Friday, September 24, 2021

Best of friends: Emma PITT and Liz O'MEAGHER 1866

SEMIOSIS: deixis
PITT, Emma nee BARTLETT (1847-1899)
PITT, Albert, solicitor (1840-1906)
O'MEAGHER, Liz (1847-1906) and Arthur BELL (1839-1921)
WOOLLEY, Charles, photographer (1834-1922)
EPIDEMIC New Zealand 1906
"I say Captain Mackie is not to show his face in Nelson without you Liz O'Meagher.

Emma Pitt

June 6th 1866"

Subject: a young woman holding a summer hat, wearing a summer dress frilled at the hem.
Standing pose, left hand resting on the back of a studded slipper chair, her gaze directed slightly above and to the right of the photographer.
Photographer: Charles A. Woolley, studio stamp on verso, 42 Macquarie St. Hobart, Tasmania
Location and date: Hobart, 1866
Format: full length studio portrait, sepia print, carte-de-visite
Condition: foxing, surface dirt, torn, fair condition
Provenance: DSFB, Melbourne 2021, sold as " Studio portrait of a lady identified as Liz O'Meagher. Hobart Town, Tasmania, 1866"
Copyright: © KLW NFC Imprint & KLW NFC Private Collection 2021
Verso inscription: "I say Captain Mackie is not show his face in Nelson without you Liz O'Meagher. Emma Pitt June 6th 1866"

The cdv: a deictic mystery
The verso inscription on this carte-de-visite - "I say Captain Mackie is not to show his face in Nelson without you Liz O'Meagher" - signed by Emma Pitt, dated 6th June 1866, has created differences in perception as to the identity of the young woman in the photograph, first by the seller (DSFB) on the one hand, and second by the purchaser (KLW NFC Imprint) on the other. Is it a photograph of Emma Pitt's addressee "you Liz O'Meagher", (b. Tas 1847- d. NZ 1906) or does it represent the sender Emma Pitt herself (b. Tas 1847-d. NZ 1899)?

The cdv was offered for sale at Douglas Stewart Fine Books (Melbourne) in May 2021 as a "Studio portrait of a lady identified as Liz O'Meagher. Hobart Town, Tasmania, 1866", so is the young woman in the photograph Emma's friend Liz O'Meagher, or is Emma sending her friend a photograph of herself? Odd, perhaps, that Emma Pitt should send a precious and possibly unique object such as a photographic portrait by Charles A. Woolley of her friend back to her friend, especially if the photograph was a gift from her friend in the first place. The transaction would look like this : "I" - Emma - am returning to "you" - Liz - a visual signifier of "you" - Liz - which may have been given to "me" - Emma - by "you" - Liz - - and now "I" - Emma - am returning "you" - Liz - to "you" - Liz. Why return a photograph of the addressee to the addressee, which in some contexts could affront the recipient but in this instance, it seems, is a performative act in which the sender Emma hopes to encourage Liz to come visit her on a ship to Nelson - to "here" - from where she is sending her friend the cdv who is "there" in Hobart.

The cdv as a multimodal message is quite complex. Emma's single sentence is a powerful theatrical gesture in tenor and text. She uses the deictic "you" as a cataphoric pointer forward to the name "Liz O'Meagher" without reference to the photograph itself or to the name of the woman it portrays. "This is you" or "this is me" are absent pointers which could identify the subject of the photograph. Liz O'Meagher is clearly intended as the receiver, the addressee, the "you" in script, in textual form on the verso of the cdv but there is the addition of a visual signifier in the message, the photograph of a young woman on the recto of the cdv, whose identity is not altogether straightforward despite comparisons with extant photographic records taken in the same decade and into the 1880s of - potentially - both young women (see below).  There is, of course, the possibility that the photograph represents another young woman entirely.

To initiate the message, Emma is giving an order to the addressee "you Liz O'Meagher" when she uses  the modal  "I say" to insist that what she is about to say is to be remembered and acted on. If paraphrased, "I say" imports something like "I want you to repeat this, to quote me when I say this, this is not just an opinion, it is what I want, so do what I want, you ought to do this". Secondly, Emma's use of Captain Mackie's name which stands in for "voyage" is both synecdochic and anaphoric (external) to the message, but since he is nowhere to hear it, Emma performs a promise that exudes flirtatious but ultimately unquantifiable power and a doubtful scenario  - she will not only admonish him personally, should he show up at Nelson without Liz O'Meagher on board, she will banish him from her sight - or, as she puts it, he "is not to show his face" without her. The addressee "you Liz O'Meagher", who is "without" to Emma, must act on Emma's message and book her passage with Captain Mackie on his very next voyage to NZ to become inclusive within her social set, to avoid further "finger pointing" or deictic acts just like this one which = I say this to you here so you must do that for me there. 

Assuming that Liz O'Meagher received the cdv, on reading the verso she may have found it amusing, humorous, comedic even in what Emma was proposing to do to Captain Mackie. Then again, Liz O'Meagher may have become anxious while processing her perception of the  photograph's significance to them both.

Reversing the gaze back onto the sender, this may be a photograph of Emma herself, sealed with her signature and date. Emma Bartlett was married to Albert Pitt by June 1866 when she dated the verso of the cdv, while Liz O'Meagher was still single and would not marry Arthur Bell until February 1867. She would therefore be sending a message in her own image as an example of the happiness to which her friend in Hobart might aspire, with the wish she (Liz) join her (Emma) as soon as possible in New Zealand, perhaps with her groom-to-be for their honeymoon. The photograph as memento of their close friendship would then reflect an image on which Liz O'Meagher might gaze and imagine for herself a similar happy outcome (presumably sans envie).

That both young women were close friends is evident on the marriage registration of Emma Pitt. Born Emma Bartlett, she married solicitor Albert Pitt on 26th January, 1866 at St. David's Cathedral, Hobart, Tasmania. Her friend Liz O'Meagher was a signatory witness at the marriage. If this photograph does not depict Liz O'Meagher, it depicts Emma. This is "me", Emma is saying by sending her friend a photograph of herself. Taken by Charles A. Woolley at his Hobart studio, 42 Macquarie Street, Hobart Town (Tasmania) perhaps in the summer of 1866, Emma may have visited Woolley's studio for a photograph of herself dressed in her best summer outfit for a special occasion. It is not a bridal gown she is wearing, so the occasion was not her wedding day, nor was it a winter outfit suitable for travel in March when she departed Hobart with her husband on board ship to join Captain Hugh Mackie's steamer the Gothenburg at Melbourne for the voyage to New Zealand. Rather, this photograph, if it represents Emma Pitt, was how Liz O'Meagher might look, Emma is suggesting to her friend, if she were to follow her example.

Emma and Albert Pitt in New Zealand
Captain Hugh Mackie arrived in New Zealand in command of the steamer Gothenburg on March 7, 1866 with passengers Mr and Mrs. Pitt.

Sources: Papers Past NZ, due to return to Melbourne on December 27th 1866.

Subject: Emma Pitt nee Bartlett (1847-1899) or Elizabeth Bell nee O'Meagher (1847-1906)?
Photographer: Charles A. Woolley
Location and date: 42 Macquarie St. Hobart, Tasmania 1866
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint & KLW NFC Group Private Collection 2021

Emma's husband, Albert Pitt (1842-1906) was photographed by Charles Woolley at Hobart, possibly earlier than his wedding in 1866, if the studio decor is any indication.

Albert Pitt, Hobart 1866

Subject: Albert Pitt (1840-1906)
Photographer: Charles A. Woolley
Location and date: Hobart 1866
Archives Office Tasmania Ref: AUTAS001126072719W800

Albert Pitt was the sole surviving child of Captain Francis Pitt, Harbour Master and Maria Reardon, who married on 20th July 1833 at Hobart, Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). They lived at Pitt Farm, New Town until retiring to Napoleon Street, Battery Point where Francis Pitt died in 1874. Albert escorted his mother Maria back to Nelson to live with his family. She died there on 29 June 1896, 82 yrs old.

In 1864 Albert Pitt migrated to Nelson, New Zealand, where he started his own law firm, returning briefly to marry Emma Bartlett, daughter of Edmund Bartlett at Hobart, on  25th January 1866.

