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 haircut was taken later, in 1884. George Ormiston was photographed by Nevin – as were all other prisoners on discharge 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.

NLA Catalogue notes (incorrrect information)
nla.pic-vn4270377 PIC P1029/66 LOC Album 935 George Ormiston, [per] F.C. Monqund, 3 years, 5.2.84, horse stealing and uttering [picture] 1884. 1 photograph on carte-de-visite mount : albumen ; 9.4 x 5.6 cm., on mount 10.4 x 6.4 cm.

POLICE RECORDS
Police records show George Ormiston, aged 31 in February 1884, arrived on the “Flinders”  to Tasmania. Ormiston was therefore born in 1852, and could not have been “transported” as a convict to Port Arthur from England when transportation ceased to Tasmania in 1853 and the Port Arthur prison, in ruins by 1874, was closed completely by 1877. His photographs therefore should not be collated at the NLA under the heading of “Convict portraits, Port Arthur, 1874”. Further errors by the NLA: their catalogue records “F.C. Monqund”, as  the name of a ship which did not exist.

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