History of the Fleurieu

The Discovery and Settlement of the Fleurieu Peninsula and the Angas/Bremer Region 1802–1861

By Rob Linn



This article[1] sets out to uncover some of the themes in the mid-nineteenth century settlement of South Australia by British immigrants. In order to do this I have taken the Fleurieu Peninsula, and the adjacent areas surrounding the Angas and Bremer rivers, as a ‘test’ region and have broken the study into two periods of time ending in 1836 and 1861.[2]

The settlement themes which emerged – exploration, discovery, settlement, ordering the environment, the progress of civilisation – highlighted the characteristics of British culture which sought to expand an Empire; an Empire which the settlers believed God had founded.[3] The task of settlers in emigrating was, as Lord Portman, a Dorset grandee, noted, ‘the appointed means of peopling what remains unpeopled in this earth’.[4] The taking and physical transformation of South Australian soil was not, therefore, mere greed for land – although the lust for it was unbounded – but also part of a cultural belief which stressed the Biblical motivation for Man’s role on Earth.

This motivation, most clearly espoused in the Old Testament, gave British settlers – whose culture was ingrained with Biblical phrases and terminology – the belief that they were as the ancient Israelites, ‘To be not slothful to go, and to enter to possess the land. When ye go, ye shall come unto – a large land – a place where there is no want of anything that is in the earth.’[5] It is not surprising that many settlers referred to South Australia as the promised land. The ‘Land’ becomes the centre of all the themes for this study of the Fleurieu Peninsula.

The two sections of this study pursue intertwined arguments. The first section suggests that once discovered the land was marked for settlement because of British notions of Empire. The second section maintains that much of South Australia’s settlement followed a pattern pre-ordained by the capitalists who promoted the new colony from England. As I have argued elsewhere this pattern of settlement was often unsuited to the physical realities of the environment.[6]

In order to discover the history of this land settlement I investigated a number of sources which may appear unusual to some historians. A large amount of local oral tradition, and the astute and often voluminous work of local historians as well as the more established archival and library-based sources were used to discover just how settlement developed. Moreover, many hours were spent tramping the Fleurieu Peninsula and the Angas/Bremer area in car and by foot looking at the remains of settlement for I believe, as did Tawney, that one of the prime requisites of enthusiastic research is worn boot-leather.

1802-1835: Discovery

The European history and heritage of the Fleurieu Peninsula are inextricably connected with the great exploration movements of the nineteenth century. The desire of European nations, specifically the British and the French, was as Matthew Flinders wrote in 1802 to gain ‘the honour of completing the discovery of the globe … as the forerunner of a claim to the possession of countries.’[7]The desire was played out on sea and on land, and penetrated to South Australia.

Flinders and the French explorer Nicolas Baudin were the seaborne initiators of European involvement on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula. Flinders on the Investigator had left Kangaroo Island determined to discover more of the fascinations of the mainland coast. Baudin, coming from the west, was equally determined in his voyage of discovery aboard Le Geographe. The meeting of these two vessels, and their Captains, was described by the wary Flinders:

I hove to, and learned, as the stranger passed to leeward with a free wind, that it was the French national ship Le Geographe under the command of captain Nicolas Baudin. We veered round as Le Geographe was passing, so as to keep our broadside to her, lest the flag of truce should be a deception; and having come to the wind on the other tack, a boat was hoisted out, and I went on board the French ship, which had also hove to … At the place where we tacked from the shore on the morning of the 8th [April] the high land of Cape Jervis had retreated from the waterside, the coast was hemming low and sandy, and its trending was north-east; but after running four or five leagues in that direction it curved round to the south-eastward, and thus formed a large bight or bay. The head of this bay was probably seen by Captain Baudin in the afternoon; and in consequence of our meeting here, I distinguished it by the name of Encounter Bay.[8]

When Flinders returned to Great Britain and wrote of the discovery of these new portions of Australia, there were those who scoffed at the thought of extending the boundaries of that unwanted settlement at ‘Botany Bay’.[9] Yet there were others in Great Britain, North America and Australia, with the scent of profit under their noses, who read in the explorer’s jottings a recipe for the acquisition of goods with a ready market; seal skins and whale oil were of primary consideration.

For thirty years after Flinders’ meeting with Baudin the whaling and sealing vessels of various nations plied their trades along the mainland coastline of South Australia, leaving behind little to remind others of their voyagings; that is, apart from a few ‘old lags’ on Kangaroo Island and the bones of whales and artefacts of the whaling trade on European deserted shores. The thought of actively settling the mainland did not occur to many until in the early 1830s some men with a gift of thinking up schemes of British colonisation began to look again at the writings of Flinders, and the new discoveries, by land, of men like Charles Sturt. Advancing from New South Wales on the inland waterway of the Murray River, Sturt had gained an unprecedented vision of the land of South Australia. Land and sea were now opened to British eyes.

In 1834, the year Sturt published his Two Expeditions into the Interior of Southern Australia, an anonymous publication, Outline of the Plan of a Proposed Colony to be Founded on the South Coast of Australia … , sang the praises of the ‘Great South Land’ described by Sturt, Flinders and a host of others. The author(s) of this work on colonisation noted the good points mentioned by the explorers and focused their attention on the ease of communication. ‘One of the chief advantages which this part of the South Coast offers for the formation of the colony, is the great extent of water communications already existing; an advantage which no other part of Australia possesses’.[10]

So, before British settlers set foot on South Australia, the Fleurieu Peninsula had had its praises sung by both colonial immigration promoters and by explorers eager for a reading public to consume the latest reports of Australia. Little was heard from the whalers and sealers, unless it came from the captains of vessels eager to gain status with colonial promoters and spread views positive to settlement; all was anticipation.

1836-1861: Settlement

When George Fife Angas and his co-Directors of the South Australian Company planned their giant project of the utilisation-colonisation of South Australia in 1835 and 1836, foremost in their vision was the profitable use of land and primary resources. The Company’s plans called for establishing whale fisheries on the coasts of South Australia, purchasing and subsequently clearing, ploughing and planting land, and setting up Great Britain’s rural village and farm structure on South Australian land. South Australia, the company men hoped, would be a land of success for themselves and the industrious, the sober and the moral citizens who settled there.

