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A biographical register of Australian colonial musical personnel–S (Sk-Sp)

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "A biographical register of Australian colonial musical personnel–S (Sk-Sp)", Australharmony (an online resource toward the early history of music in colonial Australia):; accessed 18 June 2024

- S - (Sk-Sp) -

Introductory note:

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

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

A major upgrade of the contents of this page was completed in November 2021, and newly added documentation (including genealogical data) and Trove tagging now brings the page content up to the end of 1860 close to completion.

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

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

SKAFE, Andrew (Andrew SCAFE) see Andrew SCAFE


Amateur flautist, flute player, ensign (46th Regiment)

Arrived Sydney, NSW, 6 May 1814 (per Three Bees, from Falmouth, 8 December 1813) (shareable link to this entry)


"London Gazette for May 20", Royal military chronicle, or British officers' monthly register and mentor (November 1813), 50 (DIGITISED)

. . . dated May 20, 1813. 46th ditto, John Skelton, gent, to be ensign, without purchase, vice Maxwell, promoted in the 100th foot, dated as above . . .

Enquiry on conduct of on board "Three Bees", 24 May 1814; NSW Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1856; Main Series of Letters Received, 1788-1826; Series 897, Reel 6044; 4/1730 (101-49), 115-16 ("106-07"); State Records Authority of NSW (PAYWALL)

[captain John Wallis's evidence] . . . ["104"] . . . I shall now state to Your Excellency a few particulars as noted in the ship's Log book by my Chief Mate . . .

Extract 1st. 24th Nov'r on board the Three Bees laying in Falmouth Harbour at 8. 4. p.m. Ensign Skelton having the watch upon the Deck and making a great noise with a stick, the Captain coming out of the cabin, begging of him to make less noise on account of the people being asleep below, he immediately made answer saying - he would make what noise he liked as it was his watch, and said the Captain might be damned, and repeated it two or three times, then he said he might go to Hell and be damned.

On this extract I would beg here to remark that Ensign Skelton was in a state of Intoxication, and consequently unfit for the important trust committed to his charge . . .

["106"] . . . Extract 2d. 16 January 1814 at sea . . . at 9. 30 p.m. found the Boatswain and several of the People drunk and laying about the half deck below by the Officers of the detachment giving them liquor unknown to the Captain or officers of the Ship . . .

Extract 3d. Harbour of Rio Janeiro. 9 p.m. all hands ["106"] being in bed - but the watch, the Officers of the guard in a state of intoxication came on deck - Mr. Skelton and Mr. Wilson began to play the flute to the soldiers and Portuguese Officers of the Customs House to dance, giving them liquor, and made them so drunk that some of them could not stand, annoying the ship's company and officers . . .til 12 o'clock at night . . .

Extract 4th. 10. March at Sea. Lat. 37 - 41. Long. 7. 34o at 8 P.M. the watch below in bed,
Ship Silent - the Officers of the Guard rather Intoxicated
Came on deck - called on Dunscomb their Servant to bring Ensn. Skelton his Flute. 8.15 began to play.
The Officers began dancing, making such a violent noise that the Ships Company could not rest -
Ensign Skelton stood with his Back to the Chief Mates Cabin, who finding the noise so great was obliged to get his Great Coat and lay on the top of the Round House.
8.25 the Captain sent word begging of them to lean off as his Officers and men wanted rest -
then Ensn. Wilson began his Abuseful Language, unbecoming a Gentleman -
saying he would Horsewhip the ["107"] Captain - Called him all the *** [names ?] he Could lay his Tongue to -
Serjt. Willington, drunk with Liquor the Officers gave him, was going to strike the Chief mate, but prevented by Lieutt. Miller. 8.35 the Officers returned below saying they would dance every night.
When the Officers were done dancing Ensn. Skelton played the Flute, for the Soldiers to dance, using most threatening speeches, after that was Encouraging to sing songs, When Serjt. Willington begun. [?]
Serjt. Willington so drunk could not keep the middle watch - the Captain asked the Corporal the reason the Serjeant was not on deck -
said he was not well - no Report of this kind to the Doctor, who said there was nothing ailing him.

Thanks to historian Robin Walsh (2019) for kindly bringing this doucment to my attention.

"Sydney", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (7 May 1814), 2 

By the Three Bees, Lieutenants Miller and Morrison, and Ensigns Wilson and Skelton join the 46th Regiment; with 43 non commissioned officers and privates.

Bibliography and resources:

Three Bees (1813 ship), Wikipedia

Convict ship Three Bees 1814; Free settler or felon 


Amateur vocalist, entertainer, publican

Active Cowpastures, NSW, by c. 1840
Sydney, NSW, 1844 to early 1850s
Departed Sydney, NSW, December 1852 (per Clifton, for London) (shareable link to this entry)


George Skinner was a storekeeper at Cowpastures, Camden, around 1840. In the spring of 1844, he sold up and moved to Sydney, where he had acquired the license of the Clown Hotel, opposite the Royal Victoria Theatre, in Pitt-street, from George Coppin.

Following Coppin's example, and employing some of the same performers, Skinner continued for the first weeks of his new management to present musical entertainments, including black-face minstrel acts. Another Coppin innovation, the short-lived Sydney Catch Club also continued to meet at the Clown under Skinner's management.

After early 1845, Skinner's entertainments seem to have waned. In January 1847, he opened new premises, also known as Skinner's Clown Hotel, or Skinner's Family Hotel, on the southern corner of George and Hunter Streets (the building is still there). Like Coppin, Skinner was an active mason, and in 1846 was secretary of Australian Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Oddfellows. From his hotels, Skinner also sold tickets for theatrical and musical events.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 October 1843), 3 

G. SKINNER begs to acquaint the gentry and inhabitants generally of the Cowpastures, and adjoining districts, that he has determined, for cash payments, to reduce the price of every article of his large and useful stock of goods, to considerably less than has ever been known in the vicinity. October 28.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 September 1844), 2 

Mr. COPPIN having disposed of his business to Mr. G. Skinner, most respectfully announces his FAREWELL NIGHT.
Upon which occasion he solicits the patronage of his friends and the public generally.
Jim Brown, Rombo Sobo, Mr. Caldwell, the Scotch vocalist; Mr. Fillmore, and several amateurs, will contribute to the amusement of the evening.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Coppin (proprietor, comedian); Mr. Caldwell (vocalist); Henry William Fillmore (pianist)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (12 October 1844), 1 

SALE BY AUCTION. MR. WILLIAM BURSILL will sell by auction, at the Stores of Mr. G. Skinner, near the Cowpasture Bridge, on MONDAY, THE 14TH OCTOBER, 1844, And following days, At Eleven o'clock precisely, The whole of the Stock . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 October 1844), 3 

POSTPONEMENT OF SALE BY AUCTION . . . owing to the very unfavourable state of the weather, the sale by auction . . . of Stock-in-Trade, Cattle, &c, advertised to take place on the 14th, at Mr. G. Skinner's Store, near the Cowpasture Bridge, is postponed to Monday next, the 21st October.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 October 1844), 3 

THE Proprietor having experienced the attraction of the New Zealand Chiefs,
has made arrangements to introduce to the frequenters of this Saloon the celebrated
The curious are solicited to attend, to witness the extraordinary performance of this WONDERFUL PHENOMENON, as the great novelty of his
WAR DANCE, SONG, AND QUICKEEPOOKOOMEIO, have never been witnessed in this Colony!
Mr. CHARLES FARREN, of the LONDON THEATRES, will offer, for the first time in this Colony, to tell
A LONG STORY ABOUT NOTHING, in the character of an old Scotch woman,
touching her recollections of one Dr. Henry, and the "gude minister o' the kirk," and will afterwards give personations of
Mr. Charles Young, as Cassius.
" William Farren, as Sir Peter Teazle.
" Blanchard, as Timothy Weazle.
Mr. THOMPSON, the celebrated violoncellist, will perform in the course of the evening the following solos, viz.: -
"Der Zieken" ar Yass.
"Solo" Rhodes. [? Rode]
"Fantasia" Lindley.
MR. FILLMORE will sing a new selection of COMIC SONGS, accompanied by Mr. Thompson on the Pianoforte.
Mr. CALDWELL, the Scotch Vocalist, will sing the following ballads, viz. : -
"Mountain Rose."
"Jessie o' the Dell."
"The bloom is on the rye."
"Jock o' Hazledean."
"Lass o' Gowrie."
"The Laird o' Cockpen."
ROMBO SOMBO will astonish those who have seen him before,
and annihilate the "unfortunate critters" that never witnessed his LONG ISLAND EXTRAVAGANZAS.
To commence at half-past seven o'clock. ADMISSION FREE.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Farren (comedian); Rombo Sombo (vocalist, delineator, dancer)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 October 1844), 1 supplement 

GEORGE SKINNER respectfully intimates to his friends and the public generally, that having succeeded in taking the above Extensive and Attractive Establishment, it is his intention to produce a
SERIES OF VOCAL AND INSTRUMENTAL MUSICAL MELANGES, Aided by numerous professional and amateur performers.
G. S. is very happy in being able to promise that the
PRINCE BARRAMESQUIIKEIMDALLHOEIKEELL, of the FEJEE ISLANDS! Will positively appear, and perform a Solo on
THE NASABAROZZIPHICABALON, which caused such universal astonishment on Saturday evening, and will also exhibit for the first time to an Australian public, his
TERRIFIC WAR DANCE, which indisposition prevented him from before attempting.
TOACAPOTAUARA, AN ABORIGINAL OF PENNSYLVANIA, Will sing several songs, and dance the
TAUBONANUSKI, A dance peculiar to his native country.
Mr. CHARLES FARREN, who received such distinguished applause on Saturday evening will sing
THE HISTORY OF GEORGE BARNWELL, And also give an IMITATION of the late Edmund Kean, in Shylock.
MR. THOMSON, whose performance on the Violoncello on Saturday was, for novelty of tone, delicacy of touch, and elegance of execution, the theme of general delight, will play a
Hungarian Air, with Variations, and Valz de Weber.
"Farewell thou Fair Day"
"Missleto Bough"
"Jock o' Hazledean"
"The Fairy Boy,"
And several other favorite Scotch Ballads.
MR. FILLMORE will sing the "Literary Dustman," "Steam Pills," &c, and a variety of favorite songs, accompanied by Mr. Thomson on the piano.
ROMBO SOMBO Having nearly annihilated all the "critters" on Saturday night, will endeavour to resuscitate those who are not past all hope of recovery from the effects of his late "Trip to Old Virginity."
An amateur will sing the "Irish Schoolmaster" and " Calais Packet."
Mr. Skinner will, for the first time in the Saloon, recite a Tough Yarn of Joe Hatch, the Thames Waterman, in character, and sing
"Mighty Wine," "If you ask what is Love," and "The Frozen Lake."
The Saloon will open at half-past seven o'clock.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Charles Thompson (cello)

MUSIC: Nothing like wine [Mighty wine] (song); If you ask what is love (song); ? song from the English adaptation of La neige (Auber)

"SPECIAL LICENSING MEETING", The Sydney Morning Herald (28 October 1844), 3 

On Saturday last, pursuant to notice, a special meeting of the magistrates qualified to act under the Publicans Licensing Act was held, when the following applications for transfers of licenses were granted: . . .
Clown, Pitt-street, from George Coppin to George Skinner . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 October 1844), 3 

CLOWN HOTEL, Pitt-street. GEORGE SKINNER, late of Cowpastures, begs to acquaint his friends and the public, that having taken the above establishment from Mr. Coppin, it is his intention to inherit their patronage . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 November 1844), 2 

ON Friday Evening, 1st November, 1844, the above place of entertainment will be opened, as an extra night, for a variety of Singing, Music, and Recitations, by Messrs. Caldwell, Fillmore, Thomson, Taylor, Skinner, Farren, and Rombo Sombo,
assisted by numerous Amateurs, who have promised their talented services on the occasion.
An Extemporaneous Song, by Mr. TAYLOR.
Mr. CALDWELL will sing - "To the year that's awa," "Bonny Breast Knots," "Came ye by Athol?" "Jessie o' the Dell," "Lass o'Gowrie," and several other favourite Scottish ballads.
Mr. FILLMORE will give "Steam Pills," "Billy Vite," "Literary Dustman," and "Little Pigs."
Mr. THOMSON will execute on the Violincello - "A Grand Russian March," and a splendid Fantasia; and will sing, for the first time, "A Goblet of Burgundy."
THE OLD SCOTCHWOMAN, in the course of the evening, will be once glad to narrate "a wee bit little anecdote spent her departed guid mon, the puir dear minister of the kirk, and the charitable Dr. Henry."
ROMBO SOMBO will, in his peculiarly "light fantastic toe"-talism, go through the whole of his popular pirouettes and charming Circassian Circles, and warble off his LUCY LONG.
Mr. CHARLES FARREN will sing "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark," "Ben Battle and Nelly Gray," and "Irish Providence."
Mr. SKINNER will, for the first time here, recite the story of "Pork Steaks;" and also sing "Gallant Tom," "A hungry Fish," and "In Italy born."
G. S. feels great disappointment in having been unable, through unforeseen obstacles, to gratify his friends by the appearance of the Feejee Chief and Pennsylvania on Monday, (the former being engaged at his club); but trusts that every note promised for this evening will be honoured at sight, and meet with a ready acceptance.
The visitors honouring the Saloon by their patronage, will receive every attention from the most vigilant of waiters and beau ideal of barmen, from the hour of half-past seven to twelve o'clock and "though last, not least in our dear loves," are requested to remember that the admission (like "the liberty of the press, and the air we breathe,") is free!

MUSIC: Gallant Tom (song); The blue tail'd fly ["A hungry fish . . ."] (song), see also Jimmy crack corn (Wikipedia); Dancing, fiddling, and fuddling ["In Italy born . . ."] (song)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 November 1844), 3 

Any person disposed for a HEARTY LAUGH, At a cheap late, "to suit the depression of the times,"
but not the ANIMAL SPIRITS, are invited to become free of the "SKINNER'S COMPANY,"
On Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, when every exertion will he made to produce a
RELAXATION OF MUSCLES, by the artillery of
Guips and cranks, and wanton Wiles,
Nods and becks and a resultant smiles.
- MILTON. (Ahem!)
Several Professionals and Amateurs are expected to attend to give their assistance.

George Skinner's Clown Hotel

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 November 1844), 3 

G. SKINNER respectfully informs the lovers of harmony, and the public generally, that the above spacious and airy Saloon will he open every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday Evening, at half-past seven, for Songs, Duettes, Glees, Recitations, &c., &c., by several Professionals and Amateurs, including ROMBO SOMBO, the celebrated [REDACTED] Melodist.
Pianist, MR. FILLMORE.
Conductor, MR. SKINNER.

[Advertisement]The Sydney Morning Herald (18 November 1844), 3 

[Advertisement]The Sydney Morning Herald (23 November 1844), 3 

To a favourite old tune - Derry Down.

DULL spirits, when dead, 'tis but justice to bury
 With a capital song, sentimental or merry,
So I beg you to notice, some fine afternoon,
 Their grave at the entrance of Skinner's Saloon!
             Derry down, down, in the town, derry down.

If you wish to partake in a glee or a catch,
 Why you've only to hint your desire to Joe Hatch,
And the sons of Apollo, with voices in tune,
 Can enjoy a long pull there, in Skinner's Saloon!
             Derry down, &c.

Joe Hatch has some chickens, but Joe rather choice is
 In birds of good note, with their various voices:
There's Caldwell, who warbles the Banks o'the Doun,
 And the sweet Lass of Gowrie, in Skinner's Saloon!
             Derry down, &c.

Funny Fillmore, whose phiz causes roars of delight,
 Can squeak like the pigs, or unfold Billy Vite;
And Jem Brown with his yarn of the ancient Racoon,
 And his Classical Statues, in Skinner's Saloon!
             Derry down, &c.

Just allow me to mention a few of the strains
 You'll hear at the "Clown" where much harmony reigns:
Lucy Long, with Black Rombo's grotesque rigadoon,
 And the Possum a-railing, at Skinner's Saloon!
             Derry down, &c.

If you ask what is Love, Mighty Wine in good store,
 With Pork Steaks, and Jack Robinson just come ashore;
Who'll Meet me alone by the light of the moon?
 For gas-light's the fashion in Skinner's Saloon!
             Derry down, &c.

The charming Miss Nichols, whose bosom's soft workings
 Can't beat for the Drayman of Barclay and Perkins!
And the two Yorkshire Horsedealers, neither a spoon,
 And the Blue Fly is fishing, in Skinner's Saloon!
             Derry down, &c.

L A W-Law, and the fair Alice Gray,
 Mr. Bubb and his Spouse in their Single Horse Shay,
And Thomson's deep instrument, like a bassoon,
 Wakes melodious echoes round Skinner's Saloon!
             Derry down, &c.

So, welcome three nights in each week to the CLOWN,
 Drink A Health to good Lasses, the fair and the brown;
O'er the cold Frozen Lake, from December to June,
 You'll be welcome to slide into Skinner's Saloon.
             Derry down, down, in the town, Derry down!

ASSOCIATIONS: Derry Down (tune; "original" words: "Old Homer, but with him what have we to do")

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 December 1844), 4 

NOTICE. THE undersigned begs to notify to such persons residing in the COWPASTURES and surrounding districts as are indebted to him, that unless all outstanding debts, overdue promissory notes, &c., are paid, at his late Store, ELDERSLIE, near the Cowpasture Bridge, to Mr. G. Skinner, jun., by the 1st of January next, he will proceed to law for the payment of them.
GEORGE SKINNER, Clown Hotel, Pitt-street, Sydney, December 18.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 February 1845), 2 

G. SKINNER begs to acquaint the NUMEROUS FREQUENTERS of this rational DEPOT of MIRTH and Music, that in addition to the Songs, Duetts, Glees, and Recitations, which gave such universal delight during last week, some friends of his have kindly consented, (for this week only), in the course of each Evening to ring PARTS of PEALS of Bob Major, Bob Royal, Bob Cinques, and Bob Maximus, and other different methods on eight, ten, and twelve bells.
The BEAUX of SYDNEY will do well to secure places in JOE HATCH'S BOAT on this occasion to witness the BEAU IDEAL of BELL RINGING.
N.B. - JOE shoves off with his Launch at Eight o'clock each Evening of Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, during the week.
[Manicule] Admission free ! ! !

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 October 1846), 1 

FROM THE DEEP REGRET which has been manifested by the Brethren of the above Order for the hopeless state of health, and embarrassed circumstances of our worthy and much respected Brother, Thomas Simes, and the interest which has been taken by the Order in his welfare and that of his young family, it is confidently trusted that the Brethren will cheerfully avail themselves of the opportunity afforded them to carry out the excellent principles of the Order, by attending the Victoria Theatre on Monday, the 12th Instant, the entertainments of that evening being for his Benefit.
By order of the N. G., GEORGE SKINNER, Secretary. October 10.

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Simes (actor, comedian)

[Advertisement], The Australian (12 January 1847), 2 

REMOVAL. G. SKINNER BEGS to thank his Friends and old Customers for their kind favors while keeping THE CLOWN HOTEL, PITT-ST., and to inform them he has removed to that commodious HOUSE at the corner of HUNTER STREET, in GEORGE-STREET, lately occupied by MESSRS. E. COHEN AND CO., which he intends to conduct as a TAVERN and FAMILY HOTEL . . .

Skinner's Hotel, corner of George and Hunter Streets, Sydney, c. 1849; watercolour by Andrew Torning; State Library of New South Wales

Skinner's Hotel, corner of George and Hunter Streets, Sydney, c. 1849; watercolour by Andrew Torning; State Library of New South Wales (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Andrew Torning (artist, actor, theatre manager)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 October 1852), 4 

SUPERIOR HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, Brilliant-toned Cottage Pianoforte, by Broadwood, and other Effects.
MR. EDWARD SALAMON has received instructions from Mr. G. Skinner (about to leave the colony), to sell by auction, at his residence, Bligh-street, opposite the Stores of Messrs. Campbell and Co., on MONDAY, October 25th, at 11 o'clock . . .

[Shipping news], The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List (11 December 1852), 343 

The following is a corrected list of passengers per Clifton, for London: - . . . Mr. and Mrs. George Skinner . . . G. Skinner, jun. . . .

Bibliography and resources:

Skinners Family Hotel, Wikipedia, 

SKINNER, Richard (Richard SKINNER)

Amateur musician, vocalist, violinist, cornet player, bandmaster, choir leader, composer

Born Huonville, TAS, 12 December 1858; son of Joseph SKINNER (d. 1859) and Alice ALCOCK (d. 1895)
Married Lucy Maria LINNELL (1865-1943), Victoria, Huon, TAS, 29 April 1886
Died Huonville, TAS, 6 February 1936 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


1858, births in the district of Franklin; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1005406; RGD33/1/37 no 524$init=RGD33-1-37P436 (DIGITISED)

524 / 12th December / Richard / Male / [son of] Joseph Skinner / Alice Alcock / Farmer . . .

"VICTORIA" [Huon Valley], The Mercury (25 December 1884), 1 Supplement 

. . . The members of the local brass band have promised their services both in the paddock during the day, and also at the concert, and the great progress they have made under their leader, Mr. Richard Skinner, makes their services very much appreciated . . .

"[FROM A CORRESPONDENT] FRANKLIN", The Mercury (6 November 1885), 4 

. . . A few months ago Mr. R. Skinner, of Victoria, was chosen conductor, and the players have made a decided improvement since his appointment . . .

"MARRIAGES", The Mercury (12 June 1886), 1 supplement 

SKINNER - LINNELL. - On Thursday, 29th April, by Rev. E. H. Thompson, at Riversdale, Huon, Richard Skinner to Lucy Maria (Lonie), eldest daughter of the late J. Linnell.

"NEWS FROM THE HUON. MR. RICHARD SKINNER. Prominent Huon Pioneer. Interest in Bands", The Mercury (10 February 1936), 5 

A Huon pioneer, Mr, Richard Skinner, died at his residence, Ivanhoe, at Huonville, on Thursday last. Born at Huonville in 1858, the late Mr. Skinner was a native of the southern municipality, and held the esteem of a wide circle of friends. He was associated in many ways with Huon activities. Perhaps, his keenest interest was in music and choir work, and the activities of the Huonville Brass Band always occupied his attention. So keen was he on the progress of bands that at his instigation brass bands were formed at Huonville, Franklin, Cygnet, and Bruny Island, and it was not until very recent years that he severed his association with these organisations . . .

"LATE MR. R. SKINNER. PIONEER OF HUON (Contributed)", Huon and Derwent Times (20 February 1936), 2 

Mr. Richard Skinner, who died at his home on February 6th, 1936, was born at Huonville on December 12th, 1858. He was the son of Mr. Joseph Skinner, a pioneer of the Huon. The Skinner family first settled at Franklin in 1843, and came to Huonville, or Victoria as it was then called, in 1847, taking up farm land above the Glen property. About 1853 they went to reside at Clifton Grove. It was there that Mr. R. Skinner and his sister, Mrs. John Clark, were born. Thei, mother was Mr. Joseph Skinner's second wife. Mr. Skinner's father died when he (Richard) was only five months old, and he spent his boyhood at Clifton Grove, remaining there with his step-brother [half-brother], John Skinner, after his mother's marriage to Mr. John Jolly. The late Mr. Skinner was first employed at Messrs. Skinner and Wise's sawmill, one of the first sawmills in the Huon. In his early youth he went to the tin mines on the North East Coast with Chas. Ivy and Fred. Bell. It was while returning from there that Mr. Skinner made one of the longest jaunts in his life. He walked with a friend, F. Bell, from St. Helens to Hobart. Mr. Skinner was a noted pedestrian. On another occasion he walked from Huonville to Hobart - round New Town and Sandy Bay, then back to his home as a Sunday pleasure trip. When he was 21 years of age he went to live with Mr. and Mrs. Knight to manage their property, which he afterwards inherited, and in 1886 he married Lucy Mary Linnell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Linnell, and grand-daughter of the pioneer, Mr. Silas Parsons. After some years, having leased his orchard, he commenced business as a sawmiller, and made that the chief occupation of his life. At different times he started sawmills at Huonville and Franklin, and later with his step-brother [half-brother], Mr. David Jolly, at Bruni Island. Although Mr. Skinner did not actively participate in sport, he took the keenest interest in all games, particularly cricket and football. For many years he was scorer for the Huonville Cricket Club; and liberally supported both games. He was a lifelong abstainer, following the example of his father, who was one of the first in England to sign Father Matthews' total abstinence pledge, and he gave freely, of his talents and money to further the temperance cause.

Mr. R. Skinner was one of the most gifted musicians that lived in the Huon. Madame Amy Sherwin was a friend of his youth. He had a pure tenor voice of great sweetness and range, and his musical compositions for, violin, piano, organ, and brass band, are above the average works of that kind. At the early age of 22 he was conductor of the Victoria Brass Band which he, with others, had formed at Ranelagh. Within a fortnight of its formation under Mr. Skinner's tuition the band played at an entertainment at Ranelagh, and also played while on the March. Many well known names are amongst the Huon's first bandsmen: - R. Skinner (bandmaster), E. Linnell, J. Linnell, T. Dowling, Geo. Harris, Wm. Shield, F. Bell, H. Longley, F. Harris, L. Bender, H. Oates, F. Upchurch, Geo. Walton, Ed. Page, C. G. Frankcomb, P. Larsen, W. Albury, J. Harris, A. Wise, and S. Harris. The band's first engagement away from home was at Franklin. Herr Schott, master of Hobart's leading band, and his bandsmen, were present, and after the performance he congratulated the young performers and commented on the genius of the young bandmaster. The band met for practice in the old brick Church of England building at Ranelagh, which was later pulled down. The loss of their meeting place, and some of the members having left the district, the band had to cease operations for a while. Later they re-formed, and were in active existence for many years. Mr. Skinner also started brass bands in Huonville, Cygnet, and Geeveston, travelling to these centres and giving tuition free of charge. Often, he would write whole scores, or compose parts not given in printed score. He always played a cornet in the band, but was also a violinist; in fact no musical instrument came amiss to him.

After retiring from sawmilling at Bruni Island, Mr. Skinner returned to Huonville. There are many sawmillers in the Huon who have received practical help and good advice from him. He was always busy - using a hammer and saw one day, tuning a piano the next, or doing anything he could to help a neighbor along. All was done out of kindness and not for gain. He was a widely read man, a keen observer of nature, and had a remarkably good memory to the time of his death.

[Such men of grit, benevolence, and industry made the Huon what it is to-day. Ed.]

ASSOCIATIONS: James Arthur Schott (bandmaster)

SKINNER, Richard Lord (Richard Lord SKINNER; R. L. SKINNER)

Tenor vocalist, minstrel, manager, warehouseman, cricketer, bellringer

Born England, c. 1838
Active Sydney, NSW, by 1857
Died Hobart, TAS, 19 July 1920, aged "82" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


"THE NEW PEAL AT SAINT PHILIP'S", The Sydney Morning Herald (26 July 1859), 5 

YESTERDAY morning, at daybreak, most of the good citizens of Sydney, and especially those resident in the more northern parts of the city, were very agreeably surprised out of their matutinal slumbers by the unwonted music of eight tuneful bells, - rung with an admirable skill and science . . .

The peal of bells yesterday inaugurated, or to use the technical phrase, " opened" at St. Philip's, are the munificent gift of Mr. John Campbell, M.L.A., of Campbell's Wharf, to that (his native) parish; having cost the donor as much as much as £850, and coming from the foundry of Messrs. Charles and George Meares, of Whitechapel, London . . . . The bells were opened by the following professed ringers: - Mr. William Amner (who hung them) rang the treble, Mr. William Westbrook the second bell, Mr. William Wood the third, Mr. Arthur Wood, junior, the fourth, Mr. James Wood the fifth, Mr. Richard Skinner the sixth, Mr. Simeon Henry Pearce the seventh, with Mr. Henry Geering and Mr. William Davidson as tenor-men . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: St. Philip's church (Sydney); Charles and George Mears (bell founders), see also Whitechapel Bell Foundry (Wikipedia); John Campbell (donor); William Amner (bellringer, head ringer)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 April 1860), 1 

The Warehousemen are requested to be on the ground in the Domain, at half-past nine sharp.

"To the Editor of . . .", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 April 1860), 5 

SIR, - In reply to the letter from Mr. George L. Carter, respecting the report of the Drapers' Cricket Match, which appeared in your paper of Tuesday, I beg to say that his statements are very incorrect. At the conclusion of the match the scorers did not tally by two runs or byes, which were given in favour of the Retail, thereby making the Warehousemen victorious by twenty-one instead of twenty-three (not fourteen, as stated by Mr. C.) As to our winning by "mere accident," I think those who witnessed the game must have formed a very different opinion; we being highest score in both innings. In the scratch-match which followed, the same bowlers joined as in the match. This game was not finished, therefore could not be lost by "mere accident." Had it continued there is every reason to believe it would have resulted in our favour, from the fact of there being only four wickets down for upwards of sixty runs. Hoping, in justice to the warehousemen, you will give publicity to this.
I am, Sir yours, &c.,
R. L. SKINNER, Hon. Sec. Warehousemen.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 November 1861), 1

LADIES and GENTLEMEN, members of the Vocal Harmonic and other musical societies, who are willing to assist in giving a
are invited to attend at the Schoolroom in Castlereagh-street THIS (Thursday) EVENING, for the purpose of making the necessary arrangements.
W. HELLYER, R. L. SKINNER, C. J. WINDER, Secretaries, pro tem.

ASSOCIATIONS: William John Cordner (musician); Sydney Vocal Harmonic Society (group)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 June 1869), 8 

GRAND AMATEUR DRAMATIC and MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT. (Under most distinguished patronage) THIS EVENING, Monday, June 21, 1869 . . .
A MUSICAL MELANGE . . . Ballad "No prize can fate on man bestow" (Balfe) - Mr. R. L. Skinner (amateur) . . .


Yesterday evening an amateur dramatic and musical entertainment took place at the School of Arts, in connection with the Saturday Half Holiday Association, and proved to he, in all respects, a most signal success. The affair was under the management of Mr. G. L. Carter, of the firm of Tanner, Painter, and Pope, by whom, with other employees of that house, personally taking part in the entertainment, every exertion had obviously been made to give satisfaction to the patrons of the half-holiday movement, and to the general public . . . The farce was succeeded by a well-selected Musical Melange, in which each of the vocalists (amateur and professional) enjoyed the advantage of an artistic accompaniment from Mrs. W. J. Cordner. The first piece was Hobbs's cavatina, "Nina," by Mr. G. F. Jackson, which was deservedly applauded. Madame Reiloff Jackson then gave, with much effective skill, Randegger's vocal waltz, "Joyous Life." The third item in this part of the programme was one of Balfe's favourite ballads, in which Mr. R. L. Skinner, an amateur, was so loudly applauded that he had to reappear and bow his acknowledgments . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Ellen Cordner (accompanist); George Forbes and Rachel Reiloff Jackson (vocalists)

"CONCERT AT THE SCHOOL OF ARTS", The Sydney Morning Herald (4 August 1869), 5 

A concert was given last evening at the School of Arts, in connection with the No. 1 Company Duke of Edinburgh's Highland Volunteer Corps . . . "Macgregor's Gathering," and "Tom Bowling," were very well sung by Mr. R. L Skinner; on being encored he sang "The Pilgrim of Love" . . . Mr. W. J. Cordner, in his usual efficient manner, presided at the pianoforte.

"MR. R. L. SKINNER'S CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (17 September 1869), 5 

Mr. R. L. Skinner's farewell complimentary concert, which came off last night at the Masonic Hall, was patronised by a very numerous audience, the body of the hall and gallery being comfortably filled. The programme contained many beautiful selections and the corps de concert included several of the most popular vocalists of the city. The beneficiaire was greeted with a very hearty reception. In the tenor solo "Image of the Rose," Mr. Skinner had the advantage of the assistance of the members of Mr. Fisher's choir, who gave the vocal accompaniment very successfully. An Irish melody, "The Minstrel Boy " was rendered by Signor Ugo Devoti, with some little constraint and in place of an encore he gave one of his favourite Italian songs with that freedom and buoyancy which characterises most of his performances. Mr. Andrew Fairfax sang two or three descriptive songs to the great delight of the audience; and Miss James' rendering of the items which fell to her share elicited the admiration of the audience. In the scene "The blind girl to her harp," with harp accompaniment by Mr. E. H. Cobley, she acceded to the demand for on encore. The second part was introduced by the "Soldier's Chorus," from Faust, which was spiritedly sung by a well-balanced choir, and among other morceaux were the "Pilgrim of Love," by Mr. Skinner, "I like to sing the auld songs," by Miss Lea, and the "Orpheus Glee - Banish, O Maiden" by Mr. Fisher and gentlemen amateurs. The harp and piano accompaniments were played by Mr. E. H. Cobley.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edwin Harry Cobley (accompanist); Ugo Devoti (vocalist); Andrew Fairfax (vocalist); James Churchill Fisher (vocalist, choir leader)

[News], The Brisbane Courier [QLD] (16 March 1870), 3 

NOTWITHSTANDING the threatening aspect of the weather, and occasional showers, the performance of the Original Brisbane Amateur Minstrels at the School of Arts last evening, as as a complimentary benefit to Mr. R. L. Skinner, attracted a large audience, and the front seats were well filled. The Governor, Mrs. Terry, Captain Verney, and several officers of H.M.S. Blanche arrived shortly after 8 o'clock, and they were heartily welcomed, the orchestra playing the National Anthem. The entertainment opened with the overture, in which the talent of the company, so far as instrumental music was concerned, was most advantageously displayed. The most attractive portion in the first part of the programme were the song of "Maryland," which was rendered with much tenderness and feeling by Mr. Skinner, and "Silver Moonlight Winds," by Mr. May . . . The only other songs worthy of mention were Mr. Skinner's "Let me like a Soldier fall," the vocal performance of which was all that could be wished for . . .

"THE OCCIDENTAL CHRISTY MINSTRELS", Illawarra Mercury (30 September 1873), 2 

The above company of musicians and comic performers are announced to perform at the Temperance Hall, on the evenings of Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday next, being also accompanied and assisted by Mr. R. L. Skinner's company, whose talent are already known and appreciated in this town . . .

"OUR LAUNCESTON LETTER", The Mercury (13 May 1878), 3

Mr. R. L. Skinner, well known in musical circles here as a tenor singer, has received a piece of good news through a member of the Opera Company, who recognised him on arrival here and told him he had been advertised for in New Zealand in consequence of the death of a relative. Mr. Skinner telegraphed to the mayor of Auckland, and received a telegram in reply that an uncle in England was dead and had left a legacy, and that particulars would be sent by the next mail.

"THE TOWN-HALL. THE MESSIAH", The Argus (27 December 1878), 3

The Melbourne Philharmonic Society . . . repeated their annual performance of Handel's "Messiah," at the Town hall, on Christmas night, in the presence of a large audience . . . The principal vocalists were Miss Bessie Pitts, soprano, Miss Christian, R.A.M., alto, Mr. Staker and Mr. R. L. Skinner, tenori; and Mr. S. Lamble, basso . . . Mr. David Lee, the conductor . . . Mr. Skinner was most successful in the two airs "Behold and see" and "But thou didst not leave" . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: David Lee (conductor); Mary Ellen Christian (vocalist); Samuel Lamble (vocalist); Melbourne Philharmonic Society (group)

"TABLE CAPE", Daily Telegraph [Launceston, TAS] (20 October 1886), 3 

. . . A singing class and dramatic club have also lately sprung up, and under the paternal care of Mr. R. L. Skinner, "the oldest oratorio and operatic tenor vocalist in Australasia," have already performed wonders. The Dramatic Association on Thursday evening, in gratitude to Mr. Skinner, gave him a grand complimentary benefit . . .

"H.M.S. PINAFORE", Examiner [Launceston, TAS] (23 May 1900), 3

. . . The sentimental madrigal "The Nightingale," by Ralph Rackstraw, recalled memories of another Rackstraw as sung by Mr. R. L. Skinner, whose discovery of zircons at Sisters Creek it is to be hoped will bring him in more shekels than he would gather at operatic singing . . .

Register of patients, New Town Infirmary . . . Consumptives Home, 1920; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1581311; HSD274/1/1$init=HSD274-1-1_49S (DIGITISED)

Skinner Rich'd Lord / 82 / [Admitted] 24 [June] 20 / Burnie / Infirm / [born] England / Vocalist / . . . Died 19 [July] '20

SKINNER, Samuel (Samuel SKINNER)


Active Sydney, NSW, 1807 (shareable link to this entry)


"SYDNEY", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (5 July 1807), 1 

S. Skinner a licensed publican, having been summoned before the Court to show cause why the legal penalty for keeping a disorderly house should not be levied, appeared on Thursday to answer to the summons. In support of the information it was stated, that in consequence of a regular complaint a Bench of Magistrates, had thought proper to suppress the license, from an infraction of an especial clause requiring the maintenance of good order; from which it followed, that the decision of the Bench was a sufficient authority for the levy of the penalty, to which the defendant had objected. This was confirmed by the opinion of the Court, and agreeable to the statute, the defendant was fined in the penalty himself of 10£ and two sureties in the further sum of 5£ each.

Bibliography and resources:

Robert Jordan, "Music and civil society in New South Wales, 1788-1809", Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society 98/2 (December 2012), (193-210), 203;dn=060857840144157;res=IELHSS (PAYWALL)

. . . Opening a new tavern in July 1807, Samuel Skinner wooed the public, and particularly the soldiery, by offering them free entertainment: he "engaged music on the occasion". The crowd that assembled created a disturbance and Skinner's licence was withdrawn . . . (State Records Authority of NSW, SZ 300, 191-92 and 5/1155, 211-18.

SKIPPER, John Bacon (John Bacon SKIPPER; John B. SKIPPER; J. B. SKIPPER)

Musician, violinist, barman, bandsman, piano tuner, teacher of the violin, carpenter, publican

Born Essex, England, 1830; baptised SS. Peter and Paul, St. Osyth, 17 October 1830; son of John Scott SKIPPER and Sarah ?
Active Deniliquin, NSW, 1856
Married Elizabeth ALLEN, Deniliquin, NSW, 1858
Died Drummoyne, NSW, 1896 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


"EDWARD RIVER DISTRICT. DENILIQUIN PETTY SESSIONS ", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 August 1856), 2

Mr. Frederick Marshall, landlord of the Highlander Inn, South Deniliquin, was summoned on the information of one of the police in having music at the Highlander, the said house not being licensed for music. John Skipper, barman of the inn, appeared for Mr. Marshall, who was from home; the barman, who is a musician, was tuning his fiddle a few evenings since in the bar of the house, as he said, merely practising. This was the defence. Mr. Cockburn, the chairman, stated that the Bench had given strict orders that there was to be no music played in the public-houses without special permission, and fined the defendant £10, with 11s. 6d. costs.

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser [VIC] (4 June 1860), 3 

second violin, cornet, and bass - for the Masonic Ball, Deniliquin, on the 20th June.
Address by letter, stating terms, to Mr. J. B. Skipper, Deniliquin.
None but competent performers need apply.

"ORANGE (From a Correspondent)", Freeman's Journal [Sydney, NSW] (6 July 1867), 15 

A literary and musical entertainment, for the benefit of the Randwick Destitute Children Asylum, was held in the Masonic Hall, on Monday evening, the first of July . . . The principal pieces of the evening were a duet "What are the wild waves saying," by Mesdames Bendon and Cannon; a solo on champagne glasses by Mr. Skipper . . .

[Advertisement], The Cumberland Mercury [Parramatta, NSW] (1 June 1878), 4 

Pianoforte Tuning. J. B. SKIPPER, PIANOFORTE TUNER, Macquarie-st., Parramatta . . .

[Advertisement], The Cumberland Mercury (29 March 1879), 1 

J. B. Skipper, PIANOFORTE TUNER. Corner of Church and Boundary-street, Parramatta . . .

[Advertisement], The Cumberland Mercury (8 November 1879), 4 

Church-street, Parramatta. String Bands provided for Balls and Private Parties.

"Bachelor's Ball", The Cumberland Mercury (25 August 1883), 3 

. . . The arrangements throughout were excellent . . . Mr. Skipper's band provided very nice music . . .

"Cumberland Band Complimentary Ball", The Cumberland Mercury (27 December 1884), 1 

. . . To add lustre to the affair the Band wore the medals they won at the bands contest, on their manly bosoms, and with their neat uniform, they were much admired by the fair sex, and were kept busy dancing when they had an opportunity, to facilitate this, and allow all to enjoy themselves two bands shared the duties, viz., the Cumberland and Skipper's String Band . . .

[2 advertisements], The Cumberland Mercury (4 July 1885), 4 

A CARD. - Pianos tuned, 7s 6d. Satisfaction guaranteed. Mr. J. B. Skipper, Sydney Road, Granville.

DANCING. - SKIPPER'S STRING Band open to engagement for Balls and Parties. Address, Sydney Road, Granville.

"LOCAL AND GENERAL . . . THE PARRAMATTA NO. 2 QUADRILLE CLUB", The Cumberland Mercury (12 November 1887), 4 

This Club held a "grand social" in the Masonic Hall on Tuesday evening. Owing to the incessant rain which fell, only about 32 couples put in an appearance; but, notwithstanding this drawback, the affair passed off most enjoyably. Skipper's band played selections of first-rate music, and the catering of Mrs. Rafter was, as usual, highly satisfactory . . .

"DEATHS", The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate [Parramatta, NSW] (8 August 1896), 4 

SKIPPER. - On the 3rd of August, 1896, at his late residence, Terry-street, Drummoyne, John Bacon Skipper (formerly of Parramatta), aged 66 years.

"Obituary . . . Mr. John B. Skipper", The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (8 August 1896), 3 

Mr. John Bacon Skipper, an old Parramatta townsman, died on Monday, at his late residence, Terry-street, Drummoyne, the cause of death being apoplexy. Although ailing for some time past, Mr. Skipper's last serious illness was short, and his death came somewhat as a surprise to his relatives. He was a vigorous man for his age, and, though a victim to apoplexy, which was the cause of death, there was nothing about his ailment to excite concern among the members of his family. He took seriously ill on the Sunday previous to his death, Mr. Skipper was formerly a well-known figure in musical circles in Parramatta. He had been a member of the Cumberland Band for nearly 20 years, and among the many telegrams and messages of sympathy received by the family in their bereavement were those from two old comrades in the band, Mr. W. Watters and Mr. George O'Shea. Mr. Skipper was a carpenter and builder, which occupation he followed up with such ability and industry in the good old times that he acquired valuable properties in and about Parramatta, and his widow is well provided for. He lived a retired life for the last ten years and lately removed to Drummoyne, where a married daughter resides. Besides his widow, deceased leaves seven children, the youngest of whom is 19, there being five daughters and two sons . . . The deceased gentleman was a native of Essex, England.

"The Late Mr. L. Skipper", The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (13 February 1936), 22 

The death occurred at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. D. Smith, at Henley, Parramatta River, on the 31st ult., of Mr. Lewis Bacon Skipper, at the age of 75 years. He was a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Bacon Skipper, one-time residents of Church-street, Parramatta South . . . He was for a time the licensee of the Cornstalk Hotel (since closed) at Parramatta North, and was one of the original players of the old Cumberland Band, and later joined the Third Regiment Band and the Rosehill Band, Parramatta. Of the few remaining players of the band may be mentioned Messrs. E. Watters, G. E. Gill (Granville), Jack Halmarick, G. Haswell (Auburn), Jim Halmarick, and H. Burgess. His late father was also a prominent local bandsman 50 years ago . . .

SKYRING, Eliza (Eliza SKYRING; (1) Mrs. William HAWKEY; (2) Mrs. Lewis MARSHALL)

Musician, vocalist, pianist

Born London, England, 26 October 1826; baptised, St. Mary Abbots, Kensington, 11 February 1827; daughter of Daniel SKYRING (1804-1882) and Ellen DUNN
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 13 July 1833 (per Esther, London, 21 February, and Land's End, 4 March)
Married (1) William HAWKEY, St. John's, Brisbane, NSW (QLD), 26 June 1856
Married (2) Lewis MARSHALL, Sydney, NSW, 1864
Died Brisbane, QLD, 8 June 1911 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Baptisms solemnized in the Parish of Kensington, in the county of Middlesex in the year 1827; register 1814-33, page 83; London Metropolitan Archives (PAYWALL)

No. 1323 / February 11 / Eliza / daughter of / Daniel & Ellen / Skyring / Earls Court / Bricklayer . . .

Report of barque Esther, arrived in Port Jackson, 13 July 1833; State Records Authority of NSW (PAYWALL)

Daniel Skyring / 29 / [from] England / Bricklayer // Ellen Skyring his wife / 28 //
Eliza Skyring / 6 // Zachariah / 5 // Daniel / 4

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Sydney Herald (15 July 1833), 2 

From London, the 21st of February, and the Land's End the 4th of March, on Friday last, the ship Esther, 358 tons, Captain Clarkson, with a general cargo of merchandize. Passengers . . . Mr. Daniel Skyring, bricklayer, Mrs. Ellen Skyring, Eliza, Daniel, and Zachariah Skyring . . .

"VIOLENT BEHAVIOUR", The Moreton Bay Courier [Brisbane, QLD] (4 March 1848), 3 

At the Police-office, on Tuesday, Mr. Skyring, of North Brisbane, appeared before the Bench to prefer a charge against Mr. Westaway, of Eagle Farm, for making use of violent and abusive language, and threatening to burst open his house on the evening of Thursday week last. Miss Eliza Skyring having given her evidence, the Bench decided that the charge had been proved, and ordered the defendant to pay a fine of 20s. and 5s. costs.

"MORETON BAY AMATEUR MUSICAL SOCIETY", The Moreton Bay Courier (24 May 1851), 2

A meeting of the friends and promoters of this Society was held in the Court House on Thursday evening last, for the appointment of officers, when the following gentlemen were unanimously chosen to fill the respective offices named, viz.:
President, Mr. W. A. Duncan; Vice-President, Dr. J. M. Swift; Treasurer, Mr. W. A. Brown; Secretary, Mr. R. A. Stace.
Committee - Dr. Cannan, Dr. Barton, and Messrs. J. S. Beach, J. S. Landridge, H. Watson, D. Skyring, A. Eldridge, and W. Carter.
On the motion of Mr. Buckley, seconded by Dr. Swift, it was resolved that the books of rules should be sold at sixpence each. A Committee meeting was subsequently held, for the purpose of appointing a Musical Conductor, in accordance with the eighth rule, when Mr. R. A. Stace was unanimously elected to the office. The first meeting for practice was fixed for Tuesday next, the 27th instant.

"MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT", The Moreton Bay Courier (29 January 1853), 3 

On Monday evening last a musical entertainment, under the direction of Mr. G. F. Poole, was given at the Brisbane School of Arts. The attendance on the occasion was the most numerous that had ever been witnessed there, amounting to about three hundred and twenty persons, comprising most of the principal families of Brisbane . . . Mr. Poole, who was received in a most complimentary manner, opened the entertainment with some appropriate remarks upon the origin and power of music, and then introduced his assistants to the audience Mr. Humby, who had given his services gratuitously, presided at the Pianoforte, and was assisted by two young ladies, his pupils. The pieces sung, and which were interspersed with occasional observations by Mr. Poole, were as follow: -
"The Angels Whisper," Mr. Humby; "I'm afloat" same; "Jenny Lane," same;
"Poor Bessie," Miss Skyring; "Life's a bumper," Mr. Humby and Misses Skyring;
"The Red Cross Knights," same; "The Alderman's Thumb," same; "Lady of Beauty," same; "Rosalie, (Ethiopian melody;) same;
"When thy bosom heaves a sigh," Mr. Humby and Miss Skyring; Finale - "God save the Queen," Mr. Humby and Misses Skyring, assisted by the audience.
In the course of the evening, "James Alexander," a travelled aboriginal, whose case we mentioned in a former issue of this journal, was introduced, and created much amusement by his musical imitations on the walking stick, and his attempts to sing some of the popular Ethiopian airs. Altogether the entertainment passed off with the utmost success whether with respect to the satisfaction of the company or the augmentation of the funds. Many of the songs and glees were loudly and deservedly applauded; and in some the encore was insisted upon. "The Red Cross Knights," and "Lady of Beauty" particularly elicited applause. At the conclusion of the entertainment a vote of thanks to Mr. Poole and the performers, particularly to the ladies who had given their services - was carried by acclamation.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Frederick Poole (musical amateur); John Cross Humby (musician, pianist, music teacher); Tetaree [James Alexander] (Aboriginal performer); the other Miss Skyring performing was Eliza's younger sister, Mary Ann, born Sydney, NSW, 11 May 1834; from 1857, Mrs. William Slack; died Brisbane, QLD, 25 May 1915

"CONCERT", The Moreton Bay Courier (30 April 1853), 3 

There was a very good attendance at Mr. Humby's concert last Tuesday evening, although the rainy state of the weather in all probability kept back many intending visitors. The moist condition of the atmosphere is the more to be regretted as it seemed to have affected the lungs of Mr. Humby's pupils, one of whom in particular, we were pained to observe, was troubled with it particularly shrill and discordant note. The overtures to the respective divisions of the entertainment played on the piano-forte by the ladies, were very creditably executed. The best songs of the evening according to our judgment, were "Poor Bessy," "Rise Gentle Moon," "Lady of Beauty," "Let's Make Hay While the Sun Shines," and "The Rose Will Cease to Blow." As regard the first of these, it appears to possess no merit whatever as a composition, but it was made the most of by Miss Skyring. The others named were respectably got through, and in the last Mr. Humby was deservedly encored. "Fair Flora," "Lightly Tread," and "The Minute Gun," were decided failures; and it is a pity that "I know a Bank" was attempted. On the whole the audience appeared satisfied, and greeted the performers with a round of applause at the end. It is to be hoped that these concerts may occasionally be continued, as practice begets improvement.

"MORETON BAY", Empire (23 December 1854), 8 

A Benefit Concert for Miss Harris was given at the School of Arts last Monday, and another concert on Wednesday closed the series of entertainments with which we have lately been favoured. The company took their departure for Sydney on Thursday, in the Boomerang. On Monday a deputation consisting of Messrs. Duncan, Craies and others, waited upon Miss Flora Harris and presented her with a purse of twenty-five sovereigns, subscribed for the purpose; the purse being the gift of Miss Skyring. A suitable acknowledgment was made by the recipient, who has created a very favourable impression during her stay here.

ASSOCIATIONS: Flora Harris (visiting vocalist); William Augustine Duncan (musical amateur)

"MARRIED", The Moreton Bay Courier (12 July 1856), 3 

By special license, at St. John's Church, June 26, by the Rev. E. K. Yeatman, William Hawkey, of Taunton, England, to Miss Eliza Skyring, eldest daughter of Mr. Daniel Skyring, of North Brisbane, Moreton Bay.

[Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (4 July 1857), 3 

EDUCATION. MRS. W. HAWKEY begs leave to announce to her friends and the public, that she will open a DAY SCHOOL, on MONDAY, the 13th inst., in Mr. Shean's Cottage, near the Catholic Chapel, for a limited number of Scholars, to be Commercially Educated. Also, in Music, Dancing, Singing, Drawing, etc.
Further particulars can be had from Mrs. Hawkey, at the above mentioned cottage, North Brisbane.

"EARLY HISTORY OF QUEENSLAND .The Sad, Bad, Mad; but Sometimes Glad Old Days (By A SURVIVOR.) CHAPTER XVI", Truth [Brisbane, QLD] (9 May 1915), 12 

. . . One of the first men who tried to prove in Brisbane that music hath superior charms was J. C. Humby . . . A young lady who used to assist with his concerts was Miss Skyring, whose most popular song was entitled "Poor Bessy," and whose near relative kept the Beehive or Ready Money Stores. Another Skyring was a bricklayer, who made his own bricks. Direct descendants of these Skyrings still control big business operations in Brisbane . . .

SLATER, George (George SLATER)

Publisher, bookseller, music publisher

Born Scotland, c. 1824
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 24 May 1853 (per Anne Cropper, from London, aged "29")
Married Emma BIRT (d. 1865), Brisbane, QLD, 28 March 1864
Died Brisbane, QLD, 12 May 1886, aged "62" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)

Trading as Slater, Williams, and Hodgson (1854-56): (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

ASSOCIATIONS: William Henry Williams (printer and music typsetter, publisher); Arthur T. Hodgson (bookseller, publisher)


He may be the George Slater, bookseller and publisher, active at 252, Strand, in London, in 1849 and 1850. There is no record of him

George Slater arrived in Victoria as a 29-year-old immigrant on the Anne Cropper in May 1853, and, by August, was set up in premises in Collingwood as a bookseller. He was also, from shortly after his arrival, an officer of Melbourne branch of the Swedenborgian New Church.

Having moved into the city, by early 1854 Slater was in partnership with the printer William Henry Williams and bookseller Arthur T. Hodgson, trading at 94 Bourke-street east, as Slater, Williams, Hodgson and Co., or Slater, Williams, and Hodgson. Together they continued to issue The Melbourne vocalist, which Hodgson had inaugurated in 1853.

After the firm's formal dissolution in June 1856, Slater and Williams continued to work closely together. Williams, who was also a noted musical amateur and the first Victoria printer to use music type, was probably directly responsible for selecting the musical content in Slater's The illustrated journal of Australasia, which Williams also typeset and printed. In 1857 it contained a monthly musical supplement, consisting of songs by Stephen Massett, Sidney Nelson, George Tolhurst, and others. During the previous year, 1856, Tolhurst, then working as a newspaper reporter, had also edited The black and white list and elector's guide for Slater.

Williams also republished the musical supplements from the Illustrated journal in his album Williams's musical annual and Australian sketch book for 1858.


Names and descriptions of passengers per Anne Cropper, from London, 28 January 1853, for Port Phillip; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

Slater George / 29 / Draper / [English]

[Advertisement], The Argus (3 August 1853), 3 

WELLINGTON Library Catalogue now ready.
George Slater, wholesale and retail bookseller and stationer, 13, Wellington-street, near Black's, Collingwood.

? "DIED", The Argus (5 April 1854), 4 

On the 22nd December last, at No. 8 William-street, Greenhead, Glasgow, Scotland, the beloved wife of Mr. George Gourlay Slater, aged fifty-five years.

[Advertisement], The Age (19 June 1855), 2 

SLATER, WILLIAMS and HODGSON have on Sale - . . .
Church of England Hymnbooks . . .
Song books, about 20 varieties
Melbourne Vocalist . . .
Wholesale and Retail, at their General Letter press and Label Printing Office, 94 Bourke street-east, Eastern market, and Mostyn-street, Castlemaine.

[Advertisement], The Age (9 July 1855), 7 

THE COLLINGWOOD PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETY COMMITTEE, will meet at the Collingwood Building Society's office in George street, on Monday evening, at seven o'clock, to audit the accounts of the Concert given by Miss Catherine Hayes in aid of the destitute.
GEORGE SLATER, Secretary, pro tem.

ASSOCIATIONS: Catherine Hayes (vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Argus (19 July 1855), 8 

MELBOURNE VOCALIST contains Music of "Lilly Dale" and " Villikins," &c., &c., Slater, Williams and Hodgson.

[Advertisement], The Argus (19 January 1856), 7 

ALL DAVIDSON'S MUSIC at Slater, Williams, and Hodgson's, opposite Theatre Royal, Bourke-street, and Castlemaine.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Henry Davidson (London music publisher)

[Advertisement], The Age (16 February 1856), 1 

MELBOURNE VOCALIST, containing songs of the day.
First Series, price 3s. Second Series now publishing in Shilling parts, each containing the music of two popular songs . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (7 May 1856), 6 

MELBOURNE VOCALIST. - New Part now ready, with music of popular songs. 1s. Sold by all Booksellers.

[Advertisement], The Age (9 May 1856), 1 

THE MELBOURNE VOCALIST. - Second Series, Just Published,
consisting of original Australian, and other popular Songs, with the music of six popular Songs.
In three Parts, 1s. each; or complete in cloth, 2s. 6d.
Also, the First Series, complete, 2s. 6d. SLATER. WILLIAMS and HODGSON, and all Booksellers.

[Advertisement], The Argus (23 June 1856), 6 

ON the 2nd July will be Published, price 1s. 6d., the First Number of the JOURNAL OF AUSTRALASIA . . . Office, 94 Bourke-street cast. Publisher, GEORGE SLATER.

[Advertisement], The Argus (30 June 1856), 6 

Notice. - The firm of Slater, Williams, and Hodgson, or Slater, Williams, Hodgson, and Co., is this day Dissolved by mutual consent.
George Slater and William Henry Williams are authorised to receive debts due to the said firm in Melbourne and elsewhere, excepting Castlemaine.
And Arthur Thomas Hodgson is authorised to collect debts due to the said firm in Castlemaine and its neighborhood.
G. Slater will continue to carry on the Bookselling and Stationery branch of the business at 94 Bourke-street;
W. H. Williams will carry on the Printing branch, also at 94 Bourke-street;
and A. T. Hodgson will carry on the business at Castlemaine.
(Signed) GEO. SLATER,
Witness to all the signatures (Signed) Rob. Meikle. Melbourne, 14th June, 1856.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Henry Williams (printer, musician); Arthur Hodgson (bookseller)

[Advertisement], The Age (16 August 1856), 1 

Will be published, on nomination day, a New and Revised Edition of the Black and White List, with an entirely New Appendix; comprising a complete List of Candidates, up to the latest moment, with interesting particulars, and an extended List of Likely Men.
Compiled by George Tolhurst. Price 1s. 6d. George Slater; and all Booksellers.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Tolhurst (editor, journalist, musician)

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (11 September 1856), 4 

VIOLIN STRINGS. - Roman and best English Strings at George Slater's, Sandhurst Library, Pall Mall.

[Advertisement], The Age (27 June 1857), 3 

No. 13, commencing Vol. III., on July 1st, Containing . . . a New Song, "In Memory of Thee," by Walter Bonwick, &c., &c.
Vol. II., bound in elegant gilt cloth, now ready, price 10s 6d.
GEORGE SLATER, 94 Bourke street east, and all Booksellers.

"MARRIAGES", Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser (16 April 1864), 3 

On the 28th March, at Brisbane, George Slater, to Emma Birt.

"BIRTHS . . . DEATH[S]", The Brisbane Courier (12 August 1865), 4 

BIRTHS . . . SLATER. - On the 1st August, at Jane-street, Fortitude Valley, Mrs. George Slater, of a daughter.
DEATH. SLATER. - On the 2nd August, at Jane-street, Emma, infant daughter of George and Emma Slater.
SLATER. - On the 8th August, at her residence, Jane-street, Emma, the beloved wife of George Slater, Brisbane.

[News], The Brisbane Courier (13 May 1886), 5 

IN this mornings issue is announced the death of Mr. George Slater, who, though he has of late years taken no active part in city affairs, was one of the earliest of our Queen-street business men. It is more than twenty years since he opened a small bookseller's shop nearly opposite the present office of this paper - a shop so small that its counter and stock of books and periodicals left very little room for purchasers; but a good business was done there, sufficient to enable Mr. Slater to open in larger premises lower down the street. Here difficulties overtook him, and the business was ultimately sold to Messrs. Gordon and Gotch, by whom it is now carried on. Mr. Slater always, while health permitted, took a warm interest in public affairs, though he never aspired to a seat either in the Municipal Council or in Parliament. He was well known for his staunch adherence to the doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church, and for the active interest he took in all that concerned the welfare of the denomination. Of late years Mr. Slater has been a dealer in homeopathic medicines, having for a long time advocated this system of treatment.

"DEATHS", The Brisbane Courier (18 May 1886), 1 

SLATER. - On the 12th May, at the residence of the Rev. W. A. Bates, Wickham-terrace, after a long and painful illness, George Slater, late of this city and formerly of Melbourne, aged 62 years.

"IN MEMORIAM", The Week [Brisbane, QLD] (13 May 1898), 16 

SLATER. - In remembrance of George Slater, bookseller, of this city, and formerly of Melbourne and London, who died May 12, 1886.

"THE NEWS LETTER. PUBLICATIONS OF THE PAST", The Australasian (10 November 1934), 4 

One of the early Melbourne publications was "The News Letter," issued by George Slater, of 94 Bourke-street east. Slater announced in 1856 that "The News Letter" was published monthly, price 6d., as a narrative of events in Australia, indicating the spirit and progress of the times. It was printed on superfine thin post paper, and one of the pages was left blank for private correspondence. Slater said that while complaints were very general of the uncertainty of newspapers being transmitted and delivered by post there was then great confidence in the safe delivery of letters; therefore it would be observed that "The News Letter" (posted as a letter) was the most desirable means of communicating with friends "at Home and elsewhere." He claimed that it formed a concise summary of events, convenient for those who had "not sufficient leisure to narrate with their own pen to their friends all the interesting events transpiring in this country."

Slater was the publisher of an early magazine, "The Journal of Australasia," issued monthly at the price of 1/6. In 1858 he quoted "The Argus" as remarking: - "This colony ought to be able to support a first-class monthly magazine, and we are glad to observe that Mr. George Slater has resolved to make the experiment, and to give it a fair trial. There is no dearth of literary talent in this city; nor, we believe, is there any absence of an inclination on the part of the public to offer a cordial reception to a really good periodical, and to ensure it a lengthened and prosperous existence." It was added that the first number of "The Journal of Australasia" scarcely realised the conception of what such a magazine ought to be, but that was satisfactorily accounted for by the editor in his opening address. Slater had explained that "the anxiety of the publisher to issue the first number of the journal on the 1st of July, in order to commence the half-year regularly, and for other reasons, caused a large portion of the work to be proceeded with before the editorial engagements had been entered into. So that a difference in some respects between the execution and the plan demands apologetic mention." He added that he had sought and obtained promises of literary aid from gentlemen of recognised talent.

Another Slater publication was "The Black and White List," which be described as "A True Guide to Electors as to how Men who have had the opportunity of serving their country have done so." We do not learn whether the politicians trembled when they knew of the existence of this list.

In his versatility Slater added to his group of books "The Melbourne Vocalist," first and second series, with airs of popular songs, price half a crown each. And, as the half-year had been passed, he offered copies of the Melbourne Directory for 1856 at half-price.

Musical publications:

The Melbourne vocalist (1854-56)

The Melbourne vocalist [first series, 1-6] (Melbourne: Slater, Williams, and Hodgson, 1854) 

The Melbourne vocalist [new series, second series, 1-6; 1-4, 1855; 5-6, 1856] (Melbourne: Slater, Williams, and Hodgson, 1856) 

Most songs text only; with music for: Lilly Dale, Villikins and his Dinah, The chip girl, The honest working man, Dunois the brave, Agathe to Irene

Musical supplements to The illustrated journal of Australasia (1857)

Musical supplements to The illustrated journal of Australasia 2 (January to June 1857)

The trusting heart, the poetry by Chas. MacKay (January 1857), 16-17 (DIGITISED)

When the moon on the lake is beaming, written and composed by Stephen C. Massett (February 1857), 56-59 (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Stephen Massett (composer)

The watchword, composed by S. Nelson (March 1857), 112-14 (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Sidney Nelson (composer)

When a child I roamed the green fields through, music and words by Stephen C. Massett (April 1857), 161-63 (DIGITISED)

I remember, poetry by Thomas Hood; music by J. Tolhurst [correctly G. Tolhurst] (May 1857), 216-17 (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: George Tolhurst (composer)

The heart that's true, poetry by Eliza Cook; music by W. H. Tolhurst (June 1857), 273-74 (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: William Henry Tolhurst (composer)

Musical supplements to The illustrated journal of Australasia 3 (July 1857)

In memory of thee, poetry by Alex. Newton; music by Walter Bonwick (July 1857)

ASSOCIATIONS: Walter Bonwick (composer)

The North Carolina rose, written by Beecher Stowe; composed by John Blockley

O, call it by some better name, poetry by Thomas Moore; music by G. Tolhurst

God preserve our sovereign's viceroy, composed for the Illustrated Journal of Australasia [by G. Tolhurst] (December 1857)

All of the above from the Illustrated journal republished in Williams's musical annual and Australian sketch book for 1858

Other musical content:

"JOURNAL OF SOCIAL PROGRESS", The illustrated journal of Australasia 1 (1856), 139 (DIGITISED)

. . . Mr. Brunton, who has already manifested his skill as a teacher of singing, has opened a class for the practice of Psalmody. The meetings are held in Chalmers' Church. The tunes selected for use are printed in the form of a neat book by Mr. W. H. Williams, and are deserving of mention, as the use of music type is almost new here . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Alfred Brunton (choral class instructor)

"CHORAL SINGING", The illustrated journal of Australasia 1 (1856), 155-60 (DIGITISED)

"JOURNAL OF LITERATURE AND ART", The illustrated journal of Australasia 1 (1856), 281-82 (DIGITISED)

[281] . . . In the sister art, Music, the Philharmonic Society is pursuing the even tenor (we mean no pun) of its way, producing occasional novelties, and repeating performances which have already been received with marks of favor. At a late concert it produced Mendelssohn's "As the Hart pants," portions of the oratorios "Creation" and "Elijah," and the unfortunate Dettingen "Te Deum," so abused by the sacrilegious use of it in thanksgivings for battle and murder . . .

[282] . . . The Publications of the Month include several Musical productions, of wbich we must, at present, be contented with a bare notice. Mrs. Fiddes has published two songs, forming parts 1 and 2 of an intended series called the Souvenir. Mr. Weinritter has produced a very original and spirited Polka, called the "Kangaroo Hunt," - very different to the namby-pamby imitations of worn-out themes that have sometimes passed for colonial productions. A song, called the "Irish Peasant Girl," was presented by the author, Mr. W. Bonwick, to the Benevolent Asylum Bazaar.

ASSOCIATIONS: Harriet Fiddes (composer); George Weinritter (composer); Melbourne Philharmonic Society (group)

Bibliography and resources:

J. Holdroyd, "Early Victorian booksellers and publishers 1835-86", Biblionews and Australian notes & queries 2nd series 4/1 (1970), 11-12 (DIGITISED)

George Slater was born in Scotland in 1824 and entered the book trade there. Coming to Melbourne in 1853, he opened a bookshop at 94 Bourke Street East. It became a substantial business. He published the Journal of Australasia, which contained the earliest criticism of Australian literature. This was written by Frederick Sinnett, who had been a student and friend of John Stuart Mill. Slater established the News-Letter of Australasia, for migrants to send home to their families. There is a copy of this rare journal in the library of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria. Slater also published the Melbourne Vocalist and Bounty Immigration, by "One Who Has Handled the Spade", in 1855. In 1858 he published an anonymous novel, Rebel Convicts. This rare book deals with the convicts who were transported for their part in the Irish Rebellion of 1798. In 1855 the firm became Slater, Williams and Hodgson, with a branch at Castle-[12]-maine. A shop was opened at Bendigo in 1856. Selling out to H. C. Evans in 1858, Slater became a wholesale bookseller at 120 Elizabeth Street. From 1859 to 1861 he conducted a library in High Street, St. Kilda. He moved to Brisbane and opened a bookshop there in 1864, with branches at Rockhampton and Gympie. He started a printing works and published Slater's Almanac. He died in 1886.

ASSOCIATIONS: Frederick Sinnett (journalist)

Rod Fisher, Boosting Brisbane: imprinting the colonial capital of Queensland (Brisbane: Boolarong Press, 2009), passim, especially 238-43 (PREVIEW)

George Slater, Find a grave 


Musical amateur, president (Australian Harmonic Society), schoolmaster

Born Chatham, Kent, England, 12 February 1817; baptised, Ebenezer Chapel, Chatham, 8 May 1817; son of Joseph SLATTERIE (1766-1838) and Fanny
Active Sydney, NSW, by 1841
Died Liverpool, NSW, about 1 November 1885, aged "78" [68] (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Register of births and baptisms, Ebenezer chapel, Clover Street, Chatham, Kent; UK National Archives, RG 4 / 680 (PAYWALL)

Apollos Joseph Son of Joseph Slatterie and Fanny his Wife was born in the Parish of Chatham in the County of Kent February twelfth 1817 and baptized May 7th 1817 by me J. Prankard

NOTE: All the surrounding baptisms were administered by Joseph Slatterie, minister of the chapel; see "DEATHS", Globe [London] (9 August 1838), 3 (PAYWALL)

At Chatham, Rev. Joseph Slatterie, 72, upwards of 44 years minister of Ebenezer chapel, Chatham.

[News], The Australian (28 May 1840), 2 

A Mr. Slatterie, a gentleman with whom we have not the pleasure to be acquainted, purposes to lecture on Education at the New South Wales Hotel, tomorrow evening . . .

"EDUCATION", The Sydney Herald (24 June 1840), 2 

Mr. Slatterie, the Gentleman who has delivered some lectures on Education which are highly spoken of, has been appointed Assistant Master at the Sydney College.

"THE AUSTRALIAN HARMONIC SOCIETY", Free Press and Commercial Journal (24 April 1841), 3 

All our readers may not be aware that some short time since a society or club was formed under the above title by a few respectable individuals in Sydney. The object was the encouragement and development of musical taste and talent in the first place, and in the next, to provide a place where young men might for one evening in the week assemble and pass a few hours in harmony, in every sense of the word. When it is considered that in Sydney the only place of amusement is the theatre, and that when that is not open young bachelors, who form a very large portion of the community in Sydney, have no place to which they can resort for an hour's relaxation after the business of the day is over, such an institution must be regarded as desirable in the highest degree. We have had ah an opportunity of witnessing the manner in which the Harmonic Club's meetings are conducted, and they are such as even the "rigidly righteous" could not find any real cause of objection. Music and song are the principal frais of the amusements; social converse, and an occasional toast filling up the interstices. "Music, mirth, and moderation" is the standing order of the Society's evenings. The Society numbers now above fifty subscribers; the entrance fee is One Guinea, and the monthly subscription 7s. 6d., which money is expended in music, instruments, and the moderate refreshment, wine, of which the members partake. We cannot too strongly recommend this Society to the notice of the "nice young bachelors" of Sydney; we would say to "all good men" but that we fear the ladies would quarrel with us. Mr. Slatterie, of the Sydney College, ably fills the office of President at present, and the members meet every Wednesday evening, at Mr. Scrase's in Pitt-street. The club must, we imagine, be under considerable obligations to Mr. Scrase who has allotted a spacious room for the use of the club, which has been very appropriately fitted up at the expense of the members. We again particularly recommend this society to public notice, and will conclude by wishing it every success and prosperity.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edwin and Samuel Scrase (members); Australian Harmonic Club (group)

"THE AUSTRALIAN HARMONIC SOCIETY", Australasian Chronicle (5 June 1841), 2

A new society, under the above name, has lately been formed in Sydney by several of the leading harmonists, for the purpose of enjoying a few social hours after the business and cares of the day. We understand that it meets every Wednesday evening, in a private room of Mr. Scrase's, Pitt-street. The amusements of the evening are conducted in a very superior manner. On Wednesday evening last our informant was introduced as a visitor, and was highly delighted with the evening's entertainments, consisting of vocal and instrumental music. Mr. Wallace, in his usual effective style, played several solos on the violin, and Mr. Deane some beautiful overtures on the pianoforte. The eloquence and wit of the president of the society, Mr. Slattelie, contributed much to the enjoyment of the evening.

ASSOCIATIONS: Spencer Wellington Wallace (violin); John Philip Deane (piano)

"AUSTRALIAN HARMONIC CLUB", Sydney Free Press (2 October 1841), 2 

The members of the above Society on Wednesday the 29th last, gave a supper at their club room in Pitt-street; Mr. Slatterie in the chair. Mr. Simmons officiating as Vice-President. The members of the Cecilian Society, who assisted in the performances at the Theatre on Tuesday evening, were of course invited, and added greatly to the hilarity and conviviality of the evening. There were also among the guests assembled upon this occasion, nearly all the leading musical talent of Sydney: Mr. Nathan, Mr. Wallace, Mr. Dean [sic], Mr. Morgan [sic, Worgan], and many other deserving public favourites. After the cloth was removed, several very neat and appropriate speeches were delivered. After Mr. Slatterie had proposed the health of Mr. Simmons, which was received with great applause, Mr. Nathan rose and addressed the meeting, in substance somewhat to the following effect:

"Gentlemen, in rising to second the toast which has been proposed by the chairman, and so cordially responded to by you, I will take the liberty of offering a few observations, which I feel assured, will not be deemed out of order. When I visited the Theatre on Tuesday evening last, I went there impressed with the idea that the performance of the after-piece Married and Buried, or as it was called when produced with my music in England, The Illustrious Stranger, would certainly fall far short of what I had seen in the Mother Country when aided by the united talents of LISTON, HARLEY, and others of equal notoriety. But I must here promise to you, gentlemen, that this piece, although assisted by the talents of the leading comic actors, by some strange fatality, was damned on the first night of its representation at the Haymarket Theatre. The idea after wards struck me, that by composing some new music for it, it might still become a favourite. I hinted this to the managers of Drury Lane Theatre, and the consequence was, they acted upon the suggestion. The result fully answered my expectations; The Illustrious Stranger was received with the most decided marks of the public approbation, and has continued a favourite ever since. But I now, gentlemen, candidly confess to you, that never during the whole course of my professional career, has my vanity received so great a check as it did in the Victoria Theatre on Tuesday evening last. Here, seventeen thousand miles distant from the Mother Country, The Illustrious Stranger is produced with scarcely a note (except one song) of the original music, and owing to the illimitable acting of Mr. Simmons is received with that applause which his most excellent representation of the character so justly merited. I have now no hesitation in saying, had Mr. LISTON hit upon the same style in his personification of the character of "Bowbell," as was struck out by Mr. Simmons, the piece never would have required my music to render it a favourite with a London audience."

The party broke up at a late hour, after spending one of those agreeable evenings which form so great a contrast to our every day plodding habits.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Simmons (member, vocalist, actor); Isaac Nathan (musician); George William Worgan (musician); the club had recently patronised an evening at the Royal Victoria Theatre, when Simmons appeared as Benjamin Bowbell, in the musical play The illustrious stranger, for the original London season of which Nathan had composed the music.

"LITERARY NOTICE. NEW SOUTH WALES MONTHLY MAGAZINE", The Sun and New South Wales Independent Press (4 February 1843), 2 

We have received the January and February numbers of this Magazine, and sincerely wish it success. The Magazine is conducted by Mr. A. J. Slatterie, late of the Sydney College; and contains articles (we believe) from the pen of Dr. C. Nicholson, Mr. T. H. Braim, Sydney College, Dr. Bland, Mr. A. Becket, Mr. H. Halloran, and Dr. Litchfield . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: The New South Wales monthly magazine (periodical); Thomas Henry Braim (contributor); William Bland (contributor); William A'Beckett (contributor); Henry Halloran (poet, contributor); John Palmer Litchfield (contributor); of the named contributors, it was perhaps most likely Slatterie himself who was author of the following:
"MUSIC", The New South Wales monthly magazine (January 1843), 33-35

As lovers of music we are rejoiced at the facility which our new Magazine affords to add the mite of our endeavours to stimulate the public to greater interest in a Science, which, within the last two years has, we regret to state retrograded rather than advanced amongst us.

Such a state of things will appear the more anomalous when it is recollected that, within the period in question, so far from there being a diminution as regards quantity in musical talent it has actually increased, and that in addition to the members of the profession already well known, and deservedly esteemed amongst us, we have received valuable accessions from home and the neighbouring colonies, constituting in the aggregate, a stock of musical ability, such as, considering our extreme distance from the old world, we could scarcely have expected to realize in this early period of our colonial existence.

The question, which therefore naturally suggests itself to our readers is, "How can the anomaly to which we have adverted, be accounted for?" Our answer is, that, in the first place, it arises from a want of a proper union amongst the professors of music; and secondly, from the absence of that practical support in musical undertakings, which true lovers of the science are ever found ready to accord in England. For the laxity in the latter respect, however, we think that the members of the profession themselves are in a great degree to blame. If they have the love of music sincerely at heart, no petty jealousies - no considerations of immediate gain should prevent their combining in the common object of exciting the flagging interest of the public, and endeavouring by a steady and well directed effort to place music once more upon that respectable footing which, with materials less eminent than we now possess, it at one time maintained.

In urging this position, we feel that we are the same time advocating the private interests of the professors themselves; the more musical taste is diffused by the frequency and excellence of public performances, the more anxious will parents be to secure for their children initiation in an accomplishment from the exhibition of which by others they have themselves derived so much pleasure. Musical coteries in private families will likewise be promoted - in which professional aid will be required and remunerated; and even in our places of worship, the choirs of many of which would, we are sorry to say, be a reproach to a country town in England, the necessity of adapting the performance of sacred music to the improved taste of the public, would be forced upon those who dictate the musical arrangements.

Having ourselves been members of musical societies at Birmingham and Manchester, and seen the benefit of their instrumentality in the diffusion of musical taste amongst all classes of the community, we are anxious by the establishment of the like agency to promote the same desirable ends amongst ourselves. There have been already, we believe, one or two societies in Sydney instituted, no doubt for objects similar to those at home, but whether from defects in their original organization [34] - want of proper economy - mistakes in the management, or a lack of unanimity amongst the members, it is enough that they no longer exist.

We feel assured, that unless some steps are taken for combining the musical talent of the colony, no efficient performance of good music can be expected. Under present circumstances, the public ear from time to time is tickled by what is called a Grand Concert! Musical Soiree! or other solecism! got up as a desperate expedient to supply the exigencies of some needy musician. Can we wonder that the performances, on such occasions, are of so meagre a description, dependant as the Beneficiare generally is, on the unpaid assistance of such of his brethren, as, from being equally poor with himself, step forward from sympathy, to afford their gratuitous aid. The room, on such instances, exhibits but few "paying faces," the proceeds are generally minus the amount of the printers' bill, however low, and the giver of the entertainment goes home with the consolation of having been encored in the duet of "Mighty Jove with golden showers," by a numerous, but, alas! not a remunerating auditory.

As a remedy for the evil to which we have thus briefly adverted, we would exhort not only amateurs, but also those who value the true interests of music, to lend their assistance in an arrangement by which to combine for the benefit of science and their own amusement, such ability as may be available in the colony. If an association were formed and a fund raised from which a moderate remuneration could be afforded to the professional members, the best musical talent could be secured, and a means established of performing music of a description not to be attempted under present circumstances.

The late Oratorio may be taken as an instance of the good effect resulting from amateur and professional association, but however creditable the performances may have been to the conductors and all engaged, we would still regard it as only an indication of how much more may be done under matured management.

We shall recur to this subject in our next number, and confiding in public patience, will avail ourselves of the space allotted to us for the subject, to treat in a series of articles, upon such particulars connected with the state of music amongst us, as we may consider best calculated to promote the true interests of an art of which we are the ardent votaries.

A certain portion of our pages shall also be devoted to a notice of any musical performances of a public nature that may take place in each month, and also to a review of any new music that may be worthy of observation.

We hope also to make arrangements for affording to our readers such European intelligence respecting musical affairs as we may deem interesting, and also a notice of every new composition of merit.

The performance of Rossini's most recent composition "Stabat Mater" at the English Opera House, appears to be the subject of greatest interest in the musical circles at home. The London newspapers but echo the opinions of the foreign journals as to the superior merit of this production.

No concerts have taken place at Sydney during the past month, but [35] we observed one announced for the 11th of next month, intended for the benefit of a young pianiste, on which occasion we are led to expect an exhibition of talent that should not fail to attract a numerous auditory.

"MUSIC. No. II", The New South Wales monthly magazine (February 1843), 85-88 

In our last notice of this subject, we felt it necessary to descant, in a strain which some may have considered lugubrious upon our present status as regards Musical taste, and Musical performances, we also briefly adverted to the circumstances which militated against our improvement in either, and we ventured to suggest a course by which both might, in the language of a judicious local writer, attain "a healthy state."

It is not our usual habit, nor indeed is it consistent with our phi-[86]-sique to indulge in sombre contemplations, and we should rather, particularly in our first number, have adopted a more exhilirating tone, or allowed "soft concealment" to prevail in a maiden effort, but the representations received from many quarters, and the conviction arrived at in our own mind after a review of the circumstances connected with the state of music, in the colony, all combined to impress us with the assurance that the sooner public attention was directed to the true state of things, however unpalatable the relation, the sooner would a remedy be provided.

We have been since gratified to learn that our observations have been regarded in the spirit in which they were offered, and that the positions we advanced have met a recognition that augurs well for the origination of some measure that will give a new impetus to an Art in whose train so many virtues are associated.

If it be true, as has been said by an eminent English writer, that the character of a nation is influenced in no small degree by its Amusements, and that, in the present age, Music ranks next to literature itself, amongst the National pursuits; viewing it also, as occupying so prominent a feature amongst the pleasures of domestic life, we cannot surely be accused of extra sensibility in regarding with anxiety any symptoms of its decadence amongst ourselves, or of attaching too much importance to a subject in which all who value our improvement in an elegant science, must feel a deep interest.

