James Smith, son of John Smith, became publican at the Golden Fleece in 1839.
In 1843, the Golden Fleece was chosen as the venue for an election dinner given in Mr. McGreavy's honour. Several of Major Wentworth's friends from Newcastle attended and the chair was taken by solicitor Mr. Turner. After the cloth was removed a number of toasts were made and several excellent speeches were delivered. The evening was spent in great conviviality and the utmost good humour and hilarity prevailed until a late hour when the guests separated well pleased with their evenings entertainment. 
In 1845 James Smith had a narrow escape from being fined for obstructing a constable after he had prevented the arrest of bullock driver William Houghey who was accused of being drunk. The Constable had appealed to James Smith for assistance and Smith went into the Golden Fleece to bring two men for that purpose however on being told that Houghey was to be arrested for drunkenness he changed his mind, refusing to aid in apprehending Houghey for drunkenness when he considered him to be sober. He told the constable that he was determined that Houghey should not go to the watch house. He then put his hands on Houghey's shoulders and parted him from the constables grasp. Under Captain Smith who acted as Magistrate for Edward Denny Day, Houghey was fined 50/-. The case against James Smith was dismissed on an informality in the summons. 
In July 1845 the spacious house and the premises well known as the Golden Fleece Inn were advertised for lease by John Smith. It was considered to have every possible accommodation for a good business having been in full trade for ten years. Also offered was the nearby shop and premises lately occupied by Mr. Pitt. (Probably Charles Saunders Pitt)
In November 1846 John Smith was once again advertising the 'Dwelling house formerly known as the Golden Fleece Inn and adjoining the Mill' to be leased along with the Mill.
An application for Publican's licence for the Golden Fleece Inn by Charles Whittaker was refused by the Bench in April 1847, although a licence was later issued for this building by Whittaker under a different name. In 1849 it was known as the Farrier's Arms. 
The Golden Fleece Inn was advertised for lease in 1859 - The old, well known established Inn, situated in Newcastle street, East Maitland, centrally situated, adjoining the Steam Flour mill, Post Office, Bank with leading roads to all parts of the Hunter; now doing a good business; with stabling for eight horses; with tank holding eight thousand gallons of water. A paddock of twelve acres for let with the inn. Applications to John Smith of Newcastle.