Santa Barbara's Cross, (A Spanish Superstition.)To B. Boyd Esq.r Yacht Wanderer, R.Y.S.
Lithograph, very scarce with large margins. Sheet 295 x 235mm (11½ x 9¼"). Corners trimmed, small scuff in surface, laid on album paper, some spotting.
The schooner 'Wanderer' en route to Australia in 1841, in a gale with lightning and a cloud formation to the left called 'Santa Barbara's Cross' which the Spanish regard as an ill-omen. On board was Benjamin Boyd (1801-51), the owner of the yacht, and the artist Oswald Walters Brierly (1817-94). Ben Boyd, a stockbroker, hoped to capitalise on the resources of Australia. He had founded the Royal Bank of Australia in London, but, when he arrived in Port Jackson in 1842, he used the money raised for his own purposes rather than operate a true bank. He bought flocks and took up squatters rights, becoming one of the largest landowners in the colony, established Boydtown at Twofold Bay, a port from which he could co-ordinate his shipping, whaling and pastoral interests. In 1847 he imported a number of Pacific islanders as cheap labour, which failed as the islanders had no idea what was expected of them and made Boyd unpopular with the European settlers. When anti-squatter laws were introduced Boyd's finances failed, and in 1848 he lost control of the Royal Bank of Australia, which was placed in the hands of a liquidator the following year. Boyd then left Australia on the 'Wanderer' to try his luck on the Californian goldfields. Disappointed in America, he set sail to cruise the Pacific but disappeared on a visit to Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in October 1851, with rumours that he had been killed by cannibals. The 'Wanderer' was wrecked off Port Macquarie upon its return to Australia. Oswald Brierly remained in Australia also, managing Boyd's whaling station at Twofold Bay 1842-48, before making a two-year voyage with Captain Owen Stanley on HMS Rattlesnake recording surveys of the Great Barrier Reef, Torres Strait, parts of New Guinea and the Louisiade Archipelago. He then sailed with Henry Keppel on HMS Meander to New Zealand, Tahiti and South America before returning to England. Brierly visited Australia again in 1867-8 when he accompanied the first Royal visit of HRH Prince Alfred Duke of Edinburgh on HMS Galatea during its royal tour.
The original pencil sketch is in the Australian National Maritime Museum, Object 00030594. Ex collection of the late Hon. C. Lennox-Boyd.
[Ref: 34062] £520.00