Julian Thomas (John Stanley James)Print Page Print this page

The monument erected over the grave commemorates journalist and author Julian Thomas (1843 -1896), who was born as John Stanley James. James, who changed his named to Julian Thomas around 1872, was best known as "The Vagabond".

In April 1876 the Melbourne Argus published `A Night in the Model Lodging House` written anonymously by James and signed by `A Vagabond`, the first of a series on `the social life and public institutions of Melbourne from a point of view unattainable to the majority`. The most substantial of the series were based on his first-hand reports of what it was like to be `inside` certain institutions: to gather material, he spent a day in the Immigrants` Home, was admitted to the Benevolent Asylum and worked as the porter at the Alfred Hospital, an attendant at lunatic asylums and dispenser-cum-dentist at Pentridge gaol.

His accounts of these institutions combined intimate knowledge of their day-to-day working with a breadth of perspective gained from his knowledge of other societies. His shrewd observation, practical judgments and suggestions for reform reveal a compassionate spirit behind his cultivated flamboyancy. His articles were successful partly because of the mystery of their authorship.


Address:College Crescent, Melbourne General Cemetery, Carlton North, 3054
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.791667
Long: 144.962222
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Monument Manufacturer:Mr M. Hughes


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 13th November, 1897
Front Inscription

Erected by a few friends

To the memory of Julian Thomas
"The Vagabond"

Died Sept 4th 1896

" After life`s fitful fever he sleeps well."

Back Inscription
Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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