Thomas Nevin, his studio carpet and pauper William Graves

WILLIAM GRAVES transportation and police records
MISIDENTIFICATION with Brother PAYNE
THOMAS J. NEVIN studio decor

William Grave or William Graves?
A prisoner by the name of William GRAVE arrived at Hobart on board the convict transport Lady Montagu in December 1852. He was already lame when he arrived. His records stated "A cripple walks with a crutch." When photographer Thomas J. Nevin assisted the New Town Territorial Police police in the arrest of a well-known identity in the Glenorchy area called William GRAVES in May 1875 , the warrant described the man as "lame of right leg, walks with a crutch". One month later, when he was discharged from Hobart, his left leg, not the right, was recorded by police as "crippled". So who was this man, photographed standing on Thomas Nevin's carpet?



Wrong identification at the Archives Office of Tasmania
This man was William GRAVES, not Brother Payne
Photographed by T. J. Nevin 1875-1880s
Source: ARCHIVES OFFICE of TASMANIA
Reference: PH30/1/221

Transportation Records of William Grave
There was no "s" on the end of this prisoner's name when details were recorded on his arrival aboard the transport Lady Montagu at Hobart, VDL (Tasmania) in 1852, although the description of this man "William Grave" and the description of the prisoner subsequently recorded as "William Graves" per Ly Montagu in the police gazette warrants, arrests and discharges of the 1870s accord with his single salient feature: "a cripple walks with a crutch".

CONDUCT RECORD
The conduct record of prisoner "Grave William" gives the following details: -
He was tried at Carlisle QS on 3rd July 1849, transported for 7 years. He arrived at Hobart on 9th December 1852. His religion was C.E. (Church of England) and he could read and write. He was transported for larceny. The prison report noted - "very good". His marital status was single, a widower. He stated that this offence was for stealing (other details are illegible). His age either at trial in 1849 or on arrival at Hobart was 34 yrs old, his height just over 5 feet 5 inches, and his occupation was shepherd. On 13 June 1854 he was granted a ticket of leave.

Thereafter, a number of dates for the same offence or period spent as an inmate of an invalid depot are recorded on this page, starting with 1858 and repeated (as ditto) through to his last in 1886: see Health and Welfare Records further below.

4 Aug 1858 PA (Paupers) Port Arthur Prison
10 June 1867 PB Brickfieds Depot; 2 Aug 1867 PA Port Arthur
16 July 1875 PA Port Arthur Prison
26 April 1878 Cas (Cascades Invalid Depot)
28 February 1879 Cas (Cascades Invalid Depot)
29 September 1883 N. Town (New Town Charitable Institute)
13 May 1884 N. Town (x2) (New Town Charitable Institute)
5 May 1886 N. Town (New Town Charitable Institute)
26 May 1886 N. Town (New Town Charitable Institute)
7 April 1893 "Died at the Invalid Depot New Town 7 April 93"



Conduct Record
Grave, William
Record Type: Convicts
Departure date: 9 Aug 1852
Departure port: Plymouth
Ship:Lady Montagu
Voyage number: 356
Index number: 27726
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1396535
Source online: CON33/1/110

DESCRIPTION LIST
The same facial features as those on the conduct record were recorded in this list (top left entry) with the same name " William Grave" and the same remark:
"A cripple walks with a crutch"



Description List
Source online: CON18-1-58 Image 28

INDENT RECORD
The indent record still lists the prisoner as William Grave, not Graves (first page on left, second entry from top). Details added to this record show that when convicted for larceny of victuals at Carlisle he was a widower and had a daughter called Anne at Windermere UK (second page on right, second entry from top).



Indent
Source online: CON14-1-43 Images 287 and 288

Police Records for William Graves
William Grave or Graves' offences and misdemeanours between his arrival at Hobart in December 1852 and this warrant for his arrest for larceny committed on 24 August 1874 are not detailed here. Only Thomas Nevin's involvement is of interest, firstly because he assisted police in the arrest of this man William Graves and secondly, because the photograph Nevin took of him at his studio has been misidentified at the Archives Office of Tasmania as a photograph of a street knife-grinder called Brother Payne.

