SAMUEL STOCKS, JUN.
A Candid Biography
(By a Man With a Scrapbook)
The very unusual features in the obituary notice of journalist J. G. Western pub- lished last week caused it to be widely dis- cussed. I venturo to sav that the most ex-
traordinary biographical paragraph that 93 years of Register files can yield is one dat- ing back to February, 1850, when Samuel Stocks, jun., passed out at the age of 37. Stocks was an influential merchant who had establishments in Grenfell and Hindley streets, Adelaide, and made a fortune out of the Burra copper mine. The Register said of him after his death: — This gentleman arrived in the colony about seven years ago, commencing his colonial career as a merchant with the fairest promise of success, and was regarded by his numerous friends as likely to make a valued member of our community. His disposition and manners were frank, his edu- cation sound, his mercantile qualifications of a superior order, and his respect for the forms of godliness was strikingly manifest long after he had lost its power, and ceased to be under that moral restraint which was once habitual to him. One of the original Burra Burra proprietors . . . he amassed considerable wealth. The large and sudden accumulation of property, however, proved a snare, and tho deceased unhappily fell into habits of intemperance, which beclouded the latter portion of his life, and, undermining a fine, natural constitution, brought down his strength in his Journey and shortened his days.' It is consolatory, however, to know that in his last moments he was able to express contrition, and his sorrowing friends have hope in his death. The funeral procession of. Stocks was described as the most remarkable since that of Col. Light. Four mutes with wands and scarfs preceded it. The coffin of gilt furni- ture was covered with rich black velvet. One hundred 'and fifty mourners wore black silk scarfs and bands. The Register was hotly criticised for its so-called 'invasion of the sanctity of private life,'' and a protest that was hawked about gathered 150 signatures. This Tho Register described as a conspiracy on the part of a rival (since defunct) to crush it — 'one of the vilest, most cowardly, and most diaboli- cal . conspiracies that ever disgraced a com munity of Englishmen.' It is significant that
the father of Samuel Stocks, jun., took the part of the outspoken editor.