Although there may be some who will demur to the truth of the position set forth in our first paper, that music has retrograded within the last two years, we think, few will assert that it has advanced. Is it manifested in the number or quality of our public concerts, the prevalence of musical reunions in private life, the excellence of the choirs in our places of worship, the publication of original compositions, or in fact by any of those usual indications of "a healthy state" as regards either science or taste? To be sure a Nathan may throw a halo over our gloom, by a secretion from his versatile brain in honor of a Mayor or a Mayoress, to be hiccupped at a Civic Banquet. He may dress an Aboriginal melody, in harmonies as meretricious and appropriate as the costume which Sir George Gipps, or Messrs. Pite and Preston, have designed to grace the court of Queen Pomare, still this is no indication of musical science, still less of advancement in musical taste - it is not worthy of the fame which claims a Byron, as his Lyrist, nor of a genius that can till do better things. Some may say oh! but you have forgotten our Theatrical Orchestra, superior talent and good music are surely to be found there. We are ready to admit that the former exists, but it appears by no means coincident with the prevalence of the latter, looking however to the present direction and organization of this department of the Theatre, we feel it would not become us to use it as an illustration of our argument under existing circumstances, but we shall not fail to recur to the subject on a more fitting opportunity.

If according to the scriptural maxim, in the multitude of councillors there is wisdom," so some will say, in the multitude of teachers, [87] music should flourish. We do not deny that Professors of Music abound in New South Wales, many of them no less distinguished for knowledge of their art than aptitude in its inculcation the knowledge of music to whatever extent, may therefore he said to be pretty generally cultivated and diffused, but in the absence of professional combination in public performances, it will be obvious to every unbiassed mind that both teacher and pupil must retrograde in taste. Taste, says Burke, is "that faculty or those faculties of the mind which form a judgment of the works of imagination, and the elegant Arts." How then can such a judgment be formed if those works which exhibit the highest order of musical genius, and the most sublime of which are dependant upon combined effect, are never heard amongst us.

In a former article we adverted to the want of proper union amongst the Professors of Music, and also to the necessity of concentrating such Amateur and Professional ability, as Sydney could afford, with a view to the production of performances, which, without such combination, it is now impossible to accomplish effectually.

That the Profession itself does not comprise numerical strength sufficient to give due effect, instrumental or vocal, to the finer compositions of Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, or Spohr, all who know anything of our resources will admit. In order therefore to accomplish such performances, Amateur assistance must be enlisted and the means by which this end may be attained is a subject for consideration.

We are ourselves of opinion, that the movement for this purpose should commence with those who are non-professional, be they amateurs or dilletanti. That any private objections could prevail against such association we cannot for a moment imagine. As a body the Professors of Music in this Colony, can rank in morals and propriety of conduct with any of the same class at home; amongst such of them as are teachers, the maintenance of such a character may be supposed to be indispensable, and instances have not been wanting to show that its absence in this community, which has been so much traduced, cannot be compensated by talents however brilliant and in themselves estimated, or by acquirements however varied.

The considerations at which we have hinted, are not however, on any occasion found to prevail at home. In the numerous musical societies for which Great Britain and Ireland are distinguished, private relations are temporarily forgotten in the desire to give effect to those sublime emanations of genius which breathe through the works of the great Masters of the Art, and the only distinction regarded, is the efficiency with which each performs his part. We have ourselves seen in a Musical Society, a Duke playing a Double Bass part from the same book with a poor performer, who received thirty shillings a week in the theatrical orchestra, and we have also witnessed an officer in Staff uniform, disdain Chesterfield's Advice to his Son, and "stick a fiddle under his chin" to contribute to the performance of one of Weber's Overtures.

[88] We feel assured therefore that no fastidious feeling will oppose itself to such an arrangement as we have suggested, and which we hope to see matured before our next publication. In the meantime we shall be happy to receive communications from those who may feel disposed to favor the object.

MUSIC: References to recent publications by Isaac Nathan, Australia, the wide and the free (dedicated to the mayor, John Hosking), The Aboriginal father (dedicated to the mayoress, Martha Hosking), and Koordinda braia (setting an Aboriginal melody)

[Advertisement], The Goulburn Herald and Chronicle (12 January 1878), 4 

"GUNDAROO", The Yass Courier [NSW] (12 January 1886), 4 

It is only very lately we heard that a good man, formerly a resident of this place, had passed over to the great majority. Mr. A. J. Slatterie is the person alluded to; he was well-known in Goulburn, Yass, Wagga, and many other places, and the information of this fact will no doubt be received with sorrow by many of his warm friends, and I do not think he had any enemies. He died about the 1st November last.

Bibliography and resources:

"MEMOIR OF THE LATE REV. JOSEPH SLATTERIE, PASTOR OF THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, CHATHAM", The evangelical magazine and missionary chronicle (March 1839), 105-09 (DIGITISED)


Musical amateur, vocalist (active Geelong, VIC, by 1860)

SLOMAN, Charles (? pseudonym, Charles SLOMAN; Mr. SLOMAN)

Musician, first banjo (Melophonic Concert Room)

Arrived Hobart, TAS, February 1853 (per Tasmania, from Melbourne) (shareable link to this entry)


The well-known English comic entertainer, songwriter, and composer, Charles Sloman, of The maid of Judah fame, was busily engaged in homeland Britain all through the calendar year 1853.

Who the Hobart Charles Sloman was, or whether it was even his real name, and whether he had in fact recently arrived from Melbourne, is unclear. Several of his co-performers were serving convicts, and perhaps he was also. He was probably not, however, the convict Charles Solomon, who was not issued his ticket-of-leave until July 1853.


[Advertisement], Hobarton Guardian, or, True Friend of Tasmania [Hobart, TAS] (5 February 1853), 2 

THE PROPRIETOR Of the above Fashionable place of Amusement respectfully intimates, to his numerous Patrons, that he has succeeded in engaging
MR. CHARLES SLOMAN, The Celebrated Comic Singer,
who has just arrived per Steam Ship "TASMANIA," From Melbourne, and will appear THIS EVENING!
SIGNOR TAMBURINI'S performance in conjunction with the only Novelty in Van Diemen's Land
No Charge Made for Admission! Commence at Eight o'clock.
JOSIAH HAND, PROPRIETOR. 5th February, 1853.

ASSOCIATIONS: Josiah Hand (proprietor)

[Advertisement], Hobarton Guardian, or, True Friend of Tasmania (16 February 1853), 2 

The numerous Visitors of this Fashionable place of Amusement, are informed, that a permanent engagement has been effected with that unrivalled Comic Singer,
MR. CHARLES SLOMAN, Whose Songs are nightly received with unbounded applause . . .
THE Hobart Town Serenaders Continue, as usual, to Sing their Favourite Melodies Every Evening, interspersed with New and Original Songs . . .

"ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE", Hobarton Guardian, or, True Friend of Tasmania (5 March 1853), 2 

SIR, - Have you lately visited the Melophonic Concert Rooms, at the "Waterman's Arms," Liverpool-street? If not, I pray you do so, and in the meantime I beg to acquaint you with the gratifying result at a visit made last evening . . . Of the general company who visit this place of amusement, I can only say, that I certainly did not at first anticipate so much decorous behaviour (as the admixture of grog, smoke, and music is scarcely reconcileable with the idea of a concert), yet from the corner I occupied I observed people of various grades appeared to come there to enjoy themselves rationally and innocently, intent upon whirling away the fatigues of the day, and allow thought to evaporate in dreamy flights, en mesure with the enlivening strains of music. Not a word was there uttered that would grate upon the ears of the most refined female, no case of drinking to excess, or of irregular conduct was there to be noticed. When looking towards the raised orchestra (which by the bye is neatly and appropriately decorated) I was phased to find that the proprietor appeared determined that, if expenditure would secure amusement, it should not be wanted at his establishment, and, acting upon this principle, had procured a magnificent rosewood pianoforte, performed upon by Mr. R. P. Crompton, whose musical talents are so deservedly well-known. Then comes the attraction - l'etoile, - Mr. T. Turner; as a violinist he is pleasing and of no mean order, possessing that ease and tact peculiar to first-rate musicians - as a violincello player he excels, while as a vocalist he will always ensure a cordial reception. Then comes Mr. Sloman - a really clever fellow; the veriest misanthrope would find himself elevated in his presence, and the hypochondriac would find it to his advantage to listen to this singer in lieu of having recourse to pills, &c. There are other performers whose talents while they are not so prominent are far from mediocre.
Mr. Editor, I pray you go, and confirm my impressions.
Yours, &c., ALPHA. March 3.

ASSOCIATIONS: Richard Pickering Crompton (musician); Thomas John Turner (musician)

[Advertisement], The Courier (7 May 1853), 3

JOSIAH HAND, the Proprietor, begs to intimate to his numerous supporters that it is his intention to
RE-OPEN the above named popular place of Recreation on MONDAY EVENING NEXT, with the following attractive
National Anthem - COMPANY.
Overture - Il Tancredi - FULL BAND.
Song - Come Brothers, arouse - MR. HAYWARD.
Trio Instrumental - Campagnoli - two violins and violoncello - MR. CROMPTON and Two gentlemen amateurs.
Trio Vocal - Lightly tread, with Pianoforte accompaniment - Messrs. TURNER, HAND, and Gentleman Amateur.
Song - Old Sexton (Russell) - Mr. HAND.
Comic Song - Mr. SLOMAN.
Finale to Part I - Banjo quadrilles - FULL BAND.
Overture - Figaro - FULL BAND.
Song - Ship on Fire (Russell) - MR. SMITH.
Comic Song - MR. SOMERVILLE.
Medley - composed for the occasion, comprising several popular melodies - FULL BAND.
Part III - A Grand [REDACTED] Concert.
Overture - La Dame Blanche - SERENADERS.
Belle of Tennessee - BONES.
History ob de World - TAMBO.
Life by de Galley Fire - SECOND BANJO.
The Ethiopian Dirge - TAMBO.
My [REDACTED] dear (original) - FIRST BANJO.
Uncle Ned, and paraphrase - TAMBO and BONES.
Grand Finale - Overture Lodoiska - SERENADERS . . .
The following are amongst the number of his Corps Musicale:
First Violin - MR. TURNER.
Bones - MR. HAYWARD.
Second Violin - MR. GRATTON.
Tamborine - MR. HILDER.
First Banjo - MR. SLOMAN.
Pianoforte - MR. CROMPTON.
Second Banjo - MR. SMITH.
Musical Director - MR. TURNER . . .


Musician, saxhorn player, violoncello player, cellist, instrumental teacher, vocalist, arranger, amateur (Sydney Philharmonic Society), pharmacist, inventor

Born Bath, Somerset, England, c. 1823; baptised Lyncombe and Widcombe, 17 July 1840 [sic]; son of John SLOPER (1787-1849) and Ann CHAMBERLAINE (c. 1784-1864)
Married (1) Sarah Peers DAYRELL (d. 1855), St. Peter, Bristol, 2 November 1852
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 6 April 1853 (per Elizabeth, from Bristol, 11 November 1852, via Melbourne, 31 March)
Married (2) Laura BURNELL (d. 1914), Bath, England, 17 October 1871
Died Kensignton, NSW, 19 May 1903 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

Frederick Sloper, Freeman Studio, Sydney, photographic studio portrait, c.1874-1908; State Library of New South Wales (DIGITISED)


Baptisms solemnized in the parish of Lyncombe & Widcombe in the county of Somerset in the year 1840; register 1837-51, page 63; Somerset Archives (PAYWALL)

No. 497 / 1840 July 17th / Frederick Evans [in left margin: "Adult"] / [son of] John & Ann Chamberlaine / Sloper / Forefield Place / gentleman / . . .

"PARTNERSHIPS DISSOLVED", Morning Chronicle (5 October 1850), 3 (PAYWALL)

William Glover Webb Freeman and Frederick Evans Sloper, of Tenby, Pembrokeshire, chemists.

1852, marriage solemnized at the Parish Church, in the parish of St. Peter . . . Bristol; register 1850-72, page 194; Bristol Archives  (PAYWALL)

No. 187 / November 2'd / Frederick Evans Sloper / 29 / Bachelor / Chemist / Union Street / [son of] John Sloper / Tanner
Sarah Peers Dayrell / 30 / Spinster / - / Clifton / [daughter of] Thomas Dayrell / Gentleman . . .

"MARRIAGES", Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette (11 November 1852), 3 (PAYWALL)

Nov. 2, at St. Peter's Church, Bristol, Mr. Frederick Evans Sloper, of this city, to Sarah Peers, third daughter of the late T. Deyrell, Esq., of Barbadoes.

Names and descrptions of passengers, per Elizabeth, from Bristol, 22 November 1852, for Sydney and Callao; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

Mr. & Mrs. Sloper / 33 [sic] / 29 / Gent. / Engl.

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVALS", Empire (7 April 1853), 2 

ARRIVALS. April 6. - Elizabeth, ship, 445 tons, Captain Erwin, from Bristol 11th November, Melbourne, 31st March. Passengers - Mr. and Mrs. Sloper . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 April 1853), 1

Open for the first time on MONDAY NEXT, April 25th, 1853. FOR ONE MONTH ONLY.
VOCALIST - MR. GREGG, Primo Basso, from the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
Pianoforte - Mr. Henry Marsh.
Bassoon - Mr. Winterbottom.
Violin - Mr. Tucker.
Contra Basso - Herr Elyer.
Flute - Mr. Richardson.
Sax Horn - M. Stople Evans.
CORNET a PISTONS - M. Henri Durant.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Winterbottom (conductor); John Gregg (vocalist); Henry Marsh (piano); Edward Tucker (violin); John James Mallcott Richardson (flute); Henri Durant (cornet)

[Advertisement], Empire (25 April 1853), 3

Overture - "Tancredi," Rossini
Quadrille - "Jetty Treffz," - Jullien
Song - "Simon the Cellarer," - Hatton - Mr. Gregg, his first appearance.
Valse - "Prima Donna," - Jullien - CORNET-A-PISTON OBLIGATO, Performed by M. Henri Durant.
Song - "Why do I weep for thee," Wallace, Mrs. Fiddes.
Galop - "Duke of Cambridge" - Ernesto - SOLO, CORNET-A-PISTON, M. Henri Durant.
New Irish Quadrille, "The Hibernians," Jullien - Composed expressly in honour of Her Majesty's visit to Ireland, with variations for Flute, M. Richardson, Cornet-a-Piston, M. H. Durant, and Sax Horn, M. Sloper Evans.
Song - "Paga Fin," - Winter - Mrs. Fiddes.
Valse - "D'Amour," - Koenig - With Duet for Cornet-a-Piston, M. H. Durant, and Sax Horn, M. Evans Sloper.
Solo - Bassoon - M. Winterbottom, as performed before Her Most Gracious Majesty at Windsor Castle, December 27th, 1851.
Polka - Drum - Jullien - As performed at Winterbottom's Promenade Concerts, Melbourne, for 100 Nights. Cornet Obligato, M. H. Durant. - The Drummers of the 11th Regiment under the direction of the Drum Major, by the kind permission of Colonel Bloomfield.
Conductor - M. Winterbottom . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Harriet Fiddes (vocalist); James Campbell (drum major, 11th Regiment); the concert was postponed to 26 April, as see below:

"PROMENADE CONCERT A LA JULLIEN", The Sydney Morning Herald (27 April 1853), 3 

A word of very cordial greeting to Mr. Winterbottom and his talented corps is all that our crowded space will allow this morning. The arrival of the Shamrock steamer having remedied the contretemps which compelled the postponement of the first concert from Monday until last evening, a crowded audience welcomed the company; and from first to last the warmest applause evinced the pleasure which their performances gave. The soli instrumentalists were Mr. Winterbottom, bassoon; Mr. H. Durant, cornet-a-piston; Mr. C. Dell Valle, violin; Mr. S. Evans, sax. horn; and Mr. Richardson, flute . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Felix Caranzani del Valle (violin)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 April 1853), 3 

THIS EVENING . . . PROGRAMME. PART I. Overture - "Tancredi," by desire, Rossini.
Valse - "Fairest of the Fair" - Introduction, Solo, Sax-horn, M. Evans Sloper - D'Albert . . .
PART II. New Irish Quadrille - "The Hibernians" Jullien . . . with variations for flute, M. Williams; Cornet a-Piston, M. H. Durant; and Sax Horn, M. Sloper Evans . . .

MUSIC: The fairest of the fair (valse a deux tems) (by Charles D'Albert)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 May 1853), 1 

MR. EVANS SLOPER has, at the request of several Musical Amateurs, made arrangements by which he is enabled to devote a few hours daily to teaching the Sax Horn, Cornopean, and Chromatic Trumpet.
Those gentlemen who wish to cultivate purity and quality of tone, so essential in accompanying the piano in chamber music, will find Mr. Sloper's method at once easy of acquirement and brilliant in effect; his system of double-tongueing on the Cornopean and Trumpet is now practised throughout Europe by most of the leading professors.
Address - Care of Messrs. H. Marsh and Co., Music Publishers, 400 1/2, George-street; or, D. Buist and Sons, 6, Bridge street.

"PROMENADE CONCERTS", The Sydney Morning Herald (10 May 1853), 2 

Last evening, his Excellency the Governor-General and suite, his Excellency the Governor of Singapore, and a numerous and fashionable audience, including the leading families in Sydney, honoured Mr. Winterbottom by their attendance at the Royal Hotel. The bassoon solo of Mr. Winterbottom; that on the cornet-à-piston, by Mr. Durant; on the violin, by Mr. E. Tucker; and on the sax horn by Mr. Evans, were eminently successful, and elicited warm encores.

[Advertisement], Empire (19 May 1853), 1 

PART I . . . Valse - The Bridal - Sax Horn Obligato, Mr. Evans Sloper - H. Marsh . . .
PART II . . . Solo, Sax Horn - Airs from Il Puritani, arranged expressly for this Concert - by Mr. Evans Sloper - Bellini . . .

MUSIC: The bridal waltz (by Henry Marsh)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (31 May 1853), 1 

INSTRUCTION in Sax-Horn and Cornopean Playing. -
Mr. EVANS SLOPER informs his pupils and friends that it is not his intention to leave Sydney, having made this city his permanent residence.
Letters, &c., to care of H. Marsh and Co., George-street, or D. Buist and Sons, Bridge-street.

[Advertisement], Empire (2 June 1853), 1 

ROYAL HOTEL. THIS EVENING. Most positively the Last Night of the SCOTTISH FESTIVAL . . .
PROGRAMME. PART I. Overture - Guy Mannering - Bishop.
Solo, Sax-Horn - Auld Robin Gray, second time of performance - M. Evans Sloper - Arranged expressly for this occasion - Blanlan [sic] . . .
PART II. Overture - Tancredi - Rossini . . .
Duet - What are the Wild Waves saying? - Arranged for Cornet-a-Piston and Tenor Sax-Horn, by M. Evans Sloper - Glover . . .

[Advertisement], Empire (21 June 1853), 1 

MADAME DE STORR Harpist to H. R. Highness the Duchess de Berry . . .
PROGRAMME. PART 1ST . . . Solo - Saxe-horn - Mr. Evans Sloper . . .
PART 2ND . . . Duet - Harp and saxe-horn, "Morceau par Bochsa" - Madame de Storr and Mr. E. Sloper . . .

"MADAME DE STORR'S CONCERT", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (25 June 1853), 2 

. . . Mr. Evans Sloper's masterly performance on the Saxe Horn elicited much and deserved applause . . .

"MADAME DE STORR'S CONCERT", The People's Advocate and New South Wales Vindicator (25 June 1853), 3 

. . . turned out a dull, lame, and spiritless affair. This, we are inclined to believe, arose partly from the unusual length of the performance, and also from the little judgment displayed in selecting the pieces composing it . . . The only parties who earned an encore were Madame Flower and Mr. Sloper Evans: the former, as an old established favorite . . . Mr. Sloper Evans was not less entitled to the warm and friendly reception he met with; at every appearance he seems to progress in public favour; we sincerely hope that he will experience still more substantial appreciation of his merits as an artist at his approaching benefit, which there is every reason to believe will be equally attractive to the admirers of L' Allegro and Il Penseroso, to the lovers of the serious and of the comic . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Madame de Storr (harpist); Sara Flower (vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 June 1853), 2 

To ensure parties who have purchased Box and Stall Tickets for the Grand Concert, this (Monday) Evening, having such Boxes and Stalls retained for them, Mr. SLOPER will attend personally (with efficient assistance) in the body of the Theatre, to conduct visitors to their seats.

In consequence of the great demand for tickets for this attractive entertainment, Mr. SLOPER has determined upon throwing open the Gallery of the Theatre.

Under the patronage of the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Sydney.
Overture - De Dame Blanche - Messrs. Rainer, White, Brower, Bryant, Foans, and Moran
Chorus - We're the Boys for Pleasure - Company.
Off for Baltimore (original) - Foans.
Belle of Tennessee - Moran.
Old Folks at Home - Brower.
See, Sir, See - La Sonnambula - Rainer
Dere He Goes, and Dat's Him - Moran
Virginia Rosebud (or Lost Child) - White
Swiss Refrain, with Tyrolean Imitations by Foans - Brower
Grand Finale - Phantom Chorus - La Sonnambula - Company
[A few Minutes' Interval for Change of Costume.]
Solo - Flutina - Bryant
Song - Ben Bolt, with Banjo Accompaniment - White
Solo - Characteristique Banjo - Moran
Piano Accompanyist and Conductor - Mr. J. Howson.
Glee - Norse Melody - Norwegian National - Miss Flora Harris, Mr. F. Howson, Mr. J. Howson, and Mr. Evans Sloper
Duett - Deh Conte - Norma - Cornopean and Horn - Mr. A. Durant [sic] and Evans Sloper
Song (second time of performance) - When we recall those Happy Scenes - Balfe - Mr. J. Howson
Descriptive Song, Man the Life Boat - Henry Russell - Mr. Evans Sloper
Duett - Grand Scena, from Opera Matilda - W. V. Wallace - Miss Flora Harris and Mr. Frank Howson
Solo - Saxe Horn - The Light of Other Days - Balfe - Mr. Evans Sloper
Song - The Grecian Daughter's War Song - J. M. Harris - Miss Flora Harris
Grand Scena - Opera of Nino - Verdi - Mr. F. Howson
Buffo Song- Matrimony - John Parry - Mr. John Howson
Glee - Forresters, Sound the Cheerful Horn - Ensemble
Grand Performance upon the National Instrument of Tyrol, in full national costume, THE ZEITER, As played before Her Majesty Queen Victoria, August 7, 1852 - M. Rahm
After which (first time of performance) the Celebrated Negro Opera
OH HUSH! or NEGRO ASSURANCE, with New Scenery, Decorations, &c., &c. [by Rainer's Serenaders, as above] . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Flora Harris (vocalist); Frank Howson (vocalist); John Howson (vocalist); Veit Rahm (musician, zither player); Rainer's Serenaders (troupe)

"MR. EVANS SLOPER'S CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (27 June 1853), 2

This evening, this accomplished musician, of whose masterly performances on that difficult instrument the Saxe-horn, we have spoken of during the brief season of Mr. Winterbottom's concerts, gives a grand concert at the Royal Victoria Theatre. The programme includes an unusually varied selection . . .

"MR. EVANS SLOPER'S CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (28 June 1853), 2 

We are afraid that the inclement weather was prejudicial to the full success of Mr. Sloper last evening, but a fashionable, albeit not a numerous, audience greeted him. The chief novelty of the evening was the appearance of M. Rham, a Tyrolese minstrel, who introduced for the first time to a Sydney audience the zither, the national instrument of the Tyrol. The approbation and the surprise of the audience at the extraordinary effects produced were evinced by a double encore . . . Prominent among the morceaux given last evening was the duetto "Deh Conte," from Bellini's Norma, rendered on the saxhorn and cornet-a-piston by Mr. Sloper and Mr. Durant . . .

"CONCERTS", Bell's Life in Sydney (2 July 1853), 2

On Monday last, Mr. Evans Sloper, the celebrated Saxe-horn player, gave a concert at the Victoria Theatre. The night was unfortunately most unpropitious, from the continued heavy weather; and the Masonic taking place the same evening, was much against the success that was as equally merited as hoped for. The performance was certainly not worthy of the praise given by our contemporary, the Herald, especially as the two choice morceaux that his Critic was enraptured with were not given at all; par example, the duett "Deh Conte," by the Cornet and Saxe-horn. Rainer's Serenaders were the main feature of the entertainment, and the audience went home full of laughter, at their amusing afterpiece of "[REDACTED] Assurance."

[2 advertisements], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 August 1853), 2 

THE following are the regularly appointed Agents, from whom the genuine Medicines may be obtained . . . Sydney . . . Mr. F. E. Sloper, Druggist, William-street . . .

ROWLAND'S MACASSAR OIL . . . Sold by . . . Mr. F. Sloper, Chemist and Druggist, William-street, Woolloomooloo . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 November 1853), 2 

BALM OF ROSEMARY, the acknowledged best preparation in the colonies, for strengthening and preserving the hair, in bottles at 3s. 6d., 6s. 6d., 10s., and 20s., by FREDERICK E. SLOPER, (from Savory and Moore's, London,) Chemist, Woolloomooloo Dispensary. Agents - Messrs. Woolcott and Clarke, and Mr. Larmer, George-street; Mr. Haslam, Chemist, South Head Road.

"DIED", Empire (31 March 1855), 4 

On the 29th instant, Sarah Peers, wife of Mr. F. E. Sloper, William-street, Woolloomooloo.

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (5 December 1855), 5 

Despite the unfavourable state of the weather, there was a very respectable meeting of the lovers of music at the Royal Hotel, on Monday evening last to witness the exhibition of the fifth concert of the season of the Philharmonic Society, of Sydney, several families having come in from the country for that purpose. The performances consisted of "Rossini's Overture, to Semiramide," "Beethoven's Symphony Allegro, No. 3," [correctly, No. 5] and Auber's magnificent "Overture Diaman's De La Coroune," by the whole of the instrumental strength of the society, and at which we were highly delighted to see so much effective amateur talent, requiring only as far as we could perceive, a little more animation diffused into the performances by the conductor, to enable the gentlemen amateurs of the society to arrive at perfection . . . Mr. Sloper gave a Saxe Horn solo from the Messiah, "But thou didst not leave," &c., with most delightful effect, and on being encored, Mr. S. favoured the audience with Handel's lovely little melody, "How beautiful are the Feet" . . . The Philharmonic Society is most respectably conducted, and any gentleman or lady joining it may be proud of their membership.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Stier (conductor); Sydney Philharmonic Society (group)

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY. ROUGH MEMS. BY OUR MUSICAL CRITIC. - 1st. April, 1856", The People's Advocate and New South Wales Vindicator (5 April 1856), 3 

. . . 5. - Solo, Sax-horn - "Oh! so gently" [Bellini, Sonnambula]. This was played by Mr. Evans Sloper, and was rendered with that exquisite, tact and taste which distinguishes this gentleman's solos. It was most deservedly applauded . . .

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (22 July 1857), 5 

No one who was present at the "second concert of the season," on Monday evening, can assert, with any truth, that Sydney people are not lovers of music, for, in spite of the very great attraction of the opera, the concert hall was crowded to the door . . . The overture by Romberg, "Don Mendoza," commenced the programme . . . Mehul's simple but effective overture "Les Deux Aveugles" opened the second part . . . The saxe-horn solo succeeded the glee, and we can safely say we never heard it played better, or better played by the performer on Monday evening. The instrument, this time, was in perfect time with the piano. Mendelssohn's ponderously magnificent march from "Athalie" . . . was very well executed, wanting, perhaps, only a larger number of violins, concluded a most satisfactory concert.

"SYDNEY VOCAL HARMONIC SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (23 December 1858), 5 

A MEETING was held, at the Castlereagh-street Schoolroom, on Tuesday evening, formally to inaugurate the above society . . . The chair was taken by Mr. Charles Nathan, F.R.C.S., at a few minutes past 8 o'clock, when, after a few remarks as to the labours of the sub-committee in revising the rules, which had been compared with those of the Sacred Harmonic Society of London and the Philharmonic Society of Sydney, he called on Mr. Dyer to read the rules for the approval of the meeting . . . Mr. SLOPER seconded the appointment of Mr. Nathan as President, and the motion was carried with applause. Mr. Hurford was elected treasurer, Mr. Dyer secretary of the society, and the following gentlemen as committee-men for the year 1859: Rev. W. Cuthbertson, Messrs. D. Dickson, J. Dyer, M. Fitzpatrick, Rev. H. J. Hose, Messrs. H. R. Hurford, J. Johnson, R. Johnson, W. J. Johnson, J. V. Lavers, W. Macdonnell, W. McDonnell, J. Martin, F. L. S. Merewether, (Nathan, F. E. Sloper, Rev. G. H. Stanley, Messrs. F. M. Stokes, J. Waller, Rev. W. H. Walsh, Messrs. W. Wilkins, C. H. Woolcott . . . and the meeting, which was numerously attended by many professional as well as amateur musicians, was concluded.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Nathan (president); Sydney Vocal Harmonic Society (group)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 March 1859), 1 

THIS DAY, 17th March, 1859, for the BENEFIT of the ASYLUM FOR DESTITUTE CHILDREN, Randwick . . .
PROGRAMME. PART I. 1. OVERTURE. - Gluck, arranged by - I. Nathan . . .
PART II . . . 5. SOLO - SAXHORN - Mr. SLOPER . . .

"CONCERT FOR THE DESTITUTE CHILDREN'S SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 March 1859), 8 

This concert . . . was given yesterday afternoon, at the Prince of Wales Theatre . . . the array of musical talent in the programme, favoured too, perhaps, by a general half holiday, attracted a very large and respectable audience, completely filling the spacious building . . . The objects of the charity, numbering altogether about 160 children, seated in the centre of the stage (who have been gratuitously taught singing by Mr. Nathan), sang two or three pieces, one of which, "The Urchin's Dance," was loudly cheered and encored by the audience . . . the services of Mr. Nathan being chiefly confined to the pianoforte . . . the services of Mr. Packer at the organ, and the performance of Mr. Sloper on the Sax-horn, and of some gentlemen amateurs were evidently appreciated . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Isaac Nathan (piano accompanist); Charles Packer (organ)

"THE CONCERT AT THE AUSTRALIAN LIBRARY", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 December 1864), 4 

The concert on Tuesday evening last, in aid of the Building Fund of St. Peter's Church, at Watson's Bay, which took place in the hall of the Australian Library in Bent-street, was in a pecuniary and musical sense a success. The audience was very large, and the programme on the whole so well performed as to give general satisfaction. The arrangements ware under the management of a committee of gentlemen with Mr. Sloper, a talented amateur musician, at their head, and several professional and amateur musicians gave their gratuitous services in aid of the desirable object for which the concert was organized, as also a lady who lately arrived in Australia, Signora Valera - who possesses a well cultivated voice - and the announcement of whose debut in Sydney no doubt added to the attractions of the programme. The first part opened with Haydn's instrumental symphony, No. 8, which was admirably performed by seven gentlemen on violins, violincello, flute, and pianoforte . . . To Mr. Sloper, and those gentlemen who acted with him, unqualified praise is due for having successfully attained the twofold object of providing an evening's entertainment of a very agreeable kind, and adding considerably to the fund for liquidating the debt on the Watson's Bay Church.

ASSOCIATIONS: Senora de Valera (vocalist)

"MARRIAGES", Evening News (28 December 1871), 2 

On the 17th October, at Bath (England), by the Rev. Mr. Sprowle, F. E. Sloper, Esq., to Laura, eldest daughter of H. C. Burnell, Esq., Clapton, Sydney.

"MUSIC. TO THE EDITOR"', The Sydney Morning Herald (25 March 1887), 11 

. . . In enumerating some of the musical lights of the Philharmonic and of musical society a quarter of a century ago, I might have mentioned a few other names. Madame Rawack, née Amalia Mauthner, of Vienna, a highly gifted German pianiste, who was for a long time the soloist of the society; Mr. W. E. Slosser (still, if I mistake not, living with us), an amateur violoncello soloist of no mean powers . . .

"MUSIC. TO THE EDITOR"', The Sydney Morning Herald (28 March 1887), 5 

Sir, - Will you permit me to correct an important typographical error in my letter on the above subject in Friday's issue? The name of the amateur violoncellist alluded to therein by me should be "Mr. F. E. Sloper" . . .

"DEATHS", The Australian Star (20 May 1903), 4 

SLOPER. - May 19, at his residence, Kensington, in his 80th year, Frederick Evans Sloper.

[News], Australian Town and Country Journal (21 May 1903), 7 

Mr. Frederick Evans Sloper, M.P.S., the well-known chemist and druggist of Oxford-street, Sydney, died at his residence, Sloper-street, Kensington, last week, at the advanced age of 80 years. The deceased gentleman, who was a native of Bath, England, came to Sydney in 1852, and commenced business in Woolloomooloo the following year. After a trip to the old country, he established himself in business in Oxford street in 1873, where he remained up to the time of his death.

Bibliography & resources:

Geoff Miller, "Uncle Robert's medicine chest", Pharmacy History Australia 3/30 (November 2006), 6-7 

SMALES, Joseph Thomas (Joseph Thomas SMALES; J. T. SMALES; SMAILES)

Amateur musician, pupil of Joseph Reichenberg, clerk, solicitor

Born c. 1819; son of Joseph Holbert SMALES (1794-1870) and Mary Elizabeth NEALE (d. 1870)
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 15 July 1832 (per Norval, from London, January, and Cork, 13 February)
Married Mary Ann ROBERTS, St. David's, Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 4 April 1844
Died (on board the Sword Fish), Melbourne, VIC, 3 May 1853, aged "35" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Baptisms solemnized in the parish of St. Dunstan, Stepney, in the county of Middlesex in the year 1819; register 1816-26, page 63; London Metropolitan Archives (PAYWALL)

[1819 January] 31 Born 12 Sept'ber 1818 / Joseph Thomas / Son of / Joseph Holbert & Mary Elizabeth / Smales / [illeg.] / Excise Officer . . .

Letter, to George Arthur, lieutenant governor, Hobart Town, from Downing Street, London, 23 January 1832; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1535418; GO3/1/1 p. 35$init=G03-1-1P020JPG (DIGITISED)

Sir, I have the honour to request that you will cause to be paid to Mr. Matthew Cowling Friend the Commander of the Ship Norval, the sum of £20 on account of Joseph Holbert Smales, who is proceeding to Van Diemens land on board of that vessel. Joseph H. Smales is a Sail Maker, aged 36, and it is understood he will [verso] be accompanied to the colony by the following family:
Wife - aged 30 yrs / Joseph Thomas Smales - 13 / Charles Robert - 10 1/2 / Emma Margaret - 7 1/2 / Holbert John - 1 . . .

"TRADE AND SHIPPING", The Hobart Town Courier (20 July 1832), 2 

Arrived on Sunday the 15th, inst., the bark Norval, 295 tons, H. M. Friend, Esq. R. N. Commander, from London and Cork 13th Feb. with a general cargo. Passengers . . . Mr. and Mrs. Smalls [sic] and 4 children . . .

"ADJOURNED QUARTER SESSIONS. Wednesday, December 23, 1835", Colonial Times (29 December 1835), 8 

Robert Huthaway stood charged with stealing a parcel containing Bank notes and cash, the property of his master Robert Pitcairn, Esq., Solicitor, in Davey-street . . .
Joseph Thomas Smailes, being sworn, said, I am a clerk to Mr. Stanley, and on the 4th of November, about half-past three o'clock in the afternoon, I received from Mr. Stanley a packet, with directions to take it to Mr. Pitcairn's office . . . Cross-examined by Mr. Horne for the prisoner. - I received the packet at half-past three o'clock; left the office at four. Went up Bathurst-street, into Murray-street, then into Liverpool-street, and passed the Government Mill to Mr. Reichenberg's . . . nor did I then pass on to Mr. Pitcairn's, but went first to Mr. Reichenberg's, where I stayed one hour, and took a lesson in music . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Reichenberg (musician)

1844, marriages in the district of Hobart; Tasmanian names index;$init=RGD37-1-3P275 (DIGITISED)

1078 / 4th April 1844 St. David's Hobart Town / Joseph Thomas Smales / 25 years / Solicitor / . . . Bachelor
Mary Ann Roberts / 23 years / Spinster . . .

Joseph Thomas Smales, will, 1853; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:640075; AD960/1/3$init=AD960-1-3-495_1 (DIGITISED)

"DEATHS", Launceston Examiner (7 May 1853), 5 

On Tuesday morning, May 3rd, 1853, on board the Sword Fish, Joseph Thomas Smales, attorney, of Hobart Town, after lingering illness.


Comedian, delineator, actor, bass vocalist, buffo singer, comic singer, balladist, songwriter

Born England, c. 1831/32
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 1836
Died at sea near Hong Kong, 15 December 1874 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Thatcher (vocalist); Edward Salamon (pianist); Nathan family (entertainers, vocalists); Carandini family (vocalists)

Joe Small, c. 1860s (photo: Bartlett and Co., Auckland); National Library of New Zealand

Joe Small, c. 1860s (photo: Bartlett and Co., Auckland); National Library of New Zealand (DIGITISED)


[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser [Beechworth, VIC] (20 January 1855), 2 supplement 

MR. JOSEPH SMALL is appointed agent at the Nine-mile Creek for the Advertiser. Any subscribers who have not received their copies (in consequence of the errors made by the late canvasser, Mr. Ellar, are requested to communicate with Mr. Small, at the Gold Diggers' Arms Hotel.
F. H. NIXON & Co., Proprietors.

ASSOCIATIONS: Julius Henry Eller [sic] (amateur vocalist)

"PATRIOTIC FUND", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (31 March 1851), 4 

The concert in aid of this fund came off at the Beechworth Assembly Rooms, on Monday evening, the 26th inst., but was not so well at tended as we could have wished, considering the object for which it was given . . . The performance, we have much pleasure in stating, was very good. The "Fortunate Man" was very well supported by Mr. Small, who really displayed great talent in comic singing; and great praise is due to the whole company . . .

[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (21 April 1855), 5 

SALLE DE VALENTINO, Beechworth Hotel.
MESSRS. LANGFORD & ATKINSON beg to acquaint the Public of Beechworth and the vicinity that a
FREE AND EASY will be held in the above place of amusement
This Evening, and continued every Saturday Evening.
The Talented Instrumentalists, Messrs. Griffith and Zeplin, will perform on the Violin and Harp.
The Chair to be taken at eight, by Mr. Small.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Griffith (violin); George Frederick Zeplin (harp)

"SALLE DE VALENTINO", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (5 May 1855), 4 

The concert, postponed from Saturday last, came off at the above establishment, as announced, on Tuesday evening, and was, we are happy to state, very fairly attended. The performance was really very good, certainly superior to anything that has hitherto been offered to the Beechworth public. The violin solos were excellent, and the singing very fair. The great song of the evening was 'Billy Barlow's Account of the Beechworth Assize Ball,' which was sung with great spirit by Mr. Small, in which there were some capital hits, the best at a certain M.L.C. and the Session Judge (both of whom had honoured the said ball with their presence), punning upon the name of the former. We hope that we may have more entertainments of this nature, and that they may meet with the encouragement they deserve. The veritable "Billy Barlow" has now arrived in Beechworth, and will perform this Evening (Saturday), at the Salle de Valentino, when we have no doubt he will have a crowded house.

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Barlow (comic singer and instrumentalist)

[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (12 May 1855), 1 

Salle de Valentino, Beechworth Hotel.
BARLOW'S BENEFIT, On Saturday Next, May 12, on which occasion a host of talent will appear, comprising the following gentlemen,
Messrs. BARLOW, SMALL, BRICE, ZEPLIN, GRIFFITHS, ELLAR, and SOUTTEN, being their first appearance together as
The American Minstrels, introducing a variety of Songs, Glees, Chorusses, Catches, &c.
New Puns, Dances, Witticisms, Plantation Jigs & Local Songs.
In the course of the evening, Messrs. Barlow & Soutten will appear in a comic sketch (first time), entitled,
The Black Recruit; OR, Volunteers for the Russian War.
BARLOW'S Multifarious Performances on the Pianoforte, Violin, Scotch Fiddle, Guitar, Banjo, Rock Harmonicon, Gridiron, Concertina, Flute, Bone Castanets, with that most pathetic and heart-stirring melody of "Pop goes the Weasel" on a Kitchen Bellows, as was (not) performed by him before Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace.
Mr. J. BRICE, the celebrated negro delineator, as the "Laughing Jackass."
Mr. GRIFFITHS will perform a Violin Solo, founded on popular airs.
Mr. ZEPLIN, the talented Harpist, will perform a Solo in the course of the evening.
Trickery on one and two Violins by Messrs. BARLOW and GRIFFITHS.
Mr. ELLAR will sing several well-known Ballads.
Mr. SMALL in some of his characteristics.
Mr. F. M. SOUTTEN will appear as the new member for Beechworth.
Doors to open at seven o'clock; performance to commence at eight precisely.
Admission-Reserved Seats, 7s. 6d.; Back Seats, 5s.

ASSOCIATIONS: Frank M. Soutten (comedian)

"Poetry. ORIGINAL AND SELECTED. THE GRAND ASSIZE BALL", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (19 May 1855), 7 

When a man takes to rhyming he cannot but choose
To solicit the aid of some good-natured muse;
So casting about me, in order to find
Which, of all the nine sisters, would prove the most kind,
I've selected Terpsichore, gayest of all.
As a subject I've chosen the Grand Assize Ball . . .

The room was soon filled, and at once every man
The joys of the 'mazy' in earnest began;
While music and dancing and flirting unite
To thrill every nerve with extatic delight;
All Beechworth was there, rich and poor, great and Small.
(The latter made rhymes on the Grand Assize Ball) . . .

"ANOTHER CONCERT", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (19 May 1855), 4 

Our columns of this week contain the announcement of another grand Concert, at the Salle de Valentino, for Saturday, (this) Evening. The concert is for the benefit of Mr. Small, whose well known talents, as a comic singer, have justly entitled him to the favourable consideration of the Beechworth public. On this occasion, we understand that several original local comic ditties are to be sung for the first time; and, as the advertisement sets forth, 'all the available talent of Beechworth will appear!' We have heard that Mr. Small is likely to quit in a short time, the scene of his first triumphs to court the applause of the Melbourne cognoscenti; if this be true, it is probable that a very large house may reward the exertions of one who certainly has done much towards dissipating the ennui of our little community.

[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (19 May 1855), 7

SALLE DE VALENTINO. Ford-street, Beechworth.
GRAND CONCERT on Saturday, May 19th, FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR. SMALL, Comic Vocalist at the above place.
MR. S., in making this, his first appeal to his friends and the public of Beechworth and its vicinity, does so, hoping to meet with that patronage and support which, during his stay amongst them, it has ever been his study to deserve.
All the available talent of Beechworth will appear.
In the course of the evening several New and Local Songs will be sung.
Mr. Small, in a new version of 'BILLY BARLOW,' will return thanks in most pathetic terms to all who may favour him with their patronage on this occasion.
Doors open at half-past 7, to commence at 8. Admission, 5s.

"MUSICAL P. P. C.", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (26 May 1855), 4 

The talented BARLOW, in company with his interesting brother 'Billy' (Mr. Small), and his man Friday, of vocal, instrumental, and pedestrian notoriety, has announced his intention of quitting the 'gay and festive scene,' in the course of a few days; and gives, previous to his departure, two farewell concerts at the Salle de Valentino; the last of which will take place this (Saturday) evening. We should strongly recommend all those who have not yet heard Mr. Barlow's varied performances to avail themselves of the present opportunity. It is, we understand Mr. Barlow's intention to pay Albury a visit.

[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (26 May 1855), 6 

MUSIC SALOON, El Dorado Hotel, High-street, Beechworth.
Grand Concert Of Vocal and Instrumental Music, under the patronage of
R. O'H. BURKE, ESQ., J.P., And the Stewards of the Races.
On Monday, May 28th, 1855, For the benefit of Messrs. Peck and Saqui.
THE following professionals and amaters [sic] have kindly offered their valuable services, and will during the evening sing and perform a choice collection of the most popular Overtures, Solos, Duets, Chorusses, Fantasias, &c., &c.:
Signor Rangoni, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Ellar, Mr. Small, Mr. Geo. Smith, Mr. Peter Bruce, Mr. Hewitt, Mr. Hurley, Herr Schmidt,
In addition to Messrs. Peck and Saqui . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Peck (violin); Austin Saqui (piano); Robert O'Hara Burke (patron); Peter Bruce (bagpiper); Herr Schmidt (violinist); Antonio Rangoni (trombone)

"MR. SMALL'S BENEFIT", Bendigo Advertiser (5 September 1855), 3

On Wednesday evening Mr. Small - better known as Billy Barlow, or the "Unfortunate Man" - took his benefit at the Royal Hotel concert hall, at which place he has been engaged for some time. He was not unfortunate that evening, however, as the room was crowded, if not crammed, with his admiring friends. The singing was varied and amusing. The monster song of "Billy Barlow" was, as expected, one of the principal features in the evening's entertainment. Mrs. Mitchell, Mrs. Bourne, and Miss Lewis sang songs; the latter lady was encored three times. Mr. Salaman presided at the piano, and during intervals delighted the audience with some of his best pieces . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward and Annie Lewis Salamon (piano, vocalist); Madelina Mitchell (vocalist); Georgina Sturges Bourne (vocalist)

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (5 September 1855), 3 

PRINCESS'S THEATRE. Benefit and Last Appearance of MR. COLEMAN.
THIS EVENING (Wednesday), 5th SEPTEMBER . . . .
And, by the kind permission of Mr. Hemingway, MISS ANNIE LEWIS, MR. SMALL, Will introduce two of their favorite songs . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: B. J. Coleman (actor)

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (22 September 1855), 3 

Engagement for this Night, Only of the well-known DOUGLASS FAMILY, From the Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Geelong Theatres . . .
Continued Success OF MISS ANNIE LEWIS, The Australian Nightingale.
Unparalleled- Success OF MR. SMALL, Author of those Inimitable Comic Songs - The Fortunate and Unfortunate Man, and the local paraphrase of Billy Barlow, In which he describes Men and Manners; Courts, Local and Supreme; Councils of War and Legislation; Diggers and Quartz Reefers; Magistrates and Potentates; Publicans, Wardens, and Musicians; Barristers, Solicitors, and Quakers; Settlers, Inspectors, and Surveyors, in fact, to attempt a description would be almost as great a farce as the Extravaganza itself . . .
MR. SPENCER REEVES Will sing the Original Songs of the Battle of the Alma, Australia for Ever, and the Allied Army.
MR. SALAMAN, The Eminent Pianist, will preside at the Piano . . .
R. HEMINGWAY, Proprietor.

ASSOCIATIONS: Douglass family (entertainers)

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (6 October 1855), 3

Engagement of Mr. CUMMINS, The celebrated Tenor Singer.
Continued Success of Miss ANNIE LEWIS.
Mr. SMALL; Our Local Billy Barlow, Will Sing New Verses on New Subjects, ahd his Incomparable Songs,
THE DOUGLASS FAMILY will also appear in ETHIOPIAN CHARACTER, With New Songs and Conundrums.

"Jones's Concert Room", Mount Alexander Mail [Castlemaine, VIC] (11 April 1856), 5 

We recommend all our readers, who wish to enjoy a hearty genuine laugh, to visit Mr. Jones's Concert Room, at the "Albert," and witness Mr. Small's exquisitely comical delineation of the joys and sorrows of the "fortunate and the "unfortunate man." Mr. Small possesses an immense fund of humourous talent, and we cannot use too strong terms in its commendation. As an improvisatore, Mr. Small exhibited great cleverness, introducing local allusions with facility and clever aptitude . . .

"Mr. Small's Benefit", Mount Alexander Mail (13 May 1856), 2 

Mr. Small, who, as we can honestly say, has contributed very greatly to the amusement of her Majesty's lieges in Castlemaine during the last two months, took his benefit at the Albert hotel last evening, prior to his departure for Kangaroo, where he is to make his appearance at the Bull and Mouth hotel, on Wednesday evening . . .

[Advertisement], The Star [Ballarat, VIC] (9 August 1856), 1 

Charlie Napier Assembly Rooms:
THE Proprietors have much pleasure in stating that they have engaged the following talented company, who will appear every evening until further notice:-
The Chambers Family, In their favorite Ballet Dances.
Messrs. Dehrang & Stebbing, In their wonderful Gymnastic performances.
Signor Pietro Canna Will play "The Fall of Sebastopol" on Twenty Drums.
Paltzer's Celebrated Band, Composed of the twelve first Musicians in the Colony.
Change of Programme every Evening. Ball at Half-past Nine.
Admission - Saloon 1s.; Boxes, 2s. 6d. G. LOVETT, M.C.

ASSOCIATIONS: Madame Leon Naej (vocalist); Joseph Chambers (dancer) and family; Pietro Canna (drummer); Jacques Paltzer (violin, leader); Charlie Napier Hotel (Ballarat)

"DAYLESFORD (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT) Nov. 17, 1856", Mount Alexander Mail (21 November 1856), 4 

. . . Then, again, we have a new erection for the purposes of amusement, at the Golden Age, Spring Creek, the proprietor of which, Mr. Hutton, has spared no expense to make the establishment worthy of public patronage. On Saturday, Nov. 8th Monday, 10th, Tuesday, 11th, and Wednesday, 12th, the inimitable Barlow appeared in the splendid assembly room of the hotel . . . The place was literally crammed on each night of the performance. The audience excited by recollections of home, showered upon Barlow unbounded applause. The "Unfortunate Man," by Mr. Small, elicited universal approbation . . .

"PEDESTRIANISM", Bendigo Advertiser (25 January 1858), 3

A foot race, which occasioned very considerable excitement in the locality, came off at Eaglehawk, on Thursday afternoon, between "Billy Rowe," the White Horse Pet, and "Joe Small," the Imperial Poet. The distance was from the Camp Hotel, Eaglehawk, to the White Horse Hotel, California Gully, a distance of one mile and a quarter. The betting was even at starting. The signal being given, the Poet took the lead, which he kept throughout the race, until on arriving at the crossing place California Gully, which is within fifty yards of the winning post, he fell in a fainting fit, and was carried to his quarters much exhausted. The pet thus won the race. The distance was done in 6 minutes.

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (5 March 1858), 3

BENEFIT and last appearance but one of MR. W. WHITE, (Formerly of Rainer's Serenades.)
The following Gentlemen have kindly volunteered their valuable services . . .
Mr. J. Small, the celebrated characteristic and local Singer, who on this occasion will sing, for the first time, his new song on the "Mining Board Election" . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: M. W. White (minstrel, serenader)

"LYCEUM THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (16 September 1858), 3

. . . The singing (in character) of "The Unfortunate Man," "The Bold Soldier Boy," &c., by Mr. Small, was received with most vociferous applause and roars of laughter. An additional verse, with reference to the late war in India, was well received. In this gentleman we recognise a very good substitute for Thatcher.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Thatcher (comic vocalist, songwriter)

"LYCEUM THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (29 November 1858), 3

This place of amusement was very well filled on Saturday night, the idea of the proprietor charging for admission by a shilling ticket, returnable in refreshments, appearing to be a taking one. Indeed the amusements provided are well worth the charge, independent of any return. Miss Urie was in excellent voice, and sang selections from the minstrelsy of Scotland in a style that called forth repeated encores. Thatcher introduced some clever, original, travestying words and airs of popular songs in the freest and easiest of styles . . . Mr. Small, who has become as great a favorite here as any comic singer we have had on Bendigo, was encored and re-encored in his humorous singing. A character song which he introduced, called the "Fortunate Man" in contra-distinction to the "Unfortunate Man," which he also sang, was most vehemently applauded. It contains some clever and original notions, and may be called a decided hit. Mr. Leeman sang capitally . . . Mr. Salamon on the piano, and Mr. J. Kohler on the cornet-a-piston were most effective in the orchestral department.

ASSOCIATIONS: Louisa Urie (vocalist); Frederick Leeman (vocalist); John Wildblood Kolher (cornet)

"'THEATRICALS AND MUSIC . . . ARARAT", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (10 December 1859), 2 

At the Shamrock, Madame Leon Naej, Madame Strebinger, and the Worrell family have been re-engaged for a short period. On the occasion of Mr. Small's benefit, he gave two silver cups to the perpetrators of the best conundrums. He realised a bumper.

ASSOCIATIONS: Therese Strebinger (dancer); Worrell sisters (dancers)

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC . . . COPPIN'S APOLLO MUSIC HALL', Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (12 July 1862), 2 

. . . The Hall was opened on Saturday evening . . . Madame Carandini, who was warmly received, executing "Tacea la Notte' in splendid style . . . Mr. Loder, Mr. F. Coppin, and Mr. Creed Royal, were the principal instrumentalists . . . Mr. Barlow, whose clever performance on the violin, wood harmonicon, banjo, and bones, were as highly relished in the pre-Adamite era as they are today, and Mr. John Small [sic], a more modern but not less successful aspirant for popular favour. Mr. Barlow's reminiscences of Melbourne as it was ten years ago, and Mr. Small's account of the late volunteer review, were among the gems of the concert . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Maria Carandini (vocalist); George Loder (pianist); Frederick Coppin (violin); Creed Royal (flute)

"NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIAN SONGSTER", Wellington Independent (13 March 1866), 5

We (Lyttelton Times,) have received a small pamphlet, written by Mr. Smnll, the comic vocalist, and published at the office of the Evening Mail. It contains an account of his adventures on the Victorian goldfields, extracted from his diary. Some of the sketches of Colonial life and experience are curious and interesting. The brochure concludes with a reprint of some of Mr. Small's popular songs. The best of them are those delineating Irish character, and, as might be expected, the author, like a genuine Emeralder, has omitted his first and best song, "The "Unfortunate Man."

[News], New Zealand Herald (14 April 1866), 5

WE have to acknowledge the receipt of Mr. J. Small's "New Zealand and Australian Songster," a collection of comic songs written and sung by Mr. Small, amongst which our readers may be sure is "The Unfortunate Man," a song, as Mr. Small tells us in the brief but interesting biographical sketch with which he introduces his little book, which was written after an unsuccessful prospecting trip towards the Blue Mountains at the head of the Ovens.

[News], The Brisbane Courier (24 August 1866), 2

WE have received a copy of the "New Zealand and Australian Songster," a collection of comic songs, written and sung by Mr. J. Small, an Irish comedian and vocalist; and published by Messrs. Tribe, Mosley, and Caygill, of Christchurch. Mr. Small appears to have visitod most of the principal towns and diggings in New Zealand and the Australian colonies; and to have composed his songs from incidents that occurred to his own observation. There is not much variety in the collection, but the songs contain a considerable amount of humor. In the form of an introduction to the work, Mr. Small gives extracts from his diary on the Australian gold-fields, furnishing a brief account of his experiences, and interspersing the narrative with a number of anecdotes. The publication is a modest but interesting and creditable contribution to the literature of Australia.

"METROPOLITAN THEATER", Sacramento Daily Union [California, USA] (14 February 1871), 3 

The Carandini troupe made their first appearance before a Sacramento public last evening at the Metropolitan, rendering a fine operatic and ballad entertainment to a small but appreciative audience. Owing to the indisposition of Madame Carandini she was unable to appear, but a very attractive programme was given nevertheless. The sisters Rosina and Fanny have excellent voices, well cultivated, and sing with taste and expression. Walter Sherwin, the tenor, has a pleasing voice, and renders the ladies effective support. Last, but not least in the matter of furnishing pleasure and amusement to an audience, is the comic genius of the troupe, J. Small, who sings well and has unbounded control of his facial muscles, which he exercises with irresistible effect. The audience last evening expressed their gratification with the entertainment by most liberal applause and several encores. To-night a change of programme will be given, and lovers of music who attend may be assured of receiving quite a treat.

[News], The Brisbane Courier (7 August 1873), 2

WE have had no reason to complain of the dearth of amusements in Brisbane lately . . . and now we have a new troupe, which opened last night for the first time, entitled "The Royal Magnet Variety Troupe." The chief attraction is Lottie, a female gymnast . . . Amongst the other members of the company are Lydia Howarde and Joe Small, the former a charming singer well known in the colonies, the latter, Joe Small, the inimitable, whose powers as a sense comic vocalist are very generally known . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Lydia Howarde, stage name of Annie Day (Mrs. Charles Thatcher) (vocalist)

"DEATH OF A WELL-KNOWN PROFESSIONAL", The Sydney Morning Herald (3 February 1875) 5

The Hongkong Times of December 17 contains a long notice of the death of Mr. Joseph Small, for many years connected with the Australian and New Zealand stage. The deceased returned to the colonies a few months since with a valuable shipment of Chinese and Japanese curios, and was returning to the flowery land when he died of disease of the heart on board of the H. M. S. Brisbane.

[News], Australian Town and Country Journal (6 February 1875), 24

By the Brisbane we learn the death of Mr. Joseph Small, comedian and vocalist, who left here for Hong Kong, in the Tom Morton, some three months ago. Mr. Small was taken sick at Singapore, and stayed there till the trip of the Brisbane, which vessel was bound for Hong Kong. A few days out, he left the deck to go to his cabin, declining the assistance of the stewards. Ten minutes afterwards he was found dead in his cabin, the immediate cause of death was an apoplectic fit, though he was much debilitated. The deceased gentleman had a foreboding that the end was nigh, for he wrote parting letters to his wife, and a friend, and legal adviser in Wellington. Mr. Small was one of the best known of all colonial professionals. He commenced his public career as a vocalist soon after the discovery of gold in New South Wales, played in every up-country town and city in the Australias and New Zealand, and travelled through America, Honolulu, China, and India. He retired lately from the stage, and established trading relations between New Zealand and China, where he was about to settle down in a permanent business. As a character vocalist Mr. Small had no equal, and his song, the "Unfortunate man," will always be remembered as a masterpiece of humour and facial expression. In private life, he was much respected for his sterling integrity and liberality towards any unfortunate members of his profession. Mr. Small, who was a native of Sydney, leaves a wife and child in this city.

[News], The Toowoomba Chronicle and Queensland Advertiser (20 February 1875), 4 

Those who remember the "Nathan Troupe," and the humorous vocalists that added so much to the success of their entertainment, will read with feelings of regret the subjoined paragraph: -
"Mr. Small, the vocalist, died on his passage to Hong Kong. He was born In England, but was brought at a very early age to New South Wales. In detailing the sad event, the Hong Kong Times says:
While on shore at Singapore he suffered much from dropsy. The day after leaving Singapore this disappeared, and he seemed to rally; he continued in better health until within fifteen minutes of his death, which was a very quiet one. The doctor of the Brisbane attributes death to disease of the heart and enlargement of the liver. The body was committed to the deep on a Tuesday evening at 5.15, with the usual ceremony, it being deemed impossible to await arrival for interment at Hong Kong. Before arriving at Batavia deceased was aware of his dangerous state, and gave instructions to Mr. Macfarlane, chief steward, to hand to his executor in Melbourne all his effects.
Those who recollect "Poor Joe Small," whose fame as a public entertainer, humourist, friendly companion, and no mean poet was well-known in these parts, the colonies and New Zealand, will doubtless often give a thought to the excellent departed.

[News], Thames Star [NZ] (27 February 1875), 2

The "unfortunate man" is dead. Everybody will know that the unfortunate man referred to is poor Joe Small. He was essentially a decent man. He made a reputation as an unfortunate man, and he travelled on it. On every goldfield for the last fourteen, or fifteen years Joe Small was the unfortunate man. He hit upon an idea, and he perfected it as few men have done who have been gifted with an idea. His seemed like a spark of genius, it was so perfect; Amongst everybody here he was quite at home. At one time on the Thames [NZ] he seemed in a fair way of realising his thousands; good scrip was his, and plenty of it. But he held on just a day or two too long, and when he would have quitted his scrip it was useless, or next to it. Consequently poor Joe had to turn to once more and sing his doleful ditty for a subsistence, the circumstances of his case suggesting a verse more doleful than any of the original, but less known because of its purely local application. In the end Joe Small - he liked the familiar appellation - was driven from the Thames by the ghost of an official agent. It was rough on him - rougher than the commissioner of the old days. Small was one amongst a thousand of professionals, and his early death will be deplored wherever old identities gather together; for the rich humour and genial manner have now gone the way of all flesh.

[News], Nelson Evening Mail (3 March 1875), 2

The following account of the last days of poor "Joe Small" are from the Hong Kong Times of the 17th December: - "With much regret we announce the death of Mr. Joseph Small, at sea, on board the s.s. Brisbane, on the evening of the 15th inst. Not many months since he left this colony for Dunedin, with a heap of purchases in the shape of Chinese and Japanese curios, expressing his intention to return to Hong Kong, with a view of giving a repetition of his popular entertainment, which doubtless numerous colonists remember. He took passage from Sydney on the 7th November, in the Tom Morton, having previously been under the doctor's hands for some time. Three days after departure he was taken sick, and was bad until reaching Somerset. He then became worse, and for seventeen days lived on sago alone. He was such a favourite that the steward and gentlemen passengers sat up with him night after night. On reaching Batavia, a doctor prescribed for him, thinking he was suffering from an abscess on the liver. He rallied before arrival at Singapore, and then shipped in the Brisbane for here. While on shore at Singapore he suffered much from dropsy. The day after leaving Singapore this disappeared and he seemed to rally, and continued in better health until within fifteen minutes of his death, which was a very quiet one. The doctor of the Brisbane attributes death to disease of the heart and enlargement of the liver. The body was committed to the deep on Tuesday evening at 5.15 with the usual ceremony, it being deemed impossible to await arrival for interment at Hong Kong. Before arriving at Batavia deceased was aware of his dangerous state, and gave instructions to Mr. Macfarlane, chief steward, to hand to his executor in Melbourne all effects. We are sorry to add that a wife and family will experience a bereaval.

Published works:

The unfortunate man, written by Mr. J. Small, and sung by him for upwards of 2,500 nights in the Australian and New Zealand colonies (Auckland: W. Atkin, [c. 1860s]) (DIGITISED)

I beseech you kind gentlefolks, list to my song,
If you'll only be patient I won't keep you long;
I intend all the various ills to unfold
That happen'd to me in my search after gold:
I've tried it some time, so of course you'll believe
What I tell you is true as there's a hole in my sleeve:
I've worked and I've dug, and done all that I can,
But I'm doomed to remain an unfortunate man.
Chorus - sobbing: Really I am an un-for-or-or-or-tunate,
Truly I am an un-for-or-or-or-tunate,
Really I am an unfortunate man . . . [4 more verses]

The New Zealand and Australian songster; containing a collection of comic songs, written and sung by J. Small, the popular Irish comedian and vocalist, to which is added, extracts from his diary on the Australian goldfields (Christchurch [NZ]: Tribe, Mosley and Caygill, 1866) (DIGITISED)

[5] MY DIARY . . . It is not my intention to enter into particulars respecting my birth, parentage, and education; suffice it to say that my parents left England in the year 1836, and settled down in Sydney, I being at the time five years old. After leaving school I entered a merchant's office, where I remained nearly five years, by which time I had worked myself into a responsible position. I was an excellent bookkeeper, and was what the Yankees would term a "smart young coon" . . . The prospect of realising a speedy fortune by gold-digging was to great a temptation to be longer resisted; so I at once resigned my position, took ship, and after a protracted passage of fourteen days, arrived in Melbourne. I did not remain long there for two very good reasons, the first of which was, that I did not like the place - for be it remembered that Melbourne in 1852 was far from being the fine city that it is now in 1866 - and my second reason was, that I was not overburdened with cash . . . so . . . [6] . . . my two mates and I started for the "Ovens," a new goldfield just discovered distant from Melbourne about 190 miles . . .

[14] . . . It was shortly after our return [to Beechworth from a prospecting trip] that I wrote my first song, "The Unfortunate Man." A party of serenaders, calling themselves the "New Orleans Minstrels," were performing in the township; so I put on a bold front, and applied to them for an engagement, offering to give one night on trial, what was accepted. I sang my son, which was such an immense "hit," that the manager offered me £8 per week for a month, which I was only too glad to accept; at the expiration of which time the engagement was renewed for another month. The company then broke up, two of the party remaining behind. One of them was a very clever fellow, and as I had become quite a favourite through my "Unfortunate Man," we performed together, and contrived to make a living for some time, until Barlow, the inimitable vocal and instrumental performer, visited the diggings, for the purpose of giving a series of his unrivalled entertainments. He heard me sing, and made me an offer of £6 per week for three months to travel with him round the country, which I accepted.

After finishing in Beechworth, we performed at various towns on the road until we reached the far-famed Bendigo diggings. Here Barlow received news which compelled him to repair to his home, a snug little farm on the banks of the Colliban river; so we broke our engagement by mutual consent. However, I was not long in securing another one from the proprietor of a large concert hall in Sandhurst, where I remained for nine months, at a salary of £8 per week. During the time the [15] above engagement lasted, I applied myself to composing local songs, "taking advantage" (like Macawber) "of anything that might turn up," as a subject upon which to write . . .


[1] First impressions of the goldfields (Air - Seven ages) [As I view the prospect vast], 16-17

[2] Murphy's letter home (Air - Paddy Myles) [You remember dear Norah I promised to write], 17-18

[3] The force of persuasion [No tune indicated] [In an Irishman's life there's one beautiful fayture], 18-19

[4] The disappointed new chum [No tune indicated] [When a swellish young chum arrived in Australia], 19

[5] Kitty of Kildare [No tune indicated] [In the County Kildare I was born], 19-20

[6] All there [No tune indicated] [Come list to my song, and to you I'll relate], 20-21

[7] Comic medley duet (Pat and Mary), 22-23:
(a) (Air - Groves of Blarney) [Sweet vision plasing, / Is quite amazing . . .];
(b) (Air - Norah Creina) [I'm murdher'd by those sparkling eyes];
(c) (Air - Sprig of Shillelah) [I declare I'm quite puzzled to know how to act];
(d) (Air - Sally come up) [I own I like your off-hand way];
(e) (Air - Perfect Cure) [Oh! pray consent, you'll ne'er repent]

[8] Paddy's fight with the Chinamen [No tune indicated] [It was on a Monday morning], 23-24

[9] Paddy's dream [No tune indicated, but chorus "Derry Down . . ."] [Arrah! listen to me, and I'll tell you a tale], 24-25

[10] Delaney's visit to Hokitika [No tune indicated] [My name's Phil Delaney, I've cross'd the wide ocean], 25-26

[11] Address to the Christchurch Electors, delivered in the Prince of Wales Theatre [No tune indicated] [Gentlemen electors, I've convened you here to-night], 26-27

[12] Irish Whiskey (Air - Whack, row de dow) [Let your men of larning boast], 27-28

[13] Paddy's trip to Dunedin [No tune indicated] [From Ballinasloe, but a short time ago], 28-29

Bibliography and resources:

Robert H. B. Hoskins, "Joe Small: colonial songster", Early music New Zealand 2/4 (December 1986), 17-21

Robert H. B. Hoskins, "Small, Joe", Te Ara: The encyclopedia of New Zealand

Joe Small, AustLit

SMART, George John (George John SMART; G. J. SMART; G. SMART)

Professor of dancing, musician

Born London, England, c. 1820; son of George SMART
Married Caroline HALES (d. 1896), St. George in the east, London, 25 January 1842
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 1853
Active Melbourne, VIC, by 1859
Died Richmond, VIC, 23 December 1896, aged "76" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

SMART, George Hale (George Hale SMART)

Professor of dancing

Born London, England, c. 1844; son of George John SMART and Caroline HALES
Married (1) Hepzibah CAMPBELL, Fitzroy, VIC, 26 November 1872
Died Beaumaris, VIC, 23 August 1923, aged "77" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

SMART, Henry Bathfield (Henry Bathfield SMART)


Born London, England, 1850; son of George John SMART and Caroline HALES
Died North Richmond, VIC, 24 July 1903, aged "52" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


England census, 6 June 1841, St. Andrew Undershaft, Middlesex; UK National Archives, HO 107 / 719 / 12 (PAYWALL)

St. Mary Ave. [no.] 35 / Elizabeth Morris / 45 / Laundress / . . .
Marcus [Morris] / 25 / Artist / . . .
George Smart / 20 / Teacher of Music / [born in county]

1842, marriage solemnized at the parish church in the parish of St. George in the county of Middlesex; register 1837-43, page 221; London Metropolitan Archives (PAYWALL)

No. 442 / January 25th 1842 / George Smart / Full age / Bachelor / Dancing Master / 22 Oxford St. / [son of] George Smart / Dancing master
Caroline Hales / Full age / Spinster / - / Windmill St. / [dau. of] John Hales / Butcher . . .

England census, 30 March 1851, St. Mary Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets; UK National Archives, HO 107 / 1546 (PAYWALL)

4 Mewnham St. / George Smart / Head / Mar. / 30 / Dancing Master / [born] Middlesex Minories
Caroline Smart / Wife / Mrs. / 25 / - / [born] Gloucestershire Commer. F.
George Smart / Son / 7 / Scholar / [born] Middlesex [?] // William / 5 // Caroline / 2 // Henry / 11 months

[Advertisement], The Argus (29 March 1853), 12 

MR. G. SMART, of Her Majesty's Theatre, Professor of Dancing, Drilling by Calesthenic Exercises, just arrived from London, is prepared to give lessons in private families and schools.
La Cabile, La Willieka, La Ridowa, La Gorlitza, Cellarius, Valtz, Schottische Polka.
Address, 115 Flinders-street, east, Melbourne.

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

The Incorporative society of DANCERS of Great Britain has to acquaint the public that all qualified Professors are provided with Diplomas.
W. G. Smart [sic], Cubit-street, Richmond.

[Advertisement], The Argus (5 March 1857), 3 

DANCING and CALISTHENICS . . . G. J. Smart, Cubit-street, Richmond.
DANCING and CALISTHENICS . . . W. G. Smart, Cubit-street, Richmond.

[Advertisement], The Age (3 May 1858), 1 

ARGYLE ROOMS Will Open for the Season, This Evening, Monday, May 3rd, 1868 . . .
Messrs. G. Smart and J. Harris, M.C.
Leader of the Band, Herr Younge.
T. NUNN, Manager.

[Advertisement], The Argus (17 October 1859), 8 

MR. G. SMART, assistant to Mr. Denning, Protestant Hall, holds his certificate from the London Society of Dancingmasters, as a qualified PROFESSOR of DANCING, &c.

ASSOCIATIONS: Cornelius Peter Denning (dancing master)

[Advertisement], The Argus (22 March 1861), 7 

MR. SMART, PROFESSOR of DANCING, has his diploma from the Society of Dancers, Cubitt-street, Richmond.

[Advertisement], The Argus (5 September 1864), 8 

DANCING, &c. - Professor Smart gives PRIVATE LESSONS daily. Class nights, Monday and Thursday. 180 Swanston-street . . .
MASONIC BALL.- Brother SMART, member of the Society of Dancers, has his diploma. Private lessons to appointment.

"Funerals", The Argus (13 November 1868), 8 

THE Friends of Mr. GEORGE JOHN SMART, professor of dancing, are respectfully invited to follow the remains of his late youngest son to the place of interment in the Melbourne General Cemetery. The funeral to move from Grove-cottage, Cubitt-street, Richmond, THIS DAY (Friday), at half-past 2 o'clock . . .

"MARRIAGES", The Argus (3 December 1872), 4 

SMART - CAMPBELL. - On the 26th ult., at Fitzroy, by the Rev. James Rowe, George Hale Smart, teacher of dancing, to Hephzibah Campbell, widow of the late John Campbell, of Richmond, architect.

"DEATHS", The Age (24 December 1896), 1 

SMART. - On the 23rd December, at his residence, 116 Cubitt-street, Richmond, George John Smart, professor of dancing, aged 76 years. "At rest."

"DEATHS", The Age (27 July 1903), 1 

SMART. - On the 24th July, at his residence, 60 Kent-street, North Richmond, Henry Bathfield Smart, musician, son of the late George John Smart, professor of dancing, aged 52 years.

"DEATHS", The Argus (25 August 1923), 11 

SMART. - On the 23rd August, at "Renong," Dalgety road, Beaumaris, George Hale, the dearly beloved husband of Mary Elizabeth Smart (late professor of dancing and calisthenics), aged 78 years (Privately interred St. Kilda Cemetery.)

SMART, Mrs. (Mrs. SMART) = Mary Ann PETTMAN

Musician, vocalist (as Mrs. Smart active Adelaide, SA, from 1859)

SMEATHMAN, Sarah (Sarah Keeble SALTER; [1] Mrs. John Land ROOKES; [2] Mrs. Henry SMEATHMAN; Mrs. SMEATHMAN)

Actor, manager (active 1856-57, see colonial documention below with her daughter Agnes BOOTH)

SMEATHMAN, Agnes (Marion Agnes Land ROOKES; Agnes SMEATHMAN; Miss Marion AGNES; Marian AGNES; Miss AGNES; Miss AGNEES [sic]) = Agnes BOOTH

Dancer, actor (daughter of the above)


Musician, leader of the orchestra

Active Hobart, VDL (TAS), 1848 (shareable link to this entry)


[Advertisement], Colonial Times (22 September 1848), 1 

First Night of a New Season. ALBERT THEATRE.
THE public are respectfully informed, that the above Theatre will RE-OPEN on
Monday next, the 25th instant, when will be presented a Grand Romantic Drama, entitled
After which, the celebrated [REDACTED] Melodies.
"Massa Coon" - Mr. Holloway.
"Ginger Blue" - Mr. Meadows.
"Highland Fling" - Mrs. Gibbs.
"[REDACTED] Medley Duet" - Messrs. Meadows and Holloway.
The whole to conclude with the laughable Farce called
The above Performances will be repeated on Tuesday Evening, the 26th instant.
Leader of the Orchestra, Mr. Smith.
Machinist, Mr. Rheuben.
Scene Painter, Mr. Flowers.
Select Boxes, 2s. 6d. Boxes, 1s. 6d. Pit, 6d.
Vivat Regina.
September 22, 1848.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edmund Holloway (actor, vocalist); George Meadows (actor, vocalist); Albert Theatre (Hobart venue)


Musician, leader of the orchestra

Active Sydney, NSW, 1852 (shareable link to this entry)


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 September 1852), 1 

The Proprietor has the honour to announce to the ladies and gentry of Sydney, that this fashionable place of amusement is open every evening, with every variety of Gymnastic, Athletic, and Equestrian Entertainments, not to be equalled for style and grace in the colony.
The above place having been newly decorated by one of the first artists in the colony, with a stage in addition, thus rendering it for comfort and convenience equal to any theatre in the world.
Clown to the arena, Mr. Walter Howard;
Riding Master, Mr. Edward Raymond;
Leader of the orchestra, Mr. Smith.
Proprietor - J. MALCOM.

ASSOCIATIONS: Malcom's Amphitheatre (Sydney venue)


Musician, second banjo (Melophonic Concert Room)

Active Hobart, TAS, 1853 (shareable link to this entry)


[Advertisement], The Courier (7 May 1853), 3

MELOPHONIC CONCERT ROOM. ""WATERMAN'S ARMS," LIVERPOOL-STREET. JOSIAH HAND, the Proprietor, begs to intimate to his numerous supporters that it is his intention to RE-OPEN the above named popular place of Recreation on MONDAY EVENING NEXT, with the following attractive PROGRAMME . . . The following are amongst the number of his Corps Musicae: - First Violin, MR. TURNER; Second Violin, MR. GRATTON; First Banjo, MR. SLOMAN; Second Banjo, MR. SMITH; Bones, MR. HAYWARD; Tamborine, MR. HILDER; Pianoforte, MR. CROMPTON; Musical Director, MR. TURNER . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Josiah Hand (proprietor); Thomas John Turner (musician); Charles Sloman (musician)

SMITH, Adam (Adam SMITH)

Amateur musician, violinist

Active Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 1833-36 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


"At Mr. Peck's concert . . .", The Hobart Town Courier (1 November 1833), 2

At Mr, Peck's concert on Wednesday evening, the Court house was crowded to the doors . . . The gentleman amateur (Mr. A. Smith) who kindly came forward to assist, equally surprised and delighted the audience with his performance of "the Yellow hair'd laddie," on the violin in harmonics, an art not exceeded by Paganini himself . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Peck (violinist)

"Domestic Intelligence", The Tasmanian (1 November 1833), 5 

. . . The "Scotch Air in Harmonics" was most unquestionably the attraction of the evening: it was announced to be performed by an amateur. This amateur was not other than that talented musical gentleman, Mr. Adam Smith. On his coming forward, we really looked to the ceiling, thinking the applause would be sure to awaken from their sleep the beams which supported the roof. We have never before had occasion to speak of this gentleman's performance, but, from what we ourselves heard on Wednesday, we must acknowledge it to be superior. Mr. Smith, as is usually the case with amateurs, was a little confused on his first appearance; but he soon recovered himself, and commenced the performance in a most masterly style. We do not know which most to admire - his bowing, his fingering, or his execution - they were each superlative, and we must not omit mentioning, that an amateur who can stand up and perform an air in Harmonics, must be extraordinarily gifted. The piece was, as a matter of course, encored. Mr. Peck attempted a solo on the violin; but, although we considered that gentleman's performance quite equalled to any we ever heard by Spagnoletti, still, after Mr. Smith's brilliant harmonics, it would not go down - he was rapturously applauded, but not encored . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Paolo Spagnoletti (English violinist)

[News], Colonial Times (5 November 1833), 3 

It is rumoured about town, but we know not on what authority, that Mr. A Smith has intimated to Mr. J. P. Deane, that he may rely upon his assistance, both as a vocalist and instrumentalist, for the first few soirees announced in the advertisement. The mere fact of its being imagined that Mr. Smith will perform, will be quite sufficient to draw overwhelming houses.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Philip Deane (violinist)

"Domestic Intelligence", The Tasmanian (29 November 1833), 6 

. . . We understand that Mr. Adam Smith, the much admired violin player, has intimated to Mr. J. P. Deane that he will on the approaching Soiree, on Wednesday next, perform the first part of a most difficult and splendid duet by Viotti. Mr. J. P. Deane will, on the occasion, play second fiddle, and the parts will be well maintained by the orchestra . . .

MUSIC: Violin duo by Giovanni Battista Viotti

[News], The True Colonist Van Diemen's Land Political Despatch . . . (23 December 1836), 406 

A correspondent, who is music mad, has sent us the following extract (which he has picked up somewhere) from Galignani. We do not know much about music, but certainly his account is most marvellous. The automaton by this account is not only superior to Paganini and Ole Bull, but even to our townsman Adam Smith, who is said to equal if not surpass both in his newly invented touches . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Ole Bull (Norwegian violinist)

SMITH (SCHMIDT) FAMILY GERMAN MUSICIANS (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

SMITH, Christopher (? Christoph SCHMIDT; Christopher SMITH)

Musician, professor of music ("a German")

Active NSW, by c. 1850
Departed Sydney, NSW, c. 1859 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

SMITH, Lisette Sophie (Lisette Sophie ?; Mrs. Christopher SMITH; Mrs. SCHMIDT

Dancing mistress

Active NSW, by c. 1850
Departed Sydney, NSW, c. 1859
Died San Francisco, California, USA, 30 October 1866 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

SMITH, Charles (Carl SCHMIDT; Charles SMITH)

Musician, professor of music and dancing, violinist, pianist, band leader

Active NSW, by c. 1850; ? son of Christopher and Sophie SMITH
Active Brisbane, NSW (QLD), 1860-62 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

SMITH, Frederick (Frederick Ludwig Henry SCHMIDT; Frederick SMITH)

Musician, band leader

Active NSW, by c. 1850; ? son of Christopher and Sophie SMITH
Died Sydney, NSW, 27 September 1853, aged 22 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

SMITH, Gottfriedt (Gottfriedt SCHMIDT; Gottfriedt SMITH; Gottfried SMITH; Golfriedt SMITH)

Musician, flautist, flute player

Active NSW, by c. 1850; ? son of Christopher and Sophie SMITH
Married Sarah CARROLL (d. 1859), Sydney, NSW, 1859 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

SMITH, Henry (Hendrick SCHMIDT; Henry SMITH)


Active Sydney, NSW, by c. 1850; ? son of Christopher and Sophie SMITH
Active Brisbane, QLD, until November 1862 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


No record has been found of the arrival of the Schmidt, or Smith family, in NSW. By May 1850, however, Smith's band was performing in Goulburn, in the southern highlands, and by January 1851 were in Sydney, where Mrs. Smith (Lisette) and sons briefly advertised dancing assembly rooms in a house in Hunter-street, previously occupied by Frank Howson.

In May 1851 Mr. Smith (Christopher) "and his four sons" were performing in Maitland, and were probably also the German band reported in Bathurst in November 1851.

By March 1852 they had returned to Sydney, where they performed regularly for city hotels. Christopher was seriously insolvent in mid 1853, and the family enterprise was further imperilled by the death, in September, of 22-year-old Frederick, who had been leader of the band.

Though Smith and Sons was reduced thereafter to just four musicians, they probably remained the only German band in the city until the arrival of Herman Kruse's rival band in late 1854.

From late 1854 until late 1858 the family were proprietors of their own suburban dance casino, The Pavilion de Bellevue, on the corner of Riley-street and South Head Road.

Subsequently, they spent a summer season in Wollongong over New Year 1859, and shortly thereafter Smith senior (Christopher) disappears entirely from colonial record.

In July 1859, Charles and Gottfriedt were members of Lewis Lavenu's orchestra for the Sydney University Musical Festival.

Gottfriedt had married a local woman, Sarah Carroll, a few months earlier. But tragedy struck the new couple on 25 July, when Sarah suffered fatal burns when her dress caught fire in a household accident. She died a week later on 2 August, and the inquest jury severely censured Gottfriedt for what it suspected was a callous failure to do more to save his wife's life.

The Smiths (probably by now just the three sons) briefly took over Florentine Farelly's former dance hall in September, but left Sydney soon after, and by November 1859 were re-establishing themselves in newly separated Queensland. They brothers, with Charles as leader, spent the next two years in Brisbane and surrounding towns, before sailing for Sydney in November 1862.

