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Deed of settlement
Title : Deed of settlement Deed of settlement
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Creator : South Australian Company. London Office
Source : BRG 42/11
Place Of Creation : London
Date of creation : 1836
Format : Manuscript
Dimensions : 492 x 352 x 25 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
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Donated by : Purchased by the State Library of South Australia with the assistance of State Government of South Australia, Mr John Uhrig AC and the Australian Government through the National Cultural Heritage Account.
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The original copy of the Deed of Settlement establishing the Company and South Australia.

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 pounds, 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.

Due to its enormous significance to the Foundation of South Australia, the Deed of Settlement was submitted and accepted into the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World program in 2004.

Related names :

Angas, George Fife, 1789-1879

Currie, Raikes

Hindley, Charles

Kingscote, Henry

Pirie, John

Rundle, John

Smith, Thomas

Waymouth, Henry

Coverage year : 1836
Period : Pre-1836,1836-1851
Place : South Australia
Region : Adelaide city
Further reading :

South Australian Company. Deed of settlement and royal charter of incorporation [of the] South Australian Company London: William Brown and Co. Ptrs., 1879.

South Australian Company. New colony of South Australia: to experienced farmers, possessing small capitals [London: The Company, 1837]

Stephens, John. The land of promise: being an authentic and impartial history of the rise and progress of the new British province of South Australia. London: Smith, Elder, and Co., 1839

Sutherland, George. The South Australian Company: a study in colonisation. London; New York: Longmans, Green, 1898

South Australia's foundation: select documents / edited and introduced by Brian Dickey and Peter Howell. Netley, S. Aust.: Wakefield Press, 1986

Thornton, Robert. The South Australian Company, 1835-1949: history and archives. 1987 [Originally published in Archives and manuscripts, vol. 15, no. 2, Nov. 1987]

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