Unicorn Hotel (Clunes)

From Hotels of Ballarat
For hotels with the same, or similar names, see Unicorn Hotel.
Unicorn Hotel
Picture needed
Town Clunes
Closed 31 December 1907
Known dates 1865-1907

The Unicorn Hotel was a hotel in Clunes, Victoria, <1865-1907.

Site[edit | edit source]

The Unicorn Hotel was in Clunes. It can be seen in the foreground of a photograph by J. P. Lind[1]

Background[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

In January 1907 the licensee, Thomas Thomas, was charged with selling adulterated whisky:

At the Police Court on Monday morning, before Messrs F. J. Matthews and J. Field, J’s.P., Thomas Thomas, licensee of the Unicorn Hotel, was charged with selling whisky falsely described as "Mitchell's Irish whisky." The charge was laid under section 35 of the Pure Food Act. The analyses made of the samples of whisky by the Deputy-Government analyst showed that the whisky concerned was five degrees weaker than the genuine article. Defendant was fined £1 with £2 19s 6d costs. A second case against the same defendant was brought under the Health Act, in which he was charged with unlawfully selling an article of food not of the substance and quality demanded by the purchaser. Bulk whisky was concerned in this case, and according to the analyst's report the sample taken was 6.3 degrees below the strength allowed under the Act. Defendant, who pleaded guilty in this case, said the weakness in the whisky had been the result of an accident, as it had been purchased from a different firm to that with which he usually dealt, and in reducing it to the same extent of the whisky purchased previously, he had accidentally reduced it too much. Defendant was fined £1 10s with 10s 6d costs. Excise Officer Leckie prosecuted in both cases.[2]

A hearing into the closure of the hotel was held by the Licensing Court in December 1907:

The Unicorn Hotel, Clunes, was the next dealt with. Licensing Inspector Balchin said that the Unicorn Hotel was in the Clunes licensing district. The statutory number of hotels in the district was 12 and the existing number 36. This hotel could be closed without causing any inconvenience. The hotel has been assessed for some time at £28. It was an old wooden building, in fair repair, fairly well furnished, kept clean and was very well conducted. Senior-Constable Arnell, stationed at Clunes, described the situation of the Unicorn Hotel. It was about 100 yards from the Seven Stars and the Town Hall Hotels. The Seven Stars, the Town Hall, and the Buck's Head Hotels would benefit most by the closing of the Unicorn, and the other hotels in the main street would benefit slightly. He thought the owner would do well to get 10s per week for the house. Three years ago it was doing more trade, and would then have been worth 15s per week rental.[3]

The hotel voluntarily surrendered the license which was to be cancelled on 31 December 1907.[4] The owner was paid £150 compensation and the licensee received £22.[5]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

Inquests[edit | edit source]

  • March 1865, into the death of James Nicholls, drowned in the creek:

Fatal Accident. — An inquest was held at Clunes on Sunday touching the death of James Nicholls, who was drowned that morning. From the evidence it appeared that the unfortunate deceased, a single man, 29 years of age, and a native of Cornwall, had been spending the evening at the house of his uncle, Mr. Andrew Nicholls, of the Unicorn hotel, Angus street. Deceased left the house about 1 o'clock in the morning; it was very dark, and the light on the footbridge having been extinguished, it is supposed he missed his way and fell over the steep embankment into the creek. The deceased was brought to the surface shortly after the accident, but life was extinct. Verdict, accidental death.[6]

The People[edit | edit source]

The Unicorn hotel, one of the oldest in the Town, has changed hands, Mr P. Rowe, auctioneer, having sold it on behalf of Mr J. Burn, to Mr T. Thomas, at a satisfactory figure.[14]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 J. P. Lind, View of the township of Clunes, Victorian goldfields, Douglas Stewart Fine Books, http://douglasstewart.com.au/objects/gold-rush-view-of-the-township-of-clunes-victorian-goldfields, access date 27 February 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 1907 'CLUNES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 January, p. 6. , viewed 18 Feb 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article210887082
  3. 1907 'LICENSES REDUCTION BOARD.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 10 December, p. 4. , viewed 14 Jun 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article211290157
  4. 1907 'LICENCES REDUCTION BOARD.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 10 December, p. 10. , viewed 07 May 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article204989655
  5. 1907 'LICENCES DEDUCTION BOARD.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 11 December, p. 6. , viewed 19 Feb 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article204993568
  6. 6.0 6.1 1865 'No title', The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), 11 March, p. 3. , viewed 18 Feb 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article245508028
  7. 1871 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 21 December, p. 4. , viewed 15 Jul 2023, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197575049
  8. 1876 'POLICE INTELLIGENCE. CITY COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 16 December, p. 4. , viewed 22 Jul 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article199833122
  9. 1882 'CLUNES LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1883; 1914 - 1918), 14 December, p. 4. , viewed 13 Feb 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article250130951
  10. 1883 'CLUNES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 December, p. 4. , viewed 07 Feb 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article201619510
  11. 1886 'CRESWICK.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 December, p. 4. , viewed 06 Jun 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article210840183
  12. 1894 'CLUNES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 20 June, p. 3. , viewed 05 Feb 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206502500
  13. 1901 'CLUNES', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 26 August, p. 6. , viewed 18 Feb 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207506167
  14. 1901 'CLUNES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 5 October, p. 5. , viewed 18 Feb 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207509786

External Links[edit | edit source]