Sir William Wallace Hotel

From Hotels of Ballarat
Sir William Wallace
Picture needed
Town Ballarat
Street Peel Street
Closed 1891
Known dates 1858-1891

The Sir William Wallace Hotel was in Ballarat, Victoria, <1858-1891.

Site[edit | edit source]

The hotel was in Peel Street, Ballarat.[1] An 1861 map shows the hotel on the corner of Peel Street and Mair Street.[2] The map is unclear as to which corner, but most likely the south west corner.

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Background[edit | edit source]

The hotel was named after William Wallace (c.1270-1305), a Scottish knight and one of the main leaders of the Scottish Wars of Independence.[3]

History[edit | edit source]

In June 1858, James Lowe has his license renewed with conditions:

James Lowe, Sir William Wallace, Peel street. Mr Trench supported the application. Granted on the condition that the applicant obtain a yard to his premises.[4]

In June 1859 there was a delay in the licensing process:

J. Lowe, Sir William Wallace Hotel. Mr Trench appeared for the application, and Mr Dunne opposed it. The ground of objection was, some dispute about jumped ground, and the Bench adjourned the application for three days to allow of its settlement.[5]

In June 1861 the Licensing Court took evidence about the hotel after an objection had been made about the renewal:

LICENSING SESSIONS. (Before S. J. Bradshaw and W. B. Rodier, Esqs., J.P.'s) James Lowe applied for a license for the Sir William Wallace Hotel, in Peel street Mr Dunne opposed the application, and Mr Trench appeared for the applicant, and said that on the last day that the application was before the Court the Bench said that they were of opinion that no objection could be taken to the licensing of the house, and they would take evidence this day as to the cottages in proximity to the house. Mr Dunne asked if the housekeeper of the applicant was present. Mr Trench said that the person who got up this opposition was proved on the last day to have been a rejected suitor of the housekeeper, and of malice aforethought he opposed the granting of the license now. Would the Bench administer to the malice of the man alluded to by putting Mr Lowe's housekeeper in the box? She was present, but he would oppose her appearance on subpoena, as she had not received the usual coin given in such cases with a summons. Mr Dunne said that he had not been instructed to cast any stigma on the housekeeper. Mr Trench said he had a certificate signed by nearly 100 persons in favor of the license, and certifying that Mr Lowe was a fit and proper person to have one. The certificate was handed to the Bench. Sergeant Larner deposed that he knew the house, and the owner of it, and he passed the place late and early, and never knew a row to take place there The house was neat and tidy. To Mr Dunne-Could not say if he had been there after eleven or twelve o'clock at night. Was there after ten o'clock at night. Had passed the house at one and two o'clock in the morning and never heard any noise there. Did not visit the bedrooms at night. To Mr Trench -It was no part of his duty to turn down the blankets and see who was in bed. If there had been any noise in the house he would have gone in there. Detective officer Hyland said he passed the house at all hours of the day and night. He never saw anything wrong in the house, and never saw a bad character there but once that two girls came in there with a young man to have a drink, and went out again. He believed the present opposition was got up to Mr Lowe because he was a witness in a case of robbery that took place in that locality. William George Sheppard deposed that he resided within a stone-throw of the Sir William Wallace Hotel, and for two years he had not seen either immoral or disorderly conduct there He frequently went there for his supper beer, and never saw anything wrong in the house. He was not aware that the adjoining houses were occupied by bad characters. Mr Dunne said, that after the evidence now adduced, they would not oppose the application any longer. The license was granted.[6]

In June 1873, the former publican James Lowe applied to have his license renewed after the failure of the new publican, Elizabeth Silk, to appear at the quarterly licensing hearings:

An application was made by Mr Hardy on behalf of James Lowe, to have the license for an hotel in Wills street transferred back to him. Mr Lewis opposed the application, on the ground that Lowe having transferred his license on the 17th April to Miss Elizabeth Silk, his claim to the license expired, and that Miss Silk would then have to apply for a new license at the current quarterly licensing meeting, and having failed to do so on the 19th June, the license became extinct. Mr Hardy replied that he was of opinion that the license reverted to the original holder, a transfer having only been made for a certain period, and what he wanted was a cancellation of the transfer agreement. Mr Lewis pointed out that the transfer was cancelled by effluxion of time, and that the license for the hotel was extinct. He contended that if a new license was not obtained and drink was sold on the premises that the sale would be illegal. Mr Gaunt was of opinion that the transfer having expired the original license held good, and that the best thing Mr Lewis could do was to bring Lowe up for sly-grog selling, and test the point, with the view of having a special case stated. The court then adjourned.[7]

In September 1876, the publican was charged with allowing dancing to take place at the hotel:

The landlady of the Sir William Wallace hotel was proceeded against for similar offence, the case being ultimately dismissed on payment of costs. The court then adjourned.[8]

The Licenses Reduction Board reviewed the hotels license in June 1888:

Sir William Wallace hotel—Corner of Peel and Mills streets.—James Powell, licensee and owner. A one storey building containing 14 rooms; fairly well furnished, and well conducted; chiefly a bar business done, and about four beds let per week...The Sir William Wallace hotel had good accommodation...James Powell, licensee of the Sir William Wallace hotel, stated that his trade was a very large one. Frank L. Graham, Joseph Bastable, and Charles Stewart (member of the cricket club committee and President of the South Ballarat Footbal Club) spoke in favor of the conduct of this hotel.[9]

It was one of the 40 hotels closed in 1891 in Ballarat East as part of the changes to licensing laws.[10] The owners were paid £1221 compensation for the closure of the business.[10]

In January 1893 it was reported that the owner of the building had been fined for sly grog selling.[11]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Licencing Court for Publicans," The Star, Thursday 19 June 1862, pg. 4,, (accessed January 17, 2014)
  2. Victoria. Mines Department. Ballaarat gold field. No. 1 [cartographic material] 1861. MAP RM 3915, National Library of Australia,
  3. William Wallace. (2017, May 24). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 11:02, May 24, 2017, from
  4. 4.0 4.1 1858 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 23 June, p. 2. , viewed 05 Dec 2019,
  5. 5.0 5.1 1859 'AFTERNOON SITTINGS.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 14 June, p. 3. , viewed 08 Sep 2019,
  6. 1861 'LICENSING SESSIONS.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 6 June, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR.), viewed 09 Sep 2020,
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 1873 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 24 June, p. 4. , viewed 11 Jun 2018,
  8. 1876 'TOWN POLICE COURT.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1880; 1914 - 1918), 5 September, p. 4. , viewed 30 Apr 2018,
  9. 9.0 9.1 1888 'ROWE AND WILLS STREETS, AND EASTERN OVAL.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 28 June, p. 4. , viewed 25 Sep 2019,
  10. 10.0 10.1 Hargreaves, John. Ballarat Hotels Past and Present, pg. 8, 1943, Ballarat
  11. 1893 'THE LATE LICENSED HOUSES IN BALLARAT EAST.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 19 January, p. 4. , viewed 29 Aug 2021,
  12. 1858 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 16 June, p. 2. , viewed 12 Nov 2019,
  13. 1863 'BALLARAT EAST LICENSING BENCH.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 18 June, p. 4, viewed 4 February, 2014,
  14. 1861 'LICENSING SESSIONS.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 30 May, p. 1 Supplement: SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR., viewed 6 October, 2014,
  15. 1873 'LICENSING BENCH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 December, p. 2. , viewed 24 May 2017,
  16. 1874 'BALLARAT EAST LICENSING BENCH. ANNUAL MEETING.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 December, p. 4, viewed 26 October, 2015,

External Links[edit | edit source]