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A chronological checklist of Australian colonial musical works 1826-1830

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "A chronological checklist of Australian colonial musical works 1826-1830", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 3 April 2020


This chronological checklist page, covering the years 1826-30, is intended to include all original Australia colonial musical works, significant arrangements, and musical editions specifically aimed at colonial audiences, documented or extant from the five years in question.

It tables musical works by Australian resident composers, in print and manuscript, lost and still existing, as well as new songs written by colonial songwriter/lyricists to existing imported tunes, and targetted colonial editions such as, for instance, popular songsters, musical albums, and hymnbooks. Also tabled are a small number of musical works composed specifically for Australian sale and use, by composers who never visited the colonies.

Not included in this page, however, are colonial manuscript copies or printed editions of the general run of imported musical works by composers or arrangers who never visited Australia, for example, local editions of internationally popular songs like Henry Bishop's Home, sweet home, or instrument music like the Lancers' quadrilles.

Where a digitised copy or electronic bibliographic record of a piece of music exists, it is live-linked to the title.

Like everything in Australharmony, the page is a work-in-progress, made available now for the use and information of interested others, but always subject to updates, corrections, and improvements.

Please contact me if you have, or know of, other relevant information, and which you are willing to share.

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5 January 1826 (first published)

Sydney, NSW


THRELKELD, Lancelot Edward (transcriber, reporter)

Two Australian Aboriginal songs



"POETRY: AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL SONG ... ANOTHER", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (5 January 1826), 4


Gnora werrayn na,
Gnah, bah, yah,
Kummah lah nah,
Towwan kurrah te,
Ure wonnan na,
Undong, undong,
Warrun, warrun na!
Bi yah,
Ko be ta
Ting gar rah,
Undong, undong,
Warrun, Warrun na!

The second line is repeated Gnora, &c. and then the first time, and so on to the end, in the Rondo style.


Turah warrah ne
Ah, bah, yah,
Yah, tun do rohl,

This repeats at the second line Tene, and is lower in tone than the other. The exceeding scantiness of my knowledge of their language precludes, as yet an English translation.


NOTE - The favor of a translation of either or both the above Pieces, from any classical Gentleman, will be gratefully acknowledged, if not libellous, by the Editor.

Bibliography and resources:

Gunson 1974, 194

Skinner 2011a


Probably collected by Threlkeld at Lake Macquarie, near Newcastle, after his arrival there late in 1824.

5 January 1826 (first notice)

Sydney, NSW

KAVANAGH, Thomas (composer, arranger)

Original Australian music

1 General Ralph Darling's Australian slow march


2 General Darling's quick step


3 Mrs. Darling's waltz


4 His Honor Colonel Stewart's slow march, Hail Australia!


5 Sir Thomas Brisbane's grand Australian march


6 Sir Thomas Brisbane's grand Australian quick march


7 Lady Brisbane's waltz


8 My native distant home (Scotch air)

NO COPY IDENTIFIED; ? arrangement of unidentified air, ? concordance

9 Currency lasses

NO COPY SURVIVES; but probably arrangement of extant quadrille

10 The trumpet sounds Australia's fame (a new song; bravura)


Source and documentation:

[Advertisement], The Australian (5 January 1826), 1

Dedicated by permission to his Excellency Sir Thomas Brisbane, K. C. B. &c. &c. and by permission of his Honor the Lieutenant Governor. MR. KAVANAGH, Master of the Band of the 3rd Regiment, begs leave to acquaint the Gentry of Sydney and its environs, that he has lately composed the following pieces, which are now submitted, at his quarters in the Military Barrack, where copies may be had.

General Ralph Darling's Australian slow march.
General Darling's quick step.
Mrs. Darling's waltz.
His Honor Colonel Stewart's slow march.
Hail Australia!
Sir Thomas Brisbane's grand Australian march.
Sir Thomas Brisbane's grand Australian quick march.
Lady Brisbane's waltz.
My native distant home - Scotch air.
Currency lasses.
The trumpet sounds Australia's fame - song.

Mr. K in submitting to the Australian public, this specimen of national music, trusts he will meet with that encouragement he will be always studious to merit.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (5 January 1826), 3

Dedicated by permission to his Excellency Sir Thomas Brisbane, K. C. B. &c. &c. &c. and by permission of his Honor the Lieutenant Governor. MR. KAVANAGH, Master of the Band of the 3d Regiment, begs leave to acquaint the Gentry of Sydney and its Environs, that he has lately composed the following Pieces, which are now submitted, at his Quarters in the Military Barrack, where Copies may be had.

General Ralph Darling's Australian Slow March;
General Darling's Quick Step;
Mrs. Darling's Waltz;
His Honor Colonel Stewart's Slow March, Hail Australia!
Sir Thomas Brisbane's Grand Australian March;
Sir Thomas Brisbane's Grand Australian Quick March;
Lady Brisbane's Waltz;
My Native Distant Home - Scotch Air;
Currency Lasses.
The Trumpet Sounds Australia's Fame (Song).

Mr. K in submitting to the Australian Public, this Specimen of National Music, trusts he will meet with that Encouragement he will be always studious to merit.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (9 January 1826), 3

[Advertisement], The Australian (12 January 1826), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (12 January 1826), 1

[Advertisement], The Australian (19 January 1826), 1

"SEVENTEEN HUNDRED AND EIGHTY EIGHT; OR, THE FIRST LANDING", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (28 January 1826), 3

Thursday last, being the Anniversary of Australia's Establishment as a British Colony, the same was observed with the usual demonstrations of remembrance. In the morning the Royal Standard, as well as the Union, was displayed at Dawes' Point; and at noon a salute of 38 guns, corresponding with the number of years the Colony has been founded, was fired from Dawes' Battery, in honour of the day.

In the evening about 100 of the Gentry, Landholders, Merchants, and others, sat down to a Dinner that was prepared by Mrs. Hill, at the Hyde Park Tavern. W. C. WENTWORTH and WILLIAM REDFERN, Esquires, were President and Vice President. The Band of the Buffs attended to enliven the festive scene. After the cloth was removed, the President gave:

The King, three times three - Air, God save the King.
The Duke of York and the Army - Duke of York's March.
The Duke of Clarence and the Navy - Rule Britannia.
The Duke of Sussex, and the rest of the Royal Family - The Royal Branch.
The health of our present Governor, Lieutenant General Darling, three times three - General Darling's March.
... the health of our late Governor, Sir Thomas Brisbane ... - Sir Thomas Brisbane's March.
The Memory of our late revered Governor, Major General Macquarie ... - Scots wha' hae.
The Memory of Governor Philip, the Founder of the Colony ... - Hail, Australia!
Trial by Jury ... Air, Tyrolese Song of Liberty.
A House of Assembly for Australia - Air, Sir James Macintosh's Reel.
The Liberty of the Press. - Air, Sir Thomas Brisbane's Quick March.
The Currency lasses and Lads. - Air, Currency Lasses.
Success to the Fleece and the Plough. - Air, Speed the Plough.
The Trade and Commerce of New South Wales. - Air, Hearts of Oak.

"THE AMATEUR CONCERT", The Monitor (21 July 1826), 5

ON Wednesday Evening about four hundred persons of both sexes assembled at the public School Room in Castlereagh-street, to listen to the musical selections of our Amateur performers of our new monthly Concert ... The "Bill of the Play," exhibited the following selections.

OVERTURE Alla Turca, - Rombergh.
GLEE Hark Apollo Strikes the Lyre - Bishop
SONG The Trumpet sounds Australia's Fame - Kavannah
DUETTO Flutes - Rossini
COMIC SONG RECITATIVE & AIR From the Wood Demon - Hook
OVERTURE Figaro - Mozart
SONG Dulce Domum - Braham
GLEE The Loadstars - Shield
SOLO Violin, Violoncello, acc. - Correlli
GLEE When Sappho tun'd - Danby
FINAL OVERTURE La Chase - Fleury

Directors for the Evening. Mr. Earle. Mr. J. Paul, jun. Mr. Jos. Underwood. Mr. Hayes.

The Bravura song, "The Trumpet Sounds Australia's Fame," does credit to the composer, Mr. Kavannagh; and which, on account of his residence in the colony, attracted attention. The music is not well supported by the poetry. The latter is bad, as well in sentiment as in harmony of numbers. Mr. Kavennagh ought, in justice to his composition, to procure verses of a higher cast. The loyalty of our colonial poet-laureat would, we think, induce him to compose something worthy of becoming the national song of this advancing colony ...

"THE CONCERT", The Australian (22 July 1826), 3

... a song, the music of which was composed by Mr. Kavannagh ...

"SYDNEY AMATEUR CONCERT", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (22 July 1826), 3

... A new song, "The Trumpet sounds Australia's Fame," the music by Mr. Kavannah, Master of the Buffs' Band, was given with considerable effect by the composer, and drew down great and deserved applause. The martial style of this air, its highly effective accompaniments, and the animating patriotic character of the poetry, imparted considerable satisfaction and delight, and demonstrated the effect which "music, wedded to immortal verse," produces on the soul of feeling and sensibility. The following may serve as a specimen of the poetry.

"Live, live, Australia! Land of future kings;
Land where new wonders each new sun discloses!
Land where the young renown luxuriant springs;
Land where the silent patriot worth reposes!" ...

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (26 July 1826), 3

The dealer in ethics, from fish-scales, must and will criticise music and poetry, because he believes himself to be a capital judge of both. He praises the music of the song called, "The Trumpet sounds Australia's Fame," but condemns the words. He says the piece is "bad, as well in sentiment as in harmony of numbers," and thereby proves that he knows as much of poetry as a brick-bat does. But the ethical fishmonger has abundance of affectation, egotism, and impudence. He pretends to criticise music that was not sung at the Concert, by declaring that "When Sappho tuned," was not well studied, though not a soul heard this piece but himself; however, this is but a sample of the wonderful blunders and extravagancies which he commits. We suppose he slung a basket of oranges on his arm when he went to the Concert, for he bitterly complains that the gentleman, (himself, we suppose) had no time to eat an orange; then, by way of making people believe that his taste for music is of the most refined kind, he says that "one comic song out of a million would be abundance to occupy from 7 to 10 o'clock." Now, unless the Monitor has invented a musical steam-engine, we cannot understand how the deuce a million songs are to be gone through in three hours. But we would seriously recommend this dealer in fish and fudge, since he is an enemy to mirth, to stow himself and his orange basket away into some corner next Concert evening, as he is no judge either of music or poetry. As we happen to have a copy of the song which he says is "bad in sentiment and in harmony of numbers," we lay it before our Readers with pleasure, in order to prove the ignorance of this writer on fish scales:

The trumpet sounds Australia's fame,
Lo! Echo, from her silent caverns bounding,
Catches and boldly spreads the joyous theme,
Her thousand shouts thro' thousand worlds resounding.

Live, live, Australia! land of future kings!
Land where new wonders each new sun discloses!
Land where the young renown luxuriant springs!
Land where the silent patriot worth reposes!

Bid, bid the trumpet yet renew the sound!
Once more awake the echo's loudest pealing!
Proclaim our isle, while nations sink around,
Securely on to wealth and greatness stealing!

Then live, Australia! matron young and mild!
Rear still bright Mercy's banner high unfurled!
Pardon and Peace for Britain's fallen Child!
Refuge for all th'oppressed of all the world!

"MISCELLANY, ORIGINAL AND SELECT", Hobart Town Gazette (2 September 1826), 4 

The last Sydney Concert was graced by an original bravura, the composition of Mr. Kavannagh. If it have any claims to such merit as the sweet "Australian Air" with which we are already acquainted, we congratulate our neighbours, but these attempts at originality by so young a people are very bold.

Bibliography and resources:

Hall 1951-54

Wentzel 1962, 30

Covell 1967, 10

Cumes 1979, 65

Neidorf 1999

Skinner 2011a


Perhaps the chief oddity of the printed text of the bravura song, whose lines aspire somewhat loosely to pentemeters, is its curiously short first line of only four feet.

17 January 1826

The Marketplace, Parramatta, NSW

The corrobory, or annual feast of the Aboriginal natives



[News], The Australian (29 December 1825), 3

The Corrobory, or Annual Feast of the Aboriginal Natives, usually takes place about this time of the year. The day of celebration, we think, has already passed, and as yet we have hoard no talk of, or preparations for it. The sable gentry, we are very sure, will not forget to assemble in expectation of their Christmas fare. If the celebrated Saturday be in the land of the living, the reception with which he was honored last year on making his appearance, will, in all probability, bring both himself and his, tribe to Parramatta. They ought not to be disappointed.

"Government and General Orders", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (5 January 1826), 1 

THE Governor will hold his Annual Conference with the Chiefs and Tribes of the Natives, on Tuesday, the 17th of January, at the Hour of Eleven in the Forenoon, at the Market-place, in Parramatta.

"THE ABORIGINAL FEAST", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (19 January 1826), 2 

Pursuant to the Government Notice on this head, the usual annual feast to the native tribes was given by His EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR, on Tuesday last, in the Market-place, in the Town of Parramatta. The day was so unfavourable that few people of consequence were there. His EXCELLENCY was prevented from attending; in accordance with his benevolent feelings, owing to the wetness of the day. His Honor the LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, and the Private Secretary to the GOVERNOR in CHIEF (Colonel DUMARESQ), with a number of other Gentlemen, honoured the sable assemblage with their presence; and in the whole there were about 100 inhabitants, whose curiosity braved the violence of the weather. Two hundred and ten natives were present - a goodly number, considering the regular time had unavoidably passed, which will not again occur in our present Governor's Administration. Though the rain descended in torrents these sons of Ham were as happy as so many princes - indeed, we question whether Bonaparte, in his most brilliant career, was ever so exempt from outward care or mental disquietude ... Since we wrote the above, it has reached us that there were 214 present, exclusive of children; that among the number was a fair one that had only been delivered the night previous, who was doing well with her little heir; that they left unconsumed 60 loaves, besides a proportionate quantity of beef; but that all the grog was drank!

"THE CORROBORIE AT PARRAMATTA", The Australian (19 January 1826), 3 

On Tuesday, pursuant to public notice, the corroborie or annual festival was given to the aboriginal natives. The concourse of persons who assembled in the Market-place, Parramatta, to view the spectacle, notwithstanding the incessant fall of rain during the day, was tolerably numerous. At 3 o'clock in the afternoon the Lieutenant Governor arrived on the ground, and was shortly afterwards followed by Col. Dumaresq, accompanied with the Rev. W. Cowper, S. Marsden, and a number of civil, and military officers. The native princes and princesses were shortly afterwards honored with the notice of the above gentry, who soon gave directions for the roast and boiled beef, soup, plum pudding, and grog, to be served up to the sable gentry. The chiefs, who were present on the occasion, consisted of Bungaree, Blang, Dual, Cogle, Boodeny, Niaggan, and Jebinge. They were seated at the head of their respective tribes, who were arranged in a semi-circular form; when their fare was placed before them, they gave three loud cheers. The torrents of rain did not prevent the sable gentry from remaining seated on their mother earth; sheds were erected, but notwithstanding the persuasions of the Lieutenant Governor and others, they could not be induced to exchange their quarters for a shelter from the rain. The assemblage of the aborigines amounted to about 200. The absence of SATURDAY was accounted for by one of his ambassadors, whom he had been pleased to depute for that purpose. He is said to be very busily engaged in a rencontre with another tribe near Bathurst: a corroborie which took place on Saturday last has worsted him, and he is, therefore, reluctantly compelled to postpone his paying an obeisance to his "white man King" this season, but promises to do so at an early opportunity. The blacks, however, seemed a little disappointed at the postponement of their festival this season, it was hitherto deemed by them an anniversary for holding intercourse with the several tribes; but, the usual moon having been past, they gave up their treat as gone. Those who did attend seemed anxious to testify their gratitude for their entertainment.

Bibliography and resources:


26 January 1826 (first performance)

Hill's Tavern, Hyde Park, Sydney

1 February 1826 (first published)

ROBINSON, Michael Massey (songwriter, singer)

Song for the anniversary dinner

By Mr. M. Robinson ("In Olympus we're told / The celestials of old ..."); no tune indicated


Source and documentation:

"SEVENTEEN HUNDRED AND EIGHTY EIGHT; OR, THE FIRST LANDING", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (28 January 1826), 3

Thursday last, being the Anniversary of Australia's Establishment as a British Colony, the same was observed with the usual demonstrations of remembrance ... In the evening about 100 of the Gentry, Landholders, Merchants, and others, sat down to a Dinner that was prepared by Mrs. Hill, at the Hyde Park Tavern. W. C. WENTWORTH and WILLIAM REDFERN, Esquires, were President and Vice President. The Band of the Buffs attended to enliven the festive scene ...

"ANNIVERSARY DINNER", The Sydney Gazette (1 February 1825), 3

In the hurry of our report of this festival, we omitted to make any allusion to the Song prepared for the occasion. We now present it to our Readers as the production of our venerated Bard, whose witty, gay, and Classical muse has so often been the subject of general admiration and praise.


In Olympus we're told,
The celestials of old,
In spite of morality's lecture,
Would steal a sly sup
From the festival cup,
And sometimes get mellow with nectar.

On so high an example
'Twere impious to trample,
'Twould call down the anger of Jove,
Who, proud to see mirth
Charm'd by beauty on earth,
Made Bacchus the herald of love.

Ariadne, the fair,
Left to pine in despair,
When Theseus abandon'd her charms,
On the beach as she stray'd,
Bacchus flew to her aid,
And encircled her soon in his arms.

Then true to the sport,
My boys, let us sup port,
And relish the boon we inherit,
Ever proud to proclaim
We are Britons by name,
Let us prove ourselves Britons in spirit.

If the Natives so rude,
Now and then will intrude,
And scare us with dissonant din;
Tho' dark is their day,
We must all of us say,
That each of them sticks to his gin.

The exile of Erin,
Dejected appearing,
Tho' erst in his wild wood so frisky,
Will trace a bright ray
Of his happier day,
If reflected in one glass of whisky.

If you take a short tramp,
To Black-wattle swamp
You may see what a Cooper has gain'd;
With his vats and his casks,
His coolers and flasks,
You'd swear they could never be drain'd!

Or, if rambling, you're led
On the road to South-head,
You may witness what art can produce;
While the structures so high,
Seem to swell to the sky,
The underwood swells with the juice.

Here we've all that we want,
Or kind nature can grant,
Conducive to rational pleasures;
Agriculture has flourish'd,
The Arts we have nourish'd,
And Commerce has lent us her treasures.

Be this thy proud gala,
Which no party spirit can sever;
May thy stores and thy plains,
Echo loyalty's strains,
And thy watch-word be " FREEDOM FOR EVER!"

Bibliography and resources:


January 1826 (date of event)

Near Port Stephens, NSW

INDIGENOUS (singers, dancers)

DAWSON, Robert (reporter)

Corrobery near Port Stephens



Dawson 1830, (59-60), 61-63

[59] During a short residence at Port Stephens, in the month of January, and before I returned to the neighbourhood of Sydney to bring the establishment hither, I was visited by a considerable tribe of the natives, who were very friendly and desirous of further acquaintance ... [60] ... I then gave them a sugar-bag with some sugar, and an iron pot to boil it in. They bore these off in triumph to their camp, a few rods only from my tent; and when their mess was prepared, they sent to inform me that they wished to have a corrobery (dance) if I would allow it. As soon as I signified to them that they might do what they pleased, they made [61] an immense fire of dried wood, and set their pot of sugarbag by the side of it. I observed them all to retire to their camp for a short time; and when they returned, they had figured different parts of their bodies with pipeclay, in a very curious and even handsome manner. They had chalked straight lines from the ankle up the outside of the thigh, which made them appear, by firelight, as if they had hussar pantaloons on. Their faces had been rubbed with red earth, like ochre; and their breasts chalked with serpentine lines, interspersed with dots, &c. They were perfectly naked, as they always are; and in this state they began to corrobery, or dance...

A man with a woman or two act as musicians, by striking two sticks together, and singing or bawling a song, which I cannot well describe to you: it is chiefly in half tones, extending sometimes very high and loud, and then descending so low as almost to sink to nothing. The dance is exceedingly amusing, but the movement of the limbs is such as no European could perform: it is more like the limbs of a pasteboard harlequin, when set in motion by a string, than any thing else I can think of ... [62] ...

After this, to me very interesting and amusing colloquy, they corroberied again and again, till in pity to them, I was obliged to tell them to leave off and not tire themselves too much, and that I would join them again soon. At this time I had about thirty men, women, and children, about me. During the corroberry, I observed the gins (women or wives) standing in a circle by themselves, practising a curious kind of motion with their legs. The fleshy parts of their legs are brought sharply into contact, and they contrive to produce by it a sound almost like a pair of clappers which are used to frighten birds from a garden, only not so loud. On enquiring why they did not corrobery with the men, I could get no answer, only that they never did ...

[63] A corroberry was repeated at night round a blazing fire. In these cases, their painted bodies, white teeth, shock heads of hair; their wild and savage appearance, with the reflection of the fire in a dark night, would have formed a terrific spectacle to any person coming suddenly and unexpectedly upon them. They are, however, one of the best-natured people in the world, and would never hurt a white man if treated with civility and kindness. I would trust myself any where with them; and with my own blacks by my side, as I call them, I should feel myself safe against any enemy I could meet with in the bush ...

