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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.

'A Postmaster General' (Sir James Fergusson) (Image plate from Vanity Fair)

1892
Sir Leslie Ward

chromolithograph on paper (sheet: 38.0 cm x 24.5 cm)

Sir James Fergusson (1832–1907) was governor of South Australia from 1869 to 1873. Rugby and Oxford educated, he had served with the Grenadier Guards before entering the House of Commons in 1854, and was appointed to the South Australian post in 1868 having served as Under Secretary for India and the Home Office. Arriving in Adelaide in February 1869, he encountered a colony in the midst of a recession, with unemployment high, commodity prices low, and people leaving for the eastern states. Despite this, Fergusson was active in encouraging trade, agriculture and industry, one of his most notable achievements being to secure for South Australia the contract for the 3,200 kilometre overland telegraph line between Darwin and Port Augusta, completed in 1872. In June 1873 he took up office as governor of New Zealand; and in 1880 he accepted the post of governor of Bombay. In later years, he served again in the Commons (from 1885 to 1906); was the British Postmaster General (1891–1892); and held roles with enterprises such as the National Telephone Co and the Royal Steam Packet Co. He died in an earthquake in Jamaica in 1907.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2014

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

Sir Leslie Ward (age 41 in 1892)

Sir James Fergusson (age 60 in 1892)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Vanity fair

Magazine article by Ashleigh Wadman, 2012

Ashleigh Wadman rediscovers the Australian characters represented with a kindly touch by the British portrait artist Leslie Ward for the society magazine Vanity Fair.

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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.

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