This gallery contains 3 photos.
This young locally-born (“native”) 19 year old John Morrison or John Norman was photographed on being received at the Hobart Gaol on February 16, 1884 by Constable John Nevin. The National Library has included the photograph among the collection of the earlier 1874 convict photographs taken by Thomas J. Nevin, and retained the prison location as Port Arthur despite the simple fact that in 1874 the prisoner would have been only 9 years old, and clearly he is not a child in his photograph. As for the place of imprisonment, he could not have been imprisoned to serve his 12 month sentence at the Port Arthur prison because it was well and truly closed by 1877, and by 1884 it was in ruins. Continue reading
This gallery contains 8 photos.
A selection of portrait photos from the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage collection of early Tasmanian gaol records (1860-1902) posted to Flickr. See the earlier article on this blog about the photograph of Hugh Cohen. Continue reading
This gallery contains 20 photos.
These two images of Tasmanian prisoner Hugh Cohen (or Cowan/Cowen) differ slightly in details of his scarf arrangement and shirt collar. The two photographs as captures were taken at different sittings only a short time apart by Thomas J. Nevin, although printed in different formats. The negative and carte-de-visite vignette (on left) was taken and printed by Nevin at the Hobart Gaol on the prisoner’s arrival from the Supreme Court Launceston in early April 1878, when Cohen’s sentence of death by hanging was passed and was still current. The second negative was taken and printed in the oblong format in late April 1878 when Cohen’s death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Continue reading
This gallery contains 38 photos.
In early childhood’s joyous hour,
We brought her from her native soil,
To seek some calm and peaceful bower
Far on Tasmania’s sea-girt Isle;
While yet a gentle, fragile thing,
Her infant steps were tottering. Continue reading
This gallery contains 36 photos.
Most prisoner photographs taken in the 1880s in Tasmania required the subject to face the camera, and in some instances, show the backs of the hands clearly. The full frontal gaze marked the transitional phase between Thomas Nevin’s early to mid-1870s commercial vignettes and the 1880s prisoner photographs, taken more often than not at the Hobart Gaol by his brother John Nevin. No full profile photographs, in addition to the single full frontal shot, were taken until the late 1890s when the methods of Bertillon took hold Continue reading
This gallery contains 2 photos.
James Geary arrested by Sub-Inspector Dorsett, 20 May 1870. Thomas Nevin often accompanied Sub-Inspector Dorsett as assistant bailiff, a service he continued through to 1886. Geary was photographed by Nevin on being discharged from the Police Office with FS on 20th February 1874. Continue reading
This gallery contains 3 photos.
Thomas Rielly/Ryley/Riley was photographed by Nevin on the prisoner’s discharge, February 12, 1875. Thomas Riley’s mugshot is missing from the original goal record now held at Tasmanian Archives and Heritage, Ref: GD 6719. It was removed and sent to the National Library of Australia, at an unknown date and by an unknown person. This sort of defacement of original prison records, and the subsequent acquisition of this and the rest of the Tasmanian prisoner mugshots held at the NLA, has contributed to their staff’s recently professed ignorance of both their “convicts” photographs’ provenance and photographer attribution. Instead, isolated as artistic artefacts within their collection they are loosely titled “Port Arthur convicts 1874″ despite widely variant dates of capture, and co-opted to the fictions promulgated by opportunistic individuals taking advantage of the absence of context. Continue reading
This gallery contains 68 photos.
In June 2005, the National Library of Australia had digitised just 25 photographs of their collection of 84 prisoner identification cartes-de-visite of Tasmanian prisoners, titled “Convict portraits, Port Arhur,1874″, with the long-standing and correct attribution to commercial and police photographer Thomas J. Nevin. Continue reading
This gallery contains 67 photos.
The “T. Nevin Late A. Bock” portrait of a middle-aged couple with a dog was hand-tinted by the family who purchased it or by subsequent owners. Such inept colouring was not the work of Nevin himself. His own family portraits show delicate and precise tinting. Other heavily tinted portraits bearing the same studio stamp used by Nevin for commercial portraiture into the early 1870s show the owners’ preference for red and violet colours. This portrait of a couple with dog is unusual in that green and brown colours were used. In all these extant cartes-de-visite portraits bearing Nevin’s stamp which were coloured subsequent to purchase, it is the carpet which has received the most savage treatment. The strange blobs defy conventional perspective, although the intention may have been the opposite. This carte – as with many of the others bearing amateurish daubs – probably originated from the same family in northern Tasmania. Continue reading
This gallery contains 179 photos.
