Paris Expo 1855: Captain Goldsmith’s blue gum plank

Elizabeth Nevin’s uncle, master mariner Captain Edward Goldsmith , departed Hobart Tasmania permanently in February 1856, but his entry of a blue gum plank (eucalyptus globulus) was shipped to France months prior, intended for the opening of the Paris Exposition on 15 May 1855, closing on 15 November 1855. Over five million people visited the exhibition which displayed products from 34 countries across 6 hectares (39 acres).

Exposition universelle de 1855 à Paris – Palais de l’Industrie
Restitution en 3D du Palais de l’Industrie – Film présenté lors de l’exposition au Musée des Avelines à Saint-Cloud, du 25 mars au 31 mai 2009 : “Sur les traces des Expositions universelles à Saint-Cloud”.
“La France Couronnant l’Art et l’Industrie” – Groupe sculpté par Elias Robert – vestige de l’Exposition universelle de 1855 dans le Parc de Saint-Cloud.

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Categories: Descendants and In-Laws, Exhibitions and Publications, Ships and Captains, Videos | Tags: , , , ,

Captain Edward Goldsmith in Davey Street Hobart 1854

Elizabeth Nevin’s uncle and benefactor, master mariner and merchant Captain Edward Goldsmith, first arrived in Van Diemen’s land in 1830 and departed never to return in 1856. He retired to Gad’s Hill, Kent, and became a neighbour of Charles Dickens in 1857. He did not become a colonist, nor did he profit directly from convict transportation. His many and varied services and contributions – some at his own expense – during those years to the mercantile, horticultural and shipping development of the colony were inestimable. He bought and sold land, built a patent slip and steam ferry, sat on civic committees, established a marine insurance company, and set up a permanent residence for his family at lower Davey Street, Hobart, although he was away at sea for most of every year. The playwright and journalist David Burn who met him in Sydney in 1845, noted in his diary that Captain Goldsmith’s turnaround was eight months (SLNSW Call No: B190) : from England via the Americas or the Cape of Good Hope to the Australian colonies for a single a round trip took just eight months, and during all those voyages not one major incident was ever reported (apart from his very first command on the James to W.A. in 1830 – see this article.)

Title:[St. David's Cemetery]
Publisher:[ca. 1870]
Description:1 stereoscopic pair of photographs : sepia toned ; 9 x 18 cm. (mount)
Format: Photograph
ADRI: AUTAS001125299511
Source: W.L. Crowther Library

Above: a stereograph of the tombstone of Stuart Jackson Dandridge who died of “low fever” aged 31 yrs, on 16 June, 1861. He was a member of the Second Rifles, Southern Tasmanian Volunteers.

This stereograph, unattributed, and probably taken by Thomas J. Nevin in the late 1860s (he advertised tombstones as one of his services e.g. TMAG Collection Ref; Q1994.56.20.1 ), shows master mariner Captain Edward Goldsmith’s three-storey building directly facing St David’s Burial Ground (now St David’s Park) in lower Davey Street, Hobart. The building itself was not simply a residence for Captain Goldsmith, his wife Elizabeth and sons Richard Sydney Goldsmith and Edward Goldsmith jnr, it also functioned as offices for lawyers, shipping and insurance agents, marine merchants, and auctioneers. The address of the building was “19 Davey Street”, listed as Captain Goldsmith’s at the time of auction of his household goods in mid 1855 in preparation for his family’s permanent departure from Tasmania on the Indian Queen in February 1856. In March 1854, the weather board cottage located between Stewart’s Brewery and Captain Goldsmith’s residence opposite the Burial Ground, was sold to Mr. Lee.

The Hobart Courier 30 March 1854


Commercial and Markets
Hobart Town, March 27
Mr. T. Y. Lowes sold, on Friday, a weather board cottage residence with premises, 85½ links frontage and 200 depth, between Mr. Stewart’s brewery and Capt Goldsmith’s residence, in Davey-street, opposite the Burial Ground, for £1350; the purchaser being Mr. Lee, of Victoria.

Hobart Courier 8 August 1855
Auction of household goods  at Capt Goldsmith’s house, 19 Davey St

Referred to as Captain Goldsmith’s house or residence  in newspapers of the period, the building pre-dated the Congregational Church, erected in 1857, and the Royal Tennis Court, erected in 1875. Photographs taken of Davey Street in the 1870s show all of these buildings in a row, facing St David’s Park, and many are still standing today, but by 1854, only six or so landmarks existed:

- the Waterloo Inn - favoured by sea captains visiting the town – on the corner of Murray and Davey Streets, now the offices of the legal firm, Butler, McIntyre & Butler;

- a weather board cottage sold to Mr Lee of Victoria in 1854, which sat between Captain Goldsmith’s house and Stewart’s Brewery;

- photographer Douglas Kilburn’s house, now known as Kilburn House

- and the Odd Fellows’ Hall, also photographed by Thomas Nevin in July 1871 which was labelled the “Tasmanian Hall” on early maps, located at the corner of Davey and Harrington Streets. The present building was founded by Monsieur Camille Del Sarte as a concert and music hall, designed by Mr. F. Thomas, and opened officially in May 1860.

