Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Second Thoughts: one session, two poses at the City Photographic Establishment

CITY PHOTOGRAPHIC ESTABLISHMENT 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town
PHOTOGRAPHERS Alfred BOCK and Thomas J. NEVIN
TWO POSES at same sitting of WOMEN CLIENTS 1860s-1870s

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



Detail of full-length carte-de-visite of an unidentified woman ca. 1865, her gaze direct to camera
Photographer: Alfred Bock, City Photographic Establishment 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town
Copyright © KLW NFC Private Collection 2016



[Above]: Full-length carte-de-visite of an unidentified woman ca. 1865
Photographer: Alfred Bock, City Photographic Establishment 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town
Copyright © KLW NFC Private Collection 2016
Provenance: purchased from eBay 5 August 2016

[Below]: Detail of the cdv of the same "wealthy lady wearing a fine taffeta dress", taken within minutes of each other, her gaze averted to the viewer's left.
Sourced with permission from Douglas Stewart Fine Books July 2017 Catalogue





Sourced with permission from Douglas Stewart Fine Books July 2017 Catalogue
Albumen print photograph, carte de visite format, 103 x 63 mm, verso of mount with imprint in blue ink of Alfred Bock, City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town; both the albumen print and mount are in fine condition.
A superb studio portrait of a wealthy lady wearing a fine taffeta dress. In her left hand she holds what appears to be a carte de visite album; her other hand rests on a neo-classical column. The painted backdrop, depicting an open landscape, is framed by a wrought iron arch.
Alfred Bock, son of the convict engraver and pioneer photographer Thomas Bock, was active at his 140 Elizabeth Street premises between 1858 and 1867.

Alfred Bock's Studio Decor early 1860s
This unidentified gentleman was photographed by Alfred Bock at the City Photographic Establishment not much later than 1860. The decorative arch, the painted backdrop featuring a tree and the waist-high lattice fence were already key items of studio decor which were still in place for the later two portraits of the woman in a taffeta dress (above). The item of furniture provided for her to rest her right hand was a solid pedestal supporting a very large urn, whereas a low easy chair was provided for this gentleman to casually rest his right hand and lower arm. The photographer's stamp on the verso of this cdv was one of Bock's earliest, designed soon after taking the lease on the premises at 140 Elizabeth Street, Hobart in 1858. It predates his later one also featuring a kangaroo which Thomas Nevin used, modified only slightly to include his own name and Bock's with the wording "T. Nevin late A. Bock." See these examples of both photographers' designs here.



CITATION
Untitled 1859-1867
Artist Alfred K Bock
Australia 1835 - 1920
Art Gallery of NSW 2015
The Photograph and Australia Exhibition
https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/270.2014/

Alfred Bock is distinguished as the first known Australian-born photographer. Bock was born in Hobart Town in 1835 to Mary Ann Cameron, née Spencer, who lived with, and eventually married, Thomas Bock. Alfred was given Thomas’s surname and regarded him as his natural father. Thomas Bock taught Alfred painting, drawing and photography, and he assisted his stepfather in his daguerreotype business until establishing his own studio in 1855. Despite ongoing financial difficulties (he was announced insolvent in 1857 and again in 1865) Bock succeeded in introducing the carte de visite to Hobart in 1861 and became expert in the sennotype process. In addition to his experimentation with photomechanical techniques, he also hand-coloured portraits and experimented with over-painting photographs. Bock showed his work at the London International Exhibition (1873), the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition (1876), the Sandhurst (Bendigo) Industrial Exhibition (1879), the Adelaide International Exhibition (1887) and the Paris International Exhibition (1889) and received several awards.

A carte de visite is a stiff card of about 10 x 6.4 cm, with an attached paper photograph, invented in 1854 by André-Adolphe-Eugène Disderi. They were introduced into Australia in 1859 by William Blackwood with albums arriving in 1860, aiding the collection and distribution of multiple cartes. Cartes were usually portraits and were made by the millions worldwide. Multi-lens, or ‘multiplying’ cameras were introduced in the 1860s, which were capable of producing from 2 to 32 images in quick succession, dramatically increasing the number of cartes de visite that could be made from a single photographic plate. They were easily reproduced by making paper contact prints from the glass plates, which were then cut and pasted to card.

