Rosanna Mary Domeney nee Tilley at Thomas Nevin’s studio 1870s

ROSANNA and WILLIAM DOMENEY Recherche Bay, Tasmania
TILLEY and DOMENEY Title Deeds Warwick St. Hobart, Tasmania
MORRISON family Mary and Jane New Wharf, Hobart Tasmania
WILLIAM LEGRAND book seller and conchologist
THOMAS J. NEVIN highs and lows 1870s-1890s

Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day (1847-1914) born in London and baptised at St Mary, Rotherhithe UK, married Belfast-born photographer Thomas J. Nevin in July 1871 at Kangaroo Valley, New Town Tasmania, thereby becoming the wife of a professional photographer and friend to families within her husband’s cohort. She was especially kind to photographer Samuel Clifford whose wife Annie Margaret Clifford and son Samuel Charles George Clifford had both died in childbirth in 1867. But she was also the daughter and niece of master mariners Captain James Day (1806-1882) and Captain Edward Goldsmith (1804-1869) respectively, as well as sister-in-law to Captain Hector Horatio Axup (1843-1927), who married her sister Mary Sophia Day (1853-1942) in May 1878, also at Kangaroo Valley. Her connections with the wives and daughters of the mariner community of Tasmania brought a ready clientage to Thomas Nevin’s photographic studio at 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart, including members of the Bayley, Chandler, Axup, Hamilton, Domeney and Morrison families.

Even a brief excursion into the family history of just one of Thomas Nevin’s clients, in this instance, Rosanna Mary Domeney nee Tilley whose faded photograph was discovered in an album of her friend and contemporary Hannah Collis, reveals a rich network of families, friends, clients at the studio, and professional associations in Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin’s social circle. Those mentioned in this article include the following:

Tilley family:
Rosanna Mary Domeney nee Tilley, Warwick St. Hobart and Recherche Bay, photographed at Nevin’s studio, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart ca. 1873.
John Tilley, victualler, father of Rosanna, licensee of the Sawyers’ Arms 1836-49, Murray St. Hobart. He arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) in 1828 with his family per Medway 2 (Archives Office Tasmania Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1597176 Resource: CSO1/1/344 file 7875 pp48 & 56)
Elizabeth Ann Tilley nee Fitzpatrick, mother of Rosanna, proprietor, Warwick St.Hobart
George Tilley, uncle of Rosanna, Murray St. Hobart
William James Tilley, shipwright, cousin of Rosanna, Murray St. Hobart
Isabel Rosanna Tilley, daughter of Ann Abigail Martin and William James Tilley, b.1872, niece of Rosanna Domeney.
Emily Tilley (cousin?), married Frederick Stops (1867), clerk to Attorney-General W. R. Giblin who worked closely on Prisoner Petitions with Thomas Nevin’s prisoner photographs.

Domeney family:
Captain William Lemuel Domeney, Rosanna Mary Tilley’s husband (m. 1853)
Their children:
William Sidney Domeney (b. 1853)
William Samuel Domeney (b. 1856)
Rosanna Mary Domeney (b. 1859)
Lillian Esther Domeney (b. 1861)
No name given (b.1866)
Violet Ella Domeney (b. 1867)
Eva Alexandra Domeney (b. 1869 – d. 7 Sept 1878 of diphtheria)
May Malvina Domeney (b. 1873)
William Eugene Campbell Domeney (b. 1877)

Morrison family, ship owners:
Mary Morrison, client at Nevin’ studio, photographed for her cousin Jane Beddow ca, 1872. Thomas Nevin also photographed Mrs Morrison.

Clinch family:
Captain John and Mrs Clinch. Rosanna Tilley and William Lemuel Domeney were married at the Clinch home, Murray St. in 1853. Thomas Nevin photographed Cpt Clinch in 1872. Captain John Clinch was a close associate of Elizabeth Rachel Nevin’s uncle Captain Edward Goldsmith:

Captain John Clinch was a contemporary of Captain Edward Goldsmith, both sharing common ground at Rotherhithe, Surrey, where John Clinch was born in 1808, and Edward Goldsmith, born in 1804, trained as a merchant mariner at East India House before taking command of Robert Brook’s privately-owned vessels on the Australian wool trade route. Both mariners shared a concern to assist in the development of the colony of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) through expansion of intercolonial shipping. Captain Edward Goldsmith regularly attended shareholder meetings of the TSN Co. during 1853-1854 in Hobart which Captain John Clinch joined in 1854, taking command of their iron Tasmania on direct voyages to Sydney. He also commanded the TSN’s City of Hobart, and Southern Cross.

Legrand family:
William Legrand, bookseller and conchologist, possibly photographed by Nevin ca. 1870. He stayed with the Domeneys at their guest house while seeking new shell species at Recherche Bay.

Hurst family:
James Hurst, contemporary of Thomas Nevin’s father John Nevin snr, with historic family connections to Grey Abbey, County Down, Ireland.
John Hurst, son of James and Eliza Hurst, surveyor and father of William Nevin Tatlow Hurst, born on 22 August 1868. The birth was registered by informant Thomas Nevin.
Mary Hurst, sister of surveyor John Hurst, was a witness at the marriage of Thomas’ sister Mary Anne Nevin to mariner John Carr at the Wesleyan Chapel, Kangaroo Valley, Hobart.

Chandler family:
William Chandler was proprietor of an allotment on the corner of Warwick and Murray Sts, neighbouring Tilley and Domeney allotments. His sister-in-law, Martha Nevin, formerly Salter nee Genge married Thomas Nevin’s father John Nevin snr in 1879 as an in loco parentis gesture to raise his granddaughter Minnie Carr whose mother Mary Ann Carr, daughter of John Nevin and sister of Thomas and his brother Jack Nevin, had died in childbirth in 1878. Martha and her sister Mary were born to William Genge, lay Methodist preacher and close friend of John Nevin until his death in 1881. Mary Genge married William Chandler in 1868: their son James Chandler became a marine photographer.

George Augustus Robinson: his land grant of 1836 which occupied approx. 5,100 sqm on the corner of Elizabeth and Warwick Sts, was purchased by George Salier in 1851. It was located diagonally across from the Melbourne Lodge, which was built in 1829 and later occupied by George Salier’s large family.

McVilly family:
Rosanna’s first-born daughter, given at birth in 1859 the same name as her mother – Rosanna Mary Domeny – was 23 yrs old when she married William Henry McVilly, 20 yrs old at Hobart on 13th January 1883. Thomas J. Nevin photographed three McVilly family members in December 1874, viz. the children of his Hobart City Council colleague William Thomas McVilly (1841-1914) and his wife Sarah Francis (1839-?) . Those photographs are now held at the National Library of New Zealand, Wellington.

Giblin family:
William Robert Giblin was the Tasmanian Attorney-General in 1876, Premier in 1878 and Nevin’s family solicitor. From 1868 to 1880, the Hon. W. R. Giblin supported Thomas Nevin in securing government contracts with the Lands and Survey Department to document public works, followed by commissions with the Municipal Police Office to photograph prisoners from regional police lock-ups at the Hobart Gaol, and referreed his appointment to the civil service in 1876 as Hall and Office Keeper of the Hobart Town Hall. Thomas Nevin took this photograph of W. R. Giblin in 1874:

Thomas Nevin’s photograph of Rosanna May Domeney nee Tilley
The two full-length cdvs (below) taken by Thomas Nevin in his city studio share several common features. The first was taken of Rosanna Mary Domeney nee Tilley (1835?-1906), wife of mariner and inn-keeper Captain William Lemuel Domeney (1832-1898) of Recherche Bay, south of Hobart. The second full-length cdv was taken of Mary Morrison, a young relative of shipowner Askin Morrison of New Wharf, Hobart (1800–1876) .

Studio portrait of Rosanna Mary Domeney nee Tilley (1835?-1906)
Photographed by Thomas J. Nevin ca, 1872-3
The City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Tasmania
Source: Flinders Island: Badger Corner and Samphire River
Copyright Private Collection ; courtesy of Deb, much thanks for alerting us

Although the full-length carte-de-visite photograph of Rosanna Domeney is in poor condition, foxing and fading having obscured details of her dress and facial expression to no small degree, when first taken and printed by Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1872, it would have been delivered to her in similar pristine condition to this portrait of Mary Morrison who posed on the same carpet with the same chair.

