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A biographical register of Australian colonial musical personnel–B (Bi-Boz)

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this :

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "A biographical register of Australian colonial musical personnel–B (Bi-Boz)", Australharmony (an online resource toward the early history of music in colonial Australia):; accessed 5 December 2023

- B - ( Bi - Boz ) -

Introductory note:

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

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

A major upgrade of the contents of this page was completed in December 2022, and newly added documentation (including genealogical data) and Trove tagging now brings the page content up to the end of 1860 close to completion.

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

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

BIAL, Charles (Carl BIAL; in Australia Charles BIAL; Herr BIAL; Mr. BIAL)

Musician, pianist, accompanist, musical director, composer, arranger

Born Habelschwerdt, Silesia (Poland), 14 July 1833; son of Adolph (Abraham) BIAL (c. 1808-1866) and Henriette FREUND
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 12 August 1854 (per Lady Jocelyn, from Southampton, 4 June)
Departed Melbourne, VIC, 18 February 1860 (per Salsette, for Europe)
Married Jenny COHN, Berlin, Germany, 15 June 1872
Died Steglitz, Berlin, Germany, 20 December 1892 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Rudolph Bial (younger brother)


Adolph Bial, a native of Berlin, Prussia, trading under the name of Abraham Bial, as a merchant, had arrived in Melbourne probably sometime late in 1852 or early in 1853. On 10 May 1855, as Abraham, aged 46, his petition for naturalisation was granted, while the 1856 and 1857 Melbourne electoral rolls he appears as Adolph Bial, merchant, of Bourke-street east. By April 1857, however, as Abraham, he was insolvent. According to a report of a case heard in the Supreme Court in May, just before sequestration, Abraham Bial paid his son, Charles Bial, £600, claiming it was repayment of a loan Charles had earlier made him. He is probably the Adolph Bial who died in Berlin on 26 February 1866, aged 58.


List of passengers per Lady Jocelyn, from Southampton, arrived Melbourne, 12 May 1854; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

. . . Mr. Byle / [Single adult] . . .

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVED", The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (14 August 1854), 4 

August 12. - Lady Jocelyn, General S.S.S. Co.'s steam ship, 1800 tons, G. E. Bird, from Southampton 4th June. Passengers - Port Phillip. Saloon . . . Mr. C. Bial . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (3 October 1854), 2 

MRS. E. HANCOCK begs to announce to her Friends and the Public that she purposes giving a
grand evening at the Mechanics' Institution, on Thursday, October 5th,
on which occasion she will be assisted by the following talented artistes: -
Mrs. Testar, Mrs. Quain (late Miss Martin, who has kindly consented to appear on this occasion), Miss Graham, Mr. Hacket.
Solo Piano, Miss E. Smith. Solo Violin, Herr Strebinger. Accompaniest Mr. C. Bial. Tickets, 5s., to be obtained at Mr. C. Wilkie's, and at the Mechanics' Institution.

ASSOCIATIONS: Mary Ellen Hancock (vocalist); Elizabeth Testar (vocalist); Charlotte Martin Quain (vocalist); Amelia Graham (vocalist); Emilie Smith (piano); Frederick Strebinger (violin); Mechanics' Institution (Melbourne venue)

"MRS. HANCOCK'S CONCERT", The Argus (6 October 1854), 5 

This lady gave a concert last evening at the Mechanics' to, we are sorry to add, rather a meagre audience. The beneficiare was, on making her appearance, greeted with considerable applause. Mrs. Hancock sang the several morceaux allotted to her with much taste, and more than once was called upon to respond to an encore. She had to contend against a piano miserably out of tune, and was also badly supported by the accompanyist, a Mr. Bial, who was by no means up to the mark. The gem of the evening was from the well-known duet in the second act of Der Freischutz, given by Mesdames Testar and Hancock, and received with loud applause by the audience . . . Miss E. Smith played a piano-forte solo upon airs from Der Frieschutz and Oberon, but much of the effect of her brilliant performance was lost through the wretched condition of the instrument . . . The concert was protracted to a late hour by the great number of songs and the incessant encores, but on the whole may be considered to have been very successful as far as the performance was concerned. We were sorry to see so thin an attendance, which must, however, be attributed to the number of public entertainments now going on.

[Advertisement], The Argus (11 October 1854), 8

GRAND NIGHT, Astley's Amphitheatre, Wednesday Evening, 11th October,
For the Benefit of Miss Octavia Hamilton, and Last Night of her Engagement.
Observe the Constellation of Talent for this night only.
Mrs. Hancock Will make her second appearance since her return to Melbourne.
Miss E. Smith, The eminent pianiste, will also make her first and only appearance at this establishment.
Miss Warde Will sing for the first time, Trab Trab, as sung by Jetty Treffz.
Miss O. Hamilton Will sing for the first time, Comin' thro' the Rye,
also the Duet of the Cousins, with Mrs. Hancock.
Mr. Lyons, In Ballads.
Conductor and Accompaniest, Herr C. Bial . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Octavia Hamilton (vocalist); Kate Warde (vocalist); Jetty Treffz (vocalist active in Europe); Mr. Lyons (vocalist); Astley's Amphitheatre (Melbourne venue)

[Advertisement], The Argus (26 October 1854), 8 

ASTLEY'S AMPHITHEATRE, Spring-street . . . Sole Lessee, Mr. George Lewis . . .
Thursday, October 26th, 1854. Grand combination of attractive amusements.
MR. H. BURTON'S Celebrated Troupe of Equestrians and Beautiful stud of Horses.
Re-Engagement of MISS O. HAMILTON. MISS WARDE. Musical Entertainments by the First Singers in Melbourne.
Mons. Bial, the celebrated Pianist. Hore's Saxe-Horn Band . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Lewis (venue proprietor); Henry Burton (circus troupe proprietor); Joseph Hore and family (musicians)

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

ASTLEY'S AMPHITHEATRE. The Great Night of the Season.
WEDNESDAY EVENING, November 29, 1854. Being for the Benefit of MISS O. HAMILTON . . .
Accompanyist and Conductor - Mons. C. Bial
Leader of the Band - Mr. Hore
Ring Master - Mr. Geo. Lewis . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (23 December 1854), 8 

GRAND OPENING of the Lower Saloons and Superb Entrance Hall to the New Theatre Royal, Bourke-street east.
The above premises will be opened to the public on
Saturday, December 23rd, with a scries of Grand Operatic and Classic Concerts,
when the Lower Saloon and Entrance Hall will be opened as a Promenade Concert Room.
The following artistes have been engaged for the occasion:-
Mrs. Hancock, Miss Octavia Hamilton, Miss Minnie Clifford (the extraordinary infant performer on the pianoforte),
Miss Stewart (pupil or Miss Dolby), Mons. Emile Coulon (the able coadjutor of Miss Catherine Hayes),
Mr. George Clifford (from the Royal Academy, Italian and English Opera, Drury-lane),
Mr. George Peck (the favorite English violinist), And Mr. Hackett.
Mons. Bial, Pianist and Accompanyist . . .
Mons. C. Bial will preside at the pianoforte.
Manager and Agent, Mr. Peck . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George and Minnie Clifford (vocalist and pianist, father and daughter); Eliza Stewart Ellis (vocalist, pianist); Emile Coulon (vocalist); Catherine Hayes (vocalist); George Peck (violin); Theatre Royal (Melbourne venue, main auditorium still under construction)


The second of the series of Promenade Concerts at the new theatre, Bourke-street east, was very well attended, and all present manifested their approval of the entertainment. Mr. Peck is the manager, and M. Bial the conductor. The former performed a violin solo by Mayseder, and the latter a fantasia on the pianoforte, by Thalberg. Both were much admired. Mons. Coulon, Miss Hamilton, and Miss Stewart, were the vocalists of the evening.

"CONCERT AT THE THEATRE ROYAL", The Age (29 December 1854), 5 

On Wednesday evening last we paid our second visit to the concert room of the New Theatre Royal, Bourke-street, and were grieved to find the attendance so limited, a result, however, easy to be accounted for, from the neglect of advertising, so that few persons were aware that a concert would take place . . . Mr. Peck commenced the concert with a violin solo, which he played with his usual ability; overtures, however, are always deficient unless performed by an orchestra . . . We must not omit to notice the musician-like manner in which M. Bial played the accompaniments. Altogether the entertainment was of a high character, and deserving of far better support than it received . . .

"THE THEATRE ROYAL", The Argus (3 January 1855), 5 

Mr. Gregory having at length obtained a license for the Royal Hotel, Bourke street, the new Theatre at the back of the hotel is to he proceeded with at once and is expected to be completed within three months from the present time. The concerts at the Hall have been well attended since the first, and we hear of some alterations in the style of the entertainments, such as the performance of operatic duets, trios &., in character, which are sure to prove attractive. The band of the 12th Regiment, conducted by Mr. Callen, plays every evening and their morceaux add materially to the strength of the programme. Miss Hamilton, Mrs. Hancock, and Mons. Coulon, are encored nightly in their favorite pieces, and Mr. Bial has won golden opinions as a pianoforte soloist.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edmund Howard Gregory (1825-1910, landlord, Royal Hotel, attached to the new theatre); George Douglas Callen (musician, band master); Band of the 12th Regiment (military)

"THEATRE ROYAL, BOURKE STREET", The Age (6 January 1855), 5 

We have already expressed our regret that this place of amusement, fitted up without regard to cost, and supplied with the very best professional talent in the colony, should be so ill-supported by the "discerning public." Last evening the audience was miserably thin, although the performers seemed to out-vie themselves in their efforts to please, in which efforts they were abundantly successful . . . Mons. Coulon in the character of Figaro, must be seen to be admired, and no description of ours could possibly do this distinguished artiste justice. Mrs. Hancock and Miss Hamilton performed a most pleasing duet, Don Pasquale, in a highly creditable manner, and the brilliant execution of a Fantasia by Mons. Bial, was of the most perfect description we can hear in the colony. We really do hope the public will no longer remain deprived of such a treat as would be afforded by an evening's attendance at this popular place of amusement.

"CONCERT HALL", The Argus (8 January 1855), 5 

The magnificent concert room oi the new theatre was filled to its fullest capacity on Saturday evening, with a most respectable and well-conducted audience. The band of the 12th regiment, conducted by Mr. Cullen [sic, Callen], performed several overtures and pieces of operatic and dance music in their usual effective manner . . . A new arrival, M. Palen, from the Stockholm Theatre, performed a flute solo, by Furstenau, with much taste; the performers however suffered from the difficulty which the accompanyist naturally had in transposing at sight, the pianoforte being half a note flat. We could recommend in future a more popular selection of music, the public taste not being at present equal to the appreciation of the recondite beauties of such compositions as that which M. Palen performed. His tone is round and firm, and he appears to have mastered the difficulties of his instrument . . . The accompaniments of Mr. Bial are artistically given, and contribute to a great extent to the general effect. We are informed that the price of admission this evening and during the present week will be reduced to one shilling for the parterre . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Lawrence Frederick Palin (flute)

[Advertisement], The Age (28 March 1855), 2 

MR. W. PALING, Professor of Music, and First Solo on the Violin and Piano, at the Academy of Holland, &c., will perform on both Instruments, when he will be kindly assisted by Mrs. Testar, and Mr. Bial . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Henry Paling (musician)

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

ST. KILDA. - Grand Concert this Evening, Tuesday, 10th inst., at the Junction Hotel, Madame Carandini, Mrs. Hancock, Mr. Lyall and Mr. Hancock. Pianist, Mr. Bial.

ASSOCIATIONS: Maria Carandini (vocalist); Charles Lyall (vocalist); Edward Hancock (vocalist)

"WILLIAMSTOWN", The Argus (4 May 1855), 5 

The second of Mrs. Hancock's monthly concerts was given on Wednesday night. The talent of Mrs. Testar was secured on this occasion, the services of Mr. and Mrs. Hancock, and Mr. Lyall, with M. Bial at the pianoforte, completing the "company." The room was not so well filled as upon the first concert . . .

"MISKA HAUSER'S CONCERT", The Argus (23 May 1855), 5 

. . . Mrs. Testar, Miss Hamilton, and M. Bial rendered efficient assistance in their respective departments, and the last was encored in a piano-forte solo, which was performed in a very artistic manner. Mr. Levison, a new appearance, was a signal failure . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Miska Hauser (violin); John Leveson (vocalist)

"QUEEN'S THEATRE", The Age (25 May 1855), 5 

Last night, the celebrated Miska Hauser made his second appearance at this theatre, before a respectably attended house . . . He was assisted by Mrs. Testar, Miss Hamilton, and Mr. Bial. This house is so badly constructed for hearing, that it was impossible to judge fairly of the merits of the vocalists. Mr. Bial played some pieces in a very masterly and pleasing manner. We have no doubt that the house would have been well filled, but for the wildness and dust of the evening . . .

"MISKA HAUSER", The Argus (29 May 1855), 4 

The Hall of the Mechanics' Institution was crowded last night on the occasion of the first concert given there by the eminent violinist, Miska Hauser . . . The concert was Miska Hauser's, and this must account for briefer notice of the performances of Mrs. Testar, Miss Hamilton, and Mr. Bial, than they are amply entitled to. Mr. Bial showed that he is entitled to the high praise accorded to him by M. Hauser, as "the best accompanyist he has found since he left Vienna," and Mrs. Testar and Miss Hamilton were deservedly encored in each of their songs . . .

"MISKA HAUSER", The Age (29 May 1855), 5 

Last night the Mechanics' Institution was crowded by a very numerous and respectable audience, to hear this celebrated violinist . . . Mrs. Testar and Miss O. Hamilton sang better than we ever heard them before. Mr. Bial played several pianoforte solos. If this gentleman would be more careful of his strength and lavish of his pathos, his playing would be infinitely improved.

"MISKA HAUSER", The Argus (1 June 1855), 5

The Hall of the Mechanics' Institution was crowded last evening by the admirers of M. Hauser . . . The entertainment commenced by a solo on the pianoforte by Mr. Bial, executed in this gentleman's usual masterly style . . .

"LAUNCESTON SHIPPING", The Hobart Town Advertiser [TAS] (20 September 1855), 2

17 - L.S.N.Co.'s steamer Black Swan, 147 tons, A. T. Woods, from Melbourne; passengers - . . . Messrs. . . . Bial, Miska Hauser . . .

"Public Amusements", The Courier [Hobart, TAS] (23 September 1855), 3 

. . . The audience was comparatively small, a circumstance usually noticeable in Hobart Town . . . But that audience was an influential one, whose good report will create an excitement in musical circles, and consequently lead to a fuller attendance . . . Miska Hauser was assisted at this concert by Mr. Hill and Mr. Bial, a pianist of considerable excellence, whose efforts, comprising Herz['s] Grand Fantasia on God Save the Queen, a Notturno of Dohler, and the prayer in Thalberg's Mose in Egitto, were exceedingly well rendered - the latter encored. A solo by the colonial flautist Hill, by Toulon, notwithstanding a slightly distinguishable harshness of tone at first, which soon wore off, was given in excellent style, and much satisfaction was elicited by his grand Fantasia on Paganini's celebrated air, "The Witches' Dance" . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Arthur Silvester Hill (flute, bandsman in Band of the 99th Regiment, military)

"MISKA HAUSER", Tasmanian Daily News (25 September 1855), 4 

This delightful artist gave his first concert among us, in the Mechanics' Institute, on Saturday evening last. The audience was very thin, but was generally of that class from whom praise, as not being indiscriminate, is the more grateful to any aspirant for fame . . . The introduction to the first part was "The Wedding March," from Mendelssohn's "First Walpurgis Night," and was most nicely and evenly given by Mr. Bial. He was received with applause . . . The Introduction to the Second Part was the March in Meyerbeer's "Prophet." It was very clearly and distinctly put, but we cannot help thinking that Mr. Bial - pace tanti viri - took it a shade too fast . . . Mr. Bial's solo was a selection from "Fra Diavolo," and most deservedly obtained an encore. He required a little coaxing, at length however, he responded to the call, and played a, to us, unknown piece most brilliantly . . .

"MISKA HAUSER", Tasmanian Daily News (29 September 1855), 4 

Last night this artist, artist in the true sense, gave a second concert at the Mechanics' Institute. We were extremely glad to find that the room was crowded . . . the programme opened with a solo, by Mr. Bial; "Pre aux Clercs," by Hertz [Herz]; this was fairly played though the pianist rather quickened on his time. The next piece was "Souvenir de Niagara," composed and executed by Miska Hauser. The andante movement with which it opens was peculiarly sweet, and the subsequent allegro was graceful, delicate, and sparkling. Great credit is due to Mr. Bial for the way in which, both in this piece and in all the others he accompanied M. Hauser. He supported the master without attempting to lead him . . . The Grand Fantasia for the pianoforte was a notturno by Dohler, and in this Mr. Bial acquitted himself better than in the former piece. He introduced some very pretty variations, with good effect . . .

"M. HAUSER'S CONCERTS", The Cornwall Chronicle [Launceston, TAS] (24 October 1855), 4-5 

On Friday evening last this gifted violinist performed for the first time before a Launceston audience, at the Cornwall Assembly Rooms. The audience, a very select on, numbered about 160 . . . [5] . . . Of M. Bial's ability and taste as an accompanyist it is impossible to speak too highly. Accompanying seems to us to be M. Bial's forte, and in this there is no disparagement to his general skill as a performer, and which he is one of considerable excellence; and when we say that, to accompany another on the piano requires a more than ordinary degree of taste, tact, and delicacy, points which M. Bial eminently possesses, it will not appear that we at all underrate his abilities in other respects . . .

List of passengers per Black Swan from Launceston, arrived at Melbourne, 4 December 1855; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

Cabin . . . Miska Hauser / 40 // Mr. C. Bial / 33 . . .

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", Adelaide Times [SA] (10 December 1855), 2 

Sunday, December 9 -The screw-steamer Havilah, 337 tons, Lowrie, from Melbourne the 7th December . . . Passengers . . . Messrs. Miska Hauser, Bial, Montefiore . . .

"MISKA HAUSER'S CONCERT", South Australian Register (13 December 1855), 2 

. . . After his next appearance, which will be on Friday, we shall endeavour to be critical, and descend to particulars. Miss Chalker, our local bird of song, was also in good tune, and pleased the audience with her sweet melodies. The execution of Mr. Bial on the piano was exquisite. The instrument was a very fine one by Kirkman.

ASSOCIATIONS: Marie Chalker (vocalist)

"MISKA HAUSER'S CONCERT AT THE PORT", South Australian Register (22 December 1855), 2

The celebrated Hungarian violinist, Miska Hauser, assisted by Miss Chalker and Mr. Bial, gave a grand concert at the Port Adelaide Theatre on Thursday evening. The house was not very full . . .

"CLEARED OUT", Adelaide Observer (26 January 1856), 1 supplement 

Friday, January 25 . . . Same day - The steamer Havilah, 257 tons, Lowrie, master, for Melbourne. Passengers - . . . Miska Hauser and Mr. Bial, in the cabin . . .

"MISS EMILIE SMITH'S CONCERT", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (8 February 1856), 3 

Yesterday evening despite the opposing influences of a heavy rain and flooded streets, this concert proved the success that its numerous attractions warranted . . . The accomplished pianiste herself won deserved plaudits for her marvellous execution, and was encored on every occasion. In conjunction with M. Bial, in the duett for two instruments on themes from "Norma," by Thalberg, she excelled herself, and it is but just to state that she was most ably supported, and received on more than one occasion graceful compliments from, the admiring audience in the shape of numerous bouquets . . .

MUSIC: Grand duo pour deux pianos sur un motif de Norma de Bellini (Thalberg)

"THE CONCERT AT MACK'S", Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (14 February 1856), 2 

Shall we confess it? A scant attendance at the most brilliant entertainment ever given in Geelong! . . . Neither time nor space permit us to do justice to the merits of Madame Cailly but we keep within bounds in stating that in powerful clearness of tone, fidelity in rendering the ideas of the composer, and a brilliant, yet chaste execution - SHE STANDS WITHOUT A SUPERIOR IN AUSTRALIA . . . Mons. Barre sings with considerable taste and effect . . . Mons. Coulon is a glorious singer . . . The only remaining member of he corps is Mons. Bial whose very effective accompaniments on the piano so much contributed to the success of the performance . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Clarisse Cailly (vocalist); Anthony Barre (vocalist)

"THE OPERA IN ADELAIDE", South Australian Register (3 March 1856), 3 

We are in formed that Madame Clarisse Cailly has decided to pay Adelaide a visit by the next trip of the Havilah. She will be accompanied by Messrs. Emile Coulon, A. Barre, and C. Bial, and her intention is to give a few concerts, followed, if sufficient inducement is given, by operatic performances . . .

"THE EXHIBITION CONCERT", The Argus (30 April 1856), 6 

The concert given by Miss Hayes in the Exhibition Building last evening, in aid of the funds of the Melbourne Hospital, was an immense success, both as regards the performance itself, and the result which flowed to the charity to the support of which the net proceeds are to be applied . . . At the hour of commencement there were full 2500 persons present . . . Miss Hayes was assisted by Mr. John Gregg, Mr. C. Lyall, M. Bial, Mr. Creed Royal, Herr Strebinger, Mr. R. H. Horne, and a large and efficient orchestra, and the performance went off with considerable eclat . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Gregg (vocalist); Creed Royal (flute); Richard Hengist Horne (vocalist); Exhibition Building (Melbourne venue)


On Monday evening [5 May] Miss Hayes gave the first of two farewell concerts to a brilliant and crowded audience in the Exhibition Building. Not less than twelve hundred persons were present . . . Mr. Bial throughout the evening delighted the audience by his accomplished piano-playing, his tasteful accompaniments, and his unobtrusive manners. The precision and delicacy of his touch was very marked in Kullock's [sic] brilliant fantasia "La Gazelle," and in the accompaniment to Mr. Gregg's "Madoline" . . .

MUSIC: La gazelle (Kullack); Madoline (by Sidney Nelson, composer then resident in Melbourne)

[Advertisement], The Argus (12 May 1856), 3

MR. CHARLES BIAL begs to inform the public that he intends to devote his time to the Musical Instruction of advanced pupils on the Piano.
Particulars may be known 106 Bourke-street west, between Queen and William streets.

[Advertisement], The Argus (20 January 1857), 6 

INSTRUCTIONS on the PIANOFORTE by Mr. Stakemann. Apply to Mr. Charles Bial, 106 Bourke-street west

ASSOCIATIONS: Hermann Conrad Stakemann (pianist)

"MISKA HAUSER'S FAREWELL CONCERT", The Age (28 February 1857), 5 

Last evening, the celebrated Hungarian violinist, Miska Hauser, who has now occupied nearly two years in making a professional tour of the Australian colonies, took his leave of them in a grand classical concert, at the Mechanics' Institution, - the place where first his transcendant powers as a violinist became known to the Victorian public. The audience was small, but appreciative, and included the principal amateurs of the metropolis . . . Mr. Bial's brilliant execution on the pianoforte alone remains to be noticed. Both as a solo performer and as a soloist [sic], M. Bial is deserving of the highest commendation. Prudent's fantasia on airs in "Lucia" was a masterpiece of instrumentation, and the same may be said of "La Gazelle," which, on being encored, elicited a nocturne by Dohler . . .

"LAW REPORT. SUPREME COURT. NEW COURT . . . Saturday, 23rd May, 1857 . . . HALFLY AND ANOTHER V. FOSTER", The Argus (25 May 1857), 5 

This was an interpleader action, to try the property of goods seized under an execution by the Sheriff . . . The action arose out of a deed of assignment executed under the statute by Mr. Abraham Bial to trustees, for the benefit of his creditors. The plaintiffs were the trustees in the deed, and the defendant was a creditor who had not executed the deed, and who disputed its validity. He had levied run execution upon some of the goods that had been assigned to the trustees, and the present action was to try the right between the trustees under the deed, and the defendant under the execution . . .
Mr. Charles Bial, one of the witnesses for the plaintiffs, and son of Mr. Abraham Bial, the insolvent, admitted, on cross-examination, that a few weeks before the execution of the deed his father had paid him a debt of £600, being money which he (the son) had lent him . . .
The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiffs.

[Advertisement], The Age (16 June 1857), 1 

MR. BIAL, pianist, is required as soon as possible. Golden Fleece Hotel, Russell street.

"A NEW VIOLINIST", The Argus (28 July 1857), 6

Among the passengers brought out by the Royal Charter was Mr. Rudolf Bial, a gentlemen well known in Berlin as a violinist of mark, and also as a composer of various popular pieces. We are informed that it is the intention of this gentleman (who, by the way, is a brother of Mr. Charles Bial, the pianist) to give some concerts in this city at an early date. If report speaks true, Mr. Rudolf Bial will be a valuable acquisition to the musical resources of the colony.

ASSOCIATIONS: Rudolph Bial (younger brother)

"GRAND CONCERT AT THE MECHANICS' INSTITUTE", The Age (12 February 1858), 5-6 

If the Melbourne public do not speedily show a greater disposition to reward the efforts of our musical celebrities, when they combine together to give a musical entertainment such as we had the pleasure of listening to last evening, we shall have to bid adieu to the chance of a repetition. Scarce a hundred persons availed themselves of the opportunity of hearing an admirable rendering of the choicest morceaux of our operatic writers, and we are very much mistaken if any sufficient excuse for such a miserable attendance can be advanced . . . The chorus was small but effective, and the pianoforte accompaniments most ably rendered throughout the evening by M. Bial, who was encored in his solo by Thalberg . . .

[Advertisement], The Age (16 February 1858), 1 

Principal - Alexander Morrison, A.M. . . .
Dancing and Gymnastics - Mr. Louis Delplanque.
Vocal Music - Mr. Walter Bonwick.
Instrumental Music - Piano - Mr. Charles Bial; Violin - Mr. Louis Delplanque . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Alexander Morrison (principal); Louis Delplanque (dancing master, violin); Walter Bonwick (singing master)

"PEOPLE'S CONCERTS", The Argus (20 February 1858), 5 

We notice with much satisfaction the announcement of a series of cheap concerts, to be given at the Mechanics' Institute on Monday and Saturday evening. The names of the artistes promise a first-class performance. The list includes Miss Octavia Hamilton, Madame Vitelli, Mons. Coulon, M. Bial, and Mr. Power, and the whole is to be under the superintendence of Mr. Vitelli. The admission, except for reserved seats, is fixed at one shilling, and a really good concert on such terms ought to meet with a large amount of popular support. The series begins on Monday next.

ASSOCIATIONS: John and Annie Vitelli (musician, vocalist); William Pierce Power (vocalist); People's Concerts (Melbourne series)

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE . . . IMPORTS", The Argus (10 June 1858), 4 

June 9. - Agincourt, from London . . . 3 pianos, C. Bial . . .

"MISKA HAUSER", South Australian Register (22 June 1858), 3 

The papers which arrived last week from Melbourne contained paragraphs to the effect that Miska Hauser had left by the Australasian for England. It seems, however, that he was induced by the pressing entreaties of friends to alter his mind at the last moment, and to remain for the purpose of giving a concert in aid of some charitable object in Melbourne on Monday week next. The talented violinist, whose motto should be toujours fidele, has therefore seized the opportunity to pay a visit to his old friends in this colony. He arrived yesterday by the Admella, and will return by the Havilah next week, his intention being to give a concert on Thursday evening and another on Tuesday evening. He is accompanied by Mr. Bial, pianist, who came with him to this colony on a former occasion . . .

"MISKA HAUSER'S FAREWELL CONCERT", South Australian Register (26 June 1858), 2 

. . . The evening's entertainment was diversified by the very clever performances of Mr. Charles Bial on the pianoforte, and the vocal efforts of Miss Sophia Lingelbach and Mons. Laglaise. Each of these were also honoured with an encore during the evening . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Sophie Lingelbach (vocalist)

[Advertisement], Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser [VIC] (28 June 1858), 3 

MISKA HAUSER Has just arrived in the "Havilah," from Adelaide, accompanied by the celebrated pianist MR. BIAL, and will give a CONCERT at MAC'S HOTEL on Tuesday, (to-morrow,) prior to his departure for Europe.

[Advertisement], The Argus (6 July 1858), 8 

[Advertisement], The Argus (15 July 1858), 8 

In aid of the funds of THE BENEVOLENT ASYLUM, THIS DAY, JULY 15, 1858.
Programme: First Part . . . 3. Fantasia, for piano - Le pre aux clercs, Mr. C. Bial - Harold [Herold] . . .

"MISKA HAUSER'S FAREWELL CONCERT", The Argus (16 July 1858), 4 

. . . Mr. Bial, we must add, ably officiated as accompanyist . . . and between three and four hundred persons were present, His Excellency the Governor and Capt. Bancroft being among the visitors.

ASSOCIATIONS: Hauser sailed for Europe on 16 July

"SIGNOR CUTOLO. TO THE EDITOR OF THE . . .", South Australian Register (2 December 1858), 3

Sir, - I went last evening to hear Signor Cutolo, and although prepared to hear an excellent performer, little expected the treat that was in store for me . . .
Budda and Bial were thorough musicians no doubt, but they had not the soul of music in them as Cutolo has . . .
I am, Sir, &c., OBSERVATOR.
Adelaide, December 1, 1858.

ASSOCIATIONS: Cesare Cutolo (pianist); Budda = Julius Buddee (above)


The gentleman, who appeared at the Theatre Royal on Saturday night, gave a more complete opportunity of judging of his merit last evening . . . In the second part there was a duo by Thalberg, from "Les Huguenots," arranged for two pianos by Mr. Boulanger himself. In this combined effort of pre-eminent skill Mr. Boulanger was joined by Mr. Bial . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Boulanger (pianist, composer)

MUSIC: Fantasia on Les huguenots (Thalberg's original for one player)

[Advertisement], Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (8 April 1859), 3 

MR. F. LINDEN, Tuner, Repairer and Regulator of Pianofortes, Recommended by Mr. Chas Bial.
ANY orders for the above are respectfully requested to be left at Mac's Hotel . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Ferdinand Linden (piano tuner)

"LAST NIGHT'S CONCERT", Geelong Advertiser (21 May 1859), 2 

The Hall of the Mechanics' Institute was moderately well filled last night, expectation being on tiptoe to hear the Misses Macarthy, of whose musical talents fame had spoken so highly. We cannot, however, concur with the eulogists of these ladies . . . Of the concert as a whole we must speak in terms only of qualified praise . . . It was announced in the programme - though not in the advertisement - as Mr. Stoneham's "second grand concert," leading many no doubt to believe that it would be somewhat similar in strength to the first of the series. Those who went with any such impressions had good reason to feel disappointed . . . The Overture (L'ltaliani) was performed very creditably . . . The other orchestral pieces were the overture to Masaniello and two grand waltzes with introductions. They were all well played. M. Bial's modest little solo on the pianoforte was loudly encored. His quiet style of playing is very pleasing, and he seems studiously correct in adhering strictly to the music as written . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Georgina and Maria McCarthy (vocalists); William Stoneham (musician)

[Advertisement], The Argus (2 July 1859), 8 

Principal, Mrs. SPRIGG (formerly Mrs. White) assisted by efficient resident governesses, and the following visiting masters -
For instrumental music - Mr. Bial.
For dancing - Professor Donbavand . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Donbavand (dancing master)

[News], The Argus (13 July 1859), 5

The attendance at Mr. Boulanger's concert last night at Hockin's Assembly Rooms was, if not numerous, extremely appreciating . . . Mr. Boulanger was assisted by Mr. Charles Bial, who shared, and very deservedly, the approbation which was ungrudgingly bestowed . . . The duets by Messrs. Boulanger and Bial consisted of Beethoven's first allegro in the several symphonies of D major and C minor, and they were rendered with a force and precision almost unexampled in piano-playing in this city. Mr. Boulanger may be congratulated upon having at this concert fully confirmed the high opinions previously expressed of him . . . To Mr. Bial, also, as we have said, much more than ordinary praise is to be accorded; besides the part he took in the duets just referred to, he performed some of Thalberg's selections from La Sonnambula with infinite spirit and impressiveness . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Hockin's Assembly Rooms (Melbourne venue)

"HUMBOLDT FESTIVAL", The Age (15 September 1859), 5 

In response to a call of the German Association, inviting the German residents of Melbourne and its vicinity to be present at a festival in commemoration of Alexander Von Humboldt, there was a numerous assemblage of ladies and gentlemen at Hockin's, last evening, who met together for the purpose of testifying their appreciation of the inestimable services rendered to the cause of science by the great deceased. In order to add to the attractiveness of the evening, the Liedertafel, and Messrs. Bial and Siede proffered their services . . . After the conclusion of the address the Liedertafel sang a hymn - the words by Dr. Michau [Migeod], and music composed by Mr. Weinritter, of this city. This was followed by the well known elegy by Ernst, most admirably performed by Messrs. Siede and Bial. Dr. Mueller gave a lengthy sketch of the principal events in Humboldt's life, closing in high poetical strain. This was followed by a sonata from Beethoven, performed by Mr. Bial on the pianoforte. The Liedertafel having sung the highly appropriate Die Capella, Professor Neumayer spoke the concluding words.

ASSOCIATIONS: Alexander von Humboldt (German scientist); Theodore George Migeod (lyrics); George M. Weinritter (composer); Ferdinand von Mueller (speaker); George Neumayer (speaker); German Liedertafel (Melbourne association)

"VICTORIA", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 September 1859), 5 

The 90th anniversary of the birthday of Humboldt was kept on the evening of the 14th . . . Herr Bial followed, by performing on the pianoforte, in a masterly style, Beethoven's "Sonata Pathetique" . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (10 December 1859), 8

Being about to quit the colony for Europe,
Begs to acquaint his friends and the public
That he intends giving a FAREWELL CONCERT Previously to his departure.
As this will be his last appearance in public he hopes to meet with the kind and liberal support that has always been bestowed on him.
Full particulars in future advertisement.

NOTE: There is no record of the concert having taken place

Names and descriptions of passengers per Salsette, from Melbourne, 18 February 1860, for Suez; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

. . . Mr. Bial / 28 / [for] Alexandria . . .

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE . . . CLEARED OUT. FEBRUARY 17", The Argus (18 February 1860), 4 

Salsette, s.s., 965 tons, R. Methven, for Suez.
Passengers - For Kangaroo Island . . . For King George's Sound . . . For Mauritius . . .
For Alexandria: . . . Bial . . .

1860 and after:

[Advertisement], Empire [Sydney, NSW] (29 September 1860), 1

. . . MADAME JAFFA'S CONCERT will take place at the
Australian Library, Bent-street, On TUESDAY, October 3, 1860.
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . Song -" When we two parted." - Herr Karl Bial - MISS G. MACARTHY . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Rebecca Jaffa (pianist)

"Recensionen", Neue Berliner Muzikzeitung (30 December 1863), 421 (DIGITISED)

Charles Bial, Souvenir de Caire, Polka brillante pour Piano. Berlin, Peters.
Ein anmuthiges Salonstück, wohlklingend und glänzend ohne grosse Schwierigkeiten zu bieten. Der Damenwelt wohl zu empfehlen.

See also [Review], Signale für die musikalische Welt (25 February 1864), 191 (DIGITISED)

[News], The Argus (23 January 1875), 7 

The announcement of the death of Emile Coulon (which appeared as an extract in yesterday's Argus) will recall to the reader's mind many a scene in the stirring times which followed the discovery of gold in Victoria. At the time when the "Salle Valentino" was the chief place for musical entertainment, the old Theatre Royal was being built, and long before the theatre itself was finished, the Vestibule was used, and very largely patronised as a concert room. It was here that Coulon sang twenty years ago and delighted the audience of that day (and it was a thoroughly appreciative and critical audience). The people who had come free from London, Paris, or Vienna recognised the good quality of the singer who could do justice to the buffo music of Rossini and Donizetti. Here in those days Coulon's name was associated with many another yet remembered. Mrs. Hancock, Madame Carandini, Octavia Hamilton, Louisa Swannell the Australian nightingale, Charles Lyall, Charles Biall, Johnston of the 40th at Callen of the 12th . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Louisa Swannell (vocalist); Henry Johnson (master of the Band of the 40th Regiment, military); Salle de Valentino (Melbourne venue)

[Advertisement], The Argus (15 July 1878), 8

MR. C. W. RUSSELL, Royal Conservatoire of Music, Stuttgart begs to announce his intention of
OPENING an ARTISTS SCHOOL for the study of pianoforte playing . . .
The names of Herr Bial (Berlin Conservatoire), E. Boulanger (Paris Conservatoire) and Lebert and Pruckner (Stuttgart Conservatoire) - the former one of the most esteemed teachers, and the latter a pupil of Liszt and one of the best performers in Germany, under all of whom Mr. Russell received instruction may be a guarantee that the basis of his school of teaching has been derived from the best sources . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles William Russell (pianist)

"THE KRUSE FUND. TO THE EDITOR OF . . .", The Argus (13 September 1878), 3

Sir, - About three years ago a young Victorian boy, of great musical talent, named John Kruse, was sent, at the expense of the public of Victoria, to study under the great Joachim, at the High School at Berlin. The necessary funds were raised at the time by two public concerts and by private subscriptions, the former yielding about £260, the latter £150. This money has been expended in the following manner: -
Outfit and expenses to Berlin, £100; schooling, board and lodging for three years, £100 per year - £300.
From time to time we have received most gratifying news from Mr. Carl Bial, under whose care John Kruse has been placed in Berlin, as to the improvement made by the young student. We made ourselves responsible for the expenses of three years' schooling, and the term expires at the end of the present month.
By the incoming mail we received letters from Joachim himself and Professor Rudorff, first professor of the piano at the High School. Both masters express a great wish that young Kruse should remain another year. Joachim especially says in his letter that he would like Kruse to remain as his pupil for another year, so that at the end of that time he may bring out as his pupil one of the finest violin concert players in Europe. This is high praise, coming as it does from such a man as Joachim, and will be highly gratifying to hear to the friends and subscribers to the Kruse Fund.
I write this letter hoping by it to be able to raise the necessary £100 to enable John Kruse to remain at Berlin for another year. A concert would involve a heavy outlay and risk. Perhaps the friends of Master Kruse and the public of Victoria will come once more liberally forward and send in subscriptions to you (assuming you will be kind enough to receive them), and thus enable us to write by the next mail to Joachim once tell him the Victorians are ready and willing to finish the work which they began three years ago, and of which they will ever after be proud - Yours, &c.,
- JULIUS HERZ, Hon. Secretary Kruse Fund,
17 and 19 Collins-street east, Melbourne. Sept 12.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Kruse (violinist, pupil); Joseph Joachim (teacher); Ernst Rudorff (pianist, teacher); Julius Herz (secretary)

Death, Carl Bial, Steglitz, Berlin, 20 December 1892; Landesarchiv Berlin

Death, Carl Bial, Steglitz, Berlin, 20 December 1892; Landesarchiv Berlin (PAYWALL)

Nr. 235 / Steglitz am 21 Dezember 1892 . . .
Jenny Bial, [born] Cohn . . . Tonkünstler Carl Bial . . .
59 [years] 5 [months] 6 [days] [age] . . . [born] Habelschwerdt . . .
[son of] Adolf Bial [and] Henriette [born] Freund . . . [died] [20 December] . . .

"OBITUARY", The musical times and singing-class circular (1 February 1893), 92 (DIGITISED)

. . . On December 20, at Steglitz, near Berlin, CARL BIAL, well known pianist and teacher of his instrument, aged fifty-nine.

Musical works (extant):

Fackeltanz aus der Oper Der Landfriede von Ignaz Brüll; arr. von C. Bial. (DIGITISED)

See also:,_Carl 

Bibliography and resources:

Hermann Mendel and August Reissmann, Musikalisches Conversations-Lexikon . . . erste Band (Berlin: R. Oppenheim, 1880), 623-24 (DIGITISED)

Bial, Karl, geboren den 14. Juli 1833 zu Habelschwerdt in der Grafschaft Glatz, genoss seine musikalische Ausbildung zu Breslau und ging hierauf nach Berlin, wo er Musikunterricht ertheilte. Nach einjährigem Aufenthalt daselbst begab er sich über England, Madeira, St. Vincent und das Cap der guten Hoffnung nach Australien, wo er conzertirend als Pianist alle Colonien besuchte und im Ganzen sechs Jahre zubrachte. Im J. 1860 reiste er über Mauritius nach Aegypten und gab in Alexandria und Cairo mit grossem Erfolge stark besuchte Matineen. Von Aegypten wandte er sich nach Berlin zurück und lebt und wirkt in letzterer Stadt als sehr geschätzter Musiklehrer. Von seinen Compositionen sind Klavier-Salonstücke und Lieder in den Druck gekommen und haben verdientermaassen eine günstige Aufnahme gefunden. - Sein jüngerer Bruder, Rudolph B., am 26. August 1834 in Habelschwerdt geboren, zeichnet sich als tüchtiger Dirigent und routinirter Orchestercomponist aus. Er cultivirte mit Vorliebe das Violinspiel und machte seine musikalischen Studien gleichfalls in Breslau. Mehrere Jahre, bis 1853, wirkte er als erster Violinist vof, Orchester des Stadttheaters in Breslau, worauf er sich nach Berlin begab. Auch er unternahm eine Kunstreise nach Australien und England und kehrte schliesslich nach Berlin zurück, wo er zuerst als Conzertmeister in die damals vortreffliche Kroll'sche Kapelle trat, dann einige Zeit privatisirte und endlich 1864 die Stelle als Kapellmeister und Componist am Wallner-Theater übernahm, die er noch gegenwärtig sehr erfolgreich inne-[624]-hat. Zahlreiche, meist sehr beliebt, zum Theil sogar populär gewordene Orchester-stücke, Possen und Operetten sind seiner fleissigen Feder entsprungen , in denen sich eine angenehme Erfindung und grosse technische Sicherheit und Gewandtheit bekundet.

Hugo Riemann, Musik-Lexikon (Berlin: Max Heffe's Verlag, 1900), I, 114 (DIGITISED)

Bial, Rudolf, geb. 26. Aug. 1834 zu Habelschwerdt (Schiefien), gest. 13. Nov. 1881 zu New York, war Orchestergeiger in Breslau, machte mit seinem Bruder, dem Pianisten Karl B. (geb. 14. Juli 1833, gest. 20. Dez. 1892 zu Steglitz bei Berlin), eine Konzertreise nach Afrika und Australien und liess sich dann in Berlin nieder, zuerst als Dirigent der Krollschen Kapelle, wurde 1864 Kapellmeister des Wallnertheatere, das viele amüsante Possen und Operetten von ihm brachte, später Direktor der ital. Oper in Berlin, zulest Konzertunternehmer in New York.

Theo. Stengel and Herbert Gerigk, Lexikon der Juden in der Musik (Berlin: Bernhard Hahenfeld Verlag, 1940), column 32 (DIGITISED)

Bial, Carl (Karl), b. Habelschwerdt 14. 7. 1833; d. Berlin 20. 12. 1892. Pian. Komp. . . .

Bial, Rudolf, b. Habelschwerdt 26. 8. 1834; d. New York 13. 11. 1881. Operetten-Komp. . . .

BIAL, Rudolph (Rudolph BIAL; M. Rodolphe BIAL; Rudolf BIAL; Herr R. BIAL; Mons. R. BIAL)

Musician, violinist, pianist, composer

Born Habelschwerdt, Silesia (Poland), 26 August 1834; son of Adolph (Abraham) BIAL (c. 1808-1866) and Henriette FREUND
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)
Married Therese GRAUPE, Berlin, Germany, 1859
Died New York, NY, USA, 23 November 1881 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (Wikipedia) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Bial (elder brother)


Register of births and baptisms, Berlin, Brandenburg; Taufen 1830-39; Germany, Lutheran baptisms database (PAYWALL)

233 c / Rudolph Bial / [born] 26 August 1834 . . . Habelschwerdt . . . / [son of] Adolph BIAL Kaufmann . . .

Names and descriptions of passengers per Royal Charter from Liverpool, 15 May 1857, for Melbourne; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

. . . Bial Rudolph / 23 / . . .

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVED (HOBSON'S BAY)", The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (20 July 1857), 4 

July 19. - Royal Charter, steamship, 2,500 tons, Thomas Taylor, from Liverpool 16th May. Passengers . . . Second saloon: . . . R. Bial . . .

"A NEW VIOLINIST", The Argus (28 July 1857), 6

Among the passengers brought out by the Royal Charter was Mr. Rudolf Bial, a gentlemen well known in Berlin as a violinist of mark, and also as a composer of various popular pieces. We are informed that it is the intention of this gentleman (who, by the way, is a brother of Mr. Charles Bial, the pianist) to give some concerts in this city at an early date. If report speaks true, Mr. Rudolf Bial will be a valuable acquisition to the musical resources of the colony.

"NEW MUSICAL ARRIVAL", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (1 August 1857), 6 

We have to report the arrival amongst us of Mr. Rudolf Bial, who enjoys the repute of being an able violinist, and is further recommended by the fact of his being a brother of the well-known pianist Mr. Charles Bial. We learn that Mr. R. Bial in the course of a week or two intends giving a concert, when we shall have an opportunity of passing judgment on his performances. From all that we can learn a great treat may be expected.

[Advertisement], The Argus (6 August 1857), 8

MR. RODOLPHE BIAL, Violinist, late Musical Director at Berlin,
Having just arrived from Germany, has the honor to announce that his
Thursday, August 6th, 1857, At the above Saloon,
when he will be assisted by the following Artistes: -
Miss Emily Smith,
Mr. Schluter,
Mr. Siede,
and his brother Mr. Charles Bial.
1. Introduction -
2. Grand Concerto for the Violin, by De Beriot - Mr. R. Bial.
3. Scena and Aria from the Opera of "The Vampyre," by Marschner - Mr. Schluter.
4. Grand Fantasia for the Piano, on Weber's "Oberon'" - Miss Emily Smith.
5. "The Monk," by Meyerbeer - Mr. Schluter.
6. "Souvenir de Bellini," Grand Fantasia for the Violin - Mr. R. Bial.
1. Grand Duo for Violin and Piano, on "Guillaume Tell", by De Beriot and Osborne - Messrs. R. and C. Bial.
2. Grand Fantasia for the Flute, composed and performed by Mr. Siede.
3. "The Wanderer," by Schubert - Mr. Schluter.
4. Grand Solo for the Piano - Miss Emily Smith.
6. "The Carnival of Venice," by Ernst - Mr. R. Bial.
Finale - "God Save the Queen."
Tickets at 3s; reserved at 6s each. To be had at Mr. Wilkie's, and, on the evening of the concert, at the doors.
Doors open at a quarter past seven. To commence at eight o'clock precisely.

ASSOCIATIONS: Emilie Smith (pianist); Adolph Schluter (vocalist); Julius Siede (flute); Mechanics' Institution (Melbourne venue)

"MR. RODOLPHE BIAL'S CONCERT", The Argus (7 August 1857), 4 

The introductory concert given by Mr. Bial at the Mechanics' Institution last evening, afforded the public a fair opportunity of estimating his powers as a violinist. We think that this gentleman, who was lately musical director at Berlin, and who has recently arrived from Germany, did not disappoint those who expected to find him a talented musician. The contrast between him and his predecessor here, Miska Hauser, does not result unfavorably to the former, though of course the styles of those two artists differ in many respects. Mr. Bial shows that he has acquired complete mastery of the difficulties of the instrument, and unites with skilful bowing great firmness and sweetness of execution. His chords are occasionally extremely effective. He presented a very select programme to his audience, with the assistance of Miss Emily Smith, the pianiste, Mr. Schluter, Mr. Siede, and Mr. C. Bial, the latter gentleman presiding at the pianoforte.

"ADDITIONAL MUSICAL TALENT", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (4 September 1857), 6 

We understand that Mr. Rodolphe Bial, a gentleman of high standing as a musician and musical director, is now on Ballarat, and likely to remain among us. Report speaks highly of capability. - Ballarat Times.

[Advertisement], The Star [Ballarat, VIC] (21 October 1857), 3

CHARLIE NAPIER THEATRE. Proprietor - Mr. JOHN GIBBS. Stage Manager - Mr. J. R. GREVILLE.
THIS EVENING - WEDNESDAY. Immense success, and third appearance of the great violinist, MR. RODOLPHE BIAL.
New operatic pieces to night. Mechanical comedy, FIRST OF APRIL.
Musical Melange, Mr. Rodolphe Bial . . .
Reserved Seats, 3s.; Boxes, 2s. 6d.; Pit, 1s.
Stage Manager, Mr. GREVILLE. Dancing in the Hall as usual.

ASOCIATIONS: John Gibbs (proprietor); John Rodger Greville (actor, manager); Charlie Napier Theatre (Ballarat venue)

"CHARLIE NAPIER", The Star (27 October 1857), 2

This theatre was again filled last evening, to witness the very excellent representation of the "Invisible Prince." The entertainment commenced with the highly amusing farce of "An Object of Interest," in which Miss Carry Nelson as Fanny Gribbles, ably seconded by Mr. Greville, kept the audience in a roar of laughter . . . 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 rendered in a finished and highly artistic manner, the well known refrain of Yankee Doodle . . .

ASOCIATIONS: Carry Nelson (actor, vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Star (19 November 1857), 3

For the Benefit of MONS. LABALESTRIER. First time of MIDDY ASHORE, In which the talented Actress Miss Julia Mathews, will appear.
Musical Melange.
Miss Annie Gould - New Ballad.
Mr. Golding - Comic Song.
Mesdames Mathews & Gould - Duet - "I know a bank."
Mrs. Dale & Mr. Walsh - Comic Duet - "When a little farm we keep."
Mr. W. F. Sayers - "Death of Nelson."
Mons. Bial, The eminent Violinist - his last appearance on Ballarat.
Mons. Labalestrier Will perform the Zerline, Bendigo, and Eclipse Polkas on the Cornet-a-Piston, during the evening . . .

ASOCIATIONS: Alfred Labalestrier (musician); Julia Mathews (actor); Anna Gould (vocalist); Daniel Golding (vocalist); William Francis Sayer (vocalist); Montezuma Theatre (Ballarat venue)

[Advertisement], Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser (1 December 1857), 3 

Wednesday Night, December 2nd 1857.
GRAND Vocal and Instrumental CONCERT, supported by
MADAME ARNATI WHITE, The accomplished Soprano,
MR. HACKETT, The New and Talented Basso, and
HERR RUDOLPH BIAL The celebrated Violinist, from Berlin, whose wonderful performances at Melbourne, Ballarat, &c.,
have elicited the most rapturous applause, and received the unqualified enconiums of the whole of the Colonial Press.
The Progamme will consist of Operatic Selections, - the most popular Songs and Ballads of England, Ireland, and Scotland, -
and Herr Rudolph Bial's Classical Violin Solos.
Conductor and Pianist, Mr. White.
Admission, Reserved Seats, 4s. Commence at Eight o'clock.

ASOCIATIONS: Emilia and Thomas White (vocalist, pianist); Mr. Hackett (vocalist)

"TARRANGOWER [FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT] . . . Amusements", Mount Alexander Mail [Castlemaine, VIC] (11 December 1857), 4 

The only amusement we have had here for some time were the concerts given at the Kangaroo and Eagle Hawk Theatres, by Madame Arnati White, assisted by Messrs. Bial, Hackett, and White. Madame herself is a talented musician, and cannot fail to please her audience. The style in which several of her songs were sung cannot be too highly praised. Mr. Bial may be said to be the second violinist in the Australian colonies. Many of his variations very nearly equal the celebrated Miska Hauser's. Mr. Hackett has a magnificent bass voice, and it is only necessary to hear him to desire to do so again. Mr. White's performance on the piano deserves great praise.

"THE MINERS' EXCHANGE", The Star [Ballarat, VIC] (17 December 1857), 3 

This Institution was opened last evening by a select Concert. The room was lighted by lamps suspended from the roof, and was particularly cool and comfortable. The approach was by a very neat circular doorway and hall leading through the building now standing in front of the Exchange. There were, owing to the attractions elsewhere, very few persons present. The pieces were however well received. Madame White, Messrs. O'Connor and Hackett and Herr Bial were deservedly encored several times during the evening, and altogether the performance was of a very enjoyable nature.

[Advertisement], The Star (29 December 1857), 3

A full band in attendance, under direction of Mr. Rudolph Bial.
Dancing to commence at nine o'clock.
Tickets of admission 5s. each, to be had at the Exchange Hotel; Messrs. Lahmann & Co., Main Road; and the Prince Albert Hotel.

[Advertisement], The Argus (4 March 1858), 8 

Upon which occasion The following valuable Artistes have volunteered : Miss CHALKER, Herr R. BIAL, and Mr. JOHN GREGG . . .
The performances will commence with the three act Comic Drama, entitled
Overture, "Robert Le Diable, Orchestra.
Ballad, Miss Chalker.
Duet, Miss Chalker and Mr. Gregg.
Violin Solo, Herr R. Bial . . .
TUESDAY, 4th MARCH . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Hennings (scenic artist); John Renno (scenic artist); Adelaide and Joey Gougenheim (actors); Marie Chalker (vocalist); John Gregg (vocalist); Princess Theatre (Melbourne venue)

Names and descriptions of passengers per Royal Charter, from Melbourne, 10 April 1858, for Liverpool; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

First Class . . . Rudolph Bial / 30 . . .

Musical works (German sources):

Perhaps dating from his Australian visit, and if not evidently in remembrance of it, published in the USA twenty years later, are:

Yarra songs waltzes (New York: Edward Schuberth, 1879) (DIGITISED)

Operettas (Germany):

Der Herr von Papillon (1868); see Wordbook

Ein Soldat (1871); see Wordbook

Der Pfefferprinz (1872); see Wordbook

Der Liebesring (1875) see Wordbook

Other works:,_Rudolf 

Bibliography and resources:

Hermann Mendel and August Reissmann, Musikalisches Conversations-Lexikon . . . Zweite Ausgabe . . . Erste Band (Berlin: R. Oppenheim, 1880), 623-24 (DIGITISED)

Bial, Karl, geboren den 14. Juli 1833 zu Habelschwerdt in der Grafschaft Glatz, genoss seine musikalische Ausbildung zu Breslau und ging hierauf nach Berlin, wo er Musikunterricht ertheilte. Nach einjährigem Aufenthalt daselbst begab er sich über England, Madeira, St. Vincent und das Cap der guten Hoffnung nach Australien, wo er conzertirend als Pianist alle Colonien besuchte und im Ganzen sechs Jahre zubrachte. Im J. 1860 reiste er über Mauritius nach Aegypten und gab in Alexandria und Cairo mit grossem Erfolge stark besuchte Matineen. Von Aegypten wandte er sich nach Berlin zurück und lebt und wirkt in letzterer Stadt als sehr geschätzter Musiklehrer. Von seinen Compositionen sind Klavier-Salonstücke und Lieder in den Druck gekommen und haben verdientermaassen eine günstige Aufnahme gefunden. - Sein jüngerer Bruder, Rudolph B., am 26. August 1834 in Habelschwerdt geboren, zeichnet sich als tüchtiger Dirigent und routinirter Orchestercomponist aus. Er cultivirte mit Vorliebe das Violinspiel und machte seine musikalischen Studien gleichfalls in Breslau. Mehrere Jahre, bis 1853, wirkte er als erster Violinist vof, Orchester des Stadttheaters in Breslau, worauf er sich nach Berlin begab. Auch er unternahm eine Kunstreise nach Australien und England und kehrte schliesslich nach Berlin zurück, wo er zuerst als Conzertmeister in die damals vortreffliche Kroll'sche Kapelle trat, dann einige Zeit privatisirte und endlich 1864 die Stelle als Kapellmeister und Componist am Wallner-Theater übernahm, die er noch gegenwärtig sehr erfolgreich inne-[624]-hat. Zahlreiche, meist sehr beliebt, zum Theil sogar populär gewordene Orchester-stücke, Possen und Operetten sind seiner fleissigen Feder entsprungen , in denen sich eine angenehme Erfindung und grosse technische Sicherheit und Gewandtheit bekundet.

Hugo Riemann, Musik-Lexikon (Berlin: Max Heffe's Verlag, 1900), I, 114 (DIGITISED)

Bial, Rudolf, geb. 26. Aug. 1834 zu Habelschwerdt (Schiefien), gest. 13. Nov. 1881 zu New York, war Orchestergeiger in Breslau, machte mit seinem Bruder, dem Pianisten Karl B. (geb. 14. Juli 1833, gest. 20. Dez. 1892 zu Steglitz bei Berlin), eine Konzertreise nach Afrika und Australien und liess sich dann in Berlin nieder, zuerst als Dirigent der Krollschen Kapelle, wurde 1864 Kapellmeister des Wallnertheatere, das viele amüsante Possen und Operetten von ihm brachte, später Direktor der ital. Oper in Berlin, zulest Konzertunternehmer in New York.

Theo. Stengel and Herbert Gerigk, Lexikon der Juden in der Musik (Berlin: Bernhard Hahenfeld Verlag, 1940), column 32 (DIGITISED)

Bial, Carl (Karl), b. Habelschwerdt 14. 7. 1833; d. Berlin 20. 12. 1892. Pian. Komp. . . .

Bial, Rudolf, b. Habelschwerdt 26. 8. 1834; d. New York 13. 11. 1881. Operetten-Komp. . . .

"Rudolf Bial", Wikipedia

BIANCHI, Eugenio (Eugenio BINACHI; Signor BIANCHI)

Musician, tenor vocalist, operatic manager

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, aged "73" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

BIANCHI, Giovanna (Giovanna Maria DI CASALI DA CAMPAGNA; Signora BIANCHI)

Musician, soprano / mezzo-soprano 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) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Italian Opera Company (troupe, 1860-62);

DISAMBIGUATION: 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 . . . formed themselves into a company under the above name"; Gaetano Bianchi (tenor vocalist, a pupil of Fanny Simonsen, active c. 1880-81


Prior to Australia (to 1859):

[Advertisement], Daily Alta California [San Francisco, USA] (22 October 1858), 2 

Who will appear 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 

SAN FRANCISCO, August 14, 1859.
SIGNORA GIOVANINA BINACHI - Madame: - The undersigned, admirers of your abilities in the impersonation of the great characters of the Lyric Drama, and remembering with feelings of pleasure the unfailing rediness which you have always manifested in lending your professional aid to deserving and charitable occasions, and feeling that before your departure from our shores, some testimonial is due to your genius as an artiste, and worth as a lady, are desirous of tendering you a complimentary benefit . . . . [63 signatures printed, 280 others reported] . . .

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 19th, 1859.
GENTLEMEN: - It is with heartfelt pleasure that I have received your note tendering me a complimentary benefit. The appreciation which you this kindly bestow upon my humble efforts in the musical profession, I shall cherish with fond recollection. It reminds me that though far from my native land, I am not without friends . . .
In reply to your request, I would name the AMERICAN THEATRE as the place, and THURSDAY EVENING next, the 22d inst., as the time . . .
Yours most truly and gratefully, GIOVANNINA BIANCHI . . .

"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 announce that they will revisit our State within a few months, with one of the finest opera companies ever organized in the United States.

"THEATRICAL CHITCHAT", The Courier [Hobart, TAS] (5 May 1859), 2

The following items are contained in a letter of a friendly correspondent of the Melbourne Morning Herald: - "Mr. John Drew (who created such a furore in the Atlantic States is now playing a very successful engagement at the American; he is without doubt the best Irish comedian we have ever had. Mr. Drew is engaged to Mr. Rees (formerly agent of Madame Bishop) to play an engagement through Australia. Mr. Rees leaves to-morrow in the ship Caroline. I predict an immense success, in Australia for Mr. Drew. 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 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 . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Bartholomew Rees (agent); Anna Bishop (vocalist); John Drew (actor)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald [NSW] (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 [Melbourne, VIC] (17 November 1859), 1 supplement 

. . . Nothing has yet been heard of the Signor and Signora Bianchi, who were expected to arrive from America . . .

Australia (21 December 1859 to 11 January 1862):

Passengers arrived at Melbourne, 21 December 1859, on board the William from San Francisco; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

[Cabin] Mr. Beaincha / 30 // and Lady / 27 // Jules Mariotti / 25 // [all] Italian . . .

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. HOBSON'S BAY", The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (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 . . .

[Advertisement], The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (11 January 1860), 1 

THEATRE ROYAL. Proprietor - Mr. G. V. Brooke . . .
The Management has great pleasure in announcing the engagement of the brilliant Tenor and Prima Donna
The Season will commence on Monday next, and the works of the greatest composers will be produced with a perfection never before attempted in the colonies.

ASSOCIATIONS: Gustavus Vaughan Brooke (actor, manager); Theatre Royal (Melbourne venue)

[Advertisement], The Age (16 January 1860), 1 

THEATRE ROYAL. Proprietor - Mr. G. V. Brooke.
SIGNOR and SIGNORA BIANCHI, will make their first appearance in Melbourne in Verdi's IL TROVATORE.
Manrico - Signora Bianchi.
De Luna - Mr. Farquharson.
Terrando - Herr Schluter.
Leonora - Signora Bianchi.
Azucena - Miss O. Hamilton.
Inez - Mrs. Hancock.
The Opera will be presented with a powerful increase in ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS.
Under the direction of Mr. John Winterbottom . . .
The subscription will consist of twelve nights . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Farquharson (vocalist); Adolph Schluter (vocalist); Octavia Hamilton (vocalist); Mary Ellen Hancock (vocalist); John Winterbottom (musical director)

"THEATRE ROYAL", The Argus (17 January 1860), 5

Signor and Madame Bianchi made a most favourable impression upon the audience last evening at the Theatre Royal. It was the first appearance of these artistes, who, in California, appear to have carried everything before them. The opera was the "Trovatore," in which the new arrivals personated respectively Manrico and Leonora. The first act was magnificently played, the well-known trio receiving well-merited applause. The celebrated cavatina "Tacea la Notte" was beautifully vocalised, but in the succeeding cabaletta, whether from the singer lacking confidence echoing unacquainted with the force of the music, the rendering was but inferior. Madame Bianchi's voice is a mezzo soprano of average quality, rather weak in the middle register. In the cantabile parts she is decidedly good, but where execution is required she is wanting, proofs of which are readily to be found. Signor Bianchi is far and away the best tenor we have heard in Australia. The "Deserta sulla terra," sung of course "within," completely established Signor Bianchi's reputation. His voice is tenore robusto, of good quality, firm, and well-intoned. He was enthusiastically encored in the "Ah! si ben mio." The popular aria "Di quella pira " was taken too slowly, and so missed the encore, which is looked upon generally as inevitable. The closing acts were admirably performed, the last scene, by the excellent acting of the principals, taking the audience completely by surprise. The last act has always been considered an anti-climax, but last night a very different interpretation was placed upon it. Mr. Farquharson was the Count, and acquitted himself with more than his usual felicity. Miss Octavia Hamilton, in the part of Azucena, agreeably surprised us in the ungrateful task of a soprano singing music written for a contralto. As a whole, we never witnessed a superior performance of the opera. Chorus, band and principals were in accord, and the season promises, and certainly deserves to be, a most prosperous one. We have seldom been a fuller house, or a more enthusiastic audience, and we trust we may see many more such before these very talented singers leave us. We have only to prove that we can appreciate and will support a good opera in Melbourne - and this is such, and we need not doubt that we shall before long have a series of first-rate performances of the 1yric drama on our stage. But we must first allow performers of first-rate talent that it is worth their while to come among us.

"THEATRE ROYAL", The Age (17 January 1860), 3 

We have hitherto attended the operatic representations in Melbourne, and viewed with leniency the shortcomings in every respect which too often thrust themselves upon our notice, but for the first time last evening we sat through an opera with the same feeling of security as to its perfect success that we had been wont to experience at Her Majesty's Theatre or Covent Garden. The debut of Signor and Signora Bianchi is an event in our dramatic annals, and "Il Trovatore" was wisely chosen to display their peculiar powers. The opera itself is a favorite with the public. The rich flood of melody that pervades it, the singularly quaint choruses, and the impassioned and romantic story, not only afford wide scope for the introduction of dramatic effects, but also render it admired where equally fine operas might fail. For the first time last evening these effects were introduced, and we could scarcely recognise in the bustling meaning crowd, singers and actors, the stupid puppets in procession which we were accustomed to see opening their mouths at stated intervals in the former representations of "Il Trovatore." It is wonderful how these puppets have been trained thus to give new life to the opera. It is needless to recapitulate the story, since it is well known, but of the persons engaged in its presentation, we must say that their exertions deserve the warmest meed of praise we can devote to them. Signor Bianchi has a powerful, and exceeding flexible tenor voice, which he modulates with the most artistic precision and sweetness. The Signora is deficient in fioriture, but in the impassioned passages she carries her audience by storm, and the grace of an accomplished actress lends an additional charm to the power and sweetness of her voice. Azucena found a new representative in the person of Miss Octavia Hamilton, who, to our astonishment, not only sang this most difficult creation of Verdi's most delightfully, but threw a great deal of animation and expression into her acting. Mr. Farquharson, as the Count, sang better than ever, and indeed the chorus and all concerned did their best to contribute to the general success. Many of the airs were encored, and the calls for the principal performers before the curtain at the close of scenes and acts sufficiently evinced the amount of enthusiasm felt by the large audience assembled. Owing to the press of news we have no room for many extended remarks upon this first genuine performance of the lyric drama in Melbourne, but must content ourselves by commending Messrs. Fawcett and Edwards for the admirable manner in which "Il Trovatore" has been placed upon the stage, and by congratulating Mr. Winterbottom on the vast improvements he has effected in the musical arrangements. We understand that "La Traviata" will be presented in a day or two. The story is familiar to the public as Camille, and is the same that caused so much excitement when first acted by Piccolomini.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Curtis Fawcett (actor, manager); Harry Edwards (actor, manager)

"THE THEATRE ROYAL ON SATURDAY. TO THE EDITOR", The Argus (23 January 1860), 5

Sir, - With your kind permission I crave leave to insert a few lines in justification of myself and Madame Bianchi not appearing in the opera of "Il Trovatore" this evening, the management having issued a bill this afternoon stating that I refused to sing in the same. I will therefore briefly state my reasons. My desire is always to please and not deceive the public who have received myself and Madame with so much enthusiasm. On Thursday last, in consequence of not being able to produce "La Traviata" on that evening, "Il Trovatore" was announced for the very last time, and I informed the management that I should be ready with "La Traviata" for this evening (Saturday), having had several rehearsals of the same, which assured me that we should be able to produce it efficiently and to the satisfaction of the public. Bills were accordingly issued announcing that "La Traviata" would be produced this evening, but, on account of some misunderstanding that took place between the management and some of the artistes engaged, or for some other reasons unknown to myself, "La Traviata" was not possible to be produced as advertised; and I can only assure the public, that were it not on this account alone, the opera would have been produced, as both myself and Madame Bianchi were quite ready to undertake our parts in the same, together with the majority of the other artistes, and therefore informed the management that it would be better to close the theatre this evening entirely as people would come to see the "Traviata," and not "Il Trovatore," thereby deceiving the public, which I have no wish to do.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
Melbourne, January 21.
[We have received another letter, giving at greater length the same account of this matter, but deem it sufficient to let Signor Bianchi speak for himself.]

"MELBOURNE (From a Correspondent), 19th January . . .", The Star [Ballarat, VIC] (24 January 1860), 2 

The best operatic company we have ever had in the colony is now performing at our Theatre Royal. Madame Bianchi, without having a voice at all powerful, is yet a marvel. Her appearance is more than ordinarily fascinating, and she possesses the most finished style conceivable. Without great natural talents, she yet has taken the musical world by storm, her manner as an artist being all that art can make it. Signor Bianchi is a splendid singer - the first tenor we have ever had of any talent, and a better we are not likely soon to have. With Farquharson as basso and Bianchi as tenor, the present operatic company is decidedly more perfect than any we have hitherto had, and a treat to see and hear.

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC. THEATRE ROYAL", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (4 February 1860), 2 

"La Traviata" was repeated on Saturday and Monday with undiminished success, and was followed by a ballet in which the brothers Leopold took part. On the latter evening the finale from the last act of "I Lombardi" was produced, the parts of Giselda, Orante, and Pegano being filled by Signora and Signor Bianchi, and by Mr. Farquharson. The artistes engaged vied with each other in the studied and passionate rendering of the part, and Mr. Farquharson sang extremely well. The flute obligato of Mr. Siede was a delicious piece of instrumentation, and vied with the singing of the principals in its beauty and the applause it met with. Shortly after leaving the theatre on Monday evening the Signora was taken ill, and it was at first feared that she had been attacked by colonial fever. Dr. Gilbee was called in, and he prescribed rest and quiet. The opera was accordingly withdrawn, much to the disappointment of the public, and "Othello" and "Richelieu," Mr. Holt sustaining the principal characters, were substituted. On Thursday night a "Grand Concert" was given at the Royal, in which the Bianchis and the rest of the opera company appeared. The Signor and Signora reaped fresh laurels, and Mr. Farquharson, Herr Schluter, Miss Hamilton, and Mrs. Hancock, with the chorus, and an effective orchestra, made up a good and varied entertainment, though it lacked the interest of complete opera, and failed to draw a good house. Last night "Lucrezia Borgia" was performed for the first time by the present company, and very successful was its production. The house was well filled, but we must defer a lengthened notice of the opera until next week.

ASSOCIATIONS: Julius Siede (flute); Leopold family (ballet dancers); Clarance Holt (actor)

Bourke-street east, looking west, with Excelsior Hotel at right

Bourke-street east, looking west, with Excelsior Hotel at right, c. 1861/62; Royal Historical Society of Victoria (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Nettleton (photographer, attributed)

[News], The Argus (18 February 1860), 4 

The Operatic Company, including Signor and Signora Bianci, Miss Hamilton, and Messrs. Farquharson and Schluter, with the band and chorus, proceed this day to Ballarat. From thence they will go to Bendigo, and thence to Sydney, where they expect to remain two months. From Sydney they will return to Melbourne, with the intention of producing six new operas, among which are "I Puritani," "Rigoletto," "Attila," and "Robert le Diable." Mr. Winterbottom accompanies them, as conductor. The gentlemen of the German Liedertafel went in procession last night, with torches and music, to serenade Signora Bianchi. Nearly 1,500 persons must have been collected in front of the Excelsior Hotel, Bourke-street east, attracted by the novelty of the scene. A committee of gentlemen entered the hotel, and being conducted to the apartment of the Signora, the President of the Liedertafel presented her with an address and a wreath of bay, the ribbon of which bore an emblematic coloured device and appropriate inscription. The members of the Liedertafel the meanwhile executed their serenade, the various intervals of which were filled up by the applause of the crowd. The Signora, together with Signor Bianchi, appeared on the balcony of the hotel, the former bowing her thanks with the wreath in her hand, and evidently much delighted. The assembled crowd cheered the fair artiste most heartily. The serenade lasted for about half an hour. The following is a translation of the address, which was in the French language:-
"To Signor and Signora Bianchi, I have the honour to present to you this address, in the name of the musical society of Melbourne. Accept the same as an expression of the recognition of your merits as the part of our society, as a realisation of our sympathy, as a testimony of our esteem, and as a proof of our reverence for art and an example of our aspirations - in other words, of our practice and culture of the divine art. In presenting you with our cordial congratulations, in the name of our society I assure you that the German public will, in all places, acknowledge your talents; and we render you this homage, which we have ventured to express to the best of our ability, truly con amore, and from the bottom of our hearts. This homage we beg you to accept. In the name of the German Harmonic Society, I have the honour to subscribe myself your very humble servant,
J. HENNINGS, President."

ASSOCIATIONS: John Hennings (president); German Liedertafel (Melbourne association)

"ITALIAN OPERA", The Sydney Morning Herald [NSW] (18 May 1860), 4 

Arrangements have at length been effected by Mr. Samuel Colville, the enterprising manager of the Prince of Wales Theatre, which are shortly to result in the production here, on a scale of unequalled attraction, of the grand Opera; to be continued for one month only, four nights per week, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays - the Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays being set apart as subscription nights. With this in view engagements have been already concluded with the long expected artists, the Signora and Signor Bianchi, who arrived in this city from Victoria on Friday evening last. The talents of this celebrated prima donna, and eminent first-class tenore, have been warmly acknowledged and universally appreciated in the Southern provinces, during their stay in those parts, is fully evident from the opinions put forth in the columns of the local Press. These distinguished artists are to be supported by a numerous and efficient corps - both vocal and instrumental carefully organised so as to include all the talent available for this purpose, both here and in Melbourne. The six operas which will be produced are, Il Trovatore, Lucrezia Borgia, Ernani, Nabucodonosor, Norma, and Traviata; and the season is to commence on the 29th instant - next Tuesday week. The following engagements have already been entered into: Signor Cesare Cutolo, conductor; and a full and efficient orchestra, in which will be comprised the well-known piano instrumental performer, Monsieur Eigenschenk, and Monsieur Paltzer - the last-named gentleman having been expressly brought up to Sydney from Melbourne for this occasion. The vocal support which has been already secured is very considerable - Monsieur E. Coulon, the well-known, and justly eminent barytone; Signor H. Grossi, distinguished as a basso profundo; and Mr. Frank Howson, whose abilities as a singer are so well known to the Sydney public. By telegraphic advices Mr. Colville is informed by his agent at Melbourne of the engagement of Miss Octavia Hamilton, of whom the Victorian Press has always spoken in the highest terms of praise. Herr Schluter, Messrs. Benham, Springhorn, and Benham, together with Mesdames Lacy and Rayment, all left Melbourne by the City of Sydney, and are expected to arrive here to-morrow night. The majority of those thus engaged have been performing in conjunction with the Bianchi, and are familiar with operas promised; a circumstance which enables the manager to ensure an unusual variety in the operatic entertainment to be afforded in the above specified time. The liberality and enterprise which have been manifested by the manager in this undertaking will doubtless be rewarded by the substantial support of the musical world of Sydney and the public at large; the more so as Mr. Colville has taken upon himself the entire expense and risk of the opera without that guarantee which he looked for some time since.

ASSOCIATIONS: Samuel Colville (proprietor); Cesare Cutolo (conductor); Charles Eigenschenck (violin); Jacques Paltzer (violin); Emile Coulon (vocalist); Enrico Grossi (vocalist); Frank Howson (vocalist); Benham brothers (vocalists); Johann Sprinckhorn (vocalist); Prince of Wales Theatre (Sydney venue)

"TO THE EDITOR OF THE . . .", Empire [Sydney, NSW] (12 June 1860), 8 

SIR, - If any one with the least pretentions to rank amongst gentlemen, and with the smallest fraction of claim to be considered as an artist, so far forgets himself as to descend to low, mendacious, malicious, and cowardly manouvre; if such a man resorts to slander and falsehood - if he employs anonymous writers whose venomous pen is bought to assail those he imagines cannot defend themselves against his unmanly attack, then I say, Sir, it is the duty of every true man to expose the impostor to the indignation of the public.
Signor Cesare Cutolo bas been guilty of the basest slander and of falsehood against ladies and gentlemen by far his betters in mind and heart. Were I alone concerned I would tell him in the words of Junius, "Cease viper, you are biting against a file." But he has most cowardly and ungentlemanly assailed those who never did him any injury or harm; employing for this ungracious task the pen of one whom I am astonished to see has condescended to lend his help and talent for such a mean cause. I allude, Sir, to an article inserted in the columns of the Melbourne Examiner of June 2, and which is a tisane of the grossest, most abusive, and vulgar vituperations against me specially, and the other members of the Italian Opera Company at present engaged at the Prince of Wales - this, no doubt, at the solicitation of CESARE CUTOLO, the amiable slanderer.
You will perceive, Mr. Editor, by the enclosed list, that every one, and all the vocal and instrumental artists, as well as choristers, have protested against CESARE CUTOLO'S efficiency as a conductor, indeed, against his complete incapacity as such. It will also be in the recollection of everybody, that he himself was the first to intrude upon the public with these private matters, by a rather scurrilous letter in the papers, and that Mr. S. Colville, our excellent manager, very properly, though gently, put him in his right place. Now, Sir, I ask how can the man have the barefaced impudence to assail a company of ladies and gentlemen with whom I have the honour of being connected, and to employ a gentleman of the Melbourne Press, whose great talents I regret to see enlisted in such a miserable and unjust cause, to slander us all, and misrepresent everything connected with his dismissal as conductor?
We had all decided to act generously towards him, and let these painful circumstances remain in oblivion; but his invidious and malicious impudence, in causing us to be so atrociously calumniated in the columns of the Examiner, compels me, though most reluctantly, to protest with heart and soul, in common with my brethren of the company, against his arrogance and mendacity.
I claim at your hands, merely as justice, the insertion of my letter, as well as the protest signed as early as the 23nd of May, 1860. The public have bad no cause of complaint; our performances have been successful, in spite of the inclemency of the season, and, therefore, in justice to us all, I hope you will not deny me this matter of right, especially as we endeavour to introduce in this city a growing taste for the noble art of music.
I have the honour to remain, most respectfully.
Your very obedient and humble servant,
Pohlmann's Hotel, George-street, June 11.

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

"SHIPPING. HOBSON'S BAY. ARRIVED", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (18 July 1860), 4 

July 17 - Wonga Wonga, A.S.N. Co.'s s.s.s., 734 tons, D. Walker, from Sydney, 14th inst. Passengers - cabin . . . Bianchi (2), Pattzer [sic, Paltzer] . . .

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC. THEATRE ROYAL", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle [Melbourne, VIC] (28 July 1860), 2 

. . . The theatre has been let to Signor Bianchi for a short operatic season, which will be inaugurated this day fortnight with "La Traviata." The operas will be produced on an extensive scale, and amongst the vocalists engaged are Mdme. Bianchi, Mdme. Carandini, Miss O. Hamilton, Mrs. Hancock, Signor Bianchi, and Messrs. Coulon, Sherwin, Gregg, Hancock, and Farquharson. The works which will be presented during the season are Verdi's "Ernani," "Il Trovatore," "La Traviata," "Nino," "Attila," "Macbeth," and "Rigoletto," and several of the most popular of the operas of Bellini and Donizetti.

