God made the wicked Grocer
For a mystery and a sign,
That men might shun the awful shops
And go to inns to dine;
Today, I would like to indicate that sometimes, inns weren't such a good place to go, either. This is a sample chapter from a book I am working on (working title: Not Your Usual Villains).
Some of the other chapters include Women in Trousers, Drewery's case, the Archdeacon was a curate's egg, Dight's Light Horse, The Cato Street Conspirators, The Escape of the Boy Brown, The Composer Who Ran, Turning the Earth Inside Out, Off They All Ran, The Licensed Thief and The First Anzac Day. A couple of those chapters cover material to be found in entries in this blog.
Anyhow, here is one tale with a caveat: being dragged from the ms, it contains many more footnotes than I expect to see in the final version.
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ADVERTISEMENT: IT is almost unnecessary to state that, though published anonymously, the truth of the accounts given in this little work may be fully depended upon; and the Author can substantiate all the great facts by an exact reference to the names, dates, and places. Of course this would be unwillingly done, on account of the ill-feeling that it would inevitably engender. He has carefully endeavoured to avoid the possibility of the identification of the parties whose actions are the subject of his remarks. His object has been rather to draw attention to a system than to interest by the detail of his mere private adventures. 
We went into two houses, the one called “The Black Dog,” a licensed house, the other close beside it, an old dilapidated place, properly enough called “The Sheer Hulk,” which had been deprived of its licence on account of the practices and characters admitted by its landlord; it was, however, still occupied, and as the occupier was no longer under the apprehension of losing his licence, the scenes displayed nightly were of tenfold worse character than ever. 
NOTICE.— Mr. Samuel Hulbert, of the Sign of the Sheer Hulk, Cambridge-street, Rocks, begs to acquaint his Friends and the Public, that he is about to REMOVE to his House, No. 14, Prince-street, Rocks, opposite the Sign of the Edinburgh Castle, where he hopes for a Continuance of their Custom. 
ON the morning of Saturday last, from private information given our Chief Constable, he proceeded well armed, to the Sheer Hulk Public House, on the Rocks, and succeeded in capturing the unfortunate Lookay alias Edwards, for whom a reward of Fifty pounds (and a ticket of leave, should the person, be a prisoner) was offered. He was conducted before the Superintendent of Police, who refused to hear what he had to say in his defence; he will be brought up for examination again to day. 
TO be Let or Sold, all that well-known old established Public-house, the Sheer Hulk No. 30, Cambridge-street; this House was for many Years licensed, and has recently been put into thorough repair, and is an excellent situation for business. Application to be made to Mrs. BRUNTON Prince-street. April 16, 1830. 
MR. BODENHAM respectfully announces, that he has received instructions to sell those valuable promises, known by the sign of the Sheer Hulk, and containing 5 rooms, now ready for immediate occupation, and in which a large fortune was accumulated by the recent Proprietor. The property is surrounded by a large population of Mechanics, from which cause there can be no doubt but an excellent livelihood, if not an independence may be secured. 
Essex Lane. — George Johnson, Ship Inn. Joseph le Burn, Sheer Hulk.Cambridge-street . — Jasper Tunn, Whale Fishery. Daniel Rogers, Bird in Hand. Daniel Hill, Black Dog. 
