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A biographical register of Australian colonial musical personnel - A (A-Allan)

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "A biographical register of Australian colonial musical personnel - A (A-Allan)", Australharmony (an online resource toward the early history of music in colonial Australia):; accessed 16 April 2024

For A (A-Allan), scroll down and see below, or click to go to:
A (Allen-Az) | B (B-Baz) | B (Be-Bez) | B (Bi-Boz)  | B (Bra-Brz) | B (Bu-Bz) |  C (Ca-Cez) |  C (Cha-Cla) |  C (Cle-Cooz) |  C (Cop-Crz) |  C (Cu-Cz) |  (D (Da-Daz) |  D (Dea-Diz) |  D (Doa-Dz) |  E |  F (Fa-Fiz) | F (Fla-Fz) |  G (Ga-Glz) | G (Go-Gz) |  H (Ha-He) | H (Hi-Hy) | I |  J | K |  L (La-Lev) | L (Lew-Ly) |  M (Ma-Mac/Mc-Maz) | M (Me-My) | N |  O | P (Pa-Ph) | P (Pi-Pz) | Q |  R (Ra-Riz) | R (Ro-Rz) |  S (Sa-Sc) | S (Se-Si) | S (Sk-Sp) | S (Sq-Sz) |  T (Ta-Thomp) | T (Thoms-Tz) |  U | V |  W (Wa-Weh) | W (Wei-Wilk) | W (Will-Wiz) | W (Wo-Wy) |  X-Y-Z

- A ( A - Allan ) -

Introductory note:

The primary focus of the biographical register is musical personnel first active before the end of 1860, with a secondary focus on members of their circles - families, pupils, colleagues, and other important contacts - first active after 1860.

Beyond that, there has been no systematic attempt to deal with musical personnel first active after 1860, and the coverage is selective.

Major upgrades of the contents of this page were completed in February 2020 and December 2022, and newly added documentation (including genealogical data) and Trove tagging now brings the page content up to the end of 1860 close to completion.

Only such biographical information as can be confirmed from standard national databases or original documentation presented is entered at the head of each person entry in this page. Where no certain evidence of a person's birth year has yet been identified, the assumption is that we do not and cannot yet know with sufficient certainty to propose one. Years of birth or death, and sometimes also names and spellings of names, thus sourced and presented here, will often differ more or less substantially from those given (but often merely hazarded) in standard Australian and international bibliographic and biographical records.

The texts given in gold aim for the most part to be diplomatic transcriptions, wherever practical retaining unaltered the original orthography, and spellings and mis-spellings, of the printed or manuscript sources. Occasionally, however, some spellings are silently corrected (for instance, of unusual music titles and composers, to assist identification), and some orthography, punctuation and paragraphing, and very occasionally also syntax, editorially altered or standardised in the interests of consistency, clarity, and readability.

A., A. T. ("A. T. A.")

Musician, composer

Active Launceston, TAS, 1860 (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Tasmanian composers (subject)


Between October 1859 and January 1861, the Tasmanian booksellers and publisher, J. Walch and Sons, issued three sheet music editions printed for them in Melbourne, by Clarson, Shallard and Co., using the only set of music type then available in Victoria, originally imported into the colony by fellow printer and musical amateur William Henry Williams. They were J. S. La Mont's "national song" Our own Tasmanian home, the song Floating away, by the otherwise unidentified composer "A. T. A.", in April 1860, and John Adams's volunteer song, Riflemen, form!.


"FLOATING AWAY", Launceston Examiner (12 April 1860), 2

This is the title of a soft, sweet, and pensive air composed for and sold at the Mechanics' Institute's Bazaar now open. The words are founded on an incident related in Little Dorrit and the publication is dedicated by the composer to Charles Dickens. It is printed in a superior style by Clarson, Shallard, and Co., of Melbourne. Walch and Sons are the publishers.

Musical works:

Floating away, from an incident related in Little Dorritt [sic], by A. T. A., dedicated by the composer to Charles Dickens (Launceston & Hobart Town: J. Walch & Sons, 1860); "Clarson, Shallard, & Co., music printers, . . . Melbourne" (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: James Walch and brothers (music publishers); William Clarson and Joseph Thomas Shallard (printers, Melbourne)

ABBA, Giovanni (Giovanni ABBA; Juan ABBA)

Musician, trombone player

Born ? Italy, c. 1825
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, by June 1854
Departed Melbourne, VIC, 21 October 1854 (per Charlotte, for Valparaiso, aged "29")
? Died Santiago, Chile, 22 December 1899, aged "75" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Italian musicians (subject)


[Advertisement], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (10 June 1854), 8 

ROWE'S CIRCUS. Concert Extraordinary.
A Band of Italian Musicians, whose talent was unsurpassed in their native country, having recently arrived in this colony, will have the honor of making their first appearance in Melbourne, and giving a grand Concert at Rowe's Circus, on Saturday evening, June 10th, 1854.
Having made arrangements with Caverly Volunteer Fire Company to appear with it on all public occasions, the Band has received permission to take its name and wear its uniform.
The Band will therefore be known as the Caverly Volunteer Band.
It consists of A. Rangoni, Manager, Cornet-a-pistons; Angelo Lagomarsino, Basso; Francesco Volpi, Clarinetto; Giacinto Gagliardi, Flauto; Giovanni Abba, Trombone; Allessandro Belloni, Basso; and Giovanni Grenno, Casa. Herr Ellerner [sic, Elsasser] will preside at the piano . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Antonio Rangoni (musician, leader); Angelo Lagomarsino (musician); Francesco Volpi (musician); Giacinto Gagliardi (musician); Alessandro Bellomi (musician); Giovanni Grenno (musician); ? Charles Elsasser (pianist); Rowe's Circus (Melbourne venue)

Passenger list, per Charlotte, for Valparaiso, from Melbourne, 21 October 1854; Public Record Office of Victoria (DIGITISED)

Angelo Lagomarsino / 33 / Musico / [for] Valparaiso
Giovanni Abba / 29 / Musico / . . .
Maria Abba / 30 / . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Both the names Juan Abba and Lagomarsino also appear in lists of musicians active in Uruguay in the so-called Legion Italiana

? Death, Juan Abba Passarotto, 1899; Chile, Defunciones 1899 (PAYWALL)

Juan Abba Passarotto / italiano / setente y cinco años / comerciante / . . . [widower of] Catalina Vila / [son of] Jose Abba [and] Margarita Passarotto . . .

ABBOTT, Charles D. (Charles D. ABBOTT; Mr. C. D. ABBOTT)

Musician, violinist, musical director, composer, arranger, minstrel, serenader, member of the Backus Minstrels (Australia 1855-56)

Arrived Sydney, NSW, 23 October 1855 (per Audobon, from San Francisco, 9 August, and Honolulu, 8 September)
Departed Sydney, NSW, 7 April 1856 (per What Cheer, for San Francisco)
Died LaSalle, Illinois, USA, 20 May 1864 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (Wikipedia) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Backus Minstrels (troupe); Charles Backus (leader); W. M. Barker (member); Dorrel Fair Boley (member); Sherwood Coan Campbell (member); Jerry and Neil Bryant (members, Neil was already in Australia and joined later); William Alonzo Porter (member); Albert Morgan (member); Otto N. Burbank (member)


[Advertisement], Buffalo Morning Express and Illustrated Buffalo Express [Buffalo, NY, USA] (15 June 1849), 4 (DIGITISED)

. . . CONCERT HALL, Monday Evening, June 18, 1849, KIMBERLY'S OPERATIC TROUPE!
THE UNRIVALLED Campbell Minstrels. The originators of their own Music, Dances . . . consisting of the following well known musicians . . .
Mr. A. H. BARRY . . . Mr. J. H. HERMAN . . . Mr. L. M. BURDETT . . . Mr. T. WALLACE . . . Mr. A. H. PEEL . . .
Mr. C. D. ABBOTT, First Violin, and author of "The Colored Orphan Boy," "Abbott's Quick Step," "Nancy Teare," "Abbott's Polka," &c.
Mr. J. H. BURDETT . . . Mr. L. V. H. CROSBY . . . AND . . . THE INIMITABLE LUKE WEST . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: ? Luke West (minstrel serenader)

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVALS", Empire [Sydney, NSW] (24 October 1855), 4 

October 23. - Audubon, American ship, 531 tons, Captain Arthur, from San Francisco August 9, and Honolulu September 8. Passengers - . . . Mr. C. Backus, Charles Abbott, W. Barker, D. F. Boley, S. C. Campbell, Bryant, Porter, Morgan, Burbank . . .

[Advertisement], Empire (29 October 1855), 4

the entertainments will commence with the unrivalled performances of the BACKUS MINSTRELS,
Characters by Messrs. Charles Backus, S. C. Campbell, W. M. Parker, Jerry Bryant, C. D. Abbott, A. Morgan, W. A. Porter, D. F. Boley, O. N. Burbank . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Royal Victoria Theatre (Sydney venue)

"COPPIN'S OLYMPIC", The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (17 December 1855), 5

. . . Mr. Abbott is a violinist of superior ability, besides being in every respect an accomplished musician. The part music is deliciously rendered . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Coppin's Olympic (Melbourne venue)

List of the passengers arrived at Melbourne, 11 February 1856, from Launceston, on board the Clarence; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

Backus Minstrels / Chas. Backus / 36 // S. Campbell / 32 // Jerry Bryant / 27 // W. Bryant / 24 //
D. Boley / 31 // W. Barker / 33 // W. Porter / 26 // O. N. Burbank / 21 // C. D. Abbott / 31 // A. Morgan / 20

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald {NSW] (5 April 1856), 1

Grand Complimentary Benefit and Last Appearance of the Backus Minstrels . . .
April 5th, Farewell Concert . . .
Violin Solo - C. D. Abbott . . .
Violin Solo - C. D. Abbott . . .

"DEPARTURES", The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List (14 April 1856), 66 

April 7, - What Cheer, barque, 384 tons, Captain Baker, for San Francisco. Passengers - Messrs. C. Backus, F. Moran, A. Morgan, W. M. Baker, O. N. Burbank, T. R. Morgan, S. A. Campbell, J. Bryant, Abbott, W. Bryant, Hyman . . .

"NEGRO MINSTRELSY", New York Clipper [NY, USA] (4 June 1864), 6 

Mr. CHARLES D. ABBOTT, late violinist with the Ryan Minstrels from Milwaukee, died at the hotel in Lassell, Ill. The company left him behind on the 7th of April, and he died May 20th. He was buried by the landlord of the hotel.

Musical works (US editions only):

Abbott's polka, as danced by C. N. Christy and T. Vaughn of Christy's Minstrels, composed by C. D. Abbott (New York: Jaques & Brother, [1848] (DIGITISED)

The colored oprhan boy, as sung by S. C. Campbell, of the Campbell Minstrels, composed by C. D. Abbott (Louisville: G. W. Brainard & Co., [1852]) (DIGITISED)

See also:,_C._D. (IMSLP) (JHU/Levy)

Bibliography and resources:

"CHARLES BACKUS [with portrait illustration]", New York Clipper (30 June 1883), 4 

. . . in the Summer of 1854 he organized a minstrel company known as the Backus Minstrels, who performed in San Francisco Hall, on Washington street, between Montgomery and Kearney. C. D. Abbott was the musical-director . . . In 1855 Mr. Backus decide to visit Australia, and formed a company for that purpose . . . In Australia the Backus troupe met with so much success that they made an extended tour of all the colonies. In 1856 they returned to San Francisco . . .

"CHARLEY BACKUS' MINSTRELS IN HOBART TOWN, VAN DIEMAN'S LAND, in 1856", New York Clipper (15 September 1877), 4 

. . . C. D. Abbott died in Lasalle, Ill., May 20, 1864 . . .

Edward Le Roy Rice, Monarchs of minstrelsy, from "Daddy" Rice to date (New York: Kenny Publishing Company, 1911), 74 

C. D. Abbott was a prominent musician of the early days of minstrelsy, when those performers were artists in their respective lines, and each one was a soloist. He died at La Salle, Ill., May 20, 1864.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Le Roy Rice (memoirist)

"Early history of Negro minstrelsy, its rise and progress in the United States, by Col. T. Allston Brown. Charley Backus' Original Minstrels", New York Clipper (25 May 1912), 10 

Organised in San Francisco, Cal., in the Summer of 1854, and appeared at San Francisco Hall, Washington Street, between Montgomery and Kearney streets. C. D. Abbott, musical director; O. N. Burband [sic], stage manager; H. Donelly, Burbank, D. F. Boley, Backus, J. N. White, Morgan. Took a trip to Australia in 1855. Prior to their departure a benefit was given them by the San Francisco Minstrels Aug. 3 at the Metropolitan Theatre . . . In July, 1856, the party returned to San Francisco and opened at San Francisco Hall Sunday evening, July 6, 1856 . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Allston Brown (memoirist)

Helene Wickham Koon, Gold Rush performers: a biographical dictionary of actors, singers, dancers, musicians, circus performers and minstrel players in America's Far West, 1848 to 1869 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company, 1994), 3 (DIGITISED)

ABBOTT, Edward (Edward ABBOTT)

Journalist, newspaper editor, writer on music

Born Sydney, NSW, 25 February 1801; baptised St. John, Parramatta, 17 September 1806 [sic]; son of Edward ABBOTT (1766-1832) and Louisa COMPTON
Married Ann JOHNSON, Kangaroo Point, TAS, 25 April 1853
Died Bellrive, TAS, 4 April 1869 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: John Abbott (younger brother)


Baptisms, St. John's, Parramatta, 1806; register 1790-1825, page 43; St. John's Parramatta (PAYWALL)

Harriet Abbott daughter of Edward and Louisa Abbott was born December 13 1805 and Christened September 17th 1806 . . . Edward Abbott Son of Edward and Louisa Abbott was born Feb'y 25th 1801 and Christened September 17th 1806 . . .
John Abbott Son of Edward and Louisa Abbott was born November 24th 1803 and Christened September 17th 1806 . . . by me Samuel Marsden

ASSOCIATIONS: Samuel Marsden (clergyman)

"MUSIC", The Hobart Town Advertiser (3 May 1839), 4 

Not only from our desire to contribute by every means in our power to the information and amusement of our readers, but induced also by our love of music, and all that appertains to it we have latterly gone through a good deal of reading under the head of Music, and Musicians, in order to glean instruction as to the tone of feeling at present evinced in England on that subject. From this we gather that music is at present, as other sciences have been occasionally - at a pause, neither advancing or deteriorating, and that it appears likely so to continue until some new and peculiar style of composition is introduced. We do not profess to understand whether this change is most likely to be occasioned by the composition of the Musician, or by the song writer, - by the introducing by the latter of an unusual metre, at the end of lines, or verses, or as we say, by the compositor; but it is evident that the present order of melody is considered to have been so varied, and transformed, as that it is scarcely possible now to touch a note which has not been already worn senseless.

We may here observe, that the song of "The Sea, the Sea, the open Sea," - is one of a new style of cadence, which being new and full of peculiar pathos, give it an extraordinary celebrity. Briefly then the musical world at present appears, to be waiting the arrival of some event, the springing up of some peculiar genius, who, like Scott in literary composition, will give a new tone to English melody - and to English song writers.

Whilst on this subject, we think it right to offer a passing remark on a new song, entitled "The vow that's breathed in solitude," the music arranged by Mr. Logan, the words by Mr. Stewart. It is very highly spoken of, and we will give a notice of it in our next number.

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Stewart (attorney, lyricist); Maria Logan (composer)

MUSIC: The sea (Neukomm)

"POET'S CORNER", The Hobart Town Advertiser (10 May 1839), 4 

Words by R. Stewart, Esq. - Set to music by Mrs. Logan.

The vow that's breathed in solitude
Is dearer far than all;
When lonely thoughts of grief intrude,
And latent love recal.

The mystic spell that binds the soul,
What tongue may e'er reveal?
Though seas between us darkly roll,
The self-same throb we feel.

I cannot lay me down to sleep,
To dream of home and thee,
Or restless on my pillow weep
The tear that none may see,

But that I feel some spirit nigh,
Soft whisper in mine ear,
She too breathes out the lonely sigh,
And blesses with a tear.

It was our intention to have offered our opinion upon the above original song, both as respects its poetical claims, and the musical composition of the air. We regret that we cannot do so, the words only having been forwarded to us. It is true, we might have hazarded the conjecture that any effort of Mrs. Logan's in musical composition, must be good; we should feel quite safe in saying this, but we do not approve this conjectural review writing, and especially where a lady is interested, who has the merit of being the first musical compositor in the Colony. We must not pass lightly by "the music by Mrs. Logan," and therefore we will give a notice of it a place in a future number. Of the words, we say that they are excellent, and had they but the fashion of a name, the song, if well set to music, which no doubt it is, (in the plaintive and impressive style of composition,) would become very popular. - The "Bayleys" have written several songs in no one respect better, but in their name there is a fashion in the musical world; this gives to them and to others, celebrity. We shall be happy to give Mr. Stewart's compositions a place in our Poet's corner at any time, it being our wish to introduce into our columns as much varied reading as possible.

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Haynes Bayly (songwriter, composer)

Bibliography and resources:

Colin Bannerman, "Abbott, Edward (1801-1869)", Australian dictionary of biography supplement (2005) 


Amateur musician, bandmaster, baker

Born Leamington Priors, Warwickshire, England, 31 October 1827; baptised, Calvinistic Methodist Chapel, 25 November 1827, son of Eli and Matilda ABBOTT
Married Emma Martha WITT (c. 1824-1885), Salisbury, England, 1851
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, ? by late 1852 (wife and daughters arrived later per Ivanhoe, March 1855)
Active Beechworth, VIC, by 1853
Died Beechworth, VIC, 16 May 1861, aged "35" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Register of baptisms, Warwickshire, Calvinistic Methodist; UK National Archives, RG4 (PAYWALL)

Eli son of Eli Abbott and Matilda his wife, was born the 31st day October 1827 in the Parish of Leamington Priors in the county of Warwick and was baptised the 25th day of November 1827 by C. Bassano.

England census, 30 March 1851; Wiltshire, Salisbury St. Thomas; UK National Archives, HO 107/1847 (PAYWALL)

64 / High Street / Eli Abbott / Head / 24 / Linen & Woollen Draper / Warwickshire Leamington
Emma [Abbott] / Wife / 24 / [Linen & Woollen Draper] / Wilts. Salisbury . . .

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE . . . IMPORTS", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (8 December 1854), 4 

December 6. - Argo, from Southampton . . . 2 cases, Ely Abbott . . .

"LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INSTITUTE", Ovens and Murray Advertiser [Beechworth, VIC] (7 April 1855), 4 

At a meeting of the inhabitants of Beechworth and the surrounding district, held at the Assembly Rooms, on the evening of Saturday, 31st March, for the purpose of taking steps for the formation of a literary and scientific institute, Mr. C. Williams, in the chair, it was resolved,
1st. That this meeting, impressed with the importance of, and the many advantages derived from literary and scientific institutions, pledges itself to exert every energy to establish an institute in this district, having for its object the diffusion of literature and science. (Proposed by Mr. M. Hall, seconded by Mr. J. Whitty.)
2nd. That such institute be called the Beechworth Literary and Scientific Institute; and that it be conducted on principles similar to those by which mechanics' institutes are generally regulated. (Proposed by Mr. R. O'H. Bourke; seconded by Mr. E. Abbott.)
3rd. That the institute be governed by a president and committee of management, to be elected by the members at their first general meeting. (Proposed by Mr. P. N. Nixon; seconded by Mr. E. B. Garvan.)
4th. That the following gentlemen be appointed a provisional committee, to draw up bye-laws and regulations for the institute, to be submitted to the members at their first general meeting:
Mr. E Abbott, Mr. T. L. Reynolds, R. O'H. Bourke; H. B. Stiles; M. Hall; C. S. Westfield; D. Morrison; C. Williams; H. E. Campbell (Proposed by Mr. Richard Warren; seconded by Mr. Ingram.)
The meeting was moderately well attended, and was addressed by the chairman and others present as to the benefits usually derived from such associations.

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert O'Hara Burke (member)

"PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (14 March 1857), 2

The first concert of this society took place last evening at the Wesleyan School room, Ford street. Pressure of business prevented our attending, but we are informed by a gentleman who was there, and who ought to be a good judge in such matters, that the performances were excellent. Mrs. Nicklin is reported to have sung the solo, "Angels ever bright and fair," with a sweetness and clearness of voice not to be met with every day. Mr. Higgins too, we are assured, deserves honorable mention in connection with the performances of last evening, the pleasures of which were, it is said, greatly enhanced by the excellent music of the amateur brass band; and we can ourselves bear testimony to the proficiency and creditable performances of the amateur band, of which our highly respected townsman, Mr. Eli Abbott is the leader, and we believe the founder.

ASSOCIATIONS: Maria Nicklin (vocalist); Beechworth Philharmonic Society (association); Beechworth Amateur Band (associations)

[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (17 October 1857), 3 

Anniversary Sermons Will be preached in the
WESLEYAN CHAPEL Ford Street, on Sunday next, 18th instant . . .
Monday, 19th Instant, To commence at half-past six o'clock
After which A PUBLIC MEETING Will be held in the Chapel . . .
Selections of SACRED MUSIC Will be sung by the Choir during the Meeting.
Tickets for the Tea Meeting, 2s 6d, may be obtained of Mr. Abbott, Mr. McLean, Mr. Taylor, or Mr. Wilton . . .

"WESLEYAN BAZAAR", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (7 April 1858), 2 

The Bazaar in aid of the Wesleyan Church was opened on Monday according to announcement, and judging from the number of persons who attended it on Monday and Tuesday's evenings we should imagine that a very considerable sum must have been realized. The School Room was very tastefully decorated with flowers and evergreens, and the display of wares was both extensive and splendid . . . We must not omit to refer to the model of Herod's Temple made by Mr. Wilton - a very ingenious and clever piece of workmanship. An Amateur Band under the direction of Mr. Abbott, performed during the evening in a very creditable manner . . .

"DIED", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (18 May 1861), 2

On the 16th instant, at his residence, in Camp street, Mr. Eli Abbott, one of the oldest inhabitants of this town, aged 35 years. Much and deservedly respected by all who knew him.

Mr. Eli Abbott, Ovens and Murray Advertiser (18 May 1861), 2 

IT is our painfull duty to record the death of one of the oldest if not the oldest, residents of this township. Mr. ELI ABBOTT departed this life on Thursday afternoon, at about two o'clock, after a somewhat protracted and distressing illness. The deceased arrived on May Day Hills (the site of this township), almost immediately on the discovery of gold on Spring Creek, he having been engaged, in 1852, in Melbourne, by Mr. A. S. Palmer, who was then a storekeeper on Spring Creek. He continued with Mr. Palmer until that gentleman declined business, when he was engaged by a neighbouring storekeeper, Mr. Edwin Vickery, who was in connection with the firm of Messrs. N and R. Guthridge, of Melbourne. At this time Mr. Abbott was amongst the most active and zealous members of the religious body to which he belonged, the Wesleyan Methodists. He was a local preacher in connection with the Wesleyan Church, and, we believe, was the first who conducted divine service in the Ovens district; this office he continued to fill until a permanent minister was appointed by the Wesleyan Conference. He was a preacher of very considerable ability, and, so recently as three months since, he preached a sermon on the passage, "Lo! He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him," that is still spoken of by the members of the Wesleyan body as a display of uncommon ability in the handling of a difficult text. This sermon proved to be the last.

He was a passionate lover of music, and was a proficient in the use of nearly every instrument of music, that could be named. To him, may be said to have been chiefly owing the formation of a choir in connection with the Wesleyan church in Ford Street. He also took a very active part in the formation of two choral societies that long flourished in the district. In the erection of the church he took more than an active part, and was always ready to contribute freely from his purse. Having been for sometime engaged with Mr. Vickery, Mr. Abbott, in conjunction with Mr. Reynolds, purchased the business in Ford street, a business that was at that time perhaps as large and lucrative as any in the Ovens district. It was whilst in partnership with Mr. Reynolds that Mr. Abbott was so prosperous, and had these "good times" continued, in all human probability, he would have amassed very considerable wealth. The times changed, however, and with the change came insolvency and ruin to numbers; the firm of which Mr. Abbott was a member suffered so heavily by the failure of houses connected with it that the deceased gentleman gave up storekeeping, and turned his attention to quartz reefing and crushing. Being of a sanguine and speculative disposition, he continued in this business until it had absorbed all his means, and he became involved. He was not, however, a man to give up in despair. He determined to retrieve his losses, and honorably to pay off every claim against him. With this praiseworthy object in view, he again commenced business in Beechworth; he struggled along manfully, and was gradually acquiring a better position, so that, had his life been spared, there is little doubt that he would have retrieved his fallen fortunes, and would have paid all that he owed honorably and justly. Indeed, his attention to business was such that during the past year he is known to have reduced considerably his liabilities.

Throughout all his misfortunes, Mr. Abbott maintained amongst his fellow townsmen the high character he had formerly acquired as an honorable man and a true Christian, and all who knew him esteemed him highly. When in prosperity, he was distinguished for his benevolence, as many to this day can testify. Being of a retiring disposition, he did not mix very largely in public matters, but notwithstanding this, he was returned a member of the Municipal Council at a time when so many aspired to that honor; and we may here state that he was a valued contributor to this journal, the series of articles on Capital, on the Ovens, and many others being the production of his pen. Mr. Abbott was a Trustee of the Hospital, and he was connected with the Young Men's and many other Societies. Having said so much, we need hardly add that the character of Mr. Abbott has always been unimpeachable. We have already said that Mr. Abbot was struggling to retrieve his fortunes, and we regret to add that that struggle and his illness have left his widow and young family almost unprovided for. He has left five children, all young. To the large number who knew Mr. Abbott in Beechworth and throughout the whole of the district we need not add more; we believe he will ever live in the good opinion of his friends and fellow townsmen, and that it will be long ere his vacant place will be filled in their hearts.

"FUNERAL OF MR. ELI ABBOTT", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (22 May 1861), 2

ON Sunday afternoon, the last sad offices of humanity were performed towards the mortal remains of our late fellow-townsman Mr. Eli Abbott. At half past two o'clock, the funeral cortege began to move from his residence in Camp Street; the hearse was preceded by Drs. Crawford and Hutchinson, on either side of the Rev. J. W. Crisp, and was followed by Messrs. D. B. Groves, William Witt, and Charles King Witt, as chief mourners; and by about six hundred persons of all ranks and conditions belonging to the township and from the neighbouring gold fields. Indeed we may say that the funeral was thought by many to have been the most numerously attended of any yet upon Beechworth. The procession proceeded along Camp and Ford streets to the corner of the Vine hotel, when it turned towards the Cemetery; arrived at the gates of the Cemetery the coffin was taken from the hearse, and borne to the grave by Messrs. John Kennedy Brown, John Taylor, George Wickens, Hugh McLean, D. Morris, Thomas Higgins, Dalton, and Brownell. On arrival at the grave, The Rev. J. W. Crisp read the funeral service according to the form of the Wesleyan Methodist body, and a hymn having been sung, he proceeded to address the assemblage as follows: . . .

Probate and administration, Eli Abbot, granted 1 May 1862; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

"OLD MEMORIES", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (20 October 1906), 8 

. . . Music is still in the air. From the other side of the town, during the week day evening, comes another familiar face that has passed away - Mr. Eli Abbott, the originator of the Beechworth Brass Band. He built a round summer-house, with thatched roof, in his garden, where they assembled for practice, and strains were heard from his trombone almost every evening. Some wag wrote a song on a ball that was held on St. Patrick's Day. It ended thus -

The tradesmen all were at the ball,
But Eli stopped away;
And he played on his old trombone
In his round-house, all alone.
And play on he must,
Though his biler will bust;
And he played on his old trombone.

Bibliography and resources:

Eli Abbott, Find a grave 


Amateur songwriter, lyricist, poet, painter, artist, natural historian, public servant

Born Parramatta, NSW, 24 November 1803; baptised St. John's church, Parramatta, 17 September 1806 [sic]; son of Edward ABBOTT (1766-1832) and Louisa COMPTON
Died Hobart Town, TAS, 10 July 1875, aged "72" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Abbott (elder brother); Francis Hartwell Henslowe (composer)


Baptisms, St. John's, Parramatta, 1806; register 1790-1825, page 43; St. John's Parramatta (PAYWALL)

Harriet Abbott daughter of Edward and Louisa Abbott was born December 13 1805 and Christened September 17th 1806 . . . Edward Abbott Son of Edward and Louisa Abbott was born Feb'y 25th 1801 and Christened September 17th 1806 . . .
John Abbott Son of Edward and Louisa Abbott was born November 24th 1803 and Christened September 17th 1806 . . . by me Samuel Marsden

ASSOCIATIONS: Samuel Marsden (clergyman)

"TASMANIAN CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PARIS EXHIBITION. No. III", The Courier [Hobart, TAS] (25 November 1854), 3 

. . . The musical publications are pretty strong, consisting of "The Delacourt Bouquet," exhibited by Captain Stoney, "The Garrison Polka," by F. A. Parker [sic], junr., "Where is thy Home?" and "The Campbell Town Waltzes," by F. H. Henslowe, Esq., and the "Song of the Fair Emigrant", written, composed, printed and bound in Hobart Town, and exhibited by John Abbott, Esq. . . .
Mr. John Abbott contributes a specimen of iron sand from Long Bay . . . John Abbott, Esq., whose contributions are of the most useful kind, forwards a specimen of anthracite coal, taken from Rookwood, D'Entrecasteaux Channel, from a seam ten inches thick, cropping out of the ground at Long Bay, above high-water mark. A shaft was sunk at a distance of 300 yards from the crop, where the seam was reached at a depth of 70 feet, but as it proved to be of the same thickness, all further operations were discontinued. The coal is of a superior quality, gives out a great heat, and does not fly. The box in which the coal is packed is made from lightwood grown on the Rookwood Estate . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Butler Stoney (editor, composer); Frederick Augustus Packer (composer); Francis Hartwell Henslowe (composer)

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (1 May 1855), 2 

A New Song of the War; profits to be given to the Patriotic Fund:
"The Dying Soldier's Legacy." The words by John Abbott, Esq.; the music by Francis Hartwell Henslowe, Esq.
Hobart Town - Huxtable & Deakin.
Launceston - A. Duthie.

ASSOCIATIONS: Huxtable and Deakin (booksellers, publishers)

"DEATHS", The Mercury [Hobart, TAS] (12 July 1875), 1 

ABBOTT. - On the 10th July, at his late residence, the Poplars, George street, John Abbott, in the 72nd year of his age. The funeral will leave St. John's Church, New Town, on Tuesday afternoon, half-past three p.m.

"The Late Mr. John Abbott", The Tasmanian Tribune (13 July 1875), 2 

On Saturday morning Mr. John Abbott died suddenly. The deceased gentleman had given his servant some orders, and was in his usual state of health. This was about half-past seven, and at eight o'clock he was seized with a fit, and fell back in his chair, and died without a struggle. Mr. John Abbott was born at Elizabeth farm, the residence of the late John McArthur, at Parramatta, N.S.W., father of the late Major-General Sir Edward McArthur, on or about the year 1804. At four or five years of age, his father sent him home in H.M.S., Porpoise for his education, part of which he completed in Paris, and was an accomplished French scholar. He came out to this colony in 1823, with Mr. John Foster and others. He then went to Sydney, and was employed as a surveyor. Amongst some of the blocks of land he surveyed is Vaucluse, the residence of the late W. C. Wentworth, whom he knew intimately, as also Dr. Bland, Lady Deas Thompson, and a host of others whom the writer of these lines has heard him mention, but whom he cannot bring to his recollection at this time. In his conversation he frequently alluded to his excursions among the blacks when surveying in New South Wales. On account of his health, giving way in consequence of the severe and arduous duties he underwent as a surveyor, he was transferred to Tasmania. After a short period he went home to England, and Lord Bathurst, the then Secretary of State, who was a great personal friend of Mr. Abbott's relations, appointed him Registrar-General of Births, &c., which appointment he held until he was pensioned off. The deceased gentleman held the post of Secretary to the Royal Society of Tasmania when it was in its infancy. The last of his brothers is in Ireland, and is a captain in the army. Amongst his personal friends in England, who kept up correspondence with him, was Mr. James A. Youl, C.M.G., and whom he had a great regard for. Mrs. Cowper, wife of Dean Cowper in Sydney, is the deceased gentleman's niece.

Mr. John Abbott was a poet of some merit and he has composed some creditable little poems. Two days before his death he finished a poem he composed for the prize in the "Australian Journal," which will be published in the Hobart Town Press after the award in the "Australian Journal" is made known. In the year 186- he sent a book made up of Tasmanian scenery, which was dedicated to Mrs. Gore Browne by her special permission, to the Melbourne exhibition and for which he obtained a medal. He had in preparation another book which he intended to dedicate to Mrs. Weld when death cut him down. He was a great florist as a visit to his garden at the Poplars will prove. He was a kind hearted man and he was one of the old colonists of whom there are so few remaining. His funeral takes place to-day.

ASSOCIATIONS: Elizabeth and John Macarthur and their son Edward (settlers); see also "OBITUARY", Launceston Examiner (7 August 1875), 2 


Song of the fair emigrant; written by John Abbott, esq.; composed by F. H. Henslowe, esq. [The song of the fair emigrant] (Hobart Town: R. V. Hood, 1854) (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Robin Vaughan Hood (lithographer, publisher)

To this far distant land I have wander'd in vain,
I think o'er the scenes of my childhood again,
And fancy portrays in my feverish dream,
The spots which I lov'd on my own native stream.
On its verdant banks a sight more fair
Attracts not the eye, for mirror'd there
Are seen rocks, dwellings, fields and trees,
Which vanish away with the passing breeze
And again appear when the breezes sleep,
Liek fairy dwellings beneath the deep . . . [2 more verses]

The dying soldier's legacy; a song of the war, the words by John Abbott, esq., the music by Francis Hartwell Henslowe, esq., Patriotic Fund, Tasmania (Hobart Town: Huxtable & Deakin, [1855]) (DIGITISED)

The Soldier reclines on the tented plain,
With his trusty weapons near;
The watch-fires gleam while the Sentry' strain,
Strikes dully on his ear.
For his thoughts are away to his own fond home
With the lov'd in his native Isle;
And he dreams of his tender wife's caress,
Of his children's joyous smile . . . [3 more verses]

Bibliography and resources:

"John Abbott", Design & Art Australia Online (DAAO) 

ABBOTT, John William (John William ABBOTT; William ABBOTT)

Bellringer, change ringer, auctioneer

Born Hobart, VDL (TAS), 25 August 1839; son of Charles ABBOTT and Henrietta Selina FALKINER
Married Mary Ann PHIPPS, St. David's cathedral, Hobart, TAS, September 1866
Died Hobart, 18 October 1906, TAS, aged "67" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

Bell tower, Trinity Church, Hobart; foundation stone laid October 1841; from a stereo photograph, c. 1865; Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (DIGITISED)


Births in the district of Hobart, 1839; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1066527; RGD33/1/1/ no 85$init=RGD33-1-1-P260 (DIGITISED)

No. 85 / 25 August 1839 / John William / [son of] Charles Abbott / Henrietta Selina Abbott formerly Falkiner / Keeper of H.M. Bonded Warehouse . . .

"MARRIAGE", The Mercury (17 September 1866), 1 

ABBOTT - PHIPPS. - On Tuesday, the 11th inst., at St. David's Cathedral, by the Ven. Archdeacon Davies, John William Abbott, to Mary Ann, youngest daughter of the late Mr. Samuel Phipps.

"TOWN TALK", Tasmanian Morning Herald (12 September 1866), 5 

The bells of Trinity Church rang forth a merry peal yesterday afternoon in honor of the nuptials of our well-known and much esteemed fellow citizen, Mr. William Abbott (of the firm of Llewellyn, Roberts and Abbott, auctioneers.) We believe that Mr. Abbott has for many years past been one of the Bellringers Association, and his loss will be much felt by those who joined together to give him a tintinabulatory valediction.

ASSOCIATIONS: Trinity Amateur Ringing Association; it is possible that this report was merely a good-humoured joke, auctioneers being professionally notorious for their bell-ringers

"Death", Tasmanian News (17 October 1906), 1 

ABBOTT. - On October 16th at 4 De Witt street, Hobart, John William Abbott (auctioneer), aged 67 years. Funeral will leave above address on SATURDAY, 20th, at 9.30. for Cornelian Bay Cemetery.

"OBITUARY. MR. J. W. ABBOTT", The Mercury (18 October 1906), 4 

By the decease of Mr. J. W. Abbott a familiar figure has been removed from Hobart commercial circles. For years Mr. Abbott was identified with the auctioneering business and was widely known throughout the Southern portion of the island. Born on Battery Point 67 years ago, he received an elementary education at Giblin's school, and at the age of 15 years entered the office of the late T. Y. Lowes with whom he travelled about the country attending sales. Subsequently he joined Messrs. Kemp and Westbrook auctioneers and in 1865 became a partner in the firm of Kemp, Roberts and Co. . . .

ABBOTT, Joseph Henry (Joseph Henry ABBOTT; J. H. ABBOTT)

Theatre and hotel proprietor, entrepreneur, journalist

Born Birmingham, England, 1 February 1830; baptised St. Martin's, Birmingham, 19 August 1830; son of Joseph ABBOTT (d. VIC, 1865) and Mary Ann SINGER (d. VIC, 1856)
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, November 1852
Married Ann DEAGUE (Mrs. SMITH) (1837-1917), All Saints' church, Bendigo, VIC, 26 September 1860
Died Bendigo, VIC, 10 November 1904 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Deague (amateur vocalist, brother-in-law)


Baptisms solemnized in the parish of St. Martin in Birmingham in the County of Warwick in August in the year 1830; register 1828-31, page 498; Library of Birmingham (PAYWALL)

No. 3979 / [August] 19th / Joseph Henry / Born 1st February 1830 / Son of / Joseph [and] Mary / Abbott / Suffolk Street / Brass Founder . . .

England census, 30 March 1851, St. Martin, Birmingham; UK National Archives, HO 107 / 2053 (PAYWALL)

77 1/2 Smallbrook St / Joseph Abbott / Head / Mar. / 62 / Glass mould maker master / [born] Birmingham
Mary Ann Abbott / Wife / Mar. / 55 / Stay maker / [born] London
Joseph Henry Abbott / Son / Un. / 21 / Glass Mould Maker / [born] Warwickshire Birmingham
Catherine / 16 // Sarah / 13

"MARRIED", Bendigo Advertiser [VIC] (27 September 1860), 2 

On the 26th inst, by special license, at All Saints' Church, Sandhurst, by the Rev. F. Smith, Joseph Henry Abbott, Esq, J.P., Chairman of the Municipality of Sandhurst, to Ann Smith, fourth daughter of Mr. William Deague, Barkly Place.

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (12 December 1860), 5 

Abbot's Lyceum Theatre, at Sandhurst, which has been in course of erection for some time, was opened on Monday evening last with Italian opera. Signor and Signora Bianchi appeared as Manrico and Leonora.

ASSOCIATIONS: Eugenio and Giovanna Bianchi (vocalists); Lyceum Theatre (Bendigo)

"DEATH OF MR. J. H. ABBOTT, M.L.C.", Bendigo Advertiser (11 November 1904), 3 

Throughout the city yesterday regret of the most profound and sincere character was experienced when it became known that Mr. J. H. Abbott, M.L.C., had passed away in the early morning, at his private residence, "Edgbastonia," Barkly Place . . . The late Mr. Abbott's career goes so far back that only the few pioneers left have any real appreciation of its nature. The son of a machine manufacturer, of Birmingham, he was born in the great manufacturing centre in 1830, and was therefore in his 74th year at the time of his demise. He received a brief education at the King Edward VI. Free Grammar School in his native city, but at 12 years of age he entered his father's factory, where he remained for a decade. At the age of 22 years the stories of the gold in Australia appealed irresistibly to him, and in November, 1852, he landed in Melbourne after a sailing voyage of 114 days. Straightway he walked to the goldfields at Forest Creek, and took part in the rushes at Wesley Hill and Moonlight Flat. Those were the days when diggers had to undergo all manner of hardships, and only recently Mr. Abbott recounted at the Town Hall to some friends stories of his having worked up to his waist in water in order to reach the wash dirt. In the beginning of the year 1853 Mr. Abbott reached Bendigo, and began a career which was destined to be not only lengthy, but exceedingly useful.

It has been truly said that good citizenship is the seed of great nationhood, and Mr. Abbott's name may justifiably be associated with those whose wisdom in the earlier days is so beneficially reflected in the city to-day. He was one of a partnership of three to open a small general store here, and while this was being conducted a claim was pegged out, and worked by the trio of hardy and enterprising young men. So successful were they that in the following year they put up a puddling machine in that locality which is now known as Irishtown. Just about that time Mr. Abbott became connected with a venture by which a newspaper was brought on to the goldfield. It was called "The Diggers' Advocate," and was published weekly in Melbourne. Unpretentious as it was in appearance, the little four-page newspaper stood forth as the champion of the diggers in their opposition to the iniquitous license fee. Mr. G. E. Thompson was in the editorial chair, Mr. Ebenezer Syme was a contributor, and Mr. Abbott acted as agent and reporter at Bendigo. The paper was issued at 2/ per copy, but after treading thorny paths for some two years it ceased publication. Mr. Abbott, who had already conducted a reading-room in connection with the newspaper office, then built the Australian hotel, which he conducted for some years. In 1858 he transformed a large store in Pall Mall into an hotel and theatre, and out of these sprang the famous Lyceum Theatre, which was noted for the presence at various intervals of all the stars that came to Australia. Mr. Abbott's theatrical venture was returning liberal profits when an exodus took place from Bendigo to the newly-discovered New Zealand goldfields, and matters grew so dull that the enterprise was abandoned. It was just at this period that Mr. Abbott started his public career . . .


Musician, violinist, band leader, ? watchmaker

Active Launceston, TAS, by 1865 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

? ABBOTT, William (William ABBOTT)

Born Derby, England, 17 July 1830; baptised Friar Gate chapel (Presbyterian), Derby, 17 October 1830; son of Francis ABBOTT (1799-1883) and Mary WOOLLEY (1800-1865)
Arrived Hobart Town, TAS, 1850 (with mother and siblings, father had come as a convict per Mount Stewart Elphinstone, 1845)
Died Launceston, TAS, 15 July 1887


"SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY", Launceston Examiner (11 January 1859), 3 

The half-yearly meeting of this Society was held in the Wycliffe Chapel, on Thursday evening last . . . The following are the officers for the ensuing half year:
President, Mr. Wm. Gurr; Conductor, Mr. T. Sharp; - Treasurer, Mr. R. Kenworthy; Secretary, Mr. W. Stokes.
Committee - Messrs. Abbott, Horne, Long, McDonald, and Johnstone . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Gurr (president); Thomas Sharp (conductor); Robert Kenworthy (member); William Stokes (member); Arthur Horne (member); Alexander Johnston (member); Launceston Sacred Harmonic Society (association)

"TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT", The Cornwall Chronicle (17 September 1864), 4 

THE CONCERT given in the Mechanics' Institute on Wednesday evening, in honor of laying the foundation stone of the New Catholic Church of the Apostles, was a very excellent one . . . nearly 600 persons were present. Seldom has so numerous and efficient a body of musical amateurs appeared in Launceston, as united their abilities to give eclat to this concert. And it was creditable, as a proof of their Christian liberality, to find that many of those who assisted the Choir of St. Joseph's Church, belonged to other religious sections of the community, than the one they united to aid on this occasion . . . and the leader, Mr. Sharpe [sic] . . . The effect of the beautiful pieces of sacred music would have been immensely increased by an accompaniment on the great organ, instead of upon the harmonium, supplied by Mr. W. Abbott. The fine instrument imported at a cost of £400, and not yet near paid for, is in such a state of decay that it cannot be performed . . .

? [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (12 January 1865), 1 

W. ABBOTT, WATCH AND CLOCK MAKER, Brisbane-street, Launceston.

"THE EXHIBITION AT THE TOWN HALL", Launceston Examiner (20 July 1865), 5 

In consequence of the inclemency of the weather on Monday and Tuesday, the Exhibition was very poorly patronised; but yesterday being fine, the attendance was encouraging. A band under the leadership of Mr. W. Abbott played selections of music during the evening. To-night there will be a band under the direction of Mr. Thos. Sharp . . .

"MIDLAND AGRICULTURAL SHOW. CAMPBELL TOWN . . . THE BALL", Launceston Examiner (19 October 1865), 5 

The ball held last (Tuesday) night was quite a success . . . Abbott's quadrille band from Launceston was in attendance . . .

"POPULAR ENTERTAINMENT", Launceston Examiner (14 September 1869), 2 

A popular entertainment was given last night, in the large hall of the Mechanics' Institute, under the auspices of the "Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association," when some of our most popular amateurs took part, as well as Messrs. Linly Norman and J. H. Melvyn, whose services had been engaged for the occasion as instrumentalists . . . the room being comfortably full. The programme was one of more than ordinary interest, embracing an equal proportion of vocal and instrumental music, with reading, recitations, &c., and each part opening with an overture, in which the performers were Messrs. Norman, Melvyn, Abbott, Roberts, Harris, C. Galvin, Chick, Davies, Joscelyne, and A. Hart . . . The following was the programme: Part 1. - Overture, "L'Italiana In Algieri," orchestra . . . Part 2. - Overture - "Bohemian Girl," orchestra . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Linly Norman (pianist); James Hadock Melvyn (musician); Henry Roberts and/or son (violin); Charles Galvin (clarinet); John Chick (violin); John Morris Davies (violin and/or flute); Samuel Joscelyne (cello); Anthony Hart (cello)

"POPULAR ENTERTAINMENT AT THE MECHANICS' INSTITUTE", The Cornwall Chronicle (15 September 1869), 3 

The first entertainment of a series to be given by the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association took place in the large hall of Mechanics' Institute on Monday evening . . . The orchestra consisted of Mr. Abbott (first violin), Mr. J. M. Davies (violin), Mr. Charles Galvin (clarionet), and Mr. Harris (cornet). The overture of L'Italiana in Algieri elicited a burst of applause seldom accorded here to any mere instrumental music . . . The programme was a long one including readings, recitations, the overtures "Bohemian Girl" and "Haydn's Symphony No. 3" . . .

"PROMENADE CONCERT", The Cornwall Chronicle (13 October 1869), 2 

The promenade concert at the Mechanics' Institute was not so well attended yesterday evening as might have been expected, considering the ability of the musical amateurs under the conductorship of Mr. T. Sharp . . . The concert was opened with the overture to the opera "Bohemian Girl," and it was finely rendered by Mr. T. Sharp, Rev. W. A. Brooke, Messrs. W. Abbott, S. Joscelyne, A. Hart, C. Galvin, Roberts, Chick, and Harris . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Warren Auber Brooke (amateur musician); Robert Douglas Harris (amateur musician)

"MECHANICS INSTITUTE", Launceston Examiner (21 October 1869), 2 

A popular entertainment by amateurs was given at the Mechanics' Institute on Tuesday evening, but was sparsely attended . . . We append the programme. - Guy Mannering, Messrs. Abbott, Roberts, Galvin, J. M. Davies, A. Hart, Joscelyne, Biggs, C. Kemp, and Chick . . . overture, - "Tancredi," Messrs. Abbott, Henry, Hart, Biggs, Davies, Galvin, Joscelyne, and Chick . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Jesse Biggs (musician)

"GRAND AMATEUR CONCERT", Launceston Examiner (25 July 1872), 2 

A grand amateur concert of vocal and instrumental music, in aid of the funds required for the improvement of the boat used in the Mission work in Bass's Straits, was given at the Mechanics' Institute on Tuesday evening . . . The concert was commenced about a quarter to eight, by an overture "Fra Diavolo" by a very full and efficient orchestra, consisting of the Rev. W. A. Brooke and Messrs. T. Sharp, Abbott, Chick, Day, Galvin, J. M. Davies, W. Sharp, Joscelyne, and Douglas Harris . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Andrew John Day (cornet); William Sharp (double bass)

"GRAND CONCERT AT THE MECHANICS' INSTITUTE", The Cornwall Chronicle (4 September 1872), 2 

On Monday evening a grand vocal and instrumental concert was given in the hall of the Mechanics' Institute in aid of the widow of the late Mr. Jesse Biggs . . . The concert commenced with Auber's overture to "Masaniello," by ten performers - Mr. Thos. Sharp, Mr. Abbott, and Mr. Chick (violins), Mr. Wm. Sharp (double bass), Mr. Joscelyne and Mr. A. Hart (violoncellos), Mr. C. Galvin (clarionet), Mr. J. M. Davies (flute), Mr. A. Day and Mr. R. D. Harris (cornets), and Mrs. H. B. Nicholls presided at the pianoforte. The overture was excellently performed, in perfect time, and with fine effect. It gave entire satisfaction, and elicited universal applause . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Mrs. H. B. Nicholls (musician)

"SACRED & SECULAR CONCERT", Weekly Examiner (5 July 1873), 14 

The members of St. John's Church Choir, assisted by a few friends, on Tuesday evening last gave a concert in the large hall of the Mechanics' Institute, in aid of a fund for providing an organ for St. John's Church Sunday School . . . rendered to a large audience in a manner that must have been as gratifying to the conductor, Mr. T. Sharp, as it was satisfactory to those present. The first piece was a sacred overture "Samson," by the orchestra, composed as follows: - Messrs. W. Abbott (piano), Thomas Sharp, John Chick, Jas. Tevelein (violins), W. Sharp (bass viol), A. Hart (violincello), J. Galvin and T. J. Doolan (clarionets), A. Day and Douglas-Harris (cornopeans), J. M. Davies (flute). This is, perhaps, the best orchestra that can be formed in Launceston, and this grand overture was performed in fine style, as was also the sublime, soft, and silvery pastoral symphony subsequently . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: James Tevelein (violin); Joseph Galvin (clarinet); Thomas Joseph Doolan (clarinet)

"CONCERT AT CARRICK (By our Special Reporter)", The Cornwall Chronicle (30 March 1874), 3 

On Friday last another of those pleasant little concerts for which Carrick is acquiring a reputation was given in the new school-room . . . and the arrangements were conducted by Mr. T. Sharp . . . the orchestra for the opening piece[,] Messrs. T. Sharp, W. Sharp, A. Hart, W. Abbott, Douglass Harris, Day, Chick, and Tevelein then stepped forward and delivered the favorite overture, "Il Tancredi," in a style that called forth great applause . . . After an interval of ten minutes the orchestra performed the overture "The Caliph of Bagdad," and gave the country residents another treat, as it is rarely such a band of performers can be found at a country entertainment . . .


This being the day fixed for the solemn opening of the new Roman Catholic Church at Westbury, by the Most Rev. Bishop Murphy, arrangements were made for giving eclat to the ceremonies, and special efforts were made to render the music as perfect and attractive as possible. The programme included the celebration of solemn High Mass Coram Pontifice, the choir, with full orchestral accompaniments, to perform Mozart's No. XII. Mass . . . The Orchestra comprised the following: Violins - Messrs. T. Sharp, W. Abbott, J. Chick, J. Tevelein; Violoncellos - Messrs. A. Hart, S. Joscelyn; Contrabasso - Mr. W. Sharp; Flute - Mr. J. M. Davies; Cornopean - Messrs. R. D. Harris and A. Day; Organ - Miss Dowling . . . The vocal department was under the direction of Mr. J. H. Melvyn; the instrumental arrangements were under the superintendance of Mr. T. Sharp . . .

? "DEATHS", Daily Telegraph (16 July 1887), 2 

ABBOTT. - On July 15, at his residence, Brisbane-street, William Abbott, aged 57 years.

? [News], Launceston Examiner (16 July 1887), 2 

Considerable surprise mingled with regret was manifested in town on 15th inst. by the publicity of the news of the death of Mr. William Abbott, who died at his late residence Brisbane-street, at an early hour that morning. Mr. Abbott was a native of Manchester, England, where he served his apprenticeship as a watchmaker, etc., being articled to his father, the late Mr. Francis Abbott. He came out to Hobart with his father in 1850, and continued his business for some years there, removing to Launceston in 1860 [recte, by 1857 or earlier]. He then started business in Brisbane-street, near Charles-street, and but recently moved to his late residence. He was looked on as a practical jeweller, and commanded a good business. Some few years ago his brother, Mr. Charles Abbott of Hobart, desired him to take his business in Hobart, the whole of which he would transfer to him. This Mr. Abbott declined, preferring to remain in Launceston, where he had established many friends. Besides two brothers resident in Hobart, Mr. Abbott leaves a wife and six children, five boys and one girl to mourn their loss. Much sympathy is expressed for deceased's family, who are left well provided for. The funeral will leave deceased's late residence at 3.30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. Had deceased lived till to-morrow he would have been 57 years of age.

ABECCO, Raffaele (Raffaele ABECCO; Raphael ABECCO)

Musician, tenor vocalist, harpist, violinist, minstrel, serenader

Born "Holland" (? Netherlands), c. 1835/36
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 31 January 1865 (per Osprey, from San Francisco, 22 November 1864)
Departed Bunbury, WA, June 1869 (per Sea Ripple for Singapore)
Died Cook county, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 3 January 1879, aged "42" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)



England census, 30 March 1851, Cheshire, Macclesfield, Rainow; UK National Archives, HO107/2159/165/3 (PAYWALL)

Market Place / Robert Clarke / Head / 34 / Victualer . . .
Michelangelo Di Leonardo / Lodger / 35 / Musician / Holland
Antonio Abecco / [Lodger] / 38 / [Musician] / [Holland]
Vincent [Abecco] / [Lodger] / 36 / [Musician] / [Holland]
Raffaele [Abecco] / [Lodger] / 16 / [Musician] / [Holland]
Francesco Di Leonardo / [Lodger] / 12 / [Musician] / [Holland] . . .

"LATEST SHIPPING NEWS . . . ARRIVALS", Sydney Mail (4 February 1865), 9 

Osprey, Columbian schooner, 600 tons, Captain Cornfoot, from San Francisco 22nd November. Passengers . . . Signor Raffaele Abecco; and 16 in the steerage.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 February 1865), 1

SMITH, BROWN, AND COLLINS' Veritable and Original CHRISTY'S,
After their Tour of India, Java, and China, Will make their
PROGRAMME. Part I. - Musical.
The Christy's Overture . . . Company
Operatic Chorus - "Drain the Cup of Pleasure" (from Lurline) - Christy's Minstrels . . .
"Kiss me-Good Night, Mother" - Rafael Abecco . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Smith, Brown, and Collins Original Christy's Minstrels (troupe); Mechanics' School of Arts (Sydney venue)

"THE CHRISTY'S MINSTRELS", Empire [Sydney, NSW] (21 February 1865), 4

This exceedingly clever troupe of musicians made their first appearance last night, at the School of Arts, in presence of a most crowded and fashionable audience, by whom their respective songs, &c., were received with every mark of demonstrative approval . . . An additional feature is the introduction of the harp, played by Abecco, which adds to the harmony of the music in a pleasing degree . . .

"THE ORIGINAL CHRISTY'S", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 February 1865), 7

. . . but the gem of the first part of the programme was, "Kiss me good night, mother," by Signor Abecco. Before he was halfway through the piece the audience were impatient in their expressions of approval, and at its termination rapturous applause burst from every part of the hall . . .

"THE ORIGINAL CHRISTY'S MINSTRELS", Empire (27 February 1865), 5

. . . Signor Raphael Abecco, who pleases the audience at once, by the energetic and brilliant execution of his songs, has at his command a voice of great power and no little flexibility, with a range of notes in the upper register, of that telling character which fixes the attention and elicits the applause of his listeners in the most rapturous manner. An inevitable encore has hitherto attended Signor Abecco's efforts, and his fame and popularity as a vocalist are becoming widely extended, and increasingly attractive . . .

"CHRISTY'S MINSTRELS", Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser [VIC] (23 September 1867), 2

This clever company played to fair houses on Friday and Saturday nights at Mac's Hotel, and the comicalities the singing and the music were all highly applauded. This evening the Christys take a farewell benefit, after which, according to the advertisement ins another part of this day's issue, the company proceeds to Merino, Coleraine, and Casterton. The performers are all distinguished for some speciality, Abecco as a powerful tenor and harpist, La Feuillade as a violinist, Sandford as a dancer, and Taylor on the roller skates is inimitable.

ASSOCIATIONS: Nicholas La Feuillade (minstrel)

[News], Evening Post [Wellington, NZ] (24 October 1867), 2

Many persons will remember a stout gentleman of Saxon countenance rejoicing in the rank and name of Signor Raphael Abecco, who, in the early part of the year, visited Wellington with a musical company. Mr. Abecco is now in Melbourne as manager of some Christy's Minstrels, at whose hands, by all accounts, he has suffered very badly in purse and in person. The Minstrels, it would appear, have made an unsuccessful tour through the Western districts of Victoria, and poor Abecco had not the wherewithal to pay their salaries. The members thereupon waxed wroth and took their moneys worth out of him by an assault. Abecco appealed to the law, and his assailants were fined £5 each, with the alternative of 6 weeks imprisonment. One of them, named Taylor, was unable to pay, but offered the Bench his gold watch; unaccountably, however, the presiding justice declined converting the Court into a Mont de Piete, and refused the security.

"SIGNOR ABECCO'S CONCERT. TO THE EDITOR", The South Australian Advertiser (24 February 1868), 2

Sir - My attention has been directed to a letter which appeared in yesterday's Advertiser, signed "George Lockwood, upholsterer. Roper-street," and as it reflects not only on myself but upon several gentlemen who had kindly formed a Committee for my benefit, I trust you will allow me the right of reply to Mr. Lockwood's insinuations. A stranger reading Mr. Lockwood's letter might reasonably gather from the first paragraph that Adelaide people are celebrated for having "jolly swindles" perpetrated on them, and kindly assumes that my last benefit concert comes in the category. The facts are these: - On my arrival in Adelaide I engaged all the vocalists procurable, with Messrs. George Loder and Frederic Ellard pianists; I hired the best concert-hall in Adelaide; spared no means or effort, and worked hard and honestly with the hope of earning a few pounds at all events. What was the result? The expenses attendant upon concert-giving are so heavy, and Adelaide people to utterly unmusical, that after every exertion I found myself in the enjoyment of that unenviable luxury - a debit balance. At this juncture several gentlemen most kindly formed a Committee, with the object of placing my speculation in a more satisfactory position. Let me take this opportunity of thanking them, collectively and severally, for their goodness. For this occasion I again wished to obtain the services of my previous coadjutors, but was requested to perform more myself, and only engage Mrs. Proctor, Mr. Loder, and Mr. Pappin. The latter resolve was merely agreed to from prudential motives, as artistes' salaries were a very heavy item in the expense list, and every one who has given concert in Adelaide can corroborate my assertion. So far as my experience goes I have been unable to find a superior musician to Mr. George Loder in Adelaide, or better vocalists than Mrs. Proctor and Mr. Pappin. Mr. Lock- wood apparently complains that W. Townsend, Esq., was not "something worth hearing," and that a "host" of local talent did not appear. Mr. Townsend is well able to defend himself, and needs no poor words of mine. But what would the public have thought if I had deluged the platform with numbers of "local talent?" I certainly might have procured a greater amount of assistance, but it would have been decidedly inferior in quality to the lady and gentlemen who were placed in the programme. Mr. Loder alone bore out the tenth asserted in my posters, for he is a "host in himself." Mr. Lockwood has doubtless a sufficient knowledge of men and manners to be aware that it is easy enough for persons to characterise the most righteous undertaking as "disgraceful humbug." He must also perceive that a poor professional man is likely to derive immense advantages from such kindliness of disposition, and a desire to help the unfortunate, that Mr. Lockwood evinces. I may be a " disgraceful humbug," but would not wish to injure Mr. Lockwood by any attempt at retaliation, or consider his letter anything but a hastily-formed opinion, which calm consideration may change. I am sorry that, unlike Mr. Lockwood, I have not experienced the truth of the old saying "Blessed are they that expect nothing," &c., &c. for expecting to receive, at least, a certain amount of courtesy even from strangers, I have been most grievously disappointed.
I am, Sir, &c.,
Globe Hotel, February 21, 1868.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Loder (pianist); Frederick Ellard (pianist); Susannah Wishart Proctor (vocalist); Thomas Green Pappin (vocalist)

"WELLINGTON (From our own Correspondent)", The Inquirer & Commercial News [Perth, WA] (23 June 1869), 3

Signor Abecco, who has now been for some months in Bunbury, gave on Tuesday evening last a concert in the Mechanics' Hall, which was fairly attended. The Signor, who we believe intends to leave this country in the Sea Ripple, has announced a farewell concert for Monday evening.

"BUNBURY (From our own Correspondent)", The Perth Gazette [WA] (25 June 1869), 2

The Sea Ripple, chartered by Mr. Gillman, has completed her loading, and cleared out for Singapore. Her cargo consists of sandalwood and horses; she also takes as cabin passengers Signor and Madame Abecco.

[News], New York Clipper [NY, USA] (25 January 1879), 351 [7] 

THE DEATH OF RAFAEL ABECCO is confirmed by our Chicago, Ill., correspondent, who writes that he died at 190 Peoria street, in that city, Jan. 3, after an illness of one week's duration. His remains were buried in calvary Cemetery, the Masons defraying the expenses. The members of the companies of the Academy, Metropolitan and Hamlin's Theatres furnished the means to send the widow to New York City. Mr. Abecco was a skillful performer upon the harp, a good tenor vocalist, and a composer of some merit. He had been a long time before the public. On Aug. 27, 1860, he opened with Sanford's Opera Troupe in Philadelphia. During the season of 1861-62 he was a member of the Canterbury Minstrels, at 585 Broadway, in this city. July 7, 1862, he opened with Wood's Minstrels, 514 Broadway. In 1863 he was a manager of Birch, Cotton, Abecco Wells & Co.'s Minstrels, playing in the Eureka Theatre, San Francisco, Cal. He remained there during 1864, performing with Birch, Wambold, Backus, Coes, Jennie Worrell and others. Mr. E. H. Harvey, a minstrel manager residing in Boston, Mass., furnishes us with some information concerning his career in foreign lands. Leaving San Francisco, he went to Sydney, N.S.W., arriving there in 1865. He joined Smith, Brown & Collins' Christy Minstrels, and played with them in the principal cities of the Australian colonies. Owing to a disagreement with the management, he left them in Hobart Town, Tasmania, and then gave concerts with Rogers the comedian and his daughter through that province. The enterprise not proving pecuniarly successful, he returned to Melbourne, and joined Harvey and La Feuillade's Minstrels, remaining with them five months. He next went to New Zealand with the late Tommy Peel, and in 1866 returned to Melbourne, where he joined Harvey, La Feuillade's and Rainford's Minstrels, with whom he continued until 1867. He then engaged to go to India with Harvey & Nish; but an accident prevented his going, and he made another tour of Australia with John E. Taylor and others, and in 1868 sailed for Western Australia, Singapore and China, where he played for one year, joining Dave Carson, Harvey and Burton in Bombay, India, in 1870, and going with them to Colombo, Ceylon. He left them there after playing three weeks, and sailed from Colombo for South Africa with W. W. Allen . . . They played in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown, and while in the last-named place he retired from the profession and became the proprietor of the Masonic Hotel, which he kept during 1871 and part of 1872 . . . in 1872 he sailed for St. Helena, where he was wrecked. He then returned directly to the United States . . . His last engagement was with Billy Emerson's Minstrels, and he left that company in Clinton, Ia., Dec. 25, 1878, to go to his home, in Chicago, Ill., for a few days' rest, as he was suffering from a carbuncle on the back of his neck, and erysipelas subsequently set in and caused his death.

"SIGNOR ABECCO", The Western Australian Times (25 April 1879), 2

A New York paper lately received announces the death in January last at Chicago, of Mr. Rafael Abecco, the tenor vocalist and harpist who, as some of our readers may remember, visited this colony some years ago.

Bibliography and resources:

Edward Le Roy Rice, Monarchs of minstrelsy from "Daddy" Rice to date (New York: Kenny Publishing Company, 1911), 118: (DIGITISED)

Sig. Raphael Abecco gained distinction in minstrelsy chiefly for his excellent performance on the harp: but was also a fine tenor singer, and a composer of repute. As early as October 20, 1857, he was with Matt. Peel's Minstrels, and continued with Peel until the latter's death in 1859. August 27, 1860, he began a season's engagement at Sanford's Minstrels in Philadelphia; in the Spring of 1861 fulfilling a short season with Unsworth's Minstrels; he returned to Sanford's for the season of 1861-62. July 7, 1862, he opened with Wood's Minstrels in New York City, and in 1863 Birch, Cotton, Wells and Abecco's Minstrels inaugurated their season in San Francisco. In 1865 [sic, 1864] he sailed for Australia and remained abroad until 1872. January 9, 1875 he opened with Simmons and Slocum's Minstrels in Philadelphia, and the following season was a member of Simmons, Slocum and Sweatnam's Minstrels in the same city. His last engagement was with Emerson's Minstrels, December 25, 1878. Sig. Abecco was of foreign birth; he died in Chicago, Ill., January 3, 1879; age 42 years.

John Franceschina, David Braham: the American Offenbach (London and New York: Routledge, 2003), 6, 9, 20-22 (PREVIEW)

ABRAHAM, Jemima (Jemima ABRAHAM; Miss J. ABRAHAM; Miss ABRAHAMS; Mrs. William ELLIS)

Musician, pianist, professor of the pianoforte, organist

Born Staffordshire, England, 15 April 1833; daughter of Abraham ABRAHAM (1806-1878) and Eliza Ann SHAW (1808-1876)
Active Hanley, Staffordshire, England, by 1846
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 8 December 1848 (per St. George from London and the Downs, 20 August)
Married William ELLIS (d. 1875), Sydney, NSW, 12 April 1854
Died Croydon Park, NSW, 27 February 1915 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Register of baptisms, Caroline Street Chapel (Independent), Lane End, Stoke on Trent, 1819-37; UK National Archives, RG4/3613 (PAYWALL)

1833 / Jemima / Daughter / [born] April 15th 1833 / Market Street, Lane End, in the Parish / [daughter of] Abraham and Elizabeth Abraham formerly Shaw / Druggist / [baptised] May 10th 1833 . . .

[Advertisement], Staffordshire Advertiser [Stafford, England] (23 May 1846), 1 (PAYWALL)

TWO GRAND CONCERTS . . . on the evenings of Thursday and Friday, the 21st and 22nd May, 1846.
Miss ABRAHAM, Pupil of G. Simpson, will perform Concertos on the Piano Forte . . .

"THE HUTCHINSON FAMILY", Staffordshire Advertiser (23 May 1846), 3 (PAYWALL)

The visit of these vocalists to Hanley, next Thursday and Friday evenings, is anticipated with real interest . . . In the course of each evening's concert there will be brilliant piano-forte performances by Mr. George Simpson, the conductor, and Miss Abrahams (one of his pupils) . . .

"STOKE-UPON-TRENT ATHENAEUM", Staffordshire Advertiser (22 April 1848), 5 (PAYWALL)

. . . We observe, that . . . the committee have made arrangements for a grand evening concert, to be given in the Town Hall, on the evening of Easter Tuesday, for which occasion they have engaged the able services of Mr. Pearsall . . . Miss Abraham, youthful pianist; and Mr. Hughes, the celebrated performer the opheclide . . .

"STOKE-UPON-TRENT ATHENAEUM", Staffordshire Advertiser (29 April 1848), 8 (PAYWALL)

There was an excellent attendance the concert, arranged under the auspices of the Athenaeum Committee, in the Magistrates' room of the Town Hall, Stoke, on Tuesday evening [25 April] . . . Mr. Pearsall was, of course, the great attraction. His "vocal entertainment" being replete with biographical notices, anecdote, and musical illustration, afforded great delight . . . Miss Abraham's execution of two fantasias on the pianoforte was clever. Mr. G. Simpson, the conductor, presided at the pianoforte . . .

