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A biographical register of Australian colonial musical personnel–B (Ba-Bj)

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this :

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "A biographical register of Australian colonial musical personnel–B (Ba-Bj)", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 10 April 2020

Ba - Bj


Vocalist (Lyster Opera Company)

Active Australia, 1864-68 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 June 1867), 8 

BACKHAUS, Henry (George Henry; BACKHOUSE)

Priest, singer, choral director

Born Paderborn, Germany 15 February 1811
Arrived Adelaide, SA, 6 November 1846 (per Mazeppa from Batavia), Sydney, NSW, 5 December 1846 (per Dorset)
Died Bendigo, VIC, 7 September 1882 (NLA persistent identifier) (NLA persistent identifier)


"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", South Australian Register (7 November 1846), 3

"MISCELLANEOUS", South Australian Register (11 November 1846), 3

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVALS", The Sydney Morning Herald (7 December 1846), 2

"THE LATE POPE", Sydney Chronicle (19 December 1846), 2

The music was exquisite, being exclusively in the solemn and majestic Gregorian tone; the choir was conducted by the Rev. Dr. Backhouse, who excels in his knowledge, and practice of sacred music.

"THE LATE MR. O'CONNELL", Sydney Chronicle (30 September 1847), 2

On Tuesday last a Solemn Dirge and High Mass was celebrated at the Metropolitan Church of St. Mary, for the repose of the soul of this great and good man ... The Rev. Dr. Backhouse presided in the Choir, where he was assisted by the Messrs. Howson, and the organ being wholly silent, as is usual on such occasions, the hearers had a full opportunity of Appreciating the power and melody of the choristers, as they poured forth the solemn and majestic notes of the Gregorian Chaunt.

"THE CHURCH", Sydney Chronicle (16 October 1847), 2

"DEATH OF DEAN BACKHAUS", The Argus (8 September 1882), 5

"THE LATE VERY REVEREND DEAN BACKHAUS", Bendigo Advertiser (12 October 1882), 2

... He was wise and prudent and frugal, almost to a fault. He was simple in his habits, but refined in his tastes, deeply devoted to music, with a rich and well cultivated voice.

Bibliography and resources:

A. E. Owens, "Backhaus, George Henry (1811-1882)", Australian dictionary of biography 3 (1969)

BACKUS, Charles

Minstrel, serenader, actor, vocalist (leader Backus Minstrels)

Born Rochester, NY, USA, 1831
Arrived Sydney, NSW, October 1855 (per Aubudon, from San Francisco)
Died New York City, USA, 21 June 1883 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

See also: (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


BACKUS, Julia H. (Miss BACKUS; Miss Julia H. BACKUS)

Soprano vocalist

BACKUS, Master Charley


Not to be confused with another local company, the Amateur Backus Minstrels, active in Sydney 1865-67


"SHIPS' MAILS ... THE SHIP AUBUDON", Empire (8 October 1855), 4 

[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (27 October 1855), 3 

... Backus' Minstrel are among her passengers. - Alta California, August 8.

[Advertisement], The Hobarton Mercury (31 December 1855), 3 

THE WORLD RENOWNED. BACKUS MINSTRELS. MESSRS. T. C. CAMPBELL, JERRY BRYANT, D. F. BOLEY, O. N. BURBANK, CHARLES BACKUS, C. D. ABBOTT, W. M. BARKER, A. MORGAN. Will commence a Seríes of their Popular Entertainments at the Victoria Theatre on WEDNESDAY NEXT JAN. 2nd, 1850. W. A. PORTER, Agent.

"SHAMROCK THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (5 September 1859), 3 

... On Saturday night, in addition to the ordinary (or rather extraordinary) attractions which have been there for some time, including the dramatic company - Miss Kate Warde, Mrs. Chapman, and Messrs. Vinson and Chapman; the ever-humorous Irish singer Wilson, and that compendium of humor Burbank, Mr. Backus, Miss Julia Backus and Master Backus, made their first appearance at the Shamrock. Mr. Backus (who was the originator of the far-famed Backus Minstrels) is a delineator of negro life who has few equals in the colony, and may lay a very fair claim to the title of minstrel, if one may judge of his powers by a clever imitation of the celebrated Miska Hauser's violin solos, which he executed in a style that elicited great applause. Miss Julia Backus's singing it would be unfair to criticise too narrowly, as on Saturday night she had just arrived off a journey up from Melbourne, and must have been in consequence fatigued; but she was nevertheless compelled to appear three or four times in answer to the demands of the audience. She has a pleasing voice, and a very prepossessing countenance, the latter having considerable effect when she archly illustrates her songs by a pointed allusion to some sensitive bachelor whom she singles out of the crowd. Master Charley Backus is a clever little imitator of negro oddities of the elder Backus, and will doubtless prove a real chip of the (ebony) block. The house was, as usual, crammed, as it would have been had it been double the size.

"DEATH OF LEO HUDSON", The Mercury (25 September 1873), 3 

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

CHARLES BACKUS died of Bright's disease of the kidneys, complicated with other ailments, at his residence, No. 246 West Forty-fourth street, this city, June 21, aged 52 years. He had not enjoyed good health for over a year past . . . Mr. Backus first saw the light in Rochester, N.Y., in 1831, and his boyhood days were passed in that city and Cleveland, O. In 1852 he emigrated to California; and 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 and O. N. Burbank the stage-manager. Besides these, the principal artists were H. Donnelly, D. F. Boley, J. N. White, Mr. Morgan and Charles Backus. In 1855 Mr. Backus decide to visit Australia, and formed a company for that purpose. Prior to their departure the San Francisco Minstrels gave them a benefit in the Metropolitan Theatre Aug. 3. The following performers took part: Mitchell and Burbank, rival dancers; in the first-part, in addition to the instrumentalists, Sher. C. Campbell, Jerry Bryant , Mr. Stadtfeld, D. F. Boley, Eph Horn and W. M. Barker. In the second part, John Collins, George Coes, Charles Backus and Mrs. Julia Collins (Julia Gould). 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 . . .

"The late Mr. Chas. Backus", The Lorgnette (15 August 1883), 4 

Bibliography and resources:

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

"Early history of Negro minstrelsy, its rise and progress in the United States, by Col. T. Allston Brown", New York Clipper (25 May 1912), 10 

Edward Le Roy Rice, Monarchs of minstrelsy, from "Daddy" Rice to date (New York: Kenny Publishing Company, 1911), 70 

Charles Backus, of the famous San Francisco Minstrels "quartette," and one of the principal comedians of the organization, achieved wide fame for his impersonations of prominent actors, in which he was an adept. He went to California in 1852, and two years later organized Backus' Minstrels there; in 1855 he took the company to Australia, and a few years later organized Horn and Backus' Minstrels; in 1859 he again went to Australia, and appeared as a negro clown in Burton's Circus. He returned to San Francisco in 1861, and after playing several engagements there, on September 15, 1864, was one of the organizers of Birch, Wambold and Backus' Minstrels; his career from that time until his death was linked with that of Billy Birch. Mr. Backus was married to Leo Hudson, the famous equestrienne; he was divorced in March, 1866; subsequently he married Miss Kate Newton, the well-known actress. On October 17, 1876, in Philadelphia, he married Miss Tizzie Mason. Charles Backus was born in Rochester, N. Y., in 1831; he died in New York City, June 21, 1883.

BAILEY, Amelia (Miss Amelia BAILEY; Mrs. R. S. SMYTHE)

Soprano vocalist

Born London, England, 5 November 1842
Active Melbourne, VIC, by 1858
Died Deepdene, VIC, 29 July 1932, aged 89 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


A pupil of Charles Elsasser, Bailey made her debut in Melbourne in 1860. In 1862 she toured as an associate artist with Poussard and Douay, and later that year with the elocutionist Miss Atkins and pianist Marquis Chisholm. With them in Launceston in January 1863 she was billed singing Riflemen form, probably the setting by local composer John Adams.

Bailey and Chisholm sailed for China in May 1863 with their agent Robert Smythe, whom she married that year. By late 1864 she was in Ceylon and Bombay giving concerts with Poussard. Still in India, early in 1866 the Lahore Chronicle had spoken:

very favourably of Miss Bailey's talents, and asserts that no vocalist equal to that lady has visited India since poor Catherine Hayes sang in Calcutta some seven or eight years ago.

She finally reappeared in Sydney, from Mauritius, in October 1869, giving concerts with comic vocalist Florence Calzoda accompanied by harpist Edwin Cobley. She was performing in Adelaide in 1876.


"THE PHILHARMONIC SOIREE", The Age (30 December 1859), 5

[News], The Argus (23 May 1860), 5

Mrs. Hancock and Miss Bailey were the lady vocalists, and gave several airs, much to the satisfaction of the audience. Miss Bailey is a young lady, who, it will be remembered, lately made a promising debut at the Philharmonic Society's concert. She sang very well last evening, but it was unnecessary and injudicious on the part of a section of the audience to compel her to accept two encores.

[News], The Argus (4 July 1860), 4

[Advertisement], The Argus (22 April 1861), 8

[News], The South Australian Advertiser (21 May 1862), 2

Poussard and Douay are accompanied by a very talented soprano vocalist, Miss Amelia Bailey, who has been performing for some lime past with great success at the various concert-rooms in Victoria.

"MONDAY EVENING'S CONCERT", South Australian Register (27 May 1862), 2

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (1 January 1863), 5

"WEEKLY REGISTER", Empire (30 May 1863), 3

[News], The Argus (12 November 1864), 5

"MUSICAL", South Australian Register (25 May 1865), 2

"DRAMATIC AND MUSICAL", South Australian Register (3 April 1866), 2

"MUSICAL AND THEATRICAL", South Australian Register (9 July 1867), 2

"ARTISTES AND THEIR WANDERINGS", The Mercury (13 September 1869), 3

[Advertisement], Empire (30 October 1869), 3

[Advertisement], Empire (1 November 1869), 8

"SCHOOL OF ARTS", Empire (9 November 1869), 2

"FIRST ST. CLAIR CONCERT", The South Australian Advertiser (10 January 1876), 7

[News], The Argus (8 January 1855), 5

"A Musical Pioneer. By S.H.J.", The Argus (2 July 1932), 6

"OBITUARY", The Argus (1 August 1932), 6

The musical history of early Melbourne is recalled by the death on Friday evening at her residence in Deepdene-road, Deepdene of Mrs. R. S. Smythe, formerly Miss Amelia Bailey. Mrs. Smythe would have reached the age of 90 on November 5 of this year. She was a native of London and arrived in Melbourne with her parents at a very early age. She was attending St. James's Sunday school when her singing attracted the notice of Mr. Allan, the founder of the music firm of Allan and Sons. He obtained her admittance to the Philharmonic Society at the age of 13 years and before she was 16 she had been appointed principal soprano. That was in 1858. She was the leading soprano of Victoria for a number of years until she lost her voice owing to a throat affection. One of her early performances was in "The Messiah" in Geelong. Mr. H. Byron Moore was conductor. He used to tell that if the ages of the five principals had been added the total would not have been 100 years. They included Miss Bailey, Mr. Armes Beaumont the noted Melbourne tenor, and himself. Miss Bailey was married in 1863 to Mr. R. S. Smythe, who conducted concert tours and presented celebrities for many years. Under his management, with the celebrated Miss Arabella Goddard, the English pianist, as "star" she toured the East and South Africa. Mr. Smythe died in 1917. Mrs. Smythe has three children, two of whom survive her, Mrs. Edgar Bell and Miss Adelaide Smythe. Her son Mr. Carlyle Smythe died while on a Continental tour with his wife six or seven years ago. He had earned a high reputation in Melbourne journalism, particularly in musical criticism and his early death was much regretted.


Robert Sparrow Smythe (husband)

Carlyle Smythe (son)

BAILEY, William (W. BAILY)

Professor of music and dancing

Active Sydney, NSW, by May 1857
Died Surry Hills, NSW, 19 February 1873, aged 48


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 May 1857), 1 

MUSIC and DANCING - Mr. WILLIAM BAILY, Professor, begs respectfully to inform the gentry and inhabitants of Sydney and its vicinity that he has opened a new Dancing Academy, at the Assembly Rooms, opposite St. James' Church, King-street, and begs to say that he will give general satisfaction in teaching the newest dances, viz., polka, waltz, schottische, valse a deux temps, galops, various sets of quadrilles, Irish jig, hornpipe, Highland fling, &c, &c. Mr. W. B. begs also to say that he will pay every proper attention to forwarding his pupils on the following musical Instruments, viz.:- The violin, flutina, concertina, cornopean, flute, clarionet, &c. Days of attendance: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, for music and dancing lessons, from half-past 2 till half-past 4 p.. ; and for dancing lessons only, from 7 till 10 o'clock p.m. N.B. Private families and schools punctually attended, on the most reasonable terms.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 January 1860), 8

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 October 1860), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 February 1862), 1

"FUNERAL", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 July 1866), 8

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (20 February 1873), 1


Bellman, bellringer

Active Launceston, VDL (TAS), 1836


"LAUNCESTON: POLICE INTELLIGENCE", The Cornwall Chronicle (2 January 1836), 2

Robert Beambridge, (the Bellman), for being drunk and disorderly; said he was very sorry for it - fined 5s.

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (17 March 1838), 43

ADVERTISEMENT. TO William Franks, Esq., Assistant Superintendent or Convicts, Justice of the Peace, &c. &c. &c.
"Presumptuous man ! the God's take care of Cato." - ADDISON.
GREAT SIR - Such, if I possets any skill in the art or divination, was the language of your thoughts on perusing the last letter which I did myself the honor to address to you, through the medium of the press, but contempt itself has no influence over a friendship so exalted, pure, and disinterested as mine. Totally regardless of every other object but your safety, morally and physically, I am determined to watch over it even at the risk of incurring your resentment. Awake, great sir - consider how disreputable to your character, how derogatory to your dignity, it must be, to have your name thus weekly blazoned throughout the island, blended and mixed up with that of a common Bellman! And for what? merely that you may show (pardon the expression) a fool-hardy courage in despising both public opinion and personal security! Why, sure, now, there it nothing unreasonable in what I inquire. You staled at the police-office, that your sole inducement to turn informer was the public good - prove the truth of your sworn assertion; the nuisance is up to this moment unabated - horses may still shy, and lives, nearly as precious as your own may be endangered. If you think well of the proposition, appoint a day; make the amends honourable in a public manner; you shall handle the brush, and I will hold the paint-pot, surrounding spectators will applaud, and I shall be satisfied in the mean time, great prototype of Aristides, I bid thee adieu.
ROBT. BAINBRIDGE, the Bellman.
P. S. - I had nearly forgotten to urge on your consideration, that the loss of life occasioned to any person in consequence of the neglect with which my admonitions have hitherto been treated, will most deservedly be laid to your charge.


Saxehorn player

Active Melbourne, VIC, 1854-55


[Advertisement], The Argus (29 September 1854), 8 

[Advertisement], The Argus (24 February 1855), 8 

[Advertisement], The Argus (10 April 1855), 8 

[Advertisement], The Argus (21 April 1855), 8 

Trio - Zetti, Zetti, cornet, althorn, and ophicleide; Messrs. Price, Baker, and Hartigan - Rossini . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (14 June 1855), 8 

[Advertisement], The Argus (23 June 1855), 8 

SALLE DE VALENTINO.- Mons. Fleury will perform on Monday, 25th inst. . . . Fleury's Band, comprising the leading talent of the colonies, will consist of the following artistes: Mons. Fleury, Conductor and Leader. Messrs. Reid, Fihon, 2nd Violins. Handoff, Double Bass. Kinzella, Clarionet. De Labestries, Cornopean. Baker, Saxe Horn. Hartigan, Ophecleide. Brown, Flute. Kummons, Bassoon. Sterne, Drum.

[Advertisement], The Argus (8 August 1855), 8 

SALLE DE VALENTINO. - Grand Duetta (Love and War) by Messrs. Hartigan and Baker, Ophicleide and Saxe-horn.

[Advertisement], The Argus (18 August 1855), 8 

SALLE DE VALENTINO . . . Instrumentalists: Violinists, Messrr. Read and Fillon. Ophecleide - M. Hartigan (the first soloist in the colony.) Cornopean - M. De la Balestriere. Saxe horn, Mr. Baker. Clarionette - Mr. Kinsella. Double-bass - Herr Hendorff, Trombone - Mr. McNamara. Drum - Mr. Jenkins. And Herr Polin, the celebrated solo performer on the flute. M. FLEURY, Leader aud Conduotor. Singers: Mrs. Byrne . . .

BAKER, William Kellett (W. BAKER)

Music engraver, lithographer, printer, publisher

Born ? Dublin, Ireland, ? c1806 / c.1808
Arrived Sydney, NSW, early 1835 (assisted immigrant)
Active musically, 1840s (Hibernian Press)
Died Maitland, NSW, 16 January 1857, aged 49 (NLA persistent identifier) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)



"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 January 1857), 1

Musical prints:

See under checklist entry:

Bibliography and resources:

Richard Neville (et al.), "William Kellett Baker", Design & Art Australia Online (DAAO) (orig. 1992)

Neidorf 1999, 135-36

BALDWIN, Samri Samuel

The celebrated thought reader, songwriter, composer

Born 1848
Active Australia, by May 1878


[News], Kyabram Union (18 November 1887), 2

We have received from S. Baldwin, a copy of a national song for Australia, Australia by the Sea, the words and music by that talented gentleman, are written with a desire for colonial confederation.

[News], North Melbourne Advertiser (19 November 1887), 2

[News], The Telegraph (26 November 1887), 6

Musical works:

Australia by the sea, words and music by Professor S. S. Baldwin, the celebrated thought reader ([Melbourne: Fergusson & Mitchell., lith., n.d. [1887])



Active Sydney, NSW, 1835


In May 1835, Ball was listed as bassoon player for the ensuing Sydney Theatre Royal season.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (4 May 1835), 3

Theatre Royal, SYDNEY ... The Lessees have succeeded in engaging all the first-rate Musical Talent in Sydney to form their Orchestra, which consists of the following gentlemen - Leader of the Band, Mr. Clarke; Violins, Messrs. Spyers, Johnson, Dyer, and Scott; principal Flute, Mr. Stubbs; Violincello and Grand Piano Forte, Mr. Cavendish; Clarionets, Messrs. Turner and Sharp; Bassoons, Messrs. Hoare and Ball; Bugle, Mr. Pappin; Drums, Mr. Vaughan ... The Musical Department will be considerably improved, and under the direction of Mr. Cavendish.


Bass vocalist

Active Adelaide, SA, by 1859 or earlier
Active to c. 1866 or later (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"THE HANDEL FESTIVAL", South Australian Register (14 April 1859), 3 

. . . some of the airs and choruses were very sweetly rendered - as for instance . . . "The people that walked in darkness," by Mr. Daniel, and "The trumpet shall sound" by Mr. Ball. The cornet-a-piston, substituted for the trumpet, lacked a true clarion strain and was somewhat too prominent, but the air, on the whole, was very effectively given . . .

"PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY'S CONCERT", Adelaide Observer (23 May 1863), 8 

Handel's "Samson" was performed on Friday, 15th inst., by the Philharmonic Society, at the Adelaide Assembly Rooms . . . The principal vocalists were Mrs. Fox, Mrs. Smart, Mr. Oehlmann, and Mr. Ball. Mr. Linly Gorman wielded the baton, and Mr. Chapman acted as leader . . . Mr. Ball is well known to the Adelaide musical public as a fine bass singer, and on Friday evening we think that none of his admirers could have been disappointed. Excellent, however, as were the solos, the principal feature of the evening consisted of the choruses . . .

"LINGER MEMORIAL CONCERT", South Australian Register (26 September 1863), 6 

The concert given with a view to the erection of a monument to the memory of the late Herr Linger was performed on Thursday week, in Whites Assembly Room, before one of the largest audiences that for a very long time has been attracted together by the charms of music within that spacious hall. Mr. Linly Norman acted as conductor, and Mr. Chapman as leader of the band. The principal vocalists were Mrs. Wishart, Mrs. Smart, a lady whose name has not been made public, and Messrs. Oehlmann, Edwards, and Ball . . .

"TOPICS OF THE DAY", The South Australian Advertiser (26 March 1864), 2 

"SHAKSPEARE TERCENTENARY COMMEMORATION", South Australian Register (23 April 1864), 2 

BALY, Edward

Flute player and teacher, flautist, schoolmaster, poet, librettist

Born England, c.1819
Arrived Sydney, NSW, early 1840s
Died Sydney, NSW, 28 April 1897, in his 79th year (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Formerly tutored by Robert Lowe at Oxford, and a student of the English flautist Joseph Richardson (1814-1862), Edward Baly arrived in Sydney to teach at Sydney Grammar School on Lowe's recommendation.

After having also been second master at St. James's Grammar School, Baly opened his own Academy for boys in 1845, which he continued to run until 1850 when he was declared insolvent. It was then he turned to concert performance. Having postponed his own planned first concert, he appeared for Stephen and Henry Marsh in May 1850, playing a flute solo by Nicholson. He then presented the recently arrived Sara Flower (along with John Deane, George Worgan, and William Stanley) in concert in June, and in turn appeared in her concert.

In July he advertised the reopening of his school, at which time he also offered "instruction on the Flute" to gentlemen, describing himself as "a pupil of the Celebrated RICHARDSON". In 1853, he played several times with Winterbottom's Band. He was founding secretary of the Parramatta Harmonic Society in 1861-62.


"NEW INSOLVENT", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 January 1850), 2

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 May 1850), 1

"CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 May 1850), 2

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 June 1850), 1

"MR. BALY'S CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (7 June 1850), 2

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 July 1850), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 June 1851), 1 Supplement 

CROWN-STREET, SOUTH HEAD ROAD.- The public are respectfully informed, that Mr. BALY'S academy for young gentlemen will re-open on Tuesday, July the 1st. The number of pupils being limited to twenty-five, parents wishing to avail themselves of what few vacancies exist, should apply as soon as convenient. Terms to be paid quarterly in advance, but no notice required before the removal of a pupil. Mr. BALY devotes his evenings to teaching the flute; and having been a pupil of Richardson, Saynor, Marshall, and other eminent professors, is familiar with the best systems of articulation and fingering. N.B. An excellent eight-keyed flute for sale.

"MR. MOORE'S MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT", Empire (25 March 1852), 2

"MR. BALY'S CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 May 1852), 2 

The lovers of music will have noticed the attractive programme of the concert to be given by Mr. Baly, at the School of Arts, this evening. The principal feature of the evening appears to be the novelty of a flute quartette, which was received with great applause at some of the London concerts.

[Advertisement], Empire (20 May 1853), 1

"PARRAMATTA ... HARMONIC SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (22 November 1861), 6

[Advertisement], Empire (5 June 1862), 1

"TO THE EDITOR", The Sydney Morning Herald (31 July 1871), 3 

SIR - It has occurred to me that a description of Carte's patent silver cylinder council and prize medal flute may be interesting to other amateur flautists, and may explain my reason for abandoning the old flute with which I had been familiar from boyhood and subjecting myself to the drudgery of acquiring an entirely different system of fingering. This charming instrument is constructed of sterling silver, and is no less remarkable for the splendour of its appearance than for the brilliancy of its tones ...

Baly gives a lengthy and detailed description of the instrument

"Camilla Urso", Evening News (28 January 1880), 3

"Henry Ketten", Evening News (24 May 1880), 3 

"A Word of Pity for Aborigines", Evening News (11 March 1882), 7 

"A Jubilee Cantata", The Kiama Independent, and Shoalhaven Advertiser (5 July 1887), 4

A Jubilee Cantata. The following lines (says Wednesday's Echo) were written by Mr. E. Baly at the request of the well-known musician, Mr. William Stanley, who wished to set them to music. This his "Jubilee Cantata" will be sung by the St. Barnabas's Musical Society on Monday evening with orchestral accompaniments:

What means that loud and hearty cheer
Which breaks upon the listening ear?
Why throng the busy streets to-day
The brave, the bold, the fair, the gay?
Each plays a part in this grand scene,
To render homage to their Queen ...

"DIED", The Sydney Morning Herald (29 April 1897), 1

"Flashlights", National Advocate [Bathurst] (5 May 1897), 1 

A colonist of some 50 years standing has passed away in the person of Mr. Edward Baly. The deceased gentleman, who had been confined to his room through illness for the past two years, graduated at Pembroke College, Oxford, his tutor being Mr. Robert Lowe, afterwards Lord Sherbrooke, through whose influence he obtained a position as master at the Sydney Grammar School, Among the pupils of Mr. Baly were the late Messrs. William Wentworth, John Kinloch, Consett Stephen, and Canon Stephen. Other prominent men in attendance at the school during Mr. Baly's mastership were Sir William Windeyer and Sir John Lackey. For years the deceased gentlemen had a private academy at Parramatta.

"NEWS", Queanbeyan Age (8 May 1897), 2

Bibliography and resources:

Baly family - collection of studio portraits, ca. 1860-1900; State Library of New South Wales 


Flautist, flute player, musician, carpenter, farmer

Arrived Adelaide, SA, 10 October 1849 (per Cheapside, from London)


"ARRIVED", South Australian Register (13 October 1849), 3

"CONCERT AT THE BURRA HOTEL", South Australian Gazette and Mining Journal (19 April 1851), 3 

"KOORINGA CONCERTS", South Australian Register (30 April 1851), 3

Mr. George Bennett's concert on Friday the 25th instant, at the Burra Hotel, Kooringa, was well attended ... Mr. Bambrick's execution on the flute obtained immense applause, which he well merited ... Mr. Bambrick's second concert took place on Saturday, the 26th instant ...

"KOORINGA", South Australian (2 May 1851), 3

BANBURY, Florrie (Florence Maud BANBURY)


Active Brisbane, QLD, 1890s
Died Nundah, QLD, 21 March 1933


"ALL HALLOWS CONVENT. PRIZE DISTRIBUTION", The Brisbane Courier (29 April 1891), 5

"NEW MUSIC", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 January 1897), 4

"WOMAN'S COLUMN", Freeman's Journal (16 January 1897), 10

"GOSSIP FROM WOMAN'S CLUBLAND", Queensland Figaro (12 January 1905), 6

"DEATHS", The Brisbane Courier (30 March 1933), 10 

Musical works:

The Ariel waltz (dedicated to Mr. W. H. Wilson, president of the Brisbane Liedertafel) (Brisbane: W. H. Paling, [1897])


Basso vocalist

Born Wakefield, Yorkshire, England, 1819
Arrived Adelaide, SA, 5 December 1848 (per Hooghly, from London and Portsmouth)
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, December 1851 (per Tory, from Adelaide)
Died Fitzroy, Melbourne, VIC, 18 October 1856, aged 36 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Bancroft was a soloist for Adelaide Choral Society concerts in 1849. He appeared in several other concerts in Adelaide in 1850, giving the likely first performance of Andrew Moore's Falling leaves in September.

He gave a farewell benefit in October 1851 and in December he and his wife (Elizabeth Ann Johnson, married Adelaide 19 December 1849) sailed for Melbourne. During 1852 he appeared regularly in Melbourne concerts, his fellow artists including two other recent arrivals from Adelaide, Francesca Allen and violinist W. F. Osborne.

He was a soloist for the Melbourne Philharmonic Society in August 1854, and played Ascanio for Anna Bishop and Lewis Lavenu in their Melbourne Lucrezia Borgia in July 1856.

Since he disappears from the musical record thereafter, he was perhaps the Richard Bancroft, formerly of Wakefield, Yorkshire, who died in Fitzroy in October 1856.


"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", South Australian Register (6 December 1848), 3

"CHORAL SOCIETY'S CONCERT", South Australian (21 September 1849), 3

"CONCERT OF THE CHORAL SOCIETY", South Australian (11 December 1849), 1s

"LOCAL INTELLIGENCE", South Australian Register (23 May 1850), 3

[News], South Australian Register (19 September 1850), 3

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (14 October 1851), 1

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", South Australian Register (11 December 1851), 2

"THE CONCERT", The Argus (13 March 1852), 5

"THURSDAY'S CONCERT", The Argus (7 April 1852), 4

[Advertisement], The Argus (21 April 1852), 2

"THURSDAY'S CONCERT", The Argus (29 April 1852), 5

"THE SATURDAY CONCERT", The Argus (1 May 1852), 5

"THE CONCERT", The Argus (6 May 1852), 5

"PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Argus (29 August 1855), 5

[Advertisement], The Argus (15 July 1856), 8

"DIED", The Argus (21 October 1856), 4

Bibliography and resources:

BANKS, Thomas (senior)

Professor of music, buffo singer, pianist, composer, music retailer

Born England, 1820/21
Arrived Sydney, by April 1855
Died Balmain, NSW, 19 March 1890, aged 69 years (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

BANKS, Eliza

Contralto vocalist

Arrived Sydney, NSW, 6 October 1857 (per Thracian, from London, 1 June)
Died Surry Hills, NSW, 19 January 1914, in her 87th year (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Banks was first listed in professional concert programs in Sydney in April 1855. He was still being reported as a "new vocalist" in November. He continued to appear in public with artists of high calibre, including Sara Flower, Frank and John Howson, John Gregg, and the young Alfred Anderson as late as 1863.

By early 1859, he was also a piano retailer and tuner with a warehouse in Lower William Street, near the Australian Museum. He later relocated his Pianoforte Warerooms to 201 Castlereagh Street.

In 1859 he was also billed in a concert program as "Musical Director of St. Mary's Cathedral". According to Errol Lea-Scarlett, Banks hailed from Preston, Lancashire.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 April 1855), 1

"ROYAL POLYTECHNIC", The Sydney Morning Herald (8 November 1855), 8

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 January 1863), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 February 1859), 4

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 September 1859), 1

"Deaths", The Sydney Morning Herald (20 March 1890), 1

"Funerals", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 March 1890), 12

"VOCALIST OF THE FIFTIES. DEATH OF MRS. ELIZA BANKS", The Sydney Morning Herald (20 January 1914), 10 

Mrs. Eliza Banks, who it is believed was the oldest professional contralto in the Commonwealth, died early yesterday morning at her residence, Nottingham Cottage, Nobbs street, Surry Hills, in her 87th year. For upwards of 40 years she was connected with the leading Roman Catholic choirs of the city, and succeeded Madam Sara Flower as principal contralto at the original St. Mary's Cathedral, which was subsequently destroyed by fire.

Mrs. Banks, who was a native of London, arrived in Sydney in the early fifties, to join her husband, who came here in advance to make a new home for the young family. She had intended to leave London by the ship Dunbar, but being unable to secure accommodation for herself and six children, sailed in the following vessel. It was not until her arrival here that she learned that the Dunbar had been wrecked at South Head, and that of the entire ship's company only one had been saved.

After singing for many years at St Mary's Cathedral, Mrs. Banks became the leading contralto at St. Patrick's, Church-hill. Her husband, Mr. Thomas Banks who in the sixties was the conductor of the choir at St. Mary's Cathedral, and who was the first to introduce evening vespers in Australia, died 24 years ago.

Mrs. Banks has left five sons and six daughters - Messrs Frank (Lands Department), William John, Richard (Melbourne) and Philip Banks (E. T. Department), Miss Mary Banks, Mrs. Emily Copenigh, Mrs. Kate Brandtmann, Mrs. Jennie Baker, Mrs. Martha McCann. and Mrs. Annie Hornidge, who succeeded her mother on her retirement from St Patrick's Church. Her eldest son, who died some years ago, was formerly organist at St. Mary's Cathedral. The funeral will take place to-day at Waverley.

Musical works:

Les graces (The graces) three polkas brilliantes ("composed and dedicated to his esteemed friend, E. B. Gowland, Esq., by T. BANKS") (Sydney: T. Banks, [1861]) 

BANKS, Thomas Philip (junior)


Born London, England, 28 Mary 1848 (son of Thomas BANKS senior, and Eliza PARSONS)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, with family by April 1855
Died Sydney, NSW, 13 May 1888, aged 39 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"Funerals", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 May 1888), 14

[News], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 May 1888), 7

. . . Mr. Banks was born in London, and so early gave promise of musical talent that at four years of age he received regular lessons from his mother. Before he was seven he became a pupil of Anthony Lejeune, the organist of Moorfields Chapel. Two years later he left England for Sydney with his parents, and upon his arrival became a pupil of Mr. Charles S. Packer. Thence he passed on to Mr. Cordner, and finally to the tuition of Mr. Charles Edward Horsley. The first appointment held as organist by Mr. Banks was at the Convent of the Sacred Heart; afterwards he was organist at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and since 1877 he filled the same post at St. Mary's Cathedral . . . Mr. Banks was greatly respected and esteemed by a large circle of friends and musicians; he was very unassuming, and devoted in an unostentatious manner to his profession. He was 39 years of age.

"In Memoriam", The Sydney Morning Herald (22 May 1888), 1

Bibliography and resources:

Rushworth 1988, Historic organs of NSW, 372, 374-75


Charles Sandys Packer

William John Cordner

Charles Edward Horsley

BARAK, William

Singer, songman, Indigenous elder, artist (NLA persistent identifier)


See also: 


Harpist, harp player

Active Melbourne, VIC, 1888-89

BARKER, Walter Thomas

Harpist, harp player

Arrived Melbourne, VIC, by January 1890
Died Melbourne, VIC, 27 September 1933, aged 69


"EVENING POPULAR CONCERT", The Argus (10 September 1888), 9

The two novelties at this concert were solos for harp and bassoon. ln the first - solo, harp, "Autumn," J. Thomas - Mr. F. C. Barker (who is still in his teens) proved himself to be possessed of the brilliance, the steadiness, and the accuracy of a fully-matured artist. The performance was so good that after twice coming forward to bow his acknowledgements, Mr. Barker had to submit to an encore with another Welsh melody. As a distinguished harpist, Mr. Barker, has undoubtedly a great future before him.

"DEPARTURE OF MR. COWEN", The Sydney Morning Herald (16 February 1889), 11

"DRAMATIC AND MUSICAL NOTES", Launceston Examiner (4 January 1890), 2s

The newly engaged well known English harpist for the Victorian Orchestra, Mr. Walter T. Barker, has arrived in Melbourne by the s.s. Orient. Mr. Barker, who studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London, of which institution he is an associate, has appeared with the greatest success at all principal London concerts, the press being unanimous as to his ability and proficiency as a harpist. Mr. Barker is a brother of the popular artist, Mr. Fred. C. Barker, who played with the greatest success at the Melbourne Exhibition concerts under Mr. Cowen.

"ALLEN'S POPULAR CONCERTS", Bendigo Advertiser (9 August 1890), 4

Mr. Walter S. Barker, A.R.A.M., who is without doubt one of the finest harp players that has ever visited Australia, will delight the audience with some beautiful Welsh airs.

"TOWN NEWS", The Australasian (12 March 1892), 23

Walter Thomas Barker, the well-known harp player, yesterday, in the County Court, sued Mr. Colin M. Longmuir, as vice-president of the Victorian Orchestra, for £50, the amount of a bonus alleged to be due to the plaintiff by the committee of management of the orchestra. The case for the plaintiff was that he was engaged in November, 1890, to perform for the orchestra as harpist at a salary of £6 per week, and that he was to have a bonus of £50 if the orchestra was disbanded in July, 1890. It was disbanded in that month, but the committee declined to pay him the bonus, and he therefore sued for it. The defence was that the £50 was only to be paid for the plaintiffs, passage money in case he went to England about the time the orchestra was disbanded. The action was heard by Judge Walsh, who decided that the plaintiff had no case, and nonsuited him, with £8 8s. costs. Mr. Cook appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. McArthur for the defendant.

