LAST MODIFIED Tuesday 19 May 2020 14:21

Harry Parsons and his Curtis family descendents

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "Harry Parsons and his Curtis family descendents", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 3 June 2020

PARSONS, Harry (Henry; Sergeant PARSONS)

Master of the Band of the NSW Corps, Leader of Church Music (St. Philip's, Sydney), singing master (Orphan School)

Born Stoke Damerel, Plymouth, England, 29 August 1768
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 29 January 1788 (marine per Sirius)
Died Sydney, NSW, 1 May 1819 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Short detailed biographies with sources in Evans, Gillen, and Jordan.

A marine on the First Fleet, Parsons was reassigned to the NSW Corps in 1792, at which time he was described as: "height 5'7", fair complexion, hazel eyes, light-brown hair, round visage". In 1809 he was a member of the Band of the NSW Corps (UK, PRO, WO12/9904, fols. 299r, 319r, 339r, 359r; WO12/9905, fol. 3r) and probably also in 1808, therefore playing in the procession on the day of governor Bligh's arrest.

Parsons stayed on in NSW as a sergeant in the Veteran's Company when it was withdrawn in 1810. Parsons took parts in theatrical productions of The recruiting officer, The virgin unmasked, and Henry IV in Sydney in March and April 1800. He was well known for his charitable works.

He appeared in the government establishment accounts in August 1818:

. . . Serjeant Parsons, for Musician's Performance of Sacred Music in St. Phillip's Church, at Sydney. - 5 5 0.

His daughter was the singer Mary Curtis, and his grandchildren Teresa Curtis (Meillon-Boesen) and Henry Curtis OSB were also musicians.


[9 May 1803, balance sheet of the orphan fund ...]; HRA 1, 4, 103

[1802] June 1. paid Henry Parsons Singing Master, £3 3s 0d.

Letter, Lachlan Macquarie to D'Arcy Wentworth, l7 September l8l5, A.763, page l59 (transcr. Jordan 2012, 195)

[Payment to Parsons] Leader of the Church Music (by former custom) from 1 Octr. 1812 to 1st April 1815 . . . £4 5s

"AUXILIARY BIBLE  SOCIETY OF NEW SOUTH WALES", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (28 June 1817), 1

"GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (16 August 1817), 2

"GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS ... SALARIES", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (6 June 1818), 2

"GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (15 August 1818), 1

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (8 May 1819), 3

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (22 May 1819), 3

The death of Serjeant Harry Parsons who arrived here in the Marines a mere youth thirty years ago, took place three weeks since at Sydney. He went from the Marines into the Colonial Corps, afterwards the 102d Regiment of the Line; was Master of the Band; and remained in each succeeding Regiment on account of his very great utility to the Colony as Instructor of Sacred Music to the little female Orphans, and their constant leader at divine worship. He was a much respected man; and at his funeral received the parting honours of his military profession, accompanied by the deepest regret from all who knew him.


Evans 1967

Gillen 1989, 277

Jordan 2002, 244-245, 322


B. and M. Chapman, "Marine Private Henry Parsons (1768-1819)", Australia's red coat settlers

CURTIS, Mary (Miss Mary PARSONS; Mrs. James CURTIS; Mary CURTIS)


Born NSW, 28 May 1811 (daughter of sergeant Harry Parsons)
Married James Curtis (1804-1882), Catholic chapel, Sydney, NSW, 28 August 1828
Died Sydney, NSW, 15 December 1848, aged 37 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


According to Errol Lea-Scarlett, Mary Curtis joined the Sydney Catholic Chapel choir in 1828, at age 17. As "Mrs. Curtis", she was a vocal soloist in Wallace's oratorios in 1836 and 1838, and a member of the choir at the opening of St. Matthew's Catholic Church, Windsor:

The sacred music of the great Italian and German masters, to which the seraphine formed the accompaniment, was executed in a style of grace and power worthy of its high character. We never heard the choir, including Mr. and Mrs. Bushelle, Madame Gautrot, Mrs. Curtis, &c. &c., to greater advantage. The opening and closing pieces of the full band, were also fine specimens of instrumentation, and gave a frame of fulness and a richness of effect to the whole ... An excellent lunch had been prepared ... during which time the excellent band of the 80th played appropriate airs. At seven P.M. vespers were solemnly chaunted by the choir and the clergy alternately ...

She was one of the vocal soloists in Thomas Leggatt and S. W. Wallace's Messiah on 31 August 1842, and in December that year sang at a Requiem Mass at St. Mary's for the Duc d'Orleans:

The sacred music of the great Italian and German In the choir the solemn Gregorian Missa pro defunctis was beautifully chaunted by the Very Rev. Vicar General Murphy, as cantor, assisted by the Rev. Mr. Magennis, Mr. [W.A.] Duncan, and Mrs. Curtis, and a select choir, and accompanied on the organ by Mr. Worgan.

According to her tombstone (now in Bunnerong cemetery), she was:

for twenty years a pious and zealous member of the choirs of St. Joseph's Chapel and St. Mary's Cathedral.


"ORATORIO", The Sydney Herald (30 June 1836), 2

"ORATORIO", The Sydney Monitor (5 February 1838), 2

"OPENING OF ST. MATTHEW'S CHURCH, WINDSOR", Australasian Chronicle (27 October 1840), 2

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

"Original Correspondence. TEETOTAL FESTIVAL", Morning Chronicle (21 October 1843), 1

MR. EDITOR, I am one of those persons who sometimes experience a fit of what is called "musical madness"; so when I saw it announced last week that there would be great "musical attractions!" at the tea party given by the "Teetotallers", I was placed for a time in a state of most glorious uncertainty what to do; for I assure you I never had a relish for "Teetotalism", or for cold-water either. Besides, I hitherto looked on these Teetotallers as a demure, cold-hearted set of people. At last my love of music prevailed over my antipathy to water, and I determined to go and hear the soothing notes of my favourite music, and I am very well pleased that I came to that resolution. I was both surprised and delighted surprised for instead of finding a number of persons as dull and demure as Quakers in a meeting house, as I expected, I found them as cheerful and as lively a company as my heart could wish. Every one there seemed to be, in the words of one of your Irish songs, "As brisk as a bee, and as light as a fairy"; and, withal, the best order, and the utmost decorum prevailed throughout. So my notions of "Teetotalism" are considerably changed, though I have not yet made up my mind to take the "Pledge". And as to my prevailing fault, this "musical madness", I was very much delighted. The Band exceeded my expectations; the glees were good; and Mrs. Bushelle exceeded, if possible, the favourable impressions left on my mind by hearing her on former occasions. I was much pleased with the sweet, unaffected, and pathetic tone of Mrs. Curtis's voice. I never heard that lady before, but would wish to hear her again. Does she sing at any of the concerts, or other musical parties? ...

[We can inform our "music-mad" correspondent; and "half" convert to 'Teetotalism, that Mrs. Curtis, never sings at Concerts - that the only place our correspondent may have an opportunity of hearing her sweet voice is at St. Mary's Cathedral, where she has frequently, for the last ten years, given her gratuitous services. Being duly alive to the blessings of temperance, she consented to sing at the late "Teatotal Festival", and we believe she used her influence to induce the attendance of Mrs. Bushelle, and some of the vocalists, with whose performance the party was so well pleased. ED.]

