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ffrrLLof years and honour, "The Nestor of The Turf" has gone to his rest ; and we cannot show ; nirr reBpect for one whom the English press unite
iTstvling"one of the grandest men that ever lived " more appropriately than by giving hispor ; l-aitand memoir ata time when the sportsmen of
New South Wales are met together holding car niväfover that particular field sport on which, for more than a quarter of a century, the lamented admiral has been an undisputed authority. Australia, and especially New South Wales, should be among the foremost mourners for the fine old man who has gone to his last long home . for, while commanding II.M.S. Rainbow on this station, this colony, then the only one on the Continent, was indebted to him for seme grand additions to our live stock, the descendants of which have a name second to none. "Old Emi grant," as he is called very generally, and known to horse-breeders as " Kous's Emigrant," was imported to Sydney by Captain Rous while he commanded the Rainbow, and also another horse which he named after his ship; and if we look carefully through the most celebrated pedigrees in our colonial stud books, we shall discover that this " Emigrant " has been a tower of strength to those breeders who, through a long course of years, have been striving against many difficulties to bring the English racehorse to as great a state of perfection here as it has arrived at in Britain. That a large mea sure of success has waited on Australian breeders, the doings of our horses, both at home and abroad, most distinctly point out ; and no doubt, tho early possessors of studs wera not a little influenced by the example of the gal lant gentleman who, oven in those early and un settled times ot' Australian history, evidently saw an important future looming for the colonies, in which the English blood horse was destined to play a prominent and very useful part. 'Tis now more than fifty years ago sinco Captain Rous arrived in the Rainbow.
, We have read in the English papers since tho death of Admiral Rous many excellent articles, in which art set forth many events that occurred during his long career ; and from these we extract the f ollow iu£, which has been reproduced from Bailey's Magazine of 18(51, embodying a highly interesting and'eondensed biographical sketch.
The Editor of Bailey thus wrote as an accom paniment to a portrait, with which a series was commenced in the magazine :
Bi" Vice-Admiral the Hon. H. J. Rous, with whom we worthily commence our portrait gallery of dis tinguished sportsmen, was born on the 23rd of January, 1795, and is the second son of the late and brother of the present Earl ol' Stradbroke. Having selected the navy for his profession, he passed some little time at Dr. Burney's academy in Cold Harbour, Gosport, which was as celebrated then as it is now lor being a nursery of youths destined to serve in the wooden walls of Old England. It was in 1808 he entered the service, as a midshipman, on board the Repulse, and remained in her during the Flushing expedition. From that ship he was transferred to the Bacchante, under the command of the late gallant Sir William Hoste, and for his boat actions, and bravery in several expeditions by land on that coast, he gained a medal.
" In September, 1812, he naa a miraculous escape rom drowning, for, being in command of a prize rabaciola, which upset from a leak it was impos ible to stop, he and his small crew of four men, in he middle of the night, were compelled to hang n to her bottom for Ave hours, until descried and icked up by another prize vessel, just as a heavy ¡ale of wind had set in, and when they were forty ailes from the nearest land. In the following rear he had an equally narrow escape of his life, n taking a prize, laden with timber, from Liffa to tfalta, whose decks, in a gale of wind off the coast )f Manfredonia, were swept clean of everything, including the only compass and cask of water there
was on board. He afterwards served as lieutenant nthe Meander, Conqueror, Podargus, Mosquito, Sappho, and Hind, until 1823, when he was made a captain, and, in 1825, was appointed to the Rain bow, which he commanded for four years on the Indian and New Holland stations. On being paid off from this ship he remained on half pay until 1835, when ho went afloat again in command of the Pique, in which vessel he displayed extraordinary seamanship in bringing her home from Quebec to Spithead, after she had struck on a reef of rocks on the Labrador coast, iii the Straits of Belle Isle. During the eleven hours she remained in that critical position, her keel and forefoot went, and yet, by the aid of an undaunted ship's company, with a sprung main mast and foremast, a split rudder, and nine feet of the dead wood under