Biographies, Annotations and Other Information

The following brief Biographies and Annotations including additional information such as relevant locations, places, buildings etc were compiled by Reg Butler (Hahndorf Historian) over many years.

Please Note (disclaimer):

These Lists were created basically 'as is' from Reg Butler's unpublished computer working files as at c2014. 

Although it is certain that when compiling such data Reg took all available means to ensure accuracy, it is emphasized that not all of the data has been verified.  As a result. the Lists created may be incomplete, not state sources used, and might contain errors.  It is therefore left to the reader to determine the validity of all such data.

Under no circumstances will Reg Butler correspond about or discuss any of the material or data included in any pages containing information extracted from his computer files.
Where additional information or corrections are known, please login and make such alterations/additions (retaining the original information) stating your User Name along with any supporting sources.

The Biographies are divided into alphabetical sections which can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate links below:

Biographies:   [ A to C ]     [ D to F ]     [ G to J ]     [ K to M ]     [ N to R ]     [ S to Z ]     [ Hahndorf ]

Annotations:   [ Biographies ]     [ People and Places ]     [ Adelaide Hills ]

Biographies - A to C

Adamson, James (1790-1864).

A Scottish wheelwright and agricultural implement maker, J Adamson operated a factory in Hanson Street (the southern portion of present-day Pulteney Street), Adelaide, after arriving in South Australia during 1839.


On Christmas Eve 1836, South Australia’s first Surveyor-General, William Light, walked towards the tent of one of his assistant surveyors camped beside the Torrens River.  Light suddenly realised that this was the perfect spot for the capital city.  He named the settlement Adelaide, after the consort of King William IV, on the British throne at the time.

Angas, George Fife (1789-1879).

Born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, England, GF Angas worked in the family coachmaking industry there until his father’s death, then moving to London, where he took a great interest in banking and insurance.  Later, Angas became one of the prime movers in the formation of the South Australian Company set up to promote the colonisation of the new province of South Australia.  A Baptist by conviction, Angas sympathised with a group of persecuted Prussian Lutherans and lent them money to travel to South Australia in 1838.  GF Angas and his wife moved to South Australia permanently in 1851, where he spent much time enlarging his business interests, belonging to the South Australian parliament and fostering various religious and charitable movements.

Bailey, John (1800-1864).

Born at Hackney, at that time a ‘populous village north-east of London’.  Following thorough training with Messrs Conrad Loddiges & Son, proprietors of the most extensive botanical nursery in England, J Bailey emigrated to SA 1839 Buckinghamshire, and took up the post of first Colonial Botanist.  After the position was abolished when the province faced near bankruptcy in 1841, John established the Hackney Nursery (mostly nicknamed Bailey’s Gardens) beside the Torrens River on the main Adelaide-Payneham road.  With the vines, dates, damsons, olive and other trees he brought out with him from England, as a gift from his employers, J Bailey was tireless in propogation of these and many other plants to build up stocks for colonial horticulture.  He advertised regularly in the press and many people from the government down sought his advice on gardening matters.



Bank of South Australia.

Edward Stephens arrived aboard the Coromandel in January 1837, with all the equipment (including a wooden frame office) to open South Australia’s first bank, which stood on North Terrace.  Under the control of the South Australian Company, this bank made private loans for business development and kept depositors’ money in the first iron safes seen in the colony.

Bank Street, Adelaide.

Takes its name after the head office of the Bank of South Australia (SA's first bank), which was established on the corner of Bank St and North Tce in March 1837.  The bank eventually shifted to King William St and continued trading until 1892, but the street name has endured.

Bartlett, Samuel.

A Waymouth Street carrier in 1840, the year that the Royal Victoria Theatre opened. Samuel Bartlett established the Balhannah Inn in March of 1840 and also cultivated an acre of potatoes nearby.

Battersby, Thomas Junr (c1827-1914). 

Born St Johns Wood, London, England.  He emigrated to SA 1838 Prince George, with his parents, upholsterer Thomas Battersby, and his wife, Christiana.   The Battersbys established themselves in turn at Millbrook and Houghton, where Thomas Senr ran his own blacksmithing business.  Thomas Junr’s mother died 1842.  He worked variously as a sawyer, contractor and postmaster in different parts of SA, before becoming a farmer near Orroroo and then retiring to Terowie.  T Battersby Junr had a difficult, but challenging life, and wrote short reminiscences of his resourceful experiences.