Dawson 1831, (59-60) 61-63

Bibliography and resources:



Dawson also reports on the use of the call "cooee"


Dawson 1830, 10-11, 81

[10] ... Not long after we had resumed our journey, a call or cooee was heard at a short distance [11] from us in the forest. Ben was instantly alive to it, and observed to me, in a quick and animated manner: "You hear, Massa? Black pellow cooee." ...

[81] ... Having proceeded about six miles, we missed, on a sudden, our sumpter black. Our sable guides "cooed" and " cooed" again, in their usual tone of calling to each other at a distance, but no answer was returned: he was gone, and our provisions with him ...

4 February 1826 (notice)

Parramatta, NSW

MACARTHUR, Elizabeth (reporter)

Corroboree for the Myall




Parramatta, February 4th, 1826.

My dear Eliza, Nothing like the splendour and gaiety you describe as contemplated at the ball at Bude can be exhibited for many years in Australia. But let me give you some account of one of our native dances - a "Corroboree" as they call it, when it is not unusual for two or three hundred to collect, to paint and deck themselves with green boughs, and in sets perform various grotesque figure dances, in most excellent time, which is given by others who sit apart and chant a sort of wild cadence.

These corroborees are always on bright moon light nights, some agreeable spot is always chosen for the exhibition amongst the woods. The number of small fires which are kindled causes just enough brilliancy to give affect to our beautiful woodland scenery; and throw sufficient light on the sable performers. This festivity is generally prolonged until past midnight, and always given to do honour to and entertain strangers, whom they call "Myall" ...

Bibliography and resources:

Macarthur (Onslow) 1914, 455 

24 April 1826 (first performance)

Government House, Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

29 April 1826 (first notice)

ANONYMOUS (composer) = ? KAVANAGH, Thomas


Australian air



[News], The Hobart Town Gazette (29 April 1826), 2

On Monday the Anniversary of His Majesty's Birth Day was observed here, with every mark of joy and respect demonstrative of the attachment of a people so peculiarly under his protection as are the inhabitants of this young Colony. Since the world began, no other nation has arrived at an equal pitch of prosperity, nor has there ever been a Government so popular as is the Administration of our present Sovereign, who extends the benignant hands of his power over the whole globe. Former dynasties endeavoured to spread their dominion by the force of arms and the havoc of war; but our magnanimous monarch rises on the wings of peace, and by means of commerce, brings foreign nations to increase his wealth, and by agriculture and colonization, creates new countries and new people from the desert wild. The Levee, held by His Excellency, in honour of the day, was very numerously attended, and many gentlemen from the interior and the other side of the Island were present. In the evening, an elegant and sumptuous entertainment was given to a large party at Government House. The long room was filled with gentlemen from among the several classes of the community, the civil and the military, the merchants and agriculturists of the Colony. On the cloth being removed, the health of our King was drank with rapturous expressions of attachment, and a royal salute was fired from Mulgrave Battery, while the band played the national air. The other usual and loyal toasts being drank, His Excellency gave "the health of Governor Darling, and the prosperity of the sister Colony," when the new and beautiful "Australian Air" was struck up ...

"Tasmanian Extracts", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (17 May 1826), 3

"MISCELLANY, ORIGINAL AND SELECT", Hobart Town Gazette (2 September 1826), 4

The last Sydney Concert was graced by an original bravura, the composition of Mr. Kavannagh. If it have any claims to such merit as the sweet "Australian Air" with which we are already acquainted, we congratulate our neighbours, but these attempts at originality by so young a people are very bold.

Bibliography and resources:



The band was that of the 40th Regiment (first tour), under Joseph Reichenberg, who may have brought the Australian Air with him from Sydney, plausibly his own composition, or one of Thomas Kavanagh's.

8 June 1826 (date of event)

Hyde Park, Sydney, NSW


A grand corrobora



[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (10 June 1826), 2 

HYDE PARK presented an animated appearance on Thursday last. A Review of the Troops of the Garrison took place by His Excellency the GOVERNOR, which drew together a large assemblage of the Sydney Fashionables . . .

. . . Even the sable gentry, a tribe of whom appeared on the ground, took their share in the pleasures of the day, and expressed their satisfaction by a grand corrobora, which attracted its quota of admiration and applause. The school-boys of the Carters' Barracks, presenting a clean and healthy appearance, under the direction of their overseers, were allowed to be present, an indulgence granted by Lieutenant DE LA CONDAMINE, as a reward for good conduct, which, by judicious management, we are happy to state, begins to manifest itself amongst that class.

Bibliography and resources:


25 August 1826 (date of letter)

Brucedale, near Bathurst, NSW

14 October 1826 (first published)


"COLO" (pseud.) (reporter) = ? William Henry SUTTOR (1805-1877)

Short songs

Made by the Aborigines of New Holland, inhabiting the country round Bathurst, on many of the settlers here



[Letter] "To the Editors", The Australian (14 October 1826), 3-4

Brucedale, near Bathurst, August 25. 1826. To the Editors of The Australian.

GENTLEMEN, I transmit you some sketches of the manners and customs, &c. of the Aborigines of New Holland, inhabiting the country round Bathurst, where I have had frequent opportunities of observing those rude children of nature; and, thinking they may be interesting to some of your Readers, who like your humble servant, are admirers of nature, or I should better say of the works of God. The natives are in general tall, and extremely well formed. Their chief, who has been named Saturday, is a very fine figure, very muscular, and his limbs are of a Beautiful, symmetry, he has a mind not unconscious, apparently, of his superiority over his sable brethren; his person might be considered a good model for the figure of Apollo. - Another native that I have seen, named Sunday, has a remarkably strong frame of body and when holding his club or waddy, would not be a bad representative for a Hercules. These natives have the appearance, from the sleekness of their skins, of obtaining abundance of food ...

Their dispositions are generally cheerful; they are great songsters, and have made short songs on many of the settlers here. Some they praise, and some they ridicule in their songs ...

I lately observed a tribe that had come from Mudgy, on a visit to Saturday and his tribe; they encamped near my house, and early in the evening I had the curiosity to take a close view of them. They were scattered about upon a rising ground, and seemed much pleased at my coming to see them - were seated on the ground round a number of small fires- indeed I never saw them make large ones, to which they sat very close, each family, generally, to their own fire, but at some observed only women and children. From some of the fires the occupants had gone on a visit to their friends, and in some places were seated groups of men singing songs, or in friendly chat, but I never heard the women sing. The women are much more numerous than the men ...

I was much amused the other day, which was a very fine winter's day, to see Saturday and his tribe, and friends, seated on the ground in groups of men, and groups of women, exposing their persons to the warm rays of the sun, and seemed to be enjoying their highest felicity, singing and making a joyful noise for about three hours - (I mean the men were singing,) I never heard the women sing, but they are at times great laughers ...

Bibliography and resources:


13 September 1826 (date of composition)

30 September 1826 (first published)

Sydney, NSW

"SCOTUS" (songwriter)

Meditations in Sydney church-yard (air - Chevy Chase)



"MEDITATIONS", The Australian (30 September 1826), 4


Tune - "Chevy Chase."

T'was on a Monday morning, of all days in the year,
when up the sun rose early, and the stars did disappear;
I wandered out to muse on fate, and forth my steps addressed,
To that last home where none shall split - nor constables molest.

My mind was in a sorry frame, as you may well suppose,
When first I marked the dingy graves, so neatly placed in rows;
I sat me down upon a tomb, my cheek upon my hand,
I closed my eyes, and mused upon, the exiles of the land.

"And here ye are - and here am I, far - very far - I wot,
From that loved land we always love, both Irishman and Scot;
And Englishman, and Welchman too, that land we ne'er shall see,
That lies full sixteen thousand miles, far off amid the sea.

And you, ye dead, ye had your cares, but now ye all are free;
They press my soul, I almost wish, that I were such as ye.
Ye died, alas! in foreign land, no friend to close your eye,
No sister - brother - child - or wife, to see how ye did die.

Ye all were great and mighty men, at least once in your lives;
It grieves me much to think upon your melancholy wives;
For wives ye had in many towns, so loving each and true,
And all will mourn your fate, I think, in dungares so blue.

But rest in peace, ye have a hope, a certainty - alack, -
That raising Jack, shall never touch your limbs to bring you back.
You here shall lie, till distant day a second time shall call,
To hear the Judge your fate decree, as he will do to all.

How great were ye, whom on a time, the judges of the land,
Arrayed in wig, and cap, and gown, and with a grisly hand
Of smoke faced catch-poles, country squires, and bumpkins round you stood,
To judge you fit to send you here, for "Merrye Englande's" good.

How many tears, and throbs, and sighs, of parents, or of friends,
Were flying round the Court-house walls, to serve their different ends;
Lest their sweet boy, a * * * * * * * [c-o-n-v-i-c-t] should play,
And not be deemed a fit young lad, for Norfolk or the Bay.

Low! low! are now your proudest schemes, 'tis sorrowful to see
The streets stand empty, and the shops, without a lock or key;
Each clumsy cove parades his notes, each bulky reader cracks
Its jutting sides, but not a man now ventures to go snacks.

A darling boy we now have got, who twigs the rum-ones close,
Before one gets to Iron-cove, or even yet to Grose,
The long-legged scourers scamper off, and raise the hue and cry,
Each man pursues - we run the chase, but vain it is to fly.

Here Bandy Bob lies very low, whose hand was in each fob;
The parrots squeaked when he appeared, "my wig," here's Bandy Bob, -
"Take care of pigs and geese," for sure, if pigs or geese were nigh,
This blade delighted well to hear, the roaring rashers' fry.

Here lies flash Bill with six feet clay, clapped close upon his face,
His peepers bunged with mud - his mouth - in pitiable case;
The long and lazy maggot feeds, on lovely William's cheek,
Alas, alas, if Polly knew, 'twould cause her heart to break.

Here Buckskin Will is fitly clothed, and fears nor cold, nor heat,
Here Sneaking Dick may boldly lie, nor bailiffs fear to meet;
Here Jewish Ben has rested well these fifteen years gone by,
None else but death can stop his tricks, in mercy let him lie.

There Brawny Pat from Ballymore, no more shall raise his fist,
For now he closely hugs the earth, in life he often kissed.
Here Tip-top Ned, and Splitting Joe and Saucy Jack repose
All arm in arm, nor longer know how much they once were foes.

Here Dashing Sal is dashed to earth; and all her wit is gone,
Her eye is dim, her lips are pale, her cheek is cold as stone;
That tongue that flashed with wit is low; that head might wear a crown
Had Sal but lived a better life, the toast of Horsely down.

Here Polly Peachum roaring blade, your Coventry does lie;
Here Nancy Dawson virtuous maid, has ceased her art to ply;
Here Bussing Bess in peace doth dwell, the first time in her life;
And Sukey who well knew to use - the mags, and eke the knife.

Ah, Lovely Kitty, 'tis thy grave, alack, and well a-day!
A sweeter face, by foul disgrace, was never turned to clay;
What should thy hoary parent think, were she but here to see
The lovely babe she doated on, and dandled on the knee.

Oh, leprous lips - oh, sinful thoughts, that led poor Kit astray,
That plucked the bloom, and sucked the sweet, and threw the flower away;
If curses, deepest drawn, affect a villain, then I pray,
That care may gnaw his rotten heart, and make his life decay.

All, all your cares are gone, your names are rotting on the earth;
'Twere better ye had children died, or ne'er had gotten birth;
The rank strong grass is waving, o'er the grave in which you rest,
And not a virtuous eye outpours a tear upon your breast."

I raised my staff, and wiped my eye, and homeward took my road,
Resolved to think in after time, of this our last abode;
For here we all must come at last, the wretched quit his woes;
The sick be well, the poor be rich, the weary here repose.

Your's, SCOTUS. Aug. 15, 1826.

Music concordances (tune):

Chevy Chase, Second set of Scots songs for a voice & harpsichord</em> (Edinburgh: R. Bremner, [n.d.]), 28

Second set of Scots songs for a voice & harpsichord (Edinburgh: R. Bremner, [n. d.]), 28

4 October 1826 (first notice)

11 October 1826 (first performance)

Court House, Castlereagh Street, Sydney, NSW

SIPPE, George (composer)

Rondo for clarinet

Clarionet ... a Rondeau, composed by Mr. Sippe

NO COPY IDENTIFIED (? composer's MS score, parts)


[News], The Australian (4 October 1826), 2 

The Concert, which is announced to take place on Wednesday evening next, is for the benefit of a very deserving, active, and intelligent individual, Mr. Sippe, and bids fair, we understand, to outvie in point of judicious arrangement, variety, execution, or other sources of attraction, any one of the seven concerts preceding it. Twenty-give instrumental performers are to comprise the orchestra. The particular songs, glees, and instrumental pieces to be performed, may be seen from an advertisement in another column. Mr. Sippe's hitherto unrewarded exertions promise t0 meet on Wednesday evening with all the just support they are entitled to, and his musical abilities to be more duly appreciated than heretofore.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (4 October 1826), 1

MR. SIPPE'S BENEFIT, Wednesday, October 11, 1826.

Weber's celebrated Overture, Der Freischutz (as performed by His Majesty's Private Band).
Song, " Cease your Funning," - Storace.
Glee, " See our Oars." - Stevenson.
Air, Variations, Clarionet.- Druett; with a Rondo, composed by Mr. Sippe.
Song, "Is there a Heart that never lov'd" - Braham.
Air, Variations, Pianoforte. - Fils.
Recit. and Air, " Death of Nelson." - Braham.
Comic Song.

Overture to the Miller and his Men. - Bishop.
Song, "Adieu, my Native Land." - Hook.
Quartette, two flutes, two French Horns - C. M. Von Weber.
Duet, "Now at Moonlight's Fairy Hour." - Thompson.
Duet, Violin and Violoncello - Brevel.
Comic Song, " Tippytywitchet."
Finale, favourite Overture to Guy Mannering. - Bishop.

Tickets may be had of Mr. G. Paul, Mr. Rapser, Mr. Robertson, Mr. Haves, Mr. B. Levey, Mr. Foxall, and Mr. Foster, at 5s. each. Children, Half-price. N. B The Performance will commence at a Quarter past 7 o'clock precisely.

[Advertisement], The Monitor (6 October 1826), 5

[Advertisement], The Australian (7 October 1826), 1

... Air - Variations clarionet; with a rondeau, composed by Mr. Sippe. Druett ...

"MR. SIPPE'S BENEFIT CONCERT", The Monitor (13 October 1826), 5

THE public evinced their appreciation of talent, and the liberality of their disposition, by a most respectable and very numerous assemblage at the Concert-room, on Wednesday evening, for the benefit of Mr. Sippe, whose unremitted exertions merited the return they met with. No pains had been spared to render, the performance worthy the public, favour - and we may venture to say, that the expectations of the audience were not disappointed. Above four hundred persons were present, among whom we noticed Cols. Dumaresq and Shadforth, the Surveyor-General, several magistrates and. military officers, with others of the greatest respectability. At half-past seven the First Act commenced, with the justly celebrated "overture to Der Freischutz, by C. W. Von Weber, as performed by His Majesty's private band;" This is a rare specimen of German composition, and the band in the Orchestra did ample justice to the piece. Cease your Funning, by Storace, was very unaptly allotted to Mrs. Jones. We, in common with the company, felt surprised that a song so entirely out of her line of singing, should have been selected for this lady. It was doing her real talents an injustice. Stevenson's Boat Glee was favourably received. The introduction of the Kent Bugle accompaniment, omitted on a former occasion, was very pleasing. An air, "Believe me if all those endearing bright charms" with variations, on the clarionet, together with a clever transition to a Rondeau, composed, by Mr. Sippe, were well performed ...

Bibliography and resources:

Skinner 2011a


This work by Sippe and Kavanagh's bravura song The Trumpet Sounds Australia's Fame were the only two original Australian colonial compositions advertised and reported as having been performed in the Sydney Amateur Concert series of 1826.

Sippe evidently composed this rondo as an added as a finale ("with clever transition") to an Air and Variations by Louis Drouet on Believe me if all those endearing bright charms. It had been republished in England in 1824 under the title Gramachree Molly, with Variations for the Flute and Piano Forte, by L. Drouet (London: Cocks & Co., [1824])


[Music review], The Harmonicon 15 (March 1824), 47-48

Gramachree Molly, with Variations for the Flute and Piano Forte, by L. Drouet. (Published by the same [London: Cocks & Co., 1824])

The names of Saust and Drouet are in themselves recommendatory of whatever they shall publish for the flute. This instrument, which fifty years ago almost every man could play upon, more or less, is daily regaining the favour that it once possessed, and its practice is rapidly spreading, amongst "The mob of gentlemen who live at ease." But how different the performances on it in our day, compared with those known to our fathers! It is impossible to enter the circle of musical amateurs now, and not find dilettanti who play, with facility, music that would have perplexed most professional players in the last age. The two books published by Mr. Saust are a proof of this, for the airs contained in them, though by no means difficult compared with what we are in the almost daily habit of hearing, would have enabled a good orchestra performer, half a century ago, to appear very respectably before the public ... M. Drouet has chosen one of the most charming of the Irish airs for his divertimento, and has arranged it with some taste and judgment, not only for the flute, but also for the piano-forte. Either of the parts may be played by a performer of ordinary talent, though there is much of brilliancy and shew in both of them. As it is to be taken for granted that this is a republication, from a foreign copy, and that, therefore, there is no property in it, we cannot help saying, that the price, four shillings, is as unreasonable as impolitic.

8 and 11 October 1826 (event)

King George Sound, Swan River Colony (WA)

SAINSON, Louis de (reporter)

Songs with exchange of names



[? Dumont d'Urville], translation Dyer 2005, 118

I had a pair of castanets in my pocket and ... began to rattle them briskly. Judge of my pleasure when the old man rose with astonishment, and fell to dancing in such a grotesque manner that we were ready to die [laughing].

Dumont d'Urville, translation Dyer 2005, 120

[8 October 1826] ... a savage [approached] at first fairly resolutely, but as he came nearer his boldness seemed to leave him [until] I decided to give him a piece of bread ... he ate it hungrily [and] in a moment, lost all his suspiciousness [and] started to dance and sing and to call him comrades.

Sainson; translation Dyer 2005, 122

We soon understood that our hosts wanted to exchange their names for ours. This custom that travellers have found to be widespread among the archipelagos of the Southern Ocean certainly amazed us among these poor human beings who seemed to us so little endowed with intelligence. It is a mark of an already advanced society, and we could not have expected to find it established among a nomadic troop in this wild county. Whatever the case, the exchange of names took place to their great satisfaction and several of them, to mark the occasion, sang songs in which we were able to recognise our own names. One young man of the group seemed to enjoy some renown as a poet among his comrades, for when he started to sing everyone fell silent and from time to time a flattering murmur seemed to applaud him. The monotonous and rather melancholy chanting begins with high notes and gradually falls into a solemn low tone which imperceptibly dies away and finished with a long humming in which all join in unison. M. Guilbert and I sang them a very lively duet, and we had reason to be proud of our success, for not only did they observe complete silence, but at the end of our song they deigned to applaud us with shouts and handclapping. This latter method of expressing pleasure, also in use in our Europe, was yet another cause of astonishment for us among this miserable people ...

Bibliography and resources:

Dyer 2005

13 November 1826 (date of event)

Near Port Stephens, NSW

INDIGENOUS (singers, adapters)

DAWSON, Robert (composer, adapter, singer)

Song of the natives

We all sit down together


Source and documentation:

Dawson 1830, 134 (133-35)

[125] Upon rising the following morning (Nov. 13th [1826]) ... [133] ... Having produced a favourable impression on the minds of our new acquaintances, and wishing to witness the effect of music upon them, I took from my pocket a small flute, which I always carried upon such occasions, and played them a tune. They stared at me in silence, but without any of the surprise I had calculated upon exciting. They were not, however, without some curiosity about it, as one of them advanced to me, and wished to examine the flute, which I gave him. He appeared to suppose that some animal had been making a noise from it, and examined the holes and the hollow at the end, as if he expected to find something in it, and then returned it to me very quietly. I again played upon it, but it appeared to make no further impression upon them.

I have never been able to account for the apathy of the wild natives this morning with respect to music, because they generally have an excellent ear for it, and those who usually attended me were in the habit of accompanying my flute in chorus, which they did in excellent tune and time. I was in the habit, and especially [134] when I wished to keep them cheerful, of singing and playing the following simple strain to them, with any words which the occasion might call for:

We all sit down to- ge- ther, we're all met here together, ye-o, ye-o, ye-o.

and when they were rowing me in the boat, they would frequently change on a sudden the above words to the following: "Massa like him black pellow, massa like him black pellow, all te same as bingeye, (brothers,) yeo, yeo, yeo." Some of the convicts afterwards taught them to sing the following words:

"We all sit down together, We all get drunk together," &c. &c.

