Selina Ann Cantor

From Hotels of Ballarat
Selina Ann Cantor
Born c.1835
Died May 1892
Occupation Barmaid
Years active 1888
Known for Cardiff Arms Hotel
Home town Ballarat
Spouse(s) Peter McDonald
Edward Cantor
  • James Spurgeon (father)
  • Elizabeth Davey (mother)

Selina (Selena) Ann Cantor was a barmaid in Ballarat, Victoria, <1888>.

History[edit | edit source]

Selina Ann Spurgeon was born in London and baptised on 8 February 1835. Her parents were James Spurgeon and Elizabeth Davey.[1] She came to Australia at the age of 18, arriving in Melbourne on 18 May 1853 on the Calliope.[2] In 1854 she married Peter McDonald.[3]. McDonald died later that year.[4] In 1867 she married Edward Cantor.[5] Edward was a butcher who had had gone bankrupt after buying the Charlie Napier Hotel in 1863. In 1887, after a period of insanity, he cut his throat[6]

Selina Cantor was refused a publican's license for the Cardiff Arms Hotel in Sebastopol in December 1887:

An application for the transfer of the license of the Cardiff Arms hotel, Sebastopol, from James Davis to Mrs Cantor was objected to by the inspector, on the grounds that the latter was not a fit and proper person to hold a license.[7]

In January 1888, the police charged her, and another woman, with perjury following their answers in a previous court hearing:

CHARGE OF PERJURY. Thursday. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) At the Sebastopol Police Court to day, Mr Thomson, P.M., presiding, Inspector Parkinson proceeded against Selina Ann Cantor and Christina Cameron on a charge of perjury, which alleged offence was stated to have taken place at the local police court on 1st December. Mr Gaunt appeared for the defence. Inspector Parkinson deposed that on the 1st of December he appeared at the police court to prosecute a complaint against James Davies, licensee of the Cardiff Arms hotel, for refusing admission to the police in the person of Constable Daly, on Sunday, 24th November. For the defence the present defendant Cameron was called, and after being sworn in the customary manner by the clerk of the court she, in answer to questions, stated that at the time of Constable Daly knocking at the door only herself and Mrs Cantor were in the house. Witness asked her if there were not some young men in the house. She answered no. He then cautioned her, particularly as to what she would say. He again repeated the question, and she replied in the negative, and further stated that young men came to the door and knocked, but she would not admit them. Witness asked her at what time this occurred, and she replied nearly 7 o’clock. He asked her if it was not a quarter-past 7. She replied, "1 do not think so.” To Mr Gaunt —I did not take notes. Mr Wall took some notes. Witness spoke purely from memory. Witness thought Cameron was asked relative to the time, but was not positive. She was the first witness called, and Mrs Cantor was called afterwards. Mrs Cantor stated in evidence on the occasion referred to that she was lying on the bed with the keys of the bar and other rooms in her pocket, and that the time of Constable Daly’s knocking was between 4 and 5 p.m. John Wall, clerk of courts, acting at Sebastopol, deposed I remember the 1st of December last. A summons was set down for hearing Parkinson v Davies, and Messrs Matties and Dickinson, J.P., were the presiding magistrates. I know the defendant Cameron, who was called as witness for the defence, and who took the usual oath upon the Bible. I took several notes (produced). Cameron was asked if there were not several young men in the house, and she answered “No.” I do not remember Inspector Parkinson cautioning her to be truthful. I remember her being asked several times if there were not several young men in the house, and she answered “ No.” She said Mrs Cantor was lying on the bed in her bedroom, and had the keys of the bar in her pocket. The case was dismissed by the presiding magistrates.

