Prisoner Alfred MALDEN or MALDON 1874

T. J. NEVIN prisoner identification photographs and duplicates Hobart Gaol 1870s
EXHIBITIONS of Port Arthur convictaria 1900s, 1930s, 1980s

The three identical mugshots featured here are duplicates mounted in carte-de-visite format produced on government contract by commercial photographer Thomas J. Nevin from his single negative, taken at a single sitting with prisoner Alfred Malden or Maldon either on Malden's transfer from the Port Arthur prison, 60 kms south of Hobart to the Hobart House of Corrections, Campbell St. between July 1873 and January 1874, or on his discharge from the Mayor's Court, Hobart Town Hall, in February 1874. Thomas J. Nevin produced and printed many hundreds of these studio cartes-de-visite prisoner identification photographs in oval mounts - with six or so duplicates - for police use in Hobart from the early 1870s.

1871: Maldon's crime: - "shooting with intent to murder"
In a nutshell, recent arrivals from Melbourne, American seamen Maldon and Wilson were operating a pickpocket scam outside a theatre in Launceston when Wilson was caught by police. His fellow countryman Alfred Maldon confronted them, demanding they let Wilson go, then shot one of the constables called Eddie in the face. In the course of the long report of 29 April, 1871, the spelling of the shooter's name changes from Maldon to Malden. The "American-ness" of the crime - shooting at police - was noted as "rare in British communities". Alfred Maldon was tried at the Supreme Court, Launceston on 1st June 1871, sentenced to ten years, and discharged from Hobart Town in the week ending 25 February 1874, less than three years later on condition he leave the colony. His excuse for the shooting was that he was drunk, and because of a previous head injury caused by being struck by lightning, he was incapable of knowing what he was doing, a claim which amounted to a not-guilty plea, according to the trial judge.

28 April:
POLICE COURT. Cornwall Advertiser Fri 28 Apr 1871 Page 2
TUESDAY, APRIL 25. (before T. Mason, Esq., P.M., and J. D, Parker, J. P.
Shooting a Constable: - Alfred Maldon, charged, on the information of Constable Walter Scott, with feloniously attempt to kill and murder one John Eddie, discharging at his face a pistol loaded with powder and shot, and thereby causing a certain bodily injury dangerous to life, to wit,, a gun-shot wound, was remanded for one week.

29 April
Tasmanian (Launceston) Saturday 29 April 1871, page 3
On Monday evening between 7 and 8 o'clock, an outrage was perpetrated in Brisbane-street which is certainly rare in British communities. A constable was shot in cold blood while in the execution of his duty, and by a man to whom he had given no provocation. The particulars, as nearly as we can gather them, are these:- The police have lately received information of the arrival of several very bad characters from the other colonies, and, as a consequence, have kept very strict watch in any fray likely to afford opportunity for the commission of offences against the person. Inspector Ure was thus engaged on Monday night outside the Theatre Royal, and as the people were entering the doors, he saw a fellow put his hand into the pocket of Mr Richard Irvine. To arrest the man was the work of a moment, but no sooner was he in the clutches of the constable that he endeavoured to escape. Ure, however, stuck to his prisoner, and called for assistance, when Constable Scott came up, being soon after followed by Constable Eddie. Ure and Scott secured the man and were marching him off to the station, Constable Eddie following to see that he did not drop anything. A considerable crowd followed, and the party had turned the corner of Wellington-street, and were nearly opposite Wallace's forge, when Wilson resumed his struggles, and a tall man stepped from among the crowd, and demanded the release of the prisoner, stating that " he knew him to be a respectable man." Constable Eddie at once advanced and said "Well, sir, if you know him to be a respectable man, come over to the office and make your report with us." The man drew back presenting a pistol, saying  - " I'll office you," and he immediately fired and bolted. Scott at once let go his man, and Eddie, wounded in the face fell heavily forward. The would-be assassin bolted up Brisbane-street and was captured by Constable Scott, assisted by a man named Collings, between Hatton & Law's shop, at the corner of Charles-street and the soap factory. Inspector Sullivan, who was on duty at the Police Office, meanwhile, hearing the report of a pistol, followed by commotion, sent Constable Carey to the spot, and he, assisted by some civilians, picked up the wounded man and conveyed him to the police station.
Soon afterwards the man captured was brought in, and gave his name as Alfred Maldon. He denied having fired the shot, and cried bitterly. Eddie, however, who was sitting on a chair, and very weak from loss of blood, insisted that he was the man, and using language perhaps more forcible than polite - although fully warranted under the circumstances - declared what he would do for for him but for his weak condition. Maldon being formally changed with the offence, was locked up, and Eddie was removed to his house, Dr. Miller being at once sent for. It was found that he had been shot in the right chin somewhat obliquely, and as many as fifteen shot marks, about the size of quail shot, were found on the surface. The hemorrhage had been very great, a large pool of blood being visible where the man fell. Dr. Miller managed to extract a couple of grains of the shot, but could do no more at that time excepting prescribe the necessary treatment.
On being searched at the station, the man Maldon had several counterfeit coins in his possession, and we understand other evidence will be forthcoming not very favorable to his character. He was a recent arrival from Melbourne, and had been staying at a house on the wharf. The man Wilson is understood to be a deserter from the American whaling barque Lydia, recently as Hobart Town, and he was lately fined 10s at the Police Office for resisting Constable McCormick whilst in the execution of his duty.
Constable Eddie did not pass a very favorable night on Monday, but as the symptoms of his case appeared less serious during the day, he rallied considerably on Tuesday evening, we were told, and, on enquiry on Tuesday evening, we were told he was doing well. Maldon was brought up at the Police Court on Tuesday morning, and remanded at the request of Superintendent Coulter. He was so far convalescent on Thursday as to be up and resting on ?[illegible] A number of the shot fired from the pistol lodged in the clothing of Eddie who, to protect himself against the night air, was well wrapped up under his uniform coat. Malden [or Maldon]refused to say when he arrived here or by what ship; but the police have discovered that he only arrived from Melbourne on Saturday last by the S.S. Tamar. He and Wilson, the pick-pocket he attempted to rescue, pretend that they are not acquainted and don't know a thing of each other. All that can at present be gathered of the past history of Malden [or Maldon] is that some years ago he was a seaman on board the brig Susan trading at this port.
The pistol was found lying in the middle of the street soon after the occurrence. It is a common single-barrelled pocket pistol with spring trigger, and has the wooden part of the stock nearly severed from the metal apparently by the force with which it had been thrown away. It must have been well charged to have inflicted such a wound, or to have made the report heard by Sub-Inspector Sullivan.
Source: Tasmanian (Launceston) Saturday 29 April 1871, page 3

3 June:
Mercury (Hobart, Tas) Saturday 3 June 1871, page 2

Maldon sentenced for shooting with intent
Mercury (Hobart, Tas) Saturday 3 June 1871, page 2

CRIMINAL SITTINGS.SHOOTING WITH INTENT. Alfred Maldon was charged with firing a pistol at Constable John Eddie, on the 24th of April, with intent to kill and murder him ; in a second count the prisoner was charged with shooting with intent to do him grievous bodily harm.
The prisoner, who was not defended by counsel, said, " I did fire the pistol ; but I had no intention to murder him, or do the constable any harm ; I did it through the effects of drink."
His Honor said that was equivalent to a plea of not guilty.
Evidence was then taken, but the particulars of the case have already appeared in our columns.
Prisoner (in answer to a question from His Honor) : I have nothing to say, your Honor, but that I did not intend to injure anyone. I have been suffering from having been struck by lightning, and since then drink makes me unable to know what I am doing. I had been drinking spirits that day, but I had no malice to anyone. I know no one in Launceston, and never saw the constable before. I always carried that weapon about with me, but not with any intention to injure anyone.
The jury retired for about twenty minutes, and then delivered a verdict of guilty on the second count.
The prisoner was remanded for sentence.
Source: Mercury (Hobart, Tas)  Saturday 3 June 1871, page 2

The NLA cdv's of Alfred Malden

Two mounted cdv duplicates from single sitting with prisoner Alfred Malden/Maldon
Photographed by T. J. Nevin, Hobart, July 1873-February 1874
Photo taken at the National Library of Australia, 6 Feb 2015
Photos copyright KLW NFC 2015 ARR

Two mounted cdv duplicates from single sitting with prisoner Alfred Malden/Maldon
Photographed by T. J. Nevin, Hobart, July 1873-February 1874
Photo taken at the National Library of Australia, 6 Feb 2015
Photos copyright KLW NFC 2015 ARR

These two duplicates were transcribed verso in the early 1900s with the number "316" forty years after their intended use by police and documented again with the National Library of Australia's catalogue numbers when accessioned by donation in the 1960s (Dr. Neil Gunson from Benevolent Society estrays) and in the 1980s (curator John McPhee from the QVMAG exhibition 1977).

