Arthur Hardy of ‘Mount Lofty House’



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Arthur Hardy of ‘Mount Lofty House’




Robert Martin


The Australian Dictionary of Biography sums up Arthur Hardy's career by saying 'he is best remembered as a planter of trees, some of them enclosed in the Arthur Hardy flora and fauna reserve at Mount Lofty'. If this is truly what he is best remembered for, I hope this essay will go some way towards establishing that Hardy should be remembered for a little more in the history of South Australia, even though he could do worse than be remembered for planting trees. And in the region of Mount Lofty he should be remembered as one of the most significant of the district's inhabitants in the first half-century after European settlement. His home 'Mount Lofty House', on the Summit Road (formerly the Ridge Road) was the first gentleman's mansion on Mount Lofty itself, and thankfully Mr and Mrs Ross Sands restored it after the devastation of the second Ash Wednesday Bushfire. Now 'Mount Lofty House', much enlarged, is under new ownership and known as the Mercure Grand Hotel Mount Lofty House.
For a time Arthur Hardy himself owned quite a large estate round about Mount Lofty, and he took an active part in the life of the community, for instance by joining the local district council and lobbying the colonial government for a schoolhouse.
But these and other matters are for later; I should begin at the beginning, or rather before the beginning, with Arthur Hardy's ancestors. If the family genealogy is correct, Arthur Hardy was descended from Clement le Hardy who was Lieutenant Governor of the island of Jersey in 1488; and if that is so Arthur was connected, though very distantly, with Thomas Hardy, the great novelist and poet. And he would also have been related to the Hardy who was the bosom friend of Lord Nelson. 'Kiss me, Hardy' - or was it 'Kismet, Hardy' that Nelson said as he lay dying on the Victory?
Arthur Hardy's father Thomas practised in Walworth, London, as a 'surgeon and man-midwife', that is, he was an early form of the obstetrician. Now Thomas's ancestor, the Reverend John Hardy, was curate of the village of Kirkburton, not far from Huddersfield in Yorkshire, and he bought in the year 1732 a Tudor manor house called 'Birksgate'. Later the lands and manor of ‘Shepley’ were added to this estate.
And all of it was to pass to Thomas Hardy, that is, Arthur Hardy's father, in 1836 when an uncle died. But when Arthur was born, in 1817, this impending good fortune was scarcely to be thought of, and Thomas worked away at his profession as a surgeon and man-midwife in London, conscious perhaps that he was well-connected even if not a gentleman of leisure.
His wife, Arthur's mother, was born Harriet Hurst, and had an even prouder lineage. She came from cavalier stock who at the time of the Civil War were prominent in the cause of King Charles I. Her descendants possess a portrait of the king as a martyr with a crown of thorns, a portrait reputedly given by Prince Rupert to Harriet’s ancestor, Sir Nicholas Crispe.
Arthur, as we shall see, came from what was in some ways a perfectly normal family, one in which there were fits of bad temper, rows, rivalries, ne’er-do-wells, bad marriages, drunkenness, beatings, and general ill-health. At the centre of it all was the father, Thomas Hardy, who is described as ‘obstinate, headstrong, and cranky, stern and stingy’. All the same, he was energetic and intellectually active, and some at least of his children made a go of it in life.



