Photographic portrait of about 1880 by Barnett Samuel Marks of Jacob Barrow Montefiore #456 (b1801 Barbados; d1895 England). Reproduction by courtesy of the State Library of South Australia.   This statue is located on Montefiore Hill, North Adelaide and is of Colonel Light, the Surveyor-General of South Australia who in 1837 sited and laid out the city of Adelaide. The site is known as Light's Vision and is near the intersection of Montefiore Road which leads from Adelaide's CBD to Montefiore Hill and the short cross-street called Montefiore Hill. The statue commands a splendid view over the Adelaide Cricket Ground and the city to the Adelaide Hills in the east. Montefiore Hill was named after Jacob Barrow Montefiore (see www.samemory.sa.gov.au).

 

In 1834 Jacob Barrow Montefiore was appointed by King William 4 as one of the 11 original Commissioners of the South Australian Colonization Commission, and at his death was the last surviving member. Sir Moses Montefiore #196, who had played a key role in financing £15m of British Government compensation to slave owners, had requested the appointment of his cousin Jacob Barrow Montefiore to the Commission (ref 79)! The Commission obtained a 1834 Act of Parliament for it to colonize South Australia along the lines proposed by Edward Gibbon Wakefield. (Wakefield became disillusioned by this effort, because land sales - aimed at financing the venture - were not in his opinion priced sufficiently high above the low levels achieved in New South Wales and Tasmania; see ref 76). The powers of the Commission vis-a-vis the Governor of the new colony were unclear, and from 1842 South Australia was directly governed from London, and the Commission was abolished at this time.

Jacob Barrow Montefiore visited Australia twice - Adelaide in 1843 when he was given a civic reception; later Victoria in 1852 as agent for Messrs Rothschild. He was a partner in J Barrow Montefiore & Co with his brother Joseph Barrow Montefiore. He was an initial director in the Bank of Australasia which was the foundation of the ANZ Bank. His nephew, Jacob Levi Montefiore later became director of this same bank. A profile of Jacob (Barrow) Montefiore can be found in the Jewish Encyclopedia (ref 54).

The house of Joseph Barrow Montefiore was nearby in Palmer Place, North Adelaide; as can be seen it underwent two substantial changes. We have also located the Adelaide premises of J Barrow Montefiore & Co on the corner of King Willliam Street and Grenfell Street in the city. The site was subsequently occupied by the Imperial Hotel and then by Westpac. All that remains of this now is Imperial Lane running to the east of the Westpac building!