Mary Morrison: inscription verso – “Mary Morrison for her cousin Jane”
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1871, blind stamp recto lower left corner
Taken at the City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town, Tasmania
The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection
Ref: Q14528 [scan 2015]

Mary Morrison, possibly still in her teens, had a purpose in mind when she posed for this portrait in her best summer dress. The photograph was to be a wedding gift for the marriage of her cousin Jane Morrison to John Beddow, which took place on the 23rd February 1871 in the house of her father and in the presence of witnesses J. C. and A. C. Morrison. Perhaps dressed and ready on that very day to attend a party for the bride, Mary Morrison chose to be photographed wearing a thin light-coloured summer dress braided at the cuffs, shoulders and V-neck, a dark neckband with brooch at her neck, with her hair tightly drawn back into a large bun from the part. Pouting perhaps from shyness, her body and gaze under her lashes directed slightly to the photographer’s right, she surrendered to stillness long enough to render an image clear and sharp.Thomas Nevin stood her on his summer tapis (the floor covering with chain and b&w lozenge pattern) and surrounded her with his favoured items of studio decor of the early 1870s: the dining chair with arch back and carved centre handle; a damask drape embossed with butterflies to her left, drawn back to reveal a dropsheet painted with a checked tile patio and Italianate balustrade leading out to a river meandering into the distance. Thomas Nevin stamped the lower left corner recto with his blind stamp impress, “T. NEVIN PHOTO”. He may have written the dedication on the verso himself for her – “Mary Morrison for her Cousin Jane” . The card itself was commercially printed for use as a postcard: printed along the left hand side is a reminder of its origins: “Tasmania”.

Marriage of Jane Morrison to John Beddow 23 feb 1871:

Name: Morrison, Jane
Record Type: Marriages
Gender: Female
Age: 23
Spouse: Beddow, John
Gender: Male
Age: 29
Date of marriage: 23 Feb 1871
Registered: Hobart
Registration year: 1871
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:874232
Resource: RGD37/1/30 no 190
Archives Office Tasmania

William Lemuel and Rosanna Mary Domeney nee Tilley
Rosanna Mary Tilley married mariner William Lemuel Domeney on 30th April 1853 at the house of master mariner Captain John Clinch, Murray St. Hobart. Thomas Nevin photographed Captain Clinch on board the City of Hobart during a day trip for colonists and visiting intercolonial VIPs to Adventure Bay, Bruny Island on 31st January 1872. Rosanna Domeney and Mary Morrison may well have been among the four hundred or so subscribed day-trippers he photographed on the boat and on the sands at the Bay on that special occasion.

Marriage of Rosanna Mary Tilley to William Lemuel Domeney 30 April 1853:

Name: Tilley, Rosannna Mary
Record Type: Marriages
Age: Minor
Spouse: Domeney, William Lemuel
Gender: Male
Age: Adult
Date of marriage:
30 Apr 1853
Registered: Hobart
Registration year: 1853
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:849112
Resource: RGD37/1/12 no 877
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania

Nine children were registered as births to William and Rosanna Domeney between 1853 and 1877. The birth of the first child was registered by their father William Lemuel (sometime written as Samuel) Domeney, resident of 201 (?) Murray St. Hobart (see map below), but by 1862 the family was resident at Recherche Bay. The birth of May Malvina at Hobart was registered on March 3rd 1873 by Rosanna’s 12 yr old daughter Lillian Esther, sister of the new-born. Rosanna Domeney was photographed by Thomas J. Nevin in Hobart about the same time as this birth, 1873.

William Sidney Domeney (b. 1853)
William Samuel Domeney (b. 1856)
Rosanna Mary Domeney (b. 1859)
Lillian Esther Domeney (b. 1861)
No name given (b.1866)
Violet Ella Domeney (b. 1867)
Eva Alexandra Domeney (b. 1869 – d. 7 Sept 1878 of diphtheria)
May Malvina Domeney (b. 1873)
William Eugene Campbell Domeney (b. 1877)

At Recherche Bay 1866-1869
Although Rosanna and William Domeney were resident in Hobart when their first three children were born, one document at least suggests William Lemuel Domeney received a land grant of 2.762ha at Ramsgate, Recherche Bay as early as 1848 (see PF3561 Domeney William Lemuel, Grant 2.762ha Sec.R, Town of Ramsgate Recherche Bay. Item AB567/1/1848 Archives Office of Tasmania).

On 3rd October 1863 William was listed as a licensed victualler of Recherche Bay when he signed this memorial of an indenture to Charles Eady, butcher of Hobart for purchase of two blocks of land at Ramsgate, Recherche Bay – 6.3.2 acres along the Esplanade adjoining Crown land and 1.3.20 acres bounded by Mary and Elizabeth Sts.- on payment of £1000 – one thousand pounds sterling with yearly instalments of interest.

Land Information System Tasmania
William Lemuel Domeney and Charles Eady Memorial 3. 10. 63
Read the full document on our link here: Historic Deed-05_2231

The Recherche Bay Land Management group in 2007 located the remains of William Domeney’s craft buildings and ship building slip at Bennetts Point, and remnants of William Domeney’s boarding house at Sullivan’s Point.

A Crown Survey map made by Surveyor George Innes in 1863 shows a ship being built at Bennetts Point and annotated ‘craft building’. The ship may be the Ripple which was built at Recherche Bay in 1863 and owned by William Domeney, who later lived at Sullivans Point. The map also shows three huts near the craft building location. The more substantial of two dry-stone walls at Bennetts Point has been identified as the remains of the ship building slip.

These included: a lock-up at Quiet Cove, occupied by Thomas Driscoll, constable and mailman, and his family from at least 1869 to 1889; and a boarding house built by William Domeney at Sullivans Point. The PWD plan of the Recherche Lock up shows a small Lshaped weatherboard building with one chimney, and a small outhouse (WC) in a fenced backyard. Driscoll had cut an access track across the Point from the beach opposite. He had a large garden and cultivated the ground using horses.
Chimney rubble and footings at Quiet Cove may be the remains of the lock-up or the boarding house. Other types of features which may survive include remains of the second building, stables, remnant cleared areas with 100 years regrowth and tracks.

Source: Recherche-Bay-Management-Plan-2007 pp50-51
Tasmanian Land Conservancy

Bookseller William Legrand who stayed at Domeney’s Ramsgate Inn at Recherche Bay in 1869 while on a conchological excursion, noted Rosanna’s absence from Ramsgate Inn. She had gone to Hobart and given birth to her fourth daughter Eva Alexandra at Hobart on 10th February 1869 (RGD33/1/10/ no 158). William Legrand later wrote in a newspaper article dated 8th March 1869 that he –

… did not have the pleasure of seeing Mrs. D., that lady being on a visit to town, the result of which was an addition to the population of Recherche.

See Addenda below for complete transcript.
Source: Weekly News [Hobart] 6 Mar. 1869: 9; and the Evening Mail [Hobart] 8 Mar. 1869: 3, 4:
Holloway. J. 2010, Appendix A p. 317.

GAMBLING on GOOD FRIDAY at Domeney’s in 1866 cost him a court appearance and fine.

Gambling on Good Friday at Domeney’s, Recherche Bay
Source: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.) Tue 8 May 1866 Page 2 COUNTRY COURT.


Wednesday, 2ND MAY, 1866.
Before the Visiting Magistrate, H. J. Daldy, Esq., and J. B. Bothman, Esq., J.P.
Gambling.– Ransom v. Domeney.-This was an information by the district constable of the Franklin district, Mr. Ransom, charging William Lemuel Domeney, the landlord of the Ramsgate Hotel, Recherche Bay, with a breach of the Licensing Act, in permitting gambling upon his premises on the afternoon of Good Friday.
Defendant did not appear and the Bench proceeded with the case ex parte.
The evidence went to show that on the day in question several persons were playing cards in defendant’s house, which ended in a dispute as is generally the case.
The Bench fined defendant £5 and costs.

Source: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas) Tue 8 May 1866 Page 2 COUNTRY COURT.

William Lemuel Domeney purchased a cutter called the Victoria from wood and coal merchant James Hurst in February 1877 shortly before James Hurst died of stomach cancer, 77 yrs old in June 1877. (Bill of sale of the cutter Victoria from James Hurst to W. L. Domeney. Archives Office Tasmania Item Number: NS10/1/4 23 Feb 1877).