Marriage of Albert Pitt and Emma Bartlett January 1866

Pitt, Albert
Record Type: Marriages
Gender: Male
Age: 23
Spouse: Bartlett, Emma
Gender: Female
Age: 18
Date of marriage: 26 Jan 1866
Registered: Hobart
Registration year: 1866
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:868047
Resource: RGD37/1/25 no 120

Barely a week after Emma Pitt signed the verso of the cdv she intended to send to Liz O'Meagher on 6th June 1866, her husband Albert was called to appear as an advocate for the defendants, the Burgess gang, who murdered James Battle on 12th June 1866 on the Maungatapu track, south-east of Nelson. Four other men were killed on the same track the following day. Three of the gang were executed, the fourth - Joseph Sullivan - was deported. Read the full account here....
On 12 June 1866, James Battle was murdered on the Maungatapu track, south-east of Nelson. The following day four other men were killed nearby – a crime that shocked the colony. These killings, the work of the 'Burgess gang', resembled something from the American 'wild west'.
The case was made more intriguing by the fact that one of the gang, Joseph Sullivan, turned on his co-accused and provided the evidence that convicted them. The trial was followed with great interest and sketches and accounts of the case were eagerly snapped up by the public. Unlike his colleagues, Sullivan escaped the gallows.
All four members of the Burgess gang had come to New Zealand via the goldfields of Victoria, Australia. Three of them had been transported to Australia for crimes committed in England. They were the sort of 'career criminals' that the authorities in Otago had feared would arrive following the discovery of gold in the province. The South Island goldfields of the 1860s offered potentially rich pickings for criminals. Crime was generally the work of individuals, and often a spontaneous act fuelled by alcohol, but there were notable exceptions.... etc etc
Source: 'The Maungatapu murders',
URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 13-Aug-2015

The Burgess gang. (Clockwise from top) Joseph Thomas Sullivan, Thomas Kelly, Philip Levy and Richard Burgess, photographed at Nelson gaol in 1866.

In 1868 Albert Pitt entered into partnership with Henry Adams, trading as Adams &  Pitt. With the dissolution of that partnership,  he partnered with Edward Moore, operating as the firm Pitt & Moore. (Source:

The Nelson Provincial Museum has a sizeable collection of photographs of Albert Pitt and members of his family but is there a photograph of Emma Pitt which can compare favourably with the subject of the cdv she sent to her friend Liz O'Meagher dated June 6th, 1866? In other words, do any of these photographs of female members of Albert and Emma Pitt's family taken from ca. 1880-1889 resemble the woman in Emma Pitt's cdv sent to her friend Liz O'Meagher?

Mrs Emma Pitt 1889 Nelson NZ

Pitt, Mrs A [sic - as in Mrs Albert Pitt]
Glass Monochrome/Media/Photography half plate/glass plate/
Production date Oct 1889
Photo collection reference number 16408
Collection Tyree Studio Collection

Albert Pitt, 1883
Source: Nelson Provincial Museum (New Zealand)
Object type glass plate negative
Media and materials Glass Monochrome/Media/Photography 4 x 5/glass plate/Format/Photography
Collection W E Brown Collection
Credit line Pitt, Mr A. Dec 1883. Nelson Provincial Museum, W E Brown Collection: 11795

Pitt Family NZ
Photo collection reference number 176235
Description Full length studio portrait of four men, four women and a boy.
Object type glass plate negative
Media/materials description Glass plate
Media and materials Glass Monochrome/Media/Photography 6 x 8/glass plate/
Format/Photography Measurements 6 x 8 inches
Collection Tyree Studio Collection

DEATH of Emma PITT, 1899
Record ID WKCE05046_C
Surname PITT
First names EMMA
Age 52 years
Date of interment 01/09/1899
Date of death 30/08/1899
Gender Female
Cemetery Wakapuaka
Copyright © 2021 Nelson City Council

Albert Pitt's wife Emma Pitt nee Bartlett was 52 years old when she died in 1899. His will of 1906 named three of their children to inherit his estate in equal measure: his daughters Minnie Constanza Macdonald and Charlotte Emma Georgina Pitt, and his son Wilmot Bartlett Pitt. Albert Pitt died 64 years old on 18/11/1906; Emma Pitt died 52 years old on 30/8/1899. Two of their children predeceased them: Annie Pitt, died 3 months old on 11/4/1871 and Sidney Herbert Pitt died 28 years old on 22/3/1890.

No. 7134 In the Supreme Court of Nelson Wellington District
Be it known that upon search being made in the Office of the Supreme Court at Wellington in the colony of New Zealand it appears that on the twenty first day of December 1906, the last Will and Testament of Albert Pitt, late of the City of Nelson in the Provincial District of Nelson but lately in the City of Wellington both in the colony of New Zealand Barrister deceased who died in the City of Christchurch in the said colony on or about the eighteenth day of November 1906 was proved by the Public Trustee in the colony of New Zealand a corporation sole with perpetual succession and a seal of office the executor named therein and which Probate now remains of record in the said office the true tenor of the said will is in the words and figures following to wit: - This is the last Will and Testament of me Albert Pitt of the city of Nelson and lately of the City of Wellington in New Zealand Barrister I revoke all former wills and other testamentary dispositions by me at any time heretobefore made and declare that this alone to be my last Will and Testament I give devise and bequeath all my real and personal property whatsoever and wheresoever unto my children Minnie Constanza Macdonald Charlotte Emma Georgina Pitt and Wilmot Bartlett Pitt in equal shares as tenants in common I devise all estates vested in me by any trust subject to the equities affecting the same to my Trustee hereinafter named I direct that my just debts funeral and testamentary expenses shall be paid out of my estate I appoint the Public - [Albert Pitt] - Trustee to be the Trustee and Executor of this my Will. In Witness whereof I have hereunder set my hand the 13th day of November 1906 Albert Pitt. Signed by the said Albert Pitt as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us both being present at the same time who at his request in his sight and presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names attesting witnesses E. N. G. Foulton Private Secretary Wellington Kassie Turner Nurse Christchurch In faith and testimony whereof these Letters Testimonial are issued Given at Wellington aforesaid as to the time of the aforesaid search and the sealing of these present this 9th day of April 1907
Seal of the Supreme Court of New Zealand
Ewing & Seager
Sealed 6/6/07
Assets Tas £225 [sig?]
Source: Archives Office Tasmania
Pitt, Albert
Record Type: Wills
Year: 1907
File number: 7134
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1667091
Resource: AD960-1-29 Will Number 7134$init=AD960-1-29-7134_1

Memorial Walk
In Nelson, NZ, at the Bridge Street entrance of the Queens Gardens are the wrought iron Albert Pitt Memorial gates. Albert Pitt (1841-1906) was the Minister of Defence, Lt Colonel of the NZ
Militia and C.O. of the Nelson Military District 1877-1899. The opening ceremony took place on 2nd May, 1914.

Women in the O'Meagher family
So who was Emma Pitt's friend Liz O'Meagher? She was Elizabeth Ann O'Meagher (b. Hobart, Tas 1847 - d. Kawhia,NZ 1906) , the younger daughter of Elizabeth Anne O'Meagher snr (d. 1879) and William O'Meagher (d. 1849). Her father was chief clerk of  H.M. Ordnance Stores, New Wharf, Hobart. She married Arthur Bell (his full name was Arthur Waite Iredale Bell) on 5th February 1867 at St. David's Cathedral, Hobart. Arthur Waite Iredale Bell (1839-1921) and his sister Kezia Mary Bell (1849-1940) were born in Launceston, Tasmania to auctioneer Joseph William Bell (1793-1870) and Georgina Ford (d. NZ 1909). The elder daughter Mary Frances O'Meagher married Robert Walker on 14 July 1879 at St. David's Cathedral, Hobart. There were two sons as well as two daughters: Franc Penn O'Meagher and Wm Hudson O'Meagher (d. 1883) who were mentioned in the Last Will and Testament of Elizabeth Anne O'Meagher snr. A Codicil added to their mother's will in 1873 requested that another daughter - or daughter-in-law - Elizabeth Frances O'Meagher - be granted an annuity (see will below).