They apparently left Australia soon afterwards. Sydney friends, presumably, placed notices of Lisette's death (in California, in 1866) in the Sydney press early in 1867, probably the last mention of the family in the colonial record.


"GOULBURN . . . CRICKETER'S BALL", The Sydney Morning Herald (4 May 1850), 3 

There was a Ball held in the Chequers Inn, on Monday evening last, at which several German musicians attended. We believe it was kept up till an early hour next morning.

[Advertisement], The Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser [Goulburn, NSW] (4 May 1850), 5 

DANCING. A DANCING PARTY will assemble on
EVERY MONDAY EVENING, at Mr. Simons', the Chequers inn, Auburn-street, for the benefit of Mr. Smith; TICKETS 1s. 6d. each.
Mr. Smith's celebrated Band will constantly be in attendance.
Dancing to commence at 8 o'clock.

"EVENING PARTIES", The Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser (11 May 1850), 4 

On Monday last, the first of a series of dancing parties for the benefit of the German Musicians came off with great eclat at the Chequers Inn. The ball-room was well filled by a most respectable company who evinced the pleasure they felt on the occasion by keeping up the mazy dance until a late hour. Mr. Smith and his family played during the evening, and we have never heard better ball music since we left England. Another party will be held on Monday night, at which we hope to see all those who take delight in chasing the glowing hours with flying feet.

"THE GERMAN MUSICIANS", The Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser (18 May 1850), 3 

Mr. Smith and his family held another dancing party at the Chequers Inn, on Monday night. The attendance was very good. We hope that sufficient encouragement will be offered to the band to make it worth their while to remain in Goulburn.

"MUSICAL", The Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser (15 June 1850), 5 

The dancing parties which are held every Monday evening at the Chequers Inn are continuing to attract the gay and joyous amongst our fellow-townspeople. The excellent band of Mr. Smith is on every occasion in attendance.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 January 1851), 3 

MRS. SMITH AND SONS beg to acquaint their friends, the Ladies and Gentlemen of Sydney, that they have removed to one of those genteel and commodious houses belonging to Mr. Sharp, lately occupied by Mr. Frank Howson, where they intend to open Private Assembly Dancing Rooms, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday nights.
The greatest attention will be paid to the respectability of parties attending.
Admission one shilling each. To open on Monday next, the 21st instant.
No. 76, Hunter-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: Frank Howson (vocalist, actor)

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (14 May 1851), 3 

MESSRS. SMITH AND SONS, German and English Quadrille Band, having arrived in Maitland, beg leave to inform respectable families, and the inhabitants generally, that they intend holding a
MUSICAL SOIREE, at the Northumberland Hotel, on This (Wednesday) Evening, to commence at Half-past Seven o'clock, where ladies and gentlemen are invited to hear and amuse themselves. Messrs. Smith and Sons flatter themselves that parties honoring them with a visit will do so a second time.
Admission - for adults, 2s. ; Children, 1s.
Messrs. S. and Sons, having determined upon remaining some time in Maitland, will be happy to take engagements to play at BALLS and other PARTIES, where their services may be required, and on the most reasonable terms.

"MUSICAL SOIREE", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (14 May 1851), 2 

A musical entertainment of a novel kind is now open in Maitland, at the Northumberland Hotel, where Messrs. Smith and Sons will hold a musical soirée this evening, the idea being that while the music commences at half-part seven, and continues till a late hour, ladise and gentlemen or families may enter at anytime, and remain, or walk in and out, as long as is agreeable to themselves. We have heard the musical abilities of Messrs. Smith and Sons highly spoken of.

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (24 May 1851), 3 

MESSRS. SMITH. AND SONS, German Musicians, purpose holding a MUSICAL SOIREE, in the Long Room, up stairs, at the above Hotel . . .

"MUSICAL SOIREE", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (28 May 1851), 2 

On Saturday night Messrs. Smith and Sons gave a musical soiree at the Northumberland Hotel, which was well attended. The music was very good, Mr. Smith and his four sons playing in excellent time, and with a unity which adds greatly to the effect. The pieces played were chiefly foreign, but included many favorite British airs, some at special request. A most agreeable evening was spent by the audience.

[Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (29 November 1851), 5 

MR. GEORGE FRANK begs most respectfully to inform the inhabitants of Bathurst and its vicinity, that he has taken the large concert room at Mrs. Whitton's Commercial Hotel, Bathurst, which he intends holding as a BILLIARD ROOM from the present date. Ha also begs to acquaint the public that there will be a German Band in attendance on the occasion of its first being opened . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 March 1852), 1 

MR. SMITH and Sons beg leave to inform their friends and the public, that they have again arrived in Sydney, and intend to open an Assembly Room, which will be in the saloon of Mr. Flanner, the Mayor Inn, Pitt-street, where they will be in attendance every Monday and Thursday evening. Ladies and gentlemen are respectfully invited to amuse themselves with their band.
ADMISSION. Gentlemen, 1s. 6d., ladies, 1s. each.
Dancing to commence at half-past seven o'clock precisely.
N.B. Club, pic-nic, ball, and other parties attended on the most reasonable terms.
SMITH AND SONS, English and German Quadrille Band.
Clarence-street, between King and Market streets.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 June 1852), 3 

DANCING AND MUSIC will be every Wednesday Evening, at Mr. 1 Maxwell's Saloon, King-street, corner of Sussex-street, from half-past 7 till 12 o'clock. Admission, Gentlemen, 1s.
SMITH AND SON'S German Band.

"BALL AT THE SARACEN'S HEAD", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (3 July 1852), 3 

On Thursday night Messrs. Smith and Sons gave a grand ball at Maxwell's, the Saracen's Head, Sussex-street. Their splendid German band was in attendance. Nearly two hundred persons, including a great portion of beautiful figures and faces, were assembled, and went through the mazes of the dance with a bounding elasticity and relish, which was, doubtless, increased by the cold but brilliantly star-adorned night. The dancing was kept up until a late hour, when a most sumptuous supper was spread upon the ample board, to which the dancers did the fullest justice. The dancing was afterwards resumed, and the company did not break up until six o'clock on Friday morning.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 August 1852), 1 

MESSRS. SMITH AND SONS . . . have resolved upon giving a
GRAND PLAIN and FANCY DRESS BALL, on THURSDAY, the 26th of August,
in the Saloon of the SARACEN'S HEAD, at the corner of King and Sussex streets.
Their German Band will be in attendance, with considerable augmentation.
Mr. McGaffin will offer late as Maitre de Ceremonies upon the occasion . . .
Tickets . . . to he had . . . at Messrs. Smith and Sons, Dungate House, Castlereagh-street, near Liverpool-street . . .

[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (26 March 1853), 3 

At the Zoological and Botanical Gardens, SIR JOSEPH BANKS HOTEL, Botany Bay.
In addition to the Orchestra provided for the Circus, the above celebrated Quadrille Band has been engaged,
and will throughout the day perform a great variety of new and popular WALTZES, POLKAS, QUADRILLES, &c. &c. . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: James Waller (proprietor)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 April 1853), 1 

CASINO. - Messrs. SMITH AND SONS intend having their Casino at Mr. Harrison's, at the Light-house Hotel, corner of Bathurst and SUSSEX streets, every Tuesday and Friday night, from half past 7 till 12 o'clock.
Admission 1s. ladies gratis. N.B. - None but respectable ladies can be admitted.
SMITH AND SONS, German Quadrille Band, 216, Castlereagh-street.
Pic-nic, Ball, and other parties can be supplied with their Band.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 June 1853), 4 

CASINO, at the Lighthouse Hotel . . . every Saturday and Tuesday Evening . . . Smith and Sons' German Band.

"INSOLVENT COURT. SATURDAY, SCHEDULE FILED", The Sydney Morning Herald (11 July 1853), 2

Christopher Smith of Castlereagh-street, Sydney, professor of music.
Liabilities, £88 3s.; value of assets, £47 3s.; deficiency, £41.
Mr. W. Perry, official assignee.

[Notice], New South Wales Government Gazette (12 July 1853), 1145 

In the Insolvent Estate of Christopher Smith, of Castlereagh-street, Sydney, professor of music . . .

"INSOLVENT COURT. Tuesday", The Sydney Morning Herald (20 July 1853), 2

In the estate of Christopher Smith, a single meeting was held. A claim amounting to £5 5s. was proved, and another, amounting to £44 18s. 4d., was allowed, subject to taxation. At the request of a creditor the meeting was adjourned until eleven o'clock of Monday next. Insolvent being a German, and but imperfectly acquainted with the English language, the business of the meeting was carried on through the medium of an interpreter.

"INSOLVENT COURT. MONDAY", The Sydney Morning Herald (26 July 1853), 3

In the estate of Christopher Smith, an adjourned single meeting was held. Two claims were proved, and insolvent was examined. The majority of the meeting directed the assignee to allow insolvent to retain his household furniture, wearing apparel, and musical instruments.

"LIST of Unclaimed Letters . . .", New South Wales Government Gazette (9 September 1853), 1558

. . . Schmidt Charles
Schmidt Henrick, musician . . .

"DIED", The Sydney Morning Herald (29 September 1853), 3 

On Tuesday, the 27th instant, at his father's residence, 215, Castlereagh-street, after a long illness, Mr. Frederick Smith, leader of the German quadrille band, aged 22 years; a sad loss to his parents and brethren. The procession to move from the above residence this afternoon, at half-past two o'clock.

Register of burials, St. Stephen's, Newtown, 1853; register 1849-54, page 140; Sydney Anglican parish registers (PAYWALL)

No. 2792 / Frederick Ludwig Henry Smith / Castle Reagh St. / Sept. 27 / [buried] Sept. 29 / 22 years / Musician . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 December 1853), 1 

MESSRS. SMITH AND SONS, known as the German Quadrille Band,
respectfully inform the inhabitants of Sydney that they are most happy to engage with balls, picnics, weddings, and other parties of amusement. A first-rate band is guaranteed.
N.B. Any number of musicians may be procured by three days' notice.
SMITH AND SONS, 215, Castlereagh-street.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 January 1854), 1 

MESSRS. SMITH AND SONS, German Quadrille Band,
have the honour to inform respectfully the inhabitants of Sydney that to their Assembly Room in King-street, being a private room, no one can be admitted who behaves disorderly.
N.B. - The rooms are open every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Admission 2s., ladies gratis.

[Advertisement], Empire (5 April 1854), 1 

MR. SMITH'S celebrated German Band has been engaged to play, To-Morrow (Thursday) evening, between the hours of 6 and 9 o'clock. Admission, free.

? "GERMAN MUSICIANS", Illustrated Sydney News (8 April 1854), 2 

Our ears have been gratified during the last week, as we walked through the streets of our city, by the strains of one of those German street-bands which are so commonly met with in the towns and watering, places of Europe. The music is really such as every one must hear with pleasure, and, if we are to judge from the listening crowds, its excellence is fully appreciated in Sydney. We would suggest Hyde Park, on a moon-light evening, as an appropriate place for these performances.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 April 1854), 2 

EASTER MONDAY. - Sir Joseph Banks' Hotel, Botany Bay. -
W. Beaumont begs to inform the patrons of the above establishment and the public generally, that at the request of very many highly respectable citizens who have been accustomed to make the Zoological Gardens their resort on this annual festival, he has bees Induced to engage Schmidt's celebrated German Band, who, weather permitting, will be in attendance, and perform throughout the day to contribute to the pleasure of those who may honor the establishment by a visit on the occasion.
N.B. - Luncheon from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Beaumont and James Waller (proprietors)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 November 1854), 8 

BAND. - Messrs. SMITH and SONS respectfully inform the Inhabitants of Sydney that they would be happy to supply any kind of parties with their band, at pic-nics, balls, weddings, &c., &c., which parties they could supply with any number of musicians, in two or three days' notice.
SMITH and SONS, musicians, 29. Palmer-street, Woolloomooloo.

"NEW PLACE OF AMUSEMENT", Empire (19 December 1854), 4 

A large wooden building of an octagonal form is in the course of erection, between Burton-street and the South Head road, and is intended we understand for a Casino, the project of some German musicians at present in Sydney.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 February 1855), 1 

PAVILION DE BELLE-VUE, corner of Riley street and the South Head Road, opposite the Pump. -
MR. CHARLES SMITH has the honour to acquaint the inhabitants of Sydney that his magnificent Octagon Dancing Assembly Rooms are now nearly completed, and will be opened on TUESDAY next, 6th instant, for which he has chosen the name of Pavilion de Belle-Vue, it having one of the most Beautiful views in Sydney.
C. S. has much pleasure in announcing that an amusement of this description has long been required in Sydney, and that he has not spared any expense in making the house very comfortable.
Rules of the Pavilion de Belle-Vue.
Gentlemen who introduce a lady in this establishment are to be responsible for such lady as to her respectability.
Ladies who wish to attend without a gentleman will please to call for a ticket at Mr. Smith's residence, stating their name and residence.
Likewise, respectable parents, who wish their daughters to visit this highly respectable place of amusement, may procure tickets, gratis, in the day time.
Visitors must all be respectably dressed. Smoking is strictly prohibited in the ball room.
Admission - Gentlemen, 2s. 6d.; Ladies, gratis.
N. B. Messrs. Smith's favourite band will be in attendance.

"THE CASINO", Empire (6 February 1855), 4 

The building in the South head-road, which has been for some time past in the course of erection for a dancing saloon, will be opened this evening, under the management of Mr. Smith, well known amongst the Terpsichoreans of Sydney, as an efficient minister to their pleasures. The room is of an octagonal form, and tastefully and appropriately embellished, the compartments of the ceiling being adorned with nine classical figures. From the centre is suspended an elegant chandelier. The walls are covered with a green pillared paper, which, when lighted up, will exhibit a very rich appearance. The orchestral department will be very efficient, including Mr. Smith's band, which has so often charmed the musical ear of Sydney. It is stated to be the determination of the proprietors, to keep the saloon select in its company, and thoroughly respectable.

"NEW DANCING ESTABLISHMENT", The Sydney Morning Herald (3 April 1855), 5 

Messrs. Smith and Sons, German musicians, have built and opened a dancing school, under the name of Pavilion de Bellevue, in a paddock on the old South-head Road, and which opens for dancing every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday evenings, at 8 p.m. At a short distance from the pavilion there is an octagonal-shaped building called "Caroussel," for the amusement of visitors, fitted up with coaches, horses, &c, which turn round to the sound of music, and is intended as a preparatory riding school.

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

GRAND QUADRILLE PARTY, at the Pavilion de Belle Vue, corner of Riley-street and South Head Road, will be given, where Mr. SMITH and SONS will perform, with the newest polkas, waltzes, quadrilles, and other dances, on MONDAY EVENING, the 7th instant . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 April 1857), 1 

DANCING ! DANCING ! DANCING ! at the Pavilion de Bellevue, South Head Road,
THIS EVENING, Saturday, and EASTER MONDAY. Admission, 2s.; ladies gratis.
N.B.- Respectable ladles only admitted.
SMITH and SONS, Proprietors.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 January 1858), 1 

ANNIVERSARY EVENING. - A grand Quadrille Party will be given on the above evening at the Pavillion de Belle Vue . . . SMITH and SON, proprietors.
ANNIVERSARY DAY. - An efficient Band of Musicians may be engaged for a picnic on the above day.
Apply to CHARLES SMITH. Pavilion de Belle Vue, South Head Road.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 March 1858), 1 

GRAND BAL COSTUME on MONDAY next, 7th instant, will be given at the Pavilion de Belle Vue, South Head Road. Gentlemen's tickets, 1s.; Ladies' ditto, 2s. Refreshments may be had all night.
Messrs. SMITH'S Band will be augmented by three musicians for this occasion, making seven in all; the newest and best music will be played.
SMITH and SON, proprietors.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 July 1858), 1 

A Grand BAL COSTUME and CONCERT on WEDNESDAY, the 14th instant, will be given at the Pavilion de Belle Vue, South Head Road, near the Racecourse.
Mr. Henry Zihms [sic] and his splendid band of eleven musicians, are engaged for this occasion, who will perform a choice selection of several new operas, German and Italian, never heard before in this country.
The concert to commence at 8 o'clock precisely, and the dancing at 10 o'clock . . .
SMITH and SONS, Proprietors.

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Ziems (musician)

"GERMAN BRASS BAND", The Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser (20 October 1858), 2 

The inhabitants of this town have been highly delighted, for two days past, with the music performed by Herr Schmidt's brass band.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 October 1858), 10 

TO LET, with immediate possession, those large Premises lately occupied as a dancing saloon by C. Smith and Son, South Head Road, together with garden, if required. Apply to Mr. BURDEKIN, Macquarie-street.

[Advertisement], Illawarra Mercury [Wollongong, NSW] (20 December 1858), 3 

Grand Ball on Boxing Night, December 27, MESSRS. SMITH and SONS respectfully inform the inhabitants of Wollongong and Illawarra district; that their FIRST GRAND' BALL will take place on the above evening, at their Academy, Harbor street, when the whole of THEIR CELEBRATED BAND will perform in the Orchestra . . .

[2 advertisements], Illawarra Mercury (13 January 1859), 3 

WEEKLY QUADRILLE ASSEMBLY. - This Evening, and every Thursdny, at the Dancing Academy, Harbor-street, Wollongong.
Admission - Gentlemen, 2s. 6d.; Ladies, 1s each.
SMITH, BROTHERS, Proprietors.

MR. CHARLES SMITH, Teacher of Music and Dancing,
respectfully begs to inform the inhabitants of Wollongong, etc., that he intends opening a Class for Dancing, as a Grand Anniversary Ball will be given at his Academy, on the 26th January.
Persons wishing to attend at the Ball should apply immediately to take lessons.
For terms, etc., apply at the establishment, Harbor-street, Wollongong.

[Advertisement], Illawarra Mercury (24 January 1859), 3 

Grand Anniversary Ball ON WEDNESDAY NEXT, the 26th instant, at Messrs. SMITH'S DANCING ACADEMY.
The ladies are reminded to get their dresses ready. Half the inhabitants of Wollongong will be there.
Tickets - double 7s 6d, single 5s. More improvements in the Ball-room!
The most fashionable music and dances at the Dancing Academy on the night of the Anniversary of the colony.
Conductor - Mr. Charles Smith.
THIS EVENING, Monday, Grand Practice for the BALL, on the 26th. Admission - Gentlemen, 2s 6d; Ladies, 1s.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (12 March 1859), 1 

The undersigned will be obliged to any party who will furnish the address of Christopher and Charles Smith, Germans, formerly of the Rotunda, South Head Road, and lately living in Wollongong as professors of music and dancing.
T. CROFT and SON, Commercial Wharf, Sydney; IGNACY ZLOTKOWSKI, Wollongong.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 March 1859), 1 

SMITH'S QUADRILLE ASSEMBLY, THIS EVENING, Saturday, will be held at the Lighthouse Hotel, Bathurst and Sussex streets, when the whole of Charles Smith's Band will be in attendance.
Admission - 2s. N.B. Respectable ladies can be admitted only.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 April 1859), 1 

SMITH'S QUADRILLE ASSEMBLY, THIS EVENING, Saturday, at the Lighthouse Hotel . . .

[Advertisement], Empire (2 July 1859), 3

Conductor - Mr. L H. LAVENU . . .
FIRST VIOLINS. Mr. John Deane, Conductor of the Philharmonic Society
Mr. Eigenschenk, leader of Orchestra of the Prince of Wales Theatre
Mr. Alfred Usher, leader of Orchestra of the Victoria Theatre
Mr. Charles Smith, Mr. Richard Herz, Mr. J. Davis . . .
FLUTES. 1st FLUTE - Mr. Robert Vaughan; 2nd DITTO - Mr. Gottfried Smith . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Lewis Henry Lavenu (conductor); John Deane (violin); Charles Eigenschenck (violin); Alfred Usher (violin); Richard Herz (violin); Isaac Davis (violin); Robert Vaughan (flute); Sydney University Musical Festival (event)

"FUNERAL", The Sydney Morning Herald (4 August 1859), 8 

The Friends of Mr. GOTTFRIED SMITH are respectfully invited to attend the funeral of his deceased wife, Sarah, THIS (Thursday) AFTERNOON. The procession to move from the Sydney Infirmary, at 3 o'clock precisely.
THOMAS DIXON, undertaker, South Head Road.

Register of burials, St. Stephen's, Newtown, 1859; register, 1854-67, page 186; Sydney Anglican parish registers (PAYWALL)

No, 7817 / Sarah Smith / Infirmary / [died] Aug't 2 / [buried] Aug't 4 / 20 years / Wife of a Musician . . .

"CORONER'S INQUEST", The Sydney Morning Herald (5 August 1859), 5 

The City Coroner held an inquest in his office yesterday, on the body of a woman named Sarah Smith, aged twenty years. From the evidence adduced at the inquest it appeared that the deceased was a married woman, and lived in Bourke-street, Surry Hills. On the night of the 25th ultimo, at about 11 p.m., the deceased was sitting by the side of her husband near the fire, when her clothes accidentally became ignited. The husband, it appeared, in the confusion of the moment, or from carelessness, - so it was insinuated by some of the witnesses - instead of attempting to extinguish the flames opened the door, and told her to run out into the street. No sooner had she passed the door than her dress, the material of which was silk or barege, was enveloped in a sheet of flame. The attention of the neighbours having been directed to the woman, several ran to her assistance and succeeded in extinguishing the flames; but not before the fire had inflicted serious injury. The sufferer was conveyed into the house of a neighbour, and a medical man sent for. On his arrival he advised the immediate removal of the injured woman to the Infirmary. The husband objected, but his objection was overruled. A police constable having been informed of the accident, procured a stretcher, and with the assistance of some other persons placed the woman on it. Unfortunately the stretcher was not sufficiently strong, and when an attempt was made to remove it the wretched sufferer fell through on to the kerbing-stones. This accident, however, does not appear to have accelerated her death. She was eventually removed in a cab to the Infirmary, where, after being examined as to the extent of the injuries she had sustained, the medical gentlemen of that establishment entertained but little hope of her recovery. The patient, on the contrary, expressed herself otherwise. She was quite conscious throughout, but gradually sunk under the severe injuries she had sustained, and expired on Wednesday morning. With regard to the cause of the accident, the husband states it to be his impression that it arose from a match which he had been using to clean his pipe and which he then threw on the floor. It is supposed that the deceased stepped on the match, and that in consequence it became ignited and caught her dress. Several of the witnesses bore testimony to the apparent callousness of the husband at the time of the accident. They had been married about three months, and it appears that during that time they had quarrelled several times. The jury returned a verdict to the following effect: - "We find that the deceased died from exhaustion, the effect of being severely burned, from her clothes taking fire; and we consider that if her husband had had presence of mind and had used sufficient exertion, her life could have been saved. We also desire to express our sense of the efficient services rendered on the occasion by Mr. O'Neil and the police constable."

"CORONERS INQUEST", Empire (5 August 1859), 4 

An inquisition was held by the City Coroner, at his office, yesterday, touching the death of a woman named Sarah Smith. The evidence which was very voluminous was principally to the following effect: - The deceased was according to her husband's statement sitting on his knee which he was cutting some tobacco for his pipe; she had brought a song book home, from which she was singing some ditty; said the husband, (who formerly kept the Casino on the South Head-road) was then seated in their own dwelling in Bourke-street, Surry-Hills, near the fire-place, in which there were only a few live embers; this was on the 25th ultimo; she had not been there for more than a minute when Smith observed that her dress was on fire; Smith previously to cutting the tobacco, had lit a German match to clean out his pipe; and he attributed the falling off of a portion of the ignitable matter of the match on the deceased's clothes to be the origin of the sad catastrophy. The poor young woman (only 20 years of age) was quickly enveloped in flames. Some attempts were made by the husband to tear the dress from off her back; her undergarments were also on fire. Whether Smith lost his presence of mind or cared little for the consequences it is impossible to say; however, he and the deceased went out into the street, where the fire was subsequently extinguished. James Moorcroft O'Neil said that he was a publican residing on the Surry Hills, that on the 25th ultimo be heard a female screaming and ran out from his bar and found the deceased with her dress as he described it "blazing about her person, which lit up the street." Her husband was standing at that time at his own door. Sergeant Hogg, of the police, came up and told the deceased to roll herself on the ground; the sergeant, at the suggestion of witness took off his coat and covered her with it. Indeed every exertion was used by Mr. O'Neil and the police under the direction of Sergeants Hogg and Ryan, to render the unfortunate young creature every assistance; as much, however, could not be said for her husband. O'Neil swore that "'her husband never called for assistance, and never said or did anything that he could hear." The deceased implored Mr. O'Neil to take her into his house, but the husband wished he to be taken home. So disgusted was O'Neil with Smith's conduct, that some angry words were exchanged. Dr. Lowe was sent for, and the deceased was subsequently removed to the Infirmary. Dr. Roberts [?], the attendant surgeon, from the first view of his patient, pronounced the case to be hopeless, as she was too much injured. During the time the deceased was in the Infirmary, and up to the period of he death, she said the cause of the fire was purely accidental. The deceased had only been three months married. The jury made known their disapprobation of the husband's conduct by returning the following verdict - "We find the deceased died from exhaustion, the effects of being severly burned by her clothes taking fire, and we consider that if her husband had presence of mind and used sufficient exertion her life could be saved. We also consider the exertions of Mr. O'Neil and the police very creditable for rendering such efficient service." It is almost needless to add, that during the time the deceased was in the Infirmary every kind of attention was paid to her.

"TO THE EDITOR OF THE . . .", Empire (8 August 1859), 8

SIR, - You will confer a great favour on me by inserting these few lines in your valuable paper, as it will give me a chance to clear my character in the eyes of everybody. I read with the utmost astonishment in Friday's EMPIRE the report of the inquest held on Thursday, at the Coroner's Office, on my late lamented wife. With regard to Mr. O'Neil's evidence, I do fearlessly assert and declare that it was untrue, when he positively swore "that, 1 did not render the least assistance in extinguishing the flames, and that I was standing at my own door." I can not only bring evidence of facts, but I will show by a witness, or witnesses, that I did all a man could do in the confused, and terrified state of I mind I was in at the time. My wife ran across the street in her agony - screaming fearfully, when she was met by O'Neil and some other men, who succeeded in extinguishing the fire; I then did all that, in my confused state of mind, I could do, and after getting a jug of water to throw over her head I felt a dreadful pain in both my hands, and to my astonishment, saw that the flesh was literally burnt and torn off several of my fingers, which was caused by my pulling off some of her clothes before ever O'Neil or any one else could come to her assistance. I shall bring evidence to confirm all that I have here stated if required, which no doubt it will be.
At present I remain, your obedient servant,

"Summary for England, Per SALSETTE", Empire (13 August 1859), 7 

Mrs. Smith, wife of a musician, has been shockingly injured through her dress accidentally taking fire. When she was being conveyed to the infirmary the police stretcher, on which she was being carried, broke down and her head struck against the kerbstone. The parties blameable for this deserve to have their heads struck against a stout cudgel.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 August 1859), 1 

WANTED to be KNOWN, the reason why the letter has not been published, which was sent to the EMPIRE by the undersigned, in answer to one published in that paper on the 8th instant, signed "GOTTFRIEDT SMITH, denying the truth of my evidence, given at a coroner's inquest held upon his wife, on the 4th instant, and corroborated by witnesses.
JAMES O'NEIL, Victoria Inn, South Head Road.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 September 1859), 1 

SMITH'S ASSEMBLY ROOMS (late Madame Farrelly's), Elizabeth-street, near King-street, are OPEN EVERY EVENING. Admission, gentlemen, 2s. 6d. ; ladies, 1s. Dancing to commence at 8 o'clock precisely.

ASSOCIATIONS: Florentine Farrelly (musician, dancing mistress)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 September 1859), 1 

GRAND FANCY DRESS BALL, to take place on WEDNESDAY next, at SMITH'S Assembly Rooms (late Madame Farrelly's), Elizabeth-street.
Gentlemen's tickets, 5s.; ladies ditto, 2s. 6d. each.
N.B. - These magnificent rooms are open every evening as a Quadrille Assembly. Admission, 2s. 6d.; ladies, 1s.
Smith's Band will preside in the orchestra.

[Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier [Brisbane, QLD] (26 November 1859), 3 

The Brisbane Band.
MR. ANDREW SEAL has much pleasure in informing the inhabitants of Brisbane and Queensland in general, that he has succeeded in forming a Band of five musicians, far superior to that formerly conducted by him. By the addition of the three Messrs. SMITH, a first-rate String Band is formed, suitable for Balls and indoor amusements, and the " Harmonie," or Brass Band, is now much more powerful than before. Persons wishing to give balls and other parties through these merry months, will please to make speedy arrangements with Mr. SEAL, as the services of his Band will be in great requisition.

ASSOCIATIONS: Andrew Seal (musician, band leader)

[Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (4 October 1860), 3 

CHARLES SMITH'S first-class Boarding Establishment, Charlotte-street, near the Prince of Wales Hotel, North Brisbane. - Constant Boarders, as well as passengers from Sydney, &c., will meet with every comfort at the above establishment on reasonable terms. N.B.- The house is pleasantly situated, overlooking the river and the principal part of the town.

[Advertisement], The Darling Downs Gazette and General Advertiser [Toowoomba, QLD] (4 October 1860), 2 

PERSONS desirous of learning the art of DANCING should not neglect this opportunity, as Professor Smith's time is limited to two months at the most, in which period even the dullest pupils will be made competent in all the dances now generally danced in England and Europe in general, by Mr. Smith's style of tuition . . .
For further particulars apply to Professor Smith immediately, Sovereign Hotel, Toowoomba.

[Advertisement], The Darling Downs Gazette and General Advertiser (18 October 1860), 3 

Professor Smith's Dancing Academy IS NOW open at the Argyle Rooms, Toowoomba . . .

[Advertisement], The Darling Downs Gazette and General Advertiser (29 November 1860), 2 

Professor Smith's Farewell Ball to his Pupils WILL take place on Friday, the 7th December, at the Argyle Rooms, Toowoomba . . .
positively the last Ball he intends to give previously to his departure for Dalby . . .
N.B.- A similar Ball will be given at Drayton on MONDAY, 10th of December . . .

[Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (15 December 1860), 3 

PROFESSOR SMITH will give Private and Class Lessons in MUSIC and DANCING, at his new Academy, Edward-street, after the first of January.
For particulars as to Terms, apply at his private residence, Charlotte-street, next to the Prince of Wales Hotel, North Brisbane.

[Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (22 January 1861), 1 

Music and Dancing Taught.
MR. CHARLES SMITH, having returned to Brisbane lately, intends to open two Classes, one for Teaching Music, and one for Teaching Dancing. A first-rate room has been erected expressly for these purposes near the residence of Mr. Smith.
Intending pupils for either of the above-named accomplishments will please to make immediate application, as no time will be lost in forming the classes.
Private, or Class Lessons are imparted on all kinds of wood, stringed, and brass instruments, suitable for a philharmonic band.
For terms, apply personally, or by letter, to
Mr. CHARLES SMITH, Professor of Music,
Charlotte-street, North Brisbane.

"DALBY (FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT) . . . JAN. 5TH . . .", The Moreton Bay Courier (12 January 1861), 3 

. . . A ball was given in "the St. George's Hall," on Wednesday, by Professor C. Smith, which was numerously attended, a good supper being provided by the host of the "Caledonian Hotel." Another private ball took place in the same hall on the Thursday night, Mr. and Mrs. Koch of this town being the donors. About 120 of the leading residents in the town and district, availed themselves of the invitation, the Messrs. Smiths were in attendance and their fine music was duly appreciated by the number of persons joining in each dance . . .

[2 advertisements], The Moreton Bay Courier (26 January 1861), 6 

MR. CHARLES SMITH most respectfully begs to inform you that he is about opening a class for the purpose of teaching DANCING, at his Academy in Edward-street, near Charlotte street, North Brisbane, on MONDAY next, 28th of January.
The great experience C. S. has gained during his sojourn both in New South Wales and this Colony in this branch of education has enabled him to form a plan to teach this accomplishment with the greatest expediency, so that even the dullest pupils will learn all the now fashionable dances in the short period of three months.
Should you wish to join the evening class, or send any of your children to the afternoon class, you are respectfully reminded not to lose any lessons, but join at once, as the quarter will positively commence on Monday next.
Terms: Three guineas each for the first quarter, and one guinea for every additional quarter.
One half to be paid in advance.
A considerable reduction will be made for several pupils in one family.
N.B.-Private lessons may be obtained either at the Academy or at the pupil's own residence.
Terms as per agreement. Apply to PROFESSOR SMITH, Charlotte-street, North Brisbane.

PRIVATE Lessons on all kinds of Wood, Brass, and Stringed Instruments are imparted by PROFESSOR SMITH.
For terms, apply at his residence, Charlotte-street, North Brisbane.

[Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (5 February 1861), 3

Music and Dancing. VACANCIES for any number of Male and Female Pupils in the above accomplishments at Smith's Academy. Apply to CHARLES SMITH, Professor of Music and Dancing, Charlotte-street, near Edward street, North Brisbane.

[Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (7 February 1861), 2 

Brisbane Choral Society . . . THIS EVENING at the School of Arts . . .
Flute Solo, by Mr. G. Smith - Fantasia, Aria and Rondo - Nicholson . . .

"BRISBANE CHORAL SOCIETY", The Moreton Bay Courier (9 February 1861), 2 

A concert was given by the members of the Brisbane Choral Society at the North Brisbane School of Arts, on Thursday evening, which was very successful both as regards the character of the performance and the attendance. The chief piece of the evening was the beautiful duett, "Flow on thou Shining River," which was charmingly sung by the Misses Thomson. The flute Solo by Mr. G. Smith was exquisitely rendered, and manifested the possession of a rare musical talent which, when fully developed by practice and modulation, will entitle its owner to high rank among flutists. Successful as his performances were, we have no doubt they would have been more so had his instrument been in better order . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Brisbane Choral Society (organisation)

[Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (30 April 1861), 3 

PROGRAMME for the occasion: PART FIRST . . . Violin Solo - by Professor Charles Smith . . .
PART SECOND . . . Violin Solo - by Professor Charles Smith . . .

[Advertisement], The Courier (25 May 1861), 3 

THOSE Ladies and Gentlemen who intend to be present at the Ball given by his Excellency on the 28th of June, and who may not be "well up" in their dances, may obtain private lessons at their own residences in the following dances, viz.: -
Quadrilles (first set), Lancers, La Tem; ete, Polka Mazurka, La Varsoviana, Valse a Deux Temps (or Trois Temps), Schottische, Galop, Polka, and various other dances which may probably be inserted in the Programme for the Ball.
Immediate application is necessary, as the time is rather of short limit.
Terms : Half a Guinea each for each lesson.
In case eight or more pupils should agree to practise at the same time, - as indeed is very desirable on account of the Quadrilles, - in such a case, of course a considerable reduction will be made in the charges.
Apply by letter, only, to Professor SMITH, Elizabeth-street, North Brisbane.

[Advertisement], The Courier (25 July 1861), 3 

PROGRAMME. PART I . . . Solo - Violin - Cavatina, by Mr. SMITH, from "Fille de Regiment" . . .

"THE BRISBANE CHORAL SOCIETY", The Courier (20 July 1861), 2 

This society, which has already done its part in providing occasional intellectual recreation for the people of Brisbane has availed itself of the opportune presence and services of several talented and professional artists, now in Brisbane, to give the public a musical entertainment of a much higher order than has heretofore been attempted by the society. Among the performers we observe the names of Herr Otto Linden, a pianist of some celebrity, from Victoria, of Mr. Smith, the violinist, and several other gentlemen of established reputation as musicians. The concert will take place at the School of Arts, on Thursday evening next, and as the programme is novel, well chosen and attractive, we trust the attendance will be such as will repay and give increased energy to the Society.

ASSOCIATIONS: Otto Linden (pianist)

[2 advertisements], The Courier (14 December 1861), 4 

THE VOLUNTEER ARMOURY, Queen-Street, on THURSDAY Evening, December 19th,
On this occasion the Society will be assisted by several professional gentlemen, who have kindly offered their services.
Overture - La Clemenza di Tito Mozart.
Trio and Chorus - "Bright Orbost" - Bishop.
Solo Basso - From I Lombardi - G. Verdi.
Quartette and Chorus - "From Oberon in Fairy Land" - Webbe.
Solo Soprano "The Village Maiden" - Donizetti.
Trio - "Blow gentle gales" - H. Bishop.
Solo and Chorus of Macbeth, (complete) - Locke.
Overture Tancredi - Rossini.
Chorus-" Come gentle Spring" - Haydn.
Solo Soprano - "Piu bianca del bianco veto" - Meyerbeer.
Four Part Song - "May Day" - Mueller.
Solo Tenore - Descriptive Song - H. Russell.
Duett Soprano - "The Fairies of the Sea" - Stephen Glover.
Solo Basso - "Heart of Oak" - Boyce.
Chorus Finale - "With the Sunsheltering Canopy" - Bellini.
Conductor - Mr. O. LINDEN.
Organist - Mr. S. D1GGLES.
Leader - Mr. C. SMITH . . .

with the OXYCALCIUM LIGHT, will take place at the School of Arts, Brisbane, on
MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, and FRIDAY, the 16th, 18th, and 20th insts.,
the proprietor having received a large supply of new scenes, and having engaged
Professor Smith's BAND, solicits the patronage of the inhabitants of Brisbane and its vicinity . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Silvester Diggles (musician); Brisbane Philharmonic Society (organisation)

[Advertisement], The Courier (9 January 1862), 3 

CORNETS. - Two first-class Instruments FOR SALE; price £8 10s. each, very cheap instruments.
PROFESSOR SMITH, Elizabeth-street.

"THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY CONCERT", The Courier (25 April 1862), 2 

The second subscription concert of the Brisbane Philharmonic Society took place last evening at the Volunteer Armoury, his Excellency the Governor, and a very numerous and respectable audience being present . . . In a concert where the performers are amateurs, close criticism would be an unfriendly act . . . and while awarding credit to whom it is due, we feel assured that too much praise cannot be given to the professional assistants, as their services are rendered gratuitously. Among these we may mention Mr. S. Diggles, who was unfortunately absent through illness last evening; to Mr. C. Smith, who is, we understand, unremitting in his exertions; and last, though not least, to Mr. Otto Linden, the conductor, without whose invaluable services the society would soon become altogether defunct, or sink far below its present standard of efficiency . . .


. . . The music was also first-rate, and Professor Smith's band certainly deserve praise for the very excellent manner in which they performed the last new waltzes, polkas, galops, &c. . . .

[Advertisement], The Courier (17 June 1862), 3 

. . . THE CONCERT in aid of the Funds of the QUEENSLAND VOLUNTEER BAND,
will be given in the Large Room of the new Normal School, on THURSDAY next, the 19th June.
A new SELECTION of MUSIC will be played by the Band, in addition to which the
PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY have generously promised their co-operation on the occasion . . .
Organist - Mr. S. Diggles.
Lender - Mr. C. Smith.
Conductor - Mr. Otto Linden.
Conductor Volunteer Band - Mr. Seal . . .

[Advertisement], The Toowoomba Chronicle and Queensland Advertiser (17 July 1862), 2 

PREVIOUS to the Departure for Warwick of PROFESSOR SMITH and his BROTHERS,
Mr. FREDERICK MOLE intonds to give THIS BALL to the Tradesmen of Toowoomba, Drayton, and surrounding District . . .
the arrangements of the Ball-Room conducted by Professor Smith . . .

"COMING BALLS", The Toowoomba Chronicle and Queensland Advertiser (17 July 1862), 2 

Mr. McCarthy gives a "Free Ball" to all those who wish to attend, at the Toowoomba Hotel, this evening. Mr. Mole will also give a Ball, at the Royal Exchange Hotel, on Monday evening, prior to the departure of Professor Smith and Brothers.

[Advertisement], The Courier (23 August 1862), 1 

J. M. FOANS . . . Late of Rayner's Serenaders . . . ON MONDAY NEXT, 25TH AUGUST.
On which occasion be will be assisted by Messrs. SMITH BROTHERS, of this town . . .

[Advertisement], North Australian and Queensland General Advertiser [Ipswich, QLD] (13 September 1862), 3 

GREAT ATTRACTION! MR. FOANS (Late of Rainer's Serenaders)
On which occasion he will be assisted by Mr. G. SMITH, Conductor of Orchestra, and Mr. WILSON, Pianist . . .

[Advertisement], The Courier (15 September 1862), 3 

And positively his last appearance in Brisbane
THIS EVENING MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15TH, AT THE School of Arts, North Brisbane . . .
On this occasion Mr. FOANS will be assisted by Mr. A. SEAL, Cornet;
Mr. C. SMITH, Pianist; Mr. G. SMITH, Flutist; Mr. H. SMITH, Violinist.
Mr. FOANS will give Selections from some of the most popular Operas, together with many of his admired Ethiopian Melodies . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: James Milton Foans (vocalist, minstrel-serenader)

"THE PHILHARMONIC CONCERT.", The Courier (28 October 1862), 2 

The fourth subscription concert of the Brisbane Philharmonic Society was given yesterday evening, in the large hall of the Normal School, to an audience of about 200 persons. His Excellency and Lady Bowen and suite arrived at about eight o'clock, the band playing the National Anthem on their entrance. The programme was well arranged, and had the good feature of not being too lengthy, and the arrangements on the whole were successful. Mr. Diggles acted as organist, and Mr. C. Smith conducted the performances. Part I. commenced with Gluck's overture "Iphigenia in Aulis," which was effectively given by the band, and followed by Bishop's trio and chorus "Bright orb, send forth thy rays." This is a rather difficult piece of music, and was not done justice to on this occasion, some of the voices being too loud, and others out of tune. However, the violin solo which followed, made up for the previous shortcoming, and proved that Professor Smith's knowledge of the instrument is of a high order. The well-known "Gipsy Tent" soli and chorus were enthusiastically received, and an immediate encore demanded. It was of course repeated. "As in the Cup the bead flies up," and the quartette, "Soldier's Love," were both well given; and Bishop's duett and chorus, "The Moorish Drum," was received with great applause, and narrowly escaped an encore.

Part II. opened with Rossini's celebrated overture to Tancredi, which may be called the gem of the evening so far as the instrumental pieces are concerned, and was well received and rapturously applauded. The cavatina "Si li sciogliete guidici" [Si lo sciogliete o guidici] was capitally rendered by a well known amateur, who, in answer to an encore, gave the pleasing ballad entitled "Native Music," with equally good effect. "High on yon mountain," from Norma, might be said to be well given, although some harsh voices in the chorus were painfully apparent, and spoiled the effect, which remark may with justice be applied to most of the other choruses given during the evening. A hunting song from Dinorah, "The Day is awake" was feebly but otherwise well sung; and that beautiful morceau, the "Mocking Bird," which generally draws an encore, fell deadly on the audience, notwithstanding the excellent flauto accompaniment of Mr. Godfrey Smith. The duet "Suoni la Tromba," from Il Puritani, followed; and that excellent chorus "Now tramp o'er moss and fell," from the Lady of the Lake, was most effectively given, and unanimously awarded an encore. This concluded the programme, and His Excellency and Lady Bowen having retired, the assemblage dispersed. Although the arrangements in regard to details were satisfactory, the concert, taken in its entirety, cannot be considered a thorough success.

[Advertisement], The Courier (10 November 1862), 3

ANY Persons having a Claim on the Undersigned or his Brothers will please to send in their Accounts for adjustment before the departure of the next Sydney Steamer. Also, persons indebted to the same are requested to settle without delay.
CHARLES SMITH, Brisbane, Nov. 8th. Professor of Music.

[Advertisement], The Courier (22 November 1862), 1 

HAVING Bought at Auction all Professor Smith's stock of
MUSIC, consisting of Pianoforte, Violin, and other pieces, will be sold a bargain. Also, two music stands, by
JOHN GOLDSMID, Miscellaneous Store, Queen-street.

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (27 February 1867), 1

On the 30th of October, 1866, at San Francisco, California, LISETTE SOPHIE SCHMIDT, the beloved mother of Charles, Henry, and Gottfriedt Smith, musicians, formerly of this city.

SMITH, Charles E. (Charles SMITH; Mr. C. E. SMITH)

Tenor vocalist, music hall proprietor

Active Sofala, NSW, 1853
Active Melbourne, VIC, 1857
? Active Back Creek, VIC, 1859 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


"MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENTS", Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (1 January 1853), 2 

We understand that Mr. C. E. Smith lately from San Francisco and now a Turon bed-claim proprietor, proposes opening a music saloon at Sofala in course of a few weeks upon a very superior scale, and from the opportunities we have had of judging his vocal talents hesitate not to say that if to deserve success is to win it, Mr. Smith will be abundantly successful. With an excellent tenor voice of considerable compass, over which he possesses perfect control, he exercises a just appreciation of the burthen of his song, and a superior taste in the execution. During a short stay in Bathurst he has commanded the plaudits of numerous and admiring auditories. We wish him success in any undertaking which will supply our Sofala neighbours with an entertainment of rational and elevating character.

[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle [Melbourne, VIC] (28 March 1857), 1 

NATIONAL HOTEL MUSIC HALL, Bourke street east, near the Parliament Houses.
The following eminent Performers are engaged : -
MISS MORTIMER, Of the London and Liverpool Concerts.
Mr. G. NEWMAN, The popular Comic Vocalist, who will introduce with Miss Mortimer their amusing Comic Duets.
Mr. WHITE, Late of Rainer's Serenaders.
Mr. CHARLES SMITH, Late of San Francisco and Sydney Concerts.
Pianist and Conductor - Mr. E. J. Piper.
Proprietor, W. HUTCHINSON. Admission Free.

ASSOCIATIONS: Margaret Jones Mortimer [Newman] (vocalist); George Newman (vocalist); M. W. White (serenader); Edward John Piper (pianist); William Hutchinson (proprietor); National Hotel (Melbourne venue)

"BACK CREEK, AMHERST (From our own Correspondent)", Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser (14 November 1859), 2 

The absorbing topic of conversation for the last few days has been the amateur performance at the Theatre Royal for the benefit of the Amherst Hospital. This entertainment came off on Friday evening last, before the largest audience ever attended on Back Creek . . . Between the play and the farce came a ballad, "The Arab's Farewell to his Steed," beautifully sung by Mr. Chas Smith, and a dance, in Court costume, by the Misses Wiseman: both song and dance were rapturously encored. The evening's amusement terminated with the Yankee farce of the "Fast Train" - Delaware, Mr. H. H. Hoskings; Griffin, Mr. Chas. Smith; Biffin, Mr. W. Bussell . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Emily and Fanny Wiseman (dancers)

SMITH, Fanny Cochrane (Fanny COCHRANE; Mrs. William SMITH; Fanny SMITH)

Indigenous elder, song woman, singer

Born Flinders Island, VDL (TAS), ? December 1834; daughter of TANGANUTURA (Sarah)
Married William SMITH, Hobart, TAS, 27 October 1854
Died Port Cygnet, TAS, 24 February 1905 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (Wikipedia) (shareable link to this entry)

Photograph by J. W. Beattie at the 1899 recording session (National Library of Australia)

Fanny Smith and members of the Royal Society of Tasmania, Royal Society Room, Tasmanian Museum, Hobart, TAS, 5 August 1899 (National Library of Australia) (DIGITISED)


In 1899 and 1903 she recorded songs on wax cylinders; held in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, these are the earliest recordings ever made of traditional Tasmanian Aboriginal song and speech. Longman 1960 gives a detailed account of the making of the recordings and their contents, their survival, and several re-recordings.

Go to main entry on her 1899 and 1903 song recordings: 

Fanny Cochrane Smith and Horace Watson, 1903 recording session (Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery)

Fanny Cochrane Smith and Horace Watson, 1903 recording session (Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery)


1854, marriages in the district of Hobart; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:852332; RGD37/1/13 no 851$init=RGD37-1-13P329 (DIGITISED)

No. 297 / 851 / Oct'r 27th / [Independent] Minister's House Murray Street Hobart Town /
William Smith / Of full age / Sawyer / . . . and Fanny Cochrane / Of full age / [married by] Fred. E. Miller /
in the presence of Joseph Milligan, John J. Salier

ASSOCIATIONS: John Jabez Salier (witness); Joseph Milligan (witness, according to Barnard 1889 below, Milligan "gave away" Smith)

"FANNY COCHRANE", The Mercury (14 September 1882), 2

A correspondent, signing himself "One who knows," writes to correct the statement made by Mr. Lyne in the House of Assembly, in reference to Fanny Smith or Cochrane. Mr. Lyne then said that "Fanny Cochrane was not a Tasmanian native at all. She was a half-caste, and when in his service 25 years ago, she told him her father was a Scotsman", etc. "One who knows" asserts that the woman has never lived in Mr. Lyne's service; that gentleman having evidently mistaken some other person for the subject of Mr. Burgess' motion, in the Assembly. Our correspondent gives the following particulars of Fanny Smith's history:

"Fanny Smith was born at Flinders Island, her mother being known by the name of Sarah, and her father as 'Eugene,' aboriginals, both of whom died at Oyster Cove while under the protection of Dr. Milligan. When Fanny was a child at Flinders Island, she, amongst a number of other aboriginal children, was placed under the care and in charge of the Rev. Mr. Clarke and his wife, who had been appointed by the Government for the purpose of giving them a religious education, and getting them out of their native habits. While in care of Rev. Mr. Clarke, Fanny became a favourite of Mrs. Clarke, who decided on calling her Cochrane, after her own maiden name. This is how the name of Fanny Cochrane originated. The mothers of the various children under the care of Mr. and Mrs. Clarke were only allowed to see them once a week. In the year 1847 or 1848 the natives were removed from Flinders Island to Oyster Cove, being accompanied there by the Rev. Mr. Clarke and Dr. Milligan, Fanny at this time was 10 or 11 years old. The natives, old and young, were here allowed to be together, and Fanny joined her mother and father. In 1853 Fanny became acquainted with William Smith, and they were married by the Rev. Mr. Miller in 1854, and she married as an aboriginal, Dr. Milligan actually giving her away. From that time up to the present Fanny and her husband have never been separated from one another. Smith, at the time of his marriage, was living at North-West Bay, but the wedding took place in the city of Hobart. Smith and his wife remained at North-West Bay for six or eight months, and then removed, to Hamilton, under an engagement to Mr. Wm. Clarke, of Norton Mandeville. Here they remained for two years. From Hamilton they came to live in Hobart, where they opened a board and lodging house in Liverpool-street, two doors above the well-known premises of Perkins and Nephew. Things not going on satisfactorily in this business, they removed again to North-West Bay, where they remained six months. While there, Adam, an aboriginal, and brother of Fanny, begged of Smith to take care of him, he not having proper attendance, during illness on the station. While living with Smith and his sister, Adam was attended by Dr. Smith, of Brown's River, but eventually died, the body being taken to Oyster Cove and there buried. From North West Bay they removed to Irish Town, where Fanny's mother lived principally with them, being allowed to go there by the Government. On one occasion, when Fanny's mother was paying a visit to the aboriginals at Oyster Cove she was taken ill and there died, being attended by Smith and his wife, also Dr. Smith and Mr. Dandridge, who had been appointed by the Government to look after the natives. Fanny's sister, who was known as Queen Mary Ann, married a native chieftain, Walter George Arthur, whose father was chieftain before him, and whom all the natives obeyed. Walter George Arthur was drowned off Sandy Bay, having fallen out of a boat while going to Oyster Cove. His wife, Queen Mary Ann, died in the hospital, Hobart, while under Government care. Fanny Smith, with her husband, has now been living at Irish Town for 25 years, and is the mother of 11 children, her first child being born August 1st, 1857. While the natives were alive they were constantly with Smith and his wife, who, at great expense to themselves, provided them with every comfort it was in their power to give. Therefore, it will be seen that instead of Smith marrying his wife with any mercenary view, the Treasurer was quite correct when he said Smith married her for love, and to join their lots together. I will just remark that all traveling expenses of the natives, in going from the station to visit him, wherever he lived, either at Hobart or Irish Town, were borne by William Smith, Fanny's husband."

"SUMMARY OF NEWS", The Mercury (13 October 1888), 4

The House of Assembly has again decided to grant the last of the aborigines, Fanny Smith, a grant of 100 acres of land she now occupies and 200 acres more, for which a resolution was passed in 1884, but failed to have effect given to it. It is denied by some that Fanny Smith, nee Cochrane, is a pure aborigine, Mr. Lette contending with assurance that the lady is a half-caste. The decision of this question would be worth a committee of inquiry, for if Fanny Smith is only a half-caste many more exist in the Straits, and other claims have been set up; while if she is a pure aborigine she deserves much more consideration, and would merit it by her very estimable character. The best testimony in favour of her claim is that she has enjoyed a pension of £50 a year as an aboriginal woman for many years.


Mr. James Barnard read the following paper compiled by him upon this subject:-
It has been generally supposed that the grave has closed over the remains of the last of the aborigines, and that the extinction of the race has been final and complete. This supposition, however, is believed to be erroneous, for there still exists one female descendant of the former "princes of wastes and lords of deserts" in the person of Fanny Cochrane Smith, of Port Cygnet, and the mother of a large family of six sons and five daughters, all of whom are living. Some doubts have been cast in Parliament and elsewhere upon the claim of Fanny (to keep to her pre nuptial and first christian name) to be of the pure blood of her ancesters, but after searching the records, and upon her own testimony, and from other evidence, there seems to be little reason to doubt the fact. It appears, then, that Fanny was born at Flinders Island in 1834 or 1835, and is now about 66 years of age. Sarah was the name of her mother, and Eugene that of her father, and both were undeniably aboriginals. Sarah first lived with a sealer, and became the mother of four-half caste children, and was subsequently married to Eugene (native name, Nicomanie), one of her own people, and had three children, of whom Fanny is the sole survivor and representative of the race. Lieut. Matthew Curling Friend, R.N., in a paper read before the Tasmanian Society, on March 10, 1847, "On the decrease of the Aborigines of Tasmania," in alluding to the curious theory propounded by Count Strzelecki, that the aboriginal mother of a half caste can never produce a black child should she subsequently marry one of her own race, controverts this notion of invariable sterility by quoting two instances which came under his notice while visiting the aboriginal establishment at Flinders Island. I give his own words -" One was the case of a black Woman named Sarah, who had formerly four half caste children by a sealer with whom she lived, and has had since her abode at Flinders Island, where she married a man of her own race, three black children, two of whom are still alive. The other, a black woman named Harriet, who had formerly by a white man with whom she lived two half-caste children, and has had since her marriage with a black man a fine healthy black infant, who is still living." Commenting upon this doctrine of Strzelecki, West observes (Hist. of Tasmania, vol. 2; p. 75,), "A natural law by which the extinction of a race is predicted will not admit of such serious deviations." Some explanation may properly be expected from me for reviving a question which was supposed to be set at rest, when Truganini was consigned to the tomb, and declared to be the last woman of her race. I will, therefore, mention the incident which has given me something of a personal interest in the matter.

It is now nearly 40 years ago that I was accustomed occasionally to accompany my friend, the late Dr. Milligan, the Medical Superintendent of the Aborigines, to the settlement at Oyster Cove, where I saw a good deal of the native people at that time some 30 or 40 in number. Among these I have a distinct recollection of Fanny, who was then apparently about 17 years of age, slender and active, less dusky in colour, but rather more prepossessing in appearance than any of her kind; and certainly at that time I never heard a doubt expressed of her not being a true aboriginal. There was one circumstance in particular which impressed her upon my remembrance, and that was on one occasion we crossed over in a boat from Oyster Cove to Bruni Island, rowed by four of the black men, and Fanny taking the steer oar, which she handled with marvellous skill and dexterity. My visits to the settlement shortly after ceased, and from that time to the present, until a few weeks ago, when I was greatly surprised to receive a visit from this identical Fanny, who had become transformed into a buxom matron of considerable amplitude. By the courtesy of the Hon. P. O. Fysh, Chief Secretary and Premier, I have been permitted access to the official records bearing upon the subject of this investigation. The first documents brought under my attention were two letters under date June 23 and 26, 1882, embodying a report from the Police Magistrate of Franklin, the late E, A. Walpole, emphatically stating that Fanny "is a half-caste, born of an aboriginal woman, by a white man whose name is unknown, at Flinders Island on or about the year 1835." No authority beyond the expression of his individual opinion is adduced by Mr. Walpole in support of his statement.

The next document was a letter by the late Dr. Milligan, Medical Superintendent of Aborigines, under date July 17, 1854, enclosing William Smith's consent to marry Fanny Cochrane, and describing her as an aboriginal girl belonging to the establishment at Oyster Cove. This affords strong evidence in support of the opposite view of the case, as those who knew Dr. Milligan would remember how precise and accurate he invariably was in any statement of facts. A point of some importance in the contention would arise from Fanny's second name Cochrane. According to Bonwick, in his "Last of the Tasmanians," p. 282, this was taken from the sealer who lived with Sarah, whose name was Cottrel Cochrane. Were this so, it would have at once have gone far to settle the question of parentage, and prove her to be the half-caste supposed. Bonwick is obviously in error in his statement; for I have lately ascertained from the lips of a married lady living in Hobart, a daughter of the late Mr. Robert Clark, catechist at the aborigines establishment, that Cochrane was the maiden name of her mother, and that it was given by her father to Fanny when a child, and residing in his family. Again, Bonwick writes (p. 310): "We read of a sawyer, one Smith, and his black friend, Mrs. Fanny Cochrane Smith, receiving £25 a year for their half caste child." Instead of "black friend" he might have written "black wife" for the parties were duly married at Hobart by the Rev. Frederick Miller, Congregational minister, in 1854. As respects the cause assigned for the annuity, this writer was also in error, for the sum of £24 (not £25) was bestowed upon Fanny on the occasion of her marriage, and not for the reason stated.

The next document is a letter dated 8th December, 1842, conveying the official approval of the admission into the Queen's Orphan School of the three aboriginal children named in the margin - Fanny, Martha, Jesse. Then follows in the re cords under same date, an application from Mr. Robert Clark, late catechist of the aborigines on Flinders Island, for permission to receive into his family "an aboriginal child named Fanny, upon his engagement to feed, clothe, and educate her as one of his own children."

TFrom a long report to the Government by Dr. Milligan, dated November 29, 1847, I have taken the following extract: -
"The fifth girl, Fanny Cochrane, almost a woman, might remain with her half-sister, Mary Ann. Indeed, I can scarcely say how otherwise she could be satisfactorily disposed of." There being no difference of opinion as to Sarah being the mother of both, this testimony, given by Dr. Milligan as to a difference of parent age in the case of the father, at once discriminates her from Mary Ann, and in itself affords a strong presumption in favour of the contention.

Next is an extract from an official document dated 8th March, 1847:-
"Eugene and his wife, the father and mother of Fanny and Adam, being asked if they were, willing that their children should be sent back to Mr. Clark, said they were not. Fanny being asked if she understood the nature of an oath, answered, 'No' and the doctor explained it. Fanny said she did not wish to return to Mr. Clark." The superintendent at Oyster Cove, under date 4th-November, 1857, reports to the Colonial Secretary the death of Adam, aged 20 years, the youngest of the aboriginals; and states that during his illness he was waited upon by his mother, sister, and the latter's husband; these being respectively Sarah, Fanny, and William Smith.

Up to this point my researches have been eminently satisfactory, and have tended to confirm the theory of Fanny being an aboriginal; but another document has been brought under my notice which, unexplained, certainly discountenances that theory. It is the report of certain proceedings taken before Dr. Jeanneret, the superintendent at Flinders Island, on the occasion of certain allegations made against an officer of the establishment, and in which is a deposition made by Fanny, dated March 25, 1847, commencing with these words:

"I am a half-caste of Van Diemen's Land. My mother is a native. I am about 13 years of age," etc., with her signature attached at the foot.

At first sight this admission would appear to be conclusive and unanswerable; but, upon reflection, I am led to believe that there must be a mistake somewhere. In the first place a child of her age, with imperfectly developed intelligence, would scarcely be likely to volunteer that statement, or do more than give a mechanical assent to the question when asked, without, perhaps, at all understanding its import. Again, possibly the clerk writing the deposition may have understood that Fanny was sister to Mary Ann instead of half-sister, and naturally assumed them to be the offspring of the same parents. Besides, it conflicts with all the official correspondence in which she is referred to with Dr. Milligan, the medical superintendent, and Mr. Clark, the catechist, in all of which the term "half-caste" never once appears, and she is invariably designated an aboriginal girl, and distinguished from Mary Ann, her half-sister, and an undisputed half-caste. I may add, also, that Fanny wholly repudiates all knowledge or recollection of the evidence referred to.

The paper of Lieut. Friend, which I have quoted, in which he refers to Sarah, the mother of Fanny, in support of his hypothesis, as well as the official statement given of Eugene being her father and Adam being her brother, should remove all doubt as to Fanny being a true aboriginal. While it is not to be denied that differences of opinion exist on the point, I think it must be allowed, from the facts brought forward, that the weight of testimony is in its favour. The characteristics of the complexion and of the hair have been cited as favouring the opinion that Fanny must be deposed from the pedestal claimed for her as a pure aboriginal, and placed in the ranks of the half castes. Mr. Walpole states that "her colour is a very dark brown," but I should rather term it a blackish-brown, and showing the true aboriginal tint. On this point it must be remembered that from her infancy she has been encircled within the pale of civilised life, and shielded from the severities of weather and privations to which other, wise she would have been exposed, - all this, together with her surroundings, must naturally have greatly tended to exercise a modifying influence. The same as to her hair, which, if less woolly and like a mop, has no doubt been combed and brushed out to some small extent, of its original fluffiness to reconcile it to the model of the hair of the white children with whom she was brought up, and which she would naturally strive to imitate.

The question at issue may appear at first sight, to be a mere personal matter, and of comparative unimportance, but it is in reality much more than that, and has acquired a scientific aspect deserving of attention. There is reason to believe that the theory of Strzelecki has influenced many to concurrence in his views, and to disregard or overlook the cogency of facts opposed to it. Lieutenant Friend, as we have seen, disputes the dictum referred to, and has adduced strong evidence in support of his objection. Thus an interesting problem has been presented for solution. All controversy, however, must now be regarded as finally set at rest, since the adoption by Parliament, after due inquiry, of two resolutions passed, respectively in sessions 1882 and 1884, by the first of which the pension of Fanny Smith was increased from £24, to £50 per annum, and by the second that a grant deed of the 100 acres of land she at that time occupied, and for the 200 acres additional then presented to her should be issued to Fanny free of cost, both votes being passed on the ground specified of her being the last survivor of the aboriginal race.

Mr. STEVENS asked, the writer of the paper not to press the matter too strongly on the Society. While Parliament was free from any bias such as might be felt by scientific men in accepting such a claim as this present one, the Royal Society would not be justified by entertaining any such weakness. If, however, he threw out a challenge to ethnologists, he ran the risk of depriving Fanny Smith of what she now enjoyed. He was certain the paper would be considerately received, and the writer must not attribute any failure to discuss it on its merits to any lack of appreciation.

Mr. TAYLOR did not doubt Mr. Barnard had made very searching inquiry before submitting his, paper. He, did not doubt, a gauntlet was thrown down to anyone to disprove the grounds taken up. There was much that was new in the paper, and he hoped, if any members possessed any further evidence respecting this much-vexed question: they, would not fail to place it before the Society.

ASSOCIATIONS: James Barnard (author); see also published version of the above Barnard 1889

"LOVETT", Tasmanian News (7 April 1899), 3 

In Harvey's Hall, on the same evening [3 April], the members of the local Wesleyan Church tendered a farewell social to their departing pastor and his wife . . . During the evening there was some good music, and amongst the items was a Tasmanian aboriginal song, sung in the native dialect by Mrs. Smith, sen., of Irish Town, which was very amusing . . .

"KING BILLY'S PLAYMATE", The Mercury (31 August 1899), 3

At the entertainment given by Mr. Horace Watson at Sandy Bay on Tuesday evening last, "A Night with the Blacks," a very unique and remarkable item was introduced into the programme. Mrs. Fanny Cochrane Smith, the last survivor of the Tasmanian aboriginal race, was present, and at the lecturer's invitation spoke and sang in her native tongue to the audience. She stated that she and King Billy had been brought up together, and appeared quite touched when pictures of many of her old friends amongst the aborigines were shown on the screen. In all probability this sole representative in the whole world of an almost extinct race will appear shortly before the public here.

"THE LAST OF HER RACE", Tasmanian News (25 October 1899), 2 

"ON DIT", Tasmanian News (27 October 1899), 1

ON DIT . . . That the entertainment at the Temperance Hall on Monday will be singularly interesting. That it will deal with the Tasmanian Aborigines. That Miss Fanny Cochrane Smith, the last of her race, will sing in her native tongue. That, above all others, school children should attend this entertainment.

[Advertisement], The Mercury (28 October 1899), 3

TEMPERANCE HALL. MONDAY NIGHT. To MRS. FANNY COCHRANE SMITH (The Last of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Race), 60 Magnificent Limelight Views of Tasmania, Australia, and South Sea Blacks. Unique Collection of Native Weapons. Instrumental Items by the following: Messrs. Cripps and Gray's Imperial Orchestra; M. Vincent, E. Midwood, P. Henry; Misses Cripps and Duggan. MRS. FANNY COCHRANE SMITH Will sing in the Aboriginal Tongue. SCHOOL CHILDREN should not miss this opportunity. ADMISSION-6d.; Reserved, 1s. Commence at 8 o'clock.

"THE LAST OF THE ABORIGINES", The Mercury (31 October 1899), 2

An interesting entertainment for the benefit of Mrs. Fanny Cochrane Smith, the last of the Tasmanian aborigines, was given last evening at the Temperance-hall in the presence of a satisfactory audience. The entertainment mainly consisted of 69 lantern views of scenes connected with the early history of Tasmania, such as the landing places of Tasman and Cook; portraits of Tasmanian aboriginals, particularly some of the last and best known; and views of scenes and natives of Victoria, New Zealand, New Guinea, and Samoa. An interesting lecture explaining the pictures was delivered by Mr. H. Watson. A collection of native weapons, utensils, and instruments were also shown. Mrs. Smith, whose home is at Port Cygnet, and who was attended by the member of the Assembly for her district, Mr. J. W. Evans, was present, and made a neat, intelligent and amusing little speech, in good idiomatic English. She vindicated the good character of her race; described their love of honesty, and said that, unlike white people, they disliked kissing, which they looked upon as an insincere method of salutation. Speaking of herself, she said she was 60 years of age, had 11 children, who were all still living, and that, for many years past, her husband (who is a white man) had been disabled by paralysis. She speaks three native languages or dialects, and sang two songs in her own particular tongue, which were simple and melodious. Selections of instrumental music were rendered during the evening by Mr. M. Vincent, Master E. Midwood, and Cripps and Gray's Imperial Orchestra. Mrs. Smith has a pension of £50 a year from the Tasmanian Government.

Andrew Kirk, [Letter to the editor], "THE LAST OF THE TASMANIANS", Tasmanian News (1 November 1899), 3 

"On Dit", Tasmanian News (27 February 1905), 1

"ABORIGINAL SONGS", Daily Post (21 November 1908), 10 

"THE ROYAL SOCIETY. ABORIGINAL SPEECH", The Mercury (15 June 1909), 6

"ABORIGINAL SPEECH", Tasmanian News (15 June 1909), 2

Mr. H. B. Ritz read an interesting paper on the speech of the Tasmanian aboriginals. He said he called it a "speech," not a language, for it consisted of several languages. His paper indicated his efforts to lay the foundation of a systematic study of the speech of that primitive race, He hoped, in course of time, to lay before members of the society a reconstruction of the language, as far as it could be done. The records were scanty, still fairly ample, considering the small number of the constituent parts of the language. In proceeding with the investigation it opened up interesting veins of thought, and promised to lead to important results in the domains of philology, ethnology, and anthropology. The characteristics of the speech were so primitive and unstable that he could not classify them by any of the rules given in text-books. The roots were liable to variation within certain limits. A root word might have a certain meaning in one family, and quite a different one in another. To find the principles underlying the phenomena of Tasmanian aboriginal speech was the object of his investigation. Some said the speech was akin to that of the aborigines on the mainland, and some parts akin to that of the South Sea islands. It was on this assumption that ethnological affinity had been based; but he did not think it justified the existence of ethnological affinity. They might, however establish analogies. However primitive the thought and speech of the aborigines of Tasmania were they were of the same kind as those of all other primitive races of which we have any note. There certainly were several dialects of the Tasmanian aboriginal divided geographically. Two of these were easily distinguished, namely, the north-western and western speech, and eastern and southern speech. He analysed the records of Roth and others. It was a primitive and infantile method of conveying thought. He dwelt on the intonation, word accent and modulations of the speech. Mr. Horace Watson, of Sandy Bay, an ardent student of aboriginal life, had shown much kindness to Mrs. Fanny Cochrane Smith, one of the direct descendants of the Tasmanian aboriginals, and she had to show her gratitude to him by singing two of the native songs into a phonograph. The lecturer said the melody of one of the songs suggested to him that it was taken from the piping song of the native magpie. The two interesting phonograph records were then heard on the instrument, which was manipulated by Mr. Trowbridge. Mr. A. J. Taylor commended Mr. Ritz for endeavouring to reconstruct the original mode of speech of the natives. (Applause.) He mentioned that there were two ladies at Kettering who had been acquainted with the blacks when on Flinders island, and who could afford Mr. Ritz much useful information.

"ABORIGINES' CAMP", The Mercury (23 May 1931), 10 

. . . After the Attorney-General's address a phonograph cylinder record of the only Tasmanian aborigine's song ever made was reproduced on a machine. The record was found recently in the Museum by Mr. Clive Lord, and had unusual interest in connection with the group exhibit made public yesterday. The song was sung by Mrs. Fanny Cochrane Smith, of Cygnet, said then to be one of the last full-blooded-aboriginals alive but evidence of white blood exists. It is a song about flowers and springtime and Mr. Lord has obtained a translation of it. Approximately it carries a range of five or six notes, but is mostly sung on one or two, with sudden burst on the higher level. From the point of melody it cannot be said to have any and the general effect is rather of intoning or chanting. To civilised ear it bears no relation to songs as understood, and the only thing to which one can liken it is Chinese singing. How ever, as the only record made it has unique distinction, and if Mr. Lord's purpose of having a flat disc record made from it be carried out, no doubt other museums and ethnological authorities will welcome the chance of securing a copy.

"RECORDINGS OF ABORIGINAL SONGS PLAYED", The Mercury (14 January 1949), 2

Aboriginal Recordings. VOICE OF EXTINCT PEOPLE LIVES ON IN MEMORY AND WAX, By a Staff Reporter. IN a backyard at Sandy Bay before the turn of the century a tremulous-voiced old woman who had been the "mate" of King Billy in her youth sang for posterity songs of the extinct Tasmanian race. YESTERDAY, an echo of the far off days was brought into another Sandy Bay home when 82 year-old Miss Emily Keene told the story of Fanny Cochrane-Smith. Miss Keene remembers vividly the occasion when the recordings were made by Mr. Horace Watson, a chemist and dentist. They are believed to be the only recordings in existence of the aboriginal tongue. Four of the recordings are in the possession of the Tasmanian Museum. A fifth cylinder, on which was recorded the translation of the songs, was broken some time ago. When the recordings were made, Mr. Watson sent copies to universities all over the world. Miss Keene told me yesterday that when Mr. Watson played the recordings back to Fanny Cochrane Smith, she cried: "My poor race. What have I done." "We could not pacify her for a long time," Miss Keene said. "She thought the voice she heard was that of her mother." Explaining how the recordings were made, Miss Keene said Mr. Watson had organised a Fanny Cochrane-Smith's benefit when financial troubles arose, and the recordings were made out of appreciation for Mr. Watson's services. Miss Keene believes that some relatives of Fanny Cochrane-Smith are still living. However, she is not sure whether any of them can speak the aboriginal tongue. She is sure of one thing, and that is that Fanny Cochrane-Smith did not make any other recordings than those for Mr. Watson. The only white person whom Miss Keene remembers could speak the aboriginal tongue is now dead. "She was a fine woman, and had a true appreciation of the worth of her fellows," was Miss Keene's tribute to Fanny Cochrane-Smith. So the past became vivid again for awhile. Then the kindly woman who remembers a lost tongue went back into the sunshine of her garden, and the other garden she told about faded into the years. [Photo caption: Fanny Cochrane-Smith making a recording of an aboriginal song for Mr. Horace Watson in the backyard of a Sandy Bay home last century.]

"Aboriginal Recordings VOICE OF EXTINCT PEOPLE LIVES ON IN MEMORY AND WAX", The Mercury (23 March 1949), 5 

"DAUGHTER OF FANNY COCHRANE-SMITH", The Mercury (24 March 1949), 6

"Talk On Research Into Folk Music", The Mercury (17 March 1950), 5

"Carena's Column", Examiner (8 July 1953), 8

"VOICE LINK WITH A LOST RACE", The Newcastle Sun (19 August 1953), 5

"WORTH REPORTING: Musical relic of the past", The Australian Women's Weekly (23 February 1955), 34 

Audio recordings (streamed online):

Popela (version A)

Sung by Fanny Cochrane Smith, recorded by Horace Watson, Hobart, TAS, 5 August 1899; cylinder 1 (Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, 15685/M3317) (restored and streamed by the National Film and Sound Archive) (SOUND FILE)

See in checklist for Full documentation including text and music transcriptions

"Fanny Cochrane Smith recordings: 1899 and 1903", Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (7 February 2013) 

Spring song (version B)

Sung by Fanny Cochrane Smith, recorded by Horace Watson, Barton Hall, Sandy Bay, Hobart, TAS, 8 October 1903; Cylinder 5 (Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, 15689/M3321); streamed on Vimeo (STREAMED)

See in checklist for Full documentation including text and music transcriptions

Bibliography and resources:

James Barnard, "Notes on the last living Aboriginal of Tasmania", Papers and proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania (1889), 60-64 (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)


ASSOCIATIONS: James Barnard (author)

H'y Ling Roth, "A surviving Tasmania Aborigine", Nature 41 (5 December 1889), 

Reprint of the above at H. Ling Roth at al, The Aborigines of Tasmania . . . [first edition] (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., 1890), appendix F (DIGITISED)

H. Ling Roth, "Is Mrs. F. C. Smith a 'last living Aboriginal of Tasmania?'", Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (February 1898), 451-54 (DIGITISED)

Reprint of the above at H. Ling Roth et al., The Aborigines of Tasmania . . . second edition (Halifax: F. King & Sons, 1899), appendix G, [84]-[87] (DIGITISED)

Hermann B. Ritz, "An introduction to the study of the Aboriginal speech of Tasmania (read November 16, 1908)", Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania (1908), 73-83 (DIGITISED)

Does not mention Smith by names, but discusses song texts

Hermann B. Ritz, "The speech of the Tasmanian Aborigines (read 14th June, 1909)", Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania (1908), especially 49-50, and 80 (offprint, 6-7, 37) (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED offprint)

[49, offprint 6] . . . The modulation of the voice in speaking is of the same kind as that found in European languages, for instance in English as spoken by a North Briton, a Welshman, or an Irishman. We find it most clearly-expressed in song - and in the love of singing, and the Tasmanian Aborigines afford good examples of it. H. Ling Roth (pp. 134 ff.) gives a good account of the music of the Aborigines; but a better idea of it can be gathered from hearing the songs themselves. This is possible to us, owing to that wonderful device called the gramophone. Mr. Horace Watson, of Sandy Bay, an ardent and sympathetic student of Aboriginal life had shown much kindness to Mrs. Fanny Cochrane Smith, one of the descendants of the Aboriginal Tasmanians, and, on one occasion she was delighted to please him by singing two native songs into a phonograph. The circumstances thus render the sincerity of her performance unquestionable. The records are in perfect order, and Mr. Watson, to help me in my study of the Tasmanian speech, most generously gave me a copy of each. I hope to have an opportunity to translate and explain these records to the Royal Society; for the present I would only point out that the first song is [7] distinguished for the precision of its rhythm and the second is perhaps an imitation, not of a Highland bagpipe, as Bonwick opined, but of the melody of a native magpie which most unmelodiously the zoologists call a piping crow . . .

Murray Longman, "Songs of the Tasmanian aborigines as recorded by Mrs. Fanny Cochrane Smith", Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 94 (1960), 79-86 (DIGITISED)

Alice Moyle, "Two native song-styles recorded in Tasmania", Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 94 (1960), 73-78 (DIGITISED)

Alice M. Moyle, "Tasmanian music, an impasse?", Records of the Queen Victoria Museum, Launceston 26 (May 1968), 1-10 

J. Clark, "Smith, Fanny Cochrane (1834-1905)", Australian dictionary of biography 11 (1988)

Cassandra Pybus, "Oyster Cove 1988" [Aboriginal history associated with Oyster Cove], Meanjin 47/4 (Summer 1988), 583 (PAYWALL)

Graeme Skinner, Toward a general history of Australian musical composition: first national music, 1788-c.1860 (Ph.D thesis, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney, 2011), 127, 442 (DIGITISED)

Martin Thomas, "The rush to record: transmitting the sound of Aboriginal culture", Journal of Australian Studies 90 (2007), 107-21 (PAYWALL)

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "Recovering musical data from colonial era transcriptions of Indigenous songs: some practical considerations", in Jim Wafer and Myfany Turpin (eds), Recirculating songs: revitalising the singing practices of Indigenous Australia (Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics, 2017), 354-61 (DIGITISED)

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney) and Jim Wafer (University of Newcastle), "A checklist of colonial era musical transcriptions of Australian Indigenous songs", in Jim Wafer and Myfany Turpin (eds), Recirculating songs: revitalising the singing practices of Indigenous Australia (Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics, 2017), 388-89, 413-15 (DIGITISED)

"Fanny Cochrane Smith", Wikipedia 

Other sources:

AIATSIS, The Alice Moyle Collection, papers, cylinder recordings of Fanny Cochrane Smith

SA Museum, Norman Tindale, papers, documentation for speech and sound recordings 

Video and other online resources:

The Tasmanian magazine, no. 5 (1960) (streamed by Libraries Tasmania on Youtube), segment on Smith recordings from 2:22 (STREAMED)

[Australia] "#53. Fanny Cochrane Smith wax cylinder recordings", Memory of the world, UNESCO National Committee of Australia (2017) 

Tasmanian Heritage on UNESCO Register, Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery 

Rhainnon Shine, "Fanny Cochrane Smith's Tasmanian Aboriginal songs and language preserved forever", ABC NEWS (9 February 2017) 

No. 39, Fanny Cochrane Smith recordings - songs of survival, Shaping Tasmania: a journey in 100 objects; Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery 

SMITH, George (George SMITH) [1]

Musical instrument maker, seraphine manufacturer, tuner, and repairer, amateur musician (Dilletanti Society), music retailer

Arrived Sydney, NSW, 2 April 1839 (per Augustus Caesar, from London, 17 November 1838)
Active Sydney, NSW, until early 1840 (shareable link to this entry)


George Smith and James Watson arrived in Sydney on 2 April 1839, as fellow passengers on board the Augustus Caesar of James Aquinas Reid. Smith and Watson secured premises in Bridge-street, near the corner of George-street, and. as Watson, Smith, and Co., advertised regularly as "Seraphine and Cabinet manufacturers" until the end of July.

Smith was next heard of, in the new year of 1840, as secretary the new amateur Dilletanti Society, of which Reid was conductor, and business partner with Reid and Jeremiah McCrohan, who in January advertised as successors to the music shop and business of Andrew Ellard.

But on 28 January, the Dilletanti society advertised that Smith, its "late Secretary" had been "expelled by unanimous vote of the General Meeting", and on 31 January his partners Reid and McCrohan advertised that Smith was no longer associated with their business. Smith, meanwhile, had also advertised the dissolution of his former partnership with Watson, who was then continuing to trade as a cabinetmaker in Bridge-street.

Thereafter, nothing more is known of either Smith or Watson, and there is no record of a seraphine built by them, surviving or otherwise.


"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVALS", The Sydney Herald (3 April 1839), 2 

From London, yesterday, having left November 17, the barque Augustus Caesar, Captain Lacey, with merchandise. Passengers - . . . Misses Mary and Catherine Reid . . . Mr. James Watson, Mr. George Smith . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (24 April 1839), 3 

CHRONOMETER. FOR SALE, A SUPERIOR new two-day Chronometer, by J. Gowland, London. Apply to E. M. Storey, on board the Augustus Caesar; or at Watson and Smith's, 5, Bridge-street. The Captain of the Augustus Caesar can vouch for its being a superior Article, he having had the care of it on the passage here from London.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (20 May 1839), 1 

Seraphine & Cabinet MANUFACTURERS,
BEG to announce that they have commenced Manufacturing on their Premises, No 15, Bridge-street, George-street, Sydney, and trust by strict attention to business to merit their patronage.
Messrs. W. and Co. beg to state that they are the only Seraphine Manufacturers in the Colony.
Orders for every description of Cabinet Work executed in the best possible manner; a Stock at which, of the best description, will be constantly kept on hand.
[Manicule] Seraphines Repaired and Tuned.
Seraphine and Cabinet Manufacturers,
15, Bridge street, George-street, Sydney.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Standard and Colonial Advocate (29 July 1839), 1 


ASSOCIATIONS: Their claims to be the only seraphine manufacturers in the colony was challenged by two other recent arrivals, John Kinloch and Thomas Hearth, who advertised in June 1839 as "Organ-Builders, Seraphine, & Pianoforte Makers"

[Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser (13 January 1840), 3 

A. ELLARD, IN RETIRING from his Business of MUSIC SELLER, carried on during the last year in Sydney, returns his sincere thanks, to the Gentry and Public of New South Wales, for the very liberal support he as received during his short stay amongst them, and confidently hopes for a continuance of it, in favour of his successors -
to whom he has this day disposed of his Stock and Establishment, Pitt-street, where the business will be carried on in future, on the same terms as heretofore . . .
Music Saloon, Pitt-street, Next the Theatre. 9th January, 1840.

[Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (17 January 1840), 1 

To the Gentry and Public of New South Wales.
REID, SMITH, and McCROHAN, MUSIC SELLERS and PUBLISHERS, beg leave to announce to the Gentry and Public of New South Wales, that they have purchased the whole Stock-in-Trade, including Musical Instruments of every description, and the Catalogue of Music, UNEQUALLED in the Colony for variety and extent, lately the property of Mr. A. ELLARD, Music Seller, 27, Pitt-street, next the VICTORIA THEATRE, who retires to Europe, and surrenders his business to them.
In commencing this undertaking, they feel themselves called upon to inform the inhabitants of the Colony, that they have entered into the most extensive and systematic arrangements in different parts of Europe, as well as in the Colony, in order to merit a share of that patronage, which their predecessor has so amply experienced during his short residence in Sydney.
The leading features of their arrangements are the following -
A constant supply of all the Novelties of the British and Foreign Musical World, kept up through agents in LONDON, PARIS, and VIENNA.
A choice selection of Pianofortes, Seraphines, and other Musical Instruments, from all the leading London Makers.
Repairs, Tuning, &c., will be executed by competent workmen, under the superintendence of One of the Firm, who will periodically visit all parts of the Colony for the purpose of Tuning, Repairing, and Regulating Pianofortes and Seraphines, and attending to other orders they may be favoured with.
Preparations are being made for establishing a Branch for the publication of Standard and Original Music.
All additions to the Stock and all Novelties from Europe will be duly announced.
By following out the above plan, and by adhering strictly to a straightforward method of doing business, REID, SMITH, and McCROHAN flatter themselves that the Gentry and Public of the Colony will award them a share of their patronage. This, at least, they venture to affirm, that on their part nothing shall be wanting in attention, perseverance, and MODERATE CHARGES, to entitle them to a share of such public patronage.
Music Saloon, 27, Pitt-street, next Victoria Theatre. 10th January, 1810.

ASSOCIATIONS: James Aquinas Reid (business partner); Jeremiah McCrohan (business partner); Andrew Ellard (music retailer)

"Music", Australasian Chronicle (17 January 1840), 3

We have much pleasure in drawing the attention of our Readers to the advertisement (in our first page) of Messrs. Reid, Smith, and McCrohan. The first named Gentleman, Dr. Reid, we had the pleasure to of being intimate with in "Merry Scotland." That acquaintance has been happily renewed in what we hope will soon be called merry Australia. Laying claim to some judgment in musical matters, we have no hesitation in asserting that as a COMPOSER and Teacher, he has no equal in these Colonies. His indefatigable exertions, and attention to his pupils, are well known to those who have availed themselves of his talents. We therefore hesitate not to recommend this new establishment to our musical readers.

"MUSIC", The Colonist (18 January 1840), 2 

We perceive that Dr. Reid has succeeded to the business of Mr. Ellard, of Pitt-street. From the known talents of that gentleman and his sisters, we have no doubt of their success.

"DELATANTI SOCIETY", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (23 January 1840), 2

As we were passing the shop of Messrs. Reid, Smith, & McCrohan (late Mr. A. Ellard's), on the night of Tuesday last, between the hours of 9 and 10 o'clock, we had the pleasure of hearing several airs played by a very full and efficient orchestra. On enquiry we were informed that it was the rehearsal night of a new musical society called the "Delatanti Society." We heard in particular one set of Mozart's celebrated waltzes played in a style we have never heard surpassed in this colony. Dr. Reid, we are informed, is the leader; we have to congratulate him and the other members of the society on the success they are certain to meet with in the cultivation of this most pleasing accomplishment. We understand that this society is entirely composed of amateurs, no professional person being admitted as a member. We wish them every success. Such societies are the surest indications of the rising prosperity of the arts and sciences in New South Wales.

ASSOCIATIONS: Dilletanti Society (amateur organisation)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (27 January 1840), 3

Notice. THE Undersigned begs to state that he has no connection, or interest, in the business carried on by MR. WATSON, Cabinet Maker, 15, Bridge-street, and known as
The Partnership having been Dissolved by mutual consent, on the 22nd November, 1839;
he, therefore, will not be responsible for any Debts contracted since that date.
All accounts due to that concern are payable to Mr. Watson, who will satisfy all claims. GEORGE SMITH, 27, Pitt-street. Jan. 24, 1840.

[2 advertisements], Australasian Chronicle (28 January 1840), 3

Dilletanti Society.
THE Public are hereby cautioned against giving credit, on account of this Society, to George Smith, late Secretary, he having been expelled by the unanimous vote of a General Meeting.
By order of the Committee, G. BOULTON, Chairman. Jan. 25, 1840.

Notice. "Reid, Smith, and McCrohan."
NOTICE is hereby given, that George Smith has ceased to be a Member of the above Firm, which will in future be carried on in the Name of Reid & McCrohan.
Sydney, Jan. 24, 1840.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Boulton (musical amateur)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (30 January 1840), 3 

THE Public are heeeby cautioned against giving credit on account of this Society to George Smith, late Secretary, he having been expelled by the unanimous vote of a General Meeting.
By order of the Committee, G. BOULTON, Chairman January 25, 1840.

The above advertisement having appeared in the Australasian Chronicle of Tuesday last, the attention of the Public is respectfully called to the true statement of the facts as below: -

Mr. G. Smith presents his compliments to Mr. G. Boulton, "Chairman," and through him the Members of the above Society, and begs to state that no credit not even to the amount of sixpence, was ever obtained on the faith of such a Society being in existence, during the time he was connected with them. Indeed with all due deference be it mentioned, he is not at all certain that the Society, as a body could get credit even for that amount. He therefore regrets that they should put themselves to the expense of so useless an advertisement as the above.

SMITH, George (George SMITH) [2]

Musician, bandsman, Band of the 11th Regiment

Born Cork, Ireland, c. 1820
Discharged Sydney, NSW, 1851
Died Sydney, NSW, 11 February 1859, aged "39" (shareable link to this entry)


"CORONER'S INQUEST", The Sydney Morning Herald [NSW] (14 February 1859), 5

An enquiry before the City Coroner took place on Saturday, at the Gavan Duffy Inn, Paddington, concerning the death of a man named George Smith, who had died suddenly on Friday morning. Deceased was a native of Cork, Ireland, was thirty-nine years old, and had been a bandsman in the 11th Regiment, from which he had received his discharge in 1851. He had been ailing for three years past, complaining of pains in the chest and heart; and on the afternoon of Thursday was taken suddenly worse. It appears that he became more restless and ill during the night; on Friday morning, after vomiting a small quantity of blood, he expired at half-past ten. Verdict: "Natural causes."

SMITH, George Frederick (George Frederick SMITH; G. F. SMITH)

Amateur musician, pianist, tenor vocalist (? founding member Melbourne Philharmonic Society), choral conductor, painter and decorator, municipal officer, landowner

Born March, Cambridgeshire, England, March 1828; son of William SMITH and Elizabeth JUDD
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 12 February 1853 (per Koh I Nor, from London, 19 October 1852)
Married Anne Maria SUTTON (d. 1874), VIC, 1857
Died Williamstown, VIC, 30 March 1909, aged "81" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)

George Frederick Smith (Methodist Spectator)

George Frederick Smith (from the Methodist Spectator)


George Frederick Smith was born in the town of March, in the Isle of Ely, Cambridgeshire, England, calculating from later reports of his birthday, late in the month of March 1828. He was a son of William Smith, a plumber and glazier, and Elizabeth Judd, who had married at St. Peter, Wisbeach, on 12 April 1822.

George, who gave his trade as "painter &c." in the 1851 census, was already, at 23, a prominent local figure in the town of March. Earlier that month he was elected librarian of the Mechanics' Institute, and in June it was reported that he was an exhibitor at the Great Exhibition of "Specimens of painting in imitation of various marbles; painting in imitation of oak, for interior or external decorations". In March 1852, it was reported that, during the past year, he and a colleague had successfully cleaned and oiled the famous carved angel roof of the St. Wendreda's church, at the order of the parish council. In July 1852 he was a tenor vocal soloist in a local concert, one of his last public appearances in his home town before he sailed for Victoria, probably from London, on the Koh I Nor, in October.

If so, Smith arrived in Melbourne in February 1853, and set up in business as a painter and decorator in the city, before settling in Williamstown.

According to an 1888 article, he was a founding member (in 1853-54) of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society, and was still appearing with the society as an occasional soloist in the 1870s.


"ISLE OF ELY . . . MARCH. Mechanics' Institute", Cambridge Independent Press (8 March 1851), 3 (PAYWALL)

A general meeting of the members of this Institution was held on Thursday last . . . The officers elected for the ensuing year are . . . Mr. G. F. Smith, Librarian . . .

England census, 30 March 1851, March, Isle of Ely, Cambridgeshire; UK National Archives, HO 107 / 1765 (PAYWALL)

43 / Little London / William Smith / Head / Mar. / 51 / Plumber & Glazier / [born] Cambridge March
Elizabeth [Smith] / Wife / Mar. / 50 / - / [born] Middlesex London
George F. Smith / Son / Unmar. / 23 / Painter &c. / [born] Cambridgeshire March
Elizabeth / 16 // John / 14 / Mary / 10 / William / 8 // Frederic / 6 / [all born Cambridgeshire March]

"ISLE OF ELY . . . MARCH. Great Exhibition", Cambridge Independent Press (Saturday 21 June 1851), 3 (PAYWALL)

The Eastern Counties Railway Company having provided excursion trains during the month of June, upwards of 50 persons left this town on Monday last on a visit to the Crystal Palace. It may be gratifying to the March exhibitors and their friends to know that their contributions are not the lowest in their class exhibiting at the Crystal Palace, but have already excited the attention of judges, whose opinions are not to be despised. The contributions from March are: - Specimens of painting, in imitation of various marbles and oak, Mr. G. F. Smith; an improved roller, for agricultural purposes, by Mr. Chenery; and road waggon, by Mr. Squires.

"ISLE OF ELY . . . MARCH . . . Vestry Meeting", Cambridge Independent Press (17 April 1852), 3 (PAYWALL)

Tuesday last being the day appointed for passing Churchwardens' accounts, and election of churchwardens, a vestry meeting for that purpose was held in the Guildhall . . . The expenditure this year was more than that of former years, in consequence of the late repairs and cleaning which the church had undergone; the old carved roof, which one of the finest specimens in England, having been cleaned and oiled by Messrs. G. F. Smith and W. Southwell, upon whom it reflects great credit. The windows and lead roof have also undergone thorough repair, the whole giving universal satisfaction.

"ISLE OF ELY . . . MARCH", Cambridge Independent Press (24 July 1852), 3 (PAYWALL)

On Thursday Week, Mr. J. Simmons gave his annual concert in the New School-room . . . The programme was selected from Handel, Mozart, and also English masters. The orchestra consisted of about thirty performers, all native talent with the exception of the pianist. Among the pieces which were most applauded were "What is Hope," sung by Mrs. Enfield and Master John Simmons, which elicited a well-deserved encore; "Ruth" was also sung by Mrs. Enfield, with fine expression and tender feeling; "The Christian Warriors," by Messrs. G. F. Smith, M. Coy, and W. Shute, in which the correct rendering the tenor solos by Mr. Smith, and bass solos by Mr. Coy, appeared also to imbue the audience with the martial spirit embodied in the music . . . The choruses gave great satisfaction: Farrant's "Lord, for thy tender mercy's sake," and Kent's "Blessed thou," being given with correctness and effect. The overtures in "Saul and Sampson" [sic] also did treat credit the instrumental performers. Mr. G. D. Davies, of Wisbech, presided the pianoforte . . .

Melbourne, VIC (from 1853):

? Names and descriptions of passengers per Koh I Nor from London, 19 October 1852, for Port Phillip; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

. . . Smith George / 26 / Gentleman / [English] . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (28 March 1855), 1 

The advertiser would feel particularly obliged by the Agents of Mr. George Peppin, sheep farmer, forwarding his address to G. F. Smith, care of Mr. Richardson, Natal Dining Rooms, Hay-Market.

Official catalogue of the Melbourne, Exhibition, 1854 . . . (Melbourne: F. Bennett and Company, [1855]), 27 (DIGITISED)

254 / Smith, George F., 87 Russell-st., Grainer, &c.- Specimens of Painting in imitation of Marble and Oak, for interior and exterior decoration.

[Advertisement], The Argus (19 June 1855), 3 

DISSOLUTION OF PARTNERSHIP. - The Partnership hitherto existing between the Undersigned was this day Dissolved by mutual consent.
It is requested that all outstanding accounts be at once paid to Mr. G. F. Smith or Mr. H. Davies, No. 116 Russell-street. Signed,
Witness, F. Williams. April, 1855.

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Davies (painter and decorator, business partner)

"DECORATIVE ART", Williamstown Chronicle (29 November 1856), 3 

That Williamstown is not behind its neighbors in the possession of talent in this department may be inferred from the fact that the large silver prize medal, given by the Victoria Industrial Society, at the Exhibition of Colonial Art and Manufactures for the best painting in imitation of marble and wood was awarded to our fellow-townsman, Mr. G. F. Smith, of the firm of Fisher and Smith. There were four competitors, whose workmanship, we are told, was superior to anything of the sort that had been hitherto seen in the colony. Mr. Smith was also awarded the only medal for this branch of art at the Victorian Exhibition of 1854.

"MARCH", Cambridge Independent Press (7 March 1857), 7 (PAYWALL)

The annual exhibition of the Industrial Society of Victoria, in the Exhibition Building, was opened on Nov. 26, 1856. It was tolerably well attended, and kept open till ten, illuminated by gas. We are informed by the Williamstown Newspaper, Nov. 29, 1856, that the celebrated decorative painter, lately resident in this town, (Mr. G. F. Smith,) has received the large silver prize medal given by the Society for the best painting in imitation in [sic, of] marble and wood. There were four competitors, whose workmanship was superior to anything of the sort that had been hitherto seen in the colony. Mr. Smith was also awarded the only medal for this branch of art at the Victoria Exhibition, in 1854. The Victoria paper, The Age, also informs us that the silver medal was assigned to Mr. Smith. This is the third prize Mr. Smith has received, being also the recipient a prize from the Great Exhibition of 1851.

[News], The Argus (12 October 1866), 4 

Mr. G. F. Smith delivered an interesting lecture on "Church Music" last evening, in the Wesleyan Chapel, at Williamstown. Mr. Smith (who presided at the harmonium) was assisted in his musical illustrations by an efficient choir, whose performances were received with many manifestations of approval. At the conclusion a vote of thanks was passed to him and his assistants, on the motion of the Rev. T. H. Jackson, which was seconded by the Rev. Geo. Wilkinson.

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (12 October 1866), 5 

A lecture was delivered in the Wesleyan Chapel, Williamstown, last evening, by Mr. G. F. Smith, on the origin and history of church music. Mr. Smith, who has devoted his time to the study of this subject for over twenty years, proved himself to possess a thorough knowledge of it; he spoke of the music sung by Moses and the children of Israel in the wilderness, and of its gradual development from the early chants to the beautiful melodies which have since been given to the world in such numbers. He deplored the system of introducing secular music into the churches, which, instead of being such that the whole of the congregation could join in, was only fit for a trained choir, a favored few, who only thought of making an idle display of their musical powers. In order to show that there were plenty of good soul-stirring tunes, without picking them from operas, the lecturer sat down to the harmonium, and played "Leoni," "Judah's Lament," "St. Warburgs," and that glorious hymn of Meyerbeer's, being assisted by the choir of the chapel, to whom great credit is due for the manner in which they sang the different parts. At the close of the lecture, a vote of thanks was moved by the Rev. T. H. Jackson, which was heartily given. Capt. Dalgarno occupied the chair. The proceeds are to be devoted to the building fund of the chapel.

[News], The Herald (12 October 1866), 2 

. . . about 150 persons were present. The lecturer gave a history of vocal and instrumental music from the earliest times, and illustrated his remarks by several chants and other musical selections, which were well executed by himself and a choir chosen for the purpose . . .

"MUSIC", The Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil (23 December 1876), 155 

. . . On December 5 "Maritana" was produced at the Town-hall before a large audience by the Melbourne Philharmonic Society. The various parts were distributed as follows: Maritana, Mrs. Howitz; Lazarillo, Mrs. Ramsden; Don Caesar de Bazan, divided between Mr. Benjamin Clark (from Maguire's Opera-house, San Francisco,) and Mr. G. F. Smith; Don Jose, Mr. S. Lamble; King of Spain, Mr. T. Rainford. Mr. Edward King was leader in the orchestra, Mr. George Peake was honorary organist, and Mr. David Lee made his reappearance once more as conductor . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Samuel Lamble (vocalist); Thomas H. Rainford (vocalist); Edward King (violin); George Peake (organist); David Lee (conductor); Melbourne Philharmonic Society (organisation)

"Philharmonic Societies", The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (10 October 1885), 767 

. . . The Melbourne Philharmonic Society has existed for more than 31 years of the 50 which mark the life of the colony of Victoria. One at least of its founders still lives, the tenor singer, Mr. G. F. Smith, who sang "The Death of Nelson" when the Metropolitan Liedertafel visited Sydney, about four years ago . . .

"CONCENTRATES", Williamstown Chronicle (21 March 1908), 3 

Mr. G. F. Smith, who will next week celebrate his 80th birthday, is announced to sing to-morrow night at the Electra-street Methodist Church the solo "In native worth."

"DEATHS", The Argus (31 March 1909), 1 

SMITH. - On the 30th March, at 53 Melbourne-road, Williamstown, George Frederick Smith (formerly town clerk, Williamstown), aged 81 years. (No flowers, by request.)


A VERY old Williamstown identity passed away about 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning at his residence, Melbourne-road. The deceased was Mr. G. F. Smith. He was about 81 years of age and a native of Cambridgeshire, England. For about 40 years to the day he had been town clerk, on his retirement on April 6th, 1904. At that period he was the oldest town clerk of the State and probably the Commonwealth. Mr. Smith emigrated to Australia in the very early "Fifties," becoming town clerk in 1864. Previously he was in the employment of the early Victorian Railways and was induced to relinquish his position to enter municipal life, chiefly at the instance [of] leading local public men of that period, who then, like himself, regarded the prospects of Williamstown, of a particularly roseate color. In latter years he had been heard to regret his choice, as when he retired from municipal life had be been instead associated with the railways his pension would have been £400 per annum, instead of the £60 gratuity he was in receipt of from the Williamstown Council. Deceased was a man of marked ability in various ways. He was exceedingly well versed in municipal law and a most expert and neat accountant (his business books being a picture), likewise a clever caligraphist of "the old school," and noted at one time (before lithography came into prominence) as a writer of illuminated addresses. Probably his most note worthy traits was the possession of a well-trained voice which he retained to the end. Only one day last week he was testing its resonancy in the local Council Chambers with a brother musician. The ballad by which he was best known in public was "The Death of Nelson," which he sang before the children of the Central State School last Arbor Day. Mr. Smith had for a long period of years been identified with the Melbourne Philharmonic and Liedertafel Societies. Some 46 years ago he took part with the noted concert singer, Mr. Armes Beaumont, in the production of "The Messiah," presented in Melbourne. On one occasion he sang, when on a visit to Tasmania, before the then Governor of that State and was highly complimented by His Excellency. On his 81st birthday he rendered in splendid voice at the Electra-street Methodist Church "In Native Worth" . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Armes Beaumont (tenor vocalist)

"MEMORIAL TABLET", Williamstown Chronicle (6 June 1931), 2 

. . . Rev. Dr. McCallum described the early formation of the [Wesleyan Methodist] cause in Williamstown in 1841. Mr. Freeman (known as "Bishop") was an early local preacher, and his son, for 30 years, was the organist of Holy Trinity Church. Mr. Fisher was choirmaster of the Methodist Church, followed by Mr. G. F. Smith . . .

Bibliography and resources:

George Frederick Smith, Design & Art Australia Online (DAAO) 

SMITH, Henry (Henry SMITH)

Musician, pianist, conductor (accompanist)

Active Melbourne, VIC, August-September 1851 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


The pianist named Henry Smith was advertised to appear three times only, at the Royal Hotel, Melbourne, on 27 and 29 August and 1 September 1851, in a minstrel program that featured the vocalists Troy Knight and Daniel Golding (vocalist).

The advertisements claimed that Smith was "famed", "just come out from England", and that the concerts would be "in the same style that gained him that notoriety, both in England and America" strongly suggest that this Smith was trading on the reputation of the popular English vocal entertainer Henry Smith, who, at the time of the Melbourne performances, was himself in the debtor's prison in London.

Although there is no certainty as to his identity, it is not implausible that, though unrelated to the vocalist, the pianist's name really was Henry Smith. And if so, the possibility should perhaps be considered that he was the Henry Smith, later active in Melbourne in 1853-55 as an organ builder and musician, just arrived from England, and appearing briefly in Melbourne before making his way to the goldfields.


[Advertisement], The Argus (26 August 1851), 3 

The best Piano forte Player in the Colonies - just come out from England.
Overture, Drum Polka - Company.
Come, Darkies all - Company.
Jenny get your Hoecake done - D. Golding.
Rosa Lee - T. Allen.
Sally White - Troy Knight.
Dan Tucker - Choely . . .
Solo on the Piano-forte, the Carnival of Venice - Henry Smith . . .
Finale, first time, - De Railway Gallop . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Troy Knight (vocalist); Daniel Golding (vocalist)

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

MR. HENRY SMITH, will play on Friday, "Away with Melancholy," with variations.
THE Ladies and Gentlemen of Melbourne, are respectfully informed that Mr. Henry Smith having just arrived from England, will conduct a Series of Promenade and Ethiopian Concerts, at the Royal Hotel, in the same style that gained him that notoriety, both in England and America.
Overture, Drum Polka - Band.
Song, The spirit of the Storm. - T. Allen.
Waltz, Elfin - Band.
Scena, Maniac - Troy Knight.
Solo on the Pianoforte, Away with Melancholy, with variations - Henry Smith.
Buffo, A broth of a Boy - D. Golding.
Song, Give me the Night - T. Allen.
Quadrilles, Irish - Band.
Buffo, The Cavalier - Troy Knight.
Overture, The Carnival of Venice - Band.
American Black Songs.
Opening, Polka - Band.
Song, [REDACTED] Hacademy - D. Golding.
Ballad, Undo Ned - Choely.
Song, Stingy Man - Troy Knight.
Ballad, Firefly - T. Allen.
Song, Where do you come from - D. Golding.
Solo on the Pianoforte, Waltz, with variations - Henry Smith.
Finale Chorus, Virginia Rosebud - Company.
Grand Finale, De Railway Gallop - Company.
Admission, One Shilling.
Room open at half-past Seven; commence at Eight precisely.
The Serenaders will play at the Collingwood Hotel, on Thursday and Saturday.

[Advertisement], The Argus (1 September 1851), 4 

MR. HENRY SMITH, will play on Monday,
THE Ladies and Gentleman of Melbourne, are respectfully informed that Mr. Henry Smith having just arrived from England, will conduct a Series of Promenade and Ethiopian Concerts, at the Royal Hotel, in the same style that gained him that notoriety, both in England and America.
Overture - Medley.
Happy are we - Troy Knight.
Pretty Yeller Gals - D. Golding.
O Nelly - T. Allen.
Gally Fire - Troy Knight.
The Colored Gemmen - Choely.
Picaune Butler - D. Golding.
Come Day - Troy Knight.
PART II . . .

SMITH, Henry (Henry SMITH)

Musician, vocalist, entertainer (never came to Australia)

Born Shoreditch, London, England, 2 July 1823; baptised St. Leonard's, Shoreditch, 11 August 1823; son of John Travis SMITH (c. 1777-1840) and Mary SHEPHERD (m. St. James, Piccadilly, 1803)
Married Fanny Sarah WHITE, Castle-Hedingham, Essex, England, 4 February 1851
? Active Melbourne, VIC, August-September 1851
Active London, England, until 1871 or later (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Farquharson (Smith) (elder brother)


Although the popular English vocalist Henry Smith never came to Australia, for several years in homeland Britain in the early 1850s, he successfully toured his "vocal and pictorial entertainment" entitled Henry Smith's emigrant's voyage and travels in Australia.

Kurt Ganzl (2018) established that Smith was born in Shoreditch, London, in July 1823, a younger brother of the vocalist later well-known in Australia as Robert Farquharson.

From the contemporary accounts of Smith's long running dispute with fellow vocalist Henry Russell, we learn that he was already a chorus singer at Covent Garden in the late 1830s, when he can only have been in his mid teens, and he can have been not more than 16 when he met Russell in the United States.


[Theatrical news], Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle (9 March 1845), 2 (PAYWALL)

Mr. Henry Smith, gave vocal entertainment at Crosby Hall, on Wednesday evening, at which the talent displayed excited the highest admiration, and afforded universal satisfaction to a very crowded audience.

"HENRY SMITH, THE VOCAL PLAGIARIST", Hampshire Advertiser (21 March 1846), 3 (PAYWALL)

It having been announced by advertisements and bills, in the usual way, that "Mr. Henry Smith, from America," would give his vocal entertainment on the evenings of Monday and Tuesday last, a tolerable audience assembled on the first of those evenings . . . We may here premise that Henry Russell, whose name is so familiar to the metropolitan public for his admirable vocal entertainment, consisting of songs, dialogue, anecdote, &c. having conceived the idea, which he has since so successfully realised, went to the States and commenced his career in America about twelve years ago, where for several years he gave his concerts, improving them very much during that period, and adding to them the negro melodies, &c. Some half a dozen years ago Henry Smith, who was then a chorus singer at Covent Garden Theatre, having heard of Russell's success, went to America, learnt Russell's entertainment, and forthwith commenced giving it, by implication, as his own; and after Russell's return to England, and giving his concerts with the greatest success, Mr. Smith comes back also and doubles the original in the same way. Now, Mr. Russell explains in his advertisements, he has no objection to Mr. Smith, or any other party, publicly singing his songs, if they acknowledge the source from which they have derived them; but Mr. Smith will give the names of the writers of all the songs, he says, except those of Mr. Russell. Again, in the introductory matter, anecdotes, &c., Mr. Smith gives it as if it was his own. If an anecdote told twelve years ago by Mr. Russell is introduced, it is given as an anecdote told to Mr. Smith by the party communicating it. This evasion is mean, and the petty larceny deserving of punishment. Mr. Russell is as much robbed by the purloining of his own songs as any dramatic writer used to be by the performance of his pieces without payment for that which produced benefit to the manager or actor using it. As Mr. Smith, however, continues to practice the ruse on the public, Mr. Russell has at length resolved to stop it, if the law is strong enough for the purpose. As before said, he has no objection to Mr. Smith singing an entertainment bona fide his own, but not Mr. Russell's own compositions, unless he will acknowledge their source . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Russell (vocal entertainer)

"VICE-CHANCELLORS' COURTS, Wednesday . . . RUSSELL V. SMITH", Evening Mail (24 April 1846), 3 (PAYWALL)

This was motion to dissolve an injunction on notice which had been obtained on the of April last, for restraining the defendant Henry Smith from violating, pirating, publicly performing, singing, or reciting the words or music of the musical compositions and songs, called "Little Fools and Great Ones," "Some love to Roam," "The Ship on Fire," "The Dream of the Reveller," "The Sea King's Burial," "The Maniac," "The Gambler's Wife," "Man the Life-boat," "I'm Afloat," and other songs, comprised in an assignment dated the 19th of January, 1846, whereby the property in the above songs, with others, was vested in the plaintiff, Henry Russell, the well-known vocalist, by Charles Mackay of Glasgow, who was the author of portions of such songs. The plaintiff, by his affidavit, asserted that under this assignment was entitled to the sole right of performing and singing the musical compositions in question, which the defendant had performed and sung in public several occasions without his authority, and imitated the manner and style of singing of the plaintiff. Whereas the defendant swore that none of the songs mentioned were original: that called "I'm Afloat" being an adaptation of a song called "Beautiful Rhine;" "Man the Life boat" being set to the air of a waltz by Strauss; "The Maniac" an adaptation from Auber; and "the Ship on Fire,” containing eight consecutive bars from a song called "When Morning first Dawns," from Rooke's opera of Amelie. That the charge of imitation was untrue, and that he, several times in the year 1839, in company with the plaintiff, sung the songs the subject of the injunction, in Philadelphia, and elsewhere in America . . .

"CROSBY HALL", Satirist; or, the Censor of the Times (17 January 1847), 6 (PAYWALL)

Mr. Henry Smith gave a vocal entertainment in the lecture theatre of this institution on Tuesday evening last. It consisted principally of selections, taken from the most popular compositions of Parry and Russell, and included descriptive scenas, ballads, and buffo songs, in rendering which his diversified vocal powers were displayed to great advantage. The energy, mingled with alternate pathos, which he infused into "The Maniac," "Ship on Fire," and "The Gambler's Wife," gained for each of them a deserved encore. Those of our city friends who have not heard Mr. Smith we would recommend to spend an evening with him at Crosby-hall.

"THE WEEK", Douglas Jerrold's Weekly Newspaper (23 January 1847), 21 (PAYWALL)

. . . On Monday evening, Mr. Henry Smith, from America, gave his vocal entertainment at the Mermaid Tavern, Hackney . . .

"VOCAL ENTERTAINMENT", Nottingham Review and General Advertiser for the Midland Counties (10 January 1851), 6 (PAYWALL)

On Thursday evening, Mr. Henry Smith, who has not only in London been esteemed as an undoubted compeer of Henry Russell, but in the counties of Derby, Leicester, &c., received the highest encomiums, gave some his inimitable songs to audience in the Bull's Head Hotel, Loughborough, which were received with loud applause, and would have proved real treat had it not been for the barbarous conduct of some fellows in the orchestra, who were, we charitably think, more under the influence of alcohol than reason, whose noise quite marred those delicate parts where silence and deep attention are requisite both to perceive and give their full effect . . .

"INSOLVENT DEBTORS COURT. DEC. 20 . . . THE CASE OF MR. HENRY SMITH, THE VOCALIST", Morning Advertiser [London] - Monday 22 December 1851 (PAYWALL)

The case of Mr. Henry Smith, the vocalist, who was opposed by Mr. Henry Russell, the musical composer, arising out of proceedings for singing "The Ship on the Fire," is about to be brought to a conclusion. The circumstances of this case are novel. Upwards of three years ago Mr. Smith petitioned under the Protection Act, and the case was adjourned sine die. An action was then brought the verdict of 40s. damages, under the Copyright Act, and a second judgment obtained, on which he was arrested in May [1851], as he was about to sing, and still remains in Whitecross-street Prison. Mr. Sims Reeves lodged detainer for debt for professional services. A petition was filed under the Prisoners Act, which Mr. Commissioner Law refused to hear, but within the last few days adjourned order for Friday week has been issued, when it is expected that Mr. Smith will be discharged, after his long imprisonment. This is the first case under which an adjudication will be given on two petitions, one under the Protection Act, and the other under the Prisoners Act.

[Advertisement], Illustrated London News (13 March 1852), 6 (PAYWALL)

HENRY SMITH will resume his celebrated VOCAL ENTERTAINMENTS at CROSBY HALL, Bishop-gate-street, on TUESDAY next, MARCH 16th; Manor Rooms, Stoke Newington, Thursday next, March 18th; Horns Tavern, Kennington, on Friday next, March 19th; Eyre Arms, St. John's Wood, Monday, March 22d; Athenaeum, Islington, Thursday, March 26th - Tickets, 1s. and 2s.; commence 8 o'clock.

[Advertisement], Morning Advertiser [London, England] (21 October 1852), 4 (PAYWALL)

Mr. SMITH has the honour to announce to the Nobility, Gentry, his numerous Patrons, and the Public, that his new VOCAL and PICTORIAL ENTERTAINMENT, entitled HIS VOYAGE AND TRAVELS IN AUSTRALIA, which has been for many months in preparation, will shortly be produced at the above Theatre.
The Panorama, painted by Messrs. Wm. Wilson, H. Desvignes, T. Thompson, A. Mills, and numerous assistants.
The whole under the direction of R. Rondle.

"ST. JAMES'S THEATRE", Morning Post (9 November 1852), 5 (PAYWALL)

The interest which attaches to Australia and the diggings at the present moment cannot fail to make any entertainment which professes to delineate scenery and moving incidents in that far-off land somewhat attractive. Accordingly, we were not surprised to find a very respectable and somewhat crowded audience assembled last evening in this theatre, to witness the first representation of a moving panorama of a voyage to, and travels in, Australia - the more especially as it was announced that the views would be accompanied by a number of vocal illustrations by Mr. Henry Smith, who is not unfavourably known to the public as a singer of descriptive songs, in the manner of Henry Russell. The panoramic views, which are generally well painted, shows the departure of the emigrant vessel from the London Docks, its passage by Gravesend and Plymouth, a storm in the Bay of Biscay, arrival of the vessel at Port Phillip, the diggings at Ballarat and Alexander, the sheep farm and the cattle hunt, when a pause of 10 minutes takes place; after which we are presented with views of Sydney, the settler's farm, the road to Bathurst, the Blue Mountains, the Ophir diggings, the Turon diggings, dry diggings, the gold-seeker's hut, the gambler's hut, the land storm, the wharves at Sydney, and the return home. Mr. Smith explains the various scenes as they pass before the audience, and manages to squeeze into his lecture a good deal of useful information, interspersed with some tolerably good songs, composed, we are informed, by Henry Smith and Stephen Glover, but adapted, we should say, to the most popular airs of the day. Mr. Smith sings with considerable expression, and accompanies himself admirably on the pianoforte, but as yet he lacks ease as a lecturer, and the entertainment requires considerable compression. When that shall be effected, and Mr. Smith has mellowed into the task he has to perform, we doubt not that the panorama will become attractive to all who have relatives or friends in the colony - who purpose proceeding there hereafter - or who wish to obtain, at little trouble and expense, a tolerable knowledge of the land of gold.

"THE DRAMA", The literary gazette and journal of the belles lettres . . . (13 November 1852), 846 (DIGITISED)

At the ST. JAMES'S THEATRE another monologue entertainment, of greater pretension, but of very inferior merit, was commenced on Monday by Mr. Henry Smith, under the title of Voyage to, and Travels in Australia. It proved, however, to be sad trash, literary, pictorially, and vocally.

"Miscellaneous Extracts . . . SMITH'S AUSTRALIAN ENTERTAINMENT", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer [Sydney, NSW] (23 April 1853), 1 

There is no lack in the present day of useful and practical information of every description respecting the gold diggings, the towns, and the vast sheep and cattle "runs" of Australia. Nor have there been wanting publications from which a good general idea may be obtained of the character of the scenery of that immense territory. But to the great majority of those who are men meditating on emigration, and to those who are interested in the colony, something appealing more to the senses of sight and hearing than letter-press description, or costly engravings, is wanting, to familiarise to them the appearance of the colony, and the habits of the colonists. Mr. Henry Smith seeks to supply this want, by giving a vocal and pictorial entertainment, embodying an emigrant's travels in Australia. The illustrations are painted on an immense revolving sheet of canvas, and the lecturer gives a lively description of the mode of life, and the habits of all classes of the population - interspersed with songs and facetious anecdotes, and witticisms, such as are, now-a-days, thought a necessary accompaniment to the enunciation of a dry, useful fact. The panorama is well painted, and gives a distinct and intelligible idea of all the scenes it attempts to pourtray. The lecture is, perhaps, somewhat too long, especially at the commencement. If, as we hope, the entertainment be repeated in the provinces, the effect of familiarising the people with the daily routine of Australian life, and Australian scenery - thus diminishing the horror of leaving home and old associations - would be greatly improved by adding a few facts respecting the social habits, economic circumstances, and political feelings of Australian society. This, Mr. Smith, from his acquaintance with the country, would be able very easily to do, and it is evident by the success of Monday evening's entertainment, how effectively these facts could be introduced. The performance takes place at the St. James's Theatre.

"MR. HENRY SMITH'S AUSTRALIAN ENTERTAINMENTS", The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (27 May 1853), 9 

Man has antipodes in more than a geographical sense, and not less distant than is Mont Blanc from Botany Bay is Henry from Albert Smith, or his coloured canvass from the charming scenes of the latter, or his flat and threadbare jokes from the bubbling humor and sparkling wit of our friend of the Overland Route. Henry Smith's songs are as ineffective as his observations are bald and commonplace; and what these want in information is sought to be compensated for by heavy quotations from Joe Miller, or dreary sentimental platitudes of somebody else. Still we suppose the subject will attract many, especially the pictures of diggings wet and dry, at Ballarat, Mount Alexander, Summer Hill Creek, Turon River, and Ophir. The assemblage last night in the Free-Trade Hall was chiefly in the galleries; and by this portion of the auditory Mr. Henry Smith's entertainment seemed to be much enjoyed - Manchester Guardian.

[Playbill], Henry Smith's vocal and pictorial entertainment, A voyage to and travels in Australia, Walworth, 17 April 1854; State Library of New South Wales

[Playbill], Henry Smith's vocal and pictorial entertainment, A voyage to and travels in Australia, Manor House Tavern, Walworth, 17 April 1854; State Library of New South Wales (image above, detail) (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

England census, 1871, St. George, Bloomsbury, Finsbury; UK National Archives, RG 10 / 337 (PAYWALL)

[31 Compton St.] / Henry Smith / Head / Mar. / 47 / Musician / [born] [Middlesex] Shoreditch
Caroline / Daur. / 19 [born] Bristol // Agnes / 17 / [born] Derby / / Henry / 14 / [born] Middlesex Clerkenwell // Charles / 9 / [born] Devon Torquay . . .

Published works:

Henry Smith's emigrant's voyage and travels in Australia, as first produced at the St. James's Theatre, London, an entertaining description of the Australian emigrant's career from the docks to the "Diggings," comprising a variety of original songs, written expressly for this occasion, and illustrated by twenty-seven panoramic views, from the pencils of Messrs. Wilson, Desvignes, Mills, Thompson, &c., the whole under the direction of Mr. R. Randle (Birmingham: Printed By J. Turton, York Passage, High Street, 1853) (DIGITISED)

[List of songs, all published by Charles Jefferys, London.]
[1] Emigrant's song, - "Onward ho!"; words by C. Jefferys; music by G. A. Hudson [Brothers, Sisters, ye who toil]
[2] The parting song - "Farewell to England"; words by Charles Jefferys; music by Stephen Glover [Farewell, England, when the nightfall]
[3] Tween decks. - a melody [? medley]; Air. - "Such a Getting up Stairs" [and medley of other tunes] [Good people listen to my text / I'll sing the trouble of 'Tween Decks]
[4] Land ho! land ho!; sords by C. Jefferys; music by S. Glover [How welcome the sound of the mariner's cry]
[5] The Cockney emigrant; words by J. Capper, Esq.; Air. - "The Fine Old English Gentleman" [Now if you'll listen unto me, I'll sing a fine new song]
[6] Bush song; words by J. Capper, Esq.; music by S. Glover [Hurrah! for a Life in the Bush, / Where our home is the stringy bark tree]
[7] The queen of the south; words by C. Jefferys; music by S. Glover [In the far away South there's a bright land that teems]
[8] Song of the Australian settler; words by Charles Jefferys; composed by Stephen Glover [England, tho' I call thee Mother, / A kind one thou wert not to me]
[9] An emigrant's song of home; words by J. Capper, Esq. [Oh! think of me when absent]
[10] Off to Summer Hill; Air. - "The Monument and St. Paul's"; words by J, Capper, Esq. [I pour fourth my rhymes - on these gold digging times]
[11] The return to England!; written by Charles Jefferys; sung by Stephen Glover [Fair winds are blowing, blest be the gale]

Bibliography and resources:

Kurt Ganzl, Victorian vocalists (London and New York: Routledge, 2018), 229 (PREVIEW)

SMITH, Henry (Henry SMITH; Mr. H. SMITH)

Musician, vocalist, conductor, musical instrument maker, tuner, and repairer, organ builder

Born Bristol, England, 10 August 1820; Upper Maudlin-street Moravian chapel, Bristol, 3 September 1820; son of John SMITH (c. 1794-1860) and Sarah WHITTINGTON
Arrived Geelong, VIC, by April 1853 (? or 1851)
Active Melbourne, VIC, until 1855 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Henry Smith was born on 10 August 1820, and baptised on 3 September, at the Upper Maudlin-street Moravian chapel, Bristol (as later were his younger brothers William Austin, Clement, and Sebastian), a son of John Smith, junior (c. 1794-1860), organ builder, and his wife, Sarah Whittington, who had married on 13 April 1817. His grandfather, John Smith senior (d. 1847), was also an organ builder, and his elder brother, Philip John Smith (born 1818), an organist and professor of music.

Henry was not listed as living with his family in the English census of either 1841 or 1851. In the latter case, it is possible that he was already en route to Australia, and was the Henry Smith, pianist, who appeared in Melbourne in August and September 1851, perhaps en route to the Victorian goldfields.

If so, Smith next reappears in Geelong, in April 1853. He disappears from colonial record after November 1855.


England census, 6 June 1841, St. James, Bristol; UK National Archives, HO107/372/4 (PAYWALL)

Terrell St. / John Smith / 45 / Organ Builder // Philip [Smith] / 20 [sic] / Professor of Music // Austin / 15 / Draper's Ap. // Charles / 13 / Sebastian / 11 / Sarah / 45 // Elizabeth / 15

England census, 30 March 1851, St. Paul, Bristol; UK National Archives, HO107/1949/217/7 (PAYWALL)

82 Stokes Croft / John Smith / Head / Mar. / 56 / Organ Builder [employs] 2 men / [born] Bristol St. Paul
Sarah [Smith] / Wife / Mar. / 58 / - / [born] [Bristol St. Paul]
Sebastian / Son / 24 / Clerk / [born] [Bristol] St. James
Clement / 20 / Clerk // George / 19 / Boot maker // . . .

[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (6 April 1853), 1 supplement 

HENRY SMITH, of the well-known and old-established House of JOHN SMITH and Co., Organ Builders and Musical Instrument Manufacturers, of the city of Bristol, England, begs respectfully to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen of Geelong, that he purposes, in connection with his business in Melbourne, professionally visiting the above neighbourhood on Monday, the 21st day of March, 1853, for the purpose of TUNING PIANO-FORTES by yearly contract, or otherwise.
Terms for tuning, 15s. each in Town; within two miles of the Town, £1 1s. each; £2 2s. per annum, to be tuned quarterly.
Mr. S. is also prepared to execute orders for organs of every size and description, by contract, to erect the same in any part of the Colony. From the great experience Mr. S. has had as a manufacturer, and having devoted the last fifteen years to the finishing of the above instrument, he is confident of giving every satisfaction.
All orders to he left at Mr. Thomas Brown's, Stationer, Moorabool Street, Geelong.
138, Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, March 4th, 1853.

[Advertisement], The Argus (27 July 1853), 1 

MR. SAMUEL HENRY HOUSE (of Bristol) send your address immediately to H. Smith and Co., organ builders, 125 Elizabeth-street, Melbourne, your sister Emily Cannicott having arrived.

[Advertisement], The Argus (1 October 1853), 7 

FOR Sale by Tender, a powerful and fine-toned CATHEDRAL ORGAN.
Tenders are invited for the Purchase of a most splendid Organ, built to order, and expected to arrive in Melbourne about the middle of October. The above Instrument had two entire rows of Manuel's [sic] compass, from FFF to F in alt, with twenty stops, one octave and half of pedals, and two composition pedals. The height of the case is 10 feet, width 8 foot 11 inches and depth 8 feet.
Such an opportunity as the present should not be lost to secure so perfect and chaste an instrument, combining great power and variety of expression, whilst by means of the swell (which is on an entirely new principle, and peculiar to the builders, Messrs. Smith of Bristol, only) it commands at all times a soft and melodious accompaniment. A new stop has also been introduced, called the Karauliphon which has a beautiful effect, and is an addition of great merit. The want of organs of the class in places of worship in the colonies is greatly felt, but hitherto the expense has prohibited their introduction; and had the church which the above instrument was intended for been in a state to receive it, the public would not have an opportunity the present offers them.

The following extract from an English paper will give an idea of its intrinsic value in the musical world at home, from the Bristol Mirror of June 25th, 1853. -

"We are glad to learn that Messrs. Smith, of Stokes's Croft, have received and executed an order for an organ of large capacity in Melbourne. The instrument consists of two entire rows of keys, compass of five octaves each; and the swell, which is of a very peculiar and effective construction, extends over four octaves, and contains seven stops; it produces extraordinary effects - 'diminuendo et crescendo.' The pedal range is nearly two octaves, and the great organ contains eleven stops; it has all the recent improvements, and musicians of very high standing who have tried, have pronounced it to be a very first class instrument, and reflects great credit on the builders, Messrs. Smith."

Liberal terms will be accepted. The instrument will be guaranteed perfect, and delivered free of expense to the purchaser. Further particulars may be obtained on application to Mr. H. SMITH (son of the builder) Organ Builder, at Messrs. H. Jones and Co.'s (late Mapson), Watchmakers and Jewellers, &c., 125 Elizabeth-street, opposite the Post Office, Melbourne, to whom Term or must be addressed.

[Advertisement], The Argus (14 October 1853), 7 

MELBOURNE CHORAL SOCIETY. - At a meeting convened by advertisement and attended by upward of fifty persons, held in the Mechanics' Hall on Saturday, 8th October, 1853.
Chares Vaughan, Esq., J. P., in the chair; the following Resolutions were passed unanimously:-
1. That the meeting constitute itself an Association for the cultivation of Choral Music, Sacred and Secular, to be called the "Melbourne Choral Society."
2. That new members be admitted on the following conditions:-
A written recommendation signed by two members.
Ability (if a vocalist) to sing correctly a part in a plain Psalm tune; if an instrumentalist) to perform "part music" readily.
Engagement to observe the Rules of this Society.
3. That the following gentlemen be appointed a Committee to frame Rules for the government of the Society:
- Messrs. Goold, Russell, W. G. Dredge, Ewart, Walker, Henry Smith, and John Matthew Smith, with a request that they submit the same to a meeting of members now present, to be held in the Mechanics' Institution, on Saturday, 15th inst., at eight o'clock p.m.
(Signed) CHARLES VAUGHAN, Chairman.
Mr. Vaughan having been moved from the chair, and Mr. Russell voted thereto, the cordial thanks if the meeting were presented to the former gentleman for his kindness in presiding on the occasion.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Vaughan (member); Thomas Green Goold (member); John Russell (member); William Gilpin Dredge (member); Thomas Ewart (member); John Matthew Smith (member); almost immediately renamed Melbourne Philharmonic Society, following an attempt earlier that year by George Chapman and others to form an organisation of that name

"ST. FRANCIS'S CATHEDRAL", The Argus (12 November 1853), 5 

In our advertising columns will be found an advertisement concerning the opening of the new organ in St. Francis Cathedral, Lonsdale-street, with a grand selection of sacred music from the works of the most eminent masters; when the lovers of sacred music may anticipate a rich treat. On this occasion the chorus will number 50 voices, being the largest yet ever heard in the colony. The instrument is from the manufactory of Messrs. Bevington, London, and has been erected by Mr. H. Smith, organ-builder, of this city. It has been greatly admired by all who have heard it, and reflects the highest credit on Mr. Smith for the manner in which he has erected the instrument. The compass of the great organ is from CC flat to F in alt, with two octaves of pedals, from CCC to CC flat. Compass of swell organ from tenore C to F in alt. The great organ contains the following stops - Bourdon, tenoroon, open diapason, stop diapason, claribell, dulciana, flute, kerolophon, twelfth, fifteenth, sesquialtera, four ranks mixture, two ranks cremorna, trumpet, trombone, and L clarion. The swell organ contains double diapason, open diapason, stop diapason, principal flute, doublett, two ranks cornopean, and hautboy. It has also three cupolas [couplers] and four composition pedals. The organ stands 24 feet high, 13 feet wide, and 10 feet deep.

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Bevington (London organ builder)

[Advertisement], The Argus (12 November 1853), 8 

OPENING of the New Organ in St. Francis's Cathedral, Lonsdale-street. - This magnificent Instrument just erected by Mr. Henry Smith, will be Opened on Tuesday evening 22nd inst., with a grand selection of Sacred Music, from the works of Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Rossini, &c.
Principal Vocalists: Mrs. Testar; Miss Miabella Smith; Miss Martin; Mr. T. Ewart; Mr. Henry Smith; Mr. Loughnan; Mr. Hacket.
Assisted by a Chorus of Fifty voices, several members of the Philharmonic Society having kindly offered their services on this occasion.
PART I. Programme.
Organ Voluntary Recit. - Comfort ye - (Messiah) - Handel.
Air - Every Valley - do. - do.
Chorus - And the Glory of the Lord - do. - do.
Recit. - There were Shepherds - do. - do.
Chrous - Glory to God - do. - do.
Air - But thou didst not leave - do. - do.
Quartette & Chorus - Lift up your Heads - do. - do.
Air - How beautiful are the feet - (Messiah) - do.
Quintette & Chorus - Their sound is gone out - do. - do.
Air - I know that my Redeemer liveth - (Messiah) - do.
Chorus - Hallelujah - do. - do.
Interval of fifteen minutes.
Part II.
Organ Voluntary.
Duet - Stabat Mater - Rossini.
Selections from Mozart's 12th Mass.
Air - Jerusalem - (St. Paul) - Mendelssohn.
Quintette - In Splendor bright - (Creation) - Haydn.
Chorus - The Heavens are telling - do. - do. . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Elizabeth Testar (vocalist); Meabella Smith (vocalist); Mr. Hackett (vocalist)

"ST. FRANCIS'S ORGAN", The Argus (22 November 1853), 5

The new organ which has recently been erected in St. Francis's Catholic Church, Lonsdale-street, will be opened this evening with great ceremony. Several of our leading singers will be numbered among the choir, and a selection of the most admired works of classic composers will be performed by them. The organ is of great compass, and has powers far beyond any yet erected in the colony. It is the work of Messrs. Bevington, of London, and was erected in its present position by Mr. H. Smith. It has a great variety of stops, and an extensive range of swell. The tickets are high priced, but a certain amount of enthusiasm and the novelty of the occasion are doubtless calculated on.

For a review of the concert (in which Smith is not separately mentioned), see "ST. FRANCIS'S CATHEDRAL", The Argus (23 November 1853), 5 

[Advertisement], The Banner (13 January 1854), 2 

THE fine-toned Organ now erected in the Hall of the Mechanics' Institution, suitable for a large Church or Chapel.
For further particulars apply to
HENRY SMITH & CO., 125 Elizabeth-street,
Or to CHARLTON, DIMOCK & CO., 13 Flinders-lane west.

"ORGAN FOR AUSTRALIA", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 October 1854), 4 

We notice that our fellow-citizen, Mr. John Smith, organ-builder, of Stoke's Croft, has just despatched another large and powerful organ on order, for St Paul's Church, Melbourne, Australia, per Helen Lindsay, from Gloucester, being the fourth sent out by him. The instrument consists of two entire rows of keys, great organ, choir organ bass, and swell; compass of great, from CCC, 16ft, to F in alt, lowest octave belonging to the pedals, swell from tenor C, 23 stops, two octaves of German pedals, and three composition ditto. The whole inclosed in handsome mahogany case, gothic design, and pronounced by many professional and other gentlemen of this city, who heard it, to be of a very fine and powerful quality of tone. The pedal pipes were exceedingly effective. - Bristol Paper.

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

A Vocal and Instrumental Concert will take place this evening, Monday, Oct. 23rd, 1854, in the Exhibition Building, William-street.
Principal Performers. Mrs. Testar, Miss Edwards, Mr. Ewart, and Mr. Hackett.
Instrumentalists: Herr Strebinger, T. King, Mr. Cooze, Mr. Reed, &c. &c.
Conductor - Mr. H. Smith.
Part I.
Overture - Rossini.
Trio - This Magic wove Scarf, Mrs. Testar, Mr. Ewart, Mr. Hackett - Barnett.
Ballad - Sweet Home, Miss Edwards - Wrighton.
Violin Solo, Herr Strebinger.
Duet - The Cauld Blast, Mrs. Testar, and Miss Edwards - Mendelssohn.
Song - The Wanderer, Mr. Hackett - Schubert.
Aria - Dove Sono, Mrs. Testar (band accompaniment) - Mozart.
Part II.
Overture - Scotch Melodies; arranged by T. Reed.
Duett - Love in thine Eyes, Miss Edwards and Mr. Hackett - Jackson.
Solo, Clarionet, Mr. T. King.
Ballad - Sweet May, Mrs. Testar (band accompaniment) - Kucken.
Trio - Turn on Old Time, Miss Edwards, Mr. Ewart, and Mr. Hackatt - Wallace.
Finale, Band.
The doors will be opened at seven o'clock, and the Concert commences at half-past seven.
Price of admission - 7s. 6d. each; season-ticket holders, 4s each . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Frederick Strebinger (violin); Thomas King (clarinet); William Joseph Cooze (flute); Thomas Reed (cello, arranger)

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

AN Organ for sale, suitable for a church or drawing-room; has three barrels for sacred music, and two for all the more popular airs of the day, including Jullien's Quadrilles.
For terms apply to W. Smith [sic], organ-builder, Elizabeth-street; or to James Guthrie, 68 Flinders-lane west.

See also, concerning Guthrie, "COUNTY COURT OF BOURKE . . . Thursday, 15th February, 1855 . . . GUTHRIE V. WIGHTMAN", The Argus (16 February 1855), 6 

The plaintiff had advanced £120 on a bill of lading, comprising an organ and other goods, consigned to the defendant. When the consignment arrived, the organ was in a damaged condition, and the defendant being unable to redeem the bill of lading, the consignment was disposed of at a great loss. The charges for storage, cartage, and commission, being in the aggregate greater than the amount which the consignment realized. Verdict for the plaintiff for £127 2s. 6d. with costs.

"ST. PAUL'S CHURCH NEW ORGAN", The Age (3 February 1855), 5 

A new grand organ, which, we are informed, is a most magnificent instrument, has recently been erected in this place of worship by Mr. Smith, formerly of Bristol, but now of this city, organ builder. Of the tone or capacity of this instrument we cannot speak until privileged to hear it; of which an opportunity will be afforded to-morrow when it will be played publicly for the first time, and will doubtless be displayed to the best possible advantage under the able manipulation of Mrs. James, the organist.

ASSOCIATIONS: Philippa James (organist)

[2 advertisements], The Argus (2 May 1855), 7 

DISSOLUTION of Partnership. -
Notice is hereby given that the Partnership heretofore carried on by us, the undersigned, as watchmakers and jewellers, at 125 Elizabeth-street, Melbourne, and at Nelson-place, Williamstown, under the style or firm of H. Jones and Co., has been this day dissolved by mutual consent.
The above business will henceforth be carried on by the undersigned Henry Jones, at Williamstown, alone, who is hereby authorised to receive all debts due to the said firm.
Dated this 1st day of May, 1355.
Witness, Robert Willan, solicitor, Melbourne.

Notice is hereby given that the Partnership heretofore carried on by us the undersigned, as Organ Builders, at 125 Elizabeth-street, Melbourne, under the style, or firm of H. Smith and Co., has been this day dissolved by mutual consent.
The above business will henceforth be carried on by the undersigned Henry Smith, who is hereby authorised to receive all debts due to the said firm.
Dated this 1st day of May, 1855.
Witness, Robt. Willan, solicitor, Melbourne.

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Jones (organbuilder, watchmaker), see also advertisement (1 October 1853) above

Trade and Professional Directory, The Age (1 November 1855), 3 

. . . ORGAN BUILDERS. Smith, H. and Co., 125 Elizabeth street . . .

? "THE SUICIDE AT COLLINGWOOD", The Argus (19 February 1856), 6 

An inquest was held on Saturday, before Dr. Wilmot, on the body of the unfortunate man Charles Cohen, the particulars of whose shocking suicide appeared in the Argus of Saturday morning. The evidence given on the inquest coincided precisely with the information which our reporter collected at the time, but, in addition thereto, Henry Smithe [sic], a pianoforte-tuner, deposed that he had known the deceased since December twelvemonth. He had been strange in his manner for some time past, and was in the Melbourne Hospital about three weeks ago, when his mind was greatly affected. He would drink to excess for a week together, and then abstain for a while. On the previous Monday he stated to his (witness's) wife that he had been drinking brandy to an excess. Witness was aware that deceased had threatened to take his life on more than one occasion. He saw the deceased on Friday afternoon, about one o'clock, at his house: his manner had been so peculiar for some time past, that he paid no attention to the circumstance of his not speaking. When deceased left his home he wandered about Hanover-street for half an hour. Witness then lost sight of him. John Henry Fox also deposed . . . The jury returned a verdict that deceased cut his throat with a razor while in state of temporary insanity.

Bibliography and resources:

Enid Noel Matthews, Colonial organs and organ builders (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1969), 3, 4, 112; also Smith & Co., 22, 107, 111, 115, 130, 174, 204

[3] . . . Henry Smith at 125 Elizabeth Street was the representative of Smith & Co. of Bristol, England, who exported several organs to Melbourne where their agent erected them. There is no record of any organ having been built in Melbourne by this firm. In 1853 Henry Smith erected the Bevington organ in St Francis' Church, Melbourne, and one from Forster & Andrews of Hull, England, for the Philharmonic Society who were charged £31 for the work. In 1854 the Philharmonic Society bought a Smith & Co. organ of 20 stops at a cost of £700, and Henry Smith charged £80 for erecting it. Smith's name does not appear in the Sands & McDougall's Melbourne and Suburban Directory after 1855 . . .

Don J. R. Whaley, "An organ by John Smith, jr., Moravian instrument maker", Moravian music journal 27/2 (Summer 1982), 31-32

Don J. R. Whaley, "An organ by John Smith, jr., Moravian instrument maker", OHTA News [Organ Historical trust of Australia] 7/2 (April 1983), 14-16

James Boeringer, Organa Britannica: organs in Great Britain 1660-1860 . . . volume 1 (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1983), 125-26 (PREVIEW)

The John Smith pipe organ, the parish church of St. John the evangelist, Bega ([Bega: St. John the Evangelist, 1991]) (DIGITISED)

"Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Clarendon Street, East Melbourne", Organ Historical Trust of Australia (OHTA) 

"St John's Anglican Church, Church Street, Bega", Organ Historical Trust of Australia (OHTA) 

SMITH, Henry Edward (Henry Edward SMITH; H. E. SMITH)

Songwriter, inspector of schools, amateur lithographer

Born Northumberland, England, 1826; baptised Bamburgh, 2 May 1826; son of Grieve SMITH (d. 1828) and Eleanor CULLEY (d. 1850)
Arrived Adelaide, SA, by October 1853
Died Adelaide, SA, 11 July 1860, aged 34 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


England census, 30 March 1851, Charing Cross, St. Martin in the Fields, Middlesex; HO107/1481/189/1 (PAYWALL)

10 [Northumberland] Court / Wm. John Robinson / Head / Mar. / 46 / Artificial Limb Maker . . . [and family]
Henry E. Smith / Lodger / Unm. / 25 / Gov't Civil Service Census Office / [born] Northumberland Bamburgh

"THE GOVERNMENT GAZETTE", South Australian Register (28 October 1853), 2 

. . . Mr. H. E. Smith to be Clerk in the Audit Office, vice Haining, promoted . . .

"THE VOLUNTEERS' SONG", South Australian Register (4 November 1859), 3 

The following song, composed by Mr. Smith, Inspector of Schools, and set to music by Signor Cutolo, has been handed to us for publication by the latter gentleman. It will be seen that it is to be sung at the concert to be given by Signor Cutolo on the 8th inst.: -

Sons of the South, shall foeman's hand
Rend from us this fair heritage?
Shall Frank or Russian hold this land
In southern history's unwrit page?
No, God forbid! No, heaven forfend!
Better win blood-red glorious biers,
Than meanly live - gain coward's end.
Up laggards, join our Volunteers! . . .

[Chorus] Australia's sons, arise! awake!
Be men, dismiss all craven fears;
For country, home, for altar's sake,
Enrol amongst our Volunteers . . . [5 more verses and 1 supplementary verse]

ASSOCIATIONS: Cesare Cutolo (pianist, composer)

"SIGNOR CUTOLO'S CONCERT", Adelaide Observer (5 November 1859), 1 Supplement

. . . The concert is in some degree complimentary to the Volunteers of South Australia, his sympathy with whose patriotic movement the Signor has evinced by setting to music an appropriate song written by Mr. H. E. Smith. The words appear in another column, and we have heard the music, which is of a stirring military character. The Signor mentioned to us that he had communicated with the commanding officers of most of the Volunteer corps on the subject, including Major Freeling, Captains Younghusband, Finniss, Torrene, Blyth, Bagot, Mayo, Hardy, and R. B. Smith. It is probable, therefore, that the attendance of oar gallant artillery and riflemen will be very large. The effect of Mr. Smith's song will be increased by the assistance of several amateurs, who have volunteered their services in the chorus . . .

"SONG OF THE VOLUNTEERS", South Australian Register (8 November 1859), 2 

This song, to be sung at Signor Cutolo's Concert to-night, having by accident been published in our columns in a rough and an incorrect form, we feel bound, in justice to the author, to reproduce it as corrected by him: -

Sons of the South, shall foeman's hand . . .

[Chorus] Australia's sons, arise! awake! . . . Enrol amongst our Volunteers . . . [7 more verses and 1 supplementary verse]

"SIGNOR CUTOLO'S CONCERT", Adelaide Observer (12 November 1859), 3 

. . . The entertainment was concluded with "The Song of the Volunteers," written by Mr. Smith, Inspector of Schools, and composed by Signor Cutolo. Miss Rowe presided at the piano; the air was song alternately to the several verses by the Signor, Miss Bryan, Mr. Daniel, and Mrs. Peryman. In the chorus the whole strength of the company united, including several gentlemen who had kindly "volunteered" their services. The song is remarkable for its fire and spirit, and drew down a complete furor of applause. The last verse was repeated in full chorus . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Jane Bryan (vocalist); Josiah Wyke Daniel (vocalist); Caroline Peryman (vocalist)

"SOUTH AUSTRALIA (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT) Adelaide, November 26", The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (30 November 1859), 3 

. . . I am afraid, if you judge of our riflemen's ardour by their song, you will have a poor opinion of our volunteers. The song of the volunteers is some degrees worse than the song of Australia, Signor Cutolo, however, set it to good music; and Miss Bryan, our most promising Adelaide singer, assisted by other better known vocalists, gave it every justice . . .

"SONG OF THE VOLUNTEERS", South Australian Register (7 January 1860), 2 

We have been favoured with a proof of the above song, the words, as will be remembered being, by Mr. H. E. Smith, and the music by Signor Cutolo. The song was first sung at one of the Signor's concerts in Adelaide, and the bold and martial character of the strain was greatly admired and applauded. In its praise, as an addition to the songs produced within the colony of South Australia, we need say nothing more than has been said already; but of the style in which the song is got up it would be wrong to be silent, since there is so much to approve in the clearness of the type, the general correct ness of the lithography, and more particularly in the frontispiece which illustrates the theme. We are informed that the frontispiece was designed by Mr. W. Wyatt, son of Dr. Wyatt, and that it was also drawn by him on stone. It represents a spot upon the coast off which two men-of-war are engaged in landing an invading force. Behind two huge gum trunks and a broken limb that has fallen from one of them are ensconced five of our gallant volunteers, one in the act of loading, and the others aiming and firing at the advancing party. The position and attitude of the riflemen are well managed, as is also the distance of the invading ships and forces; while a grass-tree in tie foreground of the drawing gives a distinct South Australian cast to the whole. We can readily imagine that the frontispiece might tempt many to purchase the song apart from the intrinsic excellence of the words and the music.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Wyatt (artist, lithographer), son of William Wyatt (musical amateur)

"COLONIAL MUSIC", The South Australian Advertiser (11 January 1860), 3 

We were some days since favored with a copy of the Volunteers' Song - words by Mr. Smith, music by Signor Cutolo. Our readers are all familiar with this song, as the words have been published in the local papers, and Signor Cutolo's music has elicited the applause of admiring audiences at White's Rooms. It may now be had of the booksellers and others for a small sum. The engraving is well executed, and the frontispiece consists of a smart lithograph by Mr. Wyatt, jun., representing the gallant volunteers - not exactly winning "glorious blood-red biers," but furnishing the same to a number of invaders whom they are picking off most satisfactorily at long range.

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (13 January 1860), 1 

SONG OF THE VOLUNTEERS, Composed by Signor Cutolo; Words by H. E. Smith, Esq. Just published. To be had from all Booksellers.

"DEATHS", South Australian Register (16 July 1860), 2

SMITH. - On the 14th July, Henry Edward Smith, Esq., Second Inspector of Schools, aged 34.

"THE LATE MR. SMITH", The South Australian Advertiser (16 July 1860), 2 

In our obituary notices the death of Mr. H. E. Smith, late Second Inspector of Schools, will be observed. His complaint was congestion of the brain, and during his illness received the professional aid of Drs. Bayer and Woodforde. We understand that Mr. Smith had been for about two months previously in a delicate state of health, and about a fortnight ago was obliged to be removed to town from Wellington. Mr. Smith held his office of Inspector of Schools for a considerable period, during which he rendered himself very popular in the discharge of his rather difficult duties. His gentlemanly and urbane demeanour, and his amiable disposition, acquired him a great number of friends, who deeply regret the severe calamity which has taken him away. Mr. Smith was a man of a refined and elegant mind, well versed in literature, and possessed as well all the graceful qualities of companionship likely to endear him to a large circle of friends. A great gap will be caused by his lamented death, which has cut him off in the midst of his days at the comparatively early age of 34. We understand that his funeral will take place to-day at 2 o'clock, from his residence in Flinders-street.

"HISTORY IN MUSIC. Australia's Song-writers (L.L.W.)", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 January 1929), 13 

Under a heavy coating of dust in an obscure division of the Mitchell Library there lie neatly-tied bundles of music, arranged alphabetically according to the composers' names . . . Throughout the bundles are scattered literally hundreds of war-songs. The earliest of these appeared in 1863 [sic], when a scare seems to have been raised among the inhabitants that the Russians were about to invade this Island. "The Song of the Volunteers," music by Signor Cutolo, words by H. E. Smith, is a stirring bit of work, which musically asks the question "Shall Frank or Russian hold this land?" Each verse ends with the exciting command, "Up, laggards, join our volunteers." The lithographed cover is a masterpiece of salesmanship. In the foreground four volunteers are taking cover behind two giant gum-trees. Another volunteer lies behind a log. All are firing desperately at a horde of invaders who have just landed, in the background, on what looks like the shores of Botany Bay . . .

Musical works:

Song of the volunteers, composed by Sig. Cutolo, words by H. E. Smith ([Adelaide: s.n., 1859]) 

Copy at the State Library of New South Wales 

Photocopy of the above at the National Library of Australia (DIGITISED)

SMITH, James (James SMITH)

Musical amateur, journalist, editor, writer, reviewer and commentator on music and drama

Born Loose (near Maidstone), Kent, England, 28 April 1820; son of James SMITH and Mary ?
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 1854
Married Eliza Julia KELLY, VIC, 1857
Died Hawthorn, Melbourne, VIC, 19 March 1910, aged "89" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)


"FESTIVE MEETING OF THE AGE PROPRIETORS", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (9 July 1855), 5 

. . . The chairman then gave "Literature and the Drama," coupled with the name of Mr. James Smith, sub-editor of the Age; whose dramatic criticisms had been the subject of very general admiration. Mr. Smith briefly responded . . .

"AMATEUR PERFORMANCE", The Argus (28 July 1855), 5

The Garrick Club deserved a more crowded audience last night, than that which assembled in the Queen's Theatre. The performance was for the benefit of the Hospital, and was patronised by the French and American Consuls, Colonel Anderson, and the Members of the Victoria Volunteer Rifle Corps. On the rising of the curtain, Mr. J. E. Reeve delivered the following spirited address, written by James Smith, Esq.:

The world (as fables say), in times of old,
Spent its fair childhood in an age of gold;
Shepherds piped music under every tree,
And nature's concerts were - like Mooney's - free . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Mooney (proprietor, National Hotel)

Diary of John Buckley Castieau, 9 January 1856; transcribed and published online, courtesy of Mark Finnane, by the University of Newcastle (DIGITISED)

[Wednesday 9 January 1856] . . . Mr. Smith of The Age Newspaper called & asked me if would like to go to the Theatre this evening as he could give me two places in a Private Box he had taken. I thanked him & promised to attend myself with my sister. Went to St. Kilda to ask Harriette to come in . . . left Harriette following me in time for the Theatre. Called for Mr. Neild & accompanied by him & Mr. Buzzard proceeded to the "Royal." Mr. Smith was there before we arrived. Madame Clarisse Cailly made her bow to a Melbourne Public this evening & personated "Norma". Catherine Hayes had but recently played the character & the public were consequently somewhat excited with the thought of comparison. Catherine Hayes is decidedly the most accomplished vocalist & by far the more finished actress & in the more impassioned scenes of the Opera far eclipses anything that Madame Cailly last night attempted. Some notes on the other hand of the fair French lady are sweeter & thrill more to the hearts of the audience than those of her contemporary. It was very wet when the performances terminated & it was with some misgiving that I allowed Harriette to go alone to St Kilda . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Buckley Castieau (diarist); Clarisse Cailly (vocalist); Catherine Hayes (vocalist)

"THE THEATRE ROYAL", The Age (22 January 1863), 6 

The announcement that the Requiem composed in honor of the explorers would be performed at the Theatre Royal after the opera, was responded to by a tolerably full house. The performance commenced with Rooke's opera of "Amilie," which was very ably performed. The opera concluded, an interval of about ten minutes ensued, at the expiration of which a funeral knell was heard from behind the scenes, and when the curtain rose it was to present the opera company in more sombre attire, all being dressed in mourning. After the orchestra had played the andante overture, which was a piece of composition of no ordinary character, the following ode by Mr. James Smith, the music by Mr. Reiff, was sung: -

Back from its lonely grave we bring the sacred dust,
A nation's sorrow and a nation's solemn trust;
With kindred dead in consecrated earth to rest,
Where no irreverent hand its slumber shall molest.
Denied in life the glory of the civic crown,
Upon the heroes' tomb we lay it sadly down;
O'er the poor relics bending a dejected head,
And honoring, too late, the mute, unconscious dead.

Aglow with youth and hope they went
Where all before was dark and drear
While o'er the unknown waste there lay
The shadow of an awful fear.
Dim perils wore gigantic forms,
And solitude seemed more profound,
Where living creature's foot had left
No trace upon the burning ground.
But, unappalled, the heroes held
Their course across each trackless plain.
And round them glared the blinding sun,
And o'er them beat the tropic rain.

Morn after morn the fleecy clouds
Mute messengers, would beckon forth
And marshal the four travellers
Their way towards the glowing north;
And ever, as the day advanced,
Would melt into the stainless blue;
And ever, as the morning dawned,
Their pallid beacons would renew,
Till on the Great Dividing Range
In breathless joy th' explorers stood,
And saw the trickling source of rills
That flowed into the northern flood.

Then through the grassy plains they swept,
That spread from mountain unto sea,
Knee deep in flowers, where "Woodnotes wild"
Blend with the murmur of the bee.
There came a day desired by all,
Life's brightest hour perchance, for each,
When Burke and Wills - their goal achieved,
The Flinders' tidal waters reach;
Oh ! noble exploit, well fulfilled!
Oh ! splendid honor, bravely won!
Turn, southward turn, your wayworn feet,
Heroes, your glorious work is done.

Not so ! the "greatest is behind,"
An act of fortitude sublime,
Whose memory each tender heart
Will cherish to the end of time;
For manly eyes will brim with tears,
And woman's voice shall falter, when
The story in its pathos tells
How fell these lion-hearted men -
Calm, cheerful, steadfast, kindly, true,
Surrendering their latest breath,
With gentle words upon their lips,
And smiling in the face of death.

Oh, never shall the good old land
That breeds a race of sons like these
Want men to plant her spotless flag
On unknown coasts of unknown seas.
Oh, never dies the spirit staunch,
The intrepidity that fills
The gallant hearts of heroes like
Imperishable Burke and Wills.

The chorale, commencing with "Back from its lonely grave," was sung by all but the soloists, who evidently reserved themselves for their individual parts. This was followed by the soprano solo, "Aglow with youth and hope they went," rendered by Madame Escott, and which, although not applauded, was certainly the chef d'oeuvre of the work. The absence of applause was doubtless to be attributed to the mournful sentiment of the occasion, which was not overcome until the fourth part of the ode had been completed. The accompaniment of Madame Escott's solo was considerably aided by Mr. Schott, who, we believe, is about the only oboe player that has made his appearance in a Melbourne orchestra. Those who heard how the clear and pure tones of Mr. Schott's instrument harmonised with the mellow notes of the fair artiste, will testify that there has been a great void hitherto in our orchestras.

Immediately following the soprano solo, the tenor aria, "Morn after morn," was given by Mr. Squires in his emphatic style. The repeat of the aria, which is neither more nor less than a dead march, was accompanied with the chorus, which in the words, "Great Dividing Range," had its due effect. To Miss Georgia Hodson was allotted the only piece in a major key, the song being set in A flat, which, though very nicely sung, did not justify the applause which was accorded it, and which was withheld from the prima donna. The last of the solos was allotted to Mr. Wharton, whose rendering of "How fell these lion-hearted men" once more aroused applause, and this aria concluded, the unaccompanied quartette, sung by the four principal singers, invoked the enthusiasm of the audience, who proclaimed their appreciation of the able rendering of each performer by loud plaudits. The repetition of the opening chorale brought the Requiem to a finale. All was not, however, over - a very pretty and imposing tableau vivant had been prepared on the stage, and just as the company were preparing to leave the curtain was raised, and the representation of a monument was presented to the view. The design, which consisted of five or six figures, arranged in an effective group, was surmounted by a fair creature apparently standing in mid air, holding in either hand the emblem of glory, a wreath of laurel. As soon as the curtain rose, the orchestra commenced the National Anthem, but by the time one verse had been played the greater portion of the audience had left. The Ode, which is a good piece of composition, ought to be set in pianoforte score, and we have no doubt, judging from the reception of it last evening, that the various songs, if printed, would form a valuable addendum to the musical repertoires of Australia.

ASSOCIATIONS: Burke and Wills (explorers); Lucy Escott (vocalist); James Arthur Schott (oboist); Georgia Hodson (vocalist); Henry Squires (vocalist); Henry Wharton (vocalist); Anthony Reiff (composer); Lyster Opera Company (troupe)

"Mr. James Smith. An Australian Man of Letters", Table Talk (30 August 1889), 4-5 

. . . His amazing activity during his thirty three years associated with the Melbourne press has resulted in fully ten thousand leading articles without including the dramatic and musical criticisms which are often far more troublesome . . .

"DEATH OF MR. JAMES SMITH", The Argus (21 March 1910), 6

General regret will be felt by a wide circle of friends at the death of Mr. James Smith, the well-known journalist. Mr. Smith, who was in his 90th year, died at "Amwell," Hawthorn, on Saturday.

Mr. James Smith was one of the oldest journalists of note in Australia. He was connected with the Victorian press for upwards of 50 years. Born near Maidstone, in Kent, he was educated for the Church, but scruples of conscience kept him from taking orders. He then turned to journalism, and at 20 he was appointed editor of the "Herts County Press." Afterwards he became a contributor to London "Punch," the "Illuminated Magazine," and other English publications. At the same time, he wrote several books, among which were "Oracles from the British Poets" and "Lights an Shadows of Artist Life and Character." In 1854 he came out to Victoria, and a year later he joined the staff of the "Age". An offer from the proprietors of "The Argus" drew him in 1858 to the editorial staff of this journal, for which he wrote leaders, literary articles, and dramatic criticisms. To the country press of Victoria he also contributed numerous articles.

In 1863 Mr. Smith found, as a student of books, congenial employment in the post of librarian to the Victorian Parliament. To this he was appointed by Mr. (afterwards Sir) John O'Shannassy, and he held the office until it was temporarily abolished in 1868, during a period of retrenchment following the great political crisis of the sixties. While librarian, Mr. Smith was alleged to have written articles hostile to the McCulloch Ministry, which was then in power, and this, it is said, led to his office being done away with, until it became necessary to revive it. Much useful work was done by Mr. Smith in the library. He classified and catalogued no fewer than 30,000 volumes. From the librarianship he went back to "The Argus." For several years, ending with 1871, he was editor of "The Australasian," and for many years later he was one of its principal writers.

Active literary work, interspersed with public lectures, occupied the most of Mr. Smith's life in Melbourne. A piece de circumstance, "A Broil at the Cafe," and "Garibaldi," a three-act drama, from his pen, were produced in Melbourne. After a visit to Europe in 1882, Mr. Smith wrote "From Melbourne to Melrose," a book of travel. Most of its chapters had previously appeared in "The Argus." Mr. Smith at various times was a trustee of the Public Library and the National Gallery, and a member of the council of the Working Men's College.

Some years ago his long connection with "The Argus" was broken, and he resumed his old place on the staff of the "Age," with which he was associated principally as a literary writer and dramatic critic up to the time of his death. Mr. Smith was a fluent and versatile writer. He could illuminate almost any topic. This was because he had been throughout his life an omnivorous and systematic reader. Everything likely to be useful to him as a writer was treasured in a depositary, where it could be promptly found when wanted. So he was ever ready with fitting quotations and apt illustrations. Indeed, so ready was he with them that it inclined him to rely more on recorded opinions than on new views or arguments of his own. It made him very entertaining as a lecturer, since he could bring forward hosts of witnesses to support the proposition he wished to maintain. Literary and historic problems had an evergreen interest for him, and he was fond of making them the subject of articles or lectures. One of his latest publications was a pamphlet aimed at proving that the historian, Gibbon, was the as yet undiscovered author of the letters of Junius. Mr. Smith's most absorbing subject for 40 years was spiritualism; but his writings upon it were mostly confined to elect believers; it was not a subject on which he had many opportunities to address a sceptical public.

Mr. Smith's son, Charles Lamb Smith, who received his original training on "The Argus," is now associated with the "Ballarat Star."


It is with deep regret that we announce the death of Mr. James Smith, a distinguished writer, whose work was well known throughout Australia and in a lesser degree in England. Mr. Smith, who resided in Burwood-road, Hawthorn, had been suffering from an internal complaint, and his illness terminated fatally on Saturday afternoon. He was the doyen of Australian journalists, and one whose literary and scholastic attainments were well known outside of Australia. He had lived far beyond the allotted span of men, and may be said to have died practically in harness. To readers of "The Age" during recent months, his thoughtful, scholarly and always interesting articles, under the initials "J.S.," were invariably welcome. Whether philosophic, literary, or purely descriptive, they disclosed, as indeed did all his work, a mind of rare quality, combined with a temperament almost equally rare. The fact that they were written by one who was in his ninetieth year made them even more noteworthy.

James Smith was born in Kent, England, in 1820, and began his career as a journalist by editing the "Herts County Press," close by the town in which he was educated. This was when he was only twenty years of age. He also began to contribute to various London periodicals, and collected a number of these articles into a volume entitled "Rural Records," which went through two editions and brought him into correspondence with Douglas Jerrold, William Howitt, Mary Russell Mitford, and other writer of the period. He next edited the "Salisbury Journal." It is interesting to note that during, his five years' residence in Salisbury he organised the first provincial exhibition of arts and industries to be held in England. It was he who gave the first public reading of Dickens's "Christmas Carol" - an example that has since been followed by thousands. He read the story at Salisbury on Christmas eve, 1852, and handed in the proceeds of that entertainment to charity. He also made many appearances as a lecturer on literary subjects.

In 1854 Mr. Smith came out to Melbourne, and soon afterwards, joined "The Age," both as leader writer and dramatic critic. He assisted Messrs. Ebenezer Syme and David Blair in the first production of "The Leader," of which journal he was the first editor. In the year following he accepted an offer from Mr. Edward Wilson to join the editorial staff of the "Argus," and continued to be more or less closely connected with that paper until 1896. During the fifties, and later, Mr. Smith did a great deal of outside writing for leading journals of Sydney, Brisbane and Hobart, as well as Melbourne, his pen being constantly in requisition. Feeling the strain tell upon him, he decided in 1863 to return to England, but Mr. (after wards Sir John) O'Shanassy, hearing of his intention, offered him the appointment of Parliamentary librarian, in order to induce him to remain in the colony. To such a lover of books the post was very congenial, more especially as it did not mean a complete severance from his journalistic associations. Mr. Smith applied himself to the task of remodelling the library, preparing both an alphabetical and a classified catalogue of its 30,000 volumes, and filling up the many gaps which he discovered in the collection. After he had done this he proposed to the Government of the day that he should spend a twelve month in travelling through Great Britain, lecturing in town and country on the resources of Victoria and the attractions it offered to immigrants, while at the same time furnishing articles and paragraphs to English newspaper editors in reference to the advantages of the colony. As the advocate of an intelligent advertising policy, Mr. Smith was, however, in advance of the times. His request to the Government was not granted, and to add point to the refusal the office which he held was temporarily abolished. This was in 1868. The reason given to Mr. Smith was that political articles, supposed to have been written by him, were opposed to the policy of the Government. He then returned to his old profession, feeling in no way discouraged, but, as he said himself, greatly renewed in health and vigor.

