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Frederick Ayers (1847–1897)

Very great regret will be occasioned by the sudden death of Mr. Frederick Ayers, the third son of Sir Henry Ayers; K.C.M.G., and a partner in the well-known legal firm of Ayers, Ayers, & Gail. The deceased gentleman by his genial disposition had made himself esteemed by a large circle of friends, and his death will without doubt not only come as a surprise, because his familiar figure was only recently to be seen about town, but as a shock to those who knew him best. Socially Mr. Ayers occupied a very prominent position, a host with few peers, and taking as he did a leading part in all matters relating to sport his demise will leave a gap which it will be difficult indeed to fill.

Mr. Ayers was fifty years of age and was one of the earliest pupils to attend St. Peter's College. The late Rev. Mr. Jenkins was the Head Master of St. Peter's when Mr. Ayers first went to the institution, but the Ven. Archdeacon Fair and the late Rev. Francis Williams were the masters, whom he was wont to say he knew and liked best, the latter especially. After acquiring a good classical education at St Peter's, Mr. Ayers went to Cambridge University, where he took the degree of B.A., subsequently graduating as Master of Arts in 1875. Whilst at his Alma Mater Mr. Ayers rowed in his College boat when it was head of the river. He was tried but not selected for a boat in the 'Varsity eight. He entered at the Inner Temple, where he was called to the Bar on January 26, 1870. He kept his terms in two or three barristers' offices, among them that of Mr. Thomas Baylis. Before returning to South Australia, Mr Ayers married, and on arriving iu Adelaide commenced the practice of his profession on his own account. When Mr. Justice Stow was elevated to the Bench his elder brother, Mr. Frank Ayers, took him into partnership, thus founding the firm of to-day. The deceased gentleman has since his return to the colony taken a deep interest in the Adelaide University, and for many years he has been a member of its Senate and Council. As Dean of the Faculty of Laws Mr. Ayers has presented to the Chancellor nearly all the gentlemen who have qualified as Bachelor of Laws. As before mentioned, he took a keen interest in everything appertaining to healthy sport. He was for some years a member of the Wanderers Cricket Club, which was originally organized by his younger brother, Mr. A. E. Ayers, and when the club took its annual outing, Mr. F. Ayers was the life and soul of the team. For some years the deceased gentleman had occupied the position of committee man on the South Australian Jockey Club, and his well-known impartiality and legal acumen served to establish his judgment as beyond reproach or question. Indeed, the senior racing club will find it a hard matter to replace Mr. Ayers. He was always to be seen in the smoking pavilion at the Adelaide Oval on the occasion of big cricket matches, whilst he followed the tennis tournaments and lacrosse matches — two pastimes in which one of his sons particularly excels— with the keenest interest.

The deceased gentleman has left a widow and a family of two sons and four daughters to mourn their loss. Mr. Ayers had been indisposed for about ten days, but it was only during the last three days that serious symptoms supervened. The direct cause of death was gout, followed by serious complications, from which Mr. Ayers expired in the presence of his family at Aldgate on Monday evening at 6 o'clock.

Original publication

Citation details

'Ayers, Frederick (1847–1897)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 29 May 2024.

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