John Morphett , a supporter of Edward Gibbon Wakefield and an investor in the South Australian Company, arrived in 1836. Morphett assisted in the survey of Adelaide, securing valuable land for his family and clients. He helped found several cultural and economic bodies and supported Commissioner James Fisher in his dispute with Governor John Hindmarsh. A nominee in the old Legislative Council, Morphett advocated a hereditary upper house and economic freedom from England; he was elected speaker, 1851–1855. Returned to the first fully elected Legislative Council from 1857–1873, he served as president after 1865 and was knighted in 1870. Briefly Premier Thomas Reynolds’s chief secretary, he resigned to avoid association with judge Benjamin Boothby’s dismissal.  

By Carol Fort

This entry was first published in The Wakefield companion to South Australian History edited by Wilfrid Prest, Kerrie Round and Carol Fort (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2001). Edited lightly. Uploaded 14/9/2015.

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Image courtesty of State Library of South Australia SLSA: B 6194, Public Domain

Image courtesy of State Library of South Australia SLSA: B 3210, Public Domain

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