During his fifty years' association with Victorian journalism Mr. Smith took a prominent part in founding Melbourne "Punch," and subsequently became its owner and editor. His varied activities reached into many other fields. He was one of the founders of the Acclimatisation Society of Victoria, co-operated with the late Professor Morris in establishing the Shakspeare Society, and took an active share in the work of the Alliance Francaise, in recognition of which he was appointed an officer of the French Academy in Paris. He likewise translated into English "The Spring and Summer of French Literature," by Mlle. Dreyfus. When the Dante Society of Victoria was formed Mr. Smith was elected president, and held the position for eight years. His services to the society were recognised by King Victor Emanuel, who created him a Chevalier of the Order of the Crown of Italy on 1st January, 1901. The success that he achieved as a journalist and a man of letters he attributed to hard work, method, and punctuality in fulfilling engagements. The interment will be private.


Melbourne has always claimed James Smith as its model journalist. He was born near Maidstone, Kent, on April 28, 1820, and had, therefore, nearly completed his 90th year . . .

Selected writings::

Funeral ode. in memory of the deceased explorers of Australia, Burke and Wills, will be sung on Wednesday, January 21, 1863, words by J. Smith, Esq., music composed by A. Reiff, Jun. ([Melbourne]: [Theatre Royal], 1863) (DIGITISED)

James Smith, "The social development of Australasia", in Australasian federal directory (Melbourne and Sydney: J. W. F. Rogers, [1888]), xxvi-vii 

Before the discovery of gold, theatres had been established in Sydney, Melbourne, Geelong, Adelaide, Hobart, and Launceston, and possibly elsewhere in the colonies. But that event brought Australia prominently into notice at the other end of the world, and it was regarded as a country worth exploitering by professional people of considerable repute in Europe and the United States. Catherine Hayes, the vocalist, made the tour of the colonies and reaped a golden harvest; Miska Hauser, a Hungarian violinist, was equally successful; and Anna Bishop was the pioneer of Italian opera, the first entertainment of the kind having been given at the Princess's Theatre (since pulled down) in Melbourne. It was a polyglot performance, for one of the principals sang his part in Italian, another in German, another in French, another in Spanish, and another in English. People cared little for the libretto, however, but a great deal for the music; and, considering that a chorus had to be organized, drilled, and instructed, and that all sorts of difficulties had to be surmounted, the performance was a remarkably successful one. Among other professional visitors to the colonies in those early days were Miss Emma Stanley with her monological entertainment, Mr. Stephen Massett, Jacobs and Anderson the conjurors, the Backus Minstrels from New York, and Lola Montez, bent upon turning to pecuniary profit the notoriety she had acquired by her amours with the then King of Bavaria, and by the insurrection, which had resulted in her expulsion from Munich . . .


The cultivation of music in the various colonies belonging to this group commenced at a comparatively early period of their existence, and it could be scarcely more widely diffused than it is among all classes of society. This is a fact which impresses itself on the attention of foreign visitors more particularly. One of these, the Baron Michel, in a lecture delivered before the Societe des Etudes Coloniales et Maritimes, in Paris, last year, remarked to his hearers, "You cannot imagine how widely disseminated is the pianoforte in Australia. I will not say that there is one on every floor, because most of the houses are of one story only, but certainly every village, every cottage, and, in shorty every habitable dwelling possesses one if not two of these instruments. And, indeed, they are so prevalent that some mischievous wag proposed to give Sydney the name of Pianopolis." There may be a trace of exaggeration in this statement, but it is nevertheless substantially true; and you cannot walk through the suburbs of any of the chief centres of population in either of the colonies without being reminded of the gratifying fact that a pianoforte of some kind constitutes a portion of the furniture, not only of middle-class houses, but of the back parlours of small shopkeepers, and of the cottages of prosperous artisans. As a natural consequence, musical entertainments are extremely popular, and associations for promoting the study and practice of the divine art are exceedingly numerous in proportion to the population. In Sydney the Metropolitan Liedertafel numbers 400 subscribers and 60 performing members, and the Sydney Liedertafel 1000 subscribers, and 74 vocalists and 25 instrumentalists as performing members; while there is also an efficiently conducted Western Suburbs Musical Society. In Melbourne the Philharmonic Society has been in existence upwards of thirty years, and is one of the most important organizations of the kind in Australasia. It has an influential competitor in the Metropolitan Liedertafel, with which must be bracketed the Melbourne Liedertafel. In addition to these, there is the Musical Association of Victoria, the Tonic Sol-fa Association, the Continental Concert Society, and the Brighton, the Hawthorn and Kew, and the Toorak Harmonic Societies. Adelaide has its Deutsche Liedertafel, with 200 subscribers and 22 performing members; Hobart, its Philharmonic Society, its Orchestral Union, its Orpheus Club, its Liedertafel, and its Metropolitan, Reserve, and Rifle Bands. There are also five bands of music in Launceston. Brisbane has its Musical Union, with 300 subscribers, 86 practising and 20 auxiliary members; its Orchestral Society, its Liedertafel, and its South Brisbane Musical Society. Of similar musical associations in New Zealand we have no accessible record, but the inhabitants of that colony, are certainly not behind those of the continent in their affection for and cultivation of the most refined and humanizing of the arts . . .

A pretty good index to the prevalence of a popular taste for music is afforded by the fact that so many musicians of eminence have visited the Australasian colonies . . . [several pages more]. . . for the purpose of giving concerts in them, and generally speaking with satisfactory results to themselves. Miss Arabella Goddard, MM. Poussard and Douay, Henri Ketten, Wilhehnj, Kowalski, Remenyi, Köhler, Ley, Madeline Schiller, and Herr Pabst may be enumerated among those who have crossed the Equator in search of fame or fortune - some of them obtaining both - in these Southern land. And the munificent gift of £20,000 by a private citizen, the Hon. Francis Ormond, for the foundation of a chair of music in the Melbourne University, is a splendid recognition of the importance of this form of culture as a branch of the higher education.

Some mention has already been made of the beginnings of opera in Australia. But its institution as a permanent source of enjoyment was due to the enterprise of Mr. F. S. Lyster, an Irish American gentleman who came hither from California about five and twenty years ago, bringing with him a well-organized and remarkably efficient company, together with a skilful conductor, for the performance of grand opera. He produced the masterpieces of Meyerbeer, Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, Gounod, Flotow, Verdi, Auber, Balfe, Wallace, Weber, and other composers upon the boards of the principal theatres in Australasia, with a completeness which may have been subsequently equalled, but has certainly not been surpassed; and he contributed in no unimportant degree to raise the taste of the play-going public in many instances, to educate it in some, and to provide an intellectual form of entertainment for all. The news of his success, from a financial point of view, induced some speculative managers in Italy to engage a specifically Italian company of lyric artists for a professional tour through the Australian colonies, and the result was a succession of operatic performances which, if they did not reach the high standard of great European capitals, were such as to satisfy all reasonable expectations. Indeed the lighter productions of Rossini and Donizetti were interpreted as efficiently as they could have been in Milan or Naples; while wandering stars like Ilma di Murska and Carlotta Patti, with other vocalists of lesser note, occasionally made their appearance in the principal concert-rooms of the colonies.

As a private accomplishment, there is no art more popular than music throughout the whole of Australasia, and the quantity of musical instruments and the amount of sheet music imported, to say nothing of the pianos and organs locally manufactured, as well as the number of qualified persons engaged in tuition, would be found, on examination, to reach a total that is literally astonishing, when regard is had to the limits of the population.

"THE MELBOURNE STAGE IN THE FORTIES. BY J. S. No. I.", The Argus (17 May 1890), 4

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

"THE MELBOURNE STAGE IN THE FORTIES. By J. S. No. III.", The Argus (31 May 1890), 4

"THE MELBOURNE STAGE IN THE FORTIES. By J. S. No. IV.", The Argus (7 June 1890), 4 

Bibliography and resources:

James Smith papers, 1837-1909; State Library of New South Wales, MLMSS 212 

Ann-Mari Jordens, "Smith, James (1820-1910)", Australian dictionary of biography 6 (1976)

Harold Love, The golden age of Australian opera: W. S. Lyster and his companies 1861-1880 (Sydney: Currency Press, 1981), passim

Alison Gyger, Civilising the colonies: pioneering opera in Australia (Sydney: Pellinor, 1999), from 81 passim

SMITH, John (John SMITH)

Musician, violinist, fiddler

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


"DESERTING A WIFE AND FAMILY", The Argus (15 April 1856), 6

A man named John Smith was brought up at the City Court yesterday on a charge of deserting his wife and three children. The wife, a very decent-looking woman, stated that the prisoner, who is a musician, had been in the habit of treating her very brutally. She was married to him at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England, and during the time they lived together in England the prisoner beat her so severely that he was sentenced to six months' imprisonment in Stafford gaol, and the wife and her mother, a person of very respectable appearance, appear to have used every endeavor for the prisoner's release from custody, and by some means obtained £45, which they paid for his passage to this colony. Since their arrival here the poor woman had been obliged to support herself and family by washing, while the husband was squandering his earnings in debauchery. A few days ago he returned home, when she was in bed, and broke his fiddle over her head, and stabbed the bedclothes in several places with a knife, one of which stabs inflicted a wound in her left arm. He threatened also to cut her mother's and her throat. The prisoner said the woman was not his wife, although he had lived with her ten years; but this defence, it appears, he set up on the former occasion. The Bench did not believe his statement, and considering him to be a worthless vagabond, sent him to gaol for three months: on his release to be bound over in two sureties of £25 each to keep the peace for twelve months.

"HEARTLESS CONDUCT", The Age (15 April 1856), 2 

At the City Court on Monday, John Smith was charged with deserting his wife and three children. His wife, a decent looking woman, stated that the prisoner, who is a musician, had been in the habit of treating her with great brutality. She was married to him in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and while in England he had so seriously misconducted himself towards her that he had been imprisoned for six months in Stafford gaol. By great efforts, and carefulness, Mrs. Smith and her mother had saved up £45 in order to procure her passage to this colony. Since then the poor woman has had to support herself and family by washing, while her husband has daily squandered his earnings in debauchery. A few days since he returned to his dwelling while his wife was in bed. He smashed his violin over her head, and then with a knife stabbed the bed-clothes in several places, and at last wounded his wife in the left arm. He also threatened the death of her mother. The prisoner denied that the woman was his wife although it was shown that he had lived ten years with her. The Bench believing him to be a thorough scoundrel, sentenced him to three months' hard labor, and after his enlargement to find two sureties of £25 each to keep the peace towards his wife for twelve months.

SMITH, John Matthew (John Matthew SMITH; J. M. SMITH)

Musical amateur (founding member Melbourne Philharmonic Society), solicitor, philanthropist

Born Ludstone Hall, Claverley, Shropshire, England, 1815; son of John SMITH and Emily LINWOOD
Married (1) Ann HUNT (c. 1815-1895), St. Bride, Fleet Street, 21 November 1836
Arrived Melbourne, NSW (VIC), c. 1839/40
Married (2) Isabella HARRIS, Sandringham, VIC, 11 March 1896
Died Nyora, VIC, 21 April 1898, aged "82" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Marriages solemnized in the parish of St. Bride in the county of Middlesex in the year 1836; register 1834-37, page 199; London Metropolitan Archives (PAYWALL)

John Matthews Smith of the Parish of Christ Church in the county of Surrey, and Ann Hunt, Spinster, of this parish, were married in this church by License this [23 November 1836] . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (14 October 1853), 7 

MELBOURNE CHORAL SOCIETY. - At a meeting convened by advertisement and attended by upward of fifty persons, held in the Mechanics' Hall on Saturday, 8th October, 1853.
Chares Vaughan, Esq., J. P., in the chair; the following Resolutions were passed unanimously:-
1. That the meeting constitute itself an Association for the cultivation of Choral Music, Sacred and Secular, to be called the "Melbourne Choral Society."
2. That new members be admitted on the following conditions:-
A written recommendation signed by two members.
Ability (if a vocalist) to sing correctly a part in a plain Psalm tune; if an instrumentalist) to perform "part music" readily.
Engagement to observe the Rules of this Society.
3. That the following gentlemen be appointed a Committee to frame Rules for the government of the Society:
- Messrs. Goold, Russell, W. G. Dredge, Ewart, Walker, Henry Smith, and John Matthew Smith, with a request that they submit the same to a meeting of members now present, to be held in the Mechanics' Institution, on Saturday, 15th inst., at eight o'clock p.m.
(Signed) CHARLES VAUGHAN, Chairman.
Mr. Vaughan having been moved from the chair, and Mr. Russell voted thereto, the cordial thanks if the meeting were presented to the former gentleman for his kindness in presiding on the occasion.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Vaughan (member); Thomas Green Goold (member); John Russell (member); William Gilpin Dredge (member); Thomas Ewart (member); Henry Smith (member); the society almost immediately renamed Melbourne Philharmonic Society, following an attempt earlier that year by George Chapman and others to form an organisation of the latter name

Rules of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society (Melbourne: W. H. Williams, 1854) (DIGITISED)


ASSOCIATIONS: Redmond Barry (president); William Jarrett (member); Jacob Levi Montefiore (member); Theophilus Dredge (member); Frederick James Sargood (member); William Henry Williams (member)

"PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Argus (3 January 1855), 5 

The first annual meeting of the Philharmonic Society took place in the hall of the Mechanics' Institute last evening. Tea was provided, and the evening was relieved by the performance of glees, catches, &c. The chair was occupied by J. M. Smith, Esq. Mr. Gould [sic, Goold] presided at the pianoforte. The ladies of the society had subscribed for the purpose of presenting a testimonial to the conductor of the society, Mr. Russell, who, both as an able musician and an amiable gentleman, has won the esteem of all who have the honor of his acquaintance. The testimonial, consisting of a purse containing one hundred sovereigns, was presented to Mr. Russell by the Rev. Mr. Jarrett, who, in doing so, highly complimented him on his skill and tact in performing the duties of his office. Mr. Russell replied in a neat and appropriate speech. He considered the society was much indebted to Mr. Griffith and Mr. Ashton for the valuable aid they had rendered. The latent of the hour at which the meeting separated prevents our saying more than that all present seemed highly delighted with the evening's entertainment afforded them by the many talented members of the society,

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Griffiths (violinist, leader); Michael Ashton (organist)

"MISKA HAUSER", The Argus (25 June 1855), 5 

The Committee of Management of the Melbourne Hospital has addressed the following letter to this eminent artist: -
"Melbourne, June 21st, 1855.
Sir, - I am directed by the Committee of Management of the Melbourne Hospital to convey to you their thanks for having, by the exercise of your splendid talents on Monday evening last, augmented the funds of the institution £202 6s. 8d. The committee regret that the only acknowledgment in their power to offer is this expression of their feelings, and the inscription of your name on the list of Life Governors, which will entitle you to have a patient always in the house, and your name to appear in each annual report, together with the amount which you have been the means of obtaining for the institution. The committee also desire to acknowledge their obligations to Mr. Askunas, whose exertions on behalf of the charity they consider to be beyond all praise.
I have the honor to be, sir, your humble servant,
J. M. SMITH, Honorary Secretary" . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Miska Hauser (violinist); Joseph Askunas (manager, c. 1828-1870)

"PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Argus (18 January 1860), 5 

The annual meeting of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society took place last evening at the Mechanics' Institute. Mr. Justice Barry occupied the chair . . . Mr. Vaughan having informed the meeting that the Government had granted a site for the proposed Music-hall, moved the appointment of the following gentlemen as Trustees: - The President (Mr. Justice Barry), Messrs. Sumner, Pinnock, J. M. Smith, Russell, Blundell, and Capt. Kay . . .

"MARRIAGES", The Argus (16 March 1896), 1 

SMITH - HARRIS. - On the 11th inst., at Sandringham, by the Rev. J. Lacy Winn, John Matthew Smith, of Sandringham, to Isabella, widow of the late Ernest F. Harris, of Gippsland .

"DEATHS", The Argus (25 April 1898), 1 

SMITH. - On the 21st April, at Reduit, Nyora, John Matthew Smith, of Castlefield, Sandringham, aged 82 years.

"Personal", Table Talk (29 April 1898), 2 

Mr. John Matthew Smith, whose death is announced, in 1852 resided in Lonsdale street, opposite the Melbourne Hospital, on the spot where Dr. Stirling's house now stands. In 1853 Mr. Smith removed to the beautiful estate in South road, Brighton, formerly Mr. E. L. Splatt's, and where he resided for nearly 45 years, though living in Gippsland at the time of his death. Mr. Smith was admitted as a solicitor in 1849, and was the senior of the whole of the profession as to time of admission . . .

Bibliography and resources:

Graham J. Whitehead, "John Matthew Smith: pioneer and philanthropist", Kingston local history (posted 27 June 2018) 

. . . Smith was born at Shropshire . . . in 1815 to John Smith and Emily Smith (Linwood) of Ludstone Hall, Claverley . . . On the death of his mother his father married the widow of Captain Hunt, a veteran of Waterloo . . . Smith did not get on with his stepmother and left home for London [where] he married Anne Hunt [his step sister] at St. Bride's [Fleet Street] 1836. [They] came to Victoria three years after their marriage . . . John inheriting a large fortune from his grandfather. On arrival in Melbourne he worked as a law clerk with Carrington and Clay until 1849 when he was admitted to practice as a solicitor . . . Initially he worked from 33 Bourke Street East and later from 58 Chancery Lane. He established the law practice of Smith and Emmerton with Henry Emmerton . . .

SMITH, John Pridham (John Pridham SMITH; J. P. SMITH; John SMITH)

Amateur musician, vocalist, choir singer, solicitor (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


[Advertisement], Port Phillip Gazette [Melbourne, NSW (VIC)] (14 November 1840), 2 

Amateur Concert. In aid of the Funds of the Episcopalian Church.
AT a meeting held at the Adelphi Hotel, on Friday the 13th instant, Francis Dutton, Esq., in the chair.
It was unanimously resolved - "That a Concert for the above purpose should take place as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made.
Resolved - "That the following gentlemen, namely Messrs. Dutton, Sandford, Darke, Pullar, and Smith, be a Committee appointed for carrying out the arrangements, with full power to add to their number.
Resolved - "That and advertisement, signed by the Chairman of the present meeting be inserted in the public Journals, requesting parties desirous of contributing their assistance to announce their intention to the Chairman of this meeting without delay, stating what instrument or part in the performance they are capable of taking, or who can furnish a loan of Music to the Committee for the occasion.
Resolved - "That a deputation consisting of Messrs. Smith, Cavenagh, and Darke, be requested to wait upon the Rev. Mr. Forbes to ask the loan of the Presbyterian Schoolroom, for holding the amateur Concert in aid of the funds of the Episcopalian Church.
Resolved - "That the same deputation be requested to wait upon his Honor the Superintendent and Mrs. La Trobe soliciting the favour of their patronage.
Resolved - "That this Meeting be adjourned to Tuesday next, at the same hour and place."

ASSOCIATIONS: Francis Dutton (amateur); Charles John Sandford (amateur); Mr. Pullar (amateur)

"THE CHRONICLES OF EARLY MELBOURNE . . . by Garryowen [ = Edmund Finn]", The Herald [Melbourne, VIC] (23 June 1883), 3 

. . . In 1843, a Philharmonic Society was started, but was not so successful. Yet in those early years very praiseworthy efforts were made, and amongst those who did good service in that way the most prominent names, were Messrs. William Clarke, John Pridham Smith, Frederick L. Clay, John J. Peers, C. J. Sanford, Charles Vaughan, and Joseph Megson . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Clarke (musician); Frederick Lord Clay (amateur); John Jones Peers (amateur); Charles John Sandford (amateur); Charles Vaughan (amateur); Joseph Megson (musician); Melbourne Philharmonic Society (1840s association)

The chronicles of early Melbourne, 1835 to 1851, by Garryowen (Melbourne: Fergusson and Mitchell, 1888), 967 (DIGITISED)

[967] . . . A well-informed correspondent writing from Geelong, has favoured me with the following: -
"The first choir at St. Francis', Melbourne, consisted of Dr. C. J. Sandford, with Mr. J. P. Smiths, Solicitor; Mr. William Clarke, a music seller and music teacher, who kept a shop in Collins Street East; and a fourth (F. L. Clay, another Attorney ?) whose name has passed from my recollection. They were all "jolly good fellows," but better adapted to "trolling a catch" than chanting High Mass. Vespers were not sung in those remote days . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: St. Francis's church (Melbourne); see also "Memories and Musings", Advocate (15 January 1848), 12 

SMITH, John R. (John R. SMITH; J. R. SMITH; John SMITH)

Musician, violoncello and double bass (contra bass) player

Active Adelaide, SA, by 1845 (shareable link to this entry)


He was perhaps John Ross Smith (born c. 1814, died 1 August 1893) who, on joining the Tradesmens' Lodge, Adelaide, in March 1854, gave his age as 40, and his trade as builder. In the same year he was listed as a city councillor for the West Norwood ward. J. R. Smith, of Norwood, was later a prominent exhibitor in horticultural shows.


"RESIDENT MAGISTRATE'S COURT. Wednesday, 5th November, 1845 . . . LEE v. WYATT", Adelaide Observer (8 November 1845), 6 

The plaintiff sought to recover £3 for music provided for the Courier steamer on the occasion of a trip which had been advertised, but not performed. The defendant denied having engaged the band. John Smith, musician, had been with plaintiff to defendant's house. Lee told Wyatt that 12s. each was too little for the band, and he agreed to give £1 each. Mr. Swift, the other musician, was present. This was on Satutday. On the following Monday they went down to the Port. Through the steamer's not going they only took 12s. each. On the Sunday before the day appointed for the second trip, saw Wyatt again, who said he did not think he should go, as the weather looked cloudy, but that, if he did, he should let Lee know at nine o'clcck next morning at Platts's or Stephens's. Next morning Lee called and told him the steamer was going. Witness went to the Port at nine o'clock by Bayfield's cart. Saw Mr. Wyatt, who said the weather was very queer: he was afraid he should not start. There was not the number down there that he expected. He did not tell them to go away, and they stayed all day. When they got there the steamer was preparing to start. It was two o'clock before they knew they were not to go. Lee had paid witness his £1.
Cross-examined. - On the Sunday morning I do not remember your saying you would do without music if you went.
Defendant - You must remember it.
Thomas Swift confirmed the evidence of last witness, adding that, on the Monday morning of the second intended trip, he was with Lee in Mr. John Stephens's shop when a messenger came in saying that the vessel would go. Did not know who the messenger was. Had not been paid at present, but should look to Lee.
The Magistrate said the plaintiff could not recover the £1 till he had paid it.
Defendant said he had made no engagement for the second time, nor had he sent a messenger to Stephens's on the Monday.
Plaintiff said he did not know who the messenger was, but if he sent to Mr. Stephens's, no doubt the shopman would be able to say.
Defendant said he had made the arrangement that if Lee went it was on his own responsibility.
Verdict for plaintiff, £2.

ASSOCIATIONS: Philip Lee (musician); Thomas Swift (musician)

[Advertisement], South Australian (12 May 1846), 2 

Odd Fellows' Ball.
A BALL will take place in the large room of the Freemasons' Tavern, on Tuesday evening, 19th May, for the celebration of the opening of the new Lodge Room.
Applications for tickets (not transferable) will be received by brothers G. Watts, J. Nowland, W. H. George, and T. Wright, of King William-street, and J. R. Smith, Angas-street.

"ANNIVERSARY DINNER OF THE ADELAIDE LODGE OF ODDFELLOWS", South Australian Register (17 October 1846), 2 

. . . It would be improper to allow our remarks to rest here, we have a duty to perform which we do with the utmost of pleasure, considering how much we stand in debted to good music for a pleasant evening, namely, en passant to say the orchestra was under the entire direction, and the music tastefully selected by Mr. J. R. Smith, of the Hope Lodge. The band was conducted by Mr. Lee.

[Advertisement], South Australian (18 February 1848), 2

THE public is most respectfully informed that this Theatre will be closed on Saturday evening next, and re-opened on the following Monday, Feb. 21st, 1848, under the management of
MR. LAZAR, who will have the honor of making his first appearance in Adelaide these five years . . .
INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMERS: Leader, Mr. Lee; Mr. Richards (second violin); Mr. Thompson (violoncello); Mr. Kaebet (flute); Mr. Swift (tenor); Mr. Smith (double bass); Mr. Hewett (trombone); Mr. Poltridge (cornet a piston); Mr. Barnett (drum); Mr. Bennett will preside at the Pianoforte . . .

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

MISS LAZAR Begs leave most respectfully to acquaint the Public generally, that her first
GRAND EVENING CONCERT, Under the distinguished patronage of
HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR, (Who has signified his intention of honoring her with his presence),
INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMERS: Leader, Mr. Lee; Mr. Richards (second violin); Mr. Thompson (violoncello); Mr. Kaebet (flute); Mr. Swift (tenor); Mr. Smith (double bass); Mr. Hewett (trombone); Mr. Poltridge (cornet a piston); Mr. Barnett (drum);
Mr. Bennett will preside at the Pianoforte.
PROGRAMME. PART I. Overture - "Il Barbierre di Saviglia" (Rossini) - Orchestra . . .
PART II. Overture - "Massaniello" (Auber), Orchestra . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Rachel Lazar (vocalist); Henry Augustus Richards (violin); John Charles Thompson (cello); Thomas Paltridge (cornet); George Bennett (piano); New Queen's Theatre (Adelaide)

"RESIDENT MAGISTRATE'S COURT. Wednesday, 2nd May . . . Lazar v. J. R. Smith", South Australian Gazette and Mining Journal (3 May 1849), 3 

To recover £1 16s. balance owing to plaintiff through defendant's benefit at the New Queen's Theatre. Defendant filed a set off of the same amount for professional (musical) attendance and carpenter's work, and did not admit the agreement that plaintiff should have the theatre on that occasion for £12.
The musicians, he said, were to have the house for £10.
Plaintiff could produce witnesses to show that defendant confessed to owing the amount. J. Douglass, a theatrical, stated that all actors paid £12 for their benefit.
The musicians were to have the house for £10 each if they took their benefit together, but that was not the case. Each took his separately. There was a deficiency in the house to the extent of the amount claimed.
Defendant said there was more people in the house than made the sum represented.
His Worship - But did they all pay? Produce the money-takers. The usual charge is shown to be £12.
Plaintiff - Yes, Miss Lazar is charged the very same.
Besides the defendant had the option of having his own money-takers if he thought proper.
His Worship - What about the set off?
Plaintiff said he never was accustomed to pay for playing at rehearsals.
He admitted that the defendant played at the concert but was paid 10s. 6d. for it.
Fifteen months elapsed before the claim was made, notwithstanding that on every Saturday night during the seasons he had been paid his wages. Verdict for the plaintiff the full amount and costs.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Lazar (actor, manager)

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

INSTRUMENTAL. Conductor - Mr. Wallace . . .
Violoncellos, Messrs. Tilly, Allen, Smith, and Thurlow; Double Basses, Mons. Paris and Herr Zeigler . . .
On Friday Evening, 19th of July, 1850.
PROGRAMME. PART I. OVERTURE, "The Siege of Rochelle," Balfe - THE BAND . . .
OVERTURE, "La Straniera," - THE BAND . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Spencer Wellington Wallace (violin, leader); George Tilly (cello); Charles Alston Thurlow (cello); Eugene Paris (bass)

[Advertisement], Adelaide Times (6 October 1854), 1 

MISS PETTMAN and MR. W. CHAPMAN . . . will give a GRAND CONCERT of Vocal and Instrumental Music on the evening of
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 11th, 1854, at the PANTHEON, King William-street . . .
Instrumentalists: 1st Violins - Mr. P. Lee and Mr. Chapman; 2nd Ditto - Mr. Wm. Cobbin, jun., and Mr. Watts; Viola - Mr. W. Cobbin, sen.; Violincellos - Mr. J. R. Smith and Mr. Swift; Contra Bass - Mr. Betteridge . . .
Pianists - Mrs. Young and Mr. Linger . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Mary Ann Pettman (vocalist); William Chapman (musician); William Cobbin sen. and jun. (musicians); Henry Betteridge (bass); Rebecca Young (piano); Carl Linger (piano)

"GRAND EVENING CONCERT", Adelaide Times (12 October 1854), 3 

. . . A finely and well executed quartette, by Messrs. Chapman, Watts, W. Cobbin, sen., and J. R. Smith, paved the way for the introduction of the gem of the evening, the pathetic and familiarly-known ballad "Annie Lawrie," sung by Miss Chalker . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Marie Chalker (vocalist)

SMITH, John Thomas (John Thomas SMITH; J. T. SMITH)

Theatre proprietor, manager, mayor of Melbourne

Born Sydney, NSW, 28 May 1816; son of John SMITH and Elizabeth BIGGS
Married Ellen PENDER (c. 1820-1886), St. James, Melbourne, VIC, 1839
Died Flemington, VIC, 30 January 1879 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (Obituaries Australia) (shareable link to this entry)

Dress Circle boxes Queens Theatre. Lucky Diggers in Melbourne. 1853. In the reign of J. T. Smith; watercolour sketch, S. T. Gill; State Library of Victoria

"Dress Circle boxes Queens Theatre. Lucky Diggers in Melbourne. 1853. In the reign of J. T. Smith"; watercolour sketch, S. T. Gill; State Library of Victoria (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Samuel Thomas Gill (artist)


"THE NEW THEATRE", Port Phillip Gazette (19 April 1845), 2 

We state with great pleasure, that Mr. John Thomas Smith's elegant new Theatre, in Queen-street, will be opened on Monday night under the patronage of our popular Mayor, the Aldermen, and the Town Councillors of the Melbourne Corporation. We have visited the building, and can, without hesitation, pronounce it to be the most complete Theatre in the colonies. The accommodations in the audience part of the House are tastefully arranged, particularly the dress circle; in short, the spirit that Mr. Smith has displayed in erecting this place of amusement deserves the gratitude of the community, and we feel certain that the patronage which will be awarded the Queen's Theatre, will show how such spirited conduct is appreciated. Mr. Davies, for whose benefit the Theatre will be opened, has been (to use the words of a contemporary), "singularly fortunate," but as it is known Mr. Davies is employed in the Gazette office, delicacy prevents our making any remark on his merits as an actor, which are sufficiently well known without it; nevertheless we may say, from personal observation, that he is sparing neither expense nor labour to produce the pieces selected for the occasion in a style that would compete with many of the Metropolitan Minor Theatres. As is usual on occasion at the opening of a new Theatre, every body will be there, and we would recommend intending visitors to be early.

ASSOCIATIONS: Queen's Theatre (Melbourne)

[Advertisement], Port Phillip Gazette (30 April 1845), 3 

Queen's Theatre Royal, QUEEN-STREET, MELBOURNE.
OPENING NIGHT, Thursday Evening, May 1, 1845.
THE Proprietor having completed his arrangements for the opening of the New Theatre Royal, Queen-street, on the above named evening, has the honor of announcing to the PATRONS of the DRAMA - the public generally of Melbourne, and its vicinity - that he has secured all the available talent in the province and is in communication with the neighbouring colonies for the purpose of adding to the strength of his COMPANY.
Previous to the rising of the curtain, THE OPENINC ADDRESS Will be delivered BY MR. NESBITT.
On THURSDAY Evening, May 1, The performance will commence with Tobin's celebrated Comedy, in five Acts, entitled
Duke of Aranza - MR. NESBITT.
Juliana - MRS. CAMERON.
In Act IV., A RUSTIC DANCE, Incidental to the Comedy.
End of the Comedy.
An admired Song, by MRS. KNOWLES.
A Comic Song - MR. MILLER.
To conclude with the laughable Farce of the
UNFINISHED GENTLEMAN; OR, Belles, Beaux, Cantabs, and Tigers!
Doors to open at half-past six; performance to commence at seven o'clock precisely.
Dress Circle, 5s.; half-price, 3s. Upper Cirle, 4s.; half-price, 2s. Pit, 2s. 6d.; half-price, 1s. 6d. Gallery, 1s. 6d.; no half-price.
Tickets and places may be secured at the Royal Hotel, and at the Theatre, from 10 till 4 daily.
Proprietor, MR. SMITH,
Stage Manager, MR. NESBITT,
Mechanist, MR. CAPPER.

ASSOCIATIONS: Francis Nesbitt (actor, manager); Cordelia Cameron (actor); Harriet Knowles (vocalist, actor); Mr. Miller (comic vocalist)

"THE QUEEN'S THEATRE . . .", Port Phillip Gazette (3 May 1845), 2 

. . . Opened for the season on Thursday evening, and we were much surprised to find so poor an attendance, indeed the elegance of the theatre, and the attractive announcement of Tobin's comedy of the "Honey Moon," should have been sufficient inducement to have drawn together a brilliant attendance of the elite of Melbourne; but we hope as a new era in the annals of Port Phillip theatricals has dawned, Mr. Smith's spirited undertaking will meet with that encouragement it deserves. Previous to the commencement of the comedy, Mr. Nesbitt spoke the opening address, the effect of which was completely marred by the vociferations of the prompter and an occasional full stop by Mr. Nesbitt, to consider what was to come next. That gentleman, however, in the part of the "Duke of Aranza," made the audience forget his deficiency in the opening address; his delineation of the part was rich, chaste, and natural; in short, it was a finished piece of acting. Mrs. Cameron, next deserves especial praise for the superior manner in which she sustained the part of the disappointed "Julianna. Mrs. Knowles as " Zamora," and Mrs. Boyd as "Volante," acquitted themselves most creditably. Mr. Cameron's "Rolando" was decidedly more ably sustained than any character he has attempted in this province. Mr. Boyd's "Count Montalban" was very respectable. Lee's "Mock Duke" was replete with rich comic humour, and elicited well merited applause. In short lite comedy, considering the chilly appearance of the house, was played with remarkable spirit, and the plaudits of the audience testified that the legitimate drama will be sure to find encouragement in Melbourne. The following is the address as it should have been spoken by Mr. Nesbitt, who garbled its contents most woefully: -
Whatever change of region may beside,
The name of Briton is a Briton's pride:
Whether on tented field, or ocean wave,
Or antipodean wild, or council grave;
His venturous heart no obstacles dismay -
Bold, brave, and free, he plans his daring way -
Resolves, and executes with fearless speed,
And stamps the seal of courage on the deed.
Lo! where, to-night, the classic Thespian muse
Unveils her mirror of a thousand hues;
A few short years - and but a few - gone by.
The wand'ring savage spread his miami;
Kindled his homeless fire - a ruthless man -
The lowest grade on holy nature's plan
But soft : methinks a theme like this demands
A nearer, dearer tribute at our hands -
What wond'rous power, what magic force have chang'd
The wild, where late the sable savage rang'd,
To classic ground for elegance and taste -
A Theban temple from a forest waste?
- 'Twas British genius - elegant, refined,
That wond'rous power - the magic of the mind -
Whose heavenward splendour on Australia smiles,
And sweeps serenely from THE BRITISH ISLES.
Oh! GLORIOUS BRITAIN!! - thine the magic hand,
To fling new radiance o'er a desert land;
Diffusing hopes and angel harmonies,
On wings of light, and loveliness, and peace!
Where'er bright taste and genius have unfurl'd
Their starry pennons to the moral world -
Where'er the arts and sciences have combined,
To raise, refine, and dignity mankind -
From either polar circle to the line -
The Drama finds a temple and a shrine.
And shall not young Australia - fair and free -
With imag'd hopes of bright futurity -
Preserve, and cherish well, her classic store,
And add new graces to her scenic lore?
Yes - here, to night, are proofs surpassing fair,
That taste and genius find an echo - there -
That young Australia hath a flag unfurl'd,
For radiant years, unrivall'd in the world!
Hark! - 'tis the sound of music from within -
The minstrels prelude e'er the scene begin -
Now, be all hues of heart, and shapes of thought,
And imag'd truth, in rich succession brought -
Let gems of genius strew the ready stage,
And prove the beat perfections of the age -
All must be vain - no force of mental power
Can e'er sustain the Drama for an hour,
Without that kind, reviving, genial glow,
A British audience can the best bestow.
Here, then, to-night, let sons of British sires
Be just and gen'rous to Dramatic fires -
Shew that exalted sentiments can find
A polished mirror in the British mind -
That native sensibility and sense,
Yield public spirit its due recompence.
Where individual enterprise appears,
And, for your entertainment, boldly rears
A temple to amusement, whose high art
At once refines and elevates the heart.
Let friends, home, kindred, country, all unite -
Grow into one strong feeling of delight -
And be that feeling British, free and loyal.
J. R. M.

ASSOCIATIONS: Samson Cameron (actor); John Herman Selwyn Lee (comedian); James Ruthven McLaughlin (author of the address)

"THINGS THEATRICAL", Port Phillip Gazette and Settler's Journal (11 April 1846), 2L 

By the "Shamrock," Mr. John Thomas Smith has received a valuable acquisition to his corps de Ballet, for the approaching season. Madame Vielburn, the celebrated Danseuse, the Taglioni of the southern hemisphere, whose "sylphide" has been termed by real judges, to be the "poetry of motion," and whose "Irish jig" has drawn thousands to the Sydney Theatre to witness it, having arrived under an engagement. In addition to the immense attraction of this lady, Mr. and Master Chambers, said to be the most polished male dancers out of London, are also engaged, and have also arrived. These artistes are well known on the Sydney boards, and are established farorites. We feet assured their visit to Melbourne will be productive of great benefit to themselves and the spirited proprietor of the Theatre, Mr. Smith.

Relevant musical editions (extant in red bold; non-extant in black bold):

The mayor of Melbourne polka (B. D. Lewis, 1855)

[Advertisement], The Argus (2 November 1855), 3 

THE Mayor of Melbourne Polka, composed expressly for his ball, by the writer of Ball Room Refinement. To be had only at Mrs. Palmer's, opposite to the Argus. Price 2s.

The corporation polka (B. D. Lewis, 1855)

The corporation polka by Miss B. D. Lewis, composer of the Mayor of Melbourne Polka, dedicated to Mrs. Smith, lady of the right worshipful J. T. Smith, esq'r., Mayor of the City of Melbourne, on the occasion of his worship's Grand Fancy Dress Ball in the Exhibition Building, on the 31st October 1855 ([Melbourne]: Campbell & Fergusson, lithograph's, [1855]) (DIGITISED)

"MUSIC", The Argus (31 October 1855), 5 

Miss Lewis, the well-known teacher of dancing, whose "Mayor's Polka" was performed at the last public ball given by his Worship, has, we are informed, been prompted hy the anticipated splendor of the ball tonight to compose another new polka for performance this evening, which she has entitled "The Corporation Polka."

ASSOCIATIONS: Barbara Dommenget Lewis (composer)

Bibliography and resources:

Alec Bagot, Coppin the great, father of the Australian theatre (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1965), 97, 111, 113, 307

Jill Eastwood, "Smith, John Thomas (1816-1879)", Australian dictionary of biography 6 (1976) 

. . . In 1845 Smith built the Queen's Theatre Royal, Melbourne's first theatre, next to St John's Tavern; it held 1200 people and was the first home of George Coppin's professional company. Smith attempted to make it safe for gentlefolk by reserving the dress circle for them, prohibiting smoking and putting street lamps in pot-holed Queen Street. In 1854 he leased the building to Charles Young for £300 a week . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Coppin (actor, manager); Charles Young (actor, manager)

SMITH, John Washington (John SMITH; John Washington SMITH; J. W. SMITH)

Minstrel, serenader, black-face entertainer, delineator, theatrical and operatic manager, entrepreneur

Born USA, c. 1815 (? 1819/20)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 2 April 1857 (per William and Martha, from California, 10 January, via Honolulu)
Married Kate KIRBY (d. 1904), Melbourne, VIC, 1860
Died South Yarra, VIC, 31 August 1877, aged "58" [sic] (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


[Advertisement], Auburn journal and advertiser [Cayuga county, NY, USA] (5 June 1839), 3 (DIGITISED)

CIRCUS. - FROM THE N. Y. BOWERY AMPHITHEATRE, under the management of Mr. H. ROCKWELL. Exhibition in the Auburn Garden . . . 21st and 22d June, 1839 . . . The performance will commence with an original equestrian scene of action and evolution (by Belzoni) Bedoins of the Desert.
Aftre which the song of Jim-Along-Josey, by Mr. John Smith . . .

[Advertisement], Wayne sentinel [Palmyra, NY, USA] (14 June 1839), 3

[Advertisement], Wayne sentinel [Palmyra, NY, USA] (14 June 1839), 3 (DIGITISED)

CIRCUS: Under the management of Mr. H. H. ROCKWELL.
Exhibition in this village on the 28th June, 1839.
The performance will commence with an original Equestrian Scene of action and evolution, (by Belzoni,) Bedoins of the Desert.
Aftre which the song of Jim-Along Josey, by Mr. John Smith . . .

[Advertisement], Satirist; or, the Censor of the Times [London, England] (1 November 1840), 1 (PAYWALL)

ROYAL SURREY THEATRE.- Under the Management of Mr. Davidge.
To-morrow, Monday, November 2d, and every evening during the week, the performances will commence with The WRECK OF THE ROYAL GEORGE . . .
To be followed by astonishing NEGRO MELODIST, Yankee Smith, in a celebrated extravaganza JIM ALONG JOSEY, in he will introduce his original Long Island Break Down, and also the melody of Lipcoon.
In this part the extraordinary PICCANINY COLMAN will appear for the first time, in the Old Kentuckian Grapevine Twist . . .

"THEATRE ROYAL", Bristol Times and Mirror (13 March 1841), 3 (PAYWALL)

Yankee Smith and Picaninny Coleman, two persons with their faces and clothes blackened, and their lips disfigured with red paint, have during the past week been doing something which the bills inform us is "delineating [REDACTED] peculiarities." Now, if singing unmeaning songs, and dancing what we are told is a hornpipe, in a manner strongly suggestive of treadmill exercise, be calculated to afford amusement, we are free to confess that these dingy costumed characters are a considerable attraction; but as that is not the case, we will say that more unmeaning nonsense than "Zip Coon" melodies and "Squash hollow hornpipes" cannot well be conceived. But, as this "black" acting was judiciously restricted in quantity, there is little reason to complain . . .

[Advertisement], Daily Alta California [San Francisco, CA, USA] (20 June 1855), 3 (DIGITISED)

SAN FRANCISCO HALL - WASHINGTON STREET, between Montgomery and Kearny.
[Manicule] The public are respectfully informed that JOHN SMITH, the celebrated delineator of Southern Negro character; MIKE MITCHELL, the Champion Dancer; and R. M. HOOLEY, the Violin and Concertina performer, have been engaged in addition to the already numerous troupe of artists.
The establishment will be under the management of JOHN SMITH until further notice.
Several NEW BURLESQUES will be introduced in rapid succession; among the rest, an ebullitionary sketch entitled
CROSSING THE ISTHMUS, In which JOHN SMITH will make his first appearance . . .

"SAN FRANCISCO HALL", Daily Alta California (17 September 1855), 2 (DIGITISED)

The Minstrels at this popular resort since their return are doing a fine business, no falling off in the amusements, and everybody pleased. This is the last week but one of the engagement of Julia Collins, and the management intend to run the operas during her stay. Eph Horn and John Smith are as popular as ever with the play-goers. To night they play the Old Virginny Opera of Oh Hush! Julia Collins playing Dinah Rose, Eph Horn Gumbo Cuff, and John Smith Sam Johnson.

[Advertisement], Sacramento Daily Union (3 June 1856), 3 (DIGITISED)

After a series of successes (in the Northern and Southern Mines) unprecedented in the annals of Equestrianism, this talented troupe, embracing among them the elite of the profession, will remain FOUR DAYS on the Lot Corner of 4th and M streets,
Commencing on MONDAY, JUNE 16th, giving a series of their unique and classical entertainments . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Andrew Rowe (circus performer and proprietor)

"SHIPPING. ARRIVALS", The Sydney Morning Herald (3 April 1857), 4 

April 2. William and Martha, barque, 269 tons, Captain Arnold, from NSW. Coast of America 10th January, and Honolulu 17th February. Passenger - Mr. J. W. Smith, R. Towns and Co, agents.

"HONOLULU", The Sydney Morning Herald (3 April 1857), 5 

A GENTLEMAN who came as a passenger from the Hawaiian Islands to Sydney, per the William and Martha, has kindly handed us the following notes for publication: . . .
Amusements at the Islands the past winter have been few. Rowe and Co.'s pioneer circus from California spent the winter in Honolulu, doing but poor business however. Mr. John Smith, the celebrated delineator of the American plantation negro, played two successful engagements at the termination of the season; the company left for California previous to the William and Martha sailing.

"CLEARANCES", Empire (8 April 1857), 4 

April 7. - Wonga Wonga, steamer, 731 tons. Captain Gilmore, for Melbourne. Passengers: Mr. G. V. Brooke . . . Mr. J. W. Smith . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Gustavus Vaughan Brooke (actor)

"MUSIC AND THE DRAMA", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (13 April 1857), 5 

Amongst the late arrivals from California is the celebrated delineator of the American negro character, Mr. Smith, who is the author of many of the most popular negro melodies now sung. Report speaks of him as the best representative of negro character living.

[Advertisement], The Argus (18 April 1857), 8 

The Eminent Artiste, MR. G. V. BROOKE, Has kindly volunteered his valuable services, and will appear in his great Impersonation of OTHELLO. Iago - Buchanan.
MR. JOHN SMITH, The original representative of negro character, and author of many negro melodies, scenes, &c.,
recently arrived from America, will make his first appearance in Australia as
PICAYUNE BUTLER, In the laughable Extravaganza, YANKEE IN LONDON . . .

"MR. JOHN SMITH", The Age (27 April 1857), 6 

In our hurried notice of the performances at the Royal the other evening, we forgot to make reference to the first appearance on our boards of Mr. John Smith, the celebrated delineator of negro life and character. Mr. Smith, who has just arrived from California, appeared in the amusing farce of the "Yankee in London," on the occasion of Mr. McKean Buchanan's splendid benefit night, and elicited roars of laughter by his admirable delineations of negro character.

[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (15 June 1860), 3 

BROTHERS KLAER, And their Troupe of Educated Dog and French Monkey Artistes, On SATURDAY. June 16 . . .
A liberal discount allowed to schools on application to Mr. J. W. Smith, Agent, Black Ball Hotel.

"BIRTHS", The Argus (23 April 1864), 4 

SMITH. - On the 27th February, at Calcutta, the wife of J.W. Smith, Esq., director of the Original Christy's Minstrels, of a son.

"THE ORIGINAL CHRISTYS' MINSTRELS", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Chronicle (4 February 1865), 2 

The admirers of the "concord of sweet sounds" will be glad to hear that the Original Christy's Minstrels, after a most successful tour through India, China, Java, Batavia, &c., &c., are about to extend their trip to the Australian colonies, and expected to arrive per next mail steamer, previous to appearing at our School of Arts. Their agent, the well-known Mr. John Smith, has preceded them, and placed in our hands published proofs of their success, popularity, and universally admitted ability, not only on their tour of the world, but also at the St. James's Hall, London, and throughout G. Britain generally, where they attracted crowded audiences for 7 years. They also were frequently patronised by Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen, the elite of the Aristocracy, and the Emperor and Empress of the French (during a short visit paid across the channel). The company are nine in number including W. P. Collins (the "prima donna" and originator of the principal burlesque dances, and late proprietor of the London Company), C. W. Rayner (an eminent basso and first class musician), H. Herberte (tenor), and the inimitable "Joe Brown," who has already won golden opinions from all classes of the public of Sydney, by his versatile talents when in connection with the former troupe, who visited and delighted our community. The rest of the company are also reported to be first-class in their various departments. Without wishing to disparage the numerous excellences of old friends to whom we owe pleasing recollections of many agreeable evenings, we have reason to believe that the coming company possess elements which will make them, in the aggregate, the most unexceptionably talented band that ever appealed to the suffrages of the lovers of music, while Mr. Smith's connection with the company is in itself a sufficient guarantee that the comfort and conveniences of visitors will be sedulously cared for and attended to.

ASSOCIATIONS: Smith, Brown, and Collins Original Christy's Minstrels (troupe)


With a generosity, that does credit alike to these talented gentlemen and their director, Mr. J. W. Smith, the profits arising from their exertions this evening are devoted to the cause of charity by benefitting the funds of the above-named institution . . . The programme contains Herberte and Abecco's new songs of "Rock me to sleep," and "Seeing Nelly home;" the celebrated and ever welcome duet "All's well," by Herberte and Rayner; a violin solo by Feuillade; lots of fun from Collins and Joe Brown; and the burlesque Italian Opera.

"THEATRICAL GOSSIP", The Herald [Melbourne, VIC] (14 August 1869), 3 

. . . I hear from Mr. John W. Smith that Mr. Lyster, on his visit home, will stay at Marseilles for the purpose of making inquiries respecting opera and ballet artists; that Mr. Kirby has been successful in his mission to Japan, and that Madame Simonsen is already engaged to appear with the forthcoming Smith and Lyster Opera Company . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Saurin Lyster (business partner); Fanny Simonsen (vocalist); Philip Kirby (manager, Smith's brother-in-law); Lyster Opera Company (troupe)

[Advertisement], The Argus (18 May 1871), 3

TAKE notice, that the PARTNERSHIP heretofore existing between William Saurin Lyster and John Washington Smith, under the style or firm of "Lyster and Smith," has been DISSOLVED, as from the thirteenth day of May instant, by mutual consent.
Dated this fifteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one.
Witnesses - Thomas Pavey, B. N. Sandilands.

"Mr. JOHN SMITH", Evening Journal (15 November 1875), 2 

We have received from the author and subject of the memoir a little pamphlet purporting to be a short biographical sketch of the life and travels of the well and favourably known Australian entrepreneur Mr. John Smith. Though scarcely carrying out the usual conditions of a biography, as some of the principal items of a work of this kind are entirely wanting, the little brochure is decidedly an interesting publication, containing a considerable amount of information about what Artemus of imperishable memory termed the "Show Business," and mentioning many of the well-known public performers who have visited the colonies under the auspices of Mr. Smith. There are also a number of racy tales of the different parts of the world visited by the writer whilst on his professional travels, and introducing some odd incidents and curious characters. The book is edited by "Autolycus," a by no means obscure writer on the Victorian Press, whose duties, however, appear to have been light.

"Amusements in California (From our Own Correspondent) San Francisco, 10th. Sept., 1876", The Herald (21 October 1876), 3 

. . . The influx from your part of the world to this has lately been very great . . . by the City of New York, which came in on Sunday, the 26th of August last, quite a large party landed, including Mr. and Mrs. Bracey (Clara Thompson) . . . Mr. and Mrs. D. Dalziel (Dickie Lingard), John W. Smith and his brother-in-law, P. H. Kirkby . . . L'Estrange (Australian Blondin) has gone on to St. Jose, as Mr. Smith could not arrange for an opening for him here. Signor de Vivo has gone East in search of talent for Australia, and Mr. John W. Smith, "the only recognised variety manager in the colonies," an he styles himself, has changed his mind with reference to a tour through the States, and will return home to Australia by the October mail steamer. He is advertising for a troupe to accompany him. Kirby will shortly bring you a minstrel company of "pure negroes," which are stated to be very clever . . .

"Deaths", The Argus (1 September 1877), 1

SMITH. - On the 31st ult., at his residence, Singapore-villa, Murphy-street, South Yarra, after a long and painful illness, John Washington Smith, aged 58 years. R.I.P.

"Death of Mr. J. W. Smith", The Herald [Melbourne, VIC] (31 August 1877), 3 

We regret to have to announce the death of Mr. John Washington Smith, the well-known theatrical manager, which occurred this morning, at 3 O'clock, at his residence, South Yarra. Mr. Smith, who was 58 years of age, has been well known in connection with the theatrical profession in these colonies, having been identified in a managerial character with public amusements here for many years. He was associated with Mr. W. S. Lyster in the management of the first theatrical company which Mr. Lyster brought to this colony, and since then has introduced a large number of artists of all lands to the colonies. Mr. Smith also travelled much, and was in the habit of doing the round of all the colonies, and then taking his various companies to Japan, China, and India, in all which countries his name was almost as well-known as it was in Australia. The veteran manager died, it may be said, in harness, for he was awaiting the arrival of a numerous company of clever artistes, who are now at sea, on their way to fill an engagement with him, and are expected to arrive in September. In the meantime, however, death has overtaken the manager. Mr. Smith has been ill for some two months. He always suffered to some extent from asthma, but recently dropsy also set in, and many weeks since it became apparent that none but a fatal termination to the illness could be expected. The deceased gentleman will be much regretted, for he was as highly respected as he was widely known, his genial and kindly disposition securing for him the good wishes of everyone. The funeral will take place on Sunday next, and no doubt will be largely attended..

[News], The Australasian (1 September 1877), 13 

Mr. John Washington Smith, better known to the theatrical profession all over Australia, New Zealand, India, and China as "Old John Smith," died yesterday morning after a long illness. For a great many years he has been variously connected with theatrical management and, in his time, has introduced many favourite performers to this part of the world. He was greatly liked by who knew him, both for the natural amiability of his disposition and the invariable to integrity of his his dealings. His experience would form an interesting autobiography among the records of theatrical life. Mr. Smith was 58 years of age.

Published reminiscences:



I will never forget my introduction to Dick. Finishing my engagement at the American Theatre in New Orleans on the Wednesday and having, to commence in Mobile on the following Monday, I was literally in a hole. Picaninny Coleman, my Banjo player, was non est - gone, vamosed, couldn't be found; after the most diligent inquiry I heard he had gone on one of the boats plying up the Yazoo River to instruct the captain in the sublime art of banjo playing. About the time I name banjo players were at a premium . . .




In 1850, I was acting manager for Spalding's river show - the North American Circus. Our company consisted of men, women, children, horses, ponies, mules, dogs, monkeys, et hoc genus omne. We travelled in a small stern-wheel steamer, called the Jenny Lind . . .


Disgusted with show business, and vagabonds, (not complimentary,) - a term denoting showmen, used by the straightlaced and puritanical people of the Eastern States, where, if report speaks true, many of their convivial meetings, balls, &c., are opened with a prayer - I concluded when the season over on the Floating Palace "To Hand in my Cheques," "Balance my Books," and bid adieu to show business for ever. What an idea! John Smith quit a profession that had cost him eighteen years of his life to acquire, and leave it without a "rap!" Strong-minded John! I did it however, and the fall of 1852 saw me quietly settled down as mine host of the Half Way House, on the Shell Road, two miles and somewhere in the vicinity of a half or there abouts, from Mobile, Ala. . . .

A short biography of Mr. John Smith, the celebrated entrepreneur, written by himself and edited by "Autolycus" (Melbourne: Charlwood and Son, [1871]) 

Musical editions:

Jim along Josey, as sung by Mr. John N. Smith, arranged for the piano forte by an eminent professor (New York: Firth & Hall, [1840]) (DIGITISED)

Smith is widely identified as the "John N. Smith" here

Bibliography and resources:

Edward Le Roy Rice, Monarchs of minstrelsy from "Daddy" Rice to date (New York: Kenny Publishing Company, 1911), 24 (DIGITISED)

John Washington Smith was one of the earliest and best negro delineators ante-dating minstrelsy proper, although he was later associated with several prominent organizations. His earliest recorded appearance was with the Lion Circus in Cincinnati, December, 1838. The following year he played in New York, and a year later went to Europe, where he performed with "Pickaninny" Coleman. Returning to America, he played at the Bowery Amphitheatre, April 25, 1842. In 1849 he wrote and first sung the song that was afterwards in the repertoire of many famous minstrels - "Old Bob Ridley;" this occurred in New Orleans, La. In the Fall of 1855 he was with the original San Francisco Minstrels in the California metropolis. He subsequently went to Australia and other foreign countries, where for many years he piloted various minstrel organizations. John Washington Smith was born in the United States about 1815; he died in S. Yarra, Australia, August 31, 1877.

Col. T. Allston Brown, "Early history of negro minstrelsy, its rise and progress in the United States", The New York clipper (8 June 1912), 1 (DIGITISED)

Joe Brown's Christy's. This company consisted of W. P. Collins, Joe Brown, C. W. Rayner, Harry Herbert, W. H. Castor, Ted Saunders and N. La Fenillade [Feuillade]. They sailed from Southampton, England, September 27, 1863, under the management of J. W. Smith, on their way to India to oppose the Nish party, then in Australia. They visited Gibraltar, Malta, Alexandria, Cairo, Suez and Aden, reaching Bombay on October 29 and giving their first concert on November 2 in the Grand Road Theatre to a house doubly rammed and jammed, with prices as follows: reserved seats, six rupees (about three dollars); parquet, five rs.; gallery, three rs.; pit, two rs. They remained one month and gave sixteen concerts, the last two in the Town Hall and one private entertainment for Sir Jamsetiee Jeejeebahoy. They left many kind friends who assembled to see them off about the 7th of November, for Madras, via Point de Jalle [sic]. There they gave two concerts in the Military Theatre while awaiting the arrival of the English mail steamer to take the company to Madras. Every favor was shown them in this hospitable city. The use of the banqueting hall in the government house and the patronage of His Excellency the Governor was obtained. A perfect furor awaited the company here, and ten concerts were given to crowded and delighted audiences. The boys, having time and wishing to see the interior, went to Bangalore in the mountains some two hundred and fifty miles, proceeding two hundred by rail and fifty by Dawk. Here they gave two concerts and paid expenses, returning to Madras and, four days after, arrived in Calcutta. And here, in five weeks, they gave twenty concerts to good business. The first night was 3,900 rs. Prices - reserved, 5 rs.; second class, 3 rs. The remaining concerts were very good, notwithstanding the city and India generally was in mourning for Lord Elgin, the late Governor-General. The arrival of Sir John Lawrence (the present viceroy) acted bad for them, in consequence of the numerous balls and parties that took place. However, on the whole, they did in four months what would be considered at home comfortable returns for a year. The boys left Calcutta on the steamer Persia, February 15, for Rangoon, in the Burmese Empire, proceeding thence to Ava to play for His Majesty, the King; his wives and children. The Nish party reached Sydney December 9, 1863, and opened Boxing Night (in December), where they made a lengthy stay . . . Mr. Castor committed suicide at Sydney, N.S.W., in March, 1865, by swallowing poison. He was connected with Joe Brown's party . . . Joe Brown left the Christy party March 15, 1866, for England, and opened at the St. James Hall, London, June 11 . . .

Harold Love, The golden age of Australian opera: W. S. Lyster and his companies 1861-1880 (Sydney: Currency Press, 1981), 188, 197, 200, 203

Vera Brodsky Lawrence, Strong on music: the New York music scene in the days of George Templeton Strong, 1836-1875, volume 1: resonances 1836-1850 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 104, 144, 175

Alison Gyger, Civilising the colonies: pioneering opera in Australia (Sydney: Pellinor, 1999), 148, 152 159

William Lawrence Slout, Olympians of the sawdust circle: a biographical dictionary of the nineteenth century American circus (San Bernardino: The Borgo Press, 1998), 280 (PREVIEW)

SMITH, JOHN W. Ethiopian delineator. J. J. Hall's, winter 1836; Yale/Sands, 1838; A. Hunt & Co., winter 1838; June, Titus & Angevine, 1839; Welch & Bartlett, winter 1839; Howes & Turner, winter 1839; Welch & Bartlett, 1840; P. H. Nichols;, 1841, 1843; Welch & Mann, winter 1841; Welch & Mann (until July), 1842; N. B. & T. V. Turner, 1842; Rockwell & Stone (March), 1844; Dr. Gilbert R. Spalding's, 1844-48; Stone & McCollum, winter 1846, winter 1848; Stone & McCollum, 1849-50; St. Louis Amphitheatre (until May), 1851; Spalding's Floating Palace, 1852; partner, Rowe & Co., 1856. Wife was an equestrienne.

SMITH, Josephine Villeneuve (Josephine Villeneuve SMITH; Mrs. Yvon Richard ECCLES)

Amateur musician, composer

Born Campania, VDL (TAS), 18 July 1832; baptised Richmond-Sorrell, 9 December 1832; daughter of Francis SMITH (d. 1855) and Marie Josephine VILLENEUVE (d. 1893)
Departed Hobart, TAS, 1861 (for England)
Married Yvon Richard ECCLES, St. Peter's, Kensington Park, London, 31 March 1869
Died London, England, 5 November 1893 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

SMITH, Mr. Villeneuve, junior (Mr. Villeneuve SMITH, junior)

Amateur musician, pianist, ? pupil of Joseph Reichenberg

Born ?; son of Francis SMITH (d. 1855) and Marie Josephine VILLENEUVE (d. 1893)
Active Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 1838 (shareable link to this entry)


Marie Josephine Villeneuve, formerly of the West Indies, and her husband Francis Smith first arrived in Sydney, NSW, in November 1828, and settled in Van Diemen's Land. Their eldest son Francis Villeneuve Smith was later premier of Tasmania (1857-60), and daughter Hester (1830-1868) married captain John Williams of the 99th (Lanarkshire) Regiment.

Josephine Villeneuve Smith's The Lanarkshire polka appeared in 1855 in Henry Butler Stoney's collection The Tasmanian lyre, an anthology closely connected with the 99th regiment.

At least one of Josephine's older brothers was also musical; one of them, a pianist, accompanied clarinettist Joseph Reichenberg, at the opening of St. John's Catholic church, Richmond, on 31 December 1837; perhaps 15-year-old James (1822-1903); or 13-year-old William (1824-1902), later an Adelaide lawyer.


Baptisms solemnized in the parish of Richmond & Sorrell in the county of Buckinghamshire in the year 1832; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1082300; RGD32/1/1/ no 4642$init=RGD32-1-1-P249 (DIGITISED)

No. 160 / [baptised] 9th December 1832 / [born] 18th July 1832 / Josephine / [daughter of] Francis & Marie Josephine / Smith / Campania / Gentleman . . .

St. John the evangelist's church, Richmond, Tasmania

St. John the evangelist's church, Richmond, Tasmania

"ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, RICHMOND (From a Correspondent)", The True Colonist (5 January 1838), 5 

In pursuance of the advertisement announcing the opening of this unique and classic edifice for divine worship on Sunday, a highly respectable and numerous assembly of gentry arrived at eleven o'clock, to witness this most solemn and imposing ceremony. Nothing could equal the surprise of the audience at finding a most efficient choir contributing to the solemnity of the scene. The well played clarionet of that professor of music, Mr. Reichenberg, aided by the skill on the piano of a talented young gentleman, a son to Francis Smith, Esq., with the delicate taste displayed by a lady, who accompanied that instrument, in incomparable style, and also by the skill of Mr. Solicitor Wynne, from Hobart Town, contributed to excite feelings of religious fervor and enchantment amongst the entire audience. The Vicar General sang the high mass with great ability . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Reichenberg (musician, clarinet); Robert Wynne (musical amateur); James Watkins (vicar general); St. John's church (Richmond)

[Advertisement], The Courier (13 November 1854), 3

By the Author of A Year in Tasmania. Dedicated to Lady Denison, and the Ladies of Tasmania . . .
To he followed in a few days by the TASMANIAN LYRE.
CONTENTS - Lanarkshire Polka, by Miss Josephine Smith . . .
Published by Huxtable and Deakin, and sold by Huxtable, Welch, and Fletcher, Hobart Town; and Watson, Launceston . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Alfred Huxtable and James Edward Deakin (publishers)

Colonial Times (8 March 1855), 3

Just published, and on Sale at HUXTABLE and DEAKIN'S.
THE TASMANIAN LYRE; a Sequel to the Delacourt Bouquet,
The Lanarkshire Polka, composed by Miss Josephine Villeneuve Smith.
L'Espernnza Waltz, by the Editor.
The Louisa Schottische, by Miss Fraser.
The Wivenhoe Quadrilles, by A. S. Hill, 99th Regiment.
The F. J. C. Waltzes.
The Sylandale Schottische.
The Wanderer's Farewell; words by the Editor, music by F. H. Henslowe, Esq.

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Butler Stoney (editor, composer, lyricist); Miss Fraser (composer); Arthur Silvester Hill (composer); Francis Hartwell Henslowe (composer)

"DEATH", Alexandra Times (10 December 1868), 2

Died at the residence of her Mother, 23 Westbourne Square, London, on the 18th day of September, 1868, Hester Villeneuve, widow of the late John Earnest Williams, Capt., H.M. 99th Regt., and daughter of the late Francis Smith, Esq., of Lindfield, Sussex, and Campania, Tasmania, and Marie Josephine Villeneuve Smith, his wife.

"MARRIED", Alexandra Times (11 June 1869), 2 

ECCLES - SMITH - On the 31st March, at St. Peter's Kensington Park, by the Rev. Thomas Gregory, D.D., assisted by the Rev. Henry Gregory, M.A., Vicar of Asthall, Oxfordshire, uncles of the bride groom, Yvon Richard Eccles, Esq., of 5 Pembridge Gardens, second son of the late William Eccles, Esq., F.R.C.S., to Josephine Villeneuve, daughter of the late Francis Smith, Esq., of Lindfield, Sussex, and Campania, Tasmania.

"DEATHS", London Evening Standard (10 November 1893), 1 (PAYWALL)

ECCLES. - Nov. 5, at 23, Cadogan-gardens, S.W., Josephine Villeneuve, the beloved wife of Yvon R. Eccles.

Musical work:

The "Lanarkshire" polka composed by Miss Josephine Villeneuve Smith, in The Tasmanian lyre (Hobart: Huxtable & Deakin, [1855]), (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

Bibliography and resources:

J. M. Bennett and F. C. Green, "Smith, Francis Villeneuve (1819-1909)", Australian dictionary of biography 6 (1976)

Christine Eickelmann, "The enigmatic father of Tasmania's fourth premier", Papers and Proceedings: Tasmanian Historical Research Association 68 (August 2021), 29-44 (PAYWALL)

"Francis Villeneuve Smith", Wikipedia

SMITH, Lilias (Lilias SMITH)

Musician, teacher of music and singing

Born Haddington, Scotland, 12 October 1792; baptised Haddington, 4 November 1792; daughter of Hay SMITH (1766-1818) and Susannah CRAW (1773-c. 1799)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 17 September 1837 (per North Briton from Leith, 9 May, via Hobart Town, 17 August)
Active Sydney, NSW, 1837-43 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


"Shipping Intelligence", The Sydney Monitor (27 September 1837), 2 

This morning, the ship North Briton, Fyall, master from Leith, 9th May, and Hobart Town, 17th instant, with sundries. Passengers from Scotland, Rev. Mr. Hamilton, Mr. and Mrs. Taite, Mrs. and Miss Smith . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Mrs. Smith (Sarah Yeomans) was her stepmother; they had been preceded to the colony by Lilias's half-sister, Emily Smith (1811-1885, from 1835 Mrs. John Mackie), who arrived in 1834

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (13 July 1838), 3 

Singing and Music.
MISS LILIAS SMITH, (Pupil of Signor Deville, of the Italian Opera, and of Signor Pistuzcci, Poet to that Establishment, and Professor of Italian,) has the honor of announcing to her Friends and the Gentry of Sydney and its Vicinity, that she has made arrangements for holding Classes in the above branches of Education at Mr. Ellard's.
For Italian and English Singing and Music, per Quarter - 6 0 0
Music only, ditto - 8 8 0
All communications addressed to Miss Smith at Mr. Ellard's Musical Repository, George street; or to Woolston Cottage, Miller's Point, will be immediately attended to.

ASSOCIATIONS: Giuseppe Deville (vocalist, d. January 1833); Filippo Pistrucci (1782-1859, language instructor, artist); Francis Ellard (music seller)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (31 October 1842), 3 

MRS. SMITH and Miss Lilias Smith, having removed from Sydney to Wollongong, Illawarra, propose on the 1st of November opening a select Seminary for young Ladies.
A limited number of boarders, not exceeding six will be received.
Terms, including English, French, and Writing, fifty guineas per annum, washing included. Day pupils two guineas per quarter.
Singing, three guineas per quarter. Music, two guineas per quarter.

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

MRS. and MISS LILIAS SMITH'S Establishment for the board and Education of six young ladies, with a limited number of day pupils, will re open on Monday, the 9th January. Terms, which include English, Music, French, Geography. History, Writing, and Plain Needle-work, fifty guineas per annum; singing, three guiness per quarter; day pupils, two guineas.
Market-square, Wollongong, December 31.

Bibliography and resources:

Lilias Smith (b. 12 October 1792), WikiTree 

SMITH, Meabella (Meabella Catherine SMITH; Meabella SMITH; Miss M. SMITH; Miabella SMITH [sic]; "Arabella SMITH", "Miss A. SMITH" [sic]; Mrs. William Harding ALKER)

Musician, soprano vocalist, pianist

Born ? Dublin, Ireland, c. 1824/1831; daughter of Richard West SMITH (d. 1856) and Marianne FURLONG (d. 1860)
Arrived (shipwrecked), Barwon Heads, VIC, 18 June 1853 (per Earl of Charlemont, from Liverpool, 12 March 1853, aged "22")
Married William Harding ALKER (1831-1901), St. Francis's cathedral, Melbourne, VIC, 13 July 1854
Departed Melbourne, VIC, 18 December 1857 (per Kent, for London)
Died Dublin North, Ireland, 1906 (second quarter), aged "82" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Though more usually identified in newspaper sources as Miabella Smith, official records, including those of her marriage and death, usually spell her forename Meabella.

Meabella Smith was the third daughter of Richard West Smith, a jeweller and gold and silver smith, of Dublin, and his wife Marianne Furlong, who had married at Wexford in November 1818.

She was perhaps the Meabella Smyth [sic] who stood sponsor at the baptism of Charles, son of Nicholas and Catherine Boughnan, at St. Andrew's, Westland Row, Dublin, in 1835 (2/113/4279/DU-RC-BA-191360).

Meabella Smith, "22", arrived from Ireland, on the Earl of Charlemont, in June 1853, with three siblings, Mary Ann, aged "25"; Richard, "22"; and Kate, "18".

In Melbourne, on 13 July 1854, she married another Dubliner, William Henry Alker (1831-1901), a merchant and civil engineer who had arrived on the Great Britain in 1852.

In the 1856-57 electoral roll, the Alkers were living at York Street, Emerald Hill (South Melbourne). However, by May 1857, they were, with Meabella's younger brother Richard, proprietors of the Keilor Hotel, on the Bendigo road.

After Richard's early death, in July 1857, and that of another partner in the business, Henry Smith, in August (reportedly aged 37), the Alkers sailed for London on the Kent in December 1857.

They were back in Dublin at the time of the baptism of their child, Joshua Samuel Alker, at St. Mary's, Haddington Road, on 6 October 1860.

See also on her husband William Harding Alker: (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

See also on brother Richard West Smith (d. 1857): (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Dublin and Ireland (to c. 1853):

"PRIVATE CONCERT", Dublin Evening Packet and Correspondent (17 June 1851), 3 (PAYWALL)

On Thursday evening a private concert will be given at the residence of Mrs. Mosley and the Misses Smith, 67, Lower Mount-street. The programme is of the most attractive character, comprising selections from the works of Beethoven, Mendelssohn. Bellini, Thalberg, &c., &c. Mr. Levey and Mr. Geary have volunteered their valuable assistance, and the Misses Smith with Mrs. Mosley and Mr. Daly will also take part in entertainment. We believe it will take place under distinguished patronage, and anticipate a musical treat of no ordinary character.

[News], Dublin Evening Packet and Correspondent (24 June 1851), 3 (PAYWALL)

We had indeed a musical treat of no ordinary character at the concert of Thursday last [19 June] given by Mrs. Moseley and the Misses Smith. The attendance of a large end brilliant assemblage enhanced the plaudits which the fair vocalists received. They were ably supported by our clever townsmen, Messrs. Levey, Geary, and Rorke, men of no new fame; and Mr. Daly and Herr Ellsner, a violincello player of deservedly high character, gave their effective assistance to the entertainments. We congratulate the fair debutantes on the success which attended this their first concert.

"PRIVATE CONCERT", Dublin Weekly Nation (28 June 1851), 11 (PAYWALL)

A concert was given Mrs. Mosley and the Misses Smith, at 67, Lower Mount-street, on Thursday evening, the 19th instant. Miss Smith sang Qui la voce with wonderful execution. It is a delightful but difficult cavatina; and Miss Smith sang it with so much precision and sweetness, that we regard her as a vocalist of no ordinary pretensions. A duet of Thalberg's, by Mrs. Mosley and Miss Smith, was performed with thrilling effect; and Mr. Geary, Mr. Levie, and Herr Elsner enriched and added much to the evening's entertainment. Mr. Charles Daly also appeared; he has an excellent baritone voice, and sings with judgment and feeling. His graceful manners and modest demeanour won on the audience, and he became at once a decided favourite. The fair debutantes have our congratulations for their success.

MUSIC: Qui la voce (Bellini, from I puritani)

[Advertisement], Newry Telegraph [Ireland] (5 August 1851), 1 (PAYWALL)

TO-MORROW EVENING. Grand Concert. ASSEMBLY ROOMS, SAVINGS'-BANK. WEDNESDAY Evening next, the 6th of August . . .
in which the following Eminent and Distinguished Artistes will appear, viz.: MADAME D'ANTERNY, Prima Donna of the Grand Opera Paris.
MISS MIABELLA SMITH, whose recent appearance in Dublin has created so much sensation.
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . IRISH MELODY - Though the Last Glimpse of Erin - MOORE - MISS MIABELLA SMITH . . .
Duet - List, Dearest, List - BALFE - MISS M. SMITH and MR. BODDIN . . .
PART II . . . Cavatina - Qui la Voce - BELLINI - MISS M. SMITH . . .

MUSIC: Tho' the last glimpse of Erin (Moore and Stevenson); List, dearest list (Balfe, from Keolanthe)

[Advertisement], Newry Telegraph [Ireland] (7 August 1851), 3 (PAYWALl)

SECOND GRAND CONCERT Will take place in the above Rooms, THURSDAY EVENING, August 7 . . .
MADAME D'ANTERNY, Prima Donna of the Grand Opera Paris.
MISS MIABELLA SMITH, whose recent appearance in Dublin has created so much sensation . . .
DUETT - We are wandering - MISS M. SMITH, MISS SMITH . . .
PART II . . . ARIA - Casta Diva - BELLINI - Miss M. Smith . . .

"CONCERT", Newry Examiner and Louth Advertiser (9 August 1851), 2 (PAYWALL)

A concert was given at the Assembly-rooms in Dundalk, on Tuesday evening last, and to say that the performance fully realised the expectations of the numerous and highly respectable audience that assembled, would but very inadequately convey any idea of its merits. As a musical and local melange it left nothing to be wished for that the most fastidious critic could cavil at or find fault with; and our only regret was that the arias so beautifully and truthfully given by the respective artists should have been so few, and that an entertainment, in every sense worthy of the audience, should have been too early brought to conclusion. The concert opened with a selection from the overture of Don Pasquale, beautifully performed as a duet, on the piano-forte by Miss Miabella Smith and Mr. Boddin . . . Miss Smith sang Moore's sweet little air, Though the last Glimpse of Erin, very pleasingly, but to our mind failed to throw into it that feeling so essential to the true rendering of one of the sweetest of our Irish melodies. It is but justice, however, to that young lady to say that she fully redeemed her position as a concert singer of no ordinary pretensions in the cavatina Qui la Voce, which was given in that sweet and expressive style much in accordance with the spirit of the immortal composer; her voice, though of limited compass is, however, of a sweet and flexible nature, and peculiarly adapted to the concert-room. The grand treat of the evening was afforded by Madame D'Anterny's brilliant vocalisation of two scenes from Rossini's operas Du Barbier de Seville, and La Gaza Ladra . . . . The concert concluded with a quartette in the execution of which the distinguished artistes fully sustained the highly favorable opinion that had been formed of them.

"MADAME D'ANTERNY'S CONCERTS", Tralee Chronicle (13 September 1851), 3 (PAYWALL)

Since the period when Clara Novello and the very effective troupe who sustained that incomparable singer delighted the denizens of Killarney, there has not been in this quarter so unique a treat as, on Monday and Wednesday evening - and on the latter evening in particular - was presented to the lovers song in this locality. It is difficult to point out any one song for particular eulogy, where the vocalization in all was so brilliant; but those which have fixed themselves most in our memory are the grand aria from [Il] Barbiere, familiar to us "Una voce," but which Madame D'Anterny rendered according to the arrangement of the Parisian Opera as "Rien ne peut changer mon Anne," and "La Voleuse" (the Di Piacer of La Gazza Ladra) . . . On Wednesday night, too, we must no omit to notice, she favoured the audience with the following English song, which she gave with a spirit at least quite racy the soil: -
O! Erin, my country, I weep to behold thee,
Encircled with sorrow, with anguish oppress'd . . .
The Misses Smith fully answered our expectations. Miss Miabella Smith in particular, drew repeated encores from the audience, especially in Savourneen and the Last Glimpse of Erin. Monsieur Sebastien, Mr. Daly and Monsieur Roeckel, collectively and individually, sustained the character which had preceded them. This evening, those gifted artistes divide the proceeds of their last concert in Killarney with the poor of that town.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Roeckel (pianist)

[Advertisement], Limerick and Clare Examiner (18 October 1851), 2

MARSHALL'S ROOMS, LIMERICK. MADAME D'ANTERNY . . . will give a GRAND CONCERT ON THURSDAY EVENING, 23RD INST., At which the following Eminent Troupe of Artistes will appear: MISS MIABELLA SMITH, MISS SMITH, MR. DALY, MONSIEUR SEBASTIEN. PROFESSOR ROECKEL Will preside at the Piano Forte.

"THE MECHANICS' INSTITUTE - THE CONCERT", Galway Mercury, and Connaught Weekly Advertiser [Ireland] (25 October 1851), 4 (PAYWALL)

The Concert at the Theatre on Monday evening last, was remarkably well attended - the proceeds rose to a figure extremely creditable to Galway; but are not surprised that such should have been the case, since those who performed there had, each and every of them, in their various departments acquired a high character for talent and execution. The superior powers of Miss Miabella Smith in the Irish Melodies, have been admitted the most eminent judges; and if we except Catherine Hayes, we hesitate not to assert that, to our taste at all events, no female that we have heard, has surpassed Miss M. Smith, as she feels what she sings, and she makes her audience also feel it.

Geelong and Melbourne, VIC (18 June 1853 to December 1857):

Names and descriptions of passengers per Earl of Charlemont, from Liverpool, 12 March 1853, for Port Phillip and Sydney; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

Mary Ann Smith / 25 / Spinster / [Irish]
Meabella [Smith] / 22 / [Spinster] / [Irish]
Kate [Smith] / 18 / [Spinster] / [Irish]
Richard [Smith] / 22 / Gent. / [Irish]

"WRECK AT THE BARWON HEADS", Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (20 June 1853), 2 

The Earl of Charlement, 878 tons, Captain Garner, one of the Fox Line, of Australian Packets, with 435 passengers, for Melbourne and Sydney, from Liverpool, went ashore at the Barwon won Heads on Saturday morning . . . Mr. Savage, a steerage passenger, then undertook to carry a rope to the land, swam ashore, at the risk of his life, and successfully accomplished it. The life-boats were then attached to the rope, the lady passengers and children were safely landed, then the married men, and finally the bachelors, with the exception of about forty, who dropped over the bows of the ill-fated vessel, and swam ashore some time before the rope was fastened to the land, rendering assistance to the boats, and carrying the female passengers through the surf. Not one life was lost. Fires were lighted, round which the passengers crowded; some food was procured from the vessel, some sheep, and a bullock from Mr. McVean's station and there all lay that night unhoused . . . All the passengers, in number four hundred and thirty-five, are saved . . . His Worship the Mayor of Geelong has, with commendable promptitude, arranged with the Police Magistrate for the despatch of 8 bullock drays early this morning, for the purpose of bringing to Geelong all the women and children and the sick.

ASSOCIATIONS: Earl of Charlemont (shipwreck, 18 June 1853)

[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (25 June 1853), 3 supplement 

IN making this announcement, Mr. Coppin trusts that, being for the above object, the attendance will be somewhat greater than on previous occasions, where the performance has been for charitable purposes, which, hitherto, have been exceedingly limited.
VOCAL. Miss Smith, one of the Shipwrecked Sufferers.
Mrs. Hancock, Mr. Sayer, and Mr. Hancock. Leader and Conductor, Mr. Thom . . .
PART I . . . IRISH AIR. - "Savoureen Delish," - Miss Smith, One of the Shipwrecked Sufferers . . .
PART II . . . IRISH AIR. - "Colleen Dhas" - Miss Smith, one of the Shipwrecked Sufferers . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Coppin (actor, manager); William Francis Sayer (vocalist); Mary Ellen Hancock (vocalist); Bream Thom (violinist, leader)

MUSIC: Savourneen deelish (arr. by Sidney Nelson); Colleen Dhas / It was on a fine summer's morning / The pretty girl milking her cow (Irish)

"THIS EVENING", The Argus (1 August 1853), 5

. . . We observe that Mr. Sou-Alle is about to make the daring experiment of offering a substitute for Mrs. Testar, in the person of Miss Arabella Smith, who is said to have acquired a high reputation In Ireland.