At some point during those years 1852-1875 William Grave's surname acquired the "s": officially, he became William Graves, sharing the name incidentally with a famous Hobart family whose patriarch John Woodcock Graves the elder became universally acclaimed as the author of the song "D'ye Ken John Peel".

WARRANTS
Two warrants were issued in March and April 1875 for the arrest of William Graves, one for burglary committed in August 1874 at Robert Osborne's store at the railway bridge, Bridgewater, and the other in 1875 for unlawful entry to the premises of Richard Rodda, publican of the Black Snake, Bridgewater.



Tasmania Reports of Crime for Police, 19 March 1875 p.42
Warrant for the arrest of William Graves

TRANSCRIPT
HOBART TOWN. - On the 10th instant by W. Tarleton, Esq., J. P. for the arrest of Williams Graves, charged with having, on the 24th August 1874, at Bridgewater, broken into and entered the dwelling-house of Robert Osborne, and feloniously stolen 1 black cloth coat, value £1, 1 pair black cloth trousers, value £1, and other articles, the property of Robert Osborne.
Description
About 60 years of age, about 5 feet 5 inches high, lame of right leg, walks with a crutch. Well known in the Glenorchy district.



Tasmania Reports of Crime for Police, 16 April 1875 p.58
Warrant for the arrest of William Graves

TRANSCRIPT
NEW NORFOLK.- On the 14th instant, by James L. Turnbull, Esquire, J. P. for the arrest of William Graves, charged with having, on the 20th ultimo, at Bridgewater, been an idle and disorderly person, in that he was found in the dwelling-house of one Richard Rodda for an unlawful purpose. For description see Crime Report of the 19th ultimo, p. 42

ARREST
William Graves was arrested by P. C. Badcock of the New Town Territorial Police,"assisted by Thomas Nevin" on 21st May 1875.



Tasmania Reports of Crime for Police 21 May 1875 p. 78.
Arrest of William Graves

TRANSCRIPT
Vide Crime Report of the 19th March, 1875, page 42, and 16th ultimo, page 58.
William Graves has been arrested by P.C. Baldock, of the New Town Territorial Police, assisted by Thomas Nevin.

DISCHARGE



William Graves, aged 65, tried at New Norfolk, sentenced to one month for being found in a dwelling house, left leg crippled, discharged 23 June, 1875 at Hobart Town. The left leg, not the right, is recorded here as crippled. Less than a fortnight later, on 10 July 1875, William Graves was admitted to the Cascades Invalid Depot where he remained until 31 January 1878. He was discharged at his own request, recorded as "Able to work". From 1878 to 1885 he was admitted and discharged at invalid depots up to his death in 1893 at the New Town Charitable Institute.

HEALTH and WELFARE RECORDS



Graves, William
Record Type: Health & Welfare
Description: Pauper or invalid
Property: Cascades Invalid Depot
New Town Charitable Institute
Admission dates: 10 Jul 1875 to 31 Jan 1878, 16 Apr 1878 to 20 Jan 1879, 04 Jul 1879 to 13 Feb 1882, 16 Aug 1883 to 04 Mar 1884, 22 Apr 1884 to 23 Feb 1885
Ship to colony: Lady Montagu
Paupers & Invalids no.: pi0693700
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1605001
Source online: https://stors.tas.gov.au/NI/1605001

Sources online:
William Graves recorded at Cascades Invalid Depot
https://stors.tas.gov.au/POL709-1-15$init=POL709-1-15p34
https://stors.tas.gov.au/POL709-1-16$init=POL709-1-16p26

William Graves recorded at New Town Charitable Institute
https://stors.tas.gov.au/POL709-1-19$init=POL709-1-19_1882p43
https://stors.tas.gov.au/POL709-1-20$init=POL709-1-20_1884p53
https://stors.tas.gov.au/POL709-1-20$init=POL709-1-20_1885p48

This last record dated February 1885 adds the initial "L" to William Graves name, i.e. "William L. Graves". A large number of paupers were discharged with approval at the same time to go hop-picking.

