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A biographical register of Australian colonial musical personnel–R (Ro-Rz)

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "A biographical register of Australian colonial musical personnel–R (Ro-Rz)", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 18 April 2021

- R - (Ro-Rz)

ROACH, Charles

Teacher of Pianoforte and Singing

Active Adelaide, SA, 1859 ("A pupil of F. Rees and Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Dresden")


? [Advertisement], South Australian Register (16 August 1852), 1 

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (23 June 1859), 1

MR. CHARLES ROACH, a Pupil of F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, in Dresden, is the honour to inform the Ladies end Gentlemen of Adelaide and vicinity of his intention to give LESSONS PIANOFORTE-PLAYING and SINGING. For particulars, apply to Mr. C. Gries, bookseller, 39, Rundle-street.

ROACHE, John Smyly

Cornet and cornopean player, bandsman (band of the 99th Regiment)

Regiment active Australia, from 1843
Died Hobart, VDL (TAS), 29 September 1848, aged 23

See also Band of the 99th Regiment


"THE BAND OF THE 99TH", The Sydney Morning Herald (4 September 1844), 3

[Advertisement], The Australian (29 November 1845), 1

"MRS. BUSHELLE'S FAREWELL CONCERT", The Australian (18 June 1846), 3

... we must make mention of the Solo on the Cornopean, by a Bandsman named Roach, which was beautifully executed, and which displayed a mastery over the instrument seldom equalled, if ever excelled.

"CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 June 1846), 2

"DEATHS", Launceston Examiner (4 October 1848), 6

Bibliography and resources:

[Memorial plaque at Anglesea Barracks, Hobart]: Sacred to the memory of John S. ROACHE Late of the band 99th Regt. Who died on the 29th Septr 1848 Aged 23 years.

ROBBIO, Agostino

Violinist ("pupil of the immortal Paganini")

Arrived Melbourne, VIC, October 1862
Departed Sydney, NSW, March 1863 (for New Caledonia)
Died London, England, April-June 1898 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Later in 1863, Robbio was the first concert violinist to visit Japan. He had visited Brazil as early as 1845. Later in life he was court violinist to the queen of Spain.


"ROYAL ITALIAN OPERA", London Evening Standard (18 August 1854), 3

Mr. A. Harris, the stage manager at the Royal Italian Opera, had a benefit concert last night ... The only novelty of the night was the debut of Signor Robbio, a new violinist, who is described as being a pupil of Paganini. He played twice, a concerto on themes by Bellini, and a "Valse Diabolique." Signor Robbio affects the ultra-illegitimate school. He has no other end in view than the whimsical and the absurd. In exploits of this class he is an undoubted master; and he performed feats upon the instrument which in fantastic and senseless extravagance have probably never been equalled. The air from the Sonnambula and other operas of Bellini he caricatured as they have never been caricatured before; though it was in the "valse" that the full extent of his facility in the arts of grimace was developed. He squeaked, moaned, grinned, sighed, and scratched with inconceivable dexterity. Few could refrain from laughing at the antics which he realised, the acquisition of which must have exacted toil ineffable. Music was never in our experience exposed to such varied and grotesque mockery, and with popular audiences Signor Robbio would be pronounced a god. His cleverness, no doubt, is unsurpassable, but so wilful and unrelieved a prostitution of talent we are glad to say is unique.

"M. JULLIEN'S CONCERTS", Morning Post [London] (31 October 1854), 5

Drury-lane Theatre was crowded in every part last night by M. Jullien's admirers, who hailed their idol and his extraordinary music with a vociferous, fanciful, and exuberant enthusiasm peculiar to promenade concert audiences. Nearly two years have passed since M. Jullien quitted England to win fresh laurels in America, and that period has certainly served to increase his energy, and strengthen those powers of gesticulation for which he has long been notorious ... but we must protest strongly against the introduction of Signor Robbio as a solo violinist, for he is a mere pretender, utterly beneath criticism, and well deserved to be hissed out of the orchestra ...

[News], Liverpool Mercury (16 January 1855), 4

The numerous amateurs of good music will no doubt learn with satisfaction the arrival in this town of the favourite performer on the violin Signor Agostino Robbio. This excellent artiste, after having attracted the most enthusiastic ovations in all the capitals of Europe and America, has lately met the greatest applause, on his appearance at Mons. Jullien's concerts in Drury-lane. Signor Robbio, pupil of the late Signor Paganini, is known to be initiated into those extraordinary means with which that wonderful genius produced such magic effects. There is no doubt but our dilettanti will gladly attend the concerts which, at the earnest request of his friends, Signor Robbio intends to give in Liverpool.

"ISLE OF FRANCE", The Sydney Morning Herald (17 March 1860), 5

[News], The Argus (20 October 1862), 5

A musical celebrity has recently arrived in this Colony, on a professional visit, whose credentials are of the highest order. We refer to Signor Robbio, a violinist, who may be remembered as having been introduced to a London audience by Mr. Harris, at the Royal Italian Opera, in 1851 [recte 1854]). A number of the Gazzetta di Genova, for March, 1838, is lying before us, in which Signor Robbio's successful début at the Genoese Academy is recorded; and it is added that he was the favourite pupil of Paganini, by whom his musical genius was regarded with so much approbation that the maestro presented young Robbio with a medal, and, what was of still greater value, devised him the master's own violin. Since then, Signor Robbio has visited every part of the civilized world, and seems to have been everywhere hailed as a great artiste ...

"SIGNOR ROBBIO'S CONCERT", The Argus (29 November 1862), 5

"SIGNOR ROBBIO'S CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (20 December 1862), 13

"MUSIC AND THE DRAMA", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 February 1863), 9

... Coming to events of a more pretentious character, we have to note in the first place a concert given jointly by Messrs. Boulanger and Robbio. This took place in the Masonic Hall on the evening of the 10th instant, in the presence of a very numerous and fashionable audience. The performance commenced with a grand trio by Beethoven in C minor (for piano, violin, and violon cello), a beautiful and elaborate composition in which the united talent of M. Boulanger on the piano-forte, Signor Robbio on the violin, and Mr. Edward Deane on the violoncello, was made conspicuous, and hailed with well deserved applause ... The concert terminated with the "Valse Diabolique", by Signor Robbio, the composition [his own] being most effectively rendered. ... At the present time, Signor Robbio is fulfilling a short engagement at the Lyceum Theatre, the management of that establishment having conceived the idea that they would be doing good service by familiarising the humbler classes with performances at once so refined and elevating as those which have placed the name of Robbio so high upon the scroll of distinguished musicians."

"NEW SOUTH WALES", The Cornwall Chronicle (1 April 1863), 5

"EPISODES OF A VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD BY MARQUIS CHISHOLM", Greenock Advertiser [Scotland] (11 July 1868), 1

... A few days after arriving in Nagasaki, I gave a return concert (where I was again joined by Signor Robbio, who bad been the guest of the Russian admiral during my absence at Yokohama), and was somewhat sorry to perceive that may audience were all armed with swords and pistols. In this disturbed state of the community, I resolved to spend the winter in China ...

"MUSIC", Pall Mall Gazette (20 June 1884), 3-4

... By the way, we [4] hear that Signor Robbio, once a favourite violinist, now, through money losses (as usual) is again before the public, and has come to London. He is seventy years old. Few people are likely to remember one of the most poetic artists of his day, who received the usual quantity of snuff-boxes and diamond pins from crowned heads - "long, long, ago." ...

[News, Morning Post [London] (29 February 1896), 5

Chevalier Agostino Robbio, a violinist who in his youth was a pupil of Paganini, and whose executive skill is still very great, was riven a benefit concert at 34, Grosvenor-square, yesterday afternoon, by kind permission of Mr. and Mrs. Suthers. The tasteful singing of Señor Guetary and the excellent violoncello playing of Señor Rubio were much appreciated. Madame Grimaldi performed some piano solos, and Miss Anna Roeckner contributed some songs.

Bibliography and resources:

"NIZZA", Il Pirata (Giornale di letteratura, belle arti ... ) 4/48 (14 December 1838), 197

Francesco Regli, Storia del violino in Piemente (Torino: Enrico Dalmazzo, 1863), 192

Un fiore ad Agostino Robbio, allievo dell'Istituto musicale di Genova. Fornito di molta facilità e di flessibile ingegno, intraprese di buon'ora la carriera dei Concerti. Comò luminose vittorie nella Spagna, ed ora miete allori in America.


Church musician, music copyist

Active Sydney, NSW, ? 1824/25


In the government's disbursements (reported in October 1825), the accounts for St. Philip's Church included a payment to "Mr . Roberts, for ditto [conducting psalmody on Sunday mornings] and writing music, from 8th Sept. to 7 Dec. [? 1824/25]". Also to Robert Howe the Government printer, a payment for "10 quires of medium paper for music, 50s. from 25th Dec. 1823, to 13th June, 1824."


"DISBURSEMENTS. ECCLESIASTICAL ESTABLISHMENT", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (3 October 1825), 1

ROBERTS, Mr. (? = Henry ROBERTS below)


Active Bathurst, NSW, 1846


[News], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 November 1846), 3

On Monday evening, another party was invited by Mr. Lawson to meet his Excellency [Fitzroy], which was numerously attended; after which a ball Dancing was kept up until a late hour-the party did not separate until four A.M. The music was provided by Mr. Roberts, of the town of Bathurst, and did him much credit, and gave general satisfaction.

"NEWS FROM THE INTERIOR. BATHURST", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 August 1847), 3 

RELIEF OF THE DISTRESSED IRISH AND SCOTCH.- We are glad to find that a stir has at length been made to get up a public meeting ... Independent of the above meeting, other means are in contemplation for adding to the fund - active measures are taking to get up a ball, many of the publicans and confectioners having offered to provide refreshments. Mr. Popelara has promised to give the use of his long room, and Mr. Roberts, music and dancing master, has volunteered to attend gratuitously with his band. The whole proceeds of such tickets as may be sold will be contributed to the fund; a concert is also on the tapis with the same object.

? "DANCING", Bathurst Advocate (30 June 1849), 2


Musician (pupil of Hullah), bandmaster

Died Maitland, NSW, 21 February 1898, aged 60


"Death of Mr. A. R. Roberts", The Maitland Daily Mercury (22 February 1898), 2

... The deceased gentleman, who was 60 years of age last May, was an old colonist. Born in Maidstone, Kent, England, he was educated at Chelsea College, London, where he was fortunate in receiving personal instruction in mathematics from the noted Dr. Colenso, and in music from Hullah. Passing a competitive examination required by the New Zealand Government, he landed in that colony in 1857. After some three years of teaching in New Zealand, Mr. Roberts came over to New South Wales in 1861, and for 34 years he was connected with the Education Department, in the capacity of head master at various schools on the South Coast, in New England, and in this district. While stationed at Scone, Mr. Roberts was correspondent for the Mercury. ... He was very fond of music, and was a good performer on different instruments. He was for some time an organist in England, and he initiated a band in Inverell and in Walcha, and personally instructed the members.

"Death of Mr. A. R. Roberts", The Maitland Weekly Mercury (26 February 1898), 10



Born Brisbane, QLD, 1866
Active Sydney, NSW, by 1878
Died Rose Bay, NSW, March 1944


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 December 1878), 2

"AMUSEMENTS", The Sydney Morning Herald (7 December 1878), 5

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 December 1882), 2

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 November 1883), 2

"MUSICIAN OF FORMER DAYS DEAD", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 March 1944), 12

Mrs. Annie O'Connor, a prominent musician in the Sydney of the 1880's, has died at her Rose Bay home. Born in Brisbane 78 years ago, she was the daughter of William Roberts, manager of Christopher Newton's warehouse, and of Asenath Elworthy, niece of George Elworthy, of Sydney, and granddaughter of Major-General Elworthy, of Exeter, England. She studied the piano under Charles Packer and Sydney Moss, and showed such marked promise that at the early age of nine she played at a concert given by Madame Ilma Di Murska. Later she was among those who played at the Garden Palace Exhibition in 1879. Mrs. O'Connor is survived by a son and two daughters.



Active Sydney, NSW, by 1863
Died Sydney, NSW, 1875


"THE AUSTRALIAN MUSICAL ALBUM FOR 1863", Freeman's Journal (21 January 1863), 3 

This publication has just been issued by Mr. J. R. Clarke, of George-street, and it in every way reflects the highest credit on the colony; as being able to produce works, well able to bear comparison with the London publications . . . But that which displays most the progress of the colony in its ability to turn out work equal to home manufactures is the style in which Mr. D. Roberts, of Pitt-street, has bound the volumes. They are in cloth lettered and gilt edges, and in style and finish far surpass the way in which works are prepared for the colonial market. They are equal in every respect to any cloth volume we have seen issued from any London House, and while such is the case, we can congratulate the public in being able to have their works turned out in the creditable manner in which Mr. Roberts has done the Musical Album for the current year.

ROBERTS, Edith Annie

Amateur composer, pianist

Active Melbourne, VIC, 1867


She was a daughter of William George Roberts (d.1876) and his wife Margaret (d.1901), proprietors of a Ladies Institute in Hotham Street East Melbourne, who published her The royal Galatea waltz (by "a young [ ] of seventeen"), which first appeared in November 1867, celebrating the visit of prince Alfred, the duke of Edinburgh. It went into several editions (including a fourth) and, considerably outlasting the Galatea's stay, by February 1869, a sixth.


[Advertisement], The Argus (28 December 1859), 7

[Advertisement], The Argus (31 October 1867), 3

[News], The Argus (1 November 1867), 4

A waltz, entitled "The Royal Galatea Waltz," has been published for the composer, Miss Edith Annie Roberts, a young lady of Melbourne. It was written in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh, under whose grandfather (the Duke of Kent) the composer's father served as surgeon in the 1st Regiment, or "Royal Scots". On this occasion we shall only acknowledge receipt of the publication.

[News], The Argus (4 November 1867), 5

[Advertisement], The Argus (30 January 1868), 6

[Advertisement], The Argus (1 February 1869), 4s

[News], The Argus (11 March 1869), 5

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

"DEATHS", The Argus (1 July 1901), 1


Leader of the A.Y.M.S. Orchestra

Active Adelaide, SA, early 1880s


"ROYAL COLLEGE OF MUSIC. TO THE EDITOR", The South Australian Advertiser (18 August 1882), 7

Sir, In your columns of yesterday you drew attention to the meeting which is called by His Worship the Mayor for the purpose of discussing on Friday evening the mode of dealing with the communication received from His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales re the establishment of a Royal College of Music. As an Australian born, a member of the musical profession, and the descendant of a pupil of the late distinguished musician Mr. G. F. Anderson, (Her Majesty's private bandmaster), I take a deep interest in the cause. In this letter it will be impossible for me to enlarge upon the subject as I should like to do, but I desire to point out, and it is my most earnest wish that we, as Australians, should make it a national matter, and take the subject in hand unitedly. It is possible (although I hope it may never occur) we may be called upon to shoulder arms in our own defence and show our loyalty to our Queen and the Crown, which we shall undoubtedly do; but in this matter we can distinguish ourselves as a nation, and show that we are possessed of a sentiment and a desire to promulgate the art of music. It has always been my wish that we should establish a national college of music in Australia, but I think the time has not yet arrived for doing so. We have many distinguished professors of the divine art in the colonies, but none sufficiently qualified to be placed in the premier position. Those who have established themselves in the colonies have done good service, but they are wanting in the abilities of high class instructors. As Australians we are noted for possessing an extraordinary ability for appreciating musical talent. Madame Anna Bishop and Madame A. Goddard have both told me that in no part of the world did they ever meet with such severe and sincere critics as in Australia. We have bad amongst us most of the world's celebrities as vocalists and instrumentalist, but when we think of the humble origin of many of the stars of great brilliancy, undoubtedly there is a great future for Australia, and I think by uniting in this matter we shall be able to distinguish ourselves, and show that our heart is in the cause. I may state, as far as this city is concerned, that the A.Y.M.S. Orchestra will assist in any movement that may be approved of by the committee. - I am, &c., GEO. ROBERTS, Leader of the A.Y.M.S. Orchestra.

"FANCY DRESS REUNION", The South Australian Advertiser (14 December 1882), 5


Dancing master, violinist, cellist

Born England, c.1816
Married Ellen Munton STANBROUGH (1811-1890), ? England, ?
Arrived Australia, ? by 1849
Died Melbourne, VIC, 26 July 1898, aged 82 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

ROBERTS, Mr. (junior)

Violinist, cellist

ROBERTS, The Misses

Teachers of dancing


? "DANCING", Bathurst Advocate (30 June 1849), 2

Mr. Roberts, professor of the polite accomplishment of dancing, has been practising the duties of his profession in this town and district for a considerable length of time. He has instructed nearly 200 young people in his art, and has, we understand, given great satisfaction to his employers. We regret, that owing to the social peculiarities of Bathurst, he has not met, and is not meeting, that degree of support which is necessary to enable him to follow his profession. As he is a young man deserving encouragement, and fully competent to discharge the duties of his office, we think the public ought to give him support. And considering that he has a wife and family, we would strongly recommend a public ball to be got up for his benefit, in which undertaking we will render him all the assistance our means will afford

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (10 April 1850), 230

DANCING. THE Dancing Classes will be resumed at York House Establishment, under the direction of MR. ROBERTS, Professor of Dancing, late of Sydney, who has brought high recommendations. Further particulars will be announced, and Mr. Roberts will have the honor of waiting personally on the principal families, to request their patronage. April 9.

"Mr. Roberts' Advertisement", The Cornwall Chronicle (10 April 1850), 229

We recommend attention to the advertisement of Mr. Roberts, Professor of Dancing whose recent arrival from Europe secures competent tuition in the most fashionable dances. Local references is offered by Mr. Roberts, who has connections in Launceston.

[Notice of insolvency], The Cornwall Chronicle (26 November 1851), 757

"ASSAULT", The Cornwall Chronicle (11 February 1857), 4

"NEW INSOLVENTS DURING THE MONTH", Launceston Examiner (11 June 1859), 2

"TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT", The Cornwall Chronicle (18 August 1860), 4

"ASSAULT CASE", The Cornwall Chronicle (15 October 1862), 5

"MUNICIPAL COUNCIL", Launceston Examiner (18 January 1866), 2

"DESTRUCTIVE FIRE", The Cornwall Chronicle (9 May 1866), 5

"WESTBURY", The Cornwall Chronicle (3 March 1869), 3

A vocal and instrumental concert, advertised by Messrs. Linly Norman, J. H. Melvyn, and Bent - engaged, I understand, by Mr. Roberts, dancing master, Launceston - took place in the Public Library here on Friday evening last. The audience, although limited, was a very considerate one. The programme was not so attractive as I should have expected, complaints being very general of the preponderance of instrumental music. The vocal pieces by Messrs. J. H. Melvyn and Bent were rendered in a style that we seldom have an opportunity of hearing, and elicited the loudest demonstrations of approval. The orchestra consisted of Messrs. Linly Norman, J. H. Melvyn, Biggs, Roberts, senior, and Roberts, junior. The overtures and symphonies were very fairly performed, considering the few players. A violin and pianoforte duet, by Messrs. Norman and Roberts, jun., and trio, violin, violoncello, and pianoforte, by Messrs. Roberts, sen., Roberts, jun. and Linly Norman, were most imperfectly rendered, causing considerable surprise. Without wishing in any way to detract from the merits of the Messrs. Roberts, I must be pardoned for remarking that although their performance on the violin may be all that is required for the purposes of their business as proprietors of a dancing saloon, it falls far short of what is actually necessary in the successful rendering of such pieces as the audience in the Public Library were inflicted with on Friday evening. The very brilliant execution of Mr. Linly Normam, however, succeeded admirably in carrying through what must otherwise have been an utter failure.

"Deaths", The Argus (6 September 1890), 1 

ROBERTS. - On the 1st inst., at 41 Dundas-place, Albert-park, Ellen Munton, beloved wife of Henry Roberts, teacher of dancing, aged 78, a colonist of 52 years. "She did what she could." Burial service 3rd September at All Saints' Church, St. Kilda.

"DEATHS", The Argus (28 July 1898), 1

ROBERTS. - On the 26th July, at West Melbourne, Henry Roberts, of 195 Collins-street (teacher of dancing and calisthenics, 45 years in Australia), aged 82 years, the dearly beloved father of William Henry and Caroline Elizabeth Roberts.

"CURRENT TOPICS. Obituary", Launceston Examiner (28 July 1898), 4

A private cable was received in the city yesterday announcing the death of Mr. Henry Roberts in Melbourne. Deceased, who was over 80 years of age, was a well-known dancing master, and was a resident of Launceston for upwards of a quarter of a century. About 30 years ago he occupied premises close to the establishment of Messrs. Ditcham and Button, in York-street. Mr. Roberts was a native of England, but he was educated in France for the musical profession.

Published works:

Roberts' manual of fashionable dancing and vade mecum for the ball-room: containing a review and full description of all the modern dances, &c.

(Melbourne: G. Robertson, 1875) 

[second edition] (Melbourne: G. Robertson, 1876) 

[third edition] (Melbourne: G. Robertson, 1876) 

ROBERTS, Oliver D.

Bandmaster, cornet player

Active VIC, 1880s


[News], Warragul Guardian (23 October 1888), 3

Some months ago we referred to the fact that a town like Warragul had not a brass band to number as one of its institutions, and we are now glad to notify that Mr. Symonds has informed us that the members y of the local branch of the M. U. Oddfellows have determined to establish a band of that description, and have secured the services of Mr. Oliver D. Roberts as bandmaster. Mr. Roberts has very good credentials as a e musician, and has filled similar positions I before, his last appointment, which he held for two years, being master of the Numurkah brass band.

"THE WARRAGUL AMATEUR MINSTRELS, AT NEERIM", Warragul Guardian (26 April 1889), 3

"BERRIGAN", Albury Banner (27 August 1897), 17


Drummer (2-14th Regiment)

Active Adelaide, SA, 1869


"LAW COURTS", The South Australian Advertiser (20 May 1869), 3


Orchestral musician, member of theatrical band

Active Sydney, NSW, 1842


[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (17 February 1842), 3 

Royal Victoria Theatre. FIRST NIGHT OF THE SEASON . . . THE ORCHESTRAL DEPARTMENT WILL CONSIST OF MR. S.W. WALLACE, LEADER, Mr. Deane, Master Deane, Mr. Leggatt, Mr. Wallace, Senr., Mr. Walton, Mr. Portbury, Mr. Pappin, Mr. Sippe, Mr. Robertson, Master Strong, Mr. Boyle, &c, &c. . . .

ROBINS, William

Bandsman (Band of the 96th Regiment), serpent player

Died Launceston, TAS, 13 January 1867

See also Band of the 96th Regiment



"DEATHS", Launceston Examiner (14 January 1867), 2


[William Walker] ... Has there been much advance made in band instruments since then? "Yes, undoubtedly. The bass instrument called the serpent was then very much in vogue. Old Mr. Robins, who came out with the band of the 99th [recte 96th] Regiment, played one for years, and a Mr. Allen, who was a fellow-bandsman in the 99th [96th], also performed on the same instrument.

