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7 November 1892 Sir John Morphett

7 November 1892      Sir John Morphett

Sir John Morphett who died on 7 November 1892 was one of South Australia’s earliest settlers. He had met Colonel Light while living in Egypt and on his return to London was one of the supporters of the colonisation scheme. He came to SA in the Cygnet which reached Kangaroo Island in September 1836. In the early years of the colony he made many excursions into the hinterland and bought properties for himself and many people in England for whom he was agent. He took up sheep farming at various places and because of his explorations was able to obtain some of the best country. In 1837 he owned one of the only two horses in the colony and in later years continued his interest in horses and racing. He was appointed a Member of the Legislative Council in 1843 and continued in politics until he retired in 1873 when he was President of the Council. He also served on many committees including the Botanic Gardens and the Agricultural Society of SA, was a director of the SA Railway Company and in 1840 became Treasurer of the City Corporation. He built his house, ‘Cummins’, at what is now Morphettville and the property remained in the Morphett family until 1977 when it was bought by the State Government to be used as a museum.

Rodney Cockburn, Pastoral Pioneers of South Australia, Lynton Publications, 1974.

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