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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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

A Wool Merchant "Colonial John Bull" [Mr Richard Goldsbrough]

1874
Tom Durkin and The Weekly Times (publisher)

from the series ‘Masks and Faces’
lithograph on paper (sheet: 32.1 cm x 18.7 cm)

Richard Goldsbrough (1821–1886) was a butcher’s son from Shipley, Yorkshire, who became a leading Australian woolbroker. Goldsbrough arrived in Melbourne in late 1847 having completed his butchery apprenticeship and after a period working as a woolstapler in Bradford. In Victoria, he started out classing sheep and wool and in 1850 acquired a woolbroking business which subsequently offered the colony’s first regular wool auctions. His firm also branched into stock and station sales, with Goldsborough himself purchasing several properties which he later resold at a profit. In addition, he remained a part-owner of many sheep stations in Gippsland and the Murray and Loddon River districts. Recovering from the financial blow dealt by the decline in stock and station values of the late 1860s, Goldsborough’s company merged with the Australasian Agency & Banking Corporation in 1881, and later he purchased the Sydney business Mort & Co. to form Goldsborough Mort & Co. Ltd. Outside the business sphere, Goldsbrough indulged his fascination for the turf and was a steward of the Victoria Racing Club from its outset. His legendary conviviality and zest for hospitality is amply demonstrated by the inventory taken of his cellar after his death, from cancer, in April 1886: it reportedly contained 682 litres of whiskey, 318 of brandy and 455 of sherry, among vast quantities of other liquors. His company’s woolstores are said by the author of his listing in the ADB to have ‘formed the basis of a distinctively Australian style of building’, and his business methods contributed in a very substantial degree to the consolidation of the wool industry in Australia.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2016

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

Tom Durkin (age 21 in 1874)

The Weekly Times

Mr Richard Goldsbrough (age 53 in 1874)

Subject professions

Business, trades and industry

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
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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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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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