Monday, 17 September 2018

Daniel Francis Murphy (1829-12/1/1871) and the Shamrock Hotel


The most impressive memorial in the Roman Catholic section of Dunedin's Southern Cemetery - since the unfortunate removal of the Francis Petre-designed  structure of the city's bishops - is that raised by Michael Murphy for his brother Daniel.  They were the owners of a Dunedin institution - the Shamrock Hotel, Rattray Street.


Allan Steele photo.

The first reference to the Shamrock Hotel to be found by way of the inestimable resource known as "Papers Past" is in an issue of the "Otago Daily Times" of April, 1862.  Daniel Murphy is listed as seeking a license for his premises and the shamrock Hotel as one of the premises to be licensed.  It is to be assumed that the application was successful:

A very handsome entertainment was given on Monday evening at the Shamrock Hotel, about fifty-four gentlemen sitting down to a capital dinner, provided by the Messrs Murphy, the proprietors of the house. The entertainment was given to celebrate the opening of the hotel, a fine new building at the corner of Rattray and Maclaggan streets. Mr. De Carle presided, and Messrs. Ward and Sampson acted as vice-chairmen. After due justice had been done to the good fare provided, the usual loyal toasts were proposed, when the company heartily responded to the toast of the evening — "Success to the Shamrock Hotel, and the healths of the proprietors, (Messrs. Murphy)." The entertainment did not conclude till twelve o'clock. Many well known Victorians were present.  -Otago Daily Times, 28/5/1862.



Built in 1862 by the Murphy brothers who came from Portland, Maine, this hotel was very popular 
with Americans. In 1863 the Murphys made considerable improvements including converting the 
assembly room into a new dining room, forming by far the largest and handsomest dining hall in the 
city, measuring 40 feet long by 30 feet wide. 

The oak walls were decorated with six large mirrors in massive gold frames and the carved ceiling had 
two richly embossed centrepieces with cut glass chandeliers, the fittings further enriched by gold 
beading. 
Many clubs and societies held regular meetings at the Shamrock, and Speight's also held many 
functions there, most of them characterized by long toast lists and musical items or recitations by 
almost everyone present.   -The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. 



The Shamrock was expansively described in its advertising:

THE SHAMROCK FAMILY AND COMMERCIAL HOTEL, MACLAGGAN STREET. 

Messrs. Murphy & Co., Proprietors. 

THE SHAMROCK HOTEL has been built, altogether without regard to cost, with all the conveniences and essentials requisite for the comfort of friends and patrons. The parlours, sitting and dining rooms, are everything which can be desired for space, elegance of fittings and design. The bed rooms are airy, light, and furnished with every convenience for boarders. 
The Table is well provided with every delicacy of the season. The attendance first-rate, and the arrangements so complete that nothing is left unsupplied to render the Shamrock Hotel the very best in the City of Dunedin. 
The charges are strictly moderate, and combined with the particular and especial advantages which the proprietors are enabled to offer, they have no hesitation in pronouncing that travellers, those arriving or those departing, desirous of obtaining all the comforts to be found in a first-class Hotel in the home country, cannot do better than stop at the Shamrock. 

MURPHY & CO., Proprietors.  -Otago Daily Times, 20/6/1862.

Rattray Street, looking over PrincesStreet, Dunedin.  The Shakespeare Hotel is in the centre, the name of the Shamrock Hotel to the left and slightly above.  Hocken Library photo.


The Shamrock was soon the place to have those celebrations of moment:


News of the Week.
(FROM THE DAILY TIMES.)
On Saturday evening an entertainment of a description altogether unusual in Dunedin, took place at the Shamrock Hotel. The Companionship of the Daily Times and Witness, in accordance with the ancient custom of the disciples of Caxton, gave a dinner to which the Proprietors of the two journals and the literary staff were invited as guests. To the uninitiated, it may be necessary to explain that the Companionship is a sort of society or club, consisting of the compositors and printers employed in the actual production of the paper. The allusion to ancient custom has reference to the time honored practice among printers of having an annual entertainment, which, in England, involves also an excursion, and is known by the name of the "Wayzegoose." In the Australian Colonies, these entertainments are usually very pleasant affairs, and that of Saturday night, although the first attempt at anything of the kind in Dunedin, fell by no means short of the standard. The company present numbered thirty persons, including the guests. The chair was filled by Mr. T. W. Standwell, as "Father Of the Chapel," and the vice-chair by Mr. Nelson. The dinner was a very handsome and substantial repast, and was put upon the table in a way that was highly creditable to the Messrs, Murphy, the proprietors the house. The room, we should mention, was decorated with mottoes appropriate to the occasion the "Liberty of the Press," the honored name of "Caxton" and the motto of the Typographical Association holding prominent positions. The substantials having been done justice to, and the cloth removed, that serious part of the business of a dinner was begun by the chairman and vice-chairman proposing the usual loyal toasts which were responded to with even more than usual enthusiasm. A number of other toasts were then proposed and responded to, among which we may mention the "Separation Movement," proposed by Mr. Vogel; "Success to the Daily Times and Witness" by Mr. Kerr; "The Town and Trade of Dunedin" by Mr. Robinson; "The Editorial Staff' by Mr. Campbell; "The Mercantile and Shipping Interests" by Mr. Reid; "The Typographical Association" by Mr. Fargeon; "The Agricultural, Pastoral, and Mining Interests" by Mr, Cutten; "Our Guests" by Mr. Mahony; "The Companionship of the Daily Times" by Mr. Robinson; and "The Ladies" by Mr. Harrison. Everything passed off in the most agreeable and thoroughly social and harmonious manner, and some of the speeches excited no little merriment, especially when reference was made to the old days of the Witness, when one lad formed the whole staff of the printing department, and the paper was with difficulty produced fortnightly. Between the toasts, songs were sung, and the amusement was further varied by the performances of two of the company on the piano. It being Saturday night the festivities were not prolonged after midnight, at which hour, the party broke up, highly pleased with their entertainment, and only regretting that such cheerful social gatherings could not be held more frequently.  -Otago Witness, 19/7/1862.


An extensive building is being erected by Messrs Murphy and Co. as an addition to their hotel, the Shamrock, Rattray street. It is a sign of the times as showing the constantly growing demand for good hotel accommodation and it is generally of interest, because, in the new building there will be a room 60 feet long, 30 feet wide, and of proportionate height, which will be very useful for large meetings and other public proceedings. The room is specially intended for a Freemasons' hall or lodge.   -Otago Daily Times, 1/12/1862.

By a notice which appears elsewhere, it will be seen that gentlemen desirous of forming a Rifle Association, are requested to meet at the Shamrock Hotel, on Saturday evening, the 20th instant. 
We observe that the committee of the Widows and Orphans Institution, in connection with the Order of Oddfellows, intend giving a grand ball on the 6th of January, in aid of the funds. The ball will be held in Murphy's new Assembly Hall, Rattray-street.  -Otago Daily Times, 19/12/1862

The grand ball in aid of the Widows' and Orphans' Fund of the Oddfellows' Society is to take place this evening, in Murphy's new assembly hall, Rattray-street. We have been requested to call the attention of the public to the fact that, as a guarantee for the respectability of the ball, the committee will provide a book in which visitors will be required to enter their names.  -Otago Daily Times, 6/1/1863.

A meeting of the members of the Dunedin Volunteer Rifle Corps (No. 1 Company) was held yesterday evening at the Shamrock Hotel, for the purpose of electing officers, and the transaction of other business in connection with the association. There were about thirty persons present, the chair being occupied by Mr Frederick Moss. It having been decided that the election should be by ballot, the following appointments took place, Messrs James Petherick and James Gilles acting as scrutineers: — Captain, Mr Frederick Moss; Lieutenant, Mr F. C. Leggett; Ensign, Mr W. G. Jackson; Assistant-Surgeon, Mr Harry W. L Smith (his name to be forwarded to the Commanding-Officer with a recommendation that he be appointed); Senior Sergeant, Mr William Murdoch; Second Sergeant, Mr Joseph O'Meagher; Corporals, Messrs Robert Jenkinson and Adam Somerville. There were two candidates nominated for the Captaincy, five for the Lieutenancy, four for Ensign, one for Assistant-Surgeon, four for Sergeants, and seven for Corporals. The election being concluded, the Honorary secretary, Mr O'Meagher, reported that two tenders had been received for making the uniforms, the lowest being that of Mr Andrew Anderson of Rattray-street at the following rates:— Tunics, to be lined with silesia; and including trimming, 2s 9d each; caps, including trimmings, 2s 9d each, provided the number was not less than 30. It was intimated that those members who wished their tunics lined with alpaca would have to pay an additional 2s 3d. These charges are, it appears, lower than was anticipated, and will enable members to obtain tunics and caps for about 30s. It was proposed by Mr B. C. Stock, and agreed to unanimously, that the members should be requested to call at their convenience and get measured. A vote of thanks was passed to the chairman, and a similar compliment having been paid to Mr Murphy, for the use of the room, and the scrutineers for their services, the proceedings terminated.  -Otago Daily Times, 26/3/1863.


One of the more momentous of the many celebrations held at the Shamrock was a public dinner to welcome and hear from Dr James Hector, newly returned from an exploratory expedition to survey the resources of the west coast of Otago and particularly the possibility of a port in the area for better communication with the City of Melbourne.




PUBLIC DINNER TO DR. HECTOR.
Seldom, if ever, has a more influential assemblage met in festivity in Otago than that which greeted the distinguished explorer, Dr. Hector, last night. About 110 gentleman sat down to a dinner which reflected great credit on the worthy host, Mr Murphy, the landlord of the Shamrock Hotel; in the long room of which building the banquet was held. The chair was filled by his Honor Judge Richmond; and the vice-chair was occupied by Mr E. B. Cargill. 
After due justice had been done to the viands, 
The CHAIRMAN proposed "The health of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen." He adverted to the immensity of the Empire over which the Crown of England held sway, and in, feeling and eloquent language referred to the circumstances which peculiarly recommended Her Majesty to the sympathy and regard of her subjects. 
The  CHAIRMAN then in suitable terms proposed: "The health of the Prince and Princess of Wales and the rest of the Royal Family;" and followed by proposing that of "His Excellency Sir George Grey, the Governor of the Colony" — the whole of which toasts were drunk with enthusiastic applause. 
The health of  the Superintendent of Otago was next proposed and duly honored, and was followed by the toast of "The Army and Navy, and Volunteers." 
Captain MOSS and Captain REDDEST, responded in appropriate language on behalf of the Volunteers of Otago. 
The CHAIRMAN proposed the next toast, "The Clergy." 
The Rev. Mr EDWARDS and the Rev. Mr STEWART responded. 
The CHAIRMAN then proposed the toast of the evening — "Our guest, Dr Hector." He referred in complimentary terms to the indefatigable perseverance and ability with which Dr Hector had conducted his investigation on behalf of the Provincial Government, and was sure his hearers would join most heartily in drinking the toast it was his honor to propose. 
(Drunk most enthusiastically.) 
Dr. HECTOR, who on rising was received with loud and continued cheering, said: I feel that I am quite unable adequately to return you my thanks for the great honor you do me this evening, of which I feel myself most unworthy. But although I sincerely feel, and I hope fully appreciate the compliment, I am comforted by feeling aware that it is partly due to the deep and lawful interest which you feel in all that may advance the further interests and prosperity of the Province. The hopes which have been excited by the mere fact of my having arrived overland from the West Coast have not unnaturally led the public to expect that additional available land will be found in the Province in a district where least expected, but where it is most to be desired. And that too in a country hitherto supposed to consist entirely of mountains and covered with perpetual snow. It has led too to the expectation that a settlement can be formed on a point nearest to the Australian colonies. But of that you will be better able to judge when I have given you a sketch of what I have observed in my exploration of the West Coast. But before doing so as some uneasiness has been expressed by some kind friends, lest I should place myself in a false position, and claim for myself the credit of that priority in these explorations which properly belongs to others, I must disclaim any such intention. I would observe that while the public was in possession.of interesting accounts of journeys made in this western direction by Caples, Cameron, Alabaster, and Sutcliff, who stand foremost, I was entirely ignorant of their publications and derived not the slightest assistance from them in directing my own explorations. In the case of the interesting narrative of Caples, which, with its accompanying sketch, was sent to me late last evening by my friend the Secretary for the Gold Fields, from the knowledge I now have of the country I can follow, though not very clearly, the account which be gives of his journey to Martins Bay and the various routes he followed, going and returning and though I think he and others have somewhat overdrawn the difficulties which are necessary to be overcome, and have perhaps followed difficult routes, where easier might have been obtained, still I must express my admiration at the wonderful zeal and perseverance with which he (Caples) must have been animated when prosecuting his lonely and hazardous journeys; and the credit of having first traversed the country to the north-west of the Wakatipu Lake is now due to Mr Caples. But I have found traces of many distinct parties of miners in the same district, he has at least the merit of having given a first written description of it.  Indeed it would be difficult to find any part of the whole Province into, which diggers have not penetrated and left traces of their visit in some shape or another, so that all thoughts of gathering mites of fame from mere priority of exploration may safely be relinquished by any intending explorers. However I must avoid digressing further for the purpose of defending myself from what, after all, is only fancied imputation, and proceed as briefly as possible to relate a few of the principal incidents of my expedition to the West Coast of the Province. The object of the expedition was a geological survey of the West Coast, and with a special view of obtaining such geographical and other information as fell within my power. I, therefore, did not require a large staff and in order to conduct the examination with greater ease I obtained a moderate sized vessel with the consent of Captain Thomson. Some of my friends thought her too small for the work; but she has proved to be adapted for it, and has been safer than a larger and more cumbersome vessel would have been. She was fitted out by Captain Thomson, and we had no cause to feel that anything could have been added to render her more adapted to the work. The first place we made for was Riverton, as it was thought I should there obtain the assistance of a native crew, in order to assist in towing. There we were delayed several weeks, until we got a slant of wind which carried usdown to the West to Stewart's Island. We there called at Port William and Paterson's Inlet, which is one of the most magnificent harbors in the world. I employed my time at Riverton in making an examination of the interior, and was able to connect my knowledge of the country, which I obtained during the previous year of the South Coast, which was of great use to me afterwards, in my examination of the West Coast. There are about 200 people now residing on Stewart's Island, although I do not think it belongs either to this province or any other. There is only very little land which can ever be cultivated there, as the country is mostly of granite with very little covering of soil. What little there is, is principally a stiff yellow clay. The timber is the chief source of profit, but that is inferior to that found on the West Coast. From Stewart's Island, we ran in a single afternoon to Preservation Inlet, but drifted past where we wished to go, and it was with great difficulty we got into Chalky Inlet. We arrived there about a month after leaving Dunedin. That was making the West Coast for the first time. The first port we entered there was Southport, a place visited by the Lady Bird some time ago. We found the names of some of the passengers carved on the trees. The land in that neighborhood will never be of much use, for there is a comparatively small quantity of level land. Some of the land being three to eight thousand feet above the level of the sea. There are sheltered spots where small settlements might be made if minerals were found to render it worth while. We spent a fortnight in Chalky Inlet before we got round to Preservation Inlet, most of which time was spent in exploring. One remarkable circumstance that strikes one on entering the Sound is the great depth of water close on the shore, which arises from the form of the rocks about the Sound. But those are details which can only be discussed in a report. The coal veins consist of the same class which occurs at Patterson's Point in Australia. And there are patches of coal there just as there are patches at Patterson's Point, and like them it will be almost impossible to work them to a profit. But all geologists agree that the coal beds at Patterson's Point are of the same age as those of Sydney, and, therefore, it is possible ultimately they maybe profitably worked with such a magnificent harbor as Preservation Inlet. Most of the rock consists of granite of very fine quality as building stone, and almost every variety of color. Splendid red and grey granite could be quarried with great ease in many places, in blocks, laid ready for being shipped. Those two Sounds abound in fish of very excellent quality. In the Sounds further north we never got fish so fine as in those two inlets, which arises, no doubt, from the difference in the temperature of the water, owing to a particular set of the current, which infringes on that part of the coast. The fish are of the same description which appear in the market here, but very superior to them, and it may be worth while for those who cure fish to establish themselves there. The great danger to vessels arises from two reefs which lie to the right of the Sound, and in which the sea breaks fearfully. Fresh water is discharged here in such quantity as to form a perfect film over the surface of the salt water several inches thick, and which remains so constantly that there are very few littoral animals. In consequence of that, barnacles are almost entirely wanting, on account of the fresh water playing up on the surface of the salt and carrying them off. It was in trying to beat out of Preservation Inlet that we got into a very queer position for a short time. We were caught in a strong current and heavy sea way and the wind failed us entirely. We could not use oars, and we were drifting towards the reef where the sea was breaking so that we were obliged to drop the anchor in thirty fathoms of water. A breeze sprung up before dark and it was in making sail out that I hurt myself. It was not until the 22nd of July that we got round the West Cape. After passing the West Cape. I had arranged with the Maories to proceed at once to Milford Sound, but I suppose that they had never taken advantage of the breeze we got, and never followed us, so that they returned a short time afterwards to Riverton We were becalmed off Caswell Inlet and about seven miles off when day broke. I shall never forget the view of the whole coast from Pembroke Point to Darky Bay. It was a perfect panoramic view of the whole coast. The mountains seemed to rise like a great black wall, along which gleams of sunlight shone and caused the appearance of black fissures. When you looked at them along the distance, the effect of the light and shadow was most singular. We put into Thomsons Inlet for a fortnight. When