Thomas Spice

From Hotels of Ballarat
Thomas Spice
Born 1815
Died 11 September 1890
Ballan
Occupation Shoemaker
Publican
Years active 1877-1888
Known for Orwell Hotel
Home town Ballan
Spouse(s) Bridget Whelan
Hannah Simpson
Children Thomas

Thomas Spice was a publican in Ballan, Victoria, <1877-1888.

History[edit | edit source]

Thomas Spice was born in 1815.[1] He was charged at the Suffolk Quarterly Sessions with breaking into the premises of Benjamin Hills at Sudbury and stealing two silver watches valued at £4. He was one of 240 convicts transported for seven years, and was sent to Australia on the William Metcalfe, leaving England on the 23 May 1834.[1]

Thomas was 19 years old on arrival in Van Diemen's Land, 5’3” tall, dark grey eyes, brown hair, fair complexion and single.

1835: Assigned to Mr Chaffey.

4/4/1838: Ticket of Leave

In October 1838, Thomas Spice, was granted a Ticket of Leave.[2]

1841/11: TOL Port Arthur. There was no further mention of Thomas Spice in Tasmania after 1838.

In March 1841, Thomas Spice, who had been transported to Van Diemen's Land on the William Metcalf, was granted a Certificate of Freedom on the expiration of his sentence.[3]

1843: Thomas married Bridget Whelan (1823-1880) and they had five children.

A Thomas Spice was charged in Melbourne in August 1844:

Thomas Spice was indicted for stealing a pocket-book and its contents, the property of James Gulliver Taylor, at Melbourne, on the 5th August. Not guilty— discharged.[4]

It will be recollected that at the late criminal sessions of the Supreme Court a man named Thomas Spice was tried for a larceny committed in the house of Mr. J. G. Taylor, publican, Elizabeth-street, but acquitted by the jury. We are happy to learn that from subsequent discoveries Spice's innocence of the offence has been fully established.[5]

A Thomas Spice was fined in Hobart in September 1848:

CAUTION TO DRAYMEN. — ON Thursday last Thomas Spice was fined 10s, and costs, at the Police Office, for leaving his horse and dray at the shop door of Messrs Stevens and Harcourt's, on Monday last.[6]

Thomas Spice was a Boot and Shoemaker in Ballan, Victoria in 1849. He was charged with stealing a calf in October 1849:

STEALING A CALF.—A shoemaker, residing at Ballan, named Thomas Spice, appeared at the Police Court on Thursday, charged with stealing a calf from Mr Arthur Fisken, of the same place. It appeared from the evidence of Mr Fisken, junior, that on the 10th instant he went into Roach's public house for lunch, and was supplied with roast veal ; such a dish being rarely served up in a bush public house, he asked the landlord where the calf was obtained, and was informed that the prisoner had sold it to Mr Roach ; on making inquiries of Spice as to where he got the animal, he acknowledged to having killed it in mistake for one of his own. As it was shown that the prisoner was the owner of several calves of the age and colour of the slaughtered one he was discharged.[7]

In July 1865 Spice was found guilty at the Ballarat Court of cattle stealing[8]:

CATTLE-STEALING. Thomas Spice and John Claypole pleaded "Not Guilty" to stealing an ox, on the 11th of May, the property of one William Luscombe. Mr. M'Dermott appeared for the prisoners. The prosecutor (Luscombe) deposed to losing the bullock in question, and to finding that it had been killed. He then went with a constable to Claypole's house, but did not find the head and hide. Ascertained that these had been sent to Spice's place, near Ballan. The bullock, was branded TS-the same as Spice's cattle. Spice brought the head to prosecutor, and admitted having killed the beast, but said he did so by mistake. The apprehending constable proved to the prisoner Spice saying to him that he supposed he was going to take him in charge, as he had shot Luscombe's bullock by mistake. Spice showed him the hide at once, without hesitation. William Symes, in the employment of the prosecutor, deposed to seeing the bullock in question on the 10th of May, along with a mob of cattle. As he approached them, he saw the two prisoners and a third man walking towards the cattle. He went on, to look for other bullocks, and on his return he missed the cattle and the bullock. He afterwards saw Spice, and asked him if he knew where the bullock was ; he said, it had gone down the gully. Witness described it to him accurately-he could not have mistaken the beast. For the defence, witnesses were called, who proved that Spice was a large cattle dealer; and one man, Julius Gesthardt, stated that Spice had given him orders to slaughter two bullocks, of which that in question was one. It was killed in broad daylight; there was no concealment. Other witnesses gave the prisoner an excellent character. The jury found the prisoner Spice "Guilty," and Claypole "Not Guilty." He was remanded for sentence.[9]

