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Butler Sir Richard

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth
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Place of birth Stadhampton, near Oxford, England
Date of arrival
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Principal occupation Station Manager, Councillor, Parliamentarian, Premier
Date of death
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Place of decease Walkerville, Adelaide, South Australia

Richard Butler was the elder son of Richard Butler, farmer, and his wife Mary Eliza, née Sadler. The Butler family arrived in Adelaide on 8 March 1854. Richard attended St Peter's College, and then worked for his uncle, Philip Butler, at his property 'Yattalunga', near Gawler.

Richard managed 'Yattalunga' from the time of his marriage to Helena Layton of New South Wales in 1879 until after their third child was born. It was about this time that 'Yattalunga' was sold to Joseph Barritt.

In 1883, Richard and his family moved to Mallala Station, another of Philip's properties, which Richard purchased later. Richard was a Churchwarden and Layreader and his wife an organist of the new Anglican Church of St. Peter. His wife Helena died in 1892. They had eight children before her death.

On 7 June 1894 he married Ethel Pauline Finey and they had three children.

Richard was a J.P., active in community affairs, and sometime chairman and Councillor for the District of Grace. In 1890 he was elected to represent the Yatala constituents in the South Australian Parliament. This electorate was later included in Barossa and Richard was their member for over 30 years. As a token of appreciation, these people arranged for a memorial portrait by George Webb, which was hung in the House of Assembly in 1928.

During his Parliamentary Career, Richard was Premier for a short period in 1905 and held all ministerial portfolios except Attorney-General.

He was Speaker of the House when he lost office in 1924.

He was knighted in 1913.

Sir Richard Butler was recognised for his sound though frugal administration, for the building of the Outer Harbour, once named 'Butler's Folly', and for the locking of the River Murray.

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Sir Richard Butler
Sir Richard Butler

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