once in those places it can be a long time before you get out again. It was on the 5th of July that we experienced a most fearful hurricane. The wind was so powerful that we actually were blown about with two anchors down so that we found it necessary to put a rope to the trees on the shore to keep the vessel steady, and the rain came down so heavily that an inch, by the rain gauge, fell in six hours. That will give an idea of the quantity that rains on that coast. I made an estimate of the quantity of available land to be found on the West Coast. Compared with the extent of country it is not very great. There were only about 3500 acres of flat land, about 45000 acres not elevated more than 1200 feet of moderate slop and good quality. Of the rest it is absolutely mountainous, and it is only fit for feeding sheep and cattle. The structure of these Sounds was best displayed at Milford Sound, which we passed through from Thomson's Sound. I had previously a glimmering of how the sounds were formed. I had an idea that they have been formed by the sea breaking upon the coast. It was on Thompson's Sound that I saw that was impossible, but it was at Milford Sound that I saw how they had been formed. There is no doubt that there have been there, mountains which have been submerged to such an extent that the two Alpine Valleys formerly filled by glaciers being now reduced to sea level,  the cavities are occupied by the sea, and thus we have the remains of a range of mountains that, at one time were many thousand feet higher than at present. There were several facts of great scientific interest, which we were enabled to observe, but none of immediate interest until after leaving Milford Sound. We spent a fortnight or three weeks there, during which I explored all the valleys at the head of it, but I found it surrounded on all sides by by a precipitous wall of mountains something something about 4000 feet above the level of the sea. To the north of Milford Sound the coast changes altogether. The mountains which hug the shore recede in a north-easterly direction and retire from the coast, leaving between the shore line and the high mountain district what would be called a rangy country, not level, but not mountainous. It is about six or eight miles in width and extends very nicely all the way to the point where the mountains retire towards Mount Cook eighteen miles north of Milford Sound, following the coast north, the immediate coast line is rocky, but still there are many beaches and sandy bays, as described in the "New Zealand Pilot." I was making for Martin's River when I was led to examine the middle of those bays and came upon this large river, which I found afterwards was the river which lead ultimately to the Wakatipu Lake. The discoverer of this river was, I believe, Alabaster, who communicated some information through Mr Thompson, the Colonial Surveyor. I believe he was on his way ahead in a whale boat, for I went on with three men in a boat for several days, and when we approached the river we saw a fire on shore, and then a party of Maoris. The sea was too high for us to land and on going on we found this river. It was then the Maoris came to us and I learnt from them that a party of white men had been in there not long previously, and that two men had been up the river and camped in a dangerous place. The water had come down upon them so suddenly that they were obliged to leave their gun and provisions and jump into the dinghy, and had only time to save their lives. When the schooner had come up, he had some difficulty in entering the river, not on account of the nature of its bar, nor of any internal impediment to entering it, but from the fact that the schooner accidentally arrived there a few minutes after water, and a north west wind was blowing. There was no choice between going in then and going back to Milford Sound, which would have lost a fortnight; so with some risk we took her over the bar. While we were getting her in, the windlass broke, and I thought the expedition had come to an end but we managed to get her in safely. A considerable time was spent at the mouth of the river surveying it and  making an examination of the surrounding country, after which we took the schooner right up the river, four and a half miles through a beautiful wooded country, with fine alluvial banks extending for several miles on either side, and then entered a large lake ten miles long, where the schooner now lies. The lake lies north and south, and forms part of a large valley which lies across in that direction. A short examination of the country confirmed my idea of my position, and I determined to communicate with the Government by the route of the Wakatipu. I therefore left the schooner on the 25th of last month and with a few days' travelling - many days were wet, so that we had only a few days of actual travelling - I reached the Wakatipu Lake. In reaching it, I followed a river of no great size.  The river receives the water of a large lake in the north, which is not laid down on the map. The road is up a valley which is continuous throughout. There are two valleys with a low hill in the centre, continuous to the south. One proceeds south to the main lake, and the other by Greenstone River to the Wakatipu Lake. The rise is about 300 or 400 feet in four miles, after which there is a rise of 800 or 900 feet, and then a gentle rise for a few miles. I could not determine the exact measurements as the barometers were broken. The barrier appearance presented by the mountains is entirely overcome by the natural valley. Of course, a road across would be of no use without a good port by the sea, but whether that exists or not is difficult to decide upon a short visit. The entrance to the river is extremely narrow the channel being about 110 feet wide. There is a shelf of rocks on one side, and a sandbank on the other, both of which might, to a great extent be removed. But after all, it is a very exposed coast, and I hardly think the port could at all times be entered without an extensive breakwater. The difficulty, however would not be great, especially for steamboats or vessels independent of wind. There is only one Maori family there now, but there was at one time a large number. The country round the lake is of fair extent, and there is a good deal of level land; but I saw no trace of any road by which Jacksons Bay could be reached. The natives, however, have been in the habit of passing by that way; and I believe that the last, party comprised a little boy and two girls, passed by that route. With regard to the prospects of gold on the West Coast, I cannot give an opinion. The rocks consist of syenite, and later rocks where gold does not often occur. But the rocks in which gold is often found are in the lower part of these mountains, and as the land retires towards Cascade Point, it may be found there. In the low ground it is very unlikely that is, in the deep valleys, because all those valleys have rocky walls which dip to a great depth, and the deposits are of the most mixed character, consisting of large angular blocks alternating with in the most desultory manner. I already feel it necessary to ask your excuse for the way in which I have given an account of my journey. I have not done it in at all a satisfactory way to myself. (Cheers.) I therefore ask your indulgence, for I have only come across the mountains a few days/and have had many other things to attend to. I had a sketch of my journey written before I crossed the country but have not had opportunity of referring to it. Do that many events which occurred some time ago have passed from my memory, while others are comparatively fresh. I thank you for the honor you have done me, and by your excuses of my very imperfect account of my journey. (Loud cheering.) 
Mr E B CARGILL proposed "The colony of New Zealand," and in the course of his speech traced the history of the various New Zealand settlements. 
Mr THOS. DICK responded. 
Dr HECTOR, in proposing "The Province of Otago," said that his various researches, which had almost included the whole of the Province, had established the opinion in his mind that it contained within itself all the elements of future and lasting prosperity. The Gold Fields, he was convinced, would become far more extensive than was generally supposed. Gold was even now being found where previous search had proved defective. But when the present gold workings were exhausted — and of course in a country so limited as this, such would be much sooner the case than in Victoria, where so large an area of the country was explored for the operations of the miners. He was convinced there would be another branch of gold-mining industry spring up, which would find in Otago a far greater field its successful operation than any other part of the world. He referred to ground-sluicing on a large scale. There were in this Province immense areas of country covered with auriferous drift, so extensively deposited and so irregularly formed as to contain gold throughout. He predicted that for many years this deposit would give continuous and remunerative employment. Besides the gold deposits of the Province he was strongly impressed with the conviction that metalliferous ores would be found in. important quantities, particularly in the western portions of the Province. Bands of metalliferous ores were met with at various points, and he had just been made aware of the discovery of copper ore at the Kakapo Lake by Captain Alabaster's party. 
Dr HECTOR then referred to the peculiar adaptability of the province to the growth of wool, which industry, he believed would always occupy a position superior to that of agriculture, and would at some future time become the most important article of export. The toast was drank with applause. Mr W. H. CUTTEN, in a humorous speech in which he took credit for being one of the fathers of the settlement, responded.
"The Bar" was next proposed by the CHAIRMAN, and responded to by Mr PRENDERGAST.
Mr BARTON proposed "The Mining Interest." 
Mr V. PYKE, in responding to the toast, bore testimony to the indefatigable labors of the miners who had done so much, in the face of so many difficulties in developing the auriferous resources of Otago - resources the extent of which he was sure were only as yet faintly imagined. 
The CHAIRMAN then proposed "The Ladies," a toast drank as usual, with immense furore, 
Dr HOCKEN and Mr MURISON responded. 
Mr E. CHALMER proposed "The Press." 
Mr VOGEL and Mr WEBB responded. 
Mr R. B. MARTIN then proposed "The health of the Chairman," who in a few appropriate words expressed the pleasure he had experienced in presiding over an entertainment of so gratifying a character. 
The proceeding then terminated, at about half past 12 o'clock.  -Otago Witness, 16/10/1863.
Dr James Hector, about 1863, Turnbull Library photo.

