"Passing by the race-course last Sunday evening we were sorry to see a number of young men engaged playing at cricket, in the vicinity of the church; and, knowing how strongly a due observance of the Sabbath, and public feeling in general, was against such a mode of spending the Sabbath ....." - .Letters to the Editor, Maitland Mercury, Saturday 12th April 1845
Morpeth itself was an important inland transport hub in the early settlement of New South Wales with it's access to the Hunter River system made it vital link in sending fresh produce to Sydney. Although the area was known since 1797 when Lt Shortland navigated the river, it wasn't until the convict gangs (under military rule) and then the cedar getters plying the river that really opened up the opportunities for further development. In 1821 Lt. Edward Close chose to take up his land grant in the area known as Green Hills and began farming on the rich alluvial river flats. The high ground near the family home became known as Morpeth and due to the erection of wharves at Morpeth to send produce back to Sydney a town quickly established itself. So quickly did the town grow that agitation for postal facilities began as early as 1836, as inhabitants were very much inconvenienced to have to pick their mail up from either Hinton or Maitland. Then in August 1838, as reported in the Sydney Gazette, came the following good news -
"MORPETH - Mr Raymond, the (NSW) Postmaster (- General), has recommended to the Government a Post Office should be established at the thriving village of Morpeth at the head of the navigation of Hunter's [sic] River"
|original letter receivers are still in place|
The Post Office and Telegraph Offices found themselves combined in the Court House in 1862, however run separately, as was the norm in those early days. It appears that the Post Office and Telegraph Office didn't amalgamate until the appointment of Mr D.Bell in January 1870, when both offices were located in the 'new' Court House ( built in 1866). This arrangement lasted a year and the offices were once again split with the Post Office moving to a new site in Swan Street with Miss Anne Larrymore in charge.