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Rouse, George (1816–1888)

The late Mr. George Rouse was one of the identities of the Mudgee district, and was widely known as a breeder of first class stock. He was a native of Parramatta, where he was born on July 27, 1816. When he was 19 years of age he went to Mudgee to manage his father's stations: Guntawang and Biraganbil. It was not, however, until 1853 that he settled down in the district on his own account, and became a leading man. His career was one of those which might be quoted as an instance of the way in which fortunes are made by squatters and pastoralists. His daily life for years was thus described by a personal friend:

Before advancing age checked the practice, he was in the saddle all day and half the night, when need was, in his laborious work, so thoroughly done, in the inspection and supervision of his widely distant estates. When he took to wheels as a less fatiguing mode of locomotion a well-bred horse and a light sulky were his general equipment. With his daylight start, which he always made imperative, he was in the habit, almost to his last days, of covering remarkable distances in his journeys. His correspondence, which it may be imagined was incessant and voluminous, he generally completed before breakfast, rising by candlelight in winter and at earliest dawn in summer to accomplish the task. Method, punctuality, and forecasting arrangement of detail were with him watchwords and all but instinctive habits. To these, combined with the most unremitting industry and a high degree of natural intelligence and sagacity, may be attributed the unvarying success which marked everything he undertook.

As an employer he was a stern disciplinarian hating waste and carelessness. He was strong to resent injustice; and, though choleric in temperament, he was liberal and just; and while he was a stout enemy he was a staunch friend. After years of careful work he added station to station, and was in later times assisted in the work of management by his four sons. He was an enthusiast in the breeding of pedigree stock, and noted for his herds of Herefords, Devons, and shorthorns, and from his valuable class of merino sheep. He also bred numerous valuable racehorses. Although Mr. Rouse was best known as a pastoralist, he was also a practical and successful agriculturist. On all his estates a considerable quantity of land was kept under cultivation; and the tillage was conducted with skill and method, and with the aid of the best machinery available. In the midst of his varied labors his health broke down; and, surrounded by his family, he died on July 29 last in his residence, Beaudesert, near Mudgee, at the age of 72 years. Mr. Rouse was married in 1841, and had nine children, seven of whom survive him—Mr. Richard Rouse, of Biraganbil; Mrs C. B. Cairnes, Parramatta; Mr. G. M. Rouse, Beaudesert; Mr. W. C. Rouse, Cobbora; Miss E. J. Rouse, Beaudesert; Mrs. R. J. Black, Sydney; and Mr. A. M. Rouse, of Gillendoon, Warren.

Original publication

Citation details

'Rouse, George (1816–1888)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/rouse-george-16181/text28128, accessed 25 November 2017.

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