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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Colville, Matthew

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1816
Place of birth Scotland
Date of arrival 1839
Principal occupation Farmer
Date of death 1858
Place of decease Willunga, South Australia

Matthew Colville was born 31 Aug 1816 in Scotland. His parents were John Colville (1775-1832) and Martha McMurchy (1778-1856). He lived in Scotland before emigrating to South Australia. Religion – Presbyterian, Church of England.

Matthew Coville arrived, aged 23 years, on board Ariadne from Greenock, Scotland on 13 Aug 1839 with his brother John Colville, aged 25 years and John's wife Margaret. (Application 4133. Embarkation 2501.) Other settlers who became resident on the Aldinga Plains to arrive aboard Ariadne included Duncan Stewart and Mrs Isabella McMillan with her three children.

Matthew Colville resided in Adelaide, Unley and Willunga. John and Matthew Colville are listed on Section 278 on the Arrowsmith Survey of District C undertaken by John McLaren in 1840. They were resident in District C for the 1841 Census and they had an occupation licence in 1842. They were listed as the owners of section 276 to the south-west of the township of Willunga and they imported 1,500 sheep from Scotland to their property on Colville Road that they called Moy Hall. In 1842 they owned 2,600 sheep. In 1846 John and Matthew Colville applied for an occupation licence for the Rivoli Bay district.

In 1850 and 1853 John and Matthew Colville paid rates on sections 275 (80 acres) and 276 (76 acres, house). Then, in the years between 1855 and 1858, they paid rates on sections 275 (80 acres), 276 (76 acres, house), 302 (80 acres) and 755 (120 acres). This parcel of 356 acres of land lies to the south and west of Willunga South.

Matthew Colville was involved in the establishment of the Willunga Volunteer Rifles in 1854 and he had a reputation as a fine singer at social occasions. Matthew Colville never married and he died of apoplexy, aged 41 years, at Willunga and is buried at St. Stephen’s Anglican Cemetery, Willunga.


  • Passengers in History Database – South Australian Maritime Museum
  • SA Census 1841
  • South Australian Births – Index of Registrations 1842-1906
  • South Australian Marriages – Index of Registrations 1842-1937
  • South Australian Deaths – Index of Registrations 1842-1972
  • Ratepayer List Willunga & Aldinga Councils 1850-1888
  • Family Histories. C. Manuscript folder held by the National Trust (Willunga Branch). Blue folder 40-4
  • Ratepayer List. Willunga and Aldinga Councils 1850-1888. Volume 1. Manuscript folder held by the National Trust (Willunga Branch)
  • Statton J. (ed) 1986. Biographical Index of South Australians 1836-1885. Volume 1
  • Adelaide Observer 28 July 1849:2
  • Adelaide Observer 15 Nov 1854:3
  • South Australian Register 31 July 1858:2

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