Prisoner James HARRISON

The NLA catalogue caption was devised from the verso inscription:
"James Harrison, per Rodney, taken at Port Arthur, 1874."

A copy is held at the Archives Office of Tasmania:

"James Harrison, convict transported per Rodney 1. Photograph taken a Port Arthur by Thomas Nevin"
Archives Office Ref: PH30/1/3261

Prisoner Harrison, James per Rodney
QVMAG Collection: Ref : 1983_p_0163-0176

This is a black and white reprint from Thomas Nevin's sepia print (1873) produced at the QVMAG in 1985 by Chris Long along with 39 others for reasons known only to himself, since they serve no purpose. The mounted cdvs which Nevin also produced for prison and police records (1874) are held at National Library of Australia, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, and the Archives Office Tasmania.


James Harrison per Rodney 1 was sentenced to 10 yrs on 5 July 1866 and discharged from the Hobart Gaol on 26 November 1873 (aged 43) when he was photographed by T. J. Nevin.

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery holds a copy numbered "99" on verso.

TMAG Ref:  Q15603
TITLE: '[Convict] "125" "99 / James Harrison per Rodney 1 / Taken at Port Arthur 1874".'
DATE: 1874


The TMAG misattributed this and forty or more prisoner mugshots in their collection borrowed from the QVMAG in 1983 to the prison Commandant A. H. Boyd in 2005, an error since corrected.

Australia's first MUGSHOTS


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.