Joseph Holt. From an original picture in the possession of Sir William Betham. Painted in 1798. HOLT, HAMMERTON. R. J.

Joseph Holt. From an original picture in the possession of Sir William Betham…
Joseph Holt. From an original picture in the possession of Sir William Betham. Painted in 1798.

London: Day & Haghe, 1840.

Lithograph, 195 mm x 126 mm (leaf size).

Portrait of Joseph Holt (1756-1826), one of the most prominent Irish convicts of the early years of settlement at Sydney Cove.

Portrait of Joseph Holt (1756-1826), one of the most prominent Irish convicts of the early years of settlement at Sydney Cove.

In 1798 Holt joined a band of rebels engaged in six months of guerrilla conflict near Dublin, but was captured in November of that year and sentenced to transportation. Aboard the convict transport Minerva Holt won the respect of Lieutenant William Cox (the man who oversaw the building of the road across the Blue Mountains) and became manager of his farms at Dundas and Canterbury upon their arrival. Despite displaying loyalty and great intelligence, Holt's seditious past proved a terrible burden: in September 1800 he was accused of treason and later acquitted by Governor King. Again in 1804 he was falsely accused of involvement in the rebellion at Castle Hill and sent to Norfolk Island, returning to Sydney two years later to work land he had purchased while working for Cox. Holt wisely - or luckily - avoided involvement in the Rum Rebellion, despite having earlier been charged with owning a still upon his return from Norfolk Island).

Joseph Holt was officially pardoned in January 1811 and sailed for Britain on the Isabella which foundered near the Falklands, delaying his return till 1814. He regretted leaving New South Wales despite the prejudice he encountered as an Irish political prisoner.

Nan Kivell and Spence, p. 150.

Price (AUD): $650.00  other currencies Ref: #3402045

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