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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

"New South Wales" (Earl Beauchamp) (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1899

Sir Leslie Ward

chromolithograph on paper (sheet: 38.4 cm x 26.0 cm)

William Lygon, seventh Earl Beauchamp (1872–1938) was the twentieth governor of New South Wales. London-born and educated at Eton and Oxford, he succeeded his father as Earl Beauchamp at age nineteen and was 23 when he entered public life as the mayor of Worcester. Politically progressive, he claimed on his appointment to the position of New South Wales governor that he ‘scarcely knew where the colony was and certainly nothing about it’. Indeed, he claimed to have considered the job offer ‘so ridiculous’ that he came close to refusing it. Unsurprisingly, on arriving in Sydney in May 1899, he offended locals with his allusions to the colony’s convict origins and other gaffes. Though caricatured by the Bulletin, Beauchamp was spoken of by his friend Henry Lawson as ‘a fine, intelligent cultured gentleman’ who ‘understood and loved the bush people of Australia’, and he was noted for the tact with which he responded to crises such as the outbreak of bubonic plague in Sydney in 1900. He left in October 1900, eighteen months into his term, but did not return to Sydney before it concluded in November 1901. He remained in politics on his return to England, spending the last years of his life in exile in Europe and the USA when threatened with legal proceedings that would have exposed his homosexuality.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Ronald A Walker 2009. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

Accession number: 2009.109

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Sir Leslie Ward (age 48 in 1899)

William Lygon, 7th Earl Beauchamp (age 27 in 1899)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Donated by

Ronald Walker (23 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

"Australia" (Alfred Deakin) (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1908 Sir Leslie Ward
"Australia" (Alfred Deakin) (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1908 Sir Leslie Ward
"Australia" (Alfred Deakin) (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1908 Sir Leslie Ward
"Australia" (Alfred Deakin) (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1908 Sir Leslie Ward

Vanity fair

Magazine article by Ashleigh Wadman, 2012

Ashleigh Wadman rediscovers the Australian characters represented with a kindly touch by the British portrait artist Leslie Ward for the society magazine Vanity Fair.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.