Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

The Cross Keys Inn


Joseph and Agnes Singleton

Joseph Singleton, formerly of the The Plough was publican of the Cross Keys in 1840. When he died in 1841 his wife Agnes (daughter of James Neil) continued to run the Inn.

John Green

Agnes Singleton married John Green in March 1842. She was granted a license for the Cross Keys in June 1842. [1]

John Green was granted license for the Cross Keys the following year (1843). He held the license until at least 1847. Agnes' brother James Neal took over the license in 1849 until Agnes Green was granted a license again in 1850.

In June 1850 Agnes Green announced to the public that she was re-opening the Inn, the house having undergone extensive repairs and stocked with the best wines and ales. She hoped her old friends and customers would favour her with a call.

When John Green died in January 1851 aged 36, Agnes was left with young children to provide for as well as the Inn to run.

She still held the license in 1853 when a public dinner was held there to celebrate the 9th anniversary of the Singleton Benevolent Society.

Andrew Canavan

Soon to be married to Andrew Canavan, innkeeper of the Harp and Shamrock Inn in York Street Sydney, Agnes Green placed the following Advertisement: To be let, Furnished or unfurnished, that well known inn, situated in John street, in the heart of Singleton, and for the last 16 years licensed as the Cross Keys Inn. It is now in full trade, has always commanded a first rate business, and the license could be turned over next transfer day. The house is replete with every convenience; handsome bar, fitted with beer engine, spirit fountain etc; elegant and spacious sitting room two parlours and five bed rooms and tap room. The stabling consists of six complete boxes, five stalls, gig house, and granary; there are also kitchen and detached offices with garden.

Agnes Green married Andrew Canavan in December 1854. Andrew Canavan was granted a publican's license for the Cross Keys Inn in 1855 - 1859

The Cross Keys Inn was re-named the Bird in the Hand when Agnes Canavan was granted a license in 1860.


[1] State Archives NSW; Series: 14401; Item: [4/74]; Reel: 5057 Year: 1842 New South Wales, Australia, Certificates for Publicans' Licences.