George and Matilda Cherry at Thomas Nevin’s studio ca. 1872

When a carte-de-visite taken by Thomas J. Nevin in the early 1870s was acquired for our private collection in 2013, the sitters were simply described as an unidentified “wealthy” couple. Examination of their facial features and general demeanour alongside earlier photographs showing – potentially – the same two people as their younger selves, prompted further investigation. Once a tentative comparison was made with photographs taken by George Cherry of himself and his wife Matilda in the 1850s-1860s, the possibility emerged that these two might be one and the same. Given the unhappy circumstances of their meagre finances and the failing health of both Matilda and George between 1870-1873, the way they dressed for the occasion, the way they posed and the way they regarded the photographer, led to the conclusion that this couple who sat for Thomas J. Nevin in 1872 may well have been Mary Ann Matilda James (1836-1873) who married photographer George Cherry (1820-1878) at Hobart in 1855. … More George and Matilda Cherry at Thomas Nevin’s studio ca. 1872

Reproductions of Charles A. Woolley’s portrait of Tasmanian Aborigines 1860s-1915

This carte-de-visite print of Charles Woolley’s original photograph of three Tasmanian Aborigines – Truganini (seated on left), William Lanne (centre, standing) and Bessy Clarke (on right), taken in 1866, was reprinted by another photographer’s studio, possibly Thomas Nevin’s, before Truganini’s death in 1876. The owner of the cdv print after purchase attempted hand-colouring of the drape and carpet with crimson. Similar inept hand-colouring was applied to a series of cdvs bearing Nevin’s name inscribed as “Clifford & Nevin” or his studio stamp with provenance in the north of Tasmania (QVMAG, Launceston; McCullagh Private Collection, etc). The provenance of this particular print is from the private collection of Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin’s grandchildren. The word “living” on the printed label, verso of this print, which appears to have been pasted over the back of the original cdv and probably bearing the stamp of another photographic studio, uses the present tense to indicate that Truganini was still alive in April 1869, while Bessy Clarke had died, 12th February 1867, and William Lanne had died, 3rd March 1869, thereby dating the first reprint of this photograph to April 1869 but not necessarily any subsequent prints which could have been produced in every decade until the early 1920s in the name of tourism, especially by John Watt Beattie, when this particular trio was heralded to represent the “Last Aborigines of Tasmania”. … More Reproductions of Charles A. Woolley’s portrait of Tasmanian Aborigines 1860s-1915

Captain Hector Axup and the French lady of Green Island, 1888

“Green Island … is a remarkable island in more ways than one. Formerly a rabbit warren and mutton bird rookery (which perhaps accounts for its rich soil), it has gained a well-earned notoriety under the able management of the present proprietress (of whom more anon) for its extraordinary sheep-fattening properties. Yet this seemed an apparent paradox, for until a comparatively recent date not a blade of grass was visible, although it always bore the palm for the fattest sheep. Many interested in sheep farming paid it a visit for the purpose of solving the mystery. Upon questioning the lady above referred to (who by the way is French, and a devout Roman Catholic) as to what the animals fed on she replied, with the proverbial French gesture, that ‘God was good to give her sheep the instinct and feet which enabled them to dig for their food.’ They certainly thrive remarkably well upon whatever they dig up. One time she only kept a limited number, about 400, and these were all pets. To each of them she gave a French name; and each answered to it when called. About eight years since, one memorable morning, she was almost as much astounded as Robinson Crusoe at the ‘naked footprint’ to observe a narrow ridge of green grass close to the water’s edge, which has gradually extended until now it covers the whole of the island, embracing several varieties, but chiefly barley grass. This enabled her to augment the number to a thousand, all in excellent condition, and considered by a good authority to be a very large number per acre. However, the pets are a thing of the past, and I presume the great increase in numbers has exhausted the good lady’s stock of French names. But to return to the proprietress, whose career has rendered her not the least interesting feature of the island domain. The widow of a captain and owner of a smart bark which years ago traded between Australia and Mauritius, she was at one time well known in several of the seaport towns of Australia. Her stately figure rendered her conspicuous, and she was invariably accompanied with a pure bred Spanish poodle, and a black servant. From a life of almost oriental ease, she was left through the death of her husband to face the stern realities of the battle of life. She settled on what was then a barren and lonely isle, where with an adopted daughter, and no external aid, these two lone women commenced their hermit mode of existence. It would require the pen of a Dickens to do justice to the indomitable pluck and perseverance they displayed, and the massive stonewall fences which traverse the island in various directions are silent, yet speaking monuments of their untiring industry….” … More Captain Hector Axup and the French lady of Green Island, 1888

