Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Glenorchy Landslip 1872

GLENORCHY LANDSLIDE  June 1872
PRISONER CORNELIUS GLEESON
STEREOGRAPHS 1872

Thomas Nevin was married and a first-time father by June 4th, 1872 when heavy rains and the great landslide at Glenorchy destroyed houses, farms, businesses and streets and tore boulders and vegetation from the slopes of Mount Wellington. He was living at his city studio, The City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart with his wife Elizabeth Rachel Day and their new-born daughter May (Mary Florence) who was born just a fortnight earlier on the 19th May 1872 (she died to the day exactly 83 yrs later, on 4th June 1955). That Tuesday night of the great flood in Glenorchy, photographic stock at Nevin's old studio in nearby New Town was probably saturated by the heavy rain, if water damage on some of his extant photographs taken a few months earlier in January 1872 at Adventure Bay, is any indication. But his anxieties would have been far greater concerning his parents living in the cottage his father had built at Kangaroo Valley on land above the Lady Franklin Museum, in the northern foothills of Mount Wellington.

Within days of the landslide, Thomas Nevin was out and about taking photographs of the damage on commission for the Lands and Survey Division of the Hobart City Council, most likely in the company of Mr. Hull, Council Clerk for the district. These three extant stereographs are held at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Both stereographs in yellow mounts bear verso the Royal Arms insignia studio stamp issued to Thomas J. Nevin by the Attorney-General, W. R. Giblin and Surveyor-General J. Erskine Calder in 1868 for use on government commissions. The same stamp appears on police photographs of prisoners (convicts), of the Royal Mail coach operated by Sam Page, of full-length and mounted cartes-de-visite of staff members of the Hobart City Council, their wives and children, and on photographs such as these of streets, landscapes, mining operations, caves and geological formations. The third stereograph in a buff mount is the same photograph of Humphrey Rivulet as the one above it. It bears no stamp, and was probably printed for private or experimental use.



Water flow caused by the landslip at Glenorchy, June 1872
Stereograph in arched yellow mount
Thomas J. Nevin, June 1872.
Verso stamped with Nevin's Royal Arms insignia issued by Lands Dept.
TMAG Ref: Q1994.56.2. Verso below



Verso:Water flow caused by the landslip at Glenorchy 1872
Stereograph in arched yellow mount
Thomas J. Nevin 1872.
Verso bears Nevin's Royal Arms insignia stamp issued by Lands Dept.
TMAG Ref: Q1994.56.2. 



The Landslip at Glenorchy June 1872
Humphrey Rivulet showing passage of the debris flow.
Stereograph in arched yellow mount
Thomas J. Nevin June, 1872.
TMAG Ref: Q1686.20. Verso stamp same as above on Q1994.56.2.



The Landslip at Glenorchy June 1872
Humphrey Rivulet showing passage of the debris flow.
Stereograph in arched buff mount
Thomas J. Nevin 1872.
Sames as TMAG Ref: Q1686.20. Verso blank.
TMAG Ref: Q16826.36. Verso below.



Historical accounts of the Glenorchy Landslip 1872
Tasmanian Geological Survey Record 2007/01
A compilation of historical accounts of the 1872 Glenorchy landslide
C. Mazengarb, G. J. Dickens & C. R. Calver

Read the full document HERE

EXCERPTS
These excerpts are courtesy of the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources Mineral Resources Tasmania. A single image print held at the Archives Office of Tasmania of another of Nevin's photographs of the landslip was published in this report, viz:.



Title:The landslip on Mt Wellington near Glenorchy
In:Tasmanian scenes P. 33, item 66
Publisher:[ca. 1873]
Description:1 photograph : sepia toned ; 11 x 19 cm
Format: Photograph
ADRI: AUTAS001124075482
Source: W.L. Crowther Library

From the Introduction:

"Late at night on Tuesday 4 June 1872, after about 24 hours of heavy rain, a large landslide took place on the steep northern slope of Mt Arthur (at approximately 517 300 mE, 5 252 400 mN — coordinate datum GDA94). The slide — incorporating a huge volume of floodwater, boulders, broken trees, sediment and other debris — was channelled rapidly down Humphrey Rivulet and disgorged onto the plains of what is now the city of Glenorchy. A number of houses and farms were damaged or destroyed. Miraculously, no lives were lost, although one drowning had occurred during the floods of the preceding afternoon.

The descriptions of this event are consistent with it being due to a debris flow, a fast-moving torrent of water, mud and debris. The 1872 Glenorchy landslide remains the largest and most damaging debris flow recorded in Tasmania since European settlement. If a similar event was to be repeated today, the impact on the now densely built environment of the city of Glenorchy would be severe. Similar debris flows could also reach Hobart from the slopes of Mt Wellington, and although likely to be highly unusual (infrequent) events, debris flows are a significant geological hazard in the greater Hobart area, as shown by recent geohazard mapping (Mazengarb, 2005)...."
Source: Tasmanian Geological Survey Record 2007/01 A compilation of historical accounts of the 1872 Glenorchy landslide by C. Mazengarb, G. J. Dickens & C. R. Calver

