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A chronicle of music in colonial Australia from 1821 to 1825

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "A chronicle of music in colonial Australia from 1821 to 1825", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 3 April 2020


This is page 4 (of 4) of an open access work-in-progress to chronicle, in date order, all of the scarce documentary references to music in Australia, Indigenous and European, from earliest contacts until the end of 1825.

Entries are also included for some occasions in which music must certainly played a part, although there is no actual record of it, such as when it accompanied dancing, and civil, military, and religious ceremonies; and for some other important historical occasions when it is very likely to have done.

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

For the 3 earlier pages: 

On this page:

Go to:


31 March 1821

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

A violin-cello, for the use of the church


"GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS", Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (9 May 1821), 1 supplement

Government House, Hobart Town, Friday May 4th, 1821. HIS Honor the Lieutenant Governor is pleased to direct, that the following Statements of the Police Fund of Van Diemen's Land, for the Quarters ending, respectively, the 30th September and 31st December, 1820, and 31st March, 1821 ...

Rev. Robt. Knopwood, for that sum paid by him for a violin-cello, for the use of the church. - [£] 5 0 0

Bibliography and resources:


7 July 1821 & 1 December 1821

Sydney, NSW; Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

A few copies of Airs and melodies peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland and the Isles


[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (7 July 1821), 2 

SCOTTISH MUSIC - MACQUEEN and ATKINSON announce to the Lovers of Scottish Music, the Arrival (per the Ship Westmoreland) of a few Copies of Captain SIMON FRASER'S celebrated "Airs and Melodies peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland, and the Isles," recently published at Edinburgh. - The Melodies (232 in Number) are communicated in an original, pleasing, and familiar Styie ; are approved and recommended by the Highland Society of Scotland, and have been chit-fly acquired during the interesting Period, from 1715 and 1745, from the most authentic Sources.-The Harmony is, carefully revised by Mr. Gow, and o her profesional Gentlemen of Eminence, to whom the Work is highly indebted for such a Stamp to its Merit.
"And bring the tale of other years,
Which oft resounded to the harp;
And listen, though with falling tears,
To numbers round the heart that warp ;
While parent Caledonia views, with pride,
A Work restored to life - that else had died."
(See the Vignette.)

[Advertisement], Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (1 December 1821), 2 supplement 

NINE COPIES of a very interesting PUBLICATION, which has just been received from England, are now offered for Sale at the GAZETTE OFFICE. It is neatly printed in Three large Volumes Octavo, in Boards; and will be Sold at prime cost Price, £2. Those Persons desirous of obtaining a Copy, will be pleased to make immediate Application to onsuro a Work that is allowed to bw the best Edition which his been published of the important Case.

- ALSO, Eight large MUSIC BOOKS, which cost One Guinea only each in England, and which will be Sold here for the same Price.

This Work contains 232 Airs and Melodies peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland andthe Isles; communicated in an original, pleasing, and familiar Style; as inspected, approved and recommended by the Highland Society of Scotland; having the lively Airs introduced as Medleys, to form a Sequence to each slower Movement, with an admired plain Harmony, for the Piano-Forte, Harp, Organ, or Violoncello. An Appendix is attached to the Book, containing Notes on each Air.

Bibliography and resources:


Other exemplar:

The airs and melodies peculiar to the highlands of Scotland and the Isles: communicated in an original, pleasing & familiar style having the lively airs introduced as medleys to form a sequence to each slower movement, with an admired plain harmony for the piano forte, harp, organ, or violoncello, intended rather to preserve simplicity, than load with embellishment, edited by captain S. Fraser (Edinburgh: Printed and Sold for the Editor, 1816) (DIGITISED)

20 and 21 December 1821

Bathurst, NSW


MACQUARIE, Lachlan (reporter)

Two karauberies for the governor at Bathrust


Lachlan Macquarie, Journal of A Tour of Inspection to Bathurst in Decr. 1821, SL-NSW MS ML Ref: A783 (CATALOGUE RECORD) (modern edition online)

I found a great number of the Natives waiting here for me for several Days, and they immediately came to see me at Government House to the amount of 15 Persons. We dined at 5 o'clock - the Baggage having all arrived about 4 o'clock. In the evening the little town of Bathurst was very neatly illuminated in honour of my arrival and the natives entertained us with a very good karauberie [corroboree] at Night, which lasted till eleven o'clock; - at which Hour we retired to Bed.

[21 December 1821] At 3 p.m. the Inhabitants and Settlers of the Settlement of Bathurst about 15 in number, waited on me with a congratulatory address, to which I made a suitable reply in writing. - In the Evening Bone-Fires and illuminations were made in the Town, and at all the Farms in sight of it, along the North Bank of the Macquarie River; and in the latter part of the Evening the Native[s] entertained us with another Grand Kauraberie in front of Government House.

Bibliography and resources:


25 December 1821 (date of event)

South West, Western Australia (WA)

INDIGENOUS (Noongar) (singers)

KING, Phillip Parker (reporter)

Jack's song



King 1827, 2, 126 (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

... December 25 [1821]. At daylight the following morning the natives had again collected on both sides, and upon the jolly-boat's landing the people to examine the wells Jack, having quite recovered his good humour, got into the boat and came on board. The natives on the opposite side were vociferous to visit us, and were holding long conversations with Jack, who explained everything to them in a song, to which they would frequently exclaim in full chorus the words "Cai, cai, cai, cai, caigh" which they always repeated when anything was shown that excited their surprise. Finding we had no intention of sending a boat for them they amused themselves in fishing. Two of them were watching a small seal that, having been left by the tide on the bank, was endeavouring to waddle towards the deep water; at last one of the natives, fixing his spear in its throwing-stick, advanced very cautiously and, when within ten or twelve yards, lanced it, and pierced the animal through the neck, when the other instantly ran up and stuck his spear into it also, and then beating it about the head with a small hammer very soon despatched it ...

Bibliography and resources:

Bracknell 2014,+Volume+38,+2014/11431/Text/ch01.xhtml (DIGITISED)

... In 1821, while visiting the place now known as the City of Albany, Phillip Parker King witnesses and described a lengthy conversation in "song" between Noongar people [King 1827, 126].


8 January 1822

Sydney area, NSW

A favorite English song, before fatal blows


Report of the proceedings of the trial on the 18th day of March, 1822, of Mary Ann Lyons in the Court of Criminal Jurisdiction, convened at Sydney in the Territory of New South Wales, upon a Charge in writing exhibited by the Judge Advocate against the Prisoner for the wilful murder on the 8th day of January preceding at Liverpool, of Thomas Clark, deceased; ed. Historical records of Australia 10 (1917), 657-61 (DIGITISED)

EDWARD MURRAY sworn and examined. I am a Free Man. I was present in the deceased's house when an Assault was made upon him by the prisoner. It was at Airds. He had lived there Two Months. The Prisoner lived in the same House with the deceased. All that time I was in the habit of seeing the deceased almost daily. We had adjoining Farms. I never saw any quarrelling between the prisoner and deceased, till that Night. It was on a Tuesday. I don't know the day of the Month. It was in or about 12 o'clock at Night. I had been there from the Evening, we were drinking rum most of that time. The prisoner and deceased had a row the beginning of the Evening, something that I don't know of. something between themselves, but that was dropped. It happened at 12 at Night that there was no more rum, the deceased wanted me to go with him to get a drop of Rum. There had been two Quarts and One pint of Rum then drank. The Man belonging to the deceased was there, nobody else that I know of. We went for it, and brought it home about 12 o'Clock from the next Neighbour's house. The deceased, when he came back, said he would give a song or two. While lie was singing the verse, she (the prisoner) was walking backward and forward about the House; he did not notice her, no more did'nt I, and she gave him a blow of the Hammer or two. I am sure she struck more than once. The deceased was sitting on the Chair when he got these two blows ...

[658] ... Cross-examined by Mr. Rowe, Solicitor for the prisoner ... I am sure I did not see the deceased beating the prisoner before she struck him with the Hammer. I never saw him striking her at all that Evening. The deceased had sang some verses, it was an English song ...

CHARLES FELL sworn and examined. I am a prisoner. I was living with the late Thomas Clarke; he is dead; he died on the 13th January; he had been ill from the 7th day of January; he was drinking that Evening and was ill from the blow the prisoner gave him with a Hammer; there were two blows given; I was sitting down close by the side of Clarke; the prisoner was walking up and down the floor; it was light; we had a good fire; I don't know whether it was a dark or a Moonlight night; but I could see all over the apartments; she had been walking about for five minutes; I heard her ask him to sing a [659] song; she says, "My dear will you sing a song," he said "Yes." I don't remember the Song, it was a favourite song; she walked about till he had done singing and then she asked him to go to Bed; he made answer that he would lie with her no more, she might go to her own husband; she hit him then with the hammer, that he should so mention her husband's Name; the deceased put his hand out and got up, and then she struck him again and he fell ...

Cross-examined by Mr. Rowe ... the Blows were given on the Tuesday; he had finished his song when the blow was given; Murray was sitting on the other side of the room; the room was three yards asunder; she asked him in a kind manner to sing the song, she called him "my dear" ... he had just done singing his song; he had put his hand out when she hit him, not before ...

"CRIMINAL COURT ... MONDAY", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (22 March 1822), 3 

Bibliography and resources:


31 January 1822 (first performance)

Hill's Tavern, Hyde Park, Sydney, NSW

8 February 1822 (first noticed and published)

ROBINSON, Michael Massey (songwriter, singer)

Song for the commemoration dinner, 1822

Philosophers say, and experience declares ...

Words only, no tune indicated

Source and documentation:

[News], The Sydney Gazette (8 February 1822), 3 (DIGITISED)

On Thursday, the 31st ultimo, the Commemoration Dinner, to celebrate the Anniversary of the Establishment of this Colony, took place at Hill's Tavern, in Hyde Park. It had been postponed from the 26th; and the 31st, being the Anniversary of the Birth-day of Our late beloved Governor, Major General Macquarie, the festival embraced two objects particularly gratifying to the public feeling. Upwards of 70 of the respectable Inhabitants of the Colony sat down, at half-past five, to a very excellent entertainment, presenting, in a very sumptuous style, all that the season could afford, or that could promote the conviviality and harmony of the day. After the cloth was removed, several loyal and appropriate toasts were circulated, in which His Majesty, the Royal Family, and the late and present Governor, were the prevailing themes of respect and veneration. A Song, from the pen of our favourite Laureat-Bard, Mr. Robinson, was given amidst loud and reiterated acclamations. We are glad to have an opportunity of introducing it to our Readers.


Philosophers say, and experience declares,
That life is a medley of pleasures and cares;-
That the sunshine which smiles on our prospects to-day,
May be chas'd by the gloom of to-morrow away.

Whilst some, who are strangers to conjugal strife,
Are apt to repine at the loss of a wife, -
There are others (perhaps you may dissolute call 'em)
That are glad to escape from the fetters that gall 'em.

Thus, serious and comic, the scene passes on,
The demise of the sire makes way for the son;
When the coffers, by rigid economy stor'd,
Are squander'd and swallow'd at luxury's board.

For years, on this Isle, a bright Day-star has gleam'd,
And the Chief that we hail'd was the Friend we esteem'd;
Now Time, in its triumph, has clos'd his career,
And the smile we have cherish'd - is chang'd to a tear!

Yet, often shall memory cling to this day,
And often shall gratitude swell the fond lay;
Whilst Australia shall boast, in her annals of story,
That His Sun, as it rose - so it set, in full Glory!

But the shadows that threatened our evening forlorn,
The breath of young Hope shall disperse with the morn;
For grac'd with fresh laurels from Fame's fairest stores,
His Illustrious Successor has smil'd on our Shores.

Then, here, whilst in circles of social relation,
Our hearts and our hands join in Commemoration;
From Australia's first dawn - let her trophies proclaim,
That her Standard of Worth stamps her Passport to Fame.

Bibliography and resources:


9 February 1822

Sydney, NSW

MACQUARIE, Elizabeth (donor)

PIPER, Mary Ann (recipient)

Gift of a cello


Letter, Elizabeth Macquarie, to Mary Ann Piper, 9 February 1822 (ed. Eldershaw 1939/73, 123)

Sydney Febry. 9th. 1822. Dear Mrs. Piper. My state of health prevents my being able to call on my acquaintances in this Colony to take my leave, I therefore take only the means in my power of assuring you of my good wishes for a long continuance of health, and prosperity to you, Captain Piper and all your family. I have to request your & Captain Pipers acceptance of a Violoncello, which I hope will be found to sound well in your house at Point Piper. - I am Dear Mrs. Piper with much regard Yours sincerely E. H. Macquarie.

NOTE: This instrument is generally supposed to survive as a cello now in the collections of Sydney Living Museums; see: 

20 February 1822

Sydney, NSW

HILL, Richard (incumbent)


James Bennett joins the choir of St. James's, Sydney


Colonial Secretary Index, 1788-1825; correspondence from Hill, Richard (Revd) to Hill, Samuel (per Hadlow) 

1822 Jan 19; Re request for leave for choir members (Reel 6053; 4/1756 p.67)

1822 Feb 20; Re James Bennett joining choir of church (Reel 6054; 4/1759 p.165)

1824 Dec 15; Re the services of James Bennett no longer being required (Reel 6014; 4/3513 p.88)

Bibliography and resources:


22 March 1822 (first performance)

London, England

MONCRIEFF, William (playwright, songwriter)

Giovanni in Botany, or, The libertine transported

Words; tunes indicated


[William T. Moncrieff], Songs, duets, glees, choruses, &c. in the new musical extravaganza 'yclept Giovanni in Botany: or, the libertine transported ... first performed at the Olympic Theatre ... March 11th, 1822 (London: Printed for the author by Charles Lowndes, 1822) (DIGITISED)

Bibliography and resources:


9 April 1822

St. John's Church, Parramatta, NSW

HASSALL, Rowland (? editor, doubtful)

HASSALL, Thomas (editor)

Hymns for the 8th anniversary of Parramatta Sunday School


Hymns for the eighth anniversary of the Parramatta Sunday School ([Parramatta: ?, 1822])

Copy at State Library of New South Wales; MS note: "1816, Printed at Parramatta at house of Mr. R. Hassall at the Mission Press Parramatta"

Leaflet with words of hymns for the anniversary service:
1 Happy the child whose tender years [Isaac Watts];
2 Father of Mercies! still to thee;
3 Come let our voices join [? William Budden];
4 From all that dwell below the skies [Isaac Watts]

Bibliography and resources:

"New South Wales Sunday School Institution", The Sunday School Repository 2/17 (December 1818), 183-86 

Hall 1951 (HMA 2), 335


The annotation on the unique State Library of New South Wales copy is clearly incorrect; other sources concur that the Parramatta Sunday School was founded in 1814, and so the 8th Anniversary was that which fell in April 1822 (and the 18th in 1832, as also see below). The more likely editor was not Rowland Hassall, but his son Thomas Hassall, who was active in the Sunday School from the start.

Unfortunately, there is no reliable way of ascertaining the tunes to which these 4 hymns were sung.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (31 May 1817), 2 

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (12 April 1822), 2 

The Anniversary of the Parramatta Church Sunday School was held on Tuesday last. A Sermon was preached on the pleasing occasion by the Reverend Mr. CARTWRIGHT, in the Church of St. John. The children, between 80 and 90 in number, were then examined, by the Reverend Messrs Cartwright and Hassall, as to their proficiency in scriptural acquirement during the past year; and the result was such as afforded ample satisfaction to all present. The children were conducted from the church to the residence of the Reverend Mr. Hassall, only lately returned from England, and who has the undisputed honor of being the first Sunday school teacher in this Colony, as also the founder (we believe) of the above Institution. The afternoon was wet; but the children, notwithstanding, were made comfortable and happy. Medals, books, tracts, and other appropriate rewards, many of which were brought by Mr. Hassall from England for the express purpose, were profusely distributed amongst all ranks and classes of the children.

"PARRAMATTA CHURCH SUNDAY SCHOOL", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (28 April 1832), 3 

The Annual Examination of this useful institution took place on Tuesday last, the 24th instant. This was its eighteenth anniversary, and during the whole of that long period it has been supported exclusively by the Teachers, who have generously contributed their pecuniary as well as personal assistance. The number of visitors on Tuesday was considerable, consisting of the Venerable Archdeacon BROUGHTON, part of the family of His Excellency the GOVERNOR, the Misses McARTHUR, the Rev. Messrs. MARSDEN, HILL, HASSALL, FORREST, and DICKINSON, with other persons of respectability, who were all highly gratified with the attainments exhibited by the children ...

