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Elizabeth Rayner and John Allan - Later History

This biography follows on from the Elizabeth Rayner and John Allan - Early History page. In the later years of the 1850's John Allan was reported on a number of occasions of breaching the Lighting Act, a law dictating that hoteliers had to have the outside of their premises illuminated by gas lighting at a time when street lights were not as ubiquitous as they are now. The first episode was reported in August 1859.

Breach of the Lighting Act.-Hamilton v Clayton.

This was an information against Mr. John Clayton, landlord of the Brown Bear, Harrington-Street, charging him with not having sufficient light outside his licensed house on the night of the 10th instant.

The defendant's daughter appeared and pleaded guilty, but said that the wind blew out the lamp.

The Bench imposed a penalty of 10s. and costs.

Hamilton v Allan.-This was a similar information against Mr. John Allan, landlord of the Dallas Arms, Elizabeth-street, who was fined in the same penalty.1

Breaches of the Lighting Act.-Hamilton v. Allan.-

This was an information against Mr. John Allan, Dallas Arms, Elizabeth-street, charging him with not having a sufficient light on the 7th inst.

Mrs. Allan, who appeared to answer the information, said that she was not aware the lamp was out, it must have been blown out by the wind, but she would get a gas light.

The Bench fined the defendant 5s. and costs2

A year later in 1861 John Allan himself was in a court in a bizarre case where he was accused of dragging the gates from the old Lime Kiln to his house, according to his account to save them from being destroyed by hooligans:

John Allen, an elderly man, of respectable appearance, was brought up on a charge preferred by Detective Vickers, of having on the 19th February stolen two wooden gates (10s. each) the property of Her Majesty the Queen.

The accused pleaded not guilty and was defended by Mr. Adams.

George Adamson deposed that on Tuesday morning about 8, he saw prisoner with a horse drawing a pair of gates along the ground in Burnett-street ; he was coming in the direction from the Old Lime Kilns, towards his own house. The gates belonged to the mouth of the Government Lime Kiln.

Cross-examined.-Mr. Watson was with me and there were plenty of persons about at the time. I have been in the habit of passing the Lime Kilns every day ; boys have been in the habit of pulling the gates about ; they pulled a shed and a hut down. I saw Allen take the gates away from the Lime-kiln. I can't say whether several boys were standing there at the time.

J. E. Calder, Esq., Surveyor General, and Commissioner of Crown Lands, deposed that the Lime Kilns and gates were the property of the Crown. Witness was the officer of the Crown having this property under his supervision and he could say the gates had not been sold, and no one had authority to remove them.

Cross-examined-I believe Allen was once lessee of the Limekilns. I don't know that he built the Limekilns.

Mr. Richard Shoobridge proved that he formerly rented the Limekilns from the Government. The gates in question were then put up at witness's expense. Witness left them there when he gave up the Limekilns. He did not consider he had any right to remove them.

Cross-examined-It was 12 or 13 years ago. Prisoner was lessee before me. By the Bench-The gates are in a worn, dilapidated condition. By Mr. Adams-I have known Allen for 25 years and do not know anything against his character. He kept a public house.

Detective Vickers proved that he found the gates at Allen's yard and they were brought down to the office by Allen's orders. That he told witness he brought the gates down for safety from the boys, who were knocking them to pieces. They were not concealed, and could have been seen from Elizabeth-street.

Cross-examined. -I have known Allen ten or twelve years, and have not heard anything against him. Mr. Adams submitted that it was not a case bearing upon larceny. He called attention to the evidence that there was no concealment, and contended that there could have been no intention to steal.

Their Worships dismissed the case, and Mr. Allen was at once discharged from custody.3

Later that year Elizabeth and John's daughter Emma Allan married John Phair on 1 July 1861 at St James’ Church in Melbourne.4 Emma and John had four children that have been traced.

