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Thomas Padman (1815–1893)

An immense crowd was attracted to the corner of King William and Grenfell streets on Monday morning when it became known that Mr. Thomas Padman had died in a Kensington tramcar during the progress of the car to the city, and it was with great difficulty that the eager public were restrained from rushing into the tram. It appears that Mr. Padman got into the car at Kent-terrace, Kent Town, where he resides, and had only ridden several hundred yards when he suddenly expired. It was scarcely noticeable for some time, as the deceased gentleman retained his seat in the corner of the car, and very little notice was taken of him, we are informed, until Dr. Whittell entered the car at East Terrace. When it was discovered that Mr. Padman was dead it was decided to continue the journey to the terminus, as the tram contained a number of business men who were anxious to reach their offices. On the arrival of the car at the terminus the police were communicated with, and while a couple of constables guarded the entrances to the tram a message was also dispatched for the ambulance van. Mr. Thomas Pidman, a son of the deceased, was also informed of the occurrence and hurried to the scene, the crowd moving back respectfully to permit his passage to the car. Shortly after this the ambulance van arrived and the body was removed to the deceased's residence. It was not considered necessary to hold an inquest, and this afternoon the remains will be interred in the West-terrace Cemetery.

Interviewed by one of our representatives Dr. Whittell said he got into a Kensington car at the corner of East-terrace and Grenfell-street and took an inside seat. He did not take much notice of the other passengers for several moments, but as the car proceeded on its journey he noticed the deceased sitting in the corner near the door. The motion of the car caused the body to sway somewhat, while his face also bore a deadly appearance. Noticing this Dr. Whittell rose from his seat and crossed over to where Mr. Padman was sitting, and on raising the hat which covered deceased’s eyes saw that life was extinct. On making a few enquiries Dr. Whittell ascertained that Mr. Padman had hurried considerably to catch the car and in doing so had become exhausted. The doctor also made a hasty examination and attributes the cause of death to weakness of the heart.

The deceased gentleman was born at Norfolk, England, on March 21, 1815, and was consequently 78 years of age. He was a son of the Rev. Thomas Padman, a Wesleyan minister, and his early work was associated with the ironmongery trade. In 1842 Mr. Padman was induced to settle in Hobart by Messrs. Dickinson Brothers, whose business he managed until 1848, when he opened a branch in Adelaide for the same firm, which he eventually purchased. He commenced business in Adelaide on the site now occupied by Messrs. Crooks & Brooker, in Rundle-street, and then he purchased the site of the old Wesleyan Church in Gawler-place, now owned by Messrs. D. & W. Murray. Later on he carried on business in Stephens-place and then on North terrace, where he established an ironmongery and agricultural warehouse, and erected the premises now occupied by the Australasian Implement Company. He was for many years one of the leading merchants in the city and had also branches at Gawler and Kapunda. At one stage he had with him as a partner Mr. W. Longbottom, now of Messrs. J. Colton & Co. Early in the sixties Mr. Padman was appointed local agent of the Australasian Mutual Provident Society. On the establishment of a branch of the society in Adelaide in 1872 he relinquished this position and then was employed on the canvassing staff. Through his efforts a very large business was introduced to the society, and on the severance of his connection with the institution they lost a valuable servant. In 1883 Mr. Padman retired from business when he received a substantial pension. The deceased had a policy which he tock out in the A.M.P. Society in the early days, the particulars of which the society has published with the consent of the late Mr. Padman. This statement shows that the bonus additions have more than doubled the amount for which he was originally assured, namely, £1,000. The deceased had also a policy in the Church of England Insurance Company. He leaves a widow and eight children, the five sons being Messrs. T. Padman, A. H. Padman, J. W. Padman (of Myponga), J. E. Padman and S. W. Padman (of Middleton).

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • funeral, Advertiser (Adelaide), 2 August 1893, p 7

Citation details

'Padman, Thomas (1815–1893)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


21 March, 1815
Diss, Norfolk, England


31 March, 1893 (aged 78)
Norwood, 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.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.