~ writing niche history


Gasworks Hotel

Chief-street, Brompton

Elisha Rundle & Josephine M. B. Rundle


Licensed Dealers in Wines and Spirits

Licensed Dealers in Colonial Wines


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History > Publicans 1863 to 1874




1863 to 1874 was the time that the New Gasworks Hotel was Josephine’s. Formally the licence was held by:


§ Robert Laundy INGHAM

§ Josephine INGHAM

§ Thomas COOMBE

§ William THOMAS

§ Eliza THOMAS

§ Josephine COOMBE

§ Elisha RUNDLE


Then after Josephine:

§ Anthony Nelson ABEL


R.L. INGHAM took the Brickmakers’ Arms in 1863 and seeing the signs of the times, renamed it the Gasworks Hotel. He died there the following year and his wife Josephine took over the licence, as was customary. Hotel-keeping was one of those occupations not uncommon to widows.


Josephine then married Thomas COOMBE, who took over the licence at the next annual renewal. But within a couple of years, Coombe became seriously ill. An advertisement was placed for someone to run the place and William THOMAS became the publican in 1869. But THOMAS proved not to be the required solution as he died in the hotel within the year. His widow Eliza THOMAS then took over the lease. Within months, COOMBE died, and in 1871 Josephine resumed the licence in her rights as hotel owner.


In that short time from 1864 to 1870, three publicans died at the Gasworks Hotel, and the big survivor was Josephine.


Josephine’s third marriage was to young Elisha RUNDLE. The nuptials were just after an annual licence renewal, so RUNDLE had to wait a year to take over the licence in 1872. But with the suspicious death in 1874 of their boarder, Josiah MARSSON, and a Supreme Court case, the RUNDLEs were soon to depart the Gasworks Hotel.


In the years 1863 to 1874, Josephine was the constant presence as publican, publican’s wife or publican’s landlord. And in that time, four men died in unusual circumstances. That story is told in my e-book Deaths at Josephine's Gasworks Hotel. But ...


2016 SPECIAL NOTE – I don’t want you to read Deaths at Josephine’s Gasworks Hotel. Why? Because I am completely re-writing it, with more fascinating publicans and I know I can write it much better than before. It is a mysterious story, and worth telling, but therefore worth telling well. If you want to read it soon, why not email me to let you know when it’s ready? In the meantime, why not read my other e-book Three Rabbits Alibi?


Anthony Nelson ABEL took over the Gasworks Hotel from Elisha RUNDLE in 1874, leaving the Terminus Hotel, Glenelg to do so. ABEL was forced out after a few years, due to insolvency. He died suddenly in 1889.


I am further researching these and the other early publicans for a fully expanded and rewritten 2016 edition of the book. Please contact me if you are also researching these for family history.


Updated 19/5/16.

© David Coombe, 2015-16.