Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

The Plough Inn

West Maitland

John Callaghan had been a publican in Maitland since at least 1835, as his son Patrick died in this year and John's occupation was recorded as publican in the burial records.

In 1836 - 1839 he held a publican's licence for the Settlers Arms at West Maitland

A new publican's licence for the Plough Inn at West Maitland was taken out by John Callaghan in 1844 and was renewed until at least 1859. The Wollombi Mail Coach started from the Inn every Saturday.

Elizabeth Callaghan

In 1870 the licence was tranferred from Elizabeth Callaghan to her son, John Callaghan.

Patrick Monaghan

The licence was transferred from Patrick Monaghan to Thomas Joseph Callaghan in April 1877.

Thomas Joseph Callaghan

Thomas Joseph Callaghan died at his residence in Hunter Street West Maitand on 24 August 1925.
He was the last member of the family of the late Mr. John Callaghan, who was one of the pioneers of these parts. The latter arrived in Sydney from Great Britain in May 1828 in the 450 tons sailing vessel Alexander Henry. Accompanying him was the family of the late Captain Hungerford one of whom Rev. Septimus Hungerford of Sydney celebrated the 100 anniversary of his birth a fortnight ago. Mr. T.J. Callaghan was taken ill on Thursday night last, and pneumonia supervened, and resulted in his death.

He was a wonderful man in many respects and up to the end retained his faculties. His memory was most retentive, and he had a clear recollection of happenings in the district up to three quarters of a century ago. He was born on July 26 1836 in High Street West Maitland in premises now occupied by A.S. Mehan and Co., but which were then the Settlers Arms Inn, of which his father was the licencee. His father built the premises next the fire station, first known as the Plough Inn, later as Tattersall s Hotel; and more recently as the Trocadero boarding house. It was licenced for nearly 80 years, the greatest part of the time being held by the Callaghan family. Mr. T.J. Callaghan himself was one who held the licence. Previously he was in the Metropolitan Hotel for 17 years, the Homeville and Courthouse Hotels. He retired from Tattersall s Hotel 14 years ago. During the whole of his life of 89 years he lived in or near West Maitland. In his earlier days, Mr. Callaghan conducted farming and cattle dealing at Fishery Creek.

He was a noted horseman and recognised as a great judge of cattle. He was also keenly interested in the work of assisting in recording the early history of Maitland. Having such a clear memory he proved a great source of information and delighted in talking of old times. Shortly after their arrival in Sydney his parents came to these parts. They acquired property here and on areas which now form part of the South Maitland coalfields which later became the towns of Abermain and Weston Soldiers Settlements. A farm near East Greta was held by Callaghan family members for nearly 100 years

Ellen Monaghan

Ellen Monaghan, wife or widow of Patrick Monaghan held the licence for the Plough Inn in 1880 - 1881 [3]

Tattersall's Hotel

James Hamilton

In 1893 the Plough Inn was re-named Tattersall's Hotel....... The sporting portion of Maitland's population who have thirsted for a Tattersall's Hotel now have their desire assuaged. Few there are of the old hands who do not known the Plough Inn, a solid, square structure which has rested at the intersection of High and Charles streets for about fifty six years, and which has been a popular hostelry for upwards of half a century, but fewer still of the veterans would known the old spot as it appears today having been painted, plastered and decorated. James Hamilton is well known all over the Northern district as a fine sportsman and all round genial fellow who has had many years experience as a licenced victualler. [1]

The propritor James Hamilton held an open house......

Mr. James Hamilton, the spirited proprietor of Tattersalls Hotel, High street, made his hostelry very attractive on Saturday evening, when the new and spacious balcony was illuminated by Chinese lanterns and whence the Federal Band, under the leadership of Mr. Fred Fitness, discoursed selections for some hours. Down stairs the bar and parlours were crowded with merry makers, to whom host Hamilton and staff dispensed drinks ad lib in celebration of having just had the hotel handed over to him fresh from the attentions of the builder, the painter, the glazier, the paperhanger, and the cabinetmaker.

Always a compact and solid building, the Plough Inn, as the premises were until recently called, has been a land mark in Maitland for nearly half a century, but those who were acquainted with it in the past would scarcely know it now, as it has been entirely remodelled and improved in many ways, the most conspicuous of which is the long wide balcony already alluded to. The upstairs rooms have been refurnished tastefully, whilst the bar and public rooms on the ground floor are bright, cheerful, and tastily arranged, the bar being a model of elegant comfort. Mr. Hamilton has a word to say to his patrons through our advertising columns, and his fine establishment will certainly be a popular place of resort
. - [2]

Notes and Links

Joseph Harris was employed as a cook at the Plough Inn in 1852.


[1] Maitland Mercury 11 November 1893

[2] Maitland Mercury 12 December 1893

[3] State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 14411; Item: 7/1514; Reel: 1243 Source Information New South Wales, Australia, Certificates for Publicans' Licences, 1830-1849, 1853-1899