BELL-O'MEAGHER. -On 5th February, at St. David's Cathedral, by the Rev. F. H. Cox, Arthur Bell, Esq., of, Rockhampton, Queensland, to Elizabeth Anne, youngest daughter of the late W. O'Meagher, Esq., of Her Majesty's Ordnance. 8f
Source: "Family Notices" The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 8 February 1867: 1. Web. 4 Sep 2021

Archives Office Tasmania
Marriage of Arthur Bell to Elizabeth Ann O'Meagher, under 21$init=RGD37-1-26P76

WALKER—O'MEAGHER.—On the 31st August, at St. David's Cathedral, by the Rev. F. H. Cox, Robert Walker, Esq., of Gipps Land, Victoria, to Mary Frances, eldest daughter of the late William O'Meagher, Esq., of H.M. Ordnance.
Source: Family Notices (1879, July 14). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 1.


Bell, Percy Walter
Record Type: Births
Gender: Male
Father: Bell, Arthur
Mother: Elizabeth, Anne O'Meagher
Date of birth:04 Mar 1870
Registered: Hobart
Registration year: 1870
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:972964
Resource: RGD33/1/10/ no 964

Registration informant of the birth of Percy Walter Bell to Elizabeth Anne Bell (formerly O'Meagher) and Arthur Bell on 11th April 1870 was Elizabeth's mother, Elizabeth O'Meagher snr. The informant column on the registration clearly states "E. A. O'Meagher, Grandmother, (present at birth) Macquarie Street" [Hobart]. No press notice was published of this birth. An earlier birth of a son born at Rockhampton was published in the Hobart press on 28 February1868. Elizabeth Bell nee O'Meagher, wife of Arthur Bell, gave birth to three sons (Percy born at Hobart in 1870, two born at Rockhampton, Qld) and a daughter in 1873, Josephine Mary Bell, who died at 5 yrs of age at her parents' residence Athelstane Range, Rockhampton, Queensland. Another son was born in Hobart on 30 August 1878.


1. Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Friday 28 February 1868, page 1
BELL. -On 4th February, at her residence, Athelstane Range, Rockhampton, Queensland, the wife of Mr. Arthur Bell, of a son.

2. Rockhampton Bulletin (Qld. : 1871 - 1878), Monday 10 February 1873, page 1
BELL.—On Sunday, the 9th instant, at her residence, Athelstane Range, the wife of Mr. Arthur Bell, of a daughter.

3. Daily Northern Argus (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1875 - 1896), Wednesday 9 June 1875, page 3
BELL.—On the 8th instant, at her residence, Athelstane Range, the wife of Arthur Bell of a son

4. Capricornian (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1875 - 1929), Saturday 8 December 1877, page 1
BELL.—On the 5th instant, at her father's residence, Athelstane Range, Josephine Mary, aged 5 years' youngest daughter of Mr. Arthur Bell.
On 30th August 1878, Elizabeth Ann Bell nee O'Meagher gave birth to another son, Robert Hudson Bell at Hobart, registered by his father, Arthur Bell, hardware merchant, of Battery Point, Hobart, on 3rd October 1878.

Record Type: Births
Gender: Male
Father: Bell, Arthur
Mother: Elizabeth, Ann O'Meagher
Date of birth: 30 Aug 1878
Registered: Hobart
Registration year: 1878
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1093410
Resource: RGD33/1/12/ no 270
Archives Office Tasmania$init=RGD33-1-12-P150


£7250 WORTH!
And similar class of Goods,
Are now offered for Private Sale by the

In consequence of Large Shipments of above Goods having lately come to hand, our Stock has been increased beyond ordinary requirements. We must therefore clear off a quantity of beautiful. NEW GOODS by RAPID SALE, and will do so at

Squatters, Storekeepers, and the public generally should avail themselves of this opportunity, and send all their orders to us quickly.


Source: Advertising (1878, January 28). Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954), p. 1.

Although Arthur Bell was in Hobart on 3rd October, 1878 when he registered the birth of Robert Hudson Bell, he had not yet managed to sell their residence and property at Athelstane Range nor his business, Arthur Bell & Co. Ironmongers, at Rockhampton. Facing insolvency, he advertised the sale of all his stock valued at £7250 on 28 January 1878 and ran advertisements as agent for rubber paint imported from San Francisco from September to December 1878 in the Rockhampton press:

Source: Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954), Saturday 21 September 1878, page 2

Gold Medal from California State Agricultural Society
Silver Medal from Nevada State Agricultural Society
Bronze Medal from New South Wales Agricultural Society
Gold Medal from Oregon State Agricultural Society
Diplomas from - California State Agricultural Society, 1875; Mechanics' Institute Industrial Fair, 1875; Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Society, 187C; San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Society, 1870; Sonoma and Marin District. Agricultural Society, 1870.

207, Sacramento-street,

Sole Agents for Queensland and N. S. Wales.

Local Agents

In 1875, Elizabeth Anne O'Meagher snr acquired sixteen perches on Mona Street near Colville Road, Battery Point, Hobart, which was numbered 1 Mona St. on her death four years later, in 1879. Her daughter Elizabeth Ann Bell nee O'Meagher and husband Arthur Bell, hardware merchant, had relocated from Queensland and were residing with her at Mona Street when their son Robert Hudson was born in August 1878.

O'Meagher, Elizabeth Ann
Record Type: Land
Location: Hobart
Remarks:16 perches
Record ID:NAME_INDEXES:1755311
RGD1/1 Book 78, page 158$init=RD1-1-78P158JPG

O'MEAGHER - On July 11, at No. 1 Mona-street, Battery Point, Elizabeth Anne, widow of the late Wm. O'Meagher, Esq., H.M. Ordnance, aged 67 years The funeral will leave her late residence THIS DAY, at half past 2 o'clock. 5559
Source: Family Notices (1879, July 14). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 1.

1879: LAST WILL and TESTAMENT of Elizabeth Anne O'MEAGHER snr
Liz O'Meagher's father, William O'Meagher died at their residence in Argyle Street, Hobart on 20th December 1849. He was chief clerk at H. M. Ordnance Stores, New Wharf, Hobart.
Death of William O'Meagher
On Thursday morning, the 13th instant, at his residence Argyle-street. Wm O'Meagher, Esq., of H. M. Ordnance, in the 58th year of his age.
Source: Family Notices (1849, December 20). The Britannia and Trades' Advocate (Hobart Town, Tas. : 1846 - 1851), p. 2.

Elizabeth Anne O'Meagher snr, wife of William O'Meagher,  died thirty years later at the property she purchased in 1875, No. 1, Mona Street Battery Point, Hobart, Tasmania. Her will provided for her two daughters and two sons from probate of £5,150. The codicil added to her will in 1873 requested that another daughter - or daughter-in-law - Elizabeth Frances O'Meagher - be granted an annuity (the codicil below on the second page is almost illegible):

Above: Page 1: O'Meagher, Elizabeth Anne Record Type: Wills
Below: Pages 2 and 3: O'Meagher, Elizabeth Anne Record Type: Wills

O'Meagher, Elizabeth Anne
Record Type: Wills
File number:2226
Record ID:
Will Number 2226

Derwent from Mona St Battery Point

View of the River Derwent and Eastern shore, Hobart, from No. 1 Mona Street, Battery Point.
Photo copyright © KLW NFC Group 2014

Liz O'Meagher and Arthur Bell in New Zealand
It seems that Emma Pitt finally did get her wish to re-unite in New Zealand with her friend Elizabeth Ann Bell she knew as Liz O'Meagher. Both women would lead short lives - both were born in 1847, Emma died in 1899 (52 yrs old) and Liz died in 1906 (59 yrs old). Both were born in Tasmania and died in New Zealand: neither reached their 60th birthday.

Liz O'Meagher's husband, Arthur Waite Iredale Bell (1839-1921) and his sister Kezia Mary Bell (1849-1940) were born in Launceston, Tasmania to auctioneer Joseph William Bell (1793-1870) and Georgina Ford (d. NZ, 1909). Kezia Mary Bell and Robert Gardner (1842-1919) were married at New Town, Tasmania in 1868. In 1879, Elizabeth and Arthur Bell left Tasmania in 1879 to join Arthur's sister Kezia who had moved to Christchurch, NZ, in 1877 with her husband, Arthur Bell's former partner Robert Gardner when their Rockhampton hardware business faced bankruptcy. Georgina Bell moved from Tasmania to New Zealand to join her son Arthur and daughter Kezia, dying there at the grand age of 91 years in April 1909.

Settled at Christchurch, New Zealand, Elizabeth Bell (Liz O'Meagher) and Arthur Bell became parents once more with the birth of their daughter Winifred Kassin Bell (1882-1963) who later married Gardner's son Robert Clifford Gardner (1882-1943) in 1908. Within two years, Arthur Bell had to contend with bankruptcy. On 18th August 1884, he filed a petition in the Supreme Court, Christchurch, NZ to be adjudged a bankrupt but by 1886, he was back in business advertising baby carriages from his shop called Bell's Hardware House, in Victoria Avenue, Wanganui. For the remainder of Elizabeth Bell's life, she lived with her husband and family at Wanganui on the west coast of the New Zealand's north island, north of Wellington, but on one fateful day in November 1906, while residing with her son at Hari Hari near Kawhia where he had established a flax mill, she fell ill during an epidemic of influenza. Robert Hudson Bell, 28 years old, son of Arthur Bell, died of influenza on 20th November 1906, his mother Elizabeth Ann Bell (Liz O'Meagher), 59 years old, wife of Arthur Bell, died the following day, on 21st November 1906.

Deaths of Robert Hudson Bell and Elizabeth Bell
Source:Manawatu Standard, Volume XLI, Issue 8143, 26 November 1906, Page 4
BELL - At Hari Hari, Kawhia, on 21st November, Elizabeth Ann Bell, aged 59, wife of Arthur Bell, lately residing at Paiaka; and on 20th November, Robert Hudson Bell, aged 28, son of Arthur Bell.

The local press in early 1906 reported the success of Robert Hudson's flax mill operating as Bell Bros with Ross at Hari Hari. Robert Bell's brother(s) who were his partners were not mentioned:

The flax industry is rapidly extending in the Kawhia district. Mr. Langley's mill at the Pakoka is running long hours, whilst Messrs. Bell Bros, and Ross' mill at Harihari is now working at top. Mr. A. D. Newton has surveyed two mill sites at Marakopa for a wealthy syndicate, which, it is understood, intends putting in plants at an early date. Besides this the virgin area at Nukuhakari is to be sold by the Government, and no doubt mills will be erected there.
Source: New Zealand Herald, Volume XLIII, Issue 13081, 22 January 1906, Page 4

But by November 1906, reports followed the spread of the epidemic, and then of the deaths of Elizabeth Bell and her son Robert Hudson Bell with brief details of their lives.
A severe epidemic of influenza has lately made its appearance at Harihari. In consequence Messrs Bell Bros, and Ross' flax mill has been closed for a week, no fewer than 10 of the hands being laid up.
Source: Kawhia Settler and Raglan Advertiser, Volume IV, Issue 285, 16 November 1906
Mr. R. Bell, of the Harihari flaxmill, who was ill with influenza for some time died last week. Mr Bell was highly esteemed in the district, and was a prominent athlete, being captain of the Marokopa Football Club, and an excellent rifle shot. Mrs Bell with the same complaint, passed away on the Wednesday, only surviving her son by a day. The deceased lady only came into the district a short time ago from the Wairarapa, and was greatly esteemed by a large circle of friends.
Source: King Country Chronicle, Volume I, Issue 6, 30 November 1906, Page 3

Father of Robert, husband of Elizabeth, Arthur Bell himself was required to perform the services at the graveside in the absence of available clergymen in the district:
Last week I reported a severe outbreak of influenza at Harihari, and it is with feelings of deepest regret that I have this week to chronicle the death of two highly-esteemed residents of that locality through illness brought on by that complaint, Some two weeks ago Mr. Robert Bell caught influenza and laid up for a, time, but returning to work too soon got relapse, and pneumonia supervening, despite most careful attention the patient succumbed to the attack on Tuesday afternoon, November 20. The deceased was a member of the firm of Messrs. Bell Bros, and Ross, and was a universal favourite with all who knew him. In the sporting arena the late Mr. Bell was prominent, being captain of the Marokopa Football Club and one of the best-rifle shots in the district. Quiet and reserved he was, but genuine and trite, and the sudden cutting off of one so robust and who had led such a clean life , at the early age of 28 came as a sudden blow. Mrs. Bell was by this time so dangerously ill. that the sad news was kept from her, and her position becoming worse Dr. Sanders, of Raglan, was sent for to consult with Dr. Jenkins, but before he could arrive the patient had passed away on Wednesday afternoon. The deceased lady had only removed to this district a few months ago, coming from the Manawata, where she was esteemed by a very large circle of friends. The late Mrs. Bell was 62 years of age at the time of her demise. It was impossible to bring the remains to the Kawhia cemetery, consequently the burials took place at a private cemetery on the homestead. In the absence of a clergyman, the services at the graveside were conducted by Mr. Bell (father and husband). The news of the deaths came as a surprise to residents of this district, and the relatives have the heartfelt sympathy of the whole of the inhabitants.
Source: New Zealand Herald, Volume XLIII, Issue 13347, 29 November 1906, Page 7

Once more, the mystery of the cdv
No early photographs to date appear to be extant of any of the women from this Tasmanian branch of the O'Meagher family, with the possible exception of the cdv in question signed by Emma Pitt in 1866, which may or may not be a photograph of Liz O'Meagher. If photographer Woolley's cdv was a photograph of Elizabeth Ann Bell nee O'Meagher, known affectionately to her friend Emma Pitt as Liz O'Meagher, it is indeed a rare family memento, especially so given the circumstances of her death. One question remains: if Emma Pitt actually sent the cdv to her friend Liz O'Meagher in Hobart, Tasmania from Nelson, New Zealand in 1866, why did Liz O'Meagher not take it with her when she left Tasmania to settle permanently in New Zealand with husband Arthur Bell and family in the late 1870s? Did she leave it in Tasmania for her sisters and mother? Or was it returned to her mother and sisters from her New Zealand family in her memory because she died so suddenly with her son Robert in 1906?

The additional mystery which this cdv presents is this: how did it find its way to Melbourne (at DSFB) to be offered for sale in 2021? Provenance, anyone?

Sources: David Gardner Crouch, Canada.
Papers Past (National Library of New Zealand) - Bell and Gardner families

Is there any comparison between the young woman pictured below - identified as Elizabeth Frances Bell (1847-1930) - and the young woman in the cdv (at top) which Emma Pitt sent her friend dated June 1866? The short answer is no, the young woman with child pictured below was the wife of Frederick George Bell, apparently no relation to the family of either Arthur Bell or Elizabeth Frances O'Meagher. 

The photograph below was taken in 1875 of Elizabeth Frances Bell, maiden name unknown. Her death notice listed a number of deceased children:
BELL.—On the 4th July, 1930, at the residence of her son (Mr. J. H. Bell), 44 Leveson street, North Melbourne, Elizabeth Frances, widow of the late Frederick George Bell, mother of Frederick, Samuel (deceased), Elizabeth (deceased), John, Ross (deceased), Flora (deceased), William (deceased), Annie (deceased), Robert (deceased), Albert (deceased), and Victor, aged 83 years, resident of North Melbourne 76 years.
Source: Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), Monday 7 July 1930, page 1

Elizabeth Frances Bell (1847-1930) & and Frederick George Bell ca. 1875
Wife of Frederick George Bell (d. 1910, North Melbourne)
Photographer: Stewart and Co. Melbourne, ca. 1875
Part of: Sub-collection: North Melbourne and West Melbourne (Victoria)

ADDENDA 2: The sinking of SS Gothenburg 1875
The SS Gothenburg was a steamship that operated along the British and then later the Australian and New Zealand coastlines. In February 1875, Gothenburg left Darwin, Australia and while en route to Adelaide it encountered a cyclone-strength storm off the north Queensland coast. The ship was wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef north-west of Holbourne Island on 24 February 1875. Survivors in one of the lifeboats were rescued two days later by Leichhardt, while the occupants of two other lifeboats that managed to reach Holbourne Island were rescued several days later. Twenty-two men survived, while between 98 and 112 others died, including a number of high-profile civil servants and dignitaries...