The latter part I would not allow them to sing in my hearing, explaining to them my reasons. These words were therefore never again introduced in my presence, unless they wished to have a joke with me, when they would sometimes repeat them in the last bar, holding their hands up to their mouths, leering at the same time at each other and at me; but, on finding that I refused to join, and that I made signs of dissatisfaction, they would break into a shout, or rather a scream of [133] I once put a musical snuff-box into the hands of one of my domestic natives. He held it to his ear and laughed, then examined it all over, and put it to his ear again, and after apparently reflecting upon the cause of the music from the box, he imagined it to have been filled with musquitoes, whose buz resembles that of a gnat, and he remarked, very sharply, "Musquito tit down here, I bleve, massa." ...

Dawson 1831 (2nd edition), 134 (133-35)

Bibliography and resources:


30 November 1826 (? first performance)

British Hotel, Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

1 December 1826 (first notice)

ANONYMOUS (composer)


Australian march

NO COPY IDENTIFIED (? MS band parts, score)


"ST ANDREW'S DAY", Colonial Times (1 December 1826), 3

Yesterday being the Anniversary of St. Andrew, the Titular Saint of Scotland, the Van Diemen's Land St. Andrew's Club dined together at the British Hotel. The Club were kindly favoured by Colonel Balfour with the Band of the 40th Regiment, which played during dinner. After the cloth was removed, the following toasts were given:-

"The King" - Tune, "God save the King."
"Duke of York and the Army"- Tune, "Duke of York's March."
"Duke of Clarence and the Navy" - Tune, "Rule Britannia."
"Colonel Arthur, and the Prosperity of Van Diemen's Land" - Tune, "Speed the Plough."
"General Darling, and New South Wales". - Tune, "Australian March."
... "The Memory of St. Andrew, the Titular Saint of Scotland," in silence, Tune, "Aauld Lang Syne."
"The Land of Cakes." - Tune "Charlie is my darling."
"Old England." - Tune, "The tight little Island."
"The Emerald Isle." - Tune, "St. Patrick's Day."
"The Clergy" - Tune, "Christ Church Bells."
"Currency Lasses and Sterling Payments," ... Tune, "Britons strike Home."
"Colonel Balfour, and the 40th Regiment." - Tune, "The 40th March."
"Colonel Sorell." - Tune, "Because he was a bonny Lad."
"Sir Walter Scott." - Tune, "The Lady of the Lake."
"The Memory of Wallace and Burns" - Tune, "Scot's Wha hae."
"The Kirk." - Tune, "Kiss my Lady."
" The Beggar's Bennison." - Tune, "Kenmore."

During the evening, many other excellent Toasts and Songs were given; and, in short, we never witnessed a more happy and convivial Meeting. It was with much pleasure, we observed amongst the assembly, some of the most respectable Gentlemen of the Colony, viz: Mr. HONE, Mr. BEDFORD, Mr. KNOPWOOD, Dr. JONES, 40th Regt.; Mr. GUNNING, Mr. KEMP, Mr. BETHUNE, &c. The Dinner was excellent, and Mr. MARTIN, the Landlord of the Hotel, fully maintained the character he has so justly acquired of producing superb entertainments. The Room, now called "The St. Andrew's Hall," was tastefully festooned - the Thistle, the Rose, and the Shamrock, being gracefully entwined together. The company broke up at an early hour this morning, all highly gratified.

Bibliography and resources:



Played by Reichenberg's Band of the 40th Regiment in answer to a toast to General Darling and "the Sister Colony" [New South Wales]; perhaps one of Reichenberg's own works, or one of Thomas Kavanagh's compositions; see also Australian Air above.

28 December 1826

The Market Place, Parramatta, NSW

The annual corrobary

Annual native feast at Parramatta 1826 (Augustus Earle)

Source (image):

Augustus Earle, The annual meeting of the native tribes at Parramatta, New South Wales, the Governor meeting them [December 1826] (DIGTISED)


"Government Notice", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (23 December 1826), 

COLONIAL SECRETARY'S OFFICE, 21st DEC. 1825. HIS EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR will hold His Annual Conference with the Chiefs and Tribes of the Natives, on Thursday, the 28th Instant, at the Hour of Eleven in the Forenoon, at the Market Place, in Parramatta. By His Excellency's Command, ALEXANDER MCLEAY.

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (30 December 1826), 2 

The Annual Conference, which His EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR holds with the Aboriginal Tribes of the Country, pursuant to Public Notice to the effect, took place at Parramatta, on Thursday last in the usual festive spot - the Market-place. There were somewhere about 160 natives present, consisting of men, women, and children. This number was something less than that of former years, owing to a recent declaration of hostilities between the Cowpasture tribes and those of Liverpool and Illawarra districts ... There was a species of modesty, too, about them, which, if more generally known, would have added considerably to the interesting scene, as, in that case, many Ladies of rank and fashion would doubtless have honoured the motley groupe with their dislinguished presence; indeed, there was nothing that indicated the semblance of indelicacy, which perhaps may be attributed to their more frequent intercourse with Europeans, whose virtues and humanity, in the course of time, will doubtless get into more general acceptition amongst them. There were several Gentlemen of consequence present on the occasion, and the spectators of the grotesque yet happy scene were not only generally respectable, but also tolerably numerous. HIS EXCELLENCY, who was accompanied by the Honorable Mr. M'LEAY, Colonel DUMARESQ, and several other Gentlemen, was evidently much gratified with the business of the day, and none were more highly delighted than the guests themselves; who, at a late hour in the afternoon, retired to their native fastnesses, in order to prepare for the din of arms.

[News], The Australian (30 December 1826), 2 

The Aboriginal Natives, according to custom, assembled in groups, at and near Parramatta, previous to Thursday last, for the purpose of receiving, at the time appointed, their usual fare at the annual corrobary. Pursuant to public notification, his Excellency the Governor repaired with his Staff, on Thursday morning, and held the conference with the Chiefs of the sable subjects. The concourse of aborigines was much the same as on similar occasions; and the ceremoniwes and observances quite in accordance with their expectation. It was a novelty for the Governor, as this was the first conference at which his Excellency has been present, the rain and boisterous weather having prevented his attendance last year [actually 17 January 1826]. About one hundred and sixty of the natives were present. The assembly to spectators was trifling, in comparison with those of former times.

"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Monitor (6 January 1826), 2 

The annual conference with the natives was never so thinly attended since the foundation of this national custom by the judicious Macquarie. No gentlemen, scarcely, were present. The Governor and staff with a few military and naval officers, went round as usual, but it was a dull meeting. 160 natives attended, including women and children. They were fed to the full, and were allowed to fill their nets with the fragments.

Bibliography and resources:



16 January 1827 (first notice)

Sydney, NSW

KAVANAGH, Thomas (composer)

New music

Vocal and instrumental, composed by Mr. Cavenagh



[News], The Sydney Gazette (16 January 1827), 2

Mr. Cavenagh, we understand, is about to have a Benefit Concert, under very distinguished patronage. As a musician, Mr. C's talents rate high, and his exertions, on all occasions, to please, will, we have little doubt, procure him a liberal and substantial mark of public favour. A rich and varied musical treat, we are informed, is in preparation, and some new music, vocal and instrumental, composed by Mr. Cavenagh, will be produced on this occasion. Concert going, it has been said, is out of fashion; the people, it is asserted, are tired, or fickle, and what not, but this, we have little hesitation in saying, is not the fact, and some of the late failures may, without much difficulty, be attributed to a cause which would rather serve to mark the correctness of the public taste, and their desire to see those scenes of pleasing recreation enlivened and sustained by that aid, without which they will never be really attractive. The absence of a female vocalist is the true cause of the apathy; for, who that professes the least pretension to a soul attuned to harmony can endure the continued succession of gruff masculine voices in solos and glees, and glees and solos to the end of the chapter? "Who sings next? Mr. So-and-so; Who next? Mr. Thingumme! Who next? Mr. What-d'-ye-call-em!!

"Soup for breakfast, soup for dinner, soup for supper, and soup for breakfast again!"

This is not endurable, particularly when it is known that a remedy can be applied. Mr. Cavenagh, therefore, it is to be hoped, will gratify his friends with tones that

"- mingle, in one sweet measure,
The past, the present, and future of pleasure,
As memory links the tone that is gone
With the blissful tone that's still on the ear,
And Hope from a heavenly note flies on
To a note more heavenly still that is near!"

"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Monitor (27 January 1827), 2

We cannot admire, by any means, the strictures the Gazette has deemed it necessary to make upon that very respectable body of men, the Committee of the Amateur Concert. We say, strictures upon the committee, because the Gazette influentially finds fault with their conduct, when he hints that due exertion has not been made in gaining the acquisition of female vocalists. It ought ever to be remembered, (before public censure be indulged in, either openly or by innuendo) that the Committee of the Amateur Concert were not like the paid managers of a public theatre; but that they were the public-spirited, we may almost shy patriotic originators of a pastime, which, considering the difficulties to be encountered, has, we consider, been highly creditable to them. It also ought to be remembered, that the same public spirit which originated, carried into effect the plan; and that every exertion was made by the committee to obtain female and other professional talent. When these latter circumstances especially, are considered, it certainly strikes us as a sorry way of remunerating men for their gratuitous and indefatigable exertions for public enjoyment, publicly to censure them on the ipsa dixit of - (but we have a regard for the sex.) We, as well as the Gazette, can admire female singers; but in the absence of them, are well contented to listen to the harmony of Edwards or of Clarke. On the practicability or not of obtaining respectable females, we shall not descant; we would desire to avoid painful personalities, and will therefore avoid the subject. The Gazette's facetiousness was neither in time nor place.

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (30 January 1826), 3

After dozing for eleven days over some very innocent remarks of ours, on what we then believed, and do still believe, to be a cause, after the first excitement was over, of the decreasing interest of the Amateur Concerts, the Monitor comes forth, in his last number, with what he, doubtless, believes to be a mighty fine thing, and quite a triumphant reply to what we advanced. Poor fellow! what a misfortune it is, that he could not disentangle the "thick (i. e. muddy) coming fancies," which brooded so long over what he terms the "strictures" of the Gazette, and have enlightened the world with his paragraph of thirty lines, after somewhat less time taken in the composition, than eleven days! But, in sober sadness, we would ask, wherein the "strictures" of the Gazette upon the Committee of the Amateur Concert, a body of gentlemen for whom, individually and collectively, we entertain respect, equal to any which the Monitor can vaunt, consisted? We deny, in toto, that we censured the Committee of the Amateur Concert; for, in fact, at the time we penned our "strictures" (strictures!) such a body was, not in existence; the "Sydney Amateur Concerts," properly so called, had been discontinued, nor would the gentlemen who conducted them with so much credit to themselves, and satisfaction to all who partook of the enjoyments which their exertions afforded, ever have taken our remarks to apply particularly to them, had not the Monitor taken the fool's cap, which was thrown amongst the crowd, and at once placed it on the head of his friend. Besides the Committee, at their concerts, did mark their own taste by availing themselves of that aid, the want of which, on other occasions, all who attended concerts, did complain of. Mr. Cavanagh, we understood, was about to have a Benefit Concert; we were of opinion that he was entitled, on more than one ground, to public support, and, with the most friendly intentions, we pointed out to him what we conceived to be the cause of the failures on the part of other benefit takers, and recommended him to avoid falling into the same error. Such was the whole amount of our "strictures;" and for the Monitor with his face of wisdom to apply this to the Committee of the "Amateur Concerts!" Really we shall begin to believe that the Monitor's wisdom, like the owl's (by the way, the Monitor also now makes his appearance at night), consists mainly in the look, for this is not the first practical blunder he has made. We, as well as the Monitor, are aware that the Committee are not like the paid managers of a public theatre, but we are also aware that should the Monitor himself take a Benefit Concert, the public to whom he would naturally look for support, have a right to point out to him the kind of entertainment with which they would be best pleased, and this was all the "strictures" of the Gazette amounted to, in the case of Mr. Cavanagh. As to the observation that our remarks were made on the ipsa dixit or ipse dixit either of any one, it is apiece of impertinence so perfectly in keeping with the stupidity that pervades the whole production, that we deem it unworthy of a reply, and, shall conclude our present "strictures," not on the Committee, but on the Monitor, by observing that his silly stuff about the practicability of obtaining respectable females, only more clearly demonstrates his ignorance of the subject, on which he presumes to write. No man of feeling will suffer his wife, sister, or daughter, to become a public singer, or performer of any description, who has any other means of providing for her. It is the hard weapon of necessity alone, that will induce a woman of delicacy to appear before the public for hire; and therefore, we do say, that, notwithstanding the Monitor's "regard for the sex," his observations were both illiberal and unfeeling. We have heard of an application to the Committee, for an engagement, being refused, whether properly or not, we are far from offering an opinion, but we will, at the same time, say that Sydney can produce some females who might be induced to gratify the public by the exertion of their talents, fully as respectable, in every point of view, as any London can present. So much for the Monitor, and his " facetiousness."

Bibliography and resources:

Skinner 2011, 86


The promised benefit concert at which this new music was to be played appears not to have taken place before Kavanagh left with his regiment for India on 28 January.

26 January 1827 (? first performance)

New Court House, Sydney, NSW

27 January 1827 (first notice)

ANONYMOUS (composer)

Governor's march



"THE ANNIVERSARY DINNER", The Monitor (27 January 1827), 5

This dinner assumed an unusual importance this year; at all events, from the delightful harmony that prevailed, the excellent order and management of the Toasts and Music, and last, but not least, the profusion of the best viands, (remarkably well cooked) and of wines, (including therein a good supply of Champagne) we beg to inform such of our merchants who did not do themselves the honour of being present, that if they like exchanging some of the best sympathies of our nature with their fellow citizens, they would have enjoyed themselves last night in the new Court-House. And this reminds us of the room, - lofty, spacious, with a pleasing echo, indicating the presence of municipal wealth, and which gives one a pleasing idea of magnitude and civic state. No other room in the Colony is fit fo be noticed hereafter, as a dining room. It held tables for 130 guests, with ample space between each set. Two hundred might dine in the room. Above 110 sat down yester evening. At seven, the guests took their seats. In a few seconds the front folding doors under the new elegant Portico were thrown open, and two of the Stewards announced to the company the arrival of their honoured guest The Sherif of the Colony. The company immediately rose and cheered with clapping of hands, the Band striking up the old English melody of "O the roast Beef of Old England." The Sheriff being introduced to the President, was then handed to a seat on his right. Mr. Barrister Wentworth sat on his left. The hilarity produced caused the President and company to forget grace. With great propriety however the President again rose, and called upon one of the company (the Archdeacon not happening to be present) to do this office, so honourable to a Christian Assembly. Off then flew the covers, and with merry hearts and keen appetites the company proceeded to renovate their clay. The toasts were as follows:

1. "The King." (God save the King) Four times four and immense applause.
2. "The Duke of York and the Army." (Duke's March.)
3. "The Duke of Clarence and the Navy." (Rule Britannia.)
4. "The Governor." (Governor's March.)
5. "The Memory of Governor Phillip." (Roselyne Castle.)
6. "The Memory of Governor Macquarie the Father of Australia." (Auld lang syne - this pathetic air brought tears into the eyes of many - and no wonder - for there were persons of great wealth present, who had received unconditional pardons from this friend of man) - the Toast was drank in silence as to cheers, but the ardour of a people's love broke forth in clapping of hands and of the table - renewed - once more!
7. "Sir Thomas Brisbane." (The President after his glass was empty was going to sit down - at least so it appeared to us, but a certain Son of Australia just happening to drop a hint in a very loud voice "with 3 times 3!" the President instinctly somehow kept erect, and off went the cheers with the rapidity of lightning and the loudness of thunder!) Tune - "There's nae good luck about the house."
8. "Trial by Jury."
9. "Taxation by Representation."
10. "The cause of Civil and Religious Liberty all over the world."
11. "The rising generation."
11. "Success to Agriculture and Commerce."

All these were drank with three times three and clapping of hands, by way of finale. The official toasts being all ended, Mr. Wentworth proposed "The Health of the Sheriff." The ardour of the company in this toast, put them a little ont; and whether it was 3 times three, or 3 times 4, or 4 times five; we could not exactly discern. There was, however, a tumultuous applause. The sheriff, in a very affable speech, returned his thanks. He expressed his hearty satisfaction at being invited to meet such a respectable body of gentleman, many of whom were men of great property, and all had risen in society by their industry. He felt it an honour to be invited to sit down with such men, and ever should feel it an honour to meet them, His professional duties in England had led him much to public dinners. He could assure them, not only had he never witnessed more admirable management and order than he then witnessed, but he never felt in his life more hearty pleasure and unfeigned satisfaction than he had done that evening - (here our Press-man sent us an imperious order, that he MUST go to press) - the sheriff said more - we could say more, but we must resign our pen. THE health of Sir John Jamison and W. C. Wentworth were drunk with enthusiastic applause. THE SHERIFF left about 11. The Barrister, the single hearted Patriot of Australia about 12. A Patriotic song by Mr. Hill, and Dulce Domum by Mr. Blanch were greatly applauded, the style of singing of each being well adapted to his subject. Mr. Blanch certainly breathes forth sweet tones, which in the lofty new Court House sounded like a flute.

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (29 January 1827), 3 

We omitted to mention in our paragraph on the Anniversary Dinner, in our last number, that Mr. D. Cooper was President, and Mr. Payne Vice-President. The following were the toasts given on the occasion:-

The King - Air, God save the King.
Duke of York and the Army - Duke of York's March.
Duke of Clarence and the Navy - Rule Britannia.
The Governor - British Grenadiers.
The Memory of Governor Philip, the Founder of the Colony - Rosslyn Castle.
The Memory of Major General Macquarie, the Father of Australia - Auld Lang Syne.
Sir Thomas Brisbane - There's nae luck.
Trial by Jury - Britons strike Home.
Taxation by Representation - Hearts of Oak. The Freedom of the Press, the greatest Blessing to Mankind - Tyrolese Song of Liberty.
The Cause of Civil and Religious Liberty all over the World - Scot's wha hae.
The rising Generation of the Colony - Currency Lasses. The Agricultural and Commercial Interests of New South Wales - Speed the Plough.
The Sheriff. W. C. Wentworth, Esq. and Sir John Jamison, the Mover and Seconder of the Petition.
The Ladies of the Colony.
Howe, Wardell, and Hall, the independent Advocates of the Free Press of the Colony.
The Chairman. The Stewards.
The Memory of Mr. Michael Robinson, the Poet Laureate of the Colony.

Bibliography and resources:



If not Rule Britannia as reported in the Gazette, perhaps one of Kavanagh's two marches for Governor Darling (see above); the band is not named, but it was probably Kavanagh's Buffs' Band on one of its last Sydney appearances before its embarkation for India.

26 January 1827 (? first performance)

New Court House, Sydney, NSW

3 February 1827 (first published)

"H." (songwriter) = ? HILL, Arthur (singer)

Song for the late anniversary dinner (air - St. Patrick's Day)

Paraphrase on one of Moore's National Melodies, arranged expressly for the occasion, sung by Mr. A. Hill


Source and documentation:

"THE ANNIVERSARY DINNER", The Monitor (27 January 1827), 5


"The following paraphrase ...", The Monitor (3 February 1827), 3

The following Paraphrase on one of Moore's National Melodies, arranged expressly for the occasion, was sung by Mr. A. Hill, at the late Anniversary Dinner. We have been requested to publish it.


Beaming bright are our prospects, our sorrows retiring
Leave our bosoms enlighten'd with hope's cheering ray;
The birth-right of Britons still warmly desiring -
Then fondly we'll hail the bright favour'd day!
But just as the morn-star
Is seen from afar,
The harbinger bright of the opening day,
So Liberty's dawn,
Illumines our morn,
And sheds joy o'er our hearts like the summer sun's beam;
A joy 'tis - that shines with a permanent ray -
But tho' 'twere the last spark that in our souls gleam,
We'll light it up now on AUSTRALIA'S Birth-day!

Contempt on the Minion! that calls us disloyal!
Tho' fierce to our foes, to our friends we are true!
And the tribute most high to the head that is royal,
Is, love from the heart that loves LIBERTY too!
Tho' Envy may blight,
Our fame and birth-right,
Who'd shrink in the contest for Liberty's sway?
The dawning of Freedom,
Onward briskly shall lead 'em,
Oh! my life on your faith! were you summon'd this minute,
You'd cast ev'ry bitter remembrance away -
And shew what the heart of a Briton has in it,
When call'd on to act on AUSTRALIA'S birth-day!

Our attachment to Freedom, (for ages recorded,)
In rising Australia we will not forget;
For our hopes may be crown'd, our attachment rewarded,
And the bright Sun of Freedom illumine us yet!
Its gem may be broke,
By many a stroke,
But nothing can cloud its native ray!
Each fragment will cast,
A light to the last;
And, land of adoption! thou choice of my heart!
There's a spirit within thee that ne'er will decay!
There's a lustre resplendent that shines through each part,
And we'll light it up now, on AUSTRALIA' birth-day!


Bibliography and resources:


Music concordance (tune):


9 March 1827 (first notice)

March 1827 (first performance)

St. James's Church, King Street, Sydney, NSW

PEARSON, James (composer)


Arranged by Mr. Pearson



[News], The Monitor (9 March 1827), 8

The choir of St. James's Church, will chaunt on Sunday evening next, the Magnificat, arranged by Mr. Pearson, who has accepted the office of leader.