The early 1900s transcriptions show two versions of Malden's name, his ship of arrival in Tasmania as the Tamar (mispelled), the transcriber's use of the generic date "1874", and the generic place of imprisonment as "Port Arthur", all of which was used purely in the name of early 20th century tourism. In many, many instances, this same date and place systematically transcribed across the versos of hundreds of these prisoner cdvs forty years after their original use in police hands do not reflect the facts of the prisoner's criminal history at the time he was photographed. Malden was sent to Port Arthur after processing at the Hobart Gaol, and returned to the Hobart Gaol in 1873 or January 1874 at the latest. His sentence of ten years passed in 1871 was reduced on discharge in 1874 on condition he leave the colony of Tasmania.

The cdv on the right is relatively clean, and bears on verso the prisoner's name spelled "Malden" which was used and published by the Municipal Police Office in the 1870s. The one on the left is damaged due to poor storage and exposure, and bears on verso the spelling "Maldon". These differences could be ascribed to the following:

- the clean one was kept inside a police register, pasted to the criminal's record sheet which was kept in a bound book on a blue-coloured form at the Hobart Gaol, then removed four decades later but kept in a file or box.

- the damaged one was displayed in a rogue's gallery on the walls at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart at the time of Maldon's discharge in 1874, or it was salvaged from the photographer's room at the Hobart Gaol by John Watt Beattie during demolition of the room in 1915, to be displayed, uncased, at his "Port Arthur Museum" located in Hobart, in the name of tourism. It was also displayed at William Radcliffe's convictaria museum called The Old Curiosity Shop, which was located at Port Arthur in the 1930s. The Archives Office of Tasmania recorded the acquisition of a duplicate of Malden's "mounted" photograph with nine other cdvs ca. 1975 from Radcliffe's museum. Those cdvs were mugshots taken by Nevin of prisoners George Willis, James Merchant, George Leathley, Daniel Murphy, Alfred Doran, Ephraim Booth, James Martin, Henry Sweet, William Harrison and Alfred Maldon. William Radcliffe may have salvaged as much as was possible from Beattie's museum prior to Beattie's death in 1930 in order to set up his own convictaria museum for tourists to the ruins of the old Port Arthur prison, naming it with a Dickensian flourish no less.

The Archives Office gives this information:
Agency Number: NG946
Start Date: 01 Jan 1920
End Date: 01 Jan 1970
The Radcliffe family ran a museum at Port Arthur that contained a collection of Tasmanian memorabilia and records. It was known as 'The Old Curiosity Shop'. The 'Radcliffe Collection' was acquired by the National Parks & Wildlife Service in the 1970s. William Radcliffe died in September 1943.
Information Sources: Glover Papers Vol 1 Page 66
The fact that the damaged one is transcribed with spelling of the name "Maldon" indicates two different sources of judicial information used by the same transcriber who wrote on these versos at different times in the 1900s, for example, the Conduct Records for MALDON, written on sentencing in 1871, and the Police Gazette records for MALDEN, written on discharge in 1874.

The source for the name spelled "MALDON" is this prisoner's record of arrival and sentencing in Tasmania, dated 1871. The record shows this information:
Maldon, Alfred
Tried Launceston S.C. 1 June 1871
(10) Ten years imprisonment
Shooting with intent to do grievous bodily harm
P.A. [Port Arthur] H.C. [House of Corrections Hobart] 10/1/74
Gov. inf. 26/1/74 Residue of sentence remitted conditionally on the Rev. Mr. Haywood [sic: Hayward ?] undertaking that Maldon should forthwith leave the colony.

TAHO Records
Name: Maldon, Alfred
Record Type: Convicts
Arrival date: 1 Jan 1871
Remarks: Free. Tried Launceston Jun 1871
Index number:47436
Document ID:
Conduct Record CON37/1/10 Page 5830
Link: Conduct Record for Alfred Maldon

The Tasmanian police gazette published this prisoner's name as MALDEN not Maldon on discharge in 1874. Alfred Malden was a 39 year old "native" of New York, tall at 5 feet 10 inches, hair light brown, with two moles centre of left cheek. He was tried at the Supreme Court Launceston on 1st June 1871 for the offence of "Shooting with intent etc", sentenced to 10 years, and transferred within weeks to the Hobart Gaol where he stayed until transferred south to the Port Arthur prison. His name was included in a list of 109 prisoners who were returned to the Hobart Gaol on the decision of Parliament in July 1873. The photograph by T. J. Nevin taken on Malden's return to the Hobart Gaol was reprinted for court records on his discharge in February 1874. Having arrived free to the colony - "FC" - he was discharged with conditions from Hobart Town on 25 February 1874. The condition was that he leave Tasmania.

Alfred Malden per Tamar, discharged from Hobart Town, week ending 25 February 1874
Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime Information for Police 1871-1875James Barnard, Government Printer

Version online at the NLA

NLA Catalogue
Title: Alfred Maldon, per Tamar, taken at Port Arthur, 1874 [picture]
Date: 1874.
Extent: 2 photographs on carte-de-visite mount : albumen ; 9.4 x 5.6 cm. on mount 10.4 x 6.4 cm.
Context : Part of Convict portraits, Port Arthur, 1874 [picture]
Series: Convict portraits, Port Arthur, 1874.
Two copies of the same image.
Title devised from inscription on verso.
Inscription: "316 ; Alfred Maldon, per Tamer [i.e. Tamar], taken at Port Arthur, 1874"--In ink on verso.

The TMAG's cdv of Alfred Malden
This duplicate (below) is held at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Its almost pristine condition can be attributed to several factors: firstly, the glass negative used for this duplicate was not re-used by police because Alfred Malden committed no further crimes in Tasmania. The condition of his discharge was that he leave Tasmania in February 1874. Secondly, this cdv was pasted to paper, originally to Malden's criminal record sheet and bound in the Hobart Gaol prison book for 1874. The verso shows where the original card was removed from the paper sheet, numbered "316" and subsequently transcribed with the prisoner's name and ship, probably by Beattie and Searle ca. 1915 for exhibition at Beattie's museum in Hobart, inscribing the words "Taken at Port Arthur 1874" as an incentive to tourists to visit the old prison. This duplicate may also have been shipped to Sydney, NSW, in March 1915 along with dozens more for an exhibition held at the Royal Hotel, Sydney to be displayed - reprinted and even offered for sale - as Port Arthur relics, alongside relics and documents associated with the travelling exhibition on board the fake convict hulk, Success. The newspaper reports of the exhibition clearly stated that the exhibitors - and this would have included John Watt Beattie as the Tasmanian contributor - collated original parchment records with duplicates, and also photographed original documents when duplicates were not available. Among the one ton of Port Arthur relics were dozens of original 1870s mugshots taken by T. J. Nevin, still attached to the prisoner's rap sheet; many more were removed for re-photographing in various formats as Beattie prepared for this exhibition. The association of the Port Arthur prison with Marcus Clarke's notes and novel of 1874, For The Term of His Natural Life,with these photographic records for the exhibitors was de rigeur by 1915, hence the historically unfactual wording "Taken at Port Arthur 1874" on the versos.

The inscriptions on all three versos - including the number "316" - were written in the same hand by the same person, perhaps at different times in the early 1900s. The number on the recto of the TMAG copy, however, - "195" - which does not appear on the NLA copies, was written eight decades later, in 1983 when this copy and fifty more original cdvs taken by T. J. Nevin at the Hobart Gaol in the 1870s were removed from the Beattie collection at the QVMAG in Launceston, to be exhibited at the Port Arthur prison heritage site as part of the Port Arthur Conservation Project 1983- 1984. This cdv of Alfred Maldon and another fifty were not returned to the QVMAG after the exhibition. They were deposited instead at the TMAG.

