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Manning Index of South Australian History
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    South Australia - Miscellany

    The South Australian Company and Allied Matters

    The South Australian Company

    (Taken from Geoffrey H. Manning's A Colonial Experience)


    In 1831 an attempt was made to form a South Australian Land Company and acquire a charter from the British government. It was promoted by twenty-two gentlemen, among whom was George Fife Angas. However, the request was denied and so the scheme fell to the ground. Early in 1834 the South Australian Association - whose object was to colonise South Australia upon the following principle embodied in the following resolution proposed by Mr W. Hutt at a meeting held at Exeter Hall - came under notice:

    There were only six of the old Land Company gentlemen engaged in this movement and George F. Angas was not amongst them. The South Australian Colonisation Bill was assented to on 15 August 1834.

    It was necessary, to conform with the terms of the Act, that 35,000 should be subscribed by the sale of land, the price being fixed at one pound per acre. Half the land was taken up at this price when Messrs Bartlett and Beddome tendered for the remaining half at twelve shillings per acre. These gentlemen acted on behalf of a projected South Australian Company, of which Mr Angas was afterwards Chairman.

    Strong representations were made to the Board of Commissioners setting forth the injustice and breach of faith to the public should the tender be accepted for it was well known that Bartlett and Beddome were merely trustees pending the formation of the company. Indeed, there appears to be no doubt that the charter of the company would never have been granted if the House of Lords and House of Commons were aware that 'Mr G.F. Angas was manoeuvring as he was' with T. Smith and H. Kingscote to promote the South Australian Company.

    The South Australian Company

    On 2 January 1836 the company was formed, the original directors being George F. Angas (chairman), Raikes Currie, MP, James Hyde, Charles Hindley, MP, Henry Kingscote, John Pirie, John Rundle, MP, Thomas Smith, James R. Todd and Henry Waymouth. Once formed the company turned its attention to practically every outlet for energy in connection with the development of the colony. As was to be expected by reason of its purchases the company snapped up many sites in the city which today are worth thousands of pounds.

    Practically one-sixth of the total town lands were purchased, along with the rural sections, but, by 1898, of the 1,044-acre blocks of which South and North Adelaide consist, the company retained only a little less than 21 acres. Portions which the company held when the colony was first established were the whole of the south side of Rundle Street running from Pulteney Street to East Terrace, three blocks on the northern side of Rundle Street, six blocks on North Terrace, practically the whole section between Pulteney and Hutt, Wakefield and Pirie Streets and many others. Some of the sites were not particularly valuable when first acquired, but when Adelaide began to expand buyers were found quickly. Today the company does not hold a great deal of land in the city; the policy was to avoid holding anything for speculative purposes and to realise on city lands.

    Much money was made by the company when the Adelaide land boom arose in 1881-2. This boom was caused partly by the travelling facilities afforded by new tramlines, which conferred residential values upon lands formerly beyond the reach of city workers.

    Land dealing was not the only activity of the company for it assisted in bringing German settlers to the colony, turned its attention to mining of copper and gold, helped to establish Port Adelaide, where it also held a great deal of property, aided in the whaling industry and shipping and, in short, took a hand with practically every new venture in the colonisation of the new country. Many fine pioneers occupied positions in the company during its long career.

    General Notes

    "The Farming Interest" is in the Observer,
    15 November 1851, page 5a.

    "Tillage of the SA Company's Tenants" is in the Observer,
    20 November 1852, page 6b.

    A meeting of the company's tenants is reported in the Observer,
    24 November 1855, page 4f.

    The problem of absentee landlords is discussed in the Register, 26 April 1858, page 2f:

    Complaints against the SA Company in respect of leased land are made in the Register, 14 March 1859, page 3e:

    "The Company's Tenants" is in the Farm & Garden,
    10 March 1859, page 152.

    A letter from the company's manager defending it against tenant's complaints is in the Observer,
    10 December 1859, page 6h.
    William Giles' obituary appears on
    17 May 1862, page 1a (supp.).

    A meeting of the Company's tenants is reported in the Observer,
    23 April 1864, page 3c; also see
    25 January 1868, pages 3c-9f.

    "SA Company's Lands" is in the Express,
    5 November 1890, page 7b.

    A deputation to the Premier is reported in the Chronicle,
    27 January 1894, page 7b.

    "The SA Land Company - Its Relation to the Colony" is in the Register,
    6, 8 and 11 September 1894, pages 7a, 7e and 4e-7a,
    8 September 1894, page 30d,
    6 September 1894, page 6b,
    "The SA Company - The Tenants' Grievances" on
    11 September 1894, page 7b,
    4 October 1894, page 6f; also see
    2 May 1895, page 3h.

    "The SA Company and Its Tenants" is in the Register,
    5 and 18 April 1894, pages 4g-5b and 7a,
    19 July 1894, pages 4g-7f,
    20, 21 and 22 August 1894, pages 3e-4f, 3b and 5b,
    21 July 1894, page 32,
    25 August 1894, page 42,
    15 September 1894, pages 41-42,
    4 May 1895, page 30a.

    Biographical details of W.J. Brind are in the Register,
    11 December 1894, page 5c.

    "Farmers and the South Australian Company" is in the Advertiser,
    2 February 1897, page 6c.

    Information on the company is in the Express,
    26 August 1904, page 3g.

    An exchange of letters between Mr A.T. Saunders and the SA Company is in the Advertiser, 3, 6, 9 and 12 September 1904, pages 13f, 7f, 4f and 4b:

    A correspondent to the Register on 1 September 1904 at page 3h makes the following pertinent comment on the South Australian Company:

    Under the heading "The Origin of SA" a correspondent to the Register on 28 October 1905, page 10g says:

    An obituary of a former manager, W.J. Brind, is in the Register,
    13 December 1905, page 5a,
    16 December 1905, page 34b.

    An historical article on the company is in The Mail,
    18 January 1913, page 6c,
    4 February 1928, page 4f.

    Miscellany - Choose again


    "The Tipping System" is in the Advertiser
    , 6 December 1904, page 4d.

    "Wages and Tips" is in the Advertiser,
    12 May 1910, page 6c; also see
    20 May 1910, page 6f.

    "No Tip Crusade" is in the Register,
    2 February 1912, page 4e,
    "The Tip Custom" on
    30 December 1914, page 4b,
    "To Tip or Not to Tip" on
    25 June 1927, page 8e.

    Miscellany - Choose again