The case against Henry Stock (var. Stocks) 1884 for the murder of his wife and her child

“EXECUTION OF STOCK.
The execution of Henry Stock, who was convicted at the last Criminal Sessions of the murder of his wife and child, took place at 8 o’clock this morning, in the presence of Messrs. Seager, the Deputy Sheriff; Quodling, the Governor of the Gaol ; Hedberg, Sub Inspector of the Territorial Police ; Smith, the Under Gaoler : Rev. Geo. W. Shoobridge, Chaplain to the Gaol ; Rev. T. M. O’Callaghan ; the members of the Press, and the gaol officials. On Mr Seager asking Stock whether he had anything to say, he replied, ‘All I have to say is that I am innocent.’ When asked whether he had any message he would like taken to anybody, he replied ‘ .No.’ He was then pinioned by Solomon Blay, and he followed Mr Shoobridge to the drop. The condemned man appeared somewhat faint, but his step was firm, and he walked on to the platform bravely and exhibited no signs of breaking down. In his right hand he carried a little bunch of flowers with the following text attached : ‘ He shall speak peace unto the heathen.’ He then mounted the platform, the white cap was placed over his head, the bolt drawn, and the unfortunate man launched into eternity. The operation took over three minutes, Mr Shoobridge continuing the prayer during the whole time. Whilst in gaol Stock was respectful to all the officials. Up to the time of his death he made no confession. On Sunday night his rest was partially disturbed, but this morning he eat [sic – ate] a hearty breakfast of fish. The body was cut down after an hour’s time and examined by Dr. Turnley, who pronounced the body to be dead. His remains were conveyed at 11 o’clock to Cornelian Bay. Mr A. J. Taylor took cast of his head.” … More The case against Henry Stock (var. Stocks) 1884 for the murder of his wife and her child

Prisoner Joseph WALMSLEY: “a queer-looking man” 1842-1891

Joseph Walmsley, 14 years old, one of 267 convicts transported on the Isabella (2), arrived at Hobart, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) on 19th May 1842. He was tried at Lancaster, Salford Quarter Sessions (UK), transported for seven (7) years for stealing shoes, coppers and money. He had in his possession when arrested a William the Fourth coin. His record (https://stors.tas.gov.au/NI/1443405) was transcribed with “Again transported” at some date, though no record shows how this was literally possible, since he remained in the Australian colonies from 1842 (including three years in a Melbourne prison from 1869-1871) to his death from senility in Tasmania in 1891, at 67 years old (born therefore ca. 1824). Rather, his sentence of seven years was extended to ten years’ transportation in Hobart, 4th July 1850, for burglary. Thereafter, his criminal offences – he was a man “as works for a living” as he put it in 1872 – were a series of breaking and entering, robbery, burglary, larceny, and the occasional swearing at and assault of the constabulary (see records below). When he was photographed by government contractor T. J. Nevin in 1872 on incarceration at the Hobart Gaol, he was 46 years old. … More Prisoner Joseph WALMSLEY: “a queer-looking man” 1842-1891

Thomas J. Nevin at his finest: Camille Del Sarte and family 1860s-1870s

Who is this child?
Nine children were born to Camille Del Sarte and Ann Caroline Conroy between 1861 and 1874. Of the six boys, three are known to have survived to adulthood – Leopold Zavier, Camille Frederick and Ernest Ashley; and three did not live longer than 16 months – Francis Henry, Rolland Augustus (registered at birth as Gustavus Rowland at Hobart in 1864 but died in Sydney, 1865, 12 months old), and Henry John (twin of Henrietta Daisy).  Of the three girls, Marie Albertine survived to adulthood, Henrietta Daisy (twin of Henry) died before the age of 12 months, and the third – Madalene – is known to have married as Madeline [sic] Ethel in 1918. The first to survive was Marie Albertine Del Sarte. She was likely a Francophone, or more competently bilingual than her younger siblings, an important factor in what follows. If this confident lad who visited Thomas Nevin’s studio is indeed a son of Camille Auguste and Ann Caroline Del Sarte nee Conroy, his identity could be established from the ages of two of their sons who were 3 to 6 yrs old between 1874-1876 while Thomas J. Nevin was still active at his Elizabeth St. studio. He could be Leopold Zavier (born 1866 in Sydney NSW who died in Victoria 1936). Or he could be Camille Frederick (born Sydney 1873, died Victoria 1960). The third son, Ernest Ashley (born Sydney 1874), was still a baby, less two years old and too young to be a contender. … More Thomas J. Nevin at his finest: Camille Del Sarte and family 1860s-1870s

