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.
The Biographies are divided into alphabetical sections which can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate links below:
Biographies N to R
Neales, John Bentham (1806-1873).
Reared by the influential political philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, JB Neales emigrated to SA aboard the Eden, in 1838. Mixing from the first in powerbroking circles, JB Neales became involved in many business interests, principally in banking, mining and real estate. Between 1851-1870, he was a member of one or other of the two elected Houses of Parliament, or of the earlier nominated Legislative Council. JB Neales took part in many property deals in the Adelaide Hills, as he lived for a period at Woodside soon after its foundation in 1849.
Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island.
On 21 March 1802, the British navigator and maritime explorer Matthew Flinders named Nepean Bay, the stretch of sea which separates Kingscote from American River, after the First Secretary to the Admiralty, Sir Evan Nepean. Between 1812-1819, shortly before his death, Nepean moved from the Admiralty to become Governor of Bombay in British India.
Newland, Richard Francis (//-//)
Likely to have come from Sydney with WH Dutton on the Parland from Sydney in Dec 1838. Bank manager resigned c1844, JP, stockholder at Allen Creek; Pt Adelaide, Walkerville, Woodville. Belonged to the Legislative Council 1847, when John Morphett went to England on holiday. m 14/12/1842 St John’s Halifax St Adelaide, Eleanor, 3d daughter of Colonel AW Light, late of the 25th Regiment. She died in Nov 1851. RF Newland apparently left SA. He was trustee with EC Gwynne for the Mt Barker Special Survey bankruptcy, also JB Hack in 1843 (with LW Thrupp and John Baker). Executor with Captain Sturt for the will of Robert Bernard merchant Grenfell St, Adelaide, who died 1840. He had his Adelaide office in Tavistock Buildings, Rundle St. Local director of the Bank of SA in 1847. Staunch Anglican. Noted for the high quality of his wool clip. Became a foundation member of the Statistical Society formed in April 1841 at the Adelaide City Council Chambers, Hindley St, for ‘obtaining a full and authentic account of the condition of the colony’ to encourage renewed British interest in SA. SA 4/5/1841.
Nixon, Henry (c1805-d 12/4/1843).
To SA 1837 Navarino. Arrived with Henry Watts and CB Newenham as a private settler. Colonel Light soon employed Nixon on his surveying staff and Nixon also worked for the Emigration Department. H Nixon resigned his surveying post along with Light and set up in private practice with the firm of Light, Finniss & Co. Henry lived and died on North Tce, with his wife Eliza and four children. Nixon also became Adjutant of the 98th Regiment. Apparently, his lingering, painful death was due in no small measure to his extraordinary physical exertions while out on survey parties. Nixon died intestate; the £20 left in c eventually returned to England, except for Henry Junr, who joined the SA police force and lived in Mt Barker; he died young, on 15/10/1861. Henry Senr’s brother, FR Nixon, lived at Mt Barker. - Register 15/4/1843.
Colonel Light laid out North Adelaide on a hill across the Torrens River from the main city of Adelaide. North Adelaide quickly became popular as a residential area for the colony’s prosperous professional and merchant classes.
North Terrace, Adelaide.
Laid out by Colonel Light to form the northern-most east-west street in the new city of Adelaide. North Tce gradually became the centre of many government and cultural organisations for the youthful colony.
Master builder North Adelaide. He bought up entire Town Acres to sub-divide. Was he a son to Arthur James Odlum?
Most probably named after Osmond Gilles, the Colonial Treasurer, who was also Treasurer of the Glenelg syndicate.
Old Port, The.
An arm of the Port River near the ocean. Also known as Pt Misery (qv).
Rises near Mt Torrens in the Adelaide Hills and flows out to sea at Port Noarlunga. While at Balhannah, JW Bull lived by one of the many tributaries of the river. Its name is a Kaurna Aboriginal word meaning the women’s river. Many of SAs earliest productive farmlands were developed along both the upper and lower reaches of the stream.
Padgett, John Junr (18/10/1812-cApril 1857)
A native of Bradford, Yorks, England, John Padgett came of sturdy stock. Like his father, John Padgett Senr, he worked in the local coal mines. During 1837, John Junr married his childhood sweetheart, Jane Boyes, daughter of a local farmer, Elkanah Boyes, in Bradford’s parish church. With five children, the young couple set sail for SA 1848, aboard the vessel Duke of Bedford. John Padgett prospered from varied work, especially well-sinking on outback stations. In 1854, he brought his family to live on two allotments he purchased in Tam O’Shanter Place, off Grenfell St, Adelaide, on an 1838 sub-division established by the captain of the ship Tam O’Shanter.