Captain R. G. A. Pearce, 20 March 1875
La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria
Much like the infamous Titanic, Gothenburg’s last trip focused on making the best possible speed under renowned Captain Robert Pearce but, this story also has a notorious twist – stashed away in the Captain’s cabin was approximately 93 kilograms of gold valued at £40,000 (approximately £4,645,891 in 2020).

On 24th February 1875, as Gothenburg steamed south down the Queensland coast, it encountered cyclonic weather conditions. At 7pm, Gothenburg struck the southern edge of Detached Reef approximately 131km southeast of Townsville.

From the Archives, 1875: The Gothenburg sinks off Queensland killing 102
First published in The Age on March 4, 1875

Record Title: Ship Gothenburg in the graving dock at Port Chalmers
Tiaki IRN:215787
Tiaki Reference Number: 1/2-014530-G
Collection: PA-Group-00198: De Maus, David Alexander, 1847-1925:Shipping negatives
Coverage: 1872
Description: The ship "Gothenburg" in the Port Chalmers graving dock. Part of Port Chalmers township visible behind the graving dock. Photographed between 1872 when the graving dock came into use, and 1875 when the "Gothenburg" was wrecked off Queensland. Photograph taken by David Alexander De Maus.
National Library of New Zealand

RELATED POSTS main weblog

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

A missing photograph and missing letter: John SMITH (x 2) per "Mangles" and Lord Calthorpe

Prisoners called John SMITH per Mangles 1835
Lord CALTHORPE's missing letter
T. J. NEVIN's missing mugshot(s) of a John Smith

Convict ship Mangles, master John Coghill
Date [ca. 1858-ca. 1911]
Identifier(s) H92.410/20
State Library of Victoria

This is a very interesting ship with a colourful history. A logbook of the Mangles on this voyage, listing passengers, crew and prisoners, is held at the New York Public Library (Archives and Manuscripts). It contains entries made by Edward Roberts (3rd officer on board) from April 10, 1835-April 1, 1836, commanded by Captain William Carr. The ship left Deptford and Portsmouth, voyaging to Hobart, Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), disembarking a company of soldiers, convicts, and some of the passengers before proceeding to Timor and Lombok, Dutch East India. A thoroughly engaging account written by Veronica Peek of the arrival of the Mangles and crew at Murray Island in the Torres Strait on the voyage to Dutch East India details the discovery by the crew of a white man living among the islanders.

Further reading:

The short John Smith and the tall John Smith

Two convicts called "John SMITH" were transported from Britain to Hobart, Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the ship Mangles, arriving at Hobart, 1 August 1835. One of these men was 5ft 4½ inches tall, the other was 5ft 10½ inches tall.

Ship Mangles (7) (1835)
Ship Name: Mangles (1835) (7th voyage)
Rig Type: S.
Built: Calcutta
Build Year: 1802
Size (tons): 594 Voyage
Master: William Carr
Surgeon: Peter J. Suther
Sailed: 21 April 1835
From: London
Arrived: 1 August 1835
Port: VDL
Route: Days Travel: 102
Convicts Landed: 310 males & 0 female convicts

Details for the two convicts called John SMITH per Mangles (1835)
1. Convict Name: John Smith (no. 2035, the short one, 5ft 4½ inches tall)
Trial Place: Suffolk Quarter Session
Trial Date: 21 October 1834
Sentence: Life

2. Convict Name: John Smith (no. 2045, the tall one,5ft 10½ -11 inches tall)
Trial Place: Wilts Quarter Session
Trial Date: 14 October 1834
Sentence: 7 years

Source of notes: Hawksbury on the Net

One of these two men called John Smith per Mangles, prisoner no. 2035 arrived with a letter of reference from his former employer, Lord Calthorpe, addressed to the Governor who would have been Lt-Gov Colonel George Arthur in  August 1835 at the time of the ship's arrival, the letter now apparently lost. The other prisoner called John Smith per Mangles, no. 2045 reportedly absconded from the Port Arthur prison on December 3, 1873. According to the Tasmanian police gazette notice of his escape on December 12, 1873 (p. 203), the police had in their possession photographs of prisoner no. 2045 which they stated they had distributed (see police gazette record below). Lacking further information, we are assuming the photographs were police mugshots rather than private studio portraits, and that the police had distributed them to colleagues in regional police stations. Those photographs, apparently, are now lost as well. A recidivist who consistently offended from 1860s to the 1880s, he would have been photographed by T. J. Nevin as a matter of course at the Hobart Gaol.

Prisoners photographed at the Hobart Gaol
When Sheriff of Tasmania and Inspector of Police, John Swan was questioned on Penal Discipline in Tasmania for the Commissioners' Report, tabled on July 24th, 1883, he stated that prisoners tried at the Supreme Court Hobart. Tasmania, were photographed on incarceration. He made no mention of photography for prisoners admitted at the Launceston Gaol in the north of the island. His description of the procedure dated back to its inception in Victoria and NSW when T. J. Nevin's contractual arrangements were formalised for 14 years' duration, from 1872-1886, for the provision of prisoner identification photographs to the Tasmanian colonial government.
JOHN SWAN, Esq., further examined.
12. Do you hold any other office besides that of Sheriff?
Yes; I am the Inspector of Police.
13. What steps are taken for the classification of prisoners in each Gaol respectively?
Proper classification is impossible under existing arrangements. This has been reported, and was pointed out by the Commission of 1874. Parliament voted a sum for effecting certain alterations. Plans were prepared, and a report from Mr. Hunter furnished. In Hobart, first and second convicted prisoners from Supreme Court are kept in the Gaol, old offenders in the House of Correction. In Launceston, there is no separation during the day. At night first and second convicted prisoners occupy cells, old offenders dormitories.
14. Are the Gaols and Houses of Correction sufficient to accommodate the present . number· of prisoners? [etc etc ....

..pages 11 & 12:

20. Describe the course a convicted prisoner passes through from reception to discharge?
At Hobart, a prisoner tried at the Supreme Court on reception is bathed, shaved, has his hair cut, is dressed in prison clothing, and photographed; he is then put into H. Division to serve a certain period of his sentence in separate treatment. At the expiration of such period he is put to hard labour, either at a trade or gang labor. He is bathed once a week, and attends Divine Service on Sundays; those who wish to attend school at night are allowed to do so. An Inferior Court prisoner on reception is bathed, shaved, and hair cut according to regulations; is then dressed in prison clothing, and put to hard labour either in the quarry or garden gangs; is bathed once a week, and attends Divine Service on Sundays. At Launceston, on admission he enters the receiving-room, his personal description is recorded, searched, and then taken to the male house of correction, where he is bathed, deprived of his clothing, dressed in a grey suit, hair cut, and whiskers shaved. If he is an effective he is placed in the stone-yard until Sheriff's authority is received to employ him outside the prison, He is then drafted into one of the gangs, where he usually remains until his sentence expires.
Source Parliamentary Papers 1883

Constable John Nevin (1852-1891), younger brother of professional photographer and government contractor Thomas J. Nevin, was resident at the Hobart Gaol on salary as Gaol messenger when he contracted typhus and died on 17th June 1891. He had assisted his brother Thomas J. Nevin with prisoner admissions since 1875 at the Hobart Gaol when Thomas was needed to photograph the prisoner on sentencing at the Hobart Supreme Court (next door to the Gaol) and incarceration. With John Nevin's death, and his brother's retirement from professional photography in 1886, the colonial administration advertised in 1892 for the employment of  one or two civil servants to replace the services of the Nevin brothers.

This document records the cost of employing a "writer and photographer" at the Hobart Gaol in 1892 was £77.0.0. No similar cost was incurred at the Launceston Gaol, so it would seem that prisoners there were not photographed until or unless they were relocated to the Hobart Gaol if their offense was serious enough to warrant imprisonment for longer three months.