Bibliography and resources:


6 August 1827 (first published)

Sydney, NSW

ANONYMOUS (songwriter)

Don Ferola Whiskerando (new song; air - Blue bells of Scotland)



"A New Song", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (6 August 1827), 4

A New Song


Tune - Blue Bells of Scotland.

O where and O where does your Whiskerando dwell?
O where and O where does your Whiskerando dwell?
He dwells in merry George-street, at the sign of the snuff mill,
And it's O in my heart, I love Whiskerando well.

O where and O where has your Whiskeraudo gone?
O where and O where, &c.
He's gone unto th'Australian now, where "curious" deeds are done,
And it's O in my heart, but I wish him safe at home.

How'looks your Whiskerando, for of this I'd hear you speak?
How looks your Whiskerando, &c.
His beard is like the carrot red, his nose like eagle's beak,
You'd know him for tobacconist if you'd but hear him squeak.

Suppose and suppose Whiskerando now should die,
Suppose and suppose, &c.
The smokers would smoke over him, and some would strive to cry,
And I would whisper gently, "love, 'tis all in my eye!"

Bibliography and resources:


Music concordances (tune):

Man of feeling, or, The gentleman's musical repository ... (London: Printed by Goulding, Phipps & D'Almaine, [?1803]), 12

The very popular and beautiful Scotch Ballad sung by Mrs. Oldmixon called The BLUE BELL of SCOTLAND ... ([US edition, c.1800])


Perhaps refers to the case tobacconist Thomas Horton James brought against "The Rev'd" Laurence Halloran, editor of The Gleaner


"Supreme Court. Monday", The Monitor (24 September 1827), 8

Supreme Court, Civil Side. Monday. Before the Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Stephen. H. G. Douglass and A . B. Spark, Esqs. Assessors. T. H. James Esq. v. The Rev. Dr. Halloran. The Plaintiff in this case sought to recover damages for the publication of a libel, in a weekly newspaper called the Gleaner, of which the Defendant is Editor and Proprietor, tending to defame his character, and lower him in the estimation of the world. The Defendant put in a plea of justification generally. The offensive matter was contained in a poetical effusion, entitled " Three dozen," "or a pipe for the Tobacconist," in which allusions of a coarse and somewhat obscene nature were made to the person of the Plaintiff ...

9 November 1827 (first performance)

Cummins's Hotel, Sydney, NSW

12 November 1827 (first notice)

ANONYMOUS (songwriter, composer)

SIPPE, George (composer)

Sydney lasses (song tune)


Australian troop

Air by Mr. Sippy, band master of the 57th


The Australian waltz

[? Tune - Over the hills and far away]



"TURF CLUB DINNER", The Monitor (12 November 1827), 6s

AT an early hour on Friday evening, Mr. Cummins's Hotel became the arena for discussing a most important subject in the eyes of every Englishman, viz. a good dinner. A numerous assemblage of naval, military, civil, and law officers, with many private gentlemen, bore a spirited part in the said discussion. W. C. Wentworth Esq. was unanimously requested to accept the chair; and a more competent chairman could not have been selected. Among the guests were Colonel Shadford, who, with the politeness for which he has already distinguished himself, brought the fine band of his regiment to promote the hilarity of the evening. The cloth being removed, and some bottles of Champagne having gone the way of all the earth, the following toasts were given with three times three throughout:-

The King - Air - "God save the King."
The Lord High Admiral - "Rule Britannia."
The Army - "George the Fourth's grand March." ...
The health of Sir Thomas Brisbane ... was drunk with the most unbounded enthusiasm, the shouts of applause lasting for several minutes. Air "Auld lang syne," which was played exquisitely, as if the band had been animated by the eloquent delivery of Mr. W's sentiments.
The Governor and the Colony - Tune - "Over the Hills and far away."
The Ladies of the Colony" - "Queen Caroline's Waltz."
The Turf with all its consequences - "Gallop."
The Jockey Club of England with all the fun and frolic attendant on it - "Sydney Lasses."
Success to the Sydney Races "Black Joke."
Col. Shadford and the 57th Regiment - "Rond de Leon," or "57th quick step."

After an excellent song, Dr. Douglass proposed "The health of the Chairman, as a principal promoter of the objects of this Society by his excellent breed of Horses." Mr. Wentworth rose to return thanks; the compliment of his friend which was so unequivocally expressed by the Assembly, was one to which he did not feel himself entitled, except the gentleman would accept the best efforts of an unsuccessful essayist at breeding. He had bred Horses and other animals it was true; but not of that superior description which should merit the very unqualified approbation bestowed upon him that evening. - Air - "Australian Troop" by Mr. Sippy, band master of the 57th. "The Judges of the Colony; than whom more honourable and upright men do not exist." was proposed by Mr. Garling and drunk with enthusiasm. Several toasts of less importance were then given, and among them "The health of Sir Australia Thomas Brisbane, a Native of the Colony, and honorary Member of the Turf Club," was received with marked approbation. A few excellent songs were sung, and the party broke up at an early hour, having spent the evening in the utmost harmony and conviviality.

"TURF CLUB DINNER", The Australian (14 November 1827), 3

[Editorial], The Monitor (15 November 1827), 6

In our last number we gave the proceedings of a subscription dinner at Cummings's, given by the members of the Turf Club "in commemoration of Sir Thomas Brisbane." The Stewards consisted of the Sheriff, two Merchants, and one of our leading Barristers (who is also a native of the Colony and a large land-holder.) The Company therefore may be said to be a tolerable representation of public feeling in matters of politics. While we consider Sir Thomas Brisbane, as a Gentleman, and in his intentions as a Governor, deserving of every praise, still we think that it was only in the last six months of his administration in his capacity of Governor that he fully merited the special encomiums bestowed upon him by the patriotic Chairman. Sir Thomas was a man of science and a Soldier. Politics he did not understand any farther, than that he possessed that general idea of them which belongs in the present day to all men of rank and education. The "impenetrable Major" kept Sir Thomas as strictly to his orders from home, as he possibly could; and it was not until the worthy Knight found himself secretly assailed by a party here, which succeeded in ousting him of his office, that Sir Thomas began to take the reins of Government in his own hands, by which the opportunity was afforded him of evincing to the Colonists, that urbanity of manners, and overflowing kindness of heart, which every one who knew the late Governor will allow, were his undoubted attributes. The Band, on the health of Sir Thomas being drunk, struck up the pathetic air of "Auld Lang syne." But when the health of the present Governor was drunk, "Over the hills and far awa" was the tune selected by the Stewards, as best expressive in their opinion, of the feelings of the Company and the Colony ...

[Editorial], The Australian (21 December 1827), 3 

... though the name of every other air played, up to the time of the health of the Governor being drank, was correctly and minutely mentioned. It may be useful to add, that none of the Company, if we except one Member, could state whether "Over the hills and far away" had in reality followed the Toast; while it was mentioned that a Member, who had slightly entered into the previous conversation, had asked another Member during the time the air was played, "what was the name of it," and he was told in answer, that it was "The Australian waltz." Various Members having made their remarks, it was the clear opinion of the Club, excepting one person, that the proceedings of the Dinner, even in reference to the Tune were in no wise intended to give offence to his Excellency, their Patron ...

Bibliography and resources:


Music concordance:

"Over the hills and far away", The Caledonian pocket companion: being a collection of the favourite Scotch tunes for the German flute by James Oswald, vol. 2 (London: Printed for R. Bremner, n.d. [1771]) (DIGITISED)


2 January 1828

The Market-place, Parramatta, NSW

Corroborie at Parramatta



"GOVERNMENT NOTICE", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (3 December 1827), 1 

COLONIAL SECRETARY'S OFFICE, 24TH NOVEMBER, 1827. HIS EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR will hold His Annual Conference with the Chiefs and Tribes of the Natives, on Wednesday, the 2d of January next, at the Hour of Eleven in the Forenoon, at the Market-place, in Parramatta.

"CORROBORIE AT PARRAMATTA", The Australian (4 January 1828), 3 

Parramatta became overrun on Wednesday with groups of the black natives, who journeyed from various parts of the Country in order to sit down at the Governor's annual Feast ... having gorged thus sumptuously, they fell to singing, and dancing, and shouting, and his Excellency shortly after retired from the scene. But few strangers visited the place of festivity. Bungarree was not there, nor his tribe ...

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (4 January 1828), 2 

The Annual Conference of the Aboriginal Tribes throughout the Country, pursuant to an official communication on that head, took place at Parramatta, on Wednesday last. His Excellency left Town at an early hour, accompanied by the Venerable the Archdeacon, the Honorable the Colonial Secretary, and Captain Jervoise, of H.M.S. Pandora. There were about 200 natives present, which were not so many as those of last year by forty or fifty. The usual substantial refreshment, and an abundance of them, were laid out for these sons of Ham, who, though decidedly fond of good living, seemed more particularly to appreciate the additional and novel bestowment of hats, jackets, and trowsers to the chiefs, and petticoats, and other feminine outfits, to the fair ones ... Independent of the Governor, and the distinguished Personages we have mentioned, a respectable concourse had assembled from various parts to witness and enjoy the gratifying, though grotesque, assemblage of black ladies and gentlemen, who only meet once a year to participate in the conviviality which has been kept up since the days of the venerated Macquarie. The Governor was much pleaded with the satisfaction that beamed forth from every countenance; and His Excellency intends to effect some improvement in these annual festivities, by which greater numbers will be induced to attend, and may in consequence return to their native fastnesses not only fed for the moment, but clothed also for future days.

"ABORIGINAL FEAST", The Monitor (7 January 1828), 4-5 

On Wednesday last, the Aboriginal feast was held at Parramatta. An unusually thronged attendance of the Natives took place, owing probably to the execution of the murderer "Jackey, Jackey," more generally known by the name of "Tommy," which occurred on the previous Monday. As our laws are based upon reform and example, and not upon retributive justice, we think had the malefactor been reprieved until the day after this feast, and then executed in the presence of his sable compatriots, the end of his punishment would have been more fully answered. But the man is gone, and it is not our intention here to cavil at the act which cannot now be rendered. We shall proceed therefore to a description of the Aboriginal fete. At the usual hour, His Excellency and suite attended the feast, which, according to old English custom, consisted of substantial beef and bread ... After the mandibles and wearables had been distributed in such a manner as to elicit distinct proofs of satisfaction in the countenances of these children of nature, the General and Suite retired to Government-house, to enjoy an entertainment of a higher order, while the contented blacks fell back to their humble bivouack in the streets of Parramatta.

Bibliography and resources:


26 January 1828 (first notice)

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

DEANE, John Philip (composer)

The first set of Tasmanian quadrilles

By J. P. Deane



[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (26 January 1828), 2

THE undersigned lent to some friend the flute parts of Pleyel's Quintetts, as arranged by Solomon for five instruments, and will feel greatly obliged by the party returning them. J. P. DEANE.

Mrs. DEANE respectfully begs to return her thanks to her friends, for the support given to the Hobart town Library, and offers for sale the following articles: - Writing paper, foolscap, Bath, gilt edge, note ditto, copybooks, pens, ink, paper, ink in bottles, wafers, scaling wax, slates, slate pencils, folio for invoices, music paper, violin strings and bridges, patterns for working muslins, drawing paper, penknives, scissors, pocket and other combs, scents, and a variety of other articles. Also a large collection of Children's school and other books, TERMS OF THE LIBRARY. Per Annum ... £2 2s. Per Quarter. 15[s] Per Month. 7[s], Per Book. 6d.

Just published, the first set of Tasmanian Quadrilles, by J. P. Deane.

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (2 February 1828), 1

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (23 August 1828), 1

At Deane's Circulating Library,
THE following MUSIC is offered for Sale, on the most reasonable terms, viz: ...

... ...
New Quadrilles - Webster.
Hobart town, do - Reichenberg.
Tasmanian do. - Deane.
Instruction books for the piano forte, flute, violin, and violoncello ...

Bibliography and resources:

Skinner 2011, 88

3 April 1838 (event)

Wallace ( ? ), VDL (TAS)

11 April 1828 (publication of report)

A phantom corrobory



"TO THE EDITOR", The Tasmanian (11 April 1828), 3 

SIR, - On Thursday last, a Messenger from Wallace, came to this place and reported that the Natives were holding a Corrobory, about a mile to the Northward of Mr. Makersey's Farm. A party of the 40th were immediately despatched in quest of them. They scoured the adjacent Gullies, and found - not the much dreaded Natives, but a group of Neighbours who were enjoying the pleasures of the Chase: between whose hunting halloo, and the wild yell of the Blacks, some cowardly keeper, had not been able to distinguish.

I believe that one half of the deadful accounts that are promulgated about the Aborigines, are built on as fragile foundations. I have known some of our Farmers tremble at the sight of a fire in the bush. A shepherd loses bis sheep, flour is missing from the stock hut; the Servant dreads his Master's anger; and the poor Natives, who never saw it, must bear the blame. I am not insensible to the depredations that the Aborigines have committed ; they hare stolen our goods, plundered us of our flocks, burned our habitations, yes, and they have even dyed their spears in our blood. How shall we put an end to these incursions? Shall we kill the Blacks wherever we meet them, and blot their names from the face of the Earth? Humanity revolts at this, we shudder to embrue our hands in human blood, shall we hunt them with our blood-hounds? shall we remove them to some place of security? The idea is absurd and impractable : we may as well attempt to catch all the Kangaroos in the Island, as the cunning light-footed Aborigines.

I am of Opinion that the Blacks may yet be civilised About the Western Coast the Blacks are settled, and friendly they reside in the same huts for months together; subsisting on the fish that are caught by their women. During their stay at these parts, much good might be done amongst them. At these times the attempt to gain their confidence, would be highly practicable, and, if matters were properly managed, we might succeed. It only requires the Government, and our philantropic Colonists, to put their hands to the Plough.

I am, Sir, Yours, &c., A Constant Observer.

30 May 1828 (first notice, publication)

Sydney, NSW

ANONYMOUS (editor) (? English); ? = Richard HILL

Select portions of the psalms of David

... to which are added hymns for the celebration of church holy-days, and festivals



Select portions of the psalms of David according to the version of Dr. Brady and Mr. Tate, to which are added hymns for the celebration of church holy-days, and festivals (Sydney: Printed by R. Howe, Government Printer, 1828)

Exemplars: [NLA, SL-NSW]

Later editions:

(Hobart-Town: Printed by James Ross, 1830) - SEE BELOW [NLA, SL-NSW, SL-TAS]

(Launceston: Printed at the Launceston Examiner Office, 1844) [NLA, SL-NSW] [BL copy]


[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (30 May 1828), 2

... one thousand copies ... have recently been printed at the Gazette Office, copies of which may be had on application to the Clerk of the old Church [St. Philip's], in Sydney.

Bibliography and resources:


31 May and 17 June 1828 (event)

Near Goulburn and Towrang, NSW

INDIGENOUS (young men in Moyengully's band)



MITCHELL, Thomas Livingston (recorder, reporter)

Bathurst song
Kangaroo song 1


Kangaroo song 2
Road song


Sources and documentation:

Thomas Livingstone Mitchell, Field note and sketch book, MS, C42, SL-NSW, May, 16-17 June 1828 (DIGITISED)

Mitchell's field notes, 31 May 1828 (SL-NSW C42)

Saturday May 31st ... The young men ... were of a gay disposition that night, for they sang several songs, one was that they called the Bathurst Song, another the Kangaroo Song, each line commencing "Kangaroo-oo" - one commences, and the others join in the words &c ... the old King [Moyengully, "king of the Nattai"] added his bass voice occasionally to the strain.

Mitchell's field notes, 17 June 1828 (SL-NSW C42)

Tuesday 17th June ... In the evening the native sung a good English song, and also various native songs, one, the Kangaroo song seemed very poetical, according to his description of it - one verse seemed to be a description of the implements, another the unsuccessful chase, another the night passing, another day break next day - another the chase and naming Worrong Mountain & other mountains; and, finally the death of the Kangaroo. I got him to repeat the words slowly, and then having written them down, I repeated them to him, when he said "Bel (not) stupid fellow you, like other white fellows." When I asked him, however, to exaplin the meaning of each word, I found that one meant kangaroo, another Emu, another limbs, another liver, heart &c, which amused us a good deal ... [part of the transcription below]

Kangaroo song (Mitchell C42 SL-NSW)

[Kangaroo song]

Gubi gubi gay gin ganba aei ganba geba gure gruen gay

(Spear thrownb but misses the kangaroo)

Arabun uma enimya aray inglay wanumbula ingay enimili ingay

(Can't find the kangaroo)

Midme gurga enga mamega gangeroo abona tinnua erie cobua na nalluderra luba

(Kangaroo looks but sees nobody)

Burranbunga windeginye uringango kuto oringa tumberin gang cumbiaga.

(Kangaroo turns away and the hunter kills it.)

[Road song]

Morud´ yerrab´ tundaj kmara

Morud´ yerrab´ tundaj kmara

(Road goes creaking long shoes)

Morud´ yerrab´ meniyonging white ma la

Morud´ yerrab´ meniyonging white ma la

(Road goes uncle and brother white man see.)

Mitchell 1838, 2, 320, and plate 49 

In the numerous ravines surrounding Jellore, the little river Nattai has its sources, and this wild region is the haunt and secure retreat of the Nattai tribe, whose chief Moyengully was one of my earliest aboriginal friends. (See pl. 49.)

Bibliography and resources:

Meredith 1989, The last Kooradgie: Moyengully, chief man of the Gundungurra people, 16-20

Baker 1997, The civilised surveyor: Thomas Mitchell and Australian Aborigines, 30, 32-33

Baker 1998, "Exploring with Aborigines: Thomas Mitchell and his Aboriginal guides", 37-38 

Moyengully (Rodius, after Mitchell's 1828 sketch)

[Charles Rodius] Moyengully - "King of Nattai", based on Mitchell's own sketch, NLNZ; A-031-014- 

Mitchell 1838, 2, plate 49 (on page after 320)

1 August 1828 (first published)

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)


A song, by the convict, in Van Diemen's Land (air - Erin go Bragh)


Sources and documentation:

"Noctes Ambrosianae ..."

Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (February 1826), 224-25 

"SONG (From Blackwood's Magazine)", The Spirit of the Times, or Essence of the Periodicals (25 February 1826), 314 

"Song of the Convict, in Van Diemen's Land", Colonial Advocate, and Tasmanian Monthly Review and Register 1/6 (August 1828) 

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (1 August 1828), 2

Colonial Advocate
JUST Published, by A. Bent; at the Colonial Times Office, in Elizabeth-street, No. 6, of the "Colonial Advocate, and Tasmanian Monthly Review and Register" - price, 6s.
CONTAINING History of the Origin, Rise, and Progress of the Van Diemen's Land Company, (which will be concluded in our next).... Increase of Crime.
The Australian Review - on Population - Taxation - America, &c. &c.
Tasmanian Wool.
Crown Lands.
Mr. Canning.
Van Diemen's Land Company.
Sir Walter Scott.
The Man of the World.
London Police.
Tread Mill.
Macquarie Harbour.
Rape on Children.
A Song, by the Convict, in Van Diemen's Land ...

Bibliography and resources:


Music concordances (tune):

The Irish minstrel, a selection from the vocal melodies of Ireland, ancient & modern, arranged for the piano forte by R. A. Smith

(Edinburgh: Robt. Purdie, [c.1825]), 2

Exile of Erin or Erin go bragh, written by Campbell

(New York, E. Riley, [after 1805])


John Wilson, Noctes Ambrosianae ... volume 1 (Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood, 1865), (107) 108 

[107] Tickler: You know Campbell's fine song of the "Exile of Erin? I had it in my mind, perhaps, during composition [108 POEM BY TICKLER]

TUNE "Erin Go Bragh"

There stood on the shore of far distant Van Diemen
An ill-fated victim of handcuffs and chains,
And sadly he thought on the country of freemen,
Where the housebreaker thrives, and the pickpocket reigns;
For the clog at his foot met his eye's observation,
Recalling the scenes of his late avocation,
Where once, ere the time of his sad transportation,
He sang bold defiance to hard-hearted law!

Oh ! hard is my fate, said the much-injured felon;
How I envy the life of the gay Kangaroo!
I envy the pouch that her little ones dwell in,
I envy those haunts where no bloodhounds pursue!
Oh ! never again shall I nightly or daily
Cut throats so genteelly, pick pockets so gaily,
And cheerfully laugh at the ruthless Old Bailey,
And sing bold defiance to hard-hearted law!

Oh ! much-loved St Giles, even here in my sorrow,
How often I dream of thy alleys and lanes!
But sadness, alas ! must return with the morrow,
A morning of toil, or of fetters and chains!
Oh ! pitiless fate, wilt thou never restore me
To the scenes of my youth, and the friends that deplore me,
Those glorious scenes, where my fathers before me
Sang fearless defiance to hard-hearted law!

Where are my picklocks, my much-loved possession?
Minions of Bow Street, you doubtless could tell!
Where are the friends of my darling profession?
Thurtell and Probert, I hear your death-knell!
Oh ! little we thought, when in harmony blended,
Of hearts thus dissever'd and friendships suspended
That the brave and the noble should ever have ended
In being the victims of hard-hearted law!

