On this day …….. 27th of July 1836
Kangaroo Island is a protected and unspoilt island off the coast of South Australia. Australia’s third-largest island after Tasmania and Melville Islands, it is 112 km southwest of the state capital, Adelaide. The first European to land on the island was Matthew Flinders, doing so in 1802, and it was he who named it, after his starving crew was saved by the abundance of kangaroos they found there. The island narrowly missed becoming a French colony, as Nicolas Baudin arrived shortly after Flinders departed, and named the island L’Isle Decres. From 1803, Kangaroo Island was frequently used as a base by sealers and whalers. Escaped convicts and ship deserters also made the island their home. While farmers and other settlers established themselves on Kangaroo Island from around 1819, these were not official settlements. The South Australia Act, enabling the founding of the colony of South Australia, was passed by British Parliament in 1834. In 1835, Scottish businessman and wealthy landowner, George Fife Angas, formed the South Australian Company to assist settlers to the new colony. The first emigrants bound for South Australia left in February 1836. On the 27th of July 1836, the first of the South Australian Company’s ships, the Duke of York, arrived at Reeves Point on Kangaroo Island’s north coast. The first ‘official’ settler to step foot on the island was two-year-old Elizabeth Beare.