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William Patrick Auld (1840–1912)

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William Patrick Auld is a minor entry in this article

Patrick Auld (1811-1886), vigneron, was born in Wigtownshire, Scotland, son of William Auld, farmer, and his wife Mary, née Stevenson. At Stranraer, Wigtownshire, in 1835 he married Eliza McKeniel. With his wife and three children he migrated to Adelaide in 1842 and began trading as a publican and later as a wine and spirits merchant in Hindley Street. He sold this business in 1846 and conducted his trade from his property, Home Park, Magill, until 1849 when he went to England. He returned to Adelaide in 1852, leaving his wife to attend to the children's education in England until 1854. Auld resumed his wine and spirits business in Adelaide and also began planting the Auldana vineyard. In 1862 it was one of the largest in the colony, and most of it was bought by the South Auldana Vineyard Association Ltd; Auld became its manager. The company was wound up in 1865 but he continued at the vineyard. At least in the earlier years he concentrated on producing a limited number of distinctively local wines without imitating European types. Meticulous and in some ways conservative, he nevertheless learnt from experience the most suitable vines for his area, and experimented with a method of maintaining a uniform quality throughout the vintage. A promising trade with Melbourne was hampered by heavy import duty, but Auld began promoting sales in London. There and in America and on the Continent he entered his produce with some success in exhibitions. In 1871 he opened an office in London to sell his wines. However, financial difficulties led to the mortgaging of Auldana and its transfer to the mortgagee, Josiah Symon, in 1888; it was later acquired by Penfold Wines Pty Ltd. Auld spent his last five years in New Zealand, where he died at Onehunga near Auckland on 21 January 1886, aged 75.

His son, William Patrick (1840-1912), was born near Manchester, England, educated in London and Adelaide, and entered the Surveyor-General's Department as a cadet. He accompanied John McDouall Stuart on the expedition which crossed the continent in 1861-62, then worked at Auldana until he joined the Northern Territory expedition of Boyle Finniss in 1864. His fatal shooting of an Aboriginal during this expedition caused much controversy; charged with murder, he was acquitted after a long trial. He succeeded his father as manager of Auldana, left the vineyard in 1888 and established a wine and spirits business in Adelaide. He became president of the South Australian Vignerons Association in 1896. He died aged 72 in Adelaide on 2 September 1912. In 1866 he had married Eliza Hartland, née Strawbridge, and was assisted and succeeded in his business by his son William George (1868-1926).

The Aulds were among those who pressed for legislation to prevent the introduction into South Australia of the insect pest, Phylloxera vastatrix, which had caused great damage to vines in Victoria and New South Wales. When the South Australian Phylloxera Act 1899 came into force, W. P. Auld was appointed to the Provisional Phylloxera Board, and his son became its first secretary.

Select Bibliography

  • E. Ward, The Vineyards and Orchards of South Australia (Adel, 1862)
  • P. H. Auld, William Patrick Auld (priv print, 1964)
  • Observer (Adelaide), 29 Dec 1866, 17 Feb 1886
  • Australasian, 16 May 1868
  • Colonial Secretary's letters and Attorney-General's records (State Records of South Australia)
  • W. P. Auld papers (State Records of South Australia).

Citation details

'Auld, William Patrick (1840–1912)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1969, accessed online 17 July 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 3, (Melbourne University Press), 1969

View the front pages for Volume 3

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