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A biographical register of Australian colonial musical personnel–C (Cle-Cz)

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "A biographical register of Australian colonial musical personnel–C (Cle-Cz)", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 3 April 2020

- C - (Cle-Cz)

CLEARY, Michael (Michael CLEARY; Sergeant CLEARY)

Band musician, band sergeant, ? band master (Band of the 99th regiment)

Born Tallow Country, Ireland, c.1809/10
Arrived by late 1843; discharged 1851
Died Melbourne, VIC, 1 May 1889, aged 80 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

CLEARY, William (William CLEARY; William Francis CLEARY; Corporal CLEARY)

Musician, bandsman, band corporal, band sergeant (Band of the 99th Regiment), oboist, clarinettist, bagpiper, union pipes player, composer

Born Youghal, Ireland, ? c.1814-20
Enlisted 1829, age "15"
Arrived by late 1843
Died Hawthorn, VIC, 10 January 1895, aged "76" [sic] (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Family historians traced a Michael Cleary, born in 1810 at Tallow County, Waterford, son of Richard Cleary, a musician, and Elizabeth (Stokes). Our Michael's death certificate, however, gave his parents' names as Michael and Mary (Howe). Michael enlisted in the 99th regiment at Yougal County Cork in May 1828; in 1831-37 he was stationed in Mauritius, and he reportedly had a brother William who emigrated to Australia.

Interestingly, when another William Cleary, a long-time resident of Veteran's Row, Hobart died in 1850, the band and 150 soldiers of the 99th Regiment were allowed by their Commanding Officer, Colonel Despard, to attend the funeral, perhaps indicating he was a relative of our musicians William and Michael. Confusingly, a death certificate for our William Francis Cleary (d. 1895) names his parents as William and Elizabeth (Stokes).

Another family historian traced the above William Cleary's army records in the 99th Regiment from Kilkenny in 1841 to discharge in Hobart in 1855. The regiment arrived in segments from 1842, and the band is recorded as playing in Sydney in June 1843 and at St. John's Church, Parramatta, in December. William Cleary's ballad My loved my happy home was published in Sydney in 1844, and readvertised in Hobart in 1849 after his regiment had moved to Tasmania, when William Cleary is also mentioned as regimental messman.

A Sergeant Cleary is especially mentioned in a Hobart report in late December 1848 ("Serjeant Cleary, of the 99th Regt., gave some Scotch and Irish airs upon the union pipes"), and though this could have been Michael, it was perhaps more likely William.

On Michael's discharge the following year, the press noted: "to him the St. Joseph's Total Abstinence Band are indebted for the knowledge of some of their choicest pieces of music".

William was still a sergeant in the 99th at the time of his wife Matilda's death in Hobart in 1854.

A Mr. Cleary was teaching flute in Melbourne in 1858, and a William Cleary was reported in Melbourne in November 1860:

The drum and fife band of the Carlton Company of Volunteer Rifles came out on Saturday, for the first time, under the mastership of Mr. William Cleary, and played some very pretty marches, among which was one composed by him for the company, called the Carlton Volunteer Rifle March.

William was an assistant/clerk (from 1856) and later accountant/finance clerk (1872) at the Public Library, Melbourne.


"LITERARY REGISTER: NEW MUSIC", The Weekly Register (17 August 1844), 85; [Advertisement], 88

"NEW MUSIC", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 August 1844), 4

[Advertisement], The Australian (31 October 1844), 2

"THE OLD YEAR", Colonial Times (29 December 1848), 3

"A VISIT TO A TEETOTAL MEETING BY A STRANGER", The Courier (30 December 1848), 2

"MUSIC", The Courier (31 January 1849), 2

We have received a copy of an original ballad, "My loved, my happy home," the words and music composed (and by permission dedicated to Mrs. Despard, the lady of Colonel Despard, of the 99th Lanarkshire Regiment of Foot, at present in garrison) by Sergeant William Cleary, of the band of that regiment, originally published by Messrs. Hudson & Co., of Pitt-street, Sydney. The composer is the well-known player on the bagpipes; and it is gratifying to observe, that amidst his military avocations he is endeavouring to cultivate his natural talents to advantage. This is just the ballad that ought to sell well in this colony, reviving reminiscences of the distant scenes of childhood, and encouraging fond hopes of once again regaining the "home of happy youthful days." The score exhibits considerable talent, and a ready sale may be anticipated amongst the numerous friends of the sergeant. It can be purchased at the booksellers.

"ACTION FOR LIBEL", Colonial Times (17 March 1849): 1-2s

[Advertisement], The Courier (14 April 1849), 1

"PRESENTATION OF MEDAL", The Courier (19 November 1851), 2

"DIED", The Cornwall Chronicle (6 October 1852), 644

"DEATH", The Courier (4 April 1854), 2

"TOWN TALK", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (12 May 1858), 3

[Advertisement], The Argus (29 June 1858), 8

[News], The Argus (6 November 1860), 4


[News], The Argus (27 November 1867), 5

Another contribution has been made the stock of music composed in honour the Prince. This is the Alfred Galopade which has been very handsomely printed, its frontispiece bearing an unusually fine lithograph of H.R.H.. The composer, who deserves credit for a spirited and well-written piece of dance music, is Mr. W. Cleary, one of the assistants at the Public Library, and some years sergeant of the band of 99th Regiment, whose performances in Melbourne in 1854-5 will yet be remembered by many admirers.

"SMITH V. CLEARY", The Argus (25 August 1869), 7

"WE LEARN that . . .", Launceston Examiner (21 September 1875), 2

We learn that Mr. Michael Cleary, of Invermay, has been appointed Paymaster of Imperial Pensioners in Northern Tasmania. Mr. Cleary has been connected with the service of Government, in civil and military capacity, for upwards of 45 years. He arrived at Hobart Town with the 99th regiment, and on his retirement in 1851 on a pension from the army, in which he had been sergeant and latterly band master for 23 years, he was appointed principal storekeeper to the Convict Department. On the breaking out of the goldfields in Victoria, he proceeded thither, and obtained the situation of Despatching Clerk under the Government of Governor Latrobe, which he held under successive governors until the time of Lord Canterbury, a period of over twenty years, when he retired on a good conduct pension.

"Deaths", The Argus (2 May 1889), 1

CLEARY. - On the 1st inst., at Rosebank, Moreland-grove, Michael, the beloved husband of Elizabeth Cleary, for many years despatch clerk Chief Secretary's office, Melbourne. (A colonist of 45 years' residence.) R.I.P.

[News], The Ballarat Star (3 May 1889), 2

A very old colonist and one of the oldest Government servants, Mr. M. Cleary, passed away on Wednesday (says the Telegraph), at the age of 80. Mr. Cleary had been 45 years in the Imperial and colonial service in Victoria. He was bandmaster of the 99th Regiment when stationed here. He was appointed despatch clerk by Governor Latrobe, and he continued to be attached to the staffs of the Governors down to the time of Sir George Bowen. He was transferred to the office of the Chief Secretary, and retired at the age of 61, after 45 years' service. He enjoyed two pensions - one from the Imperial Government and the other from the Victorian authorities.

"DEATHS", The Argus (14 January 1895), 1

CLEARY. - On the 10th inst., at his residence, Lennox-street, Hawthorn, William, the beloved husband of Susan Cleary; formerly secretary of the Melbourne Public Library, aged 76 years. Interred in the Boroondara Cemetery. May his soul rest in peace. Amen.

Bibliography and resources:

Report of the Trustees of the Public Library, Museums, and National Gallery of Victoria, with the reports of the sectional committees for the year 1871 (Melbourne: John Ferres, Government Printer, 1872)

Edmund La Touche Armstrong, The book of the Public Library, Museums, and National Gallery of Victoria, 1856-1906 (Melbourne: Trustees of the Public Library, Museums, and National Gallery of Victoria, 1906), 5, 34-35

[4] The first man appointed in any permanent manner [to the Melbourne Public Library] was Edward Washfold. He had been employed at the Supreme Court as a sort of general factotum, and on the opening of the Library in February, 1856, Judge Barry appointed him as Porter, at a salary of 150 per annum, until provision could be made for supplying him with suitable quarters, when, it would appear, his salary was to be reduced to 120 per annum. For three months Washfold carried on the [5] work of the Library, with the assistance of a constable at the front door. Printed catalogues of the first books supplied had been sent out by Mr. Guillaume, the first bookseller to the Trustees, and doubtless the Judge himself superintended their arrangement on the shelves. The appointment of Washfold was questioned by the Chief Secretary of the time. He had nominated William Cleary for the position and instructed him to report himself for duty at the Library. Cleary did so, but, apparently by Judge Barry's instructions, was told that his services were not required. He returned to the Chief Secretary's office and asked for instructions. He was directed to report himself daily, and this he continued to do, with the invariable result that, according to his statement, he was informed that "there was nothing for him to do at the Library." So matters continued for some time, the Trustees, or, rather, the Judge, on their behalf, insisting that the right of appointment to the staff rested with them. On May 1st, Barry wrote to the Government asking that Washfold be paid from the 11th of February. He differed from Cleary in his view of the position, for he stated that Cleary had been drawing pay since the Library was opened, and although regularly instructed by the Trustees in the duties he was to perform, he had withdrawn himself without their leave, and since the 31st of March he had not done any duty whatever at the Library. Finally the matter was compromised by the appointment of Washfold as Porter and Cleary as Clerk, the Government apparently conceding the right of future nominations to the Trustees.

On William Cleary (d.1850), see:

Extant musical works (William Cleary):

My lov'd, my happy home ("an original ballad the word and music composed and by permission most respectfully dedicated to Mrs. Colonel Despard 99th Lanarkshire Regiment") (Sydney: Hudson and Co., [1844]) (NOT DIGITISED)

The Royal Victoria Volunteer Artillery regiment grand polka ("composed and arranged for the piano forte . . . by permission most respectfully dedicated to the Hon[ora]ble. C. Pasley, R.E. Lieut[enan]t Colonel Commanding the Regiment") (Melbourne: Hamel & Co., 1859) (DIGITISED)

Prince Alfred galopade (composed and arranged for the piano forte by William Cleary) ([Melbourne: ?, ?1867) (DIGITISED)



Active Sydney, NSW, 1854


[News], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 September 1854), 4 

WE observe that M. and Madame Herwyn have announced their farewell concert . . . when they will be assisted by a phalanx of talent, including a debutante, the Signora Clementi, of whose powers report speaks highly . . .

"MONS. AND MADAME HERWYN'S LAST CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (7 September 1854), 5 

. . . it was followed by " Ah Cielo," from the opera of Norma. Nervousness prevented Signora Clementi from doing justice to this song, which is unlike the rest of Bellini's compositions, and certainly not equal to most of them . . .

"THE HERWYNS' FAREWELL CONCERT", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (9 September 1854), 2 

. . . Madame Clementi was too timid to afford herself a fair chance . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 November 1854), 1 

ROYAL HOTEL.-Great attraction every evening. Grand Promenade Concerts (a la Jullien), in the Bazaar. Full band from the Royal Gardens, Vauxhall, London; conductor, Herr Kruse; principal vocalists, Miss Flora Harris, Madam Clementy, Mr. Hancock, and Mr. Fairchild; pianist, Mr. Emanuel. Doors open at half past seven, commence at eight o'clock. Admission to promenade, 1s. ; reserved seats, 2s. 6d.


Professor of music, bandmaster, clarinettist, flautist, organist, pianist, vocalist, singing master, teacher, composer

Born Kent, England, 1838/39, son of Adam CLERKE (d. VIC, 1882) and Jane (d. VIC, 1887)
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, by 27 February 1865, Tasmania by September 1865
Married (1) Naomi COOK (d. VIC, 1877), Prahran, VIC, 23 October 1865
Married (2) Emma MEDWORTH, Geelong, VIC, 10 August 1881
Died Battery Point, Hobart, TAS, 8 August 1886, aged 47 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Adam Clerke, who came to Victoria with his parents, was in his early twenties when first billed playing clarinet in Henry Johnson's band in Melbourne in December 1861. He later appeared playing flute and clarinet in a concert with Charles Horsley early in 1865 (including a performance of Mozart's Trio for piano, clarinet and viola). His The birthday schottische appeared in the Illustrated Melbourne News in July of the same year. He was by then in the process of moving to Circular Head, north-west Tasmania, to take up a bandmaster position, giving his first concert with the Stanley band in September, though returning to Melbourne, to marry, in October.

The Clerkes stayed only three or four years in Tasmania. In late 1869, Adam was back in Melbourne directing a youth band at St. Francis's church. By early 1871, he was bandmaster of the Emerald Hill Volunteer Artillery Corps, to which he added private teaching, and a singing class at All Saint's school, St. Kilda.

His wife Naomi died in 1877. He later moved to Geelong, where he directed the Geelong Artillery Band, and in 1881 remarried. In mid 1882, with his second wife, Emma, he had moved finally back to Tasmania, and settled in Hobart.

Two extant Tasmanian compositions are The Garrison parade polka, published in July 1885, and The waratah blossom waltz, first performed in 1883 by the Band of the Tasmanian Volunteer Rifle Regiment, of which he was master, and published in 1886.


[News], The Argus (14 December 1861), 5 

A military concert takes place in the Botanic Gardens to-day, under the patronage of His Excellency the Governor and Lady Barkly, Major-General and Lady Pratt, and Colonel Carey. The performances will, no doubt, attract a numerous party. The following is the programme:-

Part I.
National Anthem (first time) - Wallace
Overture - Marco spada - Auber
Selection of Irish Melodies (with solos) - Johnson - Clarionet Mr. Johnson; Piccolo, Mr. F. Johnson; E flat Clarionet, Mr. Clerke; Cornopean, Mr. Richardson; Trombone, Mr. Berg
Quadrille - Christmas Waits - Farmer.
Part II.
Selection of Scotch Melodies - Johnson
Polka - Zerlina (Cornopean Obligato, Mr. Richardson, by desire) - Ettling
Waltz - Immortellan: Introduction (Trombone Obligato, Mr. Berg) - Gung'l.
Pot-pourri on English Airs, by Tutton, bandmaster to H. M. Royal Home Guards Blue, will be played for the first time . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (27 February 1865), 8

PRAHRAN and SOUTH YARRA MUSICAL SOCIETY . . . Pianoforte soloist, Mr. C. E. Horsley; flautist, Mr. Adam Clerke . . .

"THE FIRST CONCERT AT STANLEY", Launceston Examiner (16 September 1865), 3

The Stanley Band gave its first concert on Tuesday evening last, 5th Sept., in the large room, at the Freemason's Hotel, engaged expressly for the occasion. The concert was under the management of Mr. Adam Clerke, bandmaster, from the Head Quarters Band, Melbourne. The performance went off in the most satisfactory manner, when it is taken into account that the members of the band have been only three months' receiving instruction. It also speaks well, not only for the great progress made by the young gentlemen, but to the credit due to their talented bandmaster, Mr. Clerke, who has been most indefatigable in his exertions in bringing the band on to its present state of efficiency in so very short a time.

Mr. Ferguson, sen, and Mr. J. B. Ferguson kindly lent their aid and sang in their usual pleasing style. Mr. Rooke was unfortunately absent; and his place had to be filled up by Mr. Clerke in the song "Juanita." The room was quite full, about 180 ladies and gentlemen being present, and who all expressed themselves highly gratified at the evening's treat.

The following is the programme:-

PART I. - March - The Stanley (arranged expressly for the occasion), Band; Trio - The cypress wreath, Messrs. Ferguson and Clerke; Flute Solo - Selection of Scotch melodies, Mr. Clerke; Song - Juanita, Mr. Clerke; Duett - "What is life of life bereft," Messr. Ferguson; Song - Johnny Sands, Mr. Clerke; Song - "The Araby maid," Mr. J. B. Ferguson; Song - "The brave old oak," Mr. J. Ferguson; March - Ring the banjo, Band.

PART II. March - "Come where my love lies dreaming," Band; Song "Death of Nelson" (with trumpet accompaniment), Mr. J. Ferguson; Song - "Tight little island," Mr. Clerke; Saxhorn Solo - Selection of Irish melodies and the Queen's waltz, Mr Clerke; Trio - Canadian boat song; Messrs. Ferguson and Mr. Clerke; March - The grenadiers, Band; Song - "Shells of ocean," Mr. Clerke; Clarionet Solo - "Andiamo" (from Masaniello), Mr. Clerke; Finale - God save the Queen, Band.

"MARRIAGES", The Argus (26 October 1865), 4

CLERKE - COOK. - On the 23rd inst., at Prahran, by the Rev. Wm. Moss, Adam Clerke, professor of music, to Naomi, eldest daughter of Mr. W. Cook, contractor.

"CIRCULAR HEAD", Launceston Examiner (7 September 1866), 3

"CIRCULAR HEAD", Launceston Examiner (5 December 1868), 6 

[News], The Argus (7 December 1869), 4 

When noticing the ceremony of laying the foundation-stone of St. Augustine's Church, on Sunday last, in our yesterday's issue, we omitted to mention the services rendered by the St. Francis's band on the occasion. Under the leadership of Mr. Adam Clerke, the bandmaster, it performed, in a very creditable manner, and to the general satisfaction, selections from the "Twelfth Mass" (Mozart's). The rendering of the "Gloria" and "Non Nobis" struck us as being exceedingly good for so young a band.

[Advertisement], The Argus (1 March 1871), 8 

A GRAND CONCERT, In aid of the Band Fund, will be held at the local Orderly-room, TO-MORROW (THURSDAY), MARCH 2 . . .
Miss AMELIA BAILEY (Mrs. Smythe), Mrs. Slack, Miss Sheppard, Masters Beaumont, W. Cook, W. Bennett. Mr. T. Ewart, Mr. F. Vines, and Mr. S. ANGUS.
Conductor - Mr. Adam Clerke. Pianiste - Madame Victorine Pett . . .

[News], Record (2 May 1872), 5 

At Mr. Coppin's benefit at the Town Hall, on Saturday night last, between the parts the band of the Emerald Hill Artillery played the "Adele Waltzes," composed by their bandmaster, Mr. Adam Clerke, which is a lively composition, and was enthusiastically received and unanimously encored. The composer has had it published in a very neat style, and arranged for the pianoforte; copies of which are on view and may be obtained from Mr. C. J. Durham, news agent, Clarendon street.

[News], The Argus (4 May 1872), 5 

Mr. Adam Clerke, the bandmaster of the Emerald-hill Volunteer Artillery, has sent us a copy of a set of waltzes, "The Adele," composed by him, and arranged for military band as well as for pianoforte. It is dedicated to "Mrs. Colonel Acland Anderson," by permission. There is so little music originated in this country, that less pretentious attempts than this have before now met with favour. Mr. Clerke's "Adele Waltzes" will not rank with those of Strauss, Larner, Jullien, Koenig, or Godfrey, but they are sufficiently good when well played to be quite rhythmical and pleasing to dance to. The pianoforte arrangement that we have before us is within the capacity of any player of average intelligence.

"SATURDAY EVENING'S AMUSEMENTS . . . THE TOWN HALL", The Herald (29 July 1872), 3 

To our extreme surprise the concert given by way of compliment to Mr. Adam Clerke, bandmaster of the Emerald-Hill Volunteer Artillery, did not attract that notice which the artists engaged, and the good programme, warranted us in expecting. Why this should have been the case it is difficult to determine. The vocalists included Mesdames Cutter and Howitz, Miss Christian, Mr. Rainford, and Mr. Donaldson, and the instrumentalists were the Misses P. and A. Terlecki, Mr. F. W. Towers, and Mr. E. Ascherberg. Mr. Clerke conducted and the chorus numbered somewhere about sixty trained voices. All the singers were in excellent form, Mrs. Cutter and Miss Christian particularly so, and the efforts which gave the greatest satisfaction were, a barcarole of Kucken's (Mesdames Cutter and Howitz), "Rocked in the Cradle of the deep," (Mrs. Cutter) encored, "Auld Robin Gray," encored, and "Kathleen Mavourneen," both by Miss Christian. Mr. Rainford gave "Hark the Clarion," from the "Rose of Castile," with great effect. Mr. Donaldson sustained his portion of the programme satisfactorily. The Misses Terlecki played, as a duet, a fantasia brilliante, Rose de Peronne, by Hy. Rossellen, with considerable skill. They evinced, a nice delicacy of touch, and were conscientious as to time. The Assembly Polka, composed and arranged by Mr. Clerke, and played by the band of the E. H. V. Artillery, is a good specimen of that class of music. The chorus displayed commendable steadiness. The entertainment was so exceptionally good that a real treat was afforded those present.

[News], The Record and Emerald Hill and Sandridge Advertiser (30 January 1873), 3 

Some time since, we gave a favorable notice of the composition of a piece of music by Mr. Adam Clerke, bandmaster of the Emerald Hill Artillery Corps, and choir master at the Presbyterian Church, Clarendon-street. We have now before us another piece of music composed by this gentleman, but in this case it is a sacred anthem, entitled " Behold how good and Joyful," and we are pleased to notice that it is a very satisfactory composition, and will no doubt be introduced in most of the churches in the district and elsewhere.

"HOSPITAL SUNDAY", The Argus (10 October 1874), 8 

"VOLUNTEER INSPECTION", Leader (12 June 1875), 19 

The last quarterly official inspection of the Emerald-hill Artillery Corps for 1874-5 was made by Colonel Anderson on Wednesday evening . . . At the latter end, Colonel Anderson inspected the band, which has now arrived at a thorough state of proficiency, due to the exertions of Bandmaster Adam Clerke, and intimated that he was pleased with the result. There were present of the corps Captains Cowper and Twycross, 7 sergeants, and 83 rank and file; total, 113, including 21 of the band.


. . . During the interval Mr. Adam Clerke's band played with commendable moderation the "Zerlina Polka" and the "Siege of Paris," but the performance was nevertheless a very loud one for the inside of a room. During this part of the entertainment the audience walked about.

"MARRIAGE", Geelong Advertiser (27 August 1881), 2 

Clerke - Medworth - On the 10th inst., by the Rev. Samuel Day, Adam Clerke, Professor of Music, to Emma, only daughter of the late Edward Medworth, Esq., both of Geelong.

[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (4 February 1882), 3 

MOONLIGHT CONCERT . . . The Geelong Artillery Band, under the leadership of Mr. Adam Clerke, will be in attendance . . .

[Advertisement], The Mercury (16 August 1882), 1 

TUITION. - MR. ADAM CLERKE, Band master Tasmanian Rifle Regiment, late Senior Bandmaster Victorian Volunteer Force (thirteen years Bandmaster Emerald Hill and Geelong Artillery). First-class Certificated Singing Master under the Board of Education, Melbourne. Schools attended. For further particulars, address Tavistock-cottage, Barrack street.

[Advertisement], The Mercury (15 December 1883), 1

[Advertisement], The Mercury (8 July 1885), 2

[Advertisement], The Mercury (30 January 1886), 2

Death of Adam Clerke, 8 August 1886; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1232842 

"Deaths", The Mercury (9 August 1886), 1 

CLERKE. - On August 8, at Alpha Cottage, St. George's Hill, Adam Clerke, garrison bandmaster, aged 47. The funeral will leave his late residence at 3 o'clock on WEDNESDAY next for the Queenborough Cemetery.

"THE LATE MR. ADAM CLERKE", The Mercury (9 August 1886), 2

The bandmaster of the Garrison Band, Mr. Adam Clerke, died very suddenly yesterday morning at his residence, St. George's Hill, Mr. Clerke was in his usual health on Saturday night, and ate a hearty supper before going to bed. Early next morning he complained to his wife of feeling very queer with a succession of painful spasms. As he continued to be in great pain Mrs. Clerke summoned assistance from her neighbours, and subsequently sent for Dr. Giblin. Some difficulty arising in finding Dr. Giblin, a second messenger was despatched for Dr. Hardy who arrived at 10 o'clock, but was just too late to see Mr. Clerke alive, as he had expired a few moments previous to the doctor's arrival.

The deceased, who was born in Kent, England, was 47 years of age, and came to Australia early in life. In 1864 he arrived in Tasmania, and resided for some years at Circular Head, where he organised a band. He returned to Victoria in 1868, and was for a number of years bandmaster of the Emerald Hill Artillery, and afterwards bandmaster to the Geelong Artillery. Mr. Clerke was also organist and choirmaster of the Clarendon-street Presbyterian Church, Emerald Hill, and teacher of singing at the Grammar School, All Saints, St. Kilda. Some time in 1879 Messrs. J. G. Davies and E. Butler, who happened to be in Victoria with a cricketing team, interviewed Mr. Clerke with a view to his taking charge of the Rifle Band. Arrangements were partly made at that time, but fell through in consequence of the military officials in Victoria refusing to permit Mr. Clerke to leave at once. In 1882 the deceased came to Tasmania and succeeded Mr. Nat. Hallas as bandmaster of the Rifle Band. He continued to act in that capacity up till the day of his death, the band in the mean-time having been merged into the Garrison Band. During the time he was in Tasmania Mr. Clerke gained the uniform respect of his officers, and the goodwill of a large number of instrumentalists who have been under his charge. It is said that he has taught no less than 50 or 60 men in his band since he has been in this colony. He was a very able musician, and has composed several pieces of secular and sacred music, which have been spoken of with esteem by leading musical critics. Among his sacred compositions are several anthems, one of which he was engaged in preparing to render at the time of his death for a concert the band were to give for the benefit of a Mrs. Clark, whose boy was accidentally killed a short time back. Mr. Clerke leaves a widow, but no children, his only other relatives in the colonies being a brother in the Customs department of Victoria. It may be mentioned as another of the frequent warnings we have of the uncertainty of life, and the wisdom of making provision for the support of dependent relations that only so recently as last month Mr. Clerke effected a policy of insurance on his life for £200 in the Australian Widows' Fund. Owing to the extremely sudden nature of the death, it is probable that an inquest will have to be held, but the question was not decided last night. On Wednesday afternoon the remains of the deceased will be buried with military honours, which he so frequently assisted in giving to comrades who passed away before him.

"DEATH OF A MUSICIAN", Launceston Examiner (10 August 1886), 2

Inquest on Adam Clerke, 10 August 1886; Tasmanian Names Index; NAME_INDEXES:1358795 

"INQUEST", The Mercury (11 August 1886), 4

"Deaths", The Argus (21 August 1886), 1 

CLERKE. - On the 8th inst., suddenly, at his late residence, Battery-point, Hobart, Adam Clerke, Prof. Mus., garrison bandmaster, late of Emerald-hill and Geelong, youngest son of the late Adam Clerke, Esq., E.I.S., and beloved brother of Thomas F. Clerke, inspector dead letter office, G.P.O., Melbourne.

Musical works:

The birthday schottische (as performed by the Headquarters Band; arranged for the pianoforte)", The illustrated Melbourne post (25 July 1865), 112

Adéle-waltzes, composed and arranged for the pianoforte by Adam Clerke, bandmaster Emerald Hill Artillery (Melbourne: Adam Clerke, professor of music, [1872])


Behold how good and joyful, anthem ([South Melbourne: C. J. Durham, 1873])


The garrison parade polka (Hobart: T. L. Hood, [1885])

The waratah blossom waltz ([Hobart]: T. L. Hood, [1886])


Vocalist (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

CLIFFORD, Minnie (Miss Minnie CLIFFORD; also Minie [sic] CLIFFORD)

Vocalist, pianist, actor

Arrived Melbourne, VIC, by November 1854
Active Ballarat, VIC, from December 1858
Departed Melbourne, VIC, 19 May 1861 (per Great Britain, for Liverpool, England) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

CLIFFORD, Florence

Vocalist, actor


At Catherine Hayes's concert on 7 November 1854 it was advertised:

Miss Clifford (aged only thirteen years) will perform a Fantasia on the Pianoforte, her first appearance in Melbourne.


1851 England Census; Middlesex, St. Pancras, Camden Town, 02; 10; 43

Camden Town / 23 Bayham Terrace / George Clifford / Head / 38 / Professor of Music / [born] Surrey, Bermond'y
Mary Clifford / Wife / 52 [sic] / Devon, Torquay
Mary Clifford / Dau. / 10 / Middlsx, St. Pancras
Florence Clifford / Dau. / 6 / Italy (Florence) B.S.

[Advertisement], The Argus (6 November 1854), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (16 December 1854), 8

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

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

WANTED,-To all to whom these presents shall come. - Whereas, at the St. Lawrence Hotel, Gertrude-street, a Free Concert will be held to-night under the auspices of Tom King, the well-known vocalist and pianist; Mr. Clifford, of Her Majesty's Theatre and Italian Opera; Mr. Dixon, the favourite tenor; and, though last not least, the Raal Ould Irish Gentleman; and a host of talent not to be enumerated within the limits of an advertisement.

[Advertisement], The Argus (16 June 1855), 8

MUSIC HALL. Union Hotel. Re-decorated, and brilliantly lighted with gas, will be reopened under entire new arrangements, on Saturday evening the 16th instant, with a series of Vocal and Instrumental concerts, for which the following artistes are engaged: MISS URIE, The celebrated Soprano; MISS MINIE CLIFFORD [sic], The Juvenile Pianiste; MR. G. CLIFFORD, From the Exeter Hall Concerts, Tenor; MR. T. KING, Bass and Instrumentalist.
Concert to commence at Eight o'clock. Programme: [Part I] . . .
Duet - Flow gently, Deva, - Mr. Clifford and Mr. King - Parry . . .
Solo-violin - Mr. King - De Beriot
Song - My Highland Home, - Mr. Clifford - Bishop . . .
Part Second . . . Fantasia Brilliante - piano and violin - from Guillaume Tell, - Miss Clifford and Mr. King - DeBerriot and Osbourne [sic] . . .
Duet - I've wandered in Dreams - Miss Urie and Mr. Clifford . . .
Solo - piano - Telexy's Mazourk - Miss Clifford . . .
Song - Death of Nelson, - Mr. Clifford - Braham; . . .
Sole - clarionet - Adieu a Berne, - Mr. King - Bressant . . .

"PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS AT MELBOURNE", The Courier (22 June 1855), 3

"OPENING OF THE THEATRE ROYAL", The Star (28 December 1858), 3

"THE PHILHARMONIC CONCERT", The Star (1 September 1860), 2 

. . . Miss Julia Harland, Misa Minnie Clifford, and Mr Cazaly were the principal soloists . . . Miss Minnie Clifford was deservedly encored in the song from Weber's "Oberon" "Oh Araby, dear Araby," which was sung in good voice, and afforded a gratifying proof of this lady's cultivated powers as a vocalist . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (28 May 1861), 8

. . . Last appearance of Miss MINNIE and Mr. CLIFFORD, Prior to their departure by the Great Britain . . . Song - "Kathleen Mavourneen," Miss Minnie Clifford. Duet -"Oh, Listen, Dear," Misses M. and Florence Clifford . . .

"THEATREICAL DEPARTURES", Mount Alexander Mail (3 June 1861), 2 

The Great Britain and Suffolk bear away from these shores a large number of the members of the dramatio and musical professions. In addition to Mr. G. V. Brooke, Mr. R. Younge, and Miss Jones, to whose impending departure we have several times referred, we lose, Mr H. J. Wallack. Mr. and Mrs. Hancock, and the Misses Clifford. - Herald.

