A despatch is an official written report on state affairs. it can contain instructions for the South Australian government from the Imperial government in London.

We hold many series of despatches, including duplicates of outgoing despatches.

Access conditions

Given the age of these records, most are available for general public access.

Indexes and special lists

Despatches from the Secretary of State, London

These special lists refer to the series of original despatches received in South Australia between 1840-1842, and lists the:

  • despatch number
  • subject
  • date, and
  • archival reference number.

GRG 2/1 Despatches received from the Secretary of State, London, later Governor General, 1840 - 1841 - indexing volume 1

GRG 2/1 Despatches received from the Secretary of State, London, later Governor General,1842 - indexing volume 2

Confidential despatches from, and letters to, the Secretary of State, London

This Special List covers the years 1843 - 1962 and contains the:

  •   subject description of the despatch, and
  •   date of the despatch.

GRG 56/68/46 - Confidential despatches received from the Secretary of State, London - 1843 - 1962 is an index to the two series:

  • GRG 2/13 - Confidential despatches received from the Secretary of State, London, 1843 - 1934
  • GRG 2/14 - Confidential despatches and letters sent to the Secretary of State, London and others, 1862 - 1911

Types of records

Despatches cover a wide range of topics including:

  • passenger lists
  • shipping, including casualties and shipwrecks
  • government towns and townships
  • deaths and inquests
  • marriages
  • biographical cuttings, and
  • churches