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Henry Wade, c. 1841

an unknown artist

oil on paperboard (frame: 31.0 cm x 25.7 cm, support: 23.8 cm x 18.3 cm)

Henry Wade (1810–1854), surveyor, came to New South Wales in 1841 following a request from the governor, Sir George Gipps, for surveyors to assist with the mapping of the rapidly expanding colony. Posted to Moreton Bay, Wade drew up a plan for the town of Brisbane and also planned the site of Ipswich. In 1846, he was sent to Melbourne to prepare for the surveying of a border between the Port Phillip district and South Australia. Wade and his assistant, Edward White, commenced the first section of the border survey in early April 1847. By early August, they had marked out almost 200 kilometres, but were forced to abandon the project when their supplies ran out. Wade was then appointed surveyor for Portland, working in this role until being recalled to Melbourne in 1854. He died while surveying in the area of Yangardook, near Gisborne, in July 1854, leaving a wife and six children. In 1865, it was established that Wade and White, having incomplete information at the time, had started their 1847 survey of the South Australian border more than two miles to the west of the designated starting point of 141° longitude. South Australia later made a number of attempts to have the border moved east until it was established in 1914 that the so-called ‘Wade/White Line’ should remain the official boundary between South Australia and Victoria.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the Wade and Hannah families 2013

Accession number: 2013.63

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Henry Wade (age 31 in 1841)

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