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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.

Edward Henty

late 19th century
an unknown artist

oil on canvas (frame: 78.0 cm x 68.0 cm, support: 66.5 cm x 54.2 cm)

Edward Henty (1810–1878) is considered the first European to settle permanently in Victoria. Born in Sussex, Edward came to Australia in 1832 and joined his father Thomas and other family members in Launceston. When their hopes of acquiring land there were thwarted, they turned their attention to the territory across Bass Strait, despite a law prohibiting its occupation. Thomas Henty’s petitions for land in Port Phillip were rejected; Edward decided to settle there regardless and sailed for present-day Portland in late 1834, taking 2500 bricks, 3000 feet of timber, 18000 shingles, a plough, a dray and other supplies and pieces of equipment with him. A month later his brother Francis arrived with a flock of merino sheep. They established a farm and a whaling venture, and in 1836, after learning from explorer Thomas Mitchell about the good farming country inland, they expanded their activities north to the Wannon River. By this time another Henty, Stephen, had settled in Portland also, although it wasn’t until 1849 that the brothers’ claims to the lands they occupied were officially recognised. After his marriage in 1840, Edward settled on his station at Muntham, where he bred merinos and Durham cattle. He served on Victoria’s first Legislative Assembly and in retirement resided at Offington, the St Kilda Road mansion built for him in 1873.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Tim Clark 2018

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

Edward Henty

Subject professions

Agriculture and farming

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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.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

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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