ASSOCIATIONS: Maria Carandini (vocalist); Walter Sherwin (vocalist); John Gregg (vocalist)

[News], The Argus (20 August 1860), 5 

"Attila" was performed for the second time on Saturday night, before a full house, the dress circle being unusually well attended. The air by Ezio, in the third act, by Mr. John Gregg, was even more successful than on Friday, and, with the duet in the second and the trio in the third acts, is acquiring a decided hold on the popular taste. Some looseness was still perceptible in the band and in the choral departments, which was the more extraordinary considering the precision with which everything was taken on Friday night. "Attila," however, as a whole, must be regarded as a remarkably successful effort, and its production reflects much credit on both Signor Bianchi and Mr. Winterbottom.

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (7 September 1860), 5 

Yesterday morning an action was brought by William Morris and William Pilcher, professional singers, against Signor Bianchi, to recover damages from him for the non-fulfilment of an engagement entered into by Signor Bianchi with themselves, and some other half dozen public singers, to perform during the operatic season at the Theatre Royal. It was stated by the plaintiffs' counsel, Mr. Weller, that they had occupied twelve days in the rehearsal and production of seven operas; at the close of which time, satisfaction having been expressed with their proficiency, they were employed for a fortnight. On Saturday evening last they were dismissed without notice, in consequence, it was alleged, of the final engagement of the Leopold Family, and the present action was brought to recover a week's wages. The case was dismissed as beyond the jurisdiction of the District Court, and it was stated that proceedings would be taken in the County Court.

[News], The Argus (19 September 1860), 5 

Signora Bianchi's benefit last night was a perfect ovation for the lady. The dress-circle was crowded as it is only on occasional nights, and the other parts of the house were fully attended. Lucrezia is decidedly one of the most effective in the Signora's repertoire, and the numerous encores and bouquets with which she was honoured must have been as gratifying to herself as they were evidences of her high popularity with the public. The Alfonso of Mr. Farquharson, who was warmly welcomed, is remarkable for its breadth and general power. Signor Bianchi and Miss Octavia Hamilton also obtained their full share of the applause. After the opera, the gentlemen of the German Liedertafel sang two of their pieces with care and effect; but we cannot help thinking they would be more successful still by a more judicious selection of music, suited to the general taste. The quartet from "Rigoletto," and a dance by Madame Strebinger, concluded this evening.

ASSOCIATIONS: Therese Ferdinand Strebinger (dancer)

[News], The Argus (9 October 1860), 4 

A meeting of the Garibaldi Testimonial Committee was held yesterday, at the Criterion Hotel, Mr. James Smith in the chair, for the transaction of general business. The committee had under consideration an offer on the part of Signor and Signora Bianchi to sing, either in an opera or at a concert, for the benefit of the fund, and decided on adopting the latter method. The secretary, (Signor Dardanelli) was requested to communicate with Signor Bianchi on the subject, Mr. James Smith was appointed treasurer of the fund, and Messrs. Marletti [sic, ? Mariotti] and James Smith a sub-committee to confer with artists on the design for the sword to be presented to Garibaldi. The subscriptions already amount to about £300, and it is expected that fully £500 will be ultimately contributed.

ASSOCIATIONS: James Smith (treasurer); the fund was to honour Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Italian republican patriot

[News], The Argus (11 October 1860), 4 

On Tuesday evening last [9 October] the Lodge of Judah (Freemasons'), No. 388, S.O., held a lodge of emergency, to initiate Signor Bianchi. The ceremony was . . . translated into Italian by Br. Dardenelli . . . the newly-initiated brother was extremely well received . . . During the evening the hilarity was increased by the vocal abilities of Brs. Bianchi, Hart, S. Nelson, and others. About 70 persons were present.

ASSOCIATIONS: Sidney Nelson (vocalist, composer)

"ITALIAN OPERA", Launceston Examiner [TAS] (16 October 1860), 3 

A brilliant assemblage filled the Theatre Royal last evening, when Signor and Signora Bianchi made their first appearance in Tasmania in Verdi's opera of Il Trovatore, which was most effectively put upon the stage. Signora Bianchi is an actress of great ability. Her Impersonation of Leonora was full of grandeur, yet withal of touching tenderness, and being gifted with one of those rare soprano voices not often found out of sunny Italy - the upper notes of which are as soft as the tones of a flute, whilst the lower notes possess the power and richness of a diapason, it was no wonder that she held her audience entranced, and that a shower of bouquets descended at her feet whilst the Theatre rung with applause. Signor Bianchi as Manrico, most efficiently sustained his part; and his voice a fine tenor, of great power yet of much flexibility and sweetness, and of very considerable compass - was much admired, and he shared with his gifted wife the applause of the house. Mrs. Hancock as Agucena, Mr. John Gregg as Count de Luna, and Mr. E. Hancock as Ferando, went through their several parts in a very creditable manner. A small but effective chorus and an orchestra led by M. Paltzer, with Mr. R. Sharpe at the pianoforte, completed the arrangements, and we may venture to assert that never has Il Trovatore been put upon the stage in Tasmania, in a more creditable manner. This evening will be performed Donizetti's Opera of Lucrezia Borgia.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Hancock (vocalist); Robert Sharpe (piano); Theatre Royal (Launceston venue)

"THE ITALIAN OPERA COMPANY", The Mercury [Hobart, TAS] (23 October 1860), 2 

Perhaps Italian Opera was seldom presented under greater difficulties than at the Theatre Royal last evening, and certainly never in the face of equal difficulties achieved a more genuine success. Il Trovatore was performed without a chorus and almost without an orchestra. The piano which had been prepared for the occasion was silent, no instrumentalist having been found willing at almost a moment's notice and at first sight to read off the libretto of the opera. The few instruments that were available however, were in the hands of masters of their art - Mr. Winterbottom on the double bass, and Monsieur Paltzer and Mr. Megson on the viola, played with great taste and execution, and did much to atone for the want of orchestral power. Of course in the absence of the pianoforte accompaniment the Opera was heard to disadvantage, but the magnificent singing and acting of Signor and Signora Bianchi made more than amends, and caused the audience to lose sight of every drawback. The Signora's voice is a fine soprano of great power and range. She possesses the dramatic talent in an eminent degree and greatly added to the effect of her singing by the force and passion of her impersonation. Signor Bianchi possesses a baritone voice of much sweetness, and his style is characterised by great distinctness of vocalisation. In the hands of those really great artistes who were most ably seconded by Mr. and Mrs. Hancock, and Mr. Gregg, the Opera was presented in a style in which it had never before been seen in this colony, and on the fall of the curtain the whole of the company were enthusiastically recalled. The evening's entertainment concluded with a musical melange in which Mr. Winterbottom played a solo on the Bassoon which was twice encored, and Mr. and Mrs. Hancock sang, and were honored with a similar compliment. We congratulate both the Opera Company and the musical public on thy success which has attended the initiation of this experiment. It will be long before we shall have another opportunity of listening to performers of equal merit, or of hearing a succession of the finest operatic compositions placed on the stage in a manner wonderfully perfect considering the limited resources at the command of the company. The Opera announced for to-night is Lucrezia Borgia.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Megson (viola); Theatre Royal (Hobart venue)

Passengers arrived at Melbourne, 6 November 1860, per Black Swan from Launceston; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

Signor Bianchi / 36 // Signora Bianchi / 30 //
Mr. Gregg / 38 // Mr. Winterbottom / 40 / Mons. Paltzer / 36 // Mons. Mariotti / 28 //
. . . Mrs. & Mrs. Hancock / 36 / 32 . . .

"GEELONG", The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (16 November 1860), 5 

Signor and Signora Bianchi and their operatic company are engaged at the Royal for 12 nights . . . Their first appearance takes place on Monday next [19 November].

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

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

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Henry Abbott (proprietor); Lyceum Theatre (Bendigo)

"THE OPERA", Mount Alexander Mail [Castlemaine, VIC] (9 January 1861), 2 

Signor and Signora Bianchi appeared for the first time in the Castlemaine theatre on Monday evening in the opera of Il Trovatore. The house was well attended, the stalls especially. In placing such an opera as Il Trovatore upon the stage of a provincial theatre in a young colony like this, it cannot be expected that the full score should be played, or that the accessories to be found in metropolitan establishments can be employed to give due effect to the performance. Neither orchestra nor chorus can be made equivalent to the full interpretation of such a work of art; if in these respects a reasonable amount of support can be given to the chief artistes, the public have cause to be satisfied. That the audience on Monday evening was satisfied was unequivocally manifested by their frequent applause . . . Mr. Gregg, who took the part of Count di Luna . . . Mrs. Hancock played Azucena . . . The magnificent music of Lucrezia Borgia, and the effect of the previous evening's performance, attracted a more numerous audience last evening than attended on Monday . . . This evening, Norma will be performed.

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (13 February 1861), 4 

Those insufferably conceited Italians, the Bianchis, have been repeating at Ballaarat the course of conduct which made them notorious during their engagements at the Theatre Royal, Melbourne, and elsewhere. They were engaged to sing at Mr. Farquharson's benefit on Monday evening, and an opera was announced, but the Signora was indisposed (to sing), and consequently other entertainments had on the spur of the moment to be substituted. It is a great pity these people, while there are so many artistes in the colony scarcely able to make a living, should be allowed to behave with so insolent a disregard of what is due to the public.

[News], The Argus (13 February 1861), 5 

Signor and Signora Bianchi, and an operatic troupe, arrived yesterday from Ballarat, en route for Adelaide, where they intend giving a short season.

"ITALIAN OPERA COMPANY", The South Australian Advertiser [Adelaide, SA] (19 February 1861), 3 

As announced yesterday by us, this talented troupe arrived per Aldinga on Sunday afternoon, and will open at the Victoria Theatre, to-morrow (Wednesday) evening, the representation on the occasion being Verdi's tragic opera "Il Trovatore, or the Gipsey's Vengeance." The company comprises the following artistes: - Signor and Signora Bianchi, Miss Julia Harland, Mr. John Gregg, Signor Grossi, and Mr. Linley Norman as conductor. Herr Kohler will play first cornet in the orchestra, and Herr Schrader is engaged as first violin. The first rehearsal of this company took place last night at the Theatre, and from the manner in which the various parts were gone through, we are fully justified in anticipating from the performances of this company one of the rarest musical treats which the public of Adelaide have ever had the opportunity of enjoying. Signora Bianchi possesses a powerful soprano voice of great compass, and exhibits great fluency and delicacy of execution. The Signor himself sings an excellent tenor, and possesses in an eminent degree the talents of the efficient actor, as well as the accomplished musician . . . The season of this company will include 16 representations; the prices being to the boxes, for a gentleman £3 10s., and for a lady and gentleman £5 10s. During the season the following operas will be produced: - Il Trovatore, Norma, Lucretia Borgia, Ernani, Triviata, Nino, Attila, Elisir d'Amour, Lucia de Lammermoor, Sonnambula, and Don Pasquale. The regular prices are announced as under: - Dress circle, 5s.; boxes. 3s.; pit, 2s.; and gallery, 1s. Tolerably moderate rates considering the vast expense attendant upon the effective production of Italian operas here. We need scarcely say that we anticipate a crowded house on Wednesday evening.

ASSOCIATIONS: Julia Harland (vocalist); Linly Norman (conductor, pianist); Richard Wildblood Kohler (cornet); Heinrich Schrader (violin); Royal Victoria Theatre (Adelaide venue)

"POLICE COURTS . . . ADELAIDE. FRIDAY, APRIL 12 . . . LIBEL", Adelaide Observer (13 April 1861), 4 

George M. Allen, printer and publisher of the Northern Star, appeared to a criminal information charged by Eugenio Bianchi, the manager of the Italian Opera, with the publication on the 5th April of a libel, of which the following is a copy: -
"The Italians. - How long will the Adelaide public allow themselves to be duped out of their crowns and half-crowns by this superlative humbug the Italian Opera - composed as it is of two foreigners, two Englishmen, two Irishmen, a Scotty, and a Lancashire clog! . . ." . . .
Signor Grossi having been sworn as interpreter, the complainant deposed as follows: - I am a professional singer and actor, and the manager of the Italian Opera Company performing at the Victoria Theatre. I am an Italian, born in Tuscany. By Mr. Hanson - The company consists of myself, Signora Bianchi, Mr. John Gregg (who is, I believe, an Englishman, but sings in Italian), Miss Julia Hariand (who is, I think, a native of America), Signor Grossi (an Italian), Linly Norman (who is, I think, an Englishman), and the four gentlemen of the chorus, which include the Messrs. Benham Brothers, and all of whom accompanied me from Melbourne to this colony. The chorus are all Englishmen. I do not know what countryman Mr. Kohler is, but I think he is a native of Bourbon. By the Court - There are no others that are performing or professing to perform Italian operas . . .

"VICTORIA THEATRE", The South Australian Advertiser (24 April 1861), 3 

There was a very poor attendance at the Victoria Theatre last evening to witness the third representation of the "Barber of Seville," and the second performance of the ballet of the "Four Seasons." The opera was tolerably played, and the principal performers were occasionally greeted with a round of applause during its progress, but, altogether the entertainment was but a tame affair. The orchestra has been dreadfully reduced, with a view, no doubt, to curtail expenses, and now consists only of Messrs. Norman and Kohler. The former is no doubt accounted (and deservedly so, too) a good pianist, and we have learned to esteem Mr. Kohler as a host in himself; but it [is] almost too not bad to expect those gentlemen alone to do the whole instrumentation for such a heavy opera as the "Barber of Seville," and, certainly, they deceive every credit for attempting it; we do hope, however, that Signor Bianchi will recruit the instrumental department before he presents another new opera. Fraulein Fannie and the Leopold family were very successful in the ballet, which was well received.

"SIGNOR BIANCHI'S BENEFIT", The South Australian Advertiser (16 May 1861), 2 

The most crowded audience of the season filled the Victoria Theatre last evening on the occasion of the farewell benefit of Signor Bianchi. The opera was "Ernani," and till the end of the second act the performance was most effective, and the audience were enthusiastic in their applause. So long a time, however, was allowed to elapse before the drop scene rose again, that faint disapprobation grew into a storm of hisses, which only subsided on Mr. Kohler advancing to the footlights to explain that "an unforeseen accident" had happened to Mr. Linley Norman, but that another pianist had kindly offered to attempt to finish the opera. With the new pianist as leader, another act was got through, but so unsatisfactorily that the green curtain was allowed to descend, and the last act of the opera was not presented. The whole of the remainder of the evening's performance suffered from the effects of the "unforeseen accident," with the exception of a fantasia on the concertina by Mr. Kohler, which was encored.

"CLEARED OUT . . . FRIDAY, JUNE 14", Adelaide Observer (15 June 1861), 5 

ALDINGA, steamer, 500 tons, H. McMeikan, master, for Melbourne. Passengers . . . Signor and Signora Bianchi, Miss Fagan, Signor Grossi . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Miss Fagan (dancer)

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (17 June 1861), 5 

. . . The Lyster troupe will signalise their return to the Melbourne stage, by the production of an original serio-comic opera, from the pen of Mr. Marsh of this city, entitled "The Gentleman in Black" . . . Signor and Signora Bianchi, after a lengthened tour in South Australia, arrived in Melbourne last evening, by the Aldinga. We are informed that in all probability the Bianchis will again shortly appear upon the Melbourne stage . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Lyster Opera Company (troupe, the Bianchi's joined Lyster's company for the remainder of its first Melbourne season, as see below)

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (24 June 1861), 5 

"La Somnambula" drew a very good house at the Theatre Royal on Saturday evening, and we must add that the opera was placed upon the stage in such a manner as to deserve even a more brilliant attendance. Madame Lucy Escott fully sustained her reputation as Amina, with Mr. Squires as Elvino, and Mr. Farquharson as Rudolpho. This evening, Mr. Lyster announces a further addition to his troupe in the persons of Signor and Signora Bianchi, who will appear, conjointly with the present talented company, in "La Traviata."

ASSOCIATIONS: Lucy Escott (vocalist); Henry Squires (vocalist); William Saurin Lyster (manager)

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (2 July 1861), 5 

"II Trovatore" was the opera selected for performance at the Theatre Royal last night, and it attracted an overflowing audience to the dress circle, stalls, and pit. There were two important changes in the cast since the production of the opera on Friday night last, - neither of them for the better. The part of Manrico was sustained by Signor Bianchi. The Signor sang very flatly, and although he exerted himself to the utmost, the delicious purity of Mr. Squires' tenor was decidedly missed by those who had witnessed both performances. Signora Bianchi sang and acted delightfully. Her impersonation of Azucana improves on acquaintance, and is one of her greatest successes. Of Madame Escott we can only reiterate the unqualified approval we have already expressed. Mr. John Gregg took Mr. Farquharson's place as the Count di Luna. The reason of the substitution was unexplained, but the change was good-humoredly borne by a lenient audience. Mr. Gregg was in good voice, and exerted himself with some success. It is really a pity that he cannot get over a jerking, spasmodic manner of singing, as he would thereby take a much higher position than he now occupies. The choruses went very smoothly.

"SUMMARY FOR EUROPE", The Argus (25 July 1861), 6 

. . . At the Theatre Royal, for the last month, Mr. Lyster's operatic troupe has been playing to excellent houses, and the patronage of the public has been so liberal as to encourage the manager to make arrangements for another series of performances on the return of his company from Sydney, whither they will shortly proceed. The engagement of Signor and Signora Bianchi, however, has enabled additional strength to be given to the cast of some of the works produced; and in few theatres out of Europe could "II Trovatore" have been better presented than it has been at the Theatre Royal . . .

"PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS", The Herald [Melbourne, VIC] (24 August 1861), 7 

The Bianchis with Madame Stuttaford and Mr. John Gregg, leave Melbourne for Sandhurst to-day, where they intend commencing an operatic campaign forthwith.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charlotte Stuttaford (vocalist)

"BACK CREEK THEATRE", Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser [VIC] (18 September 1861), 3 

Signor Bianchi's Italian and English Opera Company made their first appearance here on Saturday, in conjunction with the Dramatic Company, including Mr. Warner and Miss Lockhart, and the unprecedented attraction drew a crowded house. Never before has such a gifted singer as Signora Bianchi appeared at Back Creek, and although probably the plot of Il Trovatore, in which she sustained the character of Leonora, was unknown to the great majority of the audience, her magnificent voice and great tragic acting called forth enthusiastic applause. Signor Bianchi and Mr. John Gregg, an old favorite, also appeared in the selections from Verdi's most popular opera, and perhaps the Italian tenor could not be heard to better advantage than in the arias "Ah si ben mio" and "Ah che la morte," for both melodies being of a sweetly plaintive character (the latter being also sung behind the scenes), Signor Bianchi restrains his voice, which, when allowed fell range, sometimes seems almost too powerful for the small theatres on the diggings. The Trovatore selections were most favourably received, and at their close the artistes were called before the curtain. In the concert which followed Madame Stuttaford, a soprano recently arrived from England, selected for her opening aria, "Enani involami" . . . In the concert, Signor[a] Bianchi sang "Home, sweet home," and though the foreign accent could be detected, it only served to render the ballad more attractive, and there was a tumultuous demand for an encore, when the Signora sang Hatton's ballad "Bright things can never die," which was also encored . . .

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (16 October 1861), 5 

At the Theatre Royal, "Norma" attracted a fair attendance last night. Miss Hamilton afforded subject for the general impression of how much her singing exceeds her powers as an actress. Madame Bianchi was an effective "Norma." Mr. Squires' performance appeared to suffer from the want of his accustomed support, through Madame Escott's absence . . .

[News], The Argus (16 October 1861), 5 

Signor Bianchi appeared at the District Court yesterday, to answer a charge of assault, preferred against him by his agent, Mr. R. S. Smythe. The complainant stated that to prove the charge of assault, which took place on the 10th inst., it would be necessary to enter into the details of his business relations with the defendant, and as he was not actuated by any ill feeling towards Signor Bianchi, he would not press the charge, but would merely ask the Bench to bind over the defendant to keep the peace. Mr. Vaughan, who appeared for the defendant, assented to this course, and the Bench ordered Signor Bianchi to enter into his personal recognizances in the sum of £20 to keep the peace for twelve months.

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Sparrow Smythe (agent)

[Advertisement], The Argus (16 October 1861), 8 

NOTICE is hereby given, that Robert Sparrow Smythe is NO LONGER my AGENT, or empowered to make or enter into any engagement for me or on my behalf, and is no longer in my service.
EUGENIO BIANCHI. Excelsior Hotel, Bourke-street east, October 16, 1861.

"SHIPPING", The Sydney Morning Herald (2 November 1861), 6 

City of Sydney (s.), 700 tons, Captain Moodie, from Melbourne, 30th ultimo. Passengers - Madame Stuttaford, Madame Raymond . . . Madame Bianchi, Messrs. . . . Greig [sic, Gregg], Bianchi, Grossi . . .

"THE ITALIAN OPERA COMPANY", The Sydney Morning Herald (6 November 1861), 5 

The return to Sydney of Signor and Signora Bianchi, accompanied by Madame Stuttaford, Madame Raymond, Mr. Greig, Signor Grossi, and an efficient chorus and members of the orchestra, promises to afford a most acceptable revival of operatic entertainments. The company have been engaged by Mr. Tolano, lessee of the Lyceum theatre; and the programme for the season includes the following masterpieces: Il Trovatore, Attila, Rigoletto, Gemmi di Vergi (its first production in Sydney), Elisir d' Amore, Norma, La Sonnambula, and Barbiere. It is expected that Miss Hamilton who made so successful a debut at the Prince of Wales Theatre before its destruction, will join the corps vocale in time for the commencement of opera season, which is fixed for Monday next [11 November].

ASSOCIATIONS: Raphael Tolano (proprietor); Lyceum Theatre (Sydney venue, the previous opera venue, the Prince of Wales Theatre, having been destroyed by fire in October 1860)

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

"Trovatore" seems to be as popular as ever in Sydney, as its representation yesterday evening drew a large and fashionable audience to the Lyceum Theatre, which for the present has been converted into an opera-house. The company is decidedly strong, but the acoustic properties of this theatre are so deficient that it was evident the singers laboured under considerable disadvantage in having the sound thrown back on their voices; but even with this drawback the performances were gone through with great success . . . With reference to Signor Bianchi, rumours to the effect that his voice had given way, were in circulation a short time back; but his first note last night convinced the audience there was not the slightest foundation for the assertion. His voice is quite as clear and powerful as when last heard here - if anything, too powerful for the theatre in which he is now singing . . . Madame Sara Flower, though suffering from indisposition, interpreted the music of Azucana, particularly its pathos, most successfully . . . One of the most pleasing circumstances connected with the performances of last night was the debut, as conductor, of Mr. Frank A. Howson, junior, who, on taking his seat met with a warm reception from all parts of the house, and though very young for so important a position, the manner in winch he fulfilled the duties drew forth the highest commendations . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Sara Flower (vocalist); Frank Alfred Howson (junior) (conductor)

"THE OPERA", Freeman's Journal (30 November 1861), 2 

We are happy to be able to record the complete success of the transfer of the opera from the Lyceum Theatre to the Victoria on Thursday. To those who have endured the inconvenience of visiting the former house for the sake of hearing Signor and Signora Bianchi, the change was a most agreeable one in every respect, both as regards the acoustic properties of the house and the comfort of the audience. At the Lyceum, it was impossible to estimate the professional abilities of Signor and Signora Bianchi at their just value; but on Thursday, the warm approbation of a large and select audience was a sufficient proof of the success that must have attended their efforts for the public amusement if they could have secured the Victoria in the first instance. However, as that was not the case, we trust that some arrangement may be made with the lessee to enable them to carry on the season for a few nights, in order that they may have an opportunity of re-imbursing themselves for the serious losses they have sustained during the time they occupied the Lyceum. The performance on Thursday was, in every respect, most satisfactory throughout, and called for the warmest approbation on the part of the audience . . . The house was entirely crammed last night, on the occasion of the visit of Sir John and Lady Young, when "Rigoletto" was repeated. The boxes were filled with the elite of the beau monde of Sydney, presenting a most brilliant appearance. The two nights on which the opera has been given at the Victoria have been so well attended that we trust they may have in some measure compensated Signor Bianchi for the losses he has sustained in catering for the public amusement. It is not often we have the opportunity of hearing such accomplished artists as himself and Signora Bianchi; and we trust, for the sake of the public, that some arrangement may be made to enable them to remain in Sydney a short time longer.

ASSOCIATIONS: John and Adelaide Young (governor and wife)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 December 1861), 1 

FREEMASONS' HALL, York-street. -
The First CONCERT, Par excellence, of Signor and Signora BIANCHI, will be given on
FRIDAY next, December 6th.
The programme outvieing all former concerts for selection, diversity, and attraction.
The following eminent artistes will appear.
Signora BIANCHI, Madama Stuttaford, the Misses E. and C. Howson,
Signor E. BIANCHI, Mr. J. Gregg, Mr. F. Howson, Signor E. Grossi.
Principal Instrumentalists - Mr. Edward King, Mr. Ernest King, Mr. F. A. Howson.
Pianist - Mr. W. Cordner.
Manager - Signor L. Mariotti.
In the course of the evening grand selections from the Operas Lucrezia a Borgia, Lucia di Lammermoor, Trovatore, Traviata, Luisa Miller, Rigoletto, Norma, L'Elisir D'Amore, and Bohemian Girl.
Doors open at half-past seven, to commence at eight o'clock, admission 2s. 6d.
Tickets to be obtained of all the principal Music Sellers, and at the Freemasons' Hotel.

ASSOCIATIONS: Emma and Clelia Howson (vocalists); Edward King and son (violinists); William John Cordner (pianist); Freemason's Hall (Sydney venue)

"LAST NIGHT OF THE BIANCHIS", The Sydney Morning Herald (10 January 1862), 4

Yesterday evening, under the special patronage of his Worship the Mayor and the aldermen of Sydney, the much-admired opera of La Traviata was produced in the presence of a large and fashionable box audience. The part of the luckless Violetta was sustained by Signora Bianchi with her usual artistic talent, Alfredo being interpreted with much grace, energy, and feeling by Signor Bianchi. Miss Howson, Miss Henry, Mr. Alpen, Mr. F. Howson, Signor Grossi, and Mr. Mitchell assisted in the representation of the opera, which appeared to give satisfaction to every one. The last act of I'Lombardi followed La Traviata, Signora Bianchi as Giselda, Signor Bianchi as Oronte, and Signor Grossi as Pagano. Selections from the Buckley minstrels, and the grand comic Christmas Pantomime completed the entertainment. This was understood to be, for the present, the last appearance here of the Bianchis, whose vocal talents are of a very high order, largely appreciated in this city, and wheresoever else they have been brought before the musical public.

ASSOCIATIONS: Hugo Alpen (vocalist); Buckley Minstrels (troupe)

For the program and full cast list of this last performance, see [Advertisement], Empire (9 January 1862), 1 

"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

THE past month has been signalised by an unusual activity in the musical world of Sydney . . . On the 23rd ultimo, Signor Bianchi gave a concert at the Freemasons' Hall, where the accomplished Italian artists who formed part of the late Opera Company delighted the comparatively few persons who had the taste to be present . . . On the 26th, Signor Bianchi gave a promenade concert at the Masonic Hall, at which there was a very large and highly respectable audience. Some exquisite pieces of operatic music were given, and a grand scena from L'Elisir d'Amore, between Signor Bianchi and Signor Grossi was enthusiastically encored. Besides Signora Bianchi and the to above named artists, Mr. J. Gregg, Miss Clelia Howson, Miss Emma Howson, Mr. Frank Howson, and other professionals, took their parts in the programme. The celebrated soliloquy of Figaro was given in an eminently successful manner by Signor Grossi. Signor and Signora Bianchi took their leave of the Sydney public in two opera benefit nights at the Victoria, on the 8th and 9th instant . . .

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.

Eugenio Bianchi

Eugenio Bianchi

"AN OPERATIC SEASON", Daily Alta California (12 July 1862), 2 

The announcement of Signor Bianchi that he will give an operatic season under his own management, has been received with great favor by our music loving people, who view in the same a guarantee that we shall have something better than usual. The increased force of the company, which numbers two American - and, we may justly say, Californian - lady singers: one of whom (Miss Parker) has made a most successful debut, and the other (Mrs. States) is known to possess a powerful voice, carefully trained and modulated - give promise that something unusually brilliant is in store. There are here Messrs. Leach, Schraubstadter, Roncovieri, Charles and Giunde, in addition to Gregg, Grossi, and Signor and Signora Bianchi. What more can be desired? The opening opera will be Rigoletto, which will be followed with the others announced in the empressario's programme with such rapidity as the laborious work of preparation will admit of.

ASSOCIATIONS: Agatha States (vocalist); Alfred Roncovieri (vocalist)

"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. We 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. From a portrait taken thirty-five years 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 Signor Bianchi, who is 72 years of age, survives her.

ASSOCIATIONS: Nicholas Charles Bochsa (musician); Anna Bishop (vocalist)

"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 gave 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:

Celebrities in El Dorado, 1850-1906 (San Francisco: Works Projects Administration), 4-6 (DIGITISED)

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)

Alison Gyger, Civilising the colonies: pioneering opera in Australia (Sydney: Opera-Opera/Pellinor, 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)

Eugenio and Giovanna Bianchi, Find a grave 

BIDDLE, Robert Thorpe (Robert Thorpe BIDDLE)

Amateur musician, church musician, blacksmith

Born Hugglescote, Leicestershire, England, 19 October 1821; baptised Ashby-de-la-Zouch, 20 January 1822; son of Thomas BIDDLE and Ann
Married (1) Mary COULTON (d. 1855), Ashby-de-la-Zouch, 23 September 1841
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 14 February 1842 (assisted immigrant per Sir Edward Paget, from London, 8 October 1841 via Cork)
Married (2) Eliza Jane WATTS, Scots church, Windsor, NSW, 24 October 1855
Died Richmond, NSW, 27 March 1908 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Register of baptisms, Bardon Park and Ashby De La Zouch chapels (Presbyterian), 1822; register 1756-1837, page 177; UK National Archives, RG4/1173 (PAYWALL)

Robert, son of Thomas Biddle and Ann his Wife, of the Parish of Hugglescoate [sic] in the County of Leicester (born on the [19 October 1821]) was baptized on the [20 January 1822]) . . .

"OBITUARY", Windsor and Richmond Gazette (4 April 1908), 4 

A very old Richmond resident in the person of Mr. Thomas [sic] Thorpe Biddle, died on Friday last at the age of 86 years. The deceased was a native of Leicestershire, England, but came to Australia 66 years ago, and, with the exception of a couple of years spent on the Clarence River, has been residing in the Hawkesbury district, ever since. In former days he carried on business as a blacksmith in Lennox-street Richmond. At the time of the wheat boom he went in extensively for agricultural implement making, and has the record of having been, in conjunction with Mr. Woolley, the first maker of a stripping machine in the Hawkesbury district. When, however, the boom subsided, owing to the rust in wheat, he left this occupation and went in for farming. He was a devout churchman, and was also a good musician, having played in the orchestra in the Methodist and Anglican churches prior to the advent of the organ. The deceased gentleman was married twice and had a numerous offspring. Of 20 children the following are now living: -
Thomas, William, Fred, Amy and Mrs. Powell (Richmond); Mrs. Chandler (Granville); Mrs. Watson, Mrs. J. Clark, Mrs. G. Clark, Frank, Jack and Bob (Clarence River). There are 73 grandchildren and 44 great grandchildren. The funeral which was largely attended, took place on Sunday, the remains being interred in the Church of England cemetery, Richmond. The Rev. J. Colwell and Rev. Mr. Hargraves conducted the service. Mr. A. Price was the undertaker.

ASSOCIATIONS: Anglican churches (music in); Wesleyan churches (music in)

Bibliography and resources:

Robert Thorpe Biddle, 1822–1908, Australian royalty 

BIGGS, Jesse (Jesse BIGGS; J. BIGGS)

Musician, bassoon player, bass vocalist, organ builder, pianoforte tuner

Born Bromham, Bedfordshire, England, (? 13 November) 1819; son of William BIGGS (1789-1870) and Mary CRUMP (c. 1787-1866)
Married (1) Rachel ? (d. 1843), c. 1842
Married (1) Elizabeth BROAD (c. 1815), Bromham, 1845
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, by c. 1854
Died Launceston, TAS, 23 August 1872, aged "53" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Jesse Biggs was born in Bromham, Bedfordshire, probably in 1819, the first child of William Biggs (1789-1870), a farmer and miller, and Mary Crump (c. 1787-1866), who had married at Bromham on 14 December 1818. Several sources give his date of birth as 13 November 1819, though without supporting reference. The Tasmanian and Victorian colonist Abraham Biggs (c. 1799-1875) was his father's younger brother.

Jesse first carried on a business as miller and baker at Bromham. His first wife, Rachel, having died in 1843, aged 22, he married Elizabeth Board at Bromham in 1845. They had three daughters born in England, only the eldest of whom, Elizabeth (b. 1848) survived to come to Australia, and two sons born in Melbourne, Frank William (b. 1857) and Frederick (b. 1858).

At the time of the 1851 census, while his wife and two daughters were at the Bromham millhouse, Jesse was in London, working as an organ builder, and sharing accommodation with Robert Gray the younger, of the firm of Gray and Davison.


"Deaths", Hertford Mercury and Reformer [England] (5 August 1843), 3 (PAYWALL)

On the 28th ult., at Bromham, Beds., the wife of Mr. Jesse Biggs, miller, aged 22 years.

"BROMHAM. Another Death from Poppy Tea", Cambridge Independent Press (16 February 1850), 3 (PAYWALL)

On Monday last an inquest was held before Ezra Eagles, Esq., coroner, on view of the body of Emily, the infant laughter of Mr. Jesse Biggs, of Bromham, baker, eho died on Friday evening, from the effects of an overdose (three teaspoonsful) of poppy tea, incautiously administered by Mrs. Biggs the previous night. Verdict, "Died from the effects of an overdose of poppy tea, administered without any felonious intent" . . .

England census, 30 March 1851, St. Pancras, Middlesex; UK National Archives, HO107/1493/299/5 (PAYWALL)

12 Edward St. / Robert Gray / Widower / 37 / Organ Builder / [born] Middlesex St. Pancras
Jesse Biggs / Mar. / 30 / [Organ Builder] / [born] Bedford Bromham

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Gray (the younger, organ builder)

England census, 30 March 1851, Bromham Bedfordshire, UK National Archives, HO107/1751/498/8 (PAYWALL)

Bakehouse / Elizabeth Biggs / Wife / Mar. / 35 / Miller & Baker's Wife / [born] Somerset Tiverton
Elizabeth / Daur. / 5 // Helen / Daur. / 3 / [both born] Bedford Bromham . . . [plus two servants, one a baker]

Post office directory of Berkshire . . . with Bedfordshire . . . (London: Kelly & Co., 1854), 20 (DIGITISED)

BROMHAM, or BRUMHAM, is a beautiful village, situated on the river Ouse and on the Northampton road, 3 1/2 miles north-west from Bedford . . . The church, dedicated to St. Owen, is a very ancient stone building . . . The population, in 1851, was 343 . . .
TRADERS . . . Biggs Jesse, organ builder & baker, Biggs Williams, farmer & miller, Bridge foot, and at Biddenham . . .

Australia (from late 1854 or earlier):

[Advertisement], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (1 November 1854), 8 

On Friday, November 3rd, The Philharmonic Society will perform Handel's Oratorio of The Messiah.
Instrumentalists: . . . Flute - Mr. Cooze. Clarionets - Messrs. Johnson and King.
Bassoon - Messrs. Biggs and McCay [sic] . . .
Leader - Mr. Jos. Griffiths. Conductor - Mr. Jno. Russell . . .

ASSOCIATION: William Joseph Cooze (flute); Henry Johnson (clarinet); Thomas King (clarinet); Thomas McCoy (bassoon); Joseph Griffiths (violin, leader); John Russell (conductor); Melbourne Philharmonic Society (association); Exhibition Building (Melbourne venue)

"PERFORMANCE OF SACRED MUSIC", The Argus (14 March 1855), 5 

Last evening a subscription concert was given at the Mechanics' Institution, by the Philharmonic Society. The hall was well filled with a most respectable assembly . . . The programme of the evening consisted of a selection from Handel's "Samson," the solo parts being sustained by Mrs. Testar, Mrs. D'Alton, Mr. Ewart, Mr. Biggs, and Mr. Hackett . . . The bass songs, belonging to Manoa and Harapha, were divided between Mr. Hackett and Mr. Biggs; those of Samson being sung by Mr. Ewart . . . Mr. Russell conducted the choruses with great precision. They all went off well, surpassing the expectations of every one. Mr. Goold presided at the organ (which, by the way, sadly wanted tuning) very efficiently, and the band was ably led by Mr. Griffith . . .

ASSOCIATION: Elizabeth Testar (vocalist); Mrs. D'Alton (vocalist); Thomas Ewart (vocalist); Mr. Hackett (vocalist); Thomas Green Goold (organist); Mechanics' Institution (Melbourne venue)

[Advertisement], The Argus (29 March 1855), 8 

PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY - Mechanics' Institution -
On Tuesday next, April 3rd, will be repeated a Selection from Handel's Oratorio
SAMSON, for the benefit of Mrs. Paterson, widow of the late lamented Secretary to the Mechanics' Institution, and Honorary Secretary to the Philharmonic Society.
The following Artistes have volunteered their services: -
Vocalists: - Mesdames Testar, Hancock, Dalton and Onn. Messrs. Ewart, Stewart, Biggs, and Hackett.
Instrumentalists: - Messrs. Griffith (leader), King, Paling, Hardman, Reed, Radford, King, jun., Biggs, &c.
The Band and Chorus will number upwards of 100 performers Conductor, Mr. Russell . . .
Performance to commence at half-past seven precisely.
Tickets, 7s 6d each, may be obtained at Wilkie's Music Saloon; J. J. Blundell's, Collins-street west;
Slater, Williams and Hodgson's, 941 Bourke street east, and at the Institution, where also may be had Books of the words, 6d each

ASSOCIATIONS: James Paterson (secretary, recently deceased); Mary Ellen Hancock (vocalist); Constantia Onn (vocalist); Edward King (violin); William Henry Paling (violin); Daniel Hardman (musician); Thomas Reed (musician); one of the Radford brothers (musician)

[Advertisement], The Age (26 June 1855), 8 

PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY. Mechanics' Institution.
Part I.
Romberg's Ode - "The Harmony of the Spheres."
Canzonet - Mr. Ewart. "Clear Serene Eyes," Dr. Jones.
Song - Mrs. Testar, "When the quiet Moon is beaming." - J. Schondorf.
Madrigal Chorus - "Down in a Flowery Vale" - C. Feata, 1541.
Song - Mr. Biggs, "Friend of the Brave," Dr. Calcott.
Irio and Chorus - Mrs. Testar, Mr. Ewart and Mr. Biggs. "The Chough and Crow," Sir H. Bishop.
Part II.
Handel's Serenata, "Acis and Galatea."
Principal Vocalists - Mrs. Testar, Mrs. Goodliffe, Mr. Ewart and Mr. Biggs.
The Band and Chorus will number about eighty performers.
Conductor - Mr. Russell. Leader - Mr. Griffith . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Mrs. Goodliffe (vocalist)

MUSICIANS: Friend of the brave (Callcott)


. . . The recitative "I rage, I melt, I burn," and the following air, "O Ruddier than the Cherry," embody the grotesque utterance of Polyphemus's boorish passion, and the music exhibits a remarkable combination of massiveness and mirth, of rugged tenderness and desperate impetuosity. It must be evident that a composition like "Acis and Galatea" should be illustrated by vocalization of the highest order, to do it anything like adequate justice; and that the ability to execute should also accompany the ambition to attempt the solo portions of this serenata, on the part of the vocalists concerned. We wish we could congratulate Messrs. Ewart and Beggs [sic] on the possession of that ability; but truth compels us to pronounce a contrary opinion . . . A selection of miscellaneous pieces was given in the first part of the Concert, including ing that charming old madrigal "Down in a flow'ry vale," and Sir Henry Bishop's well known glee "The chough and crow to roost are gone;" both of which were admirably given . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (27 August 1855), 8 

PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY. Mechanics' Institution.
FOURTH SUBSCRIPTION CONCERT . . . To-morrow (Tuesday) Evening, 28th inst.
PART I. Overture from Handel's "Judas Maccabeus."
Chorus - O, Father, whose almighty power.
Air - Arm, ye brave - Mr. Biggs.
Chorus - We come, we come, in bright array . . .
Leader, Mr. Griffiths. Conductor, Mr. Russell . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (29 April 1856), 7 

ORGAN BUILDER and TUNER - Biggs, from Gray and Davison's, London, 143 Little Lonsdale street west.

[Advertisement], The Argus (25 June 1856), 7 

SERAPHINE for Sale (Sprague, London). Apply Biggs, organ builder, 143 Little Lonsdale-street west, Melbourne.

[Advertisement], The Age (9 December 1856), 8 

TO-MORROW. To Clergymen, Gentlemen interested in Church and Chapel Buildings, and Others.
A Powerful Three-barrel Church Organ, playing 36 tunes.
W. PHILPOTT is instructed to sell by auction, at the Public Sales Room, Hall of Commerce, on Wednesday, 10th inst., at twelve o'clock,
A powerful three-barrel church organ, playing 36 tunes, manufactured by that eminent maker Davis, of known celebrity; and the manufacturer of the organ of St. Stephen's, Walbrook.
It is in perfect condition, and has been thoroughly examined by Biggs, the organ-builder, within the last few days . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (13 April 1857), 8 

Grand Opening and Inauguration . . . on THURSDAY, 16th APRIL,
Under the management of Mr. John Black . . .
GRAND OPERA. Commencement of the Operatic Season . . .
The Company includes: MADAME ANNA BISHOP . . .
Musical Director and Conductor - Mr. George Loder . . .
Chorus . . . Messrs. Mitchell, Norton, Friend, Biggs, Darsham [sic, Barsham], Leveson . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Melton Black (manager); Anna Bishop (vocalist); George Loder (musical director); Albert George Barsham (vocalist); John Leveson (vocalist); Princess Theatre (Melbourne venue)

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

CHURCH ORGAN, for Sale, CCC to F alt., built in the colony,
tuned equal temperament under the direction of G. Loder, Esq., conductor of music to Madame Anna Bishop.
Testimonials and references by the first organists in the colony.
BIGGS, Organ Builder, 143 Little Lonsdale street, King street, Melbourne.

"ORGAN BUILDING", The Age (1 July 1857), 5 

The multiplication of new churches, and the daily increasing taste for congregational music, is gradually creating a demand for organs suited to churches of moderate size, and, we may say, suited to congregations of moderate means. Mr. J. Biggs, organ builder, of Little Lonsdale-street west, who gained his experience in the works of Messrs. Gray and Davison, of London, has just completed a compact little organ of seven stops, which, in addition to the qualifications we have mentioned, possesses great power, combined with richness of tone. The organ has been tuned to an equal temperament under the direction of Mr. George Loder, and so voiced as to insure a large volume of sound without any harshness. The stops consist of the open diapason, the stopped diapason, treble and bass, principal, cornopean, fifteenth, and bourdon pedal pipes. There is also an octave of German pedals. As all the various ranks of pipes are inclosed in a "swell" the performer has it in his power to impart great additional effect to his playing. - y this contrivance also the dust is prevented from falling into the reeds, choking them up, and preventing them from speaking. This arrangement is specially necessary in so dusty a colony. The pedal pipes are of course of wood, and constructed upon the principle of making an eight feet pipe give forth the sound usually had from double one of that length. The organ has been constructed of wood seasoned in the colony, as from the variations in climate, it is unsafe to import any wood already made up in Great Britain, on account of its tendency to shrink. We understand that Mr. Biggs has sold the organ, and expects very shortly to have to proceed with several others. We have chosen to make this special record of the completing of an organ, as we believe it to be the first actually built in the colonies by a practical man, and as such, another instance of colonial enterprise which we should be delighted to see fully rewarded. The organ will remain on view for a few days at Mr. Biggs' residence in Little Lonsdale street, beyond King-street.

[Advertisement], The Argus (24 July 1857), 8 

Two SERMONS will be PREACHED in this Church, by the Right Reverend the LORD BISHOP OF MELBOURNE.
The NEW ORGAN (the first built in this Colony, by Mr. Biggs,) will be opened on this occasion.
Divine Service will commence at eleven, and half past six o'clock. Collections will be made towards defraying the cost of the instrument.

ASSOCIATIONS: Anglican churches (music in)

"BRIGHTON CHURCH", The Age (29 July 1857), 5 

We are glad to learn that the Church of England congregation at Brighton have determined upon the purchase of an organ of considerable size and power, and for this purpose have retained ths services of Mr. Biggs, organ-builder, of Melbourne. That gentleman is now busily engaged in its construction, and expects to have it finished in the course of a few months.

"TRINITY CHURCH, WILLIAMSTOWN", The Age (31 July 1857), 6 

Some weeks ago we did ourselves the pleasure of mentioning in terms of high commendation an organ of equal sweetness and power just completed by Mr. J. Biggs, organ builder, Melbourne, a pupil of the eminent firm of Gray and Davison of London. The organ had besides received the favorable testimony of Mr. George Loder, the accomplished director of Madame Anna Bishop's operatic entertainments, and other persons well qualified to judge. We were therefore not at all surprised to hear of its purchase by the congregation of Trinity Church, Williamstown, who were naturally anxious to secure to themselves a better instrument than that to which they had been accustomed. The organ, which is the first built in the colony by an experienced maker, was opened on Sunday last by Bishop Perry, who preached sermons to crowded audiences in the evening as well as the morning, and made them the vehicle of some very earnest and judicious exhortations on the propriety of joining heart and soul in the practice of congregational singing. The organ was very skilfully played by Mr. Michael Ashton, and the collections during the two services amounted to £20. The price of the instrument is £200, of which the greater part has already been collected and paid . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Michael Ashton (organist)

"ORGAN PERFORMANCE", The Age (23 November 1857), 5 

On Wednesday last Mr. W. B. Wray late organist of the Blind Asylum, Liverpool, gave a selection of music by the great composers on the new and beautiful instrument just finished by Mr. Biggs, at his manufactory, in Little Lonsdale street, west. Several of our leading musical connoisseurs were present by invitation and expressed themselves highly delighted with the power and tone of the organ, as well as with the masterly performance of the organist. The instrument reflects the highest credit on the builder, and we must congratulate the good people of Brighton on becoming its possessors. Mr. Wray, we believe, was induced to come to this colony for the benefit of his health, and we sincerely hope he may be induced to remain. An organist and teacher of his reputation would be an immense acquisition to this metropolis, particularly as our churches are now becoming fitted with organs of magnitude and first rate quality.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Beresford Wray (organist)


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 solos were given by Mrs. Goodliffe, Mrs. Andrews, Mrs. Fox, Miss Parsons, and two gentlemen amateurs - all members of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society. The chorus, numbering about one hundred, were mainly composed of the Collingwood Harmonic Society, assisted by several belonging to the parent body. Mr. Kaye acted as conductor, and Mr. Leslie as leader, under whose able management, the concert passed off in the most satisfactory manner . . . 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.

ASSOCIATIONS: Theresa Shirley Andrew (vocalist); Sarah Hannah Fox (vocalist); Samuel Kaye (conductor); Alexander J. Leslie (leader, violin); Mr. Boswell (organist); Collingwood Harmonic Society (association)

"GRAND CONCERT AT ST. FRANCIS'S", The Age (15 July 1858), 6 

Yesterday evening the Church of St. Francis's, in Elizabeth street, was filled in every part by a large and attentive audience, who had assembled to listen to a grand concert of sacred music, given to inaugurate the re-opening of the organ, after undergoing extensive repairs, alterations, and additions at the hands of Mr. Biggs, organ builder. The band and chorus, numbering over one hundred persons drawn from the various musical societies in the city and neighborhood, were placed in the gallery immediately in front and alongside of the organ . . . The concert opened with a fine Fugue by Bach, ably performed by Mr. Wilkinson, the organist of the church. This was immediately followed by the "Kyrie," "Gloria," and "Credo," from Mozart's splendid Twelfth Mass . . . The solo parts were sustained by Miss Octavia Hamilton, Mrs. Wilkinson, Mr. Ewart and Mr. Power . . . Before closing this brief notice we must not omit to state that Mr. Charles Plunkett presided at the organ, Mr. King led the band (which generally afforded very efficient support to the solo singers), and Mr. Wilkinson conducted the whole . . . We are glad to learn that the Rev. McEvey intends to get up another sacred concert in a still more elaborate and complete manner, at the commencement of October. The funds derived from both are to be devoted to the expenses of the organ and the establishment of a permanent, numerous, and able choir.

ASSOCIATIONS: Octavia Hamilton; William and Ann Wilkinson (conductor, vocalist); William Pierce Power (vocalist); Charles Plunket (organist); Daniel McEvey (cleric); St. Francis's church (Melbourne)

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Daily Mercury [TAS] (12 April 1859), 3 

. . . MY DEAR PACKER, - At your request I have tried the Organ in St. David's Church, and find it totally unfit to perform service, the Pedals are in a fearful state, but one speaking as it should. It is so wretchedly tuned, that in the Chromatic scale with the Principal, six notes speak alike. The Trumpet stop, the Horn and other solo stops, are alike inefficient; altogether, with the action, the Instrument has been spoilt in erection, for I can answer that Messrs. Bishop and Storr would never have sold an Instrument of their's in such a state, and I am fully persuaded that should you employ a competent person to examine and set it to rights, no person would recognise in it the same Instrument.
If there be no competent person here, I would advise you to employ Mr. Biggs of Melbourne.
I am, dear Packer, Your's sincerely,
[To] F. A. Packer, Esq..

ASSOCIATIONS: Frederick Alexander Packer (organist); Lewis Henry Lavenu (musician); St. David's cathedral (Hobart)

[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser [VIC] (14 October 1859), 3 

When Haydn's Masterpiece THE "CREATION" Will be rendered by a Band and Chorus of HUNDRED PERFORMERS.
Strengthened by a portion of the Band of the 40th Regiment . . .
PRINCIPALS: Mrs. Hancock - Mrs. Goodliffe - Mr. Ewart - Mr. Downing - Mr. J. Hinchcliff -
Mr. Johnson, Clarionette - Mr. Stuart, Trumpet - Mr. Biggs, Bassoon - Mr. Stoneham, Flute.
CONDUCTOR - Mr. I'Erson. LEADER - Mr. Gabb . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Bartholomew Joseph Downing (vocalist); John Hinchcliff (vocalist); Edward Stewart (trumpet, cornet); William Stoneham (flute); Thomas William I'Erson (conductor); John Gough Gabb (leader, violin); Henry Byron Moore (secretary); Band of the 40th Regiment (military); Geelong Harmonic Society (association)

"ST. DAVID'S CHURCH", The Hobart Town Advertiser [TAS] (26 November 1859), 3 

The organ attached to this Church is now undergoing a thorough repair, under the superintendence of Mr. Biggs, of Melbourne. To whatever cause owing, the organ, since its erection, has never justified the anticipations raised from the encomiums passed on it by those who heard it at the makers. It will be nearly a month before the organ is again available for the service of the Cathedral, but as it will have a thorough overhauling by a gentleman who thoroughly understands his profession, we hope to find a great improvement when next it will be used for Divine service.

"SHIPPING REPORT", The Hobart Town Advertiser [TAS] (19 November 1859), 2 

Nov. 18 - City of Hobart, steamer, 618 tons, Bentley, fiom Melbourne, 16th instant, with sundries; passengers . . . Mr. Biggs . . .

"ST. DAVID'S CATHEDRAL", The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (24 December 1859), 3 

There will be a full Cathedral service at St. David's to-morrow both in the morning and the evening, being Christmas Day. We are happy to hear that the new Organ has been thoroughly re-arranged by Mr. Biggs, and is now in perfect order and tune.

"THE ORGAN AT ST. DAVID'S CATHEDRAL", The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (28 December 1859), 2 

For some months past, in fact ever since its erection, the beautiful new Organ at St. David's Cathedral has failed to give satisfaction, and either from some mismanagement in locating it or from other causes has been partially silent, and its full capabilities never properly tested. During the last three or four weeks, however, the instrument has been under the management of Mr. Biggs of Melbourne, formerly a pupil of Mr. Robert Gray, of the celebrated firm of Gray and Davidson, of London, and has been revoiced, regulated, and tuned to an equal temperament by that gentleman, in the most perfect and successful manner. Its success was tested last Sunday, when a full Cathedral service was performed, Mr. Packer presiding at the Organ, who, it is needless to say, did it full justice. One opinion alone has been expressed by those who heard the Organ on that occasion, all speaking highly of its tone, power, and capabilities.
The following was the music performed on Christmas Day, being the first time the Organ has been used since its revoicing by Mr. Biggs: -
Voluntary - Agnus Dei, Mozart.
Venite - Crotch in C.
Psalms - Packer, A. Bennett, and St. Paul's Chant.
Te Deum - Jackson in C.
Benedictus - May
Anthem, taken from 35th and 57th Psalms - Quartette: Judge me, O Lord. Chorus: I will give thanks. - Mozart.
The Winton Litany.
Kyrie Eleison - A. Bennett.
Christmas Hymn.
Voluntary - Pastoral Symphony.
Psalms - Beckwith, T. Bennett, Russell
Magnificat - Dr. Hayes.
Deus Misereatur - Packer jun.
Psalm C.
Twelfth Hymn.
Hallelujah Chorus.
The Organ was built by Bishop and Storr, and is a very fine instrument. It has two manuals, Great Organ and Swell, and contains 22 stops and 1012 pipes. Compass GG to F altissimo.
1 Open Diapason. 58 pipes
2 Stopped Diapason. 58 "
3 Principal. 58 "
4 Twelfth. 58 "
5 Fifteenth. 58 "
6 Dulciana. 46 "
7 Claribel to Middle C. 30 "
8 Flute (wood). 58 "
9 Trumpet Bass. 12 "
10 Trumpet Treble . 48 "
[Total] 482 [pipes]
Gamut G to F alt. 46 notes.
1 Double Diapason. 46 pipes
2 Open Diapason. 46 "
3 Stopped Diapason. 46 "
4 Principal. 46 "
5 Twelfth. 46 "
6 Fifteenth. 46 "
7 Sesquialtra. 138 "
8 Horn. 46 "
9 Hautboy. 46 "
[Total] 506 [pipes]
2 couplers, pedals to Great Organ to Swell
Pedals, 2 octaves.
1 Grand Bourdon, 24 pipes.

ASSOCIATIONS: Frederick Augustus Packer junior (composer)

"THE ORATORIO. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7", The Hobart Town Advertiser [TAS] (9 February 1860), 3 

The Performance of Handel's Messiah, came off, as announced, this evening, at the Town Hall . . . The list of professional gentlemen and ladies whose readiness to assist the object is matter of general commendation, includes the names of Mr. Buddee, Mr. Russell, Mr. Biggs, Mons. Del Sarte, Mr. Tapfield, Mr. Dentith, Mr. Singer, Mr. Weber, Miss Carandini, Miss Kent. The Messrs. Sharpe, of Launceston, also came to Hobart Town to render their valuable aid, at much inconvenience, and at no little sacrifice to themselves . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Julius Buddee (musician); William Wilkins Russell (musician); Samuel Tapfield (musician, conductor); Alfred Jackson Dentith (musician); John Macdonald Singer (musician); Albert Weber (musician); Rosina Carandini (musician); Hobart Town Glee Club (association)

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (29 February 1860), 3 

Organs, Harmoniums, and Pianofortes.
MR. BIGGS, from Melbourne, having determined to remain in Hobart Town, is prepared to receive and execute orders for building, repairing, or tuning, organs - repairing or tuning harmoniums, and tuning pianofortes.
Parties entrusting him with orders for the above may rely upon having them properly executed.
Orders may be left at Mr. Elliott's, leather warehouse, Collins-street,
or at Mr. Biggs' residence. No. 6, Fitzroy Crescent.

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Elliot (tanner, amateur musician)

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (12 June 1860), 3 

HARMONIUM for SALE (by Alexandre of Paris). Apply to Biggs, Organ Builder, 111 Davey-street.

"ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH", The Hobart Town Advertiser (11 October 1860), 3 

THE Managers of St. Andrew's Church issued, through the papers, an invitation to the public to attend, on Tuesday evening, to hear the performance of a selection of vocal and instrumental music, with the view of testing the quality of the tone and power of the splendid Organ lately erected in the building. In order to make room for the Organ the Church has been lengthened about 20 feet, and the instrument placed behind the pulpit in the best position both for the tone and the appearance of the Organ. It is a splendid instrument, enclosed in a magnificent case, with gilt pipes. It was built by Mr. Charles Brindley of Sheffield, and was arranged and planned by Professor Hopkins, of the Temple Church, London, who also superintended its building, and tried its tone before being shipped for this Colony. It contains all the latest improvements, and no pains nor expense has been spared to make it perfect. The Organ has three manuals of full compass, and a pedal organ of two octaves and a third . . . On the arrival of the organ in this colony the services of Mr. Biggs were secured to erect it. How well he has performed his task was evident to all on Tuesday night, and we have much pleasure in adding that the Managers and Subscribers of the St. Andrew's organ have expressed themselves much pleased with the manner in which Mr. Biggs has completed his work. The organ having been got into first rate order, it was determined that the public should have an opportunity of judging of the quality of its tone. The Church was crowded to excess in every part, and there was hardly sitting or standing room to be obtained . . . Mr. Buddee, who has been for some time organist at St. Andrew's, presided at the Organ, assisted by Mr. Tapfield, and they alternately performed the various pieces. The members of Mr. Tapfeld's musical club also volunteered their services, and the chorusses were rendered by them with great effect . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Brindley (English organ builder); Edward John Hopkins (English organist); Presbyterian churches (music in)

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Advertiser (16 October 1860), 3 


"THE ORGAN AT THE MECHANICS' INSTITUTE", Launceston Examiner (11 April 1861), 5 

Mr. Biggs, of Hobart Town, is engaged in erecting the New Organ in the Mechanics' Institute which arrived by the Alfred Hawley. It is probable that the putting up of this instrument will take from a month to six weeks.


. . . The Organ which arrived at Launceston by the Alfred Hawley, in March last was built by Brindley of Sheffield, from plans furnished by and under the superintendence of Mr. Hopkins, the well-known Organist of the Temple Church, London . . . The cost of the instrument, including freight from England and its erection will be nearly £800 . . . The magnificent instrument which now stands in the noble hall of the Mechanics' Institute Launceston is, except St. Andrew's, Hobart Town, the largest in the Australian Colonies, and for its purity and richness of tone must be admired by all who delight in the concord of sweet sounds. It contains twenty-nine sounding stops, has three manuals compass from CC to G in alt; 50 notes. The pedals extend from CCC to F 30 notes . . . The task of erecting this noble organ in the Mechanics' Institute was confided to Mr. Biggs, organ builder, Hobart Town, and he has finished his work in a superior style and to the satisfaction of his employers. It is but justice to add that Mr. Robert Sharpe, of Brisbane-street, Launceston, rendered great assistance to Mr. Biggs during the progress of the work . . . The Committee with a view of rendering the opening of the organ worthy of the occasion engaged the services of Mr. G. R. G. Pringle, organist of St. Peter's, Melbourne . . . [in the evening concert] . . . Handel's stirring song, "Honour and Arms," from the Oratorio of Samson, was then sung in a very spirited manner, by Mr. Biggs, who was loudly applauded . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Sharpe (musician); George Robert Grant Pringle (organist)

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner [TAS] (29 October 1861), 6 

MR. BIGGS, Pianoforte Tuner, Organ Builder, &c.
Orders received at his house, Brisbane and Tamar-streets, and at MR. S. JOSCELYNE's, St. John-street, Launceston.

ASSOCIATIONS: Samuel Joscelyne (amateur organ builder)

"GENERAL NEWS", Launceston Examiner (23 January 1862), 2 

The organ recently erected in St. Andrew's Church was opened on Sunday, 12th instant. - Mr. Robert Sharpe presided during both the morning and evening services. It was formerly in St. John's Church, but a new one being shortly expected from England, this instrument was purchased by Mr. Biggs, who has disposed of it to the congregation of St. Andrew's. Mr. Biggs has taken it to pieces, re-tuned it, and effected great improvements by inserting an additional wind chest; a new open diapason bass, clarabella, and flute throughout. He has also added one octave of Bourdon pedal pipes, eight feet stopped and 16 feet tone, with two octaves of pedals of twenty-nine notes, the pedals to act upon the keys. The swell has also been lined and made much more effective. The organ is now very powerful, and the tones are full, rich and musical; in fact, the re-tuning and the additions have made it vastly superior to what it used to be. Altogether it does great credit to the skill of Mr. Biggs, who it will be remembered erected the grand organ in the Mechanics' Institute. Mr. Thomas H. Sharpe will in future be the organist of St. Andrew's.

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Sharp (musician, organist)

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (25 March 1862), 5

J. BIGGS, Organ Builder and Pianoforte Tuner, &c.
Pianofortes and Harmoniums tuned and repaired. Brisbane-street, near the "Royal Oak."

"NEW ORGAN AT ST. JOHN'S CHURCH", Launceston Examiner (8 July 1862), 5 

The new organ for St. John's Church has been landed from the Alfred Hawley with the exception of three cases, and will be immediately erected by Mr. Biggs, with some assistance from Mr. T. Sharp, Organist at the Church. Everything has arrived in most perfect condition, and the workmanship throughout is of a very superior description. The instrument, which consists of swell and pedal organs, is by Brindley, of Sheffield cost in England £350, though the freight, shipping charges, expense of erection, &c., will probably swell the amount to £500. Lengthways it measures 15 feet, its depth being 7 feet, and its height more than 15 feet. The portion of the gallery facing the pulpit will have to be enlarged, as at present there is not sufficient room for the instrument. The erection will occupy some four or five weeks at least.

"THE NEW ORGAN IN ALL SAINTS CHURCH", The Mercury (15 October 1862), 5 

A very beautiful Organ, built by Bishop Starr [sic, Bishop and Storr], and Richardson, after a scheme by Mr. F. A. Packer, has just been erected by Mr. Biggs in All Saints' Church, Macquarie-street [Hobart]. This instrument has two manuals . . . and two octaves of pedals . . .

"MECHANICS' INSTITUTE", Launceston Examiner (20 January 1863), 5

A complimentary concert in the shape of an elocutionary and musical entertainment at the Mechanics' Institute, was, given last night . . . by Miss Bailey, Mr. Marquis Chisholm, and several amateurs . . . In the first part "O, bright were her visions," by Miss A. Bailey, and "II mio tesoro," a duet by Messrs. Biggs and Chisholm on the bassoon and pianoforte, were encored . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Amelia Bailey (vocalist); Marquis Chisholm (pianist)

"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 . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Farquharson (bass vocalist); John Winterbottom (bassoonist); Launceston Harmonic Society (association)

"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: - 1 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

The Launceston Harmonic Society gave their third vocal and instrumental concert in the large hall of the Mechanics' Institute on Thursday evening . . . The absence of Mr. Biggs from severe indisposition, was deeply and universally regretted . . .

"THE ORGAN AT ST. JOHN'S", The Advertiser [Hobart, TAS] (24 September 1864), 2 

On Wednesday evening, being St Mathew's Day, the organ recently purchased by the congregation of St. John's Church, Goulburn-street, was solemnly dedicated to the service of the Sanctuary . . . Mr. Tapfield presided at the organ. The organ was the property of the late Mr. Henry Elliot of this city, and was built by his uncle, Mr. Thomas Elliot, the founder of the well known firm of Elliot and Hill, now Hill and Son . . . It is an instrument perhaps of not so much power as is to be fouud in most church organs, but it possesses unusual sweatness of tone, all the pipes in the original organ having been voiced by Mr. Thomas Elliot himself, as the instrument was specially built for the use of his own daughters. It is a two manual organ . . . And an octave of Bourdon pedals manufactured by Mr. J. Biggs, who erected it in St John's, with a coupler to combine the great organ with the swell. Musical connoisseurs who had the pleasure of hearing it in the hands of Mr. Tapfield, were highly delighted with it . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Caroline Elliot (deceased), cousin and wife of Henry Elliot (above, deceased), and daughter of Thomas Elliot (English organ builder)

"CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH", The Mercury [Hobart, TAS] (8 October 1864), 2 

The opening performance upon the organ recently imported for the use of the Davey-street Congregational Church, (Rev. Mr. Clarke) took place in the church last evening commencing at half-past seven o'clock and terminating shortly after 9. There was a very large attendance . . . The organ was admitted by the most competent judges present to be a very beautiful instrument, and to bear a close resemblance in character and quality to that of St. Joseph's, Roman Catholic Church. It was built by the eminent firm of Messrs. Hill & Co. of London, and was erected in Hobart Town by Mr. Biggs the well known organist of Launceston . . . The performers last evening were Messrs. Tapfield, Parker [sic, Packer], Russell, and Mrs. Salier . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Emily Mary Salier (organist); Congregational churches (music in)

"TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT", The Cornwall Chronicle (19 November 1864), 4 

The Concert given by the Launceston Harmonic Society in the large hall of the Mechanic's Institute, on Thursday evening, in aid of the Hargraves Exploration Fund was successful in every sense of the word. It attracted a very large audience, and each piece seemed more pleasing than the previous one. The five chorus glees were each beautifully sung and in true time, but the Soprano songs, and the bass song "The Holy Friar" by Mr. Biggs, were the gems of the concert . . . The trio - "The Erl King" was finely rendered by Mr. Biggs, Mrs. Sharp, and Miss Saddler . . . Mr. Biggs' bassoon solo - "As when the Dove," was considered excellent, and rendered in a manner which only Winterbottom has equalled here. The overtures and accompaniments were well performed by the instrumental portion of the members and the concert as a whole was conducted by Mr. T. Sharp with his usual acknowledged ability. Mr. Hargraves having returned from Hobart Town at 8 o'clock, was present at the concert. On entering the hall he was received with a spontaneous burst of applause . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Louisa Sharp (vocalist); Edward Hammond Hargraves (gold rush explorer)

"TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT", The Cornwall Chronicle (8 March 1865), 4 

We are glad to find that some attention is likely to be paid to that long neglected but splendid instrument, the large organ in the Hall of the Mechanics' Institute. Mr. Biggs has been employed for some time, putting it in order for use tomorrow evening at the Church Union Meeting . . . The Rev. W. A. Brooke has kindly consented to preside at the organ on this occasion . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Warren Auber Brooke (amateur organist)

"COLONIAL INDUSTRIES. ORGAN BUILDING" and [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (20 July 1866), 3 

We are always glad to chronicle the extension of colonial manufactures, in whatever department of industry they may be. When ever an article can be made on the spot as good and cheap as can be imported it certainly should have the preference, and thus give encouragement to the local producer. There is no danger of the Examiner being supposed to favor protective fallacies, at the same time no one would rejoice more than ourselves to see a large population in this colony engaged in manufactures if the latter could he carried on profitably. This will be the case ultimately, but it will necessarily be a work of time. However, an opportunity is now afforded of noticing a very fine organ that has just been completed by Mr. Biggs, of this town, and which is now on view at his manufactory, Brisbane street. After due inspection of its mechanism, and hearing its various qualities of tone, we can safely pronounce it to be a very satisfactory instrument, and well adapted for a large room or a small church or chapel. It contains the following stops - Open Diapason through, Stopped Bass and Clarabella Treble, Dulciana, Flute, Principal, Twelfth, and Fifteenth, with one octave of Bourdon pedal pipes, and two octaves of German pedals acting on the manual. The mechanism is so ingeniously contrived as to give the e[ff]ect of a larger number of stops, and provision is made for adding other stops if required. Altogether the instrument is a very creditable performance, and is well worthy of inspection. We observe that Mr. Biggs advertises this organ for sale, and that he is prepared to let it go as "a bargain."

CHURCH ORGAN FOR SALE, containing 8 stops, one octave of Bourdon pedal pipes, speaking 16 feet tone, CCC to B natural, two octaves pedals; case 7ft. 4in. wide, 4ft. 6in. deep, 11ft. 6in. high; a bargain.
J. Biggs, Organ Builder, Brisbane street, Launceston.

"TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT", The Cornwall Chronicle (21 July 1866), 4 

The Amateur Concert given in the Mechanics' Institute yesterday evening, under the conductorship of Mr. F. Packer, was worthy of a much larger audience. The notice given was probably too brief, as there were not quite two hundred persons present. The organ had been put in excellent order by Mr. Biggs, and all the solos performed by Mr. Packer were enthusiastically encored. The "Wedding March" closed the first part of the performance . . . Mr. Biggs performed on the bassoon the solo "Minstrel Boy" with variations by Loder; and on being encored, as usual, he gave other variations composed by Mr. Packer, and the latter were considered by competent musicians superior to those by Loder. The second part of the programme was even more satisfactory than the first. The first song "Softly falls the Moonlight," was sung in good tune by Mr. and Mrs. Eldred, Alderman Webster, Messrs. Biggs, Fysh, Harvey, and G. Collins . . . Mr. Biggs' Bassoon solo, "Oh! Ruddier than the cherry," was performed in his usual masterly style, and involved a double encore . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Sarah Elizabeth Eldred (late Miss Saddler) (vocalist, pianist)

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (6 September 1866), 4 

REMOVAL. J. BIGGS, Pianoforte Tuner, removed to the Quadrant.


The second of the series of concerts in aid of the Town Hall organ fund came off last evening . . . Mr. Bigg's then gave a solo on the bassoon, "The Minstrel Boy," with variations. This was a most amusing performance and was very loudly encored, when Mr. Biggs gave "Yankee Doodle." The enthusiasm of the audience at this effort knew no bounds, and the performer was literally deluged with bouquets, amid roars of laughter and thunders of applause . . .

"THE OPENING OF THE CHURCH OF THE APOSTLES . . . THE ORGAN", The Cornwall Chronicle (10 November 1866), 9 

The new organ erected by Mr. J. Biggs, of Launceston, was used for the first time on this occasion. As we gave a full description of the instrument recently, we have only to say that it fully answered the expectations formed of it by Mr. Packer and other organists expressed at that time. The solo stops are melodious, and the full organ very effective. The pedal pipes told magnificently in the spacious building. The quality of tone throughout is very good, and the power more than will ever be required for choral accompaniment in the present building. All who were present, and who are considered competent to judge of the capabilities of the instrument, consider it a most successful specimen of colonial workmanship . . . If Mr. Biggs had not been already celebrated as a competent organ-builder, this instrument alone ought to render his name famous throughout the Australian colonies. Had he been employed to construct such an instrument for the now extinct Launceston Philharmonic Society, instead of importing an unsuitable organ, at great expense, from England, local talent would have been benefitted, great saving have been effected, and the people of Launceston would not have had to reproach themselves with allowing the late Mr. Marriott to die in a foreign land in their debt. Mr. Thomas Sharp presided with great ability at this inauguration of the new organ . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Arthur John Marriott (musical amateur)

"The Penny Readings at the Mechanics' Institute", The Cornwall Chronicle (15 June 1867), 4 

. . . Mr. Biggs restored all to good humour when he mounted the platform and appeared with his bassoon. There must be something remarkably comic either in the very appearance of the portly Mr. Biggs or his big instrument, for whether he took the heroic vein, as in "The British Grenadiers," the pathetic or sentimental, as in "The Girl I left behind me," or the lachrymose, as in "Villikins and hys Dinah," the effect was the same, - applause and laughter from one end of the Hall to the other, and if any hope had existed of securing a repetition, the attempt would have been made most perseveringly . . .

"INSOLVENCY COURT", Launceston Examiner (7 September 1867), 5

In re Jesse Biggs, of Launceston, organ builder. First meeting for proof of debts, &c. Proofs - Bell & Westbrook, on bill of exchange with interest, £20 6s 4d; Jane Napier, £19 17s 10d. Mr. Hobkirk was appointed permanent assignee.

"ST. PAUL'S CHURCH", Launceston Examiner (26 October 1867), 4 

A very essential addition to this church has just been made in the erection of a small but handsome and full toned organ. The congregation having some few months ago resolved upon procuring an organ, communicated with Mr. Robert Sharpe, in January last, who had the instrument built according to his own specification, and forwarded by the bark Westbury, which arrived here last month. The makers are Messrs. Bevington and Sons, of Greek-street, Soho, London . . . It has been erected on the floor at the southern end of the Church, by Mr. J. Biggs . . . Rev. W. A. Brooke will preside, although we may mention that Miss Walker has been appointed organist . . .

"To the Editor of . . .", The Cornwall Chronicle (2 November 1867), 5 

SIR, - There is an old Roman saying - "Ni sutor ultra crepidam." I was never more certain of its truth than when I read a criticism in the Launceston Times of the 30th ultimo, on the new organ in St. Paul's Church, by a professor of music residing here. It is usual for those who favor the public with any opinion to show some credentials that it is worth anything. A costermonger's opinion in legal matters would be of little value. Surely some proof is required that, from experience or education, a man is qualified to inform or instruct the public? If organ building or tuning is to be acquired by fiddling on the pier at Ramsgate, on the deck of an emigrant ship, or in rambles at the Cape of Good Hope, or by twelve or fifteen year's residence in this remote island, I am content with the criticism to which I allude, but I am so old-fashioned as to suppose (unless knowledge comes by intuition) that it is of more value as far as concerns organs, and organ building, when acquired in a large organ manufactory, or by experience in building organs - however, I have somewhere read -
"It's pleasant sure to see one's name in print,
A book's a book, although there's nothing in't."
I am, Sir, Yours obediently,
J. BIGGS. Launceston, November 1st, 1867.

"To the Editor of . . .", The Cornwall Chronicle (6 November 1867), 3 

SIR, - In your issue of last Saturday appears a letter signed J. Biggs, the purpose of which is to damage my professional reputation with the public. I had fully resolved to treat this production with the scorn and contempt it deserves; but, acting upon the advice of many friends, I am induced to contradict the slanderous insinuations contained in the letter in question . . . As for the writer of the letter, I am content to leave him to the enjoyment of his malicious propensities, and shall notice him no further, being well assured that after this whatever he may say or write will fall harmless upon me.
I am, sir, Yours, &c.,
T. SHARP. Nov. 4, 1867.

"DELORAINE [From our own Correspondent]", Launceston Examiner (7 December 1867), 3 

. . . Mr. Biggs, the organist, visited us last week, and completed the additions to our Church organ, having enclosed it in a general swell and added three composition pedals to act on the draw stops, which is a great improvement . . .

"Organ Building in the Colonies", The Cornwall Chronicle (29 February 1868), 5 

Our readers will remember that we gave an account of the opening of the Church of the Holy Apostles, in Launceston, in November, 1866; and at the same time we noticed the opening of a new organ built by our townsman, Mr. J. Biggs, of the Quadrant. The instrument was then incomplete - a spare slide was left for the keraulophon, a solo stop in vented by Messrs. Gray and Davison, organ-builders, Euston-road, London, and first used by them in the organ in St Paul's Church, Knight's Bridge. We believe this is the first time the stop has been introduced into a church organ in Tasmania . . .

"COMPLIMENTARY CONCERT", The Tasmanian Times [Hobart, TAS] (28 June 1869), 2 

We regret to hear that Mr. Biggs, the well-known organist of Launceston, who has been in this city for some time pursuing his professional duties, is prevented, in consequence of prolonged ill health, continuing his avocations, and it is intended to give him a complimentary benefit at the Mechanics' Institute tomorrow evening, for which occasion a choice programme of vocal and instrumental music will be prepared. Mr. Alexander, R.A.M, will lead the orchestra. Mr. Biggs is known to many as a clever performer on the bassoon, and as he has, whenever called upon, given his services, gratuitously in the cause of charity, or at social gatherings, we trust the appeal to the public on his behalf will be generously responded to.

ASSOCIATIONS: Albert Alexander (pianist)

"COMPLIMENTARY BENEFIT TO MR. BIGGS", The Mercury (30 June 1869), 2

There was a fair attendance at the Mechanics' Institute last evening, on the occasion of a complimentary benefit to Mr. Biggs, the well-known organ-builder, of Launceston, who, during a professional visit amongst us, has been compelled to succumb to illness and to relinquish his business duties. It says much for our musical men - the coming forward to aid a fellow-professional - nor have their sympathies been misdirected, for as we have before had occasion to remark, Mr. Biggs has been first and foremost, when and wherever his services were likely to be of assistance in the cause of charity or in the promotion of a kindly social feeling. The programme last evening was a well selected one, and the beneficiare himself took part in a bassoon solo, and sang that fine song "The Standard Bearer." No doubt, when the occasion of Mr. Biggs's retirement from his professional duties is known, his friends in the country districts, as well as in the Northern capital, will do their utmost in recognition of his past services and undoubted ability as a musician.

"BOTHWELL", The Tasmanian Times (29 September 1869), 2 

On Sunday last a new organ was used in the service of the Church at Bothwell, in the place of a barrel organ (facetiously termed a grinder) which had been for some years in the Church. Excellent of its kind, the number of tunes which it played were limited, and it was felt that something better should be substituted. Accordingly an organ, built by Mr. Samuel Joscelyne of Launceston, and voiced, tuned, erected, and regulated by Mr. J. Biggs - (who is well known in this city and throughout the country districts), builder of the beautiful instrument now in use at the Church of the Holy Apostles in Launceston - was purchased. The organ, when tried on Sunday, was all that could be desired; the tone of the pedal organ was full, round and sonorous, making the panels of the pens vibrate; the keraulophon dulciana and flute were deliciously sweet, and the general effect was that of a Cathedral organ in miniature. The choir was augmented for the occasion, and Mr. H. Wilmore officiated at the organ. Colonially built organs appear to be taking the place of imported ones, and we have had several opportunities of judging of their merits and been pleased to have it in our power to report favourably of them.