The Waterloo Inn on the corner Davey and Murray Sts – “a favourite with the sea captains visiting the town” – now the offices of the legal firm, Butler, McIntyre & Butler. Courtesy ePrints UTAS.

Captain Goldsmith’s Neighbours 1853-54
The premier city residential address for proximity to the harbour was undoubtedly lower Davey Street Hobart in the 1850s. Two neighbours figured prominently in Captain Goldsmith’s life in these years. Firstly. the photographer Douglas T. Kilburn, brother of William Edward Kilburn, photographer to Queen Victoria, who photographed Capt Goldsmith in Sydney in 1849, and most likely moved to Hobart as a consequence of this encounter. His photographs of the houses in Davey Street were exhibited at the Paris Exposition of 1855. Secondly, marine merchant F. A. Downing, who bought ships and shipwrecks, and ended up in court with Captain Goldsmith over the failure to return a Siebe Gorman & Co. diving apparatus he had borrowed  from Capt Goldsmith to salvage wreckage from the Catherine Sharer (more about this in a later post).

Captain Edward Goldsmith (1804-1869) ca. 1849
Daguerreotype by Douglas T. Kilburn, Sydney
Copyright © Private Collection KLW NFC Imprint 2014


D. T. Kilburn, Esq., of Davey-street, exhibits five calotype views of different localities in Hobart Town. (1.) A view of Macquarie-street, from above Mr. Crisp’s residence, looking down towards the Domain, and including within range St. Joseph’s (R. C.) Church, the Cathedral of St. David’s. &c. (2.) The New Market Place, Hobart Town. (3.) St. David’s Cathedral. (4.) View of Macquarie-street, including the Bank of Australasia, Macquarie Hotel, &o. &c. (5.) View of the houses in Davey-street, opposite St. David’s Cemetery.

 Source: THE COURIER. (1854, November 9). The Courier (Hobart, Tas. : 1840 – 1859), p. 2. Retrieved March 27, 2014, from

Above: Reproduction of an earlier photographer’s portrait of Douglas T. Kilburn, who died in 1871, aged 58 yrs, more than a decade before John Watt Beattie arrived in Tasmania and reproduced these Members of Parliament portraits ca. 1895.

Title: Douglas Thomas Kilburn
In:Members of the Parliaments of Tasmania No. 95
Publisher: Hobart : J. W. Beattie, [19--]
Description:1 photograph : sepia toning ; 14 x 10 cm
Format: Photograph
ADRI: AUTAS001136191202
Source: Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts

Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2014
Thanks to Astrolabe Books Salamanca Place Hobart

From the Hobart Town Gazette 1853: Captain Edward Goldsmith, landlord of a house at Davey Street, valued at £120, rates at £6 per annum. Douglas T. Kilburn’s house next door was listed as “empty” in 1853 because the Kilburns were resident of Claremont House, 270 Elizabeth St, where the artist William Piguenit was born, and photographer Thomas J. Nevin died in 1923.

On the 19th inst., at her residence, Claremont House, Elizabeth-street, Hobart Town, the lady of Douglas T. Kilburn, Esq., (late of Victoria,) of a son.

Source: Family Notices. (1853, January 27). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 4. Retrieved March 27, 2014, from

The house on the other side of Capt Goldsmith was owned by Lt Nunn of the 99th Regiment who married Ann Pedder. Neighbours in 1853 were:

F. A Downing – store
Robert Walker – house and store
J. James and G. Moore – Office and cellar
Robert Pitcairn
Wilson’s estate and Wilson’s brewery
Lieutenant Nunn and William Bayles
Capt Goldsmith
- Kilburne [sic]
Peter Oldham
John Dunn
William Roberston
Thomas Gardner
Frederick Packer
Miss Dixon
Mrs Walch etc etc

Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2014
Thanks to Michael Sprod, Astrolabe Books Salamanca Place Hobart

From the Hobart Town Gazette 1854: Captain Edward Goldsmith, landlord of a house at lower end of Davey Street, valued at £120, rates at £6 per annum. His neighbours were:

Frederick A. Downing
Peter Nichol
John Ferguson
George Moore
Robert Pitcairn
John Leslie Stewart
William Bayles
Edward Goldsmith
Douglas T. Kilburn
Frances Gill

Captain Goldsmith’s residence, Davey St. Hobart
Photo © KLW NFC Imprint 2014

Kilburn House
The site next to Captain Goldsmith’s building is now The Trades Hall Building component of the Edward Braddon Commonwealth Law Courts, 39-41 Davey St, Hobart. In 1855, Captain Goldsmith’s house was No. 19 Davey St. Douglas Kilburn’s house, which is still standing, was No. 22, but is now Kilburn House, 51 Davey St.