"Worlds Oldest Band Celebrates Its Centenary", Examiner (25 August 1945), 11 

[St. Joseph's Band] ... The first bandmaster was the late Mr. John Agnew, of the 96th Regiment, and the original members were: Messrs. Charles Galvin, John McKenzie, William Mainsbridge, William Robins, Andrew Skafe, Arthur McIver, Francis Mclver, Morgan O' Meara, William O'Meara, David O'Keefe, Thomas Keogh, Thomas Leary, John Leary, John Murphy, and Bernard Lynch. The first president was the late Rev. Dean Thomas Butler. Subsequently Mr. Joseph Galvin, John Galvin, Thomas J. Doolan, John L. Doolan, James Doolan, and Michael Doolan became members of the band.



Active Sydney, NSW, 1843


[Advertisement], The Australian (11 January 1843), 3

ROBINSON, Charles E.

Amateur musician, composer

Active Sydney, NSW, 1860s


Robinson's song No jewell'd beauty is my love (words: Gerald Massey; "Ballad set to music and published expressly in aid of the Building Fund of the Hunter's High School, June 3rd, 1861") was published in Sydney by W. J. Johnson in 1861.

At least two other musical works by him are documented, a Christmas hymn ("simple arrangement") in 1864, and a Bridal ode ("composed and arranged as a quartette"; words and music: C. E. Robinson), sung by the principals of the Lyster Opera Company after their performance of Maritana on 11 June 1863, to mark the marriage of HRH Prince of Wales, the words only of which survive. Also on that program were Anthony Reiff's The Poet Laureate's welcome to Alexandra, and Henry Marsh's Australia's wedding march.


"PARRAMATTA", Empire (31 May 1861), 5

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 June 1863), 1

"COMMEMORATION ODE", The Sydney Morning Herald (11 June 1863), 4

"MUSIC AND DRAMA", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 November 1864), 5


Music copyist

Active Sydney, NSW, 1842 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"I W. Robinson", or perhaps "T. W. Robinson", who drew the music for the 1842 first edition of Isaac Nathan's Koorinda braia is not yet positively identifiable. Some connection may be surmised either with the engraver Thomas Robinson (below) or Thomas Wilkie Robinson (below).


Koorinda Braia, an Aboriginal native song, put into rhythm, harmonised, and inscribed to Mrs. E. Deas Thomson, by I. Nathan (Sydney: [n.p.], 1842) 

Page 4, beneath bottom staff, has "I. W. Robinson. Script." [or "J. W. ..."; or perhaps "T. W. ..."]


Choral singer (pupil of F. A. Packer)

Active Sydney, NSW, 1842


"MARRIAGE", The Mercury (30 December 1873), 1

"DIAMOND WEDDING ... Governor's Wife as Sunday School Teacher", Examiner (23 December 1933), 9

She was born at Hobart in January, 1851, and was educated at Beauland House, Collins-street, when Mrs. Searle was head mistress. She joined the Church of England old St. David's Sunday School at the age of six years, when Lady Gore Brown, the wife of the Governor of Tasmania, was the teacher. At the age of twelve years Mrs. Robinson became a member of the church choir, when Mr. F. A. Packer was the organist and her music teacher. At the age of fourteen years she sang her first anthem in the church. When she married she joined the Union Chapel with her husband, and afterwards joined the choir, Mr. A. J. Dentith being the organist. She became the leader of the choir, and continued so for 25 years. She sang at the opening of the new Town Hall at Hobart. When H.M.S. Galatea arrived with the Duke of Edinburgh on board there was a grand concert given in his honour, at which Miss Sarah Sherwin, Mrs. Propsting, Mrs. A. W. Haume, and Mrs. Robinson sang the principal parts. Mr. Packer held the concerts in aid of the organ fund at Del Sartes Rooms (now called the Tasmanian Hall), which was purchased by Mr. John Davies, sen., and committee. For some years Mrs. Robinson assisted Mr. Arnold at the Bethel on Sunday afternoons, and when the English traders were in port there was a good attendance. She also assisted by singing on several occasions at concerts in St. Peter's Hall, Lower Collins-street, in aid of St. Mary's Cathedral, Mr. McCann, sen., being conductor.

"DEATHS", The Mercury (21 April 1944), 8



Died Parramatta, NSW, 20 November 1826, aged 70


"DIED", The Australian (25 November 1826), 2

At Parramatta, on Monday the 20th November, aged 70, Michael Robinson, a fiddler. - An Inquest was held on the 21st instant. Verdict, died by the visitation of God. Michael was a free man, and had neither friends nor money; and it was not until Thursday that his remains were interred. Charity was at its lowest ebb, and the common-wealth did not take the expense upon itself. Application was made to the Rev. Samuel Marsden, he referred the applicants to the Police Magistrate, Dr. Harris, who gave no orders. Mr. Aird, the Superintendent, said he could not order a coffin. The Clergyman at last paid for one; and all that was left of the poor object, was enclosed in it, and removed from the house where he had died.


Jordan 2012, 202

ROBINSON, Michael Massey

Singer, songwriter, convict (first Australian Harmonist)

Born England, 1744
Arrived Sydney, NSW, May 1798 (convict per Barwell)
Died Sydney, NSW, 22 December 1826, aged 92 (NLA persistent identifier) (TROVE public tag)

Michael Massey Robinson (c.1817, Edward Close)

Image: Edward Charles Close, "Mich[ae]l Robinson" "The Poet Laureat", sketchbook from c.1817, Sydney, State Library of New South Wales (SAFE / PXA 1187) (DIGITISED)


Robinson, a convict, was unofficial colonial bard from the early 1810s onwards. He recited, rather than sang, his annual odes for the King's and Queen's birthdays, as is made clear in the report (1816-01-20) below). Their texts were regularly reprinted in the press, as were the words of original songs that he sang on other semi-public occasions. Specifically for anniversary dinners (26 January) in 1820 he produced "Alive to the strain that gay fancy inspires",  and in 1822 (the dinner postponed until the 31 January, the former governor Lachlan Macquarie's birthday) his song was "Philosophers say, and experience declares".

At the Anniversary Dinner in January 1825, Robinson sang his song, "The annals of London's emporium have told", to the tune of Derry Down (there was another song, by the unidentified "Avec Franchase ... in his best style ... the company ... indebted to him for a sample also of his vocal powers"). At a dinner for the outgoing governor, Thomas Brisbane, in November 1825, "many excellent songs" were given, one Song "in particular, composed and sung by that old son of the Muses, Mr. Michael Robinson":

The trophies of freedom transcendent have shone,
In graceful reflections from Britain's bright throne:
And the star she diffus'd-with munificent smile,
Has glimmer'd at last on Australia's Isle ...

According to his obituary in the Gazette: "Mr. Robinson, and not Mr. Justice Field, was the 'first Austral Harmonist'."


"THE KING AGAINST MICHAEL ROBINSON", Cases in crown law: determined by the twelve judges, by the Court ... Volume 2 (London: J. Butterworth and Son, &c., 1815), 749

"Sydney", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (20 January 1816), 2

... At one o'clock His Majesty's armed brig Emu fired a Royal Salute; and His EXCELLENCY held a Levee at Government House, and received the Congratulations of the Civil and Military Officers, and other Gentlemen of the Colony. The LAUREAT BARD (for so we may venture to call him, from the frequency of his tributes on such occasions) presented his offering of an Ode, which, at the instance of His EXCELLENCY, he recited in an emphatic and appropriate style; the distinguished approbation of those who had the satisfaction to hear it, will best convey the high opinion entertained of the merits of this production.

"ODE", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (20 January 1816), 2

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (5 February 1820), 3

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (8 February 1822), 3

"SONG FOR THE COMMEMORATION DINNER", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (5 February 1824), 2

"ANNIVERSARY MEETING", The Australian (3 February 1825), 3

"PUBLIC DINNER TO HIS EXCELLENCY", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (10 November 1825), 3

"Sydney Intelligence", Colonial Times (2 December 1825), 4

"ANNIVERSARY DINNER. SONG BY MR. M. ROBINSON", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (1 February 1826), 3

"DEATH", The Australian (23 December 1826), 2

"Death", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (23 December 1826), 3

Bibliography and resources:

Donovan Clarke, "Robinson, Michael Massey (1744-1826)", Australian dictionary of biography 2 (1967)


Engraver, lithographer

Born Huddersfield, England, c. 1817
Arrived Sydney, NSW, ? (free per Egyptian)
Active Sydney, NSW, c. 1842 to January 1844
Active Norfolk Island, 1844-47
Active VDL (TAS), 1847-55
Imprisoned NSW, 1855-57
Active TAS, 1857 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier)

See also above I. W. Robinson


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 September 1842), 3 

... Mr. Robinson, Engraver, Pitt-street, Sydney ...

"FORGED NOTES", The Weekly Register of Politics, Facts and General Literature (30 September 1843), 140 

On Monday evening, a little boy named Charles McCutchin, aged about nine years, entered Grays, Light-house Tavern, corner of Bathurst and Suesex-streets, with a bottle for a gill of rum, in payment of which he tendered a one pound note of the Bank of New South Wales, received the change, and left the premises. Mr. Gray, on the following day paid the note into the Bank, when it was pronounced to be a forgery ... The note is executed with a pen, and requires a close inspection to distinguish it from the genuine document. It is numbered 90,039. Mr. Pearce, the acting Chief Constable, succeeded on Thursday evening in securing an engraver named Thomas Robinson, who has since been identified by the boy McClutchin [sic] as the man who sent him ...

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 August 1843), 3 

... Mr. Thomas Robinson, Engraver and Copperplate Printer, Park-street, next door to Pettit's Hotel, Sydney ...

Thomas Robinson, convict record, 1847; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1430298; CON37/1/3 Page 967$init=CON37-1-3p366 

"TASMANIA . . . STABBING", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 July 1855), 3 

One of those cowardly instances of ferocity with which, we regret to feel compelled to state, the name of Englishmen has of late years been too frequently associated, occurred on the evening of Thursday last, in Elizabeth-street. The victim in this case is William Graham, lately a constable in the district of Port Cygnet; the perpetrator, Mr. T. E. Robinson, an engraver, living near the Rock Hotel, in the above locality. Some quarrel appeared to have occurred between Robinson and his wife, with which Graham attempted to interfere, and was, consequently stabbed with a bowie-knife in two places, in the leg and thigh ...

Thomas Robinson, convict record, 1855; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1430284; CON37/1/8 Page 2763$init=CON37-1-8p360 

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Mercury (7 September 1856), 2 

Bibliography and references:

"Thomas E. Robinson", Design & Art Australia Online (DAAO) 

ROBINSON, Thomas Wilkie (T. W. ROBINSON)

Schoolmaster, lecturer on music

Arrived Sydney, NSW, 1837 (per Portland, from Britain)
Active Maitland, NSW, by 1850s
Departed NSW, 1861 (for Scotland)
Died Edinburgh, Scotland, 20 April 1875 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

See also above I. W. Robinson

ROBINSON, William Charles (Rev. W. C. ROBINSON)

Composer, hymn writer, Congregational pastor

Born c. 1820
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, by November 1857
Active Hobart, TAS, 1863-82
Died Ashfield, Sydney, NSW, 2 July 1904, aged 84


Robinson was born in London, trained at Hackney Congregational College, and entered the Independent ministry in 1845. After serving his first pastorate near Bedford, his health broke down, and, in consequence, in 1857 he sailed for Victoria, where in November he became pastor at Williamstown.

The Rev. W. C. Robinson first visited Hobart in November 1862 and returned in January to become pastor of the Brisbane Street Congregational Church, where he remained until 1882.

He was both a hymn writer and composer. In August 1863, he advertised that at a special Sunday school service "Hymns, composed for the occasion, will be sung", and at a missionary farewell in 1866, it was reported: "Another hymn composed and printed for the occasion, read by the Rev. W. C. Robinson, was then sung". His Anthem: Hundredth psalm, published by J. Walch and Sons in Hobart in March 1864, had been "Composed for the Bible and singing class meeting at Brisbane Street Chapel, Hobarton by the Rev. W. C. Robinson, and presented to the members of the class at their social meeting, January 1864".

His publisher, James Walch, was also a deacon in Robinson's congregation.


"OPENING OF THE INDEPENDENT CHURCH, WILLIAMSTOWN", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 November 1857), 5

"HOBART TOWN AND THE SOUTH", Launceston Examiner (8 November 1862), 4


[Advertisement], The Mercury (8 August 1863), 1

[Advertisement], The Mercury (11 March 1864), 1

"SACRED MUSIC", The Mercury (11 March 1864), 2


"OUR PREACHERS. REV. W. C. ROBINSON", The Mercury (22 April 1882), 3

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (4 July 1904), 6

"OBITUARY", The Mercury (28 July 1904), 5

"CONGREGATIONAL UNION OF TASMANIA", The Mercury (8 March 1905), 7

Bibliography and resources:

ROBINSON, William Cleaver Francis (W. C. F. ROBINSON; Sir William ROBINSON)

Composer, pianist, colonial governor

Born, Rosmead, Westmeath, Ireland, 13 January 1834
Governor Western Australia (1), January 1875-September 1877
Governor Western Australia (2), from April 1880
Governor South Australia, from February 1883
Acting Governor of Victoria, March-November 1889
Governor Western Australia (3), October 1890-March 1895
Died London, England, 2 May 1897 (NLA persistent identifier)



His comic opera Predatoros played in Melbourne in November 1894. At the time of his death he was working on a new opera The nut-brown maid, which was to have been staged in Melbourne.

According to his obituary:

Sir William Robinson was a musician of some eminence, and he composed a number of popular songs, among which the best known are Remember Me No More, I Love Thee So, Imperfectus, Severed, and Thou Art My Soul.


"PREADTOROS, OR THE BRIGAND'S BRIDE", The Argus (12 July 1894), 6

"PREDATOROS IN MELBOURNE", The West Australian (14 November 1894), 5

"THE WEST AUSTRALIAN OPERA", The West Australian (1 January 1895), 6

"SIR W. F. C. ROBINSON AT HOME", The West Australian (23 February 1897), 10

"MUSIC AND DRAMA", The Sydney Morning Herald (20 March 1897), 4

"THE LATE SIR WILLIAM ROBINSON. A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH", South Australian Register (4 May 1897), 5

"DEATH OF SIR WILLIAM ROBINSON", The Sydney Morning Herald (4 May 1897), 5

Other works:

A garland of roses (words from the German). in The Illustrated Australian News and Musical Times (2 September 1889), 12-13

Dear faded flower (song) (Sydney: W.H. Paling & Co., [18-?]) 

Palace of dreams (new song; words: J. P. Douglas) (London: Wickins & Co.; Melbourne: W. H. Glen & Co., [189-?]) 

If I only knew (words: Mary L. Pendered) (Melbourne: W.H. Glen, [18--?]) 

Unfurl the flag (patriotic song; words: Francis Hart) (Melbourne: W. H. Glen, [18-?]) 

Predatoros, or, The brigand's bride [libretto only] (serio-comic romantic opera, in two acts written by Francis Hart; composed by Sir W. C. F. Robinson) [Melbourne, November 1894] 

Bibliography and resources:

F. K. Crowley, "Robinson, Sir William Cleaver Francis (1834-1897)", Australian dictionary of biography 6 (1976)


Amateur musician, instrumentalist, choral conductor

Born Newcastle, Northumberland, England, 1838
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 1854
Died Ballarat, VIC, 14 January 1910 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"TO THE EDITOR. THE LATE SACRED CONCERT", The Star (9 November 1863), 3

"BALLARAT HARMONIC SOCIETY", The Ballarat Star (26 October 1866), 2 

The production of Haydn's "Seasons" by the Ballarat Harmonic Society is one more addition to the triumphs of that body . . . Mr. Robson, as usual acted as conductor, Mr. T. King, as leader, and Miss Binder as harmoniumist . . .

"DEATHE OF MR. JOHN ROBSON", The Ballarat Star (15 January 1910), 1 


Minstrel, serenader

Active Australia, c. 1860


"TOWN TALK", The Herald (22 July 1862), 5 

Melbourne will remember "Boley's Minstrels," who about twelve months since left Australia on a professional visit to Mauritius. After playing a far from successful engagement at Port Louis, they embarked on board a schooner for the Cape of Good Hope, and, we regret to add, were wrecked off Cape St. Mary. The passengers, including the troupe, with Mrs. Boley and children, were fourteen in number, and have all perished, with the exception of Mr. Robson, who with three sailors succeeded in returning to Port Louis. Two other passengers reached the shore but died shortly afterwards of the fever . . . From another source we learn that Robson and White (not W. W. White of Rainer's Serenaders) succeeded in getting on shore by swimming half a mile, and that the latter died a few weeks afterwards. Robson, at the date of our letter (8th May, 1862), was ill of the Madagascar fever, with but slight hopes of a recovery. A melancholy terination to a speculation of which, at its commencement, the most sanguine expectations were formed.

"THE COURT MINSTRELS", The Sydney Morning Herald (24 February 1863), 4 



Active Sydney, NSW, 1853


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 September 1853), 5 

ROYAL HOTEL. MR. SINCLAIR has the honor to announce that he intends giving a Vocal and Instrumental Concert, at the above Hotel, on THURSDAY, September 8th, when he will be assisted by the following artistes: Mrs. St. John Adcock, Miss Flora Harris, Mr. Roby, Mr. Ford, and Herr Hoffman. A. F. FORD, Agent.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (12 September 1853), 1 

ROYAL HOTEL. GRAND CONCERT. THIS EVENING, Monday, September 12th, 1853.
Miss Flora Harris, Mr. Sinclair (from the London and Provincial Theatres, his first appearance in this colony.) Mr. John Howson, Mr. Roby, Mr. A. Ford, and Mr. Ferdinand Rosenstein, the celebrated Pianist ... Programme: - PART I ... Ballad - In Happy Moments - Wallace - Mr. Roby ... PART II ... Pestal - Mr. Roby ...


Pianist, organist, music teacher

Active Geelong, VIC, 1860s


"CURRENT TOPICS", Geelong Advertiser (11 November 1868), 2 

Miss Roche, whose name as a talented musician is well and favourably known throughout the district, announces her intention, in conjunction with Mr. H. Thomas, violoncellist and violinist (late principal violin and leader of the Philharmonic Society's concerts, Melbourne), and assisted by other artistes of ability, intends shortly to give two grand classical concerts, one on the 24th instant, the other on the 1st proximo. . . .

"CURRENT TOPICS", Geelong Advertiser (2 December 1868), 2 

Miss Roche's Grand Classical Concert took place last evening, at the Mechanics' Institute . . . The entertainment commenced by a grand trio composed by Beethoven, and arranged for the pianoforte, violin, and violoncello. From the manner in which this was executed by Miss Roche, Mr. Gabb, and Mr. Thomas, the audience soon became aware that a rich treat was in store for them . . .

ROCHLITZ, Julius Albert (Bela; J. A. RICHLITZ; von ROCHLITZ)

Composer, music teacher, photographer, "daguerrean artist"

Born Rozsnyo, Hungary, 1824
Active Victoria, 1853-63
Active London, England, 1870 Died Budapest, 1886 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Rochlitz first advertised his "Daguerreotype Rooms" at Geelong in late October 1853. He was on the Ballarat diggings by early 1855, and by October 1856 was at Beechworth, where he settled for the remainder of his time in the colony. At Beechworth in 1861, Rochlitz sold off photographic equipment and music books, possibly to fund more lucrative horticultural ventures, only advertising his musical services again in 1863, perhaps as a last restort. From early 1860 his brother Dr. Koloman von Rochlitz (also Coloman), a surgeon and medical practitioner, was in Melbourne and Geelong.

In 1866-67, through the presses of Schott and Co. in London, Julius Albert von Rochlitz ("late Captain Hungarian General Staff") published The Geelong-Melbourne Railway polka, "composed and dedicated to his friends in Australia".


[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (26 October 1853), 2 

"ST. PAUL'S CHURCH, BAKERY HILL, BALLARAT", The Age (12 March 1855), 3 

This church was opened on Sunday last, March 4th, for Divine service. The Rev. J. R; Thackeray, M.A., incumbent, of. the parish, preached in the morning . . . and in the evening . . . There was an able choir, presided over by Capt. Rochlite [sic] with his usuaal ability. Great credit is due to our worthy incumbent and those who assisted him, as a short time ago such a building upon Bakery Hill as St. Paul's was not even thought of, and now, by their energy and perseverance, and the support they received from miners, storekeepers, and others, we have a nice suitable buildiug, with tower and a good bell - quite an ornament to the place . . .

"GENERAL SESSIONS", The Argus (26 April 1855), 6

"SHOCKING OCCURRENCE AT THE STAR HOTEL", The Argus (22 November 1856), 5

"MISS [Octavia] HAMILTON'S BENEFIT", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (11 February 1857), 2 

The complimentary benefit to Miss Hamilton was attended last night by a very numerous audience. Notwithstanding the state of the weather, and the miserable condition of our roads, a very large portion of Messrs Mackay, Miller and Mackay's store, which was set apart for seats, was inconveniently crowded, while a number of gentlemen found standing and lounging room round the counters which Mr. Winter had converted into temporary bars. Miss Hamilton's singing was warmly applauded, and vociferously encored. The several ballads with which she delighted the audience were well and clearly rendered. Mr. Coulon and Mr. Pierce lent efficient aid in the vocal, and Mr Rochlitz kindly assisted in the instrumental part of the programme. We understand that from Beechworth this party intend visiting Albury. We trust that they may be more successful there than they have been in Beechworth.

[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (21 April 1863), 3 

TUITION, on the PIANO - Six Guineas per Quarter, of 24 Lessons. J. A. ROCHLITZ.

[Advertisement], Islington Gazette [London] (16 April 1867), 4

"Evening Bouquet" and "Melbourne-Geelong Railway" Polkas, to be had, free by post each for 15 stamps, of the author, Mr. Rochlitz, 19, John-street, Penton-street, N.

Copy of the Evening bouquet polka at British Library.

[Advertisement], Islington Gazette [London] (27 August 1867), 1

Professor J. A. Rochlitz, a naturalised British subject, Protestant Non-Republican, is prepared to show the highest College Testimonial for Theological, Political, and Law Sciences, Mental and Moral Philosophy, Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Mechanics, Technology, Survey and Perspective, Freehand and Linear Drawing (for civil and military engineers, architects, surveyors, mechanics, decorators), landscape and figures, for the theory, practice, and method of teaching Singing, Piano, and Harmonium (His compositions at Messrs. Mills', Bond-street.) Teaches besides according to his own new method, the Latin, Greek, English, German, Hungarian, French, and Italian Languages. Settled in England permanently establish anti-hierarchic and anti-Jesuitical private College in thorough English Protestant, loyal spirit, as leaven, to bring light and balm against the present Egyptian darkness and its social plagues. He is ready to open for the working (anti-Fenian) classes, high or low. Evening Classes, the easiest terms. Apply personally daily, between 8 and 3, at 19, John-street, Penton-street, N.