"THE TOWN HALL ORGAN", The Mercury (10 February 1870), 2 

The erection of the [Hobart] Town Hall organ is progressing most satisfactorily, under the superintendence of Mr. Biggs, and the unpacking of the cases has been effected without any damage whatever having been discovered. The enormous dimensions of the instrument may be imagined from the fact that the whole of the floor of the Town Hall and the adjoining rooms are completely covered with pipes and other portions of the organ. The framework is now all put together, entirely filling up the unsightly "hole in the wall" obviously intended for the organ. The decorations on the front pipes are chaste in the extreme. We believe great preparations are being made for the grand opening performance of the organ, which will be some time about the 1st proximo.

"THE LOST FOUND", The Mercury (15 February 1872), 2 

The following has been going the round of the Victorian press: - The Geelong Advertiser mentions a rumour that "Mr. Biggs, organ builder, who has been lately engaged in making additions to two Geelong organs, has met an untimely fate during his voyage back to Tasmania. The account is, that he was known to embark, and was non est inventus at the conclusion. The inference is that the unfortunate gentleman fell over-board." A member of our staff saw Mr. Biggs alive and well in Launceston a few days ago.

1872, deaths in the district of Launceston; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1157834; RGD35/1/41 no 1845 (DIGITISED)

No. 1845 / 23 August / Jesse Biggs / Male / 53 yrs / organ-builder / Dropsy . . .

"DEATH", The Cornwall Chronicle (28 August 1872), 2

BIGGS. - On the 23rd of August, at his late residence, Howick-street, Launceston, Mr. Jesse Biggs, aged 53. Organ builder. Eldest son of the late Mr. W. Biggs, of Bromham Mills, Bedfordshire, England. [Melbourne papers please copy.]

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (29 August 1872), 2-3 

The Tasmanian papers record the death of Mr. Jesse Biggs, the well-known organ builder. The event occurred at Launceston. He came out to Melbourne some years ago, whence he removed to, and has resided for ten or twelve years in, Tasmania, where he was well known as the erector of St. David's and the town hall organs. He was a work-[3]-man of the very first order, and, perhaps, with the exception of Messrs. Winterbottom and McCoy, was the best bassoon player who has ever been in these colonies.

"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 . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: W. Abbott (violin); John Chick (violin); William Sharp (double bass); Anthony Hart (cello); Charles Galvin (clarinet); John Morris Davies (flute); A. J. Day (cornet); Robert Douglas Harris (cornet); Caroline Margaret Nicholls (piano); James Hadock Melvyn (viola)

"GENERAL NEWS", Launceston Examiner (7 September 1872), 2 

A concert in aid of the widow of the late Mr. J. Biggs, organ builder, was given at the Mechanics' Institute on the evening of the 2nd inst.; the affair was largely patronized and its net proceeds were about 20l.

"REMINISCENCES (By B.)", Launceston Examiner (12 November 1892), 2 

. . . Who can forget genial old Jesse Biggs; Robert Sharpe, with his splendid handling of the Mechanics' organ; Samuel Joscelyne, the amateur organ builder, of whose sound workmanship and painstaking, energy the organ in the Anglican Church at Bothwell remains to this day? . . .

"MUSIC & MUSICIANS. Miss Jane Reichenberg. Sixty Years an Organist", The Mercury [Hobart, TAS] (15 August 1928), 5 

. . . Mr. Biggs the organ tuner played the bassoon. At one of Mr. Packer's concerts someone threw him a penny which he stuck into the opening at the top of his instrument to the great delight of the onlookers who cheered and cheered . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Jane Reichenberg (memoirist)

Bibliography and resources:

Enid Noel Matthews, Colonial organs and organ builders (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1969), 3, 58, 134, 147, 168, 169

"Jesse Biggs - organbuilder", OHTA News 26/2 (April 2002), 4

Biggs Family Letters, Z 895; UK National Archives index; Bedfordshire Archives

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").


Musician, Irish bagpiper, ? convict

? Born Ireland, c. 1783
? Sentenced county Kerry, Ireland, March 1809 (7 years, aged "25")
? Arrived Sydney, NSW, 1811 (convict per Providence)
? Married Mary BLAKEWAY, St. John's, Parramatta, 23 October 1820
Active Sydney, NSW, 1823 (shareable link to this entry)


[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:

NSW census, November 1828; State Records Authority of NSW (DIGITISED)

Begley Denis / 38 / Free by Servitude / Providence / 1811 / 7 years / Catholic / Settler / Prospect
Begley Mary / 25 / Free by Servitude / L'd Wellington / 1819 / 7 years / Cath. / . . .

Denis Bigley, Biographical database of Australia (PAYWALL)

ASSOCIATIONS: In 1820, Bigley was a servant to D'Arcy Wentworth. On 23 October that year, at Parramatta, he married Mary Blakeway, aged 23, also a convict. By 1822 he was free. He and his wife appear in the November 1828 census, and again in the 1841 census, living at Prospect.


Indigenous leader, songman, song maker, ngurungaeta

Born Wurundjeru county (Melbourne, VIC), c. 1799
Died Wurundjeru county (Melbourne, VIC), 10 August 1846 (Wikipedia) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Simon Wonga (son); Wurundjeri (people)

"BILLY" (otherwise unidentified)

Musician, violinist, violin player, fiddler, convict

Active Sydney, NSW, c. 1827's-band (shareable link to this entry)


[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.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Piper (master); Frederick Augustus Hely (superintendent of convicts)

BINDER, Marion (Marian Ann BINDER; Marion Ellen BINDER; Marion Helen; Miss BINDER; Miss M. BINDER; Miss M. A. [sic] BINDER; Mrs. Edward HURST; Mrs. Thomas SHAW)

Musician, pianist, vocalist, music teacher, composer

Born East London, England, 1847 (1st quarter); daughter of Benjamin BINDER (1819-1893) and Priscilla MARLIN (1821-1884)
Arrived Geelong, VIC, 2 March 1849 (per Osprey, from Plymouth, 24 November 1848)
Active Ballarat, VIC, by 1862
Married (1) Edward HURST, St. James's cathedral, Melbourne, VIC, 4 January 1870 (divorced 1892)
Married (2, ? common law) Thomas SHAW, ?
Died South Yarra, VIC, 4 August 1920, aged "74" (as "Marion Ellen SHAW") (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Disposal list of the immigrants per ship Osprey, from Plymouth 24 November 1848, arrived at Geelong, 2 March 1849; Public Record Office Victoria (PAYWALL)

Binder Ben'n / Bricklayer / 30 / [to] South Geelong on his own account
Priscilla / Wife / 29 // Marion Ellen / Daughter / 2 . . .

[Advertisement], The Star [Ballarat, VIC] (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.


The concert given at the Mechanics' Institute on Thursday evening, in aid of the fund for the relief of the sufferers by the late fire on the Main Road, was musically speaking, a great success, but owing to the exceedingly unfavorable weather that set in an hour or two previous to the time fixed for the commencement of the performance the hall was scarcely two-parts filled. Among the public bodies present in large numbers were the Ballarat and Ballarat West Fire Brigades in uniform, and the Foresters in their insignia . . . The services of the Ballarat Brass Band, which discoursed much eloquent music, were given gratuitously, as were those of Messrs. D. and A. Oliver, J. Lake, and P. Cazaly, who sustained the vocal portions of the entertainment. Miss M. A. Binder presided at the pianoforte, and Mr. Robson discoursed on the flute; we need scarcely say both did so as a labor of love . . . Miss M. A. Binder not only played the accompaniments very nicely, but she performed a duett with Mr. Robson, and several solos, in all of which she displayed careful tuition, and well-directed personal study. She was warmly welcomed by the audience, and not let off easily. Knapton's variations on "Caller Herrin" afforded her a good opportunity of displaying her abilities, of which she availed herself . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Daniel and Albert Oliver (vocalists); John Lake (vocalist); Peter Cazaly (vocalist); John Robson (flute)

MUSIC: Caller herrin with variations (Philip Knapton)

"NEWS AND NOTES", The Star (2 July 1862), 2 

Notwithstanding a counter attraction at the Theatre Royal on Tuesday evening the vocal and instrumental concert given at the Mechanics' Hall, in aid of the funds for the support of the Band of the Ballarat Volunteer Rangers, was well attended, and a large amount of satisfaction afforded to a somewhat critical audience. The programme was of a liberal length, and included many pieces not ordinarily performed at concerts of miscellaneous music. The principal vocalists were Miss Binder, Mr. D. Oliver, and Mr. P. Cazaly. Miss Binder also presided at the piano with great ability. The band, of course, was there in full force, and under the leadership of M. Labalestrier, discoursed most excellent music. The vocal music was almost unexceptionably good, and so does not demand special mention. We must not forget to note, however, the successes of Miss Binder, who not only possesses a sweet voice, but knows well how to use it . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Alfred Labalestrier (leader); Band of the Ballarat Volunteer Rangers (volunteer military band)

[Advertisement], The Ballarat Star (7 January 1865), 1

Principal and Commercial Master, Mr. WM. STALLARD.
Classical and Mathematical Master, Mr. J. CURWEN WALKER, late of St. John's College, Cambridge . . .
Music, Mrs. JAMES BUNCE and Miss BINDER . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charlotte Bunce (music teacher)

[Advertisement], The Herald [Melbourne, VIC] (27 January 1865), 1 

And Will contain, in addition to the usual SUMMARY of the MONTH'S NEWS for HOME READERS.
an original piece of music, "The Ballaarat Waltz" . . .

"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.

ASSOCIATIONS: Catherine Cazaly Little (pianist, organist); Ballarat Harmonic Society (association)

"MUSIC IN BALLARAT", The musical world [London, England] (27 October 1866), 690 (DIGITISED)

The Ballarat Harmonic Society gave their first concert of secular music, last evening, July 27th, at the Mechanic's Institute, when Handel's Acis and Galatea, and Romberg's Lay of the Bell were performed. Mrs. Ellis was led on to the platform by Mr. D. Oliver, and was welcomed by a round of applause, and the conductor, Mr. John Robson was similarly greeted . . . The orchestra was efficient. Mr. King officiated as leader. Mr. D. Lee, organist and conductor of the Emerald Hill Society, rendered good service by accompanying most of the recitations on the harmonium, doubling that instrument (when not required) with the violin. Miss Binder presided at the piano with her usual ability, and Mr. John Robson, as conductor, added to his already well-earned laurels . . . - Ballarat Times, Sept. 10.

ASSOCIATIONS: Marie Kramer Ellis (vocalist); Thomas King (leader, violin, clarinet); David Lee (organist); Emerald Hill Philharmonic Society (South Melbourne association)

"MARRIAGE", The Ballarat Star (6 January 1870), 2

HURST - BINDER. - On 4th January, at St. James Cathedral, Melbourne, by the Rev. M. H. Becher, Edward, eldest son of Mr. William. Hurst, Launceston, Tasmania, to Marion Helen, only daughter of Mr. Benjamin Binder, Soldiers' Hill, Ballarat. Tasmanian papers please copy.

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

The annual meeting of this society was held at the Christ Church school-room, Lydiard street, on Thursday night . . . The secretary then read the annual report, as follows: "Your committee have much pleasure in submitting their report for the year ending 31st January, 187O . . . The music performed has been as follows: - Miscellaneous concert, in aid of the funds of the Benevolent Asylum; Verdi's grand opera "Ernani," which was afterwards performed for the benefit of the Ladies' Benevolent Clothing Society; "St. Paul"; Balfe's opera, the "Bohemian Girl;" miscellaneous concert; and Haydn's "Creation." The following soloists have taken part in the above performances: - Miss Staff, Miss Easdown, Miss Binder, who have been professionally engaged . . .

"GOOD FRIDAY AND EASTER", The Ballarat Star (2 April 1870), 3 

THE SACRED CONCERT at the Mechanic' Institute on Good Friday evening was well attended. Perhaps never before in Ballarat has such a treat been afforded to the public by a band of amateurs only than was given on Friday evening, and to Mr. John Robson the credit is chiefly due for getting together the small but thoroughly efficient chorus. The whole company did not number more than 40, the orchestra being represented by two pianos well matched as to tone, at which Mesdames W. Little and Hurst (Miss Binder) presided . . . The programme opened with a grand duo well played by the two pianistes . . .

"SACRED CONCERT AT THE MECHANICS INSTITUTE", The Ballarat Courier (2 April 1877), 4 

On Good Friday night a sacred concert under the direction of Mr. John Robson, was given at the Mechanics' Institute, and was one of the most successful entertainments given for many years in Ballarat. The company of soloists comprised the best of our local amateurs, and the chorus of twenty-five or thirty voices was perhaps the best that could be got together. The parts were well-balanced and effective, the rendition of the Hallelujah chorus from "The Messiah" being one of the gems of the evening. The instrumental responsibilities rested upon Mrs. W. Little and Mrs. Hurst, who performed upon two grand pianoforte. This was a decided innovation upon the ordinary orchestral accompaniments to sacred vocalism, where so much depends upon an effective band, yet the two ladies by the skilful and talented performances, quite fulfilled their respective parts and added much to the success of the entertainment . . .

[News], The Ballarat Courier (1 October 1877), 2 

A number of the musical profession, and other gentlemen, assembled at Harrison's music warehouse on Saturday evening, at a rehearsal of two musical compositions by Mrs. Hirst, music teacher, of Creswick road, entitled "The Henrietta Waltz" and "The Ballarat March" respectively. The waltz is very pretty and simple, and contains several passages of unusual excellence; while one harmonious run of triplets alone in the composition is sufficient to commend it to popularity. The opinion expressed by those present was 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. Hirst possesses, besides her skill as a pianiste, some ability as a musical composer.

[News], The Bendigo Advertiser [VIC] (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.

"BUNINYONG CHORAL SOCIETY", The Ballarat Star (7 June 1880), 2 

A concert was given in the Temperance-hall, Buninyong, on Friday, 4th June, by the Buninyong Choral Society, assisted by Mrs. Purcell and Mrs. Smith, and Messrs. Hyde, Incledon, and Sides . . . Mrs. Tucker and Miss Janey Graham and Miss Ruth Purcell accompanied the singers on the piano. Miss Purcell, of Durham Lead (who is quite a child in years), gave the audience a treat. In addition to the accompaniments which she efficiently played for her mother, she gave a beautiful fantasia on Scotch airs, "Balmoral," by Jules de Sivrai. The great taste that she displayed, and the brilliant execution throughout the piece, would have done credit to any lady twice her age, and speaks well for the teacher, who we hear is Mrs. Hurst, of Ballarat . . .

MUSIC: Probably Blair Athol brilliant fantasia on Scotch airs (Jules de Sivrai)

"ALFRED-HALL", The Ballarat Star (19 October 1880), 3 

There was a vary fair attendance at the Alfred-hall on Monday evening, when an excellent promenade concert was given, Mrs. Hurst accompanying the vocalists on the pianoforte with her customary taste and skill. The many novel articles in the Exhibition were viewed with interest and appreciation . . .

"MELBOURNE (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT" Tuesday", The Ballarat Star (21 March 1883), 4 

Dr. Quick applied to-day to his Honour the Chief Justice in Chambers for two writs of habeas corpus directed to Benjamin Binder, selector, Bangammie, near Meredith, and his wife Priscilla Binder, calling upon them to bring up a child named Hettie Susannah Hurst, aged under eight years, in order that she might be given over to the custody of her father Edward Hurst, accountant, of Sandhurst. Mr. Hurst made an affidavit in which be stated that in January, 1870, he Was married at St. James' Church of England, Melbourne, to Marian Helen Binder, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Binder, of Bangammie. He subsequently lived with his wife at Carlton, near Melbourne, and at Sandhurst, and they had six children; two of whom survive. In March, 1877, his wife left him without any reasonable cause, taking with her the child Hattie; then aged three years, and went to live at Ballarat, where she was engaged as a music teacher. At his request she returned to his house in December, 1877, but in April, 1879, she again left him, taking with her the little girl Hettie and their son, Edward Walter. She then went to Sydney, whence three months afterwards she sent back to him the boy. She returned to Victoria in July, 1879, and again went to reside at Ballarat, shortly afterwards she placed the girl with her (Mrs. Hurst's) parents at Bangammie, and travelled with the Carandini Company and other troupes in this and adjacent colonies as pianiste. Afterwards she proceeded to Hong Kong, and she was now residing in Japan, and had written to her mother asking that the child Hettie should be forwarded to her. On the 12th instant he went to the residence of the Binder's, and demanded his daughter, but they refused to give her up, and said that they had "stowed her away." His son was now at a boarding school in Sandhurst, where he also desired to place his daughter, and to reside himself in the same house. The Hon D. C. Sterry, M.L.C., made an affidavit, in which he stated that the applicant was a fit person to have charge of his children, and was well able to maintain them. His Honour granted the application, and made the writs returnable in 10 days before the Full Court.

"PIANOS AND PIANISTS (BY OUR MUSICAL REPORTER)", The Ballarat Star (26 June 1888), 4 

. . . To enumerate all the pianoforte players in Ballarat would be to present a formidable array of names that few would care to negotiate. But the number who have made for them selves a name as performers on the pianoforte is by no means large, and a few words about them will form the subject of the present article. Mr. E. J. Piper, who died quite recently, and whose sons are still resident here, was in the early days the only pianist of any repute. A quiet, gentle, unassuming man, he was publicly known as a thoroughly capable performer. Having, however, devoted himself to orchestral playing, he never developed into a pianist of note.
Mrs. Charlotte Bunce was a musician of sterling worth. Trained in the best Continental schools, it was something in those days to meet with so accomplished a woman. Adverse fortune and the loss of her husband forced her into the professional ranks, and for years she taught music and singing. Great brilliancy and a dashing style were her characteristics as a pianiste, with a truly artistic and sympathetic perception of the highest forms of music. In personal appearance she was exceedingly attractive; very tall and graceful, her every movement bespoke the true gentlewoman. She was also an accomplished linguist.
Mrs. W. Little is well known as a clever pianiste. She excels in brilliant execution rather than in those sympathetic touches and repose of style that distinguish some players. Mrs. Little's powers as a reader are wonderful, and she has a firm grasp of the instrument. As an accompanist she ranks very high, and has always been liberal in the use of her excellent powers in the cause of charity.
Miss Marion Binder was our first youthful pianiste, and appeared when she was about 15 years of age. She at once asserted her capabilities as a reliable pianiste, and for many years was identified with our chief musical performances. Her technique was very good, but she did not in her maturity fulfil the promise of her youth. She was graceful and easy at the instrument, and indulged in the light, elegant, and trifling kind of music more often associated with brilliancy than with that concentration and force of character that reaches a high standard of excellence . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward John Piper (pianist); Charlotte Bunce (pianist); Catherine Walford Cazaly Little (pianist)

Petition for divorce, Marion Hurst v. Edward Hurst, 1892; Public Record Office Victoria 

In the Supreme Court of the Colony of Victoria, 1892
Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Jurisdiction. Between Marion Hurst, Petitioner and Edward Hurst, Respondent.
I Marion Hurst of C [sic] Peel Street Windsor in the Colony of Victoria married woman make oath and say -
1 That I . . . was on [4 January 1870] lawfully married to Edward Hurst . . . at St. James's Cathedral . . . Melbourne . . .
2 That I am now of the age of forty six years. I was born at London in England . . .
3 That prior to may said marriage I was a teacher of music, that subsequent to my marriage I have been partly supported by the Respondent but chiefly by my own earnings as a Musician.
4 That there are two children living of the marriage . . .
5 That immediately on and after the said marriage the Respondent and myself lived and cohabited together in Melbourne . . . for the space of one years after which . . . in Bendigo for the space of about six years till [March 1877]
after which date through cruelty and infidelity I had to leave him and lived and supported myself in Ballarat by teaching music nearly two years until the month of December [1878], in such month returned to respondent he faithfully promising to lead a new life and reform, and lived and cohabited with him until the month of April [1879] when I was compelled to leave him - through his repeated acts of cruelty and infidelity when all cohabitation finally ceased between us and has never been resumed . . .

"DEATHS", The Argus (7 August 1920), 13 

SHAW. - On the 4th August Marion Helen, dearly loved mother of Thomas B. Shaw, in her 75th year. Tasmanian papers please copy.

Musical works:

The "Ballaarat" waltz, composed for "The illustrated post" by M. Binder; in The Illustrated Melbourne Post (25 January 1865), 16 (DIGITISED)

Bibliography and resources

Anne Doggett, "And for harmony most ardently we long": musical life in Ballarat 1851-1871 (Ph.D thesis, University of Ballarat, 2006), vol. 1, 137, 271 (not 127); vol. 2, 17, 36, 37, 47, 55, 57, 74, 102, 121, 125, 126, 141, 143, 247, 302, 357, (DIGITISED)

BING, Mr. (Mr. BING; ? BYNG)

Musician, orchestral musician

Active Sydney, NSW, 1854 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


[Advertisement], Empire (25 August 1854), 1

ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE. Andrew Torning, Sole Lessee and Manager.
THE LESSEE feels great pleasure in announcing to his friends and the public, that the above popular place of amusement, with extensive improvements, will open for dramatic and operatic performances (on a scale superior to any yet attempted in the colonies) on MONDAY, August 2d., with the following company: -
Mr. Frank Howson, Operatic Manager.
Mr. Lavenu, Musical Director.
Mr. John Gibbs, Leader of the Orchestra . . .ORCHESTRA. Messrs. Lavenu, John Gibbs, C. Riffel, G. Strong, J. Guerin, Davis, R. Vaughan, M. Vaughan, Wright, Wheeler, Turner, Seymour, McLaughlin, Bing, Theobald, Earle, and Master Hudson.

[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Sydney (26 August 1854), 3

. . . ORCHESTRA. Messrs. Lavenu, John Gibbs, C. Riffel, G. Strong, J. Guerin, Davis, R. Vaughan, M. Vaughan, Wright, Wheeler, Turner, Seymour, McLauglin, Bing, Theobald, Erle, and Master Hudson.

ASSOCIATIONS: Andrew Torning (manager); Frank Howson (operatic manager); Lewis Henry Lavenu (musical director); John Gibbs (leader, violin); Carlo Ryfell (musician); George Strong (violin); James Guerin (violin); Mr. Davis (musician); Robert and Michael Vaughan (flute and musician); Mr. Wright (musician); Stephen Wheeler (cornet); John Turner (musician); Richard Seymour (trombone); Mr. McLaughlin (musician); Robert Bishop Theobald (musician); Mr. Earle (musician); George Hudson junior (musician); Royal Victoria Theatre (Sydney venue)


Town Cryer (Sydney), convict

Active Sydney, NSW, until 1813 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Government and general orders, 10 August 1811; State Records Authority of NSW, Colonial Secretary's papers, NRS 898 (DIGITISED)

[Notice], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (10 August 1811), 1

Head Quarters, Sydney, Saturday, 10th August, 1811.
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.
By Command of His Excellency the Governor, J. T. CAMPBELL, Secretary.

ASSOCIATIONS: Lachlan Macquarie (governor); Samuel Potter (cryer, deceased)

Government and general orders, 17 July 1813; State Records Authority of NSW, Colonial Secretary's papers, NRS 898 (DIGITISED)

"GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (29 August 1812), 1 

Head-Quarters, Sydney. Saturday, August 29th, 1812. JOHN BINGHAM is appointed Constable in the Town of Sydney, in the Room of John Lister; resigned. By Command of His Excellency The Governor, J. T. CAMPBELL, Secretary.

"CIVIL DEPARTMENT", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (17 July 1813), 1

Head Quarters, Sydney, Saturday, 17th July, 1813 . . .
JOHN SMITH, and Francis Wild, are appointed Constables in the Town of Sydney, in the Room of John Harris, deceased, and John Bingham, dismissed.
JOHN Pendergrass is appointed Town Cryer in the Town of Sydney, in the Room of John Bingham, dismissed from that office for fraudulent and highly improper Conduct.
By Command of His Excellency The Governor,
J. T. CAMPBELL, Secretary.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Pendergrass (cryer)

Bibliography and resources:

Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain's grim convict armada of 1790 (Library of Australian History, 1993), 475

BINNING, Thomas Bains (Thomas Bains BINNING; T. B. BINNING)

Musician, pianist, teacher of music, composer, pupil of Charles Sandys Packer

Born Bowenfels, NSW, 1853; son of Alexander BINNING (1807-1863) and Christiana ROSS (d. 1890)
Died Ashfield, NSW, 15 August 1925, "aged 70" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)



[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 March 1879), 2

CHARLES ACKER, Esq., Musical Director; T. B. BINNING, Esq., Accompanist.
Practice TO-NIGHT, Pitt-street Congregational Schoolroom.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Sandys Packer (director)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 July 1880), 9

MUSICAL. - Mr. T. B. BINNING wil receive Pupils for the Pianoforte, at his residence, Elderslie, Birchgrove Road, Balmain.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 July 1880), 2

MR. T. B. BINNING, teacher of the Pianoforte (pupil of Mr. C. S. Packer) Address Birchgrove Road, Balmain.

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (17 January 1885), 1

MUSIC. MR. T. B. BINNING (pupil of Charles Packer) will RECEIVE PUPILS for the PIANOFORTE and SINGING on and after the 27th instant.

"NEW MUSIC", The Sydney Morning Herald (26 May 1887), 8

. . . The composer, Mr. T. B. Binning, sends us for review the song "Australia," It is in the key of B flat, and extends from F to F. The music is neither original in character nor meritorious, and is only remarkable for its extreme elementary simplicity. The words are by J. J. Marshall, and Gibbs, Shallard and Co. are the publishers.

ASSOCIATIONS: Gibbs, Shallard, and Co. (publishers)

"AUSTRALIA, a new song", Australian Town and Country Journal (18 June 1887), 10

"AUSTRALIA," a new song, words by J. J. Marshall, music by T. B. Binning. This is a spirited composition, both as regards words and music. The former are highly patriotic, and incentive to Australia to progress onward as a worthy daughter of Britain. The music, which is in the key of B flat, and therefore easily within ordinary vocal compass, is rapid and telling; well adapted to the words. It is exceedingly simple both as to melody and construction, and is suitable as a national air both for these reasons, and because it will easily admit of being sung in chorus.

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 August 1925), 8 

BINNING. - August 15, at 39 Frederick-street, Ashfield, Thomas Bains Binning, beloved friend of Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Richards and family, aged 70. Interred Church of England section, Rookwood, August 17, 1925.

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

Born Bahtahbah (Belmont), NSW, c. 1800
Died Newcastle, NSW, 14 April 1846 (NLA persistent identifier) (Wikipedia) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Awabakal (people)

Biraban, 1839

Biraban, 1839; from an original by Alfred Agate; "C. Ashton, Sc. Hunter St. Sydney" (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Alfred Thomas Agate (original drawing); Charles Ashton (lithographer)


"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.

ASSOCIATIONS: Lancelot Edward Threlkeld (Indigenous culture recorder); Ralph Darling (governor)

"Original Poetry", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (21 April 1842), 3 


Hark to the sound! along the green hill side,
Yon gladsome step - now in the dusky glen;
He comes, he comes! my brave - my bride,
My hunter comes again!
Light, light the pine! let cedar burn,
To greet Maliyan's* glad return!

Bid joyous dancers fill the honied shells,
Drink to the bold, beneath his own blue sky,
Drink to the land where the Emu dwells,
And the Ibis floats on high.
Light, light the pine! let cedar burn,
To greet Maliyan's glad return!

Wave high the glancing plume--and proudly bring
The dazzling gem+ which lights the spirit's bower;
Ye sons of the soil, proclaim your King,
In the festal mid-night hour.
Light, light the pine! let cedar burn,
To greet my Eagle Chief's return!

* The Maliyan, or great Eagle Hawk.
+ The Chiefs, as also many of the braves or fighting men, wear in a secret nook of their girdle (which is spun from Oppossum hair, by the lubra or gin) a piece of crystal or adamant, on which none of their females are ever permitted to look. I have prayed for a peep at one worn by the Wollombi Chief, who not absolutely refusing my request, yet evaded it by saying, what I knew imparted some strange affinity between "Ladies eyes" and "bad luck." To my Hibernian ear the sentence contained a host of argument, quite sufficient to deter me from any further effort to look on the mystic gem, which, I believe, is either an object of worship, or held as a means of communication with a great mysterious power, whose wrath they seem to fear.- E. H. D.

ASSOCIATIONS: Eliza Hamilton Dunlop (poet, Indigenous culture reporter); according to "Biraban" (Wikipedia, as at 2022), Biraban was the "eagle chief, the subject of Dunlop's poem; for full documentation on the poem and Isaac Nathan's musical setting of it, see here on The eagle chief (poem, song)

"DIED", The Sydney Morning Herald (1 May 1846), 3

DIED, At Newcastle, on the 14th April, McGill, 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:

Charles Wilkes, Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition during the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842 (Philadelphia: Lee and Blanchard, 1845), 268 (DIGITISED)

Lancelot E. Threlkeld, A key to the structure of the Aboriginal language (Sydney: Kemp and Fairfax, 1850), 5-7, "Reminiscences of Biraban" (image above is frontispiece) (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

The Aborigine of this part of the colony, whose likeness is engraved from a wood-cut in a work published in America, entitled "The United States Exploring Expedition," by Charles Wilkes, U.S.N., vol. II., p. 254, was taken by Mr. Agate, one of the gentlemen attached to the expedition, at my residence, Lake Macquarie, 1839, and is an excellent likeness of the late Birahan, or as he was called in English, McGill. Partiality might, perhaps, he attributed to any remarks that I might make respecting McGill, but the following extract, taken from the American publication already mentioned, is above suspicion. Vol. II. page 253, states thus: - "At Mr. Threlkeld's Mr. Hale saw McGill, who was reputed to be one of the most intelligent natives; and his portrait was taken by Mr. Agate . . . [6] . . . It was a romantic scene to behold the happy pair [Biraban and his wife], together with many others, on a moonlight night, under the blue canopy of Heaven, preparing for the midnight ball, to be held on the green sward, with no other toilet than a growing bush, with none other blaze than that from the numerous fires kindled around the mystic ring in which to trip the light fantastic toe. Then each might be seen reciprocally rouging each others cheek with pigment of their own preparing, and imparting fairness to their sable skin on the neck and forehead with the purest pipe-clay, until each countenance beamed with rapturous delight at each others charms. The cumbrous garments of the day were laid aside, and in all the majesty of nature they would dance as Britons did in days of old . . .

BIRCH, Rosina Eliza (Mrs. Robert BIRCH; Mrs. BIRCH) = Rosina Eliza DREW (1830-1914; arrived NSW, 1855)

Musician, pianist, vocalist, organist, teacher of singing and the pianoforte, pupil of Samuel Sebastian Wesley

BIRCH, William A. (William A. BIRCH; W. A. BIRCH; Mr. BIRCH)

Actor, delineator, vocalist, polyphonist

Active Melbourne, VIC, by 1863; until 1865 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


BIRCH, Mrs. (Mrs. W. A. BIRCH; Mrs. BIRCH)

Musician, pianist, pianoforte player (shareable link to this entry)



"AMUSEMENTS", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (25 July 1863), 6 

A species of entertainment, entirely new in Victoria, has been produced at the Polytechnic Institution. It consists of a series of dioramic views of continental scenery and places of note, illustrated by a variety of grotesquo anecdotes and amusing character songs, delivered by Mr Birch, who has performed at Willis's Rooms, London. The entertainment, which is called "Birch's Holiday Trip," somewhat resembles that class which obtained such celebrity from Albert Smith's performances at the Egyptian Hall, and its production has proved an unequivocal success. The artists are Messrs. Hennings und Tunnett, of Melbourne, and the painting is very creditably done.

"MR. BIRCH'S ENTERTAINMENTS. To the Editor of . . .", The Herald [Melbourne, VIC] (20 May 1864), 3 

Sir, - Permit me to correct on error which occurs in your journal, to-day with reference to my entertainment of the Holiday Trip, and which is calculated to mislead the public. It states that I continue my entertainment for a few nights longer at the Polytechnic. This is not the case, as I am about to leave Melbourne for several months; and the mistake probably arose from misunderstanding a statement made to the effect that I should visit St. Kilda, Prahran, and other suburban districts before leaving. By kindly giving this insertion you will oblige; Sir, your most obedient servant,

See also, "To the Editor of . . . ", The Cornwall Chronicle [Launceston, TAS] (17 June 1865), 4 

BIRCHALL, Andrew William (Andrew William BIRCHALL; A. W. BIRCHALL)

Musical amateur, bookseller, stationer, musicseller and publisher, member Launceston Philharmonic Society

Born Manchester, England, 12 April 1831; baptised St. Mary's, Manchester, 16 October 1831; son of William BIRCHALL and Martha MOLYNEUX
Arrived VIC, c. 1853
Married Harriet WARD, Hobart, TAS, 9 December 1856
Died Launceston, TAS, 21 June 1893, aged "62" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


1856, marriages in the district of Hobart; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:856263; RGD37/1/15 no 564; RGD3/1/1 p14$init=1338780-2-6 (DIGITISED)

NOTICE OF MARRIAGE . . . Andrew William Birchall / Bachelor / Accountant / 25 yrs / Sandy Bay Road / [Length of Residence] one month / [at] Independent Chapel Brisbane Street Hobart Town . . .
Harriet Ward / Spinster / - / 21 yrs / . . . [residence] 10 days . . . (DIGITISED)

No. 564 / 9th December 1856 / Brisbane Street Chapel Hobart Town
Andrew William Birchall / full age / Bachelor / Harriet Ward / full age / Spinster . . . In the Presence of . . . James B. Walch . . .

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (19 January 1858), 3 

MESSRS. J. WALCH & SONS BEG respectfully to intimate that their establishment (late Mr. A. Duthie's), will be opened on Monday next, 25th inst. The business in Launceston will be under the management of Mr. A. W. Birchall, who for some years has been contected with the establishment in Hobart Town, and by whom Messrs. J. Walsh and Sons have every confidence that their business in the Northern capital will be conducted with that attention to the commands of their customers, and upon those principles which have been the means of securing so large an amount of public patronage in the Southern division of the Island. Orders to procure Books, Newspapers, and Periodicals from Great Britain, will receive the personal attention of Mr. Charles E. Walch, in London.

ASSOCIATIONS: Alexander Duthie (bookseller); James Walch and brothers (business partners)

See also "LOCAL . . . PRESENTATIONS TO MR. A. W. BIRCHALL", The Hobart Town Advertiser [TAS] (20 January 1858), 3 

The following presentations have recently been made to Mr. Andrew W. Birchall, upon his leaving Hobart Town, to take the management of the Launceston branch of the business of Messrs. J. Walch & Sons: . . .

"MESSRS. WALCH BROTHERS AND BIRCHALL", The Cornwall Chronicle [Launceston, TAS] (26 January 1867), 4 

The celebrated firm of Walch and Sons, Booksellers and Stationers, Hobart Town and Launceston, announced that on New Year's Day, they had admitted into partnership, Mr. Andrew W. Birchall, who has for several years past, so ably managed the business of the firm at Launceston, and that the Launceston business will, in future, be conducted under the style of Walch Brothers and Birchall, Booksellers, Stationers, News Agents, Music Sellers, &c. We feel confident that the addition of the name of Mr. Birchall to the firm, will give general satisfaction. The continual improvements he has been making to the establishment during the years he has conducted the business in Launceston, have been so highly appreciated by the public, as to ensure a corresponding extension of public patronage.

"LAUNCESTON PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", Launceston Examiner (13 November 1869), 5 

In accordance with advertisement a meeting was held at the Mechanic's Institute last evening, for the purpose of forming a musical society in Launceston. There were about thirty persons present, and Mr. J. J. Hudson was voted to the chair. The business of the meeting having been stated by the Chairman, Mr. David Ritchie proposed - "That a musical society be formed, to be called 'The Launceston Philharmonic Society'." Mr. A. W. Birchall seconded the motion, which was carried. The consent of his Excellency the Governor to become patron of the new society had been previously obtained, and he was now unanimously elected to that office. The following office-bearers were also elected President, Rev. W. A. Brooke; Hon. Treasurer, Mr. Charles Thomson; Hon, Secretary, Mr. F. W. Hales; Committee - Messrs, J. J. Hudson, G. Collins, and D. Ritchie. Mr. A. W. Birchall proposed - "That the Committee be empowered to draw up rules for the Society, and submit them to a meeting of members, to be held for that purpose this day fortnight." - This was seconded and carried. It was next proposed by Mr. Birchall, seconded by Mr. Roberts, and carried - "That Mr. Dumergue be musical conductor of the Society." A vote of thanks to the Chairman brought the proceedings to a close, and about twenty five of those present then gave in their names as members of the Society.

ASSOCIATIONS: James John Hudson (member); Warren Auber Brooke (member); Charles Thomson (member); Henry Roberts (member); Charles Dumergue (conductor); Launceston Philharmonic Society (association)

1893, deaths in the district of Launceston; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1241261; RGD35/1/62 no 184 (DIGITISED)

No. 802 / 184 / 21 June 1893 / Andrew William Birchall / (died Brisbane St.) (born England) / 62 yrs / Stationer / Cardiac Syncope . . .

"OBITUARY. ANDREW WILLIAM BIRCHALL", Launceston Examiner [Launceston, TAS] (22 June 1893), 3 

All sections of the community will learn with profound regret of the death of Mr. A. W. Birchall, who has for many years been a familiar figure with the residents of the city. The suddenness of the demise came upon the relatives and friends with a severe shock, the more so as the deceased gentleman was until the last moment in full possession of his usual good health. His intimate acquaintances noticed with feelings of pleasure that he appeared to be in excellent spirits during the past week, and after business hours yesterday when be was surrounded by his family at Moss-side, High-street, he seemed to display even more animation than was his wont. About 7.30 p.m. he, in company with one of his sons, went back to the shop of Messrs. Walch Bros. and Birchall, in Brisbane street, to take part in business matters which were engaging his attention. A few minutes after arrival at the establishment he was standing near the office with Mr. Frank Birchall conversing when without making any comment upon the state of his health he suddenly places his hands on a cabinet and leaned forward, then turned upon his side and expired after two or three slight gasps. Medical aid was at once sent for, and Drs. Holmes, Pike, Hallowes, and Thompson arrived, but life was extinct, the immediate cause being attributed to fatty degeneration of the heart. The body was at once removed to Moss-side. The relatives of the late Mr. Birchall received many expressions of sympathy and condolence in their serious bereavement from their friends.

Mr. Birchall, who was 62 years of age, was born in Manchester on April 12, 1831. In 1853 he arrived in Victoria at a time when the gold digging fever was at its height, and he at once sought and obtained employment. After a few months he came to Tasmania, and at Hobart he became connected with the reporting staff of the Colonial Times, a journal long since extinct. Having been offered a position in the book selling establishment of Messrs. Walch Bros., he accepted it, and continued there for some years. On December 6, 1856, he was married to Miss Ward, a young English lady, to whom he had become attached prior to sailing for the Antipodes. He remained at Hobart until 1858, in which year Messrs. Walch Bros. purchased the book selling business carried on by Mr. A. Duthie, Brisbane-street, Launceston, and Mr. Birchall was sent to manage the concern, of which he subsequently became a partner, and the firm has since been known as Walch Bros. and Birchall . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Frank Carver Birchall (1862-1907, son)

"SALE OF BUSINESS. Birchall's Music Depot. Allan and Co.'s Purchase", Examiner [Launceston, TAS] (22 May 1828), 10 

Much Interest was displayed yesterday in Launceston at the announcement that portion of Messrs. A. W. Birchall and Sons' business in Brisbane-street had been purchased by Messrs. Allan and Co. Melbourne. Interviewed yesterday, Mr. Birchall emphasised that the Melbourne music dealers had bought the music section of his business only, and that the remainder of the establishment, including sporting requisites, books, and periodicals, china, crystal, fancy goods departments, and library, would be carried on by his firm as in the past. Birchell and Sons have beean associated with the music trade in Launceston for the past 70 years, during part of which the firm was known as Walch Bros. and Birchall . . .

BIRD, Charles (Charles BIRD)


Active Melbourne, VIC, 1864 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


"MELBOURNE CRIMINAL SESSIONS. Tuesday, 15th March . . . STEALING FROM THE PERSON", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (16 March 1864), 6 

Sarah Johnston was charged with stealing a purse containing money, the property of Charles Bird. The prosecutor, who was a musician, it appeared, had been seen by the prisoner purchasing some fruit in Swanston street. She followed him to Collins street, and there pushed against him and ran away, whereupon prosecutor missed his purse. The prisoner was followed and arrested, and the prosecutor identified his property by a mark upon one of the coins. Prisoner was convicted, and sentenced to nine months' imprisonment with hard labor.

""MELBOURNE CRIMINAL SESSIONS. Tuesday, 15th March . . . STEALING FROM THE PERSON", The Herald (16 March 1864), 3 

Sarah Johnston pleaded not guilty to a charge of stealing a purse and money from Charles Bird, a musician. It appeared that on the 27th February Bird bought some fruit at a stall in Swanston street. The prisoner saw him returning his money to his pocket and followed him to Collins street; she pushed against him, and then ran away. Bird missed his purse, and went in search of the prisoner, whom he found about three-quarters of an hour afterwards; and among the money taken from her was a threepenny piece identified by the prosecutor. A verdict of guilty was returned, and she was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment with hard labour.

BIRD, Isabella Tempest (Isabella Tempest PAUL; [1] Mrs. Isaac BIRD; Mrs. BIRD; [2] Mrs. John RICH)

Musician, vocalist, pianist, teacher of singing, pianoforte, and thorough bass

Born London, England, 21 July 1801; baptised, Westminster, 6 April 1806, daughter of John PAUL and Tempest Margaret HUGHES
Married (1) Isaac BIRD (d. 1838), St. Mary Newington, Surrey, England, 31 March 1822
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 21 March 1833 (per Gulnare from London, 25 October 1832, via Hobart Town)
Married (2) John RICH (d. 1868), St. Lawrence's church (Christ Church), Sydney, NSW, 21 November 1839
Died Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 20 April 1847, aged "43" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Tempest Margaret Paul (her mother; later the vocalist and pianist "Mrs. Paul"); George Paul (brother); John Paul junior (brother)


Baptisms, St. James, Piccadilly, April 1806; City of Westminster Archives, STJ/PR/1/6 (PAYWALL)

[1806 April] 6 / Isabella Tempest Paul / D'r of John and Margaret Tempset / [born] 1801 July 21

Marriages solemnized in the Parish of Saint Mary Newington in the County of Surrey in the Year 1822; register 1820-25, page 42; London Metropolitan Archives, P92/MRY/060 (PAYWALL)

No. 125 / Isaac Bird of this Parish Bachelor and Isabella Tempest Paul Spinster were married in this Church by Banns this [31 March 1822] . . . In the Presence of John Paul, Tempest Marg't Paul

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (23 March 1833), 2

ARRIVALS. From London, via Hobart Town, on Thursday last, having left the former place the 25th of October, and the latter the 13th instant, the ship Gulnare, Captain Bully, with a general cargo. Passengers, Mr. Isaac Bird, Mrs. Bird, and 4 children . . .

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

SIR, You, as well as the editor of the Monitor, who have witnessed the extraordinary exertions and struggles of poor Levey, in raising a theatre, which he has effected beyond the most sanguine expectations of all, have seen him through these efforts, brought to the very door of the gaol, yet, will interfere in the squabbles between him and his discarded servants, who have displayed more ingratitude than would have been permitted or even noticed by London Editors. What are those adventurers? mere strolling players, on their way to the next town, engaged to Mr. Dean (if the papers be correct), which Mr. Levey does not repine at.

I have never yet been to see a play at Sydney, having seen too many in London, to convince me that Mr. L. must be content to move by degrees with a willing and forbearing audience. Rome was not built in a day, and Messrs. Levey and Simmons must patiently wait for sometime before they can command performers of talented character. A few years will, no doubt, remedy this defect . . .

Being always delighted with a good concert, I attended the first given at the Pulteney Hotel, and regret that splendid building was not honoured with all the best vocal and musical talent in the colony, to give eclat to the thing. I believe Mrs. Taylor's attempt, at Hobart Town, was not successful in concert singing; her little ballads are very pretty, but only suited to the parts of the play, wherewith her science in music might answer as a second rate Opera singer. I recollect our worthy colonist, Mrs. Paul, favouring the Subscription Committee of 1826", with Angels ever bright and fair and The soldier tired, the music conducted by Mr. Edwards, whose manly songs, came somewhat near the mark. I believe a Mrs. Bird in this colony well calculated to sing at concerts. The audience was thinly attended, but rather respectable.
Remaining yours, CASTIGATOR, 24th April, 1834.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Smith Hall (editor, Monitor); Barnett Levey (theatre proprietor); Joseph Simmons (actor, manager); Maria Taylor (vocalist, actor); John Edwards (musician); Sydney Amateur Concerts (series, 1826-27); Theatre Royal (Sydney venue); Pulteney Hotel (Sydney venue)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (30 June 1834), 3

MRS. BIRD BEGS respectfully to announce, that she will be happy to instruct a limited number of Young Ladies, in SINGING, PIANOFORTE, and the ELEMENTS of THOROUGH BASS.
James's Buildings, George-street.

"Concerts", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (2 August 1834), 2

We are glad to learn that another series of Concerts, to be got up under the management of some of the originators of the first Sydney Amateur Concerts, will shortly be given at the Pulteney Hotel. Among the vocal performers are enumerated Mrs. Bird, of whose talent as a singer report speaks highly, and Mrs. Paul, whose powers are already well known not only to many of her private friends, but also to those who have had the very great pleasure of hearing her at the Amateur Concerts some years ago.

[News], The Australian (5 August 1834), 2

We learn from good authority that Mrs. Bird of George-street, purposes in a short time to give a treat to the musical amatures of Sydney, in which she will most probably be assisted by her mother Mrs. Paul, whose acquirements in this delightful science are so well known, and so highly appreciated by the public.

[News], The Sydney Herald (14 August 1834), 3

It will be seen in our advertising columns, that Mrs. Bird announces a Concert on Tuesday next, at the Pulteney Hotel, which we doubt not will be well attended, particularly as we understand Mrs. Paul intends to give her powerful aid to her daughter.

[Advertisement], The Australian (15 August 1834), 3

PUBLIC CONCERT. MRS. BIRD respectfully announces her intention to hold
A CONCERT At the PULTENEY HOTEL, on TUESDAY EVENING next, the 19th. instant,
upon which occasion will be combined the assistance of the Principal professors and Amateurs of Music in Sydney.
Also, by the kind permission of Colonel Despard, the BAND of the 17th Regiment.
Conductor, MR. LEWIS. Leader, MR. WILSON.
The Performance to commence at Eight o'Clock precisely.
TICKETS - PRICE 7s. 6d., To be had at Mr. Ellard's Music Saloon, Hunter-street, and Mr. Evans's Library, Bridge-street, where a programme of the Concert may be obtained.

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Lewis (conductor, master of the 17th band); Mr. Wilson (leader, violin); Francis Ellard (musicseller); Band of the 17th Regiment (military)

"CONCERT", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (21 August 1834), 2

Mrs. Bird's concert at the Pulteney Hotel, on Tuesday evening, was very respectably attended, and afforded universal satisfaction to the audience. Mrs. Paul was the main attraction of the night; and we had much pleasure in observing that she has lost little of her powers since we heard her sing, several years ago, at the most truly social concerts ever got up in Sydney - we mean the amateur concerts. Her song of The Soldier Tired was pitched in rather too high a key, but otherwise it was given with very considerable power and effect. Mrs. Bird sung several airs with much taste, but her voice, though seemingly highly cultivated, is thin, and does not possess much compass. The duet, As it fell upon a day, by Mrs. Bird and Mr. Clarke was, in our opinion, one of the most effective of the vocal performances of the evening. Here's a health to thee Tom Moore, the words by Lord Byron, was very tastefully sung by Mr. Clarke, and deservedly applauded. The instrumental music, both in the selection and performance reflected the greatest credit on the orchestra. It was all excellent, but the concerto on the flute, with a pianoforte accompaniment, by Mr. Josephson, is worthy of particular notice - it was delightfully executed. A Quintette for two violins, tenor, flute, and violincello, by Messrs. Wilson, Sippe, Josephson, Lewis, and another performer whose name we have not heard, was received with much applause; as was also a solo on the clarionet, with a pianoforte accompaniment, by Mr. Lewis. Among the company present were Captain Lambert, and several officers of H.M.S. Alligator, Mr. Commissary Laidley, Potter Macqueen, Esq. &c &c. The room also contained some whose
Beauty hung upon the cheek of eve,
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear;
but, really, whether the lady in the pink body, or the charming girl in the blue robe, drew the most attention from the music, we will not now undertake to decide. The latter, we think - but no; we will not pronounce, but leave the ladies to guess. Altogether it was a very pleasant evening; and although the company was not so numerous as we wish it had been, we hope that Mrs. Bird will give more concerts, when her friends, and the lovers of music, we are sure, will muster stronger. We heard some gentlemen in the room express regret at not hearing Mrs. Taylor. We believe that her assistance was not asked; for we think we may assert for her that if it had been, she would not have withheld it.

ASSOCIATIONS: Mr. Clarke (vocalist); Joshua Frey Josephson (piano); George Sippe (musician)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (18 December 1834), 2 

MRS. BIRD begs respectfully to inform her Friends and the Public, she has removed to No. 5, York-street, and that she continues giving instruction on the Pianoforte, thorough Bass, and Singing, either at her own residence or that of her Pupils.
December 12, 1834.

"Mr. Lewis's Concert", The Sydney Monitor (20 December 1834), 2

. . . Mr. Lewis promised to introduce at his Concert all the vocal talent of Sydney. Where were Mrs. Ellard, Mrs. Bird, Mrs. Jones, and Mrs. Boatwright? In lieu of these, Mrs. Child was for the first time introduced to a Sydney audience . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Harriet Jones (vocalist); Joanna Ellard (vocalist); Sarah Boatright (vocalist)

"MARRIED", The Sydney Herald (29 November 1839), 3

MARRIED. By Special License, on the 20th instant, at St. Lawrence Church, by the Rev. W. H. Walsh, Mr. Rich, to Isabella Tempest, relict of Mr. Isaac Bird.

1847, deaths in the district of Hobart; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1187226; RGD35/1/2 no 1441 (DIGITISED)

No. 1441 / April 20th / Isabella Tempest Rich / Female / 43 / Merchant's wife / Diarrhea . . .

"DIED", Launceston Examiner (24 April 1847), 6

On the 20th instant, Isabella Tempest, wife of John Rich, Esq., of Fitzroy Crescent, Hobart Town.

BIRKETT, Richard (Richard BIRKETT)

Amateur musician, composer, songwriter, school teacher, journalist, public servant, clerk

Born England, 1820; baptised Barnby in the Willows, Nottingham, 28 January 1820; son of John BIRKETT and Sarah BROWN
Married Elizabeth Palmer POINTER (1829-1909), St. Luke's chapel, Norwich, 18 October 1852
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 22 March 1853 (per Resolute, from Plymouth)
Died Parramatta, NSW, 10 October 1896 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


1852, marriage solemnized by license in the parish of St. Mary in the March in the city of Norwich; register 1837-1919, page 29; Norfolk Record Office (PAYWALL)

No. 57 / October 18th / Richard Birkett / Full age / Bachelor / Chemist & Druggist / Barnby Notts. / [father] John Birkett / Yeoman
Elizabeth Palmer Pointer/ full age / Spinster / - / This Parish / [father] William Pointer / Fell monger
married in the Chapel of St. Luke . . .

"PAMBULA", The Sydney Morning Herald (23 August 1853), 5 

. . . A new teacher (Mr. Richard Birkett, from Nottinghamshire) lately arrived, and appears likely to succeed in his efforts to make a good school, though, owing to the long neglected condition of the children under his care, the task will require more than ordinary application and perseverance, which, however, will have a multiplied recompense in the seconding endeavours of the parents and patrons.

New South Wales, Blue book for 1859 ([Sydney: NSW Government, 1859]), 103 (PAYWALL)

Clerks . . . Harry Mackenzie / [Appointed] 18 June, 1855 / [salary] 230 0 0 . . .
Richard Birkett / [Appointed] 11 July, 1859 / [salary] 200 0 0 . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Harry Mackenzie (clerk, musical amateur)

[Advertisement], Empire [Sydney, NSW] (1 October 1867), 1

The Australian Digger's Song, Price 2s 6d.
GIBBS, SHALLARD, and CO., 106, Pitt-street, and all Music Sellers.

[News], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (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.

ASSOCIATIONS: Clarson, Massina, and Co. (publishers)

"The Australian Digger's Song", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (5 November 1867), 5 

The air and words by Richard Birkett; the arrangement by a professor of music. Sydney: Gibbs, Shallard and Co. The air is better than the words.

ASSOCIATIONS: Gibbs, Shallard, and Co. (publishers)

"Deaths", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 October 1896), 1 

BIRKETT. - October 13, at Parramatta, Richard Birkett, aged 76 years.

"BIRON" (pen name) = Henry Neville MONTAGU (alias NATHAN)

Music reviewer, music critic, musical amateur, journalist

Active Sydney, NSW, 1870-74 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


From the first issue, on Saturday 5 February 1870 until the last on 15 August 1874, the "Musical and Dramatic Review" in the Sydney weekly, The Australian town and country journal, was signed "BIRON", the professional pen-name of journalist, teacher, and musical amateur, Henry Neville Montagu. As "BIRON", Montagu continued to write musical reviews in the "Feuilleton" column of Sydney Punch in 1875-76. From 1859 to 1895 Montagu also published occasional letters to the Sydney press under the pen-name "NUR EIN GEIGER".


"AN APOLOGY", Sydney Punch (20 March 1873), 2 

A week or two ago we tried to immortalise "Biron," the dramatic critic of the Town and Country Journal. We described his admirable method of storming theatres on the "more order" system, at the head of a regiment of muslins. We advertised him, and his opera glass, and his enormous cheek, free of charge, and we certainly did expect a cordial vote of thanks from the eminent mau-rauder. Judge then of our grief, when, instead of getting Biron's grateful acknowledgements, we find an amiable and interesting person named Montague - probably an old and valued subscriber - complaining that we have damaged his reputation, and poisoned his domestic peace! Who is this Montague? How can such an insane idea have got into Montague's head? We can't account for it; unless upon the supposition that Montague labours under the delusion that he is Biron; in which lamentable case, we commiserate his woes, aod deeply regret having unintentionally lacerated a too, too, sensitive nature. We are, personally, unacquainted with poor Montague; know him not, even by sight. But the critic of the Town and Country Journal is an eminent public character, and as such, of course, known to everybody. We have always understood that distinguished critic's name to be NATHAN.
Whatever we have said therefore, of Biron, applies solely to Nathan. When we said Biron, we meant Nathan; and, in future notices of the critic, we shall take care always to call him Nathan. As for the deluded Montague, we trust he will, on reading this explanation, acquit us of any intention to wound his innocent and susceptible heart. In order to make our explanation full and complete, and to prevent the possibility of any other person mistaking himself for Nathan, we herewith present the public with a portrait of that extraordinary man.

[Advertisement], Northern Star [Lismore, NSW] (24 September 1881), 3 

Prof. Haselmayer, Escamoteur & Prestidigitateur of the Age . . .
BUSINESS MANAGER - Mr. H. N. MONTAGU, Journalist ("Biron" T. and C. Journal), &c.

ASSOCIATIONS: Louis Haselmayer (magician, active c. 1872-82)


Musician, opera company director, agent, impresario, violoncello player

Born Italy, c. 1818
Married Eliza OSTINELLI, Italy, by 1847
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 15 December 1871 (per Nevada, from Honolulu, 20 November)
Died Fitzroy, VIC, 19 April 1879, aged "61" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)



"THE CALIFORNIAN MAIL. Arrival of the Nevada", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (19 December 1871), 4

. . . Arrived at Sydney December 15th, at 11 a.m. Passengers . . . Signors Biscacante [sic], Oralondin [sic] . . . Gengia [sic]

ASSOCIATIONS: Agatha States (vocalist and company); Paolo Giorza (musical director)

"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 . . . [correctly, 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 . . .

"Deaths", The Argus (21 April 1879), 1

BISCACCIANTI. - On the 19th inst., at his residence, 6 Royal terrace, Nicholson street, Count Alessandro Biscaccianti, aged 61.

"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, Edward (Edward BISHOP; Mr. BISHOP; Sergeant BISHOP)

Musician, band serjeant, master of the Band of the 96th Regiment

Born Bicester, Oxfordshire, England, 13 May 1811; baptised Bicester, 8 May 1822 [sic]; son of Richard BISHOP and Ann ?
Enlisted (96th Regiment), 2/3 March 1824
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 22 September 1841 (per Asia, via Hobart Town)
Arrived Launceston, VDL (TAS) (1), 23 January 1843 (per Pachet, from Sydney)
Married Ellen BROTHERSON, Launceston, TAS, 17 November 1845
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 27 August 1846 (per Raven, from Launceston)
Arrived Launceston (2), 23 July 1848 (per Elizabeth and Henry, from Hobart Town)
Departed Launceston, (VDL) TAS, 6 February 1849 (per General Hewit, for India)
Discharged India, 28 September 1852
Died Warwickshire, England, 1875 (3rd quarter), aged "65" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Band of the 96th Regiment (military)


Pay-list of the 96th Regiment, 11 July to 30 September 1841; Australian Joint Copying Project, from UK National Archives, WO12/9613 (DIGITISED)

Serjeants . . . 357 / Bishop Edw'd / 2 August / Per Ship Asia 22'd Sep'r

Pay-list of the 96th Regiment, from 1 April to 30 June 1842; Australian Joint Copying Project, UK National Archives, WO12/9614 (DIGITISED)

. . . 357 / Bishop Edward / Band . . .

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner [TAS] (29 March 1843), 5 

GRAND CONCERT.- Under distinguished patronage.-
MR. and MRS. BUSHELLE, with MR. HENRI ANDERSON (student of the Royal Academy of Music, London) begs to announce that they purpose holding their first
CONCERT OF VOCAL AND INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC, at the new concert rooms, (opposite the court-house) Patterson-street,
which have been elegantly fitted up, on THURSDAY, the 30th March.
Instrumental performers - Mr. Kowarzik, leader and conductor of the orchestra;
grand pianoforte, Mr. Anderson; Mr. Megson, Mr. Richards, Mr. Bishop, Mr. McDonald, Mr. Beckford,
and (by permission of Colonel Cumberland) the orchestra will be strengthened by the excellent band of H. M. 96th regiment.
Overture, "Fra Diavolo," full band.
1 Grand air from Norma, "Gentle Goddess," with full orchestral accompaniments, Mrs. Bushelle.
2 Song from the Somnamnbnla "As I view these scenes so charming," with orchestral accompaniments, cornetto obligate, Mr. Bushelle . . .
7 The celebrated sir, "Non piu Andrai," from Mozart's Figaro, with full orchestral accompaniments, Mr. Bushelle . . .
Overture to Zampa, Herold, full band . . .
7 Grand buffo song, from the Barber of Seville, "Lo the factotum," Rossini, with orchestral accompaniments, Mr. Bushelle.
8 Grand finale, from Cinderella, "Now with grief no longer bending," Rossini, Mrs. Bushelle.
"God Save the Queen" . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John and Eliza Bushelle (vocalists); James Henri Anderson (piano); Francis Frederick Kowarzik (leader, violin); Joseph Megson (violin); Henry Richards (musician); Alexander McDonald (cornet); Thomas Leaman Beckford (cello)

1845, marriages in the district of Launceston; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:832865; RGD37/1/4 no 2029 (DIGITISED)

No. 2029 / 17th November 1845 / Trinity Church / Edward Bishop / 35 / Band Master 96th Rg't / Ellen Brotherson / 28 . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: And their sons Edward Thomas Bishop (born Hobart, 17 December 1846) and Thomas Bishop (born Launceston, 22 October 1848)

"MUSICAL SOIREE", The Cornwall Chronicle [Launceston, TAS] (14 February 1846), 122 

Madame Gautrot gave an entertainment at the Olympic Theatre, on Wednesday evening. The excellent band of the 96th regiment attended by permission of Lieutenant Colonel Cumberland. We are sorry that owing to the shortness of notice. the audience, although highly respectable, was not numerous. Mr. Anderson presided at the piano-forte, and accompanied the vocal music . . . Upon the whole, Madame Gautrot's vocal exertions gave complete satisfaction . . . The Air, "Where are now the hopes I cherished," from the Opera of Norma was much applauded; as were the song "Love on," and the Finale "God save the Queen" - the Solo by Madame with band accompaniment. The gentlemen of the band done their best on this occasion, and we only regret that there was not a larger audience to witness their exertions. Mr. Bishop and his "host" deserve as we are certain they will receive the best thanks of Madame Gautrot and her friends for their exquisite performances. The following were executed by the Band: - Overtures - "Semiramide," Rossini; "Zampa," Herold; "Ah che Forse," Opera "Zelmira;" "Woman's heart" from the Opera of the Enchantress, Cavatina, Opera "Belisario;" "Then you will remember me," Opera, "Bohemian Girl" - "God save the Queen" accompaniment.

ASSOCIATIONS: Madame Gautrot (vocalist); Olympic Theatre (Launceston venue)

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

Thanks to Madame Gautrot (not forgetting her patrons, the Brethren of St. John's Lodge) for an agreeable musical treat last evening, at the Olympic Theatre. There was a better attendance than on the former occasion . . . Besides the military band, whose services merit much praise, we have pleasure to advert to the professional talents of Messrs. Anderson and Rolfe, both residents, and known as skilful pianists. These rendered able assistance last evening, and their perseverance and success as musical men, are known to many ladies and gentlemen of the neighbourhood. Mr. Howson, senior, performed several pieces on the violin, accompanied by Mr. Rolfe on the piano forte . . . We cannot close this notice without again adverting to the splendid performances of the military band, whose high state of discipline, and fine execution of the several pieces, are very favorable to the talents and able superintendence of the Band-master, Mr. Bishop.

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Rolfe (piano); Francis Howson (violin)

"RELIGIOUS. CONSECRATION OF THE NEW SYNAGOGUE, ST. JOHN STREET", The Cornwall Chronicle (28 March 1846), 241 

The very imposing ceremony of Consecrating the New Synagogue in St. John-street, took place on Thursday afternoon, commencing at three o'clock, after which hour no person was admitted. Besides the usual members of the congregation, there was a respectable company of visitors; who, being subscribers to the building fund, had the privilege of entree by tickets previously issued. There were altogether about two hundred persons in attendance, nearly a fourth of whom were ladies, who occupied the gallery. Mr. Anderson presided at the piano, and was assisted by a choir of vocalists. The music used on the occasion, was composed by Mr. Anderson. Previous to the commencement of the service, an introductory Symphony from Mozart, was tastefully executed by Mr. Bishop, and two members of the military band . . .

"THE JEWS. OPENING OF THE SYNAGOGUE AT LAUNCESTON", Launceston Advertiser (2 April 1846), 2

. . . Mr. Anderson presided at the pianoforte, and was assisted by Mr. Bishop, band-master of the 96th regiment, and two other performers. The musical performances were highly creditable . . . The services were commended by the orchestra; performing an INTRODUCTORY SYMPHONY - Mozart . . .

"THE 96TH REGIMENT", Colonial Times [Hobart, TAS] (13 October 1846), 3

On Saturday, a detachment of this regiment, with another of the 51st, were brigaded in the Domain by Colonel Cumberland, the Commander of the Troops at present in garrison; the day was extremely fine, 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.

"HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY [Launceston]", The Cornwall Chronicle (12 December 1846), 657 

The first Show of the season is fixed to take place next Wednesday . . . The charms of music operate powerfully on the good feelings of mankind, and we know that at former Shows the excellent performances of the military band always heightened the interest of the meeting. In the absence of Mr. Bishop's corps de musique, we should be glad to see an amateur band got together on this occasion . . .

"FANCY BAZAAR", Colonial Times (6 April 1847), 3 

The Exchange Mart, in Collins-street, presented a very gay appearance on Wednesday and Thursday last, from the great number of fashionable persons who thronged to the Bazaar in aid of St. John's Presbyterian Church in Macquarie-street. Shortly before 12 o'clock, the period appointed for opening on each day, carriages, with gaily attired inmates, and numerous well-dressed pedestrians flocked eagerly to the show, and the rooms throughout both days were inconveniently crowded with visitors. The fine Band of the 96th Regt., under the able direction of its Master, Mr. Bishop, was in attendance in the gallery, and performed several favourite pieces of new and other music, adding greatly to the animation and pleasure of the scene . . .

"NEW TOWN RACES . . . SECOND DAY. THURSDAY, APRIL 8", The Cornwall Chronicle (17 April 1847), 303

The appearances of the weather, at sunrise, brought gloomy anticipations to those numerous citizens and their spouses having refrained from attending yesterday, had made preparations for a holiday on this occasion, it being pretty generally known that His Excellency would visit the course en suite, and that the fine band of the 96th, under the able leadership of Mr. Bishop, would be in attendance . . . His Excellency Sir William Thomas Denison . . . arrived on horseback, and was received by the band of the 96th, striking up the national air of " God save the Queen" . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Denison (governor)

"MASONIC BENEVOLENT FUND. THE THEATRE", The Britannia and Trades' Advocate [Hobart, TAS] (9 September 1847), 3 

The call made by the members of the Masonic Benevolent Institution, in aid of its funds, were most generously responded, to on Monday last . . . During the evening, the Hand- bells, kindly lent for the occasion by Mr. Champion, were rung in a way which promises a very successful opening of the Belfrey of Trinity Church by the same artists. They are entitled to our best thanks. The Band of the 96th regiment, under the direction of its talented and very obliging master, Mr. Bishop, played some splendid and animated pieces, such as were likely to rouse the better feelings of our nature. They received, as did every part of the performances, rounds of unbounded applause . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Champion (bellringer); Royal Victoria Theatre (Hobart venue)

"THE REGATTA", Colonial Times (3 December 1847), 3

. . . there was the Regatta, and there were the visitors. The booths, fourteen in number, afforded every accommodation to those who were desirous to avail themselves of the good things, which were thereby and therein provided for their use and oblectation. There were roundabouts . . . there were mountebanks and conjuring stages, on which tumblers sleight-of-hand gentry, and comic singers exerted themselves to please the spectators, and there was also the fine band of the 96th Regiment under the able mastership of Mr. Bishop, "discoursing most excellent music" for the amusement of the lieges . . .

"TENTH ANNIVERSARY REGATTA", The Courier (4 December 1847), 2 

THE events of Wednesday last will fill a page in the annals of our adopted country. It was the tenth regatta to celebrate the first discovery of this island, in 1642, by Tasman, the distinguished Dutch navigator. One circumstance gave especial interest to the anniversary on this occasion - it was the public opening of the first peal of bells in the colony, which, at half-past three in the morning, as the faint streaks of light appeared upon the horizon, sent forth their cheerful sounds. It was not a "peal," but what is called "round ringing;" yet it called forth emotions, which had long slumbered in many a breast, of the joys of other days . . . At half-past nine the flotilla started from the wharf in the rear of Government House. His Excellency, Lady Denison and family . . . were in the Government barge. The fine band of the 96th followed in the long-boat belonging to H.M.S. Anson . . . the band playing "God save the Queen" . . . The fine band of the 96th, under the direction of Mr. Bishop, played many national and appropriate airs within the railed space in front of the grand stand, which was crowded throughout the day with the elite of the city . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: St. David's cathedral (new peal of bells)

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

On Friday evening, Mrs. Chester made her first appearance before a Launceston audience, as a Concert singer, and although she was evidently labouring under a severe cold, her debut was successful. On Mrs. Chester's advance to the platform, she was universally applauded, and after the performance of an Overture by the Band of H. M. 96th, she sang the famous ballad of "The Rover's Bride," by A. Lee, the Professor under whom we understand Mrs. Chester studied the art of singing for about two years . . . 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 . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Marian Maria Chester (vocalist)

"THE 96TH", The Cornwall Chronicle (31 January 1849), 340

. . . The head quarters will embark on Tuesday as previously stated, all usual and necessary preparations being in progress for the occasion. The departure or the regiment will cause the sincere regret of the inhabitants on many accounts. Not to mention the diminution of commissariat and other expenditure for the service of the regiment, the loss or the fine band, (so often placed at the disposal of the public) will be much felt. The visitors of the Horticultural Gardens, the frequenters of our places of amusement, and the lovers of promenade will all miss the delightful recreation so often afforded by the performances of Mr. Bishop and his host . . .

Discharge, Edward Bishop, 13 December 1851; UK National Archives, WO97/1038/31 (PAYWALL)

. . . Lahore, 13th December 1851 . . .
Discharge of No. 357 Edward Bishop Sergeant of the regiment . . .
. . . by Trade a Laborer, was born in the parish of Bicester . . . in the County of Oxfordshire and Attested for the [96th] Regiment of Foot at London in the City of London on the 3rd March 1824 at the age of [13 years 10 months, correctly 12 years 1o months] . . . [total service, while of age 23 years 244 days] of which:-
In America - 7 years
In Bermuda West Indies - 7 years
In Australia - 7 year & 11 months
In India - 2 years & 11 months
. . . Discharge is proposed in consequence of being unfit for further service
. . . his character has been very good
Drummer 2 March 1824 / Under age
Private 25 June 1827 / Under age
Private 2 May 1828 / [Of age]
Corporal 22 Jan'y 1831
Sergeant / 8 March 1834 [to] 31 Dec'r 1851
Further service from [1 January to 28 September 1852] when finally discharged

England census, 1861, Leamington Priors, Warwickshire; UK National Archives, RG9/2223/91/31 (PAYWALL)

Leam. Ter'ce East / 1 / Edward Bishop / Head / Widower / 50 / Chelsea Pensioner / [born] Oxon Bicester
Edward [Bishop] / Son / 14 / Scholar / [born] Van Diemen's Land

England census, 1871, Leamington, Warwickshire; UK National Archives, RG10/3196/69/32 (DIGITISED)

Tasma Cott. Plymouth Pl. / Edward Bishop / Head / Widower / 60 / Chelsea Pensioner / [born] Sussex Lewes [sic]
Edward Tho's Bishop / Son / unm. / 24 / Clerk / [born] Tasmania Hobart Town [sic]


. . . The 96th Regiment (now 2nd Manchester) arrived about 1846. The band of the same had a great number of clarionets, and was very sweet toned. Mr. Bishop was bandmaster . . .

BISHOP, Anna (Anna RIVIERE; [1] Mrs. Henry Rowley BISHOP; [2] Mrs. Martin SCHULTZ) see main page Anna BISHOP

Musician, soprano vocalist

BISHOP, Henry Rowley (Henry Rowley BISHOP; H. R. BISHOP)

English musician, composer (never came to Australia) (Wikipedia)


Musician (European Band)

Active Sydney, NSW, 1858 (shareable link to this entry)


[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.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Sutch (musician); European Band (group)

[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, Wynyard-square;
and at Mr. J. BISHOP'S, musician, 395, Castlereagh-street South.
N.B. - Small parties, attended with violin, harp, and cornet.


Organ builder

Born ? England, c. 1826
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 24 November 1852 (per Arundel, from London, via Plymouth, 26 July, aged "26") (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Names and descriptions of passengers, per Arundel, from London, 15 July 1852, for Port Phillip; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

. . . Bishop James / 26 / Organ Builder . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (30 December 1852), 8 

Mr. J. Bishop, from the old firm of J. C. Bishop & Sons, organ builders, of London,
will be happy to accept engagements to tune and repair organs, seraphines, or pianofortes, on the most reasonable terms;
address, Eureka House, Swanston-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: James Chapman Bishop (British organ builder, c. 1783-1854)

DISAMBIGUATION: James D. Bishop (organ builder, arrived NSW, 1855)

BISHOP, James D. (James D. BISHOP)

Organ and piano maker, tuner, repairer

Born UK, c. 1801
Married Jane ?, by c. 1829
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 29 August 1855 (per Lord Burleigh, from London, aged "54")
Active Maitland, NSW, by 1856; Sydney, 1857 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony (shareable link to this entry)

BISHOP, John Charles (John Charles BISHOP; J. C. BISHOP)

Musicseller, bookseller, stationer

Born Aberdeen, Scotland, 1811; baptised St. Nicolas, Aberdeen, 5 January 1811; son of James BISHOP and Ann GRANT
Active Maitland, NSW, by 1853; to 1860
Married Bridget HICKEY (d. 1903), Maitland, NSW, 1865
Died Maitland, NSW, 1873 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

DISAMBIGUATION: James Bishop (organ builder, arrived VIC 1852); James Chapman Bishop (British organ builder, c. 1783-1854)


England census, 30 March 1851, Pentonville, Middlesex; UK National Archives, HO107/1518/168/15 (PAYWALL)

21 John Street / John Chaffy [sic] Bishop / Head / Mar. 26 / Bookseller / [born] Somerset Mortick // Jane / Wife / 29
John Charles Bishop / Brother / Unm. / 40 / [Bookseller] / [born] Aberdeen
Jane [Bishop] / Sister / Mar / 47 / - / [born] Northampton Petertro
Mary [Bishop] / Niece / Un. / 22 / - / [born] [Northampton Petertro]
Emma [Bishop] / [Niece] / 10 / - / [born] [Northampton Petertro]

[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.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Jonathan Johnson (editor, publisher)

MUSIC: A collection of psalm tunes (ed. W. J. Johnson)

"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.

Assisted immigrants, arrived Sydney per Lord Burleigh, 29 August 1855; State Records Authority of NSW (PAYWALL)

. . . Bishop James / 54 / Organ Builder // Jane / 51 // Emma / 15 . . .

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (15 December 1855), 4 

Always on sale, a large assortment of BIBLES, prayer books, and church services.
Books in every branch of literature.
Music for the pianoforte, voice, and violin.
Stationery of every kind.
Musical instruments, such as flutinas, accordeons, flutes, &c., &c., from 15s. to £4 4s.
- Every article charged at fixed and reasonable prices.

[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.

[2 adjacent advertisements], The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (29 December 1855), 1 

. . . J. C. Bishop, Bookseller, East Maitland . . .

ORGANS, Piano-fortes, Harmoniums, and other Musical Instruments TUNED and REPAIRED, by J. D. BISHOP, East Maitland.
N.B. - The trade supplied with Fancy Wood Stops to order.

[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.

"MARRIAGES", The Sydney Morning Herald (7 January 1860), 1 

On the 5th instant, at Parramatta, by special license, Francis Williams, Esq., of Calcutta, to Emma, youngest daughter of Mr. J. D. Bishop, Newtown.

Bibliography and resources:

Enid Noel Matthews, Colonial organs and organ builders (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1969), 227 

Appendix V: ORGANBUILDERS . . . New South Wales . . . 1858 Mr. Bishop, Newtown . . .

Graeme D. Rushworth, Historic organs of New South Wales: the instruments, their makers and players 1791-1940 (Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1988), 421 

James D. Bishop was listed as an organ builder in a Sydney directory of 1857, with addresses at 45 Pitt Street and 207 Sussex Street . . . the records of St. Stephen's Anglican Church, Newtown, reveal that he subsequently tunes a seraphine and later a harmonium there from 1859 to at least 1862 . . .

BISSE, Frederick (Mr. F. BISSE) = Frederick BUSSE

BITTON, Edward (Nathan BITTON; Nathaniel BITTON; Edward BITTON)

Music hall proprietor, publican, boxer, pugilist

Born London, England, c. 1830; son of Isaac (Haim) BITTON (1779-1839) and Elizabeth JACOBS (c. 1866)
Arrived ? Adelaide, SA, 23 November 1851 (per Joseph Soames)
Married (1) Susan HOLGATE, VIC, 1852
Married (2) Esther HEALY (d. 1869), NSW, 1858
Married (3) Emily PILGRIM, VIC, 1871 (divorced 1876)
Married (3) Ellen REEVES, VIC, 1877
Died Princess Hill, VIC, 16 March 1890, aged "59" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Admissions, Darlinghurst Gaol, 1855; State Records Authority of NSW (PAYWALL)

482 / Nathan Bitton / Alias Mich'l Kelly / [ship] Jos[ep]h Soames / [year] '51 / [year of birth] 1831 / . . .

Admissions, Darlinghurst Gaol, 1856; State Records Authority of NSW (PAYWALL)

2462 / Nathaniel Bitton / [ship] Marian / [year] '50 / [born] London / Jew / Baker / [age] 26 . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 October 1866), 12 

CANTERBURY HALL. BUSH TAVERN, Park and Elizabeth Streets.
The Proprietor of the above Hall, EDWARD BITTON, being determined to secure all the acknowledged vocal talent,
begs to inform his friends and patrons of the Hall that he has effected an engagement with that much admired Scotch vocalist,
Mr. JAMES WATT, having returned from a successful tour in Queensland, New England, etc., will have the honour of appearing shortly in conjunction with
Mr. HARRY CURTIS, the English Comic Vocalist;
PAT MALLOY, the Irish Comic Vocalist;
not discarding our Prince of Baritones, Mr. JOSEPH LEWIS;
this cast forming the largest vocal company in Sydney.
Accompanyist - W. RADCLIFF.

"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.

"Deaths", The Age (17 March 1890), 1 

BITTON. - On the 16th March, at his late residence, Abbot's Hall, Tucker-street, Princes Hill, North Carlton, Edward Bitton, late of 170 Bourke-street east, age 59 years. An old colonist.