Page 5: The Mercury, Wednesday 5 June 1872



Prisoner Gleeson's commendable heroics
Mercury 5th June 1872

Cornelius Gleeson was discharged on 26 June 1872, at the Hobart Gaol from a 6 months sentence, residue remitted, originally charged on 12th February 1872 with being on premises for an unlawful purpose. It is entirely possible that his sentence was remitted on merit because of the leadership he showed in heading a group of fellow prisoners from the Hobart Gaol to catch and clean up the debris at Wellington Bridge (Elizabeth St.) during the great deluge of June 4th 1872 which swept through the city and resulted in a huge landslip at Glenorchy. The Mercury mentioned him twice in this report of the floods, June 5th, 1872. Despite the promise of indulgences for these heroic deeds, Gleeson continued to offend. Eighteen months later he was sentenced at the Supreme Court Hobart for the crime of burglary and larceny (2 December 1873), for which he earned an eight year sentence and a mugshot taken by Thomas Nevin at the Hobart Gaol.



Print of Thomas Nevin's original mugshot (glass negative) of Cornelius Gleeson (1873)
Reprints by J. W. Beattie ca. 1915
QVMAG Collection: Ref : 1983_p_0163-0176

Page 7: The Mercury, Wednesday 5 June 1872

GLENORCHY.
Very serious disaster has to be recorded in this locality,
and the devastation, we regret to say has been attended
with loss of life, a man named Moran in the
employment of Messrs. Wright and Co. having been
carried away by the flood in the endeavour to save the
property of his employers by removing some logs
which threatened it. The properties of Messrs. Wright,
Reed and the Rev. Mr Symons, have also suffered
much injury, the whole of the extensive hop grounds of
Mr Stephen Wright being completely inundated. The
residence and grounds of the Rev. Mr Symons was
almost entirely submerged, the water being up to the
eaves of his cottage and he and his family being
compelled to seek refuge at the residence of Mr H
Hopkins, New Town.