Concordances (sample):

"Happy the child whose tender years", Divine songs: attempted in easy language for the use of children by I. Watts, D.D (London: printed for J. Buckland ..., 1777); modern edition, Eighteenth Century Collections Online;view=fulltext 

"Father of mercies! still to thee', Sacred hymns for the use of Sunday Schools ... (Leeds: For B. Jackson, 1812), 45 

"Come, let our voices join to sing a song of praise (Sunday School Anniversary)", first appeared in Evangelical Magazine (December 1795) signed "W. B." (William Budden 

"From all that dwell below the skies", Hymns selected from various authors, and chiefly intended for the instruction of young persons (London: Darton, Harvey, and Darton, 1818), 148 

18 April 1822

Sydney, NSW

A large barrel organ


Alexander Berry and Edward Wollstonecraft (merchants), to Frederick Goulburn, 18 April 1822, regarding tender for the church Establishment, of a large barrel organ and mahogany pulpit; NSW, Colonial Secretary's papers, main series of letters received, 1788-1825; series 897, Reels 6041-6064, page 121 

Sydney 18th April 1822
Frederick Goulburn Esq. Colonial Sectretary &c. &c. &c.
Sir, We beg leave to tender for the Services of the Church Establishment a large Barrel Organ (by Flight & Robson) and an Elegant Mahogany Pulpit.
These articles have been inspected by the Rev. Mr. Marsden, and the Rev. Mr. Hill, who have expressed a decided opinion on their utility and necessity.
The price we expect, for the two together, will be Four Hundred Guineas; - which is about the original cost with charges.
We are Sir, respectfully, Your Ob't Servants
Berry & Wollstonecraft.

Bibliography and resources:

"ORGAN", in Abraham Rees (ed.), The cyclopaedia; or, An universal dictionary . . . volume 25 ( ), [541] 

Chamber barrel organ, Flight & Robson, London, c.1820; London, Royal College of Music, Museum 

E. J. Hopkins, "BARREL ORGAN", in George Grove (ed.), A dictionary of music and musicians . . . volume 1 (1900), 143-44

8 June 1822

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

CAPE, Mary Anne (importer, vendor)

A grand piano; with a choice collection of music


[Advertisement], Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (8 June 1822), 2

MRS. CAPE begs leave to inform her Friends and the Inhabitants of Hobart Town, that she has brought from England, a GRAND PIANO FORTE; with a choice Collection of Music, by the first Composers of Italian and English Operas, Scotch and Irish Airs, &c., with which she purposes to give Lessons of Instruction in Music to Young Ladies, at their own Residence, or at her Apartments at the corner of Collins-street, lately occupied by Mr. Owen. For cards and further particulars apply to Mrs. Stocker, Derwent Hotel.

September 1822


Musicians in the 1822 muster

PUGH, Edward (fiddler, Windsor)

16 November 1822

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

CAPE, Mary Anne

Music ten guineas a year extra


[Advertisement], Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (16 November 1822), 2

MRS. CAPE informs the respectable Families in Van Diemen's Land, that she intends to open, after the Christmas Recess, an Establishment for twelve Young Ladies, as Boarders, at the late Residence of P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. in Liverpool street, where she proposes, with the Assistance of proper Masters, to communicate Instruction, in various Branches of Female Education. - Terms: - Fifty Guineas a year; Music ten Guineas a year extra. Masters and Washing extra. N. B. - One-quarter's advance Payment will be indispensably necessary; and each Young Lady will be expected to bring the usual Requisites. Reference, for Particulars, may be made to Mrs. Cape, at Mr. Hame's, Harrington-street.

Bibliography and resources:



2 January 1823

Sydney, NSW

BIGLEY (Irish bagpiper)

Bigley the Irish bagpiper


[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (2 January 1823), 4

IF BIGLEY, the Irish Bagpiper, will call at the GAZETTE OFFICE, he will hear of something to his advantage.

NOTE: On the matter in question, see perhaps 19 July 1823 below

15 January 1823

Edinburgh, Scotland

ANONYMOUS (Scots composer, songwriter)

The emigrant


The emigrant; a song written on the eve of a lady's embarking from Leith with her relations for Van Diemen's Land; music original; arranged for the pianoforte and German flute, Edinburgh, Jany. 15, 1823 (Edinburgh: Walker & Anderson, Engravers, [1823]) (DIGITISED)

See main page:

The emigrant, a song on the eve of lady's embarking for Van Diemen's Land, 1823

By early 1823 (latest date transcribed)

Sydney region, NSW

HARRY (Indigenous singer)

FIELD, Barron (transcriber, reporter, 1823)

? INDIGENOUS (unidentified informant, singer)

? DRAYTON, Joseph (transcriber, reporter, 1839)

Iah, iah, gumbery jah

Australian national melody (Harry's song)

Music and words (no translation)

Transcribed by, or on behalf of, Barron Field, from the singing of Harry, Sydney area, between c.1820 and early 1823

First published London, November 1823

Go to main entry:

Checklist of colonial musical transcriptions of Indigenous songs 6

19 May 1823

Sydney, NSW

COOPER, Robert (proprietor)

Bagpipes . . . the cheapest and best music


"DISTILLATION", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (22 May 1823), 2

On Monday last, the 19th instant the Proprietors of the Sydney Distillery, the first and only one established in New South Wales, laid the first stone of their building, in the presence of a great concourse of people, consisting chiefly of mechanics, who all seemed to feel a peculiar interest in the prospect before them. Mr. Robert Cooper addressed them in a very appropriate speech, in which he adverted to the agricultural interests of the Colony, as dependent upon establishments of this nature for its prosperity, and hoped that the settlers would find New Hollands Gin equally as palatable as Bengal Rum. The families of the Proprietors, together with a few of the hope and pride of Australasia, partook of the plenty provided for the occasion, and spent the day in youthful hilarity, assisted by the enchantments of music. The mechanics, labourers, and other spectators, had the whole carcass of a sheep roasted for them and of their own accord, employed a bagpipe, as the cheapest and best music with which they could amuse themselves.

9 July 1823

Parramatta, NSW


Seizing the Rev'd Samuel Marsden's piano


Government House, Parramatta, 22nd July, 1825. At a Continuation of the Investigation into certain Charges, preferred by The Revd. Samuel Marsden, Senior Chaplain of the Colony against Henry Grattan Douglass, Esquire, M.D., and directed by His Majesty to be enquired into and reported upon by His Excellency The Governor; The Honorable The Chief Justice; and The Venerable The Archdeacon; ed. in Historical records of Australia 11 (1917), 744, 774-75 (DIGITISED)

The Court having assembled and the parties being respectively present, The Revd. Samuel Marsden proceeded in the examination of Witnesses ... CHARLES WALKER, of the Red Cross Inn at Parramatta, Examined by The Revd. S. Marsden. - ... I remember an Execution being issued against Mr. Marsden's Goods and Chattels. Mr. Marsden was gone up the Country. He called at my house during the day, when he was going up the Country previous to the levy, and said that he expected an execution would be issued against him, and requested, if I heard of such a thing, I would go to his house and act as I thought proper for him. and that whatever I should do he would be satisfied with it. I had no instructions to pay any money, but merely to act as I judged best. I was accordingly sent for and went up to Mr. Marsden's house when the execution was levied. On ariving there, I found the Constable in the hall. I asked his business there, and he said he had given Mrs. Marsden a paper. I went into the adjoining room and perused the paper. Mrs. Marsden and all the family were quite agitated. I returned to the Constable, and asked him if that was the paper he brought. lie said. yes. I took him accordingly into an adjoining room and shewed him various articles of furniture; he at lust seized a Piano, which I purchased of him and took a receipt. I gave him fifty dollars and a rupee. The Warrant was for £10 2s. 6d. ...

[774] (AA) The Action, Marsden v. Lawson and Douglass. In the Supreme Court, Between Marsden, Clk., Plaintiff, and Lawson and Douglass, Esqrs., Defend'ts. Declaration. - That defendants on 9th June, 1823, broke and entered Plaintiff's dwelling house at Parramatta, made an affray therein, and continued such affray two hours, against the will of the Plaintiff, and thereby disturbed the Plaintiff in his possession, and seized and took a Piano forte of Pit., value £100, and converted same to their own use, and other wrongs, etc., to Pit's damage of £250. Plea firstly General issue. Not guilty.

[775] (BB) Judgment of Supreme Court ... This is an Action of Trespass brought against two Magistrates of Parramatta for seizing a Piano forte on the 9th of July last, which the Plaintiff redeemed for £10 2s. 6d. ...

Bibliography and resources:

K. B. Noad, "Douglass, Henry Grattan (1790-1865)", Australian dictionary of biography 1 (1966) 

In April 1823 [Douglass] brought an action for libel against [James Hall], claiming damages of £5000, and was awarded £2 and costs. Next month with William Lawson he fined Marsden for allowing one of his convict servants to be at large and, when he refused to pay, had his piano seized and sold. Marsden promptly sued him for damages of £250, but the court awarded him only the amount of the fine.

14 August 1823 (first performance)

21 August 1823 (first published)

Residence of Joseph Underwood, George Street, Sydney, NSW

ANONYMOUS (songwriter)

Song for Underwood's ball and supper

The claims of affection are dear to our hearts ...

Words only; no tune indicated

Source and documentation:

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (21 August 1823), 2

On Thursday last Mr. Joseph Underwood, Merchant of this Town, gave a Ball and Supper at his house in George-street, in celebration of the Birth-day of his youngest Daughter, on which occasion the Rooms were decorated in a superior style of taste and elegance, and presented a scene highly gratifying to his numerous guests, which comprised above sixty respectable inhabitants of Sydney, and the interior. The animating dance was kept up with distinguished hilarity, and appropriate order, until five o'clock in the morning. The supper tables were set out with that superabundant portion of the choicest, viands and best wines that the Colony afforded, and at once displayed the liberality, the attention, and urbanity of the host. After supper, a Song, which we understand was from the pen of a Poet of some consideration in this Colony, was sung by the Author with impressive feeling and effect. A copy having been forwarded, we take the present opportunity of presenting it to our Readers.


The claims of affection are dear to our heart?,
They spring from the sympathy Nature imparts;
They glow in our bosoms, and yield that delight
Which Friendship has call'd us to share in to-night.

The Oak, as the monarch and sire of the grove,
Protects the young shrubs with its branches above;
Whilst the flourishing Under-woods round it, aspire
To rival, in time, the fair fame of their Sire.

The Genius that smiles on AUSTRALIA'S Land,
Shall guard her young SCIONS with fostering hand,
Bid the mirror of TRUTH be their earliest Pride,
And its graceful REFLEXIONS their Light and their Guide:

Then charge the full bumper, and hallow the toast
"May Prosperity's Sunshine distinguish our Host;
"Ever verdant the foliage that waves in his favour,
"And his BRANCHES of UNDER-WOOD flourish forever!"

Bibliography and resources:


6 October 1823

Sydney, NSW

A violin

Daniel Dering Mathew, 6 October 1823; letter . . . sending a violin he had made; NSW, Colonial Secretary's papers, main series of letters received, 1788-1826 

23 October 1823 (event)

Red Point, Port Kembla, NSW


FIELD, Barron (reporter)

The natives obsecrate the porpoises by songs



Field 1824, 183 (DIGITISED)

Wednesday, 23d October [1823]. - Rested this morning, and in the evening went to see the natives fish by torchlight. They make torches of bundles of bark, beaten and tied up, and with the light of these, scare the bream into motion that lie among the rocky shallows, when they either spear them with the fiz-gig, or drag them from under their hiding-places with the hand, bite their heads, and throw them high and dry on the shore. The sight is very novel and picturesque - the torch being flashed in one hand, and the spear poised in the other - though there were but few natives here at this time, the majority being absent feasting upon a whale which chance had thrown upon the coast. The Indians, however, by no means attribute this to chance, but to the kind providence of the spirits of their fathers, whom they believe to be transformed into porpoises (dolphins) after death, like Bacchus's pirates in Homer, and who, in that shape, drive the whales on shore. With this view, the natives obsecrate the porpoises by songs, when they see them rolling. I found also that the aborigines of New Holland were strictly divided into two classes, the hunters and the fishers; and that they did not dare to encroach upon each other's mode of gaining a livelihood. Red Point of Captain Cook was the scene of our torch-fishing ... Captain Flinders says, the cause of its being named Red Point escaped his and Mr. Bass's notice, but it was plain to us that the iron gave it a reddish appearance.

Field 1825, 467-68 (DIGITISED)

Bibliography and resources:


15 November 1823

Grindstone Bay, VDL (TAS)

RADFORD, John (reporter)

MEREDITH, Charles (reporter)

MEREDITH, Louisa (reporter)




Meredith 1852, I, (193), 194 

[193] The following passages I quote either from Mr. Meredith's own notes, written at my request, or from my own transcriptions of his narratives as related to me ... Constant friendly intercourse took place between the two races until November, 1823, when the Oyster Bay tribe, having Mosquito at their head, committed a cool and unprovoked murder at the stock station of Mr. Sylas Gatehouse, at Grindstone Bay, on the east coast.

Three men were at the station at the time, John Radford, and Mormer (a native of Otaheite), Mr. Gatehouse's servants, and Holyoake, a servant of my father's, who had been for some time in the colonial hospital in Hobarton, and, being pronounced convalescent, was on his way to his master's house; but having travelled about sixty [194] miles, and being still in a weak state of health, he was staying at this hut a few days to rest, being still thirty miles from home. A short time ago, whilst on my way to town, I passed the night at the public-house which is kept by Radford, at Little Swan Port. I then took down from his lips the following account of the whole affair:

"In November, 1823, I was in charge of stock for Mr. Gatehouse. One Thursday morning a party of blacks came to the hut, with Mosquito as chief. He brought me a tin pot from a deserted hut in my charge, as he said, lest any of the black fellows should steal it. They encamped at Grindstone Bay, and remained quiet until the Saturday after. In the mean time, Mosquito came into our hut, and got Holyoake to shave him. The tribe consisted of about seventy-five, and until Saturday morning they all employed themselves as usual, in hunting, fishing, &c. On Saturday morning they were having a corrobbory, dancing and singing. Holyoake, Mormer, and I went to the sheep-yards to part some sheep; whilst there, Mosquito called to Mormer to join him on the opposite side of the creek, and Mormer went over to him. When we were thus divided, the natives that were on the same side of the creek as we were picked up their spears, and moved towards the hut ...

Bibliography and resources:



"THE SUPREME COURT, OF VAN DIEMEN'S LAND", Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (3 December 1824), 3 

"DEATH OF TWO OLD COLONISTS", Launceston Examiner (8 February 1883), 2 


? 26 January 1824 [or 1822, 1823] (cancelled first performance)

? Anniversary Dinner, Sydney, NSW

5 February 1835 (first published)

ANONYMOUS = doubtful ? ROBINSON, Michael Massey (songwriter)

The old viceroy

Words only; no tune indicated

Source and documentation:

"Original Poetry", The Colonist (5 February 1835), 6

[We insert the following colonial production, which, we have reason to believe, has never been published before, in our poetical department for this week, in consequence of an article which also appears in this week's paper, under the head of Colonial Statistics, by our Hunter's River Correspondent. The article in question exhibits in a remarkably clear and impressive manner, the evil that may be done to a whole district of country, and entailed for ages on a numerous population, merely by a Government doing nothing in a case in which they ought to have acted with energy and decision. The town of Maitland has had abundant occasion to complain of such a system of procedure being adopted towards it by His Excellency General Darling; just as the whole colony had had occasion to complain of a similar inefficient style of procedure on the part of Sir Thomas Brisbane, when contrasted with the vigorous government of his predecessor. We are no advocates for Governor Macquarie; on the contrary we think several of his measures decidedly and permanently injurious to the colony; but there was this to be said in his praise that (to use a plain but remarkably expressive phrase) he always rode when he saddled. Governor Macquarie would not have allowed a plan of a town for a district in which a town was so much required as at Maitland, to lye in the Surveyor General's Office for years together with the cabalistic words, "Approved, Lachlan Macquarie," written underneath it. He would have had a hundred men upon the spot immediately, to clear the ground and to erect buildings of indispensable necessity, and thereby to set an example to the community. In short, if we had had a Governor like Major General Macquarie, in the room of his late Excellency General Darling, Maitland would have been a place worth visiting by this time. It was the recollection of the vigorous administration of Governor Macquarie, contrasted with the inefficiency of that of his successor, Sir T. Brisbane, that occasioned the following production; which, we have been informed, was intended to have been either said or sung at the colonial anniversary dinner of the 26th of January, 1824. Whether it was the production of the late Michael Robinson, poet laureat of New South Wales during the government of Major General Macquarie, who must naturally have bewailed the discontinuance of his honours and emoluments under the reign of that most unpoetical Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane, we cannot pretend to say. At all events its political feelings were somewhat too strong for the anniversary dinner, and it was consequently neither said nor sung, on the occasion. It can now be regarded merely as a good old colonial jeu d'esprit,]


OUR gallant Governor has gone,
Across the rolling sea,
To tell the king on England's throne,
What merry men are we;

Macquarie was the prince of men!
Australia's pride and joy!
We ne'er shall see his like again;
Here's to the old Viceroy!

Some governors have heads, I think;
But some have none at all:
Cheer up, my lads; push round the drink,
And drown care in Bengal.*

Macquarie was the prince of men! &c.