"LYCEUM THEATRE", The Musical World (5 October 1861), 636


CLIFTON, Stephen

Church musician, singer, convict

Arrived NSW, 1818, per Isabella
Certificate of freedom, NSW, 9 February 1832


Stephen Clifton was convicted at Middlesex Gaol for a term of 14 years on 3 December 1817, and was transported to NSW, per Isabella, leaving England on 1 April 1818. In the Sydney Police Reports for 1827, he appears as a convict church musician:

Stephen Clifton was brought to account for a saw which had been entrusted to his care. The prisoner pleaded, that it was his master's pleasure that he should practice church music every Friday, and that while he was singing and preparing himself for the psalm for the following Sunday, some irreligious rogue had abstracted the cross cut saw. No proof, against Stephen, and he was discharged. This job was very near making Stephen chaunt a different tune.

He is possibly the same person reported as being in a marital dispute at Windsor earlier that year, described there as "a man of colour". He obtained his certificate of freedom in 1832.


"Police Reports", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (13 August 1827), 3

"WINDSOR", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (2 January 1827), 3

[Advertisement]: "Certificate of freedom", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (9 February 1832), 1

CLIFTON, William John

Amateur vocalist

Arrived Perth, WA, 11 February 1849 (per Ameer, from England)
Active Perth, WA, by 1852


"THE AMATEUR CONCERT", The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News (25 June 1852), 3 

THE concert in aid of funds for promoting a Musical Class for the Mechanics' Institute, took place at the Court House in Perth last Friday evening . . . The two Misses Ougden performed the Overture to La Dame Blanche very pleasingly on the piano; and Mr. E. Hamersley played an excellent accoompaniment to the Rosita Waltz on the Cornet a Piston; Mr. A. H. Stone ably conducted the whole performance. The vocal parts were undertaken by Messrs William Clifton, Bell and Parry, the former of whom was encored in a new song called Dreams of the Heart . . .

[News], The Inquirer and Commercial News (2 August 1865), 2 

We are informed that Mr W. J. Clifton has promised to deliver a lecture, at the Swan River Mechanics' Institute, very shortly, on "English Song." From the well-known musical attainments of Mr. Clifton, a great treat may with confidence be anticipated by the large audience which his lecture is certain to insure.

CLISBY, Redford Edwin

Flautist, music and musical instrument seller, piano tuner and repairer

Born England, ? c. 1812; ? Camden, 11 April 1810; baptised St. Giles in the Fields, Camden, 6 May 1810
Arrived Adelaide, SA, 10 October 1849 (per Cheapside, from London)
Died Adelaide, SA, 26 May 1884, "in his 73rd year" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


On arrival Clisby advertised music and musical instruments for sale. Two months later he took over a grocery business. He is listed as an orchestral flautist in July 1850 and as a member of Adelaide Choral Society in May 1851. In December 1854, he was again advertising as a "Musical Instrument and Parasol Maker", and thereafter remained in the music business. He wrote several letters to the press (not referenced below) on non-musical subjects.


"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", South Australian Register (13 October 1849), 3

[Advertisement], South Australian (28 November 1849), 2

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (9 February 1850), 2

[Advertisement], South Australian (5 July 1850), 1

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (21 May 1851), 2

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (4 October 1854), 1

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (29 December 1854), 1

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (4 January 1861), 1

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (21 May 1864), 1

"DEATHS", South Australian Register (27 May 1884), 4

CLUTSAM, Frederick

Tenor vocalist, piano builder, inventor, composer

Born NZ, 1869
Active Melbourne, VIC, 1890s
Died Marylebone, England, January-March quarter 1934, aged 64


[Advertisement], Otago Daily Times (22 September 1881), 1

"MUSICAL NOTES", The Argus (17 May 1890), 4

Mr. F. Clutsam, a young singer with a promising tenor voice, has recently come to Melbourne from Dunedin, with the object of undergoing some training in vocalisation under Madame Simonsen. He is a brother of Mr. George Clutsam, a talented pianist, who travelled with the Amy Sherwin company on their Eastern tour, and is now in London.

"MARRIAGES", The Argus (3 July 1894), 1


. . . Bearing in mind the recent scarcity of orchestral concerts and consequently few opportunities afforded the public of listening to the masterpieces of the great composers, we are inclined to doubt the wisdom of allowing two out of the four instrumental compositions on the programme to be the productions of local composers. One of these novelties, an adagio ma non troppo from a symphony by Mr. F. Clutsam, had to be omitted on Saturday, owing to the indisposition of the composer (who was announced to conduct it), and to the parts having been mislaid. The other was an overture "To Giordano Bruno" by Professor Hall . . .

"THE NEW PIANO KEYBOARD", Popular Mechanics (November 1911), 715

"MUSIC", The Daily News (23 July 1915), 2

Mr. Frederick Clutsam, a well-known Melbourne musician, who went to London some few years ago to bring under the notice of piano manufacturers a new style of keyboard, has (according to an English paper), another invention in hand, which is believed to be of quite exceptional importance . . .


Pianist, composer, reviewer and writer on music

Born Sydney, NSW, 26 September 1866
Died London, 17 November 1951 (NLA persistent identifier)



The Clutsam brothers' maternal grandmother was Mary Labalestrier, and Alfred Labalestrier their uncle. George Clutsam is reported to have had a symphony played in London in 1890/91; note above the 1895 cancelled performance of a symphony movement composed by his brother Frederick.


"MARRIAGE", The Argus (14 December 1864),4 

CLUTSAM - SANDERS. - On the 12th inst., at Fitzroy, by the Rev. James Ballantine, of Erskine Church George Huyler, son of the late Samuel Joseph Clutsam, Esq., M.D., of H. M. S. 3rd W. I. Regiment, to Louisa, third daughter of Richard Sanders, Esq., jeweller, late of London.

"SOCIAL AND GENERAL. ENTERTAINMENTS", Otago Daily Times (22 December 1875), 2

"MASTER GEORGE CLUTSAM. TO THE EDITOR", Otago Daily Times (28 March 1879), 3

[Advertisement], Otago Daily Times (22 September 1881), 1

Australasian Federal Directory [1888]

Clutsam G, music teacher, York place, Dunedin.

"SHIPPING", The Sydney Morning Herald (22 May 1888), 6

"AMY SHERWIN CONCERT COMPANY", South Australian Register (13 September 1888), 7

"NEW MUSIC", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 April 1890), 10

"From Austral's Shores", a gavotte by George H. Clutsam, arranged for the piano from his first Orchestral Suite, is refreshingly original. The exact phrasing of every passage is marked with unusual exactness; and this is to be highly commended, seeing in how slipshod a manner many persons write now-a-days.

Bibliography and resources:

"George Clutsam", Wikipedia

Graeme Skinner, "George Clutsam", Dictionary of Sydney

COBBIN, William (senior; William Richard COBBIN)

Viola (tenor) player, ? violinist

Born c.1802
Arrived Adelaide, SA, March 1849 (per Athenian, from London)
Died Adelaide, SA, 30 June 1877, aged 75

COBBIN, William (junior)


Born St. Pancras, London, England, 11 December 1834
Married Hannah SWIFT, Adelaide, SA, 4 February 1854
Died ? SA, c. 1890

COBBIN, Master

Viola (tenor) player


William and Adelaide Cobbin and their seven children arrived in Adelaide as steerage passengers aboard the Athenian from London in March 1849. Cobbin and two of his sons played among the strings in the monster concert in July 1850, and "Mr. Cobbin and Sons" again for S. W. Wallace's concert in October.

William Cobbin, senior, found work as a post-office letter carrier, like fellow musicians William Chapman and Robert McCullagh. William senior was secretary of the Adelaide Choral Society in 1853 and 1854. The two Wm. Cobbins again appeared as string players in band lists in October 1854. At Signor Grossi's benefit concert in July 1858, it was probably William junior who was noticed:

Mr. Cobbin again surprised and delighted his hearers by his masterly performance on the violin, with Herr Linger on the piano, of the duet "Torquato Tasso".

An advertisement for Miss Blackhurst's concert in 1853 lists among the instrumental performers John Cobbin and John Cobbin junior.

The Adelaide vocalist, Thomas Theodore Gale, had married William Cobbin senior's daughter Adelaide, in London, in 1845.


[Advertisement], South Australian Register (21 March 1849), 1

[Advertisement], South Australian (5 July 1850), 1

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (9 October 1850), 2

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (7 April 1851), 2

"THE LETTER-CARRIERS", South Australian Register (18 May 1853), 3

"DIED", South Australian Register (19 September 1853), 3

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (19 October 1853), 2

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (4 October 1854), 1

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (11 October 1854), 1

"THE CHORAL SOCIETY'S CONCERT", Adelaide Observer (17 July 1858), 5 

. . . In the first part of the concert Mr. William Cobbin, a young violinist of great promise, took the audience somewhat by surprise with his very clever performance in a duet, arranged for the violin and piano. We believe it was "his first appearance on any stage" in so prominent a character. His style is smooth and clear, yet by no means wanting in vigour, in the most rapid passages every note was distinctly heard, whilst in the slower movements the performer gave unmistakable evidence that he not only read the music before him, but felt its meaning. The duet was deservedly encored . . .

"SIGNOR GROSSI'S BENEFIT CONCERT", South Australian Register (20 July 1858), 2

"KADINA", The South Australian Advertiser (6 July 1864), 3

"DEATHS", South Australian Register (30 June 1877), 4

"LETTER CARRIERS OF OLD ADELAIDE", The Register (10 February 1925), 14 

COBBY, Alfred J. S. H.

Professor of music, pianist, composer, organ builder, pianoforte tuner and repairer, amateur astronomer

Active Grafton, NSW, by 1870 (? from Canada)
Died ? 1905

COBBY, Madame

Soprano vocalist

Departed Australia, 1905 (for South Africa)


"In the Matter of the Petition of Alfred Cobby . . .", The London Gazette (1854), 776

"INSOLVENT DEBTORS", The Jurist (4 February 1854), 34

? "MUSICAL INSTRUCTION", The British Columbian (1 April 1863), 3,6100354

"MUSICAL", Clarence and Richmond Examiner (20 September 1870), 2

"COMPLIMENTARY BENEFIT TO MR. ALFRED COBBY", Clarence and Richmond Examiner (9 May 1871), 2

"PIANOFORTES", Clarence and Richmond Examiner (5 October 1875), 4

"IS VENUS INHABITED. TO THE EDITOR", Clarence and Richmond Examiner (23 June 1877), 5

"INSOLVENCY MEETINGS", Clarence and Richmond Examiner (20 July 1878), 2

"Mr. ALFRED COBBY", Warwick Examiner and Times (24 December 1884), 2

Mr. ALFRED COBBY, (professor of music) of Grafton street, in this town, has just republished a beautiful piece of music entitled the "Sussex Polka," arranged for the pianoforte . . . The polka was originally published in England, when it was dedicated to the Duchess of Norfolk, and met with a great sale. It is now published by Messrs. Gordon and Gotch, of Brisbane . . ..

"A Queensland-built Organ", The Queenslander (7 February 1891), 254

Mr. Cobby is a man well advanced in years, but is still an enthusiastic musician. At ten years of age he became organist in an English church, and during the intervening years has closely pursued his musical studies, besides learning the arts of organ building and in a measure church architecture. Mr. Cobby was trained specially by Dr. Essex, a famous organist of his day, and later by Mr. Robert Gray, the eminent organist who officiated at the Queen's coronation, and the organ tutor of the Prince Consort. Subsequently Mr. Cobby was organist of Christ Church, Marylebone, and gained his knowledge of building at Gray and Davison's, London. In addition to other work done in England he was selected to assist in building the organs at Buckingham Palace and St. George's Chapel, Windsor.

"OLD MUSICAL RESIDENT", Clarence and Richmond Examiner (1 November 1898), 5

[Advertisement], Queensland Figaro (15 August 1901), 6

"PERSONAL", Warwick Examiner (13 December 1905), 5

Madame Cobby, who has resided in Gympie for twenty-two years, is leaving for South Africa. Madame has been closely associated with the local musical world during her long residence in Gympie, and her numerous friends whilst regretting her departure will wish her every success in her new sphere of activity. (Madame Cobby resided in Warwick years ago. - Ed.)

Bibliography and resources:

Geoffrey Cox, "Alfred Cobby (c. 1818-1905): Organbuilder, Teacher of Music & Composer", Organ Historical Trust 0f Australia, OHTA News 37/2 (2013), 19-28

Cobby was reportedly also organist at St. Mary's. Waverley, in Sydney, NSW, in 1872-73


Pianist, musical director

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

COBLEY, Edwin Harry

Professor of music, organist, harpist, pianist, composer, editor

Born Belfast, Ireland, 1829/30
Arrived Sydney, NSW, by 23 March 1857
Died Sydney, NSW, 24 June 1874, aged 44 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


He was the eldest surviving son of John Cobley (1797-1865), a soldier, and his wife Mary Ann James (1799-1861). In the 1851 census, Cobley was listed as a professor of music, 21, born Belfast, Ireland, then "visiting" (lodging) in Swansea, Wales, with his younger brother John Julian Cobley, "musical student", 13, born Youghal; the family home was then in Charlton Kings, outside Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, where his father John was a "Fencing & Drilling Master". Edwin's younger brother George (b. 1832) had also emigrated by 1857, when he had settled at Glen Innes (died Glen Innes, NSW, 1870); two of his watercolour paintings, c.1850s, are at the National Library of Australia. Reuben Cobley (b. 1843/44) and John Julian Cobley also emigrated and died in Australia.

Edwin Harry Cobley, musician, and Sarah Creed (a "minor"), were married on 27 January 1852 at St. Mary's, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Their son Theodore Augustus Ferdinand was baptised there on 25 December 1853; he died at Charlton in 1859, having stayed behind when Edwin left for Australia. There is no record of Sarah in Australia. Rather, the name of Edwin's wife and widow in NSW was given as Emma. Emma Caroline Cobley remarried in 1875, to Charles Cuttriss, and died in Sydney in 1878, aged 37 (therefore, born 1841/2).

Edwin had arrived in Sydney by March 1857. He first advertised as a quadrille harpist, along with Abraham Emanuel (piano) and Isaac Davis (violin), and in June as a teacher of harmony and composition.

J. R. Clarke published his The Government House waltz in August, and he first appeared in public for the Philharmonic Society concert on 16 November playing his own Divertimento for the harp on Smile again my bonnie lassie, and in a quartet arrangement by the late Nicholas Charles Bochsa of "Tutto e sciolto" from Bellini's La sonnambula (


"CONCERT", Royal Cornwall Gazette [England] (12 July 1850), 5

CONCERT. - On Monday last, Mr. E. H. Cobley gave an entertainment to the lovers of music in the Town Hall, St. Austell, which we are sorry to say was very badly attended. We believe this may be attributed in a great measure, to the high prices charged. The few who attended were highly gratified, especially with the performance of "Auld Lang Syne" on the harp, which was much applauded.

"NEW MUSIC", Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette [England] (2 October 1851), 4

"Lassie when Ye said Ye Lo'ed Me."; The Word Farewell, by H. A. M. Waldo Sibthorp; The Wild Cherry Tree, Trio, by Frederick Smith; Winter, Ode, by W. E. Jarrett; Those Sunny Hills, by Louisa F. Smith; The Star Polka by J. I. Smith; Les Graces Polkas, by Edwin H. Cobley. Cheltenham C. Hall and Son.

Although it must be confessed there is nothing very striking in these compositions, yet they are sufficiently pleasing to deserve the public approbation. Any one of them will be a pretty addition to the collection of the amateur . . . The compositions are, in truth, local garland, but, at the same time, are worthy of wider fame.

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

HARP and PIANOFORTE EVENING QUADRILLE PLAYING.- Messrs. EMANUEL and COBLEY are open to receive engagements. JOHNSON and CO.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 May 1857), 1

NOTICE to the PUBLIC. - Quadrille Band - Violin, Harp, and Pianoforte. Messrs. COBLEY, DAVIS, and EMAMUEL are open for engagements. Terms moderate. Apply to JOHNSON and CO., Pitt-street.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 June 1857), 5

HARMONY and COMPOSITION. - Lessons by the author of Farewell Theresa, Smile again, My Thoughts are thine, to Mr. EDWIN H. COBLEY, 14, Castlereagh-street North, opposite the Club House. MR. EDWIN H. COBLEY (pupil of J. Balsir Chatterton, and Pio Cianchettini), Composer, and Professor of the Harp and Pianoforte, attends schools and Private families. Terms moderate. 14, Castlereagh-street North.

"A NEW WALTZ", The Sydney Morning Herald (1 August 1857), 5

A NEW WALTZ. - Mr. E. H. Cobley, lately from England, has composed and published a piece of music for the pianoforte, which is dedicated to Lady Denison, entitled, "The Government House Waltz." The style and composition exhibit considerable ability.

[News], Empire (31 January 1860), 4

"Le Pillet," is the name of a new Spanish dance just published by C. T. Sandon, and dedicated to Mr. Needs and his pupils by the composer, E. H. Cobley, known in Sydney as a teacher of music and harp-player. The dance itself is likely to become popular, as a slight departure from the now stereotyped saltatory figures of the day. The music (in the key of F) is very characteristic, the sudden use of the semitone giving that transition from joyousness to melancholy which the Spaniards exhibit so well in their national character as in the style of their music.

"THE AUSTRALIAN MUSICAL BOUQUET", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 February 1861), 5

The January number of the Australian Musical Bouquet - a collection of popular songs, operatic airs, &c, for the voice and the pianoforte, edited by Mr. Edwin H. Cobley, professor of music, Glebe Point Road - has been published by the proprietor, Mr. James C. Fussell, of Prince-street. The contents are: - A Volunteer Polka Mazurka, composed by the editor, Mr. Cobley; and a new Song, "Lost Marguerite," words by Mr. Henry Halloran, and music by Mr. Glentworth Addison. The third and last piece of music in this number (very neatly engraved by Mr. Engel) is a Christmas Hymn, as sung at Christ Church, in this city. The music and poetry of this elegant little serial are colonial; the whole thing is very prettily got up, and the price reasonable.

"THE AUSTRALIAN MUSICAL BOUQUET", Empire (29 April 1861), 4

"TO THE EDITOR", Empire (1 May 1861), 3

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 October 1861), 1

MR. EDWIN H. COBLEY, Organist and Choir Master of St. Philip's, Professor of Music, Glebe Road, Glebe.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 July 1862), 1

REMOVAL - Mr. COBLEY, Professor of Music, to Lyndhurst House, Pyrmont Bridge-road.

[News], Evening News (24 June 1874), 2

Mr. E. H. Cobley, the well-known professor of music, died this morning at his residence, Palmer street, from typhoid fever, after an illness of eight days. The funeral will take place to-morrow, will no doubt be largely attended by the professional and other friends of the deceased gentleman. Mr. Cobley's daughter, aged eight years, was buried only at the latter end of last week.

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 June 1874), 1

DEATHS. COBLEY. -June 24, at his residence, Lansdowne House, Palmer-street, Woolloomooloo, Mr. E. H. Cobley, professor of music, after an illness of eight days, aged 44.

Extant musical works:

Les graces, three polkas for the pianoforte by Edwin H. Cobley (London, [1849])

British Library, Music Collections h.944.(15.); BLL01004273931

The Mooltan valse for the pianoforte by Edwin H. Cobley (London: Addison, [1849])

British Library, Music Collections h.944.(16.); BLL01004273932

Fantasia on "Farewell Theresa," from Moore's selection of national airs composed for the pianoforte by E. H. Cobley (?, Gaude, [1853]

British Library, Music Collections h.723.c.(17.); BLL01004273930

Divertimento for the harp introducing the favorite melody Smile again my bonnie lassie composed and dedicated to his pupils, the Misses Bolton, by E. H. Cobley (London: Chappell, [c.1850-55])

British Library, Music Collections h.2605.oo.(15.); BLL01016631898; Music Collections h.2605.nn.(10.); BLL01016818373

The Government House waltz, valse brillante, for the piano forte (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1857]) (DIGITISED)

Le Pillet, a new fashionable Spanish dance (as performed at the London and Parisian Court Balls) by E. H. Cobley (Sydney: Charles T. Sandon, [1860]) (DIGITISED)

Volunteers' Polka Mazurka (Sydney: James Fussell, [1861]; in The Australian musical bouquet, January 1861) (DIGITISED)

St. John's Bishopthorpe L.M. by Edwin H. Cobley; Three double chants by Edwin H. Cobley (Sydney: James C. Fussell, [1861]; in The Australian musical bouquet, April 1861) (NOT DIGITISED; SLNSW only)

Parish Alvars' L'adieu arranged for the piano-forte by Edwin H. Cobley (Sydney: James C. Fussell, [1861]) (DIGITISED)

The Australian bouquet polka ([Sydney]: [James C. Fussell], [1861]; in The Australian musical bouquet) (DIGITISED)

The favourite schottische by Edwin H. Cobley (Sydney: James Fussell, [1861]; in The Australian musical bouquet, November) (NOT DIGITISED; NLA only)

Four waltzes for the piano-forte by Edwin H. Cobley (Sydney: James C. Fussell, [1862]; in The Australian musical bouquet) (DIGITISED)

Spring blossoms, written by Thomas Moser, composed by Edwin H. Cobley (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1872]) (DIGITISED)

Bibliography and resources:

Skinner 2011

Hallo 2014

Other resources (George Cobley 1832-1870) (NLA persistent identifier)

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



Active Sydney, NSW, 1842


[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (24 May 1842), 3


Musician, convict (? Captain Piper's Band)

Active Bathurst, NSW, 1840


[Convict notices], New South Wales Government Gazette (4 March 1840), 210

Cockburn James, Lady Kennaway, 26, Yorkshire, soldier. tailor, and musician, 5 feet 7 1/4 inches, ruddy and freckled comp., brown hair, grey to blue eyes, lost canine tooth left side upper jaw, D under left arm, from J. Piper, Bathurst, since 8th February, 1840.

CODE, Edward Thomas (Mr. E. T. CODE)

Musician, bandmaster, competition adjudicator

Born Bendigo, VIC, 1863 (son of Edward CODE, d.1869, and Susan CLANCY)
Died Carlton, VIC, 3 April 1918 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

CODE, Edward Percival (Percy CODE)

Musicians, cornet player, bandmsater, orchestral conductor, composer

Born South Melbourne, VIC, 3 July 1888 (son of Edward Thomas CODE, and Annie PAYNE)
Died Melbourne, VIC, 16 October 1953 (NLA persistent identifier)


"DEATHS", The Argus (5 April 1918), 1 

CODE. - On the 3rd April, at 225 Lygon street, Carlton, Edward Thomas, the dearly beloved husband of Annie Code; loving father of Percy, Mabel (Mrs. G. A. Charles), Stanley, and Bessie; late bandmaster of the Victorian Police, Prahran City, Code's Melbourne, and 63rd Infantry Bands, aged 54 years. No flowers by request.

"MR. E. T. CODE", The Ararat Advertiser (6 April 1918), 2 

Mr E. T. Code, the well known bandmaster, died on Wednesday night at his residence, Carlton. Born in Bendigo in 1864, he resided in Melbourne for 30 years, and during that time he was bandmaster of several bands, including Code's Melbourne, Prahran City, and the Victorian Police. He was also an adjudicator at many band contests throughout Australia and New Zealand. He leaves a widow, two daughters, and two sons. One son, Mr. Perry Code [sic], is at present a bandmaster at Ballarat, and was formerly solo cornetist with the Besse o'the Barn Band. The deceased, who will be greatly missed by the Police Band, renewed his acquaintance with a number of Ararat friends about three weeks ago, when proceeding to Horsham with the Police Band.

Bibliography and resources:

H. J. Gibbney, "Code, Edward Percival (1888-1953)", Australian dictionary of biography 8 (1981) 

Edward Percival Code, musician, was born on 3 July 1888 at South Melbourne, son of Edward Thomas Code, picture-frame maker and bandmaster, and his wife Mary Ann, née Payne, both from Bendigo. His father, a trumpeter, conducted Code's Melbourne Brass Band from 1892; it was a frequent winner of competitions and won the championship of Australia in 1898-1900. The family included other bandsmen. Taught to play violin and cornet by his father, Percy won numerous cornet competitions while attending school at Faraday Street, Carlton . . .


Music seller's apprentice, "orphan"

Born NSW, c.1823/4
Active Sydney, NSW, 1836 (apprenticed to Francis Ellard)


Male Orphan School Roll book, 1 January 1819 - 18 September 1848 (DIGTISED) (PAGE) (TRANSCRIPT)

261. Name: James Coffin; Age: 5 1/2 when admitted: 13 June 1829; Time of quitting the school: 8th Feb 1836; Parents' names: James & [indecipherable] Coffin; Occupation: received back from Mr McFarlane & absconded . . .

[News], The Sydney Monitor (25 November 1836), 3 

James Coffin, a boy from the Orphan School, apprenticed to Mr. Ellard, of George street, was charged with absconding. Mr. Gisborne said, he thought if Mr. Ellard took the boy home, and gave him a sound flogging, it would have a good effect, and prevent anything of the sort occurring again Mr. E. stated, that he had already tried that method, and it had been of no benefit. - Remanded.



Active Melbourne, VIC, 1852


"CONCERT", The Argus (17 September 1852), 3 

One of the advantages accruing from the discovery of gold was shewn last night at the Concert, which was certainly the best we ever heard here . . . We were glad again to see our old favorite, Mr. Cogdon; and we must not omit honorable mention of our principal songstress, Mrs. Testar . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (21 September 1852), 5 


Ballad - Go, forget me, Mr. Cogdon - Mortimer . . .
Duet - I've wandered, Mrs. Testar and Mr. Cogdon - Wade . . .
Ballad - Irish emigrant, Mr. Cogdon - Barker . . .

COGLIN, Miss (? Miss Helena COGLIN)

Mezzo-soprano vocalist

Active Adelaide, SA, c.1849-52 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


The Miss Coglin active as a concert vocalist in Adelaide around 1850 was certainly one of the two younger daughters of Bartolomew Coglin, of Ballymore, Sligo, who arrived in Hobart with his wife and eldest children on the Lindsay in 1832. Of these, the eldest Patrick Boyce Coglin (1815-1892), was later a prominent South Australian citizen, while Elizabeth (c.1820-1915) married the musician Edmund Leffler in Tasmania in 1844.

Some time after Elizabeth's marriage, the rest of the Coglin family relocated permanently to Adelaide, where, of the other two sisters - Helena (c.1830-1913, sister Mary Xavier Coglin), and Harriet (c.1834-1920) - it is perhaps the elder Helena who is more likely to have been the public singer, though (as of March 2018) I am not yet certain of this.


"CHORAL SOCIETY'S CONCERT", South Australian Gazette and Mining Journal (9 June 1849), 3 

. . . The gem of the evening was certainly "The Infant's Prayer," simply and beautifully given by Miss Coglin. This young lady, with the cultivation which her rich voice deserves, would become a most important acquisition to our vocal force . . .

"THE CHORAL SOCIETY", South Australian Gazette and Mining Journal (22 September 1849), 3 

. . . Mrs. Murray and Miss Coglin, as Norma and Adalgisa, gave us the celebrated duet from Norma. Miss Coglin is improving rapidly; but we would venture to suggest that the constant practice of suddenly raising her voice at the close of her phrases may sometimes be entirely at variance with the real character either of the words or the music. We are, however, glad to see that she is ambitious, because she is fully qualified to become not only a singer but a good one. Nature has done her part - cultivation and study must do the rest . . .

"THE CHORAL SOCIETY'S CONCERT", South Australian Gazette and Mining Journal (4 April 1850), 3 

. . . The two overtures were neatly executed, and Wallace's trio from Maritana very cleverly sung; Miss Coglin's fine mezzo soprano voice telling well in the harmonistd parts . . .

"CONVERSAZIONE", Adelaide Times (24 May 1851), 5 

The Quarterly Conversazione of the Mechanics' Institute took place on Tuesday evening at the Exchange. The room was crowded to excess, and the company were respectable and orderly. Mr Pitman, of the S.A. Bar, delivered a lecture upon Music . . . The usual concert followed, the singers being Mesdames Murray, Crantz, and Coglih, and Messrs. Crantz, and J. W. Daniels; and the instrumental performers, Mr. Wallace and Mr. White. A buffo quartette in the style of Vadasi via di qua was capitally sung by Mrs. Murray, Miss Coglin, and Messrs. Crantz and Daniels, and received an encore . . . Miss Coglin's re-appearance in an Adelaide concert room we hail with satisfaction, for in the present dearth of vocal talent we can ill afford to lose a voice so sweet, and a taste so correct. The proceedings of the evening gave great satisfaction.

COHEN, Jacob

Musician, theatre musician, singer, dancer, teacher of music and dancing, actor

Born ? London, England, 13 December 1834
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), May 1841 (free, son of a convict)
Active professionally by 1848
Married (1) Harriet WINDOVER, 1873
Married (2) Alice Elizabeth SURNAM, 1874
Died Jerusalem, TAS, 22 October 1886 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


? "SUPREME COURT . . . Tuesday, 15th June", South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register (19 June 1847), 2 

Abraham Meyers, alias Cohen, a young man who has occasionally figured as a dancer at one of the theatres, was charged with feloniously assaulting John Rees, and stealing from his person a half sovereign and other coins . . . At length a verdict of Not Guilty was recorded. His Honor strongly recommended the prisoner to quit the theatrical profession, and attend closely to his trade, that of a shoemaker, by which he could earn a good and a far more respectable living.

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (4 March 1848), 1 

"OLYMPIC THEATRE", The Cornwall Chronicle (29 March 1848), 2 

The house on Monday night was respectably attended. The Drama of the Dutch Trooper was well sustained; the dancing of Miss Eliza Thompson the "Taglioni" of Tasmania, was elegant, and Cohen did credit to Mr. Campbell whose pupil we understand he is. Mr. Cohen has in a abort time obtained much proficiency in the Terpsichorean department which will at once prove what intuitive genius will accomplish under proper instruction; but (and we really do not like the word "but") let the good sense of the management prevent such songs as "Hurrah for the Roads" forming a portion of the evening's amusement; this and a leetle more attention to the author from a "rising" young man, and we will predict success to the Theatre.

"THE THEATRE", The Cornwall Chronicle (5 April 1848), 2 

. . . Mr. Cohen, (whose merits as a dancer are well known) takes his benefit tomorrow night, when "Jonathan Bradford" and other attractive entertainments are to be be produced.

"AMUSEMENTS", Hobarton Guardian, or, True Friend of Tasmania (14 July 1852), 3 

[Advertisement], The Courier (8 April 1854), 3 

Marriages in the district of Hobart Town, 1873; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:877551; RGD37/1/32 no 181 

Marriages in the district of Hobart Town, 1874; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:880581; RGD37/1/33 no 245 

Deaths in the district of Richmond, 1886; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1170191; RGD35/1/55 no 1091 

"JERUSALEM", Launceston Examiner (6 November 1886), 1 supplement 

On 25 ult. an inquest was held on the body of Jacob Cohen, who died suddenly. After hearing the medical testimony the jury returned a verdict that death resulted from heart disease. Mr. Cohen as a musician could scarcely be surpassed; he was also a teacher of dancing.

