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Gooseberry, widow of King Bungaree, 1836

William Fernyhough

lithograph on paper (sheet: 26.3 cm x 18.9 cm)

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Cora Gooseberry (c. 1777–1852) was born Car-oo or Kaaroo, the daughter of Moorooboora, leader of the Murro-Ore (Pathway Place) clan. She originated from the Long-Bay/Maroubra area. Known to Europeans as ‘Queen Gooseberry’ or ‘Cora Gooseberry’, she was, like her husband Bungaree, one of the best known Aboriginal people in Sydney, becoming something of an identity for the government issue blanket she typically wore over her clothes and around her body. She also covered her hair with a headscarf and smoked a clay pipe. She was a member of the ‘Sydney tribe’ who lived on the streets, this group consisting also of family members including her son Bowen Bungaree and her relative Billy Warrall or Worrall, also known as Warrah Warrah and Ricketty Dick. British newcomers called her ‘Queen of Sydney and Botany’ and or ‘Queen of Sydney to South Head’. She outlived Bungaree by 22 years and on her death was buried in the Devonshire Street Cemetery, the site of which is now covered by Sydney’s Central Railway Station.

In 1845 Car-oo, Kaaroo, otherwise Cora Gooseberry Bungaree, guided Police Inspector William Miles and the artist George French Angas to see Aboriginal rock engravings around Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour). She was truly Indigenous ‘royalty’. The title ‘Cora Gooseberry Freeman Bungaree, Queen of Sydney and Botany’ was engraved on the metal breastplate she wore.

Dr. Keith Vincent Smith, Historian, 2018

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Dr Robert Edwards AO 1999
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 1999.23.3

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

William Fernyhough (age 27 in 1836)

Cora Gooseberry (age 59 in 1836)

Subject professions

Indigenous identity

Donated by

Dr Robert (Bob) Edwards AO (12 portraits)

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