Yet even in my grief I would still give a trifle,
Could I only obtain but a glass of The Blue,
With the soul-soothing draught all my sorrows I'd stifle,
Brethren in England, I'd drink it to you!
Firm be each hand, and each bosom undaunted,
Distant the day when you're told you are "wanted,"
Joyous the song which by Flashman is chanted
The song of defiance to hard-hearted law!

9 August 1828 (first notice)

Hobart Town (Hobarton), VDL (TAS)

REICHENBERG, Joseph (composer

The Hobarton quadrilles

1 The safe arrival
2 The Scotch settler
3 The English settler
4 The Irish settler
5 The Union


Another set of quadrilles for the 40th Regiment

1 La Peninsula
2 La Waterloo
3 La Paris
4 L'Australia
5 La Tasmania



[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (9 August 1828), 1

Quadrilles. JOSEPH REICHENBERG, Band Master of the 40th Regiment, begs leave to inform the ladies and gentlemen of this colony, that they can now have, manuscript copies of the Hobarton Quadrilles The figures are as follows: -

The safe arrival - The Scotch settler - the English settler - the Irish do. - and the Union,

all adapted to the style of the three different nations, and to the Figures of the first set of Paine's Quadrilles.

Reichenberg has also composed another set for the 40th, which may also be had from him. The figures are as follows -

La Peninsula - La Waterloo - La Paris - L'Australia - La Tasmania,

adapted to the Figures of the Lancer's set.

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (16 August 1828), 4

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (23 August 1828), 1

At Deane's Circulating Library,
THE following MUSIC is offered for Sale, on the most reasonable terms, viz:
God save the King, 8 variations, Kalkbrenner.
Will you come to the bower, do. do.
Grand Sonata, Op. 22, do.
Second Fantasia, introducing the air of Pria ch'io L'empegne - Kalkbrenner.
12 do. Air of Auld lang syne - do.
Rondo, Op 32 - do.
Sonata for the left Hand (Obliga) do.
Fille du Hameaa, with variations. - do.
French Romance, with variations. - do.
Air with variations - Cramer.
Rousseau's Dream - do.
The Overture to Lodoiska, arranged by Cramer.
Divertimenti - Cramer.
Dusseck, Op. 37, arranged for the piano forte by Cramer.
Ride's celebrated air, arranged for the piano forte, as sung by Madame Catalani - Cianchettini.
Caller Herring, with variations - do.
Variations on a favourite waltz - Gelinek.
La ci darem la mano - do. do.
Ah vous dirai je maman - do. do.
Bells of St. Petersburgh - do. do.
Overture to Don Giovanni, arranged for piano forte by Clementi.
Haydon's 1, 2, 8, and 11, Symphony - do. do.
Stay, prithee stay, with variations by Ries.
Sonata, Op. 6, 9 - do.
The Dream, Op 49. - do.
Said a smile to a tear, with variations - do.
Amanti Constanti, with variations - do.
Rosina - do.
Sonata for the piano forte - Donaldson.
Sul margine d'un rio, with variations - Latour.
Grand Sonata - Hummell.
Sonata 3 - Mozart.
Grand Overture to Anacreon, for the piano forte - Cherubini.
Overture - Beethoven.
Bewildered Maid, variations - Mazzinghi.
Huntsman's Rest, duet for two performers - do.
La Premiere Tentative, Rondo - Frazer.
Lord Wellington's Mardi, for two performers - Bontemps.
Miss Forbes Farewell to Banff, with variations Cooper.
The Yellow Haired Laddie - Cooper.
New Quadrilles - Webster.
Hobart town, do - Reichenberg.
Tasmanian do. - Deane.
Instruction books for the piano forte, flute, violin, and violoncello ...

Oh! Lady fair - King.
Dame Durdon - Callcott.
Sweet soothing sound - King.
The Wreath - Mazzinghi.
Boat song - Mebes.
Peace to the souls of the Heroes - Callcott.
Sweet little Barbara - Storace.
How sweet in the Woodlands - Harrington.
When Author first - Callcott.
Time has not thinned - Jackson.
The Manly Heart - Mozart.
All's Well - Braham.
Winds gentle evergreen - Cramer.
Hark the bonny Christ Church bells - &c. &c.

Look, neighbours look, &c. &c.

When darkness reigns, (sung by Miss Stephens) Bishop.
Tyrant I come - Bishop.
Plutus, Love and Folly - Smith.
Hope disappearing - Bishop.
Gay summer is flown - Emdin.
Vedrai Carino - Mozart.
And has she then failed in her truth - Bishop.
Love is like a playful boy - Smith.
Thou has sent me a flowery band - Moore.
If doughty deeds my lady please, by - Walter Scott.
Dearest Maid I adore thee - Slade.
How happy could I pass my days - Bishop.
Tuche Accendi. - Rossini.
&c. &c.

Music paper, Violins, Violin Strings, Flutes, &c. &c.

J. P. Deane, Teacher of the Piano Forte, Violin, Flute, and Violoncello. Piano Fortes tuned and put into complete repair. Mr. DEANE begs to take this opportunity of saying, his time not being as yet fully occupied, he would be happy to take a few more young ladies as pupils on the Piano Forte, and from the knowledge he has from long and arduous practice, he flatters himself he has obtained a quick and perfect method of teaching; and, for the convenience of those who wish to become perfect, he has rooms and Piano Fortes for their accommodation, where they will be enabled to practice daily and without interruption.

Bibliography and resources:



Reichenberg may well have joined the 40th Regiment during the Peninsular campaign, having previously served in the Chasseurs Britanniques (signing on in Naples in 1808), and thus would plausibly have been himself a veteran of all five theatres of operation mentioned in the titles.

23 December 1828 (first published)

Sydney, NSW

ANONYMOUS (songwriter)

Song of the maidens

Land - Land - Land - Land; A New Song to an Old Tune (In an under voice)



SONG OF THE MAIDENS", The Australian (23 December 1828), 4



A NEW SONG TO AN OLD TUNE. (In an under voice.)

Oh let us get married, says Mary to Ann,
Oh let us get married as quick as we can;
If a GENTLEMAN comes, and he offers his hand,
We will give him our hearts for the sake of the land
Land, Land, LAND, LAND!
If a gentleman comes, and he offers his hand,
We will give him our hearts for the sake of the land.

ANN, (In a whisper.)

They say that the Governor's going away -
They say so indeed; but old d -ddy M - - y [Macleay]
Has plenty of daughters - has 6 of them - and
They'll all have a dower of excellent land.
Land, Land, LAND, LAND!
Has plenty, &c.

MARY, (In an under voice.)

Till they are all married, (I think I may say,
Before that does happen 'twill be a long day);
He'll remember the order; will think of it;
and Will get all his daughters two sections of LAND.
Land, Land, LAND, LAND!
He'll, &c.

ANN, (Fearfully and feelingly.)

But oh! should it happen old d - ddy M - - y,
Should go with our Governor, when he goes away,
'Tis all up with us then; alas! Mary! - and
'Tis folly to think we should get any LAND.
Land, Land, LAND, LAND!
'Tis all up, &c.

MARY, (Satisfactorily.)

I care not a pin what the Governor does,
For we have no cause to be making a fuss,
For when we are married, we've sheep, cattle, and
Twelve hundred and eighty acres of LAND.
Land, Land, LAND, LAND!
For when we, &c.

ANN, (Satirically.)

Let's sing of his wisdom - let's roar out his praise -
Let's pray Pater-noster to lengthen his days -
Let's laud up his fatherly kindnesses, and
We may then have two sections of capital LAND.
Land, Land, LAND, LAND!
Let's laud, &c.

MARY, (Conclusively.)

Then let us get married as quick as we can,
Let's us set up our caps at each GENTLEMAN,
When he pops us the question, be quite bashful, and
We'll say no, but mean yes - for the sake of the LAND.
Land, Land, LAND, LAND!
When he pops us the question, be quite bashful, and
We'll say no, but mean yes - for the sake of the LAND.

Bibliography and resources:



1 January 1829

Sydney, NSW; London, England

EARLE, Augustus (reporter)

Kangaroo and dog dance at Farm Cove



Burford 1829, plate, 12 (PANORAMA IMAGE) (DESCRPTION IMAGE) 

No. 58. - Kangaroo and Dog Dance.

Between the ages of eight and sixteen, the youth of both sexes undergo the operation of having the septum nasi bored, for the purpose of holding a bone or reed, considered a great ornament. On this occasion, amongst a variety of ceremonies, the kangaroo dance forms a prominent feature. A native of robust stature, carries a pat-ta-go-rang, or kangaroo, of grass, on bis shoulders, followed by a second, with a load of brushwood, signifying its haunts, which they deposit at the feet of the young people, who are placed in a circle; the remainder of the party, meanwhile, singing and beating time on their shields: a party then appears, with long tails of grass fixed to their girdles, jumping along, and occasionally lying down and scratching themselves as those animals do; others follow them, armed, pretending to steal upon them unobserved and spear them. This ceremony is emblematical of their power of hunting and killing that animal. The dog dance is somewhat similar, excepting that the tails are shorter, and they crawl on all fours.

[Review], The New Monthly Magazine 27 (1 January 1829), 21-22 

... Previously to its being opened to the public, Mr. Burford indulged a select few with a private view of his new panorama of this celebrated place; and we confess we went with as much curiosity to see a thing so celebrated, as we should have felt for any place of more classic celebrity ...

... The present Panorama is taken from the highest part of the Government domain, from drawings made by Mr. Earle. The view is bold, varied, and beautiful; and apparently selected with great judgment, so as to show at one glance the whole character of the town and scenery. In the foreground lies the town, with its irregular and singular buildings stretching to the very edge of the extensive Bay, whose blue waters and green islands are bound on the opposite side by a bold and precipitous shore, varied by numerous coves, and covered with native shrubs in perpetual verdure; towards the East, the eye stretches over a chain of commanding cliffs that mark the bearings of the coast; to the South, over the beautiful country that surrounds Botany Bay; and to the West, over a variety of hill and dale, backed by immense and towering forests, beyond which the magnificent chain of the Blue Mountains forms an imposing boundary to a most beautiful and interesting coup-d'oeil.

As a work of art, this production is no way inferior to any of the former panoramas; the distant Blue Mountains, and the waters of the Bay, with the English shipping,arepeculiarly well painted; while the Botanic Garden, with its neighbouring enclosures, gives the spectator an idea of domesticity that reminds him of England. The irregular buildings are also very well delineated; and the contrast of the natives indulging in their characteristic dances, nearly naked, with the wellclad European, adds greatly to the interest of the scene.

[22] Upon the whole, we think this Panorama likely to be attractive, both for the subject and the execution; and, for our own parts, think the scenery of the Bay so beautiful that it would almost tempt us, in the contemplation of it, to pick a pocket, in the hopes of being sent there at the Government expense.

Bibliography and resources:



The description is evidently taken originally from Collins 1798, "Yoo-long Erah-ba-diang" plates 1 and 3; Burford rightly places the ceremony, reportedly long since discontinued, on the beach at Farm Cove.

18 January 1829

Castlereagh River, NSW

STURT, Charles (reporter)

They marched to and fro, to a war song I suppose



Sturt 1833, I, 127 

[A PARTY OF NATIVES. 127] A violent thunder-storm passed over us in the afternoon, but it made no change in the temperature of the air. The weather, although it had been hot and sultry, had fallen far short of the intense heat we experienced in crossing the marshes of the Macquarie, when it was such as to melt the sugar in the canisters, and to destroy all our dogs; and our nights were now become agreeably cool. We still, however, continued to travel over a dead level, nor was a height or break visible from the loftiest trees we ascended. A little before we stopped at the creek, we surprised a party of natives; old men, women, and children. They were preparing dinners of fish in much larger quantities than they could have devoured - probably for a part of the tribe that were absent; but the moment they saw us they fled, and left every thing at our mercy. On examining the fish, we found them totally different from any in the Macquarie, and took two of the most perfect to preserve. In the afternoon one of the men came to inform me that the tribe was coming down upon us. Mr. Hume and I, therefore, went to meet them. They were at this time about 150 yards from the tent, but seeing us advance, they stopped, and forming two deep, they marched to and fro, to a war song I suppose, crouching with their spears. We had not, however, any difficulty in communicating with them, and I shall detail the manner in which this was brought about, in hopes that it may help to guide others. When the natives saw us advance, they stopped, and we did the same. Mr. Hume then walked to a tree, and broke [128 LARGE CREEK] off a short branch. It is singular that this should, even with these rude people, be a token of peace. As soon as they saw the branch, the natives laid aside their spears, and two of them advanced about twenty paces in front of the rest, who sat down. Mr. Hume then went forward and sat down, when the two natives again advanced and seated themselves close to him. Now it is evident that a little insight into the customs of every people is necessary to insure a kindly communication; this, joined with patience and kindness, will seldom fail with the natives of the interior. It is not to avoid alarming their natural timidity that a gradual approach is so necessary. They preserve the same ceremony among themselves. These men, who were eighteen in number, came with us to the tents, and received such presents as we had for them. They conducted themselves very quietly, and, after a short time, left us with every token of friendship.

Sturt 1834, I, 127 

Bibliography and resources:


29 January and 1, 11 and 14 August 1829

Hammond Island, NT

Croker Island, off the Cobourg Peninsula, NT


BARKER, Collet (reporter)

WILSON, Thomas Braidwood (reporter)

Native dance to the ebero, waltz to a musical snuff box, dance to a deck tune


Dance at Hammond Island, August 1829


Wilson 1835, plate after page 88 (image above)

Collet Barker, journal at Fort Wellington, 29 January 1829, ed. in Mulvaney and Green 1992, 113, and Nash 2012, 12

[29 January 1829] ... Mago had brought a kind of musical instrument, a large hollow can about 3 feet long bent at one end. From [this] he produced two or three low & tolerably clear & loud notes, answering to the tune of didoggery whoan, & he accompanied Alobo with this while he and his treble. The Dr. & some others were beating time with their hands during the first song, & when the second was going to being Mago begged they would not add their accompaniment ...

Wilson 1835, 86-88 

[86] 1n the evening of the 30th [July], Wellington, the native chief, with a number of his tribe, visited the settlement, and brought back the canoe ... [87] This was the first time I had seen Wellington, and I was agreeably deceived in his appearance. Next morning, Captain Barker made him a present of the canoe; but it was some time before he could believe that it was a gift: it is needless to say how highly gratified he was by such an acquisition ... In the evening, a large fire was kindled just before the fort, and the natives danced round it with great vigour and spirit, to the music, produced by one of their party from a long hollow tube. Dr. Davis joined them, but although he might "keep time" correctly enough for a civilized ball-room, yet he fell short in that necessary part, at least to a savage ear; so they, in very polite terms, requested that he would not [88] fatigue himself, but stand and look at them. Lieutenant Weston, of the East India Company's service, took a very spirited and correct sketch of this singular performance. Wellington did not dance himself, being busily employed in persuading us that Miago was only a Mandrowillie, and therefore not entitled to so much attention.

After the dance, they were all regaled with a mess of rice, of which they are very fond. Supper being finished, they requested permission to remain all night in the settlement, which was granted; and Captain Laws having invited Wellington, and several others, including Miago, to visit the Satellite next forenoon, they retired very quietly and contentedly to rest.

Wilson 1835, 97-99 

On Tuesday afternoon, 11th of August, we were gratified by a visit from three natives; Jacama, alias Waterloo, Marambal, alias Alligator, (so named on account of his immense mouth, and long white teeth,) and Mimaloo, alias One-eye. Orders were given to [98: EFFECTS OF A MUSICAL SNUFF BOX] prevent the discharge of fire-arms in the camp, as it was deemed indiscreet to run any risk of breaking the good understanding that at present existed, by any incautious act; the natives not being able to discern the difference between firing for fun, and firing with intent to destroy.

They came to the cottage just as we had finished dinner; and knowing they were welcome, walked in, and made themselves at home. They discovered great emotion at the sight of a turtle, which I had received from the master of the Admiral Gifford. Waterloo requested very clamorously to have it; but he was kept within bounds by the other two.

Mimaloo then showed us their method of killing the turtle, and pointed out, with signs of ecstatic delight, the parts of it that they chiefly prized; and - whatever difference may exist between them in other respects - we found, that in the knowledge of turtle, a savage is as skilful as an alderman.

They Were much amused by a musical snuff-box: Mimaloo, in particular, paid great attention to it; at first, the "stops" seemed to confound him; but he soon started up, and, with Marambal, danced a waltz in a manner that astonished us.

Captain Laws then sent for the ship's fiddler; who turned to, con amore, with a favourite half-deck tune. After having heard it once, Dr. Davis, Marambal, and Mimaloo, began the dance: the Doctor was soon obliged to give in; but the two natives continued, with [99] undiminished spirit, and intuitive skill, to perform feats worthy of, and receiving, unbounded applause. All the natives keep exceedingly correct time; and, if dancing consists in easy and gracefully varied positions of the body, the civilised professors of that useful art might have profited by the skill of the sable Mimaloo.

At length, from the fiddler's elbow becoming tired, the music ceased, one dancer threw himself on the ground, and the other rested his head on my knees; I placed him on a chair, when, balancing it on the afterlegs, his head against the wall, he threw his legs on the table with all the nonchalance of an Indian pilot. This free and easy way created much mirth, particularly to the sailors, who were assembled round the cottage to witness the amusement.

Wilson 1835, 104 

We learned that Wooloogary, the King, was absent, with a number of his people, catching turtle. His brother, Wadiea, a placid-looking old man, dressed in a shirt, (which I recognised as having formerly belonged to me,) received us very politely, and was presented by Captain Barker with a hatchet, - an article which is held in the highest estimation. The women were at some distance, and we were promised a sight of them, if we remained until next morning; but although desirous of obtaining a glimpse of the sable beauties, we did not take advantage of their offer, which in all probability was not sincere. To amuse us, as well as themselves, they turned to, and danced away with much mirth and glee round a large fire, to their own musical instrument, the ebero.

Bibliography and resources:

Mulvaney and Green 1992

Nash 2012


This is the earliest European accounts of an ebero (dijeridu, didgeridoo), in this case possibly made of bamboo (see Nash 2012).

14 February 1829

Launceston, VDL (TAS)


BEDFORD, William (colonial chaplain)

MULGRAVE, Peter Archer (police magistrate)

. . . to witness the manner in which an aboriginal youth would be affected by the organ



[News], The Cornwall Press and Commercial Advertiser (17 February 1829), 3 

ON Saturday, the Police Magistrate, (P. A. MULGRAVE, Esq.,) accompanied by DUDLEY FEREDAY, Esq. (Sheriff) and the Rev. WM. BEDFORD, attended St. John's Church to witness the manner in which an aboriginal youth would be affected by the organ, and we are credibly informed that his gestures and demeanour throughout the performances (which were extremely pleasing and respectable) was in fine keeping with the music. His ear seemed most delicately sensitive; and although so pantomimic were his grins and shrugs as to repeatedly excite a smile, there is no reason to doubt but that Collins' "Ode to the Passions" was never before acted in dumb show so well or so unaffectedly.

"THE COUNTRY POST. LAUNCESTON", The Hobart Town Courier (28 February 1829), 2 

Bibliography and resources:

Brodie 2017, Vandemonian war, [page ?]


"ORGAN", Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (20 July 1827), 3 

The people of Launceston, now that they have gotten a new Minister, would be very happy, if the Commissariat Officers could spare it, to receive the organ for St. John's Church, which has been paid for by their subscriptions, and has been for a considerable time laying in the Commissariat Stores in Hobart Town.

"ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, LAUNCESTON", Launceston Advertiser (30 November 1829), 3 

"St John's Anglican Church, Franklin [TAS]", Organ Historical Trust of Australia 

From Clarke and Johnson's Pipe organs of Tasmania (revised) (Hobart: Guild of Organists, 1981), 79-80: This organ was the second Pipe Organ brought to Tasmania for church use. It was built by John Gray of London in 1826 and erected in St. John's Church of England, Launceston, the same year [recte 1827]. The organ remained in St. John's until 1862 . . . In 1965 this much travelled organ [in much altered form] was again on the move, this time to St. John's Church, Franklin . . .

May 1829

Anambaba, NSW

"M." (songwriter) = McGARVIE, John

The exile of Erin, on the Plains of Emu (air - Erin go Bragh)


Augustus Earle (c.1825-28), A distant view of the Blue Mountains and Lapston [i.e. Lapstone] Hill, New South Wales taken from the Emu Plains Road; National Library of Australia 


"Original Poetry", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (26 May 1829), 4


The Exile of Erin,


O ! Farewell my country - my kindred - my lover;
Each morning and evening is sacred to you,
While I toil the long day, without shelter or cover,
And fell the tall gums, the black-butted and blue.
Full often I think of and talk of thee, Erin -
Thy heath-covered mountains are fresh in my view,
Thy glens, lakes, and rivers, Loch-Con and Kilkerran,
While chained to the soil on the Plains of Emu.

The iron-bark, wattle, and gum trees extending
Their shades, under which rests the shy kangaroo,
May be felled by the bless'd who have hope o'er them bending,
To cheer their rude toil, tho' far exiled from you.
But, alas ! without hope, peace, or honour to grace me,
Each feeling was crushed in the bud as it grew,
Whilst "never" is stamped on the chains that embrace me,
And endless my thrall on the plains of Emu.