Alfred Bock and the Bayles sisters

Outdoors, just back from a stroll in the fresh air country air, hat in hand, was the theme chosen for Mary Louisa Bayles’ session at Alfred Bock’s studio ca. 1865.  He stood her next to a circular metal garden table decorated with a metal stand supporting a bowl of artificial fruits and flowers. Behind her, both on her left and right, two plaster plinths were to suggest a patio balustrade leading to steps rising to a terrace just out of frame. Painted on the backsheet to the viewer’s right, the large tree reaching to the top was to soften the edge of the frame in similar manner to the drape which nearly always appears in Alfred Bock and Thomas Nevin’s indoor studio portraits. In the distance to the viewer’s left, the smaller tree was to deepen perspective while allowing enough blank space to foreground the pose Mary Louisa chose as a complement to the outdoor decor. Only the carpet appears incongruous in a setting which has so much outdoor furniture. That same carpet with a pattern of large dark lozenges rimmed in white appears in several portraits by Thomas Nevin of private clients. He may have acquired it from H. H. Baily whose studio was located almost opposite in Elizabeth Street. It appears in Baily’s portrait of Sara Crouch who was photographed by Thomas Nevin about the same time, ca. 1872. … More Alfred Bock and the Bayles sisters

Elizabeth Allport nee Ritchie at Thomas J. Nevin’s studio 1876

This photograph taken by Thomas J. Nevin at his studio, the City Photographic Establishment of Elizabeth Allport (1835-1925) is arguably the finest portrait taken of her in her mature years. There is no other photograph – and there were many taken throughout her life – which reveals her sublime grace and character to this extent, a quality due in no small measure to the professional expertise of Thomas J. Nevin. Elizabeth Allport was the elder daughter of Lieutenant Thomas Ritchie, wife of Morton Allport (1830–1878), mother of Curzona (Lily), Minnie, Cecil, Evett and Henry Allport, and a friend to the family of Thomas J. Nevin, his wife Elizabeth Rachel Day and his sister Mary Anne Nevin. … More Elizabeth Allport nee Ritchie at Thomas J. Nevin’s studio 1876

Alfred Hope and his landau with Albert Nevin early 1900s

This tattered – and therefore much loved – photograph was found among the family memorabilia of Albert Edward Nevin (1888-1955), the youngest child born to photographer Thomas J. Nevin and Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day in 1888 at 236 Elizabeth St. Hobart. One of Albert’s children – a grandchild of Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin – wrote the inscription on the verso in capital letters: “HOPES CARRIAGE WITH MY DAD ON HORSE BEHIND” – identifying the man on horseback behind the carriage as Albert Nevin. As to the identities of the rest of the group in this photograph, including the identity of the photographer, all is open to speculation. The more senior man seated centre may have been William Hope, owner of the carriage; the younger driver holding the reins his son Alfred Hope who took over his fathers’s horse-drawn cab business in 1913. As a group dressed for a semi-formal occasion in the fashions of the Edwardian period (1890s -1920), their destination might have been the Northall Park race course at Moonah or the Risdon Park race course in Bell Street, New Town, which would explain why Albert Nevin was on horseback accompanying the group. He trained pacers and rode several horses at both tracks: on Saturday 20th February, 1915, at Northall Park, for example, Albert Nevin the rider was reported to make a splendid recovery in the saddle when his mount Dinah Rose’s “gear went wrong” during the second round of the February Cup. … More Alfred Hope and his landau with Albert Nevin early 1900s

Sarah Crouch at Thomas J. Nevin’s studio ca. 1872

“SEVERAL Ladies having been long impressed with the desolate state of females occupying the sphere of domestic servants on leaving their situations while seeking others, the following ideas have been suggested: –
“That a society of ladies be formed, the design of which shall be to protect ALL lone female servants, and afford such advice as experience dictates and by judicious care and oversight prevent exposure to many evils which strangers in the colony are subject to; and also to provide a “Home” to ALL female servants willing to avail themselves of its privileges at a rate within the reach of their limited means. The “Home” will be conducted as much as possible in accordance with similar Institutions in London. Such a home will preclude the necessity of the well-intentioned taking up their abode with persons whose object is gain to themselves, though it should be the destruction of their supporters. With this view the ladies have taken a house in High-street, near the New Town Road (a respectable neighbourhood) at a very moderate rent, in which there is a sitting-room, with table requisites for the use of the inmates, and all necessary utensil for cooking, washing, &c – the dormitories furnished with beds, bedding, and everything necessary to the comfort of those desirous of placing themselves under the guardianship of the ladies….” … More Sarah Crouch at Thomas J. Nevin’s studio ca. 1872

Youngest daughter Minnie Nevin m. James Drew (1884-1974)