[Advertisement], Islington Gazette [London] (22 March 1870), 4

Glee Clubs. - Mr. J. A. Rochlitz, Professor of Singing and Music, has opened three distinct Glee Clubs, for the encouragement of rational and tasteful amusement, for the English, Hungarian, and German residents of the Londoners. His method is excellent, and the expenses reduced below the moderate. For aristocratic parties Mr. R. is ready to open on liberal terms. Separate lady or gentleman choirs, sacred or social. 19, John-street, Penton-street, N.

Bibliography and resources:

"Bela Rochlitz", Design & Art Australia Online (DAAO)

RODEMANN, Maximillian Louis (Lewis RODEMAN; RODEMANN)

Amateur vocalist

Active Adelaide, SA, by 1849
Died Bückeburg, Germany, 22 March 1872 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Bandsman (Burton's Band)

Active Mount Barker, SA, 1856


"MOUNT BARKER", South Australian Register (7 November 1856), 3

Jacob Young, Jacob Düne, Conrad Sander, Heinrich Rodenbout, Carl Leonhardt, Daniel Müller, and Christian Prothenbuck, known as "Burton's Band", appeared to answer the complaint of Mr. Henry Burton, for that they having contracted to serve the said Henry Burton as musicians, and having entered into his service, did neglect and refuse to fulfil the same.


Tenor vocalist, artist, convict

Born Cologne, Germany, 1802
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 6 December 1829 (convict per Sarah, from the Portsmouth hulks, 15 August)
Died Liverpool, NSW, 7 April 1860, aged 56 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier)


Transported for seven years for stealing a reticule outside the Royal Opera House in in London, Charles Rodius (also regularly "Rhodius") was assigned on arrival to the Department of Public Works, but came to public note in his own right as early as March 1830 with his lithographic portrait of Bungaree.

He was perhaps a member of the Roman Catholic chapel choir. As a solo singer, he appeared in William Vincent Wallace's concert and oratorio in September 1836. At the former, the Australian reported:

The Amateur, Mr. Rhodius, was an object of some attraction, in consequence of his performance on a recent occasion. He sung a pleasing little French song, by Boildeau, in a very plaintive style, without any attempt at display, either of compass of voice or power of execution, and was rapturously encored. He possesses neither of the latter great requisites, but the absence of these qualifications is well supplied by an uncommon sweetness of voice and flexibility of intonation.

In July 1838, Rodius, who suffered from "paralytic" attacks, sold up as he was "leaving Sydney for the benefit of his health". However, in December, his 17-year-old wife, Harriet, died in Sydney.

He was back in Sydney, recovered, in December 1839. In June 1849, at the second exhibition held by the Society for Promoting the Fine Arts in Australia, one of the pictures on show was a likeness of the violinist Joseph Gautrot:

No 171. Portrait of Monsieur Gautrot. Rodius. Property of Mr. Rodius. A free, light, loose sketch, full of artistical talent, and a very striking likeness.

Though his Gautrot portrait is not known to survive, that of another musician, judge Joshua Frey Josephson, does: 


"POLICE. QUEEN-SQUARE", Morning Chronicle [London] (19 February 1829), 3

A young foreigner, dressed in the most fashionable style, who said his name was CHARLES RODIUS, of 80, Charlotte-street, Portland-place, and who described himself as an artist and teacher of languages, was charged with robbing Lady Laura Meyrick, lady of Colonel Meyrick, of Berkeley-square, of a reticule, containing sundry articles, as she was leaving the King's Theatre, on the previous evening. When Lady Meyrick was quitting the Opera House, with the Colonel, about 12 o'clock, she discovered that she had lost her reticule, and, having suspected the prisoner, who had been following her, the assistance of Handley, an officer, was obtained, and the prisoner was secured, while he was endeavouring to rob another lady. On his person were found the contents of Lady Meyrick's reticule, and he had a penknife in his hand. A ring, a bracelet, and a purse, containing a half-sovereign and six shillings, were also found in his pocket. At his residence several ladies' handkerchiefs, opera-glasses, pieces of purses, and the clasps of reticules, and a purse, containing four sovereigns, were found. The prisoner protested he was innocent, and said the handkerchiefs, &c. had been given him by ladies who had been his pupils. He was committed for trial.

QUEEN-SQUARE - ROBBERY AT DRURY-LANE THEATRE", Morning Post [London] (2 March 1829), 4

Charles Rodius, who stands committed for robbing Lady Ladra Meyrick of her reticule, a s she came out of the King's Theatre, was brought up from Tothill-fields prison, and placed at the bar before G. W. Marriott, Esq., charged with robbing Mrs. Heatley, of Hertford-street, May-fair, of her reticule, as she was coming out of Drury-lane Theatre. Mr. Heatley stated that his wife was so ill that she could not attend, but he could swear to an opera glass and smelling bottle, which were produced by Handley, the officer, who found them at the prisoner's lodgings ...

"MULTUM IN PARVO", Cambridge Chronicle and Journal [England] (10 April 1829), 1

Charles Rodius, a German, was sentenced Saturday at Westminster Sessions to seven years' transportation for stealing from Lady Meyrick a reticule containing various articles ...

[News] Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser [London] (21 August 1829), 3

On Saturday, 200 male convicts were embarked on-board the Sarah transport, Captain Columbine, for New South Wales (100 from the York, and the same number from the Leviathan, convict bulks in Portsmouth harbour), under the charge and superintendence of Mr. Alexander Osborne, surgeon. Among the number, was Charles Rodius, a foreigner, and teacher of languages, who, it will be remembered, was convicted of stealing a lady's reticule at the Opera.

"Domestic Intelligence", The Sydney Monitor (6 March 1830), 2

"THE CONCERT", The Australian (16 September 1836), 2

"MR. WALLACE'S CONCERT", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (17 September 1836), 2

"THE ORATORIO", The Australian (23 September 1836), 2

"The Oratorio", The Sydney Monitor (24 September 1836), 2

"THE ORATORIO", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (24 September 1836), 2

"THE ORATORIO", The Sydney Herald (26 September 1836), 2

"THE ORATORIO", The Colonist (29 September 1836), 2

"The Concert given by Messrs. Wallace and Deane ...", The Colonist (2 February 1837), 2

"Mr. Wallace's Concert", The Sydney Monitor (2 October 1837), 2

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (2 July 1838), 3

"Death", The Sydney Herald (17 December 1838), 3

[Advertisement], The Colonist (7 December 1839), 3

"MARRIED", The Sydney Herald (2 April 1841), 2

"CERTIFICATES OF FREEDOM", The Australian (17 March 1842), 3


"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (10 April 1860), 1

Roger Therry, Reminiscences of thirty years' residence in New South Wales and Victoria . . . (London: S. Low, Son, and Co., 1863), 110-11 

A German artist, whose name I withhold, as he lived creditably and married respectably in the colony, served his sentence in the country, and on coming to Sydney enjoyed the general reputation of being an emigrant. He arrived, though in a different ship, on the day of my own arrival in 1829. Both ships had also sailed from England on the same day, about three months and a half previously. I happened to be present at his trial at the Middlesex Sessions, where he had a good chance of a favourable verdict, until he put an injudicious question to the principal witness. The charge against him was for snatching a reticule from Lady Laura Meyrick's hand, on her coming out of the Opera-house. In the reticule was a small scent-bottle, which the witness said she believed was her property. The evidence as to the identity of the stolen bottle, however, was weak, until, unfortunately for himself, the prisoner put a question, inquiring the grounds of her ladyship's belief. The [111] reply was, "Because, as you may see, my husband's crest and the initials of my name are engraved upon the stopper of the bottle." The adage that "when a man is his own counsel he has a fool for a client," could not be more completely illustrated. He was immediately found guilty, and sentenced to transportation for seven years. This person had taught drawing in several high families in England. He cultivated his art in the Colony with some success.

"ART, MUSIC AND THE DRAMA", The Sydney Morning Herald (8 February 1890), 7

Bibliography and resources:

Jocelyn Gray, Rodius, "Charles (1802-1860)", Australian dictionary of biography 2 (1967)

"Charles Rodius", Design & Art Australia Online (DAAO)

Joanna Gilmour, "Fine and Dandy", Portrait 36

ROECKEL, Armand (Armand ROECKEL, jeune; Mons. ROECKEL)

Musician, pianist, accompanist, composer

Born Paris, France, c. 1832/33
Arrived London, England, 14 July 1852 (per Albion, from Boulogne, 13 July)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, by 4 January 1856
Departed Sydney, NSW, ? by July 1857
Active Paris, France, c. 1863 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (WorldCat identities)


Identification and background:

On a French passport issued to one Armand Roeckel, bound for Mauritius in 1863, the holder's age was given as 30, and his place of birth as Paris. Assuming that this was the Armand Roeckel in question here, he was first certainly heard of appearing in a concert in Cork, Ireland, on 18 April 1853, and therefore aged around 20. His Souvenir de Corck was first published in Paris the following year.

The most plausible explanation for Armand's visit to Cork was a connection - probably a close family connection - to Monsieur Joseph Roeckel, described as late repetiteur from the Paris Conservatoire, who had established himself professionally in Cork after first appearing there with a small French company of singers and dancers in April 1851. Later he and his vocalist wife, and latterly their daughter Nina, also assisted in concerts and musical performances in local Catholic churches. Joseph Roeckel and his family finally left Cork in September 1863, and in June the following year he was reported in the Cork press to have settled in Port Louis, Mauritius.

Armand Roeckel, was, presumably, somehow related to this Joseph Roeckel of Cork, rather than being the a son of Joseph August Roeckel (1783-1870), as one family historian has proposed. It is not impossible; Roeckel senior was director of the German theatre in Paris around the time of Armand's birth. However, there is no record of Armand living with Joseph August in England.

Rather, since Armand was also described as "jeune" on several of his Paris publications, it suggests there was an elder Armand Roeckel (if so, as yet unidentified) who might have been his father, or a close relative.

That there must, however, have been some important connection between Armand Roeckel and Joseph Roeckel and his wife of Cork (and their young daughter Nina), is confirmed by the placement in two Cork papers in May 1863 of a notice of the birth in Paris on 19 April of Armand's son, Armand (died Madagascar 1892). And shortly afterward, both Armand (from Paris) and Joseph (from Cork) were bound for Mauritius. Perhaps also significant, one of Joseph's compositions (published in London by Wessel) was sold in Paris by Armand's publisher, Richault, as reported in the Cork Examiner on 15 January 1858 (page 2):

Under the title of "Poesies Musicales," a former pupil of the Conservatoire de Paris, M. Roeckel, professor of the piano at Cork, has written and published four pieces, in which inspiration goes hand in hand with science . . . These various pieces, published in London - Wessel Co. - may be had at Paris from M. Richault, Editor and Music Seller, Boulevard Poissonniere . . . Revue et Gazette des Theatres, (Paris paper). Felix Bandillon.

Australia (1856-57):

Roeckel is probably most likely to have arrived in Sydney direct from Mauritius at the very end of 1855. He was first billed to appear as piano accompanist for Frank Howson and John Winterbottom's concert at the Royal Hotel on 3 January 1856.

He probably left Sydney later that month and sailed north to Moreton Bay. By April, he was in Ipswich, where he was elected as conductor of the newly formed Ipswich Choral Society. In July and August he advertised as teacher of a beginners' music class, and in October and November gave two concerts with the Choral Society.

Having reportedly found fewer professional openings than he hoped in the north, he returned to Sydney from Brisbane in December 1856.

In February he made his second Sydney debut as accompanist for the touring French soprano, Clarisse Cailly, in Sydney Philharmonic Society subscription concert, and again as accompanist for Cailly's own concert in March.

Late that month, the Sydney music publisher J. R. Clarke advertised that he had in preparation "new dance music, by M. Armand Roeckel, viz, a Polka Mazurka, and La Varsoviana (The Favourite Varsoviana) (La Favourite)". The first of these, The Australian polka mazurka appeared from the presses in May 1857 (despite the title, substantially the same work as his Souvenir de Corck [Cork], previously published in Paris and London).

Roeckel himself is last certainly documented as being in Sydney for another concert on 28 March, and though he may still have been in the city to see the first of his Australian publications released in May, he had almost certainly moved on - perhaps back to Mauritius - by the end of July.

Ultimately, Clarke did not release Roeckel's promised varsoviana, entitled La favourite until February 1859, when the composer himself was long gone and probably largely forgotten. No copy has yet been identified, but it was perhaps based on a theme from Donizetti's La favorita.

in July 1859, Clarke advertised a "3rd edition" of the varsoviana and "4th edition" of the polka mazurka, and later still included the latter in his Australian musical album for 1863.

In a single advertisement in April 1858, Clarke also attributed to Roeckel the Iris varsoviana (otherwise unattributed, no copy of which has been identified). It had been first released in September 1857, apparently named after the ship H.M.S. Iris, then in port.


England and Ireland (1852-53):

A list of aliens . . . [per] Albion bound from Boulogne in the Port of London . . . 14 July 1852; UK National Archives (PAYWALL)

Armand Roeckel / Artiste / Vaugirard, Seine

"HERR HOFFMAN'S CONCERT", Cork Examiner (20 April 1853), 2

The concert announced by Herr Hoffman came off on Monday night in the Great Room of the Imperial Hotel. The audience was very large and fashionable, the room being crowded in every part. The band of the 89th Regiment was in attendance, and opened the entertainments with a splendid overture. From the hour when the concert commenced - half-past eight - until its termination shortly after 11 o'clock, the interest of the audience was kept constantly alive, and the frequent and enthusiastic applause which burst from all parts the room repeatedly testified to their approbation. The piano-forte was presided over by M. ARMAND ROECKEL, whose talents as an accompanyist received the highest admiration. Herr WALLERSTEIN performed on the violin in the most brilliant style the wellknown "Pre aux Clercs" and the "Carnival de Venise," which were enthusiastically encored . . . The vocalists were Herr HOFFMAN and Mr. CHAPPELL. Herr HOFFMAN sang several of the native airs of the Tyrol with the most beautiful effect, displaying the greatest sweetness and flexibility of voice. Mr. CHAPPELL is a singer of much power and taste. Both singers were frequently encored . . .

Australia (1856-57):

[Advertisement], Empire [Sydney, NSW] (2 January 1856), 1

GRAND EVENING CONCERT will take place on THURSDAY next [3 January], at the Royal Hotel, when the following artistes will have the honour of appearing:
Mrs. H. T. Craven, Mrs. Frank Andrews, Mrs. Bridson, Mr. F. Howson, and M. Winterbottom, who will perform four solos on the bassoon.
Mons. Armand Roeckel has most kindly consented to preside at the pianoforte . . .
Duet - Mrs. H. T. Craven and Mr. F. Howson
Ballad - Mrs. Frank Andrews
Solo, bassoon - "Fra poco" (Opera, "Lucia di Lammermoor"), Donizetti - M. Winterbottom
Cavatina - Opera, "Don Pasquale" - Mrs. H. T. Craven
Song - "Der Sclave," Keiser - Mr. F. Howson
Solo, bassoon - "Cujus Animam" (Stabat Mater), Rossini - First time, Mr. Winterbottom
Song - " A Soldier's Life" (New Opera, "Berta"), H. Smart - First Time, M. F. Howson
Ballad - "'Tis I, 'tis I," Auber - Mrs. H. T. Craven.
Duet - Mrs. Frank Andrews and Mr. F. Howson
Song - "There's a Path by the River," Loder - Mrs. H. T. Craven
Solo, bassoon - "Una Voce, poco fa" (Opera, "Barbiere de Sevilla"), Rossini - M. Winterbottom
Song - "Happy Birdling of the Forest" - Mrs. Bridson
Song - " The Wanderer," Schubert - Mr. F. Howson
Cavatina - "Roberto," Mrs. H. T. Craven
Solo, bassoon - "Credeasi misera de me tradita" (finale polacca, "I Puritani"), Bellini - M. Winterbottom
Marseillaise Hymn - Mr. F. Howson
God Save the Queen - Mrs. H. T. Craven. Mrs. Frank Andrews, Mrs. Bridson, Mr. F. Howson, and M. Winterbottom.
Conductor - Mons. ARMAND ROECKEL.

ASSOCIATIONS: Eliza Craven (vocalist); Mrs. Frank Andrews (vocalist); Frank Howson (vocalist); Sarah Bridson (vocalist); John Winterbottom (bassoon)

[Advertisement], The North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser [Ipswich, NSW (QLD)] (29 April 1856), 1 

THE First Meeting of the Subscribers of the proposed Ipswich Choral Society, was held at the Court House, on Thursday Evening last, when the following gentlemen accepted office.
VICE-PRESIDENT - John Panton, Esq. COMMITTEE: Messrs. Wm. Craies, SECRETARY,
George Faircloth, TREASURER, Rev. J. Mosely, Dr. Rowlands,
And the CONDUCTOR, Mr. Armand Roeckel.
The practice of the Society will commence this week; and parties desirous of becoming members are requested to make application to any of the Committee.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Craies (d. 1863, honorary secretary); Ipswich Choral Society

[Advertisement], The North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser (8 July 1856), 1

MUSIC CLASS On the Continental System, for Beginners.
MONS. ARMAND ROECKEL Desires to inform Parents and Guardians that he intends forming the above Class, for the purpose of giving instructions in the PIANOFORTE and SINGING to the younger members of families.
Mr. R.'s design in opening this class is to enable parents to have their children properly taught at the beginning (without going to the more expensive way of private lessons) - a circumstance which has the greatest influence on their future progress. The Class will assemble twice a-week, in the afternoon, at Mr. R.'s residence. Part of the time will be devoted to Musical Instruction and the other part to the study of the Instrument. By instructing the Class together in the rudiments of Music and Singing, it will have the real advantage of creating a spirit of emulation among the young pupils, and enable them to go easily through the first part of the study, which is generally so monotonous.
Mr. R. having been himself educated at the Imperial "Conservatoire de Musique" of Paris, and having had to direct similar institutions on the Continent, hopes he will meet with general support and approbation.
Terms for the Musical Class, including Pianoforte and Singing, Three Guineas a quarter; to be paid either monthly or quarterly, in advance.
Persons desirous of availing themselves of the above will please apply, to M. ARMAND ROECKEL North Australian Cottage, near the Scotch Church.
PIANOFORTE - Two Lessons a week, of half-an-hour each. Six Guineas a quarter.
SINGING - The same as the Piano.
PIANOFORTE AND SINGING- Nine Guineas a quarter.
HARMONIUM - Two Lessons a week, of half-an-hour each, Six Guineas a quarter.
HARMONY - (Thorough Bass and Composition), Half-Guinea a Lesson of an hour.
To be paid either monthly or quarterly, in advance.
NOTE. - In consequence of the difficulty of having Pianos properly tuned, M. R. is willing to tune them when requested to do so.

[Advertisement], The North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser (26 August 1856), 1

MUSIC CLASS. Mons. ARMAND ROECKEL HAVING completed his arrangements, intends to open his CLASS on WEDNESDAY, the 20th instant.
The Class will meet twice a week, at half-past Three, P.M., on WEDNESDAYS and SATURDAYS, at Mr. R's. Residence.
Terms, Three Guineas per Quarter n advance.
Further particulars can be learned on application to Mr. A. Roekel, North Australian Cottage, near the Scotch Church.
18th August, 1856.

[Advertisement], The North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser (21 October 1856), 1 

Ipswich Choral Society.
THE FIRST VISITORS' NIGHT will take place at the Subscription READING ROOM, East Street, on WEDNESDAY EVENING, the 22nd instant, at 8 o'Clock.
Programme.- Part I.
1. God Save the Queen. - Solo, duet, trio, and Chorus.
2. The Merry Month of May. - Chorus - C. M. Weber.
3. Sol Fa. - Chorus, without accompaniment.
4. Come into the Summer Woods. - Andante. - Boieldieu.
5. Fantasie on the Harmonium. - A. Roeckel.
6. The Curfew's Solemn Sound. - Trio and Chorus. - Attwood.
Part II.
1. The Marseillaise Hymn. - Solo and Chorus. Rouget de Lisle.
2. Harvest Home. - Pastoral.
3. Green Hills of Tyrol. - Chorus. Rossini.
4. Overture to Masaniello. - Auber.
5. God Save the Queen.
WILLIAM CRAIES, Secretary. Ipswich, 18th October, 1856.

"THE CHORAL SOCIETY", The North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser (28 October 1856), 3 

We understand that this Society now numbers upwards of forty members; and, considering the short time it has been in existence, great proficiency has been attained. A strong muster of the members took place on Wednesday evening last, at the Subscription Reading Room, when a large and highly respectable audience assembled, on the invitation of the managers, to enjoy the musical treat announced in their programme. Several of the pieces were rapturously encored, and the able and spirited manner in which Mons. Roeckel conducted the performances elicited repeated bursts of applause. The whole affair went off very well, and it is but fair to state that the non-professional members sang with great spirit on the occasion. We regret to learn that Monsieur Roeckel intends leaving the district in a few weeks, in consequence of his not having met with sufficient encouragement to induce him to remain here, where the range of the profession, of which he is a talented member, is necessarily so much circumscribed. The musical amateurs will probably experience some difficulty in finding a suitable successor to this gentleman.

"THE CHORAL SOCIETY", The North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser (25 November 1856), 4

The complimentary benefit tendered by the residents of the town and its vicinity to Mons. Roeckel, the accomplished musician, took place at the hour appointed on Friday evening last. The. Subscription Reading Room, where the concert was held, was soon filled to overflowing, and many persons were unable to obtain admission. A great number of ladies graced the room with their presence, and the number of both sexes probably amounted to 200. The performances went off in the most spirited manner, eliciting frequent bursts of applause; in a word, it was one of the most agreeable concerts ever held in Ipswich.

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", Empire (20 December 1856), 5

December 29. - Boomerang, steamer, 400 tons. Captain O'Reilly, from Moreton Bay 17th instant. Passengers . . . Roeckel . . .