Arthur was the seventh of eight children, and he was the youngest son. The fact that he was a younger son is of course significant in the context of English history, as it meant that he would have very little chance of inherited wealth, and would have to make his own way in the world. There was no certainty that his father would leave much money anyway.
Arthur’s importance, as it were, in the family increased over time, for the most unfortunate of reasons. He and his brothers and sisters seem to have shared a family weakness of health, centred in the chest. The eldest brothers John and Thomas died quite young of tuberculosis. They had been apprenticed to their father’s profession. Another son, William, was a surgeon in the Navy, but he too fell ill with TB, and eventually died in Italy in 1840. The parents must have been in distress at the prospect of the loss of most if not all of their children, for Alfred and Arthur fell ill as well.
On medical advice Alfred was packed off to the warmer and dryer climate of South Australia. He was actually sent out with Colonel Light’s surveying team, in 1836 – he was on the brig ‘Cygnet’ and Light was on the ‘Rapid’. Where Alfred’s health was concerned, the appointment to the surveying team was not entirely a wise move, as the team had to do a huge amount of work very quickly and in trying conditions, and it seems that Alfred’s health never fully recovered.
I have mentioned five sons, Arthur, Alfred, William, Thomas, and John. There was one more, Edward, who was in good health. He might have relieved his parents’ anxieties somewhat, but he had faults of character which they could have found more trying than physical disease. He was extravagant and uncontrollable. Then he blotted his copybook altogether, in their eyes, by forming a liaison with a servant who was also a married woman. They hied off to New Zealand together, and produced two illegitimate children before she was free to marry him. To increase his parents’ distress, on the death of his brothers Thomas and John, Edward became the eldest son and so the heir to the family estate.
If I have suggested that Mr and Mrs Hardy were in greatest anxiety over their sons, I should perhaps redress the balance by mentioning the fate of their two daughters. Caroline, the youngest, had fought dreadfully with her mother, and the other daughter, who was called Harriet after the mother. When Caroline finally got married it was to a lawyer named Arthur Ley, who drank heavily and took to beating his wife. He may also have tangled up to his own advantage any of the family business that came his way.
There remains the other daughter, Harriet. If it was the case that Mr and Mrs Hardy were, like most parents of the time, more concerned about the future of their sons than their daughters, it is ironic that Harriet was to make the greatest name in the world of any of their children, albeit probably not in a way they would approve of.



