Copy of Notes distributed at Talk given by AM (Tony) Finnis at NTSA Mt Barker Branch Meeting on 2 August 2016 - (subsequent minor alterations made)

1 - Introduction

1.1  Subject Matter

  • The subject matter of this talk is the Mt Barker Special Survey.  You will all be aware that this first Special Survey was purchased by William Hampden Dutton on 11 January 1839 on behalf of himself and his partners Duncan Macfarlane and Captain John Finnis. 

  • I will be discussing this Special Survey from the Partnership point of view; why certain actions were taken and the individual problems that occurred.

  • I have issued a copy of this document to each of you as I believe this is the best way to discuss the matters involved.  I hope you find it of interest.

  • Mention will be made of certain sums of money in pounds.  To enable evaluation of the equivalent size of these amounts, £1000 (for a commodity or real estate) is very roughly equivalent to $1.25m in today’s currency.

1.2  References

Reference that I have used are numerous and mainly include:

  • Copies of John Finnis' letters and other family references in my possession.

  • Extensive publications and Information compiled by Harold J Finnis (my uncle).

  • Publications on pastoral industry and pioneers in South Australia.

  • Publications on Mount Barker.

  • State Library SA – Harold Finnis documents and other information.

  • State Library SA – Dutton family information – (access permission obtained from Dutton family legal representative)

  • Miscellaneous newspaper articles and reports.

1.3  Special Surveys

It is also helpful to remember what the Special Surveys were about.

  • On the 4 December 1835, The Colonization Commissioner for the Province of South Australia made an Order or Regulation for the sale of lands where any person could pay in advance the price of £4,000 to direct a survey to be carried out of any compact district not exceeding fifteen thousand acres from which such person could select and have the right to four thousand acres before any other applicant.
  • This Regulation was implemented on the instigation of the South Australian 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.
  • It would appear that although Special Surveys had been available for a number of years, the South Australian Company believed that no-one but themselves could afford to to take out a Special Survey so they were not in any particular hurry to do so themselves.

2 - Brief Biography of Partners

To start with, a brief biography of each of the partners (William Hampden Dutton, Duncan Macfarlane, and John Finnis) is given to provide background information on each of them.

2.1 William Hampden Dutton

  • Born in 1805 in Cuxhaven, Hanover, where his father held a diplomatic post.  William Hampden Dutton was one of a family of five sons.  He studied agricultural science in Germany at Moglin, near Berlin, from around 1822 to 1824, specialising in wool classing and sheep breeding.

  • WH Dutton first arrived in Sydney in March 1826, and after an unsuccessful sheep venture returned to England the following year.  Arriving back in Sydney in March 1830 with his younger brother Frederick, he took up a land grant in the Goodradigbee Valley, but the property proved to be unsuitable for sheep.

  • In partnership with Federick, he next settled on a property near Yass, however, a highly infectious sheep disease broke out and they were forced once again to relocate.  Frederick moved to Mullengandra near Albury, while William moved to the Loddon Valley in Victoria.  Later they ran sheep together in the Monaro region of New South Wales.

  • William Hampden Dutton married Charlotte Da Silva Cameron in July 1831.  Eight months later, Charlotte became the step-daughter of Captain John Finnis.

  • With his wife, two children and a servant, WH Dutton arrived in South Australia from Sydney on 26th December 1838 aboard the ship 'Parland', with a full cargo of sheep and horsesAlso on this ship were Duncan Macfarlane and Robert Moore.

  • WH Dutton took out the Mount Barker Special Survey on 11 January 1839 in his name but which was on behalf of himself and his partners Finnis and Macfarlane.  It was the first such land sale in the colony.

  • He returned to Melbourne in late September 1840 due to severe financial problems which eventually resulted in his bankruptcy in December 1846.

  • WH Dutton died in Melbourne on 21 November 1849, after which his widow and her family returned to live in North Adelaide.

