Alfred Weaver


(From "The Adelaide Stock and Station Journal." March 26. 1924.)

ALFRED WEAVER A Pioneer Who Lost Many Friends Because He Favored Protection In its virgin state Yorke Peninsula was nearly all scrub land, and most of the country between Cape Jervis and Mount Remarkable, on the mainland was stocked before anyone was tempted to see what was offering in the district across the far as the pastoral interest was concerned. The Port Vincent and Port Victoria special surveys had failed, and the aborigines had remain dractically in undisturbed possession of the peninsula until Alfred Weaker turned his attention to that part of the province. The "Stock and Station Journal" has already dealt with the life of George Alexander Anstey (of the Anstey and Giles partnership), whose connection with Yorke Peninsula dated back to 1847, but further research reveals the fact that Mr. Weaver and one of two others forestalled Mr Anstey in pastoral occupation by some months. Undoubtedly Alfred Weaver was the pioneer. He took out a run at Oyster Bay, now known as Stansbury, in 1846 and paid 10/- mile for. Soon afterwards John Bowden, of Chain of Ponds, applied for the country adjoining. which now marks the localities of Yorketown, Edithburgh, and Coobowie. Messers Coutts and Sharples followed Messrs. Antsey and Giles in the country around Minlaton and Curramulka. Alfred Weaver was a Bristol man, and his wife was a Bristol woman. Their daughter (Miss Weaver) lives at Parkside, in the metiopolitan area, and when the writer called upon her for a chat she exclaimed with a smile: "Oh, what would farther say if he knew! He was of such an intensely modest and retiring disposition." Mr. Weaver had a better start in South Australia than most of the pioneers. He made money from mercantile pursuits in the old world. He built a sailing vessel called Heroine, and traded in her to Russia and elsewhere. The ship Kathrine Stewart Forbes (Captain Fell) landed him at Holdfast Bay in March, 1839 together with two laborers and a cottage that he brought out at his own expense. Fellow passenger's were Sir Charles Cooper, first Chief justice of South Australia, and Mr. E. R. Mitford, better known as the witty and satirical 'Pasquin " That Mr. Weaver was a man of exceptional energy is proved by the official records which the Govern used to send to the Colonial Secretary. These show that he had settled at Woodlands on the South Road, and that in I840 he had a well 54 feet deep 80 acres of land, enclosed with a dog fence and sown with wheat, barley, and oats, and a brick dwelling house in course of erection, besides three temporary huts and a barn. His sheep then numbered 520. Later he got much further afield, and was running sheep Currency Creek and Port Elliot. That was in 1846, when the gradual encroachment of new settlers became obnoxious to him, and he determined to seek more secluded quarters. Among Mr. Weavers employes was Charles Parrington, who had come out with Colnel Light in the brig Rapid, and who is described as an exceptionally fearless man. Parrington undertook to see what he could find "up the Gulf" in the way of pastoral country. Upon the strength of his report the Bristol man took out lease at 10/ a mile of 52 square mile at Oyster Bay, capable of grazing 7,000 sheep. Although he built a fine house on the new run, and went to live there with his family, Mr. Weaver did not abandon his interests on the mainland.

The pioneering of Yorke Peninsula was a struggle against big odds. The blacks were particularly unfriendly and troublesome, scab in the sheep was at its worst about this time, and all the stock had to be travelled around the head of the Gulf. A favourite trick of the natives was to break the leg of a lamb to prevent it from following it's mother and then to pick it up and carry it off. On one occasion, after they had been at Oyster Bay for several years, the Weaver family, when some distance from their homestead, encounter a large party of aboriginals in war paint. The natives sent their lubras and children to the back of the mob, and the situation looked ugly for the pioneer pastrol settlers. Mr. Weaver affected air of careless unconcern, and proceeded to act as though nothing untoward would happen. It was a great relief to the whites, however, when a Government official appeared on the scene mounted upon a horse. He rode among the blacks, vigorously cracking a stockwhip, and dispersed them. That official was Mr. H. T. Morris, then an Inspector of Sheep, and afterwards so long connected with the Anlaby Estate. The natives were not the only menace with which the early squatters had to contend. The majority of the men employed on the stations were of the prison class, and one can easily understand how a certain part of Yorke Peninsula is described on the map as Rogues' Gully. During Mr. Weaver's occupation of Oyster Bay run the little pastoral community was greatly stirred by the landing at the southern end of the peninsula of four strange men, who put up the fairy tale that they were whalers, that south of Kangaroo Island they had been fast to a whale which had dragged them out of sight of their ship and the island, and that, being obliged to cut the line, they made for Yorke Peninsula in order to obtain food. It was soon proved that three of the strangers were desperate murderes and bushrangers, who had escaped from Tasmania in a whaleboat, which they deserted off Kangaroo Island. Mr Weaver joined whole-heartedly with Inspector Tolmer and his men in operations that were set on foot for the apprehension of the criminals. He took on to his station a policeman in the disguise of a shepherd, and eventually the bushrangers were secured and returned to Hobart. where they were executed. The Tasmanian Government forwarded £100 in respect of cach of the criminals captured, and part of the amount was distributed among the police officers concerned in the hunt. J W Bull devotes three chapters of his "Early Recollections" to the story of these bushrangers, who were landed in Hobart each shackled with 50 lb. irons, in the presence of a large concourse of people The Tasmanian Government was disappointed that Inspector Tolmer could not be spared from South Australia to accompany the captives back to Hobart, preparations having been made to do the brave poilce officer considerable honour.