Prisoner Alfred Maldon [Malden]
Photographed by T. J. Nevin, Hobart, July 1873-February 1874
TMAG Ref: 15619

Verso: Prisoner Alfred Maldon [Malden]
Photographed by T. J. Nevin, Hobart, July 1873-February 1874
TMAG Ref: 15619

The Radcliffe Museum 1930s
William Radcliffe published a guide to Port Arthur in the 1930s with photographs by John Watt Beattie taken in the early 1900s. The shame of convict heritage, a keenly felt stigma of the times, required concealment of convicts' real names. On page 25, he wrote:
In consideration of relatives who may be living, the actual names have been omitted. If any doubt of the facts is occasioned in any way, the records may be seen on application at my museum at Port Arthur.

Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2007

National Library of Australia
Title: The Port Arthur guide.
Publisher: [Port Arthur [Tas.] : W. Radcliffe, 193-?]
Printer: (Hobart : Cox Kay)
Description: 47 p. : ill., facsims ; 19 cm.
Notes: "From original records at The Old Curiosity Shop, Port Arthur."
Subjects: Penal colonies --Tasmania --History.
Port Arthur (Tas.) --History.
Other Authors: Radcliffe, W. (William)
Cover Title: Port Arthur guide : historical facts
Collect from: Manual Request only from Newspaper Reading Room, Lower Gnd 1
Call Number: mc N 1870 MCL HIST 825

RELATED POSTS main weblog

Julia Clark must face up to academic fraud

A decade ago we began documenting online a very strange case of misattribution regarding the work of 19th century commercial photographer Thomas J. Nevin for the Colonial Government of Tasmania, specifically his provision of prisoner mugshots taken in the 1870s of habitual offenders convicted at trial, returned on arraignment, or discharged from various sites of incarceration: the Port Arthur Penitentiary, the Supreme Court Hobart, the Hobart Gaol (Campbell Street), and the Mayor's Court at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall.

We asked a simple question: "Where's the proof?"
The extraordinary marker in this case of photographer misattribution is the recent proposition that an individual called A H. Boyd, Commandant of the Port Arthur prison from 1871 to December 1873 was the photographer of at least 83 estrays from thousands taken by Nevin in Tasmania in the 1870s, Those 83 estrays held in a collection at the National Library of Australia, Canberra, were accessioned and exhibited in T. J. Nevin's name in the 1970s-1980s at the NLA, which the NLA has since re-catalogued as "Convict Portraits, Port Arthur 1874" with A. H. Boyd's name as the "creator". But Boyd had no photographic skills, training, knowledge or official mandate, and no known extant photographs when reputable historians in the decades 1970s-1980s researched and mounted an exhibition of these prisoner photographs as the work of Thomas J. Nevin (QVMAG 1977), publishing their findings in the 1980s-90s (Kerr, Stilwell, McPhee 1977-1992). Not one single photographic portrait of a prisoner - or a photograph in any other genre, nor indeed any official, historical document - has been produced by the proponents of the Boyd misattribution since then. We asked a simple question in 2005: "Where's the proof ?" that A. H. Boyd took these prisoners' photographs?

Less reputable voices emerged at the same time with an oppositional agenda to Kerr, Stilwell et al (Long, Reeder 1995), touting their amateur credibility to traditional photohistory commentators (Crombie, Ellis) as so much "new research" despite lack of evidence of any kind. Illogical as it seems, even more illogical was the promotion of this non-photographer A. H. Boyd into the annals of photohistory as an "artist".

The most perverse of all the Boyd apologists emerged in 2005; this was an "interpreter" of heritage at the Port Arthur Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula called Julia Clark. From the moment she saw these weblogs about Nevin, she began her scraping and plagiarising, taking an abusive poke at Nevin and his descendants along the way, and finally publishing it all as her "own" research as yet another credited "peer reviewed reference" to notch up on the CV, one of the drivers behind this type of anxiety which pushes fraudsters such as Clark to bravado heights of intellectual theft.

Julia Clark must face charges of academic fraud sooner or later. She has thrown essays and articles in the face of librarians and museum workers since 2007, assuring them that her belief in the existence of a photographer attribution to Mr A. H. Boyd is hypothetically possible and so should be shared by them. So what proof has she found during the last ten years? Nothing. Not one single iota of evidence, except the fake inscription on a photograph of a prison building, which we documented at length on these blogs in 2009-2010 . This is the "proof" (see photo below) of all she has found in ten years since she first set her game in play. On the lower margin is a pencilled inscription in a modern hand - "Enlargement from a stereoscopic view by A H Boyd Esq." scribbled onto an enlargement of a stereoscopic landscape view of the Port Arthur prison, taken in 1873 by Samuel Clifford and Thomas Nevin, reproduced by the Anson Brothers photographers in an album  published in 1889, held at the State Library of NSW (Views in Tasmania Vol II. (PXD511/ f10). The inscription is a fake, put there sometime between 1984 and 1995 at the instigation of Chris Long, the originator of the myth that A. H. Boyd was THE photographer of these Tasmanian prisoner mugshots instead of  T. J. Nevin, the real photographer (or any other real photographer, for that matter, in Nevin's cohort). Chris Long blamed difficulties with his editor Gillian Winter (TMAG, 1995) and rumours spread by A. H. Boyd's descendants for publishing this furphy. Chris Long had certainly not heard of any so-called "Port Arthur photographer" by the name of A. H. Boyd, amateur or otherwise, when he submitted a draft copy of his list of early Tasmanian photographers to Dan Sprod,  former Chief Librarian at the National Library of Australia (17th July 1983, NLA Dan Sprod MS 8429 Box 1): T.J. Nevin's name on that list, however, is asterisked "to indicate the photographer's work survives in reasonable quantities."

This is it, this is the only so-called evidence of Boyd's photography the NLA has on filea detail of a photograph of a corner of the image of a Port Arthur prison building with the fake inscription, not even fully visible - "Enlargement from a stereoscopic view by A H Boyd Esq.". It is not a photograph of a man in prison clothing. It is not a portrait of a prisoner. But that's all Julia Clark has to offer. There is nothing else. Accompanying the printed photograph is Julia Clark's garrulous, gossipy and offensive essay, devoid of any original research by her and largely derived from ours which - with the bravado of a thief who has got something for nothing - she used to finesse her way into the hearts and minds of librarians, and supervisors of a PhD program.

Above: One corner of a photograph of a building with a fake inscription is all Julia Clark has got to "prove" A. H. Boyd was a photographer of convicts.
Held at the NLA in Nevin's file
Photo taken at the National Library of Australia, 6 Feb 2015
Photos copyright KLW NFC 2015 ARR
[Nevin, T. J. : photography related ephemera material collected by the National Library of Australia]
Bib ID 3821234
Format Book
Description 1 folder of miscellaneous pieces. 
Series Australian photographer files
Full contents File contains material such as accession sheets, listings of works biographical material and correspondence related to convict portraits. 
Subjects Nevin, Thomas J., - 1842-1923.  |  Photographers - Australia.

Impersonation of Nevin descendant
The "essay" by Clark pictured here is unsigned. A copy was sent to this weblog by Head of Pictorial at the NLA, Linda Groom. It contained numerous vitriolic, personal attacks on a Nevin descendant by name, who requested all such references removed from any association with this disrespectful, amateurish student called Julia Clark. A further reason for requesting all references to the Nevin descendant be removed was the attempt by Clark to insinuate some sort of collusion, even consent from the Nevin descendant. The essay, as pictured here, shows evidence of those deletions (e.g. footnote 37). The fact that it is sitting in Nevin's file - unsigned by Clark - is tantamount to impersonation of implied but absent and unnamed co-authors.

These paltry documents by Julia Clark - the essay, more images of the fake inscription on the prison building photograph, and a copy of the subsequent "peer-reviewed" article (Journal of Australian Colonial History, Vol 12, 2010, p77-97) - are located in [Nevin, T. J. : photography related ephemera material collected by the National Library of Australia]. The "peer-reviewer" was her University of Tasmania lecturer  by 2010, Hamish-Maxwell Stewart, a member of the JACH board (Murdoch University), who can best be described as the tail wagging the dog regarding the Boyd misattribution. His current role as "UTAS Research Integrity, Adviser A/Prof Hamish Maxwell-Stewart, Associate Dean, Research Arts" is like trusting the wolf to guard the hen house.

