Rosanna Mary Domeney nee Tilley at Thomas Nevin’s studio 1870s

Rosanna Mary Domeney’s father John Tilley, licensed victualler who died in 1850, had stipulated that his Trustees Thomas Mezger and Christopher Basstian provide for the maintenance and education of his daughter Rosanna Mary until she married or turned 21 years old, whichever came first, and that the profits from his estate be passed to her for her exclusive use and not of any husband, should she marry. However, when her mother died in 1848, the properties she had inherited from both parents were registered jointly on the Valuation Rolls in both her name and that of her husband William Lemuel Domeney once she was married. Her Hobart address was 75 Warwick St. Hobart by 1872, the year she most likely visited Thomas Nevin for a portrait at his studio. In 1876 she sought to convey the land and four properties described in Title Deed No. 06/2114, dated 15 August 1876 to Trustees William Robert Giblin (1840-1887) and William Ansty Knight “with the concurrence of the said William Lemuel Domeney” her husband, and when both Trustees were deceased by 1889, she transferred their interest to Henry William Chapman and Henry Priest who offered the Warwick Street properties for sale within months of Rosanna Domeney’s death in 1907.. … More Rosanna Mary Domeney nee Tilley at Thomas Nevin’s studio 1870s

Prisoner Richard PHILLIPS 1874

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. … More Prisoner Richard PHILLIPS 1874

Prisoner George GROWSETT 1860 and 1873

“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) … More Prisoner George GROWSETT 1860 and 1873

Contractors Thomas J. Nevin and “dog on the chain” James Spence 1872

Thomas Nevin had operated as a commercial photographer and government contractor since 1868, when W. R. Giblin acted on behalf of his interests in the dissolution of his partnership with Robert Smith advertised as the firm “Nevin & Smith” at 140 Elizabeth St.Hobart. In June 1872, for example, Nevin provided the Lands and Survey Department with a series of stereographs recording the damage caused by the Glenorchy landslip. As likely as not, he also provided lengthy witness reports to the officials at the Municipal Council, to reporters at the Mercury, and to Public Works Department contractors who regularly gathered at James Spence’s hotel The Royal Standard, next door to Nevin’s studio, 142 -140 upper Elizabeth St. Hobart Town (looking south from the corner of Patrick St.). As a contractor himself, he would have taken a keen interest in the meetings at which James Spence’s cohort of contractors’ aired their “grievances received at the hands of the Public Works Department”. … More Contractors Thomas J. Nevin and “dog on the chain” James Spence 1872

Thomas Nevin and Alfred Barrett Biggs 1872-1876

A rare pose, this photograph of Alfred Barrett Biggs, his head down contemplating his next move in a game of chess with his wife Harriet née Burville who observes the photographer almost obliquely under her lashes, was taken about the same time as the full-length portrait of Alfred’s mother Eliza Coleman Biggs. Harriet chose to wear a voluminous dress of  the sheerest ribbed silk, pin-tucked at the bodice and overlain with a transparent gauze shawl across her shoulders. The tall chess pieces were commonly made from ivory. … More Thomas Nevin and Alfred Barrett Biggs 1872-1876

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

The large wall poster (on right) 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.) in July 2019 features 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 release in 1875, not 50 years old on sentence 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. … More Exhibition 2019: T. J. NEVIN’s mugshot of prisoner James BLANCHFIELD 1875

Prisoner John NOWLAN alias DOWLING 1870-1876

This prisoner stated that he arrived free in Tasmania as a sailor on the Bangalore with the name John Dowling, but he might have arrived as a convict with the name John Nowlan on the transport London in March 1851. Shipping documents testifying to his arrival on the Bangalore at any port and under any circumstance unfortunately, if true, are not extant. He was sentenced to five years in March 1870 for indecent assault as John Dowling. He was photographed as John Dowling by T. J. Nevin on release from the House of Corrections, Hobart in December 1874, and convicted again in February 1875 for larceny. A year later, in February 1876 he was convicted at the Supreme Court, Hobart, for rape of a girl between 10-11 yrs old, this time as John Nowlan, alias John Dowling. The sentence for rape was death, commuted to life imprisonment. John Nowlan alias John Dowling was sent to the Port Arthur prison on 25th February 1876 and transferred back to the House of Corrections, Hobart Gaol, Campbell St. on 17th April 1877. A prisoner who called himself John Dowling died at the New Town Charitable Institution, Hobart in 1906 of senilis. … More Prisoner John NOWLAN alias DOWLING 1870-1876

