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David Rose (?–1826)

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David Rose (d.1826), farmer, arrived in Sydney from London in 1810 as a lieutenant in the 73rd Regiment. In April he was transferred to Port Dalrymple in the Trial and continued his successful army career there. In 1812, when Major Gordon of the 73rd Regiment at Launceston 'had sunk into mental debility', Rose was one of several officers who performed Gordon's duties. Rose was also one of the officers towards whom Major Stewart was antagonistic and this may have encouraged his resignation in August 1814.

While still a lieutenant Rose had begun an apparently successful public service career. In January 1812 Gordon, with Governor Lachlan Macquarie's approval, appointed Rose inspector of government herds and livestock at Port Dalrymple at 5s. a day. During his term of office he served on the inquiry in May 1813 into the case of Edward Woolly who was accused of maiming cattle. In April 1820 when examined by Commissioner John Thomas Bigge Rose admitted that he had not always acted according to instructions, but he explained that his assistants were too few, his pay too meagre, and his instructions unrealistic. He was a witness in the examinations of Frederick Drennan's charges against Lieutenant-Colonel Gilbert Cimitiere for malversation of government stores and herds. Drennan accused Rose of wrongfully being allowed assigned servants and rations as a magistrate, but more serious were depositions about discrepancies in Rose's stock returns. However, Rose was able to account for the irregularities. It was also revealed that Rose had had to buy stationery with his own money, and to build government stockyards for which he had not been paid for over a year; and he had been instructed to separate the government stock from privately owned cattle, an absurd order for that unfenced country. He was said to have been exchanging cattle with the notorious William Field, but these charges had little effect on Rose's career and until his services were no longer required he was given wider powers. In November 1820 when the herds were consolidated under one central superintendent he resigned, after chairing a committee during his last month of office to draft proposals for disposing of the government livestock.

Rose had become a farmer on his retirement from the army and seemed to be modestly successful as a wheat-grower and meat contractor. He was granted land, which he named Corra Lynn, on the North Esk River near Launceston. In 1814 he was also granted six cows from the government herds on three years credit and was promised six assigned servants when they became available. On his discharge from the public service in 1820 he increased his landholdings by grant and purchase. His other activities included brick-making and in 1818 he sold 3000 to the commandant at Port Dalrymple.

An old friend of Macquarie, with whom he had long served in the same regiment, Rose was a supporter of the local Bible Society and seemed to be of excellent character, although in 1820 Drennan wildly accused him of being 'a Drunkard and illiterate'. His death on 6 July 1826 was hastened by a wound from a dog bite.

Select Bibliography

  • Historical Records of Australia, series 3, vols 1-3.

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Citation details

'Rose, David (?–1826)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 22 June 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (Melbourne University Press), 1967

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