Kilburn House, now a three storey building with red roof – next to poplar trees, Davey St. Hobart
Photo © KLW NFC Imprint 2011

According to the Australian Heritage Database, Kilburn house is a large free-standing townhouse in Colonial neo-Renaissance style owned by Douglas Thomas Kilburn in 1858, let to William George Lempriere, and which is “marred by third level addition. Glazing bars to windows are missing.”

The Trades Hall site, as the Australian Heritage Database notes, was  Stewart’s Brewery: -

The earliest European occupation of the building was in 1847, with the Trades Hall building being occupied by John Leslie Stewart who owned the building until the1860s as part of the Brewery Complex.
Millionaire W.J.T Clarke owned the building from 1863 – ‘he owned it for a dozen years and for the last five of those his tenant was Alexander Ireland who conducted his boy’s school, the Collegiate Institution’.
The property was then purchased by Samuel Smith who established the adjoining Hobart tennis court, and club in 1875 (Hobart Real Tennis Club 2008). Travers owned the property until his death in 1888 and leased the building to Dr Turnley. From 1899 to 1924 the building was used as a Girl’s Industrial School, and then as a Trades Hall from 1924 until it was acquired by the Commonwealth in 1974.

The Congregational Church and Real Tennis Court

Detail of -
Title: [Hobart Town] / A.C. Cooke, delt
Creator: Cooke, A. C. (Albert Charles), 1836-1902
Publisher: [Melbourne : Wilson and Mackinnon], 1879
Description: 1 print : woodcut ; sheet 33 x 53 cm
Format: Print
ADRI: AUTAS001128189651
Source: Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts
Balloon’s eye view
Published in the Australasian sketcher with pen and pencil, 10 May 1879 – printed and published at the Argus Office for Wilson and Mackinnon, 1879

The foundation stone of the Congregational Church, highlighted in this detail of Cooke’s balloon’s eye view of Hobart 1879 and visible in this photo on the right, was not laid until in 1857, and the Real Tennis Court (Royal Tennis) was built next to it in 1875.

Davey St looking west: Image courtesy ePrints, University of Tasmania

Charles Abbott: Congregational Church, Davey St.  Kilburn House is partially visible on extreme left. Image courtesy ePrints, University of Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Hall or Odd Fellows Hall

Courtesy University of Tasmania Library Special and Rare Materials Collection. “Photograph of Davey Street, Hobart, looking east, in about 1876. The photograph is taken from the intersection with Harrington Street and Oddfellows Hall is in the foreground. The photographer was Henry Hall Baily who had studios in Elizabeth and Liverpool Streets, Hobart from 1865 until 1918.” The slightly different photograph below is unattributed, taken at another time. Thomas Nevin’s photograph(s) of the Odd Fellows Hall were praised in the press of July 1871.

The Mercury 25 July 1871


THE ODD FELLOWS’ HALL – A very fine photograph of the Odd Fellows’ Hall (corner of Davey and Harrington-streets) has been taken for the Society by Mr. Nevin, of Elizabeth-street. The view is taken from Davey-street, opposite the corner of the Freemasons’ Hotel, and thus shows the entrance to the rooms, with the whole front and side of the buildings. A well-known member of the institution, and a less known youth, have come within the range of the camera, and their presence greatly assists in conveying an idea of the dimensions of the hall. The picture is undoubtedly creditable to the artist.

A fortnight earlier, on July 12, 1871, Thomas J. Nevin married Elizabeth Rachel Day, niece of Captain Edward Goldsmith, daughter of master mariner Captain James Day, the brother of Captain Goldsmith’s wife Elizabeth.

The Oddfellows Hall, formerly Delsarte’s building and the IOOF Lodge 
Photo © KLW NFC 2011 ARR

Professional photographer Thomas J. Nevin became a member of the LOYAL UNITED BROTHERS LODGE, A. & I.O.O.F. (Australian and International Order of Odd Fellows) in 1869 and fulfilled several roles within the Society, including official photographer, committee member for the Anniversary Ball held at the Bird and Hand Hotel, and agent for the Secretary. During September 1875, he placed an advertisement in The Mercury soliciting members of the medical profession to render services to Lodge members and their families.