PHAIR—ALLAN.—On the 1st inst., at St James's Cathedral, Melbourne, (by special licence), by the Rev. J. M. Donaldson, John Phair, fourth son of the late Thomas Phair, county of Roscommon, Ireland, to Emma, fourth daughter of Mr. John Allan, land proprietor, Tasmania, formerly of Devonshire, England.5

John Allan died at the "Dallas Arms" in Elizabeth Street, Hobart on Friday 22 June 1866, aged 70. According to the death registration he was a Licensed Victualler, born in England. The cause of death was old age and debility. The informant for the event was the undertaker's daughter, Amelia Clark.6

ALLAN.-On the 22nd instant, at his residence, Dallas Arms, Elizabeth-street, John Allan, in the 70th year of his age. The funeral will take place on Tuesday, at half-past two o'clock, p.m., when friends are respectfully invited to attend.7

His funeral took place on Tuesday 26 June 1866, with the Rector of Holy Trinity officiating.8 John Allan's Last Will and Testament was signed on 3 October 1853, twelve years before his death. In it John named his son-in-law, Alexander Edward Short, then living in Victoria, and his neighbour, Richard Shoobridge of Providence Valley, near Hobart, as executors. Short, aged 22, had married Jane Allan the previous December in 1852. Clearly he had his father-in-law's full confidence.

The Will is unexceptional. His estate was to be divided into ten equal parts or shares which were to be paid within six months after his death to each of his children. One share to Jane Short, one part to Ann Allan, one to Grace Allan, one to John Henry Allan, one to Emma Allan, one to Ellen Allan, one to Henry John Allan, one to George Allan, and two to James Albert Allan. No reasons are given for the youngest son receiving two shares.9 There is nothing to support the rumour that conditions had been left in the Will compelling the heirs to maintain the Inn.

After John's death Elizabeth continued trading as a Licensed Victualler from the Dallas Arms:

BEFORE H. Hopkins, Esq., J.P., (chairman) Dr. Doughty, and Henry Cook, Esq., J.P....

Elizabeth Allan, widow of John Allan, deceased, Dallas Arms, Elizabeth-street. Granted.10

In the later years of the 1860's Elizabeth was named in two inquests regarding sudden deaths, the first regarding a neighbour, the inquest of which was held in the Dallas Arms. It was common practice at the time to convey deceased persons to the nearest hotel for an inquest:

INQUEST -An inquest was held yesterday at the Dallas Arms, Elizabeth street, before A. B. Jones, Esquire, coroner, and a respectable jury, of which Mr. Thomas L Lorden was foreman, touching the death of Ann King, aged sixty three years, wife of Patrick King, a gardener, residing in Elizabeth street. Deceased was found dead by her husband about six o'clock on Thursday morning lying on the kitchen floor down stairs, where he left her seated on a chair about ten o'clock the previous night, when he left her and went to bed. He saw no more of her till he found her dead, when he sent for Dr Hall and some neighbours. Deceased was in her usual good health when he last saw her alive on Wednesday night This evidence was corroborated by John Braithwaite, a hawker who slept at King's house on Wednesday night last, and Elizabeth Allan, landlady of the Dallas Arms, after healing which, and the evidence of Doctor Hall, who made the post mortem examination of the body, the july returned a verdict of accidental death through the food which deceased had taken sticking in her windpipe.11

The second occasion was two years later on the death of John Phair where it was noted that John was a relative of Elizabeth's. John had married Elizabeth's daughter Emma almost a decade earlier:

SUDDEN DEATH OF A MELBOURNE VISITOR. On Tuesday, Mr. John Phair, a visitor from Melbourne, where he was connected with the Customs, reached Richmond by the conveyance, and had started in a chaise cart on an excursion to Lower Jerusalem, with Mr. Lyon; he was taken ill two or three miles out of Richmond, and Mr. Lyon doomed it prudent to return, and on arriving at Lewis's Hotel, Mr. Phair was found to be dead. Deceased, who is related to Mrs. Allan, of the Dallas Arms, Upper Elizabeth street, Hobart Town, had come to the colony for the benefit of his health, and Dr. Agnew had attended him for heart disease. An inquest was to have been held yesterday, but on the coroner being furnished with a certificate from Dr. Agnew, it was deemed unnecessary, and the corpse was brought to town for informant last evening, Mr. Phair has left a wife and family in Melbourne to whom the melancholy tidings were communicated by telegram.12