[Advertisement], Staffordshire Advertiser (20 May 1848), 1 (PAYWALL)

GRAND CONCERT IN AID OF THE POOR. G. SIMPSON has the honour to announce that . . .
in aid of the Fund for Relieving the Poor of Hanley and Shelton,
for which occasion he has secured the following distinguished talent: -
MR. PEARSALL, (Of Her Majesty's Concerts, Exeter Hall, and Lichfield Cathedral,)
who will sing several beautiful compositions of Handel, Rossini, Mozart . . .
MISS ABRAHAM (Pupil of Mr. G. Simpson,) will perform two Grand Solos on the Pianoforte . . .

Sydney, NSW (from 8 December 1848):

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (13 December 1848), 2

8 - St. George, ship, 605 tons, Captain Jones, from London, having left the Downs the 20th August. Passengers - Right Rev. Dr Davis . . . Mr. and Mrs. Abrahams, three sons and three daughters, Mr. W. Abrahams, and two Misses Abrahams . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 January 1849), 3 

MUSIC. MISS J. ABRAHAM, Professor of the Pianoforte, lately arrived from England, 382, George-street, opposite the Savings' Bank.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 February 1849) 1 

BY the request of several friends, Miss ABRAHAM most respectfully informs them and the public generally, that her School will be opened on Monday, the 12th instant.
Music taught by Miss J. Abraham, Professor of the Pianoforte.
Terms on application. 582, George-street, February 8.

[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Sydney (24 March 1849), 3

MR. DEANE BEGS to inform his friends and the public, that under the above distinguished patronage, his
Concert of Vocal & Instrumental Music WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE, On Friday Evening, 30th March.
Mr. Deane will be assisted by Mrs. Guerin, Mrs. Ximenes,
Miss Abrahams, (her first appearance,) from the Royal Academy, London;
Messrs. J. and F. Howson . . . Leader - Mr. GIBBES. Conductor, Mr. DEANE.
The Programme comprises the choicest selections, vocal and instrumental, from Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Mayseder, Balfe, Wallace, and Hertz . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Philip Deane (musician); Edward Deas Thomson (patron); Theodosia Guerin (vocalist); Ann Winstanley Ximenes (vocalist); John Howson (vocalist); Frank Howson (vocalist); John Gibbs (violin, leader); Royal Victoria Theatre (Sydney venue)

"MR. DEANE'S CONCERT", Bell's Life in Sydney (24 March 1849), 2

Our veteran musician, of twenty-seven years standing, is about to give his usual annual Concert, on Friday evening next, at the Victoria Theatre. Upon reading over the programme we are glad to observe the names of all our old favorites, besides that of Miss Abrahams, a young lady just arrived from the Royal Academy, London, of whom report speaks very favorably. We extract the following from the Staffordshire Mercury: - "Least but not last, we would name the infantile Miss Abrahams, of Longton, who is truly a musical prodigy. On each evening the little fairy played a brilliant Fantasia in a style which would have puzzled many children of a larger growth."

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 March 1849), 1 

Mr. Deane will be assisted by Mrs. Guerin, Mrs. Ximenes, Miss Abrahams (her first appearance), from the Royal Academy, London . . .
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . 4. Solo. Pianoforte. - La Violette - Hertz [Herz] - Miss Abrahams . . .

MUSIC: Variations brillantes sur la la cavatine favorite La Violette de Carafa (Henri Herz, op. 48)

"MR. DEANE'S CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (4 April 1849), 3 

We were glad to see that notwithstanding the "hard times" the people of Australia know how to appreciate and support talent and industry when opportunity occurs. The appearance of the Victoria on Friday evening last must have convinced every one present of this fact, the circles being crowded to excess by a most fashionable audience. Miss Abrahams made a very successful debut having been deservedly encored, she appears a very clever child, and will, if she persevere in her profession, become and ornament to it . . .

"MR. DEANE'S CONCERT. To the editors", The Sydney Morning Herald (6 April 1849), 3

GENTLEMEN, - In your issue of Wednesday appears a paragraph respecting Mr. Deane's Concert, wherein the debutante, Miss Abrahams, is spoken of as a promising child. This being calculated to do Miss A. a most serious injury as a professor and teacher of music, I beg to state through the medium of your widely circulated Journal, that Miss A., so far from being a promising child, is a young lady of sufficiently matured age to enact the teacher to a number of pupils, and has been pronounced not only a proficient in the art of music, but a pianist of more than ordinary ability by the most competent judges here and in the mother country.
TRUTH. Thursday, April 6.

"MR. DEANE'S CONCERT", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (7 April 1849), 2

. . . Of the performers we feel ourselves first called on to make mention of Miss Abrahams, a young lady who has acquired considerable fame in England as a pianiste. Her performance on Friday fully established the favorable reports of her capabilities; she played with great precision and execution and received a unanimous encore. The instrument is not of a nature to allow the display of much feeling, piano-forte playing being little more than a mechanical acquirement . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 June 1849), 5 

MISS J. ABRAHAM, Professor of the Pianoforte, Pupil of the celebrated Madame Dulckens, London,
respectfully intimates to the Gentry and Public of Sydney, that she will recommence her duties on
Monday next, July 2nd, and will give lessons in Music, on a new, correct, and pleasing style,
382, George-street, Opposite the Savings' Bank.

ASSOCIATION: Sophie Lebrun Dulken (teacher)

"MARRIAGES", The Sydney Morning Herald (13 April 1854), 8 

At the Wesleyan Chapel, York-street, by the Rev. Mr. Hull, Jemima, second daughter of Abraham Abraham, Esq., chemist, &c., George-street, to William Ellis, Esq., of the firm of Fairfax and Co.

[Obituary] "CHURCH TRIUMPHANT. JEMIMA ELLIS", The Methodist (15 May 1915), 14 

Mrs. Ellis was born at Langton, Staffordshire, England, on April 12th, 1833, and died at Croydon Park on February 27th, 1915, aged almost 82. She arrived in Sydney in 1847 [recte 1848], and resided there until 1868, when she removed to Mudgee, where she lived for many years. In the early part of 1850 she was converted at Old York Street, and received her first ticket of membership in March that year. From, that time until the end of her life she was a most devoted and loyal member of the Methodist Church. In Mudgee she was organist of our Church for 20 years, and in that position, also as a teacher in the Sunday School, as a leader of a class of young women, and in many other ways she rendered very valuable and much appreciated service . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Music in Wesleyan churches (general)



Active Sydney, NSW, 1844 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 July 1844), 3

COPPIN'S LARGE SALOON . . . COMBINATION OF ATTRACTION. THIS EVENING, Saturday, July 6, and the following week . . .
FIRST NIGHT OF MASTER ABRAHAMS, Who will sing "As I view those scenes so charming," &c., "All is lost now" (from the opera of La Sonnambula), "Dick Turpin, bold Dick," "Nature's gay day," "Woodman spare that tree," "My old house at home," and a great variety of favourite songs . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Coppin (proprietor, actor)

MUSIC: My bonny black Bess [Dick Turpin, bold Dick]; As I view those scenes so charming (song); Woodman spare that tree (Russell)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 September 1844), 4 

consisting of glees, duets, mid solos, serious and comic . . .
Mr. Phillips will, for the first time here, sing The [REDACTED]'s Reason, Clare de Kitchen, and Jenny do de ting tang tarro, &c., &c.
On to the Charge, The Battle and the Breeze, The Gypsey King, and The White Squall, by Mr. Abrahams.
The Old Commodore, The Wild Irishman, &c., &c., by Mr. Newson,
Mr. Simmons will sing The Death of Tom Moody, &c., &c.,
and for the first time open his Extemporaneous Budget of Weekly News . . .

[Advertisement], The Australian (30 October 1844), 2 

SIMMONS' SALOON, TAVISTOCK HOTEL, Corner of King and York-streets.
THE very great success that has attended these FREE CONCERTS
At the above Saloon, induces the Proprietor to announce that in future they will take place FOUR NIGHTS IN EACH WEEK . . .
"The Bold Blood-hound," "The Mountain Maid," "Poor Bessy," "My Fatherland," "The Battle and the Breeze," by Mr. Abrahams . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Simmons (comic vocalist, actor); Frederick Newson (comic vocalist); S. Phillips (comic vocalist)

MUSIC: The battle and the breeze [To Britain's glorious walls of oak]; The white squall (Barker)

ABRAHAMS, Isaac (Isaac ABRAHAMS; "Ikey the Fiddler")

Musician, violinist, fiddler, convict

Born Maidstone, England, 1798
Sentenced Middlesex Sessions, England, 12-19 September 1825 (transportation 7 years)
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 13 August 1826 (per Earl St Vincent, from England, 20 April) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


"MIDDLESEX SESSIONS. MONDAY [19 September]", Morning Post [London, England] (20 September 1825), 2 (PAYWALL)

Isaac Abrahams was indicted for fraud, in calling on the mother of a prisoner confined in the House of Correction, who had been sentenced for uttering bad coin. The prisoner said that for 3s. 6d. he would procure bail for her son for his good behaviour, his imprisonment having expired, but he could not be set at liberty without bail. - Guilty. The CHAIRMAN animadverted in strong terms and the enormity of depriving poor people of their small property by such infamous imposture, and sentenced the prisoner to transportation for seven years.

"MIDDLESEX SESSIONS. SEPT. 19", The Star [London] (20 September 1825), 3 (PAYWALL)

. . . Isaac Abrahams was . . . convicted of a fraud in going to Rachael Lazarus, and undertaking, upon receipt of 3s. 6d. to procure bail for her son . . .

Convict record and description, Isaac Abrahams, Earl St. Vincent, 1826; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1368053 

No. 226 / Abrahams Isaac / Midd'x 12 [sic] Sept 1825 / 7 [years] Ext'd 6 mo's / Earl St. Vincent Aug. 1826
Nov. 5. 1827 / [assigned to] J. P. Deane / Drinking at the Ship Inn at 1/4 pasr 8 o'clock last night
Nov. 23 1827 / J. P. Deane / Neglect of Duty . . .
Dec. 31 1827 / J. P. Deane / Absent from his master's premises all night witho't leave
April 5 1828 / P.B. [Police Barracks] . . .
Dec'r 12 1831 / G. C. Clarke / Absconding from his Master's Service . . .$init=CON31-1-1p61 (DIGITISED)$init=CON23-1-1-P004 (DIGITISED)

226 / Abraham Isaac / 5 ft 5 1/2 in / dark [complexion] / blue [eyes] d'k br'n [hair] / [age] 27 / Musician, has been at Sea, used to clean clothes & hats / [tried] Middlesex Sessions / 12 Sep'r 1825 / Earl St. Vincent 1826 / [born] Maidstone / [Certificate of Freedom] 1 May 1835

ASSOCIATIONS: John Philip Deane (musician and merchant, assigned to, 1827); George Carr Clark (of Ellinthorp Hall, Ross, assigned to, 1831)

[Government gazette], Colonial Times (14 December 1831), 4

THE undermentioned prisoner having absconded from their places of residence . . . Isaac Abrahams, 5 ft, 5 1/2 ins, dark brown hair, dark brown eyes, aged 33 years, a musician, tried at Middlesex in Sept. 1825, sentenced 7 years, per Earl St. Vincent, native of Middlesex, scar on forehead over left eyebrow, scar back of left arm, absconded from G. C. Clark, Esq. Dec. 1831. Reward £2.

"APPREHENDED", The Hobart Town Courier (17 December 1831), 2

. . . 226 Isaac Abrahams . . .

"THE GAZETTE . . . CERTIFICATES", The Colonist and Van Diemen's Land Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser (8 March 1833), 4 

. . . Isaac Abrahams . . .

[Public advertisement], Colonial Times (12 March 1833), 4

The undermentioned persons having duly executed bonds of qualification, have been licensed as Auctioneers and Vendue Masters for the County of Cornwall . . . Isaac Abrahams . . .

"LAUNCESTON POLICE", The Cornwall Chronicle (17 November 1838), 3

Isaac Abrahams, alias "Ikey the Fiddler", a well known character, was fined £10 and costs, for harbouring a female assigned servant of Mr. Pyle's.

"SLY GROG SELLING", Launceston Courier (17 May 1841), 2 

A man named Isaac Abrahams better known as "Ikey the fiddler," was fined in the sum of twenty-five pounds, for sly grog selling on Friday. We quite approve of this Act on the part of our New Police Magistrate. Major Wentworth would have allowed this man to escape with the lowest penalty.

[Advertisement], Launceston Advertiser (10 February 1842), 2 

Notice to Isaac Abrahams.
NOTICE is hereby, given, that unless Isaac Abrahams, takes away within 21 days from this date, a fiddle and bow left at my residence, to secure the payment of Board and Lodging due to me, it will be sold by Public Auction to defray the same;
Witness, - JANE HUTTONS.

? "ARRIVALS", Australasian Chronicle [Sydney, NSW] (11 May 1843), 3 

MAY 10. - From Launceston, having left the 2nd instant, the brig William, 149 tons, Captain Thom, with sundries. Passengers - Mr. Isaac Abraham . . .

Bibliography and resources:

Isaac Abrahams, one of 160 convicts transported on the Earl St Vincent, 20 April 1826; Convict records

John Levi, These are the names: Jewish lives in Australia, 1788-1850, second edition (Melbourne: Miegunyah Press, 2013), [1775] (PREVIEW)

ACHILLES, Matthias (Mathias ACHILLES)


Born Bredelem, Hannover (Germany), c. 1832; son of Andreas ACHILLES and Christina ?
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 21 May 1854 (per Guiding Star, from Liverpool, 21 February)
Married Jane GARRETT (d. 1907), Sydney, NSW, 1860
Died Sydney, NSW, 10 July 1881, aged "48/49" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


A list of aliens, arrived at Hull, 4 May 1848, per Hammonia, from Hamburg; UK National Archives, HO3/48/1848 (PAYWALL)

Johann, Wilhelm, & Christoph Germershausen / Musicians / Germershausen
Fried'k Herschall / Musician / Herfeld
Ignaz & Vincent Koop / Musicians / Herfeld
Johann Rudolf / Gottfried Wustefeld / Ignaz Steinmetz / Johann Borchrad / Musicians / Herfeld
Carl Grawitsch / Johann & Andreas Ribcke / Matthias Achills / Musicians / Bredelem
Julius Wissel / Musician / Gerstedt
Franz Nolte / Wilhelm Haase / Musician / Gubelhausen

ASSOCIATIONS: Julius Wissel (musician)

"NATURALIZATION ACT. 1856", Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle [NZ] (15 October 1856), 3 

12th October 1855 / Henry Ziems / Germany / Musician / 8th May 1855 / Nelson
" / Carl Zeims / Germany / Musician / " / "
" / Fritz Zeims / Germany / Musician / " / "
" / Matthias Achilles / Germany / Musician / " / "
" / Carl Brenneke / Germany / Musician / " / "
" / Theodore Bode / Germany / Musician / " / "
" / Joseph Bormnan / Germany / Musician / " / "
" / Ludwig Gründer / Germany / Musician / " / "
" / Ernest Peinemann / Germany / Musician / " / "

ASSOCIATIONS: Ziems brothers [sic] (musicians); German bands (generic)

Report of the Improvement Committee recommending the repair of Langley's Lane off Burton St., Sydney, 5 August 1861 to 7 July 1862; City of Sydney Archives 

Petition from landlords and householders . . . [signatories]: . . . Matthias Achilles, 212 Crown St . . .

Certificate to naturalize, Matthias Achilles, 13 September 1862; State Records Authority of NSW (PAYWALL)

WHEREAS . . . Matthias Achilles is a native of Bredelem Hanover, is Thirty years of age, and is a musician, and that having arrived by the Ship Guiding Star in the year 1854 he is now residing in Sydney . . .
GIVEN . . . this [13 September 1862] . . .

Report of the Improvement Committee recommending the repair, ballasting and kerbing and guttering of O'Briens Lane and Palmer Lane, 14 May to 13 August 1866; City of Sydney Archives 

[Appended] Petition from residents: [signatories]: . . . Julius Wissel; Matthias Achilles; John Cagney, Palmer Lane . . .

[Advertisement], Evening News [Sydney, NSW] (11 July 1881), 1 

are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of their late Member,
MATTHIAS ACHILLES; to move from his late residence, No. 145, Riley-street, Woolloomooloo,
TOMORROW MORNING (12th instant), at a quarter before 8 o'clock, to Necropolis.
CHARLES LAMY, Sec. . . .

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (12 July 1881), 1 

ACHILLES. - June 10, at his residence, 145 Riley-street, Matthias Achilles, aged 48 years.

[Notice], New South Wales Government Gazette (15 July 1881), 3678 

In the Supreme Court of New South Wales. ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION.
In the goods, chattels, credits, and effects of Matthias Achilles, of Riley-street, Sydney, in the Colony of New South Wales, musician, deceased.
NOTICE is hereby given that . . . administration of the goods, chattels, credits, and effects of the abovenamed deceased, may be granted to Andreas Achilles, the brother of the said deceased . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Andreas Achilles (d. 13 January 1882)

Bibliography and resources:

Matthias Achilles, Find a grave 

ACUTT, Penelope (Penelope Ann DREW; Mrs. Henry ACUTT)

Professor of dancing

Born Cheltenham, England, c. 1825
Married Henry ACUTT (1816-1856), St. Margaret's church, Westminster, London, 24 September 1846
Active Sydney, NSW, 10 March 1855 (per Bolton, from London, 23 September)
Departed Sydney, NSW, 6 January 1860 (per Lochiel, for London)
Died Durban, South Africa, 17 October 1889 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


1846, marriage solemnized at the Parish Church in the Parish of S. Margaret Westm'r in the County of Middlesex; register 1846-49, page 21; Westminster Abbey archives (PAYWALL)

No. 42 / Sep. 24 1846 / Henry Acutt / full [age] Bachelor / Gent. / 33 Bridge Road Lambeth / [son of] Robert Acutt / Gent.
Penelope Anne Drew / full [age] Spinster / - / Delahay St. / [father's name blank]

England census, 30 March 1851, Croydon, Surrey; UK National Archives, HO107/1601/152/23 (PAYWALL)

138 High Street / Henry Acutt / Head / mar. / 35 / Draper / [born] Devon Dartmouth
Penelope / Wife / Mar. / 25 / - / [born] Somerset Cheltenham
Frank / 3 / [born] Surrey Lambeth // Robert / 2 // Lestock / 1 month / [both born] Surrey Croydon . . . [and 10 employees and servants]

"SHIPPING. ARRIVALS", The Sydney Morning Herald (12 March 1855), 4 

March 10 - Bolton, ship, 720 tons, Captain Brown, from London September 23, Cape of Good Hope January 4. Passengers . . . Mr. and Mrs. Acutt 3 children and servant . . .

"FUNERAL", The Sydney Morning Herald (29 March 1856), 9 

The Friends of the deceased Mr. HENRY ACUTT are invited to attend his funeral, to move from his late residence, No. 1, Domain View, Dowling-street, THIS (Saturday) AFTERNOON, at a quarter to three o'clock. JAMES CURTIS, undertaker. Hunter-street, March 29th.

Baptisms administered in the Parish of St. John, Darlinghurst in the year 1856; register 1855-83, page 2; Sydney Anglican Diocesan Archives (PAYWALL)

No. 1856 / [baptised] May 11th 1856 / [born] 11 May 1855 / Eliza Marion / [daughter of] Henry & Penelope / Acutt / Rowe St. / Merchant . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 August 1856), 1 

MRS. ACUTT, Professor of Dancing, Calisthenic, and other exercises, will commence her morning classes at 1 o'clock on
MONDAY, the 11th Instant, at her residence, 6, Forbes-street, Woolloomooloo. August 8th, 1856.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 February 1857), 1 

MRS. ACUTT, Professor of Dancing, Calisthenic, and other exercises,
so highly recommended by the faculty in England for their beneficial effects,
has recommenced her morning classes at her residence, 6, Forbes-street, Woolloomooloo,
in addition to which she is now forming a class for Saturday afternoon;
also an evening class for ladies desirous of improving themselves in the fashionable dances.
To commence on the 3d of March, 1857.

[Advertisement], Empire (5 March 1857), 1 

MRS. ACUTT, Professor of Dancing, begs to announce that her SATURDAY'S Class will commence on the 7th instant, at Two o'clock, at her residence, 6, Forbes-street, Woolloomooloo.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 March 1858), 6 

MISS M. A. FLOWER'S Morning Classes will open for the March Quarter on the 25th instant . . .
Music, with theory - Miss Martin; Singing, Madame S. Flower; Dancing and calesthenics, Mrs. Acutt . . .
Terms on application, at 15, Elizabeth-street North.

ASSOCIATIONS: Mary Ann Flower (teacher); Miss Martin (music teacher); Sara Flower (singing teacher)

[Advertisement], Empire (23 March 1858), 1 

AUSTRALIAN LADIES' COLLEGE, Craig End terrace . . .
EXTRA BRANCHES (optional).
Pianoforte and Theory of Music - Mr. W. H. Paling and Assistant Resident Teachers
Harp - The Lady Principal
Choral Singing - Mr. W. H. Paling
Dancing, Calisthenics, and Deportment - Mrs. Acutt . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Henry Paling (music instructor)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 July 1858), 2 

THE AUSTRALIAN LADIES' COLLEGE, Craigend Terrace, Darlinghurst.
Lady Principal - Mrs. C. F. ARNOLD. The subjects that are taught in the College are the following: . . .
Theory of Music and Harmony, with Individual instruction on either the pianoforte or harp
Choral Singing
Drawing and Theory of Perspective
Dancing and Callisthenics.
The Third Term commences on MONDAY, the 19th July . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 January 1859), 10 

MRS. ACUTT. Professor of Dancing, begs to announce that her CLASSES will COMMENCE on the 1st of February, 1859, at her residence, 87, Forbes-street, Woolloomooloo.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 March 1859), 5 

MRS. ACUTT begs to announce that she has now recommenced all her classes at her residence, 87, Forbes-street, Woolloomooloo.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 December 1859), 8 

MRS. ACUTT begs to announce that she intends leaving Sydney for England the 1st of JANUARY, 1860, and hopes to return by the end of the year; she will therefore feel obliged by all ACCOUNTS being SETTLED previous to her departure.
87, Forbes-street, Woolloomooloo.

NOTE: Though, in the event, she never returned to Sydney, she was evidently still expected at the start of 1861, see [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 January 1861), 2 

"CLEARANCES. - JANUARY 6", The Sydney Morning Herald (7 January 1860), 6 

Lochiel, ship, 674 tons., Captain Haddon, for London. Passengers - Mrs. Acutt, 4 children, and servant . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Her two sons, Frank and Robert, were named in 1859 examination reports of the Lyceum School, see [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 October 1859), 3 

"No. 7. LIST OF UNCLAIMED LETTERS FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH, 1860", New South Wales Government Gazette (13 April 1860), 712 

. . . Acutt Mrs. M., 87, Forbes-street (3) . . .

[Advertisement], Empire (23 January 1860), 6 

Mrs. THORNTON intimates that duties were resumed on the 18th current.
The following professors attend, viz., Madame Dutruc, for French; Miss Boehme, for German;
and Mr. Stanley, for Music and Singing.
Drawing, by Mrs. Thornton, Dancing, taught by Miss Thornton (a pupil of Mrs. Acutt),
will recommence on 1st March . . .

ASSOCIATION: William Stanley (music teacher)

England census, 1861, St. Mary Abbott, Kensington, Middlesex; UK National Archives, RG9/14/149/7 (PAYWALL)

15 Ladbroke Villas / - Acutt / Head / Wid. / 35 / Gentlewoman / [born] Gloucestershire Cheltenham
Frank Acutt / Son / 13 // Robert / 12 // Eliza M. / Daur. / 5 / - / [born] Sydney N.S.W.

ADALL, Richard (Richard ADALL)


Active Melbourne, VIC, 1856 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


"POLICE. CITY COURT", The Argus (12 December 1856), 6

Richard Adall was charged with being drunk, and having a sword-stick in his possession. The prisoner was creating a disturbance, on the preceding day, in the Royal Mail Hotel, Swanston-street, and sprung the sword-stick, but apparently without any mischievous intention. He is a musician. Upon expressing his contrition, he was fined 20s., or three days' imprisonment.

ADAM, Robert (Robert ADAM; Mr. ADAM; Mr. ADAMS [sic])

Musician, theatre orchestra member, instrumentalist

Born c. 1808
Arrived Sydney, NSW, by 1843
Died Sydney, NSW, 11 August 1848, aged "40" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


"ROYAL CITY THEATRE, MARKET-STREET", The Sydney Morning Herald (17 May 1843), 2 

have the honour to announce their OPENING NIGHT for SATURDAY, the 20th MAY . . .

The Orchestral Selections for the evening which will be performed previous to the several Pieces, and between the Acts, include Haydn's Symphony, No 2; Mozart's [sic, Mehul's] Overture to L'Irato; Rossini's Overture to Il Barbiere di Seviglia; and Brilliant Arrangement of Strauss Valses.

The Band comprises the following instrumental Performers -
Mr. S. Wallace, Mr. Leggatt, Mr. Walton, Mr. Wallace, senior; Mr. Portbury, Mr. Walker, Mr. Adams, Mr. Wright, Monsieur Gautrot, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Strong, and Mr. Andrews.

"THE DRAMA. THE CITY THEATRE", The Sun and New South Wales Independent Press (20 May 1843), 3

The internal decorations and splendid fittings up of this beautiful little Theatre having been completed under the personal supervision of Mr. Joseph Simmons, will be open to the public this evening. After the National Anthem has been chaunted by the whole strength of the company with orchestral accompaniments, Mr. Nesbitt, the Australian Roscius, will deliver the Prize Address . . . The Orchestral Selections for the evening, which will be performed previous to the several Pieces, and between the Acts, include Haydn's Symphony, No. 2; Mozart's Overture to L' Irato; Rossini's Overture to Il Barbiere di Seviglia; and Brilliant Arrangements of Strauss' Valses. The Orchestra comprises the following instrumental Performers: - Mr. S. Wallace, Mr. Leggatt, Mr. Walton, Mr. Wallace, senior; Mr. Portbury, Mr. Walker, Mr. Adams, Mr. Wright, Monsieur Gautrot, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Strong, and Mr. Andrews.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Simmons (actor, manager); Spencer Wellington Wallace (leader, violin); Thomas Leggatt (conductor, oboe, clarinet); Humphrey Walton (musician); Spencer Wallace (senior) (musician); Benjamin Portbury (musician); Mr. Walker (musician); Mr. Wright (musician); Joseph Gautrot (violin); Mr. Wilson (musician); George Strong (violin); Mr. Andrews (musician); City Theatre (Sydney venue)

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (12 April 1845), 2

The nights of performance are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday . . .
The Orchestra - Mr. J. Gibbs, Leader; Mr. S. W. Wallace, Mr. Deane, Mr. Friedlander,
Mr. E. Deane, Mr. W. Deane, Mr. Westroppe, Mr. O'Flaherty,
Mr. Turner, Mr. Vaughan, Mr. Adams, and Mr. Wright . . .
T. SIMES, Manager.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Gibbs (leader); John Philip Deane (musician); William Friedlander (musician); Edward Smith Deane (musician); William Deane (musician); Zachariah Westrop (musician); Henry Charles O'Flaherty (musician); John Turner (musician); Mr. Vaughan (musician); Thomas Simes (actor, manager); Royal Victoria Theatre (Sydney venue)

[Advertisement], Morning Chronicle (28 May 1845), 3

MISS HINCKESMANN RESPECTFULLY informs her Friends and the Public, that she intends giving a
GRAND EVENING CONCERT Of Vocal and Instrumental Music at the above Theatre, ON FRIDAY, MAY 30, 1845.
Leader, MR. GIBBS . . . The Theatrical Band will comprehend
Messrs. O'Flaherty, Deane, E. Deane. W. Deane, Turner,
Friedlander, Westrip, Adams, Wright, Vaughan . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Maria Hinckesman (musician, pianist)

Sydney Burial Ground monumental transcriptions; Biographical database of Australia (BDA) (PAYWALL)

Robert ADAM, late musician of the Victoria Theatre, Sydney, died 11th August 1848 aged 40 years. Erected by his friend J. A. H. TAYLOR.

ADAMS, Frederick (Frederick ADAMS; Fred. ADAMS; Mr. F. ADAMS)

Amateur vocalist

Active Longford, TAS, c. 1860-68 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle [Launceston, TAS] (25 April 1860), 7

Longford Philharmonic Society.
MEMBERS are reminded that subscriptions for the current quarter (ending 30th June) are due, and are requested to pay them at their earliest convenience.
Subscribers to the Piano will oblige by forwarding the amount of their shares as soon as possible, as a suitable instrument has been purchased.
Frederick Adams, Treasurer.
Newry, April 21.

ASSOCIATIONS: Longford Philharmonic Society (association)

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (2 February 1861), 7 

THE FIFTH CONCERT of this Society, will take place in the Princess Theatre, on Thursday next, the 22nd inst.
Conductor - Mr. Horace Laws.
Pianist - Mr. Leffler.
Tickets to non-subscribers, 2s. each, to be obtained from Messrs. Laws, Kemp, and J. Smith, Longford; R. Sharpe, Launceston; and the Post Offices Perth and Cressy.
Members can obtain three FREE tickets of admission by presenting their tickets of membership at the Post Office, Longford.
Doors open at half-past seven p.m. Concert to commence at eight o'clock.
The following is the programme:-
Part 1.
Gloria - Mozart.
Et resurrexit - Mozart.
Sanctus - Mozart.
Children, pray this love to cherish - Spohr.
Worthy is the Lamb - Handel.
Hallelujah - Handel.
Part II.
The Lay of the Bell - Romberg.
Part III.
From Oberon in Fairy Land - Stevens.
Onward, onward thro' the water - Kucken.
Sweet Peace descending - Mozart.
The National Anthem.
FRED. ADAMS, Hon. Sec. Aug 17.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edmund Leffler (conductor); Horace Laws (pianist)

"TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT", The Cornwall Chronicle (15 June 1864), 5 

Mr. Frederick Adams has consented to deliver a lecture in the School-room at Longford, on Wednesday evening - subject - "An Hour with Longfellow." Judging by the able manner in which that gentleman delivered a lecture in Launceston, on the same subject lately, the residents of Longford may expect an intellectual treat - and there has been a great dearth of amusement there for some time past. The charge for admission is nominal and without doubt there will be a large attendance. The proceeds are to be given to the Longford Hospital.

"LECTURE", Launceston Examiner (6 June 1865), 5 

Mr. Frederick Adams lectures at the Mechanics' Institute this evening on "American Poetry."

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (19 September 1868), 6 

RECEIPTS . . . EXPENDITURE . . . FRED. ADAMS, Hon. Treasurer, Sept 14, 1868 . . .

"LONGFORD", Launceston Examiner (29 April 1895), 6

. . . the first society was started here about 35 years ago, under the joint conductorship of Mr. [John] Adams, of Launceston, and Mr. Horace Laws, of Longford, Mr. Fred. Adams subsequently taking the command. This was named the Philharmonic Society, and included in its ranks members of some of the old Longford families, such as the Misses Kirby, Clerke, Archer, Noake, Paton, and others, rehearsals and concerts being held in an iron store, near the site of the old windmill, just off Wellington-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Adams (musician)


Musician, professor of music, singing instructor, choral conductor, composer, pupil of George Elvey

Born Windsor, Berkshire, England, 1822; baptised St. John the Baptist, (New Windsor), 26 June 1822; son of William ADAMS and Martha
Arrived Launceston, TAS, by March 1853 (from England, ? via Melbourne)
Married Maria Rebecca LANDALE (1836-1919), Trinity church, Launceston, TAS, 31 October 1857
Died Launceston, TAS, 11 August 1861, aged "38" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


John Adams was born at Windsor, Berkshire, in 1822, and baptised at St. John the Baptist's church on 26 June 1822, the son of William Adams, a carpenter of Thames Street, and his wife Martha. He was a chorister at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, and, when George Elvey took over as organist there in 1835, Adams became his first articled pupil. At the time of the 1841 census, Adams, aged 20, described as a "musician apprentice", was living at New Windsor with his uncle, Thomas Adams (1789-1871), a builder and later a long-serving Windsor alderman, and his family.

On completing his training with Elvey, he took the post of organist of St. Mary's church, Henley-on-Thames. In February 1843, Adams returned to Windsor as organist at a command oratorio concert that Elvey gave before queen Victoria and prince Albert on their wedding anniversary, and which included selection from Spohr's The last judgement and Mendelssohn's St. Paul.

He was next organist at St. Mary's church, Wimbledon, from where, in 1849-50, he contributed three items to Joseph Warren's The chanter's hand-guide, including two of his own composition, a Double chant in D, and a Double chant in G minor.

Suffering severely from consumption, he followed medical advice and emigrated to Australia for his health, probably leaving England in mid to late 1852.

He had evidently arrived in Launceston, Tasmania, by March 1853, when he advertised that he would supply local patrons with pianos "selected by a first-rate man in London", giving as his address care of the merchant importer Arthur Marriott, who, as a leading musical amateur, would remain one of his closest friends and colleagues.

Though, according to a later report, he also spent a short time in Sydney and Melbourne, by autumn 1854 he had evidently decided on settling permanently in Launceston.

On 29 May 1854, in St. John's schoolroom, Adams gave lecture on church music, in which he addressed "the causes that had brought congregational singing to its present most degraded state". Clearly aligning himself with the high church reforms of Anglican choral revivalists, he nominated composers and hymn collectors who had particularly contributed to the malaise (notably William Jackson, William Matthews, John Rippon, Thomas Walker, and others), and hymn tunes that he described as "secular disgraces" (including Portsmouth New, Devizes, and Shirland).


England, to 1852

Baptisms, St. John Baptist, New Windsor, 1822; Bishop's transcripts; Berkshire Baptisms Index (PAYWALL)

26 June 1822 / John / [son of] William & Martha / Adams / Thames Street / Carpenter . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: His sister Charlotte (see 1851 census below) was baptised at the same church on 17 October 1824 [daughter of] "William & Martha / Adams / Thames Street / Carpenter"

England census, 1841, New Windsor, Berkshire; UK National Archives, H.O. 107/37/9 (PAYWALL)

Thos. Adams / 52 / Builder / [all born New Windsor]
Ann [Adams] 55 // Ann [Adams] / 19 // Charlotte [Adams] 18 /
John [Adams] / 20 / Musician Ap. . . .

[Windsor and Eton], Berkshire Chronicle (17 July 1841), 3 (PAYWALL)

On Sunday last [11 July] a sermon was preached at the parish church by the Rev. G. A. Selwyn . . . On this occasion, by the kind permission of the Hon. and very Rev. the Dean of Windsor, the whole of the choristers of St. George's Chapel attended, and in the course of the evening sang with great taste one of Handel's beautiful hymns and an anthem, "Lord, what love have I" (Kent) in which the voices of Masters Foster and Winterbottom had a most powerful effect upon all present. Mr. Adams, the organist of Henley, and who had officiated at St. George's Chapel the same day before her Majesty and the Court, presided at the organ; and we have much pleasure in alluding to the efficient manner in which this talented pupil of Dr. Elvey conducted the musical department.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Augustus Selwyn (later bishop of New Zealand)

GRAND CONCERT AT WINDSOR CASTLE, Reading Mercury (11 February 1843), 3

"GRAND CONCERT AT WINDSOR CASTLE", Reading Mercury (11 February 1843), 3 (PAYWALL)

Friday [10 February] being the anniversary of the marriage of Her Majesty with his Royal Highness Prince Albert . . . Her Majesty gave grand dinner party. At the conclusion of the banquet her Majesty and his Royal Highness Prince Albert, with the distinguished visiters and members of the royal household, proceeded to the splendid red drawing-room, where a grand concert of vocal and instrumental music took place. Her Majesty's private band, which was led by Mr. Anderson, and assisted by Messrs. Henry and William Blagrove, (the celebrated violin players from London,) performed several pieces selected from the works of some of the most eminent composers of the present day. The vocal department, which was conducted Dr. Elvey, private organist to her Majesty and the organist of St. George's Chapel, comprised the following members of the choir of St. George: - Messrs. Salmon, Palmer, Harris, French, Mitchell, Turner, and Lockey; and also the following choristers: - Masters Foster, Schroder, Thorburn, and Hawkins; and Mr. John Adams, the organist at Henley. The concert concluded with the National Anthem; and her Majesty and the Prince, with their distinguished guests, then retired. The vocal and instrumental performers (to the number of thirty-six) afterwards partook of elegant supper, which had been prepared for them in the steward's room . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Elvey (organist, conductor); Henry Blagrove (violinist)

MUSIC: "CONCERT AT WINDSOR CASTLE", Windsor and Eton Express (11 February 1843), 4

. . . when were performed a selection from Spohr's oratorio of the "Last Judgment," and Mendelssohn's oratorio of "St. Paul."

England census, 30 March 1851; Wimbledon, Surrey; UK National Archives, H.O. 107/1603 (PAYWALL)

The Village High Street / Gilbert Love / Head / 38 / Surgeon . . .
John Adams / Visitor / 31 / Musical Professor / [born] Windsor . . .

Tasmania, 1853-61:

? [Advertisement], Colonial Times (12 February 1853), 2 

Sir - We, the Cabin Passengers in a recent trip to the land of gold, beg to present you with the enclosed Silver Snuff-Box, as a small memento of our esteem and admiration of your kind, gentlemanly, and seaman-like conduct during the voyage . . . Sir, yours, Messrs. James Young, senr., William Young, Phillip Young, James Burton, John Shilton, John Adams . . .

? "LAUNCESTON, 4TH MARCH", The Courier (5 March 1853), 2 

Owing to the delay caused by the arrival of the Clarence yesterday [from Melbourne], at low water, and the consequent difficulty of getting on board, I was unable to send my letter yesterday. The following are the steamer's cabin passengers: - Rev. R. K. Ewing, Mr. J. Atkinson and Miss Atkinson, Mr. and Mrs. Patterson, Mr. and Mrs. Turner, Messrs. J. S. Hadfield, C. Peters, D. Dyer, J. Adams . . .

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (29 March 1853), 2

PIANOFORTES. - The undersigned having made the necessary arrangements with the most eminent London manufacturers, with whom he has been professionally connected for some years, is prepared, during his stay in the colonies, to execute commissions for the above instruments.
Any one availing himself of this opportunity will derive the advantage of having a piano selected by a first-rate professional man in London, and thus procure an instrument of the very best construction, and of far superior quality to those usually sent to the colonies.
Address to A. J. Marriott, Esq., Launceston, who will furnish all information.
JOHN ADAMS, Late of Her Majesty's Chapel Royal, Windsor. March 26.

ASSOCIATIONS: Arthur John Marriott (colleague)

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (9 May 1854), 1 

Launceston Mechanics' Institute.
THE Committee have great pleasure in announcing that the following gentlemen have consented to deliver lectures during the present session . . .
John Adams, Esq. - One lecture, subject "The Study of Music" . . .

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (24 May 1854), 7 

NOTICE. - The Members of the Congregations of Trinity, and Saint John's are respectfully informed, that a Lecture on Church Music will be delivered by J. Adams, Esq., in St. John's School-room, at the request of the Minister and Churchwardens, on Friday, the 20th of May, at 6 o'clock, at which their attendance is requested.
Launceston, May 24.

"LECTURES ON CHURCH MUSIC", The Cornwall Chronicle (31 May 1854), 5 

There was a large attendance at St. John's School Room, on Monday evening last, to hear the lecture delivered by J. Adams, Esq., on this subject. Mr. Adams read his address, and quoted largely from various authors of note, whose sentiments regarding ecclesiastical music assimilated with his own. He recommended the restoration to the church of the ecclesiastical music, as sung in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He also spoke of certain metrical effusions sung in Episcopalian churches, and quoted from one which he said was sung in a church at Winchester. It commenced as follows: - "My poor Poll- my Poll- my poor Poll-uted Soul!" In concluding his lecture, he recommended that fathers of families and their sons should join in establishing classes for the promotion of ecclesiastical music. He also recommended the propriety - the necessity - of procuring the services of a good master to teach that class, even though they sent to England to procure one. During the evening, Mr. Adams performed some sacred pieces of music on the piano-forte, and we noticed among the vocalists who had apparently prepared for the occasion - Messrs. W. Henry, C. J. Weedon, W. H. Westbrook, Rev. D. Boyd, A. J. Marriott, and others. The lecture terminated at half-past eight.

"LECTURE ON MUSIC", Launceston Examiner (1 June 1854), 2 

According to promise we give in this number an outline of the lecture delivered by Mr. Adams, at St. John's School-room, on Monday evening [29 May]. He appeared there (he said) at the request of the clergy and churchwardens of St. John's Church. The subject upon which he was about to address them, Choral Music, was a wide subject. In respect of the causes that had brought congregational singing to its present most degraded state he preferred using the language of others to his own. Poetry and music were justly called the handmaids of religion. The first song upon record was that composed and sung by Moses and Miriam after the passage of the Red Sea. Another will be found in the 32nd chapter of Deuteronomy, on the occasion of Moses giving up the government to Joshua; Deborah and Baruch sung a song of triumph, and this spirit extended throughout succeeding ages until the time of David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, whose psalms are the purest models of compositions dedicated to the praise of God. The titles of psalms show that musicians were employed at that period, some being addressed "to the chief musician," &c. David and his choir sang with musical intonation. Solomon provided singers and players on instruments to praise God and we read that the "trumpets and singers were as one to make one sound;" and at the consecration of the temple God signified his approval by appearing in a cloud. As the devotion of the Jewish nation grew faint their musical services died away, and in proportion to the return of devotional feelings there was a return to the singing of the people. Jews, even to this day, possess the most delicate ear and finest voices of any people. If the Jews had subjects for praise, should the Christian be silent? The new covenant was not inferior to the old. The coming of the Messiah was announced by choirs of the holy angels. The Virgin Mary had her peculiar hymn of praise, as also Zacharias and Simeon. Our Lord himself and his apostles sang an hymn. Paul and Silas sang praises to God at Phillipi. We also read in St. John's Apocalypse of the singing of the angels in heaven. In the early ages of christianity the people used to unite in chanting the psalms and hymns, and also the creed and prayers. The ancients had no regular tunes. The celebrated Gregorian Chants, used even to this day, were founded by Pope Gregory upon the Ambrosian Chants. Pope Gregory also formed eight intonations from the four formerly in use. He (Mr. Adams) would now introduce to them a hymn familiar to Gregory and those of his time, but must first observe that it lost much by being reduced to suit metrical words, and that it required the voice of a multitude (and not some twenty or thirty), to show the beauty and adaptability of such pieces for public worship - he therefore requested the audience to suspend their opinions for the present.
[The hymn was sung by a small number of ladies and gentlemen in unison, Mr. Adams playing the melody with suitable harmonies on the piano-forte.]

Mr. Adams resumed. - The choral service of the church had been handed down from age to age. Cranmer's plan to secure conformity was, taking such tunes as had a simple note to each syllable. The choir was to lead; the theory of the choir representing the people was at that time unknown. In our church service many parts are read that should be sung. The German, French, and Italian priests all sing: The English priest does not sing. The foreigner has been directed to sing, and has music within the compass of the voice, but our countryman would have to exhibit himself in a tune beyond the compass of his voice. Let the psalms as translated from the Hebrew, either in the bible or prayer book, be compared with the metrical version, and it will be perceived how much the force is weakened. Instead of singing and voluntaries as reliefs, let us perform the service as formerly. He was aware that many objections would be urged against reciting the creed, psalms, litany, &c., in a musical tone, such as "superstitious innovations," and "the people are not used to it." But he would say, if useful, their liking or disliking must not be minded. Another objection is, that it is irreverent and unnatural - that you would not sing in presenting a petition to an earthly sovereign. But he was of the opinion, that in addressing the Almighty it was not right to use the usual tone, but one that is more solemn. Hebrew cannot be translated into English verse without robbing it of its majesty. Mr. Adams compared the 137th psalm, first with the version by Sternhold and Hopkins, and afterwards with that by Brady and Tate. Within this week he had heard at one of the churches in this town the four first verses of the 49th psalm sung, which, after inviting the people to listen for instruction, leaves off before the promised instruction begins, and although not noticed by the congregation from the force of habit, yet it was a very funny proceeding when examined. This psalm and the 112th were then compared with the prose translation, by way of showing the vast inferiority of the metrical psalms, which Mr. Adams stated were unknown in cathedrals. The 112th psalm was mad still more ridiculous by Mr. Adams reading a portion of the last line of each verse, three times over, as sung at the same church; he also gave one or two other instances of the evil effects of repeats, one of which was the following line as sung - "My poor poll - my poor poll - my poor polluted soul to save." Mr. Adams next introduced Tallis' evening hymn, first stating that the present spurious edition was brought into use about 100 years from the present time. He would now give the correct reading.
[This was sung and played in the same style as the preceding piece and differed greatly from Tallis' evening hymn as now in use.]

Mr. Adams again resumed his subject, by observing that the compass of many tunes at present in use are beyond the voices, the laws of rhythm and accent neglected and that no training, no fine tenors or altos could correct the evils. Sometimes a chorus or a solo would be turned into a psalm tune by contracting a melody occupying 60 or 100 bars into 8 or 10. Mr. Adams observed upon the practice of using glees, &c., as psalm tunes, and also mentioned Portsmouth New, Devises, Shirland, and other tunes as secular disgraces. He thought musician's skill would have been better employed in composing tunes on the old models, for he believed that the people's not joining was not the result of indifference, but of inability. It was impossible to estimate the injury done by such publications as the Union, the Congregational Hymn Book, and by such composers as Jackson, Matthews, Rippon, Walker, Stanley, Clark, and others. Even Handel, Mozart, and Haydn were glad to copy a congregational or people's song. The standard of congregational singing had been allowed to sink deeper and deeper, and been neglected both on church and school, until it was so low as to be a disgrace. Look at the Old Hundredth tune and St. Anns, both well understood; their melodies are sweet, their harmonies rich and varied. To mark solo in a psalm tune is supremely ridiculous. A repeat of a line or portion of a line is an outrage upon common sense, as also is the marking of one line to be sung piano and another forte. Many composers have taken the 1st verse of a psalm or hymn and composed to that; which very proceeding rendered the tune inappropriate to the other verses.
[The 100 psalm, Tate and Brady's version, was now sung to the original melody of the Old Hundredth, in the same style as the former pieces.]

The true style of psalm singing and chanting allowed no scope for fancied passes; the melody was plain and smooth, the harmony as fine as possible. But at length church music had so far fallen in character that the clergy had given it up and musicians regarded it with contempt. Thus the matter was left in the hand of ignorant pretenders, and the tunes made use of were of a most puerile character - if plaintive, they were dismal; if cheerful, they became boisterous. Ancient tunes cannot be understood when first heard, but after repeated trials they would be found to show wonderful order, and the harmonies would be drawn out by repetition. He would now introduce a tune of the 15th century, and request particular attention to the flow of melody. There was nothing in it strange or painful to the ear, and the compass was composed within five notes. The music was of so grand and elevated a character that the great composer Mendelssohn took it as it was, without ornamenting or altering, and placed it in his Oratorio of St. Paul's, with his own compositions.
[The tune was then sung with accompaniment similar to the other pieces.]

In suggesting a remedy for the present lamentable state of church music, he (Mr. Adams) would observe that he did not enter upon the subject as a new study, but that the subject had occupied his attention for 10 years, and more especially for the last 3 years, and he felt no hesitation in saying that it was neither fit nor seemly that church music should be left to the taste of either clergyman, organist, or amateur singers. It was therefore better for congregations to go back to Cranmer's book, where all necessary music would be found arranged. It night be thought a strange thing that bishops should be expected to sing, but it was not a new thing. At the consecration of Archbishop Parker the litany was sung, and at the coronation of George III, the litany was chanted by two bishops. Dr. Crotch observes that the psalms of his time were inappropriate and unbecoming. We have as good musicians as in former times, but they will not compose for the church because she will not use what she already has. We should take the style of the 16th century, and although we might have new church music, we should have no new styles. He (Mr. Adams) would suggest that each parish or town should become the centre for choral meetings, to be held weekly, fortnightly, or otherwise, choosing a competent musical director, and that in remunerating him they should consider what amount of intelligence and ability they required from him, and not look upon the matter it a parsimonious spirit. He was sure from his observations that this town was fully able to support first-class man. They should remember how they pay secular performers, and, paying their director upon a similar scale, they might then look for his time and ability to be devoted to the object in view. The choral service he would urge upon them as being far more fitted for divine worship than the present mode. For himself, he did not hesitate to avow that he had a perfect horror of amateur dabblers in church music, who will condemn whatever they do not understand, and who, finding the singing bad, come forward with zeal, but not according to knowledge. He might observe that at present though nothing could be preached but what was according to rule, yet anything might be sung.

After a short address by Mr. William Henty, to the effect that but little would be gained by Mr. Adams's lecture unless the congregations would follow up his suggestion, and a few more observations from Mr. Adams, thanking the audience for their attention, the meeting dispersed.

"TO THE EDITOR . . . CHURCH MUSIC", Launceston Examiner (3 June 1854), 2-3 

SIR,- Having been present at the lecture on church music delivered by Mr. Adams, on Monday evening last I am desirous of making a few remarks on the subject . . . The apathy and indifference (not the inability), of the congregations in this town, are the causes that music is at so low an ebb, as it was obvious to any person attending the lecture that if the ladies and gentlemen who assisted Mr. Adams had united in the endeavor to improve the singing in the churches to which they individually belong, they must have succeeded. As a remedy for the present degraded state of church music, Mr. Adams suggests choral meetings . . . [3] . . . I fully agree with Mr. Adams that congregational psalmody should be as plain and simple as possible, and that fugues and intricacies of all kinds should be avoided. I also agree in great measure with his observations regarding tunes which repeat the whole, or what is far worse, a part of a line; but I cannot join him in condemning all the composers he has named, who, it must be remembered, composed for and to suit the taste of the age in which they lived, and not for the 16th century. One gentleman certainly did not merit the censures pronounced; viz., Rippon. Dr. Rippon was no composer, but a minister of religion. The book of tunes which bears his name was collected, arranged, and in part composed by Mr. Walker, whose name, with that of Jackson, Stanley and Matthews, will live as long as the science of music itself shall last. In closing this letter, I beg to subscribe myself one of a class of whom Mr. Adams has expressed a perfect horror, viz.,

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (5 July 1854), 7

MR. JOHN ADAMS, Professor of Music,
HAVING taken up his residence in Launceston, is prepared to receive Pupils in Town or country, and give instructions in Singing, Organ and Pianoforte playing, Harmony, and the Elements of Musical composition.
Mr. Adams having had much experience in England, in the regulating and conducting of choral and other musical societies for the cultivation of either sacred or secular music, will undertake similar duties here.
Schools and Musical classes attended in or near Launceston.
For terms, &c., apply to Mr. ADAMS, St. John's Square, July 4.

"CHAUNTING AT TRINITY CHURCH", The People's Advocate or True Friend of Tasmania (19 April 1855), 3 

A numerous and respectable assembly of the members and seat holders of Trinity Church was held in the School Room, on Monday evening, in consequence of a requisition to the church-wardens, calling upon them to convene a meeting "consider matters connected with the service of the church". Shortly after 7 o'clock the Rev. Mr. Hales was voted into the chair. On presiding over the meeting, he said he should simply act as chairman, and whatever his private wishes might be with respect to the object of the meeting he was prepared to sacrifice them for the sake of peace and harmony of the congregation over whom he had been appointed the pastor.
Mr. Sams stepped forward, and said that as he was probably one of the oldest members of the congregation, he might be permitted to take some part in that meeting. He understood the object of the meeting to be to devise some measures, by which the wishes of the parishioners might be met, in regard to modifying the service of the church. They had hitherto been accustomed to the services of the church without chaunting - for his part, he admired the chaunting to a certain extent, but he really could not sit under an incessant system of chaunting, such as was carried on at Trinity Church; those who objected to the chaunting, required some modification thereof - there had not been any opportunity of expressing an opinion on the subject until now.
A number of persons said that if the chaunting continued they could not remain in the church. He (Mr. Sams) should not object to such an amount of chaunting as would not interupt the devotion of worshipers. He admitted, however, that those who had not been into a cathedral could not appreciate chaunting as he did, still he did not like too much of it.
Mr. de Little suggested that it might be put to the seat-holders whether any alteration should take place Mr. Johnson thought that any gentlemen who objected to the continuance of the chaunted should now be heard.
Mr. Penny considered that as Mr. Sams, had first spoked, should have been prepared with a distinctive proposition on the subject for the consideration of the meeting.
Mr. Sams again came forward, and suggested that the Daily Psalms, Litany, and Responses to the Communion should not be chaunting. (A pause of nearly ten minutes here ensued.)
Mr. Sams then drew up a resolution to the following effect: -
"That the seat-holders of Trinity Church do now express their opinion as to the desirability of the chaunting in the church being continued as at present."
Mr. de Little seconded the resolution. Mr. Marriott opposed the resolution. He had an overwhelming majority of seat holders who was in favour of the present system, and they had the power of negavitying be proposition of Mr. Sams, still he was of opinion that the feelings of the congregation should be conciliated and met; but it was quite impossible to modify the chaunting without giving up the whole thing.
He was convinced that the largest number of the members were delighted with the chaunting. It was impossible to suit individual tastes and fancies. The gentlemen who had been foremost in arranging the chaunting, had selected those portions of music which had received the approbation of the highest musical authorities. As members of the Church of England, it would be hard to to be debarred from the choral service in our church.
Mr. W. L. Goodwin said, I object in toto to the chaunting. I am not called upon by the terms of the resolution to do more than simply express my opinion, the reasons for which I am not bound to state neither do I think any other objector is required to do otherwise.
Mr. Green was of the same opinion.
Mr. Johnson thought that gentlemen who objected should give their reasons.
Mr. McArthur said it appeared to him that gentleman where at a loss to express any reasons for their opposition.
Mr. Atkinson stated that the chaunting at Trinity Church had gained the heart of a highly respectable stranger. He (Mr. Atkinson) was in favor of the chaunting; it might arise from antiquated feelings he entertained, but he would say let the chaunting have a fair trial. If not generally approved of, it would die away.
Mr. Adams said that as a seat-holder of Trinity Church, and one who commenced the introduction of the chaunting at that church, he stood forward defend the practice; they were called upon to leave out certain portions of the chaunting, but he did not see how that could be done. He then referred to the variety of opinions entertained as to what portions should be omitted, and what retained. If any part of the chaunting grated upon the feelings of any part of the meeting, he (he speaker) hoped they would state their objections, and he for one would endeavour to meet their views.
Mr. Fisher said he would do away altogether with the whole of the choral service.
Mr. Rocher wished to know, by what authority, the church services had been changed. He contended that before the chaunting was introduced at the church some respect should have been shown to the feelings of the congregation. It was upon that ground he had signed the requisition.
Mr. Johnson said it was introduced by the tacit consent of the whole congregation.
Mr. Marriot stated that it had been sanctioned by the seat-holders at a meeting called by public advertisement, and also by private requisition.
Mr. Rocher then moved as an amendment. - "That the present meeting of seat-holders do approve of the forms of worship as at present conducted at Trinity Church."
Mr. Tevelin, seconded the amendment, and said that he was in a position to state, that very many of the humble members of [illegible]. The Chairman then put the original resolution in favor of which only a few hands were held up. The amendment was then put to the meeting, which was carried by an overwhelming majority. Shortly after which the meeting broke up.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Tevelein (seat-holder), father of James Tevelein (musical amateur)

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (7 July 1855), 1 

THIS SOCIETY has been established for the practice and cultivation of Vocal Music.
President - The Rev. R. K. Ewing.
Committee. Messrs. Allen, Brain, Tozer, Webster, Stephens, Marriott, Hudson, Turnbull.
Musical Director - Mr. Adams.
This society will commence its meetings on Thursday evening, the 12th July.
Any person wishing to become a member is requested to apply to one of the committee, or to the Treasurer, Mr. Hudson, Brisbane-street.
July 3.

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Kirkwood Ewing (president); Launceston Philharmonic Society (association)

"LAUNCESTON PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", Launceston Examiner (13 October 1855), 5 

This Society, under the directorship of Mr. Adams, closed its first quarter on Friday evening, by recapitulating the exercises on which it has been engaged. The meeting was held in the Rev. Mr. Kane's school-room, which he kindly placed at the disposal of the committee for the occasion, and the members having the privilege of an introducing a limited number of their friends, the room was filled. Mr. Adams, before the commencement of the exercises, made a few remarks to the effect that the visitors must bear in mind they had not come to hear a concert, but merely a repetition of the exercises on which the society had been engaged since its commencement. The first exercises, although rather dry, were generally speaking creditably performed, but the more advanced exercises met with repeated applause from the audience. After the exercises, a dirge was sung to the words, -
The world is old, oh! very old,
The wild winds weep and rave;
The world is old, and grey and cold,
Let it drop into its grave.
The music was beautifully suited to the words, and the piece was highly applauded. This entertainment was concluded with the National Anthem it eight parts, during which the whole of the audience stood up. Mr. Alderman Weedon addressed a few words expressive of thanks to the members of the society for the treat they had given their friends, and hoping that in at short time, under the able leadership as of Mr. Adams, they should be gratified by hearing the music of Handel, Mozart, &c. The Rev. R. K. Ewing, president of the society, replied - thanking the audience for their attendance . . . Mr. Marriott (Secretary) having given notice that the second quarter of the society will commence on Tuesday evening next, and that all members and those wishing to join must apply before that time for tickets to the treasurer, Mr. Hudson, the meeting dispersed. - Communicated.

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Plow Kane (clergyman, school teacher)

"LAUNCESTON PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", Launceston Examiner (28 February 1856), 2 

On Tuesday evening the second quarterly rehearsal of the above society took place in the Cornwall Assembly Rooms. Each member having had the privilege of disposing of three tickets of admission there was a large attendance of friends; the Assembly room was filled, and presented a gay and animated appearance. To spare Mr. Adams, who was evidently suffering from ill health, Mr. Marriott explained to the company that the excises which were about to be sung were of an elementary character, confined to one key and consisting of the various musical intervals, as a third, fourth, fifth, &c., without the introduction of any accidental flats and sharps. He said it was important that the members of the society should have a thorough knowledge of these lessons before proceeding to a higher class of music, and observed that the company would have an opportunity of judging of the pleasing effect produced by the harmonious union of voices in these elementary lessons; one or two pieces would be sung during the evening, consisting of duet and chorus. The exercises on which the classes have been engaged during the last six months (the period of the society's existence) were well sung. Some of them producing a very pretty effect, and being much applauded by the assembled friends. Mr. Adams has, we understand, devoted considerable time to the society, and he must be gratified by the success which has attended his efforts to enlist the sympathies of the community in favor of this divine art. The first duet sung was taken from an old pastoral, much admired by Charles Lamb, who recommended it to Vincent Novello as a suitable subject on which to exercise his musical genius. It represented a dialogue held by Paris and OEnone on Mount Ida. The duet was opened by Mrs. Fereday with much taste, the second part being well taken up by Mrs. Hamilton, and the chorus effectively sustained by the society. It was much applauded, and when Mr. Marriott announced that the music to which they had listened was not Novello's composition, but was written by their conductor, Mr. Adams, renewed plaudits testified the company's appreciation of Mr. Adam's musical talents. The rehearsal closed with the National Anthem a little before ten o'clock, having afforded evident satisfaction to the large company assembled.

ASSOCIATIONS: Susan Fereday (vocalist); Cornwall Assembly Rooms (Launceston venue)


It was not Miss Hayes' intention to have sung again here after her second concert; but notwithstanding indisposition and her other engagements, she kindly consented to appear once more for a benevolent object. The Assembly Room on Thursday night was crowded by an enthusiastic audience, and Miss Hayes had a most hearty reception. She was accompanied on the pianoforte by a lady whose musical reputation is, in private circles, only inferior to her own . . . Messrs. Gregg and Lyall sustained the other vocal parts; the pianoforte accompaniment by Mr. Sharp, Jun. Mr. Sharp's band performed the overtures "Figaro" and "Lodoiska" in the first and second parts, extremely well . . . In the second part Miss Hayes sang a ballad - " No jewelled beauty is my love," the music, we believe by Mr. Adams, and composed expressly for Miss Hayes. It is a very pretty composition, and was sung with the taste and care which form such remarkable features in Miss Hayes' singing, the songstress was recalled and sang "Cushla Macree" . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Catherine Hayes (vocalist); "lady" accompanist = Lucy Chambers (pianist); John Gregg (vocalist); Charles Lyall (vocalist); Thomas Sharp (pianist, band leader)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald [NSW] (10 May 1856), 7 

. . . New Ballad sung by Miss Catherine Hayes in Tasmania, with great applause,
"No Jewelled Beauty is my Love," poetry by Gerald Massey, music by John Adams. price 2s 6d . . .
WOOLCOTT and CLARKE, Music Sellers, George-street.
NO JEWELLLD BEAUTY IS MY LOVE. Sung by Miss Catherine Hayes. 2s 6d. WOOLCOTT and CLARKE.

ASSOCIATIONS: Gerald Massey (English poet, not resident in Tasmania, as see below); Woolcott and Clarke (music publishers)

"NO JEWELLED BEAUTY IS MY LOVE", The Sydney Morning Herald (14 May 1856), 5 

This exquisite piece of music is just published by Messrs. Woolcott and Clarke. The words are by Mr. Gerald Massey, and the music is the composition of Mr. John Adams. Both these gentlemen, if we mistake not, reside in the neighbouring colony of Tasmania. The piece is dedicated to Miss Catherine Hayes, who sung it at her last concert in Hobart Town and Launceston. The numerous friends of this accomplished lady will be glad to possess a souvenir with which she was so much delighted

"NO JEWELLED BEAUTY IS MY LOVE. Woolcott and Clarke", Empire [Sydney, NSW] (15 May 1856), 4 

This is a sweet and simple air by John Adams, wedded to a few chaste verses from the pen of the young and graceful poet Gerard Massey. The ballad has been sung with much success by Miss Catherine Hayes in Tasmania.

"LAUNCESTON", The Tasmanian Daily News (15 May 1856), 2 

Mr. John Adams, the talented conductor of the Philharmonic Society, has left for Sydney, to recruit his health; but during his absence the practice meetings of the society will be continued under the conduct of the president, Rev. R. K. Ewing, and the secretary, Mr. Marriott . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 May 1856), 1 

SECOND EDITION OF THE NEW BALLAD. - "No Jewelled Beauty Is my Love," as sung by Miss Catherine Hayes.
Price, 2s. 6d.; post free, 2s. 8d . . . [reproduces Herald and Empire reviews above] . . .
Published by WOOLCOTT and CLARKE . . .

"NEW SONG. - NO JEWELLED BEAUTY IS MY LOVE", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (24 May 1856), 2 

Just as Catherine Hayes is about leaving the shores of these colonies, Messrs. Woolcott and Clarke have issued a very pleasing memento of this highly talented artist, in the above song. The words are by Gerald Massey, and the air was composed by John Adams, and dedicated to Miss Hayes. While the language is simple, it nevertheless appears singularly adapted to the music, and the song may be pronounced upon the whole a most valuable addition to our list of English ballads.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 June 1856), 5 

CHOICE MUSIC. - Just published, price 2s. 6d.
New Ballad, composed expressly for, and dedicated to Miss Catherine Hayes. -
"I'm thinking o'er the short sweet hour." (A song.) Words by Gerald Massey; music by the composer of "No Jewelled Beauty is my Love."
Now ready, a new edition, of "No Jewelled Beauty," second thousand; price 2s. 6d. . . .
WOOLCOTT and CLARKE, Music Hall, George-street, corner of Charlotte-place.

"I'M THINKING O'ER THE SHORT SWEET HOUR", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 June 1856), 4 

We observe that the music of another ballad, bearing this title, has just been issued by those indefatigable publishers, Messrs. Woolcott and Clarke. The words are by Gerald Massey, a gentleman who has acquired some fame as a song writer, and whose versification is usually of such a character as to entitle him to rank him amongst our minor lyric poets. The music, we understand, was composed expressly for Miss Hayes; and, out of compliment to that exquisite songstress, is dedicated to her by the author, Mr. Adams. If good verse, wedded to pathetic music are of any account, this ballad should soon become a favourite.

"NEW MUSIC", The People's Advocate and New South Wales Vindicator [Sydney, NSW] (28 June 1856), 2 

Messrs. Woolcott and Clarke have lately published another beautiful ballad, a worthy companion of that most delightful one, "No Jewelled Beauty is my Love." It bears the title, "I'm Thinking o'er the Short Sweet Hour." The words are by the same author, Mr. Gerald Massey, and have all the tender passion and delicate feeling which characterize this gentleman's poetical effusions. The music is by Mr. Adams, and was composed expressly for, and dedicated to, the "Swan of Erin." It is one of those charming compositions which shines with a pure and pleasing light amidst the dazzling coruscations of elaborate Arias and brilliant Bravuras. It is almost unnecessary to remark that it is got up in the most finished style, as everything which emanates from the establishment of these publishers, is of the highest character. We prophecy with the utmost certainty that the same success which attended, "No Jewelled Beauty is my Love," will accompany this bewitching ballad.

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (14 August 1856), 1 

J. J. HUDSON, Bookseller, has now on sale those two highly popular SONGS, composed by J. Adams, Esq., dedicated to and song by Miss C. Hayes, viz. "No Jewelled Beauty is my Love," and "I'm Thinking o'er the Short Sweet Hour." August 13.

"MUSICAL", Launceston Examiner (14 August 1856), 3 

We have to acknowledge the receipt of two songs composed by Mr. John Adams, on words selected from the works of Gerald Massey, a rising poet of the present day. "No Jewelled Beauty is my Love" has already been approvingly received by a Launceston audience, when performed by Miss Catherine Hayes. The melody is easy and simple, and the accompaniment chaste. The music to "I'm thinking o'er the Short Sweet Hour" is more elaborate, but yet not difficult of execution. The accompaniment of both songs is of a similar style of composition, such as is well adapted to assist and sustain the voice. The printing is neatly executed by Messrs. J. Degotardi and Co., Sydney, and the songs can be procured at Mr. Hudson's, Brisbane-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Degotardi (music printer)

"LAUNCESTON (From our special Correspondent) Oct. 29th, 1856", The Tasmanian Daily News [Hobart Town, TAS] (31 October 1856), 3 

Last evening the Philharmonic Society gave a concert at the Cornwall Assembly Rooms. The room was crowded before the hour announced for its commencement, with as assemblage which many of the residents of Launceston must have looked upon with no little pride. The ladies preponderated, as to number, and the variety and elegance of their costume made the tout ensemble very charming. It must be remembered that this society, or rather singing class, has only been formed for about a year, and how much must have been done before Mr. Adams and his pupils could regale their friends with the pleasant concert of last evening. Interesting and satisfactory as was the whole affair, it must be regarded as with reference to progress effected, rather than intrinsically upon its own merits. It would, in fact, be a very poor compliment, to Mr. Adams and his pupils to give to their, singing unqualified approval, for such praise would ignore the certainty of yet further advancement, and many more delightful concerts, more artistic, more effective, and more satisfactory to the critic than the present. It is enough to say that such an exhibition of part-singing has never before been given in Launceston, and that the large audience were highly gratified with the performance. Some praise is surely due to Mr. John Adams for what he has done for the advancement of musical taste in Launceston: there can be no doubt that he is a gifted musician, and that in following his profession he will be a real benefactor to Launceston. May his efforts be crowned with success, and some day not very far distant he may have the gratification which only artists feel of conducting some of those musical epics, which have crowned our greatest composers with unfading laurels.