Thomas Nevin, Sam Clifford and the Flying Squadron at Hobart, January 1870

“The Flying Squadron arrived at Hobart Town on Sunday 2nd January. The Squadron consists of H.M.S. Liverpool, 30 gun steam, frigate, 2,056 tons; -H.M.S. Endymion, 21-gun steam frigate, 2,480 tons; H.M.S Scylla, 10-gun steam- corvette 1,467 tons; H.M.S. Liffey, 30-gun steam frigate, 2,654 tons; H.M.S. Barrosa, 17-gun steam corvette, 1,700 tons; H.M.S. Pheobe, 30-gun steam frigate, 2,800 tons. Large numbers of spectators assembled in various spots to watch the little fleet coming up the harbour under full sail. His Excellency the Governor and suite paid a visit to Rear-Admiral Hornby on board the Liverpool. During the stay of the Squadron, the vessels were thrown open for public inspection and thousands of persons availed themselves of the opportunity. The Liverpool was of course the ship which attracted the greatest number of visitors. The officers had a gay time of it during their eight days stay. They were entertained by the Governor to several dinner parties, to a grand ball at Government House, to a lawn party at the same place, followed by an old colonists’ ball, a regatta, a cricket match, in which both the Governor and Admiral Hornby took part, concerts theatrical entertainments, a picnic at Fern Tree Gully, &c., so that time did not by any means hang heavily on their hands, and they must have left the “tight little island” with the impression that they had a jolly time of it, and had been exceedingly well treated….” … More Thomas Nevin, Sam Clifford and the Flying Squadron at Hobart, January 1870

Joseph Somes, Captain Edward Goldsmith and the “Angelina” 1844-46

In all, the month of July 1845 saw Captain Edward Goldsmith make some swift changes to the course of his life and that of his eldest son Richard Sydney Goldsmith. Having swapped his commission to sail the Parrock Hall, due to depart on 15 July 1845 on yet one more round trip to NSW, he sailed instead on that very date for Sydney in command of the Angelina,  Robert Brook’s newest acquisition which was transformed from a female transport ship within months of returning from Tasmania (VDL). Now fitted out as a  merchant barque with a cargo of luxury goods and well-heeled passengers, the Angelina sailed for Port Jackson, NSW on 19th July 1845 with Richard Sydney Goldsmith indentured as his father’s  apprentice thanks to another swift decision on his father’s part to cancel his son’s prior engagement as an apprentice on the Perseverance. … More Joseph Somes, Captain Edward Goldsmith and the “Angelina” 1844-46

A distinguished forelock: Henry Dresser Atkinson on board the “City of Hobart” 1872

This stereograph by Thomas Nevin foregrounds an unidentified young woman, who may have been one of event organiser John Woodcock Graves’ four young daughters – Mimi (b. 1862), Mathinna (Matte b. 1859) Trucaninni (Truca b. 1864), the latter two both given Tasmanian Aboriginal names – or even fourteen year old Jean Porthouse Graves (b. 1858) who collected these photographs of the trip by Thomas Nevin for her album (see her portraits by Nevin below). This young woman with a steady gaze and fully rounded face, however, was possibly in her late teens. As she is sitting next to Henry Dresser Atkinson (1841–1921), she may have been his fiancee Sarah-Ann Ward (b. 1841 Launceston). Their son  Henry Bruné Dresser, born  on 17th  March 1874 at Gordon, Tasmania, was nursed – so legend goes – by Tasmanian Aboriginal  woman Trugernanner (Truganini) (1812–1876). Henry Dresser Atkinson’s first appointment on arrival from England was the Channel mission at Oyster Cove where Truganini’s group had been relocated to her traditional territory. … More A distinguished forelock: Henry Dresser Atkinson on board the “City of Hobart” 1872

