Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Alfred Bock and the Bayles sisters

STUDIO DECOR, furniture and carpets

Professional photographer Alfred Bock established himself at the City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Tasmania in 1858 after a series of financial difficulties, and stayed there until 1865 when he was again declared insolvent. On Bock's departure from Tasmania, commercial photographer and government contractor Thomas J. Nevin acquired the studio lease, glass house, and stock-in-trade at auction in August 1865. He continued with the business name the City Photographic Establishment until 1876 when he joined the civil service as Office and Hall Keeper to the Hobart City Council and Municipal Police Office with residency at the Hobart Town Hall, resuming commercial photography in 1880 until retirement in 1886.

The three Bayles sisters

Left: Mary Louisa Bayles
Centre: Elizabeth Bayles
Right: Ellen Bayles
Photographer: Alfred Bock ca. 1865
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint and Private Collections 2020.

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

The table top metal stand holding a bowl of fruit or flowers appears in all three of these photographs by Alfred Bock of the Bayles sisters. The floor to ceiling drape with a pattern of flowers or vine leaves appears in just about every one of these studio portraits by Alfred Bock and Thomas Nevin.

Subject: Mary Louisa Bayles
Photographer: Alfred Bock ca. 1864
Location: 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town, Tasmania
Details: full-length carte-de-visite
Verso bears Alfred Bock's stamp with kangaroo atop a circular belt
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint Private Collection 2020.

Subject: Mary Louisa Bayles
Photographer: Alfred Bock ca. 1864
Location: 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town, Tasmania
Details: full-length carte-de-visite
Verso bears Alfred Bock's stamp with kangaroo atop a circular belt
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint Private Collection 2020.

Mary Louisa Bayles was under 21 yrs old when she married Thomas Littlechild at St. Andrew's church in the district of Campbell Town, Tasmania on 14th October 1868. His occupation was not registered, apart from the word "Esquire" attached to his name which was to signify a man of independent means. Witnesses to Mary Louisa Bayles' marriage were Messrs Thos Robertson, John Bilton and Joseph Bayles.

Name: Bayles, Mary Louisa
Record Type: Marriages
Gender: Female
Age: Minor
Spouse: Littlechild, Thomas
Gender: Male
Age: Adult
Date of marriage: 14 Oct 1868
Registered: Campbell Town
Registration year: 1868
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:870428
Archive Office Tasmania Resource: RGD37/1/27 no 26

Alfred Bock's portrait of Elizabeth Bayles
For Elizabeth Bayles' session, Alfred Bock put a plinth to her right but positioned her next to the larger plinth. It is the same plinth with an inset plaster wreath decoration which appears in Thomas J. Nevin's portrait of his younger brother, 16 year old Wm John Nevin (1852-1891) taken in the same studio while operating as the firm Nevin & Smith with partner Robert Smith, ca 1867 to February 1868. Although this full-length carte-de-visite portrait of Elizabeth Bayles is somewhat broken for all the handling it has taken over the last 160 years, it still renders a lot of historically accurate information about women and studio photography in 1860s colonial Hobart.

Subject: Elizabeth Bayles 
Photographer: Alfred Bock ca. 1864
Location: 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town, Tasmania
Details: full-length carte-de-visite
Verso bears Alfred Bock's stamp with kangaroo atop a circular belt
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint Private Collection 2020.

Subject: Elizabeth Bayles
Photographer: Alfred Bock ca. 1865
Location: 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town, Tasmania
Details: full-length carte-de-visite
Verso bears Alfred Bock's stamp with kangaroo atop a circular belt
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint Private Collection 2020.

Alfred Bock's portrait of Ellen Bayles
When Alfred Bock set up his studio to take a photograph of Ellen Bayles (below), he included the metal table and metal stand with fruit or flowers he had arranged for his portrait of her sisters Mary Louisa and Elizabeth Bayles, but placed them on the viewer's left in front of the drape printed with a pattern of vine leaves. The same drape appears in Thomas Nevin's self-portrait ca. 1868, in sitting pose wearing white gloves and holding a stereoscopic viewer.

Source: Viewed online July 2020 at Sydney Rare Books Auctions June 2019
Vendor's note:Ellen Bayles Album. A leather worked Carte de visite album, 15 x 12 x 6cm, inscribed and signed by Ellen Bayles, with 22 family Cartes de visite including her portrait (Bock, Hobart). Photographers include Dowling, Baily and Burrows.

Ellen Bayles' Album
By way of an introduction to her photo album, Ellen Bayles included a poem in five verses on the inside left page, signed by her which may or may not indicate her own composition,

My Album
Here I see familiar faces
Ranged together side by side
Occupying Friendship's places
Treasured within Affection's pride.