The daughter Harriet was born in 1807, and so was ten years older than Arthur. In 1826 she married John Taylor, a partner in a firm of wholesale druggists. As Harriet Taylor she passed into history by beginning an unusual love affair with the philosopher and political economist John Stuart Mill. Later, on the death of her first husband, she was able to marry Mill.
Much ink has been spilt on this relationship; the most important thing has been to decide how great an influence Harriet had upon the ideas and writings of Mill. He himself said that her influence was enormous and all to the good, and after all some credit must be given to his own opinion on the subject. Arthur Hardy accepted that Harriet’s influence upon Mill had been great, and even said that she practically wrote the book On Liberty herself, but this seems a little too flattering.
Our chief concern with John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor Mill is how they impinge upon the life of Arthur Hardy. Arthur had been Harriet's favourite brother, perhaps because he was the youngest. He would also have gone a long way towards matching her intellectual powers. And she once wrote to him, when in a state of exasperation with her family at large: ‘You are pretty nearly if not quite the only respectable relative I possess’.
Arthur does not seem to have been as upset as the rest of the family by Harriet’s relations with John Stuart Mill at the time when she was still married to John Taylor. The relationship excited some gossip, but we may accept Mill’s remarks in his autobiography to the effect that he only had a deep friendship with Mrs Taylor, not an adulterous affair. Mill was scrupulously honest. Furthermore he’d been indoctrinated by his father James Mill into a deep dislike of sex.
Anyway, Arthur does not seem to have been as upset as other members of the family by the goings-on. He did, however, as a favourite teenage brother, tend to get in the way when the couple wanted to be alone, and there are references in the letter to excursions away from the house to avoid young Arthur.
Harriet and John Stuart Mill needed some introduction as they later re-enter, in interesting ways, the story of Arthur Hardy in South Australia. And it's interesting in itself that the great philosopher Mill had brothers-in-law Alfred and Arthur in South Australia.
Arthur was educated at Camberwell Grammar School where he would have had a good wide-ranging education. His later career and interests show him to have been up-to-date with many subjects. His family were generally well-educated and intellectually lively, especially his sister Harriet.
Not that it mattered much in terms of learning about the real world and the world of ideas, but the Hardy sons were denied entry to the Public Schools and the universities because their father was, in his religion, a Dissenter, of the brand called Unitarian – that is, he denied the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and asserted that Jesus had been, although a wonderful man, no more than a man. Such people have been likened to Muslims. Until the mid-nineteenth century there were various disabilities inflicted upon people who were not in the Church of England. Fortunately many Dissenters took care to give their children a good education anyway, as part of their determination to do well in the world. And Dissenters of course played a large part in the foundation of South Australia as a place free of the religious disabilities of Great Britain. Arthur Hardy in South Australia was just one of many intelligent, forthright, and well-educated non-Anglicans.
I have mentioned that brother Alfred's health was not as fully restored as it might have been when he was sent to South Australia for the climate. He was overworked in the surveying teams. The family didn't know this when in October 1838 they packed young Arthur off on the ship Platina, to join his older brother in South Australia. Arthur too had developed pain in the chest, with haemorrhages. He was 21 years old. Slaving over law books had aggravated his condition, and it must have been with some desperation and foreboding that the family took measures to rescue yet another sick child.
The State Library of South Australia possesses the diary which Arthur kept during the voyage to the colony, and for a few months after landing. There were exciting incidents during the sea voyage, such as a mutiny of the crew. Otherwise Arthur spent his time practising on the guitar, making nets for chicken coops, and reading Blakelock on sheep. And he read widely in other good books.
But I must push on to Arthur’s life in South Australia, and especially at Mount Lofty. Arthur arrived in South Australia with money borrowed from his father and a man named Price. His father had also bought for him some preliminary 134-acre sections and some town acres in Adelaide itself. One of Arthur's first tasks was to establish himself as a sheep-farmer, and accordingly, within a few days of his arrival he set out to the Mount Barker district to look at some sheep he had bought. This brought him for the first time to the Adelaide Hills, and the pages in his diary recording the trip are worth our attention. I quote from the diary for 24 February 1839:
The country is tremendously hilly when near Mount Lofty but very picturesque, precipitous ravines hundreds of feet deep with trees in the ledges, like what I imagine the scenery on the Rhine ... We got to Crafers Hotel (past the tiers at the foot of Mount Lofty) by one oclock when we lunched and then pushed on, the whole country from then to the Angas river (but which I believe to be the Onkaparinga) is a descent but formed of extremely steep & stony ridges each one rather lower than the preceding and very thickly wooded the land good for nothing but the timber.
When he visited the Crafers Hotel it was the rough stringybark structure called the Sawyer’s Arms, which David Crafer had built only a few months before, to capture the trade of travellers like Arthur, of tourists to Mount Lofty, and of course of the Tiersmen, the wild timbergettters who were at work in the forest roundabout.
Arthur believed that the so-called Angas River was actually the Onkaparinga which flowed into the sea at Noarlunga: this had actually been proved the previous December by an expedition led by Governor Gawler.
And it’s interesting that Arthur thought the land about Mount Lofty was good for nothing but timber. This was at first the attitude of most people in South Australia, But it soon changed, and Arthur Hardy himself helped to change it. It was found that some of the soil was quite fertile and suitable for growing vegetables, fruit, and grain.



With the sheep from Mount Barker, Arthur set up his first station, which was about six miles north-east of Adelaide, on the banks of the River Torrens. He called the place ‘Shepley’, because his father had by now become lord of the manor of Shepley in England, but nowadays the locality in South Australia is part of the suburb called Paradise. Of the stations on the Torrens, Hardy's was at that time, early 1839, the farthest but one out from Adelaide.
He lived in pretty primitive conditions at first, sleeping in a tent and then in a simple hut. He had brought with him from England a shepherd named Mewett. He had the usual share of troubles: wandering stock, wild pigs attacking his lambs, geese invading his kitchen garden. He even had a so-called ‘scare’ with the Indigenous inhabitants: he came across a shepherd on the neighbouring station of the South Australian Company who had been speared, and he joined a police party in a ‘punitive expedition’.
In the long term, and despite the depression of the early 1840s, Hardy did well out of his property, selling wethers for 45/- a head, selling wool, and selling wheat and hay. By 1844 this particular property at Shepley was described as having 3,900 sheep, 22 cattle, 40 pigs, and seven horses. There were 108 acres under wheat, seven acres of barley, 40 of oats, six of potatoes, five of lucerne, and a garden of five acres. So just as a pastoralist and farmer, Arthur was doing well for himself. He soon took up larger pastoral holdings - a run in the Port Lincoln district, another on the River Light.
However, very early on, he had resumed his intended career in the law. His health picked up wonderfully in the South Australian climate. Governor Gawler asked him to take on the post of Crown Prosecutor because of a particular problem the authorities were having. Felons were going scot-free because of technicalities in the law of the new colony, which was still sorting itself out as a going concern. Hardy soon helped to iron out the difficulties, and so began a long legal career in South Australia.