Prisoner James ROGERS forges into the leap year 1868

Lavington George Roope deposed : I am a clerk of the Bank Of Australasia, in Hobart Town. The note produced is a £1 note of our bank which has been altered to a £5 note. In the right hand corner the figure 1 has been erased and the word “Five” has been written in. One of the numbers has also been erased in two places. The O and part of the N in the body of the note have been erased, and an F and an I have been substituted. The letter S has been added to the word pound. The word ” at” has been erased in the body of the note. The words one pound in the left hand bottom corner of the note have been erased, and the words five pounds have been written in in old English letters. In the genuine £5 notes these words are in old English letters. The letters O and part of the N printed in green across the note have been erased, and the letters F and I have been substituted, making the word ” Five”. I can trace the erasures in most places but not distinctly in the large letters. … More Prisoner James ROGERS forges into the leap year 1868

Captain Goldsmith, AWOL seaman Geeves, and HMS Havannah

Henry Geeves was an articled seaman, one of twenty-two (22) crew members who sailed from the Downs (UK) on 22nd August 1850 on board the barque Rattler, 522 tons, Captain Edward Goldsmith in command, arriving at Hobart, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) on 14th December 1850.  Cabin passengers numbered seven, with four more in steerage. The return voyage of the Rattler to London would commence on 19th March 1851, after three months at Hobart while Captain Goldsmith attended to his construction of the vehicular twin steam ferry SS Kangaroo and the development of a patent slip at his shipyard on the Queen’s Domain. Henry Geeves, however, had no intention of joining the crew on the Rattler’s return voyage to London when he went absent without leave (AWOL) on 31st December 1850. He returned to the ship three days later for his clothes. Appearing as the plaintiff in the Police Magistrate’s Court on January 20th 1851, his complaint against Captain Goldsmith was for wages which he claimed were due to him because he felt he had been discharged by the Rattler’s chief officer, having volunteered as an “old man-of-war’s man” to join the frigate H.M.S. Havannah  when an officer from the Havannah boarded the Rattler seeking additional crew … More Captain Goldsmith, AWOL seaman Geeves, and HMS Havannah

Captain Edward Goldsmith and wife Elizabeth’s land deals in VDL

This is a brief guide to the property dealings of Captain Edward Goldsmith in the colony of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) from 1839 to 1862, viz his construction of patent slips at Secheron Bay and the Queen’s Domain, Hobart; his acquisition of acreage for timber felling and sheep pasturing in the north and south of the island; his purchase and sale of land and residences in Battery Point, Hobart, and finally the sale of his licensed premises and residence at 19 Davey Street, Hobart months before his permanent departure from the colony in 1856 with wife Elizabeth and sole surviving son Edward jnr. He retired to Gadshill House, his estate in the village of Higham, Kent, UK, where he continued land management of fifty ancestral leaseholds and plantations in the neighbouring parish of Chalk. … More Captain Edward Goldsmith and wife Elizabeth’s land deals in VDL

Thomas Nevin’s photographic reduction of large documents 1870s

Thomas Nevin’s photographic reductions of large printed documents to the size of a carte-de-visite  – 54.0 mm (2.125 in) × 89 mm (3.5 in) mounted on a card sized 64 mm (2.5 in) × 100 mm (4 in) – “evoked much admiration” when reported in the press. His first noted experiment in 1870 was the replication to a pocket sized card of the Town Clerk’s poster which provided the public with information on how to interpret fire bell alarms. The second was the reduction of the front page of the Mercury a day before the Christmas Eve edition, 23rd December 1874, printed as a gift card. Although examples of these photographic reductions might be read with the naked eye, some experiments, such as those by Nevin’s more senior contemporary, Charles A. Woolley, which required viewing with a magnifying glass, would more likely be described as microform cards, using the methods of microphotography pioneered by John Benjamin Dancer (1812–1887). Dancer’s miniaturized photographs of texts in 1857 heralded the use of microphotography for the storage of large documents and records held in the archives of courts, libraries, and government departments. The reverse photographic method, enlarging microscopic material such as bacteria, is more precisely termed photomicrography. … More Thomas Nevin’s photographic reduction of large documents 1870s