Three years later (1857), disaster struck! John obtained an extended wellsinking contract with Stephen King, one of Gawler’s founders. After working for a period at Gawler Town, Padgett moved to King’s Outalpa Station, some 320 kms north of Port Augusta. For nearly three months, he laboured in high summer heat, and then took ill in early April 1857. Hardily, John decided to walk home alone, through countyside suffering prolonged drought. Perhaps not surprisingly, he vanished without trace, killed through thirst, officials believed. John’s wife, Jane, advertised for news of his whereabouts and the Burra police dispatched a search party complete with Aboriginal trackers in endeavours to locate him. All to no avail! Jane Padgett was left an uncertain widow, with seven youngsters to rear. Her eldest son, Emanuel, early became a blacksmith and sweated long hours to keep his mother and family with bread.
Palmer, George Junr (1799- April 1883).
The eldest son of George Palmer, a city businessman and Conservative MP for South Sussex. A cousin of Lord Selborne, George received his education at Harrow and then entered commercial enterprises in the City of London. He became JP for Essex and at last High Sheriff of the county in 1863. Nominated as a Verderer of Epping Forest, which endeavoured to keep the area as a public place for the benefit of the poor. Lt-Col of the Essex Yeoman Cavalry. 1827 married Elizabeth Charlotte Surtees, second daughter of John Surtees of Newcastle-on-Tyne. She was closely linked with Lord Eldon. George Palmer, his son, entered the Bengal Civil Service. He won a medal and clasp and the Thanks of Her Majesty for organising a defence battery in the North-West Provinces during the Indian Mutiny. - The Times 30/4/1883 7d. - Observer 23/6/1883 7d.
Park Lands, Adelaide.
Unfortunately, Surveyor-General Light made no references to Adelaide’s unique Park Lands in his Journal. On a map of the Adelaide Plains, which he drew up in February 1837, Light commented, The dark green round the Town I proposed to the Resident Commissioner to be reserved as Park Grounds. For a time in 1839, it appeared as though the original 2,300 acres reserved by Colonel Light might be sold off, as he had exceeded his powers in putting the area aside. Quick thinking on the part of the Colonial Secretary, Robert Gouger, averted this catastrophe. By the time that the Park Lands were fenced in and tree replanting commenced during 1857, most of the original gums and peppermint trees had been cut down for firewood and building purposes.
Discovered by Colonel Light in 1836, this waterway was first called the Thames. However, the present name gradually superseded it. Patawalonga is Aboriginal for swamp of snakes. T he Patawalonga flowed out to sea at Glenelg.
Payne, Samuel (1803-1847).
A native of Wilts, England, S Payne left his occupation as a Poor House supervisor to emigrate to SA 1838 Lord Goderich, with his wife, Ann, and small family. Upon arrival, Payne immediately showed a flair for real estate. He laid out the village of Payneham, with sublime prospects of the Mountains, and induced both capitalists and working men to purchase land at reduced rates for immediate cash settlement. Soon, within a stone’s throw of each other, were the residences of William Bartley (a leading Adelaide solicitor and land agent), Samuel’s travelling companion EC Gwynne (prominent lawyer and later Judge) and TQ Stow (SAs first Congregational minister). Probably, a good deal of Payne’s quick handsome profit went into purchase of a Town Acre, on which he built and operated the Auction Mart Tavern, Hindley St, Adelaide (wife Ann was an inn-keeper’s daughter). The hotel was near JB Neales popular auction rooms and also Gilles Arcade, one of the chief concentrations of business firms in the infant city. When just about to retire and live the life of a country gentleman himself, in 1847, S Payne died of a bout of influenza, leaving a sizeable estate in trust for his widow and children.
Emigrated to SA aboard the Siam in December 1840.
Peake, Edward John
Very interested in politics. Foundation member of the H of A. Special magistrate at Willunga, Morphett Vale and Clarendon, as well as Pt Adelaide, from where he retired in ill health. Vineyards at Clarendon and mines on Yorke Peninsula. Had a classical education and a very active member of the RC Church. Buried in a vault he had specially constructed in Cemetery, Morphett Vale, after a quite mass at St Ignatius’s, Norwood.
Chronicle 1/4/1876 - Logical, with quick perceptions, a thorough knowledge of the world, and considerable legal knowledge, he was just the man to grasp the bearings of a complicated dispute … that comes before our small courts.
Widow, Elizabeth Peake, lived at Queen St, Norwood, when she died in 1882.
Pedler, William Junr (1829-1909).
