Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thomas Nevin's GHOST incident makes news in Maitland NSW

More on the "GHOST" incident ...

The ghost incident Maitland Herald 18 Dec 1880


"A REPREHENSIBLE FREAK"
From The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser,
Thursday 16 December 1880, page 2

TRANSCRIPT
A REPREHENSIBLE FREAK.- A good deal of excitement has lately been caused in Hobart Town by a mysterious and ghostly form that kept appearing from time to time in lonely places, frightening women out of their senses. On one occasion it attempted to throw a handkerchief over the face of a young girl, who was walking out alone in the evening. A Hobart telegram in the Launceston Examiner says: -" The ghost mystery has been the excitement of to-day (3rd Decem­ber). It appears that between one and two o'clock this morning three constables, who were in Salamanca place, near the old St. David's Cemetery, noticed a man standing in the middle of the road, and a white figure similar to that which others have seen, and which has been called ' the ghost,' on the footpath. The man, who turned out to be Thomas Nevin, the Town Hall-keeper, was arrested, and two of the constables chased the ghost, who was fleet-footed, but would have been captured only one of the constables fell. This afternoon the police committee held an inquiry into the matter. Their proceedings lasted five hours, and a number of witnesses were examined with a view of elucidating the mystery, The result of their deliberations was that Nevin was held to be to blame, but the facts adduced were not sufficiently strong to warrant his being prosecuted. It has not been ascertained who the individual is who has been acting the part of the ghost, but there is reason to hope that he will soon be detected."
The NSW accounts appeared a fortnight later than the original report in the Tasmanian Mercury, December 4th, 1880:

EXCERPT from the Tasmanian Mercury:
... John Blakeney, constable in the City Police, deposed that he was on duty on the wharf as acting-sergeant, the previous night. While walking in the direction of Mr. Knight's stores, he saw two men at the corner. He walked over to them to ascertain who they were. As he was approaching them, both began to walk up Salamanca Place towards Davey-street. One split off into the middle of the road, and the other remained on the path on the left hand side, near the stores. Witness did not know who they were. The man in the centre of the road threw a reflection upon the one alongside the wall. The reflection was also upon the wall for a height of about 7 ft. Witness walked quickly towards the man in the road, and at the same time two men came stealthily out of George-street. Witness then commenced to run. One of those who came out of George-street said, "Come back, George." Witness replied, "Don't you see this fellow playing the ghost?" when the man in the middle of the road again threw a reflection upon the ghost. Witness arrested this man, who proved to be Nevin. The other two me pursued the man who had been acting as ghost. Nevin was taken to the police station, where he was searched at his own request. There was nothing that would account for the appearance of the ghost found upon him...
Thomas Nevin was not charged, but he was dismissed from his position as keeper of the Hobart Town Hall for being intoxicated while on duty. The identity of the man in the white sheet who was responsible for Nevin's sudden change of fortune was not revealed, but Nevin must have known him. The name "George" was uttered at the critical moment the constable set after him in hot pursuit. The other named individual who appears often in the course of this report is Edwin Midwood, Information Clerk and colleague of Nevin's at the Town Hall Police Office, and father of caricaturist Thomas Claude Wade Midwood who published a cartoon lampooning the police ca. 1880.
... The man whom they pursued was dressed in white. The man ran up towards the Government Printing office, and witness gained upon him, nearly catching him at the corner of the building.
The "ghost" made his escape to the Government Printing Office! Was he an employee, a fellow lithographer or photographer? At the start of this fateful night, Thomas Nevin -who "had a photographic apparatus and chemicals in his possession" - and photographer Henry Hall Baily were in Liverpool-street, looking at the "Night-changing Advertiser." The "Advertiser" was printed in Liverpool St at Mather's using photographer's real photo images for the lithographs used to illustrate advertisements which featured daily in the Mercury, and in the back pages of publications such as the Hobart Town Gazette, The Tasmanian Mail, The Hobart Town Courier, Walch's Tasmanian Almanac, and a number of smaller regional broadsheets (photographs were not reproduced in the press until 1887). But it was at the Government Printing Office where Thomas Nevin printed his carte-de-visite photographs of prisoners taken at the Hobart Gaol for the Police Department until the mid 1880s.

PRESS ILLUSTRATIONS
The first pictures in newspapers were woodcut illustrations and lithographs(fine pen and ink drawings). The first photographs to be used in Australian newspapers appeared in 1887 in the Adelaide newspaper The Pictorial Australian.

The first photographic images in the Sydney Morning Herald appeared on 21 August 1908 toillustrate the arrival in Sydney of a visiting United States Navy squadron. However, they were at first used very sparingly, mainly small portraits of people in the news. A small section of the paper was put aside especially for photographs before they gradually made their way to the main news pages.

Tasmanian photographers in Nevin's cohort were active in publishing for the press, in addition to their other income-generating activities. This early stereograph produced by Samuel Clifford, a partner of Nevin's in the 1860s and a grocer, was repoduced in the Melbourne Post.



The Museum of the Royal Society of Tasmania, photographed by Samuel Clifford in 1865 or earlier, was reproduced as a drawing by Albert Charles Cooke and engraved by R. Bruce. It was published in The Illustrated Melbourne Post on July 25, 1865, with "improvements" on reality (if reality is what photographs depict.) The windswept tree was removed and visitors and passersby added.



THE ENGRAVING:
State Library of Victoria digitial images:
Creator: Bruce, Robert, ca. 1839-1918 engraver.

Other creator(s): Cooke, A. C. (Albert Charles), 1836-1902 artist.
Hunter, Henry architect. Clifford, Samuel 1827-189- photographer. Royal Society of Tasmania.
Title: The Museum of the Royal Society of Tasmania. [picture]
Accession number(s): IMP25/07/65/108

Date(s) of creation: July 25, 1865.
Publication: Melbourne : Robert Stewart,
Medium: print : wood engraving.

Collection: Illustrated newspaper file. Illustrated Melbourne Post
Notes: Further information in Illustrated Newspaper File.
Drawn by Albert Charles Cooke and engraved by R. Bruce from a photograph by S. Clifford.
Wood engraving published in The Illustrated Melbourne Post.
Subject(s): Hobart (Tas.) Streets and roads 5 Argyle Street. Wood engravings.


THE STEREOGRAPH:
State Library of Victoria digital collections:
Creator: Clifford, Samuel 1827-189-, photographer.
Title: New Museum [Hobart] [picture]
Accession number(s): H29132

Date(s) of creation: [ca. 1859-ca. 1878]
Medium: 2 photographs : albumen silver stereograph ;
Dimensions: each 7.0 x 7.0 cm., on stereo card 9.0 x 18.0 cm. approx.
Collection: Victorian, interstate and overseas stereoscopic views. Views in Tasmania ;
Notes: Title inscribed on verso. Albumen silver photographs. Stereographs.


Charles A. Woolley (spelt "Wooley" in this article) - who maintained furniture warerooms from his photographic studio after 1870 - was lauded in this Mercury report of January 8th, 1879 for his photographic reproduction of the London Times 0f 1798:



Click on image for readable version

Charles Wooley [sic] also experimented with a substantial apparatus called the megalethoscope. The most prolific of the press illustrators were the Anson Brothers. Below is a typical spread from Walch'sTasmanian Almanac 1889, with two original photographs of Westella Family Hotel (the one on the right is by Alfred Winter), reproduced as a lithograph for the Almanac, but printed as a photograph for an Anson album.



Tasmanian Almanac 1889



University of Tasmania Special Collections
UTAS Note: Photograph from the collection of James Backhouse Walker of Pressland House, formerly J.P. Cowle's School, in 1881. (from notes by J. B. Walker on back of photograph). The building has a sign on the front which reads 'These premises for sale'. (see detail). During the 1840s Pressland House was the home of Mr Cowle's 'Hobart Town Classical and Commercial Academy'. (Craig, Clifford 'More old Tasmanian Prints', Launceston, Foot and Playsted, 1984 p.312). Photographer: A. Winter, Hobart Town - embossed on bottom left corner of photograph - (Alfred Winter had a photographic studio in Bathurst Street, Hobart from 1869-1891). Illustrated advertisement for Pressland House Private Boarding Establishment from Walch's Almanac 1889 indicates a substantial remodelling after 1881

RELATED POSTS main weblog
The Hobart Town Hall years 1876-1880

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Nevins on sick list during voyage out on the Fairlie 1852

FAIRLIE 1852 Sick Lists
JOHN NEVIN  Military Service



Photographs of John Nevin (1808-1887)
On the left, taken in 1873 and on the right, taken in 1879.
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint Private Collections 2003


John Nevin snr was born at Grey Abbey, County Down near Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1808. He served in the Imperial Army from 1825 to 1841. In 1837-1838 he fought the French with the Royal Scots 1st Foot Regiment at the Canadian Rebellions. When discharged in 1841, he married and settled into a life of teaching and journalism. His first son Thomas James Nevin was born in 1842.  A decade later he embarked on the voyage to Australia with his wife Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson and four children, all under 12 yrs of age, aboard the convict transport, the Fairlie, arriving in Tasmania in July 1852.



Source: BBC Radio Ulster
The historic village of Greyabbey takes its name from one of the best-preserved Cistercian abbeys in Ireland. This abbey was founded in 1193 by Affreca, the wife of John De Courcy. Dissolved in 1541 by Henry VIII, it was burnt by the O’Neills in a desperate effort to stave-off an English attempt by Sir Thomas Smith to colonise the Ards. During the Ulster Plantation, the Grey Abbey was granted to the Scottish adventurer, Hugh Montgomery, sixth laird of Braidstaine in Scotland. The Montgomery family home was at Rosemount. Read more at the Grey Abbey House website ...
John Nevin; Military Service
NEVIN John 1808 Grey Abbey, Down WO97 Chelsea
Reference: WO 97/233/82
Description: JOHN NEVIN
Born GREY ABBEY, Down
Served in 1st Foot Regiment
Discharged aged 32Date: 1825-1841
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record

See the full 12 pages of John Nevin's military service here.

Departure 1852
The convict transport the Fairlie sailed from Plymouth on March 11, 1852 with a total of 292 male adult prisoners and 32 Parkhurst boys and arrived in Hobart on July 3, 1852. The contract was signed on 18th February 1852 to transport 294 convicts.

All named convicts documentation is held at the National Archives, Kew, UK :
Treasury Solicitor: General Series Papers TS 18/494 Transportation of 294 named male convicts from Great Britain (Plymouth) to Van Diemen's Land by the convict ship Fairlie: contract dated 18th February 1852 . Transportation of 294 named male convicts from Great Britain (Plymouth) to Van Diemen's Land Date: 1852.
Source: The Catalogue of The National Archives.





Source: State Library of Tasmania
Series Number MB2/39
Title:REPORTS OF SHIPS' ARRIVALS WITH LISTS OF PASSENGERS
Start Date 24 Mar 1828
End Date 31 Dec 1970


Guard and pensioners with families numbered 24 women and 47 children, under the supervision of Supt. Meagher for the 99th Regiment. Several crew were accompanied by family members. On board was the entire family of young Thomas James Nevin, then aged 10 yrs. His father, John Nevin, pensioner guard (1808-87) and former soldier in the Royal Scots 1st Regiment, with service in Canada during the 1837 Rebellions, worked the family's passage. He was accompanied by his wife Mary Nevin (1810-75) and their four children:

Thomas James Nevin: (1842-1923) died at age 80
Mary Ann Nevin: (1844-1878) died at age 34
Rebecca Jane Nevin (1847-1865) died at age 18
William John Nevin (1852-1891) died at age 39

The Fairlie prepared for departure from the UK from the Isle of Wight on March 2, 1852, embarking convicts and juvenile exiles from the Parkhurst Prison. While conditions on board must have been rudimentary for women and children accompanying a crew member, for a mother and baby it must have been a floating hell.

Mary Nevin, mother of Thomas

Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson, photo by Thomas J. Nevin of his mother before her death in 1875
Copyright © KLW NFC Private Collection ARR


The medical officer for the voyage which began on March 2-11, 1852 recorded that prior to departure, on February 28th, both John Nevin and his wife Mary suffered diarrhoea, and were discharged from the list on the day of departure. Mary (Anne) Nevin, aged 5 yrs, was put on the sick list on the 23rd April. Her mother Mary Nevin (aged 40 [sic]), joined her daughter on the sick list a day later, on the 24th April. Both were listed in the "QUALITY" column with their status: child of guard and wife of guard.

Nevins on sick list Fairlie 1852

Mary Nevin, aged 5, child of guard; Mary Nevin, aged 40, wife of guard.

Nevin on sick list Fairlie 1852

William Nevin, aged 6 months, child of guard

Reference: ADM 101/27/2
Medical journal of convict ship Fairlie .
Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Medical Journals Convict Ships etc. Date: 1852. Source: The Catalogue of The National Archives [UK]

On the 2nd June, the babe in arms, William Nevin, aged 6 months, was also put on the sick list, "QUALITY" also listed as child of guard. As the sick lists indicate, they were named in the company of other wives and children of guards, and of convicts of all ages.

Mary Anne Nevin sister of Thomas Nevin 1870s

Mary Anne Nevin, photographed by her brother Thomas J. Nevin, 1870s, was the 5 year-old member of the Nevin family on the Fairlie sick list.  From © KLW NFC Private Collections ARR. Watermarked

Folio 2: John Nevin, aged 43, Private of pensioners; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 28 February 1852, discharged 2 March 1852 to duty. Folio 2: Mary Nevin, aged 40, Wife of pensioners;

Folio 2: Mary Nevin, aged 40, Wife of pensioners; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 14 March 1852, discharged 25 March 1852 to duty.

Folio 4: Mary Nevin, aged 5, Child of Guard; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 23 April 1852, discharged 30 April 1852 to duty. Folio 4: Mary Nevin, aged 40, Wife of Guard; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 24 April 1852, discharged 14 May 1852 to duty.

Folio 5: William Nevin, aged 6 months, Child of Guard; sick or hurt, convulsio; put on sick list 2 June 1852, discharged 9 June 1852 to duty.

Absent from the sick lists were Thomas, and his sister Rebecca Jane. Whatever ailments they endured on the voyage apparently left few permanent effects on Thomas and his father: Thomas James Nevin (photographer) lived to the age of 81 yrs (d. 1923). His father John also lived to the age of 80, and remarried at the age of 71 to a 46 year old widow, Martha Salter nee Genge, soon after the death of his wife and mother of his children, Mary (1810-1875), who lived just 65 years. However, the two sisters did not survive to the 20th century: Rebecca died in 1865, aged 18 years at Kangaroo Valley; Mary Anne died in Victoria, aged 34 yrs shortly after her marriage in 1877, and younger brother Jack (William John) died in 1891, aged 39 yrs. Jack joined the H.M. Prison administration at the Hobart Gaol while still in his teens,and remained there until his untimely death, assisting his brother Thomas there as the official photographer supplying convicts' identification cartes for the Municipal Police Office and Prisons Department. Jack was variously enrolled as an elector with the name (Constable) John Nevin and William John Nevin, not to be confused with Thomas Nevin's son, William John Nevin, born in 1878, who died in 1927 in a horse and cart accident.

Although just a ten year old boy in 1852, Thomas Nevin saw first hand the conditions of convict transportation. Many of the males in these sick lists who were Parkhurst boys or young adults in 1852 would become habitual criminals with offences to their name well into their fifties. Familiarity at this young age with these offenders gave Thomas Nevin a distinct advantage when he was commissioned in the 1870s - while stiil a commercial photographer - to provide the Tasmanian police and prison authorities with prisoner ID photographs.

The Complete Sick List: Fairlie 1852
Convicts, crew and crew members' families were listed during the voyage from Plymouth to Hobart, departing March 2-11, arriving July 3, 1852:

Reference:ADM 101/27/2
Description:
Medical journal of the Fairlie, convict ship, for 8 February to 12 July 1852 by Edward Nolloth, Surgeon Superintendent, during which time the said ship was employed in a passage from England to Hobart Town, Van Diemen's Land. (Described at item level).
Date: 1852
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
  • Reference:ADM 101/27/2/1
  • Description:
    Folios 1-7: Copy of daily sick list, (names and details follow):
    Folio 2: Henry South, aged 24, Convict; sick or hurt, phthisis pulmonalis; put on sick list 28 February 1852, discharged 6 April 1852 to duty. Folio 2: John Nevin, aged 43, Private of pensioners; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 28 February 1852, discharged 2 March 1852 to duty. Folio 2: Mary Nevin, aged 40, Wife of pensioners; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 28 February 1852, discharged 2 March 1852 to duty. Folio 2: Johanna Ryan, aged 24, Wife of pensioners; sick or hurt, sea sickness; put on sick list 14 March 1852, discharged 25 March 1852 to duty. Folio 2: Mary Nevin, aged 40, Wife of pensioners; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 14 March 1852, discharged 25 March 1852 to duty. Folio 2: George Nutt, aged 17, Convict; sick or hurt, obstipatio; put on sick list 15 March 1852, discharged 18 March 1852 to duty. Folio 2: John Jones, aged 27, Convict; sick or hurt, sea sickness; put on sick list 16 March 1852, discharged 23 March 1852 to duty. Folio 2: James King, aged 27, Convict; sick or hurt, sea sickness; put on sick list 16 March 1852, discharged 23 March 1852 to duty. Folio 2: Henry Parker, aged 22, Convict; sick or hurt, sea sickness; put on sick list 16 March 1852, discharged 23 March 1852 to duty. Folio 2: Benjamin Cutler, aged 29, Convict; sick or hurt, sea sickness; put on sick list 17 March 1852, discharged 23 March 1852 to duty. Folio 2: John Stevens, aged 25, Convict; sick or hurt, sea sickness; put on sick list 19 March 1852, discharged 29 March 1852 to duty. Folio 2: Michael Hogan, aged 30, Convict; sick or hurt, sea sickness; put on sick list 19 March 1852, discharged 24 March 1852 to duty. Folio 2: William Dakin, aged 38, Convict; sick or hurt, febricular; put on sick list 20 March 1852, discharged 24 March 1852 to duty. Folio 2: John Westerman, aged 21, Convict; sick or hurt, dyspepsia; put on sick list 20 March 1852, discharged 24 March 1852 to duty. Folio 2: George Jones, aged 31, Convict; sick or hurt, sea sickness; put on sick list 20 March 1852, discharged 28 March 1852 to duty. Folio 2: John Farmer, aged 25, Convict; sick or hurt, phlegmon; put on sick list 20 March 1852, discharged 23 March 1852 to duty. Folio 2: Stephen Wright, aged 34, Convict; sick or hurt, sea sickness; put on sick list 21 March 1852, discharged 30 March 1852 to duty.
    Folio 3: Richard Evans, aged 43, Convict; sick or hurt, bronchitis; put on sick list 21 March 1852, discharged 5 April 1852 to duty. Folio 3: Samuel Dunford, aged 24, Convict; sick or hurt, cephalalgia; put on sick list 21 March 1852, discharged 25 March 1852 to duty. Folio 3: Thomas Thompson, aged 33, Convict; sick or hurt, sea sickness; put on sick list 21 March 1852, discharged 28 March 1852 to duty. Folio 3: William Hall, aged 25, Convict; sick or hurt, fibricula; put on sick list 24 March 1852, discharged 31 March 1852 to duty. Folio 3: William Bycott, aged 25, Convict; sick or hurt, dibilitas; put on sick list 28 March 1852, discharged 11 April 1852 to duty. Folio 3: James Molloy, aged 39, Corporal of Guard; sick or hurt, chronic hepatitis; put on sick list 3 April 1852, discharged 20 April 1852 to duty. Folio 3: Neil [McCreaig?], aged 30, Convict; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 7 April 1852, discharged 18 April 1852 to duty. Folio 3: John Bramhall, aged 46, Convict; sick or hurt, pericarditis; put on sick list 12 April 1852, died 3 May 1852 at 12.30  pm. Folio 3: John Carpenter, aged 29, Convict; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 12 April 1852, discharged 18 April 1852 to duty. Folio 3: Jobson Bingley, aged 26, Convict; sick or hurt, fibricula; put on sick list 13 April 1852, discharged 24 April 1852 to duty. Folio 3: James Grimes, aged 24, Convict; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 15 April 1852, discharged 26 April 1852 to duty. Folio 3: Mary Penny, aged 39, Wife of Guard; sick or hurt, dysenteria; put on sick list 16 April 1852, discharged 2 May 1852 to duty. Folio 3: Charles Maynard, aged 54, Convict; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 16 April 1852, discharged 24 April 1852 to duty. Folio 3: Joseph Lee, aged 25, Convict; sick or hurt, fibricula; put on sick list 17 April 1852, discharged 26 April 1852 to duty. Folio 3: James Beverage, aged 23, Convict; sick or hurt, sunochus; put on sick list 21 April 1852, discharged 9 May 1852 to duty. Folio 3: Richard Evans, aged 43, Convict; sick or hurt, bronchitis; put on sick list 22 April 1852, discharged 28 June 1852 to duty. Folio 3: Peter Smith, aged 1 year 6 months, Child of Guard; sick or hurt, convulsio; put on sick list 22 April 1852, discharged 30 April 1852 to duty.
    Folio 4: Benjamin Franklin, aged 36, Convict; sick or hurt, ophthalmia; put on sick list 23 April 1852, sent 5 July 1852 to Hospital. Folio 4Mary Nevin, aged 5, Child of Guard; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 23 April 1852, discharged 30 April 1852 to duty. Folio 4: Mary Nevin, aged 40, Wife of Guard; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 24 April 1852, discharged 14 May 1852 to duty. Folio 4: Robert Campbell, aged 33, Convict; sick or hurt, pneumonia; put on sick list 25 April 1852, sent 5 July 1852 to Hospital. Folio 4: James Simpson, aged 19, Convict; sick or hurt, fibricula; put on sick list 25 April 1852, discharged 6 May 1852 to duty. Folio 4: Charles Witchell, aged 30, Convict; sick or hurt, chronic diarrhoea; put on sick list 28 April 1852, discharged 8 May 1852 to duty. Folio 4: Robert Ryan, aged 45, Convict; sick or hurt, chronic diarrhoea; put on sick list 28 April 1852, discharged 12 May 1852 to duty. Folio 4: Edward Jones, aged 24, Convict; sick or hurt, ophthalmia; put on sick list 1 May 1852, sent 5 July 1852 to Hospital. Folio 4: Samuel Sheepwash, aged 16, Convict; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 3 May 1852, discharged 11 May 1852 to duty. Folio 4: William Brown, aged 38, Convict; sick or hurt, bronchitis; put on sick list 7 May 1852, discharged 20 May 1852 to duty. Folio 4: Thomas Ryan, aged 45, Pensioner Guard; sick or hurt, pleuritis; put on sick list 8 May 1852, discharged 19 May 1852 to duty. Folio 4: Peter Fitzpatrick, aged 45, Pensioner  Guard; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 8 May 1852, discharged 20 May 1852 to duty. Folio 4: Patrick Forley, aged 45, Pensioner Guard; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 8 May 1852, discharged 18 May 1852 to duty. Folio 4: Angus McKechnie, aged 36, Pensioner Guard; sick or hurt, rheumatismus; put on sick list 8 May 1852, discharged 28 May 1852 to duty. Folio 4: Bridget Philbin, aged 30, Wife of Guard; sick or hurt, parturitio; put on sick list 8 May 1852, discharged 23 May 1852 to duty.
  • Date: 1852
  • Held by: The National Archives, Kew
  • Reference:ADM 101/27/2/2
  • Description:
    Folios 1-7: Copy of daily sick list, (names and details follow) - continued:
    Folio 4: Joseph J Clafton, aged 24, Convict; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 14 May 1852, discharged 22 May 1852 to duty. Folio 4: Thomas Isherwood, aged 34, Convict; sick or hurt, phlegmon; put on sick list 20 May 1852, discharged 3 June 1852 to duty. Folio 4: Joseph Warner, aged 37, Convict; sick or hurt, pleuritis; put on sick list 17 May 1852, died 23 May 1852 at 11.30 pm. Folio 4: John McCue, aged 23, Convict; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 17 May 1852, discharged 31 May 1852 to duty.
    Folio 5: James Ridley, aged 53, Convict; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 22 May 1852, discharged 2 June 1852 to duty. Folio 5: James Easterby, aged 37, Convict; sick or hurt, enteritis; put on sick list 23 May 1852, discharged 10 June 1852 to duty. Folio 5: Henry Ridewood, aged 45, Convict; sick or hurt, bronchitis; put on sick list 24 May 1852, discharged 29 June 1852 to duty. Folio 5: William Martin, aged 21, Convict; sick or hurt, fibricula; put on sick list 25 May 1852, discharged 3 June 1852 to duty. Folio 5: William Campion, aged 29, Convict; sick or hurt, diarrhoea;  put on sick list 27 May 1852, discharged 6 June 1852 to duty. Folio 5: George Brown, aged 23, Convict; sick or hurt, fibricula; put on sick list 27 May 1852, discharged 1 June 1852 to duty. Folio 5: James Beverage, aged 23, Convict; sick or hurt, dyspepsia; put on sick list 28 May 1852, discharged 13 June 1852 to duty. Folio 5: Daniel Bly, aged 39, Convict; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 28 May 1852, discharged 6 June 1852 to duty. Folio 5: Samuel Sheepwash, aged 17, Convict; sick or hurt, fibricula; put on sick list 30 May 1852, discharged 5 June 1852 to duty. Folio 5: William Brown, aged 18, Convict; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 30 May 1852, discharged 12 June 1852 to duty. Folio 5: William Robertson, aged 19, Convict; sick or hurt, otitis; put on sick list 1 June 1852, discharged 10 June 1852 to duty. Folio 5: Hugh Collins, aged 16, Convict; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 1 June 1852, discharged 12 June 1852 to duty. Folio 5: John Carter, aged 16, Convict; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 2 June 1852, discharged 10 June 1852 to duty. Folio 5: John Harrison, aged 19, Convict; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 2 June 1852, discharged 10 June 1852 to duty. Folio 5: William Nevin, aged 6 months, Child of Guard; sick or hurt, convulsio; put on sick list 2 June 1852, discharged 9 June 1852 to duty. Folio 5: Mary Molloy, aged 1 year 6 months, Child of Guard; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 2 June 1852, discharged 9 June 1852 to duty. Folio 5: William Mooney, aged 9, Child of Guard; sick or hurt, ophthalmia; put on sick list 3 June 1852, discharged 20 June 1852 to duty. Folio 5: Jennet McKechnie, aged 36, Wife of Guard; sick or hurt, pleuritis; put on sick list 3 June 1852, discharged 21 June 1852 to duty. Folio 5: John Salmon, aged 22, Convict; sick or hurt, ophthalmia; put on sick list 5 June 1852, discharged 16 June 1852 to duty.
    Folio 6: Daniel Bly, aged 39, Convict; sick or hurt, ophthalmia; put on sick list 5 June 1852, discharged 20 June 1852 to duty. Folio 6: William Dakin, aged 38, Convict; sick or hurt, dyspepsia; put on sick list 5 June 1852, discharged 19 June 1852 to duty. Folio 6: William Green, aged 28, Convict; sick or hurt, pleuritis; put on sick list 6 June 1852, discharged 24 June 1852 to duty. Folio 6:  James Pettitt, aged 28, Convict; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 6 June 1852, discharged 16 June 1852 to duty. Folio 6: John Farmer, aged 25, Convict; sick or hurt, cynanche tonsillaris; put on sick list 9 June 1852, discharged 28 June 1852 to duty. Folio 6: James King, aged 29, Convict; sick or hurt, cynanche tonsillaris; put on sick list 9 June 1852, discharged 18 June 1852 to duty. Folio 6: James Jones, aged 42, Convict; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 9 June 1852, discharged 20 June 1852 to duty. Folio 6: James Dunford, aged 22, Convict; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 9 June 1852, discharged 25 June 1852 to duty. Folio 6: George Brandy, aged 37, Convict; sick or hurt, phlegmon; put on sick list 9 June 1852, discharged 29 June 1852 to duty. Folio 6: William Williamson, aged 33, Convict; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 9 June 1852, discharged 18 June 1852 to duty. Folio 6: John Edwards, aged 19, Convict; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 9 June 1852, discharged 17 June 1852 to duty. Folio 6: John Jones, aged 25, Convict; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 9 June 1852, discharged 26 June 1852 to duty. Folio 6: Johanna Ryan, aged 24, Wife of Guard; sick or hurt, parturitio; put on sick list 9 June 1852, discharged 23 June 1852 to duty. Folio 6: William Johnson, aged 27, Convict; sick or hurt, phlegmon; put on sick list 15 June 1852, discharged 24 June 1852 to duty. Folio 6: Richard Walker, aged 20, Convict; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 16 June 1852, discharged 30 June 1852 to duty. Folio 6: John Salmon, aged 22, Convict; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 19 June 1852, discharged 1 July 1852 to duty. Folio 6: Anne Kennedy, aged 40, Wife of Guard; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 19 June 1852, discharged 30 June 1852 to duty. Folio 6: Mary Torley, aged 38, Wife of Guard; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 20 June 1852, discharged 28 June 1852 to duty. Folio 6: George Jones, aged 21, Convict; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 25 June 1852, discharged 3 July 1852 to duty. Folio 6: Daniel Bly, aged 39, Convict; sick or hurt, scorbutus; put on sick list 6 July 1852, sent 7  July 1852 to Hospital.
    Folio 7: Henry Holden, aged 24, Convict; sick or hurt, burn; put on sick list 1 July 1852, sent 5 July 1852 to Hospital. Folio 7: James Beverage, aged 23, Convict; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 2 July 1852, sent 5 July 1852 to Hospital. Folio 7: William Brown, aged 18, Convict; sick or hurt, burn; put on sick list 2 July 1852, sent 5 July 1852 to Hospital. Signed: Edward Nolloth, Surgeon Superintendent. Folio 8: Blank.
  • Date: 1852
  • Held by: The National Archives, Kew
  • Reference:ADM 101/27/2/3
  • Description:
    Folios 9-11: case no 1, Henry South, aged 24, Convict; taken ill on passage from Thames to Portsmouth; sick or hurt, phthisis pulmonalis, of very delicate appearance and had several severe pulmonary attacks, complained of great pain in the chest, particularly on the left side increased on taking a deep breath; put on sick list 28 February 1852, discharged 6 June 1852 to duty.
    Folios 11-12: case no 2, Richard Evans, aged 43, Convict; taken ill at Sea; sick or hurt, bronchitis, violent attack of cough with copious expectoration of fluid and soreness of chest; put on sick list 21 March 1852, discharged 5 April 1852 from the sick list.
    Folios 12-14: case no 3, James Molloy, aged 39, Corporal of the Guard; taken ill at Sea; sick or hurt, chronic hepatitis, of a very gross habit of body, had been much in hot climates and laboured under hepatitis, had also at various time on the sick list with palpitation of the heart. He had a bloated, unhealthy appearance & there was oedema of the eyelids; put on sick list 3 April 1852, discharged 20 April 1852 to duty.
    Folios 14-17: case no 4, John Bramhall, aged 46, Convict; taken ill at Sea; sick or hurt, chronic pericarditis, was of an exceedingly nervous temperament, first complained of being unwell but was not placed on the sick list until 12 April. He was subject to quartidian ague at several periods of his life, had a regular paroxysm of intermittent fever; put on sick list 11 March 1852, died 3 May 1852 at 12.30 pm.
    Folios 17-19: case no 5, Ellen Penny, aged 39, Wife of Guard; taken ill at Sea; sick or hurt, dysenteria, very thin and debilitated – had several previous attacks of dysentery several years since, and was also subjected to most violent paroxysm of cough; put on sick list 16 April 1852, recovered 2 May 1852 and was put on her own rations.
    Folios 19-21: case no 6, Robert Campbell, aged 33, Convict; taken ill at Sea; sick or hurt, pneumonia, was ill for some days – he slept close to the main hatchway and weather was intensely hot for several nights and he slept without his flannel waistcoat. According to the Surgeon at first he appeared to has symptoms of ordinary catarrh, no pain of chest or hurried respiration; put on sick list 25 April 1852, sent 5 July 1852 to Colonial Hospital at Hobart Town.
    Folios 21-22: case no 7, Edward Jones, aged 24, Convict; taken ill at Sea; sick or hurt, ophthalmia, of a sickly appearance & 15 months since lost the sight of his right eye, 6 weeks from the first attacked of the disease, now complained of more or less pain of the left eye; put on sick list 1 May 1852, sent 5 July 1852 to Colonial Hospital at Hobart Town.
  • Date: 1852
  • Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Arrival 1852
Excerpts from correspondence:









Sourced at Google Books:
THE SESSIONAL PAPERS PRINTED BY ORDER OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS,
OR PRESENTED BY ROYAL COMMAND, IN THE Session 1852-3, (16 & 17 VICTORIAE,) 

ARRANGED IN VOLUMES. ARCHIVES OFFICE of TASMANIA

Convicts Record Books
The Archives Office of Tasmania has digitised the complete record of convicts travelling on the Fairlie 1852.

Fairlie convicts 1852

Fairlie convicts 1852

Cover and page 2
COMPTROLLER-GENERAL OF CONVICTS RECORD BOOK, 
FAIRLIE 1852 Ref: Item: CON33-1-107

One of the convicts listed above, Danie Bly, a shepherd, was hospitalised on July 7th soon after arriving in Hobart, and died at the hospital on October 12th, 1852, aged just 39 years old. He was convicted of stealing 8 sheep skins (7 years) , housebreaking (6 months) and assault (3 months), and had already served more than three years at Stirling Castle. He was tried in 1847, and transported for 14 years.

Daniel Bly Fairlie 1852

Page 29 of the Fairlie 1852 convict record for Daniel Bly, Archives Office of Tasmania

Prisoners photographed by T. J. Nevin
This prisoner George Nutt aka White, was transported as a Parkhurst boy per Fairlie in 1852. In 1874 he was photographed by Thomas J. Nevin at the Hobart Gaol. He was one of hundreds of prisoners photographed by Thomas Nevin between 1872 and 1884 for the colonial government.





Registration Number: QVM: 1985:P :0070 at the QVMAG and AOT: PH30/1/3222
George Nutt alias White convict transported per Fairlie 1852
Photo taken at Port Arthur by Thomas Nevin 1874

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Heads of the People exhibition NPG Canberra 2000

John Watt Beattie located his museum in Hobart but called it the "Port Arthur Museum" where he sold any fragment of any item as historical artefact of Tasmania's convict and aboriginal past, including reproductions.



John Watt Beattie ca. 1920
Archives Office of Tasmania Ref:30-430c


A visitor to Tasmania in 1916 with the South Australian Commission became so affronted by John Watt Beattie's commercialism when he "wandered into the Port Arthur Museum" in Hobart, the visitor was moved to write a letter to The Mercury newspaper. His letter was published on 3rd February, 1916:

He wrote:
"There are three rooms literally crammed with exhibits ... The question which pressed itself on my mind time and again was, how comes it that these old-time relics which formerly were Government property, are now in private hands? Did the Government sell them or give them away? The same query applies to the small collection in a curiosity shop at Brown's River. Whatever the answer may be, I hold the opinion that the Government would be amply justified in taking prompt steps to repossess them, even though some duplicates may be in the State Museum. Today the collection is valuable and extremely interesting. A century hence it will be priceless. It would surely be unpardonable to allow it to pass into the hands of some wealthy globe-trotter which is the fate awaiting it, unless action be taken to secure it to the State."
The Mercury 3rd February 1916, letter to the editor
from Edward Lucas, MLC, Legislative Council, Adelaide.

