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of the Bill.

On the 5th of October the Governor laid important
despatches on the table from the Secretary of State,
relative to (1) the Corporation of the city of Adelaide,
advising the Council to bring in a Bill to establish it, if
the colonists thought fit ; (2) the threatened combina-
tion of the Land League, which Earl Grey regretted, as
if the price of land were kept down by this means the
flow of immigration would be checked; and (3) an
acknowledgment of the petition to the Queen against
State support to religion. It ran thus : " You will
acquaint the petitioners that I have not been able to
advise the Queen to assent to the request ; on the con-
trary, it has been my duty humbly to submit to her
Majesty my opinion that the course pursued by the
local Legislature in applying some part of the local
revenue towards the promotion of religion, knowledge,
and education in the colony merits her Majesty's entire
approbation, and it is not in any respect at variance
with the terms of the Act of Parliament under which
the colony was originally founded. The Queen has


been graciously pleased to adopt and sanction that

A further despatch informed Major Kobe that the
Government had acceded to his request by removing
him from the civil to the military service, and that Sir
H. E. F. Young had been appointed as his successor in
the government of the province. It soon transpired
that Major Eobe had been appointed to the rank of
lieutenant-colonel in the army, and that his future
work would be that of deputy quartermaster-general at

On the 5th of October the Council was adjourned
sine die, but was called together again on the 9th of
November to consider an important despatch on the
subject of steam communication with the mother
country, proposals for the conveyance of mails having
been received by the Secretary of State from the
Peninsular and Oriental Company and the Indian and.
Australian Company.

The estimated amount of postage charged upon
letters and newspapers conveyed between the United
Kingdom and the Australian colonies for the year
ending October, 1847, was 14,799 14s. 4c?. Preference
was given to the Cape route as best for South Australia,
and 3000 was agreed upon as the share of that colony
towards the subsidy.

It was thought that this would be the last session in
which Major Robe would take part, but unforeseen cir-
cumstances arose to delay his departure, and when, on
the 2nd of June, 1848, the Legislative Council was
opened, he was ready with the annual estimates a
duty that he had little anticipated would devolve upon
him again. During that long interval there had been
a comparative cessation from strife ; no startling
episodes had occurred, the stream of prosperity had
been gliding along smoothly, and the foundation and
development of new enterprises had not been neglected.*

Only one set of circumstances demands any detailed
notice here, as it bears upon the " great controversy "

* See " Chronological Summary of Events " at end of work.


of that day and of a greater one looming in the dis-

In religious circles in the mother country there was
a great revival of zeal on behalf of the missionary and
colonial work of the Church, and the Baroness (then
Miss) Burdett-Coutts had offered an endowment of
800 a year each for the foundation of four colonial
dioceses, that of Adelaide being among the number.
The preferment to the latter see fell to the Rev.
Augustus Short, D.D., who, with the three other bishops,
was consecrated in Westminster Abbey on the 29th of
June, 1847, the occasion being one of unusual solemnity,
the ceremony lasting over four hours. In December of
that year Dr. Short arrived in Adelaide, and was formally
inducted at Trinity Church, when her Majesty's letters
patent were read, constituting South Australia a diocese,
and " appointing 'Dr. Short to be the bishop thereof,
under the style and title of Lord Bishop of Adelaide."

He arrived in critical times, while the Church and
State storm was raging, and of course every step he
took was watched with eager and jealous eyes. Before
he had been long in Adelaide, the bishop, acting upon
advice given to him before leaving England, and fur-
nished with a formal land grant under the hand and
seal of the Governor, proceeded to claim an acre of
ground in Victoria Square as a site for a cathedral.
But he had reckoned without his host. The local
authorities declared that the document was ultra vires,
and legal proceedings were commenced. For years the
case dragged its weary length along, and it was not
until 1855 that the Supreme Court decreed that Dr.
Short could not enforce his claim, it being held that,
though the Governor could grant waste lands, he could
not interfere with the public reserves, of which Victoria
Square was one.

