Skip to main content

James Raymond
, c. 1845-50

by an unknown artist

oil on canvas (frame: 81.0 cm x 75.0 cm, support: 63.2 cm x 56.0 cm)

James Raymond (1786-1851), postmaster-general, came to New South Wales in 1826, his fortunes having declined in Ireland, where he was said to have been a landowner and magistrate. As a result of some networking, on arrival in Sydney with his wife Aphrasia (and nine children), he was made coroner. Soon he found his income insufficient; Governor Darling increased his allowance, but the Colonial Office instructed him to withdraw the addition. In 1829, the postmaster died, and Raymond was appointed to his position at a salary of £400. He suggested the use of stamped sheets as envelopes, an innovation that was adopted before the English brought in penny postage in 1840. James and Aphrasia Raymond eventually had seven daughters and five sons; living with his family at Varroville, near Campbelltown, James was a grand entertainer and keen racegoer, and kept several racehorses. In 1835, his title was changed to postmaster-general - making him the first postmaster-general of New South Wales - and his salary increased substantially before he died at the age of sixty-five.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of Lydia Raymond Day 2010
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2010.21