This family too was connected to Thomas Nevin’s family through historic connections to Grey-Abbey, Co. Down Ireland. James Hurst, a surveyor, who was born at Grey-Abbey (ca. 1800-1877) held the lease for the Salt Water Coal Mines, Tasman Peninsula from 1858 until his death. His wife Eliza Hurst nee Nevin (1814-1902) may or may not have been a sister of Thomas’ father John Nevin snr (1808-1887) depending on the teller. John Nevin snr was also born at Grey-Abbey, Co. Down Ireland. The son of Eliza and James Hurst, John Hurst, also a surveyor, married Louisa Tatlow on 27th November 1862 at Port Sorell, a town on the north-west coast of Tasmania. The birth of their first son, William Nevin Tatlow Hurst (James Hurst’s grandson) at Hobart was registered on 22nd May, 1868 by photographer Thomas J, Nevin, of 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart, acting as informant while John Hurst was elsewhere on business. John Hurst’s sister, Mary Hurst, born at Grey Abbey, County Down, Ireland, (1839-1925) died at her nephew’s house (i.e. William Nevin Tatlow Hurst’s home), 30 Cross Street, New Town, Tasmania. She apparently never married, or at least, retained her maiden name through to her death. She was a signatory witness at the marriage of Thomas Nevin’s sister, Mary Anne Nevin to John Carr on 3rd May 1877 at Kangaroo Valley, New Town, now Lenah Valley (Ref: RGD37/1/36 no 359. Tasmanian Names Index).

At Warwick St. between Elizabeth and Murray Sts., Hobart
Members of Rosanna Domeney’s maternal family, George and William James Tilley retained the properties they had claimed by 1841 on Murray St. and purchased several more on Warwick St between Murray and Elizabeth Streets. Rosanna’s father John Tilley, victualler and licensee of the Sawyer’s Arms from 1836 to 1849, died in 1850. He had bought property since the early 1830s in Murray, Harrington, Bathurst, and Melville Sts., including the line of properties in Warwick St. from Mezger and others in 1849 (See LIST Index Files Historic Deeds 1827-1926 THU-TIN).

Rosanna’s mother Elizabeth Ann Tilley, wife of victualler John Tilley, died of liver failure, 57 yrs old in December 1848. By the time of her marriage in 1853 their daughter Rosanna Mary Tilley, 19 yrs old and newly wed to mariner William Lemuel Domeny, had inherited ten properties on Warwick St, between Elizabeth and Murray Streets, all leased and separated by one lot owned by William Chandler. His lot was sold to John Sullivan in February 1879. It was located on the corner of Murray and Warwick Streets (Mercury Thu 6 Mar 1879 Page 4 Advertising).

The Chandler family was another with close connections to Thomas Nevin’s family. William Chandler married a daughter of Wesleyan lay preacher William Genge, Mary Genge at Hobart in 1868. Her sister Martha (1833-1925) formerly Salter nee Genge, arrrived in Hobart in 1878 and married widower John Nevin snr, Thomas’ father, in 1879. John Nevin published a lament on the death of their father William Genge in 1881. Martha Nevin formerly Salter nee Genge therefore was technically Thomas’ step-mother and William Chandler, listed as a boarding house owner on his death certificate, was his uncle by 1879.  William Chandler took over the lease of Thomas Nevin’s former studio in 1877 at No. 140 Elizabeth St. owned by John Elliot (Valuation Rolls 1884). Mary and William Chandler’s youngest son James Chandler (1877-1945) also took up the profession of photographer.

W. Chandler’s store, Wilmot Street, off Hampden Rd, Hobart c 1880s
Photographer: possibly half stereo, T. J Nevin 1880s
Item: NS869-1-455_2 Link:
Archives Office Tasmania

Sprent’s map dated 1841 (below) shows the land grant of one acre two roods and thirty six perches (approx. one and quarter acres or 5,100 sqm) to George Augustus Robinson in 1836 on the south west corner of Warwick and Elizabeth Streets. Although he departed Tasmania for Port Phillip, Victoria in 1839, he did not sell the land until 1851 when draper George Salier offered £1200 pounds sterling for it. The 1841 map shows Tilley family properties in Murray Street and by 1851, further properties in Warwick St. belonging to Rosanna Mary Domeny’s father John Tilley. They were described in the memorializing indenture for the sale of Robinson’s allotment (below – No. 03/5878).

This is an extract from that document:
Source: LIST Historic Deed No. 03/5878: –

Memorial of an Indenture to be registered pursuant the Act of Council in the case 5858 made and provided –

Date of Indenture:
The ninth day of April in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty one –

Names and additions of the parties thereto:
George Augustus Robinson late of Hobart Town but now of Victoria Esquire of the one part and George Salier of Hobart Draper of the other part.

Names and additions of the witnesses thereto:
The witnesses to the execution of the new Memorializing Indenture by the said George Augustus Robinson were Robert William Nutt and Joseph Thomas Smales both of Hobart Town Solicitors –

Nature and object thereof: (omitted here – outlines the terms of the Act, the Letters of Patent, names involved etc)

Description of the hereditaments thereby affected:
All that allotment or piece of land situate and being in Hobart Town aforesaid containing one acre two roods and thirty six perches and bounded on the North West by five chains and one link South Westerly along Warwick Street from its angle with Elizabeth Street On the South by three chains and thirty one links South Easterly along an allottment occupied by or belonging to John Tilley an allotment occupied by or belonging to Henry Mather another allotment belonging to occupied or belonging to John Tilley and along part of another allotment occupied or belonging to W Broadribb on the South Easter by five chains and along an allotment granted to Joseph Bowden to Elizabeth St aforesaid and thence on the North East by three chains and thirty two links to North Westerly along that street to the point of commencement or howsoever otherwise the said allotment of Land was or might be bounded described or distinguished and as the same was delineated in the Plan drawn in the margin of the said recited Letters of Patent together with the several messuages or tenements and outbuildings thereon erected.

Where situate:
Hobart Town in Van Diemen’s Land

Consideration to whom and how paid:
The consideration as appears by the new Memorializing Indenture was the sum of one thousand two hundred pounds sterling paid by the said George Salier to the said George Augustus Robinson at or immdediately before the execution thereof and a receipt for the same sum is also endorsed thereon.

Source: LIST Historic Deed No. 03/5878

Map – Sprents Page 28 – Bounded by Warwick, Elizabeth, Patrick and Harrington Streets (Sections Vv, Ww) Hobart
Item Number AF393/1/29
Series Sprent’s Maps (AF393)
Start Date 01 Jan 1841 End Date 31 Dec 1841
View online AF393-1-29

By the time of his purchase, George Salier was resident in the nearby Melbourne Lodge which was built in 1829 by auctioneer John George Stracey on the corner of Elizabeth and Warwick Streets, diagonally across from George Augustus Robinson’s land grant. It is still standing today, operating as a guest house. He then began the sale in small lots of this purchase from May 1851 onwards to a number of notables, including two lots on Elizabeth and Warwick Sts to builder Abraham Biggs, owner of the studio and residence occupied by Thomas Nevin by 1867 and photographer Alfred Bock before him by 1856 lower down Elizabeth St. In fact, all through 1851 George Salier bought and sold properties the length of Warwick and Elizabeth Streets, and was still buying and selling real estate around the island well into the 1880s (see The LIST, Historic Deeds Index Files1827-1926_SAB-SAL at

Melbourne Lodge, the residence of Mr. Geo. Salier, Elizabeth Street
Photographer: Samuel Clifford, Hobart, 1860s
Stereographs of Tasmania, Sydney and Scone, N.S.W., collected by George Wigram Allen, 1852-
State library NSW Ref: PXB 199

An eligible young woman of means in her own right, 19yr old Rosanna Mary Tilley at marriage to William Lemuel Domeney in 1853, held a diverse property portfolio the length of Warwick St. (at lower centre in this detail of a photo, unattributed, taken ca. 1880).

From the collection of James Backhouse Walker of a view of Hobart from West Hobart.
Photographer: H. H. Baily 1880
Source: University of Tasmania ePrints
See below for full photograph

In foreground: callout on buildings in Warwick Street Hobart, the properties acquired by the Tilley family (see the map above) between Elizabeth and Murray Streets. On the death of Rosanna Domeney nee Tilley in 1907, Nos. 69, 71, 73 and 75 Warwick St. were up for sale. This view is looking from left to right, from Elizabeth St. down Warwick St. to Murray St. Hobart.

In foreground: callout on buildings in Murray Street, Hobart. Rosanna’s maternal family, George and William James Tilley claimed allotments bordering on George Augustus Robinson’s original land grant. Her father John Tilley ran the Sawyer’s Arms in Murray St. from 1836-1849. Five members of his family were resident at 116 Murray St. in the 1848 census. On the corner of Murray and Warwick Streets, lower centre, was the parcel of land owned by William Chandler.

At top centre: callout on buildings at Nos. 138 -140 Elizabeth St. Hobart. On the corner of Elizabeth and Patrick Streets stood the Royal Standard Hotel, owned by government contractor and victualler James Spence. Next door at 140 Elizabeth St. was Thomas Nevin’s shop and studio, The City Photographic Establishment with the glass house and gallery at rear along the side cart path at No. 138½ Elizabeth Street. The dark building next door at 138 Elizabeth St. was Thomas Nevin’s family residence (until 1876 when they moved into the Keeper’s apartments at the Hobart Town Hall). This row of buildings was demolished (at an unknown date) and the street numbers changed. Where Nevin’s studio was located at No. 140 is now the site of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, 198 Elizabeth St. Hobart. Sprent’s map of 1841 (below) shows the location of these premises – the inkblot at top left, grants to Lester and Makepeace, before sale to Abraham Biggs in 1853.

