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William Augustine Duncan

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


THIS PAGE IS ALWAYS UNDER CONSTRUCTION


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "William Augustine Duncan", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia): https://sydney.edu.au/paradisec/australharmony/duncan-william-augustine.php; accessed 10 July 2020




DUNCAN, William Augustine (William DUNCAN; William Augustine DUNCAN; W. A. DUNCAN)

Amateur musician, choral singer, arranger, songwriter, music reviewer, antiquarian, journalist, newspaper editor

Born Towie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland; baptised 12 March 1811, son of Peter DUNCAN and Mary RIACH/MACDOUGAL
Married Mary YATES (d. 1880), Aberdeen, Scotland, 1831
Arrived Sydney, NSW, late 1838 (probably October or November, having sailed from London in July)
Active Maitland, NSW, early 1839
Active Sydney, NSW, by July 1839
Active Brisbane, NSW (QLD), 1846-59
Died Petersham, Sydney, NSW, 25 June 1885

https://trove.nla.gov.au/search?l-publictag=William+Augustine+Duncan (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-635286 (NLA persistent identifier)

And specifically relating to music https://trove.nla.gov.au/search?l-publictag=W+A+Duncan-music (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)




W. A. Duncan, c. 1860s

https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/262358146 (DIGITISED)

Summary

Duncan's education originally destined him for the ministry of the church of Scotland. Around 1827, however, aged about 16, he converted to Roman Catholicism. Though accepted as a student at Scot's College, Regensburg, intending to train for the priesthood, he remained instead in Scotland, having been persuaded to enrol at the recently founded St. Mary's college, at Blairs, in Kincardineshire, probably around 1829-30.

He gave up his theological studies, and in Aberdeen in 1831 married Mary Yates.

He was in London in 1838 when he was recruited by Bernard Ullathorne to come to Australia as a Catholic schoolmaster. According to his obituary, he and his wife, and their son Lewis, sailed from London in July, and therefore probably landed in Sydney in October or November, shortly before Ullathorne and the rest of his party who arrived at the end of December.

On arrival, Duncan was sent to Maitland to be Catholic schoolmaster, but can have served no more than six months in the post before he was recalled to Sydney

Again apparently with Ullathorne's support and encouragement, in July 1839 he became founding editor (and virtually sole contributor) of the politically progressive Catholic party newspaper, Australasian Chronicle. Later, from July 1843 he edited his own Weekly Register, of Politics, Facts and General Literature. Both publications included Duncan's own prominent, if generally conservative, commentary on music and music making.

Duncan's enthusiastic publicity pieces prior to music events, and his thoughtful and informed reviews afterward, are important sources of information on Sydney concert and theatre music, performance and reception, and especially on the activities of musicians and composers. Among those Duncan enthusiastically supported was another Catholic Scot, James Aquinas Reid, who also became one of Duncan's press correspondents and agents on Norfolk Island in 1840 at a time when he and Ullathorne were strongly supporting Alexander Maconochie's penal reforms.

Duncan also wrote perceptively on the performances of the Bushelles, the Deanes, the Gautrots, the Howsons, and Isaac Nathan.

He also reprinted in his newspapers biographies of major European composers and musical news from Europe.

In 1841, Duncan warmly welcomed the arrival of Isaac Nathan, and wrote lyrics for two of Nathan's published songs, in 1841 for the "new national anthem" Long live Victoria (adapted to the music of a pre-existing English work, Long Live our Monarch, words: H. W. Montagu, published London, 1830, copy at British Library Music Collections H.1678.(7.)), and in 1842 for the "national song" Australia the wide and the free.

In December 1842, Duncan's review of The Sydney Corporation quadrilles, by the young Sydney composer Frederick Ellard, criticising his use of a diminished chord, resulted in a lively published defence from Ellard (citing precedent in the music of Weber), and further comment from Duncan.

Duncan was also an amateur singer, a member of St. Mary's cathedral choir probably from as early as 1839, and certainly still in 1842, when in December at a Requiem Mass at St. Mary's for the duc d'Orleans his own paper (and perhaps he himself) reported:

In the choir the solemn Gregorian Missa pro defunctis was beautifully chaunted by the Very Rev. Vicar General Murphy, as cantor, assisted by the Rev. Mr. Magennis, Mr. Duncan, and Mrs. Curtis, and a select choir, and accompanied on the organ by Mr. Worgan.

Duncan also arranged, edited, and published simple arrangements of classical sacred music suitable for use in Catholic churches and chapels, as well as for domestic performance. In particular two numbers of his projected serial The sacred minstrel appeared in March and April 1841, containing adaptations of music by Mozart, Haydn, Pergolesi, Gluck, and Cramer.

Unfortunately, no copy of either number of The sacred minstrel appears in the bibliographic record.

In April 1842, he published his Adoro te devote, adapted to the melody of the prayer in Rossini's Moise in Egito; and in May a Kyrie eleison, "adapted to a morceau in A minor" of Carl Heinrich Graun.

In June 1842 he also advertised as forthcoming, "A Mass", a "Gloria in Excelsis Deo, from Mozart, with an easy, compressed accompaniment", and "Also a complete Vespers service", though none of these survive, and probably never reached the press.

Duncan was also later involved with amateur music making in Brisbane, where in 1851 he was president of the Moreton Bay Amateur Musical Society, and in 1859 supported plans to form the Brisbane Choral Society.

A sale catalogue of his library issued after his death lists some music, but most of the valuable music collection he originally brought to Australia was reportedly sold in the mid 1840s when he was in financial difficulties.

His verse doggerel description of "my music library" in the Chronicle in May 1842, probably reflects the breadth of his musical reading, parallelled in the colonies at the time perhaps only by his friend Nathan.


References:

"ARCHBISHOP ULLATHORNE. A GRAND OLD MISSIONARY DEAD. HIS PIONEERING WORK IN AUSTRALIA 57 YEARS AGO", Freeman's Journal (30 March 1889), 17

(http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115381251

. . . [Ullathorne] landed in England towards the end of 1836, and at once set himself to accomplish his task, that of enlisting sympathy and support for the Australian mission. He was perpetually on the move not only in England, but also in Ireland, and he wrote and published the work on "The Catholic Mission in Australia," which attracted so much attention, and a pamphlet treating of the subject of transportation and exposing the cruelties of the colonial officials. The result of Dr. Ullathorne's visit was that he procured for Sydney fifteen priests, five church students, five Sisters of Charity from Dublin, and two or three schoolmasters, including the late W. A. Duncan, afterwards the able editor of the first Catholic newspaper (the Australian Chronicle) in Sydney . . .


William Augustine Duncan

William Augustine Duncan, c. 1880

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Augustine_Duncan#/media/File:William_Augustine_Duncan.jpg (DIGITISED)




Documentation
Maitland, NSW, c. 1838-39

[Advertisement], The Australian (21 March 1839), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36863691 

IN THE PRESS, CORRESPONDENCE between the Reverend Mr. Stack, Protestant Minister, and W. A. Duncan, Catholic Schoolmaster, Maitland; with remarks on Mr. Stack's Lecture on the "Man of Sin," delivered in the English Church, Maitland, 19th March, 1839.
"Il ya' des erreurs qu'il fam réfuter serieusement, des absurditées dont il faut rire, et des faussetés qu'il faut repousser avec force." - VOLTAIRE.

Sydney, NSW, from mid 1839

2 August 1839, first issue of the Australasian Chronicle

[W. A. Duncan], "PROSPECTUS", Australasian Chronicle (2 August 1839), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31726155 

IT has long been a matter of deep regret among a great and respectable portion of the inhabitants of this Colony, that, notwithstanding the great number of Newspapers published in Sydney, by far the greater part are strongly fettered by party influence, while not one has appeared, expressive of the wishes, or devoted to the interests of the Catholic Population . . .

. . . To explain and uphold the civil and religious principles of Catholics, and to maintain their rights, will, then, be the primary objects of The Australasian Chronicle . . .

To subjects of general Literature, we shall not be inattentive . . . We have the promise of most valuable communications on the Arts and Sciences from gentlemen of acknowledged talent and erudition.

We now solicit the aid of our contributors, beg the indulgence of our readers, salute with respect our contemporaries, and throw ourselves upon the candour of all. The Australasian Chronicle will appear twice a-week, on Tuesday and Friday. All communications to be addressed to the Editor, at the Office, 67, Pitt-street.

[Colophon], Australasian Chronicle (2 August 1839), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page4242509 

Printed and published by ANDREW BENT, of No. 67, Pitt-street, Sydney, for W. A. DUNCAN, the Editor and Trustee Proprietor.


[W. A. Duncan], "Concert", Australasian Chronicle (13 September 1839), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31726416 

We are none of those who go to Concerts, merely with a view of spending an idle hour or banishing ennui; we look upon the cultivation of the divine art, particularly in this Colony, as a great national affair, and an object worthy of the attention of the legislature, and of the public individually and collectively.

The time we trust is not far distant when Australia will occupy a high place among the nations of the earth, and if the fine arts, and more particularly music, were found to advance the objects of the legislators of antiquity, while music was in a rude and infant state, how much more beneficial must its effects in modern times be, now that it has arrived at a degree of sublimity and perfection which it requires a constant contact with to believe to be human or possible? With these thoughts in our mind, we proceeded to the Victoria Theatre, on Wednesday evening, which we were pleased to see so neatly fitted up for Mrs. Bushelle's concert. His Excellency the Governor (who is becoming, we think, deservedly popular) was present, with Lady Gipps, and nearly all the beauty and fashion of Sydney.

The concert was, we should think, one of the best that has ever been given in Sydney. Monsieur Gautrot's solo on the violin was delightful, and and though not much in the modern style, was executed with a degree of good taste which is exceedingly rare. We have very seldom heard such correct intonation elicited from that difficult instrument, with the same degree of purity. If any of our readers think us too partial to Gautrot père, they will probably be more surprised when we state that we do most distinctly raise our voice against Madame Gautrot's most ludicrous and unmusical style of singing. It is nothing, absolutely, but music-run-mad. She sings neither in time nor in tune, both of which she could do admirably, if she would attend to the composer's notes and marks, and to them only. Does not Madame Gautrot know that Rossini, unlike other composers, inserted in all his compositions all and every one of the embellishments which he wished to be used in them, and that he pointedly condemned all attempts that were made to add additional fiorituri to his melodies. God knows! in all conscience he had reason, for they are already numerous enough and to spare. Madame Gautrot, with wonderful command of the musical powers which Nature has given her, might sustain the character of an excellent artiste, by devoting herself to the cultivation of pure melody, but for a person whose voice is unusually unmanageable, to attempt to sing à la Catalani, is, to say the least, not judicious. We trust that these and the following remarks will not be misunderstood.

- We were much pleased with Mrs. Bushelle's singing generally, it was a decided improvement on her performance at Dr. Reid's concert; but we could not comprehend a note of her "Black-eyed Susan," which she sung in common time instead of3/4, in which we had always heard it. Mrs. Bushelle's Italian songs were well sung, but we have still to complain of these spurious embellishments. - Depend upon it the composer is the best judge in these matters; and although the public may call for these absurd ornaments and applaud them, music suffers, and so must, ultimately, the musician. It is for excellent performers like Mrs. Bushelle to lead public taste, not to follow it. Mr. Bushelle was, as usual, admirable. We doubt if Lablache himself, could sing "Miei rampolli femminini" better. Mr. Bushelle is a decided favourite, and ought to be so; he has great command of a powerful voice, and is possessed of much good taste. But we are bound to say, that this taste was completely at fault in the selection of bushranger songs, for a concert patronized publicly by the Governor of this Colony. In an opera these things are all well, but a moment's reflection will convince Mr. Bushelle that they were ill-chosen on the present occasion. Mr. Wallace's Solo on the flute was deservedly applauded, and so also, Mr. Stanley's Concerto. Above all, Madame Gautrot's "Rule Britannia" was irresistible, and we feel ourselves as yet completely shaken from the effects of it.

Upon the whole, though the style of this concert is not our favourite style, we were highly gratified by the performances, and we hope soon to hear all parties again, particularly the Bushelles, et notre cher Monsieur Gautrot père.


[W. A. Duncan], [News], Australasian Chronicle (29 October 1839), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31726755 

ON Sunday, a solemn Mass was celebrated in the Cathedral in thanksgiving for the safe arrival of the French missionaries who are about to proceed to New Zealand. The altar was neatly fitted up, and the grand and impressive ceremonies of the Pontifical were gone through with much dignity and effect. After the Gospel, the Vicar General delivered an eloquent discourse, suitable to the occasion, of which we regret much we cannot give an outline.

The new choir and orchestra of the Cathedral performed publicly for the first time on this occasion, and we have pleasure in adding in a style which surprised and delighted every body. The Mass was Reid's No. 1 in C, which is, upon the whole, a charming composition. The Kyrie, which, like Mozart's No. 12, is written upon the dominant of the key, is a beautiful piece of genuine church music, in which every part is a melody, and the combined effect of which is truly fine. The Gloria is chiefly remarkable for its combining brilliancy with a full body of harmony. But the Credo is our especial favourite. Its opening and concluding movements contain some of the finest natural modulation with which we are acquainted, and the melody is throughout most pleasing. We venture to predict that the succession of sounds of which this piece consists, will be speedily heard resounding in all parts of our capital, as the Jager Chor of Weber was formerly in every part of Europe.

The Benedictus, as sung by the Misses Reid, accompanied by the Seraphine and Violoncello produced a very fine effect. The subject of the Agnus Dei is the same as that of the Kyrie, and forms the conclusion of a musical composition, of which any composer might be proud. To criticise severely a first performance would be unfair, but severity itself would here be compelled to admit, that if there was evidence of its being a first attempt, there was, on the other hand, realized all the success that could be looked for.

At the conclusion of Mass, the clergy, including the missionaries, chaunted the Te Deum, which carried the mind back to other days, and must have warmed every heart present. We hope to see these solemnities often renewed. They have the best tendency, and admirably confirm the truth of Dr. Johnson's remark, that whatever carries our minds into the past, the distant, or the future, advances us in the scale of rational beings.


The sacred minstrel, no. 1 (1841)

The sacred minstrel; being a selection of approved hymns, arranged and adapted to the choicest movements of the most celebrated composers, no. 1 (Sydney: Nicholas, 1841)

NO COPY IDENTIFIED


[Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (27 March 1841), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31731282

This day is published, price 3s. (to be continued monthly)
No. 1 of THE SACRED MINSTREL, being a collection of APPROVED HYMNS,
arranged and adapted to the choicest movements of THE MOST CELEBRATED COMPOSERS,
and most respectfully inscribed to the Right Rev. Dr. Polding, by W. A. Duncan.
*+* This work was undertaken at the express request of His lordship, for the use of families, schools, and country chapels; and, as only a very limited edition has been printed, immediate application will be necessary to secure copies. Published by W. Nicholas, Bridge-street; and to be had at the Australasian Chronicle Office, and of the Music and Booksellers.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Nicholas (lithographer, printer)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (30 March 1841), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12868457

TO BE RAFFLED, on Monday, 5th April, at Barlow's, Bridge-street, splendid Engravings by Martin, Vernet, and others. Dixon's Maps on Sale, Aborigines, Engravings, Frames, &c.
- Just Published, The Sacred Minstrel, price 3s.

[W. A. Duncan], "NEW PUBLICATIONS", Australasian Chronicle (30 March 1841), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31731328

The Sacred Minstrel; being a selection of approved hymns, arranged and adapted to the choicest movements of the most celebrated composers. No. 1 (to be continued monthly). Nicholas, Sydney, 1841. Price 3s.

It is well known to those who are intimate with the arcana of periodical literature that it is by no means an unusual thing for an author to review his own work. When such an occurrence takes place, however, the utmost care is usually taken that the public remain ignorant of the fact; for there are few indeed who have the courage of a Cobbett or a Bentham, to become their own trumpeters. The want of another medium of bringing the abovenamed work under the notice of those for whose benefit it has been undertaken compels us to deviate from the course we should otherwise deem it more in accordance with good taste to pursue; and there are two circumstances connected with the publication which relieve us from any fear that our motives can be mistaken. In the first place we have not the slightest pecuniary interest in the work, the M.S., though compiled at an immense expense, being a free gift to the publisher, for the benefit of the public; and, secondly, the poets and composers' names being carefully afixed to the beauties we have selected from their works, we only occupy the legitimate province of a reviewer in drawing attention to them.

The present number contains five pieces. No. 1 is Dryden's celebrated translation of the Veni Creator Spiritus, and is set (we venture to hope with some degree of taste and propriety) to a beautiful air of Mozart, in F. The piano or organ accompaniment is given exactly as written by the composer, and, though the harmony is exquisite, is within the power of any player. The printer has, we observe, committed a serious error in the first chord, which being, however, the Common Chord of the key, can hardly lead any player into a mistake. This hymn and air will, we venture to hope, become a favourite in many families, and in all our schools.

No. 2 is an "Evening Hymn," being a new translation, by Dr. Fletcher, of the hymn "Lucis Creator Optime," which, as we believe it is unknown in the colony, we give as a specimen of the poetry of the work.

EVENING HYMN.

Parent of good - at whose command
From chaos burst the glorious light,
That thenceforth, o'er the sea and land,
Might reign alternate day and night.

Past are the goods and ills of day,
Thanks to thine all protecting might!
Now from thy servants chase away
Th'approaching perils of the night.

Oh save us, Lord, from those misdeeds,
Congenial to these hours of gloom,
Which sinners love whom passion leads,
Forgetful of their future doom.

Teach us on heaven to fix our eyes,
The promised seat of life and bliss;
And, striving to obtain that prize,
Redeem the time we've spent amiss.

Hear, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost -
In, Godhead one, and Persons three
And call us with thy heavenly host,
To sing thy praise eternally.

This beautiful hymn is set to a well known melody of Gluck, and - facility being everything in a work intended for schools - the accompaniment has been reduced to as much simplicity as was consistent with the character of the original composition.

No. 3 is Dryden's translation of the Stabat Mater, and is adapted to one of the beautifully simple airs of Pergolesi, which the compiler has taken the liberty to transpose from tihe key of E flat to F.

No. 4 is a hymn for Easter, taken from Haydock's extensive collection, and is set to a favorite melody, in A, by Haydn.

No. 5 is a translation of the hymn O Salutaris Hostia, by the Rev. F. C. Husenbeth, of Cossey Hall, Norwich; and is set to a melody, in F, which combines beauty with facility.

The work is lithographed by Mr. Nicholas, of Bridge-street; and, although highly creditable as a first attempt, has neither all the beauty nor correctness that could be wished. The errors are chiefly in the spelling of some of the words, as "choisest" for "choicest," "Hadyn" for "Haydn," and the like; there are also a few trifling ambiguities in the music, which must be carefully avoided in future numbers. Indeed, we have seen a portion of the second number, which is already in progress, and is nearly all that could be wished on beauty and correctness.

The publication will be completed in twelve numbers, and will form the only tolerable collection of English Catholic Hymns, set to music, that has ever appeared. The musical works from which the airs are extracted have cost the compiler the labour of many years in collecting, and the work, when finished, will, he ventures to assert, be of a much higher character than most collections of sacred music extant. It is believed by the compiler that such a work is a great desideratum in our schools and country chapels. This is also the opinion of the highest ecclesiastical authority in the country, at whose suggestion the publication was undertaken in its present form (though the materials had long previously been collected); and it only remains to be seen whether the public will extend sufficient patronage to it to enable the spirited publisher to go on with the work.

The compiler's part of the work is undertaken solely from a desire to extend and improve the sacred music of our families and schools; and that object can only be accomplished when the publisher shall obtain that patronage from the clergy, from the masters and mistresses of schools, and from the heads of families, which we hope the work will be found to deserve.


The sacred minstrel, no. 2 (1841)

The sacred minstrel; being a selection of approved hymns, arranged and adapted to the choicest movements of the most celebrated composers, no. 2 (Sydney: Nicholas, 1841)

NO COPY IDENTIFIED


[Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (8 April 1841), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31731402

This day is published, price 3s. (to be continued monthly) No. 2 of
THE SACRED MINSTREL, being a collection of APPROVED HYMNS, arranged and adapted to the choicest movements of the MOST CELEBRATED COMPOSERS, and most respectfully inscribed to the Right Rev. Dr. Polding, by W. A. Duncan.
*+* This work was undertaken at the express request of his lordship, for the use of families, schools, and country chapels; and, as only a very limited edition has been printed, immediate application will be necessary to secure copies.
Published by W. Nicholas, Bridge-street; and to be had at the Australasian Chronicle Office, and of the Music and Booksellers.

[W. A. Duncan], "NEW PUBLICATION: THE SACRED MINSTREL NO. II", Australasian Chronicle (10 April 1841), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31731426

The Sacred Minstrel. No. II. Price, 3s. Sydney, Nicholas, 1841.

It gives us much pleasure to observe that this number is much more neatly, as well as more corredtly, executed than its predecessor. Of its contents we shall satisfy ourselves with merely noticing the pieces, with the names of the authors and composers, and shall then leave it to seek that fame or oblivion which the public may be disposed to accord to it. We confess the slow demand for the first number, probably on account of its uninviting exterior, has disappointed us; but we shall be surprised indeed if the improved appearance of the second number, and the excellent materials of the third, now in the hands of the printer, do not induce many to extend that notice to the work which the first number failed to excite.

The first piece in No. II. is the beautiful Morning Hymn, translated by D. French, Esq., extracted from the London Orthodox Journal. It is set to a simple but exquisite melody of Haydn, in B flat, very agreeably harmonised. In the 4th stanza we observe the artist has omitted the word "Lord," before "Almighty," which destroys the quantity of the verse.

This hymn is followed by a translation of the Vexilla Regis," by the Rev. C. Husenbeth, and is set to a musical gem of Cramer in E flat.

No. 3, of the present publication, is the ordinary Evening Hymn, " Before the closing of the day," set to a simple melody in A major.

No. 4 is entitled "Easter Hymn," and consists of a splendid movement by Mozart, the words added to which were composed for it by the editor, simply because he could find none extant the measure of which was adapted to the music. If they are indifferent as verses, and contain no new idea, they have the merit of expressing very orthodox feelings, and of connecting these with excellent music.

No. 5 is Husenbeth's elegant paraphrase of the "Lauda Sion," adapted to a morceau choici of Gluck, which has long commanded universal admiration in a different, but, we think, not more appropriate position.

It is intended that the succeeding numbers should appear on the first day of every month, and contain hymns adapted to the festivals that occur within the month.

NOTE" There is no evidence that no. 3 or any other later numbers ever appeared



Long live Victoria, words by W. A. Duncan, music by Isaac Nathan (Sydney: F. Ellard, 1841)

Long live Victoria (1841)

Long live Victoria; a new national air, sung by Mrs. Bushelle at the oratorios in the cathedral of Sydney, words by W. A. Duncan, Esq., composed and most respectfully inscribed to his excellency Sir George Gipps, by I. Nathan (Sydney: Published for the proprietor, by F. Ellard, [1841])

https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/171071904 (DIGITISED)


[2 advertisements], Australasian Chronicle (15 June 1841), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31732032 

ORATORIO.
MR. NATHAN has the honor to announce that on Wednesday, June 30th, 1841, will be given, at St. Mary's Cathedral, a
GRAND ORATORIO, consisting of a SELECTION OF SACRED MUSIC . . .
PART I. New National Anthem, "Long live Victoria" - Nathan . . .

NEW MUSIC. Just published, price 2s. 6d.
LONG LIVE VICTORIA! a new National Anthem, to be sung by Mrs. Bushelle at the Oratorios.
The words by W. A. Duncan; the music composed, and most respect fully inscribed to his Excellency Sir George Gipps, by I. Nathan.
F. Ellard, George-street.



Adoro te devote (Rossini, arr. Duncan) (1842)

The hymn of St. Thomas, "Adoro te devote," adapted to the music of Rossini's prayer of Moise, and arranged with an original accompaniment for the organ or pianoforte (Sydney: [For the author], 1842)

Copy at the State Library of New South Wales

https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/200321822 (NOT YET DIGITISED AS OF APRIL 2020)

NOTE: This, and Duncan's Kyrie eleison below, are the two earliest published colonial editions to use moveable music type. Isaac Nathan later used the same set regularly, doing so for the first time in 1845 for A good black gin.


[Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (2 April 1842), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31735486

NEW MUSIC. Just Published, price 2s. 6d,
THE HYMN OF ST. THOMAS, "ADORO TE DEVOTE:" adapted to the music of Rossini's sublime prayer in "Moise," and arranged with an accompaniment for the Organ or Pianoforte, by W. A. Duncan.
Chronicle Office, April 2.
*+* If this arrangement be approved of, it will be followed by a Mass and a Vespers Service, the former selected from various classical composers, and arranged so as to combine real beauty with that facility of execution which is necessary to adapt it for small choirs.

"NEW MUSIC", The Sydney Herald (4 April 1842), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12874514

An offeratorium [offertorium] for the service of the Roman Catholic Church has just been published by Mr. W. A. Duncan. The subject is the Hymn of Saint Thomas Adoro Te Devote, adapted to the music of the prayer in Rosini's 's Moise in Egito. The exquisite melody is too well known to need our eulogy, for if Rosini's works were blotted from existence for ever, it would be immortalized in Thalberg's splendid Concerto. The words that Mr. Duncan has selected for it are well adapted, and the instrumental arrangement says much for his taste, and knowledge of musical theory. We perceive that for the tenor Mr. Duncan has adopted the double G. cleff, an arrangement which is becoming frequent in modern music, and which we like much, as it is considerably less puzzling for the amateur, and cannot possibly create confusion by being mistaken for the treble. The "getting up" of the piece is also novel in Sydney. It is printed in moveable musical type, which is very neat and distinct, and a great improvement upon bad stamping. We only hope that the great musical talent of which Sydney may now justly boast, will keep this type in constant requisition.

[W. A. Duncan], "NEW MUSIC", Australasian Chronicle (5 April 1842), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31735508

The Hymn of St. Thomas, "Adoro Te Devote," adapted to the Music of Rossini's Prayer of Moise, and arranged with an Original Accompaniment for the Organ or Pianoforte. Sydney, 1842.

The music of this mottet is borrowed from Rossini's opera of Moise in Egitto, better known in England by the title of Peter the Hermit. In this opera Rossini has attained an elevation of style which is not to be found in any of his other compositions. The sublime prayer of the Hebrews before crossing the Red Sea, from which the abovenamed piece is taken, was an after thought of the composer. We are informed by Hogarth that, notwithstanding the transports with which the opera generally was received at Naples when it was first brought out, the attempt of the machinist to represent this Red Sea scene never failed to excite the risibility of the audience. This continued during the first season:

"The following season," says M. Stendhal, "this opera was resumed, with the same enthusiastic admiration of the first act, and the sane bursts of laughter at the passage of the Red Sea. The following day one of my friends called about noon on Rossini, who, as usual, was lounging in bed, with a dozen of his friends about him; when to the great amusement of everybody in rushed the poet Tottola (the author of the drama), who, without noticing anyone, exclaimed, "Maestro! I have saved the third act!" "Well, what have you done, my good friend?" replied Rossini, mimicking the half burlesque, half pedantic, manner of the poor son of the muses. "Depend upon it they will laugh at us as usual." " But I have made a prayer for the Hebrews before the passage of the Red Sea," said the poet, pulling a bundle of papers out of his pocket, and giving them to Rossini, who immediately began to decypher the scrawl.

While he is reading the poet salutes the company all round, whispering every moment in the composes'a ear, "Maestro, I did it in an hour." "What! in an hour!" exclaimed Rossini. "Well, if it has taken you an hour to write this prayer, I engage to make the music in a quarter of the time; here, give me a pen and ink." At these words Rossini jumped out of bed, seated himself at table en chemise, and in eight or ten minutes composed this sublime movement, without any piano, and without minding the chatting of his friends.

"There," said Rossini, "there is your music; away about your business." The poet was off like lightning, and Rossini jumped into bed, and joined in the general laugh at his parting look of amazement.

"The following evening I did not fail to repair in good time to San Carlo. The first act was received with the same transports as before; but, when they came to the famous passage of the Red Sea, the audience showed the usual disposition to risibility. This, however, was repressed the moment Moses began the new and sublime air, "Dal tuo stellato soglio." This is the prayer which all the people repeat after Moses in chorus. Surprised at this novelty, the pit was all attention. This beautiful chorus is in the minor key; Aaron takes it up, and the people continue it. Last of all, Elcia addresses the same vows to heaven, and the people answer. At this moment they all threw themselves on their knees, and repeat the same prayer with enthusiasm; the prodigy is wrought: the sea opens to present a passage to the people. The last part of the movement is in the major key.

"It would be difficult to give an idea of the thunder of applause which resounded from every part of the theatre. The spectators leaned over the boxes to applaud, exclaiming, "Bello! bello! O che bello!" Never did I behold such an excitement, which was rendered still more striking by its contrast with the previous merry mood of the audience."

The Baron de Stendhal must have calculated largely upon his readers' love of the marvellous in telling them that this refined piece was finished in a quarter of an hour. If he had said a week he would have been within the bounds of probability, considering the fertility of Rossini's genius, of whose productions this is perhaps the finest specimen we know. Of its success in its present adaptation we must let others speak; we can only say that considerable pains and some degree of skill has been bestowed on it, and that we believe, though it has a very different appearance to the eye, it will be found not less pleasing to the ear than it did in its original state, in which all Europe have admired it.

"MUSIC", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (5 April 1842), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2556163

We beg to acknowledge the receipt of a piece of poetry, by W. A. Duncan Esq. It is entitled The Hymn of S. Thomas "Adoro te Devote," which is adapted to the music of Rossini's Sublime prayer in "Moise" and is arranged for either the organ or pianoforte. We consider the author entitled to great merit for this production, which, from the well-known beauty of the composition, will doubtless find its way into the house of every musical family in the Colony - its moderate price ot half-a-crown brings it within the reach of all.

"NEW MUSIC - JUST PUBLISHED: ADORO TE DEVOTE", The Australian (5 April 1842), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36849731

The music of this beautiful composition is taken from Rossini's sublime prayer in "Moise;" we should rather say the melody, not the music, for those who are acquainted with the original will perceive that Mr. Duncan, in arranging the air to his "Adoro te Devote," has, from necessity, been compelled to deviate from Rossini's very effective theatrical accompaniment, which he has accomplished judiciously, in a most masterly style, without doing the slightest injury to the composer's splendid composition. Instead of moving basses and arpeggio accompaniments, Mr. Duncan has given elegant and simple chords; the progressions of which, and the classical mode of dispersing the harmony, at once establishes Mr. Duncan as a talented and profound musical theorist.

The whole arrangement is a complete masterpiece, and may be looked upon as a splendid example for the musical student, as a melodious treat for the vocalist, and as a rich source of entertainment and improvement for the piano-forte and organ performer. We have only to add, that a few such productions in this colony will greatly tend to cultivate the musical taste of Australia and soon place it on a level with that of any nation in the world.

The "Adoro te Devote" is likely to become popular throughout Australia, not only from its intrinsic merit as an elegant and simple production, but from the fact, that for the first time in this colony we have a beautiful sample of musical type, instead of badly stamped notes. No music in England could possibly be brought out in better taste than Duncan's "Adoro te Devote."


See also two later performances of Duncan's Adoro te:

"Sydney Philharmonic Society", The Sydney Morning Herald (11 July 1855), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12971591

The second concert of the Beason was given by the members of this society on Monday evening, at the Concert Hall of the Royal Hotel, which was crowded to excess by a fashionable audience, including the families of the chief officers of the Government, and of our leading citizens . . . The chief features of the choral selections were Rossini's grand chorus, "Adoro te Devote," from Moise in Egypto; and Mathew Locke's chorus of witches from Macbeth. The progress of the members in the rendering difficult concerted music, was the theme of general and favourable comment. The selections and performance of the glee music were in the best taste.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 March 1859), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13020550 

PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE . . . CONCERT EXTRAORDINARY . . .
TO-NIGHT, TUESDAY, March 15th.
Mr. J. WINTERBOTTOM . . . GRAND PROMENADE CONCERT a la Jullien! . . .
PROGRAMME . . . Prayer - Adoro te Devote - Moise - Rossini - Solo, duet, trio, and grand Chorus . . .


Kyrie eleison (Graun; arr. W. A. Duncan) (Sydney, 1842)

Kyrie eleison (Graun; arr. Duncan) (1842)

Kyrie eleison, adapted to a morceau in A minor of Karl Heinrich Graun, and arranged for four voices and chorus with accompaniment for the organ or pianoforte, by W. A Duncan (Sydney: Printed by the editor, [1842])

Copy at the State Library of New South Wales

https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/20303122 

http://digital.sl.nsw.gov.au/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?embedded=true&toolbar=false&dps_pid=IE3538631 (DIGITISED)

Editorial note on page 2:

A strong impression of the great error committed by the very best modern Composers, in adapting the sublime introductory supplications of the ancient liturgy to lively movements in the major mode, has suggested to the Editor the following arrangement. It is hardly necessary to say that Graun, from whom the subject is borrowed, is the Handel of Germany, and this his works, though almost unknown in England, are hardly inferior, either in number of beauty, to those of the author of the "Messiah."


[Acknowledgement], The Australian (26 May 1842), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37116817

We beg to acknowledge the receipt of a piece of Music, entitled "Kyrie Eleison," from the Editor, Mr. Duncan.

"New Music", The Sydney Herald (30 May 1842), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12875453

Mr. Duncan has again presented the Roman Catholic Church with a piece of music, a Kyrie Eleison for four voices and chorus, with organ accompaniment. The subject is Graun's, a beautiful largo movement in A minor, and so well adapted to the words, that we know no Kyrie for the Roman service, in which the idea of supplication is so well maintained throughout. The Kyries of Mozart, Haydn, and Weber, are generally much too lively and florid, and although surpassingly beautifully [sic], are in our opinion too operatic for the solemnity of the words. Mr. Duncan's adaptation to the Kyrie Eleison is not only free from these objections, but is all solemnity and plaintiveness, and abounds with beauty of melody, and harmonic combination. It is more in the style of the older Church composers than any production we have seen of late. We perceive that the tenor line, which Mr. Duncan in his former production placed in the double G cleff, is in this placed in the C cleff. Would it not be better to keep to one of these; as the pieces will probably find their way into the same volume and may puzzle the amateurs?

"COLONIAL PUBLICATIONS", The Colonial Observer (8 June 1842), 283

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226361268 

A second specimen of Mr. Duncan's musical taste has been ushered from the press - an adaptation from the German composer Graun to a portion of the Roman Catholic liturgy. It maintains, both in point of typography and scientific arrangement, the high character of its predecessor. We objected to the words of the latter as involving a doctrine, to which we cannot give our assent; we object to the present, as sanctioning an error in the practice of Christian worship, that of "prayers in an unknown tongue," to which practice we give our unqualified condemnation; but, apart from these religious considerations, and regarding both merely as essays in musical composition, we cordially award to the enterprise and musical talent of Mr. Duncan their deserved mead of praise.

[Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (9 June 1842), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31736168

SACRED MUSIC.
Just published, price 1s. 6d.,
KYRIE ELEISON, arranged from C. H. Graun, by W. A. Duncan.
"A beautiful largo movement in A minor, and so well adapted to the words that we know of no Kyrie for the Roman service in which the idea of supplication is so well maintained throughout. * * * It is all solemnity and plaintiveness, and abounds with beauty of melody and harmonic combination." - Herald.
"A second specimen of Mr. Duncan's musical taste has been ushered from the press; an adaptation from the German composer Graun to a portion of the Roman Catholic liturgy. It maintains, both in point of typography and scientific arrangement, the high character of its predecessor. * * * Regarding both merely as essays in musical composition, we cordially award to the enterprise and musical talent of Mr. Duncan their deserved meed of praise," - Observer.
*+* In the press, "Gloria in Excelsis Deo," from Mozart, with an easy compressed accompaniment. Also, a complete Vespers Service.
Chronicle Office, June 7.

[Review], The Australian (14 June 1842), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37116138 

KYRIE ELEISON, arranged for four voices, and Chorus, by W. A. Duncan; the Subject taken from the celebrated Graun, is a sublime and beautiful composition, quite in keeping with the religious simplicity of the words.

The KYRIE commences in A minor; 3/4 time, the bass gradually ascending from the tonic by regular intervals up to the dominant, with its major-seventh, the first phrase, concluding in a very imposing style with a pause on the last note of the third bar upon the third of the key, that is, the first derivative of the tonic with its inverted harmony of 6/3. The minor mode is continued with most plaintive effect by pleasing progressions of harmony to relieve the ear from monotony, until the twelfth bar, when the listener is suddenly roused and gratified by the unexpected introduction of a major-third to E in the bass, which now becomes the tonic by a judicious modulation in the two preceding bars. We particularly notice this classical introduction, because it is the true style of the ancients, who invariably finished their minor movements by falling from the dominant to the tonic with a major third. We cannot praise Mr. Duncan too highly for his musical science in handing down to us this classical richness of harmony, a progression almost unknown to some of our would-be composers. In the bar, at the beginning of the fourth page, we have A for the bass, accompanied with another major third, a perfect fifth, and diminished seventh, introducing B flat upon the word Christe, with a masterly hand. A similar treatment of harmony is given to B in the bass of the third bar, with equal good taste and judgement. The succeeding bars very judiciously and classically modulate into the key of C, with richness and religious grandeur, and after several pleasing progressions, inversions and scientific modulations, the melody finishes as it began, in A minor. We will only further remark that the Musical Society of Australia, capable of appreciating Mr. Duncan's Kvrie Eleison, must feel as we do, highly gratified by the simplicity and elegance of this production.



Duncan's review of James Johnson and Thomas Leggatt's oratorio (31 August 1842) and subsequent correspondence

[W. A. Duncan], "THE ORATORIO", Australasian Chronicle (1 September 1842), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31737044 

At last the immortal "Messiah" has been performed in Sydney. We are so rejoiced at this revival of our finest recollections of "harmony divine," that we are much inclined to forget our duty of critic and praise every thing in the performance. Glad we are to say, there was much to praise. Of the recitatives and arias, it is true, we can say but little, with the exception of "How beautiful are the feet," by Mr. Allen, and another by an amateur, both of which displayed taste and feeling. We could have said the same of "I know that my Redeemer liveth," by Mrs. Curtis, which was not devoid of proper feeling, but that, despite her most visible efforts, it was beyond her powers of execution. Neither of the Bushelles were in voice; Griffiths was drowned by the accompaniment, and Mrs. Wallace, feeling herself at home, said "He shall" and not "HE shall feed his flock, &c." Of the chorusses, which after all are every thing in this work, we can speak in terms of general commendation. A few of them were truly admirable, such as that very difficult one, "Great was the company of the preachers," the "Hallelujah," &c., and, the only one that could be said to be murdered was "Glory to God." There were also some strange mis-pronunciations, such as "giv-en" for giv'n. These we mention for correction next time, but we are bound to repeat that the chorusses were far beyond any expectation that could reasonably have been formed of them. Of the orchestra we can truly say the same. The overtures, excepting the opening movement in Handel's, were perfect, and the pastoral symphony was exquisite. The accompaniments with perhaps one exception, were likewise equal and good.

By the way we were sadly puzzled about the second overture . . . [text as below]

The attendance was very numerous and respectable, and although the expenses must be very heavy, we hope there will be a considerable balance for the benevolent asylum, for the benefit of which the oratorio was got up. We understand that the same body of musicians and amateurs intend shortly to get up "Haydn's Creation." Such exertions combined with such taste in selection deserve the support of every lover of music, and they shall have all that we can give them both publicly and in private.

"THE ORATORIO. To the Editor", The Australian (2 September 1842), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37114030 

SIR, - My attention has been called to an article in the AUSTRALASIAN CHRONICLE of this morning, purporting to he a critique upon the Oratorio performed at the Victoria Theatre last night, and in which the following passage occurs:

By the way we are sadly puzzled about the second overture, said in the Libretto to be "from Mozart's Requiem." We never heard of more than two Requiems by Mozart, neither of which has an Instrumental overture. The mystery vanished when we heard the tones of the Magic Flute. Now this kind of trick should not be practised upon the citizens, for by and bye, when they come to be better acquainted with these undying works, they will be tempted to hiss even the inspiration of Mozart himself, when palmed upon them thus. What would they say, for example, in London or Vienna to an announcement of "The overture from Mozart's Requiem?" Fie!

Now, Sir, to demonstrate that the Editor in this as in his other efforts pseudo criticism, has furnished a palpable illustration of the line in Pope: "And fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” I oppose direct matter of fact to what I will venture to call his presumptuous assertion, I say emphatically presumptuous, because any person possessing gentlemanly feeling, be he Editor of a newspaper, or whom he may, before charging a respectable body of men, or an individual, with imposition on the public, as the observations in the CHRONICLE clearly imply, should at least be satisfied, that his allegation was well founded. In what position then do I place the writer in that journal, either as a musical critic, or a lover of truth, when, in contradiction to his mere assertion, I can prove by the work itself, that Mozart did write "an instrumental Overture" to his Requiem; and in evidence of the fact, I have left a copy of the composition, to be seen by the curious in such matters during a fortnight from this date, at the office of the AUSTRALIAN, Bridge-street.

Under such circumstances, therefore, I trust I shall have saved the critic of the CHRONICLE a voyage to London or Vienna, in search of public opinion on "an announcement of the Overture from Mozart's Requiem;" and I leave the public to judge to whom the term "Fie" now more properly applies.

I presume that the writer in question intends to compliment the gentlemen who undertook the flute part in the Oratorio, when he states "the mystery vanished when we heard the tone of the magic flute;" for if in his erratic imagination he means it to be believed that the Overture of the Requiem was substituted by that of the Zauberfloto, I have only to offer the same unequivocal denial that I have already employed in refuting his other assertion.

I am, Sir, Your most obedient Servant,
THOMAS LEGGATT. Sydney, Sept. 1, 1842.

[W. A. Duncan], "THE ORATORIO", Australasian Chronicle (3 September 1842), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31737064 

We observe in the Herald and Australian of yesterday, a letter signed "Thomas Leggatt," in which that important personage returns our constant and merited praise of his abilities as a conductor, by calling us a "fool," a "pseudo critic," a person divested of "gentlemanly feeling," and we know not how many more pretty things, because in noticing the performances at the late oratorio, we denounced the trick practised upon the audience in producing an overture from a profane opera, and calling it the "Overture to Mozart's Requiem." We are afraid that, instead of mending the matter, Mr. Leggatt has made it worse by attempting after its detection to perpetuate the imposition. That which might have been tolerably, if not satisfactorily, explained by a "Deuce take the bungling printer of my Don Giovanni for having led me into such a scrape!" can now only be regarded as an impudent trick, and the whole merit of that trick, which might have been shared, without much damage, among an hundred fiddlers, now rests firmly on the brow of "Thomas Leggatt" . . .

The "position" in which Mr. Leggatt "places us" is one by which we are unwillingly compelled to show the public how he has for ever destroyed his reputation of a learned musician, and, what ought to be of more importance, how he has been guilty of bad faith with the public, first in deliberately imposing upon them an overture under a false name, and secondly in supporting one deception by another.

We take it as an axiom which no competent person will controvert, that no musician of this age can be said to be perfect in his art who has not studied the grand Requiem of Mozart. It is the true musician's idol, and is perhaps the greatest achievement that the human mind has ever accomplished. Now Mr. Leggatt either is, or is not, familiar with this sublime composition. If he is familiar with it he knows (what every musician of any pretension knows) that it begins with a choral fugue in D minor, with the words "Requiem aeternam dons eis Domine," and not with an "overture"; and if Mr. Leggatt is not familiar with it, what becomes of his pretensions as a musician? and by what right does he presume to tax us (who have given days and nights to the study of the Requiem) with "presumption," when we assert that the Requiem has no instrumental overture? In the face of Mr. Leggatt's assertion to the contrary, we again assert that Mozart never did write an instrumental overture to the Requiem; that consequently the piece left at the Australian office is only another edition of the same imposition which was practised at the oratorio; and we are ready to prove both these assertions by the production of two separate editions of the Requiem, together with the whole of Mozart's overtures, among which it will be easy for any person to discover the one abused by Mr. Leggatt, prefixed to the well known Don Giovanni, whose "requiem" is sometimes given on the London stage (though another imposition upon the composer) by a chorus of devils. What would be thought of a poet who finding upon a bookstall a copy of Byron's "Don Juan," having prefixed to it by mistake or design the title-page of the sacred rhymes of Brady and Tate, should proceed to quote "I want a hero, an uncommon want," &c., &c., as a paraphrase of the Psalms of David? The only apology left for Mr. Leggatt is, mutatis mutandis, to acknowledge this to be his position.

We trust we have said enough to teach Mr. Leggatt that it is wiser honestly to acknowledge an error than to support one untrue assertion by another, the last error being worse than the first.

And to prove that we can take the advice we give, we think it right to say that we made one mistake and one or two slight omissions in the critique alluded to. Trusting to memory, and equally familiar with both compositions, we gave the overture in question to the opera of the Zauberflote instead of Don Giovanni; and in noticing Mrs. Wallace's mistake in singing "He shall feed his flock," we ought to have mentioned that many of the old editions have that reading. In noticing, also, the inferiority of the solos generally, we should have remarked the very efficient services rendered by the solo singers in the choruses, which as well as the orchestra must have surprised and delighted every amateur in the audience. In all other respects we believe our critique to be strictly correct and just, although it may not, and never was intended to, satisfy those who, without possessing the rudiments of the art, thirst for supreme distinction in our musical world.



Duncan's review of The Sydney Corporation quadrilles by Frederick Ellard and subsequent correspondence

[W. A. Duncan], "NEW PUBLICATIONS", Australasian Chronicle (17 December 1842), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31738259

The Sydney Corporation Quadrilles. Dedicated to the Mayoress. By F. Ellard.

No great originality or depth of science is looked for in the composition of quadrilles, for the reason, we presume, that few, if any, real masters have ever condescended to devote their time to such trifles. Any combination and division of sounds which may give the time and enliven the steps of the party is considered, and perhaps justly, sufficient. In this view the "Corporation Quadrilles" will, we doubt not, serve their object, and give an additional interest to the Mayoress's Ball. Considered according to the rules of thorough bass and composition, they will not bear criticism. For example, in the very first line we have a C sharp pitched nakedly against a doubled C natural in the bass, and twice in the same page we have such a chord as 7 6 5 3 with the 7 doubled, and so distributed as to make altogether such a passage as we do not remember to have ever before met with. In page 2, we meet with some unpardonable progressions; but, as we have said, these pieces are but quadrilles, and we have no doubt they will be found to serve their purpose in this respect. The opening of No. 4, and the finale, (barring some portion of the harmony), are very effective movements.

"TO THE EDITOR", Australasian Chronicle (22 December 1842), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31738297

To the Editor of the Australasian Chronicle.
MR. EDITOR - You have been pleased to notice my set of quadrilles. I am very sorry some of the distributions of harmony do not meet with your approbation. Allow me in justice to myself to remark, I have examples from the most eminent authors; the egregious blunder in the printing of the 4th bar, 2nd page, I have rectified; but also allow me to say, the chord of 7 6 5 3 (which by the bye is not the chord, the appogiatura B being called an interval) must remain as a reminiscence of beauty, to be met with over and over again in the splendid and scientific opera of Oberon. -
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
FREDERICK ELLARD.

[If we have any qualms of conscience in regard to our criticisms, it is on the ground of their being generally too favourable. This is peculiarly the case with respect to our notice of Mr. Ellard's quadrilles. "The appogiatura B," which Mr. Ellard says is "called an interval," is no appogiatura at all, and, as Mr. Ellard truly says, "as not the chord," nor anything at all like a chord. It is true that in the overture to Oberon several passages occur very like Mr. Ellard's to the unskilful eye, but they are vastly different when put into figures, and sound very unlike to the ear. Mr. Ellard maybe assured that he is not a Weber, and that none but a Weber can safely imitate the flights which characterise "the splendid and scientific opera of Oberon." - ED.]



Gregorian requiem mass for Ferdinand Philippe, duke of Orleans, St. Mary's cathedral, Sydney

"THE LATE DUKE OF ORLEANS", Australasian Chronicle (13 December 1842), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31738194

YESTERDAY a solemn High Mass, pro defunctis, was celebrated in the Cathedral of Sydney, at the request of the French Consul and the Captain of the French corvette L'Embuscade, for his Royal Highness the late Duke of Orleans . . . At ten o'clock yesterday, the Office for the Dead and High Mass commenced. A catafalque was erected at the western end of the nave of the Cathedral, around which were placed the officiating clergy and the officers and crew of the Embuscade. The High Priest was the Rev. Mr. Coffey, assisted by the Rev. Mr Kenny, as Deacon, and the Rev. Mr. Grant, as Sub Deacon. There were also present the Rev. Messrs. Macencroe, Brennan, and Fitzpatrick, with acolytes, thurifers, &c.. In the choir the solemn Gregorian Missa pro defunctis was beautifully chaunted by the Very Rev. Vicar-General Murphy, as cantor, assisted by the Rev. Mr. Magennis, Mr. Duncan, and Mrs. Curtis, and a select choir, and accompanied on the organ by Mr. Worgan. The "Requiem," "Kyrie eleison," " Dies irae," "Sanctus," "O Salutaris," "Agnus Dei," together with the preface, pater noster, and the versicles and responses followed in succession, and the whole service, which is of the most solemn and deeply religious character, produced a marked effect upon the assembly, among whom were observed the greater portion of the foreign residents in Sydney, together with numbers of our own countrymen, some of whom had known his late Royal Highness in his early years, and who were led by former recollections to perform this last act of Christian charity in his behalf. At the conclusion of Mass the choir chaunted the psalm "De profundis," while the clergy, accompanied by the officers of the Embuscade, again proceeded from the high altar to the catafalque to perform the ablutions, with which the solemnity concluded . . .



Australia the wide and the free; words by W. A. Duncan, music by Isaac Nathan, December 1842

Australia the wide and the free (1842/43)

Australia the wide and the free! a national song, written by W. A. Duncan, esq're, as sung at the great civic dinner, December 21st 1842, composed and respectfully inscribed to the Right Worshipful John Hosking, mayor of Sydney, by I. Nathan (Sydney: Published by the composer, [1842])

https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/19361000 (DIGITISED)


[W. A. Duncan], "THE MAYOR'S DINNER", Australasian Chronicle (22 December 1842), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31738318 

Yesterday evening the Right Worshipful the Mayor, John Hosking, Esq., gave a splendid dinner in the saloon of the Royal Hotel . . . The band of the 80th regiment was in attendance, and played, several appropriate pieces during dinner. The company, consisting of 349 gentlemen sat down to dinner about eight o'clock, the band playing "The Roast Beef of Old England." Amongst the gentlemen present we observed his excellency the Governor in his vice-regal uniform . . .

. . . a number of appropriate toasts were drunk and several songs were sung, among the rest the following new song, composed expressly for the occasion, on the city and corporation of Sydney, was sung by Mr Nathan, and received with very great applause -

A song for Australia, the wide and the free . . . [gives full text as below]

"CORPORATION SONG", The Sydney Morning Herald (22 December 1842), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12412345 

WE have been favoured with a copy of the following song, the words by Mr. W. A. Duncan, and the music by Mr. Nathan, which we understand will be published in a few days, when we shall give a more lengthened notice of it.

AUSTRALIA THE WIDE AND THE FREE.

A SONG for Australia - the wide and the free
Will I sing, while the cup passes round;
May her sons long be loyal and happy as we,
And her daughters, the fairest, be crowned.

I sing not of wars, for our fields are unstained
With the blood of our patriot men;
'Tis in peace, and by commerce our honours were gained;
Which in peace or by war we'll maintain.

We boast not indeed of antiquity's badge,
Nor our ancestral deeds loud proclaim;
But of cities and empires, in history's page -
Can the founders be buried to fame.