With all these tribulations it is not surprising that Mr Weaver soon came to the conclusion that pastoral pioneering was not the glorious game it was cracked up to be. He remained on the peninsula only seven years, and then sold the Oyster Bay run, the lease of which subsequently appears in the names of Messrs. Rogers, Lander, and Stephen, who aslo had Lake Sunday and Corny Point stations, the total area of the country being 244 square miles, on which 23,300 sheep, 240 cattle, and 75 horses were grazed. Mr. Weaver had some country at a place called Weaver's Lagoon named after himself, and he appears to have disposed of this early in 1848. Octavius Skipper, in his "Remmiscitices of Fifty-two Years," says that in February, 1848, he went Yorke Peninsula with Mr E Thornton, father of the Adelaide solicitor. "The reason of our going," he writes, "was that the late Mr G M. Stephen, having purchased a small sheep station from an old colonist named Alfred Weaver, a dispute had arisen about delivery, and Mr. Thornton, being Mr. Stephen's manager, was sent to try to set things right. Dumbleton (Stephen's overseer) and Weaver being at loggerheads, Mr. Thornton was some time in satisfactorily arranging matters. The natives were troublesome at this period, spearing both shepherds and sheep, and two men, Baynall and Armstrong, who went over with us, lost their lives by being speared through the kidneys "' Messrs. Skipper and Thornton narrowly escaped destruction when out on a water-hunting expedition on this trip to the peninsula. Some natives were about to attack them, when they were scared by the fact that Mr Thrornton was wearing glasses. It was afterwards learned that they had mistaken him for a white devil.

When Mr. Weaver returned to the mainland he again took up residence at the South Road, where, among other things, he grew vines and made a lot of good wine. He drove a mob of horses of his own breeding around tile head of the Gulf from Oyster Bay and sold them for £60 and £70 a head at Salisbury. Mr weaver was a great champion of R. R. Torrens in the passing of the Real Properties Act, his experience in England in connection with the transfer of shipping shares having convinced him that similar facilities could be applied satisfactorily to land transactions. He was an ardent advocate of protection for native industries and local manufacturers, and in the early sixties published a pamphlet entitled "Our Tariff," setting forth the advantages of protection. This action lost him many friends, but he lived to see the adoption of the fiscal policy he believed in. Mr Weaver was an artist of no mean order, and several watercolors from his brush are in the possession of his daughter, including one titled "The Cove of Cork." He was lame from an early period in life, and always walked with a stick. The affliction kept him in the saddle a lot during the time of his pastoral activities. He died in 1891 at the age of 89 years, and rests in St Mary's churchyard, South Road. Mrs Weaver lived until her 95th year. Charles Parrington, Colonel Light's man mentioned earlier in this memoir, has some descendants now living in Western Australia.

The "Adelaide Church Guardian," of March 8, 1931 says:

"It is interesting to note that the lectern in St Mary's Anglican Church, at South Road, Edwardstown which so often attracts the attention of visitors is those standing reminder of some of the earliest days of the State Round the base of it runs the following inscription. "Presented to St Mary's Church, to the glory of God and in loving memory of Alfred and Jane Weaver, by their daughter Mariam, March 1903. The Rev. George Dove, the then incumbent of St Mary's, dedicated the lectern. Miss Weaver, who is now in her 89th year, still occasionally visits the cemetery where her brother was also buried."


Fri 17 Oct 1930, The Pioneer (Yorketown, SA : 1898 - 1954)

The story of the first sheep-farmers is well told in various chapters of "Pastoral Pioneers of South Australia," published in two volumes in 1925-27. Alfred Weaver was a Bristol man, and in 1846 took up 52? square miles of country at 10/- a mile, at Oyster Bay. Its grazing capacity was 7,000 sheep. The country had been spied out for him by Charles Parrington, who was with Colonel Light in the brig "Rapid." Mr. Weaver, who died at the age of 89 years, rests in St. Mary's churchyard, south of Adelaide. His name endures in Weaver's Lagoon. He came out to South Australia in 1839 on the ship "Katherine Stewart Forbes" and was fellow passenger of Sir Charles Cooper, who was the Judge mentioned in an earlier article as having been marooned on Yorke Peninsula with Governor Robe's picnic party in 1848. Weaver drove a mob of horses of his own breeding around the head of the gulf from Oyster Bay, and sold them for £60 and £70 a head at Salisbury. He disposed of his property to Messrs. Rogers, Lander and Stephen, who also had Lake Sunday and Corny Point stations. They ran 23,300 sheep, besides many cattle and horses.

Some years ago the South Australian branch of the Royal Geographical Society published the reminiscences of
Octavius Skipper, who said that in he went to Yorke Peninsula with Mr. E. Thornton to settle a dispute over the
delivery of "a small sheep station" by Weaver to G. M. Stephen. Two stockmen (Baynall and Armstrong), who
went over with Skipper and Thornton, were murdered by natives, being speared through the kidneys. The other two white men had a narrow escape from a similar fate. Blacks were about to attack them when they were scared stiff by Thornton's glasses. They immediately adjudged him to be a white devil and decamped without wasting a spear.

Mr. Giles' narrative says that Mr. Weaver's enterprise was soon afterwards followed by pastoral activities on the part of John Bowden, of Chain of Ponds, who applied for the country adjoining where Yorketown, Edithburgh, and Coobowie now stand and of Messrs Coutts and Sharpies.


Fri 29 Jun 1891, Bunyip (Gawler, SA : 1863 - 1954)

WEAVER.— On the 17th June, at his residence, Woodlands, Edwardstown, after an illness of a few days, Alfred Weaver, aged 89 years. Father of Mrs. W. F. Wincey and Mrs. E. Clement. A colonist of 52 years.

FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 1891, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931)

We regret to announce the death of Mr. Alfred Weaver, an old and a highly-respected colonist of 52 years, which occurred at his residence. Woodlands, Edwardstown, on Wednesday. The deceased, who was in his 89th year, arrived in Holdfast Bay in March, 1839, in the ship Catharine Steward Forbes. He turned his attention to agricultural and pastoral pursuits, and was the first to take sheep on to Yorke's Peninsula, settling at Weaver's Lagoon, near Stansbury, but sold outt just prior to the Victorian gold digging fever in 1852. He took no prominent part in public matters, although requested to stand for several districts on various occasions. He was a strong supporter of the late Sir R. R. Torrens in passing the Real Property Act, and was also a great advocate for the protection of native industries and local manufactures, and 30 years ago published a small pamphlet entitled "Our Tariff" setting forth its various advantages. He lived to see the reward of his labors, though at the time he lost many friends by advocating the cause. He leaves a widow, three daughters, and one son.


