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A biographical register of Australian colonial musical personnel–U

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "A biographical register of Australian colonial musical personnel–U", Australharmony (an online resource toward the early history of music in colonial Australia):; accessed 9 December 2021

- U -

Introductory note:

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

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

A major upgrade of the contents of this page was completed in December 2019, and newly added documentation (including genealogical data) and Trove tagging now brings the page content up to 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.

UHR, William Cornelius (Cornelius William UHR [sic]; William Cornelius UHR; W. C. UHR)

Amateur vocalist, composer, songwriter, lawyer

Born 17 May 1819; baptised St. George's in the East, London, England, 9 September 1821; son of John (Johan) UHR and Louisa KER (d. 1837)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 19 May 1833 (per Westmoreland, from the Downs, 8 January, aged 14)
Active Sydney, NSW, 1850s
Married Augusta Louisa KINGHORNE, St. John's church, Parramatta, NSW, 1 March 1860
Died Fivedock, NSW, 6 March 1896 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

UHR, George Richard (George Richard UHR; George UHR; G. R. UHR)

Amateur pianist, composer, Sheriff of NSW

Born 6 June 1822; baptised St. George's in the East, London, England, 20 December 1824; son of John (Johan) UHR and Louisa KER (d. 1837)
Arrived Sydney, 24 July 1837 (per Abel Gower, from Portsmouth 28 March)
Married (1) Sarah Jane ROBERTS (1823-1848), Sydney, NSW, 13 June 1843
Married (2) Elizabeth DAVIES (C. 1830-1892), NSW, 1849
Died Concord, NSW, 11 September 1864, in the 43rd year of his age (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

UHR, Sarah Jane (Sarah Jane McROBERTS; Mrs. George Richard UHR)


Born Sydney, NSW, 10 September 1823; daughter of Edward McROBERTS and Jane SHANKS
Married George Richard UHR, Sydney, NSW, 13 June 1843
Died Pyrmont, NSW, 6 August 1848 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

UHR, Georgina Mary Louisa (Georgina Mary Louisa UHR; Mrs. John Cash NEILD)

Born Sydney, NSW, 2 November 1853; daughter of George Richard UHR and Elizabeth DAVIES
Married John Cash NEILD, St. Paul's church, Redfern, NSW, 19 February 1880
Died Sydney, NSW, 24 December 1947

UHR, Minnie (Minnie Fredericka UHR; Miss Minnie UHR; Mrs. William Lennox BROWNE; Mrs. James Cooke MORRISON)


Born NSW, 1861; daughter of George Richard UHR and Elizabeth DAVIES
Married (1) William Lennox BROWNE, NSW, 1881 (divorced 1893)
Married (2) James Cooke MORRISON, NSW, 1893
Died Chatswood, NSW, 30 September 1934 (shareable link to this entry)

UHR, Nellie (Nellie Elizabeth TAIT; Mrs. Charles Innes Kerr UHR)

Pianist, organist

Born ? NSW, 1877
Married Charles Innes Ker UHR (1865-1930, son of W. C. UHR), St. Philip's, Sydney, NSW, 17 May 1901
Died Marrickville, NSW, 26 September 1926 (shareable link to this entry)

George Uhr, c. 1860


William and George Uhr were the two youngest sons of John (Johan) Uhr, a mariner, probably German or Swedish by birth, and his English wife Louisa Ker (d. 1837). Their elder brother, John James Uhr, was the first of the family to arrive in Australia, having landed in Sydney on 17 January 1824, aged 12, as a free passenger on the convict ship Sir Godfrey Webster.

George's first wife, Sarah Jane McRoberts, briefly succeeded her mother, Jane McRoberts, as organist of of St. Philip's church, Sydney, in 1844, before being, in turn, succeeded in the post by John Philip Deane in August 1844. After Sarah's mother died in 1845, her father, Edward McRoberts, married George Uhr's half-sister Louisa Peterson (Shephard).

William's sentimental song You love me not ("Air and Words composed by W. C. Uhr and dedicated to the Ladies of Sydney"), was published in Sydney by W. J. Johnson in August, 1853, having been "sung with Rapturous Applause" by Sara Flower and John Howson at the Royal Victoria Theatre.

Five years later, in 1858, Uhr and his song reappeared in the diary of the 15-year-old and ill-fated Blanche Mitchell (1843-1869), daughter of the late Sir Thomas Mitchell:

Wednesday 17 March 1858: St. Patrick's day . . . Campbell [her brother] brought Mr. Uhr home with him, and some shrimps . . . I shall never forget Mr. Uhr tonight singing. His affectation was extreme. I will describe his absurd songs. First "'Tis not on the battlefield", suitable song, I wrote to Alice [her sister], for present feelings, one line is particularly affecting: "A soldier knows how to brave a soldier's death." Do not scream so loud, Mr. Uhr, we will have the constable in to ask who is howling! Now change your song, that is right. After that affecting song about soldiers, certainly "Grim Death" is really too touching. What! is Grim Death too unsentimental, ah! "You love me not". Pray who are you addressing? Can't sing You love me not! poor fellow! his voice fails him, he recovers it again, but alas! Not to continue, the latter song was too touching. Sentiment now sings "I do not ask to offer thee". What? we are all anxious to hear. Please, we may accept it, but alas! a groan follows, then a screech, now a howl, and oh, what a hullabaloo. Hurrah! it has ceased. Praises resound (some from me). The flushing youth rises overcome, but is forcibly held down, and after a great many coughs, hems, and sounding chords, unfortunates sings "Those bells of Shenandoh". Well, something like it. At last he is finished. The last note echoes on the breeze, and inwardly we exclaim, what a blessing! . . .

William also contributed words to a moving memorial song to another young Sydney debutante, Jane, the daughter Thomas Balcombe: In memory of Jane Elizabeth Balcombe ("who died in the eighteenth year of her age on the morning of the 26th day of December A. D. 1858"), set to music by Frederick Meymott.

References also exist to a published musical work by George, then deputy Sheriff, later Sheriff of NSW. His The Australian Rifle Corps march, published by W. J. Johnson, in Sydney in October 1854, was one of many creative contributions to the pan-British Crimean war campaign. Another, a few months earlier, was William's patriotic hymn, A fast day, the words of which were published in the Herald in August.

George's daughter, Georgina Uhr, married John Cash Neild on 19 February 1880

George's daughter, Minnie Uhr, a pupil of the contralto Leonora Fabris, appeared with her teacher as a vocalist in public concerts in Sydney several times between 1886 and 1888. Earlier, she had also gone to Italy to study singing.

William's son Charles married Nellie Tait, at St. Philip's, Sydney, in 1901. At the age of 15, she was organist at St. David's church, Dobroyd (Haberfield). She was a pupil in Sydney of Charles d'Apice, and also studied in London, perhaps, as reported, with Charles Halle, though probably not, as likewise reported, with Julius Benedict, who died in 1885. She later performed in public in Sydney as a solo pianist.

Georgina Uhr, with her husband John Cash Neild, and two children (photo kindly supplied by descendent, Annie Stockton)

Georgina Uhr, with her husband John Cash Neild, and two children, c. 1890


Baptisms solemnized in the parish of St. George in the East, in the county of Middlesex in the year 1821; register 1815-26, page 55; London Metropolitan Archives (PAYWALL)

No. 440 / [baptised] 9th [Sept'r 1821] / [born] 17th of May 1819 / Cornelius William [sic] Son of / John & Louisa / Uhr / Cannon Street / Mariner / [by] The Rector

Baptisms solemnized in the parish of St. George in the East, in the county of Middlesex in the year 1824; register 1815-26, page 143; London Metropolitan Archives (PAYWALL)

No. 1442 / [baptised] 20 [December 1824] / [born] 6th June 1822 / George Richard Son of / John & Louisa / Uhr / Cannon Street / Mariner / [by] The Rector

"Shipping Intelligence", The Australian (25 July 1837), 2

July 24. - The ship Abel Gower, Henderson, master, from Portsmouth 28th March, with merchandise. Passengers - Mr. and Mrs. Hodgson, Masters Robert Buckley and John Hodgson, Messrs. Joseph Pattison, George Sutton, Adam Young, and George Uhr.

"INSOLVENT COURT. Friday, SEPT. 2", The Australian (5 September 1842), 2 

The following individuals filed their schedules on Friday last . . . William Cornelius Uhr; of Sydney, writing clerk . . .

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Australian (9 November 1842), 2

CLEARED AT THE CUSTOMS. The barque Juno, Banks, master, for New Guinea, with sundries. Passenger, W. C. Uhr.

"MARRIED", The Sydney Morning Herald (14 June 1843), 3 

By special license, at the temporary place of Worship in the Parish of Saint Andrew, on Tuesday, the 13th instant, by the Rev. J. C. Grylls, Minister of St. Philip's, Mr. George Richard Uhr, to Sarah Jane, third and youngest daughter of Mr. Edward McRoberts, both of Pyrmont, Sydney.

"DIED", The Sydney Morning Herald (7 August 1848), 3 

At her residence, Pyrmont, on Saturday evening, the 6th instant, Sarah Jane, the beloved wife of Mr. George Uhr.

"MUSICAL REVIEW", Bell's Life in Sydney (6 August 1853), 2

A copy of a pretty little ballad, composed by Mr. W. C. Uhr, and dedicated to the ladies of Sydney, has been politely sent to us. The title of the song is "You love me not!" and we understand that the said ladies have called a meeting of condolence and voted accordingly. "We pity Uhr case!" Considering, however, that to so unnatural a musical plaint a musical answer is requisite, they are about publishing, in the key of be natural, a bravura, to be entitled, "We never said we did!"

"YOU LOVE ME NOT", The Sydney Morning Herald (8 August 1853), 5

A very beautiful and very original ballad has been published by Mr. Johnson, bearing this title. The words and music are both by Mr. W. C. Uhr, an amateur, whose taste for sweet sounds, judged of by this little performance, must be exquisite. The melody is charmingly simple, but the time is still more charmingly irregular, and there is a little ritournella full of abandon, which none but a musical soul could have conceived. We can cordially recommend this song to every lady's drawing-room.

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", Empire (12 August 1853), 2

ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE. Last night but one of Mr. and Mrs. Stark's engagement.
THIS EVENING, Friday, August 12, 1853, will be produced Sir E. L. Bulwer's Play of THE LADY OF LYONS; OR, LOVE AND PRIDE. Claude Melnotte, Mr. Stark; Pauline, Mrs. Stark. Madame Sara Flower will sing a New Ballad (Words and Music composed by W. C. Uhr), entitled, "You love me not."
To conclude with the laughable Farce of CAUGHT IN HIS OWN TRAP.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 August 1853), 1

THIS EVENING. Wednesday, August 24. ROYAL HOTEL. MESSRS. J. HOWSON and H. RICHARDSON beg respectfully to announce to their friends and the public that their Evening Concert will take place as above . . .
PROGRAMME . . . Part II . . . [6] Song - "You Love me Not," Mr. J. Howson, (written and composed by W. C. Uhr, Esq.) . . .

"THE FAST DAY", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 August 1854), 8 

Omniscient God, who reign'st above,
Eternal Thou wilt ever be;
Whose mercy is a saving love,
Australia's voice is raised to thee . . . [5 more verses]
W. C. UHR.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 October 1854), 1

THE RIFFLE CORPS MARCH, by George Uhr, Esq. Published by JOHNSON and SON, 57, Pitt-street.

"NEW MUSIC", Bell's Life in Sydney (28 October 1854), 2

We have, delayed acknowledgment of a copy of "The Australian Rifle Corps March", composed and dedicated to Fatherland, by Mr. George Uhr, in the expectation of receiving a piano, the usual and necessary accompaniment of such presentation, whereby to test the merits of the composition. We have scarcely the presumption to hope that the instrument hallowed by the touch of the divine Catherine will be presented to us for the purpose, by Messrs. Johnson and Co.; but we confidently anticipate the arrival of a respectable "Cottage" or "Cabinet" from the establishment within the next week, when we shall be enabled to march into the "Rifle Corps March".

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (27 December 1858), 1

On Sunday morning, the 26th December, at Napoleon Cottage, Paddington, Jane Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Thomas T. Balcombe, Esq., in the 18th year of her age.

"MARRIAGES", Empire (10 March 1860), 4

UHR - KINGHORNE - On Thursday, the 1st March, by special license, at St. John's Church, Parramatta, by the Rev. R. L. King, William C. Uhr, to Augusta Louisa, widow of the late James Kinghorne, Esq.

"DEATHS", Empire (12 September 1864), 1

UHR. - At his residence, Llewellyn, Parramatta River, on the 11th September, George Richard Uhr, Esq, late Sheriff of New South Wales.

"MUSIC AND DRAMA. Madame Summerhayes' and Signora Fabris' Concert", The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (2 October 1886), 694 

A vocal and instrumental concert was given by these ladies in the Y.M.C.A. Hall on Thursday, the 23rd ultimo . . . Signora Fabris, whose abilities and labours in the cause of music, have secured for her a high position in her profession, contributed "Roberto, tu che adoro," from Meyerbeer's opera "Roberto il Diavolo," in very fine style, and joined in two duets - the first from Pacini's "Saffo," in which Miss Minnie Uhr, one of the signora's pupils, took the second part . . . Miss Minnie Uhr and Miss Emonie Hamilton (also a pupil of Signora Fabris) appeared for the first time, and gave good evidence of well-directed natural ability . . .

"AMUSEMENTS", The Daily Telegraph (10 December 1887), 5 

Signor and Signora Fabris gave a grand operatic concert at the New Masonic-hall last night . . . The only alterations in a capital programme were due to the defection of Mr. Warwick Gainor, and the various items were very favorably received. This remark especially applies to the duet "Ah, se Potessi" (Signora Fabris and Miss Minnie Uhr), in which both singers delighted the house . . .

"CONCERT AT THE NEW MASONIC HALL", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 November 1888), 11 

A complimentary concert, tendered to Mr. Alexander Edward, an amateur vocalist, was given last evening . . . Amongst the artists who gave their services gratuitously could be seen the names of Signora Fabris, Mrs. Innes, Mrs. Dobbie, Miss Minnie Uhr, Miss Clara Hamilton . . . The Duet "Io Vivo E l'Almo" (Campana), by Signora Fabris and Miss Uhr, was one of the best rendered items of the evening, and the singers were most enthusiastically applauded . . . Herr Hugo Alpen presided at the piano.


"Deaths", The Sydney Morning Herald (7 March 1896), 1

UHR. - On 6th March, 1896, at his residence, Bickleigh Vale, Fivedock, William Cornelius Uhr, in his 79th year.

"Marriages", The Sydney Morning Herald (13 June 1901), 1 

UHR - TAIT. - May 17, at St. Philip's, Church-hill, by the Ven. Archdeacon J. D. Langley, Charles I. K. Uhr, to Nellie E. Tait, of Sydney.