Map – Sprents Page 21 – Bounded by Elizabeth, Melville, Murray and Patrick Streets (Section Mm, Ss) Hobart
Item Number AF393/1/22
Series Sprent’s Maps (AF393)
Start Date 01 Jan 1841 End Date 31 Dec 1841
View online AF393-1-22

Detail showing the Royal Standard Hotel at 142 Elizabeth Street, Hobart, proprietor James Spence; the City Photographic Establishment, shop and studio and glass house and gallery at rear accessed by a side cart path, 140 Elizabeth Street, Hobart, and residence at 138 Elizabeth St.,  residence and business of photographer Thomas J. Nevin 1867-1876.

Detail of NS1013-1-522
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania
Title: Hobart from from the intersection of Union Street and Devonshire Square, West Hobart, looking eastwards
Item Number: NS1013/1/522
Start Date: 01 Jan 1890
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania
Creating Agency: Pretyman Family (NG1012) 17 Aug 1892

Trustee W. R. Giblin in 1876
Rosanna Mary Domeney’s father John Tilley, licensed victualler who died in 1850, had stipulated that his Trustees Thomas Mezger and Christopher Basstian provide for the maintenance and education of his daughter Rosanna Mary until she married or turned 21 years old, whichever came first, and that the profits from his estate be passed to her for her exclusive use and not of any husband, should she marry. However, when her mother died in 1848, the properties she had inherited from both parents were registered jointly on the Valuation Rolls in both her name and that of her husband William Lemuel Domeney once she was married. Her Hobart address was 75 Warwick St. Hobart by 1872, the year she most likely visited Thomas Nevin for a portrait at his studio. In 1876 she sought to convey the land and four properties described in Title Deed No. 06/2114, dated 15 August 1876 to Trustees William Robert Giblin (1840-1887) and William Ansty Knight “with the concurrence of the said William Lemuel Domeney” her husband, and when both Trustees were deceased by 1889, she transferred their interest to Henry William Chapman and Henry Priest who offered the Warwick Street properties for sale within months of Rosanna Domeney’s death in 1907 (see The Tasmanian Lands and Titles Historic Register 1827-1926_DOB-DON.pdf and advertisement for sale below)

Domeny, Rosanna Mary
Title Deed No. 06/2114 Warwick St. Hobart
Con. with 2 ors. to R.W.Giblin & anor. 15.8.76

Title Deed No. 11/6392 See Memorial
O.S.C. to HY.W.Chapman & anor. re Est. 30.7.07

Source:Land Information System Tasmania
LIST Historic Register 1827-1926_DOB-DON
Historic Deed No. 06/2114

EXTRACT: Title Deed No, 06/2114, 15th August 1876
Nature and Object:


All that piece of land situate in Hobart Town in Tasmania bounded on the North side by seventy three feet along Warwick Street on the West side by one hundred and three feet six inches along land now or formerly belonging to one William Chandler On the East side by one hundred and eighteen feet along land now or formerly belonging to one William Collins and on the South side by seventy four feet along land now or formerly belonging to one Emanuel Wellard Together with the four several messuages or dwelling houses situate and being upon the said piece of land.

Read the full document dated 1876 here at our link.

Photographer Thomas J. Nevin was well-known to Rosanna Domeney’s Trustee, William Robert Giblin, Tasmanian Attorney-General in 1876 and Premier in 1878. He acted as solicitor for Thomas Nevin in the dissolution of the partnership operating as the firm Nevin & Smith in 1868 when Robert Smith departed for Goulburn NSW. From 1868 to 1880, the Hon. W. R. Giblin supported Thomas Nevin in various government contractual arrangements, first with the Lands and Survey Department to document public works, followed by commissions with the Municipal Police Office and Mayor’s Court to photograph prisoners at the Port Arthur prison and Hobart Gaol; and finally with his appointment to the civil service in 1876 as Hall and Office Keeper of the Hobart Town Hall. Thomas Nevin took this photograph of W. R. Giblin in 1874:

Hon. William Robert Giblin, Tasmanian Attorney-General and Premier
Photo by Thomas J. Nevin 1874.
Verso with T. Nevin stamp
Archives Office of Tasmania Ref: NS 1013/1971

On the death of her Trustee W. R. Giblin in 1887 and then her husband William Lemuel Domeney in 1898, the Warwick St. properties were valued exclusively in Rosanna Domeney’s name. Her husband died of cerebral softening and heart failure at the premises of their daughter at Sandy Bay on 16th November 1898, just 66 yrs old. His occupation was listed as “cab proprietor” (RGD35/1/68 no. 655). He had operated a cab business from the premises at 69 – 75 Warwick St., Rosanna’s principal address when resident in Hobart. On offer for sale in 1907, it was advertised as having;-

… extensive stabling, with two carriage houses, large harness room, and hay room, etc., making the property very suitable for a carrier or cab proprietor

Deceased estate: sale of Rosanna Domeney’s properties in Warwick St, 1907
Source: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas) Thu 23 May 1907 Page 8 Advertising

Those premises were located on the right hand side of Warwick Street, from the intersection with Elizabeth Street, if coming from Campbell Street. They were still standing when put at auction in 1907, and perhaps were still standing until the whole right side of Warwick Street from Elizabeth Street to Murray Street was demolished to make way for the construction of the Elizabeth Matriculation College in the 1960s.

Memorial notices for Rosanna Domeney 1907-1909
Rosanna Domeney died on April 28th, 1907 at the home of her daughter Violet Ella Davis who was born in 1867. Violet Ella Domeney was still a minor, 16 yrs old when she married master mariner Captain James Davis, 26 yrs old. They were married at Hobart on 21st December 1882 (Archives Office Tasmania NAME_INDEXES:892917 Resource: RGD37/1/41 no 272).

DOMENEY. — On April 28, 1907, at her
daughter’s residence, Beach Holme,
King-street W., Sandy Bay, Rosanna
Mary, relict of the late Wm .Lemuel
Domeney, in the 73rd year of her age.
Funeral will leave the above address
for Queenborough Cemetery, at 10
o’clock This (Tuesday) Morning.
Friends respectfully invited to attend.
Melbourne and Home papers please

DOMENEY.—On April 28, 1907, at her
son-in-law’s residence (Captain J.
Davis), Sandy Bay, Hobart, Rosanna
Mary Domeney, widow of the late
William Lemeul Domeney; in her
73rd year.

Mercury 30 April 1907

DOMENEY. -In loving memory of our dear
mother, Rosanna Mary, who departed this
life on April 28, 1907.
Good and gentle was thy lifetime,
Christ hath died to set thee free ;
Wait a little, loved one,
And we shall follow thee.
Inserted by her loving son and daughter.

Mercury 28 April 1909

Beach Holme, 11 King St. Sandy Bay; view from the verandah
Owned by just two families when sold in 2013
Rosanna Domeney died here in 1907
Photos courtesy and copyright Real Estate View

Another of Rosanna’s daughters, her first-born Rosanna Mary Domeny who was given the same name as her mother at birth in 1859 was 23 yrs old when she married William Henry McVilly, 20 yrs old at Hobart on 13th January 1883. They were living at 75 Warwick St. in 1896 when their 13 month old child died suddenly. (Archives Office Tasmania NAME_INDEXES:893820 Resource: RGD37/1/42 no 499 etc).

The McVilly family too had a connection to Thomas J. Nevin. He photographed the three children of his Hobart City Council colleague William Thomas McVilly (1841-1914) and his wife Sarah Francis (1839-?) in December 1874, viz:

Laura Blanche McVilly (1870-1931)
Richard William -“Dick” McVilly (1861-1949 – New Zealand)
Toddler, un-named, possibly their brother Albert Francis McVilly, born 1873.

Date: 18 Dec 1874 By: Nevin, Thomas J, 1842-1923
National Library of New Zealand Ref: PA2-1198

The three photographs of these children appear in a photo album which belonged to the boy (centre), Richard William “Dick” McVilly, and is now held at the National Library of New Zealand, Wellington. Richard “Dick” McVilly spent a few years working on the Tasmanian Railway before settling in New Zealand where he became General Manager Of Railways NZ in 1919 (Otago Daily Times of February 10, 1919).