Bean, George

Leased 11 acres of Section 46, near Thebarton from Robert Torrens Senr.  Bean was a Thebarton farmer at the time.  7/5/1855. £27/10/- for 30 years. shall well and sufficiently repair amend maintain and keep in repair all erections buildings and fences which now are or at any thime hereafter during the said term shall or may be erected built or placed upon the said premises ... and shall manage and cultivate the same in as proper and husbandlike manner so that the same may not be impoverished but improved ...  In 1859, when Bean gave up his lease to Walter Ridpath, he was a currier.

Beaumont, Samuel Davenport

Laid out the village of Beaumont on Section 296, Hundred of Adelaide, in 1848.  The origin of the name is uncertain, but perhaps to do with Davenport’s mother, who had Christian names of French origin.

Beaumont Spur, The.

Perhaps Samuel Stephens came down what is now known as the Beaumont House Spur or Gleeson’s Hill, between the plains and the Adelaide Hills.  Gleeson’s Hill is north of the Glen Osmond Spur.

Bethanien (Bethany).

Twenty-eight German refugee families from the ship Skjold founded Bethanien against the Barossa Ranges in early March 1842.  This was the first township to be established in the Barossa Valley.  The land was an outlying portion of the extensive Special Surveys taken out by Charles Flaxman on the floor of the Valley proper.  Pastor Daniel Fritzsche walked regularly between Bethanien and Lobethal to minister to his scattered flock.  From 1918, the name of this settlement became Bethany.

Biddulph, Frank (?-d 22/7/1839).

Died intestate, extremely poor.  Brother, Major Biddulph, of the Bengal Artillery, Cawnpore.

Birseye, Cornelius.

Returned with his wife to Britain aboard the Australian steamship on 15/2/1853.  They lived on Section 45, South Road, in SA.  A fellow passenger was William Leigh Junr, son of William Leigh, who bought a number of Town Acres and Sections in the original SA Survey.

Birrell, David (?-d 2/11/1840). 

Andrew Birrell was a relative.

BlackSwan, Adelaide.

Known as the Hotel Centralia since 1940, the old Black Swan premises are the oldest continuous hotel on North Tce (No 65), Adelaide.  A John Shand opened the hotel in 1845.  Probably he is to be identified with John Shand the brewer on the Torrens River, near Klemzig, who declared insolvency in 1843.  An 1844 spring flood washed the brewery building away.  For many years, a black swan etched onto the front facade made the hotel a well-known landmark.

Blyth, Arthur (1823-1891). 

Birmingham-born Arthur arrived in SA with his parents aboard the Ariadne in 1839.  His father, William, gained influence as a JP and a member of the first Adelaide City Council in 1840.  Arthur Blyth worked industriously as a Hindley St ironmonger and took on extensive pastoral interests.  In time, he became President of the Adelaide Chamber of Commerce, a Director of the SA Company and the National Bank of Australasia.  In 1857, as a very conservative member for Gumeracha, Blyth was elected to the first responsible SA Parliament.  He rose to become a Cabinet minister, and also Premier several times during the early 1870s.  From 1877 until his death, A Blyth was SAs Agent-General in London.

Breakneck Hill.

Several remarkably steep hills by this name exist on various roads in the Adelaide Hills.  On the Mt Barker Road, Breakneck Hill is the long grade leading up to Crafers from the Adelaide side.  From the late 19th century, the name Measday Hill supplanted the older name.  William Measday and his family operated their Dunrobin general store clinging precariously beside the main road.

Brown, John (1801-1879). 

To SA 1836 aboard the Africaine, where he remained for the rest of his life.  Brown became SAs first Emigration Agent, but his government career came to an end when he opposed the Governor too violently.  One of the original shareholders of the Burra copper mine, Brown used his new-found wealth to expand his mercantile interests.  A contemporary of N Hailes, J Brown died three weeks after his friend.

Brown Besses.

Before firearms became the principal weapons in the British Army, the infantry used a halberd (a long pole fitted with a steel point and cross piece at the top), nicknamed a brownbill, to conduct warfare.  As a pun on Brown Bills, Brown Besses became the popular name in the ranks for regulation bronzed flint-lock muskets, the first guns which generally replaced halberds.


A three-mast East India Co vessel constructed in Bombay in 1816.  Owned by Mangles & Co, of London, the boat brought 512 new citizens for South Australia on its only voyage here in 1839, under charter to the South Australian Company.

Bucks Head Hotel, Adelaide.

