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Portrait of Ralph Darling, Governor of New South Wales, 1825-1831

by John Linnell

oil on wood panel

On loan to the National Portrait Gallery

Sir Ralph Darling (1772-1858) was governor of New South Wales from 1825 to 1831. Darling was a zealous and efficient military officer who had risen on the basis of merit to the rank of major general. His respect for regulations made him unsympathetic to calls for greater constitutional rights within the colony, and despite some important and useful reforms, his initiatives generally contributed to his unpopularity. After harsh - and unwittingly unlawful - treatment of two soldiers who had committed theft, he was attacked in Wentworth's Australian and responded with laws to curb the press. He left New South Wales for London in 1831. In 1835, a parliamentary enquiry favourably resolved doubts as to his proper conduct as governor.

Pictures Collection
National Library of Australia
Accession number: LOAN2009.12.2