LAST MODIFIED Wednesday 26 February 2020 8:46

The Duly family, the Band of the 51st Regiment, and the first Tasmanian opera

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "The Duly family, the Band of the 51st Regiment, and the first Tasmanian opera", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 3 April 2020

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Abraham Philip Duly

George Frederick Duly

Conrad the corsair, the first Tasmanian and Australian opera

Agnes Duly

The Band of the 51st Regiment

DULY, Abraham Philip

(Abraham Philip DULY; Abraham DULY; Mr. DULY, sen.; Mr. A. P. DULY)

Master of the band of the 51st Regiment, clarionet player, clarinettist, flautist, viola player, pianist, professor of music, teacher

Born ? England
Married Mary Winter, St. Margaret, Rochester, Kent, 30 April 1818
Arrived Hobart, TAS, with regiment, by 22 March 1839 (Runnymede
Resigned as master of the Band of the 51st Regiment, before 21 June 1845
Departed Hobart, TAS, 6 April 1852 (per Huntsville "for the South Seas", and ? USA)
Died ? USA (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Abraham Duly served as master of the band of the Ninth Queen's Royal Lancers from at least 1829 until perhaps as late as 1838. As master of the Band of the 51st Regiment, he arrived in Hobart in early (probably January) 1839, probably accompanied by his two sons, Peter and George Frederick. His wife Mary (b.1793), and daughter, Agnes, may be the Mrs. and Miss Duly who reportedly arrived from London three years later, on the Harbinger.

In addition to his duties as a civilian serving as military bandmaster, Abraham first advertised as a piano tuner in March 1839, whereafter in May the band played in the Gautrots' concert. Duly appeared as a soloist in Angus McLeod's concert in August 1840 playing an unattributed Fantasia for "solo clarionette". Duly also played tenor (viola), along with Reichenberg and Pyecroft, in the 15-strong string orchestra John Philip Deane convened for his concert in April 1844, and accompanied Anne Clarke on the flute in the obligato aria The Pretty Mocking Bird at the Royal Victoria Theatre in September.

One interesting repertoire item played by the band at a military funeral, also in September 1844, was a "beautiful dead march by Kuffner", possibly a work by Joseph Kuffner, or perhaps the opening section of Beethoven's March for Christoph Kuffner's Tarpeja. Previously, in Leeds in 1829, Duly had also performed a clarinet fantasie by Kuffner.

Both while engaged to the 51st Regiment and after, Duly appears to have performed regularly as member of the Hobart theatre orchestra. He took a benefit at the theatre in June 1845, on the occasion of his resigning from the regiment. In the band's final year in the colony, before it left for India, Sergeant Rablin replaced him as master.

In civilian life, Duly was a conductor of the "Hobart Town Choral Society" and he and Caroline Elliot advertised as teachers at what was styled the "Hobart Town Choral Society's Music School". Duly and his son, George Frederick, gave a joint benefit in March 1847, at which his daughter, Agnes, also made her first public appearance.

Duly suffered several severe setbacks in Hobart. His eldest son Peter died in March 1840, his wife in January 1847, and only six months later his musical son George Frederick also died. In 1850 his daughter Agnes married, and in 1852 Abraham Duly sailed from Hobart, together with her and her American husband, captain Freeman Higgins Smith, in his whaling ship the Huntsville, "for the South Seas", and probably ultimately the United States. Duly's clarinet (c.1828) survived in the United States, where it is now in a private collection (see below).

Documentation (England and Scotland)

[Advertisement], Leeds Patriot and Yorkshire Advertiser (31 January 1829), 2

MUSIC-HALL, LEEDS. THE THIRD SUBSCRIPTION CONCERT, comprising a grand Miscellaneous Selection of Ancient and Modern CHORAL MUSIC, never performed here, will take place on MONDAY EVENING NEXT, the Second of February. PRINCIPAL PERFORMERS. MRS. W. KNYVETT, MR. W. KNYVETT, MR. VAUGHAN, and MR. BELLAMY. LEADER . . . Mr. WHITE. By Permission of Lieutenant Colonel Lord Loughborough, and the Officers, the Band of the Ninth Lancers will attend.
Grand Symphony Beethoven . . .
PART SECOND. The celebrated Battle Symphony, with full chorus . . . Winter
FANTAISIE CLARIONET . . . Mr. Duly . . . Kuffner . . .
Finale. Hallelujah . . . From the Mount of Olives. Beethoven . . .

"LA BAGATELLE! ON DITS OF FASHION . . .", The world of fashion (1 January 1831), 4 

A would-be fashionable weekly paper has considerately informed us, that the band of the 9th Lancers (stationed at Hounslow) are allowed by his Majesty to perform two evenings every week in Bushy Park! all respectable persons being admitted to promenade therein upon those occasions. New music has certainly very delightful attractions, and, no doubt, the band of the 9th Lancers play in exquisite style. His Majesty's gracious permission for his loyal subjects to "promenade" in his beautiful park, is also extremely kind, but we think that no very great number of those loyal subjects will avail themselves of the liberty. It is no trifling affair to "promenade" in a December "evening," even though it be in Bushy Park, and we cannot make up our minds to travel so far in this nose-biting weather, to learn the truth of the report. Perhaps our "knowing" contemporary will kindly inform us whether his Majesty allows torches for those occasions, and, also, whether stoves are placed at convenient distances for the benefit of the "promenaders."

"EXTRACTS FROM THE DIARY OF A DILETTANTE", The harmonicon 10 (1832), 282 

At a grand dinner, given by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, on the 1st of October, at the Mansion House, where nearly four hundred of the Orange party assembled, the band of the 9th Lancers attended, by permission of their commanding officer, but under orders not to play any party tunes. The king's health was drunk, with three times three, and "God save the King" was played, without any notice. "Our Protestant queen - Queen Adelaide," was next proposed. It was received with enthusiastic cheers, and nine times nine. Queen Adelaide's March followed. But when the Duke of Cumberland was given, the Lord Mayor expressed a hope that the band would play an appropriate tune: he wished it to be "Protestant Boys." Colonel Wildman then explained to the Mayor, that he had not consented that they should play any party tunes: upon which there was a loud cry of "Send the band away!" but comparative silence being restored, his Lordship proposed "The memory of the great and good King William III." The band then played "God save the King," amid the most frightful shouts, hisses, and cries to the performers, of "Go home." Therefore the next toast was given, the band had closed their books, and left the place. A horrid dulness, a stupifying silence then followed; and it was almost unanimously agreed, by sighs, by lilting up of the eyes, and other significant signs, that toasts are nothing without tunes, and that the best eloquence owes its birth to tubes of wood and of brass.

[Advertisement], The Northampton mercury (22 August 1835), 3

MORNING CONCERT. THE SECOND DAY OF THE RACES, 28th of August, 1835, AT THE COUNTY HALL NORTHAMPTON . . . Under the Direction of Mr. Charles M'KORKELL (Late Member of the Royal Academy of Music) . . . SOLO PERFORMERS. PIANO FORTE - Mr. C. M'KORKELL; HARP - Mr. C. M'KORKELL; CLARINET . . . Mr. DULY; TRUMPET . . . Mr. HARPER. LEADER - MR. W. MARSHALL, of Oxford.

[Advertisement], The Northampton mercury (5 December 1835), 3

EVENING CONCERT. FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR. T. GARDNER . . . TUESDAY, Dec. 8th, 1835, at the THEATRE . . . Violin, and Leader of the Band - Mr. T. GARDNER . . . Clarionet - Mr. Duly . . .