DEATH and CONFUSION



Graves, William
Record Type: Deaths
Gender: Male
Age: 63 [incorrect - should be 83 yrs old]
Date of death: 07 Apr 1893
Registered: Hobart
Registration year: 1893
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1139290
Source online: Image 39
https://stors.tas.gov.au/RGD35-1-14$init=RGD35-1-14p39

This record (above) identifies a man named William Graves who died of senile decay on 7 April 1893 with an incorrect age: 67 instead of 83. One day later the same man identified below as William Graves, 83 yrs old, pauper of New Town, was buried at the Hobart Public Cemetery with the funeral date of 8 April 1893.



Graves, William
Record Type: Deaths
Age: 83
Description: Last known residence: New Town Charitable Institution, New Town
Property: Cornelian Bay Cemetery
Date of burial: 08 Apr 1893
File number: BU 9245
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES: 1549499
Source online: AF70-1-19 (BU 9245)
Cornelian Bay, Pauper, Section A, Number 544

The photograph
William Graves was photographed standing on the same carpet which features in dozens of Thomas Nevin's studio portraits of family members and private clientele. The photograph could be dated between May 1875, taken soon after William Graves' arrest, and June 1875 when he was discharged from Hobart. Then again, Thomas Nevin may have photographed William Graves at his New Town studio in late 1879 when he resumed working for the New Town Territorial Police as photographer and assistant bailiff to police constables (Badcock) and detectives (Dorsett and Connor).

By 1880, William Graves was an inmate at the New Town Charitable Institute, formerly the Queen's Orphan Asylum (1833 - 1879), located at St. John's Park, New Town Road and close to the Nevin family home at Kangaroo Valley. William Graves was “well-known in the Glenorchy district” according to the warrant issued in March 1875. Perhaps because of his physical disability, his age and obvious destitution and because Nevin took an active interest in the man from assisting police with locating him, the occasion warranted a photograph, though not the standard prisoner mugshot as William Graves was detained for only a month, fined with being idle and disorderly. Who would have paid for such a studio photo? Not the poor man himself. It is likely to be Thomas Nevin’s souvenir of the event, a token and gift of friendship.



Photograph - Brother Payne, sawyer [incorrect - this was William Graves, photo by T. J. Nevin, 1875]
Item Number: PH30/1/221
Start Date: 01 Jan 1880
Unidentified Creating Agency (XX1)
Series: Miscellaneous Collection of Photographs. (PH30) 01 Jan 1860 31 Dec 1992
Source online: https://stors.tas.gov.au/PH30-1-221

The same carpet on which William Graves stands while posing for his portrait by Thomas Nevin is clearly visible in this photograph (below) by Nevin of Alfred Barrett Biggs, taken at Nevin's studio, The City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart, in the early to mid 1870s. The studio was built by Alfred Barret Biggs' father Abraham Biggs in 1854. The premises consisted of two house-and-shop properties at No's 138-140 Elizabeth St. Hobart constructed with his son, builder Abraham Edwin Biggs. By 1857 they had let the premises at No. 140 Elizabeth St. to photographer Alfred Bock which he operated as a studio with his (step) brother William Bock until 1865. On Alfred Bock's departure to Victoria, commercial photographer and government contractor Thomas J. Nevin continued the business with the firm's name, The City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth Street, Hobart Town, vacating the shop, residence, glass house and studio a decade later, in 1876, to take up his appointment in full-time civil service with residency at the Hobart Town Hall.

It is the same carpet lined up against the same wall in the same studio in both portraits, indicating clearly that Thomas Nevin photographed the man who answers to the description of William Graves, but who is misidentified by the Archives Office of Tasmania as Brother Payne.