Julia Clark's "peer-reviewed" article not only accused Nevin's descendants of being "strident" because we dared to blog about Thomas J. Nevin's career in the age of the internet, it also adopted a tenor of cosy familiarity with Nevin family members, referring to Thomas Nevin's brother as "Jack" which only family members used and still use. Devoid of any theoretical basis for actually reading photographic images, Clark ran a lengthy descriptive commentary on the State Library of NSW's collection of  1870s photographs of prisoners taken by T. J. Nevin (not digitised, Mitchell Collection) which we had individually photographed for this blog in 2009. No courtesy email, no requests for permission to reproduce our texts, images and information from Clark, just the delusion that she will get away with it so long as she networks the "right people".

These documents by Julia Clark have been placed in Thomas Nevin's Photographer file at the NLA as if they pertain to Nevin's work. They don't. They pertain to Julia Clark's desperate ego-driven attempt to get attention from the NLA librarians to revise - in her name on their catalogue entry against each and every prisoner mugshot - their long-standing catalogue header and attribution to T. J. Nevin as the photographer of 1870s Tasmanian prisoners, which the NLA calls "Convict Portraits, Port Arthur, 1874". Her documents should be removed instead to her own NLA file as a dead-end anomaly. She should be recognised for what she is - just another student.

Webshots 2005 and 2007 of NLA catalogue entries, 
Creator: Nevin, Thomas J., 1842-ca. 1922.
Title: Convict portraits, Port Arthur, 1874 [picture] / Thomas J. Nevin.
Date: 1874.

From the 1990s when these photographs of convicts first appeared on online at the NLA, the catalogue entry looked like this, with T. J. Nevin's name in the header as creator of the library's collection of "Convict Portraits, Port Arthur, 1874". The letter below from librarian Margy Burn, dated 17 July 2007, indicates total ignorance of this fact.

Letter located in [Nevin, T. J. : photography related ephemera material collected by the National Library of Australia]
Bib ID 3821234

Above: a letter from NLA librarian and reader's assistant of the Australian Collection, Margy Burn, to this weblog, who seriously suggested putting our weblog URL onto the revised online catalogue in opposition to Clark's essay, choosing to ignore printed publications sitting on the shelves in the NLA's Pictorial section such as The Dictionary of Australian artists : painters, sketchers, photographers and engravers to 1870, ed. Joan Kerr (1992). which document Nevin's work (pp 568-9) and which would have been an appropriate citation. Why the online viewer needs any citational help raises serious questions about the professionalism of Margy Burn, since no other catalogue entry of the millions online at the NLA references any students' essays. The catalogue entry as it now stands is laughable. It is an advertisement for Clark's student essay published by the JACHS which the reader has to purchase. If ever there is evidence of corporate psychopathy, this catalogue entry against every mugshot of a Tasmanian prisoner held at the National Library of Australia has got to be it.

Julia Clark's Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome
The National Library of Australia has to face up to hard facts: Julia Clark is playing out personal, sociopathic, intellectual and emotional anxieties by committing fraud, using T. J. Nevin - and his descendants - as her focus, target and complaint. She is of "bad character" as the colonials used to say. She is also mentally unstable. In the range of syndromes where fraud is the means, her repeated attempts to make herself believable with pages and pages of drivel pilfered and masticated to her taste from the internet, and mainly from our weblogs, falls within the scope of Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

As Margaret Anderson relates, Julia Clark's Tasmanian debut took on the identity of Aboriginal activist versus the establishment. Her Baron Munchausen was historian Henry Reynolds who was accused of fabrication of black history by opponent Keith Windshuttle (1998). This episode sealed Julia Clark's mind set of how history wars are played. Her next Munchausen by proxy episode, relevant here, was fuelled by an innocent request in an email to the Port Arthur Historic Site from a Nevin descendant for further information about a piece of Port Arthur souvenir ware, a cruet, held in the Nevin family collections. By this time, Clark had an "interpretation" job at the Port Arthur heritage site. The request, we can report from a thousand miles away with the cruet in our hands which she had never seen, was met with self-righteous, brusque responses from an openly hostile but fascinated Julia Clark, claiming her opinion was the right one. This was augmented with some totally useless, blurry photographs of a tea set sent to us "courtesy of..." which of course we ridiculed. She knew then she had found her next complaint, the very ordinary but very real 1870s commercial and police photographer Thomas J. Nevin, one with biographers (conveniently deceased) and a curatorial history, not to mention descendants, those mainlanders with such a culturally significant name and legacy.

If the Henry Reynolds-Keith Windshuttle episode had shown Julia Clark what mind-set and modus operandi to adopt with regard to brawling with the establishment over Tasmanian Aborigines, she now had a good excuse to get closer to Reynolds by enrolling in a PhD at the University of Tasmania under his co-supervision, this time using convicts in the oppositional dialectic of convict versus photographer, criminals versus clean-skins, working class versus colonial middle class, government official (i.e. her man of the match, Commandant A. H. Boyd), versus the artist photographer: or, as it played out, it became Clark and the convicts and bosses of the Port Arthur prison heritage site (past and present) versus Nevin's convicts' photographs, their custodians in the public collections, and Nevin's descendants.

The title of her PhD thesis? She has chosen such a unique title: Through a Glass Darkly: Photographs of Colonial Convicts  (UTAS, History begun 17/9/2013). Good luck with Google trying to make that title rise in the rankings. And the subtitle? Here's a suggestion:
Through a Glass Darkly
An Historical Novel Based on True Events that Never Happened.
by Julia Clark, perennial student and septuagenarian
West Hobart Town
Little Tasmania
Fraud begets fictions, no matter how true they become in the minds of believers. The Munchausen figure Julia Clark next turned to for control by proxy of her complaint was the publisher of the Boyd furphy, list-maker of an A-Z guide to Tasmanian photographers 1840-1940 (TMAG 1995), a ham radio enthusiast from Melbourne called Chris Long. His A-Z index was not simply copied from substantial previous photohistories (eg Kerr et al, Alan Davies etc), his own anxieties at being regarded as a pretentious fraud and plagiarist were projected onto Julia Clark with such force, she has become his mouthpiece - that is, in the rare moments when he isn't ranting and raving over the air waves or on Facebook with all manner of foul abuse. His nonsense has compromised a generation of students interested in forensic and historical police photography, especially Melbourne dealer and NLA valuer, Warwick Reeder.

Professor John Bradshaw from Monash University defines the Munchausen problem in academia in these terms:
Deliberate fraud, and I never would really 'spoof' my colleagues, even in temporary jest, is both fairly frequent in, and highly destructive of, the edifice of science. There is the notorious recent case of a professor of palaeontology who is said to have bought fossils from rock shops and sent them individually to a range of eminent colleagues elsewhere, with the claim that they all came from a particular, rather unlikely locality. The eminent colleagues, scenting a free publication (and unfortunately the bean counters of science management reward by quantity, not quality) were happy to say 'how very interesting', and have their names added to the offender's latest paper, as a freebee. How the mighty fell! ...
Henry Poincarre claimed that science, like a house, is built of bricks. Such bricks are said to be objective, value-free observations of unbiased, disinterested (though never uninterested) individuals. It isn't. It is an intensely human enterprise, subject to all the ambitions, jealousies, animosities, prejudices, and even sense of fun, of its participants....
In psychiatry, there is a rare condition called Munchausen Syndrome, which involves repeated fabrication, or pretence of physical illness, usually acute, dramatic and convincing, by a patient who wanders from hospital to hospital seeking treatment, and attention. Patients may simulate many physical disorders, and bear the scars of repeated, unsuccessful, surgery; they are usually intelligent and resourceful, and differ from malingerers because, although their deceits and simulations are conscious, their motivations for forging illness and quest for attention, are largely unconscious. Munchausen Syndrome by proxy is an even more bizarre variant, where the individual's child may be used as a surrogate patient; the parent may even injure the child to simulate disease.
I wonder whether, one day, someone will turn up familial Munchausen Syndrome by proxy, perhaps even involving pets? Maybe it's no coincidence that Munchausen Syndrome is anyway, itself a kind of fraud.
Source: Ockham's Razor
Fun, Fraud and Fabrication in Science and the Arts
Sunday 6 August 2000 8:45AM 

Julia Clark's violation of NLA copyright 2014
This weblog has documented Julia Clark's fraud as a PARASITIC attribution, perhaps too kindly, since her latest fraud offense is bolder than ever, but it might just elucidate Julia Clark's fraudulent behaviour to the crowd she has gathered as her campaign of defamation of Nevin's descendants escalates incrementally towards ... what? Climax/finishing the thesis/graduation/ winning the game/ relieving the itch? Is it going to happen? It's very doubtful. Fraud is a serious issue. Nonetheless, quite sure in her mind now that she has succeeded in making everyone in the museum and library business believe that A. H. Boyd was not only a photographer when there is no evidence to be found anywhere, but also THE photographer of convicts, Julia Clark has used the Tasmanian Historical Research Association as her fall-guy by persuading them to publish an essay in their December 2014 journal issue. Her refrain in every article, and in this one too, is that if she can't find a document, it never existed in the first place. This deception neatly covers her laziness in not searching for authentic historical archival documents in libraries and museums, and her assumption that if the information isn't visible on our weblogs, we haven't found any either, which indicates clearly our weblogs as her primary sources. Her article shamelessly scrapes our Nevin weblogs (we recorded her three thousands clicks on our article about Henry Singleton), and fills up page after page with mindless trivia about police and and petty crime, until it gallops to the conclusion with the only reason for writing it at all: to include her mutilated copy of a photograph of a convict called George Brown, with her own attribution to A. H. Boyd, and source as the NLA's digital code URL nla.pic-vn4269860, the original of which has been online at the National Library of Australia since the 1990s.