[News], The Northampton mercury (5 December 1835), 3

. . . We wrote in so much hurry last week, that we altogether forgot to allude to the admirable and most effective assistance afforded by the leader Mr. W. Marshall, of Oxford; and to the services of Mr. Duly, master of the band at our Barracks . . .

Extracts from Minutes 1821-1840; Celtic Lodge, Edinburgh & Leith No. 291 (ed. Bill Boland) 

28th November 1836. This evening the lodge was duly constituted by RWM Brother Leon when the following belonging to the 9th Queens Royal lancers Queens Ninth Royal Lancers presently at Piers Hill Barracks.
1 Abraham Philip Duly Master of the Band,
2 Thomas Males, 2 Charles King, 4 Richard Friskey, 5 George Vintin, 6 John Egen, 7 James English, 8 William McDonald, 9 George Woodward, 10 Edward Harper, 11 Alexander King, 12 John McGuire, 13 Richard Church, 14 John Shaiver, 15 John Tinsley, 16 James Addison, 17 Fredrick Huiges, 18 Thomas Jones, 19 Joseph Vantreight.
All 19 members of the Band were properly recommended and consequence of the Centenary of Grand Lodge of Scotland they were all duly made Entered Apprentices the lodge was closed in due form. 

Abraham Philip Duly, Brother, master of the band of the 9th Royal Lancers, 28 November 1836, Piershill Barracks, Edinburgh 

A. P. Duly, brother, elected 20 March 1837

"GRAND MASONIC FESTIVAL", The Perthshire advertiser (8 December 1836), 4

Wednesday being the anniversary of St. Andrew, and also the centenary of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, it was celebrated more than ordinary pomp and festivity . . . The procession, which extended from the top to the foot of the North Bridge, was preceded by a strong body of the day police. The fine bands of the 9th Lancers and 42d Royal Highlanders, whose services were most handsomely tendered their respective officers, played the usual air - the Mason's Anthem.

"MISS CLARA NOVELLO'S CONCERT", The Caledonian mercury (5 April 1837), 3

. . . The band of the 9th Lancers also attended, and played two beautiful overtures . . .

"MISS CLARA NOVELLO'S CONCERT", The Caledonian mercury (6 April 1837), 3

. . . Before closing our remarks, we must not omit to compliment the gentleman belonging to the band of the 9th lancers, who performed the obligato accompaniment to the "Gratias agimus tibi" [Guglielmi]. His subdued tone and style of playing evinced great taste and a complete mastery over the difficulties of the instrument . . .

For a contemporary British edition of Guglielmi's Gratias, also later performed in Australia by Anna Bishop, see this vocal score: (DIGITISED)

Documentation (Australia)

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (26 March 1839), 1

Mr. A. P. DULY, Band-Master of the 51st Regiment, Pianoforte Tuner. Terms, &c. can be known at S. A. Tegg's Circulating library, opposite the Post-office March 22, 1839 . . .

"THE CONCERT", The Hobart Town Courier (31 May 1839), 2

"THE COURT (!) JOURNAL [from the Courier]", Colonial Times (8 October 1839), 5

. . . The Guard of Honor under the command of Captain Parker, 51st regiment, marched down with the band and regimental colours, and during the levee the visitors and spectators, of which a considerable number were collected, were gratified by the exquisite performance of several beautiful pieces of music by the regimental band, so well practised by Mr. Duly. The precision with which the band of the 51st performs the most difficult pieces, has been frequently admired by the lovers of harmony. At the ball, which took place in the evening, between 500 and 600 persons were present . . .

"The Regatta", Colonial Times (10 December 1839), 4 

. . . About ten o'clock the Flotilla started from the New Wharf in the following order: Twenty-two whale boats in a line, towing the barge containing the band of the 51st Regiment, the said band playing lively airs, under the direction of the worthy Band Master, Mr. Duly. Next came the wherries of the watermen . . .

"DIED", The Cornwall Chronicle (14 March 1840), 3

Yesterday morning, 12th instant, Mr. Peter Duly, eldest son of Mr. Duly, Band Master of the 51st K.O.L.I., aged 18. This young man had been long afflicted. - Hobart Town Advertiser.

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (21 August 1840), 3

[Advertisement], The Courier (19 April 1844), 1

"THE THEATRE- MASONIC BESPEAK", Colonial Times (17 September 1844), 2

THE THEATRE - MASONIC BESPEAK. We are quite sure that our kind-hearted and liberal fellow-townsmen who enhanced the value of the " Bespeak " on Wednesday evening last, must have derived a very large amount of gratification from the beautiful entertainments which were provided for their amusement, and for that of their families and friends. Although we have seen the house more numerously attended, we never saw a more genteel or gayer audience, nor have we often encountered so dazzling a blaze of bright eyes as shone upon us on Wednesday night. The whole front of the box tier was in truth a brilliant constellation of brightness and beauty, for every one appeared pleased and happy, infecting even the performers with a spirit and gaiety which rendered their acting the more effective and impressive.

The first piece was Morton's opera, The Slave, which was originally produced at Covent Garden with a very strong cast Macready, Liston, Jones, Emery, and Miss Stephens, Miss M. A. Tree, &c. &c, the music, if we recollect rightly, by Bishop. Years have passed since the period we allude to ; and although we had a vivid recollection of certain portions of the opera, our excellent company suffered nothing by comparison, and especially as regards the music, which both vocally and instrumentally was admirably performed. The beautiful aria, "Pretty Mocking Bird," was beautifully given by Mrs. Clarke, and admirably accompanied by Mr. Duly, sen., in the obligato flute accompaniment. Both Mr. Duly's flute and clarionet playing are remarkable for great delicacy and expression - two qualities greatly to be admired, we think, in all musical performers; and now that we have so excellent a musical company, possessing a knowledge and taste for good music, we should like this veteran in the melodious art to come rather more prominently before the public . . .

"MILITARY FUNERAL", Colonial Times (1 October 1844), 3

"THE THEATRE", Colonial Times (21 June 1845), 3

It will be seen by our advertising columns, that the late Veteran Band Master of the 51st Regiment, Mr. Duly, sen., takes a Benefit on Monday evening next, with a variety of attractive entertainments. Having resigned his appointment of Band Master, Mr. Duly now very properly comes forward to obtain, what he so highly merits, the patronage of a public whom he has so delighted with his musical performances. Mr. Duly, too, we understand, has afforded no inconsiderable assistance towards the erection of St. Mary's Church, and, sure we are, that a community such as ours, always ready to reward merit, will promptly patronise what we may almost designate an old, and, certainly, a most worthy public servant. We wish him success with all our hearts . . .

