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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Davenport, Sir Samuel

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Davenport, Sir Samuel, K.C.M.G., LL.D., J.P., fourth son of George Davenport, banker, Oxford, and of Great Wigston, co. Leicester, by Jane Devereux, his wife, daughter of Joseph Davies, of Mineweare, co. Pembroke, was born at Shirburn, Oxfordshire, on March 5th, 1818, and came to South Australia in 1842, whither his elder brother, George Francis Davenport, had preceded him. He was appointed one of the four nominee members of the Legislative Council on May 5th, 1846, and was a nominated non-official member of the enlarged Legislative Council when the Constitution Act was passed (Jan. 2nd, 1856), but resigned on August 19th, 1856. He was an elected member of the new Council from March 9th, 1857, to August 30th, 1866, when he resigned. Sir Samuel was Commissioner of Public Works in the first ministry formed after the concession of responsible government, and acted as its representative in the Legislative Council from March 20th, 1857, to August 21st in the same year. He resumed office as Commissioner of Public Works in Mr. (afterwards Sir) R. Torrens' Ministry, Sept. 1st to Sept. 30th, 1857. He was Executive Commissioner for South Australia at the International Exhibitions held in London in 1851, Philadelphia in 1876, Sydney in 1879, Melbourne in 1880. He was knighted in 1884, and was President of the South Australian Commission to the Colonial and Indian Exhibition held at South Kensington in 1886. For his services at the latter he was created K.C.M.G., and received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Cambridge University. He was Executive Commissioner and Trustee of the Adelaide Jubilee Exhibition in 1887, and a member of the South Australian Commission for the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition in 1888. He married, on June 1st, 1842, Margaret Frazer, only daughter of William Lennox Cleland, barrister, Calcutta, and his wife Harriett Erekine Fullerton. Sir Samuel is President of the South Australian branch of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia. In June 1891 he was an unsuccessful candidate for a seat in the Legislative Council.