Obituaries Australia

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: use double quotes to search for a phrase
  • Tip: lists of awards, schools, organisations etc

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Strickland Gough Kingston (1848–1897)

from Advertiser

The news of the death of his brother, Mr Strickland Gough Kingston, was brought to the Premier by the Commissioner of Police while the Ministry were sitting in Cabinet on Monday afternoon. Mr. C. C. Kingston at once determined to start for the north, and hurried arrangements were made by which the Premier, Mr. Kingston, and the Commissioner of Crown Lands were enabled to leave the city by the Broken Hill express at 4.50 p.m. On the train reaching Petersburg a special was in readiness to convey the two Ministers to Port Augusta, where they arrived between 2 and 3 o'clock this morning. They will leave Port Augusta again to-day and bring the body of the deceased with them to the city for burial. Owing to this sad event the Premier will not be able to be present at the reopening of Parliament this afternoon; but business will be proceeded with as usual in his absence. The Premier, who was greatly attached to his brother, was much affected by the sad news, and during the afternoon he was the recipient of many messages of condolence from politicians and other friends of the family. It may be mentioned as a melancholy coincidence that within the space of little more than twelve months Mr. Kingston has lost by sudden and unexpected death a Ministerial colleague, a business partner, and now his only brother, the shock in each instance having been exceedingly severe.

Mrs. S. G. Kingston, the widow of the dead man, and Miss Kingston, his sister, were attending a meeting in Christ Church school room, North Adelaide, on Monday afternoon, and Dr. Cockburn proceeded thence to convey to them the sad tidings. Mr. Hubert Giles, a brother-in-law of Mr. Kingston, had however, already performed the delicate task.

When the news of Mr. Kingston's death reached the city it caused a deep sensation, for some years ago he was one of the best known men in Adelaide, and among those who were most intimate with him he was a popular companion. Mr. Kingston was born in Adelaide in 1848, and was educated at Mr. John L. Young's school, an institution at which very many prominent South Australians received their early training. In fact Messrs. V. L. Solomon, F. I. Crowder, and A. H. Henning, members of the Federal Convention, all passed through that establishment. Mr. Kingston was a clever youth, and "at one time", remarked an old schoolfellow, "Mr. S. G. Kingston, Mr. C. C. Kingston, and Dr. Verco were the three smartest boys in the school, and they took all the honors in their classes." He was a general favorite while at school because of his generous nature and his genial disposition. He was a splendid athlete, and for some years he stood in the front rank as a long-distance runner, a jumper, a footballer, and a boxer. Upon leaving school he entered the Bank of Australasia, then under the management of the Hon. S. Tomkinson, M.L.C., but soon decided to study law, becoming an articled clerk in the office of the present Chief Justice, where his brother also received his legal training. Subsequently, when Mr. Way was raised to the bench his articles were transferred to Mr. Symon, who had been a fellow clerk until he entered into partnership with Mr. Way. Having learned his profession and been admitted to the bar, Mr. Kingston joined his brother, the firm carrying on business under the style of Kingston & Kingston. The partnership continued until Mr. Strickland Kingston in a mad freak fired a pistol at a cabman, and though fortunately no harm was done incurred a sentence of six months' imprisonment. His brother was then Attorney-General in the Colton Cabinet. Mr. S. G. Kingston shortly afterwards resumed practice, eventually going to Port Adelaide, where he worked up a good business and made himself very popular. He remained at Port Adelaide for about two years and then went north. He soon established a remunerative practice there and made a name for himself in most of the big cases heard in Port Augusta. Mr. Kingston, about fifteen years ago, married a daughter of the late Rev. Mr. Stanton, M.A., formerly an Anglican clergyman at the Burra and Kapunda. He was a most affectionate father, and long ago used frequently to take his two little girls with him to the cricket ground when a big match was being played. Mrs. Kingston has for some years been living with her sister at Glenelg.