This hotel, on the corner of Gray St and North Tce, opened in 1848 as the Dolphin.  George Gandy was the first publican.  he business changed names a year later under its second landlord, James Hill.  Trade continued until the hotel closed in 1964.  Directly after Adelaide was established, a post was placed in the top of a pile of stones near the site of the later Bucks Head.  At noon every day, someone rang a bell attached to the post.

Buffalo, The.

A three-mast ship built in Calcutta in 1813 and called the Hindostan.  The Royal Navy bought this vessel in the same year and re-named it the Buffalo, for use as a storeship/timber carrier.  Captain Hindmarsh had the boat fitted out at Portsmouth for the long voyage to South Australia in 1836.  The Buffalo came again to Australia in 1840 with convicts for Hobart Town.  Soon afterwards, the ship took British troops to New Zealand, but unfortunately was wrecked off the South Island while loaded with kauri spars bound for England. T he wreckage is still seen occasionally when sea conditions allow.

Buffalo Row, Adelaide.

Many of the passengers who arrived in SA on HMS Buffalo in late 1836 pitched their tents together in a row along the Torrens River, near the site of the later Adelaide Gaol.  Coromandel Row, for the Coromandel passengers, was erected a little east of this area.

Bull Creek.

A short tributary of the Finniss River, a few kilometres south of Meadows.  While searching for stock pastures in the Adelaide Hills, John Bull spent one night camped on the site of the present Strathalbyn, in the company of Stone, a notorious horse thief.  As a recompense for not having revealed his identity to the authorities, Stone guided Bull to an ideal location further to the south for fattening cattle.  In this lush, sheltered river valley, JW Bull and his partner, EB Gleeson, conditioned stock after their long overland journey from NSW, in preparation for sale at the Adelaide market.  To JW Bull’s understandable annoyance, Charles Flaxman’s Meadows Special Survey of 31 January 1839 displaced him from his prime spot.

Bull Family.

JW Bull brought his wife, Mary, nee Brant, and two sons, John jun. and Robert, ashore with him from England. JW Bull’s brother, Joseph, and sister, Lucy (later Mrs TH Beare) also accompanied the family.


In 1849, pastoralist and merchant William Randall laid out Burnside on a section of land he bought from the SA Company, naming the new sub-division after his father’s estate in Northants, England.  N Hailes became the selling agent, inserting lyrical advertisements in the newspapers: Citizens! For one day, exchange noise, dust and heat for fresh air, shady groves and rippling streams...  In her book, The paddocks beneath, Elizabeth Warburton produces evidence that Hailes’ host beside the stream was Alexander Paterson, landlord of the Catherine Wheel at Kensington.


A three-year old three-mast ship when the Bull family sailed in 1838.  In 1840, the boat brought convicts to Australia, and another group of emigrants to SA in 1846. Captain - J Mordaunt.

Cape Jervis.

The tip of Fleurieu Peninsula received its name from Matthew Flinders on 23 March 1803.  Admiral, Sir John Jervis, had been appointed First Lord of the Admiralty and created the first Earl St Vincent in 1801.

Chapman, William (c1831-1895). 

Surrey-born William Chapman arrived in SA 1849 Ascendant, with his parents.  After a short time on the new family farm at Echunga, William left for the Victorian gold fields.  Upon his return, he continued panning for gold around Echunga.  In August 1852, William found paying gold and the Government declared a field amidst great excitement.  684 miners had taken out a 30s licence within the next couple of months.  W Chapman made a trip to the New Zealand gold fields in 1855, but upon his return to SA, he established a grain and seed store in Mt Barker.  He belonged to the Mt Barker Agricultural & Horticultural Society and was the first librarian of the Mt Barker Institute.

Chittleborough, James Junr (1832-1918). 

Born Portsmouth, Hants, England, from where his father worked on RN vessels.  James Senr brought his family to SA 1836 Buffalo, with many significant officials for the new colony, including the Governor, John Hindmarsh.  Almost immediately in SA, the Chittleboroughs operated a hotel in Buffalo Row, Adelaide, and then shifted to Hindley St - the Buffalo’s Head, now the Princess Berkeley.  Later, James Senr farmer at Hurtle Vale, Reynella.  His wife died in March 1840.

J Chittleborough Junr

Went farming and goldmining until his marriage.  Following some years as a hotelkeeper in and around Adelaide & Greens Plains, he also operated a Wallaroo general store and then returned to Adelaide to successive clerical, management and partnership positions in Horwood’s foundry and the Hindmarsh Brewery.  Skilled at many sports, James Junr also took a great interest in the annual Proclamation Commemorations at Glenelg.

