C1789

Lieut.Shortland.

Artist:

S. Shelley

C18th engraved portrait of John Shortland who was on the first the First Fleet arriving at Sydney Cove on 17 January 1788. He remained at Port Jackson until 14 July, when he sailed for England in the Alexander, carrying the … Read Full Description

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S/N: VTBB-183-POR-AA–227468
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Details

Full Title:

Lieut.Shortland.

Date:

C1789

Artist:

S. Shelley

Condition:

In good condition

Technique:

Copper engraving.

Image Size: 

75mm 
x 95mm

Paper Size: 

287mm 
x 395mm
AUTHENTICITY
Lieut.Shortland. - Antique Print from 1789

Genuine antique
dated:

1789

Description:

C18th engraved portrait of John Shortland who was on the first the First Fleet arriving at Sydney Cove on 17
January 1788. He remained at Port Jackson until 14 July, when he
sailed for England in the Alexander, carrying the first dispatches of Governor Phillip to the secretary of state.

Collections:
Australian National Maritime Museum: Object No: 00008401
National Library of Australia:  Bib ID 2730375
National Portrait Gallery, Canberra Accession number: 2010.58

Artist:

John Shortland (1739-1803)

Naval officer, was born near Plymouth, son of John Shortland, the senior member of a remarkable west of England family, six members of whom were associated with the colonisation of Australia and New Zealand. In 1755 he entered the navy as a midshipman and served under Boscawen off Newfoundland, under Byng off Minorca and under Rodney in the West Indies, being present at the reduction of several islands. On his promotion to lieutenant in 1763 he was engaged in the transport service between England and America. In 1782 he was in command of the transports taking reinforcements to the relief of Gibraltar and in 1786, after returning with troops from Halifax, was appointed naval agent to the transports of the First Fleet. This was an important and responsible post because he was charged with the oversight and proper fulfilment of the contracts for transport. The masters of all the transports were under his command, and he directed the provision of bulkheads and cabins for the accommodation of the soldiers and convicts. As Governor Phillip was detained in London until 11 May 1787, two days before the fleet sailed, attending to the other manifold details connected with the welfare of the projected colony, a large part of the credit for the success of this voyage was due to the vigilance and efficiency with which Shortland discharged his responsibilities. He had also procured appointments on the expedition for his sons, John and Thomas George (1771-1827).

After leaving the Cape of Good Hope Phillip transferred to the Supply and in company with three of the fastest transports in charge of Shortland sailed ahead of the rest of the fleet as an advance party. Shortland’s squadron, the first to reach Botany Bay, arrived on 17 January 1788. Shortland remained at Port Jackson until 14 July, when he sailed for England in the Alexander, carrying the first dispatches of Governor Phillip to the secretary of state. The Alexander was accompanied by the Borrowdale, Prince of Wales and Friendship, the last being later abandoned. On the voyage by way of Batavia Shortland discovered and charted many islands and reefs, including the dangerous Middleton Shoal, sighted but did not identify the Solomon Islands, and after a most adventurous voyage arrived back in England in May 1789. During his absence he had kept a full journal of transactions which was highly valued by the authorities. He strongly urged the Admiralty to have the eastern coast of Australia properly charted and was thus, to some extent, responsible for the subsequent dispatch of Flinders in the Investigator.

He was promoted commander in 1790 and after further active service finally retired to Lille in France where he died in 1803. He was survived by his widow, two sons and two daughters.

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