the mizen cut away, this "bloated aristocrat" as the Manchester school would term him, saluted the admiral at Ports mouth within twenty days of his leaving the Bcenë of his wreck. This feat, when it is con sidered he made a run of 1500 miles without a rudder, and with a leak that made twenty-three inches per hour, has no paral lei even in those noble acts of daring peculiar to British seamen, and ono would have imagined it would have obtained for bim some more substantial reward than the cold letter of approbation from the First Lord of the Admiralty which accompanied his paying off. But party feeling ran high at Whitehall at that period ; and his politics being counter to those who were in authority over him, the only re cognition of his value as au officer was his re-ap Pointment to his old ship in 1830, in which he served merely long enough to complete his sea time ; and, having married the same year Sophia, daughter of the late J. R. Cuthbert, Esq., of Gros venor-square, he retired from the service with a
imputation that will stand the test of any criticism, whether for seamanship, bravery, or honourable ifi?^?* iutu0 various grades of his career. In wibtlie late Sir Robert Peel, who was the man of vi M. tü aPPreciate merit, and to select the CSE, mAnn fov the riRnt pince, offered him a seat m wie Admiralty, which he accepted ; and he was TnlFess .successful in the civil department of his piotession than when afloat. The electors of West ral' I' ^ho had ele°ted him in 1811, refusing to hn21 lQlr eugagement with him in 1840, he ré genceÂÇi'?to lif?> and S0UÇht> bythe iudul" b«nce ot his fondness for the turf, somo recreation
and amusement for the dangers he had incurred, and the sufferings he had undergone in his duty to
But it is more as a racing man, a member of the Jockey Club, and a reformer of Turf abuses, that the admiral is best known to the public ; and in each of these capacities we shall endeavour to trace his career. Born at Honham, on the borders of Suffolk, a county almost as indigenous to race horses as Yorkshire, it is not wonderful he should have imbibed an early predilection for racing, especially as his elder brother set him the example. And there has scarcely ever been a case in which public opinion has been so divided as to the merits of the two ; for Lord Stradbroke, although he does not take so active a part on the Turf as ho does in the coursing field, is reckoned one of the shrewdest noblemen at Newmarket, and a very safe man to rely upon as an arbitrator. It was in 1821, we believe, that Admiral Rous first ventured upon the Turf, having purchased jointly with his brother a mare called Mootis, and after he had won three matches with her he sold her with" a good profit. In 1824 he gave £100 for a yearling called Souvenir;
THE LATE ADMIRAL ROUS.
but going to sea, lie disposed of lier to Mr. Stone hewer, who afterwards let Lord Sefton have hoi for 2000 guineas-a slight addition to the ori ginal purchase money. On his return from abroad in 1829, he was not long without a string to his bow, for he picked up a yearling, called Crutch, for £60. This colt was the most fortunate of any of his leam,- for aftei winning eleven out of thirteen matches, and run ning one dead heat with him in another, he sold him for ¿6500. These were followed afterwards by Earwig, Lioness, Squirrel, Nicholas, Langolee, Fox, and Lady Eleanor, whose performances, chiefly in matches at Newmarket, will be found in the calen dars, and will show how gradually he improved in his form, for one and all paid thoir way so far that the trainer's bill could have been of no object to him. In 1S38 he Was elected a steward of the Jockey Club, and during his three years' tenure of office he gave universal satisfaction by the patient industry he displayed in the cases of dispute that came before him as well as by the shrewd common sense by which his awards were decided. In 1840 he became the confederate of the Duke of Bedford, one of the staunchest friends Newmarket ever possessed ; and 'from then up to the present time he has had the sole control of his Grace's horses. And if he was un fortunate in his purchase of the well-known Justice to Ireland, with whom he intended, if possible, to win the St. Leger, the number of matches in which he has been successful for him will leave an ample balance in the duke's favour As a handicapper, it may, without flattery, be sala that of modern years none but himself has been his parallel ; and recent Cesarowitches and Cam bridgeshires, as well as Nurserys, will at once put at rest any carping of this fact. Whether from his long acquaintance with Newmarket he is better able to handicap there than in the country, it is difficult to say, but certainly he brings horses closer together there than elsewhere, and his calcu lations