Thomas Nevin’s photographs mounted on calico 1870s

Dozens of extant photographs by Thomas Nevin that carry no studio stamp on verso were deliberately kept blank because they were mounted on calico, and delivered by mail to the purchaser with the expectation that they would either be placed intact inside a wooden frame, to be hung on the wall; or indeed, removed from the calico to be placed on an album leaf. Thomas Nevin used calico mounts as a means of saving on costs when posting through the mail. Dozens of his extant photographs with blank versos held in public and private collections bear traces of removal from woven fabric or parchment. Handwritten inscriptions, in many instances, were added subsequently by the client, collector or archivist. … More Thomas Nevin’s photographs mounted on calico 1870s

Prisoner Daniel DAVIS 1883, 1892 and 1897

“ROBBERY WITH VIOLENCE
Richard Harris (20) and Daniel Davies [sic] (26), charged with having, at Moorina, on the 29th November, assaulted and robbed Ah Tung of £3 11s, pleaded not guilty. Mr. Miller appeared for the prisoners. Lee Kong was sworn as interpreter. Ah Tung deposed that he was proceeding from a store at Moorina to the Native Youth claim on the night of the 29th November, and was accosted by two men. He was afterwards garotted and robbed by them. After the robbery he picked up a piece of meat and some sugar which had been carried by the prisoners. James Alexander deposed to Harris informing him on the night of the 29th November, when the two prisoners were in witness’ hut, that they had robbed a Chinaman that night.” … More Prisoner Daniel DAVIS 1883, 1892 and 1897

Thomas Nevin at the Canary and Cage Bird Show 1869

” The prize cards had on them a large and well-executed photograph by Mr Nevin, photographer, of this city, of what is called in England a model canary; and, accepting that model as the correct one, the Judges found several birds which came well up to the standard — notably the variegated yellows of Mr Northcote, Mr Aldred, and Mr Walch’s buff, Mr Montgomerie’s yellow, and many others specified in the subjoined prize list. Much interest was taken in seven birds at the upper part of the room, which had been entered for a sweep of seven pounds …” … More Thomas Nevin at the Canary and Cage Bird Show 1869

Gold seekers Thomas Nevin, John Thorpe and Duncan Chisholm 1869

It may have been an April Fool’s Day joke or it may have been a bonanza. The Tasmanian Times, which regularly published information for and about photographer Thomas J. Nevin and his father John Nevin snr throughout the decade of the 1860s, may have wittingly or otherwise informed their readers on the first day of April, 1869, that Thomas Nevin and his fellow gold seekers, John Thorpe jun, former licensee of the Bush Inn at Port Cygnet, and Duncan Chisholm, school master at Rokeby, Clarence Plains, were confident enough of finding sufficient gold deposits in the area to suggest that a subsidy from local residents would encourage them to continue with further exploration. … More Gold seekers Thomas Nevin, John Thorpe and Duncan Chisholm 1869

Dan Sprod and Thomas Nevin’s photography in the 1970s

During the 1970s publishers John Ferguson of Sydney commissioned established authors to research and collect old photographs to be published as a series of books called “Victorian and Edwardian [insert name here of an Australian city, e.g. Sydney, Adelaide etc]  from old photographs”. Patsy Adam-Smith, for example, compiled the Melbourne edition, Victorian and Edwardian Melbourne from old photographs in 1979. Dan Sprod was commissioned by Ferguson publishers to compile the Hobart edition in 1976. The draft papers of his research for this book, published in 1977 as Victorian and Edwardian Hobart from old photographs , are held at the National Library Australia, Canberra, where he was Chief Librarian during the 1960s. The impetus behind this emergent interest in Australian 19th century and early 20th century photography was money. Old photographs and early cameras were commanding large prices at auctions. The Tasmanian Saturday Evening Mercury published this article – “Your old photos could be valuable” – on November 15th, 1975, listing the handsomely high prices fetched for old prints and photo equipment at Christies of London in the previous two years. Prints by Tasmanian photographers of the 1880s – Spurling, Anson and Beattie – were touted here as worthy collectables: … More Dan Sprod and Thomas Nevin’s photography in the 1970s