Race horses, draught horses and trotters were the focus of Minnie Drew’s family life and livelihood. Husband James Drew entered a starter “Miss Bobby” in the Spring Handicap, January 1917, and younger brother Albert Nevin, recently returned from Launceston with his new bride Emily, was racing his starter “Rosalind” in the Derwent Handicap at Moonah by August. James Drew also showcased draught and dray horses at the annual Hobart Show, selling them eventually when he acquired a motor van for his parcel delivery business. Minnie’s older brother William Nevin established a carrier and furniture removal business which he partnered with James Drew in the 1910s, operating from Morrison St. Hobart Wharf. When siblings May, Albert, George and William Nevin moved to the property  at 23-29 Newdegate St. in 1923 on the death of their father Thomas J. Nevin (once a photographer, always a photographer – he was buried with “photographer” listed as his occupation on his burial certificate), William Nevin maintained the carrier business there until his untimely death in a horse and cart accident in 1927. … More Youngest daughter Minnie Nevin m. James Drew (1884-1974)

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

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

Thomas Nevin and Alfred Barrett Biggs 1872-1876

Posing with an upturned riding crop or cane in his right hand, his left hand resting on the chair where someone decorously placed a book and top hat as signifiers of class and literacy, Alfred Barrett Biggs appears anything but relaxed at the point of capture, despite the casual stance with right leg bent at the knee crossing the left. Although his gaze fell slightly to the left of where Thomas Nevin stood while composing the shot, the exchanges of dialogue between the two men at that point would not explain why Alfred’s eyes fairly burn, they are so bright. Very light or pale blue eyes can cause this sort of look and pin pricks or black dots were sometimes used by studio assistants to accentuate or even animate the client’s eyes when they do appear too pale. Even though Alfred’s eyes do not appear exceedingly light in later portraits taken in the 1880s and 1890s (see Addenda 3 below), his pupils were darkened in this portrait with black ink, and because the alignment of each black dot is slightly askew, Alfred appears somewhat overwrought and anguished. … More Thomas Nevin and Alfred Barrett Biggs 1872-1876

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

Prisoner John NOWLAN alias DOWLING 1870-1876

This prisoner stated that he arrived free in Tasmania as a sailor on the Bangalore with the name John Dowling, but he might have arrived as a convict with the name John Nowlan on the transport London in March 1851. Shipping documents testifying to his arrival on the Bangalore at any port and under any circumstance unfortunately, if true, are not extant. He was sentenced to five years in March 1870 for indecent assault as John Dowling. He was photographed as John Dowling by T. J. Nevin on release from the House of Corrections, Hobart in December 1874, and convicted again in February 1875 for larceny. A year later, in February 1876 he was convicted at the Supreme Court, Hobart, for rape of a girl between 10-11 yrs old, this time as John Nowlan, alias John Dowling. The sentence for rape was death, commuted to life imprisonment. John Nowlan alias John Dowling was sent to the Port Arthur prison on 25th February 1876 and transferred back to the House of Corrections, Hobart Gaol, Campbell St. on 17th April 1877. A prisoner who called himself John Dowling died at the New Town Charitable Institution, Hobart in 1906 of senilis. … More Prisoner John NOWLAN alias DOWLING 1870-1876

Joseph Somes, Captain Edward Goldsmith and the “Angelina” 1844-46

In all, the month of July 1845 saw Captain Edward Goldsmith make some swift changes to the course of his life and that of his eldest son Richard Sydney Goldsmith. Having swapped his commission to sail the Parrock Hall, due to depart on 15 July 1845 on yet one more round trip to NSW, he sailed instead on that very date for Sydney in command of the Angelina,  Robert Brook’s newest acquisition which was transformed from a female transport ship within months of returning from Tasmania (VDL). Now fitted out as a  merchant barque with a cargo of luxury goods and well-heeled passengers, the Angelina sailed for Port Jackson, NSW on 19th July 1845 with Richard Sydney Goldsmith indentured as his father’s  apprentice thanks to another swift decision on his father’s part to cancel his son’s prior engagement as an apprentice on the Perseverance. … More Joseph Somes, Captain Edward Goldsmith and the “Angelina” 1844-46

A distinguished forelock: Henry Dresser Atkinson on board the “City of Hobart” 1872