THE 51ST REGIMENT", Colonial Times (23 September 1845), 3

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (19 June 1846), 1

"MESSRS. DULY'S CONCERT", Colonial Times (9 March 1847), 3 

"THE CONCERT", The Courier (10 March 1847), 2

CONCERT. - On Friday evening last a vocal (?) and instrumental concert was given in the Hall of the Mechanics Institute, by the Mesrs. Duly. A fair and respectable audience, attracted by the circumstance of His Excellency having patronised the affair, were in attendance. The Lieutenant Governor did not, however, attend. Lady Denison, accompanied by Mr. and Ms. Stanley and suite, graced the Hall by their presence during a part of the evening. Mr. G. F. Duly was the conductor; Messrs. Russell and Howson leaders; and Mr. A. P. Duly the director. The opening overture, "La Preciosa," Weber, arranged for the occasion by Mr. G. F. Duly, was performed in a masterly manner; but the preponderance of "brazen instruments" somewhat deteriorated from the effect the overture might have produced had another clarionet been added to the strength, or another flute usurped the place of a horn. "Weel may the boatie row," was sung in a pleasing style by Mrs. Rogers and Messrs. Curtis and Duly, sen. Miss Duly made her debut upon this occasion, but in the duetto with Mrs. Rogers did not shine to advantage. The slight deficiency she exhibited, which may be in a great measure attributed to the bewilderment of her feelings upon a first appearance in public, was amply compensated by the grace, feeling, and simplicity with which she executed the sweet little song "Why should we sigh." Her voice does not possess an extensive range, nor did she sing with power and energy; yet the sweetness of her tones seemed to interest and enlist the sympathies of her hearers, who bestowed the most unequivocal tokens of the pleasure which they derived from this, her first unsupported effort; and which she may confidently reckon upon as an earnest of her future success. Mrs. Clarke acquitted herself well, using her best exertions upon the occasion; how far successful, it would be unnecessary for us to dilate, as the extent of her musical capabilities have heretofore favourably stood the test of public opinion. In the song "I am so very shy," she exercised more than her usual "witchery," and convulsed her audience with delight. To give an extended and minute notice of the entertainment is not our present object; but we deem it incumbent to remark on the great want of propriety with which so many comic songs were interspersed in the programme. That it might be desirable to conduce to the exhilaration of the evening by the introduction of a pleasing variety, we readily grant; but that such compositions as "When a little farm we keep," and the "Temptations of Good St. Anthony," should be included in the programme of a concert, shows an utter want of consideration, and was not likely to prove satisfactory to Lady Denison, or to His Excellency, had he been present. We hope in future requisite attention will improve the selection of pieces, the performance of which may merit the name of a concert; and not, with an antipodean disregard to the higher class of musical compositions, solicit the public patronage in favour of a series of Cat-and-Fiddle Alley extravaganzas.

Tasmanian Archives; Tasmanian Names Index; NAME_INDEXES:1187107; RGD35/1/2 no 1322 (DIGITISED)

[No.] 1322 / January 27th [1847] / Mary Jane Duly / fifty four / [illegible] / Chronic Rheumatism . . .

"DIED", Colonial Times (5 February 1847), 3

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", Colonial Times (9 April 1852), 2


14 keys Clarinet in C, made c.1828, by Thomas Key (d.1853); original rosewood hard case with brass name plate on the top "A. P. Duly / Queen's Royal Lancers"; collection of Nophachai Cholthitchanta, University of Arkansas, J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences (photographs reproduced here with the kind permission of Nophachai Cholthitchanta) 

DULY, George Frederick (Master Duly; Mr. G. F. DULY)

Flautist, pianist, conductor, composer, arranger, dancer

Born, England; baptised All Saints, Maidstone, Kent, 1 December 1824
Arrived Hobart, by 26 March 1839 (with 51st Regiment)
Died Hobart, 6 September 1847, aged 22 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Both George and his older brother Peter probably first arrived in Hobart with their father, early in 1839. George, then only 15 years old, first appeared before the Hobart public playing a flute solo at Anne Clarke's concert in Hobart in June 1840, appearing again in concerts in August and January 1841. In July 1841, aged 16, he advertised as a teacher of piano and flute.

By 1844, if not earlier, he was probably a regular orchestral player at Hobart theatre, where he also arranged and orchestrated for the theatre band; in February 1844, he was responsible for contributing to a production of The maid of Perth; or, The rival lovers, "an entirely new Comic Scotch Ballet, the music selected and arranged for the orchestra by Mr. G. F. Duly". In May 1845, under orchestra leaders Gautrot and Henry Howson, the music for Kate Kearney; or, The fairy of the lakes Of Killarney [Alexander Lee] "was arranged with great care and skill by Mr. G. F. Duly", and in which Maria Carandini (late Miss Burgess) also made her local debut. He had also begun to compose, and at the Gautrots' concert in November 1844, Madame Gautrot sang a ballad What care I, tho' fortune frowns, "the Music composed by Mr. [G]. F. Duly". His Conrad the corsair, described separately below, was the first opera produced with music newly and wholly composed in Tasmania, and also (a year before the Sydney production of Isaac Nathan's Don John of Austria) the first in Australia. It was, however, his last documented new composition. He died in Hobart on 6 September 1847, aged 22, of typhoid fever.


[Advertisement], Colonial Times (9 June 1840), 2

"The Concert", Colonial Times (16 June 1840), 6

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (21 August 1840), 3

[Advertisement], The Courier (29 January 1841), 3

[Advertisement], The Courier (9 July 1841), 3 

A CARD.- MR. G. F. DULY, TEACHER of the PIANO and FLUTE. Terms, &c. can be known at Mr. Tegg's Stationery Warehouse, 39 1/2, Elizabeth street. July 8.

"MRS. CLARKE'S CONCERT", The Courier (18 February 1842), 2 

. . . Bochsa's Concertante, arranged for harp and flute, was played with effect, on the former instrument by Mrs. Curtis, and oh the latter by Mr. Duly, junior. There is a grace in the mere attitude required for the harp (we mean when properly handled,) which cannot fail to predispose; and assisted, as was Mrs. Curtis, by the efficiency of Mr. Duly's flute, the performance, though not eliciting any remarkable degree of fingering, afforded pleasure . . .

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (13 February 1844), 1

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (13 May 1845), 1

"The Theatre", Colonial Times (17 May 1845), 3

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (7 July 1846), 1 

ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE. CAMPBELL-STREET. WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 1846 . . . The Interlude will consist of . . . SONG "The Mocking Bird" (Flute Obligato, Mr. G. F. Duly), MRS. CLARKE.)

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (14 July 1846), 1 

ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE. CAMPBELL-STREET. WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 1846. MRS. CLARKE begs respectfully to inform the Public, that the Evening's Entertainments will commence with (positively for the last time this season) the Drama of OBI; OR, THREE-FINGERED JACK . . . [in Act I, Scene 2] New Song, "Love a child", Kitty [Mrs. CLARKE], composed and arranged by Mr. G. F. Duly . . .

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (22 August 1846), 646 

THEATRE ROYAL OLYMPIC. MONDAY, 24th August, 1846. MRS. CLARKE IN re-opening the above Theatre, begs respectfully to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen of Launceston, and its Vicinity, that she has spared no expense to render it worthy of their patronage and support. The house has been RE-DECORATED AND THE STAGE SUPPLIED WITH ENTIRELY NEW SCENERY, By Mr. Duke, whose valuable services have been engaged for the purpose.

The present Company will consist of Mrs. Clarke, Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, Mr. Lee, Mr. and Mrs. Stubbs, Mr. Austin, Mr. Kenny, and Mr. Duly; and engagements have been made with professionals in the neighbouring colonies, whose arrival may be expected in the course of the season - with a good and efficient Orchestra . . .

"THE THEATRE", The Cornwall Chronicle (5 September 1846), 681 

THE THEATRE. - We have already stated that Mrs. Clarke had excellent houses on Monday and Tuesday. The notice for Wednesday was too sudden and insufficient; and the company last night was rather select than numerous. The performances went off well, however - the music unexceptionable, and the newly-painted scenery displayed to great advantage. The excellence of the orchestra is now almost the first thing that strikes one at the Olympic, and the new fine-toned piano-forte (at which Mr. Duly presides with so much ability) in addition to Mr. Leffler's talented violin playing, render the musical arrangements highly satisfactory . . .

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (11 November 1846), 874 

Thursday, 12th November . . .
MR. DULY has the honor to announce to the ladies and gentlemen of Launceston and its vicinity, that his Benefit is fixed for the above Evening, on which occasion he solicits their patronage.
The Evening's Entertainments will commence with, for the first time at this Theatre, a Romantic Opera, played at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, with great success, 100 nights, entitled
After which, by particular desire, the highly successful Scotch Ballet of the MAID OF PERTH; OR, THE RIVAL LOVERS . . .

