Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

The Caledonian Hotel


Alexander Munro was born in Ardessier, Invernessshire in 1812. He arrived in the colony as a convict on the ship York 1831 in 1831. He married Sophia Lovell in 1838.

Early in 1850 Alexander Munro secured the licence of the old Sir Thomas L. Mitchell Inn in George Street, and having erected a new and substantial building adjoining, he transferred the licence to the new house which was called the Caledonian Hotel. This house contained four parlors, four bedrooms, bar and tap room on the ground floor and on the second floor eight bedrooms and a saloon which was considered the largest saloon out of Sydney. There was also another room that was used by the Oddfellows as a Lodge room. In addition the hotel was fitted with a large balcony and a verandah.

In the early fifties the up country mail coaches used to leave from the Caledonian. [1]

In 1851 he leased the hotel to Edward Alcorn and devoted himself extensively to pastoral pursuits, taking up large holdings on the Liverpool Plains. He died at Ardessier House, Singleton in 1889

Edward Alcorn

Edward Alcorn, son of Richard Alcorn and Sarah Stedman was born in 1801 in Sussex, England

He arrived free with his mother and brother Richard on the convict ship Glatton in 1803. Richard Alcorn sen., was transported as a convict on the Glatton having been sentenced to 14 years at the Old Bailey for horse stealing. Richard Alcorn sen., died in 1812.

Edward Alcorn grew up in the Hawkesbury district and received a grant of 60 acres at Falbrook in 1821. He married Sarah Smith at Windsor in 1828.

Sarah Alcorn died in 1838 at Singleton and Edward married Mary Ann Chilcott, a widow on 31 January 1849.

Edward Alcorn held the licence for his brother's hotel the Queen Victoria Inn at Jerrys Plains in 1840. In March 1851 he took out the Licence for the Caledonian Hotel. He was also contracted to convey Royal Mail from Singleton to Muswellbrook, Scone, Murrurundi and back in that same year

He retired from the Caledonian in 1854.

William Winch

William Winch held the licence for the Caledonian in 1861 (Maitland Mercury 18 April 1861)

Notes and Links

Edward Alcorn died in 1880. His obituary was published in the Newcastle Morning Herald:

Death of an old Pioneer. One of the old landmarks and historical personages of New South Wales went the way of all flesh at Singleton on Friday morning. The deceased gentleman was Mr. Edward Alcorn, of Singleton, who died from sheer old age, after nearly finishing his eightieth year.

The deceased gentleman was one of the few remaining Englishmen whose early and indefatigable energy brought about the opening up of the northern districts of this colony landing in Port Jackson when but a child he spent the earlier portion of his days in the Hawkesbury district, and comparatively young man formed one of the first parties to cross the Bulga Mountains and settle on what subsequently became known as Patricks Plains. Together with Mr. John Browne, J.P. (father of the present member for that electorate), he for years underwent the dangers to life and limb incident to explorers and squatters in the old days of blacks and the bushranging fraternity; but despite numberless hairbreadth escapes, he subsequently was the means of opening up large tracts of country in the north, and became possessed of considerable affluence for a time.

To Mr. Alcorn's courage and tact in conciliating himself amongst the then wild aboriginals upwards of half a century ago, not a few of the present wealthy squattages now owned by our colonial magnates view were formed, his name having been a household word in the northern districts prior to the present generation. The deceased, it may be mentioned, as a matter of incident, was born in Buckingham Palace, London, in the year 1800, and leaves behind him a widow and a large family. His funeral took place yesterday afternoon at the Singleton Church of England Cemetery, attended by a large gathering of friends, the Rev. B. B. Shaw, B.A., of All Saints, conducting the service

- Newcastle Morning Herald 8 June 1880