# 35750

BISHOP-OSBORNE, John (1851-1934)

Studio portrait of Lieutenant-Colonel Francis D. Grey, Director of the Tasmanian Main Line Railway Company. Hobart, 1878.

$175.00 AUD

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Albumen print photograph, carte de visite format, 105 x 64 mm (mount); recto of mount with fully contemporary caption in ink ‘Colonel Grey’; verso imprinted ‘From the Photographic Studio of J. Bishop Osborne, 76 Murray St., Hobart Town’; in excellent condition.

‘The Tasmanian Main Line Railway was built by a private company formed in 1872. A close but uncomfortable relationship with the Government was resolved in 1890 with the purchase of the company’s assets by the Crown and their incorporation into the Tasmanian Government Railways.’ (Libraries Tasmania https://libraries.tas.gov.au/archive-heritage/guides-records/Pages/railway.aspx)

Lieutenant-Colonel Francis D. Grey – a was a member of the Board of Directors of the Tasmanian Main Line Railway Company, which had its head office in Cannon Street, London, and its Tasmanian office in Liverpool Street, Hobart. The Mercury, Hobart, reported his arrival in the colony on 14 August 1878, with some optimism: ‘WEDNESDAY MORNING, AUGUST 14, 1878. Among the passengers by the “Derwent” who have arrived in Hobart Town are Colonel FRANCIS D. GREY and Mr. J. B. DAVISON, who, we understand, have been deputed by the Tasmanian Main Line Railway Company to visit the Colony, and endeavour to make arrangements with the Tasmanian Government for the settlement of all disputes between the Railway Company and the Government.’

Grey and Davison remained in Tasmania until the start of November. However, they failed to resolve any of the ongoing disputes between the Company and the colonial administration. Grey’s scathing valedictory letter to the Tasmanian Premier, William Giblin, was published and reported on widely in the Tasmanian press in late October and early November 1878: ‘Sir,—I cannot leave the country without recording the disappointment I feel at the result of my visit to Tasmania, and protesting at the same time against what I am loath to, but must, designate as the bad faith of the Government….’

The identity of the sitter in this portrait by Bishop Osborne of Murray Street, Hobart, is confirmed by an 1863 carte de visite portrait of Lt Colonel Francis Grey by Camille Silvy held in the National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG Ax62215).

We have not been able to trace any portraits of Grey in Australian public collections.