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Publicans' licences 1830-61

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The index covers the years 1830-61, surnames A-Z. There are c. 20,000 entries in this index.

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About the Index

This Index was compiled from the following series

NRS 14401 Treasury; Butts of publicans' licences, Jun 1830-May 1849, (4/61-83, 7/1501; microfilm copy SR Reels 5049-5062 and 1236). 24 vols. *ARK
These contain details of the licence number, the date of issue of the licence, the name and address of the licensee and sign of hotel, period covered by the licence and amount of duty received, names of licensing justices and date and place of meeting of justices authorising the issue of the licence.

NRS 14402 Treasury; Revenue Branch - Index to certificates for publicans' licences, Apr 1853-Mar 1855, (4/90; microfilm copy SR Reel 5063). 1 vol. *ARK

NRS 14403 Treasury; Certificates for publicans' licences, 1 Jul 1853-30 Jun 1861, (4/84-89, 7/1502-13; microfilm copy SR Reels 5063-5066 and 1236-1242). 18 vols. *ARK
The certificates contain the following information: name of district, date of justices' licensing meeting, name of proposed licensee and type of licence issued, situation of Public House and sign, names and residence of sureties for licensee and signatures of justices.
Please note this series also includes some miscellaneous licences such as those for confectioners, billard packet and steam packet licences.

For 1849-52  where State Records does not hold copies of the licences check newspapers on TROVE for details.

Check also for individuals in the Colonial Secretary’s correspondence.

Accessing the records

Records have been microfilmed and are available to access in the reading room. The microfilms are also part of the Archives Resources Kit which is located at many community access points.

Order online

Copy ServiceThere is a photocopy service available from this Index. You will see an 'Add to Cart' tickbox option on the search results page(s).

Further research

It may be possible that additional information can be located by searching the following series:


Index to the Colonial Secretary's Correspondence, 1788-1825

Indexes to the post-1826 Colonial Secretary's correspondence
Search the database to the Colonial Secretary Main series of letters received, 1826-1982 in the Colonial Secretary Correspondence Guide.

Bench of Magistrates 1788-1820
The index lists all the cases heard before the Judge Advocate's Bench of Magistrates 19 Feb 1788-25 Nov 1820. It includes publicans' licenses issued/cancelled. Search by name or the term (with the wildcard symbol %) '%licence%' in the Charge or Nature of Document field.

Additional Sources

Publicans in NSW, 1887
Held in book form in the reading room. This index was prepared by students of the University of Western Sydney, Nepean.

NRS 14411, Printed lists of licenses issued, 1866-82, 1895-1900, 1907-10 Reel 1243, COD 533
The lists have been extracted from the New South Wales Government Gazette and bound in chronological order. They record the name of licensee, location and sign of house, period of licence and from 1907 assessed annual rental.

NRS 9590, Plans of licensed premises: Hotel plans, 1884-1959
Plan of The Hero of Waterloo HotelThese are largely architect's plans of proposed hotels, and major and minor alterations and additions to existing hotels, submitted for approval. A full listing is available, indexed in a card index at the WSRC. A microfilm copy of the index is available in the Sydney Records Centre on Reels 1380-89. The plans have been digitised in full colour are now available to be viewed in Archives Investigator.

NRS 9522, Card index to publicans' licenses, c.1920-37
These cards only relate to hotels in country areas and some Sydney suburbs and may not be complete. There is a separate card for each establishment: electorate, licensing district, sign (name), situation, licensing history, name of licensee and information such as orders and repairs. The cards are held at the WSRC.

Government Gazettes
Between 1866 and 1922 lists of publicans licenses were published in the New South Wales Government Gazette. A return arranged by District and published by the Treasury, was usually published in the August-September issue of the Gazette. Returns of licenses granted at Special Meetings prior to or after the Annual Meetings were also published. A set of the New South Wales Government Gazettes is held at the Western Sydney Records Centre (WSRC). Government Gazettes may also be accessed at the State Library of New South Wales and the Mitchell Library, and some university libraries.
The State Library of Victoria has digitised the NSW Government Gazette between 1836 and 1851, the year Victoria became a separate colony. Government Gazettes often contain details about publican’s licences and they may be helpful in searching for licences granted in NSW.


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