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"Sydney" Sir Daniel Cooper (Image plate from Vanity Fair)
, 1882

by Sir Leslie Ward

chromolithograph (sheet: 38.0 cm x 26.3 cm)

Sir Daniel Cooper GCMG (1821–1902), a prominent colonial businessman, was born into a Lancashire merchant family and, after gaining some commercial experience, arrived in Sydney in 1843. His business in partnership with his brother-in-law and later his elder brother was said to be 'about the most extensive mercantile house in the Australian colonies'. A substantial landholder and director of multiple companies, Cooper, according to the Sydney Morning Herald in 1856, overpowered ‘the envy which commonly attends remarkable prosperity by a temper singularly humane and generous, and manners affable and unpretending'. A liberal politician and protégée of Sir Henry Parkes, Cooper was elected to the first New South Wales Legislative Assembly and served as its first Speaker. He supported numerous enterprises, such as the newspaper The Empire and the University of Sydney. Created baronet of Woollahra in 1863, Cooper continued to be a powerful advocate for colonial interests even after returning to England after 1861.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of Mr Ronald Walker 2001
Accession number: 2003.206.6