Born Kea, Cornwall, England. To SA1838 Royal Admiral, with parents, William Pedler Senr & Elizabeth, nee Nicholls. William Senr made unwise decisions re his shoemaking and other careers, before farming with some success at Salisbury. William Junr followed his father at Trevalsa Farm with grain growing and horticulture projects.
Named by Matthew Flinders in 1802, after his home county of Lincolnshire, England. BP Winter laid out the town in 1839 as part of the Pt Lincoln Special Survey, and the sale of allotments caused great excitement. South Australia’s infant police force had great difficulty in keeping the peace between the first permanent settlers and the Aborigines.
The old Pt Adelaide, abandoned because the water was too shallow for ships to berth close to shore. Passengers had to go ashore by small boats (called lighters) through mangrove swamps. Such difficult conditions for loading and unloading vessels gave rise to the nickname Port Misery.
As yet unidentified. Only the surname Pratt appears in the Buckinghamshire passenger list. The young man must have died soon after he arrived in South Australia.
Preliminary Land Orders.
Under the terms of the 1835 SA land regulations, 130 land buyers purchased land in SA before surveying had even begun. The surveyors in the province by 1836 had to complete the survey of this property before any one else could obtain land. Many unforeseen difficulties arose in trying to carry out this policy.
Preuss, Peter Johann Christian (?-d 3/12/1848).
An ironmonger of Hamburg. To SA 1848 Louise. Died at sea. Left a sum of £600. His brother, Johann Samuel Preuss, watchmaker, Adelaide, became executor and inherited the money.
Prince George, The.
The Prince George was built in H Wright’s dockyards in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, during 1828. Ten years later, GF Angas chartered the vessel to bring portion of the Prussian Lutheran refugees he was settling in SA. Some two-thirds of the passengers established Klemzig on the banks of the Torrens River; the remainder joined the Zebra passengers to form Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. The Prince George had already been to Australia with a complement of convicts in 1836. On 21 July 1841, the ship was wrecked during a storm in the China Seas and not recovered.
HMS Prince George.
A three-mast 482-ton vessel built 1830 at Bristol, Gloucs, England. Under the command of Capt J Young, the ship left London on 12 September 1838, with emigrants bound for SA. The Prince George dropped anchor at Holdfast Bay on 26 December 1838 and passengers disembarked at Pt Misery on 1 January 1839. A great deal of confusion exists between this vessel and an earlier Prince George, which brought German immigrants to SA over a month beforehand.
Queen Victoria celebrated her nineteenth birthday on 24 May 1838, her first birthday since succeeding to the throne. Governor Hindmarsh held an afternoon levee and evening ball at Government House to commemorate the event. At the time, a significant number of prominent people, led by the Resident Commissioner, James Fisher, stayed away, because their quarrel with the Governor was at its height. Exactly a month later, news of the Governor’s recall to Britain reached the colony.
Queen Victoria celebrated her twenty-first birthday on 24 May 1840, to mark which occasion, the infant SA army gathered with other prominent colonists at Government House, Adelaide.
Born in Glasgow. Came to SA as a boy, with his parents aboard the Pestonjee Bomanjee in 1838. Took up a farm om the Bremer River 1844. Attacked by Aborigines in his hut; tied up while the attackers looted the place; threatened him and neighbour Francoiis, from Mauritius. These Aborigines captured by Harry Alford, but not enough evidence to convict them. 1851, went to Golden Point Diggings at Ballarat, also Pigley Gully, and Eaglehawk, where he did fairly well. Manager of Yanco Station, in the Riverina, for five years and handed it over to Sir Samuel WIlson c1860. Bought his first sheep from a man called William Dean, a splended colonist and excellent judge of sheep. Returned to SA and took up land in the Gawler Ranges with John Primrose, whose sister he married. The first to get a well of water between 50-70 miles west of Pt Augusta. Leased Montperia Station near Beltana, on Lake Torrens. Terrible droughts. - Observer 19/9/1896 p571
SA's oldest newspaper had the distinction of being older than the province. The first edition, produced on 18 June 1836, was printed in Lambeth, in London’s East End. Colonists had to wait another year before the next edition appeared, when SA was well proclaimed. For some years, all sorts of troubles plagued the newspaper, which often appeared at very irregular intervals as a result. In 1854, a consortium headed by WK Thomas, a son of Robert Thomas, the Register’s first printer, bought the business. Until the Advertiser in turn took over the firm in 1931 and the Register disappeared, many people recognised its influence in the state as something of a public trust. Numbers of influential SA citizens wrote either regular or occasional columns, which readers eagerly sought to study.
