John Eyre | State Library of New South Wales

John Eyre

John Eyre was born in 1771 in Coventry, England. In 1799 he was sentenced to seven years’ transportation for housebreaking and arrived in Sydney in 1801. After three years in the colony, he received a conditional pardon and began work as an artist soon afterwards. He created naval charts for Governor Bligh and was also employed in more mundane artistic tasks, including painting numbers on the sides of buildings and painting offices.

Eyre is probably best remembered for his drawings and watercolours of topographical views around Sydney. Many of these were used in publications such as Absalom West’s Views in New South Wales and David Mann's The Present Picture of New South Wales (London, 1811). John Eyre left Sydney in 1812 for Europe. It is not known where or when he died.

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