"MUSIC. CONCERTS, &c.", The Australasian (6 October 1917), 24

"Death Of Mr. Walter T. Barker, Noted Harpist", The Advertiser (29 September 1933), 7

MELBOURNE, September 28. Mr. Walter T. Barker, the harpist, died yesterday at the age of 69 years. He studied the organ, violin, and piano at the Royal Academy of Music London, where he obtained the degree of associate. An accident, in which he strained the sinews of his thumb made it impossible for him to continue to play any instrument requiring constant use of the thumb, and he became a harpist, with such success that he won honors at the Royal Academy, and several times played by command before members of the Royal Family. Mr. Barker toured Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Some years ago he retired because he was afflicted with blindness, and he was presented with a monetary gift by many friends and admirers.

"MR. W. T. BARKER", The Sydney Morning Herald (29 September 1933), 16

"PERSONAL", The Advertiser (5 October 1933), 46  


Melbourne Centennial Exhibition Orchestra

Victorian Orchestra

BARKER, George William

Amateur musician, vocalist, flute player, Methodist

Born London, England, 5 July 1826
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 1837
Active Parramatta, NSW
Died Stanmore, NSW, 22 June 1897


"THE LATE MR. G. W. BARKER", The Methodist (3 July 1897), 8 

Gilbert H. Smith, "MEMORIES OF OLD TIMES", The Methodist (17 July 1897), 1 

Mr. E. G. Barker has written me to ask if I would send you a short account of the early days of his late father, Mr. George Barker. Well, sir, when I begin to look back at our youthful days of over 50 years ago (for it is period since I first knew Mr. Barker) I find how little remains impressed on my memory of our everyday life at that distant, period. But during the long space of time we have been acquainted, we have always been connected with the Wesleyan church. When a young man, one of my friend George's hobbies was music. He had a fine voice, and could also play the flute. At that time we had no grand organ in Parramatta, but a few of the members used to meet two or three times a week and practice for the Sabbath services with a couple of clarionettes and a flute or two to help. We had far better congregational singing than we have had of late years ... As the shop was situated opposite my house, we used to see each other frequently. I used to hear George's flute at work very often in the day, which gave me the idea that the business was not a very flourishing one ...


? Amateur vocalist

Active Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 1833


"POLICE REPORT", The Tasmanian (22 November 1833), 7 

John and Mary Anderson were charged with a series of ill-treatment to Ruth Barker, who stated that she lodged at the defendant's, on the New Town road, where she had a good deal of property; that on Wednesday night she had a "select party" to tea, and that at about 9 or 10 o'clock the landlord desirest her to turn her friends out, to which she objected. Upon this, Mr. Anderson burst her room-door open, disturbed the party, took prosecutor by the neck, and turned her put of doors, where she remained until 3 o'clock in the morning, when a lodger came home, and then she got admission; but then, notwithstanding the lodger's presence, Anderson shook her again. That on the following day her door was burst open, and all her things turned into the street. Both defendants attempted to justify their conduct, and expressed their utter contempt at the "sausage maker's lady having singing parties at such late hours at their sober house, and particularly such sort of characters as your Jumboos and ladies, and kissing in the passages, and all that sort of indiscreet work." Ruth became indignant at the aspersions thrown out upon her party, and declared they were all highly respectable persons, and began to mention names, in which Mr. Jacobs, (late hangman) now overseer of the hulk-gang, was conspicuous among the singing party. The assault was clearly proved, and as a warning to the defendants not to use such violent measures of ejectment, and such short notice of quitting for the future to their lodgers, they were fined 40s. and costs.

BARLOW, Edward David

Music lithographer, printmaker, visual artist

Arrived Sydney, NSW, 30 August 1836 (per Lord Goderich) (NLA persistent identifier)

BARLOW, Maria Sarah Lyons

Teacher of Music and Pianoforte

Active Newtown, Sydney, NSW, 1844-45


Recently arrived, Barlow, "from Brighton, England", took over part of George Gordonovitch's shop in George-street as base for his business "House Painting, Writing, Graining and Gilding in all its varieties". In February 1845 he was engaged in litigation with his estranged wife, the music teacher Maria Lyons Barlow, for maintenance and the recovery of her piano. He then relocated, temporarily. to Maitland where in December among his services he offered "Lithography done accurately and with speed. Music Copied, 6d. per page" and "Profiles, 2s. 6d. each (Illuminated, and warranted Likenesses). Music copied. Lithography executed at an hour's notice".


[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (3 October 1836), 3

"CLAIM FOR MAINTENANCE BY A WIFE", The Sydney Morning Herald (12 February 1845), 3

"CLAIM FOR MAINTENANCE BY A WIFE. To the Editors", The Sydney Morning Herald (13 February 1845), 3

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (6 December 1845), 3

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (13 December 1845), 3

Bibliography and resources:

"Edward David Barlow", Design & Art Australia Online (DAAO)


Musician, fiddler

Active ? Melbourne, VIC, 1850, 1855; Beechworth, VIC, 1857-58

? But see also Robert Barlow below


? "THE LATE MURDER", The Argus (5 July 1850), 2

John Bott (musician). I was at the Angel Inn playing the violin on the night of the 24th June last; the landlord employed me so to act; I entered the house about six, and left about five minutes to 10 o'clock; a great many persons were in the house that night; nearly all the rooms in the lower part of the house were full; another violin was playing in the bar, the person who officiated in the bar left the house before me. I had been in the habit of playing for the house about six weeks previously; I know but few persons in town, having only lately arrived from Sydney; I recollect seeing the deceased several times on the evening of the 24th June: he appeared to be very drunk, he was noisy but not quarrelsome; when he came into the room where I was playing on the violin ...

Edward Enderby, labourer - On Tuesday, the 25th ultimo, I saw a man whom I have since ascertained was living at the Angel Inn, come in great haste to the house of Barlow the fiddler while the inquest was sitting, and having apparently made some communication, immediately departed. (This Barlow was the musician who played the fiddle in the bar on the night of the murder.)

? "THE MURDER IN LONSDALE", The Melbourne Daily News (5 July 1850), 2 

John Bott who described himself as a musician, residing off Little Bourke-street, Melbourne, deposed - I recollect the night of the 24th June I was at the Angel Inn playing the violin, by the invitation of Dennis Egan the landlord; I went to the house about 6 o'clock and left a little before 10 o'clock; about five minutes before; there were a good many people in the house, all the rooms in the lower part of the house were full in fact; there was another violin playing in the bar which kept it full also; they were not dancing there, the bar was too full, there was no room for any dancing. When I left there were a great number of people in the house; the other fiddler left before me ...

A witness named Edward Enderby was here called ... The day of the inquest he saw a man who was a lodger at the Angel Inn (not the cook) going in a great hurry to the house of one Barlow who was one of the fiddlers at the house on the night of the 24th; in a short lime he returned again ...

? [Advertisement], The Argus (16 April 1855), 8

[Astley's Circus, Melbourne] ... Leader of the Band. Mr. J. Barlow.

[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (16 March 1857), 3

[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (3 August 1857), 1

"WOOLSHED", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (21 October 1857), 2

"POLICE COURT", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (6 January 1858), 3

John Barlow claimed £1 for services as a musician from John Brock landlord of the Hibernian hotel. The agreement was that complainant might absent himself on any night except Saturday or Monday, on condition that he found a substitute; he had absented himself one night without complying with the term of the agreement, defendant therefore refused to pay him. [also] Zeplin v. Brock. Griffith v Brock.

[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (17 March 1858), 3

THIS DAY. ST. PATRICK'S DAY St. Joseph's Catholic Church, BEECHWORTH. GRAND HIGH MASS, With Orchestral Accompaniments. AT ELEVEN O'CLOCK. ORCHESTRE Mr. G. Griffiths, First Violin; Weichman, Second Violin; J. P. Hurley, Flute; W. Radford, Viola; Mr. Barlow, Cornet; Jenkins, Sax Tuba; Wright, Violincello; Herr Esther, Double Bass.

[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (23 June 1858), 3

QUADRILLE - Hibernian, with Solos for Cornet and Flageolet, by Messrs. Barlow and Kholer [recte Kohler]-Jullien.

"AMUSEMENTS", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (1 December 1858), 3

BARLOW, Robert (Mr. BARLOW; Robert BARLOW; "William BARLOW"; "Billy BARLOW"; "the inimitable Barlow")

Ethiopian singer, vocalist, delineator, rock harmonicon player, musician, songwriter

Born ? England, 1819
Active Melbourne, VIC, by September 1852
Died Gympie, QLD, 17 February 1907, aged 87 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Billed in England from 1845 as the "American Barlow", he was probably the English-born Robert Barlow. Having played regularly in London, as well as touring to Scotland and Northern Ireland for six years, he sailed from Britain in the first half of 1852 for Australia. He was in Melbourne appearing at Rowe's American Circus by early September 1852, billed as:

the justly celebrated Mr. Barlow, whose surpassing delineation of negro character has obtained for him from the London audiences and the Press the appellation of Prince of Ethiopian Comedians, in the original Juba Dance ...

This dance had been popularised in London by the performer known as Master Juba, possibly William Henry Lane, who was in London with the Ethiopian Serenaders, and who disappeared from the English record at about the time that Barlow appears in Australia.

In February 1853 at T. P. Brower's benefit Barlow was billed as:

Mr. Barlow, the celebrated Ethiopian singer, by kind permission of Mr. J. A. Rowe, will perform several popular airs on the Rock Harmonicon, formed of common pieces of stone, and played upon with sticks. The above curious invention created a complete furor in England upon its first discovery, and is now being played with great success through-out the world. Mr. Barlow will also sing a popular Ballad, accompanied by the full band of the Ethiopian Serenaders.

"Mr. Barlow, the favorite Vocalist" was billed to sing Negro melodies and ballads at Rowe's American Circus in June 1853. He appeared again playing the Rock Harmonicon for John Winterbottom Promenade Concerts in Melbourne in July 1854. According to the Argus, when Barlow's admirers were about to present him with his portrait in September 1854, "There never has appeared on the colonial stage a more versatile and popular singer than Mr. Barlow." The advertisement for the event read:

Presentation Benefit to Mr. Barlow, The celebrated and world-renowned vocalist, on which occasion he will introduce several new characters, new local songs, new chime band of harmonicons, new musical instrument, the flutonion ... Mr. Barlow begs to Inform his patrons that it is his intention to present each and every visitor on his Benefit night with his last new song Forty Shillings, and Take Him Away ...

the words of which had already appeared in the Victoria Songster in April. A Mr. W. Barlow, "Leader of the Orchestra", took his benefit at Astley's Amphitheatre in June 1855 with a performance of the Dramatic Equestrian Spectacle of Mazeppa. Either the same William Barlow, or a relation, was billed there in July as "The Premiere Equestrian of Australia". In November 1855, at the Salle de Valentino, Barlow starred in the Burletta, The Siege of Sebastopol, with songs written for him by James Mulholland.

having performed in Melbourne in the Christmas season of 1863, he sailed for London, where he was noticed only briefly in the press late in 1864. In January 1867, The Argus reported:

Mr. William Barlow, a vocalist whose popularity in Melbourne and Victoria dates fully fifteen years back, has returned to this country, via New Zealand, after a protracted visit to the British Isles.

Before his Launceston performance in February, the press there welcomed:

the well known comic vocalist ... it is almost unnecessary to say anything about Mr. Barlow's powers, to enliven and charm an audience he is too well known. But it may be mentioned that he has lately been on a tour through the various ports of the Indian and China Seas and there he has collected, from observation, manners and customs he intends to delineate and ridicule. He also intends giving "a narrative in song and verse of his perilous adventures when shipwrecked and attacked by pirates in the Chinese Seas".

An Otago advertisement in November 1866 had described him as: "WILLIAM BARLOW, The inimitable negro delineator, musician, and vocalist." Some confusion was noticed in the press when, in 1868, another William Barlow, proprietor of an travelling circus, was active.

Barlow appeared in Sydney again in 1873 billed as "the original Blue Tailed Fly", perhaps confirming Joy Hildebrand's identification of him with Robert "Billy" Barlow, born in England in 1819, and the likely source for George Coppin's Billy Barlow. She traced his death to Gympie, Queensland, on 12 February 1907.


[Advertisement], Morning Advertiser [London] (22 December 1845), 1

GRAND HARMONIC HALL, Grapes Tavern, Great Suffolk-street, Borough ... GREAT NOVELTIES during the CHRISTAMS HOLIDAYS - GRAND CONCERT every EVENING , supported by the following Ladies and Gentlemen: - The celebrated Mrs. Charles, Miss Phillips, Mrs. Hooker, Mrs. Laburn, &c; Messrs. Naphtali, Carr, Brown, Hyams, Cook, American Barlow, the unrivalled Nigger Singer, Yankee Palmer, and W. Warde ...

[Advertisement], Morning Advertiser [London] (26 March 1846), 1

GRAND HARMONIC HALL, Grapes Tavern ... Re-engagement of the renowned American Barlow, whose novel style of singing and banjo-playing, together with his extraordinary performance on the Canoe Fiddle has been nightly hailed with acclamations of wonder and delight. The Proprietor has, therefore, at great expense, secured the exclusive services of this astonishing performer, who will appear every night during the week for a limited period ...

[Advertisement], Morning Advertiser [London] (13 April 1847), 1

LAURENT'S CASINO. - LAST WEEK BUT THREE - Open Nightly at the ROYAL ADELAIDE GALLERY, Strand. - Re-engagement of the American Barlow, the Prince of Ethiopian Comedians, whose songs and performances on the Banjo are nightly applauded ... Band of 50 Performers, conducted by M. Laurent, jun. ...

[Advertisement], The Era [London] (24 May 1846), 14

Now ready, price 6d. "LUCY NEAL, IF I HAD YOU BY MY SIDE HOW HAPPY I SHOULD FEEL." BARLOW'S NIGGER MELODIST, containing Fifty celebrated American Ballads, as sung in America, also at most of the public amusements in London, and by the Ethiopian Serenaders. This book will be sent to sent to any part of town or country, postage free, by forwarding eight penny stamps to Edmund Appleyard, Publisher, 6, Farringdon-street, London. Sold by all booksellers and newsagents in the kingdom.

[Theatrical news], Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper [London] (19 March 1848), 10

Mr. Trenklee, the celebrated comic singer, and Mr. Charles Matthews, the violinist, put forth a strong bill for Wednesday next, at the National Hall, Holborn, being for their joint benefit. Amongst the vocalists to appear are Miss Moriatt O'Connor, the Misses Wells, and Miss Townsend, Mr. Farquharson Smith, F. N. Crouch, Mr. Moody, Mr. Sharpe, and the John Parry of Nigger vocalists, American Barlow. Miss Dinah Farmer will preside at the piano.

[Advertisement], Weekly Vindicator [Ireland] (14 July 1849), 3

THEATRE ROYAL, BELFAST. UNDER MOST DISTINGUISHED PATRONAGE. UNPRECEDENTED Attraction and Immense success OF THE CELEBRATED AMERICAN BARLOW, (From the Royal Adelaide Gallery and principal London Theatres) MR. BARLOW has much pleasure in announcing to the Nobility, Gentry, and Inhabitants of Belfast and neighbourhood, that, at the suggestion of many respected Patrons, he has procured the Theatre Royal, for four nights only, for his Performance, which, at the Assembly Room, Commercial Buildings, has been so favourably noticed by the local press, and will have the honour of again giving his Entertainment at the above place. MONDAY next, July 16, 1849, and on the three successive evenings. Mr. B. has great gratification in being able say that he can render his attractions much more effective in future, owing to increased accommodation, the house throughout being better suited to his amusements. Vocal and Instrumental Music; Negro Melodies and Anecdotes; Performance of Banjo, Castinets, Violin, Piccolo, Accordion, &c. &c.; Dissolving Views; Gorgeous Chromatropes; Sable Apollo; Imitation of Locomotive Engine, &c. Mr. Barlow will also, fur the first time, introduce his admired Juba Dance. Mr. Ross, the celebrated Pianiste, will preside at the Piano Forte. Doors open at Half-past Seven o'clork. p.m.; performance commencing at Eight precisely. Prices Boxes, 6d; Second do.; Pit, 1s; Gallery, 6d. Second Price at Half-past Nine o'clock - Boxes, 1s; Second do., 1s; Pit, 6d. Children and Schools Half Price. Tickets had Mr. Mathews, the Box Office, each day, from Ten till Two o'clock.

[Advertisement], Morning Advertiser [London] (18 January 1851), 1

SURREY MUSIC HALL, Southwark-bridge road ... Another new Musical Entertainment, written expressly for American Barlow, Mock Nobility, or the Black Refugee, in which will be exhibited the eccentricities of the Negro character ...

[Advertisement], Northern Whig [Belfast] (19 February 1852), 3

Royal Hibernian Concert-Hall, 14, Smithfield. PROPRIETOR - MR. ROBERT CALVERT. THE MOST TALENTED COMPANY IN BELFAST. Brilliant and unequivocal success of the Far-famed AMERICAN BARLOW, allowed to be the most chaste and finished delineator of Negro peculiarities living ...

[Advertisement], The Argus (8 September 1852), 3

ROWE'S AMERICAN CIRCUS. Unrivalled talent, novelty and variety. Third appearance of the renowned American Barlow, J. A. ROWE, sole proprietor and manager ... the justly celebrated Mr. Barlow, whose surpassing delineation of negro character has obtained for him from the London audiences and the Press the appellation of Prince of Ethiopian Comedians, in the original Juba Dance, which develops the most extraordinary muscular powers ...

[Advertisement], The Argus (20 October 1852), 5

[Advertisement], The Argus (7 February 1853), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (30 June 1853), 4


"PROMENADE CONCERTS", The Argus (1 August 1853), 5

Notwithstanding the crowds at this concert, the Salle Valentino was filled to overflowing, and Mr. Barlow, with his monster key, unlocked the lands and gave little farms to all with his usual liberality and humor.

[Advertisement], The Argus (15 October 1853), 8 

QUEEN'S THEATRE - Barlow's Farewell Concert To-night.
A Grand Vocal Instrumental Concert, comprising characteristic illustrations of English and Irish Life, also genuine delineations of Negro Character, by Mr. Barlow, who begs respectfully to return thanks to his many patrons and friends, and to say that he has made every effort withing the reach of enterprise and energy, to procure a bill of entertainment which cannot fail to give general satisfaction to the enlightened public of Melbourne.
The following Taleated Performers will appear: -
Mons. Paltzer Sivorini, late premier violinist in the orchestra of the King of the Belgians, and pupil of De Beriot.
Mis Louisa Urie.
Mr. Thomas Dixon, Tenor.
Mr. George Stanley, who will sing Russell's celebrated scena, The Ship of Fire.
Mr. J. Fairchild, Basso.
Mr. A. Oakey, late pianist to the Duchess of Kent, will preside at the Grand Pianoforte, and also play a Duet on the cornopean and pianoforte.
Mr. Barlow will, for the first time in the colonies, appear as Black Jullien, and perform on the following musical instruments:
- Banjo, Violin, Flute, Flutina, Pianoforte, Bones, Rock Harmonicon, Gridiron, and Concertina, and sing several Local Songs.
New song of The Arcade! The Blue Tailed Fly once more. Also, De Fire Flashing Wheel About, Tea Trip Squash'em Heel Go-a-head Plantation Dance! Likewise his never to-be-forgotten imitation of the "Slo'cum Slashom Squingine;" or Railwat Overture; pronounced by the press to be a cleber piece ob Sheenery.
Overture - Violin and Pianoforte - Messrs. Paltzer and Oakey.
New Song - Opportunity - Mr. Barlow.
The Beauties of Ireland.
Irish Ballad - Katty Darling - Mr. Barlow.
The Rival Pipers; or, a Tear for Old Ireland.
Comic Song - The Lasses of Derry - Mr. Barlow.
Song - I'm Afloat - Mr. Geo. Stanley.
Ballad - Jessie, the Flower of Dumblane - Miss Urie.
Song - When I beheld the Archer - Mr. J. Fairchild.
Ballad - I would I were a Boy again - Mr. Dixon.
Comic Song - Local - Mr. Barlow.
Solo (Violin) - Ma Coline - Mons. Paltzer.
Duetto - Cornet and Pianoforte - Mr. A. Oakey.
End of Part first - An elapse of ten minutes.
Waltz - Violin and Pianoforte - Mons. Paltzer and Oakey.
Descriptive Song - The Ship on Fire - Mr. Geo. Stanley.
Ballad -Bonny Betty Lee - Miss Urie.
Negro Entertainment, a la Black Jullien.
Solo - Cornet.
Ballad - Thou art gone from my gaze - Mr. Dixon,
Solo-Violin (Passionato) - Mons. Paltzer.
Duet - Banjo and Violin (with variations) - Messrs. Barlow and Paltzer.
Song - Blue Tailed Fly, Railway Overture, and Plantation Dance - Mr. Barlow.
Doors open at half-past seven. Performances commence at eight o'clock.
Admission: - Boxes, 8s.; Pit, 5s.; Gallery, 2s.
God Save the Queen.

"ASTLEY'S AMPHITHEATRE", The Argus (28 September 1854), 5

[Advertisement], The Argus (29 September 1854), 8


[Advertisement], The Argus (26 April 1855), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (22 June 1855), 5

[Advertisement], The Argus (3 July 1855), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (19 October 1855), 2

MONDAY, 22nd OCTOBER. Richmond, Near the Cremorne Gardens. Sale by Auction, Not of Shakspeare's House, But the Residence of Robert Barlow, Esq., Of Blue-tail'd Fly Notoriety, Who is leaving for the interior.

[Advertisement], The Argus (8 November 1855), 8

"THE HOSPITAL BENEFIT. TO THE EDITOR", Bendigo Advertiser (22 September 1860), 2 

Sir, - In justice to myself I am sure you will allow me space to reply to a letter in your issue of to-day, headed, " Sham Charity," and signed by a Mr. Allen Reeve. The letter in question refers to an entertainment given by myself last night at Abbott's Lyceum, in aid of the funds of the Bendigo Hospital ... I trust, Sir, I am too well known to the general public, for them to believe I would act such a dishonorable part, for during a residence of eight years in this country I have never before had such charges brought against me. It is well known I have played numberless times for the benefit of various charitable institutions, and am always willing to do so. In some places I have given the whole of the receipts, some a donation, and others acted as I have done here ... In conclusion, I beg to state that about £27 12s is the amount taken, viz., £22 12s in cash and tickets sold by myself, and £5 by tickets sold by the committee. I am, Sir, your obedient servant, ROBERT BARLOW. Sandhurst, 21st September, 1860.

"From 'Philo-Dramaticus,' TO THE EDITOR", The Era [London] (21 February 1864), 6

MELBOURNE, Dec. 25TH, 1863 ... HAYMARKET. Mr. Barlow, Negro minstrel, banjoist, and blue-tailed fly, has been the principal attraction here, and with some light pieces and amateur performances, have filled out the remainder of the season, since the Keans left for Sidney [sic] ...

"Royal Alhambra Palace", The Era [London] (25 December 1864), 6

... Mr. Barlow, a Negro comedian of polish and refinement, and one well known in London some years ago, will make his first appearance in England after an absence of fourteen years.

[Advertisement], Otago Daily Times (26 November 1866), 1

[News], The Argus (1 January 1867), 5

[News], Launceston Examiner (4 February 1867), 2

"THE TWO BARLOWS", The Argus (11 April 1868), 7

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 May 1873), 8

"The inimitable Barlow", Empire (21 July 1874), 3

[Advertisement], The Age (18 May 1880), 4 

THE INIMITABLE BARLOW. The Original Blue-tailed Fly, After a residence of 27 years in the colony, Will give THREE FAREWELL ENTERTAINMENTS At the THEATRE ROYAL On WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY and FRIDAY next, Previous to his FAREWELL to AUSTRALIA ...

"PATRIOTIC SONG ON AUSTRALIA (BY THE INIMITABLE BARLOW)", Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette (1 January 1885), 5 

"MOUNT MORGAN", The Capricornian (24 November 1894), 29

"'BILLY' BARLOW. DEATH AT GYMPIE", The Brisbane Courier (18 February 1907), 5

Mr. Robert Barlow, who was better known by the stage name of "Billy" Barlow, died here this morning, aged 87 years. The deceased in his time sang before audiences in England, on the Continent, and in China, and his song, "The Blue Tail Fly", was of world-wide reputation. He opened the Apollonian Hotel in Gympie in 1868, and celebrated his diamond wedding last year, his widow being four years his junior. Mr. Barlow was in fair health until a couple of weeks ago. He had been suffering from rheumatism. and the heat of the last few days accelerated his end.

"TELEGRAMS", The Northern Miner (4 May 1910), 4

Musical sources:

? Barlow's nigger melodist: a choice collection of all the original songs, as sung in America, and by the Ethiopian serenaders and celebrated banjo players, at the London theatres and concerts (London, 1846)

See listing in the Catalogue of the printed books in the library of the Faculty of Advocates, vol. 1 (Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1867)

Dismbiguation (Billy Barlow in Australia):

By no means a first appearance, a song called "Billy Barlow" was included in the Melodist, and mirthful olio (London: H. Arliss, 1828), 155: See also an American songsheet, Billy Barlow published in Philadelphia in 1836 and words only in The United States songster (Cincinnati, 1836), 206:

Apparently, the character Barlow was originally an Irishman, as was still the case for the Philadelphia songsheet in 1836; however, by the late 1830s, the name had been adopted by an American stage performer, possibly a black-faced minstrel, as noted in The Southern Literary Journal in 1837:

Jim Crow, and Billy Barlow ... Such are the noms du guerre, of two famous, or rather infamous, stage singers ... It is enough to say that they disparage human nature, not to speak of American nature, most terribly. Jim Crow is more notorious than the other monster, and his portrait is in the windows of most picture dealers.

Again far from being an actual first, the first advertised Australian performance of the song Billy Barlow was in Launceston in August 1838, by Mark Salom, alias Munyard. However, the character and song came to wider popularity when introduced to Sydney audiences by George Coppin in March 1843:

With reference to Mr. and Mrs. Coppin, we have much pleasure in saying that since writing our notice of their arrival ... we have seen several English and Irish papers of recent date, in which their efforts are reviewed in the most flattering terms. The CORK SOUTHERN REPORTER designates Mr. Coppin "the most humorous of the new school of actors," and adverts in extravagant terms to his manner of singing "Billy Barlow," a song which, we learn from THE TUAM HERALD, was sung by him 250 times in Dublin with extraordinary success.

Coppin's arrangement of Billy Barlow was immediately published in Sydney by Thomas Rolfe.

The song that our Barlow became most famous for in Australia was the Blue tailed fly, better known by its chorus Jim crack corn I don't care, first published in the USA c.1846: It was first introduced in Sydney in April 1850 by the so-called OHIO SERENADERS (a vocal and instrumental band headed by Frank Howson at the Royal Victoria Theatre).

Disambiguation references:

"FASHIONS IN DRESS", The Southern Literary Journal (August 1837), 529

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (16 August 1838), 2

"THEATRICALS", The Australian (17 March 1843), 2

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE', The Sydney Morning Herald (1 April 1850), 2

Bibliography and resources:

Joy Hildebrand, Hey ho rageddy-o: a study of the Billy Barlow phenomenon, at

BARNARD, William Henry (William Henry BARNARD; W. H. BARNARD)

Singing class instructor, organist, harmonium player, public servant (government receiver and paymaster)

Born England, c. 1830/31; baptised St. Mary's, Lambeth, 16 March 1831, son of John BARNARD and Harriette BURROWS
Active VIC, by 1854
Active Beechworth, VIC, 1861-64
Died Ballarat, VIC, 12 January 1900 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Baptisms solemnized in the parish of St. Matry's Lambeth in the county of Surrey in the year 1831; London Metropolitan Archives 

No. 2153 / 1831 Mar. 16 / William henry son of / John & Harriette / Barnard / Belvedere Road / Timber Merchant . . .

"SINGING ON HULLAH'S SYSTEM", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (10 July 1861), 2 

Classes are now being formed for the purpose of teaching singing on the Hullah system, and those who are anxious to join should avail themselves of the opportunity, as a second class is just being organised. The classes are under the conduct of Mr. W. H. Barnard, and though they are held in the Church of England Schoolroom, Church-street, there is no restriction whatever as to creed, as all those anxious to acquire a knowledge of congregational psalmody are welcome. The fee for admission is very trifling, being only five shillings for the quarter. The practising night is Tuesday, and those wishing to join have only to attend at the schoolroom, and state their wish.

"EXHIBITION COMMITTEE", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (21 September 1861), 2 

. . . Mr. DARVALL mentioned that Mr. W. H. Barnard, the honorary Organist at the Church of England in this town, had promised to use his influence with the Church Commitee to get them to leave the Harmonium in the Town Hall until after the Exhibition, and in the event of their consenting to do so he (Mr. Barnard) would be happy to give his services in presiding thereat occassionally during the two days . . .

"COMPLIMENTARY BENEFIT", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (24 September 1861), 3 

Several gentlemen have interested themselves during the past few days to get up a Concert in the Town Hall on Thursday next, for the purpose of acknowledging the services of Messrs. Hennings and Co.'s Band, for their kindness in giving their gratuitous services to the late Amateur Concert by the Church of England Choir, the Local Exhibition, and other public objects and occasions; and in our other columns will be found the announcement and programme of the performance. We heartily recommend the Concert to the patronige of the public, and hope that the Tow» Hall will be overflowing full.

"THE CONCERT pF LAST FRIDAY EVENING", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (24 September 1861), 3-4 

To say that this long looked-for performance passed off creditably, would not be saying perhaps very much in praise of the exertions that have been made by those ladies and gentlemen who interested themselves in the matter. On its own individual merits however, we can well afford to say more than this; that it was a most decided success every one admits and when it is remembered that the "material" was necessarily of a very limited nature, we can only express our surprise that so much was made of it: not that the performance consisted of different passages of music, executed with the precision as well as the style which might have been expected from professionals; but the charm was in the fact of its novelty, and being a novelty, that the whole affair passed off without any of those contratempts, which are almost inseparable accompaniments of first attempts. Of the band we feel inclined to say more than, under the cirumstances, we anticipated, the members of it being professionals; but we cannot refrain from expressing our opinion, that this part of the performance would have done credit to any concert in the metropolis itself; especially must we notice Herr Schmidt's violin playing, which we regard as second only to that of Miska Hauser, who doubtless holds the first place amongst colonial Paganini's. To Mr. W. H. Barnard the public are indebted, not alone for an evening's rational recreation, but for an effort to improve our congiegational music. Those ladies who consented to come forward on the occasion, while, they alike conferred a favor, and very creditably supported the reputation of Mr. Barnard's classes, as conducted on the Hullah system, were yet not perhaps all that the system is capable of doing in choral singing; and it is to be regretted that some of Mr. Barnard's other pupils were reluctant to appear in public. Altogether, the concert reflects great credit upon those concerned, and we are delighted fo hear that its success has been satisfactory to the projectors.

"HISTORY OF BEECHWORTH", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (28 September 1861), 2 

. . . It cannot be said of us as it was said of some of the inhabitants of ancient Greece - that we are not musical. We have classes taught upon the Hullah system by Mr. W. H. Barnard, who is also honorary organist of the Episcopal Church; and we may venture to say that the congregational psalmody at all our places of worship would compare favorably with that of any other Churches in the colony. The Amateur Concert of Thursday week, and the professional concert of Thursday evening are a proof that the public are not slow to appreciate the charms of music . . .

"LOCAL INTELLIGENCE", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (14 October 1862), 2 

MR. W. H. BARNARD was, on Friday last, presented with a very handsome clock by the members of the late singing class, as a testimony of the ability and energy which he devcted to the society.

"THE POLYTECHNIC EXHIBITION", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (1 September 1863), 2 

. . . Several novelties were introduced, and the comic pictures especially seemed, to give unqualified delight. Mr. Castieau, in his usual happy and humorous style, read off the descriptions, and Mr. W. H. Barnard kindly officiated at the harmonium.

"BALLARAT HARMONIC SOCIETY", The Ballarat Star (18 February 1870), 3 

Bibliography and resources:

Geoff Bell, "William Henry BARNARD (1831-1900), receiver and paymaster, land officer, and gold receiver at Ballarat", posted 16 March 2018 


Drum player (New Queen's Theatre)

Active Adelaide, SA, 1848


[Advertisement], South Australian (29 February 1848), 2

[Advertisement], South Australian (9 July 1850), 3


Musician, convict

Arrived Sydney, NSW, 26 June 1790 (convict per Neptune)


Barnsley (together with co-accused William Blakeman) was convicted to 7 years transportation at the Berkshire Assizes, Reading, in July 1785, charged with theft. By early 1786 Barnsley had been sent to the Thames hulk Ceres at Woolwich, from where he lodged two petitions seeking a pardon releasing him from his "miserable condition" on the hulk where he was "herded with men whose conversation and ideas, helps to make [my] situation more wretched."

He was by "profession an musician" with an "antient mother," a wife and "younger branches" of his family reduced from a comfortable situation to penury ..." He was living at Rose Hill in 1791.

Bibliography and resources:

Flynn 1993, The second fleet, 151

Jordan 2012, 200-01


Vocalist, teacher of singing

Active Sydney, NSW, 1841

Perhaps = Margaret BARRON (below)


At Isaac Nathan's oratorio on 30 June 1841, the vocal performers included "Miss Baron, Miss Sullivan (pupil to Miss Baron)".


"The Oratorio", The Sydney Monitor (2 July 1841), 2

BARRE, Mons. A. (M. BARRE; Mons. BARRE; Mons. A. BARRE)

Tenor vocalist (? later baritone)

Active Victoria, 1853-58; ? USA, 1873 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


[Advertisement], The Argus (5 April 1853), 12

[Advertisement], The Argus (25 April 1853), 10

[Advertisement], The Argus (3 June 1854), 8

"THEATRE ROYAL. LUCREZIA BORGIA", The Argus (8 December 1855), 5

[Advertisement], The Argus (23 August 1855), 4

[Advertisement], The Argus (24 January 1856), 8

"THE THEATRES", The Argus (4 February 1856), 5

[Advertisement], The Star (23 October 1857), 3

"CRESWICK LICENSING BENCH", The Star (19 June 1858), 2 

... A. Barre, Nag's Head Hotel, Clunes. Postponed for one month ...

"Ambrose Thomas's Hamlet" and "NEW YORK", Dwight's Journal of Music (6 April 1872), 213, 215 

... Mr. Barre had a very thankless rôle. The music of "Hamlet" is not such as to win for the singer much applause. Moreover, it is exceedingly difficult. It is all the more, therefore, to Mr. Barre's credit that he sang it with such fidelity and conscientiousness ... 

On Friday, March 22nd, the long expected Opera of Hamlet was produced, with the following cast: Mlle. Christina Nilsson as Ophelia; Miss Anna Louise Cary, The Queen; Signor Brignoli, Laertes; Mons. A. Barre, Hamlet ...

"PHILADELPHIA", Dwight's Journal of Music (11 January 1873), 366 

... Moriami, the baritone of the Maretzek Troupe, has a fine voice, more powerful and richer than that of Mons. Barre ...

Bibliography and resources:

Gyger 1999, 75, 79, 91, 92, 93

BARRON, Margaret (Miss BARRON; ? Miss BARON)

Vocalist (pupil of Sophia Letitia Davis)

Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 1832 (per Sophia, from ? Ireland)
Active Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 1833-34; ? Sydney, 1841 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Miss Barron, "only 10 years of age" (elsewhere reportedly 8), gave her first performance in July 1833:

a pupil of Mrs. Davies, who sung two songs, haying acquired in so short a period of instruction so much of the style and manner of her teacher, both gratified and surprised every one.

In October 1834, due to the indisposition of her teacher, Sophia Letitia Davis, Margaret appeared as leading female vocalist for George Gordonovitch's Hobart concert.

She was a daughter of the Liverpool-street baker, Patrick Barron (c.1790-1865), who, unfortunately, by mid 1837 was insolvent. The family had moved to Sydney by 1839. She is perhaps the Miss Baron who sang in Isaac Nathan's oratorio at St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, in June 1841, with her own pupil, a Miss Sullivan.