"The Concert", The Courier (10 March 1847), 2

Tasmanian Archives; Tasmanian Names Index; NAME_INDEXES:1187387; RGD35/1/2 no 1602 (DIGITISED)

[No.] 1601 / September 6th [1847] / George Frederick Duly / 22 years / musician / Typhus fever . . .

"DIED", Colonial Times (7 September 1847), 2

DIED - Yesterday evening, at his father's residence, in Campbell-street, Mr. George Frederick Duly, aged 22 years, only son of Mr. A. P. Duly, late Band-Master of H.M. 51st Regiment, much regretted by all who knew him.

The funeral will take place on Thursday next, at 2 o'clock P.M., from his father's residence, in Campbell-street.

Conrad the corsair, the first Tasmanian opera (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


A substantial original theatre work from Duly, Conrad the corsair; or, The pacha's bridal ("the celebrated Opera . . . the whole of the Music composed by Mr. G. F. Duly"), was staged at the Royal Victoria Theatre, for Anne Clarke's benefit, on Monday 27 July 1846. It was performed with the musical assistance of the young Duly's old friends, the Band of the 51st Regiment, which about to leave for India, making the occasion a farewell, marking the final parting of the band and the Duly family.

From the advertisements, it seems likely that the Hobart production followed closely the published wordbook of Mark Lemon's 1836 London "romance", The Pacha's bridal, in turn loosely based on Byron's The corsair, for both the spoken parts and the lyrics of the songs, duets, and choruses. In the normal course of events, Clarke and her musicians would have made at least some efforts to obtain the published sheet music of Frank Romer's original score, and the fact that Duly merely re-set a selection of the original lyrics might suggest that the music, ordered from London, never arrived. Duly's music was indeed reportedly composed at "very short notice", and it was noted that:

Mr. Duly, very judiciously, has not at tempted an Overture, perhaps, because he had not time to compose one.

If that was the situation in Hobart, it was repeated exactly in Sydney two years later when John Howson composed new songs for performances of the same play there, but again did not compose an overture, instead borrowing that to Herold's Zampa. Howson's The corsair; or, Conrad and Medora, was first performed there in December 1848; thus, extraordinarily, two lost Australian operas on the same libretto, both occasioned by the non-arrival of the original music, were composed and produced at short notice in the space of thirty months.

The plan of Duly's lost score nevertheless was quite different in major details from either Lemon and Romer's original. Lemon and Romer included well over 20 separate vocal items, including several songs and a love duet for Conrad and Medora (her "There is a lone ratama tree" was a favorite in the 1836 prouction), another duet for Medora and her attendant Zoe, as well as songs for the Pacha Seyd, the role in which the later highly popular bass-baritone Adam Leffler made his debut (entirely by coincidence, Leffler's Tasmanian colonist brother, Edmund Leffler, almost certainly played violin for Duly, perhaps even as leader, in the two 1846 Hobart and Launceston performances). Duly, by contrast, appears to have had at his disposal only two main singers, the soprano Anne Clarke, as a transvestite Conrad, and Emma Rogers as the Pacha's favourite slave, Gulnare. The only other named character to sing a solo was the Greek captive, Epaminondas, played by Emma Rogers's husband, George Herbert Rogers (not otherwise notable for his musical prowess), though Duly evidently also had a quite serviceable chorus at his disposal, including amateurs probably from the ranks of the Hobart Town Choral Society. The published list of musical numbers was as follows:


Opening Solo and Chorus - Come drain the bowl (Epaminondas and Pirates)
Song and Chorus - Up, up my sturdy men (CONRAD, &c.)
Air - Oh! Greece, beloved Greece! (CONRAD)
Song - There's a spell that doth bind thee (CONRAD)
Finale and Chorus to the First Act.


Song - My childhood's happy home (GULNARE)
Air - I've watch'd with thee (GULNARE)
Finale and Chorus to the Second Act.


Barcarole (CONRAD)
Song - Come hither my young Gazelle (CONRAD)
Finale (GULNARE)

There two complete performances were:

Hobart, Royal Victoria Theatre, Monday, 27 July 1846

Launceston, Theatre Royal Olympic, Monday, 26 October 1846

Also repeat performances of two of the songs, as documented below.


[Advertisement], Colonial Times (24 July 1846), 1

MONDAY, JULY 27, 1846.
Conrad the Corsair
Mrs. Clarke's BENEFIT
MRS. CLARKE has the honor to announce to her Friends and the Public, that her BENEFIT will take place on the above Evening, on which occasion she respectfully solicits their support and patronage; and on which occasion, by the kind permission of COLONEL ELLIOTT, the excellent BAND OF THE 51st K.O.L.I. will be present (for the last time at this Theatre) previous to their departure for India. The Evening's Entertainments will commence with (for the first time in the Colony) the celebrated Opera, entitled
(The whole of the Music composed by Mr. G. F. Duly.)

Conrad (the Corsair) - - MRS CLARKE
Guiseppe (second Lieutenant) - - MR TURNER
Epaminondas (a Captive) - - MR. ROGERS.
Anselmo (the Corsair's Lieutenant) - - MR. KENNY
Medora (Conrad's Wife) - - MRS. THOMSON
ZOE (her Attendant) - - MRS. WATSON.
The Pacha Seyd - - MR. STUBBS Gulnare (a favorite Slave of the Pacha's) - - MRS. ROGERS.
Ismael. - - MR. AUSTIN.
Omrod (Chief Eunuch) - - MR. LEE.
Zelica - - MISS CLARKE.

In the course of the Opera, the following Songs, &c., &c.:

Opening Solo and Chorus - "Come drain the bowl" - EPAMINONDAS and PIRATES
Song and Chorus - "Up, up my sturdy men" - - CONRAD, &c.
Air - "Oh! Greece, beloved Greece!" - - CONRAD.
Song - "There's a spell that doth bind thee" - - CONRAD.
Finale and Chorus to the First Act.

Song - " My childhood's happy home" - - GULNARE.
Air - "I've watch'd with thee" - - GULNARE.
Duet - - GULNARE and CONRAD.
Finale and Chorus to the Second Act.

Barcarole - - CONRAD.
Song - "Come hither my young Gazelle" - - CONRAD.
Finale - - - GULNARE.

The Chorusses will be supported by several Amateurs, who have kindly proffered their assistance.
During the Piece, a new Greek Dance - Miss Clarke (Arranged from Julien's Bohemian Polka.) The Interlude will consist of COMIC SONG - - MR. ROGERS. A MEDLEY PAS SEUL - MISS E. THOMSON. The whole to conclude with the laughable Farce of PERFECTION; OR, THE LADY OF MUNSTER . . .

"THE THEATRE", Colonial Times (24 July 1846), 3

THE THEATRE . . . On Monday, it will be seen, Mrs. Clarke takes her Benefit, with a novel attraction here, namely, a new Opera, founded on the Corsair of Lord Byron, the music of which is entirely composed by Mr. G. F. Duly; he has grappled with an arduous task, and we shall see how he has performed it; as far as report goes, we hear a most promising account of the music. The Band of the 51st Regiment will attend, "for the last time previous to their departure for India." Mournful words, these, applied to old acquaintances, but there must be an end to all things, and this "end," as regards the stay of the 51st amongst us, is now quickly approaching. The entertainments selected by Mrs. Clarke promise well, Miss Clarke having two dances allotted to her, one in the Opera, the other in the Interlude. Sincerely is it to be wished that the enterprising lessee will meet with that patronage which her exertions and her abilities, to say nothing of her unwearied perseverance, so deservedly merit.