Pages 9, 10 : The Mercury, Thursday 6 June 1872

GLENORCHY — IMMENSE LAND SLIPS.
In addition to the few particulars which we gave in our
yesterday’s issue, we have now to record a far more
disastrous visitation in this locality. The residents in
the vicinity of O’Brien’s Bridge [locality 3, fig. 1] were
at a late hour on Tuesday congratulating themselves
on the belief that the worst danger had passed, and
hailing with satisfaction the gradual subsidence of the
waters in the creek, when at about half-past ten o’clock
a dreadful dull rumbling sound, a heavy smothered
crash, and a deafening roar of flowing waters, gave
evidence of some unusual convulsion of Nature. Those
who had not retired to rest started to their feet in alarm,
whilst many who had sought repose after the fatigues
and anxieties of the day’s work in protecting their
premises from destruction, hurriedly attired
themselves and issued from their dwellings anxious to
ascertain the cause of the shock. The night was
intensely dark, and the inhabitants of the village were
soon all astir congregated in groups, and dull
forebodings passed rapidly from one to another as to
the unknown, invisible danger which threatened
them. Preparations were at once made for the saving of
life and property, those having tenements on the low
lands leaving them and taking with them such
property as they could secure. About an hour after the
sound was heard that caused so much consternation,
the waters were heard approaching with a dull
rumbling sound. An immense wall of it was seen in the
darkness to be coming on, bearing onward with
irresistible force everything with which it came in
contact. Eyes which had now become accustomed to
the darkness, saw borne on the foaming torrent, huge
masses, consisting of trees uptorn by the roots, and
bearing with them branches of others, tangled
undergrowth, dead timber, masses of rocks, portions
of broken buildings, and other debris all mingled,
tumbling one over another in a most grand but terrible
confusion. Houses substantially built were carried
away like wooden matchboxes, and the furious flood
burst from the inadequate creek channel, and forced
for itself new passages over the cultivated ground.
Land which had hitherto had entire immunity from
inundation was suddenly covered to a depth of many
feet; and trees, dead timber, and other drift, finding
obstructions, piled itself in gigantic heaps, resembling
hastily constructed barricades. The light of morning
was never more anxiously awaited then by the
watchers through that fearful night, and when dawn
broke it revealed surroundings which told in the most
forcible way of the desolation which has been wrought
in the few previous hours. Hundreds of acres of
ground which a day to two before had gladdened the
eye of the traveller as he passed through the
picturesque village, and admired the trim and neat
appearance of the gardens and the luxuriance of the
hop grounds and orchards, were now a desolate waste
of mud and silt, with sheets of turbid water lying in
patches over their surface, and trees of immense size
cumbering the ground at short intervals. A glance to
the left disclosed the cause of the previous night’s
alarm. Those familiar with the scenery at the foot of
black-browed Wellington at once discovered an
appearance entirely dissimilar to that which had
hitherto met their eyes as they had daily wandered
round the horizon. A great land slip had occurred. One
immense mass of fallen earth of a dusky brown
intermixed with a yellow clayey material met their
view, and another similar, but a much smaller one, was
to be seen where, the previous evening, only verdure
clad hills were visible. It is impossible to adequately
describe the altered appearance of the locality and the
dire destruction which has visited the property
holders. On the estate of Mr. Murray thousands of tons
of wood are to be seen spread over the ground. His
property of Murray field [locality 5, fig. 1] has suffered
to an extent which at present it would be difficult to
estimate. His manufactory has been thrown down, and
the vinegar and candle works and appliances by which
he carried on his business, entirely destroyed. The
bridge has been severely assailed. At the present time a
huge denizen of the forest some six feet in
circumferences lies stretched entirely across the creek
and jammed against the bridge. One of the centre stays
has also given way, but the bridge still seems tolerably
secure. When the flood came down, the bridge was
completely submerged, the archway became choked
with the debris, and the water escaped over both sides
and covered the road to a depth of several feet. Of the
sudden and furious discharge of the destroying
element, the land slips, were, it is conjectured, the
primary cause. Of the extent of these, various and
widely different estimates have been made, but that
they have been of very great extent, admits of no
doubt. They occurred amongst the subsidiary hills at
the base of Mount Wellington, and about six miles
from O’Brien’s Bridge. The earth has not slipped in one
mass, but in two distinct divisions on either side of the
gully which forms the source of the creek crossing the
road at O’Brien’s Bridge. Those familiar with the
conformation of the country in the locality of the hills
mentioned, will understand that behind those hills,
and lately enclosed by them was a natural basin, and it
is supposed that during the heavy rains a vast area of
water was here collected, which forced away the
immense wall of earth and carried down with it the
masses of trees, rocks, dead logs, and debris, which
created such destruction as it deluged the low lands in
the ungovernable fury of its onward course. This view
of the catastrophe is borne out by the fact that over the
dark soil of the land slip which presents itself to the
spectator, and even at a distance of six miles the water
may be still seen in several places where it has cut its
way into the fallen bank of earth and still continues to
flow in reduced volume over it. It would of course with
the very insufficient data which we at present have at
command, be impossible to judge with any degree of
accuracy of the extent of these land slips. From
observation the first would appear to extend in one
direction for nearly a mile, and the area of earth has
been variously estimated to contain from 200 or 640
acres of land. The second slip on the further side of the
creek is of much smaller proportions, and not much
more than half of the magnitude of the other. In order
to convey some idea of the noise produced by the land
slip, it may be mentioned that it was distinctly heard at
Risdon ferry some nine miles distant.
In the hurry of collecting particulars of yesterday’s
floods in this locality, a mistake occurred by which the
name of a man drowned at O’Brien’s Bridge was given
as Moran, and he was stated to have been in the
employ of Messrs. Wright. The unfortunate man who
lost his life was named Andrew Ranaghan, and he was
employed by Mr. Murray as foreman. In the
endeavour to save his master’s property, he was, on
Tuesday afternoon, with some others, engaged in
attempting to make more secure a wooden
embankment which kept the water in the creek from
flooding the premises [locality 9, fig. 1]. With this
object he took a chain, and clambering over the barrier
was in the act of fixing it on the side abutting on the
creek, when the barrier suddenly gave way, and falling
on the poor fellow he was borne down under the turbid
waters, never rising to the surface. He was an excellent
swimmer, but, of course, could not bring his powers
into use. The poor man leaves a wife and eight
children. We have been unable to gather the whole of
the particulars of losses in this locality, but append a
list of the principle ones. Mr. Murray has been by far
the greatest sufferer, the whole of his manufacturing
works being destroyed, his lands submerged, and
thousands of tons of fallen timber and other debris
scattered over his ground. A large portion of Mr. Thos.
Laing’s premises were carried away. Mr. R.
Shoobridge had a portion of his house destroyed, and
his grounds partially inundated. Mr. Edwin Morrisby,
miller, has had his private bridge and mill race washed
away. His brother, Mr. Tasman Morrisby has a portion
of his garden destroyed. Mr. Isaac Wright has suffered
extensively; the walls of his tannery [locality 10, fig. 1]
are gone and the tan pits filled with debris. Mr Stephen
Wright, on the opposite side of the creek, had five acres
of hops destroyed [locality 11, fig. 1]. A house occupied
by Mr. Cane, on the estate of Mr. Murray, was
completely knocked in, and Mr. Cane had only time to
make his escape without an opportunity of dressing.
The Rev. Mr. Symons was not so severe sufferer as was
reported to us yesterday, the water only rising a little
over the doorstep. Of Mr. John Oswald’s four-roomed
cottage not a vestige is left, and an enormous tree now
marks the spot which, on Tuesday evening was Mr
Oswald’s bedroom. Of the wholesale devastation
which is visible on every side it would be extremely
difficult to convey an idea, and the dwellers at
Glenorchy and in the vicinity of O’Brien’s Bridge will
long have cause to remember sadly the floods of June
1872, and the landslips at Mount Wellington.
We regret to state that the splendid garden of Mr. H.
Cook was flooded by the waters of the creek, which
washed away a quickset hedge and then overspread
the garden, which is about 3½ acres in extent.
Yesterday the whole area of the land presented the
aspect of a foaming sea. All the valuable trees are
destroyed. Mr. Cook was a large sufferer by the flood
of 1854, but the damage now sustained is
unprecedented and greatly discouraging.