St Mary’s Hospital & Dr Edward Bedford

Davey Street Hobart 1870s: on the left where three men are standing, is St. Mary’s Hospital; on the right, Captain Goldsmith’s two-storey house – bearing the Collegiate School name by the 1870s – facing St. David’s Cemetery (Burial Ground). Image courtesy ePrints, University of Tasmania

On the opposite side of (lower) Davey Street, adjoining the Burial Ground, was St Mary’s Hospital, erected in 1847.When elder son Richard Sydney Goldsmith fell gravely ill with fever in 1854, he was attended by Dr Edward Samuel Pickard Bedford (1809-1876) at the hospital. Edward Bedford was the medical officer for the City in 1852, on whose committee Captain Goldsmith served when Bedford campaigned for election in February 1855. But on 15 August 1854, at his father’s house, Richard Sydney Goldsmith died, aged just 24 yrs old. He was born to Elizabeth Goldsmith only days after her arrival at Fremantle, W.A. in May 1830, on board the ill-fated brig the James alongside her very young husband Captain Edward Goldsmith on his first command. Richard Sydney was baptised on 11 Nov 1830 at St. Philips Sydney, NSW. At the time of his death, he was a cashier of the Union Bank of Van Diemen’s Land, located in Macquarie Street, Hobart. He was buried in St David’s cemetery opposite the family home.

Richard Goldsmith 1854
Photographer: Henry Frith?
Private Collection; TAHO copy

Richard Sidney [sic] Goldsmith (1830-1854)
Obituary, The Courier Hobart 15 August 1854

RGD 35/04. Deaths, 19 May 1853-19 Jun 1855

Title: Photograph – Hobart – Macquarie Street – Union Bank
Description: 1 photographic print
Format: Photograph
ADRI: PH1-1-32
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania
Series: Album of Photographs of Tasmania, 1870 (PH1)
Notes: 1870

Title: Photograph – Hobart – St Mary’s Hospital, later Lands Dept (Beattie photo)
Description: 1 photographic print
Format: Photograph
ADRI: PH30-1-5605
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania

Dr Edward Bedford published ‘On the epidemics of 1852-3′ (1854)

Title: Dr. Edward Bedford 1874
Publisher: [1874]
Description: 1 photograph : silver albumen print ; 8 x 6 cm
Format: Photograph
ADRI: AUTAS001125882340
Source: Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts
Notes: Exact measurements 75 x 53 mm
Title inscribed in pencil on verso in unknown hand


LIST OF DR BEDFORD’S COMMITTEE, with power to add to their number :
Anson, J  Lawrence, John  Brown, Thomas  Lovell, S. Butler, Henry. M.L.C  Levy. S, Burgess and Barrett Momsnn, A., M.L.C  Bailey, J. G. Maning. A. H. Barnett, Mr. Meikle, Robert Bales, William Mc Kay, A. B. Cook, Henry Milne, George Chandler, Edward Manson, David Dunn, John, M.L.C. Nicholas, Alfred Flegg, C. Orr, Alexander Forster, John Perkins, John Fearnley, James Pitt, William Farrelly, P. Bernard Priest, J. Goldsmith, Edward Pain, Henry Graves J. W. Seabrook, H W. Green, H. J. Stuart, J. W. Hamilton, Mr. Sly, James Hornby, William Turner, James Haywood, C. Walch, J. H. B. Lewis, Richard Watchorn. W. Lewis, Neil Wilson, Henry Lipscombe, Alderman Wilson, Robert Lowes, T.Y. White. J.
The Committee meet every evening at seven o’clock (Saturday and Sunday excepted), at Messrs. Meager and Basstlian’s, Argyle-street.
559 Fred. CANE, Secretary.

Biographical Extract sourced from ABD;

“… Dr Bedford’s duties as surgeon to the Commissariat Department included attendance on the sick in the Colonial Hospital, various penitentiaries, the Orphan Schools, convict road-gangs and the constabulary. From 1841 he served on the Medical Examiners’ Board and made the recruitment of doctors a special interest. Realizing that the sick poor of Hobart loathed the Colonial Hospital with its convict discipline and associations, he started St Mary’s in Campbell Street as a subscription hospital; in 1847 the foundation stone was laid for the unpretentious, but charming, building in Davey Street, Hobart, which was used as public offices after St Mary’s closed. By 1856 Bedford had planned in detail a medical training school at St Mary’s with Thomas Arnold as its classical and mathematical lecturer and himself teaching surgery. The scheme was unsuccessful, for the Royal College of Surgeons refused its recognition, and Hobart was left with few scholars when prosperity declined after 1856. Some young men did, however, make their first steps in a medical career with Bedford before going to British universities, but none of them returned to Tasmania.