In the early 1860s, the American Civil War was causing great problems for some "back home."  The North's naval blockade of the South produced a drought of cotton for the mills of Britain and many people were out of work and suffering.
On Saturday afternoon a concert in aid of the English and Scottish Manufacturing Districts Relief Fund took place at the Shamrock Hotel, Mr Murphy having given the use of the large Hall. The attendance was exceedingly select, but small, which can only be attributed to the dirty state of the streets. The Bell Ringers were most successful, calling forth rapturous applause from the audience; and Miss Royal acquitted herself so well that she was twice encored.  -Otago Daily Times, 24/7/1863.

Coniderable anxiety was manifested yesterday in consequence of a report that the Government proposed to allow the Victory passengers to leave quarantine and come up to town.. A question concerning it was put in the Council without notice, and the reply it elicited was deemed anything but satisfactory. The Government admitted that the bringing the passengers up on Monday was under consideration, and allowed further that there was so much risk in the course as to induce them to select the Military Barracks as the domicile of the immigrants, in preference to the ordinary quarters. But the feeling outside was very strong that no risk should be run, and in the course of the evening a requisition was got up to Mr Strode, asking him to call a public meeting on the subject. This he at once consented to do, and the meeting is to be held to-day at 2 o'clock, at thShamrock Hotel.  -Otago Daily Times, 5/9/1863.

(The SS Victory's remains can still be seen on the beach after which is was named, on Otago Peninsula.  It is reachable with dry feet on an especially low tide [this author has done it].  It grounded on the beach one night after leaving Port Chalmers for "Home."  All passengers were taken off safely and the vessel was briefly refloated before breaking free and grounding again.  Apparently, there had been a good farewell party on the night of departure and those of the crew responsible for navigation were not fully sober.)


We had yesterday an opportunity of inspecting the additions and improvements effected by the Messrs. Murphy, at the Shamrock Hotel.The large Assembly Room has been converted into a most admirably proportioned and chastely fitted dining hall, which may fairly challenge comparison with any in the colonies. The room formerly used as a dining hall has been fitted up as a billiard room, and we may with justice say it is unique, not only in the character of its fittings but what is of far more importance to the patrons of the cue and ivories, in the excellence of the tables. In point of quality, ornamentation, and precision, the two tables which are from the atelier of Messrs Alcock & Co. of Melbourne, are certainly equal to, if they do not exceed, any with which we are acquainted in New Zealand, and, in fact, would do credit to any West-End billiard-room in the great metropolis. We cannot omit praising the spirited proprietors of this favorite Hotel for the admirable and artistic manner in which the various alterations have been effected.  -Otago Daily Times,  3/12/1863.



A most discreditable system of practical joking is at present being practised by some persons in town. Yesterday afternoon while two gentlemen were crossing Manse street at its junction with Princes street, one of them kicked a piece of paper neatly folded up, and taking it up found it to be a cheque upon the Bank of New South Wales for £150, made payable to the bearer, and signed "Daniel Murphy, Shamrock Hotel." As the cheque was regularly numbered and filled up and bore every appearance of being genuine, it. was at once taken to Mr Murphy, who declared it to be a forgery. The cheque was left with Mr Murphy, and it is to be hoped that the handwriting may yet be traced to the perpetrator of this disgraceful act.  -Otago Daily Times, 16/7/1864.



Light-hearted forging of cheques might have been amusing for some - there were, however, incidents in a hotel-keeper's life which had no attending humour.



