September 28, 2021

Old Places

Where we study the past to define our future

Former Public Houses in Beveridge (last drinks called after 77 years)

A brief history of the former Licensed premise/s & Publicans

(Inns, Hotels, Public Houses & Beer Shops/Beer Houses)


BEVERIDGE (formerly Mercer’s Vale)


The following article regarding the former licensed premises at Beveridge and their precise locations is the completion of some private research that was undertaken several years ago, and then discarded to the rear of a filing cabinet.  The research frustratingly did and had on occasions managed to create more questions than the answers that were initially sought.  One hopes that this article shall provide the reader with a clearer picture of the story regarding those former licensed premises in the immediate District of Beveridge. 

Whilst several questions have now been answered, uncertainly still lingers with regards to the ‘precise’ location of one Hotel (though the approximate location can be determined) – any corrections of additions to the following by readers would be appreciated here.  At the very least hopefully this will prove to be a handy reference tool for future researchers.

Despite the best endeavors unfortunately no photographs have been found of any of any licensed Premises either when licensed or after being delicensed.


Attention should first be drawn to the fact that there was actually no such place known as Beveridge at the time the first premises were granted a license to sell alcohol in the immediate area – the drink of choice for many at this time being spirits.  The area from the late 1830s was referred to Mercer’s Vale (a name that was never officially recognised, though frequently used and accepted), and was so named after the first land in the vicinity had originally been acquired by a George Mercer


In short, in February 1834 the Port Phillip Association had been formed, with the vision that the Port Phillip District could be purchased/acquired legally with John Batman being one of the four original members.  The Association grew and by June 1835 it had 15 members.  One of the number was a George Mercer who lived in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Mercer (who was never to visit Port Phillip) and he had been persuaded by one of the members to invest in the Association and thus he became the British based Association representative.  Two of George Mercer sons GD (George) and WD had arrived in the Colony in mid 1830s, they did not return home to Scotland until sometime in the 1850s –  their activities in the Colony, have not been thoroughly researched here.

John Batman had returned to Van Diemen’s Land (VDL) with the agreement whereby the aborigines of Port Phillip gave up a total of 700.000 acres of land.  The land was divided into 17 shares of which Batman received two shares (with which he founded Melbourne), each other member received one share, whilst the remaining two shares were ‘left’ in George Mercer’s trust, to be distributed by him as he saw fit to do.   In 1837 George Mercer (presumably Snr) purchased 1 Lot which included the portion of today’s Beveridge, and WD Mercer 3 Lots at the land sales that were held in Sydney. 


The locality of Mercer’s Vale on the Merri Creek, more precisely may have originally extended from just north of today’s Kal Kallo township (Rocky Waterholes/Donnybrook), and continued northwards to the southern end of what is today’s township of Beveridge.  This has at times in itself has caused researchers difficulty regarding the precise location of some of the hotels within the immediate District.

At least two hotels/inns that are in the early times (1840s to early 1850s) referred to as being at Mercer’s Vale at the annual Licensing Applications and Renewals, were actually situated at Rocky Water Holes (which we today we call Kal Kallo – formerly the ‘first’ Donnybrook). Local licensed premises in the Mercer’s Vale locality are even found to be recorded as Pentridge to the south and Kilmore to the north – for convienence.   Passing references to these hotels/inns will be made to these premises at the end of this article.

Within the scattering of minimal references in historical books written over the years, unfortunately most record very little in detail other than that there had been several different licensed premises (inns/hotels) within the Mercer’s Vale/ Beveridge locality.

Thus the purpose of this research has endeavored to put much of  ‘these scatterings of information’ (correctly or otherwise previously recorded) together, and then in addition by utilising some of the public records and the like, that are today much simpler to access – put forward the following story. 

When the last local Hotel closed its doors on the last day of 1916 there was then to be a gap of some 73 years when the township of Beveridge had no licensed premises at all. 



References were made in the diary Lady Franklin’s on Monday 8 April 1839 to a License being granted close to Thom’s Station to set up a Public House.  No other record can be found as to if these premises actually opened at this time – possibly and most likely this was the first application made by Andrew Beveridge ?

On occasions the same premises were referred to by more than one name at the same time (pending the source of information).  Then convenience the premises names on occasion ‘defaulted’ to the surname of the present publican.

On occasions the same Premises were referred to by more than one name at the same time (pending the source of information).  On occasions for convenience the premises name ‘defaulted’ to the surname of the present publican.

1st Licensed premises – at/’next to’  THOM’S STATION/MERCER’S VALE (1840c to 1852) – location was approx. ¼ mile south of present Beveridge township – on West side of Kilmore ‘track’/ Sydney Rd. These premises were referred to by several names –

‘Unknown’ name 1839 (no other details known)

_______?_________ 1840 Application Refused (no other details unknown)

However at the Annual Licensing Day the following year in April 1841, reference is made to the granting of the renewal of the license at Thom’s Station !

Thom’s Station              1841 to 1842               

Hunters Rest Inn           1842 to 1852   

Hunters Tryste Inn        1842 to 1843   

Travellers Rest             1843, 1845 to 1846 and 1848 to 1849

Bellinger’s Inn             1847 to 1848

Foreman’s Inn               1850 and 1852      


2nd  Licensed premises  –  on Gleeson’s (1852-1869) rebuilt new premises, on the SW corner of Foreman and Lithgow Sts.  When the Kilmore ’track’ was  later surveyed the premises at the same location, were now on the SE corner of Kilmore Rd and Lithgow St. These premises were referred to by several names –

                                  Hunters Rest Inn           1852 to1853, 1855 to 1859

                                  Hunters Rest Hotel 1856

Gleeson’s Inn                 1853 to 1854, 1857 to 1861

                                  Beveridge Hotel             1855

                                   Gleeson’s Hotel            1861 to 1864

                                   Gleeson’s Beer Shop    1866 to 1870


3rd Licensed premises – on FLYNN’S (1866, 1868 to 1870) – located on Lot 70 on SW corner of Lithgow St and Sydney Rd, Beveridge. These premises were referred to by several names –

                                     Flynn’s Hotel                 1866

                                     Flynn’s Beer Shop        1868  

                                     Furlong’s Hotel             1869 to 1870


4th Licensed premises – on FURLONG’S (1871 to 1879 and 1880 to 1886) – these new premises were likely/possibly located on the West side of Sydney Rd, one of Furlong’s Lots 67, 68 or 69 – which were immediately south of the third premises on Lot 70, of which Furlong  later purchased – and close to the site of the first licensed premises in thercer’s Vale. These premises were referred to by two names –

                                   Furlong’s Hotel             1871 to 1878

                                   Beveridge Hotel           1880 to 1886


5th Licensed premises  – next to former FLYNN’s premises (on same block) – Thomas Flynn built a new bluestone building on Lot 70 during 1870/71– next to his house and former licenced premises situated on the SW corner of Lithgow St and Sydney Rd – and across the road from the former Gleeson’s Hotel.  These premises were referred to by several names -.            

Flynn’s Hotel                        1871 to 1872

Wall’s Hotel                           1872 to 1878

Beveridge Hotel                  1878 and 1887 to 1890

Wall’s Beveridge Hotel         1876 and 1878                         

Shire Arms Hotel     1879 to 1881, 1883 to 1887, 1890 to 1904 and 1906 to 1916

Govan’s Shire Arms Hotel     1892 to 1894

Hoare’s Hotel                   1905   

Per above map for Mercer’s Vale/Beveridge Inn/Hotel locations

1          approx. location 1st Premises    1841 to 1852

2              “              “      2nd      “          1852 to 1964 and 1866 to 1870     Lot 7 (1)

3              “              “      3rd      “         1866 and 1868 to 1870                 Lot 70

4              “              “      4th      “           1872 to 1878 and 1880 to 1886     Lot 69

5              “              “      5th      “          1872 to 1881 and 1883 to 1916     Lot 70 (new building)


Archibald Thom (1787-1862) and who had been farming at Norfolk, Van Diemens Land (VDL) sometime prior to 1830 (possibly as early as 1823) after having had received generous land grants, and on 3 Sept 1829 married Miss Elizabeth Stewart of Macquarie.  In 1836 he was granted further lands at Kerry Lodge, Launceston where there had been a convict probation station of about 40 inmates who had between 1834-1836 built the Kerry Lodge Bridge.  Leaving VDL in late 1837 the Thom family crossed Bass straight and soon afterwards arrived in the area of Mercer’s Vale.  Archibald built a hut near ‘The Spring’ and as a squatter soon established Thom’s Station which very quickly became a very popular stopover place for the early travellers along the early track known as Kilmore Rd (and later Sydney Rd).  One employee that Thom had was a Henry Burnham a convict holding a conditional pardon, who had no authority to have left VDL.  He was reported and was taken back into custody to return to whence he came……..!    More on the convict can be found at the end of this article in the Appendix

In 1838 Thom though having only recently having left VDL was granted further lands at Devon (later Devonport) that had previously been granted to other persons

Back at Mercer’s Vale, one passing visitor to the Thom’s in Lady Jane Franklin (1791-1875) the wife of the Governor of VDL Sir John Franklin* who had stopped at Thom’s Station when travelling through the District, bound for Sydney in early April 1839.

* Sir John Franklin later was ‘famously’ to disappear with his two ships and both crews after leading an expedition to chart the North-West passage across the Arctic in 1845. In a story well worth reading, when they failed to return to England, several search parties from 1848 onwards (and for the next 30 years) were sent to look for any survivors as other clues that may unravel the mystery.  Some of these expeditions were actually financed backed by Lady Franklin herself, but to this very day the specifics have never been totally been explained despite the finding of at least five skeleton’s up until 1860.  Two skeletons found were buried, and many vital clues were obtained with some of the crew surviving for some time after their vessels had both been abandoned.  One vital clue discovered from the remains of two the skeletons were that the bodies contained extreme levels of lead poisoning   – which was later attributed to the stores of tinned canned food that had its lids soldered on, thus leading to lead poisoning amongst the crew.  The remaining survivors may have survived for several winters on the ice according to local Inuit’s, but all later are believed to have later succumbed either the cold, pneumonia, starvation, scurvy, tuberculosis and even Pott’s disease. Two skeletal remains were found in an upturned lifeboats in the late 1850s and they may even have had the fragmented remains of Franklins log books and diary held with them – however when the lifeboat cover was removed any remaining loose paperswere scattered ‘to the winds’ and were not able to be retrieved.  The two sunken vessels the ‘Erebus’ was finally found in 2014 and the ‘Terror’ in 2016 and neither were found where expected to be found.  Modern day scientists are now permitted limited access to the two protected wreck to search for further clues.


Returning to Lady Franklin on Monday 8 April 1839 in her diary she recorded that they ‘Fell into Sydney road at right angles and turned to right.  She then fell asleep, found, then found myself on flat black soil, naked plains with flat black rocks on it that extended to the foot of pretty, light wooded hills, at foot of which was Mr Thom’s Station – the hut was leaning forward the mud walls were falling away.  It is tidy inside – found Mrs Thom a broad Scotch woman, dark.  Mr Thom is a rather ill looking person, and he is from VDL and still retains property there.  Mr Thom has 3000 sheep and a few cattle for home use as well as raising corn for his own consumption.  They have been here 18 months or nearly 2 years.  When they landed in Melbourne in 1837 there was not a single house built.  They have 3 children, a boy at school in Hobart Town & two little girls running wild here.  Being on Sydney Road causes them much interruption and expense, and they are going to move 2 miles back (likely to the East).  A man has just received a license to set up a public house here which adds to their determination as their men would be ruined by it.  Had damper, butter and small biscuits mixed with mutton fat, light snack – and I was offered cold meat and heard there was dinner cooking for me, but nothing said to me about it.  He gave feed and chaff to all the horses. On departing the travelled a further 14 miles on to Greens outstation where they slept.  Mr Green was a frequent visit at Thom’s on Sunday evenings after dinner– from The Errant Lady (Penny Russell 2002)

It is also recorded that the Thom’s had previously successfully opposed an attempt to establish an inn nearby, (circa 1840) by themselves offering hospitality to travellers in their basic home.  Then when Andrew Beveridge was granted a licence to set up a Public House, it further added it further added to the Thom’s determination as the men in the Thom employ would be ‘ruined by it’.

Although a man of some means Archibald Thom, as a squatter had no legal right to the land on which he lived, so on the 10 June 1840 at the Government Land Sales held in Melbourne he leased some 640 acres at Merriang, however he soon decided to move elsewhere.  By the time of the 1841 census the Thom family (now with 3 children) were living in the vicinity of where modern day Heidelberg is now located.  Also living with them were 7 other persons in their employ and another family of 4 – all together in a wooden and brick house.

In July 1843 Archibald Thom relinquished land still held in the St. Michaels Parish, Launceston, VDL.

Over several years Archibald Thom brought further lands between the Yarra and Darebin Rivers, with more at Banyule a few miles further upstream and then later several other large properties north of the Great Dividing Range between along the Goulburn River, at Yea and Eildon including Eglinton (of some 7000 acres in 1848) and Dickson’s Run/Station.


Andrew Beveridge, with his wife Margaret, six sons and a daughter having left Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, arrived in Port Phillip in Dec 1839 where a family friend met them on the jetty on the north bank of the Yarra River.  He informed the Beveridge family that a tent was available for them (on the site of the now former The Argus newspaper – in Latrobe St) and this is where they were first to stay.  Wasting little time, by early 1840 the Beveridge family had settled in the locality of Mercer’s Vale (later Beveridge) where large parts of Parish land were being offered for sale. 

The Beveridge family built a home (later also the licensed premises) close to the Thom family at ‘The Springs’ which was on the SE corner of Lithgow St and the southbound on ramp onto the Hume Freeway). 

Andrew BEVERIDGE (1796-1872) married Margaret SPRATT (1806-1890) – both were from (both from Dunfermline, Scotland), and had the following children – Andrew (1822-1846), (son), Elizabeth Kilgour (1827-1891), Peter (1829-1885), Mitchell Kilgour (1831-1913), John Adamson (1836-1902) and Robert Curror (1839-1890).


Public House License – GRANTED

As detailed above – Lady Jane Franklin recorded in her Diary for Mon 8 April 1839 that a man had just received a license to set up a Public House here (Thom’s Station), as to if the premises ever actually opened up and operated is not known despite a license being granted.  However, as Andrew Beveridge did not arrive at Port Phillip until Dec 1839 as as to who this person was, will remain forever a mystery. 


The Annual granting and renewal of publicans licensing meeting for 1839 was to have been held at the end of June 1839, however as it did not take place by that date, it became illegal for any premises to sell liquor and spirits after that date (as to when the meeting was eventually convened is not known per this research) thus now with every Publicans License now having expired, all Inns were shut up s the sale of spirits had become illegal. Publicans and new applicants has some 3 months prior al made their Annual applications to the Colonial Treasurer as was required – in Melbourne 18 Public houses were waiting to open, with the grievous in either the Colonial Treasurers Department  or the regulations of the Post Office.   

For Licenses Granted in Port Phillip in 1839 the publicans license fee had to be paid into the office of the Colonial Treasurer at Sydney, before the 30 June. This therefore took away the very money required to erect the customhouse, in order to give the parties the trouble of sending to Sydney.  Then a agent had to be paid and a premium and also – then the other party had to also have the same to get the monies remitted back to Melbourne.  For 1839 in Melbourne this sum exceeded upwards of £600 and not one applicant was refused, regardless of his character being of whatever description.

After which to obviate the problem a Treasurer in Melbourne was appointed, in addition with the opening of an account at one of the banks, thus circumnavigating all the vexation and trouble this flaw had caused.


That Lady Franklin had stopped at Thom’s Station in the April, and making reference to the Public House at Thom’s recently having had a license recently obtained, the license in effect could have been Granted at a subsequent Annual meeting any time between  July 1838 and April 1839 (these licensing records however cannot be found per this research). 

To obtain a new license or a renewal, in 1839 applicants had to forward the following sums of money to the Colonial Treasurer –  for General Publican License £30 or for a Wine and Beer License £10.



(from The Sydney News 5 Jan 1839  – edited)

Much of the following names towns and places today we associate as being in New South Wales.  However, the reader must remember that Victoria did not become its own Colony until 1851, and before that time was a part of the Colony of New South Wales. 

The new Act came into force on 1 Jan 1839 whereby very strict clauses were added regarding licenses held to sell alcohol.  From that date no persons but licensed publicans could sell spirits, except in the towns of Sydney, Parramatta, Windsor, Maitland, and Melbourne – so that persons who have stores in the country would be prohibited from selling spirits wholesale.  However wine and beer could be sold by wholesale within the towns of Liverpool, Campbelltown, Wollongong, Berrima, Goulburn, Bathurst, Penrith, Richmond, Newcastle, Morpeth, Carrington, and Port Macquarie.

The clauses that principally affected publicans at that time already holding license, included  –

– no billiard playing to be allowed except by permission of the magistrates, for which £10 was to be paid.

– any person receiving tools or clothing, or anything in payment for liquors except money, will be liable to a penalty of not less than £5 or more than £5.

– no publican in Sydney to be allowed to dispose of liquors in a tap, and this clause was applicable to any town in the Colony, or a Police Magistrate may make it applicable to any particular house.

– no public-house to be open, except from four o’clock in the morning to nine o’clock in the evening, in summer, or from six in the morning to nine in the evening in winter, but the magistrates, upon .payment of £10, are authorised to allow houses to be kept, open later, and houses may be opened on Sundays from one to three o’clock for the sale of wine or beer to be carried away, but not spirits.

– any person selling fermented or spirited liquors adulterated with deleterious ingredients, shall forfeit not more than  £50 nor less than £10 ten pounds.

– the clauses respecting supplying liquor to convicts to be entirely different to what they have hitherto been, as no person can either give or sell any spirituous liquor to any convict under a penalty of £5, except the master or a person in his presence, or by his written permission, who may supply the convict with a quantity not more than half a gill in six hours, nor more than one gill in twenty four hours, or except a reasonable quantity which shalI not cause drunkenness at the sheepwashing time.

– any person supplying any black native with any spirituous liquors, or any fermented liquor so as to cause intoxication, will be liable to a penalty of five pounds; no master is to pay his servants or journeymen in a public house under a penalty of £5.

– the fines on conviction for drunkenness will augment on each conviction; thus after the first conviction the magistrate

may inflict a penalty of not less than 5/-or more than £1, and if that be not paid, the drunkard shall he confined in a cell for twenty four hours, or worked on the tread-mill for twelve hours, and on every subsequent conviction the sentence shall be multiplied by the number of convictions, so that when a person has been convicted twenty times, he may be sent to the treadmill for twenty days.

– when any person shall, by excessive drinking of spirituous liquors, so miss spend, waste, or lessen his or her estate, as thereby to expose himself or herself, or his or her family to want or indigent circumstances, or greatly to injure his or her health, or the loss thereof, the Magistrates are authorised to forbid any person to supply this party with any spirits under a penalty of £5.


Liquor License (REJECTED)

Given the Beveridge family close proximity to the Thom family at ‘The Spring,’ it is very likely that it was then Andrew Beveridge who made an unsuccessful attempt to obtain a liquor license in 1840, which had had been opposed to successfully by the Thom family (as detailed above). 

At the Court of Petty Sessions for Licensing Applications on 21 April 1840, in the list of applications Granted and Refused, there is no mention of such an application being made by any one along Sydney Road at or near Mercer’s Vale (however in a contradiction, 12 months later in April 1841 a license renewal was granted – alas this could also have been a type set error)


In June 1840 the Port Phillip Gazette had reported that no new Publicans Licenses would be granted in the Town of Melbourne for the next 12 months, per an Act of Council with 23 premises currently licensed.  Exceptions however would be made if the premises could in addition amply and sufficiently meet the accommodation needs of the public.  Many premises were reported on as being mere tap-rooms, and sadly deficient in comfort and capaciousness for supplying the wants of those who require quiet and respectable lodgings.

Along the Sydney Road it was acknowledged that such additional ‘Public Houses’ were very much required. From the Murrumbidgee to Melbourne, a distance of upwards of some 300 miles, there were only four houses devoted to the public accommodation, and that some of these were wretched enough.  With good traffic passing along the road and increasing rapidly it was acknowledged that travellers must either have recourse to the hospitality of the settlers, which is in general warmly and willingly exercised, they must make their lair in the bush, with nothing but the sky for a great coat – a species of covering too flimsy in its texture for weather so inclement as we have lately experienced.

By July 1840 approximately 20 miles of road had been laid out from Melbourne, and petered out to a track just 3 to 4 miles south of the present day Beveridge.  The road had first been vaguely ‘tracked’ out in 1837.


Port Phillip Gazette 11 July 1840

In March 1841 the Port Phillip Gazette reported on the Press that they wished to draw the attention to the police authorities to certain proceedings which are being carried out upon the Sydney Road in the ‘sly grog selling’ line of business.


on West side of Kilmore Track  


(Sydney Road)

Licensee – Andrew Beveridge


Port Phillip Gazette 21 April 1841

The Beveridge family appear to have been living on a part of Thom’s Station, per the early newspaper reports of the day.  However, it was very likely more likely/probable that Andrew Beveridge had actually settled ‘next’ to Thom’s Station, and that the Licensing Board used the name Thom’s Station name merely as the a ‘closest reference point’, with no other officially recognised locality name available (as the Board frequently was known to do in those days).

Andrew Beveridge (in a type setting error, recorded as Anthony in the Licensing Records) on 20 April 1841 was granted a license renewal – as detailed above). The premises were recorded as being on Thom’s Station beside the Kilmore Rd (Sydney Rd), Mercer’s Vale which at the time was still a mere track, gently winded its way northward northwards from (Rocky Waterholes, later named Donnybrook and subsequntly to Kal Kallo*). The track known as Sydney Rd came to a ‘Y’ branch/intersection (to the south of Thom’s).  The Sydney Rd track then branched off gently to the NW, with the NE track being generally referred at that time as the Kilmore Rd, thence onward to Kilmore (later renamed Sydney Road). The Beveridge’s licensed premises (later known as the Hunters Rest Inn) being situated on the west side of the Kilmore Rd (and west of Thom’s Station).  The reference to Thom’s Station most likely refer to the closest named place at that time to where the Beveridge family had settled.

*  Donnybrook on the Sydney Rd was subsequently later renamed Kal Kallo. As when the North-Eastern railway was built and passed a couple of miles to the East of Donnybrook, the railway station opened was also so named Donnybrook.  A small community in time was established around the railway station, thus there in effect became two Donnybrook’s, and this caused some confusion.  Thus the Donnybrook on the Sydney Rd was renamed Kal Kallo……..

Andrew Beveridge’s licensed premises (and home) was built with an enormous hip roof and in addition a cellar dug. 

Soon Andrew was also to become successful in establishing a cattle run named ‘Woodburn’ of which he later added to.  In additional he also took up a lease of the unsold reserve to the south and east of Mercer’s Vale Station, one of the Flats at this time became known as Beveridge Flat. 

From this period of time most Annual Licensing Applications for renewals or applications for new licensed premises were held in the month of April for many years to come.  There were occasional exceptions due to initial license refusals, postponements and other reasons regarding individual applications.



(still at first location)

on West side Kilmore Track  

(Travellers Rest Inn, Bellingers Inn)

Licensees -Andrew Beveridge, Charles Bellinger,  

1842 to 1848 –

At the Annual General Licensing Day 19 April 1842 Andrew Beveridge is recorded as having had a license renewal granted (interestingly as a new renewal) for the Hunters Rest Inn (per the Melbourne Times)/Tryste Inn (per the Port Phillip Patriot and Melbourne Advertiser) – different Inn names recorded, these premises being at the same location as the one at Thoms Station from the previous year.

Also in 1842 Andrew had also taken up the Dean Station on Belle Vue Run (near latter day Wandong) which he stocked and placed his sons Andrew (Jnr) and George in charge.  In time they leased all the unsold reserve south and east of the Bald Hill Estate.


Melbourne Times Sat 11 March 1843
(with reference to Mr Beveridge’s Travellers Rest)

On 18 April 1843 the licensed premises are again recorded as the Hunters Rest Inn (per the Port Phillip Gazette) and as the /Hunters Tryste (per the Melbourne Times), Mercer’s Vale on Sydney Rd – again different Inns names recorded, plus the track has been renamed.  (new name of track).   Andrew Beveridge was granted a General Innkeepers License’.

After this time the name Hunters Tryste Inn name disappears into local history, and does not reappear for another 145 years (alas with a very slight spelling variation) courtesy of the Rankin family opening the Hunters Tryst (with no ‘e’) Inn, in 1989.

All the newspapers of the day that covered the General Licensing Day recorded the premises as such, and it is not known per the above why the same Inn was recorded with two variations by different newspapers – was one a type set error (but surely not for two consecutive years) ?