2.2 Duncan Macfarlane

  • Born in 1793 in Scotland, Duncan Macfarlane arrived in NSW, Australia in 1824 on the Ship ‘Triton’ with his brother James, and they squatted near where Canberra is now located.  [According to Clan Macfarlane Family History, they were both previously sailors, also James was usually called Jack].

  • In 1835, Duncan purchased 1200 acres at Goulburn, NSW, and later expanded into Port Phillip, Victoria.

  • It would appear that a major disagreement occurred between Duncan and James, with James remaining interstate and Duncan taking his share of the livestock to South Australia in 1838.

  • Duncan Macfarlane arrived in South Australia in 1838 on the brig 'Parland' being a fellow passenger with his friend, William Hampden Dutton.

  • Macfarlane joined Dutton and Finnis in taking out the Mount Barker Special Survey during January 1839.

  • In early 1839, Macfarlane established a station at Mount Barker having imported 1,000 head of cattle from Sydney overland, and landing 1,100 ewes at Port Adelaide.  Sometime later he introduced a number of MacArthur merino ewes from Camden Park, NSW to South Australia.

  • Soon, scab and closer settlement made the Mt Barker area unsuitable for sheep and Macfarlane shifted his pastoral interests to the South-East near where Millicent is now situated.  Unfortunately, he lost a lot of sheep there due to disease.

  • Macfarlane built the first residence in the Mount Barker township which the Partners had laid out on part of Macfarlane’s sheep run during 1840.  Later he built a butcher's shop and supplied the early settlers with meat.

  • In August 1841, Macfarlane was appointed a Justice of Peace for the Province of South Australia.

  • In 1845, he sold the butchering business and completely moved to the Tatiara district in the South-East.

  • He subsequently owned allotments in Strathalbyn, and also land on the south side of Glen Osmond adjacent to Osmond Gilles property.  He was also a major shareholder in the Glen Osmond silver-lead mines with Osmond Gilles.

  • For a time he lived at the old York Hotel in Adelaide, but finally retired to his residence at Glen Osmond.

  • He died aged 63 on 27 October 1856, a wealthy man leaving a considerable estate.  He never married.

2.3  Captain John Finnis

  • Born on 3 December 1802 at Dover, Kent, England.  In January 1814, John Finnis was indentured to Thomas Mercer, an influential London merchant/shipowner, with whom he trained for five years as a master mariner.
  • Finnis came to Australia under unusual circumstances.  A Mr Hooke decided to settle in NSW, and bring his family including the body of his recently dead son, Theodore, with him.  The captain of the ship on which he had booked passage refused to take his son as he feared disaster if the body of the dead boy was on the ship.  Mr Hooke then purchased the brig ‘The Courier’ commanded by Capt John Finnis, and sailed for Australia.  Some of the crew were discharged in Auckland NZ and the remainder after arriving in Sydney on 2 March 1825, where the ship was subsequently sold.
  • In 1831, in partnership with Joseph Montefiore, Finnis acquired the barque Elizabeth, and in 1836 he sailed in charge of the Sir William Wallace, both being engaged in whaling in the southern fisheries.  As a result of his successful whaling ventures, he became financially well-off.  He was often referred to as 'the pirate' during this period.
  • On 23 March 1832 at St James' Church, Sydney, Finnis married Luduvina Rosa da Silva, the widow of Colonel Charles Cameron of the 3rd Regiment.  She had seven children by her first husband; one was married to William Hampden Dutton, and another to Sir George Kingston.  [Luduvina was a Portuguese Nobleman’s daughter. Cameron family history states that Charles Cameron ‘rescued’ Luduvina from a Portuguese monastery before marrying her]
  • John Finnis first came to South Australia in 1838, with Captain Sturt, overlanding 300 head of cattle which they had speculatively purchased in New South Wales for sale in Adelaide.  On reaching Adelaide, Finnis established a cattle saleyard on West Terrace, Adelaide and a cattle station at Mount Barker.
  • Finnis and WH Dutton formed a livestock company which in early 1839 overlanded from NSW to Mount Barker several mobs of sheep and cattle which was the largest number of livestock overlanded to that date.
  • Finnis joined Dutton and Macfarlane, in taking out the Mount Barker Special Survey during January 1839.
  • Although he maintained a residence in Adelaide and property in Mount Barker, Finnis returned to the sea in 1842, first as captain of the King Henry, and in 1843 as owner of the Joseph Albino, in which he carried passengers and cargo between England, Australia and New Zealand for several years until 1849 when she was seized by the American Government for alleged ‘smuggling’ when arriving in California transporting people for the goldfields.
  • After the death of his first wife in Adelaide, Finnis married Mary Ann Russell on 3 September 1856; they had two sons, John Mercer and Samuel.
  • John Finnis died in Adelaide on 13 August 1872, and is buried in the West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide.

3 - Events Resulting in Mt Barker Special Survey

It should be noted that John Finnis was the only one of the eventual Partners who had any previous knowledge of the Mt Barker region, or South Australia for that matter, before the Mt Barker Special Survey was obtained.

3.1  John Finnis’ Problems

  • John Finnis’ cattle station at Mt Barker was adjacent to a similar station created earlier by John Barton Hack and his brother.  As both these stations had undefined boundaries and no legal status, it was not surprising that arguments arose between the two parties as to livestock ownership and other accusations.

  • In several letters written by John Finnis to Sydney correspondents, he expressed the view that he believed that Hack was attempting to take over and remove him from his station.  Hack apparently intended to apply for the Mt Barker Special Survey and it was certain that Finnis would loose his station when this occurred.

  • Compounding Finnis’ problem was the fact that the South Australian Company had employed a surveyor to survey parts of the Mt Barker region.  This survey included portions of the station occupied by Finnis.

  • As a result of the above, on 1 December 1838, Finnis applied to Governor Gawler  ' …. to do him the justice of permitting my paying any amount Your Excellency may deem equivalent for the occupation of the run I hold.'  -  This request was refused.

3.2  Osmond Gilles

  • Osmond Gilles was the Colonial Treasurer at this time and would have been approached by John Finnis to ascertain what actions he had available to him to protect his station.  These discussions would probably have occurred before Finnis’ request to Governor Gawler was refused.

  • It is believed that Gilles advised Finnis of the availability of a Special Survey for the Mt Barker Region at this time, and suggested that Finnis should apply for it before Hack or the South Australian Company did so.

  • This is supported by a subsequent statement that Gilles pre-paid £250 for 250 acres in the Special Survey sometime before the survey was actually granted.

3.3  Why Was the Partnership Formed?

  • Finnis could not afford to take out the Special Survey completely by himself at that time, so some sort of partnership had to be arranged.  As Dutton and Finnis’ company was in the process of overlanding a great number of livestock from NSW and they needed Finnis’ station to hold this livestock, they agreed that they would apply for the Special Survey for their own protection.

  • It was agreed between them that Finnis would look after the livestock situation and Dutton would arrange for the Special Survey.

  • Duncan Macfarlane was in a similar position.  He was in the process of overlanding and shipping his share of the livestock after his split-up with his brother James, and wished to protect the station he was setting-up at Mt Barker.  He and Dutton were friends due to their previous interstate interests.

  • They also sought further partners and also loans in the Special Survey to share the costs.  One such potential partner was Robert W Moore who came to South Australia on the brig Parland with Dutton and Macfarlane.

  • There was much conjecture in the press at the time who the actual partners with WH Dutton were after he had applied for the Special Survey.  In fact the actual partnership was not finalised until after the Special Survey had been taken out by Dutton as Robert W Moore was still considering participation, but his wife did not wish to move permanently to Adelaide at that time (although they did sometime later).

4 - Mount Barker Special Survey

4.1  Purchase of Special Survey

  • On 11 January 1839, the Mount Barker Special Survey was purchased by William Hampden Dutton in his name for £4,000 on behalf of the Partners.

  • The Partners had each been responsible for raising their own equal share of the capital required for the venture.  Substantial loans had been obtained from Thomas Walker, a wealthy Sydney merchant (mainly by Dutton and Macfarlane).