On the 2nd of August, 1848, Colonel Robe took leave
of the Legislative Council, and in concluding his speech
said, " In relinquishing the duties which have devolved
upon me under the appointment of her Majesty, I look
to my Sovereign alone for any expression of approbation."


This was highly characteristic of the man. As an
officer in the army he had learnt to obey orders to the
letter, and expected prompt and submissive obedience
from those over whom he was placed in authority. But
he had found that the free subjects of a free colony
would not submit to be treated as subalterns in the
army, and, this being the case, he had wisely altered
his manner and plans of procedure long before his
removal from the colony. Although from his previous
habits the position of Governor was not congenial, the
knowledge and experience which length of residence
gave him, both of the country and people, led him to
become greatly attached to both, and his despatches
for some time previous to his departure manifested the
warm interest he took in the rise and progress of South

With all his official faults he was a man of stern
inflexibility of character, and of a high sense of duty ;
a master in official routine, and a prince in hospitality.

Not a few, both in the colony and at home, would
have liked to see Colonel Gawler restored to the post
from which he had been so hastily and ungenerously
recalled. Mr. G. Fife Angas was one of these, and
in a letter to Earl Grey, under date 2nd of June, 1847,
he says

" If Major Eobe is about to remove to the Mauritius,
it would afford a gracious opportunity to restore Colonel
Gawler to South Australia. His noble and distinguished
conduct there, by which he laid the foundation of its
future prosperity under the judicious government of
Governor Grey, has not been well understood in this
country, and thereby great injustice has been done to
that upright and sensible officer. He would be sure to
meet with a popular reception, the more so were he to
be the bearer of a Constitution founded on simple,
practical, and liberal principles. . . .

" The colonists justly complain," added Mr. Angas,
" of the frequent change of their Governors as being very
injurious. No sooner does one become acquainted
with the localities and the people, and they with him,


and a cordial feeling has sprung up on both sides, than
he is removed a system which, if pursued in principle
by a great mercantile house in the management of its
foreign establishments, would involve it in confusion
and ruin."

The wish for Colonel Gawler to be reinstated was not
gratified, but in the successor to Major Robe the
colonists found an ideal Governor and a man after their
own hearts.



AUGUST, 1848 DECEMBEK, 1854.

Antecedents. Suspension of Koyalties on Minerals. Irish Orphans.
A Policy of Progress. Municipal Corporation for Adelaide.
A New Constitution. Federation proposed and rejected. The
" Political Association." Universal Suffrage and the Ballot.
A Lost Constitution. Elections to New Legislative Council.
Statistics. State Aid to Religion permanently abolished.
Education. City and Port Railway Bill. Pensions. Cali-
fornian Gold. Anti- Transportation League. The Victorian
Gold-fields. Exodus from South Australia. State of Adelaide
and Suburbs. A Drain on the Banks. Proposed Assay of Gold
into Stamped Ingots. The Bullion Act. Government Assay
Office opened. Mr. Tolmer and the Overland Gold Escort.
Exciting Adventures. Gold at Echunga. Increased Cost of
Living. Navigation of the Murray. Captain Cadell. The
Governor explores the Murray. The " Murray Hundreds."
Dreams that never came true. A Parliament for South Aus-
tralia proposed. Opinions on a Nominee Upper House. A
Civil List Bill. Establishment of District Councils. Roads
and Railways. Defence of the Colony. Military Ardour.

