James McKain Meek ( 1815 - 1899)

Artist, penman and designer who emigrated from Norfolk to Sydney in 1838, possibly as a tutor to the children of Governor Gipps.

He arrived in Port Phillip District in July 1847 with his wife and young child. He was a pioneer of the Ballarat goldfields, where he was successful in finding gold, ran a store and also a ‘soda water factory’ (possibly a sly grog shop). He invested the money he made from these enterprises in a fishing boat at Sandridge, together with a cafe near the pier. This business failed when his three fishing boats were sunk in a storm. He then moved with his family to Curdie’s Inlet at Peterborough. By August 1855 he had moved to Warrnambool where he set up a fishmonger’s store and established the West Coast Fishing Company (1858), which failed by 1859. Meek then worked as a librarian at the Melbourne Public Library, before returning to Curdie’s Inlet, where he fished and sold smoked fish to the people of Warrnambool. He sought gold in the area, explored an inland track from Peterborough to Terang, and produced a number of pen and ink illustrations.

In 1874 he and the younger members of his family moved to New Zealand, where he was a schoolteacher for a time. In 1890, when he was 75, he returned to Victoria to live with a married daughter. He was ‘Assistant Bookkeeper’ at the Ballarat Benevolent Home, where he completed a large historical picture of Ballarat. He died in Warrnambool in 1899.

No products found

Choose currency

Exchange rates are only indicative. All orders will be processed in Australian dollars. The actual amount charged may vary depending on the exchange rate and conversion fees applied by your credit card issuer.

Account Login

The List

Join our exclusive mailing list for first access to new acquisitions and special offers.