What care we for the skill to scan
The bright stars overhead?
Give us for governor the man,
Who rules and is obey'd.**

Macquarie was the prince of men! &c.

Freeman and convict, man and boy,
Are all agreed! I'll wager,
They'd sell their last slop shirt to buy,
A ticket for the Major.***

Macquarie was the prince of men! &c.

Here's to Sir Thomas's release,
The old Viceroy's return,
And fourteen years beyond the seas
For thee, Frederick Goulburn!

Macquarie was the prince of men! &c.

Sydney, January 26th, 1824.

* Bengal arrack - a species of inferior rum manufactured in India, and much used in the colony in the good old times of Governor Macquarie.

** It was the general opinion at the date of this production that Sir Thomas Brisbane was in leading strings, and that he was to be allowed to amuse himself on his astronomical hobby as long as he liked, provided he would allow certain parties to misgovern the colony as they liked.

*** A ticket of leave from the duties of Colonial Secretary, an office which was then held by Frederick Goulburn, Esq., Major in the army.

Bibliography and resources:

Mackaness 1946, 101-02

"The old viceroy", AustLit

26 January 1824 (first performance)

Anniversary Dinner, Hill's Tavern, Hyde Park, Sydney, NSW

29 January 1824 (first notice)

5 February 1824 (first published)

ROBINSON, Michael Massey (songwriter, singer)

Song, for the commemoration dinner, 1824

Whilst the gay Sons of Harmony socially join ...

Words only; no tune indicated

Source and documentation:

[News], The Sydney Gazette (29 January 1824), 2:

The account of the Anniversary Dinner, to commemorate the First Establishment of the Colony, which took place at Hill's Tavern, Hyde Park, came too late for insertion in this day's Paper. We promise to give it in our next, together with the Song prepared for the occasion, and which, it is said, came from the pen of AUSTRALIA'S OLD BARD, and does no discredit to the well-known genius of his Muse.

"THE XXXVITH AUSTRALIAN ANNIVERSARY 1824", The Sydney Gazette (5 February 1824), 2

The Anniversary Dinner, to commemorate the first Establishment of the Colony, was held at Hill's Tavern, Hyde Park, on Monday the 26th ultimo. Upwards of 80 respectable and respected Inhabitants of Sydney, and the Interior, sat down, between 5 and 6 o'clock, to a table abundantly furnished with every thing that the season could afford, and arranged with peculiar taste and order. After the cloth was removed, a succession of loyal toasts and sentiments followed, which occupied the votaries of Bacchus until an early hour in the morning. The first Song, sung in the course of the evening, was, our Reporter upon this occasion says, from the pen of the old favorite Australian Bard, and was given by himself with the most gratifying effect. Loud and reiterated shouts of applause followed the close of every verse. Of its merits, as an original and fanciful production, our Readers will judge for themselves from the following copy:-


Whilst the gay Sons of Harmony socially join
To pour their oblations at Bacchus's shrine,
Their rosy-fac'd god lends a charm to the board,
When our chairman presides as his deputy-Lord.

Tho' ample the treasures in Bacchus's stores,
And countless his tons as the sands on the shores;
Let us drain those around - clear the stragglers off hand,
But, in sacred reserve, let the Middle-Ton stand.

The Muse, in her playful and festival lays.
Will yield to our Stewards her tribute of praise;
And pleas'd their attentions, this day, to proclaim,
Will proceed, verse by verse, to record them by name.

First, - Be it remembered in judgement we sit -
Tho' we need not add "Cumberland (always) to wit,"
That the flourishing clusters our vineyards produce,
Are by Underwoods nurs'd and matur'd from their juice.

Tho' we boast of no venison, turbot, or turtle.
We have Bacchus's vine grac'd with Venus's myrtle;
We have all that our land can, luxuriant, impart,
And, instead of a buck, we present a good Hart.

Defaulters may tremble if ever they shrink
From the fiat that swells every glass to the brink;
We admit no excuse for transgressions so heavy.
For the fine we impose, we're determined to Levy.

Let the reveille beat at the dawning of day,
We'll sit till we hail the sun's earliest ray;
And still, with our friends and our goblets surrounded.
We'll tarry long after the Camp-bell has sounded.

Our Commerce shall spread, manufactures increase,
And the world shall appreciate our genuine fleece;
Till our shuttles and looms to maturity grown,
Shall produce Linsey-woolsey, my boys, of our own.

Should a flaw in our casks ever start into sight,
We have method and means to make every thing tight;
We laugh at the leak, and are free to declare it.
Whilst our jolly bold Cooper's at hand to repair it.

Our flocks and our herds shall enliven the plains.
And health and content cheer the nymphs and the swains;
Nor even shall swine's flesh, though poor, be forgotten,
Till we've rivall'd both Yorkshire and Hampshire for Bacon.

For our host and kind hostess, our wishes are still,
That the vine and the laurel may wave on their ill;
And, sanctioned by public protection and favor,
May these Rooms long re-echo - AUSTRALIA FOR EVER!

Bibliography and resources:


26 January 1824 (date of composition)

4 March 1824 (first published)

Sydney, NSW

AUSTRALASIANUS = Charles TOMPSON (songwriter)

A song, written for the XXVIth January last

Being the [X]XXVIth Anniversary of the establishment of this Colony

("When first above the briny surge ...")

Words only; no tune indicated


"A SONG" The Sydney Gazette (4 March 1824), 4


WHEN first above the briny surge
AUSTRALIA rear'd her tow'ring crest,
The roaring gales, confounded, fled,
The troubled billows sunk to rest;
And proud, above the azure flood,
Fix'd and immoveable SHE stood.

The Tritons, with their writhen shells,
Made all the hollow grots rebound;
Earth, to her inmost caverns shook,
Old Ocean trembled at the sound;
And, august, from his chrystal caves,
Rose Neptune, sov'reign of the waves.

This hand, his foaming steeds restrain'd,
And that, the mighty trident bore;
Which, when the angry monarch strikes,
His empire rears from shore to shore.
He rag'd not now, but, with a smile
Prophetic, thus address'd our Isle:-

"Commerce, on halcyon wings, shall hail
"Thy ports, as yet to man unknown,
"And loyalty shall stamp Thy name -
"The choicest gem in Albion's crown:-
"While Thy prolific bosom pours
"Her bounteous gifts in lavish show'rs!"

Thus spake the god - then div'd beneath,
The peaceful calm was now no more,
The howling gales resum'd their ire -
The billows dash'd the sounding shore;
And wind and waves, without controul,
Bellowed their rage from pole to pole.

Ages have roll'd their circling orbs,
Since dumb creation heard the tale;
Still each returning year beheld
Rude darkness o'er our Isle prevail:-
But now the dawn of Science gleams,
And Hope streams wide her ruddy beams.

Peace lifts her olive sceptre high;
Brown Industry assumes the plough;
Commerce expands her canvas wings,
Wealth points where honor guards the prow.

This is the joy-inspiring day,
Which gave these blessings to our lot;
Then let us share the social rites,
Join hands - all malice be forgot -
The little Star, once mark'd by none,
Now shines a bright - A BLAZING SUN!


Tompson 1826; see modern edition

Bibliography and resources:


20 February 1824

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

A fine-toned barrel organ


[Advertisement], Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (20 February 1824), 4 

NOW on SALE, at the Stores of Mr. THOMAS ATKINSON, corner of Davey-street, opposite the Market Place, just, arrived by the Aguilar, Captain Watson: - Ladies and gentlemen's superfine beaver hats; ladies' beaver hats and fancy straw bonnets; fine 4-4ths Irish linen, drill for trowsers, damask table cloths, &c.; fine flax, canvas, bombasines, slops of all sorts, a fine-toned barrel organ, stationery of every description; hams, tongues, butter, cheese, pickles, sauces, vinegar . . .

23 February 1824

Sydney, NSW

Towards a finger organ for St. James's


Letter, from Richard Hill, to the Colonial Secretary, Sydney, 23 February 1824; NSW, Colonial Secretary's papers, main series of letters received, 1788-1826 

Sydney 23rd Feb'y 1824
Sir, As an Organ would be a very great acquisition in the religious services of St. James's Church, and as I am sensible that there is a willingness on the part of some of the Congregation to contribute towards sending to London for one, I have to request that you will be pleased to submit the same for the consideration of His Excellency the Governor. And I should further to request, that, in the event of it so meeting [verso] with the favourable approbation of the Governor, as to induce his Excellency to afford any assistance on the part of the Government, you will favour me with the particulars, when I will submit the same to the Church Committee in order to take the necessary measures to carry the object into effect.
I have the honor to be, Sir, your most Ob't H'ble Serv't
Richard Hill Ass't Chaplain

Letter, from Frederick Goulburn, to Richard Hill, 13 March 1824; NSW, Colonial Secretary's papers, copies of letters sent within the colony, 1814-1827 

Colonial Secretary's Office, 13th March 1824
Rev'd Sir, I have had the honor to lay before the Governor your letter of the 23rd Ult, notifying a willingness on the part of some of your congregation to contribute towards raising a large proportion of the amount requisite to purchase an Organ for St. James' Church and I have the pleasure to acquaint you that, in any list that may be opened, I have received the direction of his Excellency to enter the name of this Government for a sum equal to half the sum total of all the private subscriptions.
I have the honor to be, Rev'd Sir, Your Obe't Serv't
F. Goulburn

Letter, from Thomas Hobbes Scott, to Frederick Goulburn, Parramatta, 18 November 1825; NSW, Colonial Secretary's papers, main series of letters received, 1788-1826 

Parramatta 18 Nov. 1825
Sir, I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of His Excellency's Warrant for Four Hundred & Fifty Dollars towards the purchase of an organ for St. James's Church . . .

1 April 1824 (first Australian publication)

Sydney, NSW

Originally published London, 1814

"LORENZO" (pseud. 8924)

= "The Rev. L. BLAKENEY" (pseud., 1814)

= HALLORAN, Laurence Hynes (lyricist, songwriter)

CAVE, Eliza (Bath, England, 1814) (composer)

The blush and the tear

Source (words and music, 1814):

The blush and the tear, written by the Rev. L. Blakeney; music by Eliza Cave; with an accompaniment for the Pianoforte (London, [1814])

Copy at London, BL: System number 004260031; Music Collections H.1665.(28.); UIN: BLL01004260031 (NOT DIGITISED)

Source and documentation (words, 1824):

"POETRY. THE BLUSH AND THE TEAR", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (1 April 1824), 4


Lovely, are the drops that rise
At pity's call in beauty's eyes;-
Lovely is the blush, that breaks,
For female wrongs, on beauty's cheeks.

But not the graceful drops that fall
From beauty's eyes at pity's call:
But not the warm ingenuous glow
On beauty's cheeks for merit's woe,

Can with those crystal jems compare
Which my lov'd ANNA'S bright eyes wear;
Can with those warm suffusions vie
That tinge her cheek with crimson dye,

When poor Lavinia's* fate she reads;
And, as her breast with anguish bleeds,
Blends anger's blush with pity's tear,
To grace the hapless martyr's bier!


* Miss Lavinia Robinson, of Manchester, whose tragical and mysterious catastrophe excited, a few years ago, a very strong sensation throughout England.

"To the Editor", The Sydney Gazette (8 April 1824), 3

To the Editor of the Sydney Gazette.

SIR, The lines inserted in your last Number, entitled "The Blush and the Tear," were set to music, by Miss ELIZA CAVE, of Bath; who sent the Author a dozen copies, with her apologies for having thus published his composition without his knowledge, to which communication he immediately returned the following stanzas:-

Tho' the Poet's Art divine
Forms the soft melodious line;
And, as various passions roll,
Breathes into the verse his soul;

Now to phrenzy fires the breast,
Now it's transports soothes to rest;
Swells with anger, shakes with fears,
Melts to love, dissolves to tears;

Half the praise the Poet knows
To the "Sister Art" he owes:
"Music" his best wreath confers:
More than half his fame is her's!

Yes! this truth the Bard may own,
Whose weak strains had died, unknown,
Had not sweet Eliza's lyre
Warm'd them with a Seraph's fire!

Her fair hand and feeling heart,
Life and zest to them impart;
Consign the "Blush and Tear" to fame;
And blend with HER'S the POET'S NAME!


Bibliography and resources:



On Halloran's adoption for this and other publications, c. 1813-15, of the name Blakeney (probably from his own lineage, the Hynes/Blakeney family)


James Alexander Hewitt, Sketches of English Church history in South Africa, from 1795 to 1848 (Cape Town: J. C. Juta, 1887), 23-24

Also 104, notes 7-10

30 July 1824 (first published)

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

MURRAY, Henry Nairne (songwriter)

Valedictory song

On leaving Scotland for Van Diemen's Land ("Edina's towers a last adieu! . . .")

Words only; no tune indicated

Source and documentation:

"TO CORRESPONDENTS", Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (24 July 1824), 3 

Mr. M's Valedictory Song on leaving Scotland, may appear when a more accurate line shall be substituted for

"Scotia, now heaves my bosom's swell."

"VALEDICTORY SONG", Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (30 July 1824), 3

VALEDICTORY SONG. On leaving Scotland for Van Diemen's Land.

Edina's towers a last adieu!
Dear haunts of bliss I'll ne'er review;
Gay scenes, where long I learned to prove
The sweets of friendship, - joys of love!

Ah Scotia! to each beauteous dell,
And mount of heath, I bid farewell;
Each winding vale, and fruitful plain,
Each blooming nymph, and happy swain!

An exile from my native home,
I hie mid distant climes to roam,
And think of friends and kindred ties,
With tears, and agonizing sighs!

No longer may I fate bewail -
The light breeze swells the spreading sail;
The destined vessel rides in view -
Dear land! lov'd friends! a last adieu!


Bibliography and resources:


10 November 1824

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)


PARRAMORE, William Thomas (reporter)

Kangaroo song



William Thomas Parramore, letters; ed. Shelton 1993, 60-61

On 10th of November we were visited by a tribe of 66 Natives ... I met ... on the Sunday after the 10th while walking from Church with Mrs Bedford 3 of them with great long coats, but nor a particle of covering before ... The Lt.Gov. on their arrival had them immediately provided with food and old clothes - and the second night they were conducted to the road men's hut four miles from town ... The third day they were rather sullen and refused to sing the Kangaroo song, and moved off early the next morning.

Bibliography and resources:

Shelton 1993, 60-61

Boyce 2001, 11-12

Boyce 2008, 186-87

24 December 1824

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

MURRAY, Henry Nairne (songwriter)

A Christmas hymn

Words only; no tune indicated (, rhymes aaab)


"A CHRISTMAS HYMN", Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (24 December 1824), 3 

Bibliography and resources:


1824 or 1825

Launceston, VDL (TAS)


HULL, George (reporter)

They sang, all joining in concert, and with the sweetest harmony



Smythe 1878, The Aborigines of Victoria ..., volume 2, 390-91 

. . . This statement is in accordance with the experience of Mr. Geo. Hull, who, on the 24th March 1871, wrote a letter to his son, Mr. Hugh M. Hull, of Hobart Town, containing some information relating to the natives, which he had arranged expressly for this work. Mr. Hull's letter is as clearly written and as well composed as if he had been a young man; but at that time (1871) he was eighty-four years old, having taken charge of the Commissariat in Tasmania as Deputy Assistant Commissary-General in 1819. Respecting their singing he says -

"It was, I think, in the year 1824 or 1825 that some ten or twelve natives appeared on the west bank of the Tamar, opposite Launceston. They coo-ed and made signs to be taken across, which was instantly complied with. There was not a man or a boy among them. It was a most singular occurrence. They were from sixteen to thirty years of age - all disgustingly dirty. I ordered my storekeeper to give them food. We made signs for them to sing and dance. The former they did in a manner which led me to think that they were at least one remove from the monkey tribe. They sang, all joining in concert, and with the sweetest harmony; the notes not more than thirds. They began say in D and E, but swelling sweetly from note to note, and so gradually that it was a mere continuation of harmony - very melancholy, it is true. It [391] was like what it would be if you began one chord on the organ before you took your fingers from the keys of the other. Their dances are a mere wriggling motion of the hips and loins, obscene in the extreme."

It was, I think, in the year 1824 or 1825, that some ten or twelve natives appeared on the west bank of the Tamar, opposite Launceston. They "coo-ed" and made signs to be taken across, which was instantly complied with. There was not a man or boy among them. We made signs to them to sing and dance. . . . They sang, all joining in concert, and with the sweetest harmony; the notes not more than thirds. They began, say, in D and E, but swelling sweetly from note to note, and so gradually that it was a mere continuation of harmony - very melancholy, it is true. It was like what it would be if you began one chord on the organ before you took your fingers from the keys of the other.

