Thomas Nevin’s portraits of his wife Elizabeth Rachel

This is an old black and white enlargement of a detail of a portrait of Elizabeth Rachel Nevin (1847-1914) in her later years, probably taken ca. 1900 by her husband. Just her face was magnified to an unusually large size, measuring approx. 8×10. It has the impact of a modern cinematic close-up. The magnified final image was pasted to grey cardboard. … More Thomas Nevin’s portraits of his wife Elizabeth Rachel

Third son William John Nevin (1878-1927)

Third son William John Nevin was born 14th March 1878 at the Town Hall, Hobart, where his father Thomas Nevin was appointed Office and Hall keeper for the City Corporation and photographer for the Municipal Police Office, having leased his photographic studio in 1876, while maintaining a photographic practice and studio with younger brother Jack Nevin at New Town. This son was named after Thomas Nevin’s younger brother, William John Nevin (1852-1891), known as Constable John Nevin, and Jack to the family. … More Third son William John Nevin (1878-1927)

Prisoner Thomas JEFFRIES, aka five-fingered Tom

This 1870s police identification photograph of local offender Thomas Jeffries may have been wrongly transcribed verso in the 1920s with the name “Henry Jeffries”, or the National Library’s cataloguist has made the mistake of recording “Henry” instead of “Thomas” as the prisoner’s first name when the photograph was accessioned. The photograph does not appear on the NLA’s list of “Convict Portraits, Port Arthur 1874” published in 1985 under Thomas J. Nevin’s name as the photographer, so it was either discovered there at the Library or acquired by the NLA at a later date. Nor does the name “Thomas Jeffries” or “Henry Jeffries” appear on the list of prisoners sent to Port Arthur from the Hobart Gaol in the 1870s and returned again in 1873-1874 to the Hobart Gaol at Parliament’s request. No other prisoner appears in the police gazette notices by the name of “Henry Jeffries” for the decades 1860s-1880s, so the name “Henry” is incorrect. This prisoner is not to be confused with Mark Jeffrey who was photographed by Nevin in 1877 at the Hobart Gaol.
More Prisoner Thomas JEFFRIES, aka five-fingered Tom

Prisoner Walter JOHNSTONE aka Henry BRAMALL or TAYLOR

Henry Taylor was tried at the Supreme Court Hobart on 4th July 1871, along with John Appleby, one of the first photographs of prisoners taken by T.J. Nevin at the Supreme Court Hobart. The photograph of Taylor aka Bramall or Johnston was hand coloured by Nevin’s studio and placed in his shop window to assist the public in recognition and recapture of the prisoner when he absconded on February 6, 1874 from a gang at the Cascade factory. … More Prisoner Walter JOHNSTONE aka Henry BRAMALL or TAYLOR

Prisoner William HAYES

William Hayes’ prison ID photograph was among the first taken by Thomas J. Nevin at the Hobart House of Corrections when William Hayes was discharged from a 2 year sentence for indecent assault in the week ending 24 April 1872.

The same image in these two cartes was printed at different times from Nevin’s original glass negative. In the top carte, Hayes’ image was straightened, eliminating the lean to the right in the carte below. Haye’s petty minor offences between 1873-1875 after release from the Hobart Gaol  were tried in Launceston, where the reprint of his ID photograph was sent in 1874. … More Prisoner William HAYES

Prisoner Job SMITH aka Wm Campbell 1875

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.” … More Prisoner Job SMITH aka Wm Campbell 1875

Prisoner Michael GILMORE and the NLA

Michael Gilmore was a career criminal, or so it seems His convictions included burglary, larceny, indecency, idle and disorderly, feloniously wounding etc. He was in and out of prison on a regular basis from 1869. In October 1874 Thomas Nevin photographed him at the Hobart Gaol. These records include his convictions and discharges from 1874 to 1885. His aliases were Terence or Michael Moore. … More Prisoner Michael GILMORE and the NLA

Prisoner John WILLIAMS

NLA Catalogue (incorrect information) nla.pic-an24612797 PIC P1029/63 LOC Album 935 John Williams, per Ld. [i.e. Lady] Montagu F.S., P.O. Latrobe, 13.3.84, larceny, 12 months, age 59 [picture] 1884. 1 photograph on carte-de-visite mount : albumen ; 9.7 x 5.6 cm. POLICE RECORDS John Williams as Lintle as Moses Bentley with prior convictions in 1869 was … More Prisoner John WILLIAMS

Prisoner John GREGSON

The Gregsons were discharged 27th January, 1875, and were photographed again by Nevin in the preceeding week. They were not photographed at Port Arthur before January 9th, 1874. They escaped from the Domain in Hobart on that date and were photographed on arrest one month later by Nevin when they were received at the Hobart Gaol. These two brothers re-offended on a regular basis every few months right up to 1879, and were photographed once again in 1878 at the Supreme Court, Hobart by Nevin. … More Prisoner John GREGSON

Prisoner John EDDINGTON

This prisoner identification photograph of John Eddington was taken at the Hobart Gaol by Constable John Nevin and Thomas Nevin in March 1883 when Eddington was arraigned and sentenced to two years for assault and robbery. The National Library of Australia’s catalogue note is incorrect. It was not taken in 1874, when Eddington would have been no older than an eleven year child, and it was not taken at the Port Arthur prison which finally closed in 1877. … More Prisoner John EDDINGTON

