Premiers

John Hart

Born on 25 February, 1809 in England, John Hart went to sea at age 12 travelling extensively around the Australian continent. He settled in Adelaide following his retirement from the sea and became involved in cattle farming, iron and copper smelting, and built a flour mill in Port Adelaide.

His political career commenced in 1851, initially in Victoria, and later representing Port Adelaide, Light and Burra.

He served three times as Premier of South Australia, first from 23/10/1865 to 28/3/1866, then from 24/9/1868 to 13/10/1868, and again from 30/5/1870 to 10/11/1871.

He died suddenly at his home at Glanville in 1873.

John Hart is buried in VLT D, Path 14 South.


Sir John William Downer

John William Downer was born in Adelaide, the son of immigrants Henry & Jane Downer (nee Field) who arrived in the colony in 1838. He was educated at St Peter’s College, and became one of Adelaide’s leading barristers. He became a QC in 1878, and was elected to represent Barossa the same year.  He then entered federal politics and soon made attorney-general.

He was twice Premier of South Australia, from 1885 to 1887, and from 1892 to 1893, then led the Opposition until 1899. He was knighted in 1887.

He died in 1915 at the age of 72.

The suburb of Downer in Canberra was named after him in 1960.

John William Downer is buried in VLT ED, Path 6 South


Sir Richard Butler

Richard Butler was born at Stadhampton near Oxford, England on 3 December, 1850, and arrived in Adelaide with his family on 8 March, 1854.

By the age of 30, he was a J.P., and entered politics in 1890, representing Yatala until 1902. He then became a member for Barossa until 1924 before standing as a Liberal in Parliament.

He was elected Premier on 1 March, 1905, and his government was defeated on 20 July 1905.

Butler was knighted in 1913, and passed away in Croydon on 28 April 1925, survived by nine children. His second son, (Sir) Richard Layton followed his father into politics and was twice Premier.

Sir Richard Butler is buried in Plot 2519, Path 10 North