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Rutledge, Thomas (1819–1904)

Yesterday morning news reached Queanbeyan of the death of Thomas Rutledge, Esq., J.P., which took place at his residence (Carwoola) at half past eleven on Wednesday night, after a brief illness extending over a few days. Deceased had been an invalid for a number of years, and was, therefore, more or less confined to the precincts of his own home. The name of Mr. Thomas Rutledge is well-known throughout the length and breadth of this State and may be coupled with those of the early successful and enterprising pastoralists who have done so much in converting the forests of New South Wales into fields and pastures that we may gaze upon with pleasure to-day. That Mr Rutledge prospered in his venture in station life is beyond dispute, and a few words regarding his rapid acquisition of hundreds of square miles of territory in New South Wales is explanatory in itself. Mr Rutledge was born at Cavan, Ireland, in the year 1818, and immigrated to Australia when about 23 years of age and came to Carwoola, when the town of Queanbeyan was but a hamlet and purchased the Carwoola estate from his brother, the late Hon. William Rutledge. With a run of good seasons and the assistance of the keen business tact with which he was endowed, his progress was at once apparent and in a very short period he had acquired various other station properties in the southern and western districts of New South Wales, all of which he handed over to his three sons prior to his death, with the exception of the old and valuable property known as Carwoola. Mr Rutledge has not passed away without leaving behind him a record of his name in the political history of the State. In the year 1881 the old gentleman was returned to the Legislative Assembly as a representative of the Queanbeyan Electorate by a vast majority and retained his seat for one parliamentary term only, as owing to his failing health he was forced to retire from the turmoil of political strife and voyaged to England, where he recouped a little of his lost vitality. Nevertheless his health had not materially improved, the failing of his constitution, which was the ultimate cause of his death, evidently dates from that early period. Mr. Rutledge was sworn in to the Commission of the Peace in New South Wales in the early forties, and was senior magistrate of this district. He was also one of the oldest members of the Union Club, Sydney, where he was well known and highly esteemed by his fellow members and associates. Another honourable position the late estimable gentleman held was that of Life Member of the Queanbeyan District Hospital. Many similar traits of the old gentleman's gratitude may be mentioned, as he was ever ready and willing to help a charitable institution in its struggle for existence. As another instance of the many benevolent characteristics of Mr. Rutledge, we may mention that the expense of the construction of St. Thomas' Church of England, which stands near the Carwoola homestead, was defrayed by him. Mr Rutledge, in his early days, was a notable sportite, and among horseowners with his straight and unselfish dealings made himself a great favourite. With his horse Yattendon he annexed the first Sydney Cup Race, which celebrated horse he afterwards disposed of. Mr. Rutledge subsequently won other important races in New South Wales, among which was the Tiranna Cup, which he carried off on two occasions—by Record and Trolius. On his station many horses whose progeny have since made themselves famous were also bred. Deceased married a daughter of the late Dr. Forster of the "Brush," Parramatta, who survived him. By the issue of the marriage there are three sons and four daughters. Of the former Mr. William Forster Rutledge (the Chairman of the Queanbeyan Pastures Protection Board) owns Gidleigh Station; Mr. Edward Rutledge owns a station on Liverpool Plains, and Mr. Frank Rutledge has a station on the Bogan, in the Western districts. Of the daughters, two are single and reside at home; the others are Mrs. A. H. Garraway, of this town, and Mrs. Charles King, of Roma Downs, Queensland. Mr. and Mrs. Garraway left town yesterday to attend the funeral, which will take place at 2.30 this afternoon, when the remains wiil be interred in the church-yard cemetery of the Church afore-mentioned. Other townsfolk left this morning to attend the funeral.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • funeral, Age (Queanbeyan), 29 November 1904, p 2

Citation details

'Rutledge, Thomas (1819–1904)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/rutledge-thomas-15718/text26910, accessed 22 November 2017.

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