This photograph – a standard 1870s carte-de-visite prisoner vignette produced by Thomas J. Nevin – has escaped the attention of photo-historians of the 1870s Tasmanian prisoners’ identification photographs, the so-called “Port Arthur convict portraits 1874″ labelled and catalogued as such in Australian national collections, viz. the National Library of Australia, Canberra, and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston. It belongs to the same series of fine vignetted albumen prints of prisoners taken by commercial and police photographer Thomas J. Nevin for the Hobart Gaol and Hobart Municipal Police authorities from 1872- 1880. Continue reading
This gallery contains 45 photos.
Elizabeth Nevin’s uncle, master mariner Captain Edward Goldsmith , departed Hobart Tasmania permanently in December 1855, 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). Continue reading
This gallery contains 199 photos.
For some time after Bock’s departure in 1865, Thomas Nevin was using the same supply of blue ink on the same design as Bock’s with just a minimal alteration to include Bock’s name as credential – “T. Nevin Late A. Bock” – enclosed by a belt – the belt being a popular and universal design of the period. The blue ink of the stamp verso of this portrait of a seated woman (below) is from the same stock as Bock’s (above), with the addition of a slight tinge of red on the kangaroo’s breast. Continue reading
This gallery contains 165 photos.
First Cousins and both chidren of master mariners, Edward Goldsmith (1836-1883) and Elizabeth Rachel Day (1847-1914 ) were born in London and baptised at St Mary’s Church, Rotherhithe, known as the Mayflower Church, one decade apart. Elizabeth Rachel Day arrived in Hobart Tasmania as an infant, where her sister Mary Sophia was born in 1853, and married professional photographer Thomas J. Nevin at Kangaroo Valley, Hobart on 12 July 1871. Edward Goldsmith made several voyages to Tasmania with his father Captain Edward Goldsmith, attended the Governor’s Levee there in 1855, went to Trinity College Cambridge in 1857, married, became a surgeon, managed his father’s estates in Kent and died young at Rochester, UK, just 43 yrs old Continue reading
This gallery contains 117 photos.
One passenger who gave Captain Goldsmith endless trouble on the voyage was an Irish soldier, Captain Theophilius Ellis of the 1st Royal Infantry (Ireland) Regiment. Against advice from Lloyds’ underwriters not to board the James, he proceeded with his plan to accompany his sister and her nine children, and arranged with Captain Goldsmith to partition the vessel to house his sister, her family, and another Irishman, Captain Francis Whitfield. When the ship sailed, Ellis found that the separate section he had requested was filled with stores and luggage belonging to the ship, and the vessel so crowded with passengers – “the class of labourers” – 84 crew, pigs, geese, sheep and water casks, there was barely enough room to stand on deck. Ellis was versed in the law sufficient to invoke The Passenger Act of 1828, which was intended to enforce sanctions against ship owners who falsely advertised luxurious accommodation, and tyrannical masters who treated passengers with total disdain. His later report to the Colonial Secretary included these vivid details of the cabin space, the toilet, and Captain Edward Goldsmith’s methods of dealing with him: Continue reading
This gallery contains 77 photos.
THE UNION CHAPEL
Samuel Clifford and partner Thomas Nevin produced this photograph as a stereograph of the Congregational Union Chapel in Bathurst Street Hobart not long after it was built by the Rev. J. W. Simmons in 1863. It was also known as “The Helping Hand Mission” . In 1892 the Congregational Union held a flower show at the Chapel to raise much needed funds for repairs to the building. Tom and May Nevin – the two eldest of Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin’s six children – entered chrysanthemums and flower arrangements as a contribution. Continue reading
This gallery contains 66 photos.
MR LIPSCOMBE and CAPTAIN GOLDSMITH
Elizabeth Nevin’s uncle, Captain Edward Goldsmith, master mariner of merchant ships from London to the colony of Van Diemen’s Land from 1830-1853, and local businessman and nurseryman Frederick Lipscombe, had maintained a friendly and profitable business relationship over twenty years until one day in June 1853, they had a very public falling-out over the Mammoth Strawberry, or so it seemed at first blush. Continue reading
This gallery contains 9 photos.
This letter to the Editor is cited by someone called “wadsley-1″ to justify a massive deception, to “prove” a lie about the Port Arthur accountant and commandant A.H. Boyd, who was known and despised as a bully and free-loader in his own lifetime, but never known as a photographer. So why has the National Library assigned his name to their collection of Tasmanian prisoner mugshots, a collection of 84 photographs originally and correctly attributed to Thomas J. Nevin? Personality politics, no more and no less. Continue reading
This gallery contains 47 photos.
This photograph of a teenage girl with bare shoulders and ringlets may be one of the very last taken by Alfred Bock in Hobart Tasmania before his departure in 1865. The design of the studio stamp on the verso was altered only minimally by his younger partner Thomas J. Nevin who bought the lease of the studio, shop, the glass house and darkroom, the stock of negatives, camera equipment, backdrops and furniture etc at auction on August 2, 1865. Thomas Nevin continued to use the stamp’s design for his commercial studio portraiture for another decade, although he used at least six other designs for various formats and clients, including the Royal Arms insignia for commissions with the Colonial government. Continue reading
This gallery contains 28 photos.