Bibliography and resources:

Roth 1890, The Aborigines of Tasmania, 148 

Respecting their singing Mr. Geo. Hull says: "It was, I think, in the year 1824 or 1825, that some ten or twelve natives appeared on the west bank of the Tamar, opposite Launceston. They "coo-ed" and made signs to be taken across, which was instantly complied with. There was not a man or boy among them. We made signs to them to sing and dance. . . . They sang, all joining in concert, and with the sweetest harmony; the notes not more than thirds. They began, say, in D and E, but swelling sweetly from note to note, and so gradually that it was a mere continuation of harmony - very melancholy, it is true. It was like what it would be if you began one chord on the organ before you took your fingers from the keys of the other." (Smyth, II, pp. 390-391)

23 December 1824

Sydney, NSW

A protest at the state of music at St. Philip's and St. James's churches



"To the Editor of . . .", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (23 December 1824), 4 

There is no doubt, Mr. Editor, that it is your duty to give publicity to grievances, which require only to be known to be remedied, and every patriotic person will laud your conduct with regard to Rubio's letter, complaining of the Post Office, or Augean stable as he calls it. I too, have to represent a nuisance from which every church-goer in Sydney suffers; and I use the means afforded by your Gazette of so doing convinced that the evil will be redressed, when one letter meets the eyes of the Reverend Personages under authority in this case.

The church singing is what I allude to. Even one who visits, or even passes our places of worship, will instantly perceive that this is a grievance which cries loudly, and in no ambiguous terms for ammendment. Singing psalms is generally intended as a help to devotion, but in the Sydney churches it inspires nothing but disgust, weariness, and even ridicule. The truth is, that St. Cecilia has utterly denied her gifts to the performers, for they set at defiance all time and harmony. An assemblage of hogs would literally afford better music, at least they could not produce worse. I defy all the frying-pans, rams-horns, bagpipes &c. in the world, to combine more discordant sounds than proceed from the ill played bassoons, clarinets, and flutes, and the cracked and grating voices, which compose the orchestra in the churches. To crown the whole, as if there were not already enough of this horrid concert, at St. James's they have lately resumed the practice of chaunting the Te Deum, as a sort of chef-d'oeuvre, in villainous noise. - Truly, as I have sometimes heard it said, if an Italian lay buried within ten miles, he would rise from the dead to run out of hearing.

Christmas, Mr. Editor is very near, and it is to be presumed that the places of worship will then be better filled than usual. I hope sincerely therefore, by next Saturday, that those who have the power, will have seen the necessity of some alteration on the subject I now write about. It really is no trifling misery to musical ears, to be condemned to remain listeners to such singing - squalling I would say. Music, in the intervals of service, is universally considered desirable; but it, would be better to have nothing, than the detestable substitute which screams through our aisles every Sunday.

You will much oblige every friend to melody, Mr. Editor, by affording room in your columns for these remarks, particularly if they should be the happy means of procuring reform.

"To the Editor of . . .", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (6 January 1825), 4 

"POLICE OFFICE . . . FRIDAY [7 January]", The Australian (13 January 1825), 2 

James Bennett, a painter residing in George-street, professing to be a lover of sweet sounds, was deprived of his ticket of leave, for taking certain liberties with the choral department of St. James's Church, in a letter to the Editor of the Sydney Gazette, some few weeks since.

"POLICE OFFICE", The Australian (20 January 1825), 3 

James Bennett, mentioned under the head of our Police Report last week, was deprived of his ticket of leave for fraud and general misconduct.

[Editorial], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (20 January 1825), 2 

In our contemporary of last week we were some what surprised on meeting with the following paragraph, in his Police report: -

"James Bennett, a painter residing in George-street, professing to be a lover of sweet sounds, was deprived of his ticket of leave, for taking certain liberties, with the choral department of St. James's Church, in a letter to the Editor of the Sydney Gazette, some few weeks since."

Were this report true, and had the Magistrates deprived the man of his liberty upon the only account stated as above, we have no hesitation in averring, that Bennett was unjustly dealt with; inasmuch as neither that individual, nor any other prisoner of the crown, was the author of the letter that appeared in our columns "some few weeks since," which was subscribed, "A Lover of sweets Sounds." But our contemporary, with a facility that reflects credit to his scholarship, takes the gentlemanly advantage, at the moment afforded, of trying to depreciate our Journal, at the expence of any poor fellow that may happen to come before the new Censorship of the Press, so recently established, but which will bring more odium upon our contemporary than he perhaps is aware of, unless such a practice is at once abandoned. The man, Bennett, we have learnt, held a ticket of leave at the instance of the Rev. Mr. Hill, so long as he continued a member of "the choral department of St. James's Church;" but, as he thought proper to relinquish the only condition upon which liberty was suspended, of course his ticket of leave was cancelled; - this is nearer the fact. Not that Bennett ever wrote a letter to the Editor of the Sydney Gazette; or that the Editor of the Sydney Gazette is in the habit of receiving correspondencies from any other writers but Gentlemen, and those generally scholars! We anticipate that Whitfield's case will be thoroughly explained by our contemporary of this morning - as nothing will afford more satisfaction to his Readers than for him to shew that he was no party to that transaction: - we wish him to maintain his credit with the Public. We think it rather unfortunate that our contemporary should bear so heavy upon ticket of leave men and prisoners of the crown, and where there is little or no occasion. He most certainly must forget that these men, at no remote period (to-morrow for aught he knows), may become invested with all the rights of free subjects; but, it is not improbable that his friendship for them is deferred till they become Emancipists and, then, he will advocate their cause. --Glorious independence, this! In our opinion, the man who would trample on the rights of a ticket of leave man, or the lowest prisoner of the crown, would just as soon, could his own private ends thereby be brought about, also as readily oppress the Emancipists. The latter should never forget, whilst a spark of humanity pervades their frame, that once they were in the condition of those who are now traversing the same thorny path to equal respect, and equal independence, with themselves.


"CHURCH SINGING. TO THE EDITOR OF . . .", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (2 June 1825), 4 

See also all early items tagged Music at St James Church Sydney: (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

28 December 1824

Parramatta, NSW

TYERMAN, Daniel (reporter)

BENNET, George (reporter)

Annual native feast



James Montgomery, Journal of voyages and travels by the Rev. Daniel Tyerman and George Bennet, deputed from the London Missionary Society, to visit their various stations in the South Sea Islands, China, India &c. between the years 1821 and 1829, compiled from original documents, volume 2 (London: Frederick Westley and A. H. Davis, 1831), 168-70 

Dec. 28. This being the anniversary of the landing of Governor Macquarrie, the event has been commemorated, as usual, by a feast, given to the natives. Families from all the tribes, within the utmost limits to which colonization has found way, throng to Parramatta at this time. In the morning these dark-visaged strangers in their own land (for such they are here) assembled in the market-place, under their respective chiefs; old and young, amounting to four hundred. This, we are told, is the greatest number that has ever been known to come together on a like occasion - a circumstance which proves how thinly peopled these immeasurable regions are, and at the same [169] time shows that little actual wrong has been done them by the unpurchased and even the unasked occupation of such tracts of their native wildernesses as are now held by European settlers. The wretched beings - for, though it was a festival-day to them, their degraded condition made our hearts ache to look upon them - sat on the ground in companies, according to their clans; every man having his wife behind, and his children around him. Most of them were partially clothed, - some having skins of kangaroos or opossums, and some rags of European dresses, sufficient to hide their nakedness . . . {170] . . . At noon the whole company were served with roast beef, plum-pudding, bread, soup, and other substantial fare, of which they ate as much as they could on the spot, and stowed away as much more in their bags. The provisions were carried about on large trays, and the feast was conducted with as much decorum as could be expected. About half a pint of grog was afterwards distributed to each adult person. Towards evening they all dispersed into different parts of the forest to lodge according to their tribes.

Bibliography and resources:


31 December 1824

Sydney and Windsor, NSW

Payments for church music

Payments from the Colonial Fund for church music, 31 December 1824; NSW, Colonial Secretary's papers, 1788-1825 (Reel 6039; 4/424 p.417-418) (DIGITISED)

[Government notices], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (3 October 1825), 1

Thos. Taber, Clerk, salary for the year 15l and Rich. Wade Steeple-keeper ditto at 10l - 25 0 0 - 125 00
Paid Serjeant Reid, and others of the band of the 48th Regt. for performing sacred music, from 1st April 1823, to 1st April 1824 - 42 00
Ditto John Onions, for conducting the psalmody, on Thursday evenings, and Sunday afternoons, from Mar. l8, to Sept. 7 - 19 00
Ditto Edward Hoare, for ditto from 8th Sept. to 7th Dec. - 10 00
Ditto Serjeant Kavanagh, and others for conducting the psalmody on Sunday mornings, from 7th March, to 7th Sept. - 21 00
Ditto Mr. Roberts, for ditto and writing music, from 8th Sept. to 7th Dec. - 13 00
Ditto James Bloodworth, for 60lbs. of candles, from 16th Jan. to 22d Dec. - 12 00
Ditto Robert Howe, for 2 advertisements, 10s. 100 printed receipts, 12s. 6d. and 10 quires of medium paper for music, 50s. from 25th Dec. 1823, to 13th June, 1824. - 14 10
Ditto R. Butt, joiner, for alterations in vestry room, making a small table, repairing a window sash and the belfry door, parting a pew, making a door, and sundry jobs - 19 00
Ditto T. Edwards, for a mop, 1 hair, and 2.rush brooms, 8s. 6d. binding 4 music books, 20s. - 5 70 . . .

Windsor Church . . . John Primrose, for performing sacred music, July 7 . . . [0] 10 0


5 January 1825

Murrumbidgee River, NSW

HUME, Hamilton (reporter)

BLAND, William (reporter)




Bland 1831 

Friday, January 7 [1825]. -The thermometer at daylight 46 deg. a dense fog. The natives now returned with a considerable augmentation to their numbers, amounting altogether to not less than forty able bodied men, all armed. The horses having strayed, two of the people assisted by two of the natives were employed a considerable part of the morning in bringing them in. The natives, when they were just going to start begged the travellers would accompany them to their camp, about a mile further up the creek, so that the women and children might have an opportunity of seeing them. Mr. Hume, taking three of the men with him, complied with their request, when he met with a party of about thirty women, as many children, and some fine young men. These were extremely pressing, that he and his party should remain with them, as they were going they said, to have a "Corrobera," two of them promising, in event of his compliance, to accompany him and his party, the following day as far as the Murrumbidgee. The men were the finest natives, they had ever seen, one of them about six feet high, and another whom they measured, five feet, nine inches and a half.- They were all robust and well proportioned, and possessed what is unusual among the native tribes, well formed legs - Some of them had higher foreheads than are generally observed among these people. Their weapons are like those of the natives of the Colony, except the spears, which were made of strong knotted reeds, about six feet long, to which was affixed a piece of hard wood, about two feet in length, with a rounded point, barbed in some instances, with numerous small pieces of flint or agate. Each of these people was furnished with a good ample cloak of opossum skin, many of them had necklaces, made of small pieces of a yellow reed strung with the fibre of the currajong, the flax-plant, or the hair of the opossum.

Bibliography and resources:


6 and 7 January 1825

Sydney, NSW

An organ for St. James's church



"To the Editor of . . .", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (23 December 1824), 4 

"To the Editor of . . .", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (6 January 1825), 4 

I could not help wishing your correspondent, "A Lover of sweet Sounds," had been informed by one of his fellow complainers, that the Committee of St. James's Church were doing all in their power to place the singing in that church upon a footing with churches in England, by the introduction of an organ: and that this desirable object is daily expected to be accomplished, by the successful alteration of an instrument now in the Colony; as in that case he would have endeavoured to suffer a little longer, and would, no doubt, have dealt more mercifully with what he is pleased to compare, not very correctly, I venture to think, with "frying-pans, rams'-horns, bag-pipes, and cracked and grating voices." -- To be however short on the subject, I beg leave to convey to your correspondent a piece of information, which I hope will harmonize with his feelings, viz. that, a subscription list is placed in the Bank, where, I also understand, subscriptions are received, for the purchase of the instrument now in the Colony, or to remit to London for such an organ as may be contributed for; and where, when the names are made public, I hope to see "A Lover of sweet Sounds" make a conspicuous figure.
I beg Sir, to subscribe myself.

11 January 1825

Sydney, NSW

BENNETT, James (choral singer)

A lover of sweet sounds


"POLICE OFFICE", The Australian (13 January 1825), 2 

James Bennett, a painter residing in George-street, professing to be a lover of sweet sounds, was deprived of his ticket of leave, for taking certain liberties with the choral department of St. James's Church, in a letter to the Editor of the Sydney Gazette, some few weeks since.

[Editorial], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (20 January 1825), 2 

In our contemporary of last week we were somewhat surprised on meeting with the following paragraph, in his Police report: - "James Bennett, a painter residing in George street, professing to be a lover of sweet sounds, was deprived of his ticket of leave, for taking certain liberties, with the choral department of St. James's Church, in a letter to the Editor of the Sydney Gazette, some few weeks since." Were this report true, and had the Magistrates deprived the man of his liberty upon the only account stated as above, we have no hesitation in averring, that Bennett was unjustly dealt with; inasmuch as neither that individual, nor any other prisoner of the crown, was the author of the letter that appeared in our columns "some few weeks since," which was subscribed, "A Lover of sweet Sounds." But our contemporary, with a facility that reflects credit to his scholarship, takes the gentlemanly advantage, at the moment afforded, of trying to depreciate our Journal, at the expence of any poor fellow that may happen to come before the new Censorship of the Press, so recently established, but which will bring more odium upon our contemporary than he perhaps is aware of, unless such a practice is at once abandoned. The man, Bennett, we have learnt, held a ticket of leave at the instance of the Rev. Mr. Hill, so long as he continued a member of "the choral department of St. James's Church;" but, as he thought proper to relinquish the only condition upon which liberty was suspended, of course his ticket of leave was cancelled; - this is nearer the fact. Not that Bennett ever wrote a letter to the Editor of the Sydney Gazette; or that the Editor of the Sydney Gazette is in the habit of receiving correspondencies from any other writers but Gentlemen, and those generally scholars!

Bibliography and resources:


26 January 1825 (first performance)

Hill's Tavern, Hyde Park, Sydney, NSW

"AVEC FRANCHASE" (pseud.) (songwriter, singer)

Song for the 37th anniversary dinner

Composed expressly for the occasion ... by Avec Franchase



"ANNIVERSARY DINNER", The Australian (3 February 1825), 3

On Wednesday last a numerous and respectable party assembled at Mrs. Hill's Hotel, for the purpose of celebrating the 37th Anniversary of the Colony. Mr. William Charles Wentworth acted as President; and Mr. William Redfern, as Vice President. The party, in number about eighty, sat down to table at six o'clock. After dinner the following toasts were given, the President prefacing each of them with such observations as they naturally elicited, and dwelling on some few of them at great length:-

The King.
The Duke of York and the Army.
The Duke of Clarence and the Navy.
The memory of Governor Philip, the founder of the Colony.
The memory of Major General Macquarie, our late revered and lamented Governor.
Sir Thomas Brisbane.
Sir James Macintosh, and the other Advocates of Australia in the British Senate - three times three.
Trial by Jury - three times three.
A House of Assembly - three times three.
The freedom of the Press - three times three.
The Agriculture & Commerce of the Colony - three times three.
The Currency Lasses - three times three.
Prosperity and independence to the rising Generation - three times three.
Mrs. Macquarie and our fellow-countryman, Lachlan - three times three.

The health of the President, was then drank, who returned thanks; and, after some complimentary remarks on the manner in which the dinner had been got up, proposed

The health of the Stewards.

There was a band of music in attendance and each of the above toasts was followed with an appropriate air. A variety of songs were given in the course of the evening, two of which were composed expressly for the occasion the one by "Avec Franchase," the other by Mr. Robinson. The song of "Avec Franchase" was in his best style, and the company besides being gratified with this fresh specimen of his poetry, were indebted to him for a sample also of his vocal powers, which, we, are bound in justice to admit, fully equal his poetic.

Bibliography and resources:


26 January 1825 (first performance)

Hill's Tavern, Hyde Park, Sydney, NSW

ROBINSON, Michael Massey (songwriter, singer)

Song for the commemoration dinner, 1825

Composed expressly for the occasion by Mr. Robinson ... to the tune of "Derry Down" ("The Annals of London's Emporium have told ...")

