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Robert Rand (1819–1894)

Mr. Robert Rand, who died at Mohonga Station, in New South Wales, 0n the 12th July last, was one of the earliest settlers in what is now known as the Central Division, having taken up the Mohonga run in 1849. He started cattle-breeding on a large scale, and was very successful, but after purchasing the adjoining station, known as Urangeline, in 1864, where he ran sheep, he gradually turned Mohonga into a sheep run. For many years his purchases of stud rams have been of the most extensive made in the colonies, and when he wanted sheep, even to a flock, he got them irrespective of price. The greater part of Mohonga and Urangeline is now freehold, and consists of some 160,000 acres. To this Mr. Rand contemplated, at the time of his death, adding a large area from the well-known Brookong Estate, which adjoins Urangeline on the north, as he believed there was no such security for money as land. His properties are an object-lesson on the conservation of water, and the expenditure of large sums on dam-making and tank-sinking was one of his chiefest pleasures of late years. No matter in what direction one may turn a miniature meets the eye. He was most methodical in his business habits and exact in his dealings. When he made a sale of sheep the purchaser could rely on getting delivery of the class of sheep he bought, but no additional sheep were given in, and he always expected to be treated the same way. Outside of this business he was a generous and open-handed man, but had a great objection to his charities being known, and no one in Riverina will be more missed in that respect. Many stories are told of his ability to handle cattle, and it is told of him that on one occasion he astonished some drovers who came to take delivery of a mob of fat cattle by insisting on doing the cutting-out himself at the various cattle camps, and this he did without either stockwhip or dog, merely walking his horse in through the mob. Getting behind the beast he wanted, he flourished his pocket-handkerchief on either side of him, and the beast walked quietly out. The horses on Mohonga were generally known to have some good ones among them, and when Morgan, the notorious bushranger, was the terror of that district he occasionally favoured the Mohonga horse paddock. Mr. Rand offered an additional reward to that offered by the Government, and Morgan hearing of it, rode to Mohonga, and told Mr. Rand he had come to shoot him. Fortunately for Mr. Rand, he did not lose his coolness or presence of mind, and told Morgan "if that was his purpose he was unable to prevent him," and Morgan being sober—which he seldom was at that time—thought better of it and rode off again. Many stories have been invented by befuddled bushmen after a spree of Mr. Rand's exciting encounters with Morgan, but none of them have any foundation in fact. Mr. Rand was a native of Hadleigh, in Suffolk, where his ancestors have lived since the sixteenth century, and was seventy-five years of age at the time of his death. He was a wonderfully well-informed man, intensely practical, lived simply and plainly and was almost a total abstainer. He was a bachelor.

It is expected that 290,000 sheep will be shorn this season on both stations. The wool shed at Urangeline, where the flock is being shorn, is very complete, and is fitted with seventy-five stands of Wolseley machines. Mr. Rand was probably worth about half-a-million at the time of his decease.

Original publication

Citation details

'Rand, Robert (1819–1894)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


Hadleigh, Suffolk, England


12 July, 1894 (aged ~ 75)
Mahonga station, New South Wales, Australia

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