[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (26 July 1833), 3

... July the 29th ... Part First ... Song, "Alice Gray," Miss Barron, a pupil of Mrs. Davis's, only 10 years of age - Hodson ... Part Second ... Song, "Waters of Elle," - Miss Barron - arranged by T. T. Magrath ...

[News], Colonial Times (30 July 1833), 2-3 

... The next piece was the old ballad, "Alice Grey" - sung by Miss Barron, a very interesting little girl, with a very pretty little voice - and, considering her age only ten years, (as the bill states) she sung the song, we believe, very prettily we say we believe, for the young lady's voice was scarcely heard by above one half the audience. She was, of course, encored - not we suppose because there was any thing prodigiously fine or musical in her singing, but because she was a pretty little infant, appearing before the public in order to do her best to give satisfaction. In the course of time, Miss Barron will no doubt become a good singer:- she has, apparently, all the requisites for a first-rate performer - nor, is a pretty face one of the least of these desirables. As to the propriety of allowing a young child to sing two songs in one evening, it is quite another affair, When adult musicians were not attainable in the Colony, it was all very well to bring forward children to supply the necessary force and interest of musical exhibitions - but when we have such a host of real good musicians, it is a pity to thrust upon the public, children, for the, purpose of taking a share in the musical performance. Children should never be brought forward, unless they have some very extraordinary talent. Last evening, the auditors assembled to hear the music, and not for the purpose of being obliged to countenance the wonderful singing of a child. If children must become musicians, and must perform before the public, why not have an infantine concert, where children shall alone perform - and to which concert every child in the town would be sent to witness the performance ... Miss Barron's "Waters of Ella," could have been dispensed with; besides the song was too difficult for a child, and once or twice she lost herself in the cadences. She was, of course, encored ...

[News], The Hobart Town Courier (2 August 1833), 2

A grand concert of all our professional musical talent was given in the Court house on Monday evening. The house was crammed throughout and the performance especially the instrumental was of the first order. The juveniles were encored of course, but we disapprove of putting old people's caps on the heads of little children. It is, to say the least of it inconsiderate, and is apt to teach the little ones presumption and to forget themselves. It proved however the great industry and success of the teachers, and the little girl Barron, a pupil of Mrs. Davies, who sung two songs, haying acquired in so short a period of instruction so much of the style and manner of her teacher, both gratified and surprised every one.

"To the Editor", Colonial Times (6 August 1833), 3

[News], The Colonist and Van Diemen's Land Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser (20 August 1833), 2 

It may not be generally known, that the parents of that interesting little girl, Miss MARGARET BARRON, who sung, for the first time in public, at the last Concert, are persons in a very unpretending sphere of life, keeping a baker's shop in Liverpool-street, opposite the White Horse. - This lively little creature is only ten years of age, and is now a pupil of Mrs. DAVIS's, who introduced her at the last Concert; after only six months' instruction. The extraordinary progress she has made in so short a period in music and singing, is astonishing in a child of her tender years, and reflects great credit upon Mrs. Davis. They arrived in the Colony, per Sophia, in September last. Mr. Barron is a native of Kilkenny, where he carried on baking and public business, to a considerable extent; but, in consequence of the impoverished state of Ireland, was induced to emigrate hither. We understand that Colonel and Mrs. LOGAN take a lively interest in the welfare of the child and her parents.

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (24 October 1834), 3

... PART 1st ... 4 - Song, 'Annot Lyle', Miss Barron ... PART 2nd ... 4 - Song, " Sul Margine d'un rio," Miss Barron, B. G. H. Gibsone ... 8 - Song, "This Blooming Rose," Miss Barron, Phillipps ... Hodson.

"Mr. Gordonovitch's concert ... ", The Hobart Town Courier (31 October 1834), 3

[Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (3 July 1841), 1 

? "CASUALTIES", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 February 1884), 7 

BARROW, George

Music-seller, music publisher, composer, journalist, editor, artist

Born England 1833
Arrived WA, 15 February 1863
Departed 16 September 1870 (for Mauritus) (NLA persistent identifier) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


The first, and apparently shortlived Western Australian musical journal, The minstrelsy of the west, was published in Fremantle in 1864 (no copies known to survive). Possibly the earliest music of any sort published in the colony, its first issue (of only three documented) consisted of a song Success to the west!. Though the reviews of the issue omitted to name the composer, it may well be that the song was the work of the young publisher himself, the lithographer and music-seller George Barrow, a convicted forger, transported to the colony. The West Australian Times, however, at least explained why his efforts would fail, for the time being, to win success:

The music and words are both original, and do credit to the author and composer. The little work displays much taste in the style in which it is brought out. We are truly glad on all occasions to hail and applaud those who, under circumstances of difficulty and depression, strive to make their talents contribute to their support by honest and legitimate means. It is difficult for all to win subsistence in times like the present. How much harder for those who, unused to mere manual labour, have to wage an uphill fight with the world, in an unfruitful field - who have character, trust, and position to regain, whilst struggling for the mere necessaries of life! In the condition of our colony, such a spectacle is far from uncommon. Unfortunately the public are not in circumstances to give much substantial encouragement to literary labourers, but we will hope that success may attend the steps of this infant periodical ...

Barrow later published the first 113 issues of Western Australia's first daily newspaper, The Express, before leaving the colony for Mauritius in mid-1870.


The Proceedings of the Old Bailey; "GEORGE HAMMOND, GEORGE BARROW, Deception & forgery, 10th May 1858"

"THE MINSTRELSY OF THE WEST", The West Australian Times (7 July 1864), 2

"GENERAL INTELLIGENCE", The Perth Gazette (22 July 1864), 2

"GENERAL INTELLIGENCE", The Perth Gazette (22 July 1864), 2

[Of a second issue, with the song Wake me early by W. J. Robson

[News], The West Australian Times (25 August 1864), 2

"GENERAL INTELLIGENCE", The Perth Gazette (16 September 1864), 2

The Express, microfilm copy at SL-WA; Permalink

Bibliography and resources:

"George Barrow", Design & Art Australia Online (DAAO)

BARRY, William Hawesworth

Bandmaster, schoolmaster (Kyneton)

Active Kyneton, VIC, before 1858


"LAW REPORT", The Argus (28 April 1858), 6

The insolvent was examined. He had been Denominational schoolmaster at Kyneton ... Insolvent explained this debt by stating that the people of Kyneton some time ago took it into their heads to get up a band. Witness had been a band-master of old, and was appointed to the same post in the Kyneton band that was to be. He acted as Chairman of the preliminary meetings, in which capacity he ordered the instruments for which he was now held accountable. The history of the band was, that after a few months existence the members of it dispersed to various localities, the instruments for the most part disappearing along with them, and the bandmaster was left to pay the bill ...

BARSANTI, Octavius (Ottavio BARSANTI, O.S.F.)

Clergyman, musician, choral conductor

Born Pruno, Italy, 20 October 1827
Arrived Sydney, NSW, about 1866 (from New Zealand)
Died Sydney, NSW, 23 May 1884



"CATHOLIC CHURCH", Freeman's Journal (22 June 1861), 5

"CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGES", Sydney Mail (2 February 1867), 9

"Music and Drama", The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (6 July 1872), 24

An evening class for sacred music is to be held weekly in St. Mary's Seminary, by Rev. Ottavio Barsanti. The musical taste and abilities of that gentleman are not unknown in Sydney, and no doubt many parents will show their cordial appreciation of the services of the Rev. Mr. Barsanti by sending their sons to this class, which will take place every Tuesday evening from 8 to 9. Grave, andante, and allegro melodies in the threefold ecclesiastical style (Gregorino, fratto, and figuranto), are to be taught in this class.

"ST. CECILIA PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", Freeman's Journal (30 November 1872), 10

The lecture on Music - announced to be delivered on the evening of Friday, the 22nd instant - the feast of St. Cecilia, by the Very Rev. Dr. Barsanti, had, in consequence of the inclemency of the weather, to be postponed until further notice. As, however, at the hour appointed W. A. Duncan, Esq., the president of the society, and all the members of the society with many of their friends were present, the very rev. lecturer addressed those present for over an hour on the subject, pointing out that the reason that day had been chosen for the delivery of the lecture was in honor of St. Cecilia, the Divine Philomela of the church. He, then, proceeded to describe music as the finest of the fine arts, as the daughter of prayer, the handmaid of religion, and as a goddess that had come down to us from heaven, and had a throne among the choirs of the celestials. He showed its magical influence in every state of public, private and domestic life, and concluded that music, being a divine inspiration, must be chiefly employed for religious purposes, and being a divine thing, it must be used so as to create a distaste for the things of this earth, and to kindle in our hearts a love for the things above. Mr. Duncan in proposing a vote of thanks to the lecturer expressed his great satisfaction and said that the lecture had effectually being delivered because he had heard that evening on music even more than he had anticipated. He praised the lecturer for his efforts in establishing in this city a philharmonic society connected with the church. Mr. M'Mahon proposed a vote of thanks to the chairman, which was carried by acclamation. On next Sunday, the first Sunday of advent, there will be a total change of music in the church service. Mass will be sung in pure Gregorian fratto style, arranged by Dr. Barsanti for St. Cecilia Philharmonic Society, and in the evening there will be vespers chanted in the same style. The pains which the Rev. Dr. has taken for this arrangement can scarcely be appreciated by those who have attended his class, but we hope he will be rewarded by a complete success in his persevering efforts, and by the grateful attentions of his pupils.

"Funerals", The Sydney Morning Herald (24 May 1884), 20

"Death of Dr. Barsanti", The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (31 May 1884), 1021

On the 23rd instant the Very Rev. Dr. Barsanti, the wellknown Roman Catholic clergyman, died at St. Vincent's Hospital, disease of the heart being, it is supposed, the cause of his unexpected death. The rev. gentleman many years ago occupied a distinguished position in the Church to which he belonged; and enjoyed a singular reputation for power and eloquence as a preacher. Some eight years since, owing to a disagreement with the local authorities of the Roman Catholic Church, Dr. Barsanti ceased to officiate publicly, and entered the Government service as one of the clerical staff in the Lands Department, which appointment he retained till a few weeks ago, when, acting, we are informed, on authority from Rome, the Administrator of the arch-diocese offered a position at St Joseph's, Newtown, which Dr. Barsanti accepted. The return to active priestly labours would appear to have overtaxed both the health and the energy of the rev. gentleman, for he was compelled to seek medical attention in St. Vincent's Hospital soon after resuming official duties. His return to his former position in the Church was hailed with great satisfaction by the Roman Catholic body, and his death, following so soon on what was regarded as a happy event, will doubtless cause much sorrow and regret in the denomination most affected by his sudden demise. Dr. Barsanti was a native of Italy, and a musical enthusiast, inheriting all the passionate love of the divine art for which many of his countrymen are remarkable. Among his co-religionists he was, we understand, held in reverence as a good-hearted, humble, and broad-minded priest, and outside the Roman Catholic body the genial doctor had many genuine friends, whose goodwill he won and preserved by his frank manner and affable and kindly behaviour. The deceased was fairly advanced in years, very many of which he spent in Australia.

"THE LATE VERY REV. DR. BARSANTI, O.S.F.", Freeman's Journal (7 June 1884), 17 

... Dr. Barasnti was in many respects a remarkable man. Preaching was his forte, and in Church music he was an acknowledged master. He had all the essentials of a preacher, a fine presence, a magnificent voice, an earnest manner, and a cultivated style which set off his rare natural ability to advantage ... Who can describe the wonderful effect of his singing in the solemn offices of the Church? His rich baritone voice of immense power and sympathetic sweetness would fill the largest church, and in the hymns and chants it would peal forth with the power and volume of a great cathedral organ. In the Holy Week services his solemn chanting and singing of the lamentations and prophecies was grandly impressive. Apart from the purely ecclesiastical music he was an enthusiast in the divine art, and there were few standard music works of which he had not some knowledge. He was a composer too of no mean order, but made no display of his talent in this direction. When among friends he would sing more snatches from Favourite operas, and those who ever met him in his "musical moments" will remember how his noble voice used to ring out in "II Balen," the air he was so fond of singing whenever he happened to drop into some family musical circle. He interested himself in the formation of a choral society at St. Mary's, and for a considerable time he trained the vesper choir with remarkable success. In the religious processions the Doctor's voice could be heard above all the rest, and it is related that at one of the grand service at St. Patrick's, Melbourne, the Franciscan monk's vocal organ rang clear and strong above the sound of the great choir and orchestra. Dr. Barsanti was a talented lecturer and an agreeable public speaker. While in Melbourne he delivered several lectures in connection with St. Patrick's Society which were published in pamphlet form, and in Sydney he delivered two or three - one on the "Temporal Power of the Pope" in St. Mary's Seminary and one on "Music" in the Temperance Hall ...


Hazel Riseborough, "Barsanti, Ottavio", Dictionary of New Zealand biography 1 (1990)/Encyclopedia of New Zealand 

BARTLETT, Flora Adelaide

Composer of music

Born Perth, WA, 1885/6


"PROPERTY DISTRIBUTION", West Australian Sunday Times (10 September 1899), 7

Under the heading of "An Independence for 5s." we publish the announcement of Bartlett's Monster Property Distribution, of 40,000 subscribers at 5. The object for which the distribution has been instituted is a most laudable one, being that Mr. C. Bartlett, the proprietor, may secure the wherewithal to send his daughter, Miss Flora Adelaide Bartlett, aged 13, who is a composer of music, to Europe, where she may have every opportunity of obtaining the best possible tuition in the development of her remarkable gift. We have received two of the little lady's compositions- the "Federal Waltz" and the "Grand Triumphal March," the latter being in commemoration of America's victory over Spain. Miss Bartlett composed a piece, entitled the "Trilby Waltz," when only nine years of age ... The registered address, where tickets may be obtained, is C. Bartlett, 12 Royal-Arcade, Perth.

"COMPLIMENTARY PERFORMANCE", Kalgoorlie Miner (16 August 1900), 8



Active Victorian goldfields, 1859-60


"CRITERION CONCERT HALL", The Star (11 April 1859), 3

"STAR CONCERT COMPANY", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (24 October 1859), 2

"STAR THEATRE", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (14 November 1859), 2

... Miss Bartley we cannot speak too highly of as a classical cantatrice with a rich powerful voice, and the song "Little Nell," this lady renders with such depth of feeling and distinct articulation, that makes a tear start to every eye. Mrs. Andrew maintains her reputation as an old favourite. Master Burgees is a great acquisition to the troupe for concerted music, and young Charley never fails to get a genuine encore.

"STAR THEATRE", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (1 December 1859), 2

"ABBOTT'S LYCEUM", Bendigo Advertiser (21 July 1860), 2

BARTON, Charles Hastings

Journalist, politician, songwriter, composer

Born Vevey, Switzerland, 11 Dec 1828
Arrived Adelaide, SA, 1853
Died Maryborough, QLD, 16 June 1902, aged 73


Barton was active in musical circles at Tanunda, South Australia, and on record as composer and/or lyricist of three lost songs.

Two credited to him alone are:

From the North Sea's dark waves (song; "Composed expressly for the occasion by Mr. Barton")

"TANUNDA ...", South Australian Register (13 March 1858), 3

There dwellest a spirit in yonder stream ("Mr. Barton was both the writer of the words and the composer of the music")

"TANUNDA ...", South Australian Register (13 March 1858), 3

A third, with Ferdinand Draeger was published in 1858:

Advance Australia ("the words by Mr. Charles Barton, of Tanunda, and the music by Mr. Draeger")

"NEW MUSIC", South Australian Register (31 August 1858), 2

"TANUNDA", South Australian Register (6 October 1858), 3


"THE NEW LABOUR CANDIDATES", Worker (15 February 1902), 4

"Death of Labor Member Barton", Worker (21 June 1902), 2

Bibliography and resources:

John Tidey, "Charles Hastings Barton, colonial journalist", Australian Studies in Journalism 12 (2003), 34-47



Active Sydney, NSW, April-May 1851


A "young gentleman named Barton, who evidently did his best to please the audience", supported Caroline Pyne and Elizabeth Emanuel in Abraham Emanuel and George Hudson's weekly "Casino" concerts in March, April, and May 1851.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 April 1851), 1

... PART 1 ... 2. Vocal duet - "Blow gentle Gales" - Mrs. Emanuel and Mr. Barton - [Edward] Loder ... 7. Song - "Here's to the Maid with the love laughing eye" - Mr. Barton - Macfarren ... 9. Duet - "The Syren and Friar" - Mrs. Pyne and Mr. Barton - Emanuel ...

"THE CASINO", Empire (14 April 1851), 2

This very exhilirating place of amusement was again thronged on Wednesday last, and we were pleased to observe among the crowd a great number of the wives and daughters of our most respectable citizens. The vocal part of the entertainment was sustained by Mrs. Emanuel and Mrs. Pyne, supported by a young gentleman named Barton, who evidently did his best to please the audience. The dancing, which began at nine o'clock, was kept up with great spirit until nearly twelve.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 April 1851), 1 

... 5. Song - "The Old Farm House" - Mr. Barton, Hime ... 8. Song - "Old Dobbin" - Mr. Barton, Blockley ...

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 May 1851), 1 

... 4. Song - "The Secret" - Mr. Barton ... 7. "The Exile's Song," (translated from the German.) - Kalliwoda - Mr. Barton; 8. Song - "Love lurks in a laughing eye," Smith - Mr. Barton ...


Organist, musical instrument tuner and repairer

Active Bendigo, VIC, by 1857


[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (4 February 1857), 3

"WALLACE MONUMENT CONCERT", Bendigo Advertiser (14 April 1857), 3

"CHURCH OF ENGLAND", Bendigo Advertiser (20 July 1859), 2

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (30 July 1861), 4

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (19 June 1863), 3

"COUNTY COURT", Bendigo Advertiser (4 July 1865), 2

BARWISE (? Jackson?, John)

General and musical retailer (Jackson and Barwise)

Active Sydney, NSW, 1828-29


In August 1828, apparently having obtained at least some of his stock from John Edwards, John (or Jackson) Barwise, as Barwise, Jackson and Co. (his wife's name was Jackson, and he was later in partnership with his brother-in-law as Barwise and Weller) advertised from his premises at 97, George-street, Sydney:

To the Lovers of Harmony ... two magnificent and fine-toned Pedal Harps, and two elegant portable Royal Harps ... instruction books, pieces of music for harp and piano, and some hundreds of the newest and most fashionable songs and quadrilles; a superior Spanish guitar made by Panarmo [recte Panormo], flageolets, &c ... PIANOFORTES - BROADWOOD MAKER, SEVEN PIANOFORTES for SALE ... consisting of Grand Pianofortes; Harmonic ditto; Cottage ditto; Round cornered Square ditto.

Edwards again recommended Barwise and Weller's musical stock in October 1829. Famously, Barwise later claimed to have found gold in NSW in that very year, 1829.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (15 August 1828), 4

[Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (10 October 1829), 1

"WHO FIRST DISCOVERED GOLD IN AUSTRALIA", The Argus (25 November 1867), 3


See Mrs. Henry EASTWICK


Music instructor (fife and drum band)

Died Willunga, SA, 4 February 1875, aged 64


"DEATHS", South Australian Register (5 February 1875), 4

"WILLUNGA", South Australian Register (17 February 1875), 3

The late Mr. J. B. Bassett, whose decease was lately announced, was an old colonist and resided here for 27 years. He established a school under the auspices of the Board of Education, and from the first maintained a first-class position, and the yearly examinations were red-letter days in the town. Mr. Bassett in some cases educated two generations, and many of his former pupils were at his funeral. The deceased was often at the front in philanthropic movements, and was remarkable for the energy and zeal he threw into anything he took in hand. Amongst many other things was the establishment of a Band of Hope, which for years has been kept together by his almost unaided exertions, for in the surrounding districts they soon collapsed for want of such a staunch supporter. He established a Drum and Fife Band, and personally instructed the members in music at his residence.


Vocalist, musical memorialist

Baptised London, 22 September 1818
Arrived Adelaide, SA, 1853
Died North Adelaide, SA, 10 September 1883, aged 65


Amateur vocalist

Born London, England, 22 October 1843 (son of the above)
Died Adelaide, SA, 17 June 1908


Amateur vocalist

Active Adelaide, SA, by 1864


[Advertisement], South Australian Register (14 November 1853), 2

"THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL", South Australian Register (2 April 1861), 3

"The Linger Memorial Concert . . . ", The South Australian Advertiser (26 September 1863), 7 

The Linger Memorial Concert took place in the Assembly Rooms on Thursday evening. The room was very well filled, and the concert went off as well as could have been wished . . . From what has been said, our readers will perceive that the concert was highly successful, indeed its equal has not been heard in Adelaide since Linger's death. We cannot conclude this notice without mentioning, in terms of high commendation, the names of Mr. E. Spiller, the energetic Secretary of the Committee, and Mr. J. Bastard, with whom the idea of the concert originated. To these gentlemen we in a great measure an indebted for the musical treat we enjoyed.

"GENERAL NEWS", The Adelaide Express (24 November 1864), 2 

The third of the Festival Concerts was given on Wednesday evening . . . Mrs. Wiahart and Mrs. Wallace sang some favorite songs, which were loudly, applauded. We have also to notice favorably a song by Miss Bastard - a young lady who, we believe, only made her debut lately. She possesses a very sweet voice, and when she has overcome the timidity natural to a young artiste will, we believe, become a great favorite . . .

"DEATHS", South Australian Register (11 September 1883), 4


Thomas Bastard, The autobiography of Cockney Tom (Adelaide: McClory and Masterman, 1881)

... After a time I was summoned by the Bishop, and told it was my duty to join the choir. I explained that I was but a poor scholar, and did not understand English, much less Latin; but he introduced me to Father Maurice Lencioni, a good man, who held the office of choir singing-master and confessor, and whose duty it was to visit the sick, bury the dead, and bring young people together for marriage. Everybody liked this priest, myself particularly. He was an Italian, a splendid musician, and gifted with a good voice; he undertook to teach me the Latin service, and he had his work to do. It was a long time before I could manage it; but at length I succeeded fairly well, but never became A1.

About this time that great singer Madame Anna Bishop paid a visit to Adelaide, accompanied by Mr. George Loder, an accomplished musician. They took apartments at the York Hotel, kept by a Mrs. Bray, who conceived such a liking for Madame that in her will she bequeathed her a legacy of one thousand pounds, besides making her other presents. Madame required a local agent, and Mrs. Bray, knowing me, recommended me to her. I was accordingly sent for and engaged to make myself generally useful, to sing when required, and to act as money taker at her concerts, and White's Rooms were fixed upon and engaged by me from the proprietor, Mr. Geo. White, on behalf of Madame. The bank authorities allowed me the privilege of taking the engagement of White's Rooms so long as I did not neglect my duty at the bank, and by such engagements I was brought into the society of all the leading artists who visited Adelaide. Perhaps it would not be out of place to mention some of their names, viz., Madame Caley, fellow pupil of Jenny Lind, Richard W. Kohler, Miska Hanser, the greatest violinist that ever came to Australia, Linly Norman, Richard White, Madame Carandini, Walter Sherwin, Madame Goddard, the premier pianist, W. Montgomery, B. Fairclough, and many others.

Bastard also gives a detailed account of his musical experiences on the Victorian goldfields in 1853.

"DEATH OF MR. JOHN BASTARD", Observer (20 June 1908), 38

Bibliography and resources:

BAT, James ("dictus Noctivagus", pseudonymn)

Columnist, poet, songwriter

Active Sydney, NSW, 1840s


The poems and opinions of James Bat, "dictus Noctivagus" ("night wanderer", or perhaps sleepwalker), are discussed in a loose, irregular series of whimsical, satirical columns in the Sydney Herald between 1845 and 1848. At first a suburban poet, from Pyrmont, Bat later finds work in the bush, "a congenial duty in keeping off the dingoes or native dogs from the flocks" at the Warragal Station.


"ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE", The Sydney Morning Herald (30 June 1845), 2

"ORIGINAL POETRY. THE SEPTEMBER MUSQUITO", The Sydney Morning Herald (4 September 1845), 3

"COLLOQUIES AND SOLILOQUIES OF A SILK-GROWER", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 December 1845), 2

"SUBURBAN POERTRY", The Sydney Morning Herald (5 November 1847), 2

"POETRY FROM THE CROWN LANDS", The Sydney Morning Herald (23 December 1847), 2

The Squatter's song of triumph

Come tell me now of hill and dale,
Of grassy plain and flowing river;
Of banks, where mighty trees prevail,
And creeks their wintry wealth deliver;
Of ridges sheltering from the gale,
And gullies that from neighbours sever,
Our squattage there we will entail,
To us and to our heirs for ever.

Come speak of stations and of stock,
Of bullocks talk and tale deliver,
The weaning and the fattening flock,
The rams and ewes that fail us never,
Make not of milkless tea a mock.
For doughy damper praise the giver.
Our squattage now no power shall dock,
But be to us and ours for ever!

"THE SICK MAN'S DREAM", The Sydney Morning Herald (24 May 1848), 3


Organist, choirmaster

Active Maitland, NSW, 1859-60


"PHILHARMONIC CONCERT", The Maitland Mercury (6 August 1859), 2

"MAITLAND SCHOOL OF ARTS", The Maitland Mercury (3 September 1859), 3

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (12 November 1859), 1

"THE PHILHARMONIC INSTITUTE", The Maitland Mercury (9 February 1860), 3

"MAITLAND PHILHARMONIC INSTITUTE", The Maitland Mercury (12 April 1860), 2

"MAITLAND PHILHARMONIC INSTITUTE", The Maitland Mercury (16 May 1861), 2


Teacher of music

Active Sydney, NSW, 1833


Together with William Cavendish (for dancing) and George Sippe, Miss Bates was a music teacher on as on the prospectus of Mr. and Mrs. Davies's Boarding and Day School in Sydney in 1833.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (20 August 1833), 3

BATES, Daisy

Indigenous culture and song reporter

Born Tipperary, Ireland, 16 October 1863
Arrived Australia, 1884
Died Prospect, SA, 18 April 1951 (NLA persistent identifier)



University of Adelaide, Library, Rare books and special collections, MSS 572.994 B32t 



BATES, Joseph

Street singer, vagrant

Active Sydney, NSW, 1850


"THE POLICE REGISTER", Bell's Life in Sydney (22 June 1850), 2

WHY ARE YOU WANDERING HERE I PRAY? -Far advanced in years and remarkable, peculiarly remarkable, for his very disagreeable style of countenance and dingy costume, Joseph Bates, (better known in the vicinity of the Rocks as the "Girl I left behind me," for his continual patronage of that sweet Irish melody) ...

BATES, Percy (Percy Alexander Charles BATES)

Tenor vocalist, teacher of singing

Active Sydney, NSW, by 1892
Died Strathfield, NSW, 8 April 1949, aged 79


[News], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 August 1892), 5

At the monthly musical service held in the Pitt Street Congregational Church last night, Mendelssohn's "Hear My Prayer" was rendered by a large choir ... The Rev. W. Scott preached ... after which Sullivan's anthem, "I will sing of Thy power," was rendered, Mr. Percy Bates taking the tenor solo. Mr. E. J. Massey presided at the organ. There was a large congregation.

"THE NEW CATHEDRAL TENOR", Freeman's Journal (7 March 1896), 15

Mr. Percy Bates has been appointed principal tenor of St. Mary's Cathedral choir, in succession to the late Mr. James Hinchy. Mr. Bates is a well known Sydney singer, and adds to a fine voice musical knowledge and refined taste. He is a member of the Sydney Liedertafel, and was for some time the tenor soloist of St. Benedict's. Mr. Bates, who is an excellent reader, will be of special service in the concerted music. The appointment, which is fully approved of by Mr. J. A. Delany, the Cathedral organist, cannot fail to give satisfaction to the congregation. Going back about 25 years, James Keane, James Hinchy, D. Gunning, and P. J. Barrett may be named among those who have filled the position of principal tenor at St. Mary's.

"COLUMN 8", The Sydney Morning Herald (31 March 1948), 1

AMONG the congregation at St. Andrew's Cathedral on Sunday were two friends who were in the choir 66 years ago. They are Mr. Percy Bates, of Strathfield, and Mr. Walter Davies, of Glebe. Mr. Bates, now 79, is still in the choir. He was one of Sydney's leading tenors and toured England from 1903 to 1909. Mr. Davies, now 80, is Sydney's oldest and most travelled photographer.

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (11 April 1949), 16

"COLUMN 8", The Sydney Morning Herald (13 April 1949), 1 

ONE of the choristers in the memorial service to the late Percy Bates, oldest member of St. Andrew's Cathedral choir, was Mr. Walter Davies, who will soon be 81. Before that Mr. Davies had not sung in a church choir for 63 years. He and Mr. Percy Bates were both members of the Cathedral choir 67 years ago. They lost contact with each other until a par in this column, stating that Mr. Davies had sent a food parcel to the youngest boy of the Manchester Cathedral choir - of which he had been youngest member 72 years before - was read by Mr. Bates.


Music teacher, contralto vocalist (Melbourne Philharmonic Society)

Active Melbourne, VIC, by 1857


"PRAHRAN MECHANICS' INSTITUTION", The Argus (27 January 1857), 5

"MR. KROM'S BENEFIT CONCERT", The Argus (3 December 1857), 4

[Advertisement], The Argus (27 July 1857), 7

"THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Argus (22 September 1858), 5

It is to be regretted that the work does I not contain more than the one contralto passage which was assigned to Mrs. Batten, for this lady's voice is of the purest and most equable quality, and with a little more practice will exhibit a power of which at present the possessor is scarcely aware.

[News], The Argus (4 July 1860), 4

"THE MESSIAH. THE PHILHARMONIC", The Argus (26 December 1862), 5


Violinist, musical director (Treemont Minstels)

Active Sydney, NSW, 1857 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (21 March 1857), 3 

MR J. M. FOANS, late of Rainer's Serenaders, has great pleasure in announcing to his friends and the public in general, that he has engaged the celebrated band of
who have lately arrived in the colony, and will appear every night at the Shakspere Tavern, in Pitt-street. The company comprises the following talented artistes: - Messrs C. Battle, Violin; J. H. Cohen, Banjo; W. Hayward, Bones; J. Murcutt, Harpist; E. Reynolds, Tamborine.
Musical Conductor - J. C. Battle.
The whole under the management of Mr. J. M. Foans.
Admission, Free. Doors open at 7 o'clock. Come Early.

[Advertisement], Empire (8 July 1857), 1 

OUR LYCEUM THEATRE.- Lessees and Managers, Messrs. JAMES SIMMONDS and HOWARD.
THIS EVENING. - Complimentary Benefit to tho NEW ORLEANS SERENADERS, Messrs. T. F. Brower, D. F. Boley, J. M. Foons, J. C. Battle, Dave Carson, and W. A. Porter.
Messrs. Kohler, Winterbottom, John Gregg, and John Howson, have kindly volunteered.
ETHIOPIAN ENTERTAINMENT EXTRAORDINARY. Second appearance of Mr. J. M. Foans, who will introduce his celebrated impersonation of Miss LUCY LONG.
Second night of the celebrated Burlesque Opera, entitled OH, HUSH; or THE BOOTBLACKS OF OLD VIRGINNY!
Choice selections of the most favourite songs, ducts, glees, dances, burlesques, &c., from the unrivalled repertoires of the BACKUS MINSTRELS, and RAINER SERENADERS.

BAXTER, Annie (Annie Maria HADDEN; Mrs. Andrew BAXTER; Mrs. Robert DAWBIN)

Amateur musician, music copyist, diarist

Born Exeter, Devon, England, 24 November 1816 (daughter of William Frederick HADDEN and Elizabeth HALL)
Married (1) Andrew BAXTER (1813-1855), 8 February 1834
Arrived (1) Hobart Town, VDL, 23 January 1835
Departed (1) VDL, January 1851 (per Calcutta, for England)
Married (2) Robert DAWBIN, St. Paul's Church, Melbourne, VIC, 1 September 1857
Died Melbourne, VIC, 22 November 1905 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA peristent identifier)


Annie Baxter, diary and sketchbook, 1840; National Library of Australia, MS 3276 (DIGITISED)

Annie Maria Dawbin, diaries, 12 September 1834-3 May 1869; State Library of New South Wales, DLMSQ 181-83 

Annie Maria Baxter manuscript music album, July 1852, bound together with published copy of Henslowe's The Campbell Town waltzes (1849); State Library of New South Wales, MLMSS 9902 

[Annie Baxter Dawbin], Memories of the past by a lady in Australia (Melbourne : W. H. Williams, 1873) 

Bibliography and resources:

Lucy Frost, A face in the glass: the journal and life of Annie Baxter Dawbin (Melbourne: William Heinemann Australia, 1992) 

Toni-Anne Sherwood, Annie Baxter in Van Diemen's Land: an abridged and annotated version of her journal, 1834-1851 (Ph.D thesis, University of Tasmania, 2010) (DIGITISED)

Annotated edition of diary entries for Baxter's five visits to VDL, between 1834-51; in particular, relating to her stay there from June 1849 to January 1851, many mentions of music, in particular relating to the Band of the 99th Regiment

BAXTER, Mrs. T. P.

Teacher of music

Active Maitland, NSW, 1846


[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (26 September 1846), 3

MRS. T. P. BAXTER, from Sydney, residing next door to Mr. Poulton's, West Maitland, is desirous of receiving into her family a limited number of Young Ladies, under the age of Twelve Years, to instruct with her own daughters, in all the essential branches of a Polite Education. Mrs. Baxter also proposes to receive a few Day Scholars, and to Open her Establishment on the first of October next. Private Lessons in Music given at her own Residence.

"Married", The Maitland Mercury (18 August 1847), 3

BAXTER, Laura (Harriet Laura BAXTER; Mrs. Thomas Hutchinson BAYLISS; BAYLIS)

Contralto vocalist

Born London, England, 21 March 1832
Married Thomas Hutchinson BAYLISS, London, c. 1848
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 19 March 1857 (per Columbian, from Southampton, 14 January)
Departed Melbourne, VIC, 29 May 1857 (per Simla, for Suez)
Died England, October 1909, "aged 78" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

BAXTER, Elizabeth (Mrs. Samuel BAXTER)

Music teacher

Born Bloomsbury, London, England, c. 1808
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 19 March 1857 (per Columbian, from Southampton, 14 January)
Departed Melbourne, VIC, 22 May 1857 (per Great Britain, for England)
Died London, England, 10 December 1865

BAXTER, Mathilda (Matilda Frances Maria BAXTER)

Pianist, music teacher

Born London, England, 12 November 1838
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 19 March 1857 (per Columbian, from Southampton, 14 January)
Departed Melbourne, VIC, 22 May 1857 (per Great Britain, for England)
Died New York, USA, 15 September 1927


The young English contralto, "Miss Laura Baxter" (Mrs. Thomas Hutchinson Bayliss), came to Victoria with husband, Thomas Bayliss (b. 1823), also formerly a singer) and infant children, and her mother and sister, as first-class passengers on the Columbian in March, and sailed for home on the Great Britain two months later. Baylis, who had given up singing several years earlier for insurance and banking, had recently been forced by disgruntled stockholders to resign his interests in return for a huge severance settlement. On the proceeds of this the family appears to have planned the return voyages and short stay in Melbourne as a sort of musical holiday. Quite plausibly, too, they had been in correspondence with such artists as met them on arrival in Melbourne, Anna Bishop and George Loder. The Bayliss/Baxters are thus a very early example of a London musical family making a quick voyage to the colonies, taking full advantage of the convenience and luxury of the new steam ships.

Laura Baxter and her husband had both appeared in a Royal Academy of Music student concert in March 1849, and in November that year Laura was a contralto soloist for the Sacred Harmonic Society's Messiah, the first of many appearances for the society.

Advertised as a "professor of singing at the Royal Academy of Music", Laura made her first appearance in Melbourne on 30 March 1857 as co-artist to Anna Bishop, and another Royal Academy colleague, Joseph Henry Pollard, who had also arrived on the Columbian. She and Pollard next appeared at Elizabeth Testar's retirement "farewell" concert on 14 April.