This is the NLA's one and only photograph of prisoner George Brown, taken by Thomas Nevin at the Municipal Police Office in February 1874 on Brown's discharge from the Hobart Gaol. The full record online reflects Julia Clark's anxiety at not getting enough attention - as a student!

Title George Brown, per M. [i.e. Maria] Soames, taken at Port Arthur, 1874 [picture]
Date 1874.
Extent 1 photograph on carte-de-visite mount : albumen ; 9.4 x 5.6 cm. on mount 10.5 x 6.3 cm.
Context Part of Convict portraits, Port Arthur, 1874 [picture]
Series Convict portraits, Port Arthur, 1874.
Notes No photographer name or studio stamp appears on these photographs. Formerly attributed to Thomas J. Nevin, the portraits are now considered more likely to have been taken by A.H. Boyd. See: Julia Clark. A question of attribution: Port Arthur's convict portraits in Journal of Australian Colonial History, Vol 12, 2010, p77-97.
Part of collection: Convict portraits, Port Arthur, 1874.
Gunson Collection file 203/7/54.
Title from inscription on reverse.
Inscription: title and "150"--In ink on reverse.
Condition: Slight foxing.
Also available in an electronic version via the Internet at: http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-vn4269860
Subject Brown, George -- Portraits.
Convicts -- Tasmania -- Port Arthur -- Portraits.
Occupation Convicts.
Other authors Boyd, A. H. (Aldolarius Humphrey), 1829-1891.
Identifier nla.pic-vn4269860
Bib idvn4269860
Call number(s)
PIC P1029/3 LOC Album 935 *

George Brown was never sent to Port Arthur. The Tasmanian police gazette tells a very different story:

Warrant for the arrest of George Brown per Maria Soames, 5th February 1869.

Warrant for the arrest of Thomas Wilson identical with George Brown per Maria Soames, 18th June 1869.

George Brown as Thomas Wilson was photographed on discharge from the Hobart Gaol by Thomas J. Nevin, 11 February, 1874. Source:  Tasmania Reports of Crime Information for Police 1871-1885. J. Barnard, Gov't Printer.

This is the modified photo which Julia Clark has photoshopped and published with the fake number "38" on the front, attribution to her fantasy photographer Commandant A. H. Boyd, and NLA identifier URL  nla.pic-vn4269860.  George Brown was not sent to Port Arthur, nor was he exposed to the reviled bully A. H. Boyd in any context.

Detail of our photograph below (6 Feb 2015)
Tasmanian Historical Research Association, page 85 December 2014
Julia Clark's photoshopped photograph from the NLA Collection of convict George Brown with fake "38" transposed on recto; false attribution to A. H. Boyd, and Port Arthur as the wrong place of incarceration. The NLA  Identifier she uses is nla.pic-vn4269860
Photo taken at the National Library of Australia, 6 Feb 2015
Photo copyright KLW NFC 2015 ARR

Tasmanian Historical Research Associaton, page 85 December 2014
Julia Clark's photoshopped photograph from the NLA Collection of convict George Brown with fake "38" transposed on recto; false attribution to A. H. Boyd, and Port Arthur as the wrong place of incarceration.
The NLA  Identifier she uses is nla.pic-vn4269860
Taken at the National Library of Australia, 6 Feb 2015
Photo copyright KLW NFC 2015 ARR

There is only ONE photograph of George Brown at the NLA - we checked the entire collection in situ on Friday, 6th February, 2015. So why has Julia Clark photoshopped the NLA photograph? Does excessive anxiety about the false A. H. Boyd attribution warrant such obsessive mutilation? She has put the number "38" on the front of the photograph of George Brown where there is no number on the NLA item. On the verso of the NLA photograph of George Brown is the number "150". And the only photograph of a convict  at the NLA which bears the number "38" is that of Duncan McDonald on its verso. The QVMAG holds a cdv photograph of convict Thomas Jackson per Layton 4 which bears the number "38" on the recto, written on the front by 20th century archivists during copying and dispersal of hundreds of these cdvs to other public collections (complete list received here in 2009). The number "38" on Clark's photoshopped image is bright black. It was constructed from the numbers on the recto of other photographs of prisoners - the "38" from the "138" of George Robinson's  and the "3" from Bewley Tuck's held at the QVMAG (we can back track this process easily to each number and photo) - thereby committing a modification of an image belonging to the National Library, by fraudulent means, for fraudulent purposes.

Some of the extant prisoner or convict "portraits" (the term aestheticises what is a vernacular item) were stamped verso with Nevin's Royal Arms insignia stamp to register his copyright with the Customs and Patent Office and to access his commission from both the Hobart Municipal Council (Lands and Survey Dept) and Municipal Police Office (Municipal Fund.) Copyright endured absolute for 14 years on submission of two samples under the Merchandise Marks Act 1864. One photograph per batch of 100 was stamped for this reason while Nevin was still working from his studio in Elizabeth St. Hobart and visiting the Hobart Gaol and Supreme Court at Oyer sessions. After his appointment to full-time civil service in 1876, the stamp was unnecessary. The NLA convict photographs are loose duplicates from the original half-dozen or so printed by Nevin from his negative of a single capture. They have been lovingly transcribed verso by an archivist in the 1900s - probably for exhibition - with a generic date, 1874, and the convict's ship of arrival, all for the information of tourists and museum visitors. They were accessioned at the NLA as a collection from the QVMAG, Launceston, found amongst records from the Sheriff's Office, Hobart Gaol, recorded with verso transcriptions by the Benevolent Society in the early 1900s for display in government photographer John Watt Beattie's convictaria museum and donated to the NLA by Dr Neil Gunson in the 1960s as government estrays (Dan Sprod papers NLA MS 2320 1.5.64 Missionary history). Hundreds of Nevin's six or so duplicates from his single negative taken of a prisoner on arrest, arraignment and discharge exist in national and State collections (QVMAG, SLNSW, TAHO, TMAG, NLA, PCHS, private collections), some still pasted to the criminal's record sheet.  But this is the one and only extant photograph of George Brown at the NLA, catalogued in the album and online as nla.pic-vn4269860 which we inspected and photographed on February 6th, 2015:

Identifier nla.pic-vn4269860: the 1900s archivist number on verso is "150"
Verso of the NLA photograph by Thomas J. Nevin, February 1874 of prisoner George Brown as Thomas Wilson. 
Taken at the National Library of Australia, 6 Feb 2015
Photos recto and verso copyright KLW NFC 2015 AR

Fraudulent pretensions
The essay by Julia Clark in this issue of the THRA journal, December 2014, directly follows a memoir by the former Governor of Tasmania, Sir Guy Green, AC, KBE, CVO who was the Governor of Tasmania from 1995 to 2003. He was the first Tasmanian-born governor of the state, although not the first Australian-born. How shameful for the THRA to be the victim of Julia Clark's fraudulent pretensions in such illustrious company. The NLA in collusion with Julia Clark has violated the moral rights of Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923) and his descendants as creator and author of this weblog:

Infringement of Moral Rights (NLA)
What are moral rights?

