THE LIFE AND LOVES OF THOMAS ROSE
Anne Lorimer Sheppard, May 22, 1999
A. CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY
Thomas Rose was born about 1773 at Newport Shropshire, England. He was convicted of house breaking at Shrewsbury on 19 March 1793 and sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted to transportation for life and he arrived at Sydney in the "Barwell" in May 1798 (ADB).
BEGINNINGS IN SYDNEY
In 1801 Thomas Rose, Richard Perkins and others were convicted of stealing a boat from its owner and sentenced to death. However, they were pardoned through the mercy of the Governor (AONSW). About 1804 Thomas Rose set up in Sydney as a baker and in 1806 he was granted a publican's license. He received a conditional pardon on 4 June 1806 and following an absolute pardon, granted by Lieutenant-Governor Paterson on 1 December 1809 and later continued by Governor Macquarie but not until 1814, he was granted land at what was then known as Chapel Row. There he built a bakery and alongside it the Rose and Crown Inn, both of which were open for business in 1810. He gradually increased his holdings in this part of town until he gained possession of the entire block now bounded by King, Elizabeth, Market and Castlereagh Streets in Sydney. In 1815 he put the bakery on the market (ADB).
Rose had been quite a public figure as a Sydney business man, being a stockholder in the Bank of NSW, a trustee of the Sydney Public Free Grammar School, and treasurer of the Sydney Reading Room. He acted as clerk of the Sydney race-course until 1827, promoted the first races in Sydney and owned many successful race horses (ADB). In addition he appears to have acted as a "city agent" for stock and land agents and other businesses in the Campbelltown district. Several advertisements appeared in the Australian, e.g., 15 July 1826 one states that T Rose of Castlereagh St will give particulars for a farm near Campbelltown to be sold by R Cooper of Campbelltown. In another advertisement in the same paper on 31 March 1825 Mr Rose advertised for a waiter for a tavern at Liverpool acting as agent for Mr Brown of the Ship Tavern at Liverpool.
LAND GRANTS AND PURCHASES
In 1813 Thomas Rose received a land grant of forty acres in the Evan District but this grant was canceled in 1816 on account of his "seditious conduct in procuring signatures to the petition against Governor Macquarie" (Rose, Thomas 1816). For the same reason he failed to retain his liquor license between 1817 and 1820. In 1819 he clashed with the governor again when Macquarie decided to build St James's parochial school on pan of Rose's block. In exchange for the school site he was granted 300 acres on the main southern road east of Campbelltown. About the same time he bought from Reuben Uther a 400 acre farm on the Appin Road, named Mt Gilead Later he gradually added to his Campbelltown estate, which by 1828 was estimated at 2460 acres (Sainty & Johnson, 1980).
At Mt Gilead where Thomas Rose lived from 1827 to his death in 1837, he won fame for his experiments in water conservation. He had begun these on a small scale in 1824. In 1825, prior to moving to Mt Gilead, he built a larger dam with a stone embankment holding nearly 120 million cubic feet. In 1829 he built a smaller and cheaper dam near the main road, for the relief of his hard pressed neighbours in the 1829 drought. This so impressed Governor Bourke, that in 1833 he gave the people of Campbelltown a plot of ground for building a reservoir by public subscription. In July 1835 Rose asked the British government for a free grant in acknowledgment of his services in supplying-water to his neighbours. Though this was refused, the undaunted Rose next year built a sixty foot windmill to grind flour (ADB). The mill was built of ironbark timber, including shaft and gear wheels within a stone tower and survived intact almost a century (Liston, 1988, p. 50).
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
On his death in 1837 Thomas Rose left a large estate, including farms on the Nepean, at Airds, the Murray District, and Botany Bay, houses at Richmond and Windsor, as well as property in Market and Castlereagh Streets including the Rose and Crown Inn and the estate at Mt Gilead. (Will and Testament of Thomas Rose). He was buried at Mt Gilead and later his remains were removed to St Peters Campbelltown. Upon his death, his estate, at Campbelltown, was managed by trustees, until his son Charles Henry Jacob took over Mt Gilead in 1858. Like many farmers Henry Rose was ruined in the 1860s through droughts, floods and rust. In 1864 the mortgagee foreclosed and Henry Rose was forced to sell Mt Gilead. In 1867, Mt Gilead was purchased by banker Edmond Woodhouse, son of Elizabeth Woodhouse of Appin, who established a very successful dairy. (Liston, 1988, p. 109).
