Eyre in Court


Eyre in Court

Eyre threw a dinner and dance party in Adelaide. In the opinion of Alexander Tolmer, in later years a prominent policeman in South Australia, Eyre was victimised by Mr Allen, an unscrupulous hotelier who charged ₤187. Eyre paid him the previously contracted ₤75. The hotelier took Eyre to the Supreme Court, Civil Side, and won a total payment of ₤151, which Eyre paid without further comment.

As we look down the long list of foods submitted to the court, we find some unexpected items when compared with a modern buffet, including:

6 roast geese @ ₤1 each

8 pairs pigeons @ 10 shillings a pair (20 shillings = ₤1)

3 dozen tongues = ₤7 and 16 shillings

36 lbs (16 kg) butter = ₤6 and 6 shillings

20 lbs (9 kg) jam = ₤4

6 hams @ ₤8 each

Remembering that ₤100 per annum was considered an adequate salary in town, we see that some of the prices were high. The hams alone cost six months’ salary.

We may wonder if the 100 odd guests were expected to finish all 16 kg of butter and 9 kg of jam? As refrigeration was not yet available, unfinished butter would soon have gone rancid.