The First Ship Inn

The Ship Inn was well located to attract passing trade from arrivals at Queen’s Wharf.

Patrick Mayne purchased the Ship Inn at Queen’s Wharf for £1,100 in 1859. Located on allotment no. 7 and immediately adjacent to the Queen’s Wharf Reserve, the Ship Inn was the last name given to a small hotel located on this site. It proved to be not the best investment for the usually astute Mayne. Within five years of him acquiring it, the Ship Inn had fallen in the river.

The first hotel at Queen’s Wharf, known as the Green Man, was constructed late in 1850 by ferry man turned publican, Henry Chambers. Ownership of the site was in the name of his wife, Jane Chambers, who had purchased allotment no. 7 at auction for £24.7.6. Business may not have been good as the Chambers soon mortgaged the hotel site to Jeremiah Daly, the Sheriff’s Bailiff, who eventually became its owner.

Financial difficulties for the Green Man may have been due to Thomas Dowse, the owner of allotment no. 6 next door in 1852 converting his home into a hotel. Named the Queen’s Head Inn, this second hotel operated under licensee Patrick Maunsell. With not enough business for the two, the Queen’s Head Inn closed its doors in 1855.

Having survived the competition, the Green Man underwent a change of name – to the Lord Raglan Hotel. Its publican James Powers advertised, ‘Wines and spirits of the first quality. Beds and every other accommodation for travellers; good stabling. Corn & Hay’.

By 1856 John Conroy was listed as the licensee of the Lord Raglan. In October 1857 he was embroiled in a court case with Jeremiah Daly the Sheriff’s Bailiff (and his landlord).  Daly was arraigned for having obtained the sum of £5 from James Conroy under false pretences. Jeremiah Daly was found not guilty, but during the trial it was revealed that he had sold the Lord Raglan to Robert Edmond Dix, and Conroy was to be evicted. In November 1857 Conroy advertised the sale of his household goods.

RE Dix had been a publican since 1846 at hotels such as the Sovereign Hotel in Queen Street, the Bush Inn at Cunningham’s Gap and the Steam Packet in South Brisbane. The Lord Raglan became the Ship Inn in 1858. In October the following year ownership changed – from Daly to Patrick Mayne, butcher, businessman and alderman.

Licensees came and went. Daly, now the Sheriff, must have been pleased he was no longer financially involved when, during a flood on 21 March 1864, ‘The foundations of the public house just at the rear of Messrs Orr and Honeyman’s store, known as the Ship Inn, gave way, the whole of the end wall has fallen.’ The then licensee, William Sanders Alley, removed his stock-in-trade and the household furniture but the building was in a very dangerous condition. The next month, ‘all the materials of the late Ship Inn, consisting of bricks, stones, timber etc. etc. as they now lie on the ground,’ were advertised for sale.

Patrick Mayne died the following year. His executors in 1874 sold allotment no. 7 to William Pettigrew, who extended his profitable sawmilling business there. The name Ship Inn was given the following decade to another, entirely unconnected hotel in Stanley Street, South Brisbane. That Ship Inn continues to trade in 2014.

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