Victoria Museum 1892 - Frank the Poet exhibit

Launceston Examiner 1 January 1892 

The opening of the Exhibition has had a
considerable influence on the increase to
the number of visitors to the Museum and
Art Gallery, which is especially noticeable
in the daily attendance during the last
fortnight. On Christmas Day the Museum
should have been closed, but as no notice
to that effect was given, it was treated as a
Sunday, and opened in the afternoon from
2 to 4; the number of visitors being 281.
The total number of visitors for December,
including Sundays, was 4103; and the
average for each Sunday (5), which in
cludes Christmas Day, 306; the daily
average apart from Sundays being 83.
The permanent collection of coins in the
Museum has been enriched by a donation
from Mrs H. Spencer, embracing a large
number of coins, silver and copper, of
which may be mentioned :-Coins of John
V., of Portugal; ditto, Plus VII., of Rome;
ditto, Leopold I., Belgium. Medals
William, Duke of Cumberland, and Corona-
tion Medal, Geo. IV.
Other donations consist of a fine stag's
head and antlers from Mr G. Illingsworth,
Tamar Brewery; a skin of a large black
snake, 5ft 6in long, from Mr James T.
Britton, Cleveland; Mr T. Carr, specimen
of lamprey eel; Mr S. V. Warrington, a
sailor's indenture of apprenticeship, 1835,
Messrs W. Fowler and Saunders, specimen
of native cat; Mr Wm. Summerville, Lily-
dale, fossil shells from railway cutting
Scottsdale line; Mr H. Masters, Beacons
field, Maori stone axe.  
The loan exhibits have been added to by
Mr Wm. Illingewarth sending a portrait of
Paganini, the famous Italian violinist, and
a pair of beautiful white hawks in cases;
and Mr Cheesman, Wellington-street,
sends a specimen of pen and ink drawing
and writing done by "Frank the Poet,"
formerly a well known local character.

The loaned exhibit "of pen and ink drawing and writing done by Frank the Poet" is not in the present holdings of the museum so was presumably returned to Mr Cheeseman. It is interesting to read that coins depicting Pope Pius VII are mentioned in report of the pen work of MacNamara. This was the Pope that "Frank the Poet" in Purgatory in his epic poem A Convict's Tour to Hell!

And leaving Charon at the ferry
Frank went in haste to Purgatory
And rapping loudly at the gate
Of Limbo, or the Middle State
Pope Pius the 7th soon appeared
With gown, beads, crucifix and beard

MacNamara was known for his calligraphy in the colony. The Calf Family Record "penned on the first of March in the year of our Lord 1861 expressly for Mr. John Calf" was donated to the Michell Library by one of John Calf's sons with a letter explaining that it was "a fine specimen of pen and ink work made by a convict well know in early days of the colony as 'Frank the Poet' – I believe his name was MacNamara, –who was transported for forgery–."