Scrase and Ainley

From Hotels of Ballarat
Scrase and Ainley
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Town Ballarat
Street Eureka Street
Opened 1861
Closed 1865
Other names Specimen Hill Brewery

Scrase and Ainley was a brewing company in Ballarat, 1861-1865.

Background[edit | edit source]

The company was one of several partnerships in brewing operated by Edwin Scrase. It was first the Specimen Hill Brewery which had been operated in the 1850s by Scrase and Fry. Scrase and Ainley was operated by Edwin Scrase and Edward Ainley. The pair had a very public falling out in 1865 which was still being commented on 30 years later.

History[edit | edit source]

Scrase advertised his new business in March 1861:

Specimen Hill Brewery. EDWIN-SCRASE, in returning thanks for the liberal support hitherto given to him, begs to inform the public generally that he has this day taken into partnership Mr Edward Ainley. In future the business will be carried on under the style and firm of Scrase & Ainley. Ballarat, 5th March, 1861.[1]

In December 1861, one of the company's representatives was found to have been stealing money:

EMBEZZLEMENT. William Morrison, a respectable-looking man, was charged with embezzling £50 and upwards, the property of his employers, Messrs Scrase & Ainley. Edward Ainley deposed that he was a partner in the firm of Scrase & Ainley. He knew the prisoner, who was employed as traveller for the firm in September. He was engaged at a salary of £1 per week and 5 per cent, commission on each hogshead of ale or porter that he sold. He was authorised to receive moneys on behalf of thefirm. His duty was to come to Ballarat every week and hand over all moneys received to the clerk. On the 3rd of every month he received bills, which he was to collect. On the 3rd of December, witness, from something he had been told, called on the prisoner, and informed him that he had seen a receipt of his (Morrison's) in possession of Mr Campbell, of Linton, for a certain sum of money received by the prisoner. Witness requested the prisoner to inform him if any more money had been received by him, in order to have the bills sent out regularly. He said there were no more irregularities that he was aware of. On the 5th inst, witness went to Mr O'Farrell's, of Carngham, with the accused, and the latter handed a bill to O'Farrell, who said his account was not so large, and that he had paid something out of it. Morrison denied having received the money. Mrs O'Farrell searched the file, and found a receipt for £7 6s signed by the prisoner, and dated 14th September. The prisoner never accounted for that amount, On the 6th December went to Chas. Harris, of Smythesdale. The prisoner was with him. The accused, when spoken to before going into Harris's, said he had received one account there, but Mr Harris found a receipt on his file for £2 4s and £3 respectively. They next went to George Hatfield, who resided at Italian Gully. Witness asked the prisoner if he had received any money there, and he said No, that the account was correct. Hatfield said he had paid £2 8s 6d out of the bill, and produced the receipt, dated the 8th November, and signed by the prisoner on the account of the firm of Scrase & Ainley. No account of this sum was rendered to the firm. The amount of the defalcations altogether was over £100. Mr Harris, who appeared for the accused, objected to this going on the depositions. Three items should, according to law, have been proved to have been embezzled. Those items amounting to about £15, had been selected, and it would be illegal to go into any other items. Mr Clissold coincided. Witness (in continuation)-Every day that the prisoner came into Ballarat he was to render an account to the clerk. Especially at the end of every month. He did give a return to the clerk, which was wrong. James Anderson deposed that he was book keeper in the employment of the prosecutors. He produced the ledger and daybook, both of which were in his handwriting. He knew the prisoner, who was agent for the firm at Smythe's. The amount of £7 6s, received from Mr O'Farrell, had not been handed to the witness. Neither did he pay witness the amount received from Mr Harris, nor yet the sum received from Mr Hatfield. (Mr Dyte, J.P., here joined the Bench.) Mr Clissold-Who paid the prisoner the £1 per week. Witness-Whatever money the prisoner had coming to him was placed to his private account. There had never been a settlement with him. The amount realised by his sales came to £580. Whatever money he was short in handing in accounts went to his private account. Since he had come into the service of the prosecutors £35 1s 3d had been passed to his private account. On six different occasions when paying over money he was short in this amount. Allow ing him five per cent on the £580 would be £29, and his salary of £1 per week would make the total amount due to him £42. Edwin Scrase deposed to the engagement of the prisoner as traveller for his firm. He did not receive the three amounts already alluded to from the prisoner. Sarah O'Farrell, of Carngham, deposed that for the last four months her husband had dealt with the firm of Messrs Scrase and Ainley for ale and porter. She produced a receipt received from the prisoner for £7 6s, which was signed by him. She had paid him this amount. George Hatfield deposed to having paid the prisoner £2 8s, for which he received a receipt, now produced. Charles Harris deposed to having paid the prisoner £2 14s, which he had not accounted for, for which he also received a receipt from the prisoner. Mary A. Harris, wife of the last witness, deposed to having paid the accused £3. Mr Harris (for the prisoner) said that he would reserve his defence. The prisoner was then committed for trial at the Circuit Court, and admitted to bail in two sureties of £100 each.[2]

