Prisoner John FITZPATRICK and/or John Fitzgerald 1867-1885

John Fitzpatrick per Lord Auckland 2 – not Lord Lyndoch 2 – was 52 years old when T. J. Nevin photographed him on being received at the Hobart Gaol during transfer of several dozen prisoners under remand and sentence between July 1873 and August 1874 from the derelict Port Arthur prison.  There may exist a mugshot taken on the arrest in 1880 of a younger prisoner called John Fitzgerald whose name John Fitzpatrick used in 1870 as an alias – or not, given the destruction of prison records during the Joseph Lyons era of government in the first decades of the 20th century. Fifteen year old John Fitzgerald arrived at Hobart on the same ship, the Lord Auckland 2, in August 1846 as 21 year old John Fitzpatrick. … More Prisoner John FITZPATRICK and/or John Fitzgerald 1867-1885

T. J. NEVIN’s cdv’s of Wm PRICE and Wm YEOMANS; A. H. BOYD’s testimony 1875

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

Exhibition 2019: T. J. NEVIN’s mugshot of prisoner James BLANCHFIELD 1875

The large wall poster (on right) at the exhibition titled “Photographs of Australian and British Convicts” which opened at the Hobart Penitentiary (the former Hobart Gaol and House of Corrections, Campbell St.) in July 2019 features the mugshot of James Blanchfield taken by Thomas Nevin in 1875, together with a jolly japes biography of the prisoner, finishing with the sentence:

“…at the age of fifty he found himself sentenced to 5 years imprisonment and was packed off to Port Arthur where this photograph was taken.”

Actually, no: as the police gazette states, James Blanchfield was 48 years old on release in 1875, not 50 years old on sentence in 1873, and he spent less than two months at the Port Arthur prison, from 21st February 1873 to 20th April 1873. He served just twenty-six months of a three year sentence, not a five year sentence when he was discharged in April 1875. Additionally, he was photographed, not at the Port Arthur prison as claimed by the exhibition poster but at the Hobart Gaol, the very same site where Thomas Nevin’s photograph of him taken for police in 1875 now looms over visitors to the current exhibition, exactly 144 years later. … More Exhibition 2019: T. J. NEVIN’s mugshot of prisoner James BLANCHFIELD 1875

Thomas Nevin’s Christmas feat 1874

A PHOTOGRAPHIC FEAT. – Mr T. J. Nevin, of Elizabeth-street, has performed a feat in photography which may be justly regarded as a literary curiosity. He has succeeded in legibly producing the front page of The Mercury of Wednesday, the 23 inst., on a card three inches by two inches. Many of the advertisements could be read without the aid of a glass, and the seven columns admit of a margin all round the card. … More Thomas Nevin’s Christmas feat 1874

Blame it on Beattie: the Parliamentarians photograph

Amateur photo-historian Chris Long was among the first to be targeted by A. H. Boyd’s descendants in 1984 with only their hearsay offered as proof, and together with co-editor Gillian Winter, assumed that there would be extant photographs by A. H. Boyd, if indeed he had photographed prisoners. Strangely enough, they found none. Gillian Winter found mention of THREE photographs of parliamentarian George William Keach, his wife and daughter, with a Boyd attribution in the Archives Office Tasmania. But those photographs were missing from the original Allport Album when she listed its contents. Those photographs were taken by Sydney photographer Thomas H. Boyd, loosely collated originally with other carte-de-visite items taken of Allport family members and their friends by photographers in Hobart, Melbourne, Brisbane, Rome and elsewhere … … More Blame it on Beattie: the Parliamentarians photograph

Disambiguation: two prisoners called William SMITH

Why does this carte of Smith bear T. J. Nevin’s studio stamp? The question has been asked by photo historians with little consideration to the realities of government tender. It is not a commercial stamp but one signifying the photographer’s status as a government contractor. This prisoner cdv was one of several chosen by Thomas Nevin to access his commission, register copyright on behalf of the colonial government, and renew his contract under the terms of the tender. Only one was required per batch of 100, the verso stamp used to identify the photographer’s joint copyright under contract. The registration lasted 14 years from the second year of registration (1872-1874 to 1886). … More Disambiguation: two prisoners called William SMITH

Tasmanian crime statistics  1866-1875

Between 1868 and 1875, a total number of persons convicted in the Superior Courts was one thousand and eighty-eight (1,088). Contracted by the Attorney-General W. R. Giblin in February 1872,  commercial photographer Thomas J. Nevin began the systematic photographic documentation of prisoners tried at the Supreme Court Hobart and committed at the adjoining Hobart Gaol, Campbell Street. Further refining the time span when photography was introduced as a means of police surveillance: from 1871 to 1875, the total number of persons convicted in the Superior Courts totalled three hundred and forty-three (343). The mugshots of those who were photographed  by T. J. Nevin in this last group of males – more than 300 – survive in public collections today for TWO principal reasons: … More Tasmanian crime statistics  1866-1875

Hugh Munro Hull & the wallhanging

The talented Hugh Munro Hull (1818-1882) was a lithographer, artist, historian, author, and photographer. He was also the Clerk of the House and Librarian to the Tasmanian Parliament. This full-length photograph of Hugh Munro Hull in official dress was taken by Alfred Bock or Thomas Nevin at their studio, The City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth-street Hobart between 1863 and 1868 where one of their backdrops featured a square tiled terrace pattern rising in perspective to a painted balustrade overlooking a vista of disappearing river and mountains. … More Hugh Munro Hull & the wallhanging