The first major section of the Company’s plan of action was centred on setting up a colonial whaling industry. The cove on Encounter Bay, where Flinders had met Baudin and which from 1839 bore the Christian name of George Fife Angas’s wife, Rosetta,[11] was the site of the Company’s operations. The Company ran their whaling station almost side by side with that of Captain Blenkinsop, a private Whaling entrepreneur. The two organisations did not see eye-to-eye and Blenkinsop, who later drowned in an attempt to cross the Murray Mouth in 1838, protested strongly that the Company’s aggression in the whaling trade was costing both the operations dearly in lost whales.[12]

Yet the whaling went on and legends developed about whaling exploits and the places whalers frequented, like the Fountain Inn and the houses on the foreshore of Rosetta Cove. W.H. Leigh, a ships’ surgeon and an investor in land in South Australia, wrote down something of the excitement of the whaling life at Encounter Bay to feed to a British public eager for news of the profitability of newly formed South Australia:

There is no employment more hazardous, more laborious, more disgusting than whaling … an enormous bull whale came, diving and blowing into the Bay, and in a very few moments, the boats from the shore put off, full of men. They tugged after him, eight boats all in full chase. The sight was grand … For two hours did this monster sail about the Bay … till, at last, a fatal dart entered his vitals.[13]

However, the excitement of the chase did not match the onlookers’ enthusiasm for the whalers themselves, nor for the society in which they lived. Leigh said that the whalers were ‘as filthy and as savage as the untutored barbarians around them’[14] and William Giles, the South Australian Company manager, was ‘thoroughly disgusted with the motions of the whalers[.] [T]hey seem to have no more idea of keeping the Sabbath than Turks or infidels’.[15] That notable and notorious South Australian policeman, Alexander Tolmer, knew that whalers conducted a smuggling trade, especially in tobacco from Kangaroo Island to the mainland.[16]

Yet by 1843, at least, whaling had spread around the foot of the Peninsula to Fishery Beach, near Cape Jervis. In his 1846 book, Francis Dutton made mention of these whale fisheries noting that they were in operation ‘for four months during the winter season, and procure on average about 150 tons of black oil and whalebone.’[17]

There were some among those first settlers who felt that despite the profitable industries around Encounter Bay, those industries were hampered by natural conditions. John Stephens, an early commentator on South Australia, William Giles, the South Australian Company man, and Charles Mann, South Australia’s Advocate General, were three of these pessimists. Stephens wrote, with a sense of melodrama, that ‘Encounter Bay is a place pregnant with danger, and … has already become the scene of dreadful disaster. The shore abounds in reefs and rocks, and the surf is represented by old captains as being worse than the Madras Roads.’[18] Charles Mann repeated, ‘As to Granite Island or Rosetta Cove, useful as they are, and will be to a limited extent during the whaling season, it is my opinion that to say they are or ever could be, made good and secure harbours, is a kind of mental hallucination little short of midsummer madness.’[19] Giles was much more succinct than his fellow doubters and simply noted that he was ‘Fully persuaded there can never be any very important Seaport – Town at Encr. Bay.’[20] The prophets of doom had forecast the failure of South Australia’s ocean-going industry before it had grown out of infancy.

As the whalers and the men of the sea tried to exploit the ocean’s resources and the Adelaide prophets cast their pessimistic views on whether or not Man could defeat nature and the ocean’s might, British settlers began exploring the land of the Fleurieu Peninsula. Much of the future rich farm lands were discovered by those attempting to reach Encounter Bay by land from Adelaide, the centre of British civilisation. So it was that in 1837 James Hurtle Fisher and William Light, looking for a way through to the south, rested at the foot of the range about 45 kilometres from Adelaide at a place the Aborigines called ‘the place of green trees’.[21] The future town of Willunga began its life in the shade of the trees’ branches and the site of the adventurers’ resting place.

By April 1838 the web of exploration and settlement ran its threads throughout the Peninsula as men, used to cramped conditions in the northern hemisphere, were staggered by the breadth and richness of these ‘new’, untamed ‘wastelands’ of the Crown. William Giles, the man who had seen savagery in his Company’s whalers, was at pains to set out the freshness of the country and its enormous possibilities as he described to Angas, the one-time chairman of his Company in London, his first journey through it.

Arrived at … Rapid Bay – on landing we found a small stream of fresh water trickling down the beach into the bay, which in about 50 yards increased to the size of a rivulet of excellent water, meandering through a most beautiful valley, the soil of great depth covered with most luxuriant herbage … on the sides of these Hills we found plenty of keep for sheep and wherever the grass had been burnt in these places, it was looking beautifully verdant …. Respecting this beautiful spot I think it may be safely asserted that it is one of the most eligible sites for a little town, with some agricultural villages surrounding that I ever saw: fine land, excellent water, plenty of timber, good building stone, with lime stone: all to be found within a mile of water carriage …

Met Capt. Hart & friend with a native guide going to Adelaide, persuaded them to return with us to Miponga [sic] Vale … This is a delightful spot destined some future day to be the abode of civilised man.[22]

W.H. Leigh, another writer who had been so critical of the seafaring classes of the Fleurieu Peninsula, gave glowing descriptions of the land. His firstsighting of the Peninsula was as he came from Kangaroo Island:

As we got nearer Encounter Bay, the view at once, as if by magic, assumed a more cheerful appearance opening into a wild but beautiful park, which reminded one of the domain of an English noble …

In every part of the neighbourhood I visited, I found the land exceedingly rich, and I should unhesitatingly say, fit for any purposes of agriculture. I saw some wheat growing here, and potatoes which were planted by a whaler, and both looked remarkably well. The soil is very dark, amounting nearly to black soot.[23]

In John Stephens’ 1839 book page after page sang the glories of the land:

The country from Cape Jervis upwards, viewed from the sea, is very picturesque, and generally, well timbered; but, in the disposition of the trees, more like an English park than that which we could have imagined to be the character of untrodden wild; it is therefore well suited for depasturing sheep, and in many places, under present circumstances, quite open enough for the plough … .

I have just been thirty miles up from Cape Jervis … and am very much pleased with the land. It is as good as man could wish.[24]

The land was seen not merely as beautiful, virgin ground but as the future home of the elements of a British landed culture whose philosophy was to prosper and progress, and to subdue the earth. Settlers vigorously pursued this philosophy and the papers spoke of ‘the enterprise of private settlers’ as the boundaries of British settlement expanded.[25]

In May 1839 John and William Rankine, brothers who were seeking for more profitable livelihoods than their Caledonian homeland offered them, settled in the outer districts close by the future site of Strathalbyn and made their first camp on a hill above what became ‘Glenbarr’. They overlooked land purchased by George Hall and William Mein. (William Rankine built the magnificent ‘Glenbarr’ house in 1842 with its grand, yet unostentatious, features reminiscent of a scaled-down version of the solid baronial or kirk establishments in their home county of Argyleshire.)[26]