See also this cutting from the Melbourne Herald, late July or early August, reprinted later in:

"ALI-BEN-SOU-ALLE . . . Ali-Ben-Sou-Alle's Concert", The Cornwall Chronicle (7 October 1854), 5

We are delighted to find that our talented friend is determined not to relax his spirited efforts to provide an entertainment worthy of the reputation which he has so deservedly obtained in this colony . . . With this view we learn that he has succeeded in enlisting the valuable services of a lady recently arrived, who has, for some time passed, been a leading favourite at all the Dublin concerts, and whose performances have elicited the warmest encomiums from the Irish press. Miss Arabella Smith, even if she were not possessed of vocal talents of a very high order, has claims upon our sympathy, which we feel assured a Melbourne public will not be slow to acknowledge. This Lady was among the passengers by the ill-fated "Earl of Charlemont," and, we regret to say, sustained considerable loss by that sad catastrophe . . . Herald.

[Advertisement], The Argus (1 August 1853), 8 

GRAND Musical Soiree, at the Mechanics' Institute this day, (Monday), First of August.
The last appearance but two of Ali-Ben Sou-Alle, who will perform on the new and wonderful Turkophone, in his grand national costume . . . The following Eminent Artists will assist:
Miss Arabella Smith (first soprano of the Philharmonic and Ancient Concerts in Dublin, first appearance),
Mr. Valere, Mr. Power. Leader, Herr Strebinger. Conductor, Mr. Buddee. Cornopean, Mr. Chapman. Full Band.
Programme: Part I . . . Song - Casta Diva, from the opera of Norma - Miss Smith - Bellini
Part II . . . Duo - From the opera La Lucia - Miss Smith and Mr. Valere - Donizetti . . .
Irish Melody - Savourneen Deelish - Miss A. Smith . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Ali-Ben Sou-Alle (musician); William Pierce Power (vocalist); Mons. Valere (vocalist); Frederick Strebinger (violin); George Chapman (cornopean); Julius Buddee (piano)

"ALI-BEN-SOU-ALLE", Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (9 August 1853), 2 

The people of Geelong will have reason to thank this gentleman for introducing to them, on Friday and Saturday next (in addition to the instrumental attractions of the concert), those eminent vocalists, Mrs. Testar, Miss Smith, and M. Valere. If the success of the entertainment be equal to its predecessors in Melbourne, neither the audience nor the beneficiare will have reason to complain.

[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (10 August 1853), 5 

will perform on the new and wonderful TURKOPHONE, in his grand National Costume,
assisted by the following artistes:
Vocalists - Mrs. TESTAR, Miss SMITH, Mons. VALERE.
Conductor - Mr. BUDDEE. Violinist - Mr. THOM.
Ali-Ben-Sou-Alle has performed on this beautiful instrument, with the greatest success, in Paris and in London, before her Majesty and the Jury at the Great Exhibition, where it obtained the First Council Medal.
The Stage will represent a Turkish Pavilion.

"SATURDAY EVENING'S CONCERT", Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (15 August 1853), 2 

We can appreciate a good thing, and without making any pretensions to talents of criticism on the "Divine Art," fully accord to his Highness Ali-Ben-Sou-Alle the celebrity he has attained . . . Mrs. Testar sang as she always sings, which is the highest compliment we can pay this perfect "artiste." Miss Smith acquitted herself admirably, and, when possessed of a "leetle" more confidence, will prove a valuable addition to the musical world, should her taste and ambition tend in that direction. M. Valere is endowed with a good strong voice, and sang well. Mr. Thom's performance on the violin was masterly, brilliant . . . The house was well attended.

ASSOCIATIONS: Elizabeth Testar (vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Argus (24 August 1853), 8 

MUSICAL Academy - Miss Miebella Smith [sic] begs respectfully to inform the inhabitants of Melbourne and its vicinity, that she had opened a Musical Academy at 192 Lonsdale-street, and is now prepared to give Lessons, assisted by her Sister, on the Pianoforte, and in Italian and English Singing, either at her own or pupils' residences.

[Advertisement], The Argus (25 August 1853), 8 

TO-Night. - Melbourne Thursday Concerts. - Mechanics' Institute. Thursday Evening, 26th inst.
Vocalists. - Second appearance of Miss Meabella Smith and Mr. John Gregg.
Solo Instrumentalists. - M. Durant (cornet-a-piston), M. Cooze, M. Radford, M. Tucker, M. Winterbottom, &c. &c.
Part I. Overtare, Coriolan (second time this season) - Beethoven . . .
Aria, Qui la Voce (I Puritani), Miss Meabella Smith (her second appearance) - Bellini . . .
Part II. Overture, Fidelio - Beethoven . . .
Duetto, La ci Darem, Miss Meabella Smith and Mr. John Gregg - Mozart . . .
Ballad, Kathleen Mavourneen, Miss Meabella Smith - Crouch . . .
Pianist, Mr. Salamon. Leader of the Orchestra, Mr. Tucker. Conductor, M. Winterbottom.
Stalls 5s. Back seats, 2s. 6d. . . .

[Advertisement], The Banner (23 September 1853), 1 

THE PROPRIETORS have the honor to announce that Monday, 25th September, 1853, is appointed for this interesting ceremony, on which occasion His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor has signified his intention of honoring the edifice with a visit, and naming it . . .
At Three o'clock, A PROMENADE CONCERT Will commence, and the following eminent artistes have generously tendered their gratuitous services:
- Miss Meabella [Smith], [Miss] Martin, Miss Lewis, Mr. Walsh, Mr. Gregg, Mr. Salaman, the inimitable Barlow, and Mr. Winterbottom.
Programme of the Songs and Musical Compositions . . . .
Song - Savourneen Dheelish, Miss Meabella Smith . . .
Song - O Nanny wilt thou gang with me, Miss Meabella Smith . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charlotte Martin (vocalist); Annie Lewis (vocalist); Charles Walsh (vocalist); John Gregg (vocalist); Edward Salamon (pinaist); Robert Barlow (comic vocalist); John Winterbottom (condcutor)

MUSIC: O Nanny wilt thou gang with me (Carter)

[Advertisement], The Argus (21 October 1853), 8 

MECHANICS' Institution. - Under the patronage of His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor. This (Friday) Evening, 21st October.
Miss Miabella Smith begs to announce that her Concert will take place This Evening, when she will be assisted by the following Eminent Artistes:
Mrs. Testar, Miss Martin, Mr. Gregg, Miss E. Smith (Pupil of Mdlle. Clara Loveday),
Mr. Winterbottom, and Mr. Salamons, who will preside at the Pianoforte.
Trio - L'usato ardir il mio valore dove, (Semiramide) Mrs. Testar, Miss Martin, and Mr. Gregg - Rossini.
Cavatina - Qui la voce (I Puritani), Miss Miabella Smith - Bellini.
Song - Will o' the Wisp, Mr. Gregg - John Gregg.
Cavatina - O luce di quest anima, Mrs. Testar (first time) - Donizetti.
Pianoforte - La Cracovienne, Miss E. Smith (pupil of Mdlle. Clara Loveday) - V. Wallace.
Irish Melody - Savourneen Dheelish, Miss Miabella Smith.
Solo, Bassoon - Vivi tu, Mr. Winterbottom - Bellini.
Duet - Se vederla a me non lice (first time) Miss Miabella Smith and Mr. Gregg - Donizetti.
An interval of ten minutes.
Quartette - A te o cara (I Puritani), Mrs. Testar, Miss Miabella Smith, Mr. Gregg, and Mr. Winterbottom - Bellini
Ballad - O Erin my country, Miss Martin - A. Lee.
Song - My Boyhood's Home (Amelie), Mr. Gregg - Rooke.
Ballad - Kathleen Mavourneen, Miss Miabella Smith- Crouch.
Piano Solo - Grand Fantasia on Irish Airs, Miss E. Smith - Rosellen.
Song - There be Some of Beauty's daughters, Mrs. Testar (first time) - Knapton.
Duet - Believe me if all these endearing young charms, Miss Miabella Smith and Mr. Gregg - Moore.
Solo and Chorus - Marseillaise Hymn.
Finale - God save the Queen.
Doors open at half past seven. Concert to commence at eight o'clock precisely.
Prices of Admission: Reserved seats, 8s; back seats 5s. Tickets may be obtained at Wilkie's Music Saloon, Collins-street; Mr. Peck's, Swanston-street; and of Mr. Patterson, Secretary at the Institution.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles La Trobe (lieutenant governor); Emilie Smith (pianist)

[Advertisement], The Banner (15 November 1853), 1 

Opening of the New Organ in St. Francis's Cathedral, LONSDALE STREET.
THIS Magnificent Instrument, just erected by Mr. Henry Smith, will be opened on TUESDAY Evening, 22nd inst., with a Grand Selection of Sacred Music from the works of Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Rossini, &c.
PRINCIPAL VOCALISTS: Mrs. Testar, Miss Miabella Smith, Miss Martin, Mr. T. Ewart, Mr. Henry Smith, Mr. Loughnan, Mr. Hacket.
Assisted by a Chorus of Fifty Voices, several Members of the Philharmonic Society having kindly offered their services on this occasion . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Smith (organ builder, vocalist); Thomas Ewart (vocalist); Melbourne Philharmonic Society (organisation); St. Francis's church (Melbourne)

[Advertisement], The Argus (3 February 1854), 3 

ALFRED PHILLIPS has much pleasure in announcing that Miss Miabella Smith will make her first appearance in his popular drawing room entertainment, on Monday, February 6th.
ALFRED PHILLIPS, Miss Miabella Smith, and Mr. Ruxton (from the Royal Academy of Music, his first appearance in Melbourne,) on Monday, at the Mechanics' Institution.

[Advertisement], The Argus (11 February 1854), 3 

ALFRED PHILLIPS has much pleasure in announcing that Miss Mirabella [sic] Smith will appear in his popular drawing-room entertainments, on Wednesday and Saturday, February 8th and 11th . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Alfred Phillips (actor); Henri W. Ruxton (pianist)

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

EUREKA. Opening of the Royal Victoria Concert Hall, Monday, 6th March.
Performers - Miss Miabella Smith, Herr Rahm, Mons, Paltzer, Herr Collins, and the celebrated Ethiopian Serenaders.
Managers Rahm and Paltzer.

ASSOCIATIONS: Veit Rahm (musician, zither player); Jacques Paltzer (violinist); Leopold Frederick Collin (pianist)

"MARRIED", The Argus (14 July 1854), 4 

On the 13th instant, by a special license, at St. Francis's Cathedral, by the Very Rev. James B. Hayes, William Alker, Esq., of this City, merchant, to Miabella Catherine, third daughter of Richard West Smith, Esq., Dublin.

ALSO, "MARRIAGES", Freeman's Journal [Dublin] (9 October 1854), 4 (PAYWALL)

July 18, at Melbourne, Australia, William Alker, Esq, of that a city, merchant, to Miabella Catherine, third daughter of Richard West Smith, Esq. of Dublin.

"DEATHS", Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier [Ireland] (11 September 1856), 2 (PAYWALL)

On the 9th instant, at 19, Wentworth-place, Dublin, Mr. Richard West Smith.

Dublin, Ireland (? from c. 1858 to 1906):

Baptisms, October, 1860 (register 1849-1866), St. Mary's, Haddington Road, Dublin; National Library of Ireland (DIGITISED)

[Oct.] 6 / Josh. Samuel / [son of] Wm. Alker & M. Smith / [sponsors] Chas. Smith & Mary Lyneham

"DEATHS", Saunders's News-Letter [Dublin] (26 December 1860), 3

On Christmas morning, the residence of her son, Dawson Grove, Marianne, relict of the late Richard West Smith, Esq., of this city.

Ireland census, 31 March 1901; National Archives of Ireland

37 Kildare Street / Meabella Alker / Widow / 72 / [born] Dublin / boarder / Roman Catholic

SMITH, Robert (Robert SMITH)

Musician, music master, fiddler

Active Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 1836 (shareable link to this entry)


"Hobart Town Police Report", Colonial Times (8 March 1836), 7

Robert Smith, employed as music master and fiddler at Mr. Presnell's public house, was charged with misdemenour, in attempting to commit a felony. The fellow lived at the house, and bad free access to all parts of it. In the absence of the landlady on Sunday, he was found trying to obtain admittance by a key, that appeared to have been altered. The state of the key was very suspicious, and he could give no satisfactory account of his business at the house. As no direct proof was adduced of the intention to commit a felony, he was dealt with as a rogue and vagabond, and as a change from his fiddling capacity, was ordered to dance to a new tune at the tread wheel for three months.

SMITH, Robert (Robert SMITH; Mr. R. SMITH)

Pianoforte-maker, repairer and tuner (fifteen years with Messrs. Broadwoods)

Born Aberdeen, Scotland, 1804; baptised St. Nicholas's church, Aberdeen, Scotland, 8 March 1804; son of James SMITH and Mary SMITH [sic]
Married Elizabeth Susannah FAULDER (1808-1885), St. Mary's church, Islington, London England, 26 June 1834
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 8 February 1853 (per Clara Symes)
Died Windsor, VIC, 12 October 1889 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

SMITH, Emilie (Emma SMITH; Miss Emilie SMITH; Mrs. Frederick COSTER)

Musician, pianist, p iano teacher

Born London, England, c. 1839; daughter of Robert SMITH and Elizabeth Susannah FAULDER
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 8 February 1853 (per Clara Symes, from Bristol, 16 October)
Married Frederick COSTER (c. 1827-1894), St. Peter's church, Melbourne, 4 November 1858
Died Armadale, VIC, 13 September 1911, aged "72" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

COSTER, Emily (Emille Albinia COSTER; Emily COSTER; Mrs. Rudolf HIMMER; Emilie Albina Lucy HIMMER)

Pianist, accompanist

Born Melbourne, VIC, 1859; daughter of Frederick COSTER and Emma SMITH
Married Rudolf HIMMER (1852-1921), Benalla, VIC, 1891
Died Malvern East, VIC, 1922 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

COSTER, Fanny (Frances Elizabeth COSTER; Fanny COSTER; Mrs. John NICHOLSON)

Pianist, accompanist

Born St. Kilda, VIC, 12 June 1861; daughter of Frederick COSTER and Emma SMITH
Married John NICHOLSON (1840-1914), Holy Trinity church, Benalla, VIC, 19 January 1887
Died Killara, NSW, 2 July 1954


Robert Smith was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1804, son of James Smith, a merchant, and Mary Smith, daughter of the late James Smith, a farmer.

With his wife Elizabeth Faulder, and daughter Emma, he was living in Lambeth on the night of the 1841 census, and gave his trade as pianoforte maker. On arrival in Australia he advertised that he had been 15 years with John Broadwood and Sons, London, and later that he had also worked for (or with) Collard and Collard. Allowing for at least two years, possibly longer, spent in Cheltenham c. 1851-52, this would first place Robert at Broadwoods' certainly no later than 1835, and plausibly, given his age, as much as a decade or more earlier.

Smith's premises in Cheltenham, in 1851-52, were a shop and residence at 5, Great Norwood Street (now 11 Great Norwood Street), which had previously (c. 1845) been occupied by a tailor, but earlier (c. 1843) by the musician Pio Ciancehttini (d. 1851).

In Victoria, from 1853 to the late 1870s Robert appears to have carried on a solid but unremarkable career as freelance tuner and repairer, and as a small scale specialist vendor and occasional importer of keyboard instruments. He may also have worked, at various times, for other music retailers, though no record of his doing so has yet been identified. From 1867 to 1869, apparently as a sole trader, he made annual professional tuning trips that took him as far away as Portland, on the south west coast of Victoria.

Robert's significant musical legacy, however, was his daughter. The fourteen-year-old Emma Smith first advertised in Melbourne in 1853 as "Miss E. Smith", a pupil of the Anglo-French pianist Clara Loveday, who for several years previously had been based in Cheltenham, England.

By mid 1855, Emma was consistently styling herself as "Miss Emilie Smith" (occasionally also mis-reported as Emily), and continued to do so until her last professional advertisements early in 1858.

From the documentation of her many public appearances in Melbourne (and at least one in Geelong) between 1853 and 1857, we can reliably reconstruct her personal network of musical contacts and collaborators (see ASSOCIATIONS in the documentation below). Likewise, her remarkably advanced performing repertoire.

The latter included such identifiable works as La source by Jacques Blumenthal, Fantaisie sur Lucia di Lammermoor by Émile Prudent, Les hirondelles by Henri Streich, and Grande fantasie et variations sur La cracovienne by William Vincent Wallace; Le carnaval de Venise and Caprice sur des airs bohémiens by Julius Schulhoff; and the Fantasie on the favorite air We're a' noddin, the Fantaisie sur des motifs de La straniera of Bellini, and the Fantasie sur Moise de Rossini all by Sigmund Thalberg.

Notably, with Charles Bial, she also performed, probably indeed (as advertised) for the first time in these colonies, Thalberg's Grand duo pour deux pianos sur un motif de Norma de Bellini, a work only introduced some years later in Sydney by Edward Boulanger and Frederick Ellard.

As "Emma Smith", she married Frederick Coster, at St. Peter's church, Melbourne, on 4 November 1858.

Later in life, in the 1880s and 1890s, as "Mrs. Coster", she occasionally performed again as an amateur in public again at charity events in Benalla, in the north-east of the colony, where her husband Frederick practised as a solicitor.

Her daughters Emily and Fanny were both pianists. In 1891 Emily married the American tenor vocalist Rudolf Himmer, and in the 1930s their son, also Rudolf Himmer, was a concert adminitsrator for the ABC.


London and Cheltenham, England (to 1852):

Marriages solemnized in the parish of Saint Mary Islington in the county of Middlesex in the year 1834; register, 1834-37; London Metropolitan Archives (PAYWALL)

No. 70 / Robert Smith of this Parish Bachelor and Elizabeth Susanna Faulder of the same Parish Spinster
were married in this Church by Banns . . . this [26 June 1834] . . . [witnesses] Joseph Heywood, Sophie Faulder

England census, 6 June 1841, Lambeth, Surrey; UK National Archives, HO 107 / 1055 / 6 (PAYWALL)

Bowling Green St. / Robert Smith / 35 / Pianoforte M[aker] / [born] S [Scotland]
Elizabeth [Smith] / 30 / [born] N [not in Surrey]
Sidney / 5 // Emma / 2 . . .

England census, 30 March 1851, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire; UK UK National Archives, HO 107 / 1973 (PAYWALL)

5 Great Norwood Street / Robert Smith / Head / 42 / Pianoforte Maker / [born] Aberdeen
Elizabeth [Smith] / Wife / 35 / - / [born] London Westminster
Emma [Smith] / Dau'er / 12 / [born] [London] Lambeth
Jane [Smith] / Dau'er / 8 / [born] [London Lambeth]

Baptisms solemnized in the parish of Cheltenham in the county of Gloucester, in the year 1851; Gloucestershire Archives (PAYWALL) (PAYWALL)

No. 213 [1851] Aug't 31. / Florence Mary Elizabeth / [daughter of] Robert & Susannah Elizabeth / Smith / Gr. Norwood St. / Pianoforte Tuner . . .

"DEATHS", Cheltenham Examiner (5 May 1852), 8

April 16, at 5, Great Norwood-street, aged 10 months, Florence May Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. Robert Smith, pianoforte maker.

[News], Cheltenham Looker-On [England] (18 September 1852), 10

A Concert, Vocal and Instrumental, is announced to take place in Messrs. Hale's Music Room on Tuesday evening, the 28th instant, for the benefit of Miss E. Smith, a juvenile pianiste of, we are told, great promise, on the eve of departing for Australia, - and towards whose future fortune in that golden world our resident professors seem anxious to contribute their services: Miss Clara Loveday, Mr. Marshall, and Mr. M. Von Holst having each promised their valuable aid on the occasion.

[News], Cheltenham Looker-On [England] (25 September 1852), 9

. . . and on Saturday Miss E. Smith makes her first appearance as a pianiste, at Hale's Room, in a Concert undertaken, it would appear from the terms of the announcement, for the purpose of introducing our youthful debutante to public notice, preparatory to her departure for Australia, and towards whose assistance on this occasion Miss Clara Loveday, Mr. G. Marshall, and Mr. M. Von Holst have all promised their services.

ASSOCIATIONS: Clara Loveday; Gustavus Valentin von Holst (1799-1871), grandfather of Gustav Holst

Melbourne, VIC (from February 1853):

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

PIANO-FORTES carefully Tuned by Mr. R. Smith, fifteen years with Messrs. Broadwood & Sons. Orders will meet immediate attention. Address, R. Smith, at Mr. Spence's, 27, Collins-street, Melbourne.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Broadwood and Sons (London)

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

. . . Pianoforte - Miss E. Smith, pupil of Mdlle. Clara Loveday. First time in Melbourne . . . [as below]

[Advertisement], The Argus (7 April 1853), 3 

MECHANICS' INSTITUTE. Thursday Weekly Concerts, under the direction of MR. MEGSON.
ON THURSDAY NEXT, 7th APRIL, 1853. Principal Vocal Performers: Soprano - Mrs. Testar. Tenone - Mons. Barre. Alto - Mr. Mitchell. Basso - Mr. Bancroft.
Solo Instrumental Performers: Pianoforte - Miss E. Smith, pupil of Mdlle. Clara Loveday. First time in Melbourne.
Violin - Mons Fleury, from the Mauritius, the best solo violin known in the colonies.
PROGRAMME: PART I . . . Grand Fantasia, Pianoforte - Miss E. Smith (pupil of Mdlle C. Loveday) first time in Melbourne - Thalberg . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Megson (violinist, conductor); Elizabeth Testar (soprano vocalist); Achille Fleury (violinist)

"THE CONCERT", The Argus (8 April 1853), 9 

Mr. Megson deserves great credit for almost capital concert last evening, which was suitably appreciated by a crowded audience. The overtures and other instrumental pieces were rattled off with a spirit that was most delightful; Mrs. Testar both looked and sang her very best, and, with the exception of one poor gentleman, who was most unceremoniously and unfeelingly put down in the middle of his song, every thing went off with great success. A M. Fleury, from the Mauritius, performed a beautiful fantasia on the violin in most artistic style. But the great stir of the evening was a young lady of fourteen, named Smith, who played a very long, elaborate, and difficult piece of Thalberg on the piano; and played it all through with a force, taste, rapidity, and precision which perfectly electrified the audience. Several times Miss Smith was interrupted by a sort of irrepressible rapture of applause; and long and fatigueing as her performance might be, it was most vehemently encored, and the larger portion of it most goodly repeated. Where this talented young lady can have dropped from we do not know, but she certainly is a mistress of her instrument to an extent which we should have thought impossible in one of her tender years.

[Advertisement], The Argus (18 April 1853), 12 

MECHANICS' INSTITUTE. MRS. HANCOCK'S Grand Vocal and Instrumental CONCERT, Monday Evening, April 18, 1853 . . .
Miss Smith (aged 14), pupil of Madlle Clara Loveday (her second appearance) . . .
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . Grand Fantasia (Pianoforte) - Miss E. Smith - Streich . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Mary Ellen Hancock (soprano vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Argus (3 May 1853), 11 

PIANO FORTES correctly tuned and repaired by Robert Smith, 15 years with Messrs. Broadwood and Sons; address, Willow Cottage, Great Brunswick-street. Piano Forte taught by Miss E. Smith.

"HORRIBLE OCCURRENCE. SUICIDE OF MR. SPENCE, THE DRAPER. (From the Melbourne Herald.)", The Sydney Morning Herald (11 June 1853), 1s

CONSIDERABLE sensation was created yesterday morning, in different parts of the city, by a rumour that Mr. Robert Spence, the draper, Elizabeth-street, had committed suicide by cutting his throat from ear to ear . . . At four o'clock P. M., Dr. Wilmot, the City Coroner, proceeded to hold an inquest at the Leinster Arms . . . a Mr. Robert Smith, a pianoforte maker, residing at Collingwood, stepped forward, and addressing the Coroner, said he was the brother-in-law of deceased, his sister having been the late Mrs. Spence. He arrived in the colony about three months ago, and when he first saw Mr. Spence, he noticed his hand to tremble, and considered him to be then incapable of managing his business . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (28 July 1853), 8 

PIANOFORTES Tuned and Repaired by Robert Smith, fifteen years with Messrs. Broadwoods. Several superior Pianos at low prices. Pianoforte taught by Miss E. Smith, Willow Cottage, Brunswick-street.

"CONCERT", The Argus (26 August 1853), 5 

We are puzzled to know how it is that Mr. Winterbottom can almost invariably draw crowded houses in so capacious a building as Rowe's Circus, while the attendance at his Thursday night Concerts is so often thin and discouraging. Last night, there was a great deal too much sitting-room vacant, although the performance deserved a more liberal patronage; the second appearance of Miss Smith ought alone to have filled the room. This young lady has before proved herself a good musician, and her reception last evening was flattering enough . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Winterbottom (bassoonist, conductor)

[Advertisement], The Argus (12 September 1853), 8 

MECHANICS' INSTITUTION. - Mrs. Hancock's Grand Vocal and Instrumental Concert.
Under the Patronage of the Mayor. Monday, Sept 12, 1853.
Vocalists - Mrs. Testar, Miss Miabella Smith, Mrs. Hancock, Mr. Hancock.
Solo Piano - Miss E. Smith (pupil of Mdlle. Clara Loveday) . . .
Programme. Part I . . . Grand Fantasie (Pianoforte) Miss E. Smith - W. Wallace . . .
Part II . . . Solo Piano - The Carnival de Venise, Miss Smith - Schulhoff . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Meabella Smith (vocalist, not related)

MUSIC: Le carnaval de Venise (Julius Schulhoff)

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

Miss E. SMITH'S Grand Vocal and Instrumental Concert (under the patronage of the Right Worshipful the Mayor,) on Monday, September 19th, 1853.
Vocalists: Mrs. Testar, Miss Martin, Mr. John Gregg.
Instrumentalists: Solo Piano - Miss E. Smith (pupil of Madlle. Clara Loveday.
Solo Violin - Mr. Tucker. Solo Bassoon - Mr. M. Winterbottom. Mr. Salamon will preside at the Pianoforte.
Part I.
Overture - Semiramide - Rossini
Ballad - The Maydew, Miss Martin - Lover
Valse - Snow Drop - Tucker
Song - Man the Life Boat, Mr. John Gregg - Russell
Grand Fantasia - Lucia Di Lammermoor, Miss E. Smith - Prudent
Quadrille - Le Bon Temps - Montgomery
Romance - Le Souvenir, Mrs. Testar - Loisa Puget
Solo - Violin - Mr. Tucker - De Beriot
Duet - The Elfin Call, Mrs. Testar and Miss Martin - Glover
Part II.
Overture - Tancredi - Rossini
Ballad - Beautiful Spring, Miss Martin - Blockley
Solo - Pianoforte - Grand Fantasia, Miss E. Smith - Wallace.
Song - Revenge, Mr. John Gregg - Hatton
Valse - Ladies of England - Montgomery
Scotch Song - Logie O'Buchan, Mrs. Testar
Solo - Bassoon - Mr. Winterbottom
Galop - Le Fin Du Concert
God Save the Queen.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charlotte Martin (vocalist); John Gregg (vocalist); Edward Tucker (violinist); Edward Salamon (pianist)

MUSIC: Fantaisie sur Lucia di Lammermoor (Émile Prudent)

"CONCERT", The Argus (20 September 1853), 5 

In accordance with our prediction a very full room greeted Miss Smith last evening, and that young lady again electrified her audience by the brilliancy of her performance . . .

"MISS SMITH'S CONCERT", The Banner (23 September 1853), 10 

One of the best concerts we have ever had the pleasure of attending in Melbourne took place at the Mechanics' Institution, on Monday, for the benefit, and under the direction, of Miss E. Smith. The programme was selected with excellent taste, and contained some choice pieces, both vocal and instrumental. Of Miss Smith's proficiency as a pianist, it is impossible to speak too highly. Modulation, and every grace which appertains to music, were included in the brilliant fantasias so beautifully executed by this young lady; and during the performance of some of the more florid and friage-like passages, could we but turn our eyes from the graceful performer, we might well believe ourselves listening to Hertz [Herz] or Thalberg . . .

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

. . . MADAME ARNATI WHITE'S Grand Vocal and Instrumental CONCERT, on Monday, 10th Inst. . . .
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . Solo. - Pianoforte - Carnival de Venise, Miss E. Smith - Schuloff . . .
PART II . . . Solo, Pianoforte - Les Hirondelles, Miss E. Smith - Streich . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Emilia Arnati White (vocalist)

MUSIC: Les hirondelles (Henri Streich)

"MADAME ANNATI [ARNATI] WHITE'S GRAND CONCERT", The Banner (11 October 1853), 15 

. . . Miss E. Smith was as effective as ever in her difficult passages upon the pianoforte. Notwithstanding the unfavourable state of the weather the concert was fashionably attended.

[Advertisement], The Argus (21 October 1853), 8 

MECHANICS' Institution . . . This (Friday) Evening, 21st October.
Miss Miabella Smith begs to announce that her Concert will take place This Evening, when she will be assisted by the following Eminent Artistes:
Mrs. Testar, Miss Martin, Mr. Gregg, Miss E. Smith (Pupil of Mdlle. Clara Loveday),
Mr. Winterbottom, and Mr. Salamons, who will preside at the Pianoforte.
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . Pianoforte - La Cracovienne, Miss E. Smith (pupil of Mdlle. Clara Loveday) - V. Wallace . . .

MUSIC: Grande fantasie et variations sur La cracovienne (William Vincent Wallace)

[Advertisement], The Argus (17 April 1854), 3 

PIANOFORTE Taught - Miss E Smith, pianist, late pupil of Mademoiselle Clara Loveday, of the Royal Conservatoire, Paris, continues to give instruction at her residence, Willow Cottage, Brunswick-street.

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

Miss E. Smith's Grand Vocal and Instrumental Concert, Monday, 5th June.
Vocalists: Mrs. Testar, Miss Octavia Hamilton, and Mons. Barre
Instrumentalists: Solo Piano - Miss E. Smith
Violin - Herr Strebinger. Cornet a Piston - Sigr. Maffei.
Grand Duo: Miss E. Smith and Herr Strebinger.
Part I.
Trio - Mrs. Testar, Miss Hamilton, and Mons. Barre
Romance - Mons. Barre
Solo Piano-Forte - "Lucia di Lammermoor," Miss E Smith - Prudent
Song - "There will be none of Beauties Daughters" - Mrs. Testar - Knapton
Solo Violin - Herr Strebinger Ballad - "The Spell is Broken" - Miss Hamilton - Bellchambers
Grand Duo - Miss E. Smith and Herr Strebinger.
Part II.
Duet - Mrs. Testar and Mons. Barre
Song - "I'm leaving thee, Annie" - Miss Hamilton - Barker
Solo - "Cornet a Piston" - Il Lamento - Sigr Maffei - Maffei
Scotch Ballad- "An' ye sall walk in silk attire" - Mrs. Testar
Solo Piano - "Carnival de Venise" (by desire) - Miss E Smith - Sculhoff
Ballad - "Why do I weep for thee I" - Miss Hamilton - Wallace
Song - Mons. Barre
Admission 5s. Reserve Seats, 7s.
Doors open at half-past Seven, to commence at Eight.

ASSOCIATIONS: Octavia Hamilton (soprano vocalist); Anthony Barre (vocalist); Frederick Strebinger (violinist); Joseph Maffei (cornet player)

"MISS E. SMITH'S CONCERT", The Banner (9 June 1854), 9 

This young lady's concert came off on Monday evening at the Mechanics' Institute, with great success, indeed the room was perfectly crowded before the concert commenced; and throughout the evening the crowd at the doors was so great as frequently to interrupt the harmony thereof. The grand feature of the evening was the excellent performance on the piano-forte of the talented young beneficiare, the music being from the Operas of "Lucia" and "Guillaume Tell," with the well-known "Carnival de Venise," which received an encore . . .

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

This lady gave a concert last evening at the Mechanics' to, we are sorry to add, rather a meagre audience . . . Miss E. Smith played a piano-forte solo upon airs from Der Frieschutz [sic] and Oberon, but much of the effect of her brilliant performance was lost through the wretched condition of the instrument . . .

"COLLINGWOOD THEATRE", The Argus (11 October 1854), 5 

The New Vaudeville theatre, now in course of erection at Collingwood by Mr. Beauvais, of the European Hotel, will be completed about the 20th instant. The management is to be entrusted to M. Barre, the vocalist, and, we are informed, engagements have been entered into with Mrs. Hancock, Miss E. Smith, and other popular artistes. A vaudeville company is being collected, and the proprietor seems determined not to spare expense in order to ensure success.

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

The very full and respectable attendance at the Theatre on Saturday evening was quite refreshing . . . Miss Smith, on the piano, took the audience completely by storm. Her style of playing is after the new school of Herz, Lizt [Liszt], and Thalberg . . .

[Advertisement], The Age (11 December 1854), 1 

MECHANICS' INSTITUTION. - MRS. E. HANCOCK'S Grand Evening Concert . . . Monday, December 11 . . .
PROGRAMME. Part 1st . . . Solo, Piano, "Bohemian Airs," Miss E. Smith . . .
Part 2nd . . . Solo, Piano, "Fantasia" (Oberson,) Miss E. Smith . . .

"CONCERT AT THE MECHANICS' INSTITUTE", The Age (12 December 1854), 5 

Last evening, Mrs. Hancock made her last appearance before the Melbourne public, in the Hall of this Institute, supported by a brilliant array of professional talent . . . We cannot pass over the performances of Miss Smith, whose execution of the Bohemian airs on the piano was chaste and spirited . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (22 December 1854), 1 

TO Let, the late Residence of Mr. Robert Smith, pianoforte tuner and repairer, Brunswick-street.

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

. . . Miss E. Smith is well-known to the people of Melbourne as a performer on the piano. About fifteen months ago, on her arrival from England, she played in public in such a manner as to merit even higher praise than was accorded to her. Since that time she has made few public appearances, and her performance last night, while it fulfilled the expectations of her admirers, showed how much careful study, even without the advantage of the best tuition, could accomplish in developing musical talent. The execution of Miss E. Smith last night warrants the most sanguine expectations of her future eminence as a pianist . . .

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

MIKSA HAUSER . . . GRAND CONCERT will take place on Thursday Evening, 21st June, at the Mechanics' Institution. On which occasion he will be assisted by Mrs. Testar, Miss Emilie Smith (the celebrated Pianiste), and Mr. Bial.
Programme - Part I . . . Solo, Pianoforte - Fantasia Brilliante on Airs from "La Favorite" (Schulhoff), Miss Smith . . .
Part II . . . Solo, Pianoforte - "We're a' Noddin" (Thalberg), Miss E. Smith . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Miska Hauser (violinist); Charles Bial (pianist, accompanist)

MUSIC: Fantasie on the favorite air We're a' noddin (Sigmund Thalberg)

[Advertisement], The Argus (6 July 1855), 8 

EXHIBITION BUILDING . . . MISS CATHERINE HAYES has most kindly volunteered her services in aid of the funds for the relief of the Destitute in Collingwood, for a grand Vocal and Instrumental CONCERT On Friday Evening, July 6th, on which occasion the following distinguished artistes have also most kindly proffered their aid: Mrs. Testar, Miss Emilie Smith, Messrs. Clifford, Thom, Strebinger, Johnson, and Lavenu . . .
PROGRAMME. Part I . . . Solo, Pianoforte, "We're a' noddin," Miss E. Smith - Thalberg . . .
Part II . . . Fantasia Brilliante on Airs from "Ernani," Miss E. Smith . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Bream Thom (violinist); Lewis Henry Lavenu (conductor, cellist); Henry Johnson (clarinettist, bandmaster); George Clifford (vocalist)

"THE CONCERT ON FRIDAY", The Age (9 July 1855), 4-5 

The concert in the Exhibition Building on Friday evening was, in all respects, a brilliant affair . . . After a song from Mr. Clifford, the Mayor led in the main attraction of the evening, Miss Catherine Hayes, whose appearance was the signal for a burst of prolonged applause . . . [5] . . . Miss E. Smith executed two solos on the piano with that hard, hammering touch which is fast becoming an incurable mannerism, - (more's the pity) . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (8 August 1855), 7 

PIANOFORTE, Cottage, suited for an elegant drawing-room. Unequalled for touch and tone. Glass Cottage, Victoria Parade.
PIANOFORTE, Second Hand, in excellent condition for £30. Robert Smith, Glass Cottage, Victoria Parade.
PIANOFORTE, Grand Square, by Broadwood, quite new, to be sold a bargain. Glass Cottage, Victoria Parade.
PIANOFORTES, Tuned, Repaired, Bought, and Sold on commission. Robert Smith, from Broadwood's, Glass Cottage, Victoria Parade.

[Advertisement], The Age (7 February 1856), 1 

MECHANICS' INSTITUTION. - Miss Emilie Smith has the honor to announce that she will give
A GRAND CONCERT, On Thursday evening, February 7, at the Mechanics' Institution, on which occasion the celebrated Hungarian Violinist, MISKA HAUSER, will re-appear, and perform several of his choicest morceaux. Mrs. TESTAR and Mr. BIAL will also assist.
Programme - Part I . . . Introduction - Pianoforte . . . Grand Fantasia on airs from "Sonnambula," Variations de Bravura (Thalberg) - Miss Emilie Smith . . .
Part II . . . Duett from "Norma," for two pianos, by Thalberg, (for the first time in the Colonies) - Miss Emilie Smith and Mr. Bial . . .
Solo, Pianoforte - "Pre aux clercs, (Herz) - Miss Emilie Smith . . .

MUSIC: Grande caprice sur des motifs de La Sonnambula, op. 46 (Thalberg); Grand duo pour deux pianos sur un motif de Norma de Bellini (Thalberg); Variations brillantes di bravura sur le Trio Favori du Pré aux Clercs de Herold, op. 76 (Herz)

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

Yesterday evening despite the opposing influences of a heavy rain and flooded streets, this concert proved the success that its numerous attractions warranted, and must have been highly gratifying to those engaged. Had the artistes been anything short of first-rate, an empty house might have been fairly calculated upon and it says much for the faith and enthusiasm of those who attended that they set the elements at defiance; but in doing so they were rewarded by being privileged to listen to one of the best miscellaneous musical entertainments which for some time the Melbourne public has had an opportunity of attending. The accomplished pianiste herself won deserved plaudits for her marvellous execution, and was encored on every occasion. In conjunction with M. Bial, in the duett for two instruments on themes from "Norma," by Thalberg, she excelled herself, and it is but just to state that she was most ably supported, and received on more than one occasion graceful compliments from the admiring audience in the shape of numerous bouquets. Miss Smith's precision and unerring certainty of touch was the subject of general admiration, and the most difficult passages seemed to her as facile as any . . . we trust that we shall not permanently lose the treat of listening to the able pianoforte playing of the graceful beneficiare.

"MISS EMILIE SMITH'S CONCERT", The Argus (8 February 1856), 5 

. . . Miss Emilie Smith has established herself most deservedly as one of the greatest favorites in the best concerts here, and it must have been very gratifying to her to notice that the audience last evening comprised the greatest part of the musical cognoscenti of Melbourne who despite the weather, had determined to enjoy the first class performances announced. Miss Smith gave Thalberg's Grand Fantasia on airs from the "Sonnambula," also a composition by Herz from Herold's "Pre aux Clercs;" and, with M. Bial, a duet on two pianofortes composed by Thalberg from airs in Norma. Miss Emilie Smith's brilliant execution of these difficult compositions obtained the loudest applause and in each case an encore was demanded although, only in one instance complied with. We understand this will have been Miss Smith's last appearance in public at Melbourne - a circumstance which will, we are sure, be much regretted by the world of musical amateurs and the best patrons of the few superior concerts with which we are occasionally favored. Miss Emilie Smith has at a very early age made for herself an excellent reputation in her profession and would eventually beyond all doubt achieve the very highest rank as a pianiste if for a year or two longer she had striven for a great name. Her reception last evening under the unenlivening influence of the weather proved that her popularity was greater than ever . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (23 February 1856), 8

Under the distinguished patronage of His Excellency the Acting Governor, Sii William and Lady A'Beckett, And The Right Worshipful the Mayor.
Assisted by MRS. TESTAR, MISKA HAUSER, SIG. PABLO BORSOTTI, (First time,) and M. BIAL.
PROGRAMME. - PART I . . . Solo, Pianoforte - "La Estraniera," Grand Fantasia Brilliante, (Thalberg,) Miss Emilie Smith . . .
PART II. Grand Duo, from "Norma," (by desire) for two pianos, Miss Emilie Smith and M. Bial . . .
Solo, Pianoforte - Caprice von Boehmische Lieder, (Bohemian Airs,) (Shullhoff,) Miss Emilie Smith . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Paolo Borsotti (vocalist)

MUSIC: Fantaisie sur des motifs de La straniera [Bellini] (Thalberg); Caprice sur des airs bohémiens (Julius Schulhoff)

"MISS EMILIE SMITH'S CONCERT", The Argus (26 February 1856), 5

The grand vocal and instrumental concert given by Miss E. Smith last evening at the Mechanics' Institution was attended by a numerous and fashionable audience. We expect the Hall would have been crowded to an overflow but that the threatening aspect of the weather affected the numbers of the audience at the theatres and concert rooms all over the city. The selection of the programme was very happy, and was admirably supported by the talents of Miska Hauser, Mrs. Testar, Signor Borsotti, Mr. Bial, and last but not least, the accomplished beneficiare of the evening, Miss Emilie Smith, who gave the grand fantasia, by Thalberg, from "La Estraniera," with great brilliancy; and we noticed with pleasure a great advance toward that perfection of delicacy of touch which was all that was wanting to enable this charming young artiste to justly claim rank with the best modern professors of the pianoforte. It appeared as though Miss Smith had caught a new inspiration from the great maestro on the violin, Miska Hauser, with whom she has now played at a considerable number of concerts here. Miss Smith's fantasia was warmly encored, and the caprice on Bohemian airs which she played in the second part was re-demanded, and would have been repeated but for the lateness of the hour. During the evening Miss Smith also performed a grand duo from "Norma," with M. Bial, on two pianofortes, which was much applauded . . .

"MISS EMILIE SMITH'S CONCERT", The Age (26 February 1856), 3 

. . . Miss Smith's pianoforte playing was distinguished as usual for its brilliancy and power, and she was encored in almost every piece. Her rendering of Thalberg's magnificent fantasia from airs in "La Straniera," the encore Blumenthal's "La Source," and her duett with Mr. Bial on airs from "Norma" on two pianos, were remarkable examples of her unerring fingering and brilliant execution . . .

MUSIC: La source (Jacques Blumenthal)

[Advertisement], The Argus (1 September 1856), 6 

MISS E. SMITH, Pianist, continues to give Instruction on the Pianoforte. Apply Glass Cottage, Victoria-parade.

[Advertisement], The Age (23 February 1857), 1 

MISKA HAUSER . . . A GRAND CLASSICAL CONCERT . . . On MONDAT, February 23rd, 1857, At the Mechanics' Institution.
PROGRAMME . . . SECOND PART . . . Solo, Piano - Fantasia from the Opera "Straniera" - Thalberg - MISS EMILIE SMITH . . .
THIRD PART . . . Solo, Piano - "The Carnival of Venice," Schulhoff - MISS EM1LIE SMITH . . .

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

MISKA HAUSER . . . Third Grand Classical CONCERT,
For the Benefit of MISS EMELIE SMITH, The favorite Pianist,
Programme . . . Part Second . . . Piano Solo - Grand Fantasia on Bohemian Airs - N. Kuhe . . .
Part Third . . . Piano Solo - Variations on "We're a Nodding" - Thalberg . . .

"MISKA HAUSER'S THIRD CONCERT", The Argus (6 March 1857), 5 

. . . Miss Emilie Smith, for whose benefit the concert was given, was encored in both the pieces she executed, a well-earned honour. She is evidently advancing steadily and systematically in the profession which we believe she is destined to ornament. Her touch is naturally free, firm, and facile; and she is gradually acquiring that discrimination which is so essential to the true artiste. The execution of a musical composition resembles that of a picture in many respects. There should be the same nice adjustment of light and shade, harmonious gradation of colour, and unity of sentiment; and it is in these particulars that the progress made by Miss Smith is most observable and most satisfactory. As illustrations of this remark, we would refer to her playing of the variations on the Druid's March in Norma, as also to those on "We're a' Noddin'," in both of which there was a nice distribution of light and shadow, combined with an intelligent perception of the sentiment of each composition . . .


. . . If possible Miss Smith has improved in her piano-forte playing - her touch is more delicate than when we heard her in the concerts of last season, and she has acquired increased brilliancy of execution. The pieces assigned her on the programme were, Thalberg's variations on "We're a Nodding," and Kuhe's grand fantasia on Bohemian airs. For encores, she favored the audience with airs from Norma and variations on "God Save the Queen," in all of which she displayed her entire command of the instrument over which she presided. The fair pianiste was exceedingly well received . . .

[Advertisement], The Age (12 March 1857), 1 

MISKA HAUSER'S Last Appearance and Farewel CONCERT. This Evening, 12th March 1857, At the Mechanics' Institution.
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . Solo, piano, Fantasia brilliante on airs from "Lucia" - Prudent - Miss Emilie Smith . . .
PART II . . . Solo, piano, "Les Hirondelles" - Thalberg [? Streich] - Miss Emilie Smith . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (14 April 1857), 8 

PART FIRST . . . Fantasia Brilliante for the Pianoforte "Les Hirondelles" Miss Emilie Smith - Sterich [Streich] . . .
PART THE SECOND . . . Grand Fantasia - "La Cracovienne" Miss Emilie Smith - V. Wallace . . .

"MRS. TESTAR'S FAREWELL CONCERT", The Argus (15 April 1857), 6 

. . . Miss Emilie Smith is well entitled to rank as a brilliant pianiste - one who has gone a great way towards accomplishing all that can be effected with the pianoforte, and the results of the severe training she has imposed on herself are found in the complete success she attains with her audiences. Last night she amply sustained her growing reputation . . .

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

Violinist, late Musical Director at Berlin, Having just arrived from Germany,
has the honor to announce that his Introductory GRAND CONCERT
will take place on THURSDAY, 6th AUGUST, 1857, At the above Saloon:
When he will be assisted by the following Artistes:
Miss Emily Smith, Mr. Schluter. Mr. Siede, and his brother Mr. Charles Bial.
PROGRAMME Part I . . . 4. Grand Fantasia for the Piano, on Weber's "Oberon" - Miss Emily Smith . . .
Part II . . . 4. Grand Solo for the Piano - Miss Emily Smith . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Rodolphe Bial (violinist, brother of Charles Bial); Adolph Schluter (vocalist); Julius Siede (flautist)

[Advertisement], The Argus (17 September 1857), 7 

ROBERT SMITH, Pianoforte-Tuner, from Broadwood's. - On SALE, first-class English and Foreign PIANOS. Some superior Second-hand by Broadwood and others. Class Cottage [? Glass Cottage], Victoria-parade.

[Advertisement], The Age (3 November 1857), 1 

MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY . . . THE FIFTH SUBSCRIPTION CONCERT For the Year, Will be held in the EXHIBITION BUILDING, This Evening, November 3rd, 1857 . . .
Principal Performers: - MRS. HANCOCK, (Who has kindly volunteered her services.)
MRS. GOODLIFFE, MISS EMILY SMITH, and MR. FARQUHARSON. Band and Chorus of One Hundred Performers.
Leader - Mr. King (of the Bath Concerts). Conductor Mr. J. Russell.
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . Grand Fantasie, Piano - On the Prayer in "Mose in Egitto" - Miss Emily Smith - Thalberg . . .
PART II . . . Piano - "Fantasie Brilliantes les Hirondelles" - Miss Emily Smith - Streech [sic, Streich] . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Melbourne Philharmonic Society; John Russell (conductor); Edward King (violinist, leader); Mrs. Goodliffe (vocalist); Robert Farquharson (bass vocalist)

MUSIC: Fantasie sur Moise de Rossini (Thalberg)

[Advertisement], The Argus (6 January 1858), 7

MISS EMILIE SMITH, Pianiste, RESUMES her PROFESSIONAL ENGAGEMENTS on Monday, 11th January. Glass Cottage, Ylctorla-parade.

[Advertisement], The Argus (8 January 1858), 8 

PIANOFORTES Correctly TUNED, reduced prices, Robert Smith, Glass Cottage, Victoria-parade, fifteen years with Messrs. Broadwoods.

Marriage solemnized in the district of St. Peter's Melbourne, 1858; St. Peter's Eastern Hill (DIGITISED)

[No.] 1031 / This Fourth Day of November at St. Peter's Church /
Frederick Coster / Bachelor / [born] New Brunswick America / Solicitor / 31 / [presently of] Richmond / [usually of] Richmond / [parents] Frederck Coster, clergyman, Matilda Wright
Emma Smith / Spinster/ [born] London / - / 20 / [presently of] Victoria Parade / [usually of] Melbourne / [parents] Robert Smith, Piano-forte maker, Elizabeth Faulder

"MARRIAGES", The Argus (5 November 1858), 4 

On the 4th inst., by special licence, at St. Peter's Church, Collingwood, by the Rev. H. H. P. Handfield, Frederick Coster, Esq., of Melbourne, solicitor, to Emma, eldest daughter of Mr. R. Smith, of Collingwood.

[Advertisement], The Argus (23 December 1858), 7 

PIANOFORTE, Cottage, by Broadwood, beautiful zebrawood case. 45 l. Robert Smith, Glass Cottage, Victoria-parade.

[Advertisement], The Argus (16 February 1859), 2 

SUPERIOR PIANO for HIRE first-class rosewood cottage, bargain, proprietor leaving for England. Glass Cottage, Victoria parade.

NOTE: This is the last certain record of Robert Smith until 1867; in November 1864 Abraham Emanuel, moved from Sydney, and first advertised in Melbourne from Smith's former address

[Advertisement], Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (12 August 1867), 3 

PIANOFORTE TUNING, Regulating and Repairing.
ROBERT SMITH, FROM MELBOURNE, Many years with Messrs. Broadwood and Collard.
IN returning thanks to his patrons and friends in Portland and district, begs to state that he is on his Periodical Tour, and may be depended upon as usual, on the 20th of the present month, to Tune and Regulate the various Pianos entrusted to his care.

"PIANOFORTE TUNING", Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (27 January 1870), 2 

Mr. Robert Smith, so long and favourably known in Portland, in the tuning of pianofortes, intimates by advertisement that he may be expected on his periodic professional visit about the beginning of February.

"Local and General News", Alexandra Times (16 November 1872), 2 

The Church Bazaar has, so far, been very successful, considering the dulness of the times and general gloom created by the recent fire. Large crowds of well-dressed people assembled every night, and although money was not very plentiful, still it was gratifying to find that every one was willing to contribute something. Tonight offers the great attraction of an auction sale, when the remainder of the goods will he disposed of at any price that may be offered. The vocal and instrumental music was all of a first-class character, and as for Mrs. Coster's piano playing, we may safely assert that it cannot be surpassed in Victoria.

"PIANOFORTE TUNING", Portland Guardian (15 November 1879), 2 

We observe that Mr. Robert Smith, from Melbourne, has announced that he will visit Portland at the end of November for the purpose of tuning pianos.

[Advertisement], The North Eastern Ensign [Benalla, VIC] (14 October 1884), 2 

Shire Hall, Benalla. Friday, 24th October, 1884.
GRAND Vocal and Instrumental CONCERT! GIVEN BY The Town Band Association.
PERFORMERS: Mrs. J. H Watmuff (nèe Miss Bessie Pitts), Soprano
Mrs. Coster - Solo Pianiste; Miss Fanny Coster - Pianiste
Signor Paladini - Italian Tenor; Mr. W. H. Croker - Amateur English Tenor; Mr. Arthur Watt - Do do Baritone.
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . 3. Piano Solo - Grand Fantasia (W. V. Wallace) Mrs. COSTER . . .
PART II. 1. Duett (piano) - "Faust" - (Gounod) Mrs. and Miss F. COSTER . . .

"THE BAND CONCERT", The North Eastern Ensign (28 October 1884), 2 

. . . Mrs. Coster played for the first piano solo the well known Polish dance, "La Cracovienne," with variations by Vincent Wallace. The utmost brilliancy of execution is required in this popular piece, and it was received with great applause, protracted until Mrs. Coster appeared again and played Henri Ketten's celebrated "Caprice" so often performed in Melbourne by that great artist . . .

"TRINITY CHURCH BENALLA", The North Eastern Ensign [Benalla, VIC] (26 April 1889), 2 

. . . Two pianoforte solos "Sonata Pathetique" (Beethoven), and "Prayer from Mose in Egitto" (Thalberg), were rendered excellently by Mrs. Coster, and received well merited applause from the audience . . .

"Deaths", The Age (16 October 1889), 1 

Smith. - On the 12th October, at the residence of his son Sidney Smith, 42 Raleigh-street, Windsor, Robert Smith, in his 86th year.

"Marriages", Table Talk [Melbourne, VIC] (17 July 1891), 10 

HIMMER - COSTER. - Among the pleasant social events of the past week in which Melbourne people will take an interest is the marriage of Herr Rudolf Himmer (the well-known vocalist and teacher), eldest son of Herr Franz Himmer, Hildesheim, Germany, and Miss Emeli Coster, eldest daughter of Mr. Frederick Coster, solicitor, of Benalla, which took place in Holy Trinity Church, Benalla, on Wednesday, July 8 . . .

"Weddings", The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (25 July 1891), 183 

HIMMER - COSTER. - Sydney people will remember with pleasure the singing of Herr Rudolf Himmer, who arrived in Australia with M. Eduard Remenyi, and has for some years been a successful teacher at singing in Melbourne. Herr Himmer, who is the son of Herr Franz Himmer, of Hildesheim, Germany, has now cemented his bonds with Australia by marrying Miss Emelie Coster, eldest daughter of Mr. Frederick Coster, solicitor, Benalla . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Rudolf Himmer (vocalist); Edouard Remenyi (violinist)

"SOCIAL NOTES", The Australasian [Melbourne, VIC] (21 April 1894), 34 

A concert was recently given at Benalla, in aid of the Horticultural Society, which was a very successful affair. Amongst the performers were Mrs. F. Coster (mother of Mrs. Rudolf Himmer) . . .

"VISIT OF THE BISHOP OF MELBOURNE TO BENALLA", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (7 November 1896), 4 

. . . a programme of music and tableaux was gone through. Mrs. Coster and Mrs. Nicholson played a pianoforte duet, entitled "Spanish Dance," with great skill . . .

"DEATHS", The Australasian (23 September 1911), 68 

COSTER. - On the 13th September, at the residence of her son-In-law, Herr Rudolf Himmer, "Hildesheim," Denbigh-road, Armadale, Emma, widow of the late Frederick Coster, solicitor, of Melbourne and Benalla.

"From A Musicians Scrap Book", Examiner (12 February 1938), 5 

The latest appointment announced by the Australian Broadcasting Commission is that of Mr. Rudolf Himmer as Federal Controller of Celebrity Concerts. Mr. Rudolf Himmer was born at Balaclava, near Melbourne, and was educated at Wesley College (Melbourne). He entered the services of the Adelaide Steamship Company as a boy, working his way up to confidential secretary to the Melbourne manager. In 1927 Mr. Himmer joined the staff of the late A. P. Sykes, well-known musical instrument importer and record distributor, for some years managing the wholesale record department. He left that firm to join the Australian Broadcasting Commission in October, 1935. On the appointment of Mr. William G. James to the position of Federal Controller of Music, Mr. Himmer became controller of programmes in Victoria. He was associated with the Australian Broadcasting Commission as far back as 1932, when he gave his first broadcast of annotated programmes known as international celebrities. This session turned out to be one of the most popular features of its kind on the air. Mr. Himmer has a musical background on both sides of his family. His grandfather, Franz Himmer, was an opera singer of great repute in Germany, and sang the leading tenor roles in the first opera company to present the works of Wagner in the United States of America. Mr. Himmer's father, the late Rudolf Himmer, was a well-known and highly respected tenor, concert singer, and teacher in Melbourne for many years. Mr. Himmer's grandmother, Emma Smith, was a very well known and exceptionally brilliant pianiste in the early days of Melbourne. His mother also was a pianiste, and as such became associated with Mr. Himmer's father as accompanist on his arrival in Melbourne in the concert party which toured with the celebrated Hungarian violinist and patriot Edourd Remenyi.

ASSOCIATIONS: Franz Himmer (musician); William G. James (musician)


On Clara Loveday's earlier career, see "MORE OF PAGANINI'S AVARICE", The Musical World (18 October 1838), 113 

Freia Hoffmann, "Loveday, Clara", Europäische Instrumentalistinnen des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts (Sophie Drinker Institut 

? "DEATHS", The Argus (24 July 1858), 4 

On the 23rd inst., at 92 Collins-street east, of consumption, Emily Sophia Smith, late of Bristol, England, aged 20 years, Deeply regretted by all who knew her. Bristol papers please copy.

SMITH, Robert Farquharson (Robert Farquharson SMITH) = Robert Farquharson

SMITH, Sydney (Sydney SMITH)

Musician, mouth organ player

Active Sydney, NSW, 1831 (shareable link to this entry)


"SYDNEY POLICE", The Sydney Monitor (28 May 1831), 2 

Sydney Smith and Laurence Anderson, the former dancing drunk, and the latter fighting drunk, were severally ordered to contribute their mite towards the comfort of the poor in the Colony, and having handed over 5s. each to the receiving clerk, were discharged.

"Police Incidents . . . Thursday, May 26", The Sydney Herald (30 May 1831), 2

Sydney Smith, for being riotous, drunk, &c., and dancing in the street to the tune of Drops o' Brandy, which he himself played on a mouth organ, had to cash up five bob, and was warned in future to hide his musical talents under a bushel.

MUSIC: Drops of Brandy (Tune archive)

SMITH, William (William SMITH)

Precentor (St. Stephen's, Macquarie Street), choral conductor (Presbyterian Psalmody Association), quarry man

Born Scotland, c. 1843; son of James SMITH (1824-1877) and Agnes DUNSMORE (d. 1898)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, c. 1855
Married Janet FYFE (c. 1847-1928), Pyrmont, NSW, 1866
Died Waverley, NSW, 30 August 1893, "in his 51st year" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Mr. William Smith was precentor of St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church, Macquarie Street, Sydney, from 1877 until his resignation in March 1880, only a month after the inauguration of the new Willis organ on 8 February 1880 which, no doubt, seriously impacted on the simpler style of vocal music prevailing there hitherto.


"PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, PYRMONT", Empire (8 November 1865), 5

The first anniversary of the Presbyterian Church, Harris-street, Pyrmont, was celebrated last evening by a tea meeting. About two hundred guests were present at tea, and the number was afterwards increased. The proceedings were of a very agreeable and auspicious character. The Rev. R. S. Paterson, minister of the church, presided and was supported by the Rev. Drs. Lang and Beg . . . Tea having been concluded, and united praise offered by singing the 100th Psalm, the Chairman addressed the meeting. He spoke of the prosperity both outward and spiritual, which had attended them during the past year . . . Their thanks were due to Mr. Wm. Smith, honorary precentor, and to the secretary of the Sabbath-school, Mr. James Dunsmore . . .

"TEA MEETING AND ENTERTAINMENT", The Sydney Morning Herald (29 November 1873), 7

Yesterday evening, in connection with the choir of St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church, a tea meeting and concert took place at the Temperance Hall, Pitt-street. There was a large attendance. Tea was on the tables at half-past 6, o'clock, and the social meal appeared to give every satisfaction. The "tea-things " having at length been cleared away, the rut of the evening was devoted to songs and addresses, &c. The Rev. Dr. Steel (the pastor of St Stephen's), Dr. Moon and other gentlemen, more or less directly interested in the congregation, were present. A purse was presented, to Mr. Smith, the precentor, who deserved it for the pains he must have taken in training the choir. Scottish songs and other popular pieces succeeded each other in pleasing variety until 10 o'clock, when the reunion was brought to a close by the singing of the National Anthem. Mr. R. J. Jenkins acted as accompanist. The singing of the choir was decidedly good.

"Presbyterian Psalmody Association", Evening News (18 January 1876), 2

The inauguration of the Presbyterian Psalmody Association took place last night in the new Temperance Hall in Pitt-street. The meeting was convened by a circular addressed "to the members and adherents of the Presbyterian Church;" consequently the hall was crowded. Mr. J. Paxton, J.P., presided. After the singing of the 100th Psalm, the Rev. R. S. Paterson offered up a prayer. The chairman explained that at the last General Assembly he had conferred with Mr. McCormick and the Rev. Dr. McGibbon about the improvement of their church psalmody, and the General Assembly appointed a Psalmody Committee to take the matter in hand. The objects of the association are to assist the precentors and the young people of the churches to improve the singing. There was no desire to introduce new-fangled music into their churches, for their own hymn books would be retained and some new cheerful hymn tunes might be introduced. In the Sabbath School they might well introduce some of Sankey's and Bateman's hymns, which are at present unknown to the church. The choir leaders and precentors having therefore formed themselves into a committee to draw up rules, the association was now fairly established. The chairman concluded by reading an apology from Dr. McGibbon for his absence from the meeting. The rules drawn up by the committee were then read and adopted by the meeting. A ballot was then taken by the committee for the election of the association's conductor, and resulted in Mr. William Smith, precentor of St. Stephen's Church, being duly elected. A vote of thanks was then passed to the committee and the chairman. About 150 new members were then enrolled. The association is open to all Presbyterians to become members, and will meet once a month for an united practice of music that has been prescribed by the committee for the weekly meetings of the various congregations. It was arranged to have their next meeting on Friday week, and after that on the last Friday in every month. The books to be used are the psalms and hymns used by the church in England and Victoria, and approved of by the General Assembly.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Paxton (member); Peter Dodds McCormick (member); John McGibbon (clergyman)

"Deaths", The Sydney Morning Herald (1 September 1893), 1

SMITH. - August 30, at his residence, Logan Brae, Old South Head-road, Waverley, William, eldest son of the late James Smith, of Bowman-street, Pyrmont and of Agnes Smith, of King-street, Balmain in his 51st year.

"FUNERAL SERVICE AT WAVERLEY", The Sydney Morning Herald (4 September 1893), 6

At Waverley Presbyterian Church yesterday funeral service was conducted by the Rev. Macaulay, M.A., having special reference to death of Mr. William Smith, of the Waverley Quarries, who was buried at the Waverley Cemetery on Friday. The hymns and passages of Scripture had special reference to the occasion, and the organist, Mr. A. Harrison, played the "Dead March" in Saul. The text chosen was Job xxx., 23 - "For I know that Thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for living." After dwelling on the solemnity of the occasion and the important lesson taught, Mr. Macaulay, in his concluding remarks, - said that this was the first time during his charge of the church that the death of a member of the congregation had occurred, and if for this reason alone it would have been desirable to dwell on it; but, apart from that, he could not pass over in silence the death of one who had the Presbyterian Church so much at heart. Quiet and unostentatious in all that he said and did, few of those present had such opportunities of knowing the deceased as did preacher. How highly he was esteemed was however, shown by those who had known him longest and best, and by the large number friends who had assembled at the grave to pay the last tribute of respect and love. Some them were his friends more than 30 years ago. Amongst them were those who in years gone by were his employers, yet also his friends. Mr. Smith was for many years precentor of St. Stephen's Church, Sydney, and also took an active part in the Liedertafel, where his voice was of great service.

Bibliography and resources:

"Organists of St Stephen's Presbyterian and Uniting Church 197 Macquarie Street, Sydney"; OHTA (Organ Historical Trust of Australia) 

Minister: Rev. Dr Robert Steel (June 1862-Oct 1893)
Willis organ installed [in St Stephen's Presbyterian Church, Philip St.], opened 8 February 1880
Precentor - Mr. William Smith (resigned March 1880)
Richard Edward Phillips appointed organist 1880

SMYTH, Arthur Bowes (Arthur Bowes SMYTH)

First fleet diarist, naval surgeon

Born Essex, England, England, 23 August 1750; baptised Tolleshunt D'Arcy, 12 September 1750; son of Thomas SMYTH (c. 1777) and Mary KEABLE
Arrived Botany Bay, NSW, 18/20 January 1788 (on Lady Penryhn)
Departed Sydney, NSW, 20 April 1789 (on Lady Penryhn, for Lord Howe Island)
Died Tolleshunt D'Arcy, Essex, England, 31 March 1790 (NLA persistent identifier) (Wikipedia) (shareable link to this entry)


Arthur Bowes Smyth's first fleet journal (22 March 1787 to August 1789) contains only a handful of musical observations; however, it remains an important early documentary musical source for its entries dated (1) 7 August 1787, (2) 7 February 1788, and (3) 9 and 12 February 1788 (see below).

There are three extant manuscript copies/versions of the diary: the original (National Library of Australia, see below), a copy (State Library of New South Wales, see below), and a second copy (British Library, Add MS 47966)

The historian John Cobley was the first to note that Smyth's journal entry of 7 August 1787 confirmed that George Worgan had his piano with him on the Sirius in 1787-88; however, he (Cobley) also claimed that the piano was a Broadwood, which is nowhere documented,


7 August 1787 (Rio de Janeiro):

Journal of Arthur Bowes Smyth, original manuscript, with illustrations; National Library of Australia (DIGITISED) (bottom of page and top of next page)

[Tuesday 7 August 1789, Rio de Janeiro] . . . This day Mr. Wogern Surgeon of the Sirius dined on board, to whom I was introduced by Mr. Watts, & rec'd a pressing invitation to dine on board the Sirius while we ly in [fol.] harbour, & to hear him play on the Piano Forte. He has a very fine one on board, is the Son of Dr. Wogern D: Mus: & seems a very agreeable good kind of Man.

Journal of Arthur Bowes Smyth, manuscript fair copy, State Library of New South Wales (TRANSCRIPT) (DIGITISED PAGE IMAGE)

[Tuesday 7 August 1789, Rio de Janeiro] . . . This day Mr. Wogan Surgeon of the Sirius dined on board, to whom I was introduced by Mr. Watts, & re'ed, an Invitation to dine wt. him in the Sirius, & to hear his Piano Forte; he is a Son of Dr. Wogan D: Music: &: seems a very sensible good kind of man.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Boucher Worgan (surgeon, amateur musician)

7 February 1788 (Sydney, NSW):

Journal of Arthur Bowes Smyth, original manuscript, with illustrations; National Library of Australia (DIGITISED PAGE IMAGE)

Thursday 7th Feb'y 1788.
This day about 11 o'Clock a.m. Everyone, who cd. leave the Ships. & every other person on Shore were summoned to hear the Governors Commission read, as also the Commission constituting the Court of Judicature. The Soldiers were all under arms & rec'd the Governor, attended by the Judge Advocate, the Clergyman, the Lieut. Governor, the Surveyor General &ca wt. Colours flying, & a Band of Music playing: After complimenting the General Officers & being Complimented in return. The soldiers marched with music playing, Drums & Fifes, &ca, & formed a circle round the whole of the Convicts . . . who were also ordered to withdraw a small distance . . .

Journal of Arthur Bowes Smyth, manuscript fair copy, State Library of New South Wales (TRANSCRIPT) (PAGE IMAGE)

[1788 Feb'y] 7th. This morng. at 11 o'Clock all who cd. leave the Ships were summon'd on Shore, to hear the Governor's Commission read; & also the Commission constituting the Court of Judicature. - the Marines were all under arms & reed, the Governor wt. flying Colours & a Band of Music - he was accompanied by the Judge Advocate, Lieut. Governor, Clergiman, Serveyor General, Surgeon General &ca. After taking off his hat & Compting. the Marine Officers, who had lower'd their Colours &: pd. that respect to him as Governor wh. he was intitled to, the Soldiers marched wt. music playg. Drums & fifes & formed a circle round the whole of the Convict Men & Women, who were collected together . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Arthur Phillip (governor); for other accounts of the same ceremony, by George Boucher Worgan, Watkin Tench, and Daniel Southwell, see full entry for 7 February 1788 (chronicle)

Arthur Bowes Smyth, journal, 9-12 February 1788; National Library of Australia

9 and 12 February 1788 (Sydney, NSW):

Journal of Arthur Bowes Smyth, original manuscript, with illustrations; National Library of Australia (image above) (DIGITISED PAGE IMAGE) (DIGITISED PAGE IMAGE)

[9 February] This day one of the Sailors belonging to the Alex[ander] was caught in the women's Tents & drum'd out of the Camp wt. his hands tyed behind him & the Rogue's March playing . . .

Tuesday 12 [February] . . . this day our Carpenter, one of the Sailors & a Boy belonging to the Prince of Wales, were caught in the Womens tents, they were drummed wt. the Rougue's March out of the Camp & thro. the Women's Street, the Boy in a woman's petticoat & the others wt. their hands ty'd behind them . . .

Journal of Arthur Bowes Smyth, manuscript fair copy, State Library of New South Wales (TRANSCRIPT) (DIGITISED PAGE IMAGE)

[9 February] . . . This day one of the Sailors was caught in the women's Tents & drum'd out of the Camp wt. his hands fastened behind him & the Fife & Drum [marching before him playing the . . .] (DIGITISED PAGE IMAGE)

Feby. 11th. [recte 12]. . . This day our Carpenter, one of our Sailors, & a Boy belongg. to the Prince of Wales were caught in the Womens Tents; they were drum'd out of the Camp wt. the Rogue's March playing before them &: the Boy had petticoats put upon him, they had all of them their hands tyed behind 'em.

MUSIC: The rogue's march (tune)

Rogue's March (Compleat Tutor for the Fife 1765)

Rogues march [Rogue's march], from The compleat tutor For the fife (London: S. Thompson, [1765]), 14 (DIGITISED)

Bibliography and resources:

HRNSW, 2 (1893), 393-94 

Edition of the SLNSW copy

John Cobley, Sydney Cove, 1788, first year of the settlement of Australia (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1962), 64

. . . was drummed out of the camp . . . and the Fife and Drum marching before him playing the Rogue's March."

Peter Richardson, "Military music in the colony of New South Wales, 1788-1850", Musicology [Australia] 1 (1964) [special issue of The Canon 17/3], (5-9), 6 (PAYWALL)

Roger Covell, Australia's music: themes of a new society (Melbourne: Sun Books, 1967), 8

John Cobley, "Lesser known surgeons of the First Fleet: annual post-graduate oration", Bulletin of the post-graduate committee in medicine 23/9 (December 1967), (289-305), 295

. . . Without Bowes's reference to a party at Rio de Janeiro, we could not know with certainty that Worgan's piano reached the colony in the First Fleet . . .

Paul G. Fidlon and R. J. Ryan (eds), The journal of Arthur Bowes Smyth (Sydney: Australian Documents Library, 1979) [= SLNSW transcript]

Robert Jordan, "Music and the military in New South Wales, 1788-1809", Journal of Australian Colonial History 17 (July 2015), (1-22), 13;dn=428841963923204;res=IELHSS (PAYWALL)

Geoffrey Lancaster, The first fleet piano: a musician's view (Canberra: ANU Press, 2015), 180, 270, 333-47 

Colin Choat (ed.), Arthur Bowes Smyth's journal of a voyage from Portsmouth to New South Wales and China (Project Gutenberg Australia, 2020) 

SMYTH, Lucy (Mrs. SMYTH; Mrs. George SMYTH) = Lucy FERNANDEZ

Pianist (active Australia 1839-62)

SMYTHE, Robert Sparrow (Robert SMITH; Robert Sparrow SMYTHE; R. S. SMYTHE)

Concert agent, musical and theatrical reviewer, musical commentator (husband of Amelia Bailey)

Born London, England, 1833
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 23 July 1855 (per Kent, from London, 12 May)
Married Amelia BAILEY, common law by c. 1863, registered VIC, 1881
Died Depedene, VIC, 23 May 1917 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)

SMYTHE, Carlyle Greenwood (Carlyle SMYTHE)

Music journalist and reviewer (The Argus), musical and artists agent, writer

Born Umbana, Himalayas, 1865; son of Amelia BAILEY and Robert SMYTHE
Active Melbourne, VIC, 1869-1925
Died Nice, France, December 1925 (NLA persistent identifier)

Robert Sparrow Smythe

Robert Sparrow Smythe; and for another image, see: (DIGITISED)


Names and descriptions of passengers per Kent, from London, 12 May 1855, for Port Phillip; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

Second Class . . . Smyth Robert / 22 / Compositor / [English] . . .

"MELBOURNE NEWS", Bendigo Advertiser (17 October 1861), 2 

Signor Bianchi appeared at the District Court yesterday, to answer a charge of assault, preferred against him by his agent, Mr. R. S. Smythe. The complainant stated that to prove the charge of assault, which took place on the 10th inst., it would be necessary to enter into the details of his business relations with the defendant; and as he was not actuated by any ill-feeling towards Signor Bianchi, he would not press the charge, but would merely ask the Bench to bind over the defendant to keep the peace. Mr. Vaughan, who appeared for the defendant assented to this course, and the Bench ordered Signor Bianchi to enter into his personal recognizances in the sum of £25 to keep the peace for twelve months.

ASSOCIATIONS: Eugenio Bianchi (vocalist, manager); Italian Opera Company (1860-62)

"THE MOST TRAVELLED MANAGER IN THE WORLD", New Zealand Herald (19 September 1891), 1

. . . "I was born in London," said Mr. Smythe. "No, I would sootier not say when; but you may guess that it was some time ago, because I went out to Australia in 1555, and remained on the press until 1862, and was the editor of the first illustrated paper published in that part of the world. Up till that time we had a curious system at the Antipodes. A sheet of letter-paper was filled on one side with printed news and a picture of some colonial scene or event, the other sheet being left blank for the correspondent to write to his friends upon. In this way people at home got some little instruction as to our doings abroad. The proprietor of the Illustrated Post developed the idea, and started the paper which I edited."
"What induced you to give up journalism for your present work?"
"I had an impression that the taking over of the Government of India by the Queen, and the opening of the treaty ports in China and Japan, would make the Far East a splendid field for exploiting good talent. I took my first company from Sydney to Shanghai, but the cholera was raging when we arrived. People were dying at the rate of several hundreds a day, and the members of my company were almost frightened to death. By the advice of Mr. Henry Dent, a rich young merchant, I determined to go to Japan, and we took ship for Nagasaki . . .

"DEATH OF MR. R. S. SMYTHE", The Argus (24 May 1917), 6

One of Melbourne s best known citizens, Mr. Robert Sparrow Smythe who had perhaps done more to make this city known throughout the English speaking world than any other, died yesterday at his home, Highgate, Deepdene. He had earned the title of the "much travelled" by his business wanderings all over the globe and had friends everywhere. His death at a ripe old age will he heard of with regret in remote countries, just as it will cause sorrow among a very large number of people in Australia. Mr. Smythe was a native of Lambeth, London, and as few men in Australia had seen more of this planet, so there were few more devout lovers of the great city than the late Mr. Smythe, who knew its history and curiosities almost as well as one who had never wandered beyond the peal of Bow Bells. He was apprenticed as a youth to a leading firm of printers - Robson, Levey, and Robson - to become a "printer's reader." The works that passed through his hands before he left the house formed almost a liberal education in themselves. Among them were Alexander Dyce's authoritative edition of Shakespeare's works, Timb's "Curiosities of London," and some of Thomas Carlyle's later books. The care and intelligence of the young reader were amply proved by the presentation copies of their works from those eminent men, including the "proof-sheets" of Carlyle's first edition of Emerson's Essays with the famous editor's corrections for the press. This was the first attempt to introduce the Sage of Concord to the British reading public. Mr. Smythe's companion reader was the late Frederick Greenwood, founder of the "Pall Mall Gazette," and a contemporary apprentice in the same establishment was the late Mr. George Fisher for so many years a leading figure in New Zealand public life.

Early in the fifties Mr. Smythe was recommended by his medical adviser to try the long sea voyage to Australia as a sort of last hope in an aggravated case of pulmonary weakness. That voyage not only provided a complete cure, but was the beginning of wanderings that made Mr. Smythe familiar with most of the inhabited portions of the earth. Upon reaching Australia he joined the ranks of the newspaper press and in the course of his journalistic experiences in Melbourne and Adelaide witnessed and described some of the historic incidents of the early days. He became the editor of the first illustrated paper published in this continent, the "Illustrated Post," issued in the Riverina to represent the interests of the pastoralists. But Mr. Smythe in the early sixties discovered that, like Ulysses, "he could not rest from travel," and he organised a small concert party, headed by two young French instrumentalists, Poussard and Douay, whom he piloted for five years through Australia, Asia and South Africa. In the course of this tour Mr. Smythe was the first manager to conduct a company of foreign artists into Japan, after the opening of the treaty ports, the first to prove the possibilities for professionals of the hill stations in the Himalayas, and the first impresario to cross the Orange River and "trek" through the villages of what are now the Free State and the Transvaal . . .

Mr. Smythe leaves a widow, who as Miss Amelia Bailey a member of the Poussard and Douay concert party, a coloratura soprano with a remarkable vocal range, was for many years a popular idol in the musical world of early Melbourne. Mr. Carlyle Smythe, his son has done a good deal of journalistic writing and is also well known throughout Australasia as conductor of tours for visiting "stars." Mr. Smythe leaves also two daughters, one of whom is Mrs. Edgar Bell.

ASSOCIATIONS: Horace Poussard (violinist); Rene Douay (cellist)

"MR. CARLYLE SMYTHE. Death in France", The Argus (18 December 1925), 21

Mr. Carlyle Smythe was the son of the late Mr. R. S. Smythe and Mrs. Smythe . . . Mr. Smythe sen., was, as is well remembered, an entrepreneur for eminent lecturers, and also for some years a concert manager. Mrs. R. S. Smythe (who was Miss Amelia Bailey) was a soprano singer on one of the tours conducted by Mr. Smythe, and it was while they were on a tour in the East that Mr. Carlyle Smythe was born at Umbana, at the foot of the Himalaya Mountains. His childhood and boyhood were spent in Melbourne, and he was educated at Hawthorn Grammar School, under Professor Irving . . . He became a student of the University, where he gained the degree of bachelor of arts. . . . After leaving the university Mr. Carlyle Smythe assisted in managing some of the more notable tours which his father arranged. Subsequently, he spent some time in Europe, during which he engaged in journalism in Brussels, where he was for four years editor of the "Belgian Times", a journal published in English and French. He also published a history of Belgium. Upon his return to Australia he took up the interests that his father had made practically a family possession . . . After his father had retired Mr. Carlyle Smythe made engagements on his own account, and among other notable persons who came to Australia under his auspices were Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mr. Alexander Watson, Captain Amundsen and Annie Besant. The promise of Mr. Carlysle Smythe's early life in literature and art was thoroughly fulfilled during his connection with journalism in the intervals between his other engagements which involved travelling. He was for a considerable time a valued contributor to these columns, both as art and musical critic and as a writer on the broad questions of international policy . . ."

Bibliography and resources:

H. Morin Humphreys (comp.), Men of the time in Australia, Victorian series, second edition (Melbourne: McCarron, Bird & Co. 1882), [cxxxvii]-[cxxxix] (DIGITISED)

"Smythe, Robert Sparrow", in Philip Mennell (ed.), The dictionary of Australasian biography (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1892), 425-26,_Robert_Sparrow 

M. Shillingsburg, "Smythe, Robert Sparrow (1833-1917)", Australian dictionary of biography 12 (1990) 

"Robert Sparrow Smythe", Wikipedia 


Musical amateur, member (from 1851) and secretary (1855) of Adelaide Choral Society, tent maker

Born England, c. 1807
Arrived Adelaide, SA, 6 August 1850 (per Ceylon, from London, 16 March and Plymouth, 25 March)
Departed Adelaide, SA, 26 February 1856 (per Victoria Regia, for London) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVED", South Australian Register (7 August 1850), 2 

Tuesday, August 6 - The ship Ceylon, 778 tons, W. B. Custard, master, from London 16th March, and Plymouth 25th March. Passengers - Mr. J. J. O'Brien, M.R.C.S. (surgeon), P. Moore, Esq., Mr. and Mrs. Snaith, four daughters and two sons, in the cabin . . .

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (22 August 1850), 2 

To John O'Brien, Esq., late Surgeon of the ship "Ceylon." Ship Ceylon, August 16, 1850. SIR - We the undersigned cannot permit you to leave this ship without thus publicly expressing our unqualified approval of your conduct . . .
[signed] . . . John Snaith, Margaret Snaith . . .

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

WE the undersigned Members, in accordance with Rule number "15" of the above Society, providing for "Special General Meetings," request that a MEETING of the MEMBERS of the "ADELAIDE CHORAL SOCIETY" may be convened for the purpose of revising the following Resolution, passed on the 14th of April by the Committee of the above Society: -
"Resolved - That Mr. Thurlow's letter, not containing any satisfactory reason for his absence, this Committee consider him no longer a Member of this Society, and that the same be communicated to him by the Secretary."
And, for the further purpose of enquiring ino the cause and justification of the above Resolution, we further request that the Minutes of the Committee, and all correspondence that may have passed in reference thereto, be produced and kid before the said Meeting, in order that the above Resolution may be decided by a majority of the Members present.
W. F. Osborne; Aug. Fried. Cranz
Redford Clisby; Wm. Harris
John Snaith; Wm. Chapman
Wm. Cobbin; C. Linger
Matthew Sharp; Robert Wiener
D. J. Hiskens; Amil R. Weber [sic]
To the Secretary of the Adelaide Choral Society.
In accordance with the above Requisition, I do hereby convene a General Meeting of the Members of the Adelaide Choral Society, for SATURDAY EVENING next, at 8 o'clock, at the Freemasons' Tavern.
E. PARIS, Hon. Sec.
May 13th, 1851.

