From the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection
Reproduced from page 36 of
Tasmanian Photographers 1840-1940: A Directory (TMAG 1995)
Photo © KLW NFC 2008 ARR
Click on image for large view
On the left, the verso of convict Job Smith’s carte bears the simple inscription -:
Job Smith Alias Campbell Alias Boodle
- and in a very different hand, the verso of Samuel [Emanuel] Blore’s carte bears the familiar inscription which appears uniformly across dozens of these “Port Arthur convict” cartes:
Samuel Blore per Ld Petre Taken at Port Arthur 1874
Blore’s carte bears the number “134″ on recto. Job’s carte has no numbering recto or verso. Clearly, these convicts were photographed at a different time and place, and the history of each carte is very different. Their criminal history can give some indication of the likely time, place and circumstance of capture. Both convicts’ transportation details are listed in the Archives Office of Tasmania Convicts Records data base, but the Police Gazettes tell of very different fates.
Archives Office of Tasmania
65694 Smith Job 26 Dec 1844 Sir Robert Peel 09 Sep 1844 London
5559 Blore Emanuel 15 Oct 1843 Lord Petre 07 Jul 1843 London
William CAMPBELL alias BOODLE or BRODIE alias Job SMITH
The National Library of Australia holds a copy of the same photograph of Job Smith, catalogued with the alias William Campbell. It is one of two convict cartes by Nevin which had been hand-tinted, probably at the time of the original capture by Nevin (or indeed Nevin’s wife Elizabeth Rachel).
William Campbell, per S. [Sir] R. [Robert] Peel, taken at Port Arthur, 1874 [picture] 1874. 1 photograph on carte-de-visite mount : albumen, hand col. ; 9.4 x 5.6 cm., on mount 10.4 x 6.4 cm.
The NLA catalogue entry would seem to indicate that there is the inscription on verso, “Taken at Port Arthur, 1874” but this is either a handwritten batch edit by an archivist in the 1900s or by the NLA cataloguists on acquisition of their collection between 1982 and 1995. Inspection of the verso is necessary to ascertain exactly where, when and why it is catalogued at the NLA with the date “1874″. Likewise, the same image held at the TMAG needs to be examined to ascertain if it is also hand-coloured.
In either event, it is the same single image of this convict with several aliases, taken by Nevin once and once only; one or both items in these collections may be copies, and there were probably many more in existence at the time of Job Smith’s – aka William Campbell’s – hanging, given the notoreity of the case. Nevin’s reputation for hand-tinted photography was reported in The Mercury, December 4th, 1880. See this entry for more information on Nevin’s coloured convict portraits at the NLA.
POLICE RECORDS for Campbell, hanged as Job Smith
William Campbell arraigned for rape 11th May 1875, hanged as Job Smith 31st May 1873
Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime Information for Police 1871-1875 Gov’t Printer
William Campbell alias Boodle or Brodie was executed as Job Smith on 31st May, 1875. The Penitentiary Chapel Historic Site website gives this summary of the background to the case (after Ian Brand):
JOB SMITH – 31st May 1875
Job Smith was a prisoner at Port Arthur, who had served most of his sentence by 1875 and had conducted himself well while there.
Margaret Ayres was a housemaid and in the service of Rev. Mr. Hayward the Church of England clergyman there. Shortly before 5 p.m. on 27th February, 1875, she went into the bush to search for Hayward’s cow.
On the way she met Smith and asked him if he had seen the cow and he pointed out the direction in which it had gone. She noticed that Smith was following her so she began to go back telling him she was afraid of snakes. She then claimed Smith made improper advances to her and when she fell trying to get away, he raped her.
Smith was charged with rape in the Supreme Court on 12th May, 1875.
The defence claimed there was no evidence of rape, that any of six prisoners were free to commit the offence and that Ayres had not noticed her assailant had lost the use of one arm as Smith had.
The jury rejected these claims and found Smith guilty and he was sentenced to death.
Smith went to the gallows on 31st May, 1875 declaring his innocence, but this contradicted a written statement he left with Father Beechinor.
A letter in the “Mercury” the following day questioned whether rape should be a capital offence or whether Tasmania should not follow England’s example and find another punishment for that crime. Smith was the last person to hang for rape in Tasmania.
Job Smith was either photographed by Thomas Nevin when Campbell was one of sixty prisoners who had transferred to the Hobart Gaol and were assigned before July 1873 (see W.R. Giblin’s and the Inspector of Police reportof convicts tabled in the Parliament on July 17th, 1873), or just before William Campbell was returned to Port Arthur on May 8th, 1874 to complete his 8 year sentence, accompanied by Thomas Nevin in his role as police agent and photographer. Both were listed as passengers on the schooner Harriet‘s way bill:
Above: William Campbell accompanied by Thomas Nevin to Port Arthur
Passengers aboard the government schooner Harriet, May 8th, 1874.
