Fremantle Stuff > hotels > Stirling Arms Fremantle

Stirling Arms

The Stirling Arms was the very first among the first four places in Fremantle (and seven in the colony) to be granted a licence on 1 January 1830. It was on Lot 105, which was on the NW corner of High and Pakenham Streets, next to William Rolfe Steele's Lot 81. The 1910 Bank of Adelaide is now on that corner, with the Navy Club above. Lots 104 and 105 had been granted to George French Johnson, who was shot dead in a duel on 13 August 1832.

Tuckfield:
Of the seven other inns (or hotels as their pretentious licensees preferred to call them) first licensed in 1830, Robert Thomson received his licence at Fremantle for a 'house of public entertainment'—the genteel name for a pub—under the name of the Stirling Arms, situated on the corner of High and Pakenham streets, which at that time were streets in name only on the newly-drawn survey map. Thomson, after whom a bay was named at Rottnest, also had a licence for a ferry across the Swan River at or near the present North Fremantle railway bridge. Tuckfield: 67.

Errington:
Robert Thomson [arr. 1829] obtained land on the north-west corner of High and Pakenham Streets where he built the Stirling Arms Hotel. ...
Samson’s post office in Mouat Street (#18), Dr Harrison’s house (#17) and the Stirling Arms Hotel (#15) are three of the prominent buildings identified in Wallace Bickley’s painting, published in London September 1832. ...
By February 1830 the little town had a newspaper, The Fremantle Journal and General Advertiser, edited by James Anthony Gardner (24). There was no printing press in the colony so Gardner, who had just arrived from Sydney on the Leda, simply produced a handwritten paper. It was first issued on 27 February from the Stirling Arms Hotel where Gardner was living. ...
By May 1831 there were five public houses. [Errington's footnote 37: 'Letter written on 3 May 1831 by Louisa (Lucy) Woods to John Charman her father; quoted in Valerie Fitch, Eager for labour, Hesperian Press 2003, p 85.'] The Stirling Arms at the corner of High and Pakenham had been joined by the South Seas (its High Street neighbour), the Albion in Pakenham Street, the Commercial and the King George IV. ...
Lieutenant George Dashwood from the Challenger has left us two well-known sketches of streetscapes of built-up Pakenham Street. One shows the Stirling Arms Hotel and part of Harbourmaster Scott’s house, the other the cottage-store built by James Solomon, later used by John Weavell. ...

References and Links

Errington, Steve 2017, 'Fremantle 1829-1832: an illustrated history', Fremantle Studies, 9: 15-29.

Tuckfield, Trevor 1971, 1975, 'Early colonial inns and taverns', Part 1, Early Days: Journal and proceedings of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society, 7, 3: 65-82; Part 2, Early Days, 7, 7: 98-106.


Garry Gillard | New: 5 February, 2019 | Now: 14 July, 2021