Southern Yorke Peninsula Pastoral Pioneers

Fri 5 Dec 1930


An Immense Territory.

From "The Adelaide Stock and Station Journal." April 9th, 1924.

Few are living to-day whose memory carries them back seventy-six years to the time when Southern Yorke Peninsula, or the greater part of that portion of the State, was occupied as sheep walks, long indeed before there was settlement other than for the purpose of pastoral development, and the rich wheat lands (except in a few isolated localities) that have since made the Peninsula immensely prosperous, were practically uncultivated and unknown. Practically the first to occupy large pastoral areas in this part of the State was Mr. Alfred Weaver. As far back as the early fifties the Rogers family—Mrs. Ann Rogers (widow of William Rogers, founder of Tusmore), the trustees of his estate, and two son. Thomas William and Samuel Rogers, held about nearly all the southern part of Yorke Peninsula. After the discovery of the copper mines at Wallaroo and Moonta they increased considerably the areas they had leased from the crown, until their country stretched as far north as the Hundreds of Clinton and Tiparra, not far south of Moonta. The pastoral and agricultural country occupied by the Rogers family was from Cape Spencer in the extreme south west to Corny Point, up the Peninsula past Warooka, Minlaton, Wauraltee and Maitland, taking in at one part the whole stretch between St. Vincent and Spencer's Gulfs. It was an immense territory held by the one family under pastoral leases.

A Woman Pastoralist of the Pioneering Days.

In 1839, William Rogers and his wife, Ann, arrived in South Australia with their family of four sons and two daughters. They settled near the foothills below Burnside, close to the present Marryatville, taking up two large section, which they named Tusmore after their English home. Himself an experienced pastoralist in the old land, Mr. Rogers immediately started the raising of cattle and sheep on his property abutting on the Adelaide plains, which in those days before closer settlement, were in every way adapted to successful pastoral pursuits As early as 1840, when officially the colony was not much more than three years old, he was owner at Tusmore of 800 sheep and of 50 cattle, beside a number of horses, and gradually he increased his flocks and herds. Tusmore station must have been one of the pastoral holding closest to the City of Adelaide. The old pioneer also had a property at Mount Bold, on the Onkaparinga. After an industrious and a well-spent life, this early squatter passed away and was buried in the cemetery of St. Matthew's, Kensington, situated not far from his Tusmore homestead. Following her husband's death. Mrs. Rogers, in conjunction with the trustees of the estate, her eldest son, Thomas William, and the third son. Samuel, extended their pastoral operations to Yorke Peninsula. Mrs. Rogers, possessed of considerable business capacity, was among the few women pastoralists of the brave pioneering days.

Corny Point to Clinton.

The pastoral leases obtained by the Rogers family form an interesting study. The mother and sons held Corny Point Station in 1851, and three years later, in addition to that property, they occupied Carrabie, Warrenben, Para Wurlie and White Hut; Mrs. Rogers also took up the lease of Weetulta in 1851. On July 1, 1851, the trustees of the late William Rogers leased from the Crown 32 square miles of Yorke Valley and 62 square miles of country near Corny Point, and later 8 square miles near Whitwarta (comprising part of the Hundred of Stow), 31 square miles adjoining Yarroo Station (comprising parts of the Hundreds of Kulpara and Clinton), another 44 square miles of the beautiful well wooded Vorke Valley lands, and 36 square miles north of Cape Spencer in the Hundred of Carribie. On July 1, 1859, Mrs. Ann Ropers obtained the lease of 52 square miles of Oyster Bay country on the Peninsula's eastern coast. Thirteen years previously this lease had been acquired by Alfred Weaver at 10/- a mile, and it was capable of grazing 7,000 sheep. Mr. Weaver built a splendid homestead on the run and resided there with his family for many years. His pioneering days on Yorke Peninsula were associated with great struggles, the aborigines were hostile and very troublesome, and scab in the sheep was responsible for heavy losses among his flocks. The Rogers family had their pioneering difficulties, too, but by the time Mr. Weaver parted with his lease the country was well stocked and the earlier vicissitudes had passed. The new lessee transferred her interests to the trustees of her late husband's estate, and Richard Livett Landers and Richard Stephens. The widow at the same time acquired the lease of another 47 square miles which had been held previously by William Charles Stamp. The country included in these two leases extended from Oyster Bay to Hardwicke Bay right across the Peninsula, and comprised parts of the Hundreds of Dalrvmple, Ramsay and Moorowie. She had previously taken up 15 square miles of Yorke Valley and 42 square miles further south in the neighborhood of Corny Point. Thomas William Rogers, Lander and Stephens, also held 18 square miles in the Corny Point district, and 18 square miles of Vorke Valley. Thomas William and Samuel Rogers had extensive tracts of country in separate leases. The elder brother leased from January 1861, 20 square miles north in the vicinity of Cape Spencer and 11 square miles further north towards Corny Point. Six years later he acquired 27 square miles west of Sturt Bay, 17 square miles east of Point Pearce, and later still added to his holdings at Sturt Bay in the Hundreds of Coonarie by leasing 18 further square miles of country, and acquiring 10 square miles at Mount Rat. At this period Samuel Rogers owned leases of the following:—28 square miles south of Tiparra, 34 square miles of Vorke Valley, 5 square miles near Port Victoria, 12 square miles east of Point Pearce, 18 square miles north of Cape Spencer and 9 square miles north east of that promontory. All these leases were held at 10/- a mile, with a minimum of £5 with assessment on stock at 5d. per head for sheep, 6d. per head for great cattle, and 2/6 per head for horses. The flocks were increased from 3,750 to 11,000 sheep. The stations were stocked with cattle and sheep but the carrying capacity of the land at the lime was reduced owing to the depredations of kangaroos, which gave the pastoralists great trouble. Lake Sunday Station was taken up by T. W. Rogers, Lander and Stephens in 1854.