This stereograph by Thomas Nevin foregrounds an unidentified young woman, who may have been one of event organiser John Woodcock Graves’ four young daughters – Mimi (b. 1862), Mathinna (Matte b. 1859) Trucaninni (Truca b. 1864), the latter two both given Tasmanian Aboriginal names – or even fourteen year old Jean Porthouse Graves (b. 1858) who collected these photographs of the trip by Thomas Nevin for her album (see her portraits by Nevin below). This young woman with a steady gaze and fully rounded face, however, was possibly in her late teens. As she is sitting next to Henry Dresser Atkinson (1841–1921), she may have been his fiancee Sarah-Ann Ward (b. 1841 Launceston). Their son  Henry Bruné Dresser, born  on 17th  March 1874 at Gordon, Tasmania, was nursed – so legend goes – by Tasmanian Aboriginal  woman Trugernanner (Truganini) (1812–1876). Henry Dresser Atkinson’s first appointment on arrival from England was the Channel mission at Oyster Cove where Truganini’s group had been relocated to her traditional territory. … More A distinguished forelock: Henry Dresser Atkinson on board the “City of Hobart” 1872

Captain Goldsmith, AWOL seaman Geeves, and HMS Havannah

Henry Geeves was an articled seaman, one of twenty-two (22) crew members who sailed from the Downs (UK) on 22nd August 1850 on board the barque Rattler, 522 tons, Captain Edward Goldsmith in command, arriving at Hobart, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) on 14th December 1850.  Cabin passengers numbered seven, with four more in steerage. The return voyage of the Rattler to London would commence on 19th March 1851, after three months at Hobart while Captain Goldsmith attended to his construction of the vehicular twin steam ferry SS Kangaroo and the development of a patent slip at his shipyard on the Queen’s Domain. Henry Geeves, however, had no intention of joining the crew on the Rattler’s return voyage to London when he went absent without leave (AWOL) on 31st December 1850. He returned to the ship three days later for his clothes. Appearing as the plaintiff in the Police Magistrate’s Court on January 20th 1851, his complaint against Captain Goldsmith was for wages which he claimed were due to him because he felt he had been discharged by the Rattler’s chief officer, having volunteered as an “old man-of-war’s man” to join the frigate H.M.S. Havannah  when an officer from the Havannah boarded the Rattler seeking additional crew … More Captain Goldsmith, AWOL seaman Geeves, and HMS Havannah

Captain Edward Goldsmith and wife Elizabeth’s land deals in VDL

This is a brief guide to the property dealings of Captain Edward Goldsmith in the colony of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) from 1839 to 1862, viz his construction of patent slips at Secheron Bay and the Queen’s Domain, Hobart; his acquisition of acreage for timber felling and sheep pasturing in the north and south of the island; his purchase and sale of land and residences in Battery Point, Hobart, and finally the sale of his licensed premises and residence at 19 Davey Street, Hobart months before his permanent departure from the colony in 1856 with wife Elizabeth and sole surviving son Edward jnr. He retired to Gadshill House, his estate in the village of Higham, Kent, UK, where he continued land management of fifty ancestral leaseholds and plantations in the neighbouring parish of Chalk. … More Captain Edward Goldsmith and wife Elizabeth’s land deals in VDL

Thomas Nevin’s photographs mounted on calico 1870s

Dozens of extant photographs by Thomas Nevin that carry no studio stamp on verso were deliberately kept blank because they were mounted on calico, and delivered by mail to the purchaser with the expectation that they would either be placed intact inside a wooden frame, to be hung on the wall; or indeed, removed from the calico to be placed on an album leaf. Thomas Nevin used calico mounts as a means of saving on costs when posting through the mail. Dozens of his extant photographs with blank versos held in public and private collections bear traces of removal from woven fabric or parchment. Handwritten inscriptions, in many instances, were added subsequently by the client, collector or archivist. … More Thomas Nevin’s photographs mounted on calico 1870s

Thomas Nevin at the Canary and Cage Bird Show 1869

” The prize cards had on them a large and well-executed photograph by Mr Nevin, photographer, of this city, of what is called in England a model canary; and, accepting that model as the correct one, the Judges found several birds which came well up to the standard — notably the variegated yellows of Mr Northcote, Mr Aldred, and Mr Walch’s buff, Mr Montgomerie’s yellow, and many others specified in the subjoined prize list. Much interest was taken in seven birds at the upper part of the room, which had been entered for a sweep of seven pounds …” … More Thomas Nevin at the Canary and Cage Bird Show 1869

Bleak Expectations: Captain Goldsmith’s will in Chancery 1871-1922

This was one of Captain Edward Goldsmith’s properties, Craddock’s Cottage, believed to be where Dickens spent his honeymoon with Catherine Hogarth, April 1836. It was listed for auction in 1870 as  – “2a. 0r. 0p. of valuable plantation, house and garden, and building land, in the occupation of Mr. John Craddock, at a rental of £30 per annum”. The land next door was known as Goldsmith’s Plantation until the 1930s. It is mentioned in Goldsmith’s will on pages 6 and 8:
Due from John Craddock of Chalk Kent labourer and considered to be irrecoverable …. £40.0.0 ,,,, … More Bleak Expectations: Captain Goldsmith’s will in Chancery 1871-1922