Deceased estate: sale of Rosanna Domeney’s properties in Warwick St, 1907
Source: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas) Thu 23 May 1907 Page 8 Advertising


TUESDAY, June 4.
Are instructed by Mr. Henry Priest, Trustee under the Settlement of Rosanna Mary Domeney, to sell by auction at their Mart, on TUESDAY, June 4, at 12 o’clock sharp,
FOUR COTTAGES, Nos. 69, 71, 73, and 75 WARWICK-STREET (between Elizabeth-street and Murray-street), having a frontage of 72ft with an average depth of 110ft.
One Dwelling contains 4 rooms and detached kitchen. The others have three rooms each.
There is extensive stabling, with two carriage houses, large harness room, and hay room, etc., making the property very suitable for a carrier or cab proprietor.
Terms-25 per cent, cash; balance on completion. ‘
Reference-Messrs. J. B. Walker, Wolfhagen, and Walch, A.M.P. Chambers.

Thomas Nevin at Warwick Street 1880s-90s
In the late 1880s, while Domeney’s cab business was still in operation, Thomas J. Nevin moved his family from Kangaroo Valley to the house at No. 82 Warwick St. directly opposite the Domeney houses and stables. He engaged an assistant for his coach painting and cartage business, skills he had acquired from working with Sam Page on the Royal Mail coaches travelling between Hobart and Launceston in the 1870s. He was also working for the police as assistant bailiff to Inspector John Dorset by 1886. The premises at No. 82 Warwick St. were located on the left hand side of the street (looking towards Murray St.) separated from No. 80 by a cart path which gave access back around to Elizabeth St (see photos below taken in 2015).

Rosanna Domeney retained ownership of her family properties in Warwick St. on the death of her husband William in 1898, but left the neighbourhood. Once the Domeneys had gone, Thomas Nevin began to falter. He found himself numerous times in front of magistrates at the City Police Court on charges of using obscene language and fined. The police were awarded part of the fine, which was a ready incentive to “construe any words into bad language for 2s. 6d.” (Colonial Times, 17 February 1835, p. 7). The complainant was usually a business competitor or former colleague bearing a grudge. Tasmanian law allowed for charges to be brought, because even though Nevin was not on public property, he could still be heard by passers-by. He was inside the yard “abutting on Warwick Street” when using “very filthy language” according to the constables who seemed to appear out of nowhere at just the right moment.

Thomas Nevin pleaded not guilty at the Police Court today to using obscene language on the 22nd inst. in a yard abutting on Warwick Street. Police Constable Bevis stated on the date mentioned his attention was drawn to the defendant making use of very filthy language. Neighbours and children were round him. The Bench found the man guilty, and told him it was an odd game of his. Even the presence of children did not deter him. He would be fined £5 and costs or three months, and the Bench expressed the hope that it would be a lesson to him.

Thomas Nevin’s very filthy language
Source: Tasmanian News Hobart Tue 18 Feb 1896 Page 2

Obscene language
Amendment 1888 to the Police Act 1865


Penalty for persons using obscene language, &. in other than public places.
6 Every person who, in any place other than the street of any town or any public or common highway or road, or other public place or way, curses or swears, or who sings any profane or obscene song, or insults or uses any abusive or indecent language to or to the annoyance or hearing of any other person whilst such last-mentioned person is passing along or being upon any such street or public or common highway or road, or other public place or way, shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding Five Pounds for each offence.

His fines over three years totalled £30, which is close to £3800 in today’s money. The charge “Obscene Language” might have denoted any mild curse or epithet. These sorts of menial and trivial charges were a source of revenue for the Colonial Government in an era when personal income tax was yet to be formally legislated. Of course, Thomas Nevin pleaded not guilty on every charge at every court appearance, because he felt he was being targeted as a “stereotype” as he put it in his defense:

Thomas Nevin stereotyped for same offence
Source: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas) Wed 21 Sep 1898 Page 2


CITY POLICE COURT. – The Police Magistrate (Mr. B. Shaw) and Mr. James Harcourt, J.P., adjudicated yesterday.
Thomas Nevin, labourer, was charged with having used obscene language in a house in Warwick street on the 9th inst.. He pleaded not guilty, but Constables Crane and Clark proved the offence. Defendant remarked that he was always brought up on the same charge. He thought he must be “stereotyped” with the offence. The Police Magistrate : I am afraid you are ; you have been convicted 33 times of the same charge. We order you to pay a fine of £5, in default you will be imprisoned for three months.

Source: Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), Wednesday 21 September 1898, page 2

It remains to be discovered exactly which words or phrases the police considered obscene enough to drag the offender before the City Police Court. Blasphemy and oaths alone were considered offensive enough – “damn”, “Jesus Christ”, “God Almighty” – are likely candidates, and words used today such as “bloody” “bugger” and “bastard” were already in the profanity repertoire of police. But what was Thomas Nevin really angry about? His verbal abuse of police was justified, in his mind. The lack of effective control over police behaviour was certainly one of his complaints which he aired at a Town Hall public meeting in 1888 where re-organisation of police administration was proposed, and no doubt he witnessed more than his fair share of brutal behaviour when working on contract as the police photographer in prisons and courts. The ugly affair of retribution involving his reporting of Constable Blakeney drunk on the job was also never far from his mind, as it cost him the Town Hall keeper position back in December 1880. When fined 50/s- on Thursday, 14th March 1895 for obscene language which could be heard from the street, the Magistrate also appplied for a notice to be issued to publicans prohibiting them from supplying liquor to Thomas Nevin, “operatic for twelve months“. He also advised Thomas Nevin to seek medical attention.

Pedder v. Nevin: Breach of the Police Act – Amendment Act 1888 – Using obscene language in a house abutting on a public street in Hobart on the third instant – etc
Records of Cases heard in lower Courts
Archives Office Tasmania

As for stereotypes, what were the common targets of social prejudice and opprobium in the 1890s, the decade which saw the rise of the Temperance movement? Was Thomas Nevin cast as the hot-tempered red-head, the drunken Irishman, garrulous to the point of madness with “no control over his unbridled tongue” as one Police Magistrate put it (Mercury 26 May 1897)? Or was he less than the masculine ideal – a soft and sensitive” artist-photographer” who hand-coloured his photographs of convicts? He had found himself the butt of that insult in the meeting of the Police Committee which sacked him from the Hobart Town Hall keeper position in December 1880. Then again, he might have cursed long and too loud the imperialist war-mongers wanting to send his sons off to fight the Boers. Neither Thomas Nevin nor any of his children volunteered service in the Imperial Forces at the Boer War (1899-1902) or at the First World War (1914-18). Pater familias and Wesleyan John Nevin snr had not brought his family across the world to settle in Tasmania to see them sent off to fight another war. His nightmarish experiences fighting the French in waist-deep snow at the Canadian Rebellions in 1839-40 were set as example enough that none of his family should ever go to war again.

The tipping point for this unhappy decade were the deaths in 1887 of his father John Nevin snr and his long-time mentor W. R. Giblin, followed in 1891 by the death of his only surviving sibling, his younger brother Jack, Constable John Nevin, of typhoid while serving at H. M. Gaol in Hobart. Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin had enjoyed a well-connected circle of friends and business colleagues from all walks of life in the 1860s to the 1880s, whether from members of the mariner community, the legal fraternity, municipal police administrators, HCC council aldermen, government contractors, free-lance journalists, and of course, his cohort of fellow photographers. If Thomas Nevin’s dismissal from the position of Hall and Office Keeper at the Hobart Town Hall in December 1880 had been a set up as revenge for reporting constables drunk on duty, who in turn reported him drunk and pretending to be a ghost terrorising the girls of the town in a white sheet, it did not deter him from working with the New Town Territorial Police as assistant bailiff and photographer using his New Town studio up to his retirement from professional photography in 1888, though there was the necessity of finding somewhere other than his father’s home to settle his large family. There was his father’s land grant of ten acres at Cradoc, south of Hobart, but neither Thomas nor his brother Jack showed any propensity for farming, so the land was sold to a member of the Genge family, in-laws of John Nevin’s second wife Martha Nevin formerly Salter nee Genge, daughter of his late friend Wesleyan lay-preacher William Genge. The family home and orchards at Kangaroo Valley occupied by John Nevin snr and family since 1854 sat on land belonging to the Trustees of the Wesleyan Church. With the death of John Nevin in 1887, and the resumption of the land by the Trustees of the Wesleyan Church, Thomas Nevin had to find suitable accommodation for his wife and five surviving children (Albert, born in 1888, was yet to take the number to six). He was possibly at his lowest ebb during those few years they spent at No. 82 Warwick Street. But by 1898, the family had regrouped and settled at No. 236 Elizabeth Street where eldest son Tom “Sonny” Nevin managed a bootmaking business. Thomas with sons William and Albert then turned their attention to the fine art of training thoroughbreds.