[Advertisement], The Courier (25 July 1846), 3

"THE THEATRE", Colonial Times (28 July 1846), 3

THE THEATRE. - As we hoped and anticipated, the public liberally responded to Mrs. Clarke's announcement, and favoured her with a bumper house last night; we hare not, for a considerable period, witnessed so genteel an audience, comprising, as it did, the most respectable of our citizens and their families. Of Benefit performances it ia not customary, nor perhaps is it meet to speak critically; but with all reasonable allowances for the first performance of a new Opera, with original Music, the Corsair was successful. Of this music, the composition, and a very short notice, of Mr. Duly, jun., it can only for the present be said, that it exhibits considerable talent, taste, and elaboration, highly creditable to so young an author, and giving promise of better things to come; Mr. Duly, very judiciously, has not at tempted an Overture, perhaps, because he had not time to compose one; be this as it may, he has acted wisely in the omission. As the Corsair will doubtless be again produced, we shall reserve any detailed remarks upon both the music and the acting until the next representation. On the present occasion, aided by splendid dresses and beautiful scenery, the performance was highly attractive, the actors, male and female, exerting themselves most success, fully, Mrs. Clarke as Conrad more especially, and the amount of "business" which fell to her share was most extensive. In the Interlude Miss Clarke danced a Polish Dance, arranged from the Polka, which has been frequently performed of late; she danced it gracefully, but a little more bustle, vivacity, and rompishness would add to the peculiar character of the performance. Miss Thomson danced a very pretty Medley Pas Seul, the first part consisting of a wreath dance, the latter of a variety of quick movements; both the young ladies were respectively loudly applauded. On Thursday Stubbs takes a Benefit, under the Patronage of the Licensed Victuallers of the city . . .

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (31 July 1846), 1

MR. LEE'S BENEFIT, ON WHICH OCCASION HIS WONDERFUL DOGS 'BRUIN' AND 'SCHWARTZ' WILL APPEAR (Positively for this Night only) MONDAY, AUGUST 3, 1840 . . . SONG - - "My childhood's happy home" (From the opera of Conrad the Corsair, composed by Mr. G. F. Duly.) - - Mrs. ROGERS . . .

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", The Courier (1 August 1846), 2 

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (23 September 1846), 734 

OLYMPIC THEATRE . . . UNDER THE DISTINGUISHED PATRONAGE OF THE BACHELORS OF LAUNCESTON, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25. MRS. CLARKE begs respectfully to announce to the ladies and gentlemen of Launceston and its vicinity, that on the above evening, will be produced the admired Comedy of a ROLAND FOR AN OLIVER . . . To be immediately followed by . . . SONG, "MY CHILDHOOD'S HAPPY HOME" (from Mr. G. F. Duly's Opera of the Corsair) Mrs. ROGERS . . .

"THE THEATRE", The Cornwall Chronicle (24 October 1846), 821 

. . . The respectable lessee herself [Anne Clarke] takes the first benefit, an attractive programme of performances for which, will be found in our advertising columns. Among other novelties will be presented a new Opera, by Mr. George Duly, called "Conrad the Corsair," which was received with much applause at Hobart Town. The lovers of good music, and those who are disposed to encourage "Colonial" talent, will endeavour to attend on this occasion, and mark by their patronage their sense of Mrs. Clark's excellent arrangements during the season.

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (24 October 1846), 826 

During the remainder of the Season, the NIGHTS of PERFORMANCE will be MONDAY AND THURSDAY, In each Week
Monday, Oct. 26th, 1846.
Mrs. Clarke has the honor to announce to her Friends and the Public, that her Benefit will take place on the above Evening, on which occasion the respectfully solicits their support and patronage:
The Evening's entertainments will commence with (for the first time here), a New Opera, which was so successful on its first representation in Hobart town, entitled
(The whole of the Music composed by Mr. G. F. Duly.)

Conrad (the Corsair) - - Mrs. CLARKE
Epaminondas (a Captive) - - Mr. ROGERS
Anselmo (the Corsair's Lieutenant - - MR. KENNY.
Giuseppe (second Lieutenant) - MR. GOOCH
Medora (Conrad's Wife) - - Mrs. OLIFFE
Zoe (her Attendant) - Mrs. STUBBS
The Pacha Seyd - - - Mr. STUBBS
Ishmael - Mr. AUSTIN
Omrad (Chief Eunuch) - - Mr. LEE
Gulnare (a favorite Slave of the Pacha's) - Mrs. ROGERS
Zelica - Miss CLARKE.

In the course of the Opera, the following Songs, &c., &c.

Opening Solo and Chorus - EPAMINONDAS
"Come drain the bowl" . . & PIRATES.
Song and Chorus - "Up, up my sturdy men!" Conrad &c.
Air - "Oh ! Greece, beloved Greece!" CONRAD.
Song, "There's a spell that doth bind thee" Conrad
Finale and Chorus to the First Act.

Song, "My childhood's happy home" . . Gulnare.
Air - "I've watch'd with thee" . . Gulnare.
Finale and Chorus to the Second Act.,

Barcarole . . . Conrad.
Song, "Come hither my young Gazelle", CONRAD.

The Chorusses will be supported by several Amateurs, who have kindly proffered their assistance.
The Interlude, will consist of - A POLISH DANCE - - MISS CLARKE. (Arranged from Julien's Bohemian Polka.)
COMIC SONG. "Wanted a Governess" . . . MR. ROGERS.
The whole to conclude with (for the first time at this Theatre) the laughable Farce, in two Acts, called YOU CAN'T MARRY YOUR GRANDMOTHER . . .

"OLYMPIC THEATRE", The Cornwall Chronicle (28 October 1846), 831

OLYMPIC THEATRE - COMMENCEMENT OF THE BENEFITS. - Mrs. Clarke took her Benefit on Monday - her patrons on the occasion were by no means scarce. The evening's entertainments commenced with the new Opera, entitled "Conrad the Corsair, or the Pacha's Bridal," the music composed by Mr. G. F. Duly. We understand the piece was produced at the Hobart Town Theatre with much éclat, and the Launceston lovers of the "divine art" were on Monday, "favored" with a musical variety, which would bear the test of criticism. The young author presided at the piano, and the felicitous invention displayed, was as creditable as that Artiste's dashing and brilliant execution. Making allowance for the want of stage-room, and other disadvantages, we should say the Opera was entirely successful. Mrs. Clarke played the part of "Conrad" (the Corsair) with a good deal of vigour, and Mrs. Oliffe as "Medora" (the wife) justified the good opinion already entertained of that accomplished actress's talents. The character of "Omrad" (chief Eunuch) gave Mr. Lee the opportunity of making a hit in his usually humourous style. The observant well-wishers of Lee cannot but be gratified at his steady and effective discharge of theatrical duty, and forming (we may be permitted to say) a pleasing contrast to the almost forgotten "days of yore." We wish him all the success and distinction which the "altered times" shew him to be fully entitled to. Some of the songs were sung with more than ordinary ability and elicited much deserved applause. Of these we may mention Mrs. Clarke's "Greece, beloved Greece!" and Mrs. Rogers's "My Childhood's Happy Home," both of which were executed in a pathetic and creditable style. In the course of the piece, Miss Clarke danced in a masterly way, a very difficult new "Greek Dance." The other entertainments were exceedingly good, and we hope the night proved a good "benefit" to Mrs. Clarke, who deserves, as we hope she will at all times receive, the sympathy and patronage of a Launceston audience.