Later that year in June 1870 Elizabeth was charged with failing to keep a light burning in front of her premises on the night of the 24th of that month. She had pleaded guilty, and was fined 5 shillings and costs.13

Emma Phair (nee Allan) married Hugh Short (known not to be a brother of Jane’s husband Alexander Edward Short) on 26 October 1871 at St Peters Church East, Melbourne.14

SHORT-PHAIR —On the 26th ult., at St. Peter's Church, East Melbourne, by the Rev. H. H. P. Handfield, Hugh Short, Esq., Bourke-street west, to Emma, relict of the late John Phair.15

Emma and Hugh Short had two children that have been traced. Back in Tasmania, when the new Licensing Act came into force, demanding improved standards in all hotels, the 'Dallas Arms' entered a shaky patch. Although in 1871 a license was allowed, Elizabeth did not take it up, and so the inn was closed during 1872. At the Licensing Meeting in December 1872 Elizabeth applied again for a license, technically a new one. Superintendant Propsting told the court that there was no police objection to the but the accommodation was not good, and he did not think the requirements of the public would be interfered with if the license was not granted. The application was refused on the grounds that it was not needed and out of repair. Elizabeth didn't accept that. When the Appeals were heard a fortnight later, she appealed as reported in The Mercury 17 December 1872:

Elizabeth Allan, Dallas Arms, Elizabeth-street.

The appeal was made on the grounds that the house was now sufficiently furnished, and was required in the neighbourhood. Mr. D'Emden appeared in support of the appeal, and presented a petition in favour of it from a number of inhabitants.

Superintendent Propsting said the house had been licensed for very many years. In 1871 the licence was granted, but was not taken up, and it had been without a licence for 12 months. The house had ample accommodation.

The question was put to the vote, with the following result:-For (9)-Messrs. Pearce, Eckford, Lewis, Risby, Douglas, Edwards, Castray, Smart, and Jones. Against (3)-The Mayor, and Messrs. Irvine and Salier.

The license was granted.16

As previously noted John Henry Allen aged 34 married Mary Ann Smith, aged 25, on 25 January 1873, at the residence of Mr G Atkison, Hobart. He was an organ builder. The witnesses were G. Atkison, Elizabeth Atkison, Hannah Atkison, and Emma Robinson.17

Elizabeth Allan (nee Rayner) died on 29 May 1874 at the "Dallas Arms" in Elizabeth Street, Hobart. According to the death registration she was aged 64, a widow and Licensed Victualler. The registration states she was born in England which is odd, but even stranger is the cause of death, Ambustio. The word is latin for burn, or any derivatives such as scald, fire, conflagration.18 There was no inquest into Elizabeth's death which would have been the usual outcome for a death through fire, and no mention of the unusual death in the newspaper:

ALLAN.-On 20th May, at the Dallas Arms, Elizabeth-street, Hobart Town, Elizabeth, relict of the late John Allan, in the 85th year of her age. The funeral will move from her late residence, at half-past 2 o'clock, on Sunday after noon, for the Cornelian Bay Cemetery, when friends are Invited to attend.19

At the next quarterly meeting of the Licensing Court [after the death of her mother Elizabeth], Ann Allan applied for a license to continue to sell liquor in accordance with the provisions of section 19 of the Act under the license granted to her late mother.


Miss Ann Allen applied for a license to continue to sell liquor (in accordance with the provisions of the 19th section of the Licensing Act) under the license granted to her late mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Allen.

