. 1887 'CRESWICK.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 10 December, p. 2. , viewed 18 May 2021,
  5. 1897 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 13 February, p. 2. , viewed 17 May 2021,
  6. 1897 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 February, p. 2. , viewed 17 May 2021,
  7. 1899 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 19 December, p. 2. , viewed 16 May 2021,
  8. 1900 'RENEWALS OF VITUALLERS’ LICENSES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 5 December, p. 3. , viewed 17 May 2021,
  9. 1902 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 19 November, p. 6. , viewed 14 May 2021,
  10. 1903 'THE LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 May, p. 3. , viewed 07 Apr 2019,
  11. 1912 'LICENSING COURT', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 18 May, p. 4. , viewed 17 May 2021,
  12. 1912 'SURRENDERED LICENSES.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 27 November, p. 4. , viewed 16 May 2021,
  13. 1913 'LICENSES REDUCTION BOARD', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 31 January, p. 2. , viewed 16 May 2021,
  14. McCulloch, Mary, Wills and Probate Records. VPRS 28 (Probates) and VPRS 7591 (Wills). Public Record Office Victoria, North Melbourne, Victoria.

External links[edit | edit source]