Guide to the Papers of Sir Henry Mangles Denham (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Denham, Henry Mangles, Sir
Wilson, James Glen
Papers of Sir Henry Mangles Denham (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1852-1869, 1958
Collection Number
83 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

1. Approximately 80 drawings and paintings, many of which are by J. Glen Wilson. They were commissioned by Capt. Denham to record the voyages of HMS Herald. Subjects include: Isle of Pines; Lord Howe Island; St Paul Island; the New Hebrides; Balls Pyramid; Shark Bay; and Fiji. There are also sketches of Fijians, and fish, flora and birds.

2. Photographs of J. Glen Wilson and the captain and crew of the Herald 1860.

3. Letter 1958 with photographs and report on the site of the grave of Fleetwood Denham, son of the commander of the Herald.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Filmed at the private residence of Captain H.M. Denham, London, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1963 (AJCP reel M465). Original microfilm digitised as part of the NLA AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Capt. H.M. Denham. London, England

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding-aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.


Artists ; Balls Pyramid, Pacific Ocean ; Denham, Fleetwood ; Denham, Sir Henry M. ; Dirk Hartog Island, Western Australia ; Royal Navy: exploration and surveys ; Exploration: maritime ; Herald, HMS (ship) ; Ile St Paul, Indian Ocean ; Isle of Pines, New Caledonia ; Lord Howe Island ; Naval officers ; New Caledonia ; New Hebrides ; Norfolk Island ; Paintings, drawings and prints: Pacific Islands ; Paintings, drawings and prints: Western Australia ; Paintings, drawings and prints: New Hebrides ; Paintings, drawings and prints: Fiji ; Paintings, drawings, and prints ; Photographs ; Port Dalrymple, Tasmania ; Port Jackson, New South Wales ; Shark Bay, Western Australia ; St Paul Island, Indian Ocean ; Sunday Island, Pacific Ocean ; Royal Navy: voyages ; Wilson, J. Glen


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 130, p47.

Biographical / Historical

Sir Henry Mangles Denham (1800-1887) was born at Sherborne in Dorset and entered the Royal Navy in 1809 as a volunteer. From 1815 to 1827 he served on HMS Shamrock surveying the English Channel and the coasts of Ireland. In 1830 he was given command of HMS Linnet in which he surveyed the Bristol Channel, the coast of Wales and the entrance to the River Mersey. From 1842 to 1845 he carried out surveys of the north-west coast of England on the paddle steamer Lucifer and from 1845 to 1848 he commanded HMS Avon which surveyed the coast of Guinea and the Bight of Benin in West Africa. He was promoted to the rank of captain in 1846.

In 1851 Denham was given command of HMS Herald and instructed to carry out a lengthy survey of the south-west Pacific. The ship was accompanied by a tender, HMS Torch, commanded by Lieutenant William Chimmo. The survey encompassed Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Fiji and the Solomon Islands. From 1857 to 1860 the Herald remained in Australian waters, carrying out surveys of the east and southern coasts and also Shark Bay in Western Australia. The ship returned to England via the Torres Strait and the Dutch East Indies.

On his return to England, Denham was employed supervising the drawing of fair copies of his surveys. He was promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1864 and placed on the retired list in 1866. He was knighted in 1867. Denham died in London in 1887. His wife Isabella, whom he married in 1826, had died in 1865.

James Glen Wilson (1827-1863) was born in Ireland. Nothing is known of his early life, but a number of his paintings of Belfast in 1850-52 have survived. In March 1852 he was appointed as 'artist borne as clerk' on HMS Herald. His chief responsibility was drawing coastal profiles, 120 of which are held in the Hydrographic Department, but he also produced landscapes, portraits and images of plants, insects and fishes. Some of his works were painted from sketches by John MacDonald, the assistant surgeon on the Herald. In January 1859 Wilson was discharged at his request. He married Margaret Moore at Parramatta and was appointed a surveyor in the New South Wales Department of Lands. In his first year he worked on surveys on the south coast. He was then transferred to Molong, where he died three years later.

Reference: Andrew David. The voyage of HMS Herald to Australia and the South-West Pacific 1852-1861 under the command of Captain Henry Mangles Denham, Melbourne, Melbourne University Press, 1995.

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Paintings, drawings, maps and photographs produced during the surveying voyage of HMS Herald, 1852 - 1860

85 items

At the time of filming, the works were not numbered nor were they arranged by date, medium or format. The list below corresponds with the order of the images on the reel. Most of the works have captions, sometimes very precise. Many of the captions are in the hand of the artist James Glen Wilson, while others (in faint pencil) are in the hand of Captain Denham. The list indicates if the signature of Wilson and the date appears on a work, but it should be noted that nearly all of the unsigned works are also by Wilson.

Bure Kalou and sacred tree at Toko Toko near Rewa, Viti Levu, December 1855 (File 1.1)

Framed watercolour, 18cm × 23cm.