This visitor on government business in Tasmania could hardly have envisioned that the State itself would never be able to do the collection justice, because Beattie had already violated the integrity of the originals, despite making "some duplicates" and lodging them in the "State Museum", by which he meant the institution now known as the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. This was one means whereby the TMAG acquired duplicates of Nevin's prisoner photographs. Two other sources are likely: estrays from the central police registry at the Hobart Town Hall (next door to the TMAG) where Nevin worked as a full-time civil servant in the years 1876-1880 and which housed the Municipal Police Office, cells in the basement and Office of the Inspector of Police, in addition to the Public Library upstairs. Beattie also sourced a number of prisoner photographs from the Sheriff's Office at the Hobart Gaol when the old photographers' room was demolished in 1915. The other source is the "borrowing" of originals and duplicates by staff at the TMAG in Hobart from Beattie's donated collection at the QVMAG in Launceston for an exhibition held at the Port Arthur prison site in 1983-1984. The TMAG acquired hundreds of stereographs, cartes-de-visite portraits of private clientele, and Hobart Gaol prisoner mugshots by Thomas J. Nevin from these sources.



Beattie's Port Arthur Museum in Hobart
QVMAG Ref: 1986_P_1223

The rooms in Beattie's Port Arthur Museum, 51 Murray St. Hobart,  looked like this:



Room 1: the red arrow points to prisoner records with photos by Nevin attached.



Room 2; Death masks at John Watt Beattie's Port Arthur Museum, Hobart, Tasmania (TMAG Collection)

Beattie offered for sale a number of original mounted and unmounted 1870s cdvs of "Types of Imperial Convicts" as he styled them in his 1916 Catalogue which looked like this:



The Catalogue for Sale of items from
John Watt Beattie's Museum, ca. 1916
(photographed from the NLA Microfiche, September 2007)


From the catalogue below in which this advertisement appeared, the tourist and collector could choose from a range of relics, curios, and photographs salvaged from across the State. The curiosity about Tasmania's convict past in these early years of the 20th century ensured that Beattie's business flourished. His photographic reproductions, as both cartes-de-visite prints and lantern slides from negatives of prisoner ID photographs taken for the police and prison authorities by the Nevin brothers in the 1870s-1880s was a lucrative niche market. Those extant cartes from his museum which are now in public collections may well be those which he did not manage to sell, or which he donated as Nevin's duplicates to the TMAG and QVMAG. What needs to be underscored here is that John Watt Beattie was never the original photographer of the Tasmanian prisoners portrayed in the extant "convict portraits" taken by Thomas Nevin and his younger brother Constable John Nevin between 1871 and 1886 at the Hobart Supreme Court, Hobart Gaol and the Port Arthur prison. Beattie arrived in Tasmania in the late 1880s as an amateur photographer, primarily of landscapes, and did not become a commercial photographer with government endorsement until he joined the Anson Bros. in 1892.



Port Arthur Museum (Beattie ca 1916) ,
Catalogue, Room 1.
John Watt Beattie's Port Arthur Museum, Hobart.
Catalogue dated ca. 1916

SOURCE: National Library of Australia
Author: Port Arthur Museum (Tas.)
Title: Catalogue of exhibits [microform]
Edition: [2nd ed.]
Publisher: [Hobart? : The Museum?, 1916?]
Printer: (Hobart : Critic Print)
Description: 15 p. ; 21 cm.
Notes: Cover title.
Reproduction: Microfiche. Canberra : National Library of Australia, 2004.
Call Number: mc N 2225 JAFp HIST 3072


TRANSCRIPT: Catalogue of Exhibits

ROOM NO. 1
1. Frame Containing Relics of Rev. R. Knopwood (20 exhibits),
2. Harmonium, bought at Sir Wm. Denison's sale.
3. Oil Painting of Old St. David's Church, Hobart, 1825.
4. Oil Painting of Macquarie Street, Hobart, 1825.
5. Frame of Needlework Figure Picture, from Rev. R. Knopwood.
6. Water Colour Picture, "Hobart from River," 1828.
7. Water Colour Picture, "Sandy Bay, Hobart," 1849.
8. Music Stand made by Convict for Rev. R. Knopwood.
9. The Organ used at the Church, Port Arthur.
10. Chair from Capt. Jas. Kelly's Residence (bought at Governor Arthur's sale, 1836).
11. Coloured Picture, Hobart from Kangaroo Point, 1856.
12. Ship's Figure Head, from a China Trader, broken up at Hobart.
13. Crayon Portrait of J. E. Bicheno, Colonial Secretary, under Governor Franklin.
14. Engraving of Hobart in 1822.
15. Engraving of Road to Richmond, by French artist.
16. The Port Arthur Church from the Avenue.
17. The Ground Plan, Port Arthur Church, 1835.
18. Longitudinal Elevation, Port Arthur Church, 1835.
19. Portrait of Bishop Nixon, First Anglican Bishop of Tasmania
20. Portrait of Bishop Wilson, First R.C. Bishop of Tasmania.
21. Brass Ornament from Port Arthur Church.
22. Picture of The Pulpit, Port Arthur Church.
23. Picture of the Tasmanian Rural Police, 1870.
24. Pottery Made at Port Arthur (40 exhibits).
25. Musical Clock brought to Australia is the very early times.
26. Key Stone Head, carved by a Convict. 1830.
27. Picture Frames, made at Port Arthur (7 exhibits).
28. Wood Moulds for Picture Frames, carved by a Convict (7 exhibits).
29. Bedstead from Doctor's Quarters, Port Arthur
30. Desk Top from Charge Room, Old Gaol, Hobart.
31. Despatch Box from Colonial Office, carved by Convict in Tasmania
32. Box from Port Arthur, the property of Captain Booth, the Commandant.
33. Wooden Bowl from the Hospital, Port Arthur
34. Chair from "Exile Cottage" Port Arthur, used by Mr. Smith O'Brien while confined at Port Arthur (3 exhibits).
35. Carved Ebony Desk, the property of Comptroller-General
36. Writing Desk, made at Port Arthur.
37. Tea Caddy, bought at Sir Eardley Wilmot's Sale

etc etc etc



Port Arthur Museum Catalogue (Beattie, ca 1916)

68. Glass Case containing -
1. Skull of the Macquarie Harbour Cannibal, Alex Pearce (Marcus Clarke's "Gabbet.")
2. Two Sketches made of Pearce after execution.
3. The Axe Pearce Carried, and with which the murders were committed.
4. Bolts and Lock Taken from the Cell where Pearce was confined, Old Gaol, Murray street.
5. "Sling Shot" taken from Matthew Brady, the celebrated Tasmanian Bushranger, when captured by John Batman in 1820.