EXHIBITION HISTORY
The photograph and Australia:
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 21 Mar 2015–08 Jun 2015
Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 04 Jul 2015–11 Oct 2015

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Judy Annear, The photograph and Australia, Sydney, Jun 2015, 248 (colour illus.).

Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1870
Two portraits of this unidentified woman taken by Thomas J. Nevin have also survived from a session at the City Photographic Establishment. Their provenance is unknown  as is their date of acquisition by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.  These two examples were reprinted from Nevin's negatives by his friend and colleague Samuel Clifford between 1876 and 1878 at the request of the client. The original cdvs by Nevin would have carried his studio stamp on verso.

Both versos carry the handwritten inscription in Samuel Clifford’s orthography: “Clifford & Nevin Hobart Town”. The original was taken by Thomas Nevin before 1876, and reprinted by Samuel Clifford up until the date of his (Clifford's) retirement in 1878, as promised in this advertisement in the Mercury, 17th January 1876:

Mr T. J. Nevin’s friends may depend that I will endeavour to satisfy them with any prints they may require from his negatives.
S. CLIFFORD
Samuel Clifford's offer to reprint Thomas Nevin's commercial negatives of private clientele after 1876 was due to Thomas Nevin's appointment to full-time civil service and residency at the Hobart Town Hall (1876-1880) which precluded remuneration from commercial photography. Many of the extant cdvs and prints inscribed verso with “Clifford & Nevin Hobart Town” which were reproduced from Nevin’s original negatives of private clientele, both male and female, now held in the TMAG, Hobart and QVMAG, Launceston, show signs of extensive handling - and attempts at colouring in some instances - by the families who donated them. See more examples here.



Detail of a full-length cdv of an unidentified woman in a dress with a frilled bodice, over-skirt and frilled hem, her gaze directed to the viewer's right. She is standing with left hand resting on a dining room chair. A rug covers the back of the chair and her hat rests on the seat. The capture by Nevin appears to have been premature: the woman's eyes are almost upon him, and the reprint by Clifford appears to be crooked with the floor and chair slanting down off to the left, so the second capture was composed with the woman seated on a stool, her left hand holding a thin volume, her gaze calm with eyes to the right of frame.  



Full-length cdv of an unidentified woman in a dress with a frilled bodice, over-skirt and frilled hem, her gaze directed to the viewer's right. She is standing with left hand resting on a dining room chair. A rug covers the back of the chair and her hat rests on the seat. The capture by Nevin appears to have been premature: the woman's eyes are almost upon him, and the reprint by Clifford appears to be crooked with the floor and chair slanting down off to the left, so the second capture was composed with the woman seated on a stool, her left hand holding a thin volume, her gaze calm with eyes to the right of frame. Photographed by T. Nevin before 1876, reprinted by Samuel Clifford before 1879.
Photos recto and verso copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2014-2015
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection
TMAG Ref: Q1990.25.401



Detail of the second cdv of the same unidentified woman in a dress with flounces on the bodice, over-skirt and hem. sitting on an invisible stool, a slender volume in her left hand, her gaze directed to the viewer's right.



This is the second photograph, taken minutes after the first capture (TMAG Ref: Q1990.25.401 above).

Full length cdv on plain mount: A young woman [unidentified] with large roll of hair atop the part, holding a slender volume in her left hand, seated on an invisible stool, wearing a dress densely textured with raised flecks, a short flounce attached to the waist, and a frilled bodice. Her gaze is directed towards the viewer’s right. A white cat seems to be disappearing into the right side of frame.

The verso carries  the handwritten inscription in Samuel Clifford’s orthography: “Clifford & Nevin Hobart Town”. The original was taken by Thomas J. Nevin before 1876 at the City Photographic Studio, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart, and reprinted by Samuel Clifford between 1876 and 1878 at the request of Nevin's clients.

