John Septimus Roe Logbook

John Septimus Roe completed sketches and watercolours accompanying the written account in his logbook on HMS Dick on her voyage from England to Sydney in 1817.

Image: Sketches from logbook en route to Australia, 1817 (3)

The logbook with its vibrant, minutely detailed illustrations of sailing vessels, settlements, scenery and coastlines of countries in South America passed en route to Australia clearly indicate Roe was an accomplished artist.

Roe was born in 1797 and entered the Royal Navy in 1813 as a midshipman. From then until 1829 he served on several ships, mainly in the coastal surveying service of New South Wales. He was noted for his meticulous logbooks, charts and sketches.

In 1829, after arriving with Stirling on the Parmelia, he was appointed the first Surveyor-General of WA. He remained in that post until his retirement in 1870 and died in Perth in 1878.

The Treasure

Further Reading

Jackson, J.L., Not an idle man: a biography of John Septimus Roe Western Australia's first Surveyor-General, 1797-1878, West Swan, WA: MB Roe, 1982.

Mercer, F.R., Amazing career: the story of Western Australia's first Surveyor-General, Perth: Paterson-Brokensha, 1962.

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