Bedford was active in social affairs. In 1856 he was elected to the first Legislative Council under responsible government and held his seat until 1859 but revealed no particular talent for politics. He was prominent in the Royal Society and showed a diversity of interest in his three papers: ‘Observations upon the condition of young marsupial animals’ (1842); ‘On the epidemics of 1852-3′ (1854) and ‘On the origin of nervous force’ (1863). He was an early and enthusiastic collector of local art and acquired several water-colours by John Skinner Prout and Thomas Wainewright. He sponsored art exhibitions and lectured to the Mechanics’ Institute on ‘The Grecian Statues’ and ‘Expression with reference to the Fine Arts’. He was a founder of the Tasmanian Club in 1861.

His enthusiastic local patriotism evaporated with the depression of the 1860s, when the government closed his private hospital. In 1863 he migrated to Sydney and the congenial company of his brother-in-law, Sir Alfred Stephen. Appointed medical adviser to the New South Wales government, he vigorously promoted legislation to enforce the use of vaccination against the smallpox which during 1869 was in the front of every mind because of the outbreaks in neighbouring colonies. Bedford attended the public meeting on 20 March 1868 which accepted the proposal for a new hospital to commemorate the Duke of Edinburgh’s narrow escape from assassination and he seconded the motion to name it the Prince Alfred Hospital. He was on the first working committee to gather subscriptions for this hospital and continued active in its affairs for some years. He took an interest in the Sydney Infirmary and in 1872 was nominated its honorary surgeon. He died in Sydney on 24 February 1876. On 14 January 1836 at Hobart he had married Mary Selby of Wilmington, Kent. He was survived by two daughters and seven sons, five of whom attended the Hutchins School.”

Select Bibliography
Votes and Proceedings (House of Assembly, Tasmania), 1861 (34)
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Gazette, 26 Apr 1918, hospital jubilee
Empire (Sydney), 22 Oct 1870, 21 Mar 1871, 7 Feb 1872
Sydney Morning Herald, 26 Feb 1876
St Mary’s Hospital, Report, 1856 (Archives Office of Tasmania)
Hutchins School, Admission Register, 1846-92 (Archives Office of Tasmania)
Colonial Secretary’s letters (Archives Office of Tasmania).

Early Maps of Hobart Town VDL

1851 Plan PWD 2661786

Map of Hobart 1854

Map of Hobart 1858
All maps courtesy of Archives Office Tasmania

Categories: Biographica, Descendants and In-Laws, KLW NFC Photography, Newspapers, Ships and Captains, State Library of Victoria, State Library Tasmania | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Captain Edward Goldsmith’s land at Lake St Clair

This part of the country unknown” was printed on the Surveyor-General’s map of Van Diemen’s Land in 1824. Artists such as John Glover (in 1834) and Skinner Prout (in 1845) had travelled in the region and represented Lake St Clair and surrounding mountains in sketches, but it was not until the 1860s when photographs taken by Morton Allport of his party’s excursion to Lake St Clair made the region a better known traveller’s destination.

NLA Catalogue
Creator Glover, John, 1767-1849.
Title [Four Tasmanian views] / [picture] / [John Glover].
Extent 4 drawings : pencil and wash ; on sheet 17.8 x 26.5 cm.
Lake St. Clair
View from Mount Olympus
[Figures beside Lake St. Clair]
[Mountain ranges].

By 1840, master mariner Captain Edward Goldsmith (Elizabeth Rachel Nevin’s uncle) had acquired 100 acres from Thomas Drew in this area of VDL, now known as the Lincoln Land District of Tasmania.He sold it on to George Bilton in February 1841, whose co-partnership with Edward Goldsmith and others in The Derwent Ship Building Company was dissolved a few weeks later, in March 1841.

