professional historians australia (south australia)
Home > On this day > January > 28 January 1875 Sir James Hurtle Fisher

28 January 1875 Sir James Hurtle Fisher

 28 January 1875   Sir James Hurtle Fisher

Sir James Hurtle Fisher died on 28 January 1875.

In 1836 he was appointed Resident Commissioner of South Australia under the South Australian Act. He was second only to the Governor in the hierarchy of the new colony, although their spheres of influence were separate. He had the power to dispose of public lands, the proceeds of which were to finance emigration to the colony.

Fisher arrived on the Buffalo with the Governor, John Hindmarsh, in December 1836. Even on the voyage out the two men were in dispute over their respective powers and the disagreements continued on arrival in the colony. They argued over the site of the city and the slowness of the survey of lands. This dissension went on until Hindmarsh returned to England in July 1838. With the arrival of Governor Gawler later that year, Fisher ceased to act as Resident Commissioner and returned to his profession of law, becoming leader of the South Australian Bar.

In October 1840 he was elected the first mayor of Adelaide, a position he held again from 1852-54. He was a Member of the Legislative Council in 1853, speaker in 1855-56 and president from 1857-1865 when he retired from politics. In 1860 he was knighted, the first resident South Australian to receive the honour. He was associated with many public institutions: amongst others he was president of the SA Jockey Club and one of the founders of St Peter's College.

Douglas Pike (ed), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, pp. 379-380

Tags: Fisher (Sir) James Hurtle