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ROSE AND CROWN Early Fremantle Hotel. By "Norbar." A BUILDING which was one of the first hotelsin Western Australia has recently been demolished on the corner of High and Queen streets, Fremantle, to make room for a new picture theatre, which is be ing built by Hoyts (Fremantle), Ltd. It is over 100 years since the first rooms of the old building were put up, and when it ceased to be an hotel about 60 years ago it became successively a school and a private dwelling. The first rooms were put up by James Lloyd, whose descendants still live in this State, and Mr. M. Wroth, of Perth, a great-grandson of James Lloyd, pro vided some of the following informa tion. An interesting example of the truth of local tradition has come to light as a result of investigations into the his tory of the old building. None of the old people interviewed in Fremantle re membered the house being an hotel, but several recalled that they had been told it had once been the Rose and Crown. The official records of licensed premises in Fremantle from 1844 on, re peatedly refer to an hotel by the name of the Crown and Thistle, and it was naturally considered that memories had been at fault. An examination of the old building, however, showed the name Rose and Crown still above the main doorway. Apparently an official mistake was repeated in the records year by year and, in this instance, local tradition was the most reliable guide. James Lloyd, who built the first two rooms on the corner of High and Queen streets, came to Western Australia in the ill-fated Rockingham, which was wrecked and left its name in the well known seaside resort south of Fre mantle. Mr. Lloyd built his home from limestone in the locality and his second child, a daughter, was born there in February, 1831. How long James Lloyd and his family lived r a the property is not known, but according to a record of a sale of land which was registered in January, 1840, he bought building lot 386 and other lands there from Joseph Morris for the sum of £90 on December 19, 1839. He must have occupied the block before this, however, because his descendants say a child was born there in 1831. Some time during the next five years he returned to England for, ac cording to a descendant, he died in England in 1845 from smallpox. The first mention of the Crown and Thistle occurs in the list of publicans' licences issued for the Fremantle district and published in the "Government Ga zette" on January 31, 1844, when Alex ander Francisco is named as the licen see. For the years prior to 1844 only the names of the licensees are given and Alexander Prancisco's name Is among them in 1843 and in 1842, and he'is mentioned by E. W. Landor, in "The Bushman," as having been there in 1841. "Francisco's Hotel." Landor, speaking of the year 1841, says:-"In the meantime we dined and slept at Francisco's Hotel, where we
The old hotel buLUdng at the corner of High and QLeenn streets, Fremsantle, which was recently demolished.
were served with French. dishes in first rate style ..." Captain F. C. Irwin, writing in 1835, said that Fremantle then contained "several hotels, where travellers may partake of excellent ac commodatton and a good table. The principal one is equal in appearance to a good English country Inn." Whether he was speaking of Fran cisco's Hotel he did not say. but it is certain that by 1841 Alexander Fran cisco kept one of the best houses in Fremantle and that by 1844, if not be fore, the hotel he kept was named the Crown and Thistle. In 1842 there were already five hotels in Fremantle, kept respectively by dward Back, JohnDuf field, William Heard, John Wickstead, and Alexander Francisco. In 1844, when the names of the hotels are mentioned for the first time in the official list, they were the Crown and Thistle (Alex ander Francisco), Waterman's Arms (W. Heard), Albion (J. Duffield), Stag's Head (A. Curtis), and Union (J. Wick stead). In 1845, 1846 and 1848, Pran cisco is still named as a licensee in Fre mantle, though in the latter year the number of hotels had dropped to two. On July 8, 1848, Alexander Francisco transferred his licence to Oliver Lodge, who appears among the next year's list of five publicans as the licensee of the Crown and Thistle. In the 1851 list, however, Lodge is shown as the licensee of the Victoria Hotel and the Crown and Thistle has passed to J. Wellard. In 1853 there is another change and John Francisco, evidently some relation of the original