Branching Out

#52ancestors52weeks

First Railways Standing Committee appointed 1 January 1913: Back Row, L- R : J. Sincock (sec); H. Jackson; H. Chesson. Front Row L-R W. Hague; J.P. Wilson, P.T.Heggaton (chariman); A. Von Doussa. [1]

As we gear up for the next South Australian election it seems a fitting time to explore the life and career of Percival Thomas Heggaton, a first cousin 3 times removed for the Branching Out theme.

Percival Thomas Heggaton was the grandson of William DUFTY and Grace Piper. His mother Mary DUFTY was the second wife of Thomas Heggaton (Heggadon). Thomas married Mary after the death of her sister Betsy his first wife. Thomas and Mary married at the Chapel in Young Street, Adelaide in 1860 [2]. Williams (1986) states that Thomas followed Betsy to South Australia, we know from the Shipping Record that Thomas Heggadon was on the Osceola so this maybe true or it may be a romantic notion[3,4].

No birth record was found for Percival, his Wikipedia entry as his birth as 4 July, 1869 [5]. This entry also informs us that he was educated at the local school and then attended Whinham College in North Adelaide, before dairy farming at Vaudon Downs on Hindmarsh island [6]. In 1899 he married Sarah GRUNDY at Saint John Church, Adelaide [7]. The marriage record names him as Percy, although no birth record under Percy was found, in all other records he is known as Percival Thomas, we may never know if her was baptized Percy or Percival. The Biographical Index of South Australia lists Percival as a farmer and politician, he lived at Hindmarsh Island and Glenelg and had five children with Sarah: Keith Vaudan, Phyllis Alanna, Rita Muriel, Percival Neil Moyston (known as Neil).

Whinham College, Jeffcott Street, North Adelaide cicra 1880 [9]

Percival Heggaton first entered the State Parliament of South Australia in 1906 after being a member and Chairman of the District Council of Port Elliott [10, 11]. Percival Heggaton was a conservative politician, the newspaper called him a liberal, although his allegiances were a little more complex [12]. Originally he was a member of the Australasian National League, who amalgamated with the Farmers and Producers Political League to form the Liberal Union in 1910, overtime this became the Liberal federation and later the Liberal and Country League [13]. Percival was elected in the 1910 election and an article in The Register introducing the new and returning members of Parliament stated that he was identified with farming and dairying pursuits having established the Hindmarsh Island Produce Company and that he had been involved in other pursuits in the southern districts and was a continuing member of the District Council of Port Elliott [14].

Percival Heggaton 1910 [15]

in 1907 Percival had been a member of the Public Works Committee for Parliament and he continued with this work and with the Break of Gauge Commission that later merged into the First Railways Standing Committee in 1913 [16]. Due to the withholding of supply by the Legislative Council in 1912, Percival was on the campaign trail with his fellow Liberal members. He was once again successful.

Election Meetings 1912 [17]

In 1914, Heggaton stated he would not be contesting the seat of Alexandria at the next election. The alteration to the number of members for the district from 3 to 4 prompted him to resign. He stated that he would not contest the next election as the changes in numbers could lead to embarrassment with the selection of members to contest and that he had neglected his personal interests too much [18]. He did not expand on who may have been embarrassed and one can only wonder if he thought that he would not be pre-selected to contest the seat.

P. T. Heggaton 1914 [19]
A portion of William Heggaton’s obituary [21]

In August 1916 William Heggaton, Percival’s father passed away at the age of 91 [21]. Percival continued to be involved in the political arena, and his name is suggested a number of times as being a possible candidate for Alexandra, he was nominated to be an emergency replacement during this time as well. Infighting between the Liberal Party and National meant that he was not to be nominated again until 1923 [22] . During his time out of Parliament he was involved in the development of the Dairying Industry and the establishment of a produce pool committee or cooperative [23]. In January 1923 Heggaton was nominated to contest the seat of Alexandra in a by-election [24], he won the by-election with an overwhelming majority [25]. A review of parliamentarians in 2024 had Percival nominated as one of the “silent one” as their voices are rarely heard [26]. One wonders why, was he concerned that he would loose his votes at the next election, were there others things that he was worried about or was his personal business getting int he way?

As his time in Parliament increased, so did his activity as he became more involved in Parliamentary inspections including: The River Settlements [27], Wealth in Pines [28] as well as representation on royal Commissions such as the Motor Bus Commission [29]. He also worked hard on local issues including improving the roads near Sellicks Hill and supporting the building of a high school for Yankalilla.

In 1928 Keith Heggaton his son died from a gun shot wound his parents home. It is assumed that as he was cleaning the gun that it accidentally went off, to all accounts he was in good humour and was intending to go into the city to relieve a solicitor who was going on holidays [30].

