Notable South Australians/Charles Tanner

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Charles Tanner.

AMONG the celebrated characters who have from time to time resided in this colony, few have attracted more attention, or are still better remembered than the far-famed "whip" Charles—or as he used to be familiarly styled, "Charley" Tanner. His father was the proprietor of a line of coaches running between London and Peckham Eye, so that from a very early age "Charley's" experience with horses commenced. He arrived in South Australia in 1840, and made his first essay as a driver on the Port-road; at that time a locality sacred to hills and hollows, and requiring no little skill to avoid a capsize. He was next heard of as manager for Cobb & Co., and used to drive up the crack coach at 9 in the morning from Glenelg. During the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh, Mr. Tanner was appointed one of his coachmen, and had the honour of giving His Royal Highness his first lessons in driving four-in-hand. On the prince leaving the colony he paid "Charley's" expenses to Victoria, where he remained a short time, and then returned to this colony. He next drove a coach between Adelaide and the Port. Mr. Tanner was universally liked, not only for his ability as a coachman, but for his courtesy to passengers. He was for twenty-two years a member of the M. U. Hope Lodge of Oddfellows. Many interesting anecdotes are still floating about respecting this "old identity," which, if true, border almost on the miraculous. He was fifty years of age at the time of his death, which took place in Adelaide on Jan. 10, 1869.