Prisoner William TURNER 1841-1879

T. J. NEVIN MUGSHOT of William Turner
EXHIBITIONS 1976 and 1977

Prisoner William TURNER
QVMAG Ref: QVM 1985: P: 90 or 1985_p_0090
Photographer: T. J. Nevin
Taken at the Hobart Gaol and Municipal Police Office, Hobart, 1878-9
Exhibited at the Centenary of the Art Gallery NSW, Sydney, 1976

This black and white copy of William Turner’s prisoner identification mugshot was made at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in 1985 from Thomas Nevin’s original sepia print, and placed online at the QVMAG in the early 2000s. The original 1870s print of the b&w copy was exhibited at the AGNSW in 1976 (listed on page 27 in the Exhibition Catalogue). The curator chose this one (and another two photographs) possibly because the full frontal pose and the frank stare captured more of the prisoner’s “personality” than the conventional pose where the sitter’s sightlines were deflected either left or right, the pose typical of Nevin’s commercial studio practice and evident in the more than 200 (two hundred) prisoner cdvs held in the Beattie collection at the QVMAG. In addition, this print was possibly chosen because it had escaped the rebranding on the versos with the inscription “Taken at Port Arthur 1874” for Beattie’s tourism trade of the 1900s and for the 1938 QVMAG exhibition which commemorated his death and bequest to the people of Launceston. A year after the 1976 AGNSW Centenary Exhibition, in 1977, many more of these “convict portraits” by T. J. Nevin from the Beattie collection were exhibited at the QVMAG, curated by John McPhee.

Verso: Prisoner William TURNER
QVMAG Ref: QVM 1985: P: 90 or 1985_p_0090
Photographer: T. J. Nevin
Taken at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart, 1878
Exhibited at the Centenary of the Art Gallery NSW, Sydney, 1976
See the Exhibition Catalogue here in this post

1859: Turner’s shooting with intent to kill a Constable

Source:The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (Tas. : 1858 – 1860) Thu 3 Nov 1859 Page 2 POLICE COURT.

TRANSCRIPT

Remanded.-William Turner, Henry Townsend, and Thomas Morgan were brought up on remand, charged with feloniously shooting, at Swanton, Constable Wells, with intent to kill and murder him.
Upon the application of Mr. Sub – Inspector Weale the prisoners were further remanded until to-morrow (this day) when the evidence against them will be adduced.

1873: Turner discharged from H. M. Gaol with FP

Prisoner William Turner from Bristol. sentenced to 10 years for housebreaking and stealing was transported to VDL per the Lord Goderich, arriving on 18 November 1841 as an 18 year old. He was then sentenced at the Hobart Supreme Court on 6th December 1859 to life imprisonment for “shooting with intent etc“. He was received at the Municipal Police Office, Town Hall from the Port Arthur prison and discharged in the week ending 4th June 1873, Free with Pardon (abbreviated as FP in the police gazette record above).

1878: Turner convicted of larceny from a tin mining site
William Turner may have committed further offences using aliases between his discharge in 1873 and his conviction in 1878 , as his name does not appear against any further convictions in the Tasmanian police gazettes until 1878. While working as a sawyer in the Scottsdale and Ringarooma area of northern Tasmania in 1878, Turner was convicted for the theft of a calico tent and fly from the Briseis Tin Mining Company, Cascade River.

Page 152, Tasmania Reports of Crime. 20 September 1878.
William Turner was suspected of theft of a calico tent and fly.

Above: Two notices published in the Tasmanian police gazettes issues of 6th and 20th September 1878 concerning thefts of four meershaum pipes and a calico tent and fly by William Turner.

Above: William Turner, conviction of larceny published 26 October 1878
Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime Information for Police, Gov’t printer.

During the week of 26th October 1878, William Turner, sawyer, 57 years old, 5ft 8½ inches tall, and Free by Servitude (FS) was convicted of larceny and sentenced to 6 months. His prior conviction – a life sentence in 1859 for shooting with intent from which he was discharged free with a pardon in 1873 – was not recorded. On incarceration at the Hobart Gaol in October 1878 and discharge from the Mayor’s Court at the Hobart Town Hall in March 1879, T. J. Nevin photographed William Turner in full frontal pose for police and prison records. An archivist in the early 1900s, using the police gazette record, inscribed on the verso “FS” below the prisoner’s name, William Turner, and the ship, Lord Goderich. A more recent inscription in a different hand – (Boys Ship) referring to the Lord Goderich and the date of his arrival in VDL (18/11/1841) – was probably added for the 1976 Centenary Exhibition of the Art Gallery of NSW and/or the 1977 QVMAG Exhibition of more than seventy “convict portraits” – i.e. mugshots of Tasmanian prisoners taken in the 1870s by Thomas J. Nevin – curated by John McPhee.

Verso: Prisoner William TURNER
QVMAG Ref: QVM 1985: P: 90 or 1985_p_0090
Photographer: T. J. Nevin
Taken at the Hobart Gaol and Municipal Police Office, Hobart, 1878-9
Exhibited at the Centenary of the Art Gallery NSW, Sydney, 1976
See the Exhibition Catalogue here in this post

“The work of T. J. Nevin…”
Source: the Mercury, March 3rd, 1977

TRANSCRIPT

Convict photos at Launceston
Historic photographs showing convicts at Port Arthur in 1874 will be exhibited at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery at Launceston from tomorrow to May 2.
The work of T. J. Nevin, the photos are being shown at Launceston for the first time.
Many of the men shown in the pictures had been transported to Port Arthur as young boys 40 years earlier.
The curator of fine art at the museum, Mr. John McPhee, said yesterday that the photos had “a quality far beyond that of records”.
“Just once rascally, occasionally noble always pathetic, these photographs are among the most moving and powerful images of the human condition,” he said.


Transportation Records  for William TURNER 1841
Archives Office of Tasmania Linc
Name:Turner, William
Record Type:Convicts
Departure date:14 Jul 1841
Departure port:Portsmouth
Ship:Lord Goderich
Voyage number:183
Index number:71924
Record ID:NAME_INDEXES:1441965

Source: Archives Office of Tasmania CON33 -1-14

William Turner, sentenced to 10 years for housebreaking and stealing was transported to VDL per the Lord Goderich, arriving on 18 November 1841 as an 18 year old. This record gives more detail about further offences until 1853.