Kith and Kin, and dead and living
Grave and gay and youth and age
Love selected, life reflected
Lifelike in each hallowed page...
And my spirit feels a pleasure
And a pride [illegible] can tell
In possessing this one treasure
Of the friends I love so well
[Signed] Ellen Bayles

RELATED POSTS main weblog

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

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

ALLPORT Elizabeth, portraits of her and her children
ALLPORT Morton: a short life in public service
COHORT of Tasmanian photographers 1860s-1880s

T. J. Nevin's portrait of Elizabeth Allport
This photograph taken by Thomas J. Nevin at his studio, the City Photographic Establishment of Elizabeth Allport (1835-1925) is arguably the finest portrait taken of her in her mature years. There is no other photograph - and there were many taken throughout her life - which reveals her sublime grace and character to this extent, a quality due in no small measure to the professional expertise of Thomas J. Nevin.

Elizabeth Allport was the elder daughter of Lieutenant Thomas Ritchie, wife of Morton Allport (1830–1878), mother of Curzona (Lily), Minnie, Cecil, Evett and Henry Allport, and a friend to the family of Thomas J. Nevin, his wife Elizabeth Rachel Day and his sister Mary Anne Nevin.

Subject: Elizabeth Allport nee Ritchie (1835-1925)
Photographer: T. J. Nevin Photographic Artist ca. 1876
Location: 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town
Details: full-length carte-de-visite, albumen print
Verso bears T. J. Nevin's government contractor stamp with Royal insignia
Scans are courtesy of © The Liam Peters Collection 2010. All rights reserved.

Verso of portrait of Elizabeth Allport nee Ritchie (1835-1925)
Photographer: T. J. Nevin Photographic Artist ca. 1876
Location: 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town
Details: full-length carte-de-visite, albumen print
Verso bears T. J. Nevin's government contractor stamp with Royal insignia
Scans are courtesy of © The Liam Peters Collection 2010. All rights reserved.

Some time near the end of 1875, Thomas J. Nevin produced this full length cdv on a plain buff mount of Elizabeth Allport at his Elizabeth Street studio. For this sitting she wore a strikingly handsome dark dress with white stripes and a frilled full bustle. Nevin positioned her on his polished leather slipper chair, turned slightly to his left, and invited her to gaze directly at him and his camera. She let her left hand rest on her dress, her right hand placed next to a vase in the shape of a hand holding a cornucopia on the small table with griffin-shaped legs which, like the slipper chair, were key items of Nevin's studio decor over the decade 1867-1876.

The verso of this cdv bears the Royal Arms colonial warrant insignia used by all government contractors of the period. Thomas Nevin's design for this stamp as distinct from his New Town stamp and impress, was more formal - the use of initials alone with his surname plus the designation "Photographic Artist" above the Royal Insignia to signify that he was engaged in contractual work for the government while still operating as a commercial photographer from his Elizabeth St. studio. His contractor's stamp on the verso of Elizabeth Allport's portrait certifies this photograph as a sitting commissioned by her husband Morton Allport who represented the colonial government in many endeavours to do with fisheries, zoology, education, and photography at international and intercolonial exhibitions. This excerpt from a biography published in 1969 by G. T. Stilwell gives some idea of Morton Allport's extensive activities during a short life. He died on 10th September 1878, just 47 yrs old:

... In 1866 Morton Allport became one of the first salmon commissioners. He was also responsible for introducing other European fish into Tasmania. He became a fellow of the Linnean and Zoological Societies, and of the Royal Colonial Institute in London, a foreign member of the Sociétés de Belgiques Malacologique, Royale Botanique, Royale Entomologique, and Linnéenne, and an honorary life member of the Otago Acclimatisation Society and of the Zoological and Acclimatisation Society of Victoria, which awarded him its silver medal. In 1870-78 he was vice-president of the Royal Society of Tasmania, which he had joined in 1849, and for some years served as a member of its gardens committee; several of his articles were printed in its Papers and Proceedings. He was also agent in Tasmania for distributing the various works by John Gould, and a notary public...

... On 3 January 1856 Allport married Elizabeth (1835-1925), elder daughter of Lieutenant Thomas Ritchie. Of their children, Cecil (1858-1926) became a well-known solicitor in Hobart and built up a large collection of books and colonial paintings, forming the nucleus of the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts which was bequeathed to the people of Tasmania by his son Henry (1890-1965). Curzona Frances Louise (1860-1949) continued the artistic traditions of the family and exhibited at the Royal Academy and other overseas galleries. Evett Gordon (1863-1934) was awarded the gold medal of the Tasmanian Council of Education and was Tasmanian scholar in 1883.... read the full article here at the Australian Dictionary of Biography

Miss Nevin and Mr Allport
When the Nevin family of Kangaroo Valley, Hobart, sat down to read the Mercury on the 4th October 1865, they must have despaired at the notice it contained about their application for aid of £25 p.a. to open a school at Kangaroo Valley, especially Mary Ann Nevin, 21 years old, and determined to start her working life as a teacher. The reporter had mispelled the family name - McNevis instead of Nevin. A week later, when the Mercury reported that Mary Ann's application was rejected, the reporter again mispelled her name as NEVEN.