"DIED", The Sydney Morning Herald (16 December 1848), 3

Bibliography and resources:

Claire C. Evans, "Harry Parsons - early Sydney musician", Descent 4 (1967), 109-11

Lea-Scarlett, "Music-making in early Sydney"

Mrs. Curtis was Mary, daughter of Bandmaster Harry Parsons ... Her marriage to James Curtis of Hunter Street produced a musical family including Mrs. Theo Boesen, a concert pianist and great-grandmother of the well-known Australian actor John Meillon. According to the inscription on her tombstone, Mrs. Curtis's association with St. Mary's Cathedral choir reached back to 1828 [sic] when, at the age of seventeen, she became a member [Records in possession of Mrs. C. Curtis Evans, Sydney.].

CURTIS, Ambrose

Pianist, choir director, musical amateur

Born Sydney, NSW, 1848
Died Mossman, NSW, 11 June 1924

CURTIS, Charles

Pianist, organist, musical amateur

Born 1854 (son of James Curtis and his second wife Ellen Sweeney)


"COMPLIMENTARY CONCERT TO MRS. MEILLON", The Sydney Morning Herald (3 May 1871), 5 

The benficiare closed the concert with a splendid display of instrumentation - the Polonaise Brillante from "La Gaieté," opera 3, Chopin. Mr. A. Curtis (a pupil of Mrs. Meillon's) acted as accompanist throughout the evening, and in a very creditable manner.

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

... Mrs. John Meillon, whose position in Sydney as a most thorough and most painstaking teaoher stands unrivalled, possessing as she does the true soul for music in its most beautiful forms - invited the friends of her pupils to hear their performances. With the exception of the well known brothers of Mrs. Meillon who aided in some of the concerted pieces, the execution of the programme was in the hands of about twenty-three young ladies, between the ages of eight and eighteen ...

"SACRED HEART CHURCH", Freeman's Journal (25 November 1882), 8

In all our Catholic choirs no two gentlemen have performed their duties in so perfectly satisfactory a manner during the past eight or nine years as Mr. Ambrose Curtis and Mr. Charles Curtis, conductor and organist respectively of the church of jtho Sacred Heart, Darlinghurst, and it is with a feeling of genuine regret that we now record the retirement of the Messrs. Curtis from their positions. Both gentlemen have not only done their own individual work well and efficiently but they have at all times evinccd a commendable interest in the progress of the choir, and have endeavoured to bring the music to a high standard and to maintain excellence at a uniform rate ...

CURTIS, Henry (John Henry Benedict) (Rev. Mr. J. H. A. CURTIS; Henry Anselm CURTIS, O.S.B.; Fr. Anselm CURTIS; J. H. B. CURTIS)

Singer, "leader of Gregorian chanting", singing master, Benedictine monk

Born Sydney, NSW, 16 June 1829
Married Maria MONAGHAN, Fitzroy, VIC, 24 June 1867
Died Carlton, VIC, 5 July 1909 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Grandson of Harry Parsons, and son of James and Mary Curtis (above), Henry Curtis was by 1853 a Benedictine monk under archbishop Polding, and "was known as a splendid leader of Gregorian chanting, such was the quality of his voice". At the consecration of St. Benedict's, Sydney, in February 1862, "The choir was conducted throughout with great efficiency by the Rev. Father Curtis, O.S.B."

He was singing master at Lyndhurst College in 1860 (where Alfred Anderson taught piano, and William Friedlander violin) (see Australian almanac 1860, 187:

Later as headmaster, around 1863-64 he entered sexual relationship with the college housekeeper, Maria Monaghan, that lasted 8 months, and ended with him renouncing his vows and eloping with her to Melbourne.

There, as J. H. B. Curtis, he became a father and a highly respected citizen, a prominent freemason and secretary of the Athenaeum Club.


"ST. MARY'S SEMINARY", Morning Chronicle (23 December 1843), 3

"ST. MARY'S SEMINARY", Morning Chronicle (21 December 1844), 2



... The Rev. Mr. Curtis, O.S.B., was next called and the ceremony of his ordination to the priesthood was proceeded with ... The singing [of the] cathedral choir on the occasion of the ordination of its precentor (Mr. Curtis) added greatly to the solemnity ... The Rev. Mr. Curtis is a native of the colony, and is considered by the members of the Church to be a young man of great promise.

"LAYING OF THE FOUNDATION STONE OF ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE", The Sydney Morning Herald (13 January 1860), 7

... The choir, which was composed chiefly of the monks and ecclesiastical students of Lyndhurst College, was led by the precentor the Rev. H. A. Curtis, O.S.B., and the Rev. N. Quirk, second cantor (who wore richly embroidered copes to distinguish their office), then chanted an antiphon and Psalm 83, the alternate verses being taken up by the Archbishop, the Right Rev. Abbot Gregory, the Very Rev. Dean Sumner, the Very Rev. Dean O'Connell, and some others of the superior clergy. To their voices was added those of the acolytes, standard bearers, clergymen in surplices and the assistant priests. The Gregorian chants were used on this occasion, and the effect of all these voices now swelling, and now falling with the harmony of these grand melodies, was calculated to excite devotional feelings, and to lift the soul to Heaven ...

"CONSECRATION OF ST. BENEDICT'S CHURCH", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 February 1862), 5

"THE MELBOURNE STAGE IN THE FORTIES. To the Editor", The Argus (2 June 1890), 6

SIR, In the last number of the interesting articles by "J. S." on "The Melbourne Stage in the Forties" reference is made to a Mrs. Wallace. I think the lady alluded to must have been Miss Wallace, sister of William Vincent Wallace. She was for many years the leading soprano in Sydney, and possessed a voice of marvellous compass and power. She could run up and down from E flat below middle C to E flat in alto without any perceptible break. She was married to Mr. Bushelle, who was a great basso, having a voice which in the opinion of many musicians was equal to that of Lablache. Wallace's brother, Wellington Wallace, was a great flautist. I do not think he was married, but if he was his wife did not appear as a public singer [Curtis is wrong; Caroline was a stage singer]. The father of the Wallaces was living in Sydney. He had been a celebrated bandmaster and organist in Dublin. He was an Irishman of Scotch descent. The Wallaces were frequent visitors at my father's house, and as a boy I knew them all well. William Vincent Wallace was a great violinist as well as composer. I was present at his farewell performance in Sydney, when he played one of Paganini's solos on one string - Yours, &c., J. H. B. CURTIS. May 31.

The article to which he was responding:

"THE MELBOURNE STAGE IN THE FORTIES. By J. S. No. III.", The Argus (31 May 1890), 4 

The original article is correct, and Curtis incorrect; the Mrs. Wallace referred to originally was Caroline Wallace, wife of Eliza's brother Spencer Wellington, active in the theatres at Melbourne and Geelong in the late 1840s; there is no record of Eliza ever having sung in Melbourne.