She was due to appear for the Melbourne Philharmonic on 21 April, and then to give her own concert, at the Mechanics' Institute, the following night, 22 April, assisted by her young sister Matilda; the former was postponed for a week, and the latter also postponed, but never took place.

Laura's Melbourne Philharmonic appearance appears to have been her last. Thereafter, her sister Matilda and mother Elizabeth briefly advertised their services as music teachers from their temporary residence in St. Kilda.

Notice of Laura's first concert after her return in England, in June 1858, mentioned her recent visit to Australia, and George Loder, also recently returned, was one of the performers on that occasion. Thereafter, Laura pursued a busy mature career mainly as an oratorio singer.


"MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENTS", The dramatic and musical review [London] (1 April 1849), 105 

The first concert for the season 1849 of the ROYAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC was held on the morning of the 17th [March] ... Miss Laura Baxter sang "O rest in the Lord," and received an encore: she is a very promising vocalist: Mr. Thomas H. Baylis gave "O God have mercy," and only just escaped a demand for its repetition; his voice is remarkably good in quality, and he sings with feeling and expression; his articulation is clear and graceful ... Of the performers at this concert, Miss Holroyd, Miss Laura Baxter, Miss Mary Rose, Messrs. Lyon, T. H. Baylis, Swift, and Wallworth, are pupils of Mr. Crivelli ...

"THE LONDON SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY", Bell's New Weekly Messenger [London] (4 November 1849), 6

This society commenced their winter performances on Friday evening at Exeter Hall with Handel's Messiah, which was given in every respect in the same style of general merit which we have had occasion to notice with praise. The principal vocal performers were Mr. Lockey, Mr. T. Young, Mr. Lawler, Mrs. Sunderland, Miss Henderson, and Miss L. Baxter. Mr. H. Blagrove was the leader, and Mr. Surman the conductor.

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Argus (20 March 1857), 4 

"NEW VOCAL CELEBRITIES", The Age (25 March 1857), 5 

We are glad to notice that among our most recent arrivals are included Miss Laura Baxter, professor of singing at the Royal Academy of Music, and principal contralto at the Exeter Hall and Hanover-square Rooms concerts, and Mr. J. Henry Pollard (bass), of the Royal Academy of Music. Both possess voices of the finest quality, and are to appear for the first time at Madame Bishop's concert for the benefit of the Hospital, on Monday evening ...

[Advertisement], The Age (30 March 1857), 1 

"THE MELBOURNE HOSPITAL CONCERT", The Argus (30 March 1857), 5

[Advertisement], The Argus (30 March 1857), 8



Miss Laura Baxter's voice is a contralto of fine but not very powerful quality - at least so it appeared to us yesterday evening, though it is probable that her first appearance before an entirely new audience might produce some degree of nervousness, which we doubt not will speedily disappear, as she becomes better acquainted with us. She is evidently a well trained musician, and sung Mercadante's "Se in abbandoni" in almost faultless style. The air was encored, though we think she might have selected something better suited for her opening effort. She was infinitely more pleasing in Land's "When sorrow sleepeth, wake it not." As an ancore [sic] she gave "Twas on a Sunday morning," accompanied by herself on the pianoforte ...

"MRS. TESTAR'S FAREWELL CONCERT", The Age (15 April 1857), 5 

"MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Argus (29 April 1857), 5

"PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY'S CONCERT", The Age (29 April 1857), 4 

... Miss Laura Baxter's fine voice showed to great advantage in Moore's "Meeting of the Waters," which was rendered with great feeling; and in the duet with Mr. Farquharaon from Mozart's "Don Giovanni." The latter was rapturously encored ...

[Advertisement], The Argus (1 May 1857), 8 

MRS, BAXTER AND MISS MATILDA BAXTER, From the Royal Academy of Music, London, Beg to announce that they receive Pupils for Instruction in Pianoforte Playing, English and Italian Singing, and Musical Composition, at their residence, as above. Mrs. Baxter and Miss Matilda Baxter have had great experience in imparting instruction in the above accomplishments in Loudon, from whence they have recently arrived. For particulars respecting terms, apply to Mrs. or Miss BAXTER, Finchley Villa, St. Kilda.

[News], Morning Chronicle [London] (11 June 1858), 5

Miss Laura Baxter's concert, under the patronage of the Earl and Countess of Mount Edgecumbe, will take place at tile Hanover-square Rooms on the 17th instant. This young lady studied for some years under the late Signor Crivelli, and other eminent performers, at the Royal Academy of Music. She sang with great success at the concerts of the institution, and also at Exeter-hall, in the oratorios. Miss Laura Baxter, who has recently visited Australia, appeared at several concerts in the colonies with marked success. She possesses a fine contralto voice. Miss Laura Baxter is now a pupil of the celebrated Madame Persiani, with whom she will sing the duet "Fiero in contro," from "Il Tancredi." The artistes who will appear are Madame Persiani, Madame Weiss, Miss Matilda Baxter (an accomplished pianiste, also from the Royal Academy of Music), Miss Laura Baxter; Messrs. Sims Reeves, Weiss, Piatti, Richardson, Blagrove, and the Vocal Association, comprising two hundred voices, conducted by Mr. Benedict, who will be assisted in his arduous duties by Mr. George Loder and Mr. G. H. Lake.

Twenty-seventh annual report of the Sacred Harmonic Society ... (London: W. O. Mitchell, 1860), 48, 50 

Twenty-eighth annual report of the Sacred Harmonic Society ... (London: W. O. Mitchell, 1861), 40, 41, 42 

[News], Exeter and Plymouth Gazette [England] (4 November 1909), 5

Mme. Laura Baxter, who was a contralto singer of repute half a century ago, died at the house of the relieving officer at Retford at the age of seventy-eight. She sang frequently with Mr. Sims Reeves and Sir Charles Santley.

"FAMOUS SINGER'S DEATH", Stamford Mercury [England] (5 November 1909), 8

The death has just occurred at Retford of Mrs. Harriett Laura Bayliss, known in operatic and concert circles as Madame Laura Baxter. Deceased, who had lived the advanced age of 78, had in the mid-Victorian era charmed many concert-goers with her fine contralto voice. Her life as a vocalist recalls memories of Santley and Sims Reeves. For instance, as far back as 1861, Madame Baxter was one of the principal soloists at the Sacred Harmonic Society's rendering of "Elijah," under the conductorship of Mr. Costa, Messrs. Santley and Sims Reeves both taking principal parts. In the same year the deceased gave a concert the St. James' Hall, having as her helpers Mr. Sims Reeves, the two celebrated composers, Mr. M. W. Balfe and Mr. Vincent Wallace, and Mr. Walter Macfarren, in addition to Madame Weiss, Mademoiselle Parepa, and others. From 1858 until 1871, Madame Baxter had a most successful career. In 1862 she was created a member of the Royal Academy of Music. In July, 1858, as Miss Laura Baxter, she appeared at the Drury Lane Italian Opera, taking the part of Pierotto in Donizetti's opera "Linda di Chamouni." Madame Persiani, whose pupil she was, took the part of Linda. The contralto part in "Judas Maccabeus," at Exeter Hall, under Costa, was another memorable triumph.

My thanks: To Kurt Ganzl, December 2017, for sharing his research findings on Laura Baxter and her family.

BAYER, Louis

Musician, composer, librettist

Born Germany, 1858
Arrived Victoria, c. 1873
Died Warrnambool, VIC, 28 October 1907 (NLA persistent identifier) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"PERSONAL", Camperdown Chronicle (31 October 1907), 3

A man who was possessed of many good qualities, rare musical gifts, warm-hearted generosity, and the exceptionally strong personal magnetism that gains numerous friends, passed away at Warrnambool on Monday night in Mr. Louis Bayer. His death occurred under particularly sad circumstances. Some months ago he wrote and composed an opera, The Golden West, which, musically, had much to recommend it. It was produced under unfavourable conditions in various   district centres and, though financially unsuccessful, met with an amount of appreciation which Mr. Bayer considered warranted another attempt. He, therefore, engaged a professional company and   arranged to play at Warrnambool during show week, with the neighbouring towns to follow. This enterprise proved even more disastrous than the former, and, worse still, entailed an amount of work   and worry which completely prostrated   him. He collapsed completely when in Camperdown last week and was removed to Warrnambool, where he grew worse and death ensued on Monday. The late Mr. Bayer was a native of Germany, but came to Victoria a young man. From Melbourne, where he had been professionally engaged, he came to Cobden about 28 years ago. After a residence there of about 12 months he went to New South Wales, and spent some time as a trapper. He returned to this district in 1883. On 24th October of that year, according to an old diary of Mr. W. Fielder's, a meeting was held in the Mechanics' Institute (now the Mechanics' Chambers) for the purpose of forming a music society. ... Mr. Bayer afterwards wrote and composed the opera, Federation, which was produced for the first time on 21st June, 1887, to a crowded house ... In May the following year, Muutchaka was produced, and was repeated in Warrnambool. These operas found great favor, and for several years after were played with much success. The late Mr. Bayer went to reside at Warrnambool in August, 1891, and afterwards wrote the operas Dora, The Barber of Krugersdorp and The Golden West. He was a devout lover of nature in all its varied forms. The bush life of Australia appealed to him strongly and furnished his subjects and inspired his music, which is thoroughly descriptive of, and thoroughly in harmony with the spirit of the Australian bush ...

Musical works:

The Leura waltz (arranged by L. Bayer) (lithography by Troedel & Co., [1884])

Federation (opera in 2 acts; libretto and music by L. Bayer) (libretto: Melbourne: Kemp and Boyce, 1887) 

Muutchaka; or, the last of his tribe (opera in 2 acts; libretto and music by L. Bayer) (Libretto: Melbourne: Kemp and Boyce, 1888) 

"The moon shine's bright" (Serenade from the opera Federation) and "Weep with me" (prayer from the opera Muutchaka) ([Melbourne: lithography by Troedel & Co., 1888])

The Irishman's song (from the opera Dora; words and music by Louis Bayer (Warrnambool: R. A. Philp, [1895]) 

Exhibition Cantata (words: J. S. Stanley; music: L. Bayer) [Warrnambool, 1896]

The barber of Krugersdorp (comic opera; word book) ([Camperdown, Warrnambool: 1900]) 

Bibliography and resources:

Eric Irvin, "Louis Bayer (1858-1907), composer to the man on the land", Southerly 48/3 (September 1988), 284-297

BEALE, Octavius Charles

Piano manufacturer

Born Mountmellick, Laois, Ireland, 23 February 1850
Arrived Hobart, TAS, December 1854
Died Stroud, NSW, 16 December 1930 (NLA persistent identifier) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)



Instrumentalist, Teacher of Music, Violin, Viola and Violoncello

Active Melbourne, VIC, and Sydney, NSW, 1852


[Advertisement], The Argus (5 June 1852), 2

HERR MATER'S FIRST GRAND CONCERT, WILL take place on Saturday, June 5, 1852, at the Mechanics' Institute, Collins-street. PRINCIPAL PERFORMERS: Mrs. TESTAR, Mr. St. George Hamilton, Mr. Charles Walsh; Messrs Buddee, Megson, Reed, Cooze, Harwood, and Thompson, Herr Huenerbein, Messrs. Osborne and Wheeler, Herr Zeigler, Mons. Lavrance, Messrs. Jenkins, Cossac, Cobbin, Beattie, and Barnard; Assisted by the most powerful band ever concentrated in Victoria ...

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 December 1852), 1

MUSIC. MR. BEATTIE, Teacher of Music, of the modern school, from the best authors in the world; Teacher of the Violin, Viola, and Violoncello. First quarter to commence 3rd of January, 1853. Terms -Three guineas per quarter, three lessons, per week. - Music provided for dancing or any parties. At JOHN CLARK'S, Esq., 189, Elizabeth-street, Sydney.

BEAUMONT, Daniel Abraham (Dan BEAUMONT; Mr. D. A. BEAUMONT; younger brother of Armes BEAUMONT)

Vocalist, conductor

Born Norfolk, England, 1 August 1843
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 1848
Died North Melbourne, VIC, 17 May 1897


"DEATH OF MR. D. A. BEAUMONT", The Age (18 May 1897), 6. (FIRST EDITION) 

Sincere regret will be felt among a very large circle on learning of the death of Mr. D. A. Beaumont, one of the best known and respected of amateur musicians in Melbourne. Professionally Mr. Beaumont was a lithographic printer. He served his time to the business with Messrs. Chas. Troedel and Co., and was afterwards in the lithographic rooms of Messrs. Sands and M'Dougall and Messrs. E. Whitehead and Co. For about 16 years past he was in the railway service as lithographic printer supervising the reproduction of the plans and sections required by both branches of the engineering staff. It was through his musical attainments and achievements, however, that he had become most widely and favorably known. The fact that he was brother of Mr. Armes Beaumont no doubt helped his popularity, but he had sterling ability of his own, and though his connection with music had not the same brilliant publicity as attached to the roles of the popular operatic artist, his long and diligent devotion to the art might be favorably compared to that of many professionals ...

Death of Mr. D. Beaumont", North Melbourne Gazette (21 May 1897), 3 

On Monday last Mr. D. A. Beaumont passed away, after a long and painful illness. He was a native of Norfolk, England, having been born on August 1st, 1843. He came out to Victoria with his parents when only five years old. He was naturally a musician, and was connected with almost every musical society in Melbourne. He was one of the founders of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society and the Melbourne Liedertafel. He also took a lively interest in sacred music, and for some 17 years he was percentor [sic] in the Union Memorial Church North Melbourne, under the Rev. A. Kinnimont and the Rev. Dr. Gilchrist. For five years he led in the Rev. D. S. Eacharn's church, St Andrew's, Carlton, and for the past two years and a half at the Rev. A. Stewart's church, St John's, Essendon. He was for eight years conductor of the Victorian Railways Musical Society, and many were the social evenings of other associations at which this well-trained little choir gave its acceptable contributions to the harmony. The cause of his death was cancer, but it was not till some seven weeks ago that he took to his bed. Thee funeral took place last Wednesday, a large number of he leading townsmen being present to do his memory honor ... The Melbourne Liedertafel paid a touching tribute to the friendship they bore the deceased by gathering round and in the pouring rain singing two devotional hymns ... At the time of his death he was 53 years of age, and he leaves a sorrowing widow and eight children to mourn their sad loss.


Tenor vocalist

Born ? 1840; baptised Ingham, Norfolk, England, 15 December 1842
Arrived Melbourne, Port Phillip District, NSW (VIC) 1848
Active publicly by May 1860
Died North Melbourne, VIC, 17 July 1913 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier)


Vocalist (sister of the above)

BEAUMONT, Sarah Hannah (see Mrs. J. H. FOX)

Soprano vocalist (sister of the above)

BEAUMONT, Dan (brother of the above) = See separate entry



"Members of the newly-formed Fitzroy Musical Union ...", The Argus (11 May 1860), 5

... The tenor music was alloted [sic] to Mr. Beaumont, a young singer of no great style or power of voice, but with qualities which culture will develops into usefulness. He gave the air, "In native worth", with a good deal of sweetness and expression, and was most deservedly encored.

[News], The Argus (5 October 1860), 4

[News], The Argus (10 June 1862), 4

"TOPICS OF THE DAY", The South Australian Advertiser (22 July 1863), 2

"MR. ARMES BEAUMONT", The Advertiser (26 March 1903), 6 

The name of Mr. Armes Beaumont is a household word in Australasia. Gifted with a beautiful natural voice, a fine presence, and a magnificent speaking organ, he has charmed audiences wherever he has travelled on this continent and elsewhere. No Australian artist has even been more popular than the great tenor, both on and off the stage, and in the midst of a busy life he was always able to find time to give his services in the cause of charity. Mr. Beaumont is retiring from an active professional career, and already he has given a farewell concert in Melbourne, at which Madame Melba assisted. It was an artistic and financial success, and to-night he will appear in Adelaide for the last time.

Mr. Beaumont was born in Norwich on December 15, 1840; so that he is well on to 63 years of age. He arrived in Melbourne when he was 8 years old, and his first experience in music was as a choir boy in the Wesleyan Chapel in Brunswick-street, Fitzroy. He was then 15 years old, and he possessed an alto voice of such sympathetic quality that it attracted attention at once. "The choirmaster," said Mr. Beaumont, "gave me some musical instruction, and under his direction I sang my first solo. It was "O, thou that, tellest good tidings to Zion." In the following year I joined the Melbourne Philharmonic Society, being still an alto, and I was selected by the conductor to sing a solo in one of Handel's works. While at rehearsal my voice broke. I croaked and spluttered to such an extent that my appearance was impossible. It was a grievous disappointment to a boy, I assure you. I had to rest then for nearly two years. When my voice returned, and it being of tenor quality, I was chosen to sing the part of Uriel in Haydn's "Creation." That was at Fitzroy in 1860. It was my debut in oratorio. Next year the Musical Union, of which I was a member, arranged with Mr. Lyster, the opera manager at that time, to give a performance of "The Messiah" in the Theatre Royal, in which Mr. Squires, the favorite tenor, was to have taken part. He was indisposed, and could not sing. I happened to be seated in the dress circle that night with Miss Octavia Hamilton waiting for the performance to begin. The secretary of the union approached the footlights, and stated to the audience that in the absence of Mr. Squires a young gentleman named Mr. Beaumont would take his place. I did so. Mr. Fred Lyster, brother of the manager, a clever musician, was present, and hearing my voice he offered to teach me with a view to my appearance on the stage. I declined at first, on the ground that as I was in business in Melbourne I had no predilections that way. This was in 1861.

"I continued my studies with Mr. Lyster, and I am glad to say that my first professional engagement was in Adelaide in 1862. I sang at White's Rooms, with Poussard and Douay, the instrumentalists, with whom I journeyed over many parts of South Australia, and subsequently I toured New Zealand with them. I arrived in Sydney at the close of the tour, and there I met Mr. Fred. Lyster again. By this time I had given up my business in Melbourne, and, acting under the advice of Mr. Lyster, I made up my mind for a career on the stage. He taught me singing and stage business generally, and I made my opening appearance in the "Bohemian Girl," in which I took the part of Thaddeus. That was in November, 1863, in Sydney. In March, 1864, I appeared in Melbourne as Tonio in "The Daughter of the Regiment." Thence until 1866 I was principal tenor in many operas, and in that year I had the honor to be associated with Madame Fanny Simonson in Meyerbeer's "L'Africaine." The opera was a splendid success, and it was played on alternate nights, with Madame Lucy Escot and Mr. Squires as the other two principals. In 1867 I met with the unfortunate accident which deprived me of my sight, and concerning which there is no need to say anything. In 1868 I went with a company to San Francisco, and it was a financial failure. I was retained for an engagement in America, and returning to Australia in 1870 I was engaged in the English and Italian opera companies which were formed by Mr. W. S. Lyster. I was associated with him in every opera produced under his direction until his death in 1880. After Mr. Lyster's death I took an engagement with Mr. J. C. Williamson for a year, and then with Messrs. Rignold and Allison, until 1884, when I retired from the stage. Since then I haye devoted my time to singing in concerts and oratorio.

"I suppose I must have sung in 46 operas and nearly 30 oratorios in my time in all parts of Australia. I sand in Adelaide with Charles Santley in 1889, and when Madame Albani appeared in Adelaide I took the tenor part in the "Messiah." I have also appeared at many concerts in your city, and I am glad to be amongst your people again."


"ARMES BEAUMONT. GREAT TENOR DEAD", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 July 1913), 10 

Bibliography and resources:

Kenneth Hince, "Beaumont, Edward Armes (1842-1913)", Australian dictionary of biography 3 (1969)

"Beaumont, Edward Armes", Obituaries Australia:

BEAUMONT, George Frederick (George Frederick BAUMONT; Mr. G. F. BEAUMONT)

Musician, teacher, pianist, organist, vocalist, composer

Born Birmingham, England, 1844
Active Sydney, NSW, by 1867
Active Mudgee, NSW, by 1868
Died Mudgee, NSW, 21 September 1873, aged 29 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

BECKER, Franz Louis Leopold, R.A.M.

Professor of Music, pianist, organist, composer

Born Germany, c.1840
Active Newcastle, NSW, by 1870
Died Bundaberg, QLD, 27 July 1897 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Summary (family history):

BECKER Franz Louis Leopold, R.A.M., son of Prof. Louis BECKER, Kapellmeister to the King of Hanover; born c.1840 Germany; was a "welcome visitor to the palace, joining the younger branches in duets etc. He was a student at the Leipzig conservatorium for 6 years, (the highest musical college in the world) and passed with grand eclat after his performance before 5000 auditors. His sound knowledge of theory music could not be surpassed on this side of the globe"; conducted Madame Agatha States Opera Co. through America, California and Chile and also Madame Anna Bishop's grand concerts ...


[Advertisement], The Newcastle Chronicle (20 January 1870), 1

[Advertisement], The Newcastle Chronicle (10 February 1870), 1

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (25 October 1870), 1

"Myrtle Villa Polka", The Newcastle Chronicle (22 January 1876), 4

"Herr Franz Becker of Newcastle ...", Evening News (28 March 1876), 2

"Musical Composition", The Newcastle Chronicle (1 April 1876), 4

[Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (23 June 1883), 8

"New Music", Queensland Figaro and Punch (22 August 1885), 22

"New Music", Queensland Figaro and Punch (11 May 1889), 10s

"New Music", Evening News (8 January 1897), 3

"NEW MUSIC", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 January 1897), 4

"NEW MUSIC", Australian Town and Country Journal (16 January 1897), 44

"WOMAN'S COLUMN", Freeman's Journal (16 January 1897), 10

[News], Morning Bulletin (31 July 1897), 5

... Herr Becker, who was born in Hanover in 1840, came to the colonies in the middle of the seventies, having previously travelled almost in every part of the globe, and spent several years in Chile. From Melbourne he came up to Charters Towers, where he remained for six years, and eventually came to Bundaberg with his wife and her family in 1883. With the exception of a few months, when he removed to Sydney, he lived continuously in this town, giving instructions in music. As a brilliant pianist he had no equal in this district, and in musical circles his presence will be greatly missed. A widow and four children, ranging in age from thirteen to four years, are left to mourn their irreparable loss.

"Local and General News", The Bundaberg Mail and Burnett Advertiser (30 July 1897), 2 

[Probate], The Brisbane Courier (21 August 1897), 10

"EARLY MUSIC ON CHARTERS TOWERS", The Northern Miner (30 May 1945), 8

Musical works:

Love's philosophy (ballad; poetry by Shelley; music by Franz Becker; Sung by Madame Anna Bishop) (Sydney: Elvy & Co.; Melbourne: W. H. Glen, [? 1870])

The W.K.L., or, Myrtle Villa polka (composed for the pianoforte by Franz Becker) (West Maitland: H. Paskins, [1876])

The merry brewer of Bundaberg (morceau de danse; dedicated to Gustav Steindl, brewer, of Bundaberg) (Sydney/Brisbane: W. H. Paling, [1897])

BECKER, Ludwig

Transcriber of Indigenous songs, ? birdsongs, artist, naturalist

Born near Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 5 September 1808
Arrived Launceston, TAS, 10 March 1851
Died Bullo Rover, QLD, 29 April 1861 (NLA persistent identifier)


According to (Lady) Caroline Denison, with whom Becker stayed:

... he is one of those universal geniuses who can do anything ... a very good naturalist, geologist ... draws and plays and sings, conjures and ventriloquises and imitates the notes of birds so accurately/

He wrote and illustrated his own Ein Australisch Lied (Melbourne, 1860) ("to be sung when one is well, to the tune: "Mannheim eine schöne Stadt ...").

Becker joined Burke's exploring expedition, leaving Melbourne on 20 August 1860, and in a despatch sent back from Menindee to the Royal Society of Victoria on 27 November, he included 2 Indigenous songs, YAAM-SONG (CORROBOREE SONG) (translation), and ANARUKA-SONG (CREEK-SONG) (text, music, translation). He died with his colleagues William Purcell and Charles Stone at the expedition's camp on the western bank of Koorliatto Waterhole, Bulloo River in 1861.

See main entry on Becker's Indigenous song transcriptions: 


"ROYAL SOCIETY OF VICTORIA", The Argus (11 December 1860), 5

"FUNERAL HONOURS BY AN EYE-WITNESS", The Sydney Morning Herald (12 February 1863), 5

Bibliography and resources:

Marjorie J. Tippling, "Becker, Ludwig (1808-1861)", Australian dictionary of biography 3 (1969)

"Ludwig Becker (explorer)", Wikipedia

"Ludwig Becker", Design & Art Australia Online (DAAO)

BECKER, Richard (Carl Richard)

Violinist, teacher of violin (Conservatoire of Music, Stettin, Germany), conductor

Born ? Stettin, Germany
Active Yea, VIC, by 1891 to Manly, 1935 or later 



Died Manly, NSW, 26 December 1935, aged 59


"CORRESPONDENCE", Alexandra and Yea Standard (11 September 1891), 2

[Advertisement], Yea Chronicle (8 June 1893), 2

"MARRIAGES", The Argus (23 December 1895), 1

"YEA ORCHESTRA CONCERT", Yea Chronicle (27 May 1897), 2

"SOCIAL ITEMS", Evening News (22 November 1902), 3s

"CLARENCE TOWN", The Maitland Mercury (8 December 1909), 6

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (27 December 1935), 6



BECKFORD, Thomas Leaman

Organist, amateur musician, violoncello player, cellist, merchant, warehouseman

Born ? UK, c. 1785
Active Launceston, VDL (TAS) by 1834
Died Launceston, TAS, 12 November 1852, aged 67 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Beckford, "an old and highly esteemed fellow colonist" was reduced to the "state of absolute penury" by an investment disaster in 1842. He was one of the orchestra for John and Eliza Bushelle's Launceston concert in March 1843. He gave a subscription concert with Joseph Megson in November 1844. Himself deputising in the position, Beckford wrote a letter to the press in July 1845 concerning Joseph Megson's appointment as organist at St. John's, mentioning also Mrs. Nairn, Edmund Leffler, and Francis Howson senior. At Mrs. Chester's concert in September 1848:

A celebrated Sinfonia by Haydn was performed by a portion of the band, assisted by Mr. Beckford, who lent the music for the occasion. Mr. Bishop the master of the Band, and Mr. Howson, Senr., displayed much ability in this portion of the entertainment.


[Advertisement], The Independent [Launceston] (7 June 1834), 2 

Piano Forte tuning. IN consequence of repeated solicitations to TUNE PIANO FORTES, I beg to inform the Gentry of Launceston, that I shall be happy to attend Professionally to their calls. T. L. BECKFORD. Rosewyn, Pleasant Hills, 3rd June, 1834.

[News], The Hobart Town Courier (16 January 1835), 2

The concert at the British Hotel on Wednesday evening was most respectably attended, and the gentlemen amateurs deserve much praise for their exertions to gratify the company, Mrs. Davis presided at the piano-forte, and was very ably supported by Messrs. Munce, jun. (on the violin), Curzon (German flute), and Beckford (violincello). Ibid. [= Launceston Independent]

[Advertisement], Launceston Advertiser (21 April 1842), 2

Public Meeting. SEVERAL Gentlemen, desirous to relieve Mr. Beckford, an old and highly esteemed fellow colonist, from the state of absolute penury to which he is reduced by the failure of Mr. Richard Scott, invite their fellow townsmen and others to meet them at the Commercial and Agricultural Exchange in Charles-street, on Friday afternoon, the 22nd instant, at one o'clock, to consider the best means to carry the object into effect. April 16.

[Advertisement], Launceston Advertiser (27 May 1842), 2

[Advertisement], Launceston Advertiser (30 March 1843), 1

[Advertisement], The Cornwell Chronicle (20 November 1844), 2

"ORGANIST", Launceston Examiner (12 July 1845), 3

"ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE", The Cornwall Chronicle (19 July 1845), 9

"SERMONS AT ST. JOHN'S AND TRINITY", The Cornwall Chronicle (21 June 1848), 2

We may just observe, that the chanting and singing at St. John's was very good, and Mr. Beckford, the Organist, deserves praise for his attention to this portion of the Church service. The Miserere was tastefully performed.

"Mrs. Chester's Concert", The Cornwall Chronicle (13 September 1848), 19

"Church Music", The Cornwall Chronicle (2 February 1850), 77

A short time since, we had occasion to notice the improvement that was being made with respect to the Choir of St. John's Church, which is composed of young persons (male and female) who have devoted nearly all their spare time gratuitously, in promoting the advancement of the psalmody of the Church. Since then, the improvement made in the singing, has been the theme of universal approbation, and for which the congregation are, in a great measure indebted to our old respected townsman Mr. Beckford, who has for nearly the last four years presided at the organ, during which time, he has been untiring in his endeavours to instruct the young Choristers under his superintendence; several favorite anthems, a beautiful sanctus, and some other sacred pieces, have been introduced by Mr. Beckford, which have given the utmost satisfaction.

"The late Mr. Beckford", The Cornwall Chronicle (24 November 1852), 780

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (24 November 1852), 2

"DEATHS", Launceston Examiner (5 March 1868), 4

"REMINISCENCES. [BY. B]", Launceston Examiner (12 November 1892), 2

BEDFORD, Virginia Mary (Miss BEDFORD; "V. M. B."; Mrs. FITZSIMMONS)

Amateur musician, composer

Born Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 15 February 1838
Active Hobart, TAS, 1855-59


Baptisms solemnized in the parish of St. David, Hobart Town ... in the year 1838; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1086000; RGD32/1/2/ no 8318$init=RGD32-1-2-p426j2k 

[Advertisement], The Tasmanian Daily News (4 July 1855), 4 

... Just published, by Huxtable and Deakin ... "The Forget me Not Waltz," by V. M. B. Price 1s. ...

"MARRIAGES", The Hobart Town Mercury (12 July 1859), 2

June 5 - At St. David's Cathedral by the Ven. Archdeacon, Davies, Arthur F. Fitzsimons, Esq., 40th Regt., to Virginia, eldest daughter of the Hon. E. S. P. Bedford, Esq., M.L.C. of Hawthorden, Hobart Town.

Marriage register has groom's name as "Walter Frederick Fitzsimmons", but he signed himself "A. F. Fitzsimmons"

Musical work:

The forget me not waltz ("Affectionately dedicated to Mrs. Bedford") (Hobart Town: Huxtable and Deakin, [185-?]) 

Bibliography and resources:

Peter Bolger, "Bedford, Edward Samuel (1809-1876)", Australian dictionary of biography 3 (1969)

BEE, Walter John

Singing master, organist, school teacher

Active Victoria, by 1875


[News], The Record and Emerald Hill and Sandridge Advertiser (23 July 1875), 3

The children's service of sacred song "Joseph" was repeated last Monday evening in the Wesleyan Church, Cecil-street, at the request of several of those who had the pleasure of hearing it on the previous occasion. There was a very fair audience, and the various pieces of the interesting service were gone through in a very creditable manner. Mr. Bee acted as conductor, Mr. Ford performed on the organ, and Mr. Wright as reader.

"MARRIAGES", Illustrated Australian News (19 January 1876), 14

BEE - CARNE. - On the 5th inst., at the Wesleyan Church, Emerald-hill, by the Rev. Thomas Williams, Mr. Walter John Bee, singing master and organist, of Sandhurst, and eldest son of Mr. John Bee, of Emerald-hill, to Minnie, only daughter of Mr. P. Carne, of Emerald-hill.

"LITTLE RIVER", The Bacchus Marsh Express (4 October 1879), 3

"A MODEL SCHOOL TEACHER", Bendigo Advertiser (18 April 1882), 2

The inquiry into the charges recently brought against Mr. W. J. Bee, late head teacher of the Little River State-school (1,961), was held on Saturday before the board appointed for the purpose ... On the three principal charges - brutal treatment of the children, indelicate questions to the female pupils when asking out, and locking the school door and preventing the children of Mr. Davis, the correspondent of board of advice No. 266, from having their attendance recorded - the evidence given was simply a corroboration of that taken by Mr. A. C. Curlewis, the district inspector, on the 13th ult., when the charges were first investigated. The report of the board will probably be made known during the week. Mr. Bee was a teacher of singing in the Sandhurst State schools for some time previous to being removed to the Geelong district.

BEER, Bernard

Musiclover, broker

Born Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, c. 1813
Active Sydney, NSW, by 1854
Died Sydney, NSW, September 1875, aged 62 years


Beer was perhaps related to the Bernard Beer who was father of the English composer John Barnett (1802-1890), of The mountain sylph fame, and a cousin of Giacomo Meyerbeer.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (31 January 1854), 1

"MEYERBEER. To the Editor", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 July 1864), 12

Sir, - May I beg the favour of your causing the insertion of the few following words in your next issue. The mail has just brought to us the intelligence of the death of the great composer, Meyerbeer, the author of the operas "Les Huguenots" and "Le Prophète," so successfully presented to us last season, by Mr. Lyster's company. His death is much deplored, not only in musical circles, but in the whole of England, Germany, and France, where he was known not only as one of the great composers, but as a sterling good man - indeed, no one had reason to say the slightest word against him. As a great admirer of the compositions of the deceased, and a personal friend of many years standing, I am anxious to honour his memory in some way, and I think that a fitting time has now arrived for doing so. What I venture to propose is, that a grand concert be given, chiefly from the repertoire of the great composer, to be called the "Meyerbeer Memorial Concert," and the proceeds handed over to the committee for the relief of the sufferers by the late calamitous floods ... From my personal knowledge of Meyerbeer, I knew him to be possessed of much charity, and nothing would have afforded him more pain than to know that any friend was in distress while he had the means of relieving him ... I am, Sir, your obedient servant, BERNARD BEER.

"MEYERBEER. To the Editor", The Sydney Morning Herald (23 July 1864), 6

SIR. - In your issue of the 21st Instant, I noticed a letter written by a Bernard Beer, relating to the great composer Meyerbeer's decease. I beg to state that I, being one of the musical world, entirely acquiesce in his views; it only remains, therefore, for the rest of the music lovers to take up this subject. I would also like to know, by the medium of your journal, whether Bernard Beer is in any way related to Meyerbeer. I remain, Sir, yours truly, ARS MUSICAE Sydney, July 22.

"DEATHS", Australian Town and Country Journal (18 September 1875), 33 

? "ENEMY ORIGIN", Truth (8 June 1918), 6


Violinist, composer, teacher of music, piano tuner

Active Bendigo, VIC, by 1865


"BOROUGH POLICE COURT", Bendigo Advertiser (1 April 1865), 1 supplement 

CIVIL CASES. Verdicts by default ... Behdan v. Gollmick, L1 2s 6d, use and occupation ...

"COMPLIMENTARY CONCERT TO MRS. ELLIS", Bendigo Advertiser (5 October 1867), 2

... Mrs. Fatherley presided at the organ during the performance of these selections from the oratorio, Herr Gollmick acting as conductor, Mr. Behdau as first violin, Mr. Hallas with the cornet, and Mr. Warden as double bass.

"COMPLIMENTARY CONCERT TO NORTHCOTT'S BAND", Bendigo Advertiser (15 November 1867), 2

... of all the performances of the evening commend us to the one on a single stringed violin by Mr. Behdan, accompanied on the piano by Mrs. Fatherley. It was rapturously applauded, and another piece of his own composition given with like effect ... After a song by Mr. Hobbs, who does not do his voice justice, another treat followed in a duet - Mr. Behdan on his one-stringed violin, and Herr Gollmick on the piano ...

[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (11 May 1869), 1 

MR. BEHDAN, Tuner of the Pianoforte and Harmonium; And Teacher of Music in general. VICTORIA HOTEL, WAHGUNYAH.

