Hunter Valley Inns & Hotels

Victoria Inn

Newcastle

 


 
James McGreavy was granted a license for the Victoria Inn in Watt Street, Newcastle in 1839.

In February 1842 he was awakened from his sleep by burglars and although he pursued them, they made their escape as a constable could not be found. The thieves found little money in the till - 5/-in coppers and a few shillings that had been left for change for the morning, however they 'consoled themselves with drinking Mr. McGreavy's choicest Jamaica rum'! (12)

James McGreavy died in September 1846 at 60 years of age (13) and on the occasion of Sir Charles Fitzroy's visit to the Hunter, James Croft was innkeeper at the Queen Victoria (14)

A dinner was organised by the inhabitants of Newcastle to honour the Governor. They decided that the 'restaurateur of Newcastle', Mr. McGregor should provide the dinner and dessert and the committee would purchase the wines which it was expressly understood were to be first rate. 50 was collected towards the spread within three hours after the meeting. There was to be no distinction of persons - the 'clergy, professional gentlemen and tradesmen' would all be given the opportunity of meeting her Majesty's representative. The dinner was to take place at the large banqueting room that had recently been erected at Croft's Hotel. The room was capable of receiving from eighty to ninety guests at dinner (15)

In April 1847 Margaret McGreavy was landlady of the Queen Victoria Inn when she was robbed by a prisoner of the crown attached to the steam dredge, Stephen Jervis. Margaret had returned to her bedroom from the bar to get change for a note when she observed the window open. When she saw the shadow of a man against the wall she called out. Her servant girl Sarah Hill, a 'bouncing good tempered Irish girl' heard her mistress 'screech' and grabbed hold of Jervis as he climbed from the window and stuck to him 'tooth and nail'. Stephen Jervis was found to have stolen a brooch and papers and was later sentenced to 12 months in irons by magistrates  Major Richard Furlong and Major James Henry Crummer (16)

In May 1847 a man named Arrup was brought to the Police office in Newcastle charged with being an idle and disorderly person. He had been showing off sleight of hand tricks at the Victoria Inn when the attention of the Chief constable was attracted by the 'noise occasioned by his evolutions'. He was involved in an altercation with a lady of whom he had borrowed 5/- and which he had forgotten to return. The landlady of the Victoria Inn indignantly denied that he lodged at her hotel and he was taken into custody and later sentenced to 1month in prison (17)

Later, the Victoria Inn was advertised for sale:

 'NOTICE: A more certain plan of making a fortune than going to California! Let any respectable man, who understands the proper method of keeping an hotel, and knows how to be civil and attentive to his customers, take that spacious house in Watt Street, in the city of Newcastle long known as the Victoria and latterly as Farquharsons hotel. In addition to the drawing, sitting and bedrooms there is a magnificent ball room in which the citizens had the honor of entertaining his Excellency Sir Charles Fitzroy the governor of the colony on his visit to this the first watering place in the colony.'

Margaret McGreavy still held the license for the Inn in 1858. In November of that year the Victoria Inn was destroyed in the most disastrous fire Newcastle had ever seen. Margaret McGreavy died in 1865 aged 68 years..    



Notes and Links:

1). Margaret McGreavey arrived on the convict ship Elizabeth in 1818

2). James McGreavey arrived on the convict ship Chapman in 1817

3). James Croft arrived on the convict ship Lady Castlereagh in 1818 and was at one time goal keeper at the Newcastle gaol

4). Colonial Military Officers




References:

(12) Hunter River Gazette 26 February 1842

(13) Maitland Mercury 23 September 1846

(14) Maitland Mercury 6 February 1847

(15) Maitland Mercury 23 January 1847

(16) Maitland Mercury 10 April 1847

(17) Maitland Mercury 1 May 1847   

 

 

 

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