Mugshots removed: prisoner William FORD 1886

Above: William Ford, prisoner, booking photographs taken on 27 July 1886 when he was "disposed of by the Supreme Court". On the left, a semi profile photograph without hat, unframed; on the right, torso facing front, gaze deflected down and to left, wearing hat, framed as an oval carte-de-visite. Photographed at the Hobart Gaol by Constable John Nevin, produced by Thomas J. Nevin for the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall. Both photographs were taken and printed within the conventions of 1870s commercial studio portraiture, typical of Nevin's earlier mugshots of Tasmanian convicts. In 1886 Thomas J. Nevin was working with police in both capacities as photographer and assistant bailiff to Detective Inspector Dorsett, noted in The Mercury, 11 August 1886.


There may have been a different photograph of William Ford which was pasted to this criminal record sheet on incarceration at the Hobart Gaol, Campbell St, sentenced to five years for assault with intent in 1886. The photograph was removed at a date unknown by persons unknown from his criminal record for this offence, as can be seen. An interim criminal record sheet may have existed when William Ford was convicted again for assault with intent on 26 July 1893 within days of discharge, and sentenced to a further six years. On the other hand, the extant two photographs may have been removed in order to be posted on the updated criminal sheet notated with his criminal offences on release in 1897 when he was 29 years old.

William Ford's criminal record sheet dated 27 July 1886
TAHO Ref: GD6719 Page 102


William Ford was acquitted of burglary per police gazette, 23 February 1892


William Ford's criminal record sheet dated 27 November 1897. The last two entries show lengthy sentences of five and six years  in 1886 and 1893.
TAHO Ref: GD12812 Page 292

The printing of carte-de-visite portraits of prisoners as identification photographs in an oval mount was still a common format as late as the 1890s in Tasmania.

Sourced from TAHO at Flickr

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.