Sir John Henry Lefroy

Alfred Winter1881

National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery
Canberra, Australia

Sir John Henry Lefroy (1817–1890), governor, army officer and meteorologist, began studying astronomy while serving with the Royal Artillery in the 1830s. In 1842 he left for Canada on being appointed superintendent of the Toronto observatory, in which role he took part in the geomagnetic survey of Britain’s North American territories and an attempt to locate the magnetic north pole. On his return home he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Geographical Society. Lefroy served as a special adviser during the Crimean War (Florence Nightingale corresponded with him on military hospitals), and later was involved in reforms to the system of military education as inspector-general of army schools. After retiring from the army he served as governor of Bermuda from 1871 to 1877. In 1880 he became governor of Tasmania, arriving in Hobart with his second wife, Charlotte, in October that year. As he had done in Bermuda, Lefroy took a keen interest in the colony’s cultural, economic, agricultural and social progress as well as in its scientific life, serving as president of the Royal Society of Tasmania during his brief tenure. The small town of Lefroy, a former goldfield north of Launceston, is named for him, as is Mount Lefroy in the western Canadian Rockies.


  • Title: Sir John Henry Lefroy
  • Creator: Alfred Winter
  • Date Created: 1881
  • Physical Dimensions: support: 16.5 x 10.9 cm, sheet: 15.3 x 10.0 cm, image: 12.8 x 8.6 cm
  • Provenance: Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra Purchased 2016
  • Rights: https://www.portrait.gov.au/form-image-request.php
  • External Link: https://www.portrait.gov.au/portraits/2016.64
  • Medium: Albumen silver photograph on cabinet card

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