Page 11: The Mercury, Friday 7 June 1872

THE FLOODS.
GLENORCHY — THE LAND SLIPS.
The marshy state of the ground and the numerous
mountain torrents render it impossible to get
sufficiently near the scene of the recent land slips in
this locality, and hence no accurate estimate can be
formed of their extent. A stream of water still continues
to pour over the dislodged earth, but its volume has
materially diminished. The damage to Mr. Murray’s
manufacturing buildings [locality 5, fig. 1] has been
found to be not so severe as at first reported. The
buildings used for the manufacture of candles and
vinegar have not been destroyed but are still standing,
although the former are surrounded by a densely
packed mass of dead timber. A portion, consisting of
one corner of the building used as a soap manufactory
and store-house was carried away, but this, it is
anticipated, may be easily repaired. Mr. Calloway, Mr.
Murray’s manager, has a large body of men vigorously
engaged in removing the timber and other
obstructions, and expects to be able to proceed with the
manufacture of candles on Monday morning next. On
the night of the great flood two young men employed
by Mr. Murray, and a son of Mr. Calloway, had a most
miraculous escape. They were watching the waters of
the creek when the great wave of water came down
and overtook them. They were knocked down several
times, and with difficulty regained their feet. Two of
the young men found security on some higher ground,
and had already reported to Mr. Calloway that his son
had been overtaken by the waters. Young Calloway
had, however, clambered on to a cattle shed, and from
this afterwards climbed into a gum tree, and remained
in this perilous position some three hours. During this
time his parents were in a most anxious state, but were
at length re-assured by their son announcing his
safety. No efforts could, however, by made to relieve
him till the waters abated. Mr Calloway describes the
descent of the waters as most terrific, the noise caused
by the enormous boulders as they came crashing down
the creek, being likened to the discharge of a hundred
pieces of heavy ordnance. Trees from 50 to 100 feet
long and six or seven feet diameter at the butt, are
strewn all over the ground. An embankment built to
protect Mr. Murray’s property, the piles having been
shod with iron and secured with iron rods, and which
was considered an impregnable barrier to any flood,
was carried away for over thirty yards of its course,
and it was when this gave way that the lives of the
young men mentioned above were placed in jeopardy.
Some of the houses on Mr. Murray’s estate have been
miraculously preserved by the barricades of wood
which accumulated before them. Large logs coming
down became in many places fixed and by this means
other timber piling itself caused the diversion of the
water, and saved, besides Mr. Murray’s buildings,
several dwelling houses. This was observable in two or
three instances, the piles of timber forming closely
packed walls around three sides of many of the
cottages. Mr Murray’s garden, which before the flood
was in a most flourishing state, and contained many
choice and prolific fruit trees, has had the top soil
washed away, boulders and drift timber remaining.
The hut of a man named Craig was knocked through
by heavy trees in three places. At Mr. Stephen Wright’s
as we mentioned yesterday, immense injury has been
done, and further examination discloses greater
disasters. The top soil has been carried away over a
large area, and the ground, in many places strewn with
rocky boulders, has a slight resemblance to the
ploughed field on Mount Wellington. The creek at this
point has made for itself an entirely new channel,
running through the properties of Mr. Isaac Wright,
and Mr. Cook, instead of in its old course [locality 10,
fig. 1]. A number of men were yesterday engaged in
putting Mr Isaac Wright’s tanneries in order, and
others in clearing the road and bed of the creek at
O’Brien’s Bridge. A party of men were out searching
for the body of the unfortunate man Andrew
Ranaghan, but without success. Barrett’s store was one
of the places flooded on Tuesday night, about a foot of
water going into the shop Tuesday night, about a foot
of water going into the shop and filling the cellars. The
road at this point is still covered some inches deep with
sludge.

Page 12: The Mercury, Monday 10 June 1872

THE LAND SLIPS.
A correspondent writing from Glenorchy on Friday,
says:—
Yesterday four of us started to follow up the gully
down which the fatal O’Brien’s Bridge deluge poured.
Those who knew the gloomy, densely wooded ravine
prior to the descent of the water, will be astonished
when they see it again. From the bed of the creek, for
perhaps 80 yards up, each hill-side has been swept of
every tree, and the ground is covered with silt and
sludge in which stones, rocks, fragments and nearly
whole trunks of trees lie tossed together in supreme
confusion. For over a mile from the foot of the great
slide the course of the water had a slope of at least 30
degrees. The timber met with along here, presents a
singular uniformity of appearance. Every branch and
root has been shorn close to the stem, the bark stripped
off, and a large proportion of the surface wood
feathered up into fine splinters. One green trunk,
about 30 feet long, and perhaps 4 feet through at the
base, attracted our particular attention. It is split for
about half its length, and three considerable logs
remain wedged in it. A little above where this log lies,
my companions judged the torrent must have been at
least 150 yards wide, and perhaps 70 feet deep [locality
12, fig. 1]. The edges of the stream are lined with
shattered timber. Large trees, standing many yards
above the water mark have been struck high up, their
branches rent and bark torn off, apparently by the logs
which the water hurled along. One spot, on the left as
we ascended, seems to have been passed over by a
water spout. Trees have been torn up and smashed, the
naked trunks of others left, blotched with muddy
splashes, and large mud-covered stones scattered
among them, yet there is no sign of water having
overflowed the ground.
What is spoken of here as the “small landslip” appears
to be on the clearance made by the surging of the water
when its course was arrested by the hill which faces
that down which it poured. The so-called small slip is
exactly opposite the large one. If the winding course of
the valley permitted, it would be seen from the main
road that each side, for some distance downwards, is
bared almost as high up from the bed of the creek.
The aspect from the foot of the great slide is
inexpressibly grand and awful. Its distance from
O’Brien’s Bridge lends it an appearance of smoothness,
which leaves the observer quite unprepared for what
will meet his gaze when he enters upon the scene itself.
By the time we reached this spot, our party was
reduced to two. Mr._____ and myself climbed to
within what he thinks was 150 yards of the head of the
great slide, when a fog began to shroud the top, and
obliged us to descend. The course we had traced by eye
from below bade fair to lead us right out, and it was
disappointing to be obliged to return without reaching
the top. The journey up and down is one not likely to be
forgotten.

