Skip to main content

We’re thrilled to welcome you back to the Gallery! Please see what we need you to do first.

Menu

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Captain W Kinghorne, 1834

Thomas James Lempriere

oil on canvas (frame: 74.8 cm x 70.0 cm depth 6.2 cm, support: 63.5 cm x 58.7 cm)

William Kinghorne (1796–1878) came to Van Diemen’s Land from Scotland in 1822, having trained as a civil engineer and surveyor and then served in the Royal Navy and merchant navy for several years. Soon after arriving in the colony he was appointed a Master Mariner by Lieutenant-Governor, William Sorell and was given the command of the government schooner, Waterloo, one of two vessels tasked with plying the route between Hobart and the penal station at Macquarie Harbour, which set out on its maiden voyage in September 1822. As commander of the Waterloo and then the Cyprus, Kinghorne made the perilous voyage to Macquarie Harbour many times, bringing back Huon Pine, an excellent shipbuilding timber logged there by convicts. Later, as captain of the Prince Leopold, Kinghorne made voyages to Launceston and the Tamar River, again involved largely in transporting timber between settlements. Following the closure of Macquarie Harbour in 1834 and now in charge of the Isabella, Kinghorne remained engaged in convict-related work, transporting prisoners, passengers and goods between Hobart and Port Arthur, also making occasional trips to Sydney and New Zealand. Having made over 90 voyages as the captain of government vessels in Van Diemen’s Land, Kinghorne left the service in 1840, moved to Jervis Bay and established a whaling station. In retirement he lived on his brother’s property near Goulburn; he died there, unmarried and childless, in 1878.

Thomas James Lempriere (1796–1852) was a colonial public servant, writer and amateur artist who came to Van Diemen’s Land in 1822. In 1826, he was appointed to the Commissariat Department, working as the storekeeper for the penal settlements at Maria Island and Macquarie Harbour before transferring to Port Arthur in 1831. Lempriere took a keen interest in the landscape and natural history of the various places he visited and also developed some skill as a portraitist, painting surveyor George William Evans and Port Arthur commandant Charles O’Hara Booth. Kinghorne sat for this portrait during his visits to Port Arthur in the Isabella in March and April 1834. In June that year, Kinghorne returned to Hobart with the painting which is inscribed: ‘Capt. W. Kinghorne Commanding HM Brig Isabella painted by TJ Lempriere Commissariat Dept & presented by him to his friend Capt. K. as a small token of regard’. The painting was purchased from a descendant of Kinghorne’s sister, Elizabeth, in 2007.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by The Ian Potter Foundation 2007

Accession number: 2007.45

Currently not on display

View zoomable image on Google Arts & Culture

Copyright image request form
Request a digital copy of an image for publication

Artist and subject

Thomas James Lempriere (age 38 in 1834)

Captain William Kinghorne (age 38 in 1834)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Captain W Kinghorne, 1834 Thomas James Lempriere
Captain W Kinghorne, 1834 Thomas James Lempriere
Captain W Kinghorne, 1834 Thomas James Lempriere
Captain W Kinghorne, 1834 Thomas James Lempriere

The bright-eyed Mariner

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2008
A new colonial portrait brings a zealous captain near.
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

Plan your visit

Timed ticketing, location, accessibility and amenities

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.