Encore Mug-shots 1880s to 1930s Sydney Australia #2

Some have asked me to post some more mug-shots from Australia during the period of the 1880s through to the 1930s. Most have a story to tell and tell they do! The photos are Hi-res so just click on them to enlarge.


1: Kate Ellick, criminal record number 448LB, 17 February 1919. State Reformatory for Women, Long Bay.

Kate Ellick had no family to support her and no fixed address. In the early 20th century employment options were limited for women of her age and there was no aged pension. Ellick was homeless when arrested in Newcastle and was sentenced under the Vagrancy Act to three months in prison. DOB: 1860, Murrurundi.



2: Kathleen Ward, criminal record number 658LB, 14 May 1925. State Reformatory for Women, Long Bay.

Kathleen Ward had convictions for drunkenness, indecent language and theft. She obviously enjoyed thumbing her nose at the authorities, as can be seen in this image where she appears to have deliberately fluttered her eyes in order to ruin the long-exposure photograph. DOB: 1904.



3: Leslie Selina Gertrude Rees, criminal record number 224LB, 8 October 1915. State Reformatory for Women, Long Bay, NSW

Leslie Rees was convicted of bigamy at the Moree Quarter Sessions and was sentenced to four months light labour. Women from regional centres were transferred to Sydney to serve their time. Age unknown.



4: Lillian May Southwell Boland, criminal record number 553LB, 28 September 1922. State Reformatory for Women, Long Bay, NSW

Convicted of conspiracy to procure an abortion. Lillian Boland worked as a secretary for an illegal abortionist who operated out of a dentist’s surgery on Oxford Street, Paddington. Boland protested her innocence and ignorance of the 'doctor's' work; however, the court decided she must have had detailed knowledge of the business and handed her a suspended sentence of 12 months hard labour.



5: Lillian Sproule, criminal record number 746LB, 31 October 1928. State Reformatory for Women, Long Bay.

Tasmanian Lillian Sproule became involved in Sydney's cocaine trade. She was labelled a 'parasite in skirts' by the newspapers and had multiple convictions relating to drug dealing. She was sentenced to six months in prison. DOB: 1878



6: Margaret Lee Teale, criminal record number 757LB, 8 April 1929. State Reformatory for Women, Long Bay, NSW

Margaret Teale moved to the small Riverina town of Beckom where she married John Selby. Unfortunately, her first husband, Ernest Teale of Windsor, was still alive. She was charged with bigamy and sentenced to six months gaol. Aged 25.



7: Marjorie Day alias Elma Walton, criminal record number 655LB, 13 February 1925. State Reformatory for Women, Long Bay.

Marjorie Day convinced a shopkeeper to let her take two dresses home to show her mother. She promised to return promptly but instead sold the clothes at a second-hand clothing shop. A repeat offender, Day was sentenced to six months prison. Aged: 20. DOB: 11 January 1905.



8: Mary Harris, criminal record number 589LB, 15 August 1923. State Reformatory for Women, Long Bay, NSW .

No further information.



9: Mary Rubina Brownlee, criminal record number 577LB, 4 April 1923. State Reformatory for Women, Long Bay, NSW

Convicted of unlawfully using an instrument to procure a miscarriage. Mary Brownlee was a backyard abortionist who was caught during an extensive police investigation. She was sentenced to 12 months light labour, but her male accomplice was acquitted. Aged 64.



10: Matilda Devine, criminal record number 659LB, 27 May 1925. State Reformatory for Women, Long Bay, NSW.

Matilda 'Tilly' Devine used a razor to slash a man's face in a barber's shop and was sentenced to two years gaol. She was Sydney's best-known brothel madam and her public quarrels with sly-grog queen Kate Leigh provided the media with an abundance of material. Aged 25



11: May Ethel Foster, criminal record number 717LB, 27 March 1928. State Reformatory for Women, Long Bay.

May Foster worked with a male accomplice to break into numerous houses and steal the contents. She had previous convictions for vagrancy, failing to appear in court and receiving stolen goods. She was sentenced to six months with hard labour. Aliases: May Saunders, Hopkins. DOB: 19 September 1901. Criminal associate: Albert Roy Callaway (28).



12: May Smith, criminal record number 755LB, 8 April 1929, State Reformatory for Women, Long Bay, NSW

May Smith, alias 'Botany May', was an infamous drug dealer. She once chased policewoman Lillian Armfield with a red-hot iron to avoid arrest. Smith was sentenced to 10 months with hard labour. DOB: 1880.