Bibliography and resources:

Levi 2013, These are the names, 146

COHEN, John G.

Merchant, occasional importer of musical instruments

Active Sydney, NSW, 1854


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 August 1854), 7 

POSTPONED until WEDNESDAY next, in order that the Public may view this
A very superb assortment of Musical Instruments, adapted for the use of Bands, Theatres, our Volunteer and Yeomanry Corps. JOHN G. COHEN will sell, at the Bank Auction Rooms, on WEDNESDAY next, August 9th, at 11 o'clock precisely, A superior assortment of musical Instruments
Pianos; Key bugles; Double basses, with boxes; Posthorns; Violoncello, [with boxes]; Flutes, in ebony, cocoa, and box; Violins; Tenors; Clarionets for each scale; Guitars; Oboes; Concertinas; Piccolos; Accordeons; Fifes; Ophicleides; Brass drums; Bassoons; Concert [drums]; Serpent bassoons; Tenor [drums]; Trombones; Strings for double basses, violoncellos, violins, tenors; Trumpets; Cornopeans. Catalogues will be ready for delivery at the Rooms on Monday next. Goods on view two days prior to the day of sale. Terms at sale.

COHEN, Lewis

Dancing master

Active Adelaide, SA, 1854; Hobart, TAS, by 1856


"PRIVATE BALL", Adelaide Times (28 April 1854), 3 

A private ball was given at Mr Hart's Family Hotel, Currie-street, on Monday evening last. The music was very good, and the dancing, under the direction of Mr. Lewis Cohen, late of her Majesty's Theatre, London. The wines and refreshments were of first-rate quality, and the greatest harmony and conviviality prevailed during the evening. The party did not break up till a late hour. We understand that the parties present requested Mr. Hart to give monthly meetings during the season, which he promised to do.

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (11 May 1854), 2 

"THE Probate of the Will of the late Mr. Judah Solomon . . . ", Colonial Times (27 February 1856), 3 

. . . The house, 39, Macquarie-street, is likewise devised to testator's daughter, Lydia now the wife of Mr. Lewis Cohen, of Hobart Town, dancing master . . .

COLEMAN, Mr. (Mr. COLEMAN, the American serenader)

Entertainer, vocalist

Active Maitland, NSW, August-September 1849 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Master of the band of the 4th or King's Own Regiment, keyed bugle player, oboist

Born c. 1798
Arrived Sydney, NSW, by mid-1832
Departed Sydney, NSW, 8 August 1837 (per John, for India) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

See also

Band of the 4th Regiment (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Coleman was born in England in c.1798, and in 1807, aged 9, became a drummer boy in the 29th Regiment, which was posted to the Peninsula in 1808. From there he must have travelled with the regiment to North America (1814), and back to Europe in 1816. From 1824 to 1831 he was a principal keyed bugler in the Royal Artillery Band. In 1831 he was appointed bandmaster of the 4th Regiment for its Australian tour (1831-1837) and later briefly in India. He was discharged in 1839, aged 41, "worn out in the service".

The first Sydneysiders read in the press of Coleman's band was a report, in September 1832, that one of his more promising young bandsmen had drowned on the voyage out. In February 1833, the people of Parramatta were complaining that they could only hear the band of the 4th regiment playing behind its barrack-yard walls.

Coleman was named in the press in August 1833 advertising a reward for the return of a "light brown fur boa" lost in Sydney, and in October he assisted fellow bandmaster Lewis (17th Regiment) in a concert in Parramatta. He appeared as an instrumentalist in Thomas Stubbs's concert in April 1835. At a regimental theatre night in Parramatta in July:

The overture of Guilleaume Tell, played by the full band, under the able direction of Mr. Coleman, (master) excited great attention from all parts of the house, and was a great treat to all lovers of music.

Various government, civic, masonic, and theatrical performances (at the Theatre Royal, Sydney) continued throughout 1836. In a letter to the press in March 1836, he detailed his band's program for the recent St. Patrick's Day celebrations. He gave his own concert in Sydney in August 1837, supported by an almost complete representation of key local professionals. Barnett Levey presented a snuff box to Coleman in May 1837 "for his leading the [theatre] Orchestra, whenever the use of the band has been permitted".


[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (1 September 1832), 2

[News], The Sydney Monitor (6 February 1833), 3

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (1 August 1833), 4

[Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (2 October 1833), 3

"THE CONCERT", The Sydney Monitor (25 April 1835), 3

"Fourth or King's Own Theatre, Parramatta", The Sydney Herald (9 July 1835), 3

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (12 July 1836), 3

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (13 October 1836), 1

[Letter] "To the Editor", The Australian (25 March 1836), 2

[News], The Australian (12 August 1836), 2

[Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (13 August 1836), 3

"MUSIC AND MUSICIANS", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (23 August 1836), 2

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (13 May 1837), 3

"LOCAL NEWS", The Sydney Herald (7 August 1837), 9

"SHIPPING ARRIVALS" [Madras, 6 October 1837], Parbury's oriental herald and colonial intelligencer (118

Bibliography and resources:

Henry G. Farmer, Memoirs of the Royal artillery band: its origin, history and progress: and account of rise of military music in England (London and New York: Boosey & Co., 1904), 79 note 5 

. . . The bandmaster of the 4th King's Own from 1831-9 was George Coleman, also from the R.A. Band.

Henry G. Farmer, History of the Royal Artillery Band, 1762-1953 (London: Royal Artillery Institution, 1954), 437, 446

[437] [Royal Artillery] PRINCIPAL KEYED BUGLERS . . . 157. 1826 Msn. George Coleman (1824-1831)


COLEMAN, Mr. J. (? John)

Clarinettist (? band of the 40th Regiment)

Active Melbourne, VIC, 1854


[Advertisement], The Argus (28 January 1854), 8


Band of the 40th Regiment (second tour)


Edwin Colley and Henry Colley, both natives of Birmingham, England, were first cousins. They were the sons, respectively, of the brothers Christopher Colley (1805-1844), and George Colley (c.1806-1881), both stone masons and carvers. In the 1851 English census, Henry, aged 19, living in London in the parish of St. John's, Smith Square, was also listed a "carver". Edwin, on arrival in New South Wales, worked as a stone mason.

In the musical references to "Mr. Colley" in the 1850s, it is not possible to identify one or other positively, though most probably refer to Edwin, who also appears separately as "E. Colley".

J. H. Plunkett's 1858 reference to Colley, an instructor in the Hullah method, was probably Edwin, though Henry also advertised as a Hullah system instructor in Kiama in 1860.

Both appear to have been close associates of James Churchill Fisher.

John Colley (c.1813-1907), a schoolmaster and leading local figure in the Illawarra, was perhaps a relative.

Henry spent the early part of his career as a municipal officer in Balmain (by 1863) and Glebe.


Amateur vocalist, singing-class instructor, stone mason

Born Birmingham, England, 15 August 1830; baptised St. Philip, Birmingham, 6 January 1831 (son of Christopher COLLEY, stone mason, and Priscilla KNIGHT)
? Arrived Sydney, NSW, 1852
Married Margaret Lothian POUSTIE, Sydney, NSW, 28 April 1858
Died Hamilton, Newcastle, NSW, 26 March 1919, in his 89th year (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


? "Shipping Intelligence. ARRIVALS", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (21 February 1852), 3 

? "SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", Empire (7 August 1852), 2 

[Advertisement], Empire (8 August 1855), 1 

Principal Performers: Miss Flora Harris; Mrs. G. Harris (her second appearance); Mrs. St. John Adcock (who will make her first appearance as a Pianist these two years); and Messrs. Fisher, R. Walcot, T. Holme, and E. Colley; assisted by an efficient and powerful chorus. Conductor, Mr. Fisher. Pianoforte, Mr. Harwood.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 September 1858), 1 

PITT-STREET CONGREGATIONAL SINGING CLASS. - New members and all others interested are informed that the First Lessons will be REPEATED THIS EVENING, at a quarter to 7. Full class meeting at half-past 7 o'clock. EDWIN COLLEY.

"ADVANTAGES OF MUSIC", The Sydney Morning Herald (11 October 1858), 5 

The following are the preliminary observations made by J. H. Plunkett, Esq., M.P., on Tuesday evening last, in his lecture delivered at the Lyceum Theatre: - . . . The system alluded to, and known as Hullah's system of singing, has been generally adopted (as we perceive) in England . . . Mr. Chizlett, Mr. Colley, and others teach the same system here, and it would be very desirable to see it practised more generally at our public and private schools . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 November 1858), 10 

PITT-STREET CONGREGATIONAL SINGING CLASS. - Ladies and Gentlemen possessing a partial knowledge of music, and wishing to pursue the study, are invited to join the Class. The present quarter will terminate next Tuesday evening, when tickets will be issued for the ensuing quarter. The class meets for practice every TUESDAY EVENING, at half-past 7. EDWIN COLLEY, Conductor.


Amateur vocalist, singing class instructor, choirmaster

Born Birmingham, England, 1 January 1832 (son of Thomas Colley and Thirza KNIGHT)
Active Kiama, NSW, by October 1860
Died Harris Park, Parramatta, NSW, 8 March 1892 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

COLLEY, Mary Anne Cecilia (PHILLIPS; Mrs. Henry COLLEY)

Organist, vocalist

Born New Wharf, Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 20 October 1844
Died ? Lambeth, London, England, 1918


Soprano vocalist

Born Parramatta, NSW, 18 May 1872
Married (1) Sidney COHEN, Coney Island, New York, USA, 22 October 1899
Married (2) Leo DRYDEN, Lavender Hill, London, England, 14 February 1906
Died London, ? 1947


[Advertisement], Examiner (27 October 1860), 3 

Kiama Singing Class. LADIES and GENTLEMEN who intend to join MR. H. COLLEY'S VOCAL MUSIC CLASS, are hereby informed that a list is now lying at Mr. HARVISON'S, Manning-street. A good opportunity now offers to those who desire to learn to sing, the system adopted (Hullah's) being at once simple and efficacious, and it is desirable that the names of those who wish to become pupils be given in at once, as no one can be admitted after the course of lessons has commenced.

"MR. H. COLLEY'S CONCERTS", Illawarra Mercury (12 April 1861), 3 

These entertainments which were advertised to take place during the present week have been indefinitely postponed. We need scarcely say that the immediate cause was the paucity of the attendance, caused by the heavy rains and consequent muddiness of the streets. On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings not more than eight or ten persons were present. On Tuesday evening Mr. Colley announced that the tickets would be available for the following, or any other, evening; but the weather on the following evening being equally unpropitious, the money was returned to those who bad purchased tickets. On both occasions, however, Mr. Colley was determined that the few assembled should not depart without a song, and rarely in this district have we had an opportunity of spending a more pleasant hour or of listening to songs sung with greater feeling and good taste. On Wednesday evening several admirable glees were sung by Messrs. Colley and Fisher and Miss Barr, as also several duets and solo. Miss Barr shews a marked improvement not only in her singing, but also in her piano accompaniments and we can only trust that at some future day, and under more favorable circumstances, Mr. Colley and his friends may be again induced to visit us, and meet with the success which should always attend proficiency in music. We are confident that the singing in parts requires only to be heard in order to secure a numerous attendance.

"PARRAMATTA. FAREWELL ADDRESS", The Sydney Morning Herald (20 October 1876), 11 

On the evening of the l8th instant a number of the friends of Mrs. Henry Colley, for some years organist of St. Patrick's Church, met in the school-room-adjoining that church for the purpose of presenting her with an address and purse of sovereigns on the occasion of her departure to reside nearer Sydney . . .

[Advertisement], The Cumberland Mercury (13 September 1879), 5 

"Current News", The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (8 December 1888), 2 

The newly reorganised choir of St. Patrick's Church, Parramatta, entered upon their duties for the first time at 11 o'clock Mass on Sunday last, and rendered Hoyden's 10th Mass in a most effective manner. The Rev. Father O'Reilly chanted the Missa Cantata. Mr. Colley conducted and Mrs. Colley presided at the organ. The solos wore taken by Mrs. O'Reilly (soprano), Miss Miles (contralto), Mr. Thompson-Brown (tenor), and Mr. Garland (bass). The choir was augmented by the assistance of Miss Ada Colley and Miss Barrett (soprano), Miss Salloway (contralto), Mr. W. J. Ferris (tenor), and Mr. Colley (bass). The latter gentleman also sang in "Invitatory" at the opening of the Mass. At the offertory Mrs. O'Reilly sang Millard's beautiful "Ave Verum" in a truly devotional manner. Mr. Thompson-Brown did full justice to the same composer's "Ave Maria."

"Death of Mr. Henry Colley", The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (12 March 1892), 7 

The announcement we regret to have to make of the unexpected death of Mr. Henry Colley, Chief Clerk in the Hospital for Insane, Parramatta, after a few days illness, will come as a shock to those who know the regular habits of his life, his splendid physique, and who only last week met him in the full enjoyment of health and strength, and will be the cause of heartfelt sorrow to everyone who had been acquainted with him either in his official capacity or as a private citizen, while the deepest sympathy will be extended to the heart-broken widow and orphans left to mourn their irreparable loss.

On Thursday evening Mr. Colley partook of some stewed plums at dinner which he heartily enjoyed, and, as usual, spent a few hours in the bosom of his family. He retired to rest but was shortly after seized with violent pains and Dr. J. Kearney was at once in attendance. That gentleman administered remedies but realising the danger his patient was in met Dr. Bowman in consultation and subsequently Dr. Williamson and Dr. Godson, but though several operations were performed the patient gradually sank, and on Monday evening it was apparent that the grim reaper death had claimed another victim. The Rev. Father O'Reilly was sent for and administered the last solemn rites of his church, and hope again rose in the hearts of the anxious watchers as the patient seemed to rally and stated that he [? free] was of all pain. To the experienced eyes of the medical attendants however, this was only a forerunner of the end and at 2 o'clock on Tuesday morning Mr. Colley passed peacefully away. The immediate cause of death being perotinitis.

In his early days Mr. Colley resided in Sydney where his talent as a tenor singer of more than than ordinary sweetness and his cleverness as a musician made him much sought after. Here too he became acquainted with tho accomplished Miss Phillips, of Balmain, sister of Mr. Gerard Phillips, the present Mayor of North Sydney, and eventually they entered the bonds of wedlock. Shortly after, Mr. Colley left the Glebe where he had filled the position of Council Clerk and some 25 years ago came to Parramatta to carry on the on the duties of Council Clerk for this borough. This office he vacated after a little while and attached himself to the Sherrif's Department from which he resigned to take the office of clerk in the Lunatic Asylum here. He gained promotion by degrees and for the last 20 years has occupied the post of chief clerk and superintendent of stores in the same institution. As a government officer Mr. Colley was scrupulously conscientious, ever prompt and strict in the discharge of his onerous duties, and firm in seeing that those under him were equally faithful.

As a private gentleman he was most genial in manner though rather retiring in disposition and made for himself hosts of friends. His one great hobby was music. Talented himself and united to a lady endowed with a genius for harmony, it was only natural that music in all its branches had the greatest of charms for the musical pair. Mr. Colley was a man however imbued with deeply religious feelings and the solemn grandeur of the music of the Roman Catholic Church had therefore peculiar attractions for him, so he was not long settled in Parramatta when he took charge of the choir of St. Patrick's Church, Mrs. Colley at the same time presiding at the organ and leading the singing. He was also connected with all the musical societies that have been started in the town since his advent to it, and his able services were ever at the disposal of anyone who called on them. In home life, Mr. Colley was the model of what a husband and father should be, the harmony which he loved being as dear to him in his daily life as in the realms of music. He has gone to his reward, and left behind him a widow and seven orphans and to these lorn ones deprived of a loving husband and a tender parent the hearts of all must go out in commiseration and if the condolence of sympathising friends can pierce the gloom of their sorrow Mrs. Colley and her children will be strengthened to bear their bereavement with resignation.

The funeral procession moved from deceased's residence, Station-street, at 8.45 on Wednesday morning, thence by train to Rookwood, where the Rev. Father O'Reilly officiated at the grave. The officers and attendants from the asylum, and a large gathering of friends took part in the mournful ceremony, the Rev. Father O'Reilly being deeply affected as he read the solemn words consigning to earth the remains of a man whose like can ill be spared.

"Current News", The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (2 April 1892), 4 

The leading musical ladies of Parramatta in order to join in their tribute of respect to the memory of the late Mr. Henry Colley, assistant superintendent of the Hospital for Insane, who, with his accomplished wife, had ever been foremost in placing his exceptional musical talents at the service of every good and charitable movement, have decided to tender a complimentary concert to Mrs. Colley, which will take place in the Town Hall, Parramatta, at an early date. When the matter was mooted by Mrs. Sommerville Low, Mrs. Dr. Bowman, and Mrs. Burnett, they had quite a host of the leading musical professionals and amateurs in the town and the metropolis offering their services, and expressing a desire to be identified with an object that was so in accord with their own feelings. Mr. Arthur Massey has taken the position of musical director, and his present difficulty is to choose among the many clever artistes who have sent in their names. It may be mentioned that as the concert is nominally a complimentary one to Mrs. Henry Colley, but in reality more of a desire among the deceased gentleman's musical friends to pay honor to his memory, the proceeds will be devoted towards preparing the way for the professional debut of Miss Ada Colley, the eldest daughter of the house, who is possessed of a really phenomenal soprano voice of extraordinary sweetness and range, and who has already given evidence of having inherited from her parents talents, which will place her in the first rank of musical artistes of the day.

"ADA COLLEY", The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (18 April 1906), 2 

Ada Colley, the Sydney soprano with the phenomenal top note and the golden hair, was married quietly to Leo Dryden, at Lavender Hill, London, on February 14th. Dryden's first wife died while he was in Australia, but we had not heard that either death or divorce had parted the North Sydney skylark and the wealthy Jewish diamond merchant whom she married in New York about seven years ago. Ada's sister, Birdie Colley, dances at the British halls under the name of Madge Mayfield. - Exchange.

COLLIN, Leopold Frederick (Herr COLLIN)

Pianist (pupil of Mendelssohn, pupil of Thalberg, late Pianist to His Majesty to the King of Saxony), musicseller, music publisher

Born c. 1832
Active Melbourne, VIC, by 1853
Died Windsor, VIC, Melbourne, 23 June 1912, aged 80 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

COLLIN, Robert Leopold

Music warehouseman

Died Melbourne, VIC, 17 July 1925 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


[Advertisement], The Argus (5 November 1853), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (25 August 1854), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (28 August 1854), 8

"EVENING CLASSES", Portland Guardian (30 April 1863), 2

[Advertisement], Portland Guardian (25 May 1863), 1

[Advertisement], The Argus (1 March 1867), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (26 April 1867), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (1 November 1870), 8

"CONCERT AT ST. GEORGE'S HALL", The Argus (4 November 1870), 5

"NEW INSOLVENTS", The Argus (13 August 1872), 5

"HERR COLLIN'S PUPILS' CONCERT", Bendigo Advertiser (23 July 1874), 2

"MARRIAGE", Bendigo Advertiser (3 January 1878), 2

[Advertisement], The Argus (6 April 1878), 12

[News], The Argus (29 May 1878), 4

"DEATHS", The Argus (24 June 1912), 1

"IN MEMORIAM", The Argus (12 July 1918), 1

"WILLS AND ESTATES", The Argus (28 March 1925) 34

Sample "editions" (local covers only: L. F. Collin, Melbourne):

J. W. Turner, The fairies' wedding waltz 

Jules Schulhoff, Seconde grande valse brillante, Op. 20 

D. Steibelt, The storm rondo, op. 33 

Bibliography and resources:

Neidorf 1999, 266 (DIGITISED)


Pianist, accompanist

Active Geelong, VIC, 1854


"THE CONCERT", Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (30 October 1854), 4 

. . . Mrs. Collins, on the piano, accompanied all the songs, duetts, and flute solos, and was scarcely ever off the stage. We understand that although it was her first appearance, she is a permanent resident in Geelong, and we trust that for the futare no concert will be given without securing her talents . . .


Governor, judge-advocate, author, Indigenous culture and song reporter

Born London, England, 3 March 1756
Died TAS, 24 March 1810 (NLA persistent identifier)


"Deaths Abroad", The Monthly Magazine (1 February 1811), 98

Bibliography and resources:

"Collins, David (1756-1810)", Australian dictionary of biography 1 (1966) 



Arrived Sydney, NSW, around May 1833 (free ? assisted emigrant)
Died Sydney, NSW, 8 November 1833


[News], The Sydney Monitor (9 November 1833), 3

Yesterday, an Inquest was held at the Star Inn, Kent-street, on the body of Robert Collins, an Emigrant, residing with his wife and tour children in that street, and who had been in the colony six months. It appeared in evidence, that he had procured 2oz. of laudanum, went home to his bed, and swallowed the draught during the absence of his wife. His son, a boy of 14 years old, slept in the same room; and yesterday morning between 7 and 8 o'clock, perceived that his parent was on the point of death; he soon afterwards expired. The unfortunate man had long been struggling with poverty and disappointment; and on Monday last, at Parramatta, had been robbed of a case containing musical instruments, worth fifteen pounds (he occasionally acted as a musician). This loss, with other disappointments, rendered him frantic; and on his return home last Wednesday, he betrayed symptoms of insanity. The Jury, after due deliberation, returned a verdict of--"destroyed himself by poison, in a temporary fit of insanity."


Amateur flute player, flautist, ? cellist, solicitor, Solicitor-general

Born Woolwich, England, 23 April 1830
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 1853
Died Kogarah, NSW, 21 September 1901 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"AMATEUR CONCERT", Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (28 November 1857), 2 

. . . Mr. James Browne upon the violin, aided by a French gentleman as second, performed several pieces in good taste, and Mr. Colquhoun's flute trilled forth its dulcet notes in several solos to the great delight of the audience, and was deservedly encored . . .

"THE LATE MR. GEORGE COLQUHOUN", Evening News (23 September 1901), 5 

Mr. George Colquboun, the Crown Solicitor, whose death was announced in the "Evening News" on Saturday, was born on April 23, 1830, at Woolwich (England), and was the eldest son of the late James Colquhoun, solicitor, of that town. Mr. Colqdhoun was educated at Dr. Smithers'e College, at Greenwich, and at the age of 16 was articled to his father, and passed his final examination at the age of 21, being the youngest solicitor on the English roll when he was admitted. He left England for Australia in 1853, and on arrival in Sydney entered the service of the Bank of Australasia. Two years later he was admitted as a solicitor of New South Wales, and practised in Bathurst, Forbes, and Maitland. In 1876 be returned to Sydney, and was managing clerk to Messrs. Went, Johnson, and Want, and afterwards manager for Messrs. Allen and Allen, subsequently becoming a partner in the latter firm. In 1894 he was appointed Crown Solicitor. Mr. Colquhoun was a musician of much talent, and once performed on the flute before the late Queen at Exeter Hall, London . . .

"MR. GEORGE COLQUHOUN", The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (28 September 1901), 774 

. . . On one occasion Mr. Colquhoun successfully defended Ben Hall from a charge of cattle-stealing . . . Mr. Colquhoun was a gentleman of musical tastes, his favourite instruments being the 'cello and flute, on which latter instrument he once performed before the late Queen at Exeter Hall . . .


Journalist, composer

Born 1819
Toured Australia, 1888
Died 1898


In his book Au pays des kangourous et des mines d'or ("étude des moeurs et coutumes australiennes: impressions de voyage") (Paris: Fischbacher, l890), Comettant famously hazarded:

Certainement, il n'en existe pas où l'on trouve un plus grand nombre de pianos, par rapport à la population. On a évaluéà 700,000 le nombre de ces instruments, expédiés d'Europe pour l'Australie, depuis que ce vaste territoire est devenu un centre de population blanche. C'est que, partout dans ce pays, le piano est considérécomme un meuble de première nécessité (178)

He also wrote that his first act on arriving in Melbourne was to compose "a triumphal march for piano" Salut à Melbourne ("mon premier acte dans ce pays où j'allais passer trois mois fut de le saluer . . . en musique. Je le fis en écrivant une marche triomphale pour piano sous ce titre: Salut à Melbourne") (41), later printed (Paris: Mackar & Noël, [1889]; copy at Paris, BnF:

Comettant also mentioned a "chant maritime de M. Hugot", regarding the ship on which he came to Australia, Le Sydney, of which he quotes four lines (40); though it was perhaps not an actual composition of his, as Covell (Australia's music, 31) seemed to suggest, at least to those others who repeated it.


[News], The Argus (4 October 1888), 9

"A FRENCH JOURNALIST ON JOURNALISM", The Mercury (22 October 1888), 4

Messrs Allan and Co. have made arrangements for a series of concerts and recitals on the instruments under their charge in the Exhibition building. The first of these took place yesterday afternoon, when Miss Alice Sydney Burvett gave a recital on one of Pleyell, Wollf, and Co's pianos in the French court . . . Miss Burvett performed the following programme, viz. - Adagio and Rondo, "Sonata Pathétique," Beethoven; Adagio and Finale, Haydn; Le Poete Mourant, Gottschalk; Marche, "Salut à Melbourne," Oscar Comettant; Variations, Menuetto and Turkish Rondo, Mozart; Venetian Barcarolle, Mendelssohn; and Grand Fantasia on Spanish Airs, Ravina. The talented pianiste displayed her wonted brilliancy, and in the "Salut à Melbourne" was called upon for an encore. M. Commettant, the composer, was present, and asked Miss Burvett's acceptance of a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (12 December 1888), 2

"A FRENCHMAN IN MELBOURNE", The Argus (19 February  1889), 8

"A PARISIAN JOURNALIST IN AUSTRALIA", The Argus (15 April 1890), 6

Australian "editions":

La sympathie, valse senimentale pour piano par Oscar Comettant (Melbourne: W. H. Glen & Co., [? 1885/86]) 


Professor of music, organist, music teacher, piano tuner

Born Paignton, Devon, England, 15 March 1800
Married Jane TOZER (1804-1874), Totnes, Devon, England, 21 June 1825
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 28/29 March 1859 ((per Prince of Wales, from London, 4 January)
Died Ashburton, Canterbury, NZ, 17 February 1876 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

COMPTON, Charles Henry

Pianist, organist, composer, teacher, journalist, inventor, merchant trader

Born Totnes, Devon, England, 10 August 1830 / ? 1831 (son of Henry COMPTON and Jane TOZER)
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 19 January 1859 (per Planet, from London, via Plymouth, 16 September 1858)
Died Adelaide, SA, 21 September 1883 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (TROVE list)


Henry Compton, professor of music, of Totnes, Devon, was for many years organist of Totnes Church (St. Mary's), before he and his family emigrated to Victoria in 1859.

His eldest daughter, Christian Compton (Mrs. William Edward Paige; 1826-1915) was a pupil at the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied under Sterndale Bennett.

Henry's eldest son, Charles Henry Compton arrived in Melbourne in January 1859, followed in March by his parents, two younger sisters, and his younger brother Frederick Compton, later a music teacher and journalist (see entry on him below).

Another brother George Spencer Compton, later a shipping and mining engineer, also arrived in Melbourne in the late 1850s (perhaps as early as 1857), and was a keen amateur musician.

Henry Compton advertised as a teacher of music, and piano tuner, in St. Kilda and later Windsor, in 1859 and 1860.

Like his elder sister, Charles Henry Compton was also a student at the Royal Academy of Music, a pupil of Frederick Lablache and Frank Mori, and later organist of the Queen's Savoy Chapel, London. There are 8 pre-Australian printed works by C. H. Compton in the British Library, and also an American edition of his Longfellow setting Stars of the summer night.

His first Australian press advertisement reads:

MR. CHAS. H. COMPTON, late organist of Her Majesty's Chapel Royal, PROFESSOR of SINGING, Pianoforte, and Harmonium. For terms and testimonials apply at Wilkie's pianoforte warehouse, Collins-street, where all Mr. Compton's new and popular songs maybe obtained.

His first Grand Musical Entertainment in Melbourne in April 1859 included a waltz, Violante "composed expressly for this occasion" (but in fact, published some years previously in England), and the song When I was young, composed for Octavia Hamilton, who arrived in Australia at the same time.

By July 1859, Compton was organist of Christ Church, South Yarra. He was later organist of St. Francis's Catholic cathedral, in Melbourne, and St. George's Anglican catherdal in Perth, as well as holding several positions as organist in Adelaide.


"EPISCOPAL VISITATION OF THE BISHOP OF EXETER", St. James Chronicle And General Evening Post [London, England] (13 August 1839), 1

On Monday last the Bishop of Exeter held his visitation at Totnes . . . The service commenced in the spacious parish church of Totnes, at 11 o'clock . . . Mr. Compton presided at the organ, and the choir sang in a manner that did them great credit, Clarke's anthem from the 76th Psalm, 1st verse, "In Judah is God known" . . .

"TOTNES", Exeter and Plymouth Gazette (6 July 1844), 3

The Last Concert for the season given by the pupils of the Royal Academy of Music, took place Saturday, at Hanover Square Rooms, London, at which Miss Compton, daughter of Mr. Compton, organist, of Totnes, together with Miss E. Bendixen, a fellow student, performed a magnificent duet on two grand piano-fortes, which proved eminently successful and highly creditable to both. Among the distinguished company present, were his Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, with a great number of the nobility, &c. Miss Compton has been a student at the Royal Academy for the last four years, most of which time she has been studying under that celebrated pianist, Mr. Sterndale Bennett, and appears to have acquired in an eminent degree his style of playing. We are informed it is her intention after tbe present vacation, to settle at Totnes: we therefore congratulate the inhabitants of the locality, on the prospect of having talented and scientific an instructress music residing among them.

1851, census for England, Devon, Totnes, 2a; UK PRO, HO 107/1874

47 / Fore Street / Henry Compton / Head / Mar. / 51 / Professor of Music / [born] Paignton [Devon]
Jane [Compton] / Wife / [Mar.] / 47 / [Professor of music]
Christian [Compton] / Dau. / [Unmarried] / 24 / [Professor of music] / Totnes
Charles H. [Compton] / Son / [Unmarried] / 20 / [Professor of music] / [Totnes]
Anna [Compton] /Dau. / [Unmarried] / 19 / Governess / [Totnes]
George S. [Compton] / Son / [Unmarried] / 17 / Office Clerk / [Totnes]

[Review], The Exeter and Plymouth gazette [England] (17 May 1851), 6

The Stella Polka. London: Leader and Cocks. This is an elaborate and elegant composition for the piano-forte, by Mr. C. H. Compton, of Totnes, and is dedicated to Mrs. Northcote, of Ashprington House.

"TOTNES", The western times [Devon, England] (13 December 1851), 7

Mr. C. H. Compton, of this town, has just produced a new piece of music, entitled "The South Devon Polka." The melody is said to be "sparkling," and the time well marked - qualities which will, no doubt, be appreciated by the public. This polka is Mr. Compton's second production this class of music.