The cost and estimated value of labour performed by the incumbent(s) as writer and photographer, £77.0.0, was shown on this return of 1892:

Source: Tasmanian Parliamentary Papers 1856 - 1901

Following legislative requirements introduced in NSW and Victoria in 1872 for prisoner identification photographs to be taken on sentencing and discharge, the colonial government in Tasmania engaged professional photographer T. J. Nevin in prisons to produce up to six duplicates from his capture on glass in a single sitting with every prisoner when merited. In all likelihood, he photographed one prisoner or several who called himself "John Smith" over more than a decade, yet no mugshot identified as either prisoner, whether the short one or the tall one, or indeed another using the name as an alias, has survived, or been suggested as likely among the handful yet to be identified in the Beattie collection held at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston.  As each primary document - the letter and the photograph - appears to be lost, these details of each prisoner's criminal career may assist in differentiating one from the other. A further problem appears to be the conflation of records for both men as one catalogue entry at the Archives Office of Tasmania. See this set of records, for example, at -

If a mugshot and duplicates were made of prisoner no. 2045, John Smith per Mangles (1835) as the police gazette attests, there is no reason to assume that the prisoner (a) was not photographed at the Hobart Gaol, or (b) that the photographer was not government contractor Thomas J. Nevin. There is not now, nor will there ever be any factual evidence that the commandant at the Port Arthur prison, A. H. Boyd had photographed this or any other prisoner in 1873 while in charge. As Julia Clark - the most recent and the most ardent fantasist wanting to "believe" in a Boyd accreditation for the National Library of Australia's collection of "convict portraits" which were correctly attributed to T. J. Nevin before she started her whimpering to them that she thought Boyd "should get the guernsey" in 2007 purely in self-interest in her quest for a PhD degree - as Julia Clark all too clearly reveals here in her ignorance of jurisdictional procedures of the era, her laziness in not conducting proper research, her confabulation of circumstance to prove her case, and her willingness to buttress these naively conceived fictions about Boyd with abuse of T. J. Nevin AND his descendants, she has not one iota of information to offer on the subject:-
A John Smith arrived on the Mangles on 1 August 1835 but his record stops for lack of room in the 1840s and I have not been able to find any further record of him. No image inscribed ‘John Smith’ has been found and he does not appear in the supplementary lists.... One might then expect that there would be some mention of this project in Boyd’s reports and official correspondence for 1873 and/or 1874; none has so far been found, which is curious....Boyd does not mention photographs in his Annual Reports from Port Arthur, which seems strange given that they include quite detailed accounts of expenditure that note, for example, what it cost to feed the working dogs.654 Perhaps photography was seen as an inexpensive, one-off project rather than a recurring expenditure....
From: Clark, Julia ‘Through a Glass, Darkly’: the Camera, the Convict and the Criminal Life
Unpublished, PhD thesis 2015, University of Tasmania  pp148-149.
Read our comments on this sad little thesis here:
The LONG con: our comments on Julia Clark's fraudulent thesis

Two prisoners called John SMITH

1. Prisoner no. 2035 John Smith per Mangles and the letter
Age: 38 years old on arrival at Hobart in 1835, born ca. 1797
Crime: larceny, stealing money
Trial place: Suffolk Quarter Session
Trial Date: 21 October 1834
Sentence: Life
Height and description: 5ft 4½ inches; hazel eyes; dark brown hair.
Occupation: groom and coachman
Religion: Protestant
Literacy: can read
Native Place: Worcester.
Family: Wife Sophia at Hampton; 6 children.
Stated he had lived with Lord Calthorpe for 25yrs.
Letter from Master Lord Calthorpe addressed to the Lt Governor.
1835 and 1837 Musters in Van Diemen’s Land: assigned at Government House, Hobart.

No. 2035 John Smith per Mangles. His Conduct Record noted this statement:
"I lived with Lord Calthorpe for 25 years"
Source: Archives Office Tasmania

Frederick Gough, 4th Baron Calthorpe (1790–1868) lived at Perry Hall Staffs, at the time prisoner no. 2035 John Smith per Mangles (1835) claimed he lived with him as a servant for 25 yrs. If this John Smith, servant to Lord Calthorpe, was 38 years old on arrival in Hobart, born therefore ca. 1797, and had "lived with" Lord Calthorpe for 25 years, he must have begun service at Perry Hall ca. 1810 when he was 13 years old.

Frederick Gough, 4th Baron Calthorpe (1790-1868) and Lady Calthorpe (1790-1865)
Carte-de-visite 1860 by Disdéri of Paris.

Location: Perry Barr, County WARWICKSHIRE
Year demolished: 1929
Source: Presented by Sir Richard Paget Bt, 1930.

More information regarding a letter from Lord Calthorpe was noted twice on the opposing page of the INDENT record for No. 2035, John Smith per Mangles:

"Letter deposited in the M M Office from his Master Ld Calthorpe"
written in original script, and the second, enclosed in quotation marks, added in original script in faded blue coloured pencil -
"In possession of the Lieutenant Governor"
Source: Archives Office Tasmania

Assuming that the letter accompanied the prisoner no. 2035 John Smith on the Mangles, it was deposited on arrival in 1835 at Hobart. The second note states the letter was then placed in the possession of the Lieutenant Governor, who was George Arthur in 1835, and Sir John Franklin by January 1837. John Smith's CONDUCT record states that during 1837- 1838 he was a coachman assigned to Government House when he committed further offences. The contents and purpose of this important letter from Lord Calthorpe, probably testifying to John Smith's capabilities as groom and coachman despite his criminal offences which earned him transportation for life, must have worked in his favour, since his first assignment was to the highest official in the colony, the Governor.  The letter might therefore be among the letters held by Sir John Franklin until his departure or those of this successors, still undiscovered at the Archives Office of Tasmania along with relevant documents pertaining to employment of prisoners at Government House in those years.

Police no. 2035, John Smith per Mangles 1835 received a Conditional Pardon on 29 August 1848 and soon after departed, probably for the Victorian gold fields. He may not have returned to Tasmania.

Prisoner No. 2035 John SMITH per Mangles
Detail: Conditional Pardon 1848
Archives Office Tasmania Ref: CON31-1-40P131

TRANSCRIPT (where legible)
2035 SMITH John
Mangles 1st August 1835
Suffolk QS 21st Oct 1834. Life

Transported for Larceny. Gaol Report. Bad character convicted before, a drunkard. Hulk. Report orderly. Married. Stated this offence, Stealing a purse from Maria Vickers once for Beer, 12 months, Married, 6 Children, Wife Sophia at Hampton. I lived 25 years with Lord Calthorpe, Surgeon's report Good.

April 27th 1837, Gov't House Charged by Mr Hepburn in assaulting David Webster. Solitary Cell at nights for 10 nights after his labour by day. [? initialled by authority] To be recorded in his favour his good conduct at the recent fire of Gov House [? initialled] Vide Sup 2 Dec 1837. Nov. 8th 1838 Coachman Govt Ho/ In a public House after hours [? initialled] January 22nd 1839 Drunk and ill using his masters horses Cells on bread one week [? initialled] July 8, 1839 [? initialled] Being in a public house after hours. All 7 nights doing his work by day [? illegible, struck through -"refusing to work.." initialled] June 23, 1840 making use of obscene language - 14 days cells [? initialled] August 24th 1840 [?..Wal?] Stealing 15lb of flour the property of his master To be [? ] to hard labor in chains for 6 mos [months- two sets of initials] Oct 9, 1849 C J [initialled] Ch (chain) Gang. Misconduct in leaving the church during divine service without leave, Rept disch Tol [ticket of leave] 1.3.44.
12 Sepr 1845 TL Breach of Police Act fined 20/- JP/ Recommended for a Con Pardon 29/8/48
Although commended for good conduct when a fire broke out at Government House, Hobart on 21st December 1837, John Smith was not among the three assigned convicts who received a public commendation. In 1837, with the arrival of Sir John Franklin, costs of the forty (40) convicts who were assigned to Government House, Hobart, to Government Cottages at Launceston and New Norfolk, the Domain and Gardens, called "billet men", were defrayed to the Colonial Revenue (page 3, Launceston Advertiser, Thursday 7th December 1837).

