Thomas Rose 1773-1837
- Ben Rose, on the occasion of the Rose Reunion 1999
It is just 200 years since young Thomas Rose
First set foot on Botany Bay,
His progress was slow due to the chains on his legs
But he said it beats death any day.
He was pardoned for death sentence on this occasion
And he had scarcely put on his coat,
When Thomas was sentenced to death once again,
This time for stealing a boat.
After this he looked down on old Sydney town
On a day that was lovely and sunny,
Then he said for the first time the words we know well-
"I've got a license here to print money."
Now Thomas was blessed with a pretty rare gift,
Handed down from the years back, I'm told,
It was also shared by the mythical king Midas-
Everything he touched just turned to gold.
He was granted land in Sydney town and became a baker,
Besides the shop he had a pub and much more,
He gathered more land till he owned a whole city block,
The Midas touch was working for sure.
It's well known that Thomas had an eye for the ladles,
They eyed him back with a lust hard to hide,
Records show a shortage of women back then,
No wonder- Tom had the best ones on side.
Thomas was twice married with a few birds on the side
His children I think totaled ten,
He made lots of money and looked after them well,
His convict days were well behind him by then.
About 1820 Thomas sold some of his land,
He headed right here to old Campbelltown,
He had a grant of 300 acres and bought 2000 more,
No doubt a man of great substance by then.
He built a 60 foot windmill to grind all his flour,
And build Australia's first successful large dam,
He was able to sell water to neighbouts in drought,
In truth, a farsighted man.
He helped start horse racing in Sydney,
Was Sydney's first Clerk of the course,
He owned many good racehorses back in those days,
As with women, he had an eye for a horse.
There wasn't much schooling back in those days,
But Thomas looked ahead a long way,
He sent his three boys to the newly formed King's School,
A Rose descendent called Harry is a pupil today.
Well, that's about all our ancestor Thomas,
From convict to a great millionaire,
It's a real life rags to riches story-
It would make a great movie, I swear.
Oh behalf of us all, I would like to say many thanks,
To Wendy, Henry, Rosanne, Annie and John,
Their hours of hard work give us a fantastic party-
Please let us know when the next one is on.
Bennie The Poet 1999 (rose inc.)