Hard, hard was my fate far from thee to be driven,
Unstained, unconvicted, as sure was my due;
I loved to dispense of the freedom of Heaven,
But force gained the day, and I suffer for you.
For this hand never broke what by promise was plighted,
Deep treason, this tongue to my country ne'er knew,
No base-earned coin in my coffer e'er lighted,
Yet enchained I remain on the Plains of Emu.

Dear mother, thy love from my bosom shall never
Depart, but shall flourish untainted and true;
Nor grieve that the base in their malice should ever
Upbraid thee, and none to give malice her due.
Spare, spare her the tear, and no charge lay upon her,
And weep not, my Norah, her griefs to renew,
But cherish her age till night closes on her,
And think of the swain who still thinks but of you.

But your names shall still live, tho' like writing in water;
When confined to the notes of the tame cockatoo,
Each wattle scrub echo repeats to the other
Your names, and each breeze hears me sighing anew.
For dumb be my tongue, may my heart cease her motion,
If the Isle I forget where my first breath I drew!
Each affection is warmed with sincerest devotion,
For the tie is unbroken on the Plains of Emu.

Anambaba, May, 1829.

Bibliography and resources:


Music concordances (tune):

The Irish minstrel, a selection from the vocal melodies of Ireland, ancient & modern, arranged for the piano forte by R. A. Smith

(Edinburgh: Robt. Purdie, [c.1825]), 2

Exile of Erin or Erin go bragh, written by Campbell

(New York, E. Riley, [after 1805])

12 September 1829 (first published)

Sydney, NSW

ANONYMOUS (songwriter)

Stanzas to be set to music

The Dram-a and the Dram-o


Source and documentation:

"Rejected Addresses [No 1]: To have been spoken at the Opening of the Opera House, Sydney, August 1829", The Sydney Gazette (12 September 1829), 3

Rejected Addresses. To have been spoken at the opening of the Opera House, Sydney, August, 1829. No. I.

"... S'death I'll print it,
And shame then fools, your interest, Sir, with Lintot, &c. &c.


LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, As a public writer, the spontaneity of our sentiments has generally attained to a parallelality with public opinion, for which I have to thank my own uncontrollable impetuosity of political hallucination, and the always to be deeply engraven on my heart remembrance of your kindness. If there be a dubiety on the subject, it is in my favour, and therefore I have thus anticipated the long solicited, and never enough to be deplored concatenation of concomitant and calamitous prognostics, that have hitherto retarded the pleasurable emotions which dramatic sensations produce on the tymponum of the cerebral concavity. These are the thoughts that breathe, and words that burn. They come over us like the sweet south from a bank of violets, stealing and giving odours, which, if true, proves to me that the sweet south is the oldest thief on record. It would seem, too, he tried his hand at cracking banks, but whether with a jemmy and dark lanthorn, or with false keys, I have bave not been able to learn. But, Gentlemen. I can positively assure you I have the Times up to six o'clock of the 30th March last, in which I see no case of bank robbery by any Mr. South; but rest assured, as soon as it comes to hand, it shall appear in our Journal.

We now return from this episodical diverication, imagination gem, from the burning sounds and boiling thrilling intonations of which the opera takes her character, is that faculty of the heart, by which we have a pleasurable intentity of the sensation of beauty in sound, and by which we attain to a respectable and sentitive speculation of our souls. Now, this being understood, you, will easily see the propriety of the words "beauty of sound," which I assure you is a thought of my own, home bred, and which I trust, he of the Gazette, will not purloin as his own. I glory in this phrase. Critics find fault with it, as if beauty applied only to the colorifeid rays of the spectral emblem of beauty, and paid his addresses to the eye, not to the ear. But these critics must be sneeking slaves, tools of office, who will take nothing on trust we say. Yes, they are paid for it. Pay has great charms, it might convert me too. I vow to my own red night cap and china slippers, there never was a man loved his country as I, but I am not paid for it, no, no, I shall pen leaden leaders till the day of my death, and when I want bread, I shall wear down my ten digits to the stumps to be independent. (Shouts from the gallery) ...

... It givee us pleasure therefore the opera is established amongst us. We may now listen to the delightful cavatina of Rossini di tanti palpiti, o tante pene. How delightful to hear these thrilling sounds, which every patriot feels to be true ...

Gentlemen, I cannot hide mv tears, they water my cheeks as a husbandmen waters his onions or his turnips, my dear adopted country, I weep fur thee, still stained with the anomaly of juries with blue or red shooting jackets. But thanks to them in power we have not got a stone in place of bread. They have given music. Music will do the business. They do not see as we do. Remember Lord Chatham, give me the power of making songs and ballad for the country, and I give up the making of laws to him whose head aches for the honor. Yes, gentlemen, we shall show them play. Rome was not built in a day; no, very true, but James the II was driven from his throne by the radical song of "Lillibulero."


The Dram-a and the Dram-o

Quoth drama - 'tis slrangest presumption to think,
That you who have nought to commend you but drink,
And the fumes of Bengal, and the smoke of Brasil,
And the clanking of pewter, should use me so ill;

- Should usurp the chief seat was devoted to me,
In my dwelling should venture a lodger to be
And your base stuff should vend, setting stomachs to flame,
And parching the throat and disjoining the frame.

'Tis a grief to my hear that my stage should be clad
In the symbols of folly, and riot run mad,
That my boxes shoudl changed be, to boxes unfit,
And my pit lead, alas! to the fathomless pit.

That my cornices, pilasters, cupolas, pillars,
Should rise to be crown'd o'er by windmills and millers,
That my curtain should fall, and my screen form the drop,
And my scenes be the scenes of the tap-room and shop.

Begone, drinking damsel! and fast from my sight,
Evanish and sink into shades of the night;
You have gone to the shades, if infernal they be,
May they too last for ever, for thine, and for thee.

Quoth dram-o, you very much hurt me by this,
And I own I dont know why you take it amiss,
I am free of all blame, as a babe in the skies,
And her Dungaree clapped to her rum-shotten eyes.

I keeps, don't ye see, 'commodation for all,
The hungry, the thirsty, the great and the small,
And no man my pass by with his throat parched with dust,
Should he want but a mouthful of grog or a crust.

But lo, her tale ends, for the fiddles began,
The trumpets resound, and the thrilling sounds ran
From rafter to rafter, the horns and bassoon,
And clarionet sounded the bold rigadoon.

Long life to our rulers who give us the chance,
Of mingling the opera sounds with the dance,
Each heavy hoo'ed bumpkin with vigor may prance,
And should "We shall thee our dear country advance!"

Bibliography and resources:



"REJECTED ADDRESSES. NO. II", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (17 September 1829), 3

"REJECTED ADDRESSES. NO. III", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (1 October 1829), 3

"REJECTED ADDRESSES. NO. IX" [? IV], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (24 October 1829), 3

By 12 October 1829

Swan River Colony, WA

GEE, Charles (songwriter)

CAMFIELD, Henry (recorder)

Song, composed by Mr. Gee, and sung on board the Caroline on her voyage to Swan River


Source and documentation:

Henry Camfield, letters, in the Windeyer family papers, State Library of New South Wales (transcribed Hort 1965, 92)

[Henry] Camfield set it down for his sisters in all Gee's adventurous spelling and endorsed it "true copy" (Hort 1965, 92)


Come all you English lads that have a mind to go
Into some foring Contery I would have you for to know
Come join along with Henty and all his joiful crew
For a Set of better fellows in this world you never knew.


So is hear is of to New Holland if God will spear our lifes
All with littel families, hower sweethearts, and hower wifes.

Now England is got very bad, of that you well doth know
Provishons they are got very dear, and little for to do
So join along with Henty and all his joiful crew
[For a Set of better fellows in this world you never knew.]


Now all you I leves in England, I hope you may do well
But allow me for one moment your fourchoen for to tell
You must unto your Parish go to get small relife
Where you will be flounced and bounced as if you weare a thif.


Now when we come to New Holland I hope that soon will be
All will send home to England, and how happy there wee be
With plenty of provishons boys and plenty for to do
So hear is health to Henty and all his joiful crew.


Bibliography and resources:

Hort 1965, 92

Scott 1976, 1986

Scott 1988, 271


Charles Gee, 32 years old in 1829, was one of the Henty family's party of emigrants from West Tarring in Suffolk to Swan River Colony in 1829. Sailing with him were his wife and family. Henry Camfield was a cabin passenger.

GEE, Charles, 32 years, steerage, labourer
GEE, Mary Ann, 22, steerage, wife
GEE, Charles, 12, steerage, son
GEE, Joseph, 10, steerage, son
GEE, William, 6, steerage, son
GEE, Walter, 4, steerage, son
GEE, Alfred, 9 months, steerage, son

Though no tune is documented, the words appear to be a loose contrafactum of one or other of a group of sea songs, including Come all you jolly seamen (or British sailors). Among the tunes later connected with this group is The banks of Claudy.


[News], Sussex Advertiser (15 June 1829), 3

On the evening Thursday the 4th instant, the ship Caroline, Captain Fewson, chartered Mr. Thos. Henty of West Tarring, in this county, for the conveyance of three of his sons to the New Settlement on Swan River, Western Australia, arrived off Worthing, and in the night dropped down to Littlehampton, where she lay-to to receive on board 150 of Mr. Henty's Merino sheep. Notwithstanding the vessel was a considerable distance from the shore, she was visited numerous parties the neighbouring and agriculturists, who were highly gratified by the admirable arrangement of the stock of horses, sheep, &c. on board, which reflected the greatest credit the Captain, and those entrusted with the management of the vessel. Besides sheep, the ship had board, draught, and blood horses, 10 horned cattle, dogs, pigs, poultry, &c. Among the horses were beautiful colt the Earl of Egremont's Wanderer, and another Little John, own brother to Frederick, the winner of the last Derby Stakes. The Messrs. Henty were visited at Littlehampton, by large parties of their numerous friends, who in the warmest manner evinced the high interest they felt for the enterprising settlers, and their wishes for the success of the undertaking. This vessel is the fifth which has sailed for the new Settlement since February last, in addition which, there are eleven more now advertised to proceed there without delay, and judging from the state which the great body of the agriculturists are now in, and the interest excited the public mind by the great advantages held out settlers this new Settlement, we have no doubt that emigration to this quarter will continue to be carried on in rapid and universal manner.

Gale Huntington and Lani Herrmann (eds.), Sam Henry's Songs of the people (Athens and London: University of Georgia Press, 2010), 105-06 (PREVIEW)

October 1829 (latest date of report)

King George's Sound, WA; London, England (place of publication)

NIND, Isaac Scott (reporter)

Their dances



[Isaac Scott Nind], "Description of the natives of King George's Sound (Swan River Colony) and adjoining country" (read 14th Feb., 1831), The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London 1 (1830-31), (21-51), 39-40

[21] [The following observations on the Aborigines inhabiting the vicinity of King George's Sound, and which probably apply to all those in immediate contact with our new colony, have been communicated to me by Mr. Nind, the medical officer who accompanied a small settlement or post established, in 1827, on the shore of that harbour, and who remained with it till October, 1829] . . .

[39] . . . Their dances have been frequently exhibited to us in the settle-[40]-ment for our amusement. They usually strip themselves entirely; but when before us they had their cloak fastened round their loins, leaving only the upper part of the body exposed. The face was painted red; and on the arms and body were various figures, painted with a white colour. White pigment is usually an emblem of mourning, but it is used in the dances, from its being the most conspicuous colour at night. Their mulgarradocks (doctors) and old men never dance.

A fire is kindled on a clear spot, behind which is seated an old man, and in front the dance is performed, as if towards him. They keep the same step, which is varied from time to time; sometimes stooping and grunting, and moving their heads sideways, in most grotesque attitudes.

I think their dances vary, and are in some instances intended to represent the chace and killing of animals; for at times during the dance they cry out warre, wait, toort, &c. Whilst they are dancing they have green boughs in their hands, which they in turn advance and deposit with the old man behind the fire. At some of their dances they have their spears, and at a certain part represent killing one of their party; after which the spears are, like the green boughs, delivered to the old man, who the whole time is seated on the ground, looking very serious, and turning his head about as if to inspect and give directions to the dancers, and pulling or stroking his beard with either hand alternately.

There is neither elegance nor activity displayed in their dancing; on the contrary, it is ludicrous, and may be symbolical. I do not think the women dance with the men, nor am I certain that they ever dance, although some of the natives have informed me they do at their own fires. The noise made by them whilst dancing cannot be considered as musical, or intended as such. Each man repeats at every jump the words wow wow, the meaning of which I cannot explain. When they drive game from a covert with sticks and a noise, they call it wow-e-niā-tur, the word wow being also then used. At intervals they stop to rest, at the time setting up a loud shout.

These dances only take place when many are congregated together and at peace. During war it would subject them to an attack from their enemy, by exposing the situation of their encampment.

Bibliography and resources:



Nathaniel Ogle, The colony of Western Australia: a Manual for emigrants . . . (London: James Fraser, 1839) 

The following vocabulary, compiled by Mr. Scott Nind during two years he passed at King George's Sound, may be compared with the preceding collection of words by Dr. Lhotsky and Mr. Brown . . .

December 1829

Murrumbidgee River, NSW

STURT, Charles (reporter)

Corrobories ...



Sturt 1833, II, (52-), 55 

[52] We found this part of the Morumbidgee much more populous than its upper branches. When we halted, we had no fewer than forty-one natives with us, of whom the young men were the least numerous. They allowed us to choose a place for ourselves before they formed their own camp, and studiously avoided encroaching on our ground so as [53] to appear troublesome. Their manners were those of a quiet and inoffensive people, and their appearance in some measure prepossessing ...

[55] ... They hold their corrobories, (midnight ceremonies), and sing the same melancholy ditty that breaks the stillness of night on the shores of Jems' Bay, or on the banks of the Macquarie; and during the ceremony imitate the several birds and beasts with which they are acquainted.

Sturt 1834, II, (52-), 55 

Bibliography and resources:


December 1829

Near King George's Sound, Swan River Colony (WA)


WILSON, Thomas Braidwood (reporter)

Native dance



Wilson 1835, 273-74

A considerable concourse of natives had assembled in the camp, having come to present an address to Lieutenant Sleeman, on his departure, and to congratulate Captain Barker, on his assuming the reins of government. A ball and supper had been promised them, which, through the politeness of Lieutenant Sleeman, had been deferred until our return, to give us an opportunity of seeing their manners, and of ascertaining whether they danced as well as the natives on the north coast ...

[274] As soon as it became dark, a large fire was kindled in the centre of the camp, and the ball commenced, and was kept up with great spirit; the performers, evidently using their best endeavours to inspire us with a favourable idea of their dexterity, were much gratified by our repeated plaudits, which incited them to still further exertions.

There was not that elegance of gesture which we witnessed among the Aborigines of Raffles Bay; but there was more meaning in the dance, although we could not make it out. They began by marching slowly in a circle round the fire, gradually accelerating their pace; and then in turns, they placed their spears at the feet of one of their party who stood outside the ring viewing, but without taking any part in, the ceremony; then they danced with might and main, until nearly exhausted, when they retired to supper, quite elated that their amusement had apparently given us satisfaction Mokare did not take any active part in the dancing; both, it may be supposed, from his being very tired, and from his affecting to be one of us.

Shortly after the conclusion of the ball, Mokare brought his relation, a native doctor, to prescribe for me ...

Bibliography and resources:



? By 1830

Arnhem Land, Northern Australia (NT)

INDIGENOUS (unidentified informant/s, singer/s)

DOMENY DE RIENZI, Grégoire Louis (transcriber, arranger)

Arnhem land song

Air australien des sauvages de la terre d'Arnheim

Go to main entry:

6 January 1830

Parramatta, NSW

Annual conference . . . grand corrobora



"ANNUAL CONFERENCE WITH THE NATIVES", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (9 January 1830), 3 

The weather on the morning of Wednesday last, being rather unfavourable, the number of visitors to Parramatta, to witness the interesting scene which is annually presented at the conference held by His Excellency the GOVERNOR with the native Chiefs and tribes, was not so numerous as on former occasions. About 12 o'clock, the GOVERNOR, attended by the Hon. ALEXANDER McLEAY, the Venerable the ARCHDEACON, Colonel SHADFORTH, Captain DUMARESQ, the Rev. SAMUEL MARSDEN, the Rev. W. COWPER, the Rev. C. P. N. WILTON, the Rev. THOMAS HASSALL, Major INNES, Lieut. DARLING, W. LITHGOW, Esq. W. LAWSON, Esq. Major LOCKYER, &c. &c. &c. proceeded to the Market-place, where 269 aboriginal natives, including women and children, were assembled to partake of the usual treat of roast beef and pudding, &c., with which they were plentifully supplied, together with a reasonable quantum of grog. The ground was roped in for the occasion, and decorated with a profusion of shrubs. The chiefs of the tribes were noticed in the kindest manner by His EXCELLENCY, who placed a badge of distinction on the neck of one of them, and personally took care that their wants were supplied with every thing which had been provided for the feast. At the conclusion of the repast, blankets, hats, handkerchiefs, jackets, trowsers, and tobacco were plentifully distributed; and after The GOVERNOR and his immediate attendants had retired, Lieut. DARLING prevailed on the blacks to indulge the spectators with a dance, or corrobora, which ended the day's amusements. Particular notice was taken of two aboriginal native boys and a girl who were brought up in the house of the Rev. W. WALKER at Parramatta, and accompanied him to the meeting. These children have made a very creditable progress in reading and writing, and are excellent house servants - a proof that the intellect of the natives is not so debased as to be incapable of cultivation if judicious measures be adopted.

3 February 1830

Sydney, NSW

LAURIE, John (songwriter, words)

New national melody (air - Battle of the Nile)

("Descendants of Britons, Australia's sons arise ...")



"A NEW NATIONAL MELODY", The Australian (3 February 1830), 4 


Air - "Battle of the Nile."

Descendants of Britons, Australia's sons arise,
To claim the Charter's rights, with united zeal and fervency;
Arise to contend for the glorious prize.
Magna Charta's priveleges to obtain.
Descendants of Britons, brave, loyal and united,
Your claims will be conceded, your energy requited.
Your zeal-will be applauded, your wrongs will be righted,
And to grace your renown on Fame's record sball stand;
Your names fair enroll'd, as the patriot band -
Whose achievements distinguished - your own native land!
Then arise, arise, press forward, ne'er recede.
Until you are invested with the rights for which you plead:-
Your patriotic efforts will ensure the splendid meed
Awarded your ancestors on the plain of Runnymede!

Trial by Jury is the impregnable defence
To encroachment of Party, and faction obscure!
And wielded alone by plain common sense,
Is the bulwark of freedom and of independence!!
'Tis the AEgis of liberty, the birth-right and glory
Of Britons, supported by Whig and by Tory,-
The radiant gem gracing the crown
Of our King, which excels in rasplendent renown.
Then plead for your rights, brave Australians united.
Your zeal will he applauded, your energy requited.
Your claims will be conceded, your wrongs will be righted,
And to grace your renown on Fame's record shall stand;
Your names fair, enroll'd us the patriot band -
Whose achievements distinguish'd your own native land! Then arise, arise, press forward ne'er recede,
Until you are invested with the rights for which you plead,
Your patriotic efforts will ensure the splendid meed,
Awarded your ancestors on the plain of Runnymede!

Let this emulate your ardour, inspire your just appeal,
Animate your motives, invigorate your zeal,
That as scions of Britons, like Albion's sons you feel.
To vindicate fair Freedom's cause promotes your Country's weal.
Patriotic and loyal your claims will be greeted.
By senators fam'd for exalted independencey,
Your opponents dismay'd, dispersed and defeated,
Shall succumb to tlie magical flame which, you light.
Which will burn in Australia respiendently bright.
Dispelling the gloom of oppression's dark night!
Then plead for your rights, brave Australians united,
Your cause will be supported, your wrongs will be righted,
Your claims will be conceded, your energy requited,
And to grace your renown on Fame's record shall stand;
Your names fair enroll'd as the patriot band -
Whose achievements distinguish'd your own native land!
Then arise, arise, press forward, ne'er recede,
Until, you are invested with the rights for which you plead.
Your patriotic efforts will obtain the splendid meed.
Awarded your ancestors on the plain of Runnymede!

Australia's bright genius, will proclaim the glad tidings,
As she clefts the ambient air with refulgent pinions spread,
To regions remote, where the day star is rising,
Of freedom the splendor - of despots the dread!
The north and the west, will hail it with pleasure,
And myriads unborn hence rejoice at the measure;
Your glorious esertions will justly be named,
Australia's proud triumph, and with rapture proclaim'd,
And your names on Fame's record shall permanent stand
Conspicuously, stamp'd by Freedom's fair hand,
Exulting thus to honor the patriot band -
Whose achievements distinguish'd their own native land!
Then arise, arise, press forward, ne'er recede,
Until you are invested with the rights for which you plead,
Firm, loyal, and united, let none your march impede,
Emulate the patriot band. who shone at Runnymede!

