European settlement of South Australia
The province of South Australia took shape between the formation of the South Australian Land Company in 1831 and the commencement of the Legislative Assembly in 1842. The lands that are now South Australia were recognised as inhabitable prior to this time, and a series of entrepreneurial propositions and Acts of the British Parliament resulted in the foundation and settlement of lands in South Australia.
South Australian Land Company
The South Australian Land Company (SALC) was formed to establish a new colony in the area of South Australia. The SALC sought a Royal Charter for the purchase of land for colonisation, which would raise funding for the transport of immigrants, and for the governance of the new colony to be administered by the SALC. This proposal failed to be approved.
South Australian Association and the South Australia Act, 1834
In 1833 the South Australian Association was established and began to lobby the government for the establishment of a colony in South Australia, with Crown appointed governance. This succeeded in the passing on 15 August of the South Australia Act, 1834, which gave provision for the settlement, for the sale of lands, for funding of the venture, in addition to detailing the governance by commissioners.
On 5 May 1835 eleven commissioners were appointed to control sales of land and the administration of revenue. Colonel Robert Torrens was appointed as chairman and Rowland Hill was appointed secretary. On 21 January 1836 Captain John Hindmarsh was appointed the first Governor of South Australia.
Sales of land had proved difficult, and it was remained to the South Australian Company which was formed on 15 October 1835, to purchase the remaining portion of the thirty five thousand pounds worth of land that was required for settlement to proceed.
Letters Patent and the Order-in-Council
The procedure for the founding of the South Australian province was unclear to the Board of Commissioners, so a Letters Patent was presented to the government, and with its adoption along with an Order-in-Council the foundation of the South Australian province was achieved.
First Settlers in South Australia
Four Ships chartered by the South Australia Company set sail for South Australia in early 1836. On 22 February, days after the Letters Patent had been adopted, the ship John Pirie under the command of Captain George Martin set sail with 24 passengers on board. The ship Duke of York under the command of Captain Robert Clark Morgan (1798–1864) set sail with 42 passengers on 24 February. On 30 March the ship Lady Mary Pelham departed London with 29 passengers. The fourth ship was the Emma which left London with 22 passengers on 21 April. All four ships of the South Australia Company arrived at Nepean Bay on Kangaroo Island. The Duke of York on 27 July, Lady Mary Pelham on 30 July, John Pirie on 16 August and the Emma on 5 October. A settlement was started at Kingscote, but this soon was abandoned for a settlement on the mainland.
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From the National Archives of Australia: