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Ernest R. de Little (1868–1926)

By the death of Mr. Ernest R. de Little, which occurred at his home, Caramut House, Caramut, Victoria loses one of its best known pastoralists and sportsmen.

The late Mr. de Little was born at Caramut in 1868, being second son of Henry de Little, a pioneer settler of the Western District of Victoria. He received his primary education at the Geelong Grammar School, and after two years of travel, went to Jesus College, Cambridge. While there he received his "blue" for cricket at the early age of 21, being probably the first Victorian public school boy to obtain that distinction.

On completing his education Mr. de Little returned to Australia and settled down to pastoral pursuits at Caramut. His father, who had owned the Caramut Estate since the early fifties, died in 1871, and the property was managed by trustees until 1890, when it was taken over and divided between the two sons, Ernest and Henry. Ernest's share was Caramut House and Henry's Caramut North. The Caramut House property then comprised about 8000 acres, but Mr. Ernest sold a good deal of it to his brother, and purchased Barwidgee Estate of 9600 acres as being more convenient to work from his homestead. Subsequently he also bought the Aringa North Estate, in the Port Fairy district, Vic. These properties were used for the production of high-class wool.

Apart from his cricketing abilities—he played with Lord Hawke's team in India in 1890—Mr. de Little acquired a considerable reputation as a polo player and breeder of ponies. He was a member of the noted Caramut four that included Messrs. R. A. Affleck, R. A. D. Hood, and occasionally R. Cumming. Perhaps the most noted pony owned by him was Predominant, which he purchased from Mr. John Calvert, and from which he bred many ponies that were successful on the race track and playing ground.

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Citation details

'de Little, Ernest R. (1868–1926)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 July 2024.

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