In July 1862 the company had the lease of the water supply pipes in both Ballarat and Ballarat East:

It will be seen from our report of the proceedings of the Eastern Council that Messrs Rees and Benjamin have transferred the lease of the Eastern stand-pipes to Messrs Scrase and Ainley, who, are also the lessees of those in the Western Municipality.[3]

In November 1862, the brewery was threatened by a large fire which destroyed many hotels and businesses in Main Road.

The fire seemed to take the direction of Specimen-hill, and Scrags (sic) and Ainley's brewery but as the wind blew from an opposite direction, this danger was averted.[4]

The public dispute between Scrase and Edward Ainley, his business partner in 1865, was mentioned in an article in the Star in June 1888:

The local commercial world was entertained 1865 by some published correspondence between Edwin Scrase and Edward Ainley, members of a brewing firm whose brewery was in Eureka street, near Main street. Scrase, the senior partner, had bought the Charlie Napier Theatre to use as a brewery, and at the same time a dispute arose between the partners, a dissolution took place, aud then there was a public washing of dirty linen in the local papers, because Scrase, annoyed at reports circulated, felt, as he said, “bound in justice to myself to publish the true cause of the dissolution.” His letters averred irregularities on Ainley’s part, Ainley pleaded in bar of such averments the award of arbiters Charles Seal, Robert Dunn, Frederick Moses Claxton, assisted by barrister Robert Walsh, who “ took evidence on oath,” and Scrase rejoined that the award was given on technical and "benevolent” grounds. But, amidst a whirl of rumors as to the cause of the dissolution, Ainley declared that “the real cause of our dissolution was BAD BEER.” To this Scrase replied— “What next ? If such is the case, I can only say that the public taste must be vitiated indeed, as I am brewing night and day to supply the numerous orders which I am receiving from all quarters.” This has a puffy flavor, but Scrase, who had most wit and the better command of English, gave a further thrust, saying, in conclusion—“It is just possible that the proverbial sympathy of a British public, always shown to one whom it considers has been wronged, may have caused this extraordinary demand for bad beer.” Ainley wound up by the declaration that he was disgusted at such treatment of the arbiters’ decision, and that, from sympathy expressed, “ the only regret seems to, be that I should have been met by such unscrupulous action.” There have been firm disputes before and since in Ballarat, but this was the only one brought prominently and verbosely under the public eye. Inspite of " the numerous orders,” Scrase’s change of place for his brewery was not lucky’. He was flooded out in one of the Eastern deluges, business fell off, and he had to throw the venture up. Thereafter he battled with hard times in Melbourne. Ainley also went to Melbourne, and had some unpleasant adventures, neither ever recovering the commercial position he had once enjoyed in Ballarat. Scrase’s ill-luck at the Charlie was also the herald of the utter failure of that place as one of either pleasure or profit, and soon after the time of Scrase’s departure the premises, whose foundations were laid with much display, as we shall see anon, were sold for a song, and the materials were carted westward, to be used in buildings in the City.[5]

When their business partnership ended, Scrase and Ainley offered all the company assets for auction, including the Smythesdale Brewery Company and the Hit or Miss Hotel:

POSTPONED TILL MONDAY 11th DECEMBER, Commencing at 10 o'clock sharp. To Brewers, Merchants, Speculators, and Others. FOR POSITIVE AND UNRESERVED SALE BY AUCTION, The Whole of the PLANT, ROLLING STOCK, 10 HORSE-POWER VERTICAL STEAM ENGINE, HEAVY DRAUGHT HORSES, WAGONS, SPRING DRAYS, TILBURYS, BUGGIES, HARNESS, 600 HOGSHEADS SUGAR, HOPS, And other Effects belonging to MESSRS SCRASE AND AINLEY, BREWERS, At Ballarat and Smythesdale. FREDERICK EVERINGHAM has been favored with instructions from the Proprietors (in order to close co-partnership accounts to sell by auction, on their premises, Ballarat East, on Monday, the 11th inst., at ten o'clock punctually, All such BUILDINGS and PORTIONS OF BUILDINGS and PREMISES as belong to the Co-partnership, particulars of which will be fully described on the day of sale. The LIVE and DEAD STOCK comprise the following: 9 first-class heavy draught and light harness horses, (thoroughly staunch), 1 superior cow in full milk, 3 wagons, 2 spring delivery drays, 2 delivery drays without springs, 1 lorry, 1 water-cart and cask, 1 tilbury with hood, 1 tilbury without, 1 sulky, 1 buggy 600 hogsheads and quarter-casks, 5 skids, weighing machine (weighs 10 cwt) Circular Saw and bench, blocks and tackle 10-horse power engine and boiler (by Clayton and and Shuttleworth) Malt roaster and machine belts.