Mr, P. T. SMITH said he didn't want to oppose the application, as he had inquired into the peculiar circumstances of the case; but he considered it highly objectionable that a single woman should he allowed to take charge of a public-license. She could not be held responsible in the same manner as a man.

In reply to the MAYOR the applicant said she was a single woman, but that she had a brother, a single man, residing with her.

The application was granted.20

The license was renewed in December 1874 and continued thereafter.21

On 8 January 1878 James Albert Allan married Rosa Amy Mitson at the residence of the Rev'd John Wilkes Simmons, 287 Liverpool Street, Hobart, Tasmania. They were both 27. Family tradition has it that Jim was not Rosa's first choice as a husband, which may explain her late marriage. Their witnesses were Charlotte Rigley, Mary Maria Gordon (Rosa's married sister), George Edwin Kelly (Rosa's brother in law) and Frederick Ebden.22 Jim probably met her through the network of hotel licensees' families, for Rosa had been brought up from the age of nine by her uncle and aunt, Henry and Hannah Mitson, and Henry was the licensee of the "Albion Inn" in Campbell Street. Both Henry and Hannah died in 1879, the year after Rosa's marriage.23

In the same year Hugh Short, the husband of Emma Short, nee Allan (formerly Phair) died on 5 December 1878 in Carlton, Victoria. His parents were recorded as James and Isabella Short.24 Hugh, like his father in-law John Allan, had also been a publican during the last decade, but Emma had obviously fallen on hard times, as depicted in a legal quarrel reported the following year:


This was a suit by Georgina Phair, Augustus Phair and John Phair, infants under the age of 21, by their next friend David Kinnaird, against W. H. Powell and A. E. Short, trustees of the will of John Phair, deceased and against Emma Short the widow of John Phair who after her first husbands death married one Hugh Short. The bill prayed that the trusts of the will should be carried into execution, accounts taken and a guardian appointed for the infant plaintiffs in place of their mother who was said to be unfit for the position.

Mr F. L. Smyth and Mr McCormick for the plaintiffs. Mr Fullerton for the defendant Mrs Short. The other defendants were unrepresented.

John Phair, the testator, died 15th February, 1870, having by his will left his property to Messrs Powell and A. E. Short as trustees on condition, among others, that if his widow married again without their consent and approval in writing, they were to sell his property and invest the proceeds to the best advantage, and apply the proceeds to the maintenance and education of the children (the plaintiffs) while they were under age, and after the children had attained the age of 21, the property was to be equally divided among them. On the 26th September, 1871 the widow of the testator married one Hugh Short without the consent in writing of the trustees. Hugh Short died since the commencement of the suit. It was alleged that Mrs Short, who was an executrix of the will of John Phair, had entered into possession of the real and personal estate, and applied the rents and profit to her own benefit. It was alleged also that owing to her character she was an unfit person to have the care of the children as she had been convicted of drunkenness and been in a lunatic asylum. Accounts were therefore prayed and the appointment of a guardian. For the defendant, Mrs Short, it was alleged that the trustees were fully aware of her intended marriage with Hugh Short, and made no objection to it, directly or indirectly, and must therefore be taken to have consented; she was, therefore, still entitled to the property. As to the property, she alleged that she had applied the rents and profits to the maintenance and education of the children.

His Honour was of opinion that the defendant had lost any estate given to her by the testator by her marriage with Hugh Short without the written consent of the trustees. He also considered that she was not fit to be entrusted with the guardianship of the children and he made a decree accordingly.25

In 1881, Emma Short (formerly Phair, nee Allan) married for the third time to William Wilson in Victoria. They had two children that have been traced.26

Back in Tasmania that year, on 29 October 1891, at the age of 58, Ann Allan married George Hawkes in St George's Battery Point, and was recorded as a spinster, and hotel keeper. Their witnesses were William Hughman and H. York.27 George was nine years her junior, a widowed builder with 10 children. His first wife, Mary Sophia Brain, had died on 28 August 1888, aged 44, a few weeks after the birth of her last infant.28 George and Mary had married in Hobart on 24 May 1866, when Mary was 21.29