An application was received for the establishment of a school at Kangaroo'Valley.
Dr. BUTLER said that the school was proposed by a family named McNevis [sic], and Miss McNevis [sic] was willing to teach. They proposed undertaking the school on receiving aid to the amount of £25 a year.
Mr. MACDOWELL said he thought children from Kangaroo Valley could very well attend the New Town school.
Dr. OFFICER said the road was very bad. He thought the application reasonable.
After discussion, the matter was put aside for the report of the Inspector.
Source: BOARD OF EDUCATION. (1865, October 4). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved February 2, 2014, from

Family friend and amateur photographer Morton Allport was included among her supporters in her application, but to no avail. The application was rejected on the grounds that the children named as prospective students resided closer to the Public School at New Town, and that the road to Kangaroo Valley was bad. The Nevins were not asking for a building to be constructed; in all likelihood, the proposed school would utilise the Wesleyan Chapel and its Sunday School room constructed at Kangaroo Valley in 1859. A week later they learnt that Morton Allport's application in support of Mary Ann Nevin had been rejected along with the memorial he planned to construct. Details of the memorial were not published.

TUESDAY, l0th OCTOBER, 1865.
The Board met at 2.30 p.m. yesterday afternoon.
Present.- Mr. Macdowell in the chair, Dr.Officer, Mr. Tarleton, Mr. T. Westbrook, and Mr. Watkins. -
Mr. Stephens, Inspector of Schools, and Mr. Burgess, Secretary to the Board.were also present.
The minutes of the last meeting were read and confirmed.
Considered, the Inspector's report on an application for aid to a school at Kangaroo Valley, New Town, conducted by Miss Neven,[sic] together with a memorial from Mr. Morton Allport and others in support of application.
It appeared from Mr. Stephens' report, that all the children named in the application resided within an easy distance of the Public School at New Town ; it was decided that aid could not be given.
Source: The Mercury, 11 October 1865
BOARD OF EDUCATION. (1865, October 11). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved April 16, 2014, from

Photographers Allport, Clifford & Nevin 1863-1865
Although Morton Allport was an amateur and not a commercial photographer, he assisted a young Thomas J. Nevin at the beginning of his professional career, and no doubt on account of his friendship with Thomas' sister Mary Ann and their father John Nevin at Kangaroo Valley. When Thomas Nevin joined prolific professional photographer Samuel Clifford, their work became indistinguishable, especially in the production of hundreds of stereoscopic views. The difference, however, between some of Allport's stereos and Clifford & Nevin's, visible more so today because of the fuzziness resulting from the porous salt paper which the latter often (but not always) used, is evident in this example. The first is a dry plate photograph by Morton Allport, 1863, the second is a reprint of the same image from the partnership of Samuel Clifford and Thomas Nevin, 1865.

Boviak Beach, Excursion to Lake St. Clair February 1863 by Morton Allport
Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office: Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts
Ref: AUTAS001136194164. Also on TAHO at Flickr page.

Title: Lake St Clair
Publisher: ca. 1865
Ref: ADRI: AUTAS001124851494
Source: W.L. Crowther Library
Series: Views in Tasmania
Notes: On verso: title inscribed in ink on centre of label ; printed above title: Views in Tasmania ; printed below title: S. Clifford, photographer, Hobart Town

Portraits of Elizabeth Allport
The majority of photographs and paintings of Elizabeth Allport currently extant in Tasmanian public collections document her life from her late teens to her late thirties, from ca. 1855-1870. Thomas J. Nevin's photograph of her taken at his studio ca. 1875 (above) which is held in a private collection, is therefore unique in several respects.

Elizabeth Ritchie 1855
Not yet married but nevertheless already a favoured subject for her future husband's experiments in portraiture, this portrait is an enlargement from a larger image. It is not a carte-de-visite portrait in the strictest sense, just as many of Morton Allports's stereographs were not strictly stereographs, but rather identical images pasted side by side.

Title: [Portrait of Elizabeth Allport]
Publication Information: [185--?].
Physical description: 1 oval photograph : silver albumen print ; 7 x 6 cm.
Format: photograph image (online)
Notes: Exact measurements 66 x 59 mm.
Photograph pasted on to paper together with three others.
Summary: Head and shoulders inclined to left.
Citation:Digitised item from: Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office

"Lizzie" Allport 1857
Not long married - they married at Morven, Tasmania in January 1857 - we learn from this accomplished portrait that Morton Allport's affectionate name for his newly wed spouse was "Lizzie". Coincidence perhaps, that Thomas Nevin's affectionate name for his wife Elizabeth Rachel Day was "Lizza".

Lizzie Allport 1857 / photographed by Morton Allport.
Author/Creator: Allport, Morton, 1830-1878, photographer.
Production: [Hobart, Tasmania] : Morton Allport, 1857.
Physical description: 1 photographic print : silver albumen print, sepia toning in oval mount ; 146 x 106 mm.
Format: photograph image (online)
Notes: Title inscribed in ink centred below the image, "a photograph by Morton Allport, G.T.S." inscribed on verso in pencil.
Summary: Photograph of Elizabeth Allport seated in the garden.
Citation: Digitised item from: Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office.

A Stereograph 1859
Presumably, Morton Allport took this intimate photograph of his wife Elizabeth nursing their first-born child Mary Marguerite in the garden at Fernleigh, Davey St. Hobart, in 1859 and mounted it as a stereograph, in this instance as a real stereograph made for viewing with a stereoscope.