THE emigrant ship Forfarshire arrived off the lightship
on the 1st of August, 1848, with Sir Henry Edward
Fox Young and Lady Young on board. Unfortunately,
through inadvertence, no pilot was in readiness to
board the ship, not a Government boat was at hand,
nor a solitary head of any Government department
present to receive the new Governor. On arriving
at Government House there was, through another


negligence, neither guard of honour to receive him,
nor any members of the Executive to bid him welcome.
It was a cold reception, but it was amply atoned for

Sir Henry Edward Fox Young was the son of Colonel
Sir Aretas William Young, and was born at Brabourne,
near Ashford, Kent, on the 23rd of April, 1810, being
named after his godfather, General Edward Henry Fox,
brother of the Whig statesman, the celebrated rival of

Sir Henry was educated at Dean's School, Bromley,
Middlesex, and was intended for the Bar, but on quitting
school he joined his father at Trinidad, and received
an appointment in the colonial treasury in that island.
This, rapidly followed by other colonial promotions,
prevented him from being called to the Bar. At
Demerara he served under Sir Benjamin D'Urban as
aide-de-camp, and was then promoted to St. Lucia,
where for a time he filled the several offices of secretary,
treasurer, and puisne judge of the Supreme Court of
Justice. He was then transferred back again to
Demerara, and later on, was appointed Lieutenant-
Governor of the eastern districts of the Cape of Good
Hope, whither, a few weeks before, Sir Henry Pottinger
had been despatched as Governor and High Commissioner
for the settlement of Kaffraria. The Kaffir War was
unexpectedly renewed a few weeks after his embarkation
from England, and the Home Government, under the
impression that a civil Lieutenant-Governor could not
under these circumstances be required, removed Sir
Henry Young to South Australia without waiting for the
report of Sir Henry Pottinger from the seat of war,
whose despatches endeavoured to frustrate any intention
to remove Sir Henry Young, and recommended that,
notwithstanding the breaking out of war, the services of
the civil Lieutenant-Governor should be continued, as
his services had been very valuable at Grahamstown
during the brief period (some eight months) in which
he had remained in that position.

A fortnight before leaving England, Sir Henry married


Augusta Sophia, daughter of Mr. Charles Marryat, and
niece of Captain Marryat, R.N., the well-known novelist
and author of the code of signals bearing his name.

The day after his arrival, Sir Henry Young was
introduced to the members of Council, and received an
address of welcome and congratulation from the colonists.
In his reply he pointed out that the sphere of official
government was wisely limited, and that the numerous
methods of social advancement in all free countries
should derive their origin, maintenance, and progress
from the energies and resources of private individuals.
In this connection he spoke of the importance of
diffusing scientific information applicable to agriculture,
wool-growing, and such-like industries, more particularly
calling attention to the mining interests, which would
be enhanced by the formation of self-supporting
voluntary associations to receive, record, and arrange
any accounts and specimens transmitted to them of
mining operations, and thus preserve valuable facts that
might otherwise be lost to practical science. It was
evident from the first that " progress " was the key-note
of his administration.

On the 9th of August the Legislative Council assembled
to hear and act upon a despatch from Lord Grey, calling
attention to the insufficient salary attached to the office
of Governor, and "strongly recommending that an
increase of 500 per annum should be made to the
salary of the present Lieutenant- Governor, raising it to
2000 per annum." A Bill was brought in accordingly,
which passed through its several stages on the 15th of
August, and secured the much-needed addition.

Thefirst public step of the new Governor was a bold and
politic one. It was no less than a notification in the
Government Gazette that, pending the further significa-
tion of her Majesty's pleasure, the imposition of royalties
on mineral lands would be suspended, and not inserted
in future land-grants. This gratifying information
gave the most profound satisfaction, and Sir Henry was
overwhelmed with the thanks of the colonists.

The formal authorization of the step by the Secretary


of State was not officially announced until July of the
following year, and if, as is supposed, the relinquishraent
of the royalty dues was taken on the Governor's
own initiative, it was a step almost unprecedented in
its boldness.

