LAST MODIFIED Thursday 6 June 2019 9:34

The Howson family

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "The Howson family", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 31 March 2020


Introducing his printed Lectures on the theory and practice of music in 1846, Isaac Nathan noted Sydney's recent good fortune to have added to its musical ranks such fine voices of "quality, intonation, and flexibility" as those "of Messrs. F. and J. Howson (the talented brothers of Madame Albertazzi)". Frank and John Howson can safely be credited with playing an important foundational role in professional opera and music theatre performances in Hobart and Sydney in the 1840s, more widely during the 1850s. The family tradition was carried on by Frank's several singer children in Australia, and later also in the United States.

Frank, his wife Emma, and child Frank Alfred (later the famous American songwriter-composer Frank A. Howson), and his brother John, arrived from London at Hobart on the ship Sydney on 28 January 1842, along with another brother, Henry, as assisted emigrants. Notwithstanding their listed trades (pianoforte makers, printer), they had in fact been recruited in London for the Hobart theatre by the fellow passenger Anne Clarke. Also on the ship as assisted emigrants were fellow theatre workers, Theodosia Macintosh (Stirling/Guerin/Stewart), Gerome Carandini, and Emma Young (later Mrs. G. H. Rogers).

The first Howsons left behind their celebrated sister, the contralto singer, Emma Albertazzi, and at least one other singer sister, Sarah, in England. But they were shortly afterward joined in Hobart in 1843 by two more brothers, William Edwin, and Alfred, and in 1844 by their father Francis, an unidentified sister or perhaps aunt Miss Howson (or Miss C. Howson), and Francis's two youngest sons, Frederick and Walter.

Francis's wife Sarah had apparently died in London in or around 1839, before the family migration began. She had earlier attracted some attention by writing to the British military from the family home in Chelsea to ascertain the fate of her husband, Francis, and two sons, Frank and John, then serving as bandsmen in the British Auxiliary Legion in the Carlist wars in Spain (see documentation below).

Along with Frank Alfred, three more children born to Frank and Emma Howson in Hobart - John junior, Emma, and Clelia - went on to have significant careers in Australia in the early 1860s, and from 1866 in the United States. A fifth child, Charles Edwin, born in Sydney, later worked as an administrator for the actor Henry Irving's company in London. Henry's daughter Ida was also a musician.

Family directory

In each case, click on the blue hyperlink to go to main entry on that person

First generation

Francis Howson (c.1794-1863) = Sarah Sophia TANNER (d. 5 November 1839)

Their children and grandchildren

[1] Emma Howson Albertazzi (1815-1847) = Francis Albertazzi (1807-1857)

Their daughter Victorine Albertazzi (1845-1882)


[2] Frank Howson (1817/18-1869) = Emma Richardson Howson (d.1869)

Their son Frank Alfred Girolamo Howson (1841-1926) ("Frank Howson junior")

Their son John Jerome Howson (1842-1887) ("John Howson")

Their daughter Emma Howson (1844-1928)

Their daughter Clelia Howson (1845-1931)

Their son Charles Edwin Howson (1848-1907)


[3] John Howson (1819-1871) = Margaret Galvin


[4] Henry Howson (1822-1893)

His daughter Ida Howson (Mrs. BULL) (1847-1920)

His son Arthur Howson (1861-1931)


[5] Sarah Howson (c.1824-1895) ("Mdlle. Albertazzi")


[6] William Edwin Howson (b. c.1826-? 1898)


[7] Alfred Howson (b. c.1829/30)


[8] Walter Howson (b. before 1835-1898)


[9] Frederick Howson (b. before 1835-1873)


Documentation (to 1835)

Marriages solemnized in the Parish of St. John the Evangelist, [Smith Square] in the county of Middlesex [Westminster Borough] (Bishop's transcripts), 1814, 34

No. 101 / Francis Howson, Bachelor of this Parish, Sarah Tanner, Spinster of this Parish, were married in this Church by Banns this [29 June 1814] . . .

Baptisms solemnized in the Parish of St. John the Evangelist Westminster [Smith Square] . . . in the year 1822, page 217-18 (Bishop's transcripts)

No 1735 / [1822] March 31 / born 1 May 1815 / Emma daughter of / Francis Howson and Sarah his wife / Regent Street / Music Master . . .

No 1736 / [1822] March 31 / born 20 Sepr 1818 / Francis son of / [ditto]

[page 218]

No 1737 / [1822] March 31 / born Oct 9 1820 / John son of / [ditto]

No 1738 / [1822] March 31 / born 6 March [1822] / Henry son of / [ditto]

The Carlist War episode (1835-36)

The Howsons, Francis senior, and his two eldest sons, Frank and John, are not mentioned by name in home press reports of this incident; and their positive identification as three of the five British band musicians held captive by Carlist forces in Spain in 1835-36 rests on the correspondence reported by Edward M. Brett:

One case which attracted public attention was that of Mrs. Sarah Howson of Chelsea, who wrote [to the Legion's London command] in April 1836 to ascertain the fate of her husband and two sons. Francis Howson and his sons, all musicians in the Legion, had been captured by the Carlists . . . Mrs. Howson's enquiry brought the usual response; Colonel Carbonell of the staff was instructed to give information, and to send to HQ. Madame Albertazzi's fame led to General Evans himself being involved, but no further entries occur, and it seems likely that all three men were executed by the Carlists, although some of the Legion's musicians when captured were spared to serve in the military bands of the Pretender, who valued their skills highly.

Edward M. Brett, The British Auxiliary Legion in the First Carlist in Spain War, 1835-1838 (London, 2005), 190

"BRITISH LEGION", Surrey Advertiser (23 September 1835), 2

During the passage up a river, Sept. 8, some of the musicians belonging to Gen. Evans's band fancied that the boat was not good enough for them, and stopped to drink at a public house while waiting for another. A party of Carlists surrounded the house and took six of them prisoners, whom they have forced to march many leagues into the mountains. All stragglers from the British troops run the risk of being taken to a distance, and then shot.

"PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE. BILBOA, SEPT. 22", Evening Mail (2 October 1835), 2

. . . The mail having been delayed for four hours, I have an opportunity of stating, that on Sunday last three soldiers of the British legion, who had been taken prisoners by the Carlists, were shot at Zamora. The six musicians, who were also taken, are in prison, as not having been taken with arms in their hands. One of the lads belonging to those musicians has been made bugler to General Maroto.

"BRITISH AUXILIARY LEGION", London Courier and Evening Gazette (21 April 1836), 2

A correspondence has taken place between General Evans and General Cordova relative to five Englishmen, composing part of the band of the legion, who were captured by the Carlists soon after the arrival of the legion in Spain, and whose lives, they being non-combatants, have been spared. They are detained prisoners in great misery at the village of Lascano, but fifteen or sixteen other soldiers of the legion who have been taken at different times, have all been certainly shot, by the order of Don Carlos, except two, whose lives were spared at the intercession of Baron de Haber. Gen. Evans, on learning that the five musicians had been spared, wrote to Cordova, to request him to procure their release, in exchange for some Carlists, as an exchange of prisoners frequently takes place. Cordova, in his answer, announces that he immediately sent a proposal to exchange the British soldiers to the enemy's Commander in Chief, and there the matter rests. We learn, however, with great satisfaction, from this correspondence, that the British Legion has always treated the insurgents who have fallen into their hands with great kindness, and that both the Generals express great detestation at the unnecessary bloodshed which has caused the civil war in Spain to excite the indignation of all Europe.

"British Auxiliary legion", Naval & military gazette (23 April 1836), 11


Alex. Somervill, A narrative of the British Auxiliary Legion: with incidents, anecdotes, and sketches . . . (Glasgow: Muir, Gowans, & Co., 1838), 13 

. . . but a man of the name of Simpson (before alluded to), belonging to Edinburgh, was taken prisoner; and nine months afterwards, when some prisoners made their escape from Carlos, one of them told me that he saw Simpson and the Irish bugler, both prisoners - that the first was shot half an hour after being brought in; but that the bugler was not shot, as he professed himself a good Christian, and only a musician, not a soldier. I may state that I believe this, from the fact of six of General Evans' musicians being prisoners for eight months, and then making their escape; and it was one of them that told me of Simpson and the bugler.

"RECOLLECTIONS OF THE CAMPAIGN IN SPAIN", The united services magazine (September 1838), 90 

. . . It was part of the ambition of the Colonel and officers to get up a tolerable band, and, for this purpose, we obtained for a leader an individual who had acted in that capacity to some musicians General Evans had brought out with him to Spain. He was a very fat man (Tagney by name), and, by some mischance in crossing the river at Portugalette, he was made a prisoner, together with some three or four of his men. One of these attempting to resist was killed on the spot, while the band-master and the others were marched as prisoners to the Carlist head-quarters. Their vocation proved their safety, though, when first called upon to give the Carlist General a sample of their art, as might well be believed, there were more quavers introduced in their music than the melody called for. Tagney represented the enemy as ragged, ferocious, and daring, being, indeed, little better than banditti in manners and appearance; while in the Carlist camp, it was his fate to see one or two of the men of the Legion who had fallen into the enemy's hands, savagely butchered in cold blood. He was fortunate enough to get exchanged, and escape from a state of tyrannical thraldom, which he testified some dislike at encountering the chances of enduring again.

NOTE: Thomas Tagney was a musician in the British Army, as was also one of his brothers

London (1836-42)

"SUPERIOR COURTS", The Legal Observer, Or, Journal of Jurisprudence (21 April 1838), 475-76 

[476] Costa v. Albertazzi, Sitting at Lincoln's Inn before the Vice Chancellor, December 11, 1837: and before the Lord Chancellor, February 9, and March 6, 1838.

[474] This was a case of demurrer and answer to a bill filed by Andrew Costa, professor of music and singing, against Madame Albertazzi and her husband, for specific performance of an agreement entered into by the plaintiff with Madame Albertazzi's father and herself, and afterwards ratified by her after-taken husband; and it also prayed for an account of the gains made by Madame as a professional singer during certain periods of time. The facts of the case were these: In August, 1826, M. Costa met Madame Albertazzi, then Miss Emma Howson, at the house of a lady at Croydon, where Costa was giving musical instruction. Upon hearing the young lady singing, he was so pleased that he offered to give her some lessons gratuitously, and the offer was accepted. Sometime after, Costa proposed to Mr. Howson, the father of the lady, to take her as an articled pupil, and accordingly, a memorandum of an agreement was drawn upon the 12th of January, 1828, "between Andrea Costa of Berwick Street, Soho, professor of music and singing, of the one part, and Francis Howson, of Croydon, also a professor of music, for and on behalf of Emma Howson, his daughter, aged twelve years and nine months, of the other part, as follows . . .

. . . as the bill alleged "in consequence of the intimacy which had been contracted by the said Francis Albertazzi and Emma Howson practising together, within less than three months after the said Francis Albertazzi had been under the plaintiff's tuition, a marriage was duly had and solemnised between him and Miss Emma Howson." The marriage took place with the consent of Mr. Howson, Miss Howson being then a little more than thirteen years of age; but, previously to that ceremony, F. Albertazzi executed a memorandum approving of Miss Howson's articles with Costa. Until 1830, as the bill stated, the parties conformed to their agreement, but in May, in that year, some disputes having arisen, an agreement was signed, by which F. Albertazzi and A. Costa agreed, that if to hasten the musical progress of Madame Albertazzi, it should be found by either of the said parties, that the said instruction should be given otherwise than in the academy of Costa, that would be allowed, but in such a manner as not to hurt the interest of the said academy; and in that case, the extra expenses resulting from it, shall be considered as expenses relative to the art, and paid out of the future musical gains of Madame Albertazzi, so as to lessen the respective gains of her and Costa. In June, 1831, the defendants left England without giving Costa notice, or holding any communication with him, until they returned to this country in April last. The bill next stated, that Madame Albertazzi had entered into an agreement with M. Laporte, manager of Italian Opera, and had thereby made considerable profits, (having 100l. per month,) refused to give Costa any account of the profits, or to admit his right to participate in them . . .

[Advertisement], The Morning Post (1 September 1840), 1

COLOSSEUM, Regent's Park. - OPEN DAILY from Ten till Six. - Without extra charge, a Grand vocal Concert, commencing daily at Two o'clock, supported by Signors Carandini and Mondello, Messrs. Leigh, Smith, and F. Howson, and the Misses Holmes and Taylor. The Music selected from Mozart, Rossini, &c. . . .

1841 England census, Hollywell Street, Parish of St. John the Evangelist [Smith Square], Middlesex

Francis Howson / 45 / Musician
William [Howson] / 15
Alfred [Howson] / 11

The 3 family arrivals (1842-44)

1   Hobart, TAS, 28 January 1842

John Howson, Henry Howson, Frank Howson, Emma Howson, Frank Alfred Howson

Arrived Hobart, 28 January 1842 (assisted immigrants, per Sydney, from the Downs, 3 October 1841)

Tasmanian State Archives; register of bounty arrivals, 5 May 1841 to 3 November 1843; accession: 4737; CB7/9/1/1 P43 (page 43) (DIGITISED)

Return of Immigrants per Ship Sydney arrived from London to Hobart Town. 1842, Jany. 28th . . .
Emma Young, 26, dress maker, [Bounty payable to applicant, i.e. master of the ship] £ 18 John Howson, 22, Piano forte Maker, [Bounty payable to applicant, i.e. master of the ship] £ 19 . . .
Henry Howson, 20, Printer, £ 19 . . .
Francis Howson, 24, Piano forte Maker, £ 40 [sic, i.e. with wife Emma, and 1 child under 3] . . .
Theo[dosia] McIntosh, 26, Milliner, £ 18 [widow, with 1 child under 3]
Jerome Carandini, 28, Book binder, £ 19 . . .

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Courier (28 January 1842), 2 

28 - the Sydney, from London, last from the Downs on the 3rd October - passengers, Mr. Stonor, Mr. Winter, Mr. and Mrs. Dickenson, Mr. and Mrs. Clark and child, Mr. Cole, Mr. Garret, Mr. Gledhill, Mr. Colee, Mr. Dartnell, wife, and child, C. Hewer, R. Chick, W. J. Fletcher, J. Carandini, F. Howser, wife, and child, Henry and John Howser, S. Macintosh and child, Emma Young.

"SHIP NEWS", Colonial Times (1 February 1842), 2

JAN. 28. - Arrived the ship Sydney, 345 tons, Potter master, from the Downs 3rd Oct., with Government stores and sundries, Passengers - Mr. and Mrs. Clarke and child, Mr. Cole, Mr. Garrett, Mr. Gladhill, Mr. Colee, J. Perkins, Mr. Dartnell, wife and child, C. Haver, R. Chick, Mr. J. Fletcher, J. Carandine, F. Howson, wife and child, H. and J. Howson, J. M'lntosh and child, Emma Young.

Note that both newspapers listed assisted immigrants without title, Mr., Mrs., or Miss, thus differentiating them from the unassisted passengers.

2  Hobart, TAS, 21 August 1843

William Edwin Howson and Alfred Howson

Arrived Hobart, TAS, 21 August 1843 (unassisted passengers per Eamont, from London, 15 February)

"ARRIVALS", The Courier (25 August 1843), 2

21 [August] - Arrived the bark Eamont, 277 tons, Murray, from London 15th February, with a general cargo passengers, Mrs. Powers, Mr. W. Howson, Mr. A. Howson.

3  Hobart, TAS, 2 March 1844

Unassisted emigrants, Francis Howson, Miss Howson (Miss C. Howson), Frederick Howson, Walter Howson

Arrived Sydney, NSW, 11 February 1844 (unassisted passengers per Alfred, from London, 2 November 1843)

Arrived Hobart, TAS, 2 March 1844 (unassisted passengers per Louisa, from Sydney, 17 February)

"ARRIVED", The Australian (13 February 1844), 2

Feb. 11. - The barque Alfred, 710 tons, Brett, master, from London, and Plymouth the 2nd November, with merchandise. Passengers, Dr. Dawson (Deputy Inspector-General or Hospitals), Mrs. Dawson, Lieutenant Lethbridge, Mr. Lethbridge, Captain M'Kellar, Miss Richardson, Mr. Hardy, Mr. Coleman, Mr. Smith, Mr. Hirst, Miss Balmain, Mr. Crawford, Mr. Clemont, Mr. and Mrs. M'Donald, son, and daughter, Miss C. Howson, Miss E. Stewart, Miss H. Seacombe, Mr. Robert Owen, Mr. Howson and two sons, Mr. and Mrs. Ellis, Mr. Luscombe, Mr. J. Pullock, Mr. J. Wilson, Messrs. W. and K. M'Dougall, Mr. J. Christie, Mr. C. Burge, and Mr. C. Jacobs. - Flower, Salting. and Co., agents.

"CLEARED AT CUSTOMS", The Australian (17 February 1844), 2

Feb. 16. - The brig Louisa, Tucker, master, for Hobart Town. Passengers, Right Rev. Dr. Nixon (Bishop of Tasmania), Miss Lovecroft, Miss Scott, Mr. J. Eichbaume (Commissariat Officer), Mrs. and three Masters Oakes, Mr. and Mrs. Ellis, Mr. Howson, Miss Howson, Masters F. and W. Howson, Samuel and Rose Dill, Mr. Davis, fifty prisoners of the Crown, one Lieutenant, and fifteen rank and file of the 80th Regiment.

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", Colonial Times (5 March 1844), 2

MAR. 2 - Arrived the brig Louisa, Tucker master, from Sydney, Feb. 17; cargo, sundries. Passengers - the Bishop of Tasmania, Mrs. Ellis, Miss Sowercraft, Miss Howson, Mrs. Oaks and three children, Mr. Eidsbourne, Mr. Ellis, Mr. and Master Howson, Mr. Davis, Mr. Richards, 50 male convicts, Ensign Young, 80th Regt., and 15 rank and file.

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Courier (8 March 1844), 2 

March 2 - Arrived the brig Louisa, 182 tons, Tucker, from Sydney 17th February, with sundries passengers, Bishop of Tasmania, Mrs. Ellis, Miss Lovecraft, Miss Howson, Mrs. Oaks and three children, Mr. Eidsbanner, Mr. Ellis, Mr. Howson, Mr. Davis, Mr. Richards, Ensign Young and 15 rank and file of the 80th regiment, and 50 male convicts.

Intercolonial voyages

Frank and John Howson relocate from Hobart to Sydney

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Sydney Morning Herald (5 May 1845), 2 

May 4. - Louisa, brig, 182 tons, Captain Tucker, from Hobart Town the 27th ultimo. Passengers - Captain Snodgrass, 96th Regiment, Mrs. Snodgrass and son, Mr. Furtado, Mr. Ross, Messrs. F. and J. Howson . . .

"LOCAL INTELLIGENCE", The Australian (6 May 1845), 3 

We have much pleasure in announcing the safe arrival of Messrs. F. and W. Howson, from Hobart Town. The advent of these gentle men has been anxiously anticipated for some time past, as a valuable reinforcement to our operatic force. The Louisa had very bad weather on her passage up, so that these gentlemen will necessarily require a few days to renovate. We trust, however, that we shall have the pleasure of recording their debut in the early part of next week.

Frank's wife Emma, and their four children join them in Sydney

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Australian (7 August 1845), 1 

ARRIVALS . . . AUG. 5. - The schooner WATERLILY, 155 tons, Hayle, master, from Hobart Town the 31st Ultimo. Passengers - Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Blackett, and servant; Mr. Nutt, Mr. Evans, Mrs. F. Howson, four children and servant . . .

William (? Henry) and Alfred Howson to Melbourne

"DEPARTURES", Launceston Examiner (7 June 1845), 4

June 5.-Brig Swan, 149 tons, Bell, master, for Port Phillip; J. Raven, agent. Passengers . . . Mr. and Mrs. Coppin and the following theatrical company: Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, Mrs. Thompson, Miss Jane Thompson, Miss E. Thompson, Mr. Young, Mr. and Mrs. Opie, Mr. Megson, Mr. and Mrs. Watson, Mr. and Mrs. Hambleton, Mr. Howson, Mr. H. Howson, Mr. Wilks, Mr. and Mrs. Douglass, Mr. Ray.

William (? Henry) and Alfred were members of the orchestra for Coppin's Melbourne season (see Garryowen, Chronicles, 470), under leader Joseph Megson, and one or both of them may have stayed on in Melbourne until January 1846, when "Howson's Quadrille Band" was billed to provide the music for a Caledonian Ball, see:

[Advertisement], The Melbourne Courier (19 January 1846), 3

HOWSON, Francis (senior)

Professor of music, violinist, organist, composer

Born Surrey, England, 1794
Married Sarah Sophia TANNER (1796-1839), St. John's, Smith Square, London, 29 June 1814
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 11 February 1844 (per Alfred, from London, 2 November 1843)
Arrived Hobart, TAS, 2 March 1844 (per Louisa, from Sydney, 17 February)
Died Parramatta, NSW 13 April 1863, aged 68 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


On 12 January 1828 "Francis Howson, Croydon . . . professor of music" came to an agreement with "[Michael] Andrew Costa, professor of music" that "Emma Howson, his daughter, aged twelve years and nine months" should become an articled pupil of Costa, who had first heard her sing a year and a half earlier (in August 1826). In 1838, this agreement became the subject of a legal dispute between Costa and Emma Albertrazi, by then a famous stage contralto. A later Australian report of the death of Emma Albertazzi mentions that she was the "daughter of Mr. Howson, of Launceston".

Francis's wife Sarah, who died in London on 5 November 1839, before the first of the Howson family came to Australia, had earlier attracted public attention by writing to the British press from the family home in Chelsea to ascertain the fate of her husband and two eldest sons, Frank and John, then serving as bandsmen in the British Auxiliary Legion in the Carlist wars in Spain.

Howson senior arrived in Hobart early in 1844, and in March at the Victoria Theatre it was reported that Anne Clarke had "secured the services of Mr. Francis Howson, Senior, who will preside at the Grand Pianoforte as Director of the Music, &c." Francis was possibly an occasional composer, certainly an arranger. On 15 March 1844, last night of the Hobart season, Gerome Carandini took his benefit, and respectfully informed the public that: "The Evening's Entertainments will commence with (for the first time in this Colony) the very beautiful Opera, with New Scenery, Dresses, and Decorations, entitled KATE KEARNEY; Or, THE FAIRY OF THE LAKES OF KILLARNEY, The whole of the Music arranged by Mr. Francis Howson, Senior."

Presumably Francis, along with all other available Howsons, was in the orchestra when Frank and company presented "Weber's Grand Opera of DER FREISCHUTZ, with the whole of the original Music" at Launceston theatre in June 1844. Francis had settled in Launceston by early in 1845, and appears to have remained in the city until at least the early 1850s. In May 1845 he was reportedly training the choir for the forthcoming opening of Launceston Synagogue. Francis is usually the "Mr. Howson" referred to in the Launceston press, for instance leading the orchestra at the Olympic Theatre in 1846 and early 1847, until in either later 1847 or 1848 his son Alfred took over the position of leader at the theatre, whereafter Francis is usually advertised again as "Mr. Howson Senior". In May 1848, for the amateur composer F. H. Henslowe, Francis directed the music for the Campbell Town Ball, for which: " . . . the arrangements were superintended by Mr. Henslowe, the police magistrate . . . The band was under the directorship of Mr. Howson, senior, and was of a first rate character; we are glad to find that Mr. Howson's services are appreciated in the interior, as well as in the town, and he had best wishes from numerous friends." That month too he played violin with the composer on piano in a Hobart performance of Charles Packer's Duo concertante, and in September was leader of the orchestra at Radford's Amphitheatre.

In 1849, Howson advertised that he was "leaving the colony", but then "relinquished the intention", only to end up in the insolvency court later in the year. He apparently followed his three eldest sons to Sydney by early 1852. He was teaching at Parramatta and Windsor in 1859. Howson died at Parramatta NSW, in 1863, "death had been caused by exposure, while under the depressing influence of liquor".

Selected documentation:

"SUPERIOR COURTS", The Legal Observer (21 April 1838), 474

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (12 March 1844), 1

Royal Victoria THEATRE, CAMPBELL STREET. LAST NIGHT OF THE SEASON. SIGNOR CARANDINI'S BENEFIT, ON FRIDAY, THE 15th OF MARCH. SIGNOR CARANDINI begs most respectfully to inform his Friends and the Public generally, that HIS BENEFIT takes place on the above Evening, when their kind patronage is respectfully solicited. The Evening's Entertainments will commence with (for the first time in this colony,) the very beautiful Opera, with New Scenery, Dresses, and Decorations, entitled KATE KEARNEY; Or, THE FAIRY OF THE LAKES OF KILLARNEY. The whole of the Music arranged by Mr. Francis Howson, Senior . . .

Kate Kearney was based on the script of William Collier's Kate Kearney, or, The fairy of the lakes, a musical romance in two acts (first produced at the Queen's Theatre, London, 3 October 1836), with Alexander Lee's original music; Gyger (199, 42) calls it "a bit of a puzzle", but presumably Francis Howson's treatment was considered to be an advance on Anne Clarke's production a year earlier, for the musical contents of which see [Advertisement], Colonial Times (13 May 1845), 1:

[Advertisement], The Courier (22 March 1844), 3

ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE, Campbell Street. PROMENADE VOCAL & INSTRUMENTAL CONCERT. MONDAY, MARCH 25, 1844. Mrs. CLARKE begs most respectfully to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen of Hobart Town and its vicinity, that she intends giving TWO VOCAL and INSTRUMENTAL PROMENADE CONCERTS, the first of which will take place on MONDAY EVENING NEXT, when an entirely new selection of Vocal and Instrumental Music will be presented to the admirers and patrons of music. The Pit of the Theatre has been covered over, to form, with the stage, one LARGE SALOON, where the visitors can promenade; at the same time the Boxes will he thrown open for those who may prefer to occupy them. The Orchestra has been considerably increased, and Mrs. Clarke has secured the services of Mr. Francis Howson, Senior, who will preside at the Grand Pianoforte as Director of the Music, &c. . . . Musical Director . . . Mr. FRANCIS HOWSON, Sen.; Leader of the Band . . . Mr. LEFFLER . . .

[Advertisement], The Courier (12 April 1844), 3

Mr. JOHN HOWSON begs most respectfully to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen of Hobarton and its vicinity that he intends giving a GRAND CONCERT upon a scale of magnitude never before attempted in this colony . . . The Orchestra will be complete in every department. The greater part of the music is entirely new, and just imported by Mr. F. Howson, sen., amongst which will be found a selection from Rossini's celebrated "Stabat Mater", which has created a great sensation throughout Europe; as also several pieces from Bellini's beautiful Opera of "Norma", now playing at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, with the greatest possible success.

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (27 April 1844), 3

To the Gentry of Launceston. MR. FRANCIS HOWSON, Sen., begs leave most respectfully to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen of Launceston that he had just arrived from London to Hobart Town, and having accepted an engagement with Mrs. Clark as Director of the Music Department at the Theatre in this town, is desirous to devote a portion of his time in giving instruction in Music and Singing, in which he has been engaged in London for the last twenty-five years, during which time he has been eminently successful in his method of tuition; he trusts he may be allowed to mention one striking instance, which is that of his daughter Mad. Albertazzi, who has attained the highest run in her profession - her talents as a Musician and Singer, are universally acknowledged, not only in London, but on the continent, she having met with the most decided success at Milan, where she made her debut as Prima Donna, and also at Paris, Madrid, and the Italian Theatre in London. Mad. Albertazzi's education as a Musician and Singer was given by Mr. Howson, (her father), and he feels that her splendid success must in a great measure be attributed to his superior method of instruction. Address Mr. F. Howson, sen., at Mr. Flowers', Charles-street, Launceston. April 27.

"JEWISH SYNAGOGUE", The Cornwall Chronicle (14 May 1845), 2

"To the Editor", The Cornwall Chronicle (19 July 1845), 9

"MADAME GAUTROT'S CONCERT", The Cornwall Chronicle (18 February 1846), 132

. . . Mr. Howson, senior, performed several pieces on the violin, accompanied by Mr. Rolfe on the piano-forte. Of these performances we cannot speak too highly . . . Mr. Howson's exertions were highly applauded. Those who have had the opportunity of witnessing Paganini's extraordinary feats on one string, must have been reminded of them while listening to this performance.

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (14 February 1846), 5

"OLYMPIC THEATRE", The Cornwall Chronicle (27 May 1846), 400

"THE THEATRE", The Cornwall Chronicle (8 July 1846), 520

. . . Mr. Howson takes a benefit for himself and [his] little boys [Walter and Frederick] on Friday . . . Among the novelties for this occasion only, Mr. Howson will perform on the violin on one string a la Paganini.

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (8 July 1846), 522

"ENGLISH NEWS", The Sydney Morning Herald (26 January 1848), 2

"EUROPEAN INTELLIGENCE", The Cornwall Chronicle (2 February 1848), 4 

MADAME ALBERTAZZI - This favorite vocalist, whose maiden name was Howson, was born in 1814, and was placed by her father, a teacher of music, under Signor A. Costa, where she met with M. Albertazzi, to whom she was married at the early age of fifteen. After residing abroad for several years, she made her debut at Her Majesty's Theatre, the 19th April, 1837. in Rossini's Cenerentola, and was highly successful. She sung frequently at the Ancient and Philharmonic Con certs, and in 1840 she was engaged at Drury Lane. She last year sung at the Princess' Theatre, and in consequence of indisposition, her voice frequently failed her, and at length, she was obliged to relinquish all her dramatic engagements. Madame Albertazzi's voice was a mezzo-soprano inclining to the contralto, of a very extensive compass; and her style of singing, when in her zenith, was of the florid school. The manner of her execution of Non piu mesta, on her appearance at the Italian Opera, created a perfect sensation - audiences were in raptures, and the Press was loud in her praise. Madame Albertazzi died on the 25th September, at her residence in St. John's Wood, aged thirty-three, after a lingering illness, which ended in rapid consumption. She leaves a husband and family to lament her loss. - Illustrated London News, Oct. 2.

[We have since ascertained from authority, on which we can confidently rely, that this lamented and accomplished lady was not, as represented in the above paragraph, indebted for her musical education to Signor Costa, but that on the contrary, she owed much - if not the whole - of her justly celebrated excellence, to the able tuition of her father, Mr. F Howson. She was, indeed, placed at an early age under the superintendence of the Signor, but was removed from thence in consequence of an impression on the mind of her parent, that the course of instruction pursued by that gentleman, was not of a description calculated to elicit, in their fullest perfection, her talents for which she was latterly distinguished. The whole of her theoretical and practical knowledge of music was subsequently derived from her FATHER under whose able tuition, she remained up to the time of her appearance at Milan in the distinguished position of a "Prima Donna." It is superfluous to add, that Mr. Howson's talents as a musician have been long known and appreciated by the inhabitants of this Colony.]

"THE CONCERTS", Colonial Times (2 May 1848), 3

"CAMPBELL TOWN BALL [from Cornwall Chronicle, May 20]", Colonial Times (23 May 1848), 3

"TRINITY CHURCH SCHOOL", Launceston Examiner (17 June 1848), 6

On Friday morning, the bishop of Tasmania and his lady visited Trinity Church school, when the children, who are instructed by Mr. Howson, underwent an examination in the theory of music. The progress made by the pupils excited the astonishment and delight of the visitors . . . Mr. Howson adopts a system by which the theory is so simplified, that it is readily comprehended even by children; and his pupils often arrive at practical proficiency really surprising in persons of their age.

"MUSICAL", Launceston Examiner (6 January 1849), 6

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (29 September 1849), 898

"INSOLVENCY COURT", Launceston Examiner (24 October 1849), 6

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (2 January 1850), 8

"MUSIC", Launceston Examiner (26 January 1850), 6

"SINGING", Launceston Examiner (2 April 1851), 5

SINGING. - An evening class, under the direction of Mr. Howson, had been opened at the Grammar School, for the purpose of giving instructions in singing: applications must be made to the Headmaster. As the terms are moderate, and the teacher competent, an excellent opportunity is afforded to persons desirous of acquiring an accomplishment which the advance of taste has rendered nearly an indispensible branch of modern education.

"THE BACHELOR'S BALL", The Cornwall Chronicle (19 July 1851), 452

[Advertisement], The Argus (3 February 1852), 1s

"Olympic", The Cornwall Chronicle (14 July 1852), 443

Olympic. On Monday evening, this little theatre was full to overflowing. Mrs. Moore seems an especial favorite. The song of, "The Port Phillip Widows", was loudly encored and a goodly shower of money, rained upon the stage, as a present to the songstress, Mrs. Moore. The music of the song here spoken of is by F. Howson, senr.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 November 1859), 1


TO THE GENTRY of PARRAMATTA, WINDSOR, and their vicinity. - Mr. F. HOWSON, sen., father and teacher of the late Madame Albertazzi, Prima Donna at the Grand Scala, Milan, also at Madrid, Paris, and her Majesty's Royal Italian Opera House, Haymarket, London; for many years teacher of music and singing to families of the greatest respectability and distinction, continues to give LESSONS, upon such terms as at an interview may be agreed upon. To schools for gentlemen, the violin, violoncello, flute, and clarionet taught; also Congregational Psalmody. Address, Post Office, Baulkham Hills. N.B. - Schools attended.

"PARRAMATTA", The Sydney Morning Herald (14 April 1863), 4

TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCHES. [FROM OUR CORRESPONDENTS.] PARRAMATTA. Monday, 5 p.m. An inquest was held this afternoon, at the hospital, on the body of a man named Francis Howson, aged sixty-eight, who died early this morning. Deceased was found, yesterday, in an exhausted state near St John's Church, and was removed to the police station. Dr. Pringle ordered his removal to the hospital, where every remedy applied was without effect. Dr. Pringle was of the opinion that death was caused by exposure, and a verdict was given accordingly. The body awaits removal by the friends, relations, if any, of deceased.

"INQUEST", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 April 1863), 3

PARRAMATTA [FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT] INQUEST - An inquest was held by the coroner, at the Hospital, on Monday afternoon, upon the body of Francis Howson, there lying dead. Dr. Pringle deposed that he was sent for yesterday morning, to the Police Office, to see deceased, who had been picked up on the road. He recognised deceased as a former patient of his in the hospital. He was almost in a dying state, very cold, covered with dew, and had evidently been lying out all night. Witness ordered his removal to the hospital, where he was put into a warm bed, and the usual remedies administered. He was of opinion that death had been caused by exposure at night, while under the depressing influence of liquor. Deceased was sixty-eight years of age. - Constable Eagar deposed that on Sunday morning he saw deceased fall down on the grass opposite to St. John's Church. He removed deceased to the watch-house, placed him near the fire to get warmth, and went for Dr. Pringle, Deceased died between three and four o'clock in the morning. He had only been discharged from the watch-house two or three days before, where he had been confined for drunkenness. The jury returned a verdict of death from exposure.

Burials in the Parish of St. John Paramatta . . . in the Year 1863, page 144

No. 2160 / Francis Howson / Parramatta / [Died] 13 April [Buried] 15 [April] / years 68 . . .

"REMINISCENCES", Launceston Examiner (12 November 1892), 2

. . . Old Mr. Howson used at one time to play and train the choir, which mainly consisted of sweet-voiced little boys. One of them, Bobby Sage (now dead), became a timber merchant, predecessor to Mr. John Ellis. During the time of Mr. Howson's leadership at Trinity I was taking music lessons from him, and one evening, passing the church, I entered and stood in the porch listening to the choir practice. Next time I waited on Mr. Howson to receive my lesson I remarked that I was very much pleased with the singing of his choir boys. He replied, "Yes, the little toads can do very well if they like, but they are sometimes car[e]less." Poor old gentleman! He was a sound musician, but like many other men of talent was too much given to convivialities.

Frank and Emma Howson


Dancer, actor

Married Frank Howson, St. Andrew's, Holborn, London, 9 October 1838
Arrived Hobart, 28 January 1842 (assisted immigrant, per Sydney, from the Downs, 3 October 1841)
Departed Newcastle, 10 April 1866 (per Japan, for San Francisco)
Died New York, 7 December 1869 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Emma Richardson married Frank Howson in London on 9 October 1839 and the couple, together with their first child Frank, arrived in Hobart in January 1842 in Anne Clarke's retinue of new talent for the theatre there. Despite meanwhile giving birth in quick succession to three children in Tasmania, Emma appeared frequently as a dancer (with Gerome Carandini and Emma Young) and actor, and appeared on the Sydney stage as late as June 1847.


[Advertisement], The Courier (18 February 1842), 3

"THE ALBERT THEATRE", The Courier (18 March 1842), 2

. . . The Pas de Trois, composed by Signor Carandini, and danced by him with Mrs. Howson and Miss Young, is a composition rather intended for grace of posture than any aim at character, and certainly in the former full justice was done to the intention, and reflected great credit on the performers.

[Advertisement], The Courier (20 January 1843), 1

"THE THEATRE", Colonial Times (7 February 1843), 3

The appearance of Mrs. Howson and Miss Young, in the Sylphide, was quite enchanting, and their dancing admirable.

"THE THEATRE", The Courier (1 September 1843), 2

"THE THEATRE", Colonial Times (24 September 1844), 3

"THEATRICALS", The Australian (15 November 1845), 3

On Monday evening, Mrs. F. Howson debuted as a danseuse, and we must not omit to award to her exertions the praise they deserve. Her dancing is characterised by ease and elegance. It is to be hoped she will be engaged for the ensuing season.

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (5 June 1847), 3

Grand pas de trois, from Rossini's opera of Guillaume Tell, Mrs. F. Howson (her first and only appearance this season), Madame Torning, and Signor Carandini.

"DEATH OF MRS. EMMA HOWSON", Empire (11 April 1870), 2

Mrs. Emma Howson, the widow of Frank Howson, and mother of Miss Emma Howson who lately made her debut in this city [New York] with the Richings' Troupe, died in this city on the 7th December last, and was buried on the 9th. Misfortune has indeed come to this family. Full of joy and hope for the future, the family, consisting of Mr. and Mrs Frank Howson, their two daughters and two sons, left California, whither they had arrived from Australia, to try their fortunes in this city. On arriving at Omaha the father was taken sick, and the family were detained there until 10th September last, when, after a lingering illness, he died. The widow and her children arrived in this city, and on 15th November, Clelia and John appeared at Wood's Museum, and were gutting along very acceptably. On 20th November, Miss Emma made a successful debut as Maritana with the Hichings Barnard Troupe, and in the midst of life, when everything was giving promise of a brilliant future, death again entered the family circle, and added another name to the list of his victims as above stated.

HOWSON, Frank (Francis HOWSON, junior)

Baritone vocalist, conductor, arranger

Born London, 22 September 1817 (baptism record says 20 September 1818)
Arrived Hobart, 28 January 1842 (per Sydney, from the Downs, 3 October 1841)
Departed Newcastle, 10 April 1866 (per Japan, for San Francisco)
Died Omaha, USA, 16 September 1869, aged 52 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier)

Image: From Nellie Stewart, My life's story (1923)



"SHIP NEWS", Colonial Times (1 February 1842), 2

[Advertisement], The Courier (4 March 1842), 1

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (11 July 1843), 1

[Advertisement], The Courier (15 April 1845), 3 

[Advertisement], The Tasmanian and Austral-Asiatic Review (17 April 1845), 3 

Mr. F. Howson's Grand Farewell Concert, Thursday, April 17.
MR. F. HOWSON'S GRAND FAREWELL CONCERT, Mechanics' Institute, Melville-street, THURSDAY, April 17th, 1845.
- MR. F. HOWSON begs most respectfully to inform his Friends and the Public generally, that he intends giving a GRAND FAREWELL CONCERT, on the most extensive scale, at the Mechanics' Institute, on the above Evening, previous to his positive departure for Sydney by the "Waterlily;" when he respectfully solicits a continuance of that liberal patronage he has hitherto experienced and most gratefully acknowledges.
The whole of the Musical Talent of Hobarton have most generously tendered their valuable services upon this occasion, and the Programme consists of selections from the greatest modern Composers; therefore MR. F. H. feels confident that ho will be enabled to give the greatest satisfaction to those who may kindly honour him with their patronage and support.
Overture, "Don Giovanni," Mozart.
Trio, "Soft is the murmur of the summer breeze," (from the celebrated opera of "Nourjahad,") Mrs. Stirling, Mr. J. Howson, and Mr. F. Howson - Balfe.
Song, "The breaking of the Day," Mr. F. Howson - C. Horn.
Air and Variations, "Nel cor non piu mi sento," Mad. Gautrot, (arranged by M. Gautrot.)
Song, "My boyhood's home," (from the opera of "Amilie, or the Love Test,") Mr. J. Howson - Rooke.
Ballad, "Welcome, rosy May," Mrs. Stirling (with Flute Obligato) Mr. G. F. Duly - G. Linley.
Solo, Violin.
Grand Descriptive Scena, "The Ship on fire," Mr. F. Howson (by particular desire) - Russell.
Duet, "Let thine Eyes," (from the opera of "Cinderella") Mrs. Stirling and Mr. J. Howson - Rossini.
Solo, Flute, Mr. G. F. Duly.
Comic Song, "Wanted a Wife," (1st time, as sung by Mr. J. Parry, at the London Concerts.) Mr. F. Howson - J. Parry.
Trio, "Come and let us be gay," Mrs. Stirling, Mr. J. Howson, and Mr. F. Howson - Martini.
Overture, "Don Pasquale" (2nd time in this colony) - Donizetti.
Aria, "Lovely Girl" (the celebrated air "Vivi tu" from the opera of "Anna Bolena") Mr. J. Howson - Donizetti. Ballad, "Come live with me and be my love," Mrs. Stirling - Barker.
Descriptive Song, "The Newfoundland Dog" Mr. F. Howson (by desire) - Russell.
Tyrolienne, "My fondest, my fairest," Mad. Gautrot - Linley.
Serenade, "O summer Night," (from "Don Pasquale") Mr. John Howson - Donizetti.
Aria, "O thou with power to bless," (from "Masaniello") Mrs. Stirling - Auber.
Solo, Trombone, Thema "Credissi Misera" and Finale" Mr. J. Howson - Bellini.
Comic Song. "The fine young English Lady" (additional verses) Mr. F. Howson.
Trio, "Sweetly sleep," (from the opera of "Keolanthe") Mrs. Stilling, Mr. J. Howson, and Mr. F. Howson - Balfe.
Finale, "God save the Queen."
Violins- Mr. Gautrot, Mr. Leffler, Mr. H. Howson, Mr. Russell, Mr. Singer.
Tenors - Mr. Reichenberg, Mr. Duly, sen.
Violoncellos - Mr. F. Howson, Mr. --
Contra Basso - Mr. Pyecroft.
Flute - Mr. G. F. Duly.
Clarinette- Mr. Rablin.
Horns - Mr. -- Mr. --
Basse - Mr. -- Mr. --
Leaders - M. Gautrot, Mr. H. Howson, and Mr. Leffler.
Conductor and Pianist - Mr. J. Howson.
Tickets 4s. each ; Family Tickets, to admit six, One Guinea each. To be had of Mr. Tegg, Bookseller; Mr. Macgregor, Clothier, Elizabeth stteet; Mr. Chick, Bookbinder, Liverpool-st., opposite Watchorn's Emporium; Mr. Haynes, Pastrycook, Murray-street; and of Mr. F. Howson, 521; Argyle-strect.
* Doors open at Half-past seven, commence at eight o'clock precisely.

Isaac Nathan, Lectures (Sydney, 1846) [unpaginated]

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (20 June 1855), 2 

This evening Mr. Frank Howson takes his benefit at this theatre. He produces for the first time before a Sydney audience the celebrated musical romance of the Bottle Imp. This singular piece de sorcellerie met with extraordinary success upon its first production in London, at the English Opera House (Royal Lyceum). The novelty of the necromantic legend (outstripping some of the wildest and most marvellous fables of German diablerie), the beauty of the music (which may be regarded as G. Herbert Rodwell's chef d'oeuvre), and the entire mise en scene, with those clever pictorial and mechanical effects for which the old Lyceum was so famous under Arnold's management, - all these obtained for the Bottle Imp one of the longest runs recorded in the annals of that theatre.

Its introduction here adds to the large debt which the lovers of music owe to Mr. Frank Howson, to whom, during the last ten years, the public have been indebted for the transplanting in the metropolis of the southern hemisphere some of the most glorious flowers of the tragic and comic lyrical drama. During that period he (with his brother, and Mr. John Gibbs, as most valuable coadjutors) has arranged the scores for voices and orchestra, of the following operas, and placed them on the stage with marked success. We shall first name Weber's Der Freischutz, the greatest work of which the lyric stage can boast, and assuredly one of the most difficult to render. We regard the manner in which this opera was produced at the Victoria to be the greateet triumph of Mr. F. Howson, and his associates. Rossini's La Cenerentola, and Bellini's La Sonnambula, though attempted before Mr. Howson's arrival in Sydney, owed their sustained success to the valuable improvements effected under his regime; from the date of whose commencement were produced the following operas, in addition to Der Freischutz just referred to, Auber's Fra Diavolo and Massaniello; Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor; Loder's graceful Night Dancers, - the music for the principal female characters being written for the late Madame Albertazzi (the lamented sister of the Messrs. Howson) and Madame Sara Flower. Balfe's Bohemian Girl, Siege of Rochelle, and Enchantress; Vincent Wallace's Maritana and Matilda of Hungary. We began our list with Weber's greatest work, and we close it with Bellini's masterpiece, Norma.

Passing, as we have, over a range of ten years, very many of our readers were not in Sydney at the period of the representation of some of the operas we have named; but there are few of the dilettanti now resident in our city who have not heard Norma, one of the most successful of the works which it has fallen to the lot of Mr. F. Howson and his professional allies to arrange and produce. There are some omissions in our list, which has been made from memory; but it exhibits quite sufficient to prove how sedulously and how well this gentleman has laboured in the cause of musical science since he first joined the banners of Mr. Wyatt, in 1845. It is that, upon the re-opening of the Prince of Wales Theatre, after a short recess, the stage management will be confided to Mr. F. Howson, Mr. William Dind continuing to be acting-manager. In addition to the many improved arrangements under which the company of the Prince of Wales Theatre will enter upon the ensuing campaign, we understand that business communications from the agent of Miss Catherine Hayes give promise that her re-appearance in Sydney will be under the auspices of Mr. Wyatt.

We perceive that the whole of the original music of the Bottle Imp is to be given this evening, the chief gems of which are the aria, "Ye bright and glittering palaces;" the beautiful scena, in which Wood made so great an impression at the Lyceum; recitative, "They mourn me dead in my father's halls;" and aria, "Ah! maiden, cease those pearly tears." The love-o'erladen maiden's song, "I'm going alone to the jessamine bower;" and the characteristic choruses by the patricians, as well as by the plebeian gondoliers of the sea-girt city, "Gondolier, plough the rippling wave," and "Hail, charming Venice, lovely Queen of the Adriatic." The comic duet, "No, Signor Willibold," will be sung by sung by Mr. F. Howson and Madame Sara Flower. A farce entitled "Like as two Peas," of which London report speaks highly, will be produced here for the first time, the chief characters being sustained by Mr. F. Howson and Mr. Rogers. The witty burlesque extravaganza of Macbeth, somewhat removed from the text of Shakspere, concludes the programme.

"THE DRAMA", The Brisbane Courier (28 March 1865), 3

Mr. Frank Howson had been settled in New South Wales about fourteen years, and may be regarded as the pioneer of the opera in Australasia. He and his brother John, we believe, served as volunteers in the Carlist war in Spain, after which they devoted themselves and their undoubted musical accomplishments to the public. His name is associated in the minds of old colonists with everything that is pleasureable in the history of the theatre in these colonies.

"BRISBANE", The Musical Times (1 January 1866), 214

"ENGLISH THEATRICAS", Leader (6 November 1869), 18 

I regret to hear that Frank Howson is suffering from a severe cancer in the jaw.

"DEATH OF MR. FRANK HOWSON, SEN.", The Herald (24 December 1869), 2 

Frank Howson, manager of the Howson troupe, died in Omaha, N.T., on 16th September, of cancer in the mouth, and was buried on the 18th. The body was to the cemetery preceded by a large number of the Masonic fraternity, led by Professor Webber's bands from the Academy of Music. The remains were deposited with the solemn burial rites of the Masonic order. He was born in London, Eng., in 1817, and from his youth displayed a wonderful talent for vocal as well as instrumental music. When a young man he joined a regiment of Lancers which was a part of the British Legion which went to Spain and fought nobly in what history calls the Carlist war, waged for the purpose of establishing the late Queen Isabella on her throne. He won distinction there, and was among the very few who returned to his home. In 1842 he went to Australia, and there soon took a leading position as an artist. He was the father of opera in the colonies, and was manager and stage director when Mdme. Anna Bishop, the late Catherine Hayes, and other celebrities, made their appearance in opera in Australia. In 1866 he arrived in America, stopping first at San Francisco, Cal., where, with his sons and daughters, he was successful, producing plays, operas, operettas, &c. It was there that the seeds of the disease which caused his death took root, and gradually made inroads upon his robust health. Anxious to do all to save him, the family determined to make a trip across the country, with a view to procure the best medical skill of New York in the hope of eradicating the fell disease. Reaching Omaha, he appeared two or three times in public, but was soon compelled to take to his bed, from which he never again was to rise. During the seasons of 1832 up to 1838 he was famous from the fact that his sister (Emma Howson) Mdme. Albertazzi, won a name which will hardly ever lose its charm. She sang with success in Milan in 1832, and in Paris in 1835, appearing with Grisi, Lablache, Rubini, and othors of like fame and talent, but was cut down just as she was achieving some of her greatest successes. He leaves a wife, two daughters and two sons, in Omaha, and two younger boys in Australia. - New York Clipper.

[News], South Australian Chronicle (25 December 1869), 11

An American paper informs us of the death, on the 16th September, of Mr. Frank Howson, father of the Muses Emma and Clelia Howson, who, with their brothers, are well known in connection with the Australian stage, and won much admiration and respect in Adelaide. Mr. Howson was but 52 years of age, and was a native of London, his father having been an eminent professor of music. The deceased was one of the British Legion which fought in the Carlist war, and in that struggle he won distinction in a regiment of Lancers. In 1842 he first came to Australia, and was well known some years later as manager during the visits of Madam Anna Bishop, Catherine Hayes, and other musical and histrionic celebrities. Since then a family of sons and daughters have grown up around him, and won a position in their profession. About three years ago Mr. Howson, with most of his children, went to California, and was particularly successful in the San Francisco Theatres, but unfortunately his health broke down, and the family decided to travel overland, following their profession at leading towns, till they reached New York, where they would be able to secure the best medical skill of the country, in the hope of saving the life of the loved husband and parent. At Omaha, however, Mr. Howson became worse, and succumbed to his complaint. He leaves, besides his two sons and two daughters in America, two sons in Australia. A very large concourse of people attended his funeral, including a long procession of Freemasons, the deceased having been an influential and useful member of the Order, both in America and Australia.

"DEATH OF MR. F. HOWSON", The Brisbane Courier (1 January 1870), 6

"WAIFS", The Musical World (5 March 1870), 170

"NÉCROLOGIE", Le guide musical (14 April 1870), n.p.

A Omaha (Californie), en décembre 1869, à l'âge de 52 ans, M. Frank Howson, chanteur anglais et frère de feu Mme Albertazzi. Il s'établit en Australie, en 1842, et associéavec Mlle. Catherine Hayes, Mmes. Anne Bishop et Don, il exploita les colonies avec un truple d'opéra qui portait son non et don't faissient partie ses enfants Mlle Emma et Clelia, MM. A. Frank et J. Jerome Howson. Depuis trois ans ils s'était fixéave sa famille à San Francisco.

"Mr. Frank Howson", in Charles Eyre Pasco, Our actors and actresses. The dramatic list (London: David Bogue, 1880), 188 footnote to main entry on his daughter Emma

Mr. Frank Howson was a baritone vocalist of no inconsiderable local reputation, who left England in 1842 for the Australian colonies, where he engaged in theatrical pursuits. He was the first to present complete English and Italian operas to an Australian public. He acted as stage manager to Madame Anna Bishop and the gifted Catherine Hayes, and other celebrities who visited Australia many years ago. He died at Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A., September 16, 1869. 


"Howson, Frank", in Frederic Boase, Modern English biography (London: Netherton and Worth, For the author, 1921)

HOWSON, John (? William John; John William; John HOWSON)

Professor of music, musician, actor, tenor vocalist, pianist, trombonist, arranger, composer

Born London, England, 9 October 1819; baptised St. John's, Smith Square, Westminster, 31 March 1822
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 28 January 1842 (per Sydney, from the Downs, 3 October 1841)
Died Melbourne, VIC, 4 September 1871 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier)

THIS ENTRY IS A STUB (concentrating so far largely on his compositions)


When Anne Remens Clarke returned to Hobart in 1842 from her talent scouting trip to England, she brought with her a formidable batch of young talent, fresh from the Drury Lane Theatre in London - in addition to the Howson brothers, the singer/dancers Gerome Carandini and Emma Young, and the soprano Theodosia Stirling (in non-professional life Mrs. Macintosh, and by later marriages Guerin and Stewart, and mother of Nellie Stewart). The Howsons showed themselves in short order to be artists of the most flexible kind, singing in Italian opera, concert, oratorio, ballads, ballet, acting, and dancing (Frank's wife Emma also acted, and danced with Carandini), playing the piano, performing for masonic and church functions, as well as teaching, among much else, "thorough Bass", the precursor of composition.

John also regularly varied theatre and concert programs with trombone solos, some probably his own compositions, or semi-extemporised variations on well-known airs, as for example on Balfe's ballad The light of other days (the original vocal version included a cornet obligato), performed at the family's Hobart debut, in February 1842, at Anne Clarke's concert. At her "Theatrical Olio and Musical Melange" at the Theatre on 1 March 1842, John next sang one of his own compositions, the song When I was in that happy place. On 29 August 1842, between the plays Carandini danced A New Pas Seul "(the Music composed by Mr. J. Howson)", and in December A New Characteristic Venetian Furlana, "The Music composed by Mr. J. Howson".

The first of John's surviving publications, the Tasmanian waltzes - a set of five plus introduction and coda - appeared in mid 1843, "printed for the author" by James Alexander Thomson, who was evidently a musical friend, and a leading Hobart Catholic. This was followed, in mid-November, by Tasmanian Waltzes, Second Series, again a set of five, with introduction and a substantial - almost orchestral - coda. They were dedicated to Lieutenant George Bagot, at the time the governor's acting aide-de-camp, and they were possibly first played (arranged for band) at a governor's levee Bagot organised in late August.

At the Theatre in February 1845, during "(for the first time in this Colony) a very celebrated Domestic Drama, of the most intense interest, entitled Blanche of Jersey", John Howson, as Desvaux, sang another of his own compositions, the song In one of Jersey's peaceful vales.

But, on 4 March, after three years in Hobart, the Courier noted that John and Frank had advertised " . . . a Farewell Concert . . . Messrs. Howsons, with one or two others, are about to visit Launceston and Sydney, being at leisure, now that their engagement with the lessee of the Theatre has finally terminated."

Dating from two years into their time at Sydney theatre, John Howson's next surviving composition is the ballad The bride's farewell to her mother. It was billed to be sung by Maria Carandini, at the Royal Victoria in October and December 1847. "At the request of a number of ladies", it was published by James Grocott, on New Year's Day 1848.

John was also responsible for the music of at least two full-length colonial operas, one a pastichio, the other entirely original. The pastichio was based on alibretto by Charles Selby, adapted in turn from Auber's opera Lac de fées, which had opened in London in 1839. In Hobart in 1843, Howson turned Selby's shell into a "New Grand Romantic Opera, in Three Acts", The fairy lake; or, The magic veil, by adapting music not only by Auber, but also Hérold, Boildieu, Marschner, and Rossini. Apparently, little or none of Auber's original Lac de fées music was then readily available in Hobart, for Howson's score opened with Auber's Masaniello overture, "Gautrot's violin, and the bass horns of the bandsmen, adding much to the attraction of the music". The fairy lake was revived several times, both in Hobart, and later in Sydney in May and June (twice) 1845, and again in 1846. The first performance, on 17 July 1843, was for John's benefit, and a supportive preview in the Courier left no doubt that the popular and deserving Howson's labours on the adaptation were almost on a par with original composition:

With good judgment and a considerable share of painstaking, this young man has succeeded, by the completion of original scores to the melodies attainable in this place . . . The trouble thus bestowed, away from the public gaze, may not meet with general appreciation; and it is with that impression that we urge for consideration merits, at all events of intention, which might, otherwise, escape notice. For Monday evening next Mr. J. Howson has 'got up' the interesting Opera entitled The Fairy Lake, on the musical partitions of which he has laboured for several months past. Amid other scenery will appear a moonlight view of the Romantic Pass in the Hartz Mountains, painted expressly for the occasion. Those who are acquainted with the names of Rossini, Auber, Herold, Boildieu, and Marschner, may justly imagine the music to be of no mean order, and, in itself, an attraction hardly to be withstood . . .."

As is the case almost all colonial theatrical performance material of the era, the score is lost, though it is not entirely implausible that some of the ballet music from Howson's Fairy lake survived in his Tasmanian waltzes, the first set of which was first advertised on the morning after the premiere.

His entirely original full-length opera (though also lacking its own overture; that to Herold's Zampa reportedly sufficed) was performed at least twice, first in Sydney on 4 December 1848, and again in January 1849. The corsair; or, Conrad and Medora, "the whole of the music composed by Mr. J. Howson", was on the same libretto as - but on a larger scale than - G. F. Duly's 1846 Corsair in Hobart. As with Duly's opera, Howson's quickly compiled score was also occasioned by the original music by Frank Romer not arriving in the colonies in time. John Howson himself was Conrad, Theodosia Guerin sang Medora, Frank Howson was the Pacha Seyd, and Maria Carandini played Gulnare. No list of numbers appears to survive, although something approximating it can probably be surmised from the original book and Duly's numbers list from Hobart. Additionally, during "the course of the opera, a new grand Turkish Pas de Trois" was danced by the Misses Griffiths and Signor Carandini, possibly also to Howson's music.

On a humbler scale, John composed a ballad, Angry words for Sara Flower, sung by her in June 1850. His last printed composition was advertised by Woolcott and Clarke at Christmas 1852, The Christmas present polka. Though incomplete at the end in the NLA copy, it is rather more than the run-of-the-mill dance music, taking off from the third page into a surprisingly flashy and idiomatic piano piece.

John toured widely with Frank and his family's opera troupe in the early 1860s, but when they moved on to the United States in 1866, John remained behind. He had married Margaret Galvin in Sydney in January 1849, and they had a daughter and two sons. A third child born to Margaret in 1866 was subject of a paternity dispute as late as 1889. As was reported then:

Howson and his wife for some time before he left for Melbourne lived very unhappily. They were both addicted to habits of intemperance, and they used when under the influence of drink to quarrel with one another. John Howson, towards the end of the year 1863 or beginning of 1864, went down to Melbourne . . . And in the month of June, 1864, he got permanent employment in the establishment of Kilner and Co., piano manufacturers, as tuner, and he occupied that position permanently from that time until the time of his death in the year 1870 or 1871 . . . The evidence relative to John Howson going down to Melbourne was that he was leaving his wife . . .

He had emerged from relative obscurity and "kindly volunteered his services" to sing Pollio to Anna Bishop's Norma in a concert version in Melbourne in September 1868. He was killed in a road accident in Melbourne in September 1871.


"SHIP NEWS", Colonial Times (1 February 1842), 2

[Advertisement], The Courier (4 March 1842), 1

"THE CONCERT", Colonial Times (15 February 1842), 3

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

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (1 March 1842), 1

[Advertisement], The Courier (26 August 1842), 1

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (15 November 1842), 1

[Advertisement], The Courier (16 December 1842), 1

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE . . . MR. J. HOWSON'S BENEFIT", The Courier (14 July 1843), 1

"MR. JOHN HOWSON'S BENEFIT", The Courier (14 July 1843), 2

 [Advertisement], Colonial Times (18 July 1843), 1

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (6 February 1844), 1

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (15 February 1845), 1

"CONCERT", The Courier (4 March 1845), 2

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 October 1847), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 December 1847), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 December 1847), 1

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (4 December 1848), 2

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (4 January 1849), 2

"MARRIED", The Sydney Morning Herald (20 January 1849), 3

On Thursday, the 18th instant, by special license, at St. Lawrence's Church, by the Rev. Mr. Naylor, Mr. John Howson, of Sydney, to Margaret, second daughter of Mr. William Galvin, of Macquarie-street, Sydney.

"BIRTHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (8 November 1849), 3

"DIED", The Sydney Morning Herald (1 February 1850), 3

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 June 1850), 1

"BIRTH", The Sydney Morning Herald (27 May 1851), 4

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 December 1852), 3

"BIRTH", The Sydney Morning Herald (28 January 1853), 2

"THEATRE ROYAL", The Mercury (19 August 1863), 2

[News], The Argus (20 June 1864), 5:

[Advertisement], The Argus (4 September 1868), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (31 December 1870), 1

[Advertisement], The Argus (7 January 1871), 1

MR. JOHN HOWSON has RESUMED his Piano forte and Singing INSTRUCTION. Vacancies for two pupils. Pianoforte Tuning. Five years tuner at Messrs. Wilkie and Kilner's. Tuner by appointment for their Melbourne and Sydney Prize Medal Exhibition Pianos. l8 Stanley-street, West Melbourne.

"MR. JOHN HOWSON", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 September 1871), 4

Our readers will remember the brothers Frank and John Howson, who, in the early days of opera in this colony, sustained the baritone and tenor characters. The former died about two years ago at Omaha, a city on the Pacific Railway line, in America; and we now learn from the Melbourne journals that John Howson was knocked down by a spring-cart, in Queensberry-street, Melbourne, on the 4th instant, on received such injuries that he died shortly after.

"INQUESTS", The Argus (7 September 1871), 7

"Musical and Dramatic Review", Australian Town and Country Journal (30 September 1871), 20

Death, with his unerring scythe, has been mowing the ranks of artistes known in Sydney . . . In days long past the voice of no singer awakened sweeter echoes or roused greater enthusiasm than that of Mr. John Howson, the most gifted of the clever family of that name, and the one who had been allied in song with almost every artiste who visited this country. But the demon of intemperance hovered over his career, ruined his prospects, and was finally the cause of his death, apart from all his friends, by means of a lamentable accident, whilst still in the prime of life.

"LAW REPORT . . . HOWSON V. ROBINSON", The Sydney Morning Herald (6 March 1889), 5  

"MUMMER MEMOIRS", Sydney Sportsman (15 January 1908), 3 

[letter from Mr. H. P. Lyons] . . . I am enclosing you an account of his [John Howson's] death, which I have kept all these years . . . The first opera I ever heard was "La Somnambula." Mrs. Guerin (Mrs. Stewart), Frank and John Howson and G. H. Rogers were in the cast. I can remember back in the late forties, Mrs. Sterling (Mrs. Guerin-Stewart) playing Mrs. Haller in "The Stranger." I was a small boy then, and my mother was fond of seeing Mrs. Sterling play . . .

Henry Howson (and daughter Ida Howson, and son Arthur Howson)


Violinist, conductor, arranger

Born London, England, 6 March 1822; baptised St. John's, Smith Square, Westminster, 31 March 1822
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 28 January 1842 (per Sydney, from the Downs, 3 October 1841)
Died Glenferrie (Hawthorn), VIC, 18 April 1893, aged 71, buried Castlemaine  (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Henry Howson, son of Francis Howson senior, and a violinist, joined the Hobart Theatre on arrival with his brothers Frank Howson (1817-1869) and John Howson in January 1842 in the party of London singers and musicians recruited by Anne Clarke. He was one of the leaders of the orchestra there, a billing he shared with Abraham Duly (leader of the winds), and later with fellow violinists Gautrot and Leffler.

Was he also the but once-mentioned "W. H. Howson", who played double bass for the Hobart Choral Society in 1844, or was that his younger brother William Edwin?

At the Victoria Theatre Hobart on 3 February 1845, for his brother Frank's benefit, it was advertised that:

The Evening's Entertainments will commence with (for the first time in these Colonies) the very celebrated Opera, in three Acts, by Auber's MASANIELLO . . . The whole of the Music arranged by Mr. Henry Howson.

Henry was also later in Sydney, working with his brothers at the Royal Victoria. Notably, at a benefit for John Howson in June 1850:

Production of the Operetta of the Two Figaros [Planché, London, November 1836], the Music selected from the Operas of The Barber of Seville, and The Marriage of Figaro, arranged for the Orchestra by Mr. Henry Howson.

He had settled in central Victoria by 1854, and was leader of the Sandhurst Philharmonic Society by 1866 and as late as 1877. Notably, he was the first music teacher of William Adolphus Laver.


[Advertisement], The Courier (17 February 1843), 1

"THE GOVERNMENT BALL", Launceston Examiner (7 December 1843), 2

. . . The musical department was entrusted to the Messrs. Howson and Duly who acquitted themselves in their usual good style. Henry Howson is an improving violinist, and shines in a ball-room . . . Verily, Howson's fiddlestick was as Merlins wand, it changed all the characters in an instant.

"THE THEATRE", Colonial Times (12 March 1844), 3

"HOBART TOWN CHORAL SOCIETY", The Courier (22 October 1844), 3

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (1 February 1845), 1

"ARRIVALS", Launceston Examiner (7 June 1845), 4

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (18 November 1845), 3

A CARD. MR. HENRY HOWSON, Teacher of the Violin and Guitar. Quadrille parties attended. For terms, enquire at Mr. Tegg's, or at the residence of Mr. H., corner of Argyle and Brisbane Streets.

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (9 December 1845), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 May 1850), 1s

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (3 June 1850), 2

[Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press (17 September 1851), 3

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 December 1851), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 December 1851), 1

"VICTORIA THEATRE", Colonial Times (22 February 1853), 2

"MARRIED", The Argus (9 January 1854 ), 5

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (13 August 1866), 1

"NEWSTEAD", Mount Alexander Mail (22 November 1869), 2 

"AMUSEMENTS", Bendigo Advertiser (4 November 1874), 3

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (21 December 1877), 1

"ITEMS OF NEWS", Mount Alexander Mail (19 April 1893), 2

Intelligence was received yesterday that Mr. Henry Howson died on Monday at his residence in Glenferrie. He never recovered from the paralytic stroke that came on him in Christ Church about four years ago. He long lingered after this attack in a precarious state, that caused great anxiety to his wife and members of his family. After a time, however, he so far rallied that he was able to come for a short time to his music warehouse in Market Square, but he had almost lost his voice and could but articulate feebly a few words. Acting upon the advice of his medical attendants, he removed in the hope that the change of air might have a beneficial effect upon him, but it had no requisite influence upon his recovery, though it may have acted in prolonging his life. In the early days, when Moonlight Flat swarmed with miners, Mr. Howson rejoiced the hearts and spirits of many in listening to his tuneful performances on the violin. He was always passionately fond of music, and became in the early days a prominent figure in the Philharmonic Society's concerts. Afterwards he became the leader of a string band, which took part in many public performances, and frequently formed the orchestra at theatrical entertainments. Always of a gentle, kindly nature, he had many friends, but no enemies, during his long residence in Castlemaine. His remains will be brought from Melbourne by this morning's train, and will be interred in the Campbell's Creek Cemetery.

"CASTLEMAINE (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT) Tuesday, 18th April. DEATH OF AN OLD MUSICIAN", Bendigo Advertiser (19 April 1893), 3

News came to hand today announcing that Mr. H. Howson, for many years the leading musician in Castlemaine, had died at the advanced age of 71 years. Howson's band was for many years acknowledged to be the best musical combination in the district. Mr. Howson came to Castlemaine when musicians were very scarce in the colony; and by his energy and instruction succeeded in forming the first orchestra the town possessed. The fame of the Howson family, it is needless to say, was known through out the length and breadth of the colonies. A few years ago the fine old musician, while attending the service at Christ Church, was stricken down in his pew with paralysis. He recovered partially, but never was restored to his usual health and strength again. He retired from business, and peacefully passed away in the midst of his talented sons and daughters. The deceased gentleman's remains will be brought to Campbell's Creek, for interment.

"FUNERAL OF AN OLD RESIDENT", Bendigo Advertiser (20 April 1893), 3

"CASTLEMAINE", The Argus (20 April 1893), 6

Death has removed another of the early pioneers of Castlemaine in the person of Mr. H. Howson, whose remains were interred today. After working on the Forest Creek Gold Fields in their prosperous days deceased started a music repository here, and for many years was conductor of an orchestra, Mr. Howson having been an efficient violinist.

"Mr. W. A. Laver", Table Talk (6 October 1894), 6 

Mr. W. A. Laver was born in August, 1866, in that town which returned the late Premier to Victoria. The "Cabinet organ" of the late Ministry was not able to keep it in power, but the Castlemaine boy now under notice relies for his popularity upon an instrument which will never play him false and will always respond to the aspirations of his own soul. Young Laver received his general education at the local schools of Castlemaine. At six years of age he began to learn music, his instructor being Mr. Henry Howson (a name, by-the-bye, well-known in the annals of opera in Australia), who died of paralysis a couple of years ago. Master Laver remained under Mr. Howson's tuition for eight years, making occasional appearances in the district as an instrumentalist, and then left Victoria for Germany to pursue his musical studies under the widest advantages. With his mother and two brothers, he went to Frankfort-on-the-Main in 1880, and became a student at Dr. Hoch's Conservatorium, of which the celebrated Raff was then the Director . . .

HOWSON, Ida Slee (Mrs. Frederick Ewen BULL)

Teacher of the Pianoforte and Harmonium

Born Sandy Bay, Hobart, TAS, 5 May 1847 (daughter of Henry HOWSON and Harriet SLEE)
Died Bankstown, NSW, 24 December 1920 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Tasmanian names index; RGD33/1/2/ no 2365; NAME_INDEXES:951855 

1847 / Births in the district of Hobart / 2365 / May 5th / Ida Slee / female / [daughter of] Henry Howson, musician, and Harriet Howson, formerly Slee . . .

"MARRIAGES", The Argus (28 March 1871), 4 

HOWSON, Arthur

Pianist, teacher of piano and music

Born VIC, 1861 (daughter of Henry HOWSON and Harriet SLEE)
Died VIC, 1931 (TROVE taggged by Australharmony)

Younger children of Francis and Sarah Howson

HOWSON, William Edwin (W. HOWSON)

? Clarinettist, clarionet player

Born Wandsworth, Surrey, England, about 1826
Arrived Hobart, TAS, 21 August 1843 (per Eamont, from London, 15 February)
Departed, Melbourne, VIC, 7 May 1847 (steerage passenger, per Abberton, for London)
? Died West Kensington, London, England, 15 November 1898

HOWSON, Alfred

Violinist, orchestra leader

Born Surrey, England, c.1829/30
Arrived Hobart, 21 August 1843 (per Eamont, from London, 15 February)


Messrs A. and W. Howson appear in the incoming passenger lists at Hobart in August 1843. Both then in their teens, W. and A. Howson duly appeared with John, Frank, and Henry (? their brothers) among the "gentlemen" assisting at the Gautrots' concert in Hobart in November 1844.

In Launceston on 30 March 1845, William and Alfred Howson were among the members of George Coppin's company who signed in a "copy of agreement" for their forthcoming Melbourne season (see Garryowen, Chronicles, 470)

It was perhaps, then, slightly more likely that young Frank Alfred appeared on stage as a "child" in Launceston in June 1846 billed as "MASTER ALFRED HOWSON". Nevertheless, Alfred is also next heard of in Launceston in 1846, performing with his father Francis. At the Royal Olympic Theatre by June 1848 "A. Howson" was "Leader of the Orchestra". Since 1846 this role had been attributed merely to "Mr. Howson", circumstantially perhaps more likely to be Francis Howson senior, though this is by no means certain. In February 1849 "Alfred Howson" was "Leader of the Band"; and in August he made his debut in character "on the boards".

William, meanwhile, sailed for England in May 1847, the first (and possibly only) member of the family to elect to return to the mother country.

In Hobart in April 1849, for Maria Carandini's concert, "A. Howson" played second violin to (? his brother) Henry. In April 1852 he was leader and violinist of Jacobs's "Louisianna Harmonists" in concert in Geelong. He is last positively documented at Geelong in September that year, though (? his brother) Walter Howson played in Geelong in November.


"ARRIVALS", The Courier (25 August 1843), 2

21 [August] - Arrived the bark Eamont, 277 tons, Murray, from London 15th February, with a general cargo passengers, Mrs. Powers, Mr. W. Howson, Mr. A. Howson.

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (16 November 1844), 1

"Copy of Agreement, Theatre, Launceston, V.D.L., March 30th, 1845"; ed. Garryowen, Chronicles, 470)

We, the undersigned, hereby agree to proceed to Melbourne per ship "Swan" under the management of Mr. Coppin, to perform at the theatre for a season, and to return to Launceston if required, and bind ourselves under a penalty of £25 to be paid to the said George Coppin, that we will not perform at the theatre or any other place of amusement, unless it is under the management of Mr. Coppin, by his free will and consent. (Signed) M. H. ROGERS and wife, CHARLES YOUNG and wife, MRS . THOMPSON, J.E. MEGSON,* E. A. OPIE, J. HAMBLETON and wife, F. B. WATSON, WILLIAM HOWSON,* ALFRED HOWSON,* JOHN WILKS , BEN. RAE. Witness : WILLIAM BELL, Captain of "Swan." [* orchestra]

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (20 June 1846), 472

"ST. ANDREW'S BALL", The Cornwall Chronicle (5 December 1846), 941

. . . We cannot forbear noticing the orchestral arrangements, which, under the direction of Mr. Rolfe, comprised all the musical talent of Launceston, and amply compensated by their judicious exertions for their paucity of numbers. Led by Mr. A. Howson, and ably sustained by Messrs. Howson, senior, and Rolfe, and the intermediate instruments, we were truly astonished at the pretty effect produced by the united exertions of the above gentlemen, on considering the disadvantages, under which they laboured through their platform being at least three feet too high, and being surrounded by evergreens. The general satisfaction evinced, shows the propriety of engaging a private band, instead of the military - not only in justice to them as professional men - but from their more perfect knowledge of the proper effect to be produced in a ball-room by their respective instruments, of which the military necessarily cannot be so cognizant.

"MELBOURNE", Geelong Advertiser and Squatters' Advocate (7 May 1847), 2

The Abberton will clear out at the Customs for London this day, and will sail positively on Sunday morning. Passengers . . . steerage, - Mr. W. E. Howson.

? William Edwin Howson.

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (28 June 1848), 1

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (7 February 1849), 358

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (13 April 1849), 1

"Amusements", The Cornwall Chronicle (11 August 1849), 784

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (2 November 1850), 763

OLYMPIC ROOMS.- Mr. Alfred Howson and Mr. Edwin Towns beg to acquaint their friends and the public, that they have taken the above rooms for a short season, and that it is their intention to open them on Monday and Thursday evenings in each week with a ball, the first to take place on Monday night next, ths 4th November. Admission two shillings. Doors open at half-past eight. Dancing to commence at 9 o'clock. Leader of the Orchestra, Mr. A. Howson. Master of the Ceremonies, Mr. E. Towns.

[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (27 April 1852), 2

THEATRE ROYAL, GEELONG . . . Open Every Evening. GREATEST NOVELTY OF THE SEASON. THE LOUISIANA HARMONISTS! . . .. Mr. Deering has, regardless of the expense, engaged the celebrated LOUISIANA HARMONISTS, who will introduce their hitherto unrivalled Ethiopian Band. The performances of these gentlemen consist of Songs, Duets, Glees, Choruses, selected from the most recent Operas, interspersed with Conundrums, Witticisms, &c., &c . . . THE LOUISIANA HARMONISTS. Mr. A. Howson, leader, violin. Mr. J. James, Banjo and Bones. Mr. C. Pell, Triangulum. Mr. J. Riley, Tambo. Mr. Meadows, Banjo and Bones. Opening Chorus by the Company . . . To conclude with the celebrated . . . RAILWAY GALOP . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (27 August 1852), 3

[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (28 August 1852), 2

[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (1 September 1852), 2

THE "BRITANNIA" ASSEMBLY ROOMS, YARRA-STREET. MR. A. HOWSON, (Late of the Theatre Royal, Geelong), RESPECTFULLY announces to his Friends, and the Public of Geelong, that he has taken the above Rooms for the purpose of giving A SERIES OF ASSEMBLIES. THE FIRST WILL TAKE PLACE On Thursday Evening Next, Sept, 2 . . .

HOWSON, Miss or Miss C. (Miss C. HOWSON)

[No known musical billing]

? Born England, about 1829
Arrived Sydney, 11 February 1844 (per Alfred, from London, 2 November 1843)
Arrived Hobart, 2 March 1844 (per Louisa, from Sydney, 17 February)

? Francis Howson's youngest daughter, arrived with her father and two young brothers, Walter and Frederick.

HOWSON, Walter

Clarinettist, vocalist, banjo player, blackface minstrel, actor, comedian, impersonator

Born ? London, England, before 1835
Arrived Sydney, NSW 11 February 1844 (per Alfred, from London, 2 November 1843)
Arrived Hobart, TAS, 2 March 1844 (per Louisa, from Sydney, 17 February)
Departed Perth, WA, by 1878 (for London)
Died Cape Town, South Africa, 13 January 1898 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

HOWSON, Frederick

Actor, vocalist

Born London, England, ? before 1835 / ? c. 1831
Arrived Sydney, 11 February 1844 (per Alfred, from London, 2 November 1843)
Arrived Hobart, 2 March 1844 (per Louisa, from Sydney, 17 February)
Died Soquel, Santa Cruz, California, USA, 28 July 1873 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"ARRIVED", The Australian (17 February 1844), 2

Feb. 16. - The brig Louisa, Tucker, master, for Hobart Town. Passengers . . . Mr. Howson, Miss Howson, Masters F. and W. Howson . . .

Francis Howson senior, his ? daughter Miss Howson, and his two youngest children Frederick Howson and Walter Howson.

[Advertisement], The Courier (16 August 1844) 3

SELECTION from LA SOMNAMBULA. Solo Clarinetto - "Corrie per me sereno" - MR. W. Howson.

Recte Come per me sereno

"THE THEATRE. MASONIC BESPEAK", Colonial Times (17 September 1844), 3-4

. . . Of the musical selection from La Somnambula we have formerly spoken. Mr. W. Howson improves, we think, on the clarionette . . .

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (16 November 1844), 1

GRAND CONCERT . . . MONSIEUR AND MADAME GAUTROT . . . The following Ladies and Gentlemen have kindly tendered their valuable assistance: Mrs. Stirling, Mrs. Rogers, Mrs. Curtis, Mr. Reichenberg, Mr. J. Howson, Mr. F. Howson, Mr. H. Howson, W. Howson, A. Howson . . .

John, Frank, Henry, William Edwin, and Alfred Howson

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (17 June 1846), 461

. . . GRAND TABLEAU. Comic Song, "The Werry Indentical Flute," by Mr. Osborne, with drum and whistle accompaniment, by Masters F. and W. Howson, pupils of Mr. Osborne.

Frederick Howson and Walter Howson.

"THE THEATRE", The Cornwall Chronicle (8 July 1846), 520

Mr. Howson takes a benefit for himself and little boys on Friday, when by permission of the Colonel be is to have the services of the Military Band. Among the novelties for this occasion only, Mr. Howson will perform on the violin on one string a la Paganini. Should the weather prove favorable, the programme will in all probability attract a large audience.

Francis Howson, Frederick Howson, and Walter Howson.

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (8 July 1846), 522

THEATRE ROYAL OLYMPIC, MR. HOWSON AND SONS' BENEFIT. FRIDAY, JULY 10, 1846 . . . VENETIAN STATUES, By Masters W. & F. Howson, pupils of Mr. Osborne.

[Advertisement], The Australian (19 June 1847), 2

ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE. MR. JOHN HOWSON'S BENEFIT. The Grand Opera of "Gustavus the Third; or, the Masked Ball." The whole of the Music arranged for this Orchestra by Mr. J. Howson. FIRST APPEARANCE OF MASTERS F. & W. HOWSON, In the classical delineation of Grecian and Roman Sculpture . . .

Frederick Howson and Walter Howson.

[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Sydney (16 December 1848), 3

"THE DRAMA", Bell's Life in Sydney (23 December 1848), 2

. . . After the opera [John Howson's The corsair], Master Walter Howson exhibited considerable comic talent in his Nigger Melodies; particularly in the duet of Lucy Long, in which he had the able assistance of Mr. Hydes.

[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Sydney (11 August 1849), 3

Royal Victoria Theatre . . . FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR. J. HOWSON . . . Song, "SOLOMON LOB," with Drum accompaniments, Master W. HOWSON . . .

Walter Howson.

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", Empire (10 August 1852), 2

ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE. THIS EVENING, August 10, 1852, will be produced the celebrated Opera of NORMA. Oroveso, Mr. F. Howson; Pollio, Mr. J. Howson; Norma, Madame Sara Flower; Adalgisa, Mrs. Gibbs. Milanese Hornpipe, Miss Louisa Collins, pupil of Madame Torning; Ethiopian Melody Master W. Howson. To conclude with the laughable Farce of BOX AND COX.

Frank, John, and Walter Howson.

[Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press (17 September 1851), 3

. . . MR. F. HOWSON . . . Violoncello & Pianoforte; MR. J. HOWSON . . . Tenor Trombone, Pianoforte, and Tambo; MR. H. HOWSON . . . LEADER: Violin; MR. W. HOWSON . . . Banjo, &c, MR. HYDES . . . Flute, Cornet-a-Piston, and Bones. MR. GUERIN . . . Violin; &c.

Frank, John, Henry, and Walter Howson.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 December 1851), 1

MESSRS. HOWSON'S AND HYDES' ENTERTAINMENT. Royal Hotel, Monday, December 8. MESSRS. F. Howson, J. Howson, H. Howson, W. Howson, and Hydes, beg to inform their friends, and the public generally, that during their limited stay in Sydney, they purpose giving a series of Musical Entertainments at the Royal Hotel, the first of which will take place on MONDAY next. Full particular will be duly announced.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 August 1852), 1

HOWARD'S SERENADERS . . . The Company consists of five performers, each and all unrivalled, vis., Charles V. Howard, tambourine; J. W. Sandford, Guitar; E. W. Pierce, Flute; Walter Howson, Banjo . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 September 1852), 1

HOWARD'S SERENADERS. - Immense success of the Ethiopian Concerts. Last night but one of the present series. 193rd Grand Evening Musical Soirée. For the Benefit of Mr. WALTER HOWSON, Banjo Player, THIS EVENING, Friday, September 24, in the Saloon of the Royal Hotel . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (2 November 1852), 6

[Advertisement], The Courier (28 May 1853), 2

Mr. and Mrs. Upson and Mr. Frederick Howson, from the Sydney Theatres, having arrived, they will have the honour of making their first appearance in the course of the week.

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", The Courier (2 June 1853), 2

"Sudden Thoughts" brought forward Mr. Frederick Howson as Jack Cabbage, his cabbage-stalks preposterously decorated with drapery of pickled cabbage hue, and who proved himself but a raw vegetable in representing the unfledged goose of the metropolitan shop-board. The sudden thought, or impulse, which has induced him to believe he can vegetate upon the stage has deceived him grossly . . . and it was with a deep sensation of regret we heard a patriarchal old gentleman, sitting near us, possibly, the nearest paternal relation of the stage struck hero, in hopeless despair, ejaculate, "How-Son! How-Son! How hast thou acted, Son!"

[Advertisement], The Courier (13 October 1853), 2

. . . THEATRE ROYAL . . . MRS. A'BECKETT EVANS' BENEFIT . . . UNCLE TOM'S CABIN . . . Andy, Mr. Frederick Howson . . .

[Advertisement], The Star (12 April 1864), 3

. . . THEATRE ROYAL . . . FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE INIMITABLE BARLOW . . . In conjunction with MR. WALTER HOWSON, The great Banjo Soloist and Primo Buffo; also, MR. RICHARD HERZ, The celebrated Pianist and Composer.

"MR. WALTER HOWSON", The Brisbane Courier (17 March 1866), 4

MR. WALTER HOWSON bade farewell to the Brisbane public last evening, at a performance given for his benefit by the Amateur Brisbane Minstrels. His brief sojourn in this part of Queensland has come to a close, and he is about to settle down in New South Wales. When he came here, over eighteen months ago, as one of the Campbell Minstrels, he was esteemed a general favorite; and on his return in September last, with the Howson family, as a light comedian, he was welcomed back as an old friend. Since September he has appeared regularly, until the last week or two, at the Victoria Theatre, and the public have had every means of judging of his ability. He has proved himself a painstaking and clever actor, whose keen sense of the comic and ridiculous enabled him to give a thorough representation to such of the characters belonging to his role, as he has had an opportunity of appearing in. It must have been a dull, unappreciative house that his drollery could not provoke to merriment. Without pretending to stand in the first rank, he has a description of talent, and a knowledge of his profession, which carry him through his task with unmistakeable credit, and enable him to satisfy all except the most hypocritical of audiences. Mr. Howson will be missed from the Victoria Theatre; and his place will not be easily filled. We hope, however, that the more certain pursuits to which he intends to turn his attention will be as profitable to him as his previous career has been successful. Notwithstanding the fact that the partial closing of the theatre since the Dramatic Company left for their northern tour, has almost made people forget their way to the place, there was a very good house last night. The programme consisted of vocal and instrumental music, jigs, breakdowns, and numerous comicalities, which were all well applauded. The Amateur Minstrels, in this, their second appearance, showed a considerable improvement, and the audience thought a great deal of their performances, as was proved by the many encores which were demanded.

"MR. HOWSON'S BENEFIT", The Inquirer (30 November 1870), 3

A grand complimentary benefit was given to Mr. Walter Howson by the Fremantle Colored Opera Troupe at the Town Hall on Monday evening. The room was well filled, and the audience highly appreciated the very excellent performances arranged for the evening's amusement. His Excellency the Governor kindly extended his patronage and was present, accompanied by Mrs. Weld and suite.

"OBITUARY", Chicago Daily Tribune (17 August 1873), 15

Frederic Howson, an old pioneer, and a resident of San Francisco until about three months ago, committed suicide at Soquel, in California, on July 19. He was a vocalist and actor of considerable local celebrity, and was an expert and enthusiastic cricket-player, being the best of the celebrated Union Club. He was a brother of John and Frank Howson, and an uncle of Emma and Clelia Howson, of the Howson Opera Troupe. While boating in the Bay of Monterey, about three months ago, his boat capsized. Two of his companions were drowned, and he barely escaped, remaining insensible for several hours after reaching the shore. It is stated that he never recovered from the shock to his system resulting from this accident. He was about 42 years age. The manner of his suicide is not stated.

"TOWN TALK", Geelong Advertiser (11 December 1873), 2 

[News], The Tasmanian Tribune (16 December 1873), 2 

The Howson family has lost another of its members by death. A private letter from San Francisco has the following on the subject: - "Frederick Howson, vocalist and actor of repute, who had resided in San Francisco until some three months since, committed suicide at Loguel [Soquel] some few days back. He was [? ? ] and a dear relative of Emma, Clelia, John and Frank Howson, who greatly lament his sad fate. Some months ago, while boating in the Bay of Monteray, the boat capsized, two of his companions were drowned, and he barely escaped with life, remaining insensible many hours after reaching the shore. He never recovered from the shock, his system received on that occasion. Melancholy took possession of him, causing him to end his career by his own band." - Herald.

"MUMMER MEMOIRS", Sydney Sportsman (15 January 1908), 3 

[letter from H. P. Lyons] . . . I am enclosing you an account of [John Howson's] death, which I have kept all these years. Mr. Walter Howson was a member of my own company in 1869, and accompanied me to Perth, Western Australia, and afterwards became my agent, when with Tom Weiland we sailed for Java, Burmah, and India - We sold our circus in Calcutta, as I was about to join Chevalier Blondin. Able Klair Pollack and Howson bought and re-organised it, and sailed for the Cape of Good Hope, where Walter Howson died . . .

Henry Percival Lyons (d.1913), circus owner, agent

Children of Frank and Emma Howson

HOWSON, Frank Alfred Girolamo (Frank HOWSON junior; F. A. HOWSON)

Tenor vocalist, violinist, cellist, pianist, arranger, conductor, composer

Born London, 28 March 1841
Arrived Hobart, 28 January 1842 (per Sydney, from the Downs, 3 October 1841)
Departed Newcastle, 10 April 1866 (per Japan, for San Francisco)
Died USA, 28 June 1926, aged 85 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Was it perhaps young Frank who appeared on stage in Launceston in June 1846 billed as "MASTER ALFRED HOWSON"? His mature career was underway in Sydney by July 1859 when he was cellist in Lewis Lavenu's orchestra for the Sydney University Musical Festival. In June 1861, at the theatre, "a selection from Wallace's very popular opera The amber witch, very skilfully arranged by Mr. F. A. Howson, was performed by the orchestra". As a conductor he made his debut at Sydney's Lyceum on 14 November 1861, with the Bianchis, Sara Flower, and John Gregg, in Verdi's Il Trovatore. He appears to have done less well in the United States, where Dwight's Journal (1877), 74 described him as "a self-made man of very limited ability", though he was a regularly published song composer.


"SHIP NEWS", Colonial Times (1 February 1842), 2

? [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (20 June 1846), 472

[Advertisement], Empire (2 July 1859), 3:

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 November 1859), 1 

THEATRICAL UNION. To the Public - We, the undersigned members of the theatrical Profession . . . E. Holloway, R. H. Cox, Alfred Usher, A. C. Chate, W. J. Rice, F. Sharpe, E. Gallagher, M. Dwyer, H. Maynard, W. Burbury, W. J. Brown, M. Josephson, Henry Prince, F. B. Cooper, G. R. Morton, Frank Howson, sen., F. Howson, jun., Robert Vaughan, Edward Wright, C. Fredericks, R. Murray, J. Davis, J. Hall, R. W. Kohler, C. Eigenschenck, S. Howard, W. Walter, and eighteen others. R STEWART, Treasurer. FRANK VARLEY, Secretary. November 24th 1859.

"COPY OF PROTEST", Empire (12 June 1860), 8

"THE DRAMA", Empire (21 June 1861), 5:

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 November 1861), 1

"THE OPERA", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 November 1861), 8

The orchestra is strong and well balanced, the introduction of a bassoon being a great improvement (an instrument which the late Mr. Lavenu used very freely in the instrumentation of "Trovatore"). One of the most pleasing circumstances connected with the performances of last night was the debut, as conductor, of Mr. Frank A. Howson, junior, who, on taking his seat met with a warm reception from all parts of the house, and though very young for so important a position, the manner in which he fulfilled the duties drew forth the highest commendations. He kept his orchestra well together, and displayed more firmness than is usually found in those who wield the baton for the first time. With experience and study he must shortly, as a conductor, become a very valuable addition to the musical world of the Southern hemisphere.

"The New Adelphi Theatre", The Star (25 December 1862), 1s

[News], The Argus (21 January 1864), 4

"La Sonnambula" was repeated for the second time at the Haymarket Theatre last evening, and the large audience testified by their applause as well as by the presence the interest now taken in this opera troupe-mainly absorbed, of course, by the new prima donna, Miss Emma Howson. . . . It would be an injustice if we were not to mention in terms of high praise the exertions of Mr. F. A. Howson, the conductor. His orchestra is thin, but in tune and good condition, while the way in which he has made a tolerable chorus out of materials which include only five or six persons fit to sing in any capacity is a marvel.

[Advertisement], The Argus (16 June 1864), 8

[News], The Brisbane Courier (14 September 1865), 2

The announcement that the Rev. Mr. Graham is about to deliver a lecture on Friday next, in Mason's Concert Hall, on the life of the late President Lincoln, has been so well received, that we are informed that nearly all the tickets for the reserved seats have been purchased . . . we may mention that the members of the Howson family have, in the most handsome manner consented to sing the National Anthem, previous to the commencement of the lecture, and at the termination of it the American national hymn of "Hail Columbia". Both pieces have been arranged by Mr. F. A. Howson specially for the occasion-the latter will be for a solo and quartetto for the first verse, and a duett and a quintetto for the second. In the absence of any properly organised musical society in Brisbane at the present time, it is a matter of congratulation that the Howson's should come forward and voluntarily give their services.

"THE HOWSON OPERA COMPANY", The Maitland Mercury (20 March 1866), 2

"AMUSEMENTS", The Sydney Morning Herald (2 April 1866), 4

"NEWCASTLE. DEPARTURES", The Sydney Morning Herald (12 April 1866), 4

[News], The South Australian Advertiser (6 July 1872), 2

. . . Miss Rosina [Carandini] sang a song written by a local composer (Mr. F. A. Howson). It is entitled "Nora is pretty" [1870], and it is a pleasing and graceful ballad, which is likely to become popular. The composer could not have had a more accomplished interpreter of his music than he found in Miss Rosina . . . "Nora is pretty" was composed by Mr. Frank A. Howson, now in America, and produced for the first time in Australia last evening. It is a good song, but of a kind more to be appreciated for its technical beauties than for its popular qualities. It could not, however, fail to be pleasing when sung by Rosina Carandini.

"ROSINA CARANDINI'S BENEFIT", South Australian Register (6 July 1872), 4

"THE HOWSONS", South Australian Register (21 October 1873), 5

"AN AUSTRALIAN COMPOSER", Launceston Examiner (1 July 1926), 5

Mr. Frank Alfred Howson, the Australian composer and musical director, died at 85 today. He had been a resident in the United States for sixty years. He first came here with the Howson Opera Company. Last year he composed new musical settings for Rudyard Kipling's "Rolling Down to Rio".

HOWSON, John Jerome (John HOWSON junior; John HOWSON)

Vocalist, violinist, cellist, composer

Born Hobart, TAS, 17 November 1842
Departed . . .
Died Troy, NY, 16 December 1887 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Tasmanian State Archives; RGD33/1/1/ no 1436; NAME_INDEXES:1067892 (DIGITISED)

1843 [sic] / Births in the District of HOBART / 1436 / 17 November 1842 / John / male / [son of] Francis Howson, professor of music, [and] Emma Howson, formerly Richardson / Francis Howson, father, Liverpool St. / [birth registered] 23 May [1843]


Soprano (mezzo) vocalist

Born Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 28 March 1844
Died New York, USA, 28 May 1928 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Tasmanian State Archives; RGD32/1/3/ no 2626; NAME_INDEXES:1089467 (DIGITISED)

HOWSON, Clelia (Sarah Clelia; Clelia Sara, Mrs. Hosmer Buskingham PARSONS)

Soprano vocalist

Born Hobart, 8 June 1845 (registered Sydney, 1845)
Died Brooklyn, NY, 28 October 1931 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Tasmanian State Archives; RGD33/1/2/ no 1088; NAME_INDEXES:1069347 (DIGITISED)

[News], The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (28 October 1931), 15

An estate of more than $70,000 was left by Clelia Sara Parsons, who died Oct. 24., filing of her will with Surrogate Wingate showed yesterday. Mrs. Parsons lived at 325 Clinton Ave.. Her estate goes to a daughter, Mrs. Emma Adams of Central Valley, N. Y.





John Jerome's second name is presumably that of (? his godfather) Gerome (Jerome) Carandini. Curiously, Sarah Clelia's birth was registered in NSW in 1845 [V1845785 35/1845], after "Mrs Howson and three children and servant" arrived in Sydney, on 5 August, to join Frank, who had been at Sydney theatre since May. As "Miss Sarah Clelia Howson", she made her debut in a program of selections from Mendelssohn's Elijah in September 1857, in "Go up, child, and look towards the sea" with her father Frank. Emma and Clelia made their stage debuts at their father's benefit at the Royal Victoria in Sydney on 23 December 1858, in the third act of the opera The Night Dancers.

The family company departed Newcastle, NSW, 10 April 1866 (per Japan, for San Francisco)


"BIRTH", The Cornwall Chronicle (14 June 1845), 2

[Advertisement], Empire (3 September 1857), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 December 1858), 1

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

[Advertisement], Empire (21 January 1862), 1

"COMPLIMENTARY CONCERT TO MR. CORDNER", The Sydney Morning Herald (31 January 1862), 5

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 September 1862), 4

"THEATRE ROYAL", The Mercury (19 August 1863), 2

We learn with pleasure that there is every prospect of the [Theatre Royal] being opened for a brief season within a few weeks from the present time by a company of professional artists, already long and favorably known throughout the Australian colonies, and some of them at least personally familiar to the residents of Tasmania. We refer to Messrs. Frank and John Howson, sen., Frank and John Howson, jun., and Misses Emma and Cecilia [sic] Howson, sisters of the last named gentlemen. The elder Messrs. Howson are, we need scarcely say, those to whom we have referred as personally known in this island, the junior members of the corps, although most, if not all of them natives of the colony, having left it at too early an age to admit of their having established professional reputation prior to their departure. These ladies and gentlemen have met with marked success wherever they hare appeared on the boards of the neighboring colonies. Miss Emma Howson (a native of Hobart Town) especially having created quite a furore as an operatic prima donna . . .

"THE DRAMA", The Brisbane Courier (28 March 1865), 3

. . . Miss Emma, the eldest, has a mezzo-soprano voice of wonderful sweetness that has been carefully cultivated, and Miss Clelia's voice is a soprano, of exquisite purity, equally charming.

"THE THEATRE", The Brisbane Courier (23 September 1865), 4

"THE HOWSON OPERA COMPANY", The Maitland Mercury (20 March 1866), 2

The vessel in which the Howson Opera Company recently sailed from Newcastle for San Francisco sprang a leak at sea when four hundred miles from the coast, and narrowly escaped foundering. The vessel was fortunately kept afloat until the port of Newcastle was regained, and the detention of the ship for repairs has enabled the company to favour the Maitland public with a visit, and to give a few concerts. Their first was at the School of Arts, on Friday evening, when there was a very small audience present. Notwithstanding the discouragement of this circumstance, the company gave every item of an excellent programme, which they issued. The ladies, Miss Emma and Miss Clelia Howson, have improved wonderfully in their vocal powers since they previously visited this district. Miss Clelia Howson also plays now very artistically, and her accompaniments of the different ballads and songs rendered on Friday evening were exceedingly good. Mr. Frank Howson still preserves his fine vocal and humorous abilities, and delighted the audience with a display of them. Messrs. F. A. Howson (violoncellist) and John Howson (violinist) play well together. Mr. Henri Herberte, a tenor singer well deserving of fame, accompanies the Howsons, and his magnificent voice is the best tenor that we have heard for a very lengthened period. The concert was undoubtedly the best that bas been given in Maitland for years past, and it made a most favourable impression upon all who had the pleasure of hearing it. Each member of the company received well deserved plaudits, and encores were frequently demanded, and the demands were gracefully complied with. On Saturday evening they appeared at the Olympic Theatre, and we were glad to see their talent recognised by a very large and enthusiastic audience. To-night they will give a farewell concert at the Maitland School of Arts, where they can be heard to the best advantage, and we trust they will be greeted with a bumper hone. They purpose giving a concert at Singleton to-morrow evening, and returning to Sydney on Thursday.

"AMUSEMENTS", The Sydney Morning Herald (2 April 1866), 4

"NEWCASTLE. DEPARTURES", The Sydney Morning Herald (12 April 1866), 4

"THE HOWSONS IN CALIFORNIA", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (16 February 1867), 2 

"The Howson Family in California", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (26 October 1867), 2 

DEAR BELL, - By advices received by last mail, I learn that the Metropolitan Theatre, San Francisco, had been opened under the direction of Miss Emma Howson, with her father, Mr. Frank Howson, as manager. The great feature of the opening night was the production of a new and original operetta, composed by Mr. Frank Howson, junior, entitled "Mephistopheles, junior, or, an Ambassador from Below." It appears to have been written for the express purpose of displaying the versatile musical talents of his sister Clelia, who sustains the principal part. The local press write highly of this composition, and the least enthusiastic journal thus alludes to composer and principal artiste: - "The duet 'Two little hands, two little hearts,' was very pretty; the duet between Brancador and Fiametta, 'Here's my wife, so you must leave me,' was a really fine composition; and the finale 'Good-night, Signor Mephistopheles,' evinced considerable talent. Why does not Frank write an English opera? The chief parts in the play, Pepito, Honesta and Mephistopheles, fell to Miss Clelia Howson, who performed them admirably. At the commencement of the play her impersonation of the good young Pepito, the gardener, was capital, and the change which took place in his feelings when Mephistopheles entered into him was most artistically represented. Her impersonation of Honesta was equally good, and the transformation, of the timid, blushing bride into the virago was a very fine piece of acting. As Mephistopheles, in the concluding scene, Miss Clelia Howson was, indeed, a very jolly little devil, and quite won the hearts of her audience."

They have concluded their entertainments by the production of several first-class burlesques, in which the fair directress has made a lasting impression amongst the "Friscans," by her fine musical abilities. The same journal from which I have quoted has the following:- "The entertainments concluded with some clever burlesque, in which Miss Emma Howson appeared to great advantage, acting and singing in the most charming manner, being well played up to by the manager, Mr. F. Howson. Mr. John Howson was wonderfully funny in a burlesque old-woman part.

They had just produced the burlesque of "Aladdin," in which the vivacious Clelia appeared as the Wonderful Scamp, her father impersonating "the disconsolate Widow Twankay. The operas of "Der Freischutz" and "The Bohemian Girl" were in course of preparation, for the production of which Mr. Henri Herberte had been re-engaged. - CALL BOY.

"THE HOWSON FAMILY", Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser (26 March 1870), 4 

Immediately after the death of their father, Mr. Frank Howson, at Omaha, the remainder of the family, consisting of the Misses Emma and Clelia Howson with their brother, Mr. John Howson, jun., made their way direct to New York. They were not long in that city before they met with very satisfactory engagements. Miss Clelia and Mr. John Howson made their first appearance in New York, on the 16th November last, at Wood's Museum, in the burlesque of "Aladdin." Though they were both labouring under the effects of a cold, their success was undeniable. As the hero in the burlesque, Miss Clelia displayed much taste in dress, style, dancing, and singing, the introduction of several of Offenbach's melodies meeting with great applause. Mr. John Howson essayed the part of the "lone lorn Widow Twankey" with considerable humour and effect. The New York Clipper says of him - "John Howson is a clever burlesque actor, and his make up and acting of the widow were as ridiculous as could be wished." Miss Emma Howson, one of the purest sopranos that ever graced the Australian stage, joined the Riching's English Opera Troupe and commenced a season with them at the Grand Opera-house, New York, in November last: Our Australian favourite made her debut before a New York audience on the 20th of that month, as the heroine in Wallace's charming opera of "Maritana." Her success was unqualified, the entire press awarding her the praise of having made one of the most successful first appearances on the lyric stage of America. Her singing and acting are both spoken of in the highest terms. On the 24th Miss Howson made another genuine success as Arline in "The Bohemian Girl." "Her voice," says one of the principal New York journals, "was all freshness and power. She is possessed of a good stage face and a symmetrical person, and sings with great earnestness. In purity, in clearness, in invariable truth of intonation, in its graceful flexibility, and in its capacity for the expression of tenderness and pathetic emotion, her voice is most excellent."

"DIED", Santa Cruz Weekly Sentinel (2 August 1873), 2 

In Soquel, July 28th, 1873, Fred Howson, a native of Sidney, New South Wales, aged about 30 years.

[News], Sacramento Daily Union (4 August 1873), 3 

A young man named Frederick Howson (one of the Howson brothers of theatrical fame) committed suicide at Mann's Hotel, in Soquel, July 28th, by taking a two-ounce dose of laudanum.

"THE HOWSONS", South Australian Register (21 October 1873), 5

"HOWSON, EMMA", "HOWSON, JOHN", in Charles Eyre Pasco, Our actors and actresses. The dramatic list (London: David Bogue, 1880), 188-89

HOWSON, EMMA, was born in Hobart Town, Tasmania. She is a daughter of the late Frank Howson, and niece of Madame Albertazzi (Emma Howson), who some forty years ago was a favourite mezzo-soprano singer at Her Majesty's Theatre; sister also of the under-mentioned John Howson. As a child, Miss Howson was possessed of considerable musical ability, which developed under her father's instruction. At an early age she sang in concerts in Australia in conjunction with him and her brothers. She made her first appearance in English opera, June 1866, at Maguire's Academy of Music, San Francisco, as Amina in "La Sonnambula". After playing several successful engagements in California and other cities on the Central Pacific Railway route to the Eastern States (see Howson, John), Miss Howson made her debut in New York in 1869 in the opera of "Maritana" at Fiske's Opera House. A twelve months' season followed with the Riching's "English Opera Combination". Subsequently Miss Howson entered into a contract with Mr. C. D. Hess to play in English opera, and visited all the principal cities of the United States and Canada, playing the prima donna roles in 'Maritana', 'Fra Diavolo', 'Bohemian Girl', 'Martha', 'Oberon', 'The Marriage of Figaro', 'Der Freyschutz', and 'Trovatore'. At Niblo's Theatre, New York, she acted the character of Eily O'Connor in 'The Colleen Bawn'. At the end of 1873 Miss Howson left the United States for Europe, and went to Milan to study the Italian repertory and language under Signor Lamperti. In March 1875 she made her debut in Italian opera at the Teatro Manoel, Malta, in the part of Amina (La Sonnambula). Afterwards Miss Howson appeared at the same theatre in 'Martha', and during the season sang in these two operas. In the autumn of the same year she went to Leghorn, and sang there in Meyerbeer's Dinorah with considerable success. In the beginning of 1876 she accepted an engagement for a provincial tour in England in Italian opera, during which she performed the prima donna roles in Le Nozze di Figaro, Lucia di Lammermoor, Rigoletto, Don Giovanni, Maritana, Der Freyschutz, Les Huguenots. Her various performances were very favourably noticed in the local press. Miss Howson made her debut on the London stage at the Opera Comique, on Saturday, May 25, 1878, as Josephine, first performance of H.M.S. Pinafore, comic opera, by MM. W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, her "clear and pure soprano voice, and refined and unaffected style, rendering full effect to the music of her part" (Daily News, May 27, 1878). In this opera Miss Emma Howson appeared from the date of its first performance down to April 1879. She subsequently went to New York to appear in the same role.

[FOOTNOTE] Mr. Frank Howson was a baritone vocalist of no inconsiderable local reputation

HOWSON, JOHN, was born in Hobart Town, Tasmania, November 17, 1844 [recte 1842], and is second son of the late Frank Howson and brother of the above-named Emma Howson. He first appeared on the stage as a lad at the Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney, N.S.W., under his father's auspices. During the period of the gold fever in Australia, and the engagement of Catherine Hayes, he sang in the chorus in La Sonnambula at the same theatre. After various fortune incidental to colonial life, "serving for a time in a lawyer's office, then a ship chandler's, afterwards, for two years, as assistant to a fashionable dancing master, devoting spare hours to education, the study of music, and practice of the violin", John Howson formed, in conjunction with other members of his family, a concert company to visit "the Diggings", Ballarat, Victoria, &c. Of this organization he was the principal violinist and "general utility" man. In 1865, at Brisbane, Queensland, "tasting the sweets of applause in a burlesque character, that of Phineas in Perseus and Andromeda, he decided on adopting the stage as a profession. In March 1866 he left Australia with his family for San Francisco. Touching at Tahiti, Society Islands, the Howsons gave two concerts under the patronage of Queen Pomare and other notabilities. Mr. Howson was for three years resident in San Francisco, appearing at the theatre in the "usual round of comedy and character business". In May 1869, en route to the Eastern States, he played the part of General Boom in La Grande Duchesse at the theatre Great Salt Lake City-"a piece which the Prophet and President, Brigham Young, witnessed on three consecutive nights." Mr. John Howson made his first appearance on the New York stage in November 1869, at Wood's Museum, as Upton Spout in the old Adelphi farce The Pretty Horsebreaker, and as the Widow Twankay in H. J. Byron's burlesque of Aladdin. He was for a time a member of the company of Booth's Theatre, and in the orchestra of the Grand Opera House as violinist. . . . He first appeared on the English stage at Brighton, September 3, 1877 . . .


"Emma Howson", Wikipedia

Nicole Anae, "A crowned and selected band of women": Tasmanian actress/celebrities of the nineteenth century and "home-grown" identity (Ph.D thesis, University of Tasmania, 2005) (DIGITISED)

Nicole Anae, "The new prima donnas: homegrown Tasmanian stars of the 1860s Emma and Clelia Howson", Journal of Australian Studies 28/84 (2005), 173-181

HOWSON, Charles Edwin

Vocalist, violoncellist, theatrical administrator

Born Sydney, 15 January 1848 (son of Frank and Emma HOWSON)
Departed Adelaide, 1873 (for USA)
Died London, 4 November 1907 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"CENTRAL POLICE COURT", The Sydney Morning Herald (23 May 1861), 5

Charles E. Howson, about 13 years of age, pleaded guilty to a charge of having discharged fireworks in Palmer-street and was fined 10s.

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", Empire (10 March 1864), 4

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", Empire (21 March 1864), 2

. . . Master Charles Howson also made a successful debut by playing a violincello obligato to Mrs. Cordner's song [True love], in a manner that gives reason to hope that he will soon become a proficient on the instrument he has chosen for his study.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 December 1866), 8

[Advertisement], The South Australian Register (10 July 1869), 1

. . . Solo Comique (By particular desire) - Japanese Fiddle - Mr. Charles Howson . . .

"DEATHS", South Australian Register (21 December 1869), 2

HOWSON. - On the 16th September, 1869, at Omaha City, Nebraska Territory, United States of America, Mr. Frank Howson, in the 52nd year of his age, father of Mr. Charles E. Howson, of Adelaide.

"MR. FRANK HOWSON", South Australian Register (21 December 1869), 2

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (28 January 1873), 1

[News], The South Australian Advertiser (28 January 1873), 2

This evening Mr. C. E. Howson, who for so long has held a prominent position in the orchestra of the Royal, will receive a complimentary farewell benefit at the Theatre, the best available dramatic talent having been secured for the occasion. Mr. Howson, we understand, is about to leave this country for America . . .

"THE HOWSONS", South Australian Register (21 October 1873), 5

Miss [Emma] Howson left [London] for Milan on September 4, accompanied by her brother, Mr. Charles E. Howson, who will also study under the best masters in Italy.

"MUSIC & THE DRAMA", Launceston Examiner (20 December 1893), 3

In connection with Mr. Irving's company (writes my Chicago correspondent) many readers of this journal may feel interested to hear something about the members of a family whose name has played so important a part in the history of the opera and drama, not only in Australia but also in America and England. I allude to the sons and daughters of the evergreen and favourably known Frank Howson, one of the pioneers in Australia of opera. The other day I had the pleasure of meeting one of his sons in the person of Mr. Charles E. Howson, the genial and popular treasurer of Mr. Henry Irving's London Lyceum Company. At the end of the present year he will have been associated with Mr. Irving for 15 years, having joined him on December 30, 1878, on the occasion of his assuming the managerial reins of the justly celebrated Lyceum Theatre. During the time Mr. Howson has been associated with Mr. Irving he has played many parts, not on the stage, but in various departments connected with the theatre-musical, press agent, interpreter (he being a fluent Italian scholar), treasurer, and acted in many other capacities of a fiduciary nature.

"MUSIC AND MUSICIANS. REMINISCENCES OF 1893", The Register (18 January 1919), 5


Another Charles Edwin Howson (? his song), reportedly "a member of the prominent theatrical family and himself an actor of repute", was killed at Eaucourt L'Abbey, France, on 1 October 1916; see The New York Dramatic Mirror (4 November 1916), 9


Pamela Hansford Johnson, Important to me (London: Macmillan, 1974) (PREVIEW)

The London Albertazzi-Howsons


Contralto, mezzo soprano vocalist

Born London, England, 1 May 1815 (eldest child of Francis and Sarah HOWSON)
Baptised St. John's, Smith Square, London, 31 March 1822 [sic]
Married Francesco ALBERTAZZI (d. 1857), St. John's, Smith Square, London, 25 November 1829
Died St. John's Wood, London, 25 September 1847 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

HOWSON, Sarah ("Sara HOWSON"; Mddle. Sara; "Mademoiselle ALBERTAZZI")

? Soprano vocalist, mezzo-soprano

Born Croydon, Surrey, England, c. 1824 (daughter of Francis and Sarah HOWSON)
Married Charles EGG, 8 May 1850
Died Croydon, Surrey, England, 1895

ALBERTAZZI, Clelia (Mrs. Jean-Baptiste VALCKENEARE)


Born Milan, 6 December 1832
Died Stockton-on-Tees, England, 24 November 1887

ALBERTAZZI, Victorine (Emma Victorine Sarah Violet ALBERTAZZI)


Born Marylebone, London, England, 18 January 1845


D. Mondo, "EMMA ALBERTAZZI", Le monde dramatique 7 (1838), 385-87 

"MUSICAL WORLD-TREBLES AND TROUBLES", The Idler, and Breakfast-Table Companion (6 January 1838), 8

"SUPERIOR COURTS", The Legal Observer (21 April 1838), 474

[Concert reviews], La France musicale (21 March 1841), 94

On a cependant, après la fantaisie en la, écouté avec intérêt le joli duo de la lettre, (des Noces de Figaro), chanté par Mme. Albertazzi et par sa jeune soeur miss Sara Howson. Cette enfant, plus jolie qu'une vignette de Lauwrens, tremblait comme la feuille, et son émotion ajoutait je ne sais quelle grâce touchante à cette mélodie si suave et si fraîche.

"THE PRINCESS'S THEATRE", The Illustrated London News (13 May 1843), 326 

Donizetti's lively opera bufa "L'Elisir d'Amore" has been produced at this elegant house for the début of Mdlle. Albertazzi in her native language, as the fair representative of the coquettish Arline; a part which, although not exactly suited to her charming voice and style (that incline somewhat to the il penseroso), she sustained in a most delightful manner. Her voice is a mezzo soprano, more remarkable for sweet quality and wonderful fluency than for extraordinary compass or power. Some of the music of Adina is a little too high for it, which occasions the semblance of exertion, but, on rules nothing could have been more graceful or finished than its general delivery . . .

"THE DRAMA", Journal of Belles Lettres (7 October 1843), 654 

Drury Lane opened on Saturday on the plan most prominently put forward by the management for the ensuing season, namely, ballet and opera. This, at least, is the present order of the promise; but operatic novelties are in preparation, and old favourites are to appear; and then perhaps the former will yield place to the latter. Of the Siege of Rochelle we need merely say, that it gave us Miss Rainforth in delightful voice: a young debutante, Mademoiselle Albertazzi, with a sweet but weak and uneducated voice and feeble manner (who had a shower in the foolish fashion of bouquets); Messrs. Leffler, Stretton, Giubilei (who sang exceedingly well), and Templeton, whose delicate organ, we regret to say, seemed past its prime.

"DRURY-LANE THEATRE", The Illustrated London News (7 October 1843), 235

A Miss Howson (we will not have her foreign assumption of Mdlle. Albertazzi) performed Marcelle [in Balfe's Siege of Rochelle] in a very creditable manner, considering it was a first apperance, and was deservedly encored in one of her songs.

"Miscellaneous", The Spectator (30 October 1847), 1040

The Queen has sent to Miss Howson a donation of 10l. for the benefit of the children of her late sister, Madame Albertazzi.

"LATER ENGLISH NEWS", The Courier (12 January 1848), 4 

Madame Albertazzi died on the 25th [September], at St. John's Wood, aged 35. Her health had been some time declining, and she died of a rapid consumption. Albertazzi made a most successful debut at Her Majesty's Theatre in Cenerentola, April 19, 1837. After that she sung at the Philharmonic Concerts, and in 1840 she appeared at Drury Lane in the opera of La Gazza Ladra, and was eminently successful. She was also engaged at the Princess's Theatre, but her voice was then failing fast. Her maiden name was Howson, and her father was a music master. She was married to Albertazzi at 16 years of age. She was sister to the Messrs. Howson, of Sydney and Hobart Town, and daughter of Mr. Howson, of Launceston.

"THE DRAMA", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (29 January 1848), 3 

On Wednesday evening an interesting nautical drama, entitled THE CHARMING POLLY, was admirably played; but the recent bereavement of Mr. FRANK HOWSON (in the lamented death of his accomplished sister, MADAME ALBERTAZZI) forbade his appearance.

"OBITUARY. MADAME ALBERTAZZI", The Gentleman's Magazine (March 1848), 320

Madame Albertazzi. Sept. 25. At her residence in St. John's Wood, aged 34, of a rapid consumption, Madame Albertazzi. Albertazzi was a native of London, and her maiden name was Emma Howson, the daughter of Mr. Francis Howson, a teacher of music. Having manifested a disposition for singing, her father put her, in 1827, with Signor A. Costa as his articled pupil. She improved rapidly, and in 1827 M. Costa took her to live in his house, that he might superintend and perfect her instruction. In May 1828 she made her first appearance in public at the concert of Mme. Cittadini, at the Argyle Rooms, and then gave every promise of future excellence. In June 1829 she again sang at the King's Theatre, at the concert of Signor Grazziani, and with increased success. In the same year she became acquainted with Signor Albertazzi, a teacher of the Italian language, who was also a pupil of Signor Costa; and in Nov. 1829 she left Signor Costa's house to be married to Signor Albertazzi; she was then only sixteen years and a half old. In August 1810 she and Signor Albertazzi went to Brighton, where she was well received in concerts, and gave one herself. In 1831 she returned to London, and gave a concert on the 8th of June, at Mr. Rolandi's, in Berners-street. She and Signor Albertazzi left London immediately after, and in 1832 she appeared at Milan; from thence she went to Madrid; and her fame still increasing, she had an engagement for Paris. She there pleased highly in the Cenerentola. From thence she went to Turin, where she performed with success. In 1836 she again returned to Paris, and increased her reputation. Albertazzi made a very successful debut at Her Majesty's Theatre in Cenerentola, April 19, 1837. After that she sang at the Ancient and Philharmonic Concerts, and in 1840 she appeared at Drury Lane in the opera of La Gazza Ladra, and was eminently successful. She was also engaged at the Princess's Theatre, but her voice was then failing fast. Her voice comprised the three distinct limits usually found in the contr'alto, mezzo-soprano, and soprano. The least agreeable was the middle part. The pearly notes in the upper part of her voice were of exquisite quality, and the facility with which she pounced on them at the extremity of her compass was delightfully gratifying. Her temperament was not indicative of that sensibility more common to the inhabitants of la bella Italia! nevertheless, the justness of her intonation, the quality and flexibility of her extensive voice, added to her good taste, were more than an acceptable substitute for the rant and exaggeration of many singers who possess more anima and less voice.

"HERR GOLDBERG'S MATINEE MUSICALE", The Musical World (1 July 1848), 429

. . . The salons of Kent House were completely thronged by an elegant and aristocratic audience, who were highly gratified with the musical programme provided for them by Herr Goldberg. The following are the names of the vocal artistes who assisted: Miss Howson, (a sister of poor Albertazzi) who possesses a charming voice, and sings with taste and expression . . .

"MUSICAL AND DRAMATIC GOSSIP", The Athenaeum (14 October 1848), 1035 

[The Italian opera of Paris] . . . The season has been opened with 'Nabucco;' in which appeared a Madame Bosio, a Mddle. Sara (we believe the Miss Howson who has sung in London as Mdlle. Albertazzi) . . .

"THE DRAMA", Bell's Life in Sydney (20 January 1849), 2

. . . In connection with operatics, we are glad to observe that Miss Howson, the sister of the late Madame Albertazzi, and Messrs. Howson, has taken a prominent stand at the Italian Opera in Paris, she having replaced the talented Madame Corbari, who has obtained an engagement at St. Petersburgh . . .

"METROPOLITAN", The Dramatic and Musical Review (1 April 1849), 108

Mdlle. Parodi will make her debut in Norma, her illustrious preceptor's chef d'oeuvre, supported by Giuliani, Adalgisa; Bordas, Pollio; and Belletti, Oroveso; Miss Howson, a sister of Madame Albertazzi, is a member of the company.

"MADAME V. ALBERTAZZI", Bell's Life in Sydney (4 December 1858), 2 

The daughter of the celebrated Madame Albertazzi, who was so great a favourite at the opera some ten years ago, gave a concert at the Hannover-square Rooms, on Monday, and in the pieces which she sang manifested talent of a high order of excellence. She is very young, and the capabilities of her voice are scarcely yet developed; but the impression which she made was extremely favourable. Her lower notes in particular are very good, and there is every probability of her becoming a popular vocalist. She sang the well-known "Robert, toi," and an air from Mozart's Clemenza di Tito, with a clarionet obligato by Mr. Williams, with much feeling and expression, and was very warmly applauded. The second air was encored. The other vocalists were Madame Borchardt, Miss Cole (a talented singer), and Mr. Allan Irving. M. Paque gave his admirable version of The Traviata on the violoncello; and Mr. Gravenstern, Mr. Williams, and Mr. Wells contributed other admirable instrumental performances to the concert, which was numerously and favourably attended. - News of the World, August 15.
[This young lady, who it will be seen from the above notice, gives promise of attaining an equal celebrity with her late gifted and lamented mother, is the niece of the Messrs Frank and John Howson of this city.- ED. B. L. S.]

Bibliography and resources:

Ellen Mary Clerke, "Albertazzi, Emma", Dictionary of National Biography 1885-1900 1,_Emma_(DNB00)  

"Emma Albertazzi", Wikipedia

Kurt Ganzl, "Emma Albertazzi . . .", posted 20 May 2019 

© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2020