NLA "native convict" 1874 with no attribution

From no attribution to Nevin attribution 2007:



NLA Catalogue full record (as at April 17, 2009)
Henry Cavanagh at Port Arthur, Tasmania, 1874 [picture] Title Henry Cavanagh at Port Arthur, Tasmania, 1874 [picture] Date 1874. Extent 1 albumen print : sepia toned; 10.5 x 6.5 cm. Context Part of Convict portraits, Port Arthur, 1874 [picture] Series * Convict portraits, Port Arthur, 1874. Biography Henry Cavanagh was a convict at Port Arthur, Tasmania, 1874. Notes Condition: Fair, some foxing. Title devised by cataloguer. "306 Henry Cavanagh Native Taken at Port Arthur 1874."--In ink on verso. Convicts confidential Gunson collection. Part of collection: Convict portraits, Port Arthur, 1874. NLA neg. 1998. Also available in an electronic version via the Internet at: http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-vn3660505 Subject * Cavanagh, Henry -- Portraits. * Convicts -- Tasmania -- Port Arthur -- Portraits. Occupation * Prisoners. Identifier nla.pic-vn3660505 Bib id vn3660505 Call number(s) * P1029/76 LOC Album 935 *
Henry Cavanagh was sent to Port Arthur in December 1873. His name does not appear in the House of Assembly Journals, Nominal Return of Prisoners sent to Port Arthur since its transfer to Colonial Government in 1871, tabled in Parliament on 11th June, 1873. He was discharged before that date, on the 14th June 1872 after sentencing of one month in Hobart, and arraigned in Launceston nine months later, on the 3rd September 1873. He was received at the Hobart Gaol, sentenced to 6 years, and photographed there on 17th September 1873 by the government contractor, commercial photographer T. J. Nevin. He was a 'native', i.e. a locally-born prisoner, and too young to be a transportee among the thousands who arrived before 1853 when transportation ended to Tasmania.

The numbering on the verso of this carte, according to the NLA notes is "306". This is an archivist's number which could date from ca 1916 sourced from Beattie's Museum, or from the 1960s with the Gunson Collection acquisition by the NLA, or from the 1930s when the QVMAG acquired Beattie's Collection, or from the 1980s when the QVMAG copied and distributed more than 70 cartes to the Port Arthur prison site, the NLA, the AOT,  the TMAG etc.

POLICE RECORDS
Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime Information for Police (police gazettes).



Henry Cavanagh was discharged in the week ending 14 June 1872



Details: Henry Cavanagh, aged 19 yrs, arraigned 3 September 1873 and sentenced to 6 years for stealing a posted letter and uttering. He was admitted to the Hobart Gaol (Campbell St Gaol) and photographed by T, J, Nevin on 17th September 1873.
This prisoner mugshot is included in the Gunson Collection by the National Library of Australia, and was unattributed until 2007 when all Tasmanian prisoner cartes-de-visite were re-attributed to Thomas J. Nevin. It has all the characteristics of the other booking photographs, mugshots, or "convict portraits" by Nevin held at the NLA, including pose, processing, framing, and verso notes. The verso bears the number '306' , and the words "Taken at Port Arthur 1874" written in the early 1900s on the versos of dozens of these prisoner cdvs for inclusion in travelling exhibitions associated with the fake convict hulk Success.

The NLA's unattributed catalogue entry prior to 2007 looked like this:
NLA Digital Collection: Henry Cavanagh at Port Arthur, Tasmania, 1874 [picture] Date: 1874. Extent: 1 albumen print : sepia toned; 10.5 x 6.5 cm. Biography:Henry Cavanagh was a convict at Port Arthur, Tasmania, 1874. Notes:Condition: Fair, some foxing. Title devised by cataloguer. "306 Henry Cavanagh Native Taken at Port Arthur 1874."--In ink on verso. Convicts confidential Gunson collection. NLA neg. 1998. Cavanagh, Henry -- Portraits. Convicts -- Tasmania -- Port Arthur -- Portraits. Occupation Prisoners. Identifier nla.pic-vn3660505 Bib idvn3660505 Call number(s)PIC/10045 LOC BOX PIC/10045 *

Updated May 2009

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 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 photographed more than 2000 prisoners, the bulk now lost or destroyed. These 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.