Miss Henry, the organist of St. John's, accompanied on the piano, and the Rev. - Brooke presided at the harmonium; besides, the German Wind Band assisted in some of the pieces. All the performers ably supported the conducting of the maestro. There; must have been some sixty voices in all, which well expressed and sustained the ideas of the several authors whose works were sung. The soprano voices most ably performed their part, and the quality of note was rich and full; but the other voices did not appear powerful enough to balance the strength. It is as well to mention anything that might appear defective, because indiscriminate praise, with which we are often satiated in local prints, is not only useless, but hurtful.

His Excellency, Lady Young, and suite, arrived about a quarter to 8 o'clock, and proceeded to the seats provided for them, the band playing the National Anthem. The first part consisted of Farrant's Anthem, which was most effectively rendered; a German chorale by Mendelssohn, used in the oratorio of Saul [St. Paul]; a Jubilate Deo, by the same author; and another German chorale, to which is attached the melancholy interest that it was sung at the funeral of the gifted and lamented author; a Morning Hymn, from the same hand, followed by the most attractive piece of the evening. This was a Tasmanian anthem, the words written by the Rev. R. K. Ewing, and the music by Mr. Adams. The music was much admired by all, and the pupils evidently exerted themselves to do honour to their master. It was received with great applause. An encore was called for, and Mr. Adams received the most graceful homage that can be paid to art - the compliments of beauty, in the form of a shower of bouquets from the [illegible]

The second part consisted of a madrigal by John Benet; another by Geronimo Converso, "When all alone my pretty love;" which received a well merited encore; Mendelssohn's lark song, a serenade by the same, which was very effectively given; a glee by Callcott, which was also encored; a madrigal by John Worley; a glee by Stevens, from Oberon in Fairy Land, perhaps one of the most artistic pieces that was sung; and the concluding National anthem. The thanks of all are due to Mr. Adams and his pupils for supplying us with a refreshing and superior concert.

ASSOCIATIONS: Caroline Henry (musician); Warren Auber Brooke (clergyman, amateur musician); Henry and Augusta Young (governor and wife)

"LAUNCESTON PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", Launceston Examiner (16 May 1857), 2 

The above society gave their usual quarterly Concert last evening, at the Cornwall Hotel. The room was crowded, and the performance highly creditable, both to the members and their talented conductor . . . The following was the programme for the evening:
Anthem. - "Wherewithal shall a young man" - Dr. G. Elvey.
Chorale. - (Antient Hymn) "Lo! the desert depths are stirred - John Adams.
Chorus. - "All thy works praise thee O Lord" - Dr. Elvey.
Glee. - "Where the bee sucks"
Song. - "When the West with evening glows" - Mendelssohn.
Song. - "The Nightingale has been away" - Mendelssohn.
Song. - "The May Fly" - Calcott.
Song. - "O hills -O vales of pleasure" - Mendelssohn.
Glee. - "From Oberon in fairy land" - Stevens.
Madrigal - (1600) "Since first I saw your face" - Ford.
The Fairies Song. - "The Midsummer Night's Dream"
The Hunting Song - "Now morning advancing"
TASMANIAN ANTHEM. Word by the Rev. R. K. Ewing - John Adams . . .


. . . The morning service was read in Trinity Church, by the Rev. H. P. Kane, assisted by the Rev. R. Strong. The Philharmonic, and Sacred Harmonic Societies were present, and give a grand effect in the service by joining in the choral accompaniments of the sublime service. Mr. Adams, conductor of the first-named society, presided at the organ on the occasion. One of the anthems sung was taken from the 119th Psalm, "Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way." The other was the chorus, "All thy works praise Thee O Lord." They are both by Dr. G. J. Elvey, organist of St George's, Windsor.

ASSOCIATIONS: Launceston Sacred Harmonic Society (association)

Marriage register, Parish of Launceston, 31 October 1857; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:856286; RGD37/1/16 no 569 (DIGITISED)

No. 401 / 569 / October 31st 1857 / Trinity Church Launceston / John Adams / Of age / Gentleman /
Maria Landale / Minor / - / . . . in the presence of Fanny Meredith, Richard Landale, W. A. Brooke . . .

"MARRIED", The Cornwall Chronicle (4 November 1857), 4 

On the 31st Oct., at Trinity Church, Launceston, by the Rev. Thos. Reibey, John Adams, Esq., to Maria, fourth daughter of the late Dr. Landale.

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Reibey (clergyman); Thomas Landale (late father of the bride); Landale's widow and Maria's mother, Harriet, had married Warren Auber Brooke, as see July 1903 below

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (5 January 1858), 1 

MR. J. ADAMS will, in future, be happy to receive pupils at his new residence (Bennell's Buildings), St. John-street, for the study of Harmony and Composition, Pianoforte, and Singing.
Pupils prepared for Class and Part Singing, and parties formed for the practice of Trios and Quartettes.
Terms, per quarter, subject to the usual vacation, £6 6s.
Private lessons from home as usual, half-a-guinea each.
Pupils will meet on Monday, the 18th of January.

"LAUNCESTON PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Cornwall Chronicle (10 February 1858), 4 

We paid a visit on Friday evening last to the eighth quarterly Concert of the above Society, and with much pleasure thank the brilliant little company of musicians congregated at the Cornwall Assembly Rooms for the treat they gave us. The music was indeed of no mean order, and the precision and eloquence of the choruses delightful. The Concert commenced with a selection from the sublime Oratorio of the "Creation" and the various recitative accompaniments, Arias, Duetto's and Trio's, we venture to affirm have been less effectively given in the old country with the advantage of more celebrated performers. In the second part, the Glee "Where the Bee Sucks," was enchanting. Nor can we say less of that beautiful composition from Moore's Anacreon "Give me the Harp," and the "Gipsey's Song." Finally, the "Tasmanian Anthem," the words written by the Rev. R. K. Ewing, and music by Mr. John Adams, was a most creditable performance. We cannot speak too highly of this stirring anthem, which we reprint in another column. We should gladly see it, with the music, disseminated through out the length and breadth of our Island home. We rejoice to hear that the Philharmonic Society is in great favour with so many of our most respected townspeople, it is one of those Institutions that softens the asperities of life, and makes a terrestrial residence something better than earthy. Too much encouragement cannot be given to such delightful re-unions.

For the words, see "TASMANIAN ANTHEM", The Cornwall Chronicle (10 February 1858), 2 

"LITERATURE", The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (26 February 1858), 3 

We have to acknowledge the receipt of a copy of the Launceston Chatelaine from Messrs. Walch and Sons, as also a song, "Just a smile in the face of Nature," the words by Gerald Massey, composed and dedicated to the ladies of the Mechanics' Institute Bazaar, Launceston, by John Adams.

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (6 May 1858), 1 

Under the patronage of his Excellency SIR HENRY E. F. YOUNG, C.B.
ON THURSDAY NEXT, MAY 6, Will be performed, at the Cornwall Assembly Rooms,
On which occasion the eminent Basso, a MR. FARQUHARSON, has promised his valuable assistance . . .

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (11 May 1858), 3 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I take the earliest opportunity of thanking you for the thorough manner in which you performed your duties during the interpretation of Haydn's glorious work - The Creation - and for your zeal and patience during the rehearsals.
To one and all the successful performance of such a work must be a matter of congratulation, forming as it does an epoch in the history of music amongst us.
To Mr. Farquharson as a professional gentleman visiting the colony, I am under great obligation in placing his splendid talents entirely at my disposal.
To the principal vocalists, my thanks are also due, for their valuable and effective services.
I cannot conclude without specially thanking my accompanist for his masterly playing, and hearty co-operation throughout, and but for whose assistance it would have been impossibly for me to have carried out my plan.
The concert realised £101 1s., thus shewing how completely your efforts were appreciated by the community.
I have the honor of remaining, Ladies and gentlemen, Very faithfully yours,
JOHN ADAMS. Launceston, St. John-street, May 10.

"LAUNUESTON PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", Launceston Examiner (14 August 1858), 2 

The following is a portion of the address on "Music as an Accomplishment," delivered before the members of the Philharmonic Society, on 5th instant, by Mr. John Adams, the Musical Director of the Society.

To whom are we indebted for the improved class of instruction books, and how is it that we become ashamed of silly songs and trifling pieces? To public criticism. What induces amateur societies to study - to labor for improvement, but the cold notice or the warm expressions of the public critic. But I fancy I hear some of you say "What have I to do with the public? think you I would consent to remain a member of this society to be publicly scolded? I follow music for my own amusement, not that of others."

Now I would venture to remark that none of us can either live to ourselves or acquire knowledge without influencing in some way or other those round and about us. If we have any ideas in connection with poetry, history, painting, or even the social questions of the day, we cannot help, whilst continually expressing these ideas, confirming them in others, or having them corrected or revised in ourselves. And so the amateur who is continually playing or singing either improves or spoils the taste of those within his reach. Hence the advantage of public criticism.

Take the many societies of the day supported by amateurs. Take the Exeter Hall Choral Society, the first in the world, supported by men engaged in the cares of trade, or earning their daily bread, - by women who have their domestic arrangements occupying by far the greater part of the day; - what time have these for finish, or for acquiring a correct appreciation of great masters? And yet what says public criticism? "You must go on progressing, or give up your post to others; that moment you cease to make progress you retrograde." And what is the consequence? Life and emulation is infused into the society, and the public reap the benefit.

And now let us take the position of the Launceston Philharmonic Society. Three years ago you existed at the best but as an experiment, and at your quarterly gatherings sought only the gratification of the members of your families. Now after feeling your influence in that direction, you take a wider range and aim at cultivating and improving the public taste. You re-arrange your rules, and widen the working operations of the Society. Your efforts are recognised and respected. The representative of Royalty becomes your patron; your chief citizen, your president; your vice-presidents are clergymen, who recognise in music an element of moral and social progress. You have also a large number of honorary members, composed of those who think they see in this society a means for providing relaxation and gratification of no mean order. Your honorary members equal, I believe, your working members, thus showing a strong desire on the part of the community to support this society on public grounds. Am I wrong, then, in calling your Philharmonic Society a public one? your musical director is a professional man, and in this sense public property also.

You cannot but feel you occupy an important position in the town, and for the time you may be equal to it, but even musical societies may be said to contain within themselves the seeds of their own decay - and if anything will make them last their allotted time, it is public criticism. Now-a-days it is all powerful. Conductor, committee men, sopranos, tenors, and basses all alike must yield to it. Let not the ladies of this society feel alarmed at what I am advocating. This public criticism will never touch them individually. It may speak of the sopranos being uncertain in their time, of the want of point among the basses, but beyond this it cannot go. On the conductor alone can anything personal descend. He alone is responsible for the ability of his voices to execute correctly the public programme. The Press in this town has always spoken in the most flattering terms of your efforts in the cause of musical progress, treating you, however, as a private society. Now, considering your changed position, I would have them recognise you as a public institution and treat you accordingly. It would cause us to do our utmost - never to rest satisfied with mediocrity so long as perfection appeared within our reach. It would serve to remind you that although self-gratification might have been the primary means of bringing you together, that you recognise higher claims upon your attention as you meet week after week.

You have every encouragement to persevere. See what you have already accomplished. Compare the musical knowledge of Launceston at this time with that of five years back. Then vocal compositions in parts were unknown to the public, no opportunities of study existed for rising members of the town, the drawing room song all we could hope for. Now ladies learn to become acquainted with compositions of the highest class, and the domestic circle is at once benefitted. If it were only for the number of copies of first-class works in score for voices and pianoforte that this society circulates, its usefulness would be very great.

And not only have we the Philharmonic Society bent upon cultivating music of every class and school, but we have set in motion the Sacred Harmonic Society, which in its field is honorably trying to rival the other. Neither does our influence cease with the community. Musical celebrities at a distance hear of ours exertions, and visit us to delight and charm with beauty of tone and finish, urging us on to higher achievements. The Philharmonic indeed holds a proud position in this colony, but it has its duties as well as its privileges, and sure I am that public criticism will be the best means of enabling us to perform the one and deserve the other.

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (23 September 1858), 3 

DEAR SIR, - Will you allow me to state through the medium of your paper, that having considered it my duty to tender my resignation as Conductor of the Philharmonic Society, and not wishing my motives to be misinterpreted, I trust in a few days to place before the members generally my reasons for so doing.
Yours very obediently, JOHN ADAMS.
Launceston, Wednesday, 22nd September.

See, for full details, [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (25 September 1858), 5 

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (25 September 1858), 7 

Longford Philharmonic Society,
Established 24th Sept., 1858.
President: William Archer, Esq.
Treasurer - Mr. J. C. Houghton.
Hon. Secretary - Mr. Horace Laws.
Conductor - John Adams, Esq.
MEMBERS will meet for practice on Wednesday next, the 29th inst., at quarter before four o'clock, p.m.
Tickets for admission can be obtained of the Treasurer.

ASSOCIATIONS: Horace Laws (secretary); Longford Philharmonic Society (association)

"LAUNCESTON, TASMANIA", The musical times and singing class circular [London, England] 8/189 (1 November 1858), 339 (FREE DOWNLOAD)

A Philharmonic Society has for some time past been in existence at this place, which bids fair to rival many similar societies in the mother country. It is to Mr. John Adams, formerly a professor of music at Wimbleton, Surrey, that the society owes its existence, and its present flourishing condition. This gentleman was obliged to leave England about five years ago on account of his health, and after visiting Melbourne and Sydney, he at last settled in his profession at Launceston. When arriving there, he found that choral music was quite unknown and unpractised, and he immediately set about the formation of a society. His first great difficulty seems to have been that of procuring music, at a time when the communication with England was so imperfect. It was necessary under these circumstances that he should compose, and make very many copies of, every exercise or tune that was required. He seems to have written as many as 150 lessons for beginners before he could obtain any printed music from home. His indefatigable exertions however were rewarded with the utmost success, and in a short time he was able to keep together a large body of chorus singers, whose improvement was so rapid that they were soon capable of performing the compositions of the best masters, and a knowledge of good music has been infused into all the polite society of the place. The concerts and soirées are patronized by most of the leading families and rich settlers, the Governor and his lady are frequently present, and they have a room capable of accommodating 500 persons. A concert was at one time got up by Mr. Adams for the "Indian Relief Fund," at which Mr. Farquharson assisted; the Creation was performed, and above £120 was realized for the charity. One great difficulty the conductor seems to feel is the impossibility of inducing the members, particularly the ladies, to go through the drudgery of practising exercises. They think they can at once start upon the most difficult music without learning the rudiments, and a more ridiculous mistake could not have occurred to them; this however is a very general complaint, and the more ignorant a person is, the greater difficulty there always is in making him learn; and music is not an art which can be made available without going through a great deal of labour and well directed practice. It is highly gratifying to learn the success of this enterprise, and we may say with confidence that much good must have arisen to the colony by this humanizing and delightful recreation.

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Farquharson (vocalist)

See also local reprint of the article above, "PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", Launceston Examiner (22 February 1859), 3 

And a dissenting local response to the article, "TO THE EDITOR", Launceston Examiner (24 February 1859), 3 

"MUSIC FOR THE MILLION", Launceston Examiner (12 March 1859), 2 

Mr. Adams, Professor of Music in this town, is about to submit to the public a proposition, which, if he should be fortunate enough to enlist general support, will tend to provide that great desideratum here - recreation for the million, and indirectly to promote the social happiness of all classes of the community. He is anxious to extend by a common movement on the part of the people themselves a knowledge of the practice of music by the formation of singing classes on as large scale as the population will allow. Previous to coming before the public with his plan, Mr. Adams deemed it better to convene a meeting of individuals connected with all sections of the community; and with this view he addressed a note to the clergyman and two laymen of each congregation, and the representatives of the press . . . Mr. Adams said, in bringing before the meeting the character and design of his proposal, he would prefer to us to the language of men who had an admitted claim to be considered the friends of the people. He then read the opinions of Mr. Hickson, a lecturer of reputation at home, Dr. Channing, Mr. Hullah, the well-known improver of vocal harmony, and a French writer on social questions. The general effect of the passages read was to show the value and importance, as well as simplicity of employing music as a means of the recreation and improvement of the working man . . . He proposed, if his scheme were approved and carried out, to establish by the co-operation of the working men of the community a class for the cultivation of vocal music, numbering one, two, or three hundred voices, or indeed any larger number . . . He spoke of the advantages in a general way which might (in addition to the benefit to individuals) be anticipated from the cultivation of music on a public scale, in its effect on congregational psalmody, and in securing a large number of trained voices, available on public occasions . . . The public may, therefore, expect to hear from Mr. Adams, without delay, an intimation of his plan; and as the idea is his own, and the object is perfectly unsectarian and designed for general benefit, unconnected with any party, we trust the proposition will be taken up by all in a spirit of cheerful co-operation.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Hullah (English music educator); Music for the million (movement)

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (17 March 1859), 3 

MUSIC FOR THE MILLION. - Men of Launceston. -
I ask you to combine with me in establishing Singing Classes for the People.
I wish you to help me to provide the means of honest and innocent recreation after a day's labour; and my own experience, as well as that of others, tell me that this can best be done by means of Music.
Singing classes for the people are universal in the towns of the old country; why can we not reproduce them in Launceston?
Your hearty and vigorous co-operation is necessary; for unless we can muster at least two hundred voices, no permanent good can result.
Numbers are also necessary in order that the lessons may be cheap.
I invite you to meet me at the Theatre on Friday night, the 25th instant, at 7 o'clock.
Come yourselves and bring your families with you, and hear what I have to say on the subject of Music for the Million.
The admission will be free.
It is proposed if two hundred names are enrolled at or before this meeting, to hold classes twice a week for one hour.
The cost will be 2s per month, and a reduction made for two or more members of a family.
Tickets may be had at the Savings Bank; A. J. Green, Charles-street; Walch & Son, J. J. Hudson, booksellers, Brisbane-street.

"MUSIC FOR THE MILLION", Launceston Examiner (24 March 1859), 3 

We remind the public that to-morrow evening at half past seven o'clock, at the Theatre, Mr. Adams will explain his plan for establishing public singing classes. The Mayor has consented to take the chair. The following musical programme has been arranged for the occasion by the members of the Longford and Launceston Philharmonic Societies. Mr. Adams has written a vocal march, which it is intended should be joined in by the whole audience:
A selection of vocal exercises by John Adams.
"The Larks Song" - by Mendelssohn.
"May Day" by Müller.
Grand Vocal March for the Million - by John Adams.

See also report on the meeting, "MUSIC FOR THE MILLION", Launceston Examiner (26 March 1859), 5 

"TO THE EDITOR . . . MUSIC FOR THE MILLION", Launceston Examiner (29 March 1859), 3 

SIR, - As much variety of opinion is said to exist amongst members of the community as to the age which unfits a man for singing, I may mention that as a rule the voice retains its power so long as the body remains healthy and vigorous, so that it is common to have voices at fifty and fifty-five singing their accustomed part with facility and effect.
It has been observed in England and elsewhere, when classes have been formed for persons of all ages, that the middle-aged have made the most progress, owing probably to more settled habits of attention and perseverance.
Let no one hesitate to enrol themselves under the idea that they possess "no voice" or "no ear"; frequent practice with a large body of voices will develope both. An able writer on this subject says - "Every ear in a healthy state is a musical ear; no voice, means a voice never exercised; no ear means an ear whose power of attention has never been trained."
In conclusion, I would respectfully urge upon the clergy, upon families, and all who are anxious for the social progress of the community, the duty of personal cooperation in the-present attempt to provide honest recreation after a day's toil.

Births in the district of Launceston, 28 March 1859; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1005862; RGD33/1/37 no 971 (DIGITISED)

No. 1122 / 971 / 28 March / [no name] / Female / [parents] John Adams [and] Maria Adams formerly Landale / Professor of Music . . .

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (9 April 1859), 7 

MR. ADAMS will meet his pupils for the April quarter on Monday, the 11th instant.
Singing or Pianoforte. Quarterly pupils at his residence - £6 6s.
Private lessons from house - 10s 6d. April 6.
MUSIC for the Million. - Mr. Adams will open a day class for children, from 7 to 15 years of age, at the Cornwall Rooms on Tuesday, the 12th inst., from 4 to 5 o'clock.
Terms 2s. per month in advance. A reduction for family admissions. Schools specially treated with. April 6.

"MUSIC FOR THE MILLION", Launceston Examiner (9 April 1859), 2

The prospects of the scheme appear to be improving; nearly two hundred and fifty tickets were disposed of last night, and the classes (with the members of the Philharmonic Society) filled the Assembly Room. - The lessons last evening were introductory ones in notation, to aid which Mr. Adams furnished each member with the notes lithographed by Mr. Allen, which will be a great advantage to pupil and teacher. The hour of meeting is fixed for half-past seven punctually in future. Mr. Adams has now got the material for a powerful band; some of the voices heard last night were first class.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Allen (lithographer)

"TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT", The Cornwall Chronicle (14 May 1859), 4 

A preliminary meeting was held at the Cornwall Hotel on Wednesday evening, convened by Mr. Kowartzic, who had been requested by a number of gentlemen to open a public class of instrumental music, with the view of producing orchestral music of the highest class. The meeting was attended hy a very considerable number of amateur musicians, and gentlemen zealous for the advancement of musical taste and ability in Launceston . . . The success of Mr. Adams's popular singing classes had led him and his friends to believe that the establishment of instrumental classes would not be difficult . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Francis Frederick Kowarzik (musician)

"CONGREGATIONAL PSALMODY", Launceston Examiner (19 May 1859), 3 

We learn that owing to the smallness of the attendance of the congregation of St. Andrew's at the vocal class, formed by the managers for the improvement of the church psalmody, and the irregular attention of members to the lessons of instruction, Mr. Adams has felt it his duty to tender his resignation as professional instructor which, however, was not accepted. Considering the efforts of the Presbyterians on the of Southern side in the cause of church music, and that very shortly they will have the largest and most complete organ in the colony to assist in the psalmody of their church, we are rather surprised at the apathy of St. Andrew's congregation. Having engaged a professional man for a particular object, it seems absurd to thwart his usefulness by an irregular or small attendance.

"To the Editor . . . MUSIC FOR THE MILLION", The Cornwall Chronicle (21 May 1859), 5

Sir, - I herewith send you a copy of our first song, which our conductor says is from the pen of the Rev. R. K. Ewing. Surely Mr. Adams could get some one to write us something better than this trash, without either rhyme or reason , which any schoolboy of ten years old ought to be ashamed to own. Could you ask the author of "Yowyang" to furnish us with something in the shape of Poetry? - Yours, &c.,
ONE OF THE MILLION. Launceston, May 19.

A fair day's work for a fair day's wage
We gladly give, we ask no more,
Dividing life between weary toil,
And time to think when toil is o'er,
Chorus--So labor on: when day has gone
Our hopes and joys we'll chant and sing,
Friendship sweet, we'll merrily meet,
And leisure make pure pleasures bring . . . [2 more verses]

(We confess the above is as concentrated rot, as we have ever seen in the shape of doggrel. - ED. C. C.)

ASSOCIATION: On "Yowyang: a poem", see "TO THE EDITOR", Launceston Examiner (16 June 1859), 3 

"TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT", The Cornwall Chronicle (25 May 1859), 5

We stated in our last that we had received from Mr. Adams a piece of music composed for his class. The music itself is excellent, and well adapted for the purpose: - that is to give the time. We shall not comment upon the verses more than to observe that it is wonderful how Mr. Adams could find music for them so harsh and discordant as they are. The music is beautifully lithographed we believe by Mr. Allen, of Charles-Street, and may be had for 6d. each piece.

"LAUNCESTON (TASMANIA)", The musical times and singing class circular [London, England] (1 June 1859), 68-69 (FREE DOWNLOAD)

In the Musical Times of November last, we gave insertion to a correspondence from this place, in which the exertions of Mr. Adams, a professor of music, were much praised in connection with choral music, and the progress of the Philharmonic Society of Launceston. It was, among other things, stated that Mr. Adams, upon his arrival in that country, found "choral music quite unknown and unpractised there." We much regret to find, from letters published in the Launceston Examiner and from private correspondence, that these observations have caused offence to many of the musical people of the town. It is stated that a Sacred Harmonic Society was established in Launceston upwards of twenty years ago, and was, in fact, in operation for some time after Mr. Adams arrived there, also, that many of their churches and chapels had their choirs and congregational singing, where the music was, and still is, creditably sung in parts. And further, that there are numerous skilled musicians, unconnected with any society, in Launceston. We must refrain from entering at length into the statements and objections raised by our Tasmanian correspondents, since it would occupy too much space. We can only say, we are rejoiced to find that the cultivation of music has so well progressed in Launceston; and we trust that an art so much calculated to excite friendly feelings may not be endangered by any discords. Our only wish is to give praise where praise is due, but never to enhance the merits of one person by detracting from those of contemporaneous artistes.

See also local reprint of the above, "MUSICAL SOCIETIES", Launceston Examiner (13 August 1859), 3 

"SONGS FOR THE MILLION", Launceston Examiner (2 July 1859), 2 

We have to acknowledge receipt of Nos. 2 and 3 of Songs for the Million, by Mr. Adams; the words of No. 2 by Mr. Bennell, and of No. 3 by Mr. Brooke. Song No. 2 illustrates the interval of a second . . . The songs are lithographed by Mr. J. J. Gwynne, of the Land Mart (late Allen's). We may mention that the conductor of the classes is in want of verses to set to music; and will gladly receive contributions of that sort adapted to the purpose. There are two hundred and fifty or sixty names down upon the class-lists, but the attendance on practice nights is irregular and disproportionate to the nominal strength of the classes, which are nevertheless progressing; though those constant fluctuations in the number of voices seriously affect the general efficiency and must lead to disappointment. The success of the scheme depends upon numbers and combination.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph James Gwynne (d. 1883; lithographer, surveyor)

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (6 August 1859), 3 

MR. ADAMS will give a Second Entertainment to the Million Class, on
TUESDAY, 9th August, at the CORNWALL ROOMS, To commence at 8 o'clock.
In addition to the Vocal and Pianoforte Music, there will be
READINGS From the works of Charles Dickens, in which the Revds H. P. Kane and W. A. Brooke, and A. J. Marriott, Esq., will take part.
Million Song - "Come Tasman's Lads and Lasses." - Adams.
Scene from Pickwick.
Million Song - "A Fair Day's Work." - Adams.
Solo - "With Verdure Clad." - Haydn.
arch (Pianoforte, for three Performers). - Czerny.
Million Song - "Home." - Adams.
War Song - "There as a Sound of War." - Adams.
Scene from Pickwick.
Solo - "Auld Robin Gray."
Million Song - "God Preserve the Queen." - Adams.
Tickets for the Gallery and a small portion of the Room can be had from Mr. Hudson, Brisbane-street.

"TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT", The Cornwall Chronicle (31 August 1859), 4 

We extremely regret to say that after the strenuous exertions Mr. Adams has made to maintain what would have placed Launceston conspicuous among the colonies for elevated taste, as well as what would have afforded so much delight to her inhabitants, - the Million class, has come to an end. We fear that the blame is due to the young men of the town . . . Mr. Adams has had a very difficult task to fulfil, but, so far as we understand he has carried out what he promised, with the ability a gentleman of the highest musical proficiency could alone carry them out. Not possessed of that physique so extended an undertaking demanded, it has been the more distressing to his health, and his efforts deserve the better recognition. Those who would sneer at the undertaking as being a selfish one, if they reflected, would see the contrary is the case, for a calculation would show them - taking into consideration the valuable time Mr. Adams has expended, and the expense of the Cornwall Assembly Rooms - little was accruing in a pecuniary point of view to him even at best, and it we mistake not as it has turned out, he must have been a heavy loser . . . The following is Mr. Adams' letter, communicating his determination to relinquish the conduct of the Million Classes: -

To the Editor of the Cornwall Chronicle.
DEAR SIR, - The warm interest the Press has taken in the progress of my "Million Classes" as a means of "social recreation for the people" appears to demand my public thanks now that I am obliged to relinquish all further attempts in that direction.

In making my public appeal to the "Men of Launceston" in May last, and at one subsequent weekly meeting, I strongly impressed upon them that in order to produce a permanent result two hundred voices would be the minimum number required as compensation for the time and labor involved in the undertaking. These conditions ceased to be fulfilled after the first two months, though in justice to the members who have worked so faithfully with me up to the present time, I am bound to state that the waverers and those who have left form but a minority.

Had they only possessed the faith and perseverance of the majority, Launceston would soon have had a choral body ripe for any class of music, and forming a constant source of attraction for all classes of the community. I must now leave the task of providing elementary instruction for a more limited number of voices to other hands. For the future I intend to devote my time to another branch of my profession, and to private tuition.
I have the honor to remain, Dear Sir, yours very faithfully,
WM. ADAMS. [sic]

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (13 October 1860), 1 

THE formal opening of the Deloraine Organ will take place on Sunday, the 21st instant, when two sermons will be preached by the Ven. the Archdeacon of Launceston, and collections made towards liquidating the debt of about 45l. still remaining on the organ.
Mr. John Adams has kindly consented to preside at the organ.
The services will commence at, 11 a.m. and 3 1/2 p.m.
October 12.

"To the Editor of the Cornwall Chronicle. LAUNCESTON MUSlCAL UNION", The Cornwall Chronicle (24 November 1860), 3 

DEAR MR. EDITOR, - I perceive by an advertisement in the local papers that a meeting has been held in Launceston for the purpose of forming a new vocal and instrumental society, to be called the Launceston Musical Union; and that Mr. Mariott has been appointed conductor. The prospectus further stated that the object of the society is to unite the scattered musical talent of the town. I presume by this is meant the amalgamation of the members of the Philharmonic, the Harmonic and the Sacred Harmonic Societies, together with such available resources the town can now produce. This object, will, I am sure meet with the hearty approval of every lover of music, and I would fain hope the co-operation of every vocalist and instrumentalist in the Town. Launceston can now well support a society with high and progressive aims, by liberally pay[ing] for the services of such each officers as may be necessary for its full and perfect development.

At any rate the present talent of the town imperatively requires a musician thoroughly qualified both by education and experience to be at the head of the society if any permanent good is to be effected, or the members brought together for a practical end. For it must be remembered the talent sought to be united will not be "handled" for the first time, as under the societies before mentioned considerable progress was made in music frequently of a complicated character requiring both skill and knowledge on the part of the conductor.

It Is only fair then to assume that this talent when united will look for further development at the hands of its Conductor, and that the new resources lately sprung up in the town should be made available as soon as time and practice will permit, so that it is not too much to expect that the mere vocal rendering of our Oratorios and concerted pieces will rapidly give way to the full Orchestral score, together with the proper Organ accompaniment and lest I should appear to exaggerate these new resources, let me mention the fine and complete Organ shortly to be erected for the public good, and the two Volunteer Bands, the members of which I presume feel bound to make every possible progress on their respective instruments.

I ask then, Mr. Editor, is Mr. Marriott the man to "handle" or develop these resources? Is he capable of holding together by means of his "baton," either voices, or instruments, or both combined, in music of the least intricacy or when the performers have not been previously well trained together? Is he capable of reading, or playing the most simple vocal score? Or could he realise in the slightest degree a full vocal and instrumental score? To all and each of these queries, I answer unhesitatingly - no! Neither I am persuaded does he profess to anything of the kind. He never bestowed one hour upon such studies, and is therefore profoundly ignorant of them. So far then as concerns the duties of conductor, he can only be a puppet in his orchestra, liable to every variety of influence, when he alone should exercise the master mind, and the authoritative movement of the hand.

Of the oldest friend I have in the colony, and of one who has labored hard by my side on all occasions when he could be of the slightest use, I am greatly grieved thus to speak; but I love my Art too well to see it made a plaything of, and have worked too hard, to see in silence what little good I may have accomplished, in the town in danger of being either dissipated, or obstructed by an injudicious attempt to fill an office which should in justice to the scattered talent of the town, either be declared open to professional competition, or offered to some qualified musician of acknowledged standing.

My past exertions in connection with the Philharmonic Society, and the formation of "Million Classes," will, I trust be a sufficient excuse for thus publicly questioning the policy of the present arrangement on the part of the "Musical Union," and bringing my views before the scattered talent of the town; and though through failing health, my professional connection with Launceston, has for some time been suspended, I still have a deep interest in its musical prosperity, and should rejoice to hear of the successful formation of a society for the study of vocal and instrumental music, conducted by a gentleman of undoubted musical ability.
I have the honor to remain,
Dear Mr. Editor, obediently yours,
George Town, Nov. 22.

"LAUNCESTON MUSICAL UNION. [TO THE] EDITOR OF THE . . .", Launceston Examiner (27 November 1860), 3 

SIR. - Our very expressive Anglo-Saxon is often used for the purpose of concealing the true motives and thoughts or the writer, in stead of being the exponent of them. The letter of Mr. Adams in last Saturday's issue of the Chronicle scenes to be a case in point. Permit me the liberty of translating it into intelligible English:

"DEAR MR. EDITOR, - I see that a society is now formed in Launceston for the practice of vocal and instrumental music: its object, the uniting of the scattered musical talent of the town. I wish it every success; I hope every one will join it; but really, Mr. Editor, I am surprised at the presumption of the musical folks of Launceston in appointing Mr. Marriott the conductor. After all that I have done for Launceston in a musical point of view, I might have reasonably expected that the conductorship would have been offered to myself. And what does Mr. Marriott know? He cannot beat time; he has no ear; he cannot read or play the most simple score; he would be a mere puppet in his orchestra; and although he has had the advantage of my tuition in the Philharmonic Society for four years, yet he really has not given an hour's study to music in his life", &c.

This is the substance of Mr. A.'s impertinent and insulting letter. Now let us go into facts. Mr. Adams was the paid conductor of the Philharmonic Society for four years. The expenses were - £200 a year paid to Mr. Adams and about another 100l. for incidental expenses; and this from the pockets of a society that could not be said to average more than from 70 to 80 members! Some twelve months after the formation of that Society Mr. Adams took a trip to Sydney; Mr. Marriott conducted the Society with very great acceptance during his three months absence, and was highly complimented by Mr. Adams on his return for the success which had attended his efforts. On several occasions Mr. M. has conducted the Philharmonic Society at the request of Mr. Adams; and on one occasion after announcing his intention of going to Swanport for a few weeks, he recommended Mr. Marriott as a gentleman who would conduct them "quite as well as himself, excepting a few little points which he could polish on his return." For some months Mr. Marriott had the sole conductorship of the elementary class, and the last quarter of the existence or the Philharmonic Society, when Mr. Adams after inducing the members to pay up in advance for the half year, left them in the first quarter - Mr. Marriott took the conductorship and "ignorant" as he was, and with a disorganised and ineffective chorus, still made the expiring breath of that Society like that of the fabled swan the sweetest. Who does not know how Mr. Marriott assisted in the conducting of the "Million" Classes?

No one has a higher opinion of Mr. Adams' musical ability than myself; but having stated the fact that he singled out Mr. Marriott as the best qualified amateur to take his place in the desk, I think there needs no further proof of his (Mr. M's) qualifications as a conductor, otherwise what shall we say of the taste, judgment, or even honesty of Mr. Adams in making a man his substitute who "could not read or play the most simple score;" in short, who "had not given the subject an hour's study in his life!" Did not Mr. Adams receive his pay as musical instructor while he was palming off upon the society a gentleman who, according to his showing, was totally ignorant of his duties? I have termed the effusion of Mr. Adams impertinent and insulting -
impertinent, inasmuch as having retired from the musical profession, he has no business to meddle with what does not concern him. Will Mr. Adams take the conductorship of the Launceston Musical Union ? Yes, if the £200 a-year is forthcoming.
Insulting, because having received a very great amount of assistance from Mr. Marriott in the Philharmonic Society and Million Classes, he comes forth in print, and publicly stamps that gentleman as an ignorant man, and incapable in the last degree of conducting a singing society.
I am, Sir, yours,
You are at liberty to give up my name to any legitimate enquirer.

"RIFLEMEN FORM", Launceston Examiner (15 January 1861), 3 

We have to acknowledge the receipt of a "Volunteer song, Riflemen, form!" composed and dedicated to the officers and volunteers of Tasmania by John Adams. It is printed in Melbourne, and published by Messrs. Walch and Sons.

ASSOCIATIONS: James Walch and brothers (publishers)

[Advertisement], The Mercury [Hobart, TAS] (18 January 1861), 3 

NOW READY. SUNG amidst enthusiastic applause by C. J. BRAMMALL, ESQ., at the GLEE CLUB CONCERT.
Composed and Dictated [dedicated] to the Officers and Volunteers of Tasmania,
Price 2s. 6d.; freely post to any part of the Colony, 3s.
J. WALCH & SONS, Hobart Town and Launceston.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Joseph Brammell (vocalist); Hobart Town Glee Club (association)

"VOLUNTEER SONG", The Mercury [Hobart, TAS] (26 January 1861), 3 

The Poet Laureat's spirit stirring song "Riflemen Form!" has been set to music by Mr. John Adams, and dedicated to the officers and cadets of the Volunteer Force in Tasmania. The music is martial and appropriate to the words, and we have no doubt will become a popular air. Messrs. Walch and Sons are the publishers.


"HAGLEY", Launceston Examiner (26 February 1861), 5 

The harvest is nearly over; carting home is progressing rapidly. Several farmers have already their crops safely in barn or stack, and some have commenced threshing . . . the district are invited next Sunday to the little Church at Hagely to return thanks to Providence for mercies received. On this occasion suitable hymns are to be sung, Mr. J. Adams having kindly composed to them admirable tunes, which have been practised at the singing meetings . . .

1861, deaths in the district of Launceston; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1202378; RGD35/1/30 no 200 (DIGITISED)

No. 1591/ 200 / 11 August / John Adams / 38 years / Gentleman / Consumption . . .

"DEATHS", Launceston Examiner (13 August 1861), 4 

At Fair Place, Launceston, on Sunday, August, 11th, John Adams, Esq., aged 38 years. The funeral will leave Trinity Church on Wednesday, the 14th instant, at half-past 3 o'clock. - JOHN RICHARDS, Undertaker.

"TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT", The Cornwall Chronicle (14 August 1861), 5 

We regret to record the death of John Adams, Esq., which occurred at Fair Place, on Sunday last. Mr. Adams has been a long while a sufferer, having been a prey to the fell disease Consumption, under which he lingered. Still however, although an invalid, he exerted himself much for the people of this town, until he was unable to do so longer, by endeavoring to carry out institutions for their advancement in the science he dearly loved. He was a musician of the highest order, and many are indebted to him for the knowledge they have attained in the most delightful of the finer accomplishments. Mr. Adams was the conductor of the Philharmonic Society, and to his exertions the formation of the Million Classes, which promised the greatest success, but which failed in consequence of his sinking health was attributable. Mr. Adams has left a widow, the daughter of the late esteemed Dr. Landale, and grand-daughter of the late Richard Dry, Esq., and several children, to lament their loss.

ASSOCIATIONS: Richard Dry (his widow's grandfather)

"OBITUARY NOTICE", Launceston Examiner (15 August 1861), 5 

Yesterday afternoon the mortal remains of the late Mr. John Adams were interred in the Church of England burying ground. He had long been in declining health. An accomplished musician himself, he has done much to create, cultivate, and refine the musical taste of this town, and his memory will long be cherished by a wide circle of sorrowing friends.

Will, John Adams; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:632255; AD960/1/5  (DIGITISED)

"DEATH OF MR. JOHN ADAMS, OF AUSTRALIA", Windsor and Eton Express [England] (26 October 1861), 4

This gentleman, nephew of our respected townsman, Alderman Adams, died at Fair Place, Launceston, on the 11th of August last, aged 30 [sic]. He was a native of Windsor, and was well known as one of the choristers of St. George's Chapel, and as Dr. Elvey's first pupil, about twenty-two years since. He also officiated for the Doctor as organist at the parish church of John's for some length of time, and was much respected in the town. On completing the term of his engagement with Dr. Elvey, Mr. Adams became organist of Henley, where he remained about three years. He then went and engaged himself as organist at Wimbledon, and remained there for about five years, when, acting on the advice of his medical attendant, for was then in a precarious state of health, he proceeded to Australia, where he followed his profession with the greatest success, and where he married. The following notice, from the Launceston paper, will show the esteem in which the deceased was held in Australia; - "We regret to record the death of John Adams, Esq. . . . [whole article as above]."

After 1861:

"ST. ANDREW'S YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION", Launceston Examiner (1 November 1862), 4 

. . . The entertainment commenced with the performance on the organ of "The Tasmanian Anthem", by the late Mr. John Adams . . .

"THE OLD PHILHARMONIC AND LUCY CHAMBERS. To the Editor of . . .", Launceston Examiner (16 February 1871), 5 

SIR, - Perhaps, it may be unnecessary to remind the old members of the Philharmonic and other musical societies (all but the pleasant memories of which have now passed away) of the claims of Lucy Chambers of her former kind association with them, under the late John Adams, and subsequently to his death of her unselfish efforts to make their meetings agreeable as well as instructive; and her readiness at all times to render their benevolent efforts for our local charities successes. All will remember, too, her most successful appearance in the old Cornwall room, in aid of the Indian Fund, in which concert, with old Farquharson, she delighted her audience in the grand "Creation" of Haydn . . . Yours obediently, PHILHARMONIC.

ASSOCIATIONS: Lucy Chambers (vocalist)

"THE OPERA", The Tasmanian (13 January 1872), 9 

. . . Launceston, in its olden days, gained no small reputation for its musical taste and amateur talent. The late John Adams, who was a master in his art, by instituting and keeping up for some years the Philharmonic Society, imbued the public with a correct taste and a love for music, which has borne fruit even to the present time . . .

"A CORRESPONDENT writing to us from Hobart Town . . .", The musical times and singing class circular (1 January 1873), 724 (DIGITISED)

. . . with reference to an article which appeared in this journal, entitled "Distant Music," - gives a glowing account of the state of the art in that Colony; and, as in the paper mentioned, but little was said of music in Tasmania, we willingly make the following extract from his letter: . . . we have had professors of very great experience resident in the Colony. In the northern part of the island, Mr. John Adams (a pupil of Sir George Elvey), Mr. Robert Sharpe, now at Southampton; and in the south (Hobart Town) Mr. C. S. Packer, the late Mr. F. A. Packer, both Royal Academicians, Mr. Buddee, a very fine pianist, several excellent violinists, &c. . . ."

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Sharpe (musician); Charles Sandys Packer (musician); Frederick Alexander Packer (senior, musician); Julius Buddee (pianist); for the original article mentioned, see Henry C. Lunn, "Distant music", The musical times and singing class circular (1 April 1872), 431-33 (DIGITISED)

"PUBLIC WORSHIP AND MUSIC", Daily Telegraph (16 July 1888), 3

. . . If the whole congregation could be induced to prepare their part of the musical service, the result would be wonderful. The late John Adams used to hold such practices in Trinity School-room, and they were much enjoyed by large gatherings of the people . . .

"REMINISCENCES. (BY B.)", The Tasmanian (12 November 1892), 28 

. . . About 1856 or 1857 [sic] Mr. John Adams arrived. I speak advisedly when I say that he was the most able musician who ever settled in the colony, whether he is regarded as a composer, a trainer of voices en masse, or an organist. Who can forget the Philharmonic in its palmy days under his leadership. Tasmania has never before or since seen such a society. Mr. Adams was organist at Trinity, for which an excellent organ had been procured, chiefly through the exertions of the late Mr. A. J. Marriott . . .

"MUSIC IN OLD LAUNCESTON", Daily Telegraph (22 January 1903), 4 

. . . Just about the same time Mr. John Adams, a recent arrival in the town, and the organist of Trinity Church, a gentleman of considerable musical attainments, also contributed by his enthusiasm and general work a good deal of help in musical matters. He started the first Philharmonic Society, with the object of promoting the study of vocal music; his health, however, unfortunately failed, but the work he had started was taken up with varying success by Mr. A. J. Marriott . . .

"THE BROOKE WILL CASE", Daily Telegraph [Launceston, TAS] (24 July 1903), 4 

. . . Mrs. Brooke died on the 31st of May, 1886. There was no issue of her marriage with Mr. Brooke. By a former marriage with a Mr. Landale she had seven children, who survived her. There were three sons . . . besides four daughters, each of whom was married in Mrs. Brooke's lifetime and had issue. One of the four, Maria Rebecca Adams, now a widow, had two children Jessie Harriett, the wife of William Henry Edyvean, and John Garibaldi Marriott Adams. The appellants are Mrs. Edyvean, her brother, Mr. J. G. M. Adams, the trustees of Mrs. Edyvean's marriage settlement, of whom Mr. J. G. M. Adams is one, and an incumbrancer on his share . . .

"DEATHS", The Argus (21 November 1919), 1 

ADAMS. - On the 19th November, at "Elphin," 82 Orrong road, Elsternwick, Maria Rebecca, wife of late John Adams, organist, of Windsor Chapel, Wimbleton Church, and Holy Trinity, Launceston, mother of Garibaldi Adams, Elsternwick, aged 81 years, native of Tasmania. (Private interment, 20th inst.)

Musical works (music extant in red bold; non-extant in black bold):

2 double chants (in D, and G minor) (by 1850)

The chanter's hand-guide . . . containing the psalter . . . with 373 cathedral chants, very many of which (written by the most eminent composers and organists in this country expressly for this work) are now first published; edited by Joseph Warren, organist and director of the choir at St. Mary's chapel, Chelsea (London: R. Cocks and Co., [1850]), viii, 61 (chant by Josiah Freund), 113, 137 

[PREFACE] . . . I beg to express my warmest thanks to the following Gentlemen and the two Ladies for their kind assistance in supplying me with so many Chants for publication, either of their own composition or from the choir-books of the various Cathedrals, all of which, with one or two exceptions, are now first published:-

[viii] Adams, John, Esq., Organist of St. Mary's, Wimbledon . . . (double chant by Josiah Freund) (double chant in D by Adams) (double chant in G minor by Adams

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Warren (editor)

No jewelled beauty is my love (1856)

No jewelled beauty is my love, ballad (as sung by Miss Catherine Hayes in Tasmania), words by Gerald Massey, composed and dedicated to Miss Catherine Hayes, by John Adams (Sydney: Woolcott & Clarke, [1856]) (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Catherine Hayes (vocalist); Gerald Massey (English poet); Woolcott and Clarke (music publishers); see also "NO JEWELL'D BEAUTY IS MY LOVE", Launceston Examiner (24 May 1856), 3 

I'm thinking o'er the short sweet hour (1856)

I'm thinking o'er the short sweet hour, a night song, words by Gerald Massey, music by the composer of "No jewelled beauty is my love", new ballad composed expressly for, and dedicated to Miss Catherine Hayes by John Adams (Sydney: Woolcott & Clarke, [1856]) (DIGITISED)

Tasmanian anthem ("All hail to thee our island home"; words by R. K. Ewing) (1856)

WORDS ONLY SURVIVE; see "TASMANIAN ANTHEM", The Cornwall Chronicle (10 February 1858), 2 

Lo! the desert depths are stirred (chorale; ancient hymn) (1857)


Just a smile in the face of nature (song, 1858)

NO COPY IDENTIFIED; words only (by Gerald Massey) survive

Riflemen form (1860)

Volunteer song [Riflemen form; "There is a sound of thunder afar . . ."], manuscript, composer's autograph, 8 October 1860; State Library of Tasmania (DIGITISED)

Volunteer Song, "There is a sound of thunder afar . . ." - This song is dedicated to the officers and volunteers of Tasmania by John Adams, Oct'r 8th 1860. Words from the "Times" paper [by Tennyson]

. . . To Mrs. Horne, Quamby. This first copy of The Volunteer Song is presented by the Composer in token of his regard. George Town, Tasmania, Nov'r 8th 1860

ASSOCIATIONS: Alfred Tennyson (lyrics); ? Maria Horne (d. 1890), wife of Arthur Horne (amateur vocalist)

Riflemen, form! volunteer song, composed, and dedicated to the officers and volunteers of Tasmania, by John Adams (Hobart Town and Launceston: J. Walch & Sons, [1861]); Clarson, Shallard, & Co., Printers, Melbourne (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: James Walch and brothers (publishers); Clarson, Shallard, & Co. (printers)

Bibliography and resources:

Luke Agati, "Sweetly sings the swan of Erin: Catherine Hayes in Tasmania in 1856", Tasmanian Historical Research Association papers and proceedings 57/2 (2010), 119-38 (PAYWALL)

Graeme Skinner, Toward a general history of Australian musical composition: first national music, 1788-c. 1860 (Ph.D thesis, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney, 2011), 304-06 (DIGITISED)

ADAMS, John P. (John P. ADAMS; J. P. ADAMS; also J. P. ADDAMS; "Yankee ADAMS")

Actor, comedian

Born Boston, Mass., USA, c. 1816; son of Asa P. ADAMS and Charlotte ?
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, by July 1860
Departed VIC, after January 1869
Died Boston, Mass., USA, 27 February 1885, aged "69" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Miss Albertine (actor); Mary Provost (actor)


"A NEW STAR", Daily Alta California [San Francisco, CA, USA] (23 October 1857), 2 

J. P. Adams, a Yankee comedian of celebrity, arrived in the Panama, yesterday, and will appear on Monday evening next, at The American Theatre.

"MELBOURNE (From our own Correspondent). 26th July", The Star [Ballarat, VIC] (28 July 1860), 2 

There is a new American actor come to visit us - Mr. J. P. Adams, a celebrated delineator of Yankee character, and therefore acceptable after the Drews and Hudsons, whose Irish characters began to be a nuisance from too frequent repetitions. This Mr. Adams by the way was, I believe, formerly husband to Miss Provost, from whom he was divorced from incompatibility of temper.

[News], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (1 August 1860), 5 

The Yankee entertainment now performing at the Princess's Theatre, and entitled "Sam Patch in France," is nothing more than a vehicle for the specialties of the hero, a sort of country Lumpkin trying to got a livelihood in France. Mr. Addams dresses the character in the conventional style . . . It is impossible to help laughing at Mr. Addams' comical novelties . . . He was perfectly at home, however, and frequently applauded. Miss Fanny Young adds immensely to the mirth by her arch and roguish acting as Louisa, a servant-girl, of whom Sam Patch makes a conquest, much in the style of Sam. Weller and Mary, in the Pickwick Papers.

ASSOCIATIONS: Fanny Young (actor); Princess Theatre (Melbourne venue)

[Advertisement], The Star [Ballarat, VIC] (22 September 1860), 3 

MONTEZUMA THEATRE. Under the Management of Mr R. J. OSBOBNE.
Great success of YANKEE ADDAMS.
THIS EVENING, SATURDAY, The Great American Comedian,
YANKEE ADAMS, In two new pieces . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert James Osborne (actor, manager); Montezuma Theatre (Ballarat venue)

[News], The Herald (20 January 1869), 2 

MISS EMMA WEIPERT and Mr. H. R. Ernest are now giving their entertainment of "Matrimony" at the Varieties Theatre on the new Spring Creek rush. They are accompanied bv a band of negro minstrels and "Yankee" Adams, who fronts the company nightly to an original "Ode on the Death of G. V. Brooke." There seems to be a good opening for itinerant theatrical and musical companies at the rush.

ASSOCIATIONS: Emma Weippert (actor)

Deaths, Boston, 1885; Massachusetts Vital and Town Records, Holbrook Research Institute (PAYWALL)

John P. / Adams / 69 years / 10 months / died City Hospital / Actor / Born Boston / son of Asa P. and Charlotte

"Members of the Dramatic and Musical Professions, etc., who have died during 1885", The Lorgnette [Melbourne, VIC] (16 January 1886), 2 

ADAMS, J. P. (Yankee Adams); made his first appearance at the Theatre Royal, Melbourne, July 30, 1860, as Sam Patch, in "Sam Patch in France." Was husband of Miss Mary Provost. He died in Boston, U.S.A., Feb. 27, 1885.

"REMINISCENCES OF THE STAGE", San Francisco Call (3 January 1892), 24 

. . . I wonder how many people of to-day remember the once popular Yankee Adams, the Yankee comedian, who was the very life of the stage nearly two score years ago, and who up to twenty years ago could draw an audience any one would be proud of. Some years twenty or twenty-five perhaps - he had a love affair which clouded and embittered his life. She was an actress. Miss Albertine, who became blind. She went to Australia, where misfortune after misfortune befell her, and finally friends raised funds enough to send her to the Eastern States, where she died some time ago. The last plays that Mr. J. P. Adams starred in were: "The Yankee in Cuba," "The Vermont Wool-dealer," "Sally and Jonathan," "Sam Slick," "A Conjugal Lesson," etc. All were popular in their day. I played a season with him all through the interior of California . . .

ADAMSON, David Beveridge (David Beveridge ADAMSON; Mr. D. B. ADAMSON)

Amateur violin maker

Born Hawick, Roxburgh, Scotland, 23 March 1823; baptised Wilton, 18 May 1823; son of James ADAMSON and Elizabeth BEVERIDGE
Arrived South Australia, 19 September 1839 (per Recovery, from London, 19 May)
Married Emma Golding LA VENCE (1831-1880), Tenterden, SA, 6 November 1849
Died Adelaide, SA, 23 June 1891, aged "68" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)

ADAMSON, Emma Golding (Emma Golding LA VENCE; Mrs. David Beveridge ADAMSON; Mrs. ADAMSON) = Emma LA VENCE

Amateur vocalist

Born Boar's Isle, Tenterden, Kent, England, 5 November 1831; baptised, 1 January 1832; daughter of Richard Francis LA VENCE (d. 1864) and Sarah KIDD (d. 1848)
Arrived Adelaide, SA, 17 June 1839 (per Hooghly, from London 19 February)
Married David Beveridge ADAMSON, Tenterden, SA, 6 November 1849
Died Adelaide, SA, 20 February 1880 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Adamson claimed, in 1876, to have made the first violin in South Australia in 1841.

At Tenterden, SA, on 6 November 1849, he married Emma Golding La Vence (1831-1880), who had appeared as a vocalist in two Adelaide Choral Society concerts earlier that year, and who, as Mrs. Adamson, sang in a War Fund concert in 1854.

Their son, David Beveridge Adamson, junior (d. 1937), was active as an amateur musician in the 1880s and 1890s.


"CHAMBER OF MANUFACTURERS", The South Australian Advertiser (21 December 1876), 6

. . . Mr. D. B. Adamson wrote, claiming the credit of making, in the year 1841, the first violin manufactured in the colony. His assertion was made in reference to a statement that the violin shown by Mr. J. G. Nash at the recent exhibition was the first one made in the colony . . .

"DEATHS", South Australian Register (24 June 1891), 4

ADAMSON. - On the 23rd June, at his residence, Stanley House, Angas-street, David Beveridge Adamson, aged 68 years.

Bibliography and resources:

Julie Evans, "Adamson, David Beveridge", Australian dictionary of biography suppl. (2005)

. . . He built furniture and musical instruments, claiming (in 1876) to have made the first violin in the colony in 1841 . . .

Alan Coggins, Violin and bow makers of Australia (NSW: for the author, 2009), 25 (DIGITISED short entry summaries archived at Pandora)

David Beveridge Adamson, Geneanet 

ADCOCK, Marianne Eliza (Marrianne Eliza PETTINGEL; Marianne Eliza PETTINGELL; Miss PETTINGELL; Mrs. St. John ADCOCK)

Musician, professor of music, pianist, vocalist, organist, arranger

Born Marylebone, London, England, 12 August 1821; baptised Paddington chapel (Independent), 23 September 1821; daughter of Joseph PETTINGELL (1799-1859) and Marianne JONES (c. 1800-1890)
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 4 September 1834 (passenger on Thomas Lawrie, from London 4 April, or 17 March)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 2/3 February 1839 (per William, from Launceston, 24/28 January)
Married St. John ADCOCK (d. 1861), St. Lawrence's chapel, Sydney, NSW, 19 May 1842
Died Cootamundra, NSW, 28 November 1890, "in her 70th year" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Frederica Pettingell (younger sister)

ADCOCK, Marion Eliza (Marion Eliza ADCOCK; Miss ADCOCK; Mrs. G. R. BELL)


Born Sydney, NSW, 1843
Married George Robert BELL, St. John's, Darlinghurst, NSW, 6 March 1860 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Marianne Pettingell was born in Marylebone, London, on the 12 August 1821. She was the first child of Joseph Pettingell (1799-1859) and his wife Marianne Jones (c. 1800-1890), who had married at St. George's, Bloomsbury, on 6 July 1820.

She was first billed in Hobart as a pupil of "Panorma", probably either the elderly Francis Panormo (1763-1843), or his son Robert (c. 1800-1873), who, shortly before the Pettingells' departure from London in spring 1834, were living at no. 4 Tottenham-Court New Road.

Joseph, meanwhile (according to his early Hobart advertisements) had been in business in Mount Street, Grosvenor Square, as "Tailor to their Majesties, the Royal Horse Guards, the Dukes Wellington, Gordon, Newcastle, the Russian and French Ambassadors . . . maker to the Berkeley, Andover, and Heaton Park Clubs".

Having departed London in spring 1834 on the Thomas Lawrie, the family arrived in Hobart on 4 September, travelling under Joseph's wife's mother's family name, Linden. Joseph first advertised in his old profession of tailor.

Meanwhile, on 1 May 1835, Marianne, "only 12 years of age" (correctly 13) made her local debut at George Peck's Theatre of Arts, playing a set of piano variations on the Scotch song Bruce's address to his army, by another member of her teacher's family, Ferdinand Charles Panormo (1793-1826).

Apparently not prospering in Hobart, Joseph (who was later described as being of "a weakly constitution") moved him family to the milder north of island, to become post master at Evandale near Launceston, and, with his wife, to open a school, in spring 1836, at which Marianne and her sister Margaret (1823-1893, from 1841 Mrs. Robert Banbury) taught painting, music, dancing, and French.

Marianne meanwhile made her next documented public appearance on 12 September 1837, in a concert by the Launceston Harmonic Society directed by Edmund Leffler.

Later that month, however, Joseph was declared insolvent and briefly confined to Launceston goal, leaving his wife to find a new home and, with her daughters, to open a school for young ladies in Launceston. From there in January 1838, the Misses Pettingell also advertised offering private tuition in "Music, Drawing, Oriental Painting, and Dancing".

In December 1838, Joseph sailed for Sydney, and on arrival announced that he was opening a new business as a law stationer, in Elizabeth Street. He was shortly joined by his family, who landed in New South Wales at the beginning of February 1839.

Marianne advertised later that month as a professor of music and teacher of the pianoforte, and made her Sydney public debut at John Philip Deane's concert on 13 August 1839, appearing as both a vocalist and pianist.

She again advertised as a teacher in Sydney in October 1839, and at Windsor in March 1841, before making her last public appearance as Miss Pettingell, along with her sister Frederica Pettingell, among the chorus singers at Isaac Nathan's concert on 27 October 1841.

At St. Lawrence's chapel, on 19 May 1842, she married a law clerk, John, or St. John Adcock (c. 1851-1861), who had arrived in Sydney from London on the Canton, in September 1841. A daughter, also Marianne (Marion) Eliza was born in 1843, a son John in 1844, a daughter Alice was born and died in 1846, and a son Thomas in 1848. Her husband, meanwhile, was declared insolvent in 1846, and cleared of a charge of embezzlement in September 1848. Apparently long separated from his wife, he was working as a stockman on the Upper Castlereagh River, when he was thrown from his horse and killed on in April 1861.

Finally, ten years after her previous public performance, she returned to the concert stage, as a debutante, for Henry Marsh's 1851 Christmas concert, singing in Festa's madrigal Down in a flowery vale, with Sara Flower and Frank Howson and his brother John Howson, and performing in a grand galop for 12 pianos. Meanwhile, she had also resumed teaching.

Thereafter, through the 1850s, as Mrs. St. John Adcock, she regularly appeared professionally as a pianist and vocalist, and in 1859 was joined by her surviving daughter, Marion, singing at the Sydney University Musical Festival.

From 1856 to 1881, Marianne was the organist of St. Paul's church, Redfern.

She died at Cootamunda, NSW, on 28 November 1890.

Her only surviving child, Marion/Marian/Marriane (Mrs. George Bell), was living at Toxteth Park, Liverpool, England, with her husband, at the time of the 1891 English census.


Marrianne Eliza Pettingell 1821

Baptisms, Paddington Chapel (Independent), New Road, London, 1821; register 1813-36, fol. 11v; UK National Archives, RG 4/4348 (PAYWALL)

Marrianne Eliza / Daughter of Joseph Pettingell and Marrianne his wife of no. 16 Stafford Street, Lisson Grove, St. Mary lebone, who was daughter of Thomas Jones, Born August twelfth 1721, Baptised September 23rd 1821 . . .

Diary of Joseph Pettingell, on board the Thomas Lawrie, from London to Hobart, 1834; typed transcript from the original manuscript, National Library of Australia, MS 9399 (DIGITISED)

. . . Friday 9 May . . . This day is the birthday of Margaret, 11 years old with very little to complain of. Both the oldest pay great attention to their Mama and take them all in all they are very good girls . . .

. . . Tuesday 12 August . . . The weather is now fine and slashing along at 8 1/2 knots. This is the birthday of Marrianne and Joseph, the one 13 and the other 6 years old. We have for our dinner today a raisin pudding . . .

"SHIP NEWS", The True Colonist Van Diemen's Land Political Despatch [Hobart, TAS] (9 September 1834), 2 

Sept. 4. - Arrived the ship Thomas Lawrie, Captain Langdon, from London, April 4, with a general cargo. Cabin Passengers . . . Steerage Passengers . . . Mr. and Mrs. Linden, and six children . . .

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (14 October 1834), 3

Tailor to the King, the Royal Horse Guards, and many of the Nobility,
BEGS leave to return his sincere thanks to the Gentlemen of Hobart Town,
for the very great encouragement given him, since he commenced business, and assures them he will be able to execute any orders given him, with elegance and despatch.
Oct. 14, 1834.

Letter, Joseph Pettingell, Hobart Town, 19 October 1834, to family in England; typed transcript, National Library of Australia, MS 9399 (DIGITISED)

15 Campbell St., Hobart Town . . . I meet with very good encouragement . . . orders . . . in the person of Gentlemen in the Governors House . . . (DIGITISED)

. . . Margaret getting on very rapidly with drawing will some time hence be very clever in sketching the wonderful and romantic scenery which surrounds us. Marrianne is getting on very well in her music. I almost forgot to say that our servants are rather different to yours inasmuch as we pay them naught for their service. They are convicts . . .

[Advertisement], Colonial Times [Hobart, TAS] (28 April 1835), 3

Theatre of Arts, Under the Patronage of His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor and Family, and several Persons of distinction.
ON FRIDAY EVENING NEXT, MAY 1st, the following Entertainments will be presented:
PART I. THE PASSAGE OF THE GREAT ST. BERNARD By NAPOLEON, and his Grand Army of Reserve, consisting of Thirty Thousand Men; THE MONK OF ST. BERNARD'S And his Dog, &c.
A Young Lady only 12 years of Age, Pupil of the celebrated "Panorma" [sic].
PART II. NSW LONDON BRIDGE, WITH ST. PAUL'S, And Part of London in the Distance.
A Variety of Pleasing and Ingenious Mechanical Figures will enliven the Scene.
After which, MR. PECK will perform his admired Imitations of the celebrated "PAGANINI" on the Violin.
PART III. MOUNT WELLINGTON, As seen from Sandy Bay, with the upper part of Davey-street.
In this Scene, in addition to a variety of Local Figures, "The Death of the Kangaroo." A splendid effect of Cloud and Sunshine will be presented.
BRUCE'S ADDRESS, With Variations on the Piano-forte by MISS PETTINGELL.
The whole to Conclude with THE STORM AT SEA. Doors Open at Six o'Clock, and the Performance to Commence at Seven. April 28,1835.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Peck (musician, proprietor)

"To Humanitas, Evandale, May 15, 1837", The Cornwall Chronicle (20 May 1837), 1 

. . . It gives me satisfaction to state, that since I commenced school at Evandale, from the 1st of last August to the present time, not one of my family have ever even had a head, and very seldom an heart ache . . . I undertake to teach Surveying . . . Navigation, Mathematics, Drawing and Oil Painting, Natural Philosophy, Greek and Latin. Mrs. Pettingell has three young ladies as boarders, and my daughters teach Painting, Music, and Dancing, with the French Language. In short, Sir, we are all one happy family . . .
Trusting you will excuse my thus troubling you, I have the honor to be, Sir, Your obedient Servant,

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (22 July 1837), 4 

MRS. PETTINGELL . . . is now enabled to take charge of an additional number of boarders, as the whole of the house is appropriated to their use.
The alterations made by Mr. Pettingell, in removing his School and rooms to an adjoining building, makes the two Establishments entirely distinct from each other, and having the assistance of a Lady, who has had great experience in schools, combined with those of her two eldest daughters, one of whom is well known for her talents in Music, and the other in Drawing and painting, enables her to give instructions in the above polite accomplishments, and Dancing, with the French Language, without the aid of Masters . . . July 14, 1837.

[News], The Cornwall Chronicle [Launceston, TAS] (16 September 1837), 2 

The fourth Concert of the Launceston Harmonic Society, took place on Thursday last, at Mr. Green's Assembly Rooms. The vocal and instrumental performance went off with great eclat. The music was selected from the principal composers - Haydn, Rossini, Meyerbeer, &c. The instrumental part was led by Mr. Leffler, Professor of Music, assisted by Miss Pettingell, who presided at the pianoforte. This young lady displayed considerable talent, and was greatly applauded; there can be no doubt she will be a great acquisition to the Harmonic Society, and we are happy to hear the Committee have secured her services for the succeeding concerts.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edmund Leffler (leader); Launceston Harmonic Society (association)

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (30 September 1837), 3 

In the matter of the Insolvency of Joseph Pettingell, late of Evandale, in the Island of Van Diemen's Land, Schoolmaster, but now confined for Debt in His Majesty's Gaol at Launceston . . .

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (28 October 1837), 3 

CIRCULAR - MRS. PETTINGELL begs respectfully to inform Ladies and heads or Families in Launceston, and its Vicinity, that she intends commencing a BOARDING and DAY SCHOOL, at her residence, No. 2, Cameron's Buildings, St John-street . . .
The number of Boarders will be limited to six . . . above ten years of age, including the usual routine of School duties, with French, Music, and Dancing . . .

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (27 January 1838), 15

PRIVATE TUITION. THE MISSES PETTINGELL beg respectfully to inform the Ladies of Launceston, that they would be happy to give Lessons in Music, Drawing, Oriental Painting, and Dancing, either at their residence, or those of their Pupils.
For Terms, enquire at 2, Cameron's Buildings, St. John-street, Launceston.

"LAUNCESTON SHIP NEWS", The Tasmanian (1 February 1839), 4 

JAN. 24. - Sailed the brig William, 149 tons, Thom, master, for Sydney. Passengers - Mr. H. Callow, Mrs. Pettingell, three Miss Pettingells and Master Pettingell . . .

Sydney, NSW (from February 1839):

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Sydney Herald (4 February 1839), 2 

From Launceston, on Saturday last, having sailed 28th January, the brig William, Captain Thom, with sundries, &c. Passengers - Mr. George Cox, Miss Cox, Mrs. Petengall, two Misses Pettengall, six children, and servant . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser (20 February 1839), 3 

A CARD. MISS PETTINGELL, Professor of Music, begs to inform her Friends that she has commenced giving LESSONS on the PIANO FORTE, either at home, or at the residence of those who may honour her with their support. -
For Cards of Terms, apply at Mr. Ellard's Music Saloon, George-street, or at her residence, No. 8, Josephson's Terrace, Elizabeth-street North.

ASSOCIATIONS: Francis Ellard (musicseller)

"LOCAL NEWS . . . Music", The Australian (9 March 1839), 3

By an advertisement in another column, we perceive that Miss Pettingell, professor of music, has arrived from Launceston, and has opened a Music Seminary in Elizabeth-street.

