Rosedale Mt Victoria Inn
Last updated

in draft form - not final.




Rosedale   stands on the Gt Western Highway today as a  fine example of a Georgian Sandstone Inn of the 1840's when it was named the Mt. Victoria Inn.

The land  of "Rosedale" was 100 acres purchased for 180 pounds sterling  by William  Cummings of Clear Creek at Bathurst, who became the Member of Parliament for Macquarie at Bathurst.

There are little documents relating to the erection of the inn, nor the actual dates.   Mr Cummings often listed his address as Hartley - so he could have used it as his private home.


It was bounded :

        on the west by a line south of fifty two chains, fifty links commencing at the North West corner at the swamp near Mount Victoria.

        On the south by a line east twenty chains fifty links.

        On the east by a line north 52 chains 50 links to the swamp and

        on the north by the swamp to the north west corner aforesaid "reserving" the present great Western Road Being the land sold lot 225 in advertisement 21.01.1837


The land was advertised for sale on the 21st January 1837..  The land was located  in the middle of the land set aside by Major Mitchell as a village reserve.  The newly constructed road of the 'Western Road to Bathurst' went straight through middle of  the allotment of 100 acres. 

Originally on land straddling both sides of the highway,  the land  was first applied for by  J.A Gardiner who was Andrew John Gardiner.

On 21st January 1847, the land was again advertised for sale due to the outcome of the lawsuit between Cummings and others. The Supreme Court issued a summons that the land was to be sold by the Sheriffs Office on 26th February 1847. The land  which  was to be sold being designated as lot 225 having been initially sold to him on 31st January 1837.

In May 1846 William Cummings was charged with forgery, following a dispute with William Mackensie, Thomas Icely, Humby Gilbert Smith and Edward Cox over the purchase of cattle from W.H. MacKensie.Not only did he default on the Promissory Bills, but forged one of the guarantors - Jermiah Grant's signature.  He managed to avoid the property being sold from under him and retained till  in 1860 when the Mt Victoria Inn was sold for the sum of  1500 pounds sterling  to James Sherringham.   Mary Ann Sherringham &  Martha Sherringham,  as well as William Hillyer in 1860 were all recorded on the document.     The document lists William Cummings Esq. as living in Sydney. Martha held the license for a period of time.

James subsequently died on 27 Oct 1862 in Mount Victoria Inn.  He held the license for the Rose Inn for 10 years from 1852 till his death .  The  Inquest Jury found cause of death as apoplexy.

James Sherringham's wife Martha  then married Joseph Collits who owned the Rose Inn.

There must have been some animosity, for Joseph Collits took James to court over 35's worth of repairs not undertaken on the Rose Inn while James was holding the license there. Mary Collits who was Josephs niece (her father was the eldest brther -John),  had married James on 26 May 1845 but she died at the young age of 25 on 3 Mar 1851 in Mt York.  Family disputes must have been complicated.


The Sydney Morning Herald... Thursday 16 January 1845



In the estate of Thomas Cummings, as  adjourned second meeting : William Henry Mackenzie, 3003 7s.

In the estate of William  Cummings, as adjoumed second meeting : John Ford, 1/5/2

The above meetings were ultimately adjourned till Tuesday next, at eleven, A.M.

One would have thought that  1/5/2 was hardly cause for insolvency, but it was just a series of events that William Cummings was being obstinate about.

A case  had been bought about against William Cummings for Forgery and Perjury



BEFORE, their HON and the three Judges.


The affidavit of Mr. Mackenzie showed, that in February, 1839, there had been a negotiation between himself and Mr. Cummings,   for the purchase by the latter of a quantity of cattle, and among other arrangements as to the mode of payment it was agreed that bills should be given, bearing the name of one Jeremiah Grant. Mr. Mackenzie accordingly prepared four bills, for 990, 1080, 1170, and 1260, respectively, and sent one M'Innis with  Cummings,  to procure Mr. Grant's signature to them, instructing M'Innis to deliver the cattle after Mr. Grant's signature had been obtained.

These bills would afterwards returned to Mr. Mackenzie, through his solicitor, with a signature upon each purporting |to be that of Mr. Grant, and the cattle were in due course delivered. The bills were never retired by Mr. Cummings  when due, although "payments were made on account, Mackenzie subsequently sued Grant upon two of the bills. Grant denied ever having signed the bills in question; McInnis persisted in the story which he he had told at the trial, as to the bills having been signed by a person passed off by Cummins as Jeremiah Grant. Hence William Cummings was charged with Perjury.

 The counsel then proceeded to read an affidavit from Mr. Cummings, who set out by asserting that he was wholly innocent of the charge which was now made against him ; and went on to state the circumstances of the transaction alluded to, according, as he asserted, to the real facts of the case, which was that he had been short delivered of the cattle he purchased.