One of the early questions demanding his attention
was a proposal from the Colonial Land and Emigration
Commissioners, approved by the Secretary of State, to
receive " certain classes of orphans of both sexes in
Ireland, between the ages of fourteen and eighteen."
The Commissioners and Lord Grey considered that
these orphans, at that time maintained in Irish work-
houses, would keep up the supply of labour required
in the colony. Little did the colonists imagine the
extent to which the plan proposed would be carried
out, nor were they desirous that any immigration of
the kind should be confined to the Irish. But, as there
were no valid objections to urge, they assented, and a
committee was appointed for the protection and
guardianship of the orphans. The committee included
Dr. Short, Bishop of Adelaide, Dr. Murphy, Eoman
Catholic Bishop, and representatives of the Noncon-
formist bodies. It was unfortunate that at about this
time there was a large addition to the population of
the colony. In one week in December no fewer than
1131 persons arrived, about 600 of whom had paid
their own passages, the remainder being Government
emigrants. To assist newly arrived immigrants and
others in obtaining employment, the Colonial Labour
Office was opened early in the following year (1849),
under the direction of a committee, and was supported
in the first instance by subscriptions, as no fees were
charged for arranging engagements. It was found a
great accommodation to both employers and employed.
This rapid influx of immigrants was the beginning
of what was to be hereafter a source of considerable
trouble. Owing to the unsuitable class of persons sent
out, it soon became necessary to find relief for the
destitute poor, and a Board was appointed to take the
matter up. The first shipload of Irish orphan girls


arrived in June, 1849. They were kindly received and
accommodated with lodgings in the Native School
location on the North Park Lands, and were visited by
a committee of ladies who advised them as to their

When, in November, 1848, the Governor opened the
Legislative Council, hopes were entertained that he
would have made some important revelation with regard
to a new Constitution for the colony, but instead he
stated it to be merely his intention to forward certain
Bills left undisposed of by his predecessor, and to
introduce a Bill for the guardianship and apprentice-
ship of orphan immigrants. But he made a statement
in which he foreshadowed his whole policy :

"It only remains for me, on the first occasion of
transacting ordinary business with the Council," he
said, " to give my sincere assurance that whether the
lapse of time that may occur before representative
institutions be conceded to South Australia be long or
short, and my wish is that it may be but brief, I am
cordially desirous, as far as my power extends, to join
with this Council as now constituted only in such legis-
lation as shall be in unison with the general opinion
of the colonists " a policy in direct opposition to that
of his predecessor.

The real work of the Legislative Council under the
new Governor did not commence until the 4th of July,
1849. In opening the Council the Governor read an
elaborate minute of a very satisfactory character, in
which he announced the payment to the emigration
fund of 56,746 from the Crown reserved moiety of
the land fund, thus extinguishing a long-standing
technical claim.

The estimated expenditure for the following year
(1850) was stated to be 108,555.

From the item of imports and exports it appeared
that, for the first time since the foundation of the colony,
the exports exceeded the imports, the latter being
valued at 471,556, and the former at 485,951 (in-
cluding sixteen thousand tons of ore).


In the early part of the previous year the citizens
had petitioned for a resuscitation of the Corporation,
and it was anticipated that this would be the main
business of the session. In introducing it the Governor
said, "The Bill to constitute a municipal Corporation
for the city of Adelaide, and the Bill to provide a
general board for the care and maintenance of the lines
of roads, with local election boards for the management
of the district or cross roads, are framed on so popular
a basis as to be fit precursors of that more general
system of representative government, the concession of
which has been usually preceded by some experience
of the working of civic, or parochial, or district muni-

Sir Henry Young, unlike his predecessor, knew exactly
how to secure popularity. From the date of his first
public utterances he laid it down as a matter of duty
as well as of inclination to adhere to that line of policy
which should frame all legislation in unison with the
deliberate opinion of the majority of the colonists.

In concluding his speech on this occasion he reiterated
that policy, and added, " Let us, then, whose mission it
is, as a Legislature, to nurse this infant community in
its advance towards the rank of a nation, so act for the
permanent interests of present and future time, that
our successors shall not be able to associate our pro-
ceedings with the origin of any short-sighted or illiberal
measures. In this honourable and responsible aim it
will be my pride cordially to afford you my best co-

On the 24th of September the long-looked-for new
Constitution, for the Australian colonies generally,
arrived in the Grecian, and supplied plenty of work
for the Legislature and the public.

