Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Cottage of Content Inn

East Maitland

Samuel Bailey who had arrived as a convict on the Lord Eldon in 1817, was the licensee of the Cottage of Content in Bank Street, East Maitland in the early 1840's. He was first granted a publican's licence in June 1840.

Samuel Bailey announced in 1844 that he had built a new public house to which he hoped to move on 1st July[1]. The sign of the Cottage of Content was moved to this new building.

The old Cottage of Content was advertised for lease by Thomas Dee, the guardian to the children of the late Peter Riley at this time and the old Cottage of Content became the Blue Bell Inn.

Samuel Bailey was kept busy at the (new) Cottage of Content. There were election meetings, inquests, meetings of the Vineyard Association, vocal concerts and auctions. A great attraction brought to Maitland by Mr. Latham was shown at the Inn in 1844...Mr. Latham had brought with him from India an ourang otang or 'Wild man of the woods' and two anacondas from 15 - 17 feet long. The exhibition opened on 13 September and remained four days before moving to the Albion Inn.

Innkeepers were obliged to keep their lamps alight throughout the night. Samuel Bailey was fined 20s and costs in 1846 for allowing his lamp to go out on the night of 28th November 1846. [3]

In 1849 the Cottage of Content was the venue for a ball and supper for Captain Robert Lorn Pattison who had been captain of the Rose steamer but was shortly departing for the Californian gold fields with his wife Jane (nee Hill). The ball was very well attended with more than one hundred people attending including the 'youth and beauty' of Maitland. A good band had been engaged for the evening and dancing was kept up without intermission from 9pm until sunrise the following morning.

The long room of the Inn had been tastefully decorated and the front balcony was enclosed by flags forming a promenade from which guests could view the gay scenes and enjoyment within the adjoining long room to great advantage. A separate refreshment room held a profusion of tastefully arranged food and drinks and a toast to Captain Pattison was held here at midnight [2]. Captain Pattison's wife Jane (nee Hill) died in San Francisco and Captain Pattison returned to Australia. He married Jane Bailey the daughter of Samuel Bailey in 1853.

Samuel Bailey still held the licence for the Cottage of Content in April 1854.

Charles Brackenreg

Charles Brackenreg was granted the licence in April 1855. Sureties Samuel Bailey.

Notes and Links

Samuel Bailey married Sarah Morris in 1836 - See Sarah Morris - from mother to convict to publican - By descendant Janelle Collins


[1] Maitland Mercury 4 May 1844

[2] Maitland Mercury 10 November 1849

[3] Maitland Mercury 9 December 1846