A Poetical Prisoner

The World's News (Sydney) Saturday 8 August 1903 p. 12.


"Frank Keen" (Narrabri) writes:—
" 'A Poetical Prisoner' (issue of 'The World's News,' August 1) calls to memory recollections of on Frank Gallagher, familiarly known as 'Frank the Poet,' well-known about Sydney and Maitland 40 years ago.

He was a witty builder of verses. In fact, he more often spoke in rhyme than prose, and his impromptu lines from the dock, when charged with drunkenness (as he frequently was), often secured him an acquittal. Once, when before Captain Moriarty, he got off with

'I do confess I was rather hearty, and beg to be forgiven by Captain Moriarty.'

Also, to Captain Innes, who once gave him 14 days:

'Captain Innis, if you plaze, make it hours instead of days.'

I think he died in one of the asylums."


Francis MacNamara or Frank the Poet was famous for his extempore verse and epigrams and the two cited in this article are good examples. The second one appears in a number of versions using the names Captain Murray and Captain Logan rather than Captain Innes.