"Another Old Sport Gone", Sportsman [Melbourne, VIC] (19 March 1900), 4 

When the prize ring was in its palmiest day there was no better exponent of the "noble art" than Edward Bitton, better known to the fancy as "Old Ned." Mr. Bitton was the hero of many fights, and in his prime could hold his own at boxing with any man in the colony. He kept an oyster saloon in Bourke street for many years, and was also the proprietor of a boot factory for some time. The defalcations of his clerk were the means of Mr. Bitton loosing much of his hard-earned money. It is with feelings of regret that we have to announce the death of the once famous fighter, which occurred at his- residence Clifton Hill, on Sunday. Many sportsmen on Monday followed to the grave the remains of the hero of the P.R, who was at his death 59 years of age.

Black Charles

Musician, fiddler, violin player, sailor

Active VDL (TAS), ? c. 1803-04 (shareable link to this entry)


T. Crofton Croker (ed.), Memoirs of Joseph Holt, general of the Irish rebels, in 1798, edited from his original manuscript . . . vol. 2 (London: Henry Colburn, 1838), 264-66 (DIGITISED)

[264 main text: "1805, Dec. 23"] Leaving the town of Derwent, with all my little good in a boat, a storm arose as we were passing Betsey's Island, which obliged us to go ashore until the weather moderated, and we did not make Frederick Henry Bay until six o'clock in the evening. It lies twenty-four miles from the town. I got my little property safely on board and on the 25th, being Christmas day, I had many serious thoughts about my wife and family. A party going ashore from the ship, to cook their dinner, and dine on the island, near which we were at anchor, Serjeant McGawley and Serjeant Thorn asked me to join them, and I [265, "1805, Dec. 25."] accepted their invitation. The island was called Desolate Island, and indeed I thought so, although we had a good dinner and plenty to drink. After dinner a black American, who was one of the party, played upon the vial, and Thorn had his flute, so that we did not want music to make us enjoy ourselves in this forlorn place. After we returned on board, we had a great dance with all the sailors.

[265 main text, "1806, Jan. 7"] Captain Forrest having got his oil on board, and stowed below, sailed on the 29th for St. Groof, and on the 7th January we got in the Groof . . . We had only ten tons of oil to take in, and while this was shipping, Serjeant McGawley, Thomas William Keilly, one Johnson, and myself, went ashore. The morning was remarkably fine, and there was not the slightest appearance of an approaching storm. We brought a leash of greyhounds with us, and had some noble sport, killing two kangaroos, and shooting some ducks. We suddenly saw the ship move, and immediately this was followed by a hurricane that almost drove her out of the water; she had dragged her anchors, and in another minute [266] would have been lost, but for black Charles, who dropped the bower anchor, and saved her . . .

[264 footnote] . . . [Holt] has stated that he left the colony on the 19th of April, (1804); that he reached Norfolk Island on the 19th of May; and he says that he was fourteen weeks and two days treated as a convict, after which he lived about fifteen months as a free man on the island, which makes the time of his departure from thence, November 1805. The month of December, therefore, in that year, was passed by him at the Derwent, and his return to Port Jackson, must have been in February, 1806.

ASSOCIATIONS: Samuel Thorne (flute player)

Bibliography and resources:

Peter O'Shaughnessy (ed.), A rum story the adventures of Joseph Holt, thirteen years in New South Wales (1800-12) (Kenthurst: Kangaroo Press, 1988), 100 

Marjorie Tipping, Convicts unbound (Melbourne, 1988), 70, 168, 316, 328 

. . . We know that Sergeant Thorne could play the flute, and that an unknown American negro had a viol and Captain Kelly played the accordion . . .

Robert Jordan, "Music and civil society in New South Wales, 1788-1809", Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society 98/2 (December 2012), (193-210), 201 (PAYWALL)

. . . The black American violinist who entertained a shore party from the vessel Sydney on the coast of Tasmania, in company with the flute-playing Sergeant Samuel Thorne of the Hobart garrison, was probably the 'Black Charles' mentioned later on the same page simply as one of the ship's sailors [footnote: O'Shaughnessy 1988, 100] . . .

Black Simon

Musician, tamborine player

Active Windsor, NSW, by 1833 (shareable link to this entry)


"Elsie Moore. A TALE OF EARLY COLONIAL DAYS (BY WARRENE)", Australian Town and Country Journal (3 March 1888), 32 

. . . The weeks and the months sped swiftly by, and at last the day was fixed for Bryan's and Elsie's marriage. The neighbors for miles round were invited to the wedding, and the young folk of both sexes revelled in the glad anticipations of a merry time of it, in "bating the flure" to the inspiring strains of Gipsy Oliver's fiddle, and the dulcet jingle of Black Simon's tambourine. On the evening previously to the appointed wedding day, Moore, assisted by Bryan Devereaux, slaughtered a fat heifer to 'furnish forth the baked meats' for the marriage feast . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Black Simon, also nickname of Simon of Cyrene, the cross-bearer; Gipsy Oliver (fiddler)

See also "Elsie Moore. BY JOSEPH KELLY. PART I", Nepean Times (22 December 1906), 8 

James Tobias Ryan, Reminiscences of Australia (Sydney: George Robertson, 1895), 114-16 (DIGITISED)

[114] THE FIRST KILLARNEY RACES. The first Killarney Races took place on the 29th day of August, 1833 . . . It was a lovely spring morning as George . . . and Toby wended their way from South Creek, near Dunhaved, to Killarney, two miles east of Windsor . . . This was the first race meeting of any importance outside the metropolis, and so received much patronage from all classes. There were about twelve booths, a grand-stand and a weighing yard, also a military band. The sporting aristocracy of the day were present. The booths consisted of every kind of shelter, bushes, bark and tarpaulin, and were filled with people. Blind Loftus, a very ugly man, was dancing, and Black Simon playing the tambourine, at G. Freeman's booth. Every kind of amusement imaginable was going on, nine pins, puppet shows, the devil among the tailors, with lollypop and cake stalls in the front; at the back, skittles and gambling of every description, with an occasional fight throughout the day. The racehorses were scattered about under the shady clumps of trees . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: James Tobias Ryan (memoirist); the first day was correctly 21 August 1833; for a contemporary report see "HAWKESBURY RACES", The Sydney Herald (29 August 1833), 2 

"Early Hawkesbury Recollections", Windsor and Richmond Gazette (18 July 1896), 9 

In the district of Windsor lived two brothers named Patrick and Daniel O'Rourke. The former had a large family of daughters and one son. Daniel's family consisted only of daughters. They had a large faction of friends scattered round the district - the Daseys, the Daleys, the Shadeye - all from the same place in the old country. Young Patrick married Betsy Dasey, and when a son was born great were the preparations made for the christening, he being the first of the O'Rourkes born in Australia. The news soon spread, invitations were issued, and the time fixed for the spree. A goodly supply of spirits for the men and wine for the women was brought, and sucking pigs and poultry in galore. Two fiddlers were brought from Windsor the night before - Blind Tommy and Blind Loftus, the latter being so-called on account of having only one eye, and who had, perhaps the ugliest face ever seen. He was badly pock-marked; his nose was flat, and level with his cheek-bones, being what you would term an apology for a nose. This was the man chosen to amuse the people at the time, and well he could do it. It was very funny to see him and ---- (the tambourine player), in George Freeman's tent at the Windsor race meetings, making grimaces that would frighten a cat. He could play the fiddle well, was a splendid dancer, and could sing a good Irish song. It was surprising that such a splendid voice could belong to the owner of such a mouth and face. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Father Coffee, who stayed to dinner, so that proper decorum prevailed whilst be remained. But he did not stay long, having other duties of a like nature to perform in Windsor that night. On leaving he gave them excellent advice - to enjoy themselves, but to keep within bounds. After dinner was over, and everything had been removed from the large tent erected for that purpose, boards were laid for dancing. Blind Loftus opened the proceedings by dancing a hornpipe. Then came Irish jigs, reels, and songs, and when the "boys" got warm they were as wild as goats without a shepherd. The spree was kept up for three or four days and nights, the two fiddlers taking turns at the music.

ASSOCIATIONS: Blind Tommy Burns (fiddler); Blind Loftus (fiddler, dancer)

Black Randall = John RANDALL

BLACK, John (John BLACK)

Comic vocalist

Active VIC, c. 1857-59 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


"STAR HOTEL FANCY BAZAAR", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (4 February 1856), 3 

This daily promenade and nightly place of resort seems to increase in popularity, and very justly so, seeing that it has the "Australian Nightingale" to delight its visitors, and Mr. John Black to keep the crowd in good humor. The bazaar is most, attractive, and under Mr. Adam's most indefatigable management is sure to increase the interest of "fortune hunters." Miss Louisa Swannell, as a pretty, warming songstress, whose voice is most powerful, pleasing, and melodious, tends greatly to increase the attractions; and Mr. John Black, as a comic singer, has shown himself also to be a great public favorite. We have seldom seen an audience more enraptured by inimitable comic singing than they are under Mr. Black. We hope the public will not omit the opportunity of visiting this bazaar concert, where such attractions prevail. - [Ballarat Star, Feb. 2.]

ASSOCIATIONS: Louisa Swannell (vocalist); Star Hotel (Ballarat venue)

[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser [Beechworth, VIC] (1 September 1857), 4 

EL DORADO CONCERT HALL . . . On Tuesday, September 1st, AND EVERY EVENING During the week. In addition to the Astounding Performances of the Wizard, there will be a CONCERT Supported by the following talent: -
Miss Juliana King, Mr. Percival, Madame Rolland and Mr. John Black, And Mr. Thompson.
Admission, 2s 6d; Reserved Seats, 5s . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Juliana King (vocalist); Charles Percival (vocalist); Madame Rolland (vocalist)

[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (27 October 1857), 3 

NOTICE. JACOB VAN DE BERG HAS succeeded in engaging
MR. BLACK, The celebrated Comic Singer,
MR. PERCIVAL, The celebrated Sentimental Singer,
And Ladies of talent, At the Britannia Hotel, Upper Woolshed.
Concerts to commence on the 14th day of November next.
The Music will be conducted by a first-rate Musician.

ASSOCIATIONS: Jacob Van Den Berg (publican, amateur musician)

[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (9 March 1858), 3 

Eldorado Assembly Rooms. MR. JOHN BLACK the celebrated comic Vocalist will appear to night and every following evening. Dancing as usual from eight till twelve.

"MR. BLACK'S ENTERTAINMENT", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (4 June 1859), 3 

The comparatively small attendance at the Star Theatre last evening, on the occasion of Mr. J. Roderich Black's entertainment, certainly showed that the people of the district were mistaken in the person who had been announced to make his appearance. Until we were better informed we, thought ourselves, that Mr. J. R. Black was no other than the Mr. John Black who occasionally appeared before Beechworth audiences as a comic singer, and who, whatever the extent of his abilities, would not be expected to "draw" on a Friday evening, however destitute the town might be for amusement. We are well assured, however, that those who visited the Theatre last evening in expectation of hearing the latter, were most agreeably disappointed, and that those who missed the opportunity of hearing Mr. John Roderich Black, on his first appearance, will not omit to avail themselves of the second opportunity, which occurs this evening . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Reddie Black (Scotch vocalist)

[Advertisement], Mount Alexander Mail [Castlemaine, VIC] (19 August 1859), 8 

FREE CONCERTS AT THE Mount Alexander Hotel, Forest Creek.
THE PROPRIETOR, ever anxious to cater for the amusement of his friends, has effected an engagement for a short period with
MR. JOHN BLACK (Comic characteristic vocalist),
Assisted by the following artistes - MRS. VINCENT, MRS. BURNS, MR. PERCEY.
Concert evenings: Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Admission Free.

ASSOCIATIONS: Mrs. Vincent (vocalist)

"MOUNT ALEXANDER HOTEL", Mount Alexander Mail (23 November 1859), 3 

The spirited proprietor of this hotel, ever anxious to cater for the amusement of his friends, has engaged Mr. John Black, the well known comic vocalist, and those favorite artistes, Mesdames Vincent, and Louise, and Mr. Kitts, the celebrated basso. The concerts at the Mount Alexander are of a superior character, and the admission is free. It is no wonder under these conditions that the entertainments are so well patronized, and that Mr. Beddard is being remunerated for his enterprise. In future the concert room will be open only on Mondays and Saturdays, and not on Wednesdays as mentioned in the advertisement.

ASSOCIATIONS: James Edward Kitts (vocalist)

"DUNOLLY AMATEUR PERFORMANCE", Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser [VIC] (2 March 1860), 2 

The Dunolly Amateur Dramatic Club gave a performance at Dunolly on Wednesday evening, for the benefit of the Dunolly Hospital . . . The club was fortunate in in obtaining the professional assistance of Mrs. Stone and Mrs. Oakey. The latter is deserving of special praise; she showed herself far above the run of ordinary country actresses: her enunciation was excellent. Mr. Black was applauded in one or two comic songs during the interlude.

ASSOCIATIONS: Eliza Oakey (actor, vocalist); Mrs. Stone (vocalist)

BLACK, John Melton (John BLACK; from c. 1859/60, John Melton BLACK)

Theatre builder, manager, entrepreneur, impresario, agent, proprietor, Tattersall's (1853), Theatre Royal (1855), Princess' Theatre (1857)

Born Bolton, Lancashire, England, 30 June 1831; baptised St. Peter, Bolton-le-Moors, 24 August 1831; son of James BLACK and Jane GALT
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, by mid 1851
Departed Brisbane, QLD, 1867 (for England)
Married Marian O'DOWDA, London, England, 1869 (2nd quarter)
Died Hampstead, London, England, 8 September 1919 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (Wikipedia) (shareable link to this entry)

John Melton Black (c. 1860s)

John Melton Black (c. 1860s)


Baptisms solemnized in the Parish of Bolton le Moors in the County of Lancaster in the Year 1831; register 1831-33, page 53; Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives (PAYWALL)

No. 420 / August 24 / John Son of / James & Jane / Black / Born 30th June 1831 / Great Bolton / Physician . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (16 August 1851), 3 

TO CARRIERS. WANTED several Teams to proceed up the Country. Apply to JOHN BLACK, Mason's Buildings, 223, Elizabeth-street.


Among the large, important, and useful public buildings which indicate the rapid progress of Melbourne, and to which we deem it out duty from time to time to call the attention of the readers of the Argus, we know of none which better deserves a notice, either for size, cost or utility, than the premises were are about to describe, - the premises to be known hereafter as the Melbourne Tattersall's, or John Black's Horse and Cattle Bazaar. They are situate in Lonsdale-street, east, nearly opposite the Hospital; run through, like the Arcade, to Little Bourke-street, and cover an acre of ground. They are used as an hotel, livery stables, auction mart, cattle-yeads, coach-house, warehouse for vehicles, &c. . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Tattersall's (Melbourne)

"LOCAL INTELLIGENCE", The Banner (30 December 1853), 9 

TATTERSALL'S. - The first of the concerts to be given at the above building took place last night. Madame Carrandini was the only vocalist: but she alone, with her clear, powerful, and beautiful voice, well repaid our visit. Mr. Johnston, as conductor, showed much taste in the selection of his programme, and being well supported by his military band, produced a selection during the evening from "Sarbat Mater" [Stabat mater, Rossini] with greater correctness than we have not heard any similar production in this colony. We cordially wish the projector of these concerts every success.

GRAND CONCERT. - The second grand concert comes off at Black's Room this evening, and the series will terminate to-morrow. Madame Carandini, the prima donna of Australasia, and the Jenny Lind of Melbourne, is engaged on each occasion.

ASSOCIATIONS: Maria Carandini (vocalist); Henry Johnson (conductor, master of th 40th Band); Band of the 40th Regiment (military)

"CONCERT AT THE THEATRE ROYAL", The Age (29 December 1854), 5 

On Wednesday evening last we paid our second visit to the concert room of the New Theatre Royal, Bourke-street, and were grieved to find the attendance so limited, a result, however, easy to be accounted for, from the neglect of advertising, so that few persons were aware that a concert would take place. Whilst on the subject of mismanagement we would call Mr. Black's attention to the whistling, cat-calling, cooeing, and other eccentric ways of demanding an encore, which to ears polite are a nuisance unbearable, and if not suppressed, one that will go a long way to deter respectable persons from visiting the establishment. We would also suggest that footlights would add considerably to the misse en scene. Of the building we cannot speak in terms too eulogistic. As an entrance-hall it is scarcely surpassed at home, and if the theatre be on a similar scale, and embellished in the same good taste, it will have no rival in the colony. As a concert-room it is admirably adapted to show off slight voices to advantage, the reverberation being so great; but the effect produced by the piano is most peculiar, either the instrument is a bad one, or the tone is affected by the metallic roof, in no other way can we account for it; yet with the attraction of novelty, the talent of the artistes engaged, and the low price charged for admission, it did not serve to collect an audience sufficient in number to cover even the current expenses of the evening. Unless better support be accorded to recreations of this kind, concerts will soon bespoken of as things coeval with ancient history, for it cannot be supposed that any one, after so many failures, will be rash enough to embark his capital in such, unremunerative speculations.

But we are digressing from our mission, which is to speak of the several artistes we had the pleasure of hearing on Wednesday. As the star of the evening, Mons. Coulon, first claims our attention . . . Mr. Peck commenced the concert with a violin solo . . . Miss Clifford was brought forward as a substitute for her father . . . Miss Stewart was in excellent voice . . . Miss Hamilton sang that beautiful production of Mendelsohn's "The last violet" . . . An apology was offered for Mrs. Hancock, on the score of hoarseness, but we failed to detect it . . . We must not omit to notice the musician like manner in which M. Bial played the accompaniments. Altogether the entertainment was of a high character, and deserving of far better support than it received, and we do trust now that we have us led public attention to the losses sustained by the projectors of Musical Entertainments, that the public will come forward and accord them the patronage they deserve.

ASSOCIATIONS: Minnie and George Clifford (vocalists); Eliza Stewart (vocalist); Octavia Hamilton (vocalist); Mary Ellen Hancock (vocalist); Charles Bial (pianist); Theatre Royal (foyer of venue, main auditorium still under construction)

"SUPREME COURT . . . Wednesday, 14th March, 1855 . . . FLEURY V. BLACK", The Argus (15 March 1855), 5 

Mr. McDermott, for plaintiff; Mr. Dawson, for defendant:
The plaintiff is Mons. Fleury, the celebrated violinist, and the defendant is the proprietor of the Theatre Royal, Bourke street; and this was an action brought on a contract for work and labor performed in the shape of music supplied to the defendant.
Mr. McDermott opened the case, saying that the defendant, on opening his concert room, entered into a contract with his talented client to supply him with fifteen musicians at the rate of £70 per week. But on going one night, his client unexpectedly found the orchestra filled with a military band, whose services, no doubt, the defendant procured cheaper.
The plaintiff was called and proved the agreement at £70 per week; and described his consternation at finding, after he had played two days, the strong position the military had taken up on the platform. This position of the 12th was impregnable, and the discomfited Fleury withdrew his forces, and, being unable to effect an amicable treaty with the plaintiff, brought his action.
The defence was that Mons. Fleury could only recover for the three nights his company played, and that the contract had been rescinded. The money for three nights had been paid into Court. Mr. Dawson said the defence was not a shabby one. The facts were, that a military band had been engaged in the first instance; there was some doubt if they could be retained. Mons. Fleury entered into the contract. Defendant found he still could have the band of the 12th, and a modification of the contract was mutually agreed to between plaintiff and defendant, that Fleury should play with his company three nights a-week, and the band the other three; the defendent was not to be turned over by the strict letter of the law, but the contract must be scanned according to common sense and fairness.
The learned gentleman called - Mr. E. Gregory, who swore that the defendant agreed, in his presence, to extend the six nights over the fortnight, playing every alternate night, and that the band should play the other six nights. After some hesitation he agreed to it.
Mons. Fleury: Ne-vare.
Witness continued: He afterwards came and said he should not play, as he could not, he found, get his company to consent.
Cross-examined: This conversation occurred in French and English, between Mr. Black, Mons. Fleury, and himself. A paper was signed to this effect, and Mr. Black had the writing.
His Honor: Where is this paper? It was found not to be forthcoming.
Mr. McDermott said he never saw a case so utterly broken down. The whole was an attempt to take in poor Fleury. The paper signed was suppressed, although given to Black; and what could be said in a case where documents were purposely suppressed. However, he saw by the jurors' faces they had made up their minds, and he should not trouble them with any further observations.
Verdict for the plaintiff for the full amount claimed, with liberty for the defendant to reduce such verdict to £3, on the ground the work had not been performed.

ASSOCIATIONS: Achille Fleury (violinist, band leader)


To the great surprise of numbers of our citizens the concert hall of the Theatre Royal was closed last evening. On making inquiries we find that in consequence of some misunderstanding between the proprietor, Mr. Black, and the licensee of the hotel, Mr. Gregory, the premises will be closed for the present. We have heard rumors of differences which, if true, will furnish employment for that already overtasked class, the gentlemen of the long robe. In the mean time, the cessation of the delightful concerts which had just become to be so very popular, will be felt as a great loss by the numerous habitues of the establishment.

"THE THEATRE ROYAL", The Argus (10 July 1855), 5 

As this magnificent Temple of the Drama is announced to be opened for the first time on Monday evening next, a narrative embodying the history of the edifice, and a description in detail of what has already been effected, may be interesting . . . The idea of erecting a large theatre in Melbourne originated with Mr. John Black, who, notwithstanding many impediments which have periodically opposed themselves to the work he took in hand, has now the satisfaction of seeing his design practically carried out. The magnitude of such an undertaking, the immense outlay of capital involved, and the difficulty of obtaining a sufficient supply of skilled labor, would have deterred many from entering into a speculation the profits to arise from which could not be immediately depended upon, had not the loss of interest, and, indeed, the great risks attending the investment, been sufficiently calculated to operate in that direction. But Mr. Black had already signalised himself by his erection of the fine building known as Tattersall's, and the energy of character which he is known to possess no doubt prompted him to undertake a work which it is certain would have been immensely profitable had it been completed in the time as originally intended, or had not the pecuniary circumstances of the colonists experienced so marked a change during the last twelve months. The risk was, however, incurred, and it will now remain with the public to decide whither the £60,000 spent for their advantage in the erection of the Theatre Royal has been fruitlessly laid out. Our particular business at this moment is to lay before them a statement showing how far Mr. Black's enterprise merits their support . . . The interior of this magnificent theatre even surpasses the anticipations of the person who has only seen the outside, and marked the admirable taste and ingenuity displayed in the arrangement of the various approaches. Its dimensions, as will be seen by the measurements which we subjoin, even exceeds in many particulars, the great theatrical establishments of Covent Garden and Drury Lane . . . The stage will be under the direction of Mr. Charles Poole . . . The band is also the most effective one certainly that could be collected in Victoria. It will be conducted by Mr. B. Thom, whoso high attainments in his profession are acknowledged in England, as well as here . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Poole (actor, manager); Bream Thom (violinist, conductor)

"OPENING OF THE THEATRE ROYAL", The Argus (16 July 1855), 5 

This splendid Theatre will be opened to the public this evening for the first time . . . The National Anthem will precede the other performances, and, in order to give every effect to it, Mrs. Testar has been engaged for the solos, and the chorus will include the whole of the company, upwards of a hundred persons. The band will be on a very efficient scale, both as to numbers and individual ability, - the names of Thom, Strebinger, Creed Royal, Berg, Lundberg, Johnson, &c., being powerful evidence of the latter . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Frederick Strebinger (violin); Creed Royal (flute); Charles Berg (trombone, tuba); John William Lundborg (clarinet)

"THEATRE ROYAL. MISS CATHERINE HAYES. To the Editor of . . .", The Argus (13 August 1855), 6 

Sir, - The non arrival of Miss Hayes in time to appear on Monday evening, as announced in the bills and programme, at this theatre, having caused a great disappointment to the public, and a serious loss to the management, I think it my duty to hand you for insertion a copy of the contract between myself and that lady, and the subsequent correspondence with her agent, Mr. W. A Bushnell, thereon, so that the public may be in possession of the facts relative thereto.
I remain, Sir, yours respectfully,
JOHN BLACK, August 11, 1855.

Theatre Royal, 21st July, 1855.
Dear Sir, - With reference to my conversation with you as to an engagement with Miss Hayes at the above theatre, I am prepared to offer for a twelve nights' engagement of three nights in each week, commencing from Monday, the 13th of August the sum of £----* per night, with a half clear benefit on the fulfilment of the engagement.
Misa Hayes to sing in opera or concert as required, and every exertion to be made in Sydney to procure the services of Mr. Frank Howson during the period of engagement.
Your reply as to the acceptance of the above terms will oblige.
Yours respectfully,
* The consideration is purposely left blank.
Endorsed on such letter is -
Dear Sir - I accept the within terms, and will prepare a contract for our signatures.
J. Black, Esq.

Theatre Royal, July 31st, 1855.
Dear Sir, - Since your absence I have announced the engagement of Miss Catherine Hayes in public, and there seems a great desire to see her in opera, supported by an efficient company.
I am making what arrangements are necessary, and I trust you, on your our part, have succeeded in engaging Mr. Frank Howson and Madame Sara Flower. Madame Carandini I have engaged as tenor, if required.
Let me know how everything is progressing in Sydney, and if any talent suitable to the opera is worthy of engagement.
I endorse a note received from Miss Fitzgerald for Miss Hayes.
Present my kind respects to Miss Hayes, and believe me,
Yours truly,
W. A. Bushnell, Esq.

Sydney, July 28th.
Deni Sir, - I regret to say that I have not yet made any arrangements for Miss Hayes's appearance in this city. The managers of both theatres are most anxious to secure her on any terms, but I am trying to make it a point of the engagement here that Mr. Howson shall go to Melbourne with us, for an operatic season there. But although Mr. H. is most desirous to accompany Miss Hayes to Melbourne, he says that it is utterly impossible for him to do so sooner than six weeks from this time, which will of course make the period of our return to Melbourne three or four weeks later than we named, - say about 3rd September.
Mr. Howson is at liberty, and would be most happy to make an engagement with you for a month, six weeks, or perhaps two months, to commence about that time. I have told him he had better write you on the subject by this mail, and I believe he has done so, as it is useless for Miss Hayes to return to Melbourne, for opera, without a bass singer. I shall, probably, arrange for her to occupy the time here till the 1st September.
Lavenu has I believe, commenced the operas, and doubtless by that time will have them all ready. I am glad to see the announcement in the Argus that you have engaged Miss Hayes, and that her absence from Melbourne is only temporary. I would also add to that announcement that she is to sing in full opera, and continue in it till her arrival in Melbourne.
In haste, I remain, yours truly,
J. Black Esq.

Theatre Royal, August 2nd, 1855.
Dear Sir - I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 28th ult, and was pleased to hear of your safe arrival in Sydney. I am sorry you have been unsuccessful in making arrangements with Mr. Frank Howson and Madama Sara Flower, for the short period they were required here. I had a letter from Mr. Howson, but nothing definite to be relied on.
I have however made arrangements in Melbourne so as to cause no delay relative to the engagement, and although, perhaps, the parties engaged will not be equal in stage business to either of the above mentioned, still I feel satisfied they will perform their parts with credit to themselves and satisfaction to the public.
I have positively announced Miss Hayes to appear on Monday, the 13th instant, as by the letter of engagement, and have all my arrangements made to suit that date.
I therefore cannot postpone the engagement on any account beyond that date, and rely on the arrival of Miss Hayes towards the middle of the next week.
Madame Carandini will take the part of tenor.
I also rely on Mr. Lavenu having all the music ready for the various operas by the time of his return.
Yours truly,
I must not have a day's delay beyond the time agreed upon.
W. A. Bushnell, Esq., Sydney.

Prince of Wales Theatre, Sydney, 8th August, 1855.
My Dear Sir, - I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letters, bearing date the 2nd (by the mail) and 4th instant, handed me by Mr. Rogers yesterday.
It quite surprised me that you should have announced Miss Hayes to appear in Melbourne so early as the 13th of this month, after my distinctly pointing out to you, in mine of the 28th ultimo, that she could not possibly be with you until early in September.
You must remember, that it was part of our engagement for Mr. Howson to sing with Miss Hayes, and, therefore, until we can get him to support her as bass singer in the operas the engagement cannot commence.
You will, doubtless, recollect, too, that during every conversation we have had on the subject of the engagement, it was distinctly understood that it was entirely conditional and depended on our being able to secure Mr. Howson.
I have accordingly, in making my engagements here, stipulated that he should accompany us to Melbourne, for so long a time as he is required; and also, that Madame Sara Flower should be released from her present engagement for a month, if she be required by you.
In your letter of the 31st ultimo, you follow up former conversations on the subject, by saying that you trust I have been successful in engaging Madame Sara Flower and Mr. Howson.
I was certainly very much surprised that, in the face of all this, you should write me that you have engaged a bass singer in Melbourne, and written to Mr. Howson here, stating his services would not be required.
Now, my dear Sir, as I have proof of all the above statements, both from your letters, our conversations, and also the notices in the Melbourne papers, and as I feel confident that it is for the mutual interest of Miss Hayes and yourself that she should be well supported in the operas, I shall most positively insist that Mr. F. Howson be engaged; and I again tell you distinctly, as I have always done, that Miss Hayes cannot sing in your theatre without the assistance of Mr. Howson.
Our engagement here will terminate on Saturday, the 1st of September, after which Miss Hayes will be ready to proceed at once to Melbourne, and sing for you on the terms we agreed upon. If you have made engagements in your theatre with other parties, which will prevent your giving Miss Hayes an opening at that time, we can defer the announcement till one or two weeks later, or withdraw or cancel the engagement altogether.
I am, my dear Sir, yours truly,
P.S. An immediate reply will much oblige. W. A. B.
John Black, Esq., Theatre Royal, Melbourne.

ASSOCIATIONS: Catherine Hayes (vocalist); William Avery Bushnell (agent, manager); Frank Howson (vocalist); Sara Flower (vocalist); Maria Carandini (as above) was described as "tenor" because she was to perform the tenor roles, singing an octave higher

"CORRESPONDENCE WITH MR. FRANK HOWSON", The Argus (13 August 1856), 6 

Prince of Wales Theatre, Sydney, July 28th, 1855.
Sir, - Having had some conversation with Mr. Bushnell relative to a proposition made by you regarding an engagement for Madame S. Flower and myself for a short period, for the purpose of producing opera at Melbourne, in conjunction with Miss Hayes, I beg to state that we have just commenced our new season, and that an immediate engagement with either of us is totally impracticable.
I have every reason to suppose that in six weeks from this time I can make such arrangements that will meet the views of all parties, but decidedly not before. Of course, Madame S. Flower is engaged with Mr. Wyatt (our proprietor for six months, but I can get her over that little difficulty, and should wish you to write her as to terms, &c.
Should the above meet your views, I shall be happy to hear from you immediately.
I am, Sir, yours very truly,
- Black, Esq.

Theatre Royal, Melbourne, August 2nd, 1855.
Dear Sir, - I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 28th ultimo, with reference to the proposition made by Mr. Bushnell to you in my behalf. I am sorry, however, you cannot arrange to return with Miss Hayes by the time specified for her appearance in Melbourne, viz., the 13th instant and under the circumstances, I must only effect such engagements here as will produce the operas with satisfaction to the public.
I could not on any account postpone Miss Hayes's appearance, otherwise I should have been most happy to have embraced your offer for a later date.
Could not Madame Flower be spared for a short period, say three weeks, without injury to your theatre?
Your early reply will oblige, dear sir, yours, truly,
Frank Howson, Esq., Sydney.

Prince of Wales Theatre, Sydney, 8th August, 1855.
Dear Sir - It appears by the tenor of yours of the 2nd Inst., that I did not make myself perfectly understood in my last to you. Mr. Bushnell, upon his arrival in Sydney, informed me that he had made a conditional arrangement with you, that Miss Hayes would return to Melbourne for the purpose of producing opera if the services of myself and Madame Sara Flower could be secured by the time specified. I believe I stated very clearly in my last, that I could not possibly leave Sydney until the beginning of September, therefore it would be impossible for Miss Hayes to produce the operas in Melbourne by the time specified in your agreement.
Under the above circumstances, Miss Hayes has engaged with me for three weeks from Friday, the 10th inst., by which time I shall be able to accompany her to Melbourne, if desirable.
Mr. Bushnell states that you have already engaged a basso and tenor, therefore I am anxious to hear from you, at your earliest convenience, if I am required, and what terms you can offer, as there is but little time to spare.
I deem it necessary to state that we shall be ready with two operas at least upon our arrival, as also will be the music, &c., &c.
I remain, dear Sir, Yours very truly,

"MELBOURNE (From our own Correspondent) Monday, Feb. 25", Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (26 February 1856), 2 

Mr. Clarence Holt's managerial reign at the Theatre Royal has been a very brief one, and a single week has scarcely been permitted to roll by before the management have cried out - Holt - enough. The Theatre Royal is closed for dramatic entertainment, whether to be re-opened or not remains to be seen, for it is scarcely likely that any one will be so foolhardy as to undertake the control of such an expensive establishment whilst Mr. Coppin is in opposition. Even the official assignee, Mr. Jacomb, is disgusted with the whole affair, for he declared to the Commissioner, at the third meeting of creditors, in the estate of John Black, that he was carrying on the theatre at the rental of £3,000 a year, but that it was so serious an undertaking, that he intended to wind up the estate as speedily as possible, and get rid of the responsibility . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Clarance Holt (actor, manager); George Coppin (actor, theatre proprietor)

"INSOLVENT COURT . . . Thursday, 28th February, 1856 . . . IN RE JOHN BLACK", The Age (29 February 1856), 3 

This was an adjourned third meeting. The insolvent was not present; having, as stated at the last meeting, departed for England . . . In this estate the official assignee has taken possession of all the property belonging to the insolvent, and acting under the advice of the principal creditors, he has kept the theatre open. Through the absurd reports that have been assiduously circulated respecting the title to this property, and that the official assignee has reason to believe by parties who ought to have given him every assistance, he has been unable to effect a sale . . .

"THEATRICAL ARTISTES FOR AUSTRALIA", London Evening Standard (7 April 1856), 1 (PAYWALL)

Mr. J. H. Wilton has engaged a corps of theatrical artistes, who will take their departure for Australia in the ship James Baines, which was expected to sail from Liverpool for Melbourne on Sunday morning. They have been engaged for the Theatre Royal, Melbourne, and will be accompanied by Mr. Black, the lessee and builder of that establishment, and by Mr. W. N. Lyons, Mr. Wilton's locum tenens. The artistes already engaged by Mr. Wilton are Miss Fitzpatrick, Miss Julia Harland, Mr. Hoskins, Mr. Farquharson, Mr. Sherwin, and Mr. Linley Norman, Mddle. d'Antoine, and Mons. Martin. Mr. Wilton is also in treaty for an Australian trip, with Mr. Anderson, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Wallack, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Dillon, and Miss Cushman, Mr. Charles Matthews having for the present declined Mr. Wilton's offer, on the score of the ill-health of his wife (Madame Vestris.)

ASSOCIATIONS: John Hall Wilton (agent); Julia Harland (vocalist) and her husband and manager William Hoskins (actor, comedian); Robert Farquharson (vocalist); Walter Sherwin (vocalist); Linly Norman (musician); collectively English Opera Company

"THEATRE ROYAL. OUR LYCEUYM. ENGLISH OPERA", The Argus (1 September 1856), 5 

The Queen's Theatre, re-baptized under the title of "Our Lyceum," opens this evening with an English operatic troupe, under the management of Mr. John Black. The opera selected for the occasion is the "Bride of Lammermoor," and it will be the first time Donizetti's celebrated work has been presented in an English dress to a Victorian audience. Having had the advantage of witnessing a rehearsal we are enabled to give as an opinion that success will be found to be merited by the new arrivals, and we therefore look to see it achieved. Miss Julia Harland, the prima donna, is a daughter of Mr. Henry Wallack, well known to the British and American boards. From the slight opportunity we have had of judging of her professional qualities we are inclined to augur for her a flattering success. We have also a good opinion of the qualifications possessed by Mr. W. Sherwin, the tenor, and hope to see him ere many nights have elapsed a favorite with our Melbourne play-goers. Mr. Farquharson is decidedly an immense acquisition to our corps d'opera, and although Ashton is not a telling part for him, we anticipate a grand treat for the patrons of Our Lyceum this evening from the thoroughly established reputation which this excellent singer has acquired in the mother country, and which has been fully endorsed by our Sydney neighbors. Mr. Gregg and Mrs. Fiddes will, we believe, also appear. The orchestra and chorus have been judiciously selected. The former is under the direction of Mr. Linley Norman, with Strebinger for leader, and numbers several of our most popular instrumental performers, including Messrs. King (first violin), Johnson (clarionet), Hartigan (ophecleide), and in addition a Mr. Siche [Siede], a flautist of high reputation in England and Germany, and who has only very recently arrived in the colony. Mr. Hosking, an admirable light comedian, who will be well remembered by the ci-divant patrons of Messrs. Phelps and Greenwood, also makes his debut this evening as Colonel Jack Delaware, a Yankee "patter" part, in the farce of "A Fast Train."

ASSOCIATIONS: John Gregg (vocalist); Harriet Cawse Fiddes (vocalist); Edward King (violin); Joseph Hartigan (ophicleide); Julius Siede (flute); Lyceum Theatre (Melbourne venue), formerly Queen's Theatre

"THEATRE ROYAL", The Argus (4 November 1856), 5 

Mr. John Black, the builder and original manager of this establishment, takes his benefit this evening, when the "Bohemian Girl" will be produced, supported by the English operatic company, which that gentleman was the means of introducing to the inhabitants of this city. His Excellency the Acting Governor has kindly signified his intention of patronising the performances on this occasion.

"MADAME CAILLY'S CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald [NSW] (10 March 1857), 5 

Madame Cailly's last concert was given last night, at the Concert Hall of the Royal Hotel, and if ever ill luck pursued any one, as, on the faith of many of the published Irish legends we are bound to believe, it has followed Madame as to this time, from her first arrival in Australia. We remember the time when Madame Cailly first appeared in Melbourne. An engagement at the Theatre Royal, immediately after the close of the twelve nights of Catherine Hayes first appearance there tested her voice to the utmost. The press and the public were loud in her praise, but at the end of the week no return from the treasury of the theatre. Norma had been sacrificed, Rosina had sung in vain - no notes - tangible proofs of approval - came in return from the theatrical treasury. In fact, Mr. John Black was then on his last legs for cash, and the heaviest claimant had to go without. From that to the present time, Madame has been pursued by the genius of ill luck . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Clarisse Cailly (vocalist)

"THE PRINCESS'S THEATRE", The Age (22 April 1857), 4 

The opening day of the Opera has at last arrived. This evening will be produced Bellini's grand opera of "Norma," without exception the finest work of the serious lyrical drama. This beautiful Theatre la now fully completed, and presents one of the moat elegant and commodious temples of the drama out of Europe. It consists of pit, stalls, a tier of boxes, and, above, a dress circle. Every part of the house is so excellently arranged that its occupants can secure a view of the stage, which is wider than that of the Royal . . . The chorus and orchestra include not less than seventy picked performers. The principals include the names of Madame Anna Bishop, prima donna, Madame Leon Naej, of the Paris Opera House, Madame Sara Flower, Mr. Sherwin, M. Laglaise, Mr. Pierce, Mr. Dickson, Mr. Farquharson, M. Coulon, Herr Schluter from the Vienna Opera House, Mr. Gregg, and many others . . . The band will consist nearly entirely of solo performers, under the leadership of Mr. E. King. The whole will be under the conductorship of Mr. George Loder . . . Before concluding this preliminary notice, we can not help complimenting the proprietor on the good management of Mr. John Black. This gentleman, so long and favorably known as the first to possess the Melbourne public with a theatre really adequate to their requirements, has now been instrumental in the production of another temple of the drama just as well deserving of public patronage. The excellence of its site, and its proximity to the Houses of Parliament, bid fair to render it one of the most popular places of refined amusement to be found in Melbourne, to say nothing of the efforts which have been exerted to make it so. We wish every success to the speculation.

ASSOCIATIONS: Anna Bishop (vocalist); Madame Leon Naej (vocalist); Jean-Baptiste Laglaise (vocalist); John Ottis Pierce (vocalist); Emile Coulon (vocalist); Mr. Dickson (vocalist); Adolp Schluter (vocalist); George Loder (conductor); Princess' Theatre (Melbourne venue)


Last evening, the Princess's Theatre, in Parliament-place, was opened with Bellini's sublime opera of "Norma," supported by the most powerful cast ever seen in these colonies - Norma, sustained by Madame Anna Bishop; Adalgisa, by Madame Sara Flower; Clotilda, by Madame Leon Naej; Pollio, by Mr. Walter Sherwin; Flavius, by Mr. Norton; Oroveso, by Mr. Farquharson, and the priests and priestesses, by about thirty well-trained voices. So closely did the hour of opening tread on the heels of building operations, that the workmen were scarcely out of the building when the public began to crowd within its walls. As it was, only a portion of the gaseliers were erected, and a lesser number lighted. So far as we could observe, no other ventilation is provided than the perforated centre piece in the roof, consequently, the heat soon became almost insufferable. This must be remedied. The house presented a most elegant appearance, and reflects the highest credit on the enterprise and taste of Mr. Alexander Henderson, the lessee, and the manager, Mr. John Black. We have them to thank for the production of the grand opera in a style worthy of the Victorian metropolis . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Mr. Norton (vocalist); Alexander Henderson (lessee)

[Advertisement], The Argus (18 June 1857), 8 

PRINCESS'S THEATRE. To Theatrical Artistes.
The Manager begs to publish for the information of Artistes and the public in general the following receipt:
"Received from John Black, Manager of the Princess's Theatre, a full settlement of all claims and demands from the commencement to the termination of the operatic season,
"BARTHOLOMEW REES, Agent for Madame Anna Bishop.
"18th June, 1857."

ASSOCIATIONS: Bartholomew Rees (agent)


. . . The Princess's Theatre preserves its popularity under the management of Mr. John Black, to whom the credit is due of having established both our temples of the drama . . .


After the termination of the performance at the Princess's on Saturday evening, the whole of the members of the company together with the subordinates of the theatre and a sprinkling of strangers, numbering over fifty persons, assembled in the hotel adjoining, to present Mr. John Black, as manager, with a testimonial of their regard . . . a very valuable and handsome gold watch and chain . . . manufactured by Mr. Henry Eider, of Bourke street . . . Venerable Rogers, as the oldest actor in the Australian colonies was chosen chairman, and proceeded to eulogise Mr. Black's spirited conduct, and to praise the kindness and uniform attention he has always paid to those in his employ. He congratulated that gentleman on the successful manner in which, spite of strong opposition, he had succeeded in opening and conducting a second theatre in Melbourne; thus creating competition in dramatic matters, affording constant employment to a number of persons connected with the profession, and providing for the public a different class of amusement than that to which they had been accustomed . . . After the health had been duly responded to, Mr. Black thanked his friends collectively and admitted that through an unworthy combination he had nearly been prevented from opening the Princess's Theatre at the commencement of the past season, but by the exercise of indomitable pluck on which he had ever relied, he had carried his point, and was thus enabled to preserve to the public and the profession the advantages of a second theatre. He thanked the company for the efficient manner in which they had assisted him throughout the season, and seconded his efforts to amuse the public . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Herbert Rogers (actor, vocalist)

"PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS", The Age (15 November 1858), 4 

The opera season at the Princess's, under the direction of the proprietor, Mr. John Black, and management of Mr. George Fawcett, has been increasingly successful, so much so, that a further engagement of the artistes has been effected, to last till Christmas. Since our last summary there have been produced "Lucrezia Borgia," "Luci di Lammermoor," "Norma," "Fra Diavolo," "Don Pasquale," "Il Trovatore," and "La Favorita." Verdi's "Ernani," and Meyerbeer's "Les Huguenots" are in active preparation, and will shortly be produced. The artistes engaged include Madame Carandini, Miss Julia Harland, Mrs. Hancock, Madame Leon Naej, Miss Octavia Hamilton, M. Laglaise, Mr. Walter Sherwin, Mr. Farquharson, M. Coulon, Signor Grossi, and Herr Schluter. The musical direction has been placed in the hands of Mr. L. H. Lavenu and Mr. Linly Norman. The band and chorus number over eighty. The scenery, which has been painted by Mr. Hennings on vast sheets of canvas extending right across the stage, is of the most artistic description, and certainly not inferior to any out of London. The efforts of the management to render these operatic entertainments worthy of support have, we are glad to say, to a large extent, met with recognition; though it will require continued and increasing patronage on the part of the inhabitants to enable Mr. Black to congratulate himself with having reaped any personal advantage from his enterprise and liberality.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Fawcett (actor, manager); Enrico Grossi (vocalist); Lewis Henry Lavenu (conductor)

"PROFESSOR ANDERSON IN AUSTRALIA, on Things Theatrical at the Antipodes. TO THE EDITOR OF THE ERA", The Era [London, England] (21 August 1859), 10 (PAYWALL)

Melbourne, June 13, 1859.
Sir, - Things have changed in Melbourne as they have in Sydney . . . The remainder of the Melbourne dramatic news consists of the transference by Mr. Black to Mr. Fawcett of the management of the Princess's Theatre. Mr. Black is up the country with Miss Emma Stanley as her agent, and Mr. Fawcett, assisted by the talents of Mr. Harry Jackson, a comedian of very rising reputation, contrives to draw good houses to the second of the two theatres at present open . . .
I am, dear sir, yours, very truly,
Wizard of the North.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Henry Anderson (wizard, correspondent); Emma Stanley (actor)

[Advertisement], Empire [Sydney, NSW] (6 August 1859), 8 

Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney, August 5.
GENTLEMEN, - I beg to enclose copies of correspondence received from Miss Emma Stanley and Mr. John Drew, offering their valuable services on the occasion of a Benefit being given in aid of the funds of the family of the lamented Mr. Lavenu, and to state that I have arranged to give a Benefit at this Theatre on Friday evening next, in behalf of this benevolent cause. The members of the Dramatic Company, the Orchestra, and others engaged in the Theatre have, I believe, also volunteered their services on the occasion, so that I have little doubt a large sum will be realised, not only on account of the attractive nature of the performances that may be presented, but also from the general sympathy entertained by the. public towards the late lamented gentleman.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient servant,
J. R. CLARKE, Hon. Treasurer.
HENRY N. MONTAGU, Hon. Secretary.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Drew (actor); Jacob Richard Clarke (treasurer); Henry Neville Montagu (secretary)

"DEATHS", Empire [Sydney, NSW] (3 October 1859), 1 

On the 29th September, at the Princess' Hotel, Melbourne, after a very sudden illness, Mr. James Black, in the 33rd year of his age, second son of James Black, Esq., R.N. of Edinburgh, and brother to Mr. John Black of the Princess Theatre, Melbourne, deeply regretted by those who knew him.

ASSOCIATIONS: James Black (elder brother, born Bolton, Lancashire, 1826; died Melbourne, VIC, 29 September 1859); see also "INQUEST ON JAMES BLACK", The Age (1 October 1859), 5 

"MELBOURNE (From our own Correspondent) 17th May", The Star [Ballarat, VIC] (19 May 1860), 2 

We are to have a new theatre. Already have we three in the city, and one at Cremorne, and we are to have another . . . Great was the dissatisfaction amongst the profession in former days when the monopolist in the histrionic line, Mr. Coppin, had, as a matter of course, all the market to himself . . . So there was rebellion on the boards, and the actor who quarrelled with his bread, found himself cut off from all hope of a second engagement when laboring under Coppin's displeasure. By and bye the Princess's sprung up! much to the joy of the buskin wearers. Now there is an increase of happiness provided for him who "frets his little hour upon the stage," - for the Prince of Wales Theatre will shortly be open to the public. The new theatre is the old Hippodrome, in Lonsdale street, remodelled, redecorated, and in every respect altered and improved. The place was originally called Tattersall's, was a large stable and hotel, and built by that ingenious individual, Mr. John Black, he to whom we owe all our theatres except the Olympic. This same Tattersall's not paying, it was turned into a Circus; the Hippodrome not paying, it was turned into a Rat Pit and arena for snake charmers and dog fights; the Rat Pit being also a failure, the "last scene of all in this strange eventful history" is the Theatre under notice. The Prince of Wales will hold, seated, 1500 people; is divided into pit, boxes, and dress circle, has a stage measuring 66 x 58, and is transformed from a dingy rat pit into an elegantly decorated and tastefully finished play house . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Prince of Wales Theatre (Melbourne venue); Cremorne Gardens (Melbourne venue)

[News], Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser (24 October 1867), 3 

By the last mail we received information that our late Mayor, Mr. Black, has retired from the firm of J. M. Black and Co., and left the Australian shores for England . . . Mr. Black was one of the pioneers of this place, and the founder of Townsville, and, during his residence amongst us, his energy and business habits brought this port to its present thriving condition. - Cleveland Bay Express.

Bibliography and resources:

W. J. Doherty, "JOHN MELTON BLACK. The Founder of Townsville", Townsville Daily Bulletin [QLD] (10 July 1934), 7 

. . . He was born in Edinburgh in the year 1830 [sic]. The son of a physician, he entered upon mercantile life and found his way to London. It was there that he heard of the wonders of Australian goldfields, and he struck out for Melbourne to make his fortune. He proved that he was the right man for the job and before long he accumulated considerable wealth as the head of a carrying business. Then he became conspicuous in Melbourne as the man who built the first Theatre Royal. When he was tired of the bright lights of the city, he was attracted to the young Colony of Queensland . . . Bowen was reached on April 18th, 1861 . . . He did not die in 1884, but lived on through the war and passed away in 1919 at the good old age of 89 years. At Hanover Square, London, he had married Marion O'Dowds [sic] a lady whom he first met in Townsville. Their family consisted of five sons and a daughter . . .

John Melton Black, Find a grave 

BLACK, John Reddie (John Reddie BLACK; Mr. J. R. BLACK; John Roderick BLACK)

Musician, vocalist, lecturer, delineator, journalist, photographer

Born Dysart, Fyfe, Scotland, 8 January 1826; baptised Episcopal chapel Kirkcaldy; son of John Reddie BLACK and Sophia HURDIES (HURDIS, d. 1846)
Married Elizabeth Charlotte BENWELL, Swanscombe, Kent, England, 10 November 1853
Arrived Adelaide, SA, 29 October 1854 (per Irene, from London, 20 July)
Departed Australia, by early 1863 (for south Asia)
Died Yokohama, Japan, 11 June 1880 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (Wikipedia) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry James Black (son, born Adelaide, SA, 22 December 1858)


Having been briefly an Enfield resident and Adelaide businessman, Mr. J. R. Black was "not unknown to his auditors" when he appeared at the Kensington Institute in suburban Adelaide in July 1858. Though "few perhaps who have admired his occasional songs or duets imagined him capable of arresting the attention of an audience for an entire evening", nevertheless, as accompanied by the talented young pianist Richard Baxter White, "in this he was completely successful". Having left Adelaide for Melbourne in September, he then professionally toured his themed programs of Scotch and other patriotic songs, interlarded with anecdotes, through Victoria, New South Wales, southern Queensland, and Tasmania.

Black had apparently left Australia by late 1862 or early 1863, and in 1864 it was incorrectly reported that he had died while performing in Calcutta. By 1864 he was in Japan, where he worked as a photographer and publisher of English language newspapers including The Japan Herald and The Far East. He also published a book Young Japan.


Births, Dysart, Fife, 1826; Scotland, select births and baptisms database (PAYWALL)

8 January 1826 / John Reddie / [son of] John Reddie Black [and] Sophia Kiffiana Juliana Hurdies

England census, 30 March 1851, Greenwich, Kent; UK National Archives, HO107/1586 (PAYWALL)

4 Brand Street / John Reddie Black / Head / Unmarried / 25 / Commission Merchant & General Agent / [born] Scotland Dysart
John Reddie Black / Father / Widower / 63 / Lieutenant R.N. (Half pay) / [born] Scotland Dysart . . .

"MARRIED", Glasgow Courier [Scotland] (15 November 1853), (PAYWALL)

At Swanscombe, on the 10th inst., by the Rey. Isaac W. North, M.A., incumbent of Trinity Church, Blackheath Hill, John Reddie Black, of Greenhithe, Kent, younger of Lieutenant Black, R.N., of Dysart, Fife, to Elizabeth Charlotte, eldest daughter of the late Henry Benwell, Esq., of Greenwich.

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", Adelaide Times (30 October 1854), 2 

Sunday, October 29 - The barque Irene, 447 tons, Bruce, from London, July 20. Passengers . . . Mrs. and Mrs. Black and female servant . . .

"MRS. MITCHELL'S CONCERT", South Australian Register (10 April 1855), 3 

There was a full and fashionable attendance in the dress circle at the theatre last evening, and the performances realized the most sanguine expectations of the admirers of Mrs. Mitchell . . . We have seldom heard a finer piece of vocal music than her "Non Giova [il] Sospirar," and she was, with her talented supporter, the gentleman amateur, deservedly encored in the duet "Crudel Perche." The "Chough and Crow," an old but sterling glee, again brought Mrs. Mitchell before the audience, and in that and every other piece in the second part of the concert she was warmly applauded . . . "The Amateur" (we cannot violate an incognito which the gentleman wishes to preserve) would cast into the shade many professionals, not only for the fineness and cultivation of his voice, but for the ease and spirit, the taste and feeling he evinces in its management. His "Pibroch of Donuil Dhuibh," was given with all the earnestness of a Highland Chieftain in the midst of his clan, or the fervour of a bard on the eve of battle. His part in the duet "Crudel Perche," and also in "My Pretty Page," exhibited the varied excellencies of a clear voice, correct singing, distinct articulation, and expressive, but not extravagant gesture; and his "Sailor's Grave" was alternately impressive, affecting, and exulting . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Madelina Forbes Mitchell (vocalist); Royal Victoria Theatre (Adelaide venue)

MUSIC: Pibroch of Donuil Dubh (tune with words by Walter Scott); The sailor's grave (Mrs. Henry Shelton)

"VICTORIA THEATRE", Adelaide Times (10 April 1855), 3 

A somewhat large and highly-respectable audience assembled yesterday evening, in anticipation of the musical entertainment which had been advertised to take place in the shape of a concert, under the direction, and including the performance, of Mrs. Mitchell, whose previous concerts had given much satisfaction to the public. The most striking point of the evening's performance was the singing of the Black (described in the programme as an "amateur"), whose songs of "Pibroch of Donald Dhu" and the "Sailor's Grave" were executed in a very masterly style. In fact, the ability and tact displayed by this gentleman throughout the performance, the success of which depended not a little on himself, can only be equalled by the kindness with which, under the circumstances, he came forward to render his assistance . . .

"ULEY BURY SCHOOL, GAWLER HILLS", South Australian Register (12 December 1856), 3 

Our Gawler Town correspondent writes as follows: ". . . On Tuesday last, to commemorate the completion of the building, a tea meeting was held in the school room . . . During the evening some anthems were sung in excellent taste by some amateur performers - ladies and gentlemen from Gawler - and the evening was farther enlivened by some Scotch songs admirably sung by Mr. Black. After a vote of thanks to the Chairman, the party broke up at about half-past 9 o'clock.

"COURT OF INSOLVENCY. FRIDAY, MARCH 20 . . . ADJUDICATION IN INSOLVENCY", South Australian Register (21 March 1857), 3 

. . . Rupert Ingleby, examined by Mr. Wigley, produced a bill of sale, dated 11th March 1857, between Charles White and Samuel Vincent Price Phillips, of Walkerville, brewers, and John Reddie Black and Jonah Richard Wright, of Adelaide, merchants. That bill of sale was signed and delivered in witness's presence. A few days previous to the one on which they gave such bill had received a writ from Messrs. Black & Wright (produced) . . .

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (26 May 1858), 4 

E.SOLOMON & CO. have received instructions from J. R. Black, Esq., to sell, at his Residence, Enfield, on Wednesday next, June 3, at 12 o'clock:
The Whole of his HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, consisting of Handsome Pianoforte, by Collard . . .

[3 advertisements], South Australian Register (28 June 1858), 1 

MR. J. R. BLACK has the honour to announce that on Thursday evening next [1 July], at
THE ADVENTURES OF BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE, on which occasion he will introduce the following Songs by appropriate narrative: -
"There'll ne'er be peace till Jamie comes hame," "The news frae Moidart,"
"Welcome Royal Charlie," "He's o'er the hills," "Cam ye by Athol,"
"Charlie is my darling," "Johnnie Cope," "Wha' wadna fecht for Charlie,"
"The Women are a' gane wud," "Wae's me for Prince Charlie,"
"There are twa Bonnie Maidens," and "Flora Macdonald's Lament."
Doors open at 7; to commence at half-past. Tickets, 1s.; reserved seats, 5s.

AT the KENSINGTON INSTITUTE, on Wednesday, June 30,
Mr. J. R. BLACK will give the ENTERTAINMENT as in the preceding advertisement.
Tickets, 3s. each. Doors open at 7; to commence at half-past.

NOTICE is hereby given that the PARTNERSHIP hitherto subsisting between the undersigned JOHN REDDIE BLACK and RICHARD JOSEPH WRIGHT, trading under the firm of Black and Wright, has this day been DISSOLVED by mutual consent. Dated this 24th day or Jane, 1853 . . .

"MR. BLACK'S CONCERT", South Australian Register (29 June 1858), 2 

It will be seen by an advertisement which appears in another column that Mr. J. B. Black, of this city, will give a musical entertainment at While's Rooms, on Thursday evening next. From the published programme it will be observed that the performance will consist of a series of Scotch ballads illustrative of the struggles and adventures of the romantic Prince Charlie, the whole being linked together by a spoken narrative, by which the intervals between the songs will be filled. The selection of songs which Mr. Black has made is of a class well adapted to his rich sonorous voice, which the public have already had an opportunity of hearing at one or two entertainments given for charitable and similar purposes. On this occasion the talented vocalist will be accompanied on the piano by Mr. R. B. White; and the combined attraction will no doubt ensure the attendance of a large audience. The entertainment will be followed by others of the same kind if successful in the first instance.

ASSOCIATIONS: Richard Baxter White (pianist); White's Rooms (Adelaide venue)

"MR. J. R. BLACK'S ENTERTAINMENT AT KENSIGNTON", South Australian Register (1 July 1858), 2

A large and exceedingly respectable party of ladies and gentlemen, chiefly residents of the neighbourhood, attended Mr. J. B. Black's entertainment, "The Adventures of Bonnie Prince Charlie," at the Kensington Institute, on Wednesday evening. Mr. Black was not unknown to his auditors, many of whom had on former occasions enjoyed his singing when he assisted the Institute by his services as an amateur; and they were probably the more inclined on that account to rally round him and return the compliment upon his making his first appearance before them professionally, to reap, as he has the example of Charles Dickens for doing, some personal reward for those abilities which had so often been exercised for the benefit or the free gratification of others. Few perhaps who have admired his occasional songs or duets imagined him capable of arresting the attention of an audience for an entire evening. In this he was completely successful. He possesses all the advantages which personal appearance, gentlemanly bearing, graceful delivery, and a fine manly voice confer; and the narrative portion of his entertainment was so judiciously arranged that its interest was sustained throughout. In following the fortunes of the chivalrous Charles Edward he struck the happy medium - sufficiently recalling facts to the memories of those whose historical reading needed refreshing, without wearying any to whom the incidents were familiar by a lengthened detail. His story was a slight but well-wound thread on which to string some very pretty gems of anecdote and melody; and even if, as a Scotsman, he were apt to warm into enthusiasm in telling the tale of his romantic hero, if he inclined to paint Highland bravery with a glowing pencil, or to award Hanoverian princes and English warriors their full meed of censure or of ridicule, who shall blame a feeling so closely akin to patriotism, and so nearly, it must be admitted, justified by truth? Certainly Mr. Black carried its audience with him, for his anecdotes were listened to with evident delight, and his songs were loudly applauded. Among the most successful of the latter we may mention "He's o'er the hills," "Johnny Cope," "The women are a' gane wud," "There are twa bonnie maidens," and "Flora Macdonald's lament." Most of these were encored, though it was hardly fair to ask him to repeat them, for the programme as it stood must have involved sufficient exertion, especially as the entertainment is to be repeated to-night in White's Room, King William-street, where we sincerely hope a very large company may assemble. We believe the feeling was universal on Wednesday that the evening had been most agreeably passed; and to this the assistance of Mr. R.B. White, who accompanied the songs upon the piano, and performed several beautiful fantasias on Scottish subjects, contributed in no small degree.

"MR. BLACK'S ENTERTAINMENT", South Australian Register (2 July 1858), 3 

On Thursday evening [1 July] Mr. J. B. Black repeated at White's Rooms the entertainment given by him at Kensington on Wednesday evening, illustrative of the adventures of "Bonnie Prince Charlie." There was a large attendance, and amongst the audience we recognised a great many who boast a birthplace beyond the Tweed. Mr. Black had undertaken a great task in his attempt to entertain an audience during a whole evening by his comparatively unaided efforts; but he was nevertheless decidedly successful. We believe that there were very few, if any, of the audience who did not leave the room with the hope that Mr. Black will again appear in the character he so well sustained. The eventful circumstances connected with "the great but unsuccessful effort to displace the Hanoverian dynasty and to replace the Stuarts" on the throne of England, were brought so vividly before the mind as to fix the attention of the auditors, and even at times to rouse within them enthusiasm akin to that which inspired the Highland clans themselves, as expressed in their spirit stirring melodies. One peculiar feature in the entertainment consisted in the power of concentration manifest in the narrative. Nothing was superfluous - nothing redundant. It had evidently been written with great care, and with a view to express as much as possible in a few words. To this circumstance may be attributed in a very great measure the success of the entertainment. The numerous Jacobite songs introduced during the evening gave the audience an opportunity of enjoying in full perfection the delight arising from hearing some of "Scotia's wild music, sae rich an' sae rare," sung as none but a Scotsman can sing it. Mr. Black's voice is of extensive compass, extremely round and sweet. His intonations are those of an accomplished vocalist, and his manner perfectly unrestrained. He make no apparent attempts to create a sensation by mere noise or violence, but pours forth melodies with the same ease as might be expected from him when singing in his own drawing-room. Several of the songs included in the programme were enthusiastically encored. "Flora Macdonald's Lament" in particular, with which the entertainment closed, was rendered by the talented lecturer and vocalist with very great taste and pathos, and drew from the audience the most unmistakeable demonstrations of delight. Mr. R. B. White accompanied Mr. Black on the piano, and also performed during the evening two or three fantasias on Scottish airs in a very skilful manner, evincing a complete mastery over the instrument, even in the most rapid and elaborate passages. The evening's entertainments were closed about half-past 10 o'clock.

"MR. BLACK'S ENTERTAINMENT", South Australian Register (9 July 1858), 3 

The selection of songs, and the interesting and amusing remarks with which they were introduced by Mr. Black on Thursday evening [8 July] at White's Assembly Room, formed a delightful evening's entertainment. The title - "The Rose, Shamrock, and Thistle" - gave goodly promise, which the programme endorsed; but it would be impossible to gather from the list of songs any idea of the exquisite music, the fascinating elocution, the rich humour, and the rare and out-of-the-way reading with which Mr. Black treated his audience. He commenced in a serio-comic strain on the subject of love, which, however threadbare, seems in no way likely to be worn out so long as our world lasts. From love he turned to the laureate of the tender passion, "Anacreon Moore," gave a slight sketch of the poet's early difficulties, the yearnings of his genius and his brilliant but bootless scholastic achievements in "The Silent Sister," the Dublin University. That introduced the beautiful Irish air of "The Old Woman," to which the words "Love's Young Dream" are adapted. Mr. Black then gave, in suitable succession, the song most sweetly expressive of constancy that can be found perhaps in any language - "Believe me if all those endearing young charms." Both of those songs, and, in fact, the performances throughout the evening were greatly and deservedly applauded. Several English and Irish songs followed, interspersed with remarks embodying "facts, fancies, and recollections," always amusing and occasionally instructive. The latter part of the entertainment consisted of Scottish songs, in which Mr. Black, although probably more at home, was certainly not more effective, inasmuch as the most recent arrival from the Emerald Isle could not object to his assumed brogue, while "brither Scots" acknowledged as genuine his lowland Doric. During the evening Mr. R. B. White played the accompaniments on the grand piano in the best possible style, and at intervals performed brilliant fantasias on the most popular Irish and Scotch melodies. There was a tolerably good audience, but it certainly was not so large as such a very superior entertainment should have attracted. We have, however, little doubt that a repetition of the same programme would command a full house.

[Advertisement], South Australian Weekly Chronicle (17 July 1858), 1 supplement 

in which he will introduce Irish, English, and Scottish Melodies.
Tickets, 3s. Reserved seats, 5s. Mr. R. B. White will preside at the pianoforte.

[Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (17 July 1858), 1 

Mr. BLACK has the honour to intimate that he will give, at White's Rooms,
on Thursday evening next, one more ENTERTAINMENT (his last in Adelaide), to be entitled
A NICHT WI BURNS. On which occasion he will introduce the following SCOTTISH SONGS:
"O a' the airts the wind can blaw."
"O, my hive's like the red, red rose.'
"O, wert thou in the cauld blast."
"Duncan Gray."
"Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled."
"Wandering Willie."
"My Nannie's awa."
"For a' that and a' that."
"O, this is no my ain lassie."
"Green grow the rushes, O."
"There's nae luck about the house."
"Lament for Robert Burns."
Mr. R. B. White will preside at he pianoforte.
Books of the words may be had, price 6d.
Doors open at half-past 7. Commence at 8.
Tickets, 3s.; Reserved Seats, 5s. to be had at the Rooms, and at the various Stationers and Music Sellers.

"MR. BLACK'S ENTERTAINMENT", South Australian Register (23 July 1858), 2 

"The nicht wi' Burns" attracted a highly respectable and tolerably numerous, but not a crowded company, to White's Assembly Room on Thursday evening [22 June]. As we ventured to predict, Mr. Black gave a spirited and affecting sketch of the "simple annals" of "the inspired ploughman;" the boyish love that first impelled him to lisp in numbers, the susceptibility that lured him when away from the witching influence of his "ain lassie, to make love to the lips that were near;" the felicitous facility of his conversational powers which won audience from the highest in rank and the most distinguished in talent; the sterling morality of his muse, maugre the faults and the follies of his conduct; his stern love of independence, and his enthusiastic patriotism, were recounted in terms which Allan Cunningham himself would love to listen to. Then ever and anon came the glorious old melodies of Scotland, so beautifully embalmed in the poetry of Burns, and rendered by Mr. Black with all the fervour and feeling of a kindred spirit. The applause was general and continuous; the company did not include one "with soul so dead," as to remain uninterested in the course of the narrative; while the most matter-of-fact warmed into enthusiasm with the music of "The land of mountain and of flood." As usual, Mr. Black was encored in several songs, and he then generally availed himself of the opportunity to comply with requests for airs not in the programme. The accompaniments were, as announced, by Mr. R. B. White, and at intervals that gentleman delighted the audience by introducing some choice musical morceaus from Mendelssohn and Bellini. In obedience to a recall, he gave that charming fantasia on Caledonian airs, Osborne's "Scotland," which was rapturously applauded. In the accompaniments and the solos on the piano, Mr. White's brilliant execution excited great admiration, and the entertainment throughout was, as a performance, a great success.

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (23 July 1858), 1 

at Gawler Town Institute, on Friday evening next, when he will sing the following Irish, English, and, Scottish Songs: -
"Love's Young Dream."
"Believe me if all those Endearing Young Charms."
"The Moon, is Fresh and Clear, Love."
"Sally in our Alley."
"The Harp that once through Tara's Halls."
"Mad Tom."
"The Hero of Ballinacrazy."
"My ain Fireside."
"Come under my Plaidie."
"Lochaber no More."
"The Maid that tends the Goats."
"John Anderson, my jo, John."
"Alister McAlister."
Books of the words may had, price 6d.
Doors open at 7, commence at half-past.
Tickets 3s. each; reserved seats 5s. each.

"NEW CHURCH AT ENFLIELD", South Australian Register (28 July 1858), 3 

On Tuesday, the 27th inst., the foundation-stone of a new church was laid at Prospect Hill, Enfield - the Lord Bishop of Ade aide, assisted by the Venerable Archdeacon Woodcock, officiating upon the occasion. As the afternoon was favourable, the whole service was conducted in the open air. The usual office of prayer for laying the foundation stone of a church or chapel was impressively read by His Lordship; and the stone, which was ready to be lowered into its place, was duly laid by Mrs. Black, the lady of Mr. J. R. Black, who, under the Bishop's licence, generally officiates in what will soon be designated the old church. The stone having been laid, the church was named after St. Clement. A hymn was then sung . . .

"SOUTH AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE", The South Australian Advertiser (29 July 1858), 2 

The periodical lecture and concert, announced by this Society took place last evening, at White's Assembly Rooms, which were crowded to excess, every seat being occupied, and the space just within the doors so densely packed by those unable to obtain seats, that ingress or egress was difficult . . . The concert commenced with a duet on the piano from Masaniello, by two gentlemen amateurs whose names of course were well known to all present. They acquitted themselves in such a masterly manner as to command a unanimous encore. Mr. Black followed with "The Wanderer," by Schubert, which was admirably rendered and deservedly encored, when he substituted that old favourite, "John Anderson my Joe." We cannot bestow upon Mr. Black the approbation for this piece he so well merited in his other performances during the evening; perhaps, however, in this respect our taste is rather fastidious, but having in days now past heard others (Miss Stephens to wit) we cannot suppress the recollection. The Irish and Scotch songs of Mr. Black were very fairly executed, and received with unanimous applause . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: South Australian Institute (association)

"MAGILL INSTITUTE" [29 July], South Australian Register (30 July 1858), 3 

. . . The musical part of the entertainment went off with great spirit. Mr. Black led the van with "The harp that once through Tara's Halls," which he sung with exquisite taste and feeing. But a comic song, "Barney O'Hea," was evidently the favourite of the evening. Mr. White's execution on the piano and violin elicited the warmest applause . . .

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (18 August 1858), 1 

MR. BLACK having been almost universally requested to give another ENTERTAINMENT,
begs to intimate that, under the above patronage, he will give one at
WHITE'S ASSEMBLY ROOMS, on THURSDAY EVENING, the 19th instant, entitled
THE WREATH, in which he will introduce the following Songs:-
"The Prince's Day."
"Rich and Rare were the Gems she Wore."
"Vieni la mia vendetta."
"Ob ich dich liebe."
"Sally, Sally, Shilly Shally."
"The Laird o'Cockpen."
"The Flowers of the Forest."
"I'm a Roamer."
"What would you do, Love."
"My boy Tammy."
"We're a' Noddin'."
Mr. WHITE will preside at the Pianoforte.
Tickets, 3s.; Reserved Seats, 6s.; to be had at the Rooms and at the various Book and Music Sellers'.
Doors open at half-past 7. Commence at 8.

ASSOCIATIONS: Richard and Blanche Macdonnell (governor and wife)

[Advertisement], South Australian Weekly Chronicle (28 August 1858), 1 

WHITE'S ROOM. - J. R. BLACK, Esq., has kindly consented to give an ENTERTAINMENT in aid of the Funds of ENFIELD CHURCH and the TEMPERANCE HALL, NORTH ADELAIDE, which will tike place in WHITE'S ASSEMBLY ROOMS on WEDNESDAY EVENING, August 25th, entitled A NIGHT WI' BURNS . . .

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (23 September 1858), 5 

Last evening the lovers of Scottish national music assembled in considerable numbers at the Mechanics' Institution to listen to Mr. Black's entertainment, "The Adventures of Bonnie Prince Charlie." Entertainments of a similar character have long been rendered popular in the old country through the instrumentality of Wilson and Templeton; and though Mr. Black cannot lay claim to the amount of ability which these gentlemen possess, he nevertheless managed to present to his patrons a highly enjoyable entertainment. He possesses a full rich voice, and sings with a great deal of taste the songs of his native country . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Wilson (Scottish vocalist); John Templeton (Scottish vocalist); Mechanics' Institution (Melbourne venue)

[Advertisement], The Star (7 January 1859), 3

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC . . . BALLARAT", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (15 January 1859), 2 

. . . At the Charlie Napier, Mr. J. R. Black has been giving his musical entertainment . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charlie Napier Concert Hall (Ballarat venue)

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC . . . BENDIGO", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (29 January 1859), 2 

. . . At Abbott's Lyceum, Mr. J. R. Black gave his entertainment on Tuesday and Thursday, and will repeat it tonight . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Lyceum Theatre (Bendigo venue)

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (19 February 1859), 2 

. . . Mr. J. R. Black gave his entertainment at the Castlemaine Theatre Royal, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; on Tuesday, in behalf of the Benevolent Asylum.

"MR. BLACK'S ENTERTAINMENT", Ovens and Murray Advertiser [Beechworth, VIC] (4 June 1859), 3 

The comparatively small attendance at the Star Theatre last evening, on the occasion of Mr. J. Roderich Black's entertainment, certainly showed that the people of the district were mistaken in the person who had been announced to make his appearance. Until we were better informed we, thought ourselves, that Mr. J. R. Black was no other than the Mr. John Black who occasionally appeared before Beechworth audiences as a comic singer, and who, whatever the extent of his abilities, would not be expected to "draw" on a Friday evening, however destitute the town might be for amusement. We are well assured, however, that those who visited the Theatre last evening in expectation of hearing the latter, were most agreeably disappointed, and that those who missed the opportunity of hearing Mr. John Roderich Black, on his first appearance, will not omit to avail themselves of the second opportunity, which occurs this evening . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Black (comic vocalist)

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC . . . PROVICIAL. ALBURY", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (25 June 1859), 2 

Mr. J. R. Black gave his musical entertainment at the Exchange Assembly Rooms on Saturday last.

"MR. J. R. BLACK", The Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser [NSW] (23 July 1859), 2 

This gentleman has arrived in Goulburn, and will give one of his popular entertainments "A Nicht wi' Burns" on Monday evening at the Goulburn Hotel . . .

"A NICHT WI' BURNS", The Sydney Morning Herald [NSW] (27 September 1859), 5 

Yesterday evening, Mr. J. R. Black's literary and musical entertainment, illustrative of the life, writings, and genius of Robert Burns, was given at the Australian Library, under the patronage of his Excellency the Governor-General, who was present. The audience was very select, and the efforts if Mr. Black were received with considerable favour. We would particularly mention his rendering of those fine songs, "O wer't thou in the cauld blast," and "My nannie's awa." This gentleman possesses an excellent voice, the effect of which, however, in his anxiety to do justice to his subject, he sometimes mars by over-earnestness. At the close of his programme, Mr. Blsok, by request, introduced, with good effect, one or two favourite English and Irish songs, and brought the evening's entertainment to a close by crooning "Allister McAllister," with a vocal imitation of the bagpipes, which elicited much mirth and hearty bursts of laughter. The entertainment, as a whole, was worthy of commendation.

"THE NATIONAL MELODIES OF MANY LANDS", Empire [Sydney, NSW] (28 September 1859), 8

Mr. J. R. Black gave his second entertainment, entitled "The Wreath," at the Australian Library last evening. Mr. Black's voice - a pure barytone - appeared to much greater advantage than on Monday evening, the upper notes being given with considerable ease. The programme included numerous Scottish songs, occasional English and Irish melodies, one of Franz Abt's beautiful German melodies, "Ob ich dich liebe, frage die Sterne" - (whether I love thee, ask thou the bright stars) - and the grand scena from Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia, "Vieni la mia Vendetta" (Haste, then, to glut my vengeance) - though why this should be included as a national melody we are at a loss to discover. The songs were sung with taste and judgment; as particularly well executed we may mention "Rich and Rare," "The Flowers of the Forest," and "My Boy Tammy." For this description of song Mr. Black appears to have especial talent; and the quality of his voice renders it peculiarly adapted for oration and the relation of anecdote. In addition to the pieces mentioned In the programme, Mr. Black sang (chiefly by request) various comic and sentimental songs and scenas, including Franz Schubert's "Wanderer." Those, interspersed with light and pleasing anecdotes, formed a musical "Wreath" of great beauty. The vocalist was much applauded throughout the evening. We trust that the entertainment will be successful; it is one that for its intrinsic worth and excellent tendency deserves the warmest support.

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (7 November 1859), 5

During the past week Mr. J. R. Black has produced at this theatre a series of his popular musical and vocal entertainments every night, in addition to which there have been presented a succession of the more ordinary dramatic performances. On Tuesday Mrs. Charles Poole, supported by the principal members of the company, appeared as the "Countess of Renville." The performances on Wednesday were the musical melange of Jacobite songs, entitled "The Adventures of Bonnie Prince Charlie" - and Kotzebue's play of "The Stranger." On Thursday the drama of "Rosalvi" was played, with the musical burletta of "Jenny Lind at Last;" an entertainment of Mr. Black's, composed of national melodies, and characterised as the "Wreath," forming part of the programme of the evening. On Friday, a comprehensive list of popular songs were executed by Mr. Black, that entertainment being followed by the comedy of "The Crown Prince," and the farce of "The Middy Ashore" . . . It has been announced that this evening will be the last of Mr. J. R. Black's engagement. The performances will be Mr. Black's entertainment, entitled "A Nicht Wi' Burns," and conclude with the drama of "The Fatal Snow Storm."

