Prisoner James JONES alias Brocklehurst, known as Spider

Three duplicates or copies are extant in public collections from T. J. Nevin’s original negative taken of prisoner James Jones alias James Brocklehurst at the Hobart Gaol in late February 1875 on Jones’ discharge. This prisoner James Jones aka James Brocklehurst, known by the moniker “Spider” is not to be confused with the prisoner Elijah Elton, transported as Elisha Nelmes, who used the alias “John Jones” and was known by the moniker “Flash Jack“, an error which has appeared on the National Library of Australia catalogue entry. Read more about Flash Jack here.

The National Library of Australia copy
This copy of the photograph of prisoner James Jones was donated to the NLA in  the 1960s as part of the Gunson collection of estrays from a defunct government department. It bears the number “209” on the mount, a number inscribed by late 20th century archivists on accession, and used by curators for several exhibitions held at the NLA and NPG Australia.

Prisoner James or William Jones alias James Brocklehurst per Theresa
Photographed by Thomas J. Nevin, Hobart Gaol, March 1875
Verso and mount carry the number “209”
Ref: PIC P1029/27a LOC Album 935/
National Library of Australia

The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery copy
Possibly the first print to be mounted from Thomas Nevin’s negative, the original sepia print from which this black and white copy was made was acquired by the QVMAG from the estate of convictarian John Watt Beattie on his death in 1930,  where it remains. It bears the earlier number “146” on the mount, which was used by the QVMAG for their exhibition in 1978 of a selection of T. J. Nevin’s prisoner mugshots.

Verso of cdv of prisoner William or James Jones.
The mount is numbered “146” and the verso “209” which indicates the single capture by Thomas Nevin in 1875 was reprinted to be included on further copies of the prisoner’s rap sheets.

The verso of this print shows three different accession numbers: the first QVMAG  147-19 originated in the 1930s; the second QVMAG 1958.78.22 originated in the 1950s; and the third QVMAG QVM: 1985:P:81 indicates when the black and white copies were made. It was in the 1980s that a visitor to the QVMAG, Chris Long, created the b&w copies for reasons best known to himself, since they are significantly less attractive than the original sepia albumen carte-de-visite produced by Thomas Nevin from his negative in the 1870s.

The Archives Office of Tasmania copy
The AOT copy was made in 1977-78 from the QVMAG copy bearing the number “146” on mount.

A photocopy was made at the AOT in the 1970s of the copy held at the QVMAG.
AOT Ref: PH30/1/3205
Caption: “William Jones (alias James Jiones and James Brocklehurst , convict per Theresa. Photograph taken at Port Arthur by Thomas Nevin.” He was in fact photographed by Thomas Nevin, not at Port Arthur, but at the Hobart Gaol, in late February, early March 1875 on discharge.

POLICE RECORDS for James Jones

1872: Larceny

James Jones known as Spider, absconded, 26 June 1872

James Jones, alias Brocklehurst, 48 yrs old according to the police gazette notice, was arrested on 15 July 1872 by Sub-Inspector McVilley [sic. i.e. McVilly] of the Ross Police.

James Jones convicted during the week ending 7 September 1872 for larceny, and sentenced to 12 months.

1874: to the prison at Port Arthur

James Jones arrived at the Port Arthur prison on 17 January 1874, to serve 3 years.

1875: transferred to House of Corrections, Hobart.

James Jones alias Brocklehurst discharged at Hobart from a 3 yr sentence on 3 March 1875 for larceny and absconding, was transferred back to the House of Corrections, Hobart on 9 January 1875. He was photographed by T. J. Nevin on discharge, late February to early March 1875.

Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime for Police, (weekly police gazettes) J. Barnard, Gov’t Printer.