Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Salting, Severin Kanute (1805–1865)

by A. F. Pike

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (MUP), 1967

Severin Kanute Salting (1805-1865), merchant and landowner, was born at Copenhagen of Danish parents. He gained experience as a merchant in London with Thomas Wilson & Co., and about 1822 went to India as a trader. In London in 1833 he married Louisa Augusta, née Fiellerup, whose Danish parents had lived for years in India. Salting sailed with his wife in the Charles Eaton and arrived at Sydney in July 1834. With C. J. Garrard as his partner he set up a marine store and ship chandlery and soon acquired additional interests. He was elected a director of the Fire and Life Insurance Co. in 1836, served as a local director of the Union Bank of Australia from January 1839 to November 1844, and was appointed a trustee of the Savings Bank of New South Wales in November 1841. In 1842 he dissolved his partnership with Garrard and joined Philip William Flower, with John Henry Challis as a junior partner, in the new firm of Flower, Salting & Co., of Hunter Street, Sydney.

In November 1843 Salting petitioned for letters of denization; they were granted next year on the recommendation of Governor Sir George Gipps who knew him as 'a gentleman of great respectability'. Salting gave evidence to several select committees on financial questions and at the inquiry into the minimum price of crown land he condemned the squatters for their greed. In October 1848 Governor Sir Charles FitzRoy appointed him and John Lamb to investigate surcharges in the accounts of the collector of customs.

Salting's two sons were born in Sydney, George on 15 August 1835 and William on 18 January 1837. They were educated locally. After the family moved to England George went to Eton and William to Brighton College. In 1853 the family returned to New South Wales, and the boys entered the University of Sydney. Both graduated in arts in 1857 and their father founded the Salting Exhibition for boys educated at Sydney Grammar School. In 1858 Salting took his family to England, where his wife died on 24 July. After travelling on the Continent Salting made his home at Silverlands, near Chertsey, Kent. He died there on 14 September 1865 and was buried in the same grave as his wife at Brompton cemetery. The grave is now maintained by the earl of Haddington, whose mother was the daughter of Salting's son, William.

Through his firm, sheep stations, sugar plantations, and wide investments Salting had become very wealthy. He left an estate in England valued at £90,000 and another in New South Wales worth £85,000. His chief beneficiaries were his sons. George won international repute as a collector of works of art and Chinese pottery and died in London on 12 December 1909. William died on 23 June 1905.

Select Bibliography

  • Historical Records of Australia, series 1, vols 23, 26
  • newspaper indexes and manuscript catalogue under Severin Salting (State Library of New South Wales).

Citation details

A. F. Pike, 'Salting, Severin Kanute (1805–1865)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/salting-severin-kanute-2626/text3633, published in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 23 September 2014.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (MUP), 1967

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