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Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Rouse, Richard (1843–1906)

by Marjorie Lenehan

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6, (MUP), 1976

This is a shared entry with Richard Rouse

Richard Rouse (1842-1903) and RICHARD junior (1843-1906), pastoralists and stud-breeders, were first cousins and grandsons of Richard Rouse of Rouse Hill. Richard was born on 2 January 1842 at Guntawang, near Mudgee, New South Wales, eldest son of Edwin Rouse, grazier, and his wife Hannah Terry, née Hipkins. Educated at Dr Woolls's school at Parramatta, in 1861 he managed Guntawang, 4000 acres (1619 ha) on the Cudgegong River near Mudgee and inherited it on the death of his father the next year. Using the 'Crooked R' brand made famous by his grandfather, Rouse bred pedigree carriage horses, cattle and merino sheep and Guntawang became noted for its lavish hospitality. He also held other properties.

In 1870 gold was discovered in the district and Gulgong was founded. In March 1872 Rouse became the principal shareholder in the Guntawang Freehold Gold Mining Co., which was moderately successful. He represented Mudgee in parliament in 1876-77 and in 1879. In 1895 he published The Australian Horse Trade, an address to the United Service Institution, in which he stressed the breeding advantages of the 'Yorkshire coach-horse'. He was a magistrate and regularly sat on the bench, first president of the Gulgong Turf Club in 1871, mayor of Gulgong in 1876 and 1899-1903 and a member of the Union Club. On 25 July 1865 in Hobart Town he married Charlotte Emily (d.1902), daughter of James Barnard. Rouse died at Guntawang on 2 March 1903, survived by three sons and a daughter. His estate was sworn for probate at over £12,400.

Richard junior was born on 15 May 1843 at Jericho, near Windsor, New South Wales, son of George Rouse (d.1888) and his wife Elizabeth, née Moore. He was educated at The King's School, Parramatta, and then learnt wool-classing. In 1867 he managed the Biraganbil stud flock near Mudgee, founded by his father in 1864 with rams and ewes bought from N. P. Bayly of Havilah and later from E. K. Cox of Rawdon. He kept careful pedigree records and bred sheep with fine strong wool of abnormal elasticity and won many prizes at the Mudgee, Dubbo and Warren shows. He was also noted for breeding race-horses, including the champion, Marvel, and was reputed one of the best judges of horses in the colony. He inherited Biraganbil in 1888 and held three other stations.

In May 1872 Rouse had 1000 shares in the new Biraganbil Gold Mining Co. Ltd. He was a councillor of the Agricultural Society of New South Wales, sometime president of the Gulgong Hospital, chairman of the Mudgee Pastures and Stock Board, a sheep director for Mudgee, a member of the Australian Jockey Club and a magistrate, although he rarely sat on the bench. He died at Biraganbil on 12 February 1906 and was buried in the Anglican section of Mudgee cemetery. He was survived by his wife Mary Helena (d.1922), daughter of Charles Bland Lowe of Goree, Mudgee, whom he had married on 29 July 1869, and by two sons and two daughters. His estate was valued for probate at nearly £24,000. His eldest son Leslie, solicitor, was an Australian Jockey Club stipendiary steward and keeper of the Australian Stud Book.

Select Bibliography

  • C. McIvor, The History and Development of Sheep Farming From Antiquity to Modern Times (Syd, 1893)
  • Votes and Proceedings (Legislative Assembly, New South Wales), 1878-79, 1, 263, 2, 33
  • New South Wales Government Gazette, 1872, 1876
  • Sydney Mail, 5 Aug 1865, 14 Aug 1869, 15 Apr 1871
  • Town and Country Journal, 7 Jan 1871, 21 Feb 1906
  • Gulgong Guardian, 25 Mar, 1 Apr 1871, 30 Mar, 13 Apr, 25 May, 12 Oct 1872
  • Mudgee Guardian, 16 Feb 1900
  • Mudgee Liberal, 22 Mar 1900, 14 Feb, 20 May 1901
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 4 Mar 1903, 14 Feb 1906.

Additional Resources

  • probate, Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate (NSW), 24 March 1906, p 3

Citation details

Marjorie Lenehan, 'Rouse, Richard (1843–1906)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1976, accessed online 23 October 2020.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6, (MUP), 1976

View the front pages for Volume 6

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