"THE FIRST USE OF THE WORD LARRIKIN", The Argus (4 August 1896), 7

"DEATHS", The Argus (6 July 1909), 1

Bibliography and resources:

Claire C. Evans, "Harry Parsons-Early Sydney Musician", Descent 4 (1967), 109-11

Kevin Livingston, "Anselm Curtis", Tjurunga: an Australasian Benedictine review 8 (December 1974), 195

Christopher Dowd, Rome in Australia: the papacy and conflict in the Australian Catholic missions, 1834-1884 (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 330 (PREVIEW)

Margaret Bowman, "From abbey to Athenaeum: John Henry Benedict Curtis, 1829-1909", Victorian historical journal (November 2011), 236-45

CURTIS, Peter Campbell

Choir singer, musical amateur

Born Sydney, NSW, 22 January 1836 (son of Mary CURTIS above)
Married (1) Emma COLESON, Sydney, NSW, 1864
Married (2) Mary Elizabeth DOLMAN, St. Joseph's, Newtown, NSW, 2 February 1878
Died Glebe, NSW, January 1885

CURTIS, Mary Elizabeth (Miss Mary Elizabeth DOLMAN; Mrs. P. C. CURTIS; Mrs. Raiumund PECHOTSCH; Madame PECHOTSCH)

Vocalist, choir singer

Born Sydney, NSW, 1858 (daughter of William and Caroline DOLMAN)
Died NSW, 23 December 1938


"THE CATHEDRAL", Freeman's Journal (16 June 1883), 14

... At the offertory Mrs. P. C. Curtis, whose style of singing is wonderfully like Miss St. Clair's - graceful, earnest, and elegant - and who, too, has a voice of sympathy and agreeable qualities, sang the "Salve Regina, by Paolo Pergetti, of Rome. The composition has for us the merit of novelty; but it has rarer qualities - it is in its beauty classic; and although it is profoundly devotional, it is not lacking in dramatic colour and energy - in fine, it is a sweetly plaintive prayer, lofty in sentiment. Voice and music were admirably suited, and Mrs. Curtis sang with expression; and using this term in its full and true meaning, we can offer no higher compliment to the singer.

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 January 1885), 1

"THE LATE MR. PETER CURTIS", Freeman's Journal (17 January 1885), 16

... Mr. Curtis, who was a son of the venerable and lamented Mr. James Curtis, was born in Sydney on January 22, 1836. Educated, in St. Joseph's monastery, attached to old St. Mary's Cathedral, under the care of Archbishop Polding of holy memory, Mr. Curtis commenced life as a teacher in St. Mary's Seminary, which was at that time under the direction of the Venerablel Archpriest Sheehy. Cultivating a natural taste, he devoted much of his time to Church music, and for several years he was one of the principal singers in the old Cathedral. Being an enthusiast in music, he took an active part in St. Mary's Choral Society, and his energies were not confined at the time to St. Mary's, for he was one of the gentlemen who organized and conducted the grand musical festivals on the occasion of the opening of the University, and which are doubtless remembered by many of our readers ... Mr. Curtis was twice married, and he leaves four sons. Some few years ago he married Miss Dolman, an accomplished lady, who with her late husband, has given cheerful assistance from time to time in the various Catholic church choirs of the city and suburbs ...

MEILLON, Teresa (Miss Teresa CURTIS; Mrs. John CURTIS; Mrs. Theo BOESEN)

Pianist (pupil of Edward Boulanger), composer

Born Sydney, NSW, 20 May 1843 (daughter of James and Mary CURTIS)
Married (1) John Meillon, St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, NSW, 23 May 1864
Active professionally, Sydney, NSW, by December 1867
Married (2) Theodor Boesen, Sydney, NSW, 2 June 1877
Died Sydney, NSW, 4 October 1910, aged 66 years (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Grand-daughter of Harry Parsons, and only daughter of Mary Curtis, she was a piano pupil of Edward Boulanger.

As Mrs. John Meillion she taught music in Sydney and was a church organist. In March 1868 she gave a complimentary concert to Prince Alfred at the Sydney Exchange, with violinist Leopold Rawack, and in May she gave her own concert assisted by John Hall and the Cordners.

She later married Theo Boesen, Danish consul. On a visit to England she gave a piano recital before Queen Alexandra, and "numbered as personal friends Melba, Paderewski and Delores". Her Bazan waltzes, based on the duet between the king of Spain and Don Cesar de Bazan, in Wallace's Maritana, and dedicated to her pupil Miss Jeannie Macdermott, was published by Elvy and Co. in 1870.

Madame Teresa Boesen (photo courtesy of her descendents)


"BIRTH", Australasian Chronicle (23 May 1843), 3 

[Advertisement], Empire (7 December 1867), 8

QUEEN'S COLLEGE, EDUCATIONAL lNSTITUTE FOR YOUNG LADIES and TRAINING COLLEGE FOR GOVERNESSES. 143, Macleay-street, Darlinghurst Road, Sydney ... Directress Mrs. HENRY N. MONTAGU ... Staff: MUSIC - HERR CARL SCHMIDT, and Mrs. JOHN MEILLON (pupil of Boulanger); SINGING.-M. DEL-SARTE (of the Academie Imperiale, Paris), asd Miss JULIA SIMMONS, (pupil of Ardtti); CHORAL SINGING.- HERR B. SUESSMILCH; ... DANCING - Mr. F. H. NEEDS ...

"MUSICAL SOIREE AT THE EXCHANGE", Sydney Mail (14 March 1868) 12 

A number of ladies and gentlemen having suggested the idea of devoting an evening during the visit of his Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh to such music as would afford an indication of the extent to which this branch of the fine arts is cultivated in the colony by amateurs, a committee was formed for carrying out the suggestion, and their efforts resulted in a grand soiree musicale, given in the Exchange on Friday night. Owing to a somewhat indiscreet liberality in the issue of invitations, the great hall was somewhat inconveniently crowded. The company, which was a highly fashionable one, including most of the families of distinction in the city, began to assemble a considerable time before the programme was opened. His Royal Highness had telegraphed from Newcastle a message stating his intention to be present, and he arrived, attended by Viscount Newry, just as the first piece was concluded. The programme contained but four items in each part; but all were gems, and the instrumental pieces were lengthy. Osborne and De Beriot's duo (violin and piano) "William Tell" was first brought forward, Mrs. John Meillon, daughter of Mr. James Curtis, of Hunter-street, appearing at the piano, and Mr. Rawack with the violin. This finely executed piece, displaying great talent on the part of both executants, was followed by a vocal quartette (double parts) "Die Betende," by Diabelli, and was given by members of the German Concordia, who subsequently sang another quartette, Kreutzer's "Am Rhein." Both were rendered with that harmony, rhythm, and preciseness of time, in which qualities the Concordia so eminently excel. The only vocal music was a song set down for a lady amateur, and owing to indisposition she could not appear, Mrs. Cordner, however, being present, favoured the audience with an operatic morceau, exquisitely sung but prejudiced in some degree by want of taste in the pianoforte accompaniment. Mr. Rawack joined with the violin in another duo, Mrs. Meillon being again at the piano. The subject was Beethoven's "Kreuzer Sonata" (2nd and 3rd parts), and he next played a violin solo on airs from "Lucia di Lammermuir," a brilliant composition rendered with fine taste and executive power, and faultless except in one of the more rapid passages. By Mrs. Meillon's pianoforte playing, many who had not heard it previously were taken by surprise, and even those who knew her youth and her talent must have felt, when they heard her Thalberg's fantaisiee "Mosé," that her ability far transcended any estimate they had formed of it. Scrupulously true to the composer's music, she associates with her fidelity a neat and finished execution, the style chaste yet not tame, for there is frequent evidence of fine taste such as is inspired with a thorough appreciation of her subjects, and in brilliant and rapid passages she shows great power, freedom, and sparkling effect. Her playing was the grand feature of the soiree, and it is understood that this will be her last appearance as an amateur.