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

The fifth Concert of the season will take place at the
CONCERT HALL, ROYAL HOTEL, THIS EVENING, (Monday) February 23rd, 1857,
on which occasion the following artistes have kindly Volunteered their services:
- Madame C. CAILLY, Lady Amateur, Monsieur Armand Roeckel, Mr. Wheeler.
The Concert to commence at 8 o'clock precisely,
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . 3. Airs from Meyerbeer's Opera Robert le Diable (Va-dit-elle) -
Madame CLARISSE CAILLY, who will be accompanied on the pianoforte by M. Armand Roeckel . . .
PART II . . . 4. Air from Puccini's Opera Niobe ("I tuoi frequenti") -
Madame CLARISSE CAILLY; who will be accompanied on the pianoforte by M. Armand Roeckel . . .
Conductor - Mr. C. W. F. STIER.
Leader - JOHN DEANE . . .
JOHN DEANE, Secretary, 10, Jamison-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: Clarisse Cailly (vocalist); Charles Stier (conductor); John Deane (leader); Sydney Philharmonic Society

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (24 February 1857), 4 

The fifth concert of the season was given by this Society, last evening, at the Concert Hall of the Boyal Hotel. Although the evening was wet the room was well filled, though the performances somehow or other seemed to flag, and there evidently was not that spirit of enjoyment prevalent that we have witnessed on former occasions . . . Madame Cailly with the beautiful aria " "Va-dit-elle," got up a little excitement, and obtained a recall, substituting the charming little rondo of Maretzeti's . . . Madame Cailly, in the second part, sang an aria from Paccini's "Niobe," but the rain rain waa pouring down too strongly for a recall, and the moment she had concluded the company - at least the fairer portion of it - began to disperse, in their anxiety to find their carriages, or to be the first to employ whatever vehicles might be in attendance. We should be doing injustice to a gentleman of talent did we forget to mention M. A. Roeckel, a clever pianist, and certainly a most finished accompanyist, who accompanied Madame Cailly in the difficult morceaux selected for yesterday evening. If we mistake not, it is the first time he has appeared in public, but we trust it may not be the last, for he promises to be an acquisition to our musical circles . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 March 1857), 1 

Madame CLARISSE CAILLY'S Last Grand Vocal and Instrumental CONCERT will take place THIS (Monday) EVENING, March 9.
Mr. E. D. Boulanger, Mr. A. Roeckel, Mr. E. Deane, Mr. Wheeler, Mr. W. H. Stephens, and an Amateur, have kindly volunteered their very valuable assistance . . .
Programme. Part I.
Cavatina, "Ernani," (Verdi) Madame Clarisse Cailly.
Solo, cornet-a-piston, Capricio on the favourite song, "Fading away, (A. Roeckel) Mr. Wheeler.
Solo pianoforte, "March FĂșnebre," by request, (S. Thalberg) Mr. E. D. Boulanger.
By desire, "Rode's variations," (Rode) Madame Clarisse Cailly.
Solo, violincello, (Muntzberger) Mr. E. Deane.
By particular request, the Buffo Scona "Aloneo ye Brave," Mr. W. H. Stephens.
An intermission of ten minutes.
Part II. Aria, Opoea Bettby, (Donizetti) Madame Clarissa Cailly.
Solo, flute, introduction and air, "Swiss Boy," (Boehm) an Amateur.
Andante and Rondo Final, "Sonnambula," (Bellini) Madame Clarisse Cailly.
Solo, pianoforte, "Galop de Bravoura," by request, (Schulhoff) Mr. E. D. Boulanger.
"La Marseillaise," first time (Rouget do Lisle) Madame Clarisse Cailly.
Conductor, Mr. A. Roeckel . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Boulanger (solo piano); Edward Deane (cello); William Henry Stephens (actor, vocalist); Stephen Wheeler (cornet)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 March 1857), 5

In preparation, new dance music, by M. Armand Roeckel, viz , a "Polka Mazurka," and "La Varsoviana" . . .
J. R. CLARKE, publisher, 205, George-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: Jacob Richard Clarke (music publisher)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 March 1857), 1 

MASON'S SHAKSPERIAN ENTERTAINMENT. On THURSDAY, March 26th, 1857, will be presented on entirely new
MUSICAL and POETICAL ENTERTAINMENT, derived solely from the works of Shakspere,
with introduction, notes, and extracts, by A. J. MASON, A.N.A. (Original Lecturer on the Art of Wood Engraving).
The vocal portion by the following talented artistes;
Mrs. Andrews. Madame Lamont, Mr. Walcot, Mr. Howson, and Mr. Wheeler.
Musical Conductor, Mons. Roeckel.
PROGRAMME. PART I. Introduction.
Glee - "Hark the Lark."
Ballad - "Under the Greenwood Tree," Mr. Howson.
Song - "When Daisies Pied," Mrs. Andrews.
Glee - "What shall he have that killed the deer."
Glee - "Come unto these Yellow Sands."
Duet - "As it fell upon a Day," Madame Lamont and Mrs. Andrews.
Glee - "Full Fathom Five."
Solo and Chorus - "Speak, Sister, Speak," &c.
(Interval of ten minutes.)
Trio - "When shall we three meet again."
Ballad - "Bid me Discourse," Mrs Andrews.
Song - "Blow, Blow, thou Wintry Wind," Mr. Howson.
Glee - "Ye Spotted Snakes."
Ballad - "Where the Bee Sucks," Madame Lamont.
Glee - "Sigh no more, Ladies."
Duet - "Tell me where is Fancy Bred," Mrs. Andrews and Madame Lamont.
Solo and Chorus - "Hecate, Hecate, come away," &c. . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Abraham Mason (lecturer); Maria Lamont (vocalist); Robson Walcot (vocalist); John Howson (vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 May 1857), 12 

The Australian Polka Mazurka, by Roeckel, elegantly illustrated, 2s 6d, post free 2s 8d . . .
J. R CLARKE, music seller, 205, George-street, Sydney.

"LIST OF UNCLAIMED LETTER FOR THE MONTH OF JULY" New South Wales Government Gazette (14 August 1857), 1607 

37 Roekel A., musician

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

THE FASHIONABLE DANCE! Published THIS DAY - THE IRIS VARSOVIANA, price 2s. 6d., post free 2s. 8d. . . . J. R. CLARKE, music seller, 205, George street, Sydney.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 April 1858), 2

. . . "Irish" [Iris] Varsoviana, by Roeckel. 2s. 6d. . . . J. R. CLARKE . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 February 1859), 2 

. . . also, a new Varsoviana by Roeckel, entitled, "La Favourite." J. R. CLARKE, Music Seller, George-street.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 July 1859), 1 

NEW MUSIC. - Just published . . .
New edition of . . . Iris Varsoviana, 2s. 6d.; and La Favorite Varsoviana, 2s. 6d., by Roeckel . . .
J. R. CLARKE, music publisher, 356, George-street.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 July 1859), 10

. . . The Australian Polka Mazurka (known also as the "Souvenir du Cork Polka Mazurka), by Roeckel (4th edition), 2s. 6d.
The Favourite Varsouviana [sic], by Roeckel (3rd edition). 2s. 6d . . .
J. R. CLARKE, Music-seller and Publisher, 356, George-street, Sydney.

"MUSIC AND DRAMA", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 February 1863), 9

. . . In connection with musical matters, it may not be out of place to notice a very elegant publication, "The Colonial Musical Album," which has recently been issued from the well-known, establishment of J. R. Clarke . . . A "Caprice di Salon," and other compositions by M. Boulanger, the pretty Australian "Polka Mazurka," by Roeckel, and the "Lurline Polka," form the instrumental portion . . .

Paris, by 1863:

"BIRTHS", Cork Examiner [Ireland] (26 May 1863), 2

On the 18th inst., the wife of Mons. Armand Roeckel, Batignolles, Paris, of a son.

Musical works:

Graciella (varsoviana) (1854)

Graciella! varsoviana pour piano par Armand Roeckel jeune (Paris: S. Richault, [1854, 1863])

Copies at Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris 

Copy at the British Library, London 

Souvenir de Corck [Souvenir de Cork] (polka-mazurka) (1854) = Australian polka mazurka (1857)

Souvenir de Corck, polka-mazurka pour le piano par Armand Roeckel jeune, dédiée (sic) á Miss Annie Marcel (Paris: S. Richault, [1854, 1858, 1863])

Copy at Sydney Living Museums 

Copies at Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris 

Copy at the British Library, London 

Les seéduisantes (1855)

Les seéduisantes, deux morceaux pour le pianoforte (1. Graciella; 2. Souvenir de Cork) (London, 1855)

Copy at the British Library, London 

Capricio on Fading away (March 1857)

Capricio on the favourite song, "Fading Away," - A. Roeckel [MS, unpublished]


Australian polka mazurka (1857) = Souvenir de Corck (1854)

The Australian polka mazurka by Roeckel (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1857; 1863])

Copies at the National Library of Australia (digitised) (DIGITISED 4 copies) (DIGITISED)

Copies in Australian libraries 

Copy at the British Library, London 

La favourite varsoviana (1857; published 1859)

La favourite varsoviana ([Sydney: J. R. Clarke, 1859])


Harmonies du soir (1863)

Harmonies du soir, poésies musicales pour piano, op. 5 (Paris: S. Richault, [1863])

Copy at Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris 

Rosheim polka mazurka (1863)

Rosheim, polka mazurka pour piano (Paris: S. Richault, [1863])

Copy at the British Library, London 

Souvenir de l'Ile Maurice (caprice mazurka) (1863)

Souvenir de l'Ile Maurice, caprice mazurka pour Piano (Paris: S. Richault, [1863])

Copy at the British Library, London 

Other references (family of Joseph August Roeckel):

William Barclay Squire, "ROECKEL" [family], in A dictionary of music and musicians edited by George Grove . . . vol. 3 (1883), 143-144,_Joseph 

Joseph August Röckel, Wikipediaöckel

August Röckel, Wikipedia 

Other references (Joseph Roeckel, Cork, Ireland (1851-63):

"THEATRE", Cork Examiner [Ireland] (28 May 1851), 2

Some half dozen French artistes made their bow on Monday evening. The entertainment given by them consists of music, vocal and instrumental, and dancing. The first part consists of selections from various popular operas, either solos or duos, besides ballads. There are two gentlemen singers, and one lady. Monsieur Littee possesses a very sweet and cultivated tenor, and he sings with taste, feeling and expression. Mousieur Jogand has more dramatic action and fire, and sings with great energy. Madame Bovenni is an excellent singer, and fully understands the art of stage vocalism. In fact, these concerts have all the character of undress rehearsals, for every expression is perfectly given as if in an acted opera. Monsieur Roeckel is one of the best pianists we have heard, and excels as an accompanist. His solos are very brilliant, but his accompaniments are far better - in fact, they could not be surpassed for judgment . . .

"LAST NIGHT'S CONCERT", Cork Examiner [Ireland] (11 June 1851), 3

The concert of last evening was most successful. In point attendance, was quite cheering to all who sympathised with the French strangers, whom the dishonesty of an associate had place in a position the most painful embarrassment. And the concert itself . . . M. Littee sang charmingly; Madame Boveni was well received, and vehemently encored; M. Jogand rattled off the Largo Factotum in admirable style; and all three were obliged repeat the Marseillaise. M. Roeckel's performance on the piano was highly applauded . . . We may add that M. Roeckel is about establishing himself in Cork, as a professor of music, instrumental and vocal.

[Advertisement], Cork Examiner (28 April 1852), 2

THEATRE ROYAL . . . MR. ALFRED PHILLIPS will have the honour of presenting his VOCAL and PICTORIAL ENTERTAINMENT . . . The Celebrated Pianist, Monsieur Roeckel, Repetiteur, from the Conservatoire of Music, Paris, will accompany Mr. Phillips in his Songs . . .

[Advertisement], Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier (2 August 1853), 1

THE SISTERS OF MERCY, QUEENSTOWN . . . also return thanks to Mrs. Roeckel and Miss McAuliffe, to Mr. Roeckel, Mr. Fleming, and Mr. M. Sullivan, for their gratuitous services in the Choir . . .

[Advertisement], Cork Constitution (29 August 1863), 1

. . . SUBSCRIBERS have been instructed by Mons. Joseph Roeckel, who is leaving Ireland, to Sell by UNRESERVED AUCTION, on the Premises, 59, SOUTH MALL, (corner of Marlboro'-street), on MONDAY, 31st August, at the hour Twelve o'Clock, the very excellent and useful Furniture and Effects, which comprise . . . a splendid and powerful-toned Harmonium by ALEXANDRE of Paris, containing 15 stops with percussion action, by which intricate piano forte music is performed with ease, and which produces the tones of nearly every musical instrument, as well as those of the human voice . . .

"MONS. JOSEPH ROECKEL. THE EDITOR OF THE . . .", Cork Constitution (17 August 1864), 2

SIR - The following extracts translated and abridged from "Le Cernèen" and "Gazette" of Port Louis, Mauritius, may possess interest for those among your readers who were friends of M. Joseph Roeckel during his residence in Cork . . .
"We should have wished to describe at length the last Concert given by Mons. J. Roeckel, but though time and space fail us for this, we cannot withhold a brief notice of that delightful evening . . . M. Roeckel has every reason to be satisfied with his success. His talents, both as pianist and musician, are now fully recognised, and we shall henceforth, with much pleasure, reckon him amongst our own. - ("Le Cernèen" June 15, 1864 . . .

ROECKEL, Jeanne (? Christiana ROECKEL; Jeanne ROECKEL; advertised as Jeanne REKEL)


Born Paris, France, 4 March 1850; ? daughter of Jean-Guillaume ROECKEL (b. c, 185)
Arrived (1) Melbourne, VIC, 19 March 1873 (per Racer, from Mauritius)
Departed (1) Melbourne, VIC, February 1874 (per Otago, for New Zealand, age "28")
Arrived (2) Sydney, NSW, 25 May 1874 (per Wonga Wonga, from Auckland, 16 May)
Departed (2) Sydney, NSW, 26 August 1874 (per Egmont, for Noumea)
Married Vital-Constant RICHARD, Noumea, New Caledonia, 7 September 1874
Died Noumea, New Caledonia, 2 August 1881

ROECKEL, Joseph (? Jean-Guillaume ROECKEL; advertised as Jospeh REKEL)

Pianist, composer (accompanist and manager of Jenny Claus)

Born c. 1824/31
Arrived (1) Melbourne, VIC, 19 March 1873 (per Racer, from Mauritius)
Departed (1) Melbourne, VIC, February 1874 (per Otago, for New Zealand, age "50")
Arrived (2) Sydney, NSW, 25 May 1874 (per Wonga Wonga, from Auckland, 16 May)
Departed (2) Sydney, NSW, 26 August 1874 (per Egmont, for Noumea)
Arrived (3) Sydney, NSW, 15 October 1874 (per Egmont, from Noumea)
Departed (3) Brisbane, QLD, 19 June 1875 (per R.M.S. Brisbane, for Batavia)
Active San Francisco, CA, USA, until 1880
? Died San Francisco, CA, USA, 15 August 1906


It is uncertain whether or how this pair was related to Armand Roeckel above. However, it is not impossible that the father was the Joseph Roeckel, reported above, active in Cork, Ireland.

However, this Joseph Rekel/Roeckel was certainly not the English-born composer and pianist Joseph Leopold Roeckel (1838-1923), who was active in Bristol during 1873, and, anyway, too young to have a marriageable daughter in 1874.

Entirely coincidentally, Joseph Leopold Roeckel's nephew (son of his half-brother Edward Roeckel), Waldemar Roeckel, a medical practitioner, served in Ballarat, Victoria, and died in Melbourne in 1894, in his early 40s, of a suspected drug overdose.


[News], The Argus (20 March 1873), 5

A fresh addition to the musical talent of the colony has just been made by the appearance of M. Rekel and Miss Rekel, and Miss Claus, who arrived from Mauritius yesterday, in the barque Racer. Each of the three has a specialty, Miss Claus having a reputation as a violinist, Miss Rekel as a vocalist, and M. Rekel as a pianist and composer; and from journalistic records in their possession, their performances in London, Paris, and elsewhere seem to have been meritorious.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 April 1873), 10 

MADEMOISELLE JENNY CLAUS, the Violinist; Mademoiselle JEANNE REKEL, Vocalist; and Monsieur JOSEPH REKEL, Pianist and Composer, intend giving CONCERTS in a short time.
For particulars apply to Messrs. ELVY and CO.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 April 1873), 8

"A crowded and fashionable audience ...", Empire (18 April 1873), 2

"ARRIVALS", The Sydney Morning Herald (26 May 1874), 4

MAY 25. Wonga Wonga (s.), 1000 tons, Captain lake, from Auckland l6th instant. Passengers . . . Madlle. Claus and Rekel, Signor Cecchi, Mons. Rekel, Signor Biscaccianti . . .

[News], Empire (25 August 1874), 2 

Mdlle. Jeanne Rekel, who, it will be remembered, came to this country with Mdlle. Claus, and appeared at several concerts in a selection of ballads and operatic selections, with much success, returns to-day in the Egmont to New Caledonia, where she has a more permanent engagement than any yet accepted by her. Mdlle. Rekel, when on her last professional tour in the island, was wooed and won hy a young notary of good family, and equally good position and prospects, and in every way un bon parti. M. Rekel accompanies his daughter to Noumea; but Mdlle. Claus remains, and will probably go to Victoria shortly.

[News], Empire (17 October 1874), 2 

M. Rekel, the pianist, arrived by the Egmont from New Caledonia, on Thursday [15 October], and leaves for Melbourne to-day to join Mdlle. Claus, who will probably soon return to New South Wales.

"MARRIED", The Argus (25 November 1874), 1

On the 7th inst., at the residence of the bridegroom, Noumea, New Caledonia, by the Rev. Ray, Vital Richard, to Christiana Roeckel (Jeanne Rekel), daughter of Joseph Roeckel, the musical composer.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 May 1875), 8 

MASONIC HALL, THURSDAY EVENING, May 6th, 1876, at 8 o'clock,
GRAND RECITAL given by Mademoiselle JENNY CLAUS . . .
kindly assisted by THE FAVOURITE AMATEUR PIANISTE, Mademoiselle * * * * * *,
who will perform BEETHOVEN'S CELEBRATED SONATA in G with Mademoiselle JENNY CLAUS,
and THALBERG'S Grand Duet on Norma, for two pianos, with Monsieur JOSEPH REKEL . . .

"DEPARTURES", The Queenslander (26 June 1875), 12

June 19. - R.M.S. Brisbane, E. and A. Co.'s, 894 tons, Captain R. Balfour, for Keppel Bay, Bowen, Townsville, Cooktown, Somerset, Batavia, Singapore, and Hongkong. Passengers . . . For Batavia . . . Mademoiselle Jenny Claus, Herr Rekel . . .

"Mdlle. Jenny Claus", Evening News (27 July 1876), 2 

The Melbourne Argus hears direct from M. Rekel that Mdlle. Jenny Claus, the distinguished Violinist, intends returning to Australia by the mail steamer that leaves San Francisco in July.

The San Francisco directory for the year 1879 (San Francisco: Commercial Steam Presses, 1879) (DIGITISED)

Rekel Joseph, teacher vocal music, 514 Stockton

[News], Daily Alta California [San Francisco, CA, USA] (13 May 1880), 1 

The entertainment and ball given last evening by the Improved Order of Bed Men, in honor of "Tammany Day," was very largely attended . . . Prof. Joseph Rekel acted as Musical Director . . .

US census, 3 June 1880, San Francisco, California; C, 148 (PAYWALL)

516 / 54 Stockton Street / Roeckel Joseph / Boarder / 50 [sic] / Singing Teacher / [born] Germany / [father born] Germany / [mother born] Germany

Langley's San Francisco directory for the year commencing . . . 1881 (San Francisco: Francis, Valentine & Co, 1881) (DIGITISED)

Rekel Columbus / . . .
Rekel Joseph / teacher music, r. 26 1/2 Kearny

Bibliography and resources:

Christiana ROECKEL, Geneanet

Joseph Jean Roeckel, Find a grave 


Composer, vocalist

Arrived Adelaide, SA, 1849
Died Gawler, SA, 24 September 1898 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


[Advertisement], South Australian Register (13 November 1867), 1

"THE LATE MR. C. G. ROEDIGER", South Australian Register (27 September 1898), 3

... Thoroughly straightforward and honourable, he commanded the respect of all who were associated with him. Mr. Roediger possessed musical gifts of no mean order, and when a boy was in great demand as a singer in his native city in Germany ... The remains were conveyed to Buchsfelde, and interred in the burying-ground of St. Paul's, which Church his late brother, the Rev. Julius Roediger, presided over for so many years.

Musical works:

Huzza for Prince Alfred, huzza (words by G. Nott; music by C. G. Roediger) (Adelaide: W. C. Rigby, [1867]) 

ROGERS, Edwin John

Musical memorialist, singer, bell-ringer (mayor of Hobart 1926-27)

Born c.1859
Died Hobart, TAS, 23 February 1951, aged 92

ROGERS, Ada Alice (Miss BELBIN)


Active Hobart, TAS, by 1878
Died Sandy Bay, TAS, 14 December 1945, aged 83


[Advertisement], The Mercury (9 November 1878), 3

"THE ORPHEUS CLUB CONCERT", The Mercury (18 November 1879), 2

"MUSIC AND MUSICIANS Alderman E. J. Rogers A Chat About Old Times", The Mercury (28 August 1929), 5

The young folks of to-day fail to understand that in earlier days people in Hobart enjoyed the same productions as Melbourne and Sydney, because of the direct connection which then existed between the mainland, Tasmania, and New Zealand. We had a weekly service from Melbourne by way of Hobart to New Zealand, and also a steamer the other way about. It followed from this that all the noted operatic and theatrical artists who were travelling between Melbourne and New Zealand called at Hobart, and stayed a week or a fortnight. We had all Lyster's grand operas with magnificent Italian companies ... I first saw [Armes] Beaumont with Alice May in a whole series of English operas, such as "Maritana" and "The Bohemian Girl". Simonsen's Opera Company came here. He was a magnificent violinist and his wife was one of the finest sopranos ever heard on the Australian stage. She was well over 50 years old, and yet would play a girl's part quite charmingly ... Other visiting companies were the Grace Plaister Opera Company, the Emily Melville Opera Company, the German Opera Company, with "Tannhauser" and "Lohengrin", and the Gonsalez Italian Opera Company, the last to come. Amy Sherwin made her first appearance as an operatic singer in a little opera that used to be produced by the late W. Russell, "Zillah". It was given at Delsarte's Rooms, later called the Tasmanian Hall, and now the home of the Royal Yacht Club. She then decided to go on the stage, and joined Lyster's Opera Company ... Lempriere Pringle, the famous bass, is another Tasmanian ... He became Carl Rosa's leading bass, and one of the finest Mephlstopheles on the stage. At one time he sang with the Hobart Orpheus Club ... Turning to players of Instruments, Mr. Rogers recalled such artists as Sir Charles Halle, the pianist, his wife, the violinist [Wilma Neruda], and Levy, the great cornetist, and W. H. Jude, organist and composer. Speaking of Herr Schott, the German musician who came to Hobart to organise the Artillery Garrison Band, Mr. Rogers said that he was one of the finest all-round musicians that ever came to Tasmania. He could pick up the instrument of almost any player and show him what to do. He was the finest oboist in Australia, and conducted the Orchestral Union almost until his dying day. He never had a failure in all that he produced. Outstanding members were the Misses Barclay, Hunt, Foster, Hogg, Henry, Reichenberg (the organist), Mrs. E. J. Rogers, formerly Miss Belbin (the pianist), and Mr. James Dear. Mr. Rogers was one of the founders of the Hobart Orpheus Club, and is now the president, but aside from his work as a singer in this and other bodies and in private life, with the help of Mrs. Rogers, a born musician, he had as manager of the Theatre Royal for 20 years ... 

