Skip to main content

William St Leonards Robertson, c.1865

an unknown artist

ambrotype, hand-coloured (case: 9.5 cm x 8.2 cm depth 0.9 cm, sight: 6.9 cm x 5.5 cm)

This work is one of six photographs donated to the National Portrait Gallery in 2011 by the descendants of William Robertson (1798–1874), a key player in the settlement of Victoria in the 1830s. A farmer’s son, Robertson came to Van Diemen’s Land in 1822 and took up land before going into business with his brothers in an emporium in Hobart. In September 1834, he married Margaret Whyte (1811–1866), the daughter of fellow Scottish settlers. In 1835, Robertson joined a number of other investors in a scheme to expand pastoral activities into the Port Phillip district. Over the course of the next decade, he became a major landholder in the new colony, with substantial holdings in the area around Colac. He oversaw the operation of his pastoral empire from his Hobart home until 1852 and settled permanently at his Victorian property, Corangamarah, later called The Hill, in the early 1860s. The group of donated Robertson family photographs includes hand-coloured daguerreotypes of William and Margaret, and of their second eldest son, William junior (1839–1892). Also in the group are portraits of William Robertson junior's wife, Martha Mary Robertson (nee Murphy, 1844-1909) depicted with their eldest child, William St Leonards Robertson (1864-1950) - who is also the subject of this work.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Fiona Turner (née Robertson) and John Robertson 2011
Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2011.9

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

William St.Leonards Robertson (age 1 in 1865)

Donated by

Fiona Turner (6 portraits)

John Robertson (6 portraits)

© 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 Ngunnawal people, the traditional custodians of the land upon which the NPG stands.