Topaze Inn

Built in the middle of the nineteenth century, the earliest licensee we have record of, is Ann Burgoyne, in 1867, by which time HMS Topaze (after which the pub was almost certainly named) was bound for the Pacific where she spent most of her working life.

Built and launched in Devonport in 1858 Topaze was the third Royal Naval ship to carry that name (the first incidentally had been a French frigate handed to the British by French Royalists in 1793).

In 1868, the officers and Commodore of Topaze erected a tablet, on Juan Fernandez, Robinson Crusoe’s island, near Alexander Selkirk’s lookout (Selkirk being one of the men Defoe’s fictional Crusoe was based on).

Regularly back in Devonport, Topaze came to rest here in 1877 and remained until sold to Messrs Castle & Sons, in 1884. Her figurehead subsequently was stored in HMS Drake.
Meanwhile the Topaze Inn which stood near the top of Penrose Street, on the eastern side of the street, continued operating as a licensed premises through to about 1920.


1867 - Ann Burgoyne
1873 - John Hockaday
1880 - T Dowling
1885 - J Welch
1890 - George Williams
1893 - Michael Leavey
1895 - G Henderson
1903 - JH Thomas
1911 - JC Pegg
1919 - Clara Dolen