Letters Patent Establishing The Province of South Australia

The Letters Patent establishing the Province of South Australia formally titled;

Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom erecting and establishing the Province of South Australia and fixing the boundaries thereof

was the document presented to the King to formally seek the approval to establish the province of South Australia. The Letters were dated 19 February 1836.

The provision to establish the settlement in South Australia, was set out in the South Australia Act, 1834. The Act had omitted specific directions with regards to how the province or provinces of South Australia were to be founded. These Letters Patent formulated by the Colonisation Commissioners were to address this. They specified that the province of South Australia was to be established with these boundaries:

On the North the twenty sixth Degree of South Latitude On the South the Southern Ocean—On the West the one hundred and thirty second Degree of East Longitude— And on the East the one hundred and forty first Degree of East Longitude including therein all and every the Bays and Gulfs thereof together with the Island called Kangaroo Island and all and every the Islands adjacent to the said last mentioned Island or to that part of the main Land of the said Province.

Included within the Letters Patent was a recognition of the rights of the Aboriginal Natives to live within the lands of the South Australian province.

"Provided Always that nothing in those our Letters Patent contained shall affect or be construed to affect the rights of any Aboriginal Natives of the said Province to the actual occupation or enjoyment in their own Persons or in the Persons of their Descendants of any Lands therein now actually occupied or enjoyed by such Natives"

This differed from the statements of the South Australia Act, 1834, which described the lands as 'waste' and 'uninhabited'.

These Letters Patent were adopted, and soon after this in February 1836 the Order in Council which enacted the establishment of the South Australia province was passed.

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