LAST MODIFIED Thursday 26 November 2020 13:59

Charles Thatcher and family

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "Charles Thatcher and family", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 18 January 2021

Introductory note:

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.

THATCHER, Charles (Charles Robert THATCHER; Charles THATCHER; C. R. THATCHER; "the imimitable THATCHER")

Flautist, vocalist, songwriter, composer, bush poet, "the goldfields' improvisatore"

Born (? Bristol, ? Brighton), England, 21 August 1830; birth registered Brighthelmstone, Sussex, 1837, son of Charles Robert THATCHER senior (c. 1801-1860) and Sophia Matilda HUSSEY (1801-1883)
Arrived (1) Melbourne, 24 November 1852 (per Isabella, from London, via Plymouth, 31 July)
Married Annie DAY VITELLI (1837-1917), VIC, 8 February 1861
Departed (1) Melbourne, VIC, February 1862 (per Mary Scott, for Otago, NZ)
Arrived (2) Melbourne, VIC, 26 November 1865 (per Albion, from Dunedin, NZ, 18 November)
Departed (2) Melbourne, VIC, March 1869 (per Rangitoto, for New Zealand)
Died Shanghai, China, 18 September 1878 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (NLA persistent identifier)

THATCHER, Annie (Ann DAY; Mrs. John WHITTLE; Madame VITELLI; Mrs. Charles THATCHER; "Lydia HOWARDE / Lydia HOWARD") = Annie DAY (VITELLI)

Vocalist, pianist, teacher of singing and music

Baptised London, England, 7 May 1837; daughter of Francis John DAY (c. 1804-1885) and Margaret TILLEY (c. 1808-1892)
Arrived (1) Melbourne, VIC, 23 September 1854 (per Oliver Lang, from Liverpool, 29 June)
Married (1) John WHITTLE (Giovanni VITELLI) (d. 1859), St. Stephen's church, Richmond, VIC, 4 July 1855
Married (2) Charles THATCHER, Newtown, Geelong, VIC, 8 February 1861
Departed (1) Melbourne, VIC, February 1862 (per Mary Scott, for Otago, NZ)
Arrived (2) Melbourne, VIC, 26 November 1865 (per Albion, from Dunedin, NZ, 18 November)
Departed (2) Melbourne, VIC, March 1869 (per Rangitoto, for New Zealand)
Arrived (3) Melbourne, VIC, by 1871
Died Moonee Ponds, VIC, 18 June 1917, aged "75" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (shareable link to main entry)

THATCHER, Richmond (Richmond THATCHER; "Dick" THATCHER)

Journalist, stage writer, entrepreneur, theatrical agent

Born Brighton, Sussex, England, 1841 (first quarter); son of Charles Robert THATCHER senior (c. 1801-1860) and Sophia Matilda HUSSEY (1801-1883)
Married (1) Maria BLUNT (d. 1890) St. Alban's church, Muswellbrook, NSW, 4 January 1872
Married (2) Alice Emma SMITH (1853-1935), Sydney, NSW, 29 March 1881
Died Sydney, NSW, 9 June 1891 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) (NLA persistent identifier) 

Charles Thatcher (? c. 1867); State Library of New South Wales<

Charles Thatcher, goldfields entertainer (? 1865; "1869"); State Library of New South Wales (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)


Charles Robert Thatcher senior (born Bloomsbury, c. 1801) married Sophia Matilda Hussey (daughter of Samuel and Mary Hussey, born London, 19 January 1801) at St. James's, Piccadilly, on 26 July 1825. Their first surviving child was a daughter, Sophia, born at Brighton, Sussex, about 1829 (d. 1903).

Following Hugh Anderson and Robert Hoskings, Thatcher's birth year is usually given as 1831; however, according to the 1837 registration of his birth by the Salem Strict Baptist chapel in Brighton, he was born on 21 August 1830, his parents resident in "the Parish of Brighthelmstone" (though whether this refers to the time of his birth or of registration is unclear).

His place of birth has, likewise, usually been given as Bristol. But no original documnentation supports this claim. Thatcher's parents were London residents at the time of their marriage in 1825, but by 1829 they were in Brighton, where Charles Thatcher senior was already trading in "foreign curiosities". And accoring to the 1851 census, their eldest child, Sophia, was born in Brighton, Sussex, in or around 1829.

Charles's considerably younger brother, Richmond Thatcher, was born at Brighton in the first quarter of 1841, not 1842 as usually given. Certainly Hugh Anderson's claim that the family only settled in Brighton in 1845 is wildly incorrect.

Charles was not listed as living with his parents in either the English census of 1841 or that of 1851, and no other census listing for him has been discovered. He was perhaps at a boarding school in 1841, and in 1851 probably in London. Anderson dates Charles's arrival in the capital to 1847, which is probably supported by other evidence.

Charles advertised in Australia in 1853 that he had been a pupil of John Clinton, professor of flute at the Royal Academy of Music, plausibly in late 1840s.

When Gustavus Vaughan Brooke visited Bendigo in 1859, Thatcher said he had played in a London theatre orchestra while the actor appeared on stage. As Anderson states, this was indeed most likely the Royal Olympic Theatre, in the Strand, where Brooke appeared as principal actor in the spring of 1848, and again, the old theatre having been destroyed by fire in March 1849, in the splendid new theatre during the winter of 1850-51. According to Anderson, Thatcher found the former leader of the Olympic orchestra, a Mr. Calverley, in Bendigo on his arrival there in 1854.

Again according to Anderson, Charles then "went to the orchestra in Drury Lane" early in 1852.

Charles Thatcher was only recently arrived in Melbourne when he first appeared as flautist in a concert with several other recently arrived Londoners (including John Gregg and Edward Salaman) in December 1852. He also advertised as a flute teacher in May 1853, giving his address as the Queen's Theatre, probably indicating that he was playing also in the orchestra there, then under the direction of Andrew Moore.