ASSOCIATIONS: Ferdinand W. Osborne (member); August Friedrich Cranz (member); Redford Clisby (member); William Chapman (member); William Cobbin (member); Carl Linger (member); Robert Wiener (member); Charles Alston Thurlow (member); Emil Rudolph Weber (member); Eugene Paris (secretary); Adelaide Choral Society (organisation)

[Advertisement], Adelaide Observer (28 February 1852), 1 

SNAITH and ALLEN beg respectfully to inform the Public of South Australia that they have commenced the manufacture of TENTS, MARQUEES, TARPAULINS, &c.; in Currie-street (opposite the "White Horse Inn), and they trust that by supplying the best Materials And Workmanship, and by observing the most rigid punctuality in the execution of orders, to secure a share of their favours . . .

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (24 February 1853), 2 

THE PARTNERSHIP hitherto existing between JOHN SNA1TH and JOSEPH ALLEN, Tentmakers, Currie-street, is this day DISSOLVED.
JOHN SNAITH. JOSEPH ALLEN. Adelaide, 23rd Feb, 1852.
TENTS, TARPAULINS, &c. JOSEPH ALLEN & CO. (late Snaith and Allen),
beg to inform parties going to the Diggings, Draymen and others, that they can still be supplied with Tents, Tarpaulins, &c., at the old establishment, opposite the White Horse, Currie-street, Adelaide, 23rd Feb, 1853.

Report of schooner, Adolphus Yates, arrived at Melbourne, 13 April 1853; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

[Mr.] John Snaith / 46 / [English] / [Gentleman]
Master T. Snaith / 10 / [English] / [Gentleman]

[Advertisement], The Argus (14 April 1853), 12 

TO CAPTAlN SINCLAIR, of the schooner Adolphus Yates.
DEAR SIR, - Our voyage from Adelaide to this port having arrived at a successful termination, we cannot leave without expressing our sincere and heartfelt thanks to yourself and your amiable lady for the unceasing kindness and attention shown to us . . .
[signed] . . . John Snaith, T. W. Snaith . . .

"THE CHORAL SOCIETY", South Australian Register (30 January 1855), 3 

The annual meeting of the Adelaide Choral Society was held last evening at Green's Exchange, Mr. T. P. Addison in the chair. The report of the Committee for the past year detailed the progress of the Society during that period. It was a very satisfactory document, showing as it did the very extraordinary progress the Society has made since its resuscitation at the commencement of the year 1854. A financial statement was also read, from which it appeared that the total receipts during the past year amounted to £189 3s. 1d., including a trifling balance in the treasurer's hands from the previous accounts, £150 received from subscribers, and donations amounting to £8 5s. The present balance in the hands of the treasurer was stated to be £37 6s. 2d., the liabilities being under £10. The property in the hands of the Society, consisting of a valuable pianoforte and various other musical instruments, and a considerable quantity of printed and manuscript music, was calculated at 95 guineas.

The officers for the ensuing year were elected as follows: -
President, Dr. Wyatt; Vice-President, C. Mann, Esq.; Treasurer, Mr. Smyth; Librarian, Mr. Mitchell; Secretary, Mr. Snaith; Auditors, Messrs. Whitington and Thomas;
Committee, Messrs. Addison, Rodemann, Rainsford, Spiller, Dr. Cotter, Dr. Sholl, Messrs. Thompson, Lower, and C. Mitchell.
A discussion followed as to the propriety of admitting residents in the country who are not subscribers to the Society's concerts; but as the evening was far advanced, and it was suggested that there were other rules which it would be desirable to revise, the meeting was adjourned for a week.

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Plummer Addison (chair); William Wyatt (president); Emanuel Spiller (member); Maximillian Louis Rodemann (member); Joseph Rainsford (member)

[Advertisement], Adelaide Times (10 March 1855), 3 

The FIRST QUARTERLY CONCERT will take place on Friday, the 20th instant, in Green's Exchange.
Subscribers are requested to make early application for their Tickets to
JOHN SNAITH, Leigh-street, Hon. Secretary; or to the Secretary of Green's Exchange.
Adelaide, March 5th, 1855.

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE . . . IMPORTS", South Australian Register (22 May 1855), 2 

Cargo of the White Swan, from Melbourne . . . 1 case piano, Snaith . . .

[Advertisement], Adelaide Times (1 November 1855), 4 

THE COMMITTEE of the above Society having decided upon giving a VOCAL and INSTRUMENTAL CONCERT in aid of the War Relief Fund, will feel obliged by Ladies or Gentlemen willing to assist on that occasion intimating their intentions to the Society.
By Order of the Committee, JOHN SNAITH, Hon. Sec.
Leigh-street, October 30, 1855.

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE . . . CLEARED OUT", South Australian Register (27 February 1856), 2 

Tuesday, February 26 - The Victoria Regia, ship, 739 tons, Charlton, master, for London; Passengers . . . . Mr. and Mrs. Snaith and 6 children . . .

SNELLING, James Morris (James Morris SNELLING; J. M. SNELLING)

Amateur musician, violinist, member Melbourne Philharmonic Society, watchmaker and jeweller

Born Newton Abbot, Devon, England, c. 1830; son of James SNELLING (1802-1876)
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, by 1852
Married Ann Palmer CORBIN (BROWN) (1829-1908), 1856
Died Beechworth, VIC, 28 October 1903, aged 73 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

SNELLING, William Henry (William Henry SNELLING)

Musician, professor of music, pianist, organist (St. John's Church, Launceston)

Born Newton Abbot, Devon, England, c. 1832; son of James SNELLING (1802-1876)
Active Launceston, TAS, 1854
Died Newton Abbot, Devon, England, 20 May 1866, aged "34" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


"NEWTON ABBOT", Exeter Flying Post (6 March 1851), 8 (PAYWALL)

Mr. William Snelling, son of Mr. Snelling, silversmith, of this town, has been appointed organist of Bishops-teignton, in the place of Mr. Born, deceased.

England census, 30 March 1851, Wolborough, Newton Abbot, Devon; UK National Archives, HO107/1871/557/11 (PAYWALL)

Bridge Street / James Snelling / Head / mar. 48 / Watchmaker & Jeweller / [born] [Devon] Newton Abbot
James M. [Snelling] / Son / U. / 21 / Assistant [Watchmaker & Jeweller] [born Devon Newton Abbot]
William H. [Snelling] / Son / U. / 18 / Musical Student / [born Devon Newton Abbot]
Edward / 17 / Sailor // Frank / 15 / Scholar / [both born Devon Newton Abbot]


On Thursday last the tea and concert of this at society came off at the Assembly Room, Globe Hotel, and was one of the most brilliant reunions ever witnessed in Newton . . . The programme consisted of the choicest selections, the glees and madrigals it being beautifully sung A sonata (Mendelssohn) by Messrs. Barrington, of Dawlish, and Terry, of Chudleigh, on the piano-forte and violin, was beautifully executed, which needs scarcely to be mentioned considering the performers. Mr. Snelling's Rondo, on the piano-forte, was much admired . . .

"THE CONCERT", The Argus (3 June 1852), 5 

he following is the programme of the concert this evening -
Overture - La Bayadere (first time)
Duet - La Dame Blanche, Mrs. Testar and Monsieur Del Sarte
Symphone [sic]
Chanson Espagnole - Alzaa, Mons. Del Sarte
Song - Blind Girl to her harp, Mrs. Testar
Waltz - Die Deutsh Waltzer
Overture - Semiramide
Barcarole from Masaniello - Behold how brightly - Mons. Del Sarte
Grand Duo - Messrs. Snelling and Buddee
Ballad - Comin' thro' the rye, Mrs. Testar
Finale - God save the Queen.
Are not the Committee exhibiting a little stinginess in limiting the second part of the Concert to four pieces only; the finale scarcely counting for a piece? We are no advocates for very long bills of fare, but it is quite possible to make them a great deal too short, which we think they decidedly become when limited to a variety of four in the second course.

ASSOCIATIONS: Elizabeth Testar (vocalist); Camille Del Sarte (vocalist); Julius Buddee (pianist); Thursday Concerts (Melbourne)

"THE WEEKLY CONCERTS", The Argus (17 June 1852), 5 

The following is the programme for the concert of this evening:
Overture - Tancredi.
Song - Sweet Mary a-cush-la-macree, Mr. Walton.
Violin Solo - Airs, with variations, Mr. Snelling.
Song - In happy moments, Mr. Cogdon.
Song - Italy, Madame Enzer.
Waltz - Coronation.
Overture - Men of Prometheus.
Song - Old England, I live but for thee, Mr. Witton.
Cornet a' Piston - The Standard Watch, Mr. Wheeler.
Song - When the merry dance prevails, Madame Enzer.
Song - I see thine eyes still beaming, Mr. Cogdon.
Finale - God save the Queen.
It will be perceived that a considerable change has been made in the corps musicale, to whom the public has latterly looked as forming the principal staff in connexion with these popular entertainments. Recent circumstances affecting these concerts require the most marked attention of that part of the public which takes any interest in the subject of intelligent and harmless recreation. We shall have more to say upon the matter shortly.
Meantime we beg to bespeak for that portion of the Committee which has worked so hard and done so much to carry them on with vigour und spirit, the most grateful and indulgent consideration from the audience to whom they have so often afforded enjoyment in a very rational mode and at a very reasonable charge.

ASSOCIATIONS: Stephen Thomas Wheeler (cornet); Henry James Witton (vocalist)

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (18 March 1854), 2

MR. WILLIAM SNELLING, Professor of Music, informs the gentry and inhabitants of Launceston and its vicinity, that he is giving lessons on the Pianoforte, and hopes by assiduity to merit a share of patronage.
Address Mr. Tozer's, Jeweller, &c.. Charles street. March 18.

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (15 July 1854), 5 

MR. WM. HY. SNELLING, Professor of Music, is giving lessons on the Piano, Harmonium, and the different branches of Music.
Mr. S. has had experience in the above both in England and the Colonies.
MR. TOZER's, Charles-street.
Terms moderate. Piano-fortes tuned. July 12.

[Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (8 September 1855), 7 

CHARLES-STREET, LAUNCESTON. (Adjoining W. Wilson's, Carver and Gilder.)

"COURT OF REQUESTS. £10 COURT", Launceston Examiner (6 November 1856), 3 

There were ten cases in this court. The only one requiring notice was Stephens and Kenworthy v. Snelling, to recover the amount of a shop account. Mr. Stephens conducted his own case, and Mr. Miller appeared for the defence. It appeared that defendant's brother had purchased some articles at the plaintiffs shop, the defendant being present and undertaking to pay for them. The goods, however, were entered in the ledger to "Wm. Snelling," which name it was discovered afterwards did not belong either to defendant or his brother, the name of the former being James Morris Snelling, and the latter William Henry Snelling. The plaintiffs alleged their ignorance of the defendant's name, and stated that it was to him only that credit was given. The defendant's brother left the colony on the following day, and defendant on being applied to for payment, did not deny his liability, but asked for time, and said he would pay the bill when he could. Mr. Miller argued that the Statute of Frauds required that the undertaking to pay should be in writing, and without a written guarantee the defendant was not liable. The Commissioner said he had some difficulty in deciding; he was of opinion that the promise to pay must be in writing, and therefore the plaintiffs must abide by the entry in the ledger. Verdict for defendant.

[Advertisement], The Argus (5 March 1859), 7 

NOTICE - J. M. SNELLING, of No. 22 Little Bourke-street west, and late of Launceston, brick [sic, watch] and clock maker . . .

England census, 1861, Wolborough, Newton Abbot, Devon; UK National Archives, RG9/1409/31/8 (PAYWALL)

Courtenay Street / Elizabeth Furneaux / Head / Widow / 57 / School mistress / [born Newton Abbot Devon]
William H. Snelling / Boarder / Un. / 28 / Professor of Music / [born Newton Abbot Devon]

[Notice], The London gazette (1 April 1862), 1776-77 (DIGITISED)

William Henry Snelling, late of Courtenay-street, Newton Abbot, in the County of Devon, Organist, then a Prisoner in the County Gaol of Devon, at Exeter, having been adjudged bankrupt under a Petition for adjudication of Bankruptcy, filed in the County Court of Devonshire, holden at Exeter, on the llth day of March, 1862, and the proceedings having been transferred to the County Court of [1777] Devonshire, holden at Newton Abbot, a public sitting, for the said bankrupt to pass his Last Examination, and make application for his Discharge, will be held before Matthew Fortescue, Esq., Judge of the said last-mentioned Court, on the 12th day of April instant, at the said Court, at Newton-Abbot, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon precisely, the day last aforesaid being the day limited for the said bankrupt to surrender. Mr. John Pidsley, of Newton Abbot, is the Official Assignee, and Mr. Merlin Fryer, of St. Thomas, Exeter, is the Solicitor acting in the bankruptcy.

"NEWTON ABBOT . . . FUNERAL AT DENBURY", Western Daily Mercury [Devon, England] (4 August 1863), 4 (PAYWALL)

On Thursday last the funeral of the widow of the late Admiral Andrews took place at Denbury . . . on entering the sacred building the Dead March in Saul was impressively played by Mr. William Snelling, Newton, organist and professor of music . . . The burial service was solemnly read the rector. On leaving the church the sublime music of Beethoven's Grand Funeral March was most effectually executed the organ by Mr. Snelling . . .

"WANGARATTA. From our own Correspondent. ATHENAEUM SOIREE", Ovens and Murray Advertiser [Beechworth, VIC] (25 August 1863), 4 

The Soiree Musicale, which has been anxiously looked forward to, came off on last Friday night, at Stark's Royal Victoria Theatre. The attendance was large, there being one hundred and fifty persons present; the room was crowded to suffocation, notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather . . . The programme, as was announced, was really attractive . . . Mr. Willis's "Flaming O'Flanagan," was excellent. Also, Mr. Snelling's solo on the violin . . . And it was suggested to one of the committee, by a gentleman in the room, that although Mr. Bennett was to receive the munificent sum of three guineas, for five weeks constant and unremitting rehearsal and application, that still the thanks of the audience were due to him . . . Dancing commenced immediately afterward, and was kept up till five o'clock in the morning . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Bennett (musician)


The Amateur Concert given on Friday evening last was a decided success, not so much on account of the sum realised - about twenty or twenty-five pounds - as for the character of the music. It may seem invidious, when a dozen amateurs, ladies and gentlemen, come forward and give their services for a public object, to name any individual for special commendation; but the masterly and finished rendering of Mr. Snelling's solos on the violin, and Mr. Wills on the flute deserve very high praise, and were received with enthusiastic applause, the effect being greatly heightened by the admirable accompaniments of Mrs. Wills . . .

"MR. SNELLING", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (6 March 1866), 2 

We hear a grand complimentary benefit concert will be given to Mr. J. M. Snelling, violinist, at the Royal Victoria Hotel, Wangaratta, on Saturday, the 17th instant (St. Patrick's Day.)

[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (15 March 1866), 3 

In appreciation of that gentleman's services gratuitously rendered on so many occasions,
Assisted by Messrs. Moss, Schluter, and Berrigen.
Quartette - Amateurs.
Song - "The Heart bowed down" - Amateur.
Violin Solo - "The Harp that once &c." (with variations) - Mr. Snelling.
Song - "The good old Days" - Amateur.
Trio Piano, Violin and Cornet - Amateurs.
Song - Mr. Schluter.
Violin Solo. - "Home Sweet Home" (with variations.) - Mr. Snelling.
Interval of Ten Minutes.
Amateur Serenaders.
Overture - Band.
Opening Chorus - "Hurrah Hurrah" - Company.
Song - "Katy Dear" - Mr. Moss.
Song - "Nelly Gray" - Mr. Cusack.
Song - "Hush a bye baby" - Amateur.
Song - "On the Road to Brighton" - Mr. Berrigen.
Song - "Toll the Bell" - Amateur.
Song - "The old folks are gone" - Mr. Moss.
Song - "Susy Brown" - Amateur.
Interval of Five Minutes.
Lecture on Electro Biology - Amateur.
Pas de Fascination - Messrs. Berrigen & Moss, in which Mr. Moss will introduce the celebrated Spider Dance.
To conclude with a Walk Round by the Company.
Doors open at Seven o'clock, performance to commence at half-past Seven.
Specially reserved seats (numbered) 5s.; Reserved seats 4s.; Back seats 2s. 6d.

ASSOCIATIONS: Adolph Schluter (vocalist)

[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (31 March 1866), 1 

J. M. SNELLING, Murphy street, Wangaratta,
Watchmaker, Jeweller, and Tobacconist,
Fancy Goods and Toy Repository.
Musical Instruments of every Description Bought, Sold, and Repaired.
Circulating Library, Etc.

"FATAL ACCIDENT", Western Times [Devon, England] (22 May 1866), 8 (PAYWALL)

Mr. William Snelling, clerk at the railway, and organist of parish church, to which place he was proceeding on Sunday morning in a vehicle from Mr. Bradley Hotel, met with an accident that terminated fatally at half-past eleven o'clock the same evening. Deceased instead of proceeding the direct route, took a more circuitous one, a very common practice with parties riding or driving as a turnpike toll is avoided. A short distance from Wolborough there is short turn in the road which was hugged too closely, the dog cart was capsized and considerably injured, and the poor occupant pitched out on his head, resulting as above.

"DENBURY. DEATH OF THE ORGANIST", Western Times (25 May 1866), 8 (PAYWALL)

Quite a gloom was cast over this ancient and loyal village on Monday, when the fact became known that the organist Mr. William Snelling, who was anxiously looked for the proceeding day and whilst journeying thither from Newton met with an accident by the upsetting of his gig that terminated fatally the same evening. Mr. Snelling had been for some considerable time organist of the parish church and in the discharge of his duty had won the respect of the churchgoers, generally, particularly that of the respected minister and his wife, the Rev. J. and Mrs. Reiby . . .

[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (18 May 1867), 3 

THE BAZAAR and BRUCE AUCTION for the purpose of clearing off the Debt on the Presbyterian Manse, at Wangaratta, will be held in the PREMISES lately occupied as the Dispatch office, Reid-street, Wangaratta,
on THURSDAY, FRIDAY, and SATURDAY, the 23rd, 24th, and 23th May inst.
Vocal and Instrumental Music conducted by Mr. Henry Goulstone and J. M. Snelling . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Harry Goulstone (pianist)

[Advertisement], The Argus (8 September 1870), 8 

Chairman - His Honour Judge Pohlman.
Instrumentalists: Madame Victorine Pett, Pianiste.
Mr. W. Stoneham (flute), Mr. J. M. Snelling (violin) . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Caroline Peryman (vocalist); Victorine Pett (pianist); William Stoneham (flute)

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

. . . I believe Miss Henry, now Mrs. H. B. Nicholls, was at one time organist at St. John's, then Mr. William Snelling, afterwards Mr. Tom Sharp, who held the post for many years . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Caroline Margaret Henry (organist); Thomas Sharp (organist); St. John's church (Launceston)

"DEATH OF AN OLD IDENTITY" Ovens and Murray Advertiser (7 November ), 9 

The death occurred at Beechworth on Wednesday of an old identity of the district in the person of Mr. James M. Snelling, who for many years conducted a watch-making business in Wangaratta, but was best known for his unusual skill as a violinist. Deceased, who was born in Devonshire (England) 72 years ago, developed a taste for the violin at an early age, and used to relate how as a boy he was striking out to earn a living as a musician when his father, accompanied by the father of a juvenile companion, overtook him while playing on the road to Plymouth and drove him to the watch-making trade. After his apprenticeship he came to Melbourne, and opened a shop in Bourke-street, but his strong love for music made him unfitted for business and he gave up the premises. After a short stay at Eldorado, where his brother Frank was mining, he started business in Wangaratta, but a few years later removed to Benalla and subsequently to Melbourne, being in the employ of Gaunt and Co. for 11 years. Deceased returned to Wangaratta 20 years since, and resided there until a year or two ago, when various infirmities compelled him to relinquish work and accept the kind offices of several admirers of his earlier talent. His playing of the violin made him prominent wherever he resided, and for some years he was a leading member of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society, and was generally regarded as the best un-professional violinist in the colony, his fine playing of a particularly difficult selection on one occasion being highly praised by the eminent musician, Herr Sasse [sic]; while Herr Buddee, a renowned pianist, was also attracted by his marked ability when playing on the platform with him. Mr. Snelling was always ready to give his services at local concerts, and was made a life governor of the Hospital in recognition of his assistance to that institution at various times. Deceased leaves his wife and several grown-up children.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Elsasser (musician); Julius Buddee (pianist); Melbourne Philharmonic Society (organisation)

Probate records, James Morris Snelling, died 1903; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)


R. Pearse Chope, "Church bands", Devon and Cornwall Queries 9 (1917), 124-26 (DIGITISED)

[125]. . . Mr. Anderson writes, that in addition to these two bands, he has since ascertained some details of one at Denbury. Here the church still retains the old west gallery, in which the "singers and minstrels" used to sit. The music was in the hands of a family named Rowe. "Old Rowe" . . . (DIGITISED)

[126] played the bass viol, while his three sons performed on a flute and two fiddles. The old man was then living at East Ogwell, and Mr. Anderson believed he had still got his bass viol . . .

SOBELS, Richard Carl (Richard Carl SOBELS)

Amateur musician, bassoonist (Tanunda School Band)

Born Quedlinburg, Saxony (Germany), 13 March 1838; son of Carl August SOBELS (d. 1863) and Johanne Wilhelmine DIEMANN (c. 1869)
Arrived Adelaide, SA, 15 December 1847 (per Hermann von Beckrath, from Bremen, via Rio de Janeiro)
Died Tanunda, SA, 19 June 1910 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


"TANUNDA SCHOOL EXAMINATION", South Australian Register (29 March 1853), 2

The yearly examination of this school took place on Wednesday, the 23rd March, at 9 o'clock in the morning, before a large assemblage of the parents, friends, and neighbouring settlers. It commenced with an introductory address spoken by Hugo Muecke, one of the senior scholars. The Rev. Dr. C. Muecke then proceeded to in form the visitors as to the different branches in which instruction had been given during the past year, viz.: - Scripture history, natural history, history of the world, geography, the English language, arithmetic, music, singing, drawing, &c. Half an hour was allowed for examination in each branch, the intervals being employed by the pupils in singing several good melodies. Some good pieces of music also were performed by a band of youthful musicians, under the direction of Mr. Draeger. Amongst the performances, we noticed as very creditable those of Franz Beyer and Hugo Muecke, on the violin; of Hermann Nettelbeck on the German flute; and of Richard Sobels on the bassoon. The oldest of these performers does not exceed their teen years of age . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Carl Muecke (examiner); Ferdinand Draeger (musician, instructor); Franz Beyer (violin); Hugo Meucke (violin); Hermann Nettlebeck (flute)

"Obituaries of the Week", Observer (25 June 1910), 38 

A gloom prevailed at Tanunda on Sunday when it became known that Mr. Richard Carl Sobels, the popular host of the Tanunda Hotel, had died early that morning after a few days' illness at the, age of 72 years. The deceased gentleman was born on March 13, 1838, at Quedlinburg, Saxony, Germany. He arrived in South Australia by the ship Hermann von Beckrath on December 15, 1847 . . .

SOLLY, John (John SOLLY)

Bugler (9th Regiment), convict

Born Canterbury, Kent, England, c. 1799
Sentenced Surrey Assizes, 1819 (life transportation)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 5 April 1820 (convict per Coromandel, from London, 27 October 1819)
Married Sarah DALY, Windsor, NSW, 1830
Active NSW, 1840 (shareable link to this entry)


Weekly transcript of entrance book at her majesty's gaol at Windsor, 30 September to 7 October 1838; State Records Authority of NSW (PAYWALL)

447 / Jno. Solly / Coromandel / 1820 / [Bond] / Ticket / [born] Canterbury / [Protestant] / Upholsterer / [admitted] 3 Oct. / [from] Police Office / Disorderly Conduct / 7 dys Solitary Confinement

[Notice of absconders], The Sydney Herald (29 October 1840), 4

Solly John, Coramandel (3), 41, Canterbury, bugler in the 9th Foot, 5 feet 11 inches, fair and ruddy comp., sandy hair, grey eyes, holding a Ticket of Leave for the district of Windsor.

Bibliography and resources:

John Solly, Convict records 

John Solly, Australian royalty 

SOLOMON, Matthew (Matthew SOLOMAN)

Musician, itinerant musician, fiddler, violinist

Active Geelong, VIC, 1853 (shareable link to this entry)


"POLICE COURT. Saturday, 30th July . . . SUSPICIOUS CHARACTER", Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (1 August 1853), 2 

An elderly man, who gave his name as Matthew Soloman, was placed before the sitting Magistrate, charged by Mr. Edwin Lascelles with being found at a late hour, on Friday night, concealed upon his premises, in Ryrie Street for some unlawful purpose. Mr. Lascelles deposed, that the premises in question, were thoroughly enclosed, and that, about 10 o'clock, hearing an unusual noise in his hay loft, where about 15 tons of hay was stacked, he proceeded there, and discovered the prisoner on the top of the hay, covered over with a tarpaulin. Mr. Lascelles further informed the Bench, that his premises were lately burned to the ground from a similar or some such like cause, and in this instance, had the prisoner been induced to smoke his pipe during the night, the like catastrophe would in all probability have been repeated; he did not wish to press the charge against the man, excepting as far as a reprimand went from the Magistrate.

The defendant stated, that he was a fidler by profession, but lately, the taste for this kind of music had considerably declined in Geelong, and he was in a destitute condition, and that he took up his night's lodgings where he was found, solely from the cause of not being able to procure better.

Mr. Ronsey said, that as Mr. Lascelle's wished him to deal leniently in this instance, he should discharge him with the intimation that, should such an act of vagrancy be again committed, he would listen to no intercession, but send him at once to gaol for 12 months, as a rogue and vagabond.

SOLOMON, Mr. (Mr. SOLOMON [1839])

Amateur musician, violinist

Active Sydney, NSW, 1839 (shareable link to this entry)


? [Advertisement], The Colonist (27 April 1839), 3 

MRS. SOLOMON, Late of London,
ACQUAINTS the Inhabitants of Sydney, that she has opened her
CIRCULATING LIBRARY, with a choice selection of Novels and Romances, at London Terms, at
Solomon's Bazaar, No. 1, Underwood's Buildings, No. 95, Lower George-street.
A choice selection of New Music, and Musical Instruments.
On Sale, an old Violoncello and Violin by Duke.

"CECILIAN SOCIETY'S ANNIVERSARY CONCERT", The Colonist (14 December 1839), 2

The first anniversary of the Society was celebrated on Wednesday evening last, by a Concert, which in every way surpassed those given on former occasions. We cannot but congratulate the members on the progress they have made. The room, on the evening of the concert, was crowded to excess, and full one hundred persons had to go away disappointed; about five hundred managed to get into the room. The instrumental department is much more efficient than the vocal, but the latter is very respectable. The overtures were magnificently performed. Mrs. Clancy sang well, and her last song, "Love's poisoned shaft," was rapturously encored. Mr. Solomon's performance on the violin, as usual, gave universal satisfaction and was encored. Mr. Wallace's flute was listened to with the same pleasure it always is. The "Maid of Judah," was very well sung by Mr. Sea (Secretary to the Society), although Mr. S. was labouring under a severe cold. Miss Fernandez astonished the audience on her piano-forte. The whole of the performances gave more than satisfaction; and every thing was well managed. The only thing that gave any damp to the evening's entertainment, was the falling of a lamp, by which some gentleman's coat was spoiled and several parties bespattered with oil. If the company make as much progress in the course of the next year as it has during the past, Sydney will be fully entitled to boast of her amateurs.

ASSOCIATIONS: Elizabeth Clancy (vocalist); Spencer Wellington Wallace (flute); Henry Sea (vocalist); Lucy Fernandez (piano); Cecilian Society (Sydney)

SOLOMON, Mr. (Mr. SOLOMON [1848])

Musician, cornopean player, circus performer

Active Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 1848 (shareable link to this entry)


[Advertisement], Colonial Times (3 November 1848), 3 

CIRCUS ROYAL OF TASMANIA, Corner of Elizabeth and Bathurst-streets.
THIS EVENING and TO-MORROW, The Performances will commence with an act of EQUESTRIANISM, by Master Gill . . .
After which, DICK TURPIN By Mr. Ashton . . .
A variety of singing; and Dancing . . .
After which, THE FLYING CORD, By Mr. Solomon,
Who, in the course of his Performance, will introduce on the Cornopean the favorite Solo of "Kate Kearney". A variety of singing; and Dancing . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: James Henry Ashton (proprietor)

SOLOMON, Edward (also Edward SALAMAN) = Edward SALAMON

Musician, pianist (arrived VIC, 1852; d. Sandhurst, VIC, 19 September 1876)

SOLOMON, Emanuel (Emanuel SOLOMON; Mr. E. SOLOMON)

Theatre proprietor, manager, enterpreneur, emancipist, convict

Born London, England, 1800; son of Samuel Moss SOLOMON and Elizabeth MOSES
Convicted Durham assizes, England, 4 August 1817 (transportation 7 years, aged "17")
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 1 May 1818 (convict per Lady Castlereagh, from London, 22 December 1817)
Married (1) Mary Ann WILSON, 6 November 1826
Married (2) Celia SMITH (d. 1852), Sydney, NSW, 12 April 1844
Married (3) Catherine ABRAHAMS, Adelaide, SA, 1852
Died Adelaide, SA, 3 October 1873, aged "73 1/2 years" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)


Convict records, Emanuel Solomon, arrived 1818; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1436454$init=CON31-1-38P35 (DIGITISED)$init=CON13-1-1P153 (DIGITISED)

"THE QUEEN'S THEATRE", South Australian Register [Adelaide, SA] (26 December 1840), 2 

"THE QUEEN'S THEATRE", Southern Australian [Adelaide, SA] (29 December 1840), 3 

NEW QUEEN'S THEATRE", South Australian (3 November 1846), 5 

"DIED", The Express and Telegraph [Adelaide, SA] (3 October 1873), 2 

SOLOMON. - At his residence, Franklin-street, on the 3rd October, after a long and painful illness, Emanuel Solomon, Esq., aged 73 1/2 years - a South Australian colonist of 36 years' standing.

"THE LATE MR. E. SOLOMON", South Australian Register (4 October 1873), 6 

We have to record the death of another of our very early colonists. Mr. E. Solomon expired on Friday, October 3, at his residence, Franklin-street west, at the advanced age of 73 1/2 years. The event is more to be deplored than wondered at, the deceased having been for several months confined to his bed. Mr. Solomon was an Australian colonist of 57 years, and arrived in Adelaide from Sydney in 1837. He commenced business as a merchant and shipowner, and for many years entirely supported the trade between New South Wales and South Australia. During the panic that existed from 1840 to 1842 he was one of the few merchants who stood their ground in the colony, and passed safely through the crisis. In 1840 the Theatre which he had built in Gilles arcade was opened, and Mr. Solomon brought over a company from Sydney, under the management of Mr. Lazar, to perform there, and for many years expended large sums of money without any adequate return in the encouragement of the drama . . . In 1847 his nephew, Mr. J. M. Solomon, joined him in business as auctioneers, and the firm was carried on with great prosperity up till 1854, when Mr. J. M. Solomon left for England. In 1857 their fortunes were again united in connection with others for several years, when Mr. Emanuel Solomon resumed the position of merchant, and continued till 1870, when he retired from business . . .

ASSOCIATIONs: John Lazar (actor, manager)

Bibliography and resources:

"LESSONS WE CAN LEARN from Our NOTABLE PIONEERS. No. 7 - Emanuel Solomon", The Mail [Adelaide, SA] (7 November 1936), 4 

Emanuel Solomon, Convict records 

SOLOMON, Isaac (Isaac SOLOMON, "the younger")

Amateur vocalist, singer (Hobart Synagogue)

Born Sheerness, Kent, England, c. 1814/15; son of Isaac SOLOMON (c. 1778-1856) and Esther RUSSELL (1775-1861)
Arrived VDL (TAS), 30 March 1833 (free, per Enchantress from London, 20 November 1832)
Married Elizabeth SOLOMON, St. John's church, Launceston, VDL (TAS), 3 July 1834
Departed Australia, c. 1875 (for New Zealand)
Died Dunedin, NZ, 7 September 1897, "in his 83rd year" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Isaac Solomon, the younger, was a son of a convict, Judah Solomon (c. 1778-1856), already established in Hobart. Isaac and his future wife Elizabeth Solomon (sic) arrived in a party of Jewish immigrants on the Enchantress on 30 March 1833. They married in Launceston in 1834 where Isaac began trading as publican of the "Hope and Anchor". Having relocated to Hobart by c. 1840, he was, with his father, one of the founders of the Hobart Synagogue, and a singer at the consecration in July 1845.


[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (5 April 1833), 3 

To Capt. David Roxburgh. SIR. - Previously to leaving your ship the "Enchantress," we beg to take this opportunity of tendering you our heartfelt thanks for your unremitting kind conduct to us during a pleasant voyage of 115 days . . . we are Sir, your most obedient Servants,
ISAAC SOLOMON and family of 12 persons.
JAMES ADKINS do. 3 do.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (30 April 1833), 3 

SIR, WE, the undersigned, desirous of acknowledging our cordial and grateful thanks for the kindness and polite attention you evinced towards us during our passage from England, avail ourselves of the present mode of expressing them, and earnestly wish during your voyage through life, health, happiness, and prosperity may accompany you, and have the honour of remaining, yours &c.,
To Captain David Roxburgh, Enchantress.

Marriages solemnized in the parish of St. John, Launceston, in the county of [Cornwall] in the year 1834; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:821182; RGD36/1/2 no 2580$init=RGD36-1-2P147 (DIGITISED)

No. 250 / Isaac Solomon bachelor of the Parish of St. John Launceston and
Elizabeth Solomon spinster of the Parish of St. John Launceston were
married in this Church by License with consent of Parents this [3 July 1834] . . .

"Hobart Town Police Report", Tasmanian Weekly Dispatch (12 June 1840), 7 

Friday, June 5. Elizabeth Solomon, this morning charged Isaac Solomon, her husband, with general illusage, and refusing to allow her a proper maintenance, to which he pleaded not guilty. The Magistrate, after a most patient hearing of the case, which was defended by Mr. Rowlands, dismissed it, as one not within their jurisdiction, or the meaning of the Maintenance Act of this Colony.

"THE JEWS' SYNAGOGUE", Colonial Times (15 August 1843), 3 

On Wednesday last, the 9th instant, a great concourse of citizens were assembled, to witness the novel ceremony of laying the first stone of a Synagogue, dedicated by the Hebrew residents in the colony, to the worship of Jehovah, after the manner of their ancestors, in an allotment of ground near Temple House, which had been liberally granted for that purpose by Mr. Judah Solomon . . . COMMITTEE: Messrs. Samuel Moses, Isaac Friedman, David Moses, Philip Levy, Isaac Solomon, D. R. Furtado . . .

[Editorial], Colonial Times (8 July 1845), 2 

THE interesting ceremony of the dedication of the Synagogue took place on Friday the 4th instant, in the presence of a congregation which occupied even to pressure (although admitted by tickets issued with great restriction), the whole capacity of the beautiful little edifice, and was composed of the elite of the town and neighbourhood. Sir John and Lady Pedder, Judge Montagu, Colonel and Mrs. Elliott, Captain and Mrs. Forster, Captain and Mrs. Swanston, Captain and Mrs. Forth, Mr. and Mrs. Dunn, jun., Mrs. and the Misses Dunn, Mr. and Mrs. Augustus Wilmot, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Macdowell, Mr. T. Macdowell, Mr. and Mrs. Hone, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis, Mr. and Mrs. Watchorn, Mr. and Mrs. Carter, Mr. and Mrs. W. Robertson, Captain and Mrs. Read, Mr. and Mrs. Murray, the Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Bedford, the Rev. Mr. Fry and several Clergymen of the Established Church of England, several Officers of the 51st K.O.L.I., Mr. Elliston, Mr. Macdougall, Mr. Wilson, and Mr. Hall, proprietors of the Hobart Town newspapers; in a word, all that the building could contain of the respectable inhabitants.

The ceremony commenced with one of Haydn's most favourite symphonies admirably performed by a choice orchestra led by Monsieur Gautrot, Mr. Reichenberg presiding at the piano. The choir was admirable, and singing of very first order; the melodies beautiful, and the harmonies perfect. A procession composed of the officers of the congregation circumambulated the avenues formed by the visitors seven times, at each interval the choir, accompanied by the orchestra, singing select passages of appropriate Psalms, but arranged to beautiful melodies. The procession was composed of the Rev. Mr. Jones (the reader, a gentleman recently arrived from London), Mr. Nathan (the President of the Committee), Mr. Judah Solomon (the Treasurer), Mr. Moss (the Secretary), Mr. D. Moses, Mr. Heckscher, Mr. Hart, Mr. S. Moses, Mr. Friedman, Mr. P. Levy, Mr. Isaac Solomon, and some other Israelite gentlemen. The Rolls of the Law were borne by these gentlemen alternately at each procession, the bearing being considered a high honour. At the close of the seventh circuit the Rolls were deposited in the Ark, a most splendid recess lined with purple velvet and highly ornamented with gold lace. Mr. Jones, the reader, then went to the desk, and read with much impressiveness the Consecration Prayer (the whole Service was in original Hebrew, a book of which in that character and English, remarkably well printed by Mr. Wolfe of Liverpool-street, was delivered with each ticket), a prayer for the Queen, afterwards delivered, is ensculptured in English on a marble tablet in gold letters on the north side of the edifice. One of the Rolls of the Law was then taken out of the Ark and delivered to "the Reader," who chaunted with musical accompaniments several appropriate passages of Scripture After which he read a prayer for the Royal Family . . .

The 39th Psalm was then chaunted by the choir with great taste and effect. Another prayer then followed, after which the 150th Psalm was sung by the choir, the Hallelujahs particularly beautifully, indeed it is only due to the gentlemen who formed the choir to say that their performances would have done credit to any London Concert of Sacred Music. The ceremony concluded about seven o'clock with the celebration of the ordinary afternoon and Sabbath eve Services, which will be in future regularly performed in this build- ing, and will no doubt attract numerous Christian auditors . . .


THE beautiful little building in Argyle-street devoted to religious service by the scattered remnant of Israel in this town, was opened according to announcement, on Friday last . . . We would have given much to be familiar with the venerable language of the Hebrews, when the officers came in procession, demanding " Open to us the gates of righteousness" . . . The doors being opened to them, they took their stand beneath a temporary canopy - while the choir stationed round the reading desk chaunted appropriate sentences. The procession then advanced slowly towards the ark - the reader saying, or rather chaunting other sentences. Arrived within the rails which surround the curtained ark, the choir burst forth in the very language of the sweet Psalmist of Israel a song of melodious praise. Then followed a seven times circuit of the synagogue, the rolls of the law still being borne as before. At each circuit a psalm was slowly chaunted by the render, and at the end of each, as the procession approached the ark, the monotony was broken by the cheerful notes of a lively chorus, vocal and instrumental . . . The rest of the ceremony consisted in the reader bearing a roll of the law and chaunting, the congregation at times murmuring a responsive cadence; the choir in melodious strains [illegible] . . . succeeded by a chaunt and chorus. Then the 29th psalm, during the singing of which the roll of the law was deposited in the ark, and the curtain drawn over it. And, finally, after a concluding prayer, the Hallelujahs of the 100th psalm were sung in masterly style with almost overpowering effect . . .

The afternoon and evening services then proceeded, in which latter the choir sang two pieces without the aid of the instrumental band. The reader was Mr. H. Jones, the leader of the choir. Mr. M. Simeon; the band was led most ably by Mr. Reichenberg, and included Messrs. Duly, Curtis, Gautrot, Singer, &c. The consecration service was arranged chiefly by Mr. P. Moss, by whom the original prayers, we understand, were composed . . .


. . . Mr. H. Jones officiated as reader; his chaunts were given with admirable intonation. The orchestral department combined the talent of Messrs. Gautrot, Curtis, Duly, and Singer, ably led by Mr. Reichenberg. The choir was exceedingly effective, the principal parts being admirably given by Mr. M. Simeon, who possesses a falsetto voice of good quality and rarely met with . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Jones (reader); Joseph Reichenberg (musician); Abraham Philip Duly (musician); Richard Gill Curtis (musician); Joseph Gautrot (violinist); John Macdonald Singer (violinist)

"THE SYNAGOGUE", Colonial Times (11 July 1845), 3

In answer to numerous enquiries as to whether the gentlemen composing the choir at the opening of the Jewish Synagogue last Friday were professionals, we can inform our readers that the whole of them (consisting of Messrs. M. S. Simeon, treble; D. Allen, tenor; E. Isaacs, counter tenor; Isaac Solomon and H. Nathan, bass;) were young men of the Hebrew religion, one of whom (Mr. Simeon) had assisted in a similar ceremony at home, and remembering the melodies, sung them to Mr. Reichenberg, who most felicitously melodized them. Mr. R. attempted, and it must be admitted, accomplished the teaching five persons to sing in parts, and acquiring himself sufficient Hebrew to comprehend what he had to teach, in a manner which must increase the already high opinion entertained by the Tasmanian public of his professional superiority.

ASSOCIATIONS: Michael Simeon (singer); David Allen (singer); Edward Isaacs (singer); Henry Nathan (singer)

"THE SYNAGOGUE", The Observer (15 July 1845), 3

In our last a paragraph was omitted in which we sought to do justice to some whose names were not mentioned with that praise which was due to them for the part they performed in the opening service at the Synagogue. The music we learn was brought to this colony by Mr. Simeon, whose melodious voice was so much admired in company with the voice of Messrs. Edward Isaacs, Henry Nathan, David Allen, and Isaac Solomons. The vocal attraction at the Synagogue is likely to draw many visitors from time to time, whose interest is not likely to stop with that gratification, or benefit be confined to the hearing of the ear.

"Deaths", Evening Star [Otago, NZ] (8 September 1897), 2 

Solomon. - On the 7th inst., at his late residence, North-east Valley, Isaac Solomon, the beloved husband of Mary Solomon, and father of Mrs. Max Gall, of Pitt street, and Mrs. George Harris, of George street, Dunedin; in his 83rd year.

Other documentation:

Order of service at the dedication of the synagogue, Argyle Street, Hobart Town, Van Diemen's Land, on Friday, the 4th July, A.M., 5605-1845 ([Hobart Town]: Printed by E. & M. Wolfe, [1845]) (DIGITISED)

Musical sources:

Ancient Hebrew melodies sung at the consecration of the Synagogue, Argyle Street, Hobart-Town V.D.L. dedicated to Mrs. Louis Nathan, harmonized and arranged for the pianoforte by J. Reichenberg (Hobart-Town: Thomas Browne, lithographic printer, n.d. [1847])

(1 How goodly are thy tents; 2 Come let us sing unto the Lord; 3 Blessed be he who cometh in the name of the Lord; 4 Thanks to thee O Lord; 5 Thine, O Lord is the greatness; 6 His glory is above all the earth; 7 Ascribe unto the Lord; 8 Praise God in His sanctuary)

Copy at the State Library of Tasmania$init=AUTAS001131821845P269 (DIGITISED)

Bibliography and resources:

John Levi, These are the names: Jewish lives in Australia, 1788-1850 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Publishing, 2013) (PREVIEW)



Active Bathurst, NSW, 1857 (shareable link to this entry)


[Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal [NSW] (27 May 1857), 3 

[Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (30 May 1857), 3 

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (3 June 1857), 2 

[Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal [NSW] (6 June 1857), 3 

CONCERT, on THURSDAY and SATURDAY, June 4th and 6th, on which occasion
Mr. DANIELS, of the Victoria Theatre, Sydney, will make his first appearance here in a COMIC DUET with Mr. Somers.
Irish Emigrant, &c., &c. - Mr. WALTERS.
Sailors Hornpipe, &c., &c. - Mr. SOMERS . . .

Cease your Clack (Comic Duet in Character) - Mr. Somers and Daniels
The Old Arm Chair - Mr. Walters
Tater Can (Comic Song) - Mr. Daniels
Widow Malone - Mr. Somers
Air - Flute - Mr. Ramsay
Slave Chase - Mr. Walters
Toddling off to Market (Comic) - Mr. Somers
Lord Lovel - Mr. Daniels
Irish Jig - Mr. Somers
An interval of 20 minutes.
The Thorn - Mr. Walters
Shocking Hard Times (Comic Song) - Mr. Daniels
Real Old Irish Gentleman - Mr. Somers
I'm Sitting on the Stile, Mary - Mr. Walters
Pat and the Barber - Mr. Daniels
To conclude with the
SAILOR'S HORNPIPE - Mr. Somers . . .


Amateur musician, band master, band instructor

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


"MUSICAL", Launceston Examiner (10 March 1860), 2 

Last evening a new band of juvenile musicians who have for some little time past been under the instruction of Mr. Summerville performed for the first time in public. They marched up Wellington-street and played several marches in a creditable manner, considering the short time they have been under tuition and that some of them previously had but a very slight knowledge of music. The band has taken the name of the "Tasmanian Band."

"LAUNCESTON VOLUNTEER ARTILLERY COMPANY", Launceston Examiner (7 June 1860), 2 

Last evening the members of the "Citizens Volunteer Rifle Corps" held a meeting at the Launceston Hotel . . . A letter was also read offering the services of the Tasmanian Band under the leadership of Mr. Summerville . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Tasmanian Band (performing ensemble, organisation)

"TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT", The Cornwall Chronicle (6 June 1860), 4 

We are glad to say that the public of Launceston will in the course of a fortnight be regaled with the best music they have yet had from a local instrumental band. The bands of Herr Wackeldine and Mr. Somerville have coalesced and joined the Launceston Volunteer Rifle Corps. As soon as the uniforms are completed, which will be in all probability by next week, the L. V. Corps band will play in the Church Square during one or two afternoons of each succeeding week. We are sure this movement of the L. V. Corps will be universally appreciated.

ASSOCIATIONS: Conrad Wackeldine (musician, band master)

"EDITOR OF THE . . .", Launceston Examiner (9 June 1860), 3 

SIR, - A paragraph appeared in last Wednesday's Chronicle stating that Mr. Wackeldine's and Mr. Somerville's bands had both joined, making one full band. The statement made in the Chronicle is quite a mistake, for Mr. Somerville or his band has no connection whatever with Mr. Wackeldine. And, on the other hand, the Tasmanian Band could not think of playing for No. 1 Rifle Corps, as they have promised to play for the Launceston Volunteer Artillery Company.
Yours, &c.,
June 8.

"LAUNCESTON VOLUNTEER ARTILLERY CORPS", Launceston Examiner (23 June 1860), 2 

The cadets of the Launceston Volunteer Artillery Company met on Thursday evening at the Launceston Hotel, for the purpose of receiving the report of the Board of Management . . .
That the dress of the band be as follows - Blue cloth jacket with red cord round the collar and cuffs and up the back seam, and slashed with red braid across the breast, and red shoulder-knots, blue cloth trousers, red cord down the outside seams, caps, red cloth, with blue bugle in front; band master, silver shoulder-knot, silver bugle, and three silver stripes on the arm - he ranking as sergeant . . .
On the subject of the band the Board have report that two offers have of service have been received, one from Mr. Somerville, and another from Herr Wackeldine. The Board cannot recommend the acceptance of the offer of Mr. Somerville, as it would necessitate a large outlay for instruments; the other, from Herr Wackeldine, was accepted (as far as the Board could do so), on condition that he and the members of his band enrol themselves in the corps and engage to serve for a stated period. In reply to a letter containing these conditions, an answer was received signed by eleven members of the band, expressing their willingness to accede to them.
In the meantime, however, a communication was received by the Board from the commanding officer of the L. V. R. Corps, stating that Herr Wackeldine's band could not honorably engage to play for the Artillery Corps, as they were under written agreement, to play for the Rifle Corps. On receipt of this letter the secretary of Herr Wackeldine's band was written to by the secretary of this corps, and asked if these statements were correct. His reply denied that any such agreement had been signed by the band. On the faith of this letter the Board recommended that Herr Wackeldine's band be engaged . . .

"TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT", The Cornwall Chronicle (8 August 1860), 4 

Launceston is rapidly acquiring the air of a garrison town . . . On Thursday evening last the Launcrston Artillery Corps preceded by Herr Wackeldine's band, matched from their place of drill in the Commissariat Store near the Wharf, up St. John street, round St John's Square, down Charles-street, and halted opposite the residence of Mr. James Robinson, where they gave three cheers and were then dispersed. The Launceston Rifle Corps with Somerville's excellent band had marched through the principal streets of the town to dinner at the "Star Hotel" on the previous Monday numbering upwards of forty members, with rifles and accoutrements, and also dressed in dark clothing . . . The Corps was marched out again on Monday evening. Nearly all the officers and men were present. Mr Somerville's band played several spirit-stirring marches, to which the Corps marched from their parade ground at the Military Barracks up Cameron street into Charles-street, up Brisbane-street, down George-street, into Patterson-street, again into Charles-street, down Elizabeth to Wellington-street, up Frederick-street into St. John Square, down Charles-street, and were dismissed opposite the Star Inn . . .

"ST. ANDREW'S DINNER", Launceston Examiner (15 December 1860), 2 

The annual dinner of the members of the St. Andrew's Society, which had been postponed from St. Andrew's Day on account of the absence of the President from the colony, took place last evening at the Cornwall Assembly Rooms, which were tastefully decorated with flowers . . .
The chair was taken by J. Aikenbead, Esq., President of the Society, and Charles Thompson, Esq, in the absence of the Vice-President, occupied the vice-chair. The band of the Launceston Volunteer Rifles, under the leadership of Mr. Somerville, were stationed in the gallery and played during the repast . . .
The Chairman rose and gave the health of "Her Most Gracious Majesty" . . . Air - The National Anthem.
"The Prince Consort and the Royal Family" was the next toast given . . . Air - Prince Albert's March.
The next toast was "His Excellency the Governor, Sir H. E. F. Young" . . Air - The fine old English Gentleman.
The Chairman proposed the "Army and Navy" . . . Air - British Grenadiers.
The Chairman . . . without further remarks he would give "The Volunteers." March, by the band . . .
The Chairman, in proposing the "Mayor and Aldermen" . . . Air by the band . . .
The Vice-Chairman gave "Lady Young and the Ladies of Tasmania" . . . Air - Here's a health to all good lasses . . .
The Vice-Chairman, in proposing "The Commercial and Agricultural Interests of Tasmania" . . . Air - Speed the Plough . . .
The Vice-Chairman gave "Our Guests" . . . Air - "Should auld acquaintance be forgot" . . .
Mr. R. M. Ayre said he felt sure that the next toast would be heartily received - it was "The land we left" . . . Air, by the band - "Home, sweet home."
Song, Mr. R. M. Ayre.
Lieutenant Ritchie gave "the Land we live in" . . . Air by the band - "Cheer, Boys, Cheer."
Song - Mr. Tier.
Alderman Fawns said that he had to propose "Our Mercantile Marine" . . . Air by the band . . .

SOTHERN, John Russell (John Russell SOTHERN; J. R. SOTHERN)

Musician, pianist, organist, composer, poet, author, printer, publisher

Born Norwich England, 13 March 1831; son of George SOTHERN (c. 1796-1860) and Lucy COPLAND
Arrived VIC, by c. 1855
Died North Queensland, 21 November 1895 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)


Hitherto, accounts of Sothern's life followed the short biography published with his sonnet "Aurora Australis" in 1885. Several details, however, are incorrect, notably that he was born in Bristol, trained as a compositor in his father's office, and left Australia for India in 1864, before returning to England.

John Russell Sothern was born in Norwich, England, on 13 March 1831, a son of George Sothern (1794-1860), a chemist and druggist, and his wife Lucy Copland, who were Baptists. At the time of the 1851 census, "Russel Sothern", aged 20, was still living in Norwich with his widowed father and elder brother Edward (1825-1888), who also settled in Victoria, and listed as a printer's apprentice.

In 1847-48 he was a pupil at Manchester College, a Unitarian school in Manchester, where, as Russell Sothern, he was already noted for his poetry. He had a two poems published in the People's and Howitt's journal in 1848, and back home in Norwich, in December that year, he and his elder brother Alfred (b. 1827) jointly published a book of verse entitled Abdallad and other poems, no copy of which appears to survive in the bibliographic record.

Sothern's earliest likely Australian record is an appearance in April 1855 as pianist in a concert in Castlemaine at which Louisa Swannell was advertised to appear. By 1859 or earlier, Sothern was in Kyneton. In Melbourne, in July 1862, he published a volume of verse, Zephyrus, and other poems, and his first musical publication followed in March 1863, an anthem, The lord is my shepherd.

By April 1864 he was in Sydney. By the end of the year, however, Sothern had relocated again to Queensland.

He was living in Castlemaine, VIC, in June 1879 when his ballad A passing dream was awarded bronze medal for musical composition at the Sandhurst Exhibition. He was piano tuning in Cairns in 1889 and 1893, and died in Queensland, intestate, in 1895.


Births of Protestant dissenters, registered at Dr. Williams's Library, London, entered 11 September 1835; UK national Archives (PAYWALL)

No. 5523 / Dated [4 July 1835] / . . . to certify . . . that
John Russell the son of George Sothern of Norwich in the county of Norfolk and of Lucy his wife (who was the daughter of J. D. Copland of Beccles in the County of Suffolk) was born at the house of [his father] in the Crescent in the City of Norwich on the [13 March 1831] / George Sothern, Lucy S. deceassed, the parents abovenamed

England census, 6 June 1841, St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich, Norfolk; UK National Archives, HO107/790/7 (PAYWALL)

George Sothern / 45 / Chemist // Isabella / 15 // Lucy / 21 //
George / 20 // Edward / 15 // Alfred / 13 // Russell / 10 / [all born in county]

[Review], Norwich Mercury (30 December 1848), 2 (PAYWALL)

Abdallah and other Poems. Alfred and Russell Sothern.
The works of Byron and Scott have warmed the Muse of many a toiler the steep of Parnassus, and will we presume continue to do so, judging from the book before us. Like "blood boltered Banquo," these great spirits seem to "hold a glass" which not only reflects the forms of those who have already passed, but like the magic mirror which appalled Macbeth "shews us many more." Abdallah is a short poem of the Manfred and Lara school, with descriptive snatches reminding us of the Bard of the North. The story told is that of a misanthropic noble, who blighted in affection shuts himself within his castle and communes with spirits. He has lost a son, the restoration of whom leads to a tragedy and the close of the poem. We cannot deny there are some good lines in this production, but the family likeness of which speak, is so strong that we, perhaps unjustly, distrust the seeming originality of the best parts. If the authors are bent on following the Muse, we would advise them to cast away the model they have adopted. They may posses sufficient natural strength of opinion to take a lower flight with credit to themselves, and pleasure the public. Of capability so to do, indeed the minor poems the end of the book are evidences, particularly "Heaven is above us," and "Birth and Mind."

England census, 30 March 1851, St. Giles, Norwich, Norfolk; UK National Archives, HO107/1815/443/25 (PAYWALL)

[St. Giles Terrace] / George Sothern / Head / Wid'r / 56 / Retired Druggist / [born] Norfolk Norwich
Edward [Sothern] / Son / U. / 25 / Artist / [born Norfolk Norwich]
Russel [Sothern] / Son / U. / 20 / Printer's Apprentice . . .

[Advertisement], Mount Alexander Mail (30 March 1855), 1 

Grand Vocal and Instrumental Concert at the Mount Alexander Hotel, Forest Creek.
Re-engagement of Miss L. Swannell, the Australian Nightingale.
MR. COWPER has the honor to announce to the Inhabitants of Castlemaine, Forest Creek, and its vicinity, that a Grand Vocal and Instrumental Concert, will be held at his Establishment, ON TUESDAY EVENING, APRIL 3rd,
When will be performed some of the most admired selections from the works of Haydn, Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, Rode, Balfe, De Beriot, Wallace, Hayward, &c. &c.
PRINCIPAL VOCALISTS - Miss Louisa Swannell, the Australian Nightingale. Miss Swannell. Miss Byrne. Mr. Morran. Mr. Huggons.
Mr. Webster, the justly celebrated Violinist, and pupil of Hayward the English Paganini, will execute some of his most admired Solos, &c., &c.
Mr. Sothern will preside at the Piano Forte . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Louisa Swannell (vocalist); Mr. Webster (violinist); however, Swannell did not appear as advertised; see "To the Editor of the . . .", Mount Alexander Mail (6 April 1855), 2 

[Advertisement], The Kyneton Observer (18 August 1859), 3 

SIR, We the undersigned electors of the Kyneton Boroughs, respectfully request that you will allow yourself to be put in nomination as a Candidate for the representation of these Boroughs . . .
J. R. Sothern . . .

"SUMMARY FOR THE MONTH", The Kyneton Observer (22 September 1860), 2 

The Soiree in aid of the Church of England Sunday Schools, Malmsbury, was held on the last Wednesday in August, and upwards of 200 were present on the occasion. Messrs. Frazer, John French, Gill, Adamson, and Rev. J. S. Low delivered addresses; and a choir of amateurs, conducted by Mr. J. Russell Sothern, discoursed some excellent music during the evening.

[News], The Kyneton Observer (1 November 1860), 2 

The Amateur Concert in aid of the Mechanics' Institute on Tuesday evening, though not so well attended as the previous one, came off satisfactorily. About £8 were realised for admission tickets, and this sum was also considerably enhanced by what was received from the auction sales. The Malmsbury Glee Club, under the able conduct of Mr. Tyson, again distinguished themselves as artistes of no ordinary talent, while the vocalisation of the Kyneton amateurs, Messrs. George Styles, Haig, Jones and W. Begg was also very creditable. Mr. J. Russell Sothern and Mr. H. G. Powell also kindly volunteered their services as pianists in rendering the accompaniments to some very choice selections which were given in good taste.

[News], The Argus (5 July 1862), 4

A small volume, by Mr. John Russell Sothern, entitled "Zephyrus and Other Poems," and published by Mr. A. J. Smith, Swanston-street, contains verses not without merit. They are evidently the work of a beginner, and we therefore do not desire to discourage the writer by criticism, which is scarcely challenged by his modest attempt. We may say, however, that many of his verses are pleasingly musical, and indicate considerable command of language, which hereafter may make the writer's name known among us. We have always been desirous to support native talent, and shall certainly not forego our custom when a volume of native poems comes under our notice. We trust the public will follow our example, and that Mr. Sothern may be encouraged to cultivate his taste and talent for verse-writing.

"ZEPHYRUS AND OTHER POEMS", Bendigo Advertiser (17 September 1862), 2 

Zephyrus and other Poems. by Mr. John Russell Sothern, contained in a very neat form, and published by A. J. Smith, Swanston-street, have been sent us by Mr. Dawhorn, of View Point. We shall take an early opportunity of noticing the volume, the author of which is, we understand now on Sandhurst.

[News], The Argus (3 March 1863), 5

Mr. J. Russell Sothern has composed an anthem, entitled, "The Lord is my Shepherd," with accompaniment for organ and pianoforte, published by Messrs. Wilkie, Webster, and Co., Collins street. It is simple and original, and proves the composer to be possessed of considerable musical talent.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Wilkie and John Campbell Webster (publishers)

[Advertisement], The Argus (1 June 1863), 8

ROYAL HAYMARKET THEATRE. Sole Lessee and Manager. - Mr. James Simmonds . . .
Tho MELBOURNE GARRICK CLUB . . . MONDAY, JUNE 1, In aid of the Building Fund of the Eastern-hill Volunteer Orderly Room,
Under the distinguished patronage of His Excellency the Governor, Sir HENRY BARKLY, K.C.B. (President of the Club). . .
Overture to Norma - Collingwood Band.
After which, Mr. W. H. Williams will sing a New Patriotic Song, The BRITISH VOLUNTEERS.
Music by J. R. Sothern, Esq.; words by S. H. Banks, of the Collingwood Rifles.
Dedicated to the Colonel Commandant and Volunteers of Victoria . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Henry Williams (vocalist, printer)

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (2 June 1863), 5 

An amateur dramatic performance was given last night at the Haymarket Theatre, by members of the Melbourne Garrick Club . . . There was a well-filled house . . . During the evening the Collingwood Band played a selection of melodies and other music. In the interlude, Mr. W. H. Williams appeared in a rifleman's dress, and sang a new song called :the British Volunteers," the music for which was written by Mr. J. R. Sothern, and the words by Mr. S. H. Banks, of the Collingwood Rifles. Mr. Williams sang with his customary expression and sweetness, and answered a unanimous encore by giving "Riflemen, form" . . .

[Advertisement], Empire (19 October 1863), 1

at the MASONIC HALL, on THURSDAY, the 22nd instant, for which occasion
Mesdames. E. BUSHELLE, and FLORA HARRIS bave been engaged, and the following gentlemen have generously given their services:
An interval of ten minutes, during which time an Original Grand March, composed by J. B. Southern Esq., will be performed on the Organ, by the composer . . . CONDUCTOR - Mr. W. J. CORDNER . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Eliza Wallace Bushelle (vocalist); Flora Harris (vocalist); Cesare Cutolo (pianist); James Waller (vocalist); Thomas Banks (vocalist); James Edward Kitts (vocalist); Frank Trevor (vocalist); Sebastian Hodge (musician); Frederick Sydney Wilson (vocalist); William John Cordner (conductor)

[Advertisement], Empire (5 December 1863), 8

. . . Mrs. GEORGE PECK and SON'S Music Repository, 103, Elizabeth-street North,
where may be had all kinds of Musical Instruments at prices greatly reduced, to meet the times.
AUSTRALIAN CHRISTMAS MARCH shortly will be published.
The above-named composition by J. B. SOUTHERN, Esq. Price. 2s. 6d.

ASSOCIATIONS: Sophia and Felix Peck (music sellers)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 December 1863), 2

JUST Published, the AUSTRALIAN NEW YEAR'S MARCH, by J. R. Sothern.
Dedicated to Lieutenant Colonel Kempt, of the XII. Regiment.
WILKIE, ELVY, and CO , George-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Hammond Elvy (music publisher)

"MUSIC", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 April 1864), 6

An amateur concert, under the direction of Mr. T. V. Bridson, took place in the schoolroom adjoining Trinity Church, on Monday evening, the 5th instant, in aid of the funds for the alteration of the organ in that church. Mr. Southern has composed a very excellent "Magnificat," which it is said he intends to send to England for publication. This gentleman has also composed other pieces possessing merit - particularly the "Australian New year's March."

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Bridson (musician); Trinity (Garrison) church (Sydney)

"TONIC SOL-FA ASSOCIATION", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 July 1864), 4

The first quarterly concert of the above society was given yesterday evening, in the School of Arts, and attracted a very numerous attendance. The Tonic Sol-Fa Association was formed a few months since for the study, practice, and diffusion of vocal music on the method invented by Miss Glover, of Norwich, and improved and propagated by the Rev. J. Curwen, and which, it is stated,
"combines great simplicity and popularity of character with scientific accuracy and remarkable cheapness; and by it the pupil is enabled to sing music at sight more speedily than by the ordinary method."
Whether or not the skill displayed by the members of this Association is to be attributed to the superior excellence of the Sol-Fa method of teaching music, they certainly deserve to be congratulated upon the success that attended their first public concert. The choir numbered about a hundred, the voices being nicely balanced; Mr. J. C. Fisher officiated as conductor, and Mr. Southern played the organ accompaniments. The programme contained some twenty pieces, consisting mostly of part songs and choruses . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Sarah Anna Glover (inventor); John Curwen (populariser); James Churchill Fisher (conductor); Sydney Tonic Sol Fa Association (organisation)


On Monday evening, July 4th, the members of this association gave an entertainment at the Temperance Hall, in aid of the sufferers by the recent floods . . . The first portion of the entertainment embraced several pleasing part-songs, instrumental pieces, and ballads - together with some well-rendered recitations - the whole of which were received with loud and frequent applause. An Australian march, performed by the composer, Mr. J. R. Southern (who kindly volunteered his services as accompanyst) concluded the first portion of the entertainment . . . the second part, consisting of an Ethiopian entertainment . . . Messrs. D. Buist and Son kindly supplied the pianoforte gratuitously.

ASSOCIATIONS: David Buist (music and instrument seller)

"SHIPPING . . . IMPORTS, The Brisbane Courier (17 October 1864), 4 

City of Brisbane, from Sydney . . . 1 printing press, J. R. Sothern . . .

"SHIPPING . . . IMPORTS", Brisbane Courier (10 December 1864), 4

Telegraph, s., from Sydney . . . 3 cases printing materials, J. R. Southern [sic] . . .

[Advertisement], Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser (4 May 1867), 2 

IN the Press, and will shortly be Published,
THE QUEENSLAND SONG-BOOK, PART 1, containing the most Popular and Original Songs of the day.
To be had of all Boolksellers.

[News], The Brisbane Courier (1 June 1867), 4 

We have received from Mr. Sothern, of Ipswich, Part 1 of "The Queensland Comic Song Book." It is very neatly got up and well printed, and in a typographical point of view is creditable to the office issuing it. It purports, however to contain the best original and selected comic songs of the day, and it does not do so. We think the nature of the songs - even the comic ones - that have most circulation amongst a people is a matter of considerable importance; and in the hope that Mr. Sothern may, in the succeeding parts of the work, exercise more discrimination, we shall, without being hypercritical, tell him plainly our opinion of some of the songs selected. The first ditty "Ka-foozle-um" is very absurd, if not very comic, and of little importance either way. "Terry O'Rann" has a considerable amount of humor of the tipsy sort about it, and is a fair specimen of that sort of literature which, with nothing at all really Irish about it, is passed off on the credulous Anglo-Saxon as Irish comic song. "The Unfortunate Man" and "Billy Barlow in Queensland," are very tolerable productions, with a good deal of fun of the quieter sort in them, and from their local application are sure to be popular until the time comes when they will cease to apply to our affairs, which it is to be hoped may be very soon. What we have said about "Terry O'Rann" applies equally well to "Finnigan's Wake" and "Lannigan's Ball," and need not be repeated. "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark," is an amusing and extravagant burlesque of the plot of the great tragedy; but it derived its highest zest from the manner in which Mr. Small used to sing it, and would be a tame affair enough in the mouths of most people. "The Queen and the Countryman," an old west country ditty, has a good deal of rustic simplicity and humor of the stolid heavy sort about it, in which we can fancy provoking guffaws from country yokels, whose primest fun was swilling ale and grinning their best through horse-collars. "Paddle your own Canoe" is a good song, conveying excellent advice, but why it should appear amongst a collection of comic songs is more than we can tell. None of the other songs call for notice, except "Johnny comes Marching Home," and the "Fine Ould Irish Gentleman." Both of these are simply disgusting - neither humor, rhyme, nor reason in them - and their presence throws discredit upon all the rest. Mr. Sothern will do well to change his compiler if be intends continuing the series.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joe Small (comic vocalist, songwriter)

[News], Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser (11 June 1867), 2 

WE have received from the publisher, Mr. J. R Sothern, Ipswich, the "Queensland Song Book;" why it should be called the "Queensland" song book we are at a loss to guess, there being only one song on that extensive subject; there are two other songs, out of the fourteen, said to be original, and very poor stuff they are. The printing and get-up of the work are excellent, and there our praise must stop.

[Advertisement], Northern Argus [Rockhampton, QLD] (28 August 1869), 3 

MR. J. R. SOTHERNE [sic], Professor of Music, Organist, &c.,
begs to acquaint the inhabitants of Rockhampton and its vicinity, that having become a resident in the Town, he is prepared to give instruction on the Pianoforte, Harmonium, and in Singing.
Pianofortes and Harmoniums tuned, regulated, and thoroughly repaired.
Address for the present at the LEICHHARDT HOTEL.

[Advertisement], Rockhampton Bulletin (9 March 1871), 3

Assisted by Mr. J. E. SOUTHERN as Pianist and Accompanyist . . .
PART II. Fantasia - (original) - Pianoforte - MR. J. R. SOUTHERN . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 June 1876), 11

EMPRESS of INDIA Grand March, Just Published, composed by J. R. Sothern, price 3s. Reading and Co.

[News], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (3 July 1876), 4

We have received through the house of Glen and Co., music dealers, of Collins-street east, a copy of a new grand march, entitled "The Empress of India," composed and arranged for the pianoforte by J. R. Sothern, and published in Sydney, by James Reading and Co., of 350 George-street. It is a spirited composition, and not difficult to play.

ASSOCIATIONS: James Reading (music publisher)

[Advertisement], Evening News [Sydney, NSW] (4 August 1876), 1 

JUST PUBLISHED. - Evening Hymn: "Sun of my Soul" composed by J. B. Sothern, 1s. Posted, 1s 2d. J. READING and CO., George-street.

"EVENING HYMNS", The Sydney Morning Herald (12 August 1876), 5 

A few days ago we received from the publishers, Messrs. Reading and Co., a copy of the first number of "Evening Hymns," composed by Mr. J. R. Sothern, of Mudgee. The first hymn is "Sun of my soul," arranged by Mr. Sothern, and is evidently the commencement of a series.

"MUDGEE, August 16", Australian Town and Country Journal (19 August 1876), 10

. . . And speaking of spiritualists reminds me that one of our most gifted and intellectual residents has been bereft of reason by a religious mania. I allude to Mr. John Russell Sothern, late organist of St. John's Church, and composer of (inter alia) the "Empress March," so favourably commented on by the colonial Press. Mr. Sothern has a brother, who, like himself, is well known in the musical world as a composer of high merit. At a recent spiritual meeting Mr. J. R. Sothern was informed by the medium that his brother was dead, and nothing could rid the poor fellow of his belief in the truth of the medium's assertion. And so he has been progressing from bad to worse till it was found necessary for his own safety, as well us in the interests of the public, to arrest him as a religious maniac. The arrest took place at three o'clock on Friday morning last. Sothern was then on his knees praying and declaring that he was sent there by the Almighty to watch the stars, as the day of judgment was at hand. Evidence of his deranged state of mind was given, and it was shown that he had been annoying the Rev. Mr. Studds, Primitive Methodist clergyman, and terrifying Mrs. Studds. A little previous to his arrest, Sothern requested Mrs. Studds to come down to the Post Office Hotel to see the Lord of Hosts. A remand was made at the termination of the evidence till the next day to admit of medical testimony being produced. On that occasion the evidence of Doctors Cutting and Rowling showed the unfortunate man to be of unsound mind, and the Bench accordingly remanded him to the Receiving House, Darlinghurst. The untoward circumstance has caused considerable surprise.

ASSOCIATIONS: It is unclear which of his brothers is referred to


An adult excursion from Ballarat to the Sandhurst exhibition took place to day, the party, which numbered about 800 persons, arriving in two special trains about noon . . . The judges at the Exhibition have awarded the gold medal for the best musical composition entered, to Mr. G. F. King, of Launceston, Tasmania, the composition in question being a fantasia for pianoforte and the same as obtained the gold medal at the Ballarat Exhibition. The Silver medal was awarded to W. J. Wadham, of Launceston, for a ballad, "A Passing Dream." J. R. Sothern, of Castlemaine, was awarded a bronze medal, and Miss Lockie Hasker, a young lady only 16 years of age, a resident of Sandhurst, who submitted a Sandhurst waltz, was awarded a certificate . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Frederick King (composer)

[News], The Argus (12 April 1881), 5

We have received from the composer, J. R. Sothern, the following copies of pieces for the pianoforte, namely: - The grand march entitled "Empress of India," and a new setting of Keble's hymn, "Sun of my Soul." The march is easy, tuneful, and rhythmical, in the key of G major, and was found sufficiently good for selection and performance on the Exhibition organ, amongst other music, on the occasion of the late announcement of the jurors' awards by His Excellency the Governor. The hymn is a good composition (3-2 tempo, in the key of A flat major), arranged for quartett of voices, with variation for symphony between verses.

"Echoes", Cairns Post [QLD] (9 March 1889), 3 

The best pianoforte tuner and nicest fellow ever in Cairns is J. A. Sothern.

[Advertisement], Cairns Post (5 June 1889), 4

BEGS to inform the Residents of Cairns and neighbourhood that he has arrived, in town and is prepared to execute all orders with which he may be favoured . . .

[Advertisement], Cairns Post (7 January 1893), 2 

MUSIC. MR. J. R. SOTHERN, Tuner, is again in Cairns and wfll be happy to receive any orders with which he may be favored.
Instruments thoroughly repaired and fitted if necessary, with new strings, springs, &c., at most moderate charges.
Mr. Sothern is well-known as thoroughly reliable in his profession. Address - The Cairns Hotel.

[Government advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (24 July 1899), 8

Name of Deceased Proprietor. - John Russell Sothern, late of Mount Morgan.
Date of Death. - 21st November, 1895.
Name of Claimant. - The Curator of Instate Estates.
Description and Situation of Land. - Subdivision 1 of allotments C and 23 of section 1, town of Port Douglas.
Estate Claimed to be Transmitted. - Fee simple.
Particulars of Will or Otherwise. - Order of the Supreme Court dated 18th December, 1899.
Date within which Caveat may be Lodged, - 11th September, 1899.
J. O. BOURNE, Registrar of Titles, Registrar of Titles' Office, Brisbane, 22nd July, 1899.

"OLD IPSWICH NEWSPAPER HISTORY. MR. G. A. BARKER'S RECORD", Queensland Times (26 July 1927) 

Interesting recollections of early days in Ipswich have been supplied by Mr. Geo. A. Barker, now of Brisbane (brother of the late Mr. T. J. Barker, "Old Sport"), whose memory was jogged by the "Queensland Times" special.
Mr. Barker writes: I entered the service of the "Queensland Times" on February 3, 1868; but it is necessary to go back to the month of July, 1867. I was then engaged by Mr. J. R. Sothern who had a jobbing office in a brick cottage next to the Commercial Hotel. The plant had been brought from Sydney by Mr. Sothern for the purpose of printing a sporting newspaper. He told me the original cost of the plant was £1100. His partners were Messrs. Conroy and Hunt. They were working partners only, and did not put any money into the business. The name of the paper was "Bell's Life," and its columns were open to sporting advertisements and news. It was a failure, and his partners left him to battle with a load of debts. I remember the paper being printed in one of Mr. Femister's cottages, near the culvert. Then the plant was shifted to one of Mr. Brennecke's cottages in Wharf-street, and finally it was shifted to Ellenborough street. I called in there one day in July, and the boy who was then working there, William Feather, asked me if I would take his place, as he wished to go to Toowoomba with his parents. I was only too glad to take it, and Mr. Sothern engaged me there and then. Willy Feather went away, and I was soon initiated into the art of "rolling" the formes. Another boy was engaged - Walter Pratt. He was a good mate, and he successfully "struck" for a higher wage. After a little while he left to go. I think, to the Railway Workshops. He was succeeded by another boy, named Tom Cook. He did not stay long. The attractions of the telegraph service, I think, were stronger than those of the printing arts. Then came the historical opening up of Gympie in October, 1867, and Mr. Sothern joined the big rush to that field, leaving me to do a little casual work for a Mr. Jim Irwin, who had charge of the office in the absence of the "boss." After a couple of months, however, Mr. Sothern came back from Gympie a sad and poor man, one of the many unlucky diggers. He resumed work, and continued until January, 1868, when Messrs. Parkinson and Kidner purchased the plant and took it to Gympie, where they established the "Gympie Times" . . .

Musical works (extant):

The lord is my shepherd (1863)

The lord is my shepherd, an anthem with an accompaniment for pianoforte or organ by J. R. Sothern (Melbourne: Wilkie, Webster & Co., [1863]); W. H. Williams, printer (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Wilkie and John Campbell Webster (publishers); William Henry Williams (printer, music typesetter)

The Australian New Year's march (1864)

The Australian New Year's march by John Russell Sothern, organist of the Hunter's Hill church, to Lieut. Colonel Kempt of her majesty's 12th Regiment this composition is respectfully dedicated (Sydney: Wilkie, Elvy and Co., [1864]); Clarson, Shallard, and Co., printers; A. Grocott, Litho. (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Alonzo Grocott (lithographer); Robert Hammond Elvy (publisher); William Clarson and Joseph Thomas Shallard (printers)

The empress of India grand march (1876)

The empress of India, grand march, composed and arranged for the pianoforte by J. R. Sothern ["Second edition"] (Sydney: James Reading & Co., [1876]); J. N. Fischer, Lith. (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: James Reading (publisher); John N. Fischer (lithographer)

Sun of my soul (1876; new edition ? 1881)

Original edition, by J. Reading and Co., 1876; NO COPY IDENTITIED

Sun of my soul, Keble's favourite hymn, composed, and arranged for quartette and piano, with variation, by J. Russell Sothern (Sydney: Published by the composer, [? 1881]) (DIGITISED)

Literary works (etxant):

"SONNET ON MUSIC" and "LINES WRITTEN ON HEARING MUSIC, PAINTING, AND POETRY CALLED CALLED 'A GLORIOUS TRINITY'", People's & Howitt's journal of literature, art, and popular progress (1848), 164 and 265

The first also republished, as "SONNET ON MUSIC", The quarterly magazine of the Independent Order of Odd-Fellows, Manchester Unity (January 1861), 16 (DIGITISED)

"SONNET ON PEACE", The people's press and monthly historical newspaper (November 1848), 193 (DIGITISED)

Zephyrus, and other poems by John Russell Sothern (Melbourne: Published by A. J. Smith, 1862) (DIGITISED)

Bibliography and resources:

Roll of students entered at the . . . Manchester New College, Manchester, 1840-1853 . . . (Manchester: Johnson and Rawson printers, 1868), [1847] (DIGITISED)

Russell Sothern, Norwich, D 1847-48. Did not finish his course.

The Australasian printers' keepsake: a selection of tales, essays, sketches, and verse, illustrative of the craft in Australia, by Victorian compositors (Melbourne: Edward Fitzgerald, 1885), 40 (DIGITISED)

THERE is a light just verging o'er the South . . .
[Author of "Zephyrus and other Poems" (published in Melbourne, 1862), a native of Bristol, and trained as a compositor in his father's office. Mr. Sothern came out to Melbourne, and after working for some time in Kyneton, started a paper in Gisborne. His poetic tastes unfitted him for the keen commercial life of modern days; for, in Scriptural parlance, he "fell among thieves," and was tricked out of his property. He left the colony for India in 1864, and after a short sojourn there returned to England.]

Sothern, John Russell, Libraries Australia 

John Russell Sothern, AustLit 

SOU-ALLE, Ali-Ben (Ali-Ben-Sou-Alle) see mainpage Ali-Ben SOU-ALLE

SOUTH, George Frederick (George Frederick SOUTH; Mr. G. F. SOUTH; Rev. G. F. SOUTH; George Frederick Handel SOUTH)

Musician, organist, composer, clergyman

Born Salisbury, England, 1838 (first quarter); son of George Bennett SOUTH (1814-1891) and Sarah PEACEY (1814-1889)
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 21 January 1840 (per John Bull, aged "1 1/2")
Married Catherine BAYLISS (1846-1926), VIC, 1864
Active Otago, NZ, c. 1873-81
Died Brunswick, VIC, 28 February 1911, aged "77" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


George South was born in Salisbury early in 1838, a son of George Bennet South and Sarah Peacey, who had married at St. Martin's, Salisbury, on 22 June 1835. In 1840 the family emigrated to Victoria.


List of bounty immigrants per the ship John Bull [January 1840]; Public Records Office Victoria (PAYWALL)

Geo'e South / 27 / Dairyman / [from] Salibury // Sarah / 25 // Geo. / 1 1/2

"NEWS OF THE WEEK", Leader (26 December 1863), 2

A Christmas concert of sacred and secular music was given on Tuesday in the Wesleyan Grammar Schools, Church street, Richmond, by the principal of the schools, Mr. G. F. South, assisted by the members of the Juvenile Philharmonic Society. The attendance was very large, and for the most part consisted of ladies. The evening's entertainment commenced with some pieces of sacred music, after which the cantata of "Christ Stilling the Tempest," composed by Mr. South, was produced with great effect and ability, the soloists being - soprano, Miss E. Reeves; contralto, Miss F. Reeves; tenor, Mr. Wilson; and bass, Mr. C. Reeves. The composition of the piece reflects great credit on the musical talents of the composer. It received a most cordial welcome from the audience . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Fanny Reeves (vocalist)

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (12 March 1864), 4 

We perceive from an advertisement in our issue of to-day, that special services will be held tomorrow in the East Melbourne Congregational Church, at the bottom of Victoria parade. The Rev. J. Beer, the pastor, will preach in the morning; and the Rev. Dr. Cairns in the evening. Also, on Tuesday next, a public tea meeting will be held . . . The choir, under the management of Mr. South, of Richmond, and assisted by Miss Watson, Mr. and Miss Reeves and others will sing some selections from the works of Handel and others.

ASSOCIATIONS: Bertha Watson (vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Argus (24 May 1864), 8

Will be given by the Richmond Juvenile Philharmonic Society and the Richmond Music Class,
Assisted by Miss MORTLEY, Miss FANNY REEVES, Mr. H. Wilson, Mr. C. Wilson. Mr. Spenseley, Mr. N. Fletcher, and others,
Conductor, Mr. G. F. South . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Sarah Mortley (vocalist)

"LATEST FROM VICTORIA . . . THE VICTORIAN WESLEVAN JUBILEE", The Cornwall Chronicle (27 August 1864), 6

The "Wesleyan Chronicle" for the present month says, in reference to the Victorian jubilee of the denomination: "On the 10th instant, we entered upon the jubilee year of Australian Methodism . . ." . . . The Chronicle gives the music of an Australian jubilee ode, composed by Mr. G. F. South, organist of Richmond Wesleyan Church.

[News], The Herald (22 October 1864), 2 

The Richmond Philharmonic Society gave, last evening, at the Town-hall, Hawthorn, a concert of sacred and secular music; including selections from Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, and other composers. There were about two hundred persons present. The concert was given with the object of raising funds to improve the Wesleyan Chapel, Hawthorn, and to fence in the grounds. Mr. G. F. South, the organist of the Richmond Wesleyan Chapel, about six months since formed a musical class from the young ladies and gentlemen of the congregation, under the designation of the Richmond Philharmonic Society, and their performance on last evening did great credit to his instructions. Mr. South presided at the piano. The first part of the programme was confined to sacred music, the second included a miscellaneous collection of sacred and secular music very carefully selected. The performers comprised Miss Alvas, Mrs. Binns, Mrs. Biggen, Miss Lambert, Miss South, Messrs. Johnston, Wilson, Downes, Pinninger, Winter, Fletcher, South, and Master Ford. The choruses in particular were very good; and "Arm, Arm ye, ye Brave" from Judas Maccabaeus was very well rendered by Mr. Wilson. A movement for two flutes, performed by Messrs. South and Wilson from the overture "Christ Stilling the Tempest," was deservedly, encored; but the most satisfactory feature of [? the evening] was the singing of Mrs. Binns . . .

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (10 August 1865), 5 

This evening a concert of sacred music will be given in the East Melbourne Congregational Church (Rev. J. Beer's), on the occasion of the opening of a new organ, constructed by Mr. Geo. Fincham, of Bridge-road, Richmond. Mr. G. F. South will preside at the organ . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Fincham (organ builder)

[Advertisement], The Herald (10 August 1865), 2 

A CONCERT of SACRED MUSIC Will be given By the Choir of the above Church,
On the Opening of the NEW ORGAN! (Built by Mr. George Fincham, of Bridge Road, Richmond)
On THURSDAY, 10th AUGUST, 1865, At Half-past Seven,
G. F. SOUTH, Mus. Doc. (Composer of "The Australian Jubilee Ode," "Christ Stilling the Tempest," etc., etc.) will preside at the organ.
And Miss MORTLEY, Miss FANNY REEVES, Messrs. G. A. JOHNSON, C. BLANCHARD, J. WILSON, H. WILSON, And other friends will take part.
Overture - Organ.
I will extol Thee - Anthem - Mason.
From Mighty Kings - Miss Mortley - Handel.
Rest Pilgrim, rest - The Misses Lambert - Glover.
Arm! Arm! ye Brave - Mr. J. Wilson - Handel.
The Redeemed of the Lord - Chorus - Bennett.
Come ever smiling liberty - Miss Lambert - Handel.
Every valley - Mr. G. A. Johnson - Handel.
Return O Lord of Hosts - Miss F. Reeves - Handel.
The waters saw Thee O God - Miss Boulter and Mr. J. Wilson - G. F. South.
Thus saith the Lord - Mr. H. Wilson - Handel.
O rest in the Lord - Miss E. Lambert - Mendelssohn.
Overture- Organ.
The Heavens are Telling - Chorus - Haydn.
Overture - Organ.
Be Still and Know - Miss Ivey - G. F. South.
O Come to Him ye Weary - (Quartette) Miss Mortley, F. Reeves, Mr. J. Wilson, Mr. H. Wilson.
Tis Liberty - Mr. McNaught - Handel.
The Righteous shall be Glad - Anthem - Mason.
The Morning Song ("From Christ Stilling the Tempest) - Miss Boulter - G. F. South.
The Saviour's Voice - ("From Christ Stilling the Tempest") - Miss Mortley - G. F. South.
The People that Walked - Mr. C. Blanchard - Handel.
The Spirit and the Bride ("From Christ Stilling the Tempest") - Miss Reeves - G. F. South.
Hallelujah. Grand Final Chorus, from Handel's Messiah.
Tickets, 2s. each, may be had of Members of the Choir, and at the Door.

[News], The Leader (12 August 1865), 3 

The concert of sacred music given at the East Melbourne Congregational Church, last Thursday, drew together a numerous audience, whose principal object was to commemorate the opening of an organ made in the colony. To Mr. G. Fincham, of Bridge-road, Richmond, is due the credit of having constructed an instrument which will compare favorably with any of the importations which have been made from first-class London houses. The programme submitted comprised selections from "The Messiah," "Judas Maccabaeus," "The Creation," and a new oratorio by Mr. G. F. South, entitled "Christ Stilling the Tempest." The principal vocalists were Miss Mortley and Mr. C. Blanchard, both of whom were in excellent voice. Mr. South presided at the organ. A Miss Boulter sang a solo from Mr. South's oratorio with great taste and expression. Her voice, a contralto, though somewhat wanting in compass, has a fine lower range, and her intonation is firm and distinct. The most artistic effort of the evening was Mr. Blanchard's rendering of the great solo from "Judas Maccabaeus," [sic] "The People that Walked in Darkness." The anthems and choruses were sung by the choir of the church with tolerable steadiness. . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Blanchard (vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Age (23 October 1866), 8 

OPENING of PRESTON WESLEYAN ORGAN, on TUESDAY EVENING, 23rd OCTOBER (not Wednesday), at eight o'clock.
Admission, One Shilling; children, Sixpence.
F. E. Beaver, Esq., Chairman; Mr. G. F. South, Organist.

[News], The Argus (13 September 1867), 4

A concert of sacred music took place last evening, in the Wesleyan Church, Richmond, in aid of the building fund. There was a fair attendance, there being about 200 people present. The programme consisted of selections from Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Mendelssohn, and other composers; and there being among the performers some acknowledged favourites, who were well supported by a good chorus, the various pieces were rendered in a manner that could not fail to give satisfaction. The efforts of Miss Mortley and Miss Ivey were especially applauded, as well as those of Mr. G. F. South, who presided at the organ with his usual ability. Mr. H. Wilson is also deserving of praise, for the creditable manner in which he performed the duties devolving upon him as conductor.

[News], Gippsland Times (28 December 1883), 2

At the Ordination Service held in St. Peter's Church, Eastern Hill, Melbourne, on Sunday morning last, of four candidates for the office of Deacon two gentlemen were from Gippsland, namely Mr. John Standrin, now stationed at Walhalla, late Primitive Methodist clergyman at Sale, and Mr. George Frederick South, of Holy Trinity, Stratford, who were admitted into Holy orders, by the Right Rev. Dr. Moorhouse, D.D., Bishop of Melbourne.

Probate, George Frederick South, died 28 February 1911; Public Record Office Victoria 

Bibliography and resources:

Enid Noel Matthews, Colonial organs and organ builders (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1969), 129, 146

SOUTH, Eliza Anna (Eliza Anna SOUTH) = Madame Anna KING (Mrs. Frederick Augustus KING)
SOUTH, James Anthony (junior) see main entry James Anthony SOUTH (junior)

SOUTTEN, Frank Morris (Frank Morris SOUTTEN; Frank M. SOUTTEN; F. M. SOUTTEN)

Dramatist, librettist, writer of farces, vaudevilles, &c.

Born Lambeth, Surrey, England, 1835; baptised, St. John's, Lambeth, 24 June 1835; son of Francis SOUTTEN and Amelia BARNETT (d. 1887)
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, September 1852 (per Statesman, from London, 22 June)
Died Albury, NSW, 4 January 1856, "aged 21" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)


Frank Morris Soutten was born in Lambeth, Surrey, and baptised at St. John's, Lambeth, on 24 June 1835, the eldest surviving son of Francis Soutten, a butcher and musical amateur, and his wife, Amelia Barnett, a theatrical dancer, who had married at St. Faith under St. Paul, in the city of London, on 9 April 1831. Their first son, whose first name was also Frank, was born on 8 July 1831, but was buried at St. Faith's on 23 December 1832, aged 17 months. In the March 1851 census, Francis, a teacher of music, and Amelia, teacher of dancing, are listed with their 17-year-old son, "Frank M.", born at Lambeth, Surrey. Boarding the Statesman for Melbourne, in London, in June 1852, Frank M. gave his age, perhaps slightly prematurely, as 18. But his aged at death, in January 1856, was probably correctly reported as 21.

Soutten's maternal uncle was the actor and playwright Morris Barnett.


Baptisms solemnized in the parish of Saint Paul Covent Garden in the county of Middlesex in the year 1832; register 1813-40, page 198; City of Westminster Archives (PAYWALL)

No. 1582 / March 4th / Frank Son of / Francis and Amelia / Soutten / Born July 8th 1831 / Tavistock Street / Butcher . . .

Baptisms solemnized in the parish of St. John the Evangelist Lambeth in the county of Surrey in the year 1835; London Metropolitan Archives (PAYWALL)

24 June 1835 / Frank Morris / [son of] Francis & Amelia / Soutten / . . .

England census, St. Marylebone, Middlesex; UK National Archives, HO107/1487/95/23 (PAYWALL)

27 Queen Anne St. / Francis Soutten / Head / Mar. / 41 / Teacher of Music / [born] [Middlesex London]
Amelia [Soutten] / Wife / Mar. / 42 / [Teacher of] Dancing / [born Middlesex London]
Frank M. [Soutten] / Son / - / 17 / Clerk S. E. Railway / [born] Surrey Lambeth
Benj. / 15 // Sarah / 14 // Marie / 12 // [all born Surrey Lambeth] / Camillo / 2 / [born] Midx. London . . .

Names and descriptions of passengers per Statesman, from London, 22 June 1852, for Port Phillip; Public Record Office Victoria (DIGITISED)

. . . F. M. Soutten / 18 / Clerk . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (27 November 1852), 8 

on MONDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 29th, At the Protestant Hall . . .
PART II. For the First Time, an entirely New Musical Vaudeville, written expressly for the Nelson Family, entitled -
Mr. Charles Hedgoff, (a vacillating married man) - Mr. A. Nelson
Mrs. Charles Hedgoff, (his jealous spouse) - Miss Nelson
Master Arthur Turfington, (the sporting gent) - Miss Carry Nelson
Duet - Oh, what a state of fear - Miss Nelson, and Mr. A. Nelson.
Song - Woman rules you still - Miss Nelson
Duet - Let us be united - Miss Nelson, Mr. A. Nelson
Song - I'm a gent - Miss C. Nelson
Finale - If our friends wish us well, we're content - Miss Nelson, Miss C. Nelson, and Mr. A. Nelson.
Mr. S. Nelson will preside at the Pianoforte . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Sidney Nelson (pianist, composer); Marie Nelson (actor, vocalist); Carry Nelson (actor, vocalist); Alfred Nelson (actor, vocalist)

[Advertisement], The Argus (31 May 1854), 8

A TURK IN DISTRESS will be performed tomorrow evening, Thursday, at the Mechanic's Institute, at the Nelson Family's Entertainment.
TURK IN DISTRESS, a comic situation, written by Mr. F. M. Soutten, author of the Sporting Gent., expressly for the Nelson Family's Musical Entertainment.

[Advertisement], The Argus (1 June 1854), 8 

this Evening, Thursday, June 1st, when will be presented, in addition to other entertainments, a Comic Situtation, written expressly for Mr. Alfred Nelson, by F. M. Soutten, Esq., author of "The Sporting Gent," entitled A Turk in Distress.
A Comic Situation entitled, "A Turk in Distress."
Mr. Augustus Spivkins (a fast character) - Mr. A. Nelson.
The voice of Mr. Jollybanks (a steady character).
" Mrs. Jollybanks (a middle-aged character).
" Miss Susan Sniggers (a queer character).
" Popkins (a monthly character).
" Mr. Green (an agricultural character).
" Miss Fanny (an interesting character).v Song - I Dreamt that I danced at Jullien's Mask'd Ball - Mr. A. Nelson . . .

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

FIRST night of "The Russians in Melbourne" - Mechanics' Institution.
The Nelson Family's Musical Entertainment, on Thursday, June 29th, 1854.
Programme. Part I. Concert.
Part II.
For the first time, an entirely new and original highly probable versified local catastrophe, written by Mr. R. M. Soutten, the music arranged by Mr. S. Nelson, entitled
"The Russians In Melbourne"
Mr. Rostrum (a retired auctioneer) - Mr. A. Nelson.
James Curricomb (his groom) - Miss C. Nelson.
Clarinda Rostrum (his daughter) - Miss Nelson.
Mary Ann (his maid of all work). - Miss Invisible Green.
The Russian Forces.
Her antipathy - supposed to exist in the imagination of several elderly ladies.
Time - Now or never.
Scene - Anywhere In Melbourne.
The characters will give themselves several airs in the following strain:
Ballad - No more glasses - Miss C. Nelson.
Duet - Now work, good James - Miss C. and Mr. A. Nelson.
Song - Come down with me - Miss Nelson.
Duet - Tramp to Bendigo - The Misses Nelson.
Trio - Oh, dear me - The Misses and Mr. A. Nelson.
Duet - Sir, what's the reason -Miss C. and Mr. A. Nelson.
Song - Pray, Father - Miss Nelson.
Song - The rumors fast increase - Miss C. Nelson.
Trio - The Russians are coming - The Misses and Mr. A. Nelson.
Finale, Now, our doubts and fears - The Misses and Mr. A. Nelson.
Mr. S. Nelson will preside at the pianoforte . . .

"THE NELSON FAMILY", The Argus (11 July 1854), 5

We are disposed to encourage entertainments which evidently afford pleasure to the public, and have therefore no hesitation in again drawing attention to the Nelson family, whose last novelty "the Russians in Melbourne," is likely to become the most popular of their performances. Last night there was a tolerable house, and certainly one of the most delighted audiences it has been our good fortune to witness for some time. There is no mistaking genuine hearty laughter, and unanimous applause. The Misses Nelson were encored, almost unmercifully, in their songs, and at the close of the performance were called up on the stage to receive further compliments of the audience. Everybody left the room in good spirits, for it is just one of that sort of entertainments which drive away care, and in such dull times as these is as great a treat as a bath after a hot wind.

[Advertisement], The Argus (7 August 1854), 8

FIRST NIGHT OF A NEW PIECE, by Mr. F. M. Soutten, author of "The Sporting Gent," "Russians in Melbourne," &c., entitled A MIDNIGHT MYSTERY.
This Evening - Monday, August 7th, 1854 . . .
Part II. For the first time of an entirely new and original Musical vaudeville, written by Mr. F. M. Soutten, entitled
The music composed and arranged by Mr. S. Nelson.
Captain Arthur Tyrone, An officer in the Jacobite service - Mr. A. Nelson.
The Honorable Miss Millers, A lady of fortune - Miss Nelson.
Margery, her unsophisticated maid - Miss C. Nelson.
Period - The Reign of William III.
Incidental Music.
Duet - What a Fearful Night - The Misses Nelson.
Song - How Joyous and Sportive - Miss C. Nelson.
Duet - The Legend - The Misses Nelson.
Song - Let Youths never Listen - Miss Nelson.
Trio - It's Useless Resisting - The Misses and Mr. A. Nelson.
Finale - Now our little plot is ended.
Mr. S Nelson will preside at the Pianoforte . . .

"NELSON FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT", The Argus (8 August 1854), 5 

A musical vaudeville under the thrilling title of "A Midnight Mystery," was performed by the Nelson Family yesterday evening at the Mechanics' Institution, and was received with cordial applause by a crowded audience. It is the production of Mr. F. M. Soutten, already favorably known here as the author of the "Russians in Melbourne," and other pleasing pieces. The Midnight Mystery was completely successful. The plot involves a ghost story, which terminates in the spectre becoming a happy lover. The incidental music was exceedingly appropriate. Of the acting and singing of the Misses Nelson we have already expressed our high opinion; and of Mr. A. Nelson we should probably be able to speak in equally favorable terms were he to divest himself of a tendency to exaggeration to which he is rather prone. Miss C. Nelson, in her character of a lady's maid, seemed a particular favorite with the audience. The Midnight Mystery, if not quite equal to some of Mr. Soutten's former pieces, is yet well worthy of being listened to, and we doubt not will form an attractive part, for some time to come, of the very pleasant entertainments of the Nelson Family.

[Advertisement], The Argus (10 August 1854), 8 

This Evening (Thursday), August 10th, 1854, At the Mechanics' Institution.
The Nelson Family beg to announce their last Musical Entertainment previous to their departure from Melbourne will take place on the above-named evening, on which occasion will be presented, for the second time, the very successful Musical Vaudeville
A MIDNIGHT MYSTERY. And, by particular desire, for this night only, THE RUSSIANS IN MELBOURNE . . .

"QUEEN'S THEATRE", The Argus (14 September 1854), 5 

. . . The great public farce of Thursday last is to be reproduced upon the boards shortly, - "The Battle of Melbourne" by Messrs. Akhurst and Soutten, being announced to be in active preparation . . .

"ENTERTAINMENT BY THE NELSON FAMILY", The Argus (26 September 1854), 5 

This popular troupe give one of their pleasing entertainments on Saturday evening at Rowe's Circus. The performances will be, on this occasion, for the benefit of the Misses Nelson. The programme contains several novelties, including a new Australian Anthem, the poetry by Mr. F. M. Soutten, and the music composed by Mr. Nelson. A new piece also by Mr. Soutten, entitled "A Brace of Ducks," will be given for the first time. Of the latter, which we hear is of the "Box and Cox" school, report speaks favorably. The afterpiece is the favorite colonial comedietta "Romance and Reality" . . .

"AUSTRALIAN ANTHEM", The Argus (28 September 1854), 5

We understand that a new Australian Anthem, composed by Mr. S. Nelson, will shortly be published by Mr. Joseph Wilkie, of Collins-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Wilkie (music publisher); the edition probably never appeared

"THEATRICAL INTELLIGENCE", South Australian Register (29 November 1854), 3 

The Melbourne papers state that . . . An excellent piece, founded on the alarm caused in Melbourne by the reception the Great Britain received on her liberation from quarantine, and entitled the "Battle of Melbourne," had a brilliant course. The piece was written by Messrs. Akhurst and Soutten, and a Pantomime for Christmas, from the pen of the former gentleman, is expected to prove a treat . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Mower Akhurst (playwright); in September the Great Britain steamship from England had been placed in quarantine, several cases of smallpox having been identified on board

"THE NELSON FAMILY", The Argus (30 September 1854), 5

An entertainment for the special benefit of this Misses Nelson takes place this evening at Rowe's Circus. The bill of fare, as we have already stated, is of first-rate promise, and will, no doubt, attract a large audience. A good band has, we hear, been engaged, and Mr. Winterbottom is announced for a bassoon solo, on themes from the Sonnambula. The new anthem composed by Mr. S. Nelson is highly spoken of; it has been arranged for four voices, with full orchestral accompaniments . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Rowe's Circus (venue), also known at the time as the "Royal Victoria Theatre"

[Advertisement], The Argus (30 September 1854), 8

ROWE'S CIRCUS. Great Attraction for This Night Only.
The Benefit of MISS NELSON and MISS CARRY NELSON. This Evening, Saturday, September 30th 1854.
On which occasion the Nelson Family will be assisted by M. Winterbottom and a Full Band.
For the first time, the new Australian Anthem, composed by Mr. S. Nelson, will be sung, and a new piece, written expressly for the Misses Nelson, entitled A Brace of Ducks . . .
Part II. For the first time, an entirely new and original Perplexing Predicament, written expressly for the Misses Nelson, by Mr. F. M. Soutten, entitled
Miss Arabella Duck (a chorus singer at the Opera, a young lady with an intense admiration for Shakspeare and Dr. Watts) - Miss C. Nelson.
Miss Quintius Curtius Duck (Editor of The Ladies' Thimble weekly journal, a strong-minded female) - Miss Nelson.
Mr. Cheeky Chucks (a false-hearted Poutles, with an extraordinary compass of voice).
Mrs. Knubbles (a conscientious landlady).
Incidental Music.
Recitative and Air - About Eight Hundred Years Ago - Miss C. Nelson
Quadrille - Jetty Treffs - Band - Jullien
Overture - Fra Diavolo - Auber . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Winterbottom (musician, bassonist, conductor)

"THE BATTLE OF MELBOURNE", The Argus (3 October 1854), 5 

The theatre was crowded to the point or suffocation last night by the expectants of entertainment from the first representation of this new piece. The names of Messrs. Soutten and Akhurst are guarantees for a clever and telling farce. The event on which the piece is founded is fresh in the recollection or the inhabitants of Melbourne, and involved the farcical element to such an extent as to warrant the hope that a successful dramatic representation should form its appropriate sequel. Repeated peals of laughter attested the sympathy of the audience in the comic representation of the fright the advent of the Great Britain caused. The hits at the colonial authorities and the Corporation of Melbourne, with which the piece was studded, told wonderfully. The actors did their duty. Mr. Rogers's "getting up" for his part, and the performance of it, prove his possession, in an eminent degree, or the powers required for that style of acting. We anticipate a long course of prosperity for the piece.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Herbert Rogers (actor); Queen's Theatre (venue)

"RECENT IMPORTATIONS", The Argus (13 December 1854), 6 

A new farce, bearing this title, and from the pen of Mr. Soutten, the author of the popular "Russians in Melbourne," was produced on Monday evening at the Victoria Theatre, better known as Rowe's Circus. The piece was successful, but dragged rather heavily in consequence of most of the performers being very imperfect. The plot is slight, and not over original but the dialogue, which abounds with telling hits, involving most of the topics of the day, is as is generally the case in Mr. Soutten's farces, exceedingly smart and pungent. The author himself performed Downey, a Benison pet; and evinced in his delineation of his own creation, a considerable amount of histrionic talent. He was, however, very miserably supported, and many of the jokes were, in consequence, entirely lost. The dialogue at the commencement of the farce is unnecessarily protracted, and we would advise the author to call in the aid of the pruning knife, prior to it being repeated.


The leading feature in the Christmas novelties at the Victoria Theatre, corner of Lonsdale and Stephen streets, consisted of a new piece, entitled "An Argus Extraordinary; or the latest from Ballarat," being a comical, allegorical, farcical impossibility, in several unlawful acts, by F. M. Soutten, Esq., author of the "Sporting Gent," &c. The piece opens with an introduction in the style of an allegory, representing Britannia holding a consultation on the political state of England and the nations with whom she is at war, the characters taking part in the conversazione, being Columbia, her eldest, and Australia, her youngest child. On the curtain rising, Britannia (Miss St. Clair,) "an old lady who has so many children that she don't know what to do," is standing with her trident in her hand and her shield before her. The scene is laid "High, sky high," as the play-bill tells us, or, to be intelligible, in the clouds. After a short soliloquy, she summons Columbia (Miss Warde), "a smart child, with independent notions," who appears dressed in Bloomer costume. A lively interchange of Yankee notions, dressed in appropriate phraseology and British political and social sentiments, then takes place between the mother and the daughter. Miss Warde was herself in this part, which has some very telling hits against the national prejudices of the United Kingdom. The old lady chides her fast daughter, and reminds her of the stripes on her flag, representing slavery, and Uncle Tom's Cabin. Columbia forthwith declares that
"Uncle Tom's Cabin's one tarnation fib;
In fact, 'tis nothing but a wretched crib."
Australia (Miss Glover), Britannia's youngest, "rather delicate, his constitution being in danger," being duly summoned, enters with a mill-stone hanging to his arm, and a bad genius, Crime - "a demon in the van of Australian society," chained to him. The millstone represents the squatting interest. Miss Glover was attired in a very appropriate dress and wore a straw hat. Her acting was attended with a shower of "coo-eh's." Miss Glover's part was full of capital puns, which were given in a telling manner. The Press (Mr. Soutten) "a good genius, a well known champion" also has a part to play in the allegory. The "press" was enrobed in newspapers, and carried a huge pen, with which he fought with the bad genius Crime, and finally overcame him. The habiliments of "Mr. Press" were evidently not cut by an experienced tailor. His entree created great laughter. Although from its not being completed in time, the piece was not all performed, it was received enthusiastically. This is the best local piece we have ever witnessed, and doubt not but that it will have a good run. Miss St. Clair, as Britannia, sustained by no means an easy part in a such a manner as to call forth repeated bouts of applause. Crime has a part full of sarcastic hits at the Home Government . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Kate Warde (actor); Emma St. Clair (actor)

"THE COLONY OF VICTORIA . . . PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS", The Argus (27 January 1855), 5 

. . . One of the most favorite entertainments of the day was that given by the family of Mr. S. Nelson, the well-known composer of the popular songs, " The Pilot" and "The Rose of Allandale." It consisted of a vocal concert of principally English music, followed by a smart vaudeville, usually having local reference. These performances brought out two dramatic authors, Mr. W. M. Akhurst and Mr. F. Soutten. "Quite Colonial," by the former gentleman, places in a very amusing light the various inconveniences to which the new chum is exposed on landing in Victoria, the troubles that environ the lady of the house in making her domestic arrangements particularly. Mr. Soutten, in "The Russians in Melbourne," makes the apprehension of of a Muscovite invasion the means of propitiating the favor of a hardhearted uncle for the lover of his niece. Both of these pieces acquired considerable popularity, which they still retain. These successes becoming known in England and elsewhere in the early part of 1854, seem to have induced an Australian mania among the members of the theatrical and musical professions; and during that year there was a continuous immigration of the unknown "eminents" of the British and American stage . . .

"BENDIGO (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT) Sandhurst, March 8th, 1855 . . . BENEFIT FOR THE BALLAARAT DEFENCE FUND", The Argus (8 March 1855), 6 

The Nelson family, with a liberality which does them the greatest credit, devoted the proceeds of the entertainment on Thursday evening last to the benefit of the Ballaarat Defence Fund. The sky threatened rain, and a few heavy showers fell, which prevented the attendance of many who would have been present, so that the house was not so good as it should have been. The nett proceeds of the benefit amounted to about £20. The first piece was a short entertaining one, entitled "The Post of Honor," which was put upon the stage very well. The afterpiece was a burlesque upon Uncle Tom's Cabin, written by Mr. Soutten, a gentleman favorably known to the public of Melbourne as the author of several very clever and successful local farces. The burlesque is very cleverly written, though it hung heavily in some parts. Uncle Tom is metamorphosed into a broken down Ethiopian serenader. The burlesque was preceded by an opening part representing an allegory, in which Britannia, Columbia, and Australia are the chief characters. This is very cleverly written, abounding in pungent local allusions and clever repartee. As it deserves a more particular notice, I shall reserve further remark upon it. Before the curtain rose for the second piece, Mr. Benson came forward, and thanked the audience for having responded to the appeal in behalf of the state prisoners. They were aware that two of the prisoners had already been acquitted by a jury of their countrymen on the charge of high treason. At this statement, a cheer was raised which was taken up by the whole house, and for five minutes the place rung with repeated applause . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Ballarat Defence Fund, for the benefit of the state prisoners of the Eureka rebellion

"MR. BARLOW'S MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (12 May 1855), 4 

In addition to the amusements nightly offered to the Beechworth people, we have been favoured during the past week with a series of entertainments by the celebrated Mr. Barlow, at the Salle de Valentino. The nature of his performances is, we presume, too well known to need description; but, for the information of those who may not have been enlightened on the subject, we may state that they are of a very varied and amusing kind. He displays wonderful talent in the knowledge and use of a variety of musical instruments, many of them of a particularly novel character; and is, moreover, ably assisted by Mr. Soutten, a comic singer, who composes a new local song for every evening. On the occasion of his first performance, on Saturday last the house was crowded, since when, we regret to state, owing to the inclemency of the weather, the attendance has been rather thin. His benefit is announced for to-night, and we wish him, as he well merits, a bumper house. We understand that he will perform on Monday and Tuesday next at Yackandandah, in the new "Hall of Apollo," attached to Mr. Jarvis's hotel; and we take this opportunity of recommending Mr. Barlow to the notice of the residents at Yackandandah, assuring them a pleasant evening's entertainment.

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Barlow (vocalist, musician)

[Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (12 May 1855), 1 

Salle de Valentino, Beechworth Hotel.
BARLOW'S BENEFIT On Saturday Next, May 12,
on which occasion a host of talent will appear, comprising the following gentlemen,
being their first appearance together as The American Minstrels,
introducing a variety of Songs, Glees, Chorusses, Catches, &c.
New Puns, Dances, Witticisms, Plantation Jigs & Local Songs.
In the course of the evening, Messrs. Barlow & Soutten will appear in a comic sketch (first time), entitled,
The Black Recruit; OR, Volunteers for the Russian War . . .
Mr. F. M. SOUTTEN will appear as the new member for Beechworth . . .
Admission-Reserved Seats, 7s. 6d.; Back Seats, 5s.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joe Small (comic vocalist); George Frederick Zeplin (musician); George Griffith (musician); Julius Henry Eller [sic] (vocalist)

"DEATH FROM DROWNING", The Argus (18 January 1856), 5

We regret to have to record the occurrence of a fatal accident to Mr. F. M. Soutten, a young man of considerable literary ability, and favorably known to the Melbourne public as the author of several clever vaudevilles which were performed by the Nelson family about two years ago. Mr. Soutten lost his life while bathing in the river Murray, at Albury, on the morning of the 4th inst. His body was recovered by some gentlemen with whom he had engaged to proceed overland to Sydney, and was by them interred. The deceased was only twenty one years of age, and was a great favorite with all who were in his intimacy. His dramatic compositions are evidence of great talent, and his friends were very confident of his ability to surpass any of his efforts in that line. He was the author of the successful vaudevilles, "The Sporting Gent," "A Midnight Mystery," "A Brace of Ducks," "A Turk in Distress", and "The Russians in Melbourne," the last of which was the first original burlesque produced in this colony. He was also associated with Mr. W. M. Akhurst in the authorship of a piece de circonstance entitled "The Battle of Melbourne," which being founded upon the ridiculous circumstances which accompanied the return of the Great Britain from quarantine, met with great success at the Queen's Theatre, then under the management of Messrs. Young and Hydes. Mr. Soutten came of a thoroughly theatrical family, his mother, when Miss Barnett being renowned as one of the most accomplished maitresses de ballet of her day, and his uncle Mr. Morris Barnett, being even more famous as the author of "Monsieur Jacques," the "Serious Family," and numerous other successful dramatic pieces.

ASSOCIATIONS: Morris Barnett (actor, playwright, Soutten's maternal uncle)

Other sources:

The manual of the ball room; containing the newest and most fashionable dances by Madame Soutten (London: Thomas Allman, 1853) (DIGITISED)

Morris Barnett, Wikipedia 

SPAGNOLETTI, Ernesto (senior) see main page Ernesto SPAGNOLETTI senior
SPAGNOLETTI, Ernesto (junior) see main page Ernesto SPAGNOLETTI junior
SPAGNOLETTI, Nina see main page Nina SPAGNOLETTI
SPAGNOLETTI, Hylton see main page Hylton SPAGNOLETTI


Butcher, Publican, hotelier, music venue proprietor (Royal Hotel, Sydney)

Born South Brent, Devon, England, 1799; son of Edward SPARKE (1769-1844) and Mary HOSKING (1772-1852)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 1824 (free per Aguila)
Married Mary WALFORD (Mrs. SYMONS) (1798-1881), St. James's church, Sydney, NSW, 5 July 1830
Died Sydney, NSW, 14 December 1852, aged "53" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

ASSOCIATIONS: Royal Hotel, Sydney

John Sparke, hotel keeper, Royal Hotel, Sydney; Heads of the people (18 March 1848)

John Sparke, hotel keeper, Royal Hotel, Sydney; in Heads of the people (18 March 1848), frontispiece (DIGITISED)


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

Sparke Edward / 60 / CT / Aguila 1824 // Mary / 57 // John / 29 / Butcher / King St. Sydney // . . .

"MARRIED", The Sydney Monitor (14 July 1830), 4 

On Monday, by special license, at St. James's Church, MR. JOHN SPARK, of Sydney, to MRS. SYMONS, of the George Inn, Castlereagh Street.

"THE HOTEL KEEPER", Heads of the people (18 March 1848), frontispiece (Sparke portrait above); 1-2 (Royal Hotel, below)

. . . Every man is not born to be a genius, nor is every one fitted to be an Hotel-keeper, but, there are few in this colony who possess more capabilities for the latter than Mr. John Sparkes, the well known and highly-esteemed head of the Royal Hotel in George-street, whose fortune, however, has not been equal to his merit. The original building of that name was erected by Mr. Barnet Levy, who transformed a large store attached to it into a theatre, and obtained a licence for dramatic performances from Sir Richard Bourke, who restricted him to the production of such pieces as had received the approval of the Lord Chamberlain in England. The first regular performance took place on the 26th December, 1832, in the Saloon of the Royal Hotel, when, to use a conventional phrase, "Black-eyed Susan" and "Monsieur Tonson" were received with unbounded applause, by a brilliant and fashionable audience. The company then consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Knowles, Mr. and Mrs. Mackay, Messrs. Meredith, Groves, Buckingham, Johnson, Peate, Dyball, and Barnet Levy. For two seasons the little theatre [2] was crowded to excess; and the great marks of encouragement which he received from the colonists induced the proprietor to prepare a larger arena for displaying the talents of his dramatic corps, and, in the latter end of 1833, he removed his whole force to his new temple of Thespis, which was called the "Theatre Royal, Sydney." The Royal Hotel then reverted to its original purposes, and in 1836 Mr. Sparkes took possession of, and continued in, it until 1840, when it was unluckily burnt down, together with the adjoining premises belonging to Mr. Blanch, an ironfounder, in whose stables the fire originated. The fee simple then belonged to Mr. Joseph Wyatt; from him it passed into the hands of Mr. John Terry Hughes, who erected the present magnificent structure upon the old site. The pecuniary embarrassments of this gentleman occasioned by the magnitude of his speculations, and the sudden depression of Colonial affairs have left the building incomplete at the present moment; but it is to be hoped, that the day is not far distant when Mr. Hughes' difficulties will disappear, and the original design of the Royal Hotel be fully carried out. It will then contain upwards of 100 rooms, comprising from 70 to 80 sleeping apartments, a billiard-room, ball-room, and concert-room, and every convenience which the most fastidious public can require. As Mr. Sparkes has obligingly favored us with his head for this number of our work, we furnish our readers, by way of a tail-piece, with an engraving of the edifice over which he presides so praiseworthily. -

ASSOCIATIONS: Barnett Levey (proprietor); Theatre Royal (venue); Richard Bourke (governor); Conrad and Harriet Knowles (actors); Frances and Angus Mackay (actors); John Meredith (actor); Daniel Parsons Grove (actor); George Buckingham (actor); Mr. Dyball (actor); Joseph Wyatt (proprietor)

Royal Hotel, George Street, Sydney; Heads of the people (18 March 1848), 2

Royal Hotel, George Street, Sydney; Heads of the people (18 March 1848), 2

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 August 1850), 1

MESSRS. PELL, HANWOOD, GERMAN, and WHITE, beg respectfully to acquaint the gentry and inhabitants of Sydney that they have arrived here via New Bedford, and purpose giving a series of these popular and fashionable entertainments, the first of which will take place at the Royal Hotel on Wednesday, August 7th, when the most favourite Vocal and Instrumental Songs and Solos will be introduced. For further particulars see bills. Tickets to be obtained at Mr. Sparke's, Royal Hotel, and Mr. Ducro's, Music Saloon, 28, Hunter-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: Ethiopian Serenaders (August 1850); John Henry Ducros (music seller)

"DIED", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 December 1852), 3 

On the 14th instant, at his residence, Royal Hotel, George-street, Mr. John Sparke, aged fifty-three years, after a long and protracted illness.

"CHOW YOW FIN. A LEGEND OF VAUCLUSE", Empire (31 December 1852), 2 

The Lord of Vaucluse is gloomy and sad,
His collar's awry, and he looks very bad;
He paces his chamber with furious tread,
With a Panama hat on the top of his head.
Hurried and flurried,
Excited and worried.
He drinks not his coffee, he eats not his grub,
But looks like Diog'nes who liv'd in a tub.

Chow Yow Fin from Vaucluse is fled,
And alarm through the rest of the vassals has spread,
As they trembling think of the terrible fate
That, will fall to the lot of their runaway mate.
Rambling and scrambling.
Trotting and ambling,
If he's gone to the diggings he'll soon be brought back.
For the lndigoes Royal are out on his track.

The sound of the banjo is heard in the hall!
How sweet on the ear do its dulcet notes fall,
Like the gushing of water through dingle or dell
Or a Black Serenader at Sparkes's Hotel.
Twanging and banging,
Banging and twanging,
Mixed with its notes as they travel along,
The voice of " The Baron" is heard in this song . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: The lord of Vaucluse = William Charles Wentworth (politician)

SEE ALSO: Chow Yow Fin, AustLit (PAYWALL)

Bibliography and resources:

John Sparke, Find a grave 


Vocalist (pupil of Garcia and Negri), teacher of singing and pianoforte

Arrived Sydney, NSW, by February 1855; ? departed May, 1855 (for Melbourne) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 February 1855), 1 

SOIREE MUSICALE given by Mr. EDWARD BOULANGER, on THURSDAY evening, 22nd instant, at the ROYAL HOTEL.
Vocal parts by Mrs. SPENCE, pupil of Garcia, her first appearance in Sydney; Mrs. St. JOHN ADCOCK; Mr. J. FAIRCHILD.
Instrumental Parts by Mr. BOULANGER, Mr. HENRY MARSH, assisted by the Band of XI. Regiment, by the kind permission of Colonel Bloomfield and officers.
Reserved seats, half a guinea. Single tickets, six shillings. To be had of H. MARSH and CO., Music Warehouse, 171, George-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Boulanger (solo pianist); Henry Marsh (pianist, accompanist); Marianne Adcock (vocalist); Joseph Fairchild (vocalist); Band of the 11th Regiment (military band)

"MUSIC", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 February 1855), 4

To-morrow evening, a soiree musicale will be given by Monsieur E. Boulanger, a pianist of much reputation in Europe and America . . . M. Boulanger will be assisted by Mrs. Spence, who will make her first appearance in Sydney. This lady is a pupil of Garcia, and is very highly spoken of in musical circles.

ASSOCIATIONS: Manuel Garcia (London-based teacher of singing)


. . . On the present occasion, Mrs. Spence (a pupil we are informed of Garcia) will make her opening debut before a Sydney audience. This Lady's vocal powers are spoken of in terms of much commendation . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 February 1855), 1 

THURSDAY next, the 22nd instant, at the ROYAL HOTEL.
Mr. Edward Boulanger will be assisted by
Mrs. SPENCE, pupil of Garcia, her first appearance in Sydney . . .
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . Song - "So dear art thou to me" - Mrs. Spence - Hume [Hime]
PART II . . . Song - "Robert, toi que j'aime" - Mrs. Spence - Auber [sic] . . .
Song - "What will you do, Love?" - Mrs. Spence - Lover . . .
Conductor, Mr. Henry Marsh . . .

"MR. EDWARD BOULANGER'S SOIREE MUSICALE", Empire (23 February 1855), 4

. . . Au reste with Mrs. Spence, we confess, we were rather disappointed, Mrs. St. John Adcock sung her songs prettily, and Mr. J. Fairfield succeeded in pleasing . . .

"MONSIEUR E. BOULANGER'S FIRST CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (24 February 1855), 4 

The announcement of a grande soiree musical by this talented artiste, of whose high reputation in the leading musical circles of Europe and America we have already spoken, attracted a fashionable, but we much regret to add, by no means numerous audience, on Thursday evening . . . Mrs. Spence (a pupil of Garcia) made her first appearance, and was very cordially welcomed. Her selections were Hime's song, "So dear thou art to me;" Meyerbeer's famous air from Robert le Diable, "Robert toi que j'aime;" and Lover's ballad, "What will you do, love?" This lady's voice is a soprano, not of great compass, but of much sweetness; and her style evinces her careful study in an excellent school . . . the whole of the arrangements were under the immediate conduct of Mr. Henry Marsh, whose accompaniments of the vocal music were in excellent taste and keeping . . .

MUSIC: So dear art thou to me (E. L. Hime); What will you do, love? (Samuel Lover)

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

MRS. SPENCE (pupil of Garcia and Negri) gives Lessons in Singing and the Pianoforte. 1, College-buildings, Jamison-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: Luigi Negri (London-based teacher of singing)

"SOIREE MUSICALE", The Sydney Morning Herald (3 March 1855), 5 

Mr. Henry Marsh announces a series of musical entertainments, at his private Concert Rooms, late Exchange Rooms, in Lyons' buildings, at the corner of George-street and Church-hill. The first of the series will take place this evening, when Mrs. Spence, Monsieur E. Boulanger, Signor Spagnoletti, Mr. Fairchild, and Mr. Moss will assist . . . Mrs. Spence's selections are Angelina's "My dream through all the night art thou;" E. Arnaud's "Ma Brunette;" "Fatal de Rimini," from Lucrezia Borgia . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Ernesto Spagnoletti (vocalist); Lewis Moss (pianist)

MUSIC: My dream through all the night art thou (Angelina) Ma brunette (Etienne Arnaud)

"MR. MARSH'S SOIREE MUSICALE", Empire (5 March 1855), 5

This musical entertainment came off, and went off too, rather suddenly, on Saturday evening last, owing to Monsieur E. Boulanger taking abrupt French leave, "juste au milieu," Mr. Henry Marsh informing the auditory which, though not numerous was most respectable, that Monsieur Boulanger begged to decline playing to so thin an audience . . . As regards the portion of the concert which took place, we can speak most favourably . . . Mrs. Spence improves upon acquaintance. She gave Donizetti's Come e Gentil , in a very pleasing style . . .

MUSIC: Com'e gentil (Donizetti, from Don Pasquale) was allotted to Ernesto Spagnoletti in the advertised program

"FINE ARTS", Empire (4 April 1855), 5 

We have had much pleasure in inspecting a Pen and Ink copy of John Gilbert's celebrated oil painting "Shylock and Jessica." It is a picture of great excellence, and as a specimen of this particular style of drawing merits the warmest praise, more especially when the immense labour bestowed upon it is taken into consideration. The scene displays the striking costume of the drama, the Jew wearing "his jewish gaberdine," and the maiden having seguins in her hair. The servant's costume is alike characteristic. The talented artist is a Mrs. Spence, who, although not long a resident in Sydney, is not wholly unknown to the musical world. The drawing will be exhibited at Mr. Piddington's in a few days, and we would recommend the lovers of the Fine Arts to take an opportunity of inspecting it.

See also in Illustrated Sydney News (transcribed, DAAO):

An excellent pen and ink drawing of this celebrated oil painting is now on view at Mr. Piddington's show room, George street. The artist is Mrs. Spence, a lady favourably known as an educated singer, and who made her debut at Mr. Boulanger's concert a few weeks ago. It is but seldom we see a lady accomplished in many arts, but we think that in this drawing Mrs. Spence has evinced as great a talent in delineation, as we know she possesses in singing. The Jew's face is well and freely drawn, and his costume is draped about him artistically; the face of Jessica, too, is quite natural, and her eyes are cast down covertly, as though afraid to look at her father, her thoughts bent upon "young Lorenzo." The ornaments of her hair are very clearly and distinctly shown. We have examined the etching [sic] carefully, and could detect no harsh outlines, or blurred lights and shadows, but the whole picture is an evidence that Mrs. Spence can wield the pen and pencil freely and well. We commend the drawing to the notice of our readers.

[Advertisement], Empire (16 April 1855), 1 

THIS EVENING, APRIL 16TH, At the NEW CONCERT HALL, Royal Hotel, formerly the Bazaar, which room has been cleared of the galleries, and newly fitted up.
MISKA HAUSER will, on this occasion, be assisted by Miss FLORA HARRIS, Mrs. SPENCE,
Mons. E. BOULANGER, (the celebrated pianist), Mr. FREDERIC ELLARD, Mr. BANKS (his first appearance in Australia) and Mr. WILLIAM STANLEY.
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . Song - "Bonny Prince Charlie" - Mrs. Spence . . .
PART II . . . Song - "Robert toi que j'aime" - Mrs. Spence . . .
Conductor - Mr. WILLIAM STANLEY . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Miska Hauser (violinist); Flora Harris (vocalist); Frederick Ellard (vocalist); Thomas Banks (vocalist); William Stanley (pianist, accompanist)

"MISKA HAUSER", Bell's Life in Sydney (21 April 1855), 2

. . . Mrs. Spence, and we grieve to write it of a lady, was an utter failure . . .

? [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 February 1859), 8 

WANTED, by a LADY, who has studied under Garcia and Negri, PUPILS in PIANOFORTE and SINGING.
For address, &c., apply to F. MADER, 269, George-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: Frederick Mader (music seller)

Bibliography and resources:

Mrs. Spence, Design & art Australia online (DAAO) 

SPENCER, Albert (Albert SEAGRAM; alias Albert SPENCER; Mr. SPENCER)

Actor, comedian, comic vocalist

Born Langford, Wiltshire, England, 1811; baptised Steeple Langford, 29 October 1811; son of John SEAGRAM (c. 1774-1852) and Felicia EXTON (c. 1770-1847)
Arrived (1) Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 14 March 1834 (per Resource, from London, 7 November 1833)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 26 January 1836 (per Francis Freeling, from Hobart Town, 20 January)
Departed (1) Sydney, NSW, 2 December 1838 (per Dryade, for London)
Arrived (2) Sydney, NSW, 26 January 1840 (per Wilmot, from Portsmouth, 30 September 1839)
Departed (2) Sydney, NSW, 9 June 1844 (per William Metcalfe, for Calcutta)
Arrived (3) Adelaide, SA, 29 September 1845 (per Lightning, from Singapore)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 28 December 1845 (per Dorset, from Adelaide, 7 December)
Died Sydney, NSW, 6 July 1854, aged "43" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to this entry)


Albert Seagram, known in Australia as the actor Albert Spencer, was born at Langford, Wiltshire, in 1811; and baptised at Steeple Langford church, on 29 October 1811, a son of the Rev. John Seagram, and his wife Felicia Exton (widow Williams), who had married at Heytesbury, on 7 September 1798.

His father, John Seagram, was educated at Exeter College, Oxford (M.A. 1803) and ordained priest in 1801. Though he also held multiple non-residential curacies, he himself served as curate at Steeple Langford, and later as vicar of Aldbourne, Wiltshire, where he died on 28 August 1852, aged 79.

It was presumably from his mother, who died at Aldbourne on 2 July 1847, aged 77, that Albert was to receive the sizeable annuity (including arrears "for some six years, equal to £1200"), but of which he learned only shortly before his own death in July 1854.

Albert's eldest brother, Henry Frowd Seagram (1802-1843), was a captain in the Royal navy, and had served just a few months as British governor in Gambia, at the time of his death there in 1843. His next eldest brother, Charles Seagram (1804-1880), was a colonel in the army. And in February 1825, a third brother Edgar Seagram (c. 1805-1825) died at sea en route to India to take up a cadetship in the East India Company.

According to his own obituary, Albert first studied navigation. He was already at sea, presumably on a merchant ship, when at Veracruz, in the Caribbean, he too enlisted in Royal Navy, aged "17" (correctly 16) as a midshipman, on 29 December 1827, under the alias Albert Spencer. He remained in the service for just under a year, and was discharged on 10 December 1829.

Nothing further is know of Spencer's movements, until he embarked from London, on 7 November 1833, as a steerage passenger on the Resource, bound for Van Diemen's Land. Having arrived in Hobart Town on 14 March, on 5 April he was advertised to appear as Bob Handy in Morton's Speed the plough with Samson Cameron's company at his theatre in the Freemasons Tavern.

Though Spencer probably only sang on stage occasionally in later years, on his first arrival he was billed in songs on several occasions, notably Love's ritornella, from Planche's The brigand, which he performed "in character" at his Launceston and Hobart benefits in 1834.

Later, in Sydney in the 1840s, he also occasionally took non-singing parts in musical productions at the Royal Victoria Theatre, notably playing Don Quixada in Isaac Nathan's opera Don John of Austria in 1847. At his own benefit on 31 May 1849, he played William in Jerrold's nautical drama Black-eyed Susan, dancing a hornpipe, and, in the interlude, singing The bay of Biscay.


Baptisms solemnized at Steeple Langford, 1811; register 1803-12; Wiltshire Council (PAYWALL)

Albert, son of John & Felicia Seagram - Oct'r 29th

Royal navy record, Albert Spencer, 29 December 1827 to 10 December 1828; UK National Archives, (ADM) 37/8149 (PAYWALL)

Albert Spencer / Age 17 / Birth year 1810 / Birthplace Langford / Entry date 29 Dec 1827 / Rank Midshipman / Ship or unit Mersey / Location At sea, Vera Cruz /Discharge 10 December 1828 Nimble

Hobart and Launceston, VDL (TAS) (14 March 1834 to 20 January 1836):

"Ship News. HOBART TOWN. ARRIVALS", Trumpeter General [Hobart, TAS] (18 March 1834), 3 

Friday, March 14 - The ship Resource from London, the 7th November, J . Combes, Master with a general cargo . . . Steerage Passengers . . . Mr. Spencer . . .

[Advertisement], Trumpeter General (4 April 1834), 3 

By desire, and under the immediate Patronage of the Merchants of Hobart Town.
TOMORROW EVENING, April 5th, 1834, Will be performed, the Comedy of Speed the Plough -
Sir Philip Blandford, Mr. Fenton - Morrington, Mr. McNeilly - Sir Abel Handy, Mr. Jacobs -
Bob Handy, Mr. Spencer - Mr. Mackay - Farmer Ashfield, Mr. Jordan - Evergreen, Mr. Collins - Gerald, Mr. Townsend.
Miss Blandford, Mrs. Cameron. - Lady Handy, Mrs. Mackay, - Susan Ashfield, Mrs. Brown. - Dame Ashfield, Mrs. Chorley . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Fenton (actor); John Lewis Jacobs (actor); Angus and Frances Mackay (actors); Richard Jordan (actor); Samson and Cordelia Cameron (actor-manager and actor); Theatre Freemasons Tavern (venue)

PIECES: Speed the plough (Morton)

[News], The Hobart Town Courier (2 May 1834), 3 

We are happy to record the kindness shewn by the public to the actors on our little Hobart town Theatre, evinced in the crowded houses at the benefit of Messrs. Jordan and Fenton, on Saturday and Wednesday last. On the latter occasion, the part of Guy Ruthven in the "Inchcape Bell," was sustained by Mr. Spencer in so spirited a manner that it called forth the applause of the gratified audience on the delivery of almost every speech. This actor has only to continue attentive to his business to make him deservedly a favourite. A very full house is anticipated at the theatre on Saturday, to the benefit of that deservedly esteemed favourite Mr. Peck.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Peck (violinist, leader of the band)

[Advertisement], The Independent [Launceston, TAS] (17 September 1834), 1 

ON FRIDAY EVENING, 19TH SEPTEMBER, 1834, Will be presented, the Nautical Melo-drama of
Massaroni's Ritornella, in character, MR. SPENCER.
A Favorite Song, by Mr. JACOB.
After which, the Farce of The Mayor of Garratt.
Duett, Violin and Horn - Variations on the Maid of Lodi - Messrs. Peck & Clark.
SONG, - "The Harp that once through Tara's Halls" - Mr. McNEILLY.
To conclude with the laughable Farce of THE MARRIED BACHELOR.
Vivant Rex et Regina.

ASSOCIATIONS: Theatre British Hotel (venue)

MUSIC: Love's ritornella (T. Cooke); from The brigand (Planche)

[Advertisement], The Independent (20 September 1834), 2 

Will be re-produced, the Comedy of A CURE FOR THE HEART-ACHE.
Young Rapid - MR. PECK, (Who has kindly volunteered his services on the occasion).
FAVORITE NEW SONG - "No more amongst the Mountains" - MR. PECK.

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (10 October 1834), 3 

ON Monday evening, 13th Oct. 1831, will be represented, the comedy of,
THREE WEEKS AFTER MARRIAGE. CHARACTERS: Sir Charles Racket, Mr. Spencer, from the theatre Launceston, (his first appearance on this stage) . . .
In the course of the evening the following songs: -
Meet me by Moonlight - Miss Remens; Bavarian Broom Girl (in character) - Miss Rudelhoff.
A Comic Song, by Mr. Spencer. The Soldier tired of War's Alarms - Miss Remens. Why did I Love - Mrs. Henson . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Anne Remens (actor, vocalist); Dinah Rudelhoff (actor, vocalist); Mrs. Henson (actor, vocalist); Theatre Argyle Rooms (venue)

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (4 November 1834), 3 

Theatre, Argyle Rooms.
MR. SPENCER has the honor of announcing to the Inhabitants of Hobart Town and its Vicinity, that on the approaching recess, Mr. Deane has kindly fixed his Benefit for Wednesday Evening next, when will be presented the Play of
THE STRANGER. The Stranger - Mr. Spencer. Mrs. Haller - Mrs. Clark (Late Miss Remens).
Mazzaronis's Ritornella from the Brigand in character, by Mr. SPENCER.
Comic Song, Mr. SPENCER.
Song, " Norah, the pride of Kildare," BY MRS. CLARK.
The whole to conclude with the laughable Farce of THE CONTRIVANCE.
N.B. Mr. Spencer trusts, that the performers having now perfected themselves in this admired play, that all disappointments will be at an end.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Philip Deane (proprietor)

"Hobart Town Police Report. Saturday, January 17th", Colonial Times (27 January 1835), 8 

Mr. Albert Spencer was fined 20s. and costs, for cruelty to an animal. The young hero, at four o'clock in the morning, was trying his skill on horseback, (full gallop) with its fetlock smashed all to pieces, of which he pleaded ignorance, which was not received. The old plan was adopted to make drunken men pay when sober.

Sydney, NSW (26 January 1836 to 2 December 1838):

"Shipping Intelligence. ARRIVALS", The Sydney Monitor (27 January 1836), 2 

Yesterday -the bark Francis Freeling, Captain Milne, from Hobart Town 20th inst. Passengers - . . . Mr. E. Spencer [sic], comedian.

"THEATRE", The Sydney Monitor (3 February 1836), 2 

A Mr. Spencer, recently arrived from Hobart Town, made his debut on Monday evening [1 February] in the character of Gloster, in Richard III., probably, with one exception, the most difficult character that was ever conceived by a performer, and one with which most playgoers are familiar. Mr. Spencer was well received on his first appearance, but had hardly got through his soliloquy before evident marks of disapprobation were shown; indeed, from the hurry to hiss, which was evident, it appeared as if a few persons were determined that Mr. S. should not have a fair trial, but they gained "nothing by the motion," for this evident desire to depress Mr. S. had the effect of making the other portion of the audience rather warm in his defence, so that at least it may be said that "the Ayes had it." Mr. Spencer, by his dress and general manners on the stage, shewed that he will be an acquisition to the Sydney Theatre . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Theatre Royal (venue)

"THEATRICAL AFFAIRS", The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser (28 November 1838), 1 supplement 

It is said that the Theatre will re-open on Saturday week. Mrs. Taylor has been engaged. Mr. Spencer is said to have embarked for England.

ASSOCIATIONS: Maria Taylor (actor, vocalist); Royal Victoria Theatre (venue)

[News], The Australian (4 December 1838), 2 

Spencer, the would be Kean of New South Wales, has made his debut in a new character, not on the boards of the Royal Victoria, but as a fore-mast man on board the good ship Dryade which left the port on Sunday morning. The reason assigned by the unfortunate young man for this rash act is, that the public of New South Wales are too ignorant to appreciate his talents as a tragedian." - Correspondent.
[We presume Mr. Spencer intends to astonish the natives of London, those of Australia are not be so easily gulled as some folks seem to imagine. - ED.]

"NEWS OF THE DAY", The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser (5 December 1838), 2 

Mr. Spencer the actor, it is said, has left the Colony in the Dryade. Spencer was a respectable actor, and we never heard anything against him in his private character. Spencer acted as well at first as he did at last. He could not improve.

NOTE: The Dryade passed Falmouth on 3 May

England (3 May to 30 September 1839):

"THEATRICAL NOVELTY FROM AUSTRALIA!", Argus, or, Broad-sheet of the Empire (14 July 1839), 11 (PAYWALL)

American performers have succeeded so well on the English stage, that it seems our Australian brethren have thought proper to speculate on John Bull's appetite for theatrical novelty. A Mr. Spencer, the Roscius of Sydney, Parramatta, and Hobart Town, will make his first appearance before a London audience on Thursday next, at the Queen's Theatre, Tottenham-street, in the character of Iago. Report speaks very highly of the abilities of this tragedian from the Antipodes.

"THE THEATRES . . . THE QUEEN'S", The Era [London] (21 July 1839), 3 (PAYWALL)

A youthful aspirant for histrionic fame, called Mr. Grafton in the bills, made his first appearance on the regular London boards, at this theatre, on Thursday evening, in the arduous character of the noble, the generous, the much abused, and unfortunate Moor . . . The play was exceedingly well cast. A Mr. Spencer, from Sydney, made a respectable "Iago," and the part of "Cassio" was well sustained by Mr. Fitzjames . . .

Sydney, NSW (26 January 1840 to 9 June 1844):

"MR. SPENCER", The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser (27 January 1840), 2 

Considering the present state of theatricals in Sydney, it will be pleasing intelligence to the patrons of the drama to hear, that Mr. Spencer, late of the Sydney theatres, has returned by the barque Wilmot, from London, after an absence of upwards of a year, during which time he has appeared at some of the first theatres in England.

"THEATRICALS", The Australian (6 February 1840), 2 

For the last few weeks theatricals have been to the public somewhat "flat," and to the Proprietor, we fear, rather "unprofitable." The arrival of Mr. Spencer and the announcement of his appearance in the character of Richard, seems to have given an impetus to the dramatic circle, for the house was much better filled on Monday night than on any preceding occasion this season . . . To speak of Mr. Spencer, in this part, by any reference to his great prototype [Kean], would be as ungracious a task to us, as it would be unfair to Mr. S. Indeed, Mr. S. should be viewed in this character with exceeding indulgence from the mere fact of his appearing under peculiar disadvantages from the considerations just referred to. It is, however, but just to him to say that his visit to England has not been unprofitable to him in the way of his profession; while we cheerfully make this allowance, we cannot conceal from him (if indeed he has concealed it from himself) that much yet remains to be done, in which undertaking the mainspring is diligent study - the next is, to acquire a just conception of a character himself rather than rely on imitations of any great actor he may have happened to see elsewhere. Imitations are more apt to retain the defects than the excellencies of their models . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 September 1842), 3 

NOTICE is hereby given, that the usual license of departure was this day granted to Albert Spencer, to proceed in the brig William, bound to Launceston, agreeably to the 10th section of the Act of Council, 4 Victoria, No. 17. H. H. BROWNE, Superintendent of Water Police.
Water Police Office, Sydney, Sept. 3.

"OLYMPIC THEATRE", Launceston Courier [TAS] (19 September 1842), 2 

Mr. Watson, the manager of this theatre will take his benefit this evening. It will be seen that in consequence of the arrival of Mr. Spencer from Sydney, the pieces originally selected have been changed Mr. Spencer, as a tragedian, is highly spoken of by the Sydney papers, and his services have been secured for a few nights at the Olympic. He will make his first appearance this evening, as Iago, Mr. Arabin playing Othello . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Feltham Bold Watson (actor, manager); Gustavus Arabin (actor); Olympic Theatre (venue)

"POLICE REPORT . . . Wednesday, September 21", Launceston Examiner (24 September 1842), 2 

Albert Spencer was fined 5s. for being drunk, and 5s. for disturbing the peace.

"Launceston Shipping List", Launceston Advertiser (29 September 1842), 2 

September 24 - Brig William, 149 tons, Le Grand, master, for Sydney . . . Passengers . . . Albert Spencer.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 May 1843), 2 

WILL he presented the grand romantic drama, in three acts,entitled, THE JEWESS, or the COUNCIL OF CONSTANCE,
with new music, and splendid scenery, machinery, dresses, and decorations.
The principal characters by Mr. Lazar (his first appearance these) three years), Mr. Griffiths, Mr. Spencer,
Mr. Coppin, and Mrs. Coppin, assisted by the whole strength of the Company.
To conclude with the favourite farce of A LOAN OF A LOVER.
MR. J. LAZAR, Manager. Vivat Regina.

"QUEEN'S THEATRE", Parramatta Chronicle and Cumberland General Advertiser (4 May 1844), 3 

We have not had time to visit this little theatre, but we understand that it has been well attended. Mr. Spencer, the celebrated tragedian, makes his first appearance next week.

"DEPARTURES", The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List (15 June 1844), 90 

June 9. - William Metcalfe, ship, Captain Phillipson, for Calcutta, with horses, &c. Passengers . . . steerage, Messrs. Spencer, Ximenes . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Ximenes, husband of Ann Ximenes (actor, vocalist)

India and south Asia (1844-45):

"THEATRICALS IN INDIA", The Australian (20 January 1845), 3 

In the BENGAL HURKARU of the 21st September last, we find one of the late Sydney tragedians, Mr. Spencer, who left here in charge of horses, for India, announced to enact the part of Shylock, at the Sans-Souci Theatre, at Calcutta, on the 25th of that month.

Adelaide, SA (29 September to 7 December 1845):

"ARRIVED", South Australian (30 September 1845), 2 

SEPT. 29 . . . The schooner Lightning, Robertson, from Singapore. Passengers - A. Thomson, Esq., in the cabin; and John Spencer [sic], in the steerage.

[Advertisement], South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register (4 October 1845), 1 

PAVILION THEATRE. - Entrance in Rosina-st. . . .
The Proprietor of the above establishment, anxious to avail himself of any talent that may offer, has entered into arrangements with Mr. Spencer (the Tragedian), late from the Indian Theatres, who will make his first appearance in one of his favorite parts, in the course of the week . . .

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (22 October 1845), 1 

Grand and Novel Entertainment, with upwards of Two Hundred Movable Figures!!! admirably adapted, at this season of the year, for the instruction of the juvenile portion of the community.
MESSRS. SPENCER & HARDEMAN beg respectfully to announce to the inhabitants of Adelaide and its vicinity that they purpose giving an entertainment of a highly varied and amusing description in the spacious saloon belonging to Mr. Allen, Arcade, adjoining the old Theatre, on Thursday, October 23d.
Grand Overture - Band.
Duet - "What fairy-like Music" - Messrs. Spencer and Hardeman.
Recitative - Richard III. - Mr. Spencer.
Song, Comic - Mr. Hardeman.
Song - "Some Love to Roam" - Mr. Spencer.
Song - "Gooseberry Wine" - Mr. Hardeman.
Recitative - "O'er the Glad Waters of the Dark Blue Sea" - Mr. Spencer.
Song, Comic - Mr. Hardeman.
Overture - Band.
Recitative - "The Isles of Greece" - Mr. Spencer.
Song, Comic - Mr. Hardeman.
Song, Comic (in character) - "Widow Mahoney" - Mr. Spencer.
Song, Comic - Mr. Hardeman.
Recitative - "Waterloo" (Byron) - Mr. Spencer.
Song, Comic - Mr. Hardeman.
VENTRILOQUISM!!! - By Mr. Hardeman.
To conclude with the celebrated ANTIQUE MODELS by Mr. Spencer, surrounded by fire!!!
Single tickets, 3s. . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Hardeman (comic vocalist, proprietor of the Pavilion Theatre)

[Advertisement], South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register (8 November 1845), 1 

PAVILION THEATRE. - MR. SPENCER begs leave to acquaint the lovers of Theatricals that he will take a benefit at the above establishment on Monday evening next, when will be produced the Third Act of Othello, with a variety of singing and dancing. The whole to conclude with the Laughable Farce of The Mayor of Garratt.

Sydney, NSW (28 December 1845 to 6 July 1854):

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVALS", The Sydney Morning Herald (29 December 1845), 2 

December 28. - Dorset brig, 81 tons, Captain Walsh, from Adelaide, the 7th instant. Passengers - Mr. J. Solomon, Mr. Albert Spencer, and seven natives of the Philippine Islands

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (31 May 1849), 3 

The Entertainments will commence with the highly popular Nautical Drama, in two Acts, entitled
SONG - "The Death of Nelson," - Mr. J. Howson.
SONG - "Bay of Biscay" - Mr. SPENCER . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Theodosia Guerin (actor, vocalist); John Howson (actor, vocalist)

MUSIC: The bay of Biscay (Davy)

[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer [VIC] (30 October 1853), 3 

THEATRE ROYAL, GEELONG . . . Mr. SPENCER, the celebrated Tragedian, from the Theatres Royal Calcutta and Sydney, is engaged for Three Nights only, previous to his return to Calcutta [sic].
THIS EVENING, The entertainments will commence, with Shakspear's Tragedy of RICHARD THE THIRD . . .

[Advertisement], Illustrated Sydney News (14 January 1854), 7 

ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE. Monday, January 16, 1854.
A variety of novel and attractive entertainments, to conclude with HAMLET TRAVESTIE. Hamlet - Mr. Rogers . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Herbert Rogers (actor)

"ACCIDENT", The Sydney Morning Herald (29 June 1854), 5 

Yesterday morning, Mr. Albert Spencer, late of the Victoria Theatre, was sailing in a cutter, in company with Mr. John Lord, intending, we believe, to enjoy a shooting excursion at Brisbane Water. Soon after getting outside the Heads, Mr. Spencer took up a fowling-piece for the purpose of shooting gulls; unfortunately the piece was overloaded, and on letting it off the barrel burst, and the effect of the explosion, we regret to say, is to destroy the whole of Mr. Spencer's right cheek. He was immediately conveyed to Dr. Mackellar's, and from thence to the Infirmary, where he now lies in a very dangerous state.

"CORONER'S INQUEST", The Sydney Morning Herald (10 July 1854), 3 

An inquest was held on Saturday, at the Three Tuns tavern, in King and Elizabeth Streets, on the body of Albert Spencer, - then lying dead in the Sydney Infirmary. The deceased was well known in Sydney, where he has for many past years figured as a tragic actor on the boards of the Victoria Theatre. Mr. John Lord stated that on last Tuesday week he was a passenger on board the Ketch Peacock, bound for Brisbane Water. Mr. Spencer, the deceased, was also a passenger in the same vessel, and had a fowling-piece with him, which he wanted to discharge; but the master of the Ketch prevented him, for fear of being fined for allowing fire-arms to be discharged whilst passing down the harbour. When off Long Reach, a few miles to the northward of the Heads, witness went below for a few moments, and immediately afterwards he heard a lad on deck say "Here's a gull, Mr. Spencer, on the lee bow!" Witness instantly heard the report of a gun, and some one on deck cry out, "O! he's shot!" Witness hastened on deck, and found the unfortunate gentleman in a sitting position, with the right side of his face severely cut and lacerated. The gun lay by his side, nearly shattered to pieces. The dingy was speedily lowered, and the wounded gentleman was taken to the Water Police station at Camp Cove, Mr. Lord accompanying him, and thence he was taken by order of Inspector Cowell to Sydney. Mr. Ross, chief Water Police Inspector, took the deceased first to Dr. Mackellar, and afterwards to the Infirmary for medical treatment. Mr. G. Whitfield, of King-street, gunmaker, deposed that, about ten or twelve days ago, the deceased called at his shop, and requested the loan of a gun, stating that he was going to take a trip to Brisbane Water. Witness lent him the gun produced, having first ascertained that it was not loaded. It was a gun which had been lying in his shop for some time, but it was perfectly safe, in his opinion, unless overloaded. Dr. MacEwan stated that when the deceased was received into the Infirmary, he was suffering from a contused lacerated wound over the right eyebrow. The right eye-ball was laid open, and a portion of the frontal bone fractured. Those injuries might be caused by the bursting of a gun, and were sufficient to account for death. Deceased had said that he himself had loaded the gun, and that it was overloaded. Verdict, "Died from injuries received by the accidental bursting of a gun."

"CORONER'S INQUEST", Empire (12 July 1854), 3 

. . . Donald McIntosh McEwen, surgeon, deposed that on Tuesday the 27th ultimo deceased was admitted into the Infirmary, suffering from a contused lacerated wound of the right eye-brow; the right eyeball was laid open, and a portion of the frontal bone fractured; he died in consequence of the wound on Thursday evening last [6 July]; witness had heard deceased say that he had overloaded his gun . . .

"THE LATE MR. ALBERT SPENCER", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (22 July 1854), 2 

Mr. Spencer was a scholar of no mean pretensions, and possessed peculiar talents as an artist, altho' his manner of expression was frequently a source of deprecatory remark, even amongst his most intimate friends. We are informed that he studied his original profession (Navigation) with deep attention, and even bade fair to prove an ornament to the College in which he was educated; but after consequences, it appears, induced him to follow an entirely different pursuit. In private life Mr. Spencer was unassuming and intelligent; and his name has been associated with Theatricals in this colony for a period extending over twenty years. He made his debut at the old Theatre, under Mr. Barnett Levy; and afterwards at the opening of the Royal Victoria in March 1831 [1838], delivered the opening prologue, and only terminated his connection wilth that Theatre a few days since, on the occasion of its close, consequent on a change in the Proprietary. Some lectures delivered by Mr. Spencer at the School of Arts, on the subject of Dramatic Literature, redound much to his credit. The dissolution of the deceased gentleman may almost he deemed to have taken place upon the Stage (as it was recently said of a late eminent judge, the learned author of "Ion"), the fatal accident having occurred almost within a few hours from the closing of the Theatre. At the age of 43 years were his remains consigned to the new Cemetery. Mr. Spencer, it is said, by advices from England, had lately come into possession of £200 per. annum, and he was entitled to arrear money for some six years, equal to £1200; but it was ordained that he should never reap the wind-fall.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 January 1855), 1 

ALBERT SPENCER (otherwise Sergrem [sic]), late of the Victoria Theatre. -
Any person having claims on the above-named deceased, may apply at the office of HOLDEN and McCARTHY, 12, Castlereagh-street.

[Notice], New South Wales Government Gazette (30 January 1855), 273 

ANY persons having claims on the abovenamed deceased, may apply at the Office of
HOLDEN & McCARTHY, 12, Castlereagh-street.

Bibliography and resources:

F. C. Brewer, The drama and music in New South Wales (Sydney: Charles Potter, Government Printer, 1892), 7 (DIGITISED)

. . . In the same character [Richard III] Mr. Spencer afterwards secured the applause of the audience, and for some years was regarded as the tragedian of the country. Spencer somewhat resembled Edmund Kean in person, and it is probable he had seen that actor in his most celebrated character, as he imitated, but at a considerable distance, the startling contrasts of that "Napoleon of the stage." His voice was "throaty," and when rapid declamation was required his utterance was thick and indistinct. Spencer's profession could never be mistaken if met in the street; he was usually dressed in a middy's jacket (Spencer had followed the sea), and wore a bright smoking cap, with a tassel which reached to his elbow depending therefrom, and he walked the pavement just as he walked the stage in tragedy. Poor Spencer lost his life through a gun accident, while on a pleasure trip to Broken Bay . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Francis Campbell Brewer (memoirist)

"MUSICAL & THEATRICAL MEMORIES", Sunday Times [Sydney, NSW] (21 February 1909), 3 

W. T. Pullen writes . . . Old Spencer used to walk out to Bondi to study his parts when he was playing at the Victoria Theatre . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Toft Pullen (former call-boy at the theatre)

"Spencer, Albert (1811-1854)", in Eric Irvin, Dictionary of the Australian theatre 1788-1914 (Sydney: Hale & Iremonger, 1985), 262-63

SPENCER, John Benedict (John SPENCER; John Benedict SPENCER, O.S.B.; Rev'd Mr. SPENCER)

Musician, vocalist, choirmaster, pianist, organist, Roman Catholic cleric, Benedictine monk

Born Liverpool, England, 13 March 1803; baptised St. Mary's Catholic chapel, Liverpool, 13 March 1803; son of Edward SPENCER and Catherine ?
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 12 September 1835 (per Oriental, from Liverpool, April)
Departed Sydney, NSW, 28 February 1838 (per Lord William Bentinck, for London)
Died Dartmoor prison, Devon, England, 25 April 1864 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

My thanks (2019) to Colin Fowler, O.P., for kindly sharing information on Spencer's ecclesiastical career


Diary of Lewis Harding, onboard the Oriental, 1835; Sydney Catholic Archdiocesan archives; transcription Colin Fowler

29 March: Mr. Curtoise [Curtoys] and Mr. Spencer are music amateurs and play on the piano in our evening meetings.

17 April: We fired with our rifles today at bottles, which we threw out; Mr. Spencer hit on the first shot.

24 June: Today was Mr. Gregory's profession day also. Mr. Spencer sang Cantiques this evening and the Benissons a jamais.

28 June: Mr. Spencer sang on the piano the Litany of the B.V. and some cantiques.

"Shipping Intelligence. ARRIVALS", The Colonist (17 September 1835), 7

September 12. - Oriental (ship), Allen; from Liverpool in April, via Hobart Town. Passengers - The Rev. Dr. Paulding, Roman Catholic Bishop, the Rev. Messrs. Spencer, Corcoran and Gregory, Roman Catholic Priests, Mr. and Mrs. Curtis . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Bede Polding (bishop); James Vincent Corcoran (cleric); Henry Gregory (cleric)

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

The inauguration of the Roman Catholic Bishop Poulding, took place yesterday, at Saint Mary's Chapel, Hyde Park. The Bull, containing the Bishop's authority, was read by the Vicar-General, after which an address was delivered by Dr. Poulding. During the Mass, which followed, several new musical pieces were performed by Mrs. Rust, the Rev. Messrs. Spencer and Corcoran, &c. Mrs. Chester and several other professional singers were also in the choir, Mr. Cavendish presiding at the Seraphine.

ASSOCIATIONS: Margaret Rust (vocalist); Marian Maria Chester (vocalist); William Joseph Cavendish (musician)

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (13 February 1836), 2

The solemnity and superiority of the music at the Roman Catholic Chapel over the other Churches, has become proverbial, and it is certainly a reflection on the parties concerned - that with so beautiful an instrument, the performance and singing at St. James's Church is so mediocre. The singing even at the St. Phillip's Church, with the barrel organ, is superior to St. James's. The praise is more deserving to Mr. Spencer, the performer on the Accordion at the Chapel, as he has greater difficulties to encounter, and fewer singers than at the other Churches - notwithstanding which, the harmony is blended with taste and feeling, and consequently makes a suitable impression on the hearer, and commands devotion.

"ROMAN CATHOLIC CEREMONIES", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (5 April 1836), 2 

The Roman Catholic Chapel was crowded, to excess, on Good Friday, notwithstanding the rain fell in torrents, incessantly, during the whole of the day to witness High Mass performed by the Right Reverend Bishop Poulding, who appeared upon the occasion, in his gorgeous sacerdotal robes and performed the ceremony with great solemnity; the sacred music is spoken of in the highest strain of praise. Mrs. Rust is said to have far eclipsed any female vocalist who has yet appeared before the Australian public. Messrs. Clarke and Spencer afforded their valuable assistance on the occasion, and Mr. Cavendish presided at the Metaliphone, (some call it a Seraphine.)

ASSOCIATIONS: Francis Clarke (vocalist)

[News], The Australian (13 May 1836), 2 

. . . Messrs. Spencer and Gregory, two gentlemen who accompanied Doctor Poulding to the Colony were ordained Deacons on Sunday . . .

NOTE: Spencer was ordained sub-deacon, see Polding's letter of 7 June 1836 below

"SACRED MUSIC", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (24 May 1836), 3 

On Sunday last, a highly respectable and crowded congregation composed of ladies and gentlemen of all denominations and creeds, was delighted by the choir of St. Mary's, Hyde Park. The director of the choir, who is the Rev. Spencer, must feel gratified that the pains he bestows on it, which are unremitting, have been so well responded to by the musical talent of Sydney, and in no place could they feel more pleasure or satisfaction to themselves, as far as effect can go, than in that noble Cathedral. Mrs. Rust's splendid voice seems perfectly adapted for the Church, and peculiarly so for that style of music; to praise the voice or taste of any individual in particular, would be invidious, as all was far beyond any praise. - Correspondent.

[News], 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 sung two beautiful solos, one "Ave verum," arranged by Myren [Nyren], 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. 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 most 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.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Bushelle (vocalist); John Philip Deane (musician); William Vincent Wallace (musician)

"ST. MARY'S CHURCH", The Colonist (2 June 1836), 4

WE copy the following article from The Australian of the 24th ult. . . . [as above] . . .

This article undoubtedly exhibits the character of the Protestantism of The Australian as vividly as it does that of the Romanism of St. Mary's; or rather, we should say, it exhibits in a sufficiently clear and intelligible manner the Heathenism of both, while it demonstrates the absolute necessity of having at least one Journal in this colony conducted on the principles of scriptural Christianity. To think of all the fiiddlers and dancing-masters of the colony congregated on the Lord's day in the Roman Catholic chapel and engaged, under the direction of the Roman Catholic priesthood, in celebrating an act of divine worship - what a piece of gross profanation! To think of these worthies, in depreciation of whose moral character or professional talents we should be exceedingly sorry to say a single syllable; to think of their performing in Mr. Barnett Levey's Theatre on Saturday, and performing (for it is the same word that must be used in both cases) in Bishop Poulding's church (we had almost said theatre too) on Sunday - it is a positive outrage upon the Christian feeling of the community! And were we not right, therefore, in saying, as we did a few weeks ago, that a large portion of the superstructure of Popery had been erected on the foundation of Heathenism? Why, the professional singers, the violinists, the flute-players, &c., &c., who were performing on the late occasion in St. Mary's church, so much to the satisfaction of the Editor of The Australian and the other Protestant ladies and gentlemen who were present, were acting precisely the same part in the observances of the day as the Nautch girls in the Hindoo temples. Now, will any man in his sound senses believe that when the apostle Paul "lived two whole years in his own hired house in the city of Rome," preaching the gospel to all that came unto him; and was thereby the honoured instrument in the hand of his divine master of laying the foundations of the once apostolic church of Rome, he would have allowed the psalmody to be conducted by a professed fiddler or opera singer, however excellent and unexceptionable in his proper vocation? Oh no, that glorious apostle was not the man "to give that which was holy unto the dogs!"

We perfectly understand the object of those unchristian exhibitions which are thus permitted to take place in St. Mary's church, and which our musical brother of The Australian extols so highly. They are intended, like Mr. Barnett Levey's theatrical bills of fare, "to fill the house," and especially to fill it with such "Protestant ladies and gentlemen" as have "itching ears," and can stand the desecration. Such Protestant ladies and gentlemen are in the fair way of be coming Roman Catholics, and we verily believe that they will just have as little of anything that constitutes genuine Christianity under the one designation as under the other. As genuine and not nominal Protestants, however, we enter our solemn protest against all such acts of profanation - against all such sinful compliances with the will-worship of the Roman Catholic Church.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Dunmore Lang (Presbyterian cleric, journalist, ultimate proprietor of The colonist, the Presbyterian newspaper)

Letter, John Bede Polding, Sydney, to Dr. Birdsall (7 June 1836); ed. in Birt, Benedictine pioneers, 1, 293-94 (DIGITISED)

. . . in the view of encouraging and giving strong motives to a manly line of conduct, I have made Mr. Spencer, Subdeacon; and as soon as I can obtain a salary, I shall send [him] to Port Macquarie to form a congregation. He refers to his want of experience, to the state of dependence in which he has always lived, as the causes of his defects of character. I am determined he shall have a fair trial: and, for this purpose, I shall send him to Port Macquarie; the resort of all the invalids and what are called the Gentlemen Convicts . . . [294] . . . Spencer's faults are quite what they used to be: no immorality: but contriving and mischief-making; so long as he is with me, I could not think of having Boys, for I am sure I should be involved in scrapes of his making. I must say for him he evinces zeal in reading prayers and in instructing in his music for the Church to a certain degree; but I am miserably deceived in the hope that I entertained, that by his means I could introduce Music amongst the Children of the Charity Schools, and form them to Chapel singing. The fact is, he dislikes trouble and will plead inability, want of talent, any excuse to escape it . . .

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

The Musical Festival which has been for some time announced took place on Wednesday evening at St. Mary's Church, and more than realised the expectations of the Public. This entertainment was first suggested, we understand, by Mr. Cavendish, upon whom the whole weight of the arrangements of the performances have fallen - and through whose exertions it was finally completed. Mr. Cavendish is therefore deserving of all the praise the Public can bestow as the projector and manager of the Oratorio. The audience on Wednesday evening consisted of nearly one thousand persons, principally of the middling classes, besides many government officers and others of the first classes of society. There were also in the gallery about one hundred of the best behaved soldiers in the garrison, who were allowed admission in consideration of the services of the bandsmen. A neat stage was erected over the altar, and judiciously arranged for the musicians, in front of which were the vocalists . . . At half-past seven the Seraphine struck up a Voluntary and at the conclusion the musicians and vocalists entered and took their places. The performances commenced with the celebrated Overture of Joseph, and amply repaid the leader (Mr. Wallace) for his indefatigable exertions at the various rehearsals; we have never yet heard any instrumental performance equal to Joseph, or the Overture of Zara performed in the second Act . . . Mr. Spencer performed with much energy the difficult Recitative and Air at the opening of the "Creation" . . .

MUSIC: Recitative: In the beginning . . .; Air: Now vanish before the holy beams (Haydn, from The creation); see here for Full documentation

"St. Patrick's Day", The Australian (17 March 1837), 2 

An ordination will take place, this day at the Catholic Church, by the Roman Catholic Bishop. Messrs. Spencer and Gregory, Deacons, will take Priests' orders.

"NEWS OF THE DAY", The Sydney Monitor (17 March 1837), 3 

. . . The Rev. Messrs. Spencer and Gregory were ordained this morning at the Catholic Chapel by Bishop Poulding . . .

"To the Editor of the Australian", The Australian (6 February