Fresh sets of numbers and names by museum workers subsequently appeared on all these cdvs held at the QVMAG when they were removed from Beattie’s original collection in Launceston and deposited elsewhere for local, national and travelling exhibitions in the late 20th century. With digitisation of these photographic records in the first decades of the 21st century, some public institutions have omitted older, important archival information, and in the case of Thomas J. Nevin’s historically correct attribution as the original photographer, the NLA in particular has compromised their records with speculations about the corrupt commandant A. H. Boyd who did not personally photograph any prisoner during his service at the Port Arthur site 1871-1873. A non-photographer, A. H. Boyd’s name appeared on NLA records against their collection of Nevin’s mugshots for no other reason than to support the Port Arthur Historic Site’s claim for World Heritage status in 2007, and principally at the behest of a former employee with a personal agenda seeking affirmation through derogation of Nevin’s work, family and descendants … More T. J. NEVIN’s cdv’s of Wm PRICE and Wm YEOMANS; A. H. BOYD’s testimony 1875
Of all four siblings – from the eldest Thomas James to his sisters Rebecca Jane and Mary Ann – William John Nevin, known to the family as Jack, was the youngest child with the most to gain from his family’s decision to uproot their lives in County Down, Ireland and start again in the remote British penal colony of Van Diemen’s Land. A babe in arms when they arrived at Hobart in July 1852, and a toddler by the time his father had built their cottage at Kangaroo Valley adjacent to Jane Franklin’s Museum in 1854, Jack Nevin at 13 years old was a beautiful boy, the perfect choice for his older brother Thomas to practice full-length studio portraiture … More The sweetest young brother: thirteen year old Jack Nevin 1865
A prisoner by the name of William GRAVE arrived at Hobart on board the convict transport Lady Montague in December 1852. He was already lame when he arrived. His records stated “A cripple walks with a crutch.” When photographer Thomas J. Nevin assisted the New Town Territorial Police police in the arrest of a well-known identity in the Glenorchy area called William GRAVES in May 1875 , the warrant described the man as “lame of right leg, walks with a crutch”. One month later, when he was discharged from Hobart, his left leg, not the right, was recorded by police as “crippled”. So who was this man, photographed standing on Thomas Nevin’s carpet? … More Thomas Nevin, his studio carpet, and pauper William Graves
When Thomas J. Nevin photographed this prisoner Richard Phillips in July 1874 at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall, on the occasion of the prisoner’s discharge from a two year sentence for housebreaking and larceny, he was confronted with a problem: the prisoner Richard Phillips was blind. The resultant photograph shows a man who is straining to make out the figure of Nevin the photographer standing next to the camera just a metre or so in front of him, his brows and eyelids squeezed tight to the point of nearly blocking out all light. … More Prisoner Richard PHILLIPS 1874
WARNING & DISCLAIMER:
The resources in this article contain offensive language and negative stereotypes. Such materials should be seen in the context of the time period and as a reflection of attitudes of the time. The items are part of the historical record, and do not represent the views of this weblog. These primary historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. Please note that this example of a mid-19th century performance genre called “blackface” and the use of the “N” word here will offend 21st century readers; proceeding is your responsibility.
… More Captain Edward Goldsmith and the conundrums of the Ethiopian Serenaders 1851
On the 11th April, 1868, Louisa Hurst, formerly Tatlow, gave birth to William Nevin Tatlow Hurst in the district of Hobart. The father’s occupation was listed as “surveyor”. Their son’s birth was registered on 22nd May, 1868 by photographer Thos Nevin, informant, Elizabeth St., where Nevin was operating from Alfred Bock’s former photographic studio at 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town. Neither parent of this child carried the surname “Nevin”. It was neither the mother’s maiden name nor the father’s middle name. Yet the child was given “Nevin” as a middle name along with his mother’s maiden name “Tatlow”. As a surveyor, the child’s father John Hurst was most likely absent from Hobart on business in May 1868, and requested Thomas Nevin to register his son’s birth at the Town Hall. This is the reason the name “Nevin” appears for the first time in the Hurst family of Tasmania, as a gesture towards to the family of John Nevin snr and his son Thomas J. Nevin, and for no other reason. … More Thomas J. Nevin, informant for surveyor John Hurst’s son’s birth 1868
Joshua Anson did not take the two photographs of himself that were pasted to his criminal sheet, the first (on left) in 1877 when he was 23 yrs old, and the second (on right) in 1897 when he was 43 yrs old, nor did he photograph any of the other prisoners for gaol records while serving time at the Hobart Gaol. His abhorrence of the company of convicts was extreme, as his statement testifies. His 1877 prisoner mugshot was taken by Constable John Nevin in situ, and unmounted. Thomas Nevin may have printed another for the Municipal Police Office Registry at the Town Hall, Macquaries St. Hobart where he was the Hall and Office Keeper, but it is yet to be identified among the Tasmanian prisoner cdvs held in public collections. Joshua Anson was certainly the beneficiary of Thomas Nevin’s stock and commercial negatives when Samuel Clifford acquired them in 1876 and then sold them on to Joshua Anson and his brother Henry Anson in 1878. The Anson brothers reprinted Clifford & Nevin’s Port Arthur stereoscopes for their highly commercial album, published in 1890 as Port Arthur Past and Present without due acknowledgement to either Nevin or Clifford. … More The Trial of Joshua ANSON 1877
The 1935 Hobart Walkers Club map (detail above) shows two very distinct routes to the southeast which John Nevin might have chosen in the 1870s on his journey from the family farm at Kangaroo Valley, situated next to the Lady Franklin Museum where Thomas and John’s father John Nevin snr had built their cottage. Whether on foot or horseback, the first and longer route he could have taken was along Kangaroo Valley road, alternatively titled Lenah Valley Road by 1922, to the waterhole and the cabin named by the Old Hobartians (alumni of Hobart High School) as their own by 1935. He would then veer south on the path to the New Town Falls, crossing Brushy Creek until arriving at the edge of a very steep ravine . Once there, he would join the McRobies track until arriving at the Hobart Rivulet, passing below the Cascades Brewery. The track, much wider at that point, passed by the cemetery, and ended directly opposite the Cascades Prison … More Nevin Street and the Cascades Prison for Males
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