Sources and documentation:

"ANNIVERSARY DINNER", The Australian (3 February 1825), 3

... Mr. Robinson's song was delivered with much humour, to the tune of "derry down," and excited a good deal of merriment. As it relates to an occurrence of the day, we give it insertion ... [gives full text, mostly as below, except small orthographic differences]

"COMMEMORATION DINNER", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (3 February 1825), 3

On Wednesday the 26th ult. this Annual Festival was celebrated at Hill's Tavern, Hyde Park, when 80 of the principal Inhabitants sat down to a board abundantly supplied with the best viands that were attainable in the season; the wines in general were good; and the dessert served up in a superior style. We are informed, by our Reporter, that WILLIAM WENTWORTH, Esq., Barrister at Law, took the chair on this occasion as President, and that Dr. REDFERN officiated as his Deputy. After the cloth had been removed, several loyal and appropriate toasts were given, according to the usual course of such ceremonies. When the memory of Governor PHILIP, as the Founder of the Colony, had been drank, the President took occasion, in a very handsome speech, to enlarge upon the eminent services that Officer had rendered the Colony, not only as they affected its interests in his day, but laid the foundation of its prosperity in succeeding times. The toast that then succeeded was, "The memory of our late revered and lamented Governor, GENERAL MACQUARIE;" and here, the President, with a warmth, animation, and pathos, which created one general feeling of sympathy and veneration, pointed out and dwelt upon the high talents, the consummate virtues, and distinguished integrity which marked General Macquarie's conduct and character during his administration of this Government, for a period of nearly twelve years. The next toast in succession, was, "Trial by Jury;" and then Mr. Wentworth certainly displayed great talent in his address to the Company; expatiating, with ardour and eloquence, on the advantages likely to result to the Colony from the introduction of a system so dear to its rights, and so conducive to its advancement to prosperity. His address was frequently interrupted by loud and lengthened plaudits from every quarter, and took up above three-quarters of an hour in delivery. We ought, however, to have noticed that previous to Mr. Wentworth's speech, the company were highly gratified by a song on the same subject, the production of our old favourite Bard, a copy of which we have been favored with, and is subjoined. It was near midnight when the party began to withdraw, and the rooms were cleared at an early hour in the morning; all the guests expressing the highest satisfaction at the entertainment they had partaken of. The Band of the 3d (or Buffs) Regt. attended, and performed, in their usual masterly and exhilirating style, several delightful airs and melodies.


The annals of London's emporium have told,
That a fire broke out in that city of old;
And raging around, with insatiate fury,
Swept her Corn-hill - her Poultry - and smote her "Old Jewry." ["Old Jury" in Australian]

Now a blaze, not perhaps so extensively plann'd,
Has lately burst forth on Australia's land;
From whose mischiefs no policy-schemes could insure ye,
For the flame was intended to brand her "New Jury."

The daemons of discord assisted as members,
And the arch-fiends of prejudice puffed up the embers;
Whence a paradox started, as strange as could be,
That Britons ENFRANCHIS'D could never be free!

Emancipists caught the alarm, and assembled,
And the agents of anarchy listened and trembled;
When reason and common sense made it quite clear,
That a birth-right at home was inheritance here.

Mercy heard their appeal from her dignify'd throne,
And confirmed every fiat she knew was her own;
Declar'd that her boons were, unqualify'd, giv'n,
And pure as the glist'ning dew drops from Heav'n.

Justice paus'd on the case - but impartial and mild,
Gave her suffrage to mercy, who hail'd it, and smil'd;
And both, with one feeling, abjured every plan,
That, by sordid distinctions, set MAN AGAINST MAN.

Hence, as hope leaves the fav'ring perspective in view,
Her fruits, in due season, shall ripen for you;
And your names shall unstain'd, to your children go forth,
Distinguished for virtues - remembered for worth.

Then, here, let the metaphor drop as a joke,
And the fire go out smother'd in its own smoke;
Whilst the shafts that incendiaries deal in the dark,
Shall recoil on themselves, and thus hit the true mark.

In cities, where mercantile exports are many,
The trade of a packer's as useful as any;
For as hay will catch fire, if it be not well stacked,
So will juries be smoked, if improperly pack'd.

Your bard now retires from the theme that he hit on,
Disclaiming all party, he feels as a Briton;
And to night if you vote one fresh wreath in his favour,
Let it twine round your bowls, and 'twill bloom there for ever.

Australia! whilst met on this festive occasion,
We yield thee our tribute of commemoration;
We see, with fond pride, thy advancement to fame,
And the pages of History honour thy name.

From those Arts and that Science thy bosom has nourish'd,
Agriculture has prospered, and Commerce has flourished;
Then to thee shall our hearts' purest homage be giv'n,
And the toast that succeeds, be "The land, boys, we live in!"

Bibliography and resources:


Music concordances:

[1] "Derry down"; major-key melody, as used in England for "Old Homer, but with him what have we to do?"

W. Chappell (ed.), A collection of national English airs ... volume 1 (London: Chappell, 1840), 86 [174]

[2] "Derry down"; minor-key melody, as used in 18-19C, as here for:

The barrel of beer (Boston: Geo. P. Reed & Co., [1853])

2 February 1825 (date of colonial republication)

Launceston, VDL (TAS)

Splendid fete at Ballygroogagh



SPLENDID FETE AT BALLYGROOGAGH", Tasmanian and Port Dalrymple Advertiser (2 February 1825), 4 

Ballygroogagh House, the hospitable mansion of Timothy O' Mulligan, was lately graced by the most elegant festivities . . .

After dinner, some original sentiments and well-selected songs were given, a few of which are the following: - Mr. O'Mulligan. - A speedy rise to the price of pigs. Song - The night that I put the pig under the pot; Mr. O'Loughlin - A merry go round to the foot organ. Song - The weary pound of tow. Mr. McDade - "The weaver's harpsichord." Song - A weaver boy shall be my dear.

When the pleasures of the festive board were concluded, preparations were made for dancing. The orchestra, as unique of the most simple beauty, was an inverted creel, on which a single minstrel sat, the interest of whose appearance was much heightened by the loss of his left eye. Mr. Patrick O'Mulligan, disliking the monotony of the waltz, and the vagaries of a quadrille, opened the ball by dancing a jig with Miss Judy Biggins: they were soon followed by Master Charley McDade, who floated into a reel with Miss Nancy Fluggins. Dancing was kept up until a late hour, and the elegant revelers parted with mutual regret.

Bibliography and resources:



The scrap book, containing a collection of amusing and striking pieces in prose and verse (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1821), 273-74 

3 February 1825

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

The cat and fiddle


[Editorial], Tasmanian and Port Dalrymple Advertiser (2 February 1825), p. 2 

We have just received the Hobart Town Gazette of the 28th ultimo, in which we find we are again assailed by its pedantic Editor ... On perusing his wretchedy feeble attack upon us, instead of anger kindling in our breasts, we laughed most heartily; and have ever since been singing this quondam Lollipop Merchant's favourite song, of - "Hey diddle diddle, the CAT and the FIDDLE!"

See also:

1817 - Cat and fiddle

6 February 1825

10 February 1825 (first published)

Sydney, NSW

Church music


"To the Editors of . . .", The Australian (10 February 1825), 2 

Returning in a pensive unsatisfied mood last Sabbath morning, my ear was suddenly arrested by the sound of sacred music, and on looking round, I found myself opposite the gate of the new School-house, in Castlereagh-street, and beheld men and women kneeling in the most devout manner, uncovered, on the stone steps leading to the door. The Roman christians within, were by their chorus praising God with such exquisite harmony both of voice and instrument, that my soul was thawed of the icy coldness with which it had been benumbed in the Protestant church, which I had just left: and all the little piety I possessed was instantly elicited, and I felt my mind expand in the most unfeigned good will and affection towards the simple ones who were thus, perhaps, "worshipping they knew not what" (for I concluded their prostration was at the elevation of the host); while at the same time I felt a great drawing to join them (for we know what we worship), had not I considered that the presence of a Protestant might perhaps disturb those feelings of veneration penitence and awe, which were so strongly depicted in the countenances of these humble supplicants. I fixed myself, therefore, behind one of the gate posts, and while the heavenly strains seemed to lift my soul nearer and nearer to the realms of light and love I thus pondered with myself.

"Why should not the aspirations and tears of these poor people be more acceptable to God, and call down a richer blessing than the cold formal prayers of the listless Protestant congregation I have just left? My goodness is nothing unto thee, said David [ perhaps our Protestant knowledge too is nothing unto him - for our utmost knowledge is far below that of the meanest angel; and knowledge often merely puffeth up-charity (i.e. love) alone can edify - have these poor people now kneeling before me, no charity of this sort? - Of bible knowledge I know they have very little - much less than those who, were they now present, would be inclined to say on that very account, 'God! I thank thee I am not as other men are, nor even as those idolatrous Romans;' for although, like them, I do not fast once a week, yet I read my Bible, which they are not permitted to do; and I do not pray unto Mary the Virgin, which they are commanded to do; but with all their ignorance, is not their knowledge at least equal to that of the ancient Roman Centurion, Cornelius, the Jewish convert? - did not his prayers and his alms come up as a memorial before God, prior to his knowledge of Christ? - was he not regenerated and converted in heart while his understanding was yet dark? - as dark as these simple souls before me! - and if so, why may not some of these humble supplicants be already regenerated too? - is God any respecter of persons? - and are not all that work righteousness in every nation and of every sect accepted of him? - or is the ignorance of these people more sinful than Cornelius's, before that God sent him a wise teacher? But these men listen to a teacher who appears wise to them, and whom they believe to be Saint Peter's successor - all the Colony allows that teacher to be a judicious active man, intelligent and well taught, faithful to his charge, and identifying himself with his flock as their friend and counsellor, in temporals and spirituals, and therefore that friend is naturally believed and obeyed by them.

"Yet what a pity it is, for the cause of truth, that that friend and counsellor has imbibed the opinion, or at all events feels himself bound to act upon the opinion, that it would be unlawful for his people to search the scriptures for themselves! How strange is it that a man of his modesty should ever conceive that God, among all the Roman and Protestant christians in the Colony, has invested him only with the privelege or capacity of understanding the Bible first hand? As well might our Chief Justice insist, as far as his personal inference extended, that none but the Bar should be allowed to read the law books, lest they should misconceive their meaning, and become litigious or seditious - and that it would be a violation of decorum, and of our respect for him, to have found on our shelves, Coke upon Littleton, or Blackstone's Commentaries, much more to presume to study them. But the Chief Justice knows too much of human nature, to discourage the study of the law, by such as have leisure and inclination so to do - the more knowing the people, the more knowing will be the Bar; and the more learned and incorrupt will be the Bench. - The history of the world and the reason of things demonstrate, that philosophers, lawyers and priests, will be knowing or ignorant, virtuous or venal, as the common people are so. There was a time when, if a bishop could read and write, he was considered a prodigy of erudition; and any layman who was a proficient in these arts, in case of his being convicted of any crime, was allowed the benefit of clergy, which saved his life; but if bishops now-a-days could do no more, we should think little of their learning. The Protestant clergy are as much superior to the Roman Clergy, in Biblical knowledge, as the Protestant laity are to the Roman laity - the reason is obvious - the Protestant laity do not ask permission of their clergy to read the Scriptures; and the consequence is, that - the poor Methodists of both sorts in the United Kingdom, are better acquainted with holy writ, than the Catholic clergy - aye, than the Cardinals of Rome itself - for while the latter understand Latin and Greek, and are acquainted with the Fathers, who were themselves but sorry Biblonians, they do not study the Old and New Testaament with that daily industry which the poor sectarians of Britain now do - these observations do not apply to the Rev. Gentleman who presides over the Roman church planted in this Colony - we are fully aware of his biblical endowments, and learning in general - and it is his own good sense and liberality which tempts us to hope he will yet initiate the Von Estes of Germany (regular clergyment of the Church of Rome), whose liberal minds broke through the great error of the church, which denies the Bible to the laity, and who now truly permit their people to read their own version of the sacred volume."

By the time I had concluded this soliloquy, the divine chorus had concluded, and I went my way. I wish not to decry our church-singing, but it ought to be improved in sweetness and solemnity. The Rev. Catholic clergyman possesses as great a taste in music, perhaps, as he has displayed in the erection of the beautiful Gothic structure in Hyde Park; and if so, justice requires us to ascribe the very superior choir of the Roman chapel to that circumstance, rather than to negligence or indifference in our chaplains. Indeed I have heard, and believe, that notwithstanding the almost complete failure of their efforts, they have both taken great pains; and the Minister of St. James's has been at great expense to procure the present motley chores. Although the light of the gospel, as read in the New Testament, is of itself insufficient to make a man the best of christians without other aid, yet as long as we remain on this side eternity, David's harp will be found as useful an auxiliary to devotion, as it was three or four thousand years ago. The King of Israel experienced probably the illapses of the Spirit of god most, and wrote his most spiritual poems, when his soul was exalted by the strains of his favourite instrument. Therefore the promotion of a sweet and melting harmony, in divine singing, like that of the Roman chapel, emblematical of the peace and love of the gospel which it attempts to celebrate, ought to be near the heart of all Protestant ministers and laymen; and they ought not to suffer their poor Catholic brethren to out-do them in this important branch of divine worship.
I am, Gentlemen, yours, &c.
A CALVINIST of the 19th Century. Feb. 5, 1825.

5 March 1825

10 March 1825 (first published)

Sydney, NSW

"FIDELLE EN AMOUR" (pseud.) = TOMPSON, Charles (songwriter)

Mira of the Vale

A song in the style and to the air of "Jessie o'Dumblain" (Calm eve hung her shades o'er yon wood-crown'd blue mountain ...)

Sources and documentation:

"MIRA OF THE VALE", The Australian (10 March 1825), 3


Calm Eve hung her shades o'er yon wood-crown'd blue mountain,
Grey mists slowly wreath'd o'er the upland and dale;
The moon rising cloudless, just silver'd the fountain
That lulls to soft slumbers the "flow'r of the vale."

Than the blooming young rose-bud, her cheeks are more bonnie,
Compar'd with her lips, the red coral is pale;
Far sweeter and fairer and dearer than ony,
Is lovely young Mira, the "flo'w'r of the vale."

How modest, how beauteous the lily's pale blossom,
Delicious the odors its petals exhale;
Yet, a flow'ret, enraptur'd, I've clasp'd to my bosom,
More modest - more fragrant - the "rose of the vale."

O, soft on yon hill, Cynthia's silver beam slumbers,
And the wood-dove's coo tenderly floats in the gale;
Yet softer her glance, and far greater the numbers,
That flow from the lips of this "rose of the vale."

When sickness or age, ev'ry grace shall deflower,
Her lov'lier mind, o'er their touch shall prevail;
Such sweetness, such goodness, such ravishing power,
Blend alone in my Mira, the "flower of the vale."

In some lone little cot, from the gay world secluded,
Oh ! what would the scorn of the wealthy avail?
While I clasp'd the sweet angel, who never delude
The heart that now pants, for the "rose of the vale?"

March 5, 1824.


Tompson 1826; see modern edition

[Review], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (1 November 1826), 3

Poetry, now-a-days, in order to be patiently read, would require to possess something of superior merit. Where people are accustomed to the sway of a Byron, a Scott, or a Moore, a common place votary of the muse has little or no chance of being attended to; but when a young man modestly offers the offspring of his muse to the world, he has something like a claim upon the public notice, and the more, so when that production evidently bears the stamp of genius. What perhaps may seem to be somewhat singular is, that although the author of the present poems is a young man, we find in the whole of his writings a great chasteness of expression, and gladly observe that they are entirely divested of bombast, the common fault of juvenile writers. We are aware that some critics would prefer this fault, and augur from it the future development of genius, but we happen to be of a different opinion. From the chaste style of the present writer, we expect that at an after period he will furnish us with something of the classical elegance of a Pope. We are always fond of seeing what is natural either in young or old, because nature is the language which constitutes real poesy. The only fault that we have to find with Mr. Tompson is, that he imitates too closely the style of others ... An imitator of the productions of others should equal the vivacity and fire of his models in order to fix the attention of his readers. Mr. Tompson's song of "Mira, the flower of the vale," is nearly a transcript of Tannahill's "Jessie, the flower o'Dumblane," with the difference that it neither possesses the simplicity nor pathos of the original. Besides, he has introduced two Scotch words into the song for no other reason that we can perceive, than that of rhyme. We give ihe lines in which they occur, and leave our readers to form their judgment.

Than the blooming young rose-bud her cheeks are more bonnie,
Compared with her lips the red coral is pale,
Far sweeter, and fairer, and dearer than ony,
Is lovely young Mira, the flower of the vale.

The censorious critic will say, that this is mere affection, while all will agree that it is a manifestation of bad taste. We would strongly recommend our author to pay more attention to the construction of his future metaphors, too, because nothing can possibly lend to make a writer more ridiculous than inattention in this respect. It is, however, one of the fault of genius, as it arises from a vivid and fertile imagination not properly regulated. It is like giving a thousand pounds in charity to a beggar, and making a present to a rich man of a farthing ...

Bibliography and resources:


Music concordances:

"Jessie the flower o' Dunblane", music by Robert Archibald Smith (1780-1829), to original words by Robert Tannahill (1774-1810); early 19C sources, e.g.:

9 March 1825

Launceston, VDL (TAS)

A handsome hand organ, a pianoforte


[Advertisement], Tasmanian and Port Dalrymple Advertiser (9 March 1825), 1 

Sales by Auction. BY MR. W. WHlTCHURCH, At his Stores, corner of Brisbane-street, on Saturday next, at 10 o'Clock . . . A QUANTITY of HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE and KITCHEN UTENSILS, consisting of chairs, tables, sofa, a handsome hand organ, a pianoforte, pier glass, &c. . . .

