Seven Stars Hotel (Humffray Street)

For other hotels with the same or similar names, see Seven Stars Hotel.

The Seven Stars Hotel was a hotel in Ballarat, Victoria, <1874-1920>.

Seven Stars Hotel
Picture needed
Town Ballarat
Street Humffray Street
Known dates 1873-1920

Site Edit

The hotel was in Humffray Street[1], opposite Russell Square.[2]

Background Edit

History Edit

The hotel was sold in 1887 and the purchaser was Mortimer Cremin:

FRIDAY. 3rd JUNE, At 12 o’clock, On the Premises, the Seven Stars Hotel, Humffray street. HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE AND EFFECTS. FREEMAN and CRABBE has been favored with instructions from the Executrix (on account of having sold the property to Mr Mortimer Cremin), to sell by public auction (by their T. A. Freeman), The whole of the FURNITURE, &c., contained therein consisting of—Tables, chairs, bagatelle table, pictures, clocks, single and double iron bedsteads, bedding, cedar washstands and ware, chest drawers, crockery, glassware, cooking utensils, and sundries, too numerous to mention. Terms—Cash. Absolute Sale.[3]

Cremin was given permission to continue the hotel business under the existing license:

Mortimer Cremin was authorised to carry on the business of the Seven Stars hotel, Humffray street, until the expiration of the license granted to the late Thomas Heyden.[4]

The hotel was one of the hotels reviewed at the Licensing Court 1888 hearings:

Seven Stars hotel—Mortimer Cremin, licensee and owner. A wooden building, of ten rooms, six lath and plastered, well furnished, clean, and well conducted; doing a bar trade.[5]

It was reviewed again in 1891 and was one of the 28 Ballarat East hotels to keep its license.[6]

After Cremin's death the hotel was offered for sale in October 1894:

WEDNESDAY, 31st OCTOBER, At 2 o'clock sharp, On the premises, Humffray street, opposite Russell square. SALE BY AUCTION OF THE SEVEN STARS HOTEL And Snug FOUR-ROOMED COTTAGE immediately opposite. R. T. HAGER and CO. are positively instructed by the administrator in the estate of the late Mortimer Cremin to sell by auction as above. Lot 1.—2 Magnificent allotments of freehold and the buildings known as the SEVEN STARS HOTEL, which are replete with every convenience, and enjoy the most lucrative connection in this prosperous and rising centre, and are let to Mr John Salter, particulars of whose tenancy may be obtained from Messrs Pearson and Mann or the undersigned. The cottage property has been leased to the present tenant, at a weekly rental of 5s, for the past nine years, and is one that should command the attention of investing or persons requiring a snug home, for which easy terms can be arranged. R. T. HAGER and CO.. Auctioneers, Ballarat.[2]

The hotel must not have sold, as Mrs. M. A. Cremin was still the publican in May 1896 when she was charged with Sunday trading:

An interesting licensing case was heard at the Ballarat East Court yesterday- before Messrs Williams, Miller, Elsworth, Josephs, and Phillips, J’s.P., when Mrs M. A. Cremin, licensee of the Seven Stars hotel, Humffray street, was charged with Sunday trading. Inspector Hamilton conducted the prosecution. The defendant, when asked to plead, stated that she had been merely guilty of giving a bottle of beer away, but not guilty of any breach of the Licensing Act. The inspector remarked that that was tantamount to a plea of not guilty. Constable Wm. Stewart deposed that he was on duty in Humffray street on Sunday, the 10th instant, when he noticed a man named Downes leave the hotel with something hidden under his coat. He asked him to show witness what it was, and Downes produced a bottle of beer. He then asked the man to accompany him to the hotel, where he questioned Mrs Cremin as to the sale of it. The latter admitted having given Downes the beer, and said that no money passed between them. Thos. Downes, a stone breaker, said that on the day mentioned a man named Maloney was ill, and he went to Mrs Cremin and asked her to give him abottle of beer. The licensee handed him the beer, and said it would not be charged for. He took the beer to Maloney after meeting the constable, and they both had drinks together. In answer to the inspector, witness said he had never been caught before, and he was positive that the beer made Maloney better. Mrs Cremin gave evidence on her behalf to the effect that, when the man Downes called for the ale, she neither took the money from him nor opened the bar. She had a bottle in a cupboard, which she gave to him for Maloney, whom she knew to be unwell. She did not expect to be paid for it, neither was she in the habit of serving on Sundays, The magistrates believed her statement, and dismissed the case.[7]

She was again charged with Sunday trading in February 1897:

At the Ballarat Town Police Court on the 4th inst. Mrs. Cremmin, licensee of the Seven Stars Hotel, Humffray-street, was charged with refusing Constables Beckman and Stewart admission to her premises on Sunday, 20th December. Mr. H. S. Barrett appeared for the defence. The evidence for the prosecution was to the effect that the constables visited the hotel on the afternoon of the day named, seeking admission by the back entrance. They saw several persons leave the hotel, but when the police desired to enter the premises the door was shut in their faces. A minute and a half elapsed before they gained admittance. Meanwhile they heard the clinking of glasses and the closing of a door. When the police were admitted they found the bar door locked; but there were several young men sitting in a parlor. Constable Stewart believed that the door which debarred them from making an inspection of the hotel was locked, whereas Constable Beckman said be would not swear to its being looked. The bench, consisting of Messrs. Q. Josephs and W. D. M'Kee, J's.P., dismissed the charge.[8]

In December 1897 Mary Ann Cremin's license renewal was refused:

When the application of Mary O. Cremin for a renewal of the license for the Seven Stars hotel, Ballarat East, was called on at the Licensing Court yesterday, Inspector Young announced that he would oppose the application on the grounds of persistent Sunday trading. Constable Beckman stated that he had watched the premises on six separate Sundays since the holding of the last Licensing Court. On the 20th December, 1896, he and Constable Stewart demanded admittance after seeing two men and a child leave the house. After some delay, during which there were sounds of hurrying feet, they were admitted, and found three man side. Witness heard the beer pump in the bar at work on the 6th June and the 17th October. On each of those occasions, when they demanded admittance, there was some delay. When they got inside, on each occasion they found persons in the bar parlor. Mrs Cremin stated on one occasion that two glasses contained liquor had not been washed since the previous evening. Witness mentioned other dates upon which he had found persons in the house on Sundays. On the 5th December witness concealed himself, at about 9.55 a.m., in such a place that he could command a full view of the house. Between that hour and 12.30 he saw 23 men and three women enter and two men leave. A lodger kept watch on the outside, and on Constable Stewart’s arrival he disappeared. Shortly afterwards there was a crowd of men on the footpath Corroborative evidence was given by Constable Stewart, and several other witnesses stated that they had seen people entering and leaving the house on many Sundays. His Honor said the case had been proved up to the hilt, and the license would be refused. The owner, however, would have an opportunity to apply for the issue of a license to another tenant before the 12th January.[9]

In December 1909, the publican, Elizabeth Wright, was charged with selling watered down whisky:

Elizabeth Wright, licensee of the Seven Stars Hotel, Humffray-street. Ballarat East, was charged at the local court on Wednesday with offering for sale whisky that was underproof. Evidence was tendered by Mr. Reekie, excise officer, that he visited the hotel in October last, and defendant tendered him a bottle of Mitchell's whisky for the purpose of analysis. The analysis made by Mr. Osborne, Deputy Government Analyst, revealed that the whisky was 15 per cent. underproof, and that there was 4 per cent. of added water. Defendant, who pleaded guilty, said that she had no idea the whisky was not up to standard. A fine of 50/, and 40/ costs was imposed.[10]

In August 1913 the publican was fined:

At Ballarat East court on Wednesday Mary Ann Cremin, licensee of the Seven Stars Hotel, and Edgar Peters, licensee of the Cremorne Hotel, were each fined £5 for having had their bar doors open on Sunday, 27th July. Three young men who had been found on the premises with out lawful excuse were each fined 10/, and a woman who had been seen leaving the hotel with beer was let off with a fine of 3/-.[11]

In March 1920 the hotel was once again listed for closure by the Licenses Reduction Board:

Mr J. B. Pearson appeared for the owner of the Seven Stars hotel, and the licensee appeared in person. Constable Craig stated that the hotel was a one-story weatherboard one, not in very good condition. There were 10 well-furnished rooms, and the house was well conducted. There were five hotels within an area of 21 miles. Corroborative evidence was given by Senior-Constable Wallace. Mrs Cremmins owner of the hotel, said she was prepared to extend the building in accordance with any suggestions by the board. The Chairman —Is it not better to have the ready money from compensation rather than spend more money when you do not know what is going to happen at the next poll? The witness did not reply. Albert Sudweeks, licensee of the hotel, said his lease had a year to go.[12]

Community Involvement Edit

  • In September 1894, J. N. Dunn, a candidate in the Ballarat East election, used the hotel for a political meeting.[13]

The People Edit

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. 1888 'THE BALLARAT LICENSING COURT.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 30 June, p. 14, viewed 28 October, 2015,
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 1894 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 29 October, p. 3. , viewed 30 Jul 2017,
  3. 3.0 3.1 1887 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 2 June, p. 3. , viewed 30 Jul 2017,
  4. 4.0 4.1 1887 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 9 June, p. 2. , viewed 03 Aug 2019,
  5. 1888 'HUMFFRAY STREET HOUSES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 27 June, p. 4. , viewed 28 Sep 2018,
  6. 1891 'LOCAL OPTION IN BALLARAT EAST', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 21 September, p. 2. , viewed 02 Apr 2017,
  7. 7.0 7.1 1896 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 May, p. 2. , viewed 31 Jul 2017,
  8. 1897 'TRADE NOTES.', Sportsman (Melbourne, Vic. : 1882 - 1904), 9 February, p. 8. , viewed 09 Sep 2018,
  9. 1897 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 16 December, p. 2. , viewed 01 Nov 2022,
  10. 10.0 10.1 1909 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 23 December, p. 5. , viewed 17 Jun 2018,
  11. 11.0 11.1 1913 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 21 August, p. 12. , viewed 31 Jul 2017,
  12. 12.0 12.1 1920 'SEVEN STARS HOTEL.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 31 March, p. 3. , viewed 30 Jul 2017,
  13. 1894 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 11 September, p. 3. , viewed 21 Apr 2017,
  14. 1873 'LICENSING BENCH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 December, p. 2. , viewed 24 May 2017,
  15. 1874 'BALLARAT EAST LICENSING BENCH. ANNUAL MEETING.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 December, p. 4, viewed 7 November, 2015,
  16. 1889 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 26 October, p. 2. , viewed 02 Apr 2017,
  17. 1893 'Family Notices', Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 - 1954), 7 October, p. 11. , viewed 30 Jul 2017,
  18. 1890 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 October, p. 2. , viewed 10 Jan 2020,
  19. 1892 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 July, p. 2. , viewed 30 Jul 2017,
  20. 1894 'BALLARAT LICENSING COURT.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 15 March, p. 6. , viewed 31 Jul 2017,
  21. 1896 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 May, p. 2. , viewed 31 Jul 2017,
  22. 1907 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 5 January, p. 12. (FIRST EDITION), viewed 14 Jun 2018,

External Links Edit