Thomas Spice, convicted of stealing a bullock, was brought up for sentence. A memorial from two Anglican and one Presbyterian clergymen, giving the prisoner a good character, was put in for the prisoner, who also declared that he thought the bullock was his own when he took it. His Honor said he could not think so. Sentence, three years' imprisonment with hard labor.[10]

In October 1869, Spice was a witness in a case involving the theft of three sheep:

Thomas Spice sworn: Am a shoemaker, residing at Ballan. I bought three sheep from Mr. Rugg; it was in September. I killed the sheep, and sold the skins of them to the last witness, I never gave prisoner any skins to sell for me.[11]

In March 1872 a charge of illegally detaining a horse was dismissed:

Mehan v. Spice,. For detaining horse, Mehan, junior, said he left the filly with his father, and never authorised him to sell her. He had been away three years. Thomas Spice sworn: I bought the mare off the father about three months before he died. When I bought her I took possession. Produce the receipt. I sold the bridle and saddle, Gave Mehan the money before he died. A witness proved that Meehan sold the mare to Spice some month or two before he died. Case dismissed.[12]

In October 1875 Spice was charged with illegally detaining a saddle:

Bloomfield v. Thomas Spice. Illegally detaining a saddle and bridle. Plaintiff stated that in November, 1873, he left a mule, with saddle and bridle, &c., in defendant's charge. The mule was afterwards seized by the Bank; when Spice said to him, "You may leave the saddle and bridle here till this affair has blown over." Have since asked three times for it, and received various excuses. The saddle produced in court is the one, I believe its value then was 35s, or 40s. Cross-examined by Mr. King, for defendant : It was previous to the mule being seized the saddle was left, and three months before I returned to claim it. Mr. King submitted that his client was not responsible for its safe custody. Case dismissed, no costs allowed.[13]

In November 1875, Spice's son, Thomas, was married:

SPICE — ATHORN.— On the 30th October, by the Rev. W. Henderson, Thos. Spice, youngest son of Thomas Spice; Ballan, to Frances Charlotte, eldest daughter of Henry Athorn, also of Ballan.[14]

In December 1877 Spice, the publican of the Orwell Hotel, was advertising Boxing Day Sports to be held in Ballan:

Races, Quoits, Cricket, Foot Racing, AND other sports for old and young will be held on the racecourse, near the Scotch Church, Ballan, on BOXING DAY, When the undersigned wishes to see as many of his old friends (and new ones) as can possibly make it convenient to come, and he promises to give them a good day's sport. THOMAS SPICE, Orwell Hotel, Ballan.[15]

In October 1879, Spice was granted the transfer of Robert Plant's license for the Orwell Hotel.[16]

In July 1880 he applied to have his license transferred:

Mr. Ocock, on behalf of Mr. Thomas Spice, made an application for a certificate to issue for a transfer of license to Mr. A. Gosling. the old license having been lost. Granted.[17]

In July 1880 he returned to England to visit his father:

A very old resident of Ballan, Mr Thomas Spice, having determined to take a trip home to see his father, who has attained the great age of ninety years, a number of Mr Spice's friends met at the Orwell hotel, Ballan, one evening last week to present, him with an albert chain and a locket as a token of the esteem and respect in which he is held, and as a memento for Mr Spice of his friends in Ballan when he shall be far away. The chain and locket were presented by Mr Walsh, who took the occasion to express on behalf of the donors the high opinion that all classes of the community held of Mr Spice, and that the present was made, not on account of its intrinsic value, but as a mark of their esteem for Mr Spice, at the same time wishing him a safe and pleasant voyage. This wish was echoed by all present. Mr Spice replied in grateful terms, and related some interesting anecdotes of his experience in the colony and in that district forty years ago. Mr Spice has certainly gained the good opinion of all with whom, he has come in contact during his long, residence in Ballan, and all give him their good wishes on his voyage. He was heartily cheered when leaving for Melbourne by the coach, next morning. He has since sailed by the Lusitania.[18]

He married married Hannah Simpson (1825-1884) on 14 March 1882. Hannah was previously married to John Simpson in 1845 Leeds, Yorkshire and had two children.

Spice—Simpson.— On the 14th March, at Ballan, by the Rev. D. S. Brunton, Thomas Spice, of the Orwell Hotel, Ballan, to Anna Simpson, of Ballan.[19]

Hannah died in October 1884:

SPICE.—On the 11th October, Hannah, wife, of Thomas Spice, of the Orwell Hotel, Ballan, aged 60 years.[20]

He was also a farmer.