Music concordances:

The battle of the Nile, a favorite patriotic English song (Philadelphia: G. E. Black, [c.1800]) 

The battle of the Nile, a favorite patriotic English song (Philadelphia: John Aitken, [1807]) 

c. February 1830


BROWNE, Francis (reporter)

Shouting and dancing round . . . a general corroboree by moon light



CSO1/1/323, pp. 117-23 

Bibliography and resources:

Brodie 2017, The Vandemonian war

"The blacks appear to bury their dead. I am credibly informed, that when one of their companions is killed, or dies, they put the Body into a hollow tree, and pile a quantity of Brush Wood round it, to which they set fire on their next visit; shouting and dancing round, as it burns."

. . . While Browne[e] also detailed how "the full of Every moon" was a significant time for "a general Corroboree by Moon light", he also added that "of late they change their rendezvous etc. frequently, that it is not known where or how to find them." This was the greatest irony of the new found interest in studying, documenting and understanding Aboriginal poeple - their society was changing faster than it was being documented. And it was also being effaced from the landscape . . .


Francis Edward Douglas Brown, per Medway, arrived December 1825; convict record; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1376682; CON31/1/1,433,315,F,60 

"CORONER'S INQUEST", Colonial Times (5 March 1844), 4 

9 February 1830

Cross Marsh, VLD (TAS)

SAMPSON, Dominie

Tasmanian melody


"Tasmanian Melody", Colonial Times (19 February 1830), 4 

Tasmanian Melody.

AIR - "I loo'd ne'er a laddie but ane."

'Neath a shady mimosa reclined,
Where carols the lively rozelle,
I call ray sweet Jessie to mind,
For we plighted our vows in this dell.
Oh ! dear are thy vistas, lone vale!
Where the wattle-tree breathes its perfumes,
Here, I whispered the tender love tale,
To the maid who my spirit illumes.

The magpie is chanting his song,
Wing'd minstrel upon the green spray
Hear the gay paroquet too prolong,
In tremulous accents, the lay.
Oh ! then by this murmuring stream,
Where the tea-tree all verdantly blooms,
Of my strain be sweet Jessie the theme -
The maid who my spirit illumes.

Cross Marsh, Feb. 9, 1830.

Music concordance:

Scots musical museum . . . by James Johnson, volume 3 (Edinburgh: Johnson and Co., [1787-1803]), 276 (DIGITISED)

I lo'ed ne'er a Laddie but ane (Glasgow: Printed & sold by J. McFadyen, [1800]) (DIGITISED)

Davie's Caledonian repository of favourite Scottish slow airs, marches, strathspeys . . . ([Aberdeen]: Published by the editor, [c.1840-55]) (DIGITISED)

24-25 March 1830

South West coast, North-west of Port Davey, VDL (TAS)

INDIGENOUS (NINE-NE, Port Davey nation) (dancers, singers)

ROBINSON, George Augustus (reporter)

Song before diving ... night singing and dancing



George Augustus Robinson, journal; State Library of New South Wales; ed. Plomley 1966, 135, 137, 143-44 (see route map 151) 

[135] 24 March [1830] Pleasant weather ... The Port Davey natives seeing my natives thrust a mutton-fish into the fire to roast, was exceedingly angry with them and desired them to take it out again as it would make the rain come. The women are great adepts in swimming. It surprised me to see them plunge into the heavy breakers among the rocks to dive for crawfish and mutton-fish. I observed that in general before they plunge into the water, that they stand on the rocks in rather an obscene position and chant and song and then plunge into the water. This is generally the case with the young females ...

[137] 25 March [1830] Pleasant weather ... [Nye Bay] ... After the [Port Davey] tribe was collected they conducted me and my natives into a thick forest where we were to stop of the night ... The evening was spent with great conviviality, singing and dancing until a late hour, making the woods echo to their song. I felt this to be an interesting part of my life and that I was amply remunerated for my exertions. They are excellent dancers and their dances require great exertion. The song they call LUN.NER.RY and the dance TRUE.DE.CUM. My blacks danced and sung in their turn.

[143] 5 April [1830] ... The Port Davey natives have the same customs as the Brune aborigines in the burning of their dead, manufacture of baskets, relics of the dead &c. ... Their dances are quite different, and require a great exertion and agility. Dancing they call TRUE.DE.CUM. They bound [144] from one position to another. Legs, arms, head and every part of the body is in motion. Their eyes are also made to act their part and at the same time they keep up a song which regulates their motion. They are certainly the best dancers of any aborigines I have yet seen ...

Bibliography and resources:


31 May 1830

Cross Marsh, VDL (TAS)

MURRAY, Henry Nairne (songwriter)

Canzonet (air - Adieu, my native land, adieu)



"Canzonet. Air - Adieu my native land, adieu", Colonial Times (18 June 1830), 4 

Bibliography and resources:


Music concordance:

Adieu my native land adieu, a favorite song, the accompaniments for the piano forte, composed by P. K. Moran (New York: E. Riley, [181-]) 

3 June 1830

Sandy Cape, South West Coast, VDL, TAS

WOORRADY (singer)


ROBINSON, George Augustus (reporter)

Woorrady made a song of it, with intervals of chorus



George Augustus Robinson, journal; State Library of New South Wales; ed. Plomley 1966, 168 (see route map 169) 

[168] 3 June [1830] Hazy weather ... We was fifty miles from Cape Grim and above eighty from the settlement, the only places supplies could be had. I was unwilling to hurry forward and neglect visiting the natives: an opportunity lost with these people can seldom be regained. WOORRADY related a story, and when so engaged he made a song of it, with intervals of chorus. At 4pm resolved to move ...

Bibliography and resources:


21 June 1830

Mainland, opposite Robbins Island, VDL (TAS)


ROBINSON, George Augustus (reporter)

The sealer women danced and sung



George Augustus Robinson, journal; State Library of New South Wales; ed. Plomley 1966, 181 (see route map 189), opposite 226 (Plate 5(B): Dance of the native women at the sealers' camp) 

[181] 21 June [1830] ... At 8am the sealers came to my people ... The sealers was remarkable civil and heard what I had to say with much attention and promised compliance ... The night was remarkable fine and the sealer women made up a fire and danced and sung until it was time to depart [with the tide at midnight].

Bibliography and resources:


4 July 1830 (first performance)

St. James's Church, King Street, Sydney, NSW

6 July 1830 (first notice)

PEARSON, James (composer)

Responses in the communion service

The composition of Mr. PEARSON, the Organist

NO COPY IDENTIFIED (? composer's MS)

Interior of St. James Church, Sydney, 1831 drawn by Wm. Bradridge, Sen. Archt.; National Library of Australia 


[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (6 July 1830), 3

That beautiful piece of sacred music adapted to the responses in the Communion Service, and sung by the choir of St. James's Church, is the composition of Mr. PEARSON, the Organist.

Bibliography and resources:


7 August 1830 (first Australian notice)

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

MONCRIEFF, William (playwright, songwriter)

Van Diemen's Land: an operatic drama in three acts



William T. Moncrieff, Van Diemen's Land: an operatic drama in three acts ... printed from the acting copy with remarks, biographical and critical, by D.G. To which are added, description of the costume, cast of the characters, entrances and exits, relative positions of the performers on the stage, and the whole of the stage business as performed at the metropolitan minor theatres (London: John Cumberland, [1831]) 


"ENGLISH EXTRACTS. SURREY THEATRE", The Sydney Monitor (4 August 1830), 4 

Under the direction of Mr. Ellison. Van Diemen's Land; or, Natives and Settlers, every evening. (benefit excepted. Marshall's magnificent Panorama is exhibited in the first part. This evening, Friday, Feb. 19, 1830. Will be presented, eighth time, an entirely new Serio-comical, Operatical, Meto-dramatical, Pantomimical, Characteristical, Satirical, Tasmanian, Australian, extravaganza, in three parts, called Van Diemen's Land; or Settlers and Natives. Part First - Settlers. Port and Bay of Hobart Town, with Government-house. Arrival of settlers, and departure for the interior. Panoramic Journey through the Island of Van Diemen's Land. River Derwent, and Henderson's Cove Settlement. Blue Hills. Emu Bottoms, by moonlight. Forest of gum trees. Village of Squash Moor and hemp plantations. Break o' Day Plains. Lake Echo. Emigrant's Rest Village. Swampum Settlemnent. Part second - Settlers and Natives. Wild Beast Wood. Caffre Chieftainship Making an Irish native. Interior of Hardy's Log Hut. Part third - Settlers, Natives, and Bushrangers. Kangaroo Hunting Grounds, among the Western Mountains. Bushrangers' Bivouac. Poacher's Story. Interior of Michael Howe's Cave, in the bush, near Cock'd Hat Hill. Terrific combat. Chaffre encampment, by moonlight. Interior of Hardy's Log Hut, as before.

[News], The Tasmanian and Austral-Asiatic Review (6 August 1830), quoted below in Colonial Times (30 November 1831)

[News], The Hobart Town Courier (7 August 1830), 3 

Mrs. Grimstone's new play upon Van Diemen's land has been produced and was acting with considerable applause at the Surrey Theatre. The following is a copy of the play bill:

Surrey Theatre. - This evening will be presented the entirely new serio-comical, operatical, melo dramatical extravaganza called

Van Diemen's Land, or Settlers and Natives

Governor of Van Diemen's land, Mr. Dibdin Pitt; Mr. James Gooseberry, Mr. Vale; Robin Wildgorse, Mr. Rayner; Michael Howe, Mr. Osbaldiston; Bennelong, Mr. Forester; Eliza White, Miss Somerville; Amelia Hardy, Miss Vincent ; Agatha, Mrs. Egerton.

To conclude with The Barber of Seville ...

To morrow, Van Diemen's land, and the Padlock.

[News], The Hobart Town Courier (9 October 1830), 4 

We have been favoured with a Bill of the Play at the Surrey Theatre for the 19th of May, 1830, of which the following is a copy:-

"This evening will be presented, a new serio-comical, operatical, melo-dramatical, pantomimical, characteristical, satirical, Tasmanian, Australian, Extravaganza, in three parts, called VAN DIEMEN'S LAND, Or, Settlers and Natives.

The vocal music selected by the author of, the piece, arranged and adapted, and the overture composed by Mr. Blewitt. The grand day and night panorama, and the whole of the scenery designed and executed by Mr. Marshall. The piece written by the author of Don Giovanni in London, and produced under the direction of Mr. Osbaldiston. Governor of Van Diemen's land, Mr. Dibdin Pitt; John Hardy, (late cutler of Exeter Change) Mrs. Williems; Frederick (his son) Mr. Warwick; Mr. James Gooseberry, (late greengrocer in the Old Covent Garden Market) Mr. Vale; Blithe, (an old settler in Van Diemen's land,) Mr. Buckingham; Furlong, (superintendent of the settlers) Mr Almar; Robin Wildgrose, (a convict poacher) Mr. Rayner; Dalby Ballylaggan, (an Irish convict transported by mistake) Mr. Bryant; Durant, (overseer of Mrs. Vandaminer's Estate) Mr. Gough; Michael Howe, (Captain of the Bushrangers) Mr. Osbaldiston ; Banilong (Chief of the Broken bay Tribe, or Aboriginals, of Van Diemen's land) Mr. Forester; Bolter, Scapetrap, (settlers at Hobart town), Mr. Honor and Mr. Benson; Manifold, Sweetman, (convicts newly arrived) Mr. Rogers and Mr. Webb; Jerry Fox (a convict pupil in the Barrington school) Mr. Hobbs; Barney Fence, from the East, Mr. Yardley; Sergeant Firelock, Mr. Hicks; Billy Styfake, Mr. Asbury; Whitehead, (Lieutenant of the Bushrangers) Mr. Bruff; Geary, (a Bushranger) Mr. Lee; Eliza White, (unjustly condemned) Miss Somerville ; Ameira Hardy (Daughter of Hardy) Mrs Vincent; Agatha (companion of Michael Howe) Mrs Egerton; Kangaroo, (sister of Benilong) Mrs. Vale; Bedin, (a native woman) Miss Horton.

Part 1st. - Settlers ... [mostly as above].

"Drama of Van Diemen's Land", Colonial Times (30 November 1831), 3 

In our last we mentioned that Mr. Elliston had favored us with a copy of a new operatic drama, entitled "Van Diemen's Land." We now intend laying before our readers a few extracts from the work, feeling pretty confident that the odd mistakes and gross ignorance of Mr. Moncrieff, with the affairs of this Colony, will afford ample scope for laughter. We will commence with the author's remarks, which will explain the reason that Mr. Moncrieff so honored Van Diemen's Land - the Botany of Botany Bay, by writing a three act melodrama:-

Mr. Elliston's oldest and youngest sons having settled in Van Diemen's Land, where they have a highly flourishing store and hotel, the circumstance led the gentleman, by a very natural chain of ideas, to wish a drama introduced at his theatre, which should have that spot for its locale: he accordingly applied to the editor of this work, then residing in Paris, to carry his design into execution; the result was the play now presented to the public ... [further quotations, and extensive extract from the play]

"DRAMA", The Sydney Monitor (21 December 1831), 2 

[From the above]

Bibliography and resources:


28 August 1830 (first notice)

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

ANONYMOUS (editor); ? Richard HILL

Select portions of the psalms of David

According to the version of Dr. Brady and Mr. Tate, to which are added hymns for the celebration of church holy-days, and festivals


Source (1830):

Select portions of the psalms of David according to the version of Dr. Brady and Mr. Tate, to which are added hymns for the celebration of church holy-days, and festivals

(Hobart Town: Printed by James Ross, 1830)

Exemplars: [NLA, SL-NSW, SL-TAS]

Reprint (? 1833):

Select portions of the psalms of David, with a collection of Hymns arranged as they are sung by the congregation of St. David's Church, Hobart town

([Hobart: Courier Office, 1833]

NO COPY IDENTFIED (? identical with the above)


[News], The Courier (28 August 1830), 2

The selection of Psalms and Hymns published at the Courier office, will be used in St. David's Church tomorrow.

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (9 April 1831), 1

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (31 May 1833), 3

As this little collection of the most beautiful psalms and hymns forms an excellent leading junior class book for schools, the attention of teachers and others is invited to it, to whom on purchasing a quantity a very libel allowance will be made. The soft and easy flowing metres of this version are singularly calculated as exercises, to improve and harmonize the voice and to smooth the progress of the juvenile reader.

Bibliography and resources:



Periodically throughout the 1830s and 1840s, the Courier office in Hobart variously advertised a collection for sale, either under the title Select portions of the Psalms of David ... , or, from 1842, A selection of the Psalms of David ...

[Advertisement], The Courier (18 February 1842), 1 

A selection of the Psalms of David, with a collection of hymns, for the use of the congregation of St. David's and other Churches, to be had at the Courier Office-price, 2s cloth, 3s bound in leather. February 14.

See also 1828 Sydney (above) and 1844 Launceston editions, especially digitised BL copy of the latter

26 September 1830

Mersey River, south of Port Sorrell


ROBINSON, George Augustus (reporter)

Song while making spears



George Augustus Robinson, journal; State Library of New South Waless; ed. Plomley 1966, 220 (see route map 223) 

[220] 26 September [1830] ... In making their spears, the natives begin by making the point. They then take off the bark, after which they hold it over the fire and then straighten it by holding it between their teeth and bending it. After that they black it all over. They sing all the time they are at work.

Bibliography and resources:


15 October 1830

Waterhouse Point, North East coast, VDL (TAS)


ROBINSON, George Augustus (reporter)

Song and devil's dance of the island women



George Augustus Robinson, journal; State Library of New South Wales; ed. Plomley 1966, 249 (see route map 251) 

[249] 15 October ... Arrived at the point at 12am and waited for the boats. The sun very hot. The natives pluck the flowers from the heath and stick them in their hair. Conversed with the two native women from the islands [Jumbo (BULL.RER), and Sall (TANLEBONEYER)] and obtained words for my vocabulary. The song of these women is the same as the women in the western islands; it is a demoniacal dance. Asked them the nature of their dance. The one who spoke English said it was the devil's dance, and the other eastern native said it was about PRARM.ME.NE.AN.NAR (devil) and that they wanted the devil to let them stop on the islands. Said there was plenty of devils on the islands, that he was a black and stopped in the bush and was very strong ...

Bibliography and resources:


16 October 1830 (first notice)

? Hobart region, VDL (TAS)


ANONYMOUS (transcribers)

Peletega will sing and dance . . . progress in recording the native melodies of our Van Diemen's land Blacks



[2 items of news], The Hobart Town Courier (16 October 1830), 2

A party of four Blacks was overtaken last week near Major Gray's at St. Paul's plains, but being so thoroughly smeared with opossum grease, three of them contrived to make their escape. In cases, like this, when the number and strength of a party is inadequate and there is a risk of the Blacks slipping away, some people adopt the plan of getting behind them and thrusting the arms beneath the armpits of the Black to bring the hands round behind the neck or head, and being then clasped, completely secure and overpower him.

It was probably part of the same tribe to which these belonged who subsequently surrounded and attacked the premises of Mr. Humphrey Grey in the same neighbourhood, and kept the whole family in a state of danger and alarm for 4 or 5 hours, until they were ultimately driven off.

The expertness and agility of these poor people in their peculiar way is indeed astonishing. Peletega, the chief lately apprehended at the Shannon, who is now in the Hobart town gaol, displays the most perfect good humour and cheerfulness, and for a small reward, of sugar or other desirable food will sing and dance to entertain the donor. He has a method of clapping the palms of his hands and soles of his feet simultaneously on the ground, and immediately making his frame rebound in a perpendicular position 4 or 5 feet in the air, and then dancing and singing round and round in a rotatory motion. He yesterday look up an old broom stick, which lay in the gaol yard, and standing at a distance of about 12 yards, threw it in the manner of casting a spear, right through a small hole which had been accidentally made in the side of the sentry box, and this the very first trial, although the orifice was scarcely half an inch larger in diameter than the stick passed through it. At another time, taking up a small bit of lathe which some gentlemen trying to throw could not cast with all their efforts half the distance, he struck it, directly through and through the middle of a hat set about 30 yards off . . .

Some of our musical amateurs have lately mode some progress in recording the native melodies of our Van Diemen's land Blacks, but what we have seen are of the rudest and most uncouth kind, though no doubt not without their charms to the sable ears. The late Dr. Beattie has the following beautiful remarks on national music, with which we cannot refrain from enriching our columns while on this subject:-

"It is an amiable prejudice that people generally entertain in favour of their national music. This lowest degree of patriotism is not without its merit; and that man must have a hard heart, or dull imagination, in whom, though endued with musical sensibility, no sweet emotions would arise on hearing in his riper years, or in a foreign land, those strains that were the delight of his childhood. What though they be inferior to the Italian? What though they be even irregular and rude? If is not their merit which, in the case supposed, would interest a native, but the charming ideas they would recall to his mind; - ideas of innocence, simplicity, and leisure, - of romantic enterprise and enthusiastic attachment; and of scenes which, on recollection, we are inclined to think, that a brighter sun illuminated, a fresher verdure crowned, and purer skies and happier climes conspired to beautify, than are now to be seen in the dreary paths of care and disappointment, into which men, yielding to the passions peculiar to more advanced year's, are tempted to wander."

Many of those who are taking an active part in the present campaign, and who have some taste for the beauties of nature, must in the necessary hours of repose and relaxation, derive no small pleasure from the new and striking objects peculiar to the island brought under their notice. At this season when nature puts on her gayest attire, and the animal world receives as it were new life, this enjoyment must be more than usually delightful, for not only every plant but every animal of this island is different from those in the old world. The mind of him must be dark indeed, and the heart insensible, that is not touched with new delight when he awakes at early dawn, beneath his silvan canopy, and hears the chorus of the feathered race. It has been said that our singing birds have no charms compared to the chorrsters that enliven our English meads and vales; but though we allow we have nothing to be compared to the tuneful melody of the nightingale, or the lively carol of the lark, we have yet many that approximate in giving delight with these associates of our early days. The present race of our colonial writers is too much engrossed with political and other ephemeral subjects to have yet devoted much time to chronicle in the annals of this new region, a description either prose or poetic of these interesting and permanent characteristics. There is however no doubt now amongst us some rising genius, born amidst our woods and peculiar scenery who will shortly apply his descriptive powers to commemorate them. We confess we have a pleasure in recommending and even in enforcing these pursuits, being so peculiarly improving and delightful in themselves, and excting us as they do to look through nature, by an entirely new and fascinating channel, up to nature's God ...

Bibliography and resources:

Skinner 2011a


The author of the second news article, probably the editor James Ross himself, almost certainly used as his source copy for the Beattie extract its recent reappearance in the March 1830 issue of Blackwood's Magazine, the relevant copy of which would have only just landed in Hobart.

Unfortunately, we have little or no clue as to the context of the "recording the native melodies" itself, or the likely identity of the "musical amateurs". Possible native performers in and around Hobart at the time include Peletega, and any other Indigenous people then being kept at Hobart Town Gaol. Another possibility are the two men who were then living at George Augustus Robinson's house (Robinson himself being then away on a mission in the north of the island), but who reportedly "absconded" to the bush the following month. Again according to Ross's Courier (27 November):

They were apparently getting accustomed to the mode of living of the white people, and could speak English. Many of the inhabitants of New town were in the habit of stopping at the door and talking to them.

