Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

The Steam Carriage Inn


William Rouse (also known as William Rice) arrived in the colony as a convict on the ship Baring in 1815. In 1820 in Sydney in company with George Rouse and John Richards he was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the quarters of Lieutenant Macquarie, and stealing wearing apparel and other articles. Their sentences of death were commuted to transportation to Newcastle for life.

At Newcastle he was employed in the boat crew. In 1825 he was apprehended with two others for a robbery at the premises of Robert Coram Dillon, however there was no proof presented at court and they were discharged.

In 1826 he resided in a hut at the settlement where he was employed on the wharf. He married Ann Vane / Wade (ship Grenada 1827) in 1829. Ann was employed by James McClymont probably at his Inn. Ann gave birth to their son Henry who was baptised at Newcastle in August 1830. Henry Rouse became a popular and prominent citizen in years to come. He married Mary Stephena Hannell daughter of Newcastle's first Mayor James Hannell. It was Henry Rouse who built the large house on the hill where Jesmond House now stands.

In March 1830 William Rouse was appointed constable in place of Robert Young who had been discharged for neglect of duty.

By 1837 he was employed as Chief Constable at Newcastle. His name appeared often in the Bench Book and Court Records at Newcastle

He was granted a publican's licence for the Steam Coach Inn at Newcastle in June 1839 and 1840. He was granted a licence for the Steam Carriage Inn on the corner of Perkins and King Street, Newcastle in 1841 and 1842.

In 1843 he did not apply for a licence for the Steam Carriage Inn which was to be shut however he was granted a licence for his new house, under the sign of the Newcastle Inn in Hunter Street, Newcastle in that year.

He transferred the licence to his wife Ann in 1845 as he was intending to depart for England.

William Rouse died at Newcastle in 1853 at the age of fifty-three. Traveller J. Askew recorded that his Coffin was a very expensive one and was deposited in the family vault at Christchurch burial ground .

Ann Rouse nee Vane died in March 1878 aged 68 years.

Notes and Links

(1) Gaol records for George Rouse state he arrived per ship Anne in 1810. He may also have been known as Edward. He had been employed on the boat crew in Sydney in 1812 and in 1817 when he applied for mitgation of sentence he was employed as a servant of pilot Robert Murray