Cock, Robert (c1801-1871). 

A native of Fifeshire, Scotland, Robert emigrated to SA with his wife and six children aboard the Buffalo in 1836.  He was soon hard at work at his professions of carpenter and millwright.  R Cock built a permanent home, which he turned into a store and land saleroom, and continued to live with his family in the temporary structure.  Besides acting as Government auctioneer, Cock conducted his own agency and did much exploration in the Adelaide Hills to find suitable stock and agricultural land - this information he sold.  R Cock and companions discovered Cox Creek (site of modern Bridgewater), which in corrupted form commemorates him, and the Hindmarsh River (modern Strathalbyn); in late December 1837, the men became the second group of Europeans to climb Mt Barker.  Also during 1837, Cock explored Yorke Peninsula and country around Pt Lincoln.  For some years, Cock farmed on Onkaparinga River-side property (Mt Annan) between Balhannah and Oakbank, before finally shifting to Mt Gambier, where he died.

Colonial Camp, Adelaide.

Evidently a collective name for the various groups of government and residential tents beside the Torrens River and North Tce, Adelaide, in the earliest colonial years.

Congregational Chapel, North Tce, Adelaide.

The first Congregational minister, the Rev’d TQ Stow, arrived in SA on the Hartley in October 1837.  Initially, he lived in a tent by the Torrens River and here the first Congregational service was held.  Governor Hindmarsh sat on a box for the service.  During 1838, Mr Stow organised a church built out of pine logs on North Terrace, a little to the west of Morphett Street.  He journeyed to the Reedbeds (the mouth of the Torrens River near Glenelg) to cut reeds to thatch the roof.

Coromandel Row, Adelaide.

Many of the passengers who arrived in SA on HMS Coromandel in January 1837 pitched their tents together in a row along the Torrens River, near the site of the later Adelaide Gaol.  This development lay somewhat east of Buffalo Row, built earlier for many of the passengers of the Buffalo, who arrived in late 1836.

Cox Creek.

Rises in the Black Swamp, near Uraidla, and falls into the Onkaparinga River near Hahndorf.  Hahndorf’s miller, FW Wittwer, operated a water mill at the junction during the early 1840s.  The name is a corruption of Robert Cock’s surname.  He was an early explorer and farmer in the Adelaide Hills.  Wherever the terrain allowed, the whole length of the creek quickly became a favoured place for market gardeners, who began sending the most enormous and flavoursome fruit and vegetables to the Adelaide markets.  Cox Creek is one of the few SA streams which usually has water flowing the year round.

Crafer, David (c1796-1842). 

Born at Buxton, nr Norwich, Norfolk, England.  Shortly before emigrating to SA aboard the Lord Goderich in 1838, Crafer married Mary Ann Leggatt at East Dereham, Norfolk.  During March 1839, he opened the Sawyers Arms at what is now Crafers in the Adelaide Hills to serve the scattered numbers of farmers and woodcutters living in the neighbourhood.  Only days afterwards, the Germans passed by to establish Hahndorf, the first township in the ranges.  From late 1840, David called his business the Norfolk Arms Hotel, in honour of his native county.  Crafer gave up his inn in April 1841 and took on the licence of the South Australian Hotel in Hindley St, Adelaide, for some months.  David died at Brighton, after a lingering illness.  He left no sons and therefore the name of Crafer no longer kept going in the colony.


David Crafer opened his hotel, the Sawyer’s Arms, beside the bush track later known as the Mt Barker Road in March 1839.  The public house soon became known familiarly as Crafer’s place.  For some decades, Crafers remained little more than a district, with scattered labourers’ cottages in the thick valley scrub, crowned by summer mansions for Adelaide’s wealthy classes on the heights.  Two sub-divisions, Crafers Park and Crafers Summit, were laid out in 1880 by Richard Searle and Edward Ashwin, and RA Patterson respectively.


Another name for a ship’s cabin.  The Register listed only 35 cabin and 100 steerage passengers on board the Canton.  Bull put the total number much higher.

Currie Street, Adelaide.

Named after Raikes Currie, a wealthy British banker and member of Parliament, who combined radical thought with a tendency to gamble money as well as ideas.  He became a foundation member of the South Australian Association set up in 1834 to instigate the formation of the colony.