Sydney, when approaching the anchorage (File 1.2)

Framed wash drawing, 13cm × 55cm.

Thakombau Vu-Ni-Valu, King of Mbau, Fiji, his wife and daughter (File 1.3)

Three watercolours on one mount, framed, 15cm × 20cm.

J. Glen Wilson. Captain Henry M Denham and officers of HMS Herald, 1860 (File 1.4)

Both images captured on the same mount.

Photograph of Captain Henry M Denham is a framed daguerrotype, 17cm x 22cm.

J. Glen Wilson. Conway Reef (Cevaira) showing the wreck of the American whaler Logan, 8 January 1856 (File 1.6)

Ink drawing, 18cm × 30cm.

HMS Herald and Torch leaving Madeira / Funchal, Maderia, eastern extremity of the island and bearing east north east, 1852 (File 1.7)

J. Glen Wilson. Map of Raoul or Sunday Island, 1854 (File 1.9)

15cm × 19cm.

'A Vale mai Gau' / Blocks of coral in the lagoon or salt water lake at the Isle of Pines, 1853 - 1855 (File 1.1)

Two drawings by J G Wilson on same mount: Wash drawing, 17cm × 17cm and 16cm x 27cm

J.G. Wilson. Creeping plants at Lord Howe Island / Lord Howe Island, 1853 (File 1.13)

Two images on same mount. Ink drawings.

J. Macdonald. Ko mai Naitasiri, Fijian chief, 1856 (File 1.15)

Wash drawing. 31cm × 24cm.

HMS Herald in a gale, Bay of Biscay, 16 June 1852 (File 1.16)

J. Glen Wilson. Madeira peasants / the palanquin at Madeira / Madeira boats, 1852 (File 1.17)

3 images on the same mount.

Ko mai Naitasiri / Two Fijians ? (unidentified) (File 1.21)

Three portraits on one mount.

J. Glen Wilson. Marine surveying in the South Pacific, 1858 (File 1.23)

Watercolour drawing, 16cm × 37cm.

J. Glen Wilson. A fishing party: natives of Angau, Fiji / Kindling a fire in Fiji, 1864 (File 1.24)

Pencil drawing, 18cm × 24cm.

J. Glen Wilson. HMS Herald ashore in Shark Bay, April 1858 (File 1.26)

Wash and watercolour drawing, 15cm × 25cm.

J. Glen Wilson. A Fijian woman / Fijians resting, 1856 (File 1.27)

Wash drawing, 14cm × 15cm.

[Seated man with bone through his nose and scars on his chest / unidentified man in ceremonial headdress] (File 1.29)

Mounted watercolour drawing, 25cm × 17cm. Unidentified title supplied by archivist.

J. Glen Wilson. Settlement at Sunday Island, South Pacific / Volcanic Crater of Sunday Island (Raoul), South Pacific, July 1854 (File 1.3)

Unidentified harbour and town (File 1.32)

Lord Howe Island, thinly stratified sandstone (File 1.33)

Ink drawing, 11cm × 27cm.

Houses, Lord Howe Island (File 1.34)

Settlement at Lord Howe Island (File 1.35)

Pen and ink drawing.

Scenery of Lord Howe Island (File 1.36)

Ink drawing.

Sketches of Ball's Pyramid (File 1.37)

Ink drawings.

HMS Herald and Torch at Lord Howe Island, Queen's Birthday, 1853 (File 1.38)

Ink drawing, 16cm × 24cm.

Ball's Pyramid (File 1.39)

Unidentified woman / Man, woman and child, Aneiteum, New Hebrides (File 1.4)

Pencil drawings.

J. Glen Wilson. A remarkable pinnacle of rock in the mountains of Ovalau, Fiji (File 1.42)

Wash drawing, 20cm × 27cm.

Photograph of the grave of Fleetwood Denham (d. 1854), Raoul Island, with an attached letter from the Royal New Zealand Navy Headquarters in London to Mrs H.M. Denham, 17 June 1958 (File 1.43)

Chart of Sunday Island (Raoul) (File 1.44)

Cliff on the north-eastern point of Sunday Island (Raoul) (File 1.45)

Watercolour drawing, 17cm × 24cm.

F.C. Terry. Cockatoo Island, Sydney (File 1.46)

J. Glen Wilson. Views of pyramid Islet, Bass Strait, 1853 (File 1.47)

Ink drawing, 17cm × 22cm.

J. Glen Wilson. Sydney Bay, Norfolk Island, 1855 (File 1.48)


Portrait of a man with a club (File 1.49)

Sketches of Erronan (Futuna), New Hebrides (File 1.5)

Wash and ink drawings.

Village at Isle of Pines, New Caledonia (File 1.51)

Doorway of a magai, Isle of Pines (File 1.52)

Wash drawing, 19cm × 15cm.