The brothers must brave been impressed either by the aesthetics of the countryside or by how well their stock fared on other men’s land for by November 1841 William Rankine and James Dawson purchased section 2600. The first recorded surveying of this section for the town of Strathalbyn was in 1840 by E.W. Cross.[27]

There are many guesses as to how the town got its name. In 1908 the editor of the Southern Argus, J.W. Elliot, claimed that it literally meant ‘White Valley’, from a Scots dialect. However, another writer, ‘Uistach’, argued that Strathalbyn stood for ‘The valley of Scotland’ or ‘Scottish valley’. Another writer, Winnie Fairweather of Norwood, agreed with ‘Uistach’, and noted with some glee that William Richardson, another Scots settler, of ‘Dalveen’ near Woodchester, had supported their view. She quoted some lines of Byron on the battle of Waterloo to prove the case:

Then wild and high the “Camerons’ gathering” rose,

The warnote of Lochiel, which Albyn’s Hills,

Have heard, and heard, too, have her Saxon foes.[28]


Strathalbyn and its hinterland prospered, just as its first British settlers had hoped it would. In August 1840 an Adelaide reporter believed that

The Angas, or Strathalbyn, district is now becoming very thickly settled, and is … almost the best stocked survey in the province. There are already fourteen stations on it, and the stock amounts to 10,000 sheep, 1,000 cattle, and 70 horses …. A township has just been laid out here in a beautiful situation … It already possesses an inn and a store.[29]

Within two decades, a flourishing town of considerable dimensions with a great variety of occupations was built by settlers who came to South Australia seeking ‘easy and peaceful independence.’[30] By August 1840 an inn appeared, as the Adelaide Chronicle writer noted, licensed to William Sanderson, situated on the present site of the Terminus Hotel.[31] In 1844 the Rankines, keen to see the means of Grace spread amongst this burgeoning town, commenced building St Andrew’s Presbyterian church. The lofty position of the church has served as a reminder of the Rankines’ Scottish faith for subsequent generations, and each generation has added its part to the initial structure, be it in bell towers or stained glass. In 1849 Donald GoIlan, another Scotsman, built up the beginnings of the town’s famed flour mill. In that year too, Edward Sunter, the first mayor of the Strathalbyn Corporation, began the manchester business which was to become so successful under David Bell’s guidance.

In the 1850s a bakery was built on High Street, Caldwell erected his beautiful carpenter’s shop on Swale Street, Rowe’s foundry house was built next to their metal-casting business, Strathdoon Temperance Hotel opened to cater for the thirsty on their long hauls from Adelaide to Wellington on the Murray and beyond, and in 1858–59 the Police Station and Court House were being constructed.[32]

Settlers came with the expanding town and new villages grew in the Strathalbyn hinterland around rich grazing and agricultural country; portions of that land yielded unexpected mineral fruits.[33] The Stirling family began their pastoral life on ‘Hampden’ in 1840, later at ‘The Lodge’, on the outskirts of the town, and later again they purchased the splendid property ‘Highland Valley’.[34] Thomas Gemmell arrived in South Australia in 1840 and 14 years after landing he took up land adjacent to Stirling’s ‘Highland Valley’, nearby the Bugle Ranges, and called his new grazing property ‘Springfield’.[35]

In 1853, a year before Gemmell claimed his new property, a village named Woodchester was surveyed to the east of ‘Springfield’ and ‘Highland Valley’, on sections 1788 and 1791 in the Hundred of Strathalbyn; part of a special survey selected by the ships’ surgeon W.H. Leigh whose writings had so roundly condemned the practices of the Encounter Bay whalers and so highly praised the potential of the Fleurieu Peninsula land.[36] Woodchester became, in one sense, a dormitory village of Strathalbyn proper, although local settlers would fiercely defend their independence, later forming their own District Council of Onaunga. In 1855, or thereabouts, Berry Smith, the original clerk of the District Council of Strathalbyn, opened the first general store in Woodchester.[37] Two years later the Wheal Ellen mine was opened on land above Stirling’s ‘Highland Valley’ and many of the miners found their way across the hill to a small shanty at ‘Tinpot’, a colloquial name for Woodchester whose nomenclature is as hotly debated as Strathalbyn’s.[38] The mine was always regarded as badly managed and underdeveloped and only ever worked at a loss.[39]

Other settlers like the Brook family came to Woodchester. William Brook arrived there in 1856 having purchased sections 1341 and 1353. A year later he purchased section 1435. In 1856 Thomas Crowhurst also bought land at Woodchester on sections 1326 and 1328 and built up a wonderful le farm complex, complete with a stone-lined soak for water catchment, and tried to bring some of the small-scale ideas of English farming onto land whose fickleness was to test generations of farmers to come.[40]

East of Woodchester two smaller communities sprang up, Hartley and Salem. They had much in common, but not their religious affiliations, Hartley being Methodist and Salem Lutheran. Hartley became a small, industrious village which could even boast a creamery. Salem has a history of another kind. In 1851 Gottlob Jaensch bought two sections adjacent to the Bremer River, and by 1858 a thriving Lutheran community of 12 families had arisen around his blocks on section 1818, and was named Salem. The community, with strong ties to Hahndorf, kept alive its cultural heritage over the years until, under the pressure of large farm economics, the village disappeared leaving only a few ruined houses and the church as remnants.[41]

Other small pockets of settlement with the same short-lived community intensity of Salem, Hartley and Woodchester sprang up from the growth centre of Strathalbyn. Bletchley, east of Strathalbyn, could boast two Methodist congregations at one stage. Between 1843 and 1851 Occupation Licences were granted to settlers wanting to move into the areas of Angas Plains, Lake Plains and Belvidere to the south east of Strathalbyn on the way to Milang and the Lakes. Belvidere, originally named Raleigh, was an active place. A centre for the coaching route from Adelaide, it also housed a brick kiln on section 2753 which was run by Phillip Cross from 1857. The bricks from Belvidere built houses all around the Strathalbyn area for the next eighty-four years.[42]

To the west of Belvidere and the Angas Plains, and 9 kilometres south west of Strathalbyn, George Tucker bought section 2769 in the hundred of Kondoparinga and in 1857 commenced building a barn and stable complex.[43] The settlement of Sandergrove began in that year, for within a kilometre of Tucker’s new barn William Rogers purchased a property from William Bowman, named it ‘Sandergrove’ and built a spacious house. Rogers sat in the first parliament under responsible government in South Australia and followed what one commentator called ‘A strenuous political career marked by considerable tribulation’.[44] The Tucker and Rogers family properties became the nexus of a thriving settlement on the road from Strathalbyn to Goolwa which in time had its church and school.