4.2 Dispute

  • As previously mentioned, two other parties also had been very interested in the land involved.  They were John Barton Hack and the South Australian Company.

  • Dutton beat Hack by about two hours for the Special Survey.  Hack then accused Osmond Gilles, the Colonial Treasurer, of maladministration for giving a receipt for the property before the total purchase money was paid, and of himself being interested in the venture.  Hack appealed to Governor Gawler but to no avail.

  • The South Australian Company were also dissatisfied in being a non-competitor and started a bombardment of correspondence to Governor Gawler and in the press, however, the Governor adhered to his decision.  This continued action by the South Australian Company enabled them to obtain preferential treatment in obtaining certain other Special Surveys.

4.3 Articles of Agreement

  • There had been no formal agreement between the three Special Survey partners until the ‘Articles of Agreement’ was signed on 22 January 1839.

  • The Agreement included the following:

    • William Hampden Dutton on 11 January 1839 paid £4,000 purchase price on behalf of himself and the other parties to the Colonial Treasurer for the Special Survey of 15,000 acres of which 4,000 acres to be selected by the Parties.
    • The Parties agreed to sell to Osmond Gilles 250 acres for £250 from above 4,000 acres selected, which sum had already been received.
    • John Finnis was authorised to select the actual 4,000 acres on behalf of the Parties.
    • The Parties undertook that within a period of one calendar month from the delivery of the grant of the land delineated in the Special Survey, to meet together at a specified time and place agreed upon by any two of them, for the purpose of dividing the land into sixteen equal portions of 250 acres each.  One such portion of 250 acres was to be set apart to become the sole property of Osmond Gilles, and the remaining 15 portions were to be divided into three equal divisions of 1,250 acres each.
    • The value of each of these divisions were to be determined by referee, and should there be a disparity in value then an adjustment payment would be made within a period of three months from the date of the selection.

5 - Other Matters Effecting the Mt Barker Survey

I will digress at this point to discuss other matters which overall had a considerable effect on the implementation of the Mt Barker Special Survey.

5.1 Hahndorf Agreement

I will not elaborate on the Hahndorf agreement, as it is very well documented elsewhere in a number of publications, however, I will make the following comments.

  • It was less than 2 weeks after gaining the First Special Survey that the partners invited Captain Hahn (on behalf of the Lutheran immigrants) to inspect the land near Mt Barker which they had obtained.  As a result, portion of this land was accepted by the Lutheran immigrants and an agreement was drawn up setting out the terms and conditions involved.  This was agreed by the parties on 28 January 1839.
  • The land selected incorporated the cattle run that John Finnis had established some time earlier.
  • It is rather ironic that the reason for John Finnis pursuing the Mt Barker Special Survey in the first place was to protect his Mt Barker cattle run from being taken-over by others, yet soon after obtaining the Special Survey, it was handed over to the German settlers which resulted in the creation of the township of Hahndorf.  [The reason behind this was that Finnis no longer needed his Mt Barker station as he was transferring his stock to a new station at Mt Dispersion due to the substantial outbreak of disease in the sheep population at Mt Barker]

5.2 Dutton and Finnis Overlanding Venture

  • John Finnis and William Hampden Dutton formed a company ('Dutton and Finnis') which in equal partnership they undertook to organise a comprehensive overland trip bringing livestock from Sydney to Adelaide.

  • John Finnis had returned to Sydney to organise this overland trip which left Sydney in April 1839 and arrived in Mt Barker in October 1839.

  • It was reported in the 'SA Register' that ..... it consisted of about 25,000 sheep (in 3 flocks) and 700 cattle, and that the party consisted of 9 members with 50 servants to look after the stock.  It was the largest overland party up to that time.

5.3 Mount Dispersion

  • In 1839, John Finnis formed a station at Mount Dispersion about 100 km north-east of Adelaide (near Kapunda) because as he stated in a letter to HC Dutton (sen.) dated 15 December 1839 …..  'The reason I favour the station to the northward, there is nothing but 'scab' sheep all over Mount Barker.  The place where they are, there is no sheep within 20 miles, and a very fine Country.'