Tasmanian Heritage and Archive Office
Title: Chart of Van Diemen’s Land from the best authorities and from actual surveys and measurements / by Thomas Scott Assistant Surveyor General ; engraved by Charles Thompson (Cross) Edinburgh
Creator: Scott, Thomas, 1800-1855
Map data: Scale [ca. 1: 545,000]
Publisher: [London : s.n.], 1824
Description: 1 map : col. ; 83.5 x 59 cm
Format: Map
Notes: “from the original survey brought by Captain Dixon of the ship Skelton of Whitby 1824″
Map of Tasmania with land grant, distances from Hobart, comment on topography and settlement. Relief shown by hachures and bathymetric soundings
Table of references with grants and owners

Lincoln Land District is one of the twenty land districts of Tasmania which are part of the cadastral divisions of Tasmania. It was formerly one of the 18 counties of Tasmania. Its south-eastern tip is surrounded by the River Derwent on one side, and the Nive River on the other. It is bounded to the north by the Pieman River. It includes Cradle Mountain, the Overland Track, Lake St Clair and most of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.



George Bilton, 100a., Lincoln, originally Thomas Drew, who conveyed to Edward Goldsmith, who conveyed to the applicant; claim dated 20th January, 1841.-Bounded on the east by 40 chains southerly along Lot .’350 located to Thomas Burnett, on the south by 25 chains westerly along Lot 358, on the west by 40 chains northerly along Lot 359, and on the north by 25 chains easterly also along Lot 359 to the point of commence-ment.

Source:Classified Advertising. (1841, February 12). The Courier (Hobart, Tas. : 1840 – 1859), p. 1. Retrieved April 21, 2014, from


Memorial to Lieutenant Thomas Burnett
St David’s Park, Hobart, Tasmania
Photo KLW NFC 2014

Captain Goldsmith’s land at Lake St Clair in the county of Lincoln, VDL, was bounded on the south by land allocated to Lieutenant Thomas BURNETT, who had drowned four years earlier, on 21 May 1837 while conducting hydrographic surveys of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel aboard the colonial cutter Vansittart. Lieutenant Burnett had accompanied the newly-appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the colony, Captain Sir John Franklin on the voyage to Hobart on board the Fairlie just months before he (Burnett) drowned, arriving on 6 January 1837. He was buried with full naval honours in St David’s cemetery, where his monument still stands. Designed by John Lee Archer, Colonial Architect, the monument stands on the stone plinth intended as the main stand for an observatory for Burnett.


Detail: Memorial to Lieutenant Thomas Burnett
St David’s Park, Hobart, Tasmania
Photo KLW NFC 2014

GEORGE BILTON acted as proxy for John James Meaburn in the dissolution of the enterprise “The Derwent Ship Building Company”, witnessed by Captain Goldsmith’s neighbour in Davey St, Robert Pitcairn.


NOTICE.- The Copartnership hitherto carried on by the undersigned, under the style or firm of “The Derwent Ship Building Company”, has been dissolved as on this date.
George Bilton
for John James Meaburn
Andrew Haig
E. Goldsmith
Wm. Williamson
Witness- Robert Pitcairn
Hobart Town, March 3. [1841]

Source: Classified Advertising. (1841, March 5). The Courier (Hobart, Tas. : 1840 – 1859), p. 3. Retrieved April 21, 2014, from

State Library of Victoria
Title: Lake St. Clair, Tasmania [picture] / S. Prout ; J. B. Allen.
Author/Creator: James Baylis Allen 1803-1876, engraver.
Contributor(s): John Skinner Prout 1805-1876, artist.
Publisher: London : Virtue & Co

In: Excursion to Lake St. Clair February 1863 No. 12
Publisher: Hobart : M. Allport, 1863
TAHO at Flickr

Categories: Biographica, Descendants and In-Laws, Ships and Captains, State Library of Victoria, State Library Tasmania | Tags: , , , , ,

The Ansons Bros photograph of ex-convict James Cronin

Anson print TMAG

Studio portrait of ex-convict James Cronin ca. 1880
Anson Brothers 1880s, TMAG Collection

This is the only extant  image of former convict James Cronin (1824-1885). It was either reprinted from an earlier photograph, or it was taken by the Anson brothers, photographers, as a portrait in their studios in the 1880s, i.e. it was therefore a privately commissioned portrait, and this is evident from both the street clothes, the pose of the sitter, and of course, his age (late 50′s). It is not a police photograph, ie. a mugshot pasted to a criminal record sheet, unlike those taken by Thomas Nevin for the express use of police authorities, because James Cronin was not an habitual offender, at least, he was never convicted and sentenced under his own name in the decades 1860s-1880s or up to his death in 1885 at the Cascades Hospital for the Insane, Hobart. The Tasmanian Police Gazettes of those decades registered no offence for James Cronin, nor even an inquest when he died of pulmonary apoplexy on July 16, 1885.