The Long Con: Chris LONG and the FRITH family legacy 2018

Taking a closer look at the captions to several of the photographs throughout the book which have the wording “Image attributed by Chris Long” and the sad reality behind the making of this book about the Friths by their descendant(s) emerges. Chris Long has perused a few museum and library archives looking for unattributed photographs of the period and convinced Noel Tozer they would most probably be the work of his ancestors, the Frith brothers Frederick and Henry. If Chris Long was at all aware of the negative criticisms directed at him because of all the errors and unsubstantiated claims he made in his A-Z publication Tasmanian Photographers 1840-1940 (TMAG 1995), he might have taken a more respectful stance towards the descendants of the Frith family and refrained from imposing his old, unresolved grievances on their one and only attempt at publishing a legacy for their future generations. As it stands, Chris Long seems to have suffocated much of this book with his flights of fancy, but the only markers in the text to make the reader aware of this – that it is Chris Long’s words and not the work of Frith descendant Noel Tozer’s – is a vertical grey bar alongside the paragraphs, markers both annoying and too frequent to ignore … … More The Long Con: Chris LONG and the FRITH family legacy 2018

T. J. Nevin’s mugshot of John FINELLY taken at the Police Office Hobart March 1874

When captured, escapee John Finlay or Finelly was sentenced at the Mayor’s Court, Hobart Town Hall, to six months to be served once more at the Port Arthur prison. He was photographed by Thomas J. Nevin at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall [P.O. Hobart] on 17th March 1874 as soon as the conviction was recorded. Finelly was received at Port Arthur on 29th March 1874. In December 1874 he was committed twice to spells of 24 hours and seven days in solitary confinement at Port Arthur for disobedience and insubordinate conduct respectively. He was transferred back to the House of Corrections for Males (the Hobart Gaol, Campbell Street) on 17th April 1877 on the closure of the Port Arthur prison. John Finelly was discharged in January 1879 and returned to Launceston where he died on 8th March 1883. … More T. J. Nevin’s mugshot of John FINELLY taken at the Police Office Hobart March 1874

Bleak Expectations: Captain Goldsmith’s will in Chancery 1871-1922

This was one of Captain Edward Goldsmith’s properties, Craddock’s Cottage, believed to be where Dickens spent his honeymoon with Catherine Hogarth, April 1836. It was listed for auction in 1870 as  – “2a. 0r. 0p. of valuable plantation, house and garden, and building land, in the occupation of Mr. John Craddock, at a rental of £30 per annum”. The land next door was known as Goldsmith’s Plantation until the 1930s. It is mentioned in Goldsmith’s will on pages 6 and 8:
Due from John Craddock of Chalk Kent labourer and considered to be irrecoverable …. £40.0.0 ,,,, … More Bleak Expectations: Captain Goldsmith’s will in Chancery 1871-1922

Thomas Nevin’s stereo view of St Mary’s Cathedral, Hobart, ca. 1874

The view of this church,St Mary’s Cathedral (R.C.), Hobart, Tasmania, was taken by Thomas J. Nevin on commission for Police Superintendent Frederick Pedder (1841-1923), Nevin’s colleague at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall. It was passed into the hands of his son, solicitor Alfred Pedder (1881-1977) whose name appears on the verso and whose daughter Sylvia in turn may have donated it to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in the 1970s. Other stereographs in this series inscribed verso with “A. Pedder” is a view of Harrington Street and the cathedral from Lime Kiln Hill and a view from across the Huon River to the town known as Victoria. Thomas Nevin’s photograph of this church, St Mary’s Cathedral, 164 Harrington Street, Hobart, was taken a few years before 1876, the date when the lantern tower was removed and a substantial part of the cathedral rebuilt. It was closed for five years, re-opening in 1881. … More Thomas Nevin’s stereo view of St Mary’s Cathedral, Hobart, ca. 1874