[Advertisement], The Australian (13 August 1839), 1 

Under Distinguished Patronage
MR. DEANE BEGS to inform his Friends and the Public, that his
TUESDAY EVENING, August 13th, 1839, in the Saloon of the Royal Hotel.
PART I . . . 2. Duett - I know a Bank - Horn - Miss Deane and Miss Pettingell
3. Trio - Violin, Violincello, & Pianoforte - Moschelles - Miss Pettingell, Master E. Dean and Mr. J. Deane . . .
5. Glee - O! Stranger lend thy gentle barque - Steven[son] - Miss Pettingell, Master E. Deane and Amateur
6. Song - The Swiss Bride - Pixis - Miss Pettingell . . .
PART II . . . 2. Glee - Merrily Swim We - Smith - Miss Pettingell, Master E. Deane and Amateur . . .
5. Song - O! Araby, Dear Araby - Weber - Miss Pettingell . . .
8. Duett - Violin and Pianoforte - Herz and Lafont - Miss Pettingell and Mr. J. Deane . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Philip Deane (musician); Rosalie Deane (vocalist, pianist); John Deane (junior, violin); Edward Deane (cello); Royal Hotel (Sydney venue)

MUSIC: I know a bank (C. E. Horn); Piano trio (Moschelles); The Swiss bride (Pixis); O Araby (Weber, from Oberon);

"MR. DEANE'S CONCERT", The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser (16 August 1839), 2 

With respect to the main character of Mr. Deane's Concert on Tuesday evening, it may be said, it was a Concert of youth, innocence, and beauty, rather that of vocal talent. Nevertheless, Miss Petingale and Miss Deane have good voices, and which, if cultivated, will make them stars in due time, provided they be placed under the best tuition . . . Miss Deane and Miss Pettingale both displayed great execution on the Piano, much precision in time, and much feeling; and an ounce of feeling is worth a pound of execution on any occasion . . . Sir Maurice O'Connell and family were present, and we were happy to see a full, and some say, a crowded room . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Maurice and Mary O'Connell (musical patrons)

"MR. DEANE'S CONCERT", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (17 August 1839), 2 

. . . Sir Maurice O'Connell and family visited the concert, for a short time, but did not remain long, taking their departure very early. The only novelty of the evening was Miss Pettingell, who appears to have a good voice, but it requires cultivation . . .

"MR. DEANE'S CONCERT", The Colonist (21 August 1839), 3 

We congratulate Mr. Deane on the result of his evening's concert. Our space will not admit of lengthened criticism, and Mr. Deane's family have long been before the public as musical characters. We must, however, welcome the fair strangers who made their first appearance before a Sydney public on this occasion. Their domestic character does them honour, and we hope they will meet with support in what they are about to undertake, namely, a school. They have hitherto been engaged in perfecting their own accomplishments, and assisting their father in his avocation of law stationer, as he is of a weakly constitution. The public have had a specimen of their musical powers, and they have been acquired without professional assistance. The second Miss Pettingell is also an artiste. We heartily wish them success.

[Advertisement], The Australian (12 October 1839), 3 

Musical Tuition.
MISS PETTINGELL, Professor of Music, begs to intimate that a portion of her time is disengaged throughout the week, and that she will be happy to receive pupils at her residence, or attend Families, to instruct on the Pianoforte.
No. 105. Pitt-Street. October 11, 1839.

[Advertisement], The Australian (9 March 1841), 1

A CARD - MISS PETTINGELL begs respectfully to inform the Ladies and Heads of Families in Windsor and its Vicinity, that she intends remaining at Windsor, and will be happy to give Instructions in Music and Singing to those who may honour her with their patronage.
For terms and cards of Address, apply to her at her residence, Auburn Cottage, Windsor.
March 1, 1841.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (27 October 1841), 1 

Programme of MR. NATHAN'S GRAND VOCAL and INSTRUMENTAL CONCERT (first of the series),
to take place THIS EVENING, WEDNESDAY, the 27th of October, 1841.
SOPRANOS and TREBLES. The Misses Nathan, Miss Pettingell, Miss F. Pettingell, Miss Strickland . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Isaac Nathan and daughters (director, vocalists); Frederica Pettingell (vocalist); Eliza Strickland (vocalist); Royal Victoria Theatre (Sydney venue)

"NATHAN'S GRAND CONCERT", Australasian Chronicle (28 October 1841), 2 

. . . The performance concluded by our excellent Australian anthem, "Long Live Victoria," which, being given with a very full chorus, was most effective. The solos were sung in succession by Miss Jane Nathan, Miss Pettingell, and Miss Strickland. Altogether, this was a very fine performance . . .

MUSIC: Long live Victoria (Nathan)

"MARRIAGE", The Sydney Herald (20 May 1842), 3

By special license, on Thursday, the 19th instant, at Saint Lawrence's, by the Rev. R. Sconce, Mr. St. John Adcock, to Marianne Eliza, eldest daughter of Mr. Joseph Pettingell, Law Stationer, of this town.

"DIED", The Sydney Morning Herald (4 December 1846), 3 

On the 2nd instant, Alice Adcock, infant daughter of Mr. Adcock, Pyrmont, aged 12 days.

"NEW INSOLVENT", The Sydney Morning Herald (23 December 1846), 2 

The following estate was sequestrated, on a petition, and schedule being filed, viz.:
John Adcock, of Pyrmont, near Sydney, clerk. Debts - £78 6s. 6d.; assets - personal property, £15. Balance deficiency, £63 6d.
Edward Knox, official assignee.

"News of the Day . . . Embezzlement", The Sydney Daily Advertiser (13 September 1848), 2 

Mr. John Adcock, formerly clerk to Mr. Richard Fawcett, auctioneer, George-street, was charged by the latter with having embezzled two sums of money, namely, five pounds and twenty-five shillings, the property of his employer . . . Mr. Adcock was discharged. Mr. Martin then expressed his determination of bringing the case on in some other shape forthwith.

"CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT . . . FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3. EMBEZZLEMENT", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (8 November 1848), 2 

John Adcock was indicted for embezzling £25, the property of Richard Fawcett, at Sydney, on the 26th April, 1848, he being a clerk in the service of the said Richard Fawcett. There were two other counts in the indictment, charging the embezzling of other sums . . . The jury returned a verdict of not guilty.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 December 1851), 1 

at the Royal Victoria Theatre, THIS EVENING, THURSDAY, the 18th December . . .
PROGRAMME . . . Part I . . .
8. Madrigal, Down in a Flowery Vale - Miss Sara Flower, Mrs. Adcock, and the Messrs. Howson - Unknown [Festa].
9. Grand Gallop, 12 pianofortes arranged for this occasion by Mr. Andrew Moore. Performers: Miss Sara Flower, Mrs. St. John Adcock, and Messrs. Stanley, Frank Howson, John Howson, Sigmont, Emanuel, W. Johnson, Weber, Bök [sic, Baly], A. Moore, and H. Marsh . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Marsh (pianist); Andrew Moore (violinist, pianist); Sara Flower (vocalist, pianist); Frank Howson (vocalist, pianist); John Howson (vocalist, pianist); William Stanley (pianist); William Abercrombie Sigmont (pianist); Abraham Emanuel (pianist); William Jonathan Johnson (pianist); Emil Rudolph Weber (pianist); Edward Baly (flautist, pianist)

"MR. HENRY MARSH'S CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (22 December 1851), 2 

. . . The Messrs. Howson, Mr. Baly, Mrs. St. John Adcock, and the instrumental performers, both lay and military, one and all deserve favourable mention; and, inasmuch, as various other entertainments of the like character are announced, we may anticipate that the good citizens of Sydney, and the return parties from Sofala, Ophir, and Araluen, are determined to spend a "merry Christmas."

"MR. MARSH'S CONCERT", Empire (22 December 1851), 3 

. . . The madrigal was delightfully sung by Miss Flower, Mrs. St. John Adcock, a fair debutante, and the Howsons; and was followed by the "great feature" of the evening, the gallop on twelve pianofortes admirably performed, and enthusiastically encored . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 April 1852), 1 

PIANOFORTE AND SINGING. MRS. ST. JOHN ADCOCK begs to inform her PUPILS, FRIENDS, and the PUBLIC, that she resumes her instructions in the above accomplishments (after the Easter recess) on Monday, the 19th instant.
Mrs. St. J. A.'s terms may be learnt upon application at her residence, No. 66, Prince-street, near the National School.
April 7.

"MR. WALLER'S CONCERTINA SOIREE", The People's Advocate and New South Wales Vindicator (22 January 1853), 2 

We had the highest satisfaction in being present at the musical entertainment, in the School of Arts, on Tuesday last. The re-appearance of our old friend Mr. Waller, with his old voice, his good taste, his inimitable refinement of drollery and humour had accessories on this occasion of no mean order. The performances of Mr. Richardson on the concertina, an instrument which we have not heard publicly in Sydney previously, commanded not only universal applause in as far as the powers of the instrument were concerned, but the execution was extremely brilliant, and from the very warm plaudits of some of the most accomplished musical gentlemen in the audience testified the correctness with which the concertina was played. We had also the pleasure of hearing some excellent singing by Mrs. St. John Adcock, whose voice, if not one of great and powerful compass is certainly sweet, most modestly, and discriminatingly used and her style equally impressive as her taste, which is admitted to be of a superior order. The evening was so extremely close and the overpowering heat of the day so disagreeable that many of the lovers of music were disinclined to venture out . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: James Waller (vocalist); Henry Richardson (concertina); Mechanics' School of Arts (Sydney venue)

"THE NEW YORK SERENADERS", Empire (12 July 1853), 3 

These old favourites in Sydney perform to-morrow evening [sic] at the Victoria Theatre, for the last time, but one, being for the benefit of Messrs. Pierce and Lee, whose exertions on the bones and tambourine, must be seen and heard to be appreciated . . . The company will be assisted by Signora Ventura and her daughter, and have also secured the valuable assistance of Mrs. St. John Adcock, as an accompanyist on the pianoforte . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charlotte Ventura and daughter Adelaide Ventura Lee (vocalist); New York Serenaders (troupe)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 January 1854), 1 

Pianoforte and Singing. MRS. ST. JOHN ADCOCK begs to remind her pupils and friends that she resumes her instructions on Monday, the 9th instant. 56, Prince-street. 3rd January, 1854.

"MISKA HAUSER'S CONCERT AT PARRAMATTA", The Sydney Morning Herald (8 December 1854), 5 

By the kind permission of the head-master, the Rev. Thomas Druitt, a grand concert was given on Wednesday evening, by Miska Hauser, in the dining-hall, at the King's School House. The hall was crowded even to inconvenience. The families of the clergy, members of the Legislative Council, the magistracy, and others of the elite of Parramatta were present, and every effort was made to do justice to the occasion. Miska Hauser was assisted by Mrs. St. John Adcock, who at a very short notice, supplied the place of Mrs. Andrews, who, from indisposition, was prevented from attending; and also by Signor Spagnoletti, a son of the famous leader of the orchestra of the Italian Opera House, London; Mr. C. T. Packer [sic] presided . . . Mrs. St. John Adcock, Messrs. Spagnoletti, and Packer sang Cherubini's beautiful trio, "Perfida." Mrs. St. John Adcock and Mr. Packer obtained great applause in a duetto, pianoforte, by Schulhoff . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Miska Hauser (violinist); Thomas Druitt (headmaster); Mrs. Frank Andrews (vocalist); Ernesto Spagnoletti senior (vocalist); Charles Sandys Packer (pianist, vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 January 1855), 1 

PIANOFORTE and SINGING. - Mrs. St. JOHN ADCOCK desires to acquaint her friends and the public that she will return to Sydney at the termination of her professional tour with Mr. Miska Hauser, on SATURDAY, and will resume her instructions in music on MONDAY, the 8th instant. 80, Prince-street.

"HERR VEIT RAHM", Empire (12 February 1855), 5 

This very excellent performer is engaged for a few nights at the Royal Polytechnic Theatre, in Pitt-street, where, in company with the beautiful and accomplished songstress, Mrs. St. John Adcock, he draws each night crowded and fashionable assemblages.

ASSOCIATIONS: Veit Rahm (vocalist, zither); Royal Polytechnic (Sydney venue)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 March 1855), 1 

IN AID OF THE PATRIOTIC FUND - MR. JOSEPH DYER, Secretary to the Mechanics' School of Arts,
has the honour to announce that, assisted by MRS. ST. JOHN ADCOCK, who has kindly offered her valuable aid he will deliver
a lecture on TUESDAY EVENING NEXT, the 13th instant, on ANCIENT BRITISH BALLADS,
At the Theatre of the Institution, Pitt-street . . .
The lecture will be illustrated with various Old English Ballads, among which will be Robin Hood and the Bishoppe of Hereford, the Leather Bottel, the Lincolnshire Poacher, the original song of the British Grenadiers, &c.
MRS. ADCOCK will sing a favourite song of Linley's, the Warrior's Bride, also the admired Irish melody, the Minstrel Boy, and will take part with Mr. Dyer in several duets.
Mrs. Adcock will also preside at the pianoforte . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Dyer (lecturer, vocalist)

"SYDNEY CHORAL SOCIETY", Empire (11 May 1855), 4 

The members of this amateur society gave yesterday evening a concert of secular music to their friends, at St. James's school-room. There was a numerous attendance, among whom were some of the more influential patrons of the art in Sydney. The performance was satisfactory in quality, and the chorus was stronger than we have been accustomed to hear it. Mrs. St. John Adcock and Miss Flora Harris, were of good service in leading the trebles. With amateurs there is always some uncertainty and diffidence in the attack of their respective parts. It is very desirable to have a professional lender at these performances, as the singers then follow with confidence, and a chorus which might otherwise go off limpingly, is conducted with eclat. This was especially the case last night. The altos and the tenors wanted confidence, and were nearly always later in the field, while the certainty and decision of the trebles carried the concerted pieces well through. The gem of the evening was the beautiful glee by Horsley - "By Celia's Arbour." This matchless composition was well sung, although it failed to received the applause it deserved. It is esteemed a model English glee. The beautiful Fisherman's chorus, from Massaniello was encored, and deserved the compliment. Altogether, the concert was a good one, and will have the effect of spreading a taste for the pure and refining accomplishment of part singing amongst the community.

ASSOCIATIONS: Flora Harris (vocalist); Sydney Choral Society (association)

[Advertisement], Empire (11 August 1855), 1 

ALBERT SMITH'S celebrated Pictorial and Musical Entertainment of the ASCENT OF MONT BLANC, on MONDAY EVENING, at the Royal Polytechnic. Vocalist, Mrs. St. John Adcock. Commence at halt-past 7 precisely. See the hand-bills.

ASSOCIATIONS: Albert Smith (British performer active in London)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 November 1855), 8 

REMOVAL. - Mrs. ST. JOHN ADCOCK, Professor of the Pianoforte and Singing, to No. 7, Victoria terrace, Miller's Point.

"MR. W. J. JOHNSON'S CONCERT", The People's Advocate and New South Wales Vindicator (19 April 1856), 3 

This Concert took place ah the Concert Hall, Royal Hotel, on Thursday last, and was most numerously attended . . . In the second part from Mendelssohn's "Elijah" the beautiful trio, "Lift Thine Eyes" - by Madame Anna Bishop, Miss F. Harris, and Mrs. S. John Adcock was rapturously encored . . . The third part from Handel's "Messiah" was most satisfactorily given. In fact, looked upon both vocally and instrumentally, this Concert was perfect.

ASSOCIATIONS: Anna Bishop (vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 January 1857), 1 

MRS. ST. JOHN ADCOCK, Organist of St. Paul's Church, Redfern, begs to remind her pupils and friends, that she will resume her instructions on the pianoforte, &c., and in singing, on WEDNESDAY, the 14th instant.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 July 1857), 8 

TO LET, in Pitt-street, Redfern, Evandale House, now occupied by Mrs. St. John Adcock, containing 7 rooms, kitchen, &c., with good well of water, &c., &c. Immediate possession given. Apply next door, to Mr. F. HOBBS, Carisbrooke House.

"CITIZENS' FANCY DRESS BALL", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 October 1857), 2 

The following is a list of the visitors at the Return Fancy Dress Ball, at the Prince of Wales Theatre, given by the citizens of Sydney to the Right Worshipful the Mayor, George Thornton, Esq., and family, furnished to us by one of the stewards: . . .
Mrs. St. John Adcock, white rose York; Miss St. Adcock, fancy dress . . .

"ST. LAWRENCE CHORAL SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (31 October 1857), 6 

The third concert of this young, but rapidly-progressing, society took place, in the school-room at the rear of Christ Church, on Wednesday evening, and, notwithstanding the unsettled appearance of the weather, the room was crowded by an attentive and fashionable audience. The programme was well selected and as well executed, in reference to which we could not refrain from taking special notice of the favourite trio, "The May Fly," the glee, "Spring's Delights," and "Here in Cool Grot" - the latter was enthusiastically and deservedly encored; the well-known glee, "The Bells of St. Michael's Tower," excited a good deal of merriment; and after the concluding chorus, "Britannia encircled," &c., the assembly did not evince any desire to vacate their seats; so the members kindly repeated the chorus. We cannot conclude these few remarks without noticing the untiring energy of the conductor, Mr. W. Stanley, who commenced the evening's entertainment with a brilliant and well-executed sonata from Beethoven, and who seems to take great interest in the advancement of the society. We also think Mrs. St. John Adcock deserves great credit for lending this young society her valuable assistance as leading treble, her voice being so well known and appreciated by, the lovers of music in; Sydney. - Communicated.

ASSOCIATIONS: St. Lawrence Choral Society (association)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 January 1858), 8 

PIANOFORTE and SINGING - Mrs. ST. JOHN ADCOCK begs to notify to her friends and pupils, that she resumes her instructions in the above, on TUESDAY, the 12th instant. 343, late 240, Elizabeth-street.

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

ONE MORE MISCELLANEOUS CONCERT . . . on SATURDAY next, the 30th July, 1859, at 3 p.m.
Two part Song - "The Maybelle and the flowers" - Mendelssohn - Mrs. St. John Adcock, and (amateur) Miss Adcock . . .

"SYDNEY UNIVERSITY FESTIVAL", The Sydney Morning Herald (13 August 1859), 7 

. . . The principal singers who took part in the concerted music were Signor Spagnoletti, an accomplished singer and a good musician. His daughter, who has a fine soprano voice, sang with him some duetts from the operas. Mrs. St. John Adcock and Miss Adcock took parts in some of the trios and quartette, and also rendered valuable assistance in the choruses . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Nina Spagnoletti (vocalist); Lewis Henry Lavenu (conductor); Sydney University Musical Festival (event)

"VOCAL HARMONIC SOCIETY", The Australian Home Companion and Band of Hope Journal (24 September 1859), 414 

We were much pleased at perceiving so numerous and brilliant assemblage attending the concert on the 15th instant. Selections from the Oratorio of "Judas Maccabaeus" formed the subject of entertainment for the evening. The correctness and precision with which the concerted pieces were rendered, was highly gratifying. Mrs. S. John Adcock was in excellent voice," and sang with her usual good taste. Miss Brady's full rich notes rang through the Hall with delightful effect . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Mary Anne Brady (vocalist); Sydney Vocal Harmonic Society (association)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 March 1860), 1 

IF Mr. ST. JOHN ADCOCK, supposed to be a butcher at Mudgee, will communicate with LEX, HERALD Office, he will hear of something important.

"MARRIAGES", The Sydney Morning Herald (10 March 1860), 1 

On the 6th instant, by special license, at St. John's, Darlinghurst, by the Rev. Canon Walsh, George Robert Bell, Esq., R.N., to Marion Eliza Adcock, eldest granddaughter of the late Mr. Joseph Pettingell, of this city.

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (20 April 1861), 1 

On the 8th instant in his 46th year, at Ulamambra, Upper Castlereagh River, by a fall from his horse, St. John Adcock, formerly of Oakham, Rutlandshire.

"COMPLIMENTARY CONCERT", Sydney Mail (9 March 1867), 2 

On Tuesday a complimentary concert was given to Mrs. St. John Adcock, the organist of St. Paul's, Redfern, by the choir of the church . . .

"CONCERT AT CANTERBURY", The Sydney Morning Herald (17 May 1862), 4 

On Tuesday evening, a brilliant concert of sacred and secular music was given in the new school room, Canterbury, by about thirty amateurs. Mrs. St. John Adcock (who had kindly volunteered her services) presiding at the harmonium. The room was filled in every part, by a large audience, who testified their approval of the performance by repeated encores.

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

Accompanist - MRS. ST. JOHN ADCOCK.
Conductor - Mr. G. W. WILSON . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Redfern Choral Society (association)

"NOTES OF THE WEEK:, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 March 1867), 5 

On Tuesday night [5 March] a complimentary concert was given to Mrs. St. John Adcock, the organist of St Paul's, Redfern, by the choir of the church. The entertainment took place in the Congregational Schoolhouse at Redfern, and the attendance was very numerous. The Christ Church Handbell Club assisted in the tuneful performances of the evening, and the entertainment throughout was of a most gratifying character.

"CATHEDRAL ORGAN PERFORMANCES", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 August 1867), 4 

A series of performances on the new organ at St. Andrew's Cathedral, the last of those as yet determined upon, took place on Saturday afternoon. The organists who played were Mrs. St. John Adcock, Mr. C. E. Horsley, and Mr. G. F. Beaumont. The selections played by Mrs. Adcock were Pastoral movement (Russell), Voluntary "Piu non vedra" (Marliani), Introductory movement from "Benedictus" (12th Mass) (Mozart), Voluntary on solo stops (Haydn), "Hymn of Eve" (Arne), March (Abraham) (Molique) . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Edward Horsley (organist); George Frederick Beaumont (organist); St. Andrew's cathedral (Sydney)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 August 1867), 1 

A CARD. Mrs. ST. JOHN ADCOCK, Professor of the Pianoforte and Singing, Cleveland-st., Redfern.

"COMPLIMENTARY CONCERT TO MRS. ST. JOHN ADCOCK", The Sydney Morning Herald (16 June 1871), 5 

A concert of sacred and secular music was given on Tuesday evening at the Town Hall, Redfern, by the members of the Redfern Choral Society, under the patronage of the Mayor and aldermen of the borough, to Mrs. St John Adcock, the accompanist to the society, and was in every respect a success . . .

"DEATHS", The Australian Star (6 December 1890), 1 

ADCOCK. - November 28, at Cootamundra, in her 70th year, Marianne Eliza, relict of the late St. John Adcock, and formerly organist for many years at St. Paul's Church, Redfern. Deeply regretted.

Published musical works:

La favorita polka (1857)

La favorita polka arranged by Mrs. St. John Adcock [after Donizetti] (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1857, repr. after 1858]) (DIGITISED)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 April 1857), 4 

In the Press, La Favorita Polka, by Mrs. Adcock . . . J. R. CLARKE, 205, George-street.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 November 1857), 1 

NEW and ORIGINAL POLKAS - Published THIS DAY, each embellished with a beautiful pictorial title-page, designed by Mr. J. T. Gill. - The Royal Charlie Polka, by Packer; The Eglantine Polka, by Stanley; La Favorita Polka, by Mrs. St. John Adcock. Each 3s., post free, 3s. 2d. J R. CLARKE, 305, George-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: Jacob Richard Clarke (publisher); an earlier polka version of the same tune from Donizetti's La favorite was that arranged by Henry C. Watson (US edition 1849); Adcock was probably following an English edition by Charles Coote (1856).

Associated musical publications:

Annie Laurie (as sung by Mrs. St. John Adcock) (3 editions) 

[1] Annie Laurie, Scotch ballad, as sung by Mrs. St. John Adcock (Sydney: Woolcott and Clarke, [by 1855])

NO COPY IDENTIFIED; curiously, there is no specific record of Adcock singing this song in public, though there are occasions on which she might (for instance, in Joseph Dyer's lecture on ancient British ballads in 1855); the widespread commercial dissemination of Alicia Scott's setting dates to the early 1850s; the Woolcott and Clarke edition was almost certainly the first Australian edition, pirated from an unidentified London print original.

ASSOCIATIONS: Woolcott and Clarke (publishers)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 September 1855), 5 

NEW MUSIC - Just published . . . THE POPULAR Scotch Ballad, Annie Laurie, price 2s. 6d., as sung by Mrs. St. John Adcock. WOOLCOTT and CLARKE.

[2] Annie Laurie, a favorite ballad, as sung by Mrs. St. John Adcock (Sydney: J. Moore, [? 1855/6]) (DIGITISED)

Probably a pirate edition, newly engraved, but copied from Woolcott and Clarke's edition above

[3] Annie Laurie, Scotch ballad, as sung by Mrs. St. John Adcock (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [after 18]) (DIGITISED)

Almost certainly from the same plates as Woolcott and Clarke's edition [1] above

ASSOCIATIONS: Jeremiah John Moore (publisher)

Bibliography and resources:

St. Paul's Church, Redfern, Sydney: souvenir, diamond jubilee, 1855-1915 (Sydney: William Andrews, 1915), 23 

ADDISON, Thomas Plummer (Thomas Plummer ADDISON; Mr. T. P. ADDISON)

Amateur musician, flautist, flute player, member of Adelaide Choral Society

Born London, England, 3 May 1805; baptised St. John's, Smith-square, 19 January 1806; son of Thomas ADDISON (d, 1824) and Sarah PLUMMER
Married Eliza Mary Claxton TOURNER (1807-1879), St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London, England, 20 February 1830
Arrived Adelaide, SA, 12 October 1838 (immigrant per Pestonjee Bomanjee)
Died Adelaide, SA, 14 January 1878, "in his 74th year" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ADDISON, Arthur Richman (Arthur Richman ADDISON)

Amateur musician, pianist, politician

Born Adelaide, SA, 17 May 1842; son of Thomas Plummer ADDISON and Eliza Mary Claxton TOURNER
Married (1) Elizabeth BOWMAN (d. 1889), SA, 12 May 1870
Married (2) Adelaide WILLIAMS, SA, 1893
Died Ororoo, SA, 29 July 1915 (Wikipedia) (shareable link to this entry)


Baptisms, St. John the Evangelist, Westminster, 1806; City of Westminster Archives Centre, SJSS/PR/1/3 (PAYWALL)

[Born] May 3 1805 / Thomas Plummer Son of Thomas & Sarah Addison / [baptised] [1806] January 19

Marriages solemnized in the parish of Saint Bride in the city of London, in the year 1830; London Metropolitan Archives (PAYWALL)

Thomas Plummer Addison of this parish bachelor and Eliza Mary Claxton Tourner of this parish spinster
. . . this twentieth day of February [1830] . . .

"ADELAIDE CHORAL SOCIETY', Adelaide Times (26 February 1849), 2 

The Concert of the Adelaide Choral Society took place on Friday evening, and was very well attended. His Excellency and Lady Young were present, and a highly respectable audience . . . The Concert commenced with the National Anthem, followed by Weber's Overture to Preciosa, which went off with spirit . . . Bishop's "Echo" song, from the Slave, was delightfully given by Mrs. Murray, accompanied on the flute very tastefully by Mr. Addison. This was also deservedly encored . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry and Augusta Young (governor and wife); Georgiana Murray (vocalist); Adelaide Choral Society (association)

MUSIC: either Echo song (Bishop), or Mocking bird song (Bishop, from The slave)

ASSOCIATIONS: Georgiana Murray (soprano vocalist)

"LOCAL NEWS", South Australian (27 February 1849), 2 

The Choral Society's Concert on Friday evening went off more brilliantly than its most sanguine supporters could have expected . . . The Echo song was well sung by Mrs. Murray; and the flute obligato given with much taste by Mr. Addison . . .

[Advertisement], Adelaide Times (28 May 1849), 1 

List of Subscribers' Names: . . . T. P. Addison, Esq. . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Spencer Wellington Wallace (musician); Frederick Ellard (musician)

[Advertisement], South Australian (9 July 1850), 3

INSTRUMENTAL. Conductor - Mr. Wallace . . . Flutes - Messrs. Addison, Keidel, and Clisby . . . On Friday Evening, 19th of July, 1850 . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Ferdinand Osborne (leader); August Cranz (director); Herr Keidel (flute); Redford Clisby (flute); Deutsche Liedertafel (association)

"CONCERT", Adelaide Times (1 August 1850), 3 

The Concert of the Adelaide Choral Society took place, yesterday evening, in the New Exchange, but owing to the roughness of the weather the attendance was very limited, there being only one hundred and twenty persons present, including, however, His Excellency, Lady Young, Bishop Short, and a large proportion of the elite. The music, in general, was very good. The first overture, and glee, and chorus, gave entire satisfaction . . . Addison's solo on the flute was deservedly applauded . . . The Symphony from Haydn was creditably played, but the audience seemed to consider its length rather tedious. In the second piece of the second part, the flute obligato was given well by Addison, and Mrs. Murray's singing was better than usual . . .

"THE CHORAL SOCIETY", South Australian Register (30 January 1855), 3 

The annual meeting of the Adelaide Choral Society was held last evening at Green's Exchange, Mr. T. P. Addison in the chair . . . The officers for the ensuing year were elected as follows: - President, Dr. Wyatt; Vice-President, C. Mann, Esq.; Treasurer, Mr. Smyth; Librarian, Mr. Mitchell; Secretary, Mr. Snaith; Auditors, Messrs. Whitington and Thomas; Committee, Messrs. Addison, Rodemann, Rainsford, Spiller, Dr. Cotter, Dr. Sholl, Messrs. Thompson, Lower, and C. Mitchell . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Wyatt (president); John Snaith (secretary); Maximillian Rodemann (member); Emanuel Spiller (member)

"ADELAIDE CHORAL SOCIETY", South Australian Register (28 March 1856), 3 

The annual general meeting of the subscribers and members of this Society was held yesterday evening in the Exchange, Mr. Whitington in the chair . . . Dr. Wyatt was re-elected President; Mr. G. Stevenson was requested to act as Vice-President; Mr. Smyth, Treasurer; Mr. Allen and Mr. Hunt, Librarians; Mr. W. Thompson, Secretary; Mr. Whitington and Mr. D. Harwood, Auditors; and Messrs. Addison, Clisby, Lower, C. Mitchell, J. Mitchell, Rainsforth, Harris, Bettridge, Sholl, and Rodemann were appointed the Committee . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Betteridge (member)

"LINGER MEMORIAL CONCERT", South Australian Register (15 July 1863), 2 

The first rehearsal of music for the Linger Memorial Concert took place on Tuesday evening, at the South Australian Institute, at which above fifty performers, vocal and instrumental, attended, under the conductorship of Mr. L. Norman. Amongst the instrumentalists present we noticed Messrs. R. B. White, S. Mocatta, and T. P. Addison . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Carl Linger (deceased); Linly Norman (conductor); Richard Baxter White (violin); Solomon Mocatta (musician); South Australian Institute (Adelaide venue)

"ST. PAUL'S CHURCH", South Australian Register (26 September 1864), 5 

. . . A glee by five gentleman and two lady amateurs was next given, followed by a duet, "Deh! con te li Prendi," on the piano and flute, by Messrs. A. R. and T. P. Addison, each of which pieces elicited applause . . . Messrs. A. R. and T. P. Addison gave another duet, "Ecco il Pegus," on the piano and flute.

"DIED", The South Australian Advertiser (15 January 1878), 4 

ADDISON. - On the 14th January, 1878, at his residence Hurtle-square, Adelaide, Thomas Plummer Addison, in the 74th year of his age.

Bibliography and resources:

The Old Colonists Banquet group: Thomas Plummer Addison [B 47769/19D], photograph, State Library of South Australia (DIGITISED)

ADDISON, Glentworth (Glentworth Walsh Frazer ADDISON; Mr. G. ADDISON)

Musical amateur, songwriter, composer, ? amateur vocalist, ? amateur orchestral player

Born Manchester, England, 22 April 1831; baptised Fulford, Yorkshire, 25 October 1831; son of Henry Robert ADDISON (1804-1876) and Mary VOKES (1811-1832)
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 20 December 1852 (per Carnatic, from London via Plymouth, 21 September)
Married (1) Ellen CAMPBELL (1839-1880), Clifton Station, New England, NSW, 8 January 1862
Married (2) Sarah Wilhelmina WALSH (1848-1928), NSW, 1882
Died Hunters Hill, NSW, 17 November 1903, aged 72 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

Glentworth Addison, c. 1860s

Glentworth Walsh Frazer Addison (DIGITISED)


Addison was associated with the Melbourne Herald in 1854. He is known to have published two songs.

Much later, in the late 1890s, he was an active committee member of the Sydney Amateur Orchestral Society.


Baptisms solemnized in the parish of Fulford in the County of York in the year 1831; register 1813-39, page 69; Borthwick Institute, York, PR/FUL/6 (PAYWALL)

No. 548 / 1831 25th October / Glentworth Walsh Frazer Son of / Henry Robert [and] Mary / Addison / Barracks / Lieutenant & Adjutant Queen's Bays . . .

"YASS", Freeman's Journal (28 September 1895), 18 

The concert held in the Mechanics Institute in aid of Catholic school purposes was in every way a perfect success . . . Dr. Doolan and Mr. Glenworth Addison then gave a duet, "Tell her I love her so" . . . Mr. G. Addison followed with "The Gauntlet" . . .

NOTE: This was his son Glentworth Addison (1864-1932)

"SYDNEY AMATEUR ORCHESTRAL SOCIETY", Evening News (21 May 1898), 4 

The committee of the Orchestral Society held its monthly meeting yesterday, Mr. Glentworth F. Addison, S.M., presiding. There were also present: Miss E. M. Woolley, Signor Hazon, G. Rivers Allpress, C. S. Cape, C. M. Deane, and H. N. Southwell . . .

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 November 1903), 8

DEATHS. ADDISON. - November 17, 1903, at his residence, Doonbah, Hunter's Hill, Glentworth Walsh Fraser, late senior stipendiary magistrate, Sydney, eldest son of the late Lieutenant-Colonel H.R. Addison, formerly 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays), aged 72 years.

"Obituary. MR. G. W. F. ADDISON", Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (19 November 1903), 2

After a well-spent life of 72 years, Mr. Glentworth Walsh Fraser Addison, late senior stipendiary magistrate of Sydney, passed peacefully away at Sydney on Tuesday evening. The deceased gentleman, who was one of the best known figures in the city, was a son of the late Lieutenant-Colonel H. R. Addison, of the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays). His son Mr. G. Addison, is the present Clerk of Petty Sessions at Bathurst. In 1850, just about the time of the Victorian gold rush, he, then a young man, arrived in the southern State. After a few years spent there he came to Sydney and entered the Lands Department, and was subsequently transferred to the northern district, being appointed Sub-Gold Commissioner . . . Mr. Addison was the oldest living relative of the poet Addison, his grandfather, Judge Addison, British Resident of Borea (India) being the heir-at-law and collateral relative of the poet.

See also "Death of Mr. G. W. F. Addison", The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (25 November 1903), 1369 

Musical works:

Heartsease (1858)

Heartease, ballad, the words composed by Geraldine, composed, and dedicated to Mrs. M. Hanbury, by Glentworth Addison (Sydney: Sandon & Co., [1858]); "Arranged for the composer by E. H. Cobley" (DIGITISED)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 January 1858), 6 

HEARTSEASE, a new song, Published THIS DAY, words by Geraldine. SANDON and CO., George-st. . . .
JUST OUT, HEARTSEASE, a Ballad. F. MADER, stationer, George-street.

[Advertisement], Empire (4 February 1858), 6 

JUST PUBLISHED, price 2s., HEARTSEASE, a Ballad. The Words by Geraldine. Composed and dedicated to Mrs. M. Hanbury, by Glentworth Addison. JOHN L. SHERRIFF, 280, George-street, and all Booksellers.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edwin Cobley (arranger); Charles Sandon (publisher)

Lost Marguarite (1861)

Lost Marguarite; words by Henry Halloran, Esq., music by Glentworth Addison, arranged for the composer by E. H. Cobley (Sydney: James C. Fussell, [1861]; in The Australian musical bouquet) (DIGITISED)

"THE AUSTRALIAN MUSICAL BOUQUET", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 February 1861), 5 

The January number of the Australian Musical Bouquet - a collection of popular songs, operatic airs, &c., for the voice and the pianoforte, edited by Mr. Edwin H. Cobley, professor of music, Glebe Point Road, has been published by the proprietor, Mr. James C. Fussell, of Prince-street. The contents are: - A Volunteer Polka Mazurka, composed by the editor, Mr. Cobley; and a new Song, "Lost Marguerite," [sic] words by Mr. Henry Halloran, and music by Mr. Glentworth Addison. The third and last piece of music in this number (very neatly engraved by Mr. Engel) is a Christmas Hymn, as sung at Christ Church, in this city. The music and poetry of this elegant little serial are colonial; the whole thing is very prettily got up, and the price reasonable.

"MUSICAL", Empire (5 March 1861), 5 

"THE AUSTRALIAN MUSICAL BOUQUET", Empire (5 March 1861), 4 

. . . It contains . . . Lost Marguerite [sic], the poetry by Mr. Halloran and the music by Mr. Glentworth Addison . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Halloran (poet, lyrics); James Fussell (publisher)

Bibliography and resources:

"Glentworth Walsh Fraser Addison", Find a grave 

Autobiographical notes; Glentworth Walsh Frazer Addison [Family history] 

I was born in Manchester on 22nd April 1831. My father was at that time adjutant of the 2nd Dragoon Guards ("The Bays") who were quartered in Hulme (Cavalry) Barracks and I was born there. My earliest recollections are not of Manchester but of Limerick, Ireland where I was taken at a very early age. My grandfather T. P. Vokes Chief Magistrate of County of Limerick and I lived with him for ten or twelve years. Some of my relatives were connected with the Royal Navy and by their influence I was nominated to "H.M.S. Queen", the biggest and best ship in the Service. My grandfather's clerk took me over post haste from Limerick to Portsmouth but much to my disappointment my age was found to be over the limit for appointment to the Navy (although I had passed the necessary entrance examination). I then returned to Limerick, but shortly afterwards went to my Father at Bruges in Belgium. From there I was sent to school at Brussels. It was an English school, Mr. Williams a Welshman being the master. I remained there for a few years, my brother George being with me and I then returned to Bruges. In the meantime my grandfather T. P. Vokes (who had retired from his position as P.M. Limerick) came to live in Brussels and my aunt, Annie Vokes, soon afterwards married Count Alfred Is. Bylandt formerly Governor of Brussels. My father had a friend who had some influence with the management of the Great Seraing Ironworks at Liege and I was employed there for a few months. About 4000 people were employed in the Works but there was only one other Englishman besides myself. I had no taste for engineering although I spent a very happy time at Liege. Howsoever, my Patron who got me the opportunity died, and I therefore decided to go to London where my father was living. For a time I was employed in the firm of Moffatt & Coy., Tea Merchants, London. Mr. Moffatt was M.P. for Dartmouth and the largest Tea Firm in England. However, the discovery of gold in Australia made me restless and I decided to join the many thousands flocking to the Antipodes. After getting a large outfit together I joined the ship "Carnatic" at Plymouth and sailed to Melbourne where I arrived just before Xmas 1852 after a ninety days voyage. I had joined a party of 4 or 5 others on board ship and we had determined to go together to the goldfields. There were 4 Scotchmen and one Swiss in the party. We had a large tent which we first pitched in Canvas Town in the heart of the city of Melbourne. There were thousands of tents round us - people from all parts of the world. All classes, but at Canvas Town all equal - At night revolvers going off on all sides to show prowlers that each man was armed, - a kind of warning to possible thieves. My old friends the Terrys (Mrs. Terry a daughter of my fathers friend Capt. Hunter) were in Melbourne at this time and I saw a great deal of them. Mr. Terry was a merchant. Our party soon started for the Fields, our destination being Castlemaine. We walked all the way and had a dray for the baggage. Thousands on the road - a regular procession. Started digging at Castlemaine on 1st January 1853 (New Year's Day) "fossicking" old ground. Did fairly well. After a few months however Mr. Terry wrote me from Melbourne asking me to join him in his office, I decided to do so and returned to Melbourne for that purpose. I remained for some months with Mr. Terry until his health failed and he returned to England. By his influence I received a position in the office of the Melbourne Herald then owned by Mr. Archibald Michie (afterwards Sir Archibald) and Mr. Morse. (Both partners being very kind to me.) I remained in the Herald office a few years but was persuaded to join my cousins the Emmotts in Sydney. Mr. Emmott had arrived from England some time before and was in the Customs Office Sydney. I was temporarily employed for a short time in the Customs and then received an appointment in the Department of Lands whence I was appointed sub Gold Commissioner at Tooloom near the borders of Queensland and N.S.W. I was afterwards appointed Asst. Gold Commr. at Ironbark and Bingara, then at Rocky River, Uralla and eventually Chief Gold Commr. Northern Goldfields (N.B. an exceptionally rapid promotion) Headquarters Armidale . . .

ADOLPHE, Monsieur & Madame (Monsieur ADOLPHE; Madame ADOLPHE)

Actors, dancers, ? vocalists, in Foreign Operatic Company (1842)

Active Sydney, NSW, by February 1842
Departed NSW, by end of June 1842 (for Batavia) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Foreign Operatic Company (1842, troupe)

See also (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (26 February 1842), 3 

Monsieur and Madame Gautrot HAVE the honour to announce . . . that having taken the Theatre for
Thursday, March 3, 1842 . . . they have made arrangements for their
BENEFIT, to take place on that evening . . . Monsieur Gautrot begs also to intimate that
Monsieur and Madame Adolphe will make their first appearance before a Sydney public on this occasion, in French popular characters . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph and Madame Gautrot (musician, vocalist and actor); Olympic Theatre (Sydney venue)

"OLYMPIC", The Australian (3 March 1842), 2 

Mons. and Madame Gautrot take their benefit at this establishment tonight. The bill of fare is certainly very attractive. There are two French operettas . . . Madame Gautrot . . . appears, assisted by Mons. and Madame Charriere, the Adolphes, &c. . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Mons. and Madame Charriere (actors, dancers)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (3 March 1842), 1 

Monsieur and Madame Gautrot HAVE the honour to announce to the gentry of Sydney and its neighbourhood, and the public generally, that having taken the Theatre for
THIS EVENING, March 3, 1842, and having procured the assistance of several professional ladies and gentlemen, they have made arrangements for their
BENEFIT to take place this Evening ; when they trust that the novelty and variety of the entertainments will ensure them a portion of that patronage which the public has so liberally bestowed upon them.
Monsieur Gautrot begs also to intimate that
Monsieur and Madam Adolphe will make their first appearance before a Sydney public on this occasion, in French popular characters;
also that Monsieur and Madame Charriere will make their first appearance on the Olympic Stage on that occasion.
The entertainments will commence with a laughable opera, in one act, in the French language, called
Cavatini (Italian Singer) - Mr. Jacobs
Benini (his confidential servant) - M. Adolphe
Barbeau (tailor) - M. Charriere
Celestine (his daughter) - Mad. Gautrot. . .
To conclude with a French Vaudeville in One Act, called
Which will be performed as at the Grand Theatre in Paris.
Remi (Capt. of the Gend'armes) - Un Amateur
Anatole (Dancing Master) - Mons. Charriere
Isidore - Mons. Adolphe
Madame Remi - Mad. Adolphe
Madame Durand (Porter) - Mad. Gautrot.
Baptistine - Mad. Charriere.
The scene is supposed to take place at M. Anatole's, Dancing Master . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Lewis Jacobs (actor, dancer, vocalist)

FIRST PIECE: Le bouffe et le tailleur (opéra comique, words by Armand Gouffé and Villiers; music by Pierre Gaveaux, 1804)

FINAL PIECE: Les gants jaunes (vaudeville en un acte, par M. Bayard, représenté pour la première fois, a Paris, sur le Théatre national du Vaudeville, le 6 mars 1835)

"THEATRICALS", The Sydney Herald (2 May 1842), 2 

A new theatrical company has been formed in Sydney under the title of the "Foreign Operatic Company;" the principal performers are, Mr. and Mrs. Charriere, Mr. and Mrs. Gautrot, Mr. and Mrs. Bushelle, and Mr. Adolphe, with the two Brazilian Girls from the Olympic. They intend to give performances in the saloon of the Royal Hotel.

ASSOCIATIONS: John and Eliza Bushelle (vocalists); Signorina Emilia and Signorina Anna (actors, dancers, vocalists); Royal Hotel (Sydney venue)

[Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (3 May 1842), 3 

Under the distinguished Patronage of his Excellency Lieutenant General SIR MAURICE O'CONNELL, K.C.B.
THE ARTISTS of the FOREIGN OPERATIC and DRAMATIC COMPANY respectfully announce that, having obtained a License, from the Honorable the Colonial Secretary, they have at considerable expense fitted up the Lower Saloon of the ROYAL HOTEL as a Theatre where they will produce a series of the best French and Italian Musical Compositions, and the choicest Dramatic Pieces of the Parisian Theatres.
By the valuable accession of MR. and MRS. BUSHELLE, as well as that of several distinguished Amateurs, a hope may be reasonably entertained that these performances will not be unworthy of the continued patronage of the Australian gentry and public.
Trusting that the refined amusement to be derived from them in the first instance will be duly appreciated, the Managers earnestly appeal to the parents and guardians of the youth of Sydney to give, by the prompt and sustained extension of their patronage, an irresistible impulse to the study of languages and music on a legitimate principle, recognised in the present day.
The utmost care will be taken to keep the Theatre strictly select by an uniform price of admission, and a rigid surveillance of the visitors.
His Excellency Lieutenant General Sir Maurice O'Connell, K.C.B., having signified his intention of being present, the first representation will take place on
WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 1842, and will consist of the truly laughable Vaudeville,
Remi, a retired captain of gens d'armerie - Mr. Bushelle
Anatole, a dancing master, a great coward, and always on the move - Mons. Charriere
Madame Durand, an old chattering and mischief making gossip - Mdme. Gautrot
Madame Remi, a much injured and falsely suspected woman - Mrs. Bushelle
Baptistine, a young milliner slightly infected by the green-eyed monster - Mdme.Charriere
Isidore, cousin of Madame Remi - Mons. Adolphe.
Pas de Zephyre Dance, par Mdmselle. Emilia.
This piece will be followed by the much admired Comic Opera,
Cavatini, an Italian Buffo - Mr. Bushelle
Barbeau, a music-mad tailor, wished to exchange coats for notes - Mons. Charriere
Celestine, an ingenuous milliner, possessed of considerable musical talent - Mrs. Bushelle
Benini, confidant of Cavatini, and very confident of his own powers of pleasing the fair sex - Mons. Adolphe . . .
The evening's amusements will terminate by the admired Vaudeville, interspersed with songs, duets, and choruses, called
Coquardon, a retired restaurateur and great lover of music - Mr. Bushelle
Irene, his daughter - Mdme. Charriere
Leriset, a pianoforte tuner, and misanthropist through having lost his wife and his umbrella - Mons. Charriere
Philibert du Bouage, director of concerts in the open air - Mons. Adolphe
Honore Maillard, nephew to Coquardon, and in love with Irene - Amateur . . .
By permission of Col. French, K.H., the excellent
BAND OF THE 28TH REGIMENT will be in attendance . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Maurice O'Connell (musical patron); Band of the 28th Regiment (military)

THIRD PIECE: Ma femme et mon parapluie (vaudeville en un acte, par M. Laurencin)

"THEATRE FRANÇAIS", Australasian Chronicle (5 May 1842), 2 

The first performance of this company was given last evening, and, making due allowance for unavoidable deficiencies, may be said to have gone off well. The chief faults were in the selection, and the extreme length of the performances, caused by the interpolation of songs unconnected with the pieces, and the great delay between the parts. The first piece, Remi, is contemptible at best, and not very delicate. For instance, Mlle. Baptistine, when discovered issuing from Anatole's chambre a coucher, answers quite naivement, "ce n'est pas la premiere fois." The Buffo Singer is a piece of far different character. It contains much wit and some good music. The part of Barbeau was admirably performed by M. Charriere, who also represented the itinerant accordeur des pianos in the subsequent piece with much humour. Madame Gautrot and M. Adolphe were very happy in some things, and Mrs. Bushelle's excellent singing atoned for her bad French. We shall be glad to notice any improvement in the next selection, as well as any additions that may be made to the corps dramatique and the scenery.

"THE FRENCH THEATRE", The Sydney Herald (6 May 1842), 2 

About two hundred persons assembled in the saloon at the Royal Hotel, on Wednesday evening, to witness the performance of the little company which has been formed of French and Italian performers. Charriere is inimitable here, and Madame Charriere will make an excellent actress; Madame Gautrot was not in voice; Mr. and Mrs. Bushelle did well, but theirs was not "French," - the singing, however was good; the two young gentlemen, Adolphe and the amateur, want practice.

"THEATRE FRANCAIS", Australasian Chronicle (24 May 1842), 3 

We were much gratified by the foreign company's performance last evening. The pieces were better selected and shorter than on the previous evening. There was an important addition to the scenery, and upon the whole the acting was better. Mons. Charriere displayed a great deal of humour in the character of Christophe; and his Barbeau was inimitable. Madame Charriere's performance is also tasteful; and there is a gentlemanlike reality about Mons. Adolphe which is better than mere acting . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (15 June 1842), 2 

and His Excellency SIR MAURICE O'CONNELL, K.C.B. Who have been pleased to signify their intention of honouring the performance with their Attendance.
The Last Performance of the Foreign Operatic Company,
Will take place THIS DAY, June 15th, 1842.
The Pieces selected will be the well known sentimental Drama, entitled,
PAUVRE JACQUES, interspersed with Songs, Duets, &c.
Mons. Jacques, an old Musician, richer in Musical than Bank-notes, Mons. Charriere;
Marcel, a young Poet, more favoured by the Muses than by Plutus, Mons. Adolphe;
Bernard, a rich proprietor, a would be Composer, and great lover of Music, and just honest enough not to get hanged, Mr. Bushelle;
Amelia, a young Italian Lady, Madame Charriere;
Antoine, her faithful servant, An Amateur.
Between the Pieces A CONCERT . . .
The Evening's Entertainments will conclude with the highly comic and laughable Piece, called the EXTEMPORISED FAMILY.
Characters - Hamelin, a Gentleman more remarkable for riches than wit. - Monsieur Adolphe . . .
BAND of the 80th Regiment will attend . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George and Elizabeth Gipps (governor and wife)

FIRST PIECE: Le pauvre Jacques (comédie-vaudeville en un acte par M.M. Coignard frères, représenté pour la première fois, a Paris, sur le Théatre Du Gymnase-Dramatique, le 15 septembre 1835); see also Le pauvre Jacques (translated from the French, by Richard Ryan)

SECOND PIECE: La famille improvisée (scènes épisodiques par M. Henry Monnier)

[Advertisement], Javasche courant [Batavia (Indonesia)] (5 October 1842), 

THÉATRE FRANÇAIS. Vendredi 7 Octobre 1842.
La compagnie Française sous la direction de M. MINARD . . .
LES MEUNIERS; OU, LES RENDEZ-VOUS NOCTURNES, Ballet-Pantomime en 2 actes, de M. Blache.
Au premier acte: ALLEMANDE COMIQUE, dansée par MM. Carrel, Adolphe et Mlle. Péroline.
Un PAS DE TROIS, demi-character, dansé par M. Adolphe, Mlle. Péroline et Mme. Adolphe.
Deuxième acte: Un Grand PAS DE DEUX, dansé par M. Murat et Mlle. Péroline.
GALOPS, par MM. Adolphe , Murat, Carrel, Mlle. Péroline et Mme. Adolphe . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: François and Madame Minard (actors, vocalists)

Bibliography and resources:

Alison Gyger, Civilising the colonies: pioneering opera in Australia (Sydney: Pellinor, 1999), 47 


Musician, Chinese musician

Active Ballarat, VIC, 1856 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Chinese music in colonial Australia (subject)


"THEATRES", The Star [Ballarat, VIC] (4 November 1856), 2

Our reporter being unable to obtain admission at the Montezuma last night, writes - Proceeding outwards to the Celestial entertainment we met with a more benign reception. The great attraction of the evening was the performance of six Chinese upon certain musical instruments. The number of persons present was about 2000, there being a great muster of Celestials. The principal performers were O-Wai and A-Fou, but what particular instruments they played we are at a loss to say. Out of the six musicians three performed on what bears some remote resemblance to an English violin; the bow used being somewhat similar to that used with a violincello. Two others performed on instruments played in the same fashion as a guitar, and the sixth had a small basket placed before him, fixed on three pieces of wood, which was evidently meant to represent a drum. This basket the performer beat with two very small drumsticks occasionally accompanying the action by singing. To say that these six Chinese "discoursed most eloquent music", would be to make a great mistake, as the sound produced reminded us of certainly nothing terrestrial which we ever heard before. The novelty of this entertainment drew a large company, together, but the music was far too peculiar to be generally appreciated.

ASSOCIATIONS: O-Wai (musician); Montezuma Theatre (Ballarat venue)

See also copied at "A CHINESE CONCERT ON BALLARAT", The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (5 November 1856), 5

See also copied at "A CHINESE CONCERT ON BALLARAT", The Perth Gazette [WA] (16 January 1857), 4

[Advertisement], The Star (30 November 1856), 3

3,500 MANDARIN LIGHTS; ALSO Revolving Ching-hais, Dragons, &c., &c.
THE CELEBRATED CHINESE MUSICIANS, O-Wai and A-Fou, Principal Musicians to the O-ho of Tibet, Lassa, will perform
SOLOS, DUETS, &c. During the evening on the KAI-PI! and HUC-MUC!!
The SCENIC EFFECTS under the direction of CHING-LONG, APPOO, WONG-FA, and Assistants.
Admission as usual, 1s. and 2s. 6d.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charlie Napier Theatre (Ballarat venue)

AGNES, Marion (Marion AGNES; Marian AGNESS; Miss AGNES; Miss AGNEES; Miss Agnes SMEATHMAN) = Agnes BOOTH

Theatrical dancer, actor (active Australia, 1856-58)

AGNEW, John (John AGNEW)

Musician, soldier, bandsman, Band of the 96th regiment, founder bandmaster, St. Joseph's Band (1845-49), Drum-major (96th Regiment, 1850-55), police constable (NSW)

Born Dundalk, Louth, Ireland, c. 1815
Enlisted (96th Regiment), Dublin, Ireland, 31 December 1827 (aged "12")
Arrived (1) Sydney, NSW, 22 September 1841 (per Asia, via Hobart Town)
Arrived Launceston, VDL (TAS) (1), 23 January 1843 (per Pachet, from Sydney)
Married Maria DRYAN (c. 1825-1882), Launceston, VDL (TAS), 2 January 1846
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 27 August 1846 (per Raven, from Launceston)
Arrived Launceston (2), 23 July 1848 (per Elizabeth and Henry, from Hobart Town)
Departed Launceston, (VDL) TAS, 6 February 1849 (per General Hewit, for India)
Discharged (96th Regiment), Dublin, Ireland, 8 May 1855
Arrived (2) Sydney, NSW, c. 1855
Died East Maitland, NSW, 12 October 1892, aged "77/78" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Band of the 96th regiment (military band); St. Joseph's Band (temperance band)

AGNEW, James Vincent (James Vincent AGNEW; James V. AGNEW)

Amateur musician, bandsman

Born Lahore, Bengal, India, 6 September 1853; baptised Lahore, 26 October 1853; son of John AGNEW and Maria DRYAN
Arrived Sydney, NSW, c. 1855
Married Ada NOTT, Maitland, NSW, 1877
Died West Maitland, NSW, 28 June 1919, aged "65" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


1846, marriages in the district of Launceston; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:837657; RGD37/1/5 no 425A$init=RGD37-1-5p242 

No. 64 /Jan'y 2nd 1846 York St chapel Launceston / John Agnew / 30 / Private 96th Reg't
Maria Dryan / 21 / Spinster / Married in the Baptist Chapel according to the rites and ceremonies of the Congregationalists by Henry Dowling Baptist Minister . . .

"LOCAL. Mark of Respect", Hobarton Guardian, or, True Friend of Tasmania (19 July 1848), 3 

On Tuesday evening last the young men who compose the band of the St. Joseph's Society held a ball, &c., at the Music Hall, Collins-street, in order to raise funds to present Mr. Agnew, of the 96th band, with some slight mark of respect, for the great trouble he has taken in instructing them in playing the various instruments. The Hall was well filled with highly respectable people, who appeared greatly amused and delighted at the very clever manner in which the young men performed some fine tunes. Dancing was kept up to about 12 o'clock, when the Company broke up. We are also happy to state that the Vicar-General, on Thursday last, at the weekly meeting of the St. Joseph's T. A. S., proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. Agnew, for his zeal in instructing the young men forming the instrumental band to become proficients. These marks of respect must be highly satisfactory to Mr. Agnew, to which we are satisfied he is justly entitled, for we have witnessed on various occasions the great pains Mr. Agnew has always taken with the band to instruct them on the various instruments.

Discharge, John Agnew, 27 September 1854; UK Netional Archives, WO97/1667/4 (PAYWALL)

. . . Dinapore, 27th Sept'r 1854
Discharge of No. 582 John Agnew Drum Major . . .
By Trade None was born in the Parish of Dundalk . . . in the County of Louth
and was attested for the 96th Regiment of Foot at Dublin on the 2nd January 1828 at the age of 12 years . . . [total] service up to 30th September 1854 . . . [20 years 274 days] . . . of which . . . abroad [19 years 10 months] viz.
In America - 6 years 3 months
In Australia - 7 years 11 months
In India - Five years 8 months
. . . DISCHARGE is proposed in consequence of being unfit for service . . .
his conduct has been very good . . .
Private / 31st Dec'r 1827 / Under Age
Private / 1 Jan'y 1829 / Under Age Private / 31 Dec'r 1833 / [Of age]
Corporal / 1 Jan'y 1850
Drum Major / 1 April 1850 . . .
Further service to the 8 May '55 when finally discharged

"96TH REGIMENT", The Courier [Hobart, TAS] (30 July 1855), 2 

The Head Quarters of this regiment were in Dublin in April. The gallant band is only about 300 strong.

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald [NSW] (27 November 1872), 1

On the 23rd instant, MARIA JUSTINA, wife of W. B. S. O'GRADY, Public school teacher, Monkittie, daughter of Drum-Major John Agnew, late of H.M. 96th Regiment.

"DEATHS", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser [NSW] (22 April 1882), 4 

AGNEW. - Died, on the 14th instant, at her residence, East Maitland, Maria, the dearly beloved wife of John Agnew, late Drum Major of Her Majesty's 96th regiment, aged 53 and 7 months, leaving a husband and large family to mourn their loss. Launceston papers please copy.

"DEATHS", The Maitland Mercury (15 October 1892), 1

AGNEW. - On the 12th October, at his residence, Melbourne-street, East Maitland, after a long and painful illness, John Agnew, aged 78 years, late of H.M. 96th Regiment; also many years of the N. S. W. Police force. Launceston papers please copy.

"THE LATE JOHN AGNEW", The Maitland Mercury (15 October 1892), 4

Our obituary in last issue contained the name of John Agnew. Mr. Agnew had for many years been lockup keeper in East Maitland, but at the time of his death was living on the pension well-earned by attention to duty. He was one of the worthiest of the older police force that we have known; always courteous, punctilious in the discharge of duty, and precise and regular in his ways, as became a man whose army training had left an impress on his manners and formed his habits. A good old man has gone to his rest. The following particulars of Mr. Agnew's career will not be without interest. He enlisted in the 96th Regiment and served nearly thirty years, including eight years of service as a boy. He served in England, Ireland and Scotland, in Halifax, Jamaica, East India and Norfolk Island. He was in New South Wales with a detachment of his regiment early in the forties - when the military were required to control the convicts. He went thence to Launceston, where in 1845 he formed the oldest brass band in Australia - St. Joseph's Brass Band, which is still in existence. From Launceston he went to East India, where he remained until he left the army on a pension and with a long service and good conduct medal. In 1855 he returned to New South Wales, where he joined the police force in 1857. He was stationed four years in Largs and 21 years in East Maitland, till he was pensioned in 1882.

"MR. JOHN AGNEW", The Tasmanian [Launceston, TAS] (29 October 1892), 26 

A good old man has gone to his rest in the person of Mr. John Agnew, who will be well recollected in this city on account of his connection with St. Joseph's Band. He died in Maitland recently, in which city he had resided for 21 years. The following particulars of Mr. Agnew's career will not be without interest. He enlisted in the 96th Regiment, and served nearly 30 years, including eight years' service as a boy. He was in New South Wales with a detachment of his force early in the forties, when the military were required to control the convicts. He then came to Launceston, where in 1845 he formed the oldest brass band in Australia - St. Joseph's Brass Band. From Launceston he went to East India, where he remained till he left the army on a pension and with a long service and good conduct medal. In 1855 he returned to New South Wales, where he joined the police force in 1857. He was stationed four years in Largs and 21 years in East Maitland, till he was pensioned in 1882. By his upright conduct, strict attention to duty, and courteous manners, the late Mr. Agnew gained the respect and esteem of all with whom he came into contact.

"ST. JOSEPH'S BAND. FIFTY YEARS' HISTORY", Launceston Examiner (6 July 1895), 3

. . . St. Joseph's Band was formed in July, 1845, in connection with St. Joseph's Total Abstinence Society, and may therefore be said to be the oldest association of its character in the colonies . . . The first bandmaster was the late Mr. John Agnew, of the 96th Regiment, and the original members were Messrs. Charles Galvin, John McKenzie, William Mainsbridge, Andrew Skate, Arthur McIver, Francis McIver, Morgan O'Meara, William O'Meara, David O'Keefe, Thomas Keogh, Thomas Leary, John Murphy, and Bernard Lynch . . . When Mr. Agnew left with his regiment for India he was succeeded by Mr. Michael Dillan, solo clarionet player of the 11th Regiment band, and after him Mr. Drum-Major Allen, who had retired from the 96th Regiment and remained at Launceston . . . He was succeeded by the late Mr. Charles Galvin, one of the founders of the institution . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Galvin (member); William Henry Mainsbridge (member); Michael Dillon (band master); James Allen (band master)

"Death of Mr. J. Agnew", The Maitland Mercury (28 June 1919), 4

The death occurred at his residence in Melbourne-street, West Maitland, this morning of Mr. James V. Agnew, a well-known resident of the town, he having spent the greater part of his life in East and West Maitland. He had not been enjoying good health for some time, the result of a stroke he had in Sydney last year, and contracting double pneumonia, following on influenza, he succumbed after an illness of a week. Born in Lahore, India, the late Mr. Agnew arrived in Australia with his parents when only a few years of age. He followed the occupation of a carpenter and joiner, and for a number of years was employed by James Wolstenholme, Limited. He was one of the founders of the Maitland Federal Band, in which he always took a great interest, and was well-known in musical circles generally. His wife died four and a half years ago, a family of four sons and three daughters surviving - Messrs. V. Agnew (Bondi), H. Agnew (Tamworth), L. and N. Agnew (W. Maitland), Mrs. J. Doherty (Waverley), Mrs. J. G. Stronach (Chatswood), and Mrs. H. Moore (W. Maitland). The funeral will leave his late residence at 3.30 to-morrow (Sunday) afternoon for the Church of England cemetery at Campbell's Hill.

"The World's Oldest Band Celebrates Its Centenary", Examiner (25 August 1945), 11

. . . The first bandmaster was the late Mr. John Agnew, of the 96th Regiment, and the original members were: Messrs. Charles Galvin, John McKenzie, William Mainsbridge, William Robins, Andrew Skafe, Arthur McIver, Francis McIver, Morgan O'Meara, William O'Meara, David O'Keefe, Thomas Keogh, Thomas Leary, John Leary, John Murphy, and Bernard Lynch. The first president was the late Rev. Dean Thomas Butler. Subsequently Mr. Joseph Galvin, John Galvin, Thomas J. Doolan, John L. Doolan, James Doolan, and Michael Doolan became members of the band. When Mr. John Agnew left with his regiment for India he was succeeded by Mr. Michael Dillon, solo clarionet player of the 11th Regiment Band, and after him Drum-Major C. W. Allen [sic] who had retired from the 96th Regiment, and remained in Launceston . . .

Bibliography and resources:

The cyclopedia of Tasmania: an historical and commercial review, volume 2 (Hobart: Maitland and Krone, 1900), 65 

. . . It was formed in 1845 in connection with St. Joseph's Total Abstinence Society, the first bandmaster being John Agnew, of the 96th Regiment, and its original members Messrs. Charles Galvin, John McKenzie, W. Mainsbridge, Andrew Skafe, Arthur McIver, Francis McIver, Morgan O'Meara, William O'Meara, David O'Keefe, Thomas Keogh, Thomas Leary, John Leary, John Murphy, and Bernard Lynch. The late Dean Butler was first president of this band . . . Michael Dillon succeeded John Agnew and bandmaster, and he again was followed by Drum-Major Allen . . .


Vocalist, Chinese vocalist, government interpreter

Active Ballarat, VIC, by late 1850s
Departed c. 1880s (for China) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Chinese music in colonial Australia (subject)


"VISIT OF HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR. TO BALLARAT", The Star [Ballarat, VIC] (2 September 1863), 2 

. . . The Chinese were loud in their manifestations of loyalty. About one o'clock a large crowd of persons and carriages were observed coming up the Main road. In the front of the cortege was a gaily decorated coach drawn by four horses, in which was a party of Chinese musicians. Then followed six coaches, each drawn by two horses, in which were the leading members of the Chinese community, conspicuous among whom was Mr. Ah Koon, the Chinese interpreter, who, mounted on a grey charger and arrayed in "bell-topper" and black suit, led the cortege. This procession turned by way of Barkly street to Golden Point, with gongs beating and other musical instruments sounding, until its arrival in China Town, where head ruler, and doctors, and interpreters got into some of the carriages. The procession having been reformed, made its way for the railway station, headed by Ah Koon and six horsemen; the noisy band aforesaid appearing to tickle the fancy of the youngsters of the town more especially . . .

[Advertisement], The Star (3 October 1863), 3

QUADRILLE BAND, Under the Leadership of Mr. Schraeder.
MISS PILKINGTON, MRS. JAS. BUNCE, MISS LIDDLE, MR. AMERY, And other Ladies and Gentlemen will assist.
MR. AH COON, Chinese Interpreter, has kindly consented to Sing a Comic Song in the Chinese Language, accompanied by full CHINESE BAND.

ASSOCIATIONS: Samuel Schrader (band leader); Anna Pilkington (vocalist); Charlotte Bunce (vocalist, pianist); Maggie Liddle (vocalist); Edwin Amery (vocalist)

"NEWS AND NOTES", The Star (5 October 1863), 2

The final promenade concert at the Mechanics' Institute, preliminary to the Auction Bazaar to commence on Monday, was attended by a large number of people who seemed resolutely bent on extracting amusement even from the most unpromising sources. The various amateurs who had given their services, sang and played with desperate earnestness, unaffected grace, solemn determination, or unbounded confidence, as the case might be; the Chinese vocalists and instrumentalists made the night hideous with their well-intentioned efforts to charm the barbarian ear; Schrader's band exerted itself in the most praiseworthy fashion, and the heterogeneous assemblage of objects which, on Monday, are to realise fabulous prices under the magic hammer of numerous auctioneers - all these presented their attractions to the ladies and gentlemen assembled in the elegantly decorated and splendidly lighted hall of the Mechanics' Institute on Saturday evening, but nothing seemed to impart so much gratification to those present as the mere excuse the affair afforded for a lounge, a friendly chat, a promenade, a recognition, and perchance a tender encounter.