13: Mug shot inscribed 'Hayes'. No details known. Early 1920s, presumably Central Police Station, Sydney.

Subjects of the Special Photographs seem to have been allowed - perhaps invited - to position and compose themselves for the camera as they liked. Their photographic identity thus seems constructed out of a potent alchemy of inborn disposition, personal history, learned habits and idiosyncrasies, chosen personal style (haircut, clothing, accessories) and physical characteristics."

Special Photograph no. 225.

This picture is one of a series of around 2500 "special photographs" taken by New South Wales Police Department photographers between 1910 and 1930. These "special photographs" were mostly taken in the cells at the Central Police Station, Sydney and are, as curator Peter Doyle explains, of "men and women recently plucked from the street, often still animated by the dramas surrounding their apprehension".



14: Mug shot Isabella Higgs, 21 February 1924, Central Police Station, Sydney.

Special Photograph no. 1091. Thomas Bernard Hooper (39), Harold George Hooper (34), Vera Crichton, (23), and Nancy Cowman (19) are listed in the NSW Police Gazette 24 March 1924 as having been charged with "conspiring together to procure a miscarriage" on Isabella Higgs. The women in the case were eventually put on good behaviour bonds. The Hooper brothers received gaol sentences of 12 and 18 months hard labour respectively.



15: Mug shot of E.A.R Cavendish, 31 May 1926. Location and details unknown.

Special photograph no. 131A



16: Mug shot of "Silent Tom" Richards and T Ross, alias Walton, 12 April 1920, presumably Central Police Station, Sydney.

Special Photograph no. 132.This picture is one of a series of around 2500 "special photographs" taken by New South Wales Police Department photographers between 1910 and 1930. These "special photographs" were mostly taken in the cells at the Central Police Station, Sydney and are, as curator Peter Doyle explains, of "men and women recently plucked from the street, often still animated by the dramas surrounding their apprehension".

Doyle suggests that, compared with the subjects of prison mug shots, "the subjects of the Special Photographs seem to have been allowed - perhaps invited - to position and compose themselves for the camera as they liked. Their photographic identity thus seems constructed out of a potent alchemy of inborn disposition, personal history, learned habits and idiosyncrasies, chosen personal style (haircut, clothing, accessories) and physical characteristics."



17: Mug shot of 1916 Giuseppe Mammone, 15 February 1930. Possibly Darlinghurst Police Station.

Doyle suggests that, compared with the subjects of prison mug shots, "the subjects of the Special Photographs seem to have been allowed - perhaps invited - to position and compose themselves for the camera as they liked.



18: Mug shot of Ada McGuinness, 26 July 1929, Central Police Station, Sydney.

Special Photograph no. D33 (Drug Bureau Photograph). McGuinness is listed in the NSW Police Gazette of 25 September 1929 as having been convicted of two charges of having cocaine illegally in her possession, for which she was sentenced to concurrent six and twelve months imprisonment with hard labour. Her daughter Hazel McGuinness also faced the court at the same time, on similar charges, but was released on a bond (see 'Mug shot of Hazel McGuiness').

Police and prosecution witnesses described McGuinness senior, who occupied a terrace house in Hargreave Street, as being one of the most active cocaine dealers in the Darlinghurst area at the time. A police witness described her as 'the most evil woman in Sydney'. In 1925, as 'Edith Cavanagh' she had been sentenced to twelve months (suspended) for having in her possession forged bank notes.



19: Mug shot of Aiden Feutrill, 4 May 1920, location unknown.

Prisoner identification photograph no. 17167. Sixteen-year-old Aiden Feutrill is seen in this 1920 prison mug shot, taken while he was serving a sentence for breaking and entering. He appears again in one of a series of group shots taken at Central 25 January 1928, in the aftermath of a raid led by CIB Chief Bill Mackay. Feutrill, who by then had a string of aliases (including Arthur Feutrill, Francis Brown, Reg Dawson, Angus McCrinnon), was charged with assault, and with 'being found in a house frequented by reputed thieves'.



20: Mug shot of Albert Stewart Warnkin and Adolf Gustave Beutler, 18 October 1920, Central Police Station, Sydney.

Special Photograph no. 218. Albert Stewart Warnkin is listed in the NSW Police Gazette of 10 November 1920, as charged with attempting to carnally know a girl eight years old. No entry is found for Beutler, whose picture is inscribed 'wilful and obscene exposure'.