Henry Gabbett

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Henry William Gabbett was a publican in Ballarat, Victoria.



Gabbett was born in 1824 to Henry Gabbett and Jane Hogan.[1]

Gabbett was the publican of the Imperial Hotel in Humffray Street from his arrival in Ballarat in 1859 until his death 1887.[2][3][4] He was the publican of the Duke of Richmond Hotel in 1860, which was probably the first hotel on the Imperial site.[5]

In August 1863, Gabbett was called as a witness in the case against Emma Stapleton. She was described by the police as being the "worst character" in the town, and was charged with keeping a disorderly house. As a neighbor, Gabbett testified:

Henry Gabbett, publican, deposed that he never heard a disturbance in the house but once. Cross-examined by Sergeant Larner-He had com plained to the police and to Mr Dyte, the agent of the house. He bad complained to Mr Hyland of the conduct in the house. He complained to Sergeant Larner, to Constable O'Mahony, and Constable Walmsley. He had seen her " hearty" in his own house, but she was able to stand on her legs, and always aid her way.[6]

Mrs. Gabbett was involved in an assault on a hotel employee in 1872:

A BALLARAT ASSAULT CASE. A curious assault case was beard in the Eastern police court on Monday. The plain tiff, a man with one eye, about thirty years of age, named John Cronan, described him self as "a poor boy who lived on his health and his good eye." The defendants were Henry and Mary Gabbett, the keepers of an hotel at the corner of Wills and Humffray streets. It appeared that they had assisted the plaintiff to come from Ireland to Victoria, and that since his arrival, three years ago, he had been living with them and working for them at the hotel Cronan told a terrible tale of the usage he had received at the hands of Mrs. Gabbett. He said that on tho morning of the 12th inst. Mr. Gabbett and some friends were playing cards in the hotel, and at five o'olock, when Mr. Gabbett was about to get some more drinks, Cronan told him it was time he was in bed. Mr. Gabbett did not appear to have taken offence at the suggestion, but Mrs. Gabbett said that her husband should not be ordered by Cronan, who "did not know A from a bull's foot." Cronan said he knew as much as she did and more, and then she swore "by the living God and Jesus Christ" that she would cut his body to the ground. She went to the cupboard where she kept all the knives, and selected a large carving knife, and at this stage a man named Leonard said it would be better to give Cronan in charge than to give the woman in charge after she had murdered him. Cronan went off for a constable, but could not get one, and he then returned to the hotel. Mrs. Gabbett then took him by the hair of the head, pulled him inside the bar, and swore her former oath that she would "have the good eye out of him." Mr. Gabbett then put a tumbler in his hand and told him he had better stand up in his own defence, as Mrs. Gabbett seemed determined to take his life, After this Mr. Gabbett and Mrs. Maria M'Cabe pulled Mrs. Gabbett away, and she went out for nearly two hours. When she returned Cronan was getting the breakfast ready, and she went up to him and swore again that she would have his life. He was in a stooping position when she struck him a blow "over bis good eye" with a bottle she had in her hand, and said she had done what she intended to do. Cronan states he lost three quarts of blood from tho wound he received, and that Mrs. Gabbett was determined to finish him because he was the last of the family. As there had been an offer of £7 to settle the case before it was heard. Mr. Gaunt. P.M.. made an order for damages to that amount.[7]

In 1879 Gabbett was the Vice-President of the Ballarat District Licensed Victuallers' Association.[8]

Gabbett's son, Albert Ernest died in January 1874:

GABBETT - On the 10th January, Albert Ernest; the only son of Gabbett, Imperial Hotel, aged four years and three months, of pneumonia.[9]

A swindler used Gabbett's name to pass forged cheques in Ballarat in October 1887:

