Captn. W. E. Parry. R.N. Commander of the Polar Expedition 1819-20

Price: 685.00 AUD

London: Published by the executors of the late James Asperne, 1821. Stipple engraving, 145 x 220 mm., gently creased at one corner, very good. Contemporary engraved portrait of the great Arctic explorer and Australian settler. Sir William Edward Parry (1790-1855) was an English rear-admiral and Arctic explorer who also served as Commissioner of the Australian Agricultural Company from 1829 to 1834. Parry rose to prominence within the British Navy through years of tireless service exploring the Arctic seas, beginning with command of the vessel Alexander in 1818 under the famous expedition led by Sir John Ross in search of the Northwest passage. In May 1829 Parry resigned from Naval duties and travelled to Australia to manage the Australian Agricultural Company, a vast enterprise with an initial grant of one million acres in New South Wales and founding capital of one million pounds (raised through the sale of 10,000 shares of 100 each). The company, first founded in 1824 on the recommendation of the Bigge report, was heavily influenced by members of the Macarthur family while some of the most powerful men in British business and parliament became shareholders. Today it remains the oldest continuously operating company in Australia. Parry's choice for the position reflected the tremendous esteem in which he was held by Parliament: nonetheless, he encountered difficulty and criticism upon arrival as the Company had displaced numerous vociferous landholders who were poorly compensated in the process. This finely engraving is after the portrait in oil by Samuel Drummond held the National Portrait Gallery, London. It was first published in the popular European Magazine, which ran from 1782 until 1826.


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