Painted portrait of youngest son, trainer and reinsman Albert Nevin with prize winning horse ca. 1917
Copyright © KLW NFC 2009 Private Collection ARR. Watermarked.

Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day Thomas Nevin’s wife, died in 1914 at their final residence, No. 270 Elizabeth St. Their eldest daughter, dressmaker Mary Florence Elizabeth Nevin, known to all as May, 50 years old and to all appearances not married, lived with them and cared for her father in his last years there until his death in 1923. On his passing, four of their adult children moved to Nos. 23-29 Newdegate St. North Hobart, the property they would occupy for the next thirty years with its two residences, stables and vegetable gardens, except the eldest, Tom (T. J. Nevin jnr), known as Sonny, who was married by 1907 and living in California by 1920, and their youngest daughter Minnie who also married in 1907 to James Drew. Claremont House, originally built on John Mezger’s grant in 1838 on the north-west corner of Elizabeth and Warwick Streets, was numbered No. 256 on the 1907 Metropolitan Drainage Board map. It was demolished, together with the neighbouring houses on the original grant, including Thomas Nevin’s former residence at No. 270 where the Elizabeth College now stands at 256-278 Elizabeth St. Hobart.

Plan for Claremont House on John Mezger’s grant in 1838
Archives Office Tasmania Ref: AF394-1-65

Warwick and Elizabeth Street properties; including residences of Thomas Nevin
Detail of Hobart, looking towards Warwick and Elizabeth Sts ca 1880s (unattributed)
Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office Ref: PH6-1-64.

1. North side of Warwick St. Four cottages, stables and the cab business of Captain William Domeney, husband of Rosanna Domeney who inherited the cottages and land at No’s 69, 71, 73 and 75 Warwick St. between Elizabeth and Murray Streets from her father John Tilley in 1850. Resident at Recherche Bay in the 1860s while her husband operated a coastal shipping service, inn and boarding house, the house at No. 75 Warwick St. was Rosanna’s residence while awaiting the birth of her children in the 1860s-1870s. The properties were offered at auction soon after Rosanna Domeney’s death in 1907.

2. South side of Warwick St. Residence of Thomas Nevin and family at No. 82, the house, garden and stables where he operated a coach and cartage buisness from late 1880 to ca. 1898. Alongside the house the cart path lead back around to the rear of the property formerly owned by George Augustus Robinson on Elizabeth St. The rear vegetable garden was laid over a filled-in creek known as the Pool of Aborigines in Robinson’s time because it was used for washing by the groups he confined on his property. No. 82 Warwick St. was originally part of George August Robinson’s 1836 grant on the south west corner of Elizabeth and Warwick Streets, purchased by George Salier and sold in lots in 1851. This house was built on Lot 6, purchased by Abraham Biggs who purchased another, Lot 2, from the same auction round the corner on Elizabeth St. (see Lowes’ Plan for Auction 1851 below). By June 1853, Thomas Nevin’s future mentor and family friend, photographer Samuel Clifford, was operating a grocer and tobacconist buiness built on Bigg’s Lot 2, advertised as No. 176 Elizabeth Street near Warwick Street and two doors from Ash’s Dispensary (now No. 248 Elizabeth Street). In 1853 Biggs was also building the properties further down at No’s 138-140 Elizabeth St. where Thomas Nevin conducted his commercial photographic practice from 1867-76 and Alfred Bock in the decade before him.

Above: detail of a photograph taken in 1890 of the common area behind the property where Thomas J. Nevin and family resided at No. 82 Warwick St. Hobart, 1885-1900. The house was built by Abraham Biggs on Lot 6 purchased in 1851 from the sale of George Augustus Robinson’s 1836 grant on the corner of Elizabeth and Warwick Sts. Robinson’s house, still standing here with its distinctive mansard roof, was demolished in 1894.

Detail of NS1013-1-522
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania
Title: Hobart from from the intersection of Union Street and Devonshire Square, West Hobart, looking eastwards
Item Number: NS1013/1/522
Start Date: 01 Jan 1890
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania
Creating Agency: Pretyman Family (NG1012) 17 Aug 1892

Hypothetically, while tending her vegetable garden and watering her husband’s work horses at the creek behind No. 82 Warwick Street, Elizabeth Nevin might have come across various implements and utensils used by the Tasmanian Aborigines confined on George Augustus Robinson’s property in the 1830s. By 1898, however, when the Nevins had moved to the shop and residence at No. 236 Elizabeth St. the area was reported to run “about a ton of nettles and thistles to the acre” (Tasmanian News, 13 Nov 1900:2) and by 1907, the water course was described as an evil-smelling sewer (Daily Telegraph, 6 July 1907:9)

Above: Lowe’s auction plan of Robinson’s grant on the cnr of Elizabeth and Warwick Sts 1851.
Abraham Biggs bought Lot 2 on Elizabeth St.  let to Samuel Clifford in 1853 and Lot 6 on Warwick St. let to Thomas Nevin in 1885. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office Ref: NS596-1-3

3. North west corner of Elizabeth and Warwick Streets: Claremont House, built on John Mezger’s grant in 1838 and sometime mistakenly thought to be either the house where artist William Piguenit was born and/or G. W. Robinson’s house. It was demolished when Elizabeth Street School was constructed in 1911, which in turn was demolished for the construction of the modern Elizabeth Matriculation College in 1968. Captain William Lawrence was granted the land next to William Mezger’s in 1830, No’s. 176-178 Elizabeth St. (old numbers before 1907) and may have died in his residence there in 1884  although he spent his working life on his grant at Bruny Island.

4. Left side of Elizabeth Street (looking north): House and rear stables at No. 270, the last residence of Thomas James Nevin, who died in 1923 (b. 1842) and was buried as “photographer”, and also his wife Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day who died in 1914 (b. 1847). Their eldest child, dressmaker May (1872-1955), lived with her parents in their last years before she moved with four of her six adult siblings (George, William, and Albert) to the property at 23-29 Newdegate St. North Hobart formerly called Queen St,. named after the Governor of Tasmania (1917-20), Francis Newdegate. Their older brother, also named Thomas James Nevin (b.1874-d.1948), known as Sonny, had married by 1907 and was living in California by 1920, and youngest sister Minnie Nevin, who also married in 1907 to van proprietor James Drew, was living in Cedric Street (later renamed Wignall St.).

5. Right side of Elizabeth St. (looking north) on the north east corner of Warwick and Elizabeth Streets. The property known as Melbourne Lodge at No. 249 Elizabeth St. , first built in 1829 and still standing. It was acquired by draper and real estate speculator George Salier who occupied it with his large family until his death (b. 1813- d.1892).

6. Right side of Elizabeth St. at No’s 251-253: Prospect House. Conjoined town houses first built for banker John Dunn in 1830 and later occupied by Mr Sprent as an Academy. The path at the side lead up to the Elizabeth St. Infant school in the 1950s.

7. Left side of Elizabeth St. The third house from the corner with a mansard roof in this photo taken in the late 1880s prior to its demolition in 1894 was built by George Augustus Robinson on his grant in the late 1820s which occupied the entire south west corner of Warwick and Elizabeth Streets. The whole ground was purchased by George Salier in 1851 and quickly auctioned off in lots. The original house sat back from Elizabeth Street, and the adjoining building is where Robinson detained a number of Tasmanian Aborigines  (see Spent’s map, 1841 above) before relocating them to his reserve on Bruny Island.

8. Left side of Elizabeth. Thomas Nevin’s eldest son, born 1874 and given his father’s exact same name, Thomas James Nevin (1874-1948) but known as Sonny to the family, as Tom as a young adult and as Sergeant Nevin of the Salvation Army in his senior years, operated a bootmaking business at the shop and residence, No. 236 Elizabeth St. until his marriage in 1907 to Gertrude Tennyson Bates. The 1905 Electoral Roll for the Division of Denison registered six adults in Thomas Nevin’s family as eligible voters: Thomas Nevin sr, his wife Elizabeth Nevin, sons Thomas Nevin jnr, George Nevin, William Nevin, and daughter Mary Florence Elizabeth known as May Nevin. The two youngest children born to Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin – Mary Ann (Minnie Nevin 1884-1974) and Albert Edward Nevin (1888-1955) – were not yet of voting age.

This view from Murray Street along Warwick Street, across Elizabeth Street and up the hill to Holy Trinity Church taken ca. 1898 might actually show Thomas Nevin with horse and cart out front of his residence at No. 82 Warwick St.

