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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.

Portrait of Dr John Hawkesworth, c. 1770

an unknown artist after Sir Joshua Reynolds

oil on canvas (frame: 92.0 cm x 80.0 cm, support: 77.0 cm x 64.0 cm)

John Hawkesworth (c. 1715–1773), writer and editor, compiled the first account of James Cook’s Endeavour voyage, although he had nothing to do with the voyage itself. The Admiralty did not publish official accounts of the voyages it funded. Instead, expedition journals and logs were handed to selected writers who found their own publishers and stockists. Hawkesworth was chosen to write the accounts of several expeditions, including Cook’s, in 1771. He struck a publishing deal with William Strahan and Thomas Cadell, securing £6000 plus 25 sets of the final work, the highest amount paid for a copyright in the eighteenth century. He then set to editing the journals of navigators Byron, Wallis and Carteret, whose accounts comprised a single book. The following two volumes, purporting to be Cook’s first-person narrative, were a mix of Cook’s, Joseph Banks’s and Daniel Solander’s journals with Hawkesworth’s own flourishes. The whole comprised the three-volume set An account of the voyages undertaken by the order of His Present Majesty for making discoveries in the southern hemisphere… drawn up from the journals which were kept by the several commanders and from the papers of Joseph Banks, Esq., published in 1773. Hawkesworth died soon afterwards. Cook’s own account remained unpublished until 1893, and John Cawte Beaglehole produced a new edition of Cook’s Endeavour journal in 1955.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by the Liangis family 2018

Accession number: 2018.19

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Sir Joshua Reynolds (age 47 in 1770)

John Hawkesworth (age 55 in 1770)

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.

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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.