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George Collingridge was born in England and spent his early childhood in France. He emigrated to Australia in 1879 to join his brother, Arthur.
His early work in Australia included drawing and engraving for newspapers and journals. Later he taught painting and became a self taught expert in cartography.
The whimsy evident in the engravings of the capital letters appearing at the beginning of each chapter of the Discovery of Australia provides an indication of his accomplishment.
Collingridge had a knowledge of 6 languages including English, French, Portugeseand Spanish.
As an historian he is best known today for his early assertions of Portuguese discovery of Australia in the 16th century.
The title page of the 1895 edition of The First Discovery of Australia lists Collingridge as a Member of the Royal Geographical Society of Australia; Hon. Corresp. Member of the Neuchateloise Geographical Society, Neuchatel, Switzerland; Hon. Corresp Member of the Portugese Geographical Society, Lisbon; Hon. Corresp Member of the Spanish Geographical Society, Madrid&c. &c.; Founder and First Vice-President of the Art Society of New South Wales.
In 1908 he was created a Knight Commander of the Order of Santiago by the King of Portugal. In 1917 he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of Isabella la Catolica by the King of Spain.