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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Elizabeth Rouse (copy of drawing by William Griffith), c.1847

an unknown artist and William Griffith

pencil and watercolour on paper laid on cardboard (sheet: 22.0 cm x 17.0 cm)

More images of this artwork

Elizabeth Rouse (née Adams, 1772–1849), colonial spouse, arrived in New South Wales as a free settler in 1801 with her husband, Richard Rouse (1774–1852) and their first two children, one of whom had been born on the voyage out. Within two months of his arrival, Richard Rouse had taken up a land grant on the Hawkesbury River near Richmond. In 1805 he was appointed Superintendent of Public Works and moved to Parramatta, remaining there until his loyalty to the deposed William Bligh saw him removed from this position. He was reinstated by Bligh’s successor Lachlan Macquarie and oversaw the construction of many public buildings including the Parramatta Hospital and renovations to Government House. His loyalty to Macquarie was rewarded with another land grant of 450 acres near Windsor. This property, Rouse Hill, became the cornerstone of the family’s farming operations which eventually extended to the districts around Gulgong, Bathurst, Mudgee, Wellington, Lithgow, and the Hunter Valley. Elizabeth moved to Rouse Hill with her family – another seven children were born in the colony, five of whom survived to adulthood – sometime between 1818 and 1825, when the large Georgian house on the property was completed. Two of Elizabeth’s three sons, George and Edwin, became involved in the family’s farming interests, while each of her four daughters made strategic marriages into significant colonial and landowning families. Elizabeth died at Rouse Hill, aged 75, in December 1849.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Pamela Glasson 2012
Collected by Leila Haigh (nee Rouse)

Accession number: 2012.161

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

William Griffith (age 39 in 1847)

Elizabeth Rouse (age 75 in 1847)

Subject professions

Migration and colonisation

Donated by

Mrs Pamela Glasson (7 portraits)

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.