1854: a year onshore at Hobart Tasmania for Captain Edward Goldsmith

The year 1854 was significant in the life of Captain Edward Goldsmith (1804-1869) because he spent it ashore at his antipodean residence, 19 Davey Street, Hobart, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) with his immediate family: his wife Elizabeth Goldsmith nee Day and his two sons Richard Sydney Goldsmith and Edward Goldsmith jnr, unlike the two preceding decades from 1830 to 1852 when he was at sea for eight months of every year as commander of merchant vessels plying the wool trade routes from London via the Americas, the Falklands and South Africa to Port Jackson (Sydney) NSW and Hobart, VDL.
In brief, the year 1854 ashore at Hobart saw Captain Goldsmith’s participation in these events, and probably several more not noted in the press:
Licensed as wholesale liquor merchant
Attendance at banquet to celebrate the opening of the New Market
Death of eldest son Richard Sydney Goldsmith from fever
Committee member for Royal Society dinner to honour Sir William Denison
Committee member for farewell dinner for John Dunn
Construction and sale of a schooner, 25 tons, at his Domain slipyard
Construction of the twin steamer ferry SS Kangaroo at his Domain slipyard
Director of the Hobart Town & Launceston Marine insurance company
Shareholder in the Tasmanian Steamship Navigation company
Planned defence battery next to Goldsmith’s Yard on the Domain
Committee member on the Gold Exploration Committee
Construction of the patent slip at the Domain and personal illness
Regatta Judge 9 December 1854
Petitioner to the HCC for sewage and water pipes to be laid in Davey St. … More 1854: a year onshore at Hobart Tasmania for Captain Edward Goldsmith

The LONG con: our comments on Julia Clark’s fraudulent thesis

In 2015 this individual Julia Clark (b. 1949) submitted a thesis to the University of Tasmania in the hope of being awarded a PhD degree. The award, in our opinion, should be revoked. The many instances prior to this thesis where she has claimed – by means both fraudulent, deceitful and abusive – that A. H. Boyd photographed prisoners in Tasmania in 1874 when no evidence has ever existed, nor ever will – is examined in great deal across these weblogs about the life and work of Thomas J. Nevin. Without these Nevin weblogs, Julia Clark would have no thesis. … More The LONG con: our comments on Julia Clark’s fraudulent thesis

John Nevin snr and family 1851-1854: shipping documents

The point here is to negate any speculation that the document above which shows John Nevin paid £5 for the passage of two relatives on a family ticket on 11th July 1854 is the actual same document that proves he paid for three members of the Hurst family who arrived on 3rd February, 1855 on board the Flora McDonald viz. John Hurst, 16 years old, a designer, with Eliza Hurst, 40 years old, a needlewoman, and 14 year old house servant Mary Jane, despite the claims of the author of a Wikipedia page about William Nevin Tatlow Hurst (viz. serial troll Karen Mather who also references irrelevant documents in pursuit of her claims). These are two separate events, two different dates, and two separate groups of passengers. Even if the Hurst and Nevin families had associations in both Ireland and Tasmania before and after both families emigrated, the  list clearly shows these three Hursts arrived in 1855, not 1854, at Launceston via Hobart.  So, if their sponsor was the same John Nevin (no address given on this document below) who had sponsored two emigrants on a family ticket the previous year, in 1854, the document cited above with his address at Kangaroo Valley (http://stors.tas.gov.au/CB7-30-1-1 Nevin John 1854 image 27) does not reference this document below dated 1855 which names the three Hursts: … More John Nevin snr and family 1851-1854: shipping documents

Prisoner John APPLEBY 1873

The inscription ‘Taken at Port Arthur 1874” is Beattie’s confabulation of facts in the name of tourism. Beattie prepared copies of these prisoner cdv’s for display in his collection of Tasmanian convictaria at his “Port Arthur Museum” located at 51 Murray St. Hobart (and not at Port Arthur) to coincide with the first of two early 20th century film adaptations (1908-9, 22 minutes – see theatre poster below; the second was filmed at Port Arthur in 1927) of Marcus Clarke’s popular fiction For The Term of His Natural Life which appeared as a serial in 1870 and in novel form in 1874. Hence the date “1874” and the place “Taken at Port Arthur” written on the verso of this cdv when the actual date and the actual place of photographic capture were respectively 1873 and the Hobart Gaol in Campbell Street. Beattie fabricated this fake history for several dozen original mugshots taken in the 1870s by government contractor T. J. Nevin because he was required under the terms of his own commission as government contractor (from ca. 1900) to market photographic imagery of Tasmania’s penal heritage to the intercolonial tourist. The loose cdv’s such as this one of prisoner John Appleby were prepared for sale and exhibition at Sydney’s Royal Hotel in 1915 to be displayed as Port Arthur relics, alongside relics and documents associated with the fake convict hulk Success which visited Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. The collection of “convict portraits” held at the National Library of Australia Canberra and at the State Library of NSW in the Mitchell Collection are the estrays from these exhibitions. … More Prisoner John APPLEBY 1873