Alfred Barrett Biggs ca, 1872-4 (ca. 45 yrs)
Photographer : Thomas J. Nevin, City Photographic Establishment, Hobart (verso stamp)
Source:Archives Office of Tasmania
View online:LMSS754-1-9

This full-length portrait of Alfred Barrett Biggs was taken by Thomas Nevin in the early to mid 1870s at the City Photographic Establishment. The same decor of a backdrop sheet painted with a vista of tiles on a patio terrace, an Italianate balcony, and a cart path or river meandering through a valley in the distance, partially obscured by a damask drape foregrounded to the left of the client, all feature in dozens of Nevin's full-length portraits. That particular dining chair appears in his portrait of a woman with bonnet and pink ribbons held at the National Gallery of Victoria, and in another of Mrs Elizabeth Bayley, second wife of Captain James Bayley, held at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. The carpet pattern of lozenges and chain links, darker in some portraits or heavily tinted in others with green or red, is also present in many of these full-length portraits. In this portrait of Alfred Barrett Biggs, where the carpet meets the wall is as clearly visible as the same carpet meeting the same wall in the portrait of William Graves.



Verso: Description: Photograph - Portrait - Possibly Alfred Barratt Biggs [photographer - City Photographic Establishment, Hobart, T. Nevin, late A. Bock]
Item Number: LMSS754/1/9
Start Date: 01 Jan 1858
End Date: 31 Dec 1876
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania
View online: LMSS754-1-9

William Graves or Brother Payne?
The Archives Office of Tasmania has misidentified the pauper in the photograph (above) who fits the description in transportation and police records of William Grave or Graves, photographed by Thomas ca. 1875-1880, as another well-known identity, a man called Brother Payne, who was a sawyer and knife-grinder by trade. He sharpened knives from a trolley cart around the streets of Hobart. The term "Brother" may be a courtesy title of Methodist origin. This man was probably photographed ca. 1900.



(NB: flipped horizontally here to read the inscription on glass negative)
Photograph - Payne, Knife Grinder
Item Number: NS1013/1/1278
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania
Creating Agency: Pretyman Family (NG1012)
Photographs and Glass Plate Negatives collected by E R Pretyman (NS1013)
View online:NS1013-1-1278



Photograph - Brother Payne working as a knife grinder
Item Number PH30/1/744
Series Miscellaneous Collection of Photographs. (PH30)
Start Date 01 Jan 1900
View online PH30-1-744

This cdv portrait of the same man, identified as the sawyer Brother Payne was recorded with a start date of 1880 at the Archives Office of Tasmania, which is unlikely to be the date of photographic capture. The date 1900 is more plausible but without any attributable information to a studio or photographer, it must be left to the researcher to discover when and where this carte-de-visite was produced, by whom it was created and for what purpose.



Photograph - Portrait of 'Brother Payne', sawyer
Item Number: PH30/1/220
Start Date: 01 Jan 1880
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania

RELATED POSTS main weblog

T. J. Nevin's 1870s mugshots the inspiration for 21st century artworks

POLICE MUGSHOTS Tasmania 1870s by T. J. Nevin
ARTWORK 21st century based on 1870s mugshots
LISA SHAROUN 2015
KENNETH POMLETT 2013

Ancestors by Lisa Sharoun 2015
Visual Artwork: Ancestors. [Artefact] (2015)
Source: https://eprints.qut.edu.au/129233/
Creator: Scharoun, Lisa
Source: https://eprints.qut.edu.au/view/person/Scharoun,_Lisa.html
Personal communication 26 January 2020:
Copies courtesy of the artist for permission to display the artworks online

Professor Lisa Sharoun created the seven artworks based on T. J. Nevin's 1870s mugshots titled Ancestors for inclusion in a group exhibition of University of Canberra academics from the faculty of Arts and Design. The exhibition took place at the Belconnen Arts Centre, Canberra in 2015 with the broad theme around cultural heritage. Accompanying each piece was a citation from our online research about Thomas J. Nevin's photographic work for police, plus acknowledgment of the public collections which hold copies of the photographs, eg. Archives Office Tasmania. These art pieces were not for sale and remain in the artist's private collection.