... The Lieutenant-Governor has been pleased to grant tickets-of-leave to the following men as a reward for their meritorious exertions on the occasion of the recent fire at Government House: — William Morrow, Moffatt ; James Wicks, Roslyn Castle ; John Adams, Bussorah Merchant.
Source: THE HOBART TOWN GAZETTE. Friday, December 15, 1837).

1852departure probably for the Victorian gold fields
Name: Smith, John
Record Type: Departures
Rank: Steerage
Status: Conditional Pardon
Departure date: 18 Mar 1852
Departure port: Launceston
Ship: Shamrock
Ship to colony: Mangles
Bound to: Melbourne
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:609880
Resource: POL220/1/1 p617

2. Prisoner no. 2045 John Smith and the photographs
Age: 21 years old on arrival at Hobart in 1835, born ca. 1814
Crime: house breaking
Trial Place: Wilts Quarter Session
Trial Date: 14 October 1834
Sentence: 7 years
Height and description: 5ft 10½; 2 blue marks, brown complexion; black hair; blue eyes.
Occupation: ploughman/farm labourer
Religion: Protestant
Literacy: can read
Native place: Osborne
Family: single, brothers - David and Thomas. Sisters - Jane and Sophia. Supreme Court, Hobart 17/04/1844 - sentenced to another 7yrs.

Prisoner No. 2045 John Smith per Mangles (1835) family members, housebreaking offence
Source: Archives Office Tasmania
CON14-1-4P64, CON14-1-4P65

Prisoner No. 2045 John Smith per Mangles (1835) criminal record 1830s
Source; Archives Office Tasmania Ref:CON31-1-40P135

Prisoner no. 2045, John Smith, criminal record 1840s
Police number: 2045
Index number: 65510
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1435437
Source: Archives Office Tasmania

Prisoner no. 2045 John Smith per Mangles (1835) criminal record 1850s-1878
Source: Archives Office Tasmania

EXTRACT (loosely transcribed)
22 May 1860 Tried Supreme Court Oatlands 26 September 1860 Assault & Robbery being armed. Death recorded. Commuted to Penal servitude for life. Never again allowed to engage with the community.
4 August 1864, Port Arthur. Absconding from the Penitentiary PA, 5 years imprisonment with hard labour in chains, the first six months in separate prison
10 August 1868 Misconduct PA 4 days in solitary conf
13 November 1869 PA Misconduct 7 days solitary conf
19 December 1873 Absconding 12 months SP Separate Prison first month in solitary confinement
22 May 1875 Misconduct 6 months solitary confinement PO police office Torquay
25 6 1878 Larceny 2 months

SIDEBAR column:
To be released from heavy chains & placed in medium irons until further orders. C. O. 27.9.67
Released from chains 30.11.68
The Gov in C declines to interfere 20. 12. 70
H.C. (House of Corrections, Hobart) 7/8/75
Gov inf 20/11/76 T of L. granted Not to reside in Hobart Town
Died Invalid Depot New Town [Hobart] 11 January 1892

1873: "Photographs distributed" of absconder John Smith
This notice was to inform police that prisoner no. 2045, John Smith per Mangles, 60 yrs old in 1873, 5 ft 11 inches tall was wanted on warrant. His mugshot and its duplicates, in existence by December 1873, have disappeared, whether lost, damaged, stolen or destroyed. If he was at the Port Arthur prison prior to absconding in December 1873, and not on a chain gang in Hobart at the Domain with the Gregson brothers among others, he was photographed there during the visit of partners Samuel Clifford and Thomas J. Nevin in August 1873

On the 5th instant, from Port Arthur, whilst under-going a sentence of life passed on him at S. C. Oatlands, 26th September, 1860, for assault and robbery.
John Smith, per Mangles, aged 60, 5 feet 11, sallow complexion, brown to grey hair, hazel eyes, long nose, medium mouth, round chin, native of Hampshire, England, 2 blue marks inside right arm. Photographs distributed.
Tasmanian police gazette notice, 5 December 1873. John Smith was arrested within a week and sentenced to 12 months. His record shows he petitioned the Attorney-General in 1870 who declined to interfere. He was transferred to the Hobart Gaol, Campbell St. on 7th August 1875 where Nevin may well have photographed him again on being received, as well as on discharge in November 1876, per regulations in force since 1872. 

1876: discharged from Hobart
Prisoner no. 2045, John Smith per Mangles, 64 yrs old in 1876, 5 ft 11 inches tall, discharged.

John Smith per Mangles was tried at Oatlands S.C. on 26 September 1860 for assault and robbery being armed.
Sentence extended to life.
Native place: Hampshire
Age: 64 years old
Height: 5 ft 11 inches, grey hair, mole near left temple
Discharged 29 Nov 1876. Ticket of Leave.

1878: ticket-of-leave, convicted and discharged
This again was prisoner no. 2045, John Smith per Mangles. When convicted of larceny at Port Sorell (20 kms east of Devonport, northern Tasmania) per this police gazette notice of June 29th, 1878, John Smith per Mangles (1835) held a ticket-of-leave (TL). Now 64 years, 5 feet 11 inches tall, (still growing?) a baker by trade and resident of the Midlands district (Tasmania), the notice recorded a sentence of two months for theft of a watch, and quite remarkably, failed to record any of his prior convictions.

He was discharged two (2) months later, per this notice 31 August 1878.

According to this notice in the Tasmanian police gazette of discharges between 31 August and 4 September 1878,  John Smith, transported per Mangles, 64 years old, 5 feet 11 inches tall, with grey hair and mole near left temple, born England, was tried at Torquay, the former name of Devonport (Tasmania - see Addenda below) on 25 June 1878 for larceny, sentenced to two months' incarceration, and was discharged in late August 1878

1880-1890: Health and Welfare Records
Which of the two men called John Smith per Mangles (1835) do these records describe? Records for the short prisoner John Smith no. 2035 cease after 1852. Given the death date of the tall John Smith in 1892, these records most likely pertain to the former prisoner with the record no. 2045. From 1880 to 1890, John Smith was admitted and discharged at Invalid Depots in Hobart. For example, this notice recorded his admission in 1880 because of disobedience of orders, and his discharge because he was able to work in 1881.
Feb 2, 1881, return of paupers discharged from Invalid Depots Tasmania
Authority No. 64. John Smith per Mangles admitted at Campbell Town on 12 July 1880,
Date discharged: 1 February 1881,
Remarks: Discharged because of disobedience of orders, able to work.
Archives Office Tasmania Ref: POL709-1-18P28

Feb 2, 1881, return of paupers discharged from Invalid Depots Tasmania
Authority No. 64. John Smith per Mangles admitted at Campbell Town on 12 July 1880,
Date discharged: 1 February 1881
Remarks: Discharged because of disobedience of orders, able to work.
Archives Office Tasmania Ref: POL709-1-18P28
Source: Tasmania Reports for Police, (police gazette), February 1881

John Smith per Mangles was admitted again in 1889 and discharged in 1890.
Prisoner John SMITH per Mangles
Return of Paupers discharged from the Invalid Depots Tasmania
Authority No. 38, admitted from Hobart on 10 Sept 1889, discharged 11 Feb 1890
Remarks: at own request
Archives Office Tasmania
Ref: POL709-1-23_1890P47
Source: Tasmania Reports for Police, (police gazette), February 1881-1890

Source: Archives Office Tasmania

1892: Death of John Smith (prisoner no. 2045)
Unless both men transported on the Mangles (1835) called John Smith were bakers in late life, this record of John Smith's death at the New Town Charitable Institute of senile debility, 76 yrs old, on 10th January 1892, is the record of the taller one, former prisoner no. 2045, John Smith, 5ft 10½ -11 inches tall. Looking back to his Conduct and Indent records, he was 21 years old on arrival at Hobart in 1835 on the Mangles, so in 1892, he was ca. 78 years old, born ca. 1814.

