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Mundy, Godfrey Charles (1804–1860)

by Ken Macnab and Russel Ward

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (MUP), 1967

Godfrey Charles Mundy (1804-1860), soldier and author, was born on 10 March 1804, the eldest son of Major-General Godfrey Basil Mundy and Sarah Brydges, née Rodney, daughter of the first baron Rodney (1718-1792) who defeated the French Fleet under Comte de Grasse off Dominica in 1782.

Mundy entered the army as an ensign in 1821, was commissioned lieutenant in 1823, captain 1826, major 1839, lieutenant-colonel 1845, and colonel 1854. In 1825-26 he was decorated while serving in India as aide-de-camp to Lord Combermere at the siege and storming of Bhurtpore. He was later stationed in Canada and arrived in Sydney from London in the Agincourt in June 1846 as deputy adjutant general of the military forces in Australia. He left in August 1851 and during the Crimean war was appointed under-secretary in the War Office. On 4 April 1857 he was appointed lieutenant-governor of Jersey in the Channel Islands with the local rank of major-general. He died in London on 10 July 1860 survived by his wife Louisa Katrina Herbert, whom he had married in Sydney on 6 June 1848, and by their son.

In 1832 Mundy published Pen and Pencil Sketches, Being the Journal of a Tour in India, and in 1852 Our Antipodes: or, Residence and Rambles in the Australasian Colonies. With a Glimpse of the Gold Fields. He illustrated Our Antipodes with landscapes and lively scenes engraved from his own sketches. The first book went through three editions and the second four, not counting translations in German (1856) and Swedish (1857).

In Australia Mundy accompanied his cousin Governor Sir Charles FitzRoy on several outback tours in New South Wales, and he visited Victoria, Van Diemen's Land and New Zealand. Aristocratic by birth and conventional in temper, he showed in his books a discerning eye, a lively pen, a keen sense of humour and a marked streak of sturdy common sense. Our Antipodes still makes entertaining reading and is an invaluable source of information for the Australian social historian. To read the book is to like the author.

Select Bibliography

  • 'Lieutenant-General Godfrey Charles Mundy', Journal and Proceedings (Royal Australian Historical Society), vol 9, part 3, 1923, p 163.

Additional Resources

Citation details

Ken Macnab and Russel Ward, 'Mundy, Godfrey Charles (1804–1860)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/mundy-godfrey-charles-2490/text3351, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 24 November 2017.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (MUP), 1967

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