The following description which accompanied each of the exhibition pieces (2015) is from the catalogue. These notes were sourced from QUT (2020) where Professor Sharoun is currently Head of School of Design in the Creative Industries Faculty.
Description
Research background
The images presented are inspired by photographic images of the prisoners of Port Arthur taken by the Tasmanian photographer Thomas Nevin in the 1870s. The photos were used as mug-shots, legal instruments taken for the police and not meant to be ethnographic artifacts. The images are, however, strikingly beautiful with the expressions and poses of the prisoners allowing us a window into the lives of these men. When Nevin’s photos were first exhibited together at the Queen Victoria Museum, Launceston in 1977 the curator, Mr. John McPhee, noted; ‘These photographs are among the most moving and powerful images of the human condition.’

Through the paintings presented, you can sense the emotions of these long-deceased spirits; their presence is represented as a ghostly imprint on the golden surface of this vast and beautiful land.

Research Statement
In the novel The Book of Laughter and Forgetting Milan Kundera wrote ‘The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.’ In this exhibition, I am presenting a collection of images that explore the concepts of power, servitude, memory and the ability to forget. From 1787–1868 thousands of men and women were transported in chains to a vast island on the other side of the world. This forced mass migration of the lower social classes of British society deeply influenced the spirit of the nascent Nation. When transportation to Australia effectively ended an attempt was made to erase the convict ‘stain’ from collective memory. Even the name of ‘Van Diemen’s Land,’ home to some of the harshest of the Australian prisons, was removed in order to change public perception of the place.

In her book Australia’s Birthstain, Babette Smith explains: ‘The penal colony had been the most talked about experiment in the world in its first 100 years and subsequently became the object of distortion, cover-up and, finally, silence in the second.’ The names, places and memories of the convict settlements were relegated to a troubled past, one that should never taint the promising golden future of the colony. Although there was a conscious effort to collectively forget the stain of convict servitude, its memory is unmistakably woven into the fabric of the Australian psyche. It wasn’t until the late 1970’s, when the government fully allowed families exposure to convict records, that Australians took a favorable look at past familial connections to the convicts. For the many years that the government censored, or in some cases destroyed, convict records family stories and histories became distant or lost altogether.

Kundera, M. (1980) The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, New York: A.A. Knopf.
Smith, B. (2009) Australia’s Birthstain: the startling legacy of the convict era. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.
[Source: https://eprints.qut.edu.au/129233/. Accessed 12 May 2020]



[Above]:  Wall dsiplay of seven artworks by Lisa Sharoun based on photographs of Tasmanian prisoners (mugshots) taken for police by government contractor and commercial photographer Thomas J. Nevin, Hobart, 1870s.

From the exhibition, Ancestors. Belconnen Arts Centre, Canberra 2015
Creator: Lisa SHAROUN
Source: personal communication (copyright permission)

[Below:]  Thomas Nevin's 1870s photographs of five of the seven prisoners which provided inspiration for Lisa Sharoun's portraits. Originals, duplicates and copies of these particular photographs are held at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania; the Archives Office of Tasmania, Hobart; and the National Library of Australia, Canberra.



[Above:] Left to right:
Painted portrait of Tasmanian prisoner Thomas JACKSON 1870s
Painted portrait of Tasmanian prisoner William or John WOODLEY 1870s
Artist:  © Lisa Sharoun 2015 Private Collection

[Below:] Left to right:
Photograph of Tasmanian prisoner Thomas JACKSON 1870s
Photograph of Tasmanian prisoner William or John WOODLEY 1870s

  

Left: Photograph of Tasmanian prisoner Thomas JACKSON 1870s
Right: Photograph of Tasmanian prisoner William or John WOODLEY 1870s
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923)
Black and white copies of sepia prints printed in cdv mounts
From the QVMAG Collection, Launceston, Tasmania
These prints are held at the QVMAG, Launceston, Tasmania

