Railway Hotel (Corduroy)

From Hotels of Ballarat
For hotels with the same or similar names, see Railway Hotel.
Railway Hotel
Picture needed
Town Corduroy
Known dates 1860-1862

The Railway Hotel was a hotel at Corduroy (Clarendon) Victoria, <1860-1862>.

Site[edit | edit source]

The hotel is described as being at Corduroy, which is now known as Clarendon, on the road between Ballarat and Geelong. The name of the hotel is curious, as the railway does not pass through Clarendon, but is several kilometres to the east.

Background[edit | edit source]

The following report from the Ballarat Star in March 1859 suggests that the hotel was to be called the Victoria Hotel:

RAILWAY HOTEL AT CORDUROY.-At the Buninyong Licensing Sessions on Wednesday last, Charles Haynes applied for a license for a house on the line of railway, at Corduroy, to be called the Victoria Hotel. The application had been postponed from the previous Saturday. Mr M'Dermott appeared in support of the application, and argued that as on a previous occasion the license had been refused in consequence of the opposition of Messrs Evans, Merry & Co., and the refusal on behalf of the government to grant an occupation license to applicant; and the applicant now being in possession of an occupation license the opposition also being withdrawn, and a letter having been received from the Treasury favorable to the application, there was nothing now standing in the way of the Bench granting the license. Granted[1]

In March 1860 there was a legal dispute over the hotel:

In the case Harding v Bartlett, in the County Court on Saturday, an attempt was made to prove a partnership between the defendant, who is lessee of the Railway Hotel, Corduroy, and Mr Woolley, the contractor. The attempt failed.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

A proposed sale of the hotel in March 1861 was postponed.[3]

In May 1862, John Bartlett, who in 1860 was the publican, was charged with trying to burn the hotel down.

ALLEGED ARSON.- John Bartlett was charged with having wilfully and maliciously set fire to the Railway Hotel at Corduroy, on the 19th instant. Mr Trench, instructed by Mr Paynter, appeared for the accused, and the prosecution was conducted by Sergeant Smith. The depositions of Senior Constable Shanklin taken on a former day were now read over. The witnesses were ordered out of Court. Constable Shanklin re-called and re-examined by Mr Trench - Saw marks of fire over the chimney piece in one of the bedrooms. The size might be about as large as his hand. The burned paper was about the height of the candle in the candlestick from the chimneypiece. There was a hole burned in the paper. The material behind that he thought was canvas. There was another hole burned in the wall in the passage. There was a small leafed table in the hall. The size of the burnt hole in the passage was about a foot or eighteen inches. If caused by a candlestick placed on the table the candle when lighted must have fallen against the wall, or been put to it, to have set it on fire. When witness went to the house the doors were all locked. The passage alluded to led into the garden. There was a third hole burnt in a bedroom near a washstand. The paper was burnt to the extent of six inches and upwards. There was a candlestick on the washstand but no candle in it. Found the prisoner in bed. Attempted to arouse him and could not do so until nearly two o'clock. He appeared to be drunk, and wondered, apparently so, at seeing witness and another constable in the bedroom. Was not directed to get up a prosecution against the accused by any insurance office. Believed that the premises were not insured. To Mr Clissold -The burnt parts appeared to be fresh. There was no candle in the candlestick on the wash stand, nor in the candlesticks in the passage, but there was melted sperm on both. There was no candlestick where the other fire broke out. If the candle was too large for the candlestick it might lean against the wall and set the paper on fire.

William F. Blanchard deposed that he was the proprietor of the hotel at Corduroy known as the Railway hotel, which was rented from Mr Warren. Knew the prisoner, who was a sort of partner with witness in the hotel business They had no written agreement of the partnership, but there was a verbal one. On the morning of the 19th witness went from home, and on his return, about half-past four o'clock, he found the prisoner drunk, and a quarrel took place about the general business. While the quarrel was going on the servant called them to tea. Witness took his tea; but Bartlett did not, and stopped in the room. Witness said to him that it was useless to talk about matters then, as he (the prisoner) was not in a fit state calmly to talk them over. Had tea in the dining room, and when he left it he sat down in the bar, outside of the counter. Was sure that the accused did not use any threats while the quarrel lasted. When sitting in the bar Bartlett came, and walked to and fro, and sat down after some time on a chair behind the counter. He remained there a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes. He then stood up and took some drink, and asked one of the grooms, named William, to have some also. Never spoke to the accused while in the bar. When leaving the bar the accused took a sperm candle which he lighted in the bar, and next went into the dining-room. Could not say if the candle was in a candlestick or in his hand. After some little time the prisoner returned from the dining room to the bar, and got another candle which he lighted and again proceeded into the dining room or passage; could not say which. No person was in the bar when the second candle was lighted. There were only four persons in the house then, namely, witness, Bartlett and two others. The house was open and there were no customers in it. Witness shortly afterwards went into the dining room; Bartlett was not there. Witness found a lighted candle in the candle-stick on the mantelpiece, and the paper burning. The candle was leaning against the paper. Extinguished the blaze. The candle was a short one. Next went into the passage and observed a light in the lower bedroom. It was a bright light. Proceeded there, and found a lighted candle in a candlestick on the wash-stand. The paper on the wall was on fire, but the candlestick was not leaning against the wall. The candle was so close to the wall that a breeze would suffice to carry the flame of the candle to the paper on the wall. The candle was nearly a whole one. After extinguishing the fire in the bedroom he met Bartlett coming through the passage from the verandah. Spoke to and asked him what he had been about? He made no reply, but walked on. Had no recollection, but he thought he was sure that he did not inform him that the house had been on fire. As to the third part of the house being on fire, he did not know of it until Senior Constable Shanklin discovered it. Witness then put a few things in his carpet bag and walked out, observing "that he would not sleep in the house that night." Witness then reported the matter to the police. Could not recollect if the accused took some paper from the bar with him.

To Mr Clissold - The candles fitted tight in the candle-sticks, but occasionally they required a little paper to make them stand upright in the candlesticks. Mr Trench declined to cross examine the witness. Mr Clissold asked if there was any more evidence. The sergeant said there was the groom yet to be examined, but his evidence was similar to that of the last witness. Mr Clissold said - Then there was no evidence of a threat? The sergeant said not. Mr Clissold said there was no evidence to sustain the charge of arson. The accused was therefore discharged without the slightest stigma on his reputation so far as the charge went.[4]

In June 1862, the ownership of the hotel was brought up in a debt action:

Two interpleader summonses were heard in the County Court yesterday, in which the debtors were the late proprietors of the Railway Hotel, Corduroy. The claimant in one case set up a title to the hotel and furniture as purchaser from Mr Warren, of Cobb's Company, who bought from the Sheriff's officer at a sale some months ago, and took a mortgage from the present claimant. The mortgagor was the servant of the mortgagee at that time. His Honor appeared to regard the transaction as an improper one, and disallowed the claim with costs.[5]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1859 'Local and General News.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 21 March, p. 3, viewed 31 October, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66334678
  2. 2.0 2.1 1860 'News and Notes,.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 5 March, p. 2, viewed 31 October, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72465400
  3. 1861 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 25 March, p. 3. , viewed 18 May 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66338124
  4. 4.0 4.1 1862 'BUNINYONG POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 24 May, p. 4, viewed 31 October, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66324309
  5. 1862 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 28 June, p. 2. , viewed 21 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66325149

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