John Gilchrist (1803-1866) arrived in Sydney on the Columbia in 1828 and soon became associated with Archibald Mosman in the whaling trade. In October 1838 he formed a partnership with John Alexander. During the 1840s the firm introduced large numbers of Scottish immigrants into the colony. Gilchrist was a prominent businessman of his day with interests in banking, insurance and shipping. He was a director of the Union Bank of Australia in 1843 and, later on, a founder member of the first board of Directors of the Royal Exchange in 1851. In 1846 he built the large mansion Greenknowe, Darlinghurst (Potts Point) and lived there until his return to England in 1854.
John Gilchrist purchased this watercolour and a number of others from Conrad Martens. The artist's account books describe View Wiseman's Road, as purchased 8 December 1838 for 15 guineas.