Captain Edward Goldsmith and the conundrums of the Ethiopian Serenaders 1851

WARNING & DISCLAIMER:
The resources in this article contain offensive language and negative stereotypes. Such materials should be seen in the context of the time period and as a reflection of attitudes of the time. The items are part of the historical record, and do not represent the views of this weblog. These primary historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. Please note that this example of a mid-19th century performance genre called “blackface” and the use of the “N” word here will offend 21st century readers; proceeding is your responsibility.
More Captain Edward Goldsmith and the conundrums of the Ethiopian Serenaders 1851

Captain Edward Goldsmith puts household goods at auction 1855

Auctioneer Wm. Gore Elliston considered himself “favoured” with the opportunity to sell the contents of Captain Edward Goldsmith’s residence at 19 Davey Street, Hobart, Tasmania at auction, scheduled for the 8th and 9th August, 1855. Captain Goldsmith himself would have attended. He remained in the colony until permanent departure in February 1856 on board the Indian Queen as a passenger, accompanied by his wife Elizabeth and son Edward jnr. In addition to the sale of valuable household furniture and furnishings were food processing equipment from Captain Goldsmith’s licensed wholesale store, and ship gear and timber from his shipyard and patent slip on the Queen’s Domain. If sold, the many hundreds of items of furniture, dinner ware, engravings and antiquities on offer would have been purchased for the families of public officials in the colonial administration as much as by the wealthy merchant class, and those families eventually, as they do, would have donated superior pieces to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Galley (TMAG) and other local public collections … More Captain Edward Goldsmith puts household goods at auction 1855

The Will of Richard Goldsmith snr (1769-1839)

Plaintiff George Matthews Arnold filed this suit in Chancery against the heirs to the will and estate of Richard Goldsmith snr for the purpose of acquiring the mortgages, rents and other income derived principally from Richard Goldsmith’s properties, the China Hall and the Victoria Inn at Rotherhithe, London, and farm holdings at Chalk, Kent. He also wanted the Goldsmith heirs to produce evidence of other deeds held on properties but they refused (see pages 9-11). The Court ordered they should comply under penalty of arrest. When Captain Edward Goldsmith’s own estate was put at auction in 1870 at the Bull hotel, Rochester, the auction took place under the watchful eye of solicitor George Matthews Arnold. The Bull was Mr Jingle’s “good house” in Dickens’ Pickwick Papers and the hotel he named the Blue Boar in Great Expectations. … More The Will of Richard Goldsmith snr (1769-1839)

Treasures passed down from Captain Edward Goldsmith and Captain James Day

To contemporary Western eyes, each of these two carved ornaments might look like 19th century funerary artefacts, flower vases for example, which were customarily placed on the graves of the dearly departed. To the Sinophile, however, they are more likely to be brush washers used by a calligrapher or a watercolourist. Each appears to have a narrow pot and a wider one carved deep into the interior of the chunk of stone, where the narrow one might have held the brushes, and the wider pot the water to wash them. The age of these two “vases” – assuming their provenance goes back as gifts to the two daughters of Captain James Day in the 1860s-1870s – is at least 150 years old, and perhaps much older. If they were gifted as a pair of brush washers, why would they be deemed appropriate for these two young sisters? The answer now seems quite obvious: they were the colourists working in Thomas J. Nevin’s studio at 140 Elizabeth Street, Hobart from the late 1860s when Elizabeth Rachel Day became Thomas J. Nevin’s fiancée … … More Treasures passed down from Captain Edward Goldsmith and Captain James Day

Thomas Nevin and the Terpsichoreans, New Norfolk 1867

If the newspaper report is at all accurate, these excursionists danced up a storm. They never stopped. They danced on the bridge, accompanied by a brass band, whatever bridge that may have been, and they danced non-stop on board the Monarch steaming its way up the River Derwent until they reached their destination. Once at Shoobridge’s, they continued dancing non-stop for hours in the hop room, and then moved out to the paddock where they not only danced, they played a game called “kiss the ring” [?]. On the homeward journey, aboard the Monarch, their dancing reached fever-pitch – or, as the reporter phrased it, “all went merry as a marriage peal”.  The merriment of the New Norfolk excursionists was captured by Thomas Nevin with three photographs, according to the newspaper report, so where are the photographs now? The only extant photograph of dancers identified as Thomas Nevin’s  is this one, printed as a stereograph on a buff mount, and labelled verso with the firm’s name – … More Thomas Nevin and the Terpsichoreans, New Norfolk 1867