Page 12: The Mercury, Tuesday 11 June 1872

THE LAND SLIPS. — A visit to the locality of the
recent Glenorchy disaster, made yesterday, showed
the course taken by the devastating torrent, which
swept down upon the unsuspecting inhabitants of the
district on Tuesday night last. The aspect of the
gigantic convulsion which has occurred, viewed from
the road at O’Brien’s Bridge, conveys but a faint idea of
the wonderful magnitude and destructive effect
produced a few miles distant, the apparently smooth,
level surface, which presents itself to the eye of those
travelling along the road being, on a nearer approach,
changed to rugged, rocky, and uneven banks, while
the mountain sides are utterly denuded of vegetation,
and rent and channelled by the many torrents which
have occurred down their dusky sides. The site is of the
grandest, although most terrible description. A
pressure on our space compels us to hold over a
detailed description, which will appear in to-morrow’s
issue.

etc etc

Sources of original newspapers articles
The Mercury, Wednesday 5 June 1872
The Mercury, Thursday 6 June 1872
The Mercury, Friday 7 June 1872
The Mercury, Monday 10 June 1872
The Mercury, Tuesday 11 June 1872
The Mercury, Saturday 15 June 1872
Notes on the landslip at Mount Wellington, Tasmania (Wintle, 1872)
Guide to Excursionists (Anonymous, 1879)
Round the Fireside: Reminiscences of an old Glenorchy Resident (Hull, 1940)

Read the full document HERE



The landslip area is clearly visible as two large indentations below a flattened Mt Arthur, with Mount Wellington behind and the Derwent Entertainment Centre (white building) in foreground in this photograph taken from the River Derwent on board the MONA vessel passing Elwick Bay. Photo copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2015.

ADDENDA
The scans (above) were supplied by the TMAG in June 2015. The photographs (below, front and back) were taken on a visit to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart  on November 10th, 2014. Both stereographs in yellow mounts bear the Royal Arms insignia studio stamp issued to Thomas J. Nevin by the Attorney-General, W. R. Giblin and Surveyor-General J. Erskine Calder in 1868 for use on government commissions.





Stereographs by Thomas J. Nevin, June 1872
Photos recto and verso copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2014-2015
Taken at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, 10 November 2014

A stereograph produced with Samuel Clifford's rare blindstamp of another scene of destruction from the landslip is held at the State Library of Tasmania.
It is well known that the blue gum tree (Eucalyptus
globolus) is amongst the toughest of Tasmanian woods,
a fact due to its labyrinthine grain, and yet a vast
number of these trees (many of which must have
attained a height far above 200 feet) had been snapped
as short in the middle — to use an expressive
vulgarism — as a carrot.
(Wintle, 1872; page 17 of  Report op.cit.2007)



State Library of Tasmania
Debris of the floods and landslip 1872
Stereograph with blindstamp impress of Samuel Clifford
ADRI:NS2929-1-9

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Elwick House and Elwick Bay

WILKINSON FAMILY
ALRED BOCK, THOMAS NEVIN, ALFRED WINTER
GLENORCHY ART and SCULPTURE PARK




Photo copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2015
Formerly tribal country of the mou.he.neen.ner people, developed by John Wilkinson from the 1840s, now part of GASP, the Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park, Hobart, Tasmania.

The photograph below is a long view of Elwick house, ca. 1867 taken by Thomas Nevin around the time of his acquisition of Bock's studio and stock. The land today is part of the GASP project, the Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park, once the tribal country of the mou.he.neen.ner people.



