Manuscripts, oral history and pictures catalogue
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  • Title
    [The arrest of Governor Bligh, 1808]
  • Creator
  • Call number
    Safe 4/5
  • Level of description
  • Date

  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
    Microfilm : CY 2125, frames 141-146 (Safe 4/5).
    Copy print : Facsimile copies by the Govt. Printing Office, Sydney (ca.1890's), are available at A 1982 (CY 2062, frames 19-32) and PX*D 332 (transferred from FA 923.59/B648.1/1A1).
  • Physical Description
    Drawings - 23.3 x 37 cm - watercolour
  • Access Conditions

    Access to this pictures collection via appointment only. Please submit your request through Ask a Librarian
  • General note

    This watercolour came into the possession of the New South Wales Government, and then to the Mitchell Library, from the descendants of Lieutenant Colonel George Johnston. As senior officer of the N.S.W. Corps, Johnston ordered the arrest of Governor Bligh.
    It is likely that this watercolour was the one commissioned to an unknown artist by Sergeant Thomas Whittle, a soldier in the N.S.W. Corps who participated in the arrest. Whittle displayed this image in his house, enshrined between two candlesticks, a couple of days after Bligh's arrest. For further information on the arrest and the circumstances surrounding the creation and public display of this image see: Neville, R. "The Arrest of Governor Bligh - Pictures and Politics", Australiana, June 1991, and PXn 762.
    In 1972, SLNSW Preservation staff removed the drawing from at least two backing sheets, one of which bears three non-contemporaneous ink inscriptions. These inscriptions are: "Sketch of Bligh's / arrest by / Lieut. Michin" ; "Govn Bligh" ; and "Govn. Bligh under the Bed"
    Formerly attributed to William Minchin based on inscription on backing sheet. William Minchin was prominent in the rebellion that led to Bligh's arrest. -- Reference: Australian Dictionary of Biography. Vol.2, 1788-1850. Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 1967
    Digital order no:a128113
  • Signatures / Inscriptions

    Attached to the left hand wall is a sheet with text, "O what can the matter be".
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