  • After disposing of all stock overlanded by ‘Dutton and Finnis’ on behalf of others, Finnis immediately moved their remaining 12,000 newly arrived sheep from his Mount Barker station to the new Mount Dispersion station.  This was one of the largest number of sheep owned by any northern squatter at that time.

  • Frederick Dutton (brother of William Hampden Dutton) had attempted about this time to form a sheep company at Mount Dispersion in which Finnis was also involved, but this failed.  In 1841, Frederick Dutton took up John Finnis' station and renamed it 'Anlaby'.  This was increased in size over time to become a very substantial and well known property.

5.4 WH Dutton’s Insolvency

  • On 23 December 1840, as a result of severe continuing financial difficulties, William Hampden Dutton appointed trustees under a Deed of Assignment to administer his estate  ‘real and personal .... for the general benefit of his creditors’.
  • This created significant problems not only for the Special Survey partnership of Dutton, MacFarlane and Finnis, but also the separate stock dealings and financial transactions carried out by the company ‘Dutton and Finnis’.
  • As reported in The Cornwall Chronicle, on Saturday 26 September 1846 ....... New Insolvent — William Hampton Dutton, formerly of Sydney, merchant, but now of Melbourne.  Liabilities, £74,772 17s. 10d. Assets, personal property £10.  Balance deficiency, £74,762, 17s. 10d.  Mr. Dutton, in accounting for the deficiency exhibited by the schedule, stated that his insolvency arose from the depreciation of stock and property in the colony; that in the year 1840, he assigned all his estate real and personal to Gordon, Sandeman and others of Sydney and Melbourne, in trust for the general benefit of his creditors; that the trusts of the deed of assignment were not carried out, nor was he discharged from his debts under the provisions of the then act under which the assignment was made; that he still continues liable to his creditors and is unable to pay them.
  • The Chief Commissioner, Insolvent Court - District of Port Phillip, issued a Certificate of Insolvency for William Hampton Dutton on 15 December 1846.

5.5 John Finnis and WH Dutton Dispute

  •  On 6 August 1841, due to WH Dutton's extreme financial problems, the company created by WH Dutton and John Finnis for their substantial stock venture was terminated.  This created major problems which resulted in a legal dispute between the two partners.  This ultimately not only had an effect on the Special Survey property but also involved WH Dutton's brother, Frederick Hansborough Dutton, who had taken responsibility for his brother’s interests and had an involvement in the Mt Dispersion property.

  • Fortunately, before they were involved in ruinous litigation, the matter was referred to arbitration and a settlement dated 2 September 1841 was filed in the Equity side of the Supreme Court.  The basis of the settlement included:

    • One section of land to be sold to the Germans to be the property absolutely of the said John Finnis.
    • One other section of land agreed to be sold to the Germans to be conveyed or otherwise held in trust to secure the outstanding liabilities of the firm of ‘Dutton and Finnis’.
    • 1500 ewes, 30 rams and 500 wethers to be delivered to John Finnis, with the remainder of the flocks belonging to ‘Dutton and Finnis’ to be taken by Frederick Hansborough Dutton, he indemnifying John Finnis against all outstanding claims against the firm of ‘Dutton and Finnis’.
    • Frederick Hansborough Dutton to deliver to the said John Finnis £500 of good discountable bills.
    • The money still due by the Germans for the provisions and stock not including the land to be received by John Finnis.

It should be noted that this agreement only partly solved the financial side of the dispute as it was subsequently shown that there was no evidence of stated payments by WH Dutton of several promisory notes involved, and were therefore presumed to be outstanding.  This amounted to an agreed sum of £6,543 6s 9d owing to John Finnis, which he had previously committed to on behalf of WH Dutton.

6 - Initial Allocation of the Special Survey Property

Now, returning to the Mt Barker Special Survey details.

6.1 Land Grant and Survey

  • This was given under the hands and seal of George Gawler, Commissioner of Public Lands on 3 July 1840.  This Deed, after reciting the Authority of the Commissioner, set out that a sum of £4,000 had been paid in advance to the Treasurer in the name of William Hampden Dutton on 11 January 1839.
  • Thereupon a survey of the 15,000 selected acres had been directed, which was carried out under the supervision of F.R. Nixon, who early in January 1839 with a team of surveyors, laid out the individual Sections of the Survey, each given a specific number.
  • From this area the Partners selected 4,000 acres, in fifty 80 acre sections.
  • On 5 November 1839, a plan of the Special Survey was exhibited for public information in the Land Office.

6.2 Survey of Mt Barker Township

  • The Partners arranged for the township of Mount Barker to be surveyed and laid out into 169 town allotments and 41 suburban allotments of various sizes utilising Sections 4472, 4473, 4467 and 4477 of the Special Survey.

6.3 Land to Newland and Gwynne

  • As from 24 September 1840, the Partners transferred 3 Sections allotted for Hahndorf and the 3 Sections for Osmond Gilles, plus 76 Mt Barker Township Allotments to Richard Francis Newland and Edward Castres Gwynne upon certain trusts for lease or sale.  These Sections and Allotments were still in WH Dutton’s name only.
  • This action was taken as the Partners urgently needed to make sales or lease the Sections and Allotments as soon as possible as each of them needed to generate a cash flow to service the loans they individually had obtained.

6.4 Ballots for Sections and Allotments

  • On 28 September 1840, the Partners held a meeting in Mt Barker to discuss the implementation of the ‘Articles of Agreement’ which they signed on 22 January 1839.  As considerable time had passed since the original agreement had been signed and it was no longer applicable, it was agreed to rescind the Agreement and hold a ballot for the Sections and Township allotments.

  • A ballot for the Sections was then held with a total of 13 + 1/3 Sections being allocated to each Partner.  The ballot excluded the three sections which had been conveyed to Osmond Gilles, and four other sections which had been set aside for a township of Mount Barker, and certain of the sections and allotments that had been conveyed to Newland and Gwynne for sale.

  • On 2 October 1840, a further ballot was held to allocate the Mt Barker township Suburban and Township Allotments.  William Hampden Dutton was absent at this meeting due to his having urgently relocated to Melbourne as a result of his financial problems.  WH Dutton's brother Frederick Hansborough Dutton acted as Attorney for him to enable the ballot to proceed.  This ballot resulted in WH Dutton and Macfarlane each receiving 13 suburban allotments and 49 town allotments, and Finnis receiving 12 suburban allotments and 53 town allotments.

6.5 Deed of Partition and Release

  • On 16 October 1841, an Agreement between partners William Hampden Dutton, Duncan Macfarlane and Capt John Finnis, (plus Frederick Hansborough Dutton) was signed to legally appropriate the Sections and Allotments in accordance with the ballots held on 28 September 1840 and 2 October 1840 at Mount Barker.

  • This Deed enabled each of the Partners to legally hold their respective Sections and Allotments as allotted in severance and not as tenants in common.

7 - Transfer of Sections Between the Partners

7.1 Transfer of Sections from WH Dutton to J Finnis

  • The termination of the company, ‘Dutton and Finnis’, resulted in an amount due by WH Dutton to John Finnis of £6,543 6s 9d which sum was acknowledged by WH Dutton.
  • On 30 October 1841, being unable to pay, WH Dutton transferred to John Finnis, for the sum of £3,300, the 13 + 1/3 Sections originally balloted to him.  This was a reduction of the larger sum due, which left £3,243 6s 9d still owing on the overall debt.  It appears that the remainder of this debt was never paid.
  • On 5 March 1842, these Sections were subsequently mortgaged for the amount of £7,784 9s 4d to protect Frederick Hansborough Dutton against any future claims against the company ‘Dutton and Finnis’.

7.2 Release of Sections to John Finnis

  • On 23 April 1842, the 13 + 1/3 Sections originally balloted to John Finnis on 28 September 1840 were transferred to him from WH Dutton.

