Sydney’s oldest publican

Bath Arms

Bath Arms, Parramatta Road, Burwood. Note the sign.

emanuel neich

Emanuel Neich

A COMPLIMENTARY report by Inspector Lenthall, metropolitan district inspector under the Licensing Act, was read by the magistrates presiding over the annual sitting of the licensing court at the central police court, Sydney, on Tuesday. The report had reference to the application of Emanuel Neich, licensee of the Bath Arms Hotel, Burwood, for a renewal of his license, which was granted. Attention of the bench was called to the fact that this was the sixtieth annual renewal of a publican’s license granted to Mr. Neich, who first held a license in Sydney as far back as 1830. His house – his own property – was kept in a most reputable manner and he had never been summoned for any breach of the Licensing Act. He was a credit to the trade and was the oldest publican in New South Wales, if not the world. Mr Neich entertained a number of his friends the same day at the City Catering Rooms. Mr Curruthers (minister for public instructions) presided, and a number of other well-known gentlemen were present. It was mentioned that Mr. Neich is the father of twenty-seven children, of who nineteen are living.


-Goulburn Herald (NSW), Friday 12 June 1891.

The Last Renewal

The patriarch of Sydney publicans, Emanuel Neich, a native of Genoa (Italy), has died at his residence, Bath Arms, Parramatta Road, Burwood, aged 86 years. He held the licence of the house for 62 years, and boasted that he had never been prosecuted for any breach of the law.

National Advocate (Bathurst, NSW) Saturday 21 October 1893

Emanuel Neich

First name Emanuel
Last name Neich
Country of Origin Italy
Date of Birth 20.1.1807
Year of Arrival in Australia 1826
Submitted by Dorothy De George (nee Neich)

Emanuel joined the Italian Merchant Marine at 14 and mistakenly found himself coming out to New Holland (Australia, not Holland) and decided to stay. He was born Emmanuel Danero in Genoa. The Captain on board the ‘Lord Rodney’ called him Neich, he assumed that name when he arrived. He owned The Black Dog Hotel in the Rocks but was conned out of his money by the manager he installed whilst he continued his merchant career sailing around the Pacific.

He married a local girl, Mary Comer, daughter of a convict, James Comer, in St Phillips Church, Sydney 20.1.1834. James gave them his hotel, The Bath Arms, Burwood NSW as a wedding present. They raised 14 children before Mary died at 44. Emanuel married again (Maryann Parkinson) and produced another 10 children. During his first marriage Emanuel also produced another child with Mary Cupitt on 10.2.1846 and they called her Sophia Neich. Sophia married William Whatman and their 6th child, Emily, married George Bradman – the parents of Sir Donald Bradman.

Emanuel held an unblemished liquor licence from 1830 – 1893, and became a leading citizen of Burwood. He, James and family were instrumental in opening a road between the Bath Arms on Parramatta Road to Liverpool Road known as Neich’s Lane (now Burwood Rd) and from Parramatta Rd to Hen & Chicken Bay on the Parramatta River.

Emanuel Neich, Seafarer, Trader, Innkeeper, Landowner and Free Settler died in Burwood 14.10.1893 (86 years). His cortage extended from the Bath Arms to St John’s Church in Alt Street, Ashfield where he is buried with his first wife Mary (27.12.1819 – 26.11.1863) and four of their children in a magnificent standstone carved vault in the church grounds.

bath arms burwood

The Bath Arms Hotel continues to trade today at the corner of Burwood Road and Parramatta Road, Burwood on the same site in an updated building. Photo:

Categories: NSW hotels, Publicans, Sydney hotels

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3 replies

  1. maybe the oldest female licencee-publican,was Jose waterstreet-pasterol Hotel -Albury-b 1900 lic to 1983 are there older?

  2. And likely a descendant of Charles Ring who discovered gold in NZ in the Coromandel region in 1852.He too was a colourful character.

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