Royal Commonwealth Society : Sulivan House, June 1849

Royal Commonwealth Society

<p> A watercolour of Sulivan House in June 1849, so named as the house was built for Captain Sulivan, later Admiral Sir Bartholomew James Sulivan KCB (1810-1890). </p><p> Sulivan first visited the Falkland Islands for surveying purposes in command of the Arrow 1838-39, having earlier served as surveyor on HMS Beagle with Robert Fitz Roy. From 1842 -1846 he was in command of the Philomel surveying the Falkland Islands during the summer season and the Rio de la Plata, and its tributary the Paraná River, during the winter season. This was followed by three years’ medical leave living on the Falkland Islands 1848 – 1851. He christened his eldest son James Young Falkland Sulivan, and he is thought to have been the first British subject born on the Falkland Islands. </p><p> The initials R.C.H., just below the painting, are those of Richenda Catherine Hamond, daughter of Captain Philip Hamond. Philip Hamond was a friend of Sullivan’s who accompanied him and his family out to the Falkland Islands in 1848, also on health grounds. Neither Richenda nor her sister Georgena Maria were born until the 1860s, so the date ‘June 1849’, written just above the painting, implies it was an attempt to represent the house as it would have appeared in 1849 though painted sometime later. </p><p> Sulivan House today is in Ross Road West, Ross Road being the main street running along the length of the harbour. It is a listed building owned by the Falklands Island Government, which is the official residence of the Chief Executive of the Falkland Islands Association. </p><p> The watercolour is pasted into an album on the Falkland Islands created by the Hamond family of Twyford Hall, Norfolk. It contains photographs, original drawings and watercolours, mostly of maritime interest, ranging in date from 1845 to 1900. The album was purchased from Spots by the Royal Colonial Institute Library in 1912. </p><p>See Janus record <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='https://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/db/node.xsp?id=EAD%2FGBR%2F0115%2FRCMS%20273'>here</a></p>


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