A selection of Tasmanian “Convict Portraits” from the National Library of Australia, Canberra.
Please note: Below each image held at the National Library of Australia is their catalogue batch edit which gives the false impression that all these “convict portraits” were taken because these men were transported convicts per se (i.e before cessation in 1853), and that they might have been photographed as a one-off amateur portfolio by a prison official at the Port Arthur prison in 1874, which they were not. Any reference to the Port Arthur prison official A. H. Boyd on the NLA catalogue records is an error, a PARASITIC ATTRIBUTION with no basis in fact. The men in these images were photographed in the 1870s-1880s because they were repeatedly sentenced as habitual offenders whose mugshots were taken on arrest, trial, arraignment, incarceration and/or discharge by police and prisons photographer T. J. Nevin at the Supreme Court and adjoining Hobart Gaol with his brother Constable John Nevin, and at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall when appearing at The Mayor’s Court. The Nevin brothers photographed more than 3000 prisoners, the bulk now lost or destroyed. These extant mugshots are random estrays salvaged or selected on the basis of notoriety in the early 1900s from the Supreme Court trial registers, the Habitual Criminals Registers, warrant forms, and police gazettes records of the 1870s-80s. The earliest date from 1871. The police records are sourced from the weekly police gazettes which were called (until 1884) Tasmania Reports of Crime Information for Police 1871-1885. J. Barnard, Gov’t Printer.
See also these articles on this site:
- Convict portraits by Thomas J. Nevin at the National Library of Australia
- Picture Australia: Webshots 2005 and 2010
- Exiled: Thomas Francis 1874
This is a small selection of the 84 Tasmanian prisoners photograph at the NLA.
Click on each name to view the prisoner’s 1870s police records and check our archive for many more.