At about nine o'clock Mr. Lang, the assiduous president of the institute, brought up to the orchestra a band of some tea or a dozen Chinese, whose services he had enlisted in the good cause. It had been announced that Mr. Ah Coon, the Government interpreter, would favor the company with songs in the Malay, Amoy, and Chin Choo dialects, but Mr. Ah Coon, it appears, did not feel himself in sufficiently robust health to trust his reputation as a vocalist to the hazard of an attempt that evening, confining himself to heralding to the audience the performances of his compatriots. With Chinese music and musical instruments our readers are somewhat familiar, but we dare say they will not be sorry to have the comments of an explanatory paper handed to us on Saturday evening by the president. From this we learn that Ge Sin played on the Kong-wai. The drums covered with buffalo skins were played by Ah Kow, and the gong by Le Tak. The Chinese guitar, or moot-kem, a flat circular instrument with four strings, played on by means of a small piece of bone, was manipulated by Lee-Sem. Wee-Pin played with bone the Sam-yen, a guitar like instrument of three strings, the sounding board being covered with snake-skin. The pan-ewoo, a flat disc of wood for the purpose of keeping time, was beaten by sticks. The shap-ar, a small oblong piece of hardwood six inches by three, was also used for marking time. Wee-Pin played the cymbals or cha, well known to dwellers in Ballarat East. Lee Tak also played the gong or laur, "very effective", as Mr. Lang says, "in producing loud music". Lee Yeng and Lee Chok played the tee-uh or tuk-tie, which produced sounds similar to the Scotch bagpipes, or Scotch organ, as Ah Coon calls the instrument. As we have before stated, Mr. Ah Coon did not sing, but Lee Tak and Kong Wai did. The first sang in his natural voice, and the second in falsetto; but, owing to the ponderousness of the accompaniment, neither could be heard. At the conclusion of the songs, the party retired amidst the applause which courtesy, if not appreciation demanded.

ASSOCIATIONS: Ah kow (musician); Lee (musicians)

See also copied at [News], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (6 October 1863), 4 

And "CHINESE SINGING AND PLAYING", Bendigo Advertiser (7 October 1863), 3

"BALLARAT", The Argus (5 June 1866), 5

Hugh Ah Coon, late the Government Chinese interpreter here, was committed to take his trial this morning for assaulting his adopted daughter, Rachel Ah Coon, but was admitted to bail, himself in £200, and two sureties of £100 each.

See also "A VISIT FROM THE DEAD [from the Bendigo Advertiser]", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser [NSW] (22 July 1871), 2


Chinese musician

Active Ballarat, VIC, 1863 (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: AH COON (above); Chinese music in colonial Australia (subject)


[Advertisement], The Star [Ballarat, VIC] (3 October 1863), 3

MR. AH COON, Chinese Interpreter, has kindly consented to Sing a Comic Song in the Chinese Language, accompanied by full CHINESE BAND.

"NEWS AND NOTES", The Star (5 October 1863), 2

. . . The drums covered with buffalo skins were played by Ah Kow, and the gong by Le Tak . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Lee Tak (musician)

AKHURST, William Mower (William Mower AKHURST; W. M. AKHUST)

Musical amateur, dramatist, lyricist, song writer, composer, music reviewer, journalist

Born London, England, 29 December 1822; baptised St. George, Hanover Square, 24 January 1823; son of William AKHURST (1793-1866) and Harriet DICKINSON (c. 1788-1869)
Married Ellen TULLY (c. 1824-1915), St. George's, Hanover Square, 26 October 1845
Arrived Adelaide, SA, 20 June 1849 (per Posthumous, from London and Plymouth, 13 March)
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, July 1854 (per Havilah, from Adelaide, 7 July)
Departed Melbourne, VIC, 16 February 1870 (per Kent, for London)
Died on return voyage to Australia, 6/7 June 1878 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (Wikipedia) (shareable link to this entry)

AKHURST, Walter Frederick (Walter Frederick AKHURST; Walter AKHURST; W. AKHURST)

Printer, lithographer, music publisher

Born North Adelaide, SA, 2 January 1854; son of William Mower AKHURST and Ellen TULLY
Active as C. Troedel and Co., Sydney, NSW, by 1877
Active as W. Akhurst and Co., Sydney, NSW, c. 1881-1900
Died Sydney, NSW, 6 April 1904, aged "50" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

See also (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

William Mower Akhurst; detail of sketch by Charles Turner for cover of Beautiful swells (1868)

William Mower Akhurst; detail of sketch by Charles Turner for cover of Beautiful swells (1868)

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Turner (artist, lithographer, active c. 1860-90)


Akhurst was born in London on 29 December 1822, and first went into business with his father as a linen draper and merchant. He married the actress Ellen Tully, daughter and sister of theatrical musicians, at St. George's, Bloomsbury, on 26 October 1845. The couple and their two children sailed for South Australia in March 1849.

Before leaving England Akhurst had written two pieces that were performed in London at James Ellis's Cremorne Gardens, "A barber's blunders" and "The Bosjesmen", and a vaudeville of the latter title (evidently inspired by appearances in London of troupes of native south African "bushmen") was advertised there in September 1847.

His first three Australian pieces were musical entertainments written in Adelaide for touring composer Sidney Nelson and his family. These were Quite colonial (first performed Adelaide, 29 June 1853), Romance and reality (first performed Adelaide, 28 July 1853), and The rights of woman (first performed Melbourne, 24 July 1854), performed with Nelson, the composer, at the piano, his son Alfred and daughters Marie ("Miss Nelson") and Carry ("Miss C. Nelson") as actor-vocalists.

Akhust came to Melbourne for the July 1854 premiere and decided to stay, his wife and children following him to Victoria in October.

He was evidently highly adept musically, though only put his name to one published composition, The acacia waltz, in The Illustrated Melbourne Post in March 1864. For the rest, his published play scripts are full of new songs skilfully and often wittily fitted to well-known tunes.

Akhurst's fourth surviving son, Walter, was born in Adelaide in 1854. He worked for several years for Charles Troedel in his lithographic and printing business in Sydney. In May 1881, when Troedel moved to Melbourne, Walter established his own Sydney firm, Walter Akhurst and Co. (also "W. Akhurst and Co."). Over the next 20 years the company published much sheet music in Sydney under its own name, as well as printing for other houses.

Akhurst's brother, Julian James Akhurst (c. 1824-1885) was also in South Australia, working for George Coppin in non-theatrical business pursuits at his Royal Exchange in 1850; he died at Gilgunnia, NSW, in 1885.


Baptisms solemnized in the Parish of St. George, Hanover Square, in the Month of January, 1823; register 1816-33, page 2o9; City of Westminster Archives (PAYWALL)

[1823 January] 24 / [No.] 64 / William Mower / [son of] William & Harriet / Akhurst / Brook Street / [born] 29 Dec'r 1822 / Draper . . .

1845, marriage solemnized at the parish church in the parish of St. George Bloomsbury, in the county of Middlesex; register, 1844-51, page 221; London Metropolitan Archives, P82/GEO1/030 (PAYWALL)

No. 442 / October [26] / William Mower Akhurst / of full age / Bachelor / Merchant / 33 Upper King Street / [father] William Akhurst / Linen draper
Ellen Tully / of full age / Spinster / Actress / 33 Upper King Street / [father] Thomas Tully / Musician

[Advertisement], London Daily News (13 September 1847), 1

CREMORNE. THIS DAY. - Ascent of the Veteran Green in the Great Nassau Balloon; Parachute with the two celebrated Monkeys, Jocko and Garnerin . . . the Genii of Perpendicular motion; the Vaudeville of Bosjesmen . . .

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", South Australian (22 June 1849), 2

ARRIVED . . . June 20. The barque Posthumous, 890 tons, B. Davison, from London and Plymouth. Passengers: . . . Wm. Akhurst wife and infant.

"AMATEUR THEATRICALS", Adelaide Times (18 March 1850), 3 

The members of the Amateur Dramatic Society made their first appearance at the New Queen's Theatre, on Wednesday evening last, in Moreton's celebrated comedy of "Speed the Plough," and, as an afterpiece, the farce of the "Village Lawyer" . . . Mr. Dybald's Sir Able Handy was true to nature, and finely sustained . . . Messrs. Pardoe and Akhurst had too little to do in Morrington and Gerald to prove their theatrical talents . . . Miss Lazar, Mrs. Lambert, Mrs. Evans, and Mrs. Webster, seemed to have received new life from the company, for they acted in unison with the best of the other performers . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Mr. Dyball (actor); Rachel Lazar (actor); Harriet Lambert (actor); New Queen's Theatre (Adelaide venue)

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (25 September 1850), 1 

Adelaide Garrick Club.
THE public are respectfully informed, that THIS EVENING (Wednesday) the members of the above Club will perform Moreton's Comedy, in five acts, of THE SCHOOL OF REFORM.
After the Comedy, GRAND DUO FROM "NORMA," Upon two Cornets-a-piston, Messrs. McCullagh and Harward (as played by them with the greatest applause at Mr. Moore's concert).
Song - "The Bonny English Rose." - Mr. Wing.
The performances will conclude with the Farce, by Mr. E. Shirley, of THE LITTLE BACK PARLOUR.
THE AMATEUR REED AND BRASS BAND Have kindly volunteered their assistance, and in the course of the evening will perform a variety of their favourite Polkas, Marches, &c.
The performances will on this occasion be in aid of THE LITCHFIELD FUND . . .
W. M. AKHURST, Hon. Sec.

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert McCullagh (cornet); William Harward (cornet); Andrew Moore (violin)

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (29 June 1853), 2 

THIS EVENING (Wednesday), June 29, when will be presented, for the first time, an entirely, new and original Musical Farce, written expressly for these Entertainments, entitled "QUITE COLONIAL".
An entirely New and Original Musical Farce, written expressly for these Entertainments, by a gentleman of Adelaide, entitled
(The Music composed by Mr. S. Nelson.)
Mr. Chumley (faster than a married man ought to be, but with a tendency to reformation) - Mr. A. Nelson
Mrs. Chumley (a too confiding wife, worried to death by "those" servants) - Miss Nelson
Fanny Fossick (a cozening young lady, an old colonist) - Miss C. Nelson.
Duet, "What's the Matter, What's the Matter" - Miss Nelson and Mr. A. Nelson
Song, "Dear Australy" - Miss Nelson
Song, "I want a Husband Sadly" - Miss C. Nelson
Finale, "Kind Friends, your voices I entreat" - Miss Nelson, Miss C. Nelson, and Mr. A. Nelson . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Sidney Nelson (pianist, composer); Alfred Nelson (actor, vocalist); Marie Nelson (actor, vocalist); Carry Nelson (actor, vocalist); Exchange Rooms (Adelaide venue)

"THE NELSON FAMILY", Adelaide Times (30 June 1853), 2 

We had the pleasure of attending the sixth entertainment of the Nelson Family at the Exchange yesterday evening, and were, in common with the entire audience, very highly gratified . . . The second part consisted of an entirely new and original musical farce, written expressly for these entertainments, and called "Quite Colonial," the music by Mr. S. Nelson. It is very amusing, and full of good hits. Mr. and Mrs. Chumley, recently arrived from England, are troubled much about servants, and at length a paragon is introduced to them, arrayed in the highest style of over dress, and glorying in most extravagant notions of an "attendant's" importance and immunities. The younger Miss Nelson personated the girl with much spirit. In deed the piece was well acted throughout, and went off so successfully, that the audience, who had been during half the performance convulsed with laughter, called loudly at its conclusion for the author, that he was compelled to appear upon the stage and receive their congratulations. We should suppose the farce will be repeated. It is certainly by far the best the Nelson Family have given us.

"THE NELSON FAMILY", Examiner (1 July 1853), 8 

On Wednesday evening the Exchange was crammed with all the elite of this city, every seat and available standing place being occupied some considerable time before the concert commenced . . . The second part of the entertainment consisted of an entirely new vaudeville, written by a gentleman for some years connected with the Press, and whose writings have frequently appeared, entitled "Quite Colonial." The piece displayed the talent of the author and the happy manner in which Miss C. Nelson played the part of a colonial servant, and Miss Nelson as the young wife lately arrived in the colony, who was pestered out of her life by the consequential manners and habits of colonial servants, were most rapturously received by the audience. The farce, which contains some very good songs, and the music, which was composed by Mr. S. Nelson, does not only the greatest credit to the author, but also to the Nelson Family, who so admirably delineated the various characters. At the conclusion the audience insisted upon the author making his bow before the curtain, and Mr. A. Nelson brought forward our talented and much respected fellow-colonist, W. M. Akhurst, Esq.

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (7 July 1853), 2 

PROGRAMME . . . PART II. For the Second time, the New Musical Farce, written by Mr. W. M. Akhurst, entitled
"QUITE COLONIAL!!!" (The Music composed by Mr. S. Nelson.)
Mr. Chumley (faster than a married man ought to be, but with a tendency to reformation) - Mr. A. Nelson
Mrs. Chumley (a too confiding wife, worried to death by "those" servants) - Miss Nelson
Fanny Fossick (a cozening young lady, an old colonist) - Miss C. Nelson.
Duet "What's the Matter, What's the Matter" - Miss Nelson and Mr. A. Nelson
Song, "Dear Australy" - Miss Nelson
Song, "I want a Husband Sadly" - Miss C. Nelson
Finale, "Kind Friends, your voices I entreat" - Miss Nelson, Miss C. Nelson, and Mr. A. Nelson
Mr. S. Nelson will preside at the Pianoforte . . .

NOTE: In later advertisements, Carry Nelson's song was entitled "Colonial Contrariety"; see also 27 October 1855 below

"THE NELSON FAMILY", South Australian Register (8 July 1853), 3 

. . . Of the musical farce "Quite Colonial," we have already spoken, and need only add that the music, by Mr. Nelson, is pleasing and appropriate. "Dear Australy" is really a remarkably pretty piece, and Miss Nelson sings it with taste and feeling. The performance, as before, was received with repeated rounds of applause; and we may congratulate the author upon his piece having triumphantly survived the very trying ordeal of a second representation.

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (28 July 1853), 2 

For the first time, a new Petite Comedy, written by Mr. W. M. Akhurst, entitled
The Music incidental to the Piece composed, arranged, and selected by Mr. S. Nelson.
Mr. John Dobson (a young gentleman with "expectations," very matter of fact and fond) - Mr. A. Nelson
Mrs. Arabella Vavasour (a youthful Widow and lover of the Ideal) - Miss Nelson
Mary Smithers (her Maid, with her Mistress's interest at heart, and a Dictionary in her pocket) - Miss C. Nelson.
Ballad, "Charming Romance" - Miss Nelson
Song, "I've a plan" - Mr. A. Nelson
Duet, "To old regards appealing" - Miss Nelson and Mr. A. Nelson
Medley, "The trip overland" - Miss C. Nelson
Finale. "Let's put the question to our Friends" - Miss Nelson, Miss C. Nelson, and Mr. A. Nelson.
Mr. S. Nelson will preside at the Pianoforte . . .

"THE NELSON FAMILY'S ENTERTAINMENT", South Australian Register (29 July 1853), 3 

. . . Mr. W. M. Akhurst's new petite comedy, "Romance and Reality," must be seen to be appreciated. It would be scarcely fair to unfold the plot, and it is not at all necessary, as there can be no doubt that its very favourable first reception will ensure a full attendance at each repetition. We recommend all "lovers of the ideal" to attend and learn a lesson of the superiority of the actual - the advantages of "Reality" as compared with Romance.

"ADELAIDE (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT), 29th July 1853", The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (4 August 1853), 4 

Mr. Akhurst, encouraged by the success of his farce "Quite Colonial," has written a comedy bearing the title of "Romance and Reality," which went off well at the Exchange on Thursday last. It is also purely colonial, and though the plot is somewhat clumsily managed at the last by the unnecessary disguising of a lady as a gold-digger, it was compensated by the lively acting of the younger Miss Nelson, who personated the soubrette to perfection, and disguised herself as a returned gold digger, in which character at sang a song called "The Overlander's Trip," to the tune of "Trab, Trab," with considerable effect. It is odd that to much of all comedy should be trusted valets and waiting-maids, and that the heroes and heroines should generally be made very simple and blunt witted, in order to show off the superior cleverness and adroitness of the inferior characters. Mr. Akhurst labors under the disadvantage of having his dramatis personae limited to one gentleman and two ladies, so he has to write for his performers rather than have them act for him; but he displays considerable wit, the local allusions and local wit tell admirably.

"THE NELSON FAMILY", The Argus (10 September 1854), 7 

The first Musical Entertainment by this family was given last evening at the Mechanics' Institute, and was well attended. The first part of the programme was received with applause, the Misses Nelson, although a little nervous, executing their parts with great taste and ability. The second part consisted of a musical farce entitled "Quite Colonial," and we can scarcely speak in terms too flattering of this very excellent production by Mr. W. M. Akhurst. It is full of wit and clever hits, - in fact it is one of the best pieces that has been placed before a Melbourne audience for some time past. The character of Mr. Chumley was very well sustained by Mr. A. Nelson, as was also that of Mrs. Chumley, "Worried to death by those servants," by Miss Nelson; but "Fanny Fossick, a cozening young lady, and an old colonist," was most admirably played by Miss C. Nelson, who drew forth repeated bursts of applause and laughter from the audience. From the reception they met with last evening there can be no doubt but that the room will be again filled to overflowing during the few evenings they intend remaining in this city.

ASSOCIATIONS: Mechanics' Institution (Melbourne venue)

"SOUTH AUSTRALIA", Empire [Sydney, NSW] (11 October 1853), 3 

The Argus correspondent states that "A newspaper is about to be started under the name of the Adelaide Free Press. It is to be published weekly under the control of a committee of shareholders, and will be supported by the licensed victuallers. The editor, it is understood, will be Mr. W. M. Akhurst."

ASSOCIATIONS: South Australian Free Press (newspaper, 1853-54)

"DEAR AUSTRALY", Launceston Examiner (15 October 1853), 4 

As sung by Miss NELSON, in Mr. W. M. Akhurst's musical farce" QUITE COLONIAL."

Dear Australy! although thy face
Is bright with beauty' every hue;
The heart is saddened but anew,
And would thy glowing charms efface.
Like Peri winging through the spheres,
And joying in eternal day;
Yet, banished still, the wanderer's tears
Shall flow for all that life endears,
So many thousand miles away.

Oh! blame me not that still I yearn
For scenes my infancy has known -
For friends whose love was all my own;
That to my native hearth I turn.
The gorgeous sheen of thy blue sky
Thy honest hearts none can gainsay.
No scene, fair land, can with thee vie,
Except that home for which I sigh,
So many thousand miles away.

"BIRTHS", South Australian Register (4 January 1854), 2 

On the 2nd instant, at North Adelaide, Mrs. W. M. Akhurst, of a son.

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVED", The Argus (12 July 1854), 4 

July 11. - Havilah, 257 tons, James Lowrie, from Adelaide 7th July, and Portland 10th July. Passengers in the cabin . . . Messrs. Wark, Magary, Ackhurst . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (24 July 1854), 8 

FIRST Night of a New Piece entitled the "Rights of Woman," Mechanics' Institution.
The Nelson Family's Musical Entertainment, this evening, Monday, July 24th, 1854.
Programme . . . Part II.
To conclude with (1st time) an entirely original burletta, by the author of "Quite Colonial," "Romance and Reality," etc. entitled
The music composed and arranged by Mr. S. Nelson.
Human beings.
Julian Vincent - A briefless barrister, out of town for the sake of quiet, and to escape from the sherriff's delicate attention. In the course of the piece his circumstances alter, and he gets up a declaration - Mr. A. Nelson.
Miss Blanche Evans - A strong minded young lady, a pupil of the New Age, and a firm supporter of the "Rights of Woman" - Miss Nelson.
Cora Porks - Waitress at the Hippopotamus Hotel, a lover of oblong chins, and of one Habakkuk, who is invisible - Miss C. Nelson.
A Voice - Supposed to be that of Tap, a sheriff's officer, and which is at first considered foreign to the subject, but eventually contributes to a happy denouement - Miss C. Nelson.
Scene - A chamber on the first floor at the Hippopotamus Hotel, with a perspective view of a shoring beam and of the other side of the way.
Incidental Music.
Recitative and Air - What life as a poor Little Maid - Miss C. Nelson
Song - Woman's Rights - Miss Nelson
Duet - Stay and let me hear my fate - Miss Nelson and Mr. A. Nelson
Duet Medley - There's the Clock and the Cream Jug - Miss C. and Mr. Nelson
Finale - Away with idle fantasies
Mr. S Nelson will preside at the Piano forte . . .

"PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS", The Argus (20 September 1854), 5 

The Nelson family are about to make the tour of the diggings . . . At the Queen's Theatre . . . A new musical farce, by Messrs. W. M. Akhurst and F. M. Soutten will be produced on Monday next. It is entitled the "Battle of Melbourne; or a Column Wanted;" and as will be supposed, has reference to the late alarm of the city on the occasion of the return of the Great Britain from quarantine . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Frank Morris Soutten (writer); on its recent arrival in Melbourne, The Great Britain steamship from England had been placed in quarantine, several cases of smallpox having been identified on board; Queen's Theatre (Melbourne venue)

[Advertisement], The Argus (2 October 1854), 8 

QUEEN'S THEATRE. Monday, Evening, October 2nd, 1834.
Re-engagement of the Celebrated Comedian, Mr. G. H. Rogers . . .
Overture "Massaniello," Orchestra, Leader, Mr. Thom.
Pas de Trois, Chambers family.
To conclude with (for the first time in any theatre) the New and Local Farce,
written expressly for this Company by Messrs. Soutten and Akhurst, entitled
The Battle of Melbourne; Or, A Column Wanted.
New scenery by Mr. Wm. Pitt, from the Lyceum Theatre.
Return of the Great Britain from Quarantine, and the Battle of Melbourne.
Characters in the induction [sic]
Paragraph, a Reporter on the Staff of the Newspaper - Mr. Hooper.
Mediocrity, a Genius - Mrs. C. Young.
Larks, a Printer's Devil - Master J. Chambers.
Characters in the Farce:
Mr. Grievous Crone, a distinguished Member of the Maine Liquor Law League, subject however to the frailties of humanity - Mr. G. H. Rogers.
Mr. Smith Jones, ex Little Britain, and liable to the charge of being illegally at large - Mr. C. Young.
Scizzors, a Draper's Assistant, warranted fast - Mr. J. P. Hydes.
Miss Gondoletta Grone, a young lady desirous of changing her condition - Mrs. Avins.
Skirts, a colonial Maid of all Work - Mrs. J. P. Hydes . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Herbert Rogers (actor); Bream Thom (leader, violin); Chambers family (dancers); William Pitt (scenic artist); Charles and Jane Young (actors); John Proctor and Augusta Hydes (actors); Julia Avins (actor)

"THE BATTLE OF MELBOURNE", The Argus (3 October 1854), 5 

The theatre was crowded to the point or suffocation last night by the expectants of entertainment from the first representation of this new piece. The names of Messrs. Soutten and Akhurst are guarantees for a clever and telling farce. The event on which the piece is founded is fresh in the recollection or the inhabitants of Melbourne, and involved the farcical element to such an extent as to warrant the hope that a successful dramatic representation should form its appropriate sequel. Repeated peals of laughter attested the sympathy of the audience in the comic representation of the fright the advent of the Great Britain caused. The hits at the colonial authorities and the Corporation of Melbourne, with which the piece was studded, told wonderfully. The actors did their duty. Mr. Rogers's "getting up" for his part, and the performance of it, prove his possession, in an eminent degree, of the powers required for that style of acting. We anticipate a long course of prosperity for the piece.

[Advertisement], The Age (9 January 1855), 1 

Complete success of the new local burlesque Rolla of Ours. The last week of the Pantomine [sic] . . .
To be followed by the first Local Comic Burlesque ever produced in the Colony, written by Wm. Akhurst, Esq., expressly for this establishment, entitled
ROLLA OF OURS, Or, The Shameful Goings On of the Spaniards in Peru.
Being a colonial version of Sheridan's "Pizarro," revised, and previous errors corrected and explained in a lucid manner by Messrs. Young, Hydes and Company.
The Music composed and arranged by Mr. B. Thom.
Pizarro (a shocking bad character, even for the seventeenth century; he explains the position he is in at the commencement of the piece, and looks for the indulgence of his audience in the atrocities he is bound to commit) - Mr. C. Young.
Valverde (his Secretary, and by whom he is eventually cut out) - Miss Fanny Young.
Durilla Almagro Gonzalo (who aid and abet him) - Messrs. &c., &c.
A Sentinel (it is sufficient to say that this gentleman is apparent and belongs to the 40th Light Muffs) - Mr. Burford.
Elvira (a strong-minded woman, occupying an exceedingly equivocal position with regard to Pizarro) - Mrs. C. Young.
Soldiers, &c., &c.
Atalika (Peru's Inca, incurring also the vengeance of the Spaniards) - Mr. Webster.
Alonzo (a deserter to the enemy upon conviction, a juvenile husband, facetious and fond. N.B. - An excellent nurse) - Mr. J. P. Hydes.
Rolla (a hero and a patriot, a firm admirer of another gentleman's better half, a state of things not the thing now-a-days, but allowable enough in the seventeenth century) - Mr. G. H. Rogers.
Rovembo, an old Cacique, impolitic and impertinent - Mr. Warde.
Orano, only has one word to say for himself, Mr. J. Chambers.
Priests, Warriors, &c.
Cora, a model wife and mother, with a strong distaste for widow's millinery - Mrs. J. P. Hydes.
Music arranged by Mr. B. Thom.
Scenery, Mr. W. Pitt.
Incidental to the Burlesque -
Medley, "Oh, down upon the Guadalquiver" - Valverde
Chaunt in Explanation, "In a Germing City" - Pizarro
Chorus, "Queer Boys Queer" - Spanish Army
Song, "When a Baby's a Teething" - Alonzo
Song, "Oh what a rosy billet" - Rolla
Trio, "Away to the mountains now" - Cora, Rolla, and Alonzo
Grand Scena, "Draw the Sword Peruvians" - Rolla
Duett, "Muffins and Crumpets" - Rolla and Alonzo
Song and Chorus, "With fog the wood is thick below" - Cora & Peruvian Woman
Duett, "You've heard me tell his last request" - Cora and Rolla
Song, "Fortune all my schemes o'erthrowing" - Pizarro
Air, "Off, off with his head, Sir" - Pizzaro
Grand Duett, "Love and Ambition" - Rolla and Pizarro
Air and Echo, "List! you'll hear my baby soon" - Cora
Duett, "Pray, Sir, just hand over that" - Pizarro and Rolla
Solo and Finale, "If I was only well again" - Company
Grand Equestrian Combat on Real Horses, Messrs. Young and Hydes . . .
Messrs. C. Young and J. P. Hydes, sole lessees.

ASSOCIATIONS: Fanny Young (dancer, actor); Charles Henry Burford (actor); Con Warde (actor)

"QUEEN'S THEATRE. THE NEW BURLESQUE", The Argus (9 January 1855), 5 

Few things are in general more conducive to ennui than burlesques and pantomimes on the first night of their performance, and it was therefore with some degree of hesitation that we went last night to see Mr. Akhurst's new burlesque of "Rolla of Ours." It was, then, with some surprise and much pleasure that we found that the piece was well rendered by the actors, and received with enthusiasm by the audience which was as large as the theatre could accommodate. The local hits with which the piece abounds were in general forcibly given, and met with and appreciation which shows with what keenness political events are now scanned by the public at large . . . Mrs. Young in the role of Elvira . . . was, as usual, first-rate. Rogers also did full justice to the character allotted to him . . . Mr. Young, as Pizarro, was good, and he sang the song of "In a Germing City" inimitably.

ROLLA OF OURS", The Argus (12 January 1855), 4 

Mr. Akhurst's piece continues to attract crowded audiences . . . The piece contains a number of capital songs. The music has been admirably arranged by Mr. Thom, and the whole performance is such as to account for its popularity, and warrant the hope of prolonged success.

Diary of John Buckley Castieau, Melbourne, VIC, 1 March 1855; original MS, National Library of Australia; transcribed and edited by Mark Finnane, online at Centre for 21st Century Humanities, University of Newcastle (TRANSCRIPT)

[Thursday 1 March 1855] . . . Went down as far as the Argus office entered the Sanctum and found Mr. Akehurst well known as the Author of several Local skits, busily engaged in preparing a Critique of the Performance of Mr. G. V. Brooke . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Buckley Castieau (diarist, theatrical amateur); Gustavus Vaughan Brooke (actor)

"THEATRE ROYAL", The Argus (5 October 1855), 4 

This Evening, Mr. W. M. Akhurst's Operatic Extravaganza entitled The MIRROR OF BEAUTY, or LITTLE SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Theatre Royal (Melbourne venue)

"THEATRE ROYAL", The Age (6 October 1855), 4 

The Mirror of Beauty was produced at this house last evening in a style of great splendor and its performance was witnessed by a full and fashionable attendance. It abounds in those local hits which evince, on the part of the author, a watchful observation of passing events, and a felicitous adaptation of them to dramatic purposes. Nearly a score of popular songs of recent date were also produced in a manner that indicated the versatile ability of the dramatist, though some of them were unfortunately marred by the inefficiency of the vocalists, - it would be invidious so say vocalists, though the offender was singular. Mrs. A. Phillips as the Princess Snow White looked and played the hoyden (albeit a marvellously plump one) to perfection. Mrs. Thom made a charming Dednutz, and gave some imitations of Mr. Brooke sufficiently vraisemblable to be instantly seized upon by the audience. Mr. G. H. Rogers executed fantasie upon the ophicleide a la John Parry, and went mad a la King Lear, as became his Majesty Humph the First, King of the territory of Humbergen; and Baron Bosh found a congenial representative in Mr. L. McGowan. Miss Kate Royal, Miss Juliana King, and another little lady, charmed the audience in a trio, arranged for a German melody, and obtained a hearty and unanimous encore; and the dwarf partners in the firm of Villikins and Co., acquitted themselves so well, that one almost wished that a greater prominency had been assigned to them. No expense appears to have been spared in mounting the extravaganza, and the scenery deserves high praise. At the fall of the curtain there was at call, from all parts of the house for Mr. Akhurst, who appeared and bowed his acknowledgments to the general plaudits.

ASSOCIATIONS: Elizabeth Elsbee Phillips (actor); Eliza Thom (actor); Gustavus Vaughan Brooke (actor); John Parry (British vocalist and musician); Lachlan McGowan (actor); Kate Royal (vocalist); Juliana King (vocalist)

"THEATRE ROYAL", The Argus (6 October 1855), 5 

. . . Mr. Rogers, as King Humph, was irresistibly comic, and Mrs. A. Phillips, as Snow White, was excellent in her part. Mrs. Thom, as Prince Dednutz, was excellent, and delivered, to mark the despair of the lover at the death of his bride, some speeches in the style and manner of "Mr. Givvybrook," as the bills have it, which drew down shouts of laughter. Mrs. Chester would have been an excellent Queen Gramaer had she studied her part as well as she had conned the songs it contained . . . The different parts contain some excellent parodies on popular songs, and the effect which was given to them by the judicious aid of the orchestra is not unworthy of remembrance.

ASSOCIATIONS: Marian Maria Chester (actor, vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Argus (27 October 1855), 7 

THE VICTORIA SONGSTER, No. 2 Contains Pizarro's Chant and "Colonial Contrariety" by W. M. Akhurst, and twenty eight other first rate songs.

ASSOCIATIONS: The Victoria songster (printed series)

"THEATRE ROYAL. MR. AND MRS. THOM'S BENEFIT", The Argus (20 November 1855), 5 

We were glad to find that the public appreciation of the merits of Mr. and Mrs. Thom was manifested in no doubt to the beneficiaries the most pleasant manner by a large attendance last evening at the Theatre Royal on the occasion of their benefit . . . The colonial stage does not possess a more useful and intelligent actress than Mrs. Thom . . . Her husband shares with her the public esteem: the fine band of the Theatre Royal which he organised, may be pointed to as being an admirable example of his professional tact. As has been already stated, Mr. and Mrs. Thom leave shortly for England by the Blackwall . . . The following address, written by Mr. W. M. Akhurst expressly for the occasion, was spoken by Mrs. Thom, who appearance was greeted with the most enthusiastic applause: -

Few moments are there in the Actor's days,
When to the world his own true part he plays,
His life is one of mimicry, and when
He walks the pathways of his fellow-men,
There seems a magic circle round him thrown
Marking him isolated, and unknown
So when he quits the stage that many a year,
Has bounded all the hopes of his career,
The audience seldom his own loss lament,
But only what he used to represent.

But now our case a different feature shows;
If aught is missed - twill be myself and spouse
No Norma lost to the colonial boards,
No Miska Hauser's single string and chords.
No star goes out with me - upon my honor,
No prime Tragedian, or Prima Donna,
Merely a walking lady - who has got
A most unenviable and stupid lot,
Which renders her (the fate you'll own a seedy 'un)
An easy victim to the light comedian
And in my husband 'twould require no riddler,
At once to recognise - the plainest fiddler.

Still let us hope, since you have been our hosts
That, though no friendly walls, and genial posts,
Have reddened with our names, as though from drink
And not with "Argus Jobbing Office" ink,
The walking lady's simpers and grimaces
Have promenaded into your good graces
And, though you may not fasten up a hatchment,
To show my spouse your violint attachment,
You still may deem that in this same locality,
Some good's been done by his instrumentality.

Oh! let us cherish hopes like these I say;
Indeed we've had assurance that we may;
Your generous sympathies, so oft displayed,
Our future lightened by your kindly aid,
Demand our gratitude - a trifling proof,
To say we honor the colonial roof,
Or, that we'll recommend (for so we ought)
The school where that scarce sentiment is taught.

The walking lady (myself understood),
Bids you farewell! her memory is good,
And ever faithful to a kindness done
From you she has experience many a one.
The violinist also says "good bye,"
And, being constitutionally shy,
Begs me - but there I'II break off in the middle,
His motto will be ever "toujours fiddle."

Considerable applause followed the delivery of the address and, Mrs. Thom having retired, her husband being loudly called for, acknowledged from his place in the orchestra the honor done him . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (26 December 1855), 8 

First Night of . . . the New Original Local Christmas Pantomime, of
HARLEQUIN £ s. d., Or, The Fairy Queen of Diamonds, and the Lords of the Mineral Kingdom.
The Opening and Story of the Pantomime, written and invented expressly for this Theatre by W. M. Akhurst, Esq.,
the author of the successful Burlesques, "Rolla of Ours" and the "The Mirror of Beauty."
The Medley Overture and Music of the Pantomime selected and arranged by Mr. Frederick Coppin.
The Comic Scenes produced under the superintendence of Mr. Charles Young.
Synopsis of the New Medley Overture -
The New Medley Overture will introduce "The Misletoe Bough" (with the usual time honored accompaniments), "The Chimes" (a seasonable sound), "The Roast Beef of Old England" (which all acknowledge seasonable), "The Roger de Coverley" (who has not danced it?), "Yankee Doodle," "The Marseillaise," and "Rule Britannia" (a formidable trio of Nationalities), winding up with the Hurry Scurry, always indicative of a Pantomime . . .
The whole produced under the direction of Mr. Richard Younge.
Harlequin - Mr. T. Nunn.
Columbine - Mrs. McGowan.
Pantaloon - Mr. F. Dherang.
Clown - Mr. C. Young.
Sprite - Mr. C. Dherang.
Boxes, 5s. Stalls, 4s. Pit, 2s. 6d.

ASSOCIATIONS: Frederick Coppin (musician); Fanny Griffiths McGowan (dancer, actor); Richard Younge (actor, manager, director); Alfred Dherang (dancer, acrobat); Coppin's Olympic (Melbourne venue)

"MELBOURNE (From our own Correspondent) Tuesday, June 3", Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (4 June 1856), 2 

The sketch of the life of Miss Catherine Hayes, lately published, is said to be from the pen of Mr. Wm. Akhurst. Though a namby pamby affair, it is surprising to find so many of those who were supposed to be the tried friends of this gentleman, ridiculing his efforts. There is a great deal of spleen mingled with the pretensions to criticise the work, and those who crow the loudest are but bantlings after all.

ASSOCIATIONS: A brief sketch of the professional career of Miss Catherine Hayes (Melbourne: Printed by Wilson, Mackinnon & Fairfax, 1856) 

See also, "PUNCH'S POLICE COURT", Melbourne Punch (29 May 1856), 131 (DIGITIES)


A meeting of the members of the theatrical and musical professions took place on Saturday afternoon, at Astley's Amphitheatre, for the purpose of considering a series of propositions relative to the establishment of a provident fund, and which had been prepared by a sub-committee appointed at a previous meeting. About thirty gentlemen, principally connected with the several Melbourne theatres, attended, and having nominated Mr. G. H. Rogers their chairman, proceeded to transact the business for which they bad been summoned.
The following resolutions were submitted seriatim to the meeting, and, except in one instance, approved of unanimously.
Proposed by Mr. LESLIE, seconded by Mr. HANCOCK - That in the opinion of this meeting it is desirable that a society, to be called the Australian General Theatrical and Musical Fund Association, be established in Victoria.
Proposed by Mr. AKHURST, seconded by Mr. LAVENU - That the objects of this Association be primarily the furnishing assistance to its members in case of sickness or distress, and that the granting annuities under certain conditions be regarded as one of its ulterior objects, provided the funds of the Association be at any time deemed sufficient to promote so desirable an end . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Hancock (vocalist); Lewis Henry Lavenu (musician); Astley's Amphitheatre (Melbourne venue)

"MUSIC AND THE DRAMA', The Age (29 December 1856), 5 

On the evening of Boxing Day the Theatre Royal was the scene of the production of Mr. W. M. Akhurst's new Christmas Pantomime, entitled "Multiplication is Vexation, Division is as bad; or, Harlequin Rule of Three, and the Genius of the Crystal Lake of Learning." The audience was such a one as can only be assembled on the first night of a pantomime, and that "boxing-night." The pit and stalls were filled to excess, and even standing room could not be found at the sides. There was also an extensive sprinkling of babies, who may be said to have formed a prelude to the overtures, and to have kept up a running vocal accompaniment to the whole piece. The dress circle, which was but ill attended during the performance of the first piece, was really filled with family parties when the curtain drew up for the pantomine [sic]. The upper boxes were densely crowded, the gallery if possible, fuller still, and unusually noisy. Considering that this was the first night of the spectacle every thing went off remarkably well. Many of the tricks were new, and those which were old were placed on the stage in a new guise, and in such good style as almost to deserve the credit of novelty. Mr. Charles Young displayed another phase of his versatile powers as clown. Madame Strebinger made an agile and graceful Columbine; Miss Chambers enacted the part of Harlequina and her brother that of Harlequin. The dancing was particularly good, and the music generally selected from the operas of Martha and Der Freischutz, and exceedingly well played. The overture opened with passages from the writing of Bishop and other writers, and included a solo on the ophicleide - subject, the "Rat Catcher's Daughter," which was exceedingly well played, and brought down thunders of applause from the gallery . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Therese Strebinger (dancer)

"THEATRE ROYAL", The Argus (29 December 1856), 5 

An excellent house assembled on Saturday evening to witness the second performance of the Pantomime, which was played with increased smoothness and with undiminished success . . . The Overture and incidental music of the Pantomime have been very well arranged by Mr. F. Coppin, and includes reminiscences of "Martha, "Masaniello," "Der Freischutz," "Je suis une Bayadere," the "Spider Dance," and various popular airs; while the obligato passages assigned to the clarionet, ophecleide, and cornet-a-piston respectively, nightly receive a special recognition of applause . . . By the judicious introduction, from time to time, of "hits" at the current events of the day, there is every prospect of Mr. Akhurst's pantomime enjoying a lengthened run.

"MUSIC AND THE DRAMA", The Age (12 January 1857), 5 

The Christmas pantomime continues to draw good houses at the Royal, and to improve upon nightly repetition. To Mr. W. M. Akhurst is due the credit of having produced a very excellent libretto, and to the stage and scenic facilities at the Royal, its production in a style certainly not to be surpassed out of London. The music played by the orchestra after the transformations have been effected, is the composition of Mr. Edward Loder, and its excellence is worthy of him. The credit of furnishing the music used in the opening scenes is due to Herr Hunabine, we believe, an executant in the orchestra. This gentleman has ably woven into it reminiscences of the musical experiences of the Royal during the preceding twelve months. The screechowl's cry, from Der Freischutz, forms a telling accompaniment to the unearthly scene at the outset of the pantomime, and the more striking passages from Flotow's "Martha," and others culled from "La Passadita," with which Madame Anna Bishop has made us so familiar, are frequently introduced with capital effect. Mr. Alfred Nelson, in costume, facial aspect and manner, laughably burlesques the stage appearance and vocalization of a prima donna so lately amongst us, and who, we learn, since her arrival in England, has accepted an engagement with the renowned Jullien at one hundred pounds per night. In like manner the versatile Mr. Charles Young, as clown, performs an extravagant version of Lola Montes' extraordinary dancing. Nor are local characters exempt from this harmless burlesque . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Loder (English composer); August Christian Huenerbein (musician, arranger); Anna Bishop (vocalist); "prima donna recently among us = Catherine Hayes (vocalist); Louis Jullien (conductor active in Britain); Lola Montez (dancer)

MUSIC: La pasadita (Mexican song, as sung by Anna Bishop)

"MUSIC AND THE DRAMA", The Age (19 January 1857), 5 

On Saturday night, Mr. W. M. Akhurst, the author of the Pantomime, took his benefit, we trust a good one. He deserves it, for a Pantomime of twenty nights' run in the colonies, is indeed something to talk about . . .


Last evening, the Princess's Theatre, in Parliament-place, was opened with Bellini's sublime opera of "Norma," supported by the most powerful cast ever seen in these colonies - Norma, sustained by Madame Anna Bishop; Adalgisa, by Madame Sara Flower; Clotilda, by Madame Leon Naej; Pollio, by Mr. Walter Sherwin; Flavius, by Mr. Norton; Oroveso, by Mr. Farquharson, and the priests and priestesses, by about thirty well-trained voices. So closely did the hour of opening tread on the heels of building operations, that the workmen were scarcely out of the building when the public began to crowd within its walls. As it was, only a portion of the gaseliers were erected, and a lesser number lighted. So far as we could observe, no other ventilation is provided than the perforated centre piece in the roof, consequently, the heat soon became almost insufferable. This must be remedied. The house presented a most elegant appearance, and reflects the highest credit on the enterprise and taste of Mr. Alexander Henderson, the lessee, and the manager, Mr. John Black. We have them to thank for the production of the grand opera in a style worthy of the Victorian metropolis. Precisely at half-past seven, when the house was completely filled by a large and brilliant audience, the curtain rose, and displayed the whole of the operatic and dramatic company. After the applause had subsided sided, the occupants of the stage sang the National Anthem, the whole of the audience standing. After some little delay, the curtain again rose for the delivery of an allegorical prologue, written for the occasion by W. M. Akhurst, Esq. This was spoken by Miss Marie Nelson, Mr. Alfred Nelson, and Mr. Farquharson, who were all attired in character. Connected with this was a cleverly arranged tableau, in which were represented the principal female characters in the operas which Madame Bishop has been chiefly instrumental in introducing to the colony . . . The principal characters were sustained by Miss Herbert, who, as the heroine of the piece, acted with great spirit; Miss C. Nelson, who made a pert and pretty vivandiere, but was remarkably deficient in respect for general officers; Mr. R. Younge, who was honored with a call before the curtain, and had worked hard to deserve it . . . Incidental to the piece were some characteristic dancing by Madame Strebinger and M. Edouin, and a clever hornpipe by Mr. Wilson; while the real soldiers materially aided in bringing the "Fall of Sebastopol" to a triumphant issue.

ASSOCIATIONS: Sara Flower (vocalist); Madame Leon Naej (vocalist); Walter Sherwin (vocalist); Mr. Norton (vocalist); Robert Farquharson (vocalist); Charles Edouin (dancer); Alexander Henderson (lessee); John Melton Black (manager); Princess Theatre (Melbourne venue)

"THEATRE ROYAL", The Argus (18 August 1857), 5 

Even the achievements of war, when represented upon the State, require to be supplemented by the exhibition of other passions in operation besides those of valor, enthusiasm, pity, anguish, and revenge - and therefore Mr. Akhurst makes the developement of a love story the foundation of his drama of "The Fall of Sebastopol" . . .

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC. THEATRE ROYAL", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (26 December 1857), 2 

. . . The management have contributed their quota towards the amusements of Boxing night in the shape of a new pantomime from the pen of W. M. Akhurst, hight Whittington and His Cat. Even supposing that we know every pun which the author intends perpetrating, we are not quite sure that we should divulge the secrets of the prisonhouse. On the contrary, we would rather advise our readers to get a snug seat, in whatever portion of the house their purse and inclination may lead them to, and listen to the fun. The only thing we regret is, that Madame Strebinger is not to be Columbine, though we believe that we are not altogether to lose her, but that she will appear in some of the scenes. The principal roles in the harlequinade will be filled by the Leopold Family, who have just arrived in the colony, having been engaged by Mr. Coppin in Europe expressly for this pantomime.

ASSOCIATIONS: Leopold family (dancers); George Coppin (actor, manager)

"THEATRE ROYAL", The Argus (28 December 1857), 5 

We are enabled to praise Mr. Akhurst's last pantomime as an improvement upon its predecessor, as we also had occasion to refer to that in similar terms of commendation. In Harlequin Whittington and his Cat, the incidents of the story have been adhered to, with reasonable fidelity, and there is no lack of these anachronisms which contribute so much to the general grotesqueness of the piece. The violations of natural history are no less absurd than the liberties which are taken with chronology, and help to augment the fun . . . What lover of operatic music would object to the clever travesties of the scene from "Lucrezia Borgia" (in which Mr. McGowan made up so well, and acquitted himself so admirably), or to the burlesque upon "Sardanapalus," which revived our recollections of the wild and fanciful music which heralded the approach of the processions? Truth to say, these things inspired more mirth than the evolutions of the clown and pantaloon subsequently, and merit approbation accordingly . . . There was a small fairy in radiant vestments cleverly impersonated by Miss Earl, and two full-grown fairies (represented by Madame Strebinger and Mrs. McGowan) . . . The afterpart of the pantomime was both very long and very slow, and was only redeemed from partial failure by the excellence of the dancing. The young lady designated as the Fraulein Fannie made an admirable Columbine, combining grace, flexibility, and lightness of movement, with a certain aplomb, which invested her dancing with a novel charm. The three Leopold's, who appeared as Crown, Harlequin, and Pantaloon, are evidently experienced pantomimists and being "new chums," we suppose they must be excused for imagining that nine-tenths of the spectators were unacquainted with the venerable jokes and ancient tricks which were presented to the audience at the Theatre Royal on Saturday night . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert McGowan (actor); Tilly Earl (dancer)

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC. THEATRE ROYAL", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (2 January 1858), 2 

. . . Dick is engaged as servant, but in consequence of a squabble with Lucretia Bodger, the cook, in which a capital burlesque is made of the come bello, and the finale to the second act of Donizetti's great work, Dick leaves his place, but returns, bidden back by Bow-church chimes, and accompanied by his cat, sails with Captain Duster to Rattatattatoo, where he finds the throne filled by our old friend Sardanapalus, who appears to have merely set fire to his palace to get rid of his wife, and is now established safely with his fire insurance-money in his pocket, and a black daughter of fair Ionian Myrrha to keep him company, having nothing to trouble him save the multitude of rats. The difficulty is disposed of by the cat, and the transformation follows . . .

"THEATRE ROYAL", The Argus (20 January 1858), 5 

Mr. Akhurst received a substantial testimony of public approbation last night, on the occasion of taking his benefit, the house being full, and the dress-circle more particularly, presenting a very gratifying aspect. "Rolls of Ours" was revived for the occasion . . . as successful as when it was first produced upon the Melbourne stage, and the curtain fell amidst general demonstrations of applause. By way of interlude, Mr. Coppin sang "Old Dog Tray," and replied to the demand for an encore by giving the apparently undying "Villikins and his Dinah," and the audience appeared to be very much inclined to clamor for a repetition of this. As soon, however, as silence was restored, Mr. Farquharson made his appearance and obtained a very cordial greeting. He sang "Rage Thou angry storm" with a fire that kindled the enthusiasm of the audience, and subsequently gave the tragic story of "Blue Beard" with an equal amount of spirit, evoking a corresponding warmth of praise; and the evening's entertainments concluded with the pantomime, in which Columbine made her last bound, and Harlequin sprang for the last time through the window, and the Crown obtain a furtive possession for the last time of other people's property, and Pantaloon received his final kicks and cuffs, and the "bursting bowers of bounding beauty" disappeared for ever; and the spectators felt that "to-morrow" or rather to-day, they would be invited to "fresh fields and pastures new."

"AMUSEMENTS, THE ROYAL", The Age (25 May 1858), 6 

As might have been expected in the evening of a general holiday, this theatre was densely crowded in every part. A very attractive programme was announced - Coppin in two pieces, the latter of which, a new production, illustrated the manager's adventures while delayed at Cairo en route for Australia. Miska Hauser's performances on the violin, and Miss Quinn in a farce. "Coppin in Cairo" is written by Mr. Akhurst and depicts Coppin disconsolate, and alone, and certainly not taking his ease at his inn in Cairo. The manager expects to be delayed a month, is without money and in low spirits, as his balloons will be too late for Boxing Day, the Grand Gift Enterprise will go to ruin, and Cremorne will be a "'shicer." So the scene closes. In the next we have Coppin entertaining a select party of Arabs with a new version of "Billy Barlow." The allusions are local, and the history of the Reform Bill, the Publicans Act, and the Mayor's dazzling prospects of distinction form the chief points. The ditty provoked roars of laughter from the audience and encores, which were answered with additional verses. We next have the manager reduced to the necessity of selling orange under the title of Ali Coppin Bey. An Arab, introduced as Tin Khan, engages the services of the orange vendor to assist in carrying off a lady from a harem. This portion of the plot introduces Madame Strebinger, Fraulein Fannie, and a ballet troupe. Some very pretty groupings takes place and wonderful feats of dancing, when the scene is broke into by Coppin and Tin Khan attired as ballet girls also. The former introduces his version of the spider dance . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Miska Hauser (violin); Anna Maria Quinn (actor); Fraulein Fannie (Mrs. Henry Leopold, dancer)

"THE THEATRES. THE THEATRE ROYAL", The Age (28 December 1858), 5 

The Boxing-night performances at this place of amusement attracted one of the largest audiences which we have seen assembled within its walls. The evening's entertainment commenced with the well known play of "Charles the Second," but the great attraction was the pantomime of "Harlequin Robin Hood, or the Bold Huntsman of Sherwood, and the Fairy Localotta" - decidedly Mr. W. M. Akhurst's most successful effort in this species of dramatic composition . . . The "Toxopholite Ballet" arranged by Mons Schmidt, affords an opportunity for the introduction of the terpsichorean efforts of the three Misses Worrell who have lately arrived from the United States. These little ladies dance very cleverly, and the scene in which they appear forms one of the many interesting features of the pantomime . . . The pantomime company includes the Leopold Family Fraulein Fannie, Mons. Schmidt, Mdlle. Therese, and Madame Strebinger . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Worrell sisters (dancers); Mons. and Therese Schmidt (dancers)

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC. THEATRE ROYAL", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (24 December 1859), 2 

. . . The pantomime, which we presume will be played on Monday night, will not be from the pen of Mr. W. M. Akhurst. We are told that that gentleman was retained in the usual manner some months ago, and that he had given the management the programme of the scenery, incidents, properties, etc., but not having the dialogue ready on the day required by the new lessees, though, as Mr. Akhurst states, he would have been ready on the day at which he had always been accustomed to send in the manuscript under the regime of Mr. R. Younge, the author was informed that his pantomime would not be received.

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC . . . AKHURST v. BROOKE", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (31 March 1860), 2 

The lawsuit brought by Mr. Akhurst against the management of the Royal for breach of contract, in not employing him to write the Christmas pantomime, has been amicably settled, the defendant agreeing to give Mr. Akhurst a half clear benefit, and to play a burlesque to be written by him, in the course of a few weeks.

ASSOCIATIONS: Gustavus Vaughan Brooke (actor, manager)

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC. THEATRE ROYAL", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (29 December 1860), 2 

. . . The great event of the week was, of course, the production on Boxing night of the pantomime of "Little Jack Horner," by Mr. W. M. Akhurst. We believe that the author, the scene painter, and the stage manager were unduly hurried in consequence of the late changes in the management, but the public can only judge by the results, and will very justly refuse to take into account the difficulties under which the work they go to see is produced. Not that the pantomime requires any apology, although we could, were we critically disposed, point out several faults. Mr. Akhurst adheres almost slavishly to the old pantomime plot with its two antagonistic fairies, and many of his jokes and allusions are too involved and far-fetched for the general public. The great point in theatrical composition is to write something that everybody can understand. The bits of caviare flung in for the cultivated epicure must not be sown broadcast. A parody on an air in "Lucrezia Borgia," the "Rose of Castile," or "Rigoletto," only pleases those familiar with those operas, while every person knows "I'm off to Charlestown" . . . When we say that M. Schmidt was the wandbearer, and that the Columbines were Mesdames Strebinger and Therese, we have said enough to show that the dancing was of an unusually high order. We cannot speak so favourably of the Clown and Pantaloon (Mr. Chambers and Mr. Dherang), although they are both excellent dancers and acrobats . . .

"MR. W. M. AKHURST", The Argus (27 January 1870), 6

Mr. W. M. Akhurst, a gentleman who has been intimately connected with the press and dramatic institutions of this city for the past 10 years, is about to return to England with prospects of increased professional success, and his departure from a community to whose entertainment he has contributed so much calls for more than passing mention. Mr. Akhurst arrived in Adelaide in 1849. His first engagement was on the Gazette and Mining Journal, and he was connected with the South Australian press for some five years. Before leaving England he had written two successful pieces for Cremorne-gardens, one called "A Barber's Blunders," and the other "The Bosjesmen." His first Australian production" for the theatre was a musical vaudeville, written for the Nelson family, called " Quite Colonial." This became very popular, and it was followed by "Romance and Reality," a piece of a similar character, Mr. Nelson composing the music.

Shortly after the gold discoveries Mr. Akhurst came over to Victoria, and for many years held responsible positions on the leading journals of the colony, occasionally producing compositions for the theatre, until at length journalism was almost forsaken for dramatic authorship. He was musical and dramatic critic for the Herald for many years, and filled that position with great ability and credit to himself. His first dramatic composition produced in Melbourne was a vaudeville, played at the Mechanics' Institute, under the title of "Rights of Woman." He then wrote, with Frank Soutten, nephew of Morris Barnett, a partly prose and partly metrical extravaganza called "The Battle of Melbourne," which was suggested by the commotion occasioned by the steamship Great Britain firing guns on her arrival one night while England was at war with Russia. This was played with great success at the old Queen's Theatre, under the lesseeship of Messrs. Chas. Young and J. P. Hydes. Mr. Akhurst next brought out "Rolla of Ours," a burlesque on "Pizarro," and on the opening of the Theatre Royal in July, 1855, he was selected to write the inaugural address. The burlesque extravaganza, "The Mirror of Beauty," followed, and in the same year he produced at the Olympic "L. S. D.," the first original pantomime played in the city. This seems to have been a success, for in nearly every succeeding year Mr. Akhurst was looked to for the Christmas pantomime at one or other of the leading theatres, and the following from his pen have been played in Melbourne, the majority on the boards of the Theatre Royal:- "The Rule of Three," "Whittington and his Cat," "Robin Hood," "Valentine and Orson," "The Arabian Knights," "Jack Horner," "The Last of the Ogres," "Baron Munchausen," "Gulliver," "Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son," "Robinson Crusoe," "The House that Jack Built," and "Jack Sheppard."

Mr. Akhurst was not idle during the intervals between these annual productions. He wrote for the Christy minstrels the burlesques of "Faust,""Masaniello," (since produced in Liverpool with great success), and "L'Africaine." More important than these were the burlesques for the Theatre Royal of "The Siege of Troy," "King Arthur," and "The Battle of Hastings," the two first of which were remarkably successful. Mr. Akhurst has also written a large number of character sketches included in Mrs. Case's entertainment, besides two entertainments for Mr. Farquharson; in addition to which he has adapted to the colonial stage numerous pieces, prominent among which are "The Yellow Dwarf," "The Forty Thieves" (two versions), "Ganem," "The Queen of Beauty," and "Ixion." He is also the author of "The Fall of Sebastopol," an equestrian and spectacular drama in three acts; and a piece de circonstance entitled "Coppin in Cairo."

It is satisfactory to be able to state that Mr. Akhurst's industry has always been rewarded with a very large measure of public approbation. "The Siege of Troy," the year before last, had a run of 150 nights, and "King Arthur" was played uninterruptedly for six weeks. Many of the pieces named have also been played with unvarying success in the neighbouring colonies.

Mr. Akhurst having received promising offers from leading theatrical managers in London has made final arrangements to leave for England early next month, with the view of producing his two most successful burlesques in the British metropolis, and as the Londoners have not been slow to recognise Australian talent in several instances, he may safely be congratulated on the future opening before him of a wider field for the display of his versatile powers as a dramatic author. Mr. Akhurst has always had a peculiar aptitude for burlesque writing, and his excellent taste in music, besides his extensive acquaintance with everything appertaining to the musical art, has contributed much to his success, placing some of his burlesque compositions in order of merit far above the average of such pieces played here after a successful run at home. His departure will create a void in dramatic circles, and for the present there does not seem to be any prospect of his place being supplied. The performances at the Theatre Royal this evening, beginning at a quarter to 8 o'clock, are for Mr. Akhurst's benefit, and his many and long services in the cause of the colonial drama will no doubt secure, as they deserve, a recognition of a very marked character. The programme announced is of a specially interesting kind, Miss Cleveland, Miss Adelaide Bowring, Mr. Coppin, Mr. Rogers, and Mr. Barry O'Neil all giving their services.

ASSOCIATIONS: Mrs. Case = Grace Egerton (vocalist, actor)

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE . . . SAILED (HOBSON'S BAY)", Bendigo Advertiser (18 February 1870), 2 

February 16 . . . Kent, ship . . . 1100 tons, H. F. Holt, for London. Passengers - cabin: . . . Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Akhurst and two children . . .

"DEATH OF WILLIAM MOWER AKHURST. TO THE EDITOR", The South Australian Advertiser (22 August 1878), 5

SIR - The death of this gentleman once well known in the literary circle of Adelaide and Melbourne deserves a passing notice.
Mr. Akhurst was a pioneer of this colony, and in the older times was reporter and subeditor of the Adelaide Times when James Allen, better known as "Dismal Jemmy" on account of his doleful aspect and lugubrious articles, was the proprietor of that journal, and whose dullness was only relieved by Akhurst's racy leaders. Mr. Akhurst was subsequently editor of the Free Press, which, existed only about six months.
Shortly after the decease of that journal Mr. Akhurst repaired with his family to Melbourne during the feverish height of the gold digging times, where his gifted powers soon obtained him employment on the staff of the Argus, where as journalist and burlesque writer for the stage he remained a popular man for some years.
Latterly in England his witty and ludicrous pantomimes delighted crowded audiences at several of the leading theatres in London. He was again on his return to these colonies, but died on board the Patriarch, sailing vessel, on June 6th last, during her voyage from London to Sydney, some where about the age of 55 or 56.
Old colonists will well remember his genial social qualities, amiable disposition, and kindly nature, that never made an enemy; his infinite jest and ready humor, that used to "set the table in a roar:" and they will give a sigh to the memory of "Poor Akhurst," to whom glad life seemed so sweet and joyous a boon.
I am, &c., J. BOND PHIPSON. August 19th, 1878.

ASSOCIATIONS: James Allen (d. 1886; editor, journalist); John Bond Phipson (d. 1880, correspondent)

"Deaths", The Argus (3 September 1878), 1 

AKHURST - On the 6th June, at sea, on board the ship Patriarch, from London to Sydney, William Mower Akhurst, journalist and dramatic author, late of this city, aged 55.

"WILLIAM MOWER AKHURST, BY A. PATCHETT MARTIN", The Herald (23 November 1878), 3 

. . . W. M. Akhurst was born at Brooke street, Grosvenor Square, London, on the 29th December, 1822. From his fourteenth to his twenty-sixth year he was engaged in mercantile business - the Manchester trade - in London; but even then his predilection for dramatic writing made itself manifest . . . It seems that in 1847 (he was then 25 years of age) he wrote two farces for Greenwood, manager of Cremorne Gardens, London, the titles of which were, A Barber's Blunders, and The Bosjemans, both of which were played with success that year. How he must have preferred this mere glimpse of theatrical success and notoriety to the most ample rewards of an arduous commercial career. I forgot to say that two years before this he did something that very few of us regard as farcical, viz., took a wife. She being Miss Ellen Tully, whose brother, James H. Tully, was for 14 years conductor at Drury Lane Theatre, and for many years held the same position at Covent Garden Theatre. In 1849, Akhurst, with his wife and young family, sailed for Adelaide in the ship Posthumous, where he arrived on the 20th June of that year . . . In 1853, he and a party of young men walked overland from Adelaide to the Forest Creek diggings, Castlemaine, a pretty stiff journey . . . Akhurst was a gold-digger for five months, with moderate success . . . In 1854, he came down to Melbourne, and was employed on the Argus as reporter, and subsequently as sub-editor for several years. After his arrival in Melbourne, Mr. Akhurst was for many years connected with this journal [The Herald] as subeditor . . .

[News], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 May 1881), 5

A pleasant gathering took place at the Compagnoni Cafe last night, when Messrs. Charles Troedel and Walter Akhurst, the well-known lithographers and printers, entertained about 50 of their friends at dinner, the occasion of the festivity being the dissolution of partnership between the two hosts. Mr. Troedel will in future carry on business in Melbourne on his own account, and Mr. Akhurst will do the same as far as Sydney is concerned . . . the chairman proposed "The health of Walter Akhurst and Co." He spoke of Mr. Akhurst's many good qualities, and of the faithful manner in which he had worked for Troedel and Co. during the last 16 years. In developing the Sydney branch of the business, Mr. Akhurst had only attained the success which he fully deserved by reason of his business capacity and energy; and he would now be sole proprietor of this Sydney business. (Applause.) He asked those around him to drink "Long life and prosperity to Walter Akhurst and Co." The toast was received with musical honours. Mr. Akhurst, in responding, said that during the sixteen years they had been associated in business, he had found Mr. Troedel a good master, a good partner, and a good fellow altogether, and expressed the hope that he should carry on the business as well as had hitherto been the case . . . During the evening a number of songs were sung very nicely by different guests, Mr. Weber being the accompanist; and nothing marred the harmony of a thoroughly enjoyable reunion.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Troedel (publisher)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Daily Telegraph (30 May 1881), 1 

NOTICE is hereby given that the Partnership heretofore inhering between the Undersigned,
CHARLES TROEDEL and WALTER FREDERICK AKHURST, under the firm of Charles Troedel and Co., has been THIS DAY DISSOLVED by mutual consent.
The liabilities of the late firm will discharged, and the debts received by the undersigned, Walter Frederick Akhurst.
Dated the 28th day of May, 1881 . . .

[News], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 April 1904), 6

Mr. Walter Akhurst, who for nearly 25 years had carried on business in the city as a master printer, died yesterday. He was well known in bowling circles, especially in connection with the Balmain Club as skipper of several of the champion rinks in past years. He was one of the founders of the club, and was also a member of the Annandale and other clubs. His health had been falling for some time, and lately he had not been able to take an active part in the game.

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (7 April 1904), 6


AKHURST - April 6, at Prince Alfred Hospital, Walter Akhurst, aged 50 years.

"DEATHS", The Argus (8 April 1904), 1

AKHURST. - On the 6th April at Sydney, Walter Frederick Akhurst, fourth son of the late William Mower Akhurst.

Musical works (W. M. Akhurst) (digitised):

The acacia waltz, W. M. Akhurst (in The Illustrated Melbourne Post (24 March 1864)) (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

Tom Tom, the piper's son, and Mary Mary, quite contrary; or, Harlequin Piggy Wiggy, and the good child's history of England, a burlesque extravaganza and pantomime by Mr. W. M. Akhurst, first produced at the Theatre Royal, Melbourne, December 26, 1867 (Melbourne: R. Bell, 1867) (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Theatre Royal (Melbourne venue)

Paris the prince, and Helen the fair; or, The giant horse and the siege of Troy! a classical burlesque extravaganza by W. M. Akhurst, first produced at the Theatre Royal, Melbourne, April 11, 1868 (Melbourne: R. Bell, 1868) (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED - second edition)

Beautiful swells, celebrated duet, sung by Miss Docy Stewart and Miss Marion Dunn in Mr. W. M. Akhurst's burlesque extravaganza King Arthur, performed at the Theatre Royal, Melbourne (Melbourne: For the author by C. Troedel, [1868]) (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Docy Stewart (vocalist); Marion Dunn (vocalist); Charles Troedel (publisher)

My dear girls she's a pal of mine, duo piquant as sung by Miss Docy Stewart & Miss Marion Dunn in The siege of Troy, the words by W. M. Akhurst (Melbourne: C. Troedel, [1868]) (DIGITISED)

The house that Jack built; or, Harlequin progress, and the love's laughs, laments and labors, of Jack Melbourne, and Little Victoria; a fairy extravaganza opening to pantomime by W. M. Akhurst, produced at the Theatre Royal, Melbourne, December, 1869 under the Mangement of Messrs. Harwood, Stewart, Hennings & Coppin (Melbourne: H. Cordell, Printer, [1869]) (DIGITISED)

Harlequin Jack Sheppard; or, The disreputable detective, the clever kleptomaniac, and the plot of the piebald goblin; an entirely new and original Xmas pantomime by W. M. Akhurst, first performed at the Haymarket Theatre, Melbourne, December 27th, 1869 (Melbourne: Printed by Abbott and Co., [1869]) (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Haymarket Theatre (Melbourne venue)

Musical publications (Walter Akhurst; W. Akhurst and Co.): (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Bibliography and resources:

"Akhurst, William", in Philip Mennell, The dictionary of Australasian biography (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1892), 6 (DIGITISED),_William

Prue Neidorf, A guide to dating music published in Sydney and Melbourne, 1800-1899 (M.A. thesis, University of Wollongong, 1999), 124-25 (DIGITISED)

Andrew Lynch, "Marvellous Melbourne's middle ages: the burlesque extravaganzas of W. M. Akhurst", Australian literary studies 26/3-4 (2011), 36-53;dn=201208333;res=IELAPA (PAYWALL)

ALBERTINE, Miss (Hannah MANCHESTER; performed as Miss ALBERTINE; Madame ALBERTINE)

Actor, dancer, vocalist

Born Tiverton, Rhode Island, USA, 1830
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 10 August 1859 (per Mary Pleasants, from San Francisco, 1 June)
Departed Melbourne, VIC, 1875 (per Swatara, for USA)
Died New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA, 6 October 1889, aged "58" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVED, AUGUST 10", The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (11 August 1859), 4 

Mary Pleasants, ship, 768 tons, Moore Gilchrist, from San Francisco June 1. Passengers - cabin: Mr., Mrs., and Master Backus, Miss Albertine, Mr. Haddon; and 24 in the steerage. Bright Brothers and Co., agents.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Backus and family (performers)

[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle [Melbourne, VIC] (20 August 1859), 4 

THEATRE ROYAL. Solo Proprietor, Mr. G. V. Brooke.
First Appearance of MISS ALBERTINE, JULIA H. BACKUS, Master BACKUS, And CHARLES BACKUS (The Ethiopian Comedian).
SATURDAY EVENING, 20TH AUGUST, Will be presented the
YOUNG AMERICAN ACTRESS, In which Miss Albertine Will sustain six characters.
The Farce of the GOOD FOR NOTHING. Nan - Miss Albertine.
Ballad - Julia H. Backus.
To conclude with THE MASQUERADE BALL.
Ephraim (a Negro doorkeeper) - Mr. Charles Backus.
Manager, Mr. Robert Heir.

