Lists (None yet)

Login to create lists

Tagged (None yet)

Add Tags

Comments (None yet)

Add New Comment

13 corrections, most recently by diverman - Show corrections

DEATH OF SIR SAMUEL  

DAVENPORT.    

A LONG AND HONORABLE

CAREER.            

Sir Samuel Davenport died at 3 o'clock on Monday morning at his residence, Beau- mont, in his 89th year. The memory of the deceased gentleman dated back to the earliest days of the State, and South Aus- tralla has never had a citizen who left be- hind him a more honorable record, both in public and private life. He has laid down an untarnished escutcheon. His name has been associated with the his- tory of the State ever since its cradle days. His brothers were here before he   came, and so far back as 1846, when the late Mr. Francis Dutton published his valuable book on "South Australa and Its Mines", that gentleman drew all his infor- mation concerning Mount Barker and the adjacent hill districts from Mr. Robert Davenport, a brother of the venerable knight who has just been called to his rest. The farm first purchased by Mr Robert Davenport, and near which Sir   Samuel resided for some time, was part of the Meadows survey, and is still held by his relatives. On it orchards of apples peaches, and almonds were planted con- siderably over 60 years ago, and the olive and grape were also cultivated. It was in this district that Sir Samuel held his first elective office, which was connected with local government. Since then he had served his adopted country in many ways. His sturdy form was known to nearlv every dweller in the,city, and up to within a few weeks of his death he was frequently to bo seen walking through the city. When he was younger he was tall and upright, but towards, the end his frame was bent with age. However his face, though wrinkled, and framed in hair of snowy white, still wore the earnest and alert look which always characterised him. Adelaide people were proud of their "Grand Old Man," who was noted for the enthusiastic interest he took in every industry and enterprise likely to benefit the State and its people.

Sir Samuel's health had been remarkably good of late, and he did not cease attending the meetings of companies with which he was connected until a fortnight ago. Death was due to the effects of a cold, for whích he was attended by Dr. Marten, The funeral is to take place at Walkerville cemetery this afternoon, and the remains will be laid beside those of the late Lady Davenport, who predeceased her husband by four and a half years. The nearest relations of the late gentleman m Australia are she surviving children of his brother, Robert, and the family of the late Lady Davenport's brother, Mr. Cleland, who had six sons. Lady Davenport's father was Mr. Willam Cleland, a barrister, of Calcutta. The nephews include Messrs Howard and Alfred Davenport, of Adelaide; Mr. Ernest Davenport, of Battunga station; Mr. Cecil Davenport, who is a medical missionary at Shanghai; and Mr. Noel Davenport, who is farming in Western Australia., Onhis late wife's side, the nephews are Dr. W. L. Cleland,' and Messrs. G. F., E, and. C. Cleland,of Adelaide, and Messrs. Elphin- ston and A. Cleland, of Western Australia. Sir Samuel's younger brother, Mr. Henry Davenport, is still living in England. He   resides at Eastbourne, and is 85 years of age. At the time of his death Sir Samuel   was a director of the South Australian   Company, the Colonial Mutual Life Insur- ance Company, the Queensland Mortgage Company, and the Colonial Mutual Fire In- surance Company. He retired from the board of the Executor Trustee, and Agency Company about six months ago.

The funeral this afternoon will leave Beaumont-at 2.15, and arrive at the Walker- ville Cemetery at 3 30. Canon Andrews and the Rev. Joseph Robertson, who were both warm personal friends of Sir Samuel, will conduct tue service. Sir Samuel was one of the earliest members of Stow Congrega- tional Church, and he maintained his con-

nection with it till the last.            

