People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Menpes, James (1818–1905)

James Menpes, by Henry Jones, 1872

James Menpes, by Henry Jones, 1872

State Library of South Australia, b31240070

James Mempes [i.e. Menpes], born at Dover, Kent, England, August 1, 1818; arrived at Port Adelaide by the “Mary Ann Moffatt,” in 1839; entered into business there, and was very successful, till 1857, when the great fire occurred, and he was burnt out. Built the large and commodious shops in St. Vincent-street, near the railway-station, and also Cypress-terrace in Wakefield-street. Retired from business in 1866, and in 1875 left South Australia with his wife, son, and two daughters. He at present resides in the neighbourhood of London, and has, since his sojourn there, developed a talent for painting. Amongst specimens of his genius, three have recently arrived in the colony, and embrace the following subjects:—“The Grand Canal, Venice,” “A Port in Normandy,” and “An Ideal Landscape.” They were exhibited for several weeks in the Port Adelaide Art Gallery, and attracted the attention as well as called forth the admiration of old Portonians, amongst whom Mr. Mempes [Menpes] had so long lived, and by whom he was so much respected. One of the daughters of Mr. Mempes [Menpes] is married to the Rev. J. Hall Angas, the Presbyterian minister of Port Adelaide, and his second son (Mortimer L.) is (like his father) an artist of no mean capacity, he having gained several prizes for his etchings, &c., in various competitions in London, and, amongst others, one in connection with the Crystal Palace.

Original Publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Menpes, James (1818–1905)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 January 2023.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012