Jane Elizabeth Blaxlandc 1835

by Unknown artist

Born into one of Australia’s early ‘aristocratic’ colonial families, Jane Elizabeth Blaxland was the third daughter of Harriott and John Blaxland. The Blaxlands had been sponsored by the British Government to emigrate to Sydney and were given considerable holdings of land and convicts. They grew wealthy through raising cattle, selling meat and dairy produce, and other enterprises.

Growing up among the ‘beauteous bevy’ of six daughters at the family’s Newington estate, near Silverwater, Jane displayed ‘an enthusiasm for all that is beautiful in art and nature’. In the early 1840s, Jane travelled to England hoping to improve her failing health, but died, just before she was due to return home, in 1843. This portrait, wreathed in flowers, would have provided her grieving family with a perpetual memorial.