Under the terms of the 1834 SA Act, local control of the province had to be shared between the British Government’s representative, the Governor, and the Board of Colonisation Commissioners’ nominee, who was known as the Resident Commissioner. The other Commissioners lived in Britain. Their first representative in SA, James Hurtle Fisher, quarrelled bitterly with the first Governor, John Hindmarsh, which made the division of power unworkable. As a result, the British Government combined the two positions in the one person - the Governor of the day. After the financial disasters of the next Governor, George Gawler, the system of Commissioners was abolished and the province administered like any other British colony.
Richardson, John (c1808-1886).
A native of Southwark, Surrey, England, J Richardson emigrated to SA 1838 Lord Goderich. Within a couple of months, he had built rooms on North Tce, Adelaide, where he opened an auctioneering and land agency business. By the end of the year, John had removed to Hindley St, where briefly he was Government Auctioneer. During 1840, J Richardson bought a large property from JB Hack in the Adelaide Hills foothills; in 1841, John laid out the village of Houghton on part of this land. His own farm, he named Houghton Lodge. Joseph Barritt, the founder of the well-known Barritts of Lyndoch, became overseer. Richardson prospered. Despite the claims of a large family, he had acquired town houses on South Tce and then in North Adelaide by the 1850s. In time, J Richardson retired to Upper Norwood, a London suburb, where he died. At the turn of the century, the former Houghton Lodge estate was divided into orchards, on whose produce much of the later fame of Houghton rested.
Gentleman Pt Lincoln. On 23/12/1859, he took over the rest of George Bean’s lease of Section 46, Thebarton.
Robertson, Robert (1829-10/1899)
Born Ayreshire, Scotland. Graduated from Glasgow Uni in1852. Health officer and house surgeon at Glasgow Infirmary for several years. Medical officer of a ship which regularly carried migrants to the USA and Australia. To SA twice, where he was offered the post of house surgeon at the Adelaide Hospital, but he declined and returned to Britain. To SA again in 1860 and settled at Mt Barker, where he remained for 9 years in a lucrative practice. Then medical officer for the Wallaroo Mines, from among 15 candidates. King William St doctor in 1873. Gave up in 1878 to become medical officer for immigration. Toured England and Scotland successfully to attract migrants. Resumed private practice in KWS in 1880. Retired early 1899 and went to live in Semaphore. Health officer to the Adelaide Corporation and a member of the old Hospital Board. State Children’s Council member. Nearly 40 years a medical officer in SA. - Chronicle 4/11/1899.
Rosina Street, Adelaide.
Originally a private thoroughfare formed before 1841 to service a sub-division between Currie and Hindley Sts, Rosina St became a public road in May 1850. The road apparently takes its name from Mrs William Ferguson, nee Rosina Forsyth. She and her husband were the first people to live there. W Ferguson was near his work as auctioneer in partnership with Robert Cock.
Ross, William Alexander (c1853-28/10/1894)
Born Scotland. Died Albany WA. Opened Mt Barker Bank of Australasia in 1881. Transferred to Pt Adelaide 1884, then to Silverton after Broken Hill became prominent. Institute Committee, Agricultural Society, Prince of Wales Masonic Lodge, Anglican Church. m Annie O’Halloran, eldest daughter of TJS O’Halloran shortly after leaving Mt Barker. Died at Albany following a private inspection of the WA gold fields. Agent North Adelaide.
Royal Oak Hotel, Adelaide.
Already operating in June 1838, the Royal Oak, Hindley St, is one of the city’s oldest hotels and also notable for retaining its name throughout the whole time. It is likely that William Joule, a passenger in the Lady Emma during 1837, established the business in a Manning house, one of those transportable wooden homes imported from England. An ST Gill lithograph of 1851 shows an inn sign commonly seen in England hanging out the front. The name Royal Oak commemorates how King Charles II hid for half a day in an oak tree following the Battle of Worcester in 1651, where his enemies, the Roundheads, could not find him. Even though in memory of such a far-off event, Royal Oak is currently the second most popular hotel name in Britain.
An eight-kilometre long creek draining from Lake Victoria to the Murray River, just over the SA border in NSW. By the stream, early in 1841, a group of Aborigines speared two shepherds taking stock overland between NSW and SA. Governor Grey despatched four punitive expeditions from Adelaide to the region, in that same year. Some forty Aborigines were killed in the Battle of the Rufus, understandably a well-remembered event in early colonial SA.
A Rundle St merchant, who advertised his imported stock freely in the local press. It appears that by the mid-1840s, Russell had become an accountant.