"MUSICAL DEBUTANTE," The Sydney Morning Herald (21 March 1868), 6 

Our readers will remember that a few evenings ago an invitation concert was given in the hall of the Exchange, at which his Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh was present, and remained during the whole of the performance. This concert was organised with the intention of introducing to the public a young Australian pianiste, Mrs. John Meillon (late Miss Curtis), who has now entered upon a profosnional career as a teacher of the pianoforte. As an amateur Mrs. Meillon was considered by the best critics a very fine executant, but very few of the large audience present at the concert were prepared for such excellence as this lady displayed, and they expressed their delight by applause that must have been very gratifying to her. The performance of the "Kreutzer sonata" and Thalberg's "Mose in Egitto," were a sufficient test of Mrs. Meillon's ability, and the colony may well be proud that so accomplished a musician has entered the field of musical instruction.

"THE PRINCE'S VISIT TO AUSTRALIA", Illustrated Sydney News (25 March 1868), 1s

"MRS. MEILLON'S CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 May 1868), 6

"MRS. MEILLON'S CONCERT", Empire (11 May 1868), 2

"ST. MARY'S CATHEDRAL", Empire (26 May 1869),  2


... The next item - perhaps the gem of the evening - was Mendelssohn's grand concerto for pianoforte in G minor with full orchestral accompaniment, in which Mrs. J. Meillon fully sustained her reputation as one of the best lady pianists in this city. It is a composition which will tax the powers of any performer, and to a lady must have proved extremely fatiguing. The andante passages were rendered with great taste, and as a whole, both for rapidity of execution and nicety of expression, commanded a full meed of praise. One if not two instruments in the orchestra were scarcely in accord, though not sufficiently so to call for special mention ... a ballad by Mr. Wilkie preluded another of Mrs. Meillon's displays of admirable pianoforte instrumentation, consisting of Shuloff's fantasie on Bobemian airs ...

"THE BAZAN WALTZES", The Sydney Morning Herald (2 April 1870), 6

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 April 1870), 3

"PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENTS", Empire (4 April 1870), 3

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 April 1870), 10

"MARRIAGES", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 June 1877), 1

"DEATHS", The Argus (5 October 1910), 9

"PERSONAL", The Sydney Morning Herald (6 October 1910), 8

"DEATH OF MRS. BOESEN" [with photograph], The Catholic Press (6 October 1910), 31 

Mrs. Teresa Boesen died at her residence at Rockwall-crescent, Potts Point, on Tuesday, at mid-day. She was present at the opening of St. Mary's Fair on Wednesday week, being president of the Garcia School Stall, and that was her last outing. Subsequently she was attacked by bronchitis, but, though she was ill during the following days, no serious results were apprehended. On Tuesday, however, heart failure became apparent, and, in the presence of her two sons, Monsignor O'Haran, one of the Sisters of Charity, and her medical attendant, she passed away, the end coming very suddenly.

The late Mrs. Boeson was 66 years of age, and a daughter of the late James Curtis, a business man, who lived in Hunter-street for half a century, and a prominent parishioner of St. Mary's Cathedral. She was married twice: First to the late Mr. John Meillon, and then to the late Mr. Theodor Boesen, Consul-General for Denmark, whose death took place six years ago, and whom she converted from the Lutheran to the Catholic Church. The children who survive her are Mr. John Meillon, barrister; Mr. Arthur Boesen, head of the firm of Peterson, Boesen and Co., Ltd., and Mrs. Robert Gibson, Melbourne.

Mrs. Boesen was very prominent in musical circles, being herself a most accomplished musician. Indeed, when on one of her numerous trips to England with the late Mr. Boeson she gave a pianoforte recital before Queen Alexandra by special request. The performance was private. Mrs. Boesen's home was dear to artists, and among the celebrities she numbered amongst her personal friends are Melba, Paderewski and Dolores, only to mention two or three. Her afternoons were famous, and always well-attended, especially by those moving in cultured circles. Of young musicians Mrs. Boeson was a generous patron, and in all matters musical in Sydney she was recognised as a leading authority. She acted as adjudicator at many of the big musical competitions, notably those in connection with St. Patrick's Day. Her decisions were always just and equitable, and, notwithstanding the number of performers that competed before her, we have never heard a complaint against her judgements.

As a charity worker, Mrs. Boeson was equally notable. Benevolence was an outstanding feature of her character, and she was ever actuated by a desire to do good wherever she could. She gave much, and helped many quietly. Her name was to be found as well in almost every committee having in hand the promotion of some work of mercy, but particularly on Catholic committees. She was foremost among the members of St. Mary's and St. Patrick's Sewing Guilds, being president of the latter, and one of the most ardent supporters of St. Joseph's Poor School, William-street. She was nearly always on the committee of St. Vincent's Ball, and generally a vice-president or treasurer of the annual effort on behalf of the Hospice for the Dying. She was also vice-president of the Catholic Ladies' Committee in connection with the Third Australasian Catholic Congress, held 12 months ago. In fact in every movement, connected with St. Mary's Cathedral and St. Canice's, Darlinghurst, she was conspicuous.

A Requiem Mass for the repose of Mrs. Boesen's soul will be celebrated at St. Mary's Cathedral this morning, immediately after which the funeral will leave for Waverley Cemetery. The members of St. Patrick's Sewing Guild have arranged for the celebration of a Requiem Mass for their late president on Thursday next. - R.I.P.

Musical work:

Ave Maria composed by Teresa Boesen (Sydney: Printed by J. A. Engel, October 1st, 1879)

Copy at National Library of Australia; cover inscribed by owner: "J. H. B. Curtis" (the composer's brother) 


Barrister, amateur musician

Died Mosman, NSW, 20 September 1910


"All About People: Tittle Tattle", The Catholic Press (25 September 1919), 24

Mr. John Meillon, a well-known and highly-esteemed barrister, died at his residence [at] Mosman, on Saturday evening ... The deceased was an accomplished musician, a gift inherited from his mother, the late Mrs. Teresa Boesen, a member of the musical Curtis family, and one of Sydney's leading pianistes tor nearly half a century ...

