Tusculum was named by its original owner, Alexander Brodie Spark (1792-1856), after a town where wealthy Romans built luxurious villas - that of Cicero being especially famous. We know he employed John Verge because he anted an 'ornamental' villa. Construction was from 1831-5. His failure to occupy it symbolised Spark's financial decline, the collapse of the Bank of Australia and the depression of the 1840s.
Mr. S. for example, a lay missionary from New South Wales, had bought a large tract of eligible land from the natives, having a frontage of from four to live miles on one of the navigable rivers in the Bay of Islands, for a check shirt and an iron pot. The same functionary had another estate which he had procured in a similar way, towards the North Cape.