Title:Photograph "Elwick"-Glenorchy-home of John Wilkinson (panorama)
ADRI:NS1543-1-5 [T. Nevin after A. Bock?]
Source:Archives Office of Tasmania



Sarah Ann Wilkinson [?] ca. 1860
Source:Archives Office of Tasmania
ADRI: NS1543-1-11
Series:Miscellaneous Papers and Photographs of the Wilkinson Family, 1840 - 1942 (NS1543)

Possibly the work of Alfred Bock, this unattributed daguerreotype (or ambrotype) of Sarah Wilkinson was retouched in gold on her ring, belt buckle, buttons and necklace. Papers of the Wilkinson family held at the Archives Office of Tasmania include her travel writings:
NS1543/1/1
S.A. Wilkinson-Short Account of our Travels, by Sarah Ann Wilkinson, daughter of John Wilkinson, born 14 January 1834; journey from Melbourne to Liverpool - detailed description available from paper copy of lists Start Date:14 Mar 1862 End Date:07 Mar 1863.
NG1543
JOHN WILKINSON AND FAMILY
Start Date:01 Jan 1831
John Wilkinson established Wilkinson's Dispensing, Manufacturing and Pharmaceutical Chemists in 1831 at 90 Elizabeth Street, Hobart. He was granted land at O'Briens Bridge, ( now Glenorchy) and called his farm Elwick - now the site of the Elwick Racecourse
Alfred Bock used a rarely seen blindstamp impress on this stereograph of two women and three children, members of the Wilkinson family, ca. 1860, standing outside Elwick House, Glenorchy, Tasmania. The Elwick Race Track was established on land owned by pharmacist John Wilkinson in 1875.



Title:Photograph "Elwick"-Glenorchy close view of side elevation ca. 1860
ADRI:NS1543-1-6
Source:Archives Office of Tasmania



The impress on the left panel incorporates his name and the name of the studio, The City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth Street Hobart, which Thomas J. Nevin acquired on Bock's departure from Tasmania in 1867. Nevin devised seven different studio stamps, one closely modelled on Bock's later verso stamp, but his blind stamp was one similar to Alfred Winter's plain capital lettering.





Alfred Winter's blindstamp centre inside frame
Glenorchy - Elwick Race Course 1878?
ADRI:PH5-1-12
Source:Archives Office of Tasmania
Series: Album of Photographs, 1870 (PH5)



View of Otago from  GASP, the Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park, Hobart, Tasmania.
Photo copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2015

This stereograph by Thomas J. Nevin of a man wearing a top hat, looking towards the photographer and with the curve of Elwick Bay behind him, was taken from a spot close to where the MONA Museum now stands.



Man in top hat with view of Elwick Bay behind
Photo by T. J. Nevin ca. 1870
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Ref: Q16826.12. Verso below.





This is a long distance view across to the bar at Elwick Bay and to the property of John Wilkinson, Glenorchy before the Elwick Racecourse and grandstand were constructed. The view was taken from the Hull property at Tolosa, Glenorchy. One of John Wilkinson's daughters Mary Jane married Henry Hull in December 1861.

Photo by T. J. Nevin ca. 1870
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Ref: Q1994.56.27. Verso below.



View across to the bar at Elwick Bay  to the  property of John Wilkinson, Glenorchy 
Photo by T. J. Nevin ca. 1870
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Ref: Q1994.56.27

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Prisoner William RYAN wholesale forger at the TMAG

The Press described William Ryan as "respectably attired" in September 1870 at his appearance in court on charges of forgery. They also reported that he was someone who showed deep emotions when given sentence, and someone even prone to dissembling, fakery and over-acting. Care for his personal appearance was not attentuated by a prison sentence, it seems. When Thomas J. Nevin photographed Ryan for police and prison records at the Hobart Gaol during Ryan's six years of incarceration, the resulting photograph showed a clean shaven, nicely groomed and neatly dressed man in a prisoner's uniform, someone with a quiet and self-contained demeanour all round.



Prisoner William Ryan
Photographed by T. J. Nevin 1874
TMAG Collection Ref: Q15576



Verso inscriptions: NEVIN, T. J. 1874 "60"
"248" William Ryan per City of Hobart
Torn paper shows removal from the prisoner's criminal record sheet ca. 1916
Photographed by T. J. Nevin 1874
TMAG Collection Ref: Q15576

William Ryan had not long arrived in Tasmania when he was tried for uttering a forged cheque at Launceston on 29th December 1868 and sentenced to two years' imprisonment. Within months of discharge, he was arrested and sentenced at the Hobart Supreme Court to ten years' imprisonment for uttering forged cheques. The newspapers of the day took pleasure in reporting the ingenuity of the police in catching him, and the antics of the prisoner in the dock at the Police Court before His Worship the Mayor.

The Newspaper Reports: William Ryan "wholesale forger"