"MUSIC & MUSICIANS . . . BY G. LOVELL DWYER", Evening News (10 May 1924), 3 

"You Love Me Not." - The song is very rarely heard now, but an old copy turned up accidentally, just as old songs do sometimes, at a private gathering. Many Sydney people will remember the late Mr. W. C. Uhr, who was the first returning officer for East Sydney and Deputy Under-Sheriff for 15 years, and who died in 1896. He was very prominent in musical circles in the 50's and 60's. He had a baritone voice, and composed a number of songs, of which "You Love Me Not" was one. His son, Mr. C. I. K. Uhr, secretary of the Church of England Association of New South Wales, once found a copy of the song in a shop window.

Mr. W. C. Uhr sang at Government House in Sir Charles Fitzroy's time; and he received from his friends the title of "Bandbox Uhr," because he clung to the habit of wearing a top-hat.

Mr. Uhr was the author of verses written "In memoriam" of Miss Mary Jane Balcombe, daughter of Mr. W. A. Balcombe [recte T. T. Balcombe], who was an officer in the Treasury Department. This lady died on the morning of Boxing Day, 1858. Mr. C. I. K. Uhr has a copy of the song yet. The music was composed by Judge Meymott, who was a musician of taste. The Judge used to vary the dry court work when on circuit by playing the organs in the country churches.

The wife of Mr. C. I. K. Uhr is a pianist. She received her early lessons in Sydney from Mr. Charles d'Apice. Later she went to England, and had the benefit of lessons from Sir Julius Benedict and Sir Charles Halle. She appeared in Sydney on many occasions as a solo pianist. When 15 years of age she was the organist at St. David's Church, Dobroyde, now Haberfield.


"MARRIAGES", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 December 1909), 8

UHR - BURTON-BRADLEY. - September 29, at St. David's Church, Surry Hills, by the Rev. George Brown, D'Arcy Roxburgh Sherwood, only son of W. G. L. Uhr, of Uhr Park, Abbotsford, grandson of the late William Cornelius Uhr, Esq., of Bickleigh Vale, Five Dock, and Sheriff's Department, Sydney, great-grandson of the late Captain John Uhr, Royal Navy, great grand nephew of the late Lieutenant-General Sir James Robert Henry Innes Kerr, Duke of Roxburgh, Earl Innes (English Peerage), and Marquis of Beaumont and Cessford, to Clare Burton-Bradley, youngest daughter of the late Burton-Bradley, Esq., solicitor, of Llewellyn, Lyons-road, Five Dock.

In September 2020, an Uhr descendent, Annie Stockton, kindly shed further light on the supposed lineage of William and George's family (a see above). In fact, nothing is known for sure of John (Johan) Uhr, except he was a mariner of some description. Later claims that he belonged to the Uhr family of Kungsgarden, Sweden, seem unlikely. William's son believed his father was born in Bremen, but, while this is possible, it may actually have been the birthplace or home port of his grandfather. At the time of their baptisms, William and George's parents gave their permanent address as Cannon Street, London.

The supposed maternal lineage rests on the belief of William and George's mother's father (also John) that he was somehow related to an historical duke of Roxburgh (Innes Ker). Nellie Tait's husband was baptised Charles James McRobert Uhr, but chose to style himself Charles Innes Ker Uhr.

Published musical works:

You love me not (words and music by W. C. Uhr, 1853)

You love me not, air and words composed by W. C. Uhr, and dedicated to the ladies of Sydney, sung with rapturous applause by Madame Sara Flower, and Mr. John Howson, the proceeds of this work to be given to the Benevolent Asylum (Sydney: W. J. Johnson & Co., [1853]) (DIGITISED) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

You love me not nor for me care
Then hush'd my ev'ry joy will be,
You do not heed Affection's prayer
Yet still my soul shall cling to thee . . . [2 more verses]

The Australian Rifle Corps march (music by George Uhr, 1854)

The Australian Rifle Corps march for the pianoforte; by George Uhr, Esq. (Sydney: W. J. Johnson and Co., [1854])


In memory of Jane Elizabeth Balcombe (words by W. C. Uhr, ? 1858-59)

In memory of Jane Elizabeth Balcombe, who died in the eighteenth year of her age on the morning of the 26th day of December A.D. 1858, lines written by William Cornelius Uhr and set to music by Frederic William Meymott ([Sydney]: [n.p.], [? 1859]) (DIGITISED)

It was the morning past the day,
The natal day of Christ our Lord
When she the lov'd was called away
Before the mercy seat of God.
She blest her parents gentle care
Then meekly calmly sunk to rest,
Her spirit melting into air
Like twilight paling in the west . . . [2 more verses]

See: "DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (27 December 1858), 1 

And on Jane Balcombe's father, Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe, see:

Kathleen Thomson, "Balcombe, Alexander Beatson (1811-1877)", Australian dictionary of biography 3 (1969)

Other sources:

Uhr family correspondence, 1843-1873; State Library of New South Wales, MLMSS 946  

Blanche Mitchell diary, 27 January 1858 - February 1861; MLMSS 1611, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales (IMAGE 1) (IMAGE 2) (TRANSCRIPT)

Bibliography and resources:

[Joseph Michael Forde] "OLD SYDNEY . . . The Story of St. Philips Continued and Concluded", Truth [Sydney, NSW] (4 May 1913), 12 

. . . Mr. Edward MacRoberts was parish clerk of the old church, and had been master of the infant school for many years. He contributed £137 towards the building of the new church. His wife was the first organist of whom there is any record, her connection dating back to the year 1840. As to that organ there is no record as to when it was placed in the church. It is known, however, that it required three persons to play it. There were the organist, the bellows-blower, and the stop-drawer. In 1840 Mrs. MacRoberts was the organist, James MacRoberts, her, son, was the bellows blower, and James H. Greenway was the stop-drawer. Mrs. MacRoberts received £20 a year, James MacRoberts £1 6s. and J. H. Greenway £1. Mr. MacRoberts received for his services as parish clerk £26 14s per annum . . . In 1844 Sarah Jane Uhr was or ganist; she was, no doubt, a relative of Mr. George Uhr, of the Sheriffs Office. Later in the same year Mr. John P. Deane, a professor of music living in Castlereagh street, became organist, with a salary of £50 a year. The organ appears to have given some trouble, and Mr. William J. Johnson, orgau-builder, with his workshop at Flood's Wharf, and his residence at 53 Pitt-street, sent in alternative tenders for erecting a new instrument, either in the gallery or in the body of the church, but the old organ was patched up and continued to do duty until the new church was opened . . .

Peter Meyer, Organs and organists of the churches in the parish of St. Philip, Church Hill, Sydney (Sydney: Peter Meyer, 1966) 

Graeme D. Rushworth, Historic organs of New South Wales: the instruments, their makers and players 1791-1940 (Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1988), 20

Edna Hickson (ed.), Blanche: an Australian diary 1858-1861: the diary of Blanche Mitchell (Sydney: John Ferguson, 1980), 57-58 (after original MS diary, as above)

John Gladstone Steele, The Petersons and the Uhrs: an Australian family since 1825 [revised and enlarged from the 1st edition of 1980] (Auchenflower: J. G. Steele, 2003), 44-46 

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), 367, 493, 500, 543 (DIGITISED)

Sarah Jane McRoberts, 1823-1848 (aged 24 years), Australian royalty 

UPSON, Charles A. (Charles UPSON; Mr. C. A. UPSON)

Tenor vocalist, minstrel, delineator (Howard's Serenaders), clown, actor

Active Sydney, NSW, by June 1850
Active Hobart, TAS, 1853 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

UPSON, Mrs. C. A. (Mrs. C. A. UPSON)

Actor, vocalist

Active Sydney, NSW, and Hobart, TAS, 1853


[Advertisement], The People's Advocate and New South Wales Vindicator (15 June 1850), 16 