Above: Thomas J. Nevin and family resided in this neighbourhood 1880s-1923
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania 
Title A view of Hobart, Domain and eastern shore taken from West Hobart
Item Number: NS1013/1/729
Start Date: 01 Jan 1900
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania
Pretyman Family (NG1012) 17 Aug 1892

Although Thomas Nevin’s parents settled their family in the bush setting of Kangaroo Valley, New Town, a few kilometres from the centre of Hobart from their arrival in the colony in 1852 to the death of his father John Nevin in 1887, photographer Thomas Nevin lived his entire adult life from 1865 to 1923, a period of nearly sixty (60) years in a densely populated urban setting and within range of just four city blocks, either on or closely adjacent to the main road, Elizabeth Street, apart from the four years on Macquarie Street while Keeper of the Hobart Town Hall (1876-1880).

Warwick Street Today
When Rosanna Mary Domeney nee Tilley died in 1907, the properties at No’s 69, 71, 73 and 75 stood on the right side of Warwick St. (coming from Campbell St. ). This view is looking along Warwick Street from the corner of Elizabeth St. to Murray Street. That entire side of Warwick Street between Elizabeth and Murray Streets was demolished to make way for the Elizabeth Matriculation College in the 1960s (on extreme right of this Google maps screenshot).

The corner of Warwick and Elizabeth Steets (on left), once a land grant to George Agustus Robinson, sold to George Salier in 1851, is now a small park. View is looking west towards Murray St. Google maps 2019

The stone house viewed here on left, which is situated next to a small park near the corner of Elizabeth and Warwick Streets North Hobart is now No. 68 Warwick Street. That corner was part of the original land grant to George Augustus Robinson in 1836, sold to George Salier in 1851, and then sold on in the months to follow to builders such as Abraham Biggs who bought the allotment where Thomas Nevin and family lived at No. 82 Warwick St. in the 1880s-90s, and who was also the builder and proprietor of the photographic studio and residences at No. 138-140 Elizabeth St. first occupied by Alfred Bock and then Thomas Nevin from the 1860s. Adjacent to the house at No. 82 Warwick is a driveway which existed in Thomas Nevin’s time, presumably used as a thoroughfare leading from the bottom of George Augustus Robinson’s property on Elizabeth St. out onto Warwick St. In the 1830s it would have lead to a creek used for washing by the group of Tasmanian Aborigines confined by Robinson on his property here in Elizabeth St. while in transit to his 500 acre lot on Bruny Island. The driveway now leads down to the cottage with yellow door, No. 72 Warwick St, and exits back out to Elizabeth St.

No. 72 Warwick St, at rear of No. 82 Warwick St
Photos copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2015

The yard behind No’s. 82-84 Warwick St would have been used as stables and garden when Thomas Nevin and family occupied the property. They resided here from ca. 1885 -1898 before removing to No. 236 Elizabeth St. No. 82 Warwick is now a modern office with glass frontage, but the back of the building shows its construction of sandstone dating back to the 1850s when Abraham Biggs built it.

Front – top – and rear of 82 Warwick Street Hobart Tasmania 7000
Offices of Morrison & Breytenbach Architects
Photos copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2015

Rosanna Mary Domeney nee Tilley inherited at least four houses with extensive yards and outbuildings on the right side of Warwick Street, Nos. 69, 71, 73 and 75, from her father John Tilley which he placed in Trust to provide for her maintenance and education, and when in 1876 she wished to sell the leasehold on some allotments, she did so in her own name. The properties with the four cottages were offered for sale soon after her death in 1907.

This sandstone house is No. 92 Warwick Street, and probably dates to the late 1850s.
Photos copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2015

This house is No. 92 Warwick Street..
Photos copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2015

Next to the sandstone cottage at No. 92 is this row of red brick houses now numbered No’s. 86, 88, and 90 Warwick St. Hobart (looking towards Murray St from the corner of Elizabeth and Warwick Sts.) Photos copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2015.

Reverse view from Murray Street along Warwick St towards Elizabeth St. Hobart. Elizabeth College is now on the left, where the Domeney cab business and cottages belonging to Rosanna Domeney were located. Google maps 2019.

Rosanna Mary Domeney’s family properties in Warwick St. in both her father’s name John Tilley and her husband’s William Domeney, adjoined the corner site which was acquired for school purposes in 1847 and where Claremont House accomodated various enterprises including a school for girls conducted by Ruth Williams until her death in childbirth in 1849. It was a residence and studio for photographer Douglas T. Kilburn in 1853, and offices for Dr Hall who issued reports on the health of the local population together with Alfred Abbott, who issued reports on air quality in 1857 and 1858. Claremont House, since demolished, is now the site of the Elizabeth College built in the late 1960s as a Matriculation College. The Metropolitan Water Board map of 1908 shows the corner block, where Claremont House was built on merchant John Mezger’s land grant began at No. 256. Thomas Nevin was living at No. 270 Elizabeth St in the adjoining row of houses with his first-born child, daughter May (Mary Florence Elizabeth Nevin, b.1872-d.1955) when he died in 1923. The address of the Baptist Tabernacle which is still standing is No. 284 Elizabeth St.

Funeral notice for Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923)
The Mercury 12 March 1923


NEVIN- Funeral of the late Mr. Thomas Nevin, of 270 Elizabeth-street, will move from his residence on Monday Morning (This Day) at 9.30 o’clock, arriving at Cornelian Bay Cemetery at 10 o’clock. CLARK BROS., Funeral Undertakers 17 Argyle-street. ‘Phone 1077

Residences per MDB Plans 1907

The site of Thomas Nevin’s studio and residence, formerly numbered No’s 138-140 Elizabeth St. three doors down from Patrick St. (looking south towards the wharves) is now numbered No. 198 Elizabeth St., and the home of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.
The properties at No’s. 244-254 were built on George Augustus Robinson’s land grant (See Sprent’s map of 1841). Third from the corner, the original house, was demolished in 1894.
Further down Elizabeth St. (looking towards the wharves) at the row of adjoining houses, No.236 was the shop and residence of Thomas Nevin’s family and bootmaking business of his son by the same name, Thomas J. Nevin by 1898.
Source: Metropolitan Drainage Board City of  Hobart Detail Plan No. 16 Archives Office Tasmania

The house at No. 82 Warwick St., on exreme right, residence of Thomas Nevin 1890s
Claremont House on the corner of Elizabeth and Warwick St. was demolished 1911
Residence of Thomas Nevin and family, No. 270 Elizabeth St. by ca. 1900, where his wife died in 1914, and where he died in 1923.
Source: Metropolitan Drainage Board City of  Hobart Detail Plan No. 58 Archives Office Tasmania

The property at 23-29 Newdegate St. formerly Queen St. North Hobart where Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin’s adult children variously resided from their father’s death in 1923 to the late 1950s.
Source: Metropolitan Drainage Board City of Hobart Detail Plan No. 59 Archives Office Tasmania

This is not Claremont House

The house George Augustus Robinson built on his land grant
ADRI: NS1013-1-1797. Photographed ca. 1890
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania

Over recent decades, this house (photo above, litho below) has been incorrectly identified as Claremont House. The most current research into its history, conducted in May 2019 by Brad Williams, Historical Archaeologist, at no point gives this house a name. It remains known by experts and enthusiasts alike, from Henry Butler Stoney’s account published with the lithograph below in 1856 to the present, simply as George Augustus Robinson’s house. Further compounding the error is a story which has been circulating among art historians for decades that Tasmanian artist William Charles Piguenit (1767–1849) was born at Claremont House, New Town Road, Hobart, Tasmania. This story is incorrect. Mrs Piguenit, six months pregnant with William Charles, placed an advertisement in the Tasmanian on 1st July 1836 advising readers that “she has removed her establishment from Kent House New Town Road to her former residence Stanwell Hall, situate at the top of Barrack and Melville-streets“. She was living at Kent House not at Claremont House or at George Augustus Robinson’s house before her removal to Stanwell Hall in July 1836, so wherever her son William Charles Piguenit was born on 27th August 1836, it was not here.