With reference to legal matters and to the Mount Lofty district, Hardy, many years later, in 1906, made intriguing comments in some reminiscences he published in a journal called The Honorary Magistrate. I quote them in full:
Immediately on my arrival I found that a comparatively insignificant, but most successful, undertaking had been arrived at, viz., a very considerable number of escaped convicts had found their way into the Mount Lofty Ranges, principally about what is now called Piccadilly. An unofficial understanding had been arrived at, viz., that so long as no crimes were committed by these men in South Australia the police would not seek for any of them, but, if any crime should be committed in South Australia, the guilty men should be given up to the police, failing which, the whole of them would be hunted down and returned to the colony from which they had escaped. I do not remember that any complaint was made against any of them; but I do remember that they were sought for by settlers, at £1 a day wages (the same as emigrants could get for fencing, etc), and it was recognised that those settlers who secured their labour got more work by them in a day than by emigrants at the same wage, because they understood the work from long practice. I saw many of them, and steadier men I never saw.
Nowhere else have I seen a direct account of a deal between the authorities and the Tiersmen that if the latter behaved, their crimes in other colonies would be forgotten. Lady Franklin, who visited from Van Diemen's Land in December 1839, hints at it in her journal. Governor Gawler would never have admitted it out loud because he would have lost face. He had made an unsuccessful attempt to put down the Tiersmen in late 1838; and in early 1840 one of his reasons for hanging the bushrangers Curran and Hughes, who amongst other crimes had held up the Crafers Inn, was to show the Tiersmen that he could get tough if he needed to.
Having quickly prospered at farming, pastoralism and the law, and having been restored to full health, Arthur returned to England in 1848. There he found that his father was gravely ill. But the old man was well enough to get embroiled in a row with Arthur over money. Thomas Hardy had been generous in helping his sons Alfred and Arthur to set up in South Australia, but then he became touchy about them owing him money. He died during Arthur's visit to England, I hope at the end on good terms with his son.
At about the same time John Taylor died, leaving Arthur's sister Harriet free to marry John Stuart Mill. Arthur visited Mill during the stay in England, and very properly conversed on economic questions. Mill was after all one of the foremost economists of the day.
Arthur also visited the poet Wordsworth in the Lake District and 'found the old gentleman hale and hearty'.



While at home, Arthur also found time to embark on a whirlwind courtship and marriage. He married Martha, the daughter of Lt. Col. Frederick Price of Guernsey. Perhaps this was the same man named Price who had earlier lent him money. The newlyweds honeymooned in Belgium and Germany and left for South Australia in February 1850.



With a wife, and a family in the offing, Arthur needed to build a proper house. It should also be one fitting to his station as one of the elite of South Australia. His brother Alfred had built 'Hartley Bank' at Glen Osmond in about 1848. Alfred had by the way become the Town Surveyor, and supervised the building of two of the early city bridges. Later he was Superintending Surveyor of Main Roads. His house, 'Hartley Bank', later became 'Claremont', the property of Daniel Cudmore.



So one inducement for Arthur to build at Glen Osmond was that his brother was living nearby. Another was that he intended developing quarries in the neighbourhood. The foothills had been exploited for building stone and road metal since the late 1830s, and Arthur lighted on a site at the very entrance to Glen Osmond, on the southern side. This site has in recent years become the exclusive, and indeed reclusive, housing estate called ‘Mira Monte’. In its day it was one of the most important quarries serving Adelaide, and it helped keep Arthur Hardy going financially, if not actually solvent.