The memory of the late Sir Samuel Daveñ-

port will linger long in South Australia. He was a man whom to know was" to love ' Of him, too, it might be said-        

His life was gentle, and the elements  

So mix'd in him that Nature might stand"up And say to all the world, Thisfwaa a man.*

The value of such a life as his- to the State , is not to be measured by its outward and visible achievement S*r Samuel did use- ful work m the Government during the

earlier decades of coe State's history, but¡ his greatest service was the influence of a, pure, unsulbéd, and unselfish life His was the honor that knew not compromise, and J his the sincerity that belongs only to the finest; natures. -Throughout his long life he

-sustained without reproach, "the grand old f1 name of gentleman ' In an age of mater lalism and display, he retained the simple tastes and pursuits of an English country

gentleman The measure of hisjife cannot

be estimated in a new-paper Xf a man's value to mankind consists in the influence his character exercises, on his contempora ries, then South Australia has, never had a

more valuable citizen than Sir Samuel

Davenport. By those -who knew him best he was most reverenced and beloved, and could any higher tribute be paid to a man's personal worth than this* ." *"

A representative of "The Advertiser" had the privilege not long since of an nour's

intimate conversation with the late Sir

Samuel Davenport Several subjects were touched upon, and Sir Samuel explained, with a simple candor that compelled con viction, the principles which his experience had caught mm were the vital things of life The key to happiness, he impbed, lay in industry, moderation, and modesty In religion he evidently had strong leanings towards the tolerant Protestantism that is immovably adherent to the Reformation, without being bigoted -He believed pro- foundly in the wifcdom of making young men fight their own way early m life, in asmuch as that js the surest way of making men independent and self reliant With the unrest and luxury of modern city life Sir Samuel had certainly nothing m com mon. Hi« pleasures were those of a man whom culture and inborn refinement have rendered independent of the pastimes of tho multitude Retiring as he was by na ture, Sir Samuel was-no recluse He loved to be hospitable, aad his geniality and readiness to listen made him an ideal host

Sir Samuel Davenport belonged to an old English family, which once lived in affluent squirehood in the neighborhood of Stockport, m a district now covered with throbbing factories and enveloped in smoke He was born on March 5, 1818,

at Sherburn, Oilordshire, ins father being at one time stewaid of Loid Macclesfield s Sherburn Park estate His father was a man of position m the country of his ancestors, and a memorial in the parish church of Great Wigston Leicestershire, perpetuates his name Sir Samuel contracted a bad attack of inflammation of the lungs when he waa a young man, and was advised to bve abroad He accordingly spent some time m Southern Europe, on and near the shores of the Mediterranean The prolific abundance of fruit in those warm climates interested lum, and he set himself to study the methods m vogue of cultivating the vine, orange, atron, olive, and almond Horticulture became for him an absorbing occupation, and the .practical knowledge of the industry which he acquired in Italy,

Spain, and France proved very, useful* wSen" he;came to South Australia.' v-,-3 -"^ ' lh:1839 Sir .Samuel's brother,,'Mr. Gi F. Davenport, visited the province, ^ond pur- chased a special survey,.the township ;of ¡which .he-named Macclesfield. . lus, reports 1 on the climate and conditions of South.Aus

tralia,were so favorable-that Sir Samuel Davenport decided to follow in his bro- ther's wake.- On" his arrival in South -Aus- tralia in 1843, he proceeded to the Maccles- field district, end became one of the earliest settlers. He first invested in sheep ,'farm; ing, which was then the only remunerative' form of industry in the province, and in a few years became possessed o"f an exten- sive squatting estate. r ,

Sir Samuel entered public life as a non official member of the Legislative Conned, to which he was appointed by Gover nor Robe in 1846-7. As an illustra tion of the ( energy of" the pioneers, it is worthy of record that Sir Samuel was "wont to ride from1, his home m Maccles- field to attend to his official duties m Adelaide, a distance of 27 miles, and after a long and tedious sitting, rider back again "It must be remembered,^ too," that there were no road boards in those days; each traveller had to cut his own path. The knowledge of the country which Sir Samuel gained on those frequent journeys through the country, surrounding 'Adelaide proved of immense value when the time tame for making the -highways of the pro- vince His experience was one of the'best

charts available at the tine, i

As a pioneering pastorahst, Sir ^Samuel did great service m opening up new country He was one of the first settlers to .cross the Murray with stock. Upon reaching Rivoli Bay, he tried to extend his opera tiona, but with rather disastrous results, ni aamuch as he lost some thousands of sheep from an unknown local disease/ámce called "coastal," as well as through the< spears and Tbbbenês of,toe aborigines. The-depre dations of the natives were checked by manning each flock with armed shepherds, aided by a mounted man, whose rapid movements'did much to scare the blacks.