IMPUDENT SWINDLE. A most impudent case of swindling by means of a forged cheque came to light on Saturday night, in Bridge-street, Ballarat. Mr. R. T. Hager, the well-known grocer of that thoroughfare, paid a visit on Saturday (says the Courier) to his father in-law, Mr. Henry Gabbett, hotelkeeper, of Humffray-street. An individual who was in the hotel at the time evidently made himself acquainted with Mr. Hager's relationship with the proprietor of the hotel, and the locality of the former's establishment, for he subsequently appeared at Mr. Hager's shop, and presented a cheque for £6, purporting to be signed by Mr. Charles Walker, auctioneer of Lydiard-street. The man said that Mr. Gabbett sent him down with the cheque to get changed, as he Mr. Gabbett had not sufficient change to cash it himself. The story a seemed a plausible one, and, as the man appeared respectable, the cheque was ex changed for cash by Mr. Hager. It was soon afterwards ascertained that the man had not been sent on any such and it at once became evident that the cheque valueless. Mr. Chas. Walker was waited upon, and he immediately stated that the cheque was not even on his hank. An attempt had, however, been made to copy his signature. The swindler has not yet been captured, and has doubtless made his presence scarce. Presumably the same individual also passed a forged cheque on Saturday night, on Mr. M'Kenzie, hotelkeeper, of Doveton street, for £4. He next tried to repeat the performance at New ton's Hotel. The signature purported to be that of Mr. D. Brophy. but Mr. Newton happened to know Mr, Brophy's bank, and refused the cheque.[10]

Henry Gabbett died in November 1887 in Ballarat.[1]

Funeral Notices BALLARAT DISTRICT LICENSED VICTUALLERS' ASSOCIATION MEMBERS of the above Association are respect fully invited to FOLLOW the REMAINS of the late Mr HENRY WILLIAM GABBETT to their last resting place, the Ballarat Old Cemetery. The funeral is ap pointed to move from St. Alipius’ Church, Victoria street, this afternoon, Friday, 18th inst., at 3 o’clock p.m precisely. J. A. BLIGHT, Secretary.
H.A.C.B. SOCIETY, Ballarat Branch No. 2.—The officers and brethren of the above branch are requested to MEET This Day (Friday) the 18th inst., at 2.30 p.m„ to follow the remains of their late brother, HENRY GABBETT. The funeral procession is appointed to start from St. Alipius’ Church, Victoria street, at 3 p.m. sharp. D. J. Doyle, Secretary. [11]

After his death, his son-in-law, Rudolph Thomas Hager, took over the license of the Imperial Hotel.[12]


See also



  1. 1.0 1.1 Pioneer Index Victoria 1836-1888, Index to Births, Deaths, and Marriages in Victoria, 1887 Deaths, Ref. No. 12610, Macbeth Genealogical Services, 1998
  2. "Licencing Court for Publicans," The Star, Thursday 19 June 1862, pg. 4, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66324943, (accessed January 17, 2014)
  3. 1874 'BALLARAT EAST LICENSING BENCH. ANNUAL MEETING.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 December, p. 4, viewed 26 October, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article208250314
  4. 1888 'BALLARAT CHRONICLES AND PICTURES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 9 August, p. 4, viewed 26 October, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209446014
  5. 1860 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 4 October, p. 1 Supplement: SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR., viewed 28 October, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66058629
  6. 1863 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 6 August, p. 4, viewed 27 October, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72516245
  7. 1872 'A BALLARAT ASSAULT CASE.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 31 May, p. 4, viewed 28 October, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197445222
  8. 1879 'BALLARAT DISTRICT LICENSED VICTUALLERS' ASSOCIATION.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 12 February, p. 3, viewed 26 October, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article200132833
  9. 1874 'Family Notices.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 27 January, p. 2, viewed 27 October, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article201609605
  10. 1887 'IMPUDENT SWINDLE.', Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), 25 October, p. 4, viewed 28 October, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88907354
  11. 1887 'Family Notices.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 18 November, p. 3, viewed 27 October, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209208763
  12. 1888 'HUMFFRAY STREET HOUSES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 27 June, p. 4. , viewed 05 Oct 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209443845

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