Bibliography and resources:

Claire C. Evans, "Harry Parsons - early Sydney musician", Descent 4 (1967), 109-11

Gillen 1989, 277

Jordan 2002, 48, 50-52, 97, 107, 244-5

Teresa Curtis's pair of sheet music albums

This pair of albums are now at University of Sydney, Rare Books Library, Sydney Conservatorium of Music collection, RB CON 860 9080 and 860 9282. As of March 2017, these albums and their contents do not yet appear in the library's electronic catalogue

They were bound in originally matching format for "Miss Curtis" (Teresa Curtis) by the Sydney bookbinder James Webber Conyber (c.1799-1874). RB CON 860 9080 is now lacking its front cover, but the surviving back cover is crafted identically with that of the other volume, which is half-bound in dark red leather, with gold trim, over cloth covered boards. The endpapers are yellow and Conyber's label is pasted at the top left of the inside cover of 860 9282.

Also in the collection is another album (RB CON 890 3029), similar though not identifical in design, also with Conyber's label and yellow endpapers, that was probably bound for Margaret Anne Knowles (married Richard W. Cox, Sydney, 9 August 1855; grandmother of Marjorie K. Cox (b. 1896), whose name appears on the front endpapers).

On both surviving labels, Conyber's street number is "304", as it appears in his advertisements from until February 1856 until February 1860; in March 1860, the street address of his premises was altered to "395".

Given the contents of the Curtis volumes all pre-date 1860, a binding date for them of the later 1850s is anyway likely.

LABEL: "[J.] CONYBER, Bookbinder, 304, GEORGE ST., Sydney, Opposite the Royal Hotel."

Album 1 - RB CON 860 9080

University of Sydney, Library, Rare Books, Sydney Conservatorium of Music collection (private bequest 1986), RB CON 86 9080

[not yet in electronic catalogue]

Lacks front cover



Items published in Sydney

Items published in London or Paris and imported

1-6    Boulanger's musical keepsake for 1856 ( Boulanger / Mader / 1856 )

Copies of items 2-6 survive complete, and a single page (11) from item survive; also missing is the original series titlepage or cover page, not known to survive elsewhere

BOULANGER, Edward (music composed)

MADER, Frederick (publisher)

CHAPMAN, Abraham Western (engraver)

1    Serenade from Don Pasquale ( Boulanger / Mader / 1856 )

Boulanger keepsake no 1 page 11

["Serenade to [? from] Don Pasquale" (Dedicated to Lady Dennison)"]

Originally ? 11 pages of music, of which only page 11 survives; pictured above


DENNISON, Caroline (dedicatee)

2    Nocturne de concert ( Boulanger / Mader / 1856)

Boulanger keepsake no 2 page 1

Nocturne de concert, composed for the pianoforte, respectfully dedicated to Lady Stephen by E. D. Boulanger

[No separate publication details]

5 pages of music (1-5), at foot of 5: "Engd. by A. W. Chapman"; page 1 pictured above

Another copy, at the National Library of Australia, as later sold (c.1857) under a new cover by J. R. Clarke (DIGITISED)

STEPHEN, Eleanor (dedicatee)

3    Caprice sur Norma ( Boulanger / Mader / 1856 )

Boulanger keepsake no 3 page 1

Caprice sur Norma, arranged for the pianoforte, respectfully dedicated to Mrs. John H. Plunkett, by E. D. Boulanger

[No separate publication details]

13 pages of music (1-13), at foot of 13: "Engd. by A. W. Chapman"; page 1 pictured above; also later advertised for sale (c.1857) under a new cover by J. R. Clarke

Download pdf copy here: 

PLUNKETT, Maria (dedicatee)

4    Concert waltz ( Boulanger / Mader / 1856 )

Boulanger keepsake no 4 page 1

Concert waltz composed for the piano-forte, respectfully dedicated to Mrs. W. M. Manning, by E. D. Boulanger

[No separate publication details]

12 pages of music (1-12), at foot of 12: "Engd. by A. W. Chapman"; page 1 pictured above; also later advertised for sale (c.1857) under a new cover by J. R. Clarke

Download pdf copy here: 

MANNING, Eliza Anne (dedicatee)

5    Caprice nocturne ( Boulanger / Mader / 1856 )

Boulanger keepsake no 5 page 1

Caprice nocturne, composed for the pianoforte, respectfully dedicated to Miss Eliza Icely

[No separate publication details]

7 pages of music (1-7), at foot of 7: "Engd. by A. W. Chapman"; page 1 pictured above; also later advertised for sale (c.1857) under a new cover by J. R. Clarke

Download pdf copy here: 

ICELY, Eliza (dedicatee)

6    Souvenir d'Amerique ( Boulanger / Mader / 1856 )

Boulanger keepsake no 6 page 1

Souvenir d'Amerique, polka pour piano, composed on American & original airs, respectfully dedicated to Mademoiselle Marie Sentis by E. D. Boulanger

[No separate publication details]

5 pages of music (1-5); page 1 pictured above

Download pdf copy here: 

SENTIS, Marie Caroline (dedicatee)

Marie Sentis was daughter of the French consul, Louis Francois Sentis

7     Deux airs russes variés ( Thalberg / D'Almaine / ? c.1850s )

[Titlepage missing: Deux airs russes varies pour le pianoforte par Sigismond Thalberg, op. 17

(Londres: D'Almaine & Cie, Soho Square, n.d. [ ] )

Deux airs russes variés, S. Thalberg [page 1]

17 pages music (1-17); publisher's number: "6453"

For original French edition, Paris: J. Meissonnier, n.d. [1836], see: (DIGITISED)

8     Fantaisie de salon no. 2 Der Freyschutz ( Thalberg / Cramer, Beale / c.1850s )

Fantaisie de salon, no. 2, Der Freyschutz, composed for the piano forte by S. Thalberg, op. 57

(London: Cramer, Beale & Co., n.d. [ ]); publisher's number: "3711"

Titlepage; 11 pages music (1-11)

9     Home, sweet home, air anglais, varie ( Thalberg / Cramer, Beale & Chappell / c.1850s )

Home, sweet home, air anglais, varié pour le piano par S. Thalberg, op. 72

(London: Cramer, Beale & Chappell, n.d. [ ]); publisher's number: "6477"

Titlepage; 8 pages music (1-8)

For another edition: New York: C. Breusing, 1857, see: (DIGITISED)

10     Fantasia on Irish airs ( Thalberg / Cramer, Beale, and Co. / )

Fantasia, on Irish airs, for the piano forte, by S. Thalberg, à W. Kuhe

(London: Cramer, Beale & Co., n.d. [ ]); publisher's number: "5179"

Titlepage (1), inscribed at top right: "Miss Curtis"; 14 pages music (2-15)

11     Introduction and variations on "We're a'noddin" ( Thalberg / Chappell / c.1850s )

Introduction & variations on the favorite air We're a' noddin', arranged for the piano forte by S. Thalberg, new edition

(London: Chappell, n.d.)

Titlepage; 10 pages music (2-11); publisher's number: 2121

For another edition (London: Mori & Lavenu, n.d. [c.1840s]) (DIGITISED)

12     Caprice sur Le prophète ( Thalberg / Cramer, Beale, and Co. / c.1850s )

Caprice, pour le piano, sur Le prophète, par S. Thalberg

(London: Cramer, Beale & Co.; Chappell, n.d.)

