20 November 2012

Trove Tuesday: An unexpected hotelier's license

The license of the Exchange Hotel, King-street, was transferred from James Merrick and Samuel Harper, executors under the will of the late Edward Sadler to Joseph Gordon.
1874. Licensing Business, The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 December, p. 5, viewed 17 November 2012. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/13338044.

I've been putting old searches back into Trove of late, as they've been adding a whole lot of new newspapers into their databases. I was quite surprised to find this notice in the Sydney Morning Herald. I had no knowledge of there being any hotelier's licenses in the Merrick branch of the family - even if only briefly. Samuel Harper was married to James Merrick's wife's sister. Edward Sadler was the previous owner of the Exchange Hotel, where James was apparently a regular. There is an article in The Empire about a man up on charges of assault, and one of the people deposed was James Merrick, who carried on business locally in King St as a shoemaker. Apparently he was in Sadler's hotel with the accused, and swore he ate oysters with him some time around midnight, as was his custom to eat oysters at night (The Empire, 25 May 1874, page 3). This was after his first wife Mary Ann had died (Jan 1870), before he married Eliza Jane Ball (1875). I do hope that after he married Eliza Jane that he didn't stay out till all hours of the night like that!

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