ETHIOPIAN SERENADERS. NOTICE. MESSRS. CHARLES V. HOWARD AND GEORGE B. HOWARD beg respectfully to inform their patrons and the public in general, that they have succeeded in forming a company of FOUR SERENADERS equal to any in the colony; and that in answer to the advertisement of Waterland and Reading in Thursday's Herald, they feel convinced it will be treated by a discerning and impartial public with the contempt it merits. The company consists of the following performers: - Charles V. Howard, tambourine; George B. Howard, the exquisite and unequalled flutina player; Charles A. Upson, the incomparable bone player; and Samuel T. Holmes, banjo player, and dancer of the celebrated Virginian Negro's break down. N B.— Solo, (Banjo) - Christ Church Bells - every night.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 January 1853), 3

HOWARD'S SERENADERS, Established in New South Wales in 1850. Re-appearance in Sydney. SECOND GRAND EVENING ENTERTAINMENT. On FRIDAY, January 14th, in the Saloon of the Royal Hotel, consisting of another favourite selection of Melodies by the above celebrated Minstrels and Delineators of Negro life and character, together with the surprising feats in SIGNOR BLITZ, PUPIL OF ANDERSON. Messrs. Howard in returning thanks for the patronage bestowed upon them on the occasion of their last performance beg to announce another pleasing entertainment on the above evening . . .
PART III. Overture - Company
Happy are we - G. B. Howard
Hub a little Dance - C. V. Howard
Darkies' Lament - C. A. Upson
Ole Tar Ribber - J. Brenni
Get up in de Morning - W. Howson
Jenny Lane - G. B. Howard
Darkie Youth - C. A. Upson
Gal wid de Blue Dress on - J. Brenni
Picayune Butler - C. V. Howard
To conclude with the RAILWAY GALLOP . . .

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

[Advertisement], The Courier (28 May 1853), 2

ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE . . . Mr. and Mrs. Upson and Mr. Frederick Howson, from the Sydney Theatres, having arrived, they will have the honour of making their first appearance in the course of the week.

[Advertisement], The Courier (2 June 1853), 2 

ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE. Friday Evening, 3rd June. First appearance of Mrs. Upson, from the Sydney Theatre Royal . . . Negro Melody - Darkie Youth, (words by Mrs. C. A. Upson) Mr. Upson . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (1 January 1873), 8 

ROYAL COLOSSEUM THEATRE . . . Charles Upson, the sweet tenor . . .

URE, James Anderson (James Anderson URE; Mr. J. A. URE; Mr. URE)

Amateur vocalist, conductor, singing class instrustor, leader of psalmody (Prebyterian), national school teacher

Born c. 1826/27; son of Alexander URE and Annie ANDERSON
Active Melbourne, VIC, by c. 1860
Died Elsternwick, VIC, 1 February 1909, aged "83" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


"Memoranda", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (6 August 1864), 2 

On Wednesday evening last, the Presbyterian Church Congregation, South Yarra (Rev. G. Mackie's), met for the purpose of electing a precentor, when, on the vote- being taken, Mr. J. A. Ure, late of the Scotch Church, Collins-street, was found to be the successful candidate by a very large majority. From Mr. Ure's reputation as a conductor of psalmody it is believed the congregation have much reason to congratulate themselves on having secured the services of a gentleman so eminently qualified to discharge the duties of the office.

"MEMORANDA", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (22 July 1865), 2 

A Grand Amateur Concert and Fruit Soiree will be held in the Prahran Town Hall, on Thursday evening, under the auspices of the United Trades Association. The programme issued contains a varied assortment of songs, glees, solos, readings, recitations, &c., among the performers of which are Mr. and Mrs. Trowell, Mr. and Mrs. Dudley, Miss Storey, Miss. McPherson, and others. Mr. Ure will be the conductor, and Mr. Tolhurst preside at the piano. Tickets may be had of the principal tradesmen.

[News], The Herald (8 August 1865), 2 

A general meeting of the Prahran, South Yarra, and St. Kilda Half-holiday Association, was held last night at the Royal George hotel, Prahran . . . a resolution was then carried that the secretary should write to Messrs. Tolhurst and Urie [sic], thanking them for their attendance and exertions at the concert, and apologising for any offensive remarks which might have fallen from any member of the association during the concert . . .

"MEMORANDA", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (1 May 1869), 2 

We beg to direct the attention of the music-loving portion of our readers to an advertisement in another column, announcing a new quarter of the Toorak Glee Class held in the Presbyterian Hall under the able leadership of Mr. J. A. Ure, conductor of the psalmody at the Presbyterian Church, South Yarra, and certificated teacher of singing under the Board of Education. We are happy to learn that the quarter just ended has been fraught with most satisfactory results. We believe it is Mr. Ure's intention, with the assistance of the class, ere long, to give a concert in aid of the building fund of the hall.

"DEATHS", The Argus (4 February 1909), 1 

URE. – On the 1st February, at his residence, "Rosemount," Glenhuntly-road, Elsternwick, James Anderson Ure, retired state school teacher, beloved husband of the late Jane Ure, aged 83 years. (Interred privately, St. Kilda Cemetery.)

URIE, Louisa (Louisa URIE; Miss URIE; Mrs. Thomas TURNBULL)

Soprano vocalist, Scotch ballad singer

Born Loch Winnoch, Scotland, 4 July 1830
Active Melbourne, VIC, by July 1853
Married Thomas TURNBULL (1824-1907), ? VIC
Departed VIC, 1859/60
Died Wellington, NZ, 23 May 1915 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


Louisa Urie, described in the Melbourne and Bendigo press as a popular Scottish vocalist, spent the years 1853-59 in Victoria, performing mainly on the goldfields, notably with Charles Thatcher.

She and her Scottish husband, the architect Thomas Turnbull (1824-1907) spent most of the 1860s in San Francisco, California, and settled finally in New Zealand in the early 1870s. As "Miss Urie", Louisa performed again in New Zealand during 1873 and 1874. She died in Wellington in 1915.


[Advertisement], The Argus (12 July 1853), 8 

OPEN Every Evening - Admission One Shilling -
Salle de Valentino, late Noble's Circus, top of Bourke-street, east.
Grand Promenade Concerts.
Conductor, Mons. Fleury.
Principal vocalists: Miss Graham, Miss Bourne, and Miss Louisa Urie, and Mr Barlow, the celebrated [REDACTED] melodist.
Instrumental solos every evening . . .
Proprietor and General Manager, Mr. JAS. ELLIS.

[Advertisement], The Argus (20 July 1853), 8 

The best band in Melbourne plays at the Salle de Valentino. Miss Louisa Urie will sing this evening. Barlow's original sketches at nine o'clock. Admission, One Shilling.