Prisoner William or John WOODLEY 



Photograph of Tasmanian prisoner William or John WOODLEY 1870s
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923)
Albumen print in buff mount
This cdv is held at the National Library of Australia, Canberra
Read more about William or John WOODLEY here


Photograph of Tasmanian prisoner William or John WOODLEY 1870s
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923)
Caption: "William Woodley convict, transported per Moffatt. Photograph taken at Port Arthur by Thomas Nevin".
Paper copy of the cdv held at the QVMAG
Archives Office Tasmania Ref: PH30/1/3220



[Above:] Left to right:
Painted portrait of prisoner William WALKER 1870s
Painted portrait of prisoner Michael HARRIGAN 1870s
Painted portrait of prisoner Philip AYLWARD 1870s
Artist: © Lisa Sharoun 2015 Private Collection

[Below:] Left to right:
Photograph of prisoner William WALKER 1870s
Photograph of prisoner Michael HARRIGAN 1870s
Photograph of prisoner Philip AYLWARD 1870s
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923)




[Below:]
Photograph of prisoner William WALKER 1870s
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923)
Black and white copy of sepia print printed in cdv mount
From the QVMAG Collection, Launceston, Tasmania



Photograph of prisoner William WALKER 1870s
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923)
Black and white copy of sepia print printed in cdv mount
From the QVMAG Collection, Launceston, Tasmania
Read more about William WALKER here



Photograph of Tasmanian prisoner William WALKER 1870s
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923)
Caption: "William Walker convict, transported per Asia. Photograph taken at Port Arthur by Thomas Nevin".
Paper copy of the cdv held at the QVMAG
Archives Office Tasmania Ref: PH30/1/3221



Photograph of Tasmanian prisoner William WALKER 1870s
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923)
Albumen print in buff mount
This cdv is held at the National Library of Australia, Canberra

[Below:]
Prisoner Michael HARRIGAN or SULLIVAN
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923) 1880s?
Black and white copy of sepia print printed in cdv mount
Verso indicates alias, crime, date of transportation, photo no. 466 etc
From the QVMAG Collection, Launceston, Tasmania



This print is held in the QVMAG Collection

[Below:]
Prisoner Philip AYLWARD 1870s
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923)
Black and white copy of sepia print printed in cdv mount
From the QVMAG Collection, Launceston, Tasmania
Read more about Phillip AYLWARD here



Black and white copy of cdv held at the QVMAG, Launceston


Photograph of Tasmanian prisoner Phillip AYLWARD 1870s
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923)
Caption: "Arrived as a military pensioner per Blenheim. Tried Hobart 1872. Photograph taken at Port Arthur by Thomas Nevin".
Paper copy of the cdv held at the QVMAG
Archives Office Tasmania Ref: PH30/1/3209

Watercolours by Kenneth Pomlett
"I never lost the look of the man" - K. Pomlett



Kenneth Pomlett at home with his watercolours of 1870s Tasmanian prisoners
Screenshot from YouTube video (below)



Uploaded to YouTube on 3 June 2013
Video by Soma Kondo
https://youtu.be/A7jnGQduE70
NB: audio is not clear.

Watch artist Kenneth Pomlett create his watercolours, and listen to his comments on the process. He points to the watercolours of Tasmanian prisoners on his wall, recounting his source as the small carte-de-visite photographs from the 1870s. Each painting took him about four hours. When exactly he produced them is not mentioned. He most likely discovered the photographs here online in our posts about each prisoner, their criminal offences in the 1870s, and the date on which Thomas J. Nevin photographed them. These six same watercolours left his possession at some point, to be snapped up at auction by Kim Sgarbossa. Read her account below.



