Battle of Hornsby oil Painting Gifted to Council’s Art Collection

Hornsby Shire Council is delighted to announce the generous donation to Council’s art collection, a remarkable oil painting, which depicts the Battle of Hornsby.

The artwork named Events of 22nd June 1830 – an ambush which led to the names of Hornsby and Thornleigh, has been graciously gifted by 99-year-old Roy Smith, on behalf of his late wife and painter, Josephine Anne Smith.

This impressive oil painting illustrates the ambush of Chief Constable John Horne and Samuel Thorn in June 1830, which brought about the naming of the town of Hornsby.

Horne and Thorn were involved in the death and shooting of bushrangers John MacNamara and William Dalton on Windsor Road.

Josephine enjoyed a prolific career, with her works receiving international acclaim, as she was represented in many public and private collections and had her artworks distributed by publishers worldwide.

The London-born painter moved to Australia in 1984 and quickly established herself as one of Australia’s leading wildlife artists. Josephine certainly received a long list of accolades during her illustrious career, which featured awards from USA, Canada, Melbourne, Sydney and Tasmania.

Josephine set up her studio in Mount Colah, where she happily resided with her husband, Roy for many years. She was also a proud member of the Hornsby Art Society.

Following her passing in April 2022, Josephine’s family contacted Council to share her wish of bequeathing the work to the Shire community.

“On behalf of my late wife, Josephine, it gives me great pleasure to donate this painting to Hornsby Shire Council. Shortly before she passed away, she asked me to donate the painting which she had created in 2000 for an exhibition held for artworks depicting some events occurring in Hornsby’s history,” Mr Smith said.

“I hope that when this is displayed that it will be of significant interest to Council and the Shire community.”

Hornsby Shire Mayor, Philip Ruddock expressed his gratitude to the Smith family for their historic gift.

“Council sincerely appreciates this contribution from Roy, and his family. This remarkable work of art celebrates rich cultural heritage of our local community, and we are incredibly grateful to be able to receive this significant donation,” said Mayor Ruddock.

Council remains committed to supporting and promoting arts and culture in Hornsby Shire. For more information about the various Council-run art initiatives, visit

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