Elizabeth Allport and baby Mary M. Allport in garden of "Fernleigh", Davey Street
Publication Information:[ca. 1856].
Physical description:1 photographic print on stereo card : stereograph, sepia, pasted on board ; 8 x 8 cm. each
Format: photograph image (online)
Accession number: AP17
Notes: Exact measurements of left hand photo, 72 x 75 mm..
Title inscribed in pencil on verso in unknown hand.
Attributed to Morton Allport.
Online version of this image available.
Exhibited in 'The Photograph and Australia' at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 21/3/15-8/6/15 ; Queensland Art Gallery, 4/7/2015-11/10/2015.
Summary: Elizabeth Allport seated in the garden in front of the house holding baby Mary.
Citation:Digitised item from: Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office

A Vignette mid1860s
This example of Morton Allport's photography is simple yet most appealing. He produced this vignette in the early 1860s of his wife Elizabeth and daughter Minnie from a larger photograph (not online - in possession of descendants).

Mrs. Morton (Elizabeth) Allport & her daughter Minnie, afterwards Mrs. T.E.J. Steele
Publication Information:[ca. 186-?]
Physical description: 1 photograph : silver albumen print ; 15 x 10 cm.
Format: photograph image (online)
Notes: Attributed to Morton Allport.
Exact measurements 145 x 95 mm.
Title inscribed in pencil on verso in unknown hand.
A slightly less detailed view of unnamed photograph of same subjects.
Summary: Head and upper body portrait of mother and daughter holding a doll. Outer edges of portrait blurred.
Citation: Digitised item from: Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office

The Painted Photograph
This photograph is so nearly disguised as a painting, it is difficult to see how and where the photograph was filled in, apart perhaps for Elizabeth Allport's hands which appear altogether unnatural. Any member of the Allport family may have over-painted it: Morton's mother Mary Allport was an artist in her own right and her grand daughter Curzona, known as Lily Allport, studied at the Royal Academy in London before taking to printmaking later in life.

Elizabeth Allport and Mary Marguerite
Publication Information:[ca. 1859].
Physical description: 1 photograph : hand painted silver albumen print ; 14 x 11 cm.
Format:photograph picture image (online)
Notes: Exact measurements 135 x 102 mm.
Title inscribed in pencil on verso in unknown hand.
Summary: Hand painted photograph of a head and upper body portrait of mother and child holding a magnolia.
Citation:Digitised item from: Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office

The blue mount mid 1860s
Morton Allport took this photograph of his wife Elizabeth and two of their children - Marguerite and Cecil - in 1861, printing the silver albumen print on a blue stereograph mount. The poker-faced expressions of all three - mother and children - leaves the viewer wondering how the family was actually disposed to being photographed on that particular day. Were they annoyed, were they upset, were they tired?

Elizabeth Allport with Mary Marguerite Allport & Cecil Allport
Publication Information: [ca. 1861].
Physical description: 1 photographic print on stereo card : stereograph, silver albumen print, sepia toning ; 15 x 10 cm. each.
Format: photographic image (online)
Notes: Exact measurements 70 x 66 mm. each.
Title inscribed in pencil on verso in unknown hand.
"M. Allport photo 1861" inscribed in ink on verso.
Summary: Head and upper body portrait of mother and children seated in the garden.
Citation: Digitised item from: Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office

The Allport Albums from ca. 1868
This album (No. 9) of photographs of Morton and Elizabeth Allport is not online at the State Library of Tasmania. The list of its contents indicates that the elder Allports, Morton's parents Joseph and Mary, were photographed by Stephen Spurling in Hobart "after 1866", while Morton and Elizabeth were photographed by Charles A. Woolley and Henry Hall Baily. Their children in turn, Mary Marguerite, Cecil and Curzona Allport were photographed at the Hobart studios of Riise & Barnett, and J. Bishop Osborne of 76 Murray St. Hobart.

These portraits are No's 4 and 5 in the accompanying list below.
Left: Morton Allport by Charles A. Woolley
Right: Elizabeth Allport by Henry Hall Baily
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2014/2015

List of photographs held in Allport Album No. 9 (IX)
No. 4: ALLPORT, Morton, taken by Chas. A. Woolley
No. 5: ALLPORT, Elizabeth, taken by H. H. Baily
Taken at the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office, Hobart
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2014/2015

Exhibitions and Publications 2015-2018
This stereograph of Elizabeth Allport's drawing room was exhibited but not reproduced in the book-length catalogue of the exhibition titled "The Photograph and Australia" at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 21st March to 8th June 2015 and Queensland Art Gallery, from 4th July to 11th October 2015, although it was noted, along with the stereograph (above) of Elizabeth Allport and baby Mary M. Allport in garden of "Fernleigh", Davey Street, plus another stereograph from the excursion to the Lake St. Clair series 1863, titled "Looking eastward from Mount Arrowsmith" (see it at this link:

My drawing room [Mr. Morton Allport's]
Publication Information: Hobart, Tas. : M. Allport, 1860.
Physical description: 1 stereograph : b&w ; 7 x 14 cm. ; each individual image 7 x 7 cm
Format: photograph image (online)
Accession number: AS103
Notes: Exact measurements 70 x 70 mm.
Inscribed in black ink "M. Allport [?] 1860.
Photographic prints are in stereo and are mounted on a card for viewing i.e. a stereograph.
Condition at February 2003: Minor staining and spotting as well as general fading. Overall condition is very good.
Exhibited in 'The Photograph and Australia' at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 21/3/15-8/6/15 ; Queensland Art Gallery, 4/7/2015-11/10/2015.