ASSOCIATIONS: Gustavus Vaughan Brooke (actor, manager); Robert Heir (actor, manager); Theatre Royal (Melbourne venue)

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (22 August 1859), 4 

Miss Albertine, a new acquisition from America, made her first curtsey to a Melbourne audience at the Theatre Royal on Saturday evening last. The pieces selected for her debut were - a petite comedy, entitled the "Young American Actress," and the drama called "Nan the Good for Nothing;" in both of which Miss Albertine's acting, dancing, and singing, drew down thunders of applause. The farce of the "Masquerade Ball," in which Mr. Charles Backus appeared, terminated the entertainments. Mr. Backus has lost none of [5] that quaint humour and effectiveness of impersonation which rendered him such a general favorite when he visited this colony some two years ago.

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC. THEATRE ROYAL", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (27 August 1859), 2 

There was a numerous and respectable attendance at this theatre on Saturday evening, attracted by the announcement that Miss Albertine and a family party, of which the head was Mr. C. Backus, who two or three years back acquired the favourable opinion of the Melbourne theatrical public as an excellent impersonator of "[REDACTED]" character, would make their appearance. The performances commenced with the representation of a piece entitled "The Young American Actress," in which Miss Albertine enacted the heroine - the youthful Yankee yaller girl aforesaid. The piece, which is obviously adapted from a well-known English farce, is intendod as a vehicle for the display of whatever versatility the leading performer possesses, and certainly impressed us with certain novel ideas respecting the attributes of young American actresses. To describe to our readers the extent of our enlightenment as to the peculiarities of the class of which Miss Albertine represented the type, would, simply be impossible, as it completely dispelled all preconceived notions, and introduced us to a thoroughly new theatrical system, which would require more space than we have at our command to explain. We should have to relate how, looking for juvenility, we found maturity; that, expecting the accomplishments of a vocalist, we realised the melancholy wheezing of a cracked pandean pipe; and how, when awaiting the development of Terpsichorean excellence, we were compelled to be satisfied with the assurance that, to a young American actress of the Albertine model, artificial crinoline was a complete superfluity. No one likes to have all his cherished ideas upset, and a critic is notoriously restive under such a disaster . . . We had imagined that to be funny, it was not essential to be vulgar, and that to be graceful something more was required than a lavish liberality of leg. Once we held that pathos might be correctly demonstrated without such adjuncts as convulsive twitchings of the visage, hysteric sobs and snortings, and horrific exhibitions of the cornea. The Anglo-French patois formerly meant with us a compound of the two languages, in which the idiomatic, peculiarities of each might occasionally be traced, instead of a polyglot jargon composed of all dialects of every language, including American, low Dutch, and Chinese Irish. All these notions, and a great many more, were rudely disturbed by the effect which the performance on this occasion produced on our mind . . . We have no desire to be unnecessarily harsh, particularly where the object of our remarks is a member of the sex which claims with every right to do so, immunity from the severest criticism; but we must admit that our chivalry has been sorely tried in this instance. We find it impossible completely to discard those preformed ideas which impel us to look for particular qualifications as indispensable, but the indications of which we were unable to detect in Miss Albertine's performance. In "Nan the Good for Nothing," which was produced as the second piece, this lady was less defiant of taste, but it was still a very inferior performance to many which the playgoers of Melbourne have witnessed of the same character. She has also during the week appeared as Dot in the "Cricket on the Hearth," and as the French Spy. Mrs. Julia Backus mad her debut on Saturday evening as a solo vocalist, but failed to convince her audience that she was more than a very middling singer. Mr. C. Backus, who is amusing when he is in the vein, has appeared several times in the course of the week. We confess that we are at a loss to comprehend the tactics of the management as recently developed. The mysteries of the managerial sanctum are never too comprehensible, but unless one could imagine a management with suicidal tendencies, the politics of the government of the Theatre Royal must be set down as inexplicable. We hear that Professor Anderson will take a benefit at this theatre on one evening in next week.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Henry Anderson (magician)

[Advertisement], The Star [Ballarat, VIC] (24 September 1859), 3 

Will make her First Appearance On MONDAY, 26th SEPT.
First Appearance of the Young American Actress,
MISS ALBERTINE, Who is engaged For Six Nights Only.
The performances will commence with the highly laughable comedietta, entitled,
Catharine Madame Vonsniderkins - Miss Albertine.
To be followed by the new piece, written expressly for Miss Albertine, entitled,
Maria, the Manager's Daughter - Miss Albertine.
Paul, a French Minstrel Boy - Miss Albertine.
Fraulein Christine Vanderspeckenhartenullerbacklentinysen (presented on this night from "In and Out of Place," to introduce the celebrated Anglo-Dutch organ ditty) - Miss Albertine.
Hetty Butterfield, a Yankee Girl (with dance and song) - Miss Albertine.
Miss Julia Draw, an American Actress par excellence (with her great imitations) - Miss Albertine.
Madame Grisi Danseuse - not Vocalist (with dance) - Miss Albertine.
Admission - Pit 1s; side boxes 2s 6d; reserved seats 3s.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charlie Napier Theatre (Ballarat venue)

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC . . . BALLARAT", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (7 December 1861), 2

. . . Miss Albertine and company arr performing at the Criterion Concert Hall.

"THE STAGE", Weekly Times (6 March 1875), 10 

Miss Manchester, an American actress, who was playing in the colony about seven years since, and was known as Madame Albertine, lost her sight six years ago, and has been in the Ballarat Benevolent Asylum for nearly all that time. During his late visit to Ballarat Mr. Stuart O'Brien heard of her case, and that she wished to go to her friends in America, and organised a subscription, for the purpose of sending her home, amongst theatricals and American residents. Amongst others, he wrote the captain and officers of the Swatara on Monday last, and on Saturday Mr. Adamson called on him and informed him that Captain Chandler had offered to give the unfortunate lady a passage to New York. She was sent for at once, came down on Saturday night, and yesterday morning she was taken on board. Such a thoughtful and graceful act requires no comment.

ASSOCIATIONS: Stuart O'Brien (actor)

"MADAME ALBERTINE", The Argus (3 September 1875), 7 

With reference to Madame Albertine, the actress who was recently taken home to America in the Swatara, we find the following in the New York Herald of June 5: -

Mme. Albertine, a well known American actress a few years ago, has long been considered dead by all who knew her in this country. Her brother-in-law recently received a communication announcing that she was still in the land of the living. Last evening a reporter learned that Mme. Albertine, after landing from the Swatara, had gone to reside with Alexander Naefy, at No. 38 Garden-street, Hoboken, where the reporter found her. Her face is of a refined type, and, although stone blind, her eyes are lustrous, and she rivets them upon the person she is addressing. Her once black curls are now grey. In conversation she becomes quite animated. The following is her sad story: -

All my old theatrical friends believe me dead, and I have occasionally wished that I was so, but I still had vague hopes of coming home. Through the extraordinary kindness of Mr. O'Brien, of the Theatre Royal, Melbourne, Mr. Adams, American Consul, and my very kind friend Commander Chandler, who came 100 miles into the interior of Australia to Ballarat to take me on board his ship, I have reached America, thank God. Mr. O'Brien promised to write to Mr. Lester Wallack to meet me, and also to write to me at the British Consulate here.

I was born in New Bedford in 1834 [sic]. My first appearance on the stage was as a dancer at the Olympic Theatre, in Washington. I was afterwards a pupil of Madame Desjardins, the celebrated French dancer, who lived in Leonard-street. She was the rival of Fanny Elssler. I subsequently became an actress, and have acted in nearly every state of the Union. My first hit was in Little Dot, in "The Cricket on the Hearth." When I was playing at the Arch-street Theatre, Philadelphia, about 1848, I made an arrangement to play with Frank Chanfran, who was then immensely popular as "Mose," and travelled with him for a long time. In 1852 I was at San Francisco with Chanfran, and played at the Jenny Lind Theatre, under the management of Thomas Maguire. Among the dramas I took part in was "The Naiad Queen," "Satan in Paris," "The French Spy," &c. I danced in nearly all my pieces, and I have played in every line, even up to heavy business. The character of "Linda, or the Cigar Girl," was written for me. I subsequently returned in 1859, on my own account, to California. I opened at the Lyceum Theatre with "Jessie Brown, or the Relief of Lucknow." Among the troupe were Frank Mayo, Alonzo Phelps, Dave Anderson, "Old Uncle Dave," as we used to call him. The piece ran over 60 nights. I played "Our American Cousin" for the first time in San Francisco. I took the role of Mary. The manuscript was sent out to me by Chanfran. I did not care much about the piece, and did not think it good to star in. It's all Lord Dundreary.

When the dull season came on I determined to take a run to Australia. When I left the United States Mr. Ware, my agent, promised to pay my dues to the dramatic fund. When I arrived at Melbourne I played at the Theatre Royal with Gustavus Vasa Brooke, who was subsequently drowned on the steamer London, in the Bay of Biscay. I played, among other dramas, in "The Young Actress." After about a month I went to Ballarat, in the interior, where I played one night for a benefit in a farce, "Jimmy and Turichie," and afterward in "The Golden Drama." The theatre was a big tent, and all the hotels were tents, and that night I caught a bad cold, which turned into the colonial fever. I spent all my money, and to all the letters I wrote home I got no answer. When I got better I tried to act and dance, but I became so blind that I could hardly see the footlights, so I had to give it up. Dr. Berncastle treated my eyes for a year, but could do nothing. His first fee for examining my eyes was 15 guineas. At last, driven by poverty - all my jewellery and clothes being sold - I went into the Benevolent Asylum, where I learned to sew, knit, and read. They were very kind to me there, but they thought if I came to the United States I would be taken care of by the actors, but I said I did not want to be a burden to anybody. When Captain Chandler said he would take me home on the Swatara I wept for joy. If I had been the Queen of England I could not have been better treated on that vessel. What is to become of me I don't know, for my property at Yonkers has been sold for taxes, and I cannot redeem it. However, I am not despondent.

ASSOCIATIONS: Pauline Desjardins (dancer)

"AMUSEMENTS . . . NOTES", Daily Alta California [San Francisco, USA] (26 August 1878), 1 

The New York Evening Telegram says that the well-known actress, Miss Albertine, the original Lize to Frank Chanfran's Mose, at the old Chatham Theatre, of some thirty years ago, is now living in poor circumstances at New Bedford. It is reported that Mr. Chanfran is about trying to get up a benefit for the lady in question at one of the New York theatres during the coming season. She receives about $15 a year from the Dramatic Fund, but is supported by her sister. Miss Albertine was discovered in Ballarat Asylum for the Blind, by Captain Chandler, of the United states man-of-war Swatara, who brought her home from Melbourne in that vessel. Olive Logan (Mrs. Wirt Sykes) has recently written to Miss Albertine from Wales, asking for her theatrical reminiscences. The blind actress still has the good looks for which she was so famous, and her mind is as bright as ever.

[News], The Lorgnette (3 February 1886), 2 

The New York Actor's Fund has decided to pay five dollars weekly for eight months to Madame Albertine, the blind actress, who is residing in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Miss Albertine was the wife of Mr. Charles Backus, and played a very successful engagement at the old Theatre Royal some years back.

"THE BLIND ACTRESS. An American Actress Who at One Time Was a National Favorite", Sacramento Daily Union [California, USA] (8 October 1889), 4 

BOSTON, October 7th. - Mme. Albertini, the blind actress, whose death after a lingering illness occurred in New Bedford yesterday, had a very checkered career. Hannah Manchester was her name, and she was born at Tiverton, R. I, in 1830. When but 15 years old she married a circus performer and went with him upon the road. Her debut upon the stage was made at Augusta, Maine, as Sophia, in "The Rendezvous," in a company of which Wyzeman Marshal was leading man. By his advice she took lessons of the once famous Pauline Desjardens, who came to this country with Fannie Ellsler, and soon became almost her teacher's equal as a danseuse. She appeared in "The French Spy," and then as Dot in "The Cricket on the Hearth" with Frank Chaufran for a number of years. Mme. Albertini had a company of her own on the Pacific Coast and then visited Australia. This was the beginning of her misfortune. Captain Ralph Chandler, United States Navy, found her in an asylum at Ballarat, a victim of Colon [sic, colonial, typhoid] fever, and totally blind, and brought her to America in the Swatara. This was in 1875. Since that time Mme. Albertini has been an invalid, living with her sister in New Bedford.

"NEWS FROM FOREIGN LANDS", The Lorgnette [Melbourne, VIC] (23 November 1889), 3 

Madame Albertine, who will be remembered as having been in Australia in 1859, died in New Bedford, Mass., on the 2nd October [sic]. While in Australia, she contracted a fever, the result of which was a total loss of sight. She was taken home to America by Captain Chandler, of the U.S.S. "Swatara, " in 1875, having been discovered by him in an asylum in Ballarat, and had since been living with a sister at New Bedford. She was born in 1830 at Tiverton, R.I., her right name being Hannah Manchester. At 15 she married a circus performer, making her debut on the stage several years thereafter.

"REMINISCENCES OF THE STAGE", San Francisco Call (3 January 1892), 24 

. . . I wonder how many people of to-day remember the once popular Yankee Adams, the Yankee comedian, who was the very life of the stage nearly two score years ago, and who up to twenty years ago could draw an audience any one would be proud of. Some years twenty or twenty-five perhaps - he had a love affair which clouded and embittered his life. She was an actress. Miss Albertine, who became blind. She went to Australia, where misfortune after misfortune befell her, and finally friends raised funds enough to send her to the Eastern States, where she died some time ago . . . . The last plays that Mr. J. P. Adams starred in were: "The Yankee in Cuba," "The Vermont Wool-dealer," "Sally and Jonathan," "Sam Slick," "A Conjugal Lesson," etc. All were popular in their day. I played a season with him all through the interior of California.

Bibliography and resources:

T. Allston Brown, A history of the New York stage . . . vol. 2 (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1903), 15-17 (DIGITISED)

Mlle. Albertine had a checkered career. Her right name was Hannah Manchester, and she was born at the Stone Bridge, Tiverton, R. I., in 1831 [sic]. Her debut was at Augusta, Me., as Sophia in "The Rendezvous," during the season of 1846-47, but she soon took to the art of dancing. When F. S. Chanfran played at the Olympic Theatre, Washington, D.C., Albertine was engaged to support him. Her next appearance was at the Arch Street . . . [16] . . . In 1857, Albertine severed her engagement with Mr. Chanfran, and returned to California, starring therefor two years with increasing popularity, when she was induced to accept an engagement to go to Australia with G. V. Brooke. While acting at Ballarat she caught a cold, which turned into the colonial fever. She recovered and commenced to dance, but became so blind that she could scarcely see the footlights, and was compelled to leave the stage. She was under the care of oculists for one year without receiving any benefit. At last, driven by poverty, - all her jewelry and clothes having been parted with, - she went into the Benevolent Asylum in Ballarat, where she learned to sew, knit, and read. For years she was considered dead by all who knew her in this country . . .

ALCOCK, Edward (Edward ALCOCK; Mr. E. ALCOCK)

General printer, music printer, publisher of The colonial observer

Born c. 1794
Active Sydney, NSW, by 1841
Died North Brisbane, Moreton Bay, NSW (QLD), 24 September 1854, aged "60" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: The colonial observer (Sydney newspaper, 1841-44)


"THE PETITION", Australasian Chronicle (9 October 1841), 2 

. . . Dr. Lang commences his "Colonial Observer" with an article headed "Academical Education," in which not one word is said about education, though it occupies about five columns. Nobody thinks of calling this a "fraud;" nor is the Doctor called a swindler because he places "James Noble and Edward Alcock," instead of "John Dunmore Lang," upon the imprint . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Dunmore Lang (Presbyterian cleric)

"Supreme Court. CRIMINAL SIDE - THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 1843", Australasian Chronicle (8 April 1843), 2 

. . . Edward Alcock, late printer and publisher of the Colonial Observer, appeared upon an information by the Attorney General, charging him with having published a libel against the administration of justice in the colony . . .

"INSOLVENT COURT. FRIDAY . . . IN RE ALCOCK", The Sydney Morning Herald (7 August 1852), 5 

His Honor Mr. Justice Dickinson, on reading the petition of John McCabe, South Brisbane, publican, and accompanying document, granted a rule nisi, returnable on the 22nd proximo, calling upon Edward Alcock, of North Brisbane, printer, to show cause why his estate should not be sequestrated for the benefit of his creditor . . .

"DIED", The Moreton Bay Courier (30 September 1854), 2 

On Sunday, the 24th instant, at Albert-street, North Brisbane, Mr. Edward Alcock aged 60 years.

Musical publications:

A good black gin, an Australian melody, poet, Lieut. J. W. Dent; composer, I. Nathan (Sydney: W. Moffitt, 1845) 

[At foot of last page] "Printed by E. Alcock, City Printing Office, Hunter-street, Sydney"; first advertised 24 February 1845

ASSOCIATIONS: Isaac Nathan (composer); William Moffitt (publisher); the music and text of the print was set in moveable type by Nathan himself, his first print using the music font that he regularly used thereafter

"NEW SONG", The Sydney Morning Herald (24 February 1845), 2 

We have received a newly published song, the words by Lieutenant Dent, and the music by Nathan. It is in praise of a black gin, and is as ribald a production as it has been our lot to meet with for a long time. It cannot be admitted into any decent family, and we regret that any of Nathan's music should be arranged to such words.

For documentation on this publication, see:

Bibliography and resources:

Denis Cryle, A social and political history of the press in colonial Queensland 1846-1871 (St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1989), 33-35 (DIGITISED)

Prue Neidorf, A guide to dating music published in Sydney and Melbourne, 1800-1899 (M.A. thesis, University of Wollongong, 1999), 127 (DIGITISED)

"Edward Alcock", "Colonial Observer", AustLit 


Amateur vocalist, chorister

Born Capel, near Tunbridge Wells, England, c. 1833; son of John ALLCOCK and Mary ALLCOCK [sic] (m. Bidborough, 1821)
Arrived Hobart Town, TAS, 30 October 1854 (per Mooltan, from Southampton. 21 July)
Married Maria KURLIN (d. 1898), St. Joseph's church, Hobart Town, TAS, 10 July 1855 (aged "23")
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 18 August 1855 (per City of Hobart, from Hobart, 15 August)
Arrived Bendigo, VIC, 29 August 1855
Died White Hills, Bendigo, VIC, 18 March 1915, aged "82" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


England census, 30 March 1851, Speldhurst, Kent; UK National Archives, HO107;/1614/86/7 (PAYWALL)

Red Land / John Alcock / Head / mar. / 57 / Farm of 12 acres / [born] Kent Tunbridge / Deaf
Mary [Alcock / Wife / Mar. / 48 / Wife / [born] Kent Benchley
Sarah / daug. / 19 // John / Son / 18 / [both born] Kent Caple //
Emily / 16 // Carroline / 14 // Martha / 12 // [all born] Kent Caple //
Elizabeth / 9 // Edmund / 6 / [both born] Kent Tunbridge

Immigrants per Mooltan, from Southampton, for Hobart, 30 October 1854; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:398861; CB7/12/1/2 BK 16 

. . . John Alcock / 21 . . .

1855, marriages in the district of Hobart; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:851781; RGD37/1/14 no 643 (DIGITISED)

No. 1125 / 643 / 10 July 1855 Hobart Town / John George Alcock / 23 / Labourer / . . . Bachelor . . .
Maria Kurlin / 25 / Servant / . . . Spinster . . . Married in the Church of St. Joseph . . .

Names and descriptions of passengers per City of Hobart, from Hobart, 15 August 1855, for Melbourne, 18 August; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

Steerage . . . John Alcock / 27 // Maria Alcock / 27 . . .

"MR. JOHN ALCOCK, SIXTY YEARS A CHORISTER", The Bendigo Independent (22 August 1912), 2 (photo) 

"PIONEERS AND ALL. SINGING ON HIS WAY", The Bendigo Independent (22 August 1912), 2 

John Alcock sits in his cab on the rank, where the White Hills cabs stand, and carries his eighty years in a comfortable way. One understands, in part, why he thus carries the burden of years when it is known that from his youth upwards to old age Mr. Alcock was a church chorister. "And even now," he says, "I sing to myself in the watches of the night. I do not make much sound, and no one hears me, but I sing, and I hear myself, and it is enough. I like it."
He is a Kentish man, from Capel - Kent, near Tunbridge Wells, and his memories of the garden of England are still very vivid. It could hardly be otherwise. There are few places as beautiful as the County of Kent when the blossoms are on the trees, or later, when the hop fields are glowing with their delicate bloom.
He was trained as a chorister in the village church at Rusthall, by "a great choirmaster," says Mr. Alcock, "James Robards, and there was no better choir master anywhere. A better man never walked on two legs. I was a tenor," says the old man, thinking back along the line of his life, "and before that a soprano chorister." After I had sung tenor for twenty years, the organist asked me to sing bass, and I did. Perhaps my voice was properly a baritone."
Mr. Alcock was a farmer's son in Kent. He did not like farming. "Farmers worked their boys too young, and too hard," he says, "and made them dislike farming. The chief pleasure in his life in Kent was the chorister work in the village choir. I could read music before I could read the hymns, and I could read before I could spell." That is why," he says with a smile, "I was never very good at spelling."
He was one of the spirits made restless by the events of the early fifties in England - the great exhibition of 1851, which everyone said was to begin the thousand years of peace, the news of the gold discoveries in Australia, and the soldiers' war in the Crimea, with its stories of hand to hand fighting. "I drifted to London looking for work," he said, London was further away than it is now from Kent. City men who are in and out of the city every day now live in the county, and the hop fields and gardens are being pushed further back by the newer suburbs. "They were building the Crystal Palace, but there was no room for me. 1 went to the Victoria docks, but there was no work there, and at last I went to the Tower of London to be measured for a marine." England wanted soldiers of the line rather than marines at that time, and the recruiting sergeant at the grey old tower measured the young man. "I was all right," says Mr. Alcock, "but my right ankle was weak, and they rejected me. Then I came to Australia." One wonders how many of those in the marines at the time, who had strong ankles, are alive now. Probably nonw, but the rejected one still earns his daily bread.
"I did not come straight to Australia," says the old man. "The emigrant ships were full, but Tasmania wanted people. So I sailed for Hobart in the "Mooltan," a Greenock built ship, from Southampton. It was a terribly rough voyage, of 102 days. The ship was just a tub. It was a wonder it ever reached port. When the fresh water barrels were emptied they were filled with sea water to keep the tub steady." There is a Mooltan on the Australian line now, but that is a P. and O. palace, and does the long voyage in 30 days. It is a far call from Mooltan to Mooltan, and yet Mr. Alcock's life more than covers the distance. There were none but convicts, or at least very few free men, when he landed, he says. He heard some talk of the frequent hangings in the Hobart Gaol, where the scaffold list is an appalling record. Five or six were hanged between a Friday and a Tuesday soon after he landed. A carpenter working with him lost his job because he insisted on a holiday "to see three men hanged." Those were bad days in Hobartown, as it was then called.
"Major Cotton hired me off the ship as a gardener," says Mr. Alcock. He would be but a poor Kentish man who could not turn his hand to gardening, "and afterwards I was a butler, and my first experience in that way was being measured for the best suit of clothes I ever had in my life. I waited on the Governor while I was butler to Major Cotton."
A brother, who had left Kent earlier, wrote to him to come to White Hills. He repaid the cost of his passage and crossed the straits to his brother in White Hills. "There was a Dublin girl in Hobart who had arrived three months before me," says Mr. Alcock. "We were sweethearts, and I did not wish to leave her behind. So we were married and came to Victoria together. We crossed in a little steamer called the "Iron Tasmania." We had to shelter at Maria Island. We were very interested in the little island, because Maria was my wife's name. I never saw so many fish as when we were sheltering at Maria Island. The sea was alive with them.
We came to Bendigo in a Yankee waggon. At least my wife did. I did not come in the waggon all the way. It cost too much. I paid £7 10s for my wife's passage, but I rode part part of the way, got a lift the other part, and walked the rest. That cost me £3. The journey began at 11 a.m. Monday, and finished about 11 a.m. Saturday. The road was just a bush track with made patches over the very had places. We drove down the Mall in Bendigo on August 29, 1855, and went to Epsom. Arriving there on Sunday, August 30, 1855. My brother went to Bendigo on the Monday, bought us a tent 9 x 12, and that was our first house in Australia.
He started surface mining, gut as the lead dipped the holes were from 40 to 60ft deep. "We got some fairly rich stuff," says Mr. Alcock. "It averaged about 2oz to the load. Just when it got too poor to work and we were getting out the last dirt two men called on me who wanted a mate. I closed the bargain at once. We went to work in a hole abandoned by a new chum. The hole was nearly bottomed when it was abandoned. We sank a few feet, and uncovered dirt worth 4oz per load. We put in a drive, going down the flat, and after my first day in the drive, when I came up my mate said, 'Have you seen any gold?' I showed him a piece. We went down, and I showed him the roof of the drive studded with gold. It was a grand sight. That mine went 20oz to the load. It was good all through. After that we sank where the pottery now stands. This was good, but not so rich as the other.
I prospected a little after that, and then gave up gold digging. I was living at Huntly, and wished to be near home, so I took a job at £4 a week driving horse and dray. Later I was engine driving at £5 a week, and then I went carpentering at from 20s to 30s per day. I made two chairs at the time - one for my wife and one for myself. The frames were of ironbark, and the seats soft wood. I still have one of the chairs.
"Now I am coming to my singing," he said, and the interest grew in his voice and eyes. "The first Sunday I was at Epsom I went to the Wesleyan service at White Hills. The chapel was of duck, not even canvass. The floor was gravel, and a plank across two stumps seated the congregation. The next Sunday my niece said, "We will go to the Church of England this time, because they have a wooden building, and we went. They said they were forming a choir, and I said I would like to join, because I was a chorister from home. I did join. The first Sunday there was a young man leading the singing with a harmonium. The first Sunday they sang a tune called "Sarah." The next Sunday the young leader - he was Mr. Burgess, father of Inspector Burgess - was writing the music of a hymn. 'That is Irish,' I said. He said, 'Yes,' and I said, 'I will sing tenor, and you sing the melody.' We did, and so began a long musical friendship. He liked my voice, and took me to 'All Saints' in Bendigo. Mr. Brennan was the minister, and kept us to dinner. I was twenty years in All Saints' choir. After that I was in St. Paul's choir. I was a chorister from a boy until fifteen years ago when my voice got thin with age, but I still sing for myself. Why should I not? I love it, and I sang for 60 years as a chorister.
"After 43 years I went back to Kent. One of the first I met was the Archdeacon of Maidstone, and I recalled myself to his memory by showing him a prayer book which he gave e when he was a curate and I was a chorister. Amongst my old friends I was as one risen from the dead. I had a happy time there and at times I think I will go back and live with my sister. I have driven my cab to White Hills for 37 years and, thank God, I do not need an old age pension.

ASSOCIATIONS: Probably first at old Speldhurst church, and then the new St. Paul's church, Rusthall, in Speldhurst parish, opened 1849-50; Sydney John Cotton (retired soldier, public servant); probably Joseph Bird Burgess (musician)

"CHORISTER AND CABMAN", The Bendigo Independent (20 March 1915), 2 

Late on Thursday night Mr. John Alcock, an old singer and cabman, died at his residence, White Hills, from senile debility, in his 83rd year. He had been failing for the past three years, during the latter half of which he has been practically confined to his home. He was born in Kent, near Tunbridge Wells . . . [edited version of the above] . . . He was an I.O.R. advocate and an enthusiastic Oddfellow.

Grant of probate, John Alcock, cab proprietor, 1915; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

Bibliography and resources:

John Alcock, Find a grave 

NOTE: Gravestone (pictured) is engraved with opening bars of Handel's "I know that my redeeemer liveth"

ALDIS, William Henry (William ALDIS; William Henry ALDIS; W. H. ALDIS)

Musician, salaried vocalist, amateur vocalist, convict, printer, compositor, tobacconist

Born Southwark, Surrey, England, c. 1804
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 11 August 1827 (convict per Manlius (1), from London, 11 April)
Married Mary Ann LENNOX (1815-1896), St. Philip's church, Sydney, NSW, 1834
Died Sydney, NSW, 21 January 1872, aged "67/68" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Edwin Charles Aldis (son, see below); Hannah Aldis (Mrs. W. H. Palmer, daughter, see below)

ALDIS, Mary Louisa (Mary Louisa ALDIS; Miss M. ALDIS; after 1865 Miss ALDIS)

? Amateur musician, pianist

Born Sydney, NSW, 19 July 1843; baptised St. Philip's, Sydney, 20 August 1843; daughter of William Henry ALDIS and Mary Ann LENNOX
Died Manly, NSW, 8 August 1927 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ALDIS, Edith (Edith ALDIS; Miss E. ALDIS; Miss Edith ALDIS; Mrs. Septimus Stubbs GARLING; Mrs. GARLING)

Musician, pianist, music teacher

Born Sydney, NSW, 20 December 1853; baptised St. Philip's, Sydney, 30 January 1854; daughter of William Henry ALDIS and Mary Ann LENNOX
Married Septimus Stubbs GARLING (c. 1851-1905), St. Peter's church, Woolloomooloo, NSW, 15 September 1877
Died Wellington, NZ, 18 September 1923 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

W. H. Aldis, Tobacconist, George-street; from Fowles's Sydney in 1848 (DIGITISED)

And see also (? 1857): (DIGITISED)


Aldis was convicted of petty theft in London in January 1826, and sentenced to be transported for seven years.

He arrived in Sydney on the Manlius in August 1827, and by May 1828 he was collector of monies for Robert Howe's The Sydney Gazette. In 1832 he was fulfilling a similar role for Ward Stephens and Frederick Stokes at The Sydney Herald, and afterwards also as a town collector.

In 1829, Aldis, along with several other convicts, was also employed as a singer in the choir of St. James's church, Sydney, on a small retainer. However, after appearing as a vocalist in a public concert for Barnett Levey in September that year, he and fellow chorister, Harriet Edmonds, were dismissed from the church choir by the chaplain, Richard Hill.

"Mr. Aldis" sang a glee with Maria Taylor and Conrad Knowles in George Gordonovitch's concert in January 1835, and he took over Gordonovitch's tobacco business in 1837.

He was one of the principal vocalists in John Philip Deane's first Sydney concert in May 1836, and in William Vincent Wallace's oratorio at St. Mary's cathedral in September that year.

During the 1840s, Aldis regularly sold concert and theatre tickets from his shop. He was a friend of Ludwig Leichhardt, and, by Leichhardt's own account, the first to recognise the explorer on his unexpected return to Sydney in 1846.

Aldis was an early member of Sydney Philharmonic Society, and a committee member from 1856. The society's business meeting were regularly held at his George-street premises.

He was declared insolvent in 1867, but was able to resume trading briefly the following year. In 1870 he was appointed manager of Masonic Hall, in York Street. He died in January 1872 "an old and much respected colonist".

In 1845, Aldis commissioned a 3-rank chamber organ for his residence from William Jonathan Johnson.

His daughter Hannah Aldis (Mrs. W. H. Palmer) and granddaughter, Gertrude Palmer, were both professional musicians, and his son, Edwin Aldis, a musical amateur.


Old Bailey Proceedings Online, 12 January 1826, trial of WILLIAM ALDIS, t18260112-11 

192. WILLIAM ALDIS was indicted for stealing, on the 4th of January, 1 ream of writing paper, called demy, value 18s., the goods of Christopher Magnay and others, his partners. JOHN ELL: I am in the employ of Messrs. Christopher Magnay and Sons, of College-hill, Thames-street. I saw the prisoner come out of the warehouse with this ream of paper - he was a stranger - I said I thought he was not right; he said he was perfectly right - that he came from Mr. Hartnell, of Wine-office-court; EVAN WILLIAMS: On the 4th of January I was on Garlick-hill, I heard the cry of Stop thief! and saw the prisoner running without his hat; I stopped him - the paper laid in Maiden-lane; WILLIAM JOYCE: I took charge of him. GUILTY. Aged 22. Transported for Seven Years.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (14 May 1828), 1

THE Attention of the Subscribers and Advertisers to this Journal (the Sydney Gazette) is earnestly requested to the Defrayment of their Accounts, which are either furnished, or are now furnishing.
* * * William Aldis is the Collector in Sydney.

NSW census, November 1828; State Records Authority of NSW (DIGITISED)

Aldis William / 24 / Government Servant / Manlius / 1827 / 7 years / Prot. / Printer to Robert Howe

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Howe (newspaper proprietor)

Colonial Secretary LC, cash vouchers, 1829; State Records Authority of NSW, 4/296 (transcr. Rushworth 1988, 363)

[St. James's Church], Chaplain Hill, £250 [per annum]; Clerk, 20; Collector of Pew Rents, 5; Sexton, 20; Beadles (2), 15 each; Pew openers (2), 10 each;
Teacher of the Choir and Organist, Mr. Pearson, £26; ditto, for tuning the organ, 8;
Singers, Harriet Edmonds, 10; Ann Lancaster, 5; E. Hoare, J. Parton, G. Shepherd, Wm. Aldis, R. Cooper, S. Pawsey, 5 each;
Organ blower, Geo. Mills, 4 6s 8d; Watchman, 13; Grave Digger, 13.

ASSOCIATIONS: Richard Hill (chaplain); James Pearson (organist); Harriet Edmonds (vocalist); Ann Lancaster (vocalist); Edward Hoare (vocalist); Samuel Pawsey (vocalist, convict); George Mills (organ blower); St. James's church (Sydney)

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

Last Wednesday evening's Concert [16 September] went off, as we anticipated, in a highly creditable manner. The house was very respectably filled, and the whole performance was conducted with a degree of spirit and decorum, which has proved highly creditable . . . At length about eight, the performance commenced with one of Mozart's Overtures from the wind and stringed instruments. This was followed by a glee "The Bells of Saint Michael's Tower," which was well supported by Messrs. Aldis and Clarke, who took the counter tenor part, whilst Mr. Edwards chimed in with his naturally full, rich, and sonorous base . . . and about Eleven the finale, a Glee, "Lightly tread this hallowed ground," between three voices, Messrs. Clark, Edwards, and Aldis, concluded the evening's entertainment.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Edwards (violin, vocalist, leader); Mr. Clarke (vocalist); Barnett Levey (comic vocalist, concert organiser); Royal Hotel (Sydney venue)

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

This Concert was conducted by Mr. Edwards, and he had the good fortune to meet a house, which if not crowded, was pleasantly full, and consisting of persons at the first rank in the Colony . . . Mozart's Overture of La Clemenza commenced the evening's entertainment, and was well played . . . The glee of "The Bells of St. Michael's Tower" went off remarkably well, and gave much satisfaction - it was sung by Messrs. Clarke, Aldis and Edwards (bass) . . . Mr. Levey sang a comic song, which was encored. The second part commenced with Mozart's Overture of "La Villanella Rapita." - This is a spirited lively piece and went off capitally . . . "Two different passions sway my mind" by Mr. Aldis was well received. The glee of "Lightly tread" however called for much louder plaudits; it was sung by Messrs. Aldis, Clarke and Edwards . . .

MUSIC: The bells of St. Michael's tower (Knyvett); Two different passions sway my mind (song, by Gesualdo Lanza, for Charles Incledon, in The deserts of Arabia, London, 1807); Lightly tread (Berg)

[News], The Australian (23 September 1829), 3 

. . . Archdeacon Broughton, we hear, has expressed his intention to promote public harmony in more ways than one, and among others by patronising with his presence, Mr. Levey's next concert. We give the Venerable Gentleman every praise for his friendly intentions, and hope the old mammon which has kept people by the ears for many a long day past will not prove loo strong for his benevolent agency. What shall be said when it is known that two persons, a man and female, who gained a livelihood by singing in the choir at St. James's Church, have been discharged from their situation within this week past by the officiating Minister, for assisting as performers at the late concert? . . .

[News], The Australian (25 September 1829), 3 

The two choristers dismissed a few days since by the officiating Chaplain at St. James's Church, from their places, for the crime of singing at the late Public Concert, which the Venerable Archdeacon Broughton, it was expected, would have favoured with his presence, have not forfeited their means of obtaining a livelihood, as inferred by a paragraph in our last publication, we are glad to hear; the compensation allowed these singers amounting annually to but a trifle. Still the singularity of their abrupt dismissal remains unaltered. We hear the puritanical Pastor being too good and evangelical to live among the worldly going folk here, who can discover no sort of moral harm in a little innocent recreation betimes, will be treated with a rustication shortly.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Grant Broughton (cleric); Harriet Edmonds (chorister)

"CHIT-CHAT", The Sydney Monitor (28 September 1829), 3 

. . . The Reverend Mr. Hill has dismissed two of the choir singers at St. James' Church, for contaminating their voice and persons, by being present at Mr. Levey's last Concert, at which the Judges were present. The public are in ardent expectation, that this Reverend Gentleman will be invited to give way to some Universty-bred Clergyman, whose model of preaching will be equally plain and a little more connected . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Richard Hill (cleric, resident chaplain, St. James)

"THE CONCERT", The Australian (21 October 1829), 3 

Monday evening's vocal and instrumental divertisements went off remarkably well, all things considered. The evening set in wet and stormy which was one drawback, and the house consequently did not muster as full benches as there would have been otherwise. However, on the whole the attendance was tolerably good, and the voices and instruments, as we have premised, were passing the moderato style. We must own the absence of the powerful leader at the preceding concert . . . did cause us to entertain some few misgivings as to the comparative success of both evenings. Mr. Gee, band master of the 39th, however, who conducted the instrumental part of the performance, led and managed matters, we understand, in a manner creditable to himself and gratifying to a major portion of the auditory. With the overture to Der Freischutz the performance began . . . Webb's Glee - "Glorious Apollo from on high beheld us" - followed next - the three parts being well taken among Messrs. Aldis, Hall, and Davis - the thunder which now rumbled hoarsely outside, amid torrents of rain, mingling in with the trio - "in concert and rude harmony" and making no indifferent thorough-bass. "In gaudy courts with aching hearts" was next sung, by Mrs. Edmonds and Mr. Aldis, with good effect; and at the conclusion there rung through the house the cry encore - encore . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Francis Gee (master, 39th band); Band of the 39th Regiment (military)

MUSIC: Glorious Apollo (Webbe); In gaudy courts with aching hearts (Shield, from Rosina)

Ticket of leave, No. 31/765, 29 September 1831, William Aldis, Manlius, 1827; State Records Authority of NSW, NRS 12202 [4/4080] (PAYWALL)

. . . Native Place: Southwark / Trade or Calling: Compositor / Offence: Stealing paper . . . / Year of Birth: 1804 . . .

"Public Notice. Colonial Secretary's Office, Sydney, September 21, 1831", The Sydney Herald (10 October 1831), 1 supplement 

THE following Prisoners of the Crown have obtained Tickets of Leave since the last day of publication, viz. . . .
SYDNEY. Aldis William, Manlius . . .

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

WILLIAM ALDIS, Collector for the Sydney Herald (formerly in the same capacity at the Gazette Office), respectfully begs leave to present himself to the Public, at the commencement of the New Year, as GENERAL COLLECTOR FOR THE TOWN OF SYDNEY . . . Argyle-street, 16 Dec. 1831.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (16 July 1832), 4 

NOTICE. MESSRS. STEPHENS and STOKES of the "Sydney Herald," beg to inform the Public, that no Person is authorised to receive Money on their account, without giving a Printed Receipt, with the signature of the Firm.
And they further beg to notify that Mr. William Aldis is the Collector for Sydney . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Ward Stephens and Frederick Stokes (proprietors, The Sydney Herald)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (21 July 1832), 1 

"Australian Chronicle." THE Inhabitants of Sydney are respectfully informed, that Mr. William Aldis, No. 56, Castlereagh-street, (nearly opposite the Waggon and Horses), has been appointed Collector and General Agent for the "Australian Chronicle" and will immediately wait upon them with copies of the Prospectus, and to solicit the honour of their patronage . . .
Sydney, 14th July, 1832.

"MR. GORDONOVITCH'S CONCERT", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (22 January 1835), 2

On Tuesday evening [20 January] one of the most brilliant and fashionable assemblages that New South Wales can produce, assembled at the Pulteney Hotel for the purpose of hearing (as it turned out to be) some of the finest specimens of vocal and instrumental music ever before heard in this colony. The arrangements made by Mr. Cavendish, under whose superintendence the concert was got up, reflect infinite credit, on that gentleman . . . a glee by Mrs. Taylor, Mr. Aldis and Mr. Knowles gave entire satisfaction . . . glee, "Dame Durden," by Mr. Aldis, Mr. Knowles, and Master Horn, was middling . . . a glee by Messrs. Aldis and Knowles and Mrs. Taylor, went off very gaily . . . A trio, "Lady fair," by Mrs. Taylor, Mr. Aldis, and Mr. Knowles, was finely executed, Mr. Knowles's bass, fine in the extreme. Solo and grand double chorus (Purcell), Knowles, in his first part, was greatly at fault, not being able to reach the high notes. Finale, "Figaro" (Mozart), by the whole band, was brilliant, and the company departed well pleased with the evening's entertainment . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Gordonovitch (vocalist); Maria Taylor (vocalist); Conrad Knowles (vocalist); Pulteney Hotel (Sydney venue); see also printed program Mr. Gordonovitch's concert (Pulteney Hotel, Sydney, 20 January 1835)

"CONCERT", The Australian (23 January 1835), 2

. . . The principal singers were Mrs. Taylor, a young lady, Master Horne, Mr. Aldis, Mr. Ellis, and Mr. Knowles. The choruses were by the choir of the Roman Catholic Chapel. In all there were twenty-seven singers, and the incomparable band of the 17th Regt. There were upwards of three hundred persons present . . . Messrs. Aldis and Knowles, and Mrs. Taylor sung the glee "Shepherds tell me have you seen", accurately, and with taste . . . A duett from the Bride of Abydos was very successfully executed by Mrs. Taylor and Mr. Aldis. This gentleman has a pretty voice, and seems to have some musical skill; but as the pitch at which Mrs. Taylor sings, is beyond his relative calibre - the result of the two voices is not so harmonious and effective as it might be . . . A glee by Messrs. Aldis and Knowles, and a young gentleman, and the overture to Faustus, closed the first part of the concert . . . Glee, "Oh why to be happy," by Mrs. Taylor and Messrs. Knowles and Aldis . . . "Oh, lady fair," by Mrs. Taylor and Messrs. Knowles and Aldis, was weak, and somewhat out of tune in the chorus, occasioned by Mrs. T's maintaining too high a pitch for the contr'alto with which she had to unite . . .

MUSIC: Dame Durden (Harrington); Flowers in the east (from The bride of Abydos, Michael Kelly); Oh lady fair (Moore)

"MR. GORDONOVITCH'S CONCERT", The Sydney Times (23 January 1835), 2 

. . . Mr. Aldis's second [song] was much admired, and Mrs. Taylor acquitted herself as she always does, well; but so powerful is the voice of this lady, that, though the room of the Pulteney is of noble dimensions, 60 feet by 30 and 45 in height [sic], it is too confined for her upper notes, which are decidedly heard to greater advantage in the Theatre. The room was crowded to excess, and could not have contained fewer than 250 persons, many of the ladies very elegantly attired . . .

"CONCERT", The Alfred (23 January 1835), 2 

. . . The Hymn to the King, from the German by Haydon, was afterwards sung by Mrs. Taylor, Mr. Aldis, and Mr. Knowles, and the full chorus, which was formed of the singers of the Roman Catholic Chapel. It however appeared to us that the accompaniment of the band was too loud for the voices in the chorus . . . Mrs. Taylor executed the first part of the glees very well, and Mr. Knowles sings a passable bass, but the less said of the second the better, and we should advise Mr. Aldis to confine his singing in future to a private company, and not exhibit before the public . . .

"The Concert", The Sydney Monitor (24 January 1835), 2 

. . . We are not aware what caused Messrs. Knowles and Aldis to quit their ordinary professions and turn public singers. Their voices are not suitable for a concert room. However they appeared to have heen diligent in practicing, and got through their parts creditably . . .

[Editorial], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (21 July 1835), 2 

. . . From them the conduct of the Herald has descended from dire necessity, to two emancipated convicts, William Henry Aldis and Henry Murray, who have been the open advocates of an intolerant and tantalising exclusion against the party to which they belong - and this elevation and association of object has in the scale of society, induced these fellows to assume a position unauthorised, and, in our opinion, dangerous. The establishment of the Herald was a speculation in which the worthies now at its head were the mere instruments used in its accomplishment. Both were employed as clerks in the Gazette Office, and Mr. Ward Stephens in a very subordinate situation. While here he was particularly accommodating to the poor convict servants of the house whose necessities he frequently relieved, during the week with a few shillings, on condition that on Saturday evening, the principal and interest were to be repaid . . . Here therefore is the young gentleman - the leading pink of pride in talent and propriety, who lends his weapons - the columns of the Sydney Herald - to the more adept management of his old companions, Aldis and Murray - and who is Aldis? This fashionable was under Stephens, a convict in the Gazette Office, and held one of the most menial situations for a considerable time in the service. He is now, reputed part editor of that delectable and pure sheet, with Mr. Murray . . .

[Advertisement], Commercial Journal and Advertiser (18 May 1836), 1 

CONCERT. MR. JOHN PHILLIP DEANE, Member of the Philharmonic Society, and Professor of Music, BEGS to announce to his Friends and the Public generally of Sydney, and its vicinity, that he will give a CONCERT of Vocal and Instrumental Music, at the Royal Hotel,
THIS EVENING, May 18, 1836, on which occasion the following talent will render their valuable assistance:
PRINCIPAL PERFORMERS - Mr. Cavendish, Mr. Allen, Mr. Stubbs, Mr. Sippe, Mr. Wilson, Masters John & Edward Deane, Miss Deane, several Gentlemen Amateurs, Mr. Aldis, and Mrs. Chester.
PART I . . . Glee & Chorus - Bragela, Mrs. Chester, Master Deane, Mr. Aldis, &c - Stevens . . .
PART II . . . Duetto - Dear Maid, Mrs. Chester and Mr. Aldis - Bishop . . .
Glee and Chorus - Away, away, the morning freshly breaking, by all the Vocalists - Auber
By the kind permission of Major England, the Band of the 4th or King's Own will attend . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Philip Deane (musician); William Joseph Cavendish (musician); Thomas Stubbs (musician); George Sippe (musician); Mr. Wilson (musician); Master John Deane (musician); Master Edward Deane (musician); Rosalie Deane (musician); Marian Maria Chester (vocalist); Band of the 4th Regiment (military)

"MR. DEANE'S CONCERT", The Australian (20 May 1836), 2 

. . . The duet Dear Maid, by Mrs. Chester and Mr. Aldis would have been much more effective had the gentleman's voice been strong in proportion to that possessed by Mrs. Chester. It however went off well . . .

MUSIC: O strike the harp in of my love [". . . in praise of Bragela"] (Stevens); Dear maid, I love thee (Bishop)

[Advertisement], Commercial Journal and Advertiser (6 July 1836), 2 

. . . MR. J. P. DEANE, Member of the Philharmonic Society, London, and Professor of Music.
RESPECTFULLY informs his Friends and the Public, that his next CONCERT of Vocal and Instrumental Music will take place
THIS EVENING, July 6th, 1836, in the Saloon of the Royal Hotel . . .
PART I . . . Chorus - The Chough, and Crow - Bishop.
PART II . . . Duett - Tell me where is fancy bred, Mrs. Chester and Mr. Aldis - Bishop . . .
Chorus - Of Huntsmen, C. M. Von Weber . . .

MUSIC: Tell me where is fancy bred (Stevenson, arr. Bishop)

"THE ORATORIO", The Australian (23 September 1836), 2 

There was the most numerous assemblage of persons at the Oratorio, on Wednesday evening, that was ever convened under one roof in the Colony since its foundation. In the spacious area of St. Mary's Church seven hundred contributors to this festival were easily provided with suitable and pleasant accommodation . . . An Amateur, Mr. Aldis followed Mrs. Rust - we thought him injudicious in doing so - we do not say this for the sake of any invidious comparison, but for our own sakes, and partly for his sake, and not a little for the sake of the public . . . To Mr. Wallace, who presided, we can pay no higher compliment than that he was equal to himself . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Margaret Rust (vocalist); William Vincent Wallace (conductor); St. Mary's cathedral (Sydney)

"The Oratorio . . . PART FIRST. Selections from Handel's Sacred Oratorio, THE MESSIAH", The Sydney Monitor (24 September 1836), 2 

Recit - MR. ALDIS. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened . . .
AIR. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd . . . Come unto him, all ye that labour . . .

"THE ORATORIO", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (24 September 1836), 2 

. . . Mr. Aldis did not come up to our expectations in He shall feed his flock; his voice, though sweet, is too weak, and the circumstances of his following Mrs. Rust was quite sufficient to shew him in the greatest possible disadvantage . . .

"THE ORATORIO" [satirical correspondence], The Colonist (29 September 1836), 2-3 

WE insert the following critique on the performances, at the Oratorio in the Roman Catholic chapel, from the pen of a talented correspondent . . .
[3] . . . Mrs. M.: What think you of the Amateur? I mean Mr. Aldis.
Mr. T.: Why, I think he was out of tune, out of time, out in point of taste, and, in fact, out in every way, but where he should have been, that is out of the performance. He might have been prompted by charitable motives to render his assistance, but I doubt very much whether the taking of a few tickets would not have much more benefitted the Committee, and would certainly have been more charitable to his hearers. I do most cordially hate to see a man thrust himself forward without the shadow of a pretension to excellence, or even to passing ability, struggling as it were for notoriety, heedless of its being obtained by superiority, or the reverse. In fact, my dear Madam, not that I mean to compare a theatrical representation to an Oratorio, but if ever an actor was accused of murder, surely Mr. A. ought to be accused and decidedly found guilty of sacrilege.
Mrs. M.: You are very severe, Mr. T.; Pray, what think you of Mrs. Chester's abilities? . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (13 March 1837), 3 

NOTICE. THE undersigned returns his grateful acknowledgments for the patronage he has received for the last two years and in so doing begs to recommend to his old Friends his Successor in Business,
MR. ALDIS, who has this day taken possession of the Stock in Trade, &c., and with whom all Parties indebted to the undersigned are requested to settle their Accounts.
G. GORDONOVITCH, Snuff and Tobacco Warehouse, No. 5, George-street, March 11, 1837.

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (14 March 1837), 3

The tobacco and snuff establishment lately carried on by Mr. Gordonovitch, in George-street, has been lately taken by Mr. Aldis.

See also Aldis's advertisement for his mock-theatrical benefit, [Advertisement], The Colonist (10 August 1839), 3 

[Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (10 September 1842), 3

MR. DEANE begs to inform his friends and the public that . . . his Concert of vocal and instrumental music, on a very extensive scale, will take place at the Royal Victoria Theatre, on Wednesday, September 14, 1842 . . .
Tickets to be had of Mr. Ellard, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Aldis, George-street;
Mr. Turner, King-street; Mr. Wright, Victoria Hotel; and Mr. Deane, O'Connell-street . . .

"ORGAN BUILDING", The Australian (18 October 1845), 3 

We were much gratified yesterday by an inspection of a beautiful chamber finger-organ which has just been completed by Mr. W. J. Johnson for Mr. Aldis, the tobacco merchant. Its compass is from CC to F in alt, and it has four stops, viz., diapason treble, diapason bass, principal, and dulciana, and is furnished with Venetian swell. The case is made of cedar, with handsomely ornamented gilt, pipe front - altogether forming an elegant construction, highly creditable to the builder. We understand this is the third instrument built by Mr. Johnson in the colony: the first was for the temporary Cathedral Church, George-street; the second for St. Matthew's, Windsor; and two more of larger dimensions are in progress, viz., one for the Independent Chapel, Pitt-street, and one for the Church Society . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Jonathan Johnson (musician, organ builder); St. Andrew's cathedral (temporary church, Sydney)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 March 1848), 1 

TO BE DISPOSED OF, a beautiful toned HARMONIUM, with three stops, adapted either for public or private service, and the only one remaining of the importation. Price, £30.
May be seen on application to W. H. ALDIS.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 February 1852), 1 

PATRON: The Lord Bishop of Sydney.
MANAGING COMMITTEE: Rev. R. Allwood - Rev. A. H. Stephen - Charles Nathan, Esq. - E. T. Blackett, Esq.
G. J. Armytage, Esq. - G. R. Hirst, Esq. - J. V. Lavers, Esq. - H. C. Cotton, Esq. -
W. H. Aldis, Esq. - J. S. Usher, Esq.
CONDUCTOR: James Johnson, Esq.
Honorary Treasurer - J. S. Usher, Esq.
Honorary Secretary - Rev. T. Druitt.
OBJECTS OF THE SOCIETY. "TO improve the state of Choral Music generally throughout the City, and with that view to provide an efficient volunteer choir for each of the parish churches in the City of Sydney, and to hold regular meetings for the practice of sacred and secular concerted music" . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: James Johnson (conductor); Thomas Druitt (secretary); Edmund Blackett (member); Charles Nathan (member); Sydney Choral Society (association)

[Advertisement], Empire (15 April 1856), 1 

Patron - His Excellency the Governor-General.
Patroness - Lady Denison.
President - Hon. J. H. Plunkett.
Vice-President - Dr. H. G. Douglass.
COMMITTEE: Hon. F. L. S. Merewether, Dr. Nathan, C. Younger, Dr. Woolley,
J. M. Richardson, W. H. Aldis, H. Spyer, J. A. Bosen [sic], W. McDonnell, J. Prost.
Honorary Treasurer - Mr. Mountcastle.
Honorary Secretary - Mr. E. Paris . . .
The third year of the Society commenced on April 4th, 1856 . . .
Instrumental practice every - MONDAY EVENING, at 7 o'clock.
Vocal practice every FRIDAY EVENING, at 7 o'clock, at the Society's Rooms, 10, Jamison-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: William and Caroline Denison (governor and wife); John Hubert Plunkett (president); Francis Merewether (member); Charles Nathan (member); Charles Younger (member); John Woolley (member); John James Mallcott Richardson (member); Henry Spyer (member); Theodor August Bosen (member); James Cornelius Prost (member); Benjamin Such Mountcastle (treasurer); Eugene Adolphus Paris (secretary); Sydney Philharmonic Society (association)

"DEPARTURE OF MADAME BISHOP", Empire (3 May 1856), 4 

Madame Bishop took her leave of the Sydney public last night, her valuable services having been secured by Mr. Johnson for a grand concert of operatic music . . . yesterday afternoon a number of the residents of this city assembled at the Royal Hotel, and presented Madama Bishop with two very handsome testimonials - the one a diamond brooch subscribed for by the lady friends of the cantatrice, and the other a heavy purse of gold emanating from Mr. W. G. Pennington, Mr. Meymott, Mr. Aldis, Mr. Woolley, and a number of their fellow-citizens . . . Madame Bishop, we understand, leaves for Melbourne this day . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Anna Bishop (vocalist); William Jonathan Johnson (musicseller, musician); Frederick William Meymott (musical amateur)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 October 1856), 1 

NOTICE. - The friends of MISKA HAUSER having fixed THURSDAY next, October 23rd, at the Royal Hotel, for the complimentary Farewell Concert, request all applications for tickets may be made to Mr. W. H. ALDIS, after Monday next. Front seats, 7s. 6d.; back seats, 5s.

ASSOCIATIONS: Miska Hauser (violinist)

"PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (12 April 1859), 5 

We are requested to draw the attention of the members of this society to the advertisement calling the meeting for this evening, at Mr. Aldis', George-street, at half-past seven.

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (14 April 1859), 5 

The annual meeting of this society, whose periodical concerts in the Exchange Hall form such an agreeable and fashionable entertainment, was held on Tuesday evening, the 12th instant, at Mr. Aldis' house, in George-street . . . Mr. Aldis, to whom the society has been much indebted for many years for active personal exertions, for the constant use of his house for committee meetings, and for occasional substantial assistance - such as enthusiastic treasurers are wont to afford - was elected honorary treasurer by acclamation . . .

[Advertisement], Freeman's Journal (4 May 1859), 3 

J. G. Waller, Esq., Committee of Philharmonic Society
L. Rawack, Esq., ditto ditto
W. McDonell, Esq., ditto ditto
W. H. Aldis, Esq., ditto ditto
J. Dyer, Esq., ditto ditto
John Deane, Esq., Conductor of the Philharmonic Society . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Gough Waller (member); Leopold Rawack (member); Joseph Dyer (member); John Deane (conductor); Sydney University Musical Festival (event); see also "A MUSICAL FESTIVAL. TO THE EDITOR OF . . .", The Sydney Morning Herald (3 January 1890), 6 

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", Empire (19 June 1860), 5 

The annual meeting of the Sydney Philharmonic Society was held at Mr. Aldis's, tobacconist, George-street, yesterday evening. There were about 30 persons present . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 February 1862), 1 

Committee of Management.
Hon. J. H. Plunkett, M.L.C.
Hon. F. L. S. Merewether, M.L.C.
Laurence Spyer, Esq.
A. H. McCulloch, Esq.
John Black, Esq.
Joseph Spyer, Esq.
Leopold Rawack, Esq.
W. H. Aldis, Esq.
J. R. CLARKE, hon. secretary . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Boulanger (pianist, Aldis's daughter Hannah's piano teacher); Lawrence and Joseph Spyer (members); Jacob Richard Clarke (musicseller, secretary)

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", Empire (25 July 1862), 8 

THE annual meeting of the above Society took place last evening at St. James's School, Castlereagh-street . . .
"In presenting their annual report, your committee would briefly trace the progress of the society since its establishment in the month of February, 1854.
"At that time a few gentlemen, believing that there were a sufficient number of amateur musicians in the colony to support a society having for its object their mutual improvement and gratification in the performance of the most approved vocal and instrumental music, established this society.
"Although at first their number was small, yet there were among them some zealous workers who sustained the operations of the society amid many difficulties and discouragements, and some of whom now remain to witness the expanded growth of the association they they formed.
"Among these deserve to be mentioned the names of J. H. Plunkett, Esq., who has ever since maintained the office of president, and Messrs. Mountcastle and Aldis who have from the first exerted themselves in the most unwearied manner in the promotion of its objects . . .

"MUSIC AND DRAMA", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 September 1863), 8 

The Philharmonic Society has for some time past exhibited that want of vigour which characterised it for so many years. It is the parent musical society of Australia, and many of those members to whose activity is chiefly owing the fact of its existence at the present time, have made another effort to place the affairs of the society in a more satisfactory condition. At the annual meeting held on the 31st ultimo, it was determined to give greater attention to vocal music, and limit the instrumentation to concerted pieces for six or seven instruments. It is also intended to make the concerts more exclusively of an amateur character, and thus diffuse a practical knowledge among the members of the music of the best masters. Mr. Plunkett, M.L.C., was elected president, and Mr. Aldis vice president. The arrangements thus made it is confidently anticipated will prove successful.

"LEICHHARDT'S LAST HOME CORRESPONDENCE (FROM THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, SEPT. 9.) Translated from the Adelaide Tanunda Deutsche Zeitung of 14th July", The Argus (13 September 1865), 5

The original of this letter is in the hands of Dr. R. Schomburgk, in Bucksfelde, near Gawlertown, and contains the following:
"Sydney, 18th April, 1846.
"My dear Brother-in-law, . . . An intelligent, much-liked tobacco merchant, named Aldis, had assisted me when I started before most friendly and strongly, and he was the first whom I met when I landed. When he had recollected me (and this took a pretty long time) he gave vent to his feelings in such a glorifying welcome that I did not know what to think of it. And when he accompanied me to Lynd's house, and called out to everybody in the street. "There is Leichardt, whom we buried long ago, about whom we sang songs of death; he comes from Port Essington, and has conquered the wilderness."

ASSOCIATIONS: Ludwig Leichhardt (explorer)

"INSOLVENCY COURT, SYDNEY. SURRENDERS", Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (12 March 1867), 2 

William Henry Aldis, of George-street, Sydney, tobacconist. Liabilities, £1862 1s. 10d., of which £100 is secured. Assets, £1180 13s. 10d. Mr. Sempill, official assignee.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 March 1867), 1 

IN THE INSOLVENT ESTATE OF W. H. ALDIS, Tobacconist, of 308, George-street, Sydney.
Offers, in writing, will be received by the undersigned until 12 o'clock on FRIDAY, the 15th day of March, 1867, in the above estate, for the following lots, either together or separately:
Lot 1. - Stock-in-trade as per stocklist.
Lot 2. - The Official Assignees' right, title, and interest in the lease, which expires on 1st January, 1870, and the fittings and fixtures.
The premises form the corner of George and Hunter streets, and occupy one of the best business positions in the city . . .

"ATTEMPTED MURDER OF THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH. TRIAL OF HENRY JAMES O'FARRELL, CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT, SYDNEY. Monday", Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (7 April 1868), 2 

. . . For the prosecution, and to endeavour to show that the prisoner during his sojourn in Sydney had not displayed any symptoms of insanity, the following witnesses were examined . . . W. H. Aldis, who had conversed with the prisoner almost daily for the last three months . . . who stated that he considered him to be a clever, highly intellectual, well-educated man, and that he had not seen anything strange or incoherent in his manner . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry James O'Farrell (accused); Alfred (duke of Edinburgh, victim)

[Advertisement], Evening News (14 May 1870), 3 

MASONIC HALL, YORK-STREET. The Directors of the Freemasons' Hall Company have much pleasure in informing the public that they have appointed Mr. W. H. ALDIS to the management of the Hall, who will be in attendance on the premises daily, to confer and arrange with parties desirous of engaging the same.
JOHN A. MATHEWS, Secretary.
In reference to the above advertisement, the undersigned has to state that, having been identified with most of the musical societies of Sydney for more than a quarter of a century, is well informed as to the requirements and attention of professionals engaging the Hall, and that his study will be to give every satisfaction, not only to them, but the general public.
To those unacquainted with the capacity of the Masonic Hall, it way be stated that it will contain 1000 persons, is the best building in the city for sound; and for banquets, balls, public breakfasts, with its spacious retiring rooms lor ladies, &c., &c., is unsurpassed.
The Masonic Hall has recently been fitted up with a splendid sunlight, and an additional room for professionals at the rear of the stage.
The Masonic Lodges, also, having been removed to the new building, the Hall is now available for daily, weekly, or monthly engagements.
W. H. ALDIS, Manager.

[Advertisement], Evening News (22 August 1870), 3 

No provision having been made at the Metropolitan and Intercolonial Exposition for the production of "Exhibits," by Australian Musical Artists, the undersigned desires to state that he has been applied to for the purpose of supplying the necessity. With this national object in view, it is requested that ladies and gentlemen (Australians) willing to co-operate, and competent to render with efficiency, works of the best masters, either as soloists or in concerted pieces, will please send their names and addresses immediately to the undersigned.
The Concerts being intended to assimilate those of the Drawing-room, Choral singers will be unrequired.
It it suggested also that there shall be a series of four Concerts, next month, during the visit of H. R. H. the Duke of Edinburgh and the many families from the interior, and the colonies.
The object being a national one, the charges for admission will be merely nominal - Family tickets, for the series. One Guinea; single tickets, Half-guinea.
- Parties intending to take part in the performances will please send in their addresses at once to
W. H. ALDIS, Masonic Hall.

"DIED", The Sydney Morning Herald (27 January 1872), 1

On the 21st instant, at his residence, No. 1 William-terrace, Bourke-street, Woolloomooloo, WILLIAM HENRY ALDIS, aged 67 years, an old and much respected colonist.

"MARRIAGE", The Sydney Morning Herald (27 September 1877), 1 

GARLING - ALDIS. - September 15, at St. Peter's Church, Woolloomooloo, by the Rev. G. H. Moreton, Septimus Stubbs, youngest son of the late Frederick Garling, to Edith, youngest daughter of the late W. H. Aldis.

ASSOCIATIONS: Frederick Garling (deceased)

"IN MEMORIAM", The Sydney Morning Herald (31 January 1888), 1 

ALDIS - In affectionate memory of my father, the late W. H. Aldis, who (in his days of prosperity) contributed liberally to the progress of our public charities, and also to the advancement of the fine arts. Died January, 1872.

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 September 1923), 10 

GARLING. - September 18, at Wellington, New Zealand, Edith, relict of the late S. S. Garling, Mosman, Sydney.

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (10 August 1927), 12 

ALDIS. - August 8, at her nephew's residence, Darley-road, Manly, Mary Louisa Aldis, aged 84 years.

Bibliography and resources:

Francis Campbell Brewer, The drama and music in New South Wales, published by authority of the New South Wales Commissioners for the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893 (Sydney: Charles Potter, Government Printer, 1892), 56, also 59, 90, 94 (DIGITISED)

. . . It may be of interest to mention here that the late Mr. W. H. Aldis was a frequent vocalist at concerts given by Mr. Deane . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Francis Campbell Brewer (memoirist)

"MUMMER MEMOIRS. SOME EARLY MUSIC MASTERS . . . No. 103 (By 'Hayseed')", Sydney Sportsman (16 February 1910), 3 

. . . Mr. W. H. Aldis, a tobacconist in George-street, with a private residence at Newtown, was a frequent vocalist at Mr. Deane's concerts. His name was connected with the musical history of Sydney for 40 years. He devoted both time and money to the advancement of the art; he was the friend and adviser of many professional visitors to Sydney, and the large room over his shop, which was situated, in 1855, where Holle, the eminent tailor, is, was often used to introduce artists to critics. His daughter, Mrs. Palmer, was well known as an accomplished pianist, and for some years was a soloist at the principal concerts in Sydney . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Michael Forde (memoirist)

Graeme Rushworth, Historic organs of New South Wales (Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1988), 46, 71, 74-75, 363

"William Henry Aldis", Design & art Australia online (DAAO)

NOTE: The image mentioned of the Oneida was not by him, but given to him ("To W.H. Aldis Esqre / Sydney / From H.D. B[...?] h[...?] ft, P[...?]er / 7th June 1859") 

ALDIS, Edwin Charles (Edwin Charles ALDIS; E. C. ALDIS)

Amateur musician, organist, harmonium player, leader of church music

Born Sydney, NSW, 17 September 1835; baptised St. Philip's church, Sydney, 25 October 1835; son of William Henry ALDIS and Mary Ann LENNOX
Died Sydney, NSW, 28 December 1879, aged "45" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: William Henry Aldis (father, above); Hannah Aldis (Mrs. W. H. Palmer) (sister, below)


[Advertisement], Empire (23 October 1856), 1 

FAREWELL CONCERT TO MISKA HAUSER. (His last appearance in Sydney.) -
THIS DAY, Thursday, October 23, 1850, at the Royal Hotel . . .
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . 3. Grand Trio for piano, violin, and violoncello, Andante and Finale Movements. Young Lady Amateur, Miska Hauser, and Mr. E. Deane. - Mendelssohn
PART II . . . 3. La Gazelle (grand solo piano), Young Lady Amateur - Kullak . . .
EDWIN C. ALDIS, Honorary Secretary.

ASSOCIATIONS: Miska Hauser (violin); young lady amateur = Hannah Aldis (pianist, Edwin's sister); Royal Hotel (Sydney venue)

"GOVERNMENT GAZETTE. FRIDAY, MARCH 1, 1861", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (5 March 1861), 3 

His Excellency the Administrator of the Government, with the advice of the Executive Council, has been pleased to make the following appointments in the Railway and Electric Telegraph Departments:- . . .
Mr. E. Aldis - to be station master and line inspector at Wollombi.

"WOLLOMBI (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT)", The Sydney Morning Herald (24 June 1861), 5 

On Sunday last we were pleased to hear a long wished for addition to our church, viz., an harmonium accompanying the musical portion of our congregation, Mr. Edwin Aldis, our telegraph-master, having kindly volunteered his services as organist. A choir has hardly yet been formed, but we noticed a decided improvement in our church music last Sunday.