In December 1882 Spice was granted a license in lieu of transfer for the Orwell Hotel in Ballan.[21] His license was renewed in January 1886.[22]

His application to renew the license in December 1886:

Notice of Application for a Victualler's License. I, THOMAS SPICE, of the Orwell Hotel, Ballan, do hereby give notice that I desire to obtain, and will, at the sitting of the Licensing Court for the Licensing District of South Ballan, to be holden at Ballan on the 22nd day of December, 1886, apply for a certificate authorising the issue of a VICTUALLER'S LICENSE for premises situate at Ballan, containing six rooms, exclusive of those required for the use of my family and servants. Dated the 6th day of December, One thousand Eight hundred and Eighty-six. THOMAS SPICE.[23]

In December 1888 he transferred the hotel license to [[Mildred Plant.[24]


On 11 September 1890 Thomas fell off the top of a dray loaded with wood and broke his neck at Ballan; he was listed as being about 85 although from his birth date he would have been nearer 75.

BALLAN, Thursday. A fatal accident happened to-day to a very old resident named Mr Thomas Spice. He was riding on a load of firewood, and, by a sudden lurch of the cart, was thrown to the ground and killed instantaneously, his neck having been dislocated. The deceased, who was 82 years of age, was remarkable for his industry and energy.[25]

The funeral of the late Mr. Thomas Spice took place on Saturday, at the new cemetery, the Rev. J. Atkinson officiating at the grave. A large number of residents attended, and expressions of regret at the sudden death of so well respected a townsman were heard on all sides.[26]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Convict Records, Thomas Spice, https://convictrecords.com.au/convicts/spice/thomas/42082
  2. 1838 'Tickets of Leave.', The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839), 12 October, p. 2. , viewed 20 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4162392
  3. 1841 'GAZETTE.', The Courier (Hobart, Tas. : 1840 - 1859), 2 March, p. 2. , viewed 20 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2956921
  4. 1844 'SUPREME COURT.--(CRIMINAL SIDE.)', The Melbourne Weekly Courier (Vic. : 1844 - 1845), 24 August, p. 3. , viewed 21 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article228063986
  5. 1844 'Domestic Intelligence.', The Melbourne Weekly Courier (Vic. : 1844 - 1845), 14 September, p. 2. , viewed 21 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article228063443
  6. 1848 'LOCAL NEWS.', Hobarton Guardian, or, True Friend of Tasmania (Hobart, Tas. : 1847 - 1854), 23 September, p. 2. , viewed 20 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article163503031
  7. 1849 'STEALING A CALF.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 20 October, p. 2. , viewed 21 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4774098
  8. 1865 'COUNTRY NEWS.', Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918, 1935), 22 July, p. 16. , viewed 21 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197035873
  9. 1865 'BALLARAT CIRCUIT COURT.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 20 July, p. 5. , viewed 21 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5772239
  10. 1865 'CIRCUIT COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 July, p. 2. , viewed 21 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112877431
  11. 1869 'COURTS OF PETTY SESSIONS.', The Bacchus Marsh Express (Vic. : 1866 - 1945), 9 October, p. 2. , viewed 21 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89699197
  12. 1872 'COURTS OF PETTY SESSIONS.', The Bacchus Marsh Express (Vic. : 1866 - 1945), 2 March, p. 2. , viewed 21 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article93140413
  13. 1875 'BALLAN.', The Bacchus Marsh Express (Vic. : 1866 - 1945), 9 October, p. 3. , viewed 21 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88349668
  14. 1875 'Family Notices', Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918, 1935), 6 November, p. 15. , viewed 21 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197937528
  15. 1877 'Advertising', The Bacchus Marsh Express (Vic. : 1866 - 1945), 15 December, p. 2. , viewed 20 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88348980
  16. 1879 'BALLAN.', The Bacchus Marsh Express (Vic. : 1866 - 1945), 25 October, p. 2. , viewed 21 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89703651
  17. 1880 'BALLAN.', The Bacchus Marsh Express (Vic. : 1866 - 1945), 31 July, p. 3. , viewed 21 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89687489
  18. 1880 'BALLAN', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 20 July, p. 3. , viewed 20 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article202513555
  19. 1882 'Family Notices', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 18 March, p. 2. , viewed 20 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article200668473
  20. 1884 'Family Notices', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 October, p. 2. , viewed 20 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article201119829
  21. 1882 'BALLAN.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 9 December, p. 4. , viewed 11 Jan 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article202700628
  22. 1886 'BALLAN.', The Bacchus Marsh Express (Vic. : 1866 - 1918), 2 January, p. 3. , viewed 08 Jan 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90571917
  23. 1886 'Notice of intention', The Bacchus Marsh Express (Vic. : 1866 - 1945), 11 December, p. 2. , viewed 21 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90574147
  24. 1888 'BALLAN.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 12 December, p. 4. , viewed 21 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209452175
  25. 1890 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 12 September, p. 6. , viewed 20 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8434921
  26. 1890 'BALLAN.', The Bacchus Marsh Express (Vic. : 1866 - 1945), 20 September, p. 7. , viewed 20 Nov 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88364280

External links[edit | edit source]