[Advertisement], The Argus (27 July 1853), 8 

OPEN every Evening, the Salle de Valentino.
Proprietor, Mr. James Ellis, of Cremorne Gardens.
Grand Promenade Concerts, a la Musard. Conductor - Mons. Fleury.
The following vocalists will appear this week -
Miss Louisa Urie, Miss Theresa Shirley, Miss Bourne, and Mr. Barlow.
Instrumental Solo Performers: Violins, M. M. Fleury and Paltzer, clarionet, Mr. Johnson; ophecleide, Mr. Hartigan, coronet-a piston, signor Maffei; sax-horn, Mr. Baker; flute, Mr. Murcell, contra basso, Mr. Hardman.
Programme for Monday, July 25, and during the Week.
Overture - L'Italiana In Algeri - Rossini
Valse - A deux temps - Jullien
Song - On Monday, Wednesday and Friday - By Miss Louisa Urie
Song - On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - By Miss Bourne
Quadrille - Les Echos Suisses, with the original echo effect - Musard
Song - Mr. Barlow.
Solo, cornet - On Monday and Tuesday, Sig. Maffei.
Solo, clarionet - On Tuesday and Friday - Mr. Johnson
Solo sax-horn - On Tuesday and Saturday - Mr. Baker
Song - On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday - By Miss Theresa Shirley
Valse - Summer Flowers - Tinney.
Between the first and second parts, Mr. Barlow will introduce his popular entertainment Unlock the Lands, the Rock Harmonicon, etc.
National and Patriotic Song of France - Signor Maffei, with chorus by the Corps d'Orchestre, Mourir Pour la Patrie - Varney.
Quadrille - Les diamans de la Couronne - Musard.
Song - On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday - By Miss Louisa Urie.
Song - On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, by Miss Bourne.
Solo, ophecleide - On Monday and Thursday - Mr. Hartigan.
Solo, violin - On Tuesday and Thursday - Mons. Paltzer
Solo, horn - On Wednesday and Saturday.
Song - On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday - By Miss Theresa Shirley.
Galop - The Sturm March
God Save the Queen.
Doors open at 7 o clock, concert commoncei at half past 7, and concludes about 10 o'clock.
Admission to promenade, 1s; dress circle, 3s. 6d.

"THE QUEEN'S THEATRE", The Argus (15 October 1853), 5

We perceive that the popular, amusing, and really clever Barlow [gives a] vocal and instrumental concert at the Queen's Theatre this evening . . . Miss Louisa Urie, Mons. Paltzer Sivorini, Mr. Oakey, and other talented persons have been engaged . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (7 December 1853), 10 

Enterprise, Novelty, and Success.
The Magnificent Concert Hall . . . Lonsdale street,
Introducing the following vocalists :-
Madame Carandlni (from the Victoria Theatre Sydney.)
Miss Graham,
Miss Urie,
Mr. Frank Howson, and Mr. Lavenu (from Her Mejesty's Theatre, Haymarket, London,)
A Band of nearly One Hundred Performers.
Conductor: Mr. Johnson. Leader: Mons. Fleury.v Director of the Vocal Department and Pianiste: Mr. Lavenu . . .
Admission - Half-a Crown. JAMES ELLIS, Manager.

[Advertisement], The Argus (31 August 1854), 8

SALLE DE VALENTINO .-To-night, Thursday. Grand Double Entertainment. Vocal and Instrumental Concert. Vocalists - Miss Urie, Mrs. Pendleton, Mr. Pendleton . . .

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

CONCERT ROOM, Union Hotel, Bourke-street.
Open every Evening Admission Free - Vocalists - Miss Urie, the celebrated Scotch ballad singer, Miss Bourne, from the Salle de Valentino, Mr. Golding, the celebrated Irish comic singer, Mr. Clifford from the English Opera Company, Theatre Royal, Drury-lane, and the Wednesday Evening Concerts, Exeter Hall; and Mr. Collins, the eminent pianist . . .

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

MUSIC HALL, Union Hotel.
Re-decorated, and brilliantly lighted with gas, will be reopened under entire new arrangements, on
Saturday evening the 16th instant, with a series of Vocal and Instrumental concerts, for which the following artistes are engaged,
MISS URIE, The celebrated Soprano.
MISS MINIE CLIFFORD, The Juvenile Pianiste,
MR. G. CLIFFORD, From the Exeter Hall Concerts, Tenor.
MR. T. KING, Bass and Instrumentalist.
Concert to commence at Eight o'clock.
Programme :
Overture - Auber.
Glee - Here in Cool Grot, - Miss Urie, Mr. King, and Mr. Clifford - Mornington
Song - Flowers of the Forest, - Miss Urie - Scotch
Duet - Flow gently, Deva, - Mr. Clifford and Mr. King - Parry
Solo - violin - Mr. King - De Berriot
Song - My Highland Home, - Mr. Clifford - Bishop
Song - Edwin, dear, O fare ye weel, Miss Urie - G. Hunter
Part Second.
Fantasia Brilliante - piano and violin - from Guillaume Tell, - Miss Clifford and Mr. King - De Berriot and Osbourne
Duet - I've wandered in Dreams - Miss Urie and Mr Clifford.
Song - Friend of the Boone, - Mr. King - Calcot
Solo - piano - Telexy's Mazourka, Miss Clifford.
Song - Auld Joe Nicholson's Bonny Nannie, - Miss Urie - Willson.
Song - Death of Nelson, - Mr. Clifford - Braham
Solo- clarionet - Adieu a Berne, - Mr. King - Bressant
Song - Will ye na come back again, Miss Urie - Scotch.
God Save the Queen!
Admission by Refreshment Ticket.

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

. . . Mr. G. Clifford, from the Exeter Hall Concert, Miss Minnie Clifford, a juvenile pianiste, and Miss Urie, a celebrated soprano, were giving concerts at the Music Hall, Union Hotel . . .

"THE SHAMROCK HOTEL", Bendigo Advertiser (20 October 1855), 3 

We understand that Mr. Heffernan has in contemplation the erection of a splendid concert room, superior to any on the Bendigo . . . Beyond question, the Shamrock Hotel has one of the best musical companies in the district, and the large support it receives is well deserved. The engagement of Miss Urie still continues, and her excellent singing meets with the same popularity as ever. Under most disadvantageous circumstances this lady acquits herself remarkably well. Mr. Gibson, the favorite Irish singer, is also engaged at the Shamrock, and his humorous and pleasant style of singing is no small attraction. Mr. Dixon, the tenor, and Mr. Leman, bass singer, are well deserving of notice. The latter gentleman has a very fine powerful voice, which enables him to sing certain songs with striking effect. The place of Mr. White, who ably presided at the pianoforte, and whose accompaniments in no small degree contributed to the success of the evening concerts, is at present filled by Mr. Salaman, the former gentleman being on a visit to town . . .

"THE SHAMROCK CONCERT LAST NIGHT", Bendigo Advertiser (26 April 1856), 2 

. . . Miss Urie's Scotch songs were well received, and were sung with her usual spirit. This lady by the earnestness of her endeavours to please fairly challenges applause, and we always note with pleasure the hearty reception that is accorded her . . .

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (26 May 1856), 3

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

. . . Miss Urie's songs were, of course, highly applauded, and she was unmercifully encored. We can candidly say that she deserved all the applause she elicited, for her singing of the Scottish ballads was a treat to those who appreciate national music. She is intensely national herself, and enters into the soul of the singing with a fire and energy worthy of some Scottish amazon buckling on her son's armour for Bannockburn. Indeed, we wished that the gentlemen had shown some of her animation, especially in that glorious lyric, "Scots wha' hae." But Miss Urie also sings the plaintive and the humorous songs with great feeling and archness. Without any disparagement to the higher walks of singing, when we wish to hear a good Scottish national song, commend us to Miss Urie . . .

"HOMEWARD BOUND", The Age (28 August 1857), 5 

Who that has heard Miss Urie sing her native Scotch songs, has not been struck with the impassioned manner in which gushed forth from her lips the stirring strains of the clansman's song. There was nature - honest feeling in the efforts; she sang not only her native airs, but as the most obtuse might see her ardent love for her northern home. But this fair one's patriotism is to be our loss - she cannot stay away from the country, of which she so loves to sing - she is sighing for the glens and misty moors; and this morning's coach took away from us a singer than whom none has won more hearty or genuine applause; and whose absence every frequenter of the Shamrock will mark with regret. Miss Urie returns to her native country with a determinate to settle down there, and if the good wishes of those whose leisure hours she has beguiled be of any value to her, we will venture to say she has them in no stinted degree. - Courier of the Mines.