In 1854, three years before Rogers and Tucker began their Sandergrove farming, another town was gazetted east of Strathalbyn on the Wellington Road and named successively Langhorne Station, Langhorne Bridge, and Langhorne Creek after Alfred (‘Liar’) Langhorne, the overlander who brought a mob of cattle overland from Sydney to Adelaide in 1841.[45] However, in 1850-51, four years before the town was officially named, settlers were ensconced in solid homes and a village. had developed. The Potts family had begun their operations at ‘Bleasdale’, John Borrett took up land and established his property ‘Raydon’, and a hotel was built by J. Baird to quench the thirsts of passing travellers.[46] In 1858, to take profitable advantage of the rich flood plains around the town, Frank Potts, aged 43 years and a native of Middlesex, began planting the grape vines whose produce – after pressing in his giant red gum press and maturation in his cellar vats – would bring an industry and fame to the area.[47]

To the north west and south west of Strathalbyn settlement had also been increasing. In 1839, as part of the Green Hills Special Survey, John Morphett selected 4,000 acres of the district that was to contain the areas of Ashbourne and Bull Creek, and immediately adjacent to McHarg Creek and Paris Creek.[48] In 1859 George Dunn, a relative of the Mount Barker miller John Dunn and the families of William and Charles Dunn of Charleston, came to McHarg Creek. In 1860-61 he was the first person with connections to the Dunn family who employed Charles Martlew of Strathalbyn to build him a two storeyed house on his newly acquired property. This two storeyed tradition stretched back in the Dunn family to ‘Gumbank’ at Charleston, and from their one-time home of Bondleigh in Devon, and was soon to be carried on by the Tucker family at Sandergrove and the Brook family at Woodchester, both of whom had members who married into the Dunn family.[49]

While George Dunn might have looked with some pride on his newly erected edifice, Joseph Blake, a farmer on section 3335, Hundred of Kondoparinga, could have taken equal pride in his having pioneered that country at least eight years before Dunn’s building. Blake too borrowed the vernacular techniques of his British homeland in forming the solid long and low structure of his farm house.

Just as the area around Strathalbyn developed its network of villages, ethnic communities, successful pastoralists and farmers, so the land skirting the coast , and inland from the coast, running from Port Elliot/Goolwa through Encounter Bay round the Peninsula’s tip to Cape Jervis, thence through Second Valley, NormanviIle, Yankalilla, Myponga Beach, White’s Gully, Aldinga, Port Willunga and McLaren Vale had likewise changed and prospered under tine labour of British immigrants.

In Paving the Way, Simpson Newland wrote of these immigrants as ‘Britain’s daring sons and daughters … landed upon … wild shores’, and further wrote that their industry and toil completely altered the South Australian earth: ‘A metamorphosis has indeed come over these hills, slopes, valleys, and plains, once clothed with nature’s prodigality and beauty.’ Moreover, Newland claimed that the land going back from Encounter Bay enticed ‘the squatter with his flocks and herds.’[50] He was right. From 1837 when the first exploratory party led by T.B. Strangways and Y.B. Hutchinson discovered that land, a steady stream of settlers and squatters made its way south.[51]

The Rev. Ridgway Newland came to Encounter Bay in 1839 with a group of well-minded religious folk whose motivations ran contrary to the wildness of the whalers present on the Bay’s shores upon their arrival. Before long their ordered influence took hold, and Newland’s farm at Yilki was described as ‘a stone edifice with a shingle roof; a brick kitchen and malting kiln were added, and a dairy was excavated in the hillside. A barn of considerable dimensions was also considered necessary, and there were milking sheds and stockyard.’[52] Dr Matthew Moorhouse, the first protector of Aborigines in South Australia, and David Wark, married to Newland’s sister-in-law, joined the group whose lives centred around ‘The Tabernacle’ at Yilki.[53]

Newland was so impressed with the settlement’s achievement by 1840 that he urged others to join them:

As a residence for colonists Encounter Bay is more healthy and suited to the British constitution than Adelaide, and much better adapted for agriculture …

We have some things prepared for organised society, such as resident police, to be headed by a resident Magistrate, and the regular preaching of the Gospel.[54]

More signs of ‘organised society’, like a mill, customs’ house and a school for native children, appeared very quickly.[55]

In 1854, three years after Porter Helmore’s mill was built at Yilki, Encounter Bay, and a year after the first meeting of the District Council of Encounter Bay under Ridgway Newland’s chairmanship, the first Port Elliot to Goolwa railway was constructed.[56] The railway was a reminder of the growing productivity of the coastline’s agricultural hinterland and the need to find adequate shipping facilities for this produce. In 1852 the town of Port Elliot had been surveyed and an obelisk, ‘Freeman’s Knob’, placed on a promontory above the harbour to help guide in the vessels which would seek the harbour’s shelter. Port Elliot’s first hotel was erected in 1852, its police station in 1853, its jetty and St Jude’s church in 1854, its first courthouse in 1855 and its post office in 1858. Settlers erected substantial houses. William Metcalf built his house and barn on his Hindmarsh Valley Road property in 1850, B.F..Laurie, the Harbour Master, built ‘Southcote’ on the Crows’ Nest Road in 1853, and the Rev. Mr. Hotham built ‘The Gables’ at Waterport.[57]

At Middleton, the town set out on land between Port Elliot and Goolwa bought by T.W. Higgins in 1849, ordered settlement had also begun. Limbert’s store was opened in 1851 the same year that the railway went through, W. and A. Bowman’s flour mill turned its stones to crush local grain in 1855 and the first school opened in 1856.[58] Civilisation had arrived.

In 1839, ten years before Thomas Walter Higgins dug back into his Irish ancestry and named Middleton, and not long before he would start selling his fattened cattle to those ‘filthy and savage’ whalers at Encounter Bay, the newly arrived Governor George Gawler, described in a public newspaper something of the wonder of the environment inland from the southern coast, and gave the people of Adelaide more of an idea of the land that was yet to be won:

Twenty Five miles to the mouth of the Inman in Encounter Bay runs a lovely Valley, varying from six to two miles in width, well watered and rich in soil for agriculture and herbage for pasture. In this valley division hills, which separate the eastward and the westward waters, are about ten miles from Yankalilla, their summits are covered with pasture, and their height is not above 300 feet above the sea, while that of the precipitous mountains which bound the valley to the north and south is from 1,200 to 2,000 feet.[59]

From 1842 this valley of the Inman and its neighbouring Hindmarsh valley were encroached on by settlers seeking to win the land and to go beyond the surveyed marks on maps looking for pasture for their stock. It was noted that Vidal James, R.B. James, Giles, Strangways, ‘Encounter Bay Bob’ Robinson and Field were either squatting on Crown Lands or depasturing stock with an occupation licence in the area prior to 1850.[60]

