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History of Adelaide Through Street Names

Streets Named on the 23rd May, 1837


Finniss Street K6
Boyle Travers Finniss came to South Australia on the Cygnet as an assistant surveyor to Colonel Light in 1836. He was put in charge of the survey of Rapid Bay while Light investigated further up the gulf. He later assisted in the surveying and laying out of the City of Adelaide, working along the southern side of the River Torrens in charge of the second survey party. When Light resigned as Surveyor General in June 1838, Finniss also resigned and the two men went into a partnership in the surveying firm Light Finniss & Co. The firm laid out the Towns of Glenelg and Gawler and other special surveys at Pt. Adelaide.
Finniss went on to become our first Premier under Responsible Government on March 9th 1857, but resigned on August 21st of the same year. He held many other public offices including Commissioner of Police, Colonial Treasurer and Colonial Secretary.
In 1864 he was Government Resident for the Northern Territory and sailed to Escape Cliff to establish a settlement there, however, it was abandoned in 1867.
Colonel Light had named Second Valley as Finniss Valley in 1837 in his honour. There is also the River Finniss on Fleurieu Peninsula and one in the NT; the Hundred of Finniss and Finniss Springs. He died in 1893 aged 86.

Flinders Street J14
English navigator Captain Matthew Flinders exploration and mapping of 'the unknown coast' in 1802 in the Investigator, put our southern coast on the map of the Great South Land he named Australia. During his exploration, he discovered Pt. Lincoln and Kangaroo Island later meeting the French navigator Nicolas Baudin at a spot since called Encounter Bay. The Bi-centenary of this meeting will be celebrated on the 7th April 2002.
The founders and pioneers of South Australia interviewed sailors who had been with Flinders expedition to find out about likely harbours, good soil and water sources. Colonel Light had a copy of Flinders journal and maps on board the Rapid when he arrived 34 years later.
Flinders statue on North Terrace near the War Memorial, was erected in 1933. The plaques on the statue graphically illustrate his explorations in our waters. There are 30 other memorials in South Australia to Captain Matthew Flinders.

Franklin Street D14
It is fitting that Flinders and Franklin streets are opposite one another because these two explorers families are related.
John Franklin was with Flinders on board the Investigator in 1802. He was an English Arctic Explorer who discovered the North West Passage - the sea route along the Arctic coast of Canada connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
When he was Governor of Tasmania in 1837-1843, his wife, Lady Jane Franklin, sailed across to SA in 1839 to organise the obelisk monument to Matthew Flinders on Stamford Hill near Pt. Lincoln.

Gilbert Street D17
Thomas Gilbert arrived in SA with the first expedition of 1836 as Colonial Storekeeper. He was a founding member of the SA Literary & Scientific Association of August 1834. In his private life he was an optician in London. His storehouse, landed from the Cygnet at Holdfast Bay (Glenelg) on the 5th November 1836, was the first European structure erected on the Adelaide plains. Later his store and cottage were erected under the hill of North Adelaide on the present day Park lands. Gilbert acted as our first Post Master and retired on a pension in 1854. He died in 1873 aged 86, a well liked and respected pioneer.

Gilles Street K17
Osmond Gilles was another founding member of The S.A. Literary Association formed in 1834, and its first treasurer. It was as first Colonial Treasurer that Gilles landed at Holdfast Bay (Glenelg) on the 28th December 1836 from the Buffalo. He remained as Colonial Treasurer until removed from office for incompetence by Governor Gawler in September 1839.
After his retirement, Gilles entered upon pastoral pursuits, and greatly improved the flocks by importing pure Saxon merinos. He opened the Glen Osmond silver-lead mine, and was a member of the syndicate of five who won the ballot for the township of Glenelg. The first ship built in the Patawalonga in November 1839, a cutter of 22 tons called O.G., was named after him as is the O.G. Road.
He died in 1866 aged 79 at Glen Osmond, where he had established the well-known Woodley estate.

Gouger Street E15
Robert Gouger - Humanitarian 1802-1846
As a youth Gouger was addicted to study for the mere love of it; was an ardent lover of Nature who collected and classified with extraordinary skill, birds, butterflies insects etc. Through his early years he travelled much in England and the Continent where he became aware of the living conditions of the poor.
He studied the failures of the penal colonies and Swan River in Western Australia. In 1829 he commenced his life's work in championing Wakefield's Scheme of Emigration, forming The Emigration Society and the Natural Cultural Society and then the National Colonisation Society with William Hutt and John Sterling in 1829. When news reached England in 1830 of Sturt's expedition down the River Murray, he initiated, with Whitmore, his third scheme for a settlement in South Australia, forming The South Australian Association on the 27th November 1833.
In November 1836 aged 34, as first Colonial Secretary and Member of the Executive Council, he landed at Holdfast Bay with his wife Harriet, - pioneers on the Africaine. The following appears on his Memorial petition to Queen Victoria:- Your memorialists would not venture to prefer this request..., were they not deeply sensible that to the services of Mr. Gouger the Colony is mainly indebted for its formation.

Gover Street H4
Not much is known about William G. Gover an early supporter of South Australia. In 1840 William Gover and Abel Lewes Gover became members of The S.A. Society formed in England to uphold intact the principles of which the colony was founded.
The Gover's were also Directors of The Secondary Towns Association which purchased several special surveys along the River Murray with the intention of establishing two 500 acre towns. William also exported to Australia as experimental agriculture, bananas, pineapples and oranges.

Grenfell Street I12
Pascoe St. Leger Grenfell after whom this wide street is named, was a Cornishman in business in London with his father and uncle. He sat in the House of Commons for 22 years where he was a great supporter of William Wilberforce in his Anti-Slavery campaign.
He gifted the town acre on North Terrace for Trinity Church and 40 acres of country land towards the Church Endowment Fund. Grenfell was considered a great financial authority. It was through his vigilance of the Bank of England in its dealings with the public that periodical publication of the accounts of the bank commenced.

Grote Street E14
This street runs parallel to Gouger street as George Grote
1794-1871, was one of Gouger's greatest supporters in founding the colony. Gouger and Grote set up the S.A. Association sub-committees in December 1833 to organise a church building society; one for establishing schools and another to procure a colonial library. Grote became first Treasurer of The Provisional Committee of the SA Association and supported the passage of the Foundation Act in Parliament August 1834.
He was an MP for the City of London from 1832 to 1841 where he introduced four resolutions and two bills in favour of the ballot. As Vice-Chancellor of London University, he advocated examinations and the admisssion of women to them. His History of Greece which is a masterpiece of 12 volumes, has been re-issued 4 times. George Grote refused a peerage in 1869. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.


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Updated research added
29-2-2008