Melbourne Punch was the most successful of a number of colonial imitations of London Punch, founded in 1855. Melbourne Punch followed London’s original format of articles, cartoons, and satirical verse on social and political themes.
This cartoon in Melbourne Punch is in fact one of a series of 12. The satirical ‘Frescoes for the New Houses of Parliament’, ran in the weekly publication in 1856.These Punch illustrations comprised a series of sketches that parodied key events in the Colony’s history. The allocation and sale of land, the Separation of the colony into States, the Eureka uprising on the Ballarat goldfields, the degradation of the Aboriginal peoples and the prevalence of liquor. These cartoons provide a satirical snapshot of Victoria’s history to that date and the various political machinations of the era.
Melbourne Punch. Details
Prepared by: Andrew Brown-May
Created: 13 April 2006, Last modified: 2 June 2006