Photos recto and verso copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2014-2015
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection
TMAG Ref: Q1990.25.400


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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Prisoner William TURNER 1841-1879

T. J. NEVIN MUGSHOT of William Turner
EXHIBITIONS 1976 and 1977



Prisoner William TURNER
QVMAG Ref: QVM 1985: P: 90 or 1985_p_0090
Photographer: T. J. Nevin
Taken at the Hobart Gaol and Municipal Police Office, Hobart, 1878-9
Exhibited at the Centenary of the Art Gallery NSW, Sydney, 1976

This black and white copy of William Turner's prisoner identification mugshot was made at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in 1985 from Thomas Nevin's original sepia print, and placed online at the QVMAG in the early 2000s. The original 1870s print of the b&w copy was exhibited at the AGNSW in 1976 (listed on page 27 in the Exhibition Catalogue). The curator chose this one (and another two photographs) possibly because the full frontal pose and the frank stare captured more of the prisoner's "personality" than the conventional pose where the sitter's sightlines were deflected either left or right, the pose typical of Nevin's commercial studio practice and evident in the more than 200 (two hundred) prisoner cdvs held in the Beattie collection at the QVMAG. In addition, this print was possibly chosen because it had escaped the rebranding on the versos with the inscription "Taken at Port Arthur 1874" for Beattie's tourism trade of the 1900s and for the 1938 QVMAG exhibition which commemorated his death and bequest to the people of Launceston. A year after the 1976 AGNSW Centenary Exhibition, in 1977, many more of these "convict portraits" by T. J. Nevin from the Beattie collection were exhibited at the QVMAG, curated by John McPhee.



Verso: Prisoner William TURNER
QVMAG Ref: QVM 1985: P: 90 or 1985_p_0090
Photographer: T. J. Nevin
Taken at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart, 1878
Exhibited at the Centenary of the Art Gallery NSW, Sydney, 1976
See the Exhibition Catalogue here in this post

Police Records
These records are sourced from the weekly police gazettes, Tasmania Reports of Crime Information for Police, J. Barnard, Gov't printer.

1859: Turner's shooting with intent to kill a Constable



Source:The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (Tas. : 1858 - 1860) Thu 3 Nov 1859 Page 2 POLICE COURT.

TRANSCRIPT
Remanded.-William Turner, Henry Townsend, and Thomas Morgan were brought up on remand, charged with feloniously shooting, at Swanton, Constable Wells, with intent to kill and murder him.
Upon the application of Mr. Sub - Inspector Weale the prisoners were further remanded until to-morrow (this day) when the evidence against them will be adduced.

1873: Turner discharged from H. M. Gaol with FP



Prisoner William Turner from Bristol. sentenced to 10 years for housebreaking and stealing was transported to VDL per the Lord Goderich, arriving on 18 November 1841 as an 18 year old. He was then sentenced at the Hobart Supreme Court on 6th December 1859 to life imprisonment for "shooting with intent etc". He was received at the Municipal Police Office, Town Hall from the Port Arthur prison and discharged in the week ending 4th June 1873, Free with Pardon (abbreviated as FP in the police gazette record above).

1878: Turner convicted of larceny from a tin mining site
William Turner may have committed further offences using aliases between his discharge in 1873 and his conviction in 1878 , as his name does not appear against any further convictions in the Tasmanian police gazettes until 1878. While working as a sawyer in the Scottsdale and Ringarooma area of northern Tasmania in 1878, Turner was convicted for the theft of a calico tent and fly from the Briseis Tin Mining Company, Cascade River.



Page 152, Tasmania Reports of Crime. 20 September 1878.
William Turner was suspected of theft of a calico tent and fly.



Above: Two notices published in the Tasmanian police gazettes issues of 6th and 20th September 1878 concerning thefts of four meershaum pipes and a calico tent and fly by William Turner.



Above: William Turner, conviction of larceny published 26 October 1878
Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime Information for Police, Gov't printer.

During the week of 26th October 1878, William Turner, sawyer, 57 years old, 5ft 8½ inches tall, and Free by Servitude (FS) was convicted of larceny and sentenced to 6 months. His prior conviction - a life sentence in 1859 for shooting with intent from which he was discharged free with a pardon in 1873 - was not recorded. On incarceration at the Hobart Gaol in October 1878 and discharge from the Mayor's Court at the Hobart Town Hall in March 1879, T. J. Nevin photographed William Turner in full frontal pose for police and prison records.

Exhibitions 1976 & 1977
An archivist in the early 1900s, using the police gazette record, inscribed on the verso "FS" below the prisoner's name, William Turner, and the ship, Lord Goderich. A more recent inscription in a different hand - (Boys Ship) referring to the Lord Goderich and the date of his arrival in VDL (18/11/1841) - was probably added for the 1976 Centenary Exhibition of the Art Gallery of NSW and/or the 1977 QVMAG Exhibition of more than seventy "convict portraits" - i.e. mugshots of Tasmanian prisoners taken in the 1870s by Thomas J. Nevin - curated by John McPhee.



