Photograph (reproduction) of an engraving originally printed in black ink on a copper plate, b&w, 20.5 x 25 cm. Text at foot of photograph reads: "View of the seat of Ultimo, near Sydney, in New South Wales ...... engraved by W. Preston" [1813]. Related to TA2037 and TA1297..

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Statement of Significance

Ultimo College, Sydney Institute is located on part of the Ultimo Estate of Surgeon John Harris who arrived in New South Wales in 1790. He came from a farming family in county Derry. Harris made his fortune in the colony, becoming a wealthy landowner and magistrate. He supported the officers of the NSW Corps who opposed Governor Bligh during the Rum Rebellion in 1808.
Ultimo House was built using convict labour, and dates from 1804. It was surrounded by extensive parklands with a relatively small part of the estate given over to mixed farming. The deer park on his estate signalled the social status of John Harris in the colony. By 1818, Harris had consolidated his Ultimo estate to 233 acres from Governor King's original grant of 34 acres in 1803. His Ultimo holdings which were part of his broad property portfolio, extended from Pyrmont Point to Parramatta Road.

"View of the seat of Ultimo ..." was included in "Views of New South Wales" published in two parts by Absalom West in 1813 and 1814. It was originally drawn by John Eyre, a convict artist who arrived in Sydney in 1801, and engraved by Walter Preston who was transported to the colony in January 1812. Preston was sentenced to death for highway robbery in 1811 but his sentence was commuted to 14 years' transportation. It is possible he was assigned to Absalom West. "View of the seat of Ultimo ..." (with deer) predates the extension to Ultimo House in 1814 because it does not feature Francis Greenway's domed roof which was part of the Greenway additions to this Georgian house.
Ultimo House was demolished in 1933 to make way for the Electrical Engineering Building designed by Harry Rembert.

Sources: McCulloch, A., McCulloch, S., McCulloch Childs, E., (eds.) (2006) The new McCulloch's encyclopedia of Australian art. 4th edn. Aus Art Editions. Fitzroy, Vic. pp 414, 796; Fitzgerald, S., and Golder, H. (1994) Pyrmont & Ultimo under siege. Hale & Iremonger, Sydney. pp 16-20; 25; . Accessed 21/6/2013.

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Box 17 Library