BELBIN, William

Amateur bass vocalist, politician

Born Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 7 February 1825; baptised 15 March 1826 (son of James and Elizabeth BELBIN)
Died Sydney, NSW, 26 June 1892, aged 66



Baptisms solemnized in the parish of Hobart Town ... 1826; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1079644; RGD32/1/1/ no 2007$init=RGD32-1-1-p111j2k 

"THE ORATORIO", The Courier (23 May 1846), 3

... The choruses were well sustained, and the solos were executed with taste and skill, by Madame Gautrot, Mr. McGregor, Mr. Allen, and Mr. Belbin. The latter, who made his public debut on this occasion, will, with the confidence that longer practice will impart, become a valuable acquisition to the Society ...

"THE CHORAL SOCIETY", The Courier (5 December 1846), 2

... The programme consisted of selections from "Judas Maccabeus," "Israel in Egypt," Glover's "Song of Hope," and a splendid ode, "The transient and the Eternal," of Andreas Romberg. Of these selections the most difficult was sung by Messrs. Allen and Belbin. Mrs. Elliott and Miss Duly. The conductor of the orchestra was Mr. Curtis, and the leader Mr. Russell ...

"CHORAL SOCIETY", Colonial Times (17 November 1848), 2

The seventeenth oratorio of this most useful Society took place on Tuesday evening last, and it afforded a rich musical treat to a crowded and highly respectable audience, among whom we noticed most of the fashionable and leading members of our community, plentifully sprinkled with the "bright eyes and sunny smiles." The music selected for the performance was from Haydn's Oratorio, many parts of which were given with much taste and feeling, and with exquisite effect. The air "With verdure clad," by Miss Duly and "On mighty pens," by Miss Callow, elicited much and well deserved applause; and the solo parts in the terzetto, "Most beautiful appear," were exceedingly well given by Miss Duly and Messrs. Allen and Belbin. The air "Now Heaven in fullest glory," by Mr. Belbin, "In native worth," by Mr. Allen - and the singing of Miss Edwards in the trio "On thee each living soul awaits," afforded much pleasure. The duett and chorus, "By thee with bliss," was perhaps the gem of the evening, and gave unqualified satisfaction. As many of the passages in this oratorio are more than usually difficult, especially to young musicians, too much praise cannot be awarded to the performers. The orchestra was managed by the instrumentalists with their accustomed skill, and was most effectively augmented by some of the fine Band of the 99th Regiment. Upon the whole we have rarely passed a more delightful evening.

[Advertisement], The Courier (21 July 1849), 3

"Deaths", The Sydney Morning Herald (28 June 1892), 1

"MR. WILLIAM BELBIN", Launceston Examiner (28 June 1892), 3

A cablegram was received to-day announcing the death of Mr William Belbin, late member for South Hobart, at Sydney, on Sunday last, in the 67th year of his age. The deceased was a native of the colony, having been born in 1825. He was son of the late Mr James Belbin (one of the Norfolkers of 1808), who arrived in Hobart in the early twenties, and took up a location in Lower Collins-street. The deceased was alderman of the city of Hobart from 1867 to 1873, 1881 to 1886, Mayor 1883-84, also member of the Central Board of Health. He was gazetted to the commission of the peace in 1872, and entered into partner ship with his brother-in-law, the late Mr. Charley Dowdell, in 1852, as timber merchants and ship-owners. During the term of partnership, which lasted till 1875, such well-known vessels as the Daniel, Watson, Swordfish, Eucalyptus, Crishna, Southern Cross, and Chanticleer sailed under their house flag. After the dissolution of the partnership the business was carried on under the name of Belbin and Co. until twelve months since, when the deceased's son, Mr F. W. Belbin, took it over. The late Mr Belbin was twice married, and leaves 11 children. He was elected to Parliament in 1871, and continued to represent South Hobart until the dissolution of Parliament last year, when he did not seek re-election. The deceased was looked upon as a sound business man, and his death severs another link in the chain of the old shipping identities of the colony.

"ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ORPHEUS CLUB", The Mercury (26 July 1892), 4 

... "Your committee have much pleasure in submitting their report and balance sheet for 1891-92, the 16th year of the club's existence, and to congratulate the members upon the fact that it has been the most successful year since its inception, having advanced both in the class of music performed and in the favour of the public. Your committee have to regret the death of Mr. W. Belbin, the late president, he having held that position for a period extending over 14 years, and who did so much to promote the interests and welfare of the club. The roll-book of the club contains the names of 120 non-performing members, 33 performing members, and 11 honorary members - in all 164 members." The report then detailed the various concerts given by the club, and the concerts at which they had assisted. "Your committee desire again to express their appreciation of the work done by the conductor, Mr. Eltham ..." ...


Hobart Town Choral Society (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Hobart Orpheus Club (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

BELFIELD, Francis (Francis O'BRIEN; alias Francis BELFIELD; Mr. BELFIELD)

Comic vocalist, songwriter, playwright, comedian, actor, tailor

Born Ireland, c. 1819/22
Active NSW, by 1846
Died Redfern, NSW, 13 April 1883, aged 61 (TROVE tagged by Austraharmony)


"SINGLETON", The Maitland Mercury (17 June 1846), 2

"SINGLETON. THE THEATRE", The Maitland Mercury (17 April 1847), 2

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

"LITERARY", The Argus (16 February 1849), 2

[Advertisement], The Argus (4 July 1850), 3

QUEEN'S THEATRE. LAST NIGHT OF THE SEASON. BENEFIT OF MR. MORTON KING, MONDAY EVENING, 8TH JULY, 1850 ... New Song, (written by Mr. Belfield and the music composed by Mr. Megson,) Mr. Young. Comic Song, Written and to be sung by Mr. Belfield ...

"RETRIBUTION, OR THE DRUNKARD'S CURSE", Bell's Life in Sydney (21 June 1851), 2

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (27 July 1852), 2

"NEW INSOLVENTS", The Argus (30 September 1861), 6

Francis Belfield, late of Redbank, near Avoca, comedian, now a prisoner in Her Majesty's Gaol, Inglewood. Causes of insolvency - Losses in theatrical speculations, pressure of creditors, and imprisonment. Assets, £27; liabilities, £412 4s. 6d.; deficiency, £385 4s. 6d.

"Deaths", The Sydney Morning Herald (14 April 1883), 1

BELFIELD. - April 13, at the residence of his son-in-law, Mr. John Brown, 42, Burnett-street, Redfern, Francis Belfield, for many years connected with the theatrical profession in Victoria and Sydney, greatly respected by all who knew him, aged 61 years.

"THE LATE MR. F. BELFIELD", Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (15 May 1883), 3 

Extant plays:

Retribution; or, The drunkard's curse (a domestic drama in two acts) (Melbourne: printed at the Daily News office, 1849) 

The rebel chief (a play in three acts by Francis Belfield; this drama was first produced December 14th, 1849, at the Queen's Theatre, Melbourne) (Melbourne: William Clarke, Printer, Morning Herald office, 1850)

BELL, Mrs. (Mrs. BELL; ? Sarah ALEXANDER; Mrs. Thomas BELL)

Teacher of the pianoforte

? Born Ireland, c. 1803
? Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 2 May 1832 (per Cleopatra, from Dublin, 4 December 1831)
? Arrived Sydney, NSW, 9 May 1832 (per Harlequin, from Hobart Town)
Active Sydney, NSW, 1833; ? 1837
? Died Parramatta, NSW, 12 June 1853, aged 50


[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (9 September 1833), 2 

Piano Forte Instruction.
MRS. BELL has leisure to instruct a few more Pupils on the PIANO FORTE at their residences.
Any commands left at Mr. Ellard's Musical Warehouse, will be attended to.
September 7, 1833.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (18 December 1837), 1 

A NEW PIANOFORTE, only a few months in use. It is on the newest principle, including Metallic Plate, &c. Apply to Mrs. Bell, Female Factory, Parramatta.

"PARRAMATTA. POLICE COURT", The Australian (17 October 1843), 3 

? Bibliography and resources:

Sue Bell, "Cheering intelligence of the state of the factory", Descent 47/2 (June 20170, 69-77;dn=900362247927418;res=IELAPA (PAYWALL)

Sarah Bell (1803-1853), St. John's cemetery project, Parramatta 

BELL, Joanna Ocheltrie (Joanna Ocheltrie [?]; Mrs. William BELL)

Teacher, teacher of music

Arrived Sydney, NSW, 3 December 1837 (per Portland, from Greenock, Scotland, 24 July)
Died Sydney, NSW, 17 April 1840

BELL, Jessie Ochiltree (Jessie Ochiltree BELL; Mrs. John McLENNAN)

Teacher, music teacher

Arrived Sydney, NSW, 3 December 1837 (per Portland, from Greenock, Scotland, 24 July)
Married John McLENNAN, Wollongong, NSW, 8 December 1842
Died Brunswick, VIC, 23 May 1886, aged 67


"THE PORTLAND", The Colonist (14 December 1837), 6 

In the list of cabin-passengers per the ship Portland, published in our last number, the names of Mr. and Mrs. Bell and their family were accidentally omitted. Mrs. B. has come out to establish a ladies' boarding school in the town of Sydney, for which, we are happy to learn, she is well qualified, having acted as governess for many years in several families of the highest respectability. Mr. B. has taught a respectable school in Scotland, and proposes to devote himself to the education of Mrs. B.'s pupils in English, writing, and accounts - the necessary parts of female education, which are, nevertheless, so frequently neglected in ladies' seminaries - leaving the other branches, such as needle-work, music, &c. &c., to his wife and daughters. We are decidedly of opinion, that such a plan of procedure will answer well in this colony. For our own part, we have had occasion to see young ladies from certain colonial boarding schools of high character, who could do little else than thrum all day long at a pianoforte. Surely such young ladies have been paying a great deal too dear for their whistle.

[Advertisement], The Colonist (28 December 1837), 4 

FALCON COTTAGE. MR. AND MRS. BELL, from Edinburgh, beg to intimate to the Public of New South Wales, that they are about to open an Estiblishment for the Board and Education of a limited number of Young Ladies . . .

"MRS. BELL'S BOARDING SCHOOL", The Colonist (30 June 1838), 3 

[Advertisement], The Colonist (29 December 1838), 4 

"MRS. BELL'S SEMINARY", The Colonist (2 January 1839), 3 

THE annual examination of the pupils in Mrs. Bell's seminary for young ladies, Falcon Cottage, Castlereagh Street south, was held on the evening of Friday se'nnight, previous to the Christmas holidays. The Rev. Dr. Lang, the Rev. Mr. McIntyre, and the Rev. Mr. Dugall were present, with a few of the friends of the pupils, who, including both day scholars and boarders, numbered about thirty . . . The proficiency of some of the elder pupils in music, which is taught by Mrs. Bell, was very considerable, taking into account the time they had been studying that elegant accomplishment . . .

"DIED", The Colonist (22 April 1840), 2 

At Falcon Cottage, Castlereagh-street, on the 17th instant, Mrs. Joanna Ocheltrie, wife of Mr. William Bell, late of Edinburgh, after a severe illness; much lamented by a numerous circle of friends, and by all who enjoyed her acquaintance.

"MARRIED", The Colonial Observer (14 December 1842), 5 

At Woodville, near Wollongong, Illawarra, on the 8th instant, by the Rev. Cunningham Atchison, Mr. John McLennan of Inverness, Scotland, to Miss Jessie Ochiltree, eldest daughter of Mr. William Bell, late of Edinburgh.

"DIED", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 March 1846), 3 

On the 7th instant, at the residence of his son-in-law (Mr. John McLennan), Elizabeth-street, Mr. William Bell, many years teacher in Edinburgh, Scotland, and for the last eight years in Sydney, aged 62 years.

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (3 February 1849), 3 

"DEATHS", The Australasian (29 May 1886), 3 supplement 


Surgeon and amateur singer

Born 1764
Australia and Tasmania, 1801-1802 (on the Géographe)
Died 1835

See main entry in chronicle: 



On 31 January 1802, Péron and Beleffin encountered a group of Bruny Island women and exchange of songs (between Bellefin and the woman later identified as Arra-maïda) and dances took place. The account of the incident first appeared in Péron 1807, was published in English in Péron 1809. Excerpts also later appeared in Bonwick 1870 (newly translated from Péron 1807), Bonwick 1884, and Fenton 1884 (abridged from Bonwick 1870).

On the 31st of January [1802], early in the morning, I landed on the isle Bruny. A boat from the Naturalist and our longboat, had brought a considerable number of people on shore on this island, either to fish or to get wood for the ships ... and without pursuing the natives, which the swiftness of foot peculiar to these people would have made hopeless, we contented ourselves with calling to them, shewing them several different things as presents, and at the same time waving our handkerchiefs. At these demonstrations of friendship they hesitated an instant, and then stopped, as if to wait for us. We now discovered that they were women, and that there was not a single male among the party. We were advancing nearer, when one of the oldest of them leaving her companions a few steps in the rear, made signs to us to stay where we were, and to sit down, calling aloud to us médi, médi (sit down, sit down); she seemed also to desire us to lay down our arms, of which they seemed to be in some fear. These preliminaries being settled, the women squatted on their heels, and from that moment seemed to shew all the natural vivacity of their character without the least reserve, and speaking altogether, asked us a number of questions, seeming often to criticise our appearance, and laugh heartily at our expence, making a thousand odd gestures and contortions. M. Bellefin began to sing, at the same time using a great deal of action; the women immediately kept silence, observing with as much attention the motions of M. Bellefin as they seemed to give to the sound of his voice. At the end of every verse some applauded him with loud acclamations, others laughed heartily, while the young women, being more timid, kept silence, and expressed their surprize and satisfaction only by their looks and gestures ... one only, among all her companions, had preserved any degree of confidence, with a lively and merry temper: this was she who had imposed the preliminary conditions which I mentioned above. After M. Bellefin had concluded his song, she began to mimic his action and the tone of his voice, in a very pleasant and truly original manner, which much diverted her companions: she next began herself to sing, with such a rapidity of expression, that it would be very difficult to give any idea of music, such as it was, so different from the general principles of any European music. Their tunes seem entirely to accord with their language; for these people speak with such quickness and volubility, that it is impossible, as we shall shew hereafter, to distinguish their pronunciation with any degree of precision: it is a sort of rolling sound, for which our European languages do not furnish any expression of comparison or analogy. Excited by the sound of her own voice, which we did not fail to applaud with much warmth, and doubtless wishing to obtain our admiration in other respects, our jovial Diemenese began to dance, and to throw herself into divers attitudes, some of which might be thought very indecent, if in this state of society, men were not still absolutely strangers to all the delicacy of sentiment and conduct, which among us is only the consequence of complete civilization. While all this was passing, I employed myself in minuting all the particulars which I have here given, and many other observations, which will with more propriety be produced at a future time. I was doubtless observed by this same woman, who had exerted herself so much to entertain us; for she had no sooner finished her dance, 12 than she came close to me, and taking from a bag made of rushes, such as I have before described, some charcoal which it contained, she crushed it between her hands, and with an obliging air she began to apply it on my face, as is customary in these regions. I willingly submitted to this obliging piece of caprice: M. Heirisson had the same complaisance, and was ornamented with a similar mask. We now seemed to be very much admired by these women; they appeared to regard us with a degree of sweet satisfaction and pleasure, and seemed to congratulate us on the acquisition of such an addition to our beauty. Thus it appears that the fairness of skin, of which Europeans are so vain, is an absolute defect, and a sort of deformity, which, in these distant climates, must yield the palm of beauty to the blackness of coal, or the colour of red ochre.

BELLONI, Allesandro

Musician, brass player

Arrived Melbourne, VIC, by June 1854


[Advertisement], The Argus (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 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 will preside at the piano . . .

BENEDICT, Henry Rowland

Vocalist, actor, baker, clerk, "detective" (nephew of Julius BENEDICT)

Born c. 1827
Active Geelong, VIC, by January 1855
Died Richmond, VIC, 28 October 1882, aged 55 (TROVE tagged)

On Benedict's quetionable role in the aftermath of the Kiama incident, see: 


"THE CROWN ASSEMBLY ROOMS, ASHBY", Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (2 February 1855), 2 

On Wednesday evening last, Mr. and Mrs. H. Rowland Benedict, of he Bowery Theatre, New York, and the Canadian theatres, appeared for the first time in the above rooms, and gave a concert, and dramatic readings from Shakepeare's tragedies of Othello and Richard the Third, Sheridan Knowles' beautiful play of the Hunchback, and John Howard Payne's comedy of Charles the Second. Mr. Benedict delighted the audience with various songs, and in the scenes from the above-mentioned plays evinced considerable theatrical talent. The character of Othello was portrayed by Mrs. Rowland Benedict, in a style that reflected much credit upon her study of the part. This lady possesses the qualifications necessary to make a good actress. Mr. Rowland Benedict's imitaions of certain well known London actors were deservedly applauded; and, in addition to what was announced in the programme, gave a representation of the style of Mr. Clarence Holt, in a manner that showed that he is possersed of considerable powers of imitation. The audience were very well pleased with the entertainment, and we trust this is not the last time that Mr. and Mrs. Benedict will appear before a Geelong audience.

"NEW INSOLVENTS", Colonial Times (5 July 1856), 3 

Harry Rowland Benedict, of Hobart Town, in Van Diemen's Land, baker. Insolvent in person. Mr. Tonkin, assignee. Debts, £174 4s. Assets, £55. Cause - Depression in trade, losses therein, and being sued by one of his creditors. First meeting, 23rd July, 1856.

"Deaths", Leader (4 November 1882), 39 

BENEDICT. - On the 28th October, after a long and painful illness, Harry Rowland, dearly beloved husband of Elizabeth Benedict, and nephew of Sir Jules Benedict, of Richmond, aged 55.


Bass vocalist ("The Celebrated Basso, from the Queen's Concerts, London")

Active Melbourne, VIC, October-December 1854
Died Melbourne, VIC, September 1904, aged 90 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Tenor vocalist

Active Melbourne, VIC, by 1858


"CONCERT", The Argus (13 October 1854), 5 

Mr. H. Benham gave a concert last evening, at the Mechanics' Institution. The attendance was good, and the various pieces of music performed appeared to give general satisfaction.

"EXHIBITION CONCERT", The Age (6 November 1854), 5 

Handel's oratorio, the Messiah, was performed by the Philharmonic Society, on Friday evening, in the Exhibition Building to a numerous, and highly respectable audience ... "Why do the nations," was sung by Mr. Benham, who appears to us to possess an extraordinary voice, of excellent quality, and almost unlimited power; and although he acquitted himself creditably in the above song, which was well selected, we hope to hear him again, with less nervousness, and we can answer for more effect ...

[Advertisement], The Age (25 November 1854), 1 

ASTLEY'S AMPHITHEATRE, Spring Street. Sole Lessee, Mr. George Lewis. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 1853. Grand Musical Entertainment, comprising all the available vocal and instrumental talent to be had in Melbourne ... Programme - Part I ... 5. Song, "The Wolf," [Shield] Mr. H. Benham (His first appearance.) ... Part II ... 17. Song, "When I view those Scenes so Charming," Mr. H. Benham ...

[Advertisement], The Argus (9 December 1854), 8 

ASTLEY'S AMPHITHEATRE", The Age (12 December 1854), 5 

... A Mr. Benham sung some takes-off of new chums in a comic style, but,-unfortunately for him, he succeeded to the boards which Barlow has only just left, and before his fame has died out. Another gentleman, who sung lusty bass, competed the role of performers for the night.

[Advertisement], Mount Alexander Mail (28 January 1857), 1 

CRITERION MUSIC HALL ... MR. BENHAM, The powerful basso, in his masterly readings of H. Russell's scenas ... Pianist and Musical Director, Mr. J. Moss ...

[Advertisement], Mount Alexander Mail (23 March 1857), 1 

Mr. Henry Benham, the basso-profundo of the above company, and lately one of the leading members of the chorus in the Bianchi opera company, takes a benefit at the Temperance Hall this evening. The programme is exceedingly attractive, and will no doubt secure a large audience. Mr. Benham is so well known as a pains-taking artist, and his connection with the late opera company having resulted in a very serious loss to himself, it is probable that on this occasion he will receive substantial acknowledgment of his merits.

[Advertisement], The Argus (13 February 1858), 8 

MR. H. BENHAM'S Select CONCERT and BALL, will be held at the Duke of Kent Assembly Rooms, La Trobe-street west, on Tuesday next, February 16th.

[Advertisement], The Age (16 November 1858), 1 

[Advertisement], Empire (22 May 1860), 1 

ITALIAN OPERA ... SIGNOR and SIGNORA BIANCHI, Who have been engaged at most enormous expense, will be ably supported by MISS OCTAVIA HAMILTON, Mons. E. COULON, Mr. FRANK HOWSON, Sig. H. GROSSI, Herr SCHLUTER, Mr. J. O. PIERCE, Mr. L. BENHAM, H. BENHAM, Mr. G. NATHANSON, Miss LACEY, Miss REYMOND, Mr. SPRINGHORN ...

"THE OPERA", The South Australian Advertiser (18 April 1861), 2 

The Theatre was crowded on Wednesday evening, the performances being for the benefit of Messrs. Benham Brothers. These gentlemen have not only formed the backbone of the chorus during the operatic season in Adelaide, but almost from the introduction of opera as a public entertainment in Australia they have proved useful members of what has always been a desideratum - a numerous and effective chorus ... and the performances concluded with selections from Maritana, Mr. L. Benham singing the tenor aria, "Let me like a soldier fall," in which he was encored ...

"MR. H. BENHAM'S CONCERT", The Argus (17 March 1885), 6 

A benefit concert was given in the Town hall last night, in favour of Mr. Henry Benham, who will be well remembered as having been connected with the chorus of all the best opera companies that have played here during the last 30 years, and it is due to Mr. Benham to acknowledge that during that long term he has always performed his duties punctually and with good effect ...

[News], Jewish Herald (9 September 1904), 9 

An old identity of the community passed away last week, at the advanced age of ninety, in the person of Mr. Henry Benham, who was well known in former years as a prominent chorister in all performances of Grand Opera in Melbourne. Mr. Benham's deep and resonant bass voice was frequently heard in the synagogue, unofficially accompanying the Chazan or the choir.

"OLD SYDNEY", Truth (5 May 1912), 11 

[Bridge-street, Sydney] ... In the mid-forties, there was a pianoforte maker at No. 9 named Daniel Benham. I am wondering if be were related to the brother Benham, who were in the chorus of Lyster's Opera Company, though I believe the family was Benjamin.

? Disambiguation:

"PERSONAL", The Advertiser (21 June 1912), 8 

The first Australian to play the part of Pooh-Bah in Gilbert and Sullivan's opera "The Mikado," Mr. Moses Benjamin Barrington (well known in the theatrical world as Henry Benham), died in Sydney on Monday morning (says the "Daily Telegraph"). Mr. Barrington, who was 55 years of age was suddenly taken ill on Sunday afternoon while away from home. He had been associated with the stage for over a quarter of a century, but he retired from active work 15 or 16 years ago ... Mr. Barrington had been identified with companies under the old theatrical firm of Williamson, Garner, and Musgrove, as well as with the Simonsen Opera, the Montague-Turner, the Emily Melville, the Nellie Stewart, and the Maggie Moore companies ...


Pianoforte maker, carpenter

Born England, c.1784
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 14 October 1833 (per Indianna, from London, 20 March)
Died Sydney, NSW, 17 October 1845, aged 61

BENHAM, Daniel

Pianoforte maker, repairer and tuner

Arrived Sydney, NSW, 14 October 1833 (per Indianna, from London, 20 March)
Departed Sydney, NSW, 21 April 1849 (per Spencer, for San Francisco)

BENHAM, Mr. and Mrs.

Piano dealers

Active Sydney, NSW, 1850s


"ARRIVALS", The Sydney Herald (17 October 1833), 2

[14 October ] ... From London & Hobart Town, same day, having sailed from the former port the 20th of March, and the latter the 7th instant, the ship Indianna, 399 tons, Captain Webster, with a cargo of merchandize. Passengers ... Mr. John Benham, cabinet-maker, Mrs. Benham, Jane, Charles, Henry, and Daniel Benham ...

"SUPREME COURT", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (9 July 1835), 3

... John Benham examined: I am a piano-forte maker, and have repaired the piano two or three months ago; it was a very good one, worth £68; an old instrument that stands the climate is as valuable as a new one, because a new one cannot be depended on.

"SUPREME COURT", The Sydney Herald (13 July 1835), 2

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (10 December 1835), 3

MR. JOHN BENHAM begs to acquaint the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Colony, that he has just commenced Business as a Piano Forte Maker and Repairer, at his Premises, No. 5, Liverpool-street, East, where he has on hand an assortment of Cottage Cabinet, &c. Piano Fortes, of Australian Materials and Manufacture ready for inspection, which he can satisfactorily recommend to those who may be disposed to encourage Colonial Workmanship.

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (1 August 1837), 3 

On Sunday morning a serious accident occurred to Mr. Henry Benham, Pianofortemaker, of York place, York-street, as he was sprinkling some gunpowder from his flask for the purpose of kindling a fire, the contents of the flask exploded in his hand. Mr. B. is lying in a dangerous state.

"LAW INTELLIGENCE. INSOLVENT COURT", The Sydney Herald (20 September 1841), 2 

Henry Benham, a young man respectably connected, applied for his discharge, but was opposed by Henry Panton, to whom he was indebted £3 for board and lodging ...

"DIED", The Sydney Morning Herald (20 October 1845), 3

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 October 1845), 1

NOTICE OF REMOVAL. THE Widow and Son of the late Mr. John Benham, Pianoforte-maker, in thanking their friends and the public for past favours, beg respectfully to acquaint them they have removed from their late residence in York-street, to the house in Bridge street, lately occupied by Mr. Barlow, where the business will for the future be carried on. Pianofortes carefully tuned and repaired.

"CLEARANCES", The Sydney Morning Herald (23 April 1849), 2

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

MR. DANIEL BENHAM, Pianoforte Maker, late of Bridge-street, being about to leave Sydney, begs to return his sincere thanks to those ladies and gentlemen to whom he is indebted for support during his stay in the colony, and to inform them that he has made an arrangement with Mr. W. J. Johnson to take the above business. Orders addressed to Mr. W. J. JOHNSON 86, Castlereagh-street South, will be punctually attended to. D. BENHAM. Witness - J. H. BENHAM.

[Advertisement, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 November 1852), 1 

IF this advertisement should catch the eye of Mr. Daniel Benham, who left this colony in the brig Spencer for California in March, 1848 [recte April 1849], and is supposed to be at present residing in Port Phillip, he is earnestly requested to communicate to his mother. Any Intelligence forwarded to the undersigned of the above-named Gentleman from friends in Melbourne will be considered a great favour, RICHARD UNDERWOOD, No. 2, Temore-terrace, Forbes-street, Woolloomoloo [sic].

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 January 1854), 1 

SQUARE PlANOFORTES to be LET on hire. Apply to Mr. BENHAM, 107, Castlereagh-street.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 April 1855), 6 

PIANOFORTES for Hire -Mrs. BENHAM, 170, Castlereagh-street South.


Upright pianoforte by John Benham, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, c.1835; Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney


Professor of music; teacher of pianoforte, harmonium, and concertina; composer

Active Melbourne, VIC by April 1868


[Advertisement], The Argus (24 April 1868), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (28 August 1869), 8

[News], The Argus (17 September 1869), 5

"POLICE ... FITZROY", The Argus (4 February 1870), 6

[Advertisement], The Argus (30 December 1870), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (3 January 1871), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (10 February 1872), 8

"MUSIC IN MELBOURNE. May 15", The North Eastern Ensign (17 May 1872), 2

... The performer who presided at the harmonium on this occasion was not that great composer, Henry Benjamin, who, it appears, is the official harmonium-grinder to this lodge ...

[News], The Argus (17 July 1872), 5

Mr. Harry Rickards was sued in the County Court yesterday by Mr. Henry Benjamin, professor of music, for £100, alleged damages for breach of contract, and money due for work and labour done. The plaintiffs case was that he had been engaged to give music lessons to the defendant and his wife, and it was agreed while he was so engaged that he should set to waltz music some of the airs which Mr. Rickards had sung in Melbourne, the music to be written by the plaintiff, and the profits to be divided between him and the defendant. When he had finished the waltz music Rickards approved of it, but afterwards said he would have nothing to do with it because plaintiff had put on it that it was arranged, and composed by Henry Benjamin, and he (defendant) thought it should have only been stated that it was arranged and compiled by Benjamin. He considered he had suffered great loss through the conduct of the defendant, because the airs which he composed the music from were very popular at the time, and it would have sold well. The music lessons he had given he charged £4 4s. for. He denied that when he played the waltz music to Rickards, the latter told him to take it home and boil it, and said he had made an application to join the Musical Association of Victoria, who had offered to accept him. For the defence, Mr. Rickards stated that one evening at Gorton's Hotel, the plaintiff said he would like to compose a waltz on his melodies, and it was agreed he should do so, the music to be published, if approved of by defendant, at the joint expense of the two. The waltz, which the plaintiff wrote was merely four of his (defendant's) melodies strung together, and as they were all in waltz time there was no composition needed. When plaintiff played the waltz to him he pulled him off the stool, told him he never heard such rubbish, and he had better take it home and boil it. Benjamin afterwards said he would publish the waltz, but defendant told him not to do so, as the songs it was compiled from were copyright. Benjamin had never given him music lessons, but he had given Mrs. Rickards some, and there was an amount owing to him, which would have been paid if an account had been rendered. Mr. Harcourt Lee, a member of the Victorian Musical Association, described the waltz as rubbish, which would not sell in Melbourne. He also said the association would not admit the plaintiff into it, and that plaintiff took one quarter's lessons from Herr Schott, and then set up as a professor of music. His Honour Judge Forbes returned a verdict for plaintiff for £4 4s with 10s. costs.

Musical works:

Wilt thou be mine (sung by J. A. Herman, the silvery tenor) (Melbourne: [? Author], [1869])

The knight's return (words by Chas. Bright; sung by T. Rainford) (Melbourne: [? Author], [1871/72])

Doing the block (music by Henry Benjamin; words by Marcus Clarke; sung by Harry Rickards) (Melbourne: Henry Benjamin, [1872]) 

BENNELONG (Woollarawarre Bennelong)

Elder, singer, songmaker

Born Eora country, c.1764
Died Sydney, NSW, 3 January 1813 (NLA persistent identifier)

See also especially checklist entry: 


Bibliography and resources:

Eleanor Dark, "Bennelong (1764-1813)", Australian dictionary of biography 1 (1966)

Keith Vincent Smith, "Bennelong among his people", Aboriginal History 33 (2009)

Kate Fullagar, "Bennelong in Britain", Aboriginal History 33 (2009)


Professor of music and dancing, pianist, vocalist, Irish vocalist

Born Ireland, ?
Active Maitland, NSW, by 1853
Active VIC, 1857 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (20 July 1853), 3 

MR. S. BENNER, PROFESSOR OF MUSIC AND DANCING, begs leave to announce to the inhabitants of East Maitland that he intends opening a SCHOOL, on THURSDAY, 28th, for the reception of Ladies and Gentlemen who may feel desirous of being instructed in the polite ART OF DANCING . . .

"STAR THEATRE", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (16 March 1857), 2 

Saturday evening last, was indeed a triumph for Miss Hamilton, and the profeiaional gentlemen engaged with her at the Star Theatre. Mr. Benner was eminently successful in his favorite Irish song, "Paddy Malone" . . .

[News], Bendigo Advertiser (27 May 1857), 3 

A NEW VOCALIST, not unknown to fame as a pleasing public singer on the goldfields, made his debut in Sandhurst on Monday evening, in the grand Concert Hall of the Shamrock Hotel. The gentleman's name is Samuel Benner. He has dwelt during the last two and a half years at the Ovens, where he was a very popular singer. Mr. Benner's forte is in singing Irish comic songs. He is gifted with a well-toned, well-regulated, powerful voice; and his peculiar "gift of the brogue" in singing the comicalities of Hibernia, called forth continual shouts of laughter and applause. Mr. Benner was thrice encored during the evening. We understand that Mr. B. is a person of high family in Ireland, whither he is about returning with the proceeds of his successful visit to the Victorian goldfields.


Singer, pianist, organist, concert presenter, composer

Born Wiltshire, England, c.1817
Arrived Adelaide, SA, 25 September 1839 (per Prince Regent, from London, 6 June)
Died Adelaide, SA, 22 September 1854, aged 37 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


In October 1839, two recent arrivals "from Chichester", William Ewens and George Bennett assisted at Charles Platts's lecture on music. In February 1840, Platts and Bennett jointly advertised the first professional concert in Adelaide.

At celebrations of the anniversary of the colony in Gawler in 1851, Bennett himself concocted a song, now lost, a South Australian anthem ("Let all our cares and griefs be drowned") reportedly:

composed expressly for the occasion ... the intrinsic merit of the music exciting very general admiration.

Bennett's concert programs suggest he was a capable conductor and pianist in oratorio and middle-brow operatic numbers. Press reports, by the early 1850s, mainly register his voluntary musical contributions to convivial Masonic and civic gatherings, or indeed convivial gatherings of any sort. Visiting a butcher friend who had just returned from the gold-fields in 1852, Bennett was playing a polka on the piano for the assembled company in what was, actually, probably a sly-grog shop, when a fight broke out with his host. He lost two teeth-deemed a serious blow for a professor of singing-and was awarded damages when the matter ended up in court.

Two years later, he was dead.


"MECHANICS' INSTITUTE", South Australian Register (19 October 1839), 4

"FIRST PROFESSIONAL CONCERT IN ADELAIDE", South Australian Register (15 February 1840), 6

"FREEMASONRY (From S.A. Gazette)", The Cornwall Chronicle (31 January 1849), 340

Mr. George Bennett acted as Provisional Grand Organist. An appropriate anthem was chanted in very good style.

"OLD COLONISTS' FESTIVAL", South Australian Register (28 March 1851), 2

"CONCERT AT GAWLEER TOWN", South Australian Register (26 April 1851), 2

"LOCAL COURT. ADELAIDE. BENNETT V. FOREMAN", South Australian Register (19 August 1852), 3

"DIED", South Australian Register (25 September 1854), 2

"THE LATE MR. BENNETT", South Australian Register (25 September 1854), 2

An obituary notice in our present publication records the decease of Mr. George Bennett, professional musician. He was a native of Wiltshire, and received his musical education from his uncle, the late Mr. T. Bennett, for many years organist of Chichester Cathedral, of which the deceased was in his youth a chorister. Mr. Bennett possessed an unusual degree of natural talent, which, combined with the teaching of a first-rate master, constituted him a leader of ability. He arrived in this colony by the Prince Regent in 1839, since which period, to within a few months of his death, he was, almost exclusively, the leader of all concerts and musical societies, both public and private, in the colony, and for the last year or two he was organist at the Wesleyan Chapel, Pirie street. Deceased was in the 37th year of his age. He has left a widow and one child, a boy about eight years old. The funeral will take place at the Cemetery this morning, at 11 o'clock.

"FUNERAL OF MR. G. BENNETT", South Australian Register (26 September 1854), 2

The funeral which took place yesterday at 11 o'clock, was numerously attended by the brethren in Freemasonry of the deceased and other mourning friends, to the number of sixty or seventy persons. As the procession entered Trinity Church, the symphony to Knapp's funeral anthem was performed by Mr. Daniel, who presided at the seraphine, and the service was read with due solemnity by the Dean. Pope's Ode was sung at the Church by members of the Choral Society and some pupils of the vocal class of Mr. Daniel.


Amateur pianist, arranger

Active Launceston, TAS, 1858 (TROVE public list)


The varsovianna dance became popular in London in the mid 1850s, and the earliest Australian editions were published in Sydney in 1857, by W. J. Johnson and J. R. Clarke.

A particular title called The Nightingale varsoviana, honouring the heroine of the Crimea, Florence Nightingale, must have become popular at around the time an enterprising young architect, Horace Bennett, left England for Tasmania, at the end of 1857.

