Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

The Crown and Anchor Hotel


The following notice printed in the Dungog Chronicle on 25 November 1919, tells a little of the history of the Crown and Anchor.......

Death. On Thursday last, Mr Frank French, says the Scone 'Advocate,' received word of the death in the Northern State, of his eldest brother, and oldest member in the family, Mr Thomas French, at the ripe age of 91 years. The deceased, who left these parts many years ago, was probably (almost certainly) the oldest living Scone native. He was the eldest member of a numerous family, and his life of upwards of 90 years may be said to cover the whole of the life of this district from the very dawn of its settlement. The deceased's father, the late Thomas French, and mother, were young free immigrant from Leicestershire, and were married shortly after landing in Sydney which itself was then a place of only a few scattered dwellings and tents. The young couple came to Scone very shortly after wards and it was here that Thomas French was born. The late Thos. French (deceased's father) built the Crown and Anchor Hotel, and himself kept it for some time, being, we take it the first licencee. The deceased who has just passed away, then quite a boy was present when young Graham, the storekeeper, was shot by the Jewboy gang of bush rangers in 1840. Hearing the shot fired, he, with the late George Gray, so it is stated, ran out to see what was the matter. That was about 4 o'clock in the morning. As Mr Gray, who lived in a cottage now demolished a few years back, on the same block, ran out, one of the gang said, 'Keep back, I've shot one, and you'll be the next. It might be recalled that in those early days there was a store, kept by the late Thos Dangar, on the vacant block of land at the intersection of the Gundy and the Northern Roads, and on the store being stuck up by the gang, who had just before stuck up Turanville house, young Graham, who was in charge of the store, ran out for the purpose of informing the police, when he was followed and shot on the spot now occupied by the Skating Rink. The deceased who, has just passed from us, and by whose death a link connecting us with the earlier days of Scone is snapped, had a distinct recollection of this occurrence  - now nearly 80 years back

William Baxter

William Baxter held the licence for the Crown and Anchor situated in Kingdon Street, Scone in 1850.

He had enlarged the Stabling and provided a large well watered and commodious paddock formerly attached to the Golden Fleece Inn where an abundant supply of grass was on hand. He was making arrangements to continue the Scone annual races on the old ground with the same eclat that had distinguished Races of former years.

Francis Frederick

Francis Frederick was granted a publican's licence for the Crown and Anchor in April 1855.

Joseph Turton

Joseph Turton transferred the licence to George Hopper in December 1859

George Hopper

George Hopper was granted a licence in April 1860

R. Ferguson

In 1870 the licence was transferred from R. Ferguson to Mr. Adams.

George Hopper

George Hopper was granted a licence again in June 1890 (Scone Advocate 21 June 1890)

He retired c. 1900 and passed away in 1906:


When in last issue we referred to the serious illness of Mr. Geo. Hopper, sen , there were hopes that his fine constitution, and the close medical attention and nursing he was receiving would pull him through ; but his extreme weakness, and the severe heat of Saturday and Sunday militated against his recovery. On Saturday he became perceptibly weaker, and thereafter continued to sink, the end coming very peacefully about eleven o'clock on Sunday night.

The late Mr. Hopper was a resident of the town for 46 years, and till quite recently, when age began to tell its tale, a man of striking character, with an abundance of that natural wit and repartee so characteristic of his native land. He was born in Abbeyleix, Queen's County, Ireland, and after serving for a time in the Irish constabulary, came to Australia in about 1849. He immediately joined the Northern police force, under Captain Denny Day, and came to Muswellbrook. After being stationed for a short time at Merriwa, he went to Wee Waa, where he remained for seven years. In those days there was but little settlement ; Wee Waa was a place of four or five houses, and the present town of Narrabri was not thought of. The police in those days had extensive and lonely patrol, and had chiefly to do with cattle and horse stealers. The deceased figured prominently in several such cases. The blacks, too, were then numerous, and gave trouble.

Leaving Wee Waa, the late Mr. Hopper came to Scone in 1859, having bought the Crown and Anchor Hotel, which he conducted for a short time until the passing of Sir John Robertson's 61 Land Act, when he selected and resided on the Middle brook. He, with the late Wm. Smart and H. B. Murray, and Mr. Jas O' Donnell (who is still with us) were the first selectors on the Middlebrook under the new law. After living on his selection for some years, the deceased came back to the Crown and .Anchor, which he had charge of for about twenty years, during which the hotel always bore the reputation of being excellently conducted. The deceased retired from business about ten years ago, and had since lived a quiet, retired life. Having bad such a varied experience of the life of the North for the past half century or more, and possessing, as he did to the last, a most retentive memory, there could be few people who were more interesting to talk with. He was also a man of honor and integrity, a good parent and a worthy citizen. Deceased was in his 80th year. The funeral took place this morning, and . was very largely attended. The remains were interred alongside those of his wife, who pre-deceased him about 13 years, in the old R.C. Cemetery - Scone Advocate 9 January 1906


The Scone Advocate dated 16 July 1914 reported the demise of the old building:
If building is a sign of progres in a town then Scone is surely progressing. A new two-storey brick hotel has just been commenced to take the place of the Crown and Anchor Hotel, and will be an improvement to the appearance of our main street