Elizabeth Ann Wilson Potter (or Portler), remarried years after her first husband’s death and was Mrs Francis Barnes.

SKU SF001457 Category


Son of the American artist James Earle (and nephew of the better known Ralph), Royal Academy trained and Royal Navy connected, traveller in the Mediterranean, the United States, South America and India and perhaps most famous as the first topographical artist and draughtsman on Charles Darwin’s Beagle voyage, Augustus Earle is also one of the clearest and most sophisticated witnesses of British Australian landscape and society in the early decades of the 19th century.

The sitter in the present portrait is another of this class, a Hampshire woman born Elizabeth Ann Wilson Potter (or Portler), who was convicted of larceny in 1813 and transported for seven years to New South Wales. Transferred to Hobart Town the following year, she married one Philip Macklin, and although records of Mr Macklin’s death have not been traced, Elizabeth married again ten years later, this time to Francis Barnes.

Barnes, a former soldier and printer, had also been transported (for the theft of bank notes), and as a convict was one of those foundation settlers who came to Hobart Town with Lt Gov. David Collins on the Calcutta in 1804. Francis appears to have prospered in the new colony; convict musters show that by 1819 he was farming 50 acres of land, and had four assigned servants. He was also an entrepreneur and businessman, proprietor of the Hope Tavern in Macquarie Street (formerly the ‘Whale Fishery’ and later the ‘Hope and Anchor’), Tasmania’s first licensed premises. Being situated close to the Sullivan’s Cove waterfront and opposite the Government Commissariat office, the Hope was a convenient place to do business, especially the kind of business associated with arrivals and departures.

It is perhaps not surprising that the newly disembarked Earle should have found there possibly his very first client in the colonies.

Additional information



Augustus Earle


Pastel, Paper