Colonel William Light

Is your surname Light?

Research the Light family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Colonel William Light

Birthplace: Kuala Kedah, Kedah, Malaysia
Death: October 06, 1839 (53)
Adelaide, SA, Australia (Tuberculosis)
Place of Burial: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Immediate Family:

Son of Captain Francis Light and Martina Martina Light
Husband of Sarah Light; Elizabeth Light and Lady Mary Bennet
Partner of Maria Gandy
Father of Edward(Edmond) Augustus Light and ? Light
Brother of Sarah Welsh; Mary Truran; Francis Lanoon Light and Ann Lukey Hunter
Half brother of Maria Elizabeth Timmer and Jansie Anna Timmer

Occupation: Surveyor General of South Australia
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Colonel William Light

Mary bennet was William Light 2nd wife. His first was Elizabeth perois

William Light was the "Great Visionary" of the City of Adelaide and South Australia. Meticulous planning of the city has seen it remain contained and ordered. Surrounded by Parklands, the city has been nominated as the "Most liveable city in the world".

A statue of William was placed on the highest point in North Adelaide, so he could gaze upon his design forever with pride.

Colonel William Light 1786 - 1839

Light's Legacy

This city and this State

are Colonel Light's best and most glorious monument.

- (Governor Lord Tennyson, 1905)

Colonel Light. His Death and Burial 1839

Colonel Light died a few minutes after midnight, on the 6th October 1839, in his cottage at Theberton after a severe and protracted illness (tuberculosis), at the age of 53 years.

   "When the funeral left the Native Location (northern bank of the Torrens), there were between 400 and 500 gentlemen in procession all in deep mourning, and as it drew nearer the town the number kept continually increasing. When it reached the church (Trinity church, North Terrace), there must have been a thousand individuals present besides those actually in the procession. The service in the church concluded, the procession re-formed and moved on to Light Square, where there could not have been less than from three to four thousand persons assembled to pay their last tribute of respect to the memory of Colonel Light, and during the solemn ceremony of the burial service many present were bathed in tears, and a deep sensation of sorrow was manifested by all."
   -South Australian Record 16-10-1839

His First Monument 1843

This was a Gothic cross 45 feet high, made from local sandstone, designed and superintended by George Strickland Kingston, Deputy Surveyor General. The foundation stone was laid February 18th, 1843 by James Hurtle Fisher, first Resident Commissioner.

2nd Monument Light Square 1905

The sandstone cross which had crumbled away, was replaced with the granite column designed by H.L. Jackman. It took 15 years to raise the money for this monument and for Light's statue.

His Statue Victoria Square Unveiled November 27th, 1906

Half of the money for this statue (£2,000), was a subsidy from the Government, £500 pounds from the City Corporation, and the balance from private subscriptions. The architects were Messrs. Wooldridge and Sibley. The sculptor was Mr Birnie Rhind.

Statue Moved to Montefiore Hill 1938 &

named 'Light's Vision'.

The Royal Geographical Society of SA co-operated with the Pioneer's Association in moving Colonel Light's statue to its present site overlooking the city he surveyed.

Other Commemorations to Colonel Light

Plaques and memorials have been erected at Light Pass, Rapid Bay, Nuriootpa, two at Thebarton, cairn and plaque at the corner of North and West Terrace, survey marker Victoria Square.

Light named Rapid Valley, Finniss Valley (now Second Valley), Holdfast Bay, Port Adelaide, Thebarton, Flagstaff Hill (survey master station); Barossa and Lyndoch valleys.

Named after him are Light Square (Adelaide & Gawler), River Light, Light's Passage (Pt. Adelaide), Light's Pass, Light's Landing (Glenelg), Light Point (Kangaroo Island), the suburb of Colonel Light Gardens, The Colonel Light Centre (Pirie Street), The Colonel Light Room (Town Hall) and William Light School.

view all

Colonel William Light's Timeline

April 27, 1786
Kuala Kedah, Kedah, Malaysia
Chester, England
October 6, 1839
Age 53
Adelaide, SA, Australia
October 10, 1839
Age 53
Light Square, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia