LAST MODIFIED Wednesday 1 January 2020 10:19

John Edwards

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "John Edwards", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 9 April 2020


Professor of music, violinist, pianist, bass vocalist

Born ? London, England, c. 1795
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 17 June 1825 (per Harvey, from London, 5 January)
Active Sydney, NSW, until June 1844
? Active Balmain, NSW, 1860 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


John Edwards gave his age as 33 in the November 1828 NSW census, when he was listed as a farmer, at Sutton Forest, near Moss Vale, in the southern highlands.

On arrival in Sydney in 1828, he advertised that he had brought with him from England professional letters of references from George Smart and others.

According to the records of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, on 10 July 1805, a John Edwards, son of John Edwards, late of Seymour Court, Chandos Street, musician, deceased, was bound as apprentice to Neville Butler Challoner (1784-1851), musician, of No. 25 Greek Street

Edwards was the first of Sydney's leading professional musicians not to be a military bandsman. A "professor of music from London", he announced his arrival in New South Wales in June 1825 advertising

. . . a selection of the best pianofortes from the manufactory of Messrs. Broadwood . . . also violins and other musical instruments, with an assortment of fashionable music . . .

Filling a gap in the fledgling local trade created when Robert Campbell ceased to operate, Edwards became Sydney's second dedicated music retailer, eventually opening his own music and musical instrument warehouse in Underwood's Buildings, at 9 George Street, in January 1827.

But the author of a "Walk through Sydney in 1828", noted:

. . . Music Warehouse, but should be Gunsmith; the window being darkened with rows of unmusical pipes . . . full of no one knows how many ghastly forms of death; instead of the gentle Ariels . . . which dwelt there before . . .

perhaps suggesting that Edwards had by then either diversified his stock, or already, later in 1828, relinquished the business. In the November 1828 NSW census, he was listed as a farmer, at Sutton Forest.

With bandmasters George Sippe and Thomas Kavanagh, Edwards was a director of the Sydney Amateur Concerts that ran from June 1826 to January 1827.

During the series, at a concert in June, Edwards ("a deep full toned bass") sang a recitative and air from William Horsley's The tempest, in July he played one of Corelli's op. 5 solo violin sonatas, accompanied by Sippe on cello, and in August took his Benefit.

Late in 1826 or early 1827, Edwards also "devot[ed] some months to the training of St. James's Choir, gratis", though "because his services were not duly appreciated by the Clerical Authorities" resigned, after which James Pearson took over, though as late as September there were some who wanted Edwards to be appointed organist.

He received a grant of land in September 1825, and in July-August 1828 he advertised that he was "on the eve of settling on his Farm" and had transferred his retail stock to Messrs. Ferris and Chapman. They do not seem to have developed a music retail business, however, and Edwards's stock may actually have passed to the merchant Jackson Barwise (1804-1895).

A little over a year later, however, in August 1829 Edwards was back in Sydney, probably at the behest of Barnett Levey to direct the music at his September concert. Edwards advertised into October that he was giving instruction again "to a limited number of Pupils (in Sydney only)". This visit to Sydney was either extended, or followed up by another beginning in February 1830, when, in the midst of a depression, The Australian noted that Edwards had "very considerably reduced his terms of instruction to suit the exigencies of the times".

How long Edwards persevered in Sydney this time is not clear; however, he was either still in town, or back again, in February 1831, when he and George Sippe presented another concert, and for yet another jointly presented by them in September 1832.

A year later still, in September-October 1833, Edwards took over leading the orchestra at Levey's Theatre, reportedly to be "composed of Civilians", rather than by members of the military band.

Thereafter, there continue to be long gaps in Edwards's documented activities, perhaps caused by illness. In July 1834, "several gentlemen" were planning a concert "for the benefit of Mr. Edwards, late Leader of the Orchestra at the Royal Theatre Hotel", only to have Edwards announce a few days later that he was recovered sufficiently to direct a concert himself. It failed to eventuate, however, and in October 1835 Edwards again advertised that he was "resuming his professional avocations" as a teacher "after his late long and serious indisposition", and yet again in June 1837, after "having taken the benefit of a long residence in the country".

Notably, during 1836 and 1837 he appears to have had no public association at all with either of the recently arrived string players, William Vincent Wallace or John Philip Deane, and after mid-1837 he disappears from record.

If not present in person, however, Edwards continued to be remembered by a few old colonists who had attended the 1826 concert series. For instance, when the Monitor's Edward Smith Hall reviewed a concert by the Cecilian Society in January 1840, he was put in mind (and not for the first time in print) of Edwards's superior skills in programming the earlier concerts and as a vocalist.

In September-October 1842, and again in December 1843, Edwards announced "that at the suggestion of some of his friends, he has resumed his profession".

He was billed leading the orchestra for one of Isaac Nathan's Australian Philharmonic concerts in June 1844, but thereafter disappeared from musical record completely for over 15 years.

He was almost certainly the John Edwards, professor of music, who re-advertised just once more, in 1860, offering instruction in singing, pianoforte, and violin, in Balmain.

For fuller documentation on Edwards's participation in the Sydney Amateur Concerts 1826-1827: 

For fuller documentation on Edwards as an importer of Broadwood pianos: 



Letter, on behalf of Lord Bathurst, London, 28 October 1824, to Thomas Brisbane, Sydney; Colonial Secretary's papers, 4/1837A No.311 p.219; State Archives and Records NSW 

Downing Street, 26th Oct'r 1824
Sir, I am directed by Lord Bathurst to acquaint you, that he has given permission to the Bearer, Mr. John Edwards, to proceed as a Free Settler to the Settlement of New South Wales, and I am to desire, that you will make to him, upon his arrival, a Grant of Land, in proportion to the means which he may possess of bringing the same into Cultivation . . .
To Sir Thomas Brisbane . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Bathurst (Colonial Secretary, London); Thomas Brisbane (governor, NSW)


"Shipping Intelligence", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (23 June 1825), 2

On Friday last arrived from England and Hobart Town, the ship Harvey, Captain Peache. She left London the 5th of January, and therefore brings no new intelligence from that quarter. She sailed from Hobart Town the 2d instant, up to which period there had been no fresh arrivals from Europe. Passengers, Mr. John Spearing and 2 children, Mr. Edwards, and Mr. Ives.

[Advertisement], The Australian (30 June 1835), 1

MR. JOHN EDWARDS, PROFESSOR OF MUSIC from London, begs permission to announce his arrival in this Colony with a selection of the best pianofortes from the manufactory of Messrs. Broadwood, from whom he will receive regular supplies. He has also violins and other musical instruments, with an assortment of fashionable music.
J. E. trusts, that his experience as a teacher of the pianoforte, violin, and singing in the metropolis of England, combined with unremitting attention to the progress of his pupils, and the very flattering testimonials with which Sir G. Smart, and other eminent professors honoured him on his leaving England, will ensure him the confidence of those who may wish to receive musical instruction.
Address Mr. J. Edwards, 61, Pitt-street, Sydney.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Broadwood and Sons (pianoforte makers, London)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (8 September 1825), 1

SURVEYOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, AUGUST, 30, 1825. GRANTS of LAND are now ready for Delivery at this Office . . . Edwards, John . . .

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

Surveyor General's Office, 21st Sept. 1825. GRANTS of LAND for the undermentioned Persons, are now ready for Delivery at this Office . . . Edwards John . . .

Letter from John Edwards, 17th October 1825, to Thomas Brisbane

Letter from John Edwards, 61 Pitt Street, Sydney, 17th October 1825, to Thomas Brisbane, and 2 attachments; State Archives and Records NSW (IMAGES 8617-19)

61 Pitt Street Sydney
17th Oc'br 1825

In compliance with the request
of your Excellency's private secretary
that I would send from some respectable
[?] or merchant in Sydney a
certificate as to the means in my
[? ] of bringing into cultivation
a grant of land in order to the
requirement of which I had the
honour of transmitting to your
Excellency a letter from the
Colonial Department in Downing St.
in the month of June
to which I beg in addition to the certificates
of [? . . .]
[. . .] the enclosed [for] your
perusal and have the honor to be
your Excellency's most Obed't Serv't
John Edwards

His Excellency
Gov'r Sir Thos. Brisbane, K.C.B.
&c &c &c.

[Attachment 2] This is to certify that Mr. John Edwards has exhibited to me invoices from various respectable Houses in London amounting to £869 - 10d, the whole of the goods in which invoices, he States he has now in his possession (with the trifling exception of two Piano Fortes) - W. Walker, Sydney, 18th October 1825.

1825 - Nov, On list of persons who have received orders for grants of land (Fiche 3266; 9/2652 p.90); on list of lands granted and reserved by Sir Thomas Brisbane (Fiche 3269; 9/2740 p.11)

[Advertisement], The Australian (17 November 1825), 4

MR. EDWARDS, Professor of Music, begs to render his best acknowledgement to his friends for the very handsome support and encouragement he had received in the exercise of his profession since his arrival in the Colony -
and to acquaint them and the public in general, that he has removed from his late residence in Pitt-street, to the house of Mr. Hankinson, near the wharf, in George-street.
Having still several leisure hours, Mr. Edwards will be happy to devote them to the improvement of those who wish to acquire the accomplishments of singing, or of playing the pianoforte or violin.
Mr. E. has now on sale, a great variety of vocal and instrumental music, by the most celebrated composers; pianofortes of Broadwood's manufacture, violins, flutes, clarionets, single and double flageolets, bugles, &c.
Also, a large assortment of the most approved modern books for the education and improvement of youth, and a selection of novels, &c.

ASSOCIATIONS: James Hankinson (d. 1830; landlord, Freemason's Tavern)


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

MR. EDWARDS, Professor of Music and Singing, at Mr. Hankinson's, nearly opposite the Wharf, George-street, begs to acquaint the Ladies and Gentlemen of Sydney, &c., that being about immediately to order a Selection of PIANOFORTES from the House of Messrs. Broadwood's, in London, he will be happy to include in that Order Instruments of any particular sort or fashion, to suit the taste or convenience of those who wish to possess them, of the best quality and manufacture; and to guarantee the delivery of such Instruments, upon their arrival here, in the same good order and condition as if taken immediately from the Manufactory in London. Application to be made on or before the 19th Instant.
Mr. Edwards continues to give Instruction in Singing, and on the Pianoforte and Violin, as usual.

Sydney Amateur Concerts, June 1826 to January 1827

For full documentation of Edwards's participation in the Sydney Amateur Concerts series of 1826-27: 

Corelli, Sonata op. 5 no. 1, Walsh's plate

Twelve solos for the violin with a thorough bass for the harpsichord or violoncello . . . opera quinta . . . printed from a curious edition published at Rome by the author [from Walsh's plates] (London: H. Wright, [1795]) (exemplar, British Library, image above, opening of Sonata 1) (DIGITISED)

Dale's new edition of Corelli's XII solos, for a violin, with a thorough bass for the organ, harpsichord or violoncello (London: Printed and sold by Joseph Dale, [1805]) (exemplar, British Library) (DIGITISED)

A new edition of Corelli's twelve solos . . . Muzio Clementi, cover

A new edition of Corelli's twelve solos for the violin & violoncello with a throrough bass for the piano forte or harpsichord . . . by Muzio Clementi, op. 5 (London: Printed by Longman, Clementi, and Company, [1799]) (exemplar, British Library) (DIGITISED)

"THE CONCERT", The Australian (10 June 1826), 3

A very respectable and select Coterie assembled on Wednesday Evening at the Freemason's Tavern, to participate in the luxury of the long-talked of musical Melange. Hankinson's best room was very neatly fitted up for the occasion, and although the Ladies were not so numerous as we could have wished - the few who did grace the party, gave it additional brilliancy. DR. CALLCOTT's fine composition, "Peace to the souls of the heroes," was sung with much effect by Messrs. Edwards, Sippe, Clarke, and Kavannagh. A quartette in a masterly style introduced Master Josephson, a pupil of Mr. Sippe on the Flute-obligato, who for his years evinced extraordinary talent. "The Wolf," (Shield) by Mr. Edwards was listened to with very great applause. This gentleman's voice is a fine mellow bass, and powerful; and he displayed much taste in the execution of this difficult air . . .

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

. . . A solo on the violin, from Corelli, by Mr. Edwards, with a violoncello accompaniment by Mr. Sippe, was much applauded. Mr. Edwards ranks high as a performer on the violin. He possesses a brilliancy of touch with a refined expression, and the perfect ease with which be executed the most rapid passages, created a general sensation of admiration . . .

[Advertisement], The Monitor (18 August 1826), 8 

MR. EDWARDS, does himself the Honour to acquaint the Ladies and Gentlemen of Sydney, and its Vicinity, that in Conformity with the Wishes of many of his Friends, his Benefit Concert, will take Place, at the Court-house, Castlereagh-street, on Wednesday Evening, the 23d Instant, - Further Particulars will be announced previously to the Concert. Tickets 7s. 6d may be obtained of Messrs. PAUL; Messrs. RAPSEY, and Co.; B. LEVY; FOSTER, at Mr. Norton's Office; PITMAN; ROBERTSON; And of Mr. HAYES, Australian Office, George-street.

[Advertisement], The Monitor (13 October 1826), 7 

MR. EDWARDS, having received per Medora, an Inment [sic] of Piano-Fortes, from the celebrated house of Broadwood and Sons, begs to acquaint the ladies and gentlemen of the colony, that the same are ready for inspection at his apartments, 10, George-street. A selection of fashionable Music for the Piano-Forte, &c. by the same conveyance.

View of Hyde Park, Sydney, signed 'Ellis', [? c. 1830s]; State Library of New South Wales

Detail of view of Hyde Park, Sydney, signed "Ellis", [? c. 1830s], looking north towards St. James's church and the new court house at centre, the old court house (small white two story building) at far left, and the Sydney Hospital (now the Mint) and Hyde Park Barracks at far right; State Library of New South Wales (DIGITISED)

"TO THE EDITOR OF . . .", The Monitor (6 April 1827), 5

SIR, CONSISTENCY's Letter in the Australian of Tuesday censuring Mr. Pearson for presumption, would be just if the accusation set down were true. We believe Mr. P. however to be quite incapable of the deed there attributed to him. The fact is, Mr. Edwards, after devoting many months to the training of the St. James's Choir, gratis, ascertained that his services were not duly appreciated by the Clerical Authorities, and accordingly, with a just regard to his own feelings and independence, he withdrew his professional aid. The Choir had no Leader for some months. Mr. Pearson then offered his services, and they were accepted, but we have been given to understand chiefly on the ground of his taking the trouble not only to practise the Choir on week-days, but also to lead them in person on Sundays, both morning and evening. Mr. Edwards did not do the latter. We do not wonder at it. No professor would do it unless he were either a very zealous religionist or were allowed a handsome salary for his labours. Mr. Pearson however does do it. Whether he does it from religion, love of sacred music, or in hopes of obtaining a salary some future day, either of the three motives in our opinion are unexceptionable - they are excellent, individually or collectively. Therefore, we wish Mr. Pearson success as we would have done Mr. Edwards in like circumstances. The improvement he has effected, is doubtless the result of Mr. Edwards's former labours, at least in the greatest measure. It must be, allowed however that Mr. P's. leading the Choir in person enables the Choristers to put in practice Mr. Edwards's instructions, which they never did before. So far then Mr. P. HAS entered into other men's labors, but the said entry has been made by him in our opinion with strict honour. We hope Mr. P. will keep the bass and tenor singers under the trebles and counter. They are still too strong for the latter. All singers invariably love to drown their brother Choristers and hear themselves. But listeners do not like this plan. Auditors like to hear all the parts SUBSERVIENT TO THE LEADING AIR. Parts are of service to harmony, only as they increase the richness of the lending air. At St. James's, the Bass and Tenors often lead, while the Air may be said to be a mere Second or Counter to the Bass.
We are Sir, &c. &c.

"TO THE EDITOR OF . . .", The Monitor (20 April 1827), 8 

SIR, I beg permission to state in Answer to a letter in your paper of Friday last, signed "Concord and Harmony," that the Individuals now constituting the Choir at St. James's Church, were not there at the time when Mr. Edwards attended, nor did they ever receive any instructions from that Gentleman; nor have more than one or two of the tunes previously sung at the Church, been in use since the Choir was under the direction of Mr. Pearson.
Your obedient servant,

ASSOCIATIONS: James Pearson (choirmaster, St. James's church, Sydney)

[Advertisement], The Monitor (8 June 1827), 7

INSTRUMENTS AND MUSIC, ex Admiral Cockburn, on Sale at Edwards's Music Warehouse, near the Wharf, George Street. Violins, Tenors, Flutes, Clarionets, Kent and Regulation Bugles, Flageolets, &c. of the best manufacture. A large selection of Fashionable Vocal Music; and arrangements from the most admired German and Italian Operas for single instruments by the best Masters. Instruction Books, Music paper, Ruled Music Books, &c. &c.

"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Monitor (12 June 1827), 5

MR. EDWARDS of George Street was alarmed in the middle of the night last week by a slight noise. On lifting up his head, he discovered two fellows stooping down or crawling on their knees towards his couch on which he lay. On the table close to the couch stood a lighted candle. Just as Mr. E. lifted up the bed clothes and made the alarm, the fellows blew out the candle and decamped. Mr. E. called to Mr. Underwood's watchman in a loud voice to seize them, but the latter was watchman and not thief-taker, so declined the invitation to help catch the rogues. Mr. E. imagines they were crouching to put out the candle, that afterwards they might play The Rogue's March, on, or with some of the musical instruments for sale in the contiguous shop.

MUSIC: The rogue's march; traditionally played by fife and drum bands in connection with punishment of delinquent naval or military servicemen; see Wikipedia.

"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Monitor (15 June 1827), 8

WHILE in our last number we had occasion to compliment Mr. Pearson on the great improvement made by him in the present choir at St. James's Church; we ought, perhaps, in justice to Mr. Professor Edwards to state, that this gentleman most handsomely presided at the choir previously to Mr. Pearson's taking charge, twice a-week, for a twelvemonth, GRATIS. And that towards the end of the said twelvemonths, the choristers entirely absconded, so that Mr. E. was in a manner compelled to abandon his undertaking.

[Advertisement], The Monitor (26 June 1827), 1 

NOTICE. A PACKAGE addressed J. Edwards, has lately been landed, and remains unclaimed at the stores of the undersigned; it will be delivered on the contents being satisfactorily described by the applicant.
JOHN LORD, George-street, Sydney.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Lord (d. 1863, merchant)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (19 September 1827), 1 

TO BE RAFFLED FOR, (THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN IN SYDNEY.) AT EDWARDS'S Music Warehouse, a Grand PIANOFORTE, by Broadwood and Sons, six and a half Octave, solid and fastened for warm climates, imported per Denmark Hill, warranted new and perfect. - Thirty Numbers at Five Guineas each, three Throws each Number. The Money to he paid at the time of Subscribing. Timely Notice of the Day of Raffling will he given. - Any Subscriber who may be absent will be thrown for by one of the Members present.

[News], The Australian (26 September 1827), 3

A meeting of the subscribers to the Organ for St. James's Church, lately arrived, takes place on Friday. The expences of putting up the organ and employing an organist, are not as yet provided for; Mr. Edwards, as possessing considerable musical talent, is considered by some, as likely to be appointed organist, and Mr. Pearson by others. Before the organ can be properly put up, it is thought part of the gallery at the west end of the church will have to be lowered.

"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Monitor (27 September 1827), 7 

A HOT canvas is going on for the situation of Organist; the Candidates at present on the list, are Mr. Edwards, and Mr. Pearson.

[Advertisement], The Monitor (27 September 1827), 7 

To the Subscribers to the Organ of St. James's.
TO-MORROW MORNING a Meeting has been appointed respecting the Organ of St. James's lately arrived. A late accident has prevented my waiting upon you in person, to solicit your patronage as Organist, which I trust I am competent to fill. Permit me therefore respectfully, to request by this means your vote and interest, in the election which I presume will take place; and to say, that if by your kind offices I am appointed to the situation to which I now have the honour to aspire, I shall ever feel a most grateful sense of the obligations you will thereby lay me under.
I have the honour to subscribe myself,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Your faithful Servant,
George Street, Sept. 27th, 1827.

[Advertisement], The Monitor (25 October 1827), 3 

MR. EDWARDS, begs to acquaint the Ladies and Gentlemen of Sydney, &c., that he has just received per the Alacrity, an investment of Grand, Cottage, and square Piano Fortes, By Messrs. Broadwood, of the same excellent quality with those he has hitherto sold, and that they remain for inspection and sale at his Music Warehouse, No. 9, George Street.

[Advertisement], The Monitor (22 November 1827), 3

MR. EDWARDS begs to announce to the public, that in addition to his late Investment per Alacrity, he has just received by the Mary, an Assortment of Musical Instruments of various descriptions; and has the honour of offering for inspection; Barrel Organs, Guitars (Spanish), Pedal Harps, the Anglicia [sic, Angelica] or Musical Glasses, Broadwood's PianoFortes, Grand, Harmonic, and horizontal; plain, or ornamented; fastened for tropical climates or otherwise. AEolian harps, Flageolets, and Flutes of various sorts. Military fifes and Piccolas [sic, piccolos]; Clarionets, Violins, Tenors, Kent and other Bugles; Harp, Guitar, and Violin Strings; Music paper, and Books ruled &c &c &c.


"Prosperity of Sydney", The south-Asian register (April 1828), 290 

In January of the present year, we had 18 ships, 16 brigs, 4 schooners, 3 cutters, 2 hulks: in all 43 vessels in Port Jackson at the same time.

Mr. Edwards informs us, that during the last three years, he has sold no less than 23 new Piano fortes in Sydney, imported from London.

A provincial Post-office, was regularly established in March.

[Advertisement], The Australian (4 July 1828), 2

AS Mr. Edwards is on the eve of settling on his Farm, he begs to inform the Public, thanking them for past favours, that he has transferred his Musical Instruments and Music to the shop of Messrs. Ferris and Chapman, where may be had a great Selection of Modern and Popular Music and Instruments of the undermentioned description: -
Violins, Tenors, Guitars, Portable Organs, AEolian Harps, Clarionets, Kent Bugles, Flutes, Bassoons, &c. &c.
A large supply of Pianoforte and Violin Strings, together with other Musical Apparatus.
July 1, 1828.

[News], The Monitor (26 July 1828), 8 

As Mr. Edwards's drays, laden with provisions and other property, were on their way to the new country, with four or five others, one of them fell behind at the foot of the Mittagong range, thinking no danger. Three or four fellows on horseback and armed, suddenly rushed out of the forest and petrified the two drivers. The first horseman seized a blunderbuss laid on the cart. The other escorted the brave and vigilant carters into the bush, while the third, scoundrel proceeded to business in a workman like manner. They unloaded the dray, put the contents into a vehicle of their own, and carried all clear off. The two drivers were then released, and allowed to proceed on their way with the empty dray. On hearing the news, a settler at Mittagong of the name of Cutter and two of the Police, set off in the direction of the bushrangers, and after scouring the country all about, towards evening they heard a coo-ee. They galloped towards the voice, but saw nothing. After searching a little further however, they were attracted by a distant light. On drawing near they saw a fine large mare beside a fine large fire. On the mare was detected Mr. Cutters saddle, and close to the fire, a razor belonging to the same person, a bag belonging to Mr. Justice Atkinson, and a half quarter of beef belonging to some one of His Majesty's Mittagong lieges, dangling on a cord of stringy bark. The party after a minute survey of this banquet-hall, proceeded in pursuit; but darkness and hunger now began to work upon their various bodily organs with double force, so that in order to renew the search with freshened vigour, they determined to return to the fire and cut a steak or two from the surloin, which so lately delighted their nostrils. Accordingly, they turned about and were not very long before they found themselves snugly seated by the fire and partaking heartily of the bushrangers' dinner. After taking in due weight and measure, they pursued their route till they fell in with a hut. Here they took up their lodging for the night. The next day they renewed their enterprise, but made no further discoveries. One of Mr. Cutter's servants lately ran away. He is suspected to be one of the marauders. The bushrangers have thus captured as fine a supply of stores, as their hearts could desire.

New South Wales census, November 1828; alphabetical return; State Records Authority NSW 

26 / [Edwards] / John / [age] 33 / Harvey / 1825 / Pro[testant] / Farmer / [Residence] [illegible] / [District] Sutton Forest

"ARTICLE III. Walk through Sydney in 1828", The South-Asian register (1 December 1828), (319-31), 320 

. . . we turn our face southward and pass along George Street. Each side presents a respectable line or succession of houses, two and three stories high, built of stone, or brick stuccoed - on our left is the Australian Hotel, and the chamber of Commerce, so called, which with several in the same line, have genteel verandahs. On our right is a range of shops; of quite a metropolitan aspect. The first inscription is, Chronometer Maker, the second Wine Merchant, formerly printseller, then Pastry Cook, next Music Warehouse, but should be Gunsmith; the window being darkened with rows of unmusical pipes, full of no one knows how many ghastly forms of death; instead of the gentle Ariels the delicate invisible ministers of delight which dwelt there before, ready to do the bidding of any potent master. These changes indicate poverty. The picture dealer and the musician started into being before this new city could afford to purchase their luxuries. Yet what is a city without the fine arts? They are its lights, the lamps to our feet, which keep us from stumbling when we the dim mansions of empty thought and distempered cares . . .

"REVIEW of the fourth number of THE SOUTH ASIAN REGISTER, (published in Sydney, by A. Hill.)", The Sydney Monitor (3 March 1829), 3

[quotes extract]


[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (29 August 1829), 2

We are happy to see Mr. Edwards again in Sydney. There is a rumour of his undertaking a Concert on his own account.

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (29 August 1829), 3 

Mr. Edwards, under whose management the Sydney Amateur Concerts were formerly conducted, has undertaken to lead at the next Concert at the Royal Hotel. From Mr. Edwards' known musical talents, a rich treat may be anticipated. Several gentlemen amateurs have also kindly volunteered their assistance on the occasion.

[News], The Australian (4 September 1829), 2 

We are glad to announce that Mr. Edwards, musical professor, who conducted the old concerts so ably, is willing to lend his powerful professional aid to the forthcoming one at the Royal Hotel.

"CHIT-CHAT", The Sydney Monitor (12 September 1829), 2 

Mr. Levey's next Concert will take place on Wednesday 16th inst., when Mr Edwards, who had offered his services for the occasion, will lead. We sincerely wish a full and respectable house.

ASSOCIATIONS: Barnett Levey (concert and theatrical promoter)

Pierre Rode, Duos, op. 1 (London: G. Walker, [1815])

The duet by "Rhode" [Rode], performed by Edwards and Spyer, at Levey's concert on 16 September 1829, was probably one of:

Trois duos, pour deux violons, composée par P. Rhode, op. 1 (London: G. Walker, [c. 1815]) (DIGITISED)

16 September 1829, Barnett Levey's concert, Royal Hotel, George Street, Sydney

[Advertisement], The Australian (16 September 1829), 1 

Grand Overture - Mozart.
Glee, "The Bells of St. Michael's Tower."
Divertisement, Flute - Rossini, Solo.
Song (by a Lady) "Sigh not for Love."
Duet, Violins - Rhode [Rode].
Glee - "Red Cross Knight" - Callicott. [Callcott]
Overture - Bishop.
Grand Overture - Mozart.
Song, "It is the Hour" - Reeve.
Air, varied for Violin - A. Romberg.
Song (Lady) "Just like Love" - Davey.
Song,, "Two different Passions, &c. -
FINALE - Glee, "Lightly Tread."
Leader, Mr. Edwards.
Immediately after the Conclusion of the First Part, Mr. Levy will sing "Birch, the Pastry Cook."
Tickets and Places to be had at the Bar of the Royal Hotel.
Doors open at Seven. To commence at half-past Seven precisely.
*** Pit 5s. - Boxes 7s. 6d.

THE PROPRIETOR begs to inform the GENTRY and PUBLIC of SYDNEY in General, that Mr. EDWARDS has kindly undertaken the Directions and Conducting of the NEXT CONCERT, Which will take, place on Wednesday, the 16th instant . . .

"THE CONCERT", The Australian (18 September 1829), 2 

Last Wednesday evening's Concert went off, as we anticipated, in a highly creditable manner. The house was very respectably filled, and the whole performance was conducted with a degree of spirit and decorum, which has proved highly creditable. In the lower tier of boxes there appeared the Chief Justice, and Mr. Justice Dowling with his family; the Attorney General, Messrs. Sydney and Francis Stephen, with their ladies; Mr. Keith and lady; Mr. and the Misses Garling; Messrs. Moore; Colonel Dumaresq; a few civil and a few military officers, &c. &c. &c. There was a tolerably well fitted pit, and the upper tier of boxes also contained a goodly number. On the whole, however, there was rather a paucity of females, which took somewhat from the fascination the scene might otherwise have had, though it tended not at all to dim the monopoly of charms which the house in various parts displayed. On a former occasion we ventured to dissert upon the proscenium, and a few of the subordinate decorations - we shall not therefore tread over the same ground again, observing by the way that the special box described in our last as being deficient of a churn, continued for some time full of emptiness, the "illustrious" functionary for whose use it has been set apart, being probably too deeply engaged about the threatened ensuing races, to sanctify the box by his presence; but to proceed -
"It was (not) as the watchmen say, a cloudy night, Past six - perhaps still nearer seven."

But it was one of those mild translucent evenings which unhappily occur for three quarters of the year here to spoil our summer harvests. The house gradually filled, as we have stated, and many rather anxiously waited the rising of the curtain. At length about eight, the performance commenced with one of Mozart's Overtures from the wind and stringed instruments. This was followed by a glee "The Bells of Saint Michael's Tower," which was well supported by Messrs. Aldis and Clarke, who took the counter tenor part, whilst Mr. Edwards chimed in with his naturally full, rich, and sonorous base. Mr. Josephson, Junior, ran over a brilliant little divertisement on the flute. Mr. J.'s taste arid execution reflect much credit upon himself, and his style and management of the instrument upon his instructor, who was Mr. Sippi, Master of the 57th Band. "Sigh, not for Love," by a female, whose name we have not ascertained, - a Duet by two violins, one taken by Mr. Spyer, the other by Mr. Edwards, - A second Glee and an Overture of Bishop's, concluded the First Part. The interval was filled up by Mr. Levy, who sung with inimitable drollery "Birch the Pastry Cook." The second Part was also diversified by another comic song, "The Mail Coach," and about Eleven the finale, a Glee, "Lightly tread this hallowed ground," between three voices, Messrs. Clark, Edwards, and Aldis, concluded the evening's entertainment.

"THE CONCERT", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (19 September 1829), 2 

Some two thousand eight hundred years and more have passed away, since that great originator of good and novel sayings, King Solomon, surrounded as he was with many an eye bright enough to inspire the dull core of dullness itself, - groaned forth, in the bitterness of his exhausted spirit, "there is no new thing upon the earth," and, "all novelty is but oblivion;" meaning thereby doubtless, if he in semblance gave utterance to an apparent novelty, it, nevertheless, had been coined, in preceding antiquity, by some happy worthy, who had lived early enough to be within the shadow of originality. What then, can be said in the way of novelty on a subject so trite as that of a Concert? Absolutely nothing. The merits of the performers, vocal and instrumental, have been so often canvassed that to expatiate on so worn out a subject, would be "tedious as a twice told tale." It may be urged, however, that Concerts in New South Wales are novelties - that harmony of any description is worthy of observation on account of its rarity, and that to pass over in silence any effort, however trivial, which tends to diminish discord is to become accessory to its increase. Let us then say a few words in reference to the performances at the Royal Assembly Rooms on Wednesday last. And first, we would premise that the exertions of the spirited Proprietor for the accommodation of a very numerous and respectable audience cannot be too highly lauded. All seemed to enjoy the amusements of the evening with a zest that felt no abatement.
" -- Looks were kind, and eyes were bright,
And tongues were free, and hearts were light."

Amongst the instrumental performances of the evening, the most prominent and deserving of particular notice, were a duet for two violins, by Rhode, beautifully played by Messrs. Edwards and Spyer, who afforded the very powerful aid of his talents on the occasion, and a solo on the flute by Mr. Josephson, jun., whose execution on that instrument is so well known that commendation were needless. Mr. Josephson also accompanied the vocal music on the pianoforte. But - we beg pardon - we had almost forgotten the lady, a circumstance, it will be said, which speaks little for our gallantry; still, we must hear her once more before we can pronounce an opinion on the prima dona of the evening. At the conclusion of the first part, Mr. Levey favoured the company with a comic song called "Birch the pastry cook," in his own irresistable spirit of drollery, and also toward the conclusion of the entertainments, with the "Mail Coach," which was exacted from him by the loud calls of the audience. Some little allowance must be made for circumstances; but nevertheless this is "a practice much more honoured in the breach than the observance." The other entertainments consisting of two songs and two glees by Amateurs, were highly creditable to the singers, one of whom, Mr. Clarke, was an old favourite at the Sydney Amateur Concerts. About 11 o'clock, the performance of the National Anthem by the band concluded the evening's amusements. Amongst the company present, were His Honor the Chief Justice, Mr Justice Dowling and Family, the Attorney General, Colonel Dumaresq, &c. &c.

Whatever objections may he raised by some stern moralists to amusements like that which we have noticed, it must be admitted that they are productive of one good at least, particularly in this disjointed society, namely, that of bringing the Colonists into more friendly intercourse with each other. For this reason of itself, we are disposed to promote them. But there is a still further reason, not less cogent, in the tendency which such meetings have to excite a pleasing recollection of our native land. Separated as we are from much that is dear and precious to us, those innocent amusements are calculated to unite the woe stricken and the gay of soul in looking back upon the past with composure. The memory of departed enjoyments, appear through that softening medium which, though it may dim their brightness, does not impair their attraction; while the shapes of past regrets, though they may he sad in their bearing, are no longer threatening in their aspect.
A. Z.

"Wednesday's Concert", The Sydney Monitor (19 September 1829), 3

This Concert was conducted by Mr. Edwards, and he had the good fortune to meet a house, which if not crowded, was pleasantly full, and consisting of persons at the first rank in the Colony. Among the company the Chief Justice and lady and family, Mr. Justice Dowling (in full opera dress) and family, Colonel Allen, Lieutenant Colonel Dumaresq and a large party, D. C. G. Laidley, Messrs. Stephens, Darling, and McLeay, the Clerk of the Peace and family, and a great numbers of Magistrates and Civil and Military Officers were discerned.

Mozart's Overture of La Clemenza commenced the evening's entertainment, and was well played. The charm of this Overture consists in a number of beautiful solos being introduced in it, which being well executed, had a delightful effect. There was a great accession this evening of stringed instruments, without which concert music is of little worth. The glee of "The Bells of St Michael's Tower" went off remarkably well, and gave much satisfaction - it was sung by Messrs. Clarke, Aldis and Edwards (bass). The flute divertimento evinced the diligence and improvement of Master Josephson, and was applauded. "Sigh not for Love," by Mrs. Edmonds was (considering it was this lady's first appearance in public) very well received. The violin duet by Messrs. Edwards and Spyers, displayed the excellence of these gentlemen's skill on this difficult instrument, and proved an agreeable variety. The glee of "The Red cross Knight" was as much applauded as the former glee. The first Act finished with the Overture of "Guy Mannering." The overture was also greatly applauded. The Band master had to play a Scotch air in the Overture which he performed inimitably on the Clarionet. Each instrument performs a solo in this Overture, which has a most pleasing effect, and all these solos were really well executed. Mr. Levey sang a comic song, which was encored.

The second part commenced with Mozart's Overture of "La Villanella Rapita." - This is a spirited lively piece and went off capitally. "It is the Hour", was sweetly sung by Mr. Clarke. A gentleman called out to Mr. C. to sing louder. This is not decorous. "Just like Love" was the only failure of the evening. The singer had not been sufficiently diligent in her study of the song to appear before the public, but she must not be discouraged. "Two different passions sway my mind" by Mr. Aldis was well received. The glee of "Lightly tread" however called for much louder plaudits; it was sung by Messrs. Aldis, Clarke and Edwards. A gentleman then called for a voluntary from Mr. Levey, which he complied with, by singing "The Mail Coach" -it was rapturously encored. Some gentleman on the failure of "Just like Love," called for the song of "The Mail Coach" - this was worse than commanding Mr. Clarke to sing louder. Mr. Edwards persevered in preserving the order of the arrangement as it had been published.

We congratulate the public on the complete success of this second and last Concert for the season. The new Council (by the Jury Act) has just done away with one vital party distinction in our unhappy society. By the countenance of the Judges to this attempt at an innocent Concert to promote public harmony, their Honours have done what in them lies, to shew their hearty desire to see us an united and happy people. We thank then in the name of a grateful public. There is no people in the world more capable of good and worthy feelings towards their superiors, than the Colonists of New South Wales. Witness their treatment of Sir Thomas Brisbane. They are not like the spaniel which will fawn in proportion as it is beaten and threatened - but rather like the horse and the lion, which are known instinctively to appreciate the difference between oppression and kindness.

"TO THE EDITOR OF . . .", The Sydney Monitor (19 September 1829), 3 

SIR, The Australian, in noticing Master Josephson's playing on Wednesday evening, ascribes it to the instructions of Mr. Sippe. Mr. S. was undoubtedly the teacher of Mr. J. until Mr. Edwards's late return from the Country, and without wishing to detract from Mr. S's merits as a teacher, it comes to my knowledge, that the new style of playing adopted by Master J. at the last Concert, whether an improvement or not, was entirely owing to the rehearsals and special instructions which Mr. Edwards conducted previously to the Concert,
yours &c.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joshua Frey Josephson (flute, piano accompanist); Harriet Edmonds (soprano vocalist); William Henry Aldis (vocalist); Mr. Clarke (tenor vocalist); Lawrence Spyer (violins); George Sippe (bandmaster)

MUSIC (orchestral): Overture to La clemenza di Tito (Mozart); Overture to La villanella rapita (Mozart; = Symphony no 32 in G major, K 318); Overture to Guy Mannering (Bishop)

NOTE: The performances of the two Mozart overtures probably used English editions or reduced arrangements, such as those published by Pio Cianchettini or Stephen Francis Rimbault

MUSIC (instrumental): Duet (Pierre Rode); probably one of 3 violin duos (opus 1); Air varié (Andreas Romberg); probably one of Trois airs variés, opus 17

MUSIC (glees): The bells of St. Michael's tower (Knyvett); The red cross knight (Callcott); Lightly tread (Berg)

MUSIC (songs): It is the hour (William Reeve; serenade in The witch of Derncleugh)

Mozart's celebrated overture to the opera of la Villanella rapita (London: G. Shade, [1820])

Mozart's celebrated overture to the opera of la villanella rapita, now first arranged for the piano forte by Wm. Adams (London: G. Shade, [1820]) 

[2 advertisements], The Sydney Monitor (28 September 1829), 1 

MR. EDWARDS, Professor of Music, begs to apprise the Ladies and Gentlemen of Sydney, that he will be happy to give INSTRUCTIONS to a limited number of Pupils, (in Sydney only) in Singing, on the Piano Forte, and on the Violin.
Address Mr. E. at Mr. James Foster's, Castlereagh-street.

MR. EDWARDS begs to call the attention of the Public to an Assortment of Grand, Harmonic or Cottage, and Square Broadwood Piano-Fortes, which he has on Sale at Messrs. Barwise and Weller's, merchants, George-street, near the King's Wharf.

ASSOCIATIONS: Jackson Barwise (1804-1895, merchant)


[Advertisement], The Australian (19 February 1830), 1

BEGS to apprise the Inhabitants of Sydney, that having consulted his friends he has determined (in consequence of the present depressed state of the Colony) to lower his terms for musical tuition, and to give lessons, in singing or on the pianoforte or violin at 3s. 6d. each.
Those persons who may prefer it, can receive lessons of half an hour's duration at 2s. 6d. each.
Castlereagh-street, Feb. 18, 1830.

[News], The Australian (19 February 1830), 3

We are pleased to find that Mr. Edwards means to give Sydney again the benefit of his very eminent musical abilities, and has very considerately reduced his terms of instruction, to suit the exigencies of the times.

Old Court House, Castlereagh Street (Elizabeth Street frontage), Sydney in 1848

Old Court House, Castlereagh Street (Elizabeth Street frontage), Sydney in 1848: illustrated by copper-plate engravings of its principal streets, public buildings, churches, chapels, etc. from drawings by Joseph Fowles (Sydney: printed by D. Wall, and published by J. Fowles, [1848]); State Library of New South Wales, digitised (DIGITISED)

24 February 1831, George Sippe's concert, Old Court House, Castlereagh Street, Sydney

"Mr. SIPPE'S CONCERT", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (24 February 1831), 2 

This grand musical entertainment is to be given this evening. Some of the finest compositions have been selected, and from the highly respectable patronage under which the Concert has been got up, and the well-known talents of Mr. Sippe and Mr. Edwards, we doubt not it will be attended by a large and fashionable audience.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (24 February 1831), 1

Under the Patronage of Colonel Allan & the Officers of the 57th Regiment.
MR. SIPPE begs to inform his Friends and the Public, that he intends giving
A Concert at the Old Court House, Castlereagh-street, on the Evening of THURSDAY the 24th Instant.
To he had of Mr. SIPPE, Castlereagh-street; Mr. WILLIAMSON, Auctioneer, George-street; and Mr. HALL, Flour-factor, near the Lumber Yard, George-street.
Bills of particulars to be obtained with the Tickets.

"THE CONCERT", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (26 February 1831), 2 

Upwards of 200 respectable persons attended Mr. Sippe's concert, on the evening of Thursday last. The music, vocal and instrumental, was very creditably performed, and the singers were honoured with several encores. A trio, for two violins, and a violincello, was much admired, particularly on account of the masterly playing of Mr. Edwards, whose science and taste, on the violin, were never more successfully displayed. Mr. Clarke, an old and very deserving favourite at the Sydney Amateur Concerts, sung "It is the Hour" a Serenade, the music by Reeve, with much sweetness and feeling, and was rapturously encored.

The other performances of the evening consisted principally of favourite overtures and glees. Considering the difficulty, of getting up a concert here, Mr. Sippe may congratulate himself on the success of his exertions on the present occasion. The room was very well fitted up and lighted; and at the back of the orchestre, the letters W. IV. formed of lamps, had a very pleasing effect. The concert was over a little after 11 o'clock.

Royal Hotel, George Street, Sydney

Royal Hotel, George Street, Sydney; I. H. Berner, George Street, Sydney; drawn & engraved by W. Wilson; Australian almanack and Sydney directory, 1834; National Library of Australia (DIGITISED

29 August 1832, George Sippe's concert, Royal Hotel

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (16 August 1832), 3 

Mr. Sippe will give a grand concert of vocal and instrumental music in the saloon of the Royal Hotel, on the evening of Wednesday next. The entire of the musical talent of Sydney will be put in requisition on this occasion, so that the public may expect a treat. The concert will be conducted by Mr. Sippe, and led by Mr. Edwards. We understand, also, that Mr. Levey purposes to be "At Home" to receive company, in the same place, in the course of the ensuing week, after the concert.

"Domestic Intelligence", The Sydney Monitor (1 September 1832), 2

Wednesday last was the day appointed for Sippe's first Concert for the season. The day was unpropitious, and towards the time for assembling, the rain descended in torrents. Nevertheless, about 150 persons attended, chiefly gentlemen, and the evening's amusement commenced with the Overture of "The Miller and his Men," by Bishop. The music was good, but our singers want science, though their voices are good. The audience however departed well pleased, will their entertainment. Mr. Edwards led the orchestra.

"THE CONCERT", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (1 September 1832), 2 

Notwithstanding the dreary rain of Wednesday night - a night as depraved as ever man in bear-skin great-coat, oil skinned hat, and jack-boots grumbled at - nearly two hundred of the Sydney folk assembled to enjoy SIPPE'S first concert in the saloon of the Royal Hotel. On such a night it could not reasonably be expected that the fair visitors would muster strong, yet their number was by no means few; and among them some whose

"Beauty hung upon the cheek of night,
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear."

The humid atmosphere - although the saloon was brilliantly lighted up, and at a comfortable temperature - would have powerfully influenced our criticism, had not the presence of the ladies enabled us to form more just conclusions, to make more acute remarks, and, in short, brought into play that benevolence, without which a critic is little better than a wild beast, let loose to tear, ravage, and play the devil with people's good names and interests, as his caprice or humour may dictate. If, therefore, any performer of the evening should find any thing handsome said of him in the following critique, he will pay his gratitude to the account of the sex at large.

In addition to the leader, Mr. EDWARDS, a steady and spirited performer (though, on this occasion, evidently out of practice) we noticed in the orchestra Mr. SIPPE, and Mr. LEWIS the master of the band of the 17th regt., a very excellent performer on the clarionet. The other instrumental parts were sustained by the 17th band. The glees were accompanied on the piano-forte by Mr. SIPPE. Of the vocal performers, it would not be fair to speak otherwise than favourably - they were amateurs, and exerted themselves to please; but we are of opinion that a better selection might have been made; Lord Mornington's glee, "Here in cool grot," and Bishop's "Foresters," being the only vocal efforts of the evening which seemed particularly to please - the rest were dry, deficient in subject and in melody. The instrumental performances, especially a concerto on the clarionet by Mr. Lewis, and the overtures to the "Slave" and "Guy Mannering," were much and deservedly applauded - the latter was honoured with an unanimous encore, and the band repeated the after part, in which are introduced several popular Scotch airs.

As a matter of course the evening's entertainments wound up with "God save the King." We, in New South Wales, are not to be outdone in loyalty by our fellow-subjects at home, and there is nothing gladdens us more than the sight of a loyal population expressing their allegiance in every possible fashion. It is an act of grace and indemnity, and a pleasant assurance that we live under a paternal Government; and it almost amounts to a convincing proof that we enjoy all manner of blessings, rights, privileges, and equal laws. But really a manifestation of this description ought not to last for ever - nor is it fair to look for "God save the King" whether there are singers to sing it or not. This was the grand failure of Wednesday evening. The poor vocalists were literally offered up as a sacrifice on the altar of loyalty. In England this outrageous attachment to the monarch imposes increased duties on singers, forces bacchanals to drink more than ever, and sober people to get drunk, cracks the voices of the young folks before their time, makes old people grow hoarse with shouting, and literally obliges the very keepers of the peace to break it in the name of His Majesty. Now we protest we are very loyal, but by no means insensible to harmony, and the evil of which we complain is, the test to which our allegiance was put by "God save the King," about twenty minutes past eleven o'clock on Wednesday night, the 29th instant. We wish some mode could be devised for showing the people's loyalty, without making the King so common, or some of his faithful servants so ridiculous.

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Lewis (clarinet, band master); Band of the 17th Regiment;

MUSIC (glees): Glee Here in cool grot (Mornington); Foresters (Henry Bishop)

MUSIC (orchestral): Overture to The slave (Henry Bishop); Overture to Guy Mannering (Henry Bishop)

NOTE: On Isaac Pocock and Henry Bishop's opera The miller and his men (London, 1813), see: 


"PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY IN SYDNEY. To the Editor", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (27 April 1833), 3 

SIR, As Sciences and Arts are so closely connected, I feel much pleasure in acquainting the public, through your respected journal, that a society of the above description has been formed in our town. A locale has been hired, and the preparations have advanced so far, that in a month or six weeks friends may be admitted to witness the proceedings of the society. We must apologise, when, in the hurry of other occupations, we might pass over names, more or less connected with the society; but when we find that Messrs. EDWARDS, SIPPE, CAVENDISH, F. WILSON, &c. are connected with the institution of the Philharmonic Society, we congratulate the lovers of musical science upon this opportunity to improve the minds of our fellow citizens. Dr. J. L.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Lhotsky (musical amateur); William Joseph Cavendish (cellist, pianist); Mr. Wilson (violinist); a so-called Philharmonic Society (Sydney 1830s), of amateurs and professionals, underwent various manifestations; the designation appears to have been used freely for civilian musicians, and was even applied to the theatre orchestra, which probably anyway included most of its leading members

29 May 1833, George Sippe's benefit, Theatre Royal

"THEATRE", The Sydney Monitor (1 June 1833), 2 

On Wednesday last, for the benefit of Mr. Sippe, leader of the Orchestra, Colman's Comedy of JOHN BULL, was performed before a house crowded to suffocation . . . Between the pieces, the full hand of the 17th regiment, supported by amateur performers, and led by Mr. Edwards, performed a celebrated Overture of Mozart's. The After-piece was Hook's Farce of Darkness Visible, which was rather tedious. Mackie danced a Hornpipe very well. The audience appeared, on the whole, much pleased, and there is little doubt, from the overflowing House, that Mr. Sippe was equally pleased.

"THEATRE", The Sydney Herald (3 June 1833), 2 

For the benefit of Mr. Sippe, the leader of the Orchestra, was performed on Wednesday evening, to a house crowded to excess, the popular five act comedy of John Bull, or the Englishman's Fire Side . . . A splendid overture of Mozart's was performed by the full band of the 17th Regt, led by Mr. Edwards . . .

"Domestic Intelligence", The Sydney Monitor (4 September 1833), 3

Mr. Edwards, professor of Music, has been engaged at a high salary by Mr. Levy, to lead the orchestra in the new theatre. The orchestra will be composed of Civilians. Mr. Levy has also seen the necessity of purifying his company; and although the expenses at first will be heavy, it will certainly prove more lucrative in the end. The public will no longer tolerate past grossness of divers kinds, nor past idleness and stultification in the players.

"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Sydney Herald (23 September 1833), 2 

We have been requested to give the following information respecting the proposed arrangements of Mr. Levy's Theatre; Stage and Acting Managers, Messrs. Knowles and Cavendish; Leader of the Orchestre, Mr. Edwards; Violincello, Mr. Sippe; Scene Painters, Messrs. Duddridge and Fitchett; Mechanists, Messrs. Fitchett and Clark; Dresses by Mr. Aldrid; Directing Manager and Proprietor, Barnett Levy.
We have been informed that Mr. Meredith has refused three guineas per week, and that Mr. and Mrs. Mackay have refused five pounds per week.

[News], The Sydney Monitor (25 September 1833), 2 

We are happy to learn that Mr. Levy has at length concluded an engagement with Mr. Edwards, as leader of the Orchestra of the new Theatre. This engagement, with other new ones, of an equally eligible kind, promise to render the new Theatre deserving the support of the respectable classes of our society. The new Theatre is larger than the Adelphi Theatre in London, superior in size and appearance to most of the country Theatres in the United Kingdom, and altogether, we entertain the pleasing hope, that henceforth, the Sydney Theatre will become truly respectable, as regards the public, and profitable as regards the zealous, laborious, and persevering Lessee. Mr. Arthur Hill, of the old school of legitimate Comedy, we are glad to hear, is engaged for the peculiar characters in which he is known to excel. Messrs. Knowles and Cavendish are the new managers.

ASSOCIATIONS: Conrad Knowles (actor, manager, amateur pianist and vocalist); Arthur Hill (actor); John Meredith (actor); Angus Mackay (actor); Frances Mackay (actor)

5 October 1833, opening of the season, Theatre Royal, Sydney

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (3 October 1833), 3 

Theatre Royal, SYDNEY.
THE Public are respectfully informed, that the SYDNEY THEATRE will commence its Season on SATURDAY, 5th October, 1833, when His Majesty's Servants, at the rise of the Curtain, will sing the National Anthem "GOD SAVE THE KING." After which, an ORIGINAL ADDRESS, written expressly for the occasion, by Mr. KNOWLES, and to be spoken by him.
The Dramatic Performance will commence with that much admired Melo-drama, in Two Acts, the
Miller and his Men . . .
After which, will be Performed, that laughable Farce, in Two Acts, called the
The above Performances will be repeated on Monday Evening Next.
Stage Manager, Mr. CAVENDISH; Acting ditto, Mr. KNOWLES;
Leader of the Orchestra, Mr. EDWARDS; Principal Violincello, Mr. SIPPE;
The Scenery by Messrs. DURBRIDGE and FITCHETT; Machinery by Messrs. FITCHETT and CLARKE; Decorations by Mr. ALLEN; and Dresses by Mr. ALDRED.
The Nights of Performance during the Season are Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (9 October 1833), 3 

ON THURSDAY EVENING, October 10, 1833 will be performed, for the first time, the celebrated Nautical Drama, in Three Acts, called,
The MUTINY at the NORE . . .
After which, will he presented (also for the first time,) the Extravaganza in One Act, called
Stage Manager, Mr CAVENDISH; Acting Ditto. Mr. KNOWLES;
Leader of the Orchestra, Mr. EDWARDS; Principal Violincello, Mr. SIPPE . . .
The Nights of Performance during the Season are Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
VIVANT REX ET REGINA! October 8, 1833.

"THEATRICALS", The Australian (11 October 1833), 2

On Saturday evening last, that much talked of event - the re-opening of the Sydney Theatre, took place before a very large and a very, respectable audience, all of whom seemed to look forward to the evening's entertainment with considerable pleasure and anxiety. About half past seven the curtain drew up, and discovered the whole company of actors assembled round the stage, with Mr. Levey in the centre, standing like a patriarch in the midst of a numerous progeny. - The orchestra, with Mr. Edwards for their leader, then struck off with God save the King, and after the usual prelude, the whole of the actors proceeded to sing the Anthem, which, however, was executed in such a way to prevent us being very loud in its praise. Mr. Levey's loyalty carried him three or four feet further than the rest of the company, as he came as far as the stage lamps, and seemed unwilling to stop even there. However, the audience being composed of good British subjects, they received it with great enthusiasm, and seemed half inclined to encore it. The drop scene here fell, leaving Mr. Knowles alone on the stage, who, with a clear, full voice, and appropriate action, delivered the following address; -

Patrons and Friends! (for by these names so dear
We sure may call on all assembled here;)
At length we view, and view with honest pride,
A Pile, for which for many a heart hath sighed,
The Drama's Temple, - where for many a night,
The Muses's star shall reign with halo bright,
Thro' weeks of toil and mouths of anxious care,
Laborious nights, where rest had scarce a share,
This was our thought, - this was our only aim,
To found a temple, for the drama's fame;
Tho' disappointment, threatened with her blast
And adverse fortune, oft her clouds o'ercast,
At length we triumph, while our hearts rebound
We gaze exaltingly on all around.
Now view our work and may each friendly heart
Approve, and cheerfulness to ours impart;
Say, - have we raised a building to the view
Worthy the drama, not unworthy you?
Here are some friends, whom oft before we've met
Whose kind forbearance, we can ne'er forget; -
Who pardoned faults, - faults glaring as the sun,
Encouraged all - depressed the minds of none,
And here are some, whose welcome smile to night
We hail the harbinger of days more bright;
Let them smile on, 'tis they our labours crown,
And may we never make that smile a frown.
What tho' we boast no Garrick's tragic powers
What tho', a Kemble's talent be not ours?
What tho', a Siddons, whose Majestic sway
From every rival bore the palm away;
Whose every action, look, a tear could draw,
Entrance the heart, or still the soul with awe!
What tho' she be not here? - we yet may seize
The humble meed of praise, desire to please.
- Tho' here its alien sons tune not the lyre
Still, music charms us with her thrilling tire, -
Our's is the simple song, whose tones impart,
The softer feeling, - pleasure to the heart.
Our talent is not great, yet still tho' small,
We call it forth in efforts to please all
- For while Australia's sons support our cause
And greet our humble efforts with applause.
While her fair daughters meet us with a smile
And beauty praises - beauty void of guile,
So long our pride shall be their praise to gain,
Strive their esteem to win - nor strive in vain.
- Here we commence! here then we make our stand,
Friends of the Drama! lend a fostering hand!
And while our stage, life's real glass, shall be
A well drawn picture of morality,
While virtues cause is seen to flourish here,
And vice her hideous head hangs down with fear,
So long with confidence, we'll here appeal
Nor shall a doubt impede our ardent zeal.
Advance Australia! and advance, - the stage
Let every hand, let every heart engage,
Let every voice be raised in one loud strain,
And bid the Drama prosperously reign -
Let it be told in History's bright page,
The Drama flourished here in this our stage;
Australians yet unborn the Stage will view,
And proudly say it owes its rise to you.
Our's is no merit, your's alone, the pride,
Your's is the Glory, - let each heart decide.
And now to obey they drama's ancient laws,
Ere we commence, one moment let us pause,
And breathe a welcome, every kindred mind
Will meet our greeting with a heart as kind.
Then welcome all! Long may we tread the Stage,
Your smiling approbation to engage -
Long may you sit our Judges - and decide
On every, action, while with heartfelt pride
We hear our sentence, and in you confide;
Long may the Drama reign, and we confess,
Patrons and Friends, 'tis you command success.

As soon as Mr. Knowles had retired, the band played the overture to the Miller and his men, with such spirit, and effect, as could not fail to please all who are not downright connoisseurs. The band, however, is deficient in point of numbers, to give effect to melo-dramatic pieces generally, for in the remote parts of the house it could be but indistinctly heard. The first part of the performance was the Miller and his Men . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (12 October 1833), 3 

THIS EVENING, October 12th, 1833, will be performed, for the second time, the celebrated Nautical Drama, in Three Acts, called,
The MUTINY at the NORE . . .
After which, will be presented (also for the first time, [sic]) the Extravaganza in One Act, called,
Stage Manager, Mr CAVENDISH; Acting Ditto. Mr. KNOWLES;
Leader of the Orchestra, Mr. EDWARDS; Principal Violincello, Mr. SIPPE . . .

"THEATRICALS", The Australian (28 October 1833), 2 

On Saturday the evening's entertainment commenced with A Tale of Mystery, a musical piece, and very aptly named. The acting was, upon the whole, respectable; quite as good as can in reason be expected - altho' there are individual exceptions, the actors generally are gradually improving. The "Gavotte" introduced in the course of the performance was very prettily danced by Mrs. Love and Mr. White, - The Music, however, on which the success of the piece essentially rests, was very inferior, it was frequently "jarring discord," and some of the prettiest passages were marred. It is but justice, however, to the members of the orchestra to say that this arose from no fault of theirs, but from that of the leader, Mr. Edwards, who appeared to be suffering under severe indisposition. The "Castle Spectre," and "Miss in her Teens," were announced for Monday. His Excellency the Governor intends visiting the Theatre on Thursday evening next, when an overflowing house is expected. The pieces for representation are (by His Excellency's command,) "The Heir at Law," and "High Life below Stairs" . . .

"THEATRE", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (7 November 1833), 2 

The performances on Monday evening, consisting of Charles the Second, A Race for a Dinner, and Fortune's Frolic, were very creditably sustained by the actors, and seemed to be much relished by a pretty numerous audience . . . The orchestra is well attended to by Mr. Edwards; and he is well supported also, by Mr. Sippe, Mr. Cavendish, and the other musicians. We know not what better judges may think; but in our opinion, the music is far superior to that produced by the military band which has hitherto played in the theatre. We have only again to express a wish that Mr. Levey may meet with that support which his exertions to please deserve . . .


[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (21 April 1834), 3 

In your Sydney Monitor of this day, the 19th April, I find an ATTACK on myself, under the head THEATRE. Whether the production be your's, or the falsehood of a galled Correspondent, I cannot say - but it is from you I have to expect, and the Public also will expect, some explanation as to the truth of BENEFITS. The whole of the Performers were told, before they engaged with me, that no Benefits would be allowed; and they one and all agreed to the same. For the truth of this, I refer you to those Gentlemen who will tell the truth - Messrs. Cavendish, Sippe, Edwards, and Wilson; all of whom were, by their talents, justly entitled to Benefits (if I had promised any.) I must say, that it is a mean way of attacking me in the manner I have been, and speaks but very little of the veracity of those who have put forth that they expected Benefits, when they knew to the contrary.
I am, Sir, Your obedient Servant,
April 19, 1834.

"FROM A CORRESPONDENT", The Sydney Monitor (23 April 1834), 3 

You will perceive in this morning's Herald, a letter addressed to you from Mr. B. Levey, relative to the late theatrical fallings out. You will observe, also, that therein an imputation cast upon the veracity of those performers who have seceded from the Theatre. I have again to assure you, Sir, that the actors and actresses were led to expect Benefits, though holding no vouchers tor the same, and therefore Mr. Levey assertions I unhesitatingly pronounce substantively false. Mr. Levey alludes to Messrs. Cavendish, Sippe, Edwards, and Wilson, being entitled to benefits. None of these gentlemen could be so entitled, except it might be Mr. Cavendish, he having held the office of Stage Manager for a few months. Who ever heard of the members of an Orchestra having Benefits?

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Smith Hall (editor of the Monitor); Mr. Wilson (orchestral player)

"To the Editor of . . .", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (1 May 1834), 3 

. . . I recollect our worthy colonist, Mrs. Paul, favouring the Subscription Committee of 1826, with Angels ever bright and fair and The soldier tired, the music conducted by Mr. Edwards, whose manly songs, came somewhat near the mark . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Tempest Margaret Paul (vocalist, pianist); Sydney Amateur Concerts

"THEATRICALS", The Australian (10 June 1834), 2 

. . . The public complain, and with great reason, of the stale, spiritless manner in which the Orchestra get through their business. It is surprising, that with such members as compose this very important branch of the Dramatic establishment, so little is effected - and that little perpetually the same. The pieces in themselves are unobjectionable, they are for the most part from the best composers, but they require to be relieved occasionally. Even the occupants of the gallery rebel against the sameness of the music, and certainly it must have been played often enough when such humble connoisseurs as these discover it. If the musicians themselves are so careless of their reputation, the Proprietors of the Theatre ought, to care a little for them.

"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Sydney Herald (3 July 1834), 2 

Several musical gentlemen, it is said, intend getting up a Concert for the Benefit of Mr. Edwards, the late Leader of the Orchestra at the Royal Theatre-Hotel.

"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Sydney Herald (7 July 1834), 2

We stated in our last that several musical gentlemen intended getting up a concert for the benefit of Mr. Edwards; but we are credibly informed that Mr. E's health is sufficiently re-established to allow of his presenting himself again before the Public by means of a concert, and of his intent on of superintending and leading it himself, provided he can obtain the assistance requisite to render it fit for the public ear.

16 December 1834, Thomas Lewis's concert

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (16 December 1834), 1 

[Edward Smith Hall] "Mr. Lewis's Concert", The Sydney Monitor (20 December 1834), 2 

MR. LEWIS is an admirable military musician, and amid the disappointment we experienced at his Concert, we were amused to observe the cool precision with which he conducted the Band, and the efficient support he received from his coadjutors of the 17th in the overtures.

. . . the music of our old Concerts in Castlereagh-street, was more concert-like than what we heard on Tuesday night. The overtures and pieces selected by Mr. Edwards, the manager, were probably more appropriate to a concert-room. With respect to the singing, we heard nothing on Tuesday evening equal to Edwards's Tempest, or Mrs. Jones's simple unaffected but expressive Rosebud of Summer . . .

. . . Braham enunciates every word as distinctly as if he were speaking, by firmly pronouncing the consonant when it commences a word, and articulating each syllable by pronouncing the vowels distinctly. Mr. Edwards of this Colony, does the same, by which a deteriorated voice is ever interesting to listen to, on account of the expression he infuses into his songs . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Lewis (master of the Band of the 17th Regiment)

NOTE: Edwards did not participate in Lewis's concert, but, in reviewing it, the Monitor's Edward Smith Hall recalled his performance of William Horsley's The tempest in the Sydney Amateur Concerts of 1826. He had perhaps also heard Edwards sing more recently, his voice "deteriorated", but "still interesting to listen to"; Hall again recalled Edwards's performance of The tempest when reviewing a concert in January 1840 (see below) by the Cecilian Society.

William Horsley, The tempest, 4

The tempest, a recitative & air, sung by Mr. Bartleman, the poetry by Dr. Drake, the music composed & inscribed to Miss Allott & Miss Jane Allott, By Wm. Horsley, Mus.Bac.Oxon (London: Printed and sold by Chappell & Co., [1818]) (exemplar, University of Southampton) (DIGITISED)

"MR. HORSLEY'S NEW COMPOSITIONS", The quarterly musical magazine and review 1 (1818), 371-75, especially 372 

NOTE: The tempest was one of the last new works composed for the concert singer James Bartleman, who died in 1821.

"THE SYDNEY THEATRE", The Sydney Herald (29 December 1834), 1 supplement 

. . . The Theatre opened, we understand, on Friday night last, without scarcely a brush having been put to one of the old worn-out scenes - no addition to the tattered theatrical wardrobe - the boxes, stage, and, in fact, the whole of the theatre in the same filthy condition as when the place closed - the Orchestra, too, exhibited a similar batch of musicians as the celebrated band of "Bombastes," and the greatest disorder prevailed behind the scenes. Mr. Simmons, in his closing address, informed the Public, that Mr. Levey had gone to Hobart Town "to cull from the theatrical garden there, the choicest flowers." Where are those flowers? . . . What have become, too, of the best musicians - Messrs. Cavendish, Lewis, Sippi, Wilson, Edwards, and others - and what has driven them from the Theatre? . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Simmons (actor, vocalist)

NOTES: Bombastes furioso ("burlesque tragic opera, in one act", London, 1810, by William Barnes Rhodes)


"GRANTS OF LAND", New South Wales Government Gazette (29 April 1835), 241 

Colonial Secretary's Office, Sydney, 29th April, 1835. GRANTS OF LAND. THE following descriptions of Grants of Land, with the names of the persons to whom they were respectively promised, are published for general information, in order that all parties concerned may have an opportunity of correcting any errors or omissions which may have been made inadvertently . . . ARGYLE . . . 70. JOHN EDWARDS, 800, Eight hundred acres, parish unnamed, at Cottle Wolley [Cottle Woolley]; bounded on the north by a line west 102 chains, commencing at the south-east corner of Charles Driver's 1,920 acres on the Wollondilly River; on the west by a line south 80 chains; on the south by a line east 106 chains to the Wollondilly River; and on the east by the Wollondilly River. Promised by Sir Thomas Brisbane, and confirmed by General Darling, on 18th December, 1828, as primary grant. Quit-rent £6 13s. 4d. sterling per annum, commencing 1st January, 1836.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (26 October 1835), 3

HAVING recovered from his late long and severe indisposition, begs to acquaint his Friends and the Public generally, that he is desirous of resuming his Professional Avocations, and will be happy to give instruction in Singing, and on the Pianoforte and Violin.
Address Mr. E., at Mr. Hughes', Castlereagh-street.
Sydney, 26 October, 1835.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (27 May 1837), 3 

MR. JOHN EDWARDS, Professor of Music, having taken the benefit of a long residence in the Country, begs to apprise the Gentry and Families of Sydney, &c, that he will be in Sydney on the 20th of June next, to resume his professional avocations; from which time he will be happy to give instructions in Singing, and on the Pianoforte, and Violin.
Address Royal Hotel, till further notice.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (22 June 1837), 1 

MR. JOHN EDWARDS, Professor of Music begs that all communications to him may be addressed, Sandwell's Hotel, Castlereagh street, till further notice. Sydney, June 19, 1837.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Sandwell was publican of the Rose and Crown, Castlereagh-street, at the time of of his death on 12 March 1838, whereafter his widow, Elizabeth Sandwell, continued the business.


[Edward Smith Hall], "The Cecilian Monthly concert", The Sydney Monitor (13 January 1840), 2

The Cecilian Monthly concert was held on Wednesday eveneing in the Court-room, Castlereagh-street, and was well attended. Both the vocal and instrumental pieces and songs, as performed by amateurs, were well selected, and went off with eclat. The room was well lighted, and the arrangements judicious. This is a very sociable and pleasant concert, and reminds us of the first subscription concerts held some fifteen years ago in the room over head, when Mr. Edwards presided at the orchestra with so much credit to himself and satisfaction to his firiends, for we have never heard better instrumental music in this Colony than was there performed, nor have we ever heard a better song than Mr. Edwards's Tempest; and we should like to hear it again, either from him or some other scientific singer . . .

NOTE: A personal recollection of the paper's founder, Edward Smith Hall (1786-1860); though his son-in-law, Francis O'Brien (d. 1896; married Sophia Hall 23 October 1839), was by January 1840 officially editor and proprietor of the Monitor, this report was almost certainly written by Hall himself.

MUSIC: William Horsley's song, The tempest, see above


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 September 1842), 3

A CARD. MR. JOHN EDWARDS, Professor of Music, begs to acquaint his numerous patrons, amongst the gentry of Sydney, Parramatta, and the colony generally, that he is resuming the practice of his profession, and will be happy to give instructions as heretofore, in Singing, and on the Pianoforte and Violin.
Address to Mr. John Edwards, Smith-street, Parramatta. N.B. Pianofortes properly tuned - Schools attended, September 24.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 December 1843), 3

A CARD. MR. EDWARDS, professor of Music, begs respectfully to intimate to his old friends, and the ladies and gentlemen of Sydney generally, that at the suggestion of some of his friends, he has resumed his profession in this town. As Mr. E. will spare no pains to impart to his pupils all the advantages derivable from his long experience as a teacher of singing, the pianoforte, and the violin, he ventures to hope for as liberal a patronage as he had formerly the honour to enjoy. Communications left at Mr. Ellard's Music Saloon, George street, will be immediately attended to.


[Advertisement], The Australian (24 June 1844), 2 

AUSTRALIAN PHILHARMONIC CONCERTS . . . THE FOURTH WEEKLY PHILHARMONIC CONCERT In this colony, will take place at THE ROYAL HOTEL, On WEDNESDAY NEXT, June 26th 1844 . . . the whole under the management and direction of Mr. Nathan
PART I. Overture - Paer . . .
PART II. Overture - Cimarosa . . .
. . . Leader, Mr. Edwards; First Violin, Mr. Wilson; Second Violins, Mr. O'Flaherty, Mr. Guerin, &c.; Principal Tenor, Mr. Walton; Principal Flute, Mr. Wallace, Senr.; Principal Violincello, Mr. Thompson; Oboe, Mr. Leggatt; Double Bass, Mr. Portbury. Conductor, Mr. Nathan, who will preside at the Piano forte . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Isaac Nathan (director); Henry O'Flaherty (violinist); James Guerin (violinist); Humphrey Walton (viola player); Spencer Wallace, senior (flautist); John Charles Thompson (cellist); Thomas Leggatt (oboist); Benjamin Portbury (double bass player)


[Notice], New South Wales Government Gazette (9 February 1849), 211 

General Post Office, Sydney, 31st January, 1849.
A LIST of Unclaimed Letters for the Month of January, 1849. . . .
Edwards Mr., professor of music . . .


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 August 1860), 1 

WANTED, by an elderly Gentleman of strict integrity, a SITUATION in a private family, as TEACHER of the Pianoforte. Salary not so much an object as a comfortable home. Apply JOHN EDWARDS, Post Office, Balmain.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 September 1860), 1

MR. EDWARDS, Professor of Music, begs to acquaint the inhabitants of Balmain that he will be happy to give instructions in singing, and on the Pianoforte and Violin, to private Pupils or Schools. Address, Watts' Dairy, Balmain.

? 1880

? Burials of in the Parish of St. John's, Parramatta, in the County of Cumberland, in the year 1879-80; Anglican Diocese of Sydney 

No. 3455 / John Edwards / Gov. Asylum, Geo: St. / Jan'y 13th [1880] / Jan'y 14th / [Age] 86 . . .

Bibliography and resources

"Edwards, John (fl. 1777-1794), musician", A biographical dictionary of actors, actresses, musicians . . . vol. 3, 1978, 17

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