Australian copyright law sets out a separate and additional set of rights called moral rights. Moral rights give certain creators and performers the right:

to have their authorship or performership attributed to them;
not to have their work falsely attributed to someone else; and
not to have their work treated in a derogatory way.
Moral rights should always be considered if you are re-using and altering works (for example, through editing, cropping or colourising) and you should ensure that attributions are clear and reasonably prominent.

RELATED POSTS main weblog

Mugshots removed: Edward Searle's Album 1915

Edward Searle (1887-1955) was a Tasmanian photographer who worked with John Watt Beattie between 1911-15 at Beattie's studio in Elizabeth St. Hobart, opposite the small Wellington Bridge which provided access across the open Hobart Rivulet

The National Library of Australia holds an album titled Tasmanian Views, catalogued in Searle's name and dated ca. 1915. The album contains a series of contemporary snapshots taken of the Searle family while visiting the Tasman Peninsula, Maria Island, Norfolk Island, and New Norfolk, possibly accompanying Beattie on his various and highly productive photographic excursions. The family photographs are mixed in no particular order with scenic postcards bearing Beattie's trademark of views and portraits of Antarctic expeditions and of Beattie in the South Pacific, together with reprints of 1870s photographs representing Tasmania's troubled convict and Aboriginal past, all of which Beattie and Searle supplied in quantity for the 1900s tourism market, The inclusion of many family photographs in this album suggests it was intended for private viewing rather than public display, put together by Searle for his family as a memento of his four years' employment at Beattie's studio.

Photos taken at the National Library of Australia, 7th Feb 2015
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2015 ARR


[Left]: album cover Tasmanian Views, Edward Searle's album of photographs of Australia, Antarctica and the Pacific, 1911-1915
[Top right]: Mrs Edward Searle holding her son Allan, Port Arthur [Tasmania], Easter 1913
[Lower right]: Portrait of Truganini by Charles A. Woolley Tasmania, ca. 1866.
Inscription around the photograph: "The last of the Tasmanian Blacks" and "'Trucanini', died 1876.",
Part of the collection of photographs compiled by Australian photographer E. W. Searle while working for J. W. Beattie in Hobart during 1911-1915.
NLA Catalogue
Tasmanian views, Edward Searle's album of photographs of Australia, Antarctica and the Pacific, 1911-1915 [picture].
1911-1915. 1 album (245 photographs) : b&w, sepia toned ; 31 x 25.5 cm.
Part of Searle, E. W. (Edward William) 1887-1955. E.W. Searle collection of photographs [picture]. between ca. 1900 and ca. 1955.

Blue forms were used by the Hobart Gaol until the 1890s to record the offence(s) for a particular sentence, sometimes added to a list of other offences on the same criminal sheet when not a first offender, onto which at least one photograph was pasted. These records for prisoners Cohen (1878), Ford (1886) and Neal (1888) are examples of the blue forms used from 1870s-1880s by the Hobart Gaol.

Blue form, with the prisoner's photo, and with the photo removed.
From the Hobart Gaol records books
TAHO Ref: GD6719: Cohen, Ford and Neal

By 1892, when John Watt Beattie was commissioned by the Tasmanian government to promote the tourism industry through photography, he had ready access to prison documents held at the Sheriff''s Office, Hobart Gaol (Campbell St.). Pasted to a single album leaf in Searle's album are three unmounted prisoner mugshots of William Meagher, Charles Rosetta and William Lee, Tasmanian prisoners - termed "convicts" in tourism discourse - originally photographed by Thomas J. Nevin in the 1870s for gaol records. These three photographs of Meagher, Rosetta and Lee bear traces around the edges of the blue paper from which they were removed.

Mugshots removed
These three prisoner photographs (below) of [l to r] of William Meagher, Charles Rosetta and William Lee were individually removed by Searle and Beattie from the Hobart Gaol's register of the 1870s, which contained the original blue criminal record sheets bound in book-form. The 1870s register, according to the Archives Office of Tasmania, is not extant. The obvious reason for its non-existence - at this point in time - is that it was partially destroyed by Searle and Beattie, paradoxically, it seems, while they were trying to save the photographs. The photographs they did manage to save in quantity from the early to mid 1870s were T. J. Nevin's fixed or loose duplicates in carte-de-visite format with oval mounts, which he produced from his negatives to make these same prints. Forty (40) or more similar loose and unmounted photographs of prisoners - i.e. those not printed in oval or oblong mounts - are located in Beattie's collections at the QVMAG, Launceston, acquired on his death in 1930.

It must be remembered that Edward Searle may have devised this album decades after 1915. He died in 1955, and he was just 28 years old in 1915 when he worked with Beattie. He was NOT a contemporary of the photographer Thomas J. Nevin who took these prisoner/convict photographs decades earlier, so the actual veracity of his caption on this album leaf next to the photographs - "Official Prison Photographs from Port Arthur" - may be construed to have any generic meaning at such an historical and chronological distance from Nevin's work. The caption DOES NOT STATE the original photographs were actually taken at Port Arthur. The inscription "Taken at Port Arthur 1874", transcribed on hundreds of Nevin's carte-de-visite prints of convicts is notably missing here, although the date for Nevin's attendance at Port Arthur is correct because he was absent from Hobart, working with Commandant-Surgeon Dr Coverdale at Port Arthur, when the birth in April 1874 of his second child, Thomas James "Sonny" Nevin, was registered in May 1874 by his father-in-law, Captain James Day. On the other hand, evidence of Beattie and Searle's use of Nevin's old studio materials, whether from Nevin's New Town studio, closed in 1888, or earlier via Samuel Clifford's reprinting of Nevin's commercial negatives from 1876 to 1878, which were then bought by the Anson Bros when Beattie joined them, subsequently acquiring the stock of all three photographic studios, is right there on the album cover. Its title "Tasmanian Views" just happens to be the same title used by Thomas Nevin in his advertisements, for example, on this label dated ca. 1868:

Above: Tasmanian Views, title used by Nevin & Smith 1868
Below:Tasmanian Views, title of Searle's album 1915
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2015 ARR

It is not surpising in the least, therefore, that prints from Thomas Nevin's negatives of prisoners taken in the 1870s should be found in the possession of Searle and in this album. Other photographers used variations on the title Tasmanian Views for their commercial stock sold to the public. Both Samuel Clifford and the Anson Brothers sold albums with the title "Tasmanian Scenes".

Three unmounted prisoner mugshots of William Meagher, Charles Rosetta and William Lee,
Tasmanian convicts originally photographed by Thomas J. Nevin in the 1870s for gaol records
From Tasmanian Views, Edward Searle's album ca. 1911-15
Photos taken at the National Library of Australia, 7th Feb 2015
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2015 ARR. Watermarked.

Mounted and Unmounted Examples
The two originals of these three photographs of prisoner Thomas Fleming were produced by Thomas J. Nevin for police in January 1874: the sepia uncut print and the portrait in an oval mount. The uncut photograph re-printed as a black and white copy and cleaned of marks and scratches was produced at the QVMAG, Launceston, in 1985 by Chris Long for reasons known only to himself. Both of the 1870s formats - the uncut sepia print and the print in an oval mount - were pasted to the prisoner's rap sheet for Hobart Gaol records and for the central registry, the Hobart Municipal Police Office, Town Hall where Nevin was contracted from February 1872 to the 1886.

Sepia uncut print of prisoner Thomas Fleming
Original print from Thomas Nevin's negative January 1874
Photos courtesy of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery 2015.
Copyright © KLW NFC 2015 ARR

Black and white copy of the original from the QVMAG Collection, 1985
Filename: 1985_P_0169flemingthomas193.jpg
Camera: Canon Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark II
ISO: 100 Exposure: 1/125 sec  Aperture: 14.0 Focal Length: 100mm

The small carte-de-visite in an oval mount of Fleming would have been the final print pasted to his criminal record sheet, had the sheet survived. The number "45" on the front is the numbering system used by copyists in the late 20th century at the QVMAG in Launceston to distribute copies of the photograph to local and interstate exhibitions.  The number on the unmounted print - "193" - also appears on the verso of the carte-de-visite. It is an archivist's number written in the 1900s at the same time as the transcribed information - the convict's name, ship and date of arrival in VDL. The additional script - "Taken at Port Arthur 1874" - a generic place and date which does not accord with each and every prisoner's actual criminal history - was supposed by the transcriber to be sufficiently informative when he/she wrote it on the versos for one sole purpose: the display of the photographs at Beattie's "Port Arthur" convictaria museum, located in Hobart, from the 1890s and later, for travelling exhibitions associated with the fake convict hulk, Success at Hobart, Sydney, Brisbane etc in the 1910s.

