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Prisoner Richard PHILLIPS 1874

PRISONER'S BLINDNESS Richard Phillips
PRESSMEN and The Cornwall Chronicle Launceston
FAKE PHOTOGRAPHER ACCREDITATION Port Arthur Tasmania

When Thomas J. Nevin photographed this prisoner Richard Phillips in July 1874 at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall, on the occasion of the prisoner's discharge from a two year sentence for housebreaking and larceny, he was confronted with a problem: the prisoner Richard Phillips was blind. The resultant photograph shows a man who is straining to make out the figure of Nevin the photographer standing next to the camera just a metre or so in front of him, his brows and eyelids squeezed tight to the point of nearly blocking out all light.



Prisoner identification photo (mugshot) of prisoner PHILLIPS, Richard
TMAG Ref: Q15618
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin
Taken at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall, 1st July 1874


Near-sighted on arrival 1833
When prisoner Richard Phillips, 19 years old, embarked on the convict transport the Atlas in 1833 to serve a life sentence in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), the description of his physical appearance included the remark "Near Sighted".He was in fact almost blind. Although his vocation was listed as "Laborer" from embarkation and arrival in 1833, and for the rest of his recorded life in Tasmania, his trade was also listed in one instance as "Pressman" (see Trish Symonds' records, Addenda 2, below). As a pressman, he may have weakened his eyesight working in candlelight for a newspaper from an early age, or he may have been born with sight problems. By 1870, he was registered as an Imperial pauper but not marked on records as blind; by July 1872 he had offended and was a prisoner of the Colonial Government sent to the Port Arthur prison; by July 1873 he was returned to the Hobart Gaol, and noted as blind but by July 1874 when he was released from the two year sentence for housebreaking and larceny (1872) and residing at the Cascades Invalid Depot, his blindness was formally recognized as a disability.



Description list: Richard Phillips, top entry right hand page
https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON18-1-3$init=CON18-1-3p91

Name: Phillips, Richard
Record Type: Convicts
Departure date: 30 Apr 1833
Departure port: Plymouth
Ship: Atlas
Voyage number: 109
Index number: 56146
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1425747

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery copy
This copy held at the TMAG was originally held in a collection at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, acquired from convictarian John Watt Beattie's estate in the 1930s as government records and gaol estrays. It was removed from the QVMAG (Launceston) by Elspeth Wishart in 1983 and taken down the Port Arthur historic site as part of  the Port Arthur Exhibition Project. For this purpose, for its removal to the exhibition it was numbered "190" - the number written directly below the oval image on the mount. At the close of the exhibition, this mugshot and another fifty (50) and more sourced from the QVMAG were not returned to the QVMAG, deposited instead at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart, thereby violating the integrity of Beattie's Collection. These fifty and more police mugshots of the 1870s, taken by government contractor photographer Thomas J. Nevin, should have been returned to the QVMAG in 1983.



Recto and verso of cdv of prisoner PHILLIPS, Richard No. 233
TMAG Ref: Q15618
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin
Taken at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall, 1st July 1874

The QVMAG's list of their collection of 1870s mugshots, acquired here in 2005, shows that of the 200 listed in the original QVMAG collection in the 1980s, only 72 mugshots were in fact actually located there. This one - numbered recto "190" of Richard Phillips - was listed as missing from the QVMAG collection in 1983. Not only were more than a hundred missing from Beattie's original collection, it was in 1983 when Elspeth Wishart et al at the Port Arthur exhibition fabricated an altogether impossible photographer attribution to the prison's commandant A. H. Boyd, despite clear recent and historical evidence that commercial photographer and government contractor Thomas J. Nevin was the commissioned photographer working from February 1872 to commence the photographing of prisoners at sentencing, incarceration and discharge. The misattribution to A. H. Boyd, a renowned bully and not a photographer by any definition of the term, was to pander to the fantasies of his descendants who were mindful of seeing their reviled ancestor come up from history smelling of roses. A. H. Boyd was dismissed for misogyny from the superintendent position at the Queen's Orphan School in 1864, and forced to resign from the commandant position at Port Arthur in December 1873 under allegations of fraud, corruption and misappropriation of funds.

Thomas J. Nevin's original glass negative was produced at the one and only sitting with prisoner Richard Phillips in July 1874. It was printed for application to Richard Phillip's prison criminal record sheet, now missing, as are all the early rap sheets from the mid 1870s from which these mugshots were removed. As on later rap sheets, the date of sentencing was written, along with the crime, the length of sentence, the date of discharge and the number of the photograph, which was recorded in the Hobart Gaol Photo Book. The number "233" on the verso of this cdv of Richard Phillips was the number which Thomas Nevin recorded for this photograph in the Hobart Gaol Photo Book in July 1874. Richard Phillips was incarcerated subsequently for short terms, e.g. 7 Feb 1879, one month, drunk and disorderly at Launceston, discharged 12 March 1879 (Tasmania Reports of Crime for Police 1879)

Archives Office of Tasmania copy



Hard copy. Original catalogue note: Richard Phillips, convict transported per Atlas. Photograph taken at Port Arthur by Thomas Nevin. LINC Tasmania. This item was most likely reproduced for reasons to do with regional exhibitions, postcard issue, or local and family history publications.

This loose hard copy (above) of Nevin's original cdv in an oval mount, formerly held at the QVMAG and currently held at the TMAG, is now held at the Archives Office of Tasmania and was recorded online until 2005 at this link: https://catalogue.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/item/?id=PH30-1-3259

However, this link is no longer available. The information has been removed, censored, even redacted. The State Library of Tasmania which had previously made available online copies from the QVMAG collection of prisoners' mugshots originally taken by Thomas J. Nevin were removed to accede to the whimsies brought to the library administration (once a reliable institution) by apologists such as the very foolish and opportunistic Julia Clark who desperately sought to suppress Nevin's name in her quest for a PhD. In her "document" parading as a thesis, the substance of which she freely plagiarised from these Nevin weblogs, she flaunts her abuse of Nevin and his descendants as "research" in order to play up the fantasy of A. H. Boyd's descendants that he was photographer of these extant 300 plus 1870s mugshots. Thanks to the idiocies of Clark and those whom she endeavours to impress, online visitors to the State Library of Tasmania cannot find any of these rare mugshots. The public misses out because of the narcissism and lies of one individual. Fortunately, due to prescient forethought, these records are viewable here at Flickr.The webshot (2005) for Richard Phillips is below.



Webshot 2005: Archives Office Tasmania Ref: PH30/1/3259
Caption: Richard Phillips, convict transported per Atlas. Photograph taken at port Arthur by Thomas Nevin.

Court, Press and Police Records 1872-74
Richard Phillips was jailed for three months for being drunk and disorderly on 8th April 1872. He was discharged in July 1872 and his blindness recorded.



Within a matter of eight weeks he was arrested for receiving, and committed for two years.



Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime for Police 1872 (weekly police gazettes)

The entry dated 9th July 1872 in the Rough Calendar (below) of the Hobart Supreme Court listed prisoner Richard PHILLIPS, no. 59, arriving at Hobart on the Atlas, (no. 946), originally transported for life. He received a Conditional Pardon in 1865. He pleaded not guilty to housebreaking & larceny in 1872. The notes included in this entry state "Date and particulars not given ... Guilty lcy[larceny] and recng [receiving]... To be imprisoned for 2 years". The word "Discharged" was pencilled diagonally across the entry, more than likely by Thomas Nevin himself, who used these Rough Calendars at Oyer Sessions to record the photograph he had taken of the prisoner on discharge. The date recorded in this instance appears at the top in the first entry as 7th July 1874.



Rough Calendar Hobart Supreme Court GD70-1-1 1870-82
TAHO Ref: GD70-1-1 Page 16.
William Kellow and Richard Phillips were tried on the same day.

Press Reports 1872



Source: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. )Tue 10 Sep 1872 Page 2 SUPREME COURT.

At the Criminal Sittings of the Hobart Supreme Court of 10th September 1872, Richard Phillips and Catherine McDonald were sent to trial for housebreaking. He was sentenced to two years; she received three years. Her involvement as co-conspirator may have been at Richard Phillips' request to compensate for his blindness.



Source; The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.) Wed 11 Sep 1872 Page 2 THE MERCURY.

Richard Phillips was among the 109 prisoners sent to the Port Arthur prison since its transfer to Colonial Government in 1871 and returned to the Hobart Gaol by October 1873. Their names were tabled in Parliament in July 1873. The list is included in this post.

1874: discharged



Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime for Police 1874

Richard Phillips per Atlas was 63 yrs old, 5 ft 6 ins tall, blind and with grey hair when he was discharged with a Conditional Pardon from a 2 yr sentence for feloniously receiving, handed down at the Hobart Supreme Court on 10th September 1872. His native place here was listed as Edinburgh. He was photographed at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall by Thomas Nevin in the week of 1st July 1874, and admitted to the Cascades Invalid Depot, Hobart, as a blind pauper. He spent the rest of his life in charitable institutions up to his death in 1899 from peritonitis, 81 yrs old, at the Launceston Invalid Depot.



Richard Phillips - blind - was released on 27th November 1874 from the Cascades Invalid Depot on a pass.Source; Tasmania Reports of Crime 1874 (Police Gazette).
Link: https://stors.tas.gov.au/POL709-1-11$init=POL709-1-11p205

Name: Phillips, Richard
Record Type: Health & Welfare
Description: Pauper or invalid
Property:
Cascades Invalid Depot
New Town Charitable Institute
Brickfields Invalid Depot
Launceston Invalid Depot

Admission dates:
26 Jun 1874 to 19 Nov 1874, 30 Jul 1875 to 01 Nov 1875, 20 Dec 1876 to 06 Mar 1877, 07 Dec 1877 to 07 Mar 1878, 03 Jun 1878 to 16 Oct 1878, 16 Apr 1879 to 02 Sep 1879, 14 Jan 1880 to 27 Feb 1880, 14 May 1880 to 23 Jul 1880, 11 Sep 1880 to 14 Dec 1880, 13 Jun 1881 to 20 Sep 1881, 24 Nov 1881 to 29 Dec 1881, 29 Apr 1882 to 05 Sep 1882, 01 Nov 1882 to 10 Apr 1883, 01 Jul 1883 to 29 Nov 1883

Ship to colony: Atlas
Paupers & Invalids no.: pi1394800
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES: 1604317
Archives Office Tasmania (LINC)

Addenda 1: Richard Phillips a Pressman?
According to Trish Symonds' transcription of records from the Archives Office of Tasmania in 2011, Richard Phillips' vocation was listed in at least one instance as a "pressman" in Cornwall, UK, before he was transported to VDL in 1833. If indeed he was a pressman prior to transportation, he may have damaged his eyesight from working by candlelight in dimly lit printing rooms. He was described as "near sighted' on departure from the UK in 1833. Listed as a laborer in all subsequent official records, by 1874 he was officially designated as "blind" and housed at the Cascades Invalid Depot, Hobart.

What was a "pressman" in the 1830s? Jane Bell's research into the set up costs and employment of staff of the Cornwall Chronicle in Launceston, Tasmania, 1835, noted the term "pressman" applied to a variety of positions -
The establishment and running costs of a newspaper were considerable. Capital would be invested in fixed assets such as an office, the printery, the press and the type. Money was also needed to buy paper and other printing requisites, and to pay the wages of the staff. Printing was traditionally a well-paid, skilled trade.
Advertisements for Cornwall Chronicle staff, such as a reporter, a copperplate printer, and either one or two compositors appeared in the pages of the paper from time to time.
One such notice, on this occasion for a "good pressman," added that the "highest wages in the colony" would be paid. Employees were not always reliable however: "no drunkard need apply" for the vacancy of compositor and a later advertisement stated that a "sober compositor may obtain constant employment.A caricaturist, "who is competent to prepare his work for the wood engraver” was advertised for in April 1841. Presumably one was found because the supplement to the Chronicle of 24 December contained a caricature titled "A Liberal Proposition."
Extract from pp 37-38 of "AN EXTREMELY SCURRILOUS PAPER" THE CORNWALL CHRONICLE: 1835-47.
Jane Bell 1993 MA thesis, University of Tasmania
Link:https://eprints.utas.edu.au/18874/1/whole_BellJane1994_thesis.pdf

The wood engraving Jane Bell cited in the above extract is this anti-Semitic cartoon.



Caption:
I say muster vatchmaker, the glass o' this here gold vatch is broke, I von't to put it up the spout* - but can't d'ye see till it's complete - therefore, if you'll put in a new one to it, I don't mind giving yer more than I gave for't, though I bought it rather dearly.
WATCHMAKER. - Indeed? And pray, if it's a fair question, what may you have given for it?
Vy, I gave a cove a blow on the head for't last night; and if you'll put the glass in, I'll give you two.
Source: The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 - 1880) Sat 25 Dec 1841 Page 1 A LIBERAL PROPOSITION.

*Put it up the spout (archaic, slang).  At the pawnbroker's shop (in allusion to the spout up which the pawnbroker sent the ticketed articles). to put/shove/pop something up the spout

Addenda 2: Summary of Offences 1832-1872
These notes were prepared by Trish Symonds from records held at the Archives office of Tasmania and are copyright © Trish Symonds 2011.



Richard Phillip's conduct record; Note here the record starts with the word "ERROR"
This would have to be one of the messiest Conduct Records for transported convicts held at the Archives Office of Tasmania.
See Trish Symonds' transcription below
https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON31-1-35$init=CON31-1-35p141

CONVICTS FROM CORNWALL TO VAN DIEMEN’S LAND, 1817 - 1853
Transcribed from Convict Records at the Tasmanian Archive by Trish Symonds 2011
Link to record for Richard PHILLIPS:
https://www.opccornwall.org/Resc/emigrant_pdfs/phillips_richard_1833.pdf

NAME: RICHARD PHILLIPS
AGE: 20
NATIVE PLACE: Penzance
TRIED: 7 August 1832, Cornwall Assizes at Bodmin
SENTENCE: Life
CRIME: Housebreaking
PREVIOUS CONVICTION: Stealing money
GAOL REPORT:

CRIMINAL REGISTER:
   Richard Phillips, 1832 Cornwall Summer Assizes, Larceny in a dwelling-house, before
convicted of Felony, Transportation for Life
   Richard Phillips, January 1829, Larceny, 1 week and whipped

HULK REGISTER: No 1776, Richard Phillips, 20, stealing lead, Bodmin 7 August 1832,
Transportation for Life, VDL 23 April 1833

SHIP: Atlas IV – departed Plymouth 30 April 1833, arrived Hobart 24 August 1833, a voyage of 116
days, carrying 200 male convicts (200 landed). Master George Hustwick, Surgeon John Love

SURGEON’S REPORT: Behaved well

SURGEON’S GENERAL COMMENTS: (Folio 24-26) - Received at Woolwich on 11 April 1833, 50
convicts from the Justicia hulk; 30 from Ganymede and 20 from Discovery. At Devonport 23 April
1833 received 100 convicts from Captivity hulk. Making total of 200.

PHOTO (at right):
Richard Phillips per Atlas taken at Port Arthur
(Taken 1874 by police photographer Thomas J. Nevin)

FAMILY –
Marital status: Single

DESCRIPTION –
Trade: ____ Pressman
Height: 5’ 3”
Age: 21
Complexion: Fresh
Head: Oval
Hair: Red
Whiskers: None
Visage: Oval
Forehead: Medium high
Eyebrows: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Nose: Small
Mouth: Small
Chin: Large
Native Place: Penzants, Cornwall (Penzance)
Remarks: (Tattoos) Several letters, indistinct, on his left arm

TASMANIAN CONDUCT RECORD –
Crime:
Transported for stealing lead
Previous Conviction:
Once for stealing ₤4.13.6 and a watch – one week and whipped
Once for suspicion – acquitted
Once by mistake as a deserter – taken and discharged

Probation:
Assignment:
On arrival in VDL - No 946 – Richard Phillips, Labourer, W.H. Glover

Offences and Sentences:
No 946 – Richard Phillips -

23 Jan 1834 – Dr Ross – Out after hours – Treadwheel for 3 days – Error should stand against no 950

30 May 1837 – Post Office ____ - Trespassing on the ____ estate and taking a quantity of wood – Confined in a cell for 7 nights and doing his work by day

4 Nov 1837 - Messenger - Misconduct in being away from his proper place of residence and out after hours – 7 days and nights in solitary confinement

7 Dec 1837 – Post Messenger – Disobedience of orders and absent without leave – 1 month hard labour and not returned to his department – sent to Green Ponds (now Kempton), and afterwards to be sent to Bothwell as Flagellator – vide, Lieut-Governor’s Decision 30 Dec 1837

20 March 1839 – Flagellator – Disobedience of orders and gross misconduct –hard labour for 3 months, six weeks of which time to be worked in chains and not to be returned as Flagellator – Sent to Campbell Town Chain Gang then out of chains and assigned - vide, Lieut-Governor’s Decision 1 March 1839

19 Nov 1839 – Willis’s Constable party – Misconduct in forming a conspiracy against the Station Baker – 4 months imprisonment and hard labor on the Roads – sent to Cleveland, then returned to his Party – vide, Lieut-Governor’s Decision 22 Nov 1839

4 Dec 1839 – Cleveland Party – Misconduct in feigning sickness - Six days solitary confinement on bread and water

28 Oct 1841 – Ticket of Leave

25 Feb 1842 – Ticket-of-Leave holder – Constable – Misconduct, neglect of duty as constable – 6 months hard labor on the roads and ticket-of-leave suspended – Approved he be sent to the Town Surveyor’s Gang in Hobart and dismissed from the Police – vide, Lieut-Governor’s Decision 15 April 1842

18 May 1843 – Ticket-of-Leave holder, Special Constable – Drunk – Reprimanded

30 March 1844 – Ticket-of-Leave holder – Misconduct in making away with 22/- entrusted to him for the purpose of paying for certain articles – Six calendar months hard labor in chains – Sent to Lovely Banks, vide Lieut-Governor’s Decision 19 April 1844

21 Oct 1844 – Ticket-of-Leave holder – Out after hours – 14 days hard labor and Ticket-of-Leave suspended

5 Dec 1844 – Ticket-of-Leave holder – Being a suspected person frequenting ____ places with intent to commit a felony – 3 calendar months in the House of Correction – Sent to Town Surveyor’s Gang in Hobart, vide Lieut-Governor’s Decision 8 December 1844

2 June 1845 – Ticket-of-Leave holder – Misconduct in falsely representing himself a Doctor (?) and ____ misconduct in that capacity – 6 months hard labor – Sent to Town Surveyor’s Gang in Hobart, vide Lieut- Governor’s Decision 20 June 1845

11 Jan 1846 – Ticket-of-Leave holder – Misconduct in representing himself as Free – 4 months hard labor – Sent to New Wharf vide Lieut-Governor’s Decision 16 Jan 1846

Ticket of Leave:

28 October 1841
Convicts Permission to Marry Index:
1854 - Richard Phillips of “Atlas: and Eliza Webster of “Sir Robert Seppings” dated 28 July 1854 – Woman must be six months without offence

NEWSPAPER REPORTS –

ROYAL CORNWALL GAZETTE, 4 AUGUST 1832 - Upcoming Assizes - Richard Phillips (20)
committed by the mayor of Penryn for burglary.

ROYAL CORNWALL GAZETTE, 11 AUGUST 1832 – CORNWALL SUMMER ASSIZES –
Richard Phillips, for stealing a piece of bacon; one month at hard labour.
Richard Phillips, for stealing seven sovereigns from the house of Elizabeth Morris; to be transported for Life.

ROYAL CORNWALL GAZETTE, 1 SEPTEMBER 1832 - The under-mentioned prisoners convicted at the last Assizes were removed last week from the County Gaol, at Bodmin, to the Captivity hulk, at Devonport, pursuant to their respective sentences; viz: John Jeffery, Robert Searle, John Broadbent, John Jones, Richard Phillips, Zacharias Williams, and Philip Sweet

ROYAL CORNWALL GAZETTE, 24 JANUARY 1829 – CORNWALL QUARTER SESSIONS – The Quarter Sessions for this County commenced at Bodmin on Tuesday the 13th instant. E.W.W. Pendarves,Esq, Chairman. Richard Phillips was convicted of stealing a watch and ₤4.13s.6d, the property of William P. Allen at Crantock. The prosecutor lodged with the prisoner when he missed the watch; afterwards he lost money from his chest; the prisoner was taken up at Devonport and confessed the robbery. Guilty. To be imprisoned for a week at hard labour, and to be whipped.

REFERENCES –
https://search.archives.tas.gov.au/ImageViewer/image_viewer.htm?CON31-1-35,271,141,L,80
https://search.archives.tas.gov.au/ImageViewer/image_viewer.htm?CON18-1-3,242,92,L,80
https://search.archives.tas.gov.au/ImageViewer/image_viewer.htm?CON27-1-6,109,73,L,80

Convicts Permission to Marry Index -
https://digital.statelibrary.tas.gov.au:1801/view/action/nmets.do?

Photograph of Richard Phillips, taken at Port Arthur –
https://catalogue.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/item/?id=PH30-1-3259
[N.B.This link is no longer available. The information has been removed, censored, even redacted. The State Library of Tasmania which had previously made available online copies from the QVMAG collection of prisoners' mugshots originally taken by Thomas J. Nevin were removed to accede to the whimsies brought to the library administration (once a reliable institution) by apologists such as the very foolish and opportunistic Julia Clark who desperately sought to suppress Nevin's name in her quest for a PhD. In her "document" parading as a thesis, she flaunts her abuse of Nevin and his descendants as "research", playing up the fantasy of A. H. Boyd's descendants that he was photographer of these extant 300 plus 1870s mugshots. Thanks to the idiocies of Clark and those whom she endeavours to impress, online visitors to the State Library of Tasmania cannot find any of these rare mugshots. The public misses out because of the narcissism and lies of one individual. Fortunately, due to prescient forethought, these records are viewable here at Flickr.See the webshot (2005) for Richard Phillips above.]

Possible re-offence and sentence to Port Arthur?
The Mercury, Hobart, 10 September 1872 – Supreme Court – Housebreaking –
https://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/8921190

The Mercury, Hobart, 11 September 1872 – Criminal Court – Receiving –
https://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/8916589

Launceston Examiner, 13 January 1877 - Hawkers’ Licence –
https://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/37146026

Flagellator –
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flagellation

Last Updated: 23 January 2011
Compiled by Trish Symonds

RELATED POSTS


Prisoner George GROWSETT 1860 and 1873

DUPLICATES, COPIES and DISPERSAL of 1870s MUGSHOTS
PRISONER George Growsett's THREAT of SUICIDE

George Growsett threatened suicide at trial in 1860 for armed robbery, protesting that he would rather be hanged than endure a lengthy sentence. A sentence of death was duly recorded, which he boastfully informed the court he wanted, but his sentence was commuted a few days later to 15 years in penal servitude. He was photographed by Thomas J. Nevin at the Mayor's Court, Hobart Town Hall, on discharge on September 5th, 1873. He must have committed further offences (to be included here later if found), since Nevin's original photograph of 1873, numbered "79 " in the Hobart Gaol Photo Book, was duplicated, numbered "264" for application to the prisoner's rap sheet on sentencing for further offences.



The prisoner in a most insolent manner said he knew very well that the question was only a matter of form ; he had not been tried at all, and did not consider that he had had a fair trial. The witnesses had sworn what they liked, and he had not been defended by counsel ; in fact, he had been sold like a bullock in Smithfield Market ; he knew very well that His Honor had his sentence ready written before him, and that the whole thing was a matter of form. He knew very well that he should have a long sentence, but His Honor had better sentence him to be hanged, as he should never do a long sentence ; in fact, he could not do it whether he received it or not (Mercury 7 September 1860)
The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery copy
When George Growsett was found guilty at trial of armed assault in 1860, the verdict recorded was "Death" - but he was not hanged. The sentence of "death" was commuted to 15 years of penal servitude. When he was discharged from the 15 year sentence in 1873, he was photographed by government contractor, photographer Thomas J. Nevin. Just one image of this man George Growsett is extant, duplicated several times, and copied.

Three copies from two duplicates are extant of the photograph made from Thomas J. Nevin's original glass negative taken in the one and only sitting of prisoner George Growsett in September 1873 (No. 79) on discharge from a 15 yr sentence for armed robbery. The duplicate from Nevin's original was reproduced again (No. 264) when George Growsett was committed for a further sentence (to be confirmed).

This copy held at the TMAG was originally held in a collection at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, acquired from convictarian John Watt Beattie's estate in the 1930s as government records and gaol estrays. It was removed from the QVMAG (Launceston) by Elspeth Wishart in 1983 and taken down the Port Arthur historic site as part of an exhibition. For this purpose, for its removal to the exhibition it was numbered "179" - the number written directly below the oval image on the mount. At the close of the exhibition, this mugshot and another fifty (50) and more sourced from the QVMAG were not returned to the QVMAG, deposited instead at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart, thereby violating the integrity of Beattie's Collection. These fifty and more police mugshots of the 1870s, taken by government contractor photographer Thomas J. Nevin, should have been returned to the QVMAG in 1983.

The QVMAG's list of their collection of 1870s mugshots, acquired here in 2005, show that of the 200 listed in the original QVMAG collection in the 1980s, only 72 mugshots were in fact actually located there. More than 200 were originally acquired at the QVMAG, but were not listed in 1983. Not only were more than a hundred missing from Beattie's original collection, it was in 1983 when Elspeth Wishart et al at the Port Arthur exhibition fabricated an altogether impossible photographer attribution to the prison's commandant A. H. Boyd, despite clear recent and historical evidence that commercial photographer and government contractor Thomas J. Nevin was the commissioned photographer working from February 1872 to commence the photographing of prisoners at sentencing, incarceration and discharge. The misattribution to A. H. Boyd, a renowned bully and not a photographer by any definition of the term, was to pander to the fantasies of his descendants who were mindful of seeing their reviled ancestor come up from history smelling of roses. A. H. Boyd was dismissed for misogyny from the superintendent position at the Queen's Orphan School in 1864, and forced to resign from the commandant position at Port Arthur in December 1873 under allegations of fraud, corruption and misappropriation of funds.

Thomas J. Nevin's original glass negative was produced at the one and only sitting with prisoner George Growsett in September 1873. It was reproduced twice for application to Growsett's prison criminal record sheet, now missing, as are all the early rap sheets from the mid 1870s from which these mugshots were removed. As on later rap sheets, the date of sentencing was written, along with the crime, the length of sentence, the date of discharge and the number of the photograph, which was recorded in the Hobart Gaol Photo Book. The extant photograph held at the National Library of Australia bears TWO numbers: the first, no. "79" was recorded when Nevin photographed Growsett on discharge from a 14 year sentence (September 1860) for armed robbery in September 1873. The second number "264" was recorded for another sentence (date and nature of crime to be confirmed).



Prisoner GROWSETT, George
Ex QVMAG Collection, now held at the TMAG Ref: Q15611
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin

This copy was printed at a slight tilt, compared with the NLA and AOT copies which were straightened when printed.



Verso of cdv of prisoner GROWSETT, George
Inscription: "79 & 264 George Growsett per Ly Montague (Taken at Port Arthur 1874)"
Ex QVMAG Collection, now held at the TMAG Ref: Q15611
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin

The National Library of Australia copy
The National Library of Australia catalogue entry is devised from the inscription on the verso of this photograph, but with the assumption that the information is correct, viz: "George Growsette, per Ly. [Lady] Montague, taken at Port Arthur, 1874 [picture]". This photograph was not taken in 1874, it taken in early September 1873 at the Hobart Municipal Police Office, Town Hall, when Growsett was discharged, free in service with a ticket of leave.



George Growsette, per Ly. [Lady] Montague, taken at Port Arthur, 1874 [picture]
National Library of Australia Call Number PIC Album 935 #P1029/22

The NLA copy bears two numbers on recto: "79 & 264" which indicate that the first, no. 79 was taken by Thomas J. Nevin in the week preceding September 5th 1873 when George Growsett was discharged (FS - free in service). The second, no. 264, was duplicated from the first, from Nevin's original glass negative, when George Growsett was sentenced again (date and nature of crime to be confirmed).

The Archives Office Tasmania copy
A hard copy is held at the Archives Office of Tasmania, and recorded online. The hard copy was most likely reproduced for reasons to do with regional exhibitions, postcard issue, or local and family history publications.



Prisoner George Growsett:
AOT Ref: PH30/1/3258
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin 1873


Webshot 2005: AOT Ref: PH30/1/3258
Caption: "George Growsett, convict transported per Lady Montague. Photograph taken at port Arthur by Thomas Nevin."

Court and Police Records

1852:
George Growsett, from Hereford, was tried at Chelmsford Ass. (UK) on 5th March 1859. He was transported for arson, setting fire to a stack of wheat valued at £100 etc. He arrived at Hobart (Van Diemen's Land - Tasmania) the 9th December 1852 on the Lady Montague. On arrival, he was 19 years old, his religion listed as Church of England, and was able to read and write. He was issued with a Ticket of Leave in 1853, but committed further offences. He was sentenced to 15 yrs for armed assault in 1860, and released again with a TOL on 18th August 1873, gazetted on 9th September 1873.



Growsett, George
Record Type: Convicts
Departure date: 9 Aug 1852
Departure port: Plymouth
Ship: Lady Montagu
Voyage number: 356
Index number: 28764
Record ID:NAME_INDEXES:1397589
Archives Office Tasmania

1860:
The deposition recorded on 3rd August, 1860, at Hobart Town stated that George Growsett was charged with armed robbery, death recorded. The sentence of death was commuted to 15yrs in penal servitude (P.S.) on Sept 20th 1860.



Deposition: George Growsett:
Source: Archives Office Tasmania
https://stors.tas.gov.au/AB693-1-1$init=AB693-1-1_054



Tuesday 4th September 1860: Before the Chief Justice and jury, George Growsett was found guilty of assault with a pistol on John Shipley, stealing a watch and £4.
Source: Archives Office Tasmania
https://stors.tas.gov.au/SC32-1-8$init=SC32-1-8_121



Page on right:
Thursday the 6th day of September 1860 The Court met this Day at 2pm. Before His Honor The Chief Justice
The following prisoners were placed at the bar and sentenced as opposite to their names.
Patrick Glynn To be kept in P.S. for 4 years
George Growsett Death recorded [commuted to 15 yrs penal servitude]
Martin Lydon To be Hanged
Source: Archives Office Tasmania
https://stors.tas.gov.au/SC32-1-8$init=SC32-1-8_122

PRESS REPORTS 1860
The Hobart newspaper Mercury, on 7th September 1860 reported George Growsett's death-wish statements at trial.
SUPREME COURT.
CRIMINAL SITTINGS.
(AFTER SECOND TERM, 1860.) THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6.
FIRST COURT,
BEFORE His Honor Sir Valentine Fleming, Knight, Chief Justice.
The Court sat by adjournment for the purpose of passing the sentences, and His Honor took his seat at two o'clock.
SENTENCES.
George Growsett convicted of robbery under arms.
On being asked if he had anything to say why judgement should not be passed upon him.
The prisoner in a most insolent manner said he knew very well that the question was only a matter of form ; he had not been tried at all, and did not consider that he had had a fair trial. The witnesses had sworn what they liked, and he had not been defended by counsel ; in fact, he had been sold like a bullock in Smithfield Market ; he knew very well that His Honor had his sentence ready written before him, and that the whole thing was a matter of form. He knew very well that he should have a long sentence, but His Honor had better sentence him to be hanged, as he should never do a long sentence ; in fact, he could not do it whether he received it or not.
His Honor said that during the progress of the trial he thought the prisoner was a very unwise and illiterate man, and if anything was needed to confirm that opinion, it was the address which he had just uttered. The prisoner said he had not had a fair trial, or, to use his own language, that he had been sold like a bullock. Now, His Honor thought that he had a most fair and impartial trial. (The prisoner—Well, then, I don't,) His Honor begged that he might not be interrupted, That the prisoner was not defended by counsel was no fault of His Honor, nor of the Crown, but was entirely the prisoner's own fault. His Honor found that he was originally transported to this colony for a very bad offence, namely, arson, for which he received a sentence of 14 years. (The prisoner said he had been punished for that.) He arrived here in 1852, and in the condition of a pass-holder, or, in other words, he arrived here in a condition of qualified freedom. His Honor well remembered that year, and if ever there was a period in the history of the colony when a man if inclined to lead an honest and industrious life, had every inducement held out to do so it was at that time, for the colony had been deprived of labor by the emigration to the gold fields, leaving open to persons in the same situation as the prisoner the means of gaining an honest livelihood. But the prisoner had not availed himself of those means, for in 1853 he was convicted of stealing a rather large sum of money (£25) received a sentence of seven years, and was sent to a penal settlement. Here he was guilty of absconding, insubordination, and other offences, but nevertheless he obtained a ticket-of-leave in 1853, and that was his present condition. The prisoner was a young man in the enjoyment of good health and physical strength and might easily have obtained an honest living, but what did he do ? His Honor here recapitulated the particulars of the prisoner's offence, and continued :- Was it to be allowed that crimes of this kind were to be committed by lawless men ? Where, he asked, was the injustice of the trial ? Was Shipley not the witness of truth ? And had not the jury given every consideration to the case ? His Honor's experience of juries showed him that they were always impartial and considerate, and that they had invariably a leaning towards mercy. And now the prisoner was so injudicious as to address the Court as he had done. He must have known that he was on his trial for life or death, and that by his crime he had forfeited that life by the laws of the colony. (Prisoner : So much the better). Notwithstanding that boastful expression it was not His Honor's intention to pass upon the prisoner the extreme sentence of the law ; there was a point in the evidence of Mr. Shipley in the prisoner's favor, of which he did not, perhaps, perceive the benefit, and that was the impression on Mr. Shipley's mind that the prisoner did not intend to take life. His Honor would give the prisoner the benefit of this, and it would rest with the Executive to determine the duration of his punishment. (Prisoner : I would rather be hanged.) His Honor said there was only one sentence which under those circumstances, he could pass upon the prisoner, and that was to order sentence of of death to be recorded, and
Sentence of death was accordingly recorded.
Source: Mercury (Hobart, Tas), Friday 7 September 1860, page 3

The Launceston Examiner on Wednesday, 20th September 1860 reported on Page 2 that the "death recorded against George Growsett for robbery under arms has been commuted to fifteen years penal servitude."

1871:



TRANSCRIPT

OFFENCES AT PORT ARTHUR.-From the Mercury we learn that two constables, named respectively Elliott and Rogers, have been dismissed for the offence of purchasing pigs and potatoes from two prisoners named respectively George Grossett and Moses Cochrane. The prisoners were also punished, Grossett being sent to an outstation, and Cochrane sentenced to 6 month's hard labor.
Source: Launceston Examiner Tue 21 Feb 1871 Page 5 OUR MONTHLY SUMMARY.

1873:
This record of discharge from the Tasmanian Police Gazette, dated 5th September 1873, lists George Growsett twice; the first entry shows no personal information such as age, height and hair colouring, simply that he was received from the Port Arthur prison minus this information. The second entry shows his alias as Grossett, that he was 40yrs old, and that his height was 5 ft 8 ins., almost 3 inches taller than when his height was recorded as 5ft 5ins at 19yrs old on arrival, a mistake by the police gazette, possibly. He was received at Hobart from the Port Arthur prison and photographed at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall by Thomas J. Nevin on discharge from the Mayor's Court with a ticket of leave.



George Growsett, discharged 5th September 1873
Tasmania Reports of Crime for Police J. Barnard Gov't printer

Ticket of Leave
Fellow prisoner William Smith, transported on the Rodney 3 was granted a Ticket of Leave on the same day as George Growsett: his discharge was gazetted one week later, on 10th September 1873.



Recto and verso of photograph of prisoner Wm Smith per Gilmore (3)
Verso with T. J. Nevin's government contractor stamp printed with the Royal Arms insignia.
Carte numbered "199" on recto
QVMAG Ref: 1985.p.131

Thomas J. Nevin's two different prisoner identification photographs of William Smith per Rodney 3 taken in 1873 and again in 1875 both bear his government contractor stamp on verso. This one, taken in 1873, is held at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania; the second, taken in 1875 is held in the Mitchell Collection, State Library of NSW.  Read more about William Smith per Rodney 3 here.



George Growsett per Lady Montagu and William Smith per Gilmore 3 each issued with ticket of leave 12 September 1873.
Source:Tasmania Reports of Crime for Police J. Barnard Gov't printer

RELATED POSTS main weblog

Exhibition 2019: T. J. NEVIN's mugshot of prisoner James BLANCHFIELD 1875.

Barrister ROBERT BYRON MILLER
Prisoner JAMES W. BLANCHFIELD
Private Collection of JEAN PORTHOUSE GRAVES
Photographer THOMAS J. NEVIN
Exhibition at HOBART July 2019 PHOTOGRAPHS of Australian and British Convicts



Prisoner James Blanchfied
Photographed on discharge from the Hobart Gaol by Thomas J. Nevin, April 1875.

"The prisoner, a most unfavorable specimen of the genus homo, seemed to take his trial in good part, and on leaving the dock favored his victims and Mr. Scarr in particular, with a low bow." The Tasmanian (Launceston) Sat 26 Oct 1872 Page 11
Prisoner James William Blanchfield
Prisoner James W. Blanchfield was charged on 23rd September 1872 with obtaining goods by false pretenses. In the dock he implicated barrister Robert Byron Miller in his crime by telling the judge that he had paid Mr. Byron Miller a sum of seven guineas to transfer a very large amount of money, which he claimed was an inheritance, from a bank in Melbourne to a bank in Hobart where he said he had an account. The inheritance did not exist, of course, and it was not the first time James Blanchfield had tried unlawfully gaining goods by pretending he had credit. Robert Byron Miller (1825 - 1902) was a barrister who served the colony of Tasmania as Attorney-General for four years (1863-1866 - see Addendum below). He was photographed on several occasions by Thomas J. Nevin, as indeed were the prisoners he represented in court, including James Blanchfield who suggested at trial in his defense that Mr. Byron Miller was to blame for the confusion which led to his crime (see newspaper report below):

NEWSPAPER REPORTS



James Blanchfield charged with false pretences
The Tasmanian (Launceston, Tas.) Sat 26 Oct 1872 Page 11 TORQUAY.

TRANSCRIPT
OBTAINING GOODS BY FALSE PRETENCES.
James William Blanchfield was charged by Mr. C.D.C. Reynolds with having, on 23rd September, obtained from Mr. G. Scarr, of the River Leven, goods to the amount of £16.9s.8d through false pretences.
C. Scarr deposed - I am a storekeeper and reside at the Leven; I know the prisoner; he was at my place on the 18th of last month; he wanted to know about some goods; he told me, that he had had £4,500 left him in cash and an estate with a yearly rental of £350; he had two females named Davidson with him, and he told me to let them have whatever they wanted and he would pay for them; on the faith of his representations I let him have goods to the amount of £16.9s.8d; the goods were calico, blankets, dresses; boots; trousers, &; he gave me a cheque on the Union Bank as payment; that is the cheque (produced), it is dated 18th September, is drawn in my favor and signed by the prisoner in the name of James W. Blanchfield; he had a cheque book with him which he said he got from the Union Bank, Launceston; he said he had a large amount of money sent to the Savings Bank and that Mr. Pullen had written to him saying the amount was too great to be there and requesting him to come to town and that Mr. White, of Melbourne, had written to Mr. Byron Miller to withdraw the money from the Savings Bank, and deposit it in the Union Bank, and that Mr. Miller had done so; he also said that he had signed his name in the book at the Union Bank and that he had a bank-book which with his other papers were in the hands of Mr. Miller, to whom he had paid seven guineas for transacting his business; I ... the bank at the Union Bank and sent the cheque there, it was dishonored and marked "no account"; I swear that the prisoner defrauded me of my goods by his false representations and valueless cheque ...
The Cornwall Advertiser (Launceston) Fri 10 Jan 1873 Page 2 reprinted most of the article from the Tasmanian newspaper of 26 October 1872 when James Blanchfield appeared again, this time in the Hobart Supreme Court when he was sentenced to three years' imprisonment.
See also:The Tasmanian (Launceston) Sat 4 Jan 1873 Page 2.

PRISON and POLICE RECORDS for James Blanchfield
James Blanchfield was a British Army Corporal in the 70th Regiment. He was tried for striking his superior officer and court martialled at Leeds on 10th June 1844, sentenced to 14 years. He was transported to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), arriving at Hobart on the Cornwall, 11th June 1851.





Detail, right column last entry, return to Hobart H.C. 20 April 1873. James Blanchfield's transportation record
Source: CON33/1/103, James Blanchfield, Names Index, Archives Office Tasmania)
This record includes details of the crime for which the prisoner was transported to VDL on the Cornwall, 1851 and subsequent misdemeanours before imprisonment in January 1873.

James W. Blanchfield was charged on 23rd September 1872 at Launceston (Tas) with obtaining goods by false pretenses. He was sent to the Port Arthur prison, 60 kms south of Hobart on 21st February 1873 and within eight weeks was removed back to the Hobart Gaol, arriving on 20th April 1873. As a result, his name does not appear in the Port Arthur Conduct register of prisoners' earnings 1868-1876 (CON94-1-2 TAHO). He was among the sixty prisoners already returned to the Hobart Gaol when the Attorney-General W. R. Giblin in Parliament, July 1873, tabled a list of 109 prisoners' names to be returned to Hobart by October 1873. Blanchfield was already back at the city gaol in Hobart when photographic materials allegedly arrived at Port Arthur in August 1873 to be used by visiting photographers Clifford and Nevin for documenting the dilapidated state of the prison buildings. James Blanchfield petitioned the Attorney-General on 13th March 1875. His transportation record (last entry in right column in the transportation record above) indicated he was to be discharged on 8th April -
"... if conduct continues good. Discharge accordingly."(Source: CON33/1/103, James Blanchfield, Names Index, Archives Office Tasmania)
James Blanchfield's name appears on page 2 (below) in the list of a total of 109 prisoners who were sent to the Port Arthur prison from 1871 and tabled in Parliament to return by October 1873 as the process of closing Port Arthur gained momentum . The complete list was prepared by Thomas Reidy, Inspector for H.M. Gaols etc for Males, Hobart, 9th June, 1873 and was published in July 1873. The Attorney-General W. R. Giblin stated in Parliament that sixty prisoners had already been removed back to the Hobart Gaol in Campbell St. and the remainder on the list would also be removed from Port Arthur back to Hobart -
"... as soon as arrangements for the proper custody and control of the Prisoners can be made on the Main Land"[i.e. Hobart].



Above: Parliament of Tasmania: NOMINAL RETURN of all Prisoners sent to PORT ARTHUR since its transfer to the Colonial Government, showing their Ages, dates of Conviction, where Convicted, Crimes, and Sentences. Memo from the Hon F. M. Innes June 10th 1873 to J. Forster, Inspector of Police, June 11th, 1873.

COURT RECORD
This record shows James Blanchfield's name was entered three times against a trial date of 23rd October 1872, with a pencilled superscript note "put up" inserted into the plea "Not put up guilty"



Blanchfield, James
Record Type: Court
Status: Free by servitude
Trial date: 23 Oct 1872
Offense: False pretences
Verdict: Guilty
Prosecutions Project ID: 112598
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1520867
Resource: AB693-1-1 1872
Archives Office Tasmania

POLICE GAZETTE RECORD
James Blanchfield was discharged from the Hobart House of Corrections (the Hobart Gaol, Campbell St.) during the week ending 14th April 1875. He was 48 years old on discharge, originally from Waterford (Ireland), 5 ft 5 ins tall, with dark brown hair and a tattoo of a mermaid on his left arm. He was tried at the Supreme Court, Launceston (northern Tasmania) on 9th January 1873 for obtaining goods by false pretences, to serve a 3 year sentence but he served just over two years. He was photographed by Thomas J. Nevin in early April 1875 during the fortnight preceding discharge together with another prisoner, James Merchant.



Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime for Police, J. Barnard Gov't printer



Prisoner MERCHANT, James
TMAG Ref: Q15587
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin
Taken on James Merchant's discharge from the Hobart Gaol, April 1875

THE MUGSHOT at the QVMAG
The verso of this cdv of James Blanchfield (below) - and at least 200 more which were acquired by the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (Launceston, Tas) from convictarian John Watt Beattie's estate in the 1930s - was inscribed by Beattie and his assistant Edward Searle in the early 1900s with the wording "Taken at Port Arthur 1874" to encourage the sale of postcards bearing these prisoner photographs as part of a concerted campaign by the Tasmanian government to promote the ruins of the Port Arthur prison as a key tourist destination. It is a fake claim, a lie, which the current management of the Port Arthur prison theme park (PAHSMA) has opportunistically upscaled with a lightbox wall displaying dozens of these 1870s mugshots, claiming they were all photographed at the Port Arthur prison and by none other than its Commandant A. H. Boyd. The suppression of Thomas Nevin's work and name as the real photographer arose as a whim and fantasy by A. H. Boyd's descendants in the 1980s, viz. Kim Simpson who were - and still are - most anxious to propel their ancestor into the history books as some sort of gifted photographic artist. But while Boyd's reputation for corruption and misogyny has persisted and is easily measured from authentic historical records, no photographs by him have ever surfaced for the very simple reasons that he never photographed a single prisoner or any other person in the known universe. He was NOT A PHOTOGRAPHER. Those Chinese tourists currently pouring off cruise liners at the Port Arthur prison heritage site might be none the wiser, nor even care when they read the lies about A. H. Boyd taking these mugshots - that is, today they might not, but the future is another country as the past will prove.



Prisoner James Blanchfield
Photographed on discharge from the Hobart Gaol by Thomas J. Nevin, April 1875.



Verso: Prisoner James Blanchfield
Photographed on discharge from the Hobart Gaol by Thomas J. Nevin, April 1875.
Inscriptions: Numbered 186.
J. W. Blanchfield per Cornwall 1851
Taken at Port Arthur 1874 [incorrect information]
QVMAG Ref:1985:P:117



The Archives Office of Tasmania in Hobart has a black and white paper copy of the same cdv. Thomas Nevin printed at least four duplicates, both uncut and mounted as a cdv from the glass plate negative produced at this, the one and only sitting with the prisoner James William Blanchfield.



Photo copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2005

The cdv of James Blanchfield, number 57, appears in this list because it was not removed from the QVMAG in 1983 when fifty and more were taken to the Port Arthur heritage site for an exhibition, i.e. those bearing the numbers shown as missing in pencil. Those fifty and more were not returned to the QVMAG, deposited instead at the TMAG. This is the first page of three pages showing that only 72 Tasmanian prisoner "portraits" in the Beattie Collection (QVMAG) remained when this list was drawn up in the 1990s.

Exhibition at the old Hobart Penitentiary, July 2019
In case the reason for our emphasis on just the incarceration and discharge records of prisoners here in our research is not self-evident, we underscore again the need to expose the deliberate falsification in recent decades of the photographer attribution of those prisoners' mugshots to an official at the Port Arthur prison by the name of A. H. Boyd who was not a photographer by any definition of the term, nor are there any extant works by him in any genre.

If Thomas Nevin's official involvement in providing mugshots for the police, the judiciary and the government has not been demonstrated clearly enough by our inclusion in this research of primary sources and extensive historical documentation - as distinct from the endless obfuscations and attitudinal interpretations in chatty prose posing as research in recent publications, theses, and exhibitions - the point of not providing lengthy bleeding heart biographies of these prisoners is simply this: with the accretion of fact upon fact, we are consolidating the evidence again and again as to when the mugshot was taken, who took it, how it was taken, and why was it taken because Thomas J. Nevin's legacy as the photographer of prisoners in Hobart in the 1870s has been violated by a confederacy of fools and fraudsters currently spurred on by the laissez-faire politics of the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (Sharon Sullivan), in collusion with the University of Tasmania's History Department (Hamish Maxwell-Stewart, Stefan Petrow and student acolyte Julia Clark) and a gaggle of apparently dyslexic librarians and their advisers at the National Library of Australia, the latter appearing to have delighted in playing a political game of collusion with the former, regardless of the long-term parasitic effect on this unique national heritage collection (Helen Ennis, Margy Burn, Sylvia Carr et al).

With so much vested in the careers and reputations of these hard-bitten civil servants, it is no surprise that the last sentence accompanying the mugshot and biography of James Blanchfield on this large poster (at right) fixed to the wall of the old Hobart Penitentiary, Campbell St. Hobart Tasmania for the current exhibition (July 2019), states that the photograph of the prisoner was taken at the Port Arthur prison. This is incorrect. Whether a deliberate lie or the result of lazy research, it is used today just as effectively as spin for the tourist trade as when it was first devised in the 1900s by Beattie et al for the government's campaign. James Blanchfield was not photographed at Port Arthur: government contractor Thomas J. Nevin photographed him for police and prison administration records on discharge from this same building, the Hobart Gaol, in the fortnight preceding 14th April 1875.



Above: the large wall poster at right displayed at the exhibition titled "Photographs of Australian and British Convicts" which opened at the Hobart Penitentiary (the former Hobart Gaol and House of Corrections, Campbell St.) featuring the mugshot of James Blanchfield taken by Thomas Nevin in 1875, together with a jolly japes biography of the prisoner, finishing with the sentence:
"...at the age of fifty he found himself sentenced to 5 years imprisonment and was packed off to Port Arthur where this photograph was taken."
Actually, no: as the police gazette states, James Blanchfield was 48 years old on discharge in 1875, not 50 years old on sentencing in 1873 and he spent less than two months at the Port Arthur prison, from 21st February 1873 to 20th April 1873. He served just twenty-six months of a three year sentence, not a five year sentence when he was discharged in April 1875. Additionally, he was photographed, not at the Port Arthur prison as claimed by the exhibition poster but at the Hobart Gaol, the very same site where Thomas Nevin's photograph of him taken for police in 1875 now looms over visitors to the current exhibition, exactly 144 years later.

According to the Hobart Penitentiary Facebook page, July 23, 2019, the exhibition "Photographs of Australian and British Convicts" was launched by professors Hamish Maxwell-Stewart (University of Tasmania) and Barry Godfrey (University of Liverpool, UK);
This Exhibition has been organised by the AHRC Digital Panopticon, the University of Liverpool, Face Lab, Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Tasmania and National Trust Tasmania.
Funded by AHRC as part of their Digital Transformation programme in 2014 the project explores the lives of 90,000 men and women sentenced at the Old Bailey between 1750 and 1925.
Source: https://www.facebook.com/hobartconvictpenitentiary/

All the money financing this and other ventures where Hamish Maxwell-Stewart is involved would better serve the local population if spent wisely, but this exhibition appears to be another project where misinformation abounds and where Tasmanian history is compromised yet again. For example, the website Founders and Survivors, funded in a grant sought by Maxwell-Stewart to an astounding amount ($800,000 - see screenshot below), lies in digital ruins. That site actually encouraged visitors to create a face for a prisoner regardless of the existence of a real photograph.



Screenshot: the ruins of convictism, Founders and Survivors website.

What is it about these mugshots taken by the very real photographer Thomas J. Nevin - as distinct from the fantasy photographer-artist the PAHSMA has constructed for their A.H. Boyd prison official - that Hamish Maxwell-Stewart appears consistently to feel the need to undermine and violate the photographer Thomas J. Nevin (e.g. by proxy via his student Julia Clark), or to modify, re-invent and re-create the photographs that result in fake visual images and disidentification of the subject? Or indeed, why the need even to medicalise them which Maxwell-Stewart is proposing in another project whereby he will use these mugshots to inject a reading of maternal foetal alcohol syndrome into the prisoners' adult faces? Seriously, nothing could be more wasteful of university staff time and research funding.

As noted already, Maxwell-Stewart is too disengaged to contribute value to this area of Tasmanian history. He is causing harm by playing with these mugshots, despite his several collaborations with British academics to justify the enormous grants. Incorporating Caroline Wilkinson's work on forensic facial reconstruction, included in the current exhibition Photographs of Australian and British Convicts, just isn't logical. There is no need to play old Lombrosian games with these mugshots: they are unique, leave them alone as testimony to the skills of T. J. Nevin, the real photographer of the day. Anyone who wishes to mutilate them and disparage not only the original photographer Thomas J. Nevin but his family and descendants as well, has to be viewed as unfit for the academic position he holds in the first instance, and in the second instance, as mentally disturbed by whatever it is about these 1870s mugshots that triggers his need to subjugate them. No doubt our post on the criminal type and anthropometry in 2008 and the paragraph below which we quoted in this post in 2007 from a section by Jens Jaeger on “Police and forensic photography” published in The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (2005) woke up the History Department at the University of Tasmania regarding our ancestor Thomas J. Nevin; the response, though, has diminished all involved.
Research on ‘criminal physiognomy’
Scientific examination of picture collections from an anthropological or physiognomical perspective was not actually done by the police themselves. Significantly, the two best-known users of criminal portraits, the Italian Cesare Lombroso (1836-1909) and the Englishman Francis, began their work before Bertillon’s reform of police photography. Lombroso, a doctor and eventually professor of forensic medicine and hygiene in Turin, attempted in his book L’uomo delinquente (1876) to prove both that criminal tendencies were hereditary and that they could be identified from particular physical characteristics. To this end he had visited prisons, made body measurements of prisoners, and collected pictures of criminals. After the appearance of his book he continued to work on the subject, and by the turn of the century had a large collection of criminal portraits obtained from governments in Europe and overseas. Although his theory was heavily criticized, and was never accepted by experts, it became popular. So too with Galton, who began his research a few years after Lombroso. He too believed in the heritability of mental traits, grappled with the phenomenon of criminality, and used official pictures. His method was to make composite copies of portraits of different people in order to arrive at an ‘average’ deviant physiognomy. His major work, Inquiries into Human Faculty, containing papers written since 1869, appeared in 1883. But his theories also failed to convince his peers, and there were no further attempts to examine criminals or criminality on the basis of police portraits. Undeniably, however, a certain image of ‘the’ delinquent did emerge in the popular imagination, and persists as a visual code identifying certain characters as criminals in literature, comics, films, and tabloid newspapers.
Source: “Police and forensic photography.”
The Oxford Companion to the Photograph.
Oxford University Press, 2005.

The homogenised "Port Arthur offenders"
Also on display at the Hobart Penitentiary 2019 Exhibition, "Photographs of Australian and British Convicts, " were these four photographs of so-called "AVERAGE PORT ARTHUR MALE OFFENDERS". The photographs were printed as wall posters and included in a large pdf scroll which Maxwell-Stewart donated to the University of Tasmania SPARC repository. The information conveyed by this display is incorrect and misleading. For example, under the heading of Convict Photography, this statement appears:
At Port Arthur, in the 1870s,
some of the ‘old lags’ still
left in the penal colony also
had their photographs taken some
of which we use here for
this exhibition.
This is a statement from the 1950s-60s. It is crude, vague, and ignorant, as if nothing has been learnt from the vast trove of primary sources available to researchers and exhibition curators since the era of digitisation. Few prisoners were photographed at Port Arthur; just four photographs so far can be identified and those were taken there by Thomas J. Nevin in May 1874. The majority of prisoners with active outstanding sentences still to be served - 109 men in all were named in Parliament in July 1873 - who were sent to Port Arthur after 1871 were returned to the Hobart Gaol from October 1873 to December 1874. On arrival back at the Hobart Gaol, they were photographed by contractor Thomas J. Nevin, as were all other prisoners received from regional lock-ups with sentences longer than three months.





Where is the accompanying text to these four faces to alert the viewer that this Lombrosian experiment of layering one real mugshot of a convicted criminal upon another real mugshot of a convicted criminal three or four times over had failed to provide police with anything useful. Those 19th century experiments which were created because of ideation about stereotypes are now paraded again pointlessly in a 21st century exhibition, legitimised by "cognitive bias" and nonsensical computations around the word "average".

The differences between these four faces are minimal, yet the compositors fail to give any reason as to their uniformity, or any indication as to their methods. Information vital to understanding why and how these composites were produced from the 1870s original mugshots - the so-called "Convict Portraits Port Arthur 1874 held in Australian national and state public collections is missing, for example:

How many original mugshots from the 1870s were used to make one composite? Three? Five? Ten?

What were the names and ages of the prisoners in the original mugshots from the 1870s?

What were the dates on which the original mugshots were taken? 1872? 1874? 1875? 1880?

Why assume the same type of crime attracted similar looking men, especially when crimes such as larceny and assault covered a variety of offences and circumstances?

Why promulgate the fiction that men in the original mugshots taken in Tasmania in the 1870s were "Port Arthur offenders"? They were not photographed before 1853 at Port Arthur when transportation ceased to Tasmania. They did not offend at the Port Arthur prison, they offended at large. They were ordinary criminals who offended in the 1860s-1870s and were photographed on incarceration as a result of a Supreme Court trial next door to the Hobart Gaol by police contractor Thomas J. Nevin.

Compare these four composites with any dozen original mugshots used to compose them. Anyone familiar with the 300 plus extant original mugshots of Tasmanian prisoners taken in the 1870s by Thomas J. Nevin for police and prison authorities would immediately protest that those original mugshots show a wide diversity of individuals, men of all backgrounds and ages with very distinct facial features and body shapes. Regardless of their groupings according to an assumed similarity of criminal offenses, they are immediately identifiable as INDIVIDUALS.

In our present era (2019) when unique differences among populations, termed DIVERSITY, is the major force informing humanist policy at all levels of society, here we have an enclave of eugenicists, led by Hamish Maxwell-Stewart playing with expensive technologies on large research grants because they believe they have something to achieve by forcing SIMILARITY onto a tranche of historically identified individuals.

Take a look at the differences between the men in these three collections of mugshots of Tasmanian prisoners taken by Thomas J. Nevin in the courts and prisons of the 1870s (note: a good number are duplicates from Nevin's glass negative produced at a single sitting with the prisoner):




Addendum: Robert Byron Miller (1825 - 1902)
Robert Byron Miller was a barrister who served the colony of Tasmania as Attorney-General for four years (1863-1866). He was photographed on several occasions by Thomas J. Nevin, as indeed were the prisoners he represented, including James Blanchfield who implicated Byron Miller as complicit in his crime at trial in his defense (see newspaper report above):



Barrister R. Byron Miller (1825 - 1902)
Photographer George Cherry (1820 - 1878) taken in late 1860s
Inscribed verso by Miller family member "My Father ... Judge in Chambers Essex St ..."
Photo © copyright KLW NFC Imprint KLW NFC Private Collection

The wording "My father ..." was inscribed on the verso of this photograph of Robert Byron Miller by his daughter-in-law, Jean Porthouse Graves (1858-1951) probably in 1947 when she compiled an album of photographs taken of herself and family members, now in our private collection. As her own father John Woodcock Graves the younger had died in 1876, she regarded her father-in-law as "father". The earliest photographs in her album date from the late 1860s such as this one taken by George Cherry of R. Byron Miller. A series of stereographs with Jean Porthouse Graves as a teenager were taken by Thomas J. Nevin on the excursion by boat of VIPs to Adventure Bay in January 1872. The most recent photos in the album were taken of herself and her apartment in London in the late 1940s. Jean Porthouse Graves married solicitor Francis Knowles Miller, son of Robert Byron Miller, at Melbourne, Victoria in 1885. She was extensively involved with betterment and welfare organisations in the Emu Bay area (Burnie, Tasmania) from her marriage through to the 1920s. She was 91 yrs old when she died at Rembrandt Square, London on 30 July 1951.

This carte-de-visite of Robert Byron Miller was just one of several cdvs and stereographs housed in Jean Porthouse Graves' album which Thomas J. Nevin had taken of her with her father John Woodcock Graves (the younger), her future father-in-law Robert Byron Byron Miller, the Graves' family friend Lukin Boyes, and her three sisters Mathinna, Trucaninni and Mimi between 1872 and 1876. For example, the series photographed with Jean in her mid-teens on the VIP excursion to Adventure Bay in 1872 included the Hon. Alfred Kennerley, Mayor of Hobart and Police Magistrate, R. Byron Miller, barrister, Sir John O'Shanassy, former Premier of Victoria, Hugh Munro Hull, Parliamentary librarian, her father John Woodcock Graves the younger who organised the excursion, James Erskine Calder, former Surveyor-General, Lukin Boyes, Customs Officer, Hon. Mr. James Milne Wilson (Premier of Tasmania), and the Rev. Henry Dresser Atkinson.





One of four extant photographs taken on 31st January 1872 and printed in various formats from Thomas J. Nevin's series advertised in the Mercury, 2nd February, 1872, as "The Colonists' Trip to Adventure Bay" (Bruny Island, Tasmania).

[From lower left]: John Woodcock Graves jnr, solicitor; his daughter Jean Porthouse Graves; above her, R. Byron Miller, barrister; on her left, Sir John O'Shanassy, former Premier of Victoria;
[Centre top]: Lukin Boyes, son of auditor and artist G. T. W. Boyes, leaning on stone structure
[Extreme lower right]: James Erskine Calder, former Surveyor-General, Tasmania

Single unmounted carte-de-visite photograph of large group
From the Miller and Graves family album
Photos recto and verso: copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2015 Private Collection
Verso: One of four extant photographs taken on 31st January 1872 and printed in various formats from Thomas J. Nevin's series advertised in The Mercury, 2nd February, 1872, as the Colonists' Trip to Adventure Bay (Bruny Island).
Verso with T. Nevin late A. Bock , 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town commercial stamp
Verso inscriptions include these identifiable figures at the "Picnic":
Father = John Woodcock Graves jnr,
Sir John O'Shanassy = former Premier of Victoria,
Self = Jean Porthouse Graves, daughter of John W. Graves,
L. Boyes = Lukin Boyes (?), son of G.T. W. Boyes
From an album compiled by the families of John Woodcock Graves jnr and R. Byron Miller
Private Collection © KLW NFC Imprint 2015

The men in the series taken on the Adventure Bay trip in January 1872 were the lawyers and the legislators who were T. J. Nevin's patrons and employers throughout his engagement as photographer in Hobart's prisons and courts from 1872 into the 1880s. Commercial photographer Thomas J. Nevin worked on government contract with the judiciary for the police and colonial government during the years when Robert Byron Miller served the colony briefly as Attorney-General in the Whyte administration, succeeded by Nevin's patron, William Robert Giblin who served as Attorney-General under (Sir) James Wilson in 1870-72 and in Alfred Kennerley's ministry in 1873-76.



The Colonists' Trip to Adventure Bay
VIPs on board The City of Hobart, 31st January 1872
Stereograph in buff arched mount by Thomas J. Nevin
Private Collection KLW NFC Group copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2015

From left to right:
Sir John O'Shanassy (seated), John Woodcock Graves the younger, Captain John Clinch, the Hon. Alfred Kennerley and the Hon. James Erskine Calder (seated). Standing behind Captain Clinch and Alfred Kennerley is R. Byron Miller.



VERSO WITH RARE NEVIN LABEL
The square royal blue label with T. Nevin's modified design of Alfred Bock's stamp from the mid-1860s and the wording in gold lettering, framed on a cartouche within gold curlicues, is unique to this item, not (yet) seen on the verso of any of his other photographs. Similar wording appeared on Nevin's most common commercial stamp from 1867 with and without Bock's name but always with the addition of a kangaroo sitting atop the Latin motto "Ad Altiora". Here, Bock's name is still included within the design although Nevin acquired Bock's studio five years earlier, in 1867: "T. Nevin late A.Bock" encircled by a buckled belt stating the firm's name within the strap, "City Photographic Establishment". The address "140 Elizabeth Street Hobarton" appears below the belt buckle and inside the badge motif.

The name "Graves" with a half-scroll underneath in black ink was most likely written by Thomas Nevin himself as a reminder of the client's name for the order. The handwriting is similar to his signatures on the birth registrations of his children in the 1870s.

The pencilled inscription "On board City of Hobart, Cap Clinch, Visitors Trip Jay 1872" and the deduction of the years "1947-1872=75 ago" was written by Jean Porthouse Graves who wrote "My Father" above the right hand frame on the front of the stereograph and a partial arrow pointing to John Woodcock Graves (the younger), She had pasted this photograph, and others taken by Thomas J. Nevin of the same group, into a family album (KLW NFC Private Collections 2015).

OBITUARY: Robert Byron Miller (1825 - 1902)

TRANSCRIPT
MR R. BYRON MILLER
Mr Robert Byron Miller, one of the oldest members of the legal profession in Tasmania, died at his residence, Elphin-road, at 9.30 yesterday morning. He has been in failing health for some months past, and the end did not come unexpectedly, he passing away surrounded by members of the family, who had been summoned to his bedside. Perhaps no one was more widely known in the State or more respected than the deceased, who was a member of the Executive Council and an ex-Attorney-General, and a colonist of over 50 years' standing. Born in London on April 19, 1825, he had thus reached his 76th year. . He was the son of the late Sergeant Miller, a London barrister of high repute, who had a large practice in common law, and was afterwards judge in the County Courts of Leicester, and who numbered among his personal friends the leading lawyers, literary men, and artists of the day, including Judge Talfourd, Dickens, Thackeray, Landseer, and Leslie. Educated at private schools and at King's College, London, deceased was a pupil in his father's chambers, and was admitted at the Middle Temple in 1848. After being in practice in London for several years he decided to come to Tasmania, and arriving in Hobart in January, 1855, he at once commenced the practice of his profession, and soon earned a name for himself as the leading criminal lawyer of the day. Coming straight from England, where he had been in constant practice, he found that some primitive customs prevailed in regard to the conduct of the business of the courts, and it was only after a stem struggle and facing the risk of displeasing those who held power at the time that he succeeded in bringing about changes more in accordance with justice and freedom. After a short stay in Hobart the deceased removed to Launceston, and, with the exception of three years spent in Melbourne, he resided in the northern city till his death. He entered political life in 1861, being elected as a member for Launceston. He accepted the Solicitor-Generalship in Chapman-Henty administration, which he held till 1863, when the feeling in Launceston being very strong against the proposed ad valorem duties, he resigned. The Government were shortly afterwards defeated. In the Whyte Ministry deceased occupied the post of Attorney-General, which he filled for a period of nearly four years, and during his tenure of office he was responsible for many important measures being placed on the Statute Book of the colony, while his administration of the department under his control was marked by vigor, honesty, and determination to do the right, resulting in changes not less marked than they were appreciated by the public. On the defeat of the Government on the income tax question, deceased resigned from Parliament and went to Melbourne, where he practised as a barrister for some three years. Returning to Launceston in 1871 he once more entered into partnership. He was in partnership with Mr Josiah Powell for four years, and later on his son, Mr Ernest Granville Miller, joined him under the style of Miller and Miller. The subject of this notice was an alderman of Launceston for three years, during which he war a strong supporter of improved drainage and local improvements; and he was for some years president of the Mechanics' Institute. He took an interest in ecclesiastical matters in the early days of his residence in Tasmania He was the senior member of the Executive Council, with the exception of Sir Francis Smith, who is absent from the colony. The deceased gave up Parliamentary life when in the height of his reputation, and since carefully eschewed politics, devoting .himself to his profession, of which though advanced in years and suffering slightly from the infirmity of deafness, he was, until his health gave way a few months ago an active and distinguished member. Deceased was associated with nearly all the prominent cases dealt with in the courts in Tasmania during the tame he was practising his profession, and of late years principally conducted prosecutions on behalf of the Government. He leaves a widow and two sons and two daughters, the sons being Mr Ernest Granville Miller, who was in partnership with deceased, and Mr F. Knowles Miller, who is also a member of the legal profession residing at Burnie. The funeral is appointed to leave his late residence at 4.30 this afternoon for the Church of England Cemetery.
Source: Source: Daily Telegraph (Launceston, Tas. Monday 6 October 1902, page 3
Link: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/153972075
See also entry in the ADB https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/miller-robert-byron-4203

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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 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