Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

The Maitland Inn

West Maitland

The Maitland Inn was built by George Stone in 1830. He held the publicans' licence until the mid thirties. He was probably proprietor when the Governor visited Maitland in 1833.......

On Tuesday, the 16th, His Excellency (Sir Richard Bourke) arrived at the Green Hills, near Maitland, in the Sophia Jane Steamer, after, sunset, but before it was quite dark. On Sunday he was received by Mr. Close, and the Magistrates, and, by the principal inhabitants of Maitland and its vicinity.

The Governor and his party proceeded in their carriages to Maitland, attended by the gentlemen just mentioned. On his entering Maitland, the inhabitants, almost to a man, were in waiting, and loudly cheered His Excellency as he passed them; he returned the compliment by bowing ; but the darkness took off some of the pleasantness of this hearty reception. By the time the Governor had reached the Government cottage, and before he could well seat himself in the parlour, he was attracted by the sudden lighting up of all the houses and cottages in the village; and as brilliancy in an illumination of this sort does not depend at all upon the length of a street, but upon the number of candles fixed in the windows, this public illumination at Maitland must, in justice, be pronounced brilliant in the highest degree.

The natives, both black and white, having never before witnessed anything of the sort, seemed amazed at this conversion of night into day, and transformation of a dull hamlet, into a temporary Ranelagh or Vauxhall. In short, the fact of its being the first time since the creation that such a spectacle was exhibited in this part of the colony, the reflections it gave rise to were singular. For when poor Darling, in his 'one horse shay' visited Maitland, few seemed to know he was there, and still fewer seemed to care !

Guns, pistols, and crackers, were let off in all directions, so that gunpowder rose to a prodigious price before the night was over. Torches and flambeaux were also plentiful, to give vivacity to the scene. In short, the people did not seem to know how to express their gratification too ingeniously, or at too much cost, considering their humble, means as inhabitants' of a country village.

The next morning, the magistrates and principal inhabitants waited upon His, Excellency with an address, which was most kindly received, and thanks returned in a suitable written reply. In the afternoon His Excellency rode out in his carriage, and inspected the bridge now erecting, and also examined the line of way by which it is proposed to cut a canal from the river, at the Green Hills, to Maitland. The plan seemed to give His Excellency great gratification.

At night, the Rose Inn, Muir's Inn, the Union Inn, and the Maitland Hotel, with other houses which had not had sufficient time to prepare the night before, were all brilliantly lit up. Mr. William Simpson's house and stores exhibited between three and four hundred candles, and attracted by its splendid blaze a great crowd. It was thought that at one time there were a thousand persons (adults and children) standing before Mr. S.'s premises, viewing the lights, and firing off guns, pistols, crackers, etc. . Sydney Gazette 27 April 1833

William Eckford

William Eckford was granted the publican's licence in 1837 after George Stone.

William Nicholson

William Nicholson held the licence in the years 1842 to 1847. He advertised that travellers could be comfortably and economically accommodated at his Maitland Inn where the best of wines and spirits were always kept on hand.

In October 1847 the Maitland Inn was the first stop for the Flying Pieman after he completed his incredible feat of walking one hundred and ninety two miles in forty six hours and a half hours......A tremendous round of cheering, with waving of banners and hats, and firing of guns, hailed him at the completion of the distance, but as King insisted that his bargain was to walk during the forty eight hours as well as to do the one hundred and ninety two miles, he refused to sit don or stand still for a minute until ten oclock. A lane was therefore formed in the crowd, and he kept moving about till after ten oclock the band meanwhile playing and the crown cheering. Soon after ten he left the course, and accompanied by the band and an immense crowd went to the Maitland Inn, and made a speech; leaving again after some time, he went tothe Northumberland Hotel and then the Fitzroy Hotel.

The Flying Pieman - The World's News (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 1955) Wed 20 Aug 1930

New Premises - The Maitland Hotel

In December 1847 the licence for the Maitland Inn was transferred from William Nicholson to Thomas Boyd Rosseter. The licence was for the house almost opposite which had been occupied by Mr. Ledsam and was to be known as the Maitland Hotel.

In October 1849 the splendid four story House and Premises known as the Maitland Hotel in High Street, was advertised for sale. Also for sale at the same time was an adjoining 4 story house occupied at the time by John Turner, solicitor. The buildings were said to be eminently adapted for mercantile pursuits and in a high degree, ornamental to the town of West Maitland.

In 1850 the Maitland Inn, formerly occupied by William Nicholson, was again offered for sale. It was one of ten lots offered for sale and contained 12 rooms on the ground floor, with suitable conveniences - as passage etc. very extensive yard and garden, with laundry, servants' house, coach house, and stabling for four horses, well of water etc. The property had a frontage to the High Street of 81 feet 2 inches, including the gateway by a depth of about 228 feet, adjoining Captain Roxburgh's property.

William Drew

William Drew was granted a licence for the Maitland Hotel in April 1853 - 1855. In September 1854 Ashton's Circus performed each night at the Maitland Hotel.

Ashtons Circus - Hanging Rock. Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872) Sat 6 May 1854
Ashton's Circus at Hanging Rock in 1854 - Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872) Sat 6 May 1854