French fishing station at St Paul's Island, Indian Ocean, 1853 (File 1.53)

Ink drawing.

J. Glen Wilson. Natural breakwater of the harbour at St Paul's Island, 1853 (File 1.54)

Ink drawing, 20 × 28cm.

J. Glen Wilson. Sketch from nature, 1859 (File 1.55)

J. Glen Wilson. Calm at sea: vessels getting foul of each other, 4 August 1852 (File 1.56)

Ink and wash drawing.

Sketch of HMS Herald's small bower anchor broken in weighing at Lord Howe Island, May 1853 (File 1.57)

Outline sketch of the relative position of the new channel entrance of 1833 and that of 1839 projected by Capt. H.M. Denham. (Formby Point, Lancashire) (File 1.58)

Fijian spears (File 1.59)

Wash drawing, 22cm × 28cm.

The tent tree, Lord Howe Island (File 1.6)

Breadfruit (File 1.61)

Pencil drawing, 11cm × 11cm.

Betel nuts, Solomon Islands (File 1.62)

2 drawings on one sheet, 17cm × 19cm.

Breadfruit, Fiji (File 1.63)

Wash drawing, 62cm × 25cm.

Ripe seed of the mangrove, Fiji (File 1.64)

Watercolour drawing, 22cm × 13cm.

Holothuria, sea slug, sea urchin (File 1.65)

17cm × 28cm.

A vrata helepelee ni Viti. Crustacean resembling a lobster (File 1.66)

Waterolour drawing, 10cm × 26cm.

Sketch of a fish (File 1.67)

Fish from Sunday Island and Lord Howe Island (File 1.68)

7 watercolour drawings on one mount.

Fish from Middleton Reef (File 1.7)

3 watercolour drawings on one mount.

Fish from Bass Strait, Fiji and Lord Howe Island (File 1.71)

One ink and 2 watercolour drawings on one mount.

Fish from Sunday Island and Aneiteum (File 1.72)

One ink and two watercolour drawings.

Penguins, albatross, Cape pigeon, St Paul's Island, 1853 (File 1.73)

4 ink and watercolour drawings.

Cape Barren goose, Bass Strait, and Seagulls, Bass Strait (File 1.74)

Ink drawings, 11cm × 8cm.

Birds' eggs (File 1.76)

Unidentified flowers (File 1.77)

Tent tree at Lord Howe Island (File 1.78)

Wash drawing, 17cm × 15cm.

Sketches of baskets (File 1.79)

Three drawings on one sheet.Four drawings on one sheet, 11cm × 23cm.

Fijian clubs (File 1.8)

Matai ni ivi. Fijian stone adze / Gnaiagh. Hut ornaments, Isle of Pines, New Caledonia, 1853 (File 1.81)

Wash drawings.

George Adams, son of John Adams, mutineer on HMS Bounty (File 1.83)

Pencil drawing.

Pandanus of Fiji (File 1.84)

Ink drawing, 17cm × 17cm.

War march in Fiji. Herald's voyage 1855. Fijian army going into battle. Framed oil painting, 1855 (File)

Unidentified trees (File 1.85)

Canoe of New Zealand, 1854 (File 1.86)

Ink drawing, 20cm × 31cm.

[Norfolk Island in the South West Pacific. The landing place with an onshore wind. Ships boats being taken overland. J. Glen Wilson. Framed oil painting with rounded top], 1855 (File)

Image is unidentified. Title from internal AJCP finding aid.

[In shore canoes of the Isle of Pines, South West Pacific. J. Glen Wilson. Herald's Voyage. Framed oil painting], 1855 (File)

Unidentified image. Title from internal AJCP list.

[Town in Fiji, South West Pacific attacked by "converted natives". J. Glen Wilson. Herald's Voyage. Framed oil painting], 1856 (File)

Unidentified image. Assumed title from AJCP internal list.

[Portrait of Admiral Denham] (File)

Framed chalk portrait, signed Koberwein. Unidentifed image. Title assumed from AJCP internal descriptive list.

Tongese canoes at Levuka, Ovalau, 23 July 1853 (File)

King George and the Vo-ni-valu going on board the HMS Herald. Framed watercolour, unsigned.

Fijian war canoes, 1856 (File)

Framed wash drawing. Signed J Glen Wilson.

Fijian and Tongese canoes getting underway at Levuka, 26 July 1855 (File)

Framed watercolour.

[Untitled view of HMS Herald and cutter], 1852 (File)

Framed wash drawing, signed J Glen Wilson March 1852.Title from internal AJCP descriptive list.

Unidentified [Chief, 1856 HMS Herald Expedition], 1856 (File)

Tail of a porpoise / Shells (File)

Herald and Torch (File)

Unidentified [Fish of South Pacific, HMS Herald including flying fish], 1858 (File)

Titled created by archivist.