ASSOCIATIONS: Royal Victoria Theatre (Sydney venue)

"SOCIAL", Empire (12 November 1859), 4

. . . A great number of the admirers of Mr. J. R. Black, the talented vocalist, including the judges, the Provost of the University, Members of Parliament, the Foreign Consuls, and others, have determined on giving that artist a complimentary benefit previous to his departure from Sydney. It will take place on Wednesday evening next, at the Exchange . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Exchange Hall (Sydney venue)

"MR. J. R. BLACK'S ENTERTAINMENT", Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal [NSW] (28 March 1860), 2 

Of all the professionals who have at different times visited Bathurst for the purpose of entertaining the public, no one has ever met with either the same amount of, or the same kind of approval as has Mr. Black. There is scarcely a lady or gentleman in the town but who has visited these very interesting and very instructive entertainments. Until this gentleman came we had not the full conception that even the Metropolis of the West could boast of so many splendid examples in the lady-world. The display of fashion and beauty on each evening is positively dazzling. With respect to the entertainments themselves, it is with great pleasure that we heartily recommend them to the notice of the country towns Mr. Black may take in his Western tour. We witnessed his entertainment entitled a "Nicht wi' Burns" with unmingled pleasure, and thought it exceeded any public entertainment in its moral tendency we had ever witnessed. But his entertainment of "Prince Charlie" we have since thought, if possible, exceeded "Burns" . . .

"MR. J. R. BLACK", The Moreton Bay Courier [Brisbane, QLD] (20 September 1860), 2 

Again it is our pleasure to hail the presence of this gentleman amongst us. Again have we felt how different it is to spend the "Evening at Home" with our friend - (he will pardon the familiarity in consideration of the sincerity) - from attending the entertainments of ordinary entertainers. Last evening was a real treat. In the first and third parts, consisting of "Songs and Ballads" of various countries, introduced by Mr. Black in his usual pithy manner, and containing, amongst many old favourites several that Mr. Black had not sung before in Brisbane. Amongst these we cannot help noting reminiscences, as he told us, of the "hospitable Darling Downs," a delicious little love ditty "Nothing more," describing the progress of a courtship commencing with the simple desire of obtaining a "flower, and nothing more," and ending with the fulfilment of the tenderest desires - "And my own dear wife I made her, and I ask for nothing more." Another reminiscence was a fine song of real manly sentiment "John Brown," to the old Irish melody "Eveleen's bower." "The Young Recruit," too, calls for especial remark. But the feature of the evening was the second part, consisting as it did of the songs of "Burns," introduced by a rapid but very interesting sketch of the main incidents in the life of Scotland's "Ain Rab." Let our readers look at the titles of the songs introduced that sweetest of love-songs, "Of a' the airts the wind can blaw;" the most independent of manly national songs, "A man's a man for a' that;" that most glorious of rollicking ditties, "Green grow the rushes O;" that most spirit-stirring of battle odes, "Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled;" that most tenderly affectionate domestic drama, "There's nae luck about the house;" and the most beautiful and affecting of dirges, "There's nae bard o' Nature now Robin's awa;" and what more could be desired? There were other songs introduced, but these gems were all in one part. The story, too, was as interesting as the songs were fine, and we do most truly believe that never was a more pleasant evening spent in Brisbane than those enjoyed who were present. On Friday evening Mr. Black gives his farewell "At Home" in this city. We feel assured it will be a "bumper" for him. But honestly, we do not like his running away so quickly, now he has returned from his trip in the interior. Surely this ought not to be. However, we cannot do less than avail ourselves, and remind our readers that they avail themselves of Friday evening. This evening Mr. Black has a "complimentary benefit" at the sister town, and we have heard some talk of one being got up here by a knot of his admirers.

[Advertisement], Empire [Sydney, NSW] (23 April 1861), 1

My love is like a red, red rose - Burns.
Judy Callaghan - Irish Song.
Exile of Erin - T. Campbell.
Scots wha hae - Burns.
There's nae lack aboot the house.
Robin's awa' (Dirge) - James Hogg.
Come into the garden, Maud - Balfe.
Say yes, Patsy.
Non pia Andrai - Mozart.
The merry little fat grey man - B. Hewitt.
The battle of the Nile - English Patriotic Song.
Caller Herrin'.
Le Lac (Romance) - Lamartine.
Barney O'Hea - S. Lover.
Oft in the stilly night - T. Moore.
Come under my Plaidie.
The Village Blacksmith - Longfellow.
Hame came our gudeman at e'en . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 April 1861), 1

The fifth Concert of the season will take place in the Great Hall of the Exchange, on TUESDAY, the 30th April.
1. Overture - Norma - Bellini.
2. Song - "Excelsior,". Weiss - Mr. J. R. Black.
3. Scena - "Dunque Adesso," opera of "Due Foscari," Verdi - Madame Sara Flower.
4. Fantasio - "Vivi Tu," Dohler - Mrs. Bentley.
5. Cavatina -"The Power of Love," Satanella - Balfe - Miss E. Howson.
6. Symphony No, 2 - Adagio and Allegro - Mozart.
PART II . . . 5. Song - Break, Break, Break - Blockley - Mr. J. R. Black.
6. Operatic Selections from "Rigoletto," arranged by Mr. Callen - Verdi.
Mr. D. CALLEN, conductor.
Mr. W. J. CORDNER, accompanyist . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Sara Flower (vocalist); Julia Bentley (pianist); Emma Howson (vocalist); Douglas Callen (conductor); William John Cordner (accompanist); Sydney Philharmonic Society (association)

"MR. J. R. BLACK", The Mercury [Hobart, TAS] (5 June 1861), 2

Mr. Black gave his last entertainment at the Theatre Royal on Friday evening, and, as was befitting the occasion, the house was packed in every part by an audience that seemed reluctant to believe that the time of leave-taking had come . . . Amongst the re-productions were of course "Barney O'Hea," "Come under my Plaidie," "Auld Robin Gray," "Lava us a lock of yer hair," "Caller Herrin," and "Come into the Gardon Maud," with a whole host of melodies, national, sentimental, and humorous, which were poured forth in endless succession by a gentleman never tired of being obliging . . .


Under this title, Mr. J. R. Black gave his second entertainment at the Mechanics' Institute last night. It embraced some of the most popular English, Irish, Scottish, German, and Italian melodies, and from the popularity of the vocalist on the southern side of the island, and the rapid strides he is making here in public favor drew a very fair audience. The programme was divided into two parts.
The first part consisted of, "When the Heart in the Bosom is Beating," "Judy Callaghan," "The Angel's Whisper," "Logie o' Buchan," "Husband, Husband, cease your Strife," "Come into the Garden, Maud," and "The Timid Man."
The second part was composed of "Let Erin Remember the Days of Old," "Die Fahnenwacht," "Hame cam' our Gudeman at e'en," "Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon," "Muirland Willie," "Vi Ravviso," "Skying the Copper," and "The Death of Nelson."
The entertainment was a rich treat, and Mr. Black complied with great readiness and good humour to the several encores which were deservedly awarded. It would be almost impossible to say which song was sung best, as Mr. Black rendered each so well, and appeared to be quite at home whether in the sentimental or comic. The "Nicht wi' Burns" will probably draw a large audience this evening.


The long talked-of concert to celebrate the erection and assist in defraying the cost of the splendid organ, now the property of the Institute, came off in the large Hall on Tuesday evening. Several circumstances combined to invest this event with more than ordinary interest; the attendance was therefore very large - so much so, indeed, that many gentlemen had to resign their seats in favor of the fair sex. At the most moderate computation, there could not have been less than six hundred persons present. On the platform there were were about seventy ladies and gentlemen, amongst whom were several from Longford, who had kindly volunteered their services upon the occasion. Mr. J. R. Black was also present, and gave his valuable services gratuitously. A. J. Marriott, Esq. acted as conductor. Mr. Robert Sharpe, who has been recently appointed the organist of the Institute, presided at the organ.

The concert commenced with an organ solo by Mozart, in which Mr. Sharpe acquitted himself very creditably: some regret was manifested at the absence of silence on the part of those who seemed to have attended for the purpose of being edified vocally, and not instrumentally; therefore their inattention considerably militated against the solo; nevertheless, it was indisputably well played, and deserves especial mention. The "Gloria in Excelsis" chorus next followed; there was a little perceptible timidity but despite it, the chorus was artistically rendered, and went very well. Mr. Black then gave in a most finished manner the recitative and aria from Mendelssohn's "Elijah," which was succeeded by the same master's "Hymn of Praise" (duet and chorus), and Handel's chorus "Worthy is the Lamb." Mr. Black next magnificently vocalised "The trumpet shall sound;" it well deserved, and received, the highest enconiums. The "Hallelujah Chorus" came next, and was very nicely given. Mr. Black then sang Weiss's "Excelsior" so admirably that it was demanded again - a demand, however, which by previous arrangement, was not complied with. Schiller's "Lay of the Bell" was beautifully sung. The solo parts were very evenly given, and the chorus merited the high eulogiums which were praised. The "National Anthem" closed the evening's entertainment. The amusement was all intellectual one, and elicited the most unqualified praise. Mr. Marriott announced, that on Tuesday evening next the concert will be repeated, at prices within the range of all.

ASSOCIATIONS: Arthur John Marriott (conductor); Robert Sharpe (organist)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald [NSW] (23 November 1861), 12 

Nothing more, sung by Mr. J. R. Black, 2s. 6d. . . .
J. R. CLARKE'S Music Repository, 356, George street.

ASSOCIATIONS: Jacob Richard Clarke (publisher, musicseller)

[Advertisement], The Mercury [Hobart, TAS] (31 December 1861), 3

(With, beautifully Illustrated Title Page,) As sung by Mr. J. E. BLACK,
With an introduction from KNAPTON'S VARIATIONS.
Published by GEORGE ROLWEGAN, Collins-Street, and may be had of all Booksellers.
Price 2s., or by post, 2s 6d.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Rolwegan (publisher)

"EVENINGS AT HOME", Border Watch [Mount Gambier, SA] (31 October 1862), 2 

Under this title there have been a series of Musical Entertainments given on Mount Gambier, on the evenings of Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday last. They were given by Mr. J. R. Black, a well-known vocalist, a Scotchman by birth and accent, who, after having been settled for some time in Adelaide in commercial business, betook himself to the vocation of a "Wandering Minstrel," and has made his name and his voice familiar over nearly the length and breadth of Australia. From his programme, we learn that he has had the pleasure, not to say the honour, of performing before the Governors of South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and Tasmania: but notwithstanding this wide range of colonial travel, we have not had the pleasure of hearing him on The Mount until the present occasion. The "Evenings at Home" were given in the large room of Long's Hotel. On Saturday night the attendance was more select than numerous; on Monday night it was somewhat better; but on Tuesday night there was a very good attendance indeed, and Mr. Black, who had by this time become known, was very enthusiastically received. Mr. Black has been a traveller; and as he told his audience, he has trod the classic soil of Greece; has stood on Mars Hill; and marked the spot where nineteen centuries ago, St. Paul exclaimed, "Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious!" He has seen the "cave of Socrates;" and though he did not see "Diogenes in his tub," he showed that he was not insensate to "Plato, and the immortality of the soul!" It would be well if all our young men could imbibe from this accomplished traveller something of the "divine afflatus," and learn, from poetry and song, to do more than Moore has sung -
"Take a flight
Towards heaven to-night!"
and taste how much of "divine philosophy" may be imbibed from poetry and music.

Mr. Black proved himself an excellent musician and a very accomplished man. His own accent is "racy of the heather;" but he has acquired the Irish brogue and gives it with great gusto; and he also sings in French and German with facility, and his singing of "The Maid of Athens" proved him a scholar. The well- known line -
" Zoe mou, zazagga poe!"
"Life mine, I love thee!"
had an electrical effect even where the words were not understood. His singing of "The Harp that once through Tara's Halls," might not have pleased an enthusiastic Irishman: but "The barring o' our door" tickled every Scotchman. So of "John Anderson, my joe!" while "Allister McAllister" set the Highland blood on fire. But it was not all Irish and Scotch. The old familiar household ballad received due attention - and if there were any Cockneys present they must have felt the home sickness of "St. Paul's," with "Sally in our alley!" And what laughter there was at "John Grumlie!" while the "Wee fat man" created a bursting feeling in the audience. Really, if Mr. Black ever dies, it must be of an apoplectic fit of laughter! Perhaps, to those who have heard the original singer, "The Ship on Fire" was not equal to Russell, although it was good: and as for "The Maniac," it was excessively painful. It requires very high artistic power to paint the maniacal wrongs of an injured "Ophelia;" and we would far sooner hear Mr. Black "bar the door," as open it to painful associations and reminiscences. "The Ship on Fire" too, was almost terrific, for we well remember being on board a ship in the wide-wide ocean, when it was in danger of being burned to the water's edge; and so we felt the full force of "Father of mercies, look, down on my child!" The "Marseillaise," was well done - the imaginative mind could almost hear the tramplings of the French Revolution. Altogether Mr. Black has given a great treat to the intellectual portion of Mount Gambier; and we wish it were possible for him to pay us another visit.

"CURRENT TOPICS", Geelong Advertiser [VIC] (24 November 1862), 2 

Mr. J. R. Black, the popular Scottish vocalist, has announced a farewell entertainment at the Mechanics' Institute before his departure from the colony . . .

After Australia:

[Advertisement], Bombay Gazette [India] (1 December 1863), 1 (PAYWALL)

EVENINGS AT HOME! MR. J. R. BLACK hopes to reach Bombay by the steamer that leaves Kurachee on the 9th December.
EVENINGS AT HOME! MELODIES OF MANY LANDS. MR. J. R. BLACK, whose entertainments of National Melodies have been given throughout the whole of the Australian Colonies, in the Island of Ceylon, in Madras, and throughout Bengal, the N. W. Provinces and the Punjab, and been declared by the Press and people to be the best ever give in these countries . . . will shortly arrive in Bombay with the purpose of giving a short series of his celebrated EVENINGS AT HOME!!. . .

[News], The Golden Age [Queanbeyan, NSW] (18 February 1864), 2 

The Wangaratta correspondent of the Ovens Advertiser states that he has heard of the death of Mr. J. R. Black, the popular vocalist. His death is alleged to have taken place at Calcutta. He says - "He had made a successful trip in the Indian Archipelago and China seas, and was on his way to England, when he was seized with fever, and died after twenty-four hours' illness."

[News], The Yass Courier [NSW] (14 May 1864), 2 

Mr. J. R. Black, the well-known Scottish vocalist, was, by last advices, giving concerts at Singapore: this finally sets at rest the rumours of his death in Calcutta from fever.

"ACCLIMATISATION SOCIETY", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (20 June 1866), 6 

. . . Some few months ago the council addressed a letter to the British Minister at Japan, asking him to aid the society in procuring some healthy silk worms' eggs of the best quality. The following reply from his Excellency Sir H. S. Parkes was received by the last mail: -
(No. 24.) "Yokohama, 16th March, 1866. - Sir, - I have to acknowledge your letter of the 26th October of last year, asking my assistance in obtaining for the Acclimatisation Society of Melbourne a selection of silkworms' eggs. Having consulted Mr. J. R. Black, previously of Australia, and now a resident of Yokohama, on the subject, he has furnished me, in the enclosed letter, with his opinion as to the time when the eggs should be forwarded, and has liberally expressed his readiness to contribute a supply of fifty cards, which he appears to consider sufficient for a first experiment . . .

"DEATH OF MR. J. R. BLACK", South Australian Register (21 August 1880), 5 

The death of Mr. John Beddie Black, who was formerly known in Australia, is recorded. He died in Japan on the 11th June from apoplexy, after an illness of only a few hours' duration. The Japan Herald states that "Mr. Black was a native of Scotland. He emigrated to South Australia, and resided in that colony for some years. Business with him taking an unprosperous turn, he was induced to turn his fine vocal powers to account, and, after travelling through the Australian colonies, India, and China, he at length reached Japan, where, with the exception of a short stay in China, he has since resided. The deceased's career was a chequered one. He started the first newspaper conducted by a European in the native language." The deceased gentleman will be remembered by old colonists as a member of the firm of Black & Wright, who carried on business in this city.

"OLD-TIME MEMORIES. AMUSEMENTS. No. II [BY A NATIVE]", South Australian  Register (10 August 1891), 6

. . . During 1858 our fellow-colonists from the "Land o' Cakes" had perhaps the first and best treat hitherto provided them, for in July of that year a Scotch vocalist appeared in White's Rooms. Mr. J. R. Black, who in his entertainment entitled "The Rose, Shamrock, and Thistle," was the best exponent of Scottish sayings, and certainly the best Scotch singer the residents of Adelaide had ever had the opportunity of listening to, the after Kennedy, sen., notwithstanding . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: David Kennedy (Scotch vocalist)

Related musical publications:

Break, break, break, the words by Alfred Tennyson, composed by John Blockley, sung by Mr. J. R. Black (Sydney: W. J. Johnson & Co., [1861]) 

For another impression of the edition, without the cover reference to Black: (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: William Jonathan Johnson (publisher, musicseller)

Caller Herrin, the celebrated Scotch song as sung by Mr. J. R. Black, with symphony from Knapton's variations (Hobart Town: G. Rolwegan, [1861]) (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: George Rolwegan (publisher)

Bibliography and resources:

Ian McArthur, Mediating modernity: Henry Black and narrated hybridity in Meiji Japan (Ph.D thesis, University of Sydney, 2002) (DIGITISED)

Ian McArthur, Henry Black: on stage in Meiji Japan (Clayton: Monash University Publishing, [2013]) 


Pianoforte tuner, regulator, repairer, selector

Born Bradford, Yorkshire, England, 14 June 1832; baptised St. Peter's, Bradford, 29 June 1832; son of William Howgill BLACKBURN and Mary Sellers ANDERSON
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, ? c. 1852
Married Matilda Jessie SHORT (1837-1901), St. Peter's church, Melbourne, 13 September 1862 (aged 30)
Died Malvern, VIC, 24 September 1914, "in his 83rd year" ("pianoforte expert; a colonist of 62 years") (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Baptisms solemnized in the parish church of Bradford in the County of York, in the Year 1832; register 1832, page 76; West Yorkshire Archive Service (PAYWALL)

No. 558 / 29 June / [born 14 June 1832 / John Son of / William Howgill & Mary Sellers / Blackburn / Bradford / Printer & Stationer . . .

England census, 30 March 1851, Grinton, Yorkshire; UK National Archives, HO107/2380/376/11 (PAYWALL)

Low Whita / John Close / Head / M / 50 / Proprietor & Farmer of 100 acres . . .
John Blackburn / Visitor / Unm. / 18 / Pianoforte Tuner &c. &c. / [born] [Yorkshire] Bradford

[Advertisement], The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (14 July 1858), 8 

PIANOFORTES tuned and repaired at reasonable charges by John Blackburn from Collard and Collard, London.
Orders to be left at Messrs. Reid and Co.'s, London, and Paris Fancy Repository, 49 Collins-street east.

ASSOCIATIONS: Collard and Collard (London pianoforte makers)

[Advertisement], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (22 December 1859), 3 

PIANOFORTES TUNED, by C. Graham, from Collard and Collard's. W. H. Glen's, 170 Bourke-street east.
PIANOFORTES TUNED, Regulated, and Repaired by John Blackburn, at W. H. Glen's, 170 Bourke-street east.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Henderson Glen (musicseller)

[Advertisement], The Argus (7 April 1860), 7

FIVE SHILLINGS. - PIANOFORTE TUNING, &c, within five miles of Melbourne. Blackburn, Loveday, and Co. Orders addressed Messrs. Reed's Fancy Repository, 40 Collins-street, and Mr. Glen's Music Warehouse, 170 Bourke-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry William Loveday (pianoforte tuner)

[Advertisement], The Argus (2 June 1860), 3 

(styled the firm of Blackburn, Loveday, and Co.), has been this day DISSOLVED, by mutual consent.
All debts owing to the said firm must be paid to the said John Blackburn, and all accounts due by the said firm will be paid by the said John Blackburn.
Dated this 31st day of May, A.D. 1860. (Signed) JOHN BLACKBURN. H. N. LOVEDAY. Witness - Thos. Diggerson.

[Advertisement], The Argus (20 October 1860), 7

MUSICAL. - Notice - Messrs. JACKSON and BLACKBURN, horizontal and upright PIANO-FORTE MAKERS, Tuners, &c., (18 years' practical experience,) devote the whole of their attention to repairing, regulating, and tuning.
38 and 40 Brunswick-street, Collingwood.

[Advertisement], The Argus (23 January 1861), 3 

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25. Dissolution of Partnership.
Important Sale of Pianos, Harmoniums, Musical instruments, Furniture, Horse, Buggy, &c.
38 and 40 Brunswick-street, Collingwood.
LONG and YEATMAN have received instructions from Messrs. Jackson and Blackburn to
SELL by AUCTION, on account of the dissolution of the partnership, on the premises as above, on Friday, January 25, at eleven o'clock,
A number of pianofortes, harmoniums, and musical instruments, including
a splendid walnut cottage pianoforte, by Stoddart 6 7/8 octave, with metallic plate, having a brilliant tone, and made expressly for the colony;
a rosewood piccolo pianoforte, with full compass and fine tone, by J. Brown (selector for Broadwood);
a cabinet piano, in mahogany, by J. Broadwood and Son.
A rose wood cottage pianoforte, of full compass and splendid tone, seasoned for the climate
2 fine harmoniums, in rosewood, with percussion stops, and all the latest Improvements
After which, A quantity of household furniture and effects, comprising . . .
Also, Capital grey mare, rising four years, broken to saddle and harness, and very quiet; a handsome American buggy, with hood, &c. . . .
Without reserve . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (18 February 1861), 3 

PIANOS. Pianos. - Merchants and others having PIANOS which they wish to dispose of, can place them on show free of charge, in the rooms of Mr. John Blackburn, pianoforte tuner and repairer, Brunswick street, Collingwood, where they will be carefully attended to, and submitted to the numerous purchasers with which he is connected.
The charges for selling will in all cases be upon the most moderate scale.

[Advertisement], The Argus (20 February 1861), 3

MUSICAL - Mr. JOHN BLACKBURN, SELECTOR of PIANOFORTES, (from Messrs. Collard and Collard, London) pianoforte tuner, regulator, and repairer, Nos. 38 and 40 Brunswick-street, Collingwood.

Certificate of marriage, 1862, 2407; St Peter's Eastern Hill (PAYWALL)

2407 / 13 September 1862 / John Blackburn / Fitzroy / 30 / Pianoforte Tuner / Bachelor / [born] Bradford Yorkshire / [son of] William Howgill Blackburn Musicseller [and] Mary Sellers Anderson / and
Matilda Jessie Short / West Melbourne / 25 / Spinster / [born] Tasmania / [daughter of] Thomas Short Gentleman [and] Elizabeth Hastings

"SUBURBAN POLICE . . . FITZROY", The Age (7 July 1862), 5 

. . . In the case of John Blackburn v Lydia Dickson, the defendant sold a piano to a person named Kater for £34, after giving the complainant an order to sell it for any price over £36, the balance to be his profit and commission. The complainant having introduced Mrs. Kater, claimed 12 1/2 per cent. commission on the transaction. He was awarded by the bench 31s, being at the rate of 5 per cent. . . .

[News], Gippsland Guardian (10 July 1867), 2 

Mr. John Blackburn intends shortly visiting Port Albert. Those whose pianos require tuniug, &c., will do well to secure that gentleman's skilful services early, as his stay is not likely to be long.

"POLICE . . . HOTHAM", The Argus (15 November 1867), 7 

. . . John Blackburn, pianoforte tuner, was charged with assault and wilful damage. The assault originated from a family quarrel, in which offensive language to the character of a member of defendant's family had been used. Defendant retaliated by assaulting his nephews. He was ordered to pay 21s, damages, with 23s. 6d. costs . . .

"POLICE COURTS", The Herald (16 November 1867), 3 

. . . Thomas Hayes, a printer, summoned John Blackburn, pianoforte-tuner, for an assault. The affair took place in consequence of a family quarrel . . .

"DEATHS", The Argus (26 September 1914), 1

BLACKBURN. - On the 24th September (suddenly) at 11 Edsall street, Malvern, John Blackburn (pianoforte expert) in his 83rd year. A colonist of 62 years.


Musician, chorister, organist, architect

Born Glebe, NSW, 26 October 1857; son of Edmund BLACKET and Sarah MEASE
Died Manly, NSW, 26 February 1937, aged "79" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)



"ST. ANDREW'S CATHEDRAL. TO THE EDITOR", The Sydney Morning Herald (7 March 1935), 8 

. . . As the son, pupil, partner, and successor of architect Edmund Thomas Blacket, I have known the Cathedral most of my life. When builder Aaron Loveridge put up the two western towers, and builder Robert Kirkham erected the central tower, as a young man in my father's office one of my duties was to visit the works in progress. I was also a member of the cathedral choir, and as a pupil of the cathedral organist (Montague Younger). I sometimes played the organ for services in the cathedral . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Montague Younger (organist, musical director); St. Andrew's cathedral (music at)


Musicians, vocalists

Arrived Adelaide, SA, by October 1853 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


[Advertisement], Adelaide Times (14 October 1853), 3 

MISS BLACKHURST, nine years pupil in the Royal Academy of Music, respectfully informs the Ladies and Gentlemen of Adelaide, that
a GRAND SOIREE will be held in the Royal Victoria Theatre, on Wednesday, October 19,
on which occasion admittance will only be by tickets, obtained from the following gentlemen: -
Messrs. Lazar, Platts, Goldsack, Raphael, Barnett, and Hugal, Hindley-street; and of Messrs. Wigg and Bigwood, Rundle-street.
Instrumental Performers - Messrs. Thurloe, Lillywhite, John Cobbin, Swift, John Cobbin, jun., McCullagh, Walker, Tuxford, Smith, Mantegeni.
Vocal Performers - Messrs. Blackhurst, Walker, Risely, Allen, Knight, Mrs. Hastings, Miss Petman, Miss Blackhurst.
Leader: Mr. Chapman. Mr. Solomon's Grand Piano will be used for this occasion.
1. Overture, Massaniello - Auber - Band.
2. Duet, Marend - Sporle, Mr. Knight and Miss Blackhurst.
3. Buffo, There's Time Enough for that, Thinks I - Parry, Mr. Walker.
4. Ballad. Sad Sea Waves - Barker, Mrs. Hastings.
5. Descriptive, Liberty, from Uncle Tom's Cabin - Louley, Mr. Knight.
6 Solo, Piano, Away with Melancholy, with bars [sic, vars.] Mr. Mantegani
7. Song, Altes Liebeslied - Kucken - Miss Blackhurst.
8. Ballad, Happy Moments - Wallace, Mr. Allen.
9. Song, Every Land, my Home - Sporle, Miss Petman.
10. Duet, When a Little Farm we Keep - Barker, Mr. Knight and Mrs. Blackhurst.
1. Overture, Guy Mannering - Band.
2. Ballad, Kathleen Mavourneen - Barker, Mr. Risley.
3. Song, Flower Spirits - Smith - Miss Petman.
4. Solo, Cornet-a-Piston - Bellini - Mr. McCullagh.
5. Descriptive, Ship on Fire - Russell, Mr. Knight.
G. Ballad, Phoely Morell - Monk Mason, Miss Blackhurst.
7. Song, Man the Life Boat - Russell, Mr. Blackhurst.
8. Song of the Zephyr - Rexford - Miss Petman.
9. Buffo, London Exhibition - Parry, Mr. Knight.
10. Anthem, God Save the Queen - Company.
Doors open at 7 o'clock, overture to commence at 8 o'clock precisely.
Tickets - Dress Circle, 5s; Pit and Upper Boxes, 3s.
To prevent mistakes, gentlemen are earnestly requested not to enter any boxes that are ticketed, unless they have the corresponding number.
Boxes secured on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, between the hours of 1 and 4 p.m.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Alston Thurlow (musician); William Lillywhite (musician); William Cobbin [sic] senior and junior (musicians); Thomas Swift (musician); Robert McCullagh (musician); John R. Smith (musician); Alfred Mantegani (musician); Mary Ann Pettman (vocalist); Troy Knight (vocalist, manager); Royal Victoria Theatre (Adelaide venue); Royal Academy of Music (London institution)

"TO-NIGHT'S CONCERT AT THE THEATRE", Adelaide Times (19 October 1853), 2 

We beg to remind the mimical world that Miss Blackhurst's soiree musicale takes place this evening, at the Royal Victoria Theatre. If we may judge from the well selected programme, which will be found in another column, as also from the number of performers of great musical talent engaged for this occasion, those attending will have a great treat.


Musician, bombardon player, bandsman, Band of the 99th Regiment

Born Cannongate, Edinburgh, Scotland, March 1821
Enlisted (99th Regiment), Edinburgh, Scotland, 3 April 1838
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 1844 (? by September 1844) (late arrival to the regiment from Britain)
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 11 July 1848 (per Sir Edward Paget, from Sydney)
Departed Hobart Town, TAS, 14 January 1840 (invalided to England)
Discharged England, 13 August 1850 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Band of the 99th Regiment (military)


Paylist of the 99th Regiment, 1 to 31 December 1844; Australian Joint Copying Project, from UK National Archives, WO12/9806 (DIGITISED)

. . . 973 / Blackie John / [from] 9 November / Joined from England / [per] Henrietta Paid in England to 8 Nov'r On Full rations until 27 Nov'r

"THE BAND OF THE 99TH", The Sydney Morning Herald (4 September 1844), 3

. . . Their bass instruments are of the first description, for in addition to the Bassoons, the Serpent, and last though not least the Ophecleide . . . they have also the Bombardone. As this latter instrument was hitherto unknown in this colony we need not apologise to our readers for introducing a brief account of it. The Bombardone appears to be an instrument of modern invention, of a deep intonation partaking of the bass qualities, both of the Bassoon and of the Ophecleide. Its compass extends three octaves from F two octaves below the bass clef to F above the baas staff. Some amateurs are of opinion that the Bombardone owes its origin from the ancient Bourdon, a kind of drone bass, a deep unchangeable sound, which formerly accompanied a melody or series of notes moving above it. In days gone by, the word Bourdon signified the drone of a bagpipe. We find also the term sometimes applied to the double diapason, or lowest stop, in French and German organs; but whatever may be the conjectures of amateurs on this point, it appears to us that the Bombardone is nothing more nor less than a magnificent improvement on the Bombardo, which was a wind instrument, much resembling the bassoon, formerly used as a bass to the hautboy. The Bombardone, therefore, although it cannot be considered the skeleton of the Bombardo, it may, from its extended compass and superior strength of tone, be justly termed the giant of the ancient race of Bombardoes.

Paylist of the 99th Regiment, 1 April to 30 June 1845; Australian Joint Copying Project, from UK National Archives, WO12/9808 (DIGITISED)

. . . 973 / Blackie John / [band not indicted] . . .

[Advertisement], The Australian [Sydney, NSW] (29 November 1845), 1

Mr. MARSH begs to announce that his Concert, will take place on
. . . Ophecleides - Messrs. T. Martin, Waterstone; Bombardone - Mr. Blackie . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Stephen Hale Marsh (musician); Thomas Martin (ophicleide, 99th band); David Waterstone (ophicleide, 99th band); Royal Victoria Theatre (Sydney venue)

"GARRISON THEATRICALS", The Australian [Sydney, NSW] (25 March 1847), 3 

A very pretty Theatre - with scenery, machinery, dresses, and decorations, all of a tasteful and creditable kind - has recently been fitted up in one of the large rooms of Sydney Barracks. The idea of furnishing a rational and instructive entertainment to their fellow-soldiers originated, we believe, with the talented bandsmen of the 99th Regiment, who have worked out that idea with surprising success. Although this theatre is designed for the especial gratification of the garrison, still, on the evening of performance, (Tuesday), a few of the Military's friends are indulged with admission. Availing ourselves of this courtesy, we attended last Tuesday; on which evening Colonel Despard, his lady, and daughters, Captain Apperley, and an audience, packed to the ceiling, were present. If scarlet were the predominant colour, the sanguine hue nevertheless reflected a rosy gleam on many a fair check beaming with expectant pleasure. - Need we say a word in commendation of the magnificent Orchestra? Surely not. Its excellencies are too generally known and appreciated. The entertainments of the evening were THE BEAR HUNTERS, and RAISING THE WIND; - the characters, male and female, being sustained by the ingenious bandsmen, who exhibited their ability in a new and brilliant light - acting with an energy, propriety and spirit, which, many professionals might copy with advantage to themselves and profit to the public. We would particularly instance Messrs. W. Bromley, T. Hyde, T. Martin, J. Blaikie, and the ladies - whose chaste and appropriate costume, we venture to pronounce a model for female imitation. Miss E. Poole was not a-Miss in the heroine; and could she only master the native timidity of her sex, and infuse a little, more spirit into her assumptions, the improvement would be striking. This young lady possesses one of Nature's, choicest gifts for theatrical success - a rich, melodious, voice, and clear enunciation, her tones falling in liquid cadences on the ear. Novices as are the Garrison actors, they have a great deal of stuff about them, - Mr. W. Bromley in an especial, degree, and ere the season shall be at an end, we predict that some of them will make rapid strides in their new profession. We commend. the manager of the Victoria to procure an admission. If he could obtain the services of one or two, he might fill up his vacant muster roll in a superior manner.

ASSOCIATIONS: William James Bromley (bandsman); Ebenezer Poole (bandsman); Thomas Martin (bandsman)

Paylist of the 99th Regiment, 1 July to 30 September 1849; Australian Joint Copying Project, from UK National Archives, WO12/9812 (DIGITISED)

. . . 973 / Blackie John / [band not indicted] . . .

Paylist of the 99th Regiment, 1 January to 31 March 1850; Australian Joint Copying Project, from UK National Archives, WO12/9812 (DIGITISED)

. . . 973 / Blaikie John [sic] / . . . Inv'd to England / Embarked for England 14 Jan'y 1850 . . .

Discharge, John Blaikie, 1850; UK National Archives, WO97/1060/46 (PAYWALL)

. . . Hobart Town, V. D. land, 5'd January 1850.
. . . that Private John Blaikie by trade a Wright was born in the Parish of Cannongate in or near the town of Edinburgh . . . and was ATTESTED for the 99th Regiment of Foot at Edinburgh . . . on the 3rd April 1838 at the Age of 17 1/12 years . . . SERVICE up to 31 January 1850 . . . 10 years 335 days . . . during which period he served Abroad Six years, viz. at The Australian Colonies Six years . . . his DISCHARGE is proposed in consequence of having been found unfit for foreign Service . . . his conduct is good . . . Private / 3 April 1838 / underage
Private / 3 March 1839 / [of age]
private / 1 July 1849 to 31st Jan'y 1850 . . .
Further service from February 1850 to 13th August 1850 when finally discharged . . .

BLAIR, David (David BLAIR)

Songwriter, journalist

Born County Monaghan, Ireland, 4 June 1820; son of Thomas BLAIR and Jane BURNS
Arrived Sydney, NSW, March 1850 (per Clifton)
Married Annie Macpherson GRANT, VIC, 1852
Died Armadale, VIC, 19 February 1899 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)


"ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE. THE PRIZE ANTHEM. To the Editor of . . .", The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (13 April 1852), 3 

Sir, - The following, verses were sent in to the Sydney Board of the League, as a competition for the prize offered for national anthem. I have received a letter from the Secretary, stating that the Committee deem my verses "the most meritorious of the thirty-three contributions sent in;" but they decline awarding me the prize, because I have not followed the precise rule laid down respecting the form of the stanza! As if poetry were produced mechanically, just as men cut out trousers - to fit! This is a truly Sydney-like proceeding of theirs. For my own part I can do without their ten guinea medal, and I hold their approbation as worth exactly ten guineas less than their medal. Such as the verses are, I beg to offer them to the Victoria Branch of the League, as a humble contribution to Australian literature: my only ambition being like that of Robert Burns, "to make one poor song," for Australia's sake.
I am, etc.
D. BLAIR. April 12th, 1852. 

AN ANTHEM FOR AUSTRALIA. (Dedicated to the Victoria Branch of the League.) BY DAVID BLAIR.

1. Land of the cloudless sunny clime!
Youngest and fairest child of Time!
Thine Australia,
Thine is a destiny sublime!
For thou art heir of all the Ages,
And thine their garnered wealth shall be -
The lore of poets saints and sages;
A priceless heritage for thee! . . . [3 more verses]

"THE PRIZE ANTHEM. To the Editor of . . .", The Argus (17 April 1852), 6 

SIR, - Mr. David Blair seems piqued at the decision of the adjudicators on the merits of his essay for the Australasian League; but I think his remarks are unfair towards the Sydney Board in the matter. Mr. Blair knew the instructions he was to act upon ere he wrote his rejected Anthem. The instructions were plain enough for all to understand; they were as follows, viz: -
The Anthem to be composed of four stanzas, each stanza not to exceed six lines; each stanza to relate to a different subject, and not to run into the next.
These were the instructions upon which all competitors were to act in their writing; and it would be decidedly unfair if Mr. Blair, avoiding the very difficult line marked out by the Board, had obtained the prize, whilst others keeping within bounds had sent their verses in strict accordance with the instructions.
I also was a competitor for the prize, and full well do I know the difficulty of writing under the proviso issued by the Sydney Board, particularly the restrictions enforced that no "direct allusion should be made to crime or criminals," whilst the anthem itself was to be composed for the sole object of the advancement of the League; but Mr. Blair has gained an honour in the opinion of the Sydney Board, let him be content. All unprejudiced minds will, I think, coincide in the opinion of the adjudicators, that he had not followed the precise rule laid down for the composition of the stanza.
A few words in conclusion to Mr. Blair. - I heard him speak at the antitransportation meeting at the Mechanics' Institute last week. His eloquence is good, and he may render efficient assistance in advocating the cause of the League; he has recently arrived amongst us, and does not exactly know our temperament yet; we are altogether different from Sydney and Adelaide. He will find the more he is associated with us, greater mental and physical energy existing than in the other Colonies. He will find men of quiet demeanour, yet clear and shrewd in intellect, quick to detect the capacity and capabilities of others, and ready to pay homage to that intelligence which seeks to promote alone the prosperity and advancement of our common wealth.
As a humble member of the League, I am glad to see Mr. Blair in its ranks, but I must beg of him to pardon me whilst I express the wish, that I would rather no expression were used in Melbourne, that would run the hazard of threatening even the least shadow of a split amongst the Colonies in the great cause of the Australasian League,-

Let all Australia raise its voice,
To guard our favor'd land of choice;
May God protect our cause:
His mercy on our land descend,
And give us wisdom to defend
Our home 'gainst penal laws.

B. Collingwood, April 13, 1852.

See also, later, on Blair, "DAVID BLAIR, ESQ.", The Argus (11 April 1855), 5 

[Cartoon] "DAVID BLAIR BURSTING INTO SONG", Melbourne Punch (20 May 1869), 7 

See also, "DEATH OF MR. DAVID BLAIR", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (20 February 1899), 6 

BLAIR, Robert (Robert BLAIR)

Musicseller, bookseller, stationer, general storeholder

Born Rossinver, Leitrim, Ireland, c. 1819; son of Hamilton BLAIR and Ann ?
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 4 September 1849 (per Victoria, from Plymouth, 12 May)
Active Maitland, NSW, by c. 1852/53
Married Catherine Porter WEBSTER, Maitland, NSW, 1855
Died Maitland, NSW, 18 September 1884 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Immigrants per ship Victoria, arrived Sydney, NSW, 4 September 1849; State Records Authority of NSW (PAYWALL)

Single Males // Blair Robert / 30 / Farmer / [born] Rosinvar Leitrim / [parents] Hamilton & Ann living in Rosinvar / C. of E. / . . .

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (14 October 1854), 3 

Book Depot . . . ROBERT BLAIR. High-street, Oct. 13, 1854.
P.S.- A-selection of popular music.

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (28 October 1854), 3 

Music - Music - Music.
THE following PIECES OF MUSIC, with many others, on Sale at the Book Depot -
The Fairy Boy
A Young Lady's Dream
Isle of Beauty
I'm Leaving Thee, Annie
The Rich Man's Bride
England, Home of the Friends, Farewell
My Presence Still in Calm or Storm
Kathleen Mavourneen
Shells of Ocean
Meeting of the Waters
I'm a Merry Laughing Girl
The Lonely Harp
The Harp that once through Tara's Halls
Britons Prepare - a new national song
Advance Australia - a national ballad
Musard's Quadrilles de Contre Danses
Great Britain Polka
New Year's Gift Scottische
Christmas Present Polka.
ALSO, Jullien's Keepsake and Modern Instructions for Pianoforte
Flutina and Accordion Preceptors.
High-street, Oct. 27, 1854.

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (25 November 1854), 3 

Music! Music!! Music!!!
MY HOME IN THE VALLEY BELOW; The Pilgrim of Love; The Beacon Light; The Shepherd of the Ocean; The Young Bride's Song; My Mountain Home; The First White Locks; Over the Bounding Waters; The Sorrows of the Heart; At Least Believe Me True to Thee; Erin's Lament; My Annie; Come with Me, I'll Dry Thy Tears; The Pretty Girls of Derry; To the Gold Fields; Let Us Go a Roaming; Sad and Wearie Gae the Hours. - All at 2s. 6d. each.
Sing Happy Memory; Oh ! Ask not How I Love Thee; I Arise from Dreams of Thee; Sweet Love, Adieu; Have We Met to Meet no More; Oh! Wilt Thou Gang Awa' with Me; Dear Sunny Wales; Come with Me and Let us Wander; Twilight Deepens o'er the Green; They said my Love would Change with Time; Thou Never Cans't be Mine; Behind the Clouds the Sun it Shining; My Fairest, Awake; My Heart is on the Sea; She Came when Summer Time was Young; Sigh Not for Me. - 2s each.
Forget Thee, Ellen, Never I - 1s. 6d.
The Juno; Les Videttes; The Sola; The Bengal Cavalry; The Ostrich; The Bijou; La Garde Nationale.- 3s. 6d. each.
Red Riding Hood; The Cossack; Trab Trab; The Crystal Fountain. - 3s. each.
Christmas Holiday; The Violet; Dover Honeysuckle; Bannockburn; The Sunny Side. 2s. 6d. each.
The Bay Thorn; Mathilde; Teignmouth. 2s. each.
The Grand Exposition; Restoration; Royal Horse Guards; Welsh; Trafalgar; Queen of the May. - 4s. each.
The Great Exhibition.- 4s. 6d.
Prince Rupert; Martha; Les Rivales; Island of Jewels; Brighton Season. - 3s. each.
Marco Spadu [Marco Sparda]; Edinburgh; Queen of the South; Vive Paris. - Each, 3s. 6d.
The Royal Vocal Albums, 5s. each.
Pray for Those at Sea; Hear my Prayer, O God; The Mother's Prayer; Morn Spreads Her Glory o'er the Sky; That Land is Heaven; Foes may Confound Me; The Mountain Prayer; Sweetly Sound the Sabbath Bells; Fear Not. - 2s. 6d. each.
The Lord's Prayer; I Will Arise and Go to My Father; Bv the Waters of Babylon; Remember the Sabbath; The Sabbath Day; The Missionary; Speak the Truth; He Wipes the Tear from every Eye. - 2s. each.
Hark, The Herald Angels Sing; Miriam's Lyre; My Soul, Praise the Lord. - 1s. 6d. each.
One Guinea's worth of Music forwarded to the country post free on receipt of £1 2s. 6d.
West Maitland, Nov. 24, 1854.

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (6 April 1858), 3

SONGS. - Soon I'll Follow Thee. Maid of Judah. Rose Tree in full Bearing. Meet Me in the Willow Glen. Mary Blane. Rise, Gentle Moon. Irish Emigrant. Love not. A Letter from the Diggings. Jenny Lind's Songs of Fatherland. Is it a Dream. Ethiopian Melodies. I'm Afloat, I'm Afloat. The Corsair's Farewell. Ida. See from Ocean Rising. Old Folks at Home. Minute Gun at Sea. Happy Land. Australian Emigrant. Blind Man's Bride. Minstrel Boy. The Old Arm Chair. Oak and the Ivy. Norah, the Pride of Kildare. Red, White, and Blue. Pestal. Low Backed Car. Banks of Allen Water. The Rich Man's Bride. Awake my Love. I love the Merry Sunshine. The Lonely Harp. Art Thou in Tears. We Met by Chance. Ada Clare. Kate Kearney. Gentle Mother. Beautiful Venice. Cheer, Boys, Cheer. Savourneen Deelish. To Linger near Thee. Happy Birdling of the Forest. Agathe. The Harp that once. Sweetly o'er my Senses Stealing. Oh, Come to Me when Daylight Sets. Those Evening Bells. Mary of Argyle. Annie Laurie. Take back the Ring, Dear Jamie. Simon the Cellarer. I'm Thinking o'er the short sweet Hour. Young Lady's Dream. Woodman Spare that Tree. You ask Me if I Love You. Jeannette and Jeannot. Sad Sea Waves. Home, Sweet Home. Kathleen Mavourneen. She Wore a Wreath. It reminds Me of Thee. Yon Dark Neglected Sepulchre. Come Dwell with Me. Dig! Dig! Dig! A song to all Gold Diggers. The Preference. The Rose of Elderslie. We Loved, but to Part. Have we Met to Meet no More. Tell Him I love Him yet. To the Gold Fields, or the Song of the Emigrant. Meet Me in the Willow Glen. The Emigrant's Farewell. The Misletoe Bough. Away, Away, to the Mountain Brow. She is for from the Land. The Dark Hair'd Girl. The Fairest Flower. I'll Pray for Thee. Soon I'll follow Thee. I Rage, I Melt, I Burn. Honour and Army. Stars of the Summer Night. There's no Dearth in Kindness. Dudley Castle. Yes I have Dared to Love Thee. Pray for Those at Sea. The Angel's Voice. Love Makes the Home. No More Sea. Constance, Karin. - 2s. 6d. each.

Our National Defences. Katty Darling. Cushla Machree. Far o'er the Sea. Hearts and Homes. Terence's Farewell to Kathleen. The Englishman. Excelsior. I cannot Sing to-night. Home Sweet Home. Shells of Ocean. By Murray's Banks. Here, Hassan, Here.- 3s. each.

Tell me where is Fancy Bred. Still so Gently o'er Me Stealing. What are the Wild Waves Saving. My Pretty Page. I Know a Bank. Do not Mingle. As it Fell upon a Day. When a Little Farm we Keep. Hear me, Norma. Canadian Boat Song. All's Well. - 3s. 6d. each.

Sleep! My Eyelids Close. Smiles and Tears. The Tribute of a Tear. There be none of Beauty's Daughters. Oh! Ask not how I Love Thee. Write to me Love. The Bay of Biscay. Of all the Birds in Wood or Glen. My Fairest, Awake. Twilight Deepens O'er the Green. Come with Me and let us Wander. Mary of Castle Cary. Fairy Gold. Welcome Home. Days Pass on. The Music of the Past. Oh! Think no More of Me. The Fairest of the Fair. Bessie. Willie we have Missed You. Hark to the Wind upon the Hill. The Eglantine. One Faithful Heart. The Blind Girl's Lament. Good News from Home. Little Dorrit's Vigil. Under a Hedge. Willie. The Ship. Extravagance. I love the Lillies. Maud. - 2s. each.

POLKAS. - Sylph. The Boddington. The Violet, Pesth. The Bannockburn. The New Bloomer. The Irresistable. Prince Patrick's. The Dover. The Christmas Present. The Cornstalk. The Pic Nic. "La Favorita." Eglantine. The Royal Charlie. King Pippin. The Anonymous. Flora. The Ranger or Nepaulese. Sultan. Native Flower. The Australian Polka Mazurka. Lola Montes. Great Britain. The Konigsbugh. The Anniversary. Moonlight. Royal Charlie. Mary Callinack, 2s. 6d. each.

Ethiopian. Uncle Tom's Cabin. Adieu. The Crowns. The Oneida. The Birthday. "La Favorita" Temp Di. Great Britain. The Crystal Palace. The Melanio. The City of the Sultan. The Anglo French. The Cantineer. The Savoyard. The Bulgarian. - 3s each.

The Moonlight. Ethiopian. The Railway. Redowa. Camellia. Champagne. The Junk. - 1s. 6d. each.

Brecon. Bohemian. The Tindal. Beaufort. Her Majesty's Court. L'Entrain. The Nightingale, 1s. each.

WALTZES. - Chants D'Amour. The Royal Scotch. La Belle Catherine Alexander Romanoff. Marietta. The Greek Slave. The Gazelle. La Plui de Perles. -4s. each.

The Ladies of Sydney. Albertas. The Beaufort. Adrienne. Sydney Railway. The Montrose. The Constance. Rigoletto. Lisette. Grand Valse. Vilikins. The Marian. Dreams on the Ocean. Star of the Night - 3s. each.

Australian Bird, Chusan - 2s. 6d. each. Wild Flower. 1s. 6d.

QUADRILLES. - Chevalresque. Merry Old England. The Rats. - 2s. 6d. each.

Rose Bay. The Lancers, De Punch. Brighton Season. Island of Jewels. Musards. La Favorita. Prince Rupert - 3s. each.

The Presidents. Ernani. Marco Spada. Edinburgh. Les Huguenots. Partant Pour la Syrie 3s. 6d. each.
The Grand Exposition. The St. Leger. Banjo. Chatsworth - 4s. each.

SCHOTTISCHES. - Louisa, Cricket Match, The Nugget, 3s. each.
The New Year's Gift, Avondale, Berliner, Eugenie, 3s. 6d. each.
The Snowdrop, Victoria, Kitty, 1s. 6d. each.

GALLOPS - Simla, Gallop for Gold, 3s. each; Sturm March, Overland Mail, Matrimonial, Express, Veno, The 77th, The Queen's, 2s. 6d. each.

PIECES.- Raindrops in Australia, Australian Flowers. 3s. each; The Bird upon the Tree, 4s; Last Rose of Summer, 4s. 6d. Caledonian Wreath, 3s. The Reverie, 3s. Davidson's Music, 6d. per sheet, 4s. 6d. per dozen.
Any of the above pieces of music forwarded by post for 2d. additional.

ROBERT BLAIR. Maitland, April 6th, 1858.

"DEATHS", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (20 September 1884), 1

On-Sept. 18th, 1884, at his residence, West Maitland, Robert Blair, aged 65.

"THE LATE MR. ROBERT BLAIR", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (20 September 1884), 4

One who was at one time among the most energetic and enterprising of Maitland business men died on Wednesday night. Mr. Robert Blair started in 1852 or 1853 a small business as bookseller, in a portion of a shop in High-street then occupied by Mr. Partridge, chemist. He subsequently crossed the street, and carried on his operations in one of two new shops erected by Mr. John Falkner. Mr. Partridge having relinquished business, his whole shop was then taken by Mr. Blair, the fact indicating an increase in his business. That continued to enlarge, being managed with ceaseless industry, and eventually Mr. Blair acquired the site once taken up by Dr. Sloan's surgery and Mr. Heugh's soap and candle factory, and elected thereon the present extensive premises, in which the large wholesale and retail business of a bookseller, stationer and fancy goods merchant is conducted by his sons. We have mentioned Mr. Blair's laborious industry; he spared no pains to extend his trade, and reaped his reward in one sense. But there is reason to fear that he worked too hard and forbore to take rest and recreation when they might have served to restore him. And at last he broke down, and for many years before his death had been an ailing man. Mr. Blair was well read, possessed a large fund of general information, and was a good talker. He took no conspicuous part in general public affairs, but bore a prominent share in all religious and philanthropic movements. His life was exemplary in respect of sobriety, industry and integrity, and his compelled retirement from an active share in the work of the town was a loss in many ways to the community. He leaves a family, the eldest sons of which are following in their worthy father's footsteps.

Bibliography and resources:

Val Rudkin (comp.), "Robert Blair (1819-1884) bookseller & stationer", Bulletin of Maitland and District Historical Society 20/2 (May 2013)


Musician, itinerant musician

Active Adelaide and country, SA, 1859 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


"LOCAL COURTS. ADELAIDE. WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 . . . BLAKE v. CRESWICK", South Australian Register (22 September 1859), 3

or £10 10s, musician's bill. Mr. Little appeared for the plaintiff, who stated that he was a musician. Had played, according to the instructions of the defendant, at various places in the country. He had performed 26 nights altogether. The price agreed upon was 15s. per night. Gave him the bill. He said he would pay him when he could. He never denied the debt. Had received £7 from him in cash. Mr. Little here said he would admit a set-off for that amount. The plea was altered accordingly.
The defendant stated that his first arrangement with the plaintiff was in January, at 15s. per week, his expenses to be paid. Under that arrangement the plaintiff performed 17 nights. His next agreement with him was that he [witness) should pay his expenses, and if they realized any profits he would pay him at the same rate as his first engagement. The plaintiff performed 21 nights under that agreement. The receipts had been under the expenses. Had paid the plaintiff at different periods £12 13s. The Court said the statements of the parties were very conflicting, but they were rather of opinion that the statement of the defendant was the most correct. They therefore gave judgment for the plaintiff for £2, each party to pay his own costs.

BLAKE, John (John BLAKE)

Musician, bandsman, Band of the 3rd Regiment ("Buffs")

Born Isleworth, Middlesex, England, c. 1797
Enlisted (3rd Regiment), Knightsbridge, London, 8 June 1808 (aged "11")
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 29/30 August 1823 (on the Commodore Hayes, via Hobart)
Departed Sydney, NSW, 23/25 January 1827 (per Speke and Woodford, for India, June) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Band of the 3rd Regiment ("Buffs") (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Description book, 3rd Regiment, Buffs, enlistments to 1809; UK National Archives, WO25/323 (PAYWALL)

Blake John / [height at enlistment] 5 ft 4 in / [height at 24] 5 ft 5 1/4 in / [age at enlistment] 11 / [complexion] sallow / [eyes] grey / [hair] brown / [visage] long / [born] Midd'x / Isleworth / [attested] Knightsbridge / 8th June 1808 / . . . Re-attested 22'd Dec'r 1821 for unlimited service

Pay-list of the 3rd Regiment of Foot, from 25 March to [Sydney] 24 September 1823; Australian Joint Copying Project, from UK National Archives, WO12/2118 (DIGITISED)

Privates . . . Blake John / Band . . .

Pay-list of the 3rd Regiment of Foot, from 25 December 1825 to 24 March 1826 (Australian Joint Copying Project, from Records of the UK War Office) (DIGITISED)

Privates . . . Blake John / Band . . .

BLAKE, Michael (Michael BLAKE)

Dancing master, convict

Born Galway, Ireland, c. 1812
Sentenced (1) Limerick, Ireland, March 1833 (life)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 18 November 1833 (convict per Java), aged "21")
Sentence (2) Sydney, NSW, 8 February 1838 (7 years, to Norfolk Island)
Died Port Macquarie, NSW, 1841 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


[Notice], New South Wales Government Gazette (10 May 1837), 365 

THE undermentioned Prisoners having absconded . . .
Blake Michael, Java, 33-3392, 25, Galway, indoor servant and dancing master, 5 feet 7 inches, ruddy comp., brown hair, light hazel eyes, scar over left eyebrow, scrofula marks on throat and right side of neck, blue dot back of right hand, scar on each shin, from J. West, Bathurst, since 24th April.

Bibliography and resources:

Michael Blake, convict per Java, 1833; Biographical database of Australia (PAYWALL)

BLANCH, James (James BLANCH)

Amateur musician, tenor vocalist, convict, emancipist, musical instrument repairer

Born London, England, 17 November 1784; baptised St. Anne, Soho, 16 February 1785; son of James BLANCH (1755-1840) and Jane BARLOW (d. 1786)
Married Sarah EMPSON (c. 1791-1851), St. Dunstan, Stepney, England, 2 September 1813
Sentenced Old Bailey, London, England, 16 February 1814 (7 years)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 18 January 1816 (convict per Fanny)
Died Sydney, NSW, 27 October 1841, aged "57" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Sydney Amateur Concerts (association, series 1826-27)


Baptisms, St. Anne, Soho, February 1785; City of Westminster Archives Centre, STA/PR/1/3 (PAYWALL)

[Born] 1824 Nov'r 17 / James Blanch of James & Jane / [baptised] [1825 February] 16

Marriages solemnized in the Parish of St. Dunstan, Stepney, in the County of Middlesex, in the Year 1813; register 1804-16, page 94; London Metropolitan Archives, P93/DUN/054 (PAYWALL)

No. 282 / James Blanch . . . Bachelor and Sarah Empson Spinster were married in the Church by Banns this [2 September 1813] . . . In the presence of James Blanch Sen'r . . .

James Blanch, 16 February 1814; Old Bailey online (DIGITISED)

211. JAMES BLANCH and JOHN BRENNAN were indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 20th of January, ten yards of Russia duck, value 30 s. the property of our Lord the King.
SECOND COUNT, for like offence, stating it to be the property of George Hall.
And TWO OTHER COUNTS, stating it to be the property of other persons. . . .
BLANCH, GUILTY, aged 29 . . . Transported for Seven Years.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (8 February 1822), 2

JAMES BLANCH, Mathematical and Philosophical Instrument Maker, Brass Founder, Brazier, and Plater, General Worker in Silver and Brass, No. 78, George-street, returns his sincere and grateful Acknowledgements to his numerous Friends for the very liberal Encouragement he has experienced in the above branches, during his residence in Pitt-street, and begs leave to inform them and the Public, that he is removed to a more commodious and centrical situation, No. 78, George-street, next door to Mr. Levy; where, he trusts, he shall continue to meet their patronage and support.
- J. B. makes, and has always for Sale, brass and plated harness furniture, parlour and chamber candlesticks, copper tea-kettles, brass cocks of all sorts, locks and hinges of every description, scales, beams, weights and steelyards, wire fenders, hand-bells, ivory and wood rules, &c. &c. &c.
- Sextants, Quadrants, Compasses, Telescopes, and other Nautical and Optical Instruments repaired and accurately adjusted.
- Umbrellas and Parasols made and repaired; Musical Instruments repaired;
and every article in brass, copper, silver, or ivory, made to any pattern.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (22 November 1822), 1 supplement 

JAMES BLANCH, Mathematical and Philosophical Instrument Maker . . . No. 71, George-street, Sydney . . .
and Musical Instruments repaired. Country, and other Orders, will be thankfully received, and completed with punctuality. An Apprentice wanted, and a premium will be expected.

"THE AMATEUR CONCERT", The Monitor (21 July 1826), 5

ON Wednesday Evening [19 July] about four hundred persons of both sexes assembled at the public School Room in Castlereagh-street, to listen to the musical selections of our Amateur performers of our new monthly Concert . . . "Dulce Domum," by Mr. Blanch, was deservedly enchored. The sweet effect of this song, demonstrated for the ten thousandth time how much superior simple melody is to mere execution. Mr. Blanch's voice is not strong, but truly mellifluous. His simple but yet tasteful style of singing, was exceedingly adapted to the simple sentiments of this delightful song itself - this vocal performance was the best of the evening, attracted most applause, and created more general pleasure than any other. The subject and manner must always delight all ranks and all ages. - Mr. Clarke was not present in the Orchestra - we consider the latter gentleman, with Mr. Blanch, and Mr. Edwards, able to execute every thing required by an Australian audience . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Mr. Clarke (vocalist); John Edwards (musician, vocalist); Sydney Amateur Concerts (association, series); Old Court House (Sydney venue)

MUSIC: Dulce domum (Braham)

"THE CONCERT", The Australian (22 July 1826), 3 

. . . Mr. Blanch sung with infinite sweetness, Dulce Domum - it was universally encored . . .

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

. . . The same amateur that gave the "Beautiful Boy" with such inimitable humour on the former evening, now, repeated a recitative and air, with good effect. Mr. Blanch (a first appearance), gave Braham's delightful ballad of "Dulce Domum", in a manner which evinced, in his conception and execution, a style of uncommon purity and elegance, and manifested unquestionable pretensions to vocal excellence . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: The same amateur = Barnett Levey (amateur vocalist)

"THE CONCERT", The Australian (9 September 1826), 3 

Our Readers will, we conjecture, expect us to say somewhat of Wednesday evening's Concert [6 September] - of the number who came to hear, and those who only came to be heard - of the pieces, vocal and instrumental which evinced taste, feeling, spirit . . . Mr. Blanch sung "Slow Broke the Light" [sic]. His apparently unsettled state of health seemed to hinder him from giving to this song all the expressive sweetness for which his voice is well adapted . . .

"Amateur Concert", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (9 September 1826), 3

. . . A comic glee, "When Arthur first at Court," by Messrs. Clark, Blanch, and Edwards, concluded the first part . . . Mr. Blanch sang the "Thorn," with considerable taste and feeling . . .

MUSIC: When Arthur first at court (Callcott); The thorn (Shield); but note that The Australian reported his solo as The bewildered maid ["Slow broke the light . . ."] (Braham)

"THE ANNIVERSARY DINNER", The Monitor (27 January 1827), 5

This dinner assumed an unusual importance this year; at all events, from the delightful harmony that prevailed, the excellent order and management of the Toasts and Music, and last, but not least, the profusion of the best viands, (remarkably well cooked) and of wines . . . A Patriotic song by Mr. Hill, and "Dulce Domum" by Mr. Blanch were greatly applauded, the style of singing of each being well adapted to his subject. Mr. Blanch certainly breathes forth sweet tones, which in the lofty new Court House sounded like a flute.

ASSOCIATIONS: Arthur Hill (amateur vocalist, publican)

NSW census, November 1828; State Records Authority of NSW (DIGITISED)

Blanch James / 44 / Free by Servitude / Fanny / 1816 / 7 yrs / Prot. / Mathematical Instrument Maker / George St/ Sydney
Sarah / 37 / Came Free / Brixton / 1822 // Maria / 6 // James F. / 5 // Sarah F. / 4 // Joseph [Blanch] / 19 / Came Free / Louisa / 1826

"AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (29 January 1831), 2

THE members and friends of this Society dined together, on Wednesday last, at the Crown and Anchor Tavern, SAMUEL TERRY, Esq. in the Chair . . . The health of our late Governor, Sir THOMAS BRISBANE, was received with acclamations; that of his present Excellency, General DARLING, with three times three, was also received with loud cheers, mingled with a very few ebullitions of vulgar interruption, which vehement cries of "Order," and the good sense of the more respectable part of the company, immediately repressed . . . The most prominent speaker of the evening, was a Mr. NICHOLS, a young Australian, and it is to this gentleman's want of judgment that much of the uproar which occasionally prevailed is mainly attributable . . . Several efforts were made in the course of the evening, by the President and others, to array the vocal talents of some of the company against the discordant spirit which usurped the throne of harmony, but without success. Mr. BLANCH, and Mr. B. LEVEY contributed two of their best songs in aid of so desirable an object; but music, which hath "Charms to soothe a savage breast" had none to settle the chaotic elements of a strong political controversy . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Brisbane (former governor); Ralph Darling (current governor); George Robert Nichols (speaker);

"AUSTRALIAN STEAM CONVEYANCE COMPANY", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (2 April 1835), 2 

A general meeting of the shareholders in this useful institution was held at the Royal Hotel on Tuesday last; H. H. McArthur, Esq., M. C, in the chair.. . . About half past six o'clock, a party of between forty and fifty very respectable gentlemen - shareholders and their friends - sat down to dinner in the saloon . . . Altogether, the evening passed off in the greatest harmony. The band of the 17th regiment, which had been kindly permitted to attend by Colonel Despard, was stationed in the orchestra, and played a variety of delightful airs; and the pleasures of the entertainment were also increased by some excellent songs from Mr. Blanch, Mr. Levey, Mr. Bailey, Mr. Morgan, Mr. J. T. Wilson, Mr. G. Paul, Mr. Polack, &c. &c. . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Hannibal Hawkins Macarthur (chair); John Thomas Wilson (amateur vocalist); George Paul (amateur vocalist)

"DIED", The Sydney Monitor (1 November 1841), 3

At his residence, George-street, on Wednesday last, about nine o'clock, Mr. James Blanch, ironmonger, aged 57 years.

Bibliography and resources:

Julian Holland, "James Blanch: Australia's first meteorologist?", The Australian meteorologist 21 (May 2000), 3-4


Amateur musician, vocalist, ? saddler

? Born Alverstock, Southampton, England, 13 July 1802; baptised St. Mary, Alverstock, 6 August 1802; son of Charles BLANCHARD and Diana ?
? Married Ann HARRIS (c. 1799-1885), Alverstoke, Southampton, England, 21 April 1824; father of Charles BLANCHARD below
Active Melbourne, VIC, c. 1856-66 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Amateur musician, vocalist (until 1876), saddler, licensed singing master (VIC Department of Education, from 1876)

Born London, England, 13 May 1837; son of John BLANCHARD and Ann HARRIS (d. VIC, 1885
Active Melbourne, VIC, by 1857
Died Deepdene, VIC, 11 September 1918, aged "81" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


According to Carne (1954), two Blanchards were members and soloists of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society, John Blanchard, a bass (1856, 1858, 1859), and Charles, also a bass, first appearing at a subscription concert on 3 July 1860; Carne also identified two performances (28 August 1860, 21 June 1864) in which both John and Charles sang.

According to the 1879 history, however, it was Charles who appeared as soloist in the concert of 15 March 1859.

It is perhaps most likely that John was Charles's father; no record of John's death has yet been found, though it was before his widow Ann's death in 1885.

It is not always possible to know with certainty which of the two is referred to as Mr. Blanchard. Following Carne, "Mr. Blanchard" in the context of the Melbourne Philharmonic probably refers to John until c. 1859; in other contexts, Charles is probably more likely.


? Baptisms, St. Mary, Alverstock, August 1802; register 1801-12; Portsmouth History Centre, CHU 42/1A/4 (PAYWALL)

[August] 6 / John Son of Charles & Diana Blanchard born July 13

? Marriages solemnized in the Parish of Alverstock in the County of Southampton in the Year 1824; register 1819-25, page 14; Portsmouth History Centre, CHU 42/1C/10 (PAYWALL)

No. 40 / John Blanchard of this Parish and Ann Harris of this Parish were married in this Church by Banns with Consent of John Harris this [24 April 1824] . . .

Birth registration, Charles Blanchard, 1837, protestant dissenters birth registry; UK National Archives, RG 5/154 (PAYWALL)

. . . Charles son of John Blanchard, of London . . . Saddler, and Ann his wife (who was the daughter of William Harris of Alverstoke, in the county of Southampton, carpenter) was born at the house of the said John Blanchard, no. 35 Rapere Street, in London . . . on the thirteenth day of May 1837 . . .

? "Shipping Intelligence . . . MELBOURNE", Geelong Advertiser [VIC] (23 December 1850), 2 

December 20. - Elizabeth, barque, 570 tons, commander, from London 23rd August. Passengers . . . J. Blanchard and family . . .

"THE ORATORIO", The Argus (14 February 1856), 5 

. . . The performance of Haydn's oratorio last evening at the Exhibition Building by the Philharmonic Society, afforded another satisfactory proof of the advance which in thus colony we are making in musical matters. With many faults as might be expected, there was, on the other hand, much to be commended . . . Some of the solos were most creditably rendered by the principals, Mesdames Testar and Goodliffe, and Messrs. Ewart, Blanchard, and Kaye, - the last a very efficient substitute for Signor Borsotti, who was unable from serious illness to attend . . . Mrs. Goodliffe, also, a careful and otherwise meritorious vocalist, was much applauded for a judicious and telling rendering of her part in the trio "On Thee each living soul awaits," and the duet with Mr. Blanchard, "Of stars the fairest" . . . With respect to the gentlemen, we must especially refer to Mr. Ewart's rendering of "In Native Worth," and Mr. Kaye's delivery of the fine bass solo "Now Heaven in fullest glory shone," and the introductory recitative . . . Mr. Kaye has a fine voice, but is troubled with the besetting vice peculiar to English singers - a propensity to muffle it by singing through his teeth, with all but closed lips. This is a kind of voluntary lock jaw which has marred many an able singer in the estimation of the public, and as it appears, is likely to be the cause of much future injury, as it was also apparent in the case of Mr. Blanchard, a gentleman who possesses a fine baritone voice, but which was deprived of all resonant quality by the deteriorating practice referred to. The concerted music in which these gentlemen took part was most effectively given, the faults of which we complain being less apparent than in the solos . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Elizabeth Testar (vocalist); Mrs. Goodliffe (vocalist); Thomas Ewart (vocalist); Samuel Kaye (vocalist); Paolo Borsotti (vocalist); John Russell (conductor); Melbourne Philharmonic Society (association); Exhibition Building (Melbourne venue)

"THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY'S CONCERT", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (14 February 1856), 3 

. . . We do not remember to have heard the instrumentation of the "Creation" better performed on any occasion. The solos were given by Mesdames Testar and Goodliffe, and Messrs. Ewart, Kaye, and Blanchard, in such a manner as to elicit the most marked approbation . . . Messrs. Kaye and Blanchard were commendably up in their parts . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (14 February 1857), 8

On Monday Evening, 10th February, At the Collingwood Assembly Hall, Gertrude-street.
Programme - Part I.
Glee and Chorus - "Village Choristers," Master C. Cooke, assisted by the Company.
Reading from Serjeant Talfourd's Tragedy of Ion - Mr. Hayward.
Duet, flute and piano - Messrs. Hornidge and Montague.
Song - "Farewell my Country," Mr. Izard.
Song - "Little Nell," Mrs. Andrews.
Song - "The Pilot," Mr. Blanchard.
Song - "Excelsior," Mrs. Goodliffe.
Glee - "Life's a Bumper," Messrs. Allen, Izard, and Blanchard.
Rule Britannia - By the Company.
Interval of Ten Minutes.
Part II.
Glee - "Awake AEolian Harp," Mrs. Goodliffe, Messrs. Tate, Allen, and Blanchard.
Collins's Ode to the Passions, "Daniels v. Dishclout," recitations - Mr. Hayward.
Song and flute obligato - Mrs. Goodliffe, flute, Mr. Hornidge.
Song - "Women or England," Mr. Izard.
Glee - "Poculum," Messrs. Tate, Hornidge, Izard, and Elliot.
Song - " Sweet Dream of Life," Mrs. Andrews.
The Witches' Glee - Messrs. Tate, Hornidge, and Blanchard.
Full Company - "Now Pray we for our Country."
God Save the Queen - By the Company.
Accompanist - Mr. Montague . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Cook (vocalist); John Pryce Hornidge (flute); Alfred Montague (pianist); Henry John Izard (vocalist); Theresa Shirley Andrew (vocalist)

"THE CITY AND SUBURBS", The Age (2 December 1857), 5 

Mr. Krom's Benefit Concert is fixed to come off this evening at the Mechanics' Institution, on which occasion he will be assisted by Miss E. Turner (sister of Mrs. Testar), Miss Octavia Hamilton, Miss E. Smith, Mrs. Batten, M. Julius Siede, Mr. Charles Bial, Mr. Wilkinson, Mr. George Tolhurst, and Mr. Blanchard . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Herman Krom (musician); Eleanor Turner (vocalist); Octavia Hamilton (vocalist); Emilie Smith (pianist); Mrs. Batten (vocalist); Julius Siede (flute); Charles Bial (piano); George Tolhurst (vocalist); Mechanics' Institution (Melbourne venue)

[Advertisement], The Age (2 December 1857), 1 

On Wednesday, December, 2nd, 1857 . . .
The following distinguished Artistes have kindly volunteered their services: -
Vocalists: . . . MR. BLANCHARD, MR. W. H. WILLIAMS, Amateur.
Programme: Part I. Trio and Chorus - "The chough and crow." Bishop.
Song - "The sorrows of the heart." Mr. Blanchard - Balfe . . .
Part II . . . Duett - "Love and war." - Messrs. Williams and Blanchard - Cooke . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Henry Williams (amateur vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Argus (4 March 1858), 8 

Handel's Grand Oratorio THE MESSIAH Will be performed by the Members of the
Prahran and St. Kilda Choral Society (assisted as undermentioned) at the
Church of England School-Room, Chapel-street, Prahran,
The Band and Chorus will consist of 100 performers including many of the leading members of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society.
Principals: Miss Octavia Hamilton, Mrs. Batten, Mrs. Fox, Mr. Ewart, Master C. Cooke,
Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Blanchard, Mr. Kay. Conductor - Mr. Russell.
Organist - Mr. W. B. Wray (late organist at the Blind Asylum, Liverpool)
Leader - Mr. Leslie.
All of whom have given their gratuitous services . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Barkly (governor, patron); Sarah Hannah Fox (vocalist); William Beresford Wray (organist); Alexander J. Leslie (leader, violin); Henry Wilkinson (secretary); Prahran and St. Kilda Choral Society (association)

[Advertisement], The Argus (25 August 1858), 8 

For the year will take place in the Collingwood Assembly Hall, Gertrude-street,
TO-NIGHT (Wednesday), AUGUST 26, To commence at 8 o'clock, when will be performed
HAYDN'S "FIRST SERVICE," (First time in the colony,) and a selection of Solos, Part-Songs, Glees, &c.
Conductor, Mr. Kaye. Leader, Mr. Leslie.
Pianist, Mr. G. R. G. Pringle (Who has kindly volunteered his services).
PROGRAMME. Part I. Symphony in C, Quintett arrangement - Mozart.
Part Song - Departure - Mendelssohn.
Duett - "Ladies, fly from Love's smooth tales" - Balfe. - Messrs. Blanchard and Juniper.
Part Song - The Victor's Return - Mendelssohn.
Song - "Maiden, cease those pearly tears" - G. H. Rodwell. - Mr. Williams.
Part Song - The Huntsman's Song - Pohlentz.
Song - Truth in Absence - Harper. - Mrs. Andrew . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Robert Grant Pringle (pianist); Theresa Shirley Andrew (vocalist); William Juniper (vocalist); Collingwood Harmonic Society (association)

"PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Argus (27 December 1858), 5 

The performance of the "Messiah" by this society on Christmas eve has now grown into a custom. Its repetition on Friday last, in the Exhibition Building, was marked by that progressive completeness which has for some time characterised the operations of this Institution . . . Looking at a programme of a corresponding date (as to this season), three years old, there are at least half a dozen names of professional singers included, while the other night the solo parts were, with but one exception, filled with those who are members of the society, and whose performances are scarcely known except in connection with it. Nevertheless, we have no hesitation in saying that the oratorio was given with greater general completeness than on the Christmas eve of 1856 . . . The bass solos were represented by Messrs. Angus, Blanchard, and Mitchell. The last-named of these gentlemen was either overcome by nervousness, or suffered from a peculiar vocal embarrassment, for his tones subsided into something little short of a loud whisper. Mr. Blanchard has a voice of considerable power and compass, but he labors under the common defect of being inanimate where dramatic earnestness is necessary, and there is a want of distinctness in his delivery, which to some extent impairs effect . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Silvanus Angus (vocalist); David Mitchell (vocalist)

"PRAHRAN PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Argus (31 December 1858), 4 

Handel's magnificent oratorio of "The Messiah" was performed yesterday evening at the Church of England School-room Chapel street, by the Philharmonic Society of Prahran, assisted by several of the members of the Melbourne and Collingwood societies . . . The chorusses were well sung, and the solo parts were rendered by Mrs. Goodliffe, Messrs. Ewart and Blanchard, and Master Johnston in an effective manner . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Prahran Philharmonic Society (association)

"PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Argus (19 January 1859), 4 

The annual meeting of this society was held yesterday evening in the Mechanics' Institute; the Rev. Mr. Jarrett in the chair . . . The meeting then proceeded to the election of the office-bearers for the ensuing year, when the following officers were elected: -
Patrons: His Excellency Sir Henry Barkly, K.C.B, and Major General Macarthur, Commander-in-Chief; president, his Honor Mr. Justice Barry; vice-presidents, the Hon. Captain Pasley, R.E., and the Rev. Mr. Jarrett; conductor, Mr. John Russell; organist, Mr. Pringle; leader, Mr. King; treasurer, Mr. Blundell; librarian, Mr. Blanchard; committee, Messrs. Ewart, Rutter, Davis, Alston, Gould, Thomas, G. B. Richardson, J. D. Gowans; hon, secretary, Mr. Dredge . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Macarthur (patron); Redmond Barry (president); James John Blundell (member); George Oswald Rutter (member); Thomas Green Goold (member); William Gilpin Dredge (secretary)

"THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Argus (16 March 1859), 5 

Handel's "Israel in Egypt" was performed last night, for the first time in Melbourne . . . The duet, "The Lord is a man of war," was carefully executed by Messrs. Angus and Blanchard . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Silvanus Angus (vocalist)

[News], The Argus (20 May 1859), 4 

The members of the Prahran Philharmonic Society gave a concert yesterday evening in the Church of England School-room, Chapel-street. The object of the concert was a complimentary benefit to Mr. Radcliffe, the conductor of the society. In addition to the members of the Prahran Philharmonic, there were present Miss Octavia Hamilton, Mrs. Goodliffe, and Messrs. Ewart, Blanchard, and Angus. Mr. G. R. Pringle presided at an organ erected expressly for the occasion. The programme consisted of Handel's Dettingen "Te Deum" and a selection from the oratorio "Samson," by the same composer . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Radcliffe (conductor); Prahran Philharmonic Society (association)

[News], The Argus (2 June 1859), 4 

The opening of the new organ at the Baptist Chapel, in Collins-street, took place yesterday evening . . . Mr. Pringle, who officiated as organist on the occasion, was prejudiced in his performance on an instrument, not only out of tune, but badly constructed . . . The remaining vocal portion of the entertainments fell to the lot of Mrs. Goodliffe, Mr. [W.] H. Williams, and Mr. Blanchard. The chorus was under the conductorship of Mr. Russell.