Thomas Nevin's cdv in oval mount of Thomas Fleming
Taken 7 January 1874
QVMAG Ref: 1985:P. 0067

Thomas Fleming per St Vincent was tried at the Supreme Court on 9 Sept 1867 for housebreaking and larceny, sentenced to seven years. He was born in Yorkshire , aged 38 yrs, 5ft 6ins, black hair, Free in Servitude. Two moles on left cheek. He was photographed on discharge from the Hobart Gaol on 7th January 1874 by police photographer Thomas J. Nevin

These 40 sepia, uncut and unmounted photographs were advertised for sale in John Watt Beattie's Port Arthur Museum catalogue (1916), which he listed as:
69. Three Frames containing 40 photographs taken at Port Arthur, showing types of Imperial Prisoners there.
The three frames containing 40 prints from Nevin's negatives taken in the 1870s were displayed as  "Types of Imperial Convicts" in 1916 when imperialism was at fever-pitch as Imperial Forces gathered in Europe. These items were on sale in 1916 and were not sold. They were acquired from Beattie's estate by the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, where they remain. Individual cartes-de-visite in oval mounts of each of these prisoners, among several hundreds more of 1870s prisoners, were also acquired from Beattie's estate by the QVMAG in 1930, although dispersed piecemeal to national and state libraries, to museums and to heritage sites from the 1950s onwards.

QVMAG Collection
Top:Ref: 1983_p_0137-0150
Middle:Ref: 1983_p_0151-0162
Bottom:Ref: 1983_p_0163-0176

Beattie and Searle had removed these photographs from their original criminal rap sheets, displaying them in three frames in 1916. These same three frames with the 40 photographs were sent from the QVMAG to the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, in 2000, as part of the "Heads of the People" exhibition, captioned as "uncut cartes-de-visite mounted on board" of "Types of Imperial Convicts" attributed to J. W. Beattie "after Adolarious Humphrey Boyd". The curator responsible for this contribution to the NPG was Warwick Reeder (M.A.thesis, ANU, 1995) who was led to believe the furphy about Boyd from Chris Long (TMAG 1995). As a valuer at the National Library of Australia, Reeder was most anxious to promulgate the furphy to protect the error in his thesis. The mantra from Reeder to justify the abjection of Nevin's name as the real photographer of these mugshots is the lack of his studio stamp on the versos, save for three currently extant in public collections (at the QVMAG and SLNSW). Would Warwick Reeder have raised similar objections to the thousands of mugshots taken in other Australian colonies during the 1870s? Not if he had a sound knowledge of both copyright registrations and police photography in that decade. The extant mugshots were stamped verso with T. J. Nevin's Royal Arms government contractor stamp to register his copyright with the Customs and Patent Office and to access his commission from both the Hobart Municipal Council (HCC Lands and Survey Dept) and Municipal Police Office (Municipal Fund) at the Hobart Town Hall. Copyright endured absolute for 14 years on submission of two samples under the Merchandise Marks Act 1864. One photograph per batch of 100 was stamped for this reason while Nevin was still working from his studio in Elizabeth St. Hobart and visiting the Hobart Gaol and Supreme Court at Oyer sessions. After his appointment to full-time civil service with the HCC in 1876, the stamp was unnecessary. The fuss about a lack of studio stamps on mugshots, in short, is based in ignorance and perpetuated for personal advantage. This is the information created by Reeder to accompany the three frames of mugshots originally advertised by Beattie in 1916, originally photographed by Nevin in the 1870s.

Wrong attributions: Heads of the People exhibition, National Portrait Gallery,
Canberra, June-September 2000. Titles and attributions by the NPG curators.

Chris Long's long con
Amateur historian Chris Long spent a few weeks at the QVMAG in Launceston in 1985 re-photographing as black & white prints the 40 uncut and unmounted sepia prints of prisoners taken by Nevin in the 1870s (those on the three panels, examples above), fogging out cracks and scratches on the sepia originals in the process for reasons only known to himself, since they serve no purpose, unless he single-mindedly decided to muddy their provenance as Nevin's, and their primary function as police mugshots, in order to cover up his stupid error in proclaiming that Nevin didn't take the photos, contradicting historical evidence and the experts in the field, and that they were taken by the Commandant at Port Arthur, A. H. Boyd, never before heard of as a "photographer" by anyone for the simple reason he wasn't one. No photograph of prisoners or of any other subject in any genre was ever attributed to the non-photographer A. H. Boyd prior to Chris Long's long game of gambling his reputation on this silly claim. Chris Long's impulse as usual was to satisfy his personal need to imprint his own fantasy on primary historical documents until the facts about them all but disappear under his gifted amateur touch (gifting himself and grifting others in the process). The originals of the 40 uncut and unmounted sepia prints had been removed from the prisoners' Hobart Gaol rap sheets of the 1870s by John Watt Beattie and pasted in three panels for exhibition and sale in 1916.

A selection of the QVMAG collection of these mugshots was exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW in 1976 and at the QVMAG in 1977 as the work of Thomas J. Nevin . All of the prisoners in the photographs mounted as cdvs had been named by that date - some incorrectly - by archivists either for the 1934 exhibition in memory of John Watt Beattie and his convictaria collection, or by the curatorial staff at the QVMAG in 1958, in 1977, in 1983-5, and 1991 - dates which appear either on the versos or in the accession sheets of public institutions which received Nevin's originals, Nevin's duplicates, or Beattie's copies. The Archives Office of Tasmania holds similar images, both originals and copies, and some are of unidentified prisoners, although the same man in the same print is identified in the QVMAG collection. All men pictured in the mugshots held at the National Library of Australia in Canberra - and many picture the same men as those listed in the QVMAG collection and in the National Library's collection - were identified on accession in 1962, 1982 and 1985, including the identity of the photographer T. J. Nevin, indicating clearly that the NLA received its collection from Tasmania.

The prints below are typical of Chris Long's cleaned-up black & white reprints from Nevin's 1870s sepia prints which Beattie had pasted in three panels, and which Long reproduced in 1985 at the QVMAG, their purpose known only to Long himself. Most of these prisoners have been identified. With some patience, the prisoners in these reproductions at the QVMAG (1985) can be identified by collating the sepia uncut originals (1870s) with the original carte-de-visite prints inside oval buff mounts (1870s-1880s) held at the QVMAG, TMAG, and NLA, leaving a bundle who remain unidentified.

Black and white copies produced at the QVMAG in 1985 considerably cleaned of scratches and cracks of T. J. Nevin's original 1870 sepia prints.
Catalogued at the QVMAG as unknown or unidentified prisoners Tasmania 1870s
Originals by Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923)
QVMAG Collection Launceston Tasmania

Some of these prisoners' photographs from the 1870s were probably reprinted by photographer John Watt Beattie for display in his convictaria museum during the tourist boom of the 1910s-1920s. Beattie selected hundreds of the so-called "Port Arthur convicts" images in all formats to cater to contemporary fascinations with criminal typologies, phrenology and eugenics, including a selection exhibited at the Royal Hotel Sydney in association with the travelling exhibitions of convictaria on board the fake convict hulk Success. They were reproduced in several formats from Nevin's original glass negatives and albumen carte-de-visite prints, either as lantern slides from the original glass negatives, which were salvaged from the photographer's room above the laundry at the Hobart Gaol before it was demolished in 1915, or as mounted and unmounted paper prints removed originally from the prisoner's criminal record sheet such as these three examples in Searle's album. Beattie also reproduced copies of the hundreds of loose duplicates from Nevin's albumen cartes-de-visite in oval mounts 1870s, noted by a South Australian visitor to his museum in 1916. These originals by Nevin, taken while he was contracted to the colonial government (1872-1886) to photograph prisoners at the Hobart Gaol and Supreme Court, at the Port Arthur prison, and at the Mayor's Court and Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall, are those now extant at the National Library of Australia, the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, the State Library of NSW Mitchell Collection, and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

Prisoner William Lee
William Lee, transported on Neptune 1, was first photographed by Thomas Nevin on discharge from the Hobart Gaol on the 12th September, 1874. Lee was subsequently admitted to various pauper institutions and released on several occasions over a period of ten years. Nevin's cdv of William Lee printed in his usual oval mount is not extant in current collections. One reason may be that it was either lost or destroyed by the Lyons government in the 1930s, or that Nevin never printed one other than this copy. By 1874 William Lee was a pauper, very old, detained for idleness only, and housed at the Brickfields depot. Circulating copies to police stations of such men was not a police priority.

Tasmanian convict William Lee, 1874, photographed by Thomas J. Nevin for gaol records
From Tasmanian Views, Edward Searle's album ca. 1911-15
Photos taken at the National Library of Australia, 7th Feb 2015
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2015 ARR. Watermarked.

Mirror flip of photograph of prisoner William Lee (in Searle Album, NLA Collection)

The convict's name is written along the right hand edge. Mirror flip the image, and the convict's name is legible: William Lee. The number "213" also becomes legible (bottom left on image), An attempt at identifying the owner of the handwriting would simply lead to fruitless speculation. Any number of individuals may have been involved in the use of the original negative once it was produced by the photographer, from Nevin and his studio assistant, eg. his brother Constable John Nevin at the Hobart Gaol, for example, to other officials in prison administration. The number "213" added in a different hand may be one of several numbers applied to Lee. These numbers, published in the Tasmanian police gazette as "No. of Authority" for admittance and discharge from Brickfields and other Invalid Depots, appear regularly against William Lee's discharge as a pauper. Those numbers, however, were not unique to an individual prisoner.

POLICE RECORDS for William Lee

William Lee per Neptune 1, aged 78 years, serving a sentence of 5 yrs, discharged on 1st October 1873 from the Hobart Gaol,

William Lee, pauper, discharged from Brickfields Depot, Hobart 12 September 1874

William Lee, pauper, discharged from the Brickfields Depot, 29 January 1875
Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime Information for Police 1871-1875. James Barnard Government Printer.

Prisoner Charles Rosetta
Charles Rosetta's image was sourced from Hobart Gaol prison records by Searle and Beattie in similar circumstances. The blue form from which it was removed is clearly visible around the edges in our photo. T. J. Nevin took the original photograph on Rosetta's discharge from the Hobart Gaol, 6th December 1876.

Tasmanian convict Charles Rosetta, 1876, photographed by Thomas J. Nevin for gaol records
From Tasmanian Views, Edward Searle's album ca. 1911-15
Photos taken at the National Library of Australia, 7th Feb 2015
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2015 ARR. Watermarked.

Comparison with this image, of convict Charles Rosetta held in the same Edward Searle Album 1911-1915 at the National Library of Australia shows a different number on the print -"186" from the copy of the carte-de-visite in an oval mount which is numbered "162″ held at the Archives Office of Tasmania. The recto number "162" is the one used by the QVMAG at Launceston when copies were distributed to the Archives Office in Hobart.

Identifier nla.pic-an23784263Bib idvn1797087
Call number(s) PIC PIC/7485/115 LOC Album 947 *
Searle album ca. 1911 -15 of convict Chas Rosetta, with the number "196" on image

Thomas Nevin's cdv of Charles Rosetta with the number "162" written on mount.
Webshot: Archives Office of Tasmania: PH30/1/3201. Date: 1874-1876

POLICE RECORDS for Charles Rosetta

Charles Rosetta was received from Port Arthur on 6th December 1876 and photographed by T.J. Nevin on discharge from the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall.

Verso of cdv of prisoner Charles Rosetta
Original taken by Thomas J. Nevin, MPO, 1876
QVMAG Ref: 1985.12.125

Charles Rosetta's image was reproduced from the NLA Collection as a photo taken by John Watt Beattie, erroneously, for the cover of Michael Bogle's book, 2008:

Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2009 ARR

Prisoner William Meagher
The photograph (below) of prisoner William Meagher was taken by Thomas J. Nevin on or before February 6th, 1874 when Meagher(s) was granted a ticket of leave (TOL) at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall. It is the third photograph of a prisoner pasted to a leaf in Searle's album, ca 1915, held at the National Library of Australia. As with the other two, of William Lee and Charles Rosetta, this prisoner's photograph was removed by Searle from the prisoner's blue record sheet, visible at the edges in our photograph. Meagher's photograph from Searle's Album is held at the National Library of Australia with the prisoner's surname misspelt - "Meaghen" -and photographer misattribution to Edward Searle (1915).

Tasmanian convict William Meagher, 1874, photographed by Thomas J. Nevin for gaol records
From Tasmanian Views, Edward Searle's album ca. 1911-15
Photos taken at the National Library of Australia, 7th Feb 2015
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2015 ARR. Watermarked.

This image is a flipped version (to render the name visible) of the item held at the National Library of Australia, which is incorrectly catalogued with the name "Meaghen". The number on the print is "144".

William Meagher(s) was transported to NSW in 1838 on board the Bengal Merchant. Originally from Dublin, he was court martialed in Quebec, Lower Canada on 26 September 1836. In Paramatta, NSW, he was sentenced to 14 years for housebreaking on 10 December 1842 and transported to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on board the Sir J. Byng, arriving on 23 September 1843. He was married with two children. No date of birth appears on his arrival record, however, police records show he was 56 yrs old in 1871, so he was born ca. 1815, and was ca 59 years old in 1874 when Nevin photographed him. The NLA misattribution to Searle and the date of photographic capture catalogued as 1915 would mean that the prisoner William Meagher, born in 1815, had to be a 100 year old man; clearly, the prisoner was photographed in his fifties on the occasion of his TOL, in 1874.

Archives Office of Tasmania:
Record 2854
Meagher William

A duplicate of Thomas Nevin's cdv of William Meagher printed in his usual oval mount is held at the Port Arthur Historic Site. There would have been at least four produced by Nevin when Meagher was firstly granted a ticket of leave in February 1874 after serving a 14 year sentence, and secondly, when he was remanded and imprisoned for fraud at the Supreme Court, Hobart on Tuesday, 11th May, 1875, sentenced to 10 years at the Hobart Gaol.

William Meagher, guilty of fraud, 10yrs
Supreme Court Rough Calendar, 11th May 1875
TAHO Ref: GD70/1/1

POLICE RECORDS as William Meagher

William Meaghers absconded, notice of 24 November 1871

William Meaghers arrested, notice of 8 March, 1872.

THE Governor has been pleased to direct that the
under-mentioned person be enlarged on Ticket-of-
Leave :-
William Meaghers, per Sir J. Byng, from 6th instant.
Wm Meaghers' Ticket of Leave, notice of 6 February 1874, photographed by Nevin on release at the Police Office, Hobart Town Hall.

William Meagher was arraigned in the Supreme Court on 11th May 1875, and photographed again by Nevin on remand: the notice also appeared in the Tasmanian newspaper,The Mercury on 9th May 1875 detailing his crime, together with Job Smith's (aka Wm Campbell) crime and conviction of rape. Job Smith was executed.

Wm Meagher remanded
The Mercury 15 May 1875
In the same court William Meagher pleaded guilty to forging and uttering a cheque with intent to defraud .. remanded for sentence.
On sentencing for forgery at the Hobart Supreme Court, William Meagher was sent to the Port Arthur prison, 60 kms from Hobart, arriving there on 9th August 1875. His trade was listed as "Butler". He remained at Port Arthur until transferred back to the Hobart Gaol on 17th April, 1877 to serve the remainder of his 10 year sentence. His photograph taken by Nevin, printed in an oval mount, followed him to Port Arthur, but the half plate print from Nevin's negative which Searle pasted into his album was reproduced on his arrival back at the Hobart Gaol in 1877, the source of Searle's copy.

William Meagher's record 1875-1877 from the Port Arthur Conduct Registers
TAHo Records ref: CON94-1-2_00110_S

Edward Searle spent four years (1911-1915) working with John Watt Beattie fl. 1892-1927 at Beattie's studio and convictaria museum in Hobart. Beattie lectured extensively around Tasmania using lantern slides prepared from the work of earlier photographers. The dates of the original photographic captures of William Meagher, Charles Rosetta and William Lee are missing from this album leaf in Searle's album, as is the attribution to the original photographer Thomas J. Nevin. Another example of an unmounted prison photograph by Nevin, that of Bewley Tuck, is held at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. See this entry here on convict Bewley Tuck.

Beattie's Port Arthur Museum in Hobart
QVMAG Ref: 1986_P_1223

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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 solely 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 produced over a thousand originals and duplicates of Tasmanian prisoners, the bulk now lost or destroyed. The three hundred 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.

Supreme Court convictions