"TOTNES. THE CHOIR", Western Courier, West of England Conservative, Plymouth and Devonport Advertiser (31 December 1851), 3

On Christmas-day selections appropriate to the occasion, from Handel's Meassiah, including the "Hallelujah Chorus," were sung in the Chuech, and the service was concluded with the old Hundredth Psalm. The choir was led by Mr. Compton, the organist, and the performers, both instrumental and vocal, filled their parts well.

"NEW MUSIC", The Exeter and Plymouth gazette (29 October 1853), 6

The Violante Waltz, for the Pianoforte, by Charles H. Compton. London: Cramer, Beale, and Co. We have already had frequent occasions to notice Mr. C. H. Compton's pleasing musical pieces, - and we are happy to perceive that they are appreciated in other quarters as well as in Devonshire - his native county. The waltz before us, which is dedicated to Miss Peel, is a charming composition and will become a decided favourite.

[New music], Bell's new weekly messenger [London, England] (18 December 1853), 6

Violante Waltz. C. H. Compton. - This is one of the beet of Mr. Compton's compositions; the melody is highly attractive and pleasing, the treatment musician-like, and is well calculated for a divertimento, being brilliant in character, and not difficult of execution.

"TOTNES", Dorset county chronicle (10 August 1854), 6

Mr. Charles H. Compton, son Mr. Henry Compton, of this town, has just patented an invention which, if successful, will prove of great importance in railway locomotion, and which has been highly approved of by many of the engineers connected with the different railway companies in the kingdom. It consists of self adjusting railway break, which is brought into operation in a train of carriages by the buffer rods being pushed in, consequent on the engine driver of the train diminishing the speed, and applying the ordinary break to his engine, from which it will be perceived that the greater the speed, and the heavier the train, the greater is the power by which the break is applied.

"TOTNES. LIBERAL GIFT", Exeter and Plymouth Gazette (30 May 1857), 7

A lady residing in this neighbourhood has made the palish a gift of a new organ for the church, as well as a sum of money to be invested in the funds, the interest to be appropriated as a salary for the organist. Our readers will be pleased to learn that Mr. Charles H. Compton, organist of Her Majesty's Savoy-street chapel (Duchy of Lancaster,) and a native of this town, is appointed organist.

"TOTNES", Western times (13 November 1858), 7

Mr. Fogwill gave notice that at the next meeting of the council he should move that Mr. Henry Compton (who has been organist at Totnes Church and resided in the town above 25 years) was about to emigrate to Australia, the Mayor and Town Council should get up subscription to convey to him the respect of his fellow townsmen.

"SHIPPING", The Age (20 January 1859), 4 

[Advertisement], The Argus (8 March 1859), 6

[Advertisement], The Argus (18 April 1859), 8

"CHRISTCHURCH SOUTH YARRA. To the Editor" [2 letters], The Argus (5 July 1859), 6

[Advertisement], The Argus (15 November 1859), 8 

MR. COMPTON, PROFESSOR of MUSIC, Teacher of the Pianoforte, Harmony, and Singing, attends pupils at thelr residences twice a week. Pianofortes tuned, regulated, and repaired. For terms apply at his address, Minerva Cottage, Argyle-street east, St. Kilda.

"TOTNES. MR. H. COMPTON", Western Times [Devon, England] (19 November 1859), 6

A letter has been received from Mr. H. Compton, (late organist at Totnes church), who it will be remembered left Totnes at Christmas last for Melbourne, the following extracts will no doubt be read with pleasure by many of his friends. After alluding in very grateful terms to the kindness shewn him at his departure, he says:

"We arrived here after a prosperous voyage of weeks on the 28th March, both the voyage and our prospects have been most auspicious. I took out 4 piano fortes and have disposed of them most advantageously. I have already 17 pupils with promise of 12 more, my terms ranging from eight to twelve guineas, per annum each. I have also as much tuning as I can attend to, always receiving half a guinea for each instrument. My daughters have both obtained situations as private governesses at a salary of £100 per annum each. Charles is also organist of a new church here, at a salary of £75 per annum, and has several pupils. My son Frederic is in the Argus Office at £4 per week, they both reside Melbourne. Mrs. Compton and myself are now quite alone residing at St. Kilda which is one of the many townships connected with Melbourne, and is about 3 1/2 miles distant. Railway trains run every half hour, the fare for 1st class return tickets, is 1s 6d, 2nd ditto, 1s 3d. St. Kilda reminds me much of Torquay as it consists for the most part of tasteful villas which let very high, and servants' wages also, high, varying from £20 to £50 per year, provisions are reasonable, beef and mutton, 5d per lb.; potatoes, 7s per bag; bread, 6d the 4lb loaf; sugar, very good at 6d ; tea 2s 6d per lb.; poultry, eggs and butter are very dear. It is now July, and is the winter season here, but is just such weather as usually prevails in England in September and October, the sun and moon appear to us in the northern sky, instead of in the southern as at home, and we feel this difficult to reconcile ourselves to. Melbourne is a most wonderful place, and to view the streets which are all laid out north, south, east, and west, and the various magnificent public buildings, and to think that 12 years ago it was hardly in existence, it is really surprising. The public hotels are very handsome structures, the rents vary from £2,000 to £3,000 per annum, and many of the shops are rented £1,000 per year each. The population of Melbourne is 100,000, and about 12 townships connected with populations from six to twelve thousand each. Schools are numerous but every house seems to possess parents with young families, and respectable efficient teachers are sure to get employment. We live very quiet and retired, and hope and trust that after a few years, with the Almighty's blessing, our united efforts will be rewarded with a competency to retire on. We are looking forward to the time when our dear eldest daughter now at Plymouth will join us here."

Mr. Compton then enumerates several friends in Totnes from whom ne experiences great kindness, and concludes his long and interesting letter with the hope of frequently hearing from Totnes.

[Advertisement], The Argus (16 March 1860), 7 

MR. COMPTON, Professor of Music, teacher of the pianoforte, harmony, and singing, piano-forte-tuner, &c., begs to announce his REMOVAL from Argyle-stroat, St. Kilda, to Albert-street, Windsor, near the railway station. Westerland, March 12, 1860.

[Advertisement], The Argus (24 March 1860), 8 

MR. CHAS H. COMPTON (pupil of Signor F. Lablache and F. Mori) gives LESSONS in SINGING, or on the Pianoforte, either at the pupils' residences or at his own, Grey-street east, next door to Barkly terrace, East Melbourne. Mr Chas. H. Compton holds testimonials from Messrs. Balfe, Vincent Wallace, F. Lablache, Dr. Rimbault, Goss, Favarger, and numerous other eminent London professors.

[Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (21 December 1860), 1 

"THEATRICAL NEWS FROM CALCUTTA", The Australasian (1 March 1873), 19 

. . . Amongst the gentlemen who appeared I noticed Mr. Charles H. Compton, well known in Melbourne as a vocalist and pianist . . .

"DEATHS", South Australian Register (22 September 1883), 4

"THE LATE MR. C. H. COMPTON", South Australian Register (22 September 1883), 4

Mr. C. H. Compton, whose death took place on Friday morning at North Adelaide, was a thoroughly trained musician. He was born in Devonshire, England, in 1831, and at an early age commenced the study of music, being eventually a pupil in the Royal Academy of Music. The deceased gentleman was for many years organist to Her Majesty, and officiated at the Chapel Royal, Savoy, London. In 1831 [recte 1861] he first came to South Australia, following the occupation of a teacher of music for about three years. He then left for Melbourne, where he was for some time engaged on the Press of that city, and acted as organist of St. Patrick's Cathedral. In 1868 Mr. G. B. W. Lewis, of Melbourne, proceeded to India with a dramatic company, Mr. Compton accompanying him as the leader of the orchestra. He accepted the position of organist of St. Paul's Church, which he kept for some time, surrendering it to carry out a large contract for supplying the Indian Government with Western Australian timber for railway sleepers, and in pursuance of this business travelled for some time between Calcutta and Perth. Mr. Compton does not seem to have been particularly fortunate, however, in the speculation, for in the following year we find him settled in Perth, engaged in teaching music and officiating aa organist of St. George's Cathedral. In 1875 he returned to Calcutta, where he accepted soon after his arrival the post of leader of the orchestra at the Corinthian Theatre. The members of the orchestra were all Italians, left there by Signor Cagli, and they objected to be conducted by an English man. His engagement was cancelled by the management, and Mr. Compton commenced a suit for salary for the balance of the season, which terminated in his favour. He then left Calcutta, and returned to Western Australia, where he remained until some three years ago, when he again visited Adelaide, embarking in commercial pursuits, in which he was only moderately successful. He also resumed the position of organist of Christ Church, North Adelaide, which he had filled nearly twenty years before. He, however, continued to make an occasional appearance before the public as a pianist, his last engagement in that capacity being with Dr. Sylvester at Garner's Assembly room. Some two months ago symptoms of the disease - cancer in the stomach - to which he finally succumbed manifested themselves, and he sank quickly. Mr. Compton's last days were soothed by the kind offices of Mr. and Mrs. Woodman and Mr. Joseph Bennett, who have been untiring in their attention to the sufferer. Mr. Compton leaves a brother in Western Australia and one in Melbourne. Mr. Justice Holroyd, of Victoria, married a sister of the deceased. Mr. Compton's remains will be removed for interment from the residence of Mr. Wallace, Bohm-terrace, North Adelaide, to day, at 2 p.m.

"PAIGNTON", Western Times [Devon, England] (7 December 1915), 2

A very old resident of Paignton, Mrs. Christian Paige, died at her residence, The Laurels, on Tuesday, in her 90th year. The deceased lady was the widow of the Rev. E. Paige, Great Inglebourne, Harberton. The funeral took place at the Paignton Parish Churchyard this afternoon.

Bibliography and resources:

George E. Loyau, Notable South Australians; or, Colonists, past and present (Carey, Page & Co., Printers, 1885), 56-57

David Shield, "Charles Henry Compton: championing the Hill", OHTA

Extant Australian musical works:

When I was young ("composed expressly for Miss Octavia Hamilton") (Melbourne: Printed for the composer by Clarson, Shallard & Co., 1859) (DIGITISED)

To horse, to horse, the standard flies: a patriotic song ("Composed and dedicated to the Volunteers"), in Adelaide Musical Herald 1/12 (5 June 1863), 92-93 (DIGITISED)

The miller's daughter (song; words: W. Brailsford), in The Illustrated Melbourne Post (22 November 1866)

Faces in the fire, in The Illustrated Melbourne Post, date unknown (DIGITISED)

COMPTON, Frederick (Frederick Spencer Cavendish COMPTON)

Pianist, teacher of music, music and instrument seller, piano tuner, "pioneer journalist" (younger brother of the above)

Born Totnes, Devon, England, c.1838 (son of Henry COMPTON and Jane TOZER)
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 29 March 1859 (per Prince of Wales, from London, 4 January)
Active Brisbane, QLD, by 1860
Died Orange, NSW, 10 April 1904, "in his 67th year" ("a colonist of over 40 years") (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

COMPTON, Cecil (Cecil Spencer Alwyne COMPTON)


Born QLD, 9 Auhust 1869 (son of the above)
Died Mosman, NSW, 1932 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 June 1860), 1

[News], Rockhampton Bulletin (16 May 1863), 2

[Advertisement], Rockhampton Bulletin (24 June 1863), 3

"MR. P. C. CUNNINGHAME", Rockhampton Bulletin (14 July 1863), 2

"ROCKHAMPTON", The Courier (16 January 1864), 3

"POLICE COURT", Rockhampton Bulletin (26 September 1868), 2

"MARRIAGES", The Brisbane Courier (23 February 1869), 4

"PETTY DEBTS COURT", The Brisbane Courier (7 May 1869), 2

COMPTON v. C. SEARLE. - This was an action to recover £17 7s., for services rendered as an organist at the School of Arts and at Christchurch.-The plaintiff stated the nature of the claim, and produced a letter of agreement, written by the defendant to the plaintiff, also a letter complimenting him on the manner the duties were performed; and a third letter, dated April 23, in which the defendant requested the plaintiff to discontinue his services, and complaining that the choir did not attend, and was inefficient. The principal item of the account disputed was a charge of £5, for services rendered from November to the end of December, which the defendant alleged were to be given gratuitously. The defendant also stated that since Easter the services had not been performed in a satisfactory manner to himself or the congregation, though he had never distinctly said so to the plaintiff, until he wrote the letter of April 23.-The Bench, after examining the account, returned a verdict for £16 4s. for plaintiff. - Mr. M'Pherson appeared for plaintiff, and Mr. Handy instructed by Mr. W. H. Wilson, for the defendant . . .

"BRISBANE PETTY DEBTS COURT", The Queenslander (11 September 1869), 6

COMPTON V. FELTON. - Plaintiff sued for 16s., for thirty-two copies of Christy Minstrel music supplied to defendant. He deposed that the charge was one-half that ordinarily made which was Is. per copy. The music paper was included in the charge, which was usually charged extra for. The defendant paid 5s. into Court, and repudiated the remainder of the claim as being excessive. He, however, ultimately contented to a verdict for the amount sued for.

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (16 April 1904), 10

"PERSONAL", The Brisbane Courier (18 April 1904), 4

"Obituary", Bowral Free Press (20 April 1904), 2 

The death occurred recently at Orange of Mr. Frederick Compton, a well-known journalist, and father of Mr. Cecil Compton, late organist of St. Jude's Church, Bowral. The late Mr. Compton was for upwards of 30 years engaged as pressman in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. The deceased gentleman, who was of genial disposition, was 67 at the time of his death, and was many years ago a well known organist. He retired from active journalism some years ago.

Extant musical works:

Mignonette, graceful dance by Cecil Compton (Sydney: Nicholson and Co., [1903]) (DIGITISED)

COMPTON, George Spencer

Amateur musician, choral conductor

Born Totnes, Devon, England, 3 April 1833 (son of Henry COMPTON and Jane TOZER)
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 1859
Died Fremantle, WA, 14 September 1888 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"Our Fremantle letter", The Inquirer and Commercial News (19 September 1888), 6 

Mr. George Spencer Compton, after a very short illness, died at his residence surrounded by his family, last evening, at eight o'clock. The funeral will take place to-day, at 4 p.m. The deceased was brother in-law to Mr. Justice Holroyd, of Victoria, and arrived in the colony in 1870. He entered the service of Mr. B. Mason, timber merchant, at the Canning and afterwards became an importer and commission agent. He subsequently came to Fremantle, where he was appointed Magistrate's clerk, in which capacity be distinguished himself as a very intelligent aud courteous official, and may be said to have died in harness. Mr. G. S. Compton was also a very excellent musician, and at one time was leader of the Musical Union. He has also organised many concerts and was conductor of the Church choir for several years. He aided to a great extent the improvement and development of the public taste for higher class music. The deceased gentleman will be greatly missed, as one who took a great interest in public matters; and besides being a staunch advocate of liberal principles, politically and otherwise, although a Government official he frequently expressed himself as such without fear of consequences. He was a very genial townsman, and in many ways his familiar face will be missed in this small, though united community - Saturday morning.

"FUNERAL OF THE LATE MR. G. S. COMPTON", The West Australian (17 September 1888), 3 

. . . The deceased was an old resident of the colony, and was a native of Totnes, England. He left home for Melbourne, and subsequently arrived in this colony where for many years he filled the position of Magistrates' clerk at Fremantle. The deceased gentleman was most energetic in all movements he became connected with, more particularly as regards musical matters. He was for a time conductor of the Perth Musical Union, and acted in the same capacity for the society known as the "Minstrels of the West." Lately he was appointed librarian to the Western Liedertafel. He was a prominent member of the choir of St. John's Church, in which his familiar presence will be much missed.


Tenor vocalist

Active Melbourne, VIC, 1857 (possible the above George Spencer COMPTON)


[Advertisement], The Argus (22 June 1857), 8 

MR. G. COMPTON (Vocalist Tenor). Communications respecting ENGAGEMENTS, to be addressed care of Mr. Chapman, 117 Swanston-street.

[Advertisement], The Argus (3 November 1857), 8 

CONLON, Michael Joseph

Amateur bandsman, ? volunteer regiment

Born Fairy Meadow, Illawarra, NSW, 1841
Active Sydney, NSW, by 1854
Died Glebe, NSW, 26 November 1914


"Entertainments", Freeman's Journal (14 July 1866), 434

"OLD SYDNEY", Truth (13 February 1910), 11

I am favored with two interesting letters from Mr. Conlon, one under date January 24, 1910, as follows: - One of your correspondents, in yesterday's issue of 'Truth,' on 'Old Sydney,' says that I was 'right to a dot' about the old watchhouse, but I was a year or two out about the bazaar held on the old Kite at George and Pitt streets. He could not have read correctly what I then stated. I said that it was held in 1859: he says February 1860. Now, as 1859 is so contiguous to 1860, where is the year or two's difference? I was a member of that band, and I worked right opposite the place, and did not knock off work until 6 o'clock in the evening, and then had to go home, wash, dress, and dine, to be there to play when the doors were opened at 7 o'clock. It was smart work, and I arrived in open daylight; and that led me to believe that it was the latter part (summer-time) of 1859; therefore I would be about two months out. According to your correspondent, the first band he speaks of was started in 1854. I was then at school, and I was the principal messenger, selected to take the band instruments to be repaired. I had to take them to a musical instrument maker named William James, who lived in Domain Terrace, off Macquarie-street, city, and to the Victoria Barracks, Paddington (where the 11th Regiment, under Colonel Bloomfield, was then quartered) twice a week. I was selected for this duty, as I knew the town well. The second band started in 1859. I joined it, of course. Your correspondent states that the name of the bandmaster was Van de Stadt. Now, we always called him Mr. Stehr [Stier]. He certainly was a Dutchman, and was teaching the Royal Artillery Band at the time, the Artillery being then in barracks at Dawes Point. After three months' tuition under him, we found that we could not play one tune perfect. He was discharged, and the services of Sergeant Prince, of the 12th Regiment, enlisted. We progressed amazingly under Sergeant Prince's teaching.

And this brings me down to another of your correspondents of Sunday last. He speaks of the Brothers Taylor, musicians who played in the the old Victoria Theatre, especially the cornet player. I think it was Sergeant Prince who took his place in the old Victoria Theatre orchestra, as he used to meet us on Tuesday and Friday evenings at 6.30, and leave us for the theatre at 7 o'clock; but he always left a clarionet player from the barracks band with us until 8 o'clock. His name was Edward Kearns, and he was afterwards and for years bandmaster, to the Balmain Brass Band, where I often met him in years afterwards. Sergeant Prince was a lovely cornet Player, the equal of Kohler or Van de Meyden, of Fitzgerald's Circus fame, who were considered the greatest cornet players that ever visited these shores. Sergeant Prince wan killed by being thrown from his horse at West Maitland some years after.

"OLD SYDNEY", Truth (17 July 1910), 11

"OBITUARY", Freeman's Journal (4 December 1913), 19


Charles William Ferdinand Stier

Henry Prince


Convict, fiddler, violoncello player

Born c. 1800
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 28 December 1820 (convict per Asia (1))


"WILLIAM CONSTANTINE, Violent Theft / highway robbery, 28th June 1820", Old Bailey Proceedings Online, June 1820, trial of WILLIAM CONSTANTINE (t18200628-178). 


805. WILLIAM CONSTANTINE was indicted for feloniously assaulting Edmund Dove on the King's highway, on the 30th of June, putting him fear, and taking from his person, and against his will, one watch, value 2 l.; one seal, value 30 s.; one key, value 5 s., and one ring, value 5 s. his property.

EDMUND DOVE . I am servant to Mr. Grove, of Weymouth-street, Portman-place. On Saturday morning, about half-past one o'clock, I had been out with a friend, and was rather in liquor. We were at the corner of Well-street, Oxford-street. I was attacked by four men, who were in company - they separated my friend from me. One man took my watch, and at the same time I received a violent blow on my ear. I cannot say whether it was before or after the watch was taken - they separated and ran away - it was a dark night. The prisoner resembles the man, from his size and appearance - I have every reason to believe he is one of them. I pursued the man who I thought had the watch - he crossed the way and turned towards Poland-street - I pursued and stopped him. I do not think I lost sight of him, if I did, it was only for a moment. The prisoner was the man - nobody was near me but the four men. I stopped him about thirty or forty yards down Poland-street, called "Watch," and he came up in three or four minutes and took him. He was running when I stopped him; and I am almost positive that I saw the watch in his possession - I have not seen seen it since.

HUGH BYRNE . I am a watchman of Poland-street. I heard a cry of "Stop thief!" came up, and found the prisoner in custody of Dove. He said the prisoner had the watch - the prisoner said he was mistaken and he had no watch. The prosecutor spoke sensibly. I searched the prisoner but did not find the watch.

JOHN PHILLIPS . I am a watchman of Oxford-street, opposite Well-street. I heard the cry of "Stop thief!" from the top Poland-street. I observed the parties before that and had my eye on them. I saw the prosecutor with a young man on the Well-street side of the road; and just as they got to the corner of Well-street, I saw four men meet them; he was hustled by them, and immediately afterwards they all ran down Poland-street, and he after them crying "Stop thief!" I sprung my rattle and pursued as fast as I could, and did not see him lay hold of the prisoner. I saw the watch on the ground, about thirty yards down Poland-street; and as I stooped to pick it up, one of the party hit me a blow - he picked it up and put it in his right-hand pocket. I pursued, he got from me by a coach passing. There was no others near, but the four who surrounded the prosecutor. His friend did not push me. About half an hour after, two of his companions came to look for the watch, I said I would take them, and they ran off.

Prisoner's Defence. I was playing the violoncello at a gentleman's house and was out very late. I was coming down Oxford-road, a little in liquor, saw a disturbance on the opposite side and crossed over. The prosecutor was running after a man - he came and took me.

HUGH BYRNE . When I took him, I found no musical instrument on him - he did not appear intoxicated.

CHARLES LOWE (a blind man). I am the prisoner's brother-in-law. On this night I left him, near ten o'clock, in Oxford-street, near Swallow-street. He plays the violoncello - he was in liquor, and said he should go and get more. I took his instrument from him, for fear he should break it.

GUILTY. Aged 20.

Of stealing from the Person only.

Transported for Life.


Music seller, concert promoter

Arrived Brisbane, NSW (QLD), 1853 (per Calfernia)
Died Brisbane, QLD, 24 March 1869, aged 55


[Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (11 February 1854), 3

"CONCERT", The Moreton Bay Courier (26 August 1854), 2

[Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (4 November 1854), 1

"MORETON BAY", The Sydney Morning Herald (14 November 1854), 4

Mr. Cooling of this place has made arrangements for getting up a series of three concerts, on a very superior scale, which will take place during the assizes. He has engaged the services of Miss Flora Harris, and Messrs. F. H. Dicker, E. Hancock, and Mr. E. Emanuel, of Sydney. The last named gentleman is to act as pianist and conductor. The programme is not yet published, but I understand the selections will be of a very attractive kind. Mr. Cooling deserves the thanks of this community for his endeavours to procure for them a description of amusement which promises to be of a kind of excellence to which they have been little accustomed. Refined amusements of this character, which are at once harmless and attractive, have ever been reckoned among the most civilising of instruments, and here, where as yet they have never been introduced, their effect must be proportionably powerful, and will, we have little doubt, meet with the most extensive patronage. This is requisite indeed to indemnify Mr. Cooling, for the bare expenses and trouble he has been at, in concocting and perfecting all the arrangements, which, as may be well believed, have required the outlay of a considerable sum of money. There can be little doubt however, that the undertaking will meet with the success which it merits, and more than reimburse his out-lay.

"CONCERT", The Moreton Bay Courier (18 November 1854), 2

"MR. COOLING'S CONCERTS", The Moreton Bay Courier (25 November 1854), 2

"IPSWICH", The Moreton Bay Courier (16 June 1855), 2

MR. COOLING'S Concerts of the Ethiopian Serenaders were undertaken chiefly on the strength of promises of support made by the Brisbane people. There, however, they proved a failure, bringing the enterprising speculator nothing but loss. Though I have his authority for the extent of the deficit, I forbear to state it, being warned by my experience on the last occasion. But I believe Mr. Cooling to have lost considerably, entirely through the bad faith of many who promised him support in Brisbane . . . In Ipswich, Mr. Cooling has in a measure, redeemed the losses incurred in Brisbane, and we have his word pledged, that, should he undertake to bring up another company to Moreton Bay, he will give the first concert here . . . I respect the prejudices of those who keep away from all public amusements from what they deem religious motives. Not that I respect prejudices as such. I despise them or pity them as the case may be. But in this particular matter, I have known Christians who were very narrow minded, but whose love of music, for example, opened their hearts to make an exception of all musical entertainments; and I have known Christians who were very liberal-minded, and had very cheerful views of life, who shuddered at the idea of going to a concert. But I hold that it is of very great importance to the welfare of the district, that music should be extensively cultivated. I am not an admirer of these Negro Concerts. I consider them a satire, a bitter one, on the English genius of song. I prefer a Miska Hauser. But I think it a burning shame that a man who has done what Mr. Cooling has to supply the district with musical entertainments, should receive a sham support and not a real one.

"A CASE FOR THE BENEVOLENT", The Moreton Bay Courier (14 August 1860), 2

"DEATHS", The Queenslander (3 April 1869), 1

"Death of an Old Resident", The Brisbane Courier (24 July 1909), 4

"IN THE 50's. MUSIC IN BRISBANE. FIRST PROFESSIONAL CONCERT", The Brisbane Courier (17 September 1929), 1

COONEY, Miss (? Catherine COONEY)


Active Sydney, NSW, 1829 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

"MR. LEVEY'S CONCERT", The Sydney Monitor (22 August 1829), 3

. . . The first song, by Miss Cooney, "O, No! We never mention him!" displayed the clear and powerful voice of this young lady, and was loudly called for a second time, but the rules of the Concert forbade her complying with the wish of the audience so early in the evening . . . Miss Cooney than sang "Ye Banks and Braes, &c." and gave universal satisfaction. We heard a thorough judge of vocal talent say, that this young lady only required lessons from the first masters, to become a first-rate singer, fit for the London stage . . .


Teacher of the pianoforte and French

Active Melbourne, VIC, 1858-59


[Advertisement], The Argus (29 September 1858), 8 

MRS. COOPER receives PUPILS for the PIANO-FORTE and the FRENCH LANGUAGE, at her residence, ^ Kyte's-buildings, Collingwood.


Actor, comic vocalist

Active Sydney, NSW, by December 1832


On 27 December 1832, Mr. Cooper appeared as Captain Crosstree in Jerrold's Black-eyed Susan, the first comedy performed under Levey's management in the newly-fitted up saloon of the Royal Hotel, pending completion of the large theatre. he continued to perform for Levey during 1833.


"THEATRE-ROYAL, SYDNEY", The Sydney Herald (31 December 1832), 3 

The part of BLACK-EYED SUSAN, by (Mrs. Love), was well adapted to her powers . . . DOLLY MAY FLOWER (Mrs. Weston) performed her part with much navieté [sic]. CAPTAIN CROSSTREE (Mr. Cooper) was a gentlemanly and dignified performance . . .

"DRAMA", The Australian (24 May 1833), 2 

. . . The Castle Spectre and the farce of Love, Law, and Physic, with the duet of Polly Hopkins by Mrs. Love and Mr. Cooper; Dibdin's song of The Bay of Biscay O, by Mr. Levy, formed the evening's amusement. Last night the house was thinly attended . . .

COOZE, William Joseph

Bass vocalist, flautist

Born London, 16 July 1814
Arrived Port Adelaide, SA, June 1850 (per Jenny Lind, from Plymouth)
Active Melbourne, VIC, 1850-55
Died North Fitzroy, VIC, 7 June 1885, "aged 67" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Probably only recently arrived, Cooze appeared in Charles Packer's Melbourne concert in January 1851, singing with Packer and Elizabeth Testar in the trio from Packer's opera Sadak and Kalasrade and in Martini's Laughing Trio. In February he played flute obligato to Mrs. Testar in Bishop's Echo song, and again appeared as a "Buffo Vocalist and Flautist" for Hemy's concert in April.

Cooze continued to appear in concerts during 1852 and 1853 both as singer and instrumentalist, and was billed as a principal instrumentalist (alongside Winterbottom and Durant) in a "Grand Beethoven Festival" in August 1853. He is last listed playing in Douglas Callen's orchestra in a grand concert at the Theatre Royal in 1855. He was in New Zealand by 1864, and in 1868 played there under Charles Eigenschenck.


[Advertisement], Adelaide Times (26 June 1850), 4 

To Captain Joseph Taylor, Barque, "Jenny Lind", Plymouth. Port Adelaide, Australia, June, 1850. SIR, - We, the undersigned, passengers on hoard this vessel, having, by God's blessing, safely reached the termination of a voyage, during which our lives and property have been entrusted to your care, are anxious to express to you our thanks for the manner in which you have, under Providence, redeemed that trust, and our gratitude for the kindness, courtesy, and gentlemanly treatment we have experienced at your hands through a necessarily long and tedious voyage . . . We are, Sir, Yours very truly and gratefully . . . W. S. Cooze [sic], for self, wife, and five children . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (28 January 1851), 3

[Advertisement], The Argus (20 February 1851), 3

[Advertisement], The Argus (14 April 1851), 3

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

"HERR MATER'S CONCERT", The Argus (8 June 1852), 3

We have received the annexed letters in reference to the late disappointments at Herr Mater's concert -

196, Russell-street Melbourne, 7th June, 1852. Wilson, Esq. Sir,- You have very kindly invited an explanation with regard to my absence from Herr Mater's concert. Allow me to state that it was caused not from any ungenerous or unhandsome rivalry (for he is no rival of mine), but by accident and unavoidable circumstances to which every person is liable. I value the patronage of the Melbourne public too much to play with it; and I conceive the only way to merit their favour is to do all in my power to assist any musician who may arrive in this colony. Hitherto I have done so; and suffered in a pecuniary way, in consequence. I did not arrive at home in time or I would have forwarded an apology. This, I trust, will be received as an excuse: and I refer you to my past career, whether I would be guilty of misleading the public, except under peculiar circumstances. I remain Sir, Your obedient humble servant. W. V. COOZE.

"CONCERT", The Argus (8 July 1853), 5

[Advertisement], The Argus (17 August 1853), 8

"EXHIBITION CONCERTS", The Age (21 November 1854), 5

. . . The charming songs of Galatea were sung by Mrs. Testar, in her usual correct and chaste style; but her most successful effort during the evening was Bishop's song, with Flute Obligato Lo, here the gentle lark! which was most vociferously encored. Mr. Cooze played the Obligato in a highly creditable and artistic manner . . .

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

[Advertisement], Otago Daily Times (16 September 1864), 1

"MARRIAGES", The Argus (29 January 1866), 4

[Advertisement], West Coast Times (9 September 1868), 3

"Deaths", The Age (12 June 1885), 1 

Cooze. - On the 7th June, at the residence of his son, F. Cooze, Esq., city surveyor, Fitzroy suddenly, W. J. Coozc, of London, aged 67. - An old and respected colonist.