Bennett's early interests included mining speculation, and public entertainment. On arrival in May 1858, he advertised for "a Large room ... easily converted into a LARGE HALL for public entertainment", and in July announced the publication of some music to fill it:

Just Published, - Price 2s. 6d. THE NIGHTINGALE VARSOVIANA being the original music of this new and favourite dance, arranged for the piano forte by Horace Bennett. May be had of the principal music sellers of this city.

No copy of his edition has been identified.

Bennett's place of entertainment, the Polytechnic Bazaar, eventually opened in 1862, but soon ran into trouble with the local authorities for failing to be sufficiently "select" in its clientele. Bennett contributed designs towards the roof of the Launceston Town Hall in 1864. Meanwhile, it also appears he contracted a bigamous marriage in Launceston in November 1858.


[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (27 May 1858), 3

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (10 July 1858), 6

"MARRIAGES", Launceston Examiner (11 November 1858), 2

"MUNICIPAL COUNCIL", The Mercury (17 June 1862), 3

"POLYTECHNIC BAZAAR, HOBART TOWN", Launceston Examiner (19 June 1862), 5

"INSOLVENCY COURT", Launceston Examiner (20 September 1862), 2

"MUNICIPAL COUNCIL", The Cornwall Chronicle (6 January 1864), 5

"TOWN HALL ROOF", Launceston Examiner (11 May 1867), 3

"A WILL CASE", The Mercury (9 December 1926), 3


? The nightingale varsoviana and the Strauss varsoviana by J. Harroway (London: Davidson, [? 1857]) 

"Miss Nightingale Dies, Aged Ninety", The New York Times (15 August 1910) 

"THE QUEEN OF NURSES", The Grenfell Record and Lachlan District Advertiser (21 November 1911), 5 

BENNETT, James (1)

Choral singer, choir member (St. James's Church, Sydney), convict

Active Sydney, NSW, 1822-25


Colonial Secretary Index, 1788-1825; correspondence from Hill, Richard (Revd) to Hill, Samuel (per Hadlow) 

1822 Jan 19; Re request for leave for choir members (Reel 6053; 4/1756 p.67)

1822 Feb 20; Re James Bennett joining choir of church (Reel 6054; 4/1759 p.165)

1824 Dec 15; Re the services of James Bennett no longer being required (Reel 6014; 4/3513 p.88)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (14 October 1824), 3 

JAMES BENNETT begs to acquaint the Inhabitants of Sydney, and its Environs, that he has for SALE, at his Residence, No. 11, Pitt-street, a very large ASSORTMENT of GLASS of all sizes, for picture frames, which is of a very superior quality. Persons in need of such a commodity, will find this an advantageous opportunity of supplying themselves, as it can be disposed of at a very reasonable Price.

"To the Editor of . . .", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (23 December 1824), 4 

There is no doubt, Mr. Editor, that it is your duty to give publicity to grievances, which require only to be known to be remedied, and every patriotic person will laud your conduct with regard to Rubio's letter, complaining of the Post Office, or Augean stable as he calls it. I too, have to represent a nuisance from which every church-goer in Sydney suffers; and I use the means afforded by your Gazette of so doing convinced that the evil will be redressed, when one letter meets the eyes of the Reverend Personages under authority in this case.

The church singing is what I allude to. Even one who visits, or even passes our places of worship, will instantly perceive that this is a grievance which cries loudly, and in no ambiguous terms for ammendment. Singing psalms is generally intended as a help to devotion, but in the Sydney churches it inspires nothing but disgust, weariness, and even ridicule. The truth is, that St. Cecilia has utterly denied her gifts to the performers, for they set at defiance all time and harmony. An assemblage of hogs would literally afford better music, at least they could not produce worse. I defy all the frying-pans, rams-horns, bagpipes &c. in the world, to combine more discordant sounds than proceed from the ill played bassoons, clarinets, and flutes, and the cracked and grating voices, which compose the orchestra in the churches. To crown the whole, as if there were not already enough of this horrid concert, at St. James's they have lately resumed the practice of chaunting the Te Deum, as a sort of chef-d'oeuvre, in villainous noise. - Truly, as I have sometimes heard it said, if an Italian lay buried within ten miles, he would rise from the dead to run out of hearing.

Christmas, Mr. Editor is very near, and it is to be presumed that the places of worship will then be better filled than usual. I hope sincerely therefore, by next Saturday, that those who have the power, will have seen the necessity of some alteration on the subject I now write about. It really is no trifling misery to musical ears, to be condemned to remain listeners to such singing - squalling I would say. Music, in the intervals of service, is universally considered desirable; but it, would be better to have nothing, than the detestable substitute which screams through our aisles every Sunday.

You will much oblige every friend to melody, Mr. Editor, by affording room in your columns for these remarks, particularly if they should be the happy means of procuring reform.

"POLICE OFFICE", The Australian (20 January 1825), 3 

James Bennett, mentioned under the head of our Police Report last week, was deprived of his ticket of leave for fraud and general misconduct.

[Editorial], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (20 January 1825), 2 

In our contemporary of last week we were some what surprised on meeting with the following paragraph, in his Police report: -

"James Bennett, a painter residing in George-street, professing to be a lover of sweet sounds, was deprived of his ticket of leave, for taking certain liberties, with the choral department of St. James's Church, in a letter to the Editor of the Sydney Gazette, some few weeks since."

Were this report true, and had the Magistrates deprived the man of his liberty upon the only account stated as above, we have no hesitation in averring, that Bennett was unjustly dealt with; inasmuch as neither that individual, nor any other prisoner of the crown, was the author of the letter that appeared in our columns "some few weeks since," which was subscribed, "A Lover of sweets Sounds." But our contemporary, with a facility that reflects credit to his scholarship, takes the gentlemanly advantage, at the moment afforded, of trying to depreciate our Journal, at the expence of any poor fellow that may happen to come before the new Censorship of the Press, so recently established, but which will bring more odium upon our contemporary than he perhaps is aware of, unless such a practice is at once abandoned. The man, Bennett, we have learnt, held a ticket of leave at the instance of the Rev. Mr. Hill, so long as he continued a member of "the choral department of St. James's Church;" but, as he thought proper to relinquish the only condition upon which liberty was suspended, of course his ticket of leave was cancelled; - this is nearer the fact. Not that Bennett ever wrote a letter to the Editor of the Sydney Gazette; or that the Editor of the Sydney Gazette is in the habit of receiving correspondencies from any other writers but Gentlemen, and those generally scholars! We anticipate that Whitfield's case will be thoroughly explained by our contemporary of this morning - as nothing will afford more satisfaction to his Readers than for him to shew that he was no party to that transaction: - we wish him to maintain his credit with the Public. We think it rather unfortunate that our contemporary should bear so heavy upon ticket of leave men and prisoners of the crown, and where there is little or no occasion. He most certainly must forget that these men, at no remote period (to-morrow for aught he knows), may become invested with all the rights of free subjects; but, it is not improbable that his friendship for them is deferred till they become Emancipists and, then, he will advocate their cause. --Glorious independence, this! In our opinion, the man who would trample on the rights of a ticket of leave man, or the lowest prisoner of the crown, would just as soon, could his own private ends thereby be brought about, also as readily oppress the Emancipists. The latter should never forget, whilst a spark of humanity pervades their frame, that once they were in the condition of those who are now traversing the same thorny path to equal respect, and equal independence, with themselves.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (17 March 1825), 4 

LOST, between JAMES BENNETT's Painter, George-street, and the new House of R. CRAWFORD, Esq. Cockle-bay, a Patent PLOUGH DIAMOND; - Whoever has found the same, and will bring it to the undersigned, shall receive Two Dollars Reward. JAMES BENNETT, Painter and Glazier.

BENNETT, James (2)

Violin player, convict

Arrived NSW, 11 March 1833 (convict per Andromeda, from England 13 November 1832) Active Bathurst, NSW, March-June 1833


"NEW SOUTH WALES", New South Wales Government Gazette (5 June 1833), 204 

[203] RETURN OF ALL MALE CONVICTS ASSIGNED AND TRANSFERRED IN THE MONTH OF MARCH, 1833 ... [204] ... 698. Bennett James, Andromeda, violin player, to A. K. M'Kenzie, Bathurst ...


Organist, pianist

Active Wangaratta, VIC, 1863-64; Chiltern, VIC, 1864-69


"WANGARATTA", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (6 June 1863), 2

... I must, before concluding, congratulate the committee of the Athenaeum on the happy hit they made last evening by the introduction of instrumental music. Mr Bennett, before and after the lecture, discoursed most eloquent music, his rendering of selections from "La Sonnambula," and other favorite operas, were given in a truly professional style, and gave great satisfaction to all present. The Chairman announced that the next lecture in connection with the institution would be delivered by Mr Brooke Smith.

"THE ORGANIST OF TRINITY CHURCH AND THE LADY", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (11 June 1863), 4

To the Editor of the Ovens and Murray Advertiser. DEAR SIR, - A correspondent in the Columns of your contemporary, the Wangaratta Dispatch, has imputed to me the authorship of a letter which appeared in the 'Standard' of Wednesday last, thereby accusing me of having adopted this means of obtaining the situation of organist in 'Trinity Church. I am sure it needs no line from me to t ell the public of Wangaratta what they already know so well, namely, that there's a harmonium in the church, but, strange to say, no choir nor yet instrumental music. Why it is so I know not. The 'lady' (for that is the name my accuser subscribes) says that he thought at first, I was going to give my services gratis. How exceedingly verdant he must have been !! From the very first I expressed my determination to decline the duties of organist unless I was remunerated, and I can inform him (the lady) that without at all taking into consideration the time and trouble spent in conducting the church choral matters at rehearsals, and on Sundays, the talent has a right to be paid for as well. I repudiate his accusation with scorn, and would caution him against writing slander he has done in this instance, and I can. assure him that nothing, (even the belter of the name which he profanes by assuming), shall preserve him from castigation should he deserve it. Yours sincerely, J. BENNETT. Wangaratta, June 6th, 1863.

"WANGARATTA", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (30 June 1863), 2

The Athenaeum Committee are endeavoring to augment their Building Fund, and, the proceeds of Mr. Brooke Smith's lecture are to be devoted to that object. We have a gentleman amongst us who has frequently given musical lectures, or rather, I ought to say, literary and musical entertainments, in aid of kindred institutions to the Athenaeum, and I think the Committee would do well to solicit the assistance of Mr. Bennett (to whom I refer), as there is no doubt if he should consent to lecture, there would be a bumper house. At length, I observe with pleasure that a vigorous effort has been made to remodel the choir in Trinity Church. Several ladies and gentlemen of acknowledged vocal talent have consented to assist. The services of Mr. Bennett have also been secured and as he has been accustomed to officiate as organist and conductor in larger Churches than ours, there is every prospect of the Church music being carried out properly. It is certainly a matter upon which I can congratulate the congregation, as it was decidedly a reproach to have a harmonium lying untouched during divine service.

"WANGARATTA", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (21 January 1864), 4

"CHILTERN", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (23 September 1865), 3 

The amateur concert in aid of the funds of the Ovens District Hospital and Benevolent Asylum, came off in Peel's Theatre, on Wednesday night last. The audience was the largest that has assembled in Chiltern since the palmy days of the lower Indigo. The vocalists acquitted themselves very well, and were loudly encored. The first appearance of the serenaders was hailed with loud and prolonged cheers. Their portion of! the entertainment gave general satisfaction, especially the badinage carried on by "Bones" and "Tambo." The musical department consisted of Messrs Bennett, Barlow, and Weinberg, whose musical capabilities need no comment, as the names of these gentlemen are a sufficient guarantee to the public that the music was first-class. The gross proceeds of the house must have been nearly £40.

"CORRESPONDENCE", The Church of England Messenger for the Diocese of Melbourne (9 September 1869), 9 


Musician, choirmaster, organist

Born Lewannick, Cornwall, 20 May 1838
Active Adelaide, SA, by 1861
Died Woodville, SA, 14 December 1890, aged 52 years


Teacher of piano

Born North Adelaide, SA, 6 August 1849
Died Gawler, SA, 22 May 1939, aged 89

BENNETT, Ernest Mathew

Violinist, music teacher (pupil of Herr Heinicke)

Born SA, 1871 (son of the above)


"PORT ADELAIDE SACRED CHORAL SOCIETY", South Australian Register (3 July 1861), 3

The Choral Society, of which there were present 14 ladies and about 20 gentlemen vocalists under the able leadership of Mr. G. Tilley, sang in the course of the evening no less than 11 pieces, consisting of selections from the compositions of Mozart, Handel, Haydn, Matthews, and Kent, and, considering the short time the Society has been formed, in a manner highly creditable. Mr. John Bennett officiated as organist ... The Hallelujah Chorus was sung as a finale to the entertainment.

"NORWOOD WESLEYAN CHAPEL ANNIVERSARY", Adelaide Observer (14 October 1865), 1 Supplement

"SERVICE OF SONG AT ALBERTON", South Australian Register (20 December 1877), 5

A pleasing service of song, entitled 'Elijah,' in aid of the manse fund, was given at the Alberton Baptist Church before a moderate gathering on Wednesday night, December 19. An efficient choir of 12 voices, from various denominations in the neighbourhood, under the leadership of Mr. John Bennett, sang in excellent style, while Mr. J. W. Channon officiated as organist.

"THE LATE MR. BENNETT", South Australian Register (15 December 1890), 4

We regret to notice the announcement of the death, at the age of fifty-two years, of Mr. John Bennett, of Woodville, and a well-known and highly esteemed businessman of Port Adelaide. For many years he has carried on a shipsmith's establishment, and it is from fifteen to twenty years since he was first elected a member of the Town Council, in which he sat for several terms. He always took an intelligent interest in local matters, and was associated with different charitable and other movements. Of the Victoria Lodge, M.U., he was a Past Grand. As a musician his services were in frequent request, both as choirmaster and organist. He married a daughter of Mr. T. J. Mitchell, of Woodville, and a sister of Dr. Mitchell, now of Ballarat, and has left her a widow with a family. The funeral takes place at the Woodville Cemetery this afternoon.

"DEATHS", South Australian Register (15 December 1890), 4

[Advertisement], Petersburg Times (7 January 1910), 1 

MUSIC. MRS. JOHN BENNETT. WOODVTLLE. From 2nd February will receive Advanced and Elementary PUPILS in PIANOFORTE PLAYING at SEMAPHORE and Neighbourhood, and is open to Engagement with Schools. A FRENCH CLASS will be formed if sufficient inducement offers. MR. E. M. BENNETT (an Advanced Pupil of Herr Heinicke) is prepared to give Instruction in VIOLIN PLAYING.

Bibliography and resources:

Family history by Graeme Moad 

BENNETT, Rosa (Miss Rosa E. BENNETT; Mrs. William WASTELL; Rosa E. WASTELL)

Vocalist, pianist, composer

Active Adelaide, SA, by 1885
Died North Sydney, NSW, 18 July 1923


"BOHEMIAN CLUB SOCIAL", Evening Journal (25 June 1885), 2 

... During the evening Miss Rosa E. Bennett played the "Evening Shadows" waltz (which has recently been composed and published by her) with great taste ...

"NEW MUSIC", Evening Journal (30 June 1885), 3 

"NEW MUSIC", The Advertiser (21 January 1905), 10 

"OBITUARY", The Advertiser (22 July 1927), 15 

Mrs. Wastell, a well-known composer and musician, whose death occurred in Sydney on Monday, had a large circle of friends in Adelaide. Her maiden name was Bennett, and she was born in New South Wales. She came to South Australia in 1883, and later married Mr. William Wastell, who for many years was in business in King William-street as a chemist. Mrs. Wastell was long connected with charities and the North Adelaide Baptist Church, and her work on their behalf gained her many friends. She was a talented musician and was a successful composer of ballads and songs, among her finest works being "Evening Shadows," a song which was awarded the first prize in an open competition inaugurated by Sir William Robinson (then Governor of the State). Mrs. Wastell was also awarded first prize in the Unley competitions several years ago for a beautiful song, entitled "Birds," which was sung by Mrs. J. B. Gard. Probably her best effort was "Memory," which had a large sale. She composed the words of her songs. Mrs. Wastell returned to Sydney five years ago.

Musical works:

Evening shadows, waltz composed by Rosa E. Bennett, dedicated by kind permission to his excellency Sir Wm. C. F. Robinson, K.C.M.G., governor of South Australia (DIGITISED)


Violoncello pupil (of Henry Witton)

Active Melbourne, VIC, 1862


[Advertisement], The Courier [Brisbane] (24 October 1862), 1

W. R. BENNETT (Violoncello), Barnard-st. [pupil of Henry James Witton]

BENSON, Mrs. L. C.

Organist, vocalist

Born Hobart, TAS, 1 March 1860


"70 YEARS A MUSICIAN. Mrs. L. C. Benson's 80th Birthday", The Mercury (1 March 1940), 5

BENT, Andrew

Musical album bookbinder, printer, publisher, newspaper proprietor

Born London, 1790
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 2 February 1812 (convict per Guildford and Ruby)
Died Sydney, NSW, 16 August 1851 (NLA persistent identifier)


[Government expenses], Hobart Town Gazette (4 March 1826), 1s

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (18 January 1828), 2

MUSIC. Mr. BENT having received a Quantity of very handsome Marble Paper by the late arrival, of different Patterns, begs to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen of Hobart Town and its Vicinity, who may wish to have Music bound, of the circumstance. Mr. BENT feels assured, that the elegance of his Patterns, and the lowness of his Charges, not to mention the superior Workmen he employs, will ensure him the commands of the Lovers of Sweet Sounds.

Bibliography and resources:

E. R. Pretyman, "Bent, Andrew (1790-1851)", Australian dictionary of biography 1 (1966)

BENT, William Horace (W. H. BENT; William Horace BENT; Horace BENT)

Vocalist, violinist, violin player, comedian, minstrel, serenader

Born Windsor or Sydney, NSW, 1844 (son of Andrew BENT and Honora HURLEY; grandson of Andrew Bent above)
Arrived Geelong, VIC, by c. 1854
Died Melbourne, VIC, September 1907, "aged 65" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Probably William Horace Bent, left, with, certainly, Richard Wildblood Kohler, New Zealand, c. 1866 (photo posted by Allister Hardiman)


Horace Bent was a son of Andrew Bent (c.1824-1910), above, and his wife Honora Hurley, later of Geelong, and grandson of the early colonial printer, publisher, and newspaper proprietor Andrew Bent (c.1790-1851)


"THEATRE ROYAL", The Mercury (30 July 1868), 2 

The programme of the English Glee and Burlesque Opera Company at the Theatre Royal, which was changed last night, was of an attractive character, and worthy of a more numerous auditory, as it was really an excellent entertainment . . . Mr. W. H. Bent's comicalities had full play in the pieces assigned to him, and his performance caused a good deal of merriment, particularly the buffo-song, "Constantinople," and the comic song, "Blessed baby." He was very good, too, in "Negro eccentricities," and as "Enrico" in the burlesque . . .

"The Federal Minstrels", The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (1 May 1886), 920 

The Academy of Music has been crowded to witness the performances of the Federal Minstrels. One of the most amusing portions of their programme during the week has been "The French Conductor," in which Mr. Horace Bent wields the baton and plays the violin in such a marvellous style that his hearers are convulsed with laughter . . .

"BENT v. BENT", Evening News (30 July 1894), 5 

This was a suit for divorce brought by Millicent Anna Bent against William Horace Bent, comedian. Petitioner stated she was married to respondent at the Congregational Church, Devonshire-street, on February 16, 1887. Soon after the marriage respondent gave way to drink, and, for the past three years, he contributed nothing towards her support. Corroborative evidence having been given, his Honor granted the decree nisi, returnable in three months.

"DRAMATIC AND MUSICAL ASSOCIATION", The Age (4 September 1907), 9 

This association held its usual monthly meeting at the Princess's Theatre yesterday afternoon. The deputy-master, Mr. Henry Westley, occupied the chair. Several letters relating to charitable requests were received and discussed by the wardens, various accounts dealt with, and reference to the deathe of the late Mr. Horace Bent, who was a great public favorite on the minstrel stage about 30 years back, and a grant of funeral expenses was passed for payment . . .

[Obituary], The bulletin (19 September 1907), 9 

"J.A.C.": The late William Horace Bent - to the public he was Horace; to his pals in the "business," in variably "Billy" - did not come from Geelong (B. 12/9/'O7); he was a native of Windsor (N.S.W.). His father migrated to Geelong very many years ago, hence the impression, pretty widespread, that Billy was born in the dead town on the shores of Port Phillip. Billy was always in the burnt-cork industry, and was possibly the cleverest minstrel comedian we have ever had in Australia. His humor was irresistible; but he was an artist in "black" only, not in "white." Once or twice he essayed comic opera, but was far from a success. He was an educated man, and a classical scholar. He could fluently quote his baptismal namesake - him of the Odes and Satires. He was a hypochondriac, although, like most hygienic semicranks, he usually enjoyed robust health. If anybody had anything the matter with him Billy was sure to have it too, and in a more aggravated form. On one occasion a friend gave him some pills to try: "How many are a dose?" asked Billy. "Two." "Then I'll take six." The similarity in name once caused him to be mistaken for a still more eminent comedian. One morning Harry Leston was awakened in a Melbourne hotel by an awestruck menial who, in a hushed tone, announced that the Minister for Railways desired to see him. Immediately afterwards the redoubtable Billy burst into the room. When I first knew W.H.B., 28 years ago, he was of almost too irreproachable respectability, but of late years he went rapidly down the hill. Not long ago, when he was particularly down on his luck, a would-be funny man suggested to him that they should embark in a theatrical enterprise on a large scale. "Yes," said Bent, "with your wit and my wealth we ought to do well." Some few years ago Harry Rickards gave Bent a benefit, the proceeds of which were doled out to him in weekly instalments, for fear that all might go in one wild "jag." In his palmy days, at the time of the Philadelphia Exhibition (1876), Bent went to America, and made quite a hit there. When he returned he was intensely Amurrikan. One day standing outside the Opera House in Bourke-street, Melbourne, were "Jim" Kitts and George Leopold. Kitts was reading a Boston newspaper. To them approached Billy: "Hello, Jim," he said, "I see you’ve got a paper, from Hum; I dunno how it is, but I never get a paper from Hum naow." "Well, that's strange," said Leopold; "there's a mail three times a day from Geelong."


Pianist, accompanist

Active Melbourne, VIC, and Sydney, NSW, 1850s


Mrs. Bently first appeared in Melbourne in December 1851 as a solo pianist and probably also as accompanist for the soprano Elizabeth Testar. She accompanied Harriet Fiddes and Francesca Allen in concerts in Sydney and Maitland district in 1853. Perhaps she was the same Mrs. Bentley teaching music and dancing at Maitland in 1859.


"THE CONCERT", The Argus (11 December 1851),

Still, in spite of all the excitement of the time, the weekly Concerts hold their own; their caterers rather spurred on by the numerous desertions, to further effort, than relaxing their exertions. The programme for to night contains a solo on the Flute, which, we hear, is to be given by Mr. Pritchard, and to any one who has heard that gentleman, it is unnecessary to say that his single solo is worth the price of admission to the whole. We hear very favorable reports, too, of a lady performer, who makes her first appearance this evening as a pianoforte player ... The following is the Programme: - ... Fantasia Brillante Pianoforte - Mrs. Bentley ...

"THURSDAY NIGHT'S CONCERT", The Argus (22 January 1852), 2 

The following is the programme of the performance to take place at the Mechanics' Institution this evening: ... Duet - Violin and Pianoforte, Mr. Megson and Mrs. Bentley ...

[Advertisement], The Argus (12 March 1852), 3 

NOTICE. A GRAND Juvenile concert will take place on Tuesday, March 16th, to commence at half-past seven precisely, assisted by Mrs. Testar, Mrs. Bentley, and Messrs. Megson, Cooze, Thompson, Jenkins, Greenwood, &c. Further particulars in future advertisement ...

"MRS. FIDDES' CONCERT", The Maitland Mercury (28 May 1853), 2

Mrs. Fiddes and Madame Allen have this week been giving a series of concerts in this district. On Tuesday evening their concert, at the Northumberland Hotel, West Maitland, was moderately attended, the firework celebration of the Queen's birthday no doubt keeping many away ... The pianist, Mrs. Bently, is spoken of as a fine performer. As the artists give concerts at the Northumberland again this evening (Saturday) and Monday, and on Tuesday at Morpeth, our musical readers who have not yet heard them will have the opportunity of doing so.

"MRS. FIDDES' CONCERT", The Maitland Mercury (1 June 1853), 2

This highly talented lady gave two concerts here on Thursday and Friday evenings, assisted by Madame Allen; Mrs. Bently presiding at the piano ... Mrs. Bently is without doubt quite an artiste at the piano, and her style was brilliant, showing a vast deal of talent ...

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 July 1853), 1

PARRAMATTA. THIS EVENING, Thursday, June 9th. GRAND CONCERT AT CURRAN'S HOTEL. MRS. FIDDES (late Miss Harriet Cawse), of the Theatres Royal Drury Lane, Covent Garden, English Opera, Italian Opera, Haymarket, &c, begs to inform the inhabitants of Parramatta and its vicinity that j she purposes giving a Concert, thiB evening, at the Long Room of the above Hotel, when she will be assisted by the valuable services of Miss HARRIS, and Mrs. BENTLEY, Pianiste ...

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (26 May 1859), 1

MRS. BENTLEY'S SCHOOL for YOUNG LADIES, Hart's Cottages, Devonshire-street- Hours of attendance, from half-past 9 till 3. Mrs. Bentley gives private Lessons in Music and Dancing.

BENTLEY, Julia (MUNK; Mrs. Thomas Charles BENTLEY)

Pianist, professor of music

Born ? Exeter, England, c.1837 (daughter of William MUNK, d.1879, and his wife Elizabeth)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, early 1860 (probably 28 January, per Castle Howard from the Downs, 10 November 1859)
Active by January 1861
Died "Warrawillah", Hunter's Hill, NSW, 27 February 1923 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Julia Bentley, formerly Julia Munk of Exeter, arrived in Sydney with her husband Thomas Charles Bentley (b. 22 June 1827; m. 22 April 1857; d. 8 September 1868) in the first half of 1860, Thomas (away from the colony since 1856) having accepted a post as secretary of the Australia Club, his name first appearing below its advertisements in early April.

As "A lady, pupil of Thalberg and Miss Arabella Goddard", she first advertised anonymously as a piano teacher in Sydney in June 1860, and later under her own name from January 1861.

She was billed to appear for Douglas Callen and the Sydney Philharmonic Society on 30 April, playing Dohler's Fantasia on Vivi tu, and Madame Oury's Fantasia on La Traviata. However, she did not actually appear for the Society until 14 May, when the Herald and Empire reviewed her favourably. She was billed to appear again for the society on 27 May 1862 playing Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata, however, due to a disturbance on the night of the concert, the performance did not take place.

The Society publicly apologised to her in an advertisement on 31 May. However, in a letter in the press on 4 June, her husband gave details of a malicious campaign of correspondence waged first against her, and then also against her supporter Edward Boulanger, that escalated to serious assault. Cesare Cutolo was among those accused of responsibility. Bentley was also herself accused of having concocted the whole affair. Even though the case reached the Legislative Assembly, it was never satisfactorily solved. However, Julia Bentley's public career was effectively over.


"THE JESUITS - EXTRAORDINARY CASE", Gloucester Journal [England] (28 December 1850), 3

The base endeavours of the Jesuits to proselytise, and to get admission secretly into private families, is evident from the statement we shall subjoin. The following is the substance of Miss Julia Munk's deposition, before the Mayor of Exeter, at the Guildhall, on the 6th December, 1850: -

I am the daughter of William Monk, and reside in Colleton-place, Exeter . . . [in full in item immedately below]

Original article, The Western Luminary (24 December 1850)

"The Jesuits in Exter [From the Western Luminary]", in The genius of popery opposed to the principles of civil and religious liberty (Dublin: P. Dixon Hardy, 1851), 200-05 

"SHAM JESUIT PLOT", Western Times [Exeter, England] (4 January 1851)

"A MODERN ROMANCE", Geelong Advertiser (31 May 1851), 1 

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

PIANISTE.- A LADY, pupil of Thalberg and Miss Arabella Goddard, lately arrived from England, will give LESSONS upon the PIANOFORTE. For particulars apply to Mr. KING, Pianoforte Manufacturer, 71, Market-street East.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 January 1861), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 April 1861), 1

£100 (ONE HUNDRED POUNDS) REWARD. The above reward will be paid to any person who will (by letter or otherwise) give such information as will lead to the conviction of the author of numerous anonymous letters addressed from time to time, during the last twelve months, to the heads of certain influential families in Sydney, having for their object the circulation of false and malicious charges against a Lady Professor, resident in the city, and also of certain anonymous communications recently written with the same object, and directed against an Eminent Artist of the musical profession lately returned to the colony. It is known that the letters alluded to have been written by an amanuensis, and information given by that person will entitle him to the reward. Apply to the parties concerned; or to Messrs. JOHNSON and JOHNSON, solicitors, Pitt-street

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 May 1861), 1

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 May 1861), 5

"MUSIC AND THE DRAMA", Empire (21 May 1861), 2

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 April 1862), 1

[News], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 May 1862), 4

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 May 1862), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (31 May 1862), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 June 1862), 8

[News], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 June 1862), 5

[Letter] "To the Editor", The Sydney Morning Herald (28 October 1862), 2 

"THE BENTLEY MYSTERY AT EXETER", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Chronicle (1 November 1862), 3 

"LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY. THE BENTLEY CASE", The Sydney Morning Herald (10 July 1863), 3


Your readers will recollect a detailed account of a cowardly system of annoyance practised upon a professional lady in Sydney, which I furnisked you with about a twelvemonth ago, and the sequel to which I promised to forward as soon as further developed. I now send the following, offering no further remark than that as the lady has many friends in the West of England, they may be anxious to know the matter is not lost sight of: -

"Mrs. Bentley, who lived in a retired part of Sydney, was, according to her own statement and that of her husband, not only threatened horribly in epistolary communications, but was actually attacked by some unknown persons, en masque, and watched even in the dead of night, and within her own domicile. The matter, of course, attracted the attention of the police; but so strange did it appear, and so completely were the ordinary magisterial authorities baffled by it, that a select committee of the N. S. W. House of Assembly was some time ago appointed to investigate the case. The Chief Secretary of the House of Assembly, Mr. Cowper, in replying to Mr. Dalgleish, Chairman of the Committee, expressed his conviction that the Bentleys were themselves the conspirators in this case, and that the publication of the report of the committee would result in no benefit to the public. He said that when he first heard of the cruelties alleged to have been practised on Mrs. Bentley, he took steps to have the affair fully investigated. "He accordingly sent to the inspector-general of police, but he was out of town, and the clerk in charge told him that this matter had been before the police for the last six months; that the Bentleys had asked for the interposition of the police, and that they had done all they could to find out the truth of those letters, and that the result of the inquiry was of the opinion that Mr. and Mrs. Bentley had written the letters themselves. Mr. Cowper reiterated his conviction that the whole mystery originated in, and was upheld by, the clever acting of the Bentleys, and produced a letter addressed to Detective Harrison, by Mr. Steele, chief superintendent of police at Exeter, in which place Mrs. Bentley (then Miss Munk) had resided. This letter, which bore date February 19, 1863, Mr. Cowvper read to the House. It throws so much light upon this strange affair that we are tempted to quote it in full: -

I did not think it necesssary upon receipt of our your first communication to go fully into the reports circulated by Miss Julia Munk - as you appeared to be already in possession of the facts as then reported. Miss Julia had reported to her family that, as her way to and returning from school, she had repeatedly been accosted by a respectable-looking elderly man - the purport of his conversatlon being to turn her from the Protestant to the Catholic faith; and upon one occasion she was forced into a butcher's shop (empty), the door was locked, and a fearful oath administered to her - the image of the Virgin being held before her at the time; that letters with stones attached had been thrown through her bedroom window, after she had retired to rest; and the result of such persecution was likely to have a serious effect upon her health. When all these particulars were brought before the Magistiatea (this was done most privately), great sympathy was felt for the family, her father being a most reepectable tradesman (wholesale ironmonger). A warrant was granted to apprehend the man who forced her into the butcher's shop. I placed a detective in the direction of Miss Munk's way to schooi, and it was arranged that if the man was seen, Miss Munk was to glve's signal to the officer. I also had officers in plain clothes watching the bouse, but nothing was ever seen of the man, nor anything thrown into the bedroom after I had the case in hand.

Now, with respeet to the first report. I could not find anyone who had ever seen a gentleman with Miss Munk, although she was well known. living but a short distance from where this was supposed to have taken place. As for the butcher's shop, it is situated in a public part of Exeter, with shops on each side, that if anyone had been attempted to be forced in, as ws reported, they had only to scream. Now, the key of the said shop never was out of the possesslen of the person in charge of the same - then how could entry be obtained? I now come to the bedroom. Upon my examining the window, I was at once struck that the glass had been broken from the inside instead of the outside, Mr. Pridham, the family surgeon, was in the room sith me, and I drew his attention to the appearance of the glass. He said, "This is most extraordinary; after that I scarcely know what to think apout Miss Julia's reports." After some time, and after all inquiries had been made that could be made, I reported to the Magistrates that I had no belief in the reports made by Miss Munk. It may be asked what motive could she have had (and such was asked at the time) in getting up such reports. These are questions I could [? not] answer; but this I hesitate not to say, there was not the slightest foundation for them that I could discover. Since I received your first communication I have seen Miss Hake, at whose school Miss Munk then was. Miss Hake said that, so satisfied was she that the reports were all false, and other circumetances in the school coming to her knowledge unfavourable to Miss Munk, she would not keep her in the school, as she considered by so dolng she should have her establishment disgraced. You mention her brother, Dr. Munk. He caused, I believe, every inquiry to be made among the Catholics, but, I need scarcely state, without effect.

The letters were never out ot the poasesslon of the family.

Latterly I have been repeatedly accosted by persons with - "Miss Munk that was, Mrs. Bentley that is now is, is at her tricks again at Sydney." I cnuld narrate several circumstances, all certainly not tending to the truthfulness of the lady."

A local writer says: - "Those who remember the peculiarities of the case, which we formerly narrated at length in these columns, will have difficulty in conceiving that the hypothesis to which this letter naturally leads offers a full explanation of them. At the same time, whatever be the explanation, the whole story deserves to take rank as one of the most startling which has been enacted in these colonies; nor is it rendered less peculiar from the fact of the police-officer who was appointed to unravel the myatery having, as he is declared on his own evidence to have done, attempted the seduction of the female he was expected to succour. The report of the proceedings of the committee, ordered by the Assembly to be presented has not yet come under our notice.

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 September 1868), 1

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (10 March 1923), 14 

"OUR STRANGE PAST: WHO SCARED MRS. BENTLY", The Mail (28 March 1953), 4s

Bibliography and resources:

Progress report from the select committee on the petition of Thomas Charles Bentley: together with the proceedings of the committee, minutes of evidence and appendix (Sydney: Thomas Richards, govt. printer, 1863) 

"BENTLEY MYSTERY", in Australian sictionary of dates and men of the time: containing the history of Australasia from 1542 to May, 1879 by J. H. Heaton (Sydney: George Robertson, 1879), part 2, 39 

BENVENUTI, Antonio Giovanni

Violinist, violin player, composer

Born Padua, Italy, c.1820
Arrived Brisbane, QLD, 19 September 1871 (per Polonaise, from London 10 June)
Died Brisbane, QLD, 21 April 1896

BENVENUTI, Italo Angelo

Flautist, oboist

Born 1861
Died Brisbane, QLD, 18 January 1932

BENVENUTI, Luigi Antonio

Violinist, double bass player

Born 1859
Died 1934

BENVENUTI, Margaret Jane (Peggy, Mrs L. A. BENVENUTI)

Contralto vocalist

Died Taringa, QLD, 15 September 1932


BENVENUTI, Victor Giuseppi

Violinist, conductor

Born 1864
Died Brisbane, QLD, April 1923


BENVENUTI, Leo Antonio

Violinist, double-bass player

Born 1900
Died 1975



Benvenuti family, Brisbane, c.1890s

Image: Victorio Guiseppi, Luigi Antonio, Italo Angelo and Antonio Giovanni Benvenuti, c.1890s


[Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (29 September 1871), 1

SIGNOR A. BENVENUTI, Professor of Violin, Teacher of the Guitar, and French and Italian languages. Terms moderate. Address Cottage next Roman Catholic School, Boundary-street.