1854: a year onshore at Hobart Tasmania for Captain Edward Goldsmith

The year 1854 was significant in the life of Captain Edward Goldsmith (1804-1869) because he spent it ashore at his antipodean residence, 19 Davey Street, Hobart, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) with his immediate family: his wife Elizabeth Goldsmith nee Day and his two sons Richard Sydney Goldsmith and Edward Goldsmith jnr, unlike the two preceding decades from 1830 to 1852 when he was at sea for eight months of every year as commander of merchant vessels plying the wool trade routes from London via the Americas, the Falklands and South Africa to Port Jackson (Sydney) NSW and Hobart, VDL.
In brief, the year 1854 ashore at Hobart saw Captain Goldsmith’s participation in these events, and probably several more not noted in the press:
Licensed as wholesale liquor merchant
Attendance at banquet to celebrate the opening of the New Market
Death of eldest son Richard Sydney Goldsmith from fever
Committee member for Royal Society dinner to honour Sir William Denison
Committee member for farewell dinner for John Dunn
Construction and sale of a schooner, 25 tons, at his Domain slipyard
Construction of the twin steamer ferry SS Kangaroo at his Domain slipyard
Director of the Hobart Town & Launceston Marine insurance company
Shareholder in the Tasmanian Steamship Navigation company
Planned defence battery next to Goldsmith’s Yard on the Domain
Committee member on the Gold Exploration Committee
Construction of the patent slip at the Domain and personal illness
Regatta Judge 9 December 1854
Petitioner to the HCC for sewage and water pipes to be laid in Davey St. … More 1854: a year onshore at Hobart Tasmania for Captain Edward Goldsmith

John Nevin snr and family 1851-1854: shipping documents

The point here is to negate any speculation that the document above which shows John Nevin paid £5 for the passage of two relatives on a family ticket on 11th July 1854 is the actual same document that proves he paid for three members of the Hurst family who arrived on 3rd February, 1855 on board the Flora McDonald viz. John Hurst, 16 years old, a designer, with Eliza Hurst, 40 years old, a needlewoman, and 14 year old house servant Mary Jane, despite the claims of the author of a Wikipedia page about William Nevin Tatlow Hurst (viz. serial troll Karen Mather who also references irrelevant documents in pursuit of her claims). These are two separate events, two different dates, and two separate groups of passengers. Even if the Hurst and Nevin families had associations in both Ireland and Tasmania before and after both families emigrated, the  list clearly shows these three Hursts arrived in 1855, not 1854, at Launceston via Hobart.  So, if their sponsor was the same John Nevin (no address given on this document below) who had sponsored two emigrants on a family ticket the previous year, in 1854, the document cited above with his address at Kangaroo Valley (http://stors.tas.gov.au/CB7-30-1-1 Nevin John 1854 image 27) does not reference this document below dated 1855 which names the three Hursts: … More John Nevin snr and family 1851-1854: shipping documents

Captain Edward Goldsmith and the conundrums of the Ethiopian Serenaders 1851

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

The Will of Richard Goldsmith snr (1769-1839)

Plaintiff George Matthews Arnold filed this suit in Chancery against the heirs to the will and estate of Richard Goldsmith snr for the purpose of acquiring the mortgages, rents and other income derived principally from Richard Goldsmith’s properties, the China Hall and the Victoria Inn at Rotherhithe, London, and farm holdings at Chalk, Kent. He also wanted the Goldsmith heirs to produce evidence of other deeds held on properties but they refused (see pages 9-11). The Court ordered they should comply under penalty of arrest. When Captain Edward Goldsmith’s own estate was put at auction in 1870 at the Bull hotel, Rochester, the auction took place under the watchful eye of solicitor George Matthews Arnold. The Bull was Mr Jingle’s “good house” in Dickens’ Pickwick Papers and the hotel he named the Blue Boar in Great Expectations. … More The Will of Richard Goldsmith snr (1769-1839)