"GOLDEN WEDDING", Examiner (9 April 1934), 8


"DEATHS", The Mercury (15 December 1945), 21

"MR. E. J. ROGERS' DEATH ENDS LONG CAREER", The Mercury (26 February 1951), 19

"Funeral of Prominent Hobart Businessman", The Mercury (27 February 1951), 8

ROGERS, Emma (= Mrs. George Herbert ROGERS below)

ROGERS, Fannie (Mrs. Ishmael ROGERS)

Music teacher, pianist

Arrived Fremantle, WA, 1887
Died Sutton, Surrey, England, 15 December 1920, aged 79 years


"DEATHS", Western Mail (23 December 1920), 19

"OLD TIME MEMORIES", Western Mail (30 December 1920), 30

The news of the death of Mrs. Ishmael Rogers, which occurred at the family home near London, a few days ago, at the age of 79, will be received with widespread regret by her many friends in Western Australia. Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, with their family, arrived at Fremantle by the steamer Australind's first voyage from London, among their fellow passengers being Mr. and Mrs. John Hurst and family, one of whom is Lady Hobbs. Sir Talbot also came by the same vessel. Mr. and Mrs. Rogers resided at Claremont, where Mrs. Rogers controlled a musical academy in which many of Western Australia's matrons of to-day received their early training upon the pianoforte. Among the late Mr. and Mrs. Rogers's surviving family circle are Mrs. Henry Trigg, of Henley Beach, near Adelaide, Mrs. Moody, of Osborne, and Mrs. Bernard Gidley, of North Perth.

ROGERS, George Herbert

Actor, comic vocalist, musician, ophilceide player

Born St. Albans, England, July 1820
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 11 July 1839
Married Emma YOUNG (see below), St. David's, Hobart, 2 March 1844
Active Sydney, from 1848
Died Fitzroy, Melbourne, February 1872 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


At his benefit at the Royal Victoria Theatre in March 1851, Rogers gave the Comic Song (first time) Country Fair, "introducing the Cries of Sydney, with a great variety of other novel entertainments". It was later separately billed as a comic song Sydney cries and Cries of Sydney.


Marriages in the district of Hobart, 1844; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:831162; RGD37/1/3 no 1169 

[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Sydney (22 March 1851), 3

"THE DRAMA. THE BENEFIT SEASON", Bell's Life in Sydney (29 March 1851), 2

"Royal Victoria Theatre", Bell's Life in Sydney (12 April 1851), 2

"VICTORIA . . . THEATRE ROYAL [MELBOURNE]", The Tasmanian Daily News (12 October 1855), 4 

. . . Mr. G. H. Rogers executed fantasie upon the ophicleide a la John Parry, and went mad a la King Lear . . .

"Funeral Notices", The Argus (14 February 1872), 8

"RANDOM REMINISCENCES", Launceston Examiner (22 December 1894), 3s

Bibliography and resources:

"Rogers, George Herbert", Dictionary of Australian biography 2 (1949)

"George Herbert Rogers", Wikipedia

ROGERS, Emma (Miss Emma YOUNG; Miss YOUNG; Mrs. ROGERS; Mrs. G. H. ROGERS; Mrs. George Herbert ROGERS)

Dancer, vocalist, actor

Born Devonport, England, 1815; baptised St. Andrew, Plymouth, 15 October 1815, daugher of James YOUNG and Isabella Marshall FRISBY
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 28 January 1842 (per Sydney, from the Downs, 3 October 1841)
Married George Herbert ROGERS (see above), St. David's, Hobart, 2 March 1844
Died Coogee, NSW, 15 October 1862, aged 47 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


The actors James Young (c. 1787-1851) and Isabella Marshall Frisby (1788-1849) were married at St. Leonard, Deal, Kent, on 23 June 1810. Emma Young, their second surviving child, was born in 1815, Charles Young, in 1823, and (Frances Mary) Fanny Young in 1835.

Emma Young was one of Anne Remens Clarke's party of new talent for Hobart theatre, including the Howsons and Gerome Carandini, that arrived in January 1842. She married the actor G. H. Rogers. They first appeared in Sydney in January 1848.


"SHIP NEWS", Colonial Times (1 February 1842), 2

[Advertisement], The Courier (18 February 1842), 3

"THE ALBERT THEATRE", The Courier (18 March 1842), 2

"THE THEATRE", The True Colonist Van Diemen's Land Political Despatch ... (7 October 1842), 3 

... Miss Young's benefit is this evening, we hope she will have a bumper house, for she is a most deserving young woman, and a most industrious and useful actress ... We believe Miss Young, although a very agreeable singer, and a splendid dancer, does not profess to teach music, and Mrs. Clarke has too much to do otherwise.

[Advertisement], The Courier (20 January 1843), 1

"THE THEATRE", Colonial Times (7 February 1843), 3

"THE THEATRE", The Courier (1 September 1843), 2

"THE THEATRE", Colonial Times (24 September 1844), 3

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", Colonial Times (4 August 1846), 2

"DEATHS", Empire (17 October 1862), 1

"RANDOM REMINISCENCES", Launceston Examiner (22 December 1894), 3s


Choral conductor (Geelong Sacred Harmonic Society)

Active Geelong, VIC, 1854-55


"THE GEELONG SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY", Geelong Advertiser (24 February 1855), 2

"THE GEELONG SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY", Geelong Advertiser (3 March 1855), 2

"CHORAL SOCIETY. To the Editor", Geelong Advertiser (9 June 1855), 2

[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (26 June 1855), 2

"SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY", Geelong Advertiser (4 February 1856), 2

"THE GEELONG SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY'S CONCERT", Geelong Advertiser (27 February 1856), 2



Active Adelaide, SA, 1859


[Advertisement], South Australian Register (14 July 1859), 1 

MISS TOZER has the honour to announce that she will give a Grand CONCERT of VOCAL and INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC on Thursday evening, the 14th July, under the immediate patronage of His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief. Principal Performers - Miss Tozer, Miss C. A. Tozer, Miss Polhill, Master Watson, Mr. R. B. White, Herr Ignaz Roitzsch (Pupil of the Leipzig Conservatoriun), Mr. H. Christen. Conductor - Mr. J. W. Daniel . . .
PROGRAMME, PART I . . . 4. Solo, piano, "Fantasie sur un Theme," original - Herr Ignaz Roitzsch, pupil of the Leipzig Conservatorium. - Moscheles . . .

"MISS TOZER'S CONCERT", Adelaide Observer (16 July 1859), 5 

On Thursday last, Miss Tozer gave a grand concert at White's Rooms, under the immediate patronage of His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief. Coming on the evening between the Tradesmen's Ball and the Quarterly Soiree of the South Australian Institute, it might have been safely predicted that the attendance would not be large, and when the evening turned out to be showery a thin audience became a positive certainty. The room was not more than a third full - a circumstance calculated to throw a damp upon both singers and audience. We must, however, do the former the justice to say that they exerted themselves to the utmost to please, and rendered the several pieces with great spirit and effect. The first part of the concert, with the exception of a fantasia on the piano by Herr Ignaz Roizsch, very creditably performed, consisted of vocal music . . .

ROLFE, Thomas (Thomas ROLFE; T. ROLFE, jun.)

Organist, pianist, piano tuner, music publisher, music seller, agent for William Rolfe and Sons pianos

? Born 6 May 1820; baptised All Hallows, Honey Lane, London, England, 4 June 1820; son of Nicholas ROLFE (c. 1785-1858) and Elizabeth LINNETT (c. 1789-1832)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 10 January 1842 (per Duke of Roxburgh, from Cork, 4 September 1841)
Active Launceston, VDL (TAS), until April 1847
And Melbourne, VIC, until November 1847 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

See also Rolfe & Sons pianos in colonial Australia: (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Thomas Rolfe junior, "agent for William Rolfe and Sons, Cheapside, London", was perhaps the Thomas Rolfe born to Nicholas Rolfe and his wife Elizabeth in London in 1820; William Rolfe was his grandfather, and Thomas Rolfe senior (1787-1847) his uncle. When Thomas Rolfe senior died early in 1847, his brother Nicholas was appointed his executor, and it is perhaps of some significance that Thomas junior disappears from the colonial record late that same year, perhaps having returned to London.

Rolfe first advertised new music for sale and pianos tuned in Sydney in February 1842. As early as April 1842 he was printing music locally, advertising:

This day is published, by T. Rolfe, 4, Hunter-street, THE EAGLE CHIEF and THE ABORIGINAL MOTHER, Australian Melodies. Nos. I and 2: Poet, Mrs. Dunlop; Composer, I. Nathan", and also "the celebrated Prince Albert's Band March, as played by the military bands, arranged for the pianoforte by Stephen Glover.

This latter drew adverse comment from the Herald, which noted:

Our music press has again been to work, and has issued, not an Australian composition calculated to undeceive those who imagine that we can only deal and barter, but a reprint of a very trashy piece for the pianoforte, called Prince Albert's Band March - the catchpenny title of which would be sufficient to deter any common-sensed amateur ... But are these the things we are to have reprinted in Australia? Certainly not.

Perhaps to atone for this, a fortnight later Rolfe advertised that he would publish "all the songs" from Charles Nagel's "Sham Catalani", or Mock Catalani, and four songs were issued: "A sensitive Plant", "It was but a dream", "The pretty bark hut in the bush", and "Wellington".

In June he released No. 1 of a projects series, The Australian musical bijou, which contained imported songs by Knight, Russell, and Bellini and which W. A. Duncan in the Chronicle judged "far superior to any lithographed music yet produced in the colony" despite several errors.

In 1843, Rolfe was offering to supply the instrumental needs of both military ensembles and "Teetotal, and other Bands", a section of the musical economy that George Hudson would later also target.

In July that year we also learn of a personal misfortune; his wife, variously Rachael or Rosetta Mears, whom he had married in Sydney on 23 August 1842, was charged and tried for bigamy. Having moved first to Pitt-street and then to George-street, Rolfe continued trading through the first half of 1844. But between July and September he relocated his business to Hobart, and by early 1845 to Launceston.

There he was appointed organist of St. John's Church in September 1845, and in 1846, along with James Henri Anderson, was one of the pianists assisting at Madame Gautrot's Launceston concert. He disappears from record after leaving Launceston for Melbourne in August 1847.

The novelist Frederick Rolfe ("Baron Corvo") (1860-1913) was born at the family firm's address, 61 Cheapside, London, son of James Rolfe (c.1827-1902), who was probably Thomas's younger brother.

Trading at:

Sydney, NSW, O'Connell Street, until March/April 1842

Regent Terrace, Hunter Street, from April 1842 until November/December 1842

26 Pitt Street, November/December 1842 until July 1843

Regent Terrace, Hunter Street, from July 1843 until December 1843/January 1844

George Street, from December 1843/January 1844 until August/September 1844

Hobart, VDL, Murray Street, from September 1844

Elizabeth Street, from January 1845 until mid 1845

Launceston, VDL, Elizabeth Street, by January 1846 to ? August 1847

? England, London, "Thomas Rolfe, piano-forte maker, Regent Street, and Marshall Street", 1858


Baptisms solemnized in the parish of All Hallows, Honey Lane, in the city of London, in the years 1819 and 1820; London Metropolitan Archives (PAYWALL)

No. 26 [born] 26 Jan'y 1819 [baptised] 28 Feb'y / Thomas Hall Son of / Nicholas & Elizabeth / Rolfe / Cheapside / Music Seller . . .

No. 32 [born] May 6 [baptised] 1820 June 4 / Thomas Son of / Nicholas & Elizabeth / Rolfe / 112 Cheapside / Music Seller . . .

NOTE: Entry 25 registers the baptism on 21 February of Charlotte, daughter of Thomas Tegg, bookseller, Cheapside, sister of James and Samuel Tegg; Thomas Hall Rolfe died on 4 November 1819

"ARRIVED", Australasian Chronicle (11 January 1842), 3

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (21 February 1842), 2

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (24 February 1842), 3

"ORGANIST", Australasian Chronicle (8 March 1842), 2 

ORGANIST. - We call the attention of clergymen and others to a very liberal offer on the part of Mr. Rolfe, of O'Connell-street, announced an our advertising columns. The instrument alluded to is of excellent quality.

"NEW PERIODICAL", Sydney Free Press (14 April 1842), 2 

We have seen the prospectus of a new musical periodical, to be entitled the "Austrlian Musical Bijou," which is intended should sufficient inducement offer to be published by Messrs. T. Rolfe and Co., of Hunter-street. To use the words of the prospectus itself - "The numbers will appear monthly, inclosed in a wrapper, at the very small price of 2s. 6d. to subscribers, and 3s. 6d. to non subscribers. Each number will contain twelve pages of music, consisting of songs, duets, glees, waltzes, quadrilles, &c., &c., selected from the most popular writers; twelve of which numbers will form a volume, to which a title page and index will be published, which will appear with the twelfth number." - We can only say that for the sake of such of our friends as love music, we hope the undertaking will be carried out.

[Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (28 April 1842), 3

"NEW MUSIC", Australasian Chronicle (3 May 1842), 2 

"Music", The Sydney Herald (5 May 1842), 3

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (19 May 1842), 3

"NEW MUSIC", Australasian Chronicle (12 May 1842), 2

"NEW MUSIC", Australasian Chronicle (18 June 1842), 2

"CHARGE OF BIGAMY", Australasian Chronicle (22 July 1843), 2

CHAUDE or BIGAMY. - It will be seen by our Police Report that there is a case of bigamy at present under investigation before that Court. The hearing of the case commenced yesterday, before Mr. Windeyer and Alderman Broughton; it occupied the Court for upwards of two hours, and was then adjourned for a fortnight, to allow the complainant time to produce a witness residing at Goulburn, named Myers, a cousin of the defendant, who, it is alleged, saw the first marriage celebrated in London. The parties are Lewis Cohen, a man who had been transported for seven years from Van Diemen's Land to a penal settlement, where he became free about the year 1841. The defendant is a Mrs. Rolfe, late Myers, whose present husband keeps a music-shop in Pitt-street. From the evidence given yesterday, it appears that the complainant and defendant were married in London, after the Hebrew form, about twenty years ago, and while in London the defendant bore complainant two children. They afterwards went to Van Diemen's Land, where the complainant was convicted, and transported to a penal settlement for seven years ... On the 13th of August, 1842, the defendant again married a person named Rolfe, with whom she is at present living. It was also given in evidence by the Rev. B. Lewis Watson, minister of St. Andrew's parish, here, that he solemnised the said marriage by a special license, in which the defendant stated that she was a widow named Meurs; that soon after the marriage had been celebrated, Mr. Watson having been given to understand that the defendant had gone by the name of Myers, and was not a resident in his parish, called on her and Rolfe for an explanation, but none was given him . ..

[Advertisement], The Weekly Register 1/3 (12 August 1843), 38

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 January 1844), 3

"NEW MUSIC", The Australian (9 April 1844), 3

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 July 1844), 1

[Advertisement], The Courier (7 September 1844), 1

"PIANOFORTES", The Cornwall Chronicle (29 January 1845), 3

"ORGANIST OF ST. JOHN'S CHURCH", The Cornwall Chronicle (24 September 1845), 186

This appointment has been given to Mr. T. Rolfe, who is the son of Mr. Rolfe the Piano-forte maker, of Cheapside in London. Mr. T. Rolfe purposes establishing himself in the town, as a Tuner and Repairer of Piano-fortes.

"SAINT JOHN'S CHRUCH SUNDAY AND DAY SCHOOLS", The Cornwall Chronicle (1 November 1845), 294-95

... We understand that considerable exertions are being made by the new organist of the Church, for the improvement of the children in Sacred Psalmody; but as Mr. Rolfe has only been in Launceston a few weeks, it would be unfair to give an opinion about their proficiency ... We have heard that the Bishop was pleased to compliment Mr. Rolfe on the performance of Sunday. The voluntary played at the commencement (selected from one of Casalis' Masses) was truly grand and soul-inspiring, and was executed in a manner highly creditable to the performer.

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

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (16 September 1846), 715

"NEW YEAR'S DAY", The Cornwall Chronicle (2 January 1847), 6

"TO THE EDITOR ... LITERARY DISTINCTION", Launceston Examiner (30 January 1847), 5

"SHIPPING NEWS", The Courier (25 August 1847), 2

"DIED", The Port Phillip Patriot and Morning Advertiser (22 September 1847), 2 

On the 13th April last, aged 61, Mr. Thomas Hall Rolfe, of the firm of William Rolfe and Sons, Pianoforte Makers, Cheapside, London, and Uncle of Mr. T. Rolfe, of this place.

[Advertisement], The Port Phillip Patriot and Morning Advertiser (19 October 1847), 3 

"PROVISIONAL PROTECTIONS", The Mechanics' Magazine (16 May 1857), 476 

"CERTIFICATES", The Jurist (27 November 1858), 489 

[Report], The Law Times (6 February 1864), 159 

Extant colonial publications (see complete list here):

Note especially:

Second set of Royal Irish quadrilles, composed and dedicated to his friend Mons. T. Chap of Liverpool, by Jullien; these quadrilles were composed expressly for the Dublin Promenade Concerts and performed nightly with the greatest success by the author & his inimitable band (Sydney: Published by T. Rolfe, music seller, George Street, n.d); "Price 4/."; "J. Carmichael, Sc. Sydney"

John Carmichael's titlepage for Rolfe is one of his most impressive music covers, but notably different from that he engraved for Francis Ellard's roughly contemporary Sydney edition of the same title (see below), which has a view of Sackville Street, Dublin, as do the covers of Pigott's original Dublin editions (see below)

Note also that the music pages of Rolfe's edition do not use the same plates as Ellard's, see: Ellard edition (DIGITISED) Pigott titlepage (DIGITISED)

Bibliography and resources:

Martha Novak Clinkscale, Makers of the piano, volume 2, 1820-1860 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 312-13 (PREVIEW)

Neidorf 1999, 228

Levi 2013, These are the names, 156

... on 27 July 1843, an embittered [Lewis] Cohen charged his wife with bigamy. While Cohen was in prison, Rachel had formed a relationship with a musician named Rolfe who lived in Pitt Street, Sydney. She had left Hobart Town, and on 23 August 1842, had married Mr. Rolfe. Cohen promptly arrived in Sydney, accepted £20 to keep quiet about her status, and then changing his mind, charged her with bigamy ...

Exeter working papers in British book trade history; the London book trades 1775-1800: a preliminary checklist of members. Names R

ROLFE, William, music seller and publisher and pianoforte maker, 112, Cheapside 1797-1830. Trading: alone 1797-1807; as William Rolfe and sons 1808-1816; as William Rolfe and Co. 1817-1826; as William Rolfe and sons 1827-1830. Previously partner in Culliford, Rolfe and Barrow. Humphries and Smith.



Active Melbourne, VIC, 1856


[Advertisement], The Argus (3 November 1856), 8 

Messrs. OAK and BAPTISTE respectfully inform the public that their Splendid New Concert Hall will be Opened on Monday next, with the following Company:
Madame Naej, Mrs. Pendleton, and Mr. Pendleton.
Pianist and Conductor - Mr. W. Rolfe.

[Advertisement], The Argus (5 March 1857), 8 

MUSIC HALL, Ship Hotel, Sandridge . . . Mrs. Oakey, the much admired soprano, Mr. Taylor, the favourite tenor, Mr. C Legrew, violin-1st, Mr. W. Rolf, pianist, and conductor . . .


Music publisher, bookbinder

Born Glasgow, Scotland, 11 December 1812
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 26 August 1833 (per Othello)
Died Bay of Biscay, 10 January 1866 (in wreck of the London) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


A Scot himself, Hobart bookbinder and occasional publisher probably issued only this single lithographed musical print, Caller herrin ("The Celebrated Scotch Song ... as sung by Mr. J. R. Black, with symphony from Knapton's variations") on 31 December 1861. Notably, he made no mention of the fact that his fellow townswoman, Augusta Packer, was daughter of the song's composer, Nathaniel Gow, though her son Frederick Packer junior did deputise as pianist for John Reddie Black on one occasion.


[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (17 November 1837), 1

[Advertisement], The Mercury (31 December 1861), 3

"NEW MUSIC", The Mercury (31 December 1861), 2 

We have received a copy of the celebrated Scotch song "Caller Herrin," which Mr. Black, the Vocalist, rendered so popular in Hobart Town, It is published by Mr. Rolwegan, of Collins Street, having been lithographed by J. Alvarez, of Warwick Street. The frontispiece is a beautiful specimen of illuminated lithography, and contains a vignette of St. Giles', Edinburgh, whilst in another vignette is a "Scotch lassie," vending " Caller Herrin." As a specimen of colonial art, it is highly creditable, and wo can only hope that both the publisher and the lithographer may meet with that success which their enterprise deserves.

[Advertisement], The Mercury (1 January 1862), 1

"THE FOUNDERING OF THE STEAMSHIP LONDON", The Mercury (19 March 1866), 2 

Other resources:

Caller herrin (The celebrated Scotch song ... as sung by Mr. J. R. Black, with symphony from Knapton's variations) (Hobart Town: G. Rolwegan, [1861/2]) (DIGITISED)

SL-TAS (TAO): George Rolwegan NG1326 [Records] [manuscript]

Bound volume of sheet music (half-bound in leather by G. Rolwegan, Hobart Town) 

This book of mostly imported music also contains copies of colonial works by Joseph Reichenberg, John Howson, and Francis Hartwell Henslowe.

ROMANO, Pietro

Harpist, composer

Born Viggiano, Italy, ? c. 1843
Arrived SA, c. 1890
Active Adelaide, SA, by 1895
Died Adelaide, SA, July 1941, "aged 98" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


ROOKE, F. (Miss F. ROOKE) ? = Fanny ROOKE (Mrs. PAINE)

ROPER, Edmund Alphonsus

Organist, pianist, arranger

Born Nottingham, England, 23 June 1846
Arrived Hobart, TAS, ? c.1855
Died Glebe, NSW, 28 March 1874, aged 27


"READING AT NEW TOWN", The Mercury (9 June 1868), 2

"MARRIAGES", The Mercury (17 August 1868), 1

"RESIGNATION OF MRS. E. A. ROPER", The Cornwall Chronicle (3 October 1868), 3

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 December 1871), 8

"SYDNEY CHORAL SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 June 1873), 4

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (30 March 1874), 1

"DEATH OF MR. ROPER", The Sydney Morning Herald (30 March 1874), 4

The musical profession has lost a very promising young member in the death of Mr. Roper, the late organist of St. Patrick's Church, who died on Saturday evening after an illness of only a few days. Mr. Roper was well known in connection with the popular concerts given in Sydney, more particularly those of a sacred character.

