C1868

Township of Somerset, New South Wales.

Rare colonial engraving of Somerset in 1868. With the separation from New South Wales on 10 December 1859, the new colony of Queensland acquired over 5,000 kilometres (3,100 mi) of coastline extending as far north as Cape York Peninsula. The … Read Full Description

$A 245

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S/N: IAN-QC-680620013–222844
(C099)
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Details

Full Title:

Township of Somerset, New South Wales.

Date:

C1868

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Hand coloured engraving.

Image Size: 

360mm 
x 110mm
AUTHENTICITY
Township of Somerset, New South Wales. - Antique View from 1868

Genuine antique
dated:

1868

Description:

Rare colonial engraving of Somerset in 1868.

With the separation from New South Wales on 10 December 1859, the new colony of Queensland acquired over 5,000 kilometres (3,100 mi) of coastline extending as far north as Cape York Peninsula. The colony’s first parliament passed a resolution in 1860 favouring direct connection with England via the Torres Strait. In December 1861, Sir George Ferguson Bowen (1821–99), Governor of Queensland (1859–67), described the necessity for a station in the far north of Queensland. From a naval and military point of view, a post at or near Cape York would be valuable, due to the establishment of a French colony and naval station in New Caledonia. Bowen informed Henry Pelham-Clinton, 5th Duke of Newcastle, Secretary of State for the Colonies, that the government of Queensland would be willing to undertake the formation and management of a station at Cape York and to support a civil establishment there.

On 27 August 1862, Bowen left Brisbane on HMS Pioneer to select an eligible site for the proposed settlement. The chosen site, opposite Albany Island, was named Somerset, in honour of the First Lord of the Admiralty, Edward Seymour, 12th Duke of Somerset. Tenders were called for the construction of government buildings in March 1863, a town survey was undertaken in July 1864 and the Town Reserve of Somerset was established on 8 July 1864. The first Somerset land sale was held in Brisbane on 4 April 1865 and a second sale took place on 2 May 1866. In February 1864, John Jardine (1807–74) was appointed Somerset’s first Police Magistrate and Commissioner of Crown Lands and in July 1864 he was appointed District Registrar for the District of North Cook.

An early sketch of Somerset by Jardine shows the Government Residence, Police Magistrate’s House and Customs House on the southern side of Somerset Bay, and Marines’ Barracks and the Medical Superintendent’s House on the northern side. Henry Simpson succeeded Jardine as Police Magistrate in 1866. The Marines were withdrawn in 1867 and replaced with Native Police.

From the first issue of the Illustrated Australian News.

Collections:
State Library Victoria: PCINF IAN 20-06-68 P.13

John Rider Roberts (1820 - 1868)

Roberts was a landscape painter, illustrator, surveyor and architect. He was firstly in partnership with Henry Haege as surveyors, civil engineers and architects. One of Roberts’s major artistic activities was 'improving’ the survey plans he and Haege provided for land auctioneers by adding topographical views of the areas up for subdivision. Roberts was closely associated with the Illustrated Sydney News up until his death. He provided many topographical drawings and was head of the art department. Roberts also 'tidied up’ drawings from less competent artists before the woodblocks were made. Roberts seems to have been the last of the many proprietors in partnership with its longstanding engraver, printer and publisher, W.G. Mason. Listed as a painter, architect and surveyor of Hordern Street, Newtown, in 1867, John R. Roberts died of 'dropsy’ on 30 June 1868.

View other items by John Rider Roberts

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