Smith, John (former prisoner no. 2045)
Record Type: Deaths
Gender: Male
Age: 76
Date of death: 10 Jan 1892
Registered: Hobart
Registration year: 1892
Record ID:NAME_INDEXES:1236916
Archives Office Tasmania Resource: RGD35/1/13 no 977

Disambiguation: George MARSH alias John SMITH
None of these prisoners with the surname or alias of SMITH in the list below who were scheduled in July 1873 to be transferred from the Port Arthur prison back to the Hobart Gaol was prisoner no. 2045, John Smith per Mangles,(1835) 60 years old who reportedly absconded from Port Arthur in December 1873, and was sentenced to 12 months when arrested within weeks. Why wasn't he listed, if the place from which he absconded was Port Arthur? He was most likely a "billet man" working on a chain gang,  perhaps near Torquay (Devonport) in the north of Tasmania when he absconded, and not at Port Arthur, the original place of his incarceration and recidivism for most of the 1830s, 1840s and 1850s. He was confined again at the Police Office, Torquay in 1875 .

1. John Smith alias Wm Orrin, 42 years old, date of conviction 26 November 1872, tried at the Supreme Court, Hobart, Crime- Feloniously receiving, Sentence - 10 years. (DOB ca. 1830)
2. John Smith alias George Marsh , 55 years old, date of conviction 13 June 1871, tried at the Police Office Launceston, Crime - Larceny and absconding, Sentence - 6 months (DOB ca. 1816)
3. Henry Smith, 37 years old, date of conviction, 12 September 1871, tried at the Supreme Court, Hobart, Crime - Housebreaking, Sentence - 5 years (DOB ca. 1834)
4. Campbell, William alias Job Smith, 45 years old, date of conviction 19 March 1872, tried at Supreme Court, Launceston, Crime - Uttering a forged cheque, Sentence - 8 years (DOB ca. 1827)
5. John Smith, 42 years old, date of conviction 10 September 1872, tried at Supreme Court, Hobart, Crime - Attempt at burglary, Sentence 2 years (DOB ca. 1830)
6. Alexander Smith, 40 years old, date of conviction 26 November 1872, tried at the Supreme Court, Hobart, Crime - uttering counterfeit coin, Sentence - 2 years (DOB ca. 1832)

Public outrage in the press at judicial inconsistencies in sentencing mentioned prisoners George Marsh with Henry Page and Charles Downes as getting a reprieve while Job Smith aka Campbell was hanged in 1875. John Smith aka George Marsh was 55 years old in 1871, 5ft 4 inches tall, when he arrived at Port Arthur on 9 December 1876. He was sent back to Hobart in 1877 per this Port Arthur conduct record of earnings, which incidentally doesn't show any earnings. This prisoner was not photographed at Port Arthur during incarceration there, and if he was photographed on discharge, his photograph apparently has not survived either as George Marsh or the alias he used, John Smith, but by 1884 when he was admitted to the Insane Asylum at New Norfolk suffering hallucinations of animal attacks and found to be of unsound mind, he was admitted as George Marsh.

Source: George Marsh as John Smith
Archives Office Tasmania Ref: CON94-1-2P20
Hospital records George Marsh
HSD285/1/1891 Marsh, George dob c.1820 03 Jun 1884 03 Jun 1884

Addenda 1: Lord Calthorpe at Perry Hall

Frederick Gough, 4th Baron Calthorpe (1790-1868) and Lady Calthorpe (1790-1865)
Carte-de-visite 1860 by Disdéri of Paris.
A carte-de-visite portrait of Frederick Gough, 4th Baron Calthorpe (1790-1868), and his wife, Lady Calthorpe. Born in London on 14 June 1790, he was the son of Henry Gough-Calthorpe, 1st Baron Calthorpe and his wife Frances née Carpenter. On 12 August 1823 he married Lady Charlotte Sophia Somerset, daughter of Henry Charles Somerset, 6th Duke of Beaufort and Lady Charlotte Sophia Leveson-Gower. The marriage produced at least three daughters and four sons; three of the sons succeeded in turn as Baron Calthorpe. He served as MP for Hindon from 1818 to 1826 and as MP for Bramber from 1826 to 1831. On 14 May 1845 his name was legally changed by Royal Licence to Frederick Gough. In September 1851 he succeeded his older brother George and became 4th Baron Calthorpe of Egbaston in the County of Warwickshire. Lady Calthorpe died, aged 70, on 12 November 1865 at Elvetham in Hampshire. Lord Calthorpe died, aged 77, on 2 May 1868, also at Elvetham. His will (dated 13 May 1856) was proved on 14 May 1868, at under £70,000.Photographed in 1860 by Disdéri of Paris.
Copyright © Paul Frecker 2021

Frederick Gough, 4th Baron Calthorpe (1790–1868) lived at Perry Hall Staffs, at the time prisoner no. 2035 John Smith per Mangles (1835) claimed he lived with him as a servant for 25 yrs.
Perry Hall was acquired by Sir Henry Gough of Oldfallings near Wolverhampton in 1669 and continued as the main residence of the family until 1923 when the estate was sold. The hall itself, which occupied the Northern end of a medieval moated site, bore the date 1576, although substantial additions and modifications had been made to it in 1788 and, by the architect S. S. Teulon, in the late 1840's. A two day sale of Perry's contents in March 1928 included parts of the structure itself, such as "1000 Stone Mullion & other windows", "120 Oak & Pine Doors" and "40 Marble & Oak Mantelpieces". It was demolished shortly afterwards but the moat remains as a boating pool in Perry Hall Park. In 1911 Perry, as part of the parish of Handsworth, was included within the City of Birmingham.

Location: Perry Barr, County WARWICKSHIRE
Year demolished: 1929
Source: Presented by Sir Richard Paget Bt, 1930.

Perry Hall Park or Perry Hall Playing Fields is a park in Perry Barr, Birmingham, England, at grid reference SP059918. It was in Staffordshire until 1928.[1]
It was formerly the site of Perry Hall, demolished 1927, home of the Gough family, though only the hall's moat remains after the Birmingham Corporation had to choose between saving Perry Hall and the nearby Aston Hall for financial purposes. When Harry Dorsey Gough set up home in Maryland, United States, in 1774, he named his estate there Perry Hall. The site is protected by Fields in Trust through a legal "Deed of Dedication" safeguarding the future of the space as public recreation land for future generations to enjoy.[2]
The park is bisected by the River Tame, which was remodelled in 2005 to slow the flow, alleviate flooding and create improved habitats for wildlife, as part of the SMURF (Sustainable Management of Urban Rivers and Floodplains) project. The park has a small heronry.
The park is skirted by the Birmingham - Walsall railway line (the "Chase Line"), formerly the Grand Junction Railway and served by nearby Perry Barr railway station and, at the western end, Hamstead railway station.
In July 1913, the first International Scout Rally in Birmingham was held in the park, attended by about 30,000 Scouts.[3]

Addenda 2: History of Devonport (Tas)
* Prior to the arrival of Europeans the area around Devonport had been home to the Tommeginne Aborigines for an estimated 30,000 years.
* The first explorers into the area reached the Mersey River as early as 1823. Reports were not favourable with one explorer noting that the land was "mountainous, extremely barren and totally unfit for habitation".
* The arrival of the Van Diemen's Land Company in 1826 resulted in the district being explored and surveyed. Settlers began to arrive later that year.
* The local Aborigines resisted settlement. This culminated in the killing of Captain Bartholomew Boyle Thomas, the district's first settler, in 1829.
* The tiny settlement of Torquay was established on the east bank of the Mersey River in 1851.
* A settlement named Formby was laid out on the west side of the Mersey River in 1853.
* The port facilities - a store, wharf and warning beacons as well as the Don Railway - had been completed by 1854.
* Throughout the 1850s the port was used by timber cutters and boat builders. There was also some coal mining in the area.
* Prior to 1860 the only way to cross the Mersey was by boat or swimming.
* In 1860 a rough log bridge was built upstream at the village of Latrobe. Eventually a ferry plied the river.
* A local Marine Board was formed in 1868.
* The railway from Launceston reached Devonport in 1885.
* The Devonport Town Board was formed on 11 February 1890 when Formby and Torquay amalgamated.
* The port's lighthouse, now part of the National Estate, was completed in 1899. It still stands on Mersey Bluff.
* It wasn't until 1902 that a bridge was finally built across the river.
* Devonport Municipal Council was formed in 1908.
Source: Aussie Towns: Devonport, Tasmania

RELATED POSTS main weblog

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