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Colonel George Gawler
Title : Colonel George Gawler Colonel George Gawler
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Creator : Laurence, Samuel, photographer
Source : B 14428
Date of creation : ca. 1843
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library catalogue
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Description :

Colonel George Gawler

George Gawler was South Australia's second Governor. He arrived in the colony on the 12th October 1838 onboard the Pestonjee Bomanjee (ship) with his mother, wife and five children. His appointment followed a long service in the 52nd (Oxfordshire) Regiment, in which he obtained a commission as Ensign in 1810 and had risen in the ranks to Major in 1831. He departed the Regiment on promotion to unattached Lieutenant Colonel 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.

Governor Gawler 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. The family left South Australia in 1841. Following his departure from South Australia in June 1841, (four weeks after being recalled) 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.

Mary Thomas, daughter of early pioneers and printing press operators, Robert and Mary Thomas, referred to a commemoration dinner for Gawler, in her diary (PRG 1160/6, p.3);

Jan. 11, 1840. A dinner was given to Colonel Gawler to commemorate the foundation of the colony. Mr. Lazarus illuminated his shop. The device was G G surmounted by a crown. This was the first time that anything of this sort was exhibited here.

Related names :

Gawler, George, 1795-1869

Gawler, Maria

Coverage year : 1843
Period : 1836-1851
Place : Adelaide, South Australia
Region : Adelaide metropolitan area
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

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

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