Once again in Victoria, Mary Ann Allan, nee Smith, the wife of John Henry Allan, died on 31 August 1903 in Footscray, Victoria. For the death registration Mary Ann's parents were recorded as James Smith and Hannah Churchill.30

Mrs. MARY ANN ALLAN. A very active and much esteemed member of St Luke's Church Yarraville, Mrs. Mary Ann Allan, wife of Mr J. H. Allan, of Fairlie-street, Yarraville, died from the effects of an internal complaint on Monday last at the age of 55 years. The funeral took place on Wednesday, the remains of the deceased being first taken to St.. Luke's Church, where a service was held, and thence to the Footscray Cemetery, the cortege being headed by the Girl's Friendly Society. The Rev A. C. Britten conducted the burial service, and Mr W. A. Warne had charge of the mortuary arrangements. The floral tributes sent were both numerous and handsome.31

And again in Tasmania, Ann Hawkes, nee Allan, the wife of George Hawkes, died at the "Dallas Arms" on 21 June 1904, aged 71.32

George Allan died on 10 August 1904 in the New Norfolk Hospital in Tasmania.33

Helen Allan never married and died on 9 September 1908 in the Dallas Arms, Hobart, Tasmania as Ellen Allan.34

George Hawkes, the widowed husband of Ann Hawkes, nee Allan, had moved to 125 Warwick Street, Hobart following her death, where he died on 24 March 1915, aged 73.35

John Henry Allan died on 14 April 1915 in Yarraville, Footscray, Victoria, with his parents recorded as John Allan and Elizabeth Ann Rayner.36 The Mercury newspaper on Thursday 13 May 1915 ran the following death notice:

ALLAN – On April 14 1915, at his residence, Apsley House, 1 Fairlie Street, Yarraville, John H., beloved husband of the late Mary Allan, formerly of Davey Street, Hobart.

James Albert Allan died on 15 March 1918 at 23 Poets Road, West Hobart, Tasmania.37 Louis Daniels, presumably a descendant of James Allan, then goes on to note:

James Allan was an asthmatic, and his grand-daughter remembers many nights when he could not sleep, and had to sit up with various aromatic herbal remedies used to ease his breathing. Rosa lived on at Poet's Road until 1922 when she moved to the home of her daughter, Elizabeth Mason, in Knocklofty Terrace across the hill, where she died on 7 July 1936, aged 85. The day before she died, Rosa asked if she could be taken to see a grand-daughter's new home. Tiny Anning recalled that she had to be carried on a chair down the road to as close as a car could get to the house, and was then driven to her.38

Jane Short (nee Allan) died 25 October 1921 in Preston, Victoria.39

SHORT. - On the 25th October at her home, Tambo Park, Preston, Jane, relict of the late Alexander Edward Short, and loving mother of Ada, Evelyn, William, Jane, Charlotte, Alexander, Ernest, and the late Alfred, Clara, Elizabeth, and Thomas Short, in her 85th year.40

