Fotheringham Family - F57

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Fotheringham Family
James and Margaret - F57
Name James Fotheringham
Lived 1816 – Oct 1866
Nationality  Scottish
Name Margaret Barnet
Lived 1832 – 1904
Nationality  Scottish

James Fotheringham (1816-1866) had sailed from Dundee on the Indus in September 1838, arriving at South Australia in January 1839. He was one of the original founders of Gawler – a member of the syndicate that purchased the Gawler Special Survey, had the town laid out by Colonel Light, and donated the public space and park-lands enjoyed by the residents ever since.

Within a detailed report to the British Government on the progress of the Colony of South Australia at the end of 1840, his property was bounded by the North Para River from which it drew its water, had 20 acres fenced with posts and four rails, with ¼ acre under wheat, ¼ acre under maize and one acre of potatoes. There was one dwelling house, a dairy and a stockyard.

James was the eldest of six brothers who emigrated individually to South Australia in the early years of the colony, and the first of them to arrive. He was followed by Alexander who became a pastoralist at Mount Brown, then David, an engineer who also lived in Gawler. George arrived much later in 1867 and was a clerk living in Semaphore. When Robert and Thomas arrived in 1855 and 1856, they joined James in the family brewing business. Fotheringham Brothers expanded the Gawler Brewery on Julian Terrace and established another at Kapunda. Each brother became a prominent and respected citizen in the business and social life of their community.

Fotheringham Gawler Brewery; Source: Gawler : Colonel Light’s Country Town, Derek Whitelock, 1989, published by the Gawler Town Council.

In March 1856, James married widow Mrs Margaret Walsh nee Barnet (1832-1904) in the Church of Scotland Manse at Adelaide. They had no children.

The City of Adelaide was making only the second of its 23 'shuttle' return voyages between England and South Australia when it sailed from Plymouth to Port Adelaide in only 72 days through August, September and October in 1865.

Among the passengers in their almost-new, first class luxury state-rooms (each had "an ensuite WC" and "hot water heating apparatus") were Mr James and Mrs Margaret Fotheringham of Gawler. They were returning from one of several voyages they made home to Scotland to see relatives and friends in their respective birthplaces of Clackmannanshire and Kinross.

James and his wife, with other Fotheringhams, were leading members of the St Andrews Presbyterian Church on Cowan Street, Gawler from its inception in 1856. The congregation had originally met in Fotheringham’s malthouse, sometimes using the sacks of malt as pews. James was an appointed member of the first Gawler Council in 1857. In 1866 he donated land in Murray Street for the building of the Institute, but the block was subsequently sold.

James’ health had been declining, and in October 1866, almost exactly one year after their return on the City of Adelaide, he died in the Mitcham home to which he had moved only recently. His funeral procession proceeded from Mitcham to the Adelaide Railway Station, by train to Gawler, thence to the cemetery. Virtually all Gawler businesses were closed and "flags were hoisted half-mast high" during the funeral. It was attended by a host of dignitaries, and several hundred citizens.


Researched by Ron Roberts



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