[Advertisement], The Britannia and Trades' Advocate (4 March 1847), 3 

"MESSRS. DULY'S CONCERT", Colonial Times (9 March 1847), 3 

. . . a pretty ballad, I've watched with thee, sang by Mrs. Rogers, and composed by Mr. G. Duly, gives good promise of excellence in that department of the musical art . . .

Other references (1836 Lemon and Romer original):

The pacha's bridal! an opera in three acts, the only edition correctly marked, by permission, from the prompter's book . . . by Mark Lemon . . . (London: J. Duncombe, 1836). ["First produced at the English Opera House, Sept. 8th, 1836"] 

[Reveiw] "ENGLISH OPERA", The New Monthly belle assemblée: a magazine of literature and fashion 5 (London, 1836), 213, 214 

ENGLISH OPERA. On Thursday, Sept. 8, a new Grand Opera, entitled The Pacha's Bridal, founded on Lord Byron's Corsair, was produced at this Theatre with a degree of success that bids fair to emulate the popularity of the most esteemed operatic works lately produced. The music is by Mr. Frank Romer, and the piece from the pen of Mr. Mark Lemon . . .

The literary merits of The Pacha's Bridal are, however, much greater than the newspapers seem disposed to admit. The poetry is easy and melodious, and better adapted to the purpose for which it is intended than if the author's muse had taken a higher flight than is generally required to produce verses merely meant to be lyrical. The following ballad is precisely such as it should be - graceful and pretty without betraying the least effort - neither pretending to any great depth of feeling or brilliance of imagery, and although by no means the best thing in the opera, will serve as a specimen of its general merits.

There's a spell that doth bind thee
  So close to my heart.
That thy spirit seems near me
  Wherever thou art;
Like the song of the loved one,
  Whose charm doth remain
When the minstrel's departed
  That waken'd the strain.

O! the dell and the mountain,
  The flower and the tree,
Are for ever recalling
  Some memory of thee:
Thou'rt my thought when I'm waking,
  My dream when I sleep;
Canst thou ask a love, dearest,
  More holy and deep?

It now remains for us to speak of the music. The overture was rapturously encored, an honour it well deserved. It is a light and elegant piece of orchestral writing; but a song given to Medora, entitled, "There is a lone Retama tree," proved the greatest favourite; the melody is of quite an original character, and from beginning to end it modulates in accordance with the sense of the words with the greatest truth of expression. The air allotted to the Seyd is also a charming composition, commencing "I've watched with thee the daylight stealing." It is not without originality, and is sustained throughout by some masterly instrumentation. The quartette in the second act is also arranged with considerable skill, and is full of delightful counterpoint and imitation. Judging the opera as a whole it ranks Mr. Romer in a high class amongst British composers, and exhibits him as a well educated musician, possessing a lively and elegant imagination for melody writing, and considerable originality in the treatment and arrangement of his subjects. As a first attempt, The Pacha's Bridal will, we predict, meet with that happy modicum of success which will prove of much service to the young composer - not so great as to make him believe himself above improvement; but offering the highest encouragement to persevere in a science, of which he will, we are sure, at no distant period become one of our most eminent professors.

Our task ends with a notice of the performers in the opera. Miss Shirreff, as Medora, sang with a degree of pains-taking and expression for which the composer ought to have been very grateful. In the air we have already named she was encored, and she not only warbled it with perfect truth of expression, but acted with great feeling and good taste. In the mad scene, near the conclusion, however, her zeal for the success of the piece, perhaps, betrayed her rather beyond "the modesty of nature," for which some of the critics aforementioned have not failed to accuse her of imitating Malibran, while others record their belief that Grisi was her model! Wilson's sweet and melodious voice was heard to great advantage in the music allotted to the Corsair, especially in the air, "Greece! beloved Greece!" His acting was also clever. The part of Seyd, the Pacha, was given to a new performer, named Leffler, and we shall have no hesitation in hailing him as the first baritone vocalist in England when he has acquired a little more decision of style in his singing, and got over the awkwardness always to be noticed in new performers. His intonation is remarkably perfect, and nature has given him a voice of exquisite sweetness (a very rare quality in a bass singer) and no ordinary share of power. The charming tones he produced in "I've watched with thee the daylight stealing," called forth a vociferous encore. The concerted music in the piece is spirited and characteristic, and well performed.

We have been more than usually particular in our account of The Pacha's Bridal, feeling that the enthusiasm with which the great talents of foreign artists has of late been hailed in this country has caused too much indifference to the talents of our countrymen, and believing that it has become a necessity so great as to amount to a duty on our part to take every opportunity of encouraging native merit.

Songs, duets, &c., in the grand opera of The pacha's bridal, the poetry by M. Lemon, the music by F. Romer (London: J. Duff, Oxford street, [1836])

NO COMPLETE COPY IDENTIFIED; but for individual sheets see:

Greece! beloved Greece: air, sung by Mr. Wilson, in the grand opera of The pacha's bridal . . . (London: J. Duff & Co., n.d. [1836]) 

I've watched with thee: sung by Mr. Leffler . . . 

There's a spell: duet, sung by Miss Shirreff & Mr. Wilson . . . 

Thy brow is drest in sadness: duet, sung by Mrs. Leile & Mr. Leffler . . . 

Up, up ye sturdy mariners: sung by Mr. Wilson . . . 

[Review], "La revue Musicale", The New Monthly belle assemblée: a magazine of literature and fashion 5 (December 1836), 327 

"LA REVUE MUSICALE. 1. "Songs, Duets, &c., in the grand Opera of 'The Pacha's Bridal.'" The Poetry by M. Lemon, the Music by F. Romer. J. Duff, Oxford street.

1. Of the general character of the music in this Opera we spoke in favourable terms in our Theatrical Review. We now proceed to consider the Songs, &c. separately. The first solo of any consequence is "Greece, beloved Greece!" It is in the natural key, the second verse modulating into G, which serves to give variety to the air. "There is a lone retama tree!" so exquisitely sung by Miss Shirreff, possesses much originality, and changes in its character admirably, according with the sense of the poetry, expressing the different sentiments the words convey with the utmost fidelity. It is in the key of A flat. The two Duetts "There's a spell," and "Let me, ere I do depart," are also charming compositions. "I've watched with thee," the ballad in which Mr. Leffler [Adam Leffler] established himself as a baritone of the first class, deserves particular notice. The subject is flowing and graceful, while the accompaniment sustains the harmonies sufficiently without overwhelming the vocal part - a fault too prevalent with modern composers. Its key is B flat, and is set, for the convenience of amateurs, in the treble cleff. "O, dear are the bowers of gay Shalimar!" was by no means done justice to by Mrs. Serle, but is notwithstanding a pleasing rondo. "Merrily, brothers, pass the cup," is a barcarole full of life and spirit, and well adapted to the votaries of Bacchus. The other compositions in the piece are, "Ye have betrayed him," recitative and air for Medora, and the delightful Ballad, "Come here, come here, my young gazelle," in both of which there is much effective and clever writing.

The national melodist, first series (Edinburgh: W. Glass, 1837), 24- 

Written by M. Lemon, sung by Mr. Wilson, in "The Pacha's Bridal."

O Greece I beloved Greece! though set
  Awhile thy glories are,
Yet never can thy foes forget
  How beautiful they were.
For all the flow'rs that deck thy bow'rs,
  Spring from such hero clay
As fell at thee, Thermopylae,
  And on Platea's day,

The tyrant calls thy children slaves,
  Unworthy of thy trust;
But, whilst we tread upon the graves
  Where sleeps thy mighty dust,
We feel we were not born to bear
  The chain that keeps us down;
And whilst a hand can grasp a brand,
  O Greece! we are thine own!