"NEWS OF THE DAY", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 November 1878), 5

WE have received from Mr. J. R. Clarke, the publisher, a copy of "O Salutaris Hostia", as sung by Miss E. A. Moon. It was arranged by the late E. A. Roper (sometime organist of St. Patrick's Church). Many of our readers will no doubt be glad to obtain this arrangement of a much-admired air by Mercadante.

"ORGANIST'S UNIQUE RECORD", The Mercury (1 September 1923), 15


Pianist, composer

? Arrived Adelaide, SA, 15 December 1850 (per Australia, from Hamburg, 7 September)
Married Marian RUTTER, VIC, 1855
Active Bathurst, NSW, by January 1853 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


He was perhaps the "F. Rosenstein" who arrived in Adelaide from Hamburg in December 1850. He served as an interpreter in the trial of a German at Bathurst in February 1853. In Sydney in September 1853, Ferdinand Rosenstein, "The celebrated pianist ... from Hamburgh", advertised as a Quadrille pianist, appeared in concert with Flora Harris and John Howson, and saw his lost The remembrance polka ("dedicated with permission to the Hon. Mrs. Keith Stewart") published by Woolcott and Clarke. In December he was in Bathurst, advertising as local agent for Woolcott and Clark. He was in Melbourne by December 1854. He disappears from record after 1856. In 1861, Caroline Rosenstein (d.1867) of Hamburg arrived in South Australia, and in 1862 she advertised in Melbourne to ascertain his whereabouts.


? "SHIPPING", South Australian Gazette and Mining Journal (19 December 1850), 2 

"BATHURST ASSIZES", Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (26 February 1853), 2 

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 September 1853), 5

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 September 1853), 7

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (12 September 1853), 1

[Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press (10 December 1853), 1

[Advertisement], The Argus (29 December 1854), 3

"BENDIGO. THE WIZARD JACOBS", The Age (16 October 1855), 6 

This celebrated nicromancer is continuing to give his wonderfully clever performances every evening, in Burrall's Assembly Rooms, to crowded audiences. Mr. Jacobs's assistant, known as Sprightly, is almost as clever as tho Wizard himself, and plays his part well. I must notice, also, the very superior manner in which Mr. Rosenstein plays on the piano. He is the ablest and most accomplished pianist that we have had on Bendigo for a long time, and plays with far greater effect than Mr. Poling [recte Paling] did, who accompanied Miska Hauser. Mr. Rosenstein has been favored with several encores.

"BIRTHS", The Argus (27 September 1856), 4

[Advertisement], The Argus (23 January 1862), 1 


Pianist, teacher of singing and German, professor of music, flute player

? Active Melbourne, VIC, 1853
Married Margaret BLACK, VIC, 1855 (Reg. 1415)
Active (? Geelong, VIC, 1858-60) Brisbane, QLD, by 1863
Died Towong, Brisbane, QLD, February 1890 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


A Mr. Rosenstengel played the flute in the band of the newly formed Melbourne Philharmonic in April 1853. He was probably Ferdinand Nicholas Rosenstengel, who married Margaret Black in Victoria, two years later in 1855. He was teaching music and languages at Geelong in 1858 and 1860, and appeared in a concert there in 1859, at which a glee attributed to him, entitled The bushmen, was also performed.

F. N. Rosenstengel advertised as a "Professor of Music" in Brisbane in January 1863, having arrived at Moreton Bay on board the ship Duke of Newcastle (from Cork and Liverpool); so either he had returned to Europe briefly in the interim, or he had merely joined the ship at another Australian port.

At his concert in Brisbane in July 1864 the band played an unattributed Bendigo polka, and his own Neptune schottische.

As conductor he collaborated with pianist Silvester Diggles in the Brisbane Philharmonic Concerts in 1867. A review of his Our Nellie's schottische (Brisbane: Gordon & Gotch, [1885]) imputing plagiarism prompted him to defend himself in print.


[Advertisement], The Argus (27 April 1853), 12 

SECOND GRAND CONCERT. MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY, Protestant Hall, THIS EVENING, WEDNESDAY, 27th April. Principal Vocal Performers - Miss Graham (her second appearance); Mr. Moran. Leader - Mr. F. Fischer. Director - Mr. G. Chapman. THE Band will consist of the following talented performers: Violins - Mr. A. Fischer, Mr. Strebinger, Mr. Thomson; Viola - Mr Thomas; Basso - Mr. C. Elza and Mr. Hardman; Cornet-a-Piston - Mr G. Chapman; Clarionet and Oboe - Sig. Blume; Flute- Mr. Rosenstengel. Pianoforte - Mr. Hertz and Mr. Thomson ...

[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (5 August 1856), 1 

MR. ROSENSTENGEL begs lave to acquaint his friends and the public in general, that he continues to teach music; also, French, German and Italian. For particulars apply at his residence No. 122 Yarra-street.

[Advertisement], The Star (7 July 1858), 4

[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (14 November 1859), 4 

Glee - "The Bushmen" - Messrs. Shepherd, Buchan, Glennis- ter and Denholm - Rosenstengel .... Duet - (Violin and Piano) - Messrs. Andrews and Rosenstengel - L. Shuberth ...

[Advertisement], The Argus (26 December 1860), 8

[Advertisement], The Courier (30 January 1863), 3

"PRESENTATION TO THE REV. W. J. LARKIN", The Courier (5 February 1863), 2

[Advertisement], The Courier (8 June 1863), 3

"MR. P. C. CUNNINGHAME'S entertainment", The Courier (12 June 1863), 2

[Advertisement], The North Australian (26 September 1863), 4

"NOTES AND NEWS", The North Australian (19 July 1864), 2

"THE PHILHARMONIC CONCERTS", The Queenslander (30 March 1867), 12

[Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (16 July 1864), 1

"LADIES IN PARLIAMENT. TO THE EDITOR", The Brisbane Courier (23 April 1870), 5

"MARRIAGES", The Queenslander (29 March 1879), 385

[Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (28 May 1883), 1

[News], The Brisbane Courier (29 June 1883), 5

[News], The Brisbane Courier (16 June 1885), 5

"OUR NELLIE'S SCHOTTISCHE. TO THE EDITOR", The Brisbane Courier (18 June 1885), 5

"NEW MUSIC", Queensland Figaro and Punch (12 February 1887), 3

[News], The Brisbane Courier (27 February 1890), 4

A large circle of musical friends will read with regret of the death of Herr Rosenstengel, the clever pianist and teacher of music, who has practised and taught in Brisbane for something like a quarter of a century. Among other positions which he filled was that of teacher to the choirs of St. Stephen's Cathedral and St. Patrick's Church, Fortitude Valley. The deceased gentleman's funeral took place yesterday afternoon and was largely attended. The procession was headed by a band composed of those anxious to do honour to so old a musician. At the Toowong General Cemetery the service was read by the Rev. Father Fouhy.

[Advertisement; probate], The Brisbane Courier (29 March 1890), 2


Oboist, violinist, composer, Teacher of Music

Active Brisbane, QLD, from 1883


Ludwig Rosenstengel, nephew of F. N. Rosenstengel and "a pupil of Herr Ton, chef d'orchestre of the private orchestra of H.R.H. the grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar" made his first Brisbane appearance at his uncle's concert in May 1883.


[Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (28 May 1883), 1

[News], The Brisbane Courier (29 June 1883), 5

[Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (5 September 1883), 1

"NEW MUSIC", Queensland Figaro and Punch (14 January 1888), 11s 

Reminiscence of the Ruins of Pompeii. Nocturne, for piano, by Ludwig Rosenstengel, junior. Gordon & Gotch, publishers, Brisbane. The latest candidate for public favor in the shape of local musical composition is the nocturne, by our townsman, Herr Rosenstengel, the well-known oboe player. The general character of the piece is in strict keeping with its title, being a graceful idyll phrased in simple, dreamy style. The melody is clear and well marked, and within the reach of the veriest tyro on the keyboard, and, barring a few clerical errors, is worth including in every music portfolio. Herr Rosenstengel, I believe, makes his first bow to a Queensland audience as a composer in this instance, and from such a promise I think he will issue yet something of a more ambitious and enduring nature. The frontispiece is hardly up to the best productions of the publishers, otherwise the get-up is passable. For the benefit of the beginner, I ought to mention that the nocturne is written throughout in six-eight time, in E flat major, with a brief modulation in the relative key of B flat after the orthodox rule.

ROSNATI, Ferante

Tenor vocalist

Died 1884 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


ROSS, Thomas Andrew

Singing master (late Organist of St. Nicholas Church, Dundalk), Teacher of Vocal and instrumental music

Active Brisbane, QLD, by 1865
Died Brisbane, QLD, 1892


[Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (6 December 1865), 1

[Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (11 November 1865), 1

"COURT OF REQUESTS", The Brisbane Courier (5 December 1867), 2

[Advertisement - probate], The Brisbane Courier (16 July 1862), 7

ROSSI, Elena (Madame ROSSI)

Soprano vocalist

Active Melbourne, VIC, 1854 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Madame Elena Rossi, a "Pupil of Signors Garcia and Crevelli ... just arrived from England" first appeared in concert in Melbourne for John Winterbottom on 30 January 1854, singing a scene from Ernani, and again for him in a concert at Prahran in June. Otherwise unknown, her explanation that her teacher Garcia was also "singing master to Jenny Lind and Madame Sontag" may be a clue as to her identity, perhaps as a relation of Henriette Sontag, also widely known by her married name of Madame Rossi (and who, coincidentally, died in Mexico in June 1854)


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

[Advertisement], The Argus (27 January 1854), 10

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

[Advertisement], The Argus (7 June 1854), 3


ROWE, John

Choral singer, bandsman, brass instrumentalist

Died Reading, PA, USA, 1917, in his 92nd year (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

ROWE, Richard

Choral singer, precentor, brass instrumentalist

Born c. 1833
Arrived SA, 1857
Died East Adelaide, SA, 17 May 1897, aged 64 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

ROWE, William

Choral singer, bandsman, brass instrumentalist

Born Truro, Cornwall, England, 1821
Arrived SA, 1855 (from Victoria)
Died North Kensington, SA, 20 March 1910, in his 90th year (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"THE LATE MR. RICHARD ROWE", The Advertiser (18 May 1897), 6 

Old colonists and others will regret to learn of the death at the age of 64 of Mr. Richard Rowe, which occurred at his residence, St. Peters-street, East Adelaide, on Monday. The deceased, who came from Truro, Cornwall, arrived in the colony in 1857, and soon identified himself with the leading musical circles of the time. With two elder brothers, William and John, who survive him, he took part in most of the choral productions presented under the conductorship of the late Herr Carl Linger. He also sang in oratorio music with the Pirie-screet Wesleyan Church choir, of which the three brothers were prominent members for a long time. His latest public appearance was as precentor at St. Andrew's Church, Wakefield-street. Mr. Rowe entered business as a fancy goods importer in Rundle-street, and for 30 years be successfully carried on. He then retired into private life, and took up his residence in St. Peters-street, East Adelaide, where he passed quietly away, leaving a wife and daughter to mourn their loss.

"Mr. William Rowe", Observer (26 March 1910), 36 

In our obituary columns is announced the death in his ninetieth year, of Mr. William Rowe, of North Kensington, and formerly of Britannia Foundry, Strathalbyn. Mr. Rowe was an early South Australian. He arrived in 1855 from Victoria, where he spent a few months on the gold diggings without success. On arrival in South Australia an engagement was secured at the coachbuilding establishment of the late Mr. Samuel Carvosso, then the leading maker jn Adelaide, and after many years' service Mr. Rowe transferred to the late Mr. Crimp. In 1867 he took over the Strathalbyn Foundry from the late Hon. J. G. Ramsay, and in a few years was able to retire into private life. Eventually a branch was opened in Adelaide. At the southern town when municipal powers were obtained Mr. Rowe was among its first Councillors. The musical fraternity will recall how in the early days the three brothers - William, John, and Richard - were famous for their oratorio and glee performances, being associated with the leading societies of the day, and afterwards instrumental music under the late Herr Schrader. The deceased was born in Truro, Cornwall, in 1821. He had lived in retirement at his late residence since 1883. The surviving members of Mr. Rowe's family are: - Mrs. M. J. Barry, widow, and Mr. William Rowe, Government Printing office. His wife recently predeceased him.

"PERSONAL NEWS", The Express and Telegraph (8 February 1917), 2 

Word has just been received from Reading, Pa., U.S.A., of the death, in his 92nd year, of Mr. John Rowe, formerly of Adelaide, who, like his brothers, Messrs. William and Richard Rowe, was an accomplished musician, and rendered good service especially, in church choral work, to the community. The three brothers were largely self-taught, but received their early training in music in their native town of Truro, Cornwall. With others, the Rowe family introduced oratorio work in this State, and the fine rendering of selections from the "Messiah" and other masterpieces, given at the Pirie-street Methodist Church and elsewhere, as far back as 1858, still gives pleasant memories to many old colonists. For glee and part singing the brothers were equally well noted. They were also members of Herr Schrader's brass band, the leader, it is claimed, being one of the most gifted cornet players who ever performed in South Australia. Mr. John Rowe spent many years in the United States as a professional musician, and on retiring settled in Reading, amidst a circle of friends. The only surviing member of the family of Mr. John Rowe is his daughter, Miss Annie Rowe, who lives at Reading.

ROWE, Joseph

? Amateur vocalist, ironmonger, plumber

Active Adelaide, SA, by 1850s

ROWE, Louisa Jane (Miss ROWE; Mrs. John PARKIN)

Vocalist (pupil of Carl Linger), pianist

Born c.1843 (daughter of Joseph ROWE)
Active Adelaide, SA, from 1858
Died Adelaide, SA, 29 November 1919, aged 76 years, a colonist of 76 years (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


A pupil of Carl Linger, Rowe notably sang in the first public performance of Linger's Song of Australia at Gawler in December 1859, and on the same program gave the first performance on the piano of Linger's lost Fantasia on the Song of Australia.


[Advertisement], South Australian Register (14 July 1854), 1

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (15 July 1854), 1

"GRAND CONCERT", South Australian Register (17 July 1854), 2

"MRS. MITCHELL'S CONCERT", South Australian Register (15 February 1855), 3

"MR. R. B. WHITE'S CONCERTS", South Australian Register (11 March 1858), 4

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (13 June 1859), 1

"SIGNOR CUTOLO'S CONCERT", The South Australian Advertiser (16 June 1859), 2

"GAWLER INSTITUTE", South Australian Register (14 December 1859), 3

"GRAND CONCERT AT THE GAWLER INSTITUTE", The South Australian Advertiser (14 December 1859), 3

? "NORTH ADELAIDE WESLEYAN CHAPEL", South Australian Weekly Chronicle (22 December 1860), 6 

. . . A vote of thanks to the Chairman, the ladies, and the choir was then passed, after which several gentlemen addressed the meeting. The choir, under the direction of Mr. J. Rowe, during the evening performed the following pieces of sacred music: - "Jehovah's awful throne," "Lift up your head, O Zion," "When the Lord shall build up Zion," also Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus," from the Messiah. A solo by Miss Tozer, "Eve's lamentation," was beautifully sung and deservedly applauded. The meeting separated at 10 o'clock.

"MARRIAGES", South Australian Register (4 June 1866), 2

"DEATHS", The Advertiser (2 December 1919), 6

"OLD PUPIL OF CARL LINGER", The Advertiser (16 March 1936), 20

"CHIT CHAT FOR WOMEN", The Advertiser (4 October 1927), 8

ROWE, Joseph Andrew (Joseph Andrew ROWE; Mr. J. A. ROWE)

Circus proprietor, concert promoter

Born North Carolina, USA, 1819
Arrived (1) Melbourne, VIC, 1 May 1852 ( from San Francisco)
Departed (2) Melbourne, VIC, 1854 (for San Francisco)
Arrived (2) Sydney, NSW, 27 April 1858 (per Leveret, from Auckland)
Departed (2) ?
Died San Francisco, CA, USA, 5 November 1887

See Rowe's American Circus (Melbourne)

Image: "Ye People of Australia proceedynge to enjoie Themselves at Mister Rowe his Circus" (S. T. Gill), National Musuem of Australia 


In 1849, Rowe took the first circus to San Francisco. Sailing from there, he arrived in Melbourne with his company on 1 May 1852, and six weeks later opened his circus building on the corner of Lonsdale and Exhibition streets. Rowe left Melbourne in 1854 to return to San Francisco, reputedly taking with him £40 000 in cash and treasure (St Leon).

Bibliography and resources:

Albert Dressler (d.), California's pioneer circus: Joseph Andrew Rowe, founder; memoirs and personal correspondence relative to the circus business through the gold country in the 50's (San Francisco: Printed by H.S. Crocker Co., 1926) (DIGITISED)

Mark St, Leon, "Circus", eMelbourne 

"Joseph Andrew Rowe", Wikipedia 

Guide to the Joseph Andrew Rowe Papers, 1857-1861; California State Library 

ROYAL, Creed (James Creed ROYAL)

Flautist, composer

Born England, ? 1807/8
Arrived Australia, 1853
Died Fitzroy, VIC, 15 March 1876, in his 68th year (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

ROYAL, Mary (Mary SAYER; Mrs. James Creed ROYAL (1); Mrs. Creed ROYAL)

Contralto vocalist, dancer, teacher of music, singing, and dancing

Born Gloucestershire, England, c. 1822
Married James Creed ROYAL, Gloucestershire, England, 1840
Died Collingwood, VIC, 2 August 1856 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

ROYAL, Frances (? Frances JOHNSTONE; Mrs. James Creed ROYAL (2); Mrs. Creed ROYAL)


Married James Creed ROYAL, VIC, 1860

ROYAL, Eliza (Miss Creed ROYAL, Eliza Creed ROYAL; Miss Lizzie ROYAL; Mrs. Thomas Wright ROWE; Mrs. Daniel O'HARA)

? Vocalist

Born Cheltenham, Gloucestershite, Engand, c. 1844
Died Rockhampton, QLD, 2 May 1876 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

ROYAL, Kate (Miss Kate Creed ROYAL; Miss Kate ROYAL; Mrs. DE LA CHAPELLE)

? Vocalist

Born Brighton, Sussex, England, 20 January 1844
Married Jean-Joseph Xavier Alfred DE LA CHAPELLE, 1862
Died Paris, France, 8 April 1878 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

? ROYAL, Bonnie (? Eliza above)


ROYAL, Harry Creed

Piano tuner

Born Geelong, VIC, 1854

Image: (sketch by Gordon McCrae)


Creed Royal was active in Melbourne by February 1853 and later that year settled in Geelong. A Splendid NEW SCHOTTISCHE ("Patronised by Lady Barkley") composed by him, published by George Chapman, was advertised in Melbourne in February 1857 (no copy identified), and his The Governor Musgrave schottische (Adelaide: J. Woodman) appeared in October 1873.

There are also later (posthumous) references to a Fantasie brillante for flute composed by Creed Royal. In the opera Lucia in Melbourne on the evening of 6 march 1876, the Argus noted

Mr. Creed Royal was greatly missed from the band in the early part of the work last night; but in the "Mad Scene", the flute obligato part was played with consummate skill by Signor Giammona.

Royal died a week later.


[Advertisement], Windsor and Eton Express [England] (24 October 1835), 1

A GRAND CONCERT ... WINDSOR, WEDNESDAY, October 28th ... Leader - Mr. H. BLAGROVE, (Violinist to her Majesty) ... Flute - Mr. Royal; Clarionet - Mr. Pickworth; Horns - Messrs. Catchpole and Stock; Bassoon - Mr. Snelling.

[Advertisement] Morning Post [London] (10 April 1839), 6

THEATRE ROYAL, LYCEUM ... PROMENADE CONCERTS A LA MUSARD. Programme. - Overture, Fra Diavolo, Auber; Solo on the flute by Mr. Royal ...

Brighton Gazette [England] (18 August 1842), 2


[News], Brighton Gazette [England] (24 November 1842), 3

Thomas Oddy, keeper of beer-shop the Western Road, was charged with assault on the wife of Mr. James Creed Royal, a musician, at the Theatre.

[Advertisement], Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser [England] (12 July 1845), 1

MR. ROYAL, Professor of the Flute, Piano-Forte, and Singing, 26, Faulkner street. - A FLUTE CLASS for the Practice of Quartetts, Trios, &c. - Terms moderate.

[Advertisement], Manchester Times [England] (12 December 1846), 1

CREED ROYAL, Professor of the Flute and Piano Forte, REMOVED to 21, Downing-street, Ardwick. Bands provided for Quadrille parties.

"PROMENADE CONCERTS", Staffordshire Advertiser (14 July 1849), 4

Monday and Tuesday evenings, Mr. J. Nunns gave a concert of instrumental music in the Institution Room, Newcastle, to highly respectable, though not numerous audiences ... A fantasia composed by Richardson was brilliantly executed by Creed Royal, who is flautist of known celebrity ...

[Advertisement], Manchester Times [England] (11 August 1849), 8

WHEREAS a petition of CREED ROYAL, at present, and for twenty weeks past, residing at No. 16, Back King-street, Manchester ... and for six months previous thereto, residing at No. 37, Peter-street, Manchester ... in lodgings, and for eighteen months immediately previous thereto, residing at No. 30, Quay-street, Manchester ... professor of music and musical instrument seller, an insolvent debtor ...

"INSOLVENT DEBTORS", The Jurist 13/658 (18 August 1849), 305

[Advertisement], The Argus (19 February 1853), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (22 February 1853), 8

"ARE WE TO BE A MUSICAL COMMUNITY", Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (31 August 1853), 2

"THE DIGGINGS", Brighton Gazette [England] (3 November 1853), 7

A great number of letters from Brighton emigrants have lately been received here their friends ... Mr. Henry Chate, tailor, has received a letter from his son. It appears that he has been with Winterbottom's musical corps in Sydney; and has done pretty well. They have latterly returned to Melbourne. Mr. Tucker, son of Mr. Tucker, Western Road, is the leader. He is called at Melbourne the English Paganini. Mr. Thom, who also went from Brighton, is engaged at the Theatre in Geelong. He leads the orchestra, and Mrs. Thom is engaged as an actress. Mrs. Thom took her benefit the Theatre, on July 16th, when nearly £100 was taken at the doors. Mr. Thom took his benefit the next night, and £107 was taken. The performances were Guy Mannering and a Concert. Many of our readers will doubtless remember Mr. Creed Royal, an excellent flute player. He is engaged in the same orchestra as Mr. Thom.

[Listing and Advertisement], The Geelong commercial directory and almanac for 1854 (Geelong: For the proprietors, 1854), 61-62 165 

[Advertisement], The Argus (17 February 1857), 8

"New Music", South Australian Register (11 October 1873), 5

"THE OPERA. LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR", The Argus (7 March 1876), 7

[News], The Argus (16 March 1876), 5

Mr. Creed Royal died yesterday, at an advanced age, after having I been for years past one of the leading flautists in the operatic orchestra. He was kindly thought of by all who knew him, and was a man of large experience. He played under Mendelssohn when that great master first produced his oratorio "Elijah" at Birmingham, in 1847. The late Mr. Creed Royal leaves a widow in feeble health.

