Hunter Valley Inns & Hotels

Thornton's Family Hotell



Thornton's Family Hotel was built by Silvester Thornton in 1842 and commanded the trade of the principal thoroughfares of the township. Silvester Thornton arrived as a convict on the Marquis of Huntley in 1826 having been tried in Lancaster in 1824 and sentenced to transportation for life. He held the license for this hotel for the years 1843 and 1844.

When he died in April 1845, the Hotel was advertised to be let for a term of 3 or 5 years.28

The house contained:

On the ground floor - One large parlour 15' 4" by 14' 6 "

Large bar, 14 '2 " by 15 ' 4 "

Inner Parlour, 15 ' 4 " by 15'

Bedroom , 10' 6 " by 10 '

Sitting Room 10' 6" by 10 '

Laundry 17 ' by 10 '

There was a large kitchen, offices and servants' bedrooms; one six stall stable and coaching house; a garden in full cultivation and yard attached. The Upper flat contained four bedrooms the whole length and breadth of the house. There was also a small cottage adjoining which was to be included along with the hotel. (29)

Robert Scott Ross was granted the publicans license in June 1845. (1)

Alexander Johnston held the license from June 1846 until 1850 when he moved to the Woolpack Inn at Scone. His son Gilbert Johnston continued to run the Family Hotel until September 1851 when he advertised the premises for sale.

Hugh McCauley applied for a publican's license but was refused by the Bench as there were too many hotels in Muswellbrook.




(1) State Archives NSW; Series: 14401; Item: [4/76-77]; Reel: 5059.. New South Wales, Australia, Certificates for Publicans' Licences, 1830-1849, 1853-1860

(28) Maitland Mercury 4 October 1845

(29) Maitland Mercury 4 October 1845





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