The national melodist, first series (Edinburgh: W. Glass, 1837), 95-96 

I'VE WATCHED WITH THEE. Sung in the "Pacha's Bridal." Words by R. Lemon. - Music by Romer.

I've watched with thee the daylight stealing
  O'er the gloomy shades of night,
And felt, while earth appeared revealing
  It's beauties to the holy light,
That thou unto my soul wert gladness -
  The light that made life life to me:
That chased away each cloud of sadness,
  And showed how bright this world could be.
        I've watched, &c.

[96] I've watched alone, when night was throwing
  Her dusky mantle o'er the skies,
To hide beneath its deep dark flowing,
  The luster of those starry eyes;
And thought, if thou wert there to cheer me,
  Those brighter orbs had made it day;
For such the spell when thou art near me.
  That joy and light ne'er pass away.
        I've watched, &c.*

* The air of this song', we conceive, in opposition it is true to the voice of the million, to be very pretty, and prophecy that it will become a general favourite.

Another version of the lyric appears anonymously in:

Hodgson national songster; or, encyclopaedia of harmony . . . (London: Orlando Hodgson, n.d.), 36 

Blackmar's selection of favorite songs. O would I were a boy again (New Orleans: A.E. Blackmar & Bro., 74 Camp St, n.d.)

Copy at Johns Hopkins University, Levy Sheet Music Collection (DIGITISED)

DULY, Agnes (Miss DULY)

Soprano vocalist

Born UK; baptised, St. Peter, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 1 April 1829 (daughter of Abraham Philip Duly)
Arrived Hobart, TAS, ? 22 January 1842 (passengers per Harbinger, from London, 19 September 1841)
Married Freeman Higgins Smith, Hobart, 1850
Departed Hobart, 6 April 1852 (per Huntsville for the South Seas) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Agnes Duly, daughter of regimental bandmaster A. P. Duly made a promising public debut in a family benefit on 5 March 1847, singing a duet with Mrs. Rogers and the solo songs "In other days" and "Why should we sigh". The Colonial Times noted:

the novelty of Miss Duly's debut as a vocalist before a Tasmanian audience; this young lady, making all due allowance for the natural timidity of a first appearance in public, acquitted herself very charmingly; the songs allotted to her were well adapted to her voice, which is a soft and sweet soprano, and she sang them with great taste and feeling; with due cultivation and study Miss Duly will rise in her profession, and add to the musical honors of her talented family.

She then appeared as principal attraction in a concert in Launceston in May 1847, and for the Hobart Town Choral Society in June, and again in February and April 1848. She also appeared in concerts for Julius Imberg in 1848, and for Marie Carandini in May 1849. That may have been her last public appearance, however, before her marriage in Hobart in 1850 to an American widower, Freeman Higgins Smith, captain of the whaling ship Huntsville.


"SHIP NEWS", Colonial Times (25 January 1842), 2 

JAN. 22 - Arrived the barque Harbinger, 297 tons, Candlish master, from London 19th Sept., with a general cargo. Passengers - Mr. and Mrs. Dawson, Mrs. Duly and daughter, Mrs. Ims and three children, Mrs. Good.

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (2 March 1847), 2

"MESSRS. DULY'S CONCERT", Colonial Times (9 March 1847), 3

"THE CONCERT", The Courier (10 March 1847), 2

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (15 May 1847), 3

"THE CHORAL SOCIETY", Colonial Times (25 June 1847), 3

"ORATORIO", The Courier (19 February 1848), 2

[Advertisement], The Courier (9 May 1849), 1

Tasmanian Archives; Tasmanian Names Index; NAME_INDEXES:841628; RGD37/1/9 no 345o (DIGITISED)

[No.] 345/O / 60 / March 1850 / Freeman Higgins Smith / full age / Commander merchant ship / Agnes Duly / Under age / Spinster . . .

"MARRIED", The Cornwall Chronicle (23 March 1850), 189

MARRIED. - At Hobart Town, March 10, by special licence, at Trinity Church, by the Rev. P. Palmer, Captain Freeman Higgins Smith, to Miss Duly, youngest daughter of Mr. Duly, late bandmaster to the 51st Regiment.

Band of the 51st Regiment

The band of the 51st K.O.L.I Regiment (The King's Own Light Infantry)

Arrived Hobart, TAS, by January-March 1839
Resignation of Abraham Philip DULY as master, and appointment of Sergeant RABLIN in his place, mid 1845
Departed Hobart, TAS, 8 August 1846 (with regiment headquarters, per Agincourt, for India) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

See also main entry in register of British miltary bands in Australia:

Band of the 51st Regiment


"CONCERT", Colonial Times (28 May 1839), 7 

. . . In addition to Monsieur and Madame Gautrot, Mr. Reichenberg will perform a solo on his favourite instrument the clarionet, and Mr. Leffler will preside at the piano forte; the fine band of the 51st Regiment will also be in attendance . . .

"Shipping Intelligence", Colonial Times (17 May 1845), 2 

PORT OF HOBART TOWN . . . May 15. - Arrived the government barque Lady Franklin, Willett, master, from Launceston via Port Arthur, with three officers, and 140 rank and file of the 51st Regiment, who have been relieved there by a detachment of the 51st, when landed, were marched up to the Barracks to the tune of "Nix my dolly, pals fake away," by the bugle band.

Nix my dolly palls fake away [In a box of the stone jug I was born], as sung by Mrs. Keeley . . . in the romance of Jack Shepard, composed by G. Herbert Rodwell (London: D'Almaine, n.d.); words by William H. Ainsworth, the play first performed Adelphi Theatre, London, 28 October 1839; Temple University Libraries, digitised (DIGITISED)

"THE 51ST REGIMENT", Colonial Times (23 September 1845), 3 

THE 51ST REGIMENT. - This fine corps is mustering strongly at head quarters, preparatory to its embarkation for India in January next, and frequent parades will take place in the Domain in the meantime. On Friday last the soldiers in garrison, amounting to eight companies, were exercised under the surveillance of Major St. Maur, a clever officer, who appears to take, as a good officer should, great pains with his men. After executing a variety of manoeuvres, the regiment marched to the barracks, preceded by its fine band, now under the able mastership of Mr. Rablin, the talented successor of Mr. Duly. We were in error when we formerly mentioned that Mr. Rablin was a pupil of Mr. Duly: his preceptor was Mr. Williams, well known amongst military men as a very talented musician, and truly his pupil does him infinite credit. Many persons, especially with children, are deterred from walking in the Domain for fear of molestation by wild cattle. Their fears, however, may be allayed, as arrangements have been made to prevent a continuance of that dangerous nuisance; and we can assure them much gratification from a visit while the soldiers are exercising, no loss from the beautiful performances of the band, than the manoeuvring of the regiment.