The first portion of what has been somewhat ambitiously called the "Handel Centenary Celebration" was held last evening in the Exhibition Building, before a very numerous and select audience. The programme included selections from three of the great composer's masterpieces namely, "Samson," "Israel in Egypt," and "Judas Maccabaeus." The principal singers were Miss Octavia Hamilton, the Misses Macarthy, Mrs. Hancock, and Mrs. Goodliffe, among the ladies and Mr. Farquharson and Mr. Ewart, among the gentlemen. The chorus, with the instrumentalists, it was promised, would number 400, but it is doubtful whether that pledge was fulfilled in its integrity. Mr. Russell was conductor, and Mr. King, leader . . . The crowning failure of the evening, however, was achieved by Messrs. Angus and Blanchard, who, in the grand bass duet, "The Lord is a man of war," gave evidence of the most hopeless incompetency. Never was Handed so miserably used . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Georgina and Maria McCarthy (vocalists); Mary Ellen Hancock (vocalist); Robert Farquharson (vocalist); Edward King (leader, violin); Handel centenary (event)

[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (29 August 1859), 4 

Overture - "Masaniello" - Band - Auber
Song - "Beauty, Sweet Beauty" - Miss James - Goruther
Song - "The Young Recruit" - Mr. Ewart - Kucken
Quadrille - "Cherbourg," - Band - D'Albert
Song - "I'm a Merry Zingara" - Miss James - Balene
"Fair Flora decks" - Messrs. Ewart, Badnall, and Blanchard
Song - "The Pilot" - Mr. Blanchard - Nelson
Quadrille - "Little Bo-Peep" - Band - D'Albert
Polka - "The Hey House" - Band - D'Albert
Song - "Terrence's farewell" - Mr. Ewart - Le Patourel
Solo - (Violoncello) - Mr. Wyvill
Song - "The Harp that once through Tara's Halls" - Mr. B. J. Downing - Moore
Duett - "Flow gently, Deva" - Messrs. Ewart and Blanchard - Parry
Galop - "The Express" - Band - D'Albert
Song - "Ave Maria" - Miss James - Schubert
Laughing Trio - Miss James, Messrs. Ewart and Blanchard "God Save the Queen!" . . .
W. S. JENKINS, Hon. Secretary.

ASSOCIATIONS: Marie James (vocalist); Charles Henry Badnall (vocalist); Mr. Wyvill (cello); Bartholomew Joseph Downing (vocalist); William Stitt Jenkins (secretary); Geelong Recreative Society (association)

[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (1 October 1859), 4 

AFTER THE RACES go to the PEOPLE'S CONCERTS, At the Trades' Hall, Lygon street.
PRINCIPAL VOCLISTS: Miss Octavia Hamilton, Miss James, Mr. T. Ewart, Mr. Blanchard, and The Glee Company.
Admission - ONE SHILLING; Reserved Seats, Two Shillings.

ASSOCIATIONS: People's concerts (genre)

[News], The Argus (17 October 1859), 5 

The last of the present series of the "People's Concerts" was given on Saturday evening in the Trades' Hall, Lygon-street, before an audience considerably more numerous than usual, but still very far inadequate to the deserts of the entertainment . . . The programme on Saturday did not present anything remarkably novel . . . Mr. Blanchard was not happy in Weiss's air, "King Witlaf's Drinking-horn," but redeemed himself in T. Cooke's fine duet, "Love and War," admirably given by himself and Mr. Ewart towards the end of the second part. Upon the whole, the concert appeared to give satisfaction.

"POLICE. CITY COURT. Monday, November 14 . . . NEGLECTING TO PAY FOR BORROWED ACCOMMODATION", The Argus (15 November 1859), 6 

Alexander Peydon v. John Blanchard. - Plaintiff in this case sought to recover from the defendant the sum of £2 6s., for the removal of certain chairs, forms, &c., from the Mechanics' Institute to the Exhibition Building, for the purposes of the recent Philharmonic concert. Verdict for plaintiff - costs £1 1s.

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

The soiree in connection with the Melbourne Philharmonic Society was held in the Exhibition Building last evening, and was in every respect a most agreeable and successful affair. The idea of a tea party, blended with a musical entertainment, was fully sustained . . . We content ourselves with subjoining the programme without further remark: "The Chough and Crow," chorus; "The Sailor's Grave," Mr. E. Beaumont; "When the Silver Moon," Miss Bailey; "Mrs. Watkins's Party," Mr. Farquharson, and on being encored, "The Tight Little Island;" "A Dream of joy," Mrs. Batten; "The Syren and Friar," Miss Mortley and Mr. C. Blanchard; "Truth in absence," Mrs. Fox; "Molly astore," Miss Hamilton; "Bridesmaids' Chorus," chorus; "The Blind Girl to her Harp," Miss S. Mortley; "Phoebe Morel," Miss B. Watson; "Lay of the Bell," Miss Bailey and Mr. Donaldson; "Erin is my home," Mrs. Hancock; "Huntsman's Chorus," chorus.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Armes Beaumont (vocalist); Amelia Bailey (vocalist); Sarah Hannah Beaumont Fox (vocalist); Sarah Mortley (vocalist); Bertha Watson (vocalist); Charles Alexander Donaldson (vocalist)

"PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Argus (18 January 1860), 5 

The annual meeting of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society took place last evening at the Mechanics' Institute. Mr. Justice Barry occupied the chair . . . The principal vocalists who appeared at the Society's concerts during the year were . . . Mr. Radcliffe, Mr. Ewart, Mr. W. H. Williams, Mr. Donaldson, Mr. Farquharson, Monsieur Coulon, Mr. Angus, Mr. Blanchard . . . The Committee for the current year are Messrs. Rutter, W. G. Dredge, Ewart, Graham, Alston, Vaughan, Blanchard, and Wild . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Emile Coulon (vocalist)

[News], The Argus (5 April 1860), 5 

The members of the Carlton Band of Hope, to the number of about 70 persons, held their annual soiree last evening, in the Temperance Hall, Russell-street. Mr. Sinclair, M.L.A., was in the chair. The evening was enlivened by the musical talents of Messrs. Litolff, Blanchard, and W. H. Williams, and Miss Mortley, as well as by recitations. The hall was decorated with some handsome banners, bearing appropriate inscriptions. In the intervals of the music, fruit was served.

ASSOCIATIONS: Francis Litolff (musician); Temperance Hall (Melbourne venue)

[News], The Argus (30 April 1860), 5 

The last musical fete of the season took place at the Botanical Gardens on Saturday, and passed off most successfully. A large number of visitors was present, for whom there was more accommodation provided than on former occasions. The programme consisted of a variety of vocal and instrumental music, the band of the 40th considerably adding to the interest of the entertainment . . . Mrs. Hancock was the only lady singer present . . . The German Liedertafel Harmonia called forth great applause by the manner in which they sang, and Messrs. Williams and Blanchard, in their duet of "Love and War" were most deservedly encored . . . The fete was held in aid of the Benevolent Asylum . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: German Liedertafel (Melbourne association); Band of the 40th Regiment (military)

"MISCELLANEOUS", The Age (20 June 1860), 5 

The Third Subscription Concert of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society will be held on Tuesday evening next in the Exhibition Building. The first part will consist of Elsasser's cantata, "Praise the Lord," and the second of a selection of sacred music. The principal vocalists are to be - . . . Messrs. F. Ewart [sic], W. H. Williams, S. Angus, S. Moxer [sic], and C. Blanchard.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Elsasser (composer, conductor); Septimus Moxon (vocalist)

[News], The Argus (29 August 1860), 5 

The Philharmonic Society's fourth subscription concert for the year took place last night, in the Exhibition Building, the attendance being above the average. Handel's "Alexander's Feast" was, upon the whole, very creditably performed, although little enthusiasm was manifested. Miss Hamilton gave the rather difficult air "He sung Darius" with considerable taste and energy, qualities still more perceptible in "The prince, unable to conceal," which was very nearly being encored. Mr. Ewart was perfectly successful in "Softly sweet, in Lydian measure," which he rendered with much flexibility and expression. Mr. Blanchard took the bass music with much care, though he hardly did full justice to the fine air "Bacchus, ever fair and young" . . .

[News], The Argus (24 October 1860), 5 

The fifth subscription concert of the Philharmonic Society took place last evening in the Exhibition Building, before an audience which would probably have been much more numerous but for the very unpropitious state of the weather. The first part of the concert, the "Lauda Sion" of Mendelssohn, went off rather flatly, the recent excellent performance of the "Lobgesang" having apparently spoilt the audience for the reception of a decidedly less effective work. The principal vocalists were Miss Bailey, Miss S. Mortley, and Messrs. Ewart, Williams, Angus, and Blanchard . . .

"CASTLEMAINE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", Mount Alexander Mail [Castlemaine, VIC] (10 December 1860), 3 

We are glad to see that the above society are making active preparations for a concert on the 20th inst. The services of Miss Bailey and Messrs. Ewart and Blanchard of the Melbourne Society have been secured. The whole of Handel's Oratorio of the "Messiah" will be performed, and it is expected the band and chorus will consist of nearly fifty performers.

ASSOCIATIONS: Castlemaine Philharmonic Society (association)

"THE PHILHARMONIC CONCERT", The Age (29 July 1863), 5 

An extra concert was given by the Philharmonic Society in the Exhibition Building last night, for the second performance of the oratorio "David," the composition of the society's conductor, Mr. Horsley . . . The principal violinist was Mr. W. C. Fisher. The principal vocalists were Miss Octavia Hamilton, Miss Bertha Watson, Miss Helen Watson, Mr. Edwin Exon, Mr. Silvanus Angus and Mr. Chas. Blanchard. The band and chorus consisted of 200 performers, and the whole were under the baton of Mr. Horsley himself. Mr. T. G. Goold presided at the organ . . . Mr. Blanchard sang very creditably and with spirit the only solo which fell to his lot . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Edward Horsley (composer, conductor); Wilhelm Carl Fischer (leader, violin); Bertha and Helena Watson (vocalists); Edwin Exon (vocalist)

[News], The Argus (23 September 1863), 5 

The half-yearly reunion of the congregation of the Oxford-street Independent Chapel, Collingwood, was celebrated last evening by a "fruit soiree" . . . Several anthems performed by the choir of the church, under the superintendence of Mr. Blanchard, varied and enlivened the proceedings of the evening. The number present was estimated at about 500.

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (18 December 1863), 5 

A public tea mooting and musical soiree was given at the Oxford street Independent Church, Collingwood, last night, in aid of the funds of the choir. About 100 persons sat down to tea, but tickets representing a much larger number had been sold, and the choir debt, which amounted to £10, was cleared off, with a surplus remaining. The tea meeting was held in the school room beneath the chapel, and the musical entertainment was given in the chapel itself. Mr. Exon was the principal tenor, Mr. Charles Blanchard the principal bass, and the leading soprano and contralto parts were entrusted to Miss Coulter and Miss Harris. Mr. Blanchard, leader of the church choir, conducted; and Mr. Fielding presided at the harmonium and pianoforte. The selection of music, which was all sacred, comprised favorite pieces from the works of Spohr, Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Jackson, &c., and the tenor song, "O, Mighty God," from Mr. C. E. Horsley's oratorio of "Gideon," which was very pleasingly rendered by Mr. Exon. One of the gems of the evening was the trio, "On thee each living soul awaits," sung by Mr. Exon, Mr. Charles Blanchard, and Miss Coulter. The duet and chorus, "By Thee with Bliss," was also very prettily rendered by Miss Harris and Mr. Charles Blanchard, and it fully deserved the applause which called for its repetition. The room is well adapted for singing, and the church choir, to which belong nearly all the performers, succeeded in affording a very gratifying entertainment to a numerous audience.

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

(Assisted by other ladies and gentlemen,) In aid of the MELBOURNE ORPHAN ASYLUM.
PRINCIPAL VOCALISTS . . . Mr. Farquharson, Mr. Sylvanus Angus,
Mr. S. Moxon, Mr. J. Blanchard, Mr. C. Blanchard.
Conductor, Mr. Charles E. Horsley . . .

"AMUSEMENTS", Leader (20 August 1864), 4 

A concert of sacred music was given at the Exhibition Building on Wednesday, by the Melbourne Philharmonic Society, assisted by a few friends . . . The principal vocalists were Miss Hamilton, Miss Mortley, Miss B. Watson, Miss Liddle, Master J. Cook, and Messrs. Farquharson, C. A. Donaldson, E. Exon, Silvanus Angus, S. Moxon, and J. Blanchard . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Maggie Liddle (vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Argus (14 September 1864), 8

ON TUESDAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 20. When Mendelssohn's NOT UNTO US, O LORD, (115th Psalm,)
Noukomm's Sacred Cantata THE EASTER MORNING, And A MISCELLANEOUS SELECTION OF MUSIC Will be performed.

[News], The Argus (15 September 1864), 5 

A lecture on "Church music," by the Rev. W. Moss, and a musical entertainment, under the direction of Mr. J. Blanchard, will be given this evening at the Congregational Church, Grattan-street, Carlton.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Moss (lecturer)

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (16 September 1864), 4 

A musical entertainment in aid of its Sunday school funds took place Thursday, in the Congregational church, Grattan street, Carlton . . . The chairman commenced the proceedings by making an earnest appeal on behalf of the Sunday school . . . This was followed by a concert of sacred music, the pieces being selected with great taste from the oratorios of Haydn, Handel and other great masters. They were rendered in a manner which reflected much credit on the conductor, Mr. J. Blanchard, and the other ladies and gentlemen whose services had been secured for the occasion . . .

[News], The Argus (16 September 1864), 5 

The anniversary services in connexion with the Carlton Congregational Church Sabbath school terminated with a concert of sacred music, and also with a lecture, both of which were given in the church last evening. There was a very large attendance; and the chair was occupied by the Hon. Geo. Harker. The musical portion of the entertainment was undertaken chiefly by the choir of Oxford-street church, under the leadership of Mr. J. Blanchard. The programme was divided into two parts, and comprised some of the finest selections from Haydn, Handel, Mendelssohn, Rutter, Kent, and other eminent composers. The vocalization was good, and the rendering of the solos and duets, although unambitious, was pleasing, and free from undue affectation or display. In the chorus singing the general harmony was exceedingly well expressed and sustained, and called forth the merited and frequent applause of the audience. In the interval between the first and second parts of the programme, an appropriate and interesting lecture on "Church music" was given by the Rev. W. Moss, of Prahran, who descanted at some length on the elevating and humanising influences of sacred melody, and expressed himself in favour of chanting in Divine Service, as being simple, practical, and devotional. He also strongly inculcated the propriety of united and earnest effort in congregational singing. The proceeds of the sale of tickets are to be devoted to the Sabbath-school Fund. The proceedings closed with the usual formalities.

"PHILHARMONIC CONCERT", The Argus (12 September 1866), 6

The second concert of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society for the present year was given last evening, in St. George's-hall . . . The first part consisted of Spohr's sublime and original oratorio of the "Last Judgment". It is about a quarter of a century since the late Edward Taylor Gresham, professor, translated the original into English, and presided over the performance of the oratorio in Norwich, and afterwards in all the principal towns in England. The impression created soon after by the works of Mendelssohn caused a partial eclipse of Spohr's works for some time, but the interest therein has revived, and the author's claims are now fairly appreciated. It is a bold enterprise for any but the most efficient choral societies to attempt to do strict justice to the productions of either of these modern masters, but the sudden, original, and surprising modulations and transitions which characterised Spohr, severely test the skill of performers, both vocal and instrumental; and this should be considered in any fair criticisms on the attempt. The society had to rely on local talent for the principal vocal parts. Mrs. J. C. Ellis, Miss M. Liddle, Mr. C. A. Donaldson, and Mr. Charles Blanchard, undertook nearly the whole of these, and as professional vocalists of high attainments were not accessible, we think the musical public should fairly appreciate the valuable aid of the amateur principals at such concerts . . . Mr. C. Blanchard gave the solos "I am the First and the Last," "I know, saith the Lord," and "Come, said a voice," with excellent effect . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Marie Kramer Ellis (vocalist)

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (12 December 1864), 5 

A concert of vocal and instrumental music will be given this evening, under the conductorship of Mr. Thos. Ewart, in the Mechanics' Institute, Emerald Hill. The programme is a well-selected one, and as the vocalists include Miss Warden, Miss Liddle, Messrs. J. and C. Blanchard, and several amateurs of note, a very enjoyable entertainment may be anticipated.

[News], The Argus (1 September 1865), 5 

There was a concert at the Eastern-hill Drill-room last night, for the benefit of the Melbourne Orphan Asylum. The solo vocalists included Miss Mortley, Miss Harris, Mr. E. Exon, Mr. G. A. Johnson, Mr. C. Blanchard, and Mr. E. Amery, who were supported by an efficient chorus. The programme comprised several popular songs and glees, and the Collingwood Rifle Band performed a selection of music from "II Trovatore," and a grand march. The song of "The Blind Girl to her Harp," sung by Miss Mortley, with harp accompaniment by Miss Ransford, a young lady apparently not twelve years of age, and pupil of Mr. S. H. Marsh, was warmly encored; and the whole entertainment afforded great pleasure to a numerous audience. Mr. C. Blanchard officiated as conductor.

ASSOCIATIONS: Stephen Hale Marsh (harpist, teacher); Collingwood Rifles Band (volunteer force)

"PHILHARMONIC CONCERT", The Argus (17 July 1867), 7

The second concert of the season was given by the Melbourne Philharmonic Society last evening, at St. George's-hall . . . The first part of the programme consisted of songs and instrumental symphonies, commencing with the overture to "Zampa," which was given with great spirit . . . Calcott's "Last Man," sung by Mr. Charles Blanchard, was received with strongly marked applause and the sparkling overture to "Masaniello" made a brilliant finish to the first part of the entertainment . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: St. George's Hall (Melbourne venue)


A soiree in commemoration of the first anniversary of this union was held yesterday. Tea was provided in the lecture hall at the rear of the Collins-street Independent Church, and upwards of 400 persons partook thereof . . . The chairman remarked on the beneficial character of the meetings for consultation that had been held during the year . . . Entertainments for scholars were next referred to, the gathering of 5000 scholars at the Town Hall in November being especially noticed. In order to improve Sunday school singing, Mr. Charles Blanchard had been appointed to visit the union schools . . .

[Advertisement], Mercury [Fitzroy, VIC] (22 May 1875), 7 


"NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (16 June 1875), 2 

The celebration of the anniversary of the Oxford-street Congregational Church was brought to a conclusion last evening. The usual tea-meeting was attended by between three and four hundred persons. After tea, instead of the ordinary meeting, a concert of sacred music, vocal and instrumental, was given, under the conductorship of Mr. C. Blanchard . . .

"TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCHES . . . SALE. Tuesday", The Argus (31 May 1876), 5

Mr. Charles Blanchard has been appointed by the Minister as singing master at the Sale, Maffra, and Stratford schools.

"THE MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY. [I]", The Argus (25 December 1878), 6 

. . . The subscription year 1856 was opened with Haydn's "Creation" on February 13 . . . Mr. Blanchard taking the bass . . .

"THE MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY. II", The Argus (13 January 1879), 6 

. . . The year 1859 witnessed the return of Mr. Russell to his office as conductor. Handel's great choral work, "Israel in Egypt," was produced for the first time in Australia at the society's 43rd concert, on March 11 . . . and Messrs. Angus and C. Blanchard were meritorious in their rendering of "The Lord is a man of war" . . .

"Deaths", The Argus (8 August 1885), 1 

BLANCHARD. - On the 6th inst., at the residence of her son-in-law, G. D. Barker, 90 Smith-street, Collingwood, Ann, relict of the late John Blanchard, in her 87th year.

"DEATHS", The Argus (13 August 1912), 1 

BARKER. - On the 12th August, at the residence of her brother, C. Blanchard, "Alverstoke," Stoke-avenue, East Kew, Annie Barker, widow of G. D. Barker, aged 82 years and 6 months.

"EARLY MELBOURNE. John Pascoe Fawkner - "The Founder of Melbourne" - His Life, Death, and Funeral . . . (By "Old Chum") No. 434", Truth (23 March 1918), 7 

. . . Wednesday, September 8, 1869, saw the last scene of all in in the career of John Pascoe Fawkner, founder of Melbourne, when he was laid to rest in the Melbourne Cemetery . . . At 8 a.m. the body was carried from the well-known house in Smith street, Collingwood (on the eastern side near Johnston street), where he had lived for so many to the Oxford street Independent church, where he had worshipped during the latter part of his life . . . At half-past two the doors of the church were opened, and in a few minutes the place was packed, mostly with persons wearing mourning . . . The funeral service was commenced by the pastor of the church, then recently appointed, Rev. W. Wood (late of Leicester, England), who read the 90th Psalm very impressively. The principal members of the choir, with Mr. Charles Blanchard, then leader, next sang as a funeral anthem a quartette composed by Mr. G. O. Rutter, late of Melbourne, and the words of which were taken from Revelations xxi: 4 beginning, "And there shall be no more death." It was sung with precision and a feeling befitting the occasion . . . and the coffin being carried to the hearse, the procession to the grave began, while the "Dead March in Saul" was played on the harmonium in the church . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Michael Forde (author); John Pascoe Fawkner (politician)

"DEATHS", The Argus (12 September 1918), 1

BLANCHARD. - On the 11th September, at his residence, "Alverstoke," Deepdene, Charles Blanchard, aged 81 years.

"PERSONAL . . . Singing Master Dies", The Herald (14 September 1918), 1 

Mr. Charles Blanchard, who died on Wednesday at his home, "Alverstoke," Deepdene, near Camberwell, at the age of 81, was one of the singing masters of the Victorian Education Department from 1876 till 1893, when he retired on a small pension. The singing teachers were asked to retire 25 years ago, when the Patterson Government was carrying out a retrenchment policy. For some time after they retired they were permitted unofficially to continue teaching singing, and the pupils took small weekly contributions - generally 1d each - to pay them for the class lessons. Mr. Blanchard was one of the best known and most popular of the teachers who visited metropolitan schools. The regret felt by the older officers of the Education Department at his death will probably be shared by thousands of his former pupils.

Probate and administration, Charles Blanchard, 1918; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

"WILLS AND ESTATES", The Argus (10 October 1918), 4

Charles Blanchard, of Stoke Avenue, East Kew, teacher of singing, who died on September 11 1918, left, by will dated May 6, 1918, real estate valued at £1,776 and personal property valued at £2,040 to his niece and a friend.

Bibliography and resources:

W. A. Carne, A century of harmony: the official centenary history of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Society (Melbourne: Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Society, 1954); later transcript (DOWNLOAD PDF)

Enid Noel Matthews, Colonial organs and organ builders (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1969), 128 

Collingwood . . . CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH . . . new church built 1856 . . . Organists: 1863, Charles Blanchard . . .

BLAND, J. C. (J. C. BLAND; ? James BLAND)

Musician, pianist, vocalist

Active Melbourne, VIC, by November 1853
Active Williamstown, VIC, until May 1857 or later (TROVE tagged) (shareable link to this entry)

With thanks to Duncan Taggart (NZ) for kindly sharing his research (2022)


? Names and descriptions of passengers per Northumberland, from London, 2 July 1853, for Port Phillip, October 1853; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

. . . Bland James / 30 . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (26 November 1853), 8 

The third Grand Promenade Concert will take place On Saturday evening, Nov. 26th, 1853.
Mr. Alfred Oakey's celebrated Monster Orchestra, embracing all the talent available in Melbourne.
Madame Sara Flower, the Australian Nightingale.
First appearance of Mr. J. C. Bland, from Crosby Hall, London . . .
Leader - Mr. Tucker. Conductor - Mr. Alfred Oakey . . .

"SATURDAY EVENING CONCERTS", The Argus (26 November 1853), 5 

At the promenade concert to be given at Rowe's Circus this evening, in addition to the other attractions, a new debutant will make his appearance. He is Mr. J. C. Bland, of Crosby Hall, London. He is said to be an excellent singer of Henry Russell's descriptive songs, such as the Maniac, the Ship on Fire, &c. What with Mr. Bland, Madame Sara Flower, Miss Hartland, Mr. Walsh, and other vocalists, the lovers of good singing may will expect a feast.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Andrew Rowe (proprietor); Sara Flower (vocalist); Miss Hartland (vocalist); Charles Walsh (vocalist); Edward Tucker (violinist, leader); Alfred Oakey (pianist, conductor); Rowe's American Circus (Melbourne venue)

[Advertisement], The Argus (4 January 1855), 1 

MR. BLAND, pianist, is requested to call immediately on Alfred Oakey, at Rowe's American Circus.

[Advertisement], The Argus (9 January 1855), 8 

MR. BLAND, Pianist, you must decide at once respecting the purchase. Receive a letter where deposited.

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

PIANOFORTE, Rosewood Cottage, for Sale.
Anything reasonable. Bland, Albert Hotel, Little Bourke-street, at twelve o'clock.

[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (3 October 1855), 3 

F. CARMAN, Proprietor of the GAMEKEEPER'S HOTEL, Geelong, having succeeded in engaging
Mr. J. C. BLAND, the celebrated Pianist and Singer of Russell's Songs, from London,
begs to inform his friends and the public in general,
that Mr. J. C. Bland will preside at the pianoforte and sing every evening during the week until further notice.

[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (10 November 1855), 4 

GAMEKEEPERS HOTEL - Free Concert Room, Yarra-street, Geelong.
Mrs. Bartlett, Mr. J. C. Bland, and Mr. John Cowan, the comic and local singer,
will sing every evening in the week until further notice, commencing at 7 o'clock each evening.
Prices of refreshment same as at the bar. Ladies admitted.
F. CARMAN, Proprietor

ASSOCIATIONS: John Cowan (comic vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Argus (12 January 1856), 7 

NOTICE. - Mr. J. C. Bland is requested to communicate with James Stowe, 40th Regiment, and redeem his Dissolving Views; if not, they will be Sold after seven days from this date, as the agreement terminated on the 4th January.

"COUNTY COURT OF BOURKE. Monday, 25th August. £200 Jurisdiction . . . BLAND V. DOYLE", The Age (26 August 1856), 3 

For plaintiff, Mr. Newton; for defendant, Mr. Bindon.
An action to recover £16 wages due by a musical publican, at Sandridge, to plaintiff, a piano player, who led defendant's concerts, repaired his piano, putting new strings into it, and scraping grease off the sounding board. For the defence it was stated that defendant had paid plaintiff £6 for whatever work had been done. He had certainly tuned the piano, and got a pair of bellows to blow it, and that was the only work he had done besides playing, which he was not competent to do. His Honor said this was a case for the lower court, and should not have been brought before the assessors. Mr. Newton would take a nonsuit, which was granted with costs.

"WILLIAMSTOWN ATHENAEUM", Williamstown Chronicle (23 May 1857), 3 

On Tuesday evening last the members of the elocution class, recently formed in connection with this institution, followed up their initiatory Conversazione by another delightful entertainment of a similar character, and equally successful in aid of the funds of the "Williamstown Ladies' Benevolent Society." At half-past seven every available corner of the building was densely thronged by a highly respectable audience, embracing the leading residents of the town, with their families, and a few gentlemen from Melbourne, attracted, no doubt, by the success of the previous entertainment. The vocal part of the programme, albeit certain acoustic difficulties with which the amateurs had to contend, was pleasingly rendered, but we regret to say that the same apology cannot be urged on behalf of the pianoforte accompaniments; and here we may be allowed to observe, en passant, that nothing short of musical talent of a high order will suit the tastes of our "fishing villagers" . . .

"THE ATHENAEUM PERFORMANCES [To the Editor of the . . .]", Williamstown Chronicle (30 May 1857), 3-4 

Sir, - In the Chronicle of last week appeared a critique on the late performances at the Athenaeum, to which I beg respectfully to call your attention. Among other things you say, that "the vocal part of the programme, albeit certain acoustic difficulties with which the amateurs had to contend, was pleasingly rendered, but you were sorry to observe that the same apology could not be urged on behalf of the pianoforte accompaniments;" adding that "nothing short of musical talent of a high order would suit the tastes of the fishing villagers."

Now, Sir, I am not going to contradict your statements, either in regard to the style in which the vocal parts were rendered, or the "inimitable" manner in which the various characters were sustained. If the "villagers" are satisfied with what they got for their money, that I presume is all that is required, I can assure you I have no desire to see them other wise; on the contrary, I most heartily congratulate them upon the talent with which they were entertained. But with respect to myself as the individual who presided at the pianoforte, for whom you could offer no apology, and whom you dismissed with an intimation that "nothing short of musical talent of a high order would suffice," I beg to offer a few remarks by way of explaining the cause of my short-comings. In the first place, allow me to say, there was no rehearsal whatever previous to the performances. In the next place, the pianoforte was entirely out of tune. Then, I had not a particle of copy to play from, nor did I even know what pieces were intended to be presented until I received the printed programme, which was only an hour or two before the performances commenced. The only guide I had was a gentleman or two behind the proscenium now and then calling out "Give us a gig," "Soft music," "Something pathetic," &c., all of which I was expected to produce the instant the word of command [4] was given. These are facts which I challenge any man to contradict; and how it could be expected that I should keep time with men who could not keep time with themselves, or how it could be supposed that I, with an untuned instrument, should be able to play in unison with those who were constantly producing discords, I am at a loss to understand. When I tell you that I depend entirely on my profession for obtaining a livelihood, I hope you will not refuse to do me the justice of inserting this communication in the next issue of your journal.
Yours, respectfully, J. C. BLAND.
Williamstown, May 28th, 1857.

BLAZEY, William Ranger (William Ranger BLAZEY; W. R. BLAZEY)

Pianoforte maker, piano manufacturer

Born England, 29 January 1832; baptised Wymondham, Norfolk, 25 September 1835; son of ["William" and] Anne BLAZEY ("single woman")
Married Elizabeth Susan CLEMENTS (1831-1914), St. Pancras's chapel, London, 26 August 1854
Arrived Geelong, VIC, 9 July 1857 (per Carleton, from Liverpool, 3 April)
Died Fawkner, VIC, 5 July 1904, aged "71/72" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

William Ranger Blazey

William Ranger Blazey


Baptisms solemnized in the Parish of Wymondham in the county of Norfolk in the year 1835; register 1834-57, page 27; Norfolk Archives (PAYWALL)

No. 210 / Bap'd Sep'r 25th / Born Jan'y 29th 1832 / William Rainger Son of / Anne / Blazey / Towngreen / Single Woman . . .

1854, marriage solemnized at St. Pancras Church in the Parish of St. Pancras in the county of Middlesex; register 1853-55, page 211; London Metropolitan Archives (PAYWALL)

No. 422 / Aug'st 26 / William Ranger Blazey / full [age] / Bachelor / Piano-forte Maker / William St. / [son of] William Blazey dead
Elizabeth Susan Clements / full [age] / Spinster / - / [William St.] / [daughter of] William Clements / Merchant's clerk. . .

List of passengers per Carleton, from Liverpool, 3 April 1857, arrived at Geelong, 9 July 1857; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

Blazey William / Carpenter / Norfolk / 23 / Engaged at trade in Geelong at 12/- per day
Elizabeth / 25 // Alice / 1 // Leonard / Inf.

"SHIPPING . . . IMPORTS", The Age (11 August 1860), 4 

August 9 - Suffolk, from London . . . 1 case, W. Blazey . . .

"THE VICTORIAN EXHIBITION TO TAKE PLACE IN OCTOBER . . . MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS", The Colonial Mining Journal, Railway and Share Gazette and Illustrated Record [Melbourne, VIC] (8 August 1861), 182 

Mr. Blagey [sic], Colonial-made Piano.
" Devereux, Colonial-made Stringed Musical Instruments of various kinds.
" P. Terliki, Colonial-made Piano.
" Wilkie, Colonial-made Piano.
" H. C. Nicholas, one Six-stop Harmonium in Blackwood and Huon Pine; one Three-stop Harmonium in Cedar Case.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Devereux (violin maker); Peter Terlecki (pianoforte maker); Joseph Wilkie (pianoforte maker); Henry Chatterton Nicholas (harmonium maker)

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (28 August 1861), 5 

The contributions from this colony to the Great Exhibition of 1862, promise at present to be both varied and numerous. Amongst the exhibits for which applications for space were sent in, during the week ending the 26th inst., may be mentioned . . . a pianoforte, of colonial woods, from Mr. Wm. R. Blazey . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (29 August 1861), 8 

W. BLAZEY, Bridge-road, Richmond, PIANOFORTE-MAKER, From Kirkman's, London, Tunes and repairs pianofortes. London prices.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Kirkman (London pianoforte maker)

[Advertisement], The Argus (3 October 1861), 3 

W. BLAZEY, PIANOFORTE MAKER, 12 years practical finisher and regulator for Kirkman and Son, Nutting and Addison, and D'Almaine of London. Pianofortes tuned and repaired at London prices. 14 Bridge-road, Richmond.

[Advertisement], The Argus (25 October 1861), 8 

TWO splendid walnutwood PIANOFORTES, Broadwood model, for SALE Blazey, pianoforte maker, 11 Bridge-road, Richmond.

[News], The Argus (4 August 1862), 5 

Our attention has been directed to a pianoforte which has been made to order by Mr. Blazey, pianoforte manufacturer, 14 Bridge-road, Richmond. It is is a cottage piano of full compass - six and seven-eighths octaves - and appears as complete and perfect in its mechanism as it could possibly be. It possesses a brilliant tone; and several musicians, both professors and amateurs, who have tested its capabilities speak of it as a very fine instrument. The wooden portion of it, with the exception of the sounding-board, which is pine, is made of blackwood, grown at Ferntree Gully. The whole instrument is of colonial manufacture, and is a credit to the maker, Mr. Blazey, who, it may be remembered, obtained a first-class certificate at the Victorian Exhibition for the first piano of colonial wood made in this colony.

[News], The Argus (22 January 1863), 5 

The musical and music-loving portion of the community will no doubt be glad to learn that the manufacture of pianofortes is gradually becoming an important branch of colonial industries, and that first-class pianos can be made here at such reasonable prices, that probably in a short time the difficulty which has been experienced in obtaining good instruments, except at a very considerable outlay of money, will be removed. We recently noticed a fine piano which had been made by Mr. Blazey, of Bridge-road, Richmond, a gentleman who had the honour of sending to the Victorian Exhibition the first pianoforte made of colonial wood and our attention has this week been directed to another piano by the same maker. It is a semi cottage, of the full compass six and seven-eighths octaves. The case is constructed entirely of solid blackwood, and it has a very handsome appearance, though it has been designed for substantial service rather than mere ornament. The mechanism has been carefully and ably constructed, and the tone of the instrument is exceedingly rich and mellow. It possesses a delicate touch, and is altogether an excellent piano - a credit alike to colonial industry and to the maker.

[News], The Argus (7 May 1863), 5 

A very fine piccolo piano has just been completed by Mr. W. Blazey, of Bridge-road, Richmond. It combines strength and purity of tone in a high degree; and though not put in comparison with a Collard or Erard - to the cost of which its price is comparatively small - his fully as good an instrument as a piano of a similar description made by any of the second-class English makers. The manufacture of colonial pianofortes is no longer a novelty, and it is highly creditable to those who have embarked in this branch of industry that, without any protective tariff, they are able to produce instruments of such a quality, and at such a reasonable price as to compete with imported pianos. The instrument in question is made of colonial blackwood, and almost every detail of it is colonial workmanship. Even the keys, which have hitherto always been imported, have been made in the colony, and are quite as good as those of English make. In strength and durability colonial pianos are found to be much superior to those made in England or other countries, and are specially adapted to withstand the influence of the hot-winds of summer.

[Advertisement], The Argus (2 April 1864), 8 

COLONIAL PIANOFORTES. - W. R. Blazey having had 10 years' practical experience, begs to remind the purchasers of instruments that he manufactures in the Bridge-road, Richmond, at prices varying from £33 and upwards.
Awarded first-class certificate for the first pianoforte manufactured of colonial woods in the colony.

[News], The Argus (29 November 1864), 5 

Mr. Wm. Blazey, of Bridge-road, Richmond, who exhibited the first pianoforte made of colonial wood at the Victorian Exhibition of 1861, has recently introduced a description of wood for the exterior of pianos which has not hitherto been employed for that purpose. Blackwood has generally been used, and the pianos made of that wood have a very handsome appearance; but the new wood - dogwood - is still more beautiful, being equal in effect to the beat English walnut, which it closely resembles in general appearance. A visit to Mr. Blazey's workshop on Saturday brought under our notice two instruments, superior in quality to many of the pianofortes imported from England. With the exception of the wire, felt, and iron work, the whole of the instruments are formed of colonial products, and even these were prepared by Mr. Blazey from imported raw materials, so that the term "colonial manufacture" may be strictly applied to these instruments. Mr. C. E. Horsley, whose talents as a musician give weight to his opinion, tested the pianos, and pronounced that their tone and touch were unexceptionable. These instruments are manufactured specially for durability in hot climates. Mr. Blazey has been engaged in the manufacture of pianos here for the last three years; and, in addition to supplying a large number for colonial use, he has also been enabled to lay the foundation of an export trade in these article, having made one to order for a gentleman at Java. It speaks highly for his enterprise that, unassisted by the capital of a large firm, and working under many difficulties and much opposition, he is able to produce such excellent instruments as he has turned out of his manufactory.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Edward Horsley (pianist)


We understand that the board appointed to consider the claims which were sent in for a share of the £5000 voted by the Legislature as premiums for the introduction of new industries have concluded their labors, and will shortly present their report to the Legislature. Altogether there were fifty-eight applications sent in for rewards, but a large number of them were at once disallowed as not coming within the scope of the intention of Parliament, which was held by the board to limit the rewards to such parties as had successfully initiated new industries subsequent to the passing of the vote. After repeated considerations of the applications sent in, it was resolved that the premiums to be awarded should be of three classes, the first-class premium to be in amount £100, the second £50, and the third £25 . . . Mr. W. R. Blazey, pianoforte manufacturer . . . will be recommended for third-class certificates of £25 each . . .

[News], The Argus (2 February 1865), 4-5 

In compliance with an advertisement calling a meeting of gentlemen favourable to the establishment of a society for the promotion of arts and manufactures, and for the development and introduction of new industries, about a dozen gentlemen interested in these objects assembled yesterday [5] afternoon at the Duke of Rothsay Hotel, Elizabeth-street. Mr. N. Chevalier was called to the chair . . . Mr. Blazey followed, saying he thought that if a protective tariff would advance their interests, the society should support it. This gave rise to a long discussion, in which Mr. Gibbons, to test the feeling of the meeting moved the addition to the resolution of the words "Such objects to be pursued by other than political means." This was carried by the casting vote of the chairman . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Nicholas Chevalier (chair)

[News], The Kyneton Observer (21 February 1865), 2 

We are requested to call the attention of parties requiring pianofortes tuned to the fact that Mr. R. Blazey will be in Kyneton on the 27th, and in Woodend on the 28th, for the purpose of tuning and repairing pianofortes. Mr. Blazey was awarded the Government grant for establishment of the first pianoforte manufactory in Victoria, and his visit will doubtless be an acquisition to those whose pianofortes need seeing to. Orders left at Mr. Prebble's, Piper-street, and Fitzsimmons' Hotel, Woodend, will be attended to.

"INDUSTRIAL PROGRESS AT RICHMOND", The Argus (5 December 1865), 6 

. . . At the east end of the road, near Hawthorn bridge, a new and important branch of industry - namely, the making of organs - has been instituted by Mr. George Fincham . . . The musical instruments which are made in the borough of Richmond are not limited to organs. The manufacture of pianofortes has long been carried on in Bridge-road, by Mr. W. R. Blazey, who obtained a certificate at the Victorian Exhibition in 1861, for the first pianoforte made of colonial wood, and also a portion of the £5,000 granted by Government in 1864, for the encouragement of new industries, as a recognition of his labours in the introduction of this branch of industry. The superiority of colonial-made pianos over English ones, in a hot climate like that of Victoria, is now generally admitted. With the exception of the felt on the hammers, the ivory keys, and the wire, every portion of the piano is now made by Mr. Blazey. Blackwood makes a handsome-looking and durable case for the instruments, but two other descriptions of wood have also been adopted by Mr. Blazey - namely, dogwood and muskwood. They are both found in the Dandenong Ranges, and when polished, closely resemble walnut, the latter being especially beautiful. Muskwood we understand, is now exported in considerable quantities to England, where it is highly-esteemed for fancy cabinet work. Mr. Blazey, besides making pianos for use in Victoria, has also made some to order for exportation to Java, Queensland, and New Zealand; and the steady increase of his business at Richmond has induced him recently to open a show-room in Collins-street. It should be remembered that the increase of the manufacture of colonial pianofortes, of which this is only one instance, has taken place without any protection beyond that afforded by the long voyage between England and Victoria . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Fincham (organ builder)

[Advertisement], The Argus (13 January 1866), 7 

PIANOFORTES and HARMONIUMS, cheap. Blazey's pianoforte rooms, Mechanics' Institute, Collins-street. Pianofortes tuned and repaired.

"THE INTERCOLONIAL EXHIBITION", The Argus (22 December 1866), 5 

. . . The smaller exhibits of Mr. W. R. Blazey, of Richmond, are additional evidence of the secure foundation of this new industry. A fine-looking piano, in a muskwood case, priced at £40. seems highly finished, but it was locked and we had no opportunity of trying its tone. A smaller one, of less costly material outside, and designated the "artisans' colonial piano," reflects credit on the maker, who puts it and similar pianos into the market at the low price of £30. It has evidently excited so much curiosity that free handling has temporarily injured its tone. Mr. Blazey is, it appears, the pioneer of the trade in Victoria, and deserves honour as well as the profit which we are glad to know he has obtained on that account. He has been awarded a first class certificate for the first piano of colonial woods made in the colony, a Government grant of money for the establishment of pianoforte making in Victoria, and another Government grant for the introduction of Victorian musk wood into piano manufacture . . .

"DEATHS", The Argus (23 July 1894), 1 

BLAZEY. - On the 21st inst., at his parents' residence, No. 49 Bridge-road, Richmond, William Ranger, eldest beloved son of William Ranger and Elizabeth S. Blazey, aged 32 years.

ASSSOCIATIONS: William Ranger Blazey junior (born Richmond, VIC, 1862)

Probate and administration, William Ranger Blazey [junior], pianoforte tuner, died 1894; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

[Advertisement], The Age (11 May 1895), 9 

NOTICE is hereby given that . . . APPLICATION will be made to the Supreme Court of the Colony of Victoria, in its probate jurisdiction, that LETTERS of ADMINISTRATION of the ESTATE of WILLIAM RANGER BLAZEY, the younger, late of No. 49 Bridge-road, Richmond, in the colony of Victoria, Pianoforte Tuner, deceased intestate, may be GRANTED to William Ranger Blazey, of No. 49 Bridge-road, Richmond aforesaid, pianoforte tuner, the father of the said deceased. Dated this eleventh day of May, 1895 . . .

"DEATHS", The Argus (7 July 1904), 1 

BLAZEY. - On the 5th July, at his late residence, Fawkner, William Ranger, beloved husband of Elizabeth Blazey, and father of Mrs. Dines, Mrs. R. Mann, Mrs. Rainsford, Mrs. Latimer, Ernest C., and Charles C. Blazey, aged 71 years, late of Richmond. (By request, no flowers.)

"Obituary. Wm. Ranger Blazey", Richmond Guardian (9 July 1904), 2 

We regret to record the death on Tuesday evening, at the age of 71, of Mr. William Ranger Blazey, husband of Mrs. E. Blazey, and father of Mr. C. C. Blazey (our esteemed Town Clerk), Mr. Ernest C. Blazey (Superintendent of the Melbourne Railway Yards), Mrs. Dines, Mrs. Ransford, Mrs. Latimer, and Mrs. R. Mann. His death removes from our midst one of the oldest residents of Richmond, and one who was intimately connected with the early rise and progress of the district. Mr. Blazey's association with Richmond dates back for 46 years, and next month (if he had lived) it was the intention of his family to have had a little celebration at his home of the 50th year of his marriage with his worthy life partner, who (we are pleased to say) bears her years well, and, has so far been blessed with excellent health. The deceased gentleman was a great sufferer from rheumatism: but, nevertheless, maintained his characteristic good humor until nearly the last.

He was one of the hardy pioneers, free and independent, of a very sociable nature, and had a vein of humor in his composition that never failed to point an argument, or brighten up the conver[sa]tion with a jocular incident or reminiscence. He was generally to the fore at election times, and has taken part in many a keenly-fought Parliamentary and municipal battle; he was a great supporter of the late Hon. J. G. Francis in the stirring times of that period, and more recently of the late Mr. Joseph Bosisto, and other well-known public men. In the early days, in March, 1869, when assessors used to be appointed, he was elected an assessor for Richmond in conjunction with Mr. G. C. Adcock, and in the records of that time names of a number of once prominent citizens (now dead) appear side by side with his. Social and friendly society matters used also to receive his attention; he was one of the earliest members (if not one of the founders) of Court Robin Hood, Foresters, and held the position of trustee for many years, and was a P.C.R. of the lodge, also a Past Master of the Collingwood Lodge of Freemasons. He first resided in Buckingham-street, then afterwards in Bridge-road, where he carried on the manufacture of pianofortes. He built the first piano in Victoria of colonial woods, and exhibited it at the Exhibition of 1861, and, judging by the flattering notices in the daily papers at that time, the instrument was a noteworthy one; in 1864, Parliament passed a special vote in recognition of meritorious exhibits at the Exhibition, and he received, in addition to Exhibition honours, an award of £25 for this piano, the late Mr. Bosisto also receiving an award at same time for his exhibits. The late Mr. Blazey was a member of the old East Melbourne Volunteer Force, and Cr. Jago was associated with him in the 70s in this force, and many a joke the two veterans cracked together.

The death took place at Fawkner, Moreland, where deceased and his wife had been living for some time past, and the remains were removed to Mr. C. C. Blazey's residence, Lennox-street, from whence they were conveyed on Thursday afternoon to their last resting-place, the Boroondara Cemetery, the funeral cortege being a long one, and comprising old Richmond identities, a great many friends of the deceased and his family, most of the councillors and council employees. The Rev. A. Hardie officiated at the grave. The pall-bearers were - The Mayor (Cr. Crawcour), Cr. Jago, Messrs. R. H. Henderson, J. C. Brown, R. Clay, W. Arnold, S. Harris, and W. G. Swift. Mr. H. King, carried out the mortuary arrangements.

Probate and administration, William Ranger Blazey [senior], died 1904; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)


Musician, bandsman, band sergeant (1815-16), late "master", Band of the 48th Regiment

Born Belfast, Ireland, 2 May 1784; son of William BLIZZARD (BLIZARD), 48th Regiment
Enlisted 48th Regiment, Island of St. Vincent, 23 April 1793
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 3 August 1817 (per Matilda, from Cork, 22 March)
Discharged 48th Regiment, Sydney, NSW, 25/26 April 1823
Died Bathurst, NSW, 19 February 1832 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Band of the 48th Regiment (military)


William Blizzard was born in Belfast on 2 May 1784, and enlisted in the 48th in Regiment in 1793 at St. Vincent, in the West Indies, as a 9-year-old drummer, his father, also William, a bandsman, and later master of the band.

Blizzard later recollected that during his decades of service "in various climes", he "suffered great and severe privations, extreme hardships, and captivity". Amongst battles he was engaged in, he noted the attempted recapture of the island of St. Lucia in April 1796 under Ralph Abercromby, the breaking of the siege of Malta in 1800, and "several other campaigns during the late memorable war", in the Peninsula and France between 1809 and 1814.

The regiment returned to Cork later in 1814, and there Blizzard was promoted to corporal, and, for a little over a year in 1815-16, sergeant "master of the band"; if the band was typically consituted, he was probably, therefore, a performer on the clarinet or oboe. However, well before the regiment set sail for Australia on 22 March 1817, Blizzard had been demoted again to private, and replaced as band sergeant by John Leonard (who was succeed in Australia by sergeant John Reed). Therefore, though he may well still have been one the band's leading musicians, and perhaps even effectively its leader, he did not officially serve as "master" in Australia.

Blizzard and the rest of the band arrived in Sydney with the headquarters of the regiment on the Matilda in August 1817.

As a bandsman, Blizzard would have played for functions held by John Piper in 1819 and 1820. Given this association, it is possible that he was later a member, perhaps even "master", of Piper's "Band of music" in Sydney and/or later in Bathurst.

Having taken his discharge in April 1823, Blizzard remained in NSW, and, while living in Sydney in June 1825, received a grant of 100 acres of land. He was appointed a police constable in Sydney in January 1828, but resigned a year later. He was active as a freemason (Lodge of Australia No. 820, English Constitution, 6 April, 1829).

He was granted the license of the Golden Fleece Inn, at "Old Bathurst" (Kelso), in June-July 1831, and died there on 19 February 1832 intestate.


Pay-list of the Forty Eighth Regiment of Foot from 25 October 1815 to 24 March 1816 (Australian Joint Copying Project, from Records of the UK War Office) (DIGITISED)

Serjeants . . . Blizzard Wm. / Band . . .

Pay-list of the Forty Eighth Regiment of Foot from 25 September to 24 December 1816 (Australian Joint Copying Project, from Records of the UK War Office) (DIGITISED)

Serjeants . . . Leonard Jno / Band . . . (DIGITISED)

Privates . . . Blizzard W'm / Band . . .
Discharge, William Blizzard, Sydney, 25 June 1823; UK National Archives, WO 96/622/46/1

Pay-list of the Forty Eighth Regiment of Foot from 25 March to 24 September 1817 [shipboard to 7 August] (Australian Joint Copying Project, from Records of the UK War Office) (DIGITISED)

Drum-Major as Serjeant / Sculley Mic'l . . .
Leonard John / . . . (DIGITISED)

Privates . . . Blizzard Will'm . . .

Discharge, William Blizzard, Sydney, 25 June 1823; UK National Archives, WO 96/622/46/1-2 (PAYWALL)

26 / 4 / '23 / His Majesty's 48th Regiment of Foot . . .
to certify that Private Wm. Blizzard Born in the Parish of Belfast in or near the Town of Belfast in the County of Down
was enlisted for the aforesaid Regiment at St. Vincents in the W. Indies on the 23'd Day of April 1793 at the age of Nine Years for Unlimited Service . . .
Statement of Service [added in pencil: Born 2 / 5 / 84 ] [As] Serjeant 1 yr 119 days / Corporal 1 yr 356 days / [service before the age of 18] 9 yrs . . .
He is hereby discharged in consequence of General debility & length of Service . . .
That his general conduct as a soldier has been Good . . .
To prevent any improper use being made of this discharge . . .
Private William Blizzard is about [39] years of age, is Five foot Eight Inches in Height, Light Hair, Grey Eyes, Fair Complexion, and by Trade or Occupation [blank]
Given . . . at Sydney New South Wales this [25 June 1823] / G. Cimitiere, Lt. Col & Major 48th regt. Commander.

ASSOCIATIONS: Gilbert Cimitiere (commander of regiment from 1823)

Memorial, William Blizzard, 1825; State Records Authority of NSW, 1

Memorial, William Blizzard, 1825; State Records Authority of NSW (DIGITISED)

To His Excellency Sir Tho's Brisbane, K.C.B., Governor of New South Wales &c &c &c

The Petition of William Blizard late of His Majesty's 28th Reg. of Foot, Sydney, Most Humbly Sheweth -

That Petitioner enlisted in the Island of St. Vincent's is parents being in the 48th Reg't his father having discharged the duty of Band Master, with credit and repute, and as Petitioner was born in said Reg't, he some years afterwards was promoted to the same situation of his father, which he endeavoured to fulfil with the like character his father maintained through life.

That Petitioner having enlisted in 1793 and at his own request discharged in the Colony with a pension in May 1824 [sic], as he was permitted to remain on the pension list till that period. Petitioner begs leave humbly to state to your Excellency that during a period of 30 years servitude in various climes, he suffered great and severe privations, extreme hardships, and captivity. Pet'n'r was present at the following gallant exploits (viz) taking of St. Lucie 1796, under Sir R. Abercrombie, Surrender of Malta under Gen'l Vallets in 1800, and several other campaigns during the late memorable war.

That Petitioner most humbly begs leave to recall to your Excell'y's recollection about two years ago at an inspection of his [verso] late corps, Col. Cilmetiere was so kind as to mention to your Excell'y that in the event of Petitioner remaining in the Colony Peti'n'r was deserving of every indulgence from his long servitude and propriety of conduct which Col. C. has certified in a document transmitted herewith.

That Petitioner has borne a most irreproachable character, both in the army and since his discharge in this Colony, and having maturely considered the hardships of the times in England, and the spirit of emigration the consequence of the same, most humbly hopes, your Excellency will consider his long privations, sufferings, and servitude for the long period of 30 years in the same Reg't in which he was born, and allow him to become a settler, by granting him such portion of Land, and indulgencies attached thereto as to your Excellency may seem meet, and should Petitioner be so fortunate he means to spend his days in the Colony. For his general character in the army and since his discharge, he begs leave to refer to the Documents and signatures hereto. And Petitioner will ever pray. Will'm Blizard.

I beg to recommend this petitioner to the favourable consideration of his Excellency the Governor [signature, ? Piper]

[on outer] Answ'd. 2nd June 1825.

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Brisbane (governor)

Memorial, William Blizzard, 1825; State Records Authority of NSW, 2

"Government Notice", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (28 January 1828), 1

Colonial Secretary's Office, 25th January, 1828.
HIS EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR has been pleased to approve of the following Alterations in the Police of the Colony;
SYDNEY. Constables appointed . . . William Blizzard, per Matilda, (came free,) on the 8th [Instant] . . .

"Government Notice", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (5 February 1829), 1 

SYDNEY . . . Constables resigned . . . William Blizard, on the 7th Ultimo . . .

"BATHURST", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (21 July 1831), 3 

. . . At all events, Bathurst travellers will have no reason to complain of houses of accommodation to put up at; and so long as a smart opposition is carried on, will be respectably accommodated at decently moderate charges. The licenses were granted to the following persons, with the several signs:
Mr. Thomas Kite - Dunn Cow.
[Mr.] James Blizard - Golden Fleece.
[Mr.] Richard Mills - King William . . .

"BATHURST [FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT], Thursday, February 23, 1832", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (28 February 1832), 3

Died. On Saturday, after a short illness, Mr. William Blizard, landlord of the Golden Fleece Inn, and formerly Master of the Band of H. M. 48th Regiment. The deceased has left behind him the reputation of a good soldier, and an honest man.

[Notice], New South Wales Government Gazette (28 March 1832), 38 

THE REGISTRAR of the SUPREME COURT requests, that all Persons having Claims upon the undermentioned INTESTATE ESTATES will, forthwith, address to him the Particulars thereof; viz.: . . .
WILLIAM BLIZARD, late of Bathurst, Publican . . .
Supreme Court Registry Office, March 28, 1832.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (21 April 1832), 1 

BY MR. LISCOMBE, On the Premises in Bathurst, by order of the Registrar of the Supreme Court, on the 4th day of May, at Noon, THE unexpired Term of Years in that flourishing Establishment called
together with the subsisting Licence as a Public-house, and all the stock in trade, household furniture, and other effects belonging to the deceased.
Terms of sale - Under £30, cash above that sum, an approved bill at 3 months.

[Advertisement], Hill's Life in New South Wales (7 September 1832), 1 

belonging to the Undermentioned Persons, Deceased, Intestate . . .
William Blizard / Publican, Bathurst / [monies received] 83 19 3 / [payments made] 15 0 7 / [supposed value of personal estate] 90 0 8 running bills / [balance against registrar] 68 18 8

[Notice], The Sydney Monitor (29 January 1838), 2 

. . . Blizard William, Bathurst, received £123 19s 11d, paid £107 11s 8d against registrar £16 8s 3d . . .

"ESTATES OF DECEASED INTESTATES", The Sydney Morning Herald (12 April 1843), 3 

. . . 7. William Blizard; Bathurst; £1 7s. 8d.; died about 7th February, 1832 [sic]; late publican, at Bathurst . . .


Re William Blizzard, 22 December 1820, and 2 June 1825; Colonial secretary's papers, 1788-1825; State records Authority of NSW (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

Bibliography and resources:

B. and M. Chapman, "Private William Blizzard", Australia's red coat regiments (archived at NLA Pandora) (DIGITISED)


Musician, cornopean and cornet-a-piston player

Active Melbourne, VIC, 1853; ? Ballarat, VIC, 1857 (W. Vidler BLOOR) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

BLOOR, William Vidler (William Vidler BLOOR; Mr. W. VIDLER BLOOR)

Amateur vocalist, miner (unrelated to the above)

Born England, c. 1821; son of John Wesley BLOOR and Sarah Selina VIDLER
Married Jane Wilson (d. NZ, 1889), St. Cuthbert's, Edinburgh, Scotland, 17 March 1843
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 22 March 1853 (per Scargo, from New York, 15 December 1852, aged "32")
Active Ballarat, VIC, 1856-57
Naturalised (US citizen), New York, USA, 24 March 1860
Arrived NZ, by c. 1884 (from USA)
Died Christchurch, NZ, 26 July 1901 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


[Advertisement], The Argus (5 March 1853), 1

MANCHESTER INN, OPPOSITE THE THEATRE. Open every evening, at Eight o'clock, for Comic Singing and Glees . . .
Mr. John Gregg (late of the Cider Cellars and Drury Lane Theatre), the eminent Basso . . .
Cornopean player - Mr. Bloor.
Pianists - Hamilton and Waller. Chairman - Mr. John Gregg . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Gregg (vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Argus (17 March 1853), 12

. . . Cornet-a-Piston - Mr. Bloor.
Pianists - Hamilton and Waller.
Melbourne Coal Hole, opposite the Theatre.

Manifest of passengers aboard of ship Scargo, from New York, 15 December 1852, arrived Melbourne, 22 March 1853; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

. . . W'm W. [or V.] Bloor / 32 / [born] England / [latest residence] United States . . .

[Advertisement], The Star [Ballarat, VIC] (15 December 1856), 3 

Ballarat Discussion Society.
THE half yearly meeting will take place at the Hall this evening when the half yearly report will be read.
Chair taken at 8 o'clock.
W. VIDLER BLOOR. Secretary.

"BAKERY HILL SOIREE", The Star (30 June 1857), 3

According to announcement, the soirée in aid of the funds of the Bakery Hill Temperance and Discussion Hall, came off at the Hall last evening. The weather was exceedingly unpropitious, and as we wended our way to the hall, through puddles and deceitful mud banks, we fully expected to find the place about one-third full only; but to our agreeable surprise, we found the tables well lined with holiday faces, evidently bent upon having a pleasant evening. The ladies, brave as they ever are when good is to be done, or pleasure to be obtained, had plunged in good numbers through the rain and slush, and thus lent their own special grace to the assembly. So bountifully was the hall decorated with branches of evergreens, and with bouquets of roses interwoven, that one could almost fancy he was enjoying an al fresco re-union beneath the "merrie green-wood tree." But let not any one rashly suppose from this that the habitues of this water-drinking and knotty-question-discussing-temple are particularly verdant themselves. We know them well for shrewd business men, and for unsurpassable tact in getting up a good festival of the peculiar kind under notice. To have filled their hall on such a night, in the middle of such a season, and in such a place as Ballarat is after dark, we take to be ample proof of the correctness of our remarks.

But now to the festival and its associate entertainments. The tables were loaded with good things which, with Congou-hot, or milk-spider, as our teetotal friends perhaps would call it, were right willingly patronised on all hands. For, unlike the notable folk at Geelong, the Bakery Hill people did not invite guests and eat up their provender for them; but provided an ample and well ordered repast, at which the guests all had pasts of honor. Tea being over and tables cleared, Mr. Batten, the chairman, introduced the evening's amusements by some merry remarks about the ladies who, he declared, had assumed to themselves great airs since the recent discussion in the Hall on "divorce and woman's rights."

Messrs. Stoddart and Pope, and the Messrs. Cox, all of the Ballarat Harmonic Society, then gave in excellent style the glee "Away, Away;" Mr. Bloor followed with "The Forsaken Lover;" Mr. Roberts with a recitation, then another glee "Ye Gentlemen of England," followed by a laughable recitation by Mr. Chesney, of the "Stage struck Apothecary," which was encored and followed by imitations of several actors, alike in the comic and the tragic vein, to the great amusement of the audience.

Mr. Bloor, whose first song had been encored, here appeared en costume, and sang another comic song, the glee singers following with "Dame Durden," which was capitally sung; Mr. Stoddart gave the song, "Tell me, Mary, how to woo thee," and was succeeded by Mr. Lister, with a recitation of a funny piece called "Job's patience." Another glee, "The Gipsies," was then given; and Mr. Watts recited Byron's apostrophe to the Ocean. Mr. Chancy then gave "Lord Lovel," in a very amusing fashion, amid the laughter of the audience, which was kept up while Mr. Bloor followed with the " Laird o' Cockpen," and a droll thing in Yankee brogue about "My Grandfather" and his "facts." The song, "William and Annette," by Mr. Stoddart, was encored, and a comic song given in reply, and that was followed by the "Red Cross Knight," by the four amateurs, whose performances had already done so much to make the evening agreeable . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Ballarat Harmonic Society (association)

"NEWS AND NOTES", The Ballarat Star (1 May 1871), 2

Some old Ballaratians who knew him will be glad to learn that Mr. W. V. Bloor is now in the responsible and tolerably lucrative office of superintendent of the Long Island College Hospital, New York. From the Brooklyn Daily Union, we find that one of the features of the new building is the amphitheatre, which will seat over 200 persons . . .

Bibliography and resources:

William Vidler Bloor, Find a grave 


General and music lithographer and printer, musicseller and importer

Born Ireland, c. 1819
Arrived Wellington, NZ, 23 April 1841 (per Olympus from Gravesend, 9 December 1840)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, by December 1841 (? per Lalla Rook)
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), by mid 1843
Departed Hobart, VDL (TAS), late 1844 (for Hong Kong)
Died London, England, 12 May 1846, aged "26/27" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)


Bluett had arrived in Sydney, via New Zealand, by late 1841 or early 1842.

The inscription "T. Bluet. Print." appeared with the picture engraving on the cover of the undated sheet music print, Savourneen deelish, for Francis Ellard.

Very early in 1843 for Isaac Nathan he lithographed the songs Australia the wide and the free and The Aboriginal father.

In 1842, with Thomas Liley, he produced at least one printed map signed "Liley & Bluet Lithographers", and the presence of the same handwriting in both Bluett's and Liley's prints for Nathan suggests that they were all perhaps at least partly joint productions.

He also produced lithographs for artist John Skinner Prout that appeared in the collection Sydney illustrated (Sydney: 1842 [1843]), and further prints for Prout later in Hobart.

Bluett moved on to Hobart by mid-1843, where he worked for James Alexander Thomson, and thus probably had a hand in Thomson's edition of John Howson's first set of Tasmanian waltzes in July. By September, he was advertising in his own name offering "Lithographic Drawings, Maps, Plans, Music . . . &c." and if not Thomson again, it may have been he who produced Howson's second set of Tasmanian waltzes in November.

His last known musical print, in March 1844, was the Josephian hymn with music by Joseph Gautrot.

Bluett was in Hong Kong by late March 1845. He died in London in May 1846 as the result of an accidental gunshot wound.

My thanks to Paul Barton for sharing his research findings.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (7 May 1842), 3 

IF THOMAS BLEWITT, Lithographer, lately arrived in the Colony, will call at Messrs. Moffitt and Co.'s, Pitt-street, he will hear of something to his advantage.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Moffitt (printer)

[Advertisement], The Austral-Asiatic Review, Tasmanian and Australian Advertiser [Hobart, TAS] (29 September 1843), 1 

THOMAS BLUETT, Lithographic printer, From DAY & NAGLIS, London,
BEGS to inform the INHABITANTS of Hobart Town and its vicinity, that he has commenced business in the above line, at No. 28, LIVERPOOL-STREET, next door to Mr. Robin Hood.
Lithographic Drawings, Maps, Plans, Music, Circulars, Cards, Bill-heads, &c., executed in the neatest manner and on reasonable terms.
N.B. - Artists supplied with prepared Stones, Chalks, Ink, and every article required in the trade.
Sept. 29.

ASSOCIATIONS: Robin Vaughan Hood (lithographer)

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Advertiser (16 February 1844), 1 

FINE ARTS. T. BLUETT BEGS to announce to the lovers of the
FINE ARTS that he has received a very choice collection of WATER COLOR and LITHOGRAPHIC DRAWINGS -
together with an extensive assortment of the newest Musical Publications,
consisting of Songs, Duetts, Quadrilles, Waltzes, and all the most recent Court Music.
Lithography in all its branches, executed in the first style of art, and on moderate terms.
Lithographic Printing Office, 23, Liverpool-street.

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (19 March 1844), 1

THE FESTIVAL or ST. JOSEPH, will be celebrated THIS DAY,
the 19th instant, in this church, by a solemn Mass, Vespers and Benediction.
The Morning Service to commence at eleven; Evening Service at seven o'clock.
A new Hymn will be sung (for the first time), at the latter, by Madame Gautrot, which, with its musical arrangement by Monsieur Gautrot, is, in the course of a few days, to be lithographed, and afterwards sold for their benefit.
March 19, 1844.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph and Madame Gautrot (composer, vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Courier (5 April 1844), 3

JOSEPHIAN HYMN (on Prayer and Divine Love;)
Words by the Rev. J. J. Therry. Music arranged by Monsieur Gautrot,
and respectfully inscribed to the most Rev. Count Polding, Archbishop of Sydney and Metropolitan of Australia.
Festival of St. Joseph, 1841.
Sold by Mr. Tegg, Bookseller, corner of Liverpool and Elizabeth-streets, and Mr. T. Bluett, Liverpool street.
April 5.

ASSOCIATIONS: Samuel Augustus Tegg (bookseller, musicseller)

"THE JOSEPHIAN HYMN", Colonial Times (9 April 1844), 3 

We have received a new hymn composed by the Rev. the Vicar-General Therry, and the music arranged by Mons. Gautrot, for whose benefit it is intended, which has just been published and is on sale by Mr. Tegg, the Stationer, and Mr. Bluet, the Lithographer. The sublimity of the sentiments and the harmony of the music, are delightfully combined.

"ASSASSINATION IN DRURY-LANE", Morning Post [London, England] (27 April 1846), 6 (PAYWALL)

About half-past eight o'clock on Saturday evening, a most extraordinary and unaccountable attempt at assassination was perpetrated on a man named Thomas Blewitt, a lithographic printer, in the service of Messrs. Graff and Co., of Oxford Market, while returning from his place of business to his residence, in White Horse-yard, Drury-lane . . . Without loss of time, the poor fellow was conveyed to a neighbouring surgeons, who, perceiving the serious nature of the injury he had sustained, advised his instant removal to the hospital and he was forthwith conveyed to King's College Hospital. Here the fatal character of his wound was ascertained . . . He requested his wife, who had previously arrived at the hospital to send for a Catholic priest, expressing his belief that he should not survive through the night . . . On arriving at the hospital the inspector was introduced to Blewitt. who having been made acquainted with the nature of the officer's errand with some difficulty stated as follows - "I am twenty-six years of age, and reside at No. 18, White Horse-yard, Drury-lane. I am a lithographic printer, and work at Messrs. Graff and Torry's, in Oxford- market. About half-past eight o'clock this evening I was walking down Drury-lane towards home, and when near the cook-shop at the corner of Princes-street, I felt a blow, and at the same time saw a flash as if it came from the cook-shop. I heard the report of a gun or pistol; I also felt that I was wounded and cried out. I saw no one at the time, and I have no reason to suspect any one of the deed." As he was in a very weak state it was not deemed prudent to question him further . . . At present there appears no motive for the deed . . . The wounded man is a native of Ireland, of a remarkably fine robust figure. He has a wife, and one child about four years of age. He had some slight sleep yesterday afternoon, and was sensible throughout the day, but the latest accounts state that not the slightest hope of his recovery is entertained . . .

"THE LATE ASSASSINATION IN DRURY-LANE", Evening Mail [London, England] (13 May 1846), 3 (PAYWALL)

Thomas Blewitt, the poor fellow who has been lying King's College Hospital, in so precarious condition, since Saturday, the 25th ult., when he was shot by the boy Graham in Drury-lane, expired at an early hour yesterday morning. About a week after his admission to the Hospital the medical officers, observing that the unfortunate man had completely recovered from the severe shock upon the nervous system which the pistol-shot occasioned, entertained strong hopes of his ultimate recovery; but within the last few days some unfavourable symptoms diminished their confidence in this result. Blewitt himself appeared very sanguine throughout his illness, and, probably, felt the more encouraged by opinions expressed by his medical attendants. Graham, the boy whose unaccountable act has deprived this poor man of his life and his family of their means of support, has preserved the most heartless aspect during his confinement . . . The inquest . . . having been fixed by the coroner for Thursday next.

[British news], Launceston Examiner (29 August 1846), 3 

A most extraordinary assault, of a murderous tendency, whatever the intention may have been, was committed in Drury Lane. Thomas Blewitt, a young married man, was returning to his lodging in White Horse Yard, Drury Lane, about half-past eight o'clock, when, as he approached Prince's Street, a youth fired a pistol at him, wounding him in the chest. The wounded man was taken to Charing Cross Hospital; where it was found that a bullet had passed through the thorax. After the youth had fired at Blewitt, he ran up Drury Lane. He was met and seized by a Police man, who had been attracted by the smoke and noise, and was hastening towards Prince's Street: but the lad exclaimed that a pistol had gone off by accident; and as the crowd were calling out that a man had shot himself, the Policeman let him go.

[News], The Courier [Hobart, TAS] (31 October 1846), 3

The trial of John Graham for shooting Thomas Bluett, ended in his acquittal, on the ground that it was accidental. Mr. Bluett, we believe, was at one period resident in Hobart Town, occupying premises in Liverpool-street.

Musical editions:

Savourneen deelish (Sydney 1842/43)

Savourneen deelish as sung by Mrs. Wood, arranged by S. Nelson (Sydney: F. Ellard, [1842-43]); cover vignette signd "T. Bluet Print" (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Mrs. Wood = Mary Ann Paton (British vocalist); Sidney Nelson (arranger); Francis Ellard (publisher, engraver)

Australia the wide and the free (Sydney, January 1843)

Australia the wide and the free! a national song written by W. A. Duncan, esq're, as sung at the great civic dinner, December 21st 1842, composed and respectfully dedicated to the right worshipful John Hosking, mayor of Sydney, by I. Nathan (Sydney: Published by the composer, Elizabeth St. So'.; T. Bluett, Lithographer, Brougham Plc., [1843]) (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Isaac Nathan (composer); William Augustine Duncan (lyrics); John Hosking (mayor of Sydney)

The Aboriginal father (Sydney, January 1843)

The Aboriginal father, a native song of the Maneroo Tribe . . . versified from the original words . . . by Mrs. E. H. Dunlop, the melody, as sung by the Aborigines, put into rhythm & harmonized with appropriate Symphonies & accompaniments, respectfully inscribed to the lady mayoress, by I. Nathan (Sydney: [I. Nathan], Elizabeth Street; T. Bluett, Litho[grapher], Brougham Place, [1843]) (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Eliza Hamilton Dunlop (lyrics); Martha Hosking (wife of the mayor)

Josephian hymn (Hobart, May 1844)

Josephian hymn (on prayer and divine love), words by the Rev'd J. J. Therry, music arranged by Mons'r Gautrot and respectfully inscribed to the most Reverend Count Polding, archbishop of Sydney and metropolitan of Australia, festival of St. Joseph (Hobart Town: T. Bluett, Litho., 1844)


ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Gautrot (composer); Joseph Therry (lyrics); John Bede Polding (dedicatee)

Probably also:

Tasmanian waltzes (set 1, Hobart, July 1843)

Tasmanian waltzes by John Howson (Hobart Town: Printed for the author by J. A. Thomson, [1843]) (DIGITISED)

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

On Sale at Tegg's Music Repository, Elizabeth-street; at the Author's; and at Mr. F. Howson's, Liverpool-street. July 18.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Howson (composer); James Alexander Thomson (publisher)

Tasmanian waltzes (set 2, Hobart, November 1843)

? Tasmanian waltzes - second series by John Howson ([Hobart Town: for the author, 1843])$init=AUTAS001131821845P59 (DIGITISED)

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (7 November 1843), 1

New Music. WILL be published to-morrow (Wednesday),
Second Series of TASMANIAN WALTZES, composed and dedicated by permission to Lieutenant BAGOT, A.D.C, by JOHN HOWSON,
to be had at Tegg's Musical Repository, and of the author at his residence, 2 Antill-street.
Parties desirous of obtaining copies of these favourite Waltzes are requested to make an early application, as only a limited number will be published.
November 7, 1848.

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (21 November 1843), 2


See also checklist of sheet music prints: (shareable link)

Bibliography and resources:

Prue Neidorf, A guide to dating music published in Sydney and Melbourne, 1800-1899 (M.A. thesis, University of Wollongong, 1999), 139 (DIGITISED)

Paul Barton, "Thomas Bluett, lithographer", Australiana (May 2006), 20-26

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "Eliza Hamilton Dunlop, Irish and colonial melodist: her songs for music and collaborations with Isaac Nathan", in Anna Johnston and Elizabeth Webby (eds), Eliza Hamilton Dunlop: writing from the colonial frontier (Sydney: Sydney University Press, 2021), (121-58), 147 note 73, 149 note 76, 150 note 80, 152 note 86 (print and ebook)


"Thomas Bluett", Design & art Australia online (DAAO)

Thomas Bluett, Australian prints and printmaking 

BLUME, Anton (Anton BLUME)


Born Salzgitter, Hanover (Germany), c. 1822
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, August 1854 (per Sophie, from Hamburg, aged "31") (shareable link to this entry)


List of emigrants, per Sophie, from Hamburg, arrived Melbourne, August 1854; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

Heinrich Kersten / Salzgitter / Hannover / Musiker / 28 / Johanna [Kersten] / 23
Georg Kienemann / Goslar / Hannover / Musiker / 17
Ferdinand Pape / Salzgitter / Hannover / Musiker / 26 / Christiane [Pape] / 24
Heinrich Schmidt / Salzgitter/ Hannover / Musiker / 21
Wilhelm Schmidt / Salzgitter / Hannover / Musiker / 19
Wilhelm Winckler / Liebenburg / Hannover / Musiker / 17
Carl Billig / Lindau / Hannover / Musiker / 29
Anton Blume / Salzgitter / Hannover / Musiker / 31 / Francisca [Blume] / 33
Friedrich Vespermann / Gross Rieden / Hannover / Musiker / 21
Heinrich Schrader / Salzgitter / Hannover / Musiker / 20
Heinrich Vespermann / Gross Rieden / Hannover / Musiker / 18
Christian Ragebrand / Steinlade / Hannover / Musiker / 17
Heinrich Struss / Gross Rieden / Hannover / Musiker / 16
August Marguard / Salzgitter / Hannover / Musiker / 40 / Marguard Wme. / 41
Heinrich Seeger / Salzgitter / Hannover / Musiker / 20 // Johanna Marheim / Salzgitter / Hannover / 22
August Heine / Clausthal / Hannover / Musiker / 22 . . .
Andrews Wetter / Salzgitter / Hannover / Musiker / 30 . . .
August Wagener / Salzgitter / Hannover / Musiker / 14

DISAMBIGUATIONS: Heinrich Schrader in this list not to be confused with Heinrich Schrader (1832-1880, active SA), originally from Braunschweig; see also Henry Schmidt (musician); Jacob Schmidt (musician); Henry Seeger (musician)

BLUME, Mr. (Herr J. F. BLUME; Sig. BLUME; Professor BLUME, P. BLUME; F. BLUME)

Musician, clarionet (clarinet), oboe, and cornet player, band leader

Active Melbourne, VIC, 1853 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


[Advertisement], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (23 February 1853), 8 

THE ARGYLE ROOMS. THE SPLENDID SALOON at the Royal Exchange Hotel, Collins-street, west,
will be opened on or about Monday next, of which due notice will be given.
These rooms will be under the management of the celebrated Herr J. F. Blume, and have been fitted up regardless of expense.
The band, sixteen in number, is composed of the best musicians in Melbourne, and with the assistance of Professor Thompson, they will be qualified to give general satisfaction.
On Monday nights a German Ball will be given.
Tickets of admission will be 2s. 6d. each.
The rooms will be opened at half-past seven, dancing to commence at eight o'clock.

[Advertisement], The Argus (4 March 1853), 5 

DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! A New and Interesting Attraction.
THE Argyle Ball Rooms, at the Royal Exchange, Collins-street, will be opened this evening for the first time, and will be continued nightly . . .
The band will be conducted by Herr F. Blume, and being principally composed of German musicians, may be depended upon as good . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (19 March 1853), 5 

Male Vocalists: Mr. McLaren, the celebrated Chin Melodist; Mr. Riley, Comic; Mr. James, the popular Negro Vocalist;
Mr. Charlton, Ballad singer; Mr. Bruce, Tenor; Mr. Hamilton, Sentimental; Pianist, Mr. Thompson;
Leader of the Band, Professor Blume;
Barritone, Mr. Green; Comic Bass, M. Zeigler;
Piston and Oboe, P. Blume; 1st Violin, Mr. Pagon, 2nd. do. Mr. Thompson.