"HIBERNIAN SOCIETY", The Queenslander (7 October 1871), 3

A musical composition, entitled "Il Vesuvia," by Professor Benvenuti, who is a late arrival in Brisbane, and evidently a musician of great talent, excited much admiration and was loudly applauded.

[News], The Brisbane Courier (19 February 1880), 3

[News], The Brisbane Courier (19 February 1880), 3 

... It is needless, to say Signor Benvenuti took the house by storm with his violin solo, being a fantasia, arranged by himself from "Beatrice di Tenda."

"THE LATE SIGNOR BENVENUTI", The Brisbane Courier (22 April 1896), 5

A very old and well-known resident of Brisbane, Signor Antonio Benvenuti, died early yesterday morning. Although, owing to his age, the deceased has but rarely of late appeared before the public, he was for twenty years one of the most prominent figures among Brisbane professional musicians. He arrived with his family in this colony from London, by the ship Polonaise in 1871. Soon after arrival he joined the then flourishing stock company at the old Theatre Royal, where he was leader of the orchestra for some years. Since that time, until his retirement five years ago, he has been constantly before the public either at the theatre, on the concert platform, or in the ballroom. One of the very earliest of musical pioneers here, he was one of the first to systematise musical performances, professional musicians being then few and far between. He leaves three sons, also skilful musicians, who have long been favourably known in connection with concert and theatrical music, one resident in Sydney and the other two in Brisbane.

"Mr. I. A. Benvenuti", The Queenslander (21 January 1932), 9

ONE of the few remaining Brisbane musicians of the 'eighties and 'nineties passed away on Monday in the person of Mr. Italo Angelo Benvenuti. He was one of three brothers, sons of Mr. Antonio Benvenuti, an Italian colonist who settled in Brisbane and followed the profession of a musician. His violin playing, so far superior to anything that had come to the city before, soon won him a leading place, and with his three sons he became well known in musical circles. "Benvenutis Band" was an established feature of Brisbane, and supplied music for the principal theatrical companies visiting here. Mr. Italo Benvenuti's favourite instrument was the flute, although he frequently played the oboe.

"Mrs. Margaret Jane Benvenuti", The Brisbane Courier (21 September 1932), 13

"Obituary", The Courier-Mail (20 November 1934), 15

The death has occurred in Brisbane of Mr. Luigi Antonio Benvenuti, for many years one of the finest bass players in Australia, and one of a family of musicians known throughout the Commonwealth. Mr. Benvenuti, who was 76, retired about eight years ago but retained to the last his active interest in all matters associated with music and musicians. He died after a brief illness. He was one of three brothers who came with their parents to Australia from London about 65 years ago. Their father, who had gone from Italy to England to join the Covent Garden Orchestra, emigrated to Australia, and went first to Sydney and Melbourne. He came to Queensland, and for years the family appeared as Benvenuti 's Orchestra. Luigi, who was only seven when he reached Australia, quickly became noted as a violinist and string bass player. He travelled with grand opera and comic opera companies. His late home at Princess Street, Taringa, contains one of the best music libraries in the Commonwealth. Mrs. Benvenuti died about two years ago. They are survived by two sons: Mr. V. Benvenuti and Mr. Leo Benvenuti, the latter being a member of the Regent Theatre Orchestra, and a former leader of the Winter Garden and Tivoli orchestras. Mrs. H. Cusack, of Cooyar, is a daughter.

"To play before Royalty. Musician follows family tradition", The Courier-Mail (22 January 1954), 6 

Bibliography and resources:

Benvenuti collection, National Library of Australia

"Antonio Giovanni BENVENUTI", The Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre

BERG, Charles (Carl Reinhold BERG; Charles BERG; Herr BERG)

Trombonist, bass tuba player, mining speculator

Born ? Sweden, 1825/26
Active Melbourne, VIC, from 1854
Died Sandringham, VIC, 8 May 1890, aged 64 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


In October 1854 Berg and Lundberg, a clarinettist, both "from the King's Theatre Stockholm" appeared with Sidney Nelson and family at the Queen's Theatre. They appeared again there a few days later, along with John Winterbottom, to play for Catherine Hayes and Lewis Lavenu, when it was reported:

An instrumental duet, for clarionet and valve trombone, given by Herrn Berg and Lundberg, two Swedish musicians, was much applauded, although it appeared somewhat slow amongst the more exciting performances of the evening.

He is surely the "Mr. Berry" the Argus (mis-)reported as playing at the Theatre Royal in July 1855. Berg also played in Lyster's Opera Orchestra from 1861, and in the Melbourne Popular Concerts in the 1880s.

He is probably the "Charles Berg, a musician, living at Sandridge" who was victim of a petty theft in Melbourne in 1862.


[Advertisement], The Argus (21 October 1854), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (26 October 1854), 8

"QUEEN'S THEATRE - MISS CATHERINE HAYES", The Argus (30 October 1854), 5

[Advertisement], The Argus (11 November 1854), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (9 July 1855), 8

"THEATRE ROYAL", The Argus (19 July 1855), 5

"THEATRE ROYAL", The Argus (30 July 1855), 5

[Advertisement], The Argus (29 September 1859), 8

[News], The Argus (22 April 1861), 4

"CHARGE OF STEALING FROM THE PERSON", The Argus (1 March 1864), 6

[Advertisement], The Argus (22 April 1862), 8

The Victoria Post Office directory (1866), 13

[News], The Argus (30 October 1867), 5

[News], The Argus (31 January 1870), 4

"MELBOURNE POPULAR CONCERTS", The Argus (15 June 1882), 9

[Advertisement], Bairnsdale Advertiser (4 November 1884), 3

"Deaths", The Argus (9 May 1890), 1


... It is with deep regret that we have to announce the demise of Mr. C. R. Berg, who was apparently in good health a few days ago, but who died suddenly yesterday morning. Mr. Berg has been a member of the orchestra (tuba) since its formation, and also took part in the Exhibition concerts. He was well advanced in years, and was well known and much respected as a musician, and also in private life, by all who were in any way associated with him.

"Deaths", The Argus (9 May 1890), 1

"Deaths", The Argus (3 October 1891), 1

"DEATHS", The Argus (19 June 1903), 1


Guitar pupil (of Henry Witton)

Active Melbourne, VIC, 1862


[Advertisement], The Courier [Brisbane] (24 October 1862), 1

H. BERINGAR (Guitar), Fitzroy-st., Collingwood. [pupil of Henry James Witton]


Cornet player, bandsman

Active Adelaide, SA, by 1872
Died Adelaide, SA, February 1897



Died Broken Hill, NSW, November 1921


"FAREWELL TO MR. J. S. J. BERMINGHAM", The Advertiser (4 February 1897), 6

"THE LATE MR. J. J. BIRMINGHAM RECORD OF THE CITY BAND", Barrier Miner (23 November 1921), 3

BERNIER, Pierre-François

Astronomer (on the Géographe), Indigenous music and culture recorder

Born La Rochelle, Charente Maritime, France, 19 November 1779
Active Australia, 1801-03
Died at sea off coast of Timor, 5/6 June 1803 (on board the Géographe)

See main entries on Bernier and Lesueur's Indigenous song transcriptions: 

Bernier (by Ingres, c.1800)

Image: Portrait by Ingres (1800)çois_Bernier#/media/File:Bernier-Ingres-1800.jpg

Indigenous songs (from Lesueur and Petit 1824):

Musique des sauvages de la Nouvelle-Galles du Sud (Lesueur et Bernier notaverunt)


1802 Bernier Air


Fornasiero and West-Sooby 2015, 24-25 reproduce a handwritten notation (? Bernier's 1802 original, or a later copy from it) of the "Air des Naturels de la N[ouve]lle Hollande au Port Jackson" (pictured above) and a much later handwritten copy text for the engraving of the music plate of the Péron and Freycinet Atlas of 1824 = Lesueur and Petit 1824 (Lesueur Collection, Muséum de l'Histoire Naturelle, Le Harve, nos. 16057R , 16059-1)


"Notice sur l'astronome Bernier", Connaissance des temps pour l'an XV (1804), 446-52

Jêrome Lalande, "Notice sur l'astronome Bernier", Magasin encyclopédique, ou Journal des sciences, des lettres et des arts (1804), 256-59

Bibliography and resources:

Jacques Vialle, "Le destin tragique de Pierre-Francois Bernier", Australian journal of French studies41/2 (2004), 165-70;dn=200410133;res=IELAPA

Fornasiero and West-Sooby 2015, 17-35 (PREVIEW)

Fornasiero et al. 2016, especially image page 21 

BERRY, Zachariah

Bandsman, Band of the 3rd Regiment (Buffs)

Born Horsham, Sussex, England, 1788
Active NSW, 1823-27
Died ? 1839

See also Band of the 3rd Regiment


London, National Archives, PRO, WO12/2118: 3rd Regiment of Foot (Buffs) payrolls 1824-26; microfilm copy at SL-NSW: PRO Reel 3695

Bibliography and resources: 


Pianist, organist, composer, "blind musician"

Born Brunswick, Germany c.1864
Arrived Adelaide, 25 July 1881 (per Catania, from Hamburg 18 May)


"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", South Australian Register (26 July 1881), 4

"A BLIND MUSICIAN", South Australian Register (10 August 1881), 5

"ORIGINAL MUSIC. THE NEW YEAR-A CANTATA", South Australian Register (20 February 1895), 3

"BLIND PIANO TUNERS", The Register (13 April 1922), 6

"FINGERS THAT SEE", The Mail (3 September 1927), 1


Musical works:

The wind in the trees (descriptive song; words by Emma E. Holden; music by Hans Bertram) (Adelaide: J. Woodman, [1885]) 

Let's be happy while we're young (song; words and music composed by R. Bruce; harmonized by Hans Bertram) (Adelaide: J. Woodman, [1889]) 

The empire's own (words by Noel Webb; music by Hans Bertram) (Adelaide: S. Marshall & Sons, [1900]) 


Grazier, singer, songwriter, Irish vocalist

Born Cork, Ireland, c. 1806/08
Arrived NSW, c. 1833
Active Yass, NSW, from 1834
Died Inverell, NSW, 14 April 1878, aged 72 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier)


Letter, from Besnard, Sydney, NSW, 27 March 1833, to his father, Peter Besnard, in Cork, Ireland; A voice from the bush, 11 

. . . Pray let me hear from you as soon as possible. Send me newspapers and reviews, and any recently published music; for, without a joke, a new song here may sometimes get a man a supper. Love and regards to all around you . . .

Letter, from Besnard, Sydney, NSW, 20 March 1835, to his father, Peter Besnard, in Cork, Ireland; A voice from the bush, 18 

. . . The part to which I intend to remove is far more solitary and retired than the plains of Goulburn; so pray send me ample supplies of newspapers, music, and penny magazines, which form just the library for a bush-hut, and will serve to cheer me in the lonely wilderness . . .

"FETE AT REGENTVILLE - NEW SOUTH WALES", Launceston Advertiser (9 April 1835), 3 

The fashionable world, in New South Wales, have long been on the on qui vive, in expectation of the proposed entertainments to be given by Sir J. Jamison, at Regentville . . . These expectations have been, as our readers must be aware, in some degree disappointed, in consequence of the untoward state of the weather . . . The Bands of the 4th and 17th Regiments were in attendance, and performed some delightful quadrilles, intermixed with a few lively waltzes. In the early part of the evening, the party were enlivened by the appearance of Captain Deeds and Lieut. Owen, as Grooms or Outriders, which characters they supported in the life - and favoured the visitors with the Duet of "A Boat, a boat to the Ferry." A gentleman named Besnard sung "The Sea," in very good style . . .

"ORIGINAL", Port Phillip Gazette (19 June 1839), 4 

If ever you were at Yass you may have heard a song,
That showed new chums in settling, were generally wrong;
And Squatting they should go!
On, on they rolled with sheep and cattle along their dreary way,
And staggering on amused themselves with pouring forth their lay.
Oh! Squatting we will go!

The song was made by Tom Besnard, and well he sang it too;
But things are strangely altered now, as I will prove to you.
And Squatting we won't go!
They raised the price of Crown Land a good while ago.
And Settlers left off buying then, as probably you know;
And Squatting they would go! . . .

A NIGHT WITH OULD IRELAND", The Argus (1 September 1855), 5 

Last night Mr. T. P. Besnard entertained a respectable audience in the Mechanics' Institution with a national entertainment, consisting of recitations, songs, and anecdotes, illustrative of Irish customs, peculiarities, and eccentricities. The stories were not all new, but they were effectively told, and, from the good acceptance they met with, we supposed that the promise of an "An Hour in Ould Ireland" had brought to Mr. Besnard's reception a large muster of his compatriots. He was assisted by Mr. Murphy, who sang some excellent Irish songs very agreeably and correctly, but without infusing into them so much spirit as we would have liked to hear. Mr. King played accompaniments on the pianoforte and sang several songs in a finished and unexceptional manner, but there was a tameness in his manner, as in Mr. Murphy's, which was a little disappointing, and we think both gentlemen would do better if they would pronounce the words of their songs a little more distinctly. Mr. Johnson infused more feeling into his performances, and, though all are pleasing singers, he comes better up to our expectations of an Irish singer. Mr. Besnard sang "The Widow Malone" with considerable comic effect, and was loudly encored; after which he sang a song full of local allusions, which was equally well received. Altogether the entertainment was a very pleasing one, and such of our readers as would spend an Hour In Ould Ireland would do so very agreeably in the society of Mr. Besnard and his associates.

"THE ASSAULT ON MR. BESNARD", Bendigo Advertiser (7 November 1856), 2 

It would be observed by a paragraph, in yesterday's issue that a row had occurred at the Shamrock Hotel on the previous day, commenced by Mr. Thatcher, under provocation as is asserted, striking Mr. Besnard, his former assailant, with his fist. A scuffle ensued with several parties who rushed in to prevent any fighting, and Mr. Besnard got bruised in the melee. Mr. Thatcher and a waiter at the Shamrock were subsequently arrested. Some absurd statements were current on Wednesday respecting the injuries said to have been received by Mr. Besnard, and Captain O'Hara, the magistrate applied to, refused to take bail for Mr. Thatcher until the illegality of this course was pointed out to him . . .

"WHAT I SAW IN SANDHURSTVILLE. No. 7", Bendigo Advertiser (28 April 1857), 2 

. . . Ah! don't I regret "that times are not as they used to was" six months ago, when Thatcher, "the inimitable," smashed the ribs of the renowned Paddy Besnard, and tasted in exchange the comforts of the "logs" . . .

"DEATH OF AN OLD BENDIGONIAN", Bendigo Advertiser (25 April 1878), 2 

[Text largely as below, except adding the following at end] . . . He was a man of a kindly and genial disposition, and was possessed of many good qualities. The record of his death will stir up many reminiscences of the past in the minds of old residents, to whom the name of Paddy Besnard, as the deceased gentleman was generally called by his friends, was once as familiar as a household word.

"COUNTRY NEWS", The Argus (26 April 1878), 6 

The subject of the following notice in the Bendigo Advertiser appears to have had a career more than ordinarily chequered:--

In the obituary of The Argus of Tuesday will be found the following notice:-- "On the 14th inst., at Inverill, New South Wales, Thomas Pope Besnard, Esq., formerly of Douglas (N.S.W.), at 72." Mr Besnard will be remembered by many of the older residents of Sandhurst. He arrived here in 1855 in connexion with a concert company, in which he took the part of an Irish singer. This company appeared at the Shamrock Hotel, and performed with considerable success for some time. Subsequently Mr. Besnard opened a restaurant in Williamson street, which he kept for a few years. On retiring from this business he applied for and obtained the situation of sexton to the Back Creek Cemetery. After holding this position for some time he left for New South Wales, with the view, we believe, of joining his brother, a gentleman in good circumstances in that colony. We have not heard of him since until the notice of his death in The Argus was brought under our notice. Mr. T. P. Besnard arrived in New South Wales in or about the year 1833, in the capacity, we believe, of aide-de-camp to the Governor, Sir Richard Bourke. He was therefore a colonist of 45 years' standing."


A voice from the bush in Australia: shewing its present state, advantages, and capabilities, in a series of letters from an Irish settler and others in New South Wales, with appendices . . . (Dublin: William Curry, jun., and Company, 1839) (DIGITISED)

See especially, "A SONG FROM AUSTRALIA" ("Ye lov'd friends of Erin, give heed to our song"), 40-41 

Bibliography and resources:

Patrick B. O'Neill, "Thomas Pope Besnard: less than enshrinement", Theatre research in Canada 14/2/ (1993) (DIGITISED)

BEST, Edwin

Composer, amateur musician

Active Adelaide, SA, by ? 1877
Died Adelaide, SA, 13 June 1936, aged 71 years


"News of the Week", South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail (2 June 1877), 6

"NEW MUSIC", South Australian Register (9 December 1885), 4

[Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (10 December 1885), 1

[News], The South Australian Advertiser (12 December 1885), 4

We have received a copy of the Estienne Vocal Waltz, which we referred to soma time ago as the production of an Adelaidean, Mr. Edwin Best. The composition is a very creditable one, with better pretence to variety, life, and color than many pieces of the valse character. It has a bold introduction of runs and chords in E major, and a chromatic lead into the vocal air in G major, "Love true as thine thine." The words by the way might have been improved upon ...

[Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (16 December 1885), 1

[News], The South Australian Advertiser (9 June 1888), 5

Amongst the number of scores sent in for the Melbourne Exhibition Cantata was one by Mr. Edwin Best, of Adelaide, an amateur who has made music a study for several years past, and whose work bears testimony of good reading, intelligent conception, and some practical acquaintance with the art. The Cantata opens with an overture in four movements, which leads to a chorus in five parts, "Welcome to visitors," followed by a recit. and aria for soprano with obligato for violoncello and flute; than a cavatina, "O'er leagues," for the contralto, and "Solitude" again as an intermezzo in E flat major ... [detailed description continues]

"DR. MACKAY AND HENRY RUSSELL. TO THE EDITOR", The South Australian Advertiser (19 December 1888), 7

"THE VICTORIAN ORCHESTRA. TO THE EDITOR", South Australian Register (16 September 1890), 7

Sir - The above body has given at least one good concert before leaving the colony, but in my humble opinion it is to be regretted that Beethoven appeared to a disadvantage by the preponderance of Wagner numbers. If three works by each master had been given it would have been nearer the mark. My reason for writing this is to show that Wagner cannot be understood unless his aim is comprehended, for Wagner's music was founded on Beethoven's principles. It was not until Wagner had heard one of Beethoven's symphonies that he finally adopted musical composition. Both the masters' styles are romantic, and if it be asked what is their difference it should he stated that Beethoven was inspired by nature, but Wagner drew his ideas from the supernatural world, and employed them in the musical drama. It is here where Wagner's genius shines. Beethoven had only music without scenery and effects to show his genius. In music alone, independent of poetry and painting, Beethoven is a genius, because he invented, whereas Wagner is a talent, because be adopted another's principles. Those who think that the phrase "the music of the future" means anything are mistaken, because Wagner did not intend to give anything new in sound, but only to show what could be done by the union of music (Beethoven's principles) and the mythical drama. I am, Sir, &c, PASSING NOTE (Edwin Best). September 15.

"DEATHS", The Advertiser (15 June 1936), 16

Musical works:

Estienne vocal waltz (written and composed by Edwin Best) (Adelaide: Cawthorne & Co., [1885])


Double-bass (contra-basso, double bass viol) player, cellist, violoncello player, amateur musician, member of Adelaide Choral Society, attorney, professional musician

Born Bourton on the Water, Gloucester, England, 5 November 1823 (son of Stephen and Sarah BETTERIDGE; Baptist register)
Active Adelaide, by 1854
Departed SA, 1874, for VIC
Died WA, 15 August 1909 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Pianist, music teacher




Bandsman, composer

Henry Betteridge (c.1909)

Image: Henry Betteridge, c. early 1900s


[Advertisement], The South Australian (11 October 1854), 1

"CHORAL SOCIETY", South Australian Register (13 January 1857), 3

[Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (12 May 1859), 1

"THE NORWOOD PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The South Australian Advertiser (20 July 1861), 2

"SERVICE OF SACRED SONG", Evening Journal (2 December 1873), 2 

"LEGAL", South Australian Register (29 August 1874), 5

At the sitting of the Supreme Court in Banco on Friday morning, August 28, Mr. Henry Betteridge, a solicitor, was formally struck off the roll of practitioners of the Court. It will be remembered that proceedings have been in progress for some time past in reference to the alleged misconduct of the attorney in question ... It is generally believed that Mr. Betteridge has left the colony.

"Benalla", Euroa Advertiser (2 September 1887), 7 

The shire hall was filled from floor to gallery on the occasion of the complimentary benefit given by the Benalla Jubilee Minstrels, in aid of the Mechanics' Brass Band, which has the "prestige" of being the premier band of the North-Eastern district ... Mr. Bettridge's band, consisting of the following performers, played all the accompaniments in their usual finished style: - Orchestra - first violin; Mr. C. Betteridge; second violin, Mr. R. Betteridge; double bass viol, Mr. H. Betteridge; first cornet, Mr. P. Helm; second cornet, Mr. J. Ride; flute, Mr. J. O'Halloran; side drum, Mr. M. Findley; pianist, Mr James M. Taylor; secretary, Mr. A. Bobby ...

"Mr. Dunjey's Farewell", Port Pirie Recorder and North Western Mail (9 July 1898), 4 

"FUNERALS", The West Australian (17 August 1909), 1

"DEATH OF MR. BETTERIDGE", Benalla Standard (31 August 1909), 2 

Word comes from Perth, W.A., of the death there of an old Benalla resident in the person of Mr. Henry Betteridge. The news will be received with feelings of great regret by many of those who re member Mr. Betteridge as a resident of this town, where he was always ready to assist in any charitable object by any means in his power. The deceased was a native of Gloucester, and was educated for the Bar, but, having strong musical tastes, he gave that up and came to the colonies in the sixties, arriving at Benalla in 1870, and he remained here for 27 years. The remains were interred, in the Anglican portion of the Kanakatta Cemetery, near Perth, on last Tuesday, and the funeral was well attended. Mr. R. H. Kell represented the professional musicians of Perth, and Mr. W. Hansen the orchestra of West's Pictures ...


Bandsman, band of the 63rd Regiment

Died Hobart Town, VDL, 6 June 1831

See also Band of the 63rd regiment


[News], Colonial Times (8 June 1831), 3 

John Beveridge, belonging to the band of the 63rd Regiment, died suddenly on Monday last, at Mr. P. Dudgeon's, the Derwent Brewery; he had, during the day, appeared rather depressed in spirits, owing to his having received intelligence of the death of a relative, but otherwise, as usual; the deceased was particularly subject to severe fits of cramp. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body, on the following day, when a Verdict of - "Died in a fit of Apoplexy" was returned.

BEVERLEY, Florence (Miss Florence BEVERLY; Miss Florence CALZADO)

Contralto vocalist, burlesque comedian

Active Victoria, by 1863; Sydney, NSW, until 1873


"NEWS AND NOTES", The Star (10 January 1863), 2

[Advertisement], Empire (30 September 1863), 1

[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Sydney (27 February 1864), 3

[News], The Argus (9 June 1864), 5

[News], The Argus (17 June 1864), 5

"MUSICAL", South Australian Register (25 May 1865), 2

We learn from Bell's Life in Victoria that Mr. and Mrs. R. Smythe (late Miss Amelia Bailey), Mons. Poussard, and Miss Florence Beverley, after a successful tour through India and Chins, will shortly return to Melbourne.

"DRAMATIC AND MUSICAL", South Australian Register (3 April 1866), 2

[News], The Argus (17 June 1867), 4

We observe from the Cape papers to hand by the mail that the Poussard-Bailey party, who were driven from Mauritius by the prevalence of the fever there, were performing with great success in Cape Town, drawing crowded houses nightly. The Cape Argus remarks respecting them: "M. Poussard is a violinist and pianist of first-class ability, while Miss Amelia Bailey is most enthusiastically received. The comic songs, in character, by Miss Calzado take immensely, and night after night she is vociferously encored."

[News], The Argus (31 August 1869), 5

"ARTISTES AND THEIR WANDERINGS. II", The Mercury (13 September 1869), 3

"POPULAR CONCERTS AT ST. GEORGE'S HALL", The Argus (27 January 1870), 6

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 February 1873), 10

Bibliography and resources:

Allister Hardiman, "Calzado who?", Out of the inkbottle (weblog)

BEYER, Augustus

Organist, ? violinist

Arrived Adelaide, SA, 31 March 1848 (per Pauline, from Bremen)
Died Cox's Creek, SA, 23 November 1858, in his 53rd year (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Music teacher


"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", South Australian (4 April 1848), 2

... Passengers - Augustus Beyer, organist; Mrs. Beyer and five children ...

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (12 July 1848), 1

The daughter of a German teacher, seventeen years of age, seeks an engagement in a respectable family for teaching young children. Besides the usual objects of instruction, she can give lessons in the French language, in drawing, and in the rudiments of music. Apply to A. BEYER, Gawler-place.

"MISKA HAUSER", South Australian Register (18 January 1856), 3

We understand this inimitable artist is likely to carry away from Adelaide a prize which he himself considers would alone have amply recompensed his visit to South Australia. It came to his knowledge that Mr. Beyer, of Freeman-street, had an old violin to which its former owner, the late Mr. [Spencer Wellington] Wallace, a musician of great colonial celebrity, attached immense value. Mr. Beyer, however, had formed a more moderate estimate of its worth, and actually sold it for £10 a few days before Miska Hauser heard of it. The purchaser of the violin from Mr. Beyer was found, and, as he consented for a trifling advance on his outlay to part with the instrument, the Hungarian master found himself possessed of a veritable chef d'oeuvre of Stravidare, of Cremona [sic]. The tone of this instrument under the magic touch of Miska Hauser is, we understand, so surpassingly exquisite that its enthusiastic owner calculates upon achieving greater triumphs than ever in his divine art through its agency. 

"DIED", The South Australian Advertiser (29 November 1858), 2

"DEATHS", South Australian Register (16 August 1888), 4

See also:

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", South Australian (7 November 1848), 2

Lists "1 organist", anonymous, among the German emigrants on board the Victoria, from Hamburg.

BEYER, Franz

Violinist (Tanunda School Band)

Active Tanunda, SA, 1853


"TANUNDA SCHOOL EXAMINATION", South Australian Register (29 March 1853), 2

BIAL, Charles (Carl, Karl; Charles BIAL)

Pianist, accompanist, musical director, composer, arranger

Born ? Germany, 1833
Active Melbourne, VIC, 1854-59; Adelaide, SA, 1855-56
Died ? Germany, 1892


Herr C. Bial was "Conductor and Accompaniest" at Astley's Amphitheatre in Melbourne for Octavia Hamilton's benefit in October 1854. He was accompanist for Miska Hauser in June 1855, also travelling to Adelaide with Hauser.

Back in Melbourne by May 1856 advertised then that he would henceforth "devote his time to the Musical Instruction of advanced pupils on the Piano".

He appeared in concert with Edward Boulanger in July 1859 playing piano duet arrangements of Beethoven symphonies and as his solo a Thalberg fantasia. "Being about to quit the colony for Europe", Bial gave a farewell concert in December 1859. After our Bial's departure, in Sydney in October 1860, the song setting When we two parted by "Herr Karl Bial" was sung by Miss G. McCarthy at Madame Jaffa's concert.

It seems likely that Charles Bial was none other than the German pianist, composer and arranger Carl Bial (1833-1892), into whose later care the young Melbourne pianist John Kruse was placed in Berlin in 1878.

In Berlin in 1863, he had a piano work, Souvenire de Caire, polka brillante pour piano, published in Berlin by Peters, under the name "Charles Bial".

Bial was once also compared with Cutolo, in a letter to the Adelaide press in December 1858).

"Herr Bial (Berlin Conservatoire)" and "E. Boulanger (Paris Conservatoire)", the latter by then very much "late", were listed as former teachers of a Mr. C. W. Russell, from the "Royal Conservatoire of Music, Stuttgart", when he set up his teaching practice in St. Kilda in July the same year, 1878.

Rodolphe Bial (below) was his brother.


[Advertisement], The Argus (11 October 1854), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (29 November 1854), 8

"MISKA HAUSER", The Argus (1 June 1855), 5

[Advertisement], The Argus (21 June 1855), 8

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (24 June 1858), 1

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", South Australian Register (28 June 1858), 2

"MISKA HAUSER'S CONCERT AT THE PORT", South Australian Register (22 December 1855), 2

[Advertisement], The Argus (23 February 1856), 8

"MISS EMILIE SMITH'S CONCERT", The Argus (26 February 1856), 5

[Advertisement], The Argus (12 May 1856), 3

"SIGNOR CUTOLO. TO THE EDITOR", South Australian Register (2 December 1858), 3

[News], The Argus (13 July 1859), 5

[Advertisement], The Argus (10 December 1859), 8

[Advertisement], Empire (29 September 1860), 1

[Advertisement], The Argus (15 July 1878), 8

"THE KRUSE FUND", The Argus (13 September 1878), 3

Musical works:

Fackeltanz aus der Oper Der Landfriede von Ignaz Brüll; arr. von C. Bial.

BIAL, Rodolphe (Rudolf BIAL)

Violinist, pianist, composer

Born Habelschwerdt, Silesia, 26 August 1834
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 19 July 1857 (per Royal Charter, from Liverpool, England, 16 May)
Departed Melbourne, VIC, 10 April 1858 (per Royal Charter, for Liverpool, England)
Died New York, NY, USA, 13 November 1881 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"Mr. Rodolphe Bial, Violinist, late Musical Director at Berlin, having just arrived from Germany" announced a concert at Melbourne's Mechanics' Institution on 6 August 1857, assisted by his brother Charles Bial, Charles's piano pupil Miss Emilie Smith, and Julius Siede. At Ballarat's Charlie Napier in October:

M. Rodolphe Bial played with exquisite taste his variations on the air of "The Old Folks at Home", and in reply to the enthusiastic encore tendered in a finished and highly artistic manner, the well known refrain of "Yankee Doodle."

He is last documented in Australia leading the band for a New Year's Eve ball in Ballarat on 31 December 1857.

Perhaps dating from his Australian visit, however, are his Yarra songs waltzes, published twenty years later (New York: Edward Schuberth, 1879; online:;,_Rudolf%29).


"THE ROYAL CHARTER", Empire (23 July 1857), 5 

The steamship arrived at Port Phillip on sunday last, having left Liverpool May 16. The following is a list of her cabin passengers: - Saloon . . . R. Bial . . .

"A NEW VIOLINIST", The Argus (28 July 1857), 6

[Advertisement], The Argus (6 August 1857), 8

[Advertisement], The Star (21 October 1857), 3

"CHARLIE NAPIER", The Star (27 October 1857), 2

[Advertisement], The Star (19 November 1857), 3

[Advertisement], The Star (29 December 1857), 3

[Advertisement], The Argus (4 March 1858), 8 

Musical works (German sources):

Bibliography and resources:

"Rudolf Bial", Wikipedia

BIANCHI, Eugenio (Signor BIANCHI)

Tenor vocalist

Born Lucca, Tuscany (Italy), 13 October 1827
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 21 December 1859 (per William, from San Francisco, California, 1 October)
Departed Sydney, NSW, 11 January 1862 (per Iconium, for San Francisco)
Died San Francisco, California, USA, 22 June 1895 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

BIANCHI, Giovanna (Giovannina; Giovanna Maria DI CASALI DA CAMPAGNA; Signora BIANCHI)

Soprano, mezzo, contralto vocalist

Born Padua (Italy), 14 March 1828
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 21 December 1859 (per William, from San Francisco, California, 1 October)
Departed Sydney, NSW, 11 January 1862 (per Iconium, for San Francisco)
Died San Francisco, California, USA, 22 February 1895 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

See also: (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Prior to Australia (to 1859):

[Advertisement], Daily Alta California (22 October 1858), 2 

MAGUIRE'S OPERA HOUSE . . . SIGNORA GIOVANINI [sic] BIANCHI AND SIGNOR EUGANIO [sic] BIANCHI, Who will appears for the first time in California, ON SATURDAY EVENING, OCT. 23d . . .

"OPERA HOUSE. SIGNOR AND SIGNORA BIANCHI", Sacramento Daily Union [California, USA] (28 October 1858), 2 

There was another large and very critical audience present at the Opera House last evening, when Signor and Signora Bianchi made their second appearance. These artists evidently felt more at their ease than on the evening previous, and certainly sang with much better taste and execution. The gentleman was in better tune (erroneously printed "time" in yesterday's issue), and created a far more favorable impression. He is, beyond companion, the best tenor we have ever possessed in California. His voice is clear, sonorous and sympathetic - particularly strong and distinct in the higher notes, and fall of pathos in the lower register - it is under good command, and has evidently been cultivated with care. Signora Bianchi possesses a flexible, silvery voice - rich in some of its lower tones, but somewhat deficient in volume; she is consequently obliged to make up in intensity what she lacks in these particulars. - San Francisco Herald, Oct. 25th.

[Advertisement], Daily Alta California (18 November 1858), 2 

MAGUIRE'S OPERA HOUSE . . . Signora Giovannina Bianchi, Signer Eugenio Bianchi . . .

"THE ITALIAN OPERA", Daily Alta California (13 August 1859), 2 

The second season of the Italian opera troupe commences this evening at the American theatre, under the most brilliant and flattering auspices. Never before have our citizens had an opportunity of hearing the choice Italian operas rendered so perfectly as by the Bianchi troupe. The opera of "La Traviata," (The Lost One) with which the season opens, is full of gems of purest music. Signor Bianchi appears as Alfredo, Signora Bianchi as Violetta. Wm. Leach as Germont. and Mlle. Kammerer as Flora. The orchestra is under the able leadership of Mr. Herold.

"FARWELL BENEFIT TO THE BIANCHIS", Daily Alta California (8 September 1859), 2 

Signor and Signora Bianchi are about to leave our State for Australia, and previous to their departure, they propose to take a farewell benefit at the American theatre on Saturday evening. Their departure will be a serious loss to the cause of music in San Francisco, and will be the source of corresponding regret to its friends. Signor Bianchi is a true artist. He understands both the theory and practice of music. His fine tenor voice, his thorough musical education, and his talent for his art, befit him to appear with credit on any stage. But his value to our musical community depended almost as much on his other faculties - his ability as a manager, and his understanding of all the complex machinery which must be made to work together harmoniously for the production of difficult operas. Signora Bianchi, although not the equal of her husband as a musician, was still a valuable addition to out musical talent. The attempt to establish the Italian opera by subscription failed for various reasons, and Signor Bianchi desires to try his fortune in other fields. Perhaps he will return to us before long. The home of the artist is in the country which pays him best. Signor and Signora Bianchi are popular personally as well as musically, and no doubt their benefit will be attended, as it should be, by a full and fashionable house.

"CORRESPONDENCE", Daily Alta California (20 September 1859), 2 

"DEPARTURE", Daily Alta California (2 October 1859), 2

Signor and Signora Bianchi left our city yesterday on the ship William, for Melbourne . . . We are happy to annoucne that they will revisit our State within a few months, with one of the finest opera companies ever organized in the United States.

