Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

The Newcastle Inn


John Huxham who arrived in the Elizabeth in 1826 was Innkeeper at the Newcastle Inn in 1828 and probably earlier.

One of eight Inns in Newcastle in 1828, the Newcastle Inn was situated on the corner of Hunter and Watt Streets and was described in 1829 as a large brick Inn with good stabling and accommodation. Select here to find out more about some of the publicans in Newcastle in 1828.

In 1830 when John Huxham was granted a publican's licence for the Newcastle Inn it was stated that he had held a licence for four years and that John Hooke was proprietor of the house. Andrew Sparke and Edward Priest gave sureties and the licence was granted with a fee of £25.

In 1830 both John Hooke and John Huxham fell into debt and the Inn was to be sold at auction.......

1st November 1830 - Hughes and another v. Huxham - On Friday the 12th instant, on defendant's (Huxham) premises, Newcastle Inn, Newcastle, all the household furniture, cattle, gig and harness. After which, the licence and good will of the house.[1]

The Monitor gave a little more detail....In the Supreme Court Sheriff's Office, Sydney 26th November. Ferris and another v. Hooke. On Thursday, the 9th of December at one o'clock in George Street, opposite Polack's London Tavern, Sydney, the Sheriff will cause to be sold, all the Right, Title, Interest and Estate of Defendant in and to all that Messuage or tenement, with the out buildings yard, garden and appurtenances thereto belonging, situate lying, and being in the Town of Newcastle, bounded on the east by....street, on the west by an Allotment of ground belonging to Patrick Riley, on the north by .....street, and on the south by an Allotment of ground belonging to Mr. William Evans*, known as The Newcastle or Huxham's Inn. It is at present rented at £100 per annum; unless the Executions be previously satisfied [2]

John Huxham was declared insolvent in 1831.

In the correspondence of Sir Edward Parry the Inn was mentioned......In 1830 the house at Newcastle known as the Newcastle Inn lately occupied by Mr. Huxham and belonging to Mr. Hook to be sold by auction. George Bunn was requested by Sir Edward Parry to bid for the Newcastle Inn to the value of £250. The location was noted as being the corner of Hunter and Watt streets. Allotment 56.[2]

Ownership of the Premises

The following Memorial gives a history of the ownership of the land and premises of the Newcastle Inn:

Daniel Cooper to Simon Kemp

All that piece or parcel of land or ground situate lying and being in the Town of Newcastle in the colony aforesaid bounded on the East by Watt Street; on the West by an allotment of ground belonging to one Patrick Riley, on the North by Hunter Street, and on the South by an allotment of ground belonging to one William Evans which said piece of parcel of land hereby granted and released was sometime since granted or allotted by His Majesty's Government to William Powditch who by indentures of Lease and release dated the 8th and 9th November 1827 conveyed the same with messuages and tenement and out buildings thereon erected and built for £500 consideration to one James Horton James then of Sydney and his heirs to the use of the said Thomas Horton James and were also the the said Thomas Horton James by Indentures of lease and release being the date the 13th and 14th May 1828 for eight hundred pounds consideration conveyed to one John Hooke then of Sydney Esq. and his heirs which afterwards by Deed of Bargain and Sale conveyed for £325 consideration (in part satisfaction of a judgment and execution obtained by Henry Ferris and Thomas Chapman against the said John Hooke unto and to the use of the said Daniel Cooper and his heirs together with dwelling house and premises thereon erected and built and now lately known by the name of the Newcastle Inn.[3]

Simon Kemp

In the years 1831 - 1834, Simon Kemp was granted a licence for the Newcastle Inn[4]

In 1833 Governor Sir Richard Burke visited Newcastle. The Sydney Gazette reported the particulars {extract}:

As the Sophia Jane came round Nobby's Island, a royal salute was fired from the battery, and the colours were hoisted at the flag staff. The vessel being immediately brought to the wharf, His Excellency and suite were received on landing by all the respectable inhabitants, and with military honours by the troops drawn up under the command of Lieutenant Gibson of the King's Own. The Governor was much pleased with the appearance of a considerable number of the natives forming a regular line on the wharf as His Excellency passed, and lowering their spears to the ground in an orderly manner, accompanied by their peculiar trill. It was gratifying to observe that the Governor and ladies appeared in excellent health and spirits; the remarkable fineness of the day and smoothness of the sea having contributed much to the pleasure of their excursion. After resting a short time at Kemp's Inn where accommodation had been provided, His Excellency proceeded to inspect the Hospital, Lumber Yard, and Gaol attended by the officers of the public departments; and thence returning to the Inn, sat down to an excellent dinner.

An Address was presented to Governor Burke by some of the leading citizens of the Newcastle district in 1833-

Sir Edward Parry,
Rev. Wilton,
Henry Dangar,
John Henderson,
George Brooks,
Alexander Walker Scott,
Jonathan Warner,
Rev. Lancelot Threlkeld,
J. Frederick,
Francis Allman,
J. Steele,
Charles Le Fevre Neville,
William Croasdill,
Francis Beattie,
John Smith,
Charles Hopwood,
Simon Kemp,
Michael Steele,
Frederick Dixon,
Charles Kemp,
Alexander Philp,
Samuel Langham,
Joseph Beattie,
James Hannell,
Henry Usher,
Thomas Buxton,
John Darragh,
William Foster,
William Close,
M.D. Blandford,
William Cromarty,
B. Naughten,
James Reid,
James Pawsey,
John Laurio Platt,
Edward Biddulph

In 1835, 1836 and 1837 Simon Kemp changed the name of the Inn and was granted a licence under the new name of the Commercial Inn which was the same building on the corner of Hunter and Watt Streets.

Simon Kemp died in 1867......Simon Kemp, father of the late Mr. Charles Kemp, a very old and respected resident died at Newcastle on Tuesday last. He was mayor during the past year and his term of office expired within a few minutes of his death. His funeral took place on the 7th instant.[5]

Notes and Links

In 1843 William Rouse, failed to apply for his licence for the Steam Carriage Inn which was to close its doors, however he did obtain a licence for his 'splendid new house' under the sign of the Newcastle Inn. This Inn was situated at the other end of Hunter Street, near Perkins Street and was also known as Rouse's Hotel.


[1] Sydney Gazette 5 November 1830

[2] The Monitor 27 November 1830

[3] SR NSW Archive Reel: 1583; Series: 12992; Description: Registers of Memorials for Land 1825-1842. 9th August 1834.

[4] Sydney Gazette 20 April 1833

[5] Sydney Morning Herald 21 February 1867.