Trinity Church on North Terrace Adelaide in 1845, State Library of South Australia.

Written Out: Maria Gandy, Colonel Light’s Lady, Dr Mayo’s Wife

Maria Gandy was companion to South Australia’s first Surveyor-General and founder of Adelaide, Colonel William Light. She was referred to publicly as his housekeeper and privately as his mistress. Their relationship led to Maria’s ostracism from so-called polite society. 

After Colonel Light’s death she married Dr George Mayo and bore four children. Speculation remains about what brought them together. Was she rescued by George or did she rescue him right back? 

Who was Maria Gandy? Why was she buried in an unmarked grave? And why was she almost written out of history? This program uses diaries, letters and images from the State Library collections to answer these questions and raise a few more.

Presented by State Library of South Australia