Port Phillip Gazette Wed 27 Sept 1843 (with reference to Andrew Beveridge, Travellers Rest)

On 23 April 1844 license granted to Andrew Beveridge of the Hunters Rest, Mercer’s Vale.

On 15 April 1845 Andrew Beveridge had his Publicans General License renewed for the Hunters Rest.


Henderson v Beveridge (of Travellers Rest, Mercer’s Vale)

Re – Debt of  £1

Port Phillip Patriot and Melbourne Advertiser
Monday 4 August 1845

On 21 April 1846 a license was granted to Andrew Beveridge, for the premises of the Hunters Rest, Mercer’s Vale. 

In a name change on Sat 4 July 1846 an application was dealt with in the transferring of the Travellers Rest license at Mercer’s Vale from Andrew Beveridge to Charles Bellinger.  The application was refused for the ‘non-performance of premises being made certain alteration to the premises’ – this being the first recorded variation in the name of the same licensed establishment.

The Argus (Tues 7 July 1846)

On Wed 2 Sept 1846 the Port Phillip Gazette and Settlers Journal reporting on License Transfer Day, that the application of CharlesChas’ Bellinger to transfer the license held at present held by Mr Beveridge for a house situated on Sydney Rd had been postponed until the following Tuesday, when the Licensing Justices were to meet again.

At the previously adjourned Licensing Meeting, reconvened on 8 Sept Chas. Bellinger application for the of the publicans’ general license for the premises of the Hunters Rest, Sydney Rd, Mercer’s Vale from Andrew Beveridge, was granted a license conditionally, but that/in that the Bench would not sign the Certificate until some Magistrate in the neighbourhood certified that the House for which the license had been applied, was finished.

A Charles Bellinger is recorded as having been a new applicant, for a publicans license at the ‘Melbourne Tavern’ in Elizabeth St. Melbourne being refused as ‘application altogether informal’ on 4 May 1844.


The changing of the Hunters Rest license in 1846 from Andrew Beveridge to Charles Bellinger coincided with the ever expanding Beveridge family increasing pastoral interests (some contemporary articles detail that Andrew Beveridge held the Inn license at Mercers Vale until 1848, however this is clearly slightly incorrect per the records accessed in this research). 

Then in what is another article which in itself has been compressively researched by other historians over the years.  In brief – a Robert McDougall had happened along at the Hunters Rest Inn sometime during 1845/46. McDougall had at this time already taking up land west of the Loddon for Curlewis and Campbell, of Sydney. While at the Inn he so optimistically described the northern country he had seen that the Beveridge boys were all agog to try their luck in the north. McDougall promised his aid and guidance.

A party was soon formed, with McDougall as leader, the party consisted of his sons Andrew (Jnr) and Peter Beveridge, as well as James and Edmund Kirby. With about 900 head of cattle, of which the Kirbys owned 350, they set out for the north. Durham Ox, Reedy Lake, Lake Boga were all passed.  Having crossed the Loddon River at Tragowel they arrived at Curlewis and Campbell’s, Reddy Lake Station near the Murray River.  Swan Hill was not even considered good enough before they halted at Tyntynder.  They also had arrived with 2 bullock drays loaded with some12 months provisions.  Shortly afterwards another brother George also arrived there after having driven up a flock of sheep. 

Having decide to settle at Tyntynder soon afterwards they had erected a log cabin.  Their Station was eventually to extend some 300 square miles from Swan Hill to Piangil, thirty miles further down the Murray river.  Additionally, they also acquired another run ten miles out into the Mallee scrub from the Murray.  

The early relations between new ‘whites’ Europeans in the District and the local Aboriginal clans were tentative and friendly (the Djadjawurrung people).  However there soon to be several misunderstandings that arose between the ‘new arrivals’ and the local aborigines (Wati Wati).  After a visit by the chief protector of aborigines, who ordered a bullock to be killed and given to the blacks, everything appeared to go wrong, as they then began raiding and killing some of their cattle and sheep for supplies. 

By early the August of 1846 the local aboriginals became hostile, and Andrew Beveridge (Jnr) was on 23 August speared to death by aboriginals as a result of one of these arguments over stolen cattle/sheep.  His slaughter being described in the Press as ‘a dreadful murder of a fine young gentleman’.

It was reported that Andrew Beveridge (Jnr) was in his hut, with two white men and a black belonging to the station, when hearing a noise outside he went out, and saw two blacks ‘cooeeing’ in the vicinity of the hut, and recognizing them as two of the principals in a late robbery of his sheep, he charged them with the theft, when one of the blacks without a moment’s warning threw his spear which struck Andrew in the abdomen, inflicting a severe wound. He was able however to immediately call out to the men in the hut to take to their arms, and himself made towards the door, which he had nearly reached when, he was struck in the back by a second spear and fell dead on the spot. The blacks immediately made off and succeeded in making their escape; both, however, are well known.

Andrew Beveridge (Snr), who had by this time had had the license of the Hunters Rest Inn transferred, went up to Tyntynder, and took his other sons Mitchell Kilgour George (always referred to as Kilgour) and Jack with him. He left the Dean run in charge of a son-in-law. Andrew remained at Tyntynder until 1866, when with Kilgour he returned to the Kilmore district; but George, Peter and Jack remained on the Murray, where they added Mount Myall, Piangil, Burra and Ultima.

There is also another variation to the story survives that some heavily armed warriors advanced on the Tyntynder Station and ignored all other ‘whites’ they saw until they found Andrew Beveridge (Jnr).  They claimed that he had been violating their women.  Isolating Andrew from the other ‘whites’ he was isolated and speared and his body symbolically daubed with ochre.

On 26 Nov 1846 three Aboriginal men named Bobby, Ptolemy and Bullseye were arrested and brought to the Melbourne Police Office.  The Court proceedings determined that Ptolemy had first thrown a reed spear into Beveridge’s breast, and then Bobby threw a jag spear into his side, Bullseye was being determined to merely having been present. In short the jury found Bullseye not guilty, and both Bobby and Ptolemy, guilty. Through an interpreter the two guilt were asked why they should not be put to death, and replied that Mr Beveridge was murdered by three black fellows named Wellington, Bonaparte and Henry and that they had nothing to do with it.  The Judge then sentenced them to death and they were both hanged at the Melbourne Gaol on 30 April 1847.

Andrew Beveridge (Jnr) was buried at Tyntynder and his grave has been cared for over the years and may still be seen at the Homestead today.

The hanging of the two men only lead to creating further violence by the local aborigine, people, that led to a police depot being established at Swan Hill, serving to pacify this situation.  This was done with great success and by the late 1840s the local aboriginal people were employed as laborers by several stations.


Port Phillip Gazette and Settler’s Journal  Sat 16 January 1847

(with reference to Mr Beveridge)

Port Phillip Patriot and Morning Advertiser Mon 18 January 1847
(with reference to Beveridge’s)

12 March 1847 (per the above article) –  A HARD CASE – a decent looking man, named William Thomas Rolfe, stated to be a ticket of leave holder, was brought before the magistrates yesterday, having been brought into custody from the Goulburn River, a distance of 65 miles, on suspicion of being one of the men who on the 20th February last, assaulted Mr Francis Stephen, the particulars of which have already appeared in this journal.  Prior to the case being gone into the Chief Constable informed the magistrate that he had every reason to believe that the wrong man had been arrested, and the trooper who had arrested Rolfe confirmed this statement; he proved that on the morning of the 20th, he met Rolfe at Mr Bellinger’s, at Mercer’s Vale, and that he was informed by Mr Tolmie, of the Goulburn River, in whose service Rolfe was, that he arrived there on the following day.  A clear alibi was thus established, and Rolfe was immediately discharged and left to find his way back to the place from whence he was taken in the best way he could.

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Port Phillip Patriot & Morning Advertiser (Sat 13 March 1847)
(with reference to Mr Bellinger’s at Mercer’s Vale)

April 1847 Charles ‘Chas’ Bellinger was granted the renewal of the Hunters Rest Inn license at Mercer’s Vale.

It is recorded that in the 1840s at ‘Beveridge’s Inn’ the first fox hunt in the Colony was held by a a band of hunting enthusiasts.   


Port Phillip Gazette and Settlers Journal (11 Oct 1847)

A meeting was held at Kinlochewe Inn on Wed 6 Jan 1847 for the subscribers of the newly formed Mercer’s Vale Hounds Club to make its arrangements for the forthcoming season.  It members would meet each morning at 8 o’clock (or at sunrise) at various locations on one or more days, as follows –   

Rocky Water Holes, Sydney Rd, Kal Kallo from 8 June

Bridge Inn, Deep Creek from 13 June

Jackson’s Bald Hill, Salt Water River from 12 July

Headlam’s Station, Salt Water River from 17 July

John Brock’s Bullands from 22 July

Kilmore from 26 July

Rocky Water Holes, Sydney Rd, Kal Kallo from 31 July

Mr Beattie’s Station, Mt. Johpet near Mt. Aitken, Salt Water River, from 9 Aug

Kinlochewe from 14 Aug

Headlam’s Station, Emu Creek from 21 Aug

Sherwin’s, Plenty River from 26 Aug

Mr Kirby’s, Kal Kallo on/or from 13 September at sunrise

Mr Edgar’s, River Plenty on/or from 18 Sept at sunrise

Mt. Jophet on/or from 22 Sept at sunrise

Colonel Anderson’s, Goulburn River from 5 Oct at sunrise

Mr Purcell’s Station 8 Oct at sunrise

Kilmore from 12 Oct at sunrise

Bellinger’s Inn from 28 Oct at sunrise

After a busy season with no less than 18 Meetings, somewhat surprisingly the club did not reform the following year.


Geelong Advertiser and Squatters’ Advocate  (Friday 16 July 1847)
Port Phillip Gazette & Settlers Journal (Fri 16 Oct 1847) 
Port Phillip Gazette & Settlers Journal (Sat 16 Oct 1847)


Per the above three articles – William Williams placed at the bar, charged with forgery, in that he, on the 6th July (1847) last, on the Sydney Road, did forgo a warrant or order for money, with intent to defraud Charles Bellinger, which order was as follows  –

Melbourne, June 7th, 1847To the Manager of toe Union Bank of Australia Pay Richard Smith, or bearer, five pounds sterling L McKinnon £5.

On a second count charged the prisoner with feloniously uttering the order, knowing it to be forged. The prisoner pleaded not guilty.

Anne Bellinger, sworn, deposed – I live at Mercer’s Yale, on the Sydney Road.  I am the wife of Charles Bellinger. I have seen the prisoner at the bar.  I saw him on the 6th July, there were two more parties with him when he came to my house, they had refreshments, in payment of which the prisoner gave me a cheque for £5 (the one produced).  I gave him three pounds in a cheque, and the remainder in cash, after allowing for what they had. I have seen the prisoner before.

By Mr Stephen – I am sure the prisoner is the party who handed the cheque to me. The prisoner and companions were about an hour and a half in the house.

By the Court – My house 25 miles from Melbourne.

Robert Pickering (barman for Mr Bellinger), sworn – I remember the 6th July last, I was at Bellinger’s, there I saw the prisoner at the bar at the house that day, he had some refreshments there, he paid for them by a cheque.  The cheque I hold in my hand is the one he gave, I saw him get change for it.  It was a £3 order, and the remainder in cash.  The prisoner told me his name was William Williams.

John Stephenson (shopman to Mr Mason) sworn – I am in the employment of H. W. Mason.  I recollect a cheque being brought to the shop.  I took, it to the Union Bonk to be cashed.  I believe the cheque was forwarded to Mr Bellinger.  I did not obtain money on the cheque.

Henry Ward Mason (ironmonger in Collins St, Melbourne), sworn – I live in Collins-street, I know Charles Bellinger, I received a note from him on the 8th July, the note contained some cheques.  The one produced was one of them, the letter must have come by the post/

John McLachlan (clerk at the Union Bank) – I am teller in the Union Bank. I have seen that cheque before I could not recollect who presented it, the signature attached to it is not in Mr McKinnon’s handwriting.  No other party of the name of L McKinnon keeps an account at the bank. 

L McKinnon, sworn – The cheque I hold in my hand is not in my hand-writing.  I do not know the prisoner.  I am not aware of ever having seen him before.

HW Mason recalled (when Stephen objected to it. Objection overruled).  A man named Smith was with the prisoner when he presented the cheque (for £3), it was on the 9th July.  Mr. Stephen contended that the course pursued Mr Croke was most irregular ____(unable to decipher writing)____.

Mr Stephen said that there was no evidence before the court.

His Honor coincided, when

The Jury immediately returned a verdict of not guilty.

Mr. Stephen then moved for the discharge of Williams, which was agreed to by His Honor.



(still at first location)

on West side of the Kilmore Track/Sydney Rd  

(Hunters Rest Inn, Bellinger Inn, Foremans Inn)

Licensees – Charles Bellinger, Peter Foreman

1848 to 1851 –

The Argus Fri 14 Jan 1848 

For a period of time from late 1847 through to March 1848 Charles Bellinger had temporarily closed his Inn due to his financial position.

Melbourne Argus
(Fri 17 March 1848)

Having fallen on ‘hard times, the Deputy Sherriff on 18 March 1848 sold at the premises of Chas. Bellinger – a quantity of furniture, stock in trade, grain and other property belonging the owner.

Melbourne Argus
(Tues 28 March 1848)

On Saturday 25 March 1848 the first business brought before the Licensing Court was the application of Mr Peter Foreman an old resident of Melbourne, for the transfer of the publican’s general license for the premises known as the Travellers Rest, Mercer’s Vale, and lately held by Mr Bellinger. Mr John Stephen, on behalf of the applicant stated, that there existed special grounds for the transfer in the case to entertain the special application. Some time ago the former occupier Mr Bellinger, fell into difficulties, and having lately become in embarrassed circumstances had all his goods and chattels were sold off by order of the sheriff, when Mr Foreman was the purchaser to the amount of about £450, the house had been shut up for some time, and the public were thereby sufferers.  Mr. Foreman having produced excellent certificates as to his character and fitness for holding a publican’s general license, the Court granted his application.  Major St. John also bore testimony to its being the only house on the road for many miles, and that it was the only spot in the vicinity at which water could be obtained.  The chairman enquired of Mr Lyons, Sheriff’s Officer, who had lately been at the house, in what condition the out-buildings were? Mr. Lyons stated that there was a very good ten stalled stable and other conveniences, but they would require much cleaning up, as they were in an awfully dirty state. Mr. Foreman promised to put everything in first-rate style as soon as possible, and to take possession immediately.

April 1848 Peter Foreman (previously recorded as Forman – in a type set error) took over the license from Charles  Bellinger of Bellinger Inn, Mercers Vale, to conduct his business in the same house of the previous holder. 

Charles Bellinger appears (despite his recent financial issues) to have had an application for a Publicans License at the Collingwood Hotel, Brunswick St, Collingwood sometime after April 1848 granted.  However, his license renewal was for the same premises was refused the following April (17th), with a yet further application also refused on Sat 7 July 1849.  Thereafter he disappears from any further Licensing records.

Peter Foreman and his wife Agnes Jarron originally hailed from Musselburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland and travelling via Rio de Janeiro they arrived at Port Phillip on 27 Oct 1839 along with 227 other Scottish immigrants.  Indeed Peter and Agnes may have actually married at sea during the 5 month voyage long on the ‘David Clark’.  This was the very first ship to bring assisted immigrants directly into Port Phillip. Originally they were employed with a butcher (John McNall) in Collins Street.  Between 1841 and 1847 they had three children (2 sons and a daughter) in the immediate time before their arrival at Mercer’s Vale.

Peter FOREMAN married Agnes JARRON and are known to have at least three children – John Dunbar (1841-1894), George (1841-1872) and Anne (1847-1860).

Port Phillip Patriot and Morning Advertiser  Sat 22 July 1848 (reference to the Beveridge’s)

Peter Foreman on Tues 17 April 1849 had a general license renewal granted for the Hunters Rest Inn license at Mercers Vale (the Inn former name being once again recorded in the Licensing records).



William Fossey, one of the men who attacked Doherty at the Wooden Bridge, and who became approver against his accomplices, was placed in the dock at the Police Office, on Saturday last, upon a charge of uttering a forged cheque.  Mr Foreman, landlord of the Hunters Rest, Mercers Vale on 4 May. Fossey called at his house, and after obtaining refreshments tendered the forged cheque in payment.  Fossey at the time himself to be William Close. He was remanded for further evidence – as detailed further on…….

July 1849 – UTTERING A FORGED CHEQUE (con’t)

William Fossey, who had been remanded from Thursday 28 June for uttering a forged cheque, which he had given to Mr Foreman, of the Hunters Rest, Mercers Vale was again brought before the Police Bench on 3 July.  Mr Foreman had deposed on the first examination, that Fossey had tendered the cheque in payment for some refreshments, and on the present occasion Mr Walker, of the Bank of Australasia, proved the signature (that of Mr Mitchell of Mount Macedon) to be a forgery. Fossey was committed for trial.


Alfred Stillard was placed in the dock at the police office, on Friday, charged with stealing a bay horse, the property of Mr Dunn, of Dandenong, and branded S on the neck and JA near shoulder. Stillard had been apprehended at the Hunters Rest, Mercers Vale, and the horse was found in the stable, and taken possession of by the constables. On being asked at the time where he obtained the horse, Stillard he said he got it in exchange for a mare and a cheque for £7. Mr Dunn deposed that on last Wednesday morning his horse was stolen from an enclosed paddock.  On the previous day the prisoner called at his house and was furnished with refreshments, and that the slip rail of the paddock had been taken down, and several horses suffered to stray.  The prisoner was committed for trial 

August 1849 – UTTERING A FORGED CHEQUE (con’t)

William Foss(e)y per the hearing from May 1849 took to the dock. He was a labourer, indicted for having uttered a forged cheque at Mercer’s Vale with intent to defraud one Peter Foreman.  The cheque was in favour of Wm Clowes, for £7 14s and purported to be signed by Mr. TF Mitchell, of Mount Macedon.  Mr Foreman landlord of the Hunters Rest, Mercer’s Vale proved the presentation, and Mr Mitchell deposed to the forgery of the cheque.  The jury without leaving the box, returned a verdict of guilty. The prisoner was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment in the Melbourne Gaol.


December 1849 Passing of Forged Papers – James Martin was brought before the sitting Magistrates Court, charged with uttering forged order, purporting to be drawn by Mr Emanuel Walsh, road and bridge contractor, living at Seymour, on Mr WJ Sugden, and others of this Town.  It appeared that Mr Walsh was in the habit of giving orders on Mr. Sugden and Martin becoming cognizant of this circumstance, had taken advantage by forging his name.  One order was for £12 7s, drawn on Mr P Foreman (Innkeeper) Mercer’s Vale, Sydney Road, the other on Mr Beaver (Innkeeper) Kinlochewe, for £14 9s, and was trying his hand on with a third for £13, when his description was given to Sergeant Ashley, who apprehended him in Elizabeth St, Melbourne and he was remanded.

Introduction of Annual Rental Fee

The first reference found regarding the rental of land in the Port Phillip District, dates from the Melbourne Daily News 24 October 1849 –

1. The Crown Lands within the settled districts now required payment of Rent for Sections which had been held under the Notice from the Colonial Secretary’s Office dated 21st November, 1848.   This was followed in October 1849 in that His Excellency the Governor directed it be notified, for the information of all persons concerned, that His Excellency has been pleased, with the advice of the Executive Council, to abrogate the Notice from the Colonial Secretary’s Office (of 21 November, 1848), as far as regards land previously held under a £10 annual license within the Port Phillip District, that notice not been strictly applicable to lands of that class.

2. With regard to the notice from His Honor the Superintendent’s office, dated October, 1849, it will be seen that the parties enumerated in the annexed list, who have made application to purchase portions of the sections referred to under the above notice of 21 November, 1841, are to pay rent for those sections in the same manner as for land held under the 22nd clause of the regulations of 29 March, 1848.

3. It is necessary that the rent, viz., twenty shillings per section of 640 acres, for the land in question, be paid into the Sub-Treasury at Melbourne, on or before the 30 November next in default of which, the leases of the lands will, in accordance will the 28th clause of the regulations, he put at once to sale, by auction.

4. Parties who may, by making the required payment, obtain leases, will have the power to renew them under the 12th clause of the regulations, in the manner and on the conditions stated in the notice from His Honor the Superintendent’s Office, dated 1 October, 1849, but the applications must be addressed to the Sub-Treasurer, on or before the 30 November, 1849, as directed in the notice from the Colonial Secretary’s Office, dated 20th July, last. By Order of His Honor the Superintendent, Robert Hoddle, Surveyor.

This was followed by a County of Bourke list of persons including Peter Foreman Lot 1 Mercers Vale 640 acres Marring * £1 rent per annum.

* Marring (above) being a type set error and should read Merriang.


December 1849 – PASSING OF FORGED PAPERS (con’t)

18 Dec 1849 at the Supreme Court – James Martin was indicted for uttering a forged order for £14/9/- on 1 Dec, purporting to be drawn by Emanuel Welch upon WJ Sugden, with the intent to defraud George Beaver.  The prisoner stopped at Mr Beaver’s, innkeeper at Kinlochewe for a couple of days, and tendered a forged order in payment of his expenses, and the prosecutor gave him £9/16/4d in cash.  The order was payable to a man named Saunders, the prisoner having given that as his name and represented that he had been employed by Mr Welch a road contractor, by whom the order purported to be drawn.  Mr Beaver proved these facts and Mr Welch proved that the order was a forgery, and that the prisoner was never in his service.  The prisoner said in his defence that if his trial was postponed he could produce witnesses to prove where he got the order.  His Honor said they could only deal with the case as it appeared in evidence, of which there could be very little doubt.  A verdict was passed and Martin was sentenced to three years hard labour on the roads.  There was still was another charge of a similar nature against him to be answered – this was likely the £12/7/-  that drawn on Mr Peter Foreman (Innkeeper) Mercer’s Vale, Sydney Road by James Martin (though no further details regarding this case have been located per this research.

James Martin reference (above) to the Parkhurst importation – this refers to the period between 1844 and 1849 whereby about 1750 convicts arrived in the Colony from either the Pentonville or Parkhurst prisons in England. They were often referred to as ‘exiles’, but unlike earlier convicts they were free to work for pay, bit could not leave the District to which they had been assigned.

James Martin


From the Melbourne News (2 April 1850) – Melancholy Event — Accidental Suicide— an inquest was held upon the body of an unfortunate young man named James McNamara, the particulars of whose melancholy end was gathered from the evidence produced at the inquest to his death.

Joseph Nonpariel who was in the employment of Peter Foreman, publican, at Mercer’s Vale, deposed— I saw the deceased return from Melbourne on Wednesday afternoon the 27th March, and there were in the cart two young girls with the deceased and his mate, I saw the deceased leave the two girls at the house, and he then proceeded with his mate to the back of the premises with the cart.  I was standing at the time at the kitchen door, and saw the cart stop and heard the deceased ask his mate if he would smoke.  His mate said “you have dirtied my pipe.” I saw the deceased before this, whilst on the dray, loading a pistol.  I believe that the pistol found by the deceased’s side was the one which I saw him in the act of loading in the cart. After loading the pistol, I saw him get down from the dray and come towards the house, and afterwards return to the cart.  Deceased did not appear to be much under the influence of liquor at the time, nor did any of them.  In about a minute after the return of deceased to the cart I heard the report of firearms, and ran immediately to the spot. The deceased’s mate cried out ‘murder’, and on reaching the spot the deceased was lying on his back and the pistol was on his left side between his body and left arm. The arms wore stretched down on each side of the body, and the pistol lying as a foresaid.  I saw Mr Foreman put some wine and water to deceased’s mouth, which he put aside with his arm.  I also saw movements in the legs of deceased.  After loading the pistol and before proceeding to the house, I think he must have left the pistol in the cart, as he came down in his shirt without any coat on him, and I must therefore have seen it.  Deceased had his coat on when shot.  When the deceased was loading the pistol, his mate was away at the house, and saw nothing of it.  The deceased and his mate appeared on very friendly terms.  I went towards the deceased immediately after the discharge of the pistol, and his mate was standing at his feet.  He was standing over him and slapping his hands together and crying out murder.