Hail City of Sydney! of cities the Queen, The youngest, the fairest, the best! Be thy Mayor and thy Councillors true (as they've been); Thy Citizens virtuous and blest!

"THE MAYOR'S BANQUET", The Australian (23 December 1842), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37118118 

The following song, said to be written for the occasion, by Mr. W. A. Duncan, and the music by Mr. Nathan, was sung by the latter gentleman, towards the close of the festivity. -
AUSTRALIA THE WIDE AND THE FREE . . .

"THE CIVIC SONG", The Australian (2 January 1843), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37114961 

We have to acknowledge Nathan's "Australia the wide and the free." The words by W. A. Duncan, Esq., are appropriate, and the music evinces the skill and taste of the composer.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 January 1843), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12417181 

THIS DAY is published for the composer, Elizabeth-street South,
THE ABORIGINAL FATHER, A NATIVE MELODY; Inscribed to the MAYORESS.
Poetess, Mrs. Dunlop. Composer, J. Nathan.
ALSO,
AUSTRALIA the WIDE and the FREE, A NATIONAL MELODY;
Inscribed to JOHN HOSKINS, Esq., the Right Worshipful Mayor of Sydney.
Poet. W.A. Duncan, Esq. Composer, J. Nathan.



Duncan's removal, on 22 February 1843, as editor of the Chronicle, by Francis Murphy and John McEncroe and his appeal to John Bede Polding

"AUSTRALASIAN CHRONICLE", The Australian (24 February 1843), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37113175 

A change has taken place in the Editorial department of this paper, Mr. W. A. Duncan, who has had it under his direction since it started, having retired, in consequence of a communication from the Vicar-General of the Catholic church, censuring the bitter polemical and political spirit, in which that paper has of late been conducted, and which has tended to create discussions amongst the Catholic body, subversive to the interests of that church. We refrain from offering any opinion on the subject, but cannot refuse to acknowledge the great ability, by which Mr. Duncan's editorial labours have been marked.

An appeal from the unjust decision of the Very Rev. Vicar General Murphy to His Grace the Archbishop of Sydney by W. A. Duncan (Sydney: Printed by Daniel Lovett Welch, 1843)

https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/26833190 (DIGITISED)

TO HIS GRACE THE ARCHBISHOP OF SYDNEY. Sydney, March, 1843. My Dear Lord Archbishop, After four years incessant and not ineffectual labour in the cause of religion and good order in this colony, I have been ejected by brute force, at the command of your Vicargeneral, general, from the office of Editor of the "Australasian Chronicle," to which I was nominated by your Grace in 1839. In doing this, Mr. Murphy has publicly loaded me with the epithets of "Firebrand," "Sower of Dissension," "Dictator in Politics and Polemics," "Paid Employee," and other offensive terms, in return for my exact compliance, to the best of my judgment, with the duties imposed upon me, and with your Grace's written instructions, transmitted to me from time to time from England . . .

. . . In all the efforts I have made in behalf of religion, by publishing pamphlets, catechisms, prayer-books, a directory, sacred music, &​c., by which efforts I have wasted my slender means, and involved myself in difficulties, I can say most truly that Mr. Murphy has not only not patronized me, but has invariably thrown cold water, if not something worse, on every good work of the kind. Nor has that opposition to every thing good been restricted to my efforts . . .

. . . On the morning of the 22nd February, I proceeded to my office as usual, when I was prevented from entering by two hired ruffians, and I found that my overseer (who refused to be a party to this violence) was discharged - my room, where all my private papers lay, broken into - and my letter box broken open and emptied of whatever it may have contained. I regret to add that the Rev. John McEncroe was found installed in the chair thus violently and illegally wrested from me, and that he introduced himself to his readers next morning with the following letter which I then saw for the first time, but which had evidently been the real cause of all this scandal and outrage . . .



"SYDNEY (FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT) . . . THE PRESS", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser [Maitland, NSW] (27 May 1843), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article660428 

Several small periodicals have lately been started in Sydney. One of these, the "Tatler," a concern about the size of half a sheet of letter paper folded, comes out daily, and is devoted solely to the publication of theatrical critiques. The "John Bull" and the "Sun," are Saturday publications, and although small in size are very tolerably conducted. There is also the "Squib" and the "Billy Barlow," both of which are little nondescript useless things, consisting of a collection of the most unmeaning trash, crammed into about six square inches of paper, and printed most vilely. These publications, however, are all of a kind which seldom prove long lived, and in the present depressed times, when even the old sterling journals of the colony can scarcely keep themselves afloat, it is surprising how they have existed even so long as they have. Preparations are on foot, however, for establishing a paper of a far better description than these, under the management of Mr. W. A. Duncan, the late editor of the Australasian Chronicle, which, from what I can learn, will probably be a weekly paper, advocating the interests of the working classes of the community.

"SYDNEY NEWS", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (10 June 1843), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article660654 

Mr. W. A. Duncan, late editor of the Australasian Chronicle, has published a prospectus of a new newspaper, to be called, "The Sydney Review and Weekly True Chronicle." In his prospectus Mr. Duncan states that having been before the public for the last twelve years as a writer, four of which have been spent in New South Wales, his politics must be generally known. He further adds, "There is, however, one important feature of difference between the plan of the proposed journal and that of the one recently under my direction. That publication was originally intended to be the organ of the Catholic division of the community, and a considerable portion of its columns were accordingly devoted to the affairs of that body. The Sydney Review will, on the contrary, disclaim the special patronage of any particular section into which the community is divided, and will aspire to watch over and promote the interests which are common to all. It will not, therefore, in any sense, be a religious journal, except as far as regards a strict adherence to Christian morality, and the maintenance of perfect religious liberty to all." The paper is to be conducted upon the plan of the best London weekly papers, and is to be published every Saturday evening; each number will contain twelve closely printed pages, and the first number will be published as soon as one thousand subscribers shall have been obtained. We are glad to see that Mr. Duncan is about to take his true position, as the champion of liberal opinions in the colony, unconnected with any particular portion of the community; and we earnestly wish him the success to which his talents and independence as a public writer so justly entitle him.

"PROSPECTUS OF THE SYDNEY REVIEW, AND WEEKLY TRUE CHRONICLE", The Colonial Observer (12 July 1843), 1155

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226466336 


First issue (29 July 1843) of Duncan's The Weekly Register

[Advertisement], The Weekly Register of Politics, Facts and General Literature (29 July 1843), 11

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article228135738

PROSPECTUS of the WEEKLY REGISTER, of Politics, Facts, and General Literature . . .

[Editorial], The Weekly Register of Politics, Facts and General Literature (29 July 1843), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page22335797 


"MUSICAL REGISTER", The Weekly Register of Politics, Facts and General Literature (14 October 1843), 171

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article228135147 

"MUSICAL REGISTER", The Weekly Register of Politics, Facts and General Literature (21 October 1843), 196

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article228134530 

"MUSICAL REGISTER", The Weekly Register of Politics, Facts and General Literature (1 June 1844), 619

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article228134109 



"THE SYDNEY PRESS", The Melbourne Courier (17 December 1844), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226363493 

We observe it stated in the Sydney Weekly Register that the Editor of that journal (Mr. W. A. Duncan) is "on the eve of his final retirement from the periodical press." We hope Mr. Duncan retires merely to enter upon a good fat post under Government. Certes his services to Sir George Gipp's administration deserves some reward of the kind.


[Advertisement], The Weekly Register of Politics, Facts and General Literature (4 January 1845), 12

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article228135201 

ANCIENT AND MODERN LITERATURE. ON SALE at the publishing office of Duncan's Weekly Register, King-street, a choice and extensive collection of BOOKS, comprising the principal classical works in the English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Latin, and Greek Languages. This collection contains some rare and valuable editions, which are usually to be met with only in the libraries of the curious.


"DEPARTURES", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 June 1846), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12887693 

June 8.- Tamar, steamer, Captain Allen, for Moreton Bay. Passengers - Mr. and Mrs. Duncan, two children, and servant . . .

Brisbane, QLD (13 June 1846 to 5 May 1859)

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Moreton Bay Courier (20 June 1846), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3710378 

13. Tamar, steamer, Allen, from Sydney. Passengers . . . Mr. and Mrs. Duncan and two children . . .

"CUSTOMS", The Moreton Bay Courier [Brisbane, QLD] (20 June 1846), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3710380 

THE Sub-Collector of Customs for this port, W. A. Duncan, Esq., well-known from his long connection with the Sydney press, arrived by the Tamar on Saturday last . . .


"MORETON BAY AMATEUR MUSICAL SOCIETY", The Moreton Bay Courier (24 May 1851), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3709379

A meeting of the friends and promoters of this Society was held in the Court House on Thursday evening last, for the appointment of officers, when the following gentlemen were unanimously chosen to fill the respective offices named, viz.:
President, Mr. W. A. Duncan; Vice-President, Dr. J. M. Swift; Treasurer, Mr. W. A. Brown; Secretary, Mr. R. A. Stace.
Committee - Dr. Cannan, Dr. Barton, and Messrs. J. S. Beach, J. S. Landridge, H. Watson, D. Skyring, A. Eldridge, and W. Carter.
On the motion of Mr. Buckley, seconded by Dr. Swift, it was resolved that the books of rules should be sold at sixpence each. A Committee meeting was subsequently held, for the purpose of appointing a Musical Conductor, in accordance with the eighth rule, when Mr. R. A. Stace was unanimously elected to the office. The first meeting for practice was fixed for Tuesday next, the 27th instant.


"A CHORAL SOCIETY", The Moreton Bay Courier (1 January 1859), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3724794

By reference to our advertising columns it will be seen, that an attempt is about to be made to form a choral society. The Rev. Mr. Mosely, who was very fortunate in improving the taste of the Ipswich people for sacred music, and very successful in improving the choir of the church at which he officiated, and who has also, since his residence amongst us, improved the choir at the English Church, is one of the originators of the idea. W. A. Duncan, Esq., is also one of the proposers of the undertaking; he being a lover of music, and a believer in its capabilities to elevate, instruct, and amuse the people, has lent his aid to bring the class into existence. The meeting at the School of Arts will test the appreciation of the public for the endeavors of these two gentlemen; and there can be no doubt that the object sought will be attained by the unanimous desire of all lovers of melody. The Committee of the School of Arts have voted the use of the Hall gratuitously, one night weekly, to promote the laudable object.


[Editorial], The Moreton Bay Courier, The Moreton Bay Courier (4 May 1859), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3716883 

W. A. DUNCAN, Esq., a gentleman whom all will respect for the interest he has taken in the advancement of the welfare of Brisbane, is about to leave us, having been appointed head of the Customs Department in Sydney. Having opposed Mr. DUNCAN in some things, it is but meet for us to express the high respect in which that gentleman has been held in his private capacity, and how he has lived so long amongst us as to win esteem. For Mr. DUNCAN'S private character, for the labor he bestowed in bringing the School of Arts up to its present state, we have the highest respect. Against our respected townsman we have no private animosity . . .

Sydney, NSW (7 May 1859 to 25 June 1885)

"ARRIVALS", The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List (16 May 1859), 78

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article161171860 

May 7 . . . Clarence (p.), 200 tons, Captain Paddle, from Moreton Bay 5th instant. Passengers . . . Mr. W. A. Duncan . . .

Obituaries

"Death of Mr. W. A. Duncan", Evening News (25 June 1885), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article111013582 

It is with regret that we announce the death of Mr. William Augustine Duncan, in his residence, Petersham. Mr. Duncan had been ailing for some time, and several weeks ago he was reported to be dangerously ill. He was born In Aberdeenshire in 1811, and, having shown from infancy a love of books, which increased with his years, he was designed by his parents for the ministry of the National Kirk, with which view he received a good classical and mathematical education, to which he afterward added a knowledge of the French, Italian, Spanish, and German languages. A long and severe illness, supervening the intelligence of the death of his father, interrupted his regular course of study, but he diverted his mind to more serious matters. He became absorbed in theology. This necessarily led to a study of religious controversy, which resulted in his embracing the Roman Catholic faith. He was accepted as a student in the Scots' Benedictine College, Ratisbon; but having been induced to exchange for the new college in Blairs, Kincardineshire, and having there incurred the anger of the authorities by a critique on a sermon, he renounced his ecclesiastical vocation. Shortly afterward Mr. Duncan married, and after a visit to Ireland, and having formed a connection with several London publishers, he began the business of a publisher and bookseller in Aberdeen. He produced very accurate editions of several standard works; but after struggling for about five years, he found it expedient to wind up the concern, and he came out of it a little poorer than when he began. After this he devoted himself to teaching, and to writing for the Press, with some degree of success. He took an active part in the advocacy of the Reform Bill of 1832, and of Lord Stanley's new system of education introduced into Ireland. Mr. Duncan studied this system, and liked it greatly. He ascertained that it had been introduced into New South Wales by Sir Richard Bourke. It occurred to him that this opened a field of usefulness which was not to be despised. He quickly made up his mind, and, having procured the necessary certificates in the Colonial Office, he took his departure, for Sydney in July, 1838.

