Thursday 14 November 2019

The "Hope Inn" - on this day 165 years ago

We have mentioned the “Hope Inn” a couple of times in other posts, but have managed to unearth some more information about it.
Henry Thatcher was the earliest  publican of the Hope Inn (1838)  that we know of, followed by Michael McQuade (1839). The Inn which was situated on a block fronted by three streets – the Sydney Road (now Queen Street), Browne and Howe. This large block originally belonged to William Howe. It's frontage on the main street was 118 feet, (36 metres).

Bordered by Browne, Howe and the Main Road, opposite the court house.

The two storied brick building was built on stone foundation, and had 10 rooms, a bar, and a flagged verandah the whole length of the building. Outhouses included a brick kitchen with a store attached, two stables – one weatherboard and one brick, capable of housing 14 horses, and a granary. A large yard and garden were at the back of the building.
Isaac Rudd had the licence from 1840 to 1846. He was followed by William Rixon who took on the Hope Inn licence in 1847, however Rixon died the same year, and the following year his wife Ann Rixon took on the licence. Records do not show who held the licence from 1849 to 1853 however William Henry Phibbs had it in 1853, after marrying Ann Rixon in 1852.
The Hope Inn was advertised in February 1854, for sale by auction. It is reasonable to assume Edward Fitzgerald purchased the Inn at the auction held on March 1st of that year as his licence was dated 21st April 1854. Unfortunately this would not be a happy purchase for Edward.
On Tuesday 14th November 1854 a fire destroyed the Hope Inn completely. All of Edward Fitzgerald’s furniture, stock of spirits, ale and porter, and 200 pounds cash were destroyed. Locals took up a collection for Edward, and he moved to the other end of town, taking up the licence of the Farrier’s Arms. Along with the Inn a store also burned down, which had only recently been opened by a Mr McGrath. It was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald that “in consequence of the want of an engine people could only stand and look on, instead of lending efficient aid”. A fire brigade was still 37 years away.
We do not have a picture of the Hope Inn, however it does appear on an 1840 map of Campbelltown, faintly written. The large block on which it stood eventually was absorbed by Mawson Park and the Bowling Club.
Very faintly, the Hope Inn is marked on this 1840 map of Campbelltown.

Written by Claire Lynch
With many thanks to Brendan Leenders of Museum Macarthur

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