of animals' performances must be some thing miraculous, when it is considered that in the Second October and Houghton Meetings he is frequently called upon to handicap from 40 to 120 horses between a quarter-past 6 and dinner. To all owners it ia absurd to suppose he could give satisfaction; but in the main, it must bo admitted, his poncillings arc well received, while his position negatives the idea of his being influenced by any corrupt motive. In addition to the above handicaps, those of Ascot, Epsom, Doncaster, Goodwood, Brighton, Bedford, Chelmsford, Bath, Egham, Hampton, Oxford, Heading, Stamford, and Salisbury are all prepared by him, a task which must be conceded to involve no ordinary amount of trouble and time, and which never before was attempted by any of his prede cessors or contemporaries. But we have not yet
done with the narrative of his labours, inasmuch as at the commencement of every year he gets up his Free Handicaps for Newmarket ; and between January 19 and February 18 last he handicapped no less than 1038 horses on eight different courses, every one of which handicaps filled. Works of this nature, which show how deeply implanted in ¡ him must be his love for the turf, we fear are not so much appreciated as they de serve ; and although stakes after his name have been got up at some few meetings, if ever in this testimonial age any man deserved a measure of the gratitude of the sportsmen of England, it is the subject of this sketch. As a turf reformer, Admiral Rous, if not so violent and precipitate as the late Lord George Bentinck, is slow and sure ; considering, perhaps wisely, that a conciliatory policy with those whose co-operation it is neces sary to secure is the best for him to adopt. Hence, if his correction of acknowledged abuses does not keep pace with public desire and expect ation, it should be recollected he is not the Impe rium in imperio at Newmarket ; and the cabinet of the Jockey Club there are as frequently divided
in matters of importance to the turf as that of Her MajestyinDowning-streetonthe x>olitical questions of the clay. His 4 Handbook on the Laws of Racing, has long been accepted as the Blackstone of the Turf; while the eminent judge of that name pro bably never had a quarter of the puzzling disputes to decide that have come under his notice. If, per haps, his manner may be said to savour occasion ally too much of the quarter-deck, it should not be forgotten he was brought up in a school where to hear was to obey, and where dicipline was not, as in the present day, a misnomer. t But his unsullied honour, kind-hearted disposition, and matchless abilities will go far to atone for any shortcomings in this respect ; and his successor, whoever he may be, will bo fortunato if he preservo to one half the extent the popularity which Admiral Rous has en joyed for the last quarter of a century among all classes of the racing community, and which ren
dered his name a ' household word.' "
The London Sporting Life says:-"Since the above was written and up to the date of his death, Admiral Rous's position on the Turf was unap proachable. Of late years his harlequin colours have seldom been seen on a racecourse, and when sported it was generally in «a match, with his favourite jockey, George Fordham, in tho saddle. He was tlie senior steward of the Jockey Club at the time of bis death. The Press always had a good friend in Admiral Rous, and his unswerving promptness and courtesy in answering any com munications on which different opinions existed, will long be gratefully remembered, while his style was particularly terse and lucid. The sug gestion of a testimonial given in tho foregoing biography was well responded to later on, as on J uno IS, 18G(>, Admiral Rous was presented with some splendid silver plate (consisting of three large candelabra) by the noblemen and gentlemen of the British and Foreign Turf, in recognition of his valuable, zealous, and disinterested services. The plate formed a noble addition to tho late ex hibition of racing cups at the Agricultural Hall. Tho presentation took place at Willis's Rooms, Earl Granville being in the chair, and accom panying the plate was a picture of tho Admiral painted by Mr. Weigall."
Mrs. Bravo (says tho Standard), whoso case was so notorious some timo ago in connection with tho mysterious death of her husband, died at Cannes a few days since. The deceased lady was tho daughter of Mr. Robert Campbell, of Buscot Park, Le'chdale, Gloucestershire, who amassed considerable wealth as an Australian colonist. Mrs. Bravo was a little over
30 years of age. She married, in 1864, Captain Alexander Ricardo, anoüicerof the Grenadier Guards, who died in 1871. On the 7th December, 1875, her marriage with Mr. Charles Delauney Turner Bravo, a barrister-at-law, took place,