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4 March 1876 Sir Richard Hanson

 4 March 1876   Sir Richard Hanson

Sir Richard Hanson died on 4 March 1876 and was given a State funeral in recognition of his service to South Australia.

Hanson had worked in Canada and New Zealand before arriving in South Australia in 1846. A capable lawyer, he helped to draw up the constitution and other important measures, and became the colony's first premier, serving from 1857, the year South Australia gained responsible government, to 1860. However, his term of office was not without problems. On 27 May 1859 the government faced a motion of no confidence over its conduct of the Babbage exploration expedition. The government had financed the expedition which was to examine and survey the country between Lake Torrens and Lake Gairdner. Not happy with the way Babbage was conducting the exploration, the government sent Captain Warburton to take over. Reports about the unsatisfactory nature of the expedition led to questions in parliament. As a result the Hanson Ministry resigned, but after a week of negotiations, which failed to produce a new Ministry, Hanson was asked to return. 

In 1861 he was appointed Chief Justice. Knighted in 1869, he acted as Governor from November 1872 to April 1873. He was the first Chancellor of the University of Adelaide, but died before he could give the inaugural address.

Douglas Pike (ed), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4,
pp. 336-340.

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