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History of the Elephant and Castle Hotel Hobart 1832 -1837

By Robert Ahern

The Elephant and Castle is an area of London named after a mid-eighteenth century coaching inn located on the site previously occupied by a blacksmith and cutler whose coat of arms featured an elephant with a castle on its back, which in turn was used because of the elephant ivory in cutlery handles (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_and_Castle). The name was thus popular with British expatriates.

On 21 September 1832 Joseph Duval and Luke Marten opened the Elephant and Castle in Patrick Street between Argyle and Campbell Streets (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article233613007). Their tenure lasted less than a year as in July 1833 Mr. George Jervis, the title holder, advertised for a new tenant (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8647111). Perhaps his search was unsuccessful as later that year the license was held by Mr Jarvis (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4188243) until September 1834 when it was transferred to Mr John Bailey (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8647788).

At some point between September 1834 and August 1835 Mr William Punshon of the Wheat Sheaf in Argyle Street must have purchased the site as he advertised the lease, with possession on license day, of “that Old Established House in Patrick Street, known as the Elephant and Castle” at that time (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8648422). It appears that Mr Punshon was unable to attract anyone to lease the premises on Patrick Street as he operated it as Grey’s Inn until the end of January 1847, when he was declared insolvent (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2972640 and http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8759955).

On 6 September 1839 Mr William Webb obtained a license for a new hotel in Bathurst Street signed The Elephant and Castle (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article232803947). Mr Webb must have been leasing the property from Thomas Spiller and his wife Margaret who operated another hotel, and a merchant, Mr Alfred Garrett. In April 1846 they defaulted on their mortgage to Thomas Daniel Chapman and the land and buildings including the Elephant and Castle at 82 Bathurst Street were auctioned (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2946132). Despite the change in owner Webb operated the Hotel continuously for 13 ½ years until 12 May 1853 when he transferred the license to his son in law Mr Charles Henry Wills, (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8773651). Records show that Mr Wills held the license for almost six years until 5 February 1856 when he transferred it to Mr Thomas Downie (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2498329).

On 2 December 1857 Mr Downie withdrew an application to transfer the license back to the former operator Mr William Webb, but the transfer was formalised one week later (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3245743 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3245805). Mr Webb then held the license for another 14 years until ill-health forced him to transfer the license to Mr William George Guest on 6 February 1872 (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8914792).

Almost two years later, at the close of 1873, the license was granted to Mrs Jane Banks (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8914816) who operated it for 13 years until her death in late 1887, when the license was transferred to Mr James Billinghurst (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news[1]article9139226).

Throughout this period a hotel by the same name was operated by Mr William Mason, and later by Mr William Carpenter in Wellington Street, Launceston.


Related family names:

Webb Wills Punshon Garrett Downie

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