Grace Allan died in 1924 in Hawthorn, Victoria at the age of 91.41

  • 1. The Hobart Town Daily Mercury Friday 19 August 1859
  • 2. The Hobart Town Daily Mercury Saturday 11 February 1860
  • 3. The Mercury Saturday 23 February 1861
  • 4. VIC BDM Marriage Registration Ref. No. 1861/2387
  • 5. The Argus Saturday 6 July 1861
  • 6. AOT Death Registration 1866/6270
  • 7. The Mercury Monday 25 June 1866
  • 8. AOT Burial Registration NS282/11/1/1
  • 9. AOT Last Will and Testament Ref: AD960/1/6, Page: 366, Will No. 1186
  • 10. The Mercury Tuesday 7 August 1866
  • 11. The Mercury Saturday 29 February 1868
  • 12. The Mercury Thursday 17 February 1870
  • 13. Daniels, Louis: The Allan Family; Privately Published; 1999
  • 14. VIC BDM Marriage Registration Ref. No. 1871/2588
  • 15. The Argus Tuesday 17 October 1871
  • 16. The Mercury Tuesday 17 December 1872
  • 17. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1873/255
  • 18. AOT Death Registration RGD 1874/2043
  • 19. The Mercury Saturday 30 May 1874
  • 20. The Mercury Tuesday 4 August 1874
  • 21. The Mercury Wednesday 2 December 1874
  • 22. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1878/352
  • 23. Daniels, Louis: The Allan Family; Privately Published; 1999
  • 24. VIC BDM Death Registration Ref. No. 1878/11410
  • 25. The Argus Tuesday 21 October 1879
  • 26. VIC BDM Marriage Registration Ref. No. 1881/1300 and Email Correspondence from Vicki Allan
  • 27. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1891/239
  • 28. AOT Death Registration RGD 1888/78
  • 29. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1866/142
  • 30. VIC BDM Death Registration Ref. No. 1903/9689
  • 31. "Mrs. MARY ANN ALLAN." Independent (Footscray, Vic. : 1883 - 1922) 5 Sep 1903: 2. Web. 25 Apr 2014;
  • 32. TFI Death Registration RGD 1904/343
  • 33. TFI Death Registration RGD 1904/1508. Louis Daniels' reports that George Allan died on 11 August 1904 in the Dallas Arms.
  • 34. TFI Death Registration RGD 1908/1205. Louis Daniels' reports that Helen Allan died on 8 September 1908.
  • 35. TFI Death Registration RGD 1915/XXXX
  • 36. VIC BDM Death Registration Ref. No. 1915/5097
  • 37. TFI Death Registration RGD 1918/1343 (incorrectly recorded as Pools Road).
  • 38. Daniels, Louis: The Allan Family; Privately Published; 1999
  • 39. VIC BDM Death Registration Ref. No. 1921/15534
  • 40. The Argus Wednesday 26 October 1921
  • 41. VIC BDM Death Registration Ref. No. 1924/1829
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A visitor to the website, Deirdre, noted that a relative of theirs, Franz Herr, was recorded as living at Tambo Park in Preston in 1911. This was the residence where Jane Short (nee Allan) was living when she died in 1921. Further investigation by Deirdre revealed that "Franz may have been employed by the Short family (perhaps as a caretaker/handyman) for him to give his address as Tambo Park - he used the address when he completed his application for naturalization." Deirdre also sought information from the Darebin library who are researching the history of Preston and they added:

Tambo Park was the name of a large house in the Preston area. In a local history book, "Preston: lands and people" in the chapter covering 1896 to 1918 is the following brief mention: "Large houses often of two storeys, and often with a tower to catch the view of the undulating country which surrounded them, went up in the prosperous parts of the eighties and nineties, with very few before this. Early large homes were Brock's 'Oakhill', Short's 'Tambo Park', near the present sand-pits, Gardiner's 'Bundoora Park'...and so on." ...In records for 1889 I found references to J. Short, gentleman, Tambo Park, Preston who was reporting a stolen horse and also an Alexander Short, Esq; JP who was listed as the Returning Officer for the electoral district and his address was Tambo Park, Preston. I followed the Short family in the Sands & McDougall street directories on microfiche for a number of years (no mention of Franz) and coupled with the reference to the sand-pits I think the house was most likely located on Plenty Road near what is now the very busy intersection of Plenty and Albert Streets. There were gravel and sand pits in this immediate area which is now the Summerhill Village area, which are most likely the ones referred to in the book.

Please Contact Us if you have an interest in this property, or if you are interested in Franz Herr we will pass your details along to Deirdre who would love to hear from you.