Peter Foreman (publican), deposed –a bout a fortnight ago deceased came into my neighbourhood with a bullock dray and horse cart, and camped about three hundred yards from my house.  They left in about a week for Kilmore.  He returned about two days afterwards and proceeded towards Melbourne, for the purpose of bringing out a clothes chest for a niece of his who accompanied him.  They returned in a few days in the cart, there were the deceased, two of his nieces, and his mate.  They left the two nieces at my house, and walked off to the cart, which was at the back of the premises.  The deceased merely came to the bar and left immediately.  I saw nothing unusual about him.  The deceased’s mate was at this time with the dray, it was about four o’clock on the afternoon of the 27th March. In about ten minutes I heard the report of firearms, and heard the deceased mate shout out ‘Murder, Murder’, and I immediately hastened to the spot, and found the deceased lying on his back and bleeding from a wound on the left side of his head, from whence the brains were coming out.  Both arms were extended and between the left side of the body and his left hand lay a pistol.  The pistol had nothing over it and lay by itself detached from everything else.  The pistol had recently been discharged.  The collar of the coat on the left breast was mouldering with fire which I extinguished.  The hat was about ten yards from the body in a line with the head.  The deceased was quite unconscious when I first saw him.  His mate was standing about ten yards from the feet of deceased apparently in great trouble at the event.  In the cart was a small cask of rum, some bottles of gin, and some wine.  Whether deceased was under the influence of liquor at the time I cannot say.  As far as I know of the deceased he was a sober man.  The deceased manner seemed strange when he left my bar so abruptly.  

Elizabeth McNamara lately in the service of Mr Fulton, publican, of Geelong, deposed—the deceased sent a letter from my sister to his mate John Clandillon to me at Geelong, the purpose of which was to urge me to return to my parents at once and the deceased was to carry me to my parents.  I accordingly reached Melbourne with Clandillon where I met the deceased and after remaining one night in Melbourne we proceeded the following morning towards Kilmore.  This was about a fortnight ago.  John Clandillon accompanied us and he appeared on the best terms with the deceased, there was no quarrel of any sort between them, indeed they appeared like brothers. We returned to Melbourne again from Kilmore for a box of clothes that had been left in Melbourne and were on our return again from Melbourne on the 27rh March when this occurred. The friendship between the deceased and his mate continued up to the end, they were acquainted with each other at home, there was a pistol in the cart, which lay in the body of the cart, and no attempt was made to conceal it in any way.  Clandillion was a teetotaller, and took nothing but ginger beer and peppermint, or water.

George Scarborough, servant, in the employ of Mr Foreman, deposed – On Wednesday afternoon, the 27th of March whilst sitting at the side of the kitchen at my master’s, I heard the report of fire arms, and ran out immediately to see what had happened, I found the deceased lying on his back on the ground, and his mate was just at his feet crying murder, I saw a pistol lying between the left arm and body of deceased, I saw a wound also in the left cheek ; I ran immediately to the spot after hearing the report of the pistol, and found the mate there alone with the deceased lying as aforesaid, there was blood coming from the wound, the mate when I first reached the spot was kneeling on both knees at deceased’s feet, and crying out murder.

H. B. Clarke, Esq, surgeon, residing at Richmond, deposed — on Wednesday morning, 27th March, I was called upon professionally to deceased.  I found a wound on the left cheek below the malar bone, and another corresponding wound through the parietal bone on the same side, portions of the brain were exuding from both wounds, and also a good deal of coagulated blood, deceased was quite comatose when I saw him and continued so to the period of his death, which took place about six o’clock the following morning,  the skin of the left cheek was burnt, and particles of gunpowder were adhering to the skin, the whisker also, and hair on the same side were burnt.  I have no doubt that the wound was occasioned by the discharge of a ball from some fire arm, and the injury thereby occasioned was the cause of death.  The pistol at the time of its discharge must have been below him with the muzzle pointing upwards.

John Clandillon, farmer, residing in Melbourne, deposed – on Wednesday afternoon last, the 27th March, I was returning from Melbourne with deceased and his two nieces to Kilmore. He stopped at Foreman’s house and after feeding the horse at the dray, I came towards the house for a drink of water. The deceased was between the kitchen and a cask of water.  His nieces brought out their box, and the deceased carried the box to the dray.  Whether I assisted him or not I forget.  After taking a drink of water, I went towards the dray, and saw the deceased had put on his coat and was in the act of buttoning his coat or pulling it, when I heard the report of a pistol, and saw the smoke proceeding from the left side of the coat.  His hat flew off and he gave a kind of a slew round, and dropped down.  I cried out ‘murder’ and immediately assistance came from the house.  The jury returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased accidentally shot himself.


16 April 1850 at the Annual Licensing Meeting for the County of Bourke Peter Foreman of Sydney Rd was granted a license renewal.


Though not researched here, it had been suggested that John ‘Red’ Kelly (a former convict) and whose correct name in Irish was Sean Ceallaigh, being the father of the later to be outlawed Edward (Ned) and Daniel (Dan) Kelly – is believed to have worked for the Beveridge family, and ir has been recorded previously that he likely also frequented the Inn for the occasional drink (this research though cannot substantiate this).

‘Red’ a laborer from Tipperary, Ireland on 1 Jan 1840 had been found guilty at Cashel Court and sentenced to 7 years transportation stealing a pig (also recorded as two pigs valued at £6) from a James Cooney of Ballysheehan near Cachel. He was kept in prison until 31 July 1841.  After which he embarked on the convict ship ‘Prince Regent’ at Dublin.  On 7 August, the ‘Prince Regent’ sailed from Dublin with 181 convicts on board and arrived in Van Diemens Land on 2 Jan 1842 .  The ship surgeon recording that he was single, well conducted and that he was genial and orderly.  Stationed on a gang along Brown River’ the only misdemeanor’s / transgression’s recorded was on 4 Feb 1842 for being absent from the station and being in a potato field belonging to Mr O’Connor (sentenced to two months labor in chains) and on 2 Aug 1847 for being drunk and disorderly (fined 5/). He was granted his Ticket of Leave on 11 Jul 1845 and his Certificate of Freedom on 11 Jan 1848. He then came across Bass Strait to New South Wales (later Victoria) and was at Merri Creek by 1849, where he slit posts, and at this time he met Ellen Quinn who later was to become his wife – they eloped on 18 Nov 1850 at the St Francis Church in Melbourne.

Dan Kelly, Ned Kelly, Steve Hart
Dec 1878

In a contradiction of sorts – the above photo is said to be signed by the three Outlaws, but the signatures are believed to been written by fellow gang member Joe Byrne, who did not pose for the cameraman.

NB: Steve Hart’s brother was employed at the Inverlochy Hotel* between Beveridge and Wallan Wallan at the time the Kelly Gang had been outlawed in 1878.  A Telegram survives regarding the police keeping the hotel under surveillance  as in was believed that Steve had on occasions  gone to see his brother there.

* In addition when the bluestone Beveridge General Store & Post Office was extended in the mid 1980s, owners Ian and Norma Rankin used some of the bluestone from ruins of the former Inverlochy Hotel in the extension,


Black Thursday 6 February 1851

In early 1851 a bushfire that had been raging in the new Colony of Victoria for some weeks, totally engulfed the Mercer’s Vale District on 6 February 1851, a date that became known as Black Thursday as the rich pastures of Mercer’s Vale swept over by the fire.  In all some 12 million acres (19000 square miles) or approximately one quarter of the Colony was burnt out, but amazingly only 12 lives lost.  On that day the high temperatures had become even more oppressive, there was a northerly reported as blowing like a furnace, that gathering more and more strength and velocity by the hour.   Very little can be found on the impact of the fires, its inhabitants, its buildings or stock and wildlife.  What is known is that all the way from Kilmore down to Campbellfield (along the route of the Sydney Rd) was ablaze with Kinlochewe raised to the ground – the township was then considered unprofitable to rebuild partly because Sydney Road had become a more reliable route compared to the seasonal vagaries of the Kinlochewe ford (creek crossing).  By 1853 only farmers remained, with the village reserve having reverted back totally to rural grazing land only.  Rocky Water Holes (Donnybrook later , KalKallo from 1874) soon replaced the settlement of Kinlochewe.


At to if Peter Foreman’s, Hunters Rest Inn premises survived the blaze is not known definativly per this research, however –

On 15 April 1851 at the Annual Licensing Sessions (per the Licensed Victuallers Act) held at the police office in Swanston St, Melbourne the Licensing Chairman found that the said house (of Peter Foreman, Mercers Vale –Travellers Rest) was in no condition to be able authourise the bench in granting a license.  That the landlord appeared indisposed to spend anything more upon it in addition that it was in a hardly fit state for occupation.  Though the house was well conducted, on that head he had not a word to say, but the house was not in a fit state to hold a license.  A Mr Brodie detailed that the house is not like many on the road composed of brick or freestone, and that he himself had I never myself heard any complaints of its deficiency in point either of warmth or cleanliness. A Mr John Stephen appeared in support of the application, and assured the bench that a new house would be built within 12 months. A license was Granted on condition that Mr Foreman should expend some £20 or £30 in immediate improvements and making in the house comfortable. 

The Argus 19 Feb 1851

Unfortunately little more was specifically written in the press on the fire that tore through Mercer’s Vale.

NB: As to whether the impact of the Black Thursday bushfires on the licensed premises was the reason for the above decision being made is not recorded.  Little if anything is recorded on the fires in the immediate District.

The Argus 16 April 1851

In the following 12-month period Peter Foreman built at a totally new premises about 200 yards (or so to the north) on the fringe of the newly surveyed township reserve (1852), between Foreman Rd and Spring St (on the north side of Lithgow St).   For an unknown reason at this time the township layout was surveyed and gazetted, the Kilmore track that ran through Beveridge between Foreman St and Spring St was not surveyed, though a track was ‘recorded’ on the 1852 survey.  When this was remedied in 1854c, and now meant that the licenced premises still at the same place/building were now between Foreman St and Kilmore/Sydney Rd (north of Lithgow St), with Spring St now being the next street to the east….!

 SECOND PREMISES (built 1851/52)

(between Foreman St and Spring St, (north side of Lithgow St) Beveridge


(Hunters Rest, Gleeson’s Inn)

Licensees- Peter Foreman, John Gleeson

1852 to 1859 –

1852 Beveridge map (and further added to in 1858) records the new location of the Public House
the above map also details at least 3 other substantial buildings in the vicinity ,the red line running north-south between Foreman St and Spring St, is the Kilmore track this Public House was later further extended
Beveridge (1854c)
this map details the winding Kilmore Rd having been
became designated proper road within the township
thus the Public House alas although still at the same location.
It is now between Foreman St and Kilmore Rd (later Sydney Rd) –

20 April 1852 within the new township the newly built premises license was transferred from Peter Foreman to John Gleeson, alas it was lightly reported on incorrectly (in the type setting) as Hunters Rest, Kilmore …….  It was in this year that the township of Beverage (later amended to Beveridge) was surveyed, and the previous unofficial name of Mercer’s Vale then disappears into history. 

There was a Peter Foreman who in April 1856,1857 and 1858 was later recorded as having had a licence granted to operate The Elephant Castle in Little Bourke St, Melbourne – though whether this is the one and same Peter Foreman is not known per this research.  At the time of his daughter Anne death in 1860 he is recorded as a victualler and he and his family were living at 119 Nicholson St, Fitzroy.

John GLEESON (1820-1860) married Mary GORMAN (1928-1916) , both from Limerick, Ireland and had at least three children – John Drious (1854-1937), Patrick (1858-1930) and William (1858c-1914)

In 1847 reference can be found to a John GLEESON having established the Four Posts Inn beside a track at a waterhole on the Wimmera River, between Buninyong and Horsham.  He did a good trade with passers-by and in particular from the workers on the nearby stations.  However in May 1848 he had to ‘come clean’ in admitting that he had a fugitive from the law after constables looking for him were asleep upstairs.  Questions about his customers and also of himself was asked, however he was allowed to keep his license and to continue to trade, and on the first day of 1849 at the Inn he also became the Post Master, and at which time the Inn was also a General Store with a Smithy as well.  By 1852 this John GLEESON had left the Grampians District – and possibly had relocated, to Mercers Vale just maybe………. ?

In April 1853 John Gleeson was granted a renewal of his license for the Hunter Rest Inn.  Later in the same year reference can be found of the premises as Gleeson’s Inn.

The latter life of Peter FOREMAN and his passing

Peter Foreman and his family on moving on from Mercer’s Vale, they went to Melbourne and were living in Nicholson St, Fitzroy and Peter became the licensee (victualler) of the Elephant and Castle Hotel in Little Bourke Street between the period of at least 1855 to 1861 – there has been research complied that Peter Foremen as the licensee of WH Budd’s ‘Strangeways Hotel’ in 1850 at the foot of the Pretty Sally Hill, however per this research this clearly is unlikely. Firstly Peter was at that time the licensee at Beveridge (which in its self may be pausable), however the ‘Strangeways Hotel’ dates from after 1850.  The confusion possibly being from a ‘traveller’ along the Sydney Rd making a single reference in the press in May 1850 him leaving the Rocky Water Holes and then arriving at Foreman’s which was at the foot of the Big Hill – and likely this has been misinterpreted in some research to mean the Pretty Sally Hill. 

Peter Foreman

Returning north once more he can be found applying for a Publicans License renewal in July 1864 at Donnybrook for the Royal Mail Hotel, Sydney Rd, Somerton (which he owned and occupied some 13 miles from Melbourne).  On 16 October 1869 his 14 roomed (besides stores, Pantries and kitchens) hotel was offered for ‘a positively unreserved’ auction.  The property at that time was described being first class and that it was doing the best business between Melbourne and Kilmore, and as having outhouses consisting of first class stabling, cow house, piggeries, etc, with approx. 25 acres of superior agricultural land, subdivided into three padlocks under a good crop of hay. One and a half acres is laid out in a beautiful garden and orchard, containing all sorts of vegetables and best fruit trees.  The Auction included the sale of furniture, Stock, Farming Implements, Dairy Utensils.  In addition, the purchaser of the property had the option of taking 165 acres good grazing land, fronting the Merri Creek, at a nominal rental. Peter Foreman had obviously done very well for himself over a period of 25 plus years in the Port Phillip District, and on the sale of the hotel he and his wife intended on retiring and returned to England.  Sadly, he died on 16 Jan 1869 after having been ill for a week, and was at the time still living at his Royal Mail Hotel in Somerton.  It was not until later in the year that his widow Agnes was successful in finally selling the business.


Per an article on Braemore Estate published in Oct 1854 the premises are recorded as (Gleeson’s Inn formerly Foreman’s) run by John Gleeson.

In 1854 improvements were made to the Sydney Rd from Melbourne to Kal Kallo, and the following year the construction extended to Beveridge, and through the middle of the township (replacing the previous haphazard rack).  Per the improvements with the Kilmore/Sydney Rd being surveyed – Gleeson’s Inn though still in the same location, it was now situated between (between Foreman St and Kilmore/Sydney Rd (north side of Lithgow St) Beveridge.

April 1855 John Gleeson is granted a license renewal of the Beveridge Hotel, at the same location.

The Argus 19 Oct 1855

In both 1855 and 1856 the premises name of the Hunters Rest reappears once again (at the same second location).

Coroners Inquest at Hunters Rest Inn

At the Hunters Rest Inn and (recorded as Mercer’s Vale) a Coroner’s Inquest was held on 24 March 1856 regarding the death of a Robert Gregg, a single man of about 40 years of age.  The deceased had been driving a mob of cattle with his father Edmund Butterworth and brother George Johnston – Mr Johnston being the mother of Robert Gregg (he was employed as his brother’s servant…….).  Both Edmund and George deposed that they had stopped for the evening to camp at Mercer’s Vale.  The deceased had eating his dinner and pudding, when dropped his knife and he then fell onto a flour bag that he was sitting on. He gave 2 or 3 gasps and expired at once, and that he did not struggle or cough as if anything was stuck in this throat.  That he was talking at the moment before he expired.  That the deceased was a heavy drinking man (that he had been a great drunkard), but was sober when he died, had been all this trip and had been for some weeks. John Gleeson was one of the 7 jury members.  The Coroner returned the verdict that the deceased had no marks of violence on himself and that he died from Apoplexy (cerebral haemorhage or a stroke) ie of natural causes.

1856 map with reference to Hunters Rest Inn
An early survey map of the Village of Beverage (later amended to Beveridge) 1852
and later in reproduced in 1858

During June 1858 the body of a John Murray was found in a woolshed near Gleeson’s Public House.  The Coroner later concluded that he had died of a ruptured aorta.

Map of the Beveridge township (1859c)
This map now clearly has the Kilmore/Sydney Rd marked between Foreman St and Spring St
The Argus Wed 29 June 1859

By 1859 the same licensed premises are recorded as Hunters Rest, Gleeson’s, however the John Gleeson may have fallen on hard and difficult times as on 29 June 1859 as his stock (cow, horses and pigs), farming implements and Household Furniture were sold on site at the Inn by public auction.

On Thursday 25th August 1859 as a part of the forthcoming East Bourke Elections, Alderman Bennett addressed electors at Budd’s Hotel, Beveridge.  This is the only such reference for this establishment found recorded as in Beveridge, and is almost certainly a type set error, that is meant to read Strangeways Hotel, Wallan Wallan.


(still at second location)

between Foreman Rd and Kilmore/Sydney Rd (north side of Lithgow St) Beveridge

(Gleeson’s – Beer Shop & General Store)

Licensees – John Gleeson. Mary Gleeson

1860 to 1869  –


(Kilmore Examiner & Coroners Report)

At an early hour on Monday morning (3 Dec 1860), John Gleeson, who for some years past has been the landlord of the hotel known as Gleeson’s, at the township of Beveridge, on the Sydney road, thirteen miles from Kilmore, and four from Donnybrook, was found dead by his wife Mary in their own house. It appears that for some time past deceased was in the habit of drinking to excess. His wife stated that her husband was drunk on the Saturday night and that he continued drinking all day Sunday.   Then in the evening William Johnstone of Wallan Wallan came to the house.  They drank four bottles of spirits, two of which were brandy.  By the time Johnstone left at about 11 o’clock that night, her husband could barely stand from the effects of the drink.  Mary further stated that she put husband to bed and found him dead at about 7 o’clock the following morning.  William Johnstone stated that he had stopped by Gleeson’s Hotel and had some nobblers with him, and that the deceased was already the worse for the drink when I came by the house.  He further stated that John Gleeson was pretty groggy when he left the Hotel, but that he could not say how much we had.  His wife, we understand, locked up the drink, to prevent his getting at it, but in the night he broke the door of the tap-room with a crowbar, and the result was that he drank to such an extent that he was found dead early next morning. The Coroner found that in accordance with the facts, that he had died from the effects of ard____ spirits administered by himself.  John Furlong was one of the 12 jurors at the inquest.  Deceased has left, a wife and three or four children.

The population at Beveridge in 1861 was recorded as being 45 persons.

Widowed Mary Gleeson at this time then took over as the Landlady at Gleeson’s Hotel and the premises were still open in late Aug 1861 per the following – Mary Gleeson, Landlady of Gleeson’s Hotel, Beveridge was a witness at the trial of Charles Gratton Anderson who was answering charges of stealing 4 mares, 1 colt and 2 fillies, as well as a second charge of receiving them knowing them to be stolen from the property of farmer Ewan Cameron.  The defendant pleaded – not guilty.  The case was covered in detail in ‘The Melbourne Leader’.  In short Mary Gleeson, deposed – that at about 12 o’clock the prisoner rode up to the inn.  He was driving 22 horses.  Anderson stopped at the Inn until about 3 o’clock and sold 2 of the horses he was driving to some men there.   Several other witnesses were called forward to give evidence.  In conclusion His Honor thought that all the evidence produced against Anderson was vague and not consistent with the alibi the other two Crown witnesses had proved.  He therefore directed a verdict of acquittal to be returned and the prisoner was discharged.  What this case did demonstrate however was that widow Mary Gleeson did take over as the licensee of Gleeson’s Hotel after her husband’s passing in Dec 1860.

Passing of Archibald THOM

On 18 January 1862 an original settler at Mercer’s Vale in Archibald Thom formerly of  Thom’s Station was thrown from his gig and suffered serious head injuries.  He was taken to Yea for treatment, however some three days later on  21 Jan 1862 passed away at Upper Goulburn, Eildon Station, aged 75, and was later buried at Yea.


Per the Government Gazette – Mary Gleeson renewed her license of Gleeson’s Hotel in June 1862.

The Donnybrook and Wallan Wallan Districts Roads Board was initiated at Wallan Wallan on 12 August 1863 – one such Meeting was held in Gleeson’s Inn, Beveridge – per JW Payne booklet (1974), thus the Gleeson’s were the licensees until at least the end of 1863. 

Inquest at Gleeson Hotel

A Coroner’s inquest was held at Gleeson’s Hotel on 7 Dec 1863 regarding the death of bullock driver Patrick Gorman near Gleeson’s Hotel. His body was taken back to the Hotel, where he lived by _ Fletcher a storekeeper at Beveridge.  The deceased was a 50-52yo widower with no family. It was concluded that he was accidently killed by the wheel of a bullock dray passing over his body at Beveridge.  Thomas Wall was one of the 12 jurors.

Between Feb 1864 and Mar 1865 several advertisements appeared in the press, requiring stonebreakers and quarrymen at Gleeson’s Hotel, Beveridge, with ‘highest prices paid’.  Was Mary Gleeson having an extension built to her premises?  At the same time work had also commenced on the building of the Beveridge Post Office, which was also built from bluestone, This building was situated on the south-east corner of Lithgow St and Sydney Rd, and its construction was completed in 1865. This building was shared with the Donnybrook & Wallan Wallan District Roads Board between up until 1871), after which it was used by the Merriang Shire Council (1871-1915) – though the nearby township of Merriang was always in the Epping Shire….. ! 

The construction of several imposing buildings in and around Beveridge during this immediate period, greatly assisted in giving the township some importance within the District.

On 1 July 1864 at Donnybrook Mary Gleeson applied for the renewal of the Publicans License for Gleeson’s Hotel, Beveridge (owned and occupied by applicant).

The granting and application of annual licenses were now conducted locally, from either 1 July or 1 Jan (and valid for 12 months).


The Age (30 Dec 1864)

Mary Gleeson likely did not apply for her Publicans License to renewed in Dec 1865.

Six months later on 1 July 1866 Mary Gleeson obtained a license to operate as a Beer Shop and retained this license for the next 3 years. 

In Sept 1867 Thomas Flynn was in the employ of Mary Gleeson as a ‘Hotel Hand’, after having operated his own licensed premises in the township for 12 months up until 30 June 1867 (more detailed further on).

On 2 Mar 1868 Mitchell Kilgour Beveridge married Catherine ‘Kate’ Susanna Bristow in the Hunters Tryste Parlour at the Beveridge Inn (whether this was at Gleeson’s or Flynn’s is not known).

30 June 1869 was the last day that the Gleeson premises were to hold a license to sell alcohol. 

In December 1871 Mary Gleeson applied for a Publicans License once again, for a house containing six rooms, however her application was rejected.  At the same time Thomas Flynn who had worked for Mary back in 1867 had recently completed the building of a new bluestone building next to his house on the SW corner of Lithgow St and Sydney Rd (a mere 50 yards south of Gleeson’s) – and he had also applied for a Publicans License with his application being granted.  (more detailed further on).

KFP 14 Dec 1871

Mary Gleeson later conducted/operated a General Store (precise dates unknown) from part of the former premises of Gleeson’s Hotel. In 1874 she is recorded as a House Keeper.

Across the road from Gleeson’s there was also a slaughter yard/butchers shop (in the early 1900s was being run by James Henry Dew).  Also along the roadway in the immediate vicinity were several homesteads including those of the Jones, Deveraux, Franklin and right up to the Lewis family at the crest of the hill.

Again by using early locality and survey maps of the time in conjunction with the use of latter day maps (from both before and after the construction of the duel landed Hume Highway/Freeway in 1969), as well as using previous historians research this research concludes that most likely the second licensed premises were situated approximately a few metres south of the southbound exit ramp into Beveridge, where the ramp bends to the East before the T intersection onto the former Kilmore/Sydney Rd.

At nearby Merriang (1858c-1871c)

At the neighbouring ‘village’ of Merriang on the Merri Creek a Stephen Skinner in 1861, former English school master took on the teaching position at the local Church of England Denomination school.  Merriang itself was never gazetted as a township, however at this time it boasted a general store, post office (1856), blacksmith, CofE place of worship (1860), National Schol (1856) and a Cobb & Co coaching station – for changes of stagecoach horse.  At its peak at least 3 stagecoaches a week went to and from Melbourne, with a scheduled service arriving with  passengers and mail every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons, which departed  at 7am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.

An initial selector of 283 acres in John Chandler an Irishman sold his property to 3 men (which they divided up) and then in 1858 Chandler brought part of it back for £460 from one of the men in William Strang.  He had made many capital improvements to his portion of the property including the construction of a hotel (as to whether Strang or Chandler was the first publican it is not clear).  The premises faced the ‘new’ Merriang Road on the west side.

William Strang with newly earned wealth soon became a ‘victim of the demon drink’, culminating in  his premature death.