Within eight years of George Gawler’s view of the Inman Valley, and over ten years after Samuel Stephens, the first colonial manager of the South Australian Company, claimed that he was going ‘over to Cape Jervis with the view of discharging the Emma at “Yankalilla” and there forming forthwith our Agricultural Establishment, for which purpose I think of Employing that vessel to fetch up stock.’[61]

The likes of the squatters and licence holders had the south west of. the Fleurieu Peninsula firmly in their grasp. George French Angas, the artist/naturalist son of the one-time South Australian Company chairman, sketched out many scenes of the land at this time. Later he wrote that its possibilities had been long discovered by immigrants:

Towards Rapid Bay and Cape Jervis the country is more broken and mountainous, and the scenery romantic in the extreme. Many settlers’ stations are scattered throughout this district … the valleys are among the fairest in the colony … The valleys of the Hindmarsh and Inman also are as fertile in their production as they are beautiful in scenery.[62]

Like Angas, Francis Dutton saw the land’s agricultural and pastoral uses but also remarked on a factor which would lead to other uses. ‘Close to Cape ,Jervis are the rich valleys of Rapid and Aldinga Bays and Yankalilla, abounding in rich land and beautiful scenery. At Rapid Bay extensive loads of copper and lead have also been discovered.’[63]

Soon all the attendant features of British colonial settlement dotted the countryside. On 2 June 1849 the Register reported that Robert Norman, an Adelaide dentist, was proposing to form a township with a church, blacksmith’s shop and hotel. He named the town Normanville and built the church, St James, in 1850, a year after his town was proposed to the public.[64] In 1849 too, James and John Leonard built their mill adjacent to what later became the thriving settlement of Randalsea/Second Valley. On 15 June 1842, seven years before the Leonards built their mill, Henry Kemmiss purchased his land grant in Survey ‘D’ of 90 acres and began building ‘Manna Farm’. Later, Thomas Wilson laid out the township of Yankalilla on part of Sections 1180 and 1181 in the Hundred of Yankalilla, contiguous with the boundary of ‘Manna Farm’.[65] In 1856 Christ Church was built at Yankalilla town, to help the cause of the Church of England in a district which had seen the non-conformist Bible Christians already erect a chapel at Dairy Flat in 1854. By 1859 two other Methodist churches were build, although they were Wesleyans at Glenburn/Delamere and ‘Springbank’/Hay Flat.[66]

From 1855 until 1861 the Yankalilla district was humming with settlement and agricultural production in a way that would have given the theorists of South Australian settlement the belief that their theory of bringing ‘a middle class amongst the cultivators of. the soil’ was fulfilled.[67] Ferguson had built his Normanville mill in 1856 to cater for the district’s abundant harvests. Lush, an astute local historian has remarked that

The migrants in England found Normanville and hinterland with its comparatively high and reliable rainfall somewhat similar to their homeland and they quickly set to work growing wheat. This they did most successfully and profitably, with flour in the early boom years selling at £12 per bag, a considerable quantity being shipped from Normanville to Adelaide and Melbourne.[68]

The fruitful possibilities of the Normanville–Yankalilla area were accepted by even the surveyors parcelling up the land for later settlement. Hay Flat, near Normanville, received its nomenclature from the fact that ‘The first surveyors, on coming down to Yankalilla, pitched their tents in a fine open plain where they found the grass so luxuriant and tall that it could be tied over a horse’s back. They mowed it and made it into hay.’[69]

In 1859, on land overlooked by the house of Septimus Herbert, another of the district’s successful founders, the Wissanger School, now the Yankalilla Area School Annexe, was built to inculcate middle class morals and ethical truths into the district’s young.[70]

The year after Wissanger school opened Yankalilla had two breweries, three hotels and three flour mills and there were 2,000 people living within 10 kilometres of Normanville. One of the mills was built by Eli Butterworth, who with his brother did so much in the grain trade at Normanville. Eli also built his home ‘Bungala’ next to the mill site.[71]

The accent on the area’s agricultural capabilities was further emphasised by the opening of Normanville’s first jetty and by the construction of Myponga Beach’s jetty a little further north on the coast. So coastal shipping, which was to expand over the next twenty-five years, was enhanced by these new facilities and the agricultural productions of a prosperous district were reaching their markets more quickly.[72]

The expansion of coastal shipping was not the only positive move in transportation. In 1859, the new ‘Victory Road’, won after a long battle with Adelaide authorities, connected the recently established town of Myponga to the rich rural settlements of Aldinga, Willunga and McLaren Vale. John Norman, the licensee of the hotel at Sellicks Hill – which still bears the road’s triumphant progress in its name – was dubbed ‘the conquering hero’ of the hour for his strenuous efforts to get the road developed. The road wound its way tightly up the Willunga scarp passing ‘Myponga’ (Hillsey) station opened up by the Everards in the early 1840s, and came out near Myponga. A blacksmith’s shop, house and horse stop were built at the road junction outside of Myponga. The newspaper reporter commenting on the marvellous road used all his flowery devices in its description: ‘Romantically beautiful, indeed, is this new mountain path. It discloses every kind of scenery that the ranges or the plains can boast, and affords from time to time the most unbounded prospect of the sea, with Kangaroo Island in the distance.’[73] So, from 1859 the more southern settlers had improved mobility to the north and the country around ‘the place of green trees’ (Willunga) where Fisher and Light rested during the 1837 expedition.

In 1840, within two years of that expedition, William Colton and Charles Hewitt, ‘two trained Devonshire farmers’, took up country in Survey C. Colton founded the property ‘Daringa’, and built a red brick house and barn – the two buildings now set amongst the Maxwell Winery at McLaren Vale. The farmers soon reported back to England on their prospects, as well as on those of the newly colonised district, as part of the inquiries of the 1841 Select Committee into South Australia:

We arrived here with our families 2/1/40, have built our houses, huts for our men, dairies, outhouses, pigsties, stockyards, cowyards, cowpens, sheep-pen, gardens; and fenced with posts and rails the length of one and a half sections … It is, however, quite colonial – what in England we should call rough farming – but from having so many things to attend to and inclining to sow as much as possible we have done it rough, but hope, God willing, the next year to manage better … We are getting thickly inhabited in this quarter and begin to have the appearance of an inhabited country …

Four miles south of us on the Encounter Bay Road is the township of Willunga, where many men are employed in the slate quarries, said to be of excellent quality.[74]

An Adelaide paper described the district as having

Twelve settlers, who possess stock to the amount of upwards of 2000 sheep and 200 head of cattle … about 70 acres are … under crop … The Willunga district … is also beginning to be settled. A township is laid out, in which are an inn, a police station, and about a dozen other houses … There is a slate quarry in the district, worked by Mr. Loud.[75]

