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Introduction to the Hotel Publican's Licences Table

Publican's Licenses

(As listed in the Government Gazettes)

Western New South Wales. 1865 - 1900

Part of Central New South Wales. 1865 - 1870.

For the purposes of this study, Western New South Wales is that area to the west of a line drawn from Brewarrina down to Balranald; the major towns include Balranald, Bourke, Brewarrina, Broken Hill, Cobar, Hay, Nyngan, Walgett, Wentworth and Wilcannia. In the Central NSW area I have included Albury, Carcoar, Corowa, Cowra, Deniliquin, Dubbo, Forbes, Molong, Wagga Wagga, Warren and Wellington. Areas such as the New England and Pilliga regions, Orange-Bathurst, and Tumut (listed under the South East) belong to other Rootsweb lists and have been excluded.

Under Act No. X1V of 20th January, 1862, in the Statutes of NSW, applicants could be granted a Publican's License authorising them to sell liquor in the house or on the premises specified in such a license. Strict rules and conditions pertaining to these licenses were laid down under the Act. These are discussed in some detail in my second section "About These Publican's Licences". The Government Gazettes, each year, published lists of the names of the holders of these Publican's Licenses ; these lists form the basis of my work.

The Gazette gives the District of the License, the Name of the Licensee, the Situation and Name of the House.

In an attempt to give a more composite picture, I have grouped these Licenses under individual hotels. Variations in the definition of the Districts, wide variations in the description and spelling of the locations, and sometimes even a total lack of any specific location, made this task difficult. Even an apparently clear location can be misleading; West Bourke is actually two and a half miles to the north-east of Bourke.

If a Publican's License appeared say in the 1870 Gazette, then I have shown it just as 1870 although, being a 12 month license, it would probably have carried over into 1871. In some cases the license could have commenced in the latter months of 1869.

"1890-1892" means that this person has been listed in the Gazette as holding the license for at least some part of each of the years 1890, 1891, and 1892. This does not rule out the possibility of another person briefly taking over the license for part of that period.

My Publican's Licenses are meant as a confirmation of some of the holders of a license, rather than the total picture. There are obvious omissions in the Gazettes - I don't believe that, for certain years, in some towns, almost the whole community decided to become teetotallers causing lots of pubs to close down. There will also have been entries that I have missed, and those that I have failed to identify as belonging within my defined areas.

A license for a hotel was given to one person - there was never any mention of a partner. Yet in reviewing the newspaper reports of the time, I have found reference to two people as co-owners. In an 1881 newspaper, the Cobar Hotel is spoken of as belonging to Morrison and Monaghan; Morrison features strongly in the Gazette - there is no mention of Monaghan. Sometimes there was an easily explained husband-to-wife swap to what appeared in the official records.

Some hotels like the Silver King and the Pig and Whistle appear in advertisement listing publicans that do not correspond with those listed in the Gazette. The 1892 Pig and Whistle ad gives Newton as the publican; he is listed for the next year. The 1892 Ad for the Silver King has Kelly as the publican - he doesn't appear in the Gazettes for this hotel at any stage. This possibly could be a glitch in the otherwise trusty Gazette.

There are many inconsistencies. Use my Publican's Licenses as a guide - not a Bible.


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Last updated on 23 July 2006