Prisoner John DORAN

Just one mugshot of habitual offender John Doran per the convict transport Asiatic is extant, and in very poor condition. It is held at the National Library of Australia, taken by Thomas Nevin at the Hobart Gaol in the last week of December 1875 prior to John Doran’s discharge on 5th January 1876. John Doran is not to be confused with another prisoner with the name of Albert or Alfred Doran per Blenheim who was also active during these years. His prisoner identification photograph taken by Nevin is extant in public collections in various formats (QVMAG). … More Prisoner John DORAN

Prisoner James JONES alias Brocklehurst, known as Spider

Two extant carte-de-visite duplicates from T. J. Nevin’s original negative taken of prisoner James Jones at the Hobart Gaol in late February 1875 on Jones’ discharge, are extant in public collections, viz. the National Library of Australia, and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, each with different numbering on the front mount. This prisoner, James Jones aka Brocklehurst, known by the moniker “Spider” is not to be confused with the prisoner Elijah Elton who used the alias “John Jones” and was known by the moniker “Jack Flash”, an error which has appeared on the NLA catalogue notes. … More Prisoner James JONES alias Brocklehurst, known as Spider

Prisoner George ORMISTON

Two different carte-de-visite photographs of a convict identified as George Ormiston are held at the National Library of Australia. Both photographs were taken by T.J. Nevin at different times for different offences for different occasions. The one featuring Ormiston with a moustache was taken first, in 1876, the second minus the moustache and with a haricut was taken later, in 1884. George Ormiston was photographed by Nevin – as were all other prisoners on discharge – when he was issued with a Freedom Certificate (FC) at the Hobart Municipal Police Office in 1876. However, Ormiston was a repeat offender – the reason why all these police photographs were taken – and he was photographed again in 1884 while incarcerated on arraignment and transferred from the Launceston Supreme Court to the Hobart Gaol, as were all offenders with sentences of 3 months and longer. … More Prisoner George ORMISTON

Prisoner George LEATHLEY

Extant examples of Thomas J. Nevin’s photographs taken in the 1870s of Tasmanian prisoners – or “convicts” which is the archaic term used in Tasmanian tourism discourse up to the present – number more than 300 in Australian public collections. These two different photographs of prisoner George Leathley are typical of his application of commercial studio portraiture. They were taken by Thomas J. Nevin between Leathley’s conviction for murder in 1866 and Leathley’s discharge with a ticket of leave in 1876. During those years, the earlier photograph, No. 14, was the first, taken in 1872 and reprinted in 1874, entered into the Hobart Gaol photo book as No. 226, pasted again onto Leathley’s criminal record sheet. The photograph with the recto No. 89, might evince an older George Leathley, taken in 1876 on his discharge. His original conviction in 1866 was death, commuted to life in prison. … More Prisoner George LEATHLEY

Prisoner Francis GREGSON

The Gregsons were discharged 27th January, 1875, and were photographed again by Nevin in the preceeding week. They were not photographed at Port Arthur before January 9th, 1874. They escaped from the Domain in Hobart on that date and were photographed on arrest one month later by Nevin when they were received at the Hobart Gaol. These two brothers re-offended on a regular basis every few months right up to 1879, and were photographed once again in 1878 at the Supreme Court, Hobart by Nevin. … More Prisoner Francis GREGSON

Prisoner Charles HEYS as Ward

Two different photographs are extant in the National Library of Australia collection – and not recorded in any other public collection – of a prisoner whom the police discharged as Charles Heys on 22nd July 1874, noting in the gazette that his alias was Ward, transported to Tasmania on the Moffatt 2. Thomas J. Nevin took both photographs at the Hobart Gaol, and possibly of two different men, but which photograph is the one taken on discharge in 1874 of the prisoner identified by police as Charles Heys in 1874? If it is the same prisoner in both photographs, he was photographed at different times wearing the standard issue winter prisoner uniform in one, and summer uniform in the other. Given that Charles Heys [what is the verso inscription – Heys or Hayes?] as Ward was discharged during the winter month of July, the prisoner wearing the heavy overcoat was most likely the man recorded as Charles Heys when Nevin photographed him for that event. … More Prisoner Charles HEYS as Ward

Prisoner William PRICE

William Price per Triton was a lifer, convicted of burglary in 1862, photographed by Nevin at the Hobart Gaol during incarceration in 1874, and discharged on 9 July 1879 with a TOL, photographed again by Nevin at the Municipal Police Office Hobart Town Hall. … More Prisoner William PRICE

Prisoner John WHITE

Two duplicates of the single image from Thomas J. Nevin’s original photographic capture of prisoner John White in 1875 are extant in two national collections with the same information inscribed on the versos. The first (below) is held at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, and the second is held at National Library of Australia. Government contractor Thomas J. Nevin photographed John White at the Mayor’s Court, Hobart Town Hall, on White’s discharge from the Hobart Gaol in the fortnight preceding 24 March, 1875. John White, 40 yrs old when discharged, was tried in the Supreme Court, Hobart on 13 March 1872 for burglary, sentenced to ten years, and discharged with sentence remitted in March 1875. … More Prisoner John WHITE