DISTRESSING SUICIDE AT DUNEDIN
(FROM THE "MAIL," AUGUST 16 ) 
Mr. T. M Hocken coroner, held an inquest at the Shamrock Hotel, Rattray Street, concerning the death of Joseph Woolf, who poisoned himself at the above named hotel at an early hour yesterday morning The deceased had some time previous to his death carried on business as a brewer at the Water of Leith.
Mr Harvey, solicitor, attended to watch the proceedings on behalf of the friends of the deceased. 
The following evidence was given .—
W. B Davis deposed: I am a commercial traveller, residing at the Shamrock Hotel, Dunedin. I have known the deceased for some years. I saw him last night, when deceased said he was going to sleep at the Shamrock. He was a brewer, and had been married, but his wife was dead. He had two children. Deceased came into the bedroom of witness about half-past seven that morning. He stated that he had been playing cards on Saturday night, and had lost money, that his brother-in law, Mr Joel, had lent him money, and had assisted him in every way, and that he was ashamed to face him. He then told me he wanted £28 to make up his account to pay, and asked me to see Mr. Aikman, and ask him if he would lend him the amount. I saw Mr. Aikman on the subject, but he declined to do so. When I came back I found the deceased in his bedroom. He said he would have a couple of hours' sleep. I told him that he should not, and that if he did not get up after breakfast time I should put him out of bed. After breakfast I saw him standing at the dressingtable, where he had apparently been writing. Deceased talked very wildly, which I attributed to his having been drinking the night before. I saw Mr. Murphy, the landlord of the Shamrock, and told him that deceased was lying in his bed, and requested him to look in now and then. I then proceeded to Mr. Joel, brother-in law of the deceased, and left word for him to call. Mr. Joel called soon afterwards, and the deceased commenced talking very wildly. He had three empty papers in his hand; one was full of powder, which Dr Hocken pronounced to be strychnine, the other two were empty. They were all labelled "Strychnine— poison" Mr. Joel then went for a doctor, and Dr. Hocken attended, who, I believe, gave the deceased an emetic, and used a stomach pump He survived after this about an hour, during which time Dr Hunter called. I knew the deceased for some years, and have found him very nervous when embarrassed. Have known deceased ten years. Deceased never could face difficulties. I have never noticed any indication of insanity on the part of deceased, and, on this occasion I attributed his manner to the effects of delireum tremens, as he was trembling very much. Deceased was very much excited about the money in the morning. I cannot tell exactly what the deceased said, but it was principally to the effect that he was ruined and in difficulties, and that he had in consequence injured his brother-in-law. I saw the deceased last night, and he was then quite sober, but a little excited. When deceased came back with Mr. Joel, the only observations he made were to the effect that Mr. Joel should look after his children, and that I should follow him to his grave. Deceased was in slightly embarrassed circumstances, but there was nothing in that respect to account for his committing suicide. Deceased required the £28 to make up his losses on Saturday night. Did not see the deceased take the strychnine, but saw a glass in which he had taken it. There were some grains adhering to it. 
Daniel Murphy deposed: I am proprietor of the Shamrock Hotel. About half-past ten o'clock on Sunday night, deceased came and asked me for a bed. I told him that I had not a bed vacant, but would make him up one in the parlour. That was the last time I saw deceased until Mr. David called upon me at half-past eight o'clock this morning. Mr. Davis then told me that there was something curious in the manner and conversation of deceased. I went into the room where deceased lay. Deceased remarked that I ought to have kicked him out of the house for taking strychnine. Last night, deceased appeared a little excitable. 
Maurice Joel deposed: I am a storekeeper, residing in Dunedin. Deceased was my brother-in-law. He was about 34 years of age. I came to business about half-past nine o'clock in the morning, and found that Mr. Davis had been there and wanted to see me. I subsequently saw Mr Davis, who informed me that deceased seemed very strange and excited. I then went with Mr. Davis to the Shamrock, and saw deceased lying on the bed. Deceased asked me what I came there for, and said, "Can't you leave me alone." I then sat down on the bed and perceived that deceased had a paper m his hand. I asked him what he had got there, and he said he had nothing. I took the paper from the deceased, when he said, "It's no good — it's too late " (Witness, produced the paper referred to.) I then proceeded at once to see Dr. Hocken, who prescribed an emetic which I gave him. The emetic made him sick. The stomach pump was also used and other remedies applied. From the time I first arrlived until the deceased died, it was about three-quarters of an hour. I should think the deceased took the poison direct from the papers into his mouth. I found a letter lying on the table, which I now produce (The witness then handed the following letter to the Coroner.) 
"August 14th, 1864. 
"Dear Joel and Kate, — "For Almighty's sake, for my children's sake, do not blame me too much. Your doctrine, I know, is to face the difficulties I, through my own improvidence have placed me in. I cannot forgive myself for what I have done. I assure you I intended never to play cards any more; but through sitting down to play for a small amount, and losing, and trying to get it back, I believe I have forfeited your confidence. I have not the face to see you my poor darling children. God knows what will become of them, without you and dear Kate look after them. My God! this rash act will, I am afraid, grieve you very much, but I cannot help it. I have made up my mind what I am going to do. Yes, the thought is horrible but, nonetheless, I have thought of this death for years and, and at last I am obliged to realise. I did intend to write you a long letter but I find I cannot — my mind is too much occupied. Dear Joel, good bye. May the blessing of a dying man always attend you; and for dear Kate's and for your self's kindness towards me I feel grateful for. I was going to write to father and mother, but I find I cannot. Joe1, I cannot write any more. The time is coming and then I shall know the grand secret. I leave off with wishing your family and self happiness, and only trust I may soon be forgotten by you. Good bye, dear Joel and Kate. JOSEPH WOOLF." 
I never noticed anything peculiar in the manner of the deceased. I saw him on Saturday last when he appeared quite well. I have seen deceased before, when he was in a very excited state, that was about six weeks ago. Deceased was in a little trouble, but was quite solvent. Mr Harvey would have lent deceased L28 if he had been asked Had previously assisted him. "Witness here produced a book which he found in the pocket of the deceased, in which the following remarks were written in pencil —
"Poison is taken. Mercy for my children Almighty God. I feel the poison. Mercy, mercy, on my children. I feel the poison working. My love to you Kate. Be very kind to my children. A dying man asks you.
"Maurice Joel, I can write no more. Write to father I have no time to write to him. The poison has taken effect. I can feel it coming upon me. J Woolf 
"I am laying down on my bed to die. Dear Joel, believe me, I must write to you in my dying moments. I say so. My legs, I feel, are getting stiff. God have mercy on me. I have violated my promise to you. Remember me to mother father Esther Kate. Dear Kate, don't fret. You have done all you could for me, and so has Joel. I must leave off now. God bless Joel, I am sure he wishes me well."
John Aikman said: I keep the Glasgow Arms Hotel, and know the deceased through business transactions. Deceased came to me last night between nine and ten o clock, when he was very much excited. He stated that he had been playing cards from Saturday night until the time he called on me and had lost a lot of money. He said he was afraid to face Mr Joel on that account, and he also said he was going to leave the place this morning, but I was not to tell any one. I asked deceased where he was going to, but he would not tell. Deceased was very excited and remarked, "It will be all seen in the Evening Star" I subsequently received a letter from the deceased, asking me to lend him the sum of £30 (The letter referred to was handed to the coroner and read to the jury) Deceased seemed excited on account of losing his money. He told me he had lost about £30. I never noticed anything strange in the manner of the deceased until the previous night. He got some paper and envelope from me for the purpose as I said, of writing to his parents.
Samuel Marks deposed: I am a brewer, and live in Dunedin. I knew the deceased. He made an attempt on his life some time since, but I prevented him committing suicide. On the occasion referred to, the deceased called me into his bed room and burst out crying. He told me that he had lost £100 during the week, and had no money to pay his bills. He then took out a pocket book, from which he produced two papers labelled strychnine, and he showed me several letters which he had written to his friends. I remonstrated with him but he said it was no use. I told him he must be a great rogue to desert his children. I asked the deceased to deliver up the strychnine to me but he declined to do so, and I took it from him by force. I then asked him to state the nature of his difficulties which he did, and I assisted him by lending him a sum of money. Deceased, on that occasion, promised that he would never attempt his life again. Whenever he was in difficulties, I consider he was of unsound mind. I subsequently told his brother-in-law of the transaction I have just referred to. 
By a juror: He could not have had the strychnine in his possession for brewing purposes. Deceased told him that he could easily get strychnine whenever he might require it. 
The Coroner said, after the evidence which had been submitted to the jury, there could be no doubt that the deceased had died through poisoning by strychnine, and he would take the opportunity of observing that it was to be regretted that greater care was not taken with regard to the sale of poisons. In making this observation, however, he did not wish it to be understood that blame was to be attached to any one in the present instance. The only question the jury had now to decide was, whether the deceased was sane or otherwise when he took the poison. 
The jury, after some delay returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased had poisoned himself during a fit of temporary insanity, attaching the following rider to their verdict — "And the jury desire to add, as a rider, that steps should as soon as possible be taken, either by the passing of an ordinance or otherwise, to prevent the indiscriminate sale of poisons which has hitherto prevailed in this province."  -Daily Southern Cross, 30/8/1864.

A Printers' Reunion.—The employees connected with our local contemporaries the Daily Times and Witness, held their annual dinner on Saturday evening at the Shamrock hotel. The party numbered about fifty, amongst those present being the Proprietors, who were invited guests. The chair was efficiently filled by Mr. W. H. Harrison, and various appropriate toasts were heartily drunk. In the course of the evening, the subject of the recent imposition of a penny postage on newspapers was referred to, and an opinion expressed that the system inasmuch as it would materially affect the diffusion of knowledge was an objectionable one. The dinner which was provided by Messrs. Murphy, was all that could be desired, and the reunion which was enlivened by various songs, was altogether most enjoyable.— Evening Star, Dunedin January 16.  -New Zealander, 1/2/1865.


There was a very narrow escape from a great fire last evening. About; a quarter after ten o'clock, the violent ringing of the alarm bell gave warning of a blaze and of serious danger. Beissel's baths, in Rattray street, were burning; and it was evident that unless there was a very speedy check to the flames, they would extend, to the Shamrock Hotel on one side, and to Dods's store on the other. The Volunteer Fire Brigade mustered most speedily; and the first to arrive brought with, their little hand-pump which has before been put to such good use, Mr Murphy, and a number of residents in the Shamrock were instantly on the spot; but for a few minutes there was a want of buckets with which to use the water, of which, fortunately, there was a good supply from a well and from large casks in connection with the baths. The flames shot up fiercely from the back of the premises, and the place being exceedingly slight in construction and lined with calico and paper, the ceiling of the shop was ablaze as if by a train of gunpowder. But when buckets had been got and the hand-engine was at work, with such a will did all exert themselves who could get near enough to be useful, that the flames were, so to speak, swamped out. It was a sharp fight, but a speedily successful one. There is no doubt that the fire commenced in a tiny bit of a shed at the back of the furnace used for heating the bath water, and, so far as could be ascertained last night, there was no defect in the brickwork. It seemed that the neighboring valuable properties bad been endangered through sheer over-heating of the furnace; and that to save time after the place had been closed for the night. Nobody slept on the premises, Mr and Mrs Beissel occupying part of the adjoining building as a dwelling house. A few minutes' delay in grappling with the fire must have led to the ignition of that building, and then the Shamrock Hotel would have speedily disappeared. If the fire had smouldered on until midnight, and then burst into flame, or if there had been a fresh breeze, there would assuredly have been a large space of ground to be seen this morning, covered with charred wood and tottering chimney-stacks. Mr Beissel is not insured, and his place has necessarily suffered somewhat, apart from the burning. It is to be hoped that care will be taken to prevent these baths being in future such a menace to the surrounding property as they were last night.  -Otago Daily Times, 21/6/1866.



