The big man had come on shift at the inn early, for a fellow boniface had not yet recovered from the effects of a dispute with a patron.
-- Poul Anderson, "The Gate of Flying Knives," Thieves' World, 2007
And, in the midst of it, came the jolly Boniface, bearing, as carefully as a mother does her first-born, three long bottles, cobwebbed and dirty.
-- John Reed Scott, The Colonel of the Red Huzzars, 1912
Boniface literally translates to "doer of good" in Latin. The generalized meaning of innkeeper came from the 1707 play The Beaux' Stratagem by George Farquhar in which a jovial innkeeper is named Boniface.