Solomon, Phillip (Philip) and Jane

Full name:

Solomon, Phillip (Philip) and Jane

Dates recorded for being in Berrima:


Occupation if known and land ownership:



Arrived Free

NSW Publicans’ licence records tell us that in June 1841 (and 1842) a Phillip Solomon was the licensee of the Queen Victoria Inn.[1] But it would seem from the advertisement reproduced below and placed in The Australian of 28 January 1841 that Solomon was already operating the inn in March 1841. Solomon refers to himself as the Proprietor in the advertisement and though the list of jurors for 1841 give his qualification for the position as £300 in freehold property, he did not own the Victoria Inn – it was the property of Joseph Levy (qv).

VICTORIA INN, BERRIMA. P SOLOMON in announcing to the Public that he has become the Proprietor of the Victoria Inn, Berrima, begs to ensure them of his determination to conduct the Establishment on such principles as will not only secure to him a continuation of the patronage hitherto so liberally bestowed upon it, but encourages him to hope for an increase of the same. In entering upon his charge, he has added to the Stock of the late Proprietor, the best selection of Wines and Spirits, Ale and Porter (in Wood and Bottle) that the colony can produce, and which ho begs to submit to the public, wholesale and retail, at reasonable prices.
Seven additional Rooms have been added to the Inn, all of which are well furnished. Extensive stables are also attached to the house, with Grooms and excellent Forage at all times, and the domestic arrangements have been made on the plan of the most approved English hotels, so far us the nature of the establishment will admit.
In conclusion He hopes to solicit the Continued patronage of the old friends of the Victoria Inn, and most respectfully invites both them and the public in general to make trial of the comfort and accommodation it affords.

By November of 1842 Phillip Solomon had left Berrima and advertised that all persons should pay any money they owe him to Noel Chapman (Berrima’s chief of police). He warns that anyone who hasn’t settled by the end of the year will be sued.

Solomon appears in the press again in the Sydney Morning Herald of March 1843:

THE SETTLERS and country people generally, are most respectfully informed that Mr, Phillip Solomon has removed from the above Inn, to the ELEPHANT and CASTLE TAVERN, corner of King and Pitt streets, Sydney, where he hopes by continuing the same accommodation as usual, to ensure the support of his old customers, and also a share of the patronage of the public of Sydney; to whom it may be necessary to add, that all Liqueurs kept on his premises are genuine and of the first quality and the greatest attention will be paid to the comforts of those who may favour him with their custom.

This move is confirmed by the NSW Register of Publicans’ Licences with Solomon the licensee of the Elephant and Castle in 1843 and 1844.

Later in 1844 Solomon is made insolvent and appears before the Courts charged with trying to evade debts by leaving the country before the insolvency was finally declared.[2] The newspaper report states that at the time he owed Cooper, Holt & Co almost £1000 and that when debts to other people were added the total was around £2000. When the sheriff’s representative, acting for the insolvency court, went aboard the Thomas Lowry bound for London they found Solomon had placed £300 to £400 worth of property together with bills of exchange and money on board ready for their embarkation.

There was an appeal to the Supreme Court in January 1845 over a point of law and Solomon may have incurred only a short prison stay and the loss of his estate.[3]

After this it becomes impossible to trace Berrima’s Phillip Solomon in the public record: there are too many individuals of the same name. The chronicler of Australian’s Jewry, J S Levi, does offer a summary of the rest of their lives based on family sources writing that Phillip, Jane and their children went to California in 1848, returned to Australia in 1851 and then moved to Maryborough in Victoria to open a store. This account gives Phillip dying in 1857, aged 43 and Jane in 1899.[4]

[1] SRNSW Publicans’ Licenses, NRS 14401 [7/1501]; Reel 1236 and NRS 14401 [4/74]; Reel 5057
[2] Morning Chronicle, 6 November 1844
[3] Sydney Morning Herald, 29 January 1845
[4] J S Levi. These are the Names: Jewish lives in Australia, 1788-1850. Carlton, Victoria, Miegunyah Press 2006