Geoffrey Chapman Ingleton

Geoffrey C Ingleton

Born: 1908

Died: 1998

Geoffrey Chapman Ingleton was born in Bairnsdale, Victoria, on 14 May 1908. In 1922, at the age of 13, he entered the Royal Australian Naval College at Jervis Bay, N.S.W. He joined H.M.A.S. Adelaide and became a midshipman in 1926. Ingleton’s naval training included two years in the United Kingdom, where he first developed an interest in nautical research. In 1930, after his return to Australia, he was commissioned as a lieutenant. After serving on various naval vessels, he was assigned to the hydrographic service and served on H.M.A.S. Moresbysurveying waters to the north of Australia. In 1936, at the age of 27, he left the Navy. He was promoted to lieutenant commander on the retired list in 1938. In civilian life Ingleton worked as a draftsman and an artist. From December 1940 until his retirement in 1973, Ingleton was employed by the Hydrographic Office.

In private life Ingleton continued his work as an illustrator. His marine etchings and portrayals of early Sydney life were based on extensive knowledge and research. Ingleton’s interest in naval architecture, which derived from ensuring the technical accuracy of his illustrations, led him into the area of constructing ship models. The major resource supporting Ingleton’s artistic endeavours was an extensive private collection of books, manuscripts, maps and paintings on early Australia, compiled over a lifetime. Although he collected widely, his collection was focussed on the sea, maritime exploration and coastal development. In 1991, having already disposed of his book collection, he began to sell the hydrographic and navigational part of his library at a series of sales by the Sydney auctioneers Lawsons. His scholarly approach was reflected in the catalogue descriptions for each item.

The principal publications which Ingleton wrote, compiled or illustrated are Charting a continent (1944), a history of the surveying and mapping of Australia’s coasts, Heemskerck Shoals(1949), written by Robert D. FitzGerald, True patriots all (1952), and his magnum opus, Matthew Flinders: navigator and chartmaker (1986).

Ingleton was a member of the Society for Nautical Research, the Hakluyt Society, the Australian Institute of Navigation and the Royal Institute of Navigation. He maintained copies of all their publications, to which he was a significant contributor.

Ingleton married Josephine Weekes in 1935 and Nan Furness in 1953. He died in Sydney on 28 February, 1998.