Carrington, Francis Thomas Dean

Francis Thomas Dean Carrington (1843-1918), by Gaul & Dunn, 1868-69Francis Thomas Dean Carrington (1843-1918)
was born in London. He studied in Paris before moving to Melbourne in the 1860s and pursuing a career. He was a cartoonist for Melbourne Punch, and cartoonist and writer for the Australasian Sketcher.

His political cartoons were published across several newspapers and magazines, such as the Australian Journal, the Melbourne Punch, the Touchstone, and the Australasian. He also illustrated several books including Long Odds by Marcus Clarke and Punchialities from Punch.

He wrote for the Argus, under the pseudonym ‘Leonardo’ and for the Australasian under ‘Ixion’. His final cartoon, ‘The Last of the Session’, appeared in Punch on 15 December 1887.

In June 1880, alongside journalists George Allen (Melbourne Daily Telegraph), John McWhirter (Age), and JD Melvin (Argus), Carrington joined the special train accompanying the police to Glenrowan, to cover the last siege of Ned Kelly.

His article ‘Catching the Kellys: a personal narrative of one who went in the special train’ was published in The Australasian on Saturday 3 July, 1880. This article, written in the first person,  evocatively describes the siege and capture of Kelly at Glenrowan. It was republished across several newspapers, including the Argus and the West Australian. Carrington’s illustrations of the siege and its aftermath for the Australasian Sketcher are among his most famous drawings. Together, his words and images underpin the way Ned Kelly is remembered in Australian history and cultural mythology.

In 2003, Jones edited the mini-book, Ned Kelly The Last Stand, Written and Illustrated by an Eye Witness, which republished the Glenrowan account by Carrington within a personal and historical context.

Selected works:


Jones, I, (ed) (2003) Ned Kelly, The Last Stand, Written and Illustrated by an Eyewitness, Lothian: South Melbourne.

Revel Johnson, Thomas

Thomas Revel Johnson (1817-1863) was a surgeon and journalist who published the The Satirist and Sporting Chronicle (1843), Bell’s Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (1845) and the Sunday Times (1849).

Born in Ireland, he graduated as a surgeon from the University of Dublin and arrived in Australia in 1841. Two years later, he married Harriet Willmot. At the time of his death, he had eight surviving children.

Like Argles’ (Argyles; Harold Grey), Revel Johnson’s satire attracted libel claims in litigious colonial Australia, resulting in a two-year jail sentence.   Undeterred, he launched the weekly Bell’s Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer in 1845, with George Pickering joining in 1847.

The first Bell’s Life,  published on January 4, 1845, mixed gossipy sporting and racing news with features on fox hunting and boxing. Revel Johnson published Bell’s Life  for three years then sold the publication after being sued for libel once more in 1848.

The following year, he launched the Sunday Times, which is described by the National Library of Australian Newspaper Plan 1802-1900 as the first designated Sunday newspaper in Australia. Typical of many colonial publications, it only ran for a few issues before closure. Bell’s Life announced his death in 1863, paying homage to Revel Johnson’s founding of the paper and “thundering satire”.

 Representative Articles:


Argles, Theodore Emile (Argyles; Harold Grey)

nlaTheodore Emile Argles (Argyles) (1851-1886)  also wrote under the pen names Harold Grey, The Devil in Sydney, The Moocher and The Pilgrim.

Born in London, Argles is referred to by co-founder of The Bulletin, John Haynes, as Harold Grey. Sylvia Lawson writes Haynes praised Grey, “as there never was a more polished satirical writer in Australia” (2006; 90). Although  Marcus Clarke  also wrote satirical literary journalism, Grey focused on Sydney rather than Melbourne.

Grey was entrepreneurial, publishing  Scenes in Sydney by Day and Night: Social Sketches of Sydney under the pseudonym “The Moocher (1878) and Harold Grey’s The Pilgrim: a sensational weekly pamphlet, (1879) which is thought to be a response to the Vagabond’s papers about poverty in Melbourne and Sydney (Wantrup, 2012). He also contributed to the Evening News; Freeman’s Journal and edited Common Cause in Adelaide (1879).

Lawson (2006) places Grey among the first Bulletin writers, writing reviews. It is likely, given it is stylistically similar to Grey’s other work,  that he also wrote the satire  “A Heavy Wet”  under the pseudonym, The Man in The Bottomless Pit. The article concerns a visiting preacher who performed public baptisms and it was published in the first Bulletin (1880).

However, Grey’s satire wasn’t appreciated by everyone. When writing poetry under the pseudonym The Devil in Sydney, Lawson recounts, ‘Haynes claimed, “half the populace, with clenched fist, was in search of the Devil in Sydney”‘ (Lawson 2006;90) .

