A sleek, good-tempered, jolly landlord. From Farquhar's comedy of The Beaux' Stratagem.
“A regular British Boniface.” —The John Bull.
St. Boniface. The apostle of Germany, an Anglo-Saxon whose original name was Winifrid or Winfrith. (680-750.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894