"A SCOTTISH HAMELY SANG", Bendigo Advertiser (15 December 1857), 3


I sat yestre'en where minstrels sing
I'th' bonnie Shamrock ha',
An' the full ha' rung while Miss Urie sung
0' the land that's far awa';
There Thatcher bright did sweetly strike
His local lyre sae gay,
An' the forte's thrill by Pollard's skill
Pass'd weel the time away.

But I've seen the thistle proudly rear
Its head on its native dale,
An' I've seen the flow'ry heather bear
Its bells in the scented gale:
I've sat at my mither's knee right fain
When she sang her native lays,
An' dear to my heart is the hamely strain
That speaks o' my early days.

Noo I've seen Australia's golden ore,
An' I've seen the nuggets shine,
As I've dug them frae their native lair
In the Bendigo gold mine;
I've seen the gaudy tinsel wave
'Hang the bright an' th' glitterin' thrang,
But naething half sic pleasure gave
As Miss Urie's hamely sang.

It touches the heart like a witchin' dart,
An' wafts it o'er the sea,
To the thistle dale an' the heather vale
While she sings bonnie Sootlan' o' thee:
I've heard sweet music fa' on the ear
Wi' a gentle pleasin' twang,
But it touch'd na the heart wi' a thrill sae dear
As Miss Urie's hamely sang.

Tho' Scotia's rills and heathy hills
I never mair may see,
The sweet lov'd lays o' early days
Will aye be dear to me;
When the day is gone an' work is done,
To the Shamrock I can gang,
An 'oor to wile an' care beguile,
And hear Miss Urie's sang.

Had Nature granted me a pen
As sweet's I'd wish't to be,
I'd tune a strain and sing again
Miss Urie a health to thee!
For I lo'e the strains o' Scotia dear,
Nor think the time was lang
Tho' I sat frae night till the mornin' light
An' hear thy hamely sang.

As I tune nae the lyre for love nor hire
But my tribute to record,
I may sing again when it suits the vein
Of your servant -

Windmill Hill, December 9, 1857.

"LYCEUM THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (6 December 1858), 3 

As we anticipated, the announcement of the last night of performance - for some time at least - of Miss Urie and Mr. Small, drew a full attendance at the Lyceum on Saturday night. In consequence, however, of indisposition, Miss Urie was unable to appear, her place being supplied by Miss Clifford, who introduced the best selection from Miss Urie's repertory of Scotch melodies, in a style - although comparisons are generally objectionable - that made the absence of Miss Urie less of a disappointment . . .

"THE CONCERTS", Bendigo Advertiser (3 June 1859), 2 

. . . At the Shamrock Miss Urie's singing is as popular as ever, as also that of Mr. Leeman and Mr. Small . . .

[Advertisement], Wellington Independent (6 April 1874), 3 

THEATRE ROYAL . . . MISS URIE, The Favourite Scotch Vocalist . . .

"DEATH", New Zealand Times (24 May 1915), 4 

TURNBULL. - On May 23rd, 1915, at her residence, 25, Talavera terrace, Louisa Turnbull, widow of the late Thomas Turnbull, F.R.I.B.A.; in her 85th year. Interment (private) at 10.30 a.m. Thursday, 25th inst.

Bibliography and resources:

"Turnbull, Thomas", Te ara - Encyclopedia of New Zealand, online (ONLINE)

. . . In 1851 he emigrated to Melbourne, Australia, practising as an architect in the gold towns of Victoria. Perhaps his earliest remaining work is St Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Beechworth, northern Victoria. He married Louisa Urie, also from Scotland, at Melbourne, probably in 1859 or 1860. In 1861 Turnbull moved to San Francisco, California . . . Failing health caused by 'the severe strain of conducting his business under pressure of American professional tactics' caused Turnbull to shift to New Zealand in 1871; within a year he was joined by his wife and five children . . . Thomas Turnbull died in Wellington on 23 February 1907, survived by his wife, four sons and one daughter. Louisa Turnbull died in 1915 . . .


URSO, Camilla (Camilla URSO)

Violinist, impresario

Born Nantes, France, 13 June 1842
Arrived (1) Sydney, NSW, 30 September 1879 (per R.M.S. Australia, from San Francisco, Honolulu and Auckland)
Departed (1) Sydney, NSW, 8 April 1880 (per Rotorua, for Auckland)
Arrived (2) Adelaide, SA, 2 May 1894 (per Ville de la Ciotat)
Departed (2) Melbourne, VIC, late November 1894
Died New York, NY, USA, 20 January 1902, aged 60 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)



"Camillo [sic] Urso", Evening News (13 September 1879), 5

By the next San Francisco mail there comes to us an artiste whose fame has for years resounded through the capitals of Europe, and wherever music finds an echo in the hearts of the people. Lady violinists are very rare, the difficulties to be overcome in attaining anything like proficiency in the art of playing this instrument being so great as to discourage any but those who have genius and a large share of patience and perseverance; and the number of those who have attained to eminence in the front rank of artistes is small indeed. The sisters Milanolo astonished the world 30 years ago. Mdlle. Neruda (now Madame Norman Neruda), has long been one of the reigning favourites of the musical world; later "our own" (as she was called, having been so great a favourite here), Jenny Claus, are the only names that can be recalled during the present age; but that of Camilla Urso has reached far and wide as one of the purest and most graceful players that has ever appeared in public. Musical papers speak of her as an artist by nature as well as by skill and culture; and the greatest masters of music have testified to her bright intellectual powers. Desirous of extending her conquests, Camilla Urso has arranged for a tour through Australia, and we shall very shortly have the opportunity of appreciating her merits.

"SHIPPING", Australian Town and Country Journal (4 October 1879), 36

"MADAME CAMILLA URSO", The Mercury (28 October  1879), 2

"CAMILLA URSO", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 January 1880), 6 [biography]

"MUSIC AND THE DRAMA", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 April 1880), 8

Madame Camilla Urso has just brought another brilliant and profitable series of concerts to a close; and, after a tour through New Zealand, is to leave us for America. Night after night of late, in the worst possible weather, the Masonic Hall was crowded by delighted listeners, who recalled the artiste again and again after she had performed the solos set down for her on the programme. Urso is undoubtedly the greatest violinist that has over visited Australia, and though to some of us Joachim, Ole Bull, and others of the phenomenal violinists of the age are memories, the lady has won from everybody cordial recognition of her earnest study and natural genius. Both qualities have combined to make her what she is, and both may be traced in the extensive range of her musical knowledge, and the power of intense expression, which add such a charm to her wonderfully accurate execution . . ..

"Shipping", Evening News (8 April 1880), 2

"ADELAIDE", The Argus (3 May 1894), 6

"MADAME CAMILLA URSO'S FAREWELL CONCERT", The Argus (28 November 1894), 6

"PERSONAL NOTES FROM ENGLAND", The Register (17 March 1902), 6

"MUSIC AND DRAMA", The Brisbane Courier (22 March 1902), 9

Relevant musical works:

Call me thine own (song; music by Halévy; Sung by Madame De Vere Sapio, at the Sapio-Urso concerts; violin obbligato arranged by Madame Camilla Urso) (Sydney: Nicholson & Co., [1894]) [cover image of the 2 artists]

Bibliography and resources:

"Camilla Urso", Wikipedia

Guide to the Camilla Urso Collection; Claremont Colleges

USHER, Alfred (1) (Alfred USHER; Mr. A. USHER)

Violinist, theatre orchestra leader, composer

Born ? England, c. 1833; son of Richard USHER (1785-1843) and Mary Leonora WALLACK (1788-1862)
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, August 1856 (passenger per True Briton, from London, aged "23")
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 21 June 1857 (per City of Sydney, from Melbourne, 18 June)
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, December 1859 (per City of Sydney, from Sydney, 14 December)
Died Invercargill, NZ, 20/21 June 1864 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)


As correctly reported in his Melbourne obituary (1864), the violinist Alfred Usher was a son of clown and theatre designer Richard Usher, and his second wife, Leonora Wallack, sister of Henry Wallack.