licensee, is shown as the publican o' the Crown and Thistle. By 1856 the hotel business had evidently become popular in Fremantle, for nine pub licans' licences were issued for that year. Among the list Alexander Fran cisco is again mentioned and also r David Francisco. No hotel names are given so that it is impossible to say which of them kept the Crown and Thistle which was really the Rose and Crown. Apparently the Government of the day became concerned at the growth of the hotel business, for on September 6, 1856, His Excellency the Governor in Executive Council directed that the number of hotels in the vari ous centres should be limited for the year 1857, as follows:-Perth, 8; Fre mantle, 5; Albany, 4; Bunbury, 3; York, 3; Swan, 7; Murray, 3; Canning, 1; Toodyay and Northam, 5; Lynton, Port Gregory, 1. The fees charged for licences at Perth and Fremantle were £50 and £40 elsewhere, except roadside inns, which were £10. Alexander Fran cisco is mentioned among the Fre mantle publicans in 1857 and 1858, and in 1859 the Crown and Thistle is shown alongside his name. Another Change. Another change, however, occurs in 1860 when Robert Hicks is shown as the licensee of the Crown and Thistle and remains so for the next six years. In 1867 the Crown and Thistle is not mentioned, although other Fremantle hotels are named. They were the Vic toria (Harriett Scott). the Alert (John Thomas), the Emerald Isle (William Edward Marmion) and the Free masons (James Herbert). In the list for 1868 the name Crown and Thistle reappears, with Joshua J. Harwood as the licensee. In the meantime, how ever, a change had occurred. Accord ing to Mr. J. E. Hammond, of South Perth, Joshua J. Harwood kept an hotel which afterwards became the Cleopatra. This hotel was named about 1880, at Mr. Hammond's suggestion, after a coastal vessel of that name. Several old Fremantle identities re member Harwood, but none of them remember him keeping an hotel in the building which is now being demol ished. Apparently what happened was that the licence of the original Crown and Thistle lapsed in 1867 (the year it lapses from the official list) and the name was taken over by Harwood for the hotel which later became the
Cleopatra. Mr. Hammond says that he was working on renovations to Har wood's hotel before Captain Fothergill took it over and re-named it. at Mr. Hammond's suggestion, the Cleopatra. What its name was before Mr. Ham mond does not remember, but in view of Harwood being registered right through the 70's as the licensee of the Crown and Thistle it is most probable that this was the name changed to Cleopatra. Mr. Hammond and other old residents were emphatic that Har wood did not keep the building on the corner of High and Queen streets as an hotel, yet this was undoubtedly the original Crown and Thistle, or, unofci ally, the Rose and Crown. Mr. T. Tapper, a Fremantle resident of over 80, said that he remembered going to school in the building which is now being demolished. It was always spoken of as having been an hotel named the Rose and Crown, but he had never known it as anything but a school and later as a private dwell ing. He started school at a convent situated on low ground in Henry-street but one winter, when he was still very young, the school was flooded and the pupils moved up into the old building. Later, he said, it became a government schooL Other old Fremantle residents remember the building as a govern atent school and one of them said that a Mrs. Morris used to teach there. The fact that the old building ceased to be an hotel about 1867 is supported by Mr. Hammond, who said that Ro bert Hicks came to Perth about 1867 and opened a tobacco Jhop. Hicks is mentioned as the licensee of the Crown and Thistle in 1866 and the name of the hotel disappears from the Fre mantle list for 1867, to reappear under Harwood's name in 1868. As several people remember Harwood as licensee for years of the hotel which is now the Cleopatra there seems no doubt that Hicks was the last licensee of the c'1 Rose and Crown and that the one named the Crown and Thistle which appears on the 1868 list is an entirely different building. A link with the very early days of the Swan River Colony goes, there fore. with the old Rose and Crown %. nen it was ouilt Fremantle, in the words of G. F. Moore, was "a few wooden houses, many ragged looking tents and contrivances for habitations." it is being demolished to make way for a picture theatre to cost £20,000 and seat 1,300 persons. And so time wags on.