An interesting detail about the quarry is that, 30 years into its operation, in the early 1880s, Arthur tried, successfully, the experiment of enormous dynamite blasts there, one of them reputedly among the largest ever tried in the world to that date and ‘without the slightest damage to any property, and without injury to any person’.



Arthur and his wife built their house 'Birksgate' in about 1851, not far from the quarry. The name came from his father's other manor house in Yorkshire. The South Australian house was in the late Georgian style, with plain lines, shutters on the windows, bay windows, and a neo-classical porch.



There Arthur and Mrs Hardy began producing a family. Arthur Marmaduke was born in 1851, Mabel in 1853, Herbert in 1856, and Ethel in 1858. Arthur Hardy's career and varied political and social interests progressed as well. From 1850 to 1857 he was President of the Court of Disputed Returns for Legislative Council elections. From 1852 he was a member of the Adelaide District Road Board. He became a member of the Education Board. He helped found the Unitarian Church in South Australia, but he seems to have lost interest in that church later on. Martha was all along a staunch Anglican. Arthur was the first provincial grand master of English Freemasons in South Australia. He was a founder of the Adelaide Club. Later, between 1875 and 1887 he would be a member of parliament, although not a very distinguished one. It is said that he ‘usually emptied the House when he rose to speak’.
Arthur was a benefactor of the village of Glen Osmond, where so many of his workmen and their families lived; in the glen itself beside the freeway are a few remnants of the workers’ hamlet called Hardy Town. He founded the Glen Osmond Institute, which was the first one outside Adelaide. This was to provide means of education for the villagers and also had the sanctimonious purpose of keeping them out of the pub. Arthur actually paid for the construction of the building. And he was helped by his sister Harriet, her husband John Stuart Mill, and her daughter Helen Taylor: they donated 100 books for the Institute library. Arthur also helped bring a school to Glen Osmond. And he founded the local Volunteer Rifle Corps in 1859, when such bodies were being set up throughout the British Empire at the time of one of the anti-French scares.
Arthur had begun buying land in the Adelaide Hills in the mid-1840s. By the early 1860s this was to accumulate to about 1,000 acres in the vicinity of Mount Lofty. This included much of what is now the Cleland Conservation Park, and land on the eastern side of Mount Lofty stretching down to the later-installed railway line.
Meanwhile wealthy people began building fine residences actually on the Hills, rather then just against the foothills, as a retreat from the heat and dust of Adelaide. The first of these would seem to have been John Baker at 'Morialta'. In 1850 Edward Collet Homersham built ‘Eagle’s Nest’ at what soon became known as Eagle-on-the-Hill. Arthur Hardy was the first to build actually on Mount Lofty itself. Someone was bound to build there; it was an appropriately elevated place for the wealthy to declare their prestige, and it was simply an attractive place to live. Hardy began building his ‘Mount Lofty House’ in 1856, or perhaps it was late 1855. At first it was quite a small stone dwelling, probably the southernmost part of the present building.
The house came to the attention of Arthur's sister Harriet Mill. And in 1857 she wrote to him: ‘I had a most tempting account of your house at Mount Lofty from Mrs. Cooper though from your own account it would seem to be “Bleak House”. I have no doubt it is a delightful place’.