Usher arrived in Melbourne in August 1856, aged 23, on the True Briton. He is first documented as a member of the orchestra for Anna Bishop and George Loder's opera season at the Princess's Theatre in April 1857, by which time, according to The age, he was one of several "well-known" names.

He sailed for Sydney with the Bishop company, with which he was first billed to appear at the Royal Victoria Theatre in June. Thereafter, he appears to have remained in Sydney until late 1859, when, following a walk-out of actors and musicians at both the major theatres, he returned to Victoria.

He was in New Zealand by mid 1862, and died there in June 1864.

He does not appear to have been related to Alfred Usher (2) below.


1841 England census, Warwickshire, Birmingham, St. Martin; UK National Archives, HO 107/1142/8 (PAYWALL)

Richard Usher / 60 / Clown
Leonora [Usher] / 52 . . .
Charlotte [Usher] / 18 . . .
Hellen [Usher] / 15 . . .
Alfred [Usher] / 8 . . .

? "DEATHS", Newcastle Courant (10 December 1852), 8

At NORTH SHIELDS . . . On the 3rd inst., James Alfred, son of Mr. Alfred Usher, musician.

[Advertisement], The Argus (8 August 1856), 1 

TO CAPTAIN E. A. REYNELL - We, the undersigned cabin and second class passengers by the ship TRUE BRITON, from London to Port Phillip, having at length reached our destination, do hereby tender to you our united thanks . . . Second-Class Passengers . . . Alfred Usher . . .

"MUSIC AND DRAMA", The Age (13 April 1857), 5 

THE PRINCESS'S THEATRE, as the Amphitheatre in Parliament place (late Spring street) has now been designated, is fast approaching to completion, and will decidedly be ready for use by Monday night, though the opera will not be opened till Thursday . . . The operatic corps includes Madame Anna Bishop, Madame Leon Naej, Madame Sara Flower, Mrs. Fiddes, Mons. Laglaise, Mr. Walter Sherwin, Mr. Norton, Mons. Del Sarte, Mr. Dickson, Mr. J. Pierce, Mons. Coulon, Mr. Farquharson, Mr. Gregg, Mr. Kitts, and Mr. Benham. The chorus will include no less than thirty well trained voices, and the band twenty-five performers, all carefully selected. Mr Geo. Loder is to be conductor and musical director, and Mr. E. King, leader of the band. This will include the well known names of Mr. Chapman, (double bass); Mr. Johnson, (clarionet); and Mr. Usher, (violin). The whole has been under assiduous rehearsal for several days, and cannot fail in rendering the opera in a style surpassing any former attempt in Victoria . . .

Reproduced in "MUSIC AND THE DRAMA IN Melbourne (from the Melbourne Age of April 13)", The Era [London, England] (14 June 1857), 12

"ARRIVALS", The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List (29 June 1857), 154 

June 21. - City of Sydney (s.), 734 tons, Captain R. T. Moodie, from Melbourne, 18th instant. Passengers - . . . Mrs. Young, Mr. Loder . . . Mrs. Holder, and Messrs. Smith, Bridson, Rees, Crosby, Ross, Ward, Kirkwood, Laglaise, Usher, Thorn, Lister, Christoph, Bremner, Murphy, Watts, and 8 in the steerage. A. S. N. Company, agents.

[Advertisement], Empire (26 June 1857), 1 

. . . ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE . . . MADAME ANNA BISHOP to play a Farewell Engagement of EIGHTEEN NIGHTS . . . supported by the following Eminent Artistes . . . THE ORCHESTRA, complete and powerful, will be conducted by MR. GEORGE LODER, and will include MR. WINTERBOTTOM, MR. KOHLER, and MR. R. USHER [sic] . . .

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE. THE OPERA", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 July 1857), 4 

At this popular establishment the opera continues the chief attraction . . . the orchestra, numbering among its members Messrs. Winterbottom, Usher, Eigenschenck, Kohler, Wheeler, Tranter, &c., is under the direction of Mr. G. Loder, a name familiar to every connoisseur, by its association with so many lyric triumphs on the European stage . . .

"GRAND CONCERT. PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (26 August 1857), 5 

Madame Anna Bishop, who, during this her farewell engagement in Sydney, has performed in a series of operatic entertainments, and also been the originator of the finest Oratorio we have had in our city, appeared last night as a concert singer . . . The programme commenced with the overture (Septette) Il Barbiere de Seviglla, and was well executed by the compact orchestra, ably led by Mr. Usher . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 August 1857), 1

PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE - Grand Benefit Concert in aid of the destitute children left unprovided for by the late J. G. GRIFFITHS (formerly manager of the Sydney Theatre), given by Madame ANNA BISHOP, THIS (Thursday) EVENING, August 27th.
PROGRAMME. Part I. OVERTURE (Septerte) "La Poupé de Nuremberg" (Adam), Messrs. Usher, Gribbe, Rice, Tranter, Siede, and George Loder . . .
PART II. OVERTURE (Septette), "La Part du Diable," Auber . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 September 1858), 1

ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE . . . The orchestra is under the able superintendence of Mr. Alfred Usher . . . JAMES SIMMONDS, lessee and manager.


THE VICTORIA THEATRE is under the management of Mr. James Simmonds (who was the introducer of low prices to the colony,) . . . Leader of the band, Mr. A. Usher . . .

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

SYDNEY UNIVERSITY MUSICAL FESTIVAL. On TUESDAY, July 19th, and THREE FOLLOWING DAYS, a series of GRAND MUSICAL PERFORMANCES will be held, to celebrate the opening of the HALL of the Sydney University . . . FIRST VIOLINS. Mr. John Deane, Conductor of the Philharmonic Society
Mr. Eigenshenck, leader of Orchestra at the Prince of Wales Theatre
Mr. Alfred Usher, leader of Orchestra at the Victoria Theatre . . .

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", Empire (3 October 1859), 5 

For three weeks this house of amusement has been closed for repairs; it was re-opened on Saturday evening, a temple worthy the representation of the dramatic art . . . A compact little orchestra suitable to the requirements of the establishment is placed under the care of Mr. Usher . . . In the course of the evening the compact little orchestra, under Mr. Usher's lead, played some overtures with great spirit, showing a great improvement in this department . . .

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

. . . The Second MONSTER CONCERT, for the Benefit of the Dramatic and Musical Artists, late of the Victoria and Prince of Wales Theatres, will take place THIS EVENING, Thursday, November 24th, at the SCHOOL OF ARTS, when the following combination of talent will appear. Pianist - Mr. C. Packer; Leaders - Messrs. Usher and Eigenschenck . . .

"CLEARANCES. DECEMBER 13", Empire (14 December 1859), 4 

City of Sydney, steamer, 391 tons, Captain Moodie for Melbourne, Passengers . . . Mr. A. Usher . . .

"CURRENT TOPICS", Geelong Advertiser (9 November 1860), 2 

Last evening the curtain rose at the Theatre Royal to the farce of "our Mary Anne," an affair so used up as not to call for comment. The great attraction of the evening was the Leopold Family, and in a ballet entitled The Spanish Dancers' Gallician Fete they well sustained their characters as first rate artistes, repeatedly drawing down the plaudits of the house by their admirable pantomime and dancing. Mr. Alfred Usher, an excellent violinist, added materially to its success, by his masterly performance upon his instrument in the orchestral accompaniment . . .

