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Clare's Politicians before 1900

The Electorate of Stanley


The first incarnation of the Electoral district of Stanley was created in 1851 to elect a single member to the unicameral South Australian Legislative Council.

  • The seat was abolished in 1857, with William Younghusband having being the sole member for the duration. [1]

  • Created by the state's Legislative Council Act of 1851,

  • the extent was formally defined as the entirety of the cadastral County of Gawler (excluding the township of Gawler)

  • and of the County of Stanley as well as a huge swathe of sparsely-settled land to the north, but excluding all of the Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas[2]

Currently (2021) Clare lies in the state electoral district of Frome and the federal electoral Division of Grey.

Second incarnation

The second incarnation of the electorate was created by the Electoral Act (No. 20) of the South Australian parliament in 1861 [3] 

  • but it was not until the state election of 1862 election that candidates were first elected to represent Stanley.

    The extent was formally defined as the entirety of the cadastral counties of Gawler and Stanley,

    • the latter being the source of the district name.

  • Thus, at its creation, the electorate stretched from Gulf St Vincent and the Hummocks on the west


In the ten years from 1862, the chief polling place was listed as Clare, with subsidiary polling places at Auburn, Mudla Wirra (Gawler), and Baker's Springs (Rhynie). [3]


  • The Electoral Districts Act (No. 27) in 1872 dramatically changed the boundaries of the district, with

  • the new electoral district of Wooroora being created largely

    • by the excision of Stanley's southernmost half,

    • and the new north western borders for Stanley being significantly extended

    • to include Port Pirie and Port Broughton[4]

Townships served by the seat of Stanley from 1875 included Port Pirie, Crystal Brook, Clare, Snowtown and Port Broughton. [5] [4]

Stanley Electorage 1902.jpg
Members for Electoral district of Stanley (South Australia)
Members for Stanley
Two members (1862–1902)

Member                    Term                  Member                        Party                 Term

G. S. Kingston     1862–1880       George Young                             1862–1865

                                                  H. E. Bright                                 1865–1875

                                                  Charles Mann                              1875–1881

Alfred Catt           1881–1884      J. H. Howe                                  1881–1884

                                                  John Miller                                  1884–1885

E. W. Hawker       1884–1889     John Darling Sr.                            1885–1887

                                                  Charles Kimber                            1887–1890

P. P. Gillen            1889–1896      John Miller                                  1890–1893

                                                  E. W. Hawker   Defence League     1893–1896

W. P. Cummins      1896–1902     John Miller                                   1896–1902

1. G S Kingston 1862-1880


23 August 1807

Bandon, County Cork, Ireland


26 November 1880 (aged 73)

aboard the RMS Malwa on his way to India

Resting place

buried at sea


surveyor, civil engineer, architect


Henrietta Ann McDonough (1807–1839,

Ludovina Catherina da Silva Cameron (1824–1851),

Emma Mary Ann Catherine Berry Lipson (1816–1876)


Ludovina Cameron Kingston, b. 16 March 1842;

Hester Holland Kingston, b. 30 October 1843;

Charlotte Julian Kingston, b. 11 September 1845;

George John Finnis Kingston, b. 26 May 1847;

Strickland Gough Kingston, b. 18 December 1848; 

Charles Cameron Kingston, b. 22 October 1850


George Kingston and Hester Holland

G S Kingston 1862-1880

Sir George Strickland Kingston (23 August 1807 – 26 November 1880) [1] 

  1. arrived in South Australia on the Cygnet in 1836. [2] 

  2. He was the Deputy Surveyor to William Light, engaged to survey the new colony of South Australia.

  3. Kingston was also the first Speaker of the South Australian House of Assembly[1]

Deputy Surveyor, South Australia Colony

Kingston was appointed deputy surveyor to the new province of South Australia and

  • sailed with most of the surveying party in the Cygnet in March 1836.[3] 

  • Because he detoured to Rio de Janeiro for supplies the Cygnet did not arrive at Nepean Bay until 11 September 1836,

  • nearly a month after Colonel William Light, who

  • was therefore left short-handed at a critical time.


However it was Donna, the thirsty South American bloodhound, who led Kingston, John Morphett and Lieutenant W.G. Field to the River Torrens.

  • Kingston was incompetent as a Surveyor and

  • his work on the Survey of Adelaide, between West Terrace and the Western side of King William Street was so erroneous that

  • Light had all of Kingston's area re-surveyed by Assistant Surveyors Boyle Travers Finniss and George Ormsby.

