Hunter Valley Inns & Hotels

The Blue Bell Inn

East Maitland


The Blue Bell Inn was formerly known as the Cottage of Content run by Samuel Bailey and situated in Banks Street East Maitland.

Sergeant John Lee formerly of the Royal Veterans Corps and of the mounted police was granted a license for the Blue Bell Inn from January 1845. In January 1847 he was fined 5 for permitting gambling in his licensed house. This followed an incident at the Blue Bell Inn on New Years Eve involving two men - James Jones, a ticket of leave holder, and a Mr. Chandler who gambled for a watch with dice brought by Mr. Lee. Jones, who owned the watch, lost the bet and when Lee and Chandler refused to give up the watch he laid a charge against them. As John Lee could produce no evidence to support his denial of the charge the Bench fined him for a breach of the Licensing Act. (1)

John Lee's application for Publican's license for the Blue Bell Inn was refused by the Bench in April that same year (2) and the Blue Bell was advertised for lease in June 1847. The occupant was said to be doing a good trade but the lease had expired (4). John Lee was granted a license for the White Horse Inn between East and West Maitland in December 1850. He died at the White Horse Inn age 49 in July 1851. He had been in the colony since 1823 and had received a grant of land of 100 acres in that year. He was present at the events at Waterloo Creek in January 1838 and was active but ineffectual in the pursuit of the Jewboy bushrangers in 1840.

Samuel Henry Rapsey announced in July 1848 that he was taking the premises formerly occupied by Sergeant Lee and opening the Golden Lion Inn(3)

Next door to the Inn was an Immigrants Home. Immigrants such as those arriving on the Subraon in 1848 were lodged at the home prior to finding employment (5)

Nathanial Court was employed at the Blue Bell Inn in 1846.      


(1). Maitland Mercury 20 January 1847

(2). Maitland Mercury 24 April 1847

(3). Maitland Mercury 1 July 1848

(4). Maitland Mercury 9 June 1847

(5). Maitland Mercury 15 April 1848




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