THE LATE MR. NEVILLE BLYTH.
A cablegram from England conveys the sad news of the death of Mr. Neville Blyth, one of South Australia's early and honoured colonists, and a younger brother of her Agent
General. After a residence in the colony of nearly forty years, Mr. Blyth was compelled through continued ill-health to return to England. He there lived in retirement for about eleven years, having a predisposition to fatty degeneration of the heart. A few weeks ago be was in apparently good health, but during the last few days serious change set in, and he expired on Saturday, February 15. Mr. Neville Blyth was born in a suburb of Birmingham in March, 1825. He was edu- cated in the King Edward's Grammar School of that town under the late Rev. Dr. Lee, afterwards first Bishop of Manchester, and in 1839, when fourteen years of age, he came out to South Australia with his parents in the ship Ariadne, and settled in Adelaide, where his father was appointed a Justice of the Peace for the province, and was elected a Councillor of the City Corporation in 1840, and afterwards one of the City Commis- sioners. Early in the forties Neville joined his brother Arthur in the business of an ironmonger in Hindley-street, and the two were actively engaged in trade pur- suits up to 1865. At his father's death Mr. Neville Blyth was sole executor of his estate. and it is noteworthy, as indicating the lofty purposes that actuated his life, that he arranged with his brothers that some former creditors of his father's in an insol- vency that befell him in England should be fully recouped their losses. He was elected a member of the House of Assembly for East Torrens at the general election in March, 1860, as colleague of the late Hon. H. Mildred, and he continued to represent that district during three Parliaments until July, 1867, when he resigned, and was succeeded by Mr. Daniel Fisher. In April, 1868, he was elected to the fifth Parliament as member of the Assembly for the District of Encounter Bay, with the late Mr. W. Everard as his colleague. During that year the first step was taken, under the Government of the Hon. H. B. T. Strang- ways, in what is generally known as land reform, and in the debates on
tbe subject Mr. Blyth took a part. He held a portfolio from September 24 to October 13, 1868, as Treasurer in the Govern- ment formed by the late Captain J. Hart during tbe crisis that preceded the formation of Mr. Strangways' Government. Having represented Encounter Bay until the end of the fifth Parliament he was chosen by the District of Victoria to succeed Mr. W. Palt- ridge, who resigned, as the colleague of Mr. Park Laurie. At the dissolu- tion of Parliament in 1871 Mr. Blyth failed to get returned by the District of Encounter Bay, and decided to leave the arena of active politics for a time. During 1873 4 5 he visited England and the Continent of Europe. In March, 1877, he was elected member for North Adelaide to fill the vacancy caused by the acceptance of the office of Agent General by his brother, now Sir Arthur Blyth. In the last Boucaut Ministry, which held office from Ootober 26. 1877, till September 27, 1878, Mr. Blyth held office as Minister of Education, and had as his colleagues the Hon. J. P. Boucaut, the late Sir W. Morgan, the late Hon. Charles Mann, and the Hons. G. C. Hawker and T. Playford. Strange to Bay, all the members of the Hart Ministry with which he was identified in 1868— Messrs. J. Hart, J. T. Bagot, W. Townsend, W. Everard, and N. Blyth— are now dead.
The late gentleman was in a very real sense a worthy colonist. As a politician his conduct was always upright and open. He was a good speaker and an original thinker, and he was ever intensely earnest in giving expression to his views. A communicant of the Anglican Church, he was what may be called a Liberal, and a strong opponent to anything flavouring of State aid to religion. He took a warm interest in philanthropic institutions and in move- ments that tended to improve the condition of the working classes. For some time he was one of the trustees of the Savings Bank, also held a position on the Directorate of the Bank of South Australia. He will be re- membered, too, as captain of No. 4 Company of the West Adelaide Rifles until the dis- bandment of the original Volunteer Force in 1867. Mr. Blyth was married In England to Miss Barnes, of Manchester, and his widow survives him, but there was no issue to the marriage. After sitting in the Assembly for two sessions as member for North Adelaide, Mr. Blyth was obliged, owing to ill-health, to retire, and acting on medical advice he went to England, where he has remained ever since. Of late years he lived at Sutton, in Surrey, on the income accruing from considerable pro- perty in South Australia. He leavea three brothers— Sir Arthur, who is two years older ; Mr. W. W. Blyth, of Gover-street, North Adelaide, who is more than five years his senior ; and Mr. Howard Blyth, of Edinburgh, Scotland.