William Galbraith

GALBRAITH, William (1822-1911) — Adelaide

Lithographer. Worked in partnership with John Penman as “Penman & Galbraith”, producing Robert Stephenson, Map of the county of Adelaide and surrounding districts 1850; Plan of the city of Adelaide 1851; Robert Stephenson, Hundred of Port Gawler 1854; William Gray, Plan of the township of Port Onkaparinga and vicinity 1859, etc. Also known for music, views, etc.

The son of William Galbraith and his wife Eliza. According to his own account, published in the Adelaide Evening Journal 17 Feb 1911, Galbraith was born in Glasgow 20 Feb 1822. “About the middle of the year 1848 I felt very much run down, as I had worked nearly the whole of the year 1847 at the rate of nine days a week, owing to the railway mania which attacked so many people in the old country. So when a friend, who was out of work at the time suggested emigration to Australia, I agreed at once. At first we had doubt about the colony to which it would be best for us to go, but a lucky chance put us in possession of a pamphlet [by John Stephens] concerning South Australia, in which the writer showed the great advantages which that province offered to emigrants in its healthy climate, fertile soil, and cheap cost of living. One point I well remember was that the writer mentioned that butter was so plentiful and so cheap that people were in the habit of greasing their boots with it … Now, as butter at that time in London was looked upon as quite a luxury, we really thought that, other things being equal, South Australia must have a touch of Paradise about it”. He and John Penman left Plymouth and arrived at Adelaide on the Hooghly 5 Dec 1848 and soon after acquired a lithographic press from an amateur printer. They set up the printing business of “Penman & Galbraith” in Grenfell Street. Galbraith married Janet Davie (1831?-1889) of Brownhill Creek 28 Jan 1852 at Adelaide. A brief partnership with William Macartney in Melbourne was ended 16 Jul 1853, with Galbraith returning to Adelaide in December of that year, resuming his partnership with Penman. They acquired over ninety acres of suburban land in Adelaide in that month. In April 1854 Galbraith was cleared of a charge of indecent assault, the jury having “no confidence whatever in the evidence adduced before them” (Geelong Advertiser, 21 Apr 1854). He acquired two parcels of land in Kent Town in 1862. The partners were fined in 1880 for printing liquor labels without the mandatory words “Bottled in South Australia” — the court case revealing that Galbraith’s son, also William Galbraith, was by now the manager of the firm. The partnership with Penman was formally dissolved on Penman’s retirement 30 Oct 1885, with Galbraith continuing for a time in partnership with his son. After his wife died aged fifty-eight 10 Nov 1889, he continued to live at his home in Charles Street, Norwood, with his two unmarried daughters. Galbraith died at home at the age of eighty-nine 16 Feb 1911.

71 Stockwell Street Closs, Lanark, Scotland — 1841
Grenfell Street, Adelaide — 1849
Pirie Street, Adelaide — 1851
60 Rundle Street, Adelaide — 1862
Gresham Street, Adelaide — 1885-1886
Charles Street, Norwood — 1889-1911

Census 1841. COPAC. DAAO. NLA. Trove.

Leave a Reply