69. Three Frames containing 40 photographs taken at Port Arthur, showing types of Imperial Prisoners there.
etc etc etc







Forty prints of 1870s Tasmania prisoners in three panels
Original prints of negatives by T. J. Nevin 1870s
Reprints by J. W. Beattie ca. 1915
QVMAG Collection: Ref : 1983_p_0163-0176

The originals of these forty (40) individual prints of Tasmanian prisoners photographed at the Hobart Gaol by the commissioned photographer Thomas J. Nevin in the 1870s, were intended to be pasted to the criminal record sheet of each prisoner. It was customary to photograph a person before conviction and after it, and again on discharge, by order of the Tasmanian Attorney-General from 1872 onwards, and since the men whom Nevin photographed were repeat and habitual offenders, the same glass negative was used again and again. The plates were handled repeatedly to produce duplicates for distribution to regional prisons and police stations, and for the many administrative copies required by the central Municipal Police Office at the Town Hall, the Supreme Court and the Hobart Gaol.

Photographs from the glass negatives were produced in various formats, first as uncut and unmounted prints as in these 40 prints, and again in carte-de-visite format within an oval mount, a practice which persisted in Tasmania through the 1870s, 1880s and into the1890s. The same cdv was sometimes overlayed again in an oblong mount when the glass plate became too damaged for further use. All three photographic formats appear on the criminal record sheets of prisoners bound together as the Hobart Gaol record books dating from the late 1880s onwards, held at the Archives Office Tasmania. Some of the earlier gaol record books of the 1870s have survived, now mysteriously missing the prisoners’ photographs. One possible explanation is that convictaria collector John Watt Beattie and his assistant Edward Searle removed the photographs or even destroyed the sheets in the early 1900s while trying to save the photographs, the bulk of which ended up at the QueenVictoria Museum and Art Gallery from their acquisition in 1930 of John Watt Beattie’s estate.

The glass plates themselves seem to have been disappeared altogether. They may have been shipped to Sydney, NSW, in March 1915 for an exhibition held at the Royal Hotel, Sydney to be displayed – reprinted and even offered for sale – as Port Arthur relics, alongside relics and documents associated with the convict hulk, Success. This newspaper report of the exhibition clearly states that the exhibitors – and this would have included John Watt Beattie as the Tasmanian contributor – collated original parchment records with duplicates, and also photographed original documents when duplicates were not available. Amongst the one ton of Port Arthur relics were dozens of original 1870s mugshots taken by Nevin, still attached to the prisoner’s rap sheet; many more were removed for re-photographing in various formats as Beattie prepared for this exhibition. The association of Marcus Clarke’s notes and novel with these photographic records for the exhibitors was de rigeur by 1915.



TRANSCRIPT
CONVICT RELICS. DOCUMENTS OF THE EARLY DAYS.
MEMORIES OF THE SYSTEM,
There is at present at the Royal Hotel, Sydney, an interesting collection of relics of early convict days. It has been brought over here by Mr. Fred McNiel, a member of a very old West Maitland family. Those relics are not exactly heirlooms, though they were handed to the family by a gentleman who had much to do with showing the world the social conditions of Australia 70 or 80 years ago. Mr. McNiel's uncle was Mr. John McNiel, who was associated with the infamous hulk Success when it was turned into a floating exhibition. It will be remembered that on the old convict ship many of the most notorious men who left England for England's good were caged like wild animals in a menagerie, and treated with a greater degree of severity by men who were more inhuman than the creatures they were called upon to guard. After a checkered career in Australia the hulk was taken to London and anchored in the Thames, when many people got their first ideas of Australian history from a visit to it. From there it was taken to America, and sank in New York Harbor.
Mr. John McNiel foresaw what would be the ultimate end of the old craft and its historical relics, so he gathered together all the duplicate copies of documents in the collection, and what were not duplicated he had photographed, He left this secondary collection with his nephew, together with a great mass of material relating to those early days which were the first links in our chain of history.
Included in this collection are innumerable instruments of discipline used in the penal establishment at Port Arthur, Tasmania, now a crumbling mass of ruins. These relics weigh almost a ton. Less awful in their construction than those of mediaeval ages and the days of the Inquisition, they are nevertheless evidence of the barbarism which existed a hundred years ago. Not the least interesting items in the collection are a number of absolutely, original parchments, age-stained, convict transportation notes, signed by the officers in charge of the ships. They were originally tied with blue tape-a material which is never used now either on legal or Government documents. It is interesting to read these documents and to note the triviality of the offences for which men and women were transported to penal servitude. There is one which tells of a man who got 14 years for poaching a rabbit! There is another which shows that an unfortunate housemaid was sent out for seven years for picking up a sovereign and claiming that finding was keeping. These documents were supplemented by others on the arrival of the ship at Van Diemen's Land....
 ... Marcus Clarke's book, "The Term of His Natural Life," originally appeared in serial form in the "Australian Journal" in 1870. The complete story in a bound volume is in this collection, and readers will find much to interest themselves in it, for it contains a mass of material which does not appear in the book. Some of the notes and many of the chapters do not attempt to conceal the characters of the story. In this connection it is interesting to point to relices of Martin Cash, who served long periods of time in Port Arthur and at Norfolk Island. The adventures of this man without doubt gave the material to Marcus Clarke for the chief character in his story. Cash died in 1877, a highly respected member of a community among which he lived the last years of his life as an orchardist ...etc etc
Source: CONVICT RELICS. (1915, March 13). Preston Leader (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 5. Retrieved August 5, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92072991

HEADS of the PEOPLE EXHIBITION
National Portrait Gallery (Australia) 2000
These three frames of 40 photographs in total were included in the exhibition Heads of the People, held at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, June to October, 2000, with a doubly erroneous attribution. Beattie's name appears as the source, giving the impression that these are indeed his photographs, and that they were re-created by him "after" an earlier source, Adolarious Humphrey Boyd, the accountant and Commandant at the Port Arthur site from 1871-1873.



Although the contributor of these 40 images, Warwick Reeder, was fully aware that the A. H. Boyd attribution was merely idle speculation on the part of researcher Chris Long, originating as a rumour spread by Boyd's descendants and without substance, and to this day, without proof of any kind, his deference to Chris Long at that time (Reeder, MA thesis ANU 1995; Long, TMAG 1995) ensured that A. H. Boyd joined the ranks of photohistory, to be credited as the reputed photographer of convicts, and clearly that is a false premise based in deception.

Neither Beattie, who was a photographer nor Boyd who was not, was the original photographer who stood there in front of these men who were all photographed in the 1870s. Their photographs came into existence at the behest of the Attorney-General W.R Giblin, Thomas J. Nevin's family solicitor, as well as the Inspector of Police Richard Propsting at the Hobart Town Hall, and the Superintendents at the Hobart Gaol, John Swan, Thos. Reidy and Ringrose Atkins. Prisoners were photographed not because they had once been "Imperial Convicts" per se back before 1853, but because they became known as "Supreme Court Men" (The Mercury, 8 July 1882), active criminals with convictions in the Supreme Court who re-offended on a regular basis. They were photographed again on discharge with various conditions. They had become the responsibility of the Colonial Government by 1871, not the Imperial Government. Beattie selected their photographs on the basis of their notoriety with an eye to the tourist trade. He used Supreme Court convictions records in the first instance but the person who transcribed the wording "Taken at Port Arthur 1874" onto so many of the extant cartes originally taken by Nevin, merely used a generic date for all the versos, and Port Arthur as the generic prison, neither date or place according with the facts of each prisoner's date of conviction or place of incarceration at the time of the sitting for his photograph.