Verso: Prisoner William TURNER
QVMAG Ref: QVM 1985: P: 90 or 1985_p_0090
Photographer: T. J. Nevin
Taken at the Hobart Gaol and Municipal Police Office, Hobart, 1878-9
Exhibited at the Centenary of the Art Gallery NSW, Sydney, 1976
See the Exhibition Catalogue here in this post



Page 27 of the AGNSW Catalogue: list of three photography exhibits by T. J. Nevin Nos. 116-118

TRANSCRIPT
T. J. Nevin active 1870s
Tasmanian convicts (1874)
116. William Turner, Transported Lord Goderich (Boy's ship), 1811-1841.
117. Nathan Hunt, Transported Elphinstone (Boys), 28.7.1842, Larceny
118. Thomas Harrison, Idle and disorderly.
Three photographs, carte-de-visite size 10.5 x 6.5 cm, 4½ x 2½ in, each inscribed (on back) as above, and printed T. J. Nevin, 140 Elizabeth Street, Hobart Town. From a set of over 40 convict portraits made in 1874.
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania



Paragraph on T. J. Nevin and his photographs of "still-living transported convicts", p. 41 of the Exhibition Catalogue for Australian art in the 1870s : an exhibition to mark the centenary of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney by Daniel Thomas 1976.

TRANSCRIPT
T. J. NEVIN
A Hobart photographer who in 1874 made a set of over 40 photographs of still-living transported convicts. They are included as an example of the strong interest in Australian history which is characteristic of the 1870s. These small photographs are also examples of the standard "Carte-de-visite" size used for almost all portraits in the 185s and 1860s, but going out of favour after 1870 for the larger "Cabinet" size , 4½ x 6½ inches. After 1875 "Panels". 8½ x 6½ inches also became common for family groups. Carte-de-visite and Cabinets of royalty, actresses, bishops, convicts and other celebrities were widely available and were collected in albums as well as portraits of one's own family.



The QVMAG Exhibition 1977: "The work of T. J. Nevin..."
Source: the Mercury, March 3rd, 1977

TRANSCRIPT
Convict photos at Launceston
Historic photographs showing convicts at Port Arthur in 1874 will be exhibited at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery at Launceston from tomorrow to May 2.
The work of T. J. Nevin, the photos are being shown at Launceston for the first time.
Many of the men shown in the pictures had been transported to Port Arthur as young boys 40 years earlier.
The curator of fine art at the museum, Mr. John McPhee, said yesterday that the photos had "a quality far beyond that of records".
"Just once rascally, occasionally noble always pathetic, these photographs are among the most moving and powerful images of the human condition," he said.
Transportation Records for William TURNER 1841
Archives Office of Tasmania Linc
Name:Turner, William
Record Type:Convicts
Departure date:14 Jul 1841
Departure port:Portsmouth
Ship:Lord Goderich
Voyage number:183
Index number:71924
Record ID:NAME_INDEXES:1441965



Source: Archives Office of Tasmania CON33 -1-14

William Turner, sentenced to 10 years for housebreaking and stealing was transported to VDL per the Lord Goderich, arriving on 18 November 1841 as an 18 year old. This record gives more detail about further offences until 1853.

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Recent Hobart Publications 2016 and Thomas J. Nevin 1870s

ROYAL MAIL COACH - Samuel Page
HOBART TOWN HALL - Thomas Nevin



Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2017
Taken at the National Library of Australia 8th June 2017

[On left]: Freeman, Peter, 1942 (Aug. 25)- & Evans, Kathryn, 1964-, (researcher.) & Lennard, Brendan, (author.) & Hobart (Tas.). Council (issuing body.) (2016). Municipal magnificence : the Hobart Town Hall 1866-2016. Hobart, [Tasmania] Hobart City Council

[On right]: Walker, Steven & Dunning, Tom, (writer of foreword.) (2016). Enterprise, risk and ruin : the stage-coach and the development of Van Diemen's Land and Tasmania. Hobart, TAS Fullers Bookshop Pty Ltd

Local Hobart publishers produced these two books in 2016 which included photographs directly related to the working life of photographer Thomas J. Nevin during the 1870s as both government contractor and civil servant with the Hobart City Corporation.



