Captain Goldsmith, Captain Clinch, & the Tasmanian Steamship Navigation Co.

“We have the sad duty today of recording the sudden death of Captain John Clinch, of the T. S. N. Co.’s steamer Southern Cross, which occurred on Tuesday, at Sydney. The first intimation of the sad event was received here yesterday morning by a telegram, dated Sydney, 8th June, 1.15 p.m., from the company’s agents. The telegram was as follows :—” We grieve to report the death of Captain Clinch. He fell on the bridge just after the steamer left the wharf. Dr. Alloway saw him within about ten minutes, and pronounced him -dead. Mr. Lewis, chief officer, is to proceed on the voyage, taking charge of the body to Hobart Town, after inquest to-morrow morning.” Another telegram was received last evening, announcing that, the Southern Cross sailed from Sydney at 2 p.m. yesterday with the remains of Captain Clinch on board, the inquest having been dispensed with. The steamer may therefore be expected here on Saturday morning….” … More Captain Goldsmith, Captain Clinch, & the Tasmanian Steamship Navigation Co.

The Governor’s Levee 1855: Captain Goldsmith and son

Wife of photographer Thomas Nevin, Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day, was named after her father’s sister Elizabeth Goldsmith nee Day who married Captain Edward Goldsmith at Liverpool, UK, in 1829. Captain and Elizabeth Goldsmith had two sons: Richard Sidney, born 1830, NSW, who died aged 25yrs in Hobart, in 1854. Their second son was named after his father, Edward Goldsmith, born at Rotherhithe, UK on December 12,1836. He accompanied his parents on several voyages to Hobart from London before attending Trinity and Caius Colleges Cambridge in 1856-7. In 1855, when Edward Goldsmith jnr was 19 years old, he accompanied his father to the Governor’s Levee, a grand ball held at Government House, Hobart by the incumbent, Sir William Denison. His cousins, the Day sisters, still children, would have been deeply impressed by their older cousin’s account of this fine affair. … More The Governor’s Levee 1855: Captain Goldsmith and son

Captain Edward Goldsmith and the McGregor family

The patent slip at the Queen’s Domain in Hobart was established by Elizabeth Rachel Nevin’s uncle, Captain Edward Goldsmith, in 1854 from machinery he brought out from London on his favorite trading barque Rattler . He obtained a long lease on the foreshore of the Domain to lay the slip on the condition that the terms of the lease were fulfilled. When he withdrew from the lease in 1855 due to the death of his 25 yr old son Richard Sydney Goldsmith only months earlier, among other reasons to do with costs and prison labor, Captain Alexander McGregor bought Captain Goldsmith’s interest. … More Captain Edward Goldsmith and the McGregor family

The Photographer’s wife at the studio

In 1944, the French writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954) published a short story called The Photographer’s Wife (La Dame du Photographe 1944), in which Mme Armand, the wife of the photographer – he who is referred to by their neighbour as “little old Big Eyes” – attempts suicide, some might think for an adulterous liaison, while she herself explains the reason as an unbearably trivial life. The drug she self-administers is not named, but at the moment when old Big Eyes raises the alarm, his hands are “all covered with hyposulphite” from a broken bottle in the studio. Hyposulphite was used in daguerreotype, ambrotype and collodion photography, one of several photochemicals including arsenic and cyanide with ready appeal to a self-poisoner. Elizabeth Rachel Day’s life as the wife of photographer Thomas J. Nevin in colonial Tasmania was very different from Colette’s literary portrait. However, from her marriage in 1871 until her husband’s residential appointment at the Hobart Town Hall in 1876, she lived and slept above a veritable factory of poisonous chemicals stored and used in her husband’s studio, a double-windowed building and glasshouse with the business name of The City Photographic Establishment, located at 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart. … More The Photographer’s wife at the studio

Thomas Nevin’s portraits of his wife Elizabeth Rachel Day (1847-1914)

This is an old black and white enlargement of a detail of a portrait of Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day (1847-1914) in her later years, taken ca. 1900 by her husband. Just her face was magnified to an unusually large size, measuring approx. 8×10 inches. It has the impact of a modern cinematic close-up. The magnified final image was pasted to grey cardboard. The remarkable aspect of the image is the evidence of hand-painted strokes around the hair line and eyes. The original photograph may have been hand-coloured, though not as heavily as the fashion of painting over photographic portraits which became popular in the 1890s. Many of her husband’s early extant portraits of his wife, of himself, his private clients, and even a handful of extant mugshots of Tasmanian convicts taken during his commission to provide the colonial government with prisoner identification portraits in the 1870s, show evidence of hand-tinting. Some were expertly and finely done done by Nevin and his studio assistants, others were ineptly daubed with blobs by clients or collectors after purchase. Elizabeth Rachel Day may have assisted her husband in his studio as his colourist from the beginning of her marriage, and may have even touched up this photographic portrait of herself taken thirty years later. … More Thomas Nevin’s portraits of his wife Elizabeth Rachel Day (1847-1914)

Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day & children

NEVIN-DAY – On Wednesday, 12th July, at the Wesleyan Chapel, Kangaroo Valley, by the Rev. J. Hutchison [Hutchinson], Thomas, eldest son of Mr. J. Nevin, of Kangaroo Valley, to Elizabeth Rachael [Rachel], eldest daughter of Captain Day, of Hobart Town.
Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin had seven children between 1872 and 1888, six surviving to adulthood. … More Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day & children