Mugshots removed: prisoner William FORD 1886

PRISONER MUGSHOTS Hobart Gaol 1880s-1890s
MUGSHOTS printed in oval mounts

Above: William Ford, prisoner, booking photographs taken on 27 July 1886 when he was “disposed of by the Supreme Court”. On the left, a semi profile photograph without hat, unframed; on the right, torso facing front, gaze deflected down and to left, wearing hat, printed as a carte-de-visite in an oval mount .William Ford was photographed at the Hobart Gaol by Constable John Nevin, produced by Thomas J. Nevin for the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall. Both photographs were taken and printed within the conventions of 1870s commercial studio portraiture, typical of Nevin’s earlier mugshots of Tasmanian convicts. In 1886 Thomas J. Nevin was working with police in both capacities as photographer and assistant bailiff to Detective Inspector Dorsett, noted in The Mercury, 11 August 1886.

The police gazette published details of William Ford’s sentence on 20th August 1886. He was locally born (“native” meaning born in Tasmania), and 22 years old when he was sentenced on 1 July 1886 to five years for assault with intention to rob.

William Ford, 22 yrs old, sentence to 5 yrs in 1886
Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime Information for Police


William Ford was 27 years old when he was acquitted of burglary per police gazette, 23 February 1892.


Published on 4th August 1893, this police gazette notice recorded a new offence committed by William Ford on 16 May 1893. Now 29 years old and barely out of prison for serving out most of his sentence for the previous offense in 1886, he was sentenced this time to another six years for assault with intent to rob.

The photograph taken on incarceration in 1886, when William Ford was clean shaven and in prison clothing, was pasted to this blue form, the Hobart Gaol criminal sheet of offences, and then removed, to be included on the second criminal record dated 1893, together with copies of the sepia prints showing William Ford in street clothing.

William Ford’s criminal record sheet dated 27 July 1886. The missing photograph taken from this sheet was pasted on the one below.
TAHO Ref: GD6719 Page 102

This Hobart Gaol record dated 25 July 1893, the day he was discharged from a sentence of five years, lists William Ford’s offences and three mugshots on lower right, the first showing the prisoner clean shaven and in prisoner clothing.
Source: Archives Office Ref: GD63-1-1P216

Another criminal record sheet for William Ford, this one dated 27 November 1897. The last two entries show lengthy sentences of five and six years in 1886 and 1893. The photographs were taken for the police of William Ford in street clothing, printed in sepia and mounted within the typical conventions of commercial portraiture practiced by T. J. Nevin.
Source: Archives Office Tasmania Ref: GD12812 Page 292

Sourced from TAHO at Flickr

William Ford in street clothing, photographed for police by commercial photographer and government contractor T. J. Nevin. The printing of carte-de-visite portraits in an oval mount of prisoners as identification photographs was still a common format as late as the 1890s in Tasmania.