"DEATHS", The Argus (18 March 1876), 1

"THE LATE MR. CREED ROYAL", Launceston Examiner (1 April 1876), 3

"ROCKHAMPTON", The Sydney Morning Herald (3 May 1876), 5

Mrs. O'Hara, known as Miss Creed Royal, died to-day.

"NORTHERN NEWS", The Queenslander (20 May 1876), 8

[News], The Argus (13 October 1876), 5

"MRS. CREED ROYAL. TO THE EDITOR", The Argus (26 October 1876), 10

"NEWS AND NOTES", The Ballarat Star (23 October 1878), 2 

The Melbourne correspondent of the Ararat Advertiser says: - "Among the passengers by the Chimborazo was Mrs. Creed Royal, and daughters. The friends of the late Mr. Creed Royal, whose musical abilities are widely known, will be glad that a long Chancery suit has terminated in favor of his heirs, and that his widow and daughters are comfortably provided for. The interest which had accumulated on the money in the bank was surprising, but the case had been going on for a long time.

[Advertisement], Morning Bulletin (23 October 1878), 3

"CARMEN", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 August 1879), 6

ROYLE, Bert (Albert)

Baritone vocalist, librettist, songwriter

Born England, 1860/1
Arrived Australia, c. 1889
Died NZ, 18 September 1929, aged 68 (NLA persistent identifier) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"Green-room Gossip", Illustrated Sydney News (18 February 1893), 19

"THE LATE MR. BERT ROYLE", The Sydney Morning Herald (17 September 1929), 12

... An Englishman by birth, Mr. Royle came to Australia about 40 years ago with an English opera company, in which he sang baritone roles. After this company had departed he remained here, and became well known in character parts in "straight" drama, such as the role of Hardress Cregan in "Colleen Bawn." He wrote the libretto for a number of the J. C. Williamson musical productions of 35 years ago, including "Djin-Djin" and "Matsa," and superintended the details of the staging.

Theatrical productions: (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Songs: (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


There's something about 'er as fetches yer (written by Bert Royle; composed by Hewetson Burne) (Melbourne: W. H. Glen & Co., [1892/93] 

I've chucked up my push for the donah (Australian Larrikin song) (Sydney & Melbourne versions complete; written by Bert Royle; music by Lovell Phillips (Sydney: W. H. Paling & Co., [1893]) 

I love but thee (words by Bert Royle; music by Leon Caron) (Sydney: Nicholson & Co., 1897) 

It may be love (words by Bert Royle; music by Leon Caron) (Sydney: Nicholson & Co., 1897) 

RUDALL, James Thomas

Surgeon, amateur musician, flautist

Born England, c. 1830
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 1858
Died Armadale, VIC, 4 March 1907


"Death of Dr. J. T. Rudall", The Prahran Telegraph (9 March 1907), 2 

"SEVENTY YEARS OF MUSIC", The Argus (17 October 1925), 12 

[by the late 1850s] . . . Several of our best amateurs were now beginning to come into notice. The two most conspicuous as it happened were both flautists, Dr. Rudall and Mr. T. P. Hornidge [recte J. P. Hornidge] Both were passionately fond of music and able to hold their own in the best concerts of the day. Both have left worthy successors in their sons. The splendid performances of the present Dr. Rudall on the cor anglais will not be soon forgotten, while the son of Mr. Hornidge (Frank) not only can play the piano, violin, viola and cello but is also an admirable composer of orchestral music . . .



"Musician", piano tuner, ? convict

Active Launceston, VDL (TAS), 1838


"LAUNCESTON POLICE", The Cornwall Chronicle (31 March 1838), 1

John Rukely, a regular barn-door bred bumpkin, was complained of by his master, for neglect of duty. Mr. Chittleburgh stated that nothing more was required of the fellow than to keep clean a couple of rooms, and occasionally to chop a little wood, neither of which he would do. The fellow, when called on for his reason, said, he was never accustomed to washingrooms. No, he was a MUSICIAN. And pray, said the magistrate, on what instrument do you play? Oh! answered the clod-pole, I tunes pianny fortes, but all my family are musicians. Had he said he was a milliner, his appearance could not have more blankly contradicted his assertion. The magistrate sentenced this Orpheus to try if he could not make the stones jump to the music of his hammer, for the space of two months.

RULE, H. (? Henry RULE)

Cornet a piston player, volunteer bandsman, ? signwriter

Active Castlemaine, VIC, 1860s


[News], Mount Alexander Mail (3 March 1862), 3

The Castlemaine Volunteer Rifle Band, under the direction of Mr. Taylor, will perform the following selection of music, in the New Market House, this evening, at 8 o'clock -
March, Who shall be Fairest - Mori
'Waltz, Mountain Daisy - D'Albert
Air, Mary of Argyle - [Nelson]
Solo Cornet-a-piston, The Cottage by the Sea (by desire) - Corpl. Rule
Waltz, Immortalen - Gung'l
Polka, Georgina - Paulson.
March, Weel may the keel row - Dewar.

[Advertisement], Mount Alexander Mail (30 May 1862), 5 

"CASTLEMAINE RIFLE CORPS", Mount Alexander Mail (29 August 1862), 4

. . . The band was the next topic of discussion. The master, Mr. Taylor, stated that much complaint was made by the band about the amount of time they were compelled to devote to playing and practice, and the pressure was so great that, unless it was relaxed, some of the oldest members had intimated their intention to retire. They had now to play in public on Monday evening, on Tuesday practice, on Wednesday to attend parade, on Thursday and Friday evenings practice again. It was admitted in the course of conversation that the band were taxed rather severely, and it was resolved to relieve them from three parades a month. They will now have to attend the commanding officer's parade, to play as usual on Monday evenings, at moonlight marches, and on any special occasion when desired by the corps. Mr Taylor, Sergeant Paulson, and Corporal Rule, expressed their satisfaction with this arrangement. In reply to a question as to how it was the band did not pay up subscriptions, it was remarked that the band, by their public playing on Monday evenings, were the means of keeping up the funds of the corps much more effectively than if their exertions were confined to payment of subscriptions. A member expressed his fear that the attendance at parades, small as it was now, would be smaller when the band were absent. The commanding officer replied he should regret if any member attended solely that he might march to music. In future, on the three parades a month from which the band would be absent, members would fall in for drill on the ground on the camp, so that really the band would not be required on those occasions . . .


Amateur pianist, astronomer

Born Stargard, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Germany, 18 May 1788
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 7 November 1821 (in the suite of governor Thomas Brisbane)
Departed Sydney, NSW, January 1829 (for London)
Died Lisbon, Portugal, 1862 (NLA persistent identifier)


Governor Thomas Brisbane's private astronomer, Rümker was also a keen amateur musician, as Elizabeth Macarthur and George Boyes recorded.


Letter from Elizabeth Macarthur, Parramatta, 4 September 1822; ed. in Sibella Macarthur Onslow (ed.), Some early records of the Macarthurs of Camden (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1914), 373-74

I have already said that we are much pleased with Sir Thomas Brisbane and His Family. The Governor himself is fond of scientific pursuits, and is devoted to astronomy in particular. He brought with him a number of valuable instruments, which are set up in an observatory which he has had built near the Government House at Parramatta. Mr. Rumker a Gentleman well known in the annals of science, and a German by birth came to this country with Sir Thomas. He is domiciled with the family and has charge of the Observatory ... Lady Brisbane has a good Piano, on which she occasionally plays, and accompanies the instrument with her voice. Miss Macdougall plays the Harp, and Mr. Rumker the Piano in turn. The Germans are passionately fond of music.

George Boyes, letter to Mary Boyes, 12 April 1824 (ed. Chapman 1985, 178-79)

[21 February 1824] ... Runker [sic] walked over from his farm to De A's [De Arrietta's] for dinner - 8 miles through a hot wind and under a burning sun - of course a little discomposed the arrangements of his toilet. He apologized for his appearance and therefore nothing more can be said ... [179] ... In the course of the evening [Rumker] talked much and well upon the fine arts - spoke of Memmon's Head and the Horses upon Monte Cavallo - told me he played the piano - murdered an air of Cimarosa's and fell fast asleep. The exercise, the wine and the unusual animation of the evening ...

Bibliography and resources:

G. F. J. Bergman, "Rümker, Christian Carl Ludwig (1788-1862)", Australian dictionary of biography 2 (1967)

RUSH, Emily Agnes (Emelie RUSH; Mrs. William Rutherford ALCOCK)

Contralto vocalist

Born Maclean, NSW, 24 September 1874
Died Grafton, NSW, 1962


Gard 2011 has a brief biography of Michael Rush's sister Emily Rush, who was a member of the Hallewell Glee Club (275-76: Other musical references include details of the Rush-Trickett rowing race, the background to Giorza's Trickett galop and the song The champion and Rush (by a True Cornstalk).


[News], Clarence and Richmond Examiner (6 June 1891), 4

St. Mary's Pro Cathedral. On Sunday last Gounod's beautiful Ave Maria was rendered with much taste and expression. Miss Emily Rush's fine contralto voice was in splendid form, clear and powerful on the high notes, impressing one throughout with the sentiment of the prayer. The violin, obligato by Miss Steber was well and efficiently performed, one or two passages especially shewing the skill, as well as careful training, of the performer. Miss M. Kearney also performed her part admirably. Much credit is due to the members of the choir for the pains they take in the interest of church music.

"Mr. Hallewell's Pupils' Concert", Evening News (25 June 1896), 8 

A large audience assembled in the Y.M.C.A. Hall last evening at the concert given by the pupils of Mr. F. J. Hallewell. The programme opened with. a well-rendered number, "Hail, Smiling Morn," by the Hallewell Glee Club. In "Wher'er You Walk" Mr. Miller sang with pleasing care and good expression. Miss Emelie Rush revealed herself the possessor of a rich contralto voice in Blumenthal's "Life," and was recalled.

Bibliography and resources:

Gard 2011

RUSSELL, ? [probably not his real name]

Convict, bushranger, vocalist, chorister

Active near Bathurst, NSW, 1834; afterward, Norfolk Island


Roger Therry, Reminiscences of thirty years' residence in New South Wales and Victoria . . . second edition (London: Sampson, Low, Son, and Co., 1863), 123-26 

[123] . . . It was positively perilous to venture a few miles from Sydney, in consequence of the daring of the bushrangers. It fell to my lot to have once passed through the exciting ordeal of an interview with them on the Bathurst mountains in 1834 . . . At a lonely spot, on my way to the Bathurst circuit, about ten o'clock in the morning, I was hailed by two men, partially hidden behind a tree, their guns pointed at and covering the heads of myself and servant, with the cry of "Stop, or I'll send the contents of this through you!" . . .

[124] . . . The captain of the gang, however, a convict for life, named Russell, suspecting I had put my hands into my pocket to search there for pistols, desired me at once to take them out, or he would shoot me on the spot . . .

[126] . . . These fellows were afterwards apprehended for another and still more serious robbery. They were transported to Norfolk Island, where I understood Russell, the captain of the gang, became leader of the choir in the little church on the island. His fine voice no doubt captivated the chaplain, and constituted "a case of special circumstances" and exempted him from hard labour . . .


Conductor, choral trainer, founder of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society

Born c. 1805
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 1853
Died Melbourne, VIC, 2 August 1872, aged 67 years (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


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

"MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Argus (1 August 1855), 4

In October, 1853, the members of the choir of the Wesleyan Church, Collins-street, in conjunction with a few other lovers of choral music, requested Mr. John Russell to aid them in the formation of a musical society, and to become its conductor. That gentleman, whose extensive experience, taste, and indefatigable zeal in the diffusion of musical knowledge pre-eminently qualified him for such an office, having given his cordial assent to the proposal, the Melbourne Philharmonic Society was formed.

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (18 March 1868), 4 

A MEETING OF THE PROFESSORS OF MUSIC was held yesterday, at Messrs. Wilkie, Webster and Co.'s, Collins-street east, to determine what steps should be taken to render a complimentary musical entertainment to Mr. John Russell, who, in consequence of ill-health, is leaving the colony for Europe. Mr. J. Summers, Mus. Bac. Oxon., occupied the chair, and stated that he understood Mr. Russell had just claims upon the public of this town, having founded the Philharmonic Society, conducted ninety-one concerts, introduced the great choral works of Beethoven, Handel, Mozart, and Mendelssohn, and devoted the greater part of his life in educating the young and popular taste. Mr. David Lee stated that the Congregational Chapel, Coliins-street east, of which Mr Russell is organist, had been granted for the use of the Sacred concert, and that much valuable assistance had been promised from the various societies of the town. It was arranged the concert should take place on the 2nd of April.

"DEATHS", The Argus (3 August 1872), 4

"CITY AND SUBURBS", Advocate (10 August 1872), 15 

THE remains of Mr. John Russell, a gentleman who has done much to promote a taste for music in this colony, were interred in the General Cemetery on Sunday last. Mr. Russell came to Melbourne in 1853, and was the pioneer of music in this city, having been the founder of the present Philharmonic Society of Melbourne. Since that time until 1867 he was a leading spirit of the society, and conducted no less than 91 of their concerts, introducing to Melbourne audiences the great choral works of Beethoven, Handel, Mozart, and Mendelssohn, and quite succeeded in instilling into the public a taste for highclass music. In the early part of 1867 he was seized with a slight paralytic stroke, which gradually developed into the malady which eventually caused his death. He went to England in 1868 in search of renewed health, and returned to Melbourne in March last, only to end his days in the land of his adoption, at the age of 67 years. Mr. Russell was for many years secretary to the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce, but was of course of late years out of business.

[News], The Argus (13 August 1872), 4

A number of old colonists, identified in various ways with the earlier history of Victoria, have lately passed away. One of these was Mr. John Russell, who was extensively known and much respected, especially in the musical profession, as a most enthusiastic lover of music, not only in Australia, but also in England and America. He was one of the original fenders of the Philharmonic Society of Liverpool, his native town, and he founded also the Harmonic Society of Brooklyn, America, in 1849. From thence he came to Melbourne in 1853, and was the pioneer of music in this city, having been the founder of the present Philharmonic Society of Melbourne. He was for many years secretary to the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce, but was of late years out of business. He died at the age of 67.

"SUMMARY FOR EUROPE", The Argus (13 August 1872), 1s


Bibliography and resources:

Carne 1954


Teacher of piano (pupil of Charles Packer), composer

Active Sydney, NSW, by 1876


Leader (Euphonic Orchestral Society), violinist, teacher of violin and viola

Active Sydney, NSW, 1880



Levi 2013 identifies Philip Russell and a brother David as sons of Henry Russell (c.1812-1898), who arrived in VDL in 1833 on the Lady East, and who, he claims, was also a professional musician. Levi, however, mistakenly cites several references to William Wilkins Russell in building Henry's biography, as well as to another Henry Russell, the famous singer-songwriter.


"The Euphonic Orchestral Society ...", Evening News (19 June 1874), 2

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 January 1876), 2

"The Sydney Cricketers' Schottische", Evening News (7 March 1877), 2 

We have received a copy of the above-named piece of music, which is the first published composition of its author, Mr. Phil. Russell. As a schottische it displays considerable melody, but in its harmonies and modulations there are errors which betoken immatured theoretical knowledge, which should be remedied ere the composer publishes his second edition. The piece is not difficult of execution, and will he heard with pleasure by those whose little feet patter upon the drawing-room floor. The music is clearly and well printed, and is published by James Reading, of George street.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 January 1879), 3

"EUPHONIC ORCHESTRAL SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (8 July 1880), 6 

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 August 1880), 8 

Bibliography and resources:

Levi 2013, These are the names, 720

RUSSELL, William Wilkins go to mainpage William Wilkins RUSSELL

Professor of Music, composer, double-bass player

RUST, Margaret (Miss DUFF; Mrs. RUST; Mrs. George RUST; Margaret RUST)

Soprano vocalist, Professor of Singing

Born ? England, c.1805
Arrived Sydney, NSW, by 20 April 1835
Died Sydney, NSW, 19 November 1840, "aged 35" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


A soprano vocalist, Margaret Duff (perhaps a daughter of J. Duff, the music-seller and publisher, of Duff and Hodgson) was a pupil at the Royal Academy of Music in London in 1828. Alternatively, a Margaret Duff, daughter of Daniel and Jane Duff, was born on 16 October 1805, and baptised at Tooting Graveney, Surrey, England, 11 November 1805, dates that agree with her reported age of 35 at her death in 1840.

On 14 September 1833, a George Rust, bachelor "aged 21", obtained a license to marry Margaret Duff, spinster "aged 21" [? at least], of the parish of St George, Bloomsbury, at his parish church, St. Andrew's Holborn.

"Professor of Singing, Pupil of the Royal Academy, London, and Member of the Philharmonic Society of Milan", Margaret Rust (wife of wholesale butcher and grazier George Rust) was newly arrived in Sydney when she first sang at Thomas Stubbs's concert in April 1835. It was reported in July that she was to give a concert of her own, but this did not eventuate, perhaps because she was pregnant (she gave birth to a daughter, Jane, sadly short-lived, in January). This did not prevent her from singing in the meantime at bishop Bede Polding's inauguration at St. Mary's Chapel in September.

During 1836 she was regularly mentioned singing at St. Mary's, both during services, and in Wallace's Oratorio in September. Thereafter, while probably continuing to sing at St Mary's, she disappears from record during 1837 and 1838. She again announced a concert in September 1839, but it too never eventuated.

Having given birth to a son, William, she died in November 1840.


"ROYAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC", London Evening Standard (10 July 1828), 3

The pupils of the Royal Academy of Music gave yesterday a vocal and instrumental Concert at the Hanoverian Rooms. After the overture, the opening of the vocal performance was entrusted to Miss Lloyd and Miss Williams, who sang Marcello's duo, "Qu'al Anelante," in excellent style. Part of "Haydn's Creation;" "And God said let the earth bring forth, &c." were sung with much pathos by Mr. E. Seguin. Miss Duff and Miss Bromley executed Rossini's duetto "In van tu fingi," with considerable taste . . . The whole concluded with the finale from Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito.

[Royal Academy of Music, monthly concert, 6 September 1828]; see Cazalet, The history of the Royal Academy of Music, 220-21 

[221] PART II . . . ARIA. "Oh! cara Memoria". Miss Duff - Rossini . . . SESTETTO. "Sola! Sola!" Misses Bellchambers, Duff, and Bromley; Messrs. Hodges, E. Seguin, and A. Sapio. ("II Don Giovanni") - Mozart . . .

"ROYAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC", London Evening Standard (3 November 1828), 1

The concert given by the pupils on Saturday, at the Hanover-square Rooms, was attended by a numerous and elegant audience, who had every reason to be well satisfied with the performances . . . A duet from Maometto was well sung by Miss Duff and Mr. E. Seguin, especially the latter; his voice is extremely good, and his execution has a desirable smoothness. Miss Duff is a youthful aspirant of fair promise; she is an extraordinary proficient, and time will enable her to acquire a yet greater degree of precision and certainty in her manner of singing. The performances were generally well received.

"ROYAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC. MR. C. PACKER'S CONCERT", Berkshire Chronicle (13 December 1828), 2

. . . The Cavatina "Ah, come rapida," Miss Duff, was given in addition to the pieces announced. This song afforded a decided proof of this lady's high musical ability, and formed a rich addendum to the performances. This was the first performance of the Royal Academy of Music in the country . . .

"ROYAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC", The Harmonicon 7 (April 1829), 119 

The pupils of this establishment performed their first concert for the present season on Friday, April 3rd, at the Hanover Square Rooms. The following is the selection made for the occasion. Part 1. Symphony (No. 6.) MOZART; "Benedictus," Misses Duff and Williams, Messrs. Rankin and A. Sapio (Requiem.) MOZART ...

"ROYAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC", Morning Post (4 April 1829), 3

A Concert was given yesterday afternoon by the Pupils of the Academy, at the Hanover-square Rooms, which were filled with an elegant and fashionable audience . . . Two full chorusses were beautifully performed. Mr. MUDIE on the pianoforte, Misses DUFF, SEGUIN, and BROMLEY, Messrs. SAPIO, SEGUIN, and RANKIN, in the vocal department, acquitted themselves to the entire satisfaction of the numerous audience.

"ROYAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC", Morning Post (6 June 1829), 3

A Concert by the Pupils was given at the Hanover-square Rooms yesterday morning, before a very numerous audience . . . The celebrated duet, Giorno d'orrore, was sung by Miss CHILDE and Miss DUFF, the former of whom acquitted herself very satisfactory. Miss DUFF was not so successful as we have usually heard her . . .

"ROYAL ACADEMY", Morning Post (2 July 1829), 3

The last Concert for the season was given hy the Pupils yesterday morning at the Hanover-square Rooms, which were completely filled by an elegant and fashionable audience . . . Miss BELLCHAMBERS's air from Otello, a duet by Miss DUFF and Mr. A. SAPIO, another by Miss BROMLEY and Miss WILLIAMS, and the finale to Marie Stuart, by the principal singers, with chorus, gave complete satisfaction to the audience . . . At the conclusion of the Concert, a gratifying report of the progress of the pupils in general was read by Sir Gore Ouseley; after which followed the very interesting ceremony of conferring the annual prizes. The Princess Augusta honoured the Concert with her presence for the express purpose of distributing them. The following are the names of the pupils who received on this occasion prizes of medals or books: - Misses E. Childe, Williams, Bromley, North, Prescott, Brewer, and Hardy; Messrs. Seymour, White, E. Seguin, Daniell, Devaux, F. Smith, and Hopgood.

[Advertisement], Morning Advertiser (2 March 1833), 3

THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY LANE. THIS EVENING (Saturday), March 2, will be performed DON JUAN. Don Juan, Mr. Braham; Don Octavio, Mr. Templeton; Don Pedro, Mr. Bedford; Masetto, Mr. Seguin; Leporello, Mr. Martyn; Donna Anna, Miss Duff; Dona Elrira, Miss Betts; and Zerlina, Mrs. Wood. After which, THE SLEEPING BEAUTY . . .