 The hotel was commonly referred to as Merriang Hotel, Chandlers Hotel and Chandlers Merriang Hotel. In 1863 Merriang was described in his diary (20 Jan) by a Stephen Skinner a former schoolteacher, as ‘ Everything here is chaotic and all its evils reign supreme’ and in addition named three persons who were ‘suffering a recovery’.   The premises were offered for sale in 1865 – recording  a Stone Hotel (of 5 sittings rooms and 8 bedrooms including  a ballroom)with a cellar, as on some 183 acres that in addition also included – a stone General Store, a 5 room cottage, a Post Office and 1 ½ acres of garden. However John Chandler still remained the licensee and owner of the premises in Sept 1867.

When John Chandler eventually sold up he moved to Healesville and John Devine (who for several years had been the publican of the Belmont Hotel Thomas-Town on Epping Rd) held the hotel’s license and ran the General Store from 1865 onwards (per JW Payne ‘history of Beveridge’ booklet 1974).  The license then appears to have been withdrawn or not reapplied for in the period of 1868/69c, though in the period 1870 to 1871c a Fanny Roulston is recorded as having run a Beer Shop.

In 1865cc to 1866c Peter Walker was conducting a General Store. At possibly the same location, between 1867 and 1870 a J Middleton was also conducting a General Store between 1867c until at least to 1870c .

As a community Merriang was losing its importance and went into a steady decline, becoming primarily a pastoral district by the 1870s. No longer did the Merriang Rd link directly at the intersection with Kilmore Rd just south of the Inverlochy Hotel. The Kilmore Rd then a couple of miles further north met with the Broadmeadows Rd (per its former route*) at Strangeways Hotel, Wallan Wallan – before the long climb up Big Hill (Pretty Sally Hill) Wallan Wallan. The traveller now opting for one of the latter named routes. The final stagecoach service to/from Merriang ceasing in 1885.

* the original Broadmeadows Rd (Old Sydney Rd) later met with the Kilmore Rd at the top of of Big Hill.


Merriang locality
(in reference to where Beveridge is, and as to where the Merriang Rd and Kilmore Rd linked up )


Lot 70 on SW corner of Lithgow St and Sydney Rd, Beveridge


(Beer Shop)

Licensee- Thomas Flynn

1866 to 1868

The Argus 28 Dec 1865

At the time Thomas Flynn applied for a Publicans License at his home which was granted on 4 Jan 1866 at the Court of Petty Sessions held at Donnybrook – he gave his occupation as Blacksmith.  His premises consisted of 2 sitting rooms and 3 bedroom exclusive to the needs of his family.

It has been written that sometime in 1863 Edward ‘Ned’ Kelly was called upon to give evidence in Court regarding the alleged theft of 13 cattle from the local Beveridge blacksmith Thomas Flynn (who supplemented his income with a few head of cattle) by his uncle James Kelly.  Thomas Flynn wife Agnes had witnessed the theft, and gave evidence that after dark on 13 July 1862 she had witnessed James Kelly and a companion Cornelius Flynn (no relation of Thomas) drive the cattle away. At the Kilmore Court of Petty Sessions Court sometime in the following year his mother Ellen defended her brother-in-law James Kelly regarding the alleged charge. With both Ellen and Ned under oath swearing that James had been home when the cattle were allegedly stolen not impressing the Court.   Indeed, had young ‘Ned’ been directed by his family with what he said in Court ?  The Court was not impressed with the small boy and his mother, with both James Kelly and Cornelius Flynn being convicted and sentenced to three years in prison with hard labour.   

Thomas Flynn did not reapply for a Publicans License in 1867, and during that year worked as a ‘Hotel Hand’ for Mary Gleeson at her Beer Shop a mere 50 yards across the road, aside from continuing with his blacksmithing. 

Then in July 1868 Thomas Flynn applied for, and was granted a license to operate a Beer Shop, once again this venture was to last just the one year, then he returned to his former trade of blacksmithing before ‘reappearing again’ briefly in 1872 (as detailed further on).


(still at third location)

Lot 70 on SW corner of Lithgow St and Sydney Rd, Beveridge

Licensee- John Furlong


With Thomas Flynn not applying for a license renewal in July 1869 and John Furlong purchased his corner block property and residence (Lot 70), that had previously been licensed in 1866 and 1868.  Thomas then applied for a Publicans License which was granted at the start of 1869 and so came into being Furlong’s Hotel.

Sometime in 1872 Thomas Flynn appears to have left the District.

John FURLONG married Margaret DOYLE ( both were of Wexford, Ireland) and they had at least seven children – John (1832-1908, Peter (1935-1908), Mary (1837- d bef 1842), William (1839- ), Mary (1841- d bef 1849 ), Elizabeth (1846- ) and Mary (1848- )

Back as early as 16 May 1846 a Mr Broadhurst applied for and obtained from the Police Bench a certificate under the ‘Scabby Sheep Act” to examine certain sheep alleged to be scabby, the property Mr Furlong(e) running at Mercers ValeMr Broadhurst also of Mercer’s Vale, in his application also alleged that Mr Furlong were depasturing upon the run of a neighbour.  In response Mr Furlong(e) applied to his Worship the Mayor to set aside a certificate granted to Broadhurst, stating that his sheep were never scabby or deceased and neither had they ever been on a scabby run. He stated that such proceedings must have a tendency to injure him, and that he could only conclude that the application had been made out of malicious motive.  The Mayor said that he was sorry but had not power to set aside such an order, but if on inspection, it turned out that the sheep were not scabby, he had his remedy in a higher Court.  Mr Furlong(e) left the office, stating that he would proceed against the party.  Nothing more is reported on in the press.

Inquest into the passing of AGNES FLYNN

When an inquest was held to the death of Agnes Flynn (wife of Thomas) of Beveridge two days after her death on 2  Feb 1870 the names of Thomas Flynn, John Furlong, Thomas Wall and Elizabeth O’Connor (John Furlong’s sister) appear on the Coroner’s Inquest report as witnesses (amongst several other names).  Thomas Flynn stated in his Deposition of Witness report, as a Blacksmith at this time.   In his report he stated that his wife of 14 years been ill for about 4 years and in that time she ‘had never been off drinking’, but before that she had been sober and a good mother.  He further stated that she had suffered from delusions from the drink on several occasions and that that she was not sober on the day she died.  Other Depositions gave similar accounts with her brother Andrew Lennox stating that he had seen his sister all down from the drink.  The Coroner stated that she was much emancipated and covered with bruises as if falling about.  He found that likely cause of death recorded by the coroner, was fatty degeneration of the heart and liver. She had left 5 surviving children.

In Sept 1870 Robert Bennett per the forthcoming Bourke Elections addressed the electors of the district at various Hotels throughout the District.  On Sat 17th he addressed such a crowd at Inverlochy Hotel which in his advertisement he interestingly printed ‘Beveridge – Laffan’s Hotel (Saturday 17th 7.30pm)’ – which was possibly the only such reference to this establishment being recorded as not at/of Wallan Wallan. 

Furlong’s Hotel operated out of these premises for just the18 months, during which time John was having a new building constructed close-by to his current hotel and home.  He had the vision that the new building would replace the current hotel, which his family could then solely live in.


was likely located on the West side of Sydney Rd (either Lot 67, 68 or 69) 

close to the site of the first licensed premises in the Hunters Rest Inn, Mercer’s Vale


(Beveridge Hotel)

Licensees- John Furlong, Elizabeth Furlong,

Robert Schofield, James Foster

1871 to 1886 –

The granting and application of new licenses were now conducted locally and at the end of each year (December).

Weekly Times (7 Jan1871)

With the building complete, John Furlong application of a Publicans License on 12 Jan 1871 states the ‘said house contains seven rooms exclusive of those required for the use of my family, is a new house, never licensed and is my property.  His application accordingly was granted by the Licensing Court.

It is possible that this building was located near the site of the first every licensed premises of Andrew Beveridge, at Mercer’s Vale on the West side of Sydney Rd.


Andrew Beveridge formerly of Mercer’s Vale and the Beveridge locality, and the first licensee/hotelkeeper on/at Thom’s Station in 1841 passed away on 5 Aug 1872 at the aged of 76. Having left Tyntynder in 1866 to live the latter part of his life at ‘Woodburn’, Kilmore where he continued to farm.  He was survived by his wife Margaret, five sons and one daughter (one son having predeceased him).


Andrew and Margaret Beveridge

It was in the period 1872 to 1879 that John Furlong instigated a complaint against Thomas Wall the owner and publican of the other licensed premises at Beveridge – (more detailed further on).


John Furlong late of Wexford, Ireland died on 11 May 1880 aged 64 at the Beveridge Hotel – was recorded as a Hotelkeeper (owner).  The hotels license then it appears may have been transferred to Martha Robins who held the license until sometime in 1881 (nothing more is known about her tenure).  Estate is believed to have been divided equally between his sisters Elizabeth, Mary Sutton of Beveridge (widow) and Catherine O’Connor shopkeeper of Beveridge (widow), the latter who administered the distribution of the Estate. Though the following may initially indicate otherwise –

The Herald 3 June 1880

However, it appears that Mary Sutton had signed some of the legal documents with just an ‘X” (being illiterate), and her right to part of the Estate was therefore belatedly acknowledged?

In 1882 the widowed Elizabeth Furlong was recorded as the licensee of the hotel, with 60 acres (rated at £45).



Elizabeth Furlong a native of Co. Wexford, Ireland died at Beveridge on 3 Dec 1882 aged 60.  It is not then known what happened immediately happened with the hotel immediately after her passing, possibly it may have closed for a short period of time   At which time the property then came into the possession of Catherine O’Connor (John Furlong’s widowed sister) through various Administration and Probate files. Catherine and her husband James J O’Connor ran a store in the township, which Catherine took over herself when her husband passed away in 1878.   Catherine and her sister Mary Sutton of Beveridge were the beneficiaries of their sister Will which included Lots 10 and 11 (Section 6) on which stood the former Gleeson’s Hotel – inclining that is where Elizabeth had likely been residing?    


One slightly confusing advertisement appeared in the press with reference to John Furlong and the Bridge Hotel as follows –

The Age (5 Dec 1882)

From 1883 and through to 1885 Robert Schofield was the publican of the Beveridge Hotel.

Coroner’s Inquest at Beveridge Hotel

On 4 July 1883 a Coroner’s Inquest was held at the Beveridge Hotel, into the death of Patrick Cornelius Kennedy (who rides with the mail from the Beveridge Railway Station to the Beveridge Post Office) and who was accidently killed in Stewart Lane, Beveridge two evenings prior.  Kennedy work was to James Stewart had been returning home from the township and could hear someone coming up behind him on a horse.  When they got about 200 yards from away Stewart heard something like a horse falling and at that same moment somebody screamed out ‘get up’.  Stewart ran back to the spot (near Stewarts Corner) and found a horse lying across somebody.  He attempted to move the horse, but was unable to do so.  So he ran and raised the alarm with Mr Gleeson and Robert Schofield.  The latter deposed that at about 8 o’clock in the evening a man came into his Beveridge Hotel and told him there was a man on the road about a quarter of a mile away.  Robert Schofield grabbed a lantern and went to the site and instantly recognised the person as Patrick Kennedy (also recorded as a boy).  With William Gleeson, James Stewart and a Frederick Austin now at the site they managed to move the horse, and the deceased was freed (a leg having been stuck in a stirrup underneath the horse).  William Gleeson then proceeded to run to the Beveridge Hotel and grabbed some brandy with which he rubbed the victim’s hands and face with – and he was then carried to the Robert Schofield’s Beveridge Hotel, and placed in one of the bedrooms. William then went to Donnybrook and reported the matter to Constable McKee as well as notifying Mr Kennedy that his son was hurt.  Per all other above, it appears possible that Patrick may well have been alive for a short time after the accident occurred.  A verdict of accidental death was returned.

The Age 14 April 1885

In April 1885 Robert Schofield the proprietor of the Beveridge Hotel, sale by auction the premises, facing the main road, and 54 acres of choice farming land a by never failing spring, in addition all the hotel furniture and several farm animals and sundry items were advertised to be sold by auction.  By June 1885 it appears per the following story that Robert Schofield had passed away (?) if the little boys story is/was to be believed –

On 24 June 1885 a little boy named Albert Schofield was brought before the city Magistrates Court to be dealt with as a neglected child.   He was found hungry, homeless and shivering with the cold, at two o’clock in morning, lying curled up on the pavement in Gisborne St.  He told the constable, who disturbed him, that both his parents were dead. He was suffering so much from exposure and want of food, that had he not been taken away to the watch-house the child in all likelihood would have been found dead in the street in the morning. When he had somewhat recovered in the warmth of the fire in the lock-up, he stated that his father kept a Public House at Beveridge, 27 miles distant from Melbourne, from which he had walked alone all the way to the metropolis.  He said that his father’s house had been taken possession of by other people.   He was remanded for a week to the industrial school so that some enquiries might be made about his parents – per The Age 25 June 1885.

Indeed, little Albert Schofield’s story alas a sad one, was not totally accurate, as per the following  – 

Passing of both Sarah Ann and Robert H SCHOFIELD

Albert’s mother it appears may well have been the Sarah Ann Schofield (wife of Robert) who died on 9 July 1885 at the residence of Mrs Johnston, Islington St, Collingwood, after suffering from a long and painful illness (the notice does not say ‘the late’ Robert Schofield) aged only 43.  Then seven months later on 26 Feb 1886 Robert Schofield late of Beveridge and Collingwood died in hospital aged 37, leaving an Estate of £104/18/3d.

Little Albert had possibly been left to fend for himself on the streets, and if nothing less had been severely neglected – and there after disappears into history……..

A Robert Schofield after having only acquired the publicans license of the Clarendon Hotel, South Yarra in Feb 1881, some two months later the City Licensing Board granted the transfer of the license for Robert Schofield to Fanny Ellerman.


The Beveridge Hotel and 54 acres as advertised for sale by Auction in April 1885, and was purchased by James Foster.

30 Nov 1885 at the monthly meeting of the Merriang Shire Council an application received from James Foster for a few loads of metal to be spread before his place was granted.

James Foster remained the publican until the premises closed its doors for the final time at the end of 1886.



(new bluestone building next to site of third premises)

Lot 70 on SW corner of Lithgow St and Sydney Rd, Beveridge


(Wall’s Hotel, Wall’s Beveridge Hotel)  

Licensees – Thomas Flynn, Thomas Wall, Julie Agnes Wall, Sarah Wall, Martha Robins, James Robins

1872 to 1878c –

KFP 14 Dec 1871

At the same time that John Furlong opened his new premises, John Flynn was having a bluestone building constructed  next to his former licensed premises (third location), that his family still resided in.  His intention was to open for business again with the new premises once completed.  The new premises were then briefly referred to as Flynn.

As detailed earlier in Dec 1871 Mary Gleeson applied to have her former Publicans License at Gleeson’s Inn which had lapsed reapproved, however her application was rejected.  One can only surmise that John Furlong’s renewal application may have been favoured with his new premises that were separate to the house his family could now live in.  Indeed it is unlikely that the Beveridge township could have adequately supported three hotels even with the passing trade – along with Furlong’s Hotel.

Aside from private room for the exclusive use of the family Mary Gleeson premises contained 6 rooms, and the presently licensed Flynn’s Hotel contained seven rooms.  A slightly varied record, details that the latter containing four rooms which was possibly the number exclusive for the use of his family.  Likely it was a 7 roomed building with only 3 rooms for the use of Hotel patronage……….?).


Thomas Wall, (born in Ireland 1831c) had travelled to America as a young man, circa 1850 where he met and married Sarah Fitzgerald (b 1837c). The Wall family appear to have arrived in Victoria in early 1863. There is indeed a shipping arrival for March 1863 for the ‘Great Tasman’, and onboard were   – Thomas (31yo), Sarah (25), Mary (5) Thomas (3), Daniel (1) and Julia (1).  Also onboard were John Thomas (35), John 23) and Celia (17) either in New South Wales of Tasmania.

Then in the following month the identical arrival details appear with the Wall family onboard the barque ‘Royal Saxon’ for a Thomas Wall (31yo), Sarah (25), Mary (5) Thomas Henry (3), Daniel (infant) and Julia Agnes (infant) – arriving in Melbourne, from their initial arrival port and hence onwards to Victoria ?  

Royal Saxon – Emigration blog
Royal Saxon (510 ton barque)

One son in Patrick (b 1856 America) had died before the family came to Australia.  The remaining 87 children were all born at Beveridge (though birth registrations were records were recorded as per the Registration Office of Kal Kallo / Donnybrook). 

Both Thomas and Sarah Wall were Quakers and had earlier settled in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania for a period of time, with their young family before sailing to the Colony of Victoria.  Thomas is recorded as one of Victoria’s earliest school teachers.   His son John Wall was a hotelkeeper near Benalla for many years in the early 1900s.

Patrick1856c USA bef 1863 USA  
Julie Agnes (HOPKINS)PUBLIC HOUSE LicenseeJuly 1857 USA 1929 Benalla 67? 
Mary (?)1858c USA   Aft 1862
Thomas John 1859c  USA   1929Benalla70
Daniel 1861c USA 1885Benalla
Joseph Fitzgerald 24/3/1864Beveridge   4/4/1864 St Pauls, Coburg 1944Melbourne 80 
Sarah Frances (spinster) 1865cBeveridge ?1941East Camberwell 75
David 12/5/1867Beveridge 6/6/1867St Pauls, Coburg poss 1899 ?Wagga  NSW ? 
Francis Patrick 28/10/1868Beveridge28/10/1868St Pauls, Coburg   
Elizabeth Anne Gertrude (CURTAIN)  6/10/1870Beveridge 25/9/1870St Pauls, Coburg1925Heidleberg55 
John HOTEL KEEPER at Benalla 31/5/1872Beveridge 9/6/1872St Pauls, Coburg1922Heidleberg  48
James William Fitzgerald 1874cBeveridge  d 1927St. Kilda53
Charles ‘Chas’ Christopher 1875cBeveridge  d 1943Hawthorn68
Children of Thomas and Sarah WALL (nee Fitzgerald)

NB : All the known Wall children born in the Colony, births were Registered at Donnybrook/Kal Kallo

Thomas and his wife Sarah Wall had arrived in the area to take up the appointments of Master and Work Mistress with the infants at the Roman Catholic Denominational (Common) School No. 711 from its opening June 1863 – the completion date of the actual RC a church was also in 1863, so the RC school classes presumably were conducted from temporary premises before this time ?

The Common Schools salaries in 1863 were as follows  –

1st Class Master Teacher  £ 60 (per annum)

1st  Class Mistress Teacher £ 40        “

2nd Class Master Teacher £30            “

2nd Class Mistress Teacher £20           “

In addition Teachers received a 10 % bonus if they achieved an average attendance attendance of 40 children, the bench mark in which the Wall’s just met.

Total Students in 1863 at RC Denominal (Common) School, Beveridge No. 711   Nos.
Boys.    36
Girls.    22
Total.    58
Average Attendance in 1863 at RC Denominal (Common) School, Beveridge No. 711   Nos.
Boys.    24
Girls.    16
Total.    40
Destitute Children in 1863 attending the RC Denominal (Common) School, Beveridge No. 711   Nos.
Total.     1
Government Aid£ 25/-/-
School Fees£ 19/7/-
Total Expenses     Nil

Then sometime before July 1872 and whilst still the local schoolteacher at the RC Denominational (Common) School (which first opened 1857c, although the church was not completed until 1863c) Thomas Wall brought Flynns Hotel and also became the publican, whilst still remaining in charge at the RC Common School. The premises soon became more commonly known as Wall’s Hotel with the property was at this time valued at £45. Then, also almost immediately Thomas transferred hotel license into the name of his eldest child Julie Agnes Wall, who was only 15yo (fifteen) at the time. She may have remained licensee/publican up until 1874 ? – (more detailed further on)

In Dec 1874 Thomas on a reduced salary was appointed as the first Head teacher at the recently completed State Government run Beveridge SS No. 1476 (though the school may not have opened until early in 1875 and here he remained until 1878). 

It was some point of time it had been discovered by the Education Inspector that Sarah Wall was found not a qualified teacher, and she was advised that she would have to seek employment elsewhere. This was possibly/likely whilst she was still in the employ of the RC Common School. It became absolutely necessary for the family to add to their income somehow (per letter from Hon. Minister Robert Ramsey). The salary at the new State School was a small one, thus Sarah needed to seek employment elsewhere to accommodate an ever growing large family and with . Likely this why he later appears in the licensing records as the licensee/publican in the period 1876c to 1878 (although she likely had most likely taken over the license from her daughter sometime before 1876).

The hotel soon became more commonly referred to as Wall’s Beveridge Hotel.

.  The Education Inspector had discovered at some point that Sarah Wall was not a qualified teacher, and w


Inquest at Wall’s Hotel

The Age (19/10/1872) reported – that on the morning of 16 October 1872 the body of a man was found in Cameron’s section near Beveridge, on the north-eastern railway line.  Upon his body was a bank receipt for £400 and a few banknotes.  The deceased was removed to Wall’s Hotel, Beveridge, where an inquest will be held.


Thomas Wall is recorded in the Education Departments files in 1872 as having an objection made against him in being a school teacher in addition to owning a public house. The objection was lodged by John Furlong (Publican) – per PROV file – VPRS5892/PO Unit 18 Item 455 (more detailed further on).

Written accounts gave high praise Thomas and Sarah Wall as being most satisfactory and committed teachers (Master & Work Mistress) and that they delivered the highly regarded Irish Schools Curriculum which was adverse to corporal punishment. In addition they had likely/possibly also used their Quaker influences in their teaching (the Wall family having emigrated from America 1862/1863c). They however though are believed to have both been originally from Ireland – though this cannot be determined per this research . One of their early students in 1863 was a 7 year old in Edward ‘Ned’ Kelly, and he is believed to have attended the RC Common School for up to 6 months, up until the Kelly family sold out their farm in Jan 1864 and headed north to Avenal.


To briefly ‘fast forward’ nearly 16 years – in Jan 1879 three of the known 23 Kelly Gang sympathisers were held without a trial in the Beechworth Gaol, a tactic that held no useful purpose. One of those arrested was Joseph Ryan (whose mother was Ann Ryan, nee Kelly – the sister of John ‘Red’ Kelly). Though no record has been found in this research Thomas Wall and a John Houston JP organised and sent two petitions to the Lands Department in Jan 1879 to pray for the release of Joseph Ryan a gaoled sympathiser (per Section 5 of the Outlawry Act), in addition to supporting John and Ann Ryan (nee Kelly) correspondence to the Lands Department. Thomas had previously taught the Ryan children at both Beveridge and Bungeet.

Joseph Ryan


DROWNING – At an inquest was held on 6 April 1876 on Thursday, 6 April 1876 it was elicited that the deceased, who was about fifty years of age, was drowned in a waterhole near the Sydney Rd at Beveridge. The deceased Thomas Baker was a schoolmaster, and had been wandering about in the neighbourhood, but no one seemed to interfere with or take any interest in him, although he appeared to be suffering from the effects of drink.  It was conjectured that he had tramped out from Melbourne, walked to the waterhole probably to get a drink, and was unable to extricate himself, although the hole contained only about 3foot of water.  A verdict in accordance with the facts was returned.

FATAL ACCIDENT – Mr AP Akehurst district coroner, has held an inquest at Furlong’s Hotel, Beveridge, upon the body of Mounted Constable John Redding who was stationed at Kal Kallo (Donnybrook), who was found dead on the Beveridge Rd on the 24th instant (1876).  Evidence was brought forward showing that, on the Afternoon and evening of the 23rd instant the deceased was riding about the township paying several accounts, and while so engaged he, on several occasions, took a glass or two of spirits (also recorded as ‘he drank a good deal of intoxicating liquor). James J O’Connor a storekeeper at Beveridge stated that the deceased was in his store on Friday, the 23rd between three and five o’clock.  He had called to settle and account, and he then left and went to the Beveridge Hotel, where he afterwards, joined him and had a glass of spirits.

Afterwards Redding returned to the store and asked if O’Connor was angry that he had left him, to which O’Connor with him were to which he replied ‘No’, but stated that he had business to attend to.  Meanwhile a Mr McCormack later came into the store at about 8 o’clock and each had some drink, whilst they remained talking for an hour or so before McCormack and the deceased the left and took the road to Donnybrook.  The deceased the went to McCormack’s place and tied his horse to the fence.  Later in the evening, it was very dark, at about 10 o’clock he started to ride to his quarters, and he was heard to gallop off into the distance where he resided with his wife and family.  McCormack stated that he appeared quite sober and well able to manage his horse. Redding however had earlier said that his mount was young and fidgety.

Then a Allan McLean desposed that he had been in the company of deceased from about 3 o’clock till dark, first at O’Connor’s and subsequently at Wall’s (Hotel?).  He stated that they each had one drink each at the latter named, after which  McLean left him there.  Sarah Wall (licensed publican), deposed the deceased was at her house yesterday between 6 and 7 o’clock, that he had a small drop of brandy and left alone.

