Charles Mann

Charles Mann was a London solicitor with an interest in the colonization movement. In September 1835 he presented a paper to a meeting of the South Australian Literary and Scientific Association defending Edward Gibbon Wakefield’s plan for systematic colonization. At the request of John Hindmarsh, Mann was appointed the first advocate-general for the new province of South Australia and he sailed for the colony on the Coromandel, arriving at Holdfast Bay on 12 January 1837, just two weeks after the proclamation of the colony.

Mann fell out with Governor Hindmarsh on important issues. First, he supported Colonel Light’s choice of the site for Adelaide. Second, on disputes over the division of power between the governor and the resident commissioner, Mann supported the resident commissioner. He believed that it was important to maintain the balance of power between the two positions that was provided by the Foundation Act and was critical to the success of the colony. The disagreements led to Mann resigning on 13 November 1837.

However, Mann built a successful practice as a private solicitor in the colony. He became master of the Supreme Court of South Australia in 1844, an acting judge in 1849 and was appointed crown solicitor in 1850. In 1856 he was appointed the police magistrate and insolvency commissioner and later the commissioner of the the Court of Insolvency and stipendiary magistrate. Mann died on 24 May 1860, he was survived by his fourth wife and children.

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