Arthur Henry Freeling

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Sir Arthur Freeling, Bt
Arthur Henry Freeling.jpeg
South Australian
Commissioner of Public Works
In office
24 October 1856 – 20 March 1857
Premier Boyle Finniss
Succeeded by Samuel Davenport
Personal details
Born (1820-07-26)26 July 1820
Died 26 March 1885(1885-03-26) (aged 64)

Sir Arthur Henry Freeling, 5th Baronet (26 July 1820 – 26 March 1885) was the fifth Surveyor General of South Australia.

Early life[edit]

Freeling was the son of John Clayton Freeling and grandson of Sir Francis Freeling, Bt, and the elder brother of Sir Sanford Freeling, KCMG.[1] In 1848,Freeling married Charlotte Augusta, daughter of Sir Henry Rivers, 9th Rivers baronet.


Freeling enlisted in the Royal Engineers and later served under the South Australian Government as Surveyor-General. In this capacity he did some valuable exploring work in South Australia. He also served as a member of the Executive and Legislative Councils prior to the concession of responsible government.

In March 1857, Freeling was elected to the newly constituted Legislative Council, where he sat until his resignation in August 1859.[2] He was a member of the Finniss Ministry of South Australia as Commissioner of Public Works from October 1856 to March 1857, when he retired rather than relinquish the permanent post of Surveyor-General. In 1861, he retired as Surveyor-General and moved back to England. There, he served as a lieutenant-colonel and a major-general in the Royal Engineers before retiring. In 1871, he became the 5th Baronet of Ford and Hutchings, Sussex.

In 1860, the Victorian government botanist, Ferdinand von Mueller named a newly discovered flowering plant Eremophila freelingii in his honour. The type specimen of the species had been collected by George Charles Hawker on Freeling's expedition to Lake Torrens in South Australia.[1][3][4]


Freeling died in England on 26 March 1885. His son Harry succeeded him as the 6th Baronet of Ford and Hutchings, Sussex.


  1. ^ a b Buxton, Gordon. "Freeling, Sir Arthur Henry (1820–1885)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  2. ^ "Memorabilia". South Australian Register. Adelaide. 3 January 1860. p. 3. Retrieved 31 August 2014 – via National Library of Australia. 
  3. ^ von Mueller, Ferdinand (1860). "On the genus Eremophila". Papers and proceedings of the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land. 3 (2): 295. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "Australian Plant Collectors and Illustrators (H)". Australian National Botanic Garden. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
Political offices
New title Commissioner of Public Works
24 Oct 1856 – 20 Mar 1857
Succeeded by
Samuel Davenport
Civic offices
Preceded by
Edward Charles Frome
Surveyor General of South Australia
Succeeded by
George Woodroffe Goyder
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Hill Freeling
(of the General Post Office and of Ford and Hutchings)
Succeeded by
Harry Freeling