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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.

Lieutenant Watts, 1789

Samuel Shelley and John Sherwin (engraver)

stipple engraving on paper (sheet: 29.2 cm x 22.8 cm, plate-mark: 23.0 cm x 18.0 cm)

More images of this artwork

Lieutenant John Watts (b. 1755) joined the Navy in 1770 and embarked with James Cook in 1776 on the fatal voyage of the Resolution. Returning to England, in 1787 he took leave from the Navy to sail on the Lady Penrhyn with the First Fleet. The Lady Penrhyn carried 101 female convicts; seven horses loaded in Cape Town were also the first of their kind to arrive in Australia. Watts drew the first published illustration of an emu; he sent a specimen to Joseph Banks (who never saw one himself). In Port Jackson, Watts took command of the vessel, on 5 May 1788 continuing to China to pick up a cargo of tea for the East India Company. On the voyage of the First Fleet he kept a journal, extracts from which appear in The Voyage of Governor Phillip to Botany Bay, published in London in 1789.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2011

Accession number: 2011.69

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Samuel Shelley (age 33 in 1789)

John Sherwin (age 38 in 1789)

Lieutenant John Watts (age 34 in 1789)

Related portraits

1. Portrait of Captain Edward Riou, 1801. All Samuel Shelley, James Heath.

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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.