Criminal and Transportation History: James Cronin (1824-1885)
James Cronin may have offended at Limerick for theft prior to his major felony of shooting at Jas. Hogan with intent to kill in 1847. He was transported to Bermuda on HMS Medway in the same year to serve eight years.  It was at Bermuda that he attempted to murder Mrs Elleanor Howes, wife of James Howes, mate in charge of the prison hulk, the Coromandel.  Despatches from Charles Elliot, governor of Bermuda (CO 37/135) requested James Cronin be returned to England on HMS Wellesley to be convicted and transported to Tasmania (VDL) in correspondence dated January and April 1851. James Cronin arrived at Norfolk Island on board the Aboukir in March 1852, and thence to the Port Arthur prison Tasmania in December where he was “detained” until 1857 and assigned on probation to Major Lloyd at New Norfolk, Hobart on 27th November.


The National Archives UK has two entries for James Cronin detailing his attempt to murder Mrs Howes in Bermuda:

1. Reference:CO 37/135/4 Description:
Reports that a convict named James Cronin had attempted to murder Mrs Elleanor Howes, the wife of James Howes, mate in charge of the Coromandel hulk. Considers the existing laws inadequate to punish such cases. Recommends that a law should be passed to bring such cases to Courts Martial. Adds that in Cronin’s case a convict named Edwin Smith intervened and saved Mrs Howes. Recommends Smith for a free pardon. Encloses a memorandum and correspondence concerning the matter.

Convict Establishment No. 4, folios 15-38
Date: 1851 Jan 18 Held by: The National Archives, Kew

2. Reference:CO 37/135/35 Description:
Reports that the convict James Cronin would be returned to England in HMS Wellesley. Encloses the requisite documents.

Convict Establishment No. 29, folios 224-230
Date: 1851 Apr 17 Held by: The National Archives, Kew


Source: Tasmanian Archives
Cronin, James
Convict No: 16007
Extra Identifier:
SEE Surname:
SEE Given Names:
Voyage Ship: Aboukir
Voyage No: 347
Arrival Date: 20 Mar 1852
Departure Date: 07 Dec 1851
Departure Port: London
Conduct Record: CON33/1/106
Muster Roll:
Appropriation List:
Other Records:
Indent: CON14/1/31
Description List: CON18/1/56


Indent: CON14/1/31

Title: James Cronin, one of 280 convicts transported on the Aboukir, 24 December 1851.
Details: Sentence details: Convicted at Ireland, Limerick for a term of life on 08 March 1847.
Vessel: Aboukir.
Date of Departure: 24 December 1851.
Place of Arrival: Van Diemen’s Land and Norfolk Island. [These convicts appear to have all landed in Van Diemen's Land].
Source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 92, Class and Piece Number HO11/17, Page Number 323 (164)
Author/Creator: Great Britain. Home Office. ; State Library of Queensland.
Subjects: Cronin, James ;
Aboukir (Ship) ;
Convicts — Australia — Registers ;
Australia — Genealogy
Publisher: Canberra A.C.T. : Australian Joint Copying Project
Is Part Of: Criminal : Convict transportation registers [HO 11]
Record number: 1029434

The death of James Cronin, labourer, was registered at the Cascades Hospital for the Insane on 16 July 1885. His cause of death was pulmonary apoplexy, unlike several other deaths of asylum inmates which were registered in the same month, e.g. “brain softening”.


Archives Office Tasmania
Deaths Hobart 1885 Image 315

Categories: National Archives UK, State Library Tasmania, TMAG | Tags: ,

The Albumen Process: examples by Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1874

Eggbeater, Narryna Museum, Battery Point Tasmania
Photo Copyright © KLW NFC 2014 ARR

Tasmanian photographer Thomas J. Nevin began his professional career in the 1860s within a cohort of amateur and commercial photographers who produced enduring images using the latest contemporary equipment, papers, and printing processes. Their sources of information were journals such as The Photographic News 1863 etc. imported from British and intercolonial photographers’ societies. The albumen process was commonly used by Nevin in vignetted and upper torso studio portraiture in the 1870s for both his private clientele, and for his commission from the Colonial Government to supply prisoner identification photographs for police.