Top: page 199 of Enterprise, risk and ruin : the stage-coach and the development of Van Diemen's Land and Tasmania which features a photograph taken by Thomas J. Nevin of Samuel Page's Royal Mail Coach.

Bottom: page 92 of Municipal magnificence : the Hobart Town Hall 1866-2016 which features a photograph of the Keeper of the Town Hall, Thomas J. Nevin standing astride the front steps on Macquarie St. ca. 1880.

Samuel Page's Royal Mail Coach





Detail of page 199 below



Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2017
Taken at the National Library of Australia 8th June 2017
Page 199 of Enterprise, risk and ruin : the stage-coach and the development of Van Diemen's Land and Tasmania which features a photograph taken by Thomas J. Nevin of Samuel Page's Royal Mail Coach.

Chapter 8 of this very informative book covers the history of Royal Mail coach operator Samuel Page, and on page 179 mentions the bizarre coincidence of another man by the name of Samuel Page who operated coaches in the Huon in the same time frame.





Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2017
Taken at the National Library of Australia 8th June 2017
Pages from Chapter 8 of Enterprise, risk and ruin : the stage-coach and the development of Van Diemen's Land and Tasmania re Samuel Page.

THE PAINTED PHOTOGRAPH
This photograph may not be the only one taken by T. J. Nevin of Samuel Page's coach line, as earlier researchers in the 1980s noted that several trade advertisements by Nevin were extant in public collections. Strictly speaking, this was taken for government services rather than as an advertisement for Burdon's or Page's business interests.The verso notes suggest that either the untouched original was held at the property called "Entally" or that it is a copy of the same photo held at Entally which had been altered to eliminate the figure of Tom Davis. The area to the viewer's right of the coach bears clear evidence of a man's figure painted over. Tom Davis was employed at Burdon's in Argyle Street as a coach painter.



Above: this is the original photograph by T.J. Nevin with the figure of Tom Davis and Burdon's company name painted out (QMAG Collection Ref: 1987_P_0220). Tom Davis was a coach painter. The verso bears T. J. Nevin's Royal Arms insignia stamp used for government commissions, in this instance for the Royal Mail coach.



Detail: "S. PAGE" above door



Verso: Nevin's stamp printed with the Royal Arms insignia is faintly visible. The handwritten inscription on the reverse reads:

"From same photo held at Entally/ painted out background/ Burdons Coach Factory/ Man on r.h.s. of photo Tom Davis (has been painted out)/ 1872/ A.B. McKellar 328 Liverpool St/ coach body maker employed at Burdon and son when this coach was built"
Below is the original photo by T.J. Nevin with the figure of Tom Davis and Burdon's company name visible (TMAG Collection Ref: Q1988.77.480). The photo was taken in 1872, the date of the coach's manufacture by A. B. McKellar when the finishing touches were applied by Tom Davis, photographed here in shirt sleeves, standing proudly next to his fine calligraphic design work at right of image.



Samuel Page's Royal Mail Hobart to Launceston coach with Tom Davis on right
Photo by T. J. Nevin 1872
TMAG Collection Ref: Q1988.77.480

The top photograph may have been modified to omit Tom Davis' figure in order to sell the coach in 1880. A Brougham, similar to this one photographed by T. J. Nevin, was offered for sale at Burdon's per this advertisement in the Mercury of 2-19 November, 1880:

FOR SALE AT J. BURDON & SON'S COACH MANU-FACTORY,
No. 16, Argyle-street,
A Superior London-built DOUBLE-SEATED BROUGHAM CHARIOT, in good condition; also, a WAGGONETTE, a Whitechapel Cart,
and a new Chaise Cart.
November 2,1880.
PRISONERS CONVEYED on PAGE'S Coach
Page's coach line conveyed prisoners in irons, accompanied by constables such as Constable John Nevin, Thomas Nevin's brother and photographic assistant, from Launceston and regional lock-ups to the Hobart Gaol.



This notice about the Gregsons appeared in The Mercury, 19th February 1874

TRANSCRIPT

"By Page's coach yesterday morning, three prisoners were brought down from Launceston in irons, under the charge of Superintendent Tinmins and Sub-inspector Clements, of the Hamilton Police. Two of the prisoners, named Gregson, absconded from this city [i.e. Hobart] some seven or eight weeks ago, and made their way through the back country to their sister's residence in Launceston, where they were arrested. The other one, Mitchell, is known by several names. He absconded from the Launceston gaol, and having been arrested in the country, has now been removed, and with the Gregsons, placed in the gaol here."