Sir,As you are famed for taking up the cause of the unfortunate, I beg to lay before you my distressed case:—I am about sixty-four years of age. I came to the Colony in the Dromedary along with Governor Macquarie, a private in the 73d. and was made a veteran on the departure of the Regt. for Ceylon. On the 25th March, four years ago, I received from Commissary Wemyss £6. 0s. 2d. being my quarter's pension, and placed it for safety in the hands of one George Davy or Davis, who kept the Sheer Hulk on the Rocks. But the sign was down at that time. I stayed with him four or five days — one day and one night of which I took more liquor than did me good. On the third or fourth day (the 28th) I wished to settle, but he put me off. On the next day he presented my bill. It amounted to £9. I told him he had robbed me, for that it was impossible my board and lodging, including the liquor I had drunk, could come to more than one third of that sum. He told me he would broomstick me out of the house. I went off to my master, Mr. Ikin, of Liverpool, who told me I had been served right for my folly; so I never took further notice of Davy's cheating. Davy now keeps a green stall on the Brickfieldshill. The books of the Sydney Bench for years back, on inspection, will shew him to have been a very unfortunate man, supposing him to have conducted himself with propriety at all times. After I had been with Mr. Ikin for about five months, I received a summons from Davy to attend the Court of Requests at Sydney. Mr. Ikin told me, that as I resided at Liverpool, the summons was good for nothing. He sent me up the Country with some cattle, and I never heard any more of the summons till about six months after, when I was told, that an execution was out against me; but it was never served on me. I left Mr. lkin in 1828, and went to live at Jem Core's at Prospect, where I remained about twelve months. In the course of that twelve months, Davy one day came into the house with a cord in his hand and a stick, and told me to come along with him to gaol. We went to Parramatta, and called for a pot of beer at Lacey's at the toll-bar. It was the races. A parcel of native lads remonstrated with Davy on taking an old man like me to gaol, and they got between him and me, and I went home the same day. Davy never shewed me any writ for his capturing me.On the 25th June last, I drew my quarter's pension, and on the 26th, Davy and a bailiff took me again at the toll-bar at Lacey's, where I had formerly been rescued. I refused to walk, but offered to go if they would provide me a conveyance. They took hold of me, one of one side, and the other of the other, and forced me along half down the hill, and then let me fall on my face. It was a dead fall and hurt me. They then took hold of my feet, and dragged me on my back, without my hat, nearly as far as the bridge, my old head bumping against the ground all the time, and my arms flying back. My head was much cut, as the military surgeon in this place saw after I came in. The bailiff then lifted up his staff, which had a great knob at the end of it and said, " you d--d old scoundrel, if you don't walk, I'll knock your brains out." To which Davy replied, " Aye do, and we'll throw him under the bridge." I began to be much frightened, and promised to do my best at walking. Davy seeing I was cowed, then went his way, and I went on with the bailiff, as far as the first public house, kept by one Wright, since dead. There the bailiff gave me a glass of grog. We then went on, and at last turned off to the left, opposite Mr. Squires's, and put up at a settler's for the night. I found next morning my shoulder was hurt by means of the dragging. I kept my bed on Sunday. On Monday I could not eat my breakfast, but I got up, and went with the bailiff to Sydney, but never broke my fast. I remained at Davy's house on the Brickfield Hill about two hours. I suspected that from their whispering and manner, the execution was wrong, and that they had gone to the office to fetch a new one. I have been told since, that they could not take me again lawfully on a new execution; and that this second capture by the bailiff was illegal. But I say the first was illegal, not only as to justice, but also not being served in Liverpool. On entering the gaol, I found my arm very bad, and at last I asked the surgeon to look at it. I do not expect to have the use of it any more.ALEXANDER MONAGHAN. 
We call the attention of the Commissioner of the Court of Requests to a letter in the 1st column of our last page, signed Alexander Monaghan. If the statements therein made be true, we never read any thing more villainous from beginning to end. We have seen [the] old Veteran, and he bears the character of a quiet harmless old man. It is to be regretted that his late master Mr. Ikin, should have conceived, that because the old man resided in Liverpool, the service on him of the summons in person in Sydney, was invalid. Had Monaghan defended the case in person, and proved to the Commissioner the facts he alleges in his letter, we are satisfied the verdict would have been in his favour, and that a balance would have been found coming to him. This however is only one of a thousand instances, which have come to our knowledge, of the ruin of poor people from their ignorance of the forms of law, and of their strong aversion from paying that attention to lawyer's letters and writs, which they ought to pay. If the people of this Country detested a public house, as much as they do a lawyer's office, it would be well. But men naturally neglect that, which they are averse from. They are in this respect like cowards in a field of battle, who turn their backs, when the shewing of a good front, would save them from what they dread. The conduct of Davy, the Bailiff, on the last execution, by which they have maimed the grey-haired Veteran for the remainder of his miserable existence, if true, is most atrocious; and it is a pity, but he and the rascally bailiff should be trounced for it by an action for damages, in the Supreme Court at Monaghan's suit. 
Our next movement was to a house on the rocks much frequented by boatmen, and known as “The Sheer Hulk,” already mentioned. It was kept at this time by a man of the name of D——, a convict free by servitude (so convicts are designated whose term of sentence has expired), as a lodging house for sailors … There is no doubt nevertheless that such a nest would have been rooted out long before but for the handsome “sweeteners” (bribes) which old D——'s profits enabled him to give the constables.