A  January 1879  Newcastle Morning Herald article headlined ‘Harold Grey, alias ‘The Pilgrim’ in Trouble Again’ stated he was asked to leave Melbourne due to a past forgery conviction, but also mentions Grey’s immersive visits to prisons and asylums in Adelaide and yet another pseudonym, Arthur Russell.

After his death in 1886, The Pilgrim was remembered in his obituary for his ‘cleverness and wit that lit up newspapers’.

Selected Articles:

  • “Poverty Point”,  Scenes in Sydney by Day and Night, 1878
  • “Aspasia and Co”, Scenes in Sydney by Day and Night, 1878
  • A Heavy Wet“, The Bulletin, January 31, 1880 (unconfirmed).
  • “Vortex of Vice”,  Scenes in Sydney by Day and Night 1878


Anonymous, “A Heavy Wet”

The first issue of The Bulletin, 31 January 1880, contains the  piece “A Heavy Wet”. Posing as a reporter, the author chronicles  the public baptisms of women by evangelist Frank Warden. It is illustrated by cartoons.

The writer is The Man in the Bottomless Pit. This was possibly the pseudonym of either The Bulletin editor Jules Francis Archibald or The Bulletin co-founder John Haynes, although neither are known for satire.

The Man in the Bottomless Pit is not a known alias of the satirist Theodore Emile Argles who wrote under the names  Harold Grey, The Moocher and The Pilgrim.

Similar Representative Article:

  • A Sydney Sabbath, 6 March 1880, The Singleton Argus and Upper Hunter. Attributed to ‘A rambling scribe.’

Clarke, Marcus

Marcus-Clarke-small_Size4Marcus Clarke (1846-1881) was born in Kensington, London. His mother died when Clarke was four years old. His father, ostensibly wealthy, had a breakdown in 1862 and the family encouraged Clarke, aged 17, to move to Melbourne.

Clarke was first employed as a bank clerk, but he soon left to live upcountry at a property where his family had an interest. The reality of Australian agriculture made him appreciate the city life of  ‘cigars and chat, champagne, chicken and all that’ ( Hergenban,1972).

He was far better suited to life as a journalist and author. Rather than hard news gathering, Clarke wrote from 1867, “The Peripatetic Philosopher” column for the Argus and its associated paper, the Australasian, often satirising Melbourne society. Columns ranged from witty recreations of royal visits to immersions in Melbourne’s ‘lower bohemia’ that exposed the seedier side of the city and its poverty.

Clarke also wrote for the Herald, the [Melbourne] Daily Telegraph and the Age. He joined a literary consortium to buy the Australian Monthly Magazine, renamed The Colonial Monthly. He then began the comic weekly, Humbug, envisioned as a rival to Punch magazine. He further edited the Australian Journal, then was a trustee and librarian at the Public Library of Victoria, but debts forced him to insolvency, despite the success of his classic novel His Natural Life (1874), later republished as For the Term of His Natural Life. Clarke, married to actress Marian Dunn and the father of six children,  died in 1881. His prolific journalism would be shadowed by the novel that defined his literary career.

Representative Examples:


  • Wilding, Michael (Ed) (1988)  Marcus Clarke, For the Term of His Natural Life, Short Stories, Critical Essays and Journalism, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia
  • Hergenban, L.T (Ed) (1972) Colonial City, Selected Journalism of Marcus Clarke, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia


Savery, Henry aka Simon Stukeley

Henry Savery (1791-1842)  was a convict, who from prison wrote weekly sketches of Hobart life, for Colonial Times, under the heading “The Hermit – in Van Diemen’s Land” using the pseudonym Simon Stukeley.

These appeared over six months in 1829. They were collected and published in book form under the same title in 1830, becoming Australia’s first book of essays (Savery went on to write Australia’s first novel, Quintus Servinton). Savery acknowledged in the preface that The Hermit in London (1820) was the model for the title of his sketches.

The sketches covered “Manners, Society and Public Characters”, and contained thinly disguised descriptions of about 150 people in Hobart Town (Tasmanian library article). Savery was in gaol for debt when the sketches were written but they were sufficiently accurate to cause a furore on their publication.

When Andrew Bent, the publisher of the paper, advertised the impending publication of the book of sketches, he was sued successfully by the lawyer Gamaliel Butler who had no desire to see the offending article reappear. The damages and costs forced Bent to sell the paper to Henry Melville who became a prominent publisher in the colony. Savery’s name was never mentioned in the case.

Savery’s true identity as the author was not revealed till long after his death in 1842.

Selected Articles:


  • Savery, Henry (1964) The Hermit in Van Diemen’s Land, (edited and biographical introduction by Hadgraft, Cecil, with notes on the persons by Roe, Margriet) St Lucia: University of Queensland Press