Bibliography and resources:

COPE, David (senior)

Musician, violinist, conductor, composer, violin maker, "Professor of Music and Astrology"

Born Birmingham, England, 1848
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 1879
Died Geelong, VIC, 14 July 1934, aged 86

COPE, David (junior) (David William COPE; alias "KOPSKI")

Pianist, violinist, composer,

Born England, May 1870
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 1879
Departed for England, by 1904 or earlier


"Mr. David Cope", Table Talk (7 December 1888), 16 

"On and Off the Stage", Table Talk (17 November 1904), 19 

Mr. David Cope, jun., another Australian who is making a great hit on the music-halls as classical pianist, under the name of Kopski, was also under engagement to Mr. Blascheck at Margate for a fortnight.

[Stage news], Sunday Times (28 January 1906), 2 

Mr. David Cope, who was for twelve years musical director during the brilliant Brough Boucicault management in Australia, has recently taken up his permanent residence in London. His son, under the name of Kopski, was appearing at the Tivoli in a strikingly original pianoforte turn.

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (11 August 1934), 14 

"OBITUARY", The Argus (16 July 1934), 8 

The death occurred on Saturday at Garden street, Geelong, of Mr. David Cope, musical conductor, aged 86 years, Mr. Cope was engaged with many Australian theatrical producers as musical director. He composed a number of works and contributed to several journals under the pen name of Agar Zariel. Born in Birmingham, England, Mr. Cope came to Australia in 1880. He is survived by a sister and brother, both of whom live in Geelong.

[Advertisement], The Argus (18 August 1934), 13 

Musical works:

Tranquilite, nocturne, pour le piano, op. 26 par David Cope junr. (Melbourne: The composer, [1887]) 

St. Valentine waltzes composed by David Cope junr. (Melbourne: W. H. Glen, [1891]) 

Bibliography and resources:

"David Cope", Residents of Upper Beaconsfield, Upper Beaconsfield One-Place-Study, Person Page 158 

COPE, Thomas Spencer (Mr. Justice COPE; Judge COPE)

Amateur musician, conductor, band director

Born London, England, 19 April 1821
Arrived VIC, by April 1852
Died Brunswick, VIC, 11 November 1891 (NLA persistent identifier)


"THE LATE JUDGE COPE", The Argus (12 November 1891), 7 

. . . He was a most excellent musician, and could play well on almost any musical instrument. He took a very active part in promoting or supporting societies intended for social amusement, and when he was at the Ovens he taught a large number of lads, the sons of local residents, the fife and drum. At the Ovens and Murray Exhibition he had a band of them, consisting of 30 performers, and he marshalled them in procession to the exhibition and led them in the music they played there . . .

Bibliography and resources:

G. M. R. Rathbone, "Cope, Thomas Spencer (1821-1891)", Australian dictionary of biography 3 (1969) 

. . . He was a penal reformer, an advanced Liberal who in politics supported state ownership of land, and a member of the Church of England. Cope was a leading member of the Yorick Club with a reputation for lively anecdotes, was a good musician, and had an active interest in racing, yachting and boating . . .


COPPIN, Frederick James

Violinist, orchestra leader, Teacher of the Violin, Cornopean and [Piano?] Tunist

Born Market Deeping, England, 15 October 1824
Active Adelaide, SA, by 1849 and until at least 1852; Melbourne, VIC, by July 1855
Died Emerald Hill, VIC, 27 April 1881, aged 56 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Frederick Coppin was joint "leader of the band" (with Philip Lee) for his brother George Coppin in Adelaide in November 1849. While also continuing to play rank-and-file violin in various Adelaide bands, he was licensee of the Billy Barlow hotel in 1850. For Coppin's Grand Assembly Ball in August 1850 Frederick introduced the topical The Auction Mart Tavern quadrilles, named after George Coppin's hotel:

arranged for the occasion by Mr F. Coppin, introducing the following celebrated airs: Free-and-Easy, Rogue's March, All round my Hat, Oh 'tis Love, The Young May Moon, Dere's some one in de House Miss Dinah, Sich a Gittin up Stairs, Billy Barlow, and We won't go Home till Morning.

By 1855 he was leader of the band at George Coppin's Olympic in Melbourne, where in August 1856 he band presented him with:

a splendid diamond ring as a mark of their respect, and an acknowledgment of his quiet and gentlemanly conduct as the head or the orchestra.

In December 1856, for a pantomime at the Theatre Royal, he "arranged" overture and incidental music that included:

reminiscences of Martha, Masaniello, Der Freischutz, [Bochsa's] Je suis une Bayadère,  the Spider Dance, and various popular airs; while the obligato passages assigned to the clarionet, ophecleide, and cornet-a-piston respectively, nightly receive a special recognition of applause.

Again at the Theatre Royal in September 1858, for the Married daughters and Once upon a time there were two kings, the "characteristic incidental music [was] composed, selected and arranged by L. Lavenu", the "Overture [by] Mr. F. Coppin".


[Advertisement], South Australian Register (28 November 1849), 2

"BENCH OF MAGISTRATES", South Australian Register (16 March 1850), 3

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (21 April 1852), 2

"MR. FREDERICK COPPIN IN REPLY. TO THE EDITOR", The Argus (24 March 1874), 5

"PUBLICAN'S LICENSES", South Australian (15 March 1850), 4

[Advertisement], South Australian (5 July 1850), 1

[Advertisement], South Australian (19 August 1850), 3

[Advertisement], The Argus (28 July 1855), 8

"THE OLYMPIC THEATRE", The Argus (16 August 1856), 5

"THEATRE ROYAL", The Argus (29 December 1856), 5

[Advertisement], The Argus (22 September 1858), 8

"Deaths", The Argus (28 April 1881), 1

"MRS. FRED. COPPIN'S BENEFIT", The Argus (16 May 1881), 6

COPPIN, George (George Selth COPPIN)

Singer, songwriter, comedian, entrepreneur, composer/arranger

Born Steyning, Sussex, England, 8 April 1819
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 10 March 1843 (per Templar)
Died Richmond, VIC, 14 March 1906 (NLA persistent identifier) (TROVE tagged) (TROVE tagged)



Coppin's name is attached as singer, lyricist, and or "arranger" to several printed musical works, including the two extant below, and, perhaps most interesting, one lost work: The Argo medley polka ("descriptive of the Argo leaving England and arriving in Victoria, announcing the fall of Sebastopol"; "arranged by Mr. Coppin on board on her passage out to the colonies").


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

The race of Torning and Co. is nearly run. The legitimate drama is once again to assert its claims at the Victoria, and the troop of itinerant drolls who have initiated us to repletion with the fair anthology of this English highways, from "Happy Land" to "Sich a gettin up stairs," are now preparing for "Sich a gettin down agin." We have hitherto forborne severe comment on Mr. Wyatt's importation, regarding it as a managerial error, the effect of bad judgment; and feeling satisfied that as soon as possible he would remedy the evil. This, we are happy to say, he promises to do forthwith, and the announcement for tomorrow evening of The Stranger, in which Mrs. Coppin will make her curtsey to a Sydney audience in the arduous part of Mrs. Haller; and also of The Loan of a Lover, in which Mr. Coppin will personate Peter Spyke, is a favorable earnest of the long desired reform in the affairs of the Victoria. With reference to Mr. and Mrs. Coppin, we have much pleasure in saying that since writing our notice of their arrival, which appeared in Wednesday's AUSTRALIAN, we have seen several English and Irish papers of recent date, in which their efforts are reviewed in the most flattering terms. The CORK SOUTHERN REPORTER designates Mr. Coppin "the most humorous of the new school of actors," and adverts in extravagant terms to his manner of singing "Billy Barlow," a song which, we learn from THE TUAM HERALD, was sung by him 250 times in Dublin with extraordinary success. Mrs. Coppin is described as a pleasing and fascinating actress, and if even a tithe of those praises be true, we can most cordially consign Messrs. Torning, Deering, and Co., to the company of the learned pig, white Indian, Scotch giant, Welsh dwarf, young Gingell, Mr. Samivell, the equestrian, and other professional perambulators, who, we doubt not, are pining for their far-away friends.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 April 1843), 3

[Advertisement], The Argus (18 December 1854), 8

"THE QUEENS THEATRE", The Argus (27 December 1854), 4

[Advertisement], The Argus (15 January 1855), 4

"THE MELBOURNE STAGE IN THE FORTIES. BY J. S. No. II.", The Argus (24 May 1890), 13

Master George was almost born in a theatre evinced a precocious taste for music, took to the violin when a mere child and was second fiddler in the orchestra of his father's theatre. As soon as he was old enough to make a start on his own account, he fiddled his way up to London, and was engaged as second low comedian and second violin by Saville Faucit . . .

Bibliography and resources:

Alec Bagot, Coppin the great: father of the Australian theatre (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1965) 

Sally O'Neill, "Coppin, George Selth (1819-1906)", Australian dictionary of biography 3 (1969)

Musical arrangements:

Billy Barlow ("Billy Barlow's Visit to Sydney . . . As Sung by Mr. Coppin, at the Royal Victoria Theatre. Arranged for the Piano Forte . . . Arranged by George Coppin") (Sydney: Thomas Rolfe, 1843) 

Villikins and his Dinah ("as sung at the Royal Victoria Theatre by Mr. G. Coppin") (Sydney: H. Marsh, [? 1855]) 

CORCORAN, James Vincent (Revd. Mr. CORCORAN, O.P.)

Cleric, church singer

Born ? Cashel, Ireland, "1800", ? c. 1802
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 12 September 1835 (per Oriental, from Liverpool, April)
Died Sydney, NSW, 4 August 1837, aged 35 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


A member of the Dominican order, Corcoran arrived in Sydney with Bede Polding in September 1835. At Polding's installation at St. Mary's chapel later than month, Corcoran was reportedly one of choir:

several new musical pieces were performed by Mrs. Rust, the Rev. Messrs. Spencer and Corcoran, &c. Mrs. Chester and several other professional singers were also in the choir, Mr. Cavendish presiding at the Seraphine.

He was killed on the Parramatta Road when thrown from, and run over by, his gig. His funeral mass at St. Mary's was reportedly "distinguished for its melody and sweetness".


"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Colonist (17 September 1835), 7

"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Sydney Herald (21 September 1835), 3

"Deaths", The Australian (5 September 1837), 2

"FUNERAL OF THE REV. MR. CORCORAN", The Sydney Monitor (8 September 1837), 2

. . . The solemn Requiem for the Dead was distinguished for its melody and sweetness . . .

"FUNERAL OF THE REV. JAMES VINCENT CORCORAN", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (9 September 1837), 2

[News], The Sydney Herald (11 September 1837), 2

Bibliography and resources:

John Kenny, A history of the commencement and progress of Catholicity in Australia, up to the year 1840 (Sydney: F. Cunninghame, 1886), 67, 69, 72, 115-19 

CORDNER, William John

Tenor vocalist, organist, pianist, conductor, composer

Born Dungannon, Tyrone, Ireland, 4 December 1826
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 1854
Died Woolloomooloo, NSW, 15 July 1870, aged 43 (NLA persistent identifier) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

CORDNER, Ellen (Miss MUNTON; later Mrs. MILES)

Contralto vocalist, pianist

Born Brentford, Middlesex, England, 1842
Married (1) William CORDNER, Sydney, NSW, 18 May 1858
Married (2) John Balfour Clement MILES, NSW, 25 February 1871
Died Sydney, NSW, January 1932 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)



William Cordner's first Sydney stage appearance was in Miska Hauser's first Sydney concert in November 1854, singing tenor in Morley's madrigal Now is the Month of Maying with Theodosia Guerin, Sara Flower, and John and Frank Howson. He appeared in several billings at the Royal Victoria Theatre in the first half of 1855.

Though himself Episcopalean, Cordner was organist of St. Patrick's Church, Sydney, until early in 1857, and by August that year organist of St Mary's Cathedral, when he also performed in Anna Bishop's oratorio (under George Loder). He was Lewis Lavenu's choirmaster for the 1859 University of Sydney Music Festival, and conductor of the Sydney Vocal Harmonic Society.

A rare record of a Cordner composition is the Thanksgiving hymn ("for the preservation of H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh from the late attempt upon his life; words: Derwent Coleridge), published and first performed in March 1868, but lost.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 November 1854), 1

"MARRIAGES", The Sydney Morning Herald (10 June 1858), 9

CORDNER - MUNTON. May 18th, at St. Philip's Church . . .

"SYDNEY", The Musical Times (1 April 1865), 38

"SYDNEY", The Musical Times (1 May 1865), 60

"SYDNEY", The Musical Times (1 November 1865), 167

"PUNCH'S EVENING AMUSEMENTS", Sydney Punch (21 March 1868), 134

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 March 1868), 9

"NEW SOUTH WALES", The Musical World (12 February 1870), 109

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (16 July 1870), 1

"Death of Mr. W. J. Cordner", The Sydney Morning Herald (16 July 1870), 3

"DEATH OF MR. CORDNER", The Sydney Morning Herald (16 July 1870), 6

Another well known and, respected citizen has been called away from amongst us. After a long and painful illness, Mr. Cordner, Professor of Music, died at his residence in Woolloomooloo-street, yesterday morning, at half-post 2 o'clock. Mr. William John Cordner was a native of Armagh, and is understood to have received his elementary education in Musical Science in the school attached to the Protestant cathedral of that ancient Irish city. About fourteen years ago, Mr. Cordner arrived in this colony, where his professional ability was immediately recognised, and he was appointed organist at St. Patrick's Church, then under the pastoral care of the Very Rev. Dean Sumner. In that position Mr. Cordner made himself so remarkable for the untiring zeal which he displayed in the performance of his duties that the authorities of St. Mary's appointed him, in 1857, organist and choirmaster to that cathedral - an office wherein he is understood to have given entire satisfaction to his employers, and which he continued to hold until his death. For a long time past Mr. Cordner's health has been very infirm, and his sufferings often great, but he bore up against his manifold ailments so manfully, that the news of his death has affected many of his friends with a sorrowful surprise. In his last illness he was attended by Messrs. Charles Nathan and Alfred Roberts. Mr. Cordner was an Episcopalian, and died in that communion. He was visited for some time before his decease by the Rev. G. H. Moreton, of St. Peter's. By all who know him Mr. Cordner will be much regretted, and by none, perhaps, more than by the Roman Catholic clergy of St. Mary's, by whom he appears to have been universally respected and esteemed. Mr. Cordner was remarkable for having always shown himself ready and willing to give the influential aid of his cultivated talents and assiduity to any public or private charity, although a man of but limited means, working for his daily bread. Whatever he agreed to undertake he always exerted himself to have thoroughly well done - totally irrespective of the amount of compensation (if any) contingent upon its performance. His place will be vacant amongst the members of his profession, and he will long be remembered by the Sydney public. Mr. Cordner leaves a widow, but no children, after him. He was in the forty-fourth year of his age. His remains will be interred to-morrow afternoon, in the Episcopalian Cemetery, Haslem Creek.

"MRS. E. MILES", The Sydney Morning Herald (29 January 1932), 15

Mrs. Ellen Miles, who died at her residence in Albyn-road, Strathfield, on Saturday, was formerly one of the best-known singers in Sydney. She was born at Brentford, Middlesex, England, in 1842, and came to Australia as a girl. She married Mr. W. J. Cordner, at the time Sydney's chief organist and conductor. Under his tuition, his young wife developed a fine contralto voice, and was Sydney's chief resident contralto singer during the sixties and seventies. Their home was a centre for all visiting musicians. Among Mrs. Cordner's pupils were John D. Delany and the Gehdes. Among her early friends was Mrs. Stewart, and her famous daughter, the late Nellie Stewart, whom she often nursed as a baby; and Nellie Stewart's step-sisters, Maggie and Docie Guerin. Some years after Mr. Cordner's death his widow married Mr. J. B. C. Miles, a well known accountant. He died in 1907, and Mrs. Miles had lived in retirement since. She was well known for her charity. She is survived by one son, Mr. W. Miles. The funeral took place at Rookwood Cemetery on Monday.

Bibliography and resources:

E. J. Lea-Scarlett, "Cordner, William John (1826-1870)", Australian dictionary of biography 3 (1969)

Rushworth 1988, 271-72

CORK, William

Bandmaster (Volunteer Artillery)

Active Sydney, NSW, by 1870


"VOLUNTEER ARTILLERY", Empire (9 July 1870), 2

"The Concert in Aid . . .", Australian Town and Country Journal (31 August 1872), 6

"The Volunteer Artillery Brigade Band", Empire (2 August 1873), 2

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 July 1879), 2

CORNISH, Ebenezer

Organist, choirmaster

Born Holbeton, Plymouth, England, 31 March 1836
Arrived Adelaide, SA, 1840 (per Brightman)
Active Adelaide, SA, by 1860
Died Port Augusta, SA, 26 November 1873, aged 37 (of exhaustion from over-exertion while bathing)


"MARRIED", South Australian Register (2 July 1857), 2

"PIRIE-STREET WESLEYAN CHAPEL. ANNIVERSARY SERVICES", The South Australian Advertiser (30 October 1860), 3

"ORGANIST", South Australian Register (14 April 1862), 3

"ST. PAUL'S YOUNG MEN'S SOCIETY SOIREE", South Australian Register (4 November 1863), 2

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (23 February 1864), 1

"CONCERT OF SACRED MUSIC", South Australian Register (26 March 1864), 2

"BIRTHS . . . DEATHS", South Australian Register (13 December 1873), 4

Bibliography and resources:

Family history


"Professor of Music", violinist, fiddler

Active ? Sydney, NSW, 1841; Maitland, NSW, by 1846; Sydney, NSW, 1850


"THE EMIGRANT'S ANNUAL BALL", Australasian Chronicle (7 January 1841), 2 

On Friday night last, the fifth anniversary of this festival took place at Mr. Clarke's dancing academy, King-street, and went off in a style that reflected much credit upon the stewards. About eight o'clock the musicians occupied the tastefully decorated orchestra . . . About half-past nine the ball was commenced with a country dance, led off by one of the stewards, which was admirably gone through, and followed by the first set of quadrilles; the next was a Spanish waltz, which was pretty fairly gone through; then came the lanciers and were well danced; but in the triumph, country dance, which followed, I assert that nothing I have seen for years could excel the precision, which appeared to be in a great degree attributable to the just and well arranged music of the leader, Mr. Cornish, supported by Mr. Sutton on the clarionet, with which the other instruments formed a band of nine. The Caledonian quadrilles and Scotch reel followed, which completed the first part in the programme. I cannot omit noticing that the general admiration of the assembly was elicited at the splendid manner in which Mr. Clarke's pupil, Miss Thompson, aged twelve years, acquitted herself in a pas suel. The dances in part 2 were then begun, comprising, Patronella, country dance; Paine's first set quadrilles; the Circassian circles; lanciers; Towe's first set; Scotch reel and Spanish waltz. Between the second and third parts Mr. Clarke, brother to the Professor, entertained the company with an admirable hornpipe, at the conclusion of which the stewards ordered the whole company up for the last country dance, when six full sets appeared, leaving about forty ladies and gentlemen yet in their seats, forming in the party about 112 persons . . .- Correspondent.

"CATCHING A TARTAR", The Maitland Mercury (11 November 1846), 2

On Wednesday last, at the opening of Mr. Burgess's new public-house, at Hinton, a lot of choice spirits were assembled to celebrate the occasion; for the amusement of whom Mr. Burgess had provided the delectable tones of a violin, under the manual direction of Mr. Cornish.

"ALLEGED BREACH OF THE LICENSING ACT", The Maitland Mercury (30 June 1847), 2

"MORE FREE THAN WELCOME", The Sydney Morning Herald (11 September 1850), 2

"BURGLARY", The Sydney Morning Herald (10 October 1850), 2

? NSW, BDM, 264/1852 V1852264 38B

1852, no. 264, Cornish, Henry, aged 34

Bibliography and resources:

Jen Willets, "The Farmers' Glory, Hinton", Hunter Valley Inns & Hotels; Free settler or felon?'s_glory_hinton.htm

CORRI, Emma Jane = Mrs. Frederick YOUNGE


Musician, bandmaster

Active Ballarat, VIC, 1865
Died VIC, 1867


Ballarat and Ballarat district directory (1865), 69, 82

"NEWS AND NOTES", The Ballarat Star (11 August 1866), 2

We regret to bear that bugler Corrigan, of the Ballarat Rangers, is compelled by ill-health to retire from the corps. He is an old Indian soldier and the two climates of India and Ballarat have impaired his health and rendered his resignation of his present position inevitable. His services have been so well appreciated by his comrades that they are subscribing a testimonial for him, in which we doubt not a good many civilians will readily unite if applied to for that purpose.

"COUNTRY NEWS", The Age (22 February 1867), 7

THE DEATH OF JAMES CORRIGAN, formerly bugler in the 2nd Queen's Royals, the first bandmaster to the Warrnambool Volunteer Rifle Corps, and latterly bandmaster to the Ballaarat Rifle Rangers, is announced, very regretfully, in the Warrnambool papers.

? possibly a mis-identification; James Corrigan, headmaster of Wesley College, Melbourne, died in January 1867.

COTTON, Louisa (Lousia Sarah GOODERED; Mrs. Frederick Lane COTTON)

Teacher of singing and piano

Born London, England, c.1823/25
Married Frederick Lane COTTON (c.1823-1903), Kensington, London, England, 21 August 1848
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 21 June 1857 (per Contest, from the Downs, 5 March)
Died Richmond, VIC, 8 January 1908, "aged 86" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"SHIPPING. ARRIVALS", The Sydney Morning Herald (23 June 1857), 4 

Autograph letter, Isaac Nathan, Byron Lodge, Coogee, to Stuart Donalson [sic] introducing Mr. Cotton; 1 page only, inserted inside front cover of copy of The southern euphrosyne; State Library of New South Wales, MLMSS 6227 

ASSOCIATIONS: Isaac Nathan; Stuart Donaldson (1812-1867)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (12 August 1857), 1 

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 August 1857), 1 

A LADY recently from London - pupil of some of the most eminent professors in England - gives lessons in Singing and Piano; she visits Enfield, Balmain, and Kissing Point - she would be happy to receive under her immediate care one or two little girls; every attention would be paid to their health, morals, and education. Terms, sixty guineas per annum. English, French, music, and dancing included. Address Mrs. COTTON, 4, Berwick-terrace, Berwick Castle, Palmer-street. Woolloomooloo.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 January 1862), 1 

ASHFIELD. - Mrs. COTTON begs to inform her pupils that she resumes her LESSONS in Singing and Piano on the 20th instant. Having a few hours disengaged, she would have much pleasure in visiting in the vicinity, or receiving pupils at her own residence. Most satisfactory references from the first families she has been teaching in for many years, also from professionals. Address, Post Office, Ashfield.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 November 1869), 8 

A GRAND SOIREE, to celebrate the organisation of the Australian Division of the Sons of Temperance, will be held in the Division Room, Liverpool and Sussex streets, THIS EVENING; tea on the table at 7 o'clock. After which, a CONCERT, assisted by Miss Wiseman, Miss Martin, and Lady and Gentlemen Amateurs. Accompanyist - Mrs. F. L. Cotton.

"DEATHS", The Age (11 January 1908) 5 

COTTON. - On the 8th January, at her residence, 50 Stephenson-street, Richmond, Louisa Cotton, relict of the late Frederick Lane Cotton, Lieutenant, beloved mother of John, Julia, Fanny, Ernest, after a long illness, aged 86 years. New South Wales papers please copy.

COUAT, M. (Monsieur COUAT)

Violinist (pupil of Sivori; for Catherine Hayes's concerts)

Arrived Sydney, NSW, 4 August 1855 (per Marcus Caesar, from San Francisco, 17 May) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"LLANELLI", Yr Amserau [Wales] (2 November 1853), 4 

LLANELLI-Cyngherdd. Dydd Gwener wythnos Pr diweddaf, cynaliodd y Llanelly Philharmonic Society . . . y Mechanics Institution am y tymhor presenol. Cynorthwywyd hwy gan Monsieur Couat, un o'r Violinists gorau yn y byd . . .

"THE THEATRES", The Sydney Morning Herald (6 August 1855), 4

We have also to add that, by the Marcus Caesar, which arrived here from San Francisco on Saturday, Mademoiselle Denerie, from the leading Parisian theatres, a danseuse of whom report speaks highly, and Monsieur Couat, a violinist (a favourite pupil of M. Sivori), were passengers. Both artistes have testimonials of their ability and great success before the most critical audiences of Paris and some of the chief cities of England and the United States.

"MISS CATHARINE HAYES' SECOND GRAND CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (11 August 1855), 5

"MISS CATHARINE HAYES' CONCERTS", The Sydney Morning Herald (13 August 1855), 5

A MONS. COUAT was announced as a celebrated violinist. This word celebrated becomes somewhat ill-used of late. He is certainly a good violinist, but we should like to hear a little more of him before we pronounce an opinion upon his deserts. There is no instrument more capable of trickeries than the violin, and a man, without being a first-rate violinist, might imitate the mewing of the very cat, and the squeaking of the very rat, that "eat the malt that lay in the house that Jack built."

"SYDNEY", The Argus (18 August 1855), 6

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (11 September 1855), 5

PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE. Last evening, his Excellency the Governor-General, Lady Denison, and family, honored this Theatre with their presence on the occasion of Miss Catherine Hayes' third appearance in English opera, as Arline, in M. W. Balfe's Bohemian Girl . . . In Mr. Balfe's piquant instrumentation, the orchestra, under M. Lavenu's direction, did ample justice. The obligato accompaniments of M. Couat, violin; M. Tranter, double bass; and M. Francesco Volpi, clarionet, demand especial attention.

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", Empire (17 September 1855), 5

COULON, Emile Georges (in USA George COULON; M. Emile COULON; M. COULON; E. COULON)

Bass-baritone singer, arranger

Born ? France, c.1821/2
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 10 September 1854
Departed Melbourne, VIC, 26 December 1860
Died USA, late 1874 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)



According to his obituary, Coulon was a pupil of the younger Manuel Garcia (1805-1906). The same document reports that he was 53 at the time of his death (therefore born in 1821 or 1822), and that he made his debut in 1851. However, he was probably the M. Coulon in Mequet's new opera troupe at Brest in 1850, and the M. Coulon who was Bertram in Meyerbeer's Robert le diable in Paris early in 1853 (see also M. Coulon and M. Coulon, première basse-taille de grand opéra).

By mid-1853 he must have been in the United States, for he appeared several times in the San Francisco opera season beginning in September 1853. There his regular co-artist was the tenor Jean-Baptiste Laglaise (or Laglaize), who from 1856 also sang with him regularly in Australia.

In July 1854, Coulon assisted Catherine Hayes at her farewell recital, prior to sailing with her for Australia.

The Hayes company's arrival in Sydney on 10 September 1854 was announced in an article in The Sydney Morning Herald the following morning that mentioned Coulon favourably. After working with Hayes and Lewis Lavenu in 1854-55, in 1856 he and Laglaise (more recently arrived from the USA) toured with Anna Bishop and George Loder as a member of their English Opera Company.

In Melbourne on 13 April 1859, as reviewed in The Argus, he gave the first performance of Sidney Nelson's new national song, Advance Australia (published the following month).

From July 1859, Coulon spent 8 months in Mauritius, returning to Melbourne in March 1860. He was in Sydney appearing in opera in June and July, and in Melbourne in October-November floated a scheme to form a European opera company for the colonies.

Coulon finally sailed from Melbourne for England on 26 December 1860.

In May 1861, as reported in the press, local supporters of his touring opera company scheme received a letter from him him stating that he had:

succeeded in organizing a company provisionally, which would be ready to proceed to the colonies upon approval . . . The company embraces three ladies, three gentlemen, 10 members of orchestra, and the nucleus of a competent chorus.

However, at a meeting on 30 August, subscribers were told: "M. Coulon's opera scheme may be considered defunct." He never returned to Australia.

Coulon reportedly sang Marcel in Huguenots in Brussels in 1864 (the correspondent for The Reader judged him:

a careful and finished vocalist, but incapable of giving adequate expression to the fierce Calvinistic exaltation of the character.

He was at Covent Garden for the 1868 season. According to The Saturday review (23 May 1868), a "Signor Collini" appearing in a revival there of Robert le diable, was:

no other than M. Coulon, who had for some years vainly striven to make a reputation for himself at the Grand Opera in Paris.

He had perhpas coined the name Signor Collini the previous year, when he appeared thus at Milan as count Capuleto in Gounod's Romeo e Giulietta.

In 1873, at San Carlo in Naples, however, The Athenaeum's correspondent judged that Signor Collini, as the:

new Germont . . . must be regarded as a failure; he is the heaviest of heavy fathers, and his voice had a continuous tremolo, as if the old man had been attacked with the palsy: his make-up was quite hideous.

Emile Georges Coulon (his contract with Catherine Hayes was signed "Georges Coulon") died in the USA in 1874. He probably belonged to the family of the dancers Jean-François Coulon (1764-1836) and his son, London-based from 1844, Antoine Coulon (1796-1849).

This obituary appeared in Melbourne's The Argus (23 January 1875):

The announcement of the death of Emile Coulon (which appeared as an extract in yesterday's Argus) will recal[l] 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 (at it was a thoroughly appreciative and critical audience). The people who had come fresh 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" and "Callen of the 12th." From this time up to 1859, in which year M. Coulon left the country [recte 1860], he was associated in opera with the Bianchis, Laglaise, Greig and many others of note in those days, who have long since passed from the scene. It was expected when Coulon left Melbourne that he was to return with a complete opera company, but he did not return, to the great disappointment of many citizens well disposed towards the patronage of musical art. The little obituary notice from which we quote says that Coulon was 53 years old when he died, that he made his debut in 1851, and that he was one of the best of Garcia's pupils. We who remember him know that was a good singer, and had a good voice; while he remained in Melbourne he was in his very prime. The Garcia who was his master was the brother of Malibran and of Viardot. There is no such singer now in Melbourne as Emile Coulon was in those lively days we speak of.


Agreement between Catherine Hayes and Georges [Emile] Coulon, San Francisco, 6 July 1854; State Library of New South Wales, DLMSQ 606

Agreement between Catherine Hayes and Georges [Emile] Coulon, San Francisco, 6 July 1854; State Library of New South Wales, DLMSQ 606 

This Indenture made and entered into, this, the Sixth day of July AD Eighteen Hundred and Fifty four by and between Miss Catherine Hayes of the first part, and George Coulon of the Second part, both of the City and county of San Francisco, State of California, United States of America. Witnesses to That the party of the second part for and in consideration of the sum or sums herein after named to be paid by the party of the first part, agrees and hereby binds himself to accompany the party of the first part from the City of San Francisco aforesaid to some port in Aust. and there at any time and place in said Australia to assist as a Vocalist in any concert or musical and operatic entertainments that may there be given by said party of the first part, to the best of his abilities as a public Vocalist; and further to accompany said Miss C. Hayes of the first part from Australia to Every other place or places as she may require, in his said capacity of Vocalist.

