Wellington Street, east side, south of Perry Street, variously numbered 214/282 Wellington Street during the hotel's existence
Wellington Hotel (1862 - 1885)
Baker's Arms (1861)
Kearney 1855: N ; Hodgkinson 1858: N ; MMBW: N/A
A brick hotel with 11 rooms (Rate Book 1864 &1870), an early owner was Samuel Ramsden, a quarryman who was a councillor in 1857-59. The hotel was started by baker James Mason, who sold his bread from the hotel until the building of his neighbouring baker's shop was completed. ( The Argus, 9 February, 1861, p .6). Its location is now part of the site of the Wellington Street Housing Commission high rise flats.
It was not just customers who drank too much and got into fights. On this occasion it was the publican who was charged with assault:
'Michael Donellan of the Wellington Hotel, Wellington-st is charged with assaulting John McGlone. The complainant was drinking in the hotel and having got intoxicated went outside to fight with the defendant, when the latter struck him a severe blow to the face with a lemonade bottle, which he had taken from the bar. The Bench thought that, considering the defendant's position as a publican, the justice of the case would not be met by the infliction of a fine, and accordingly sentenced him to a month's imprisonment at the same time ordering him to pay 2/15/6 pounds costs.'
( The Argus, 12/10/1870)
More serious problems arose in 1884 when Thomas May attempted to renew his licence. No fewer than four lawyers appeared in the crowded court, as a large number of residents had signed a petition to have the place closed. Senior Constable Lineham described the Wellington as 'a most infamous house, a common brothel'. He had also seen 'a woman who was not a prostitute taken to the house by a flash young man. They both went upstairs and remained there for some time'. Grocer Alfred Webber opined that the hotel was frequented by persons of the 'most disreputable class'. The general feeling was that, with three respectable hotels in the vicinity, a school and two churches opposite, and the Salvation Army Barracks just up the road, it would be a blessing if the hotel closed. The Bench agreed. Another application was made in January 1885 by Alfred Leahy, but again refused.