13 March 1825 (date of journal entry)

Lake Macquarie, NSW

INDIGENOUS (Awabakal) (singers, dancers)

THRELKELD, Lancelot Edward (reporter)

Song and dance


Nga ba ya!

Source and documentation:

Papers of Lancelot Threlkeld, SL-NSW, ML MSS. 2111 (ed. Gunson 1974)

Various references to dance and song during the early months after Threlkeld's arrival at Lake Macquarie, from late 1824 to March 1825, including, in journal entry, 13 March 1825, a dance:

... performed in exact time to the beating of two pieces of stick one upon the other by an old man who sings during the performance ... The whole unite in the tune which begins high and sinks gradually raising again, the compass is perhaps two octaves. The women join in the dance and song but all are naked not in consequence of the dance but because they are allways so.

Threlkeld 1858, 71-72

[71] It was on a Lord's day 1825 that delegates were sent to the different tribes from our tribe, requesting them to meet in order to punish a black who had killed another one, some time before. The flat, on which we resided near Newcastle, was the spot chosen for the place of punishment [72] being a plain of clear trees. The tribes from the Hawksbury had delivered up the culprit to our tribe, who was on his parol of honour, until the appointed time. The Messengers accompanying him brought a new song as a present from the muses, to enchant the hearts of the judges and soften their rigor in regard to the criminal ...

My intercourse with the blacks, and at that time very imperfect knowledge of their language, was such that I could not ascertain whether the vocal powers of the Songsters and Songstresses captivated their "most potent, grave, and reverend seigniors" so as to cause them to lose all sense of their proprieties, and forget their higheat duties, or whether a flaw in the indictment, or the partiality of party feeling, - or any vulgar process of bribery or corruption, such as their civilized neighbours would scorn to acknowledge, I could never ascertain, but the punishment did not take place.

About this time the popular feeling among the Aborigines was in the highest state of excitement, in consequence of the arrival of a black Songstress, who warbled forth to the delight and astonishment of the natives the following Rondo, and such was the enthusiasm with which it was received, and the hold it had on their feelings, that the mere saying of the first line would cause a whole tribe of men, women and children to cast away their garments, start up and join in the following fascinating Song and Dance:

Nga ba ya!
Kore wonnung ke?
Kore yo!
Kore wonnung ke?
Nga ba ya! &c. &c. &c.

A literal translation would not sufficiently explain; Poetic imagination must supply the ellipsis; It runs thus:-

Ah, is it so!
Where is the man!
Man away!
Where is the man?
Ah, is it so! &c. &c. &c.

A Scotch poetical Lassie would no doubt be led to suppose that the song was an imitation of: -

"Oh, where? and Oh where?
Is my highland Laddie gone?"

and very likely something of the same sort of poetical feeling induced the Rondo in remembrance of some favourite absentee. Human nature is just the same, whether clothed with the most delicate alabaster skin, or comely, but black exterior of the image of God.

Hale 1846, 110

(110): When the missionaries first came to Wellington, the natives used to assemble once a year, in the month of February, to dance and sing a song in honour of Baiamai. This song was brought there from a distance by strange natives, who went about teaching it. Those who refused to join in the ceremony were supposed to incur the displeasure of the god. For the last three years the custom has been discontinued. In the tribe on Hunter's River, there was a native famous for the composition of these songs or hymns; which, according to Mr. Threlkeld, were passed from tribe to tribe, to a great distance, till many of the words became at last unintelligible to those who sang them.

Bibliography and resources:

Gunson 1974, 86-88

Carey 2010, 244

20 March 1825

Sydney-Parramatta area, NSW

DUNLOP, James (reporter)

TYERMAN, Daniel (reporter)

BENNET, George (reporter)

Dreams . . . forms it into a song, which he chaunts forth . . . coroberies



James Montgomery, Journal of voyages and travels by the Rev. Daniel Tyerman and George Bennet, deputed from the London Missionary Society, to visit their various stations in the South Sea Islands, China, India &c. between the years 1821 and 1829, compiled from original documents, volume 2 (London: Frederick Westley and A. H. Davis, 1831), (175-76), 177-78 

[175] March 20. Mr. Dunlop, the government-astronomer, an intelligent gentleman, who has seen much of the aborigines during his residence here, and on his excursions into the country, has given us some curious accounts of their notions and practices. He says that they have a superstitious idea of a being whom they call Tian, who made the sky, and the land, and the black men - who made the whites they know not. Tian appears to be a good genius, since he was the author of all the productions of the earth and sea, animal and vegetable, on which they subsist. But they also believe in the existence of an evil spirit, to whom they pay far more homage, from fear of being harmed by him, than they do to the beneficent Tian from gratitude for all the good he does them . . .

[177]. . . The dreams of these people are often deemed oracles; and as such, when a man has been visited with a prophetic vision, as soon as he awakes in the morning he forms it into a song, which he chaunts forth to those who are about him. These, learning both the words and the melody, [178] repeat them exactly to others, by whom they are again published, in like manner, at a distance, till they are communicated to tribes that speak different dialects, among whom, nevertheless, all who learn the mysterious strains preserve the original sounds and cadences, though, perhaps, they understand not a syllable of what they are singing. But the air, whatever be the sense, is known by the name of the tribe from which it originated. At their coroberies, or dances after a battle, each warrior sings his own achievements in his own song; and no Achilles in New Holland is likely to be forgotten for want of a Homer; though, among a people so utterly illiterate, not Homer himself could either give immortality or gain it. Yet they have a notion of immortality by way of transmigration, formerly alluded to; namely, that when a black man dies, he goes into the earth, where he is buried, and, by some marvellous process, comes out in a distant country a white man.

Bibliography and resources:


9 April 1825 (arrived)

15 May 1825 (first public performance)

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

Arrival and installation of the organ for St. David's church . . .


[News], Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (15 April 1825), 2 

The organ for St. David's Church has at length arrived per the Lady East.

"To the EDITOR", Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (29 April 1825), 3 

SIR, - The Organ for Saint David's Church having at length arrived, I beg to ask how is the Organist to be appointed? and by whom is he to be paid? In England the Subscribers would of course ballot for the Candidates. But here, perhaps Mr. Bedford will inform me how this affair is meant to be conducted. - I am, &c. INQUIRER.

[News], Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (13 May 1825), 2 

The Organ will be played on next Sabbath, by, as we understand,an excellent musician.

"An Ode", Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (13 May 1825), 3 

An Ode Addressed to the Organ of St. David's Church

Ave Tasmania! the long expected sail,
Favoured at length by some auspicious gale,
Arrives: - at length the Lady East appears,
And of her safety now are hushed all fears,
From Antipodean realms late news she brings
And full two hundred men seat here for sins:
Nor is this all - but stop! the heav'nly sacred throng!
Must be invoked, before another line
Is penn'd. Oh muses, heav'nly sacred throng!
To whom the powers of verse belong:
On thee I call to aid my feeble song -
On thee I call to lend thy pow'rful aid;
(Thanks to the muse, 'tis sooner done than said)
How in the ship, then sacred nine repeat
What merchandize, and stores, and salted meat,
What pickled pork, and tripe, and other things
She, in her spacious hold, together brings.
And now, O muse! once more I call on thee,
To say what else came in her o'er the sea:
What else! - ah now's the glorious theme!
The "Organ" has arrived, and's to be seen
In David's Church; - and there in awful state
It stands majestic, - this, the will of fate!
Inexorable fate has doomed it there to stand
The Organ metropolit' of this land.
For ever and for ever! - ah.- but whence
Has come this mighty far-tamed Organ hence.
From London it hath come, from Fitzroy-square,
And live (the names I do forget) the makers there.
No sooner was the bark in sight of shore,
Than mountains whistled, * never known before -
Inspired by music, all Tasmania danced,
The women sung, - and the horses pranced!
The billows heav'd (as usual) and the sun
Its usual course throughout the heavens ran.
Nature, it seemed, upon that awful day
Had clad herself in all her bright array.
The "Organ" came, paced up and stowed in hemp,
Immortal be the name of far fam'd Kemp! -
I've done. - The muse departs, - enough is said -
The Organ's up, and yes - the money's paid!!

V. V.

* The tune is not precisely known.

Robert Knopwood, diary, Hobart Town, 15 May 1825; transcr. Rushworth 1988, Historic organs of New South Wales, 49

This morn the new organ at St. David's Church was play'd the first time and I was requested to preach a sermon in the morn which I did, and very much liked. The church was so full that scarce a seat could be obtained. The sermon was very much liked . . .

Bibliography and resources:

"MUSIC & MUSICIANS. St. Matthew's, Rokeby. An Historic Organ", The Mercury (17 October 1928), 6 

The very first pipe organ set up in Tasmania was built in London, in 1824, for old St David's Church, Hobart, and is still in use at St. Matthew's, Rokeby. The name plate of the builder bears the words: John Gray, No. 9 New Road, Fitzroy Square, London. Upon the case is written in ink:

This organ was made by Mr. John Gray, of London, in 1824, under the superintendence of Geo. Cooper, or ganist of St. Sepulchre's, London, and was erected in St. David's, Hobart, in 1825, and opened by Mr. Nance. [sic]

The last name is probably that of the first organist of old St. David's, and the inscription is signed by "Wm. Bedford, chaplain," who followed on the Rev. Robert Knopwood, M.A. (Cantab.), the first Tasmanian chaplain, whose grave is in Rokeby churchyard. The organ was transferred to St. Matthew's in 1858 when a larger instrument was bought for old St. David's.


John Maidment, "St Matthew's Anglican Church, cnr. King Street & North Parade, Rokeby; built 1824 John Gray, London, for St David's Church, Hobart", OHTA (last updated May 2011) 

. . . The organ was built by John Gray, of New Road, Fitzroy Square, London in 1824 for St David's Church, Hobart, and first used for services on 15 May 1825. It was built under the superintendence of George Cooper, organist of St Sepulchre's Church, London . . . In June 1857 it was reported that a new organ for St David's, built by Bishop & Starr, of London had arrived in Hobart and that tenders were invited for its erection. The Gray organ was moved to St. Matthew's Church, Rokeby, where it was installed by J. Pollard in August 1857 . . .


The organ was installed in St. David's, and then first played upon, on Sunday 15 May 1825, by William Hance.

28 April 1825 (first notice)

Sydney, NSW

REICHENBERG, Joseph (composer)

A first set of quadrilles for Australia

First Set of Australian Quadrilles



[Advertisement], The Australian (28 April 1825), 1

AUSTRALIAN QUADRILLES. MR. REICHENBERG, MUSIC MASTER OF the 40th Regt. respectfully informs the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Colony, that he has composed a first set of Quadrilles for Australia, with proper figures adapted to them, for the piano forte, flute, or violin; as also for a full band. The same may be had in manuscript, from mr. REICHENBERG, at the military barrack; or at mr. Campbell's, No. 93, George-street, by giving one day's notice. - Price 6s.

[2 advertisements], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (28 April 1825), 1

FRENCH LANGUAGE AND DANCING. QUADRILLES, COUNTRY DANCES, WALTZES, &c. TAUGHT AT No. 4, MACQUARIE-STREET. MONSIEUR GIRARD, in presenting his sincere Thanks to the Public for the very liberal Encouragement which he has uniformly experienced, begs to suggest the Advantage which Ladies and Gentlemen would derive, by being furnished, a few Days previous to any Ball, with select Quadrilles, &c in exercising which Mistakes would be effectually prevented. As M. G. has a thorough knowledge of the Manner in which French and English Balls are conducted, he respectfully offers his Services for this Purpose, and will undertake to conduct them in the finest Style. N.B. As many Ladies and Gentlemen, who are somewhat advanced in life, may have, from a variety of reasons, neglected to acquire a proper Knowledge of Dancing, M.G. would undertake to teach such, in three mouths, so that they might appear in Ball-rooms with perfect grace.

MR. REICHENBERG, Music Master of the 40th Regiment, respectfully informs the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Colony, that he has composed a first Set of Quadrilles for Australia, with proper figures adapted to it, for the Pianoforte, Flute, or Violin; as also, for a full Band. The same may be had in Manuscript, from Mr. REICHENBERG, at the Military Barracks; or at Mr. CAMPBELL's, No.93, George-street, by giving one Day's Notice. - Price 6s.

[Editorial], Howe's Weekly Commercial Express (2 May 1825)


[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (5 May 1825), 3 

We have seen Howe's Express. The motto is not bad. We are apt to think that the Editor would have the world believe his production is solely attributable to INDUSTRY, which is justly said to be "the mother, the nurse, and the guardian of all virtues;" and we are willing to give due credit to his laudable efforts, as INDOLENCE is invariably the mother, the nurse, and the promoter of all VICES! The address, or leading article, will bear inspection - it is in fact pretty tolerable; we see no political declarations, by which political manoeuvre however, it is not improbable but this new Editor intends lying in ambush for his elder and perhaps weaker brethren - but, as far as we are personally concerned, a good look-out will be kept - our observatory is established ... He begins with with "The Gazette" and its opponent, "The Australian," referring to the "great changes" said to be on the eve of occurring in our Administration. Honorable mention is made of "our respected GOVERNOR," to which we have no objection; and then comes the reported retirement of Major GOULBURN. He seems to be very conscious of being "classed amongst the flatterers of the day" (rather bold for a new-comer!) and yet obtrudes his half compliments, when his whole ones might have as well been made public, for to us "a nod is as good as a wink." He had better keep without the reach of our "clutches." Then advances "Australian quadrilles and circulating libraries," which is followed with a comparison of the first and last Sydney Gazette, shewing how vastly the mercantile interests of the Colony have advanced, from four advertising insertions to ninety-seven! ...

[Advertisement], Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (31 March 1826), 4

Waterloo Store. MR. JOHN P. DEANE begs to inform his Friends, that he is now Selling off, in addition to his former Advertisement, the under-mentioned GOODS . . . An upright Piano Forte for Sale. The first set of Australian Quadrills [Quadrilles in Gazette], arranged for the Piano Forte, by J. Richenberg, Music Master of the 40th Band, and a variety of other Music. Private Lessons on the Piano Forte, Violins and Piano Fortes tuned.

[Advertisement], Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (7 April 1826), 1

[Advertisement], Hobart Town Gazette (8 April 1826), 3

[Advertisement], Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (14 April 1826), 1

[Advertisement], Hobart Town Gazette (15 April 1826), 1

Bibliography and resources:

"Australia's first music", Art in Australia (June 1942), 56, 7, and 5 pages supplement (fascsimile) 

Incorrectly conflates Reichenberg's lost 1825 quadrilles with the coverless copy of Ellard's The much admired Australian quadrilles (1835) in the State Library of New South Wales (facsimile as 5-page supplement)

Hall 1851-54, 3, 375

Wentzel 1962

Covell 1967, 8-9, 292

Skinner 2011a


Art in Australia 1942 mistakenly identified facsimile reprint of coverless SL-NSW copy of Ellard's Australian Quadrilles (1835) as Reichenberg's. Covell 1967 explained the source of this confusion in the library catalogue.


"THE RACES . . . THE BALL", The Australian (28 April 1825), 3-4

The races as might be expected from the preparations of the last five weeks, were truly gay ... THE BALL, Which is the usual and by no means the least agreeable appendage to the turf. Campbell's Rooms, at which it was held, though somewhat inconvenient on account of their dividing the Company, were sufficiently well adapted for the purpose on Tuesday evening. They were not uncomfortably crowded. Nearly thirty Ladies accepted invitations. Quadrille and contre danse were kept up with great spirit. Upwards of one hundred persons sat down to a very well arranged supper. His Excellency was very cheerful and delightful harmony prevailed all the evening. Our limits will not allow us to extend our particulars, or our praises. We must therefore close this "eventful history."

2 June 1825 (first published)

Sydney, NSW

Church singing


"To the Editor of . . .", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (23 December 1824), 4 

"CHURCH SINGING. TO THE EDITOR OF . . .", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (2 June 1825), 4 

I addressed you some months past, on the subject of church singing, and noticed in pretty strong terms, the style of the music and its effects. I expressed a conviction that the grievance complained of, would be speedily redressed. Unfortunately I was too sanguine; but a Reverend Gentleman (as I believe), in answer to my letter, stated, that an Organ was undergoing alterations for St. James's, and that he hoped that my name would appear in the list of Subscribers. Whether I am, or am not a Subscriber, it matters little at present. Should the Organ succed, I shall be ready to bear a part in the expence; but scientific persons say, that for various reasons, it never can succeed; and they add, that even should the workman effect his object, that the body of sound proceeding from the Organ would never be sufficient to fill the enormous building of St. James's Church.