Titlepage; 14 pages music (2-15); publisher's number: "5146"

13     Six romances sans paroles ( Thalberg / Schlesinger / )

Six romances sans paroles pour le piano composèes par S. Thalberg

(Paris: Maurice Schlesinger, n.d.)

Titlepage; 12 pages music (2-13); publisher's number: "M.S. 2910"

Copy of the same edition: (DIGITISED)

14     Pro peccatis ( Rossini, arr. Richards / Chappell / c.1850s )

Pro peccatis (from the Stabat mater) arranged for the piano forte by Brinley Richards, dedicated to his brother the Rev'd J. B. Richards, op. 56

(London: Chappell & Co., n.d.)

Titlepage; 6 pages music (2-7); publisher's number: "9684"

15     Annie Laurie ( arr. Richards / Chappell / c. early 1850s )

Annie Laurie, for the piano forte, by Brinley Richards

(London: Chappell, n.d.)

Titlepage, inscribed: "Theresa Curtis, September 1856"; 6 pages music (2-7); publisher's number: "8662"

16     Octave studies ( Richards / Chappell / c.1850s )

Octave studies, for the piano forte, by Brinley Richards, dedicated to Cipriani Potter, esq.

(London: Chappell & Co., n.d.)

Titlepage; 17 pages music (1-17); publisher's number: "9885"

A later Australian edition (Sydney: D. Davis & Co., n.d.) (DIGITISED)

17     Il balen del suo sorriso ( Verdi, arr. Richards / Chappell / c.1850s )

Verdi's popular air, "Il balen del suo sorriso", from Il trovatore, arranged for the piano forte, by Brinley Richards, inscribed to Mrs. Baron

(London: Chappell, n.d.)

Titlepage; 7 pages music (1-7); publisher's number: "9252"

18     La mia letizia ( Verdi, arr. Richards / Hammond / )

La mia letizia, air from I Lombardi, arranged and dedicated to Mrs. Robert Raikes (Trwberfydd, Brecon) by Brinley Richards

(London: A. W. Hammond, n.d.)

Titlepage; 7 pages music (1-7); publisher's number: "H 234"

19     Eva, romance ( arr. Richards / Chappell / )

Eva, romance, arranged for the piano forte, and dedicated to Miss Binfield, by Brinley Richards

(London: Chappell, n.d.)

Titlepage; 5 pages music (1-5); publisher's number: "8784"

20     Non più mesta, fantaisia brillante ( Herz / Musical Bouquet / 1856 )

Non più mesta, op. 60, fantasia brillante, with variations for the piano-forte, by Henri Herz

(London: Musical Bouquet Office, n.d. [1856])

Titlepage (1); 11 pages music (2-12)

Musical bouquet no. 1063-66, 1856 

21     La Parisienne with variations ( Herz / Williams / c.1850s )

Trois morceaux brillante, no. 3, La Parisienne (national march) with variations for the piano forte, by Henri Herz

(London: Joseph Williams, n.d.)

Titlepage (1); 14 pages music (2-15)

Another edition (London: Harry May, n.d.): (DIGITISED)

22     Cujus animam ( Rossini, arr. Herz / Williams / c.1850s )

Cujus animam, from Rossini's Stabat mater, for the piano forte, by Henri Herz

(London: Joseph Williams, n.d.)

Titlepage (1); 6 pages music (2-7)

23     Favorite airs from L'etoile du nord ( Meyerbeer, arr. Callcott / Chappell / )

Favorite airs, from Meyerbeer's admired opera, L'etoile du nord, arranged for the piano forte, with ad lib. acct. for the flute, by William Hutchins Callcott

(London: Chappell, n.d.)

Titlepage; 17 pages music (1-17); publisher's number: "9123"

24     La fontaine ( Mayer / Musical Bouquet / 1855 )

La fontaine, for the piano forte (op. 51, no. 3) composed by C. Mayer

(London: Musical Bouquet Office, n.d. [1855])

Titlepage (1); 6 pages music (2-7)

Musical bouquet no. 780-81, 1855 

25     Water-spray, rondoletto ( Sloper / Chappell / c.1853 )

Water-spray, rondoletto, for the piano forte ... by Lindsay Sloper, op. 21

(London: Chappell, n.d. [c.1853]); publisher's number: "8844"

Titlepage, inscribed: Theresa Curtis, Sep. 1855; 8 pages music (1-8)


Album 2 - RB CON 860 9282

University of Sydney, Library, Rare Books, Sydney Conservatorium of Music collection (private bequest 1986), RB CON 860 9282

[not yet in electronic catalogue]

1     Echo du Mont Blanc polka ( Jullien / Jullien / c.1852 )

Titlepage missing (as above):

L'echo du Mont Blanc polka, dedicated to his friend Albert Smith by Jullien

(London: Jullien & Co., n.d. [c.1852])

Echo du Mont Blanc polka, Jullien [Page 1]

([London: Jullien & Co., n.d. [c.1852]]); publisher's number: "1626"

8 pages music (2-9)

Other copies of this edition, with titlepage, at National Library of Australia and Historic Houses Trust of NSW 

The mountaineer Albert Smith (1816-1860) climbed Mont Blanc in 1851, and Published his book The story of Mont Blanc in 1852. Print editions of Jullien's title also first appeared in 1852.

2     Overture to Semiramide (Rossini / Musical bouquet no. 169-70 / 1848)

Owner's inscription on titlepage: "Theresa Curtis Sep. 1835" [? recte 1855, she was 12 years old at the time, and here also her forename is spelt with an "h"]; note that the right margin of the page has been repaired possibly by the binder

Overture to Semiramide

(London: Musical Bouquet Office, n.d. [1848])

Titlepage (1); 7 pages music (2-8)

Musical bouquet no. 169-70, 1848 

3     Overture to Semiramide (Rossini / Musical bouquet no. 551-52 / 1854)

Overture to Guillaume Tell composed by Rossini

([London: Musical Bouquet, [1854])

8 pages music (1-8)

Musical bouquet no. 551-52, 1854 

4    Ange si pur (Donizetti-Wallace / Chappell / c.1858])

Ange si pur (Spirito gentil), romance de La favorite, de Donizetti, transcrite pour piano et dediée a son ami G. F. Kiallmark par W. V. Wallace

(London: Chappell, 50, New Bond Street, n.d. [c.1858]); publisher's number: "7860"

Titlepage; 5 pages music (1-5)

5    Robert toi que j'aime (Meyerbeer-Osborne / Jullien / 1857)

Robert toi que j'aime, arranged for the piano forte by G. A. Osborne

(London: Jullien & Co., n.d. [1857]); publisher's number: "2540"

Titlepage (0); 6 pages music (2-7)

6     Ah che la morte ... (Verdi-Osborne / Cramer, Beale & Chappell / )

Ah che la morte, and the celebrated Miserere from "Il trovatore", arranged for the piano forte by G. A. Osborne, a madame la pincess Helene de Podenas

(London: Cramer, Beale, & Chappell, n.d. [1857]); publisher's number: "6766"

Titlepage (1); 7 pages music (2-8)

7     German songs (Callcott / Jullien / ? c. 1850)

Book no. 1 of Deutsche Lieder, being a selection of the most admired German songs by the most celebrated composers, arranged for the piano forte as solos & duets, with ad. lb. acct. for flute, violin, & violoncello, by William Hutchins Callcott

(London: Jullien & Co., n.d. [? c.1850]); publisher's number: "1287"

Titlepage; 15 pages music (1-15)

No. 1 The herdsman's mountain song, sung by Madlle. Jenny Lind

No. 2 The swallows, Kücken

No. 3 ?