Redding was not again seen until a passer by found him dead upon the road about a mile distant from where he had last been seen.  Arthur McGann desposed that when coming along the road in the following morning from Donnybrook that he had noticed a horse with a saddle in Mr Clarke’s paddock, about a quarter of a mile off the road.  He did not recognise the horse and then went on about another three quarters of a mile further and found deceased lying on his face along the water table.

Constable Gill stationed at Wallan Wallan desposed that when he arrived at Beveridge the body had already been brought in.  On examining the body he found a fearful wound on the left side of the face, splitting the lip and cheek, bruising the left eye, and that there was also a severe wound behind the right ear.  Both wounds seemed the result of a kick, the horse of deceased also had marks on him as it had fallen, the saddle also had mud on it as if it had rolled over.

The appearance of the body left no doubt that his death had been caused by a fall from his horse, which had then kicked him in the head.  The jury returned a verdict to the effect chat the deceased died on the 23rd inst, from an accidental all from his horse, and that he left a wife and large family to mourn his loss – taken from The Age, Kilmore Free Press and the Bendigo Advertiser June 1876.


Beveridge Monthly Markets began to be conducted from 19 Dec 1876 by A Strettle & Co. opposite Mrs Wall’s, Beveridge Hotel.  Sales included that of cattle, horses, sheep, pigs and farming implements etc.

In 1877 Thomas Wall is reported in the press as putting in tenders as a contractor with the Merriang Shire Council for repairs to culverts etc.

Also in the 1877- 1878 period Thomas Wall also had the contract to/from to collect and take mail to/from the Beveridge Railways Station and the Post Office. twice a day with a tender of £30 per annum.

The Australasian 20 July 1878

On 20 July 1878 the Beveridge Hotel, Freehold Land, Household Furniture, Dairy Cattle etc were per the instructions of Mr Wall to be sold by Auction.  The above advertisement stated that the Beveridge Hotel was doing a fine business, with post-office attached – in addition stating that the house is substantially built of bluestone.  This is the only reference found that these premises were actually built from bluestone with the exception of the kitchen – and may well be why some previous historians if they have seen the above advertisement, had mistakenly believed these premises were actually at the one the same building in the Beveridge Post Office (the latter day Hunters Tryst Inn), slightly further up the hill on the same road…………?

Additionally, to the reference ‘with Post Office attached’ in which Thomas Wall was also the postmaster and in addition held the contract to collect the mail from the Beveridge RS. The PO is known to have been conducted from the bluestone building (shared with Donnybrook & Wallan Wallan Country Roads Board) at the foot of the hill likely in the period 1865-1871c.   A check of the PO records indicates that Neil Fletcher possibly the first the Postmaster at Beveridge, having operated from his home for two years in 1863-1864 before becoming a storekeeper in the township.. The PO possibly was from 1871c operating out from a private residence and later from Wall’s Beveridge Hotel. Just when the PO was later permanently relocated to the bluestone building (that is todays Hunters Tryst Inn is not known per this research). Possibly  then this research has taken the liberty in suggesting that likely the PO location at Wall’s Beveridge Hotel may only have been a temporary arrangement ?

The last time Julie Agnes, Sarah or Thomas Wall last appear in the records as operating the Wall’s Beveridge Hotel appears in the Broadmeadows Rates Book of Sept 1878.  Whilst they did sell the freehold in mid 1878, Thomas remained the owner of the property until up to at least the end of 1882.


From the above mentioned several references to ‘more detailedfurther on’, as follows –

COMPLAINT – lodged with  the Education Department

(from 1872 to 1879)

John FURLONG  (complaintant) – Publican


 Thomas WALL – Publican/Schoolteacher

Backtracking now to the period of 1872 to 1879 when John Furlong of Furlong’s Hotel instigated proceedings through the Victorian Education Dept. against the validity of  Thomas Wall being fit to be a schoolteacher whilst also conducting a Public House in the township.  He had purchased the property sometime before Sept 1872 from Thomas Flynn (publican). John Furlong he felt that Thomas Wall should not as the publican and owner of a Public House be able to apply be able to apply for his Hotel to be relicensed at the end of the year (ie in Dec 1872).     

Upon purchasing the Public House from Thomas Flynn, he also became the Publican of the premises.  However the premises still remained in ‘competition’ with John Furlong’s premises.  Thus John Furlong (a single man, with no interest in the Beveridge school), was then very quick in lodging a complaint with the Education Dept. – in that a schoolteacher should not be allowed to own a Public HouseMuch of this ‘case’ in some 101 pages, has survived through until today.

With the opening of the new State School the RC School was closed down and Thomas Wall became the first Head teacher at the new State Government run State School (from late 1874 or early 1875).  The Education Inspector had discovered at some point that Sarah Wall was not a qualified teacher, and was advised that she would have to seek employment elsewhere.   The salary at the new School was a small one, thus it was absolutely necessary for the family to add to their income somehow (per letter from Hon. Minister Robert Ramsey).

8 July 1872 – in correspondence from John Furlong (a resident of Beveridge for some 13 years) and hotel keeper, he stated that Thomas Wall was presently the Master of the Common School (RC Denominational School), and that he had recently purchased a Public House some 300 yards from the school and that his name had initially been painted on the door. However he had now substituted the name of his daughter (a child of about 14 years of age*) over the door. He further added that it was considered by many to be incompatible to the moral influence that a leader should possess (un-decipherable ?__. )

* the daughter (and eldest child) in Julie Agnes Wall who was born in July 1857, became the Publican.

18 July 1872 in the correspondence from John Furlong to the Education Dept. he stated that Thomas Wall had door of the Public House,and that he resides on the premises, so in effect virtually no change has been made.

6 Aug 1872 – With a response having been made by the Education Departmment, a further submission, was made by several prominent Beveridge residents to say that the local schoolteacher for the past 9 years had not once given cause for complaint in the discharge of his duties as a teacher and given entire satisfaction.  The parents at the school have no cause for complaints that he takes no part in the business of the said Public House (although his name appears on the door*) and he is quite competent to attend for its requirement and that the complaintant John Furlong as no interest what so ever in the RC school (being a single man), that the complaint has that has been made was made for a low spirit of opposition .

* The first submission detailed that Thomas Wall name had already been removed from the Hotel door.

The letter was also signed by –

Name                           Occupation/Other Details
David Gorman              Owner of 3 ½  acres
John Mc Cormack        Farmer
John Laffan
Neil Fletcher                Storekeeper
John Herne                  Farmer
Matthew Bonfield        Farmer
John Lee                      House and land
Chas O’H_____
John Kelly                   (not the father of Edward ‘Ned’ Kelly, but so same named)
P McClasken
A Braithwait(e)            House and land
Christina Clement
R Kennedy
James Stewart              Farmer
John Ryan                    25 acres
Michael Normayle
Mary Gleeson             House
Thomas Flynn Blacksmith & recently the former owner & Licensee of Flynn’s Hotel – now owned by the Wall family
Allan McLean
Donald McKinnon
John Gorman
Thomas Cahill              Farm allotment

The signatures we confined to the parents of school age children, but it was added that they could obtain signatures of other District people except of course that of the complainant and his 3 sisters (two of who had no family) and the third having two sons, who are young men.

Oct 1872 – John Furlong stated that the Head Teacher is virtually the owner of the Public House.

21 Nov 1872 –  John Sircom (Education Dept. Inspector) visited Beveridge  and over two days spoke with Mr B Gorman, John Furlong and John Laffan.  He recorded as follows –

-That the teacher Thomas Walls had purchased from Thomas Flynn the Public House for which he then obtained a license.

– Objection raised by John Furlong re memorial (ie a petition) to the Board, in that Thomas Wall had canvassed for signatures, which both Gorman and Laffan signed through the desire to oblige the teacher.

– Correspondent affirms that the signatures of his sister Mary Gleeson and brother in John Gorman to be forgeries.

– The Board refused to allow Thomas Wall to hold the Public House in conjunction with ’his’ school teaching duties, and that he had transferred the Public House license to his 15 yo daughter.

– That it is impossible to regard the transfer of the license as a bona fide transaction.

–  Plea put forward by Thomas Wall that he had a large family, and that he will hardly ‘hold good’ for although this be true, he has ample means to provide for his children, being the owner of no less than 210 acres of the best land about Beveridge.

– With regards to his former dwelling being inconveniently small, I must say that he could have added to his had he been over desirous to add to his means by taking a Public House.

– My enquiries do not lead me to suspect that Thomas Wall attention is taken away for the schoolboy his connection with the Public House, nor that he now serves at the bar.

– That the transfer of the license to his daughter can reflect anything but discredit of a father who could approve a young child to such senses as she cannot fail to witness.

– I find that John Furlong own statement that his hostility to Thomas Wall is the result of a dispute about a block of land, which it seems the latter purchased and which he was probably disappointed in not getting it himself – in fact he was mortified at being over looked. 

Sept 1872 letter from Thomas Cahill – that the local committee heard with surprise that one of our members of the committee complained to the Board of Education in that Thomas Wall still has a connection with the Public House.  They were further informed that John Furlong is not at all the licensee with such a license having been duly transferred after Furlongs report.  John Furlong indeed had been the publican of another Public House for the past few years.

Thomas Cahill recorded Thomas Wall keeping of a Public House does not interfere with his work as a teachers at the RC School.

4 Sept 1872 Letter by David Gorman – records that Mr Wall has transferred the Public House license to his 14yo daughter (she was actually likely 15yo), but that he still keeps up his connection with the Public House, in assisting with its management.

Sept 1872c – John Laffan reported that the School Committee was in favour of Thomas Wall of retaining the license to his Public House.

Dec 1872 – Thomas Wall presently teaching at the RC School was advised that he had to terminate his connection with the Public House.  Thomas said ‘that I shall not take out the said license, but will close up the Public House for the future’.

In the period Jan 1873 to 1874 it is not clearly known if Julie Agnes Wall continued on as the licensee/publican, or if  it was ‘taken over by’ her mother Sarah Wall ? However given that Sarah had been dismissed by the Education Dept. and was no longer permitted to be employed as a school Mistress Teacher, it is very feasible that she soon afterwards replaced her daughter as the hotel licensee.

21 Dec 1874 – Thomas Wall was again advised that he must terminate his connection with the said Public House  – the Education Dept had been under the impression that this had occurred back in late 1872………!

Dec 1875 – a report that the removal of Thomas Wall was considered an absolute necessity.

23 Dec 1875 – Sarah Wall was granted a publicans license at the Bench of Magistrates sitting at Kal Kallo  conditionally that the Minister of Public Institutions would have no objections to her keeping a Public House, it being on her own property, thus permitting Thomas Wall to continue as Head Teacher (on a former occasion had been told that he could not do this, as he was to have no interest in the Public house whatsoever if he wished to retain his Head Teacher position.

Beveridge SS No. 1476 it believed to have opened in late 1874 or early 1875, and subsequently the RC school closed down soon afterwards.

24 Dec 1875 Mr Wall was informed that his services will be disposed of from 24 Dec 1875 if a license was granted to his wife.

Dec 1875 the President, Councillor’s and Ratepayers of the Merriang Shire petitioned that there was a necessity for a respectable Public House at Beveridge.  That both Thomas and Sarah Wall were highly respected and esteemed in the neighbourhood, and that for a period of nearly 3 years a Public House had been licensed to Thomas Wall.  Signatures of Hugh Sinclair, Thomas O’Dwyer, J Robertson and James Malcolm who were all Councillors, plus Neil Fletcher, William McLeod, John Laffan, George Abbott, _ Kennedy and Hector Fraser all being ratepayers of the Merriang Shire endorsed the petition.    WH Budd Esq JP (former publican of delicensed Strangeways Hotel at Wallan Wallan) was one of the witnesses who proved in Court the respectability of the applicants of this said Hotel, was in Ballarat at the time, hence ‘the want’ of his signature’.

Again Thomas Wall had been dismissed during 1875 for defying the Education Dept. after repeated cautions, however he was re-instated by the Hon. R Ramsey because he was a constituent and active canvasser on Mr Ramsey’s behalf.

Sometime in this period – letter with reference to new proposed members on the Committee –

W  O’Connor – storekeeper and member of the Merriang Shire Council.

Mr Barry – who had taken up land at Merriang and is said to be a very intelligent man.

Mr Smyth – a respectable but uneducated man, residing at Wallan Wallan, formerly of the Shire Council.

So far as there is nothing objectionable in any of them, and ‘as to him residing at a distance from the School so do Mr Cahill and Mr Laffan.  It was also found that the members of the school committee had been on different occasions summoned verbally by the Correspondent, as was acknowledged by Mr Laffan, who stated as his reason for not attending committee meeting is that he was forbidden by his priest, and that he would not go against him’.  He further added that ‘I am of the opinion the teachers committee with the Public House should be placed beyond doubt by Thomas Wall now renewing the license in Dec next by Thomas or Sarah Wall’.  So in effect this would have meant the closing down of the Public House.  Budd Esq, JP was one of the witnesses.

Also Dec 1875 –in a letter to Thomas Wall it stated that he for a period of nearly 3 years he had held a Hotel License.  This however is incorrect – and has been detailed elsewhere here.

Jan 1876 Thomas Wall stated that he had no interest what so ever in the house as a hotel and that this salary is totally inadequate since the closure of the Catholic School.

10 Jan 1876 a letter sent by the Shire of Merriang Councillors and Ratepayers, demonstrating the necessity of a respectable House in Beveridge.

17 Jan 1876 – the Board of the Education Dept raised concerns in that they disapproved generally that teacher was  allowed to be connected with a Public House, yet there were ‘special circumstances’ to be considered.  However –

Thomas Wall in was recorded had twice previously been cautioned by the Dept. with the attendance of children being very low, and that if his retained his position, the attendance of children would then be somewhat even smaller with some parents refusing to send their children to his school.

At this time an application supported by the signatures of leading Beveridge residents in the locality was forwarded to the Minister, who was aware from personal knowledge that a well kept Inn that supplied the public wants,  needed to be considered.  On the faith of this promise Mrs Sarah Walls had paid for the renewal of the Hotel license.

26 Jan 1876 – a petition was forwarded as to the granting permission of Mrs Wall to hold a license.  At this time several of the parents stated that they would not send their children to the State School if the Education Dept. grants permission of Mrs Wall to have an interest in a Public House.  It was further ‘stated’ that a large majority  who signed the petition had no interest what so ever in the Beveridge School.

July 1877 – Thomas Wall was cautioned,for his wife not to not to renew the in her name, on pain of being dismissed per recommendation for the Hon. Minister Robert Ramsay).

Oct 1877 – at this Minister Ramsay detailed that Thomas Wall had applied for a transfer to the soon to be built Bungeet SS, near Lake Rowan (Benalla Distirct).  In addition that he is ‘much liked’, whilst it was detailed that the Wall family needed the hotel to supplement his small income, whilst his wife is much ____able woman.

31 Dec 1877 – a letter signed by James J O’Connor (Chairman), John Furlong & James Stewart (both Members of Committee) and George Jones (Correspondent), stating that the schoolteacher must resign as the license had been renewed for 1878  in defiance of the Education Depts. ruling.

4 Jan 1878 that the Head Teacher at Beveridge will at once called upon for his action in obtaining a renewal of a license for a Public House in his wifes name.

16 Jan 1878 – a letter to Thomas Wall regarding from the Minister of Public Justice stated that he would have to resign, or your connection with a certain hotel at Beveridge be given up.  Stating that if on 28 Dec 1877 the license of the hotel was renewed in his wife’s name, you will be regarded as having resigned your position. 

As the start of 1878 between 20 -30 children were enrolled to attend the State School.

13 Feb 1878 – noted that the previous Minister had promised to visit to Beveridge and to make personal enquiries.  The Complianant Committee subsequently recorded that the Minister had seen fit to decide upon no course of action. 

Strong representations were subsequently made to the Minister in favour of Thomas Wall being permitted to remain in charge of the Beveridge School although his wife Sarah Walls ran the Beveridge Hotel.

22 Feb 1878 Letter to Thomas Wall re his being retained whilst his wife keeps a hotel.  The Minister was asked to decide at once regarding the right for a teacher to keep a hotel.

March 1878 – The Dept. determined that Thomas Wall should be removed within the next two months.

21 May 1878 – (per above reference) in a letter from Education Dept detailing that Thomas Wall was to be removed as soon as the State School to which he is to be transferred is complete.  It however was not complete for want of funds.

12 June 1878 – George Jones (complaintant representative) made a polite reminder to the Education that there had been no change, in that Thomas Wall remained the head teacher.

George Jones detailed that Thomas Wall was relying on the amount of ‘outside’ influence, none of whom had any interest in the school.  Some parents despite Thomas being a man who so highly respective were refusing to send their children to school, to be taught by a teacher who combined such the opposite professionalism.

July 1878 – John Laffan and Thomas Cahill of Beveridge deny that the teacher is still keeping a Public House or that he neglects his duty.

14 Aug 1878  – an enquiry was held into Thomas Wall conduct – in having renewed the license of his hotel, after having previously been cautioned by the Education Dept, in not to do so (reference to having applied and granted an annual license in Dec 1877).  George Jones advised that it was now 5 months since a decision was made, but there was no sign yet of any change being made.  Furthermore his letter detailed that it was now a matter of very great interest to those that are deprived of the use of the Beveridge school.

3 Sept 1878 – Thomas Wall ceased teaching at the Beveridge school and was granted 2 months leave on absence (one month on full pay and a month on half pay).  However when he declined the Mornington Peninsula (Poowong SS) position  he was advised that he would receive no more pay.  He was deprived of assisting his family after this time – and after 15 years service (having commenced at the Roman Catholic Denominational School (Common) School in 1863.  He was promised that he would be moved to the proposed new Bungeet SS, Lake Rowan (near Benalla).  However after his two months leave the building of the new school had not even commenced, and his request for an extension of leave on half pay until the school was built was refused.  The Education cited ‘the want of funds’ had prevented the Bungeet school from being established.

5 Sep 1878 – A Mr. Alfred Dean took charge of the Beveridge school, and Thomas Wall duly advised the Education Dept. as such.

2 Nov 1878 – Thomas Wall was advised that on expiration of his 2 months approved leave that he was not to return to duty.  However another memo from the following day is contradictory and records that Educational Department assumed that he had resumed his teaching after his 2 months leave passed.

4 Nov 1878 – Thomas Wall having been offered another appointment at Mornington, Peninsula (Poowong SS), but declined due to the distance and time that he would be away from his family.  In addition Thomas Wall (despite poor health) had also commenced building a residence on his selection at Bungeet, upon the good faith of the promise that the Hon. Minister of Public Institutions had made on 13 March 1878 – with the new Bungeet SS to have been built in 6 weeks from then. 

20 Jan 1879 – Thomas Wall was advised that there would not be a great delay in the Building of the new school.

3 July 1879 – Thomas Wall complained in the manner in which he had been treated and on account of his illness.

At this point there is no further correspondence regarding the conflict of interest and owner of a Public house – which indeed had been stirred up solely by an opposition Publican within the Beveridge township.  When the Wall family did indeed leave Beveridge is was the township’s loss, and Bungeet’s gain’.

20 July 1878 – Doubtless the Wall family had had enough (with as detailed previous), and despite their standing and popularity in the local community they lin all likelihood had had enough with all the ‘politics’.  Thus the Beveridge Hotel, Freehold Land, Household Furniture, Dairy Cattle etc were per the instructions of Mr Wall to be sold by Auction.  The above advertisement stated that the Beveridge Hotel was doing a fine business, with post-office attached. – in addition stating that the house is substantially built of bluestone.  This is the only reference found that these premises were actually built from bluestone with the exception of the kitchen – and may well be why some previous historians if they have seen the above advertisement, had mistakenly believed these premises were actually at the one the same building in the Beveridge Post Office, slightly further up the same road…………?

By March 1880 Thomas Wall is known to have been the Head Teacher at the Bungeet SS.



(still at fifth location)

Lot 70 on SW corner of Lithgow St and Sydney Rd, Beveridge

(Beveridge Hotel’ Govan’s Shire Arms, Hoare’s Hotel)

Licensees – Donald McBain, John McBain, Samuel Martin,

James Robins (owner)

Eliza James Covan, James Govan, Josiah ‘Joseph’ Hoare,
Edward Jackson,

     Thomas Meehan, Rosa Laing, Ralph John St. Paul,

Frederick James Anderson

1878c to 1916 –

Martha Robins then took over the freehold of the hotel and renamed it the Shire Arms Hotel, whilst her husband James Robins a carpenter brought 3 acres that were known as the ‘Yards’. 

Thomas Wall is for the final time is recorded as owner of the ‘Yards’ at this time

Martha Robins held the Hotel license until the end of 1881, and it appears that in 1882 the Hotel was closed and unlicensed for the entire twelve months, with husband James Robins recorded in the Broadmeadows Rates Book (Sept 1882) as still being the owner.

Between 1883 (possibly from the start of the year ?) and to the end at least Sept 1887 Donald McBain (a farmer) became the licensee of the Shire Arms.  In addition in both Donald and John McBain were recorded as the Publicans in Sept 1884 in the Broadmeadows Rates Book.  James Robins however remained the owner of the property.

John McBain after 1884 returned to farming as an owner in addition to also leasing land for the same purpose.  Donald McBain also farmed after relinquishing the position of licensee of the Shire Arm.   Sometime before Sept 1889 he then became a storekeeper of several years, thus there was now at least to store within township, the other owned by Catherine O’Connor who employed a John Pearson.  By 1899 Donald he is recorded as a grazier in the Broadmeadows Rates book.

John McBains’ wife in Isabella Mary (nee McDonald) refused to have alcohol in their family home, if she saw him coming home across the fields a little bit ‘worse for wear’ she would refuse to let him in the house.

NB: That Donald McBain is recorded as running a hotel, does raise one distinct question as to the location of the premises that he held a license for – as from at least Sept 1889 he was running a General Store from the bluestone building half way up the hill – is this at Gleeson’s, another residence or at what is now the modern day Hunters Tryst ? Some latter day folk have suggested that the modern day licensed premises at Beveridge in bygone days was formerly a Hotel – however this research can find no evidence to suggest that this was the case.

In 1895 Donald McBain can be found recorded as the Post Master having replaced a Mr Fraser.   So was this the actual same premises where he had formerly been a licensee, again the answer remains not clear ?

On 4 May 1882 Donald McBain at a meeting held at Strickland Sarah Sands Hotel in Brunswick  was elected onto the Committee of the Brunswick Coursing Club.  Whilst John McBain in Dec 1886 was elected to the vacant seat in the Beveridge Riding of the Merriang Shire Council after having previously held the position of Auditor.

In Dec 1886 reference to the Licensing Court for the Licensing District of Beveridge.

Then for the next 5 years, from late 1886 or/to mid 1887 Samuel Martin was the publican and owner of the Shire Arms (withone reference in 1890 recorded as the Beveridge Hotel) .

KFP Thurs 14 June 1888

In June 1888 Thomas Wall ties with Beveridge were severed when (per above) he offered his remaining parcels of land in the township for sale by auction. His contribution to the early Beveridge community is matched by few.

From July 1888 through until Oct 1888 the Beveridge Hotel was offered for sale with 85 ½ acres of land, license, stock, furniture at valuation.  It appears that Samuel Martin soon decided to sell the premises (for reasons unknown) as the per following advertisement –   

The Age 31 July 1888

It appears that the Beveridge Hotel did not sell in 1888 as advertised, as between Jan 1889 to June 1890 as Samuel Martin remained the publican during this period.  The following advertisement appeared in the Independent (Footscray), though strangely in no other newspapers of the day. 

Independent (Footscray)
(this was the only newspaper that this advertisement appeared in)

‘Beveridge’ – Hotel doing good Business Main Road, Grand farm of 90 acres (acreage size varied slightly in some adverts) best agricultural land, permanent water £5000 easy terms’.  For reasons unknown per this research, this was the only newspaper in which the advertisement was printed.

Unable to sell the premises, Samuel Martin (also the Shire President) in 1890 remained the publican/hotelkeeper of the Beveridge Hotel and it was rather appropriate that the Beveridge Hotel name have again reverted to the Shire Arms Hotel name.  In June 1891 Samuel Martin tendered his resignation as the President of the Shire council, due to poor health (also sometime prior to June 1892 was badly kicked by a horse). 


In JW Payne’s booklet on the History of Beveridge (1974), he states that the Shire Arms Hotel was on the same site as that of the Hunters Tryst Inn – per this research this appears to be almost certainly incorrecthowever any readers correction on this point is a welcomed ………


10 Dec 1890 an amusing, although a brief scene, occurred at the Nagambie County Court when Mr David Gorman was being examined by Mr Frank Duffy, and the barrister thought that he would ruffle the feathers of his rather impetuous witness. ‘Look here, sir,’ said he, ‘do you keep a Public House or a Private House?’ ‘ Well, replied the genial Davy,  it’s a Private House now, but it was more of a Public House when you used to come knocking about down at Beveridge’.  When the laughter died away, Mr Gorman was politely told that he might leave the box…………!