At least four painted portraits of Elizabeth Allport are visible on the wall of her drawing room in this photograph. Central to the image, its punctum for the eye of the viewer, is the tall glass dome housing a botanical specimen, presumably of some rarity, or maybe a fossil.

In 2018 Marian Jameson published a biography of Elizabeth Allport's daughter Curzona "Lily" Allport titled Miss Lily: A Portrait of the Artist Curzona Allport with beautiful reproductions of Curzona's artwork.

Inside frontispiece:
Miss Lily: A Portrait of the Artist Curzona Allport by Marian Jameson
Hobart, TAS : Fullers Publishing, 2018
270 pages : colour illustrations, facsimiles, 1 genealogical table, portraits
Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2018

Back cover notes:(NLA catalogue)
Lily Allport, christened Curzona Frances Louise, was a strong woman who lived between two worlds - the old and the new. Born in the nineteenth century to a prominent Hobart family of lawyers, Lily refused to take the expected path of marriage and children. Described by her brother-in-law as 'impudent and headstrong', Lily was determined to become a professional artist. Her drive to follow her own path took her to London and success in the Royal Academy of Arts, and a satisfying life at the centre of the nineteenth-century artistic world. And then in the 1930s, at an age when she might be expected to ease up, she returned to Hobart and set up a printmaking studio, creating a late flowering of works in an entirely different medium.
This book was published with the general support of the Allport Bequest and the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society Hobart.

RELATED POSTS main weblog

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Prisoner James GLEN 1874 and 2003

PRISONER James GLEN ex Scotland 1862
SHIPS the Clyde and the George & Susan
TMAG ANNUAL REPORT 2003 misattribution to A. H. Boyd

The Mugshot
Unlike the three hundred or more extant mugshots of Tasmanian prisoners photographed in the 1870s by government contractor Thomas J. Nevin and printed as a carte-de-visite in an oval mount, this one of James Glen stands alone as one of the very few that DOES NOT carry the verso inscription "Taken at Port Arthur 1874". It does, however, carry the date "1874". Nevin photographed James Glen on the prisoner's relocation from the Port Arthur prison to the Hobart Gaol in April 1874.

Prisoner GLEN, James, 1874
Inscription recto: "9"
TMAG Ref: Q15574
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin

Verso: Prisoner GLEN(N), James
Inscription verso: "James Glenn per 'Clyde' 1874 No. 53"
TMAG Ref: Q15574
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin, 1874

The number "9" on the mount might indicate any single event, inscribed by an archivist at any time between the 1900s and 1983 for exhibition as the 9th - ninth in a series. One such event was in 1983 when fifty or more of these prisoners' mugshots were removed from a larger collection of 300 held at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, originally acquired from John Watt Beattie's estate in 1930. They were numbered on removal and exhibited at the Port Arthur heritage site in 1983, afterwards deposited at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart instead of being returned to the original collection at the QVMAG (by old wishy-washy Wishart et al,and misattributed to A. H. Boyd - see TMAG Annual Report 2003 below).

The verso of this mugshot of James Glenn bears the number "53". The handwriting of the whole inscription - "James Glenn per 'Clyde' 1874 No. 53" - including the number "53" appears to be original and contemporary with the date of photographic capture. It was possibly written by Thomas Nevin himself on producing the print from the glass plate or any police clerk present at the time with the task of compiling the Photo Books, in which case, this would be Photo No. 53 in the Photo Book for the year 1874 when Thomas Nevin photographed James Glen at the request of the Attorney- General W. R. Giblin. He reviewed Glen's case on 11th April 1874, and noted on Glen's conduct record of earnings, that Glen was -
To complete six years by time without offence with industry and good conduct when residue of sentence may be remitted.
Signed W. R. Giblin Atty Gen'ls Office 11th April 1874
James Glen was discharged from the House of Corrections, Hobart Town on 13th April 1877, and within a matter of eight weeks had re-offended. He was sentenced to another two years at the Hobart Gaol for breaking into a store (see police gazette notices below).

Criminal Records

1862- 1863: Scotland to Western Australia
James Glen was born at Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland ca. 1839. He was 23 years old in 1862 when convicted of theft by housebreaking into the premises of George Knight and Son, West Register Street, Edinburgh. His occupation was blacksmith for a shipsmith. His partner in crime was 28yr old James MacKenzie, a commercial traveller who was from Falkirk, Scotland.

