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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.

Sir Henry Barkly, K.C.B. Governor of the Colony of Victoria (Plate 1 of Sun Pictures of Victoria by Antoine Fauchery and Richard Daintree), 1858

Antoine Fauchery and Richard Daintree

albumen silver photograph on laid on cardboard (support: 27.8 cm x 21.7 cm, image: 24.0 cm x 19.0 cm)

Sir Henry Barkly GCMG KCB (1815-1898) started his career in business and politics before serving terms as governor of British Guiana and then Jamaica. Appointed governor of Victoria, he arrived in the colony on Christmas Eve 1856, just a few weeks after the first sitting of its newly-created parliament. His term began terribly when his wife and newborn son died as the result of a phaeton accident in April 1857, occasioning much public sympathy. Over the next six years Barkly's priority was securing stable government - a challenge, as into the 1890s the parliament was to comprise generally independent members who clumped and reclumped into factions according to the issues of the day, including land settlement, education, constitutional and electoral reform and payment of parliamentarians. Barkly proved a reliable interpreter of colonial affairs to Britain. Meanwhile, he was a strong supporter of philanthropic and intellectual movements; he was a founder and President of the Royal Society of Victoria, and helped to found the National Gallery, the Acclimatization Society and the National Observatory. In 1863 he became Governor of Mauritius; seven years later he was sent to the Cape of Good Hope. He was recalled to England in 1877, having made several regrettable decisions in Africa. However, after his return he was made a member of the royal commission on Colonial defence. In retirement, as an elected Fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Geographical Society, he applied himself to science. Barkly is commemorated in the Barkly Tablelands, a huge area of the NT between Camooweal and Tennant Creek.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2014

Accession number: 2014.51

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Antoine Fauchery (age 35 in 1858)

Richard Daintree (age 26 in 1858)

Sir Henry Barkly GCMG KCB (age 43 in 1858)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Related information

The Companion

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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.

Lady Barkly, 1863 Batchelder & O'Neill
Lady Barkly, 1863 Batchelder & O'Neill
Lady Barkly, 1863 Batchelder & O'Neill
Lady Barkly, 1863 Batchelder & O'Neill

A real Pratt

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2015

The death of a gentlewoman is shrouded in mystery, a well-liked governor finds love after sorrow, and two upright men become entangled in the historical record.

Interview with Andrew Sayers video: 2 minutes
Interview with Andrew Sayers video: 2 minutes
Interview with Andrew Sayers video: 2 minutes
Interview with Andrew Sayers video: 2 minutes

Sir Henry Barkly

Portrait story

An interview with former National Portrait Gallery Director, Andrew Sayers, who describes the portrait of Sir Henry Barkly by Thomas Clark.

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The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

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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.