The appointment of William Joseph Sayers Clarke as overseer at the Port Phillip Herald marked a distinct advance in typography.
Clarke’s name first appeared as printer of the Herald on 29 July 1843 and he continued in this role until 28 November of the same year when George Cavenagh’s name replaced his on the imprint. Clarke’s stewardship ended abruptly when, Finn mentions Clarke being caught up in a libel case brought against the Herald by Anthony Hordern for defaming his father as being a convict being guilty of a “frightful atrocity.” This rumour, published as fact, resulted in a warrant being issued against Clarke as the registered printer of the Herald.
Cavenagh, to his credit stood by his employee, stepping in to protect his printer, was charged with the offence and pleaded guilty.
Clarke’s “Specimen of Port Phillip Typography” printed in blue ink on a single sheet of buff coloured paper was reprinted on the front page of the Herald a few days afterwards as a demonstration of the paper’s typographic sophistication in Job printing.
A manuscript is in preparation for a publication on the typography of George Cavenagh and William Joseph Sayers Clarke.