For and in consideration of such services faithfully performed, the party of the first part agrees and binds herself to pay the charges of Said George Coulon's [verso] passage, and current expenses, after landing, necessary for Board and Lodging Together with the further and additional sum of Two Hundred Dollars (say £40) per month, for the first Three months, commencing with the date of the first musical rehearsal in Australia, and being suspended whilst going from Australia to any other parts.

It is further agreed that said Indenture may be renewed with such changes of monthly salary as may be agreed upon at the expiration of the three months last above named, and the parties agree to perform the covenant and obligations herein named.

In testimony whereof they the parties have herewith set their hands and seals the day and year first above mentioned

Catherine Hayes

E. G. Coulon

Witnesses -
James E. Carnegie de Healy
Louis F. Zantizinger

"EDITOR'S TABLE. MUSICAL", The Pioneer [San Francisco] (1854), 114, 115, 245

Frank Fowler, Southern lights and shadows (1859), 34

. . . The "Prince of Wales" was generally devoted to opera, and here I have heard Bellini, Meyerbeer, and even Verdi and Beethoven as carefully rendered as at any theatre in London, the two Italian opera houses only excepted. Madame Anna Bishop was generally first-lady, Miss Sarah Flower contralto; Messrs. Laglaise and Coulon - not quite unknown names - tenor and bass; and Messrs. Lavenu and Loder, men of some English reputation, leaders of the orchestra. At the "Prince of Wales" I heard a Miska Hauser fiddle. He plays Beethoven like Ernst, Paganini like Sivori . . .

Musical works:

Marseillaise hymn, arranged by M. Coulon (Sydney: Woolcott & Clarke, [1855]) 

Bibliography and resources:

George Martin, Verdi at the Golden Gate (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1993) (PREVIEW)


Composer, writer, editor

COUNSEL, Mary Josephine


Died Somerville, VIC, 21 July 1894


"ADELAIDE CORPORATION . . . CORRESPONDENCE", The South Australian Advertiser (30 August 1870), 3

"AN IMPROVISATORE", Empire (30 January 1871), 2

"CORRESPONDENCE", Bendigo Advertiser (9 January 1872), 2

From Edward Counsel, of North Melbourne, a genius who stated he has composed 20,000 original airs and musical pieces, and that he was prepared to give entertainments out of the lot as singer, improvisatore, dramatic reader, impresario, and composer. Received as read.

"Somerville", Mornington Standard (26 July 1894), 7

On Saturday last one of the oldest residents of the district, Mrs. Mary Josephine Counsel, died suddenly at her residence. Deceased was the wife of Mr. Edward Counsel, a well-known composer of music, among which may be mentioned, the "Melodies of Erin." He was also the author of 10,000 maxims. Mrs. Counsel also composed fifty pieces of music, thirty of which were accepted by the Education Department for school songs, and she also gained several rewards and certificates at the various exhibitions.


Professor of music, singing master, organist, pianist, musician

Active Ballarat, VIC, by 1857
Died Malvern, VIC, 9 October 1906

COUPLAND, William Henry

Organist, pianist, violinist, teacher, music examiner

Born Ballarat, VIC, 1859/60 (son of Samuel COUPLAND)
Died Nedlands, WA, 1 October 1931, aged 71

COUPLAND, Miss (? Misses)

Organist, teacher of music

Active Bendigo, VIC, by 1869


"BALLARAT DISCUSSION SOCIETY", The Star (8 December 1857), 2

There was a public gathering at the Temperance and Discussion Hall, Bakery Hill, on Monday evening, on the occasion of an "amateur entertainment," given for the purpose of raising funds for the purchase of a harmonium and piano, and to aid in the formation of a Choral Society, to be affiliated with the Discussion Society . . . the whole winding up with "God save the Queen," by the company. Mr. S. Coupland presided at the instrument, which is from Huxtable's Repository, and appeared to be in good tune and of mellow yet powerful tone.

"HAWKERS' AND PEDLERS' LICENSES", The Star (9 December 1857), 2

[Advertisement], The Star (17 November 1860), 3

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (3 April 1869), 3

"LONG GULLY POPULAR READINGS", Bendigo Advertiser (9 November 1869), 2

"DEATHS", Bendigo Advertiser (2 November 1876), 2

[Advertisement], The Argus (28 February 1883), 12

"DEATHS", The Australasian (20 October 1906), 58

"WILLS AND ESTATES", The Argus (21 November 1906), 7

"ST. GEORGE'S CATHEDRAL. To the editor", The West Australian (17 September 1907), 6

"LATE MR. W. H. COUPLAND", The Daily News (2 October 1931), 7

[Advertisement], The West Australian (3 July 1947), 3

COURT, Mary Ann

Contralto vocalist ("the Native Contralto Singer")

Active Sydney, NSW, 1856


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 February 1856), 1 

APPEAL to the NATIVES of SYDNEY. Miss MARY ANN COURT, the Native Contralto Singer, takes her Benefit THIS EVENING, at the Royal Polytechnic Pitt-street. Miss Court in some favourite Ballads, assisted by Madame E. L. Gunn, who will sing some of Moore's Irish Melodies. "The Irish Jaunting Car," and other comic songs, by the Koh-i-Noor and his Sprite. B. Lennox as "Cox," and Miss Court as "Mrs. Bouncer," in BOX AND COX.

COUSENS, Harriette (Harriet, Harriete Eliza LIGHT; Mrs. Walter Page COUSENS; ? formerly "Miss GRANT" of Drury Lane)

Professor of Music, pianist, vocalist (pupil of Kalkbrenner and Crivelli)

Born England, 1805/6
Arrived Launceston, VDL (TAS), 10 January 1838 (per Louisa Campbell, from London, 29 September 1837)
Died Sydney, NSW, 7 April 1876, aged 70 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

COUSENS, Clara Helen (Mrs. Kingsmill SHAW; Helen Kingsmill SHAW)

Contralto vocalist (pupil of Sara Flower, and Julius Benedict), pianist, singing teacher

Born Sydney, NSW, 18 August 1847 (daughter of the above)
Married Henry Kingsmill SHAW, St. James's Church, Sydney, 9 March 1867
Died Milan, Italy, 1922 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Mrs. Cousens, for "many years a Teacher of Piano Forte and Singing in London and Cheltenham", and as she advertised later "a pupil of Kalkbrenner and Crivelli", arrived in Launceston with her husband, Walter Page Cousens (1801-1863) and four children in January 1838.

In March 1838 a report in The Sydney Gazette claimed she was formerly the vocalist "Miss Grant" of Drury Lane. Since the Miss Grant in question was almost certainly Anadalusia Grant (c.1809-1888; as Lady Molesworth, wife of the British secretary for the colonies), this cannot be correct; perhaps more likely that they were both pupils of Crivelli (active on stage 1828-1830, Miss Grant had earlier sung at one of Liszt's London concerts on 9 June 1827). Regardless of her identity, the gist of the Sydney report was that Cousens had been signed up by Wyatt for his new Sydney theatre. However, her husband having set up as a general agent in Launceston, she instead opened a school there.

She also continued to give "private lessons in Music, Singing, and Drawing, at her own residence", and in January 1840, perhaps uniquely in the colonies at that time, was "desirous of receiving an Articled Pupil for Music".

She and her family arrived in Sydney in August 1841, and in September she advertised as a music teacher. As well as continuing to teach music privately, she opened a school for young ladies, "Mrs. Cousens's Establishment", which she ran into the early 1870s.

A Sydney death notice (1856) for her mother identifies Mrs. W. P. Cousens unequivocally as daughter of the late Mrs. Light; and family histories give her name as Harriet Light.

My thanks to a descendent, Jane Beck, for kindly sharing information.


"LAUNCESTON SHIPPING", The Sydney Monitor (29 January 1838), 2

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

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (3 March 1838), 2

It is reported in Sydney that Mr. Wyatt's agent at Hobart Town, has engaged a Mrs. Cousens, formerly Miss Grant, a celebrated vocalist, lately arrived by the Louisa Campbell, at Launceston, for the new Theatre, Pitt-street. Mrs. Cousens, when Miss Grant, belonged to the Drury Lane company, London.

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (28 December 1839), 4

[Advertisement], Launceston Advertiser (2 January 1840), 1s

"ARRIVALS", Australasian Chronicle (3 August 1841), 2

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (11 September 1841), 3

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 December 1844), 3

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 June 1845), 1

"BIRTHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (20 August 1847), 4

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 March 1862), 1

MRS. COUSENS' EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENT for YOUNG LADIES, Elizabeth-street, Hyde Park. - The second quarter commences April the 2nd. The following professors are engaged: - Finishing lessons in music, by M. Boulanger; Singing, Madame Sarah Flower; Drawing, Mr. Terry; Dancing, Signor Carandini; French and Italian, by a gentleman, a native of Paris.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Boulanger (pianist); Sara Flower (vocalist); Gerome Carandini

"MARRIAGES", The Sydney Morning Herald (16 March 1867), 1 

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (8 April 1876), 1

Florence Gordon, "MRS. KINGSMILL-SHAW. MEMORIES OF HALF-A-CENTURY OF MUSIC (Written for THE LONE HAND)", The Lone Hand (1 January 1921), 22 

"SYDNEY has grown up in an atmosphere of music; it has always had good music. As far back as I can remember all that was best in its society loved music with the critical appreciation that insisted on the best within rearch and knew when It got it."

Mrs. Kingsmill-Shaw looked out over Mosman Bay (Sydney), where a gusty southerly ruffled the waves with white caps and musingly linked up the long chain of yesterdays which built the to-day of musical Sydney with its national Conservatorium, its State orchestra, its rich field of exploration for the visiting world artist, its crop of examination candidates for antipodean examiners.

"From the time I was five," continued Mrs. Kingsmill-Shaw, "I grew up in the atmosphere of good music. I could have been little more than seven when I was taken to hear grand opera produced by a company conducted by a French musician, Lameneux [Lavenu]. Madame Cailleur [Cailly] was the prima donna - an exquisite soprano. Sara Flower, my earliest friend and teacher, sang contralto parts with them. Sydney has heard Madame Patey, Clara Butt, Kirkby Lunn, Eleanor de Cisneros, great singers and artists all of tnem, yet she has never heard such an incomparable contralto as Sara Flower. She was the favorite pupil of the great Crevelli, and brought to Australia the classic renderings of contralto roles, the bel canto of the best Italian method. She was a large woman, with too much temperament to be a great teacher. To the pupil who could imitate she would show the right rendering; those who could not imitate had to take their luck. She taught me all I knew until I went to Europe.

"When Sara Flower was engaged to play some operatic role, she would give me the score and together we came here to Mosman, then a solitary tract of virgin bush. Here where we are now she would let her great voice go out over the tree trunks across the water in a pure abandonment of song, only stopping when I called out, "You're wrong, you're wrong." I was barely in my teens when Sara was joined by her friend, and fellow pupil of Crevelli, Madame Anna Bishop, whose beautiful soprano rendered her husband’s songs, "Where the Bee Sucks," "Lo, Hear the Gentle Lark," with great sweetness. Anna Bishop used all her persuasion to coax my mother into allowing her to take me home and train me for the operatic stage. Some times I took my small place on the platform with them. The accompaniments were played by that fine musician and genial oddity, Charles Packer. He was an accomplished organist, and wrote a tuneful cantata, "The Crown of Thorns," but those were nothing to his skill as an accompanist. Never, either in Europe or Australia, have I ever met his equal. He had the most absolutely beautiful touch on the piano. I learnt the piano with him.

"One of Packer's most distinguished pupils to whom I also taught singing was Miss Lottie Hyam. She had much of the beauty of his touch. Her appearances at concerts always attracted audiences, especially when she was associated with instrumental chamber music. I think also she played concertos with Hazon's orchestra with great success. Mr. Rivers Allpress was also associated with her in many notable performances.

"Packer collaborated with Mr. Nathan, a brother [recte, father] of Dr. Nathan, then the principal specialist in Macquarie Street, in giving a series of subscription concerts in the Masonic Hall, then on the block in Pitt Street, between Market and King Streets.

"At that time, there was much good stringed instrumental chamber music in Sydney as opportunity offered of getting good musicians together. These concerts - generally subscription concerts - were usually given at the Royal Hotel in George Street, now the Soldiers' Club. I can recall a number of good concerts there. Besides that a great deal of chamber music could be heard in private houses. Sara Flowers, who lived in a stone cottage still standing in Victoria Street, gathered round her many interesting personalities, mostly musical, while weekly, several private houses had quite large gatherings where people were content with simple refreshments, and each in their way contributed to the general amusement . . .

"OBITUARY", The Sydney Morning Herald (8 March 1922), p. 14

News has reached her son in this city of the death of Mrs. Kingsmill Shaw. More than a year ago she left Sydney for Milan to live with daughter (Mme. Carrara) and granddaughter. Mrs. Kingsmill Shaw was then the oldest native-born teacher of singing in this city, having taught singing and music for about 45 years. Helen Kingsmill Shaw was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cousens, who came here in the early 'Forties from Emsworth, Hampshire, with a considerable fortune, which they lost in a disastrous speculation. Mrs. Cousens, a pupil of the famous Cravelli [sic], then started a ladies' school at the corner of Elizabeth and Liverpool streets, where the grandmothers of many leading Australian families of the present day were educated. Clara Helen Cousens (Mrs. Shaw) was born at this house (in later years occupied by Dr. Sydney Jamieson and then demolished by Mark Foy's Company), and studied singing as a contralto under Sara Flower, and then in London under Sir Julius Benedict. Soon after her return to Sydney, the young artist married Henry Kingsmill Shaw, a Queensland business man related to the Kingsmill Abbott family . . . The late Mrs. Shaw retired from public life as a concert artist in the early 'Eighties. One of her latest public activities was in August, 1918, when she trained the chorus of the Amateur Patriotic Musical and Dramatic Society for the revival of "The Cingalee" at the Theatre Royal. There are many interesting aspects of this artist's family history. Her mother was married in London from No.1 Cavendish Square, the house of Mrs. Durham Thackeray's grandmother, and that novelist gave the bride away. Her mother's first cousin was Colonel Light R.E. who surveyed and laid out the city of Adelaide where two statues are elected in his honour.

Documentation (Miss Grant):


Edward Stirling, Old Drury Lane: fifty years' recollections of author, actor, and manager (London: Chatto and Windus, 1881), 209

James Huneker, Franz Liszt (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911), 305

Kim Reynolds, "Molesworth, Andalusia Grant", Oxford dictionary of national biography (2004)

Other sources:

[Prospectus for] Mrs. Cousens's Establishment, 222 Elizabeth Street, Hyde Park (c.1857)


Professor of Violin and Pianoforte, bandmaster

Active Melbourne, VIC, 1859-76


Cousins, "Late of Foley-street, Regent's Park, London", Late Quadrille Player to Her Majesty", Late of Adams's Royal Band, Her Majesty's State Band", advertised as a teacher in February 1859, directed the band for the Manchester Unity Ball in August, and in August 1860 was leader of the orchestra at the Royal Victoria Volunteer Artillery Regiment's Annual Subscription Ball. In February 1863, he returned to Melbourne from Dunedin, NZ. He was still active in 1876.


[Advertisement], The Argus (14 February 1859), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (22 August 1859), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (26 October 1859), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (31 July 1860), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (3 February 1863), 8

The Victoria Post Office Directory (1866), 35

"Funeral Notice", The Argus (2 November 1867), 8



Ship's fiddler (Beagle)


Bibliography and resources:

"Syms Covington", Wikipedia

COWEN, Frederic Hymen

Conductor, composer

Born Kingston, Jamaica, 29 January 1852
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, mid 1888
Departed Melbourne, VIC, early 1889
Died London, England, 6 October 1935 (NLA persistent identifier)

See also Music at the Centennial Exhibition (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Bibliography and resources:

Kenneth Hince, "Cowen, Frederic Hymen (1852-1935)", Australian dictionary of biography 3 (1969)

COX, Mr.

Musician, bandmaster (Cremorne Band, Cremorne Brass Band)

Active Cremorne Gardens, Sydney, NSW, 1856


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 November 1856), 8 

CREMORNE, on THURSDAY. - In consequence of the increased patronage from the Votaries of Terpsichore the proprietors have much pleasure in announcing that they have succeeded in engaging Herr Mohr's string Quadrille Band in addition to Mr. Cox's Cremorne Brass Band. By this arrangement the dancing will continue throughout the evening without cessation.

LINKS: Cremorne Gardens Sydney

COX, Alfred

See main entry: 

COX, Mrs. George (Mrs. George COX)

Contralto vocalist

Active Melbourne, VIC, 1854 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


[Advertisement], The Argus (13 February 1854), 8 

ALFRED PHILLIPS'S Drawing Room Entertainments . . . Mrs. George Cox, contralto singer from the Philharmonic Concerts, Liverpool . . .

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

SALLE DE VALENTINO - Monster Concert. Mr. JAMES ELLIS has the honor to announce his Benefit will take place on Monday next, 6th March, on which occasion the Band will be considerable augmented, together with the following vocalists, who have kindly volunteered their services: - Madame Carandini; Miss Octavia Hamilton; Mrs. George Cox, from the Philharmonic Concerts; Mr. Lavenu, and Mr. Barlow; Solo on the Cornet-a Piston, by Mr. de Gray. Tickets to be had at the Salle de Valentino.

[Advertisement], The Argus (19 June 1854), 8 

GRAND CONCERT. To-night Monday, 19th June,
At the CRITERION HALL, For the Benefit of the Criterion Band.
On which occasion only the following talented artistes will appear:-
Vocalists: Miss Hamilton, Mrs. George Cox, Mr. Barsham, Mr. Gover
Instrumentalists: Herr Strebinger, Mr. Weston. Mr. Wild, Mr. James Thorne, Signor Maffei, Mr. George Chapman, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Hartigan, Herr Koehler, Herr Harendorff
Together with the entire Criterion Orchestra.
Part 1.
Overture - Massaniello - Orchestra - Auber.
Polka - Chatelle [?] - Chapman.
Favorlte Song - Where the Bee Sucks - Miss Hamilton - Dr. Arne.
Duetto - Clarionette and Opheiclide - Messrs Johnson and Hartigan
Song - Annie - Mrs. G. Cox
Waltz - Summer Flowers - Orchestra
Song - Simon the Cellarer - Mr. Barsham
Quadrille - Exposition - Orchestra - D'Albert.
Part II.
Grand Selections frrom Norma - Orchestra - Bellini.
Song - Home, Sweet Home, with Miss Hamilton harp accompaniment Mr. Chapman.
Solo, Violin - Fantasia - Leon Lecina - Herr Strebinger.
Song - Constance - Mrs. G. Cox.
Schottische - Atherstone - Orchestra.
Song - I have need of all your kindeness - Mr. Gover.
Duet - Elfin Call - Miss Hamilton and Mrs. C. Cox.
Galop - Cuckoo - Orchestra.
Finale - God Save the Queen - Orchestra.
Admission, Five Shillings. Doors open at half-past seven, commence at eight.
Leader of the Orchestra - Mr. Weston.
Conductor - Mr. G. Chapman.
Tickets to be had at Mr. Chapman's Music Warehouse, Queen's Arcade, and of the Gentlemen of the Band.

COXON, William Wilson

Vocalist, songwriter

Born c. 1841/42
Active Ballarat, VIC, by 1857-58
Died Ballarat, VIC, 18 August 1925, aged 83


Coxon appeared at Ballarat's Charlie Napier Hotel in August 1857, billed as:

the celebrated local Comic Singer . . . Whose Shakespearian, and other Burlesques, have been received with unbounded applause in this and the neighboring colonies.

A few days later "his new local Song, written on Ballarat, SIMON PUIR, OR, THE DAMAGED LOVER" was announced. The press responded coolly to:

some tolerable songs of a trifling character by Mr Coxon. Beyond a facility of utterance, in time and keeping with the refrain music, to which the songs and burlesques are set, we do not apprehend that this gentleman aims at any very high standard of excellence as a concert singer. Although he has been nightly encored, very frequently four or five times in succession, his popularity is chiefly due to the matter of his songs, and their apt introduction of purely local peculiarities and allusions.

But particular offense was taken at his salacious new song The pretty girls of Ballarat, sung moreover before an:

assemblage of these women of the town within the walls of the theatre . . . disgusting the ears of those who are tempted thither to listen to music which cannot be heard elsewhere, by songs written in the worst possible taste in praise of a vice too common to need any pointed or marked allusion to attract attention.

In his show two nights later he introduced "MR COXON'S REPLY TO THE PRESS". Other listed songs include The flash colonial barman in October 1857 (a night the Attorney General attended).

In March 1858 the Star called him the "celebrated local improvisatore", and in November reported "Coxon continues to reign supreme as our local comic singer". Nevertheless, he appears to have left the city by the end of that month, when the Star noted:

the lack of Mr. Coxon, whose homeward bound intentions have, for a second time, taken him from Ballarat. He will not however, be soon forgotten, for he has been indomitable in making funny songs out of subjects that have appeared only too grave to others of perhaps less sense.


[Advertisement], The Star (17 August 1857), 3

[Advertisement], The Star (21 August 1857), 3

"CHARLIE NAPIER", The Star (21 August 1857), 3

"THE CHARLIE NAPIER", The Star (24 August 1857), 3

[Advertisement], The Star (26 August 1857), 3

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

[Advertisement], The Star (7 December 1857), 3

[2 advertisements], The Star (17 September 1858), 3

"THE DUCHESS OF KENT THEATRE", The Star (4 November 1858), 3

"THE DUCHESS OF KENT THEATRE", The Star (29 November 1858), 2

"MR. W. W. COXON", The North Eastern Ensign (21 August 1925), 3

The death occurred on Tuesday of Mr William Wilson Coxon, 83 years of age, one of the oldest journalists in the State. Mr Coxon was for 65 years on the Ballarat Star, which closed in September, 1924.

COY, Leandro

Tenor vocalist, teacher of singing

Arrived (1) Melbourne, VIC, early 1871; departed October 1875
Arrived (2) Melbourne, VIC, by February 1880
Died Surrey Hills, VIC, 23 October 1911, aged 72


Mezzo-soprano vocalist

Born Pesaro, Italy, 1844
Died Surrey Hills, VIC, 17 April 1919

COY, Alice

Soprano vocalist

Born Adelaide, 6 March 1872
Died Surrey Hills, VIC, 1930


"ROYAL ITALIAN OPERA COMPANY", Empire (24 January 1871), 2

"THE NEW ITALIAN OPERA COMPANY", The Argus (8 May 1871), 6

"BIRTH", South Australian Register (8 March 1872), 4

[Advertisement], The Argus (4 October 1875), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (26 February 1880), 8

"MELBOURNE POPULAR CONCERTS", The Argus (12 November 1891), 7

"DEATH OF SIGNOR COY", The Argus (24 October 1911), 7

The many friends of Signor Leandro Coy will regret to hear of his death, which occurred yesterday at his residence, "Pesaro", Surrey Hills. Signor Coy had been in indifferent health for about a year and a fortnight ago he was confined to his bed. Born in Tarragona, Spain, Signor Coy at an early age developed a beautiful tenor voice and was advised to study under Signor Romani, a famous maestro in Florence. He made his debut in Fabriano (Italy) during the carnival of 1863 in "Un Ballo in Maschera" and achieved a great success. He was engaged for the season at Pisa and subsequently he appeared at Prato and at Florence at the Pergola, with the celebrated sisters Marchisio in the opera "Semiramide". His future was secured from this moment. After his appearance in Florence he sang in Rome at the Teatro Valle in "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" with Signora Bacigaluppi. Thence it was a triumphant march through Italy; thence to Bucharest and Agram; and thence to Barcelona at the Liceo, where he sang five operas: "Gazza Ladra", "Martha", "Sonnambula", "La Figlia del Reggimento" and "Barbiere". On the occasion of the visit of the late Queen of Spain, Isabella II, to San Sebastiano, special performances of the "Sonnambula" were given in her honour, and Signor Coy was engaged for this occasion. There he sang with the famous prima donna Signorina Giulia Tamburini, a niece of the celebrated baritone Tamburini, for whom Rossini composed his operas. The event was an immense success. The tenor and prima donna fell in love and were married in Tarragona, Signor Coy's native city, shortly afterwards. From this they were always engaged together. South America, Central and South, Sweden, Russia, Norway, Italy, India, Switzerland, and Australasia were visited. Signor Coy's repertoire comprised 50 operas. About the time that Mr. Lyster went to Europe to secure new principals for opera in Australia, a surprise visit was paid by an Italian firm of impresarios. This was in May 1871. Signori Cagli and Pompei arrived, unheralded, from India and Signor and Signora Coy were among the company. Signor Coy, who was 72 years of age, leaves a widow, a daughter and two sons. He was teaching here for some years and he never refused to sing for any charity. In fact, on one occasion a benefit was given him, and he gave all the proceeds to the hospital. He was away from Melbourne for some years, but he returned in the eighties.

"DEATH OF SIGNORA COY", The Argus (19 April 1919), 14

"FORMER ITALIAN OPERA COMPANY RECALLED", The Register (19 April 1919), 8

[Advertisement: probate], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 July 1930), 9

Musical sources:

Leandro Coy's copy of Giorza's Messe solennelle no. 3 (with Coy's then address: 19 Erin Street, Richmond) 

Bibliography and resources:

Gyger 1990, 26, 26, 27, 335

Gyger 1999, 161 and thereafter (many references)

CRABBE, Mr. W. (? William CRABBE)

Bandmaster, composer

Active Adelaide, SA, 1850


The sole mention of a work attributed to "Crabbe" is the March Adelaide, played by the full band as the opening number of Andrew Moore's "LAST PROMENADE CONCERT", at the Exchange Rooms, Adelaide, on 26 November 1850. He may be the W. Crabbe later associated with "the band connected with the North Adelaide Band of Hope". A report of August Huenerbein's March Adelaide also dates from 1850.


[Advertisement], South Australian Register (26 November 1850), 2

"TEMPERANCE", South Australian Register (15 August 1856), 2

On Monday evening, the monthly meeting as Morcom's Temperance Hotel was presided over by Mr. W. Crabbe, and the band connected with the North Adelaide Band of Hope being present . . . The band, during the meeting, played several airs in a very creditable manner, and drew forth the repeated applause of the meeting. Addresses were delivered by Messrs. Alcock, Hart, Peising, and Mason. A vote of thanks was unanimously passed to Mr. Peising, who was highly complimented for the attention paid by him to the Band of Hope, and the progress the band had made in to short a time under his superintendence. The meeting concluded by the band playing God Save the Queen.


Amateur pianist

Born 1816
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 6 January 1837 (per Fairlie)
Departed for England, August 1843
Died 20 June 1892


Sophy Cracroft arrived in Tasmania with her uncle, John Franklin, the new governor, in 1837. She left Tasmania with the Franklins in 1843, and after John's death in 1847 she remained constant companion of Jane Franklin. William Henty (1808-1881), fellow passenger on the voyage out to Tasmania on the Fairlie, left a diary of the voyage in which he recorded:

Tonight the party mustered pretty strong. Sir John's piano is brought from below, up on deck, and Miss Kracroft who plays beautifully, is chief musician. They marshal about 7 or 8 couples in country dances, Gaieties & Gravities etc. but Quadrilles are the chief, a Waltz now and then.

Bibliography and resources:

John Clay, Maconochie's experiment (London: John Murray, 2001), 54

CRAMER, Madame = Madame KRAMER, Margeritta HAIMBERGER

CRAMER BROTHERS (arrived 1855)

Musicians, theatre orchestra players

First active Melbourne, VIC, 1855, and Sydney, NSW, 1856

CRAMER, Ferdinand (Ferdinand CRAMER; F. CRAMER)

Born Hanover, Germany, c. 1833
Married Margaret IRVINE, QLD, 1863
Died Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD, 21 April 1881 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

CRAMER, Ernest August (Ernest August CRAMER; E. A. CRAMER; E. CRAMER)

Born Hanover, Germany, c. 1836/37; son of August CRAMER
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 26/27 September 1855 (per Champion of the Seas, from Liverpool, 5 July)
Married Mary Ann STACEY, QLD, 31 January 1863
Died Rozelle, NSW, 10 December 1922, aged 86 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

CRAMER, Henry (Henry CRAMER; Henri CRAMER)

Musician, carpenter

Born Hanover, Germany, c. 1839 (or earlier)
? Married Margaret McNAMARA, Mount Gambier, SA, 1867
? Died Sydney, NSW, April 1885, "aged 54" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

CRAMER, Fritz (Fritz CRAMER; ? Frederick CRAMER)

Musician (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


According to Ernest's obituary (1922), the four Cramer brothers arrived in Melbourne in late September 1855 on the Champion of the Seas.

Three of the brothers, Fritz, Ferdinand and Henry, first appeared in their own right in the playbills, as voluteering their services, in May 1856, for a charity benefit in aid of one of the city's two volunteer fire brigades. In what was probably just a coincidence, the vocalist Margeritta Cramer was appearing in Sydney at the same timne.

With the two Seal brothers, Ferdinand and Ernest then sailed for Brisbane in the second half of 1857, having been informally engaged to perform as a town band by the local businessman and music lover Robert Ramsey Mackenzie.

Ferdinand Cramer was leader of the Volunteer Band at Ipswich in 1873. As reported in 1902, a Ferdinand Cramer, painter, of Brisbane, had died on 21 April 1881, leaving his estate to his widow Margaret.


[Advertisement], Empire [Sydney, NSW] (31 May 1856), 1 

Benefit to the Victoria Volunteer Fire Company, No. 1.
Mr. and Mrs. JAMES STARK, and the undermentioned Ladies and Gentlemen of the company, have, in the kindest manner,
offered their gratuitous services on the above evening :- Messrs. J. C. Lambert, C. H. Twight, W. Dind, W. Thompson,
August Siegel, Andrew Siegel, Fritz Cramer, W. Davies, Henry Cramer, Ferdinand Cramer,
F. Friedlander, M. Vaughan, A. Grebet, J. Winning, W. Moulden, W. Hinchey, Edward Sadler, W. Ganden, S. H. Brown, J. Purcell, R. Bruce;, Mrs. Lambert. Mrs. Guerin, Mrs. Hart, Mrs. Mortimer, Miss Ward, Miss Douglas, Miss Hart.
The Australian Gas Company have kindly granted the free use of the Gas. Messrs, Paisey and Pryor have very liberally contributed the Printing.

. . . The Orchestra will play Jullien's celebrated Fireman's Quadrille, arranged by Mr. J. Gibbs, introducing various effects, - the alarm - the fire bell - men at the breaks - the whistle - the signal of return to the engine station . . .

? [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 March 1857), 8

[Advertisement], The Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser (7 March 1857), 5 

To Musicians. MESSRS. HENRI AND FERDINAND CRAMER, Clarionet and Sax Tuba players, are requested to forward their address to Mr. Frank Howson, Prince of Wales Theatre, immediately. Any person communicating the above to them will be thanked.

