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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.

"Round the World" Thomas Brassey (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1877

Carlo Pellegrini

chromolithograph on paper (sheet: 38.5 cm x 25.5 cm)

Thomas Brassey, 1st Earl Brassey (1836–1918), politician and governor, studied law and modern history at Oxford before entering the House of Commons in 1868. As the member for Hastings, he dedicated himself to matters such as wages and working conditions, and contributed greatly to reforms in naval administration and maritime policy. He was a civil lord of the Admiralty under William Gladstone; parliamentary secretary to the Admiralty in 1884–1885; and a lord-in-waiting to Queen Victoria. In his spare time, Brassey undertook voyages on his steam yacht, Sunbeam, which he sailed to Melbourne in 1895 after being appointed governor of Victoria. Brassey and his second wife, Sybil, were noted for their support of children’s causes and school education, Lady Brassey, for example, founding the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to and Neglect of Children. A supporter of Federation, Brassey left office shortly before Queen Victoria gave her assent to the Commonwealth Act in 1900. Elevated to the peerage in 1886, he was created Earl Brassey on the coronation of George V in 1911.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2015

Accession number: 2015.15

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Carlo Pellegrini (age 39 in 1877)

Thomas Brassey (age 41 in 1877)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

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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.