1,000 Acres in Wheat Annually.

Thomas William Rogers, who married Mary Jane, daughter of Mr. Egan, keeper of the Adelaide Gaol, established his home at Para Wurlie, near Warooka, where he resided until 1887, when he disposed of his property and came to reside in Adelaide. Samuel Rogers, whose wife was a daughter of Robert Gardiner, Senior Surveyor and Draftsman of the Survey Department, established his homestead at Ynoo (now owned by Mr. Jos. Honner), about two miles south of the present town of Maitland, the site of which in the early days formed part of his station property. He sold out in 1888 and spent the remaining years of his life at "Woodlands." Edwardstown, formerly the home of Eustace Reverley Mitford, better known under tlie pen name of "Pasquin," a witty and satirical writer, who died in 1869, at the age of 58. The late Alfred Weaver lived next door, and thus the two old Peninsula pioneers could often exchange reminiscences. Samuel Roeers owned Urania, and a great tract of the Yorke Valley country now quickly traversed by motor car, between Maitland and Minlaton. He used to put in 1.000 acres in wheat annually that was long before the use of fertilisers, the application ot which has greatly enriched these land and made them among the finest wheat producing areas in the State. The prosperous town of Maitland, one time the scene of his pastoral activities, has a number of features to commemorate Samuel Rogers and the members of his family, and the plan of the town affords proof of this in the naming of all the thoroughfares within the four terraces which mark the building boundaries of the municipality There are such names as Rogers Terrace, Samuel Street, named after this old squatter; Elizabeth Street, after C. Elizabeth Rogers: Alice Street, after Alice Gardiner, sister of Mrs Samuel Rogers; Gardiner Terrace; Caroline Street after Caroline Rogers; Robert Street, after Robert Rogers; and Walter Street, after Walter Rogers.

Family History.

Between 1860 and 1870 Samuel Rogers had associated with him in his pastoral pursuits his two sisters, Caroline Elizabeth and Selma Rogers, and it was only when the sisters decided to visit England in 1870, that the partnership was dissolved. The Rogers family have always been keenly in terested in St. Matthews Church, Kensington, and took an active part in the original building. In the old cemetery adjoining the church are buried the following members of the family: William and Ann Rogers, Caroline Elizabeth and Selma Rogers, daughters, and Eva Blanche Rogers, granddaughter.

Walter Rogers, the youngest son of William and Ann Rogers, confined his pastoral operations to the southeastern part of the Province. In the early sixties he had two stations— Fairview and Ardune, comprising 34 square miles cast of Lacepede Bay in the Hundreds of Woolumbool, Marcollat, and Lochaber. He died in 1871, at the age of 33, and shortly afterwards the properties were disposed of. Walter Rogers married a daughter of John Thomas Young, tobacco manufacturer, of Adelaide. Their eldest son is Mr. Walter E. Rogers, the present Auditor General, and a surviving daughter is Miss B. A. Rogers, who resides at Winulta, Yorke Peninsula.

Besides Mr. Walter E. Rogers and his sister above mentioned, there are three surviving grand children of William and Ann Rogers, namely: Mr. Thomas W. J. Rogers, surveyor, in Queensland; and their sister, Mrs. C. E. Dasborough; the three being children of Thomas William Rogers. The surviving daughter of Samuel Rogers resides with her uncle, Mr. C. L. Gardiner, of the Semaphore. Mr. John B. Deberg Rogers, a surveyor employed by the Western Australian Government, a grand son of William and Ann Rogers, died recently in Western Australia.

The map of Yorke Peninsula shows a number of places bearing names of the Rogers family, including Point Annie and Point Deberg south of Corny Point, Bob's Well was named in honor of Robert Rogers, son of William and Ann Rogers, who went to the Victorian gold fields. ( Although at times we have previously referred to the place names mentioned in this article, we have repeated them so as not to interfere with the complete sketch of the family history.—Ed.]

Some Interesting Pictures of the Rogers Family

Fri 25 Nov 1932


Thu 22 Mar 1951

Once upon a time a family named Rogers came to Yorke Peninsula, and left some names behind them.

They arrived in South Australia in 1839—William and Ann Rogers and their four sons and two daughters. They settled in the Adelaide foothills, where William Rogers used his pastoral knowledge well. He called his property "Tusmore" after his English home, and as early as 1840 ran 800 sheep, 50 cattle and a number of horses there.

After her husband's death, Mrs. Rogers and two of her sons took up pastoral leases on Yorke Peninsula. In fact, they took up so many leases that at one time they owned land from Corny Point to Clinton, and from Oyster Bay (Stansbury) to Hardwicke Bay. Not all the country included within those boundaries of course, but a good deal of it.

Their fifty-two square miles of Oyster Bay country had previously been leased by Alfred Weaver, at 10 - per mile, and it was capable of grazing 7,000 sheep. (it would be interesting to know just how many sheep graze on that same stretch of country now, besides the crops grown there.)

When Mr. Weaver lived in that country, he had a lot of trouble with the aborigines, who were very hostile, and lost a lot of his sheep through scab. but he built a good homestead on the run. and lived there with his family for about seven vears. His name is commemorated by Weavers Lake and Weavers district. The country acquired by Mrs. Ropers, which stretched from Weavers to Hardwicke Bay had previously been held by William Charles Stamp.

All these leases were held at 10 - per mile. Sheep were assessed at one penny per head, great cattle sixpence per head, and horses two shillings and sixpence.