A summoned meeting of the Central City Committee, appointed on the ult., was held at the Shamrock Hotel, on Saturday evening, for the purpose of nominating gentlemen in the country districts to assist in collecting subscriptions on behalf of the destitute wives and families of Irish State prisoners. Already over L100 has been deposited in the hands of the Treasurers, Messrs Reeves and Murphy; and we are credibly informed that when the subscription lists adopted by the committee are prepared and duly distributed in the city and suburbs, a large amount will be added to that already in hand. From the determination evinced by the influential committee appointed, we have no doubt that this appeal to the country districts will be liberally responded to, as the gentleman appointed will, we opine, be as enthusiastic in their support of this charitable object as their fellow-countrymen in Dunedin.  -Otago Witness, 11/10/1867.

INDICTMENT FOR LIBEL.
William Besemeres was indicted, for that, on the 28th March, he did unlawfully, &c, write and publish, and cause to be written and published, of and concerning Charles Stephen Reeves and Michael Murphy, certain false, scandalous, malicious, and defamatory libels. The defendent pleaded, Not Guilty; and also a justification — that the alleged libels were true, and that it was for the public benefit that they should be published.
The alleged libels were contained in an article headed "Dunedin Gossip," which appeared in the defendant's paper, the Evening News, on the 28th March. The indictment set out two extracts from that article. The first, with the inuendo, was as follows: —
I am glad to see that tradesmen (meaning thereby the said Charles Stephen Reeves and Michael Murphy) who have exhibited Fenian tendencies are losing their non-Fenian customers (thereby, that the said Charles Stephen Reeves and Michael Murphy had exhibited the treasonable, seditious, cruel, murderous and dastardly designs and tendencies commonly imputed to certain evil-disposed persons commonly called Fenians). 
The second extract was — Tradesmen who have collected money for "the wives and families of the Fenian prisoners" think that they will throw dust in the eyes of the uninitiated, when they assert that said donations are bona fide donations for bona fide "wives and families." But if I am to believe a large number of English journals, the wives and families of the Fenian prisoners are nearly all in America. The Fenian prisoners are nearly all, indeed I believe are all, Irishmen naturalised in America — Irishmen whose families are in the United States; and instead of the cash being sent to America, it is sent to Ireland. Further, authority asserts that the relatives of the Fenian convicts are not in want of either comforts or of luxuries. Whose money bought the immense quantity of gunpowder that broke down the wall of the Clerkenwell prison? Who receives the money subscribed for the wives and families of Fenian prisoners? First, the Fenians murder Englishman, and then they ask Irishmen to remove the consequences of their crime. Let Irish maidens in future know that if they are foolish and knavish enough to marry Fenians, they must take all the consequences of the lucifer match. As the Fenian bride makes her bed, so on it she must lie. Those who lie down with dogs must not expect to be free from fleas. Any more autograph letters by Dunedin beggars for Fenians — any more endeavors to excuse an attempt, under the cloak of national benevolence, to countenance, or to excuse away, the holding of seditious and disloyal opinion, and to collect cash to be applied to uses which it is important first to understand — will be a waste of time, paper, ink, and patriotism, meaning thereby that the said Charles Stephen Reeves and Michael Murphy had collected money for the real purpose of aiding and abetting the treasonable, seditious, cruel, murderous, and dastardly designs of the said persons commonly called Fenians, and that the purpose avowed by the said Charles Stephen Reeves and Michael Murphy in collecting the said money, that is to say, the relief of the wives and families of the Fenian prisoners, was only a false pretence, whereby they, the said Charles Stephen Reeves and Michael Murphy, had endeavored to delude the uninitiated; he the said William Besemeres then well knowing the said defamatory libel to be false, &c.
In the plea of justification, the defendant set out the following letter and enclosure, which were published in the Daily Times of March 24th :—
Sir — As we understand much misconception exists amongst our Fellow Colonists as to the purpose to which the subscription lately collected for the destitute wives and families of the Irish Political Prisoners has been applied, we shall feel obliged if you can spare space in your columns for insertion of the accompanying copy of a letter forwarded to J. F. McGuire, Esq., M P. 
We would not trespass on your columns or trouble your readers with this matter, but that we find a feeling exists that it is something in connection with the Fenian Movement — a movement which, as far as is known of it (for we must plead total ignorance of anything concerning it) every sensible Irishman must stigmatise as discreditable and mischeivous as it is hopeless and absurd.
We sincerely trust our fellow-townsmen will not interpret any little display of nationality on the part of Irishmen, such as ushering in St. Patrick's Day with musical honors, as indicative of a Fenian element in our midst; for we are perfectly satisfied our countrymen in Otago are far too sensible to think that any acts of theirs in this distant Colony can benefit Ireland. They will only recollect that here we are all equal — all have equal rights and privileges; that we are all New Zealanders; and that our energies should be devoted to making ourselves and neighbors comfortable and happy, and our adopted country prosperous, ever bearing in mind, that "Justice consists in doing injury to no man, decency in giving them no offence."
— We are, &c. Charles S. Reeves. Michael Murphy. Dunedin, Otago, N.Z.,
"January 20, 1868. "J. F. McGuire, Esq., M P., 
"Sir — A few Irishmen in this most distant of Britain's Colonies, hearing of the destitution existing amongst the wives and families of those of our unfortunate countrymen, the Irish Political Prisoners, now suffering the doom of felons, hasten, with feelings of true Irish sympathy, to offer aid and alleviate their sufferings, with a subscription of money collected amongst ourselves and fellow-colonists of every creed and country in this, one of the most prosperous Provinces of the British possessions; and that the money so collected may be properly distributed among those whose necessities we desire to relieve, the Committee have deputed us, as Treasurer of the Fund, to remit the money at present in hand to yourself and The O'Donoghue, M.P., as co-trustees. We now take that liberty, and beg herewith to hand you second of exchange (first forwarded to your co-trustee) on the Bank of Ireland, for the sum of L250 sterling; this being the first moiety of the collection which, by desire of the subscribers, we beg you will pay in such a manner and to whom you and your cotrustee may think proper. 
"In conclusion, Sir, whilst we do not countenance or agree with the means resorted to by those misguided men (for what they no doubt thought would benefit their country) as at all proper or politic, as Irishmen we cannot but feel that Ireland and Irish people are suffering under grievances and unjust laws and it is our fervent hope that the British Government will give consideration, and such measures of reform in the laws, as will effectually ameliorate the condition of Ireland and the Irish people, ere loyalty be alienated from the hearts of all true Irishmen over the world. 
"Requesting you will give publicity to the enclosed list of subscribers, and acknowledge receipt of draft at your early convenience. 
We are, Sir, yours most faithfully, C. S. Reeves, M. Murphy, Hon. Treasurers."
The plea continued — 
That in such letter said Charles Stephen Reeves and Michael Murphy exhibited Fenian tendencies; and also that it appeared by the said letter that the said Charles Stephen Reeves and Michael Murphy had not applied the money subscribed for the wives and families of the Irish political prisoners for the relief of those persons, but had misapplied it, by placing it at the disposal of persons not recognised by the subscribers, and which misapplication had given offence to the subscribers, and induced the inhabitants of this Province to believe that the said Charles Stephen Reeves and Michael Murphy were desirous that the money should be applied to the purchase of arms and ammunition for the use of Fenians. 
Further, the plea averred that the publication was for the public benefit — because, consequent upon the excitement as to Fenianism, it was desirable "it should be made to appear that, although some persons in Dunedin might be affected with the spirit of Fenianism, yet that the general body of Her Majesty's subjects here, were not so affected, and particularly that the public press was not affected, and that it might be made to appear that this part of Her Majesty's dominions was loyal, so that the inhabitants thereof might receive and obtain all the advantages of loyal subjects." Further, the expected visit of the Duke of Edinburgh being referred to, the plea averred that it was for the public benefit that the alleged libel should be published, "that it might appear," &c, and that the inhabitants might, particularly, "receive and enjoy the expected visit of His Royal Highness, the said Duke of Edinburgh." 
Such is the record of what Murphy and Reeves objected to.  The full report can be found here.  As to the verdict:
They found the defendant, Not Guilty; and the verdict was received with applause, which was renewed when Mr Besemeres left the Court. The Court was then adjourned.  -Otago Daily Times, 16/6/1868.



