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South Australia Company

 

South Australia Company

The South Australian Company was formed in London on 9 October 1835 by George Fife Angas and other wealthy British merchants to develop a new settlement in South Australia; its purpose was to build a new colony. The South Australian Company ended business in its own right on 17 March 1949 when its management was transferred to Elders Trustee & Executor Company Ltd.[1]

Foundation

The formation of the company followed considerable lobbying by the South Australian Association, a group consisting of philanthropists, radical thinkers, dissenters and merchants. After a years of negotiation, false starts, changes and amendments to suggested charters, the British Parliament finally gave approval and passed the South Australian (Foundation) Act on 15 August 1834.[2]

The founding Board of directors were George Fife Angas (Chairman); Raikes Currie; Charles Hindley M.P.; James Hyde; Henry Kingscote; John Pirie, Alderman; Christopher Rawson; John Rundle M.P.; Thomas Smith; James Ruddell Todd; and Henry Waymouth; with Edmund John Wheeler, Manager; Samuel Stephens, Colonial Manager; and Edward Hill, Secretary pro tem,[3]

Arrivals of 1836

In January 1836 four ships sailed from England on behalf of the Company. They developed a settlement at Kingscote on Kangaroo Island, in July 1836, but when farming proved unviable, they transferred their settlement to the mainland. The Company provided basic infrastructure for the new colony, as well as sold or leased land to immigrants who came to settle.

27 July Duke of York (190 ton) S.A. Company 38 passengers
30 July Lady Mary Pelham (206 ton) S.A. Company 29
16 August John Pirie (105 ton) S.A. Company 28
21 August Rapid (162 ton) Commissioners 24
11 September Cygnet (239 ton) Commissioners 84
5 October Emma (181 ton) S.A. Company 22
2 November L'Africaine (316 ton) Various 76
16 December Tam O'Shanter (360 ton) O. Gilles 74
23 December HMS Buffalo (850 ton) Commissioners 171[4]

The Commissioners

Under the Acts that established the Colony, the UK government appointed Commissioners to oversee implementation of the Acts; Thirteen based in London with a Resident Commissioner stationed in the colony. Those first appointed were Colonel Robert Torrens (Chairman), Rowland Hill (Secretary), G. Barnes (Treasurer), George Fife Angas, E. Barnard, William Hutt, J. G. Shaw-Lefevre, W. A. Mackinnon M.P., S. Mills, Jacob Montefiore, G. Palmer, and J. Wright. The first Resident Commissioner was James Hurtle Fisher.[4]

Colonial Managers

The Colonial Managers ("CEOs" in South Australia) of the South Australian Company were:

Manager
From
To
Notes
Stephens, SamuelSamuel Stephens 1836 1837 [5]
McLaren, DavidDavid McLaren 1837 1841 [6]
Giles, WilliamWilliam Giles 1841 1861 [7]
Brind, William JohnWilliam John Brind 1861 1894 [8][9]
Sparks, Henry YorkeHenry Yorke Sparks 1894 1900 [10][11]
Moore, Henry PercivalHenry Percival Moore 1901 1929 [12][13]
Muller, Arthur Leopold AlbertArthur Leopold Albert Muller 1930 1936 [14][15]
 ? 1936 1949

Officers of the company

Most of the major streets in the Adelaide city centre were named after the founding directors of the company

Chairmen
Directors
Company Secretaries
  • 1878-1911 James Hutchison [25]
  • 1911-1930+ Henry Brandreth Gibbs F.C.I.S.[26]
Attorneys in South Australia
Local Board of Advice, Adelaide
Accountants

Company offices

From 1872, the South Australian Company occupied offices on North Terrace on the corner of Gawler Place. The new building, "Gawler Chambers", was completed in 1914.

List of people associated with the South Australian Company

Most of the major streets in the Adelaide city centre were named after the founding directors of the company

Who Association Streets Notes
Angas, George FifeGeorge Fife Angas Commissioner Angas Street
Divett, Edward Trustee Divett Place
Fisher, Sir James HurtleSir James Hurtle Fisher (1790–1875) Resident Commissioner (#1) Hurtle Square [34]
Fussell, John Trustee
Gawler, GeorgeGeorge Gawler (1795–1869) Governor of SA (1838-1841) Gawler Place Gawler (town), Gawler Ranges, etc. Refer Gawler (disambiguation)[35]
Giles, WilliamWilliam Giles (1791–1862) Colonial Manager (1841-1860) [7]
Gouger, RobertRobert Gouger (1802–1846) Colonial secretary (#1) Gouger Street [36]
Grenfell, Pascoe St LegerPascoe St Leger Grenfell MP Grenfell Street
Grey, Sir GeorgeSir George Grey (1812–1898) Governor of SA (1841-1845) [37]
Hindley, CharlesCharles Hindley Founding director Hindley Street [3]
Hindmarsh, Sir JohnSir John Hindmarsh (1785–1860) Governor of SA (1836-1838) Hindmarsh Square [38]
Hutt, WilliamWilliam Hutt Commissioner Hutt Street
Kingscote, Henry Founding Director Kingscote, Kangaroo Island[3]
Kingston, Sir George StricklandSir George Strickland Kingston (1807–1880) Deputy Surveyor General [39]
Light, WilliamWilliam Light (1786–1839) Surveyor General Light Square [40]
McLaren, DavidDavid McLaren (1785–1850) Colonial Manager (1837-1841) [6]
Moore, Henry Percival Colonial Manager (1901-1929) [12][13]
Morphett, Sir JohnSir John Morphett (1809–1892) Morphett Street [41]
Muller, Arthur Leopold Albert Colonial Manager (1930-1936) [14][15]
Pirie, Sir JohnSir John Pirie Founding director Pirie Street [3]
Rawson, Christopher Founding director [3]
Robe, FrederickFrederick Robe (1801-1871) Governor of SA (1845-1848) Robe, South Australia[42]
Rundle, JohnJohn Rundle Founding director Rundle Street [3]
Smith, Thomas Founding director [3]
Sparks, Henry Yorke Colonial Manager (1894-1900) [9][10][11]
Stephens, EdwardEdward Stephens (1811–1861) First manager of SA Banking Co [43]
Stephens, SamuelSamuel Stephens (1808–1840) Colonial Manager (1836-1837) [5]
Todd, James Ruddell Founding director [3]
Torrens, RobertRobert Torrens (1780–1864) Commissioner [44]
Wakefield, Edward GibbonEdward Gibbon Wakefield (1796–1862) Wakefield Street [45]
Waymouth, HenryHenry Waymouth Founding director Waymouth Street [3]
Young, Sir Henry Edward FoxSir Henry Edward Fox Young (1803-1870) Governor of SA (1848-1854) [46]

References

  • State Library of South Australia

Further reading

  • Price, A. Grenfell, Founders & Pioneers of South Australia, Adelaide, 1929
  • Sutherland, George, The South Australian Company; a study in colonisation, London; New York: Longmans, Green, 1898.
  • Pearse, Malcolm, Australia's Early Managers Australia Pacific Economic and Business History Conference, Wellington, New Zealand, February 2010. p. 12
  • State Library of South Australia factsheets online: South Australian Company

External links

  • Copyright photo of a South Australian Company promisary note for sixpence, issue Kingscote, 1 June 1836, signed by Samuel Stephens
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