Arthur would seem to have made mention of the conditions in winter at Mount Lofty. He was interested in the weather there for more than one reason. He had an interest in meteorology, and was scarcely set up at ‘Mount Lofty House’ when he began keeping records of the temperature and rainfall. He did this for many years, sending the reports to Charles Todd, the government official responsible for gathering such statistics.
Arthur was also interested in climatic conditions because he wanted to establish a large garden at ‘Mount Lofty House’. He forged ahead, and I can do no better than quote from Ebenezer Ward’s description of the property in his Vineyards and Orchards of South Australia of 1862:
THE SUMMER RESIDENCE OF MR. HARDY
We believe no one in South Australia is qualified to dispute with Mr. Hardy the distinction of having planted a vineyard at the highest elevation above the level of the sea. Who has not remarked, when gazing at towering Mount Lofty, the white patch, visible even beyond the shores of the mainland, which marks its western side within a very short distance of its highest point? But will not some be surprised to learn that on that same white patch vines have been planted, and have thriven well enough to warrant the anticipation that they will prove the nucleus of a luxuriant vineyard …
About seven acres have been planted here. The soil – that is the stone, sand, and rock – was broken up with picks, and the scrub upon it was rooted and burnt. This was done in the seasons of 1859 and ’60, and cuttings were planted in rows 6 feet by 5 feet apart. With them walnut-trees were planted in rows 1 chain (66 feet) apart, and half a chain apart in the rows. Thus vines and walnuts are to have an equal chance, and whichever proves the least remunerative will be rooted up, or rather as the vines will prove their failure or success before the walnut-trees will be large enough to be troublesome to them, it will depend upon the issue whether they will remain or not. If they fail they will be rooted up, and the walnuts will have it to themselves, but if they succeed the walnuts will be transplanted or destroyed. Mr. Hardy has planted only the Red Madeira here. The walnuts were raised from the seed, and replanted. The situation is almost entirely free from frosts.
Mr. Hardy’s residence stands on the eastern slope of the hill, and is thoroughly shaded at an early hour on summer afternoons. In the flower-garden adjoining it are some very choice rhododendrons and azaleas, which must present a splendid appearance when in blossom. On the south-east of the house there is a plantation of English oaks and walnut and chestnut-trees. Amongst all these trees lucerne has been planted. On the westward of this plantation there is half an acre of vines (Red Madeiras), planted in 1857 for the purpose of ascertaining whether grapes would ripen at so great an elevation; they are all staked, and planted at 6 feet by 5. Mr. Hardy selected Madeira as the earliest ripener, and the fruit has ripened well. Somewhat lower on the hill another vineyard was planted in 1861, with an eastern aspect. It comprises nine acres; and there are three acres of Riesling, three acres of Carbonet, and three acres of Shiraz …
On the eastern side of the hill there is another plantation of walnut-trees of 16 acres. The trees were planted in 1858 and 1859 amongst the indigenous scrub in holes dug 3 feet deep, and they are protected from the attacks of cattle pastured in the plantation by timber stacked round them. The trees are thriving remarkably well, and already vary from 5 to 7 feet in height. Mr. Hardy has also a capital fruit-garden, where currants, gooseberries, and other similar fruits flourish as luxuriantly as in Old England.
Hardy also planted cork oak trees, in the hope that industry too would catch on in the Mediterranean climate of South Australia. Alas, it did not, and his vineyards failed to produce commercial wine, like all early vineyards of South Australia at comparatively high altitudes. The cork trees have disappeared in fires, but a few remnants of the vines survive.
If ‘Mount Lofty House’ was the Hardys’ summer house, they built there another kind of summer house, that is, the kind of ornamental little building used for relaxation and taking in the views. This was on the ridge above the main house. It was called ‘Titan’s Lookput’ and was probably later incorporated into the house called ‘The Glen’.



It’s probable that Arthur also helped build a wooden shelter right on Mount Lofty Summit, for the use of the general public. Just as at Glen Osmond, Arthur Hardy contributed much to local life. He donated the land for the Crafers Institute and for the Church of the Epiphany. He gave money to the local council for road-building. He was actually a district councillor for a time - that was in the old Crafers District Council. He agitated for the building of the schoolhouse at Crafers. That was opened in 1868 and is now the building called 'Paxlease'.
In the matter of the schoolhouse, and in the matter of district council boundaries, Arthur got involved in some pretty lengthy and complicated quarrels. I shan’t go into the details, except to say that they perhaps give evidence that Arthur had something of his family’s capacity for wilful and headstrong behaviour.
Speaking of the family, you will remember brother Edward, who ran off to New Zealand with a married woman. One of his illegitimate sons, Wentworth, came to South Australia to work in the Survey Department. I quote from the family history by Mabel Hardy:



Wentworth was in many ways like his father. He also was extravagant and very susceptible to women. … he contrived at one time to become engaged to two girls at once. He fled in a panic to Mount Lofty and threw himself [on the mercy of his Aunt Martha]. She extricated him from the predicament by the simple expedient of telling the mothers of both fiancees that he had no money and no prospects.
The Hardys so loved 'Mount Lofty House' that in 1863 they moved there permanently. They sold 'Birksgate' to Thomas Elder, who enlarged it and modified its appearance into the building that many readers would remember.
Arthur encouraged other wealthy people to live on Mount Lofty. He put up for sale twenty-acre blocks so that others could build houses. Some who took up the offer were the bankers Samuel Tomkinson and George Tinline and the pastoralist John Bristow Hughes.

The Hardys lived in high style at ‘Mount Lofty House’: their granddaughter Mabel described it as ‘a sort of feudal splendour’. They entertained lavishly, showed guests around the house and estate, and looked after their every need. When the time came for guests to depart from an evening’s hospitality, Arthur would time their departure so that ten minutes would elapse between the leavetakings of each party, as this would lessen the chance of collisions on the badly-made and unlit road. .





Anyway, to return to the Hardys and their high style of living, like proper lords they lived beyond their means, and fell into debt, and unfortunately were obliged to put 'Mount Lofty House' on the market in 1867. But though obliged to sell ‘Mount Lofty House’ and much of their land, the Hardys didn’t leave their beloved Mount Lofty. They built a new house called ‘Number Seven’ closer to Crafers. This house we now know as ‘Wonnaminta’. The mason for this building was one of the Burnetts, who built a number of fine structures about the district from about the 1850s to the 1880s.
But at 'Number Seven' the Hardys again lived beyond their means. And there were pastoral misfortunes, and Arthur had engaged in risky speculations in mines and land. Eventually, in about 1877, 'Number Seven' also had to be sold.
The family moved to a house in Blackwood, a house that they rented. The family's financial trouble is demonstrated by the contrast in the education of their sons. The elder son Arthur Marmaduke had an expensive education at Marlborough School in England, but the younger Herbert was 'suddenly removed from St Peter's College [Adelaide] to join the staff of Elder, Smith & Co.'
That quote, by the way, is another from the written account of the Hardy family by Mabel Hardy, who was Herbert’s daughter. It’s a very readable account; I’ve made much use of it in this essay; it’s held in typescript by the State Library of South Australia. Mabel also put together the 1939 history of Crafers, and with Patience Hawker she ran the Stawell School on Mount Lofty.
Things got even worse for the Hardys. The economic disasters of the 1880s reduced them pretty well to living off the royalties of their quarries.
They moved again, to their last house, at Glenelg. They seemed happy enough, for all their financial ups and downs, and they lived to a good old age. Martha died in 1904. Arthur died in 1909; he was 92 years of age, and that was a very good innings for someone who as a lad had been sent to South Australia because it was feared he was dying of a lung complaint.
And for Arthur it was an active old age. He remained a barrister until his death. But he was very deaf, which must have made things awkward. He would ride a tricycle from his home in Glenelg to the local station, and then take the train to his offices in the city.
And there I must leave Arthur Hardy of 'Mount Lofty House'.

Chief sources:
Australian Dictionary of Biography, ‘Hardy, Arthur’.
Cockburn, R, Pastoral Pioneers of South Australia, Adelaide, 1925-27.
Hardy, A, Diary of Arthur Hardy, Sep27, 1838 to Jan 3, 1840, State Library of South Australia, 1133(M).
Hardy, M, ‘A History of the Hardy Family in South Australia’, typescript 1959, State Library of South Australia, D. 3919T.
Hayek, FA, John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1951.
Honorary Magistrate, Nov. 1906.
Packe, MS, The Life of John Stuart Mill, London, Secker & Warburg, 1954.
Register, 14 July 1909.
Smith, P, Pate, FD, and Martin, R, (eds) Valleys of Stone: The Archaeology and History of Adelaide’s Hills Face, Belair, Kopi Books, 2006.
Ward, E, Vineyards and Orchards of South Australia, 1862.


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