In 1863, James Glen was convicted at the Edinburgh High Court of Justiciary, sentenced to ten (10) years. He was transported on the Clyde with 321 other convicts, departing 11th March 1863, arriving at Western Australia on 29th May, 1863

Convict transport Clyde
Sailed on 11th March, 1863
Arrived 29th May, 1863 at Western Australia
Average sentence: 10 Years | Life sentences: 18 | Passengers: 322

This 1151 ton ship was built in Glasgow in 1860. It was employed as a convict transport for Western Australia and left Portland, England on March 15, 1863 bound for the Swan River Colony. She carried the twenty eighth of 37 shipments of male convicts destined for Western Australia. The voyage took 75 days and the Clyde arrived in Fremantle on May 29, 1863 with 150 passengers and 320 convicts [Erickson]. Henry Stephens and William Crauford were the captain and surgeon respectively.

There were no deaths recorded on the convict shipping and description lists and 320 convict numbers were assigned for the voyage ranging from (7000 to 7319). The [Bateson] account for this voyage differs from the convict lists and [Erickson] and claims that 321 convicts embarked and 320 arrived.

Of the 150 passengers mentioned above, all 150 were pensioner guards and their families, the number being made up of 50 pensioner guards, 35 wives, 34 sons and 31 daughters.

William Crauford's surgeon's journal for the voyage is preserved in the Public Record Office (PRO) in London. Researchers can view a copy on the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) microfilm reel 3181 which is held in most major libraries and archives offices throughout Australia.

The following list is an alphabetically sorted list of the names associated with each of the 320 convict numbers assigned to this voyage. The comments field gives alternative names attributed to the various convicts, many of which are not only spelling variations, but alternative names used in later life or in subsequent re-convictions. The age quoted seems to refer to the age of the convict when he was taken to trial.

Another list detailing the physical appearance of the convicts has been transcribed for this voyage of the Clyde. It can be viewed here or by following the links to Physical Description on the list below. Similar lists for the other 42 voyages to Western Australia are being added as time permits.

Glen James 7129 10y 23 Edinburgh 03 02 1862 House breaking

1871: theft at Webb's Hotel
James Glen was arrested with stolen plate from Webb's Hotel, reported on 10th February 1871.

Webbs Hotel, Murray Street, Hobart, 1880 - 1882
Impress on lower left "HOBART TOWN"
Item Number LPIC35/1/10
Series Photograph Album of Tasmanian Views (LPIC35)
State Library of Tasmania
View online : LPIC35-1-10

The police gazette of Friday, February 3, 1871 (VOL. X, No. 603) reported a hefty swag of fine silverware stolen from Webb's Hotel, Murray St. Hobart:

Friday, February 3, 1871 (VOL. X, No. 603) Tasmania Reports of Crime for Police

STOLEN during the night of the 1st instant, from the premises of Mr. John Webb, Webb's Hotel, Murray- street: - 2 silver soup ladles; 3 ditto fish slices; 4 ditto gravy spoons; 108 ditto dessert ditto; 56 ditto forks; 6 ditto table spoons, with crest Stags head enclosed in garter.
Within a week of this notice to police, James Glen was arrested and the silver plate stolen from Webb's Hotel was recovered.

James Glen was arrested for receiving the stolen plate from Webb's Hotel, notice published in the police gazette of 10 February 1871. He was convicted at the Supreme Court on 4th July, 1871 of "feloniously receiving" and sentenced to ten (10) years. The police noted his ship of arrival in Tasmania as the George & Susan, a whaling vessel of 356/343/287 (tons), built at Dartmouth, MA (1809) and wrecked at Wainwright Inlet, Alaska, Aug 10, 1885. In order to have arrived at Hobart on board this ship, James Glen must have joined its crew at Fremantle, Western Australia as soon as his conditional pardon (CP) was granted, working his passage on the voyage prior to the vessel entering the South Pacific whaling grounds. This record of the George & Susan may be that voyage:

Rig Bark
Port New Bedford, MA
Depart 1868 Oct 19
Return 1871
Destination Indian, S Pacific
Agent/Owner Howland, George & Matthew
Sperm oil 219
Whale oil 328
Baleen 2500

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

James Glen was convicted in the Supreme Court, Hobart Town on the 4th July 1871.
The asterisk * next to his name indicated more information in the footnote below the notice:
*The holder of a Conditional Pardon from Western Australia

The Court record indicates James Glen pleaded not guilty at trial on 7th March 1871 (page on right) and was sentenced to ten (10) years. He was sentenced in the same week as John Appleby who was tried and sentenced to 6 years for receiving stolen plate. Appleby's petition lodged twelve months later, on the 11th June 1872 was declined by the Attorney-General, and on the 20th September 1873 he was transferred from the Port Arthur prison to the Hobart Gaol, Campbell St. where Thomas J. Nevin photographed him on being received. Two years later, on the 13th August 1875, the residue of Appleby's sentence was remitted.