ASSOCIATIONS: St. John's church (Wollombi)

"DISTRICT NEWS (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENTS) - WOLLOMBI", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (24 April 1862), 3 

. . . I regret to add it is rumoured that our intelligent telegraph master, Mr. Edwin Aldis, is about to leave us, that gentleman having received a Government appointment elsewhere. His efforts in procuring the harmonium for our church, his kindness in volunteering his services as organist, and his gentlemanly and obliging demeanour, have secured for him the general esteem of all parties. It is hqped be will not leave us before accepting some testimonial of acknowledgment, which he certainly merits . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 August 1862), 2 

TO EDWIN C. ALDIS, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

Dear Sir, - On the eve of your departure from this district we wish to convey to you the general regret your resignation has occasioned. It, however, affords us the pleasing opportunity of briefly expressing the compliment we are called upon to pay you. Since your residence amongst us we have, on all occasions, in our intercourse with you received the most courteous attention; and your general affability and obliging deportment have secured you the respect and esteem of all parties.

But such of us who are members of the Church of England cannot pass over in silence your successful efforts in obtaining an "Harmonium" in our church, and it is mainly due to your praiseworthy and laudable exertions which have thus promoted and established a "Choir," which has rendered our Church Service so beautifully complete.

We must also convey to you our sincere thanks for your considerate attention to our convenience in affording us regularly the daily Sydney time. But last, though not least, your valuable contributions to the Sydney press deserve public recognition, as on all occasions we have observed your articles have not only borne the testimony of facts, but have had for their object the welfare of the district.

In bidding you "Farewell," permit us to express our best wishes for your future happiness and success, and a rapid realisation of those honourable aspirations which are so vividly conspicuous in your many excellent qualities, which have so warmly endeared you to all during your residence amongst us.

(Signed) DAVID DUNLOP, J. P.; WILLIAM JOHN COBCROFT, J. P.; HUGH C. CLAUGHTON, Clerk; JOHN MAHER, C.C. (Here follow 50 signatures)

To David Dunlop, Esq., J.P., William J. Cobcroft, Esq., J.P., Rev. Hugh C. Claughton, and Rev. John Maher, and the ether gentlemen signing the above address.

Gentlemen, - No one can value more highly than I do the unexpected and flattering address you have been pleased to make me. I am aware from this how fully you sympathise with my wishes, but at this moment I am at a loss for words sufficiently to express the gratification it will ever afford me to conceive myself worthy of your esteem . . .
I remain, gentlemen, Your obedient humble servant,

ASSOCIATIONS: David Dunlop, husband of Eliza Hamilton Dunlop (local residents); see also, "WOLLOMBI", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (5 August 1862), 3 

[Advertisement], Evening News (3 October 1879), 3 

LOST. - Will the party with whom two Books were left - "Notes from my Journal," by E. C. A., and a Manuscript Journal with name of undersigned written inside, kindly send address to
EDWIN C. ALDIS, care of E. Hendren, Gardeners Arms, Castlereagh-street south.

"FOUND DEAD IN THE LOCKUP", Evening News (29 December 1879), 3

Senior-Constable William Scott reported this morning to the City Coroner, that about 4 o'clock yesterday morning Constable Thomas Quin found a prisoner named Edwin C. Aldis lying dead on the guard-bed in one of the cells at No. 1 police station. Deceased was brought to the station about half-past 12 the same morning, charged by Constable Slannon with being drunk in Pitt-street. There were five prisoners confined in the cell; two were quite sober. Thomas Bacon states that deceased was rather restless, shifted his position, and became quite calm about 3 o'clock. An inquest will be held.

"Coroner's Court. DEATH FROM INTEMPERANCE", Evening News (30 December 1879), 3 

The City Coroner held an inquest this morning at his offices, Hyde Park, on the body of Edwin Charles Aldis, who died in the cell at No. 1 Police Station, where he was locked up on a charge of drunkenness. From the evidence it appeared that deceased was 45 years of age, and a native of New South Wales. He was of very intemperate habits, and had been drinking heavily during the last fortnight. His brother, Gilbert David Aldis, saw him alive on Christmas eve. He was then in a weak and exhausted state, and had to assist him along. Latterly deceased had no fixed place of abode. The constable who arrested deceased found him on Saturday night lying on the footpath in Pitt-street, apparently asleep and snoring. The policeman endeavoured to wake him, but finding he could not do so, he went to the Central Police Station for a barrow used for conveying drunkards. Dr. Vanse, who made a post mortem examination, found that deceased's liver and other organs of the body were diseased. The jury, according to medical evidence, returned a verdict of death from natural causes, accelerated by habits of intemperance.

ALDIS, Hannah (Hannah Hay ALDIS; Miss ALDIS; Mrs. William Henry PALMER; Mrs. W. H. PALMER; Mrs. PALMER)

Musician, pianist, pupil of Maria Logan and Edward Boulanger

Born Sydney, NSW, 11 December 1838; baptised St. Philip's church, Sydney, 17 January 1839, daughter of William Henry ALDIS and Mary Ann LENNOX
Married William Henry PALMER, St. James's church, Sydney, NSW, 19 November 1863
Died Sydney, NSW, 25 November 1912, aged "73" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: William Henry Aldis (father); Edwin Charles Aldis (brother)


Two published prints were dedicated to her, Miska Hauser's impromptu Australian flowers in December 1856, and the Rosalind schottische by Douglas Callen in 1859.

Her daughter was the pianist Gertrude Palmer. According to Gertrude's obituary, she was a cousin of Charles Steggall and Karl Straube.


Baptisms, St. Philip's, Sydney, 1839; Australia, births and baptisms database (PAYWALL)

17 January 1839 / Born 11 December 1838 / Hannah Hay / [daughter of] William Henry [and] Mary Ann / Aldis

[Advertisement], Empire (4 August 1856), 1 

- Patron, His Excellency the GOVERNOR-GENERAL; Patroness, LADY DENISON, who have signified their intention of being present.
MISKA HAUSER, has the honour to announce that his Last Concert will take place
THIS (Monday) EVENING, 4th August, at the CONCERT HALL, ROYAL HOTEL.
PROGRAMME . . . PART II . . . Grand Duetto, from "Guillaume Tell," for Piano and Violin, by Osborne and De Beriot - performed by a Young Lady Amateur and MISKA HAUSER
PART III . . . Piano Solo - "La Cracovienne," composed by Wallace, - Performed by a young Lady Amateur . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Miska Hauser (violin); William and Caroline Denison (governor and wife); Sydney Philharmonic Society (association); Royal Hotel (Sydney venue)

MUSIC: Fantaisie brillante sur Guillaume Tell (De Beriot and Osborne); La cracovienne (Wallace)

"MISKA HAUSER'S LAST CONCERT", Freeman's Journal (9 August 1856), 3 

. . . A crowded and brilliant house evidenced the appreciation in which this prince of performers on the violin is held by the elite of Sydney . . . The performance of a young lady amateur on the piano was one of the richest treats of the evening. Her brilliant style of execution pleasingly surprised the audience. We regret our space does not permit us to point out a few of her many excellencies. We hope, however, to feast once again on the divine ambrosia of her music, and do her more ample justice. There was a general feeling of satisfaction manifested by the audience.

"MUSIC AND THEATRICALS", The People's Advocate and New South Wales Vindicator (16 August 1856), 5 

. . . Returning to Sydney from this tour, he [Hauser] announced a concert, the programme of which included selections of the highest class of music. There were scarcely thirty persons present, amongst whom there were but three members of the Philharmonic Society, whose concerts he had, on his former visit so often played gratuitously! His second concert was even worse. It is true that, at last, the society seemed to have become ashamed of their unpardonable apathy and neglect, and condescended to offer their patronage at a concert which was given last Monday week. But full as was the Concert Hall on that evening, there is no disguising the fact, that this arose from the active exertions of the influential friends of the "Young Lady Amateur," who were naturally desirous to give her a flattering reception . . . The next attraction of the evening was the debut of a Young Lady Amateur, a pupil of that accomplished preceptress, Mrs. Logan. Report had spoken highly of the singular talent of this accomplished demoiselle, nor were those who credited the report disappointed. She is, in a word, a pianiste of a very high order, combining brilliancy of execution, with delicacy of touch, and graceful expression. She was enthusiastically received, and her success was complete . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Maria Logan (pianist, teacher)

[Advertisement], Empire (13 October 1856), 1 

SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY. - The next Concert of the Season will take place
THIS (Monday) EVENING, 13th instant, at the Concert Room, Royal Hotel.
PROGRAMME. PART I. . . . Duet, Piano and Violin - "Benedict and De Beriot" - Lady Amateur and MISKA HAUSER . . .
PART II . . . Solo, Piano - Lady Amateur . . .

MUSIC: See here for Julius Benedict's collaborations with De Beriot, op. 18 (on La sonnambula); op. 19 (Duo concertant); op. 28 (on Norma)

"THE PHILHARMONIC", The Sydney Morning Herald (13 October 1856), 5 

The Sydney Philharmonic Society gives its subscribers and friends a musical treat this evening . . . Thalberg's splendid fantasia for the piano, from Rossini's opera of "Moses in Egypt," by an Australian amateur, and a spirited duo of De Beriot and Benedict for the piano and violin, by Miska Hauser and a lady amateur, are amongst the attractions of the programme.

MUSIC: Fantasie on Mose (Thalberg)

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", Empire (14 October 1856), 5 

This society gave the second concert of the season last evening at the Royal Hotel. The programme of the entertainment included among other pieces on allegro and scherzo by Mayseder - very finely executed by Miska Hauser, J. Deane, E. Deane and amateurs - the G minor (Op. No. 3) of Mozart, and a duet for piano and violin by De Beriot and Benedict. This last piece was most beautifully given by Miska Hauser and a lady amateur, and elicited the warmest applause from the audience. Beside Madame Pleyel we have heard few pianistes who for dexterity and brilliancy of touch - originality of reading - and fine perception of light and shade - have outrivalled this "lady amateur." We trust very shortly to hear her again . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Deane (violin); Edward Smith Deane (cello); Marie Pleyel (French pianist)

[Advertisement], Empire (23 October 1856), 1 

FAREWELL CONCERT TO MISKA HAUSER. (His last appearance in Sydney.) -
THIS DAY, Thursday, October 23, 1850, at the Royal Hotel . . .
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . 3. Grand Trio for piano, violin, and violoncello, Andante and Finale Movements. Young Lady Amateur, Miska Hauser, and Mr. E. Deane. - Mendelssohn
PART II . . . 3. La Gazelle (grand solo piano), Young Lady Amateur - Kullak . . .
EDWIN C. ALDIS, Honorary Secretary.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edwin Charles Aldis (Hannah's brother)

MUSIC: Piano trio in D minor (Mendelssohn); La gazelle (Kullak)

"MISKA HAUSER'S FAREWELL CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (24 October 1856), 5 

This talented violinist Miska Hauser made his last appearance before a Sydney audience last evening, in a grand complimentary concert, got up and conducted, as we believe, by several gentlemen residents of Sydney - admirers of the musician . . . Miska Hauser took part in the trio of Mendelsshonn the first, and in the quartette of Onslow's, in the second part. In the first of these - the trio - the young lady amateur, whose brilliant debut at a former concert we had the pleasure of recording, took a part, and by her delicacy of touch and brilliancy of execution fully bore out the sanguine anticipations we then formed of her talent. A brilliant and exceedingly difficult solo of Kullak's, "La Gazelle," showed to complete advantage the finished style and rapid but correct execution of this very talented young lady, and may be said to have finally stamped her reputation as a pianist. Under such circumstances, we almost conceive that the musical public has a right to the name of a lady who has already made herself famous, but gallantry forbids us to raise the veil in which this young Australian artiste has thought proper to enshroud herself . . .

"MISKA HAUSER'S LAST APPEARANCE IN SYDNEY", Empire (25 October 1856), 4 

. . . one of the most brilliant audiences ever assembled in this metropolis met to take a farewell of the highly gifted artiste. Among those present we noticed his Honor the Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Therry, Mr. Broadhurst, M.L.C., Dr. Bland, Mr. Plunkett, M.P., Dr. Woolley, Mr. Gordon, M.P., and many gentlemen belonging to the literary and musical circles of this city . . . to the Messrs. Deane, Mr. Stanley. Mr. Ellard, the lady amateur pianiste, and Madame Cailly, the greatest praise is due for their combined efforts to render the concert worthy of the graceful and gracious effort of those gentlemen who gave it, and of the great musician in honour of whom it took place . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Alfred Stephen (musical amateur); Roger Therry (musical amateur); John Hubert Plunkett (musical amateur); John Woolley (musical amateur); William Stanley (piano); Frederick Ellard (musician); Clarisse Cailly (vocalist)

"MISKA HAUSER'S FAREWELL CONCERT", Freeman's Journal (25 October 1856), 2 

. . . The lady amateur on whom we made some complimentary comments on a former occasion, again treated us, on the same evening, to a brilliant solo ("La Gazelle") of KULLAK'S. We concur with a contemporary critic in his wish to give this fair lady's name to the world, now that rigid criticism has awarded her its brightest crown. She is graceful, unaffected, and a most accomplished artiste . . .

"FAREWELL CONCERT OF MISKA HAUSER", The People's Advocate and New South Wales Vindicator (25 October 1856), 2 

. . . The selection of music was liberal, and various, and so chosen as to display his wonderful powers. He opened with a Rondo arranged by himself. This was succeeded by a grand trio for piano, violin, and violincello - "Andante and finale - Mendelsohn," which was brilliantly executed by an Australian lady amateur, Miska Hauser; and Mr. E. Deane. This young lady's solo on the piano, "La Gazelle - Kullak," in a subsequent part of the evening, was a really choice gem, and received the warmest applause . . .

MUSIC: Piano trio in D minor (Mendelssohn), 2nd and 4th movements; La gazelle (Kullak)

"REVIEW: THE AUSTRALIAN ALBUM, for 1857. J. R. CLARKE: Sydney, Music Publisher", The Sydney Morning Herald (24 December 1856), 5

A quiet look over this very interesting publication has fully confirmed us in the strong opinion expressed at a first sight of the work - that it is the best drawing room annual ever published in the colony. The contents comprise eight morceaux, all of which may be said to be Australian productions . . . Miska Hauser's "Bird on the Tree," dedicated to Lady Macdonald, and arranged for the Piano; and his "Australian Flowers," dedicated to Miss Aldis, would alone have been sufficient to have led those, who have heard this prince of violinists execute these morceaux, to secure the notes, almost at any price . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Jacob Richard Clarke (music publisher)

MUSIC: Australian flower (Hauser)

"To the Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald", Empire (27 February 1857), 3 

SIR . . . I believe that there is scarcely any possibility for an amateur, taught only in this city, to delight the cool reflecting critic, who little cares for the youth or age of the performer, but whose only desire is to hear real good music. Much as he has reason to admire another extraordinary talent of a young lady of this city, who appeared on a former occasion at the Philharmonic Concert, and who, if she were to continue assiduously her studies at the conservatoires of Paris, or Leipsic, might in some years bring lustre to her native place . . .
I am, sir, your obedient servant, ---.

ASSOCIATIONS: The letter was principally concerned with a review of a performance by another lady amateur Rebecca Jaffa (pianist)

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 April 1857), 4

The annual meeting of the Sydney Philharmonic Society was held on Thursday evening, at the Society's Practice Rooms, in Jamison-street, Mr. Plunkett, M.L.C., the President of the Society, took the chair; after which, the Secretary read the report for the past year . . . During the past year, six concerts have been given, at all of which the best music of the masters has been performed by the orchestra, now numbering 90 performers. Solos have been performed by M. Hauser, E. Boulanger, E. Deane, Herr Prost, Mr. Sloper, and Mr. Wheeler, with eminent success. The society has been successful in inducing lady amateurs to assist at the concert, and have tendered their thanks to Mrs. Jaffa and Miss Aldis for their kind and efficient services . . . After the reading of the report . . . the honorable J. H. Plunkett, Esq., Q.C., was elected President of the society . . . and the following gentlemen members of the committee . . . Boesen, Aldis, McDowell, Richardson, Mountcastle, E. Deane, and Younger . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Boulanger (pianist); James Cornelius Prost (musician); Frederick Evans Sloper (musician); Stephen Thomas Wheeler (musician); Theodor August Bosen (member); William Henry Aldis (her father, member); John James Mallcott Richardson (member); Benjamin Such Mountcastle (member); Charles Younger (member)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 July 1857), 1 

the Second Concert of the Season will take place, at the Concert Hall, Royal Hotel,
THIS EVENING, July 20th.
PROGRAMME. PART I. . . . 3. Grand Quartette - No. 3 from Op. 108, for Piano, Violin, Viola, and Violoncello, by a Lady Amateur and the Messrs. Deane - Reissiger . . .
PART II. . . . 2. Solo - Pianoforte, "AEolian Harp," by a Lady Amateur - Kruger . . .

MUSIC: Excerpt from Piano quartet no. 3, op. 108 (Reissiger); La harpe éolienne (rêverie pour le piano, op. 25, Wilhelm Krüger)

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (22 July 1857), 5 

. . . The quartette No. 3, by Reissiger, celebrated for his purely classical music, whether in his duets for flutes, his trios for stringed instruments, or his concerted music generally, was, we think, the gem of the evening. To the young lady who so kindly assisted in this brilliant selection is to be attributed its success, for to her share fell the largest proportion, and we feel certain that the gentlemen who took part in the quartette will not take umbrage at what we say, for we readily admit their well-known talent; they will agree with us that the piano had the hard work, and admirably was it executed. It is for the performance of such music as this, together with more extended classical music, that the Society most properly strives, and so long as the "Lady Amateur" so unassumingly and kindly consents to aid the Society we have no fear that this elevated style of composition will be forgotten. We wish the executants had played, the whole of it, but then some people are never satisfied. But we must not omit to point out that this quartette was executed by four natives of Australia, and most creditable is it to them . . . Kruger's piano solo "AEolian Harp" was most exquisitely given by the Lady Amateur, and well deserved the encore unanimously called for and most good humouredly granted, a sparkling comic piece by Gortchkoff (we believe) being substituted by way of variety. We cannot help remarking here it is somewhat extraordinary that with all the talent any person on the platform must have looked upon in the hall, only one lady could be found willing to assist the Society when so excellent an example has been shown. We throw this out as a hint, for we cannot but believe, nay, we know, there were ladies present who could have played, if not solos, at least some brilliant duets, before their friends on such an occasion . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Correctly, John Deane was not a native Australian, but born in England, and arrived in Hobart with his parents aged just 1 year; the other two Deanes were Edward, and probably either William or Charles (all born Hobart)

MUSIC: [encore] "Gortchkoff" = probably Gottschalk's Le bananier

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (29 April 1858), 8 

THE Fourth Annual Meeting of this Society was held at the Practice Room, Jamison-street, on Monday evening last, the Hon. J. H. Plunkett, Esq., the President, in the chair . . . the Secretary read the report, of which the following is a copy: . . . Your Committee most gladly tender their acknowledgments to Madame Jaffa, and to Miss Aldis, for their ready acquiescence in the desire of the Society to avail of their services, regretting that their excellent examples have not, as yet, been more generally followed . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 July 1859), 10 

The Rosalind Schottishe, by Douglas Callen, Esq., and dedicated to Miss Aldis, 2s. 6d. (published this day) . . .
J. R. CLARKE, Music-seller and Publisher, 356, George-street, Sydney.

ASSOCIATIONS: Douglas Callen (composer)

MUSIC: Rosalind schottische (Callen)

[Advertisement], Empire (20 July 1859), 8 

THIS EVENING, at 8 o'clock, there will be performed, a GRAND MISCELLANEOUS CONCERT of Secular Music.
PROGRAMME. PART THE FIRST . . . Solo, Pianoforte - Lady Amateur. - (Belisario). - Goria . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Sydney University Musical Festival (event)

MUSIC: Fantaisie de concert sur Belisario [Donizetti] (Goria)

"UNIVERSITY MUSICAL FESTVAL", Empire (21 July 1859), 4 

. . . Amongst the other encores were a lady amateur's (Miss A----) piano solo . . .

"NEW MUSIC", The Sydney Morning Herald (8 August 1859), 5 

An addition to our musical repertoire has been made by Mr. D. Callen, in a very graceful composition, bearing the title of the "Rosalind Schottische". The introduction is short and effective, and the schottishe itself very pleasing, particularly the trio. That it will become a favourite there is no doubt, from the absence of those difficulties of extreme ornamentation which render some dance compositions "studies" rather for the proficient than pieces for the ordinary musician. It is appropriately dedicated to Miss Aldis. Mr. J. R. Clarke is the publisher.


THE Festival which was so worthily ushered in on Monday the 18th of July, by the University Commemoration, and the daily progress of which we duly chronicled, is of so important a character, - let us hope so beneficial in its results, that it demands a prominent place in our European Summary . . . Of instrumental soloists there were but two, - Mr. Kohler, of Melbourne, on the flageolet and cornet-à-piston; the second was a well-known young lady Amateur . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Richard Wildblook Kohler (musician)

"MARRIAGES", Empire (24 November 1863), 1

PALMER - ALDIS - On the 19th November, by special license, at St. James' Church, by the Rev. Canon Alwood, William Henry Palmer, Esq., of Brisbane, Queensland, to Hannah Hay, eldest daughter of W. H. Aldis, Esq., of Sydney.

"BIRTHS", Illustrated Sydney News (16 February 1866), 14 

PALMER - Feb. 1, at Newtown, Mrs. W. H. Palmer, a daughter.

ASSOCIATIONS: : Birth of her daughter, the pianist Gertrude Palmer

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 June 1868), 8 

PROGRAMME. PART I . . . 3. Solo, Pianoforte - "Sonate Pathétique" - (Beethoven) - Mrs. W. H. PALMER (amateur) . . .
PART II . . . 9. Solo pianoforte - "Norma" - (Boulanger) Mrs. W. H. PALMER (amateur) . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Exchange Hall (Sydney venue)

MUSIC: Caprice sur Norma (Boulanger)

"PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY'S CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (23 June 1868), 4 

. . . The chief attraction in the concert was the appearance of Mrs. W. H. Palmer, who, as Miss Aldis, will be remembered aa a distinguished amateur pianists, having been a pupil of Boulanger, and played in public once or twice with Miska Hauser. She is now leaving the rank of amateurs to engage in tuition, and this, do doubt, operated as a stimulant to those efforts which resulted in her brilliant instrumentation this evening. She had the advantage of a magnificent full concert grand piano just imported by Mr. Paling, and the pieces set down for her were fairly calculated to afford scope for her ability. The first was Beethoven's "Sonate Pathetique." The varied and exquisite expressiveness of which she seemed folly to appreciate, and she exhibited that freedom, yet delicacy, of fingering necessary for its realisation. In the second part she gave Boulanger's pianoforte solo "Norma," with such brilliant effect as to lead to a recall, when she played a ballad air (a favourite with H. R. H. Prince Alfred) by the American composer, Gortzchalk entitled "Benanier." This sparkling little piece was also given with great taste and accuracy . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Henry Paling (musicseller); Alfred (duke of Edinburgh)

MUSIC: Le bananier (Gottschalk)

[Advertisement], Empire (12 December 1868), 1 

Madame ANNA BISHOP will be assisted on this occasion by Mrs. W. H. PALMER . . . PROGRAMME. PART I. . . . Solo, Pianoforte - Don Pasquale - Boulanger - Mrs. W. H. PALMER . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Anna Bishop (vocalist); Prince of Wales Theatre (Sydney venue)

MUSIC: Serenade from Don Pasquale (Boulanger)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 January 1869), 1 

MRS. W. H. PALMER, Pianoforte and Singing Lessons. Address W. H. Paling, Wynyard-square.

"MRS. W. H. PALMER'S CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (1 May 1869), 4

Mrs. Palmer, better known in musical circles as Miss Aldis, will give a concert at the Masonic Hall on Monday evening next, the 3rd instant, under the immediate patronage of his Excellency the Earl of Belmore and the Countess of Belmore. Before directing attention to the programme, it may interest many to know that the lady who will be the principal performer at the concert was, years ago, in the days of Boulanger and Rawack, recognised as the most talented amateur pianist in the colony, and made her debut with the celebrated violinist, Miska Hauser, in a classical chamber concert, when she received a most flattering acknowledgment of her musical talent. Mrs. Palmer afterwards performed as an amateur at the concerts of the Philharmonic Society, of which she was made an honorary member when only sixteen years of age; and many will remember the ovation she received at the Sydney University Festival, notwithstanding that her playing was tested by that of the two great artists mentioned above. Bearing these facts in mind, it will be readily seen that the concert on Monday evening will partake more of legitimate instrumentation than those usually given, as the programme includes two exquisite quartettes (op. 106 [sic] and op. 108) of Reissiger, for piano, violin, viola, and violoncello, besides a fantasia by Goria, and Thalberg's magnificent arrangement for the "National Anthem." The programme is interspersed with vocal selections. It may be presumed that the concert will be a treat to all those who prefer good to meretricious music.

ASSOCIATIONS: Leopold Rawack (amateur musician, violin)

MUSIC: Reissiger's op. 106 is not a piano quartet, the Second piano quartet was op. 70; Grand fantasia on God save the queen and Rule Britannia (Thalberg)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 May 1869), 8 

MRS. W. H. PALMER has the honour to announce that her
CONCERT will be given at the Masonic Hall, THIS EVENING, May 3rd, at 8 o'clock, under the distinguished patronage of
His Excellency the Earl of Belmore and Lady Belmore
The Hon. E. Deas Thomson and Mrs. E. Deas Thomson
The Hon. John Robertson
The Hon. J. F Josephson and Mrs. Josephson
The Hon. Saul Samuel, &c.
Quartette - Piano, violin, viola, and violoncello - Reissiger - Mrs. W. H PALMER. Mr. GREENFIELD, Mr. C. M. DEANE and Mr. EDWARD DEANE.
Song - "Se Romeo t'uccisi" - Bellini - Mrs. CORDNER.
Piano Solo - "Fantasia de Belisario" A. Goria - Mrs. W. H. PALMER.
Quartette - Piano, violin, viola, and violoncello - Mrs. W. H. PALMER, Mr. GREENFIELD, Mr. C. M. DEANE, and Mr. EDWARD DEANE.
Song - "The Promise " - Rossini - Mrs. CORDNER.
Song - Mr. A. FAIRFAX.
Piano solo - Fantasia - "God save the Queen, and Rule, Britannia " - Thalberg - Mrs. W. H. PALMER.
Accompanyist - Mr. MONTAGUE YOUNGER.
Tickets, 5s reserved seats, and 3s gallery, may be had at Mr. W. H. Paling's, Wynyard-square; Mr. J. H. Anderson's; Messrs. J. Reading and Co, and the principal musicsellers . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward and Anna Maria Thomson (patrons); Joshua Frey and Katerina Josephson (patrons); Ellen Cordner (vocalist); Andrew Fairfax (vocalist); Montague Younger (piano accompanist)

"MRS. W. H. PALMER'S CONCERT", Sydney Mail (8 May 1869), 9 

. . . The solos played by Mrs. Palmer were the "Fantasie de Belisario (Gorio), a fantasia on "Rule Britannia," and "God save the Queen" (both by Thalberg), and being enthusiastically encored in the first, she substituted Boulanger's "Don Pasquale." Each of those pieces was performed with the sparkling effect and refined expression which characterises her pianoforte playing, and all the music assigned to her was well calculated to exhibit her accomplishments as an executant.

St. Peter's, Woolloomooloo", Evening News (11 September 1876), 2

To-morrow, Tuesday evening, a concert will be given at the schoolroom, by Mrs. W H. Palmer, one of the ablest amateur pianistes in Sydney. Mrs. Palmer will be assisted by several amateurs, and by Miss Gertrude Palmer a young lady but ten years of age, who already exhibits great musical talent, and will play a solo on the piano by Leybach, and a duet with Mrs. Palmer, by De Vibac, from the opera L'Elisir D'Amore. The programme contains several beautiful glees, duets (both vocal and instrumental), and a solo for Mrs. Palmer, who will thus exhibit her great command over the piano, and knowledge of the art she adorns.

"Mrs. Palmer's concert", The Sydney Morning Herald (23 October 1884), 10

Mrs. Palmer, assisted by Miss Eva Thompson, A.R.A.M., M. de Willimoff, violin, Mr. Chambers (amateur), viola, Herr Gumprecht (amateur), violoncello, the Misses Palmer, and other musicians - will to-night give a concert in the old Masonic Hall, York-street, and from the abilities of those engaged some excellent instrumental music may be confidently expected. Miss Palmer made a highly successful first appearance a short time since. She is a pupil of Mrs. Palmer (herself a pupil of Boulanger), who has long held a high position among teachers, and some years ago, as Miss Aldis, was a frequent performer at the Philharmonic and other concerts in Sydney. The entertainment is under the patronage of his Excellency the Governor and Lady Augustus Loftus, Sir Alfred and Lady Stephen, Sir John and Lady Hay, and other distinguished persons.

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (26 November 1912), 8

PALMER. - November 25, 1912, at Ocean-street, Woollahra, Hannah Hay Palmer, relict of the late W. H. Palmer, of Sydney, aged 73 years.

"PERSONAL", The Sydney Morning Herald (27 November 1912), 18

The death took place on Monday at her residence, Ocean street, Woollahra, of Mrs. Hannah Hay Palmer, at the age of 73 years. Mrs. Palmer was a native of Sydney. Her father was Mr. W. H. Aldis, a merchant of this city in the early days. Old colonists will recollect Mrs. Palmer as a lady of high musical talent. There is a link connecting her with Chopin. She was a pupil of Boulanger, and he, in turn, was a pupil of the great composer. Miss Aldis was a brilliant pianist, and when a girl of 14 she gained distinction by her playing at the opening of the Sydney University. For many years Miss Aldis (afterwards Mrs. Palmer) took part in the leading concerts of Sydney, and was a prominent figure in the musical world. Her husband, the late Mr. W. H. Palmer, was for many years connected with the firm of Robert Towns and Co. Her daughter is Miss Gertrude Palmer, who is a well-known solo pianist and accompanist. There are also two other daughters, Mrs. Debenham, of Melbourne, and Mrs. Freeman, wife of Mr. Freeman, solicitor, of this city.


Australian flowers (Miska Hauser, 1857)

Australian flowers, impromptu for the piano forte, by Miska Hauser ("2nd Impromptu, dedicated to Miss Aldis") (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, in the Australian album 1857) (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

ASSOCIATIONS: Miska Hauser (composer); Jacob Richard Clarke (publisher)

AUDIOVISUAL: James Doig, historical keyboardist, performs "Australian flowers" by Miska Hauser in the drawing room of Vaucluse House (Sydney Living Museums) (STREAMED)

Rosalind scottische (Douglas Callen, 1859)

Rosalind schottische, dedicated to Miss Aldis, by the composer, Douglas Callen, bandmaster, 12th Regiment (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1859]) (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Douglas Callen (composer)


Musical amateur, concert presenter and promoter, venue proprietor, caterer

Born London, England, 7 May 1818; baptised Pentonville Chapel, 10 June 1818; son of James William ALDRIDGE and Elizabeth JOHNSON
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 1841 (assisted immigrant per Emerald Isle, aged "23", with spouse), Arrived Adelaide, SA, by c. 1847
Married (2) Sarah Jane BROWN, Adelaide, SA, 4 September 1856
Died Adelaide, SA, 12 December 1879 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Rose Aldridge Grainger (daughter, born at White's Rooms, Adelaide, 3 July 1861); Percy Grainger (grandson)

George Aldridge, in uniform as lieutenant, South Australian Volunteers, c. mid 1850s; State Library of South Australia

George Aldridge, lieutenant, in volunteer corps uniform, c. mid 1850s; State Library of South Australia (DIGITISED)


Baptisms solemnized at Pentonville Chapel in the parish of Saint James Clerkenwell in the county of Middlesex in the year 1818; register 1813-43, page 51; London Metropolitan Archives (PAYWALL)

No. 407 / June 10 / George / [son of] James William and Elizabeth / Aldridge / Henry Street / Surgeon / said to be born 7th May 1818 . . .

"CONCERT", Adelaide Times (19 December 1857), 2 

Messrs. Aldridge and Bayston will give their second concert this evening at the Shades, at White's Rooms. The proceedings are conducted after the style of the celebrated houses in London, known as "Evans," the "Coal Hole," and "Cider Cellars," at least, so far as the musical talent of the colony will permit. To gentlemen in search of a pleasant evening, the Shades are well worth attention.

ASSOCIATIONS: White's Rooms (Adelaide venue)

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (19 November 1859), 1 

NEW LOCAL SONGS, This Evening, at the SHADES - The "Legislature." The Nondescript will deliver his extemporaneous effusion.

ASSOCIATIONS: "The nondescript" = ? Samuel Benjamin (vocalist, delineator, songwriter)

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (28 November 1859), 1 

NEW LOCAL SONG at the SHADES. This Evening, by the Nondescript - "The Legislature," "The City Council," and "Weights and Measures."

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (3 December 1859), 1 

THE SHADES. - THIS EVENING LOCAL SONGS by the Nondescript - "The Elections," "The Flood, as prophesied," and "The Histrionics."

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (10 December 1859), 1 

THE SHADES. - This Evening (Saturday), LOCAL SONGS by the NONDESCRIPT.
"Reminiscences of Home."
The celebrated Buffo will delineate from "La Somnambula."
Several Amateurs have kindly consented to appear in the course of the Evening.
Admission, Gratis.

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (17 December 1859), 1

A NEW MUSICAL SOCIAL BURLESQUE, by the Nondescript, entitled THE VOLUNTEER (in character),
with the latest Hits from the Batt, and some from beyond it.
Also, a few SELECTIONS, by the Buffo, from RUSSELL.
The BRUNSWICK BAND have kindly volunteered their services . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Brunswick Band (group)

[Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (24 December 1859), 1 

THIS EVENING. AT THE SHADES, The NONDESCRIPT will give his New Song abounding with local hits, particularly upon CLARKS AND TAILORS.
THE SONG OF AUSTRALIA, Music by Herr Ling[er], will be given by an old favorite.
Russell's Songs by the Basso. Solos by Messrs. Schrader, White, and Richelieu. Glees and endless variety of amusement.

ASSOCIATIONS: Carl Linger (composer); Heinrich Schrader (musician); Richard Baxter White (musician)

[Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (6 February 1860), 1 

WHITE'S ROOMS. TUESDAY, February 7, 1860.
Pianist - Mr. Richelieu. Cornet-a-Piston - Mr. McCulloch.
Vocalists- Mrs. A. Wallis (first appearance since her arrival from Melbourne).
Miss Louisa Grant (from the City Hall, Glasgow), her first appearance in Adelaide.
Tenor - Mr. Nash. Basso - Mr. Ball.
Local Songs by the celebrated Nondescript, and Sam Cowell's burlesques in character. The strictest order will be observed, and the study of the Manager will be to provide a cheap, rational, and first class entertainment.

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (9 February 1859), 1 

"Music hath charms to sooth the savage breast."
G. ALDRIDGE, in acknowledging the kind patronage bestowed upon him on the occasion of his opening entertainment, begs to announce that the SECOND CONCERT, will take place on the above evening, when the following Vocalists will appear : -
Mrs. WALLACE - Miss GRANT - Mr. NASH - Mr. BALL- and the Celebrated NONDESCRIPT,
who will, for the first time in Adelaide, deliver Sam Cowell's LORD LOVEL,
the local Billy Barlow in character, &c., &c.
G. A. being desirous of making Saturday evening
when all may assemble to enjoy a glass and hear a good song, respectfully inform the public that on that evening the Admission Ticket (1s.) will include:
Conductor: The Nondescript. Leader: Mr. Chapman. Pianist: Mr. Richelieu. Cornet-a-piston: Mr. McCulloch.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Chapman (conductor); Robert McCullagh (cornet); Maria Wallace (vocalist); Benjamin Nash (vocalist); Mr. Ball (vocalist); Shilling concerts (subject)

"THE SHILLING CONCERTS", The South Australian Advertiser (13 February 1860), 3 

The second of the Shilling Concerts at White's Rooms was held on Saturday evening, and was, if possible, more successful than the previous entertainment. The attendance was most numerous and respectable; admirable order was preserved, and a really tempting programme was exceedingly well executed. An opinion has long prevailed amongst parties engaged in catering for the entertainment of the public, that the prices usually charged are far too high, and that for entertainments, however excellent, to receive constant and liberal patronage, it is essential that the charge for admission should not exceed one shilling. To carry out the principle with success it is of course essential that the building in which the entertainments are given should possess accommodation for a large amount of patronage; so, that the charge for admission, though trifling individually, may in the aggregate amount be sufficient to meet the expenses of a first-class entertainment, as so far from deteriorating the character of the performances with a view of lessening the expenses connected with them, the object should rather be to improve them with the view of obtaining a still larger amount of patronage. Mr. Aldridge's efforts have hitherto been extremely successful, and he is entitled to the thanks of the community for having provided rational amusement at so insignificant a cost. Liberally as he has been supported, the building which he has selected affords accommodation for an increased number of visitors; and as we are informed arrangements have been made for increasing the present company by additions from the neighbouring colonies, there can be little doubt of the Tuesday and Saturday concerts at White's Rooms proving, as they deserve to be, highly popular.

"MUSIC FOR THE MILLION", The South Australian Advertiser (20 February 1860), 3 

The Saturday night concerts at White's Rooms appear to be increasing in excellence and popularity. Fears were expressed by many in the first instance that the admission fee of one shilling would prove too small to admit of a really good entertainment being given, but so far from those fears having been realised, so liberally have the concerts been patronised that on Saturday Mr. Aldridge, by way of testifying his gratitude for past favors, reduced the admission fee to sixpence. The entertainment was as excellent as ever, and the attendance as numerous and respectable. Mrs. Wallace's vocal performances were warmly and deservedly applauded. Mr. Chapman and Mr. Richelieu executed some very pretty duets on the violin and piano, and the Nondescript was as amusing as ever, his "local hits" being highly relished.

ASSOCIATIONS: Music for the million (subject)

"DEATHS", Evening Journal (13 December 1879), 2 

ALDRIDGE. - On the 12th December, at his residence, Prince Alfred Hotel, King William-street, George Aldridge, in the 63rd year of his age.

"OUR CITY LETTER", Kapunda Herald (16 December 1879), 3 

Your readers will, I feel sure, have heard with regret of the death of Mr. George Aldridge, the well-known and much-respected landlord of the Prince Alfred Hotel. Although hardly in his accustomed good health, he had attended to business as usual until Thursday, when he was suddenly seized with a fit. He appeared to rally somewhat, but on Friday night between 10 and 11 o'clock he had a second seizure and expired before the arrival of the doctor, who was hastily sent for. Mr. Aldridge was a very old colonist. On his first arrival in Australia he was settled in Sydney, but came to Adelaide many years ago. He began his business career as a baker in East Torrens, and soon became known not only as a highly respectable and energetic tradesman, but as a keen politician also. Although a trifle brusque in his manner, his geniality and genuine warm-heartedness drew around him a very large circle of friends. It is about fourteen years since he became landlord of the Prince Alfred Hotel, and few hostelries in Adelaide have since been more frequented or more widely known. Mr. Aldridge who was in his sixty-fifth [sic] year, leaves a widow and a numerous family. His eldest son is a partner in that well-known firm of auctioneers, Messrs. Aldridge, Bruce, and Wigley, and is also interested in a brewery at Port Augusta; another son is landlord of the Globe Hotel; another has for some time assisted his father in the management of the Prince Alfred; and yet another is proprietor of the Globe Billiard Saloon. At the funeral, which, took place on Sunday afternoon, a very large number of prominent citizens were present. The Rev. J. Pollitt, of St. Luke's, read the service at the grave.


Musician, professor of music, pianist, composer

Born Colveston, Norfolk, England, 1840; baptised Didlington, Norfolk, 16 March 1840, son of Frederick ALEXANDER (1798-1865) and Mary SAUL (1801-1887)
Arrived Auckland, NZ, 7 March 1859 (per John Scott, from London)
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 18 June 1860 (per Red Jacket from New Zealand)
Married Mary Elizabeth CRUSE (1835-1927), All Saints' church, St. Kilda, VIC, 16 January 1868
Died Launceston, TAS, 20 April 1876, aged "36" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Baptisms solemnised in the parish of Didlington in the county of Norfolk in the year 1840; Norfolk Record Office (PAYWALL)

No. 117 / March 16, 1840 / Albert son of / Frederick & Mary / Alexander / Colveston / Farmer . . .

England census, 30 March 1851, Norfolk, Great Yarmouth; UK National Archives, HO 107/1806 (PAYWALL)

King Street / Joseph G. Plummer / Head / 43 / School master . . .
Anne [Plummer] / Wife / 42 . . . [and daughter 17 and son 15]
Horatio Alexander / [scholar] / 13 . . .
Albert [Alexander] / [scholar] / 11 . . . [among about 25 boys]

New Zealand (7 March 1859 to 5 June 1860):

"Shipping Intelligence. PORT OF AUCKLAND . . . ENTERED INWARDS", Daily Southern Cross [NZ] (8 March 1859), 2 

March 7 - John Scott, 655 tons, Harrison, from London. Passengers - Right Rev. C. J. Abraham, Bishop of Wellington, Mrs. Abrahams, Charles H. Abrahams, Frederick, Mary, Julia, Caroline, Henry, and Albert Alexander . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles John Abraham (Anglican bishop)

"BALL AT THE AUCKLAND LUNATIC ASYLUM", New Zealander (19 March 1859), 3 

Amongst the amusements of St. Patrick's Day, 1859, in this City, we are glad to be able to state that the unfortunate inmates of the Lunatic Asylum were not forgotten. The Provincial Surgeon, following up the system of treatment initiated by him at our Lunatic Asylum here, and which is now so universally adopted, gave a ball on Thursday night to the patients committed to his care, and our readers will be gratified to learn that several of these poor sufferers were easily persuaded to join in the dance, and manifested much enjoyment. The whole of them conducted themselves with the utmost decorum. Mr. Albert Alexander, a young gentleman lately arrived from England, and an accomplished musician, was one of the invited guests of the evening, and contributed in no small degree to give zest to the entertainment by his singing, and by his playing on the pianoforte. The results of this first ball have been such as to give more and more confidence in the efficacy of what may be truly called the mental government of the insane.

"THE FIRST PUBLIC REHEARSAL of the Fourth Season of the Auckland Choral Society . . .", New Zealander (26 March 1859), 3 

. . . was given on Thursday evening . . . Great additional interest was given to the rehearsal by the harp solo of Mr. Brooks and the pianoforte solo of Mr. Albert Alexander - two new-comers who have at once begun to contribute to the musical entertainment of their older fellow-colonists . . . Mr. Alexander selected the "March" and "Finale" from Weber's celebrated "Concert-Stuck," a composition of no ordinary difficulty which he has evidently well studied, and his performance of which was warmly applauded . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas H. Brooks (harpist)

"CHORAL SOCIETY", Daily Southern Cross (29 March 1859), 3 

. . . The concert was opened by Mr. Brooks, a harpist of no inconsiderable power, lately arrived in the Province. He received a hearty encore. Mr. Brooks was followed by Mr. Albert Alexander, also a new arrival, on the piano-forte . . .

"THE NOVARA. PRESENTATION OF THE TESTIMONIAL TO DR. HOCHSTETTER (From the New Zealander, 27th July)", The Sydney Morning Herald [NSW] (4 August 1859), 8 

THE presentation of the address and testimonial to Dr. Ferdinand Hochstetter, of the "Novara" Scientific expedition, in recognition of the eminent services rendered to the Province of Auckland by his geological and topographical exploration, took place in the Hall of the Mechanics' Institute, on Monday evening, July 25th . . . The musical portion of the evening's proceedings was under the direction of Herr Schmitt, conductor of the Auckland Philharmonic Society, who was assisted by Mr. Brown, conductor of the Auckland Choral Society, Herr Strauch, Mr. Alexander, Mr. Haast, and a select party of the Band of the 65th Regiment. The concerted music was arranged by Mr. Schmitt, who, in the course of the evening, played "Home, sweet home!" with a feeling that made every one think of the "childhood's home" he had left. Mr. Strauch sang a German song of remembrance with excellent taste. Mr. Alexander played with expression two favourite Irish airs on the pianoforte . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Novara (Austrian expedition ship, visited NZ and Australia); Ferdinand von Hochstetter (geologist); Carl Schmitt (violin, conductor); Gustavus Strauch (vocalist); Band of the 65th Regiment (military)

Australia (from 18 June 1860):

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (20 June 1860), 4 

ARRIVED. - JUNE 18. Red Jacket, White Star ship, 1,600 tons, Samuel Reid, commander, from Auckland, N.Z., 5th inst. Passengers - cabin: . . . Messrs. A. Alexander . . . and 34 in the steerage. Lorimer, Mackie, and Co., agents.

[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser [VIC] (24 September 1860), 3 

GRAND CONCERT. In Aid of the Building Fund of the Institute.
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . Solo Pianoforte - Morceaux de Concert - Leybach - Mr. Alexander . . .
PART II . . . Solo Pianoforte - Andante and Rondo Capriccioso - Mendelssohn - Mr. Alexander . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Maria Carandini (vocalist); Mary Ellen Hancock (vocalist); Robert Farquharson (vocalist); John Winterbottom (musician); John Hinchcliff (vocalist)

"THE CONCERT", Geelong Advertiser (25 September 1860), 3 

The Concert last night at the Mechanics' Institute could scarcely be other than a great success with a programme containing such names of Carandini, Hancock, Farquharson and Winterbottom; besides such local celebrities as Hinchcliff, Stoneham, and Plumstead. Mr. Alexander, from the Royal Academy of Music, made his first appearance in Geelong, and played two pianoforte pieces in a very excellent manner; Mr. Alexander, we are glad to learn, contemplates remaining in Geelong to practice his profession. The large hall was well but not inconveniently filled . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Stoneham (flute); Henry Plumstead (piano, accompanist); Royal Academy of Music (London)

[Advertisement], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (30 January 1861), 8 

LADIES' COLLEGE, Clarendon-street, corner of Albert-street, Fitzroy-gardens, Melbourne . . .
Pianoforte - Mr. Boulanger.
Vocal Music - Mr. Alexander . . .
Principals, Mr. and Mrs. VIEUSSEUX.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Boulanger (pianist, composer); Lewis and Julie Vieusseux (school teachers)

[Advertisement], The Argus (13 April 1861), 7 

Principal - Madame AKERMANN . . . Director of Studies - Mons. AKERMANN . . .
Vocal and instrumental music taught by Messrs. Alexander and Boulanger.

[Advertisement], The Herald [Melbourne, VIC] (18 April 1861), 8 

Grand Trio, in G major - op. 24 (Hummell) - Mr. A. Alexander and Messrs. Leslie and Reed.
Song - "Those Bright Black Eyes" (Kucken) - Herr Strauch.
Pianoforte Solo - "La Cascade" (Pauer) - Mr. A. Alexander.
Grand Scena - "Dearest Companions" (Sonnambula) - Madame Stuttaford.
Solo Violin - "Air Varie" (De Beriot) - Mr. Leslie.
Song - "The Wanderer" (Schubert) - Herr G. Strauch.
Scena - "Robert toi que j'aime" (Meyerbeer) - Madame Stuttaford.
Grand Sonata - Pianoforte and violin - op. 23 (Beethoven) - Mr. A. Alexander and Mr. Leslie.
Scena - "Vieni la mia Vendetta" (Lucrezia Borgia) - Herr G. Strauch.
Song - "Queen of the Sea" - Madame Stuttaford.
Pianoforte Solo - " Andante and Rondo Capriccioso" (Mendelssohn) - Mr. A. Alexander.
Duet - "La ci Darem" (Don Giovanni) - Madame Stuttaford and Herr Strauch.
Reserved Seats, 6s. Unreserved, 4s.
Tickets may be had of Mr. Wilkie, music warehouse, Collins-street; and Mr. Chapman, 117 Swanston-street; also of Mr. Thomas, chemist, Robe-street, St. Kilda, and Mr. Arnott, Post-office.
Doors open at Half-past Seven, commence at Eight o'clock.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charlotte Stuttaford (vocalist); Alexander J. Leslie (violin); Thomas Reed (cello)

MUSIC: La cascade (Pauer, op. 37)

[News], The Argus (19 April 1861), 5 

Mr. Albert Alexander's concert at the Town Hall, St. Kilda, last night, was but poorly attended, a circumstance partly owing, perhaps, to the high prices charged for admission. The vocalists were Madame Stuttaford and Herr Strauch, a gentleman whom we have not had the pleasure of hearing before; and the instrumental performers were Messrs. Reed and Leslie. Mr. Alexander himself presided at the pianoforte, and performed in Hummell's grand trio in G major, with violin and violoncello; Pauer's "La Cascade," which was encored; Beethoven's sonata for pianoforte and violin, Opera 23; and Mendelssohn's " Andante and Rondo Capriccioso." Mr. Alexander appears to possess considerable command of the instrument, but his touch is occasionally heavy. From the delicacy, however, which he exhibited in the treatment of piano passages, this fault, we should imagino, might be remedied. He is a young and a promising player. Madame Stuttaford sang the scena, "Dearest Companions," from "La Sonnambula," without removing the impression formed of her on her first appearance in Melbourne. Mr. Leslie's solo on the violin might havo been omitted with advantage.

"TOWN TALK", The Herald (19 April 1861), 5 

Mr. Albert Alexander's concert, at the Town Hall, St. Kilda, last evening, was only moderately attended. His solo, "La Cascade," drew forth an encore, and "Home, sweet home," was substituted . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (10 June 1861), 8 

MR. ALBERT ALEXANDER, Professor of Music, has REMOVED to 26 Russell-street south.

"TOWN TALK", The Herald (15 June 1861), 5 

The Exhibition of Art Treasures closes today . . . There will be both vocal and instrumental music during the evening, Miss Bailey and Mr. Alexander having proffered their assistance.

ASSOCIATIONS: Amelia Bailey (vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Argus (28 December 1861), 8 

Under the Immediate patronage of His Excellency the Governor and Lady Barkly,
And the following artistes: Miss OCTAVIA HAMILTON, Herr STREBINGER, Mr. CHAPMAN, and Herr SIEDE.
Beethoven's grand Trio in C minor, performed by Messrs. Alexander, Strebinger, and Chapman.
Song, "Rose of the Morn," F. Mori - Miss O. Hamilton.
Piano Solo, "Marche Funebre," Thalberg - Mr. Alexander.
Violin Solo, Fantasia on "La Sonnambula" - Herr Strebinger.
Grand Duet, Thalberg's Fantasia on "Les Huguenots," arranged for two pianos by Boulanger, performed by M. Boulanger and Mr. Alexander.
Song, "I arise from Dreams of Thee," Salaman - Miss O. Hamilton.
Solo (Flute), "Serenade and Carnival de Venice," Siede - Herr Siede.
Cavatina, "Come into the Garden, Maud," Balfe - Miss O. Hamilton.
Piano Solo, "Impromptu Polka," Boulanger - Mr. Alexander.
Tickets, 5s. each, to be had at Mr. Wilkie's music warehouse, 15 Collins street, and at the door on the evening.
Doors open at halt-past 7; commence at 8 o'clock precisely.

ASSOCIATIONS: Octavia Hamilton (vocalist); Frederick Strebinger (violin); Samuel Chapman (cello); Julius Siede (flute); Hockin's Assembly Rooms (Melbourne venue)

MUSIC: Piano trio in C minor (Beethoven, op. 1 no. 3); Marche funebre (Thalberg); Fantasia on Les Huguenots (Thalberg, original for one piano); Impromptu polka (Boulanger)

[News], The Argus (30 December 1861), 5 

On Saturday evening, Mr. Alexander, pianist, gave a grand concert at Hockin's Assembly Room, Elizabeth-street, under the immediate patronage of His Excellency Sir Henry Barkly and Lady Barkly, who were present, together with a numerous and fashionable company . . . The music selected for the occasion was not generally of a very high character, but the great talent of the artistes engaged brought out fully the points of merit in the best compositions included in the programme, and the audience appeared highly gratified with the entertainment.

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry and Anne Maria Barkly (governor and wife)

"TOWN TALK", The Herald (30 December 1861), 5 

Mr. Alexander's concert at Hockin's Assembly Rooms on Saturday evening called up reminiscences of four or five years ago, when Miska Hauser was here, and when a classical concert could be announced with a much greater assurance of success than at present, - a fact not flattering to us, for it indicates anything but an advanced stage of social culture. It is indeed a pity that concerts, of which the performance of classical instrumental music should form the principal feature, are not more frequently given. The reason cannot be that we have not the material, for the orchestra of the Theatre Royal, for example, includes three or four musicians of very great ability; and in fact the concert of Saturday, though far from exhausting the resources of Melbourne in this respect, showed what we can do even now. It would appear that the one thing needful is, not we hope an appreciating, but an actively encouraging section of the community, for to the musically uneducated man the most attractive music will ever be the human voice. That being universally understood, will be universally encouraged; but for a player on the piano, the violin, the flute, or any other leading instrument, to please the ears of the general public, he must diverge from the legitimate sphere of his art if he desires to earn a living by his profession, and descend to mere trickery and adcaptandum display. It is then only to a limited class that proprietors of entertainments like that of Saturday can look for support; and that event having been a complete success, we hope that it will tend to revive something of the old spirit amongst the musical microcosm of Melbourne.

The chief concerted composition on Saturday was Beethoven's trio in C minor, which was admirably performed by Messrs. Alexander (piano), Strebinger (violin), and Chapman (violoncello). The performance was most attentively listened to; but what called forth a burst of more hearty approbation was Thalberg's Fantasia on "Les Hugenots," arranged for two pianos by Boulanger. This was executed with immense spirit and expression by Messrs. Alexander and Boulanger, who were compelled to repeat the latter portion; and the magnificent rendering of Meyerbeer's grand music increased the feeling of regret which has been so frequently expressed that none of our operatic managers or conductors has felt that the orchestral and choral resources of the colony are large enough to justify them in attempting to place upon the stage in anything like its entirety this sublime production. Two pianoforte solos were comprised in the programme, both being performed by Mr. Alexander - Thalberg's favourite "Marche Funebre," so soothing, beautiful, and resigned in its sentiment, and the "Impromptu Polka," by Boulanger. Mr. Strebinger also performed a fantasia on airs from "La Sonnambula," in which he was encored; and Herr Siede played the "Serenade and Carneval de Venice," arranged by himself, and for which he was enthusiastically applauded. The one vocalist, amongst this band of instrumentalists was Miss Octavia Hamilton, who agreeably varied the evening's entertainment by three songs. She was specially successful in the cavatina, "Come into the garden, Maud," into which she threw a more than ordinary amount of expression. His Excellency the Governor and Lady Barkly were present, and remained to the close of the entertainment, which appeared to afford unalloyed enjoyment to a tolerably numerous audience.

[Advertisement], The Argus (14 June 1862), 8 

THEATRE ROYAL. Sole Lessee, W. S. LYSTER . . .
A Night Dedicated to the ROSE, SHAMROCK, and THISTLE . . .
First appearance of Mr. ALEXANDER, The Celebrated Pianist . . .
Musical Director and Conductor - A. Reiff.
PROGRAMME. PART I. THE ROSE . . . 1. Fantasia, Piano, "La Cascade," Pauer - Mr. Alexander . . .
PART III. THISTLE . . . 8. Fantasia, Pianoforte, "Marche Funebre," Thalberg - Mr. Alexander . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Lyster Opera Company (troupe); Anthony Reiff (conductor); Theatre Royal (Melbourne venue)

"MR. ALEXANDER'S CONCERT . . .", Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser [VIC] (4 January 1865), 2 

. . . at the National School-room - on Monday night, was attended by the most select audiences we have ever seen in Hamilton, and the entertainment from this cause partook more of the nature of a drawing-room concert. There were some 60 or 70 persons present, all of whom, with one exception, being in the front seats. Mr. Alexander has a wonderful power over the piano and harmonium, as well as a fair barritone voice. Of the pianoforte solos, we particularly admired "La Cascade," a piece now the rage in London, "Home, street home," and the grand fantasia on "Les Huguenots," by Thalberg. In the harmonium solos, Mr. Alexander introduced music such as most people would think could hardly be played on such a "solum" instrument. Amongst the operatic selections, the air from "Il Pirata," and the "Miserere," from "Il Trovatore," were splendidly rendered while the plaintive airs of "Auld Robin Gray," "Tara", with the fire of "Auld Lang Sine," showed how thoroughly Mr. Alexander is master of this difficult instrument. Our townsmen, Messrs. Campbell and Stevens, who are always well received by a Hamilton audience - the former played several difficult pieces on that difficult instrument the oboe - while the latter even surpassed himself in his rendering of "Man the lifeboat." We regret to learn that Mr. Alexander, whose intention it was to settle at Hamilton as a finishing master, has not that faith in the largeness of the field to induce him to remain among us. The loss is ours; for, seldom has a professional with such a perfect piano touch been here.

"MARRIAGE", The Argus (21 January 1868), 4 

ALEXANDER - CRUSE. - On the 16th inst., at All Saints, Church, East St. Kilda, by the Rev. J. Watson, Albert Alexander, Esq., son of the late Frederick Alexander, Esq., of Norfolk, to Mary, daughter of Thomas Cruse, Esq., of Brighton, Sussex.

[Advertisement], The Mercury [Hobart, TAS] (27 August 1868), 1 

a Grand Fashionable Farewell, Sacred, and Secular Concert, which will take place at the above Rooms on
MONDAY EVENING next, August 31st, under Distinguished Patronage,
being for the BENEFIT OF MR. LINLY NORMAN, R.A M., on which occasion Mr. A. Alexander. R.A.M.,
Mr. Hughes, a Juvenile Amateur (his first appearance), and several Gentlemen Amateurs have kindly consented to give their services . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Linly Norman (pianist)

"DEL SARTE'S ROOMS", The Mercury (5 December 1868), 3

A grand complimentary benefit is announced to come off at Del Sarte's Rooms, on Monday evening for the benefit of Mr. Albert Alexander R.A.M., a gentleman who has been some, months in the colony practising as a professor of music. The programme is well selected and includes a number of very choice pianoforte solos to be performed by Mr. Alexander and Mr. Linley Norman respectively. The overture to William Tell is also announced to be played on two pianos, eight hands, the performers being a lady amateur and Messrs. Packer, Norman and Alexander. Messrs. Melvyn and Bent are to assist, and the entertainment is likely to prove a musical treat.

ASSOCIATIONS: Frederick Augustus Packer (piano); James Hadock Melvyn (vocalist); William Horace Bent (vocalist); Del Sarte's Rooms (Hobart venue); see also full program, [Advertisement], The Mercury (7 December 1868), 1 


On Monday evening, 7th instant, a number of professionals and amateurs gave Mr. Albert Alexander, R.A.M.. a complimentary benefit at Del Sarte's Rooms. Owing to the inclemency of the weather the attendance was not so large as was anticipated. A well-selected and attractive programme was gone through very successfully, and to the entire satisfaction of those present, who repeatedly expressed their appreciation by rapturous applause. Most of the songs were admirably rendered and in most instances applauded to an encore. The performances of Messrs. Gagliardi, Packer, Norman, and Alexander astonished and delighted the audience. A very excellent orchestra, composed of some of our leading musicians, added considerably to the evening's amusement. On the whole the concert was a decided success, and well merited a much larger attendance.

ASSOCIATIONS: Giacinto Gagliardi (musician)

"BETHESDA SINGING CLASS", The Mercury (1 June 1869), 2 

The first concert given at the Mechanics' Institute by members of the Bethesda Singing Class, is to take place this evening under the conductorship of Mr. Albert Alexander, R.A.M., when a very excellent programme is to be presented. A full band has been engage and will perform several brilliant overtures, and the members of the class announce some excellent vocal selections, including several glees and duetts. Mr. Alexander is to play a fantasia of his own composition, on "Home Sweet Home," and an impromptu polka by Boulanger. There will no doubt be a numerous audience on the occasion.

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (23 May 1871), 5 

Composed by ALBERT ALEXANDER. Price, Three Shillings.
The above favorite schottische can now be had at HUDSON & HOPWOOD. Brisbane-street.

"VICTORIAN SCHOTTISCHE", Launceston Examiner (23 May 1871), 2

From Messrs. Hudson and Hopwood we have received a copy of "The Victorian Schottische," composed by Mr. Albert Alexander. It is a lively, and harmonious composition, and that it has been appreciated may be inferred from the fact that it has reached a third edition.

"THE VICTORIAN SCHOTTISCHE", The Tasmanian [Launceston, TAS] (27 May 1871), 10 

Messrs. Hudson and Hopwood, of Launceston, have on sale some copies of "The Victorian Schottische," for the pianoforte, composed and dedicated to Mrs. G. W. Campbell, by Mr. Albert Alexander. This beautiful piece of music was published by Weippert & Co. of Regent street, London, where it was highly appreciated. The best proof of that fact is that the copies now offered are part of the third edition of the Victorian Schottische.

"MISS SHERWIN'S CONCERT", Launceston Examiner (5 October 1872), 5

Last evening a very successful concert was given at the Mechanics' Institute by the Misses Sherwin, assisted by Mr. Albert Alexander, and one or two amateurs. The room was crowded by a highly fashionable and appreciative audience, and at the close all expressed themselves well satisfied with the rich treat of both vocal and instrumental music. This is the first appearance of these ladies in Launceston, though their reputation as singers of the first order had preceded their arrival. Miss Sherwin is possessed of a deep, rich, clear, soprano voice, with a considerable range, and is under excellent control - the highest and lowest notes being executed with ease and grace, without the slightest apparent straining. Perhaps, to give honor to whom honor is due, we may state that Miss Sherwin has been for some time a pupil of Mr. A. Alexander. Miss Amy Sherwin has a very sweet voice, of the contralto order, which properly speaking, may be termed a mezzo soprano . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Sarah and Amy Sherwin (vocalists)

"MR. ALBERT ALEXANDER'S CONCERT", Cornwall Chronicle [Launceston, TAS] (25 June 1873), 3

On Monday evening Mr. Albert Alexander, assisted by lady amateurs, gave a recherche concert in the hall of the Mechanics' Institute. It was honored by a large and fashionable audience . . .

"DEATHS", Launceston Examiner (22 April 1876), 2

ALEXANDER - On 20th April, at his residence, Canning-street, Albert Alexander, R.A.M., aged 36 years.

"THE SUDDEN DEATH OF MR. ALBERT ALEXANDER", Cornwall Chronicle (21 April 1876), 2

Yesterday morning Mr. Albert Alexander was seized with a fit of apoplexy at his residence, Canning street, and messengers were sent off in search of medical aid. Some time was lost before Dr. Mason was found by Mr. McLeod and driven to Mr. Alexander's house, which he reached at 20 minutes past 11 o'clock, but too late to be of any service. The unfortunate gentleman was quite dead, and from Dr. Mason's previous knowledge of Mr. Alexander's constitution and the appearances on the body, it was evident that the cause of death was apoplexy. The deceased was a member of the Royal Academy of Music, a well educated, gentlemanly man, and a talented pianist. He accompanied the Rev. Canon Brownrigg on his last trip to the islands in the Straits in the mission cutter. He was conductor of the Launceston Choral Society, the latest musical organisation here; and a talented teacher and conductor. Mr. Alexander leaves Mrs. Alexander and two young children to deplore their sudden bereavement. An inquest is to be held before Thomas Mason, Esq., Coroner, at the residence of deceased at 12 o'clock to-day. Mr. Alexander was a native of Norwich, England, and he resided for some time at Melbourne, for a few years at Hobart Town, and in Launceston for the last five or six years. We are informed that Mr. Alexander had his life insured in one of the life offices. It is to be hoped, for the sake of his widow and family, that he had.

"THE LATE MR. ALBERT ALEXANDER", Launceston Examiner (22 April 1876), 5 

An inquest was held yesterday upon the body of Mr. Albert Alexander, R.A.M., at his late residence . . .

"OUR LAUNCESTON LETTER [From our own Correspondent] LAUNCESTON, Thursday Evening", The Mercury (22 April 1876), 2 

A very sad and sudden death occurred here this morning about 11 o'clock, when Mr. Albert Alexander, R A. M., a well known teacher of music, and an accomplished pianist, dropped down dead in a room at his private residence, Canning-street, the cause of death being apoplexy, and extensive hemorrhage to the brain. The deceased gentleman's death was quite unexpected by his friends and acquaintances, as he had been in apparently excellent health and high spirits, having attended the Deloraine races on Easter Monday, where he was present with a friend, with whom he afterwards spent the evening. The late Mr. Alexander was a talented instructor of music and a brilliant pianist, and the families of many of our most influential residents owe much of their skill and proficiency in those arts to his skilful teaching. He has also for a number of years been intimately connected with our principal amateur musical societies, and his great ability always caused him to be a great acquisition, and an almost indispensable adjunct of all our concerts and kindred entertainments, where his instrumentation was always highly appreciated. His last public appearance was at the Clark-Christian-Earle entertainments, recently given in the pavilion and in the Mechanics Institute, and at all these his finished performances of the various accompaniments were much admired.

Mr. Alexander had only reached the comparatively early age of 36 at the time of his death. He was born at Norwich, Norfolk, England, and comes of a very respectable family. His father is dead, but he leaves a mother still living at Norwich, aged 84 years. Mr. Alexander has been some years a resident of the colonies, and has generally followed the occupation of a professor and teacher of music. He came to Launceston some six or seven years ago from Hobart Town, where he had previously resided, and has since that time followed his avocations as a professor of music with varying success. Report says that his lines had not fallen to him in pleasant places lately, from want of remunerative occupation, and that he has left a widow and two children but scantily provided for. Our townsfolk are never backward in deeds of charity or benevolence, so perhaps the musical associates of the deceased and the general public of Launceston, to whose evening entertainments he has so often contributed, will take the hint, and attempt, by a concert or some other entertainment, to raise funds to assist the widow and fatherless in the hour of their dark extremity.

"CONCERT AT THE TOWN HALL", The Cornwall Chronicle (5 July 1876), 2 

Last evening a grand concert was given at the Town Hall by Mrs. Albert Alexander, assisted by several lady and gentlemen amateurs, some of whom were the late Mr. Alexander's pupils. In consequence of an entertainment being announced also for last evening at the Mechanics' Institute, it was feared by many of Mrs. Alexander's friends that the attendance would not be so large as they would like to see. The night however being fine, the attendance was far beyond expectation, numbering over 400 persons . . . Of the concert itself, we must say it was a great success; some of the performers were the late Mr. Alexander's most accomplished pupils, and they fully sustained the reputation they obtained under his tuition. The concert was opened by Miss Julia Dowling and Mrs. Alexander performing a pianoforte solo - Schuloff's Grande Valse . . .

Musical works:

The Victorian schottische by Albert Alexander, sixth edition (London: Weippert & Co., [by 1871])

Copy at the National Library of Australia 

The Victorian schottische by Albert Alexander, eighth edition, simplified arrangement [by Carlo Minarsi] (London: Simpson & Co., [n.d.])

Copy at the Bodleian Library, Oxford


Indigenous Quandamooka singer and dancer

ALFORD, Madame (Madame ALFORD)

Musician, professor of music and pianoforte

Active Melbourne, VIC, 1854 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


[Advertisement], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (19 June 1854), 8

A CARD - Madame Alford, Professor of Music, (Pupil of Herz,) 105 Great Lonsdale-street east.

PIANOFORTE Instruction. - Madame Alford continues to give lessons in music at 105 Great Lonsdale-street east.
Terms one guinea for five lessons.

ASSOCIATIONS: Henri Herz (Austrian-French pianist)

[Advertisement], The Argus (27 June 1854), 10 

PIANOFORTE instruction. - Madame Alford continues to give lesson in music at 105 Great Lonsdale-street east. Terms one guinea for five lessons.

