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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 Chief Secretary "Blunt, but Honest" [The Hon. James Goodall Francis], 1874

Tom Durkin and The Weekly Times (publisher)

lithograph on paper (sheet: 32.5 cm x 18.6 cm)

James Goodall Francis (1819–1884), a London-born merchant and politician, arrived in Hobart as a steerage passenger in February 1835. He later found work with the firm Boyes & Poynter, becoming a partner in a subsequent form of the business and moving to Melbourne to open a branch there in 1853. Later the founder of the mercantile firm Francis & McPherson, his business interests encompassed banking, insurance, coal-mining, gold-mining and forestry along with pastoral and wine-growing enterprises, and included directorships with companies such as the Bank of New South Wales and the Victoria Sugar Co. An erstwhile president of the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce, Francis was elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1859; he was Commissioner of Trade and Customs and Treasurer in James McCulloch’s administrations (1863-68 and 1870-71), and was Premier and Chief Secretary from June 1872 to July 1874. Francis thrice refused a knighthood; in declining health, he was elected member for Warrnambool in 1878 and served in this role until his death in 1884.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2016

Accession number: 2016.2

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Tom Durkin (age 21 in 1874)

The Weekly Times

Hon. James G. Francis (age 55 in 1874)

Related information

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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.

A Goldfields Member "The Dove of Ararat" [The Hon. William McLellan M.L.A] from the series "Masks and Faces", 1874 Tom Durkin, The Weekly Times
A Goldfields Member "The Dove of Ararat" [The Hon. William McLellan M.L.A] from the series "Masks and Faces", 1874 Tom Durkin, The Weekly Times
A Goldfields Member "The Dove of Ararat" [The Hon. William McLellan M.L.A] from the series "Masks and Faces", 1874 Tom Durkin, The Weekly Times
A Goldfields Member "The Dove of Ararat" [The Hon. William McLellan M.L.A] from the series "Masks and Faces", 1874 Tom Durkin, The Weekly Times

Showing character

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2016

Joanna Gilmour on Tom Durkin playing with Melbourne's manhood.

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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.