Kingston's ability as a surveyor was frequently questioned and

  • it was Kingston who was spared to return to England in August 1837 to seek removal of Governor Hindmarsh.[3] 

  • The colonisation commissioners sent him back next June with orders unpalatable to Light, who resigned with all but three of his staff.


Kingston made many more blunders in continuing the country surveys (errors that Frome later reported requiring substantial resources to correct), and

  • soon after Governor George Gawler's arrival in October 1838, Kingston resigned.[3]

Later career

Kingston established himself as a civil engineer, architect and surveyor, and in 1840 the Adelaide Municipal Council briefly engaged him as town surveyor.


Political Career

On 10 July 1851, Kingston was sworn in as a member of South Australia's first elected parliament and


On 9 March 1857, Kingston was elected to the newly established House of Assembly and

  • became the first Speaker on 22 April 1857.

  • Kingston held this position until 22 March 1860 and

  • again from 31 March 1865 until his death on 26 November 1880.[1] 


Kingston represented The Burra and Clare from 9 March 1857 to 22 March 1860 and 

  • Stanley from 6 May 1861 until his death: 26 November 1880
    (aged 73) 
    aboard the RMS Malwa on his way to India  .[1]


Mining Interests

Kingston was prominent in forming the South Australian Mining Association 

  • to keep the mineral wealth of the colony from overseas speculators.[3] 

  • With Edward Stephens, he investigated copper finds at Burra in 1845, and then

  • played a leading role in the 'snobs' party to defeat the 'nobs' for the mine.

An original shareholder, he was appointed surveyor and architect of the mining association but

  • it was William Jacob who carried out the Burra special survey of 20,000 acres (8094 ha).


In April 1848 he was elected a director, deputy-chairman in October 1856 and chairman from 1857 until his death.

In 1858 Kingston was part of the team who surveyed the namesake town of Kingston, later renamed Kingston SE as a part of a private real estate development.

Read more at Wikipedia

- Later career
- Mining Interests
- Political Career

Political Achievements

Member of South Australian Legislative Council


In office
10 July 1851 – 2 February 1857


Member for The Burra and Clare in the South Australian House of Assembly

In office
9 March 1857 – 22 March 1860


first Speaker of the South Australian House of Assembly of House of Assembly

In office
22 April 1857 – 22 March 1860


Member for Stanley in the South Australian House of Assembly

In office
6 May 1861 – 26 November 1880


Speaker of House of Assembly

In office
31 March 1865 – 26 November 1880

- Political Achievements
2. Alfred Catt 1881–1884 ​
Alfred Catt, by Terence McGann,

Kindly but earnest, Catt was generally acknowledged to be conscientious, energetic and impartial.

Within the framework of 'liberal principles' he led what the Christian Weekly and Methodist Journal, 13 June 1890, described as the 'white flower of a blameless life'.


On 30 April 1856 Catt married Mary, only daughter of Richard Martin of Helston, Cornwall; 

they had four children.


After her death on 30 October 1896 he married the widow, Emily Chanter, on 8 June 1898;

she survived him by three years.


Of his three surviving children,

  • Alfred Clifford managed the firm of Alfred C. Catt & Co.,

  • Catherine Helen married Rev. W. A. Langsford and

  • Isobel Clifford was unmarried when Catt died

Alfred Catt 1881–1884

Alfred Catt (19 December 1833 – 28 October 1919) was a South Australian politician.


Catt was born in Newington, Kent, England, third child of Charles Catt, a carpenter, and his wife Sarah, née Knott. [1] 


​In 1874 after the northern areas were opened to selectors he moved to Gladstone where

  • he established a store, became justice of the peace and

  • chairman of the district council,

  • founded the Mechanics' Institute and

  • established the Volunteer Corps, serving as captain.

  • His activities and interest in this corps reflect his keen study of military history and detailed knowledge of the campaigns of Marlborough, Wellington, Napoleon and Lee.


Catt was elected to the Assembly for the district of Stanley, 27 April 1881. [2] 

  • Three years later, when the constituency was reconstructed, he was returned for Gladstone.

  • Catt accepted the post of Commissioner of Crown Lands in John Bray's first administration, on 24 June 1881, and

  • held it till 23 April 1884, under circumstances of special difficulty.


Disasters had fallen thickly upon the farmers of the colony,

  • especially in the northern districts lying beyond Goyder's Line of rainfall,

  • where thirsty and often heavily timbered country had been taken up at extravagant prices by the competing agriculturists,

  • who in some cases had offered as much as £6 6s. per acre. [2]

The attempt to grow wheat in these parts proved that the selectors could not pay the stipulated price, and

  • the Government of the day came to the rescue

  • with a proposal that the farmers should be allowed to surrender their land and compete for it again.


