Prisoner William WALKER

The National Library of Australia's notes should only document the information inscribed on the versos of all these photographs taken by Thomas J. Nevin in the 1870s, printed as cartes-de-visite in oval mounts for use by police. Apart from the attribution to T.J. Nevin, all other information is irrelevant and misleading.

NLA Catalogue
William Walker, per Asia 4th, taken at Port Arthur, 1874 [picture]
Part of collection: Convict portraits, Port Arthur, 1874.
Gunson Collection file 203/7/54.
Title from inscription on reverse.
Inscription: "No 96"--On reverse.
PIC P1029/45 LOC Album 935 *

Webshot 2005 of NLA catalogue record for William Walker

This duplicate of Nevin's cdv, one of six printed at the only sitting with the prisoner, is held at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery.

Prisoner William Walker
Photographed by T. J. Nevin 22 Juky 1874 at the Hobart Gaol
QVMAG Ref: QVM 1985_P_0109

Paper copies are also held at the Archives Office of Tasmania. More than one duplicate or copy was made by Nevin from his negative of the original capture, hence the different numbering on the front of each photograph.


William Walker was photographed at the Mayor's Court, Hobart Town Hall by Thomas Nevin on discharge, 22 July 1874, having served 7 yrs of a 10 year sentence.

But William Walker was convicted again 23 October, 1875, sentenced to 6 months for larceny, and incarcerated at the Hobart Gaol. His age was listed as 68 yrs;  his occupation as "painter".

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.