? [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 April 1858), 16

[Advertisement], The Courier (30 October 1863), 4

[Advertisement], The Courier (28 March 1864), 3

"BRISBANE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Queenslander (25 May 1867), 7

"IPSWICH", The Queenslander (8 February 1873), 10

"IPSWICH", The Queenslander (10 November 1877), 29

Armidale Gaol, description and entrance books, 1880; State Records Authority of NSW 

1580 / August Ernest Kramer / [ship] Champion of the Seas / - / [born] Hanover / Professor of Music / 44 / 5 [ft] 9 1/2 [ins] / [complexion] dark / [hair] brown / [eyes] grey . . .

Registers of coroners' inquests, 1880-1886; State Records Authority of NSW 

[inquest] 18 [April 1885] / Henry Cramer / [age] 54 / [born] Hanover / [died] Wentworth / [cause of death] Gunshot wound inflicted by himself - not known whether accident or otherwise . . .

[Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (15 December 1902), 12

"OBITUARY. MR. E. A. CRAMER", The Sydney Morning Herald (12 December 1922), 7 

The death occurred on Sunday of Mr. Ernest August Cramer, a veteran of the Crimean war, at the age of 86 years. Born at Hanover, the late Mr. Cramer went to England with his parents at the age of 13 years. On the out-break of the Crimean War be joined the British Navy, being drafted to the H.M.S. London. In 1853 the ship was ordered to Constantinople to refit. Mr. Cramer took part in the bombardment of Odessa, and saw the battles of Inkerman, Alma, and Balaclava fought. One of his brothers was killed in front of Sebastopol, and another took cholera and was sent to hospital in Scutari. While visiting his brother at Scutari he met Florence Nightingale. He was a member of the band on H.M.S. London, and when in action he was powder monkey. The late Mr. Cramer came to Australia with his brothers in 1855, at the age of 19 years, and arriving in Melbourne, went to the gold fields for a couple of years. Later he went to Brisbane, where he received an appointment in the Treasury. He aftorwards became bandmaster at Government House, Brisbane, where he was conductor during the Duke of Edinburgh's visit. In 1863 be married Miss Mary Ann Stacey, at Brisbane. His wife survives him. There were 14 children of the marriage, of whom seven survive. Mr. Cramer also had 25 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

"CRIMEAN VETERAN", The Daily Telegraph (12 December 1922), 5 

. . . He sailed from Liverpool when 19, with his brothers, for Australia in the Champion of the Seas, in 1855. Arriving in Melbourne . . .

Bibliography and resources:

C. G. Austin, "Early history of music in Queensland", Journal of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland 6/4 (1962), 1052-1067


Professor of Music, organist, music master, ? music retailer, convict

Born England, 1803
Arrived VDL (TAS), 19 August 1839 (convict per Egyptian, from London, 9 April 1839)
Died Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 7 July 1849 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

CRAMP, Richard James (R. J. CRAMP)

Music and musical instrument seller

Born c.1822
Active Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), by 1839
Died Hobart, TAS, 7 January 1877, in his 56th year (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

CRAMP, Mr. (? Mr. A. CRAMP; Adie CRAMP)

Comic singer, ? tailor (? unrelated to the above)

Active NSW (VIC), 1840
? Died Moonee Ponds, VIC, 26 November 1852 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


At London's Central Criminal Court on 26 November 1838, Cramp, aged 35, pleaded guilty to several counts of major embezzlement and was sentenced to transportation for 14 years.

In December 1842, John Howson was rumoured to have objected to being musically associated with a Mr. Cramp, who was playing the seraphine at St. George's Battery Point (perhaps in succession to Maria Logan, who had left for Sydney that year), maybe because he was a prisoner, though this report was later questioned. A character reference from the rector and wardens of the church recommended him for a remission of sentence. He received a ticket-of-leave in January 1844, and in December a pardon conditional on him not returning to Europe or to any of the British colonies in America.

In the mean time he established a music business. Perhaps due to his convict status, his first advertisements were run under the name of his adult son Richard, who was also in the colony, an accountant and collector; "R. J. CRAMP" was advertising as "just published" the "Punch and Judy's Quadrilles, with the famous Valse-de Judy", in December 1843.

After receiving his ticket-of-leave, and now under his own name, Thomas advertised in September 1844 that he had engaged "a first-rate PIANOFORTE MAKER from London", and in later advertisements that he had new music and instruments for sale.

In February 1845, Cramp ("Professor of Music, and Organist of St. George's Church, Hobart Town") was presenting a concert in Campbell-Town accompanying the Gautrots, husband and wife, at the pianoforte. He was insolvent in September 1847, and died in July 1849.


THOMAS CRAMP, Theft, embezzlement, 26th November 1838; Old Bailey Online

246. THOMAS CRAMP was indicted for embezzling the sums of 50l., 100l., and 50l., which he had received on account of Charles Fossett Burnett and others, his masters; also the sums of 200l., 108l., and 8l.; to both of which he pleaded GUILTY . Aged 35. - Transported for Fourteen Years. (The prosecutor stated his loss to be between 2000l. and 3000l.) Before Mr. Recorder.

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", Colonial Times (20 August 1839), 4

[Advertisement], Port Phillip Gazette (16 May 1840), 2 

Vocal Concert. J. TICKELL, TEACHER of Singing according to the "Musurgia Vocalis," late Leader of the South Devon Club, having secured the assistance of MR. CRAMP, the celebrated Comic Singer, has the honor lo inform the Ladies and Gentlemen of Melbourne and its vicinity, that at the request of several, thev will give an Evening Vocal Concert, at the LAMB INN, on MONDAY EVENING next, the 18th instant, at Seven o'clock precisely. Tickets Five Shillings, may he had at the Lamb Inn, and at the Office of the Patriot. For programme see hand bills.

? "CONCERT", Port Phillip Gazette (3 June 1840), 3 

Messrs. Tickell and Cramp gave a concert at William's Town, on Friday evening last. We learn that their efforts on this occasion were highly successful, and warmly applauded by their audience, which would have been more numerous but for the boisterous and inclement state of the weather.

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (27 July 1841), 2

[News], Colonial Times (6 December 1842), 2

"FALSE REPORTS", Colonial Times (13 December 1842), 3

[Advertisement], The Courier (29 December 1843), 1

[Government notices], The Cornwall Chronicle (6 January 1844), 4

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (17 September 1844), 1

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (15 February 1845), 3 

MR. CRAMP, Professor of Music, and Organist of St. George's Church, Hobart Town, begs leave to inform the inhabitants of Campbell Town and its vicinity, that he intends giving a
Concert and Ball, on THURSDAY, Feb. 27th, 1845, after the London style, and has engaged the services of
Mons. & Madame GAUTROT, AND Mr. NESBITT, (the celebrated Tragedian, from Sydney,) who will give some of his admired readings.
Programme - Part I.
1. AIR with variations, Violin, and Pianoforte Accompaniement - Mons. GAUTROT and Mr. CRAMP.
2. RECITATION - "Battle of Minden" - Mr. NESBITT.
3. SONG - "La Bion d'ina Gondolet" [La Blondina in gondoletta] (with the celebrated variations, as sung by Mad. Calalani, and Pianoforte Accompaniment) - Madame GAUTROT.
4. GLEE - "Blow, gentle Gales" (from the Opera of the Slave - Bishop) - Madame GAUTROT, Mr. NESBlT, & Mr. CRAMP.
5. RECITATION - "Rolla's Address to the Peruvian Army" - Mr. NESBITT.
6. DUET, Comic - Mons. & Mad. GAUTROT.
Part II.
1. AIR, with variations - Violin, on one string, a la Paganini - Gautrot - M. GAUTROT.
2. SONG - "Soft be thy Slumbers" - Nelson - Mr. CRAMP.
3. GLEE, Comic - Cherubini - Mad. GAUTROT, M. GAUTROT, & Mr. CRAMP.
4. RECITATION - "Othello's Apology before the Senate" - Mr. NESBITT.
5. SONG - "My Lodging" - Drouett - Mad. GAUTROT.
6. GLEE - "See our Oars with feather'd Spray" - Mad. GAUTROT, Mr. NESBITT, and Mr. CRAMP.
7. SOLO - Violin - Mons. GAUTROT.
8. "Rule Britannia" - Mad. GAUTROT, with full chorus.
The Concert will commence at two o'clock. Tickets 5s. each, to be had of Mr. Sutton, and at the Hotels, Campbell Town.

[Government notices], The Cornwall Chronicle (6 December 1845), 402

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (16 December 1845), 2

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (15 February 1845), 3

"INSOLVENT CASES", The Courier (8 September 1847), 2

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (18 September 1847), 3

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (22 September 1847), 3

[Advertisement], The Courier (16 September 1848), 2

Deaths in the district of Hobart; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1188264; RGD35/1/2 no 2479

"DIED", Colonial Times (10 July 1849), 2

"DEATHS", Launceston Examiner (11 July 1849), 6

"DEATH", Tribune (12 January 1877), 1 

Bibliography and resources:

CRANZ, August


Active ? Australia, 1894


"NEW MUSIC", The Age (24 February 1894), 14 

Bygone Days is a set of waltzes by August Cranz, which are no doubt eminently suited for bail room purposes, though rather commonplace in character.


CRANZ, August Friedrich (Augustus F. CRANZ; "Alexis Fedor" CRANZ)

Choral conductor, composer, music teacher, music retailer

Born Germany, 1816/17
Arrived South Australia, 9 December 1849 (per Pauline from Bremen)
Died Avoca, VIC, 11 February 1883, "aged 66" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

CRANZ, Mathilde (Christiana Mathilde HOGREFE; Christiane Mathilde CRANZ; Madame CRANZ)

Pianist, vocalist, teacher

Arrived South Australia, 9 December 1849 (per Pauline from Bremen)
Departed Adelaide, ? by August 1862 (for Germany) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

CRANZ, August Georg

Amateur musician, violinist, pianist, music teacher

Born Germany, 1843/44
Died Gawler, SA, 7 March 1882, aged 38

CRANZ, Jane (Jeannie; SIMPSON; later Mrs. LEHEHAN)


Married August Georg Cranz
Died Christchurch, NZ, 1 March 1885


For two years after their arrival in Adelaide in December 1849, August and Mathilde Cranz figured prominently in the concert life of Adelaide, "Herr Cranz" as conductor of a "German Song Society" (Liedertafel), teacher, music seller, and composer, and "Madame Cranz" as a pianist and vocalist. One musical work by August is also recorded, The Barnett galop ("composed and played by Herr Cranz"), but lost.

According to evidence later tendered by Mathilde (1861), on 12 March 1852 August deserted his wife and children. He moved to Victoria, and had resettled at Avoca by 1864 where he continued practice as a professor of music. A complimentary concert was given to him there in 1882. After his death a memorial concert was given in March 1884, and by June £25 had been raised for a memorial stone for his grave; the inscription on which reads:

In memory of Alexis Fedor Cranz who departed this life 11th February, 1883, aged 66 years. A tribute of respect and love from the people of Avoca.

Mathilde Cranz and her children were reportedly in straightened circumstances in 1855 when Carl Linger organised a concert in her benefit with the assistance of Maria Carandini and Emile Coulon. She continued to perform in public and teach into the 1860s.

Carl Linger's wife, Wilhelmine, died on 7 April 1860, and on 6 May 1861 a child, Carl Otto August, was born and registered as offspring of Linger and Mathilde (SA Births 1842-1906 b. 20 p.101). There is no record of a legal marriage between them, nor evidence that they intended to give the impression of one, indeed Mathilde's petition for a legal separation from Cranz was not filed until 7 January 1861, four months before the child Otto's birth, and separation finally decreed three week's after. Mathilde was sole beneficiary of Linger's will, made on 13 October 1860.

Linger having died in February 1862, Mathilde returned to Germany before August 1862, taking with her their son Otto, her daughter (by Cranz), and Linger's daughter (by Wilhemene) Marie Louise Feodora.

August and Mathilde's only other surviving child, her son August George Cranz stayed on in Adelaide. He and his wife Jane were active as amateur pianists and vocalists in Gawler in the 1870s and early 1880s, especially noted for the juvenile company they trained for productions of HMS Pinafore.


? "ADELAIDE SHIPPING: ARRIVED", South Australian Register (30 September 1846), 4

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", South Australian Register (12 December 1849), 4

[Advertisement], South Australian (18 January 1850), 3

"On Tuesday last, Mr. Wallace gave what he described as a concert . . .", South Australian Register (27 June 1850), 3

"LOCAL INTELLIGENCE", South Australian Register (6 March 1850), 3

"LOCAL INTELLIGENCE", South Australian Register (12 April 1850), 3

"CONCERT BY MADAME MATHILDE CRANZ", South Australian Register (12 June 1851), 2

"MADAME CRANZ'S CONCERT", South Australian Register (15 April 1853), 2

"SOUTH AUSTRALIA", The Argus (20 August 1855), 6

"SOUTH AUSTRALIA. MADAME CRANZ'S CONCERT", The Argus (13 September 1855), 4

"THE HANDEL COMMEMORATION FESTIVAL", The South Australian Advertiser (18 April 1859), 7

Petition, Mathilde Cranz (7 January 1861); Public Record Office, SA, GRG 36/51; transcr. Jan McInerney)

The seventh day of January One thousand eight hundred and Sixty-one. The Petition of Mathilde Christiane Cranz of Adelaide in the province of South Australia, Sheweth, That your Petitioner was on the twenty-fifth day of November One thousand eight hundred and forty two lawfully married to August Frederick Cranz at the Free Hanseatic City of Hamburg. That after her said marriage the said August Frederick Cranz lived and cohabited with your Petitioner at the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and at Adelaide in the said province and that your Petitioner and her said husband have had . . . of the said marriage four children to wit one boy and three girls of whom one son and one daughter are still living. That your Petitioner's said husband deserted her without cause on the twelfth day of March 1 thousand eight hundred and fifty-two and is now in the Colony of Victoria and that your Petitioner's said husband has not since lived with her or afforded her any means of support. That your Petitioner said Husband became a naturalised British subject in the said province on the second day of August one thousand eight hundred and fifty two. Your Petitioner therefore humbly prays that your Honor will decree a judicial separation between your Petitioner and her said husband and that Your Petitioner may have such further and other relief in the premises as to your Honors may seem meet. And Your Petitioner will ever pray to. Mathilde Christiane Cranz.

"MATRIMONIAL CAUSE", South Australian Register (19 March 1861), 3

"SUPREME COURT-IN BANCO FRIDAY, MAY 31. MATRIMONIAL", The South Australian Advertiser (1 June 1861), 2

"PROBATES AND ADMINISTRATION", South Australian Register (23 April 1862), 3

"MARRIAGE", South Australian Register (12 February 1868), 2

"PRESENTATION TO MR. A. G. CRANZ", South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail (19 February 1881), 8

"DEATHS", The South Australian Advertiser (8 March 1882), 4

"DEATH", Bunyip (10 March 1882), 2

"OBITUARY. DEATH OF MR. A. G. CRANZ", South Australian Register (18 March 1882), 2s

"IN MEMORIAM. E. V. O. MUEKE AND A. G. CRANZ", Bunyip (24 March 1882), 4

[Obituary], Pyrenees District Advertiser (13 February 1883) (transcr. Jan McInerney)

[News], Avoca Mail (13 February 1883), 2 

The many friends and acquaintances of Herr Cranz will very much regret to hear of his decease, which took place at the Maryborough Hospital yesterday morning at half-past one. The deceased had for some time past been in indifferent health, but nothing of a serious nature was entertained until about a fortnight ago, when a few gentlemen from Avoca had him removed to Maryborough in consequence of the fatal symptoms which were presented. Ever since his admittance into the institution the case was considered by the medical attendants as hopeless, despite the fact that the invalid on two or three occasions rallied, and showed signs of a recovery. The cause of death was we believe, general debility, consequent upon old age. Herr Cranz or 'Professor' Cranz, as he was called, was one of the oldest residents of the township, having resided in Avoca for considerably over twenty years, and he was much respected and esteemed by all who were acquainted with him. For many years past the deceased earned a livelihood by teaching the pianoforte. He will be greatly missed by all sections of the community, as he was always ready and willing to five his services to any good cause, especially where music was to be provided. He presided at the organ of the local Presbyterian Church for a number of years. As soon as the news of his death became known in Avoca, the different shopkeepers put up two or three shutters out of respect. The funeral will take place this afternoon, and will leave the Avoca Hotel at four o'clock.

"MARRIAGES", South Australian Register (30 May 1884), 4

"DEATHS", South Australian Register (18 April 1885), 4

"OLD-TIME MEMORIES. AMUSEMENTS. No. 1", South Australian Register (24 July 1891), 6

"A LIFETIME IN MUSIC . . . MR. CAWTHORNE'S INTERESTING CAREER", The Advertiser (17 November 1916), 9

"UNVEILING A PORTRAIT", Bunyip (29 April 1927), 9

Bibliography and resources:

Meike Tiemeyer-Schütte, Das Deutsche Sängerwesen in Südaustralien vor Ausbruch des Ersten Weltkrieges zwischen Bewahrung von Deutschtum und Anglikanisierung (Münster: LIT Verlag, 2000), 26ff (PREVIEW)

Many thanks: To August and Matilde Cranz's great-great grand-daughter Jan McInerney of Adelaide for sharing her findings and transcriptions of documents added to this entry May 2013.

CRAVEN, Eliza (Miss Eliza NELSON; Mrs. H. T. CRAVEN)

Vocalist, actor

Born England, c. 1827; daughter of Sidney NELSON
Active Australia 1854-57
Died Eastbourne, England, April 1908, aged 81 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

See also on her husband: (TROVE tagged)


CRAVEN, Thomas Wilson (senior)

Choral conductor, pianist, organist, double-bass player

Born Manchester, England, 1841
Active Sydney, NSW, by 1865
Died Rose Bay, NSW, 15 June 1913, in his 72nd year

CRAVEN, Thomas Wilson (junior)


Born Newtown, NSW, 1870
Died Manly, NSW, 26 June 1947, aged 77


[Advertisement], Empire (18 November 1895), 1

"CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 November 1865), 7

"THE LATE MR. T. W. CRAVEN", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 June 1913), 12

Mr. T. W. Craven, sen., a widely-known and highly respected business man engaged in the produce trade of Sussex-street for nearly 50 years, died at his Rose Bay residence on Sunday morning last in his 72nd year. Deceased, who was born at Levenshume, near Manchester, England, came out to Australia as a young man, and in 1864 entered the employment of S. Priestly and Co., Sussex-street. In 1869 he started business for himself, and founded the present firm, which has borne his name ever since. The late Mr. Craven's chief interests lay in philanthropic and leading religious societies . . . He was at the same time an enthusiastic musician, and was a performing and committee member of the Sydney Philharmonic and Amateur Orchestral societies, for both of which he played on the contra bass. In 1879, he gave weekly recitals on the Garden Palace organ, and also played on that instrument at the Raikes Sunday-school Centenary before 20,000 people . . .

"ADVANCE AUSTRALIA", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 September 1935), 4

Miss Lucy W. Craven writes to the Editor . . . to the effect that ["Advance, Australia Fair"] was sung by Mr. Andrew Fairfax at a Highland concert on November 30, 1878. The words and the air were written and composed by Mr. McCormick, who, however, asked Mr. T. W. Craven, then a well-known Sydney musician, and Miss Craven's father, to harmonise the song for him.

"DEATH OF MR. T. W. CRAVEN", The Sydney Morning Herald (27 June 1947), 5


Peter Dodds McCormick

CRESSWELL, Benjamin Humphrey (Benjamin Humphrey CRESWELL; B. H. CRESWELL)

? Bass vocalist, member Hobart Town Choral Society, bandmaster, schoolmaster

Born c.1800
Died Hobart, TAS, 26 March 1852

CRESWELL, Charles Frederick (C. F. CRESWELL)

? Vocalist, member Hobart Town Choral Society, schoolmaster

Born c. 1827
Married Sarah LIPSCOMBE, St George's Church, Hobart, TAS, 4 May 1853 ("youngest son of the late B. H. CRESWELL")
Died Hobart, TAS, 17 May 1895, "in the 69th year of his age"


"THE INDEPENDENT ORDER OF RECHABITES", Colonial Times (25 November 1845), 3

. . . As regards the band, we must mention, that it is composed entirely of teetotallers, under the tuition and direction of Mr. Cresswell, who, in the course of six months, has enabled them to perform very cleverly . . .

[Advertisement], The Courier (18 March 1845), 3

"THE ORATORIO", The Observer (27 January 1846), 3

. . . Mr. Creswell's bass towards the end of the performance changed its character, probably from his over-exertion in the chorusses, which, without one exception, were very ably executed . . .

"A BAD COACH ACCIDENT". Colonial Times (26 March 1852), 2

"SUPREME COURT", The Courier (5 June 1852), 3


Bibliography and resources:

CRIPPS, Alfred John

Journalist, theatre and music historian

Born ? England, c.1846
Died Mosman, NSW, 13 August 1920, in his 75th year (NLA persistent identifier)


"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (16 August 1920), 8

Bibliography and resources:

[Humphrey Hall and Alfred John Cripps], The romance of the Sydney stage by Osric (Sydney: Currency Press in association with National Library of Australia, 1996)

CRISP, Master

Treble vocalist, boy soprano

Active Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 1846


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

. . . In the solos, Mr. Allen displayed his usual ability and taste, and Mr. Beibin gave gratifying evidence of progressive improvement; while few could listen, unmoved, to the sweetness and simplicity with which Master Crisp sang the beautiful air "How cheerful along the gay mead" . . .

Music concordance:

How cheerful along the gay mead. The much admired hymn of Eve address'd to Spring (Baltimore: B. Carr, [n.d.]) 

CRISP, James Chester

Secretary (Australian Harmonic Club)

Born c.1815
Active Sydney, NSW, 1842
Died Surry Hills, NSW, 23 March 1859, aged 44


[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (25 February 1842), 1

[Advertisement], The Australian (22 March 1842), 3

"MARRIED", The Australian (28 May 1842), 3

"FUNERAL", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 March 1859), 12

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 March 1859), 3

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (13 April 1859), 8


Harp player

Active Melbourne, VIC, 1852


"THE CONCERT", The Argus (14 October 1852), 4 

The following is the programme for this evening: . . . Harp solo - thema, with variations, Mr. Crockett . . .

CROFT, John Christopher

See main page John Christopher Croft

CROMWELL, William Oliver (Oliver CROMWELL)

Violinist, fiddler

Active Adelaide, SA, 1849 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"POLICE COMMISSIONER'S COURT", South Australian Register (28 January 1846), 2 

"RESIDENT MAGISTRATE'S COURT", South Australian Gazette and Mining Journal (31 May 1849), 4 

Tuesday, May 29. Oliver Cromwell, an American negro, was brought up in custody, charged with stealing a violin, the prorierty of Thomas Hughes at the Gate-public-house, Sturt-road. Prisoner said he took the fiddle, but not with the intention of keeping it. Caleb Dalwood, of Goodwood, stated that the prisoner came to his house yesterday evening, and asked for some beer, which witness would not let him have without the money. He saw the fiddle, took it up p and played upon it for about two hours. Some time after he ceased playing witness missed the fiddle, and asked him where it was. He said he left it on the counter, and denied all knowledge of what had become of it. Found it aboiit ten minutes afterwards in a section of land opposite the house. Sent a policeman and had him taken into custody. Before the policeman arrived he asked witness to let him go and he would point out the place where he had put the fiddle. He offered to work six months for witness for nothing if he would not prosecute. He pointed out the place he had put the fiddle to the policeman. It was left in witness's charge by a man named Thomas Hughes, and was worth 15s. Prisoner said he only did the thing for a lark. His Worship said he must leave it to a jury to say with what intention he took it. Committed for trial.

"LAW & POLICE INTELLIGENCE", Adelaide Times (18 June 1849), 3 

SUPREME COURT . . . Tuesday, June 12 . . . WILLIAM OLIVER CROMWELL was found guilty of stealing a violin the property of Caleb Dalwood, from the Gate Inn, on the Sturt Road. Sentence - Three months imprisonment, with hard labour.


Teacher of music, dancing master

Born London, c.1801
Died Melbourne, VIC, 25 February 1877, aged 75 years


There were two men of this name in Prahran, senior and junior. The junior Crook married in Prahran in 1853, and was much engaged in municipal affairs; the senior, the dancing master, "Joseph Thomas Crook, a native of London, aged 75 years, died on the 25th ult. [February 1877] of paralysis".


"MARRIED", The Argus (5 September 1853), 6

[Advertisement], The Argus (1 October 1853), 6

[Advertisement], The Argus (10 May 1855), 3

"NEW INSOLVENTS", The Argus (26 February 1861), 6

Joseph Thomas Crook, of Prahran, dancing master. Causes of insolvency - Sale of his property by the mortgagee at a price considerably below its value, depression in business. Debts, £506 0s. 8d.; assets, £40; deficiency, £466 0s. 6d. Mr. Jacomb, official assignee.

"INSOLVENT CERTIFICATES", The Argus (12 July 1861), 6

LAW REPORT", The Argus (8 August 1865), 6

[News], The Argus (3 March 1866), 5

An amusing treat was given to the inmates of the Benevolent Asylum, on Thursday evening last, by Mr. J. T. Crook, of Prahran, in the shape of illustrations, comic, historic, and characteristic, from the magic lantern, accompanied at intervals by songs suited to the scene on the canvas.

"PRAHRAN COUNCIL", The Telegraph (25 February 1871), 3

[News], The Argus (28 May 1874), 4

"A letter from Joseph Thomas Crooke stated that the writer had been rendered totally blind through the action of a nurse named Thompson who had ill-used him.

[News], The Argus (2 March 1877), 4

"Prahran in the Early Days (No. 4) by Squint", (1906)

. . . Coming back to Chapel Street, just beside where the malt house now stands, Joseph Thomas Crook, Snr. had his dancing rooms. Although a man most remarkably bow-legged, he was an excellent teacher, and as light a dancer as a girl of sixteen . . .

CROOK, Robert William (Robert William CROOk; R. W. CROOK)

Musician, violinist, double-bass player, violin and double bass maker

Born Newport, Hampshire, England, 1838; son of Charles and Eliza CROOK
Married Elizabeth WINDOW, Congregational church, Redfern, NSW, 2 December 1859
Died Surry Hills, NSW, 12 September 1897, aged 59 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS IN THE GARDEN PALACE", Australian Town and Country Journal (29 November 1879), 9

. . . M. Bailly, of Mirecourt, France, has two violins - copies from the old masters . . . and there are a few trade violins in the German court. These, along with Mr. Crook's Australian double bass, and Mr. Heap's fiddles and violoncello, are the only bow instruments in the Exhibition.

"Deaths", The Sydney Morning Herald (13 September 1897), 1 

CROOK. - September 12, at his residence, 340 Crown-street, Surry Hills, Robert William Crook, musician, aged 59 years.

[News], Truth (19 September 1897), 2 

R. W. Crook, the veteran double-bass who for many years played that huge instrument (of his own manufacture) at the Criterion Theatre died suddenly on Sunday night. Mr. Crook was very popular and his funeral on Tuesday was largely attended by the musicians of the city.


Jaws-harp (Jew's harp) player

Active Adelaide, SA, 1851


"ANNIVERSARY OF THE HOPE LODGE. I.O.O.F., M.U.", South Australian Register (22 November 1851), 2 


Contralto vocalist

Born Tarraville, VIC, 3 March 1871
Died Great Missenden, England, 17 October 1829 (NLA persistent identifier)



[Advertisement], The Argus (4 December 1888), 12

"MR. SIMONSEN'S BENEFIT CONCERT", The Argus (8 April 1889), 5

"Loyal Death" (Stainer) was sung by Mr. A. H. Gee with good voice, but indistinct delivery of the words. In this respect Miss Ada Crossley offered a pleasing contrast by her clear and simple rendering of Sainton Dolby's "Out on the Rocks". Miss Crossley possesses a contralto voice of good quality and moderate power, with distinct articulation.

"MISS ADA CROSSLEY'S FAREWELL", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 March 1894), 6


In the early nineties it was recognised in Melbourne that a young singer from Gippsland, Ada Crossley, had a contralto voice of exceptional quality. Miss Crossley, who was born at Tarraville, South Gippsland, was the daughter of Mr E. Wallis Crossley, and her mother was a member of a branch of the family which in an earlier generation had included the poet Cowper. High appreciation of Miss Crossley's voice shown at district concerts caused her to visit Melbourne.  Mr. F. H. Cowen . . . heard her sing and gave her advice upon study. Miss Crossley studied singing in Melbourne with Madame Fanny Simonsen . . . Her first public appearance was with the Philharmonic Society in 1892, and in 1893 she sang frequently. Her name was found on many other programmes of the series of concerts given in the Exhibition Building by Mr. W. J. Turner and she took part in other concerts and in oratorio. Her rich and expressive voice made her one of the most highly esteemed of the singers in Australia at that time. In 1894 Ada Crossley went to Europe, and studied under Madame Mathilde Marchesi. For oratorio she received training from Sir Charles Santley. Her London debut was made at the Queens Hall in 1895, and for many years she had a leading place at musical festivals and at concerts. Before Queen Victoria she sang at five command performances in two years. She had successes m the United States and in South Africa and on her return to Australia for a tour about 1903-4 she achieved a series of triumphs. She became the wife of Dr. Francis F. Muecke, of Adelaide, and they lived in London. Madame Crossley retired from the platform some years ago, but she sang often for charity.

"MADAME ADA CROSSLEY", The Sydney Morning Herald (26 October 1929), 12

Bibliography and resources:

Margery Missen, "Crossley, Ada Jemima (1871-1929)", Australian dictionary of biography 8 (1981)

Betty T. O'Brien, Australian contralto Ada Crossley (1871-1929): a critical biography (Ph.D thesis, University of Melbourne, 2010)


Pupil of Fanny Simonsen

CROWE, Thomas

Violinist, quadrille band leader

Active Sydney, NSW, by (? 1852) 1857
Died Adelong, NSW, January 1887


In March 1852, a Mr. Crow was leading the orchestra at the Olympic Circus in Sydney.

In Sydney in March 1857, Thomas Crowe advertised was currently working in Sandhurst, VIC, until 3 April 1857, but would be back in Sydney from "about the 10th" and "most happy to attend quadrille parties as usual".

In July 1859, he again returned to Sydney from a stint leading the band of the royal mail steamer Salsette, one of a long list of past engagements:

violinist to Madame Farrelly's, F. Clark's Quadrille Assembly, the United, the Rose, Australian, Criterion, Star Clubs, &c, &c.

In October 1859, in addition to as usual offering to play at quadrille parties, he offered to teach violin "according to the Italian system". Again in May 1861, he advertised:

Messrs. CROWE and HUGHES, bona-fide musicians, have arrived from the Southern Gold-fields, and are open to engagement. 383, Pitt-street.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 March 1852), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 March 1857), 1

[Advertisement], Empire (8 April 1858), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 December 1858), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 July 1859), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 July 1859), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 October 1859), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 November 1859), 10

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

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 May 1861), 1

"ADELONG NEWS", The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser (18 January 1887), 2

Death has been very busy in our small community during the past week, no fewer than seven deaths having occur[r]ed, six of which were those of young children . . . The only death amongst adults was that of our old townsman Mr. Thomas Crowe, who had been in the employ of Mr. John Hodgson, of the Commercial Hotel, for many years. "Old Crowe," as he was familiarly called, has been a well known identity for the past quarter of a century, and being possessed of first class musical abilities he and his violin were always in request when a dance was on. He was only ill for a short time, during which he received the kindest attention from Mr. Hodgson and his wife, who did all in their power to make the last days of the old fellow as comfortable as possible.