I wonder what those early settlers would think of the values; of today, when horse power means the strength of an engine, horses are sold for two shillings and sixpence and sheep for six pounds. With the acquisition of more land, the Rogers flocks increased from 3,750 to 11,000 sheep. A very goodly number for those early days. The kangaroo gave the pastoralists great trouble, and greatly reduced the carrying capacity of the land. Some pastoralists are still troubled by them, but they are gradually being cleaned out. It is a pity that something is not being done to preserve their species, and that of other native fauna on Yorke Peninsula.

Thomas William Rogers, eldest son of William and Ann, married Mary Jane Egan, whose father was keeper of the Adelaide Gaol. They established their home at Para Wurlie, near Warooka. In 1887, he sold his property and went to Adelaide to live.

Samuel Rogers, third son of William and Ann, married a daughter of Robert Gardiner, who was senior surveyor and draughtsman of the Survey Department, and they made their home at Ynoo, about two miles south of Maitland. The land on which the town of Maitland now stands was once part of Samuel Rogers' grazing property.

Samuel Rogers owned Urania, and a large slice of the Yorke Valley. He used to sow 1,000 acres of wheat there each year. It was the Samuel Rogers family who gave so many names to Maitland. There is Rogers' Terrace; Samuel, Elizabeth and Alice Streets (after Alice Gardiner, Sister of Mrs. S. Rogers). Gardiner Terrace, Caroline, Walter and Robert Streets after members of the Rogers family.

Point Annie and Point Deberg —south of Corny Point — and Cob's Well also drew their names from this family. Point Annie was named after a niece of Mrs. T. W. Rogers, and Egan's Well perpetuates her father's name. The Dairy, in the Hundred of Carribie, was said to be named so because the Rogers family made butter and cheese there, which they sold to the miners at Wallaroo.

In 1888, Samuel Rogers disposed of his property and went to the City to live. Mr. Alfred Weaver lived next door to him at Edwards town. Alfred Weaver was one of the earliest of Peninsula pastoralists, and one of, if not the first. Peninsula resident to forsake the country for the City. He lived to be 89 years of age, and was buried at St. Mary's, South Road, Edwardstown. [Edna Davies : Copyright]


Charles Parrington, one of Colonel Light's men, was sent by his employer, Alfred Weaver, of South Road, near Adelaide, to inspect the country on Southern Yorke Peninsula.

Sat 30 Dec 1882

Our obituary notices a few days ago contained the announcement of the death of Mr. Charles Parrington, of Coobowie, southern Yorke's Peninsula, at the ripe age of 70 years. Mr. Parrington was an old colonist, having arrived in the ship Cygnet in 1836, a little over 46 years ago. For many years he resided on Yorke's Peninsula, and is said to have been the first white man to visit and explore that portion of the colony. After a lot of knocking about, during which he passed through many adventures and vicissitudes, he engaged himself as a shepherd on the Penton Vale station, under Messrs. Anstey and Giles, and followed that employment until advancing years and increasing infirmities compelled him to give it up. He subsequently removed to Coobowie, and, providing himself with a small boat, took to fishing, confining his operations mostly to the comparatively shallow waters of MacDonnell Sound. On one occasion something went wrong with the steering gear of his boat and he was carried out into the gulf, and when drifting out to sea was picked up by the steamer Emu after tossing about and having had nothing to eat for nearly three days. On the 19th inst he was in his boat attending to his nets, and was seen by his wife, who was standing at the door of her house, to suddenly fall down. On the alarm being given several persons went to him and found him dead. An inquest was held by Mr. E. Gower, S.M., and a verdict was returned that heart disease was the cause of death. His remains were interred in the Edithburgh Cemetery, the service being conducted by the Rev. M. M. Whitton, Anglican minister, and a large number of persons were present at the grave. Deceased has left several children, all of whom are able to take care of themselves and some are married. The manager of Penton Vale, Mr. L. Giles, has kindly given the widow house accommodation on the head station near Yorketown.

Wed 27 Dec 1882

PARRINGTON. —On the 10th December, at Coobowie, Southern Yorke's Peninsula, of heart disease, Charles Parrington, aged 70 years. He was the first white man that put foot on Yorke's Peninsula, and an old colonist, having arrived in the ship Cygnet in the year 1836.


Sat 15 Nov 1902

Yorketown. November 10.

Mrs. Parrington, of Edithburgh, an old colonist, died on November 4 at the age of 82, after an illness of about 10 months. - Mrs. Parrington, who arrived in the ship Eden in 1838, was the first white woman to settle on the southern Peninsula. She came here about 50 years ago, and had, resided here ever since. Eleven months elapsed after her arrival before she saw another white woman. For the first few years she lived at Weaver's Bald Hills and had been on the Peninsula the whole time with the exception of a few years spent in the south-east. She had a family of nine children, three of whom survive — Mrs. Giles Broken Hilll, Mr. John Parrington (Victoria), and Mr. Charles Parrington who resides at Edithburgh. The funeral took place on Wednesday.

PARRINGTON. —On the 4th November, at her son's residence, Edithburg, Y.P., Mary, relict of the late Charles Parrington, aged 86 years and 5 months. Arrived in the colony in the Eden,1838.

Mrs. Mary Parrington, who died recently on Yorke's Peninsula, was in her eighty sixth year, and came to South Australia in the ship Eden, commanded by Capt. Cook, in June, 1838. She was married at Trinity Church by the Rev. C. B. Howard in October, 1838. In 1846 she went to Yorke's Peninsula, where she resided, with the exception of six months in 1850, up to the time of her death. Her husband, Mr. Charles Parrington, came to South Australia in the ship Cygnet in 1836, and died at Edithburg in December, 1882. A daughter is Mrs. Eliza Giles, of Broken Hill, and the surviving sons are Mr. C. Parrington, Edithburg; and Mr. J. Parrington, Chatsworth, Victoria.

