Edward Gibbon Wakefield
1 of 2 portraits of Edward Gibbon Wakefield
- Extended Catalogue Entry
Edward Gibbon Wakefield
by Unknown artist
watercolour and bodycolour on ivory, circa 1820
3 3/8 in. x 2 3/4 in. (86 mm x 70 mm) oval
Given by Mrs J. Storr, 1910
This portraitback to top
Edward Wakefield began his study of colonial affairs in 1826 while serving a three- year sentence for an illegal marriage in a London gaol. He focused on the depressed condition of the Australian colonies despite never having set foot in the country. He concluded that scarcity of labourers was at the root of the problem, for the easy availability of land ensured independence for even the poorest. He published his theories under a false name in A Letter from Sydney (1829). The National Colonisation Society was founded to promote them and in 1831, it succeeded in persuading the government to abandon its system of free land grants in New South Wales. An Act of Parliament of 1834 established a colony on Wakefield's principles but he was not nominated as governor. The rest of his career was chiefly concerned with the foundation and guidance of the colony of New Zealand.
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Events of 1820back to top
Current affairsGeorge III dies at Windsor Castle on 29 January and George IV ascends to the throne.
'Trial of Queen Caroline' in the House of Lords; Parliament drops the Bill which was to legitimise a divorce between Caroline and George IV.
Cato Street Conspiracy to assassinate the cabinet discovered. Arthur Thistlewood and fellow conspirators are hung.
Art and scienceSir Thomas Lawrence becomes President of the Royal Academy.
Astronomical Society is set up by John Herschel and Charles Babbage.
First iron steamship is launched.
InternationalActor, Edmund Kean goes on a successful tour of America after making his name at the Drury Lane Theatre.
Revolutions begin in Spain, Portugal and Naples.
The famous ancient Greek statue of the Venus de Milo is rediscovered on the Island of Melos and purchased by the Louvre in Paris.
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