Having acted as bon secretary *of the committee formed''in 1850 to select South Australian products and" transmit* them" *to the'late Prince Albert's International Ex- hibition in ""London (1851), Sir Samuel visited .England early m that year, and'he had the satisfaction of seeing one of his neighbors, Mr. "John Frame, of Mount Bar ker, win the gold medat for wheat. He? re- ceived an Exhibition medal Jfor his setVices, and. returned to Adelaide ia 1853. *" 'S~

In 1855 Sir Samuel was appointed one of

the four non-official members of the enlar i ged Legislative Council, which was .¡¿p pointed, with the addition-of 16 elected

members, to..trame the. Constitution. ActJ. In March, 1857,' he" was' elected' á member of the first Legislative Councd under re- sponsible government, and retained his seat tilL August. 1866, when he resigned. At the tune rpf his'death hè\wàs the "sole* surviv- ing member of the first' Jyegislative Council "Sis* support in the Coun- cil was elwayst given to .-such'mea- sures as he believed to bV* neces- sary for the welfare of the province,'vthough he was inclined }<o favor a more, elaborate programme ¿han the Treasury could stand« Sir Samuel twice -held the portfolio of Commissioner of Public-WorkSj ' an office peculiarly adapted to his (attainments Perhaps no other pohtician of the period had ai better knowledge of the'questions

that demanded the attention of the Public Works Department. During-"his rConmtis sionershîp, the first Torrens.dam was made, mainlythrough Sir Samuel's exertions,., and the completion of the undertaking was at tended with expressions of .general,, satis- faction ^ ' " ,'

For many years Sir Samuel was promi-' nently connected with various industries. For ten years he was president of the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia, and for 19 years he pre- sided ¡over the destinies of the Chamber of Manufactures. He was one of the foun- ders' and first president of the latter body. The success of his mission to the-London-Exhibition in 1851 led to his appointment as Executive Commis-

sioner for South Australia at the Phila-

delphia Exhibition of 1876, at the Sydney Exhibition in 1879, and at the Melbourne Exhibition in 1880. On his return to Ade- laide from America, where he worthily sus- tained the credit of South Australia, Sir Samuel received a handsome testimonial which was presented to him by Sir R. D. Hanson, then Chief Justice of the State. On February, 1887, another tri  

bute of appreciation was paid him, the presentation being made by Sir Henry    

Ayers, upon Sir Samuel's return from Lon- don, after her had acted as Executive Com- missioner at the Indian and Colonial Ex- hibition In the same year the Queen made lim a T_ CM G, laving previously confer red upon him the distinction of ¡Knight ?¡Bachelor At the Jubilee Exhibi^io-Jaeld in Adelaide in 1887, Sir Lemuel's npe experi ence proved- bf mad assistance *" wX

i-Sir Samuel was largely _mt_c_~*fc_. intro- ducing the" phve and the grape into Stinth Austral-n and le lived to see the feuccèss, of both industries! while m other "sphères of acttvitv-he aLo witnessed snlendid re- sults accruing from enterprises m whiçl he Ead taken the initiative He marned in' June, 18á2, Miss Margaret Fraser Cleland, the., daughter of an ¡Indian barrister, and 1 Ived happÜy with hereunto the celebration

of the diamond» jubilee of their wedding, I «hprtly-after w¡h*.ch event she died The

loss was very keenly felt, and Sir Samuel's

lie was full of loneliness ever after He L lived for very many years, at Beaumont, ' where he had made an ideal home, nesting I under the shadow of ile Mount Lofty hills | In addition to the honors conferred upon

him by li» King and country, Sn*- Samuel

had the distinction of rfeceivmg in 1886 the, comDhmentary degree or Doctor of Lawn j from tie ancient University óf[ Cambridge

In glancing back over the career of the ' late Sir Samuel Davenport which is prac-

tically contemporaneous with the history' of the State, it is easy to call to mind the names of men endowed with greater mtel Jectual gifts, but none has ever enjoyed to a greater extent the confidence and esteem of all classes of the community His,.m tegnty and simple manhnè<-s were trans- parent to all who met him, for they Were graven on his_face After faithful service to God and his fellow man, he goes to lis long lorne full bf years and honor "

Zoom

plus
thumb
minus
left
thumb
right
up
thumb
down