Treasures passed down from Captain Edward Goldsmith and Captain James Day

To contemporary Western eyes, each of these two carved ornaments might look like 19th century funerary artefacts, flower vases for example, which were customarily placed on the graves of the dearly departed. To the Sinophile, however, they are more likely to be brush washers used by a calligrapher or a watercolourist. Each appears to have a narrow pot and a wider one carved deep into the interior of the chunk of stone, where the narrow one might have held the brushes, and the wider pot the water to wash them. The age of these two “vases” – assuming their provenance goes back as gifts to the two daughters of Captain James Day in the 1860s-1870s – is at least 150 years old, and perhaps much older. If they were gifted as a pair of brush washers, why would they be deemed appropriate for these two young sisters? The answer now seems quite obvious: they were the colourists working in Thomas J. Nevin’s studio at 140 Elizabeth Street, Hobart from the late 1860s when Elizabeth Rachel Day became Thomas J. Nevin’s fiancée … … More Treasures passed down from Captain Edward Goldsmith and Captain James Day

Thomas Nevin and the Terpsichoreans, New Norfolk 1867

If the newspaper report is at all accurate, these excursionists danced up a storm. They never stopped. They danced on the bridge, accompanied by a brass band, whatever bridge that may have been, and they danced non-stop on board the Monarch steaming its way up the River Derwent until they reached their destination. Once at Shoobridge’s, they continued dancing non-stop for hours in the hop room, and then moved out to the paddock where they not only danced, they played a game called “kiss the ring” [?]. On the homeward journey, aboard the Monarch, their dancing reached fever-pitch – or, as the reporter phrased it, “all went merry as a marriage peal”.  The merriment of the New Norfolk excursionists was captured by Thomas Nevin with three photographs, according to the newspaper report, so where are the photographs now? The only extant photograph of dancers identified as Thomas Nevin’s  is this one, printed as a stereograph on a buff mount, and labelled verso with the firm’s name – … More Thomas Nevin and the Terpsichoreans, New Norfolk 1867

Portraits and landscapes from T. J. Nevin’s cohort

A full-length carte-de-visite studio portrait of a young girl, possibly nine years old wearing a dark dress with a white collar and braiding along the sleeve, showing the lace of her bloomers at the hem against her bare legs. Spats cover her shoes. Her hair hangs loose in ringlets, and her gaze is slightly dropped and held steady to the viewer’s left. The studio decor includes an occasional table on wheels to the viewer’s right of frame on which sits a book, and a dining chair on the left on which the child rests her right arm. In her left hand she holds a thickly folded card. Charles Woolley’s signature technique was to produce prints in rich dark tones which made his portraits especially appealing. The verso bears Woolley’s “Advance Tasmania” studio stamp with emu and kangaroo animal iconography flanking the Tasmanian colonial insignia. His studio address for more than two decades was 42 Macquarie St. Hobart where he also ran a furniture business with his father. He must have supplied furniture, carpets and wall-hangings to all the Hobart photographic studios during the 1860s, and even sold items from his own studio when he ceased professional practice in the 1870s, because the same items appear in different photographers’ studio portraits. … More Portraits and landscapes from T. J. Nevin’s cohort

Amy Bock’s bid for marriage equality in 1909 in New Zealand

Amy Bock and Agnes Ottaway married on 21 April 1909 in Dunedin, NZ. Four days later Amy Bock was arrested at the Ottaways’ boarding house. She was convicted in the Dunedin Supreme Court on 27 May on two counts of false pretences and one of forgery, and was finally declared an habitual offender. The marriage was annulled on 17 June 1909. Was it a bid for “marriage equality” or not? … More Amy Bock’s bid for marriage equality in 1909 in New Zealand

One session, two poses

These two photographs of an unidentified woman who posed for photographer Alfred Bock ca. 1865-1867 in his Hobart studio were taken minutes apart. The provenance of the top cdv where the woman is gazing directly at the camera/photographer, was local: it was purchased for  KLW NFC Imprint Private Collection on eBay in 2017 from a seller located in South Australia. The provenance of the second cdv in which the woman’s gaze is directed 15 degrees to the viewer’s left, was the United Kingdom, according to Douglas Stewart Fine Books (Melbourne) who catalogued it for sale in July 2017. Here, on this webpage, exactly 150 years after these two photographs were taken in Bock’s glass house at 140 Elizabeth Street, Hobart, and probably printed within the hour on the same day, they are reunited in the hope they may excite recognition from a descendant who can provide this striking woman with a name and an account of her travels. … More One session, two poses

Convict photographs by T. J. Nevin at the Art Gallery NSW Centenary Exhibition 1976

Photographs of Tasmanian “convicts” –  i.e. prisoner mugshots – taken by T. J. Nevin in the 1870s were exhibited at the Centenary of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney and at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne in 1976. The Exhibition Catalogue was written by Daniel Thomas Senior Curator and Curator of Australian Art, Art Gallery of NSW. The Tasmanian contributor was antiquarian Geoffrey Stilwell, a Trustee of the Centenary Celebrations of the Art Gallery of NSW and Special Collections curator of the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, State Library of Tasmania. … More Convict photographs by T. J. Nevin at the Art Gallery NSW Centenary Exhibition 1976

