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    Place Names of South Australia - A

    Ayers, Hundred of


    In the County of Stanley, proclaimed on 17 December 1863. Sir Henry Ayers, MLC (1857-1893). Born in Hampshire, England in 1821 he arrived in the Fairfield in 1840. He became manager of the Burra mine in 1845.

    In September 1848 there was a strike at Burra and the ring-leaders were dismissed and their names blacklisted with other mining companies. The mine labourers' wages were reduced and, from Adelaide, Henry Ayers addressed the Burra managers:

    The editor of the Register wryly remarked: 'There is a disposition to grind the faces of the poor.'

    George F. Loyau, in his two works which tend to glorify his subjects, said of Ayers: 'Throughout his career [he] endeavoured to do much for the public good', but mentions no specific instance of his benevolence.

    All the milk and honey is flowing into the pockets of a few - Sir Henry alone gets 49,000 worth of cream a year, which means for doing nothing at all he draws the wages of 471 men at 2 per week. Is it any wonder that 471 families, representing about 2,500 people, have to starve for each Sir Henry in a country that is flowing with milk and honey.

    General Notes

    The editor of the Register makes the following comments on 5 October 1868, page 2f: An editorial headed "Sir Henry Ayers on the Government" is in the Express, 13 May 1875, page 3b and says, inter alia: A correspondent to the Register on 28 December 1875 at page 5e opines: This expressed opinion is given further credence, for on 14 June 1876, page 5f another correspondent under the heading "Hansard - A Cure for Sciatica" says: On 8 March 1877 at page 6a the Register reproduces a letter from James P. Boucaut protesting against Mr Ayers' untruthful statements, while on 9 March 1877 at page 6b it is said: Under the heading "The Premier at Willunga" the Editor of the Register on 17 March 1877 at page 4f says: Portion of a poem which appears in the Register of 26 June 1877, page 6b reads: The Editor of the Register on 18 July 1877 at page 4e offers the opinion that: Again, on 22 August 1877 at page 4b the Editor says: Also see Register,
    26 June 1877, page 4d for further editorial comment and
    1, 8, 22 and 25 August 1877, pages 4e, 5e, 5e and 7a.

    "The Upper House and Sir Henry Ayers" is in the Express,
    25, 26 and 31 July 1877, pages 2a, 3b and 2b,
    29 August 1877, page 2f,
    28 September 1877, page 3c,
    8 September 1877, page 13b.

    A concerned voter informed the Register on 25 August 1877 at page 7b that in his opinion Sir Henry Ayers had:

    "The Upper House and Sir Henry Ayers" is in the Chronicle,
    28 July 1877, page 6a,
    4 August 1877, page 6a-b,
    29 September 1877, page 5a.

    The Editor of the Register again expresses concern at Sir Henry's apparent self-interest and lack of political aptitude - see 22 September 1877, page 4d:

    Sir Henry Ayers' speech at a mayoral banquet on "The Early History of SA" is reproduced in the Register,
    11 November 1880, page 6b; also see
    9 June 1891, page 6e.

    His approaching retirement is reported in the Observer,
    25 November 1893, page 24e,
    20 December 1893, page 5f.
    Biographical information is in the Advertiser,
    20 December 1893, page 5g and
    "Presentation to Sir Henry Ayers - An Address from the Burra" on
    27 September 1894, page 5g.
    Particulars of his will are in the Chronicle,
    28 August 1897, page 16d.

    A bust of Sir Henry is discussed in the Observer,
    19 May 1894, page 30d.

    An obituary of his son, H.L. Ayers, is in the Register, 29 April 1905, page 7a,
    of Frank R. Ayers on 24 April 1906, page 5b.

    "From Lawyer's Clerk to Premier" is in The News,
    9 January 1933, page 4e; also see
    The Mail,
    26 September 1936, page 4.

    Audley Estate - Ayliffe Crossing