The Bill first provided for the separation of the
district of Port Phillip from the colony of New South
Wales, and the boundary of the new colony of Victoria.
The Legislative Councils to be established in each colony
were next determined. These bodies were limited to
twenty-four members, two-thirds of whom were to be

VOL. i. K


elected, and the remaining third nominated. Power
was then given to make laws, to raise taxes and appro-
priate public money, and to establish district councils
after the formation of Legislative Councils. Further
power was given to establish a General Assembly for
the Australian colonies ; and, lastly, with the assent of
her Majesty in Council, to alter the constitution of the
respective Legislative Councils, if necessary.

The most important features of this Bill were, of
course, the grand federal idea set forth in the clauses
for the establishment and guidance of the General
Assembly, and the power to alter the constitution of
the Legislative Councils. In regard to the latter the
Bill provided that it should be lawful for the Governor
and Legislative Council of each colony, after the estab-
lishment of the Legislative Council stipulated for by the
Bill, to alter from time to time, by any Act or Acts,
"the provisions or laws for the time being in force
under this Act, or otherwise concerning the election
of the elective members of such Legislative Councils
respectively, the qualification of electors and elective
members, and generally to vary in any manner not
hereinbefore authorized the constitution of such Legis-
lative Councils respectively, or to establish in the said
colonies respectively, instead of the Legislative Councils,
a Council and a House of Eepresentatives or other
separate legislative houses, to consist respectively of
such members to be appointed or elected respectively
by such persons and in such manner as by such Act
or Acts shall be determined, and to vest in such Council
and House of Representatives or other separate legis-
lative houses the powers and functions of the Legislative
Council for which the same may be substituted, pro-
vided always that every Bill which shall be passed by
the Council in any of the said colonies, for any of such
purposes, shall be reserved for the signification of her
Majesty's pleasure thereon ; and a copy of such Bill
shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament for the
space of thirty days at the least before her Majesty's
pleasure thereon shall be signified."


We have given this prosy quotation in full, as
it sets forth in exact terms the " case " on which, in
the near future, ten thousand arguments were to be

The clause providing for the establishment of the
General Assembly set forth that it should be lawful
for the Governor-General "to convene, at such time
or times and at such place within any of the said
colonies as such Governor-General shall from time
to time think fit to appoint, a General Assembly for
all the said colonies, to be called ' The General
Assembly of Australia,' which said General Assembly
shall consist of such Governor-General and a House
of Delegates, and such House of Delegates shall consist
of members to be elected by the respective Legislative
Councils of the said colonies of New South Wales,
Victoria, Van Diemen's Land, and South Australia in
the proportion following ; that is to say, two members
from each of the said colonies for every 15,000 inhabi-
tants thereof, the number of the inhabitants being
calculated according to last authentic enumeration at
the date of .the election, and such members shall
be elected and all laws to be made and enacted by
such Assembly shall be made and enacted and the
business of such Assembly shall be conducted in such
manner and form, and subject to such rules and con-
ditions, as her Majesty by Order in Council shall direct,
provided always that the first convocation of such
Assembly shall have received from the Legislative
Councils established under the said firstly recited Act
of the sixth year of her Majesty, or this Act, of
two or more of the said colonies, addresses requesting
such Governor-General to convene such Assembly."

Other powers and provisions followed, which it is not
necessary to record here.

Long before the colonists were called upon to give
expression to their opinions on this federal scheme,
Mr. G. F. Angas, in a letter to Earl Grey, of which
the following is an extract, had very fairly represented
their views :


" 2, Jeffrey's Square, St. Mary Axe, 4th of July, 1849.

"Time does not press with the federal government
question because the habits, disposition, social con-
dition, and productions of each colony are so diverse,
the distances so great, and the means of conveyance
so few and inconvenient, while the aggregate population
is so small, that for twenty years to come it will be
quite impracticable to work out the scheme of a General
Assembly. Until the three or four young colonies

Online LibraryEdwin HodderThe history of South Australia from its foundation to the year of its jubilee (Volume 1) → online text (page 21 of 34)