Two early items associated with the Bank of South Australia are offered together. (1) A manuscript personal promissory note (90 x 167 mm) dated Adelaide, 24 October 1840 - 'Three months after date pay to my order Thirty Pounds value received. F.W. Allen. To C.W. Stuart Esqre'. Stuart has written across it 'Accepted Payable at the Bank of South Australia'. It was subsequently stamped by the Bank of South Australia, Adelaide when it was paid on 27 January 1841. The verso is endorsed by F.W. Allen, C. Crispe and 'For the Bank of South Australia Edwd Stephens Manager'. Apart from two vertical creases and a tiny spike hole, it is in fine condition. (2) A printed Bank of South Australia cheque (80 x 180 mm, printed by Batho and Bingley, London) with manuscript insertions - 11 February 1841, from C.W. Stuart to Harry Lechahdee[?] for 3 pounds. A bank stamp on it indicates it was paid out in Adelaide on 15 February 1841. It is endorsed on the verso by Robert Champlay, an indecipherable signature and three small Xs. It is lightly creased, with a tiny spike hole; on the verso, there is a discoloured band denoting the outer surfaces when the item was originally folded; essentially it is in excellent condition. It goes without saying that these are utterly rare ephemeral items, dating from when the colony was barely four years old. However, because of this, we are able to identify most of the signatories, thus giving these trifles much greater weight
Edward Stephens (1811-1861) was appointed cashier and accountant of the South Australian Company in 1836; he arrived in the 'Coromandel' on 17 January 1837 at Holdfast Bay. 'There he set up his office in a tent but at first business was slight. He was induced to sign a letter to Governor [Sir] John Hindmarsh asking for a public meeting to reconsider the site of Adelaide. Although in February the meeting decided in favour of Colonel William Light's choice Stephens did not hesitate to buy eight city acres [3.2 ha] when they were auctioned, and later became very friendly with Light. Stephens fell foul of Hindmarsh and was rebuked by George Fife Angas for dabbling in politics' (Australian Dictionary of Biography). In 1840 he became the Adelaide manager of the Bank of South Australia. Charles William Stuart (~1811-1891) arrived in the colony in 1836, and became Acting Police Commissioner during Alexander Tolmer's extended absences on overland gold escort duties in 1852-53. Tolmer's dismissal in November 1853 was in part due to his involvement 'in demeaning disputes with his subordinates', not least Stuart. Frederick William Allen (1813-1850) arrived on the 'Buffalo' and became a publican. Clement Crispe (~1804-1857) arrived in 1837 on the 'John Renwick' and was a butcher and farmer. Robert Champlay was married in Adelaide on 30 January 1840. (Most of the biographical details have come from the 'Biographical Index of South Australians, 1836-1885'). We have not yet traced Harry - there are some intriguing possibilities.