[Advertisement], The Argus (27 April 1853), 12 

Protestant Hall, THIS EVENING, WEDNESDAY, 27th April. Principal Vocal Performers - Miss Graham (her second appearance); Mr. Moran. Leader - Mr. F. Fischer. Director - Mr. G. Chapman.
THE Band will consist of the following talented performers:
Violins - Mr. A. Fischer, Mr. Strebinger, Mr. Thomson;
Viola - Mr. Thomas; Basso - Mr. C. Elza and Mr. Hardman; Cornet-a-Piston - Mr. G. Chapman;
Clarionet and Oboe - Sig. Blume; Flute - Mr. Rosenstengel. Pianoforte - Mr. Hertz and Mr. Thomson.
Overture - Anna Bolena - Donizetti. Song - Annie Laurie (by desire), Miss Graham.
Waltz - Crystal Palace - D'Albert.
Solo, Oboe - Adagio Bolero, Sig. Blume - Kavalgiofsky . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Amelia Graham (vocalist); F. and A. Fischer (musicians); George Chapman (cornet, director); Frederick Strebinger (violin); Herbert Thomas (viola); C. Elze (double bass); Daniel Hardman (double bass); Melbourne Philharmonic Society (association, by a small margin precusor of the later society of the same name)

[Advertisement], The Argus (4 June 1853), 12 

BRAID'S ASSEMBLY ROOMS, Russell street, corner, of Little Collins-street.
GRAND Promenade Vocal and Instrumental CONCERT, This Evening, Saturday, June 4th.
1. Overture, full Band - Pre aux Clercs - Auber.
2. Trio - Winds gently Whisper, Mrs. and Mr. Hancock, and Mr. C. Braid - Whittaker.
3. Solo, Obea [oboe] Fantasia - Barber of Seville, Herr Blume - Rossini.
4. Duet - I think a Sailor is faithful, Mrs. and Mr. Hancock - Balfe.
5. Mazurka - Waterfall, Full Band - C. Braid.
6. Song - Revenge, Mr. Hancock - J. L. Hatton.
7. Ballad - O, Peaceful Lake, Mrs. Hancock - Jackson.
8. Operatic Selections, (full Band) - Lucia di Lammermoor - Donizetti.
9. National Song - England, Mr. C. Braid - S. Glover.
10. Solo, Cornet - Lucia di Lammermoor, Mr. Chapman - Donizetti.
11. Irish Song - Kathleen O' More, Mrs. Hancock - Original.
12. Emmeline Valse, (full Band) - D'Albert.
13. Duet - I've wandered in dreams - Mrs. and Mr. Hancock - Wade.
14 Song - A Life on the Ocean Wave, Mr. Hancock - Russell.
15. Finale - National Anthem.
Doors open at half-past Seven, Concert to commence at Eight.
Admission, 2s. 6d

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Braid (dancing master, vocalist); Edward and Mary Ellen Hancock (vocalists)

BLUME, Heinrich (Heinrich BLUME; Henry BLUME; Herr H. BLUME; Herr BLUME; William Henry BLUME)

Musician, bandsman, miner

Born Hannover (Germany), c. 1829; son of Wilhelm BLUME and Catherina GERICKE
Married Caroline SCHRADER, by 1855
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 4 September 1855 (per Iserbrook, from Hamburg, 3 May, aged 26)
Naturalised Maryborough, VIC, 28 July 1869 (miner, aged 40, born Neustadt, Hanover)
Died VIC, 1910, aged "82" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Passengers per Iserbrook, from Hamburg, 3 May 1855, for Melbourne; Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Hamburger Passagierlisten, 373-7/I/VIII/A/1/Band 8/163 (PAYWALL)

Heinr. Blume / [born] Vorsatz / Hannover / Musiker / 26
Caroline [Blume] / 22 . . . // Blume Fritz /

Passengers per Iserbrook, from Hamburg, arrived Melbourne, 4 September 1855; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

[Advertisement], Mount Alexander Mail [Castlemaine, VIC] (8 August 1856), 5 

A FIRST-RATE BRASS BAND is open for engagement for Balls and quadrille Parties on reasonable terms;
Conductor, HERR BLUME. Apply to Mr. ASSMAN corner of Sheriffs Bridge, Campbell's Creek.

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (3 November 1857), 1 

The evening's entertainment will be enlivened by a a German Band, consisting of the following seven performers : -
Herr F. Weedir, Herr H. Blume, Herr H. Scheoder, Herr Schetie, Herr Struze, and Herr Robins . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Ashton's Circus (troupe)


Musical amateur, member and treasurer, Melbourne Philharmonic Society, bookseller, stationer, printer

Born Bristol, England, 1820; baptised St. James, Bristol, 13 February 1820; son of John BLUNDELL and Ann WENSLEY
Married Rebecca PHILLIPS (1816-1894), St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, 16 July 1838
Active Melbourne, VIC, by 1855
Died Brighton, VIC, 5 December 1876, aged "56/57" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


1838, marriage solemnized at the Parish Church in the Parish of St. Mary Redcliffe Bristol in the County of Bristol; register 1837-39, page 100; Bristol Archives, P/St Mr/R/3/9 (PAYWALL)

No. 199 / 16th July 1838 / James John Blundell / A minor / Bachelor / Accountant / Redcliff Pitt / [son of] John Blundell / Carpenter
Rebecca Phillips / Of full age / Spinster / - / Redcliff Pitt / [daughter of] Jabez Phillips / Sailor

Baptisms solemnized in the Parish of St. James in the City of Bristol in the year 1839; bishop's transcripts; Bristol Archives, Ep/V/4/28, page 74 (PAYWALL)

No. 590 / Dec'r 22nd / James John / [son of] James John and Rebecca / Blundell / St. James / Bookseller [sic] . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: James John Blundell junior (d. VIC, 1924)

[Advertisement], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (12 August 1853), 12 

NOTICE is hereby given, that the partnership hitherto subsisting between us, the undersigned John Pullar and James John Blundell, carrying on business as booksellers and stationers in Collins-street, in the city of Melbourne, under the style or firm of John Pullar and Co., has this day been dissolved by mutual consent.
All debts due to or by us in respect of our late partnership are to be respectively received and paid by the undersigned James John Blundell. Dated at Melbourne, the 10th day of August, 1853.
J. PULLAR, JAMES J. BLUNDELL. Witness Charles Palmer, clerk to Messrs. Duerdin and Bronckhorst, Solicitors, Melbourne.

John Alloo's Chinese Restaurant, main road, Ballaarat; James J. Blundell & Co., Melbourne 1855; [by S. T. Gill]; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: S. T. Gill (artist)

"THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Age (12 January 1855), 5 

The Annual Meeting of this Society took place at the Mechanics' Institute, on Tuesday evening, and was well attended. The Rev. W. Jarrett on being called to the chair made a few prefatory observations and called upon Mr. Patterson, the secretary, who read the following - "Report of the Committee of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society, for the year 1854 . . ." . . . The elections were next entered into and the result is appended. - President, His Honor, Mr. Justice Barry; Vice-Presidents, Mr. Jno. M. Smith and Reverend William Jarrett; Conductor, Mr. Jno. Russell; Secretary, Mr. J. Patterson; Treasurer, Mr. J. J. Blundell; Librarian, Mr. J. C. Stead; Assistant do, Mr. F. B. Hood; Committee, Messrs. J. Edwards, T. Ewart, J. Griffiths, - Gould, G. B. Hailes, W. P. Walker, and W. H. Williams . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Redmond Barry (president); William Jarrett (vice-president); John Russell (conductor); Thomas Ewart (member); Joseph Griffiths (member, leader, violin); Thomas Green Goold (organist); George Button Hailes (member); William Henry Williams (member); Melbourne Philharmonic Society (association); Mechanics' Institution (Melbourne venue)

"MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Argus (4 January 1856), 5 

The second annual meeting of this society was held yesterday evening in the hall of the Mechanics' Institution. The meeting was very well attended, though apologies for absence were received from the President of the Society, Mr. Justice Barry, and the Vice-President, the Rev. Mr. Jarrett. Mr. Russell was voted to the chair, and called upon the Hon. Secretary, Mr. G. B. Richardson, to read the report, which he did as follows - . . .

The election of office-bearers for the ensuing year was made . . . Mr. Justice Barry was re-elected president . . . The Rev. Mr. Jarrett and Captain Pasley were appointed vice-presidents. The further offices were filled up as follows: - Conductor, Mr. Russell; leader, Mr. Griffiths; organist, Mr. Goold; treasurer, Mr. J. J. Blundell; librarîan, Mr. Stead; honorary secretary, Mr. G. B. Richardson . . . committee for the ensuing year:- W. G. Dredge; Thomas Ewart; Richard Bradford; Thomas Holme Davis; Benjamin Horton; W. H. Williams; E. Keep; Joseph Edwards . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Bouchier Richardson (secretary); William Gilpin Dredge (member); Thomas Holme Davis (member)

"YESTERDAY'S GAZETTE. Appointments", The Age (2 June 1860), 6 

His Honor Mr. Justice Redmond Barry, Theodotus John Sumner, John Denman Pinnock, John Matthew Smith, Joseph Henry Kay, John Russell, and James John Blundell, to be Trustees of the ground set apart at Melbourne as a site for a Music Hall.

ASSOCIATIONS: Theodotus John Sumner (trustee); John Denham Pinnock (trustee); John Matthew Smith (trustee)

"MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Argus (17 January 1872), 6 

The 18th annual meeting of the above society was held at the Mechanics' Institute, Collins street, last evening, Mr. J. D. Pinnock in the chair . . . Mr. J. J. Blundell was elected hon. member, in recognition of past services as hon. treasurer to the society . . .

"Deaths", The Argus (6 December 1876), 1 

BLUNDELL. - On the 8th inst., at his residence, Church-street, Brighton, James John Blundell, sen., aged 57 years.

BOAM, Philip Barnett (Philip Barnett BOAM; Mr. BOAM; Mr. BOANS [sic], BOAN [sic])

Musician, theatre musician, orchestra leader, violinist, composer, jeweller, watchmaker

Born London, England, c. 1830
Married (1) Eleanora BOEHMER (1825-1899), Liverpool, Lancashire, England, 1852 (3rd quarter)
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 13 January 1854 (seaman per Mooresfort, from Liverpool, 17 October)
Married (2) Eliza Mary GRIFFITH, VIC, 1859
Married (3) Margaret Mary MACKNAMARA, Maitland, NSW, 1862
Departed Sydney, NSW, ? by 1868
Active San Francisco, California, USA, until 1876 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


England census, 1841, St Mary, Whitechapel; UK National Archives, HO107/716/3/8/33/3 (PAYWALL)

Barnet Boam / 30 / Jeweller / [born] Foreign parts
Fanny [Boam] / 30 / - / [born] Foreign parts
Philip [Boam] / 10 / - / [born in county]
Hannah / 8 // Maria / 6 / Sarah / 4 // Mitchel / 2 // [all born in county]

Passangers per ship Victoria from London, arrived New York, 22 September 1849; New York City passenger lists database

. . . Phillip Boam / 17 / Watch maker / [from] England / [for] United States . . .

Merchant seamen, Philip Boam, 1853-54; UK National Archives, BT116/8 (PAYWALL)

Philip Boam [born] London [age] 22 / [out] Mooresfort [Oct '53] / Dis[charged] Melbourne 14 / 1 / 54

[Advertisement], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (16 August 1854), 8

RICHMOND BALL. - Richmond Ball at the Royal Hotel, Swan-street, Thursday, August 17.
Admission, 7s. 6d. Mr. Boam's celebrated Quadrille Band will attend.

[Advertisement], The Argus (21 September 1854), 1 

WANTED a Barber. Apply to Mr. Boam, watch-maker, Richmond-road, near the Star and Garter.

[Advertisement], The Argus (24 October 1854), 1 

IF the parties do not call by Thursday next for their watches that were left at Mr. Boam's, Cremorne-street, they will be sold.

[Advertisement], Empire [Sydney, NSW] (17 March 1855), 4 

will be produced, for the first time at this theatre the admired farce of THE TIPPERARY LEGACY.
Song - "The Irish Immigrant." - Miss Lorette; Irish Jig, Mrs. R. McGowan.
To be followed by the admired drama of LUKE THE LABOURER.
Song - "Gentle Zitella," Miss F. Selwyn; Hornpipe, Master Horatio;
Song, Miss C. Selwyn, To conclude with AN AFFAIR OF HONOUR.
Mr. BOAM, Leader of the Orchestra.
A. LEOPOLDT, Sole Lessee.
F. BELFIELD, Manager.

ASSOCIATIONS: Miss Lorette (vocalist); Fanny Griffiths McGowan (dancer); Clara and Fanny Selwyn (vocalists); Augustus Leopoldt (lessee); Francis Belfield (actor, manager); Lyceum Theatre (Sydney venue)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 March 1855), 1

I, AUGUSTUS LEOPOLDT, having, by written agreement engaged Mr. BOAM, musician, for a certain period from the date of the 17th March, 1855, this is to give notice to all parties not to engage the said Mr. Boam, or legal proceedings will be instituted against them by me.
A. LEOPOLDT. Monday. March 18th, 1855.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 March 1855), 4

Will be represented a melodrama from the pen of T. Dibdin, Esq., entitled THE RUSSIAN BOY.
Song, Miss Lorette. After which Mr. J W. Smith, the Modern Achilles, will go through his wonderful and unparalleled rock performance.
To be followed by the roaring farce of THE IRISH TIGER.
Dance, Mrs. R. McGowan. Duet, Messrs. [sic] Lorette and C. Selwyn.
To conclude with the laughable interlude of A NABOB FOR AN HOUR.
Leader of the orchestra, Mr. Boams, A. Leopoldt, lessee. F. Belfield, manager.

[Advertisement], Empire (12 July 1856), 1 

OUR LYCEUM THEATRE. Under the management of Messrs. CRAVEN AND STEPHENS,
will open positively on MONDAY NEXT, JULY 14TH 1856, on which occasion the eminent Tragedian, Mr. G. V. BROOKE . . .
THE BAND, under the able direction of Mr. WINTERBOTTOM,
will be found the most efficient in the colonies, and will include the following gentlemen:
M. CHARLES EIGENSCHENCK (Leader.) Messrs. W. Tranter, Boans,
Wilkinson, Strong, Seymour, Volpi, Sharpe, Richardson, &c., &c. . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Thornton Craven (actor, manager); William Henry Stephens (actor, manager); John Winterbottom (conductor); Charles Eigenschenck (leader, violin); W. Tranter (musician); Theodore Scott Wilkinson (musician); George Strong (violin); Richard Seymour (musician); Francesco Volpi (musician); Frederick Sharp (musician); James William Richardson (musician)

[Advertisement], Empire [Sydney, NSW] (18 December 1856), 1 

OUR LYCEUM THEATRE. - The opening of the above-mentioned Theatre having furnished employment to a number of Actors, Actresses, Artists, Musicians, Carpenters, and others, and Mr. W. H. STEPHENS having been principally instrumental in effecting this great good, it is proposed to give him a COMPLIMENTARY BENEFIT, on THURSDAY Evening, December 18, 1856 . . . The following Signatures are appended: . . . The Band - Messrs. Wheeler, Davis, Pearson, Friedlander, Wilkinson, Boans, H. Cramer, F. Cramer, Hall, Cramer . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Stephen Thomas Wheeler (musician, leader); Isaac Henry Davis (musician); Joseph Pearson (musician); William Friedlander (musician); Cramer brothers (musicians); John Thomson Hall (musician)

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Mercury [TAS] (6 February 1857), 2 

WOULD he happy to give LESSONS on the VIOLIN. Private Families attended.
Application to be made at the Theatre Royal, Campbell-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: Theatre Royal (Hobart venue)

[Advertisement], The Hobart Mercury (13 April 1857), 2

Introduction of Brilliant Gas into the Theatre for the first time, with illuminated Sun Light containing 192 Jets.
HALF PRICE ESTABLISHED. Commencing each Evening at 9 o'clock.
First Night of the wonderful Drama THE CORSICAN BROTHERS!
With Mechanical effects the most astounding, and which will throw all previous attempts here at Theatrical effect into insignificance.
The New Scenery, all painted expressly, for this Extraordinary Drama, by OPIE.
The Marvellous Mechanism by Watts.
Music by Mr. Boam.
Costumes by Mrs. Downey and Assistants
Properties, Mr. Hasker.
MONDAY EVENING APRIL 13th, 1857 . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Neil Warner (actor, manager); Emily Glyndon (actor); Edward Opie (scenic artist)

[Advertisement], The Courier [Hobart, TAS] (9 May 1857), 3 

MUSIC. A QUADRILLE BAND may be obtained at the shortest notice by applying to Mr. Boam, late Leader of the Orchestra at the Theatre Royal. Address No. 6, Bathurst-street, near the Government Domain.

"POLICE. CITY COURT. Friday, January 15th . . . ANNOYING A MUSICIAN", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (16 January 1858), 6 

A middle aged woman, habited in a very respectable mourning dress, and who gave her name as Mary Montgomery, was summoned for having uttered very abusive language towards Mr. Philip Bond [sic] and his wife. Mr. Bond stated that he was a musician, who had been engaged at recent concerts, and who, whilst resident in this country and Tasmania, had borne a respectable character. The defendant, however, for some inexplicable reason or other, seemed o think otherwise, for whilst he and his wife were walking down Bourke-street the other evening, she accosted them in the most unfriendly terms, continued to insult them the whole time they were on their way to their house, and swore amongst other horrible imprecations that "she would tear the ------ neck out of his wife." He was going home to England in the "Guy Mannering," and it was, of course, very hurtful to his feelings to be attacked by the defendant every time he went out of doors. She had, moreover, summoned him to the District Court for an assault, but the case had been dismissed. The defendant, in reply, made some very disparaging reflections on the plaintiff and his wife, and said that they were the keepers of a house of ill fame. The Mayor said that no matter what provocation the defendant might have received, she was not justified in the use of obscene language, and that the commonest prostitute coming into that court for redress of real grievances would receive as much justice as the most virtuous of her sex. He then ordered the defendant to find one surety in £20 to keep the peace for six months, and said that if she came to that court again on a similar charge she would get six months' imprisonment.

Names and descriptions of passengers per Guy Mannering, from Melbourne, 7 February 1858, for London; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

. . . Philip Boam / 30 // Eliza [Boam] /24 . . .

Passengers arrived at Melbourne, 26 April 1858, from Sydney, 10 April, on board the Broughton; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

Cabin . . . Mr. & Mrs. Boam / 22 / 24 / Married . . .

"NEW INSOLVENTS", The Argus (29 March 1860), 7 

Robert [sic] Barnett Boam, of Melbourne, musician.
Causes of insolvency - Pressure of creditors and fear of arrest.
Liabilities, £100 4s.; assets £8 10s.; deficiency, £91 14s. Mr. Jacomb, official assignee.

"INSOLVENT COURT", The Argus (8 May 1860), 5 

First and only Meetings . . . Philip Barnett Boam . . . at 11 a. m.

[Advertisement], The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (24 May 1860), 1 

The season will be inaugurated By the engagement for a limited period of
Together with . . . The talented and elegant danseuses, The Sisters Worrell - Mdlles. Sophie, Irene, and Jeanne.
The eminent vocalists, Miss Bartley and Mr. J. E. Johnson . . .
Leader of the orchestra, Mr. Boam . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Worrell family (performers); Miss Bartley (vocalist); Jovial Johnson (vocalist); Prince of Wales Theatre (Melbourne venue)

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser [NSW] (28 January 1862), 1

GRAND FASHIONABLE NIGHT. Under the Immediate Patronage of the Elite of Maitland.
COMPLIMENTARY BENEFIT to MR. BOAM (of the Theatre Royal, Melbourne),
and MR. MARMADUKE H. WILSON, on which occasion that most accomplished and talented artiste
MADAME MARIE DURET has most kindly volunteered her valuable aid, assisted by the entire company.
Also, A GRAND MUSICAL MELANGE, in which all the available talent will appear.

ASSOCIATIONS: Marmaduke Henry Wilson (musician); Marie Duret (actor)

"OLYMPIC THEATRE", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (28 January 1862), 2

It will be seen by advertisement that to-morrow evening a benefit will be given at the theatre to Mr. Boam, the violinist, and Mr. Marmaduke Wilson, the pianist, at which that deservedly admired artiste, Madame Duret, will take part, assisted by the entire company. A musical melange forms part of the programme.

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE . . . ARRIVED. FEB. 25", The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (26 February 1862), 4 

Rangatira, s.s., 678 tons, B. Paddle, from Sydney 22nd February. Passengers - cabin . . . P. Boam; and nineteen in the steerage. W. P. White and Co., agents.

"Mr. J. CLARK'S JUVENILE DANCING ASSEMBLY", The Sydney Morning Herald (20 December 1862), 13 

On Friday afternoon, the spacious rooms of Mr. John Clark, Elizabeth-street, were thronged with a large and fashionable company, attracted to the gay and joyous scene to witness the close of the season, by an assembly of that gentleman's juvenile pupils. The hall, when lighted up, presented quite an elegant appearance, being tastefully hung with flags and handsome floral emblems. Shorty after four o'clock, the orchestra, led by Mr. P. Boam, struck up a march, and the ball was opened by the entree of the pupils (about a hundred in number), with smiling, happy faces, who, after pacing the room two or three times, led by their teacher, in such a manner as to show the perfection of their discipline, formed themselves for a polka. This was executed- a s were all the other dances - with, that ease, grace, and elegance so peculiarly characteristic of tee pupils of Mr. Clark. Indeed, from first to last, it was a most brilliant affair, and went off with the greatest eclat.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Clark (dancing master)

"LYCEUM THEATRE", Empire [Sydney, NSW] (16 January 1863), 4

Miss Gougenheim reigns supreme over the spirits that assemble within these walls. Indeed, supported as she is by one of the best and most numerous companies ever playing together in this theatre, including many old clever favourites, it is not to be wondered at that there should be a very large and respectable audience every evening. The well-known pieces of "The Cricket on the Hearth," and "Life in the Scrub" . . . have been the staple commodities during this week, followed by a very amusing burlesque dessert entitled "Ganem, or the Slave of Love" . . . Miss Joey enacts the part of Ganem, a young merchant . . . Mr. F. Younge is of course amusing as the Caliph of Bagdad . . . his much better half is Queen Zobeide . . . Mr. S. Howard, is a jolly fat grand vizier . . . Miss Fanny Morgan, does a deal of flirting as Febnah, the Caliph's favourite . . . There is some excellent, and good music by the principals, including songs, duets, trios, and burlesque opera scenes, to the assistance of which Mr. Boam's small, but excellently timed (and tuned) band contributes greatly . . .

ASSOCIATION: Joey Gougenheim (actor, vocalist); Frederick and Emma Younge (actors, vocalists); Sam Howard (actor)

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", Empire (7 April 1863), 4

Mr. William Dind having relinquished the lesseeship of this establishment, which during his time bas been distinguished for ability, taste, and judgment, Mr. Tolano, of the Lyceum, has assumed the reins of management. Saturday was the opening night of the new campaign, which certainly was begun under the most favourable auspices by Mr. Charles Dillon making his first appearance in this city . . . The orchestra, under the able leadership of Mr. Boam, has been well formed, the name of Mr. John Gibbs appearing in the list. We are happy to say the house was full . . .

ASSOCIATION: William Dind (manager); Raphael Tolano (manager); Charles Dillon (actor); John Gibbs (violinist); Royal Victoria Theatre (Sydney venue)

"ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Chronicle (15 August 1863), 3 

LYRE'S assertion that the proceeds of the Orpheonist Society's Concerts are applied to the relief of the orphans of the city is, to use the very mildest term, a fallacy; nor are we aware of any Philip who could have given such a fillip as his name to the Philharmonic Society. Mr. Phil Boam, the orchestral leader at the Victoria Theatre, perhaps excepted.

ASSOCIATION: Orpheonist Society (association); Sydney Philharmonic Society (association)

"THE ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 August 1863), 6 

On Monday last a powerfully written drama, with fine stage effects, founded upon some of the fearful events of the massacre of Bartholomew, was played under the title of the "Huguenots," at the Victoria Theatre. It was produced under the entire direction of Mr. C. W. Barry, the incidental music and marches being selected from Meyerbeer's opera by Mr. Boam. The piece was well played, and commanded good pit houses on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but the inclemency of the weather, as might be expected, interfered somewhat with the box attendance . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 September 1863), 1

Stage Manager - Mr. Joe Simmons. Acting Manager and Treasurer - Mr. Charles Jones . . .
Musical Director - Mr. P. Boam . . .

ASSOCIATION: Joseph Simmons (stage manager); Charles Jones (acting manager)

Sands's commercial and general Sydney directory for 1864 (Sydney: John Sands, 1864), 127, 162 (DIGITISED)

Boam, Philip, musician, Avon-street, Glebe

"PUNCH AT THE THEATRE", Sydney Punch (5 May 1866), 8 

. . . At the Victoria a most telling and well constructed drama, entitled the "Marble Heart" has been presented during the week with considerable success . . . The band under a new leader forms now an attractive feature in the night's programme; Mr. Boam, the leader in question having recently returned from England with a large and carefully selected assortment of the latest musical novelties, which are nightly done every justice to by the orchestra, and are a refreshing change from the old, and almost stereotyped music which has been inflicted on the public ear at both our dramatic temples for many months past . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 May 1866), 8 

NEW ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE. Sole Lessee, Mr. R. Tolano . . .
Concluding each evening with (for the first time in the colonies) the celebrated burlesque opera ERNANI.
Which is now being performed in London with the most unequalled success.
The music arranged and composed by Mr. P. Boam (as originally played in London) . . .

"THE VICTORIA THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 June 1866), 4

. . . On Saturday night the Chambers family appeared, and danced several danced very cleverly; and the dramatic season closed by Mr. Charles Walsh singing a very pretty song entitled "Father dear, come home," composed by Mr. Boam . . .

ASSOCIATION: Charles Walsh (vocalist); Chambers family (dancers)

[Advertisement], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (27 June 1866), 1

having returned per Great Britain from England, has on SALE copies of the last sensational works, viz.: -
East Lynne, Henry Dunbar, The Mariner's Compass, Orange Girl, Lost in London, &c.
The abovenamed dramas, purchased by Mr. Boam with the sole right of disposing of them to any of the managers in the Australian colonies, protected by the Dramatic Authors Society.
For terms apply P. Boam, musical director, Prince of Wales Opera House, Sydney.

San Francisco directory for the year commencing December, 1869 (San Francisco: Henry G. Langley, 1869), 102 (DIGITISED)

Boam Philip, musician, dwl 710 Stockton

"Father Mathew Temperance Society", Daily Alta California [San Francisco, USA] (2 March 1874), 1 

The entertainment of the Father Mathew Temperance Society, last evening, held at the Irish-American Hall, was attended by a large and appreciative audience . . . The lecturer, Dr. Henry Gibbons, gave an instructive address on the subject of "Temperance." The reminder of the programme consisted of a series of excellent trios on the piano, violin and flute, by Miss Wadsworth, and Messrs. Boam and Forman; songs by Miss Annie Rooney, Mr. J. Dessey, and Mrs. P. Boam; recitations . . .

[Advertisement], Humboldt Times [California, USA] (10 March 1876), 2 

NEW TO-DAY Pratt's Opera House. Lessees and Managers - Clipperton and Darcy.
Stage Manager - Charles H. Mestayer. Leader - Prof. P. Boam . . .

The San Francisco directory for the year commencing April, 1876 (San Francisco: Henry G. Langley, 1876), [unpaginated] (DIGITISED)

Boam Philip B, jeweler DeBare & Bryan, dwl 783 Market

[News], The Ballarat Star (9 February 1899), 2 

Our obituary records the death of Mrs. Hathorn, relict of the late George Hathorn, both pioneers of the early fifties. Mrs. Hathorn's first husband was a musician, and his Ballarat life belonged to the old days of the Main road, when the now vanished Victoria and Charlie Napier were the popular places of resort for pleasure seekers. After her second marriage Mr. and Mrs. Hathorn had a restaurant in what is now Bridge street . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Eleanora Boam married George Hathorn in NSW in 1868, probably indicating that Philip Boam had by then left Australia; Charlie Napier Theatre (Ballarat venue)

BOATRIGHT, Sarah (Sarah ? ; ? Susanna ROUSE; Mrs. James BOATRIGHT; Mrs. BOATRIGHT; Mrs. BOATWRIGHT)

Musician, vocalist, pianist, teacher of music and drawing, school teacher, artist

Arrived Sydney, NSW, 20 January 1833 (per Guardian, from London, 4 September 1832)
Departed Sydney, NSW, 23 May 1837 (per Fortune, for London) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)


Sarah Boatright and her husband James, a surveyor, arrived in Sydney from London on 20 January 1833, as steerage passengers on the cargo ship, Guardian, along with 8 cases of furniture.

From April 1834, she offered board and tuition to young ladies, first at her Bunker Hill Establishment, and from August in new premises in the Colonnade, Bridge-street.

She played the piano in the first Philharmonic Society concert in July 1834, and sang and played with Joanna Ellard and William Joseph Cavendish, in the second Philharmonic concert in September.

She next appeared in public at Maria Taylor's concert at the Pulteney Hotel in March 1835, and for the last documented time in Thomas Stubbs's concert in April. She embarked for London in May 1837, apparently without her husband.

No other details of either Sarah or James have been discovered enabling a closer identification. However, because shipping lists are sometimes incorrect in important details, the possibility that her forename was not Sarah, but Susanna, is also considered below.

BOATRIGHT, Susanna Antionette Ann (Susanna Antionette Ann ROUSE; Mrs. James BOATRIGHT; Mrs. BOATRIGHT)

Born England, by c. 1805; daughter of James ROUSE (1773-1840) and Elizabeth ?
Married (1) James BOATRIGHT, St. James, Westminster, 31 October 1826
Married (2) Constantine Frederick GROSVENOR, St. Martin in the Fields, London, England, 27 June 1839
? Died London, England, late 1839 or early 1840

James Boatright and Susanna Antoinette Ann Rouse were married at St. James's, Westminster, on 31 October 1826. Susanna was a daughter of the artist, engraver, author, and drawing master, James Rouse (1773-1840) and his wife Elizabeth, also an artist and engraver. The titlepage of the 1827 second edition of Rouse's beauties and antiquities of the county of Sussex advertises that the book was for sale at Mr. Boatright, 152, Sloane-street, Sloane-square.

If Mrs. Boatright was Susanna, she was apparently widowed sometime after leaving Sydney in 1837, and, as a widow, married Constantine Frederick Grosvenor (c. 1814-1875), at St. Martin's in the Fields, London, on 27 June 1839. She herself may have died (or simply left him) shortly afterwards, for Grosvenor married again on 30 March 1840 at St. James's, Paddington (he was described in the register as a bachelor rather than widower, and a "seaman").


Marriages solemnized in the parish of St. James, Westminster, in the county of Middlesex, in the year 1826; register, 1819-26, page 321; London Metropolitan Archives (PAYWALL)

No. 350 / James Boatright of this Parish and Susanna Antoinette Ann Rouse of the Parish of Fulham Spinster were Married in this Church by License this [31 October 1826] . . . In the presence of Robert Rouse, Sarah Boatright . . .

1839, marriage solemnized at the parish church in the parish of St. Martin in the Fields, in the county of Middlesex; London Metropolitan Archives (PAYWALL)

No. 396 / 27th June 1839 / Constantine Frederick Grosvenor / full age / bachelor / - / 44 St. Martin's Lane / [son of] William Limberry Grosvenor / Wholesale Stationer
Susanna Antoinette Ann Boatright / full age / Widow / - / 5 Stanhope St. / [daughter of] James Rouse / Gent.


Report of a barque arrived in Port Jackson this 20th day of January 1833; State Records Authority of NSW (PAYWALL)

Vessel's Name: Guardian . . . Master's Name: Sinclair . . . [From] London . . . 4th Sept . . . [no cabin passengers] 11 Steerage passengers . . . James Boatwright Surveyor, Sarah Boatwright his Wife . . .

"Shipping Intelligence. ARRIVALS", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (22 January 1833), 2 

. . . on Sunday last [20 January] . . . From London and the Cape of Good Hope, the same day, having left the former place on the 4th of September, and the latter on the 3d of December, the barque Guardian, Captain Sinclair, with a general cargo. Passengers, Mr. and Mrs. Hooson and son; John Storton, carpenter; John Jones Peers, bricklayer; John Ferries; Mr. and Mrs. Boatwright, Thomas Must, labourer; Mrs. Sarah Maxwell; John Tugwell, and Herman Scherins.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Jones Peers (bricklayer, musical amateur)

"Sydney General Trade List . . . IMPORTS", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (29 January 1833), 2 

22. - GUARDIAN (barque), 263 tons, Sinclair master, from London, Marsden & Flowers agents . . .
8 cases furniture, - Boatwright . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (7 April 1834), 3

FOR A LIMITED NUMBER OF YOUNG LADIES, (Three Doors from the Archdeacon's.)
MRS. BOATRIGHT having taken the above compact and healthful Residence, commanding an extensive view of the Harbour of Port Jackson, Government Domain, &c., at the request of numerous Friends, begs to submit the following Terms for the instruction of a select number of Young Ladies: -
Board and general Tuition, comprising English Reading, Grammar, Writing, Arithmetic, Geography, History, Music, Plain and Ornamental Needle Work - Thirty Guineas per annum.
Singing - £6 6s 0d
Drawing - 6 6 0
French - 6 6 0
Italian - 6 6 0
Geography, with the Use of the Globes - 6 6 0
Dancing - 8 8 0
Each Young Lady to be provided with Bedding, Silver Spoon and Fork, and Six Towels. Washing, £4 4s. per annum.
Mrs. B. particularly wishes to notify an agreement for a quarter's notice previous to the removal of a Pupil; or, the quarter paid for.
Mrs. B. will also be happy to receive a select number of Young Ladies as Day Pupils - Terms, Three Guineas per quarter.
Also, the following Useful and Ornamental Arts and Accomplishments are taught by Mrs. BOATRIGHT, viz.:
- Wax and Rice Flowers, and Fruit from Nature; Chinese Method of Japanning; Painting on Glass; Velvet Painting; Claude and Indian Tinting; Oriental Painting; Maltese Transparencies, without the aid of colour; Mezzotinting; Embossed Flowers, an elegant Relievo for superb Dresses, &c. &c.
Private Lessons to Ladies (by Mrs. B., at her residence), in Music, Singing, and any of the foregoing Arts and Accomplishments.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (19 June 1834), 2 

. . . Mrs. B. having given a fortnight's VACATION to her Pupils, (which terminates on the 5th July), and having made suitable arrangements for the extension of her Establishment, she will feel gratified by an addition to the present number of Pupils . . .

"Philharmonic Concert", The Australian (29 July 1834), 2 

The first Concert of this Society was held on Friday evening, which we may hail as the birth night of classical music in Australia. This Soiree was highly respectable to the projectors of the enterprise, and proves how much might be done by unity, and good feeling; and it is much to be regretted, that with so many talented amateurs as there are now in this country, that these pastimes were not earlier introduced, for of all rational and serene delights, nothing can be more fascinating than musical amusements. Music seriously applied, is one of the noblest entertainments that can engage the mind of man, it humanizes the passions, strengthens devotion, and exalts the soul with the sublimest ideas. As a proof of its salutary effects, we may boldly assert, that among the whole prison population that have arrived in Australia, there never was a professor of music. It affords to teachers an existence, and to the amateur an employment that not only keeps him, from actions that he would regret, - but from thoughts that would create a blush.

We are sorry that we have not room to eulogize the performers according to their separate merits. The whole was excellent and well arranged. One of the ladies who so handsomely came forward on this occasion, was a little embarrassed, but let her not be discouraged, her attempt was received as it was offered, in the most liberal manner. She was warmly greeted, and she may rest assured, that when once she can acquire confidence, she will be the Star of the evening. Mrs. B's performance on the pianoforte was elegant and lady like, and the gentleman who sang "Mary Lee" shewed himself complete master of his audience, who sat as silent as if the melody came from heaven. His Excellency and suite entered exactly at eight o'clock, and was received, by the directors, the inimitable band of the 17th Regt. playing God save the King. The whole of the performance was over by half past ten, and the company retired, acknowledging, that this Concert had surpassed their anticipations, and by far exceeded any thing of the kind hitherto attempted in this country. - Correspondent.

ASSOCIATIONS: Richard Bourke (governor); Thomas Lewis (master, 17th band); Band of the 17th Regiment (military); Philharmonic Society

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (31 July 1834), 3 

NOTICE. MRS. BOATRIGHT BEGS respectfully to announce, under the kind wishes and recommendation of her numerous Friends, that she intends removing her Establishment (for the convenience of her Pupils) from Bunkers Hill to No. 6, Bridge-street, on the 11th August, where she trusts to merit a continuance of their kind favors and support.

"THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Sydney Monitor (3 September 1834), 3 

Yesterday evening, the second soiree of the Society took place at the Pulteney Hotel. The company, though not numerous, comprised a great portion of the most respectable inhabitants of the Colony; His Excellency the Governor, the Colonial-Secretary; Mr. Potter McQueen, Captain Hunter and family, &c. &c. We have not time to give the particular merits of each performer, suffice to say, that it went of better than we expected. The band of the 17th regiment, under Mr. Lewis, performed wonders. Mrs. Boatright, and Mrs. Ellard, are singers of superior taste, altho' wanting in that necessary ingredient - confidence. We can not but notice the Dead March, sung by Mrs. B., which is, without exception, the sweetest production we have heard for sometime.

"THE CONCERT", The Sydney Herald (4 September 1834), 3 

. . . The Society profess to give these Concerts, and only two or three of the members attend, and the getters up are obliged to be beholden to the Bandsmen for the major part of the entertainment. This is certainly not according to "Cocker." The female vocalists set an example to the absentees, which it is hoped will excite in the gentlemen amateurs a "spirit-stirring mood," at the next Soirée. The old Emerald favorite Savourneen Delish, was Mrs. E's. best performance, and was sung with much plaintive simplicity. Mrs. B. has a delightful voice, and was loudly applauded in "The Deserter;" the duet of "My pretty Page," between Mrs. E. and Mrs. B. was also applauded . . . The duet of "Time has not thinned my flowing hair," between Mr. C. and Mrs. B. did not appear to have had sufficient practice - it was however above mediocrity . . . "Latour's Pianoforte Duet" by Mr. C. and Mrs. B. was played with much spirit and execution . . .

"PHILHARMONIC CONCERT", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (4 September 1834), 2

. . . We had not the pleasure of hearing Mrs. B. at the first concert, but her song of the Deserter, with the dead march and muffled drum accompaniment, was one of the most effective performances of the evening. This lady also, with Mr. C. performed the air, O Dolce Contento, arranged as a duet for the pianoforte, in a very superior style; and subsequently with the same gentleman, a concertante, for the pianoforte and violin. Here's a health, bonnie Scotland, to thee! was sung with much taste and spirit by Mr. C, who also sang with Mrs. C. [sic, Mrs. B.], the duet, O Pescator, with English words. Mrs. E. had shaken off much of the timidity that oppressed her on the first night, and the result was such as to satisfy the audience that she possesses considerable musical taste and feeling. Her performance in the duet, My Pretty Page with Mrs. B., was, of itself, evidence of this; but her execution of the beautiful Irish air, Savourneen dhelish was conclusive . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Mrs. E. = Joanna Ellard (vocalist); Mr. C. = William Joseph Cavendish (pianist, vocalist); Pulteney Hotel (Sydney venue)

MUSIC: The deserter (words by Thomas Haynes Bayley, 'Tis the dismal beat of the muffled drum [words only]; My pretty page (Bishop); O dolce contento (arr. Latour); "Time has not thinned my flowing hair", ? English words to O pescator dell' onda (Venetian melody)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (7 October 1834), 2 

The Colonade shops in Bridge-street, though situated in a favourable part of the town, have not been all let. As improvements proceed on the domain side of Sydney, this will become a stirring neighbourhood. Among the principal shops under the Colonade, are Mrs. Boatwright's seminary for young ladies, Mr. Metcalfe, and others.

"Mr. Lewis's Concert", The Sydney Monitor (20 December 1834), 2

MR. LEWIS is an admirable military musician, and amid the disappointment we experienced at his Concert, we were amused to observe the cool precision with which he conducted the Band, and the efficient support he received from his coadjutors of the 17th in the overtures . . . Mr. Lewis promised to introduce at his Concert all the vocal talent of Sydney. Where were Mrs. Ellard, Mrs. Bird, Mrs. Jones, and Mrs. Boatwright? . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Isabella Tempest Bird (vocalist); Harriet Jones (vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (1 January 1835), 1 

SCHOOL FOR YOUNG LADIES, 6, Colonnade, Bridge-street, (Leading to Government House.)
MRS. BOATRIGHT, IN returning thanks to her Friends for their patronage, begs intimate, the Vacation to her Pupils commences on the 15th Instant [sic, December], and terminates on the 3d January. Mrs. H, begs to state to those Ladies who are not acquainted with her Establishment, the terms will be found moderate, and whenever there are two or more of a Family suitable deduction will be made, with the view that all her Pupils may participate in the various branches.
Mrs. B. continues Private Lessons and Tuition to Ladies, in Music, Singing, Drawing, and other useful accomplishments, at her residence, in Bridge-street.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (24 March 1835), 1

to her Friends and the Public generally, that her CONCERT will take place at the PULTENEY HOTEL, on
TUESDAY next, the 24th Instant, assisted (with Permission of Colonel Despard) by the Band of the 17th Regiment.
PART I . . . 10. Song, Mrs. Boatright, The Rover's Bride - Lee . . .
PART II . . . 3. Song, Mrs. Boatright, Muffled Drum - Lee . . .

"CONCERT", The Sydney Herald (26 March 1835), 3 

Mrs. Taylor gave her Concert on Tuesday evening last, at the Saloon of the Pulteney Hotel, to rather a thin house, scarcely sufficient we should think to cover the expenses. The performers were Mesdames Taylor, Boatwright, and Child, and Messrs. Simmons, Ellis, Gordonovitch, and Bonner; Mr. Cavendish presiding alternately at the Seraphine and Pinoforte [sic] . . . The difficult song of the "Muffled Drum" was performed very creditably by Mrs. Boatwright, who seemed to be labouring under indisposition . . .

"CONCERT", The Sydney Monitor (28 March 1835), 2

. . . Mrs. TAYLOR tho' evidently under the effects of a cold sang very sweetly. Mrs. BOATRIGHT's exertions, too, were very successful, and her songs were warmly applauded. Mr. GORDONOVICH sang a German Bravura and The Maid of Judah, with which all were much delighted . . .

"CONCERT", The Sydney Monitor (28 March 1835), 3 

. . . Mrs. Boatright appeared indisposed, but sang her songs with taste and feeling . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Maria Taylor (vocalist); Mrs. Child (vocalist); Joseph Simmons (vocalist); George Gordonovitch (vocalist); Charles Fawcett Bonnar (vocalist)

MUSIC: The rover's bride (Alexander Lee)

"THE CONCERT", The Sydney Herald (23 April 1835), 2

Mr. Stubbs' Concert, at the Royal Hotel, on Tuesday evening last, went off with the most perfect eclat, to a crowded and respectable audience . . . The principal attraction of the evening was that of a female debutante named Rust, a professional singer recently arrived amongst us from Europe, and whose brilliant talents will, no doubt, be the means of forming a new era in the musical history of Australia . . . The Overtures were executed in masterly style, and we believe gave universal satisfaction. Mrs. Boatright sung the martial song, Follow to the War, with great effect, and Miss Douglas, under some disadvantages, gave the song of Gaily we Dance, in a very pleasing manner . . .

"MR. STUBBS'S CONCERT", The Australian (24 April 1835), 2 

. . . We are sorry that the songs selected for Mrs. Boatwright were not the ones suited to her style of singing. They were, we think, beyond the compass of her voice and execution. Plaintive melodies are her forte; had she sung them, she would have given more general satisfaction. We stated before that she was an improving singer; - the event has shown that opinion to have been correct, or she could not have sung the songs she did. Still more simple melodies would have suited both her voice and execution better . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Stubbs (musician); Margaret Rust (vocalist); Ellen Douglass (vocalist); Royal Hotel (Sydney venue)

Report of a ship arrived in Port Jackson this 4[th] day of October 1836; State Records Authority of NSW (PAYWALL)

Vessel's Name: Tybee . . . Master's name: Rogers . . . From whence: Salem, 5 May, via Hobart Town . . .
Passengers . . . Cabin: Mr. James Boatwright from America . . .

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Sydney Herald (6 October 1836), 2

From the United States via Hobart Town, same day, having sailed from the former place the 5th of May, and the latter the 22d of September, the ship Tybee, Captain Rogers, with American goods. Passengers, Mr. J. Boatright, Mr. George Newall, and Mrs. Sargent.

"QUARTER SESSIONS. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (20 October 1836), 3 

James Griffith was convicted of stealing a number of beads and drawings, the property of Mrs. Boatwright, and sentenced to be worked 3 years in an iron gang.

"SHIP NEWS", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (23 May 1837), 2

PASSENGERS BY THE FOLLOWING VESSELS. - Fortune, for London - Cabin, Mrs. Lister and child, and Mrs. Boatright . . .

"LAW INTELLIGENCE", The Sydney Monitor (28 June 1837), 2 

Boatwright v. Dyson . . . The defendant produced a receipt in full of all demands, in the hand writing of the wife of plaintiff who had gone to England, but had previously managed the accounts . . .

"LAW INTELLIGENCE. SUPREME COURT - CIVIL SIDE. Monday, June 26", The Sydney Herald (29 June 1837), 2

Boatright v Dyson. - This was an action brought to recover the sum of £70, for board and lodging. The defendant put in a receipt from the plaintiff's wife in full of all demands up to the day of his leaving the plaintiff's house. - Verdict for the defendant. Counsel for the plaintiff, Mr. Foster; for the defendant, the Attorney-General.

"EAST INDIA SHIPPING", Morning Herald [London, England] (11 October 1837), 4 (PAYWALL)

Passengers per Fortune, from Sydney - Mrs. Lister and child, Mrs. Boatright . . .

Bibliography and resources:

"Mrs. Boatright", Design & Art Australia online (DAAO) 

BOBART, Henry Hodgkinson (Henry Hodgkinson BOBART; H. H. BOBART; Rev. Mr. BOBART)

Musical amateur, clergyman

Born c. 1807; son of Tillemann Hodgkinson BOBART (1770-1838) and Mary SMITH
Married (1) Frances HOUSE (d. 1836), Shiplake, Oxfordshire, England, 26 March 1835
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 2 November 1835 (per Lotus, en route to NZ)
Married (2) Elizabeth Mary MARSDEN (1799-1879), Parramatta, NSW, 28 September 1837
Died Parramatta, NSW, 19 July 1854, aged "47/48" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

St. John Parramatta pulpit, 1846

Three-decker pulpit, organ and organ gallery, St. John's, Parramatta, picturing the organ and the late Samuel Marsden (top), Henry Bobart (centre), and John Foreman Staff (bottom); needlework by Eliza Staff, painted faces by William Griffiths, 1846

ASSOCIATIONS: Samuel Marsden (clergyman); John and Eliza Staff (parish clerk, needleworker, father and daughter); William Griffiths (artist, painter)

See also Henry Hodgkinson Bobart (image) (DIGITISED)


"ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE. ST. JUBAL'S DAY. To the Editor of . . . ", The Sydney Herald (29 January 1841), 2 

SIR - On Wednesday, 27th inst., the Church of England inhabitants of Parramatta were indulged with a musical treat at St. John's Church, in honor of the above saint, lately canonized (we presume) at Oxford . . . Where . . . is the . . . authority which sanctions a day for divine service in the Church of Parramatta, when a paltry organ is to be opened and a collection made for the disbursement of its expenses, and that authority be exercised on a higher and holier principle and for higher and holier purposes? What is an organ more than a baptismal font, a communion table, or any other instrument used in the services of the sanctuary? . . . Had the congregation of St. John's Church been accustomed for years past to resort thither on the week-day for divine service and not, as it is too much the case, forsake the assembling together for that purpose, and at such times, the sound of the new organ would have been hailed with satisfaction as a delightful and solemn acquisition in the worship of God; or even as matters now stand, had it without any notice whatever, been permitted modestly and unostentatiously, to lead the congregation in the hymn on a sabbath morning for the first time, it would have met with a cordial reception, in the hearts of both the professing and sincere Christian worshipper . . . It matters little what kind of image is set up, whether made of gold or brass pipes, or of gold altogether, if the people are commanded to fall down and worship it. The cloak of expediency, called "Divine Service" being thrown over the notice of such a theatrical parade will not pass with sober-minded christians . . .

"COUNTRY NEWS. PARRAMATTA. ST. JOHN'S CHURCH", The Australian (19 October 1843), 3 

On Sunday evening this church was for the first time opened for evening service. It was lighted by "Patent Solar Lamps," burning the common oil, and the effect produced is stated to be fully equal, if not superior, to the "Argand" with sperm oil. The Episcopalian inhabitants have long been desirous of an evening service, and they manifested their satisfaction at the alteration by a crowded attendance. The liturgy was read by the Rev. H. H. Bobart, and a most impressive discourse was delivered by the Rev. W. B. Clarke, M. A. who endeavoured to improve the occasion of the two recent sudden deaths in the town. The chaunting services were good, and were beautifully accompanied on the organ by Mr. Stanley.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Stanley (organist)

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (20 July 1854), 8 

On the 19th instant, at the King's School, Parramatta, the Rev. H. H. Bobart, M.A., incumbent of St. John's, aged 48 years.

See also obituary, "PARRAMATTA . . . . DEATH OF THE REV. H. H. BOBART", The Sydney Morning Herald (22 July 1854), 7 

"PARRAMATTA", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 August 1854), 2 

A MEETING of the parishioners of St. John's and other friends of the late Rev. H. H. Bobart, M.A., was held in the vestry of St. John's Church, on Friday last, at twelve o'clock, for the purpose of taking into consideration the most appropriate manner of testifying respect for the memory of that much-lamented minister . . . He (Mr. Bobart) was also a devout admirer of sacred music, and was ever ready to sing the praises of God in the midst of the congregation.

"PARRAMATTA", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 April 1856), 9 

A PUBLIC MEETING of the subscribers towards the rebuilding of St. John's Church, took place in the Parochial Schoolroom, on Wednesday evening last, for the purpose of receiving the report of the Building Committee . . . Mr. ROWLING read the report, which . . . stated, that since the appointment of the committee, the church had been fitted with 112 pews, containing 622 sittings. The pulpit, reading-desk, and communion rail, had also been erected . . . and the chancel built, roofed, and floored. In addition to these works, the organ presented to the church, by the late Rev. H. H. Bobart, had been repaired by Mr. Bridson, and the expense defrayed by a special collection, made by the exertions of Mrs. Rowling . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Bridson (musician, organ builder)

Bibliography and resources:

Graeme D. Rushworth, Historic organs of New South Wales: the instruments, their makers and players 1791-1940 (Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1988), 23 

. . . The first organ at St. John's Church, Parramatta, was probably the one opened at a special service for the purpose that was held on Wednesday, 27 January 1841. This instrument seems to have at first been the property of the Rector, the Revd Henry H. Bobart, son-in-law of the Revd Samuel Marsden and his successor from 1838 until his own death in 1854 . . .

"Rev H. H. Bobart", Prospect Heritage Trust 

BOCHSA, Charles - see main entry - Nicholas Charles BOCHSA

BOCK, Thomas (Thomas BOCK)

Amateur musician, viola (tenor) player, vocalist, artist, engraver, portrait painter, convict

Born Hammerwich, near Lichfield, England, c. 1790; ? baptised St. Matthew, Walsall, 10 December 1793; son of William BOCK (BOCH) and Catherine COOPER (m. 1789)
Sentenced Warwick Assizes, England, 5 April 1823 (14 years)
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 19 January 1824 (convict per Asia, from England, 29 July 1823)
Married (2) Mary Ann SPENCER (Mrs. CAMERON), Trinity church, Hobart Town, TAS, 23 July 1850
Died Hobart, TAS, 18 March 1855, "in the 65th year of his age" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)

BOCK, Alfred (Alfred CAMERON; from 1850, Alfred BOCK)

Musical amateur, bell ringer, artist, photographer

Born Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 9/19 April 1835; baptised Trinity church, Hobart, 23 March 1836; son of Alexander CAMERON and Mary Ann SPENCER
Married (1) Mary Anne PARKINSON (d. 1875), Hobart, TAS, 24 July 1858
Married (2) Eleanor Rachel BLACKBURN, VIC, 25 March 1882
Died Wynyard, TAS, 19 February 1920 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)

Thomas Bock; from a daguerreotype by Alfred Bock; Libraries Tasmania

Thomas Bock; from a daguerreotype by Alfred Bock; Libraries Tasmania (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)


Marriage solemnized in the Parish of St. Philip Birmingham in the County of Warwick in the year 1814; Library of Birmingham (PAYWALL)

No. 194 / Thomas Bock of this Parish Bachelor and Charity Broome of this Parish Spinster a Minor were married in this Church by Licence with Consent of Parents this [2 January 1814] . . .

"WARWICK ASSIZES", Aris's Birmingham Gazette (14 April 1823), 3 (PAYWALL)

TRANSPORTATION. - Thomas Bock and Mary Day Underhill, for having administered decoctions of herbs to Ann Yates, with an intent to cause miscarriage, fourteen years . . .

On Saturday Morning; Thomas Bock, late an engraver of this town, and a young woman, named Mary Day Underhill, were brought to the bar, charged with administering decoctions of certain herbs to Ann Yates, with the intent to cause miscarriage, contrary to the statute - The first witness, Ann Yates, a respectable looking girl, stated herself to be the daughter of a tradesman living at Ashted, and was about 19 years of age; that she became acquainted with the prisoner Bock, about two years since; that she was prevailed upon by him and the female prisoner to leave her father's house; that she was fetched back by her parents, but that the prisoner - Underhill again persuaded her to leave home, and ultimately took lodgings for her, to which she removed, and that Bock soon after effected her seduction. Finding her to be pregnant by him, he told her she must take something to induce miscarriage, and at the instance of the female prisoner she took an infusion, which however had no effect upon her. Bock afterwards procured another herb, which was boiled, and she took strong doses of it in presence of both prisoners. This also took no effect, and she was delivered of a child in October last, which is still living. - The woman with whom the witness lodged was next examined and proved the taking of the room by Underhill, and the visits of the prisoner Bock. The father of the young woman was also examined in confirmation of the former part of his daughter's testimony. The Learned Judge then addressed the Jury upon the law of the case, and after a few minutes' deliberation, they returned a verdict of guilty against both prisoners. - In passing the sentence of fourteen years' transportation upon them, his Lordship remarked, that he had never tried a more wicked and malignant case. In addressing himself to Bock, his Lordship alluded to the arts he had practised in seducing the poor girl from the house of her parents to gratify his wicked inclinations, and forcibly remarked on the enormity of his offence, standing in the relation he did as the father of four children, some of whom were daughters. He considered his crime also to be aggravated by the instruction he had given Counsel, to endeavour to defame the poor creature he had cruelly used, by insinuating that she was a common street-walker. His Lordship also alluded in terms of just severity to the disgusting situation in which the female prisoner stood, and observed that had they been capitally convicted, he should have considered it his duty not to recommend them as objects of clemency, and must have left them to their fate.

List of 150 male convicts per Asia, arrived 18 January 1824; State Records Authority of NSW (PAYWALL)

Thomas Bock / Warwick Assizes / 5th April 1823 / [native place] Hammerwitch, near Litchfield / Portrait Painter & Engraver / [age] 33 / 5 ft 6 1/2 in. . . .

Convict records, Thomas Bock; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1373754 (DIGITISED)

713 / Bock Thomas / 5 ft 6 1/2 in / . . . 33 / Portrait Painter & Engraver / [tried] Warwick / April 1823 / 14 years . . .$init=CON31-1-1p277 (DIGITISED)

713 / Bock Tho's . . . Conditional Pardon No. 371 29th June 1832 / F. pardon No. 110 7th Nov'r 1833 / . . .
Gaol report: Former character good, respectably connected, very orderly
Hulk report: Orderly. Married.
Stated this offence: Administering Drugs to procure abortion to a young woman named Ann Yates . . .
[born] (Hammerwhich near Litchfield Stafford[shire]) resided last in Tower Street Birmingham as an Engraver; served an apprenticeship to the engraving business with one Brander [sic]

ASSOCIATIONS: Probably Thomas Brandard (d. 1830, engraver and printer), father of Robert Brandard and John Brandard (artists)

"ST. GEORGE'S DAY", The Hobart Town Courier (25 April 1829), 2

Nothing can convey a greater idea of the immense power and glory of the British empire, than the enthusiastic joy which pervades the whole dominion from pole to pole, on the day set apart to commemorate the birth of our most beloved Sovereign . . . The usual demonstrations of joy upon the occasion of flags hoisting, guns firing, &c. &c., having been gone through, towards evening various parties congregated to conclude the day in social intercourse, and the taste and moderation observed among all ranks, from the lowest to the highest, were highly creditable to the inhabitants generally. Soon after eight the company began to collect at the Government house . . . The company continued to assemble for nearly two hours, and the ball was opened about nine o'clock . . . There could not have been less than from two to three hundred in the rooms, for while the dance was kept up with spirit in the ball room, the other apartments were filled with small conversazione parties, and the softer notes of music and song, from a voice of great sweetness, added to the enjoyment of the drawing room . . . Mr. Deane presided as usual over the music, and with Mr. Bock and other able assistants (considering that the military band was wanting) acquitted himself most creditably to the satisfaction of the company. The dancing was kept up till an early hour yesterday morning in honour of His Majesty. Long may he live to reign over us - we wish no better King.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Philip Deane (musician, violin)

"MR. DEANE'S CONCERT", The Tasmanian (27 August 1830), 6 

On Saturday last [21 August], Mr. DEANE gave his concert as advertised in the newspapers . . . The concert commenced with a grand symphony my Stamity [Stamitz]. Mr. Deane presided very ably at the violin, Messrs. Brown and Williams (master of the Band of the 63rd) seconds., Mr. Bock and Master Deane (a young gentleman only ten years old) tenors, Mr. Hoffer, a violoncello, and two horns by excellent performers of the 63rd Band. This beautiful symphony was performed with the greatest effect, and received with the warmest applause. . . . Bishop's beautiful glee "The Foresters" was then sung most admirably by Messrs. Pemfriest, Bock, Marshall, and Lanford. . . . Bishop's glee, "Beam of Light," then followed by Miss Ludgater, Messrs. Deane, Bock, and Langford. . . . The first act closed with a piece from Hayden, by the whole of the performers, and the second act opened with another piece of that celebrated master. Mr. Bock then sang with great taste Wade's "Ding dong bell" which was followed by the celebrated glee "The last rose Summer," by Miss Ludgater, Messrs. Deane, Marshall, and Bock . . . A beautiful Quartetto from Haydn then followed, by Mr. Deane the Violin, Mr. Marshall the Flute, Mr. Bock the Tenor, and Mr. Hoffer the Violoncello. It was admirably executed.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Williams (violin); John Deane junior (viola); John Offor (cello); William Penphrase (vocalist); John Marshall (vocalist, flute); Mr. Langford (vocalist); Sarah Ludgater (vocalist); Band of the 63rd Regiment (military)

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (28 September 1831), 1

MR. EDITOR - In reply to the above Advertisement of Mr. Peter Graham's . . .
The following are the details of the proceeds of the Concert on the 21st of Sept., 1831, viz: . . .
Amount received for tickets sold £38 17 0
Paid Mr. J. E. Cox for refreshment for performers and band £6 5 6 . . .
Do. Mr. Williams, Master of the band 2 2 0
Do. 3 men from do. 1 10 0 . . .
Music paper and copying 1 12 6
Mr. Deane and family ---
Mr. J. E. Cox. ---
Mr. Langford. ---
Mr. Marshall ---
Mr. Hickson, 63d band ---
Mr. Hance. ---
Mr. Bock. --- . . .
[signed] JOHN P. DEANE . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: As the advertisement explains in full, the occasion was a concert tendered by Deane for the benefit of his tenant Peter Graham (d. 1832, not a musician), and at which, as the accounts show, most of the named performers appeared gratuitously; Hugh Hickson (bandsman); William Hance (amateur)

"Domestic Intelligence", The Tasmanian (27 July 1832), 5 

Notwithstanding the unfavourable state of the weather on Monday last, we are happy to state that Mr. Deane's Concert, was attended by near three hundred persons; and the whole performance of the evening appeared to give very great and general satisfaction. The grand attraction of the evening, was unquestionably Mr. Russell : whose reputation as a violin player of the first class, has already been made known to our readers . . . Of our old friend and favourite Mr. Marshall, we have only to say, that both in his Solo, "The Blue Bells of Scotland," and in his duett with Mr. Reichenberg, we never heard him to greater advantage . . . Mr. Penfrith's song of "Time is ever changing," was loudly and deservedly applauded; and Miss Deane's piano forte performance . . . was excellent in the extreme. It affords us very great pleasure to notice Miss Wrathall's marked improvement lately. Her Song, "Oh, say not" was deservedly encored; as was also her duett with Mr. Bock, "The last links are broken" . . . We must not neglect before we conclude, to mention the Band of the 63rd Regiment, and by whose very able performance of Mozart's celebrated Military Overture, the Evening's entertainment commenced. The finale, like most finales of short concerts, was as a matter of course encored.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Wilkins Russell (violin); Joseph Reichenberg (musician); Rosalie Deane (piano); Ann Wrathall (vocalist)

MUSIC: The last links are broken (arr. Fanny Steers from a theme by Mozart)

"Domestic intelligence", The Tasmanian (14 June 1833), 5 

We are much pleased with Mr. Deane's Soirees, which, we are happy to find, are well and most respectably attended. We would impress upon the notice of our readers the favor many of them would confer, by volunteering a song. On Monday evening a gentleman very good naturedly treated the company with "The Soldier's Tear," which he sang with great taste and feeling, eliciting loud applause; Mr. Bock, too, our talented artist, is very assiduous in this respect, and takes a part in a glee with good effect. His comic song of "Molly Brown" is a great favorite. Mr. Marshall's flute playing is excellent; and Mr. Deane's fiddle "discourses most excellent music." His little boy's performance on the violoncello is really surprising, considering the little fellow's age, and the magnitude of the instrument.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Smith Deane (cello)

MUSIC: Giles Scroggins courted Molly Brown (song)

"Domestic Intelligence", The Tasmanian (16 August 1833), 6 

Last evening, at Mr. Deane's Soiree, Mrs. Henson, sang for the third time, we believe, in this Colony, a very charming song, entitled - "The Sea." The words are, if we recollect, by Barry Cornwall, and the music by the Chevalier, Neucomm, a gentleman who has distinguished himself in England, as a very talented Composer. Mrs. Henson sang very well; she improves weekly, and, by gaining confidence, she will gain improvement. A very beautiful flute duett, by Messrs. Marshall and Hulks, comprising Mozart's air of, "O Dolce Concento" was well performed, and received great applause. Mr. Bock, sang a comic song, from the comedy of John Bull, and altogether, the Soiree was as agreeable as any we have witnessed.

ASSOCIATIONS: Mrs. Henson (vocalist); Henry Hulkes (flute)

[News], The Hobart Town Courier (6 December 1833), 2 

The festival of St. Andrew was celebrated on Saturday at the Commercial Tavern, by about 100 gentlemen. The dinner was got up in a style unprecedented in the colony . . . The room was brilliantly lighted, a large chandelier with eight argand branches being suspended from the centre - the band of the 63rd. struck up appropriate tunes at every toast and a trio, Mr. Deane, Mr. Marshall and Mr. Bock sung some of the most favourite glees.

"New South Wales", Bent's News and Tasmanian Register (7 December 1838), 4 

. . . The Hooping Cough is very prevalent in Sydney; and it is generally reported that the typhus fever has also made its appearance there. Mr. Peck, the Paganini of the southern hemisphere, had been chosen as the Leader of the Orchestra at the new Victoria Theatre; and Mr. J. P. Deane and his talented family were giving Concerts to very full houses. Mr. Bock, our clever Portrait Painter, had met with so much success at Sydney that he has been induced to settle there, as we anticipated when he left here . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Peck (violin); Royal Victoria Theatre (Sydney venue)

Baptisms solemnized in the Parish of Trinity in the County of Buckingham in the Year 1836; Tasmanian names indes; NAME_INDEXES:1084576; RGD32/1/2/ no 6909 (DIGITISED)

No. 237 / [baptised] 23rd March [1836] / [born] 9th April 1835 / Alfred / [son of] Alexander and Mary Ann / Cameron / Hobart Town / Mariner . . .

"THE EXHIBITION", Colonial Times (26 June 1846), 4 

At length we are enabled to present our readers with our promised notice of the present Exhibition, now opened at Mr. Robin Hood's picture gallery in Liverpool-street . . . . . . we look upon No. 22, also a portrait of one of our citizens, Mr. Macgregor, of Elizabeth-street, by Mr. Bock. There is no mistake about this; the likeness is a living one: the portrait all but breathing out of the canvas. The artist has evidently bestowed great pains upon this, as upon all his other productions: had the portrait hands to be shaken, we should have held out the sign of a friendly greeting. No. 32, a portrait of the Rev. Dr. Bedford, like-wise by Bock, is extremely good; but the spectator must bear in mind that it was taken some seven or eight years ago . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Robin Vaughan Hood (artist); John McGregor (sitter); William Bedford (clergyman)

1850, marriages in the district of Hobart; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:839539; RGD37/1/9 no 363 (DIGITISED)

No. 84 / 363 / Trinity Church 23rd July 1850 / Thomas Bock / Full Age / Artist / . . . Widower
and Mary Ann Spencer / . . . Spinster [sic] /

1855, deaths in the district of Hobart; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1192894; RGD35/1/4 no 1831 (DIGITISED)

No. 1831 / March 18th / Thomas Bock / Male / Sixty five years / Artist / Debility . . .

"DEATH", The Courier (19 March 1855), 2

On Sunday, the 18th instant, in the 65th year of his age, Mr. Thomas Bock, Artist, &c., of this city.
Friends wishing to follow his remains are informed that the funeral will take place on Tuesday, the 20th instant, at 3 o'clock P.M.

"THE LATE MR. THOMAS BOCK", Colonial Times (20 March 1855), 2 

The Courier of yesterday, noticing the death of Mr. Thomas Bock, the artist, recommends the exhibition of a selection of his works for the benefit of his survivors. Such an exhibition might, we think, be got up without much difficulty, and would certainly have the desired effect. There are few in this community who would not gladly profit by such an occasion to do good. [We had?] The opportunity to inspect some daguerreotype portraits, the productions of Mr. T. Bock, jun. [sic, Alfred], and they were certainty of a very high order. We understand that he inherits, to a great extent, the talent of his father.

"TRINITY BELLS", The Mercury [Hobart, TAS] (14 March 1867), 2 

Yesterday a peal of bells was rung by the Trinity Amateur Ringing Association, in compliment to Mr. Alfred Bock, painter in oil and water colors and sennotype photographer, on his departure for Gipps Land, via Melbourne, by the Southern Cross Steamer. Mr. Bock, who is a Tasmanian, was for a number of years an amateur ringer here.

ASSOCIATIONS: Trinity Amateur Ringing Association (Trinity Church, Hobart)

Bibliography and resources:

William Bryden, "Bock, Thomas (1790-1855)", Australian dictionary of biography 1 (1966)

Diane Dunbar (ed.), Thomas Bock: convict engraver, society portraitist; exhibition and catalogue (Launceston: Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery; Canberra: Australian National Gallery, [1995]) 

Thomas Bock, Convict records 

"Thomas Bock", Design & Art Australia Online (DAAO)

BODDINGTON, Thomas (Thomas BODDINGTON, junior, or ? senior)

Musician, violinist, fiddler, publican

Born London, England, 19 October 1838; baptised St. Paul's, Covent Garden, 26 October 1845 [sic]; son of Thomas BODDINGTON (1809-1882) and Eliza ? TILLEY (d. WA, 1865)
Arrived Albany, WA, 1855 (per Esmerelda, "baker", aged "15")
Arrived Adelaide, SA, 24 October 1857 (per Estrella de Norte, from Swan River)
Married Elizabeth LLOYD , Trinity church, Adelaide, SA, 30 April 1863 (divorced 1871)
Died Mile End, SA, 5 August 1900 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Baptisms solemnized in the Parish of Saint Paul Covent Garden in the County of Middlesex in the Year 1845; register 1841-59, page 50; City of Westminster Archives (PAYWALL)

No. 400 / October 26 [1845] / Thomas Son of / Thomas and Eliza / Boddington Born Octo'r 19 1838 / . . . Westminster / Baker . . .

? "SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVED", Adelaide Times (24 October 1857), 2 

Saturday, October 24 - The Portuguese ship Estrella de Norte, 398 tons, R. Parkinson, master, from Swan River, October 9 . . . Thomas Boddington . . . in the steerage.

"POLICE COURT - ADELAIDE. DISORDERLY", The South Australian Advertiser (4 October 1860), 3 

Annie Ryan appeared to the information of Thomas Boddington, charged with having on the 29th September, used abusive and insulting language towards him, whereby a breach of the peace might have occurred. Mr. Ingleby appeared for the complainant, and Mr. Moulden for the defendant. The complainant stated that he was a musician living in Morphett-street. On Saturday night, as he was coming out of the Albion Hotel, he met the defendant and was greeted with a shower of abuse. It was not the first time he had been annoyed in a similar manner. Fined 10s. and costs.

"POLICE COURTS. ASSAULTS", South Australian Register (23 July 1861), 3 

. . . Elizabeth Lee was summoned by Thomas Boddington for assaulting him on the 13th inst. It appeared that while the complainant was playing his fiddle at the Albion Hotel the defendant went up to him, pushed him about, and caught hold of his hair. The defendant was fined 5s. and costs.

. . . Mary Crozier was summoned by Thomas Boddington for breaking a fiddle-bow, value 17s., the property of the informant. There was no evidence to convict the defendant, anil she was consequently discharged.

. . . Mary Sage was fined 10s. and costs for using bad language towards Thomas Boddington, in Light-square, on the 15th inst . . .

"POLICE COURTS", South Australian Register (28 November 1866), 4 

. . . Thomas Boddington, of Hindley Street, musician, deposed to the effect following: - On Wednesday last, about 2 o'clock, I was at the Albion Hotel, when the prisoner Frances Bolton came to me, gave me four Bank-notes, and desired I would take care of them for her . . .

[Advertisement], The Express and Telegraph (6 November 1867), 1 

EYERY EVENING- during the visit of H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh
a FREE BALL will be given at the SHAMROCK ASSEMBLY ROOMS, Currie-street.
A full Band of six musicians. THOS. BODDINGTON, Proprietor.

ASSOCIATIONS: Alfred (duke of Edinburgh)

"POLICE COURTS . . . ADELAIDE. MONDAY, MARCH 30", Adelaide Observer (4 April 1868), 7 

enry Thomas Strutt was charged with having embezzled the sum of £5, the property of Thomas Boddington, who deposed that prisoner had been employed by him in the capacity of a musician at night, and to make himself generally useful during the day, the wages agreed upon being £1 per week, with board, &c. Prisoner had been in his employ six weeks, when he disappeared on the 17th March. Elizabeth Boddington, wife of the prosecutor, deposed that on the 17th March prisoner was sent by her with a £5 cheque to get the cash, with which he never returned . . . The prisoner was committed for trial at the Supreme Court.

"POLICE COURTS. ADELAIDE. THURSDAY, MAY 14", South Australian Register (15 May 1868), 3 

Thomas Boddington, of Adelaide, licensed victualler, was charged on the information of John Lamb, of the same place, licensed victualler, that he (the defendant) did knowingly and unlawfully retain and harbour one John Oehlrich, then being employed to serve and in the service of the said informant. Defendant, on whose behalf Mr. Boucaut appeared, pleaded not guilty, and produced a receipt, of which the following is a copy:
- "March 23, 1868. Received from Thomas Boddington the sum of £2, being balance of wages due up to this day. J. Oehlrich. Witness - Owen Morris."
After hearing depositions by John Lamb and John Oehlrich, musician, also the deposition of Owen Morris, for the defence, His Worship dismissed the information.

Another information by Thomas Boddington, of Adelaide, licensed victualler, charged John Lamb, of the same place, licensed victualler, that he (the defendant) did knowingly and unlawfully retain and harbour one John Oehlrich, then being employed to serve and in the service of the said informant, who put in the following agreement and receipt in support of the information:
- "Shamrock Hotel, January 6, 1868. Agreement made this day between Thomas Boddington, licensed victualler, of Adelaide, and John Oehlrich, harness-maker, of same place. The said John Oehlrich does hereby agree to serve Thomas Boddington as musician for the term of six months from this date at the weekly salary of 15s. a week and board and lodging.
J. Oehlrich, Thos. Boddingrton. Witness - Owen Morris." -
- "January 6, 1868. Received from Thos. Boddington the sum of 12s. 6d., being balance of wages due to me up to this date. John Oehlrich."
Defendant pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr. Mann. After hearing depositions by Thomas Boddington, Owen Morris, Annie Anderson, and William Congdon, His Worship dismissed the information.

"DEATHS", The Express and Telegraph [Adelaide, SA] (20 August 1900), 2 

BODDINGTON.- On the 5th August, at his residence, Henley Beach-road, Thos. Boddington, late of Shamrock Hotel, aged 62 years. Melbourne and Western Australian papers please copy.

BOEHLER, Henry (? Heinrich BOEHLER; Henry BOEHLER; Herr BOHLER)

Musician, flute player, vocalist, leader of the Ballarat German Liederkranz

Born Baden, Germany, c. 1826
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, April 1853 (per Woodstock, from London, 7 December 1852, aged "26")
Naturalised VIC, 18 September 1854 (born "Baden, Germany", aged "28") (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


List of passengers per Woodstock, from London, 7 December 1852, for Port Phillip, 27 April 1853; Public Record Office Victoria (PAYWALL)

Fellinger Alex'r / 25 / Gentleman / German
Prinz Geo'e / 30 / [Gentleman] / [German]
Boehler Henry / 26 / [Gentleman] / [German]
Flautwater Jos'h / 27 / [Gentleman] / [German]
Wymsley Chas / 27 / [Gentleman] / [German]
Elsasser Chas / 34 / [Gentleman] / [German]
Herrgath Fredk / 28 / [Gentleman] / [German]
Riegg Michael / 29 / [Gentleman] / [German] . . .
Reeman Randolphus / 29 / Musician / German . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Elsasser (musician); George Prinz (musician); Alexander Fellinger (musical amateur)

[Advertisement], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (25 June 1853), 6 

HERR STREBINGER, (late first violin of the Opera Comique, Paris,) begs to inform his friends and the public that his Benefit and Farewell Concert will take place on the above evening, when he will be supported by all the vocal and instrumental talent in the Colony, and by some amateurs who have kindly volunteered their services for him on this occasion.
Vocalists: Mrs. Testar, Mrs. Hancock, and Herr Wagenheim (who have kindly offered their services).
Principal Solo Performers: Herr Strebinger - Violin. Herr Bohler - Flute.
THE BAND, which will be considerably increased, will consist of the available talent in the colony and several of the
Band of the 40th Regiment (by the kind permission of Col. Valiant.)
Conductor and Pianist - M. Buddee.
Overture - "Oberon," Full band - Weber . . .
Waltz - "Dew Drop," Full band - D'Albert . . . Solo - Flute, "Air Varie," Herr Bohler - Boehm
Quadrille - "The Nightingale," Full band - Linter.
Part II.
Overture - "Der Freischutz," Full band - Weber . . .
Waltz - "The Crystal Palace," Full band - D'Albert . . .
Quadrille - "Clara de Rosenbergh," Full band - Bossisio.
Finale - God save the Queen . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Frederick Strebinger (violin); Elizabeth Testar (vocalist); Mary Ellen Hancock (vocalist); Gustavus Wangenheim (amateur vocalist); Julius Buddee (pianist); members of the Band of the 40th Regiment (military); Mechanics' Institution (Melbourne venue)

[Advertisement], The Star [Ballarat, VIC] (17 August 1857), 3 

THIS EVENING - MONDAY, And every evening during the week
Engagement of the celebrated local comic singer, MR. COXON . . .
the celebrated Dancers, the MISSES WISEMAN.
The Proprietor having determined upon affording the inhabitants of Ballarat, and its environs, a grand musical treat - a la Jullien - has engaged the most celebrated artistes in the colonies, thus forming
A MONSTER BAND, The solo performers consisting of
Herr Richty and Herr Weideman, 1st Violins.
Monsieur Feon, and Herr Rodi, 2nd Violins.
Herr Keitel, and - Navaiski, Tenor.
Herr Elliott, Contra Bass.
Herr Bohler, Flute.
Herr Bouleke, 1st Clarionet.
Herr Holzapfell, 2nd Clarionet.
Herr Vohr, Oboe.
Herr Ide, 1st Cornet.
Herr Busse, 2nd Cornet.
Herr Schulze, Trombone.
Mr. Parker, Pianist.
Monsieur PIETRO CANNA, on the Drums.
Leader of the Band, HERR RICHTY.

