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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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

James Raymond

c. 1845-1850
an unknown artist

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

James Raymond (c. 1786–1851), the first postmaster-general in New South Wales, came to Sydney 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, Governor Darling was asked to provide Raymond with a suitable colonial appointment and allowance. Raymond, his wife, Aphrasia, and nine of their ten children were given free passage on the Thames and on arrival he was made coroner in Parramatta. Soon he found his income insufficient to maintain his large family; Governor Darling increased his allowance, but the Colonial Office instructed him to withdraw the addition. Although doubts as to his competency were raised, when the postmaster died in 1829 Raymond was appointed to his position at a salary of £400. As postmaster, he suggested the world's first pre-paid postage using stamped sheets as envelopes, which was adopted in Sydney in 1838. The innovation was discontinued in 1852 after the introduction of adhesive stamps to Australia. Living with his family at Varroville, near Campbelltown, Raymond entertained regularly and was a keen racegoer, owning several racehorses. He and his wife went on to have two more daughters and their eldest son emigrated to Australia in 1837. In 1835, Raymond's title was changed to postmaster-general and his salary increased to £650 before he died at the age of 65.

Gift of Lydia Raymond Day 2010. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

James Raymond (age 59 in 1845)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Donated by

Lydia Raymond Day (1 portrait)

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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency