The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Hart, Hon. John

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1391652The Dictionary of Australasian Biography — Hart, Hon. JohnPhilip Mennell

Hart, Hon. John, C.M.G., sometime Premier of South Australia, was born in 1809, and went to sea, ultimately becoming a captain in the merchant service. In 1835, the year before South Australia was founded, he established a whaling station at Encounter Bay, and subsequently traded between South Australia, Van Diemen's Land, and England. In 1846 he abandoned the sea, and settled at Port Adelaide, where he started flour mills. He was returned to the first Legislative Assembly, in 1857, for Port Adelaide, and sat for that constituency till 1859, and again, from 1862 to 1866, when he resigned. He was member for Light from 1868 to 1870, and for the Burra from that year until his death in 1873. He was Treasurer in Mr. Baker's Ministry from August to Sept. 1857, and In the Hanson Government from September of that year to June 1858. He was Chief Secretary in the Dutton Ministry for a few days in July 1863, and Treasurer in the first and second Ayers and first Blyth Ministries from that date till March 1865. Mr. Hart was three times Premier of the colony—viz., from Oct. 1865 to March 1866, from Sept. to Oct. 1868, and from May 1870 to Nov. 1871; on the two first occasions with the office of Chief Secretary, and on the last with that of Treasurer. Mr. Hart, who was created C.M.G., fell down dead whilst attempting to address a meeting of the Marine Insurance Company in Adelaide on Jan. 28th, 1873.