STORE-ROOM. 8½ pockets new hops. 30 cwt Mauritius sugar 120 dozen 4-bushel bags, new, bags malt, 1 bottling machine, 1 corking machine 10 bags oats, a quantity of isinglass Coopers' tools, tits, schives, augers, 30 bags corks and bungs, beer warmer, Zinc piping, kerosene oil, sieves Thermometers, engine oil, &c, &c.

HARNESS-ROOM AND YARD. 9 sets cart, buggy, and spring cart harness, saddles and bridles, stable implements, wheelbarrows,ropes, lanterns, blacksmith's forge and tools complete. horseshoes, iron, bolts; together with an innumerable quantity of useful article always required in a brewing establishment or any other place of business.

OFFICE FURNITURE. 1 Milner's safe (large size), 4 chairs, escritoire, table with drawers, saccharometer, washstand, clock, fender and irons, oilcloth, stools, maps, looking glass, bill tiles, drawers with pigeon-holes on top, stationery, business card frames, mats, and sundry job lots. Also, a quantity of HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, viz., 1 extra-sized cooking stove (nearly new), safe, chairs, bedstead, bedding, sofa, crockery, and a large assortment of cooking utensils.

After the above, all that property known as the HIT OR MISS, OR BREWERY TAP HOTEL, which adjoins the brewery, is in close proximity to the Eastern Borough Market, is now doing a steady bar trade, with a certainty of daily improving. This property is well worth the attention of a small capitalist desirous of getting into business at once. N.B. Intending purchasers are invited to be on the premises early on the 8th instant, in order to inspect the stock and property prior to the commencement of sale. Terms at sale. Catalogues, with full particulars, may be obtained at the office of Messrs Scrase and Ainley, or from the auctioneer, on and after Monday next, 4th inst. F. EVERINGHAM, Auctioneer,Lydiard Btreet. POSTPONED TILL WEDNESDAY, 13th DECEMBER, At 11 o'clock sharp.

SALE AT SMYTHESDALE. To Brewers and Parties in search of a sure Fortune-making Investment. FOR UNRESERVED SALE BY AUCTION, A BREWERY DOING A LARGE TOWN AND COUNTRY TRADE. FREDERICK EVERINGHAM has been in structed by Messrs Scrase and Ainley (in consequence of a dissolution of partnership) to sell by auction, on their premises, situate at Smythesdale, on Wednesday, 13th just., at 11 o'clock precisely, All those substantial and commodious Premises situate at Smythesdale, and well known as Scrase and Ainley's Brewery, replete in every respect, and capable of brewing from 100 to 120 hogsheads per week; together with all improvements, consisting of Cottages, Huts, Stable, Offices, and large Reservoir, with an unlimited supply of water. Also, all the HORSES, ROLLING STOCK, WAGONS, Drays, Harness, with all the tools, implements, and requisites required to carry on the business systematically. NOTE.-The auctioneer begs to remark, that, as the property is for bona fide and unreserved sale, and has been established five years with brilliant results to the owners, it presents a not often-occurring opportunity to any person desirous of embarking a small capital in the brewing business, to jump into a ready-made trade, with the certainty of realising a colossal fortune in a few years. Terms at sale. FRED. EVERINGHAM, Auctioneer, Lydiard street, Ballarat.[6]

The people[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1861 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 8 March, p. 3. , viewed 30 Aug 2018,
  2. 1861 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 14 December, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR), viewed 30 Aug 2018,
  3. 1862 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 2 July, p. 2. , viewed 18 Jan 2020,
  4. 1862 'ANOTHER DESTRUCTIVE FIRE AT BALLARAT.', Gippsland Guardian (Vic. : 1855 - 1868), 5 December, p. 3, viewed 9 November, 2014,
  5. 1888 'BALLARAT CHRONICLES AND PICTURES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 25 June, p. 4. , viewed 30 Aug 2018,
  6. 1865 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 8 December, p. 3. , viewed 30 Aug 2018,