At the age of 69, Percival was defeated for the electorate of Stirling by an independent candidate Mr H. C Dunn in 1938 [31 and 32]. Ten years later he died at the age of 79, he was survived by his wife Sarah, his son Neil, and two daughters Mrs Bagot of Walkerville and Mrs McKellar of Ararat [33]. While I may not have agreed with his political views a review of newspaper articles would suggest that he had a stellar career as a member of the South Australian Parliament and was a strong local member.

The Artist Notebook – Heggaton Number 2 [35]

  1. Government Photolithographer (SA). 1913. First Railways Committee [B 17993], photograph. Stare Library SA General Collection. https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+17993 : accessed February 6, 2022.
  2. Marriage Registration Database. Australia, Adelaide, South Australia. HEGGATON, Thomas and DUFTY, Mary. South Australian Marriage Registration Database. District: Adelaide, Book: 42, Page 76. https://www.genealogysa.org.au : accessed January 27, 2022.
  3. Williams, R. F., To Find The Way. Yankalilla and District 1836 – 1986 (Adelaide, South Australia, The Yankalilla and District Historical Society Inc, 1986).
  4. State Records South Australia. Passenger Lists 1845 – 1940. DUFTY, William and Family.  1851 Osceola. 3/1851 Osceola. https://www.archives.sa.gov.au : accessed November 23, 2021.
  5. Wikipedia contributors. (2021, May 12). Percy HEGGATON. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:23, February 6, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Percy_Heggaton&oldid=1022743025
  6. ibid
  7. Marriage Registration Database. Australia, Adelaide, South Australia. HEGGATON, Percy and GRUNDY, Sarah. South Australian Marriage Registration Database. District: Adelaide, Book: 198, Page 691. https://www.genealogysa.org.au : accessed February 6, 2022.
  8. Australia, South Australia. HEGGATON, Percival Thomas. Biographical Index of South Australia Database. https://www.genealogysa.org.au : accessed February 6, 2022.
  9. Spiller, E. 1880. Whinham College Jeffcott Street North Adelaide [B 4129], photograph. Stare Library SA General Collection. https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+17993 : accessed February 6, 2022.
  10. “THE NEW PARLIAMENT.” Herald (Adelaide, SA : 1899 – 1910) 17 November 1906: 9. Web. 6 Feb 2022 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article110184708.
  11. VICTOR HARBOR AND THE MAIL STEAMERS. (1901, October 1). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), p. 6. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4920823.
  12. SOUTH AUSTRALIAN ELECTIONS. (1906, November 5). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 7. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14800032.
  13. Wikipedia contributors. (2021, May 12). Percy HEGGATON. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:23, February 6, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Percy_Heggaton&oldid=1022743025
  14. MR. P. T. HEGGATON, M.P. (Alexandra), (1910, April 5). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 – 1929), p. 11. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article57376999.
  15. ibid
  16. BREAK-OF-GAUGE COMMISSION. (1911, February 18). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), p. 16. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5246341.
  17. Advertising (1912, January 12). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 – 1929), p. 2. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59039938.
  18. MR.P.T. HEGGATON, M.P. (1914, June 24). The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 – 1922), p. 4 (4 O’CLOCK). Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article210291916.
  19. MR. P. T. HEGGATON, M.P. (1914, June 25). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), p. 15. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6422479
  20. AN EARLY PIONEER. (1916, August 2). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 – 1929), p. 5. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60610341
  21. “PERSONAL.” The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931) 3 August 1916: 6. Web. 6 Feb 2022 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6463612&gt;.
  22. THE TANGLE (1917, April 26). Daily Herald (Adelaide, SA : 1910 – 1924), p. 5. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article105402985.
  23. DAIRYING INDUSTRY. (1919, November 8). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 – 1954), p. 40. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89158319
  24. ALEXANDRA BY-ELECTION (1923, January 3). The Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1912 – 1923), p. 1 (5 P.M. EDITION). Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209308133.
  25. ALEXANDRA BYELECTION. (1923, January 22). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), p. 9. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49140422.
  26. CURTAIN DROPS (1924, December 19). News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 – 1954), p. 10 (HOME EDITION). Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129813843.
  27. THE RIVER SETTLEMENTS. (1925, March 14). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 – 1954), p. 47. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87512760.
  28. WEALTH IN PINES (1925, December 14). News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 – 1954), p. 4 (HOME EDITION). Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129754590.
  29. MOTOR BUS COMMISSION (1926, January 13). News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 – 1954), p. 1 (HOME EDITION). Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article132048774.
  30. FATALITIES AND ACCIDENTS. (1928, September 20). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), p. 19. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article29299919.
  31. The TALK OF THE TOWN (1938, May 14). The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 – 1954), p. 11. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article55844155.
  32. STATE ELECTIONS (1938, March 23). Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA : 1866 – 1954), p. 1. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article96815689.
  33. DEATH OF MR. P. T. HEGGATON (1948, December 16). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article43795932.
  34. THE ARTIST’S NOTEBOOK (1929, June 1). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), p. 19. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article35735112

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