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Cumming, Thomas Forrest (1842–1918)

from Pastoral Review

Thomas Cumming, n.d.

Thomas Cumming, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 16 August 1918

Mr. Thomas Forrest Cumming, a well-known figure in pastoral circles in Victoria, died at the end of last month, aged 76 years, by a sad coincidence, on the opening day of the Melbourne Sheep Show, which he founded in 1877 and of which for 40 years he had been a very strong supporter. He was the only life member, and retained his position on the committee up to the time of his death.

Mr. Cumming was born in Melbourne in 1842, being the youngest son of Mr. John Cumming, who arrived in Port Phillip early in 1839, and was for some years afterwards largely identified with squatting pursuits. T. F. Cumming gained his pastoral experience from his brother John at Darlington, in the Western District of Victoria, and on reaching his majority became the owner of Stony Point Station by deed of gift from his father; there he resided for many years and gained a wide reputation as a breeder of pure Merino sheep. In this connection it is interesting to note that the list of prizes awarded at the second annual Melbourne Sheep Show (1879) shows that he won first and second in every class but two, all the championships and reserve championships, and the majority of the special prizes.

In 1881 Mr. Cumming held a clearing sale at Stony Point of all his stud Merinos, the total realised being £28,600. It was at this sale that the stud ram Nugget 3rd (4 years old) was purchased by the Hon. P. Russell for 1400 guineas. Mr. Cumming was a close friend of the late Mr. George Peppin, and in 1866 they inspected together in Melbourne a number of American rams imported by J. H. Clough. Mr. Cumming was a frequent visitor to Wanganella, and did considerable work in the stud there for Mr. Peppin. The former had a sheep property himself on the Darling, in N.S.W., called Burtundy, and also owned Arumpo, some 60 miles from the Darling, in the Wentworth district.

From 1881 to 1888 Mr. Cumming represented the Western province of Victoria in the Legislative Council, and in 1904 he was elected president of the Royal Agricultural Society. For some years he carried on business in Collins-street as a land valuer and stock agent, and the knowledge and experience thus obtained were of great use to him in later years as a member of the Closer Settlement Board. In 1865 he married the eldest daughter of the late Mr. Thomas Dowling, M.L.C., of Jellalabad, Darlington, who survives him, and there were five sons and three daughters of the marriage. The eldest son, Staff-Sergeant G. G. Cumming, was serving with the British forces at Rabaul, but is now attached to the remount depot in Melbourne, whilst the youngest son, Lieutenant Rupert Cumming, is in France on active service.

Original publication

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Citation details

'Cumming, Thomas Forrest (1842–1918)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/cumming-thomas-forrest-273/text274, accessed 22 November 2017.

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