Reporting further on their subsquent recapture, the Courier (4 December) estimated:

. . . we feel sensible that the whole black population at the present time in the island does not much exceed 400, most certainly not 500 individuals. Small as their, numbers are, however, they are not to be thought the less formidably nor are we in the, slightest degree to relax our united exertions until the last one issecured . . .

References (Peletega and the natives at Robinson's house):

"Van Diemen's Land (From the Hobart Town Courier, August 14)", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (26 August 1830), 4 

[News], The Hobart Town Courier (4 September 1830), 2 

Nov. 26, 1830. - Two of the Aborigines who have been living so long at Mr. Robinson's house on the New town road, abscond- ed this morning, after divesting themselves entirely of the clothing given to them, and which they have so long worn . . .

[News], The Hobart Town Courier (4 December 1830), 2 

Nick Brodie, The Van Demonian war

References (Beattie):

James Beattie, Essays on poetry and music as they affect the mind; on laughter, and ludicrous composition; on the utility of classical learning ... (Edinburgh: Printed for ... William Creech, 1778), 174-75 

"MUSICAL LITERATURE", Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (March 1830), 477 

23 October 1830

? Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

BREST. C. J. (author)

Music hath charms



[Letter], The Hobart Town Courier (23 October 1830), 2 

SIR, - The Aborigines now being the general topic, and to civilize them engrossing every mind, an old man of war man conversing with me yesterday on the subject, and what wonders he had known brought about in other parts of the world with the sable tribe, expressed his surprise that music which had so pleased and made other nations sociable with the white people, had not yet been tried with these, which himself and others would almost take upon themselves to say, would be sure to make them friendly, and it brought to my mind the old adage, that music hath charms to sooth the savage breast, which I shall be most happy in having thus contributed the widow's mite to, should it prove successful. The military band would no doubt be the best when a party of the Aborigines shall be collected, and private families in the interior can easily try the effect, music having been so generally studied of late years.


Bibliography and resources:


1 and 3 November 1830

Ansons River, near Ansons Bay, VDL (TAS)


ROBINSON, George Augustus (reporter)

The fresh natives' song ... Tarnebunner's dance



George Augustus Robinson, journal; State Library of New South Wales; ed. Plomley 1966, 262, 263 (see route map 307) (map)

[262] [1 November 1830] ... Walked on quickly, travelling in a NE direction. The natives hunted as they went along and caught two young kangaroos and gave them to me. The people all seemed well pleased and laughed and conversed together. As we walked along the fresh natives [who had just joined Robinson's party] sang a song. This assembly of natives, what would be to some a most appalling sight, was to me truly delightful. To see fourteen blacks following me a stranger whither they knew not, no guns, no tying of hands, no shooting of men ...

[263] ... At length, night approaching fast, I stopped by the side of a streamlet, the source of the river on the east coast ... Made a fire. Feasted on the kangaroo the natives had caught, which to us was very acceptable as we were out of provision - this was not the first time I had received kindness from the ferocious aborigines. The natives danced, which these people call KAR.NE.PLEE.LARE. What before I was acquainted with these people and language appeared foolishness, now appeared to me very interesting. The motion of the body is the shifting attitude to avoid the spear in fighting; sometimes they call out "the spear is coming". One dance was a relation of a man who was with me named TAR.NE.BUN.NER, who had been chased by a man on horseback with a long whip, and of his out-running the horse. The other dances related the hunting of the kangaroo or some battle or an amorous story ... the night was remarkable fine and moonlit ... 

[266] 3 November [1830] Heavy rain during the night and this morning raining hard. I issued slops to all the fresh natives, gave them baubles and played the flute, and rendered them as satisfied as I could ... PM, the weather clearing up, sent the two women after the natives in the bush and in the course of two hours I had the pleasure and satisfaction to see them at my tent. Gave them clothes, &c. At night the people danced, sung &c. ...

Bibliography and resources:


14 to 24 November 1830

Furneaux Islands, VDL (TAS)


ROBINSON, George Augustus (reporter)

The horse dance



George Augustus Robinson, journal; State Library of New South Wales; ed. Plomley 1966, 274, 277-78, 280-82, opposite 259 (plate 8: The horse dance) 

[274] 14 November [1830] ... Rowed across to the Smug Boat harbour on Clarkes Island and arrived at 2pm ... Anxious to proceed ... Made a smoke, a signal to the natives on Swan Island ... At night a strange dog came to the fire ... The women since their liberation from slavery have been very cheerful. Said that Peterson told them to run away in the bush ... The black women said that the sealers beat them very much. This afternoon the women enjoyed some hilarity, standing on the rocks and singing; would make a good picture.

[277] [15 November 1830] ... The PARNG.ER.TIT.YER or chief are two of the largest men now stopping on Swan Island, viz WORE.TER.LET.TE.LARN.NEN.NE chief of the POOR.RER.MAIR.RE.NER nation at Pipers River, and MAN.NER.LE.LAR.GEN.NER chief of the Oyster Bay tribe. LUG.GER.NE.MENE.NER informed me that she and the five young men had seen the soldiers, and had been inside the Line and had run away again, coming out in morning. Described the soldiers as extending for a long way and that they kept firing off muskets. Said plenty of PAR.KUTE.TEN.NER horsemen, plenty of soldiers, plenty of big fires on the hills.

Tonight the natives joined in a little hilarity. I was pleased to be there. The native dances of the east are various and consist principally of performing a circle round the fire, striking the ground with one hand and them jumping up. In performing different attitudes similar to what they practise in war they avoid the spears, called by the eastern native PRAR.EN.ER. At the same time they sing their exploits. The women also join, but the dance is principally carried on by the men. Some dances consist in a relation of some amorous story, which is accompanied by different attitudes, but the most interesting is the PARE.KATE.TEN.NER KAR.NE.PLE.LARE.NE or horse dance. This originated in the circumstance of TAR.NE.BUN.NER having outrun a man on horseback, who was in pursuit of him. Several men perform the part of horses: they stoop down and lean their hands upon the back of their companion and then walk around the fire singing; sometimes they run to imitate galloping. One man acts as driver and he has a bough for a whip, with which he strikes them and makes them go fast. Another man runs beside the horses in imitation of a dog - and performed his part exceeding well, shaking his head and appearing frightened, then stopping, then running &c. ...

[280] [21 November 1830] ... Tonight all the men practised in a little hilarity. One of the dances consisted in a continued jumping for at least a quarter of an hour. The natives appeared quite contented ...

[281] [23 November 1830] ... Tonight the natives engaged in a little hilarity. One of the dances consisted in crawling round the fire upon their hands and knees, in doing of which they move at a slow pace, shake their heads in imitation of the horse, then stop and imitate the horse feeding, then move on, then lay down with their backs to the fire; this they repeat. The same motion made by the first is observed by all [282] the rest. At the same time they are performing these movements, they continue to sing. There is another description of the PARKUTETENNE KARNEPLELARE or horse dance, and they inform me that it is peculiar to the Big River tribe, from whom they had acquired it. In conversation with the natives. Find it difficult to keep them in good humour. Minimising about being without food.

[282] [24 November 1830] ... Tonight the whole of the natives joined in a dance, which was kept up till a late hour. The dance tonight consisted of the PARE.KUTE.TEN.NE KARNEPLELARE, which was gone through with great eclat to gratify me, it being my favourite dance. In performing this dance they walk slow, stoop the body and shake the knees and hands and head. The whole body is in motion to imitate the movements of the horse. They then alternately run and one keeps striking them with boughs to imitate the driver. The dog moves but don't sing. The whole party moves together: the motion made by the first is observed by all the rest. It is admirably done. The TYREELORE or devil dance was performed by the women.

Bibliography and resources:



For the song associated with's dance, see 22 February 1834

5-26 December 1830

Furneaux Islands, VDL (TAS)

PLEENPERRENNER (? composer of song words and dance)


ROBINSON, George Augustus (reporter)

The horse dance
Tyre.lore song, or the song of the women held in bondage by the sealers



George Augustus Robinson, journal; State Library of New South Wales; ed. Plomley 1966, 287, 293, (294-) 295, 300-01 

[287] [5 December 1830] ... Tonight conversed with the natives. Said that snakes kill plenty of natives ... Said native see white man coming, go back; that the devil tells him to go back. The Brune natives said that the Brune devil is thunder and lightning. Said that LUG.NE.MENE.NER's brother made the PARE.KUTE.TEN.NER song and that the crawling in the dance belongs to the Lake mob. They sung a song which they said belonged to Walyer's mob. Jumbo [BULL.RER] said the big woman cut her with a knife because she did not give her bread. In the absence of red ochre the natives take the red leaves of peppermint and other trees.

[293] [17 December 1830] ... Informed that one man at King's Island had four black women. These men claim these women as their property. When the black women brought from the islands arrived at this station they soon recognised their relations and kindred and friends among the natives brought from the main. Their joy was unbounded and it was truly affecting to witness the kind of feeling exhibited on this truly interesting occasion. After some conversation, they commemorated the event by dancing. The women from the islands began first, after which the men danced. This hilarity was kept up for several days. The poor creatures from the islands felt their liberty ... Those from the main were no longer in dread of being shot by the whites, who thirsted for the blood of these poor creatures ...

[294] 19 December [1830] ... The report that the black women long for captivity is contrary to human [295] nature ... The men [sealers] compel them to work hard, and they assist to work the boats in the place of men. They make them cook and do all kinds of drudgery, and they cohabit with them - the scene of debauchery is unfit to mention, and they have encouraged the most obscene dances, which is only peculiar to the islands and is not known by the natives on the plain. They catch and clean mutton birds, their chief support, and they hunt for kangaroo and dress the skins ... They pluck the feathers of mutton birds and the sealers sell them to the merchants. The black women from the islands are in considerable dread lest they should be sent back again ... The sealers live a miserable life ...

[300] [25 December 1830] ... Pyromancy. The aborigines have recourse to fire when they are desirous for the wind to alter. I have seen the chief stand up in the midst of his tribe, when the wind has set in front of their LEEBRUNNEE or hut, and thrust a firestick at the wind, and continue for half an hour together at this divination. The dances of the aborigines evidently consist in pyromancy, but more particularly the dance of the TYRE.LORE or women from the islands. This Jumbo [BULL.RER] assured me was the case, that the song was the devil's song and their attitude is a homage paid to the fire spirits. These dances, like the devil dances of the heathen, is the most obscene that can be conceived.

[301] [26 December 1830] ... Pyromancy or the devil's dance: the rite of the TYRE.LORE women consist in devil worship. They affirm that the devil comes the the women when they are hunting on Flinders and has a connection with them, and that they are with child by his spirit and which they kill in the bush. They say that they sing to please the devil, that the devil tells them to sing plenty. These devotees of the devil are excessive in their devotions. They continue to chant their devil song and perform their rites at every opportunity.

James Backhouse, journal, 9 October 1832; ed. Plomley 1987, 225, 280 note 9

... Though the men are all naked on these occasions, there is not the least appearance of indecency about them. They are said to have had some obscene dances in their natural state but these have been completely suppressed in this settlement. The women now keep each to one man; formerly they were not at all particular in this respect, and the men who have wives keep to them ...

Bibliography and resources:

Merry 2003, 86-87 (DIGITISED)

... on Kangaroo Island and the Bass Strait islands, the Aboriginal women continued to practise their traditional culture while continually incorporating and adapting new technologies into their increasingly complex economies. It is probable that the common practice of polygamy actually facilitated the continuity of cultural customs of singing, dancing, weaving baskets and stringing shell necklaces. Robinson extensively recorded in his journals how the Aborigines created new dances and also incorporated new experiences into corroborees, in particular the 'horse dance' and the famous 'devil dance'. He described the latter as 'the most obscene that can be conceived' and claimed it was peculiar to the women of the islands and 'not known by the natives on the main'. [Plomley 1966, 295] In his notes, he calls the song the women sing whilst dancing, 'the TYRE.LORE song, 'ie song of the women held in bondage by the sealers' and also recorded the response of the women when he asked them the meaning of this dance:

The rite of the Tyre.Lore women consist in devil worship. They affirm that the devil comes to the women when they are hunting on Flinders and has connection with them, and that they are with child by this spirit and which they kill in the bush. They say they sing to please the devil, that the devil tells them to sing plenty. These devotees of the devil are excessive in their devotions. They continue to chant their devil song and perform their rites at every opportunity. [Plomley 1966, 444, 301]

A few months later, Robinson wrote that the songs of the natives 'consist of expression of circumstances'. The women who invented the 'devil's dance' and song had been living with sealers for quite a long time and it is patently obvious that they were attempting to make sense of their traumatic, collective experiences by integrating the 'obscene' words and actions into their culture, while using the apt euphemism of 'the devil' to represent the sealers. Robinson's devout Christian sensibility was so offended that he failed to see the symbolic value of the dance as yet another survival mechanism or cultural adaptation.

Merry 2010, 116 (PREVIEW)

[Robinson] mentions in his journal that PLEEN.PER.REN.NER was responsible for inventing both the "obscene dance" and the words of the song and he translated the words and interpreted its meaning: The rite of the Tyre.Lore women ... [as above] ...

Bass Strait people 1790-1850: Aborigines, sealers and others: Biographies and bibliography of the people of Bass Strait, Tasmanian waters to 1850 (ONLINE)

Pleenperrenner [AKA Mother Brown, b.c.1795, Abducted by John BROWN [1] who was later drowned, afterwards lived with James PARISH for a time who gave her to John SMITH, she had several children by BROWN, two drowned. "Delivered up to the Aboriginal settlement by John BROWN, with daughter by BROWN aged 13 years. One of her daughters living in Launceston possessed considerable influence over the black women': FM 31/3/1831, p.118]

Before the end of 1830


WEST, John (reporter)

Corrobories and dances



West 1852, 2, 38-39 

In this colony, 1830 will be ever memorable, as the year of the Black War - that campaign, which formed the first military lesson given to the colonists. In the ferment of the public mind, innumerable plans were propounded for their capture: some merit remembrance from their oddity, and some for their kindness. It was suggested, that those natives in custody should be driven forward, secured by a tether, and thus compelled to guide the pursuit. It was also proposed, that depôts of flour, sugar, and other tempting articles of food should be placed in the tracks, and when natives were engaged in seizing the prize, the Philistines would be upon them. A third plan recommended, that four or five persons should be placed in the vicinity of huts, to be erected for the purpose: they were to stand outside, and allure the natives; and when seen by them, to feign alarm, and run. The natives, it was expected, would make for the seemingly abandoned dwellings, to be surprised by the English, lying in ambush. Their dogs often gave them notice of approach: a scheme was propounded, to turn this advantage against them. The English were to be furnished with two sets of dogs: one leash, swift and fierce, to pursue the dogs of the natives; but as both would soon vanish from the sight of the pursuers, the second species were to be retained, to scent their course. Thus, the native would run first, - his dogs after him; then would come the large dogs of the English - then their little dogs; and, finally, the captors! An old mariner, who had witnessed the effect of music in taming savage tribes, proposed to try the persuasion of sweet sounds. He was not aware, that the expedient had been in vain tested under happier auspices; even had it been possible for a military band to career along with the requisite speed. The musician of the Recherche [Pg 39] carried his instrument on shore, and played his sweetest melodies: the natives took no notice. Unwilling to doubt the efficacy of his art, on his next visit he used sharper tones and quicker measures: the aborigines put their fingers to their ears, and the Frenchman dropped his fiddle in despair.

West 1852, 2, 86-87 

Corrobories and Dances. -Their general assemblies were attended by great numbers: at these meetings they raised large fires, and continued dancing till midnight. They first [87] began their movement round the pyre, with slow steps and soft tunes: as they advanced more quickly, their voices became more sharp and loud: they closed in upon the fire, and leaping close to the flame appeared in considerable peril. These movements they continued; shrieking and whooping until thoroughly exhausted. It is hardly possible for the imagination to picture a scene more infernal.

A gentleman, on guard during the black war, watched a small group in the gaol yard round their night fires. One of them raised his hands, and moved them slowly in a horizontal direction; and spreading, as if forming an imaginary fan or quarter-circle: he turned his head from side to side, raising one eye to the sky, where an eagle hawk was soaring. The action was accompanied by words, repeated with unusual emotion: at length they all rose up together, and uttered loud cries. The whole action had the appearance of an incantation.

The dances were various. The emu dance, was intended to represent the motions of that bird: the horse dance, necessarily modern, was performed by their trotting after each other, in a stooping posture, and holding the foremost by the loins: the thunder-and-lightning dance was merely stamping the ground. Their amusements were childish, and boisterous; but they applauded themselves with the invariable phrase, "narracoopa" - very good.

They felt the incumbrance of clothing, when exhibiting their feats: the permission to strip was embraced with great gladness. They gradually wrought themselves into the most extravagant excitement: their pleasure was in activity.

Language. - Their language varied: the four principal tribes had different dialects. When they met at Flinders', communication was difficult, yet their songs were the same. The language has never been reduced to rules, though vocabularies have been collected by Jorgenson, and others. The Rev. Mr. Dove furnished some additional information; but though the specimens establish an affinity in these dialects, the results are otherwise unimportant. The vowels greatly predominate: the r is sounded rough, and lingering. The words are frequently liquid and melodious. At Flinders' Island, the language was a mixture of several; broken English, New Holland, and Tasmanian words formed the currency of the island. In English, they dropped the d and s; thus sugar is tugar, and doctor is togata. As with other barbarians, who have enjoyed the benefit of our instructions, the epithets of licentiousness and insult were most current,[Pg 88] and most aptly applied. Strangers to abstract ideas, their words expressed the most common objects, sensations, and wants. Their songs, which reminded Labillardière of the music of the Arabs of Asia Minor, were exceedingly soft and plaintive; their voices not wanting in melody. They repeated the same note in soft and liquid syllables; descended to the second bar, and finished with a third above the key note. They sometimes varied, by suddenly running into the octave. Their strains were considered, by a Scotchman, a close resemblance to the Highland bagpipe. The stanzas they repeated again and again: none have been translated, for which, it is said, they are unfit.

Bibliography and resources:



Durhambak, upper Manning, New England, NSW


ANONYMOUS (artist)

Corroboree or native dance at Durhambak


Corroboree, New England, c.1830


Detail, from Corroboree or native dance at Durhambak on the banks of the upper Manning, New England, Australia; NLA (DIGITISED)

Bibliography and resources:


c. 1830 (not firmly dated)

Lake Macquarie region, NSW

THRELKELD, Lancelot (collector, transcriber)

Songs of the natives of New South Wales to the north of Sydney



"Songs of the Natives of New South Wales to the North of Sydney"; State Library of New South Wales, A 382: Reverend Lancelot Edward Threlkeld papers, 1822-62, [page 129] (CATALOGUE RECORD) (DIGITISED IMAGE)

1830 (year of publication)

London, England

ANONYMOUS = Thomas MASLEN (author)

On the utility of introducing simple musical instruments



[Thomas Maslen], The friend of Australia; or, a plan for exploring the interior and for carrying on a survey of the whole continent of Australia . . . by a retired officer of the Hon. East India Company's service (London: Hurst, Chance, and Co., 1830), 289-90 

[Thomas Maslen], The friend of Australia; or, A plan for exploring the interior and for carrying on a survey of the whole continent of Australia . . . second edition (London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1836), 289-90 


The aborigines of Australia have an ear for music; they not only sing, but perform in very good time on two sticks and seem to be very fond of the accomplishment. Simple wind instruments are peculiarly adapted to uncivilized man, and there is one which any body can play upon without any teaching, viz. the English boy's whistle. I once saw a numerous band of music walking in front of an Indian procession (at Trichinopoly) which consisted of nothing but English whistles or what are called English flutes in contradistinction to German flutes, the former having mouth-pieces and being very easily blown. These instruments are about twelve inches in length. There were at least twenty or thirty men performers, all playing together like a collection of birds trying which could whistle wildest and loudest, and there was no other instrument whatever as an accompaniment.

I should think that the introduction of our common tabor or tambourine without jingles, and English flutes, would be hailed by these children of nature with delight, and it could be done without much expense. A few thousands of English flutes might be exported to Australia and dispersed among the various [290] tribes, always hanging the gift about the neck of the receiver by a riband on first presenting it, and shewing him how to blow it. They would certainly make as good performers as those of the abovementioned band, which was by no means disagreeable; but I look for a latent advantage in the introduction of these musical toys; they would soon learn to make their own tabors, and in the course of one generation, perhaps sooner, the love of combats and savage cruelty would give place to the love of music, wild or pastoral it may be, but so much the more romantic.

If every emigrant proceeding to Australia were to carry out a few flutes of the above cheap description (the price of the large ones is from fourpence to sixpence each, at the shops) he might give them to the Indians in the neighbourhood of his adopted residence, who would soon be too well pleased with the sound of their own music in the woods, ever to throw them away.

The introduction of such simple music into that country may appear very trifling, but its simplicity is that which adapts it to the untutored savage, and trifling as it is, it may after a time divest the Indians of a portion of their ferocity, and finally reclaim them from their love of cruel combats. Most important effects sometimes arise out of very trifling causes.

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