State Library of South Australia logo Foundation Documents 1800-1851
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

Map of Light's Plan of the city of Adelaide in South Australia
Title : Map of Light's Plan of the city of Adelaide in South Australia Map of Light's Plan of the city of Adelaide in South Australia
Add To My SA Memory
Creator : Light, William, 1786-1839
Source : Plan of the city of Adelaide in South Australia
Publisher : House of Commons
Date of creation : 1838
Additional Creator : James & Luke G. Hansard & Sons, Printers
Format : Map
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
The State Library of South Australia is keen to find out more about SA Memory items. We encourage you to contact the Library if you have additional information about any of these items.
Copyright : Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

Plan of the city of Adelaide reduced from the original plan of the Surveyor General, Wm. Light in 1837. Shows town acre numbers, includes North and South Adelaide. Details include Government House, Barracks, Hospital, Cemetery and Market, trees, river and parklands

William Light was a soldier, surveyor, linguist, reporter and competent artist. The son of Captain Francis Light and Martinha Rozells, William was born 27 April 1786 in Malaya. In 1812 as a junior staff officer at Wellington's Headquarters he was employed in mapping, reconnaissance and liaison duties. He travelled widely in Europe from 1827 to 1836 and was appointed Surveyor General of South Australia in 1836.

This mammoth task was handicapped by pressures of time, dissention, and inadequate and poorly equipped staff. In 1838 Light's trigonometrical survey was replaced by a quicker method. Light resigned and attempts to reinstate him failed. He became the principal partner in Light, Finniss & Co. Rapidly deteriorating health forced him to live as an invalid. He died of tuberculosis in 1839 and is buried in Light Square, Adelaide.

Related names :

James & Luke G. Hansard & Sons

Light, William, 1786-1839

Coverage year : 1837
Period : 1836-1851
Place : Adelaide, South Australia
Region : Adelaide city
Further reading :

Allen J and V Sitters. 'Treasures of the Society: aspects of Light', Geonews vol. 7 no. 3, July-Aug 2000, p. 4-6

['Report on the survey of Adelaide'] South Australian Record vol. 1 no. 3 (27 November) 1837, p. 23-24. John Morphett's report to the Colonial Commissioners.

'Col. Light and Mr. Kingston' South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register 16 June 1838, p. 2, cols. c-d. Reflections on GS Kingston's ability as a surveyor.

Kingston, George Strickland 'The site of the City of Adelaide' South Australian Register 21 May 1877, p. 6, cols. e-f. Kingston details his participation in the selection of the site of Adelaide.

Light, William William Light's brief journal and Australian diaries with an introduction and notes by David Elder. Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 1984

Mayo, MP The life and letters of Col. William Light Adelaide: FW Preece & Sons, 1937

Johnson, Donald Leslie and Donald Langmead The Adelaide City Plan: fiction and fact Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 1986

Dutton, Geoffrey and David Elder Colonel William Light: founder of a city Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 1991

Johnson, Donald Leslie 'The Kingston/Light plan of Adelaide and founding the city' Journal of the Historical Society of South Australia no. 32, 2004, p. 5-18

Internet links :

State Library of South Australia, Treasures Wall Light, William

Colonel William Light

Adelaide City Council Archives: Civic Collection: Colonel William Light's artefacts

Dictionary of Australian Biographysee: Light, William

Holdfast Bay database South Australia: Colonel William Light

National Portrait Gallery [London] see: George Jones' portrait of William Light.

Bowe, Chris 'A history of the Kingston plan of Adelaide'Adelaide review July 2004

Bowe, Chris 'The Light myth' Adelaide review July 2004

Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia, Treasures Wall Light, William

State Library of South Australia, Treasures Wall William Light Collection



About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes


My SA Memory


What's on