Glenn, James [sic - Glen]
Record Type:,Court
Status: Conditional pardon
Trial date: 7 Mar 1871
Place of trial: Hobart
Offence:Burglary and stealing 2 saddles and other articles the property of John Webb.
Verdict: Not guilty
Prosecutions Project ID: m112394
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1520653

James Glen was sent to the Port Arthur prison after his conviction in 1871. His name appeared on the list of prisoners tabled in the Tasmania House of Assembly, July 1873, who had been sent to Port Arthur after its transfer to the Colonial Government and who were being relocated to the Hobart Gaol. When this list was published in July 1873, sixty (60) prisoners had already returned to Hobart, and by mid 1874, another forty-nine (49) were rehoused at the Hobart Gaol, known as the House of Corrections, Campbell St. On being received at the Hobart Gaol, they were photographed by government contractor Thomas J. Nevin.

Detail of the first page of the two pages, list of 109 prisoners who were relocated to the Hobart Gaol by October 1874.

1873 Tasmania House of Assembly, page 1 of 2.
Laid upon the Table by the Colonial Treasurer, and ordered by the House to be printed, July 17, 1873

1877 April: James Glen discharged to Hobart Gaol
This record of earnings at the Hobart Gaol and Port Arthur prison which was maintained by prison clerks used the correct spelling of James Glen's surname - with one "n".

To complete Six Years by Time without Offence with industry and good conduct when residue of sentence may be remitted.
Signed W. R. Giblin Atty Gen'ls Office 11th April 1874

James Glen was discharged from House of Corrections Hobart Town 13 April 1877. Within eight weeks he was arraigned for attempting to break into William Knight's warehouse at the Old Wharf, Hobart and sentence to two years' hard labour.

1877 July: break and enter
Prisoner James Glen - the police mispelled his surname as "Glenn" with the added "n" in this instance, and recorded his age as 40 yrs old in 1877, while the list tabled in Parliament in July 1873 (above) recorded his age as 43 yrs old. He was found armed with intent while attempting to break into Knight's warehouse, and pleaded not guilty.

James Glen(n), arraigned at the Supreme Court, Hobart, 10 July 1877
Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime for Police, Gov't printer, James Barnard

James Glen and Joshua Anson Supreme Court trial 1877
Archives Office of Tasmania

On 12th June 1877, James Glen was found at night armed with intent, sentenced to 2 yrs imprisonment with hard labour. Photographer Joshua Anson (page on left at bottom) was sentenced in the same week for larceny from his employer Henry Hall Baily. Read more about the Anson case here.

James Glen:
"Convicted Supreme Court Hobart Town 10th July 1877 of unlawfully attempting to break into a warehouse. Two years' imprisonment with hard labour"
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania

Name: Glen, James
Record Type: Court
Status: Free by servitude
Trial date: 11 Jul 1877
Place of trial: Hobart
Offence: Unlawfully attempting to enter the warehouse of William Knight with intent to steal.
Verdict: Guilty
Prosecutions Project ID: 117553
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1520537
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania

1879: discharged

James Glen was discharged from Hobart, FS (free in servitude), the residue of his sentence remitted, in the week ending 4th June 1879 from a sentence of two years passed at the Supreme Court Hobart on 12th July 1877 for attempting to break into a store. The police gazette recorded the following details in 1879: James Glen, 41 yrs old, native place, Scotland, height a little under 5 feet 5 inches, hair dark brown. This discharge notice recorded the Clyde as the ship on which he was originally transported to Western Australia from Britain, not the whaling ship on which he arrived free in Tasmania, the George and Susan from Fremantle, Western Australia. Note here his age was variously recorded as 41 yrs old in 1871, 40 years old in 1873, 40 years old in 1877 and 41 years old on discharge in 1879. He was 23 yrs old in 1862 when first convicted.

The TMAG Annual Report 2003
The name of A. H. Boyd as the photographer of this prisoner James Glen appeared in lieu of the correct attribution to Thomas J. Nevin in the TMAG annual report of 2003. This misinformation parading as a possibility regarding A. H. Boyd was based on nothing more a vague "belief" parlayed by Chris Long in the TMAG's own A-Z directory, Tasmanian Photographers 1840-1940 (Gillian Winter ed. 1992). The choice by the TMAG in 2003 for publication of this photograph to represent a typical "Port Arthur convict" beggars belief, first, because James Glen was transported to Western Australia, not to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) nor was he incarcerated at Port Arthur at any time before 1853; and second, because the verso of his mugshot bears no information which links it to the Port Arthur prison. In neither respect does he fit the stereotype of a "Port Arthur convict". Yet the caption to the photograph of James Glen attributes it to A. H. Boyd, the prison Commandant with a reputation in his own lifetime of bullying, misogyny and corruption but none whatsoever as a photographer. No photographs in any genre exist by this A. H. Boyd for the simple reason he was no photographer, despite the wishful confabulations of his descendants and their proxies, the museum workers who have obligingly cultivated a biography to the contrary.

Above: A. H. Boyd (photographer); [sic - T. J. Nevin was the photographer]
(convict) James Glen 1874
Source: TMAG Annual Report 2003

The former employee at the QVMAG, Elspeth Wishart, who was employed at the TMAG by the time the annual report of 2003 was published, was the person responsible for the removal of this prisoner's mugshot from the Beattie collection at the QVMAG in 1983 along with fifty more, depositing them at the TMAG instead of returning them. Arising from this episode in 1983 at the behest of A. H. Boyd's descendants was the furphy that Boyd, no longer even in the job by December 1873, was the photographer of these mugshots at Port Arthur in 1874.

