Light's
First Map
of
Adelaide


Public Land
dedicated


Extracts from
The Public National Heritage List Nomination - July 2004

The Adelaide Park Lands & Colonel Light's Plan

Social & Political chronology 1836 - 1842

25th May 1836, 25 Instructions issued by the Commissioners
to the Surveyor General, Colonel William Light.

(Ed-It is impossible to understand the historical significance of the laying out of the city of Adelaide and the Park or Public Lands encircling it, without some knowledge of at least 3 of Light's Instructions; in particular-No's 17, 18 and 19; and the pre-planning by the Commissioners, the green spaces and public health pioneers who contributed to their creation).

1836
June Parliament Select Committee (mainly founders and planners of SA), recommend the proposed S.A. Land System (The Wakefield Land Scheme to Aid Immigration), be adopted for all British colonies with Waste Lands, including New South Wales.
The major change of this, was that the Governors' were to be stopped from 'granting' land as a reward.
22nd November Colonel William Light determines the general location of the capital - his first rough sketch has the city located on the Sturt River (approximate position of the suburb of Marion). This general position had been predicted by Captain Charles Sturt in February 1834 on behalf of the South Australian Association. (Explorations of Barker, Kent and Captain Jones).

1837
7th February, 1837 Colonel Light's first map of the capital city shows the site of Adelaide surrounded by proposed 'Park Grounds' in pursuance of his Instruction No 17.

1838
31st July Foundation Act amended on the Commissioners recommendation, to allow a portion of the Land Fund to be appropriated for the purposes of the local government. (Vict. Act 60 31st July, 1838)
Loudon Suburban gardener, and villa companion: published

1839
- see separate section specifically on the Adelaide Park Lands
1839-41 Chadwick, Poor Laws Commissioner, propounded a system of house drainage, main drainage, paving, and street-cleansing as an integral part of a single process mechanically motivated by the constant supply of water at high pressure.
Dr. Southwood Smith* chief witness on the sanitary movement. *His son was also a Doctor, and his grand-daughter Miss Octavia Hill was a co-founder of the National Trust.
Loudon publishes Hortus britannicus

Manchester - It took seven years of intense campaigning before Manchester set up the Committee for Public Walks, Gardens and Playgrounds, and opened its first three public parks in 1846.
Before this time there had been no open spaces where working people could relax or walk. Few houses, except those of the very wealthy, even had back gardens, and any parks that did exist were in private ownership and not accessible to the general public.
(Manchester's Parks and Gardens webpage)

1840
Select Committee on the Health of Towns
obtained by Slaney
18th August Municipal Corporation of Adelaide Bill 3rd reading, amended and passed without Royal sanction
(This 'sanction' had been acceded to the Commissioners under King William IV as part of the 'self supporting', legislative assembly provisions of our Foundation Act 1834.
20th August Governor Gawler extends the electors boundary for the new Municipal Corporation of Adelaide (first such Council in Australasia), to 7 miles beyond the park lands.
The Commissioners system of regulations and novel insurance scheme for emigration ships, led to an improved Passenger Act adopted for all British colonies in 1840.
Loudon - The Cottager's Manual of Husbandry, Architecture, Domestic Economy, & Gardening

1841
1st July NSW assignment of convict labour ends. NSW Bounty system of assisted immigration suspended.

1842
Chadwick's Sanitary Report
published - key concepts - administration, arterial system, civil engineering, public service
(First Federative Act) By the Act (5 & 6 Vict.) boundaries were established between WA, SA and NSW under Parliamentary sanction.
(NSW then included what we know now as Queensland and Victoria)

22nd June 1842 (Queen Victoria)
An Act for regulating the Sale of Waste Lands belonging to the Crown in the Australian Colonies
.
By Section 23 of this Act, the 'dedication' of public land in South Australia; and most importantly, the Adelaide Park lands; were secured to the public in perpetuity.
This right of 'dedicating' land for public purposes was extended to all other colonies in Australia and eventually to all other British colonies with Waste Lands.
This Imperial Waste Lands Act, increased the minimum price of land in all the Australian colonies to £1 an acre - half the proceeds to be used to encourage free migration, (as per the amended South Australian Wakefield Model).

Prints
as 2 pages

Please email for more specific reference

© K.Crilly
Unpublished manuscript
The Origins and Creation of the People's Park Lands of Adelaide

Notes