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Richard Daintree

1832 – 1878

Failing as a prospector, Richard Daintree (1832-1878) started work as an assistant geologist in 1854, and returned to London to study assaying and metallurgy; while abroad, he became interested in photography. Daintree returned to Melbourne in 1857. In 1858, Fauchery and Daintree released the album of views and studies originally titled Australia and soon known as Sun Pictures of Victoria. Issued in ten monthly numbers, it comprised 53 photographs, ‘in illustration of our colonial celebrities, our landscape and marine scenery, and our private and public architecture’. In 1859 Fauchery moved on to the Philippines and China, writing Lettres de Chine and documenting French involvement in the second opium war before dying of dysentery in Yokohama, Japan, spurning the offer of religious consolation at the last. From 1860 Daintree used photography in his geological surveys. In 1864 he moved to northern Queensland, where he engaged in prospecting enterprises and became a prominent geologist. He was set to make a tremendous contribution to the 1871 Exhibition of Art and Industry in London, but his photographs were lost in a shipwreck. He became Queensland’s agent-general in London, but his achievements in the post were diminished by the dishonest conduct of employees under his charge. He was made CMG not long before he died. Queensland’s Daintree rainforest and region are named for him.

Updated 2018