Real Life Stories Of South Australia

Thu 9 Feb 1933


Mrs. Parrington And The 'Buck'

Perhaps the part played by the women in pioneer days was greater even than that of their menfolk. The story below illustrates the dangers by which they were faced— and how they met them. Mrs. Parrington was the worthy wife of the first white man on Yorke Peninsula.

Mrs. Parrington and the Black.—

The account of the late Mr. Charles Parrington in 'The Chronicle' article on Minlaton (formerly Gum Plat) was exceedingly interesting to one who happened to be born on the Peninsula 60 years ago. Mr. Parrington no doubt was a fine type of Englishman, and his wonderful wife, of whom you make no mention, was equally plucky. She was not in the least frightened of 'them natives,' as she used to say, and on one occasion, at least, she showed up to some advantage. Parrington had received word to meet a flock of sheep which were en route to the station. This meant he would have to be away from home for three or four days. Usually on such occasions he took Mrs. Parrington with him. But on this particular trip she did not want to go, and, woman-like, got her own way. All she wanted, she said, was the gun left fully loaded in both barrels, and she would deal with them natives if needs be. Parrington duly loaded the gun the night before he left but, during the evening he decided that he did not want the natives blown to Kingdom Come. He got up and withdrew the shot, replacing it with a wad of paper. Parrington had not long gone in the morning when the whole camp, about 24, turned up. They stood in a half circle around the back door awaiting their daily allowance of meat, tea, tobacco, sugar, flour, &c. Mrs. Parrington handed these things out, and told them to be off. But they were aware that she was by herself, and they straight away demanded another serve. In reply Mrs. Parrington produced the gun. One big buck, thinking to bluff her, stood up grinning at her, and, pointing to his stomach, invited her to fire. There happened to be a water butt, which was at the back door of every house in those days, over which she leveled the gun. She pulled the trigger, and the concussion and paper wad striking the native fair in the stomach, lifted him off his feet, and landed him half a chain away on the broad of his back,—dead to all appearances or purposes. The rest of the mob went for dear life, and she let go the other barrel at them, glad to help them on their way. They did not stop for 16 miles. Some time later, when Mrs. Parrington was considering just what she would do with what she thought was a dead native, she saw some slight move. He appeared to be getting his breath and soon rolled, over. First he got on his knees and then suddenly up and off on the track of his tribe. Some time towards afternoon he got within sight of them, but when they saw him, knowing that he had been shot, they thought it must be his 'ghost,' and away they went again for another ten miles with the 'ghost' in pursuit. They never returned to worry Mrs. Parrington. If anyone should think there are any flies on this story, Just let them get someone to pull a trigger on them with powder and paper. When they wake up they will certainly have altered their mind.— D. N. Martin,

Charles Parrinton And Charles Parrington

Series Of Coincidences

Thu 22 Sep 1932

In the early days of Yorke Peninsula two men lived there who bore practically the same name. One wasCharles Parrington, the pioneer ofYorke Peninsula, and the other was Charles Parrinton. They were not related. Both were practically the sameage; both lived in the vicinity of Minlaton; both were more or less associated with Gum Plat Station, and bothare buried on the peninsula. Astranger chain of coincidence couldscarcely be imagined, not even in fiction, to say nothing of real life. This curious combination of circumstances has been brought to light through the article on Minlaton in last week's 'Chronicle.' A photograph was published of the grave of Charles Parrinton, under the belief that it was the resting place of Charles Parrington. This attracted the attention of the Parrington family. Mr. Charles Parrington, of Mount Barker, writes:—

'The Mr. Parrinton mentioned had nothing whatever to do with the early days. My late father, Charles Parrington, went to Yorke Peninsula to look for a sheep run for the late Mr. Weaver. On his return from Yorke Peninsula, he met Mr. Thomas Giles, who was going to the peninsular to look for a sheep run for Mr. Anstey. On Mr. Parrington's advice, Mr. Giles returned to Adelaide and took up Gum Flat run. I do not know the date my father took Mr. Weaver to the peninsula, He was in partnership with Mr. Weaver for several years. My father was working for Anstey and Giles for a number of years. He died at Coobowie, and is buried in Edithburgh Cemetery.


Pastoral Pioneers of South Australia, vol 2, Page 62


Mon 20 Feb 1899

We regret to announce the death, which took place late last night, of Mr. Thomas Giles, who in 1837 arrived in South Australia with his father, the late Mr. William Giles, who succeeded Mr. Maelaren as Manager of the South Australian Company. For many years Mr. Giles was engaged in pastoral pursuits, being associated with the late Mr. Anstey. He never offered himself for any public position, but in an unostentatious way he rendered good service to the colony. For a long time he was Justice of the Peace, and frequently sat upon the Bench of the City Police Court. lie was also an active member of the Adelaide Licensing Bench, and only retired from that position a few davs ago. Mr. Giles married a daughter of the late Captain O'Halloran. and there are four sons—Dr. W. Anstev Giles and Mr. T. O'Halloran Giles, of Adelaide, and Mr. Eustace Giles and Dr. Henry-Giles, of Victoria. The late Mr. Giles, like his father, was an adherent of the Congregational body. He was held in the highest esteem, and his amiable disposition, urbane manner, strict integrity, and kind-heartiedness c-ndeared him to a very large circle of friends. The following students having gained the required number of marks at the recent examination for the diploma of the Agricultural College, the Minister of Agriculture has, on the recommendation of the Council for tiie College, awarded each a diploma:— F. L. Faulkner, A. W. Nicholas, C. J. Landseer. W. B. Ralph, and W. B. Read. Eight competitors for scholarships oresented themselves for examination at the College on February 13 to 15. Four of the candidates succeeded in reaching the required standard, and have each been awarded by tiie Minister, on the recommendation of tiie Council, a scholarship of the annual value of £30, tenable for three years at the College. The following are the names of the successful competitors:—A. E. V. Richardson, district No. 1 (Agricultural School I: E. Emerv, district No. '2 (Agricultural School); P. C. W. Eckersley, district No. 3 (Milang Public School); and E. G. Hubble, district No. 4 (Agricultural School t. Two other candidates from district No. 1—H. W. England (Agricultural School) and Charles Vaudrev (S.A. School of Mines)—obtained sufficient marks to qualify for a scholarship, but higher marks were "gained bv tiie competitor from the same district to whom the scholarship lias L-cen awarded. Our Beachport correspondent wrote on February 15:—"Mr. R. P. Boucaut, brother of Sir James Penn Boucaut. met with an accident about ten miles from here yesterday. Mr. Boucaut, who is Inspector of Credit Selections, was driving along the Robe-road. The horses were frightened by something, and started into a gallop. A bov was driving. The wheel of the buggystruck something, and Mr. Boucaut was thrown out. The boy pulled the horses up nfter going about a mile. He drove back, but was unable to get Mr. Boucaut into the trap so be at once set out to get assistance, and met Messrs. E. and A. Gardiner. They at once proceeded to the spot and picked un the unfortunate gentleman, who was accommodated for the night in a tent. He was broucht into Beachport to-day, and proceeded to Mount Gambier b.v train His side and hip are badlv bruised and the skin is knocked off his face in several places. Though much hurt Mr. Boucaut was able to walk to the train with the assistance of two local trentleman.