Thomas Nevin photographed the Gregsons brothers at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall, on February 18th, 1874 after arrival from Launceston when arrested. Read more about the arrest of the Gregson brothers here in this article.

Thomas J. Nevin at the Hobart Town Hall
Commercial photograph and government contractor Thomas J. Nevin was appointed above 23 other applicants to the position of Keeper at the Hobart Town Hall in 1875. Prior to this full-time position in the civil service, he held contracts with the Colonial Government's Land and Survey Department and Prisons Department on the recommendation of his family solicitor, the Hon. W. R. Giblin, Attorney General and Tasmanian Premier. From January 1876 to December 1880, photographer Thomas J. Nevin was both Hall Keeper and Office Keeper for the Mayor's Court (Mercury 1st January1878) and the Municipal Police Office, each housed under the one roof at the Hobart Town Hall with cells in the basement. His duties ranged from supervising inebriated constables on night watch, making sure the chimneys were swept, maintaining the grounds and watering the trees out front to preparing the Hall for exhibitions, lectures and concerts, and for keeping police photographic records taken by him of prisoners at the Mayor's Court and MPO current with those taken at the Hobart Gaol, mostly with his brother Constable John Nevin.



Office-keeper, Thomas Nevin
The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) Tue 1 Jan 1878 Page 1 MUNICIPALITY OF HOBART TOWN.

TRANSCRIPT
MUNICIPALITY OF HOBART TOWN.
Mayor, W. P. Green. Aldermen: W. H. Burgess, jun., F. J. Pike, E. Maher, E. Espie, J. Harcourt, John Watchorn. J. E. Addison, M. F. Daly. Auditors, A. T. Stuart and W. F. Brownell. Town Clerk and Treasurer, H. Wilkinson. Accountant, W. H.  Smith. Municipal Clerk,W. T. Birch. City Surveyor, J. Rait. Director of Water Works,W. C. Christopherson. Health Officer, E. S. Hall Collectors, F. H. Piesse and W. Brundle. City Inspector and Inspector of Weights and Measures, W. Mason. Lessee of Old Market, J. G. Turner ; New Market, T. H. Turner. Inspector of Stock, G. Propsting ; assistant to Inspector of Stock, Joseph Turner. Office-keeper, Thomas Nevin ; messenger, L. Marks.
Police.-Superintendent, Richard Propsting ; clerk, S. W. Rheuben. Sub-Inspectors, W. M'Connell, C. Pitman ; Detectives, W. Simpson, J. Connors. Summoning Officer. John Dorsett.
In 1879, Thomas J. Nevin was made Special Constable during the visit of the Canadian renegade Catholic priest, Charles Chiniquy. Freeman et al include a carte-de-visite of the man (Bardwell Studio ca. 1880) and an account of the "riots" during Chiniquy's visit to the Town Hall on page 87, yet no mention is made of the Special Constables, nor indeed of the Town Hall Keeper himself during the years of Nevin's incumbency.



Page 87 of Freeman, Peter, 1942 (Aug. 25)- & Evans, Kathryn, 1964-, (researcher.) & Lennard, Brendan, (author.) & Hobart (Tas.). Council (issuing body.) (2016). Municipal magnificence : the Hobart Town Hall 1866-2016. Hobart, [Tasmania] Hobart City Council
Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2017
Taken at the National Library of Australia 8th June 2017



Cdv of Charles Chiniquy, Bardwell Studio 1880
Detail of page 87 of Freeman, Peter et al 2016
Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2017
Taken at the National Library of Australia 8th June 2017

Omitted too is any indication among the multitude of plans and architectural designs of the whereabouts of the Keeper's residence. Thomas J. Nevin, his wife Elizabeth Rachel Nevin and their two children born before 1875 - known to descendants as May and Sonny - arrived there at the Hobart Town Hall as their new home in 1876, and by 1880, three more children had been born there, two of whom survived to adulthood - William John and George Ernest Nevin - and one who lived less than four months, Sydney John Nevin. These five children with their parents Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin were housed at the Hobart Town Hall between early 1876 and late 1880, a fact mentioned in the police report regarding Nevin's alleged involvement with the appearance of a "ghost" frightening the girls of Hobart Town in 1880. Two more were born after 1880 when Thomas Nevin resumed photographic practice at his New Town studio.