Serious money: Captain Edward Goldsmith and shipowner Robert Brooks

The long term success of Robert Brooks’ shipping and pastoral investments depended heavily on the trust he placed in his agents at colonial ports, and on his delegation of all responsibility to his ships’ masters. “Freight payable in the colony” appeared frequently on his cargo manifests. Between 1834 and 1836 he purchased eight vessels, all second-hand. Between 1844 and 1846, his shipping purchases included the Parrock Hall, the Victor, the Kinnear, the Angelina, the North Briton, the Eagle, the William Wilson, and most important of all, the Rattler, built and bought specifically for Captain Edward Goldsmith (Broeze, p. 150, Table 8.6). … More Serious money: Captain Edward Goldsmith and shipowner Robert Brooks

Captain Goldsmith, James Lucas and Peter Fraser: 500 acre leases 1853

The exact location of Reef Point in the Parish of Pedder, county of Buckingham, in the south east of Tasmania around the city of Hobart, the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Bruny Island areas, is not clear from original documentation. Three 500 acre lots – Lot 195, Lot 196 and Lot 197 – were leased to Colonial Treasurer Peter Gordon Fraser; Derwent River pilot James Lucas; and master mariner Captain Edward Goldsmith respectively. Being sequentially numbered, these lots must have been adjacent. … More Captain Goldsmith, James Lucas and Peter Fraser: 500 acre leases 1853

Marriage breakdown: Elizabeth Amos v Alfred Threlkeld Mayson 1879-1882

By 1877 Elizabeth Mayson was petitioning for separation. She filed an application for protection of her earnings and property in 1879, citing Alfred Mayson’s alcoholism, gambling and loss of his job as Stipendiary Magistrate as reasons. She separated permanently from Alfred T. Mayson in 1877 taking both children with her to the residence of her father, John Amos. Alfred T. Mayson used Dobson & Mitchell lawyers in response to the petition. They claimed Elizabeth Mayson could not be found by June 1882, so Mayson’s claim to set aside his wife’s application was discharged. Elizabeth Mayson married Charles Borradale (1845- 1917) sometime after gaining a divorce from Alfred T, Mayson (date ?), and resided in Victoria. She died at the Borradale family home, 33 Morah St Parkville, Melbourne in 1907, aged 62 years. Widower Charles Borradale then remarried to Margaret McGregor who survived him and continued to live at the house in Morah St. Parkville. Charles Borradale died on 22nd April 1917, aged 71 years. He was wealthy enough to erect a large tombstone for his wife Elizabeth Mayson Borradale nee Amos and himself in the Melbourne General Cemetery, Victoria. His estate was considerable, although his last occupation was simply “cabdriver”. … More Marriage breakdown: Elizabeth Amos v Alfred Threlkeld Mayson 1879-1882

Captain Edward Goldsmith and the gold mania of the 1850s

THE LARGEST VAN DIEMEN’S LAND NUGGET. – The Messrs Stevens have returned from the Fingal diggings, with a small nugget, weighing seven grains, value one shilling; it is, however, the largest lump found in this colony. If we receive the testimony of Messrs. Stevens, not only one, but hundreds of nuggets will be found – the inference is just, the deduction is clear. We believe it is just probable the diggers have been working at the fag end of the range – being about twenty miles too far to the southward. This specimen of Van Diemen’s Land gold was picked up at Stanfield’s Nook, about fourteen miles from Avoca. We have heard a gentleman say, whose geological acquirements are considerable, and whose judgment is not likely to be biassed by the excitement of the gold mania, that the precious metal will be found in large quantities, and probably in a few weeks, and that great changes may be anticipated in the moral and social position of this colony, from the reaction that will take place, and the stimulus that will be given to industry. Australian and New Zealand Gazette. … More Captain Edward Goldsmith and the gold mania of the 1850s

Tom Nevin and father-in-law bandmaster Walter Tennyson Bates

City Band.- A large concourse of people gathered at the Barrack-reserve last evening to listen to the first concert of the season by this popular band. Mr. W. Tennyson Bates conducted, and it was a pleasure to many to see his familiar face once again at the bandstand. The members, some 30, acquitted themselves admirably, and found favour with the assemblage. Mr. Bates has again introduced the clarionette into his band, an instrument which of late has been discarded by Hobart bandmasters. The amount collected at the gate on behalf of the uniform fund exceeded expectations. … More Tom Nevin and father-in-law bandmaster Walter Tennyson Bates