Possessed of great drive, energy and an excellent business sense, Thomas Rose was one of those enterprising men who arrived in the colony as convicts and went on to win wealth and respectability in the tough economic society of their new land. He is remembered as a colourful figure in the early commercial and sporting life of Sydney, and as a pioneer of the Appin and Campbelltown district (ADB).
Thomas Rose married Elizabeth Bartlett by special license with the consent of His Excellency Philip Gidley King on 13 April 1806. Elizabeth's father, Thomas Bartlett, had been a fellow convict with Thomas Rose aboard the "Barwell". Thomas Bartlett's wife Ann Bartlett had followed her husband to NSW with their 14-year-old daughter in 1801 aboard the "Nile". There were two children from the marriage of Thomas and Elizabeth: Kezia Jane and James Hannibal. Kezia married Surgeon John Henderson, son of the First Fleet Surgeon William Balmaln and convict Margaret Dawson. James Hannibal did not marry but cared for his sister's three surviving teenage children following the death of Kezia in 1842 and her husband in 1850.
James moved to Melbourne when he left his property at Yass and the Henderson children married in Victoria. Elizabeth Rose nee Bartlett died in 1826.
In 1829 Rose married Sarah Pye, the daughter of John and Mary Pye of Baulkham Hills. Them were five children of this second marriage, the eldest aged seven and the youngest aged one at the time of their father's death. The two daughters married Edward and James Payten respectively, the sons of builder Nathaniel Payten of Parramana. The eldest son Charles Henry Jacob, known as Henry was a magistrate in Campbelltown prior to managing Mt Gilead and a land agent in Burwood following his departure from Campbelltown. The second son Alfred Marson Nash Rose did not marry and lived with his sister Sarah and her family at Woodbine Campbelltown. The youngest. son Reuben Uther Bartlett Rose settled at "Boloco" Dalgety, NSW where his grandson still lives. Descendants of another son and several of his daughters also remain on the Monaro.
Between around 1812 and his second marriage in 1829 Thomas Rose had two extramarital relationship, one with Sarah Perkins, wife/widow of Richard Perkins and one with Elizabeth Woodhouse whose husband George Marriot Woodhouse had a farm near Mt Gilead. In the 1828 census Thomas Rose's household at Appin consisted of himself aged 51, Kesiah aged 20, James aged 19 ( his two children by his late wife Elizabeth), Anne aged 13 Joseph aged 16, Jane aged 10 and Margaret aged 7. The last four children were thought by many researchers to be children of Elizabeth Bartlett and Thomas Rose, however, there was no record of their births as such. Recently a family researcher has found that while these four children were known by the surname Perkins, the three daughters' death certificates record that their father was Thomas Rose although he is not named as theft father on their birth certificates. All four children were beneficiaries in the will of Thomas
Rose described as the children of Sarah Perkins, widow of Richard Perkins. Joseph and his sisters each received approximately 160 acres of land with Joseph receiving a house at Richmond and another at Windsor in addition to his land. The land on the Nepean which Thomas Rose left to Joseph Perkins had previously been purchased by Rose from John Burgess and Richard Perkins. John Burgess was Joseph Perkins grandfather. Since advertising the Rose Reunion in 1999 the Woodhouse connection has come to light. This relationship produced two children, Ellen born December 1828 and Cyprian born December 1829. Both children lived with their mother and were known by the surname Woodhouse. These two children were baptized by Father John Therry Parish Priest of Campbelltown whereas the other children of Elizabeth Woodhouse were baptized in the Church of England.
Anne Lorimer Sheppard
May 22, 1999
Archives Office of NSW, Court of Criminal Jurisdiction. Schedule of Persons Tried. AONSW Reel 2651 No 5/1149 page 20
Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB) 1788-1850, pp. 394-395.
Liston, C. (1988), Campbelltown: The bicentennial history, Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
Rose, Thomas (Appin) 1816. Promised land grant in Evan District cancelled through seditious conduct. Sep. 25, 1816, State Library of NSW, AL 35 N/C.
Sainty, M.R. & Johnson, K.A. (Eds). (1980). Census of New South Wales. November 1928. Sydney: Library of Australian History.
Last Will and Testament of Thomas Rose dated 5 November 1833,
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