In 1839 a joint stock company was formed in Sydney, for the purpose of establishing a newspaper, which was to be the organ of the Roman Catholic party. Mr. Duncan was appointed trustee and editor of the paper, the AUSTRALIAN [sic] CHRONICLE, and conducted it tor three or four years with a degree of ability which has never been disputed. In 1843 Mr. Duncan started a weekly paper of his own, the WEEKLY REGISTER. This was partly political and literary, and was read by almost everybody of note in the colony. In 1846 Mr. Duncan was appointed by Sir George Gipps, Sub-Collector of Customs at Moreton Bay, and shortly after his settlement in Brisbane was placed in the Commission of the Peace, appointed Water Police Magistrate, Guardian of Minors, and local Immigration Commissioner. On his return to Sydney, in May 1859, after thirteen years' absence, he was offered the chairmanship of the National Board of Education, then vacant by the removal of the late Mr. Plunkett. This he refused, as he disapproved of Mr. Plunket's removal; but when, shortly afterward, Mr. Forster took office he accepted from him an ordinary seat at the Board, of which he remained an active member to its dissolution. On the retirement of Mr. Fairfax from the Council of Education he was offered the vacant position, which he accepted. He was appointed Collector of Customs at Sydney in January, 1859, but retired from that post some years ago.

"DEATH of Mr. W. A. DUNCAN, C.M.G.", The Sydney Morning Herald (26 June 1885), 7

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13591696 

Mr. William Augustine Duncan, C.M.G., who had been a sufferer for some years past from an illness of a severe nature, breathed his last at his residence, Hazeldean, the Boulevard, Petersham, shortly before 8 o'clock yesterday morning. The deceased gentleman was for many years connected with the public service of this colony, was the possessor of literary abilities of a high degree, had consistently espoused liberal views of a thorough character, had always been known for unimpeachable integrity, and had gained a certain amount of reputation for musical tastes.

Mr. Duncan was a native of Aberdeenshire, was born in the year 1811; and was in his 75th year. He had received an education of an exceedingly liberal character, and was able to read some seven or eight languages. His early training was intended to qualify him for the ministry of the National Kirk, and his mind having been directed to the study of religious controversy, the result was that be adopted the Roman Catholic faith. He seems to have then entered upon a collegiate career, with a view to becoming a clergyman of the new Church which he had joined, but apparently was induced subsequently to abandon the intention. At a later period he commenced the business of a publisher and bookseller in Aberdeen. The business, however, did not prove prosperous, and he next turned his attention to teaching and to writing for the press. He was an earnest advocate of the Reform Bill of 1832, and of Lord Stanley's system of education, which was then introduced into Ireland.

Mr. Duncan next turned his attention to New South Wales, and arrived in Sydney towards the close of the year 1838. He established a business as bookseller and publisher, and a few months after his arrival was appointed trustee and editor of a Roman Catholic paper published three times a week, and called the Australasian Chronicle. The deceased gentleman with marked ability conducted that paper for about four years. and on relinquishing the editorship of it launched, on his own account, another paper, called the Weekly Register, and the features of which were its political and literary contents. Mr. Duncan took a very decided part in opposing the Squatting party of that day, who strongly disapproved of the policy of the Government of Sir George Gipps.

On the 14th May, 1846, Mr. Duncan accepted the appointment of Sub-collector of Customs at Moreton Bay, which was then part of the territory of New South Wales. A little later he was placed on the Commission of the Peace, to which honour were added others of a responsible character. On the 29th April, 1859, he succeeded as Collector of Customs for New South Wales the late Colonel Gibbes, and with one or two breaks, due to illness and other causes, continued to fill that office until July 31, 1881, when failing health necessitated his retirement. The deceased gentleman was for some time a member of the National Board of Education, and after the dissolution of that body, and on the retirement of the late Mr. John Fairfax from the Council of Education, he accepted the vacancy thus created. He was a trustee of the Free Public Library for a considerable time, and at the death of Dr. Badham was chosen as his successor to the chair. Mr. Duncan had received from the Queen the distinction of C.M.G., in recognition of services he had rendered the colony, and at the time of his demise was enjoying a pension from the Government of this colony.

In his public career he was well known for the exercise of singular independence, for the pains he took to protect the revenue, and for thorough uprightness of conduct; and in private life the many estimable qualities which he manifested were highly appreciated. He was the author of a number of pamphlets relating to education and other subjects, and, it is understood, has left in manuscript some annals of the colony extending down to the time of the government of Sir George Gipps. He had also brought together a most extensive collection of books, which embraces many antique and other curious works. It is understood that the funeral will take place on Saturday morning, and will move from St. Mary's Cathedral between the hours of 9 and 10 o'clock.

"DEATH OF W, A. DUNCAN, C.M.G.", Freeman's Journal (27 June 1885), 14

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115467504 

On Thursday morning the venerable and accomplished gentleman who for the past thirty years or more has held, by common consent, an honourable position as our leading Catholic layman, died peacefully at his residence, Boarevan, Petersham, the last days of his good, earnest, and blameless life being sweetened by the consolations of the Church of which he was so devoted a son and so consistent a champion. With the departure, of Mr. Duncan we lose another of the grand old school of cultured public men, so few of whom are now left, and whose lives and services, whose genius and whose sacrifices, are part of our national history. We are not alone in our mourning to-day, for Mr. Duncan was for nearly half a century a stately figure in our public life, and a bright example to the whole colony of perfect candour and unimpeachable honour, and we have all good cause to grieve the loss of one whose name is linked in association with the treasured memories of Wentworth, Polding, Plunkett, Deniehy, McEncroe, Butler, and Bland. For nearly a year Mr. Duncan had been in failing health, and amidst the prayers of hundreds of friends in the Church and in the world for the crowning consolation of a Christian life and the final spiritual grace of a happy death, he who was so well prepared and so willing to die breathed his last in peace and blessedness. His was a career of marvellous vigour, of constant action, and of vast and strangely varied experiences, and yet, though that strong brain preserved its clearness and quickness to the last, and the brave, honest heart beat with the old impulse till the hour of dissolution, his end was marked by a serene tranquillity and that perfect peace which belong alone to the just and true, and indeed it may be reverently said that nothing in life so well became him as the leaving of it. Death came not as "a thief in the darkness," but as an angel of brightness with a welcome message; and amidst tender and beautiful surroundings which fittingly blended with the sunset of a life blessed by the accompaniments of old age, love, honour, obedience, troops of friends, the immortal part of William Augustine Duncan passed into "the world of white souls," leaving us the fragrant memory of rare virtues and the example of his sterling goodness of character. With the devoted attention of the members of his family, and the ministrations of Pere Garavel, Father Patterson, and the Sisters of Charity, the good old gentleman's long illness was robbed of all bitterness; and after suffering with patient resignation he died in a gentle sleep, "drifting on through slumber to a dream, and through a dream to death." The funeral leaves St. Mary's Cathedral, after Requiem Mass, at 10 this (Saturday) morning.

William Augustine Duncan was born in the county of Aberdeen, in the year 1811. His parents intended him for the ministry of the Kirk, he having given early indications of a literary turn of mind. He soon became a fair classical scholar, a tolerable linguist, and an excellent mathematician. During a long illness, which was partially caused by the shock occasioned him by the news of his father's death, he reconsidered his religious views, and, after a diligent course of reading became a Catholic. He was then only in his 16th year. On his recovery he entered himself as a student at the celebrated Scots Benedictine College at Regensburg (Ratisbon), the fine old Bavarian city on the Danube, where the 12th century Byzantine Church of St. James of Scotland, is still an historic feature. Shortly after completing his education he married Miss Yates, a young lady of a highly respectable family in the North of Scotland, with whom he got some fortune. After a brief visit to Ireland, he settled down in the granite city, the capital of his native county, as a publisher and bookseller; but the energy and ability, which it was generally acknowledged he displayed during five weary years in that business, were fruitless in a financial sense. Forced to give up publishing, he took to teaching as well as writing for the Press, as means of livelihood, and did fairly well. From the time he left college he interested himself in all political movements. In 1832, when only one and twenty, he evidenced the inherent Liberalism of his nature by his enthusiastic advocacy of the Reform Bill.

In 1838, happening to meet in London the Reverend Dr. Ullathorne, then Vicar-General of New Holland, and now Bishop of Birmingham, he conceived that New South Wales might become a favourable field for his energies; so, with his wife and household gods, he sailed from the old country for Sydney in July, 1838, just six months after the arrival out here of Governor Gipps, the shrewd and far-seeing pro-consul with whom it was destined he should have such close relations in the arena of political action. The years from '38 to '46 - the period of Gipps's tenure of power - were years of seething political agitation. The territorial squattocratic party did their bitter best to obstruct Liberal movement, at the head of which (to a certain extent) the Governor had placed himself. The Constitutional party, headed by Wentworth, was in reality split into two, the Conservative section desiring parliamentary institutions, yet not wishing that they should be based on popular rights; the Liberal section anxious for manhood suffrage, the ballot in a word, for government actually responsible to the people. Duncan was soon in the thick of the fray.

In 1839 he became editor of the AUSTRALASIAN CHRONICLE, the Roman Catholic organ, and for about four years he conducted that journal with an ability and fearlessness never surpassed in the newspaper history of this colony. He fought the battle of municipalise and won it, gaining thereby deservedly the name of "The Father of Municipal Government." And the battle was a hard one, the "pure merinos" doing their best to block progress. The Governor sided with the popular party, and the victory was all along the line, thanks mainly to the exertions of Mr. Duncan and Sir John Jamieson in resolutely combating the clauses which the exclusives had proposed with a view to disqualifying the "emancipists," as well as triumphantly exposing the false statements which the Wentworth party had disseminated to the effect that the industrial classes were averse to the introduction of the municipal system. Mr. Duncan, moreover, fought hard and with success for the reform of the Insolvency Laws, as also of certain gross abuses in connection with the Civil List of that time (1843). He showed that while the population of the United Canadas amounted to one million and the Civil List reserved for the Crown amounted to only £75,000, that in New South Wales, the population of which was less than one-tenth of that of the Canadas, the Civil List was larger, viz., £81,000. He also attacked the scandalous class immigration system of the day, under which the Immigration Committee indulged in the most flagrant sectarianism.

In 1843, Mr. Duncan started the WEEKLY REGISTER on his own account. It was a literary as well as a political journal, and from the very first it was a power in the land. With it he may be fairly said to have done what Disraeli did, educated a party - the party that after the decease of the REGISTER - it was not a financial success - stormed the ramparts of Conservative obstruction and won responsible Government for New South Wales. Duncan's Weekly Register of politics, facts, and general literature reached only its 127th number (1845), but its pages, which constituted a literal arsenal of Liberal weapons, will still repay perusal for their high literary excellence. The period of its existence was one of intense commercial depression; yet, though the bad times ruined it as a speculation, to the healthy politico-economical lessons it systematically advanced must be credited much of the healthy reaction which refreshed the colony under the regime of Fitzroy. Mr. Duncan was moreover a consistent advocate for justice to Port Phillip. Justice, however, was denied to that district with the result (that so grieves Sir John Robertson), a separate Victoria. During the period in which he brought out the WEEKLY REGISTER Mr. Duncan engaged in a controversial pamphlet war (1843). Dr. Broughton had protested against the Metropolitan and Episcopal jurisdiction of his Grace Archbishop Polding. In published pamphlet form, Mr. Duncan answered with his accustomed learning and ability, and the protest fell to the ground. In 1844, he published an ably written pamphlet recommending self-supporting agricultural working unions for the labouring classes, but the good seed fell on stony ground. In the Education struggle of 1844 Duncan went for the Stanley system unqualified; but the party he backed was only partially successful, the Wentworthites managing to secure by 13 votes to 12 certain modifications of that policy. In the agrarian contest, he was naturally opposed to monopoly he recognized the selfishness of the squattocratic party, clearly seeing that Representative Government in their hands must inevitably mean a grinding territorialism; and he was convinced that the Governor, if wrong in some of his methods of administration, was absolutely right in the firm stand which he so loyally took up against the exclusive aristocratic section of the community. Ere it died, the REGISTER had put in more than one good word for railway connection; so that, it may fairly be said that during his seven years' journalistic career, William Augustine Duncan was a pioneer in every one of those great movements which were destined to transform Botany Bay into a great and prosperous colony.

In May, 1846, Mr. Duncan was appointed Sub-Collector of Customs at Moreton Bay. Here (at Brisbane) in that capacity he lived, universally respected, for 13 years. In addition to the duties of his Collectorship he discharged those of Water Police Magistrate, Guardian of Minors, and Immigration Agent. Never was there a prompter or quieter official. He found time in his leisure hours for study, the fruit whereof he gladly distributed amongst his fellows. His celebrated "Icolmkille" addressed to this journal, were written whilst he was at Brisbane; so also was his "Plea for the New South Wales Constitution" (1856), an admirably composed pamphlet in favour of our present system of Responsible Government. He also found time to occasionally lecture in Brisbane, one of his most effective addresses being that which in 1850 he delivered on his favourite subject, National Education on the Stanley lines.

In May, 1859, he was promoted by the Cowper Cabinet to the Collectorship of Customs, Sydney. During the Ministry of Mr. Forster he, however, consented to accept a seat at the National Education Board. Some years afterwards he succeeded the late John Fairfax on the Council of Education. In 1868 occurred the sensational event of his career, his quarrel with the Treasurer. The "sensation" came about in this way. An importer entered at the Custom House one case of goods stated to consist of millinery, and declared for ad valorem duty at £30. Mr. Duncan having reason to suspect that the declared value was considerably under the real value, gave directions for the detention of the package, and upon a partial examination, felt certain that the goods were undervalued. A correspondence ensued 'twixt Treasurer and Collector; and the former interpreting certain expressions of the latter as insubordinate, suspended him. Duncan apologized for having used words liable to the interpretation Eagar had placed upon them, and Parkes, as also Martin, thought the apology sufficient. But the Treasurer was inexorable. If the Cabinet wouldn't agree to dismiss Duncan, he wouldn't remain in it. Duncan was, suspended, but Mr. John Robertson, who succeeded to power, almost immediately reinstated Duncan in the Collectorship, which he held with honour and the full confidence of the public until his superannuation in August 1881.

In 1874, Mr. Duncan published from the Spanish, with interesting introductory notes, an account of a memorial presented to her Majesty (of Spain tempo 1610) by Captain Pedro Fernandez de Quir [Quiros], concerning the population and discovery of the fourth part of the world, Australia the Unknown. From the time of his superannuation in 1881, Mr. Duncan led a life of dignified retirement, his only public functions being those of a Trustee of the Free Public Library, which he regularly discharged. He had formerly held the position of an Official Trustee of the Australian Museum; but he resigned it some year or so back. Some moths ago it was rumoured that the Government intended to nominate Mr. Dun-[15]-can to the Upper House, and the appointment would undoubtedly have been popular, but his failing health would not allow of it.

Probably no Australian ever lived a more consistently useful life than William Augustine Duncan. Essentially he was a good man: whether as active citizen "devising liberal things;" or as faithful official with a single eye to the State's best interests; or as sincere Christian, truthful, loving, simple, ever rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. We understand he has left a large and valuable library, including some exceedingly rare books which could hardly be obtained at any price even in London.




Other sources

"THE DESCRIPTION OF MY MUSICAL LIBRARY. A Doggrel", Australasian Chronicle (21 May 1842), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31735999

Two volumes of Cramer, his Studies I mean,
And two of Bach's fugues placed in between
Handel's great writings, on which I so dote,
Take up the top shelf, with some of less note.
The operas of Weber, of Mozart, and Gluck,
Interspersed here and there with Arnold and Cooke;
Both the Doctor and Thomas, of course I would say,
My second shelf grace with their bindings so gay.
And as to my third, there are Haydn and Locke,
With Winter and Hummel, both excellent stock;
Then a Bishop, and King, indeed I'm not gaming,
With a Clarke at their sides to give out his Amen.
Abel and Adam the next place then claim,
With a Barnet and Benedict of enviable fame;
Next follow Rossini and Jean Jacques Rousseau,
And strangely to say, there's a Blewitt and Blow;
Now a Shepherd and Lamb, nothing but fair,
Are found next adjoining a Bull and a Meyer;
Two gentlemen then our remembrance will greet--
One of them's Smart, the other is Neate;
Now Dibdin, Novello, and Nathan, and Hobbs,
O'er Burghersh and Ransford, two musical snobs,
So gloriously shine--whilst my lord, in dull gloom,
With the other lays buried in Capulet's tomb.
I've a Field, I've a Hill, a Brook, and A. Lee,
And a Marsh, put together promiscuously.
Here's the Regicide Lucas, and go a bit further,
You'll see straight before you the great Albretschberger.
All the Hertz I may get are bound up with Lizst,
Who, just like their music, do lie in a mist;
Meyerbeer, Marschner, Moscheles, Tartini,
McMurdie, McFarren, Mazzinghi, Martini,
With Farrant and Morley, and Dowland and Tye,
At the end of this shelf in security lie;
Palestrina, Jomelli, and Clari, of yore,
Pergolesi and Leo, with a great many more,
In the Fitzwilliam music together are met;
A work by Novello arranged and reset,
Straight above them (and this will now end the fourth shelf)
Spohr, with his operas, rests by himself.
A Horn, and a Hook, and a Shield you will find,
With Atterbury, Attwood, and Hatton combined;
Ireland and Scotland--rather strange, 'tis confessed--
Enjoy here the Union, in morocco well dressed;
But funnier still will you say is the sight
That at once joins together Blacke, Brown, Greene, and White.
Thus the sixth shelf we reach, and here do well stand
The works of our Purcell, our Henry, so grand;
And close at his heels, though later in story,
Beethoven's Fidelio rests in its glory.
And now we've a Wilbye, a Bennett, and Bird,
A Tallis and Gibbons, of the one and same herd;
And downwards progressing we're caught by a Webbe,
A Linley, Storace, and Arne, all now fled;
If thus we proceed, the songs of a Lover
Will follow, well clothed in a handsome blue cover.
Of organists, too, some works I possess,
Goss, Walmisley, and Adams, and Turle, you can guess;
Nor Jolley, nor Nixon, nor Gauntlett, here fail,
And see there two Coopers attending a Sale.
Over Weekes and a Day, o'er the Seasons, in fine,
We eagerly skim in a very brief time;
Of Perry and Porter a draught you may take,
And yet no one rule of sobriety break;
With a Last and a Hall, a Schu-man is here;
But your patience and kindness I'm tiring, I fear.
A Taylor, a Smith, and a Potter, with glee,
Are joined now with Elliott, as wise as the Bee.
In the corner are Schubert and Auber, and now
Follow Rodwell and Balfe, and a score more, I vow;
Stevens and Stevenson, Day and Hawes,
Jackson, Addison, Travers, and Lawes;
On Neukomm and Neumann direct we shall pounce
Graun, Gyrowetz, Gretry--queer names to pronounce;
Cherubini, Bellini, at hand you will find,
Spontini, Pacini, are not far behind;
There's Loder, and Horsley, and Calcott, all here,
With Whitaker, Beale, who so oft please our ear;
Oliphant (Blasio Tomasi)--a poser,
Which Madrigal Members only can know, sir.
Chatterton, Parry, both father and son,
And Bochsa, the Harpy, who's long cut and run;
Cimarosa, Clementi, Corelli, and Corri,
Mercadante, Marcello, Mornington, Mori;
A Braham, Bianchi, Boyce, Boieldieu, and Bode,
A Romer, a Rooke, a Reeve, Reed, and Rode;
Stansbuary, A. Savage, a Herald and Knight,
A Moore and a Moorehead, which is consonant quite;
And Mendelsohn (last, though not least), with St. Paul;
And I think I have pretty nigh mentioned them all.
I thought I had finished, but oh, what a shock!
When Beethoven I see, and our own Matthew Locke,
Into waltzes, quadrilles, gallopades, and such trash,
Were turned by those vile peretrators of clash,
Eliason, Jullien, Musard, 'sdeath and fury,
Who never again will dishonour old Drury.
But to finish, a piano by Collard you'll find,
A square one--good touch--in short, just to my mind;
A what-not, some pictures, a bust here and there,
A metronome (Maelzel--of course 'tis quite clear);
Of manuscripts clever, some pleasing, some crude,
Are lots in my study, all carelessly strewed;
And of poetry, novels, romances, and plays,
I've sufficient to set the whole Thames in a blaze!
And a host of knicknack'ries that would you amuse,
Which 'twere folly to mention, as time I should lose.
So to form an idea of my little museum,
Call in as you pass, and then you can see 'em.


The above with interlinear annotations:

Two volumes of Cramer, his Studies I mean,

Probably an (? English) edition of the Etudes, opp. 30 and/or 40, and or op. 50, of John Baptist Cramer

And two of Bach's fugues placed in between

Perhaps Horn's edition of A sett of twelve fugues by Sebastian Bach; or of S. Wesley and C. F. Horn's new and correct edition of the preludes and fugues of Johann Sebastian Bach (1811, and later reprintings)

Handel's great writings, on which I so dote,

Take up the top shelf, with some of less note.

The operas of Weber, of Mozart, and Gluck,

Interspersed here and there with Arnold and Cooke;

Both the Doctor and Thomas, of course I would say,

My second shelf grace with their bindings so gay.

And as to my third, there are Haydn and Locke,

With Winter and Hummel, both excellent stock;

Then a Bishop, and King, indeed I'm not gaming,

With a Clarke at their sides to give out his Amen.

Abel and Adam the next place then claim,

With a Barnet and Benedict of enviable fame;

Next follow Rossini and Jean Jacques Rousseau,

And strangely to say, there's a Blewitt and Blow;

Now a Shepherd and Lamb, nothing but fair,

Are found next adjoining a Bull and a Meyer;

Two gentlemen then our remembrance will greet--

One of them's Smart, the other is Neate;

Now Dibdin, Novello, and Nathan, and Hobbs,

O'er Burghersh and Ransford, two musical snobs,

So gloriously shine--whilst my lord, in dull gloom,

With the other lays buried in Capulet's tomb.

I've a Field, I've a Hill, a Brook, and A. Lee,

And a Marsh, put together promiscuously.

Here's the Regicide Lucas, and go a bit further,

You'll see straight before you the great Albretschberger.

All the Hertz I may get are bound up with Lizst,

Who, just like their music, do lie in a mist;

Meyerbeer, Marschner, Moscheles, Tartini,

McMurdie, McFarren, Mazzinghi, Martini,

With Farrant and Morley, and Dowland and Tye,

At the end of this shelf in security lie;

Palestrina, Jomelli, and Clari, of yore,

Pergolesi and Leo, with a great many more,

In the Fitzwilliam music together are met;

A series of mostly 16th and 17th century Latin sacred music, The Fitzwilliam music (5 volumes, Novello, 1825-27)

A work by Novello arranged and reset,

Vincent Novello

Straight above them (and this will now end the fourth shelf)

Spohr, with his operas, rests by himself.

A Horn, and a Hook, and a Shield you will find,

With Atterbury, Attwood, and Hatton combined;

Ireland and Scotland--rather strange, 'tis confessed--

Enjoy here the Union, in morocco well dressed;

But funnier still will you say is the sight

That at once joins together Blacke, Brown, Greene, and White.

Thus the sixth shelf we reach, and here do well stand

The works of our Purcell, our Henry, so grand;

And close at his heels, though later in story,

Beethoven's Fidelio rests in its glory.

And now we've a Wilbye, a Bennett, and Bird,

A Tallis and Gibbons, of the one and same herd;

And downwards progressing we're caught by a Webbe,

A Linley, Storace, and Arne, all now fled;

If thus we proceed, the songs of a Lover

Will follow, well clothed in a handsome blue cover.

Of organists, too, some works I possess,

Goss, Walmisley, and Adams, and Turle, you can guess;

Nor Jolley, nor Nixon, nor Gauntlett, here fail,

And see there two Coopers attending a Sale.

Over Weekes and a Day, o'er the Seasons, in fine,

We eagerly skim in a very brief time;

Of Perry and Porter a draught you may take,

And yet no one rule of sobriety break;

With a Last and a Hall, a Schu-man is here;

But your patience and kindness I'm tiring, I fear.

A Taylor, a Smith, and a Potter, with glee,

Are joined now with Elliott, as wise as the Bee.

In the corner are Schubert and Auber, and now

Follow Rodwell and Balfe, and a score more, I vow;

Stevens and Stevenson, Day and Hawes,

Jackson, Addison, Travers, and Lawes;

On Neukomm and Neumann direct we shall pounce

Graun, Gyrowetz, Gretry--queer names to pronounce;

Cherubini, Bellini, at hand you will find,

Spontini, Pacini, are not far behind;

There's Loder, and Horsley, and Calcott, all here,

With Whitaker, Beale, who so oft please our ear;

Oliphant (Blasio Tomasi)--a poser,

Which Madrigal Members only can know, sir.

Chatterton, Parry, both father and son,

And Bochsa, the Harpy, who's long cut and run;

Cimarosa, Clementi, Corelli, and Corri,

Mercadante, Marcello, Mornington, Mori;

A Braham, Bianchi, Boyce, Boieldieu, and Bode,

A Romer, a Rooke, a Reeve, Reed, and Rode;

Stansbuary, A. Savage, a Herald and Knight,

A Moore and a Moorehead, which is consonant quite;

And Mendelsohn (last, though not least), with St. Paul;

And I think I have pretty nigh mentioned them all.

I thought I had finished, but oh, what a shock!

When Beethoven I see, and our own Matthew Locke,

Into waltzes, quadrilles, gallopades, and such trash,

Were turned by those vile peretrators of clash,

Eliason, Jullien, Musard, 'sdeath and fury,

Who never again will dishonour old Drury.

But to finish, a piano by Collard you'll find,

A square one--good touch--in short, just to my mind;

A what-not, some pictures, a bust here and there,

A metronome (Maelzel--of course 'tis quite clear);

Of manuscripts clever, some pleasing, some crude,

Are lots in my study, all carelessly strewed;

And of poetry, novels, romances, and plays,

I've sufficient to set the whole Thames in a blaze!