The result was that they got their land back at about £1 0s. 6d., thus entailing upon the State a nominal loss of about half a million.

  • The surrender clauses were admittedly difficult to administer, and

  • Mr. Catt was much blamed at the time for allowing farmers holding excellent land in the lower north and south-east to come under these clauses.[2] 

  • Catt, however, claimed that these were exceptional cases.

On the fall of the John Downer Ministry in 1887, Catt accepted the portfolio of Commissioner of Public Works under Thomas Playford II, and

  • held it from 11 June 1887, to 27 June 1889.

  • At the commencement of the session of 1890 Catt was unanimously elected to the Chairmanship of Committees of the Legislative Assembly.

  • In 1887 he received the royal permission to bear the title of "Honourable" within the colony.[2]


He held the Stanley electorate until 1884 and

  • represented the reconstituted Gladstone electorate in 1884-1902

  • and again, when it reverted to Stanley, in 1902.​

A strong farmers' representative, he advocated

  • water conservation and irrigation,

  • railway extension,

  • the reduction of education standards and,

  • somewhat surprisingly in view of his Methodist connections, the establishment of a central wine depot.


  • In 1906, tall, thin and grey, he retired defeated.

  • Catt died in St Peters, Adelaide, South Australia, on 28 October 1919.[1]

Read More:

3. Edward William Hawker 1850-1940
Edward William Hawker 1850-1940


Edward William Hawker (14 January 1850 – 20 September 1940) was a politician in colonial South Australia.


He returned to South Australia in 1875 and was admitted to the South Australian Bar in April 1879.[1] 

  • He joined in partnership with W. H. Bundey and C. J. Dashwood as "Bundey, Dashwood & Hawker" from 1879 to 1883,

  • then practised alone until 1888.[2]


In 1884 he was elected to the South Australian House of Assembly, representing the electorate of Stanley from April 1884 to May 1889.

  • This was the first time father and son had sat in the House concurrently.

  • He resigned to study mining and metallurgy in Europe.


He returned to South Australia in 1892 and was again elected MHA for Stanley, sitting from April 1893 to April 1896.

  • He was for some time lecturer at the School of Mines,

  • then retired to East Bungaree. where he devoted his time to pastoral matters.[3]



Mr E.W. Hawker's Trip 12 Nov 1892
Mr E.W. Hawker's Trip 12 Nov 1892.png

 Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW) Wed 23 Nov 1892  Page 2


THE doings during the last four years of Mr. E. W. Hawker, a former M.P. of

South Australia, and son of the Hon. G. C. Hawker, a present member, have been unique.

  • In 1888, Mr. Hawker set out to study mining and metallurgy in England, the continent of Europe, and America.

  • " The chief reason why I decided to go to Europe to study mining and metallurgy," he says,

"was the feeling that the best means of helping the advancement of one's country was to endeavor to develop its resources, and that to do so one must learn the best methods.

  • "I knew the only way to learn was to begin at the beginning, and go to school.

  • Of course, 38 was rather old to start, but I liked the subjects I intended taking up, and I had the time to devote to studying them."

Fortunate man !

And, in all sincerity, fortunate country that owns. him !

  • " If I have the good fortune," he says, in conclusion, " to be returned to the South Australian Parliament again,

I shall look forward to make use of the information I have gained for the benefit of the colony, and thus carry out the intention I had in view when I left for Europe four years ago."


One cannot help hoping that Mr. Hawker, a Conservative though he be politically, will get into the House again.

  • His action is all the more praiseworthy because, as most people know,

  • he has no need to learn another trade, as it were, in order to live ;

  • he has wealth enough as it is to satisfy most men.


But does not Mr. Hawker's proceeding give some warrant, even on his own

showing, for the return of direct labor representatives to the House ?

  • We do not say of men who have regard for no other than the direct labor interest,

  • but of men whose special qualification is that they know the requirements of the working classes, whether unionists or non-unionists.

  • For Mr. Hawker makes a claim to be returned to the House because he has acquired a special knowledge.

  • It is nothing that he has had to go to foreign parts to acquire it.


Other men have acquired an equally valuable special knowledge, by staying at home

- the knowledge of what will advance the truest interests of the colony by making the producers more contented and happy

- and surely their claim to enter Parliament is therefore as good as Mr. Hawker's.