In the mean time, however, as it is reasonable to suppose, that our newly arrived Archdeacon will, in the exercise of his power, attend to the recommendation of those who are desirous of promoting the solemnity of the Church Service, I beg leave, through this channel, to call upon him to bestow some of his influence towards obtaining improvement in the singing. No alternatives for the better have been introduced in either Church, since my former epistle, although I am quite ready to give our worthy Pastors credit for much exertion, and every wish to render the places of worship as attractive as possible. One subject of complaint nevertheless I must urge, the persisting in chaunting (or singing) the Te Deum. He that has the least taste for music, to say nothing about a knowledge of it, must undergo torture at hearing this beautiful hymn so shamefully mangled; and not only is every sound discord, but the length is enough to fatigue, were the performance even more tolerable. Besides, the singing the Te Deum at all, savours too much of the cathedral service - It implies an affection, were our Clergymen less humble than they are well known to be, of being considered dignitaries in the church; with authority to follow the forms used in our Metropopolitan Places of Wordship, and University Chapels, where Bishops, Archdeacons, and Deans officiate. It will I am sure, Mr. Editor, be unnecessary to pursue the topic further - what I have already said will be enough to excite attention, which must inevitably, I think, occasion a change - such change I shall leave to stronger arms and abler heads than my own.

Before I bid you adieu, I shall only observe, that if the person who signed himself "A Singer in the Congregation," in answer to my former letter, be really able to join his voice with the singers, I admire his powers, but am incapable of emulating them.
Yours, most obediently,
A Lover of Sweet Sounds. - F.
Sydney, May 26th, 1825.

16 June 1825 (first published)

Sydney, NSW

"DR. WIGWAM" (pseud.) = ? ROBINSON, Michael Massey

WARDELL, Robert (subject)

WENTOWRTH, William Charles (subject)

HOWE, Robert (subject)

A quid-ditty

Excellent new song ("WE two fine fellows, the season has sent forth, / Myself, Dr. Wardell and my friend Mr. Wentworth ...)

Words only; no tune indicated

Source and documentation:

"TO THE EDITOR", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (16 June 1825), 4

TO THE EDITOR OF THE SYDNEY GAZETTE. SIR, The author of the following excellent new song, begs to assure those who may not perceive its beauties, that the fault is not his but theirs, as it is impossible for him to furnish them with discriminating optics. He, with great modesty, desires that his dear Public will believe him, when he states, that every line is rich in music and metaphor, and that every verse sparkles with wit of the first water. He has closely imitated the style of "To my dear Dolly Freelove," and, in doing so, has been careful - ay, to the nineteenth part of a nail - of allowing his Pegasus to soar no higher, nor to sink lower, than that much-admired production. On this explanation he rests his fame with his dear Public; and will ever be, while they have money in their pockets, Their devoted servant to command, WIGWAM.


WE two fine fellows, the season has sent forth,
Myself, Dr. W. and my friend Mr. W-------h;
Beg the Public to notice, 'twere monstrously clever,
We are, we have been, and we shall be for ever;
With our quips, and our quids, and our certioraries,
Mandamuses, fuciases, fiddlestickaries.

Good people take notice, 'twere gentlemen both,
And this we are ready to state upon oath;
But the word of a gentleman, is quite as good
As the oaths of the canaille, or any such brood.
With our quips, &c.

We also are gallant, as gallant can be,
And that very soon, all the ladies will see;
We know very well howe to kick up a row,
And to carry it on, if it were not for Howe.
With our quips, &c.

Our learning is vast, too, 'tis much like an earthquake,
Were it not for Howe's jokes, which make men with mirth shake.
But we'll show forth our powers, when enveloped in wig;
As with pen, ink, and paper, we can't look so big.
With our quips, &c.

'Tis true, my friend's nose is as callous as leather,
But that does not prove that be shows a white feather;
So for this, and for more, you will make an excuse,
And we'll do what we can to cajole and amuse.
With our quips, &c.

We beseech yon, besides, do not read the Gazette,
For there you will find our opinions upset;
Read naught but our paper, in which you will find,
Upon every occasion a bit of our mind.
With our quips, &c.

You will see our remarks on tobacco and rum;
"But, if yon read Howe, you'll believe them a hum:
Attached not at all to the dustman-like elf,
And then we will cleverly pocket the pelf.
With our quips, &c.

Mr.Howes upon honor's, a libelling rogue,
Buf for this, be assured, we will soon " trounce" the dog;
For if it should rost us our very last shilling,
We'll give him a terrible legal-like milling.
With our quips, and our quids, and our certioraies,
Mandamuses, fuciases, fiddlestickaries.


Bibliography and resources:



A squib in the Gazette on the proprietors, Robert Wardell and William Wentworth, of it's rival, The Australian, referring back to the style and content of earlier poems, published by them, addressed "TO MY DEAR DOLLY FREELOVE" by "Jack Vainspun".


"TO MY DEAR DOLLY FREELOVE", The Australian (30 December 1824), 3

"TO MY DEAR DOLLY FREELOVE", The Australian (5 May 1825), 2

"To My Dear Dolly Freelove", AustLit

2 August 1825 (date written)

Hunter's Hill, NSW

8 September 1825 (first published)

GORE, A. Stanhope (songwriter)

Eathlina's lament

Air - Erin o bragh!

Words; tune indicated


"EATHLINA'S LAMENT", The Australian (8 September 1825), 3



"Desolate is the dwelling of Inoina. Silence is in the house of her fathers. Raise the song of mourning, O bards, over the land of strangers. They have fallen before us."

Air - Erin go bragh!

Defaced are the halls, where my ancestors revell'd -
Wept a wanderer, sad straying along the sea shore;
Whose dark streaming hair, the wild wind dishevelled,
As she mourned for the days forever gone o'er.
She told of 'Ath O'Connor, that hero of glory,
Whose name long will live in Ireland's story;
Oh! me, while she sung what sadness came o'er me,
To think that such greatness can never be more.

To Connaught she said, go hear of their honor,
Go - hear of their deeds in Ulster, so true;
Go - hear of the valor of every O'Connor,
Who fought for his country and liberty too.
In the psaltery of Tara, their names are recorded,
Their deeds and their actions are there truly worded;
And it tells with what wisdom their lance was awarded,
How they died, as they lived, to Innesfael true.

Thro' thy halls Castle Connor, the harp once with pleasure,
Would tell all the battles my fathers had seen;
Whilst princes have gather'd to list the soft measure,
And recall with delight the days that have been.
Oh! it was sweet while the dewy eve bright'ned,
And the moon over many a proud baron light'ned,
To see ther dark eyes bright, their brave spirits height'ned,
With the thoughts of each glorious long past scene.

I have mourned with my friends, by their false ones forsaken,
I have wept for the death of the gallant and gay,
I have felt every string which holds my heart - breaking
For the laurel crowned victor, by death swept away.
But Erin - I mourn thee, deeper in sorrow,
Which knows not, and never will know of a morrow,
Whilst thou dearest Isle, no peace yet can borrow,
Land of my ancestors, e'en dearer than they.

Sweet Heaven! she cried, Oh save from destruction,
That birth place of heroes, in misery now;
That my own high born kin, once the pride of their nation,
May never be forced 'neath slavery to bow;
So proud are their hearts, and so gallant their nature,
With honor and truth beaming bright in each feature,
Oh! God! shew thy mercy on them for the future;
Seil fother oh Erin - Erin go bragh.

Over the wildwood, and over the billow,
The dark winds shall bear me, thro' yon far Western sea;
This night I will rest by the death drooping willow,
Which mourns all alone in my own Athenree.
Yes, I will rest - 'till the day-light is bringing,
Some joy to my soul, while the sweet birds are singing;
She said this and fled - yet the echoes were ringing,
Seil fother Oh Erin - Erin go bragh.

Fine and proud was the form of that youthful stranger,
And dark were her eyes, which no wind could assail;
Whilst each passion fraught glance told how fearless of danger,
Was the heart that long mourned for her wrongs in Australe.
But peace shall return - bright garlands entwining,
No more will she stand in sorrow repining,
No more will she weep while the day is declining,
Like the lily which droops in the night dews pale.

Hunter's Hill's, North Shore, A. Stanhope Gore. August 2, 1825.

Bibliography and resources:

Burke and Woods 2001

"A. Stanhope Gore", AustLit

Music concordance (tune):

Exile of Erin or Erin go bragh, written by Campbell (New York, E. Riley, [after 1805])

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 

4 August 1825 (date of earliest report)

St. John's Church, Parramatta, NSW

MARSDEN, Samuel (incumbent)

RING, James (singer)

Convict singer in Parramatta choir


[Advertisement], The Australian (4 August 1825), 4 

To the editor of the Express ... Ring was especially assigned to and maintained by the Reverend Clergyman, for the purpose of singing in church, and was never known to be absent from this important religious service ...

HRA, I, 11, 309, 718, 722-63 (inquiry into charges against James Ring, August 1825)

[309] [statement by Samuel Marsden] ... I felt much hurt for my Servant that he should be punished for my kindness to him, which his good conduct merited for the last seven years. Ring was afterwards moved from Prison to the Convict Barrack, and prohibited from Coming to Church on the Sabbath-day, tho' he had been one of the Singers, and ordered to work in the Gaol Gang, the most degrading of all Situations in the Colony, until he was removed to Sydney Convict Barrack.

[718] ... Soon after this, Ring was recommended to The Revd. Samuel Marsden, Senior Chaplain of the Colony, by the Revd. Mr. Cartwright and also by William Cox, Esquire, a Magistrate at Windsor. Whether Mr. Cox informed Mr. Marsden of the Conviction of Ring does not expressly appear. Mr. Cox himself states, as one of his reasons for recommending Ring to Mr. Marsden, that he wished to get him out of the Gaol Gang at Windsor, because he was under an imputation of stealing from his Master, which he did not consider to have been proved; which rather leaves the inference that something must have been said about the suspicion, at least, under which Ring had fallen, as his conviction and punishment were then circumstances of recent occurrence; and this inference would seem to be strengthened by the statement of Mr. Cartwright that he had enquired into the circumstances of Ring's case, and the impression produced upon his mind was favorable, and it was in consequence of such impression that Mr. Cartwright recommended him to Mr. Marsden as a Singer.

[723] ... It appears that Dr. Douglass was sometimes in the habit of attending Mr. Marsden's family worship, and that Ring was usually present on such occasions; but it seems also that Ring was a Singer in the Church, and attended at Mr. Marsden's house in Company with other Singers from time to time ...

[728] WILLIAM COX ... Examined ... I knew James Ring. He was in the Government Town Gang at Windsor, two or three years before he was assigned to Mr. Marsden. He was employed at Windsor as Painter and Glazier in doing the Government work. During the time he was at work, I observed that he was a remarkably clean well-dressed man and attended the Church regularly, which first brought him to my notice. He was a regular Singer in the Church. I recommended him to Mr. Marsden as a Singer in the Church, as I thought he would be of more service at Parramatta than at Windsor, as our Choir was very bad. I assigned him to Mr. Marsden as a Singer, for which he had applied, stating at the same time that he was a Painter and Glazier. Mr. Marsden mentioned something, I do not recollect what, of his first singer being dead. He was assigned to Mr. Marsden, as Magistrates had been in the habit of assigning Servants to other persons ...

[729] THE REVD. ROBERT CARTWRIGHT. Examined ... He was a quiet well-conducted man, and. when I saw him in Mr. Marsden's service, he thanked me tor procuring him so good a place. I fell satisfied, from the confidential manner with which Mr. Marsden and his family and in particular Mrs. Marsden treated him, that he had proved himself a faithful Servant. I believe that he acted as a Singer in Mr. Marsden's Church, as he came always to me to know the Psalms he should sing, when I have officiated for Mr. Marsden.

[736] SUSAN PRISCILLA BISHOP ... Cross-examined ... Mr. Kenyon and one or two of the Singers at the Church have been in the habit of attending at Mr. Marsden's family worship. It is not, that I am aware, a common understood thing that any respectable person may attend at Mr. Marsden's Worship on a Sunday evening. I know a person named Pritchard. He is a Ticket of Leave Man, and he was one of the Singers. I know a man named Newsome. He was a Singer ...

JAMES ELDER ... Examined ... [738] ... Mr. Marsden said, "You know he [Ring] is one of my Singers and I allow him to lodge at the Clerk's [Kenyon's] because he is one also."

[779] ... Mr. [William] Cox adds that it was he that assigned Ring to Mr. Marsden, who said he wanted a Singer for the Church, and it was proved that he was always employed as such Singer on Sundays and in whatever Mr. or Mrs. Marsden had to do on Week days ...

Bibliography and resources:

"James Ring", Convict Records 

29 September 1825 (first published)

Sydney, NSW

"J. M." (songwriter)

The races O

A New Song to an Old Tune

(Old travellers, folks say, who from here to there are dancing ...)

Words only; no tune indicated


"THE RACES O", The Australian (29 September 1825), 2

A New Song to an Old Tune.
"O what a day!" - Tom Thumb.

Old travellers, folks say, who from here to there are dancing,
On foreign sights and novelties to satisfy their eyes,
When on their travels gain a passion, for romancing,
And gull their simple readers with a volume full of lies.

But I, who never look'd upon the wonderfuls of Italy,
Like roving lords cannot descant upon them all so wittily;
So, 'stead of writing books about old Vulcan's naked daughter O,
I'll sing ot something wonderful, in stanza's that are shorter O.

Then, my neighbours then, with good humour in your faces,
Attend unto my rhyming, and don't treat it with a frown;
I sing of no unworthy deeds, but of Sydney Races,
That late inspir'd, and boldly fir'd, our great equestrian town.

The morn scarce dawn'd 'fore each horse was buckled to the traces,
As glowing fancy bodied forth the glories of the day;
The ladies drest, in all their best - in muslins and in laces,
And sweeter than Diana look'd when riding forth in may.

Now mounted high, in Stanhope gig, in Buggy, or in Dennet, O,
With elbows squared, each thriving lord low bows to neighbour Bennett, O;
And, as he looks behind, in pride to see what gables follow, O,
Thinks, himself, in driving skill, Phaeton or Apollo, O.

Master Catch'em led the van - in company with Simkins,
The antipodes of all that's just, mannerly, and good;
Next mister Quiver trembling rides, while his neighbour Jenkins,
Kept the "tenor of his way," just as steady as he could.

Now Captain Speedwell in his gig, with reins and whipcord labours O,
"I travel post," he laughing cries, and dashes past his neighbours, O;
And sure enough he "posted it," for 'midst his dashing paces O,
He runs against a gate and snaps his new-imported traces O.

Simon Trueheart ambling rides and amorously given,
Gallantly tries his ladylove with burning vows to please;
"Constancy alone," he sighs, "'tis makes this earth a heaven,
And madam I'm devoutly yours, I'll swear upon my knees."

Just then his Rosinante tripp'd, and 'midst the ladies squalling O
Beside-her frighted steed, he drops upon his trotters sprawling O
When she look'd down and leering cries, "I'll meet you at the steeple O.
But pray don't swear my doating swain before so many people O?

The Race ground gained, that place of fun, the knavish world's epitome,
Where jockeys jostle, honest men, who jostle too in scorn;
Where men lay bare their secret thoughts, and skilful in anatomy.
Just try to bleed their trusting frie'nds, who try to bleed in turn.

Great Epsom Downs with all their show, their bon ton, their horses O,
Newmarket too with all her dukes, her buckels and her crosses O;
Could ne'er display so bright a day - that day light, full was dawning O,
Upon the Course of Botany on a fine September morning O.

But to mention every one who rode with magnanimity,
Would take more, time and doggrel rhyme than I can now afford;
Knights there were that pois'd the lance, and Baronets of dignity,
And Lords that cut up Holland like old Iervis by the yard.

Some would quiet friends and foes by lecturing it and proctering;
Others took a shorter cut, and so cut them off by doctoring;
But just to make amends for this, they'd kindly the next minute O,
Repair the loss the world sustain'd by bringing others in it O.

Merchants gay with hawking men familiarly imbrangled;
Sad plaintiffs and defendants too - the wise man and the fool;
Tailors, tinkers, justice's together were entangled,
As if distinction now no more - equality's the rule.

Fun and mirth kept jubilee, with laughter and drollery;
Every scene was reeling drunk with humour, wit, and drollery;
As up and down the course, they drove, cantering and parading it,
You'd swore the court of momus was at Belle Vue - masquerading it.

Each heart agog for sporting fun with challenges vociferous;
Five to four on this, and then with offers round they go -
The mania spreads for sportsmen know that betting is petiforous,
And like a fever is not cured till patients are brought low.

Now dashing from the starting post they gallop and they sidle O
And quick as fancy jockeys spur and whip, and chafe the bridle O
In daring skill each rider seems precisely of a kidney O!
For neck or nothing - is nothing new to sporting blades of Sydney O.

Now the races all gone through, each kindred horse of Dante's
Prancing turns his snorting nose towards the distant town -
But each tit that's cousin to, the the steed of old Cervante's,
Contented with his feather bed, in quiet lays him down,

midst the din of sporting noise, lamentings and of praises O -
Rattling dash on the carts, the coaches, and the chaises O -
For every one drives home so fast, you'd think they had no leisure O
To stop and take another sup of quick receding pleasure O.

Now fill high the foaming glass and quickly as it passes,
Toast off success to racing joy's, those antidotes of woe;
For what is man with all his cares, and what are pray the lasses,
If pleasure's sunshine never beams upon this life of snow?