As the success of the quarries grew and their number increased and their products roofed houses, flagged verandahs and took the bevelled inscriptions of tombstone epitaphs around South Australia, so too the agricultural operations of settlers met with excellent results. The Willunga and McLaren Vale districts were boasted of as a pivotal centre for South Australian transport and communications and the prospective home of that Arcady so many writers had promised the first British immigrants to South Australia. As John Norman bragged to the Willunga farmers and Stockholders Club at their celebratory dinner:

The undoubted capabilities of the soil for agricultural purposes – the extensive runs for pasturage – the productions of fruit and vegetables – her natural productions, besides mines and minerals – her extensive capabilities for exporting, which had already surpassed everything hitherto known for so young a colony – where all who seek it, can obtain useful employment – and, (though last, not least) a beautiful and healthy climate – altogether rendered her capable, under a wise Government, of becoming one of the greatest and happiest places in the world – Drunk with enthusiasm.[76]

What of these farmers? At McLaren Vale Frederick Scott of Brownson Farm had sunk a well forty feet deep and flagged it nearby his temporary hut. His wheat and barley crops had failed.[77] A little to the north west of Scott’s land the independents had erected a small Congregational chapel, and not far from them on land now accommodated by the Anglican church, Hopcroft and Cornock had planted the district’s first grape vines – a small beginning for a large industry.[78]

South east of McLaren Vale, at a place then named Monopilla, John Brown, a Devonshire man like Hewitt and Colton of McLaren Vale, erected a solid stone house at his ‘Exmouth Farm’ and superintended 400 sheep, 16 cattle, 1 pig, 7 acres of wheat and 4 acres of barley.[79]

At McLaren Vale William Colton had progressed beyond mere farming and by 1849 was running the Devonshire house as a hotel. The Devonshire was joined in 1851 by the Salopian Hotel further on the track to Willunga.

The building of the hotels was only another sign of a flourishing district with extensive growth in its settlements. Schools, mills, houses, government offices were all signs of the success ,which was due, so one correspondent to a newspaper claimed, to the fact that ‘Nowhere in this part of the colony do agricultural operations seem so vigorously pursued’.[80]

The same correspondent to the Register further described the rapidly developing hinterland of Willunga around White’s Gully and Aldinga:

Along a tolerably level road, nearly west across the Adlinga plains, and at the outlet of a gorge called White’s Gully, a spot opens out to the gulf upon a beach eligible for a port from which to ship the grain of these localities to Adelaide, and where a township is about to be formed, to be called Port Willunga. It is in part laid out, 20 or 30 buildings being planned and in the course of erection, and several houses … being already built and occupied.[81]

In 1852 memorialists from the district first tried to persuade the government that a jetty at Port Willunga was a necessity.[82] Certainly from the point of view that there were four competing flour mills within an eight mile radius, and a number of vibrant towns and villages connected to the mills and the agricultural industry, like White’s Gully being attendant to Samuel White’s mill, and ‘Aldinga Village’ subdivided in January 1857, the memorialists’ case appeared sound.[83] Their request was answered when, in April 1853, construction commenced on a jetty.[84]

As the residents of Willunga petitioned the government for a fair hearing in their quest for a jetty, their district, and the other districts in the Fleurieu Peninsula, and its environs, appeared to have limitless possibilities. Stock numbers were high, crops were producing, towns were erected, the elements of governmental order were in place and individual settlers were going beyond the temporary dwellings of their first years and, like George Dunn of McHarg’s Creek with his two storeyed stone residence, building houses which reflected the substance of their prosperity.


By 1861, the course of settlement on the Fleurieu Peninsula, and the regions adjacent to it, had proceeded within a relatively ordered framework. Early nineteenth century exploration earmarked the land for the British Empire. Then, as Williams has shown, the Fleurieu Peninsula and environs were in the first and second phases of the concentration of the British settlement in South Australia.[85] Settlement – from theory to land exploration, thence to pioneer pastoralism and agriculture, and thence again to town and suburban survey – was constrained by an ordered model of understood land use and rural societal structure. The model itself was found in the ideas of the theorists and capitalists who founded South Australia.[86]

The theory of land settlement, as perceived by the colony’s progenitors, spoke of settlement being confined to prescribed and surveyed areas; these areas being peopled by respectable labourers and capitalists in a type of yeoman – landlord society.[87] The land was to provide the economic base for the new colonial socicty.[88] This base would also provide an economic stimulus. Colonel Torrens, for example, argued in the House of Commons on 15 February 1837 that ‘the value which the influx of an industrious population bestowed upon the colonial lands at the disposal of the crown, would become a permanent source of national revenue, and of clear and unbought advantage to the country.’[89]

Pioneer colonists, both agriculturists and pastoralists, also believed that the land provided the economic base on which their, and the colony’s, future depended. They spoke of the land as being able to produce an almost unlimited harvest. There was, according to reports, ‘an abundance of good land’. Again, there was ‘no land in the world finer … the land is nothing but a rich heap of manure. And yet again, there was ‘a richness of land, and undoubted fertility of the soil’.[90]

More than this, colonists very soon spoke of themselves as ‘masters of the nature of the country and the soil from here [Adelaide] to Cape Jervis, and across to Encounter Bay.’[91] This belief grew out of the Biblical idea, discussed in the introduction to this article, which the Rev. T.Q. Stow echoed when he said that the land was ‘subdued with the greatest of ease’.[92]

The settlers on the Fleurieu Peninsula conformed to these ideas of mastering the land. The mere action of fashioning a stone, or timber, house was a material statement of the arrival of civilisation. Even more material were the actions of agriculturists, and of pastoralists, changing the face of the landscape with ploughing, harrowing and the planting of exotic seeds, and by the introduction of hard-hooved animals.[93]

What the settlement of the Fleurieu Peninsula shows us is the muscular pride taken by South Australia’s British colonists in their civilisation of the landscape. The surveyed roads, the villages and towns with their churches, stores, hotels and schools, the fenced farmyards, ploughed fields and neatly constructed houses all speak to the great central theme of British colonisation. George Fife Angas aptly described this theme as ‘the high vocation’ of

Raising cities in the wilderness, of breaking up the soil of waste but fertile regions, of sowing in far distant lands the seeds of British institutions, arts, and sciences, and above all, of diffusing far and wide the principles of that Divine religion which has raised the mother country to the elevated station of queen among the nations.[94]



[1] I must acknowledge the kind permission of Jon Womersley and the Heritage Conservation Branch of the South Australian Department of Environment and Planning to use material gained during the Heritage Survey of Region 4, the Fleurieu Peninsula. The Branch’s Manager and Staff are totally committed to the detailed recording of South Australia’s heritage. I also thank Historical Consultants Pty Ltd and John Dallwitz, and Sandy and Sue Marsden at Heritage Investigations for permission to use work we jointly explored in the field and at the desk. I would also like to thank Bill Gammage who first opened up the themes of Man and the Land in Australia to my eyes. Bill Gammage and Brian Dickey read a draft of this article but neither they nor any of the other persons mentioned above are responsible for the views expressed in the article.

