Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Black Horse Inn

East Maitland

After Governor Macquarie's visit in 1818 land at Wallis Plains was opened for settlement in a limited way. The first three men to settle in the district were John Eckford, John Smith, and William O'Donnell. The fourth person to receive a promise of land was Mary Morgan.

In November 1821 John Smith petitioned for another grant of land......

To His Excellency Lachlan Macquarie Esquire, Captain General Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the Territory of New South Wales and it's Dependencies
The humble Memorial of John Smith, Chief Constable at Newcastle, respectfully showeth,
That your Excellency's Memorialist has filled the situation of Chief Constable on this settlement between 4 and 5 years and when Your Excellency last honoured it with your presence you were pleased to extend to him a Conditional Pardon, since which time Memorialist's original sentence expired.

That Memorialist having been strongly recommended your Excellency's Notice, your were at the same time pleased to grant him a farm at Wallis Plains on which he has erected a good dwelling house and out offices and cleared about 50 acres of land; where he has at present 24 head of horned cattle, 21 of which are with calf

That Memorialist having a wife and 4 young children in this settlement wishes to make it his future residence and having already experienced great kindness and encouragement from you Excellency is no most respectfully emboldened to state that there is a piece of land about six miles from Memorialists farm lying further back from Hunters River, which would be a great convenience to him as a stock farm and in as much as same is now lying useless and waste. Memorialist begs to solicit that your Excellency may be graciously pleased to grant him such number of acres of it as your Excellency in your usual goodness shall think proper, For which as well as for your Excellency's former favours, Memorialist as in duty bound shall ever pray, John Smith
. [1]

The Black Horse Inn was built c. 1837 by the above mentioned John Smith, also referred to as 'Gentleman' John Smith, on his farm known as Hazlewood.[2]

Henry Adams

In 1843 John Smith sold the property to innkeeper Henry Adams for one hundred pounds sterling. Henry Adams then transferred his licence for the Black Horse Inn from 46 Newcastle Street (across the road) to the property on 17th June 1845. It appears that around this time the house underwent extensions and alterations consistent with its conversion to an inn.[2]

Henry Adams was granted a publican's licence for the Black Horse Inn in Newcastle Street, East Maitland in the years 1840 to 1864.[3]

William Miles

The licence for the Black Horse was transferred from Henry Adams to William Miles in 1864.[4] William Miles held the licence until at least 1877.

On the Queen's Birthday in 1865 there was a celebration and sporting events in the paddock near the Black Horse Inn. About two or three hundred attended. Half-a-dozen foot races, four quoit matches, and a greasy pole, were the principal features of the day's amusement, which was wound up in the evening by a ball and supper at put on by William Miles at the Inn. Several large bonfires were lighted on the hill at East Maitland, in the evening ; they burnt briskly, and could be seen a great distance away. Mr. J. O'Meagher shewed his loyalty by illuminating his house, and many other parties did the same by letting off fireworks and crackers.[5]

In 1878 the old Inn was renovated....
The premises recently occupied by Mr. William. Miles, and known as the Black Horse Inn, are now undergoing extensive alterations and repairs. The whole of the outside of the building, front and back, has been neatly cemented and otherwise improved. The roofs of the main building and out-houses have been covered with galvanised iron and spouted throughout The building has been converted into a private residence.

In the front the large window on the left has been removed, and two additional ones have been erected. The verandah and balcony in front have been reconstructed and have an improved appearance. A neat fence has been erected on the left, with entrance gates, etc. The flooring of much of the building has been renewed, improved appliances for ventilation have been introduced, and the whole of the interior will be coloured, painted, and so forth. Additional sheds and stabling have been erected in the rear of the main building; they are of a very substantial character. The appearance of the building has been very much improved throughout. When completed it will form a very handsome private residence. Mr. James Robinson is the contractor for the work. These premises are the property of Mr. H. Adams, West Maitland
. [6]


The Black Horse Inn became known as Englefield.

Englefield was offered for sale in 1880[7]. In 1885 the premises were advertised as a very, spacious, roomy residence, built upon stone foundations. [8]

In 1893 East Maitland was visited by a destructive flood.....Beyond the old Black Horse Inn, then the boarding house known as Englefield, fences were taken away. The height of the water in Newcastle street in the portion between the Chinese gardens and the Good Templars Hall was six feet when the overflow was at its highest. [9]

Select Office of Environment and Heritage Site to read more about Englefield

Notes and Links

1). Henry Adams died in 1877.....THE LATE MR. HENRY ADAMS - Another very old Maitlander, Mr. Henry Adams, died at his residence, West Maitland, on Tuesday morning, at the age of seventy-one. He had been forty years in the town; first living in West Maitland, and afterwards, for many years, in East Maitland, where he kept the Black Horse Inn at a time when it was the rendezvous for the teamsters who preceded the Great Northern Railway as carriers. Latterly, and for some time, he has resided in West Maitland, Mr. Adams was highly popular as mine host, and was very much respected in every other relation of life. His full years were ended by an almost painless death, and his bed was surrounded by members of his family, all of whom are grown up and settled in life.[3]

2). *Henry Adams' daughter Naomi married John Single of Liverpool Plains in August 1851


[1] Memorials To The Governor, 1810-1826. New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers

[2] Office of Environment and Heritage Site

[3] New South Wales, Australia, Certificates for Publicans' licences, State Archives NSW

[4] Maitland Mercury 24 March 1864

[5] Maitland Mercury 27 May 1865

[6] Maitland Mercury 5 October 1878

[7] Maitland Mercury 16 October 1880

[8] Maitland Mercury 12 December 1885

[9] Maitland Mercury 16 March 1893