Source: Tasmanian Papers Ref: 320, Mitchell SLNSW. Photo © KLW NFC 2009 ARR
Nevin would have carried at least two copies on his person of the prisoner’s photograph, one loose and one pasted to the prisoner’s parchment record, in the event of attempted escape in transit. Other copies would have remained at the Office of Inspector of Police, Town Hall, Hobart. Dr Coverdale, the Surgeon-Commandant at Port Arthur who had replaced A.H. Boyd by January 1874 would have deemed this procedure sufficient for security. Clearly, Boyd had nothing to do with this photograph of Job Smith. And because just one image of Campbell aka Job Smith is extant, it would appear that Nevin photographed him once and once only, although two copies are currently extant in State and National collections.
When Smith was returned once more to the Hobart Gaol to be arraigned in the Supreme Court, Hobart, his case was a cause celebre. The Mercury ran editorial commentary and letters from the public throughout May and early June 1875 concerning his innocence or guilt, questioning the mess of evidence, and Tasmania’s continued application of capital punishment laws.
The last hours of Job Smith were reported in The Mercury on June 1st, 1875, and not without a note of pathos (some words from the NLA original on microfilm are illegible):
EXECUTION AT THE HOBART TOWN GAOL
The condemned criminal, Job Smith, recently tried, found guilty, and sentenced to death for a criminal assault, under brutal circumstances, on the girl Margaret Ayres, at Port Arthur,forfeited his life inside the Hobart Town Gaol yesterday morning.
At 8 o’clock , Smith, accompanied by Father D. F. X. Beechinor (the clergyman who attended him since his condemnation) and Mr Rothwell (Under-Sheriff) left the condemned cell, and proceeded to the place of execution, Father Beechinor being engaged in prayer along the way. Besides Mr. Atkins (the governor of the gaol), representatives of the Press, and a body of police, there were only two other individuals present.
From the cell to the gallows, Smith betrayed no physical emotion, his step being steady, and his demeanour apparently composed. On arriving at the drop ,the Under-Sheriff asked the unfortunate man if he had anything to say. Smith replied, ” I am not guilty ; I am an innocent man.”The Under-Sheriff then read the following written statement : -” I was born at Bristol on the 23rd of November, 1819, and was a Protestant all my life. Became a Roman Catholic upon receiving sentence of death. I have left with my [spiritual] director a statement, which, in his discretion, I request him to publish wholly or in part.”
The usual preliminaries having been arranged, … a g… signal from the Under-Sheriff, performed his duty, and the malefactor died without any apparent physical pain.It may be mentioned that Smith left a written document with Father Beechinor, which contains a statement in direct contradiction to his dying words.
[end of transcipt from The Mercury June 1st, 1875]Nevin’s original capture would have been reprinted and offered on sale as an image of infamy to remind the population of the swift course of justice. Given that photographs were not printed in newspapers in 1875, the Press in attendance may have used this carte of Job Smith as an adjunct to sales.
The handwriting on the verso of Smith’s carte is similar to the handwriting on another of Nevin’s photographs held at the TMAG – the landscape of Melville Street under snow, inscribed “W. Hobart, July 1868” .
ITEM NAME: Photographic print:
MEDIUM: carte de visite,
MAKER: A H Boyd [Artist];
TITLE: ‘[Convict]: “134″ “119 / Samuel Blore / per Ld Petre / Taken at Port Arthur 1874.’
The carte here bears the number “134″ on the mount below the image. Like so many of these cartes which bear numbers from one to more than 300 either on verso or mount, some with the inscription “Taken at Port Arthur 1874” on verso, its provenance is from the QVMAG exhibition held in 1977 of Thomas Nevin’s convict portraits.
Despite the attribution to T. J. Nevin in 1977, by the time it was acquired and catalogued by the TMAG in 1987, it was wrongly attributed to A.H. Boyd. It is one of several cartes of Tasmanian convicts displayed online at the TMAG until November 2006 (now viewable on preserved pages, Museums, at the State Library of Tasmania). The TMAG uniformly applied this Boyd misattribution to all of their holdings of Tasmanian convict cartes which they derived from the writer of their publication, Chris Long, in Tasmanian Photographers 1840-1940: A Directory (Gillian Winter, ed: TMAG 1995).
Emanuel (or Samiel) Blore’s police record:
Emanuel Blore received a ticket-of-leave, 16th November, 1874. He was photographed on discharge at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall by Thomas Nevin per police regulations. This carte of Samuel or Emanuel Blore was probably reprinted, inscribed verso, and numbered by Beattie in the 1900s for display and sale at his convictaria museum in Hobart.