ASSOCIATIONS: Carl Richty (leader, violin); John Gibbs (proprietor); John Coxon (comic vocalist); Traugott Wiedemann (violin); ? August Keitel (viola); Pietro Canna (drummer); none of the other musicians named can as yet been reliably identified; Charlie Napier Theatre (Ballarat venue)

"THE GOVERNOR'S VISIT . . . THE TORCH LIGHT PROCESSION", The Star (20 January 1858), 3

The "finish" of the day was worthy of it. The Germans and Scandinavians were not to be outdone by Chinese. Their reception of the Governor of the country they have adopted, was something every way unique and national. We alluded in Monday's columns to the probability of the Germans serenading His Excellency by torchlight. At a tittle after midnight a procession of Germans and Scandinavians started from the Prince Albert Hotel, in the following order: -
The Band
Banner of the German Liederkranz
The Committee and Members of the
English, German and Scandinavian Flags,
Germans and Scandinavians.
The appearance of this procession as it marched down Bakery Hill, with true military precision, was extraordinary. More than two hundred torches lit up the dark night with a weird like splendour; producing a sensation similar to that experienced while witnessing the Witches' Dance in Macbeth, or the incantation scene in Der Freyschutz, or if that were possible, both at the same moment.
The inhabitants of the Main Road, started from midnight slumbers to see the strange sight; and an immense crowd accompanied the procession to the Governor's lodgings, at Bath's Hotel. On reaching the hotel, the following music was performed in admirable style:
1. Overture to Der Freyschutz. - Weber.
2. Liederfreicheit. - Marschner.
3. Finale to Lucrezia Borgia. - Donnizetti.
4. Jagers' Lust - Asthols.
Unfortunately, the expected reward - viz., a speech from Sir Henry Barkly - did not succeed to these praiseworthy exertions. Captain Bancroft, aid-de-camp to his Excellency came out, and being introduced to Mr. Boghler [sic], leader of the Liederkranz, and Mr. Richty leader of the band, Messrs. Karl, Wisenhavern, Brunn, Fellinger and others, tendered then the hearty thanks of His Excellency, who was far too unwell to do so in person. The apology was accepted in good grace, and the serenade ended at about half past one o'clock, by Mr. Ahrens saying in a loud voice - "We brother Germans and Scandinavians give a hearty welcome to Sir Henry Barkly, Governor of Victoria." God save the Queen" was then sung, and after some hearty and continued cheering, the procession marched homewards.

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Barkly (governor); Ballarat German Liederkranz (association)

"THE LIEDERKRANZ", The Star (21 January 1858), 2 

At a meeting of the members of the German Liederkranz at the Prince Albert Hotel, last evening, the following letter was read: -
"To - Boehler, Esq., and the members of the Liederkranz.
"Gentlemen, - I am directed by the Governor to express his best thanks to the members of the Liederkranz for the serenade given in his honor last night, and to explain that he would have done so in person at the time, but that he had retired to rest some hours previously, fatigued with his journey and the proceedings of the day, and could therefore only listen in tranquil enjoyment to the beautiful music which was performed.
"His Excellency wishes me to add that he fully appreciates the importance of the fresh infusion of the Anglo-Saxon element into the population of Victoria, which has of late years taken place, and is happy to find that the German and Scandinavian Colonists are not unmindful of the customs and accomplishments of their Fatherland.
"I have the honor to be,
"Your most obedient and humble Servant.
"Bath's Hotel, 20th January."
The members received the letter with acclamation, and expressed their entire satisfaction therewith.

BOEHM, Traugott Wilhelm (Traugott Wilhelm BOEHM; Herr BOEHM)

Music teacher, school teacher

Born Brandenburg, Germany, 18 October 1836; son of Johann Georg BOEHM (d. 1869) and Johanne Caroline KOENIG (d. 1875)
Arrived Adelaide, SA, 2 January 1839 (per Zebra, via Holdfast Bay, 29 December 1838)
Married Anna Maria DOLLING (d. 1908), Hahndorf, SA, 12 August 1858
Died Warracknabeal, VIC, 12 May 1917 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)


"MARRIED", South Australian Register (18 August 1858), 2 

On the 12th instant, by licence, by the Rev. A. Fiedler, at St. John's Church, Hahndorf, T. W. Boehm, teacher, to Miss A. M. Dolling, eldest daughter of G. Dolling, near Hahndorf.

[News], Chronicle (27 January 1906), 37

About fifty years ago Mr. T. W. Boehm taught young men in the village of Hahndorf, situated among the hills about 17 miles east of Adelaide. Many of his old pupils hold prominent positions throughout the State, and at a gathering of the Hahndorf Old Boys' Association on Monday evening a letter was read from Mr. Boehm, who is now in Victoria, in which he ex pressed the view that nations whose school masters and pedagogues ranked highest would always take the lead in civilisation and politics. It was really the schoolmaster who gained the great battles on land and sea in the late war in the East. It was a war between intelligence and ignorance. Pedagogues on both sides of the British Channel predicted the result of that war with unerring certainty. To see the greatest strong hold of tyranny and despotism on earth humiliated - shaken to its very foundations - was the most gratifying event to the teacher and philanthropist which had happened in modern times. Mr. Boehm is about 73 years of age, and is a music teacher at Warracknabeal.

"OBITUARY", Warracknabeal Herald [VIC] (15 May 1917), 4 

There passed away in Warracknabeal on Saturday evening one of the oldest residents of this community in the person of Mr. Traugott Wilhelm Boehm, who was widely known and respected as a man of fine character and exceptional gifts. For many years deceased lived in Warracknabeal, where he carried on his profession as a music teacher, and interested himself in public affairs generally. Some time ago he left the town, and settled on land which he owned at Yaapee. Mr. Boehm lived a well ordered life, and he attained the ripe age of 81 years. As a native of Germany, and one who was fully conversant with its history, deceased was much affected by the present war, and frequently expressed his condemnation of the spirit of militarism fostered by the War Lords, and which has been responsible for such fearful bloodshed and suffering. Mr. Boehm was a man of extensive knowledge, and he took the keenest interest in international and scientific questions and developments. Among other things he made a special study of meteorology, and years ago contributed interesting articles to "The Herald." As a music teacher he was capable and thorough, and many pupils who had the benefit of his tuition have attained a high degree of proficiency. Mr. Boehm leaves a daughter, who is unmarried. It will be remembered that his son died under distressing circumstances a few years ago in the Hopetoun district. The funeral will take place this afternoon, and is appointed to leave Mr. T. E. Gardiner's at 2.15.

"T. W. Boehm and Hahndorf", The Advertiser (12 April 1935), 27

. . . He was one of the members of the Boehm family that landed at Holdfast Bay on December 29, 1838 . . .

Bibliography and resources:

Suzanne Edgar, "Boehm, Traugott Wilhelm (1836-1917)", Australian dictionary of biography 7 (1979)

BOESEN, Theodor (Theodor August BOESEN; Theodore BOESEN)

Musical amateur, member Sydney Philharmonic Society

Born Copenhagen, Denmark, 18 March 1827 (date on gravestone); son of Joachim BOESEN (1803-1877) and Henrietta Catharina Volberg KNUDSEN (1805-1865)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 11 September 1854 (per Meteor, from Hamburg, 2 June)
Married Teresa CURTIS (Mrs. John MEILLON), Sydney, NSW, 2 June 1877
Died Sydney, NSW, 6 March 1904 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

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

Musician, pianist, piano teacher


Confirmation, Frederiksborg Slotssogn, 18 April 1841; Rigsarkivet. Kontraministerialbog, 8026398241 (PAYWALL)

18 April 1841 / Theodor August Boesen / . . . [born] 18 Marts 1827 . . .

"SHIPPING", The Sydney Morning Herald [NSW] (12 September 1854), 4 

September 11 - Meteor, Hamburgh barque, 700 tons, Captain Wiliken, from Hamburgh June 2nd. Passengers - Messrs. Paterson [Peterson], Monch, Millington, Boesen, Legat, and 7 in the steerage. Peterson and Co., agent.

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 April 1857), 4 

THE annual meeting of the above Society was held on Thursday evening last, at the Society's practice rooms, in Jamison-street. The hon. J. H. Plunkett President of the Society, took the chair . . . The business of the meeting concluded by the election of the following gentlemen: President, the Hon. J. H. Plunkett; Vice-President, the Hon. E. Deas Thomson, C.B., &c., &c.; Hon. Treasurer, H. Spyer, Esq.; Auditors, Messrs. Black and Beit; Committee - Messrs. J. G. Waller, W. H. Aldis, Bickham, Boesen, McDonell, Richardson, Mountcastle, E. Deane, Younger, and Blanchard. Secretary, Mr. John Deane . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Hubert Plunkett (member); Henry Spyer (treasurer); William Henry Aldis (member); Theodor Boesen (member); William Macdonnell (member); John James Mallcott Richardson (member); Benjamin Such Mountcastle (member); Edward Smith Deane (member); Charles Younger (member); John Deane (secretary); Sydney Philharmonic Society (association)

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (29 April 1858), 4 

THE Fourth Annual Meeting of this Society was held at the Practice Room, Jamison-street, on Monday evening last, the Hon. J. H. Plunkett, Esq., the President, in the chair; nearly all the working members of the Society were at their posts, but there was a paucity of the members generally, unfortunately, a rather fashionable occurrence in most societies, however laudable the objects. The ordinary preliminaries being gone through, the Secretary read the report . . . The election of officers for the year was the next business, and the following was the result: - Patron, his Excellency the Governor-General; patroness, Lady Denison; president, Hon. J. H. Plunkett; vice president, Hon. £. Deas Thomson, C.B.; honorary treasurer, Mr. W. H. Aldis ; secretary pro tem., Mr. Deane; conductor, Mr. John Deane; and the following gentlemen, the committee of management, Hon. F. L. S. Merewether, Esq.; Mr. E. Deane; Mr. Richardson; Mr. G. R. Hirst; Mr. W. H. Aldis; Mr. Boesen; Mr. C. Younger; Mr. Macdonell; Mr. Faucett; Mr. J. G. Waller; and Mr. G. Rowley . . .

Certificate to naturalize, Theodor August Boesen, 11 January 1862; State Records Authority of NSW, NRS 1039 (PAYWALL)

. . . that Theodor August Boesen is a native of Copenhagen Denmark is Thirty Four years of age, and that having arrived by the Ship Meteor in the year 1854 he is now residing in Sydney and being desirous of purchasing and holding freehold property within the said Colony . . .
GIVEN . . . this [11 January 1862] . . .

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

BOESEN - CURTIS. - June 2, by the Rev. George Leeming, T. A. Boesen, Esq., to Teresa Meillon, only daughter of James Curtis, Esq., Sydney.

"CONSUL-GENERAL BOESEN", Freeman's Journal (12 March 1904), 21 

By the death of Mr. Theodor August Boesen on Sunday last Sydney loses one of its most respected citizens and Denmark a worthy Consul-General. Though he had attained the ripe age of 76, Mr. Boesen was apparently in excellent health up to a few days before his death. He, however, met with an accident at the elevator on the premises of his firm, Petersen, Boesen, and Co., on Thursday of last week, which eventually led to a serious illness from which failure of the heart's action resulted. Mr. Boesen had acted as Consular representative for Denmark for seventeen years, his thoroughness eventually raising the post to a Consulate-General. He was specially honoured by the King of Denmark on his visit to his native land four years ago. Mr. Boesen helped to found the Sydney Musical Union and the Philharmonic Society, and was also connected with the old German Glee Club. Mr. Boesen became a member, of the Catholic Church, and Mrs. Boesen is widely known in Catholic circles as an energetic worker in every philanthropic movement. Mr. Boesen was president of the Danish Club for over 10 years, and president of the Sydney Warehousemen's Association. He was highly esteemed, particularly in commercial life and among the Danish community of Sydney. He was a Knight of the Dannabrog (R.D.), and had been 50 years in business. On Tuesday morning a Solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated at St. Mary's Cathedral . The sacred building was thronged with a large and representative congregation . . . Mr. J. A. Delany, who conducted the sacred music, rendered Chopin's "Funeral March" and the Dead March from "Saul" . . .

Bibliography and resources:

Theodor August Boesen, Find a grave 

BOGLE, John Joseph (John Joseph BOGLE)

Musician, professor of music

Born Poole, Dorset, c. 1837; son of Andrew BOGLE and Elizabeth YOUNG (d. 1845)
Active Sydney, NSW, ? by 1855; ? 1857
Died Morriset, NSW, 1 July 1932, aged "95" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


John Joseph Bogle was the eldest son of Andrew Bogle, senior (d. 1877), and his first wife, Elizabeth Young. Andrew was a former Jamaican slave and later a witness in the Tichborne trials; after retiring from service in England to the Tichborne-Doughty family, Andrew emigrated to Sydney, c. 1854-55, with his second wife.

John had been apprenticed to a chemist in Nottingham, with the help of the Tichbornes, but the arrangement was not a success and he had to be bought out of his apprenticeship. He was sent out to join his father in Australia c. 1855. The family settled in Balmain where Bogles remained prominent citizens and members of the Catholic community there after Andrew senior returned to England.


England census, 1841, Canford Magna, Dorset; UK National Archives, HO107/287/3/3/32/6 (PAYWALL)

Upton / Andrew Bogle / 35 / [born Foreign Parts] // Elizabeth / 32 / [not born in county] // John / 4 // Andrew / 3 / [both born in county]

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 November 1868), 1

. . . The [above] petition . . . is headed thus: -
The undersigned merchants, tradesmen, and other inhabitants of the city of Sydney . . .
[signed] . . . John Joseph Bogle, 249, Sussex-street . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 October 1879), 1

WOULD Mr. BOGLE, Musician, Balmain, send his address to Mrs. MONTGOMERY, 149, Castlereagh-street.

[News], Freeman's Journal (5 March 1892), 16

"THE Flag of the South" is the title of a patriotic song dedicated to Young Australia just published in Sydney. The words are by Edwin J. Brady and the music by J. J. Bogle. There are five verses, and the chorus is written to marching time.

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 July 1932), 10

BOGLE. - July 1, 1932, at Morriset, Lake Macquarie, Professor John Joseph Bogle, aged 95 years (brother of late Andrew Bogle Balmain).

"MR. J. J. BOGLE", The Sydney Morning Herald (12 July 1932), 10

Mr. John Joseph Bogle, who died at Lake Macquarie recently, at the age of 95 years, was born on the Tichbourne Estates, Upton House, near Pool, Dorset (England). He was apprenticed to a London chemist and qualified for his certificate. At the same time he studied music, and became an accomplished pianist. When 20 years of age he came to Sydney, and was employed by Dr. Elliott, founder of the present firm of Elliott Bros., Ltd. For about 20 years he was church organist and choirmaster at St. Augustine's, Balmain. He also composed music for the words of the poem, "The Flag of the South," by E. J. Brady.

Musical works:

The flag of the south: patriotic song, dedicated to Young Australia [by] J. J. Bogle

Bibliography and resources:

Joy Lumsden, "The true and remarkable history of Andrew Bogle", Jamaican Historical Society Bulletin 11/4 (October 1999) 

BOLEY, Dorrel Fair (Dorell Fair BOLEY; D. F. BOLEY; Dan BOLEY)

Musician, minstrel, serenader, banjo-player, bass vocalist, pianist, musical director, dancer

Born Milton, North Carolina, c. 1827
Enlisted (US Army) Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, 24 July 1848 (aged 21)
Discharged (US Army) Fort Vancouver, Washington state, USA, 19 July 1850
Arrived Sydney, 23 October 1855 (per Vaquero, from Honolulu, 3 September)
Married Matilda WATKINS (1836-1861), Wesleyan Chapel, Princes-street, Sydney, NSW, 13 October 1857
Departed Melbourne, VIC, 26 July 1861 (per Grecian Queen, for Mauritius)
Died at sea (drowned), off Madagascar, 24 December 1861 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Descriptive and historical register of enlisted soldiers of the Army; US Army, register of enlistments database (PAYWALL)

Boley / Dowell F. [sic] / [age] 21 / [Eyes] Hazel / [Hair] Brown / [Compl.] Fair / 6 ft 1 in / [born] North Carolina / Milton / Clerk / [enlisted] 1848 July 24 / Cincinatti / [Regiment or Company] Rifles Band B. / [discharged] 19 July 1850 / Disability / At Fort Vancouver O. T. A Private

Post return of Fort Vancouver, Oregon Territory, for the month of June 1850; USA National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Returns from U.S. Military Posts, M617/1315 (PAYWALL)

Dorell F. Boley / private . . . awaiting discharge

California census, 2 August 1852, San Francisco; California State Census (PAYWALL)

. . . D. F. Boley / 23 / Male / White / Public Saloon [?] / [born] North Carolina / [latest residence] Tenn[essee] . . .

[News], Columbia Gazette [CA, USA] (26 November 1853), 2 

By reference to our advertising columns, our readers will perceive that Mr. D. F. Boley, of the Backus Minstrels proposes to open a Dancing School, in Columbia. We have no doubt that a large class will be formed, as every one should become acquainted with this healthy and popular amusement.

"THE BACKUS MINSTRELS", Daily Alta California (24 July 1855), 2 

These minstrels, composed of Messrs. Charles Backus, S. C. Campbell. W. M. Barker, W. A. Porter, A. Morgan, Jerry Bryant, C. D. Abbott, D. F. Boley and O. N. Burbank will open the Union Theatre, on Wednesday (tomorrow) evening, with a series of popular entertainments, and will continue every evening until their departure for Australia. From the well-known musical talents of the troupe, the public may expect something equal to any representations ever made to a San Francisco audience.

PERSONNEL (1855-56): Charles Backus (member, leader); Sherwood Coan Campbell (member); W. M. Barker (member); William Alonzo Porter (member); A. Morgan (member); Jerry Bryant (member); Charles D. Abbott (member); Otto N. Burbank (member); Backus Minstrels (troupe)

Australia (23 October 1855 to 26 July 1861):

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

October 23. - Audubon, American ship, 531 tons, Captain Arthur, from San Francisco, August 9, and Honolulu September 8. Passengers - . . . Messrs. C. Backus, Charles Abbott, W. Barker, D. F. Boley, S. C. Campbell, Bryant, Porter, Morgan, Bryant, Burbank . . . and 24 in the second cabin and steerage. Agents, Newell, Hooper, and Stevens.

ASSOCIATIONS: Neil Bryant (minstrel serenader)

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", Empire (29 October 1855), 4 

THIS EVENING, Monday, October 29th, 1855, the entertainments will commence with the unrivalled performances of the
BACKUS MINSTRELS, Characters by Messrs. Charles Backus, S. C. Campbell, W. M. Parker, Jerry Bryant, C. D. Abbott, A. Morgan, W. A. Porter, D. F. Boley, O. N. Burbank.
To conclude with JACK SHEPPARD. J. G. GRIFFITHS, Stage Manager.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Gordon Griffiths (actor, manager); Royal Victoria Theatre (Sydney venue)

[Advertisement], Empire (5 November 1855), 1 

ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE. - Second week of the world-renowned Backus Minstrels,
whose concerts have been received nightly with the strongest testimonials of approbation, by the most discriminating and fashionable audiences of the City of Sydney.
Their concerts through the principal cities of the United States, Mexico, South America, and the Sandwich Islands were visited by the heads of Government, Kings, Princes, and principal families, whose admiration of their talents were shown by the most flattering tokens of gratitude and affection.
The company is composed of nine of the most talented performers in the world, and defy any other company to compare with them.
They bring with them all the New SONGS, DANCES, DUETS, and Burlesque Operas now in vogue.
Also, Burlesques on the Tragedies of Hamlet, Damon and Pythias, Macbeth, the Stranger, and several others, which have been written by one of their members, and will be produced during their stay here.
During the present week they will produce the Burlesque Tragedies of Hamlet, Damon and Pythias, and the Opera of Oh Hush, with original music, together with three entirely new changes of programme.
The following named gentlemen compose the company:

Names and descriptions of passengers per Wonga Wonga, from Sydney, 27 November 1855, for Melbourne; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

. . . W. A. Morgan / 30 // W. M. Barker / 32 // D. F. Boley / 30 // T. D. Abbott [sic] / 31 // O. N. Burbank / 33 // Chas. Backus / 32 // Edw'd Hood Jr. / 27 // N. Bryant / 30 // Jerry Bryant / 32 / S. C. Campbell / 35 . . .

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

. . . The entertainments commenced with the performance of the Backus Ethiopian corps, whose vocal and saltatory efforts sentimental and "funnimental," were intensity relished by the audience . . . Messrs. Campbell, Barker, and Boley are the principal solo vocalists, and all possess splendid voices, the first named having an organ of great compass, which he manages with the most exquisite taste. Mr. Barker's voice, a fine tenor, is heard to great advantage in some of the ballads which he sings, and Mr. Boley is a basso profondo of great power and volume. Messrs. Morgan and Porter are skilful accompanyists and clever actors, and Mr. Abbott is a violinist of superior ability, besides being in every respect an accomplished musician.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Coppin (actor, manager); Coppin's Olympic (Melbourne venue)

Names and descriptions of passengers per Black Swan, from Melbourne, 27 December 1855, for Launceston; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

. . . Minstrels American // Mr. Backus / 28 // Mr. Boley / 30 // Mr. J. Bryant / 24 // Mr. N. Bryant / 28 //
Mr. Campbell / 30 // Mr. Burbank / 32 // Mr. Morgan / 34 / Mr. Barker / 31 . . . Mrs. Boly [sic] / 22 . . .

"THE BACKUS MINSTRELS", Colonial Times [Hobart, TAS] (5 January 1856), 3 

Last night the entertainments of these talented musicians drew a bumping bouse at the Theatre. Both boxes and pit were crowded by a delightful audience, who were enraptured at the songs (serious und comic), duetts, chorusses, dances, burlesques, &c., which followed each other in swift succession in the various parts of which the whole company exerted themselves to the utmost. The programme was a tempting one, containing some of the choicest [REDACTED] melodies so popular down south, and not there only, if we may judge from the numerous assembly of last evening. In noticing the performance of the company individually, we hardly know who among them is entitled to the palm - where all excel in their various parts. The song "She's black but dat's no matter," sung by Mr. Campbell, told well upon the audience, as as also "Gently down the stream," by Mr. Boley . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Royal Victoria Theatre (Hobart venue)

[Advertisement], The Tasmanian Daily News (30 January 1856), 5 

Part 1st. Grand Introductory Overture - Backus Minstrels.
Operatic Chorus - Company . . .
Sugar Cane Green (new) - D. F. Boley.
Bird Quick Step - Backus Minstrels.
Part 2nd . . . Grand Banjo Solo (in which the characteristic musical tones of this instrument will be fully developed for the first time in the colonies) by D. F. Boley . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Feltham Bold Watson (venue manager)

"COPPIN'S OLYPMIC", The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (24 March 1856), 6 

On Saturday evening the Backus Minstrels gave a final performance prior to leaving the colony for Sydney, en route to California . . . The drolleries of Backus, Jerry Bryant, and Porter, the fine vocalisation of Campbell, Barker, and Boley, the instrumental proficiency of Abbott and Neal Bryant, and the clever terpsichorean vagaries of Burbank, succeeded for three hours in enchaining the interest of the audience . . .

"THE ETHIOPIAN SERENADERS", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer [NSW] (26 April 1856), 2 

This unrivalled company, consisting of Messrs. Kitts, Foans, Brower, Boley, Bryant, and Porter, have proceeded to Wollongong, for the purpose of charming with their delicious vocal and instrumental strains, the residents of Illawarra. They carry with them our warmest recommendations, and wishes for their success.

ASSOCIATIONS: James Edward Kitts (member); James Milton Foans (member); Thomas P. Brower (member); Ethiopian Serenaders (troupe, 1856-57)

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The People's Advocate and New South Wales Vindicator [Sydney, NSW] (7 June 1856), 3 

The Ethiopian Serenaders; Messrs. D. F. Boley and W. A. Porter (late of the Backus Minstrels,) Messrs. J. M. Foans, T. P. Brower, and Niel Bryant (late of Rainers Serenaders) and Mr. J. E. Kitts, (late of the New York Serenaders) have taken this Theatre for four evenings, the present being the last of the arrangement . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Rainer's Serenaders (troupe); New York Serenaders (troupe); Prince of Wales Theatre (Sydney venue)

[Advertisement], The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (16 July 1856), 1 

COLEMAN'S LYCEUM - Queen Street.
Lessee and Manager - Mr. Henry Coleman. Stage Directress - Mrs. Brougham.
Benefit of Messrs. PORTER, BOLEY and BROWER, Late of the Backus Minstrels . . .
First appearance of M. W. White (late of Rainer's Serenaders), and Mr. J. E. Kitts, of the Operatic Company.
MISCELLANEOUS OLIO. First night of the Ethiopian opera, "Oh, Hush," or Negro Assurance . . .
First appearance of Messrs. Boley, Porter and Brower, in White Faces . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Coleman (proprietor); Emma Brougham (actor, manager); M. W. White (minstrel serenader)

[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer [NSW] (20 September 1856), 1 

ON their way to Rocky River will visit Maitland, Singleton, Muswellbrook, Scone, Murrundi, Tamworth, &c.
At Singleton on Monday and Tuesday Evening, September 1st and 2nd. 1000

ASSOCIATIONS: Dave Carson (member); George Parker (sword performer)

"THE SERENADERS", Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal [NSW] (3 January 1857), 2

A night spent in listening to the performances of the company of serenaders now performing at the Prince of Wales Theatre, on a professional tour, has very favorably impressed us with their musical capabilities. Mr. Boley's deep, rich bass, which he wields with considerable ease and flexibility, first strikes the ear of the listener as the swells and cadences of the chorus enrapture the soul with their melody. Mr. Brower is a capital baritone, and sings well. His "Poor Dog Tray," on Thursday evening, was a gem. Mr. Boley's "Good old Jeff" was given with good taste, was beautifully emphasised, and the chorus was a delicious piece of music . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Prince of Wales Theatre (Bathurst venue)

[Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (31 January 1857), 3 

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 2nd, 1857. Grand Gala Night on the occasion of the Complimentary Benefit, tendered to
ON which occasion the following Galaxy of talent have kindly volunteered to assist . . .
MRS. W. EVADNE EVANS, MR. JAMES ASHTON, and his talented troupe.
Mr. G. R. Morton, Mr. W. Evans, Mr. G. Chittenden, Sen., Mr. G. Chittenden, Jun.
Mr. D. Chittenden, Mr. Brown, And for this night only, MISS CHITTENDEN . . .
G. R. MORTON, Agent.

ASSOCIATIONS: William and Mrs. Evandne Evans (actors); James Ashton (circus performer); George Chittenden and family (musicians); George Ross Morton (agent)

"WESTERN DISTRICT (From the Bathurst Free Press Saturday) . . . ANNIVERSARY OF ST. PATRICK", Empire [Sydney, NSW] (26 March 1857), 2 

The Anniversary of Ireland's Patron Saint was celebrated by the sons and descendants of the Green Isle of Erin, residing in Bathurst, by a ball and supper, the preparation for which were on the most sumptuous and costly scale . . . the place was fitted up with great neatness and taste, and reflected considerable credit upon the skill and industry of mine host of the Club House Hotel. The musical department was intrusted to the Chittenden family who were aided by Messrs. Boley and Porter, the former on the piano, and the latter on the cornopean, the whole making an excellent quadrille band . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 June 1857), 1 

VICTORIA THEATRE. - Lessees and Managers, Messrs. HOWARD and J. SIMMONDS.
Great attraction TO-NIGHT, Monday, June 29. The celebrated stars from the BACKUS and RAYNER SERENADERS.
Mr. W. A Porter, Mr. Boley, Mr. Carson, and Mr. T. P. Brower . . .
The performances will commence with the comic drama of THE JACOBITE . . .
After which, GEMS FROM THE MISSISSIPPI. Ballad - "We met by Chance" - D. F. Boley.
"Woman's Rights" - W. A. Porter. Banjo Solo, D. F. Boley.
"Hungarian Warblers" - Brower, Boley, Porter, and Dave Carson.
"Blue Tail Fly" - Dave Carson.
"The Power of Music," exemplified by Porter, Brower, and Boley . . .

See also, [Advertisement], Empire (12 September 1857), 1

NEW SONG, PUBLISHED TO-DAY. - "WE MET BY CHANCE." Price 2s. 6d., post free . . . J. R. CLARKE, 205, George-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: Jacob Richard Clarke (publisher)

[Advertisement], Empire [Sydney, NSW] (4 July 1857), 1 

Messrs. Boley, Brower, Carson, Foans, Battle, and Porter.
BURLESQUE OPERA, Songs, Dances, Duets, Choruses, Burlesque, &c.
Messrs. Kohler, Winterbottom, and John Howson have kindly volunteered . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: J. C. Battle (member); Richard Wildblood Kohler (musician); John Winterbottom (musician); John Howson (vocalist); New Orleans Serenaders (troupe, 1857); Lyceum Theatre (Sydney venue)

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE - THE OPERA", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 July 1857), 4 

At this popular establishment the opera continues the chief attraction . . . The regular drama for the nonce appears to be almost ignored, and last night the management . . . enlisted into the evening's performances the services of the New Orleans Serenaders, consisting of Messrs. Brower, Porter, Boley, &c. The operatic novelty of the week is that of "La Sonnambula." Its complete success was fully anticipated . . . That an artiste capable of embodying the role of Amina should be found in the person of Madame Anna Bishop will be readily expected . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Anna Bishop (vocalist)

"LOCAL AND DOMESTIC . . . THE NEW ORLEANS' SERENADERS", The North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser [Ipswich, QLD] (25 August 1857), 3 

During the past few days these talented musicians have given a series of entertainments, which were but thinly attended, owing to the inclemency of the weather; and, on Saturday evening last, they gave their farewell vocal and instrumental concert to a highly respectable and numerous audience, under the patronage of Colonel Gray, P.M., at the new Music Hall - a spacious wood building - lately erected, behind the Steam-Packet Hotel, East Street . . . the "Challenge dance," between Boley and Carson, was admirably executed, the betting of the performers having concluded entirely in favour of Dave Carson, which was conducted with great hilarity and emulation, both speculators very faithfully depicting the delineations of the coloured population of America . . . The whole evening's amusements were well responded to, and the unanimous approbation received stamps the company as a most clever and proficient troupe. The violin was played by Brower; the banjo by Boley; the tamborine by Foans; and the bones by Carson . . .

"MARRIAGE", Empire [Sydney, NSW] (15 October 1857), 4

On Tuesday, October 13th, at the Wesleyan Chapel, Princes-street, by the Rev. William Hessel, Wesleyan Minister, Mr. Dorrel Fair Boley, to Miss Matilda Watkins, both of Sydney.

ASSOCIATIONS: They had two daughters, Ann Elizabeth (b. VIC, 1858), and Amanda Matilda (b. VIC, 1860); both also died with in the 1861 shipwreck

[Advertisement], Empire (28 November 1857), 1 

- SAN FRANCISCO MINSTRELS. Stage Manager, O. A. BURBANK. Musical Director, D. F. BOLEY.
Ballet and Dancing Divertissement under the Direction of G. W. DEMEREST.
Commencement of the Summer Season. - Production of new and original Burlesques, Dancing, &c.
MONDAY EVENING, November 30th, and during the week, grand and attractive Entertainment;
concluding with the renowned Burlesque, of the HUNCHBACK;
Doors open at 7, to commence at quarter to 8 precisely.
Boxes, 3s.; Stalls, 2s.; Pit, 1s.; Gallery, 6d.; half-price to Boxes and Stalls at 9 o'clock.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles V. Mason alias Howard (manager)

[Advertisement], Empire (11 January 1858), 1 

OUR LYCEUM. - Great Bill TO-NIGHT. - BENEFIT of D. F. BOLEY, musical director and admired Basso of the SAN FRANCISCO MINSTRELS.
PONGO the MONKEY TO-NIGHT. MOSE and LIZE - laughable sketch - Burbank and Demerest.
Grand descriptive song, the "WOLF," TO-NIGHT, D. F. BOLEY . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Washington Demerest (minstrel, dancer)

MUSIC: The wolf (Shield)

"THE SAN FRANCISCO MINSTRELS", Tasmanian Weekly News [Hobart, TAS] (13 March 1858), 16 

These very amusing performers gave their second entertainment last evening, at the Theatre Royal . . . In the second part a dance by Mr. Burbank, "Nip up de doodle dum," was irresistibly ludicrous, and received rapturous applause. This was followed by Mr. Boley's paraphrase of "Susanna don't you cry," which for rapidity of utterance beats everything we ever heard. Mr. Boley concluded this song by a display of his powers in handling the banjo, which was exceedingly clever and deservedly elicited repeated applause . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: San Francisco Minstrels (troupe); Theatre Royal (Hobart venue)

[Advertisement], The Star [Ballarat, VIC] (19 April 1858), 3 

MONDAY EVENING. The proprietor has s great pleasure in announcing to the public of Ballarat,
that he has succeeded in engaging at a great expense the celebrated
Burbank and Demerest San Francisco Minstrels, For five nights only . . .
The Lost Child - D. F. Boley
Kiss me quick and go - O. N. Burbank
Willie, we have missed you - J. Florence
Wasn't that a pull back - D. Carson
Sweeps' Refrain - D. F. Boley
Little More Wider. - W. Leslie
Masquerade Waltz - Company.
Pas de Fascination - G. W. Demerest
Favorite Ballad - J. Florence
Hoot Hog or Die- O.N. Burbank
Blue Tail Fly - D. Carson
Banjo Solo - D. F. Boley
Drum Polka - Burbank & Demerest
Comic Duet - Carson & Boley . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Gibbs (proprietor); John Proctor Hydes (actor, manager); Charlie Napier Theatre (Ballarat venue)

"THE SAN FRANCISCO MINSTRELS", Bendigo Advertiser [VIC] (28 May 1858), 3 

Last night this clever company of six minstrels made their first appearance at the Shamrock Concert Hall, a temporary stage having been erected to allow more scope for their performances than could have been afforded by the small platform formerly used. We have witnessed the performances of several companies of serenaders, who, giving themselves the most characteristic titles, have introduced, and as we believed had exhibited, negro life in every phase; but one half hour with the San Francisco Minstrels convinced us that there was something yet more characteristic of their peculiar manner, more humorous and laughable, which has been left for these performers to delineate. The programme of their entertainments comprises vocalism, dancing, and dramatic representations. Their style of singing solos, duets and glees, is most perfect. Their combined voices in the latter kind of singing, chord together most harmoniously. There is an entire absence of what might be termed vocal vaunting, which is so often exhibited by negro minstrels, who often imagine that as loner as they are all singing together and in something like the same time, even if they are all singing in the same note, that is sufficient to produce a glee. The present company includes a most magnificent bass voice (Mr. Boley), and a very excellent tenor (Mr. Florence) . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Shamrock Concert Hall (Bendigo venue)

"THEATRE ROYAL", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle [Melbourne, VIC] (18 September 1858), 2 

. . . During the week the San Francisco Minstrels have been playing an engagement. The corps is strengthened by the Brothers Kohler, whose excellent instrumentation is so familiar to all our readers. The performance consists comic and sentimental songs, accompanied with concertina, flageolet, and "all kinds of music" . . . The minstrels changed their programme on Thursday, and in our opinion for the better, the vis comica predominating. Messrs. Kohler and Boley were very successful on the American pine sticks, and the "Blue-tail fly" of Mr. Carson was quite as good as Barlow's . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Richard and John Wildblood Kohler (musicians); Robert Barlow (vocalist); Theatre Royal (Melbourne venue)

"SHAMROCK THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (12 November 1858), 3 

The engagement of the San Francisco Minstrels at the Shamrock Theatre, although it has now been extended considerably over the time originally contemplated, still continues to draw such crowded houses that it would almost seem as if they had become - like the harmonic company which preceded them - a "local institution" on Bendigo . . . The duett last night, by Messrs. Conna and Boley, of the "Larboard Watch," was sung with a taste and correctness that was loudly applauded. The latter minstrel introduced a local originality a la Thatcher, to the air of "Jordan's a hard road to travel," hitting with considerable wit at some of our more prominent failings, including the late "scenes" at the Mining Board. The song was encored, and elicited a "tag" of two or three additional verses . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Mr. Conna (vocalist); Charles Thatcher (songwriter, vocalist)

"MUNICIPAL POLICE COURT. Tuesday, 30th November, 1858 . . . CIVIL CASES", Bendigo Advertiser (1 December 1858), 3 

Chittenden v. Demerest. - This was a claim for compensation for an assault, but neither party put in an appearance.
Boley v. Chittenden. - This was a similar case to the former. No appearance.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Chittenden (junior, musician)

"AMERICAN CELEBRATION DAY ON SANDHURST", Bendigo Advertiser (5 July 1859), 2 

At an early hour on Monday, being the eventful 4th of July, the day was ushered in by some rather smart feu de joie, which rather discomposed the more nervous portion of our community . . . About seven o'clock a number of gentlemen sat down to celebrate the anniversary at the Criterion Hotel. Upwards of thirty gentlemen took their seats . . . The cloth having been cleared, according to general usage, "The Declaration of Independence" was read on this occasion by Mr. Brower . . .
Air, - "Hail, Columbia! Happy Land."
Song, - Messrs. Brower, Boley, and Conna, "The Star Spangled Banner" . . .
The remainder of the evening was spent in a happy and harmonious manner, Messrs. Boley, Brower, Conna, and Carson amusing the company with some solos, duets, and trios . . .

"THE SHAMROCK THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (3 October 1859), 3 

On Saturday night, to a crowded house, a very excellent entertainment was afforded by the management. The first portion of the entertainment was a concert by the Minstrels Backus, Chittenden, Boley and Burgess, the two latter of whom have been re-engaged. Their solos, glees, and choruses were loudly applauded by the audience, with whom this species of performance has always been a favorite one . . . We hear that Burbank and Carson (of the capacious mouth) will make their re-appearance amongst the minstrels to-night . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Backus (on a return tour); Johnny Burgess (performer)

[Advertisement], Mount Alexander Mail [Castlemaine, VIC] (16 January 1860), 3 

Comprising Messrs. D. F. Boley, Dave Carson, O. N. Burbank, G. Chittenden, and P. Brower.

ASSOCIATIONS: Frederick Leeman (vocalist); Annie Vitelli (vocalist); Theatre Royal (Castlemaine venue)

Membership register, Corinthian Lodge, Sandhurst [Bendigo], VIC, 1860; Library and Museum of Freemasonry, London, Register of Admissions, country and Foreign I/940-1205, fol. 187 (PAYWALL)

. . . 1860 / Feb'y 16 / Hulkes / Henry Stephen / 46 / Book Keeper
1860 / March 7 / Strebinger / Frederick / 29 / Artist
[1860] / [March 7 / Boley / Dorrel Fair / 31 / [Artist]
[1860] / [March 7] / Chittenden / George / 27 / [Artist] . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Stephen Hulkes (musical amateur); Frederick Strebinger (musician)

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (31 March 1860), 3 

WANTED one and all to see Carson, Boley, Chittenden, at the Victoria Hotel To-night. Admission Free.

"THE SAN FRANCISCO MINSTRELS", Bendigo Advertiser (14 April 1860), 2 

We have to call the attention of the public to the announcement in another portion of our columns that this corps of sable melodists will make their final appearance on Bendigo, to-night, at the Lyceum Theatre . . . Each and all of them have made themselves favourites with the public, and whether it be the genuinely comic humor of Carson, the inimitable dancing of Burbank, the banjo playing and singing of Boley, the talent of Chittenden as a violinist, or the clever travestied bullet dancing of Demerest, the San Francsco Minstrels will be for a long time favourably remembered . . . We learn that the Minstrels intend proceeding to Adelaide, thence to Sydney, from which place they will probably proceed on a visit to India.

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (20 April 1860), 3 

THIS DAY. Household Furniture and Effects.
W. BUCKNALL is instructed by Mr. D. F. Boley, who is leaving the colony, to sell by auction on the premises, in Williamson-street, just below the Railway Stores, on the above date - A quantity of useful household furniture, pictures, and effects . . .

[Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser [Adelaide, SA] (30 May 1860), 1 

TO-MORROW EVENING (Thursday), May 31, BENEFITS of Messrs. BOLEY and BROWER,
on which occasion the Adelaide Glee and Madrigal Society have kindly volunteered their services . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Adelaide Glee and Madrigal Society (association); Royal Victoria Theatre (Adelaide venue)

"CORONER'S INQUEST", The South Australian Advertiser (20 June 1860), 2 

An inquest was held on Tuesday evening, June 19, at the Star Inn, Hindley-street, before Dr. Woodforde, the Coroner, and a very respectable Jury, touching the death of Andrew Ross, a boy aged 4 years and 4 months, son of E. Ross, of Rosina-street, who was run over that afternoon, in Gilles Arcade, by the band waggon attached to the Theatre, and driven by Mr. Boley, one of the Minstrel performers . . . Dorrel F. Boley, musician, stated that, at the time of the accident he was doing what his general custom was, driving the wagon to the Theatre to take up the band, and was just turning into Gilles-arcade, at a steady pace, having the horses perfectly in hand, but, in consequence of some cattle between him and the Theatre, he was obliged to give an extra pull on the leaders. He saw nothing but the cattle before him but just as he was going over the gutter, some one in front beckoned and then sang out to him to pull up, which he did instantly, and was then told he had run over a child. On looking back he saw a child apparently walking from under the vehicle. He got off, and as soon as he was down some one had the child in his arms . . . The Jury unanimously said they were satisfied with the evidence taken. The Coroner summed up, saying there did not appear any culpability on the part of Mr. Boley, but if there was any blame he thought it was in the practice which was too common in Adelaide to allow young children to be recklessly at large in the streets. In making that remark, he did not mean to cast any reflection upon the poor bereaved mother of the deceased, because it had a general application right through the city. The Jury, after a few minutes' deliberation, returned a verdict that, the death was purely accidental, and expressed their opinion that no blame attached to the driver. The Coroner, in recording the verdict, said he entirely concurred that it was purely accidental.

[Advertisement], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (19 July 1860), 8 

J. E. JOHNSON will be most happy to MEET his FRIENDS for the last time at the PRINCE WALES TO-NIGHT. "And so will Mrs. Johnson."
MR. T. BROWN [sic, Brower] and Mr. BOLEY, of the San Francisco Minstrels, will sing a DUETT TONIGHT for JOHNSON'S BENEFIT . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Jovial Johnson (performer); Prince of Wales Theatre (Melbourne venue)

[Advertisement], Empire [Sydney, NSW] (7 August 1860), 1 

WEDNESDAY EVENING. FIRST NIGHT of the limited engagement at very great expense of the far famed
Principally composed of the late BACKUS COMPANY.
Amongst whom will be found the following well-known artists:
Mr. T. P. BROWER - Mr. G. W. DEMEREST - Mr. J. O. PIERCE -

ASSOCIATIONS: Samuel Colville (venue manager); Charles Walsh (vocalist); Prince of Wales Theatre (Sydney venue)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 August 1860), 1 

Increased attraction for this MONDAY EVENING, August 27, being the 19th appearance of the
SAN FRANCISCO MINSTRELS, who will appear after the first and second parts of their entertainments, in which there is an entire change of programme, will appear in the tragical, operatical, farcical, highly affecting burlesque upon Burlesques (which has and most been some time in rehearsal [sic]) of
LUCREZIA BORGIA; or, at Home and All Abroad, produced with entirely new scenery, by Herr Habbe;
vocal music by the San Francisco Minstrels; instrumental, Frank Howson, junior;
wonderfully correct costumes, by a celebrated antiquarian, the whole under the immediate direction of Mr. Alexander Fitzgerald.
Lucrezia Borgia, Signora Charles Walsh.
Johnny Raw (better known as Gennaro), Signor Dave Carson.
Gabetta (general commission agent, specially retained by Lucrezia), Signor O. N. Burbank.
Rustighello (apparently Prime Minister, but certainly first robber), Signor D. F. Boley.
Other characters by the company . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Frank Alfred Howson (musician)

[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle [Melbourne, VIC] (12 January 1861), 1 

The Best Company in the Colony are engaged at this Establishment and Popular Place of Amusement.
Appear Nightly In their Comic [REDACTED] Eccentric Comicalities; also
Miss CELIA, the Favourite Characteristic Singer and
Mr. E. F. MORRIS, the Emperor of Comic Vocalists . . .
Musical Director, Mr. F. W. Cullimore; Manager, Mr. E. F. Morris.
N.B.- Everything conducted in the most recherche style.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edgar F. Morris (vocalist, manager); Frederick William Cullimore (pianist); Tilke's City Concert Hall (Melbourne venue)

"THE NEW YORK SABLE TROUPE", Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser [VIC] (11 March 1861), 3 

These really talented performers gave an entertainment in the Golden Age Theatre, on Friday evening. There was some considerable delay in the commencement of the performance, and there was but a thin house. Those who were present, however, had little cause to complain of the quality of the amusement provided, though, doubtless, to a fuller house the performers would have responded with greater effect. Mr. Boley sang one or two sentimental songs in his well known style; "Billy White" was excessively droll, in his way; especially did he make the audience laugh in his "Lecture on Woman's Rights." Mr. Lee and Mr. Pollard Robinson did their parts with great effect - indeed, there was a completeness and finish about the whole of them which left nothing to wish for in that respect. The dancing of Mr. Robinson was vehemently applauded and encored, and at the conclusion "Billy White" was called before the curtain, when he was requested to give a dance, which he complied with. It appeared to us, that, owing to the lateness of the hour of commencement and the paucity of attendance, the performances had been curtailed a little.

Names and descriptions of passengers per Grecian Queen from Melbourne, 26 July 1861, for Mauritius; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

E. Totten / 38 // D. Bolley / 39 // Mrs. Bolley / 29 //
W. Robson / 28 // J. H. Lee / 33 // J. White / 31 // D. Meirs / 38 // C. Le Grew / 29 // [?] Falton / 32

ASSOCIATIONS: Elbert Totten (manager); W. Robson (member); J. H. Lee (member); W. White (member); Charles Legrew (member)

After Australia:

"MELANCHOLY FATE OF THE BOLEY MINSTRELS", Examiner (12 August 1862), 4 

Most of the habitues of the concert halls of Melbourne will remember Boley's Minstrels," who about twelve months since left Australia on a professional visit to Mauritius. After playing a far from successful engagement at Port Louis, they embarked on board a Schooner for the Cape of Good Hope, and we regret to add, were wrecked off Cape St. Mary. The passengers, including the troupe, and Mrs. Boley and children, were fourteen in number, and have all perished, with the exception of Mr. Robson, who with three sailors succeeded in returning to Port Louis . . . - Bell's Life in Victoria.

"CHARLEY BACKUS' MINSTRELS IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, IN 1855", New York Clipper [NY, USA] (19 May 1877), 61 

An old professional contributes a bill of the above-named troupe, and we print a copy of it . . .
S. C. Campbell died in Chicago, Ill., Nov. 26, 1874; Jerry Bryant died in this city April 8, 1861; W. M. Barker died in San Francisco, Cal., Dec. 11, 1864; Charley Backus is comanager of Birch, Wambold & Backus' San Francisco Minstrels, now on a tour of the country; D. F. Boley was drowned off the Cape of Good Hope in 1862; Neil Bryant is living in this city in temporary retirement . . .

See also original shorter press advertisement, [Advertisement], The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (24 December 1855), 8 

"American Dramatic Items . . . San Francisco Minstrels", The Lorgnette [Melbourne, VIC] (24 July 1880), 2 

A correspondent has written us asking information regarding the S. F. Minstrels who left Melbourne in 1861. We learn that the troupe, which consisted of Messrs. D. F. Boley, G. W. Demerest, C. Legrew, E. Totten, Billy White, J. H. Lee, and Billy Robson, left Melbourne for the Mauritius July 25th, 1861, arrived there safely, played an excellent season, leaving Dec 15th of the same year bound for the Cape of Good Hope. They had a stormy passage all through until the ship was wrecked on the coast of Madagascar December 24th, 1861. Messrs. White and Robson were the only ones saved. Poor Totten, Boley, Demerest, Legrew, and Lee were never afterwards seen haveing perished in the wreck. White died some two months after from exposure and cold. Robson, after being some ten months a companion of the natives, was rescued by a ship that had accidentaly called in for water. Mr. Robson is now in Melbourne though not following his previous vocation of a minstrel and dancer.

Music works:

We met by chance; ballad, composed by Kücken, arranged and sung (with the original Tyrolienne) by D. F. Boley (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1857]) (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Friedrich Wilhelm Kücken (composer), Lauf der Welt (op. 23 no. 4); Jacob Richard Clarke (publisher)

Bibliography and resources:

"MUMMER MEMOIRS. MR. HARRY DANIELS, AN OLD-TIME MINSTRELSY - THE BACKUS TROUPE . . . No. 36. (By 'Hayseed')", Sydney Sportsman (23 September 1908), 3 

Mr. Fred Hailes (Melbourne) forwards me the following highly-interesting letter from one of the few old-time mummers left, Mr. Harry Daniels . . . Mr. Harry Daniels says: - 'Old-time Minstrelsy. - I will endeavor to give you a few of my early impressions and reminiscences! First and foremost it was about 1856 that Harry Lyons and myself sat in a dress-circle seat, the old style of bench, in the old Victoria Theatre, in Pitt-street, Sydney, witnessing the clever performances of the "Backus Minstrels." Never shall I forget what a grand display when the curtain rose on those artistes - Messrs. Charles Backus, Sher Campbell, D. F. Boley, Brower, Dan and Jerry Bryant, Bill Porter, Otto Burbank, Demerest (a wench dancer), and other names which I have forgotten, all, even under the burnt cork, handsome men. Yes, handsome men! No 'silk stockings.'

"First, the overture. (I should mention that they were all instrumentalists.) Then followed the finest entertainment you can imagine. I cannot forget. I give you one of their conundrums, a chestnut now, of course, but then fresh as a new laid egg. 'Why is a hen immortal?' Bones inquires, 'Was it a she or a he hen, or piebald, speckled, or of the wang-doodle breed, etc.' The answer, 'Because her son (sun) never sets,' evoked shouts of laughter and loud applause, as, indeed, did all their conundrums. For weeks they played to crowded houses, but they were so feted and successful that they were spoiled and split up. Diamonds disappeared, and they did 'the smalls,' making up their crowd with local talent. Campbell went back to America, and became an opera singer, having a lovely tenor voice. Bill Porter, who gave a clever stump speech, 'Woman's Bights,' I met some years after cooking at a restaurant on the Lachlan goldflelds, now known as the flourishing town of Forbes. Boley, a tall, dark, handsome man, with a beautiful voice. Oh! how he did sing 'We met by chance.' Boley sailed with a party from Melbourne to Mauritius. On the voyage the ship was wrecked, and poor Boley, having seen his wife and two children swept away, jumped overboard. Sad ending. Let us hope they have met again 'In a happier land than ours,' and not 'by chance.'

"Boley and his wife were married from the Blue Bell Hotel, still standing, at the top of Little Collins-street. The story of the sad happening on the wreck was told me by poor Robson, a clog-dancer, who was one of the survivors that came back and appeared at Tilke's Concert Rooms in Bourke-street. Robson was almost 'balmy' from the shock. I don't think he ever entirely recovered. No doubt ere this he has 'Gathered at the River.' What became of the rest I know not, though for some time they were amalgamated with Dave Carson and some others, calling themselves the San Francisco Minstrels . . . But enough, for the present, and many thanks for the pleasure I have experienced in dear old 'Hayseed's' publications, which you have kindly brought me.
- Yours, etc., Harry Daniels."

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Michael Forde (theatrical journalist); Harry Daniels (comedian); Frederick Hailes (correspondent)

Col. T. Allston Brown, "Early history of Negro minstrelsy," New York Clipper [USA] (25 May 1912), 10 

Charley Backus's Original Minstrels. Organized in San Francisco, Cal., in the summer of 1854 and appeared at San Francisco Hall, Washington Street, between Montgomery and Kearney Streets with C. D. Abbott, musical director; O. N. Burbank, stage manager; H. Donnelly, D. F. Boley, Backus, J. N. White, Morgan. They took a trip to Australia in 1855. Prior to their departure, a benefit was given them by the San Francisco Minstrels, August 3, at the Metropolitan Theatre. Mitchell and Burbank, the rival dancers, appeared. There appeared in the first part S. C. Campbell, Jerry Bryant, Stadtfeld, D. F. Boley, Eph Horn, and W. M. Barker, besides the instrumentalists, in the second part J. Collins, George Coes, C. Backus and Mrs. Julia Collins (Julia Gould). In July, 1856, the party returned to San Francisco [without Boley] . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Allston Brown (theatrical journalist)


Boley's Minstrels were organized by D. F. Boley, and left Australia in January, 1862, on a visit to the Mauritius Islands. After a not very successful engagement they embarked for the Cape of Good Hope, but were wrecked off Cape St. Mary late in 1862. Mr. and Mrs. Boley and the children were lost, as was the entire troupe, a Mr. Robson being the only one saved from drowning. George W. Demerest, Chas. L. Grew, W. White Lee, W. Robson and Totten Agent were in the company. Dan F. Boley was one of the original Backus Minstrels. He was a fine banjoist and his deep sonorous, bass voice will be recollected with mingled feelings of regret and pleasure. In 1855 he, in company with Backus, Burbank and others, re-organised the Backus Minstrels and made a trip to Australia. After a time all except Boley returned, but he married a wealthy widow and remained there.

Darrell Feare "Dorrell" Boley, Find a grave 


Musician, bandsman, Band of the 17th Regiment

Born c. 1810
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 7 February 1831 (per York, from London, 4 September 1830, and Portsmouth, 29 September)
Married Elizabeth BOWMAN (1819-1896), Sydney, NSW, 1835
Departed Sydney, NSW, 5 March 1836 (per John Barry, for Bombay, India)
Died Colaba, India, buried 20 September 1841, aged "31" (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Band of the 17th Regiment (military)


Pay-list of the 17th Regiment, 1 January to 31 March 1831; Australian Joint Copying Project, from UK National Archives, WO12/2435 (DIGITISED)

Privates . . . 246 / Bolton John / 17 Dec'r 1830 / 31 March [1831] / [by] York Convict Ship

Pay-list of the 17th Regiment, 1 April to 30 June 1835; Australian Joint Copying Project, from UK National Archives, WO12/2438 (DIGITISED)

Corporals . . . 246 / Bolton John / From Private 1 April

Baptisms solemnized in the parish of St. Philip, Sydney, in the year 1836; Biographical database of Australia (BDA) (PAYWALL)

Baptised 9 March 1836 / born 29 February 1836 / Alexander Joseph / [son of] John & Elizabeth / Bolton / Sydney / Musician, 17th Regiment . . .

Pay-list of the 17th Regiment, 1 January to 31 March 1836; Australian Joint Copying Project, from UK National Archives, WO12/2438 (DIGITISED)

Corporals . . . 246 / Bolton John . . .

1841, 17th Regiment, Colaba, India; UK National Archives, WO12/3444 (PAYWALL)

Sergeants . . . 246 Bolton John . . .

Burials, Colaba, 1810; British Library, Parish register transcripts from the Presidency of Bombay (PAYWALL)

20 September 1841 / John Bolton / [age] 31

Marriages, Bombay, India, 1842; India, select marriages database (PAYWALL)

3 October 1842 / William Barnes / Elizabeth Bolton, Widow / [daughter of] Alexander Bowman . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Elizabeth Bowman was born in Sydney, NSW, on 25 June 1819, and baptised at St. Philip's church on 30 October 1819, a daughter of Alexander Bowman and Margaret Jones who married in Sydney that same year


Musician, professor of music

Active Sydney, NSW, 1854


Musician, pianist

Active Moruya, NSW, 1860 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


"MORUYA [From our own Correspondent] . . . SOIREE DANSANTE", Illawarra Mercury [Wollongong, NSW] (3 July 1860), 2 

One of the quarterly reunions inaugurated with the new year by the worthy landlord of the Gold Diggers' Arms, and which the neighborhood seems resolved to spiritedly keep up, came off at his hostelry on Tuesday evening last. About sixty guests, including a rather sparse proportion of the fair sex, sat down to the liberally furnished tables, and afterwards participated in the exhilarating dance. Mr. Bolton, the pianist, presided at his favorite instrument, and Herr Phal, of the Moruya Reed, executed several brilliant and masterly pieces on the violin. The greatest cordiality and decorum marked the proceedings, which were kept up with gleeful spirit until the dawn of a new day summoned the company to their homes.

"MORUYA [From our own Correspondent] . . . CATHOLIC SCHOOL BALL", Illawarra Mercury (24 August 1860), 2 

This social re-union which by the original arrangement was intended to close the festivities of the race week, came off on Wednesday night last, at the new Catholic School Rooms, Moruya . . . The orchestra comprised a fine toned piano, lent by Mrs. Staunton, of the Gold Diggers' Arms, a bag-pipes, and two fiddles. Mr. Bolton, the local professor of music, presided with his usual ability at the first instrument, while Mr. A. McLean made vocal with harmony the pibroch of Albin, and Mr. Mayers, of the Moruya steam mill, and another, discoursed sweet music on the violin . . .

BOLTON, Robert Thorley (Robert Thorley BOLTON, junior; Dr. BOLTON)

Songwriter, medical practitioner

Born Warbleton, Sussex, England, 26 December 1830; baptised Warbleton, 12 January 1831; son of Robert Thorley BOLTON (c. 1803-1881) and Jane Martha BALL (1807-1900)
? Arrived (1) Sydney, NSW, 1839 (with parents)
Married Mary Frances TURNER (c. 1837-1868), Maitland, NSW, 1857
Died (drowned), Morpeth, NSW, 1 April 1864, aged "33" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


England census, 30 March 1851, Brompton, Kensington, Middlesex; UK National Archives, HO107/1469/319/27 (PAYWALL)

Park Cottage Pelham Terrace / Robert F. Browne / Head / Mar. / 40 / General Practitioner . . .
Robert T. Bolton / Pupil / 20 / Pupil / [born] Sussex Warbleton

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 April 1861), 1

For Two Evenings only. MONDAY, 22nd and TUESDAY, 23rd April.
MR. J. R. BLACK,. . . The first will take place
On MONDAY EVENING, 22nd April, and the entertainment, that entitled
SMILES AND TEARS! introducing the melodies of many lands by appropriate anecdotes, readings, and remarks.
March, March, Keep Yourselves Ready Boys - Dr. Bolton of Maitland - Australian Patriotic Song . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Reddie Black (vocalist)

"SUPPOSED DEATH OF DR. BOLTON, BY DROWNING", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (5 April 1864), 3 

On Saturday last a painful rumour obtained circulation in Maitland that Dr. Bolton, of Morpeth, had been drowned in the river, at Morpeth, and up to the present time there is every reason to believe the report true. It has been ascertained that the missing gentleman left Mr. Griffiths' Hinton Hotel, shortly after ten o'clock on Friday night, with the intention of crossing the river and going home. He got into his own boat at the ferry and pulled away. Next morning the boat was found carelessly fastened to the willows near Mr. Pulver's residence, on the Phoenix Park side of the river. Dr. Bolton, however, had not reached home nor was he anywhere to be found . . . He was a good swimmer, and has often swam across the river at night. It is probable that finding he could not pull across the current, he took the missing paddle and attempted to swim over, but, having heavy Napoleon boots on, it is extremely probable that he was drowned. A number of the residents of Morpeth on Saturday and Sunday employed themselves searching for the body, and the police searched both banks of the river as fur as Mr. Eales', but without success up to yesterday afternoon.

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 April 1864), 1 

On the night of the 1st April, aged 33 years, Robert Thorley Bolton, Esq., M.R.C.S., of Morpeth, who was accidentally drowned in crossing the river from Hinton to Morpeth.

BOND, Philip (Philip BOND) = Philip BOAM

Musician (active Melbourne, 1858)


Musician, vocalist

Born Italy, c. 1816
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 16 April 1856 (per Royal Charter, from Liverpool, 17 January aged "39")
? Departed Melbourne, VIC, July 1856 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


"TORTONA. Opera", Il pirata giornale artistico, letterario, teatrale [Italy] (4 March 1842), 288 (DIGITISED)

. . . Prime donne, Maria Corini e Giustina Sarasin. Primo tenore, Salvatore Mauri-Bonfiglio . . .

"ARMONICA. DI PAGLIA E LEGNO", Gazzetta di Firenze [Italy] (5 March 1846), 4 (DIGITISED)

L'Accademia Vocale e Istrumentale che diede nella sera di Sabato scorso la ben coposciuta Famiglia Morava Spira, ed a cui intervenne una scelta Societa, fù un nuovo esempio della felice allitudine alla musicale armonia che distingue i figli della svariata Lamagna, e in specie quelli delle men centrali e più montuose regioni . . . nonchè dal sig. Mauri Bonfiglio che con una belli e robusta voce di Tenore, d'ottima scuoli, e molta espressione, seppe attirarsi l' assentimento generale della distintissima riunione, che con lunghi e ripetuti plausi l'encomiò.

Names and descriptions of passengers, per Royal Charter, from Liverpool, 17 January 1856, for Melbourne; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

2nd Cabin . . . Salvatore Bonfiglio / 39 / Singer / [for] Adelaide . . .

"VICTORIA . . . Musical", The Courier [Hobart, TAS] (30 April 1856), 2 

Amongst the arrivals by the Royal Charter we observe the name of Signor Bonfiglio. A few years ago this artist stood high in the list of European tenors, Donizetti having composed one or more operas for him, and unless his voice has suffered much from the effects of time, which we believe it has not, Signor Bonfiglio will supply a desideratum that has long been felt out here. It is said that he has consented to make his debut before an Australian audience on the occasion of Madame Cailly's benefit concert.

ASSOCIATIONS: Clarisse Cailly (vocalist)

"COLEMAN'S CRITERION THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser [VIC] (26 May 1856), 3 

To night, in addition to the attraction of the performances of Mr. and Mrs. Clarance Holt, (who have been re-engaged at this theatre), the public are offered an unusual inducement to attend, in the announcement that two Italian Artistes will make their first appearance in the Colony. One of these is Signor Salvator Bonfigli, who is said to have performed at the famous theatre La Scala, of Milan, with considerable success; the other is Signor Bellati, a dancer from the Opera House at Turin. If report speaks truly, they will afford the public a treat this evening.

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Coleman (proprietor, performer); Signor Bellati (dancer); Criterion Theatre (Bendigo)

"COLEMAN'S LYCEUM", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (2 June 1856), 3 

Our readers will be glad to notice that Mr. Henry Coleman, who has lately distinguished himself as an able and enterprising theatrical manager and proprietor at Bendigo and Castlemaine, and whose company of artistes there is not second to any in the colony, has just become the lessee of the theatre in Queen street, which will henceforth be known as Coleman's Lyceum . . . The building will be completed in time for its opening on Monday next, on which occasion the performances will take place under the able directorship of Mrs. Brougham. The company will include Mrs. Charles Young, Madame Strebinger, Miss Chambers; Messrs. Charles Young, Miran, Chambers sen., and Chambers jun.; Signor Bonfiglia, the eminent Italian vocalist, and Signor Belletti, the Italian dancer . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Emma Brougham (actor, manager); Jane and Charles Young (actors); Charles Miran (actor); Therese Strebinger (dancer); Chambers family (dancers); Queen's Theatre (Melbourne venue); Lyceum Theatre (Melbourne venue)

[Advertisement], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (1 July 1856), 8 

COLEMAN'S VICTORIA THEATRE, St. Kilda. Lessee and Manager - Mr. H. Coleman.
Grand Holiday Fete. Second Night of the Season. This Evening, Tuesday, 1st July. 1856,
CHRISTINE OF SWEDEN. Baron Steinfort - Mr. Charles Young. Christine - Mrs. Charles Young.
La Tarantella - Madame Strebinger.
Aria from Verdi's Ernani, - Signor Salvator Bonfigli . . .

[Advertisement], The Age (3 July 1856), 1 

COLEMAN'S LYCEUM. Queen Street. Lessee and Manager - Mr HENRY COLEMAN. Stage Directress - Mrs BROUGHAM. This Evening, Thursday, -3rd July, 1856 . . . Dancing by the Chambers Family. Aria - Come rugiada al cespite - by Signor Salvator Bonfigli, his first appearance in Melbourne . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (11 July 1856), 8 

COLEMAN'S LYCEUM. Lessee and Manager - Mr. H. Coleman. Stage Directress - Mrs. Brougham.
This Evening, Friday, 11th July, 1866. A LESSON FOR LADIES.
Monsieur St. Val - Mr. Chas. Young. Mademoiselle Delbraise - Mrs. Chas. Young. The Countess - Mrs. Brougham.
THE BACKUS MINSTRELS Will sing favorite Melodies.
Signor Salvator Bonfiglio, the Italian Tenor.
To concludes with, THE WINDMILL; Or, Love in a Flour Binn.

ASSOCIATIONS: Backus Minstrels (troupe)

BONNAR, Charles Fawcett (Charles BONNAR; Charles Fawcett BONNAR; C. F. BONNAR; Mr. BONNAR; BONNER)

Musician, vocalist, guitarist, actor, bookbinder, compositor, printer

Born Aberdeen, Scotland, 1804; baptised St. Nicholas, Aberdeen, 12 February 1804; son of David BONNAR and Caroline FAWCETT
Arrived Sydney, 17 November 1834 (per James from London, 29 June, and Cape of Good Hope, 9 September)
Married Mary DODDS, Sydney, NSW, 1834
Died Adelaide, 5 February 1848, aged "37" [sic] (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)


Register of army attestations, Scotland, January 1823; Edinburgh City Archives, Sl 54/6 (PAYWALL)

January . . . 24 / Charles Bonnar / Lithographic printer / [parish] Aberdeen / [county] Aberdeen / [regiment] E. I. C. I [East India Company] / [Eyes, hair, complexion] Dark / [Age] 19 / [height] 5 ft 6 1/4 in

"Shipping Intelligence. SYDNEY. ARRIVAL", The Sydney Monitor (19 November 1834), 2 

On Monday evening, the barque James, Paul master, from London the 29th June, having touched at Simons' Bay, Cape of Good Hope, whence she sailed the 9th September. Lading - merchandize. Passengers (cabin) - Rev. Dr. Lang, Rev. Messrs. K. D. Smith, J. H. Garvie, Robert Wylde, and David McKenzie . . . Miss Dodds . . . Charles Bonnar and John Scamble, bookbinders . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Dunmore Lang (Presbyterian cleric, immigration promoter); Bonnar married fellow passenger Mary Dodds either on the voyage or after arriving in Sydney (marriage registered NSW 369/1834 V1834369 73A)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (15 December 1834), 1

TO-MORROW EVENING, 16th December, 1834, under the immediate Patronage of His Excellency the Governor.
To commence at eight o'clock precisely.
1. - Overture to Gustavus, full Orchestra - Auber.
2. - Glee three voices, "Merrily o'er the bounding sea" - Godbé.
3. - Song, "Slowly wears the day, love," Mrs. Child.
4. - Air, "Blue Bells of Scotland," with Variations, which Mr. Josephson has kindly consented to perform this evening, accompanied by his brother.
5. - Song, "Maid of Judah," Mrs. Taylor - Sloman.
6. - Quintette, two Violins, Flute, Tenor, & Violincello, Messrs. Sippe, Wilson, McChroan, Hay, and Lewis - Romberg.
7. - Song, "Fleur du Tage," with Guitar accompaniment, Mr. Bonner - Rousseau.
8. - Duet, "As it fell upon a day," Mrs. Taylor and Mr. Ellis - Bishop.
9. - Chorus, "Hail, smiling morn" - Bishop.
10. - Song, "Awake! awake! my own love," Mrs. Taylor - Di Pinna.
11. - Overture to Boyerdere - Auber.
1. - Overture, Fra Diavolo - Auber.
2. - Glee, four voices, "Foresters sound the cheerful horn," - Bishop.
3. - Song, "O, give me but my Arab steed," Mrs. Taylor - Hodgson.
4. - Air, by Rossini, with Variations, Mr. Josephson - Latour.
5. - Song, "Bonny Breast Knots," by a Lady.
6. - Duet, "Sweet in the Woodlands," Mr. Bonner, and Mr. Ellis, with guitar accompaniment and Horn.
7. - Solo, Clarionet, Mr. Lewis, - Gambarro.
8. - Song, "We met," Mrs. Child - Burnett.
9. - Glee, three voices, "Mynheer Van Dunck" - Bishop.
10. - National Melody, "Erin go Bragh," Mrs. Taylor - Moore.
11. - Overture, "Guillaume Tell" - Rossini.
FINALE, "God save the King."
[manicule] Tickets, 7s. 6d. each, to be had at Mr. Ellard's Musical Saloon, Hunter-street; Mr. Evans's, Bridge-street; Mr. Moffitt's, Pitt-street; and at the Pulteney Hotel.

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Lewis (master 17th band); Mrs. Child (vocalist); Joshua Frey Josephson and brother (flute, piano); George Sippe (musician); Mr. Wilson (musician); Charles Fawcett Bonnar (vocalist, guitarist); Maria Taylor (vocalist); Mr. Ellis (vocalist); Band of the 17th Regiment (military); Pulteney Hotel (Sydney venue)

"CONCERT", The Sydney Monitor (17 December 1834), 3

The Concert was pretty well attended last night, but nothing could go off worse. The room was miserably lighted; and the orchestra looked like a gloomy recess, and, being situate under the gallery, the sound scarcely escaped into the room, and what was heard was flat and unmelodious, such as you would expect to hear from a good band in a cellar . . . The 17th band played as usual, with taste and precision, but the efforts of Mr. Lewis were pretty much in vain. We heard a loud melliflous noise, but very little music could escape from under the gallery . . . Mrs. Taylor's "O give me but my Arab Steed," was a pleasant song, and she sang it the best of the four. "Sweet in the Woodlands," by Messrs. Bonner and Ellis, was good. The Overture of "Fra Diavolo," was admirable. The vocal chorus of "Hail Smiling Morn," was well executed.

"THE CONCERT", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (18 December 1834), 2 

Mr. Lewis's concert at the Pulteney hotel on Tuesday evening was very fashionably and rather numerously, attended. Besides His Excellency the Governor (who, we are glad to say, looked in excellent health), there were present a number of ladies and gentlemen of distinction, including Colonel Despard and a strong muster of the officers of the regiments in Sydney . . . A Mr. Bonner, whom we do not remember having heard before, sang very pleasingly, and accompanied himself on the guitar with much taste; but all the performances would have gone off better had the orchestra been situated at the other end of the room, where there is no heavy gallery above to impede the expansion of the sound.

"Mr. Lewis's Concert", The Sydney Monitor (20 December 1834), 2 

. . . The Quintette did not please. Mr. Bonner's Fleur de Tage, was a pretty effeminate thing, quite in the Rousseau style . . . How Sweet in the Woodlands, was pretty well murdered by Measrs. Bonner and Ellis . . . In the hasty notice of this Concert in our last, we omitted to mention that the Governor and Staff were present . . .

MUSIC: How sweet in the woodlands (Harrington), which Bonnar later also inserted into his Adelaide performance of The sentinel, see 24 December 1839 below

[Advertisement], The Australian (20 March 1835), 3

RESPECTFULLY announces to her Friends and the Public generally, that her
CONCERT will take place at the Pulteney Hotel on TUESDAY next, the 24th instant,
assisted (with permission of Colonel Despard) by the band of the 17th Regiment.
1. Overture, Gustavus - Auber
2. Glee, three voices, Ye Shepherds, Mazzinghi
3. Song, Mrs. Child, Will thou say farewell - Stevenson
4. Duet, When a Little Farm we Keep, by Mrs. Taylor and Mr. Knowles - Mazzinghi
5. Song, Mrs. Taylor, Lulled by the Siren Voice - Smith
6. Solo, Clarionet, Mr. Lewis - Gambarro
7. Song, Mr. Gordonovitch - Polish Air
8. Song, Mr. Simmons, Mountain Maid - Sinclair
9. Song, Mr. Bonnar, The Boatie Rows, accompanied on the Guitar by himself - Scotch
10. Song, Mrs. Boatright, The Rover's Bride - Lee
11. Song, Mrs. Taylor, Isle of Beauty, accompanied on the Metalaphone - Rawlinson
12. Overture, Zauberflote - Mozart
1. Overture, the Battle of Waterloo ---
2. Glee, Three Voices -
3. Song, Mrs. Boatright, Muffled Drum - Lee
4. Matrimonial Duett, Mr. Simmons and Mrs. Taylor - French Air
5. Song, Mrs. Child, Farewell to Love - Mrs. Child
6. Solo, Flute, Mr. Stubbs - Nicholson
7. Song, Mrs. Taylor, Young Coquette - Lee
8. Song, Mr. Gordonovitch, Maid of Judah - Sloman
9. Glee, The Sea Sprites - Godbe.
10. Song, Mr. Bonnar, The Guitar of Spain, accompanied on the Guitar by himself - M.S.
11. Song, Mr. Simmons, The Misletoe Bough -
12 Song, Mrs. Taylor, Minstrel Boy, with Band accompaniments - Stevenson
13. Sinfonia - Mozart.
Mr. Cavendish will preside at the Piano-forte.
[manicule] Tickets, 7s. 6d. each, to be had at Mr. Ellard's Hunter-street, and at the Pulteney Hotel.

ASSOCIATIONS: Conrad Knowles (vocalist); George Gordonovitch (vocalist); Joseph Simmons (vocalist); Mrs. Boatright (vocalist); Thomas Stubbs (flute); William Joseph Cavendish (piano)

MUSIC: The boatie rows (Scotch); The guitar of Spain (song, words by Charles Jeffreys, music by Sidney Nelson, later active in Australia); see also Kurt Ganzl, Sid, the songsmith to the stars (posted 2018)

"THE CONCERT", The Australian (27 March 1835), 2 

On Tuesday evening Mrs. Taylor's Concert, which we hope will, not be the last, took place at the Pulteney Hotel. About 140 persons were present, attracted by the names of the performers, nor were their expectations disappointed . . . On the whole the concert was a great improvement upon the preceding ones; indeed, there was much to gratify. But the hand of improvement must not stop here. What could be more absurd, for instance, than Mr. Bonnar, who, by the bye, can't sing, attempting a Scotch Ballad, and accompanying himself with a guitar! - which he can't play . . .

"CONCERT", The Sydney Monitor (28 March 1835), 3 

. . . A Mr. Bonner made a total failure of the "Boatie Rows," - and did not attempt his second song . . .

"DEPARTURES", The Colonist (27 January 1838), 2

26. - Hope (barque), for South Australia. Passenger, Mr. C. F. Bonnar, Compositor.

[Advertisement], South Australian Gazette (19 May 1838), 2

Stage and Acting Manager, Mr. BONNAR.
Leader of the Orchestra, Mr. LEE. Scenery by Mr. LANGCAKE.
Properties by Messrs. MARSHALL & RADFORD.
The Public is respectfully informed that a small, unique, and commodious Theatre has been fitted up above the Adelaide Tavern, Franklin-street, the audience part of which comprises nine dress boxes and a comfortable pit, and will open on Monday Evening, May 28th. The evening's entertainment will commence with the national anthem of God Save the Queen! by the whole company. An Opening Address, written by a gentleman expressly for the occasion, delivered by Mr. Bonnar in the character of a Strolling Manager.
After which will be presented the admired play called the
MOUNTAINEERS, or, Love and Madness.
Comic Song - Mr. Bailes. "The British Oak" - Mr. Bonnar. Song, "Logie o'Buchan" - Mr. Elphinstone.
The whole will conclude with the laughable farce of the LANCERS.
Doors open at half-past six - Curtain to rise exactly at seven. Boxes, 5s. Pit, 2s . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Philip Lee (leader, violin); John Mungo Langcake (1809-1858); Mr. Elphinstone (vocalist, actor); William Brown Bailes (comic vocalist); Theatre Royal (Adelaide venue)

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (26 July 1838), 2

A Theatre Royal, capable of containing about 400 persons, has been opened at Adelaide. Mr. Charles Bonnar, formerly a compositor in The Colonist newspaper office in this Colony, and subsequently in The Monitor and Herald offices, is the acting and stage manager. An opening address written expressly for the occasion was spoken by Mr. Bonnar, in the character of a strolling manager. The pieces selected to open with were The Mountaineers and The Lancers.

"THEATRE AT SOUTH AUSTRALIA", Commercial Journal and Advertiser [Sydney, NSW] (28 July 1838), 2 

So young in years, and yet able to support a Theatre? We have read with astonishment the announcement of a dramatic performance in a room at Adelaide, capable of holding about 400 persons, under the management of Mr. Charles Faucett Bonnar, late a compositor in Sydney. We understand the performers are all amateurs with the exception of Mr. C. F. Bonnar. Mr. B. is an enterprising man, and we trust he will now do better, since he has merged into his real element, than he was able to ao in this Colony.

"SUPREME COURT. - CIVIL SIDE. Monday, September 2. GEORGE MILNER STEPHEN V. ROBERT THOMAS", Southern Australian (11 September 1839), 4 and supplement 1-4 

This was an action brought by Mr. G. M. Stephen, late Colonial Secretary, against Mr. Robert Thomas, printer of the South Australian Register, for the publication of a libel. Damages laid at £4,000 . . .
Mr. Charles Fawcett Bonnar, a compositor in the Register office, remembers the plaintiff calling at the office on the evening of April 12th, between eleven and one o'clock . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Thomas (newspaper proprietor); George Milner Stephen (plaintiff)

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (16 November 1839), 3 

ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE, North Terrace, Adelaide.
MR. CAMERON has the honor of announcing to the Ladies and Gentlemen, and the Public of Adelaide and its vicinity, that he has, at a considerable expence, fitted up an appropriate Theatre in North Terrace, and it is hoped the arrangements will secure that patronage and support which in catering for their amusement it will be his study to merit.
The Theatre will consist of one tier of Private Boxes, and a commodious Pit,
and will open on Monday Evening, November 25, 1839, when will be presented
Kotzebue's celebrated play of THE STRANGER.
The Stranger - Mr. Cameron
Count Wintersen - Mr. Bonnar . . .
Mrs. Haller - Mrs. Parnell . . .
During the piece Mrs. Coombes will sing the plaintive air - I have a silent sorrow here.
Previous to the rising of the curtain the national Anthem wiil be sung by the whole strength of the company, accompanied by the full Orchestral Band.
Song from Guy Mannering - Safely follow him - by Mr. Gates.
After which, the Third Act of Shakspeare's OTHELLO.
Othello - Mr. Bonnar
Iago - Mr. Cameron
Desdemona - Mrs. Parnell . . .
S. CAMERON. Proprietor.

ASSOCIATIONS: Samson Cameron (actor, manager); Mrs. Parnell (actor); Mr. Gates (vocalist); Royal Victoria Theatre (Adelaide venue)