Six watercolours by artist Ken Pomlett (2012?) of Tasmanian prisoners based on police mugshots taken by Thomas J. Nevin in the 1870s.
Copyright © Private Collection of Kim Sgarbossa

Kim Sgarbossa purchased these artworks at an auction and posted this photograph of them hanging in pride of place on her wall at home to the Facebook page, Tasmanian History, with these comments, dated 26 February 2020:

I rescued these gorgeous water colours by artist K. Pomlett. Not many people really like them but I love the history that comes with them and the lives of convicts in early Tasmania and they have pride of place in our home.
They are 6 convicts with their history. Bottom left is Thomas Francis ... Duncan MacDonald born 1812, One eyed Dennis Doherty born 1814, James Harper born 1820, George White born 1821, Peter Killeen born 1806 ... there was no interest so I just had to, not a popular pick up with my friends who think they are ugly but the history is priceless I love them ... all I know [about the artist] is he’s a Tasmanian artist who I believe has a studio in the Huon. I looked him up and these paintings were in his studio wall so I’m not sure why they ended up in a box of frames at an auction ...

The six prisoners featured in these paintings are as follows, from top left to bottom right:
Photograph of prisoner Duncan MACDONALD 1870s
Photograph of prisoner James HARPER 1870s
Photograph of prisoner Denis DOGHERTY 1870s
Photograph of prisoner George WILSON aka WHITE 1870s
Photograph of prisoner Thomas FRANCIS 1870s
Photograph of prisoner Peter KILLEEN 1870s
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923)







Top line: left to right
Prisoner Duncan MACDONALD



Prisoner Duncan MACDONALD
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin
National Library of Australia nla.obj-142917917

Prisoner James HARPER



Prisoner James HARPER
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin
National Library of Australia nla.obj-142914518
Read more about James Harper here

Middle line: left to right
Prisoner Denis DOGHERTY



Prisoner Denis DOGHERTY
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin
National Library of Australia nla.obj-142914810
Read more about Denis Dogherty here

Prisoner George WILSON aka WHITE



Prisoner George WILSON aka WHITE
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin
National Library of Australia nla.obj-142919110
Read more about George White or Wilson here

Bottom line: left to right
Prisoner Thomas FRANCIS



Prisoner Thomas FRANCIS
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin
National Library of Australia nla.obj-142916416
Read more about Thomas Francis here.

Prisoner Peter KILLEEN



Prisoner Peter KILLEEN
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin
National Library of Australia nla.obj-142917714
Read more about Peter Killeen here.

Water colours sourced online from Kim Sgarbossa' post to Facebook.
Photographs sourced from the National Library of Australia
Please note: the NLA has recently misattributed their collection
Research copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2003-2020

RELATED POSTS main weblog

Australia's first MUGSHOTS

PLEASE NOTE: Below each image held at the National Library of Australia is their catalogue batch edit which gives the false impression that all these "convict portraits" were taken solely because these men were transported convicts per se (i.e before cessation in 1853), and that they might have been photographed as a one-off amateur portfolio by a prison official at the Port Arthur prison in 1874, which they were not. Any reference to the Port Arthur prison official A. H. Boyd on the NLA catalogue records is an error, a PARASITIC ATTRIBUTION with no basis in fact. The men in these images were photographed in the 1870s-1880s because they were repeatedly sentenced as habitual offenders whose mugshots were taken on arrest, trial, arraignment, incarceration and/or discharge by government contractor, police and prisons photographer T. J. Nevin at the Supreme Court and adjoining Hobart Gaol with his brother Constable John Nevin, and at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall when appearing at The Mayor's Court. The Nevin brothers produced over a thousand originals and duplicates of Tasmanian prisoners, the bulk now lost or destroyed. The three hundred extant mugshots were the random estrays salvaged - and reproduced in many instances- for sale at Beattie's local convictaria museum in Hobart and at interstate exhibitions associated with the fake convict ship Success in the early 1900s. The mugshots were selected on the basis of the prisoner's notoriety from the Supreme Court trial registers (Rough Calendar), the Habitual Criminals Registers (Gaol Photo Books), warrant forms, and police gazettes records of the 1870s-1880s. The earliest taken on government contract by T. J. Nevin date from 1872. The police records sourced here are from the weekly police gazettes which were called (until 1884) Tasmania Reports of Crime Information for Police 1871-1885. J. Barnard, Gov't Printer.

Supreme Court convictions