Take note that on the left hand side of the page under the heading INFORMATION MANAGEMENT, there is the claim that "17,000 images and 190,000 records are now available online." That claim might have been true in 2003 but just six examples of Thomas J. Nevin's stereographs were displayed online at that time from the TMAG's total collection of at least fifty stereographs and fifty or more photographs of prisoners catalogued previously in Nevin's name. From 2007 onwards, even these meagre records disappeared from online and public access. They were taken down without explanation, a situation which persists to this day.

Back in 2014, in order to gain access to the TMAG's holdings of works by Thomas J. Nevin, an interstate representative of the Nevin family had to travel to Tasmania, submit a request in writing in person at the museum to gain access at a future date, even though that request was based on a guess at best of what was in the collection because a complete list or description of which items were actually extant was never provided. The Nevin family representative then had to wait months for an invitation to view the Thomas J. Nevin collections in situ back in Tasmania at the Rosny site. Another interstate trip was necessary, since nothing was mailed, produced online or even promised. Once at the Rosny site, the Nevin family representative was subjected to some very childish behaviour. For example, while the said Nevin family representative was photographing some of the items set out on a table, the museum worker deliberately knocked the table to ruin the shot. Accompanying this exercise were fussy instructions regarding the handling and sorting of items which the museum worker clearly hoped would sabotage any endeavour by the said Nevin family representative to record something at least of the visit. As the Nevin family representative was leaving, the same museum worker decided to goad the visitor with the A. H. Boyd misattribution by mentioning that his descendants were expected to visit the very next week, the same people who - it was inferred - have threatened Thomas Nevin's status as the photographer of the so-called "Port Arthur convicts" and will continue to do so with the backing of this amused museum worker (yes, it was "part-of-the-furniture Farmery").

Once thankfully back on the Mainland (i.e. out of Tasmania), the Nevin family representative then waited two months for a response to their order of copies for each item viewed during the visit to the TMAG's site at Rosny. Another three months passed, and still no copies. It took a complaint to the Tasmanian Auditor and the newly appointed TMAG Director to get the attention of these museum workers. Finally almost a year after the visit to Tasmania, an estimate for copying over 120 photographs from the collection held in photographer Thomas J. Nevin's name was received. The cost of this lamentable charade to the Nevin family amounted to more than $7000AUD - over $5000 of that was paid for copies of average quality coupled with a database list full of mistaken and misleading descriptions, some deliberately so.

The upshot of this experience is clear: that without an extensive online catalogue of its holdings, the public has no way of knowing what the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery actually holds. Further, requests by anyone not living in Hobart but wanting a description of the extent of a particular collection plus copies, may never see their order filled. It is parochial in the extreme to imagine that all the public need do is just pop in to the Museum with a request. If nothing else, this year of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the state of Tasmania is largely closed to tourism, should alert the TMAG that here lies a prime opportunity to employ staff for the creation online of a decent and comprehensive selection of the museum's holdings. If it was possible in 2003, it is even easier now, and decidedly more necessary.


National Records of Scotland
Reference Title Date
AD14/62 Crown Office precognitions, 1862 1862
Country code GB
Repository code 234
Repository National Records of Scotland
Reference AD14/62/228
Title Precognition against James Glen, James MacKenzie for the crime of theft by housebreaking at West Register Street, Edinburgh
Dates 1862
Access status Open
Location On site
Level File
Finding aids 19th Century Solemn Database
Related record JC26/1862/278 JC26/1862/278
Accused James Glen, Age: 23, blacksmith, formerly for Edward Ward, shipsmith, William Street, Liverpool, Address: Edinburgh, Origin: Born in Kirkwall
James MacKenzie, Age: 28, commercial traveller, Address: 25 North Street, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Origin: Born in Falkirk
Victim , firm of George Knight and Son, West Register Street, Edinburgh

William Knight
William Knight, watercolourist and merchant, was born in Kensington, London, on 15 March 1809, son of William Knight, a lawyer, and Rebecca, née Talbot. He came to Van Diemen’s Land in the Hugh Crawford in 1827 to investigate the business potential of the colony, returned briefly to England, then arrived back at Hobart Town aboard the Promise, a ship he partly owned, with a cargo of general merchandise. With this he set himself up in business at the Old Wharf and subsequently became a leading merchant of Hobart Town. In 1846 he married Hannah Mary Anne, daughter of the assistant commissary-general William Fletcher, and granddaughter of Joseph Hone, master of the Supreme Court of Tasmania – a brother of the well-known London publisher William Hone. They had ten children. Read more here ...

Warehouses at the Old Wharf 1890s -  Old Wharf, Hobart, showing Steam Packet Hotel
Publication Information: Hobart : J.W. Beattie, [between 1892 and 1900].
Notes: Title inscribed on verso in pencil. "Beattie's Studios, Hobart"--Stamped on verso.
Citation: Digitised item from: Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office.

RELATED POSTS main weblog

On board the "City of Hobart" 31st January 1872