Children of Thomas James Nevin and Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day
  • May (Mary Elizabeth Florence) (19 May 1872 - 4th June 1955)
  • Thomas James ("Sonny") Nevin jnr (16 April 1874 -17 January 1948)
  • Sydney John Nevin (26 October 1876 - 28 January 1877)
  • William John Nevin (14 March 1878 - 28 28 October 1927)
  • George Ernest Nevin (2 April 1880 - 30 July 1957)
  • Minnie (Mary Ann) Nevin (11 November 1884 - 14 September 1974)
  • Albert Edward Nevin (2 May 1888 - 3 November 1955)
THE MAYOR'S COURT & BASEMENT CELLS
A very questionable omission in this book is information from authentic historic sources regarding the presence of the police and their operations in the Hobart Town Hall during the 1870s, the years of Thomas Nevin's residency as Office and Hall Keeper. The Hobart Municipal Police Office was housed on the right-hand side as the visitor enters the building from the Macquarie Street entrance, and the Mayor's Court was housed on the left hand-side down the corridor past the office of the present Keeper.



Memo of the process of selection for Thomas Nevin as Town Hall Keeper 1875
Source: MCC16/129 Minutes of Meetings of the Hobart City Council 1853-1967
TAHO Ref: Z1060
Taken at the Archives Office Tasmania 7 March 2014
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2014


Thomas J. Nevin was paid £78 for the year 1879 as Town Hall Keeper. He received an allowance for the residence - "30 shillings per week with free quarters, fuel and light" (Mercury, 29 December 1875). He was also paid out of the City Surveyor's Department to meet photographic contracts held since 1872 to provide visual documentation for changes in landscapes (eg. the Glenorchy landslip, the waterworks, rock formations on Mt. Wellington etc); for urban development within streetscapes; and for portraiture of HCC employees and families (eg. Constable McVilly's children). From the Police Fund he was paid for the provision of prisoner identification mugshots and warrants as bailiff to detectives (e.g. Detective Dorsett), out of the costs of Printing, Stationery etc at the Municipal Police Office housed within the Town Hall. During the visit of Canadian renegade priest Charles Chiniquy in 1879 he was also paid for service as a Special Constable to the HCC.



Expenditure of the Municipal and Police Funds to January 1880



Source: MCC16/129 Minutes of Meetings of the Hobart City Council 1853-1967
TAHO Ref: Z1060
Taken at the Archives Office Tasmania 7 March 2014
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2014

Information such as this which is found in the day to day memos and accounts of the HCC is missing from the research summoned by Freeman et al, relying as they have done on a "sober assessment" from the University of Tasmania's History Department staff member Stefan Petrow, whose work on the history of the police in Tasmania to date appears to be both piecemeal and lightweight despite his singular claim to the niche. Petrow's apparent acquiescence to the fantasy about prison commandant A. H. Boyd as THE photographer of prisoners peddled by his "student" Julia Clark in her ridiculous "thesis" (2015) evinces a lazy complacency regarding Clark's fraudulent use of these weblogs and her abuse directed at Thomas Nevin and his descendants. It's a foolish decision which has led to a demand for his resignation and the revocation of the degree awarded to Clark in 2016.

The police were very much a presence at the Town Hall until 1888 (e.g. Centralisation of the Police, Mercury, 19 July 1888). Prisoners were detained in cells in the basement for a number of very obvious reasons: while awaiting arraignment, bail and sentencing at the Supreme Court for a serious crime, or appearance in the Magistrate's Court for misdemeanours with a fine. Discharges were administered through the Mayor's Court with a Ticket of Leave and other conditions. Some were kept in the cells for transfer to and from the Watch House located in the old Guard House opposite Franklin Square (since demolished), or for relocation from regional lockups including the Port Arthur prison en route to the main gaol, HM House of Correction on Campbell St. The "sober assessment" of these spaces and their functions, to use the term authors Freeman et al use for their preferred account from Stefan Petrow, dismisses the suggestion that the cells played any important role during the 1870s, and for special effect, the authors - drunk with laughter - ridicule the notion that the basement area might function as a present-day dark tourism attraction (pages 219-220).