7.3 Release of Sections to Duncan Macfarlane

  • On 25 April 1842, the 13 + 1/3 Sections originally balloted to Duncan Macfarlane on 28 September 1840 were transferred to him from WH Dutton.

8 - Transfer of Sections to Archibald Walker

8.1 Transfer of Sections from John Finnis to Archibald Walker

  • Archibald Walker (of London, late Sydney) had been collecting all of John Finnis’ outstanding debts, and in February 1844 foreclosed on Finnis.

  • This resulted in the 13 + 1/3 Sections originally balloted to WH Dutton and transferred to John Finnis in part payment of a debt being further transferred on 7 February 1844 to A Walker in full payment of all relevant outstanding debts of John Finnis.

8.2 Transfer of Mt Barker Allotments from D Macfarlane to A Walker

  • Archibald Walker foreclosed on 10 May 1847 on loans given to Duncan MacFarlane for the Special Survey and this transaction was in final settlement.

  • Firstly, it was necessary to transfer the Mt Barker township 13 suburban and 49 town allotments balloted to Macfarlane from WH Dutton, and then transfer them to Archibald Walker.

  • The £400 purchase price paid by Walker for this transaction represented the difference between the property value and the residual loan amount outstanding.

9 - William Hampden Dutton’s Death

9.1 Death and Trustee

  • William Hampden Dutton died on 21 November 1849.  William Broughton Dutton (then aged 12) eldest son became Trustee of the Legal Estate.

  • Correspondence between William Broughton Dutton and his uncle Frederick Hansborough Dutton indicates that there was considerable confusion as to what actual Mount Barker sections and allotments were included in the estate.  Subsequent legal advice obtained clarified the estate claims.

9.2 John Finnis Petition

  • Although John Finnis had his balloted Sections legally transferred to him from WH Dutton on 23 April 1842, he had not done the same for his balloted Mount Barker township allotments prior to the death of WH Dutton.  This meant that he had to petition the Supreme Court to enable this transfer to be carried out by the Legal Estate of WH Dutton.  These instructions as ordered by the Master of the Supreme Court were issued on 20 January 1851 and implemented on 10 May 1851.
  • Excluded in the Supreme Court order were 22 of the Town Allotments which were transferred by the Partners upon certain trusts to Newland and Gwynne on 24 September 1840, just prior to the Partnership ballots being carried out and which were included in those conveyed to John Finnis,

10 - William Broughton Dutton’s Death

10.1 Death and Trustee’s

  • William Broughton Dutton died aged 25 on 27 June 1863.  Executors - Robert Waters Moore surgeon Adelaide and John Taylor Esq., Ryelands.  He left all of his estate to his mother Charlotte da Silva Dutton (widow of WH Dutton) including Allotments at Mt Barker.

10.2 Allotments to Charlotte da Silva Dutton

  • The Allotments transferred to Charlotte da Silva Dutton of North Adelaide in accordance with Will of her son, William Broughton Dutton consisted of 5 Suburban Allotments and 42 +1/3 Town Allotments.  These allotments were those remaining unsold from those appropriated on behalf of William Hampden Dutton by his brother, Frederick Hansborough Dutton, at the original ballot carried out by the Partners on 2 October 1840.
  • These allotments had been transferred on 10 January 1865 by the sole surviving trustees of WH Dutton’s estate to Ewen Wallace Cameron (Charlotte da Silva Dutton's brother) for £200.  The allotments had then been transferred on 7 September 1865 by Ewen Wallace Cameron to Charlotte da Silva Dutton for £200.

11 - John Finnis’ Death

  • John Finnis died on 13 August 1872. Executor, Mary Ann Finnis (second wife) in trust for John Mercer Finnis (son).  He died a wealthy man.

  • Sections still held by John Finnis at time of death were: Nos 4442, 4443 and 4447.  (He had previously obtained sections 4442 and 4443 from Duncan Macfarlane).  This land had been used by Finnis for cattle and horse breeding in conjunction with the West Terrace sale-yards.

  • These Sections remained in the family until they were sold by the Executors of the Estate of John Finnis' son, John Mercer Finnis, on his death in 1909.


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