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A biographical register of Australian colonial musical personnel–Anonymous

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

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

- Anonymous -


? Amateur lady musician at the diggings

Active VIC, ? September 1852  


"HEROINE AT THE DIGGINGS", The Goulburn Herald (4 June 1853), 1

The DUBLIN COMMERCIAL JOURNAL publishes a letter of quite a romantic chlaracter lately received by lady of Dublin from a young female friend, and former school fellow of hers, now at the Australian diggings. It appears from her narrative that she and her brother were suddenly left orphans, with three hundred pounds for their necessities, and all the fancies and niceties which life in prosperous circumstances is wont to include. "He had passed through college with credit, and could write poetry, and ride up to the hounds as well as any huntsman who ever hunted the Golden Vale; while I, on my part, could play polkas, sing ballads, speak French and a little German, was a capital horsewoman (only I had no horse), and once in my life had composed a waltz, and written sixteen chapters of a novel, which broke down from my not knowing how to get my heroine out of a terrible scrape. But alas, my dear friend, all these things might have done well enough "once upon a time ;" but the real battle of life was now to be fought by two utterly inexperienced raw recruits, and the question was, how our time and means were to be profitably rather than pleasantly spent. Fortunately we were both young, strong, active, and hearty." After much nervous consultation over the 3001., they determined to emigrate to Australia. On reaching Melbourne, they found that they could not encounter worse inconveniences at the diggings ... "Cake of various kinds I manufacture, thanks to old Betsy D for teaching me; and as for liquor, we sometimes have a little wine, brandy, or arrack, and sometimes not. And then we dance to the music of a German flute, played by a real German, or we sing glees and quartetts, or talk of Moore, Byron, Burns, Goethe, Shakspeare, and the musical glasses, &c. until midnight, and sometimes long after it. As to suitors, I have them in plenty, and not despicable ones either, I assure you."

Samuel Mossman (ed.), Emigrants' letters from Australia, selected, with critical and explanatory remarks (London: Addey and Co., 1853)

ANONYMOUS, Adelaide, 1880

Organ grinders; fiddlers and harp-players; German bands

Active Adelaide, SA, 1880


"STREET PAUPERISM. TO THE EDITOR", South Australian Register (26 January 1880), 1 Supplement

He says nothing about the strong able-bodied foreigners who come to our shore and grind from morning up to 11 o'clock at night; nor does he say anything about the fiddlers and harp-players, who are also strong able-bodied men, who parade the streets from 9 in the morning till all hours at night, begging at every shop for a penny or more if they can get it, as well as from the people who happen to pass by; these also are foreigners. Then he says nothing about the German band, who are also from four to six strong able-bodied men, who go from house to house, and from shop to shop, and look very black if you do not give them something above a copper.

© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2020