Constable Daly was examined, and stated that the time of his knocking was about 7 o’clock. A young man who happened to be in court, named Clark, was called, and gave corroborative evidence of the time. Mrs Cantor was also called, and stated the time to be about 4 p.m. She repeated this in answer to the magistrates. Cameron was then recalled and asked relative to the time of the knocking, and said she did not think it was 7 o’clock. Constable Daly deposed—-I know James Davies, licensee of the Cardiff Arms hotel. My attention was attracted to the hotel on Sunday, 24th November, by the sound of voices in the hotel at about 7.15 p.m., and I knocked at the door in Victoria street, and remained about a minute. At the time of knocking, the witness Henry Clark, was standing in the street near the hotel. The door was not opened and I went round to the back but saw nobody. I knocked at the door but was not admitted. I again went to the front door and knocked and knocked, and asked for Mr Davies and was answered by a female voice that he was not there. I said police, and the voice answered, “ I will not open the door for the police or any one else.” About five minutes elapsed from the time of my knocking before I was admitted. The door was opened by Mrs Cantor, but I did not go in but stood near the bar door, and saw seven young men come out by the side door. I am positive seven young men came out; I knew one named Busch. To Mr Gaunt—Cameron stated that her reason for not opening the door was, because there was knocking at both doors, and she was confused and did not know who was there.

Henry Clark deposed—l saw Constable Daly knocking at the door of the Cardiff Arms hotel on Sunday, 24th November, and subsequently the constable spoke to me and asked me the time. I replied a quarter-past 7. Whilst conversing with the constable several young men came out by the side door in Beverin street, two of whom I recognised. To Mr Gaunt —l did not see the constable go into the hotel, and was conversing with him near the gate of the hotel. To Mr Parkinson—l left Constable Daly and went home to my residence in Cheshunt street. Andrew Strickland deposed —l remember Sunday, 24th November. I was in company with James Bradley and George Campbell, and, accompanied by them, I went into the Cardiff Arms hotel to procure a cigar. It was after 6 o’clock p.m. I saw other young men there as well as the defendant, Cameron, who supplied me with the cigar, but did not see Mrs Cantor. I saw the witnesses Howells, Busch, Dempster, and my companions, also a young man named Sheridan. We were all in the room, and Cameron came into the room. I heard a knock at the Victoria street door about 10 minutes after I went in. Accompanied by the others I left the hotel by the Beverin street door, and saw Constable Daley standing near the bar door. It was about 7 o’clock. James Bradley and Alexander Dempster corroborated Strickland’s evidence. The defendant Cameron was committed for trial at the Supreme Court at Ballarat on 7th February. Bail was allowed in two sureties of £25 or one surety of £50. The bail was not forthcoming when defendant left the court. The case against Mrs Cantor was postponed for a fortnight.[8]

Cantor died in Ballarat in May 1892, and is buried in the Ballarat New Cemetery: Church of England C, Section 07, Grave 03.[9]

After her death, her property and possessions were sold at auction:

FRIDAY, 2nd SEPTEMBER 1892 At a quarter to 2 o’clock On the premises. Humffray street, adjoining the Queen's Head Hotel. By Order of the Administratrix Selina Ann Cantor, Deceased. R LUDBROOK has been favored with instructions to sell by public auction, as above, to close accounts in the estate of Selina Ann Cantor, deceased, the following— A block of LAND part freehold and part Crown lands under miner's right, adjoining the Queen's Head Hotel, having a frontage to Humffray street of over 60 feet, on which is erected two weatherboard Cottages, and at same time will be sold the HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, bedding, and wearing apparel used by the late Mrs Cantor, which includes sewing machine, mangle, &c. A rare opportunity to secure a good block of land in the best side and in the best part of Humffray street. The whole must be converted into cash. No reserve. Terms at sale.[10]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. London Metropolitan Archives, St Andrew Holborn, Register of Baptism, P69/AND2/A/01/Ms 6667, Item 24
  2. Inward Overseas Passenger Lists (British Ports). Microfiche VPRS 7666, copy of VRPS 947. Public Record Office Victoria, North Melbourne, Victoria.
  3. Australian Marriage Index, Victoria, 1854, Ref. No. 737
  4. Australian Death Index, Victoria, 1854, Ref. No. 401
  5. Australian Marriage Index, Victoria, 1867, Ref. No. 2909
  6. 1887 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 23 May, p. 6. , viewed 05 Jun 2017,
  7. 1887 'BALLARAT LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 9 December, p. 2. , viewed 16 Sep 2016,
  8. 1888 'CHARGE OF PERJURY.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 6 January, p. 4. , viewed 04 Jun 2017,
  9. Ballarat Cemetery Index
  10. 1892 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 1 September, p. 3. , viewed 05 Jun 2017,

External links[edit | edit source]