By the time this engraving of Albany was drawn the town had been chosen by the Peninsula and Oriental Steam Navigation Company as their coaling station for their steam packets, being the first place they visited on their outward voyage from Ceylon; and the last place they touched down; after leaving Melbourne on their return journey.
This engraving is taken from an image that John Frederick Tasman Hassell had drawn or provided to the ILN, he being the representative of the P&O at that time in Albany. (NB there is a very informative biography in the Dictionary of Australian Biography of John and his brother Albert, who were both pioneers of the Kendenup and Jerramungup districts)
It is noted in the article that the climate is most salubrious and delightful and even then, resorted to as a watering place by families residing in the other provinces of Australia, it is exempt from hot dry winds in summer and frosts in the winter season. The agricultural resources of this part of Western Australia are considerable, but their improvement has been much hindered by the existence of a plant which is poisonous to the sheep, though it has lately been proved that this nuisance does not extend so far as was at first imagined. The town of Albany which stands between two lofty hills – Mount Clarence and Mount Melville – on the north side of Princess Royal Harbour, has a picturesque and thriving aspect. Its population is from eight hundred to one thousand souls. Its affairs are administered by a resident magistrate, Sir Alexander Campbell, with the assistance of a Town Council subject to the provincial government at Perth. There are barracks for a detachment of troops, a customs house, a police office, and an Episcopalian church of which the Rev W S Meade is the Chaplain, besides the Wesleyan and Roman Catholic places of worship.
This view of this place shown in this engraving was furnished by Mr Hassell, one of the colonists, who is now in this country. It is taken from the north-west of Princess Royal Harbour, looking towards the entrance, Bald Head, seen in the distance to the southeast is a bold and striking promontory, forming one side of the entrance to King Georges Sound. On the other side is Break-Sea Island, about two miles and a half distant, on which is erected a lighthouse. King George’s Sound is in Lat about 35 deg. south long. about 118 deg. East, and is distant from Cape Lewin, the southwest cape of New Holland, about 190 miles. The outer Harbour is easy of access at all times, capable of containing any number of ships to anchor in safety, to any draught of water, the Great Eastern not excepted. About six miles to the north-west of Bald Head is the entrance to the Princess Royal, or inner, Harbour, which is entirely landlocked and capable of receiving ships drawing thirty two feet of water. It is market by a light house at the entrance.
The Illustrated London News was the world’s first illustrated weekly newspaper; the first issue appeared on Saturday 14 May 1842. It was published weekly until 1971 and then increasingly less frequently until publication ceased in 2003.