These photographs, one of which was pasted to the criminal's record (a blue form) were kept in a bound Hobart Gaol Records books, with duplicates circulated to police stations on the prisoner's discharge. More duplicates from Nevin's original negative taken at a a single sitting with the prisoner were kept in the Photo Books as a supplement to the police gazettes, called Tasmania Reports of Crime Information for Police. It was Beattie who salvaged these records from the Sheriff's Office at the Hobart Gaol in the 1900s, saw their commercial potential and reprinted an unknown quantity. In doing so, he divorced the original photographs from their contemporaneous references to the prisoner's criminal record sheet and references to other registers used by police, displaying them in his museum them with the verso transcription "Taken at Port Arthur" to enhance their historic appeal to tourists visiting his museum and the Port Arthur prison site where the film of Marcus Clarke's 1874 novel, For The Term of His Natural Life was in production.

Some of his acquisitions remained intact as complete records bearing the prisoner's carte, many were loose duplicates of cartes or became loose once he had removed them from the paper criminal sheet, and some were Nevin's glass negatives.  A.H. Boyd had nothing to do with these photographs. He was not a photographer, he had no reputation in his lifetime as a photographer, nor subsequently, no works by A.H. Boyd are extant today, and no official documents exist which associate him with a personal mandate to photograph prisoners.

HEADS of the PEOPLE Exhibition NPG 2000



Wrong attributions: Heads of the People exhibition, National Portrait Gallery,
Canberra, June-September 2000. Titles and attributions by the NPG curators.


Only these 40 photographs of "Imperial convicts" appear in the 1916 catalogue for Beattie's Port Arthur museum, although more can be seen in the top photograph lining the walls. Those on the walls were still intact, pasted to prisoner record sheets. The collection was acquired by the Launceston Council ca. 1927, donated to the QVMAG and exhibited in 1934 at the Mechanics Institute; this set of 40 resurfaced as a doco-artefact at the NPG in Canberra, 2000. They were re-photographed at the QVMAG in 1985 as uncut black and white prints of copies reproduced by Beattie from Nevin's original negative. They are now online at the QVMAG (2010).

The phrase "Taken at Port Arthur" is Beattie's wording here in the 1916 catalogue, and it is also the wording of the inscription on the verso of dozens of surviving cartes of Tasmanian prisoners: the date "1874" which appears together with the wording on many of the extant cartes, however, is missing from the catalogue, which is unusual as other items are meticulously dated. This small detail of the missing date may prove to be significant: if not recorded by Beattie here for his display, when was it written on the verso of so many cartes? After 1916, it seems. Several cartes by Nevin in the QVMAG, NLA and Mitchell Library NSW collections lack the reference to Port Arthur on the verso (e.g. Nutt, Smith, Mullins, Ogden etc) probably because these were acquired by private collectors before 1907 (eg. Davis Scott Mitchell, SLNSW Mitchell Collection). After 1916, Beattie and others in the business of tourism such as William Radcliffe at his museum called "The Old Curiosity Shop" at Brown's River in the 1930s ensured these prisoner photographs were hyped as photographs of the original "convicts" transported to Port Arthur in the grim days before transportation ceased in 1853. The ordinary facts of the prisoner's criminal career in the 1870s would not have sparked the same fascination. In other words, the date "1874" is a generalised date written decades later on the verso of the Tasmanian prisoners' photographs known now as "Convict Portraits, Port Arthur, 1874" (the title devised by the NLA cataloguist).



Verso of a cdv by Nevin of prisoner John Fitzpatrick
NLA Collection (carte inserted for display here).


THE PORT ARTHUR LABEL
With the intense promotion of Tasmania's penal heritage in the early 1900s, due largely to the release of the first of two films based on Marcus Clarke's 1874 novel, For The Term of His Natural Life (1908, 22 minutes), many Tasmanian prisoner ID photographs taken by Thomas J. Nevin on government contract to police and prison authorities in the 1870s were salvaged by John Watt Beattie and Edward Searle for display in Beattie's convictaria museum in the 1910s, called The Port Arthur Museum, although it was located in Hobart and not at Port Arthur.

Three prisoner photographs which were removed from the blue record sheets used by the Hobart Gaol were pasted into one of Edward Searle's family albums, devised as a memento of his work with Beattie 1911-1915. Searle captioned the images as "Types of Convicts - Official Prison Photographs from Port Arthur" such as this one of convict William Lee per the Neptune, taken on a prisoner discharge from the Brickfields Depot, Hobart, October 1873. He was regularly discharged thereafter as a pauper in 1874 and 1875.

The album leaf is labelled with  the wording - Official Prison photographs from Port Arthur - which both Beattie and Searle used to hype the commercial value they saw in promoting the penal heritage of both their museum objects and the State’s history. Just as they used the name of Port Arthur for the Hobart Museum, they used photographs such as this one of William Lee with the label “Port Arthur”. It had become a brand name, much as it is in today's aggressive promotion of the Port Arthur Historic Site as Tasmania's premier tourist destination. The very ordinary facts of Lee’s life as a prisoner and pauper in a city welfare depot would not have the same appeal without the caption, the brand name. The unspoken appeal to the tourist imagination, through their contemporary fascinations with character typologies, phrenology and eugenics, and the Tasmanian "convict stain", was to suggest that despite such humble beginnings, a transported felon could do well in the colonies, but a pauper's end-of-life story, if revealed, offered nothing.



Three unmounted prisoner mugshots of William Meagher, Charles Rosetta and William Lee,
Tasmanian convicts originally photographed by Thomas J. Nevin in the 1870s for gaol records
From Tasmanian Views, Edward Searle's album ca. 1911-15
Photos taken at the National Library of Australia, 7th Feb 2015
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2015 ARR Watermarked.


The National Library has photographed and catalogued as single items the three photographs which appear on a single page in Searle's album. The other two photographs pasted with William Lee's are of prisoner William Meagher and Charles Rosetta, The original photographs were taken by Thomas Nevin between 1874-1876. These three photographs, unmounted, were originally pasted to a Hobart Goal Records book of sheets which has been lost, according to the Archives Office of Tasmania. Perhaps Beattie and Searle destroyed the original criminal sheets while trying to save the photographs.



National Library of Australia
Portrait of William Lee [picture].
Date1911-1915.
Extent 1 photograph : b&w, sepia toned ; 9.4 x 6.9 cm.
Context Part of Tasmanian views, Edward Searle's album of photographs of Australia, Antarctica and the Pacific, 1911-1915 [picture].
Photographer is uncertain. Possibly E.W. Searle.
Part of the collection of photographs compiled by Australian photographer E. W. Searle while working for J. W. Beattie in Hobart during 1911-1915.
On the photograph held, the image including the name of the subject appears in reverse.
"Official Prison Photographs from Port Arthur" and "Types of Convicts"--Inscription on page of album, below photograph.


Nevin's carte-de-visite of William Lees' original 1870s photograph printed in an oval mount is not recorded in the holdings of the QVMAG, the NLA, the TMAG, or the Archives Office of Tasmania, and the reason is this: it may never have been printed by Nevin, because paupers, as William Lee was in the 1870s, were not a police priority. William Lee was a pauper, detained only for a short time in 1872 for being idle and disorderly, and thereafter housed at the Brickfields depot in Hobart where he was discharged every year because he was too old and unfit to work. The police gazette gave his age in 1872 as 78 yrs old.

"Tea and sugar Tommy" Chapman