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George Gawler
Title : George Gawler George Gawler
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Source : B 7022
Date of creation : 1805
Format : Artwork
Dimensions : 87 mm x 67 mm (irreg)
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

Paper silhouette portrait of Colonel George Gawler, comprising an outline cut from light colured paper on a black painted background housed in an oval frame.

This object comes from a collection of papers of Lt.Col George Gawler, Governor of S.A. (1838-1840), and members of his family, comprising school records, papers of appointment, correspondence, photographs, newspaper cuttings, certificates, pencil and watercolour drawings and other papers (PRG 50).

George Gawler (1795-1869), soldier and governor, was born on 21 July 1795, the only child of Samuel Gawler, captain in the 73rd Regiment, and his wife Julia, nee Russell. Governor Gawler, the second governor of South Australia, and his wife were pious evangelical Christians. Both disapproved of dancing and card playing, and held daily morning prayers which all the servants were expected to attend. Mrs Gawler, with her sons, distributed religious tracts amongst the inhabitants of Adelaide.

Gawler was South Australia's second Governor, arriving in the colony on the Pestonjee Bomanjee (ship) with his mother, wife and five children on 12 October 1838. His appointment followed a long service in the 52nd (Oxfordshire) Regiment, in which he obtained a commission as Ensign in 1810 and had risen to Major in 1831 before his departure from the Regiment on promotion to an unattached Lieutenant Colonelcy in 1834.

Gawler's administration as Governor embraced a most difficult period in the colony's development and his recourse to extraordinary expenditure in an attempt to resolve these difficulties, led to the censure of his actions and ultimate recall in May 1841. While many of the colonists approved of Gawler's actions, and attested to their confidence in his administration in a number of memorials and a testimonial prior to his departure from the colony, the weight of official opinion in England was against him, and only many years later was his administration impartially assessed and many of his measures vindicated. Following his departure from South Australia in June 1841, Gawler returned with his family to England where he remained until his death in 1869. He was made a colonel in the British Army in 1846, only to resign from his commission in 1850.

Thomas Hamilton Ayliffe arrived in South Australia with Governor Gawler aboard the Pestonjee Bomanjee (ship), October 1838. He died in 1852 (recorded in the South Australian colonial register obituaries 1 June 1852).

Related names :

Fisher, Sir James Hurtle (1790-1875)

Hindmarsh, Sir John, 1785-1860

Pestonjee Bomanjee (ship)

Wakefield, Edward Gibbon, 1796-1862

Coverage year : 1805
Period : Pre-1836
Place : Adelaide, South Australia
Region : Adelaide city
Further reading :

Borrow, K.T. Lieutenant-Colonel George Gawler KH Governor and Commander-in-Chief of South Australia 1838-1841, Adelaide: Pioneers' Association of South Australia, 1955

Colonel George Gawler: a sketch, [South Australia: s.n., 1869]

Loyau, George E. Notable South Australians or colonists: past and present, Adelaide, S. Aust.: G.E. Loyau, 1885

Jennings, Helen Young Bingham Hutchinson (1806-70) and the foundation of South Australia Adelaide: Pioneers' Association of South Australia, 1991

Kwan, Elizabeth. Living in South Australia: a social history, Netley, S. Aust.: South Australian Government Printer, 1987

Migration Museum. From many places: the history and cultural traditions of South Australian people, Kent Town, S. Aust.: Migration Museum (History Trust of S.A.) in association with Wakefield Press, 1995

Pitt, G. Index to pioneers arriving in South Australia from overseas ports, July 1836 to December 1845 Archives Department, 1935

Burrows, A. Kith and Kin: Sources for family history Libraries Board of South Australia, Adelaide: 1994

Internet links :

Gawler family. Personal papers, PRG 50

Webb, Lucy. Personal papers, PRG 231



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