Shut out from sports the mind contracts woe seizes on the spirits O
And gloom profound, and hopeless care, man feels he but inherits O;
But wearied hearts, whose blood is spent in sorrow's own employments O,
Will blithly meet the iron toil that follows on enjoyments O.

J. M.

Bibliography and resources:


October 1825

Sydney, and Hunter River region, NSW

CUNNINGHAM, Peter (reporter)

Song of the "waddie"


Cunningham 1827a, 2, (21) 22-23 

[21] All the natives round Sydney understand English well, and speak it too, so as to be understood by residents ... [22]... their common practice of fighting amongst themselves is still with the waddie, each alternately stooping the head to receive the other's blows, until one tumbles down, it being considered cowardly to evade a stroke. Most of them, however, can "show off" in the true Belcher style; and indeed I once witnessed a battle in the streets where the attitudes and squaring would have done honour to the London ring, many well-put-in blows too being exchanged, though certainly there was much more chaffing than fighting in the case, - an active humorous little boy appearing to turn the whole into ridicule by dancing round and between the combatants with uncouth grimaces and gestures, flou-[23]-ishing his waddie and singing in accompaniment to his pranks.

Cunningham 1827a, 2, (36) 37 

Dreading pursuit, they set off immediately to pay a visit to the Richmond blacks, and on return to their old haunts, chased several mounted settlers on the Bulgar road, and paid a visit to a stock hut inhabited by three freemen, at Putty, to whom several of them were known. Here they reacted their former atrocities, first cunningly borrowing the fowling-pieces on pretence of shooting a kangaroo, and setting one of their gins (wives) to amuse and deceive their entertainers by singing "Johnny stays long at the fair;" the crafty wretch actually substituting the name of the intended victim for the my, in "to tie up my bonny brown hair." While the unfortunate man's attention was occupied by the wiles of this she devil, one of the gang slipped behind and felled him dead with his "waddie" ...

"NEW SOUTH WALES. No. VIII", The Australian (6 March 1827), 3 

Bibliography and resources:


Johnny stays long at the fair

Music concordances:

The gentleman's musical companion, being a collection of favourite airs rondos marches songs, glees dances & duets (London: Printed & sold by W. Hodsoll and Goulding & Co., [? 1803]), 36-37 


John Frederick Mann, diary (Leichhardt expedition, 18 December 1846; State Library of New South Wales (TRANSCRIPT)

Friday 18th Decr Dr. L and Brown started again for the missing mules ... Had a visit from some blacks, some of the same who came the other day, [indecipherable] "Mr. Bell" and "Mr. Turner", with 5 or 6 more and 5 gins. Very amusing to hear Mr. T trying to sing "Oh dear what can the matter be" he could not understand a word of English, he was the only one who had seen whites before, one of the strangers in particular showed his surprise by feeling our clothes, and lifting up our hats in a most careful manner ...

Bunce, Australasiatic reminiscences, 104 

7 November 1825 (first performance)

Public Dinner to farewell Governor Thomas Brisbane

Nash's Inn, Parramatta, NSW

10 November 1825 (first published)

ROBINSON, Michael Massey (songwriter, singer)

BRISBANE, Thomas (subject)

Song for the public dinner to governor Brisbane

Composed and sung by that old son of the Muses

("The trophies of freedom transcendent have shone ...")

Words only; no tune indicated

Source and documentation:

"THE PUBLIC DINNER TO THE GOVERNOR", The Australian (10 November 1825), 3

The Public Dinner, the Grand Public Dinner to the Governor was celebrated, according to previous announcement, at Parramatta, on Monday last. It was not only the first fete which the inhabitants of New South Wales, generally had ever joined in; but, it was indeed the first thing of the kind that was ever effected, or even projected, since the foundation of the colony. Much interest was naturally raised, and many speculations ventured on the probable issue of the attempt. It was supposed impossible that the people, being such novices in all the arts essential to the management of public entertainments, could succeed in a business of that magnitude - it was supposed impossible also to bring together all classes in the Colony in social union, even for the temporary purpose of paying a compliment to the Representative of their common King. The trial of Monday proved, at least, that the Colony was in a "fit state" to undertake a good dinner, and the cordiality with which all parties - all classes, blended on the occasion, also showed that they felt the strongest inducement to mix in harmony, and that respect for Sir Thomas Brisbane prevailed over every other consideration ...

The following Song, composed for the occasion, was recited in the course of the evening:- [words follow]

"PUBLIC DINNER", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (10 November 1825), 3

PUBLIC DINNER TO HIS EXCELLENCY SIR T. BRISBANE, K.C.B. Persuant to public advertisements published in the Papers, the Free Inhabitants of the Colony assembled at Nash's Inn, Parramatta, for the purpose of welcoming their retiring Governor in Chief, at the festive board of Australia. The efforts that had been resorted to, in almost ten thousand ways, to overthrow this Dinner, would surprise any one who might be uninformed of the existing circumstances of the Colony. Influence, authority, and artifice of every kind, together with the most abominable lies, were all charmingly in ceaseless exercise, for the last fortnight or three weeks, to render this a second abandoned Dinner, and thus vitally to affect the energies of the Country. Were we to enter into a detail of all the little histories concerning this distinguished festival, our columns would not admit of any more interesting information. The perfidy that has been unmasked to the Colonists, within the last very few weeks only, tends to increase the splendour of that triumph which will mark the annals of Australian history while she continues the Queen of the Southern World; and when, after a successful termination of those conflicts that have, more or less agitated every circle, we contemplate the achievements that have been wrought in so small a compass of time, gratitude and astonishment are at their acme, because we know that a stone has not been left unturned, nor a project unconceived, that did not threaten destruction to every individual connected in the most remote degree with the late happy change in favour of that portion of the globe, which has received a stimulus, so powerful, that no attempts at counteraction will be able to annihilate ...

However, we must not forget the Dinner, which created no small stir throughout this infant Empire. The Company kept assembling at Parramatta the whole of Monday, forcing their way from East, West, North, and South, in order to afford the only mark of public attachment that was in their power to exhibit towards a Personage who must for ever live in their remembrance. The Stewards were in attendance at an early hour, for the purpose of seeing the various arrangements completed. The full Band of the 3d Regiment (Buffs) was despatched by water early in the morning, for which act, among others of no trifling consideration, the Colonists are indebted to a Personage that has not long been amongst us, but who seems nevertheless to entertain all that liberality of sentiment for which Governor Macquarie, Lieutenant Governor O'CONNELL, Governor Sir THOMAS BRISBANE, and Lieutenant Governor ERSKINE have rendered themselves pre-eminently distinguishable - we mean His Honour Lieutenant Governor STEWART.

About half-past 6 o'clock His Excellency, accompanied by His Staff, reached the Inn. A transparency for each end of the room had been tastefully prepared by Mr. Earle, which greatly improved its appearance. The table was laid out in the similitude of a horse-shoe, which had a very agreeable effect ...

Several songs were in the course of the evening sung by Messrs. Hindson, Pitman, and B. Levey; as well as the following, which was written for the occasion, by Mr. M. Robinson:-


The trophies of Freedom transcendent have shone,
In graceful reflection from Britain's bright throne;
And the star she diffus'd --- with munificent smile,
Has glimmer'd at last on Australia's Isle.

The zeal of our forefathers, hallow'd through ages,
The arts in their triumph --- the wisdom of angels,
Combin'd to bid freedom's fair scions expand,
And protect, as they wav'd o'er the genial land.

And whilst the young seedlings were nursed in her vales,
O'er spread her green mountains, and bloom'd in her dales;
The shoots were dispers'd through the civilis'd world;
Wherever Britannia's flag was unfurl'd.

And they flourish'd around ---'till the Atlantic wave
Was crimson'd no more with the blood of the slave;
Nor the task-master's lash, the red signal for toil,
But the Afric's dark brow rose illum'd with a smile.

And ye, on these shores, to whose oraisons heav'n
So sacred a charge has auspiciously giv'n ---
Oh, treasure it wisely --- and temper its spirit,
That your children may long its pure blessings inherit!

The day now is past --- when, by tyranny aw'd,
Fair freedom was outrag'd --- and justice outlaw'd ---
The hydra, oppression, has sculd'd far away,
And her death-blow, once struck, is completed this day.

By ethics deduc'd from philosophy's laws,
We are taught to retrace the effect to the cause;
That Cause is before us --- all Hail it, and bend
To our CHIEF --- to our Advocate, Patron, and Friend!

Whilst fond recollections our hearts shall endear
His name and his worth will survive with us, here;
And the legend, attested by youth and by age,
Shall form a proud column in history's page.

Emancipists! let your warm plaudits resound,
And the full chord of gratitude vibrate around ...
Swell --- swell the proud goblet --- full charge, now or never!
Whilst the toast is Our BRISBANE, and Freedom for ever!

The utmost harmony prevailed up to an early hour in the morning, when the Party separated, highly pleased with the testimonies of the evening, though regretting the occasion which called them together. We had almost forgot to state, that the Dinner was served up in Nash's usual elegant style.

"Sydney Intelligence", Colonial Times (2 December 1825), 4

... Many excellent songs were given, and one in particular, composed and sung by that old son of the Muses, Mr. MICHAEL ROBINSON, which we shall endeavour to make room for in our next ...

Bibliography and resources:

Mackaness 1946 (1976), 104

Skinner 2011

Music concordances (possible tunes):

? "Derry down"; see Chappell's Popular music of the olden time, 2, 677

Mid November 1825

Port Stephens, NSW (event)

8 December 1825 (report first published)

. . . dissipation . . . a grand corrobora on the occasion



"SHIP NEWS", The Australian (8 December 1825), 3 

About three or four weeks ago, a small sloop bound to the Hawkesbury with some property on board, among which was a keg of spirits, anchored in Broken Bay, whence she was obliged, in a heavy squall of wind, to slip her cable and run to sea. It would seem that, at this time, there were only one white, (the person in charge) and one black man on board the sloop. She reached as far North as Port Stephens, when she was run aground. In the course of the night the keg of spirits was attacked, and many of the natives in the neighbourhood were at tracted to the scene of dissipation, to partake of the liberality of the master, "in regard of liquor" - and they all had a grand "corrobora" on the occasion. The master of another vessel then at anchor in Port Stephens, found the master of the sloop lying dead drunk on the beach, and went to his own vessel for materials to heave the sloop off - intending to send her to Sydney in the care of some of his people. But, on his return to the spot next morning, he found that the fellow had contrived to launch the sloop himself, and be off. She was afterwards seen standing to the northward; but, we believe, it is now pretty correctly ascertained that she is lying a wreck on a small beach a little north of Botany Bay heads.

15 December 1825 (first published)

Sydney, NSW

"A. S. G." (songwriter) = GORE, A. Stanhope

The Russian slave boy

Or, Companion to "Avec Franchase" (Air - Home, sweet home!) [words by] A. S. G., North Shore, 1825

Words; imported tune indicated


"LADIES RHYMES", The Australian (15 December 1825), 4


Yon brigantine, which darkens the foam of the sea,
Is the dismal sad home they have given to me;
Oh! did ye but know the cares which annoy,
From your hearts, ye would pity the Russian slave boy;
For in sorrow I dwell, bereft of all joy,
There ne'er will be peace for the poor slave boy.

When the loud billows swell, and rise mountain high,
I sail slowly on, with many a sigh;
I think on my country, and thoughts then destroy
Every vision of rest, for the Russian slave boy;
Sad, sad are my hours, a stranger to joy,
From my own sunny mountains I live, a slave boy.

Full oft of an evening, when storm winds assail,
I traverse along, where no sweet smile I hail,
And one sad tear I drop, while my eye follows far,
That star faintly beaming, my own brilliant star -
For it lights gently o'er my lost home of joy,
Where wanders the soul of the Russian slave boy.

When the merry north lights dance gay thro' the sky,
And silence on board tells no danger is nigh,
I pace the broad deck, while my arms I enfold,
O'er my bosom, which feels all the winter and cold,
Then, then do I feel deserted by joy,
And I mourn by myself, a lonely slave boy.

Oft I shiver and turn from the wild raving blast,
While the damp flapping canvas around me is cast;
Oh! the world I would give, if the loud winds would throw
Me lifeless and pale to the billows below;
Then would I be free from ills which annoy,
At rest then the heart of the Russian slave boy.

North Shore, 1825. A. S. G.

Bibliography and resources:

Music concordance (tune):

For a later Sydney edition, see:

Home! sweet home! the poetry by J. H. Payne, composed & arranged by Henry R. Bishop (Sydney: F. Ellard. n.d.)


This is one of the earliest records of Bishop's song, only recently first introduced in London (1823), having found its way to NSW.

20 December 1825 (? first performance)

King's Wharf, Sydney Cove, Sydney, NSW

22 December 1825 (first notice)

ANONYMOUS (composer) = ? KAVANAGH, Thomas



Welcome to Australia

The accustomed and sonorous welcome

For military band



"Government and General Order", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (19 December 1825), 3

As HIS EXCELLENCY LIEUTENANT GENERAL DARLING ... has arrived, and will land at Four o'clock To-morrow Afternoon, at the King's Wharf, His Honor the LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR requests the Whole of the CIVIL and MILITARY OFFICERS will be pleased to assemble at that Point to receive His Excellency on his Landing, and to follow in Procession to Government House. The Whole of the Troops, off Duty, in Garrison, will he under Arms, at Three o'Clock To-morrow Afternoon, and will form a Lane nearly the Breadth of the Street facing inwards (each File being posted by the Acting Brigade Major at regular Intervals, so as to extend from the Landing Place, to the Entrance Gate of the Government Domain), and they will remain steady, at presented Arms, until His Excellency has passed through, then they will re-form, and return to their Barracks.

The Band of the Buffs will assemble at the King's Wharf and will precede His Procession, playing Marches until they reach the Gate leading to Government-house. The Band of the 40th Regiment, with a Guard of Honor, consisting of One Captain, Two Lieutenants, Two Serjeants, and Fifty Rank and File of the Buffs, will be formed on the Inside the Entrance Gate to Government-house, and will receive His Excellency with the Compliments due to his distinguished Rank ...

"GOVERNOR DARLING", The Australian (22 December 1825), 3

The Governor has arrived - the Governor has been sworn in - the Governor has landed, - the Governor is Governor by virtue of warrants - oaths and proclamations! ... But, oh! drop the pen here - draw the curtain here - tell not to those who were not there, the glorious confusion of ranks and of orders, and of degrees: - tell it not how the projected procession became a mingled crowd - how councilmen and female peripatetics got jostled; how the great people got mixed up with the little folk - how civil officers amalgamated with uncivil, who were nevertheless very civil, and bore their civil proximities with greats deference and humility - but, mention how the Governor marched at the head instead of the tail of the train; but, notwithstanding, how well the Staff and his Excellency proceeded through the files of two and two from the water's edge to government-house, on the grounds of which the band of the buffs struck up the accustomed and sonorous welcome ...

"HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR IN CHIEF", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (22 December 1825), 2

CONFORMABLY to the Government and General Orders of His Honor the late Acting Governor, of the 18th instant, which were promulgated in Monday's Gazette, His Excellency Lieutenant General DARLING took the Oaths of Office, and formally assumed the Administration of these Colonies, at the Government-house, Sydney, in the afternoon of Monday, at 5 o'clock, in the presence of the Members of Council, and a few other Gentlemen, immediately after which a salute of 19 guns was fired from Dawes' battery, in honour of the auspicious occasion.

Owing to the extreme wetness of the weather, the official lauding of His EXCELLENCY was unavoidably postponed to the following forenoon (Tuesday). By 10 o'clock the whole of the troops, off duty in garrison, were under arms, and formed a lane nearly the breadth of the street, facing inwards, extending from the landing-place at the King's wharf to the entrance-gate of the Government domain. At the hour of 11 precisely, His EXCELLENCY, and Suite, left the Catherine Stewart Forbes in the Royal barge, when, at the instant He left the ship's side, the usual marks of respect were paid by His Majesty's sloop-of-war Larne, with yards manned. Upon the barge reaching the landing-place, Dawes' battery saluted; and His EXCELLENCY was welcomed, in due form, to the shores of Australia, by His Honor Lieutenant Governor STEWART, His Honor the CHIEF JUSTICE, the Venerable the ARCHDEACON, Judge STEPHEN, the COLONIAL SECRETARY, Colonel THORNTON, such of the new Members of Council as were in Town, and all the other Civil, Military, and Naval Officers that had been thus specially convoked together.

The Lieutenant Governor then escorted His EXCELLENCY through the mililary lane that was formed of the 3d (Buffs), the 40th, and the 57th Regiments, as well as the Staff Corps, being preceded by the full Band of the Buffs, playing "Welcome to Australia" ...

Bibliography and resources:



At Darling's inauguration; possibly already a traditional item passed down from one serving regimental band to the next; but also possibly newly composed by the master of the Buffs' band, Thomas Kavanagh (see below).

© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2020