HAMILTON – Origins of the Hamilton Ewell vineyard

Discovered this article in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, of Henry Hamilton, son of Richard Hamilton, who started the Hamilton Ewell Winery, located on the Curtis farm, which Richard Hamilton began when he first arrived in Adelaide in 1837. This is now located in the middle of Adelaide. The office for the Hamilton Ewell Vineyards are still there, although I assume the actual vineyards are not.

Pretty impressed that we made it to the ADB.
Click here: Henry Hamilton

See the current website for the Hamilton Ewell Vineyard.

Other vineyards connected to the Hamiltons are below.


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About eirenehogan

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2 Responses to HAMILTON – Origins of the Hamilton Ewell vineyard

  1. Dear Eirene Thanks for that. I was aware that Geoffrey Bishop had written a biography of my great grandfather Henry Hamilton, but thanks for sending it along as a reminder. We used some of that material in my film on the Hamilton Wine history called “WineLine – The Hamilton Story”. We also consulted with Geoffrey Bishop on matters historical and he actually appears in the film.

    I was fascinated about your last post concerning Henry and Elizabeth Nell going to Singapore coming home and going back again to marry Alexander Barreau. I wonder what was the attraction to Singapore? And was Barreau a Frenchman as his name suggests? Was he involved at all with Elizabeth’s father Richard or with Henry on their vineyard and winemaking enterprises?



    Dr Richard Hamilton MD Proprietor, Richard Hamilton & Leconfield Wines 0408 818 222


    • eirenehogan says:

      Thanks Richard, it was very interesting to come across the Geoffrey Bishop bio, and to find a Hamilton in the ADB was great.

      And thanks for the link to your vineyard and the movie.

      As for Elizabeth and Alexander Barreau and Singapore, it is a fascinating issue. I do not know any more info than what I had listed in the post. Henry’s death record says he was an innkeeper. I wonder if he actually owned an inn? I tried to find some info on TROVE but have found nothing as yet. I guess Elizabeth may have either returned to Adelaide to go home to her parents (Richard and Anne) after the death of her husband or she may have even been in Adelaide all the time. She was pregnant so needed to have the child, and I’d imagine being home with mum would have made that easier. Of course she had children to look after as well.

      But the question is; why did she return to Singapore? We don’t know how Alexander Barreau comes into it. Perhaps they knew each other before and he offered to marry her to help her out of her difficult situation of being a widow with children? (or, who knows, they were secret lovers?). Maybe he worked in the inn (their marriage certificate says he was a hotel keeper) or owned the inn as well, or another inn? Or he bought it? He died while working as a barman at the Ship Inn in Port Adelaide, so I am not sure if he would have been an owner of property, perhaps more likely just working in one.

      I will try and research some more, but who knows if I’ll find anything.

      I do not know if Alexander Barreau worked with Richard or in the vineyards, but yes, I do see a link with the wine …

      As for Alexander Barreau’s country of origin – that has been a mystery that has bedevilled the Barreau family for years. There are no definite family stories to say where he came from. My father said he thought it was France but then that just came from some jokes his dad used to have with his mother (who was a Barreau), but we have no definite evidence and no hard stories that have come down through the family. He was never naturalised. Non British citizens did not have to be naturalised, but the fact that he was working in Singapore, which was part of the British Empire (East India Company) makes me think he may have come from a British colony, or Britain itself. There are Barreaus in England. He could have come from Canada, or the Channel Islands, as there are Barreaus there. It is a mystery. If anyone reading this has any info on it, it would be most welcome.

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