The Nevin group portrait and wedding photographs 1871

Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day, wife of Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923), was born in London on 26 March 1847, and christened at St Mary’s, Rotherhithe, London, UK on 28th April 1847, the eldest daughter of  Captain James Day and Rachael Pocock who were married at St David’s Church Hobart on January 6th, 1841. Her younger sister Mary Sophia Day was born in Hobart on 9th March 1853. Their father, master mariner Captain James Day (1806-1882), was born on 10th June 1806, in Yorkshire, UK, and died in Hobart, Tasmania on 21st November 1882.

Elizabeth Rachel Day was named after her father’s sister, Elizabeth Day, who married Captain Edward Goldsmith in 1829, at Liverpool, UK. Her middle name, which came from her mother Rachael Pocock who died of consumption at New Town, Tasmania, in 1857, was changed to “Rachel” on all BDM registration forms, but inserted as “Rachael” into the Mercury‘s notice of her marriage, suggesting it may have been lodged for publication by Elizabeth’s widowed father.

Elizabeth Rachel Day married Thomas James Nevin on 12th July, 1871 at the Wesleyan Chapel, Kangaroo Valley, Hobart Tasmania.

The following marriage notice appeared in The Mercury of July 14th, 1871.

NEVIN-DAY – On Wednesday, 12th July, at the Wesleyan Chapel, Kangaroo Valley, by the Rev. J. Hutchison [sic], Thomas, eldest son of Mr. J. Nevin, of Kangaroo Valley, to Elizabeth Rachael [sic], eldest daughter of Captain Day, of Hobart Town.

They had seven children, six of whom survived to adulthood. Thomas J. Nevin died on March 12th, 1923, aged 80. His wife Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day died on June 21st, 1914, aged just 67. Their graves are located at the Cornelian Bay cemetery, Hobart, Tasmania.

This photograph was taken at Thomas Nevin’s studio, The City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town, possibly by his younger brother Jack  (Constable John Nevin). The same studio decor – the lozenge-patterned carpet and floral-patterned drape – appears in several extant studio portraits by Thomas Nevin of family members and private clientele up to the mid-1870s.

This is an albumen print on a buff carte-de-visite mount. Someone created a doodling in ink or biro in the lower left-hand corner of the image on the carpet, possibly tracing a photochemical stain. There is no studio stamp on the verso, indicating the image was taken by a member within the family, for family viewing only.

Wedding photo of Thomas J. Nevin and Elizabeth Rachel Day, married on July 12th 1871.
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint Private Collection 2005 ARR.

Verso of wedding photo of Thomas J. Nevin and Elizabeth Rachel Day, July 12th 1871.
Inscriptions “Grandma & Grandfather Nevin” by one of their grandchildren
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint Private Collection 2005 ARR.

“Australia, Tasmania, Civil Registration, 1803-1933,” images, FamilySearch (,387551301,387647601 : accessed 15 Jul 2014), All localities (combined) > Marriages > RGD 37/30. Marriages, 1871 (to no 571) > image 155 of 328; citing Archives Office of Tasmania, Hobart.

[Above] QVMAG Collection
Portrait of the Reverend James Hutchinson, 
Minister of Paterson Street Methodist Church, Launceston, Tasmania.1861-4.
Registration No: QVM:1983:P:0051
Type: cabinet
Produced By: Baily, H.H
Place of Production:94 Liverpool St., Hobart, Tasmania
Inscription: handwritten: reverse print: “Rev James Hutchison”

The Methodist minister presiding at the marriage of Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin at the Wesleyan Chapel, Kangaroo Valley, Hobart, was the Rev. James Hutchinson. He was captured here sitting at the table with the griffin-shaped legs which features in dozens of Thomas J. Nevin’s studio portraits taken at his city studio in Elizabeth Street, an indication that this photograph was taken by Thomas Nevin, although the QVMAG catalogue notes state that the photographer was H. H. Baily, a close friend of the Nevin family well into 1880s whose studio in the 1860s faced Nevin’s on Elizabeth St. Hobart. Baily may have acquired Nevin’s negative for further copies at the Rev. Hutchinson’s request. Then again, Henry Hall Baily may well have taken both the photograph of Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin in wedding dress, and of the Rev. Hutchinson on the day;  in fact, H. H. Baily may have been a wedding guest, one of the men gathered in this group photograph taken of Elizabeth and Thomas in wedding dress (seated), with younger brother Jack Nevin standing at extreme right, and three unidentified men (and women) standing behind the couple. It is possible that the man standing on Jack Nevin’s right was Thomas Nevin’s close friend and partner, photographer Samuel Clifford, If H. H. Baily attended the wedding, did he take this photograph, or was he one of the two remaining unidentified men; if the latter, then who was the fifth photographer (i.e. not Thomas or Jack Nevin, not H. H. Baily, not Samuel Clifford) from Nevin’s cohort present who took it? Alfred Bock, perhaps, on a visit from Victoria, who was Nevin’s former mentor at the City Photographic Establishment studio until his departure in 1867.

Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin (seated)
Group photograph ca. 1871  [?]
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint Private Collection 2009 ARR

This is a very unusual photographic artefact, a sepia print on thin paper which was rescued recently from a modern album held in the estate of Eva Morris nee Nevin (1917-2008), a grand daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin. The print had been pasted onto a glue-coated ridged sheet and covered with plastic, hence the deterioration of the print showing the ridges through the paper. The original photograph, taken in the studio, was not cropped before it was printed. The edges of the backdrop, featuring an arch to the viewer’s left, are clearly visible.