The old Guard House, Macquarie St. Hobart (arches visible on the small building on corner)
Also used as the Electric Telegraph Office ca. 1869
Image courtesy Mitchell Library SLNSW Ref: 302023r



Pages 219,of Freeman, Peter, 1942 (Aug. 25)- & Evans, Kathryn, 1964-, (researcher.) & Lennard, Brendan, (author.) & Hobart (Tas.). Council (issuing body.) (2016). Municipal magnificence : the Hobart Town Hall 1866-2016. Hobart, [Tasmania] Hobart City Council



Page 220 of Freeman et al (2016)





Photos taken at the National Library of Australia 8th June 2017 of pp 219-221 from Freeman, Peter, 1942 (Aug. 25)- & Evans, Kathryn, 1964-, (researcher.) & Lennard, Brendan, (author.) & Hobart (Tas.). Council (issuing body.) (2016). Municipal magnificence : the Hobart Town Hall 1866-2016. Hobart, [Tasmania] Hobart City Council
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2017

Addenda: Prisoners in the Watch House April 1874
The records photographed here (at TAHO 2014) detailing rations supplied to prisoners held over in the cells at the MPO, Hobart Town Hall during a fortnight in April 1874 are the sorts of documents which have either been neglected or deliberately ignored by commentators on the history of the Municipal Police Office at the Hobart Town Hall, including those most recently discussed here in print  - i.e. Freeman et al and Petrow (2016).

Four men and two women - six prisoners in all were listed on the Return of persons confined in the Watch house at the Municipal Police Station Hobart Town supplied with Rations during the week ending 11th April 1874. The two women were Emma Cooper and Margaret Nicholson. No police mugshots of women prisoners of the 1870s apparently survive, if indeed they were photographed at all in that decade. The prisoners were: -

James Shearer
Emma Cooper
John Moran
Michael Murphy
William Williams
Margaret Nicholson



Return of persons confined in the Watch house at the Municipal Police Station Hobart Town supplied with Rations during the week ending 11th April 1874
TAHO Ref:
MCC16/63/1/1
Draft minutes of the police committee
9 Nov 1867-17 Feb 1879
Photos taken at the TAHO & copyright © KLW NFC 2014

The following week ending April 18th, 1874, twelve new prisoners - six men and six women were being held in the MPO cells, listed in this Return of persons confined in the Watch house at the Municipal Police Station Hobart Town supplied with Rations during the week ending 18th April 1874. Some of these prisoners were repeat offenders whose photographs (if male), taken by Nevin, were already held in the Municipal Police Office at the Hobart Town Hall.

Mary Clark
ditto
George Bowen
Mary Ann ditto
Henry Fitzpatrick
William Harrison
John Mouncey (?)
William Barber
James Fink
Esther Saunders
Eliza Saunders
Bridget Quinn
Caroline Woodward



Return of persons confined in the Watch house at the Municipal Police Station Hobart Town supplied with Rations during the week ending 18th April 1874
TAHO Ref:
MCC16/63/1/1
Draft minutes of the police committee
9 Nov 1867-17 Feb 1879
Photos taken at TAHO and copyright © KLW NFC 2014

In total, these offenders were held in the Watch House of the Municipal Police Office during April 1874, tried next day, and in some cases, discharged with light sentences. See below, for example, the police gazette notices for John Moran, 27 yrs old, and Esther Saunders, 20 yrs old :

James Shearer
Emma Cooper
John Moran
Michael Murphy
William Williams
Margaret Nicholson
Mary Clark
ditto
George Bowen
Mary Ann ditto
Henry Fitzpatrick
William Harrison
John Mouncey (?)
William Barber
James Fink
Esther Saunders
Eliza Saunders
Bridget Quinn
Caroline Woodward

POLICE RECORDS
John Moran, 27yrs old, was tried at Hobart on 9th April 1874 for assaulting a constable, sentenced to one month, and discharged from H. M. Gaol Hobart during the week ending 13 May 1874.



Esther Saunders, 20yrs old, was tried at Hobart on 10th April 1874 for false pretences, sentenced to 14 days, and discharged in the week ending 29th April 1874.



Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime Information for Police, J. Barnard, Govt Printer

This was the plan for the cells and court, showing male and female cells below and the Magistrate's Court above. The court was held in the Hobart Town Hall until decentralisation in 1888.



Title: Plan-Court House, constables barracks,Watch House
ADRI: PWD266-1-68
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania

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