Samuel Henry Rapsey opened the Golden Lion Inn in premises in Bank Street, East Maitland, opposite the sale yards and formerly kept by Sergeant Lee on 1st July 1848. (This was the Blue Bell Inn formerly the Cottage of Content).
Samuel Henry Rapsey died on 28th February 1849 aged 47 and his wife re-married to Thomas Thorne in that same year
In October 1849 a publican's licence for the Red Lion Inn was transferred from Eliza Rapsey to her husband Thomas Thorne. By November Thomas Thorne was advertising 'Splendid' household furniture, gig, horse, harness and dray to be sold by auction as he was retiring from business and departing from the District.
William Cannon was granted a publican's licence for the Red Lion Inn in April 1852. He announced in July 1853 that he was transferring his business to the house formerly conducted by Thomas Thomas under the sign of the White Bear Inn, West Maitland and which would in future be carried on under the sign of theGold Diggers Arms. He thanked customers for their liberal patronage during his time at the Red Lion Inn.
George Saywell was granted a publican's licence for the Red Lion in April 1853.
James Riley was granted the licence in April 1854
Algernon Wilde was granted a licence for the Red Lion in Bank Street East Maitland in April 1856
Charles Whittaker took over the licence for the Red Lion and had erected a new building by December 1857. The Inn was mentioned in the Maitland Mercury re improvements in East Maitland in 1857....
'Amongst the other buildings there are two more which may be noticed, viz., the new public house built by Mr. Charles Whittaker where the old Red Lion stood, and another house, apparently intended for a similar purpose, on the right of the Newcastle road. Both are two storied brick buildings of some magnitude' - Maitland Mercury 17 December1857
By 1859 the hotel on this site traded under the sign of the Union Hotel