This how-to extract is from THE LIVERPOOL AND MANCHESTER PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNAL. Vol. 1, 1857, p.213

MR. TUNNY has, in answer to an enquiry in Photographic Notes, given one of the best accounts of the preparation of albuminized paper that we have seen. He says, “I always prepare my albuminized paper with the pure white of eggs, which I believe to be preferable to all the cheaper compounds that have been substituted for it. Take any quantity of albumen with double the quantity of water, adding eight grains of chloride of ammonium to each ounce of the mixture. Whip up with a bunch of quills into a froth. The albumen will subside in an hour or two, then filter through a piece of fine linen cloth that has been previously slightly singed over a spirit lamp. Pour the albumen into a flat dish and float the paper for about three or four minutes, having previously folded back one of the corners of the sheet in order to keep it from coming into contact with the albumen. If the paper is pinned up by this unalbuminized corner, it will dry without the least streak or imperfection, but if the albumen conies into contact with the pin. a drip will begin which will end in innumerable streaks. By this precaution much paper may be saved.
“The albumen containing the above amount of chloride requires about sixty-five or seventy grains of silver to render it sensitive. I print in the usual way, a little deeper than the finished print.
“The print when taken from the printing frame is thoroughly washed from all free nitrate of silver. Make certain of this, to make the fixing process as economical as possible,, which should not be expensive if carefully done: The washed print is put into a chloride of gold bath, two grains to five ounces of water. In this bath the picture will readily change colour and slightly lower in tone. After it is reduced to the required tone it is passed through water, then placed into a new hypo-bath–four ounces to ten ounces of water. The print will be perfectly fixed in fifteen minutes. Taken from this bath it is repeatedly washed with cold water, then thoroughly with boiling water. The French and German papers get from fifteen to twenty waters, the English papers part more readily with the size, and consequently fewer washings are necessary to fix the prints on it.
“In order to secure perfect whiteness it is essential not to use the hypo bath when above a day old. The whole secret of retaining the clearness of the whites, being in always using a new strong pure hypo bath. By the above process I never fail in obtaining the whites pure.
“I may mention a curious circumstance of hyposulphite of soda. In some I got lately every picture that I fixed possessed that yellow old cheese-like appearance that has been so often complained of, while another sample of hypo gave me prints of absolute whiteness. In testing the solvent powers of these two I found that the first possessed only the half of the solvent power of the latter, viz.; it took double the quantity to dissolve twenty grains of chloride of silver in a given quantity of water. Whether the soda possessed other impurities I have been unable to detect.”

This beautifully animated silent exposition of the albumen photo process (s.XIX) is from the Museu del Cinema (Spain) with subtitles.

Albumen is one of the earliest photographic processes that allowed to make prints from a negative, usually, on glass. This type of photography comes from the discoveries of Abel Niépce de Saint Victor and Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard and was used throughout the second half of the nineteenth century. This albumen méthod is the photographic procedure on paper most characteristic of the nineteenth century.

Photographed from Thomas J. Nevin’s original.
Copyright © KLW NFC 2010 Private Collection ARR
Carte-de-visite of Elizabeth Rachel Day, ca. 1870-71.
Married on July 12, 1871 to photographer Thomas J. Nevin.

Laura McVilly (left) and Dick McVilly (centre), and unidentified toddler on right,
Children of William Thomas McVilly, albumen, cdvs  by T. J. Nevin ca. 18 December 1874.

Nevin, Thomas J, 1842-1923. Nevin, T J (Hobart) fl 1867-1875
Portrait of Laura Blanche McVilly. McVilly, Richard William, 1862?-1949 :
Photograph albums and a group portrait.
Ref: PA2-1198. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

Read more in this article: T.J. Nevin’s portraits of the McVilly children 1874
Courtesy of the National Library of New Zealand

Albumen photographs of Tasmanian prisoners taken and printed by Thomas J. Nevin on carte-de-visite mount, 9.1 x 5.7 cm. National Library of Australia collection

Left: John F. Morris was originally transported to Tasmania before 1853 on the ship the P.Bomanjee 3. He was convicted at the Supreme Court , Hobart, on the 9th April 1861 for murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was photographed by Nevin on discharge from the Hobart Gaol, 28th April, 1875, residue of sentence remitted.

Right: George Fisher was photographed by Nevin on discharge on 15th April 1874 at the Municipal Police, Hobart Town Hall, when Fisher was “enlarged” with a ticket-of-leave. On 2nd December 1874, he was arraigned and sentenced to 12 years for forgery and uttering at the Supreme Court, Hobart

Read more about these two photographs in this article: “In a New Light”: NLA Exhibition with Boyd misattribution


Flat-irons, Narryna Museum, Battery Point Tasmania
Photo Copyright © KLW NFC 2014 ARR

Flat-irons were used in several printing processes, from simple flattening of paper to radiating heat onto prints for faster drying. Flat-irons were also used to deepen the tones on albumen and salt paper prints and to render a high bright varnish quality to dry plates prints finished with tannin or gelatine.

Categories: KLW NFC Photography, National Library of Australia, National Library of New Zealand, Police mugshots by Nevin, Thomas Nevin's Family Portraits, Videos | Tags: , , , ,

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