Melbourne Punch

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Melbourne Punch (from 1900, simply titled Punch) (2 August 1855 – December 1925) was an Australian illustrated magazine founded by Edgar Ray and Frederick Sinnett,[1] modelled closely on Punch of London which was founded fifteen years earlier.[2][3] A similar magazine, Adelaide Punch, was published in South Australia from 1878 to 1884.


Satirical self-portrait of the Melbourne Punch engraver Samuel Calvert, 2 August 1855

Ray and Sinnett published the magazine 1855–1883, followed by Alex McKinley 1883.[3]

Staff artists included Nicholas Chevalier 1855–1861, Tom Carrington 1866–1887.

Contributing artists included J C Bancks, Luther Bradley, O R Campbell, George Dancey, Tom Carrington, Ambrose Dyson and his brother Will Dyson, S T Gill, Samuel Calvert, Alex Gurney, Hal Gye, Percy Leason, Emile Mercier, Alex Sass, Montague Scott, Alf Vincent and Cecil "Unk" White.[2][4]

Editors included Frederick Sinnett (1855–1857), James Smith (1857–1863), Charles Bright (1863–1866), William Jardine Smith (1866-1869), F.T.D. Carrington (intermittently) and John Bede Dalley (1924).

Writers included Butler Cole Aspinall, Charles Gavan Duffy, R. H. Horne, James Smith, Thomas Carrington and Nicholas Chevalier.[3]

It was involved in the creation of The Ashes cricket trophy in 1883.

It incorporated the Melbourne Bulletin in 1886, after which it became more involved with "society" news.[3]

A cartoon titled "BAIL-UP!" in 1900 was possibly the first published use of the Kelly Gang in a satirical context.

It was acquired by The Melbourne Herald in 1924 and amalgamated with Table Talk in 1926.[4]

An annual, variously titled Punch Almanac, Melbourne Punch Almanack, Melbourne Punch's Office Almanack and similar, was published for a time.[5]

The publication was Folio size and initially contained 8 pages, increasing to 12 pages in 1878 and was 18 pages by 1891.[6] It sold for sixpence.


  1. ^ Mennell, Philip (1892). "Sinnett, Frederick" . The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co – via Wikisource.
  2. ^ a b Lindesay, Vane The Inked-In Image Heinemann Melbourne 1970 ISBN 0-09-135460-9
  3. ^ a b c d Melbourne Punch
  4. ^ a b McCullough, Alan Encyclopedia of Australian Art Hutchinson of London 1968 ISBN 0-09-081420-7
  5. ^ Melbourne punch's almanack
  6. ^ Lurline Stuart (1979), Nineteenth Century Australian Periodicals; an annotated bibliography, Sydney, Hale & Iremonger, p.109. ISBN 0908094531
  • Wilde, W. H.The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature 2nd ed. ISBN 0-19-553381-X


Mahood, Marguerite The Loaded Line 1973

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