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14 May 1856 George Milner Stephen

 14 May 1856   George Milner Stephen

One of the passengers aboard the Isabella Watson, which arrived in Port Adelaide on 14 May 1846, was George Milner Stephen. Stephen first came to South Australia in February 1838 when he travelled from Tasmania to take up the position of Advocate General and Crown Solicitor, at the young age of 25 years. When Governor Hindmarsh returned to England Stephen served as Acting Governor until Gawler arrived in October when he was appointed Colonial Secretary. A messy court case over land dealings which, although he was acquitted of wrongdoing, tarnished his character and credibility, saw him resign from public office. He stayed on in Adelaide and on 7 July 1840 married Mary Hindmarsh. They returned to England. In 1845, in London, he was called to the Bar. On his return to Adelaide in 1846 he was admitted to practise in the Supreme Court. Although recommended for the position of Advocate General again he was not offered a government appointment.

Stephen left South Australia for Victoria in 1852 after apparently falsely claiming a gold strike in the Adelaide hills. From then on he had a checkered career in England and Australia in mining, law, politics, and later as a faith healer. He died in Melbourne on 16 January 1894.

Douglas Pike (ed), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, pp 472-474.

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