Prisoner George WILLIS and Tasmanian police records 1872-1880

George Willis, aged 48 yrs, and originally transported in 1838, was convicted in the Supreme Court at Hobart on 10th September 1872, sentenced to six years for larceny, sent to the Port Arthur prison, and then relocated to the Hobart Gaol in October 1873 where he was photographed by T.J. Nevin on incarceration. George Willis aka Metcalfe was among the 109 prisoners returned to Hobart from the Port Arthur prison at the request of the Parliament, all of whom were photographed by Thomas J. Nevin from October 1873 through to 1874, and subsequently at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall, on the numerous occasions of these recalcitrant prisoners' further arrests, convictions, and discharges.



National Library of Australia Collection (incorrect information)
NLA Identifier: nla.pic-vn5020355
George Willis, transported to VDL (Tasmania) on the Neptune 2
Photographed by T. J. Nevin for the Municipal Police Office and Hobart Gaol 1873-4.
Photos taken at the National Library of Australia, 7th Feb 2015
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2015 ARR



Verso: National Library of Australia Collection (incorrect information)
NLA Identifier: nla.pic-vn5020355
George Willis, transported to VDL (Tasmania) on the Neptune 2
Photographed by T. J. Nevin for the Municipal Police Office and Hobart Gaol 1873-4.
Photos taken at the National Library of Australia, 7th Feb 2015
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2015 ARR

In 1873, 156 prisoners were removed from the Port Arthur prison to the central city Hobart Gaol, a process begun in 1868, and completed in 1878, the year of the official closure of Port Arthur
Source: PP 48/1878 Archives Office of Tasmania.


Port Arthur and Hobart Gaol prisoners stats 1873

Police Records 1872-1880
George Willis's major repeat offence was larceny, with shorter sentences for absconding, being on premises unlawfully, and being idle and disorderly.

George Willis police records 1872-1880

George Willis police records 1872-1880

George Willis was convicted at the Supreme Court Hobart on 3 August 1872

George Willis police records 1872-1880

George Willis police records 1872-1880

George Willis was discharged on 8 April 1877

George Willis police records 1872-1880

George Willis was convicted on 5 May 1877

George Willis police records 1872-1880

George Willis was arrested on 18 December 1878
Source: Tasmanian Police Gazettes, published by the Government Printer as Tasmania Reports of Crime 1872-1880.

Prisoner mugshot of George Willis by T.J. Nevin 1873

Courtesy National Library of Australia
NLA Identifier: nla.pic-vn5020355 (incorrect infomation)
George Willis, transported to VDL (Tasmania) on the Neptune 2
Photographed by T. J. Nevin for the Municipal Police Office and Hobart Gaol 1873-4.


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.