Government MinistersState Library of South Australia

Deed of settlement

Catalogue record

Creator: South Australian Company

Object Source: BRG 42/11

Place of Creation: London

Published by South Australian Company

Date of creation : 1836 and updated 1855

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Format : Manuscript, 492 x 352 x 25mm

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The Deed of settlement and royal charter of incorporation of the South Australian Company is part of the business records of the South Australian Company. Held in the State Library of South Australia's Archival Collection, the records comprise minutes, correspondence, the original 1836 Deed of Settlement and other copies, deeds, share documentation, reports and other papers of the London Office of the company, together with those of the South Australian office including minutes, correspondence, reports, registers of land sales, papers re whaling and fishing, pastoral activities, imports and exports, farming, construction, financial records, administrative matters, legal documents, maps, plans, photographs and newspaper cuttings. Also in the group is a collection of 8 passenger lists of ships with names of Company emigrants who arrived in the colony between 1837 and 1839.

The Deed of settlement and royal charter of incorporation of the South Australian Company is a key document in South Australia's history, as the South Australian Company played a pivotal role in the founding and early survival and development of the colony. The South Australia Act was passed by the British Government in 1834. Before development of the new province could proceed, the Colonization Commissioners required sales of land to the value of 35,000, but the fixed price of land at 20 shillings per acre resulted in limited land sales.

The South Australian Company was formed in London on 9 October 1835 to encourage the preliminary purchase of land in South Australia. George Fife Angas, Thomas Smith and Henry Kingscote formed a joint stock company to purchase the unsold land at 12 shillings per acre, and bought more than 13,000 acres, including prime town and country sections. On 27 June 1836 the Deed of settlement was signed by Angas, Smith, Kingscote and about 300 shareholders of the South Australian Company including John Rundle, Charles Hindley, Raikes Currie, John Pirie and Henry Waymouth.

In January 1836 Angas equipped and despatched to South Australia an expedition of four ships on behalf of the company, ahead of the arrival of Colonel William Light and Governor John Hindmarsh in the province. A small settlement was established at Kingscote on Kangaroo Island in July 1836, but the location was unsuitable for farming, and the company's operations were soon transferred to the mainland, where Governor Hindmarsh arrived on 28 December 1836.

In the new colony, the South Australian Company provided roads, bridges, ports, warehouses and mills, and established agriculture, whaling, banking and mining enterprises. The South Australian Company continued to play an influential role in the commercial affairs of Adelaide and rural regions for more than a century, with the company winding up on 17 March 1949 and the management of its affairs transferred to Elders Trustee.

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South Australian Company

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