Mercury, Tuesday 27th September 1870
POLICE COURT
Monday, September 20th 1870
Before His Worship the Mayor.
Forgery:- William Ryan was placed in the dock on three charges of forgery, viz. - First, for having on the 5th of September forged a cheque for  £5.12s. bearing the name of John McDermott, and passed it on Mr. W. F. Brownell, draper, of Liverpool-street; secondly , with having on the 17th of September forged and uttered a cheque bearing the name of John Swain for £3.10s. on Mr Winch, grocer, of Davey-street; and thirdly, with forging and uttering a cheque on Mr. Thomas Downey for £4.10s.
The police asked for the accused to be remanded till the 28th of September. Remanded accordingly.
Mercury, Tuesday 27th September 1870
Forgery Case:- A man named William Ryan, recently released from a two years' incarceration, was placed in the dock at the Police Court yesterday, charged with forging three cheques for £5.12s., £3.10s., and   £4.10s respectively, all of which he had succeeded in getting cashed at various business places in Hobart Town. The first cheque was cashed by an assistant of Mr. Brownell, draper, of Liverpool-street, on the 5th of September, since which time, up to Saturday last, the police have been vainly endeavouring to unearth the forger. On Saturday last, however, between the hours of five and six o'clock in the evening, these efforts were rewarded with success. Detective Vickers, accompanied by Sergeant Waller, at the time mentioned happening to be standing near the corner of Harrington and Liverpool-street, observed a man come out of Mr. McCormack's drapery shop, carrying some carpenter's tools. Directly the man caught sight of the constables he began to make off very rapidly, and in his haste dropped one of the tools he had been carrying. Detective Vickers sang out to him that he had dropped something, which only had the effect of quickening the man's pace. This aroused the detective's suspicions, and he ran into Mr. McCormack's shop, and ascertained from him that the man had endevoured to pass a cheque, which he (Mr. McCormack) had refused to accept. Preparations were then made for a capture, Detective Vickers going one way and Sergeant Waller another, so as to hedge the suspicious individual in, and to prevent his escape. This proved successful, for after a run of about a mile and a half, he was brought to bay, and conveyed to the watchhouse. On searching him, several £1 notes and a cheque for £3.10s., which he had been unable to get cashed, were found on him. The charge was not proceeded with yesterday, as the police, for certain reasons, asked for a remand till Wednesday, the 28th inst, which request was granted.
Mercury, Thursday 29th September 1870:
A Wholesale Forger:- William Ryan, a middle-aged, respectably attired man, was placed in the prisoners dock at the Police Court yesterday, on three distinct charges of forgery. The evidence in each case was of the most conclusive character, and left not the shadow of a doubt as to the guilt of the accused, who was accordingly committed to take his trial at the next Criminal Sessions, which commence in Hobart Town on the 22nd November next. Though the prisoner had only recently been liberated from Port Arthur from serving a sentence for a similar offence, he affected to be very much hurt as the position in which he found himself, turning his back on the people in court, and hiding his face in his hands, and when asked to sign his name in the usual way to the committment paper, he professed his inability to sign his name. The extraordinary spectacle of a forger unable to write caused a smile. The acting was overdone.



Source: THE MERCURY. (1870, September 29). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved July 12, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8863771

An extended account was also published in the Mercury on 29th September 1870, page 3, with detailed depositions from witnesses, and Superintendent Propsting conducting the case.
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page785165

Mercury, Saturday 19th November 1870.
SUPREME COURT CRIMINAL SITTINGS.
The session of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Delivery will commence on Tuesday next at 11. a.m., at the Court House, Campbell-Street, before Mr. Justice Dobson. A second Court will be presided over by the Chief Justice. The following is the calendar.
Eliza Osborne, wounding
William Ryan, uttering
Joseph Winters, unlawfully wounding
Francis Thomas Allison, wounding
William Triffett, forgery and uttering [etc]

Mercury, Thursday 24th November 1870
SENTENCE
William Ryan was placed in the dock to receive sentence for committing forgery. When asked if he had anything to say why sentence should not be passed on him, he said he hoped His Honor would temper mercy with justice as before committing the forgeries he had endeavoured to get assistance from Government to enable him to go to Launceston, where he had a wife and two children, and where he had left his tools. He had been unsuccessful in that endeavour, and he tried to get money by forgery.
His Honor, addressing the prisoner, said on examination he found that he (the prisoner) had been in the colony about two years. Shortly after his arrival he was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for forgery; and before he had been out of custody many weeks he again committed forgery. He (the judge) could not accept the prisoner's statement as to his endeavouring to obtain relief from Government before he committed the forgery as extenuating the crime in the slightest degree. The maximum punishment for forgery allowed by the law was imprisonment for life, but he (the judge) would not sentence him to the full extent allowed by law, but would order him to be imprisoned for a term that would give him time for reflection.
The sentence, which he considered it his duty to inflict, was that he (the prisoner) be imprisoned for a period of ten years.
The prisoner, who seemed deeply affected, was then removed. The court then rose.
Source: LAW INTELLIGENCE. (1870, November 24). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved July 12, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8872576

In denial: the TMAG database notes
Does the public need the opinions of museum and library cataloguists which go well beyond basic documented fact? Their so-called "research" which often appears accompanying old photographs may mislead, and in some cases, deliberately so, as this TMAG catalogue reference for Nevin's photograph of William Ryan demonstrates.



Verso inscriptions: NEVIN, T. J. 1874 "60"
"248" William Ryan per City of Hobart

Removed from the prisoner's criminal record sheet ca. 1916
Photographed by T. J. Nevin 1874
TMAG Collection Ref: Q15576



CALLOUTS: This is the database information for Nevin's photograph of William Ryan at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (received here in 2015). Even though Nevin's name and date of photographic capture was clearly written on the verso decades or even a century earlier, the cataloguist not only chose to ignore it, she wrongly transcribed Nevin's second initial "J" as "S", despite all prior research, publications and exhibitions of these Tasmanian mugshots in Nevin's name right throughout the 20th century.

