Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Angas, George Fife

ANGAS, GEORGE FIFE (1789–1879), one of the founders of the colony of South Australia, was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne on 1 May 1789, and died at Lindsey House, Adelaide, South Australia, on 15 May 1879. He was the senior partner of a large firm of shipowners and merchants in London until 1833, when he retired to Devonshire. He was appointed one of the first commissioners when the act passed in 1834 for the formation of the colony of South Australia, and when the government insisted on a certain amount of land being sold before the foundation, he guaranteed 35,000l., and was largely concerned in forming the South Australian Company for purchase of land and settlement of the population. Afterwards, suffering heavy losses through his colonial agents, he was compelled to send out his son, J. H. Angas, to look after his property in 1843; and soon after he himself emigrated to Adelaide, arriving there on 15 Jan. 1851, with his wife and youngest son, his two eldest sons and two daughters having preceded him, and another daughter remaining in England. He was also the founder of the National and Provincial Bank of England, the Bank of South Australia, and the Union Bank of Australia, and was chairman of the London boards of direction of all these companies up to the time of leaving his native country.

He was noted for his liberal support of all religious, educational, and charitable objects, and gave 5,000l. to the Bushman's Club, founded by his son. He filled various offices in the colony, was a member of the educational board and a representative of the district of Barossa in the legislative council. Harcus in his work on South Australia says of him: ‘Mr. Angas is one of the best and most useful colonists the province has ever had. He devoted time and labour to the colony when it needed the best assistance of its best friends. More than this, he risked to a large extent his considerable private means to give this province a start on a safe footing.’ To his efforts was due the settlement of a German colony which became very prosperous.

Angas resided at Lindsey House, one of the most beautiful spots in the colony. His son, Mr. J. H. Angas, who at the age of twenty helped to retrieve his father's fortunes, now lives there.

[Heaton's Australian Dict. of Dates, 1879; Harcus's South Australia, 1876; Times, 24 May 1879.]

J. W.-G.