Friday 10 July 1846

William Cummings, late of Bathurst, gentleman, was indicted for having, on the 4th of March, 839, forged a promissory note for 1170, payable three years after date, and purporting

to have been made by William Cummings, Thomas Cummings, and Jeremiah Grant,

in favour of William Henry Mackenzie.

There were eight counts in the information, wherein the offence was variously set forth, the Prisoner being charged both with forging and uttering the note, and the intent being variously laid as an intent to defraud William Henry Mackenzie, and an intent to defraud Jeremiah Grant.

The prisoner pleaded not guilty, and having given bail for his appearance at the next Criminal Session ; himself being bound in the sum of 200, and two sureties for 100 each, was discharged.


But prior to this event another  more compelling breach of the law took place. This aroused outrage for the readers of the newspaper of the time.....

On the 10th of February 1838 William Cumming  was indicted for an assault on John Connell at Bathurst   Despite his pleas he was found guilty and sentenced to 3 months gaol.  Correspondents to the newspapers reveal that he was sent in chains to Sydney and put to the treadmill... a most humiliating outcome for any man.

Our informant states that for a common assault it is illegal to sentence a defendant to hard labour ; he can only be punished by fine or imprisonment, or by both.  Cummings   who is a man of good property, was forwarded on the chain to Sydney with the "common herd" of of- fenders and has been working on the tread-mill, in pursuance of his sentence, for the last six weeks.

We should like to hear this point discussed by some of our legal friends. Men of all grades in society are not unlikely to commit common assaults occasionally, and it would be vastly unpleasant to find a gentleman of reputation subjected to the degradation of being placed on the tread mill, through Mr. Manning's ignorance of the law in common assault cases.'


The question with respect to the puishment of a party for common assault will bear no discussion ; the point is settled and clear, that the defendant is liable lo be inflicted with a fine or imprisonment, or both, with sureties to keep the peace if advisable; but the defendant is frequently permitted by the Court to speak with the prosecutor before any judgment is pronounced ; and if the prosecutor declares himself satisfied, a trivial punishment, generally a fine of a shilling, is inflicted.

Yours, sir, obediently,  EXPERIENTIA DOCET.

He no sooner got himself out of that predicament when he was charged with the stealing of a hose by a neighbour. 

Friday 7 February 1840



Monday, February 2:-Before the Chief Justice,

William  Cummings was indicted for stealing a mare the property of

Charles Frederick Warne, at Bathurst, on the 39th December, 1838.


He was found guilty he was sentenced to 10 years hard labour, but having good legal argument,

his conviction was set aside.  The next series of events would see him in and out of courts.  No wonder he became a Member of Parliament in 1859.

Pastoralist and landed proprieter. Educated by parents and an assigned convict. Overseer of father's 320 acre grant at Brucedale, near Bathurst in 1822. By September of 1838 was managing father's 10,020 acres and occupying his own 3,344 acres; In 1840s let these properties to Irish tenants. Purchased Alloway Bank from John Piper in 1845; purchased adjoining 500 acres, Cangoura in 1852.
He then became involved in a legal wrangle over water with one of the regions wealthiest men - Henry Suttor.


 Tuesday 13 October 1857

(From the Bathurst Free Press, October 10.,)


This was an action of ejectment brought by Mr. William  Cummings against Mr. W. H. Suttor, to re- cover possession of l8 acres 2 roods of land, forming part, as he contended, of a purchase of five hundred acres.

He then was again in court for underpayment of wages

The Sydney Morning Herald... Wednesday 27 February 1850,



BEFORE His Honor the CHIEF JUSTICE, and a Jury of four.



He then proceeded to sue the Sydney Morning Herald for defamation as they stated...

But we were wrong. Mr.Cummings  has, we conceive, been injudiciously advised, for yesterday we received the following intimation from his solicitor, Mr. MARTIN :

Pitt-street, Sydney, 12th September.

Gentlemen,-I have just commenced an action against you for a libel, published in your paper of the 6th instant, on Mr. William Cummings , of Bathurst. Will you let me know, by the bearer, whether I shall send the summons to Messrs. Johnson and Johnson, your solicitors ?

Your obedient servant,

JAMES MARTIN. Messrs. Kemp and Fairfax.

(In March 1841 Kemp and John Fairfax took over the publication of the Sydney Herald, which was then the only daily in New South Wales,)

This was over his activities in the Gold Fields where he had set up a store n the Turon area and it was claimed that he had used the Government Gold Transport.

MARTIN, Sir JAMES (1820-1886), politician and chief justice, was born on 14 May 1820 at Midleton, Cork, Ireland.  He became the Attorney General, the Premier  as well as the member for Hartley.

  Behind the block was another block owned by  George Davies. The value of improvements of the paddock being stated as 6. and  the ringbarking 7. 

Next door to  lot 34 as it became,  was lot 333 owned by  Evan James Williams, (born 1833 in Sydney)   The plan indicates that the  house was valued at 25, fencing at 29 clearing 10/10/-., slaughtering pen and yards 40., Piggery 6, ringbarking 5/5/-.