[2] Although the study region took in both the Fleurieu Peninsula and Angas/Bremer regions I will most often refer to them under the collective title of the Fleurieu Peninsula, although I realise that the extent of the Peninsula is much debated.

[3] The most accessible information about settlers viewing South Australia as a God given paradise is in F. Hodder, George Fife Angas, Father and Founder of South Australia, (London, 1891).

[4] Lord Portman to George Fife Angas, 7 December 1838, in Angas Family Papers, in possession of Henry Angas, Meningie, S.A, and used here by his permission.

[5] J.D. Lang. An Historical and Statistical Account of New South Wales, (London, 1837), vol. 2. pp.164, 166. The Biblical quotation which Lang uses comes from Judges, chapter 18, verses 9-10.

[6] See Rob Linn, ‘First Settlers’ Perceptions of the Physical and Social Environment of South Australia,’ The Push from the Bush: A Bulletin of Social History, no. 12, June 1982.

[7] Ernest Scott (ed.), Australian Discovery, vol. I. By Sea, (London, 1929), p. 292.

[8] Scott, pp. 390, 393.

[9] See for example the extract of a letter from Hay to Whitmore, 30 May 1832, which saw the siting of any colony so close to the penal settlement as being of ‘great public inconvenience’ in Douglas Pike, Paradise of Dissent, (Melbourne. 2nd ed., 1967), p. 61. See too, ‘The Shame of Botany Bay’ in J.B. Hirst, Convict Society and its Enemies, (Sydney, 1983), pp. 189ff, for some popular views on early New South Wales.

[10] Anon. Outline of the Plan of a Proposed Colony to be Founded on the South Coast of Australia,(London, 1831), p. 10.

[11] Department of Lands, Historical Notes, vol. 13, f. 57.

[12] See Blenkinsop’s affidavit in South Australian Register, 24 February 1838, cited in J.S. Cumpston, Kangaroo island 1800-1836, (Canberra, 1974), p. 160.

[13] W.H. Leigh, Reconnoitering Voyages and Travels with Adventures in the New Colonies of South Australia, (London, 1839), pp. 169-170.

[14] Leigh, p.169.

[15] William Giles to George Fife Angas, 12 April–8 May 1838, PRG 174/1/1172-1183, State Library of South Australia [SLSA].

[16] C.R. Hodge, Encounter Bay: The Miniature Naples of Australia, (Facsimile edition, Gillingham, Adelaide, 1981), pp. 123-124.

[17] F.S. Dutton, South Australia and its Mines, (London, 1816), p. 87.

[18] J.. Stephens, The History of the Rise and Progress of the New British Province of South Australia, (London, 2nd ed., 1839), p. 22.

[19] Stephens, p. 23.

[20] William Giles to George Fife Angas, 5 May 1838, PRG 174/1/1172–1183, SLSA.

[21] T. Parkinson and T. Lucas, Willunga Profile, (Adelaide, 1972).

[22] William Giles to George Fife Angas, 12 April–8 May 1838, PRG 171/1/1172–1183, SLSA.

[23] Leigh, pp.169 and 174.

[24] Stephens, p.12.

[25] South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register, 17 March 1838.

[26] The information on the Rankines comes from Adelaide Chronicle, 15 June 1961; Department of Lands, Historical Notes, vol. 5, f. 2; and, R. Cockburn, Pastoral Pioneers of South Australia, vol. 1, (Adelaide, 1925), pp. 94-95.

[27] Department of Lands, Historical Notes, vol. 5, f. 2.

[28] Ibid., vol. 5, f. 3.

[29] Adelaide Chronicle, 26 August 1840, in M. Dunstan (ed.), Willunga Town and District 1837-1900, (Blackwood, 1977), p.15.

[30] Stephens, op. cit., p. iv.

[31] Government Gazette, 8 October 1840 in Department of Lands, Historical Notes, vol. 14, f. 36.

[32] The previous two paragraphs: N. Gemmel], Historic Strathalbyn, (Strathalbyn, 1983).

[33] The Wheal Ellen mine is reported in F. Sinnett, An Account of the Colony of South Australia, (Adelaide, 1862), p. 71, and in W. Harcus (ed.), South Australia: Its History, Resources, and Productions, (Adelaide, 1876), p. 210. It closed in between the publication dates of these two books. The mine’s possibilities were re-tested in 1920: see B. O’Neil, In Search of Mineral Wealth, (Adelaide, 1982), p. 221.

[34] Cockburn, vol. 1, pp. 68-69.

[35] Cockburn, p. 163.

[36] Department of Lands, Historical Notes, vol. 5, f. 44.

[37] H.T. Burgess (ed.), The Cyclopedia of South Australia, vol. 2, (Adelaide, 1909), p. 880.

[38] Burgess, p.873; oral interview with Eric Cross, 20 February 1985. For one side of the nomenclature debate see ‘Towns, people and things we ought to know’, Adelaide Chronicle, 31 August 1933.

[39] Burgess

[40] Department of Lands, Historical Notes, vol. 5, f. 44.

[41] .E. Materne, Peace Church Salem 1856-1981, (Hawthorndene, 1981), pp. 12, 13, 21, 25.

[42] J. Faull (ed.), Alexandrina’s Shore: A History of the Milang District, (Milang, 1981), pp. 138-139.

[43] Oral interview with Carol Tucker, Sandergrove, 27 February 1985.

[44] Cockburn, vol. 2, pp. 220-221.

[45] Department of Lands, Historical Notes, vol. 13, p. 51; Robyn Kooistra, ‘The Wineries of Langhorne Creek, with particular emphasis on Frank Potts’ Bleasdale Winery’, (unpublished typescript, 1977), p. 2.

[46] Peter D. Verrier, The Town that Welcomes Floods, (Langhorne Creek, 1977), pp. 7, 15, 37ff; Rosemary Burden, Wines and Wineries of the Southern Vales, (Adelaide, 1976), p. 128.

[47] Burden, op. cit., pp. 128-130.

[48] Department of Lands, Historical Notes, vol. 7, f. 35.