We suppose the following paragraph in the Wellington Independent, and refers to Mr Dan Murphy: — The well-known landlord of the Dunedin Shamrock Hotel, who is at present in Wellington, has just returned from a trip home. He went by the first trip of the Wonga Wonga, and came back in her the last, having twice crossed the great plains. He speaks in the highest terms of the route, and says it was the pleasantest trip he ever took in his life, and would like to take another.  -West Coast Times, 22/11/1870.


Sudden Death. —We regret to have to record in our Obituary the death of Mr D Murphy, of the Shamrock Hotel, who expired after about half an hour’s suffering this morning. Mr Murphy had been in Europe in search of health, and had returned only a very short time ago. He was apparently in better health than usual last evening, but was taken suddenly ill this morning. His death will be regretted by a large number of friends.  -Evening Star, 12/1/1871.


Allan Steele photo.



A handsome monument has been erected in the Roman Catholic cemetery, by Mr Michael Murphy, over the grave of the late Mr Daniel Francis Murphy. The underground work extends to a depth of seven feet, so as to ensure stability. The height from the ground line to the top of the finial is 20 feet. Above the ground are two courses of neatly dressed bluestone, the lowest course being eight feet square, while the upper course takes the outline of the monument proper from where the Kakanui stone starts. The body of the monument is square, with a buttress lift, in height standing out in bold relief from each corner. The sides and face of each buttress are formed into Gothic panels the spire part having running crockets in the angles, and terminating in a finial. The monument has a deeply recessed panel on each of its four sides, with tablets for inscriptions. Over each recess is a richly moulded and carved pediment. The lower member of each pediment is ornamented with flowers and leaves, including the shamrock. The tops of the pediments are intermixed with vine and ivy leaf crockets, which run up and finish against the ornamental crosses, one of which surmounts each pediment. Above the pediments the monument again forms itself into a square smaller than the one below, and with a buttress of proportionate size at each angle. These buttresses are finished off in a manner similar to those already described. Above the pediments the monument becomes square. It is on each of its four faces relieved with tracery bands, quatre foils, and other enrichments. From the body last mentioned, the monument steps into another smaller proportion, and over this it is again narrowed by two diminishing courses. Above these courses it is opened out into gothic arches open right through, standing relieved on the four corners and arched, forming a groin and canopy from which spring pediments richly carved; each pediment being surmounted by a small finial. Above these are the ribs of the spire, which are elaborately carved, and the spire finished off with an elaborate crocket finial. The general effect of the monument is very good, and the work itself is another instance of one of the ways in which the Kakanui stone can be well employed. The design of the monument is by Mr Mackay, of the firm of Connor and Mackay, Port Chalmers, and the builder is Mr Hunter.  -Otago Daily Times, 25/4/1871.
Allan Steele photo.


Once the scene of frequent gay revelry, and of many public meetings and happenings of import to the early residents of Dunedin, the old Shamrock buildings at the corner of Rattray and Maclaggan streets have at last disappeared, and their demolition will have occasioned more than a passing thought in the minds of those who remember the old hotel in the heyday of its prosperity. The building was erected in 1861 as an hotel, and was used as such until the license was removed some nine years ago to the present Shamrock Hotel. It was the last of the old hotels built in the early days and had gradually been added to and improved until some years ago, when, becoming overshadowed by other and more up-to-date buildings, it fell into partial disuse and has now fallen a victim in its dusty old age to progress, the ruthless enemy of antiquity.
The section belongs to the Church Board of Property, and is leased to Messrs J. Speight and Co., who intend to erect on it a solid three-storey brick and concrete building, the plans for which have been drawn by Mr R. Forrest. The two top floors will be utilised for storage purposes by Messrs Speight and Co., while the ground floor will be fitted up as offices and shops. The major portion of this floor has already been secured by Messrs Scoullar and Chisholm. At one corner of the section is a well, apparently inexhaustible, of the finest water, and this at one time formed the chief water supply for a good many of the residents in the locality. At present it is used for brewing by Messrs Speight and Co., being highly valued for that purpose.  -Otago Daily Times, 14/9/1918.

The northern side of the memorial.  I have been told that sandstone has a "grain' - that one side will weather faster than the other. Allan Steele photo.

1 comment:

  1. Michael Murphy was married to Nancy Flannagan from Bangor, Maine. Her sisters, Rebecca Heffernan, Catherine de Bazin and brother William Flannagan also resided in Dunedin.

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