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National Trust of South Australia


Bastian, Thomas Henry

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1843
Place of birth Willunga, South Australia
Principal occupation Farmer
Date of death 1879
Place of decease Koolunga, South Australia

Thomas Henry Bastian was born on 6 March 1843 in Willunga. He was the fourth and youngest son of Sampson Bastian senior (1791-1846) and Philippa Holman (1797-1872) and he was the only one of the ten Bastian children to be born in the colony of South Australia. His father died when he was just 3 years old and he grew up in the Willunga district during the 1840s and 1850s.

In April of 1867 Thomas Henry Bastian, yeoman farmer, was successfully sued in the Willunga Local Court for breach of promise of marriage by Jane Clement. In his defence Bastian had pleaded that drunkenness on his own part had rendered him unconscious of his actions, duress, i.e. imprisonment by plaintiff's friends, and immodesty on the part of the plaintiff. Evidence given by Mrs. Marshall, sister of Jane Clement, established that they had a two-year courtship and that her sister was pregnant. Jane Clement swore that Bastian was the father of the child. The Court gave a verdict for £100 with costs and in the following case Bastian was again successfully sued for board and lodging for Jane Clement and sentenced to pay £7 12s.

By August, Thomas Henry Bastian had advertised that he could not meet his debts and in October 1867 he was declared bankrupt in the Insolvency Court before His Honor Mr. Commissioner Downer owing £108 from the previous breach of promise case. Bastian pleaded that the only property he ever possessed was a piece of land, the proceeds of which, £40, his mother (Philippa Bastian nee Holman) received in April, 1865, that it remained in her hands till the action was brought, when it was absorbed in costs of the suit and insolvency expenses. He further says he has worked for years on his mother's farm without fixed wages.

Just over a month after being formally declared bankrupt, Thomas Henry Bastian, aged 24 years, married Elizabeth Ann Walters on 14 Nov 1867 at the Weslyan Chapel in Willunga.

In 1875 Thomas Henry Bastian paid rates on 80 acres (including a house) of section 256 near Willunga and a Willunga Township (Beltunga?) half acre town allotment (No. 267).

Thomas Henry Bastian, aged 36 years, died at Koolunga in the mid north of South Australia on 17 March 1879 when he fell from his horse while intoxicated.


  • Adelaide Chronicle 7 Sept 1867:3
  • Adelaide Observer 26 Jan 1867:3
  • South Australian Advertiser 23 Aug 1867:1
  • South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail 5 April 1879:22
  • South Australian Register 21 Dec 1866:4
  • South Australian Weekly Chronicle 5 Oct 1867:4

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