However, apart from this, the son of a worthy father, 

  • who has through many years shown deep solicitude for the colony that has, treated him very generously,

  • should have thanks for spending his money in a manner so well calculated 

  • to be a source of pleasure and satisfaction to himself and

  • a source of profit to the colony in which it was earned.

Photographs of E.W. Hawker.jpg

Above: First Trinity College Cambridge 6th Rowing Team, Lent term 1870:

E W Hawker cox, seated on ground, centre

Below: Hon Mr. E.W. Hawker

- Mr. E.W. Hawker's Trip

Right: Sons of G.C. Hawker [B 11284]

Group portrait of the sons of the Hon. George Charles Hawker:

Standing, l-r: Henry Colley; Richard MacDonnell.

Sitting: Rev. Bertram; Robert Walter; Edward William; Michael Seymour.

They have been posed looking in different directions, a fashion in photography at the time.

Sons of G.C. Hawker c 1890.jpeg
Mrs E.W. Hawker, obituary 4 Nov 1938.png


Edward married Mary Letitia Stawell (1870 – 3 November 1938), daughter of Sir William Stawell KCMG, on 14 May 1890.

Their children included:

  • Frances Melian Hawker (12 February 1891 – 7 October 1986)

    • married Richard Blackwood Officer (6 September 1881 – 15 April 1930) on 16 November 1915.

  • George Stanley Hawker MC. (7 May 1894 – 17 February 1979)

    • He was MHA for Burra 1947–1956

  • Catherine Mary Hawker (5 November 1897 – January 1990)

    • married Richard E. Travers (19 February 1901 – 28 January 1942) on 10 October 1928

  • Patience Constance Joan Hawker (28 March 1900 – 9 August 1995)

    • married (Charles) Roy Howard (17 November 1891 – 17 August 1935) on 19 September 1928.

    • She was co-founder of Stawell School near the summit of Mount Lofty.

    • He was a grandson of W. R. Cave.

  • William Edward Hawker (31 January 1906– 21 April 1973)

    • married Mary Elizabeth Shipster (12 February 1913-) on 6 December 1939.[4]

- Family
Mrs E.W. Hawker, 11 April 1914.png

South Australian Chronicle (Adelaide, SA)  Sat 11 May 1889 Page 9 


Some of the ablest men in South Australia

— and I regret to say many such men won't go into the House

—  abuse the members for mis-conducting the affairs of the colony,

and say we are borrowing too fast, and our own papers warn us of the same danger.

We are not like Victoria ; you cannot make two blades grow where only one grew before.

You cannot put in artificial grasses as in Victoria.

Unless we develop something more than we have now I am quite certain we can not stand the debt we are piling up so rapidly.


In South Australia there is an enormous field for small industries,

  • such as fruit and vine cultivation

— in fact, South Australia could almost supply the world with wine—

  • but the labor question stops the development of these industries,

  • and until labor becomes cheaper we shall never be able to make these industries a success.


I may also point out that through this borrowing system our Government is becoming of a paternal character, and the unemployed look to Government for relief works.

 Blyth Agriculturist (SA) Fri 27 Sep 1940  Page 3 



Great regret was expressed in Clare and surrounding districts on Saturday last when it was learned that Mr. E. W. Hawker had passed away at the age of 90 years.

Mr. Hawker was well known as a leading pastoralist of the State, and was highly respected by all classes of the community.

  • He was the eldest son of the late Hon. G. C. Hawker, and was born at Bungaree.

  • He and his father held the unique position of being members of the South Australian Parliament at the same time.

Mr. E. W. Hawker was educated at St. Peter's College and later

  • went to England, and took his M.L. and M.A. degrees at Cambridge University.

  • Returning to South Australia, he practiced as a solicitor in Adelaide, and

  • was also elected as a member for Stanley in Parliament for four years.


He resigned that seat in 1884, when he went to Germany and other European countries to study mining and metallurgy.

He returned to South Australia in 1892, and engaged in assay and metallurgy in Adelaide for some years, and was lecturer  on Metallurgy at the School of Mines.


In 1893 he was again elected as a member for Stanley for some years.

After his father's death he took up residence at East Bungaree, where he resided up till the time of his death.


He was a strong supporter of the Liberal and Country League for many years, and took keen interest in political matters, representing the Clare Branch on many occasions at the annual meeting in Adelaide.

A very large crowd assembled at the funeral at Bungaree on Sunday last to show their respect for the deceased gentleman.

The Rev. R. V. S. Adams conducted the burial service, and returned soldiers attended, forming a guard of honor.

Messrs. McDonald & Edwards carried out the arrangements.

- Death of Mr. E.W. Hawker
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