And a host of knicknack'ries that would you amuse,

Which 'twere folly to mention, as time I should lose.

So to form an idea of my little museum,

Call in as you pass, and then you can see 'em.



Catalogue of the rare and valuable library of the late William Augustine Duncan ([Sydney]: A. Lewis, [1885])

https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/37232900

On the above, see:

"NEWS IN BRIEF", Bathurst Free Press (26 August 1885), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article62015034

The magnificent library of the late W. A. Duncan, it is said, will be shortly offered for sale.

"SALE OF MR. DUNCAN'S LIBRARY", Freeman's Journal (26 September 1885), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115464919 

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 November 1885), 16

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13603634

THE FEW remaining undisposed of WORKS, from the rare and valuable Library of the late W. A. DUNCAN, Esq., are now on view and for SALE, at A. LEWIS'S, 310, George-street, near Hunter-street.




Literary works and sources

Correspondence between the Rev. Mr. Stack, Protestant minister, and W. A. Duncan, Catholic schoolmaster, Maitland: with remarks on Mr. Stack's lecture upon the Man of Sin, delivered in the English Church, Maitland, March 6, 1839 (Sydney: Abraham Cohen, 1839)

https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/26261118

A reply to the Rev. W. Stack's attempted defence of his lecture on the Man of Sin from the remarks of W. A. Duncan, by the same (Sydney: Printed at The Australian Office, 1839)

https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/15843775 


"Notes of a ten years' residence in New South Wales", Hogg's Weekly Instructor [Edinburgh, Scotland] 5 (1847; repr. 1850), 129-33, 147-50

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=mts-AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA129

[132]. . . Sir George Gipps succeeded Sir Richard Bourke as governor of the colony in 1838, and pursued during eight years the line of policy which had been begun by his prodecessor. Free immigration was pursued with such vigour during the first three years of his administration, that the entire face of colonial society became at once changed, and those who had been for some time established in the colony were amazed to find themselves suddenly surrounded by a population totally different in manners and habits from that to which they had been accustomed. It seemed almost as if they had gone to bed in Botany Bay, and awakened in England! With this influx of population arrived a considerable amount of British capital, and speculation in land and stock arrived at an unprecedented height. Credit was universal. Almost any man could obtain property to whatever amount he wished; and as these wishes were seldom regulated with prudence, and often without honesty, the ultimate result could not be doubtful. Early in 1840, thinking men began to foresee a crisis, and to give warning of it; but there was neither the inclination nor the power then to stop the evil, which went on increasing, until in 1848 it ended in a general bankruptcy. It may give some idea of the extent of the depression existing at this time, when I state that sheep bought at 68s. a-head in 1838, were sold in 1843 at 1s. 6d. . . .

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=mts-AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA147

[150] . . .It is not for us to attempt to remove the veil which hides futurity from the deepest penetration; but it is impossible to contemplate the origin of that colony - its wondrous progress amidst unprecedented disadvantages, arising from the preposterous attempt so long persevered in to people it with felons - its present state, which, whether morally or politically, scarcely exhibits a trace of its first origin - the vast extent of its Wealth, compared with its population - the early and successful introduction of representative government - the extent of its provision for religious instruction - the concurrence of its government and legislature in a desire to ameliorate its educational institutions - the great extent of its undeveloped resources - and the happy mixture of the Gothic and Celtic races, which compose its population: - it is impossible to reflect upon these facts without forming a conclusion that Australia is destined to be the theatre of important events in future ages; and there is some consolation in the reflection, that if the old governments of Europe, and their time-venerated institutions, are waning in the natural decay of all human things, there are new societies and new institutions arising in other parts of the globe in all the vigour of youth - countries in which the peaceful lovers of commerce may, far from the noise of war and the concussion of revolutionary movements, pursue their humanising avocations, and aid in erecting the social fabric, where but yesterday there was nought to be gazed upon but a vast and unproductive wilderness.


Account of a memorial presented to His Majesty by Captain Pedro Fernandez de Quir, concerning the population and discovery of the fourth part of the world, Australia the unknown, its great riches and fertility, discovered by the same captain, with licence of the royal council of Pampeluna, printed by Charles de Labayen, anno 1610, from the Spanish, with an introductory notice by W. A. Duncan, esq. (Sydney: Thomas Richards, Government Printer, 1874)

https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/18429748 

https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-2564366428 (DIGITISED)




The Duncan sacred music album (Veech Library)


A bound album made up of offprints, by J. Alfred Novello (c. 1830s), from Vincent Novello's editions of Catholic church music, with further items added in manuscript on blank pages by the original owner, William Augustine Duncan

Veech Library, Sydney, Rare Books CRB/Q783/SEL

https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/37707424


Description:

This album was probably originally one of a set of similar compilations bound together for Duncan himself before he left Scotland, sometime in the early to mid 1830s. If so, the number 12 on the cover perhaps indicates the shelf order in his personal library.

The contents consist of offprints by J. Alfred Novello from editions by his father, Vincent Novello, on the covers of several of which Duncan inscribed his name, probably before they were bound together.

There are two inscriptions on the inside front cover, both in Duncan's hand. The earlier, above, reads "William Augustine Duncan"; the latter, below, records his gift of the volume to the Sisters of Charity on 21 July 1839. These were five Irish nuns who sailed from London with Ullathorne's party in August 1838, and arrived in Sydney on the Francis Spaight on 31 December 1838.

Duncan also used the blank pages of the print items to add items of manuscript music, copied in short score. He positively identified several of these as his own arrangements, but the others were probably also at least partly subject to his editorial interventions.


References:

Fiona M. Palmer, Vincent Novello (1781-1861): music for the masses (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), 86-88

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=cWHHAKGEyJkC&pg=PA86 (PREVIEW)


Table of contents:


Outside front cover: marbled card, with large pasted label with the number "12"

Inside front cover: inscribed: "William Augustine Duncan" (Duncan's earlier hand); "Aux Soeurs de Charité, G. A. D. Le 21me de Juillet 1839" [Guillaume Augustin Duncan] (Duncan's later hand)

Front guard recto (binder's bifolio, with inside front cover): handwritten list of 4 content items

*

[Print item 1]: O Jesu potentissime; bass solo & quartet for two tenors and two basses, arranged from Mozart, by V. Novello

Cover: Inscribed (at top): "W. A. Duncan"; title:

A Selection of the most favorite motets, hymns, solos, duetts, &c. from V. Novello's various collections of sacred music now first published separately for the accommodation of choral societies and for private domestic performance, no. 1 (London: Published for the editor, no. 67, Frith Street, Soho Square [J. A. Novello] . . ., [c. 1830s])

Inside front cover: Advertisement, headed "General index", a list of contents of books 1-6 of Novello's miscellaneous liturgical music

[Page 1]: Advertisement, headed "General index to Novello's Coll[ection]s of motetts for the morning service from books seven to twelve"

[Pages 2-4]: print music (print item 1)

*

[Print item 2]: O Jesu mi, O Jesu miserere nobis; quintetto, arr'd from Mozart by V. Novello

Cover: Inscribed (at top): "W. A. Duncan"; title:

A Selection of the most favorite motets, hymns, solos, duetts, &c. from V. Novello's various collections . . . [as above] . . . no. 2

Inside front cover: Advertisement, headed "Index to the first six books of Novello's evening service"

[Page 1]: Advertisement, headed "Index to Novello's evening service, books 7 to 12"

[Page 2-4, renumbered by hand 8-10]: print music (print item 2)

*

[Print item 3]: [untitled, choral responses at mass, harmonised in four parts]

Cover: Inscribed (at top): "W. A. Duncan"; title:

A Selection of the most favorite motets, hymns, solos, duetts, &c. from V. Novello's various collections . . . [as above] . . . no. 3

[Pages 4-5, sic.]: music (print item 3)

[Page 6]: originally blank with two manuscript music items in short score, without text, added in ink, by single hand (probably Duncan):


[MS item 1]: title: "Tantum ergo. Novello" ("Andante larghhetto") (image below)

[MS item 2]: title: "Kyrie eleison. Arranged from Mozart by W. A. Duncan" ("Andante moderato") (image below)


[Print item 4]: Agnus Dei; soprano solo, quartett and chorus. Mozart (Andante sostenuto)

Cover [page 1]: Inscribed (at top): "W. A. Duncan"; title:

Mozart's solo Agnus Dei, from his First Mass, sung by Madame Caradori Allan, Miss Travis, &c. at the King's Concerts of Ancient Music, the York Musical Festivals, &c. &c., with the quartett &c. chorus Dona nobis pacem, newly arranged with an accompaniment for the organ or piano forte and inscribed to Miss Hill of York, by Vincent Novello, organist to the Royal Portuguese Embassy (London: Published by J. Alfred Novello, 67 Firth Str't, [c. 1830s])


[On inside front cover, page 2, originally blank:

[MS item 3]: O Jesu mi! Arranged by W. A. Duncan from G. B. Biery ("Andante") (image below)


[On page 3, originally blank, MS items 4 and 5]:


[MS item 4]: Tantum ergo. Winter ("Adagio") (image below)


[MS item 4]: Come Holy Ghost. Webbe Jun. (image below)


[Pages 4-9]: print music (print item 4)


[Page 10, originally blank, MS items 5 and 6]:


[MS item 5]: Psallite Deo nostro. Arranged by W. A. Duncan from Haydn (image below)


[MS item 6]: O Filii ("O filii et filiae . . .") (image below)


[Print item 5]: The Gregorian serice at vespers, the whole newly arranged & harmonized by V. Novello

[No cover, music begins on page 1]: inscribed "W. A. Duncan"

[Pages 2 and 3]: print music, entitled: "The Gregorian chants for the psalms"

[Page 4, originally blank, MS items 7, 8 and 9, and 10]:


[MS item 7]: Lucis creator optime. Mozart [textless] (image below)


[MS items 8 and 9]: Veni creator Spiritus. Haydn [textless]; Domine. Novello [textless, ? Domine salvum fac] (image below)


[MS item 10]: Stabat mater. Winter [textless] (image below)


[Print item 6]: Laudate dominum omnes gentes; solo soprano, con organo obligato; arr'd from Mozart's "Vespro Intero" by V. Novello ("Allegro")

[No cover, music begins on page 1]: inscribed "W. A. Duncan"

[Pages 1-4]: print music (print item 6)


[Print item 7]: Ecce panis; solo for a treble (or tenor) voice; composed by Cherubini; the organ part by V. Novello ("Larghetto")

[Page 1 ("5"), originally blank, MS item 11]:


[MS item 11]: Salve Regina. V. Novello [mostly textless] (image below)


[Pages "6-7"]: print music (print item 7)


[Page "8", originally blank, MS item 12]:


[MS item 12]: Ave verum. Webbe jun. [texted] (image below)


[Print item 8]: Trio; treble, tenor & bass; festivals of the B. Virgin; arranged from Cherubini by V. Novello ("Benedicta tu in mulieribus . . .") ("Larghetto")

[Pages 1 ("9) to 3 ("11")]: print music (print item 8)

[Page 4]: Publisher's advertisement: "Catalogue of sacred music published by J. A. Novello, 67 Frith Street . . .


[Print item 9]: Hymns, Anthems &. [no further identification]

[Page 1-16]: print music (print item 9); individual titles: Dominus salvum fac Regem (Webbe); O Roma felix (Webbe); Salve regina (Webbe); Alma Redemptoris (Webbe); O Rex gloriae (Webbe); Ave Regina [unattributed]; Stabat mater (Webbe); Emitte Spiritum tuum (Webbe); Lauda Sion (Webbe); Regina coeli (Webbe); O Jesu dulcis (Avison); Te Deum [unattributed]


[Print items 10 and 11]: Aria. F. P. Ricci ("from a Dies irae"; "Recordare Jesu pie . . .") and Laudamus. Battista Borri ("from a mass")

[Pages 1 to 4]: print music (print items 10 and 11); page 1 inscribed "W. A. Duncan"


[Inside back cover]: blank





Bibliography and resources

Roe 1966

Michael Roe, Duncan, William Augustine (1811-1885), Australian dictionary of biography 1 (1966)

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/duncan-william-augustine-2005


Payten 1967

Margaret Payten, William Augustine Duncan 1811-1885: a biography of a colonial reformer (MA Thesis, University of N.S.W., 1967)

https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/12136876


Cochrane 2006

Peter Cochrane, Colonial ambition: foundations of Australian democracy (Melbourne University Press, 2006), especially 54-57

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=-7W4r5mo43IC&pg=PA54 (PREVIEW)

and 114-16

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=-7W4r5mo43IC&pg=PA114 (PREVIEW)


Skinner 2011

Graeme Skinner, Toward a general history of Australian musical composition: first national music, 1788-c. 1860 (Ph.D thesis, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney, 2011), 27-28, and passim, but especially 144-45, 148-51, 173, 196, 207-08

http://hdl.handle.net/2123/7264 (DIGITISED)


Fowler 2016

Colin Fowler, "Anti-Catholic polemic at the origins of Australia's first Catholic newspaper", Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society 37/2 (2016), 147-60

https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=635401397101475;res=IELAPA (PAYWALL)


Wikipedia

William Augustine Duncan, Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Augustine_Duncan 







© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2020