Professional photographer Thomas J. Nevin was commissioned by his family solicitor, the Attorney-General W.R. Giblin, to photograph prisoners for the Colonial Government of Tasmania as early as 1871, the year the government of NSW authorised the Inspector of Prisons, Harold McClean, to commence the photographing of all prisoners convicted in the NSW Superior Courts. Continue reading
This gallery contains 49 photos.
DISAMBIGUATION: Three James Day names
Right at the outset we stress that this James Day was not a relative of photographer Thomas Nevin’s wife Elizabeth Rachel Day, nor was he related to her father by the name of Captain James Day, master mariner, who was born on 6 June 1806 in Yorkshire and died in Hobart on 17 November 1882, nor to Captain James Day’s first cousin, Captain Henry James Day of the 99th Regiment, guard captain of the Candahar 1842.
However, while researching the name “James Day”, the Old Bailey trial records and the transportation records of another “James Day” surfaced, a Londoner aged 52yrs old, who was transported for seven years to VDL on board the ship Sarah in 1836. Not many men of his advanced years were transported. These are his records and his story up to his death in 1863. Continue reading
This gallery contains 13 photos.
Wife of photographer Thomas Nevin, Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day, was named after her father’s sister Elizabeth Goldsmith nee Day who married Captain Edward Goldsmith at Liverpool, UK, in 1829. Captain and Elizabeth Goldsmith had two sons: Richard Sidney, born 1830, NSW, who died aged 25yrs in Hobart, in 1854. Their second son was named after his father, Edward Goldsmith, born at Rotherhithe, UK on December 12,1836. He accompanied his parents on several voyages to Hobart from London before attending Trinity and Caius Colleges Cambridge in 1856-7. In 1855, when Edward Goldsmith jnr was 19 years old, he accompanied his father to the Governor’s Levee, a grand ball held at Government House, Hobart by the incumbent, Sir William Denison. His cousins, the Day sisters, still children, would have been deeply impressed by their older cousin’s account of this fine affair. Continue reading
This gallery contains 42 photos.
Captain Henry James Day (1804-1882), first cousin of Thomas Nevin’s father-in-law, master mariner Captain James Day, was Guard Captain of the 3rd detachment of 99th Regiment of Foot on board the convict transport Candahar when it arrived in Hobart in 1842 with 60 troops under his command, and 249 male convicts. Also on board were a “lady and four children”, several soldiers’ families and government stores. The Candahar was a 4 gun barque of 642 tons built in Shields in 1840, class A1 which departed Spithead, England on the 2nd April 1842, docking in Van Dieman’s Land on the 21st July 1842. Captain Day’s arrival was noted in the Hobart Town Courier. The regiment was stationed at the Anglesea Barracks, Hobart. Continue reading
Tagged 99th Regiment of Foot, Candahar 1842, Captain Henry James Day, Chinese War 1860, convict portraits by T. J. Nevin, fathers, Felice Beato, Maori Wars, Norfolk Island, Sir Richard Seppings, Tasmanian prisoner mugshots, Transit of Venus
This gallery contains 13 photos.
Thomas Nevin’s sister-in-law Mary Sophia Axup nee Day, chaired a meeting in 1913 of the Tasmanian Workers’ Political League, the forerunner of the Australian Labor Party, seeking nominations for Labor candidates to stand for the seat of Bass in the forthcoming Federal election: Continue reading
This gallery contains 57 photos.
The patent slip at the Queen’s Domain in Hobart was established by Elizabeth Rachel Nevin’s uncle, Captain Edward Goldsmith, in 1854 from machinery he brought out from London on his favorite trading barque The Rattler. He obtained a long lease on the foreshore of the Domain to lay the slip on the condition that the terms of the lease were fulfilled. When he withdrew from the lease in 1855 due to the death of his 25 yr old son Richard Goldsmith only months earlier, among other reasons to do with costs and prison labor, Captain Alexander McGregor bought Captain Goldsmith’s interest. Continue reading
This gallery contains 19 photos.
In the same issue of the Hobart newspaper, The Mercury, October 10, 1887, in which the “old boys” of the Royal Scots had placed an affectionate obituary to John Nevin (1808-1887), Thomas Nevin’s father, Hector Axup was mentioned in the following article. His donation to the Boys’ Home was enclosed in a letter expressing his regret that a training ship was not available. No doubt his wish was informed by knowledge of the Vernon, established in 1867 on Sydney Harbor as a reformatory industrial school for vagrant, destitute or juvenile offenders, which provided boys with moral training, nautical and industrial training and instruction, and elementary schooling. Continue reading