Thomas Nevin at the Tasmanian Poultry Show 1869

TASMANIAN POULTRY SOCIETY—We may remind our readers that the annual exhibition of this society, under the patronage of his Excellency the Governor and his Worship the Mayor and Aldermen commences tomorrow, and will be continued the following day. A very large number of entries have been made, so that a first-rate exhibition may be expected, and to add to its attractiveness valuable gifts of poultry, pigeons, canaries, &c. will be distributed each evening. The prize cards, which we have been permitted to inspect are beautifully executed photographs of poultry, pigeons, &c., by Mr Nevin, of this city, from engravings of model birds. … More Thomas Nevin at the Tasmanian Poultry Show 1869

John Nevin’s poem on the death of James William Chisholm 1863

Here is another beautifully crafted poem by John Nevin snr (1808-1887), father of Tasmanian photographer Thomas J. Nevin, the earliest to date of his poetry written in Tasmania to surface in public collections and press publications. This poem was penned to lament the premature death of his dear friend James William Chisholm (1802-1862) with whom he served in the Royal Scots First or Royal Regiment in the West Indies and at the Canadian Rebellions from 1827 to discharge in 1841. The lament was published in the Weekly Times (Hobart Town, Tas.), Saturday 29 August 1863, page 6. … More John Nevin’s poem on the death of James William Chisholm 1863

The house called “Tolosa” on the Hull estate

Where on the vast estate of 2560 acres granted to George Hull in 1824, 5.2 miles or 4.5 nautical miles north of Hobart was the house called “Tolosa” built? Was it on the Kangaroo Valley (now Lenah Valley) side adjacent to the 400 acres he sold to Lady Jane Franklin (1834) which she named Ancanthe and where she built her museum, or was it located further north on the Glenorchy side of what is now Kalang Avenue, 8 miles north of Hobart? Where was the house located in relation to the present Tolosa Street, Glenorchy? What was its architectural style and why was it called “Tolosa”? Do two photographs of houses taken by Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1868 in the area where his father John Nevin built a house at Kangaroo Valley in 1853 show off the house called “Tolosa”? This lithograph of 1859, though not clear, shows enough of the house to indicate that its facade had a verandah with a series of arches, and eight entrances and windows in total, all facing north. … More The house called “Tolosa” on the Hull estate

Portraits and landscapes from T. J. Nevin’s cohort

A full-length carte-de-visite studio portrait of a young girl, possibly nine years old wearing a dark dress with a white collar and braiding along the sleeve, showing the lace of her bloomers at the hem against her bare legs. Spats cover her shoes. Her hair hangs loose in ringlets, and her gaze is slightly dropped and held steady to the viewer’s left. The studio decor includes an occasional table on wheels to the viewer’s right of frame on which sits a book, and a dining chair on the left on which the child rests her right arm. In her left hand she holds a thickly folded card. Charles Woolley’s signature technique was to produce prints in rich dark tones which made his portraits especially appealing. The verso bears Woolley’s “Advance Tasmania” studio stamp with emu and kangaroo animal iconography flanking the Tasmanian colonial insignia. His studio address for more than two decades was 42 Macquarie St. Hobart where he also ran a furniture business with his father. He must have supplied furniture, carpets and wall-hangings to all the Hobart photographic studios during the 1860s, and even sold items from his own studio when he ceased professional practice in the 1870s, because the same items appear in different photographers’ studio portraits. … More Portraits and landscapes from T. J. Nevin’s cohort

Amy Bock’s bid for marriage equality in 1909 in New Zealand

Amy Bock and Agnes Ottaway married on 21 April 1909 in Dunedin, NZ. Four days later Amy Bock was arrested at the Ottaways’ boarding house. She was convicted in the Dunedin Supreme Court on 27 May on two counts of false pretences and one of forgery, and was finally declared an habitual offender. The marriage was annulled on 17 June 1909. Was it a bid for “marriage equality” or not? … More Amy Bock’s bid for marriage equality in 1909 in New Zealand