[49] Paul Stark, Meadows Heritage, (Aberfoyle Park, 1983), pp. 202-206; oral interview with Charles Dunn, McHarg Creek, 4 March 1985; I. Tucker and L. Rossiter, The Dunn Family of Charleston 1843-1976, (Adelaide, 1976), pp. 3-7.

[50] S. Newland, Paving the Way, (London, 1913), pp. 27, 29.

[51] Department of Lands, Historical Notes, vol. 13, f. 6.

[52] Cockburn, vol. 1, pp. 96-97.

[53] Cockburn, vol. 1, p. 88, vol. 2, p. 208.

[54] Hodge, p. 14.

[55] J.D. Cameron, ‘A Band of Pioneers’: A History of the Congregational Churches along the South Coast from 1839-1877, (Adelaide, 1977), p. 8.

[56] A.A. Strempel and J.C. Tolley, The Story of Victor Harbour, (Victor Harbour, 1965), p. 11.

[57] Hodge, op. cit., p. 84, and Strempel and Tolley, p. 13.

[58] J.C. Tolley, The South Coast Story, (1968), p. 48. For L.W. Higgins, see Cockburn, vol. 2, p. 19.

[59] For Thomas Walter Higgins see Cockburn, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 19, and Leigh, p. 169 described the whalers. Gawler’s description is in A. Lush, The Inman Valley Story, (Inman Valley, 1971), p. 19.

[60] Lush, p.20, 62.

[61] Samuel Stephens to George Fife Angas, 27 September 1836, PRG 174/1/461–464, SLSA. Light’s early map of the coast (see appendix British Parliamentary Papers, Select Committee into South Australia, 1841) calls Yankalilla, ‘Yankalilly’. Stephens, p. 13 quotes a settler who claimed that ‘about eight miles north of Rapid Bay is the valley of Yanky Billy (as the sealers term it), indented by a bay to which it lends its name.’

[62] G.F. Angas, Savage Life and Scenes in Australia and New Zealand, (London, 1847), p. 214.

[63] Dutton, pp. 87-8.

[64] A. Lush. Churches. of the Fleurieu Peninsula, (Yankalilla, n.d.).

[65] The material on Leonard’s mill came from the historical research pamphlets of the Yankalilla and Districts Historical Society. For Randelsea and William Randell’s settlement there in the 1850s, see Cockburn, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 173. For ‘Manna Farm’ and the township of Yankalilla see also pamphlets of the Yankalilla and District Historical Society, and Department of. Lands, Historical Notes, vol. 4, f. 35.

[66] Lush, Churches of the Fleurieu Peninsula.

[67] George Fife Angas to Edward Gibbon Wakefield, 29 September 1836, PRG 174/10/28, SLSA.

[68] Lush, The Inman Valley Story, pp. 20-21.

[69] R. Schomburgh (sic), ‘Grasses and Fodder Plants’, in Cockburn, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 42.

[70] Joy Nunn, Schools of the Western Fleurieu Peninsula, (Yankalilla, 1981), p. 11.

[71] Newspaper extract by Oscar Herbert, Advertiser, 11 December 1923, notes 213, SLSA. For the population statistic see V.S. Kelly, Rural Development in South Australia, cited in Lush, The Inman Valley Story, p.21.

[72] For Normanville jetty particulars see Department of Marine and Harbours, output data 1985, sheet 8. For Myponga see K. Whitford and M. Lind, The First 100 Years: Myponga School Centenary 1870-1970.

[73] See Yankalilla and Districts Historical Society pamphlet on Hillsley and the blacksmith’s shop, and Observer, 19 March 1859 for the road opening.

[74] Colton’s and Hewitt’s letter to G.F. Angas of 2 September 1840 and used in his evidence to the Select Committee is reproduced in A. Pridmore, The Rich Valley, (Reprint, McLaren Vale Institute Committee, Adelaide, 1982), pp. 8-10.

[75] Adelaide Chronicle, 26 August 1840 in Dunstan, op. cit., p. 15.

[76] The reference to the centre of transport is in Adelaide Observer, 13 April 1844; John Norman’s speech is inRegister, 20 March 1844. Both are in Dunstan, op. cit., pp. 19-20.

[77] PRG 210, SLSA. British Parliamentary Papers (1844) Papers relative to the Affairs of South Australia, pp. 88-89. Thanks to Ruth Baxendale of McLaren Vale for pointing out this fine source.

[78] Burden, p.65.

[79] Cockburn, vol. 2, p. 80.

[80] Register, 26 March 1851; Dunstan, pp. 23-24.

[81] Dunstan.

[82] Dunstan, p. 37.

[83] For the flour mills’ density seeBurden, pp. 66-67, and for Aldinga sec Department of Lands Historical Notes, vol. 5, f. 1. For information on White, ‘a keen businessman farmer, miller and a deacon of the chapel’, see D. Playford, Time’s Mosaic: The Life Story of the Reverend Charles Hall, 1805-1893, (Torrens Park, 1982), pp. 47ff.

[84] G.H. Manning, Port Willunga and its Jetties, (unpublished typescript, n.d.).

[85] M. Williams, The Making of the South Australian Landscape, (London, 1974 pp. 25-27.

[86] See Williams, chapter 1, ‘Attitudes’, pp. 13-19, for a discussion on ordered attitudes towards the land; attitudes which hoped to bring ‘The highest refinement of civilisation’ to the land, ibid., p. 14.

[87] For one description of this Wakefieldian-type theory, see Stephens, pp. 1-10.

[88] As Williams says: ‘Land, and its survey and disposal, was the key-stone of the new experiment which aimed at producing a soberly-industrious middle-class society of agriculturists.’ (op. cit., p. 24).

[89] Stephens, p. 6.

[90] All these comments come from farmers writing home to Britain and appear in Stephens, op. cit., p. 48. Stephens undoubtedly tried to treat all his South Australian subjects with optimism. Nevertheless the ideas about the richness of the land were being sent back to England by many settlers. See, for example, Rob Linn (ed.), ‘Scenes of Early South Australia’, Journal of the Historical Society of South Australia, no. 10, 1982, p. 57.

[91] Stephens, p. 111.

[92] Stephens, p.49. The Biblical reference here is to Genesis, chapter 1, verse 28.

[93] See R. Bourman, ‘Man and Landform Change’, Geographical Teachers Association of South Australia, slide kit number 1, for an excellent resume of this landscape change.

[94] Hodder, p. 155. Angas was referring to a prospectus of a National Labour College in Great Britain. The lie envisaged, was to train pious men and women in the art of colonisation. He had the same ideas for the colonisation of South Australia.