Sat 25 Feb 1899

We regret to announce the death, which took place late last night, of Mr. Thomas Giles, who in 1837 arrived in South Aus-tralia with his father, the late Mr. William Giles, who succeeded Mr. Maclaren as Manager of the South Australian Company. For many years Mr. Giles was engaged in pastoral pursuits, being associated with the late Mr. Anstey. He never offered himself for any public position. but in an unostentatious way he rendered good service to the colony. For a long time he was a Justice of the Peace, and frequently sat upon the Bench of the City Police Court. He was also an active member of the Adelaide Licensing Bench, and only retired from that position a few days ago. Mr. Giles married a daughter of the late Captain O'Halloran, and there are four sons—Dr. W. Anstey Giles and Mr. T. O'Halloran Giles, of Adelaide, and Mr. Eustace Giles and Dr. Henry Giles, of Victoria. The late Mr. Giles, like his father, was an adherent of the Congre-gational body. He was held in the highest esteem, and his amiable disposition, urbane manner, strict integrity, and kind-heartedness endeared him to a very large circle of friends.

The funeral of the late Mr. Thomas Giles took place at the Clayton Church Cemetery, Kensington, on Monday afternoon. That the deceased gentleman was held in the highest esteem was indicated by the large crowd of friends that assembled around the grave. The burial service was conducted by the Rev. H. G. Nicholls. The late Mr. Giles will be especially remembered in con-nection with a series of well-written and exceedingly interesting articles on "Old-time Memories" which were published in "The Register" a few years ago, while among sheepowncrs the fact that he was one of the earliest importers of Merino rams will not be forgotten. He and Mr. Anstey appeared to take a delight in sheep-breeding, and they kept a number of sheep on the Gilbert and also on Yorke's Peninsula. Mr. Giles was one of the first to go from South Australia in the early days to Tasmania for the purpose of purchasing ewes, and an idea of his pluck and determination to secure only the best breed may be gathered from the fact that his flock cost him 30s. a head to land them in the colony. He was, perhaps, the pioneer sheepfarmer in the Lake Albert District, and at one time was interested in Mount Crawford, now the property of Mr. Murray. It was only on one occasion that Mr. Giles offered himself for a public position, and that was when he contested the District of Barossa against Mr. Grundy, one of the earliest of the Political Association's candi-dates, and Mr. Duffield. On that occasion he was unsuccessful, and although he never again sought to avenge that defeat he did an immense amount of good for the colony in other ways. In the assemblage that gathered around the grave were Drs. W. Anstey Giles and Henry Giles and Messrs. T. O'Halloran Giles and Eustace Giles (sons), Messrs. Hubert Giles, Louis Giles, and E. W. O'Halloran, Sir Richard Baker, Hon. S. Tomkinson, M.L.C., Hon. J. L.Stirling, M.L.C., Messrs. Joseph Fisher, W. H. Duncan, M.P., T. Barr Smith, B. Barr Smith, A. Rutter Clarke, B. H. Pascoe, F. Wright, G. V. Wright, J. and W. Moor-house, G. Dean, F. L. Stow, P. E. R. Whitby, L. H. Lloyd, E. C. Gwynne, R. Saunders, W. Richman, W. Reynell, H. Y. Sparks, James Smith, A. F. Weaver, P. Waite, C. B. Hardy, H. F. and G. F. Cleland, J. B. Gunson, W. S. Douglas, W. R. Boothby, F. H. Schlork, Charlick, C. H. Marryat, J. Smith, W. L. Beare, W. Hitch-cox, J. H. Phillips, J. L. Simpson, W. Belt, E. H. Irwin, S. Davie, and H. Hodgson, Commodore Yonge, R.N., Major Tomkinson, and Drs. Swift, Poulton, Cawley, Stirling, and Phillips. Messrs. Pengelley and Knabe had charge of the funeral arrangements.


