John Dalgety Thomson

#449, (circa 1859-13 March 1898)
FatherJohn Thomson
MotherBetsy Bruce (c 1835-)
ChartsBrown family - descendants
Miller Family (Scotland) - descendants
Nicholson Family 1 - descendants
Four generations
Last Edited18 Feb 2019
     NOTE: The information on this page is my research to date and is subject to change as I become better informed. I very much welcome any corrections or additional info you might have - my email address is at the bottom of this page. Whilst historical facts are not copyright, my writing about these facts are. If you wish to use any text from this site on Ancestry or on any other website, please ask me first - Tim Hill.
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John was born circa 1859 at Glasgow.1 He was the son of John Thomson and Betsy Bruce.

He married Susannah Alletta Nicholson, daughter of Donald Nicholson and Margaret Brown, at the Wesleyan Parsonage, 379 King St. on Monday, 7 May 1888 at the Sydney suburb of Newtown. It is likely that at least some of Susannah's children would have chosen to live, at least for a while, with their mother and her new husband. Marie, who was very young when her mother remarried, called herself Marie Thompson on at least one occasion.2.1 John lived in May 1888 at the Sydney suburb of Macdonaldtown.1 He was describing himself as an engineer in May 1888.1

Despite being named as an engineer on his marriage certificate, he was apparently a publican within a year. This may have been Susannah's influence, given her family's involvement in the hotel trade. However, the situation is clouded due to how common the name 'John Thomson' was; in any event, it would seem they spent the next six years moving from pub to pub in Sydney. On 17 January 1889 a John Thomson had a licence for colonial wine at at Walker Street in the Sydney suburb of St. Leonards, which would have allowed him to sell wine by the glass or in small quantities.3,4 Nearly three years later on Thursday, 10 December 1891 a John Thomson relinquished the licence to at the Captain Cook Hotel Clyde Street in the Sydney suburb of Millers Point.5 On 23 December 1891 a John Thomson relinquished a colonial wine licence associated with at 341 Oxford Street in the Sydney suburb of Paddington.6

In 1893 a John Thomson was the publican of the Blue Anchor at 176 George Street, in Sydney. It is very likely that this is the John Thomson of our interest.7 John acquired the publican's licence to Trafalgar Hotel in Castelreagh Street, in Sydney, on Thursday, 29 June 1893 on the same day that he relinquished the licence to the Blue Anchor.8 John acquired the publican's licence to the Glasgow Arms at 312 George Street, in Sydney, on Wednesday, 30 August 1893 on the same day that he relinquished the licence to the Trafalgar Hotel.9

The renewal of the licence for Sydney was objected to a policeman on 13 June 1894:
"John Thomson applied for a renewal of the Glasgow Arms, George-street. Inspector Potter objected, on the grounds that applicant had a private bar apparently sub-let to females. Sergeant Carbeny testified that in May he visited the private bar, and on one occasion saw two barmaids sitting on two men's knees. On another occasion one - of the barmaids was sitting in an unbecoming way across a man's knees. He called the licensee's attention to the conduct. For the applicant Captain Kain, of the barque Bass Bock, was called. He stated that on the night of the 31st ultimo he was in the bar where Miss Brennan and Miss Payton were barmaids. Witness noticed the officers approach, and denied that any impropriety or indecorous conduct took place. Under cross-examination : 'Did you have your arms round the girl's neck?' 'No, it is not likely.' ' Why?' Because I'm a married man.' (Laughter.) Miss Kathleen Brennan stated that she was in receipt of £1 weekly from Thomson as barmaid. She denied that improper conduct had taken place. The bench, by a majority, granted the application, but cautioned the applicant to be more careful."10,11



The Thompson family were the managers of the Como Hotel, in Como, Sutherland, New South Wales, for at least a year or so circa 1895.

Susannah and John hosted a festive evening on 20 February 1895:
"The members of the Festive Den, Como, and several of the Eastern Suburbs Harmonic Club, entertained themselves and friends at a quiet social gathering on Wednesday evening. Mrs. Thompson, the hostess of the Como Hotel, Como, placed her ballroom (which was tastefully decorated for the occasion) at their disposal, and a most enjoyable time was spent. Between the dances, several songs were creditably rendered, notably Mr. A. Blanchard, 'I Forget,' 'I'm in the Chair,' 'Moonbeams;' Mr. George Green, ' My Sweetheart When a Boy,' 'The Broken Home;' Mr. A. E. Bateman, ' What Will Tou Lend Me on Dolly,' and ''E Dunno Where 'E Are ;' Mr. Val. Bourke, 'The Ship I Love;' Mr. B. Dean, 'Poetical Fellows;' Mr. Ern. Bourke, song and dance; Mr. W. Shortall, 'Sweet Marie;' Mr. W. Bourke, 'Estudiantana.' Messrs. E. Bourke and Bash officiated at the- piano and Mr. A. E. Bateman fulfilled the duties of M.C.12



On Monday, 28 October 1895 Susannah Alletta Nicholson and her son Donald were charged with having sold English Ale at Como, New South Wales, from an unlicensed hotel. Three police officers observed them serving drinks where there were some 2,000 people at the hotel. They were assisted by John Dalgety Thomson but he wasn't charged though he acted to see the policemen off the premises. However, despite anything that may have happened, the police work was sloppy and the case was dismissed.13
The Como Hotel (photographed 1883-1910?)
(source: National Library of Australia - William Robert Easdown collection - nla.pic-vn3297758)


