Wednesday 15 January 2020

It's all in a name - The Forbes Hotel.

In 1816 Daniel Cooper was sent to NSW after being convicted of stealing. Soon after arriving he was granted a conditional pardon, and by 1821 an absolute pardon. He was engaged in a number of ventures and became a highly successful businessman. Daniel’s involvement in the Macarthur area was firstly as the builder and owner of the Forbes Hotel in Campbelltown (opposite Mawson Park), with his license dated 9th July 1830. He is recorded as being the first land developer in Campbelltown area.
So why did Daniel Cooper name his hotel “The Forbes Hotel”? According to several sources it was named for Chief Justice Francis Forbes.

Chief Justice Francis Forbes
Francis Forbes arrived in Sydney in 1824 having been appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in NSW. Daniel Cooper would have come into contact with Justice Forbes when he presided over the infamous 1827 Fisher murder trial, at which Daniel Cooper was called as a witness. Then in 1828 the First Court of Quarter Sessions was held in Campbelltown in 1828 – it’s reported that this was presided over by Justice Forbes.
Justice Forbes became instrumental in instituting trial by common jury of twelve inhabitants, who had come to the colony as free men or had been born in it, for the first time in Australia. Daniel Cooper took an active part in the campaign to have emancipists accepted for service on juries; when it was won in 1829 he was one of the first to serve. Justice Forbes supported this campaign.
Shortly after this Daniel Cooper built and named his hotel in Campbelltown the Forbes. I would imagine that Daniel, an emancipist and self-made man, would have appreciated the support of Justice Forbes.

Berry's Forbes Hotel, 1894 (Sedgwick Collection, CAHS)
Berry was the proprietor in the early 1890s. 

Written by Claire Lynch
“Sir Francis Forbes : the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of N.S.W.” by C.H.Currey
Australian Dictionary of Biography

No comments:

Post a Comment