As a youth Mr. Kingston played both cricket and football, and for years he was a member of the South Adelaide Football Club. Consequently he was widely known by men of his own age, and many were the remembrances of old times exchanged by the groups which gathered on the city footpaths to discuss his sudden death when the news was first published in the Express on Monday afternoon. He was last in Adelaide about three weeks ago for the purpose of appearing in an action heard before the Supreme Court. He then stopped with Mr. Hubert Giles, who married his sister, and talked quite confidently of winning the case. The verdict, however, was against him, and this, it is considered, had something to do with causing the depression which had such terrible results.

Canon Hopcraft, of St. John's Church, Adelaide, was incumbent of St. Augustine's, Port Augusta, a few years ago, and he saw a great deal of Mr. Kingston, who was one of his parishioners and a regular attendant at church. In speaking of the dead man on Monday evening to a representative of The Advertiser the canon said— '"Mr. Kingston used to be very intemperate, but his lapses of late have been fewer and less serious than ever before, and there is no doubt whatever that he was honestly trying to overcome the habit that had taken such hold of him. Whenever he relapsed of late his remorse seemed to have been very intense. I remember that about two and a half years ago he threatened to commit suicide, and he came to my house asking for me and saying that he was determined to shoot himself and he wanted me to be present. I was absent at the time, and Mr. Tom Young took hold of him and saved him from suicide on that occasion. I appeared to have some influence over him, and I don't think he would have shot himself on this occasion if I had been at Port Augtuta. I think he felt pretty much alone in the world. He was a remarkably shrewd fellow as a lawyer, and his fidelity was undoubted by the residents in the north. They believed in him professionally as an honorable man, and recently he had been getting on very well in his profession. His life has been comparatively temperate for a long while, and his outbreaks have been fewer and shorter. I should think from what I know of him that he had been drinking and that he shot himself while in the depth of his remorse. He was in Adelaide about three weeks ago engaged in a law case and he came to see me. He was quite steady until he lost the case, and then he was intoxicated for two days. Afterwards he pulled himself together and went home and remained allright. He was a gentleman when sober, and his aim was right, but he was not always able to put his aspirations into practice."

Mr. N. A. Webb, late Mayor of Port Augusta, who practised as a solicitor in that town for a number of years, in the course of a conversation with a representative of The Advertiser said:—"Mr. Kingston come to Port Augusta nine years ago, and he has been practising there ever since. During that time he has been engaged in almost every important case that has passed through the northern courts, and it has been my privilege to have been associated with him as opposing counsel in a great number of them. I always found him a fair opponent in court matters, and in private business also he could be absolutely relied on. He was a capital criminal lawyer, and as such probably had very few superiors in the profession in South Australia. He defended a number of prisoners at the Criminal Sittings at Port Augusta, and his work was highly successful. It was a great pleasure to work against him in a case because he was a good lawyer, a hard fighter, and at the same time he was eminently fair in everything he did. Socially he was well liked, and he had a great number of friends in Port Augusta who will be very grieved to hear of his sad ending. Not long ago I had a letter from Mr. Tom Young, the present mayor, in which he informed me of his election. Referring to this he writes:—'Pat Kingston would have liked to have taken the position, but I did not know in time. He has been keeping first-rate lately, and it might have helped him to continue so.' Mr. Kingston formed a strong friendship "with the Rev. Canon Hopcraft, at whose farewell meeting in the Town Hall he made an eloquent speech, and testified to the kindly influence that the canon had exerted over his life. Mr. Kingston's address on that occasion was undoubtedly one of the most eloquent he ever made, and it completely took the audience by storm."

The funeral of the late Mr. Kingston will take place to-morrow morning, the remains being removed at 10.30 o'clock from the residence of his brother, in Grote-street, where he was born, for interment in the West-terrace cemetery.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Strickland Gough Kingston

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Kingston, Strickland Gough (1848–1897)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024