Several reference can be found in the press that after the local Council finished their business at the Shire Hall, and that they would later adjourn to the Shire Arms.


The population of Beveridge in 1891 was 105 persons (an increase of 60 persons from 1861)

In 1891 the Beveridge Cricket Club entered the District first organised Competition (East Bourke) playing against Broadmeadows, Epping, Merri Merri (which was a railway siding near Munro’s a couple of miles north of Wallan East), Whittlesea and Woodstock.  The MJS Gair Trophy being the prize at the end of the season. It may be reasonable to suggest that several of the local cricketers therefore may well have patronised the Shire Arms after their games ?  The competition captured the imagination of the District, with keen interest being evolved in the results, indeed more than one club (Kilmore CC – being one) were soon rueing their decision not to have also entered.  The Final was to have been played between the top team Beveridge and Whittlesea who finished second, on the Beveridge ground.  Both teams were very evenly matched and an exciting match was anticipated.  However, owing to certain differences, Beveridge demanded the engagement of two professional umpires, and were willing to pay half the cost of same.  It appears that the match never went ahead and the trophy was likely withheld, as Whittlesea had hastily arranged a game against Thomastown instead.  MJS Gair was a candidate for the East Bourke elections in June 1891, and later a donor of trophies to be won further to the east in the Yan Yean Cricket Association, and this may well have been where the initial Trophy finished up?

The Beveridge CC can be recorded back to Boxing Day 1889 when they hosted the Ascot Vale CC– though possibly earlier matches went unrecorded.  The following Boxing Day a South Essendon CC team journeyed to Wallan Wallan to play a combined Beveridge/Wallan Wallan team.  The visitors being the victors by some 20 runs, score 105 to 85.  A return match was played at the Essendon GC on 27 Jan 1891 (Anniversary Day) with a 10.45 am start – result unknown.


From the Horsham Times 31 July 1891 – FORTY MILE TRAP – the following is a snippet from an article on two tramps that decided upon a walking tour from Melbourne to Kilmore .  At Beveridge (refreshing name) we halted. I drank Usher’s whisky for a change, whilst Alf pinned his faith to long beers.  The next five miles was a dream.  We swore a long life friendship thanks to Usher’s and Bass ’…….!  Triumphantly they made their way into Kilmore, having accomplished forty miles on foot’.  But at Kilmore it poured and poured, and the place was near deserted, Alf decided to return to Melbourne, however the next day was worse with 7 inches of rain drawing the curtain on that idea.  Both eventually returned to Melbourne in a Second Class carriage, finding consolation in only one thing, their flasks……….!

At the Kilmore Police Court on 10 Dec 1891 a Victor Chapman who was arrested in Bourke St, Melbourne was placed in the dock to answer a charge of illegally using a horse, the property of Mr O’Neill of Wallan and on a second charge of not returned a saddle lent by Rev D Fairburn to him on condition that it be returned to him the following evening – however the saddle was not returned.  The prisoner pleaded guilty although he claimed to have no recollection of the affair.  Eight witnesses we called including Samuel Martin, deposed – I am a hotelkeeper at Beveridge. On November last the prisoner called at my place with a grey mare and saddle.  He told me his name was Jim Neill, and offered to sell me the mare. I refused to but her.  The prisoner was found guilty and sentenced to three months on each charge, sentences to be cumulative.  An order was also made for the restoration of the saddle to the Rev. D Fairburn.

Samuel Martin maintained a keen interest in local affairs and in Aug 1893 at the municipal elections stood for the Beveridge Riding at the Merriang Shire elections.  He was controversially defeated by George Robertson by a margin of 1 (31 votes to 30), however Martin considered that Robertson’s nomination form was informal.  The form had not been signed by Robertson, and in addition it was alleged that the daughter of John Kiely had been induced to sign her father’s name without his knowledge.  Martin appealed the result to the Court however on 15 Nov 1893 the case was dismissed, with His Honor however taking into consideration the peculiar circumstances of the case, he did not give costs against Martin – who then advised that he would take the matter to the Full Court.  Later in the same month Samuel Martin met with an ugly accident in late, having his leg broken by a kick from a cow – and accordingly did not/was not able to pursue the legal proceeding any further.

In an extraordinary Meeting held in Oct 1897 Samuel Martin (Grazier off some 79 acres) was elected fill a vacancy in the Beveridge Riding of the Merriang Shire. In 1899 Samuel is recorded as being the Returning Officer for the Shire.

In the 1903 Rates book Samuel Martin is  recorded as a farmer.

Thirteen years after having had his leg broken with a kick from a cow, Samuel Martin (aged 70) of Wallan Wallan, died in the Kilmore Hospital from injuries received by gored by a bull on Sunday 12 Jan 1906. In an extraordinary Meeting held in Oct 1897 Samuel Martin (Grazier off some 79 acres) was elected fill a vacancy in the Beveridge Riding of the Merriang Shire. In 1899 Samuel is recorded as being the Returning Officer for the Shire.

KFP 31 Dec 1891
The Age 8 January 1892

On 22 January 1892 a Bill of Sale was lodged to Eliza Jane Govan for the Shire Arms Hotel, through the Carlton & West End Breweries Ltd, North Melbourne.

A shrewd Eliza Jane Govan was quick to advertise the advantages of visiting and staying at her newly acquired business in the Melbourne papers as follows –

The Age 12 March 1892
The Age 20 May 1892
Listed under – Hotels, Holiday Resorts, &c
KPF 9 June 1892

A Gun Club had been formed at Beveridge in in Aug 1890 under the patronage of Sir WJ Clarke, with A Forman as the Hon. Sec. In July 1893 at a shooting match promoted to be and held on the grounds adjoining the hosts Govan’s Shire Hotel at Beveridge both the Stockdale brothers (Chas.and Perg. from Darraweit Guim) were among five shooters who shared in the £25 prize money (£5 each) for 1st place with 19 kills each.  The Stockdale brothers were well known Australia wide as renowned competitors in shooting circles.   On Boxing Day Grand Pigeon Handicap Match for a £45 purse (£30 for first, £10 for second and £5 for third) was held on the Clubs Grounds near the Shire Arms Hotel . Shooters were permitted an unlimited number of birds, guns used were 12 gauge, and the use of both barrels was permitted, handicaps were to range from 31 to 21 yards.


(also recorded as J. J. O’Connor – ie reference to her deceased husband)

Catherine O’Connor (widowed sister of the late John and Elizabeth Furlong) late of Sydney Rd, Beveridge, storekeeper, died on the 27 Aug 1893 aged 65 after being ill for some time.  She left property valued at £1260, and several substantial bequests to the charities.  By her Will which she made a week before her death she left  £100 to the Little Sisters of the Poor, Northcote, £100  to the Melbourne Hospital, £100 to the building fund of St  Patricks Cathedral and £50 to the Roman Convent in Kilmore.  The reside was left to an adopted daughter.  Her husband James John who predeceased her by 15 years was also storekeeper at Beveridge at the time of his passing, who had John Pearson in her employ.  Upon her passing the store was permanently closed.  As to the exact location of the store this is not known per this research – but it is possible/probable that it may have been within the hotel building…..?

Aside from Catherine O’Connor having been a storekeeper in the township for many years, a John Pearson is also recorded as being a storekeeper at Beveridge in the 1880s.  Donald McBain is also recorded as a storekeeper in the 1890s.

On 20 Dec 1893 James Govan was granted a license renewal for the Shire Arms Hotel – valued at £40.

The Govan’s held smoke nights at the Shire Arms Hotel throughout the winter of 1894 (lessening the monotony of long tedious nights).  It was reported that ‘the evenings were successful in bringing young men forward at public gatherings, and that is was not improbable that these smoke nights will develop into a debating society’.


Before the Kilmore Police Court 6 September 1894 –

Superintendent Toohey v. Mrs Govan, the licensee of Shire Arms Hotel, Beveridge

for permitting an unlawful game to be played on her premises. Mr Hassett appeared for defendant. 


Two witnesses deposed – that they went to the hotel on the 14th July and played cards, but that they did not play for money or drinks.

Mr Elligett, clerk of courts deposed – that the licensee with in Mrs Govan’s name.

Constable Patullo desposed  – knew Mrs Govan, who is the licensee of. the Shire Arms Hotel.

To Mr Hassett – Mrs Govan’s house is a well conducted one and patronised by a respectable class.

Mr Hassett  – said he did not see that the prosecution had any case.

The PM – there is no evidence that the game of cards was for drinks.

A ‘witness’ recalled deposed – that the game of cards was not for drinks.

To Superintendent Toohey – the statement made to the police was slightly incorrect.

Case dismissed, without costs.



Game in plenty, fur and Feather,

Shire Arms Hotel, Beveridge, Sydney Rd, 24 miles

(The Argus 23 Feb 1895)


Kilmore Police Court 23 November 1895 – Mrs Govan of the Shire Arms Hotel, Beveridge – for selling whisky not up to the required standard pleaded not guilty.  The Inspector gave evidence as to the whisky being underproof.  The licensee gave evidence that the liquor was bottled and it had not been tampered with.  A bottle of whisky had been placed on the counter and believed that some person must have put water into it. 

Fined £2 and £1/ 11/6d costs in default distress.


The Beveridge-Marring (Merriang) Races

In addition to the Govan’s hosting occasional shooting matches, there were also several small horse race meetings held locally.  Whenever such events were held around the District the licensed premises of that township would inevitably be at the forefront in its support, thus it would have been likely that Samuel Martin and the Govan’s at the Shire Arms Hotel would have been keen supporters of such an occasion.  Added to which the promise of a gathered crowd may well guarantee them some small extra custom. 

For several years each August the Kilmore District Annual Races were held all on the same day at several of the smaller localities around the District.  Due to the ‘picnic’ nature of them the days were more a social affair with a distinct lack of events (never more than two per were reported on) the days did at times not create much interest in some localities. 

The Beveridge-Marring (Merriang) occasion was very localised, so small were the events in which as few as two local horses were entered into some races, at a makeshift racecourse believed to have been located near the Shire Hall (possibly on the Beveridge Reserve).  Meeting are recorded 1891-1892, 1894-1898, with a lapse until 1908c- 1910 after which neighbouring Wallan Wallan appears to have conducted the Annual event.  Feature races at Marring(Merriang) -Beveridge included the Beveridge Purse, Wallan Handicap, Wallan Plate, Wallan Cup and the Donnybrook Cup. 

The August 1891 event was reported on as the Marring (Merriang) course being the roughest in the District. 

The August 1896 event was reported on that the Beveridge Races did not cause a great deal of excitement, with reference that something should be done to put the tracks (not just at Beveridge) in better order. The state of things at present is altogether disgraceful and, it is cruelty to ask anything to do a gallop for any distance.

The population at Beveridge in 1897 was recorded as being 165 persons.


The Sportsman 11 July 1893

Late April 1897 – the Shire Arms Hotel changed hands to Josiah ‘Joseph’ Hoare of Geelong (his wife’s name was Esther) having taken possession of the premises from Mr & Mrs Govan who had made many warm friends during their stay in Beveridge.  Related – in another Bill of Sale the license for the Shire Arms Hotel through Carlton Breweries Ltd was transferred from Eliza Jane Govan to Josiah ‘Joseph’ Hoare on 1 May 1897 – where he was to remain as the Hotel keeper from until 1904.

KFP 7 Oct 1897

Unknown specifics – from 1897 a Civil Law Case Eliza Jane Govan v Josiah Hoare.

At the Kilmore Police Court held on 10 March 1898 Thomas Foley vs Eliza Jane Govan.  An order was made in favour of Thomas Foley for £13/0/6d and costs, for work and labour done.

14 Mar 1898 at a General Meeting of Creditors was held and closed – one of the cases being the ‘Cause of Insolvency’ for Eliza Jane Govan of Brighton Rd, St. Kilda, formerly a hotelkeeper (The Shire Arms, Beveridge), now out of business.  She was being sued for bills costs and the sheriff’s fees incurred in an unsuccessful suit.  Liabilities  £39/0/6, Assets, £12/2/6, Deficiency £26/18-.   No other details known.


13 Dec 1899 J Hoare granted license renewal of the Shire Arms Hotel valuation at £40.

The Australasian 8 Dec 1900
(snippet taken from article on Austral Cycling article)

For some years it appears through to the early 1900s it appears that Beveridge was a popular and convenient stopover place at the Shire Arms Hotel (with races to the 26 mile post at Beveridge) for cycling clubs from Melbourne.  The 50 mile championship races had been a particular popular cycling racing event from Melbourne to Beveridge and return from the early 1890s onwards.


Passing of SARAH WALL

In Dec 1903 former Beveridge licensee and publican Sarah Wall passed away in Dec 1903 Gowangardie (Vic), a loss which husband Thomas bore heavily. 


April 1905 a reference in the press to the South Yarra Cycling Club visiting Beveridge and having tea at Hoare’s Hotel, Beveridge, then putting on an impromptu concert with the hotel before the hotel put up the 23 cyclists for the night.   On making their way to bed at about 12.30am the cyclists found their beds ‘doctored’ with thistles, w flour, water & c. with the riders finally getting to sleep at about 2.00 am.  Up at seven they had a game of football before breakfast.  With 3 more riders now having also arrived on the following morning to begin the days races, which included a Half Mile Scratch Race and ace and a Sheffield Handicap.

KFP 26 Mar 1908  
KFP 10 Aug 1905

Two such examples of specifications of positions (work/tendering) with the Shire of Merriang – being advertised as available to be seen at the Shire Arms Hotel, Beveridge.


Per the 1906 Rates Book Josiah Hoare was still the hotelkeeper.

1907 has not been thoroughly research as yet, the premises almost certainly remained licenced however details on the the licensee/publicans are not known per this research (with the Broadmeadow Rates Book from Sept 1907 appearing not to have survived).

Reference to a Marring Shire Meeting held on Sat. 27 March 1907 in which the Shire Engineer reported to give Gleeson, opposite the Shire Arms Hotel £3 for gravel in place of £2 as previously agreed.  Per this reference it appears that the Gleeson family were still in possession of the former hotel across the road.

On 28 March 1908 the Marring and Broadmeadows Councils played a cricket match at Beveridge which was all over in 2 hours.  Both teams it was recorded prior to the match were ‘entertained at dinner at the Shire Arms Hotel’, and both teams later adjourned back to the Shire Arms Hotel once again after the match, ‘and a pleasant hour terminated an enjoyable afternoon’. 

KFP 2 Apr 1908

Locked or Unlocked – at the monthly meeting of Merriang Shire Council held on Saturday 28 Nov 1908 business was discussed relating to the use of the Shire Hall and in leaving the building open and unattended in future for inspection of the Shire Roll (prior to an election).  It was argued that frequently a lot of half drunken swagmen were frequently about, and there was no knowing what they might do if they entered the hall when it was unattended. It was argued that there had been on such issues in the 20 years previous that Mr Randall was Secretary and that the building was left open all day.  It was suggested that such interested parties could still obtain the key for the Hall from the caretaker who was only a child and that the Secretary had to be careful.  After hearing both sides of the matter the president adjudicated that matter be dropped, and when onto the next business……….

Passing of THOMAS WALL

In July 1908 former Beveridge Publican and schoolteacher the Thomas Wall passed away at home (819 Brunswick St, North Fitzroy – formerly no. 345) in this 77th year. After the death of his wife Sarah nearly five years previously, he settled in Melbourne where he suffered two strokes from which he never properly recovered, being inflicted with a permanent paralysis.  


1908c. to circa May 1909 – Mr Edward Jackson held the Shire Arms Hotel license until he took over the lease of the Tower Hotel, Wallan Wallan in June 1909 from victualler David EH Fregon – and applied for the transfer of the ‘said license’.

As late as Nov 1908 the local press reported on the state of the Kilmore Rd at Gleesons Swamp. Ratepayers had on several occasions over the years approached their Council’s on the matter of drainage works (and similar) that was needed to be attended to at the foot of the Beveridge hill.

At the Kilmore Police court on 29 July 1909 David EH Fregon v Edward Jackson, claim for goods sold and delivered.  Plaintiff admitted owing the Defendant 3/- off the amount off the amount for a bag of chaff.  Mr McNab appearing for the Defendant filed a set off for £2/3/- but admitted two items in claim, 18/- for a fountain, and 5/- for a boiler.  Order was made for the Defendant, £1 and £1 costs, in default.

In a story tenancy from 29 May 1909 through to 2 Dec 1909 the Shire Arm Hotel licensee became Thomas Meehan – nothing more can be found however on his short tenure at Beveridge.  The owner was a Maria Harriet St. Paul (who was widowed in 1884) of Heidelberg, (later of the Grange, Alphington).

KFP 17 June 1909

On 3 Dec 1909 the Shire Arms Hotel licensee became Rosa Laing with Maria S.t Paul remaining the owner.

KFP 27 Jan 1910

In August 1910 a horse race meeting was held at Marring (Merriang) and was possibly once again supported by the Shire Arms Hotel).  The feature events being the ‘Beveridge Purse’ and the ‘Wallan Cup’.  In the ‘Beveridge Purse’ the former holder of the purse had not qualified, so a young colt was brought forward and in a ‘one horse race’ won in a quiet canter around the course. In the ‘Wallan Cup’ there were three entries in ‘Agricola’, ‘Builder’ and the veteran ‘Donald’, the latter two having on a former occasion had a stiff fight (likely referring to the same event) in which ‘Donald’ had won by a length or so – and he again gave every satisfaction to his supporter pulling off the stake against two popular competitors, both of whom had warm backers.

The Herald 22 March 1912

Per above – Rosa Laing the holder of a Victualler License for the premises known as the Shire Arms Hotel situated at Beveridge, do hereby give notice that it is my intention to apply to the Licensing Magistrate holding the License Meeting at Broadmeadows on Saturday 30th day of March 1912 to transfer the said license to Ralph John St. Paul of Beveridge etc etc…..

Only a few months before becoming the licensee of the Shire Arms Hotel, Rosa Laing who was living at Dookie was granted a transfer of the licence of the Railway Hotel at Devenish into her name on 4 Aug 1908.  In Sept 1909 she applied to the Court House, Benalla for the license to be transferred to a Flora McDonald.

The population of Beveridge in 1911 was 103 persons (a decrease of 2 from 1891)

On 30 Mar 1912 the Shire Arms Hotel licensee became Ralph John St. Paul.  Somewhere between 1910 and 1915 (possibly in 1912 ?) Maria St.Paul ‘transferred’ the ownership of the Shire Arms Hotel to her son  Ralph John St. Paul.

The Argus 7 March 1914

In 14 Mar 1914 former mounted constable Frederick James Anderson (of 73 Rowen Pde, Richmond – gentleman) who had been in charge of the Wallan police station for two years (and of whom was a most popular officer) retired from the force and took over the License of the Shire Arms Hotel, Beveridge from Rosa Laing– his wife was Ellen.

26 June 1914 at the Brunswick Court – a William Simmonds, with a bandage wrapped around his head appeared in Court, charged with having been drunk and disorderly on 24 June.  The arresting officer in Constable Sleddin said he ‘found defendant stupidly drunk in Sydney Rd, and that he advised him to go home’, and that the defendant  said ‘that he would go back for another drink’.  The defendant was further described as a hard working man when sober.  Simmonds responded that this ‘has proved to an expensive bout for me, as I was robbed of £65 at Beveridge on Friday’, and he was released on putting 10/- in the poor box.  No other details are known, or if the defendant had been drinking in the Shire Arms on the Friday when he alleged that he was robbed.  Simmonds appears to have had a previous history of being arrested for drunkenness and assault. 

per above – Another example of the Shire of Merriang using the Shire Arms Hotel to detailing specifications for a tender (on this occasion to purchase and remove).

Frederick James Anderson is recorded on the 1915 Electoral role as a hotelkeeper, his wife’s name was Ellen

Ellen Anderson of the Shire Arms Hotel, Beveridge is recorded as ‘Next of Kin’on her son Albert Joseph 15 July 1915 AIF enlistment paperwork.

Such had been the decline in the local population that Beveridge SS was closed at the end of 1915 and it was not to reopen again until Dec 1918 (and then only on a 6 month trial).

Kilmore Advertiser Sat 25 May 1915

30 August 1915 inward correspondence received by the Merriang Shire Council at its monthly meeting from the State Parliamentary Recruiting Committee stating that the committee did not think it a desirable method of carrying on the movement at licensed hotels, and that the action should be discontinued – Received.

On 25 September 1915 the final meeting of the Merriang Shire was reported on as being held at the Shire Arms Hotel.  A pleasing ceremony took place, though tinged with regret, The President (Cr Harvey) referred the excellent manner in which Mr & Mrs Anderson had always catered for councilors and its officers for years, and regretted that this was the last time they would assemble at the table. Several others spoke on in the high commendation of the host and hostess.  Mr Anderson replied on behalf of himself and his wife, regretting the breaking up of the shire.

Strictly speaking the final meeting of the Marring (Merriang) Shire Council was held in the Shire Hall on Friday 1 Oct 1915, owing to the local Council being united with the Broadmeadows Shire on the same date (1 Oct 1915).



Mary Gleeson passed away at Beveridge on 4 Jan 1916, and she was recorded as one of the old colonists and that she was about 90 years old.


In 1916 the Victorian Hotels Reduction Board (VHRB) sat at Law Court, in which they considered and adopted a lists of hotels to be dealt with at the various deprivation sittings, to be held up to the end of June, as submitted by the licensing inspectors for the respective Districts. A list was then printed regarding ‘Cases for Hearing’ during the year.   

The date of 19 June 1916 was set aside at the Law Courts, Melbourne for the Broadmeadows Licensing District.  At which were heard the cases regarding the Boundary Hotel (Fawkner), Cyclist Hotel, Sydney Rd (North Campbellfield), Donnybrook Hotel (Kalkallo), Greenvale Hotel (Greenvale), Junction Hotel (Tullamarine), Manor Hotel (Woodstock), Railway Hotel (Donnybrook), Shire Arms Hotel (Beveridge), Somerton Hotel, Sydney Rd (Somerton), Tower Hotel,  Wallan Wallan) and the Woodman’s Arms Hotel (Wallan Wallan).

Kilmore Advertiser
(12 Aug 1916)

The existing number of hotels in the Broadmeadows Licensing District at the time was 16, which was 5 hotels above the statutory number.  On the former occasion the VLRB had dealt with the District it had closed 5 hotels, whilst two other had since then surrendered their licenses. The main excess was along the Sydney Rd the VLRB considered that ‘at present it would be sufficient to close 4 of the 5 hotels in excess’. 

With the Shire Arms Hotel being one of the four hotels within the Broadmeadows Licensing District that came under the deprivation of their license (ie to be delicensed) – as part of the Victorian Licensing Reduction Board (VLRB)an Independent Tribunal appointed by Parliament (1906), in its effort in reducing the number of hotels within the state.  The other three to be delicensed in the District at the same time were the Manor Hotel (Woodstock), Somerton Hotel (Somerton) and the Tower Hotel (Wallan Wallan). 

No photos of any of the former Beveridge Hotels have come to light, indeed it is extremely unlikely that any were ever taken actually taken.  When the ‘last of the old’ Beveridge licensed premises, in the Shire Arms, Beveridge was delicensed  – several photos are known to have survived of the other three hotels (in the Broadmeadows District) that were delicensed at the same time.

In Oct 1916 the VLRB reserved its decision in the case regarding the closure of all four hotels in the Broadmeadows Licensing District, and the Shire Arms Hotel owner in Ralph John St. Paul (also a former licensee) of The Grange, Alphington (formerly of Heidelberg) was awarded compensation of £340 and the occupier £70.

The compensation awarded to the other three hotels in the District that were delicensed at the same time was considered to be generous at the time, as follows  –

Hotel                                                    Owner  Occupier

The Manor (Woodstock)                       £380    £70

Somerton Hotel (Somerton)                £380    £100

The Tower Hotel (Wallan Wallan)         £500    £50

The Shire Arms Hotel is believed to have likely closed its doors for the final time at the on 31 December 1916 (New Years Eve).


The VLRB ceased to operate at the end of 1916, and it its ten years has closed 1,021 hotels within the state, which equated to between 25-33% of the licensed premises within Victoria.   There had been just 8 new licenses allowed as a result of opinion polls whilst 30 hotels more were closed through the licenses being allowed to lapse.    When the VLRB began its ‘work’ in latter half of 1907 there were 3448 hotels in the State, apart from 71 roadside licenses.