"MILITARY MUSIC", Colonial Times (3 March 1846), 3 

Our townspeople, and especially the fairer portion thereof, are not aware perhaps, that on Wednesday and Friday afternoons from four to six o'clock, the fine bands of the 51st Regiment perform alternately in the Barrack-square. The music of the chamber band under the able direction of Mr. Rablin, is no less choice of selection than excellent in performance, every attention being paid to its excellence as well as to its novelty. On Wednesday last a new overture from the French and fertile brain of Auber, was given in a most spirited style, the bass parts particularly; this was the opening overture to the performances at the Theatre when Mrs. Clarke took her Benefit; it is a smart, spirited Auberian overture, but as usual devoid of any melodious movement, such as at once takes hold upon the mind, and lingers for ever in the recesses of our memory, as that beautiful air which so sweetly predominates in one of the finest overtures which was ever composed, we mean the overture to Der Freitchutz [Der Freischütz]. Auber is truly a noisy composer, from his Masaniello to the present moment; drums, trumpets, trombones, cymbols, and the rest, make up for that pure and appropriate harmony which so strikingly characterizes the works of our great classic composers, of Handel, Haydn, and Mozart, of Pergolesi, Winter, Beethoven, and the rest, by no means omitting our lively favourite Rossini, who is always - although an idle, copyist of himself, sprightly, sparkling, and melodious. Passing by this, we have to notice the other pieces performed by the band on Wednesday, the selection, as already intimated, being extremely tasteful. From the new Opera of Ernani, composed by Verdi (quere, George Green?) three cavatinas were performed, and beautiful indeed they were. Ernani must be a fine opera, and if the production of an Englishman, a credit to his country. One of these cavatinas has been arranged by Mr. Rablin with a duet movement for the trombone, and the cornet à piston, the effect of which is extremely fine, those two instruments blending together in most beautiful harmony. Another fine cavatina, " Quando il Core," from the Inesdè Castro [Ines de Castro] of that very sweet composer Persiani, was well executed, and proved very effective; we only wish that there were more lovers of good music on the spot to enjoy the feast provided for them. The Brass Band under the direction of Mr. Hayne, is extremely well conducted, and its performance while marching from the Domain after the morning's parade, is enjoyed by many; wafted on the morning breeze, the fine, full, and clear notes of the bugles sound most melodiously, and must, we think, enliven the spirits of the soldiers after a hard two hours' drilling.

"THE 51ST REGIMENT", The Courier (18 July 1846), 3 

THE 51ST REGIMENT. - We learn that the four companies told off to go to India immediately . . . will proceed under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Elliott, with Major Errington, and head-quarters. The number will be about 500, including the band, servants, &c. . . .

"BALL AND SUPPER TO THE 51ST REGIMENT", The Courier (29 July 1846), 2 

ON Friday evening a Ball and Supper was given to Colonel Elliott and the Officers of the 51st regiment, previous to their embarkation for India. By permission of the Lieutenant-Governor, the Legislative Council Chamber, and the rooms which could be made available, were placed at the disposal of the committee of management. The Council Chamber, 46 feet long by 26 wide, was appropriated to the votaries of Terpischore, affording ample space for a double set of quadrilles. The palisading which separates the members of our Colonial Legislature from the spectators was removed, and the Council table, upon which an excellent quadrille band of the 51st discoursed "most eloquent music," was placed near the public entrance . . .

"THE THEATRE", Colonial Times (24 July 1846), 3 

. . . On Monday, it will be seen, Mrs. Clarke takes her Benefit, with a novel attraction here, namely, a new Opera, founded on the Corsair of Lord Byron, the music of which is entirely composed by Mr. G. F. Duly; he has grappled with an arduous task, and we shall see how he has performed it; as far as report goes, we hear a most promising account of the music. The Band of the 51st Regiment will attend, "for the last time previous to their departure for India." Mournful words, these, applied to old acquaintances, but there must be an end to all things, and this "end," as regards the stay of the 51st amongst us, is now quickly approaching . . .

"THE 51ST REGIMENT", Colonial Times (11 August 1846), 3 

"THE 51ST REGIMENT", The Cornwall Chronicle (15 August 1846), 622 

On Saturday the Headquarters of this fine Regiment embarked on board the Agincourt and China for India. They were mustered and drilled in the Barrack square at eight o'clock, and about half past eight marched down to the Commissariat Wharf to the popular tunes of "Auld Lang Syne", "Garry Owen", "The King of the Cannibal Islands", "The Girl I left behind me", "The Lass of Kallow", &c, when they proceeded on board their respective vessels. The Head Quarters, with both bands, go in the Agincourt, and the remainder in the China. They embarked on board in two of the Government barges and the barge of the Agincourt, the Chamber Band playing "God save the Queen", and the Brass Band "The Days that we went Gipseying". There were many hundreds of our townsmen present, and the cheers were perfectly deafening. - H. T. Advertiser.

Mrs. Charles Meredith, My home in Tasmania: or, nine years in Australia (New York: Bunce and Brother, 1853), 30-31

The domain adjoins the gardens, and is laid out in pleasant drives among the groves of native trees. We witnessed there the ceremony of laying the first stone of a new Government House, on a spot commanding views of the Derwent and the surrounding beautiful scenery. A collation was provided on the occasion by the Lieutenant-Governor and Lady Franklin, in a pretty rustic lodge near the site of the new mansion, and some of the guests availed themselves of the presence of an excellent military band to have quadrilles on the grass, or rather in the dust, for the turf was something of the scantiest.

"THE 51ST REGIMENT K.O.L.I", The Cornwall Chronicle (22 January 1862), 2 

Many of the colonists of Tasmania will remember the brave soldiers of this fine Regiment, who were for so many years quartered in Tasmania. They will regret to see that during the last few months the regiment has almost been decimated by that fell disease, cholera. The following letter from a Sergeant gives an account thereof: -

Lahore, 15 October, 18 Oct 1861
My dear sister, I wrote to you a few days since, a short letter, as I had only come out of hospital that morning, after recovering from a very severe attack of fever . . . The disease broke out first in our Regiment on the 7th August, and from that date up to about the 20th Sep., or little more than a month we lost our Colonel, 17 Sergeants, l6 corporals, and 247 privates, besides 17 women and 22 children. Nothing could arrest its fatal progress, which was very rapid . . . I forgot to tell yon I was promoted to the rank of sergeant in March last, I was only six months corporal. I am now doing the duties of Bugle Major. I cannot express to you how grateful I am to the Almighty for all His mercies to me since I have been a soldier, and above all for my escape from that dreadful disease. I am the only Hobart Town person now in the regiment. Poor Patrick Shields of the Band, and Billy King the Bugler have both died lately . . .

Shields told me if ever I returned to Tasmania to acquaint his friends of the manner of his death. He was quite sensible a few hours before his death. His loss is deeply regretted in the Band, we are very near done up for a Band, as we lost 16 men out of it. All the tunes we can manage to play are marches, as we unfortunately lost the best performers. The 94th Band is entirely done as they lost one half their Band. I expect our regiment will be going home some time next year - at least that is rumoured - and generally believed in the Corps.

Sergeant J--. W--. H. M. 51st K. O. L. I. Lahore, Punjab.


. . . The 21st was relieved by the 51st King's Own Light Infantry (now the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry). The instrumental character of this band was somewhat superior to its predecessors. There were more clarionets and flutes, and the Turkish Crescent (bells on pole attached to straps) was for the first time in Hobart. It was about this period the cornopean was introduced. T. Duly, the bandmaster, often rendered great service at concerts. The 51st left per ship Agincourt and China on August 8, 1846. On Wednesday, December 3, 1845 (Regatta Day) they played on the ground alternately with the band of the 11th (Devonshire Regiment), the playing of the latter being much superior, having just within a few weeks landed from England with the latest music and modern instruments. It was reckoned one of the best in the United Kingdom. Lieutenant Steer (an Italian) [recte Charles William Ferdinand Stier] was its bandmaster . . .

Bibliography and resources

Skinner 2011, 50, 273-77, 282, 459, 460, 461, 463, 470, 471 (DIGITISED)

Luke Agati, "George Frederick Duly and his opera Conrad: the first Australian production", Papers and proceedings: Tasmanian Historical Research Association 62/1 (March 2015), 39-51;dn=248003291672239;res=IELHSS (PAYWALL);dn=248003291672239;res=IELHSS (PAYWALL)

© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2020