The Deed of Settlement and Royal Charter of Incorporation of the South Australian Company is a key document in South Australia's history: it highlights the difference between the manner in which South Australia was established and populated and the foundation of other Australian colonies as penal settlements. It also records British economic expansionism at its peak and illustrates the interconnections between British business interests, the Colonial Office, and social and evangelical activists. In 1834, the British Parliament passed the South Australia Act, which empowered the government to establish and settle a province in South Australia. However, the Colonization Commissioners required £35,000-worth of land in South Australia to be sold before the new province could be established. Initially, only a limited amount of land was bought. The South Australian Company was formed in London on October 9, 1835, to encourage the further purchase of land. On June 27, 1836, the Deed of Settlement was signed by about 300 shareholders of the South Australian Company. The company played a pivotal role in the founding, early survival, and development of the colony, where the company built roads, bridges, ports, warehouses, and mills, and established agriculture, whaling, banking, and mining enterprises.