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John Crozier (1814–1887)

It was reported in the city at a somewhat late hour on Thursday evening that the Hon. John Crozier, M.L.C., whose health had been in a very precarious state for some time past, was dying, and the members of his family who could be communicated with were summoned to Oaklands. No hope was entertained of his recovery, and early on Friday morning the news of his death reached Adelaide. The deceased gentleman had been under the medical care of Dr. H. Ferguson, of Glenelg, with whom Dr. Dunlop and Dr. Allan Campbell had a consultation. Notwithstanding the efforts of these gentlemen, however, Mr. Crozier died at about 30 minutes to 11 on Thursday night. At a consultation held a few days ago with Dr. Campbell his case was found to be clearly hopeless, and his friends were so informed. The cause of death was disease of the heart and dropsy. As soon as the news of the death was received in town the bells of the Town Hall were tolled out of respect to the memory of the deceased gentleman.

The Hon. John Crozier was a sterling specimen of the Scottish pioneer of the early days. Born at Roxburgh, Scotland, on August 12, 1814, he spent the first 23 years of his life in his native land, being engaged in pursuits eminently calculated to train him for his future career in the new land under the Southern Cross. His abilities were recognised by his being selected to go out to New South Wales to take charge of the estate of Redesdale, in the Braidwood district, owned by Dr. Anderson, of Parramatta. He arrived in the mother colony in the year 1838, and at once entered upon his engagement, and in the work that he undertook he met with a number of new experiences, the result of new conditions of life. The estate was principally worked by assigned convicts, and it required a man of no ordinary force of character to direct such a class of labor. But Mr. Crozier, although then only 24 years of age, conducted himself with credit and satisfaction. For three years he managed the Redesdale property under circumstances that were likely to bring out considerable administrative qualities, and then in 1841 he transferred his services to Captain Dobson, R.N., for whom he managed the Sandhills station, not far from Bungendore and Lake George, in the Bathurst district. In this engagement he was brought into close communication with the late Mr. Challis, a member of the firm of Flower, Salting, & Co., who, it will be remembered, died a couple of years ago in England, and bequeathed to the Sydney University the munificent sum of £100,000. Mr. Challis at that time conducted Captain Dobson's commercial business in Sydney. Five years of Mr. Crozier’s life were spent at the Sandhills, and then, in partnership with Mr. George Rutherford, he took up a station on the Edward River. Subsequently they migrated to the neighborhood of Wentworth, where they established the station property of Kulnine. The partners for some years persevered in their pioneering work, and eventually Mr Crozier became the sole proprietor of Kulnine. The deceased gentleman struggled along amongst those early difficulties, worked, and even drove his own bullock teams, loaded with his own wool, to Adelaide. Remembering the severely "laborious days" which comprised the existence of such early settlers as Mr. Crozier, it would indeed be ungenerous to be envious of their ultimate success. Mr. Crozier prospered as any man with energy and perseverance was bound to do, and by-and-bye he purchased Moorna and other stations on the opposite side of the Murray. It may be mentioned that the country taken up by the Chaffey Bros, in Victoria for irrigation purposes comprises a small portion of the deceased gentleman's properties. Eventually he sold the Kulnine station and half the stock to Mr. Bagot, and as years went on he purchased runs in the north and on the Queensland and New South Wales borders, placing his sons in charge of these properties. In 1866 he came to Adelaide and shortly afterwards, having purchased the estate of Oaklands, near Brighton, from Mr. Barrow, formerly one of the proprietors of the Advertiser, he went to reside there, and has remained at that place ever since. It was only in the year after taking up his residence in Adelaide that Mr. Crozier came out as a candidate for a seat in the Legislative Council. At that time the colony was one large constituency, and he was so popular as to be returned at the head of the poll, having as his successful colleagues at that election the late Sir William Morgan and Mr. Emanuel Solomon. As in everything else, Mr. Crozier, although not in the least a public speaker, brought valuable commonsense to bear on the legislative questions of the day, so that when, after nine years' service in the Upper House, he re-offered himself, he was again returned, this time taking second place. At the end of another nine years he once more sought re-election. By this time the colony had been divided into four districts for the Legislative Council, and Mr. Crozier chose to stand for the Central district, where he was returned a good second on the poll. But the late gentleman's public usefulness has not been confined to the Legislative Council, for he was for many years chairman of the Brighton District Council. He has also taken a considerable interest in the wine industry of the colony, and has produced a large quantity during the time that he resided at Oaklands, In the early days, too, he made an effort to improve the breed of horses, and imported some high-priced animals from Tasmania. No better epitaph could be written for the deceased gentleman than that expressed in the words— "He was a good colonist." Publicly he was respected, privately he was admired, and many will miss his sturdy Scottish individuality. He was 73 years of age at the time of his death, and he leaves a family of eight sons and one daughter—Messrs. William, John, Walter, Elliot, Harry, Arther, Edwin, and George Crozier, and Mrs. John Richardson—having lost one son and one daughter.

The funeral will take place to-day, leaving Oaklands at 3 o'clock for the Brighton cemetery.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Crozier, John (1814–1887)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 29 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

John Crozier, c1874

John Crozier, c1874

State Library of South Australia, B 45741

Life Summary [details]


12 August, 1814
Roxburghshire, Scotland


21 April, 1887 (aged 72)
Brighton, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.