Sat 6 Apr 1878

The first case under clauses 42,43, and those following of the new Land Act, which provide for the examination upon oath by the Commissioner of Grown Lands of persons suspected of being dummy selectors, was heard before the Hon. T. Playford at bis office on Monday. The object of the enquiry was to satisfy the Commissioner whether or not a man named Thomas Doran, who had taken up a very valuable section of land in the Hundred of Melville, Lower Yorke's Peninsula, was acting as a dummy for Anstey and Giles, sheepfarmers in that neighbourhood. The block taken np by Doran is close to t heir home station and is said to be excellent land. By permission of the Commissioner Mr. A. G. Downer watched the case for Doran, who stated in answer to Mr. Playford that he had previously taken up two sections of land in the same district, numbered 2T8 and 279, and had completed the purchase of them. He then, as soon as they became his, sold them to Messrs. Anstey & Giles. Mr. Thomas Giles gave hira the money to take up Section 299, the subject of the present enquiry, in March, 1870. The land had not since been cultivated, and Messrs. Anstey & Giles's sheep had from that date till the present time been rnnning on it. Mr. Giles took the land up for him, and promised to advance the money necessary to pay for it when due. Intended to sell it to Mr. Giles when the purchase was completed. In reply to Mr. Downer Doran said that Mr. Giles had given him £50 more for the two sections than they cost. When he had completed the purchase of the section he then held he would cell it to whoever would give him most for it. He had made no promise to sell to Mr. Giles. On consideration of the circumstances the Commissioner considered the act of dummyism proved against Doran, and ordered the forfeiture of the selection and the confiscation of the deposit-money paid thereon. The reason why the matter has been hanging over so long is that the money necessary to complete the purchase was not paid into the Treasury, as it should have been, in March, 1875. Afterwards the then Commissioner was informed that Doran was dummying the land, and so the final settlement was deferred until the new Act came into operation and the matter could be dealt with under its clauses. It is well known that a very large amonnt of dummying has been done in Southern Yorke's Peninsula, and it is well that a check has at length been put to it.



Fri 29 Jul 1887

Sir—As several old colonists have told me that the extracts I have sent you of Mr. Anstey's letters were interesting to them, and as they may be so to other of your readers, I send you the following. I may say, in the first place, that for two or three years after the colony was founded all live stock, horses, cattle, and sheep were brought from Tasmania, then known as Van- Diemen's Land. Great loss was sustained by too many being crammed on board ship and by long passages. The consequence was that they were very high in price, and if it had not been found practicable to bring stock overland from Sydney it would have taken many long years to have stocked the country. The arrival of the first overlanders created a great stir in Adelaide, and as others followed sheep and cattle were soon to be bought at reasonable prices. This was of immense benefit, for in the early days beef and mutton were 1s. per lb. In less than seven years sheep were being boiled down for their tallow and legs of mutton selling at 6d. each. Mr. Anstey writes as follows: — 'Never can I forget the impression made on my mind by the arrival in Adelaide of Messrs. Joseph Hawdon and Charles Bonney successfully conducting from New South Walea the first overland herd of cattle and horses from the Sydney side. Their arrival was quite unexpected by us. In those early days of the colony there were no intercolonial posts, save at long intervals, and it was the natural desire of the first overland parties organized for Adelaide to keep their journeys with their herds of cattle and flocks of sheep as secret as possible from the public. The news of their arrival spread like wildfire. I saw Charles Bonney on the first day of his reaching Adelaide. He was eating his dinner with other boarders at Sladden's reed hut on the Park Lands, the A1 board and lodging establishment of the 'period'. Bonney sat with his back to me as I entered the doorway of the reed hut. Beards up to that time were unknown in South Australia, and I remember well the impression on my mind made by Bonney's full-grown beard, whilst at his meal by his action recalling Shakspeare's ditty, ' Tis merry in hall when beards wag all,' although I had not seen his face. Overland beards were common enough in Adelaide, and from being the exception became the rule in our society of squatters before 1839 had run its course. Within four weeks of that day he accompanied me to look out for a sheep station on the Little Para for my one flock of ewes then depasturing on the Fifth Creek at the foot of the hills. Mr. Eyre was the next overlander conducting cattle from the eastern colony to follow Hawdon and Bonney. My dear old friend of thirty years, Captain Charles Sturt, commanded the third overland party with stock from New South Wales to Adelaide. It was a labour of love for the intrepid Sturt to revisit the scenes of his early triumphs by the same route as when he committed his boats to the current of the utterly unknown and mysterious waters of the Murrumbidgee, which brought him safely to the Lake and seamouth near Encounter Bay— a romantic page in the long history of Australian exploration. Both Eyre and Sturt were men of rare mark as the most courageous of explorers, the hardiest, most original minded of men in the pursuit of their darling objects of noble ambition. In mind and personal manner they were widely different the one from the other, but they were both impelled by the same strong impulse, viz., an all - absorbing sense of duty. I had no very extended personal knowledge of Eyre, but I loved and honoured dear Sturt to his death. I have the liveliest recollection of the overland ball mentioned by Captain Tolmer. I see George Hamilton before me as he then was fortyseven years ago in the bloom of youth and manhood's prime with his fair lady partner dancing in the first quadrille of the evening. I can recall Captain Fergy almost as vividly in his hussar uniform imitating with tolerable success the rolling swagger of the heavy dragoon, almost living in the saddle, seldom dismounted. I call to mind old Mr. Wilson (father of 'Naturae Amator') parading his dear old lady round the ballroom between the dances, a sight to see and remember. I can support Tolmer's assertion as to the part of the supper, for being violently hungry, as every one was in those days, I enjoyed much the fatty kernel of the root of a tasty tongue.' I may remark that Mr. Bonney, the gentleman Mr. Anstey mentions, was for many years in the Government service, and at one time Commissioner of Crown Lands. He has now retired on a pension, and is living in New South Wales. Mr. Eyre was the first to travel overland to Western Australia, and after suffering great hardship from want of water reached King George's Sound. He was Protector of the Aborigines and stationed at Moorundee, and succeeded in gaining great influence over the natives. There was very little trouble with them afterwards. He was appointed Governor of Jamaica some years ago, but was not equally successful in managing the coloured population there, and had to resign his post and return to England. Captain Sturt was Surveyor General here for a time and afterwards Colonial Secretary. He held that post for some years, and on returning to his native land was knighted. He died some time ago. . I am, Sir, &c, THOMAS GILES.