Except for further surrenders, the total hotels to remain open at the start of 1917 would be 2396 or 1,052 fewer than when the VLRB began its work.  Owing to the provisions as to the statutory number, the LRB had been able to operate in only 110 out of the 217 licensing Districts, and it was seen that the reductions in these Districts had been very substantial.  As the Act then stood the statutory number would disappear next year, and all Districts would be subject to a local option poll. The VLRB had received a number of applications to accept surrenders in Districts below the statutory number, but had no jurisdiction to deal with such applications.

In view of legislation restricting the hours of trading, and of the fact that every hotel closed under local option they would be entitled to compensation (except those not granted licenses prior to 1880).



FJ Anderson may well have been living in the delicensed hotel as in July 1917 as he requested to the Broadmeadows Shire Council a reduction in the valuation of the premises.


Post 1917 –  

Passing of JOHN McBAIN

16 Oct 1920 John McBain who was recorded as a licensee of the Shire Arms Hotel with his brother Donald in 1884 passed away at Beveridge, after ailing for a few days on returning from business in Kilmore.  He was buried at the Wallan Wallan Cemetery on 20 Oct 1920.

McBain family photo taken around the time of the Great War
Back Standing (children) – Isabella Mary McBain (1895-1987), George Alexander McBain (1897-1972)
Annie Jane McBain (1892-1948)

Front Seated (parents) – Isabella Christina McBain 1859-1946) &
John McBain (1852-1920) – former 1880s Shire Arms Hotel licensee/publican/owner


Passing of MARIA and RALPH ST. PAUL

7 Oct 1925 Maria Harriet St. Paul, former owner of the Shire Arms Hotel passed away at her home in Hepburn Springs, Daylesford, aged 83.

20 Sept 1926 Ralph John St. Paul the holder of a billiard table licence at 8 Albert Rd, Brunswick applied for the Transfer of License to a Leslie John Edward Markcey.

5 Nov 1926 Ralph John St. Paul (son of Maria) the former and last owner of the Shire Arms Hotel passed away at 97 Hodgkinson St, Clifton Hill aged 49.  In his Will he left £5162 in real estate and £7924 to his widow and daughter. 


Passing of DONALD McBAIN

23 Feb 1927 Donald McBain a former licensee of the Shire Arms Hotel (1883-1886c) and later Storekeeper and Postmaster at Beveridge passed away at home, aged 75.  Aside he had also been a member of the old Merriang Shire Council, where he held a term in the ‘Chair’, with a reputation of being a master of detail in local government.  His wife Louisa ‘Lucy’ had pre deceased him by many years (having passed away on 19 Dec 1892) and he was survived by a son and daughter (Jenny and Willie), whilst two children Andrew and Elsie had predeceased him.

From the Argus Wed 27 May 1914 – SEYMOUR, Tuesday – A fatal accident happened here on Monday evening, when a young man named Andrew Vickers McBain met his death.  McBain was a cleaner employed at the engine sheds, and on Monday evening he had been sent a message.  As he did not return in reasonable time a search was made for him, and his body was found in the Whitehead’s Creek, about 100 yards from the engine sheds. He had apparently fallen over the bridge, and being stunned by the fall was suffocated in the soft mud at the bottom of the creek.  At the enquiry today before Mr J Chittick J.P. the deputy coroner, the above facts were elicited, and a verdict of accidental death recorded. The young man was a son of Donald McBain, postmaster of Beveridge.

From the Argus Thurs 15 March 1917 – McBAIN – On the 14th March, at hospital, East Melbourne, Elsie May, the dearly beloved second daughter of Donald and the late Lucy McBain, of Beveridge aged 29 years. A patient sufferer at rest.


By the early 20th century (and through to the 1930s) when many of the ‘old’ Andrew Beveridge family descendants (sons, daughters and grandchildren were passing away) in several of the detailed obituaries etc found within the press, gave recollections the early day lives of their Beveridge family ancestors and their first arrival at Mercers Vale District in the late 1830s/early 1840s.   Within most of these obituaries references (likely all from handed down from family stories in good faith) consistently made reference to their Beveridge family Inn at Mercers Vale being known/called the Hunters Tryste Inn.  As to whether Hunters Tryste name was a type set error (as discussed earlier) or not cannot be determined per this research. 


No Licensed Premises in Beveridge

1917 to 1988 –

There were no Licensed Premises at Beveridge between 1917 to 1988. 

In 1969 the main Sydney Rd traffic through the township was diverted away with the opening of the Hume Highway dual carriage way, with two run off and on ramps, to and from the Beveridge township. 

The construction of the new Highway meant that the north-south township road of Foreman Street was totally lost as too was the northern end of McKinnon St, and the only way to travel east and west across Beveridge thereafter has been to travel under the new underpass on a slightly ‘diverted’ Lithgow St.

In addition the construction of the dual laned highway meant that several residential houses had to be demolished as too were the remains of the bluestone former Shire Hall (formerly PO, Donnybrook & Wallan Wallan District Roads Board and Merriang Shire Offices) which had only been used infequently as a Meeting Hall and Polling Booth since the demise of the Merriang Shire Council in 1915.  The former Shire Hall had only been a ‘shell’ after having been destroyed by fire in 1967, though the bluestone walls remained.

As to when the former licensed premises buildings of the Flynn’s, Foreman’s (x2) and Gleeson’s Inn (etc) survived until, is not known per this research, however all these sites are believed to now be under the Hume Highway.


Post 1988

For some 73 plus years there was to be no licensed premises at Beveridge. Then in 1989 Ian and Norma Rankin long time owners of the Beveridge General Store and Post Office after having added a large extension to their premises were granted a license to open a premises which they named the Hunters Tryst Inn (not Tryste, per the original premises to the south of the township). The southern extension of the building becoming the General Store and Post Office, and the original 00old bluestone part becoming part of the new Hunter Tryst.

As detailed earlier, one likely misconception this research appears to have discovered, is the likelihood that the site/building of the present day Hunters Tryst had never held a license previously as believed by some. Some suggestion had been made that the former Gleeson and/or Wall Inn/Hotel may have been one and the same, and that they had traded from the same building at todays Hunters Tryst – however this research however concludes otherwise.

Also a previously detailed the Beveridge Post Office had a nomadic existance at several locations, up until at least the late 1870s.

By at least 1895 Donald McBain and his wife Lucy (after having run the Shire Arms Hotel between 1883 to 1886) had taken over the Post Office.

Beveridge Post Office & General Store 1965
(licensed as the Hunters Tryst Inn from 1989)

Whilst the latter day Hunters Tryst has not been researched in any depth here, the premises between about 2013 to 2015 operated as the Beveridge Hotel. 


Other businesses in the Beveridge township during the 19th Century included –

Neil Fletcher – Storekeeper 1862c to 1877c

James O’Connor – Storekeeper from 1863c to 1880 and Catherine O’Connor 1880 to 1894c

John W Pearson- Storekeeper from 1876c to 1895c (on property owned my the O’Connor family – was he therefore a employee of the O’Connor’s ?)

George Yeaman – Storekeeper 1880c to 1881c

David Yeaman Hosie – Storekeeper 1889 to 1893c

John McBain Jnr – Storekeeper 1883 to 1884c

Donald McBain – Storekeeper 1884c to 1894c (and possibly beyond)




(approx. ¼ mile south of present Beveridge township – on West side for Sydney Rd)

before April 1839near Thom’s Station Andrew Beveridge ?Licence GRANTED to open a Public House
during 1840likely near Thom’s StationAndrew BeveridgeLicense REFUSED – per Thom family objection (however the following year the license granted as a renewal)
20/4/1841near Thom’s Station Andrew BeveridgeRenewal of License GRANTED 
19/4/1842Hunters Rest/Hunters Tryste InnAndrew BeveridgeLicense renewal GRANTED
11/3/1843Travellers RestAndrew Beveridgeper article in  Melbourne times
18/4/1843 Hunters Rest/Hunters Tryste InnAndrew BeveridgeLicense renewal GRANTED
27/9/1843Traveller’s RestAndrew Beveridge per article in Port Phillip Gazette
23/4/1844Hunters Rest InnAndrew BeveridgeLicense renewal GRANTED
15/4/1845Hunters Rest InnAndrew BeveridgeLicense renewal GRANTED
4/8/1845Travellers Rest InnAndrew Beveridge reference to
21/4/1846Hunters Rest InnAndrew Beveridgesingle reference in Melb. Paper – Hynters Tryste (type set error ?)
4/7/1746Hunters Rest/Travellers Rest InnAndrew BeveridgeTfr of license to Chas Bellinger – REFUSED
2/9/1846Hunters Rest InnAndrew BeveridgeTfr of license to Chas Bellinger – POSPONED
4/9/1846Hunters Rest/Travellers Rest InnAndrew BeveridgeTfr of license to Chas Bellinger – again REFUSED
8/9/1846Hunters Rest InnChas BellingerTfr of license – APPROVED CONDITIONALLY
dittothe Bench would not sign the Certificate until some Magistrates in the Neighbourhood 
dittocertified that the House for which the License had been applied was finished
21/4/1847Hunters Rest InnChas BellingerRobert Pickering (barman)
Sept 1847Bellingers InnChas Bellinger  reference to
late 1847 to Mar 1848Inn was temporarily closed 
18/3/1848the Deputy Sheriff sold off a quantity of furniture, stock in trade, grain and other property belonging to Chas Bellinger
25/3/1848Hunters Rest/Travellers Rest InnPeter ForemanTfr of Publicans General License
17/4/1849Hunters Rest/Travellers Rest InnPeter ForemanLicense renewal GRANTED
16/4/1850Hunters Rest Inn/Foremans InnPeter ForemanIntroduction of £1 rent per annum – License GRANTED
6/2/1851Black Thursday BushfiresPeter ForemanJoseph Nonparrel – in the employment of Peter Foreman
15/4/1851Hunters Rest InnPeter ForemanLandlord/ £1 rent – premises not in a fit state to hold a license
 License GRANTED on condition that new premises to be built within 12 months 
19/4/1852Hunters Rest/Foremans InnPeter Foreman 


(rebuilt new premises, on the SW corner of Foreman and Lithgow Sts.  When the Kilmore ‘track’ was later surveyed the premises now situated on the SW corner of Foreman and Lithgow Sts, in addition to also being on the SE corner of Kilmore Rd and Lithgow St)

20/4/1852Hunters Rest InnJohn GleesonNew Landlord application for Lic. & Tfr – GRANTED
April 1853Hunters Rest/Gleeson’s InnJohn GleesonLicense renewal GRANTED
April 1854Gleeson’s InnJohn GleesonLicense renewal GRANTED
April 1855Beveridge HotelJohn GleesonLicense renewal GRANTED
Oct 1854Gleeson’s InnJohn Gleesonreference to Gleeson’s Inn (late Foreman’s)
Oct 1855Hunters Rest InnJohn Gleeson  reference to
April 1856Hunters Rest InnJohn GleesonLicense renewal GRANTED
April 1857Hunters Rest/Gleeson’s InnJohn GleesonLicense renewal GRANTED
April 1858Hunters Rest/Gleeson’s InnJohn GleesonLicense renewal GRANTED
 (March 1858 ref to the long known –  Foreman’s Hotel, Beveridge at land the crown land sales) 
June 1858 &
Oct 1858
Gleeson’s Public House
Gleeson’s Inn
John Gleeson 
April 1859Hunters Rest/Gleeson’s InnJohn GleesonLicense renewal GRANTED
29 June 1859Hunters Rest InnJohn GleesonAuction of animal, stock, farm implements, household & other items
Sept 1859Hunters Rest/Gleeson’s InnJohn Gleeson 
April 1860Gleeson’s InnJohn GleesonJohn Gleeson died on 3 Dec 1860
4 Dec 1860Gleeson’s InnMary GleesonNew Landlady (wife of John Gleeson)
April 1861Gleeson’s Inn/HotelMary GleesonLicense renewal GRANTED
Aug 1861Gleeson’s Inn/HotelMary Gleeson 
April 1862Gleeson’s HotelMary GleesonOwner occupied
April 1863Gleeson’s HotelMary GleesonOwner occupied
1 July1864Gleeson’s HotelMary GleesonOwner occupied 
1 Jan  1865Gleeson’s HotelMary GleesonOwner occupied
31 Dec 1864Gleeson’s HotelMary GleesonOwner occupied
1 Jan 1865 did not apply for a license renewal (closed) 
1 July 1866 Gleeson’s Beer ShopMary GleesonOwner occupied
1 July 1867Gleeson’s Beer ShopMary GleesonOwner occupied 
Sept 1867Gleeson’s Beer ShopMary GleesonOwner occupied / Thomas Flynn – hotel hand
Jan 1868Gleeson’s HotelOwner occupied
1 July 1868Gleeson’s Beer ShopMary GleesonOwner occupied
30 June 1869Gleeson’s Beer ShopMary GleesonOwner occupied 
1 July 1869did not apply for a license renewal (closed)possibly later ran the premises as a store ?
July 1869 to Dec 1871did not apply for a license (closed) 
12 Dec 1871 Mary Gleesonapplied for a Publican License – REJECTED


(Lot 70 on SW corner of Lithgow St and Sydney Rd, Beveridge)

1 Jan 1866Flynn’s HotelThomas Flynnformerly a blacksmith
31 Dec 1866Flynn’s HotelThomas Flynn 
1 Jan 1867  did not apply for a license renewal (closed)John Furlong ran a store in the premises (possibly with C O’Connor?)
1 July 1868Flynn’s Beer ShopThomas Flynn 
31 Dec 1868Flynn’s Beer ShopThomas Flynn 
1 Jan 1869Furlong’s HotelJohn FurlongTfr of License & type of License / owner ? & 57 acres
1 Jan 1870Furlong’s HotelJohn Furlongowner ?  & 70 acres
31 Dec 1870Furlong’s HotelJohn Furlongowner ?
1 Jan 1871Furlong’s Hotel moved to different premises 


(these new premises were likel/possibly located on the West side of Sydney Rd, on of furlong’s Lots 67, 68 or 69 – which were immediately south of the third premises on Lot 70,  of which he later purchased – and close to the site of the first licensed premises in the Hunters Rest Inn, Mercer’s Vale)

12 Jan 1871Furlong’s HotelJohn Furlong& 57 acres
1 Jan 1872Furlong’s HotelElizabeth & John  Furlong& 57 acres (Elizabeth held the Freehold & John the Publicans Licensee & owner)
1 Jan 1873Furlong’s HotelJohn Furlong& 57 acres                   Ditto
Sept 1873Furlong’s HotelElizabeth Furlong/John Furlong     & 57 acres                   Ditto
1 Jan 1874Furlong’s Hotel Elizabeth Furlong/John Furlong& 57 acres                   Ditto
1 Jan 1875Furlong’s Hotel Elizabeth Furlong/John Furlong& 57 acres                   Ditto
1 Jan 1876      Furlong’s HotelElizabeth Furlong/John Furlong& 57 acres                   Ditto
1 Jan 1877Furlong’s hotelElizabeth Furlong/John Furlong& 57 acres                   Ditto
1 Jan 1878Furlongs HotelElizabeth Furlong/John Furlong& 57 acres                   Ditto
31 Dec 1878Furlong’s HotelElizabeth Furlong/John Furlong& 57 acres                   Ditto
1 Jan 1879did not apply for a license renewal (closed) 
Sept 1879 did not apply for a license (closed)John & Elizabeth Furlong (farmers on Hotel land)
11 May 1880 Beveridge Hotel Elizabeth Furlong/John FurlongJohn Furlong died 11 May 1880 at the Beveridge Hotel
12 May 1880Beveridge HotelElizabeth Furlong& 60 acres 
1881Beveridge HotelElizabeth Furlong 
to 3 Dec 1882Beveridge HotelElizabeth Furlong& 60 acres       Elizabeth Furlong died on 3 Dec 1882
4/12  to 31/12/1882Hotel was likely closed for 4 weeks  _
from  ?  to 31/12/1883likely Beveridge Hotel ?Robert Schofield 
1 Jan 1884Beveridge HotelRobert Schofield& 60 acres
Pre May 1885Beveridge HotelRobert SchofieldHotel was dvertised in April 1885 , to be sold by Auction
Post April 1885Beveridge HotelJames Foster 
31 Dec 1886Beveridge HotelJames Foster60 acres & owner
1 Jan 1887  –did not apply for a license renewal (closed)

As detailed earlier on 2 March 1868 Mitchell Kilgour Beveridge married Catherine ‘Kate’ Susannah Bristow in the Hunters Tryste Parlour at the Beveridge Inn – as to whether this was at Gleeson’s or Flynn’s in not known per this research.


(Thomas Flynn built a new bluestone building on Lot 70 during 1870/71– next to his house and former licenced

premises situated on the SW corner of Lithgow St and Sydney Rd –and across the road from the former Gleeson’s Hotel) Julie Agnes Wall,

Sept 1871  –Thomas Wall (schoolteacher) owns Lot of some 71 acres
1 Jan 1872Flynn’s Hotel    Thomas Flynnapplied for a Publicans License – of 7 rooms, 4 rooms exclusive of those required for the use of his family- GRANTED
 bef July 1872Wall’s HotelThomas Wall  
July 1872Wall’s HotelJulie Agnes Wall / Thomas WallThomas Wall (Owner) transferred license to 14yo daughter – so he could remain the Head Teacher the the RC Common School, Beveridge
Sept 1872Wall’s HotelJulie Agnes Wall / Thomas Wall & 70acres & schoolteacher
Sept 1873Wall’s Hotel   poss Sarah Wall ? / Thomas Wall 
1874Wall’s HotelSarah & Thomas Wall 
1875Wall’s HotelSarah & Thomas WallSchool teacher
1876Wall’s Beveridge HotelMrs Sarah Wall (publican)Thomas Wall – owner
1877Wall’s HotelSarah & Thomas WallMrs Sarah Wall/Thomas Wall 
to July 1878 Wall’s Beveridge HotelSarah & Thomas WallThomas Wall owned the hotel & land, but sold the Freehold
 recorded as a bluestone building inc. an attached Post Officeand not the property
Sept 1878      Wall’s Beveridge HotelSarah & Thomas WallThomas Wall’s owner & publican
Sept 1879Shire Arms HotelMartha Robins/Thomas WallMartha Robins (publican & owner) Thomas Wall retained 1 acre
Sept 1880Shire Arms HotelMartha Robins/Thomas Wall ?       James Robins (Yards) carpenter 3 acres, Thomas Wall retained 1 acreJames Robins (yards) carpenter 3 acres & Thomas Wall retrained 1 acre
1881Shire Arms HotelMartha Robins/Thomas Wall ?       James Robins (Yards) carpenter 3 acres, Thomas Wall retained 1 acrecontradictory records – Martha Robins as publican & Thomas Wall’s owning 1 acre, plus 3 acres (yards) – James Robins (yards) a carpenter with 3 acres
 31 Dec 1881Shire Arms HotelMartha Robinsowner
 1882did  not apply for license renewal (closed) ? ?
1882Thomas Wall (yards) still retained 30 acres
Jan to Sept 1883 ?
Sept 1883Shire Arms HotelDonald McBainDonald McBain (farmer & hotel owner) living on 1 acre
Sept 1884Shire Arms HotelDonald & John McBainDonald McBain (farmer & hotel owner) living on 1 acre
Sept 1885Shire Arms HotelDonald McBain & James RobinsDonald McBain Jnr (farmer) living on 1 acre
Sept 1886Shire Arms HotelDonald McBain & James RobinsDonald McBain (farmer & hotel owner) living on 1 acre
Sept 1887Beveridge HotelSamuel Martin& 88 ½ acres
1888Beveridge HotelSamuel Martin & 91½ Acres
 between July 1888 & June 1890 several advertisements appeared with the Beveridge Hotel for sale with 90 acres
 (whilst in June 1888 Thomas Walls had offered for sale the Crown Allotments 5,6. 7 & 8 of two rods – ie 1/4 = acre each)
1889Beveridge / Shire Arms HotelSamuel Martin& 91 acres 
1890Shire Arms HotelSamuel Martin& 85 acres – were offered for sale (Samuel Martin – owner)
1891Shire Arms HotelSamuel Martin& 85 acres
21 Jan 1892Shire Arms HotelSamuel Martinreference to Carlton & West End Breweries Ltd by Bill of Sale and Tfr of License
22 Jan 1892Shire Arms HotelEliza Jane Govan 
June 1892Govan’ Shire Arms HotelEliza Jane Govan          owner Eliza Jane Govan & 7 acres          
July 1893Govan’ Shire Arms HotelEliza Jane Govan/James Govan ?owner Eliza Jane Govan & 7 acres          
20 Dec 1893 Shire Arms Hotel Eliza Jane Govan/James Govan ?owner Eliza Jane Govan & 7 acres
1894Govan’ Shire Arms HotelEliza Jane Govan/James Govanowner Eliza Jane Govan & 7 acres 
July 1894Shire Arms Hotel Eliza Jane Govan/James Govanowner Eliza Jane Govan & 7 acres
June 1895Shire Arms HotelEliza Jane Govan/James Govanowner Eliza Jane Govan & 7 acres
20 Dec 1895 Shire Arms HotelEliza Jane Govan/James Govanowner Eliza Jane Govan & 7 acres
1896Shire Arms HotelEliza Jane Govan/James Govan        owner Eliza Jane Govan & 6 acres         
1897Shire Arms HotelEliza Jane Govan/James Govanowner Eliza Jane Govan & 7 acres    
late April 1897Shire Arms HotelJosiah ‘Joseph’ Hoare & 6 acres-  ref to  Carlton Breweries Ltd by Bill of Sale and tfr of license
1 May 1897Shire Arms HotelJosiah ‘Joseph’ Hoare & 6 acres
10 Dec 1897Shire Arms HotelJosiah ‘Joseph’ Hoare  & 6 acres
1898Shire Arms HotelJosiah ‘Joseph’ Hoare& 6 acres
13 Dec 1899Shire Arms HotelJosiah ‘Joseph’ Hoare& 6 acres
1900Shire Arms HotelJosiah ‘Joseph’ Hoare 
1901Shire Arms HotelJosiah ‘Joseph’ Hoare 
1902Shire Arms HotelJosiah ‘Joseph’ Hoare 
16 Dec 1903Shire Arms HotelJosiah ‘Joseph’ Hoare 
1904Shire Arms HotelJosiah ‘Joseph’ Hoare 
1905Hoare’s HotelJosiah ‘Joseph’ Hoare 
1906Shire Arms HotelJosiah ‘Joseph’ Hoare 
1907details are unknown and the Broadmeadows Rate Book for 1907 has not survived
1908Shire Arms Hotel Edward Jackson  
May-09Shire Arms Hotel Edward Jackson               
29-May-09Shire Arms HotelThomas Meehan/Maria St. Paul Maria was of Heidelberg & (later of The Grange, Alphington)
3-Dec-09Shire Arms HotelRosa Laing/ Maria St. Paul Maria was of Heidelberg & (later of The Grange, Alphington)
1910Shire Arms HotelRosa Laing/Maria St. Paul Maria was of Heidelberg & (later of The Grange, Alphington)
1911Shire Arms HotelRosa Laing/Maria St. PaulMaria was of Heidelberg & (later of The Grange, Alphington)
29 Mar 1912Shire Arms HotelRosa Laing/Maria St. Paul Maria transferred the ownership of the hotel to her son Ralph
30 Mar 1912 Shire Arms HotelRosa Laing/Ralph John St. Paul John St. Paul & at the same time also became the licensee/publican
1913Shire Arms HotelRosa Laing/Ralph John St. PaulJohn St. Paul & at the same time also became the licensee/publican
13 Mar 1914Shire Arms HotelRosa Laing/Ralph John St. PaulJohn St. Paul & at the same time also became the licensee/publican
14 Mar 1914Shire Arms HotelFrederick James Anderson /Ralph John St. Paul  Transfter of License only
1915Shire Arms Hotel Frederick James Anderson /Ralph John St. Paul 
31 Dec 1916Shire Arms HotelFrederick James Anderson /Ralph John St. Paul  
1 Jan 1917Hotel was Delicensed by the Victorian Licensing Reduction Board  –

Known ‘sizes’/dimentions of the Hotels  –

Date       Hotel/Premises                  Number of Rooms etc          Additional Information
1841Hunters Rest Inn (and home) was built with an enormous hip roof and in addition a cellar dug  
6 Feb 1851Hunters Rest Inn   premises were possibly destroyed in the Black Thursday bushfire?
1852Hunters Rest/Gleesons Innwas an L shaped building  
1854Hunters Rest/Gleesons InnL shape was extended to Z shape  
1864-1865Gleesons Hotel  Hotel advertised for stone breakers and Stonemasons (improvements)
at 31/12/1864Gleeson’s Hotel3 sitting roon, 5 bedrooms  
at 31/12/1864Flynns Hotel2 sitting rooms, 3 bedrooms*New License
Dec 1871Gleeson’s application6 rooms *New License Application – REFUSED
at Jan 1871Furlong’s Hotel7 rooms *New home, never previously Licensed
at Dec 1871 Flynn’s Hotel7 rooms* 
at Oct 1876 Wall’s Hotel6 rooms *(bluestone building)

*  Exclusive of those for the family

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From the Broadmeadows Shire Rates Book (1862 to 1899), in September of each year properties were valued by the Council. The following was recorded as the Nett Value of each Hotel (this list is incomplete however) at 9d to the £1 on all Rateable properties.  In some years one is unable to ascertain the hotel’s Rateable amount – this occurred in some years when all property owned (inc other houses/acreage etc) by the hotel owner were not recorded separately to that of the Nett Value of the Hotel.

