Unknown artist
Captain Francis Rawdon Moira Crozier, R.N.
Watercolour on card, visible image 55 x 45.2 cm (oval), in frame 100 x 85 cm
Presented by W.S.Magee 1882
State Library Victoria (acc.no.5203), accessioned 1934

The inscription on the frame runs, in full: ‘Captain Francis Rawdon Moira Crozier, R.N. / H.M.Ship “Terror,” lost at the North Pole, with Captain Sir John Franklin, H.M.S. “Erebus.” / Presented by his nephew, William Snell Magee’.

Crozier (1796-1848) took command of the notorious North-West Passage expedition after Franklin died in June 1847 (see now * Maguire after Negelen Sir John Franklin {1875} Loc? [PR]). Crozier and the rest of the expedition are presumed to have died after abandoning their ice-bound ships in April 1848.

According to a report in the Melbourne Argus (8 Nov.1882), Magee (c.1828-1884), the son of Crozier’s sister Margaret, was later governor of the Melbourne gaol. The Argus report identifies the source of the present image as an old miniature, subsequently enlarged by E.C.Waddington & Co., Melbourne.

This portrait was previously listed in this catalogue as an unidentified coloured photograph, as the work was described in the 1894 and 1905 NGV catalogues. Recent information, however, has confirmed the details shown here.

[Revised entry Nov.2023, cataloguing the work under Watercolours, and incorporating new information provided by Crozier researcher Alexander K. and SLV Librarian Gerard Hayes]


AR 1882, p.37 (as a ‘coloured portrait’); NGV 1894, p.127 (V.Buvelot Gallery, south wall,no.6, incorrectly listed as a coloured photograph); NGV 1905, p.150 (V.Buvelot Gallery, south wall, no.4 (again as a ‘coloured photograph’ and dated 1847) 

For further information, see https://hawlantern.blogspot.com/p/mystery-portrait.html, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/11558531/264136
and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Crozier (with further references and a reproduction of a well-known daguerrotype portrait of Crozier by Richard Beard 1845)