Benefactress, Emily Scott was Mayoress of Adelaide between 1877 and 1878.

Early Life

Emily Scott was born in 1840 at Ladmaluck Station in the state’s mid-north. She was the seventh child and fourth daughter of Georgiana née Hayward and Charles Gooch who had arrived from London one year earlier on the barque D’Auvergne.

Henry Scott immigrated to South Australia in 1854 at the age of 18. His older brother Abraham had already arrived some years earlier. In 1847 Abraham married Emily’s older sister Eliza. Henry became active in the northern pastoral industry, working with Emily’s older brothers Douglas and George.

Emily’s younger brother Walter was an active conservationist who played a major role in the establishment of Belair National Park – only the second national park in Australia – and was one of its foundation commissioners.

Emily and Henry were wed on 8 May 1861. They had no children.

In 1876 Henry built a mansion at Glen Osmond which they named Benacre after Emily’s ancestral home. They also had a summer residence, Boode House – named after Henry’s ancestral home – at Mount Lofty.


Emily was Mayoress for one year.

Henry was Mayor of Adelaide from 1877 to 1878, after which he was elected to the state Legislative Council. He retired in 1891.

Personal Note

Emily outlived her husband by eight years, and died at Boode House on 21 June 1921.

According to the terms of her will, Emily left several bequests to various Anglican Church missions. Nine paintings from the hall and drawing room of her home were bequeathed to the Art Gallery.

By Cheryl Williss, HerStory Project

The HerStory project came about to recognise and celebrate the lives and the achievements of Women’s work in South Australia and was initiated in 2015 on the 175th anniversary of the City of Adelaide, by Genevieve Theseira-Haese, Lady Mayoress of Adelaide. The stories collected offer a unique perspective of Adelaide and South Australia that form a different history to what is often heard. This community built initiative is supported by the City of Adelaide and the History Trust of South Australia.

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