Mary Gleeson – her hotel & beer shop Nett Value was between £40 and £50 in the period 1862 to 1869.

Thomas Flynn – his hotel Nett Value was between £40 and £50 in the period 1866 to 1871c.

Thomas & Sarah Wall – their hotel Nett Value was between £45 to £50 in the period 1872 to 1879.

John and Elizabeth Furlong – their hotel Nett Value was between £32 to £60 in the period 1871c to 1882.

Martha Robins – her hotel Nett Value £45 in the period 1879c to 1881.

Robert Schofield – his hotel Nett Value was between £45 to £50 in the period 1872 to 1879.

James Foster – his hotel Nett Value was £45 in the period 1883 to 1885.

Samuel Martin – his hotel Nett Value was between £4560 in the period 1883c to 1885.

Eliza Jane & James Govan – their hotel Nett Value was between £34 to £40 in the period 1892 to 1897.


References to other licenced Public House/Inn’s ‘at’ (Mercer’s Vale) 1842-1858

All the other early licensed premises recorded in the press as being located in the District commonly referred to as Mercer’s Vale – were more accurately located at Rocky Waterholes – which later was renamed Donnybrook, and later still to Kal Kallo – this name change was done to avoid confusion with so named and recently Donnybrook Railway Station and the small community that had sprung up alongside railway line a short distance to the East.

Port Phillip Gazette 29 Feb 1840

Port Phillip Gazette Wed 17 June 1840

The above advertisement clearly is for an Inn at Kinlochewe (between the present day Craigieburn and Kal Kallo townships), despite the reference to Mercer’s Vale.  At  an unreserved Sale held on 1 Oct 1840 a Mr Power had offered the Kinlockewe Hotel and several Blocks of varying sizes for sale on that day – with reference to the splendid panoramic picture and country across Mercer’s Vale. Mr. Power name appears still in the vicinity further on –

Two other early licences were held for hotels in Mercer’s Vale from 1842 in William Hardy and another for a ELP Stuart, however no other details are known – and further research is required.   

Other early licensees recorded as Mercer’s Vale, but these premises however have subsequently been identified as being in the Kal Kallo/Rocky Water Holes Donnybrook vicinity than that of Mercers Vale/Beveridge itself, as follows –

In April 1842 a license was also granted for the Fountain Inn at Mercers Vale to Robert Higgins Power.  Records of Power holding this license until March 1845, when Thomas Colclough had applied for transfer of the license from Mr Power.  

In November 1846 the premises are recorded as Fountain Inn, Kal Kallo (operated by Thomas Colclough since at least April 1846), now clearly identifying actual the locality of these premises.

In April 1847 Thomas Colclough had his License renewal at the District of Licenses for the County of Bourke for the Fountain Inn was postponed, though it was granted several days later for the following 12 months

Colclough still held the license until circa 1848-1849 (in April 1845 the license had been granted as Fountain Inn, Pentridge and in 1848 was recorded as Fountain Inn, Rocky Water Holes

Then until April 1849 a Mr Coghill held the license’ but he did not apply for a  license renewal in April 1849 the license of the Fountain Inn at Rocky Water Holes was granted to Robert McKee.

In Dec 1949 James Robertson was the landlord of the Fountain Inn.

In Sept 1850 the license of the Fountain Inn was transferred from James Robertson to Charles McDougall, who had license renewed April 1851 (in this instance the premises are recorded as Fountain Inn, Kal Kallo). 

Also recorded in Sept 1850 – Charles McDougall from Alexander Robertson, Fountain Inn,  Mercer’s Vale

In Dec 1854 it was reported that the Fountain Inn, Kal Kallo license was transferred from Thomas Dudley to Charles McDougall (however this report was written around the wrong way and should have read transferred from Charles McDougall to Thomas Dudley.

Thomas Dudley held the Fountain Inn license in 1855 and the Inn is clearly now recorded as in Kal Kallo, and he still held the license in 1857.

In Feb 1857 the Fountain Inn was advertised as being for sale.

By Sept 1857 Mr Shotton was the Fountain Inn, Donnybrook licensee and he had his license renewed in April 1858 recorded as at Rock Water Holes.

The further history of the Fountain Inn has not been further researched here – as clearly it was not located near the present day township of Beveridge.



(The following had been added as the articles make specific reference to Mercer’s Vale and Beveridge).

Convict – Henry BURNHAM

Henry Burnham was a 15 yo Post Boy in London who was tried at the Old Boy, Middlesex for housebreaking (burgariously breaking and entering the dwelling of John Owthwaite at about 8 o’clock in the forenoon on 11 June 1821  at St. Marts, Islington, London – with Ann this wife and others being therein and for stealing one writing desk, vale 3 l (?) his property). 

As follows at the Old Bailey proceedings from 18 July 1821 –

Old Bailey Proceedings

Though Henry was found guilty on a lesser offence, but not of breaking and entering, he was found guilty of stealing in the dwelling house, and sentenced to death.  

NB: Of a Lesser Offence – the jury could find the defendant guilty of a lesser offence to the one with which they were charged. Cases of burglary, housebreaking, shoplifting, and robbery, all of which carried a death sentence, were occasionally recorded as a simple theft. Thus leaving the judge free to waive execution in favour of a lesser punishment.

Overall less than a fifth of death sentences were actually carried out. Convicts avoided death through benefit of cler, pardons, and respited sentences due to pregnancy, by being sentenced to military or naval duty.

Partial Verdicts Juries often found the defendant guilty of a reduced offence, such as theft of goods of a lower value. Such verdicts reduced the punishment convicts were likely to receive by allowing them to claim benefit of clergy (abolished in 1827). This was a very desirable outcome in a system in which, until the reforms of the 1820s, many people were charged with crimes punishable by death, while jurors and judges only wanted to see a limited number of people hanged.  In many cases the reduced value of the goods was blatantly implausible, but the jury engaged in such ‘pious perjury’ with broad judicial and public support in order to save lives.

John Burnham’s sentence was indeed commuted to Life (21 years) on 17 Sept 1821 and transported on the ‘Richmond’ to VDL, departing 27 Nov 1821 and arriving 30 April 1822.  Before sailing the ship Surgeon reported on 16 Nov that Henry was under a severe catarrh affection, he was Discharged from the sick list on 21 Nov.  His convict record in VDL is pretty unremarkable and was of good behaviour, with three exceptions in 1825, as follows : 11 Mar – being 1 ½ miles out of town at 12 o’clock at night, Sept 30 – being out after hours and in a licenced house and finally on 19 Nov – not sleeping under his masters roof.  He received Ticket of Leave in July 1831, a Conditional Pardon on 1 July 1836 (also recorded as 14 Mar 1838 in the Press) and Free Pardon on 9 July 1840 (also recorded Oct 1842 in the Press).

In the period circa late 1837 to mid 1840 Henry had travelled across Bass Strait, which he was not permitted to do as he only help a Conditional Pardon – he may well have actually travelled with the Thom family in late 1837, to take up Thom Station at Mercer’s Vale.  In Archibald Thom’s employ he was finally caught up with by the authorities and returned to VDL to complete the remainder of his sentence.

In July 1846 he was given Approval to marry convict Ann Campbell in VDL and they married on 14 Sept 1846 at George Town, Launceston.  From Glasgow, as a 17yo (dairymaid) she had been convicted of stealing at the Edinburgh Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh, Scotland and was sentenced to 7 years, she sailed onboard the ‘Woodbridge which departed 20 Aug 1843 and arrived at VDL on 25 Dec 1843.

His wife Ann convict record is much more remarkable than her husband with many entries being made inc. that of being out after hours, refusing to go home, under the influence and drunkenness etc.

On the 1848 VDL Census Henry was working as a servant for a Robert Taylor married (with the other person living in this abode is not recorded) and living at ______ Creek (John in the same wooden abode as recorded on the 1843 census.  Then on 22 May 1851 Henry is recorded as sailing in steerage from George Town, Launceston onto the ‘City of Sydney’ bound for Sydney, with no record of Ann having following him.

It may well be suggested that Henry was in the employ of Archibald Thom in VDL and that he knowingly brought him across to Port Phillip to work on Thom’s Station with no legal right to do so.


Highway Robbery

At the Supreme Court (Criminal Side) on Tues 30 Nov 1841 – Joseph Day and Robert Bruce were jointly indicted for committing a highway robbery on the person of Mr. John Mitton, violently assaulting and putting him in bodily fear.  A second count in the information charged the prisoners with committing the robbery without violence. The prisoners pleaded Not Guilty.

The Crown Prosecutor stated the facts as follows – the prosecutor resides about forty miles from Melbourne, on the Sydney Road, and in the month of October last, had occasion to come to town on business; on the thirtieth of that month previous to the prosecutor leaving town for his station, he had occasion to go to the Union Bank and procure six £5 notes, one of which he changed and left town about twelve o’clock in the day, with £25 in five notes, and five £1 notes in his pocket book.

The prosecutor proceeded as far as the Kinlochewe lnn, at which place he arrived about three o’clock, and remained there until about five o’clock to take tonic refreshment. During that time the prisoners came in and entered into conversation with him,about obtaining employment. The prosecutor informed them that they could obtain employment
at Mr. Green’s station on the Sydney Road. 

The prisoners then left the Kinlochewe Inn for the purpose of going to Green’s station.  Some time after the prosecutor left the Kinlochewe Inn, and proceeded on his way towards Beveridge’s, when he stopped at a water hole about six miles from the Kinlochewe Inn to graze his horse, and remained there until the cool of the evening, when he started again for Beveridge’s, his horse walking, when about two miles from the water hole it became dusk  and  a man about the stature of the prisoner Day, rushed out from the back of a tree and struck him slightly on the back of the head with a stick, owing to the suddenness of the attack the prosecutor’s horse took fright, and he .was thrown to the ground, and before he could recover he was attacked in the most violent manner, the persons who attacked him holding him down with his face to the ground, and kicking him in the face until he became senseless.  On coming to himself the prosecutor found his watch and all his money, consisting of five £5 notes and five £1 notes had been stolen from his person.  The notes were in a pocket book when the prosecutor was attacked; but on his recovering, he found that the notes had been taken from the pocket book which was replaced by the robbers in his coat pocket; the prosecutor found his saddle at some little distance from where the robbery had been committed, with the girths cut, he, however, upon catching his horse and managed to ride to Beveridge’s and during the time he was washing himself, the prisoners came in, and the prosecutor mentioned the circumstance of the robbery; upon which the prisoners said they were sorry for him, and the prisoner Bruce observed, he hoped the prosecutor did not think it was him.  Whilst the prosecutor was occupied in washing himself the prisoners went away; on the following morning Mitton went to the spot where the robbery was committed, and found a stick, which had the day before been seen at the Kinlochewe Inn, and which had been cut and notched with a knife by a boy, named Somerville.

The Crown Prosecutor here drew the attention of the Jury to the remarkable fact of the stick  being found on the spot where the robbery was committed, and mentioned a case where a robbery and murder was committed near Caroline Fort, in Ireland, upon a married couple, who were supposed to be very rich, by a sergeant and two privates of a regiment, which murder was found out in it very remarkable manner, by the cane which belonged to the sergeant being, found in the bed with the murdered parties, in consequence of the cane being found, the guilty parties were
brought to justice, executed, and hung in chains.

The Crown Prosecutor would request the Jury to pay particular attention to the manner in which the stick was found in this case, and bear in mind the manner in which the case had been found out, and the murderers brought to justice
through a cane which belonged to one of the parties being found in the bed of their victims.  Information of the obbery was given to the police, when district constable O’Neil went in pursuit of the robbers, and from circumstances he learned relative to the prisoners, he traced them to Wallace’s Station, on the Reedy Creek, where he apprehended them, and found the watch which had been taken from the prosecutor, and three £5 notes of the Union Rank, and three £1 notes, and some silver on the prisoner Day, and ascertained that the prisoner Bruce had changed a £5 note of the Union Bank on the Oven’s River. These facts were clearly borne out in evidence, and it was proved that on the day in question, when the prisoners were at the Kinlochewe Inn, the waiter asked if they were going to sleep there that night, when the prisoners replied, ‘that they could not do so us they had no money for that purpose,’ When they left the Kinlochewe Inn the prisoner Day put his bundle on the stick which proved to have been the stick which Mitton found on the spot where the robbery was committed, and which was recognized as the stick which was cut by the boy in the Kinlochewe tap. This was the case for the prosecution.

His Hon. Mr Murray then addressed the Jury at great length for the prisoners, and urged the great responsibility which devolved upon him in a case of such importance; he contended that there was no proof that the money found
upon the prisoner Day was the money taken from Mitton, and there had been nothing shewn that day to implicate Bruce in the robbery. The learned gentleman concluded by drawing the attention of the Jury to the address of the Judge at the opening of the Court, that in case there was any reasonable doubt they would give the prisoners the benefit of that doubt; he would no longer trespass on the time of the Jury, but he would call witnesses, who he was instructed to say, could contradict Mitton’s evidence, where he stated that he no persons on the road from Kinlochewe to
Beveridge’s.  William May, the deputy mail contractor, was called, and he proved that on the day of the robbery he met the prisoners about two miles from Beveridge’s public house, and afterwards met the prosecutor cantering his horse about a quarter of a mile from the water hole, on Beveridge’s side, and delivered a message from his wife, this was before dark.  The witness also stated that there are no trees near the place where he met the prosecutor, except some she-oak scrub.   Mr Dight, gave the prisoner Bruce an excellent character for honesty. This was the defence for the prisoners.


His Honor then charged the Jury, first stating the law of the case, which his Honor said was of a circumstantial nature which falls short of positive testimony, recapitulating the whole of the evidence, and commenting as he read. His Honor concluded that if the Jury had any doubt on their minds in the case, in God’s name to give prisoners the benefit of it.

Jury then retired to consider their verdict, and after being absent for about five minutes came into court and pronounced a verdict of Guilty.

The Crown Prosecutor then prayed the judgment of the Court on the prisoners. His Honor in passing sentence said that it was owing to the lenity of the Crown Prosecutor that you are not indicted under another clause of the Act which would have cost you your lives. The sentence of the Court, is, that you be transported for the term of your natural lives.

Mr Barry inquired if the Crown Prosecutor intended to go on with the case against Mr Bolden?  The Crown Prosecutor said eo intended to bring the mutter forward this Sessions. Mr Barry, said there was another reason why this matter should be immediately brought forward, which was owing to a cruel, false, und untrue notice which appeared in the Herald last Tuesday, tending to prejudice of the case against his client.

Judge Willis said ‘that as a judge of assize he had no power to punish any person for publishing on inflammatory notice against a prisoner or any person charged with an offence, but the publication of this paragraph should not have taken place’. 



(this edited story is primarily recorded here, as a single reference was made to Beveridge’s Inn)

In early May 1842 five bushrangers were captured after they had robbed no fewer eighteen Stations in the neighbourhoods of Dandenong and the Plenty as well as two parties of traveller’s were stopped and robbed on the Western Port Road, others had also been held up on the Dandenong, Plenty and Sydney Rds .

At least two parties of men were swiftly made up and left town in search of the marauders.

Apprehending that the bushrangers might have returned from the Plenty towards Dandenong, the party took the Heidelberg Road so that they might be able to ascertain the fact in order to follow in their footsteps. Finding, however, that they had not returned in this direction, they turned their faces towards the Plenty, and hastened onwards, notwithstanding the darkness of the night.

Following the traces of the ruffians they eventually found them about to to sit down to a very comfortable breakfast of roast duck, near Mr Hunters property.  It was believed and they were making their plans for an escape. The searcher’s  fired a several shots and then three of them successfully made for the shelter of the hut.  One bushranger in Jack Williams (who was looked upon as the leader of the gang) did not make it back to the nearby hut/store and volley of shots were fired.  As the exposed bushranger was about to take advantage of one the searchers who was hit by a shot that hit his powder flask, any thus had becoming faint, – when about to take advantage of his faintness, when the ruffian received a shot through the skull which also hit the wounded searcher as well The ruffian was then quickly despatched with a shot through the heart.  The other ruffian named Fowler who also did not make it back to inside the hut received a rifle ball across his cheek, making faint and he was quickly captured.

The remainder of the bushrangers were thus now imprisoned in the hut and there they in this predicament remained for some time.  None of the searchers could show themselves as they would then have been exposed and become an easy target.. 

Meanwhile, another party headed by Constable Vinge, and a mounted policeman, headed out of town by the Sydney Road to Beveridge’s Inn, and kept that in order to intercept the bushrangers if they should escape and towards the Goulbourn, which it seemed, was actually their intention.  Without success they then crossed the ranges to the Plenty.

About eleven o’clock, Martin Fogarty, the younger of’ the bushrangers, voluntarily gave himself up.  But the remainder  refused to surrender on any terms, being perfectly aware, they said, that their lives were forfeited, and preferring to be shot to dying on the gallows.  By some means or other, the bushrangers succeeded in inducing two of the search party go into the hut. In a very ill-advised step, the bushrangers saw immediately the advantage they had gained, and detained them prisoners, while their friends without dared not attack the hut, or act in any way on the offensive lest their lives should become the sacrifice. After detaining them prisoners for upwards of an hour, Mr Rider one of the captured men was sent out with a flag of truce, bearing a paper in which the bushrangers offered to surrender if the gentlemen present would pledge themselves by signing the document, to intercede in their behalf with Judge Willis.  This was, of course, refused, and Mr Rider went back to the hut, whence, after a lapse of nearly another hour, he returned bringing with him another paper signed by both the bushrangers, the purport of which was, that they had been led astray by their companion who had been killed. This seemed rather a stipulation that they should not be shot if they came out of the hut, was immediately signed.

On Mr Rider’s release the bushrangers gave up their arms and surrendered themselves forthwith. In their possession were found a large number of guns of all descriptions, and pistols, but the only money found on their persons was £26 twenty-six pounds in notes, £5 in sovereigns, and 16/- in silver. Both prisoners when surrendering begged that they might be shot on the spot, but this from their obvious trepidation was considered a mere piece of bravado. 

After travelling some distance to Melbourne Town the younger of the three, in Fogarty was lodged in the watch house, and the two older and more daring ruffians were taken off to gaol.  Both Fogarty and Jack Williams who was shot, were both immigrants, and were two of the precious ‘Peep-o’-day Boys’ imported from the south of Ireland, on the bounty system in the early part of 1841.  The remaining two were Daniel Jepps aged 27 from Boston, America (also known as ‘Yankee Jack’)who arrived in Sydney by the Cargo, whaler, from Boston, about seven weeks previous and then  having absconded from her when at the very mouth of the harbour, on her homeward voyage, he contrived to find his way overland to Port Phillip, and  Charles Ellis only 18 yo  the taller prisoner, was a cook who had arrived by the brig ‘Emma’ from England about 12 months previous (he was also said to have taken a degree at Cambridge) and had also travelled overland.   The other third one captured was an old lag from Van Diemen’s Land.

Throughout the whole of the three mens lawless career, the only objects of plunder they seem to have cared for were money, watches, arms, ammunition, and horses, the latter of which they exchanged at almost every station they came to.

After the capture of the three, it was admitted that they were in communication with an armed band of bushrangers at Geelong, and another at the Goulburn. It had been planned for the three bands to meet, the very night after that on which the affray took place, at Williams Town, in the neighbourhood of which they were to be concealed, until an opportunity offered of seizing a vessel and leaving the colony. The hope is still entertained that every man connected with this outbreak will ultimately be taken, and the province at one blow rid of the horrors of such a pest.

 These desperadoes have since been examined at the Police-office, and fully committed to take their trial at the ensuing Criminal Sessions. 


Trial of the Bushrangers

(12 May 1842)

Charles Ellis, Daniel Jepps, and Martin Fogarty, were indicted of twenty four counts, of varying the offences from ‘shooting with intent to murder’ to ‘shooting with intent to maim or disable,’ and treating each of the prisoners as accessories and principals alternately. The Hon. Mr Murray conducted the prisoners’ defence gratuitously. The Crown Prosecutor stated the case to the jury, and called the following witnesses.

Henry Fowler deposed that he was one of the party who went in pursuit of the bushrangers; on approaching Mr Hunter’s station, I saw four men armed, who fired shots at us, we did not return the fire.  I received a shot in the face from the window of the hut, in which we afterwards found the prisoners at the bar.  I was within a foot of the hut and the shot came from the hut.  I saw the flash distinctly.

Charles John Sandford deposed that I am a surgeon and attended Mr Fowler professionally. The wound had arisen from a bullet which must have nearly grazed the brain. I do not yet consider my patient out of danger.

Mr Smeathman deposed that I was at Mr Hunter’s station when the bushrangers came; I am sure the prisoners are three of them. They called upon us to surrender, and to bail up, we had no ammunition.  When Mr Fowler’s party came up, Jepps cried ‘To arms, men, to arms’.   The three prisoners occupied a hut.  I saw Ellis and Jepps fire from the windows, a shot came apparently from Jepps gun when Mr Fowler fell.

Robert Jeffries deposed that I am in the employ of Mr Hunter. I was in the hut when the prisoners fired at the party coming up, and the prisoners then got into the hut, and that the shot by which Mr Fowler fell came from the hut.

Oliver Gourlay, Robert Chamberlain, James Thomson, and Peter Snodrass, deposed that they accompanied Mr  Fowler, and that the bushrangers fired first.  Mr Thomson also distinctly saw the shot by which Mr Fowler fell fired from the window of the hut.

George W Rider deposed that I went into the hut after the firing ceased, that there was no one there except the prisoners.

John Ewart deposed that I went into the hut after Fogarty came out and surrendered, and that there were twelve or thirteen stand of arms and a quantity of powder and ball in the hut.

After Mr Murray had addressed the court in behalf of the prisoner, and His Honor had summed up.  The Jury consulted together for an hour and a half, and then pronounced the prisoners guilty of shooting with intent to murder. Sentence of death was passed on the prisoners on the following day, the time of execution to be appointed by His Excellency the Governor.

Jepps, Ellis and Fogarry were publically executed at the top end of Lonsdale St on Tues 19 Aug 1842.


Also a reference has been found for the following –

Port Phillip Gazette 20 Feb 1841

The above obituary for the passing of Charles George Gray of Mercers Vale – records his place of death as at the Adelphi Hotel.  

Then some three years later the ‘Supreme Court of New South Wales for the Port Phillip District Register for Deceased Estates’ records that Charles Gray (alias Charles George Gray) died at Mercer’s Vale (with an incorrect date of late May 1841). 

However further research has clearly established that Adelphi Hotel, were actually located in Little Flinders Lane Melbourne – thus he in all likelihood died when visiting Melbourne.

NB: Charles Gray was formerly of Van Diemen’s Land


References Sources Used – State Library Melbourne, Public Records Office of Treasure Trove Archives,  Port Phillip Patriot and Melbourne, Port Phillip Gazette, Port Phillip Gazette & Settlers Journal, Port Phillip Patriot and Morning Advertiser, Sydney News, Geelong Advertiser and Squatters’ Advocate, The Melbourne Times, The (Melbourne) Argus, The Age, The Weekly Times, The Kilmore Advertiser, Kilmore Free Press, The Australasian, The Herald, Independent (Footscray), Weekly, The Sportsman, The Hobart Courier, Seymour Express and Goulburn Valley, Avenel, Graytown, Nagambie, Tallarook and Yea Advertiser, Horsham Times, The Coburg and Brunswick Leader, Broadmeadows Rates Books (1862-1899), The Gazette (1862), The Errant Lady (Penny Russell 2002). Ellen Kelly (a historical novel as told by Ellen Kelly) by Dagmar Balcarek & Gary J Dean, The History of Beveridge (JW Payne 1974), Language, Land & Song  Studies in honour of Luise Hercus (Peter K. Austin, Harold Koch & Jane Simpson), Old Bailey Proceedings, Craigieburn Historical Interest Group Inc., Graham Thom (per Kilmore Historical Society 2015), Victorian Collections, Ian and Norma Rankin (Beveridge), Phyllis King (McBain family descendant), Twisted History, WikiTree, and

Readers are also welcome to make their own contribution to this article, whether it be an addition, correction or comment.  Any additional information received can be added here at a later date, and contributors duly given credit in the above.