ALFRED (prince Alfred; H.R.H. duke of Edinburgh)

Amateur musician, violinist, pianist, composer

Born Windsor, England, 6 August 1844; son of queen Victoria and prince Albert
Arrived (1) Adelaide, SA, 31 October 1867 (per Galatea)
Departed (2) Sydney, NSW, 4 April 1868 (per Galatea, for Europe)
Private second visit 28 January 1869 to early 1871
Died Germany, 30 July 1900 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)


The duke of Edinburgh and suite, Band of Hope Gold Mine, Ballarat, 10 December 1867; State Library of Victoria

The duke of Edinburgh and suite, Band of Hope Gold Mine, Ballarat, 10 December 1867; State Library of Victoria (DIGITISED)


"NEW MUSIC", The Sydney Morning Herald (23 November 1867), 4

The visit of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh has set the musicians of this and the neighbouring colonies at work composing to his honour, and the result has been the production of some good music, the most striking being the "Galatea Waltz," by Mr. Charles Edward Horsley. The first in the field was Mr. C. W. Rayner, with an "Ode" to the Prince, well harmonised and very pleasing. Mr. Jackson has written a decidedly smart, and, in point of construction, original galop, entitled, "The Brave Boys." A lady amateur presents the public with the "Duke of Edinburgh Schottische," striking if not original, the theme, apparently, taken from the song "Oh, my courage," in the opera of "Maritana." Mr. Alfred Anderson contributes a set of quadrilles styled "The Royal Visit" - which are pronounced to be excellent; the title page contains a highly   finished photograph of Prince Alfred, from Adelaide (through Messrs. Elvy and Co.). We have received two pieces composed in that city - one a polka brilliante "the Galatea," by Mr. F. Ellard, and the other, the Prince Alfred Waltz, by Mr. George Loader [Loder] - both possessing merit, but certainly not, as the Adelaide papers have it, superior to any other composition. In addition to those above enumerated, Mr. John Hill, whose name is well-known in musical circles in London, has two galops the "Galatea" and "Prince Alfred" in the press, and Mr. Henry Marsh and Mr. Gassner (bandmaster of the 50th Regiment) are also busily engaged in paying a musical tribute to his Royal Highness. To enter into a detailed criticism of each composition is scarcely necessary; all possess more or less merit, and show that we have in Australia a constructive as well as an auricular taste for music.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Edward Horsley (composer); Charles William Rayner (composer); John Dettmer Dodds Jackson (composer); Alfred Anderson (composer); George Loder (composer); John Hill (composer); Henry Marsh (composer); Giovanni Gassner (composer); Band of the 50th Regiment (military)

MUSIC: The Galatea waltz (Horsley); Ode to the prince (Rayner); Brave boys brave galop (Jackson); Duke of Edinburgh schottische ("lady amateur"); The royal visit quadrilles (Anderson); The Galatea polka brillante (Ellard); The Prince Alfred waltz (Loder); The royal arrival galop (Hill); The new prince imperial quadrilles (Marsh)

OTHER MUSIC: The Royal Galatea waltz (Edith Annie Roberts); Galatea polka (R. B. Theobald)

"THE OCEAN PRINCE GALOP", The Sydney Morning Herald (8 February 1868), 4 

Mr. Douglas Callen, the talented bandmaster of the Volunteer Brigade Band, composed a galop for the occasion of the Citizens Ball, which took place, on Wednesday evening last, with so much eclat . . . On the evening of the ball a rearrangement of the programme was found necessary, as it had been fixed for one band only, the band of the Galatea, however, took part in the musical portion of the evenings delights, and performed a galop composed by His Royal Highness. Mr. Callen's compostion was, therefore, performed as No. 12, instead of No. 4 as set down.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Douglas Callen (composer)

J. G. Knight, Narrative of the visit of his royal highness the duke of Edinburgh to the colony of Victoria, Australia (Melbourne: Mason, Firth, 1868)

(193-94) . . . The Melbourne Philharmonic Society (the oldest musical association in Victoria) employed its well-organised strength in giving a high-class concert, at which his Royal Highness and suite, his Excellency the Governor and family, and all the leading members of the community were present. Mendelssohn's "Athalie" was the principal work on the programme, and this was rendered in the most effective manner by a band and chorus of four hundred and fifty performers. The great hall of the Exhibition Building was crowded, and his Royal Highness, who is himself an accomplished musician, expressed his gratification at finding classical music so highly appreciated in Victoria.

ASSOCIATIONS: Melbourne Philharmonic Society (association)

"AN ANECDOTE OF PRINCE ALFRED", The Ballarat Star (16 October 1868), 3

The Sydney Empire of the 8th inst. has the following notice of a kind and considerate action on the part of his Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh: -
"It will be remembered that when the Duke of Edinburgh was in Sydney he took much kindly notice of Mr. Alfred Anderson as a pianist, and gave him an honorary appointment on hia personal staff, advising him also to go to England. Mr. Anderson did so accordingly, and shortly after his arrival received a letter from Colonel Liddell, desiring him to call upon the Duke, at Clarence House, which he did. Mr. Anderson afterwards received a note of invitation from the Duke of Edinburgh to a musical party at Clarence House, and attended in the presence of the Prince of Wales, Prince Teck, Prince Christian, and other distinguished personages, accompanying on the piano the performances of his Royal Highness Prince Alfred on the violin. Mr. Anderson, we understand, was about to proceed to Leipsic, to complete his course of study.

"NEWS OF THE WEEK", South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail (24 April 1869), 10

(from Times, London): A very agreeable method of relieving the voyage of its tediums have been adopted on board the ship by the establishment of several musical parties. One, got-up by the sergeant of the band, is under, the direction of Lord Charles Beresford; another has been formed among the officers. Then, in the forecastle, there is a [REDACTED] party, who gave their first entertainment on Christmas Eve, and made a very creditable debut. And lastly, there are the boys and the schoolmaster, whose efforts are more directly encouraged by His Royal Highness, who accompanies them upon his harmonium in their rehearsal of the chaunts and tunes to be sung on the following Sunday. There was a time when indulgences of this kind were regarded as being utterly incompatible with the discipline indispensable to the efficiency of a man-of-war, but the race of zealous old gentlemen who entertained those gloomy apprehensions is fast dying away, and the admirable discipline on board Her Majesty's ship Galatea will add an additional incentive to the extinction of the race.

"THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH'S VISIT TO NEW ZEALAND", Bendigo Advertiser (24 June 1869), 3

. . . At a concert given by the Auckland Choral Society, the Prince, we are told, "kindly assisted, playing first violin, with Colonel Balneavin and others." The Prince, it is added, "subsequently took part in Mozart's symphony, and in other full orchestral pieces, in all of which he acquitted himself most admirably.

Musical works by Alfred published in Australia:

Waltz (published 1868)

Waltz composed by H.R.H. the duke of Edinburgh . . . performed by Mr. A. Anderson, R.A.M., pianist by special appointment to H.R.H. the duke of Edinburgh (Sydney: J. H. Anderson & Son, [1868]) (1st edition DIGITISED) (11th edition DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: James Henri Anderson (music publisher)

[Advertisement], Empire (8 February 1868), 1 

. . . CONCERT, On MONDAY, 10th instant at the MASONIC HALL.
PROGRAMME . . . PART II . . . Waltz - Pianoforte - Composed by H.R.H. Prince Alfred - Mr. A. ANDERSON . . .

[3 news articles], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 February 1868), 4 

MUSICSELLERS TO THE PRINCE - The Duke of Edinburgh was presented by Messrs. Anderson and Son with a casket containing selections of music, amongst which were the compositions of Mr. Alfred Anderson. His Royal Highness has appointed this firm his musicsellers in Sydney, and they are informed that the official document in connection therewith will be forwarded from London in a few months.

PIANIST TO HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH - The Duke of Edinburgh has been pleased to appoint Mr. Alfred Anderson his pianist in Sydney. A communication to that effect has been forwarded by Lieutenant Haig to Mr. Anderson, and intimating that the official appointment will, in a short time, be forwarded from London.

WALTZ BY H.R.H. PRINCE OF WALES [sic] - We have received from Messrs. Anderson and Son, the publishers by permission, a copy of a waltz composed by his Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, and performed in Sydney for the first time by Mr. Alfred Anderson, at a concert given by him at the Masonic Hall . . . it is very melodious, and of easy performance, and his Royal Highness having honoured the colony by granting his permission to the publication of a piece of music composed by himself, has given to the people a souvenir of his visit in one of the most popular and agreeable shapes.

[Advertisement], Empire (4 March 1868), 1 

THIRD EDITION NOW READY. Published by permission of H.R.H. Prince ALFRED. - The WALTZ composed by H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh. J. H. ANDERSON and SON, Instrument and Music Sellers, by special appointment to H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh. 360, George-street.

The return of Galatea waltz (1869)

The return of Galatea, a new waltz composed by H.R.H. the duke of Edinburgh (Sydney: J. H. Anderson & Co., [1869]) (DIGITISED) (1st edition DIGITISED) (2nd edition DIGITISED)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 March 1869), 9 

A NEW WALTZ, entitled "THE RETURN OF THE GALATEA," with correct photograph of H.M.S. Galatea, in Sydney.
J. H. ANDERSON and CO., 360, George-street.
THE Latest Musical Novelty, Prince Alfred's New WALTZ, elegantly illustrated. Anderson's, George-st.

"A NEW WALTZ BY PRINCE ALFRED", The Sydney Morning Herald (13 March 1869), 6 

His Royal Highness, on the occasion of his last visit to Sydney, permitted the publication of a waltz composed by himself, an unpretentious morceau, but exceedingly melodious. The return to Sydney of the Duke is made the subject of another composition of the same kind, also by His Royal Highness, entitled "The Return of the Galatea," - this has been published with the permission of the royal captain, by Mr. J. H. Anderson of George-street. That our royal visitor delights in the "divine art" is beyond question, and without descending to obsequiousness, we may regard it as an honor to the colony that he has given to the public the result of a few quiet hours of musical study. The "Return Waltz" is simple in construction, melody rather than brilliance being the object sought. The introduction is from a well-known air. The waltz, divided into three parts, with a finale, is soft, in the style known by musicians as cantabile, easy of performance, and well-marked time for dancing. The title page contains an admirable photograph of the Galatea, and is elegantly printed.

Musical works commemorating his visit:

KEY: Extant or Lost (or no copy yet identified)

Ode, Australia's welcome to prince Alfred (C. W. Rayner; Sydney, August/October, 1867)

Ode, Australia's welcome to prince Alfred, written by J. H. Rucker, esq., music by C. W. Rayner (Sydney: By the composer, [1867]) (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles William Rayner (composer)

Brave boys brave, welcome galop to the Galatea (John Dettmer Dodd Jackson; Sydney, October 1867)

Brave boys brave, welcome galop to the Galatea, by J. D. D. Jackson (Sydney: Elvy & Co., [1867]) (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: John Dettmer Dodd Jackson (composer); Robert Hammond Elvy (publisher)

The duke of Edinburgh schottische ([Miss A. Jones]; Sydney, October 1867)

The duke of Edinburgh schottische composed and dedicated to Col. Waddy, C.B. and the officers of H.M. 50th Regiment (Queen's Own) by a lady amateur (Sydney: Elvy & Co., (DIGITISED)

"THE QUEEN'S OWN BAND", The Sydney Morning Herald (31 October 1867), 4 

The above band will give their weekly performance in the Botanic Gardens this afternoon, commencing at 5 o'clock. We append the programme . . . 3. Ode, "Australia's Welcome to Prince Alfred," Rayner; . . . 5. Valse, "The White and Red Rose," Gassner; 6. Schottische, "The Duke of Edinburgh," Miss A. Jones; God save the Queen.

ASSOCIATIONS: Giovanni Gassner (master, 50th band); Band of the 50th Regiment (military)

The royal Galatea waltz (Edith Annie Roberts; Melbourne, October 1867)

The royal Galatea waltz composed in honor of H.R.H the duke of Edinburgh, K.C. and dedicated to the ladies of Victoria by Edith Annie Roberts (Melbourne: Published for W. G. Roberts (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Edith Annie Roberts (composer)

The royal visit quadrilles (Alfred Anderson; Sydney, November 1867)

The royal visit quadrilles, respectfully inscribed, by permission, to H.R.H. the duke of Edinburgh, K.G., composed by Alfred Anderson, Royal Academy of Music, London (Sydney: J. H. Anderson & Son, [1867]) (DIGITISED - "SECOND EDITION")

ASSOCIATIONS: Alfred Anderson (composer); James Henri Anderson and son [Alfred] (publisher)

The Galatea polka brillante (Frederick Ellard; Adelaide, November 1867)

The Galatea polka brillante composed by Frederic Ellard, humbly inscribed to his royal highness, the duke of Edinburgh (Adelaide: G. H. Egremont Gee, 1867); "Penman & Galbraith, litho." (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Frederick Ellard (composer); Godfrey Henry Egremont Gee (publisher); Penman and Galbraith (lithographers and printers)

The Galatea waltz (C. E. Horsley; Sydney, November 1867)

The Galatea waltz, composed in honor of the arrival of H.R.H the duke of Edinburgh, by Charles Edward Horsley (Sydney: By the composer, 1867); "Typ., J. Degotardi" (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Edward Horsley (composer)

Two songs in The Tasmanian songster (late 1867 early 1868)

The Tasmanian songster, third edition ([Hobart]: Published by M. Hornsby, [? late 1867 or early 1868]) (DIGITISED)

[Main contents:] . . .
[20] An account of the voyage of H.M.S.S. "Galatea," for the year 1867, composed and sung by Edwin Jones, seaman of the above ship [On January the 24th, we heard in Plymouth Town] . . .
[22] Tasmania's welcome [Hail! Prince of England, Son of the ocean]; The sailor prince [I'm a plain and honest tar, boys, I plough the raging seas] . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Maryatt Hornsby (vocalist, editor); Edwin Jones (sailor, songwriter)

The ocean prince galop (Douglas Callen, February 1868)

The ocean prince galop by D. Callen, performed by the Volunteer Brigade Band at the Citizen's Ball to his royal highness the duke of Edinburgh in the grand pavilion erected for the occasion in Hyde Park (Sydney and Melbourne: Paling & Co., [1868]); "J. A. Engel, Litho." (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: George Douglas Callen (composer); William Henry Paling (publisher)

The royal sailor waltzes (Edward Lord, junior, February 1868)

The royal sailor waltzes, respectfully dedicated to the ladies of Sydney, by the composer Edward Lord, jun'r. (Sydney: Reading and Wellbank, [1868]) (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Lord junior (composer); Reading and Wellbank (publishers, printers)

The thanksgiving hymn (William John Cordner; Sydney: March 1868)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 March 1868), 8 

JUST PUBLISHED, the Thanksgiving Hymn by W. J. Cordner, 2s. PALING, 83, Wynyard-square.

ASSOCIATIONS: William John Cordner (composer)

The royal arrival galop (John Hill; March 1868)

The royal arrival galop composed and dedicated by special permission to his royal highness the duke of Edinburgh, K.G., K.T., by John Hill, K.S., R.A.M. (Sydney: [For the composer], [1868]); "J. A. Engel, litho." (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: John Hill (composer); John Alexander Engel (lithographer)

Galatea polka (Robert Bishop Theobald; Sydney, March 1868)

Galatea polka, by R. B. Theobold, composed in honor of H.R.H. the duke of Edinburgh's visit to Australia (Sydney: J. H. Anderson & Son, [1868]); "Edward Turner, Lith."

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Bishop Theobald (composer); Edward Turner (lithographer)

Prince Alfred sensation galop (Matilda Jones; Sydney, March 1869)

"PRINCE ALFRED SENSATION GALOP", Empire (21 May 1869), 2 

A sprightly piece of dance music, the composition of Miss Matilda Jones, of Castlereagh-street, has issued from Mr. Degotardi's press, and is published by Messrs. J. H. Anderson and Co., of George-street. The style of the composition is lively and original, and it is dedicated to Mr. Alfred Anderson, R.A.M.. pianist to his Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.

Le mystere de Kiama polka mazurka (Robert Bishop Theobald; Sydney, May 1869)

Le mystere de Kiama polka mazurka, pour le piano, respectfully dedicated to the wives and daughters of Australian politicians, by Robert B. Theobald (Sydney: Reading & Wellbank, [1869]); "Lith. by Edward Turner" (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Reading and Wellbank (publishers); Edward Turner (lithographer)

The grand festival march (Carl Schmitt, London, 1869)


"NEW MUSIC", Empire [Sydney, NSW] (27 January 1870), 2 

The Grand Festival March, composed by Herr Carl Schmitt, of this city, and dedicated to his Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, K.G., has been very clearly and neatly engraved, and printed with black ink upon good paper, by Messrs. Augener and Co., of Beethoven House, London, and copies have now reached the colony, and may be had at Messrs. Elvy and Co.'s or Mr. Paling's. The composition is a stirring, symmetrical, and expressive one, and there is no doubt it will be equally appreciated by the professional student, the cultivated amateur, and the public at large.

ASSOCIATIONS: Carl Schmitt (composer)

Bibliography and resources:

H. J. Gibbney, "Edinburgh, Duke of (1844-1900)", Australian dictionary of biography 4 (1972)


ALLAN, Miss (Miss ALLAN, 1 or 2)

Musician, professor of music, singing and pianoforte, school teacher

Active Sydney, NSW, 1854; 1859 (shareable link to this entry)


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 January 1854), 1 

MUSICAL CARD.-MISS ALLAN. Nicholson street, Balmain, Professor of Singing and Pianoforte.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 January 1854), 1

MUSICAL CARD - Miss Allan. Professor of Music (Singing and Pianoforte), Nicholson-street, Balmain.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 January 1854), 3

EDUCATION. - BALMAIN. - Miss ALLAN has vacancies for a few pupils at her daily seminary, Nicholson-street.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 April 1859), 10 

MISS ALLAN, late of the Royal Academy, London, has a Vacancy for Two Pupils for the Pianoforte.

ASSOCIATIONS: Royal Academy of Music (London)

ALLAN, George Leavis (George Leavis ALLAN; G. L. ALLAN)

Musician, singing master, music educator, musicseller, music publisher

Born Werrington, Surrey, England, 3 September 1826; son of John ALLAN (1800-1833) and Anne BAILEY (1794-1863)
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, by ? 17 November 1852 (from England, "25 July 1852")
Married Agnes CLARK (1840-1921), Chalmers Church, Melbourne, VIC, 25 January 1859
Trading as Wilkie, Webster and Co., 1863-68
Trading as Wilkie, Webster and Allan, 1868-76
Trading as Allan and Co., from 1876
Died East St. Kilda, VIC, 1 April 1897, "in his 71st year" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)

ALLAN, George Clark (George Clark ALLAN; G. C. ALLAN)

Musicseller, music publisher (Allan & Co.)

Born Melbourne, VIC, 3 May 1860
Trading as Allan and Co., from 1885
Died Portsea, VIC, 29 October 1934 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

For the firm, Wilkie, Webster, and Allan (as first advertised 1868 to 1876), see: (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

For the firm, Allan and Co. (from 1876), see: (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

George Leavis Allan, c. 1860s

George Leavis Allan, c. 1860s


England census, 30 March 1851, St. George, Camberwell, Surrey; UK National Archives, HO107/1582 (PAYWALL)

12 Addington Square / Ann Allan / Head / Widow / 56 / Proprietor of land & house / [born] Middlesex St Olave Hart St
John B. Allan / Son / Unm. / 26 / Clr'k Herald's College / [born] Surrey Werrington
George L. [Allan] / Son / Unm. / 24 / Cler'k H.M. Ordnance / [born] [Surrey Werrington]
Adelaide B. [Allan] / Dau'r / Un. / 20 / - / [born] [Surrey] Camberwell . . .

George Allan, gold license, Victoria, 3 January 1853

George Allan, gold license, Victoria, 3 January 1853 (reproduced Game 1976, opposite page 234)

No. 88 / January 3 1853 / The Bearer George Allan having paid to me the Sum of One Pound Ten Shillings . . . I hereby License him to dig, search for, and remove Gold on and from any Crown Lands within the Upper Loddon District [as] I shall assign him . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (18 March 1853), 12 

MR. GEORGE L. ALLAN beg to announce that he will open a Singing Class for Ladies and Gentlemen at the School Room, adjoining Sandford's Boot and Shoe Warehouse, Bourke-street, east, near Russell-street, on Tuesday, the 29th March, at half-past 7 p.m.
The class will meet on Tuesdays and Friday's, and each lesson will occupy about one hour.
Terms, £1 1s. a quarter, payable in advance.
For children and schools, a considerable reduction will be made.
The elementary course will consist of about sixty lessons; and as this course is progressive, it is necessary that all intending members should be present at the first lesson.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Hullah (English singing master)

"CONGREGATIONAL PSALMODY", The Argus (26 November 1853), 5 

A weekly meeting for the improvement of the congregational psalmody, on the Rev. J. J. Waite's system, was commenced in St. Paul's Church last Thursday, at half past seven p.m., conducted gratuitously by George L. Allan, when about one hundred persons, old and young, of different sexes, attended. The Rev. S. L. Chase (who had preached upon the subject on the two previous Sundays) opened the proceedings with a few remarks on the importance of the object and a short prayer, after which the class was practised in the various sounds of the musical scale, &c., and before separating sand the tune "Abbey" in full harmony. Those who were present expressed great satisfaction, and it is hoped that the following Thursday will see a considerable increase to their numbers, as it is intended to recapitulate for the benefit of new members.

ASSOCIATIONS: John James Waite (English singing master, Independent cleric); see also John James Waite (IMSLP)

[Advertisement], The Banner (17 January 1854), 2

G. McMASTER, Head Teacher . . . Mr. G. L. ALLAN, Singing Master. 13th January, 1854.

"THE ART OF SINGING", The Argus (8 July 1854), 5

Messrs. Vitelli and Allan have announced their intention of forming classes for instruction in the art of singing, both for ladies and gentlemen, to be held at the Mechanics' Institution. A day class for ladies only will be held on Wednesdays, at three o'clock, commencing 19th July, and an evening class for ladies and gentlemen on Saturdays at seven o'clock, commencing 22nd July. Mr. Allan is singing master to the Denominational Schools; and Mr. Vitelli, R.A.M., is a professed trainer of public and amateur singers . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Vitelli (musician); Mechanics' Institution (Melbourne venue)

"MUSIC AS A PART OF EDUCATION", The Argus (28 July 1854), 5 

Those who are interested in children, education, and music, had, many of them at least, a rich treat yesterday in being present at a meeting of nearly 500 children, selected from the different denominational schools in the city, and assembled in the hall of the Mechanics' Institution for the practice of music. The meeting furnished a satisfactory illustration of the success of Mr. George L. Allan's system of musical instruction. The meeting appeared to have excited general interest, and all the space in the hall unoccupied by the children was closely packed by ladies and gentlemen, who gave evidence of the highest satisfaction. The schools represented by a deputation of their pupils were: -
Church of England - St. James's
" St. John's
" St. Stephen's (Richmond)
" Central (St. Paul's),
Roman Catholic Church - St. Francis's
" St. Patrick's
" St. Augustine's,
Wesleyan - Lonsdale street
" Brunswick-street, Collingwood
" Collingwood Flat
Scots 'Church - Collins-street
John Knox's - Swanston-street
Independent - Collins-street.
Total number of children selected from above schools - girls 250, boys 200; total 450.
The children have received but one lesson during each week in many of the schools since the practice of singing was first introduced into the schools, about fifteen months since. An assistant singing master having recently been appointed, they will now receive three lessons in the week. The programme comprised a variety of pieces in parts, as well as many of the most appropriate school songs in constant use wherever vocal music is cultivated. The separate parts of the rounds were taken up with spirit and precision, and very well sustained. Indeed they were sung much better than could have been expected, when it is remembered that until the rehearsal of the pieces performed on this occasion, the scholars of the different schools had not previously sang together. "A Boat, a Boat unto the Ferry," was repeated, by special request. The Hunting round, "A Southerly Wind and a Cloudy Sky," brought out the best efforts of the youthful singers. The songs were many of them familiar household melodies in a new garb: "Begone Dull Care," and "My Lodging is on the Cold Ground," being adapted to words more suitable to children, - as "The Love of Truth" and "The Linnet;" "Life let us Cherish" and "Caller Herring," we recognised under the names of "The Rising Sun," and "Hark! 'tis the Bells." It is a striking feature of this performance that the performers had no copies whatever to sing from, and those who know how difficult it is for children of tender years to commit to memory correctly a page or two of poetry will easily perceive that there is something very extraordinary in the facility with which the memory lends itself to the service of the tuneful art. By being wedded to a well-known melody, the words of a song, even of many verses, may be very readily committed to memory. Like, as in a well-arranged business office, or store, the proprietor has only to open the drawer which contains the article he requires, so for the words of a song, long since forgotten, we have but to learn the tune, and they are again remembered. Thus "Twenty pence are one and eightpence," set to "Here's a health to all good lasses;" and "We sing old England's race of Kings," to "Le petit tambour" are found to relieve the teacher of a school of a great deal of the toil which under the ordinary system he must be subject to, in imparting to his pupils a ready method in arithmetic, or an accurate knowledge of chronology.

After the National Anthem had been sung with great effect, and the programme was then closed, the Bishop of Melbourne begged to be permitted to tender to the members nf the Denominational Board, their Secretary, and Mr. Allan, the thanks of the meeting, for the very great treat which, thanks to their arrangements, had been furnished to them. He expressed his hope, and in this hope he felt sure the audience would sympathise, that this was but the first of a series of delightful meetings of a similar kind. He referred to the remark of Mr. Allan, that in consequence of the smallness of the room it was quite impossible to assemble more than 500 children, while it would have been easy to assemble 1000. His Lordship expressed his expectation that there would soon be a room in the city sufficiently large to accommodate the larger number of children proposed, and also a much larger number of auditors. His Lordship addressed a few remarks to the children in which he exhorted them to endeavor to profit by the instructions they received in Psalmody and by all the opportunities of becoming wiser and better which they enjoyed; expressed his hope that the classes for the instruction of adults which Mr. Allan proposed to open would be numerously attended, referring to his own experience at Cambridge as illustrative of the important social influence of such classes; and concluded by expressing his desire that the clergymen of different branches of the Church present would follow out the hint given by Mr. Allan as to the advantage of incorporating with the choirs of the different congregations the children of the respective schools who shewed the greatest capacity for the execution of sacred music, so that one of the most important parts of Divine worship might be rendered additionally interesting and impressive.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Perry (Anglican bishop of Melbourne)

"SINGING CLASSES AT PRAHRAN", The Argus (11 October 1854), 5

Mr. Allan, who has for some time past been associated with Mr. Vitelli as teacher of the singing class at the Mechanics' Institute, Melbourne, intends, as we are informed, opening a class at Prahran on Friday. As the system practised by Mr. Allan has already had a most successful result in Melbourne, there can be little doubt that his efforts will be suitably acknowledged by our suburban friends.


A performance of choral music by the children belonging to the Denominational Schools took place yesterday In the Exhibition Building. There was free admission to the public, and it was liberally availed of the gentler sex, as might be expected, predominating. Several of our city magnates were present on the occasion. The children, to the number of about six hundred were seated in the body of the building, the spectators being accommodated with seats in the side aisles and gallery. The interior of the building has a comparatively naked appearance, since the removal of thee exhibited articles, but the coup d'oeil yesterday was nevertheless a striking one. The children were from fifteen different schools of various religious denominations, comprising those of the Church of England, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Wesleyans, and Independents. Mr. G. L. Allan, the singing master to the Denominational Schools, conducted the performance.

The programme consisted of twenty-seven pieces, selected from the school repertoire. There were among them rounds in three and four parts, three hymns, and a variety of school songs. The performance opened with the hymn, "From Greenland's Icy Mountains," which was sung very neatly, although it is by no means an easy tune for children. There were four verses, of eight lines each in this hymn. It is really surprising how the children managed to commit the words of the twenty-seven pieces to memory. The care and diligence of their singing-master in training them cannot be too highly spoken of, and the performance yesterday reflected on him a great deal of credit. There were many new pieces sung, and among them the old bacchanalian round "Call George again, boys," we were delighted to recognise, with words adapted to it more appropriate for children. It was called "Hoy! Ship ahead, Sir," and notwithstanding a false start, was sung very sweetly. The programme, which, like most of the programmes of colonial concerts, struck us as being rather too long, finished with "God save the Queen." This was sung in two parts, the second being creditably sustained by the boys. We ought not to omit mentioning the round, "Standing together in a ring." There could not be a more suitable piece for children. It was sung with precision, and was heard to better advantage than many of the pieces, as it stood on the programme very nearly the last. The boys' voices, which in the early part of the performance made the parts allotted to them in the various rounds unduly predominant, were, by the time they commenced this round, somewhat wearied. The voices of the girls were therefore better heard, and the parts were consequently more equally balanced.

Previous to the performance commencing, Mr. Colin Campbell addressed a few words of encouragement to the children, and Mr. Allan subsequently stated that many of the scholars had been too short a time under tuition to admit of very great proficiency. During the performance, the audience repeatedly applauded the little vocalists, and it was amusing to see some of the juveniles themselves joining in the clapping of hands. Their behaviour, however, shewed a considerable improvement upon their demeanor at the last performance. At the close they were regaled with buns and lemonade. The performance commenced at 3 p.m. and was over by 5.

ASSOCIATIONS: Colin Campbell (Anglican cleric, secretary Denominational Board); Exhibition Building (Melbourne venue)

"DENOMINATIONAL SCHOOLS", The Age (21 December 1855), 6 

Yesterday afternoon the Exhibition Building was the scene of a highly interesting display of the musical ability of a large number of young Victorians, as developed under the able direction of Mr. G. L. Allan, singing-master to Denominational Schools. The whole of the basement storey was occupied by the children, (near upon twelve hundred in number,) selected from about thirty schools of all denominations in Melbourne, Collingwood, Richmond, Prahran, Emerald hill, St Kilda and Brighton, and with two exceptions (St. Mark's boys' school and St. Kilda school, im which the children are taught by their respective masters), under the musical instruction of Messrs. Hadfield, G. L. Allan, and J. H. Allen. The children, who were dressed in their best and looked supremely happy under their arduous vocal exertions, were ranged on each side of the building, and on the orchestra-platform erecting for the approaching performance of the "Messiah" by the Philharmonic Society on Monday next. The director had his rostrum erected on the basement of the fountain, and from this position had every one of his little vocalists under his eye. The music performed consisted of part songs and rounds by Hullah, Crampton, and others, which were sung with a precision of time and tune alike creditable to the children, their teachers, and their director. Between the parts the children were supplied with some refreshments, which appeared to render them all the more alert for the resumption of their duties at the first rap from the director's baton. His Excellency the Governor and Lady Hotham were present in the gallery, and their entrance was greeted with the national anthem carolled forth by a thousand little throats. His Excellency and lady were evidently much gratified, and frequently applauded the efforts of the children, who were all evidently anxious to do their very best on the occasion. The gallery was densely crowded with a delighted auditory, and his Excellency and party did not leave their seats till all was over, when the juveniles gave him three times three deafening cheers, and then, trooping out of the building, swarmed into and upon the omnibuses provided to carry them home.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Hadfield (singing master); John Harward Allen (singing master); Charles and Jane Hotham (governor and wife); Melbourne Philharmonic Society (association)

"NORTH MELBOURNE SINGING CLASS", The Age (21 April 1857), 5 

For some months past, Mr. G. L. Allan, teacher of singing in the Denominational Schools, has been giving his gratuitous services to a free singing class established at the Church of England Schools, Howard street, North Melbourne. The class consists of about sixty three or more adult and other members, who bear all the charges, Mr. Allan kindly tendering his very efficient aid for their instruction. Impressed with the necessity of recognising these valuable services, the members have presented liim with a token of their regard in the shape of a handsome silver cup, valued at about 35l . . .

The class having made very great progress, it was determined by them to give a concert to their immediate friends, and to make it the occasion for their presentation. On Friday last therefore, the class gave their first concert in the schoolroom. The first part of the programme consisted of sacred music, chiefly selected from the works of Farrant, Zingarelli, Rousseau, Luther, and others. Previous to singing a verse each from some of the best psalm tunes - solemn, moderate, and joyful - as examples of the various styles, Mr. Allan addressed the audience on the propriety of introducing into our churches an improved system of singing. He pointed out the various defects in congregational music as at present practised, the necessity for reform, and suggested that the clergy themselves should initiate the measure. After very successfully relieving chanting from the prejudice with which it is received by most religious bodies, and pointing out the proper mode of conducting it, he proceeded to illustrate his remarks with examples. The pupils then sang a verse each of twelve psalm tunes, and acquitted themselves admirably, in imparting to these compositions an expression and effect of which one would hardly have thought them capable, from the awfully dull and heavy measure in which they are usually sung in churches. The examples were also very serviceable in illustrating Mr. Allan's position, that in selecting psalm tunes, care should be taken to adopt music suited to the character of the words. Luther's Hymns was especially well given, and elicited an encore; as also one or two others . . .

The second part consisted of selections of peculiar music from the works of Gluck, Waelront, Balthazar, Donato, Pearsall, Dowland, and others; in the execution of which the pupils did infinite credit to themselves and their master. We need not particularise, for all were most ably trolled forth - so well, indeed, as to induce us to think that the society had been one of much longer standing.

"MR. G. L. ALLAN'S SINGING CLASSES", The Age (1 May 1857), 4 

We are glad to see that arrangements have been made by Mr. Allan to establish a Singing class at the Mechanics' Institution, Collins-street. A free introductory lesson is to be held on Saturday evening at half-past seven, when the North Melbourne class (sixty in number) will attend and sing a number of glees and madrigals to show the result of Mr. Allan's teaching . . .

"MECHANICS' INSTITUTION", The Age (4 May 1857), 4 

. . . We cannot help congratulating the committee on adopting a measure so judicious in itself, and which promises to be attended with such important benefits to society at large. Hitherto the ranks of the Philharmonic Society have been recruited by amateurs who have had the benefits of some musical education in their youth. These are necessarily restricted in number. Under the present arrangement Mr. Allan's singing class will act as a nursery for talent in this delightful science, and contribute to greatly increased a number to the chorus, that before long we shall be able to congratulate the public on possessing a chorus almost equalling in number that which assembles at Exeter Hall. Our Philharmonic Society makes no provision for teaching the rudiments of music to its members - in fact none are admitted who are not at once in a position to take part in their exercises. The desideratum is now met, and we trust that the public will take the matter up with the enthusiasm which its importance demands.

"SINGING CLASSES", The Age (30 May 1857), 4 

Mr. G. L. Allan, induced by the success of his singing classes for adults in North Melbourne and Melbourne, intends establishing a third in Collingwood. On Friday next, 5th June, he intends giving a free introductory concert of glees, anthems, and madrigals, at St. Mark's Boys' School, Collingwood; and, on the following Friday, his classes there will commence. The class at the Mechanics' Institution now numbers seventy pupils; and that at North Melbourne, emboldened by success, have formed themselves into "The North Melbourne Choral Society." These are gratifying instances of real progress of this delightful art.

ASSOCIATIONS: North Melbourne Choral Society (association)

"BENEFIT CONCERT BY MR. G. L. ALLAN", The Age (22 October 1858), 5 

The ability of Mr. G. L. Allan as a teacher of music, and his success in the establishment of large and popular classes in various parts of the city and suburbs during the last five years, attracted a numerous and brilliant audience to the Exhibition Building last evening, on occasion of his first benefit concert. Mr. Geo. R. Pringle, organist to the Melbourne Philharmonic Society, presided at the pianoforte. The chorus, consisting of a hundred members from the North Melbourne Choral Society and Mr. Allan's Upper Singing Class in Melbourne, was in excellent voice and spirits, and rendered the various beauties of an exceedingly well selected programme with admirable precision and effect. The programme opened with a chorus by Gluck, "Sing loud a joyful strain," and selections from various other composers. The beautifully solemn quartette and chorus "O most merciful God," by Hullah, was given in fine style, as also the "Music for Macbeth." Danby's prize glee, "Awake, AEolian Lyre," tastefully and effectively rendered, made way for a song by Miss Baillie, which, being greeted with an encore, was succeeded by N. J. Sporle's "Row, row, homeward we go." This lady is gifted with a full, rich voice, and with further experience will be qualified to assume a high position among our colonial vocalists. Abt's Swiss Morning Hymn, "Morn awakes in silence," sung as quartette and chorus, and delivered with solemnity and sweetness, is certain to become an established favorite as it is better known. Mr. G. R. Pringle executed a piano solo, the "Carnaval de Venise" in his usual excellent style, and was succeeded by the chorus, in Stevens's favorite old glee, from Oberon in Fairy Land, neatly and effectively delivered. "Banish, Oh, maiden," encored, was followed by Macfarren's modern and popular "Song of the Railroads"; the "National Anthem" forming an appropriate finale to a concert of more than usual excellence. His Excellency Sir H. Barkly and suite attended. The building was brilliantly lighted up, and the general arrangements were satisfactory, and altogether we have to congratulate Mr. Allan on the success of his first benefit.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Robert Grant Pringle (piano); Amelia Bailey (vocalist); Henry Barkly (governor)

"MARRIED", The Age (26 January 1859), 4 

On the 25th January, at Chalmers' Church, Melbourne, by the Rev. Adam Cairns, D.D., Mr. George Leavis Allan, senior teacher of vocal music under the denominational board of education (formerly of H. M. Ordnance office, London), younger son of the late Mr. John Allan, of H. M. Audit office, London, to Agnes, second daughter of Mr. John Clark, of 137 Elizabeth street, Melbourne.

[News], The Argus (16 July 1859), 5 

Mr. George L. Allan gave one of his pleasant concerts at the Mechanics' Institution last night. The performers were as usual very numerous, and the choral effectiveness was of the most satisfactory kind. The selection of pieces was in very good taste. Of the part-songs, "Sweet Mary Gray," Bishop's "Chough and Crow," Steven's glee "From Oberon," Weber's "Huntsman's Chorus," and the "Tickling Trio," may be singled out as worthy of particular commendation. The solo pieces wore also given with excellent effect. The names of the executants were not mentioned, but the young lady who sang the very charming composition entitled "Beautiful Leaves," possesses a voice of uncommon purity and sweetness, and one which seems most abundant in promise. Mr. Allan is entitled to much praise for the constant endeavors he makes to promote the study and practice of vocal music, and his efforts are deserving of the most unqualified encouragement. The accompaniments were played by a Miss James, who, though apparently a very young lady, possesses a more than sufficient command over her instrument.

ASSOCIATIONS: Marie James (piano)

"BIRTH", The Age (7 May 1860), 4 

On the 3rd May, at Carlton, the wife of Mr. George L. Allan, of a son.

Teacher records, George Leavis Allan, 1853-62; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

George Leavis Allan / born 1826 / Certificate teacher of Singing /
1 / 4 / '53 / Singing Master D. S. B. / 1 April 1853 to 31 Aug. 1862
1 / 9 / 62 / Singing Master B. of Ed. / 1 Sep 62 to 31 Dec. 62. /
Died 1 April 1897

"NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (15 April 1876), 5 

The legal difficulties which have for the last twelve months threatened serious loss to the well-known firm of Wilkie, Webster and Allan have been at length settled in such a way as must prove highly satisfactory to all parties. Mr. Allan has become sole proprietor, and the business will in future be carried on under the style of Allan and Co. The agreement for purchase of the business Was concluded before the end of last year between Mr. Allan and Mr. Wilkie's representative, but the death of Mr. Wilkie delayed the final completion of the contract until now. Mr. Allan has made arrangements for the erection of splendid premises in Collins-street, next door to the present site. The building will be of three stories, with store at the back, and fitted up with every convenience for carrying on the business. All needful arrangements have been made for supply of stock of the first quality, and Mr. Allan seems determined that the deservedly high reputation which the house bears shall not suffer in his hands.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Wilkie (musicseller, deceased)


An application was made yesterday by Mr. Braham in the Insolvency Court that an unconditional certificate should be granted to George Leavis Allan and George Clark Allan, both of Sandringham, trading as Allan and Co., of Collins-street, Melbourne, music warehousemen.

The affidavits submitted in support of the application set out that the joint estate would probably pay a dividend of from 1s. to 1s. 3d. in the pound. George Clark Allan was singing master in the State schools from 1853 to 1863, In November, 1863, Joseph Wilkie and John Campbell Webster admitted him as a partner in the business of music warehousemen, and he contributed towards his share his savings in the aforesaid employment, amounting to £pound;650. In 1873 Joseph Wilkie became insane and involved him and Webster in an equity suit, which resulted in his having to pay £3000 for law costs and other expenses. In 1875 Wilkie and Webster died, and he purchased from their representatives their shares in the business, and the name was changed to Allan and Co. He paid £14,361 19s. 6d. for the shares of Wilkie and Webster. For the purpose of paying this amount he borrowed in 1876 from the Colonial Permanent Building Society on the security of a bill of sale over the stock in trade the sum of £9000, repayable by monthly instalments of £187 10s. and partly by promissory notes for £1959 7s. 6d., endorsed by David Guillan Clark, which were met at maturity; £3402 12s. was paid by him from time to time in cash out of the takings in his business.

In consequence of having to keep a heavy stock, he was obliged to borrow further moneys from the said society. In February, 1881, he had paid off all but £560 3s. 2d. of the loans, but at that time he borrowed from the society the sum of £12,000, which he required owing to the increased volume of his business. In February, 1884, the society advanced him £7000 which he employed in his business. On 21st February, 1885, he admitted his son, G. C. Allan, into partnership. In August, 1885, the society lent the firm the sum of £6000 in order to pay Virgoe, Son and Chapman what they owed them. Owing to the lease of their premises expiring in May, 1891 they took a lease of premises from the City Property about to be built by them at a yearly rental of £3000. In December, 1890, they borrowed from the society £22,000, from which the society retained £6441 4s. which was owing to it. In November, 1890, they gave the society a bill of sale over all their existing and future stock to secure the advance, and shares in the Victoria Junction Gold Mining Company, Taradale, were also transferred. The premises into which they moved were not worth more than £750 per annum. In January, 1892, owing to the general depression in business, they found it impossible to keep up the monthly payments to the society, and owing to the failure of Farrar and Co., on the 12th March last, to whom the firm owed upwards of £8000 for goods indented, for which acceptances were held by the Commercial Bank, they were compelled to sequestrate their estate. The profits made by them in business between October, 1875, and June, 1891, amounted to £53,311 13s. 10d.

Owing to the financial crisis of 1888 the business suddenly fell off, with the result that, in the year 1892, they sustained a loss in the business of £1750 15s. 1d.; for the year 1893, £129 5s.; and from June, 1893, to date of sequestration, the value of the stock was depredated by £4740 1s. 6d. The expense of exhibiting musical instruments at the New Zealand Exhibition in 1882 exceeded the amount realised on sales then by £510. The failure to pay 7s. in the pound was entirely owing to the large payments they had to make for interest, fees and commissions on indents, to the great depreciation in the value of the stock and the falling off of business since 1888, and the heavy rents they had to pay for the business premises.

His Honor granted the application for unconditional certificates.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Campbell Webster (musicseller, deceased)

"DEATHS", The Argus (2 April 1897), 1

ALLAN. - On the 1st April, at Carrick, Lansowney road, East St Kilda, George Leavis Allan, in his 71st year.

[Obituary], The Argus (2 April 1897), 4

Members of the musical profession and old colonists will learn with regret of the death of Mr. George Leavis Allan, of Allan's music warehouse, Collins-street, which took place yesterday at his residence, Landsdowne-street, East St. Kilda. Just before Christmas Mr. Allan had a paralysis seizure, and a general break-up of the system followed, the immediate cause of death being failure of the heart's action. The late Mr. Allan, who was a colonist of 44 years and aged 71, was formerly a member of the Imperial civil service, but came to search for gold, and spent some time on the diggings. On coming to Melbourne he was appointed a singing master under the Government, and later held the chief position as inspector and master. During that time he held his classes in St. Paul's schoolroom, and amongst his pupils were many who won distinction as artists. Mr. Allan also conducted with much success the great annual musical gatherings in the old Exhibition building. Later on he entered into partnership with the late Mr. Joseph Wilkie and Mr. Webster, and on the death of these gentlemen became the sole proprietor in the business. The depression of late years brought disasters to him, as to other Melbourne men, but throughout his business integrity was never in doubt, and he lost nothing of the esteem gained in long years of active and honourable work. He was naturally intimately acquainted with all the leading musical artists who for years past have visited Australia, and took a leading part in every movement for the advancement of music in Melbourne. The late Mr. Allan leaves a widow and family of six sons and two daughters, all grown up. The interment will take place this afternoon.

"DEATH OF MR. G. L. ALLAN", The Age (2 April 1897), 6 

A prominent figure in musical and business circles in Melbourne passed away yesterday in the person of Mr. George Leavis Allan, manager of the business of Allan and Co. Limited, of Collins-street. Mr. Allan was in his 71st year at the time of his death, which took place at his residence, "Carrick," Lansdowne-road, East St. Kilda, after an illness extending over three months. The deceased gentleman was overtaken by a paralytic stroke in December last, and never completely recovered. Since that event Dr. Grant was in regular attendance upon him. The immediate cause of death was failure of the heart's action.

Mr. Allan was born in Middlesex, England, in 1826, and after undergoing a musical training under John Hullah, entered the Imperial civil service. Attracted by the gold rush which set in to these colonies in the fifties, he arrived in Melbourne in 1853. After a short stay on the diggings he returned to Melbourne, and afterwards he was appointed by the Government to take charge of the singing department in connection with the denominational system of education then in force. While in that position he conducted the annual musical demonstrations which were given by the scholars in the William-street Exhibition building. In addition to his public duties, he conducted classes at St. Paul's schools, and amongst his pupils were such well-known musicians as Mr. Armes Beaumont and many of his contemporaries. More than 30 years ago Mr. Allan joined the music dealing firm of Wilkie and Webster, which then assumed the title of Wilkie, Webster and Allan. On the death of his partners, Mr. Allan carried on the business on his own account, until some 15 years later he was joined in partnership by his son, Mr. Geo. C. Allan. The name of the deceased gentleman was closely identified with the visits to Australia of the principal musical artists who visited the colony in the early days, and in several of the later day instances the public owe their acquaintance with many of the most brilliant singers and players who have visited Melbourne to either the personal efforts of Mr. Allan himself or the influence of the firm with which he has been so long connected. Mr. Allan has written and published many works and pamphlets on music, and on several occasions he visited England in the interests of the profession. Three years ago his business was floated into a limited liability company, which he and his son conjointly managed. Deceased leaves a wife and a grown up family of six sons and two daughters. The funeral will leave his late residence to-day at an hour announced else where.

ASSOCIATIONS: Armes Beaumont (former pupil)

Musical works:

A collection of thirty standard psalm tunes in vocal score, selected by George L. Allan (Melbourne: W. H. Williams, music & general printer, [? c. 1856-58]) (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: William Henry Williams (music printer)

Bibliography and resources:

H. Morin Humphreys (comp.), Men of the time in Australia, Victorian series, second edition (Melbourne: McCarron, Bird & Co. 1882), [i]-[ii] (DIGITISED)

ALLAN, GEORGE LEAVIS, was born 3rd September, 1826, at Camberwell, London, and is son of John Allan, Esq., of Her Majesty's Audit Office. He received his education at the Philological School, an off-shoot of King's College, New-road, Paddington. Commenced life as a clerk in the civil branch of the Ordnance Department, first at the Tower, afterwards at the general office in Pall Mall. He remained in Her Majesty's civil service for some years, but when the gold fever broke out in Australia, the temptation to acquire a fortune took hold of him so strongly (as it did thousands of others) that he and a brother clerk in the Ordnance threw up their clerkships, and sailed for Victoria. He and his "mate" landed in 1852, and the couple went with a party to Campbell's Creek, where they tried their luck at gold digging. After a few months, Mr. Allan grew tired of a miner's life, and returned to Melbourne. When quite a youth, Mr. Allan studied singing under the tuition of the celebrated Hullah and other masters and received a general musical education, which, on his arrival at Melbourne, he turned to account, and started singing classes. Being well grounded in the various systems of class music teaching, he established in Melbourne singing classes for adults in March, 1853, and in the same year was requested by the Board of Education to organise singing classes in the State schools. He consented, and was appointed by Governor Latrobe to the [ii] post of Government singing master. Mr. Allan taught alone in the schools until March, 1855, when additional singing masters were appointed. On the establishment of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society, he was elected a member of the first committee, and afterwards librarian. In 1854, while in the Government service as singing master, Mr. Allan inaugurated choral gatherings of children from the various public schools, and with them gave delightful concerts at every Christmas until 1862, when he relinquished his Government appointment. With reference to these children's concerts, it may be well to mention that they were first held in the Mechanics' Institute, now "Athenaeum," Collins-street, where as many as 450 children sang together, and afterwards in the "Old Exhibition" building, in which he once conducted a choir of 1200 infant voices. At this period Mr. Allan was accustomed to occasionally prove the efficiency of his method of teaching by asking such eminent musicians as the late Charles Horsley and others to write impromptu bits of music, in two parts, on the black-board, which compositions a number of his pupils were able to sing at sight. An earnest member of the Church of England, he has largely assisted in the musical work connected therewith, and was, together with the late Charles Horsley and G. R. G. Pringle, first chairman of the Government board appointed to examine applicants for certificates as teachers of singing in the State schools. In 1863 he became a partner in the old-established firm of Wilkie and Webster, Collins-street, and on the demise of those gentlemen in 1875 became sole proprietor. In 1877 he built new premises, which contain every convenience for the musical public. The stock of music and musical instruments is greater than in any establishment on this side of the equator, and on the upper story there are a suite of offices for professors of music, who give lessons there to their pupils. Mr. Allan is the agent and legal representative of the principal music publishing houses in England, and also represents in Australia a number of the most important musical instrument factories in Europe and America. At the Melbourne International Exhibition of 1880-1, the firms represented by Mr. Allan took a large number of first prizes. As a teacher of the vocal art, Mr. Allan justly prides himself upon having trained such singers as Miss Amelia Bailey (Mrs. R. H. Smythe), Miss Maggie Liddle, Mrs. Perraton, and others of similar merit. He married, in January, 1859, Agnes, second daughter of the late John Clark, of Melbourne, by whom he has issue six sons and two daughters.

ASSOCIATIONS: Amelia Bailey (pupil, vocalist); Maggie Liddle (vocalist); Mary Ann Griffiths (Mrs. W. Perraton) (pupil, vocalist)

"A Musical Pioneer! George Leavis Allan. By J. ALEX. ALLAN", The Argus (25 June 1932), 6 

WHO is there among the old gentlemen who attended school in the Melbourne of the 'fifties and the 'sixties, who does not remember George Leavis Allan? Who of the placid old ladies of today did not feel her heart in those times flutter a little beneath her sedate schoolgirl frock as the tall, dark, curly haired singing master lifted his tuning fork? George Allan was born in London on September 3, 1827. He was the younger son of John Allan of His Majesty's Audit Office, Somerset House, London, and he began life himself as a clerk in the Ordnance Office, Pall Mall. From boyhood music was his passion. When he left England for Australia on July 25, 1852, he had already been for eight years leader of the singing in St. George's Church, Camberwell, London. At the time of his departure from St. George's he was also teacher, librarian, and secretary to its Sunday School - surely a sufficient load for one young man of 25 years to carry! His Victorian descendants still treasure his church's 80-year-old valedictory gifts to him - a Bible and a Book of Common Prayer.

The time was the feverish gold-seeking period of the early 'fifties. When George Allan landed in Melbourne at the end of 1852 he hastened to join the stream of seekers of wealth, who rode, tramped, and drove from the capital to the fields. As I write one of the original gold licences issued to him lies before me. Its date is only January 3, 1853, yet it was the 88th license issued in that year. It sets forth that the bearer, George Allan, having paid the sum of £1/10/, was licensed to "dig, search for, and remove gold" from any Crown lands in the upper Loddon district for one month. The signatory is "G. Cruickshank, Commissioner." That he met with a fair measure of success with pick and shovel is shown by an entry in his diary made in his meticulously neat handwriting: -
"My share of 8lb. 11oz, 12dwt, 17 1/2 gr. gold. - £92 1 8
My share expenses, 17th Nov., 1852, to 21st Jan., 1853 - 12 16 0
Cleared - £79 5 8."

But music was calling him. He soon tired of gold digging. He announced that on Tuesday March 29, 1853, he would "open a singing class on Hullah's method for ladies and gentlemen at the schoolroom adjoining Sandford's boot and shoe warehouse, Bourke street east, near Russell street, to meet on Tuesdays and Fridays; terms, one guinea per quarter, payable in advance." A "considerable reduction" was made for children and schools. This "elementary course," it was pointed out, would consist of about 60 lessons; and the ladies and gentlemen of early Melbourne were invited to consider how advantageous it would be to them to acquire an art which would "provide a pleasant and rational occupation for the leisure houre of the evening." Tickets," adds the postscript, "at Mr. Baker's, Swanston street."

George Allan's personality was notable. His teaching methods soon bore fruit and attracted notice. Colin Campbell, secretary to the Denominational School Board, announced the board's "pleasure in stating that they have been enabled this year to promote the scientific study of music on the Hullah system among the people, having secured the services of Mr. G. L. Allan as singing master on the 1st April (1853), who has given lessons since then which have proved both attractive and successful, in about 12 of the principal schools of Melbourne." Allan's salary, recommended by the board and "approved by Governor La Trobe and the heads of the denominations," was £300.

"Congregational Psalmody"

His engagement under the Denominational Board did not preclude his engaging in outside practice. Such was the energy of the man that we find him - even thought his only leisure time was in the evenings - announcing that he would begin a class - terms one guinea for a course of 20 lessons - "for instruction in Congregational Psalmody, on the Rev. J. J. Waite's system, on Tuesday, October 25, 1853, at half-past seven p.m., at Bourke street school-room, a few doors west of Russell street. The notice close with a sentence or two of quaint reverence worth recording: -
"As the highest excellence of Congregational Psalmody can only be attained when every voice is employed in that part of the harmony for which God has fitted it, it is hoped that all will join in endeavouring to rescue it from the neglect which it so generally suffers, so that none may be silent when praise is offered to God, but that all may sing with the spirit and with the understanding also."
George Allan's religious convictions were deep-seated and the labours he undertook were not all for worldly recompense. He gave weekly instruction in devotional psalmody to the congregation of St. Paul's, Melbourne, then under the incumbency of the Rev. S. L. Chase. These classes were held weekly, beginning on Thursday, November 24, 1853, and they were without charge. Hear the words of the instructor as he issued his invitation: -
"The hymn requires to be studied, as well as the tune, so that every line may be given in a style accordant with its meaning, while the soft breathing of some of the verses contrasted with the bold swell of others will make the singing at once intelligent and impressive, and such psalmody will prove, under God's blessing, a means of edification and delight to all engaged in it."
This class was successful from the outset, upward of 100 singers attending the first night.

That these activities did not impair the quality of his work at the schools is shown by the Denominational Schools' Board's report for 1853: -
"The results of Mr. Allan's unaided efforts were shown on a recent occasion, when above 500 children were collected at the Mechanics' Institution, and their performances were considered highly creditable."
In recognition of Allan's success in the schools the board granted him a 25 per cent increase on his salary as from July 1 to December 31, 1853, and a further increase to £450 yearly as from January 1, 1854. On July 19, 1854, in conjunction with Mr. Vitelli, R.A.M., Allan opened classes for ladies and gentlemen at the Mechanics' Institution, Melbourne, for the "management and improvement of the voice." Vitelli attended to the women's day class on Wednesday afternoons, and Allan to the mixed class on Saturday evenings. Much space was devoted by "The Argus," the "Melbourne Morning Herald," and the "Banner" to descriptions of the class and to adulations of Allan's performances and methods. An additional evening class was opened in October, 1854, at "the Church of England School, Chapel street, corner of Middle Dandenong road, Prahran." About this time the papers began to employ such expressions as "Mr. Allan, the well-known professor."

At St. Pauls.

On August 20, 1855, St. Paul's Church committee appointed Allan choirmaster and organist at the same salary as Russell, the retiring official. At this time Allan could not play the organ, but at the age of 27 he set out to learn. Let his diary tell its own story: -
"I was allowed to engage an organist until I could play, and accordingly engaged first Mr. Ruxton, then Mr. Richardson, then Mr. Clarke; and on his leaving I resigned (as organist only) in favour of Mr. Russell on February 2, 1856. I returned £9 of the salary for the church debt fund, and paid rather more than the rest of the salary, during my appointment, in salaries to organist and singers, besides a contribution of £5 to the church debt fund, and £5 for the minister's stipend. Mr. Clarke refused to receive any salary for the time he had played, and as I would not keep the amount myself I devoted it to the pay of choir singers to the end of 1856. The sum was about £20."
Allan held the dual post of choirmaster and Sunday school superintendent at St. Pauls till his resignation late in 1858. Concerning his relinquishment of these offices, St. Paul's parish report for the year states:
"He has done much; his services to the choir are more and more felt. To him we tender most hearty thanks, and would be exceedingly glad to see others equally self-denying and ready."

A fresh task was the beginning of a cheap singing class at the Temperance Hall on November 14, 1855, the fee being 3/ for six lessons, children half-price. The Governor and Lady Hotham were present on December 21, 1855, when Allan conducted a choir of 1200 children through an evening's harmony - buns, lemonade, and omnibuses being provided for the performers - at the Exhibition Building, which stood on the site of the present Mint. "The gallery was densely crowded with a delighted auditory, and His Excellency and party did not leave their seats till all was over." "Johnny" Fawkner was "among those present." At the third annual meeting of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society on January 9, 1857, Allan was appointed librarian.

In 1858 Dr. Cairns and the congregation of Chalmers Church, Eastern Hill, entered into an arrangement with Allan to "instruct the worshippers in elementary music and psalmody." More than 100 pupils paid the "inconsiderable fee of 5/ per quarter" and submitted themselves for the first lesson on July 26, 1858. This innovation marks the first attempt at organising four-part church singing in Melbourne, congregational music at that time being at a very low ebb.

On October 21, 1858, "Mr. George Allan's first benefit concert" was held in the old Exhibition Building in William street. His Excellency Sir Henry Barkly and wife were present. The pianist was George R. Pringle, organist to the Melbourne Philharmonic Society, and the chorus of 100 voices was drawn from Allan's classes in Melbourne. Reserved seats and gallery seats were "to be had of Messrs. Blundell, booksellers, and Mr. Wilkie, music-seller, Collins street, Messrs. Litolf and Glen, music-sellers, Bourke-street east, or at the Mechanics' Institution, Messrs, Wymond and Vasey, drapers, 107 Brunswick street, Collingwood, and of Mr. King, draper, and Mr. Atkin, chemist, Errol street, North Melbourne." The Governor sent a cheque for £5. The receipts were £92, the expenses were £69, and the profit £23. The "St. Kilda Chronicle" in its issue of the ensuing Saturday said -
"Miss Bailey and Miss Griffiths executed ballads and duets in a most artistic manner. A young lady named 'Minnie' particularly attracted our attention in the concerted pieces, as having a full sweet voice and a bewitching pair of eyes. The latter were employed in killing and the former in the soothing influences of that power which 'charms the savage beast.'" "Minnie's" extreme youth, it appeared, was evident from the fact that her skirts were "fully three or four inches" off the ground. The Miss Bailey mentioned was Miss Amelia Bailey, who became Mrs. R. S. Smythe. She lives in Deepdene road, Deepdene.

His Marriage.

On Tuesday, January 25, 1859, at the age of 32, Allan married Agnes, the beautiful 19-year-old daughter of John Clark, of 137 Elizabeth street, Melbourne. The ceremony was performed at Chalmers Church by the Rev. Adam Cairns, D.D. At the end of June, 1859, the Denominational Schools Board, affected by the financial shortage of that year, regretfully dispensed with Allan as a salaried servant. At its wish, however, he continued teaching in the schools for fees paid by the children, the board also making regular contributions in lieu of salary. At this time, 1,714 children were under what Judge Pohlmann described as his "admirable control." At this period he was also engaged in teaching at the ladies' college of M. and Madame Vieusseux, Clarendon street, Fitzroy square, Melbourne. In September 1859, he took his young wife from Milroy street, South Yarra, to a new home at Park street, Brighton. The next two or three years are records of continuous successful teaching and concert promoting. It is on record that one of his pupils in 1864 at the Old Model School was the child, Nellie Stewart, who was to become Australia's "Sweet Nell." In May 1864, he was appointed by the Government as member of a board of examiners to ascertain the qualifications of aspiring music teachers for common schools, the other numbers being Charles Horsley, George Pringle and John Russell.

In 1850, when Victoria was still Port Phillip district, Joseph Wilkie had opened a music shop at the spot now occupied by the opening of the Block Arcade in Collins street [sic]. It was the first establishment of its kind in Australia. In 1862 John Campbell Webster entered the business as a partner. In 1863 George Allan joined the firm of Wilkie, Webster, and Co., the name being registered as Wilkie, Webster, and Allan. On March 8, 1870, Allan left Melbourne in the ship Yorkshire with his wife and family of five to revisit the country of his birth. He returned a few months later. The year 1875 saw the death of both Allan's business partners. From that time he carried on as sole proprietor, soon afterward admitting his eldest son, Mr. George Allan, the present chairman of directors of Allan and Co. Pty. Ltd., as partner and manager. In 1877 the business moved to what was then 17-19 Collins street east, where the firm of Lee and Kaye had for some years kept a small music store. Mr. David Lee at that time was the city organist. In that year the building was thoroughly and expensively remodelled under the supervision of Messrs. Terry and Okeden, architects. The present fine ground-floor frontage in Collins street was built in the early nineteen-twenties. Messrs. George and Frederick Allan are still actively associated with the firm, and a younger son, Dr. Buller Allan - named after his father's only brother - has a practice in Melbourne.

On April 1, 1897, the indefatigable worker who had landed us a young man in 'fifty-two without letters of introduction or a friend in the colony, died at his beautiful home in East St. Kilda. Twenty-four years later, on April 9, 1921, the lady whom he had wedded in Chalmers Church 62 years before, died also. She had reached the age of 81.

(Pictures on preceding page.) 

ASSOCIATIONS: James Alexander Allan (historian, writer, ? not related); John Russell (organist, to 1855; reappointed 1856); Henri Ruxton (acting organist under Allan, 1855); William Clarke (acting organist under Allan, 1855)

"A Musical Pioneer. By S. H. J.", The Argus (2 July 1932), 6

Under the title of "A Musical Pioneer," a highly interesting article, which appears in in the Camera Supplement last Saturday, described the career of the late Mr. George Leavis Allan, the founder of the musical business of Allan and Co. Pty. Ltd., Collins-street. It was mentioned in the article that Mr. Allan's first benefit concert was held in the presence of Sir Henry and Lady Barkly, then Governor of Victoria and his wife, on October 21, 1858, and that two of the singers who assisted as soloists in the concert were Misses Bailey and Griffiths. Miss Amelia Bailey in still among us - the widow of Mr. R. S. Smythe. She will reach the age of 90 in November of this year. She is in full possession of all her faculties, and is in good health. Miss Griffiths was married to a Mr. Perraton, but Mrs. Smythe does not know of her subsequent history. Mrs. Smythe was a girl of sixteen when she sang at Mr. Allan's concert, and she was rapidly rising to the position she afterwards filled for a number of years of the leading soprano of Victoria. Mr. Allan assisted her in a great degree to attain this position. In the article last week he is given credit for his increasing work in the musical education of Melbourne youth of both sexes, but no mention is made of the fact that among his many teaching posts was that of singing master in the day school of St. James's Church of England in West Melbourne. Miss Bailey was a pupil in the school, and Mr. Allan soon discovered that she was of special musical ability. When she reached the age of 13 he procured her admittance to membership on the Philharmonic Society of Melbourne, and as a member she remained, quickly forging ahead to be leading soprano . . .

Kenneth Hince, "Allan, George Leavis (1826-1897)", Australian dictionary of biography 3 (1969)

Peter Game, The music sellers (Melbourne: The Hawthorn Press, 1976)

Prue Neidorf, A guide to dating music published in Sydney and Melbourne, 1800-1899 (M.A. thesis, University of Wollongong, 1999), 257 (Allan and Co.), 318 (Wilkie, Webster and Allan) (DIGITISED)

"Allan, George Clark (1860-1934)", Guide to Australian business records

ALLAN, John (John ALLAN; J. ALLAN; ALLEN [sic])

Engraver, printer

Born Scotland, c. 1826/27; son of Alexander and Janet ALLAN
Active Sydney, NSW, by July 1845, as John Allan
Active Sydney, NSW, 1855-67, as Allan and Wigley
Died Sydney, NSW, 22 October 1883, aged "57" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


In 1847, as a lithographer for George Hudson, Allan drew on stone the illustrated cover and music of The Australian grand waltzes by Arthur Hill, a bandsman in the Band of the 99th Regiment. Probably around the same time, as a zinc printer, he printed for Francis Ellard his editions, with illustrated covers, of the Railroad gallop and La polka quadrille by Musard.

Later, Allan and Wigley, lithographic printers, regularly produced cover lithography for sheet music prints published by J. R. Clarke.


[Advertisement], The Sentinel [Sydney, NSW] (9 July 1845), 1 

THE undersigned respectfully apprises his friends and the public generally, that he has commenced in the above line, in York-street, near the Barrack Gate where he intends carrying on the Engraving, Copper plate, and Lithographic Printing in all its various branches; and hopes by strict attention to business, to receive a share of public patronage.

[Advertisement], The Sentinel (24 September 1845), 1 

JOHN ALLAN, Stone, Seal, and Copper-plate Engraver, &c , begs to inform his friends and the public generally, that he has removed from York-street, to A. Torning's Decorating Establishment, No. 6, BRIDGE-STREET, Where hp intends carrying on the Engraving and Lithographic Printing in all its various branches, and hopes, by strict attention to business and liberal charges, to receive a share of public patronage.
N. B. - Maps mounted. and varnished. Sydney, September 9th.

ASSOCIATIONS: Andrew Torning (decorator)

"DEATHS", Empire (18 August 1863), 1 

ALLAN - On the 20th June, at his residence, Bonnygate, Cupar, Fifeshire, Scotland, Alexander Allan, father of Mr. John Allan, engraver, George-street, Sydney.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 January 1868), 1 

NOTICE.- The PARTNERSHIP, heretofore subsisting between the undernamed, as Engravers, Lithographers and Printers, has been this day dissolved by mutual consent.
Witness - GEO. C. T. ICETON, Solicitor, Sydney. 4th December, 1867.
Referring to the above advertisement, I beg to state that the business will in future be carried on under the style and firm of W. H. WIGLEY and CO.
All parties indebted to the late firm are respectfully requested to pay their accounts, and all accounts against the late firm of Allan and Wigley are requested to be sent in.
W. H. WIGLEY. 297, George-street.

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (23 October 1883), 1 

ALLAN. - October 22, at Dualla House, Upper Fort-street, John Allan, Esq., of Jamison-street, late of San Francisco, aged 57 years.

"ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION", New South Wales Government Gazette (16 November 1883), 6250 

In the intestate estate of John Allan, late of 84, Upper Fort street, Sydney, seal engraver, deceased . . .

Bibliography and resources:

Prue Neidorf, A guide to dating music published in Sydney and Melbourne, 1800-1899 (M.A. thesis, University of Wollongong, 1999), 128-30 (DIGITISED)

ALLAN, William (William ALLAN)

Musician, choirmaster (St. Mark's Church, Collingwood/Fitzroy)

Active Melbourne, VIC, 1856 (shareable link to this entry)


[Advertisement], The Argus (31 May 1856), 1

WANTED a Tenor and a Bass Singer at St. Mark's Church. William Allan, choir-master.

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