No reference is given for the source of misinformation concerning A. H. Boyd. Note the use of existential sentence structure: "It is thought ...is known to have ..." which suggests objectivity, even common knowledge, when in fact the only source is the TMAG's own publication of an A-Z directory called Tasmanian photographers 1840-1940 (Long, C.; Winter, G. 1995), where the furphy about A. H. Boyd was included as a "belief" purely in the interests of promoting tourism to Port Arthur. In preparing the database notes, the TMAG cataloguist added a few more imaginative flourishes, viz:

1,  "keen amateur" ... A.H. Boyd was not a photographer, keen, amateur or otherwise. No photographic works exist by A. H. Boyd in public collections, nor have his descendants proffered or published a single photograph they can claim to be taken by Boyd from private collections.

2. "room .. studio ... darkroom" ... The so-called "room" at Port Arthur was the Officer's library established in 1866 by the previous commandant James Boyd and used as a studio by visiting photographers Alfred Bock (1866), Samuel Clifford (1873) and Thomas Nevin (1872-1874).

3. "instructions given to Boyd to photograph the convicts" ...The claim that a document held at the State Library of NSW refers to instructions given to Commandant James Boyd's successor at Port Arthur , A. H. Boyd (1871-1873) to photograph prisoners is incorrect. No such document exists. The so-called "document" in question is nothing more than cargo lists of photographic materials sent to Port Arthur for use by Samuel Clifford and Thomas J. Nevin in 1873. A. H. Boyd was not a photographer. He was not the photographer of police mugshots dating from the 1870s which found their way into public collections. Speculation to the contrary is a waste of time and effort, and potentially fraudulent. Instead of  wasting time doing so-called "research", cataloguists in museums and libraries would better serve the public by digitising and placing online the recto AND THE VERSO of photographs, and nothing more. The public will do the rest.

Police and Court Records for William RYAN



Name:Ryan, William
Record Type:Convicts
Arrival date:1 Jan 1868
Remarks:Free. Tried Launceston Dec 1868
Index number:61849
Document ID:NAME_INDEXES:1431630 (TAHO)
Conduct Record CON37/1/10 Page 5773

William Ryan was served a two-year sentence handed down on 29th December 1868 at Launceston. He was sent to Port Arthur from where he was "liberated" in 1870. For his second sentence of ten years, he was listed in the Hobart Supreme Court calendar for trial on Tuesday, 22nd November 1870. Whether he was sent back to Port Arthur  or remained at the Hobart Gaol is not clear. There is no mention of Port Arthur on the verso of his photograph, and his name does not appear on the Port Arthur conduct registers for 1868 to 1876. His name is also missing from the list tabled in Parliament in July 1873 of prisoners sent to Port Arthur and subsequently relocated to the Hobart Gaol by 1874. William Ryan was already at the Hobart Gaol in 1874 when Thomas Nevin took his photograph for the police registers and prison records.



Rough Calendar Hobart Supreme Court, 29th November 1870.
Supreme Court Records, TAHO Ref: GD70-1-1

Mercury, Saturday 19th November 1870.
SUPREME COURT CRIMINAL SITTINGS. The session of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Delivery will commence on Tuesday next at 11. a.m., at the Court House, Campbell-Street, before Mr. Justice Dobson. A second Court will be presided over by the Chief Justice. The following is the calendar.Eliza Osborne, woundingWilliam Ryan, utteringJoseph Winters, unlawfully woundingFrancis Thomas Allison, woundingWilliam Triffett, forgery and uttering



Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime Information for Police. J. Barnard, Gov't printer.

William Ryan was discharged from the Hobart Gaol in the week ending 3rd May 1876, residue of sentence remitted. He was described as 49 yrs old, dark brown hair, 5'5" tall.

The original Hobart Gaol book print
This print from Nevin's original negative was produced at a date later than the same image held at the TMAG. It shows evidence around the top right side of the oval mount of having been pasted over an earlier version, and it was not printed at that time for that purpose as a full carte-de-visite. It was probably one of the originals pasted to Ryan's criminal record sheet on his discharge which was then bound as the Hobart Gaol record book for 1874-1876, mysteriously missing now its original photographs (TAHO holdings). The TMAG item (at top) which is a full-carte-de-visite, probably one of Nevin's stand-alone duplicates, is in fair condition, and not greatly reproduced through scanning (2015), while this version (below) which is held at the State Library of Tasmania is in overall better condition, and has been digitized through photographic reproduction. Note too that this print does not bear the number "60" on the mount, which further suggests it was removed more recently from the Hobart Gaol book, while the TMAG item, which was originally held at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery as part of convictaria collector John Watt Beattie's estate, was removed in 1983 for an exhibition at Port Arthur, where it was exposed to air, and deposited at the TMAG instead of being returned to the QVMAG.



Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office
William Ryan, prisoner carte removed from the criminal record sheet
Photographed by T. J. Nevin 1874
TAHO Ref: PH30_1_3262

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