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (7 December 1860), 1

Proprietor - Mr. Joseph Henry Abbott. WILL OPEN With GRAND OPERA And FARCE.
On MONDAY, 10th DECEMBER, 1860 . . .
SIGNOR and SGNORA BIANCHI . . . Who will make their first appearance in Bendigo in the Popular Opera of
Conductor of the opera - Mons. Paltzer.
Leader of the band - Mr. A. Usher.
Acting and stage manager - Mr. R. Younge . . .

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (22 July 1861), 1

THEATRE ROYAL. SECOND BURLESQUE EXTRAVAGANZA, With New Grecian Scenery by Mr. Fry, Machinery by Mr. Renno, Properties by Mr. Trotter, the Dresses by Mrs. Nathan; Music composed and arranged by Mr. Usher . . .

[News], Southland Times (21 June 1864), 2 

We regret to hear of the death of Mr. A. Usher, the leader of the orchestra at the Theatre Royal. This event will be lamented by a wide circle of friends and also by the general public, as he was a gentleman of undoubted talent in musical matters, and was much esteemed by all with whom he came in contact.

"News of the Week (FROM THE DAILY TIMES)", Otago Witness (12 July 1862), 5 

The new Theatre Royal is being rapidly completed, and the opening performance is announced to take place on Saturday evening . . . The theatre opens with a strong corps dramatique, under the management of Mr. Le Roy, comprising many well known and talented performers, among whom we may especially mention Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Holt, and Madame Duret. The management of the stage is confided to Mr. J. M. Wolfe, and Mr. Alfred Usher is installed as musical director . . .

[Advertisement], Otago Daily Times (14 January 1863), 3 

MUSIC. - Mr. A. Usher, Professor of the Violin, late Leader at Thentre Royal, is open to Engagement in town or at diggings. Address - Criterion Hotel.

[Advertisement], Lake Wakatip Mail (10 October 1863), 8 

MR. A. USHER, Violinist, Theatre Royal, Queenstown, is prepared to give Instruction on the Violin to parties desirous of availing themselves of this opportunity.

[News], Southland Times (21 June 1864), 2 

We regret to hear of the death of Mr. A. Usher, the leader of the orchestra at the Theatre Royal. This event will be lamented by a wide circle of friends and also by the general public, as he was a gentleman of undoubted talent in musical matters, and was much esteemed by all with whom he came in contact . . .

[News], Southland Times (23 June 1864), 2 

The funeral of Mr. A. Usher, late leader of the orchestra at the Theatre Royal, took place yesterday, from his place of abode, Colyer's Hotel, Dee-street. Most of the members of the theatrical company were present in one of Cobb and Co's four-horse coaches. A considerable number of the inhabitants lined the streets at the time, and it was evident, from the sympathy displayed, that the deceased was highly esteemed by a large circle of friends.

[News], The Argus (5 July 1864), 4

The Southland papers announce the death of Mr. Alfred Usher, the musical director of the Invercargill Theatre. Mr. Usher, who was an accomplished musician, was connected with some well known members of the dramatic profession. His father was Mr. Richard Usher, the architect, and his mother a sister of Mr. Henry Wallack. Mr. Alfred Usher's sister is the well-known Mrs. Alfred Wigan, and he was connected by marriage with the Keeley's. He was leader of the orchestra in Sydney when Madame Anna Bishop appealed in the opera company.

Bibliography and resources:

"USHER, RICHARD (1785-1843)", Dictionary of national biography (1885-1900), volume 58,_Richard_(DNB00)

USHER, Alfred (2) (Alfred Samuel USHER; Alfred USHER)

Musician, music seller, music retail assistant and manager (W. H. Paling and Co.), choral singer (Sydney Liedertafel)

Born Hackney, London, England; baptised, West Hackney, 27 June 1852; son of Alfred Ralph Brandon USHER (1828-1899) and Maria WATERMAN (c. 1829-1886)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 16 June 1858 (immigrant per Castilian, from Liverpool, 24 March)
Married Elizabeth FRANKLIN, Camden, NSW, 22 May 1884
Died Randwick, NSW, 11 September 1915, aged 63 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

USHER, Elizabeth (Elizabeth FRANKLIN; Mrs. Alfred USHER; Mrs. Elizabeth BRANDON-USHER)

Musician, vocalist

Born c. 1858; daughter of Thomas and Emma FRANKLIN
Died Vaucluse, NSW, 30 December 1941, aged 83 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (shareable link to this entry)

USHER, Beatrice (Beatrice USHER; Beatrice Brandon USHER; Mrs. E. Douglas GILCHRIST)


Born Waverley, NSW, 1887; daughter of Alfred Samuel USHER and Elizabeth FRANKLIN
Died Vaucluse, NSW, 4 April 1978

USHER, Constance Brandon (Constance Brandon USHER; Mrs. Edwin B. Simpson BAIKIE; ? Mrs. Paul Brown WILMINGTON)


Born ? NSW, c. 1889;; daughter of Alfred Samuel USHER and Elizabeth FRANKLIN
Married Edwin Simpson BAIKIE, St. Mary's church, Waverley, NSW, 9 April 1908
Died ? North America (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Baptisms in the parish of West Hackney . . . in the year 1852; London Metropolitan Archives (PAYWALL)

No. 775 / June 27th / Alfred Samuel son of / Alfred Ralph Brandon [and] Maria / Usher / 1 James Place Shcklewell / Carpenter . . .

List of immigrants per Ship Castilian, Sydney, June 1858; State Records Authority of NSW (PAYWALL)

Wife of a resident in the colony . . .
Usher / Maria / 30 / Shackwell London
Alfred / 6 // Maria / 4 / Emily / 2

NOTE: Alfred Usher senior (later a prominent Sydney building contractor, d. 1899), had arrived in Melbourne separately, on the Annie Wilson, in November 1857

"MR. ALFRED USHER DEAD", The Sun (12 September 1915), 10 

Mr. Alfred Usher, an old and valued member of the Royal Sydney Liedertafel, and for the last 33 years one of the staff of Paling's, died yesterday afternoon of pneumonia, at a private hospital. No one was better known in the musical world of Sydney than Mr. Usher, who had a store of reminiscences at his command, and could have written an extremely interesting volume had he wished to do so. He was at business as usual on Tuesday, and the news of his death will come as a shock to his troops of friends. Mrs. Usher is at present in West Australia on a visit to one of her daughters. The other daughter, Mrs. Simpson-Balkie, a well-known concert pianist, left for Japan only a few weeks ago, her husband having taken up an appointment at Yokohama.

"DEATH OF ALFRED USHER", The Sydney Morning Herald (13 September 1915), 10

Mr. Alfred Usher, who started his business career with Messrs. Elvy and Co., and continued it with 33 years' service in a position of trust at Messrs. W. H. Paling's music warehouse, passed away after a few days illness from pneumonia, at a private hospital in Randwick late on Saturday afternoon. The deceased, who was 63 years of age, was widely esteemed in musical circles for his kindly and unselfish disposition. He was one of the oldest members of the Royal Sydney Liedertafel, and sang with them at the brilliant send-off concert to Mrs. Armstrong (Mme. Melba) in 1885, and in 1889 he was with that choir when it assisted the Philharmonic in the memorable Charles Santley performance of "Elijah". . . . His wife, Mrs. Brandon Usher, was away visiting her daughter Mrs. Gilchrist (formerly known on the comedy stage as Beatrice Usher), in Western Australia. His only other daughter, the wife of Commander Balkie Simpson, R.N.R., a pianist prominent here as Constance Brandon Usher was also absent as she settled with her husband in Yokohama some weeks back.

Bibliography and resources:

"Constance Brandon Usher", Wikipedia 

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