Miller, Edmund King (Rev)

Date of Birth/Death:


Reverend E K Miller was the incumbent of the Anglican parish of Willunga from 1863 to 1891. Reverend Miller was born in 1820 in Surrey, UK, the son of Edmund King Miller, a tailor, and Mehetabel Digby Smith. Sometime after ordination, he decided to come out to Australia but before leaving England, he married Mary Kirtland on 28 October 1847 at St George, Hanover Square, Middlesex. He gave his occupation as a schoolmaster. Together they sailed for Adelaide arriving on 24 April 1848 from London on the Hindoo.

The following is taken from The Service of Thanksgiving at St Stephen, Willunga on Sunday July 6th 1997. ‘E.K. Miller was ordained by Bishop Short in 1848, and was the first Headmaster of Pulteney Street School, Adelaide. He was incumbent of St Georges Magill from 1851-1863, and of Willunga, Noarlunga and Aldinga, 1863-1892. He must have been a man of iron! After 18 years riding 23 miles a Sunday on horseback for Services at Noarlunga, Aldinga and Willunga, when injuries rendered riding impossible, Noarlunga friends presented him with a buggy, which allowed him to continue duty 11 years longer. “During my 29 years as Willunga Rector, I missed Sunday duty on about a dozen occasions- When my wrists were broken, my wife drove the buggy so I could still continue taking Services.”

Their life was not without sorrow. They had 11 children with several dying before their first birthday, (teething and influenza) and they were memorialised on their parent’s headstone at St George’s Cemetery, Magill:

  • Thomas Rhodes born 13 April 1849 Adelaide, married 1st Jane Todd Carrick at St Stepehns, Willunga on 28 October 1872; married 2nd Sarah Ann Best in Adelaide on 31 December 1898. He died 23 November 1916 at Waikerie, South Australia
  • William Edmund born 22 September 1851 (not registered), died 25 February 1852 at Magill
  • Mary Ellen born 17 November 1853 East Payneham; married George Jones at Glenelg on 17 March 1878
  • Isabella Anne born 8 September 1855 Magill, married Alfred Everard Lucy
  • Edmund King born 8 June 1857 at Magill; married Sarah Ann Rusk 29 June 1898 at Trinity Church, Adelaide. He died at Norwood 29 July 1933.
  • Jessie Augusta born 2 February 1859 at Magill, died 2 March 1860 at Magill
  • William Henry born 4 July 1860 at Woodforde; died 3 May 1861
  • Sophie Elizabeth (birth not registered), baptised 2 February 1862 at St Georges; died 18 August 1862 at Magill
  • Kate Kirtland born 15 January 1864 at Willunga, died 30 July 1864 at Willunga
  • Francis Henry born 5 May 1867 at Willunga; died Western Australia, buried Boulder, Western Australia on 18 December 1904

E K Miller was Community minded – He was concerned about the youth of the time needing ‘space’, somewhere away from Public Houses and gaming rooms, and he proposed that 8 acres of land be purchased for a recreation ground for the township of Willunga. This was unheard of, to ‘buy’ land for recreation! However, it was passed and land purchased for £240. He is remembered with a plaque on one of the gate posts to the entrance to the Recreation Grounds. At another time he thought something should be done to assist safer and reliable transport of slate. He took steps to bring the matter before Parliament to obtain railway facilities; no doubt this set the ball rolling to bring the railway down, which reduced the cost of moving the slate, allowed more quarries to be opened and created more jobs”.

Reverend Miller eventually left Willunga and later retired. He died on 17 May 1911 at Rose Park and he is buried at St George’s Cemetery, Magill. His wife Mary pre-deceased him on 29 October 1894 and was buried at St George’s Cemetery, Magill.


Genealogy SA, Westminster, London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1935 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2020.

FindaGrave, St George’s Cemetery, Magill, Miller

Family Search, Australian Birth and Baptisms, 1792-1981,

Miller E.K (1895) Reminiscences of Forty-seven years of clerical life Adelaide, The Service of Thanksgiving at St Stephen Willunga on Sunday July 6th 1997.

1848 ‘SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE.’, Adelaide Observer, 29 April, p. 4. ,[Hindoo arrived 24 April with ‘Edward King Miller and lady, in the cabin’.

1848 ‘LOCAL INTELLIGENCE.’, Adelaide Observer, 27 May, p. 2. ,

1853 ‘THE DIOCESAN ASSEMBLY.’, South Australian Register, 1 January, p. 3. ,

1895 ‘”FORTY-SEVEN YEARS OF CLERICAL LIFE IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA.”‘, South Australian Register, 13 May, p. 6. ,

1907 ‘BANISHING THE BRITISH BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER.’, The Register, 3 January, p. 3. ,

1911 ‘DEATH OF THE REV. E. K. MILLER.’, Evening Journal, 17 May, p. 1. ,

Outback Family History, Boulder Cemetery,

Edmund King Miller, Will, Familysearch, [He left his estate to his daughter Isabel Ann Lucy, wife of Alfred Everard Lucy]

1929 ‘OBITUARY’, The Advertiser, 17 August, p. 15. , [Isabel Lucy nee Miller]

Flickr: 33426237606 – Rev E K (Edmund King) Miller, 1820-1911, photo circa 1864 Courtesy Kelly Dyer. Also State Library of SA B 45270. In garb

Flickr: 33338728981 – Rev E K Miller, circa 1875. State Library of SA B 18134.

Flickr: 32965507574 – E K Miller plaque On the front entrance gate to the Willunga Recreation Park. Photo by Mark Staniforth.

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