No. 4 The standard bearer, Lindpaintner

8    Souvenir of Catherine Hayes (Marsh / Marsh / 1855)

Souvenir of Catherine Hayes, brilliant fantasia, composed by S. H. Marsh, dedicated to Miss Johnson

([Sydney: Henry Marsh, 1855)

Originally issued in three parts, part 1 (pages 1-5) as no. 10 (4 August 1855), part 2 (pages 6-10) as no. 11 (11 August 1855), and part 3 (pages 11-16) as no. 12 (18 August 1855) of Henry Marsh's The Australian cadeau; complete, except original series covers missing

16 pages music (1-16)

A few pencilled fingerings on several pages

Another copy of part 1, with original cover, at State Library of New South Wales (DIGITISED)

Another copy of part 2, with original cover, at State Library of New South Wales (DIGITISED)

Another copy of part 3, with original cover, at State Library of New South Wales (DIGITISED)

9    A frenati o cor nel petto (Verdi-Nordmann / T. Boosey / ? c.1855 )

A frenati o cor nel petto, aria from Verdi's opera La battaglia de Legnano, for the piano forte, by Rudolph Nordmann [A frenarti ...]

(London: T. Boosey & Co., n.d. [? c.1855])

A frenarti o cor nel petto [page 2 heading, note recte "frenarti"]

Titlepage (1); 6 pages music (2-7)

Copy inscribed: "Theresa Curtis, Sep. 1836" [? recte 1856]

10    Study for the left hand ( Döhler / Cramer, Addison & Beale / ? c. 1850s )

Study for the left hand on the piano forte by Theodor Döhler

(London: Cramer, Addison & Beale, n.d. [? c. 1850s]); publisher's number:

Titlepage; 5 pages music (32-36)

11    Six fantaisies sur Rossini (Czerny / Cocks / c.1850s )

Six fantaisies brillantes, "Mosè" "Barbiere" "Gazza Ladra" "Tancredi" et "Cenerentola" sur les motifs de ces operas de Rossini, fantasia 1, C. Czerny, op. 679

([London: Cocks and Co., c.1850s]; publisher's number: "8783"

No titlepage; 13 pages music (1-13)

12    Ach wenn du wärst mein eigen (Küken-Beyer / ? / c.1850s)

? missing titlepage:

Six morceaux elegants pour le piano sur des airs allemands favoris composés par Ferd. Beyer, op. 80

Ach wenn du wärst mein eigen, F. Küken, no. 3, Ferd. Beyer, op. 80 [page 1]

([ ? : ? , ? c.1850s])

9 pages music (1-9)

13    Fantaisie sur Belisario ( Donizetti ) ( Hünten / Chappell / c. 1850s)

14    Souvenir du Prophète ( Meyerbeer ) ( Benedict / [? Chappell] / c. 1850s )

15    Selection from La prophète ( Meyerbeer / Davidson / c. 1850s )

16    Selections from L'elisir d'amore ( Donizetti / Davidson / c. 1850s)

17    Simla galop ( Boulanger / Clarke / 1857 )

Boulanger simla galop 1857 page 1

The Simla galop by Boulanger, dedicated to the commander and officers of the S. S. Simla

(Sydney: Published by J. R. Clarke, George Street, n.d. [1857])

Titlepage (0), and 6 pages music (1-6); first advertised 12 January 1857


Download pdf copy here: 

BOULANGER, Edward (music composed)

CLARKE, Jacob Richard (publisher)

18    Heliotrope mazurka ( Stanley / Clarke / 1857 )

The Heliotrope mazurka by William Stanley

The Heliotrope mazurka, dedicated to Miss C. Joseph, by W. Stanley [page 1]

(Sydney: J. R. Clarke, n.d. [1857])

Titlepage; 3 pages music (1-3); 1 is a verso, and so on

Titlepage inscribed: "May 20th 1858 ... With love from L. M [?] ..."

Another copy at the National Library of Australia (DIGITISED)

STANLEY, William (music composed)

CLARKE, Jacob Richard (publisher)

Caroline Joseph (1841-1930), eldest daughter of the late Nathan Joseph, married Emanuel Mandelson in Sydney in February 1860

19    Australian polka mazurka ( Roeckel / Clarke / 1858 )

The Australian polka mazurka by Roeckel

(Sydney: Published by J. R. Clarke, music seller, George Street, n.d. [1858])

Titlepage; 3 pages music (1-3)

Another copy at the National Library of Australia (DIGITISED)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 May 1858), 7 

ROECKEL, Armand (music composed)

CLARKE, Jacob Richard (publisher)

Previously published in London, as Souvenir de Cork, copy at British Library, Music Collections h.975.h.(26.) [004616186]

20    Prince Carouso's march and reel ( Parry / D'Almaine / 1836 )

Prince Carouso's march and reel, performed with great applause at the St. James' Theatre, in the burletta of The sham prince, composed & adapted for the piano forte by John Parry

(London: D'Almaine & Co. Soho Square, n.d. [1836])

Titlepage (1), 3 pages music (2-4); titlepage inscribed: "Mrs. Curtis" [Mary Curtis]

On composer, singer and illustrator John Parry's The sham prince, see the bill for the production, centre, in Parry's own watercolour: 

21    Ida ( Linley / Woolcott & Clarke / 1852)

Titlepage missing; supplied from NLA copy below:

Ida, sung by Miss Sara Flower, composed by George Linley

(Sydney: Published by Woolcott & Clarke, music sellers, print seller, etc., George Street, n.d. [1852])

[Titlepage missing]; 5 pages music (1-5); at foot of (1): "ENGRAVED BY F. ELLARD SYDNEY"

Another copy of the same edition (with titlepage), at the National Library of Australia (DIGITISED)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 November 1852), 3 

Preparing tor Publication, A NEW SONG, entitled "IDA," sung at the Victoria Theatre by Madame Sara Flower, under the title of "Can I forget thee, No" ... WOOLCOTT AND CLARKE, Music Warehouse, 555, George-street, Sydney, Next the Bank of Australasia.

