Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

The Crown Inn

Anvil Creek

Helenus Scott of Glendon probably owned the Crown Inn which was situated half way on the road from Maitland to Singleton.

Henry Kesterton

Henry Kesterton had been proprietor of the Bush Tavern at Black Creek in the early 1840's.

By 1846 he held a publican's licence for the Crown Inn at Anvil Creek. In October 1846 the newly erected Inn with full trade and land attached was advertised for sale. Applications were to be made to John Mackay or Mr. R.J. Want in Sydney or to Helenus Scott at Glendon.

By November of 1846 Henry Kesterton had decided to swap his public life for a life in the bush and announced his retirement as Innkeeper preparatory for a 'sojourn in the bush'. His beloved wife Emma had died on the 12th November 1846 aged 32 years after a painful and protracted illness and Henry was left with a family of five young children to raise.

Auctioneer Jeremiah Ledsam was to auction the Inn on the 10th of December 1846 at 11am. He advertised it as an important and extensive sale with property of superior description with articles as were deemed indispensable in a well regulated and respectable establishment. The Inn was doing a first rate trade. It contained eleven rooms and four acres of gardens. A paddock of 20 acres with a never failing supply of water was also part of the property. As well as the stock in trade of the Inn, there were the bar fixtures comprising every article in the line and a first rate Beer engine. Also for sale were Kesterton's second hand Stanhope Gig, cart, horses and colts. A large and splendid assortment of household furniture consisting of Cane seated chairs, telescope tables, dining tables, Dee tables dressing tables table covers horse hair sofas chiffonier, side boards, decanters cut and plain glass, cruet stands, pickle stands, chest drawers, books, pictures, sporting plates, bedsteads, wash hand stands furnished, feather beds, blankets, counterpanes, bed covers, horse hair mattresses, wool mattresses, oil cloths, carpets, fenders, fire irons and Kitchen utensils [1]

Henry McLean

The licence for the Crown Inn was transferred from Henry Kesterton to Hector McLean in December 1846. McLean moved to the premises with his young family soon afterwards. Hector McLean had previously been publican at the Harp Inn at Stoney Creek and he did not remain long at the Crown.

In March 1847 his 13 year old son John McLean had a lucky escape from serious injury when his younger brother poked a stick at the horse John was riding, which immediately started off at speed throwing him off. He fell on his head however managed to walk into the house where he fell unconscious. His alarmed parents requested advice as to do what to do and John's head was shaved under the impression that the patient was suffering from 'concussion of the brain'. Dr. Michael McCartney was then sent for and arrived two days after the accident when he found the boy entirely out of danger.[2]

In June 1847 the Crown Inn at Anvil Creek and the Union Inn in Newcastle were advertised for sale by Helenus Scott of Glendon. It was said to be in full occupation at this time.

William Holden

By July 1847 McLean had transferred the licence to William Holden (3) William Holden remained at the Inn for only one year before transferring the license to Frederick Williams in July 1848. A few months later William Holden was granted a hawkers licence.

Frederick Williams

Frederick Williams remained at the Inn for three years. During this time he began a business partnership with Maitland coach owner Samuel Smith. Together they took out a licence for the 'Sociable' carriage which ran between Morpeth and Singleton. Frederick Williams later moved to Singleton where he returned to his former occupation of butcher and storekeeper.

William Clift

In December 1851 William Clift son of Samuel Clift took over the licence for the Crown. Samuel Chapman took over in 1855 [4]

Samuel Chapman

Held the licence between 1855 and April 1859

Bernard Keogh

Bernard Keogh was granted a licence in 1861


[1] Maitland Mercury 5 December 1846

[2] Maitland Mercury 13 March 1847

[3] Maitland Mercury 5 June 1847

[4] Maitland Mercury 5 September 1855