My thanks (October 2014) to Robert Cooke for alerting me to the Adelong obituary.

CULLIS, William


Active Clunes, VIC, 1864-67


"NEWS AND NOTES", The Ballarat Star (3 July 1865), 2

The members of Cullis' Recreation Band, Clunes, on Friday evening presented M. Cullis with a hand- some silver goblet, bearing the following inscription: - "Presented to E. W. Cullis, Esq., by the members of the Recreation Band, as a memento of personal respect and estimation of his perseverance and unassuming disposition. 30th June, 1865."

"BOXING DAY CELEBRATIONS", The Ballarat Star (28 December 1865), 3

Bibliography and resources:

Claire Hinton, "Clunes's first band", Ancestor: quarterly journal of the Genealogical Society of Victoria (Autumn 1991), 2-4




[Advertisement], The Argus (20 January 1855), 1 

WANTED Two-wheeled Barrow, light springs, flat top. Mr. Cuneo, musician, Little Church-street, Swanston-street.


Organist, convict

Arrived VDL, 1825 (convict per Medina)
Active ? Launceston, VDL (TAS), by 1833 / before 1847


A John Cunliffe, a carpenter, was instrumental in the capture of the bushranger Martin Cash in Hobart in 1843.


Convict record, Cunliffe, John, Medina, 1825; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1384956; CON31/1/6 Page 231,358,236,F,60 

"GENERAL GAOL DELIVERY", The Courier (8 September 1843), 2

[Tickets-of-leave], Colonial Times (6 February 1844), 4

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (16 October 1847), 3

IF MR. JOHN RAY CUNLIFFE, who arrived in this Colony per "Medina," and once organist of St. John's Church, will send his address to the "Cornwall Chronicle" office, he will hear something to his advantage.

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

. . . About 59 years since (1833) my father arrived here from England, and on the first Sunday all or his arrival attended worship in St. John's Church. The singing, such as it was, was chiefly noticeable from the absence of instrumental aid, though an organ, resplendent in its polished oak case with gilt pipes, stood in the gallery. As he was leaving the church, my father enquired from the verger the reason of the organ's silence, and received for answer, "The organist in serving a sentence in the chain gang, so we can't have any music." Some years later than this Mrs Nairn became organist . . .


Bandsman (Band of the 11th Regiment)

Active Sydney, NSW, 1853-55

See also Band of the 11th Regiment


"STEALING", Empire (20 September 1853), 2

Henry Cunningham, one of the Band of the 11th Regiment, was charged with knocking down and robbing C. G. Clark, cabinet-maker, of Clyde-street, Miller's Point, of a gold watch and £2.1s.6d. in money . . . [Clark] gave information to the police in Cumberland-street, and went up to the Barracks and reported the matter to the sergeant on duty. The Band was mustered, and the prisoner was identified by the prosecutor . . .

"HIGHWAY ROBBERY", The Sydney Morning Herald (22 September 1853), 3

"SYDNEY QUARTER SESSIONS", Empire (30 September 1853), 2

"THURSDAY", The Sydney Morning Herald (1 October 1853), 7

"CENTRAL POLICE COURT", Empire (12 December 1855), 2

Henry Cunningham, a soldier, apprehended as a deserter, was remanded to be dealt with by the military authorities.


Music and general printer and lithographer, newspaper proprietor

Born Castleblayney, Monaghan, Ireland, 1814
Arrived Sydney, NSW, ? 1839
Died Glebe, NSW, 15 May 1884, aged 70 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier)

Bibliography and resources:

Neidorf 1999, 150-53 (DIGITISED)

CUNYNGHAME, Henry (Mr.; Monsieur Henri CUNYNGHAME)

Professor of Music (Lessons given on the Violin), Professor of Foreign Languages

Active Melbourne, VIC, 1864-65; 1873


Amateur vocalist, Teacher of foreign languages

Active Melbourne, VIC, 1866-67


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

[Advertisement], The Argus (19 May 1864), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (6 January 1865), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (14 July 1866), 8

[News], The Argus (20 April July 1867), 5

[News], The Argus (11 July 1867), 5

[Advertisement], The Argus (10 July 1873), 1

[Advertisement], The Argus (25 March 1870), 1

CURLE, Jemima Erskine Harvey

Teacher of piano and singing

Born Scotland, ?
Active Castlemaine, VIC, by December 1856
Died 1884 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


[Advertisement], Mount Alexander Mail (14 October 1857), 1 

MUSICAL TUITION. MRS. CURLE intimates that she continues to give instruction in the Pianoforte and Singing at her residence, Campbell street.

"DEATH", Mount Alexander Mail (18 February 1884), 2 

CURLE. - On the 17th February, at Doveton-street, Castlemaine, Mrs Robert Curle, late of Glasgow, aged 72 years.

CURTIS FAMILY (descendents of Harry Parsons)


CURTIS, Teresa (Mrs. MEILLON; Madame BOESEN)

CURTIS, Ambrose

CURTIS, Henry (John Henry Benedict CURTIS; Revd. Henry Anselm CURTIS)

CURTIS, Peter Campbell

CURTIS, Charles

Go to main page on Harry Parsons and his Curtis family descendents: 

CURTIS, Alfred Perkins

Organist, choirmaster, composer

Born England, 1829/30
Arrived Perth/Fremantle, WA, September 1852 (per Eglinton from London)
Died Perth, WA, 25 February 1902, aged 72 years (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier)

CURTIS, Martha Hannah = Miss Martha OUGDEN

Pianist, vocalist

Born c. 1839
Married Alfred Perkins CURTIS, St. George's Church, Perth, WA, 16 August 1856
Died Perth, WA, 20 February 1923, in her 85th year (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Alfred Curtis arrived from England in dramatic circumstances, on the Eglinton in 1852; the ship was wrecked some 28 miles north of Perth, but he and most the passengers survived.

Over Christmas and New Year 1857, at St. George's Episcopalian Church in Perth, the Gazette reported that:

the Venite and Gloria and chaunts sung the last two or three Sundays . . . are the composition of the organist, Mr. Curtis.

There again, on Easter Sunday 1857, the music was to include:

a new Te Deum by Mr. Curtis, the Organist, which is highly spoken of.

Curtis's obituary in 1902 also recalled his activities as an arranger:

In those days it was not so easy as it is now to obtain the full orchestral scores of all the pieces played, and frequently Mr. Curtis himself supplied what was wanting.

Curtis was also later an amateur member of Walter Howson's "Minstrels of the West", formed in the late 1860s, a group that:

contributed so largely to the musical tastes of the community.


"WRECK OF THE EGLINTON", The Perth Gazette (10 September 1852), 3

"Domestic Sayings and Doings", The Perth Gazette (9 January 1857), 2

"Domestic Sayings and Doings", The Perth Gazette (10 April 1857), 2

"DEATH OF MR. A. P. CURTIS", The West Australian (27 February 1902), 3

"DEATHS", The West Australian (1 March 1902), 6

"BACK BEYOND 1850. Recollections of a Pioneer. SIR EDWARD STONE . . .", The Daily News (28 April 1916), 7

. . . St. George's Church was commenced in 1841, and completed In 1846, but was not consecrated till 1848, probably owing to the fact that the debt on the building was not paid off till then. Sir Edward gave a description of special interest of the Anglican church services under the Rev. J. B. Wittenoom, whom he described as a man of charming personality. The music was all that could be desired, and they had some of the finest singers one could hear anywhere - all trained voices. The organist was the late Mr. Curtis, who was a most enthusiastic musician. Amongst others in the choir were Mrs. Curtis, Mrs. Symons, Mrs. Travers, Miss Oakley (soprano, and the possessor of a most beautiful voice), Mrs. Maycock (contralto), Mrs. Evans, Mrs. Knight, and Mrs. Galbraith, Mr. Graves (tenor, who also possessed a voice of rare sweetness), Mr. W. Clifton, and Mr. Fred. Caporn (bass). There was also an orchestra composed of the late Mr. Henry Pether, Mr. Henry Saw (father of Dr. Saw), Mr. Trigg, Mr. Symons, and Sir Edward's uncle, Mr. A. H. Stone, and Mrs. Devenish. In 1836, when services were held in the Old Courthouse, the choir consisted of Mrs. Symmons, Miss Symmons, Mrs. Wittenoom, Mrs. Leake, Mrs. R. Nash, Miss Nairn, Miss Trigg, Miss A. Trigg, Mrs. Maycock, Mr. Symmons, Mr. Schoals, Mr. Nash, Mr. Webb, Mr. Macfaull, Mr. J. Habgood. The orchestra consisted of a pianoforte, bass (Mr. F. Wittenoom), violins (Mr. C. Wittenoom, Mrs. Torrens, and Miss Nairn) and cello (Miss A. Trigg, and afterwards Miss Devenish). The violin played by Miss Nairn was now in the possession of Mr. R. C. Clifton . . .

Bibliography and resources:

"Alfred Perkins Curtis", Design & Art Australia Online (DAAO)

According to DAAO, Curtis was brother-in-law of Samuel Scriven Evans, and like Evans Curtis also worked as a professional photographer.


Violinist ("The Australian Paganini"), composer

Born London, England, c.1852
Arrived VIC, by 1856
Active Melbourne, VIC, by 1865
Died Brighton, VIC, 27 March 1940, aged 88


According to Arundel Orchard (Music in Australia, 49), Curtis was born in London and arrived in Melbourne in 1856. A pupil of Gover, Curtis was advertised to be 11 years old on his first Melbourne public appearance, and later went to London where he studied with John Carrodus (1836-1895) and played in theatre orchestras.


[Advertisement], The Argus (25 November 1865), 8

[News], The Argus (4 December 1865), 5

[Advertisement], The Argus (5 December 1865), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (13 April 1876), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (5 June 1876), 8

"Mr. J. Glanville Bishop, Notes on his Career, An Interview", The Mercury (14 September 1927), 11

"AN OLD WOMAN FROM AUSTRALIA IS PROMINENT NAZI", The Australian Women's Weekly (2 September 1933), 2

"VIVID ACCOUNT BY MRS. NEVETT", Barrier Miner (3 January 1938), 4

. . . During the time I was in Melbourne it was my great privilege to be received by my old revered master, Mr. Henry Curtis, and to be initiated anew in the secrets of violin playing. I owe a debt of gratitude to Mrs. Woodward and Mr. Curtis. The former for preparing me by practising with me on Monday afternoons between 2.30 and 5.30 during my last year in Broken Hill, to receive these lessons from Melbourne's greatest teacher of the violin. Never can I forget his interpretation of excerpts from Bach's Chaconne as he played them from memory, making his violin sound like an orchestra of violins by the perfection of his double-stopping. When I tell you Mr. Curtis is over 80 years of age I feel you will agree with me that the age of miracles is not past. In fact I am not too sure that you do not owe this letter to his inspiration.

"DEATHS", The Argus (28 March 1940), 6

"DEATHS", The Argus (29 March 1940), 10

CURTIS. - In remembrance of our friend, Mr. Henry Curtis, who passed away at Brighton on Wednesday March 27, 1940. (Mrs. S. W. Male and family, Kew.) CURTIS. - A loving tribute to Henry Curtis, violinist and teacher, a fine musician and a life long friend. (Mary and Gertrude Peake, Sandringham.)

CURTIS, Richard (Richard Gill CURTIS)

Choral conductor, violoncellist, music seller, publican

Born Bingley, Yorkshire, England, 28 July 1792; baptised All Saints, Bingley, 21 October 1792
Married (1) Jane BEANLANDS (1788-1831), All Saints, Bingley, Yorkshire, England
Married (2) Emma IRVING, Collegiate Church of St. Mary, Manchester, England, 19 August 1838
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 10 March 1839 (per Statesman, from Liverpool, 22 September 1838, via Hobart Town)
Active Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), c. 1841-50
Married (3) Mary VILE (1826-1910), Dungog, NSW, 11 May 1855
Died Melbourne, VIC, 7/8 July 1871, aged 79 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Harpist, pianist, teacher of music

Born England, c. 1813
Married Richard CURTIS, Collegiate Church of St. Mary, Manchester, England, 19 August 1838
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 10 March 1839 (per Statesman, from Liverpool, 22 September 1838, via Hobart Town)
Active Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), c. 1841-50
Died Dungog, NSW, 27 January 1855, aged 42 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Emma Irving, a daughter of John Irving, professor of music, married Richard Curtis, a widower and plumber by trade, at St. Mary's, Manchester, on 19 August 1838. A month later, the newly-wed couple sailed from Liverpool for Australia, leaving Richard's four children by his first marriage behind in England.

The Curtises brought with them a shipment of imported musical instruments, with which they stocked a "musical repository" in Hunter-street on arrival in March 1839, when Emma also advertised as a teacher of harp and pianoforte. Their first son, John, was born in Sydney on 25 April.

In October 1839, Curtis was organising subscriptions for the Cecilian Society. During 1839-40, Mrs. Curtis appeared as a harp soloist in concerts presented by the Cecilian Society and James Reid, and played duets with violinists Joseph Gautrot and George Peck. Richard Curtis also appeared on several Sydney concert bills during 1840, including one specifying his instrument violoncello.

His last Sydney concert appearance was in March 1841, and by October he was in Hobart, where he appeared playing a trio with William Russell and Edmund Leffler. Both Richard and his wife appeared for Anne Clarke in concerts early in 1842 at which the Howsons made their debut, and later with Gautrot, Duly, and Reichenberg.

After Anne Clarke's Oratorio in March 1842, Curtis was probably one of the "several gentlemen" who proposed the formation of a Hobart Town Choral Society. He was certainly conducting the society by June 1843. In 1846, he took out a publican's license for a new house, the Cumberland Arms, which reportedly:

contained a very large and commodious room, which was available to the purposes of the Choral Society, of which Mr. Curtis was a zealous and most active member; it was also well adapted for a Family Hotel, which the learned gentleman thought was much required in that locality.

Husband and wife last appeared as instrumentalists in concerts in Hobart in April 1848 and April 1849. The Hobart Town Choral Society was wound up, at the request of its remaining members, in March 1850 and its organ and music collection sold off in May 1850 April 1851 respectively. In 1856 Richard, "late publican", applied for a position with Hobart Municipality.


"ARRIVALS", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (12 March 1839), 2

"IMPORTS", The Colonist (20 March 1839), 4

11. Statesman, barque, 345 tons, Quiller, master; from Liverpool via Hobart Town . . . 5 cases musical instruments, 4 cases tools, R. Curtis . . .

[Advertisement], The Australian (26 March 1839), 3 

Musical Instrument Warehouse, No. 4, HUNTER-STREET, SYDNEY. MR. CURTIS BEGS respectfully to inform the Public, that he has opened the above Establishment for the Sale of every article in this business, and trusts from the superiority of his Stock (selected by himself, in London), and his knowledge of the profession, to obtain a share of public patronage. Among other Instruments, are a number of Harps of high finish and splendid tone; Piano-fortes, by Collard, (late Clementii and Co.); also, very superior Flutes, by Nicholson; Violins, by Steiner, Foster, Betts, &c.; Violas, by Duke, and Violincellos, by Smith and other celebrated makers. R. C. having been, accustomed to supply many of the Festivals in England with full Orchestral Parts, has compete Sets of Oratorios, Masses and Operas, together, with the most recent Songs, Glees, and Instrumental Music. N. B. - Mrs Curtis purposes giving Instruction on the Harp and Pianoforte. For a Card of Terms, apply as above.

"NEW MUSICAL REPOSITORY", The Colonist (30 March 1839), 3

A Mr. Curtis has recently arrived from England, and has opened a Musical Repository at No. 4, Hunter Street, where a splendid assortment of Musical Instruments by the best makers, and an extensive collection of Music by the most eminent Composers, will no doubt ensure for him a share of Public patronage. Mrs. Curtis purposes giving lessons on the Harp and Pianoforte.

[Advertisement], The Colonist (26 October 1839), 1

[Advertisement], The Australian (26 March 1839), 3

[News], The Australian (1 October 1839), 2

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (25 March 1840), 2

[News], The Australian (28 March 1840), 2 

The attention of amateurs and others in the musical world, is well worthy of being directed to the Musical Repository of Mr. R. Curtis, situate in Hunter-street, where may be seen two splendid concert kettle drums, upon a new construction, and recently imported. We believe this is the first importation of the kind in the colony. The necessity of screws round the drum-head, to vary the key, is superseded by one large central screw. They are fine-toned, and in high order, and are well adapted for the Cecilian Concert, or any other musical assembly.

"MUSIC", Australasian Chronicle (31 March 1840), 2 

We have had the pleasure of inspecting a very excellent selection of new music and instruments, imported by Mr. Curtis, of Hunter-street, which we would recommend to the attention of amateurs and professors.

[Advertisement], Commercial Journal and Advertiser (29 July 1840), 3 

[Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (29 October 1840), 3

[Advertisement], The Australian (23 March 1841), 1

"THE CECILIAN SOCIETY'S MUSIC", Australasian Chronicle (25 March 1841), 2 

[Advertisement], The Courier (1 October 1841), 3


[Advertisement], The Courier (16 June 1843), 1

"THE CHORAL SOCIETY", The Courier (18 October 1845), 2

"TRANSFER OF LICENSES", Colonial Times (3 November 1846), 3

. . . To Richard Curtis, a new house in Murray Street, adjoining Mr. Gaylor's Tavern, to be called the Cumberland Arms. Mr. Perry, who appeared to support the application, stated to the Bench, that the house was a splendid one, being the property of Mr. White, of the firm of Burns & White, and that it contained a very large and commodious room, which was available to the purposes of the Choral Society, of which Mr. Curtis was a zealous and most active member; it was also well adapted for a Family Hotel, which the learned gentleman thought was much required in that locality.

[Advertisement], The Courier (23 March 1850), 3

[Advertisement], The Courier (16 October 1850), 4

"Death", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (3 February 1855), 3 

At Dungog, on the 27th January, of apoplexy, Mrs. Curtis, of the Dungog Inn, aged 42 years, leaving four chilldren to lament their loss.

"MUNICIPAL COUNCIL", Colonial Times (13 November 1856), 3

"DEATHS", The Argus (10 July 1871), 4 

CURTIS. - On the 8th inst., at the residence of his son Charles, Lygon-street, Carlton, Richard Gill Curtis, aged 79 years.

Bibliography and resources:

Hallo 2014, 66, 73, 91-94, 206 (DIGITISED)

"Boardman Moss family tree", posted 11 February 2016 


German flute player

Active Launceston, VDL (TAS), 1835


"SHIP NEWS", Colonial Times (5 November 1830), 2

? [News], Colonial Times (29 January 1833), 2

Messrs. Lawrence and Curzon fell in with the native tracks on Wednesday last, at the Western Lake. They distinctly heard the natives, and brought away with them a quantity of spears, which they found hid by the side of a tree where the blacks had just before been encamped.

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

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


Banjo player (New York Serenaders)

Arrived George Town, near Launceston, TAS, 26 February 1851 (per Spartan, from California, via Tahiti)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 19 June 1851 (per Maid of Erin, from Hobart, 6 June)
Departed Sydney, NSW, 31 August 1851 (per Emma Prescott, for San Francisco, via Tahiti) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

See also (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Summary (after Wittman):

Cushing was a member of the New York Serenaders upon the commencement of their Pacific tour in 1850. The company of six, consisting of C. Cushing on banjo, Bill White on violin, J. P. Nash and J. H. Gantz on guitar, and J. C. Lee and J. O. Pierce respectively as Tambo and Bones, opened in Hawaii on 29 January 1850. They were next playing San Francisco in August 1850, where Gantz was replaced by James Edward Kitts.

Cushing left Sydney around August 1841, to return to the United States, while the rest of the troupe toured on to India, with James W. Reading replacing him as banjoist.


"PASSENGERS", Daily Alta California [San Francisco] (20 September 1850), 2 

Per Connecticut - Messrs. C Cushing, J. C. Lee, J. R. Mitchell, M. Whitcomb, Capt. Thorp, Capt. Cole and 3 in the steerage.

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (1 March 1851), 133

"NEW YORK SERENADERS", The Irish Exile and Freedom's Advocate (5 April 1851), 6 

. . . We cannot give too much praise to Mr. Cushing, the able and amiable Manager, for the truly "Nigger" style in which he sang the favorite air, "Who's dat knocking at de door:" his accompaniment on the banjo deserves particular notice, for it was most artistically executed. Few persons in the colony seem aware of the great difficulties which the banjo presents; it is easy enough to scrape an accompaniment on that instrument, but it is quite another affair to execute variations, in the manner Mr. Cushing does. The banjo being played with but two fingers - the thumb and forefinger - the performer must acquire a very extraordinary agility of fingering to be able to execute the presto passages with that surprising quickness which astonished us so much in the solo which Mr. Cushing performed a few evenings since. We understand, that, in the United States, the land of tambourine and banjo, Mr. Cushing stands unrivalled; there, the extreme difficulties of the instrument being better known, Mr. Cushing's talent, must, of course, be more fully appreciate . . .

[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Sydney (5 July 1851), 3

"DEPARTURES", The Sydney Morning Herald (1 September 1851), 2 

"SYDNEY", The Courier (15 October 1851), 3 

"THE NEW YORK SERENADERS", The Courier (15 November 1851), 3

. . . Mr. Reading has assumed Mr. Cushing's place as a banjoist . . .

Bibliography and resources:

Wittman 2010, Empire of culture, 51, 55 note 78, 74 (DIGITISED)

CUTOLO, Cesare (Signor CUTOLO)

Pianist, composer, teacher

Born Italy, 1825/26
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, by 6 May 1858
Naturalised Sydney, NSW, 9 January 1864
Died 11 January 1867, aged 41 years (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier)


Cesare Cutolo, 1867

Image: The Late Signor C. Cutolo 


The Argus reported on Cesare Cutolo's arrival in Melbourne in May 1858:

As the liberal and enlightened Government of Naples refused to grant a passport to Signor Cutolo to proceed either to France or England, this gentleman determined to try his fortunes in Australia.

By November, Cutolo had moved on to Adelaide. Advertising that he was a pupil of Mercadante, he gave local audiences a standard line-up of etudes (notably his own lost etude Source et torrent) and pre-worked fantasies on selected operatic airs, as previously in Melbourne, and as later in Sydney.

But by mid-1859 he seems to have exhausted the limited performing outlets for his standard repertoire, first in Adelaide, then in the nearby towns.

He then turned to patriotic composition, in what seems to have been a mostly vain attempt to earn favour with a broader, less sophisticated local audience. Late in 1859, Cutolo also entered a setting (now lost) of Caroline Carleton's The song of Australia in the Gawler Institute competition. Though it was the runner up (to Carl Linger's setting), when he tried to perform it at his own public concert in early November, the Gawler committee asserted their copyright, and forced him to withdraw it from the program.

Cutolo next tried his fortunes in Sydney, disembarking there on 2 February 1860. There, again able to address a larger audience for his serious concert music, he published toward the end of 1860 perhaps his most interesting and probably most characteristic surviving composition, the nocturne for piano inspired by a stop on his recent journey to the southern hemisphere, Remembrances of the pyramids.

Cutolo married Mary Rogers at St. James's, Sydney, on 24 March 1862, and was naturalised in 1864.

In 1861 Ernesto Spagnoletti dedicated his aptly named The Garibaldi polka to Cutolo, and in 1864 W. J. Johnson likewise his piano arrangement of Frederick Alexander Packer's Nearer to thee.

Cutolo re-established himself in Melbourne in November 1864. Two further piano compositions were published in London in January 1865 by Boosey (and in Sydney in April 1865 by Elvy and Co.), L'alba, "descriptive of the dawn of a Summer morning on the waters of Port Jackson" and an elegy In memoriam Meyerbeer.

Cutolo was killed in an accident on board a ship returning from Sydney to Melbourne in 1867. His funeral was held at St. Peter's, Eastern Hill, Melbourne, and he is buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery. Cutolo's pupils, themselves in due course teachers and performers, kept his memory fresh in their advertisements and concert programs into the 1870s and 1880s.


"MUSIQUE INSTRUMENTALE", Courrier de la librairie: Journal de la propriétélittéraire et artistique pour la France et l'étranger 44 (1 November 1856), 712

"Source et torrent: etude de concert (Paris; Chez Huegel)

"SIGNOR CESARE CUTOLO", The Argus (6 May 1858), 4

"PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS", The Argus (15 May 1858), 6

"Signor Cutolo", South Australian Register (20 November 1858), 2

[Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (25 November 1858), 1

. . . For sale, at the above-mentioned booksellers, a few copies of Signor Cutolo's Etude de Concert Source et Torrent

[Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (1 November 1859), 1

"SIGNOR CUTOLO'S CONCERT", The South Australian Advertiser (8 November 1859), 3

[Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (7 November 1859), 1

"SIGNOR CUTOLO'S CONCERT", South Australian Register (9 November 1859), 3

"SHIPPING", The Sydney Morning Herald (3 February 1860), 5

"COLONIAL MUSIC", The South Australian Advertiser (11 January 1860), 3

"ORIGINAL MUSIC", The South Australian Advertiser (22 October 1860), 2

[Advertisement]: "HAIL FAIR AUSTRALIA", The South Australian Advertiser (25 October 1860), 1

"MARRIED", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 April 1862), 7

[2 advertisements], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 November 1864), 12

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 April 1865), 9

[News], The Argus (27 May 1865), 4

Two compositions for the pianoforte from the pen of Signor Cutolo have just been published. One of these, entitled L'Alba, is descriptive of the dawn of a Summer morning on the waters of Port Jackson, and is eminently poetical, both in conception and treatment. What may be termed the pictorial power of sound has been admirably exemplified by Handel, Haydn, and Beethoven; and following these illustrious models, Signor Cutolo has presented us with a graphic picture of the time and place described. The composition opens with the sound of the matin bell, while a preluding movement denotes the flushing of the eastern horizon, and the gradual expansion of the rosy light. The serenity and silence of that early hour are broken in upon by the song of some sailors weighing anchor; by the murmur of the waves upon the beach, and their dispersion into foam among the rocks ; and by the twittering of birds among the trees inland. As the sun flames up the sky, the sounds of animated nature increase in volume and variety, and after an allegro movement expressive of the general awakening to life, appropriate to this period of the day, the original theme is reverted to for a few bars, and characteristically closes the composition. The second piece of music is entitled In Memoriam, and is an elegiac tribute to the memory of Meyerbeer . . ..

"FATAL ACCIDENT TO SIGNOR CUTOLO", The Argus (14 January 1867), 6

"DEATHS", The Argus (14 January 1867), 4

"THE LATE SIGNOR CUTOLO", The Argus (15 January 1867), 5

"DEATHS", The Cornwall Chronicle (26 January 1867), 4

On the 11th Inst, in the Alexandra, steamship, at sea, Cesare Salvatore Fortunato Cutolo, professor of the Royal College of Music, Naples, son of Rafaele Cutolo, solicitor of that city, and grandson of Duke di Mele, aged 41 years.

Cutolo memorial concert (printed program)

"OLD-TIME MEMORIES", South Australian Register (10 August 1891), 6

Musical works:

Source et torrent, étude de concert pour piano (Paris: Heugel, [1856])

Copy at Bibliothèque nationale de France 

Canst thou not read the mute appeal, song, as solo or duett, words by Hon. B. T. Finnis, M.L.C., music by Cesare Cutolo (London: Boosey & Sons; Sydney: Wilkie, Elvy & Co., [1860])

Copy at Flinders University Library, digitised at Alexander Street

Song of the Volunteers (words: H. E. Smith) (Adelaide: printed for the S.A. Volunteers, [1860]) copy at SL-NSW (DIGITISED)

God bless you, farewell (words: E. Reeve) (Sydney: Lewis Moss; Melbourne: Joseph Wilkie; Adelaide: Platts's, 1860) 

Hail fair Australia (words: "Ellie") ("Dedicated to the public of South Australia") (Adelaide: Penman & Galbraith, 1860) 

Remembrances of the pyramids (nocturne) (Sydney: Lewis Moss, J. R. Clarke; Melbourne: Joseph Wilkie; Adelaide: Platts's, 1860) 

Il trovatore, fantasia for the Pianoforte [Verdi] (London: 1863) [copy at the British Library]

Come where my love lies dreaming ([by Stephen Foster], arranged for the pianoforte by Cutolo) (Sydney: Elvy & Co., [1864]) 

In memoriam, Meyerbeer and L'Alba, morceaux for pianoforte composed by Cesare Cutolo (London: Boosey and Co., [1865]), 16

[Advertisement], The illustrated London news (7 January 1865), 

March and chorus (for the opening of the First Intercolonial Exhibition) (Melbourne: Charles Troedel, 1866) 

The Victorian Christmas waltz (? supplement to The Illustrated Australian News, December 1866) 

Bibliography and resources:

General summary of the weekly abstract of . . . petitions, Legistaltive Assembly, New South Wales (Sydney: Parliament of New South Wales, 1862), 960, and other 

CUTTER, Mrs. (Miss Cassie Everett DYER; Mrs. Arthur Hamilton CUTTER)

Contralto vocalist

Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 22 June 1869 (per Corea, from New York, 5 March)
Active Melbourne, VIC, from April 1870
Departed Melbourne, VIC, after 25 December 1884 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Argus (23 June 1869), 4

[News], The Argus (26 April 1870), 4


The entertainment consisted, as usual, of a mixed concert of vocal and instrumental music, amongst which we must select for special mention the performance of two solos by Mrs. Cutter, the artiste above alluded to, who is an American lady recently arrived from New York, and who possesses a contralto voice of great compass, the effect of which is enhanced by the perfect purity and extraordinary richness of tone which it embraces.

"CONCERT FOR THE BENEFIT OF MRS. CUTTER", The Argus (31 May 1870), 5

"Deaths", The Argus (2 March 1875), 1 

Songs etc. associated with Mrs. Cutter:

George B. Allen, A wild night (poetry by Henry Kendall; music composed expressly for and sung by Mrs. Cutter) (Melbourne: Lee & Kaye, [18-?]) 

Paolo Giorza, I am alone ("To Mrs. Cutter") (Melbourne: Allan & Co. (Wilkies), [18--] ) 

Paolo Giorza, Forget me not ("song, the words by P.J. Holdsworth; sung by Mrs. Cutter") (Melbourne: Nicholson & Ascherberg, [18--] ) 

Albert Zelman, The legend of the crossbill ("the poetry by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; To Mrs. Cutter") (London: Chappell & Co., [18-?] ) 

Leon Caron, Victoria (cantata) (performed for the first time at the inauguration of the Melbourne International Exhibition, 1st October 1880) (MS full score, photocopy at National Library of Australia; also vocal score printed edition 

Bibliography and resources:

Allister Hardiman, "Dissecting Mrs. Cutter", Out of the inkbottle (weblog), posted 28 January 2011

© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2020