John Angas

John Angas

John Howard Angas (5 October 182317 May 1904), was an Australian pioneer, politician and philanthropist.

John Howard Angas was the second son of George Fife Angas and his wife Rosetta née French. He was born in Newcastle upon Tyne and when around four years old was boarded out with a couple in Hutton, Essex where his parents were living. He later attended the University of London for short time.

When 18 years of age, Angas was told by his father that he must prepare himself to go to South Australia to take charge of his father's land in the Barossa Valley. As part of his preparation he learned German, so that he might be able to converse with the German settlers and studied land surveying. He left England on 15 April 1843 and was still only in his twentieth year when he arrived in South Australia. The colony was in financial difficulties, and he needed all his courage, caution, and good judgment. With better times the estate began to pay, good shorthorn cattle and merino sheep were purchased, and when his father arrived in 1851 it was realized that the property was now a valuable one. In 1854 the younger Angas went to Europe on a holiday and on 10 May 1855 was married to Susanne Collins. He returned in 1855 and settled at Collingrove near his father's estate. He became a breeder of stud cattle, horses, and sheep, and is known to have paid as much as £1000 for a single ram. The prizes won by him at shows for livestock and wheat were numerous. In 1871 he was elected a member of the South Australian Legislative Assembly for Barossa but resigned in 1875 on account of his health. In 1887 he re-entered politics as a member of the South Australian Legislative Council and remained a member for seven years. He made numerous gifts to all kinds of charitable movements, religious institutions, and hospitals, and gave £10,000 to the University of Adelaide to found scholarships. He died on 17 May 1904 and was survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

When Angas was developing the land at Barossa he had to make important decisions while little more than a boy and was a fine type of early pioneer. Like his brother, George French Angas, he had some talent as an artist, but the responsibilities thrown on him in early life prevented him from developing it to the same extent.


*Sally O'Neill, ' [ Angas, John Howard (1823 - 1904)] ', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 3, MUP, 1969, pp 36-38.
*The Adelaide Register, 18 May 1904;
*E. Hodder, George Fife Angas;
*P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography;
*Burke's Colonial Gentry, 1891.

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