John likely died on 13 March 1898.14,15 His body was interred at Woronora Presbyterian cemetery on 15 March 1898 at Sutherland. (He is buried in Section C Grave 46 with his wife Susannah Thomson).16

Family

Susannah Alletta Nicholson (16 May 1850-31 Aug 1907)

Citations

  1. [S3] New South Wales, Marriage Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1888 No. 2731.
  2. Birth certificate, Argyle Hill, 1902 No. 5981
  3. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1889 'LICENSING MEETINGS.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 18 January, p. 7, viewed 25 September, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13710770
  4. [S686] The Wine Industry of Australia 1788 1979 (http://www.megalongcc.com.au/FamilyHistory/…) ("The Liquor Licensing Act of 1882 enabled a person to take out a 'Colonial Wine Shop' licence for 3 pounds and sell colonial wines by the glass or in quantities up to two gallons. By 1887 there were over 400 'Colonial Wine Shops' in the colony mainly near the main wine producing areas, including 126 in the Sydney metropolitan area. However, as in South Australia which had similar shops earlier many wine shops added coarse spirits to the often very immature wine to give it more kick. The outlets in many cases thus became a cover for sly-grog selling and did little or nothing to enhance the reputation of colonial wine or to change the drinking habits of the working classes.").
  5. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1891 'WATER POLICE LICENSING COURT.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 11 December, p. 7, viewed 25 September, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13845640
  6. [S641] The Evening News, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1891 'Water Licensing Court.', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 26 December, p. 6, viewed 25 September, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article111990802
  7. [S31] Sand's Directory,NSW, Australia (various dates), 1893 p.883.
  8. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1893 'LICENSING COURT.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 30 June, p. 3, viewed 25 September, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28262848
  9. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1893 'WATER POLICE LICENSING COURT.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 31 August, p. 3, viewed 25 September, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13937470
  10. [S641] The Evening News, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1894 'Water Licensing Court.', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 14 June, p. 5, viewed 25 September, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article114085490
  11. [S31] Sand's Directory,NSW, Australia (various dates), 1894 p.837(?).
  12. [S641] The Evening News, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1895 'SOCIAL ITEMS.', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 22 February, p. 3, viewed 20 September, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108069817
  13. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1895 'THE POLICE AND THE LICENSING ACT.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 29 October, p. 3, viewed 20 September, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14022859 ("THE POLCE AND LICENSING ACT
    At the Newtown Police Court yesterday, before Mr Addison, S.M. , Sub-inspector Elliott proceeded against Mrs J. Thompson [sic], of Como for having, on the 7th instant at Como, sold English ale without holding a license.
    At the same court Donald Bourke a son of Mrs.Thompson was charged with a similar offence at the same place.
    Mr Bull who appeared for the defence, pointed out that the premises where the alleged offence was committed was the Como Hotel, in which a renewal of the then existing license was refused at the last annual Licensing Court. The alleged offence took place on Eight Hour Day, when there were some 2000 pleasure seekers at Como. Five days after the alleged offence the owner of the
    premises obtained a license, which he afterwards transferred to the present licensee. He pleaded not guilty in each case, and intended to show by evidence the extraordinary conduct of the
    police on the day in question He would admit all formalities and also admit that there was no license attached to the premises at the time of the alleged offence.
    Constable Smith stated he was stationed at Petersham. He, in company with other two police officers, was on duty at Como in plain clothes on Eight-hour Day. At that time there was no license in existence for the premises known as the Como Hotel. Witness was sitting on a verandah of the hotel during the afternoon, and close to him was a window of a room once used as a private bar. The window was partly open, and witness could see into the room from were he was sitting. He saw the defendant Bourke enter the room along with two other men. One of the men said to the other "What is yours? mine is whisky" and received as a reply from his companion, "English ale for me." They were both served with drinks by defendant, and tendered in payment a large silver coin, either a 2s piece or half a crown. Defendant took the money and gave them change in return. Other evidence was given showing that attempts had been made to get liquor from the defendant, and it was admitted that the police took two quart bottles of colonial ale with them from Sydney.
    Donald Bourke stated he was the defendant in this case. He saw the three constables present in court at Como on Eight-hour Day. They were in plain clothes, and were hanging round the hotel all
    day and at last became such a nuisance that his father was sent for and put them out. They were bothering witness's mother all day for drink Witness was informed during the afternoon that they
    were police officers. Two boys resident at Petersham told him. Witness saw the three constables at the lunch table. Constables Meehan and Hazlett were slightly the worse for liquor. Witness denied serving any person with liquor on Eight-hour Day.
    Mrs. Thompson stated she attended to the lunch table on Eight-hourDay at Como. The police officers in court partook of lunch in the afternoon, and that she had to send for her husband, who came down end ordered them off the premises.
    At this stage Mr. Addison said he did not wish to hear any further evidence for the defence. To his mind the conduct of the police in this matter was, to put it m the mildest form, very indiscreet. By their own evidence they admitted trying to force people to break the law. They also admitted - and he thought it a disgrace - having taken with then several bottles of beer from Sydney. He did not consider they were the right men to undertake such work. He had, therefore, not the slightest hesitation in dismissing the case.
    Mr. Elliott said he would withdraw the case against Mrs Thompson.").
  14. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1907 'Family Notices.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 2 September, p. 6, viewed 29 August, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article29689221
  15. [S680] Woronora General Cemetery and Crematorium (http://www.woronoracemetery.org.au/) http://www.woronoracemetery.org.au/finding-loved-ones
  16. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1898 'Family Notices.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 15 March, p. 8, viewed 25 September, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14152604