Australia (from 1859):

"THEATRICAL CHITCHAT", The Courier (5 May 1859), 2

. . . Mr. Rees has also engaged Signor and Signora Bianchi for Australia, a tenor and prima donna of the first order. Signor Bianchi is considered by competent judges to be the finest tenor that has ever visited America. (Just what what you want in Melbourne). Signora is young and beautiful; she possesses a fine soprano voice of great power. They are sure of a hearty welcome from your opera-loving people . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 June 1859), 1

ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE . . . The celebrated Prima Donna, Signora BIANCHI, and distinguished Tenor, Signor BIANCHI, from the grand Opera Houses Paris, Naples, Berlin, and St. Petersburgh, are daily expected to arrive . . .

SUMMARY FOR EUROPE . . . AMUSEMENTS", The Argus (17 November 1859), 1 supplememnt 

. . . Nothing has yet been heard of the Signor and Signora Bianchi, who were expected to arrive from America . . .

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. HOBSON'S BAY", The Argus (22 December 1859), 4 

ARRIVED. - December 21 . . . William, American ship, 522 tons, Joseph T. Berry, from San Francisco 2nd October. Passengers - cabin: Mr. and Mrs. Bianchi, Captain W. Cheyne, Mr. L. Mariotti; and three in the steerage . . .

"THEATRE ROYAL", The Argus (17 January 1860), 5

"THE THEATRE ROYAL ON SATURDAY. TO THE EDITOR", The Argus (23 January 1860), 5

"LAST NIGHT OF THE BIANCHIS", The Sydney Morning Herald (10 January 1862), 4

"CLEARANCES. JANUARY 11", The Sydney Morning Herald (13 January 1862), 4

Iconium, ship, 549 tons, Captain Heustis, for San Francisco. Passengers - Mr. J. O. Gorman, Signor and Signora Bianchi. Signor Grossi, Messrs. Herman, Marriotti, Emmerson, J. Gregg, and 15 in the steerage.

"MUSICAL AND DRAMA", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 January 1862), 4

After Australia (from 1862):

"From the Sandwich Islands", Daily Alta California (5 May 1862), 1 

On Saturday and Monday nights, April 5th and 7th, Signora Bianchi, Messrs. Grossi and Gregg gave two more performances at the Hawaiian Theatre, fully attended by a numerous and delighted audience.

"PASSENGERS", Daily Alta California (6 May 1862), 4 

SYDNEY - Per Iconium - Signor and Signora Bianchi, Miss Hermann, Mr. John Gregg, Signor E, Grossi, Mr. Saml. C. Bradshaw 3d, and nine others.

"AN OPERATIC SEASON", Daily Alta California (12 July 1862), 2 

"MR. JOHN GREGG AT SAN FRANCISCO", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (30 August 1862), 2

. . . There is no very marked change in Signor Bianchi. Wo see the old sturdy and rather fussy figure, we hear the same beautiful voice that was familiar two years ago. Signora Bianchi is as stout as ever - perhaps a little stouter; she has the old "gushing" style of doing things, and takes the eyes, if not the ears, by storm. Her voice seems at times somewhat fatigued, and lacked freshness. There is little of the sympathetic character about her singing; but opera-goers will no doubt soon get used to her tones and take delight in them. Mr. John Gregg made his first appearance as the Count di Luna, and, oddly enough, sang his part in English. This was rather ridiculous, it must be confessed, but then Mr. Gregg made his English so happily unintelligible that he must have succeeded in deceiving many into the notion that he was singing nearly as choice Tuscan as the best of them . . .

"THE BIANCHIS IN CALIFORNIA", The Sydney Morning Herald (28 November 1862), 5

"MME. GIOVANNI BIANCHI. a portrait taken thirty-five yeas ago" [1860], in obituary below

"A CANTATRICE WHO SINGS NO MORE", San Francisco Call (23 February 1895), 4 

Madame Bianchi, the Mother; of Music in California, Is Dead. A PIONEER AMONG SINGERS. In the Fifties She Introduced Il Trovatore, Lucrezia Borgia and Traviata.

Mme. Giovanni Bianchi; a woman who was a pioneer in the musical history of San Francisco, died yesterday morning. In 1859, when there were but three theaters in the city, the Metropolitan, Maguire's Opera-house and the Lyceum, centered at Montgomery and Washington streets, Signor E. Bianchi and his wife arrived. They had sung in Mantua. Venice, Padua, Turin and Trieste, in Italy, then for three years in Mexico, and in Australia for a year.

At the time of their advent the Italian opera was comparatively unknown, although Bochsa, Mme. Bishop and Barilli Thorne in 1854 made attempts to produce works of the Donizetti-Verdi school. Theatrical enterprises were rather dangerous undertakings and managers shrunk from the task of importing operatic troupes. Tom Maguire was afraid of music, but Bianchi sent to Italy and Australia for talent, and trusting in his wife's ability, risked everything that he had. He made up a local chorus and orchestra, had costumes made and produced "II Travotore," "Ernani," "Lucrezia Borgia," "Norma," "Traviata" and the now seldom heard "Atilla."

Mme. Bianchi had a repertoire of forty two operas, and such a favorite as she was probably never known before in the city. To support her were brought out John Gregg the barytone, Milleri, the basso, Brambilla, an exceptionally good soprano, and G. Mancusi, who, though now nearly blind, is esteemed an authority on singing.

From a paper published in 1859 the following rather quaint comment on a performance of hers is found:

"The signora's style is epic. She hits the great points and leaves you to feel the rest. Her gestures are voluminous. The tender ones are full of the last soul of love: her threatening or calamitous ones appalling. There is catastrophe in them - the certainty of doom. Her dresses and attitudes are perfection. They are fine - not merely because they are classical, but because the ancients in the height and purity of their perceptions hit upon the finest attitudes, and she and the ancients think in this matter alike."

For a, number of years Mme. Bianchi starred at the old Metropolitan and other theaters, and her interpretations of contralto roles, such as Azucena, made her the accepted favorite among the musicloving people of the city. In fact, she became the rage and was entertained and received by the Rincon Hill portion of the town, but tiring of stage life, and at the solicitation of many of her admirers, she concluded to devote her attention to teaching, and hundreds of local choir-singers and many people who have since gained prestige through their voices owe their success to the careful and kindly training of Mme. Bianchi.

During late years - and she was born in 1828 - her health had been declining. The cause of her death was heart trouble. The funeral will take place on Monday and will undoubtedly be largely attended. She leaves a son, and Signer Bianchi, who is 72 years of age, survives her.

"DIED", San Francisco Call (24 February 1895), 6 

BIANCHI - In this city, February 22, 1895, Giovanna, beloved wife for Signor E. Bianchi, and mother of Eugene Bianchi Jr., a native of Padua, aged 66 years 11 months and 7 days.

"DIED", San Francisco Call (23 June 1895), 10 

BIANCHI - In this city, June 22, 1895, Signor Eugenio, beloved husband of the late Mme. Giovanna Bianchi, and father of Eugene Bianchi Jr., a native of Italy, aged 72 years 8 months and 9 days.

"EUGENIO BIANCHI DEAD", San Francisco Call (23 June 1895), 10 

One of the Most Famous Tenors of His Day Passed Away in Sleep. A once, famous tenor and a teacher of vocal music, who had numbered his pupils by hundreds, passed away when Eugenio Bianchi breathed his last yesterday. The veteran musician had been ill for three months, and his death was caused by blood poisoning.

Eugenio Bianchi was born at Lucca, Italy, in 1822. He studied under Puccini [sic] and other noted teachers in his native land. In 1856 he came to America and made a concert tour of Mexico and Peru. He came to San Francisco in 1857 and first appeared in this City in Maguire's Operahouse on Washington street, when he sang selections from "II Trovatore." He introduced Italian opera in this City in splendid style at the American Theater. His next venture was at the old Metropolitan Theater on Montgomery street. He organized an opera company for a tour of Australia and New Zealand and afterward of Mexico. He has sung in fifty-eight different operas and with some of the most celebrated singers of his time. Latterly he gave his attention to teaching advanced pupils, and it is said that he pave lessons to Miss Garrissere and David Wise two weeks before his death. His last public appearance was fourteen years ago, when he sang at a benefit for himself at the Grand Opera-house.

He leaves one son, Eugenio Bianchi Jr., an attorney of the firm of Mowry & Bianchi. Arrangements for the funeral have not yet been made, but will be announced tomorrow.

"MUSIC AND THE DRAMA", The Tasmanian (7 September 1895), 31 

Signer Eugenie Bianchi, an operatic star who toured in Australia with his wife, Signora Casili, many years ago, died in San Francisco last June at the age of 73. His wife, says Table Talk, died four months earlier.

Bibliography and resources:

George W. Martin, Verdi at the Golden Gate: opera and San Francisco in the Gold Rush years (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1993), 118, 286 (PREVIEW) (PREVIEW)

Gyger 1999, 107-18, 119, 122, 123, 159, 172, 200, 250

George W. Martin, Verdi in America: Oberto through Rigoletto (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2011), 119 (PREVIEW)


Bianchi Minstrels (also Bianchi Coloured Minstrels; and Bianchi coloured opera troupe)

In Sydney in April 1862, 3 months after the Bianchis left Australia, "several ladies and gentlemen" reportedly "formed themselves into a company under the above name".

BIGGS, Jesse

Musician, bassoon player, bass vocalist, organist, organ builder, and pianoforte tuner

Born England, 13 November 1819
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, by 1856
Died Launceston, TAS, 23 August 1872, aged 53 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Summary (after OHTA):

Jesse Biggs was born in London on 13 November 1819. After training with Gray and Davison in London, he is known to have built one organ in Britain, at St. Margaret's Church, Stanford Rivers, Essex, but this appears no longer to exist.

After arriving in Melbourne in 1856, he built the first organ in Holy Trinity Church, Williamstown, Victoria, opened in July 1857. In 1859 he moved to Hobart, Tasmania where he erected organs at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Hobart, the Mechanics' Institute, Launceston, and Hobart Town Hall. He also "perfected" the imported organ at St. David's Cathedral, Hobart.

He is likely to have provided assistance to the Launceston organ-builder Samuel Joscelyne.

In 1871 he returned to Geelong to carry out work at Christ Church and All Saints' Church. According to contemporary newspapers now available online, Biggs appears now to have built a number of organs in Victoria and Tasmania, of which only a handful survive intact.

Biggs was also active as a solo bass vocalist and bassoon soloist.


"ORGAN BUILDING", The Age (1 July 1857), 5 


On Tuesday evening the whole of the first, and the greater portion of the second parts of Haydn's "Creation," with selections from the works of Handel, Mendelssohn, and Beethoven, were performed in this church, in connection with the opening of an organ erected therein by Mr. Biggs, organ builder, Little Lonsdale street ... The organ, ably played by Mr. Boswell, organist of St. Peter's, is small but powerful, and its tone of excellent quality. The attendance was numerous, but not crowded. The receipts will scarcely clear the instrument from debt.

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (25 March 1862), 5

"MECHANICS' INSTITUTE", Launceston Examiner (20 January 1863), 5

"TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT", The Cornwall Chronicle (26 September 1863), 4 

The so-called leading journal, the Hobart Town Mercury has been the means of perpetrating a most malicious hoax, upon a highly respectable man, Mr. Biggs, the talented organ builder. In its Wednesday's issue it states: - "We have just received intelligence by telegram from Launceston, that Mr. Biggs, organist, of this city has committed suicide." A large number of our readers are aware that Mr. Biggs is alive, in good health and spirits, and long may he remain so. He is about the last man amongst our wide circle of acquaintances who would be likely to perpetrate so horrible a deed as that so wantonly attributed to him ...

"THE LAUNCESTON HARMONIC SOCIETY", The Cornwall Chronicle (30 April 1864), 4 

... The glee "Hail to the Chief,' which followed, was the least successful of any of the pieces, and "Down among the dead men" decidedly the most so. This fine bass solo was sung by Mr. Biggs in a powerful Lablache-like voice, with a presence and finish of style and action seldom equalled in the colonies. The applause at the termination of the song was universal, and increased to a determined encore. Mr. Biggs then sung, in a style only excelled here by Farquharson, the good old buffo song "Simon the Cellarer." This again brought down the house, figuratively speaking, and literally endangered the safety of the gallery. Mr. Biggs's subsequent bassoon solo, consisting of a variety of Scotch airs, including "Yankee Doodle," and winding up after an encore with "Auld Lang Syne," was an equally popular performance. Winterbottom and Mr. Biggs, we believe, are the only performers who have attempted the difficult task of playing a solo on the bassoon here ...

"TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT", The Cornwall Chronicle (11 May 1864), 4

Mr. J. Biggs, organ builder, has just completed, at his residence Upper Brisbane-street, a beautiful chamber organ, which he built to order for a gentleman in the country. This, we believe, is the first organ actually manufactured in Tasmania, the metal pipes being the only portion of it imported from England. It contains 6 stops :-l open diapason, 2 Dulciana, 3 stop diapason, wood bass, metal treble, 4 principal, 5 fifteenth, and 6 flute. The sound board is made of New South Wales cedar and American clear pine, which is equal to the Honduras mahogany, so generally used in England for this purpose. The bellows are made on an improved principle, which renders the labor of blowing so light that a child of seven years of age can perform it with ease. The case, which is not yet finished, is to be of cedar with silk panels. The whole of the work, turning included, has been performed by Mr. Biggs, in addition to his usual duties of tuning and repairing pianos, &c., since the 23rd February. Having a supply of metal pipes on hand, Mr. Biggs intends to build other organs for sale, and in a short time few places of worship in this colony will be without that most appropriate of all instruments for sacred music- a good organ.

"TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT", The Cornwall Chronicle (25 June 1864), 4

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (25 July 1866), 16

CHURCH ORGAN FOR SALE, containing 8 stops, and one octave, of Bourdon pedal pipes, 16 feet tone; two octaves of German pedals, acting on the keys. Will be sold a bargain. J. Biggs, Organ Builder, Brisbane-street. 15 July.

"OPENING OF THE NEW TOWN HALL", The Mercury (25 October 1866), 3

"LONGFORD", Launceston Examiner (18 June 1867), 5

"INSOLVENCY COURT", Launceston Examiner (7 September 1867), 5

[News], Launceston Examiner (13 February 1869), 4

"COMPLIMENTARY BENEFIT TO MR. BIGGS", The Mercury (30 June 1869), 2

[Advertisement], The Mercury (10 July 1869), 1

"SIGNOR GAGLIARDI'S BENEFIT CONCERT", The Mercury (12 July 1869), 2

"PROMENADE CONCERT", The Mercury (13 July 1869), 2

"NEWS OF THE WEEK", Launceston Examiner (2 October 1869), 2

"MECHANICS' INSTITUTE. THE ORGAN", Launceston Examiner (9 September 1871), 5

"DEATH", The Cornwall Chronicle (28 August 1872), 2

"OUR LAUNCESTON LETTER", The Mercury (30 August 1872), 2

The death of Mr. Jesse Biggs, musician and organ builder, has given another opportunity for the exercise of genuine charity. Through no fault of his own Mr. Biggs has left his family totally unprovided for, so much so that a few personal friends had to see that the last services rendered to him were properly and decorously carried out. Steps are now being taken towards holding a monster popular concert on behalf of his wife and family, and as the matter is in good hands, and the public of Launceston is not ungenerously inclined, it will doubtless be a success. Mr. Biggs, having superintended the erection of the organ at St. David's and the Town Hall in your city [Hobart], is consequently not wholly unknown in the South, and possibly there may be found some amongst those who will read this little notice of the deceased inclined to help the widow and the orphan. I had some slight acquaintance with Mr. Biggs, and believe that from the time the question of obtaining an organ for the Melbourne Town Hall was first mooted he cherished the hope of being in one way or another connected with that magnificent instrument. But for disease and ultimate death, who knows but his humble aspiration might have been fulfilled?  Requiescat in pace.

"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 large ball was well filled by a fashionable audience, though all classes were well represented. ... 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. Nickolls presided at the pianoforte. The overture was excellently performed, in perfect time, and with fine effect. It gave entire satisfaction, and elicited universal applause ... The second part opened with the overture "L'ltaliana in Algeri," by the performers of the first overture with the addition of Mr. J. H. Melvyn, making a fourth violin, but using a tenor or viola. It was remarkably well performed, but the piece itself has not the swelling grandeur, force, body, and variety of the overture to Masaniello ...

Bibliography and resources:

"Jesse Biggs - organbuilder", OHTA News 26/2 (April 2002), 4

UK, National Archives, Biggs Family Letters, Z 895

Z 895/1/Letter fourteen (pages 42-44), 25 December 1851, from Abraham to brother William: Mentions Jesse's diligence and skill in baking bread and building organs; Z 895/1/Letter fifteen (pages 45-47); 18 February 1852, from Abraham to brother William: Sent small box of various colonial woods (for the "Organ Builder").


Irish bagpiper

Active Sydney, NSW, 1823


[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (2 January 1823), 4

IF BIGLEY, the Irish Bagpiper, will call at the GAZETTE OFFICE, he will hear of something to his advantage.

Bibliography and resources:

Don Wilson, The Providence, convict ship 1810-1811

[SUMMARY] BIGLY, Denis (BAGLEY, BAYLEY, BEGLEY, BIGLEY, BUGALLY) (ABGR 23247) Born c1786, based on age of 25 years on arrival in Australia in 1811. Sentenced to 7 years transportation at Kerry, in March 1809. Received certificate of freedom number 1694, date unknown. Married Mary Blakeway (per Lord Wellington, 1820; or CSP papers have her per Elizabeth 1820). Banns October 2, 1820, St John's, Parramatta. (Historical BDM's numbers V18202626-3A/1820 & V18201008-147B/1820) In 1821 on list of land grants (The Sydney Gazette, 28 April 1821) In 1822 Muster listed as Bayley, Free by Servitude, at Liverpool (page 27, number A01045), and in 1822 Land Returns as Bugally, with a hundred acres, 2 horses, 30 head of cattle and 7 hogs, plus a small quantity of wheat on hand, residence at Liverpool. (page 539, number B00145). In the 1823-25 muster he was listed, under the name Bayley, as Free by Servitude, a Landholder at Parramatta (page 27, number 11488). In the 1828Census, as Begley, he was living with his wife, Mary and three servants at Prospect (references B0866 - 67) In the 1841 Census Dennis Begley was a resident in the Parish of Prospect, Parramatta (Item X948, page 63, Reel 2222).



Active Sydney, NSW, 1820s's+Band (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


[News], The Monitor (31 December 1827), 6

CAPTAIN PIPER'S old fiddler Billy, shipped himself as cook, on board the Ephemina; but on Mr. Cubit mustering the crew at the Heads as usual, he found poor Billy's certificate of freedom did not bear the signature of Mr. Healy. Billy was in consequence put back in the guard-boat, to the great mortification of the ship's company, who had provided him with a violin, in the hope of having some music during the ensuing Christmas.

BINDER, Marion (Miss M. A. [sic]; Mrs. Edward HURST)

Pianist, vocalist, music teacher, composer

Active Ballarat, VIC, by 1862


[Advertisement], The Star [Ballarat] (15 April 1862), 3

MISS BINDER will give Lessons in Singing and Music after the most approved method of the best English masters, on moderate terms. Schools attended. Apply, Upton House Establishment for Young Ladies, Clarendon street, off Lydiard-street, Soldiers' Hill; or at Evans Brothers, next Bath's Hotel, Lydiard street. N.B.-Mrs BINDER is anxious to solicit the attention of the public to her collection of Music now for sale, which she will add to by every mail.

[Advertisement], The Star [Ballarat] (7 May 1862), 3

[Advertisement]: "THE BALLARAT GRAMMAR-SCHOOL", The Ballarat Star (7 January 1865), 1

"NEWS AND NOTES", The Ballarat Star (14 May 1866), 2

Miss Binder had been appointed organist of the Ballarat Harmonic Society, in the place of Mrs W. Little, retired. Miss Binder is an accomplished musician, whose public performances on the piano-forte some concerts back will be fresh in memory. The society is at present rehearsing Handel's serenata, "Acis and Galatea," and Romberg's "Lay of the Bell," with a view to their production at a public concert to be held towards the close of June.

"MUSIC IN BALLARAT", The Musical World 44/42 (27 October 1866), 690

"MARRIAGE", The Ballarat Star (6 January 1870), 2

[News], The Bendigo Advertiser (31 October 1877), 3 

Mrs. Edward Hurst, the wife of a gentleman well-known in connection with various public movements in Sandhurst, appears to be making a name for herself as a musical composer. A number of the musical profession and other gentlemen assembled at Harrison's music warehouse. Ballarat, on the evening of the 20th ult., at a rehearsal of two musical compositions by Mrs. Hurst, music teacher of Creswick road, entitled "The Henrietta Waltz" and "The Ballarat March" respectively. The opinion expressed by those present way that the waltz was much superior to the ordinary run of terpsichorean music. The march, too, has a good martial, vigorous melody throughout; and both productions show that Mrs. Hurst possesses, besides her skill as a pianiste, some ability as a musical composer.

Musical works:

The Ballaarat waltz in The Illustrated Melbourne Post (25 January 1865) 

Bibliography and resources

Doggett 2006


Orchestral musician

Active Sydney, NSW, 1854


[Advertisement], Empire (25 August 1854), 1

ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE . . . ORCHESTRA. Messrs. Lavenu, John Gibbs, C. Riffel, G. Strong, J. Guerin, Davis, R. Vaughan, M. Vaughan, Wright, Wheeler, Turner, Seymour, M'Laughlin, Bing, Theobald, Earle, and Master Hudson.

[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Sydney (26 August 1854), 3


Town Cryer (Sydney), convict

Active Sydney, NSW, until 1813


[Notice], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (10 August 1811), 1

HIS Excellency the Governor has been pleased to appoint John Bingham to be Public Town Cryer at Sydney, in the room of Samuel Potter, deceased

"CIVIL DEPARTMENT", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (17 July 1813), 1

Bibliography and resources:

Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain's grim convict armada of 1790 (Library of Australian History, 1993), 475

BINNING, Thomas Bains

Pianist, teacher of music, composer

Born ? Sydney, 1853
Active Sydney, by 1879
Died Ashfield, NSW, 15 August 1925, "aged 70"


A pupil of Charles Packer, he was accompanist for Equitable Musical Society.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 March 1879), 2

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 July 1880), 9

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 July 1880), 2

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (17 January 1885), 1

"NEW MUSIC", The Sydney Morning Herald (26 May 1887), 8

"AUSTRALIA, a new song", Australian Town and Country Journal (18 June 1887), 10

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 August 1925), 8 

Musical works:

Only to love (music by T. B. Binning; words by Charles Sandys Packer) ([18-?])

Australia (song; words by J. I. Marshall; music by T. B. Binning) (Sydney: Gibbs, Shallard, & Co., [1887]) 

BIRABAN (Biraban, John McGILL, M'GILL, MacGILL, MacGIL, Maggill, Eagle Hawk, Barabahn)

Awabakal Indigenous leader, songman, culture and song informant

Died Newcastle, NSW, 14 April 1846 (NLA persistent identifier)


Biraban, 1839


"CONFERENCE WITH THE NATIVES", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (12 January 1830), 2 

An interesting circumstance which occurred at the GOVERNOR'S late Conference with the Aborigines, was accidentally omitted in our account of Saturday. A native Chief, of the name of Barabahn, has resided for a considerable time with the Rev. Mr. THRELKELD at Lake Macquarie, and by his intelligence and steady application has been of great service to Mr. T. in his endeavours to reduce the Aboriginal language to a grammatical form. Of the honourable proficiency which that gentleman has made in his arduous undertaking, he attributes no small share to the assistance afforded him by Barabahn; and having reported this to the GOVERNOR, HIS EXCELLENCY was pleaded to confer upon the Chief, in the presence of his numerous countrymen at Parramatta on Wednesday last, a badge of distinction, consisting of a brass plate bearing this inscription - "Barabahn, or Mac Gil, Chief of the Tribe at Bartalah, on Lake Macquarie; a Reward for his assistance in reducing his Native Tongue to a written Language." In suspending this badge upon the breast of the Chief, His EXCELLENCY commended his laudable conduct, and expressed the pleasure he felt in thus rewarding it. Mr. THRELKELD has been singularly, and most undeservedly, abandoned by the Directors of the London Society to which he belonged; but a number of respectable gentlemen, interested in the cause of the Aborigines, have liberally subscribed for the support of his valuable Mission; and it is in contemplation to adopt such measures as may enable him to conduct it on a permanent footing. The diligence with which he has applied to the study of the language, has established his Missionary character high in the estimation of many of the most intelligent and influential members of the community. Labouring under discouragements of a peculiarly trying nature, but which, from the best of motives, we forbear to make public, Mr. THRELKELD, in remaining firm and undaunted at his post, has exhibited a fortitude beyond all praise, - proving himself above yielding to the caprices of ill-informed and ill-judging men. We do not pledge ourselves to a concurrence with the whole of the proceedings on his part which have come to our knowledge, but we most unequivocally express our conviction, that for a true Missionary spirit, and for a zealous and able discharge of his duties as the Missionary of the New Holland tribes, he has entitled himself not only to the praises of his quondam constituents in England, but to those of every true philanthropist. We hope his labours may prove so successful as to shame his unfeeling accusers, and to demonstrate the justice of the commendation we have felt it our duty to bestow upon him.

"DIED", The Sydney Morning Herald (1 May 1846), 3

DIED, At Newcastle, on the 14th April, M'Gill, the aboriginal native well known a few years back at the Supreme Court as assistant interpreter in several cases in which the aborigines were tried for capital offences. He was a living witness against the assertion of the French Phrenologists, "that the blacks of this colony were physically incapable of instruction, from organic malformation."

Bibliography and resources:

Threlkeld 1850, 5-7, "Reminiscences of Biraban" (image above is frontispiece) 

"Biraban", Wikipeadia

BIRD, Isabella Tempest (Miss PAUL; Mrs. Isaac BIRD; later Mrs. RICH)

See under main family entry: 

BIRKETT, Richard

Composer, songwriter

Active Australia, 1867


[Advertisement], Empire (1 October 1867), 1

[News], The Argus (5 November 1867), 4

"The Australian Digger's Song" has been published by Messrs. Clarson, Massina, and Co., at their Sydney establishment. The air and words are by Mr. Richard Birkett, who has had the assistance of a professional gentleman in arranging the music. We are unable to compliment the author on the words of his song, which are superlatively stupid.


Opera company director, agent, impresario, violoncello player

Arrived Sydney, NSW, 15 December 1871 (per Nevada, from Honolulu, 20 November)
Died Fitzroy, VIC, 19 April 1879, aged 61


"Musical and Dramatic Review", Australian Town and Country Journal (20 January 1872), 21

The concerts at the Exhibition have been grand successes, such as have not been hitherto seen in Sydney. That of Monday last, was, in some respects, superior to its predecessor. With more time at their disposal, and greater conveniences at command, the managers, Mr. John Bennett and Signor Biscaccianti, were able to make their arrangements so that there should not be the slightest cause of complaint. The business tact of the former and the agreeable politeness of the Signor, a gentleman of distinguished position in his own country, and the husband of the young artiste Signora [Elise] Biscaccianti - an American who made a great name in the musical world as a vocalist a few years ago, her early decease being greatly regretted ... [recte, they had separated; she died in 1896]

[News], The Argus (7 February 1872), 5

The first of the final series of three concerts to be given by the Agatha States Opera Company took place last night at the Town hall. The attendance was, unfortunately, the smallest we have ever seen in that place at any similar entertainment. The programme introduced a novelty in the shape of a violoncello solo, by Signor Biscaccianti, which was in every respect worthy of the unanimous approval it evoked; the theme was the "Ave Maria," of Gounod, with J. S. Bach's first prelude as an accompaniment. This melody is now too well known to need further description at our hands. It will suffice to say that Signor Biscaccianti played it with great feeling and finished execution. At the repetition of the subject, Madame Agatha States sang the melody, with violoncello obligate accompaniment, which, with the piano, formed an admirable embellishment to the tune ...

"THE CALIFORNIAN MAIL. Arrival of the Nevada", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (19 December 1871), 4

"Deaths", The Argus (21 April 1879), 1

"TOWN TALK", Geelong Advertiser (22 April 1879), 2

Signor A. Biscaccianti, who for several years past has been closely identified with the musical profession in Melbourne, died on Saturday evening at his residence, Royal Terrace, Fitzroy, after a lingering illness. He first came to Melbourne as agent for the States opera troupe, and subsequently acted in a similar capacity for the Alice May company, and for Miss Jenny Claus. Some months ago he visited California for the benefit of his health, and since his return has been identified with many high-class musical performances. The deceased gentleman (says the Age) was an accomplished player on the violoncello, and was highly respected for his courteous manners and business integrity.

"TOWN NEWS", The Australasian (26 April 1879), 19 

The musical public and profession in Melbourne will learn with regret, but without surprise, of the death of Signor Biscaccianti, which occurred on Saturday evening, at 7 o'clock, at his residence, No. 6 Royal-terrace, Nicholson-street, Fitzroy. The late Signor Biscaccianti arrived here about seven years ago with the opera company which included Madame Agatha States, Signor Cecchi, Signor Orlandini, Signor Susini, and Signor Giorza, and has at various intervals acted since then as agent for the higher order of musical entertainments. Signor Biscaccianti was a credit to the business in which he was engaged, being a man of gentle manners and honourable character.

Bibliography and resources:

"Eliza Biscaccianti", Wikipedia

BISHOP, Mr. (? William)

Bandmaster (96th Regiment)

Active Sydney and Parramatta, NSW, by 1842; Launceston and Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 1843-49 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

See also Band of the 96th Regiment


The band of the 96th Regiment was active in NSW in 1842. Bishop and his band were in Launceston in March 1843, when they assisted at John and Eliza Bushelle's concert there. He and two other musicians assisted James Henri Anderson at the opening of the Launceston Synagogue in 1846. Hobart heard the band for the first time in October 1846:

On Saturday, a detachment of this regiment, with another of the 51st, were brigaded in the Domain ... and the attendance of spectators was rather numerous. For the first lime, we heard with attention the fine Band of the 96th, which, under the able and talented mastership of Mr. Bishop, will prove a source of great delight to all lovers of music. It is indeed to be hoped that the performances of this Band will become more frequent, so that our good citizens may derive as much pleasure from the same, as did our neighbours of the northern capital. The Drum-Major, who marches in front as a Drum-Major should do, keeps time with his staff in a very stately manner: the lesser Band is of drums and fifes, and not of bugles, &c , and it is a very good one.

At Mrs. Chester's Launceston concert in September 1848:

A celebrated Sinfonia by Haydn was performed by a portion of the band, assisted by Mr. Beckford, who lent the music for the occasion. Mr. Bishop the master of the Band, and Mr. Howson, Senr., displayed much ability in this portion of the entertainment.

According to a much later recollection (1917)

The band of the same had a great number of clarionets, and was very sweet toned. Mr. Bishop was bandmaster.


[Advertisement], Launceston Advertiser (30 March 1843), 1

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

"THE JEWS. OPENING OF THE SYNAGOGUE AT LAUNCESTON", Launceston Advertiser (2 April 1846), 2

"THE 96TH REGIMENT", Colonial Times (13 October 1846), 3

"SECOND DAY", The Cornwall Chronicle (17 April 1847), 303

"THE REGATTA", Colonial Times (3 December 1847), 3

"Mrs. Chester's Concert", The Cornwall Chronicle (13 September 1848), 19

"THE 96TH", The Cornwall Chronicle (31 January 1849), 340


BISHOP, Anna (Miss RIVIERE; Madame Anna BISHOP; Mrs. Martin SCHULZ; Madame BISHOP SCHULZ)

See main page: 


Musician (European Band)

Active Sydney, NSW, 1858


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 September 1858), 1

NOTICE.-The European Band are open to attend balls, picnic parties, dinners, processions, &c., &c. Country engagements promptly attended to. Address Mr. J. BISHOP, musician, 395, Castlereagh-street South; and at Mr. G. SUTCHS, musician, No. 16, Union-street, Erskine-street, Wynyard-square.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 October 1858), 10

NOTICE. -European Band are open to attend balls, pic nic parties, processions, &c. Address Mr. G. SUTCH, musician, 16, Union-street, Erskine-street, Wynvard-square; and at Mr. J. BISHOP'S, musician, 395, Castlereagh-street South. N.B. - Small parties, attended with violin, harp, and cornet.

BISHOP, James D.

Organ and piano maker, tuner, repairer

Active Maitland, NSW, by 1856; Sydney, 1857 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony

BISHOP, John Charles

Musicseller, bookseller, stationer

Active Maitland, NSW, by 1853; to 1860 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


These two are treated in a single entry, on the possibility that they were related, both being active in Maitland in the mid 1850s. James is last documented in Sydney at the time of his wife's death, on 1 August 1850, reported aged 50 or 55.


[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (16 December 1854), 1 

Just Published, THE PSALM TUNES generally used in this colony, edited by W. J. Johnson, Organist and Choir Master of Christ Church. Price 7s. 6d. J. C. BISHOP, East Maitland.

"Marriages", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (15 August 1855), 3 

On the 14th instant, by special license, by the Rev. W. Purves, Wm. Young, Esq., East Maitland, to Mary, second daughter of Mr. J. D. Bishop, Organ Builder, London.

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (15 December 1855), 2 supplement 

Finger Organ for Sale. ON SALE, at J. C. Bishop's Musical Repository, East Maitland, a very fine-toned FINGER ORGAN, in a beautiful Gothic Mahogany Case, rich gilt show pipes. This instrument is in perfect order, and capable of leading the singing of 200 PERSONS. Organs and Pianos tuned and repaired, as per advertisement.

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (29 March 1856), 4 


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 June 1857), 8 

FINGER ORGAN for SALE, at J. D. BISHOP'S, organ builder, Newtown. The above instrument is nearly finished, and will be suitable to lead the singing of 300 persons.

"SUDDEN DEATH", The Sydney Morning Herald (4 August 1857), 4 

About mid-day on Saturday, Mrs. Jane Bishop, wife of Mr. J. D. Bishop, an organ builder by trade, expired suddenly, after an illness of about three hours' duration, at the house of her husband, Newtown. The case having been reported to the City Coroner, Mr. J. S. Parker, an inquest was held on the following day at the Union Inn. From the evidence of Mr. Bishop, it appeared that his wife, before coming to the colony, had been subject to palpitation of the heart, for which she had been under the care of Dr. Streden, in London, who had told her that she would die suddenly some day. She was the mother of eleven children, and since her arrival in New South Wales had complained a good deal. On Saturday morning deceased appeared to be in her usual health, and at dinner time sat down to table, and was in the act of putting a piece of meat up to her mouth when her hand dropped, and she fell back as if in convulsions. Some time elapsed before medical aid was called in; but the surgeon, on arriving, opened a vein in the right arm, from which only a few drops of blood came, she being at that time dead. A verdict of death from natural causes was returned.

Bibliography and resources:

Matthews 1969, Colonial organs and organ builders, 227

Rushworth 1988, Historic organs of New South Wales, 421

BITTON, Edward

Music hall proprietor, publican

Active Sydney, NSW, 1869


"LICENSING COURT", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 September 1869), 2

At a Licensing Court held yesterday, applications were made by Edward Bitton, of the "Melodian," Pitt-street, and Henry Greig, of the Bush Tavern, corner of Park and Elizabeth streets, for the renewal for the present month of licenses permitting them to have music and singing in their public-houses. Objections were brought against the granting of licenses in both cases, on the ground that these music halls were the resort of women of ill fame, &c. The Bench in both instances declined to grant a renewal.

"INSOLVENCY COURT", Empire (26 October 1869), 4

Edward Bitton, of 182, Castlereagh-street, late publican. Cause of insolvency: Loss of music license, depression of trade, and pressure of creditor. Liabilities, £488. Assets, £55. Deficiency, £433, Mr. Mackenzie, official assignee.

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