WOOLCOTT, William Prout (publisher)

CLARKE, Jacob Richard (publisher)

FLOWER, Sara (contralto vocalist)

ELLARD, Francis (engraver

22    Little Nell (Packer / W. J. Johnson / 1857 )

Titlepage missing; supplied from NLA copy below:

Little Nell, a ballad, founded on an incident in "Master Humphrey's Clock," the poetry by Charlotte Young, sung with enthusiastic applause by Madame Anna Bishop, to whom it is dedicated by her friend and fellow student, the composer Charles S. Packer

(Sydney: Published by W. J. Johnson & Co., Pitt Street, n.d. [1857])

[Titlepage missing], 3 pages music [un-numbered]

Another copy of the same edition (with titlepage), at the National Library of Australia (DIGITISED)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 August 1857), 1 

PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE - Grand Benefit Concert in aid of the destitute children left unprovided for by the late J G. GRIFFITHS (formerly manager of the Sydney Theatre), given by Madame ANNA BISHOP, THIS (Thursday) EVBNING, August 27th ... NEW BALLAD "Little Nell," the poetry by Charlotte Young ; the music by Charles Packer, Madame Anna Bishop ...

[The ballad was not, in fact, entirely new, having been introduced first by Packer in Tasmania in April 1853, and in Sydney in December 1853]

[Advertisement], Empire (31 August 1857), 1 


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 September 1857), 1

LITTLE NELL, Ballad sung by Madame Anna Bishop, post free 2s 6d JOHNSON and CO, Pitt-street.

PACKER, Charles Sandys (composer)

BISHOP, Anna (soprano vocalist)

JOHNSON, William Jonathan (publisher)

23    Rouse, brothers, rouse! ( Russell / Musical Bouquet no. 560-61/ 18 )

Rouse, brothers, rouse! the popular song with chorus, the poetry by Charles Mackay, L.L.D., music composed and sung by Henry Russell

(London: Musical Bouquet Office, n.d. [1854]); "Nos. 560 & 561"

Musical bouquet no. 560-61, 1854 

24    The traveller's return (Marsh / T. Boosey [London] / ? 1848-49 )

The traveller's return, song, with an accompaniment for the harp or piano-forte, composed on the occasion of Dr. Leichhardt's return to Sydney, and dedicated to the members of the Royal Geographical Society, by S. H. Marsh

(London: T. Boosey & Co., n.d. [1848-49])

Titlepage (0), 9 pages music (1-9)

Titlepage has a quotation from J. D. Lang's Cooksland, dating the print to after that book's appearance in London during 1847; on (1): "written by A. K. Sylvester" [recte "E. K. Silvester"; the incorrect inital "A" was evidently copied by Marsh directly from the 1846 printed edition of Isaac Nathan's setting of the same words; see:]

Copy at the National Library of Australia (DIGITISED)

MARSH, Stephen Hale (music composed)

SILVESTER, Edward Kennedy (words)

LEICHHARDT, Ludwig (subject)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 August 1846), 3 

... 4. Ode to Leichhardt, the poetry by Mr. E. K. Silvester, composed by Mr. Marsh ...

Marsh first introduced this work in Sydney in August 1846, three months after Isaac Nathan's original setting of the words first appeared in print. Marsh left Sydney for India the folowing month, September 1846, and was in London during 1847 and 1848, returning to Sydney with his brother Henry in February 1849. Presumably while there he arranged for Boosey to publish the this ode, his Leichhradt march, as well as second (English) edition of his 1845 Australian anthem, Hail to Victoria! queen of the ocean (for full details of these other works see Checklist 1846-50); the latter must have been in print in London by around the end of 1848, as it was noticed in Melbourne the following May: see "THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM", The Argus (22 May 1849), 2: By 1850, the Marsh brothers were issuing their own colonial musical imprints locally, and would have had less reason to want to publish abroad.

25    Sleep lady mine ( Howe / Duff & Hodgson / ? 1850 )

Sleep lady mine; or, The world of dreams, serenade, sung by Mr. Lockey, written by E. L. Blanchard esqr., composed by James Howe

(London: Published by Duff & Hodgson, 65, Oxford Street, n.d. [? 1850])

Titlepage; 6 pages music (1-6); titlepage inscribed: "[Teresa Curtis,] from her Brother Peter"

26    Smile on me ( Mackinlay / D'Almaine / 185- )

Smile on me, song sung by Miss Birch, written and arranged by Mrs. Mackinlay, fourth edition

(London: D'Almaine & Co, 20, Soho Square, n.d. [185-])

Titlepage; 4 pages music (1-4); titlepage inscribed: "Teresa Curtis, from her Brother Peter"

See also another copy of titlepage only: 

27    The mountain rover ( Lee / Wray / ? 1830s)

Titlepage missing; 6 pages of music (1-6); no composer or lyricist indicated [but the composer is almost certainly Alexander Lee, as see below]; only identifying feature is stamp on last page: "Engraved by W. S. Joselin"

[Advertisement], Sussex Advertiser [UK] (21 March 1836), 2

THEATRE, LEWES ... On TUESDAY Evening, March 22, 1836 ... After which the following songs: - Song, Mrs. Wheeler, "The Mountain Rover", Lee ...

Another copy in British Library (Music Collections H.1650.n.(19.) [004474582]: catalogue record also has "the Poetry by C. Mackay", "London: H. Wray, [1840?]", but gives the composer, almost certianly incorrectly, as "H. Lee"

This indeed appears to be a slightly older print than many others in the volume, and the last leaf has been expertly repaired in several places (? by the binder); it is, perhaps, another survival from Teresa's mother's time.

The only other reference to a print engraved by "W. S. Joselin" that I have been able to find is: The soldier's tear, ballad, sung by Mr. Wood, in the new Interlude Sold for a song, the poetry by Thos. Haynes Bayly esqr., the music composed by Alexander Lee (London: Lee & Lee, 86, Regent's Quadrant, n.d. [c.1829-30]):

Bayley's Sold for a song was produced at the English Opera House, London, in 1829; see The Dramatic Magazine (1 November 1829), 273: 

28    Hear me Norma ( Bellini / ? Woolcott & Clarke / 185- )

Titlepage missing

8 pages music (1-8; page 1 is a verso, blank on reverse, 2 a recto, and so on); on page 1: "Hear me Norma, music by Bellini, words by Jeffreys" [sic] [Charles Jefferys 1807-1865]; some pencilled markings mainly on vocal line

Considering the unusual pagination, the engraving, and the incorrect spelling of the translator's name, this may well be a colonial print, perhaps the "new edition" advettised by Woolcott and Clarke in 1853

[Advertisement], Illustrated Sydney News (15 October 1853), 8 

Copy of titlepage of Jeffery's (? original) edition at Victoria and Albert Museum 

29    In memory of Jane Elizabeth Balcombe ( Meymott / Allan & Wigley / 1858-59 )

In memory of Jane Elizabeth Balcombe who died in the eighteenth year of her age on the morning of the 26th day of December, A.D. 1858, lines written by William Cornelius Uhr esqre. and set to music by Frederic William Meymott esqre.

([Sydney]: Allan & Wigley, Lith., George St., [1858-59])

Titlepage ([1]), 2 pages music ([2-3])

Another copy at the State Library of New South Wales (DIGITISED)

MEYMOTT, Frederick William (music composed)

UHR, William Cornelius (words)

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (27 December 1858), 1 

Jane Balcombe was the daughter of Thomas Balcombe and niece of Betsy Balcombe, both of whom, famously, had been befriended as children on St. Helena by Napoleon

© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2020