State Library of NSW
William Govett arrived in Sydney in 1828 without any surveying experience, but with an abundance of natural talent. While surveying the Old Bathurst Road, he explored Govetts Leap (leap is a Scottish word for waterfall) in the Blue Mountains, which Surveyor General Thomas Mitchell named after him. In this portrait, painted in England, the telescope alludes to his profession.
When the surveying department was downsized in 1833, he returned to England. In 1836 he wrote and illustrated several articles about New South Wales for London’s Saturday Magazine, a popular and cheap journal of the day designed to improve its reader’s knowledge of geography, history and the natural world of the British Empire.
Out of copyright
Please acknowledge: Dixson Galleries, State Library of New South Wales