Source: page 31 A Residence in Tasmania: with a descriptive tour through the island, from Macquarie Harbour to Circular Head. [A new edition of “A Year in Tasmania.” With plates.]
Henry Butler STONEY
Smith, Elder & Company, 1856 – 311 pages

Addenda 1: William Legand at Recherche Bay

APPENDIX A: Transcript of Legrand’s Newspaper Article
A Trip to Recherche Bay
(From a Correspondent)
I have just returned from a conchological excursion on our south coast, and have strung together a few notes on that extreme portion on our sea-board, Recherche Bay, a place little known to visitors from town. I left town on the 5th by the cutter Ripple, Capt. Domeney; we had a sharp run to Taylor‘s Bay, where we dropped anchor to leave Mr. Swift and a party of quarrymen to work the quarries there. The stone is required for a Melbourne contract. We arrived at Recherche Bay on Saturday, the 7th, and spoke the Flying Childers in the Bay. I made Recherche my home, staying at Mr. Domeney‘s, and I went in boats from place to place, partly by land, and partly by water. I did not have the pleasure of seeing Mrs. D., that lady being on a visit to town, the result of which was an addition to the population of Recherche.
My first trip was to South Cape Bay; myself with two friends, crossed the bay in a punt, and went as far up Cockle Creek as we could, then took the land, which is three or four miles low and swampy; but when we reached the high ground, the scrub was very thick. We examined the whole of the Bay. Among the shells found were chitons of very large size, – or, as Paddy, one of my fellow-travellers, called them, alligators, – which we tied to pieces of wrack we found there. Our dogs caught a porcupine, but being heavily laden, we left it behind. On our return to Cockle Creek, the wind had got so high that we could not cross the Bay in the punt, and had to get home by coasting it. My next trip was across the Bay to
William‘s Beach. The first thing noticeable here is a vessel of from 150 to 200 tons burthen now on the stocks. The builder is Mr. Williams, and the whole of the work has been done by himself, with the assistance of a boy.
The next point on this beach is, I was about to say, the church-yard, but, as there is no church, must call it a burial ground. This is on the beach, so near to the sea, that some of the graves are covered by the sand. There are eight enclosures railed in, some of which contain several graves. There are others not railed. With one exception all the monuments are of wood, some have only initials and date. As I am now on church matters I may mention that no minister has visited the place for four years, and that the only one who has preached there for as I am informed 20 years is our late Bishop Nixon. There are whole families not christened, and at funerals the service is read by the school-master. The next point is Capt. Fisher‘s, formerly a whaler, now one of the largest cabbage growers, he having about 12,000 in the ground. The manure used is principally kelp. Sharks are also used after the oil has been extracted from the livers. Capt. Fisher‘s house was formerly as public house, the Lawyer‘s [sic] Arms, the sign of which is so perfectly original that Capt. Fisher says he has never been able to read it. I was more successful perhaps from being more used to hieroglyphics.
My next trip was across the bay to Driscoll‘s, where we left the point, then coasted it as far as Sullivan‘s Point, which we crossed, to do which we had to scrub it, there being no track that we could find, after which we took the roaring beach, the scene of the wreck of the George 4th a part of which still remains. There is a monument on the bluff near
Southport Island. We returned by Southport Lagoon, a very large sheet of water, with several small islands in it, and back by track to Driscoll‘s, where we again took the boat.
My next was an attempt to reach the Pigsties. I took the track as far as the Catamnan [Catamaran] river, which I crossed, but very soon lost the track. I got stuck up in the scrub; however by wandering about I contrived to pick up the track I came by and returned. Speaking of tracks, those about Recherche beat all I ever saw; in most of them the marks of the principal ones, being marked trees, are very slight, and when they pass through the cutting grass and scrub, as they often do, are very often lost. One comfort is there are so many of them that if you lose one you are sure to pick up another, which will take you somewhere, and you will be made welcome at every hut.
The principle [sic] support of the place has been sawing and splitting, but the splitters say that, with the exception of the Pigsties, all the timber within a reasonable distance is used up. Cabbages are grown to a great extent, the number now in the ground being from 140,000 to 150,000. Occasionally whales have been taken in the bay; none, however have been seen for several years. The man who gives notice of a whale receives £5 if the whale is captured, and the proceeds are divided amongst the hands employed. The people belong to the order Amphibia, and they pass as much time in boats as on shore; in fact, in winter this is the only mode of communication, the tracks then being in many places under water. The schoolmaster collects his scholars every morning except Saturday, which is a holiday, in a boat. The day I visited the school there
were twenty pupils present, six boys and fourteen girls; but this is rather under the average attendance. The state of the school in my opinion, is very creditable to the master.
All are fishermen; they catch king fish, barracouta, conger eels, a few trumpeter, besides sharks, which are, as I said before, used for manure; sting rays are also taken for their oil. One Chinaman gets his living by curing mutton fish, which go to the Melbourne markets for the Celestials in Victoria. Cabbages at Recherche are like shrimps at Gravesend, every one has his patch, large or small; the two largest growers are Mr. Caldwell, of Cockle Creek, and Captain Fisher. Nearly every one has also his boat, and, like the Irishman who left off work to carry bricks, after they have done work, they amuse themselves by catching sharks from 70 lbs. to 100 lbs. weight. This seemed to me a very close imitation of work, but, perhaps, I do not understand the matter.
A sawmill was formerly at work here, but it is now standing idle; all the machinery is removed, and there is a bullock road leading to it. This is the only road in the bay, all the others being mere tracks, partly in the bush and partly on the beach. There are two horses, about half a dozen cows, and a few pigs, but no sheep. The population is a little over a hundred, and there are a great many empty huts, which I was told were all used when the sawmill was at work. The only inference to be drawn from this is that the population has decreased. One natural production of which the supply is too great are snakes; the black snake is the most common and also the largest; it is often seen five to six feet long; the whip snake is also plentiful. I saw a large black snake in the garden close by the house, and
several others within a short distance. I was informed that the carpet and diamond snakes are also found there, but I did not see any.
On Saturday, February 20th, we were visited by the government schooner Harriet having on board Sir Valentine Fleming and Mr. Bartlett, Assistant Commissary-General; they were on a fishing excursion, and had been to Adventure Bay. Having searched all the coast, in which I found everyone ready to assist me; and especially Mr. Collis, the school-master, I prepared to return to town. For the present I must defer my intended visit to Port Davey, as I could not spare sufficient time to go around there; I intend to go direct from town. I left Recherche in the cutter Ripple on Monday afternoon, February 22nd, and arrived at Taylor‘s Bay the same evening, and left there the principal part of our cargo consisting of palings, and arrived in the dock at 11 p.m., the only mishap being the breaking of our jibboom off Long Bay.
(Weekly News [Hobart] 6 Mar. 1869: 9; Evening Mail [Hobart] 8 Mar. 1869: 3, 4)

Source: Holloway. J. 2010, Appendix A p. 317.

Addenda 2: Unattributed photograph of William Legrand
What was the occasion for William Legrand to request this type of portrait for himself? Several key dates in his life and in the life of the colony may have prompted him to dress formally, perhaps even buy a new stiff silk vest, get a hair cut, and seek out the photographer, all in a bit of a hurry so it seems, judging by the unsmoothed lapel and bunched-up vest.

William Legrand may have needed a carte-de-visite for simply that: a card to present himself at an important function, such as H.R.H Prince Alfred’s visit to Hobart in 1868. Thomas Nevin photographed children for the visit operating as the firm of Nevin & Smith (with Robert Smith until 1868).Or, his Sydney publishers – the engravers for the shell drawings (Mercury, 23 November 1870) which featured in his preliminary self-published monograph, Collections for a Monograph of Tasmanian Land Shells,1871, may have requested his photograph. Then again, Mr Legrand may have been included on a list of notable citizens whose portraits were submitted to various intercolonial and international exhibitions. Tasmanian photographers exhibited at the London International Exhibition of 1873 and the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1875.

An original mounted carte-de-visite of Tasmanian bookseller and conchologist William Legrand, probably taken by Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1870. Framed within a bright blue border, stamped on recto with the SLNSW accession stamp. Verso blank. See references below.

The scan of this cdv was sourced from the online version of Joan Frances Holloway (2010), William Legrand: A Study. Unpublished PhD thesis, School of English, Media Studies and Art History, The University of Queensland. Online 2011.

“Page 283: Figure 9. William Legrand, n.d., photograph. Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales. P1/W.”


Correspondence with author J. Holloway and State Library of NSW gratefully acknowledged, viz. emailed note from the SLNSW:

“The carte of Mr Legrand at P1/Legrand has no photographer’s identification, just the handwritten inscription Mr W Legrand Tasmania on verso and in a later hand Conchologist and Bookseller.”

The provenance of this photograph is not clearly documented by the State Library of NSW. It may have been donated by Tasmanian collector John Watt Beattie, or accessioned from the publishers Angus & Robertson by David Scott Mitchell before 1907. It may have been sourced from the Charles Melbourne Ward (1903-1966) Collections which were donated originally to the Australian Museum. Charles Melbourne Ward’s fascination for marine zoology would account for this photograph of conchologist William Legrand in his collections. Several items were presented by Kerry Cramp and the Australian Museum in 1987-1989 and 1999-2000 to the State Library of NSW. Pic.Acc.6864 and Pic.Acc.6974 combined.The University of Sydney also holds a significant Mel Ward Collection. Read a more extensive biography here of Charles Melbourne Ward at ABD.

From the collection of James Backhouse Walker of a view of Hobart from West Hobart.
Photographer: H. H. Baily 1880
Source: University of Tasmania ePrints

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