State Library of South Australia logoThe Foundation of South Australia 1852 - 1883
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future


  • Real Property Act introduces 'Torrens Titles' to simplify the conveyancing of land-each parcel of land has a title certificate outlining the history of all changes of ownership.
  • 12 July: South Australian Advertiser founded.
  • First intercolonial telegraph line (Adelaide to Melbourne) opened; Sydney and Brisbane linked later.
  • South Australian Weekly Chronicle founded (ceased 1975).
  • August: Aborigines' Friends' Association founded.
  • Journeys by BH Babbage, PE Warburton and AC Gregory prove that the 'horseshoe' Lake Torrens is many separate lakes.
  • Explorer Percy Egerton Warburton establishes that Lake Eyre and Lake Torrens are separate bodies of water.
  • BH Babbage explores to west and north of Lake Torrens; discovers Lake Eyre North.
  • JM Stuart and companion follow Babbage's explorations in lands northwest of Lake Torrens; then travel to coast to Streaky Bay.
  • SA population estimated 118,665.

For more information see The Foundation of South Australia: 1852-1883, Key events and issues.

Robert Torrens and Sir Robert Richard Torrens
Title : Robert Torrens and Sir Robert Richard Torrens Robert Torrens and Sir Robert Richard Torrens
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Source : B 7557
Date of creation : ca. 1860
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 180 x 141 mm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

Colonel Robert Torrens and his son Sir Robert Richard Torrens.

Robert Torrens was an economist and member of the British Parliament who was a strong advocate for the British colonisation of South Australia. In 1835 he published Colonization of South Australia and became the chairman of the South Australian Colonization Commission.
Torrens immigrated to South Australia in 1839. A member of the Legislative Council from 1851, he was also a member of the first elected government in 1857. In the same year he introduced a Bill to amend the Real Property Act. This revolutionised the management of land ownership in South Australia and was adopted in jurisdictions around the world, being commonly known as the 'Torrens Title'.
Related names :

Torrens, Robert, 1780-1864
Torrens, Robert, Sir, 1814-1884

Coverage year : ca.1860
Period : 1836-1851
Place : South Australia
Region : Adelaide city,Adelaide metropolitan area
Further reading :

Torrens, Robert. Colonization of South Australia, Adelaide, S. Aust.: Public Library of South Australia, 1962

Torrens, Robert. Emigration from Ireland to South Australia, Dublin : Obtained gratis from John Bernard, 1839 (London : T. Brettell)

Torrens, Robert. Self supporting colonization, London : Ridgway, and Smith, Elder, 1847

Torrens, Robert, Sir. A handbook on the Real Property Act of South Australia, Adelaide, S. Aust.: Advertiser and Chronicle Offices, 1862?

Torrens, Robert, Sir. The South Australian system of conveyancing by registration of title, [Adelaide?: s.n.], 1859 printing (Adelaide: Printed at the Register and Observer General Printing Offices)

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