Shakespeare Hotel

From Hotels of Ballarat
Shakespeare Hotel
Picture needed
Town Ballarat
Street Main Road
Known dates 1856-1862

The Shakespeare Hotel was a hotel in Ballarat, Victoria, <1856-1862>.

Site[edit | edit source]

The Shakepeare Hotel was in Main Road.[1]

Background[edit | edit source]

The hotel was named after English poet and playwright, William Shakespeare.

History[edit | edit source]

The hotel was advertising in October 1856:

SHAKSPEARE HOTEL. MAIN ROAD, BALLARAT, Opposite the Royal Mail Hotel. T. B. SMITH, in announcing to his friends and the public of Ballarat, that he has opened the above Hotel, which is replete with every convenience and comfort for country visitors, trusts by strict attention to business and every civility to gain a share of their patronage. T. B. S. having secured the services of a firstrate cook, promises every luxury the season can produce, and to guarantee everything the epicure can desire Lunch (free) on counter every morning at 11 o'clock. Fresh oysters daily. Well-aired beds. Milk Punch, Egg Nogs, Cocktails, and all kinds of American drinks. N.B.-Good Stabling.[2]

In February 1857 the hotel again was advertising its services:

SHAKESPEARE HOTEL. MAIN ROAD BALLARAT. Opposite the Royal Mail Hotel. T. B. SMITH begs to return his grateful thanks to his friends and the public for the liberal support accorded to his establishment ; and takes the present opportunity of assuring them that nothing shall be wanting on his part that may merit a continuance of their favors. Country visitors can procure every comfort at this Hotel, including Well Aired Beds. The abilities of the cook of the establishment being now patent, and no expense spared in securing every luxury that the season can produce, T. B. S. offers to his patrons Good Cheer and Good Quarters. Luncheon on the Counter every-morning at ll o'clock. FRESH OYSTERS DAILY. All kinds of American Iced drinks brewed. Good Stabling.[3]

In June 1857 the were questions raised during the license hearing about the hotel being built over a roadway:

Mr Biers, the Crown Bailiff, said that at least half of this house would have to be taken down immediately, as it occupied a great portion of a cross-road. Mr Trench said that would be the applicant's loss, and if that were to take place they would apply for leave to move the license to another house[4]

In December 1858 the publican of the hotel, Thomas B. Smith, was sued by a musical performer, Emma Francis Castine, for breach of contract.

Emma Frances Castine v T. B. Smith, £12, labor. This was a summons for professional services as a singer at the Shakespeare Hotel. Mr Walsh, for plaintiff, said she had been refused by defendant's wife permission to continue her services as per contract, and hence the suit for balance. Plaintiff said she had been compelled frequently to leave the house because of the drunken, and abusive, and violent behaviour of defendant's wife. Defendant's wife struck her, threw her clothes on the floor, and then they were thrown out of window, "which she lost a pair of bracelets and other things in consequence." Defendant said there was no agreement, except a verbal one for one week, which plaintiff had broken. The agreement was for £5 per week, and £1 extra to board out. A Mr Trevor, called by defendant, said plaintiff and defendant's wife had divers disagreements, and the agreement had been broken by plaintiff, who subsequently returned, but, owing to another disagreement, went again. She also left the stage in a passion and the middle of a song, and he found her in the greenroom, tearing her dress from her back, and refusing to speak to him. Plaintiff had no balance due to her, as she had gone away in the middle of the week. Plaintiff to this replied that defendant's wife had ordered her away. Defendant rejoined that plaintiff had left the house in a lurch, and he ought to have sued instead of being sued. Mrs Smith was then sent for, and another case being called on in the meantime, defendant disappeared, and on returning accused Mr Sturt, clerk to Mr Walsh, of "conniving with the servant girl, and poisoning her mind." Mr Sturt indigdenied, saying he had only gone to enquire what the witness could prove in the case. Defendant said he saw it and heard it a moment before. Mr Walsh said his clerk had a right to go to speak to his client or her witnesses. The magistrate said the court could not be kept waiting for absent witnesses, and gave judgement for £6. Defendant asked if he could appeal, and said he would engage Mr Lewis in the case; but the bench told him the case was ended.[5]

The hotel was offered for sale in March 1859:

To Wine and Spirit Merchants, Capitalists, and Others. For Sale by Private Treaty, THAT HIGHLY VALUABLE PROPERTY, Situate on the Main Road, known as the SHAKESPEARE HOTEL, Opposite Messrs R. & S. Gibbs, &c, &c. W C. SMITH IS favored with instructions to sell by private contract, That splendid property on the Main Road, called the Shakespeare Hotel. Having 27 feet frontage to the Main Road, by a depth of 96 feet (more or less), 27 x 30, is a handsome Two-storey Brick Building, 27 x 66, is a Two-storey Substantially built Wood Building. The Hotel contains 17 Rooms. On the ground floor is the Bar, richly papered and fitted, opening from which is the Bar Parlor and Bed-room. On the right of the Bar is the entrance to the Shakespeare Concert Room, measuring 25 by 35. This fine room is elegantly and tastefully fitted with stage, dramatic scenery. &c, and has always commanded a first-rate business. On the first floor is 12 Bed-rooms, neatly fitted, also Sitting-room, 16 x 22, from which there is access to the Balcony in front of building. There is a capacious kitchen, laundry, 6 stall stable, outhouses, &c., &c. The entire property has been built regardless of cost, and is most complete in every thing necessary for carrying on a large business, which, from its central situation it cannot fail to command. The design of the building is one of the best on Ballarat, and from the superior manner in which it is finished, it has a most preprocessing appearance, and is an ornament to that part of the town in which it is situated. To any one desirous of securing a first-class property, tins is an opportunity which should not be lost eight of. The instructions are most positive, and the property will be sold a decided bargain. Terms Liberal. For all further particulars apply to W. C. SMITH, Auctioneer, Land and Estate Agent. Colonial Land Office, Start street, Ballarat.[6]

In November 1859 the hotel was damaged during the great flood.[7]

In January 1861, the owner tried to claim unpaid rent:

Wheeldon v Shang We, £11, rent. Mr Randall for the plaintiff. Two Chinamen personated the defendant who did not appear, but the plaintiff said neither of them took the house (the Shakspeare Hotel) from him nor had they signed the agreement ; order for amount with £1 2s 6d costs. [8]

In January 1861, hotel was one of 12 burned down in the Main Road Fire 1861, and the newspaper reported:

"...nearly a quarter of a mile of ground in length was occupied by the houses burned down, and in all that extent of ground there was but one brick building, namely, the Shakespeare Hotel, which very recently was occupied by some Chinamen as a restaurant, and the back buildings of this were even composed of wood..."[9]

"...The flames soon broke through the front of the building (Montezuma Hotel), and the roof and the whole of the immense mass was one body of flame. The old Shakespeare hotel, occupied until very recently by Chinese, was now seen to be on fire at the back. The fire was now burning on both sides of the right-of-way near the Montezuma, and spreading rapidly in both directions. At one time it was thought that the brick walls of the old Shakespeare Hotel would stay the progress of the flames to the east, but in a few moments the hope was in vain.[10]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1862 'LICENSED VICTUALLERS' ASSOCIATION.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 7 August, p. 4, viewed 29 October, 2015,
  2. 2.0 2.1 1856 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 11 October, p. 4. , viewed 19 Aug 2018,
  3. 3.0 3.1 1857 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 27 February, p. 4. , viewed 09 Apr 2018,
  4. 4.0 4.1 1857 'GENERAL ANNUAL LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 13 June, p. 2. , viewed 11 Aug 2017,
  5. 5.0 5.1 1858 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 13 December, p. 4, viewed 25 October, 2014,
  6. 1859 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 4 March, p. 3. , viewed 02 Oct 2019,
  7. 1859 'GREAT FLOOD AT BALLARAT.', South Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1867), 12 November, p. 5. , viewed 15 Sep 2018,
  8. 1861 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 5 January, p. 2. , viewed 24 Feb 2021,
  9. 1861 'THE CONFLAGRATION ON THE MAIN HOAD.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 12 January, p. 2. , viewed 29 Dec 2016,
  10. 1861 'GREAT CONFLAGRATION AT BALLARAT.', Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), 14 January, p. 3. , viewed 13 Jul 2022,
  11. 1888 'BALLARAT CHRONICLES AND PICTURES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 25 June, p. 4. , viewed 15 Mar 2017,
  12. 1857 'POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 25 July, p. 2. , viewed 31 Aug 2019,
  13. 1858 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 15 July, p. 2. , viewed 03 Nov 2017,
  14. 1858 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 16 June, p. 2. , viewed 01 Dec 2019,
  15. 1859 'AFTERNOON SITTINGS.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 14 June, p. 3. , viewed 13 Sep 2019,
  16. 1862 'BALLARAT EAST LICENSING COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 26 June, p. 4. , viewed 02 May 2019,

External Links[edit | edit source]