"DRURY LANE THEATRE", London Evening Standard (4 March 1833), 1

On Saturday evening, in consequence of Madame de Meric's services being required at the King's Theatre, a young lady, named Miss Duff, was brought forward by the management of Drury Lane for the purpose of supplying her place as Donna Anna in the opera of Don Juan. At any time such undertaking would be considered an arduous one, but under the peculiar circumstances of the case it was an effort attended with extraordinary difficulty to the fair debutante. Quite unused to a theatre, and wanting that confidence in her own exertions which familiarity with its duties will bestow, she was, as we have heard, obliged to make her first appearance before the public with but three days allowed her to study the very difficult music of the part, and after only oue rehearsal. When she first came on the stage, in the scene where she is observed following Don Juan from the house and endeavouring to discover who he is, she was very favourably received, and she executed some passages in the recitative "Ah! del padre!" and in her duet with Templeton, "Fuggi, crudele, fuggi," with remarkable sweetness. Occasional inaccuracies were visible, but they seemed to arise mainly from timidity. She went through the quartette "Non ti fidar" tolerably well; but in the grand scena which follows soon after, where she describes to Don Octavio the clandestine visit of Don Juan to her chamber, her imperfect knowledge of the part became too visible to escape notice. As she proceeded she seemed to become more and more aware of tbe difficulties of the task she had undertaken - she grew frightened - her memory failed her, and she attempted to get nearer the prompt side, while the prompter's voice was audible in every part of the house. Mr. Templeton, who was the only person the stage, seemed to afford her every assistance his power; but her terror appeared take away from her all power of utterance. At last she stopped, the orchestra discontinued their labours, and she stood trembling, and quite unable proceed. Although few in the theatre could have beeu aware of the disadvantages under which she appeared before them, the audience, with a generous sympathy much to their credit, attempted to encourage her by loud and general applause. She appeared deeply affected with liberal treatment she had received, and expressed her gratitude repeated curtsies. The band then commenced the aria "Or si chi l'onore," which concludes the recitative, and, gaining confidence as she proceeded, she went through it vety satisfactorily, and was rewarded tbe conclusion with a most flattering testimony of the approbation of her hearers. She then got through the rest of the part in highly creditable style.

It would be unjust to give an opinion upon her merits as a singer from so imperfect a specimen of her abilities, yet we could perceive that she possesses decided talent, improved by careful tuition. Miss Duff is about 22 years age; her features are prepossessing, and her person graceful; her action is appropriate, and appears to derived I from the Italian school.

"DRURY LANE", The Globe (4 March 1833), 3

In consequence of the unavoidable absence of De Meric at the King's Thearte, and the desire of the management not to intarupt the extraordinary success of Don Juan, which, with the combined attraction of La belle aux bois dormant, nightly crowds the house, Miss Duff performed the part of Dona Anna on Saturday night. The young lady (she is about 22) had to appear under many disadvantages, having had only three days to study the music, and one rehearsal; and, in consquence, she was ratner imperfect, but the audience, in a spirit of kindness, allowed for the deficiencies that were apparent. She got through the part, however, in a manner that we should call decidedly well, and when she has had more practice in it, will be an acquisition to the establishment. It would be unjust to criticise her performance under these circumstances too harshly.

[Adverisement], Morning Post (5 March 1833), 3

THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY-LANE. Great attraction for This Evening. The continued overflows to the joint performance of DON JUAN and the New BALLET induce tbe Lessee, notwithstanding the unprecedented expense attendant upou their production, to announce them together again THIS EVENING. THIS EVENING will be acted Mozart's Grand Opera of DON JUAN. Don Juan, Mr. Braham - Donna Anna, Miss Duff. To which will be added the Fairy Ballet entitled THE SLEEPING BEAUTY. Gannelor, Monsieur Gilbert - Princess Iseult, Mdlle. Duvernay.

Marriages solemnized in the Parish of St. Andrew, Holborn . . . in the Year 1833; register 1832-37, page 153

George Rust of this Parish, Bachelor, and Margaret Duff, of the Parish of Saint George, Bloomsbury . . . Spinster were married in this Church by Licnese this sixteenth Day of September in the Year [1833] . . . in the Presence of Joseph Barnard, Geo. Hicks.

"MARRIED", Chelmsford Chronicle (4 October 1833), 3

Lately, Mr. George Rust, eldest son of Mr. Wm. Rust, ot Great Waltham, to Miss Duff.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (20 April 1835), 3

"MR. STUBBS'S CONCERT", The Australian (24 April 1835), 2

"THE CONCERT", The Sydney Herald (23 April 1835), 2

[News], The Australian (10 July 1835), 2

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

"Domestic and Miscellaneous Intelligence", The Australian (22 September 1835), 2

Jane Mitchell Rust, born 3 January 1836; baptsied, St. James's, Sydney, NSW, 26 January 1836

"BIRTH", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (23 January 1836), 3

"ROMAN CATHOLIC CEREMONIES", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (5 April 1836), 2

"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Australian (24 May 1836), 2

The admirers of sacred music had a rich treat in the service at St. Mary's church last Sunday, the whole of which, we believe, was under the superintendence of the Rev. Mr. Spencer, who displayed great taste in his selection of the music. Part of the mass was from Magginghi [Mazzinghi], which was peculiarly pretty, and part from that splendid composer Mozart. Mrs. Rust sang two beautiful solos, one "Ave verum," arranged by Myren [?], and the "Agnus Dei," from Mozart, which she executed with her usual brilliancy and feeling. The offertory was extremely beautiful, the treble by Mrs. Rust, the tenor by Mr. [Francis] Clarke, and the bass by Mr. Bushell. We have never heard this gentleman before - his voice is a very fine bass, and he sung the last mentioned piece in admirable style. We also observed Mr. Deane and Mr. Wallace in the choir, who added their valuable assistance. Mr. Cavendish presided scientifically at the Seraphine. We observed a great number of Protestant ladies and gentlemen in the body of the Church, which was crowded in every part.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (17 September 1836), 1

"THE ORATORIO", The Colonist (29 September 1836), 2

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Sydney Herald (20 September 1839), 2

"A brief Chronicle of Passing Events", Australasian Chronicle (24 September 1839), 1

"THE MUSICAL WORLD", The Colonist (25 September 1839), 2

... there has been some talk in the papers of Mrs. Rust giving a Concert, in which she was to be assisted by the vocal powers of Mr. Rust himself. This we have the best authority for saying is a gratuitous invention either of the papers or their informants, originating probably with some over-zealous and imprudent admirers of Mrs. R.'s distinguished talent as a vocalist. There was a day when Mrs. R. was more in the musical world than she had been of late, and when she would not perhaps have refused to fulfil the expectations of her friends by getting up a Concert; but Mrs. Rust and her husband are now in independent circumstances, and are not to be expected to engage in any such public entertainments. As for Mr. Rusts assisting on such an occasion, why the gentleman's vocal powers have been employed for a good while back rather in the way of hallooing after cattle through the bush, than in "breathing the soul of melody and song". We should indeed be happy if Mrs. Rust could be persuaded, and would condescend to gratify the wishes of her admirers, either by singing at some respectable Concert, or at one got up according to her own legitimate taste, by herself.

William Wright Rust, born 30 October 1840, baptised, St. Phillip's, Sydney, NSW, 18 November 1840

BDM NSW 120/1840 V1840120 24A

Died, Margaret Rust, aged 35

"DEATH", The Sydney Herald (21 November 1840), 2

On Thursday night last Margaret, the beloved wife of George Rust Esq., sincerely regretted.


... I never heard anything like it [Joseph Reichenberg's catholic choir, Sydney, c.1825] except once, that was the day on which our venerated Archbishop [Polding] first landed in Sydney. On that occasion Dr. Ullathorne, now Bishop of Birmingham, had made every preparation for a grand High Mass, and poor Cavendish (who was drowned with his sister off Bradley's Head in after years) had charge of the choir; he exerted himself to the utmost and secured the assistance of a great cantratrice (Mrs. Rust) who happened to be in the colony at the time. Mr. Clarke the architect, who was a fine singer, also lent his aid, and these with the assistance of the regular choristers quite astonished the Bishop. Dr. Polding was only bishop, at that and he did not expect to hear Mozart's [Twelfth] Mass sung in Botany Bay, and well sung too ...

Bibliography and resources:

William W. Cazalet, The history of the Royal Academy of Music compiled from authentic sources (London: T. Bosworth, 1854), 220-21

Monthly Concert, 6th September, 1828 ... Aria. "Oh! cara Memoria". Miss Duff - Rossini ... Sestetto. "Sola! Sola!" Misses Bellchambers, Duff, and Bromley; Messrs. Hodges, E. Seguin, and A. Sapio. ("II Don Giovanni") - Mozart ...

"STORY OF OLD ST. MARY'S", Freeman's Journal (5 June 1913), 22 

... Early in 1834 the church was described as partly roofed and "safe against the inclemency of the weather." Though without altar and benches, still the building was practically finished, and in 1835 Dr. Polding was in stalled as Bishop in St. Mary's on the 20th September. For the first time High Mass was sung in Australia, and for the first time the congregation was blessed by a Bishop. There was a choir on this occasion, led by Mrs. Rust ...

McGuanne 1915 

RUTTER, George Oswald go to mainpage George Oswald RUTTER

Musician, vocalist, conductor, composer, solicitor

RUXTON, Henri William (Henri W. RUXTON; H. W. RUXTON)

Professor of Music, musicseller, government singing master

Active, Melbourne, VIC, by August 1854
Died Ballarat, VIC, 8 March 1899 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Henri W. Ruxton, late member of the Philharmonic Society, Liverpool, pupil of Henri Rosellen, and Balsir Chatterton, Harpist to the Queen, first advertised in Melbourne in August in 1853.


"COUNTY COURT", Liverpool Mercury [England] (12 October 1852), 3

RUXTON V. ROYLE. - This was an action to recover the sum of £6 l6s. for tuition in music, received by the defendant's wife and daughter ... When the agreement was first made the defendant lived in Falkuer-street. The terms fixed upon were £1 l0s. for the first quarter, and a guinea for the second, the lessons to be given at the defendant's own house. Defendant some time afterwards removed to Fairfield, where the plaintiff gave two lessons a week for 26 weeks. The plaintiff's daughter was also engaged to teach Miss Royle, at the rate of 16s. a quarter. After the defendant removed to Fairfield the plaintiff attended regularly, but Mrs. Royle left orders with her servant that it was no use to attend, as the plaintiff had not been able to teach her anything; and that her daughter had been sent to another school. Mr. Royle had agreed to pay for his daughter's tuition, but would not agree to pay for that of his wife, he saying she should pay for it out of her own pocket money. His honour gave a verdict for the full amount, observing that, as Mr. Royle did not appear to be blameable in this matter, although the defence set up was somewhat discreditable to the wife of the defendant, he would grant a month for payment.

RUXTON V. LYTHGOE. - An action to recover £11 15s. for musical tuition. The account extended from January 1849, to December last, up to which period £4 15s. had been paid. A verdict was given for the remaining amount, without costs, his honour observing that through the non-attendance of Mr. Ruxton the time of the court and the public had been unnecessarily occupied, one hour having been wasted on a case which ought only to have occupied five minutes.

[Advertisement], The Argus (1 August 1853), 3 

MUSICAL Tuition. - Mr. H. W. Ruxton, Professor of Music, late member of Philharmonic Society, Liverpool, pupil of J. B. Chatterton (harpist to the Queen), and of Henri Rossellen (the celebrated pianist), begs respectfully to state that he has commenced giving lessons on the Pianoforte, Harp, Organ, and Singing, each of which he has successfully taught in Liverpool for the last eight years, and trusts that the inhabitants of Melbourne will favor him with a share of their support. For terms, references, &c., apply to Mr. J. Wilkie, Music-seller, Collins-street.

[Advertisement], The Argus (4 February 1854), 3

[Advertisement], The Argus (19 April 1854), 6

[Advertisement], The Argus (10 November 1854), 8

[Advertisement], The Argus (7 September 1855), 7

"MARRIED", The Argus (29 January 1856), 4

[Advertisement], The Argus (4 March 1857), 8

"PASSING OF AN OLD RESIDENT", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (7 February 1865), 2

We yesterday had the pleasure of learning that Mr. Henri W. Ruxton, so long known as a professed pianist and teacher of music in the Ovens district, has returned from Melbourne after creditably passing an examination which has obtained for him a certificate from the Board of Education entitling him to act as singing master in any of the common schools in the colony. We congratulate Mr. Ruxton on his success.

"Deaths", The Ballarat Star (9 March 1899), 2 

"DEATHS", The Argus (16 October 1930), 1

"OBITUARY NOTICES", The Ballarat Star (11 March 1899), 4 

The remains of the late Mr. Henri W. Ruxton, who for many years officiated as Government singing master, were interred yesterday afternoon at the New Cemetery ...

Bibliography and resources:

Hallo 2014, 80, 136, 140, 202 ["Buxton", sic] (DIGITISED)

RYALL, John James (junior)

Pianist, vocalist, professor of the pianoforte, harmonium, and singing

Born Hastings, England, c. 1832
Active Sydney, NSW, by ? c. 1857
Died Marrickville, NSW, 2 April 1914, aged 82 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

RYALL, Florence (Mrs. E. Lewis SCOTT)


Active Sydney, NSW, by 1869 (sister of the above; pupil of Ugo DEVOTI)


J. J. Ryall, professor of music and pianist, and his sister, the vocalist, Miss Florence Ryall were children of John James Ryall senior (d. Cooma, 1886), a medical practitioner and coroner. John junior was probably the Ryall appearing in the company at the Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney, in 1855.


? [Advertisement], Bell's Life in Sydney (3 March 1855), 3

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 April 1858), 1 

TOGOOD'S GRAND SALOON - Admission Free. - Is acknowledged to be one of those places where gentlemen can really wile away a pleasant hour. The artistes are well known, and are continually amusing by an endless variety of music, both vocal and instrumental. Mr. Byall [sic], one of the well-known pianists of this city, engaged by Madame Anna Bishop, during the late opera season, is amongst the engagements this week, with the following artistes - Miss M. Buckingham, Madame Josephine, Mr. H. O. Thompson, Mr. Albert Ritch, Mr. Picolomi, Mr. Webster, Mr. Smith, Mr. G. H. Buckingham, Miss Buckingham, Master W. Buckingham, Master C. Buckingham, Master H. Buckingham, Master A. Buckingham. Come and hear the "Life Boat," "Blue-tail Fly," "Death of Nelson," "Timothy Black," "Muffins and Crumpets Hot," "When a Little Farm," "Digger and Chinaman," with an endless variety of songs, duets, glees, choruses, &c; During the week Mr. G. H. Buckingham will sing "Alonso ye Brave," "Forty Thieves," "Cinderella," "Corsican Brothers," and "Blue Beard."

"MUSICAL SOIREE", The Sydney Morning Herald (10 April 1860), 5

[Advertisement], "YOUNGE'S ATHENAEUM", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 March 1863), 1

[Advertisement], Empire (2 August 1865), 1

"MUSIC AND DRAMA", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 August 1865), 3

"MUSWELLBROOK. DRAWING-ROOM ENTERTAINMENT", The Maitland Mercury (20 October 1866), 5

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 December 1869), 8

"THEATRICALS", Bell's Life in Sydney (11 June 1870), 3

"ADVANCE AUSTRALIA MUSIC CLUB", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 March 1873), 4

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 September 1872), 4

"MARRIAGES", The Sydney Morning Herald (8 December 1873), 1

"Musical Gossip. THE LATE MR. RYALL", Evening News (11 April 1914), 13 

Mr. John James Ryall, one of the oldest identities in Sydney musical circles, died last week at the age of 82. He was a native of Hastings, England, and arrived here in the early fifties. He was an organist and conductor of considerable ability, having held positions at the temporary cathedral of St. Andrew, which stood on the site of the Town Hall, St. Barnabas' Church, St. Thomas', North Sydney, and St. Francis' R. C. Church, Haymarket and was for many years grand organist of the Masonic Lodge. Mrs. E. Lewis Scott, who was at one time known as Miss Florence Ryall, a mezzo-soprano concert soloist, is a sister of the deceaeed musician.

RYAN, Miss

Mezzo-soprano, contralto vocalist

Active Sydney, NSW, 1859-62


An amateur, and pupil of Mrs. Bridson, Ryan made her first appearance at T. V. Bridson's Concert for the People in November 1859. Her short public career, during which she often sang beside Sara Flower and for the Orpheonist Society, appears to have come to an abrupt end in June 1862.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 November 1859), 1

"CONCERTS FOR THE PEOPLE", The Sydney Morning Herald (8 November 1859), 5

[Advertisement], Empire (14 January 1860), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 May 1861), 1

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 January 1862), 1

"SECOND CONCERT OF THE ORPHEONIST SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (7 January 1862), 4

? [Funeral notice], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 June 1862), 8

"ORPHEONIST SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (28 June 1862), 4

We are requested to state that in consequence of a severe domestic calamity, Miss Ryan did not take part in the society's concert on Thursday evening.

RYAN, Timothy

Musician, violinist, pub fiddler

Active Sydney, NSW, 1853


"GREAT OUTRAGE", Empire (5 April 1853), 2 


Nine persons were in custody on suspicion of being either the actual murderers of the deceased, or participators in the fray wherein he met his death. Their names are Maurice Malsh, landlord of the Beehive, public-house, in Campbell-street, near the Haymarket; Bridget Maria Walsh, wife of the former prisoner; a musician named Timothy Ryan, and some labouring men ...

"WILFUL MURDER", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 April 1853), 2

This was the case against the prisoners; and Mr. Johnson agreed that he had not adduced any evidence against Hopkins, the cook; and after some remarks from Mr. Nichols, as to there being no evidence against Ryan, who was playing the fiddle when the affray began, and who had run away before the police arrived, the Coroner directed that these two men should be remanded under their former warrant to the custody of the police, with the view to their legal discharge out of custody.

"DISCHARGE", Empire (16 April 1853), 2 

"THE POLICE REGISTER. FIRST FIDDLE", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (5 November 1853), 2 

Tim Ryan, a second Paganini, whose cat-gut scraper attracts the lovers of melody in their nocturnal promenades by the public houses of Brickfield Hill, was "pulled" by a female, named Maria Williams, who had evidently been a beauty some forty or fifty years ago ...

RYDER, George Hopwood

Amateur musician, violinist, viola player, cellist, solicitor

Active Melbourne, VIC, by early 1850s
Died Toorak, VIC, 29 December 1895, aged (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


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

"MISKA HAUSER", The Argus (16 July 1858), 4 

"OBITUARY", Prahran Chronicle (4 January 1896), 3 

Last Sunday there passed away at his late residence, Wallace-street, Toorak, a gentleman whose connection with the musical world is well worthy of record. Mr. G. H. Ryder arrived in Melbourne early in the fifties, and as a violinist became associated with the various excellent orchestras in existence at that period. From its inception he was a valued member of the Philharmonic Society, also leader of the Melbourne Amateur Orchestral Society from the beginning, some twenty-five or thirty years' ago, and, the honored recipient of the Royal Metropolitan Liedertafel's golden Lyre. His experience of conductors was wide, ranging from Mendelsohn in Birmingham, to all of note who had visited and those who are located in the colony. Being possessed of a vast fund of musical knowledge he was thoroughly familiar with the works of all the great masters. As a member of the Musical Artists' Society he took part in chamber music on many occasions at their meetings. The old identities in music are fast disappearing there being only a few remaining. But none were more successful in gaining the esteem and respect of all whom he came in contact with than the late Mr. Ryder, who was undoubtedly a gentleman in every sense of the word. It was the writer's privilege to hear him on several occasions relate some of those interesting experiences met with in the life of most musicians resident here from the early days, and it is a matter of regret that such experiences are not collected and put into print before the means of obtaining them pass on for ever.

RYDER, Joseph

Teacher of singing on the Hullah system

Born ? 1815/16
Arrived Adelaide, SA, 26 December 1849 (per Asiatic, from London and Plymouth)
Died Glenelg, SA, 23 October 1892, aged 76 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"ARRIVED", South Australian Register (29 December 1849), 2

"LOCAL INTELLIGENCE", South Australian Register (9 January 1850), 2

[Advertisement], South Australian (17 January 1851), 1

"HULLAH'S SYSTEM OF MUSIC", South Australian Register (31 May 1851), 3

"DEATHS", South Australian Register (24 October 1892), 4

A. T. Saunders, "ANOTHER COLONIST OF 1849", The Register (1 July 1926), 6 

[a long and detailed account of great interest, only a short extract here] ... a book was lent to me containing the reminiscences in writing of a steerage passenger by that ship which, as Mr. Williams came in the saloon, with every comfort, gives both sides of the voyage. The writer is Mr. J. Ryder, who for some years lived in Nairne, and was the first clerk of that district council. The father of Mr. Ryder was a shoemaker in the parish of Upton cum Chalvey, Bucks, England, when, on July 31, 1816, the writer was born, his mother being a Devon woman named Bond, who was brought to Windsor at an early age. Mr. Ryder (the writer) was the youngest of a family of seven. The father was originally a farm labourer, but seems to have been an intelligent and enterprising man, although he had no schooling. ... When the writer was about two the family removed from Chalvey to Windsor, and the first thing the writer could remember was the tolling of the Windsor Castle bell at midnight, announcing the death of George III. When he was seven years old he went to a school, the master of which was a competent but cruel nan. At 14 he was apprenticed till his twenty first birthday to a master tailor, Richard Cobden, Thames street, Windsor. Mr. Cobden was first cousin to the renowned Freetrader of the same name. In October, 1838, Ryder married, after considerable difficulty, a young woman named Hill, for the young couple were dissenters, and many legal obstacles were then (as in South Australia for many years) put in the way of dissenters who desired to be married by their own ministers. The writer worked at his trade, and the wife worked as milliner and dressmaker, largely or the upper servants of Windsor Castle. In 1842 Ryder applied for admittance into the British and Foreign School Society's Training College, London, and after a stiff training for several months, passed, and was appointed to a school in North Wales in December, 1842, and arrived there early in 1843. He had studied vocal music, and started a class on the Hullah system, which was a success. Some friction with a local magnate caused Mr. Ryder to resign, and after a short holiday at Windsor with his wife and family, he went to Lancaster, having been appointed head master of the British school there at £90 a year, which he supplemented by a Hullah singing class, and by doing clerical work for a Lancaster shipowner. Mrs. Ryder and their three children were then brought to Lancaster, where they remained for about four years, when, as the climate of Lancaster did not suit Mr. Ryder, he obtained charge of the British school at King's Lynn, Norfolk. The school secretary at Lynn was a Mr. Wigg, a relative of the Wigg family, of Adelaide, and Mr. Wigg, on Good Friday, 1849, suggested migration to South Australia, as in his opinion the climate of Lynn would be fatal to Mr. Ryder. Ultimately, Mr. Ryder and his wife decided to go to Adelaide, but how was the question. He applied, to be sent as a free emigrant, but was refused, as he had too many, young children, and then applied to be sent as schoolmaster in an emigrant ship, but there were so many on the list before him that he could not wait. Mr. Wigg and others then assisted Mr. Ryder to raise £80 for the cost of a steerage passage for him, his wife, and their four children. The family left Lynn on Saturday, 24/8/1849, for London, and on the following Sunday they went on board the Asiatic in the East India Docks, which next day went to Gravesend, where a terrible event happened. A fellow passenger at breakfast was suddenly seized with cholera, which was raging in London. The face and hands of the poor man turned a ghastly blue; he was in great agony and fearfully convulsed, and died at 4 p.m. His body was taken ashore for burial. Dr. Maurau, the ship's surgeon, decided that the case was English cholera, and the Asiatic sailed ... They sighted Kangaroo Island on 24/12/1841, arrived at the lightship at noon of 20/12/1849, and went to Port Adelaide on the same evening ...

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