Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

The Union Inn


The Union Inn was a cottage style building situated on the corner of Hunter and Bolton Streets, Newcastle.

John Butler Hewson

Former constable John Butler Hewson who arrived on the Mangles in 1820 was granted a license for the Union Inn in 1835.[1] He advertised good stabling and a selection of wine and spirits.

Robert Tighe

Robert Tighe, a former soldier of the 28th regiment was employed as chief constable at Newcastle in 1839. He took over the license in 1840 - 1841[1].

Robert Tighe was involved in the Friendly Society and the Union Inn was the venue for the establishment of the first Friendly Society in the area in May 1842.

Robert Tighe died in March 1844 leaving a large family[5]. At his funeral members of the Odd Fellow's Society followed the procession to the cemetery. He was held in very high respect by all classes in the town according to the Maitland Mercury [7].

William Latham

In 1845 the license for the Inn was transferred by Robert's widow Sarah Tighe to William Latham [6], however by 1846 William Latham was in financial difficulty.

James Hannell moved the license for the Ship Inn to the Union Inn on the corner of Hunter and Bolton in December 1846 [3].

Premises Offered for Sale

In May 1847 the premises of the Union Inn at Newcastle as well as the Crown Inn at Anvill Creek were advertised for sale by Helenus Scott along with several other properties.[4]

John Butler Hewson was granted a license for the Woolpack Inn, corner of Hunter and Bolton streets in January 1846

Licence transferred to New Inn

In 1856 the licence for the Union Inn was transferred by John Butler Hewson to a new Inn in Blane (Hunter) Street Newcastle[1]. This was built on land purchased in 1853 from the Australian Agricultural Company which became known as Honeysuckle point.

A public meeting was held at Mr. Hewson's Inn at Honeysuckle Point in February 1856 to elect a representative for the Northumberland and Hunter districts.[2]

Later Mackie's furniture store was built on the site. John Butler Hewson was granted a publican's licence until at least 1857.

Scottish engineer and immigrant David Ross took over the license for this Inn at Honeysuckle Point in 1858. David Ross was the father of Jane Massie Ross who was later to marry Australia's first Prime Minister Sir Edmund Barton.

When David Ross passed away in 1868 his son George Ross took over the license.

Notes and Links

1). John Butler Hewson took over the licence for the Rose and Crown in Sydney in June 1841 and in 1846 moved to the Woolpack Inn on the corner of Hunter and Bolton streets Newcastle[1]

2). Sarah Tighe, wife of Robert formerly of the Union Inn, died 15 January 1858 and was buried in Christ Church Burial ground, Newcastle

3). Photograph of Mackie's Furniture Store


[1] New South Wales, Australia, Certificates for Publicans' Licences, 1830-1849, 1853-1860

[2] The Empire 27 February 1856

[3] Maitland Mercury 12 December 1846

[4] Maitland Mercury 29 May 1847

[5] Maitland Mercury 2 March 1844

[6] Maitland Mercury 28 June 1845

[7] Maitland Mercury 9 March 1844