The beginnings of his second public career, as a colonial songster, were described in the Argus in April 1854, under the headline "LITERATURE AT THE GOLD-FIELDS":

One of the chief attractions at the theatre here has been the songs composed and sung by Mr. Charles Thatcher, a digger, who has been engaged as a member of the orchestra. These songs have been extremely popular, and by their point and general merit, caught the notice of Mr. McDonogh, when on a professional visit to Bendigo. This gentleman had copies of some dozen of the best printed in Melbourne, and they have since been circulated here. They bear the test of careful reading, much better than could have been expected, seeing that they were written merely for the passing moment. They are all humorous, abounding in local allusions, as a matter of course; and if circulated in England, would give a much better idea of life on the gold-fields than most of the elaborately written works upon them do.

He continued to play the flute throughout his Australian and New Zealand years. When, at an Orpheus Union concert in Melbourne in October 1867 he accompanied Caroline Peryman in Bishop's Lo, here the gentle lark, The Argus reported:

. . . but the best part was the flute accompaniment of Mr. Thatcher, whose real powers as an instrumentalist were new to those who had only heard of him as a comic singer.

Lydia Howarde (photo: Bardwell, Ballarat, c. 1875); State Library of New South Wales

Lydia Howarde (photo: Bardwell, Ballarat, c. 1875); State Library of New South Wales (DIGITISED)

MR. RICHMOND THATCHER, The bulletin (7 Jul 1888), 8

"MR. RICHMOND THATCHER", The bulletin (7 Jul 1888), 8 (DIGITISED)


21 August 1830, birth of Charles Thatcher, Brighton, England

Register of births, Salem Chapel, Bond Street (Baptist), Brighton; UK National Archives, RG4/2940 (PAYWALL)

Charles Robert, son of Charles Robert Thatcher, and Sophia Matilda his wife of the Parish of Brighthelmstone . . . was born on the [21 August 1830]. Registered [6 January 1837] . . .

[Advertisment], Brighton Gazette [Sussex, England] (25 June 1829), 2

The Wonder of the Animal Creation. SEEN ALIVE!!! at Thatcher's India Warehouse, 30, North-street, a very fine CAMELION, Found in the Woods of Africa, which has the property of changing its colour at pleasure . . . A very early inspection of this very short-lived Creature is respectfully solicited. - Open from 10 in the morning till 8 in the evening.

Brighton Gazette [Sussex, England] (1 October 1829), 2

[Advertisment], Brighton Gazette [Sussex, England] (1 October 1829), 2 (above)

[Advertisment], Brighton Guardian (26 June 1833), 1

WRECK ASHORE. THE DISTRESSING CASE . . . The following gentlemen have kindly offered to receive donations: . . . THATCHER, Foreign Warehouse, 16, King's road . . .

[2 advertisements], Brighton Gazette [Sussex, England] (17 March 1836),

. . . C. R. Thatcher . . . at his spacious Foreign Warehouse, No. 16, KING'S ROAD . . .
. . . C. R THATCHER, 16, KING'S ROAD. Purveyor of Foreign Curiosities to the Royal Family . . .

"BARTLETT v. RIDLEY", Brighton Gazette (23 March 1843), 3

. . . Charles Robert Thatcher [senior] deposed - I reside on the King's Road, Brighton, and am a dealer in foreign and fancy articles . . .

[Advertisement], Brighton Gazette (2 November 1848), 1

. . . INDIAN CHUTNEE OR ORIENTAL MUSTARD FOR THE MILLION . . . Imported and sold by C. R. THATCHER, his Foreign Warehouse, 57, King's Road, next door to Her Majesty's Custom House, Brighton . . .
THATCHER'S SUSSEX WALKING STICK . . . the knots left standing . . . a novelty in sticks hitherto unknown - grown in the County of Sussex.
THATCHER'S FOREIGN WAREHOUSE has long been known as the Depot for the celebrated ASIATIC HERB FLOATING SOAP . . .


INTERIOR OF THE NEW OLYMPIC THEATRE, STRAND, Illustrated London News (12 January 1850), 13

"INTERIOR OF THE NEW OLYMPIC THEATRE, STRAND", Illustrated London News (12 January 1850), 13


30 March 1851, the Day family in the census

England census, 30 March 1851, Stoke Newington, Hackney; UK National Archives, HO 107 / 1503 (PAYWALL)

Chapel Path / Bouvoir Cottages / Francis J. Day / Head / 47 / Glass Paper Manufacturer / [born] Essex Stratford
Margaret [Day] / Wife / 43 / - / Shropshire . . .
Ann [Day] / Dau'r / 14 / - / Midd. Shoreditch


19 April 1852, public meeting in Brighton, Sussex, on emigration to Victoria, chaired by Charles Thatcher senior

"EMIGRATION TO 'THE DIGGINGS'", Brighton Gazette [Sussex, England] (22 April 1852), 7

Some months ago a large party from this town, including Messrs. Juniper and Wood, Tyler, Migbell, and others, emigrated to Australia. A portion of them fixed their residence at Port Phillip, while others proceeded to Melbourne [sic], little dreaming of the extraordinary change that awaited them in the discovery of new gold country. This El Dorado is within 70 miles of Melbourne, where several of the party reside; and numbers, who were about to accompany the emigrants, now regret that their "stars" prevented them from taking the voyage. The letters recently published by a local contemporary, from Messrs. Juniper and Wood's, party, have originated in the town a fever for emigration; and the almost immediate result of their appearance was the formation of a Committee, who are taking steps to get up a "Brighton band of emigrants" for the gold country. It appears that, independently of the great attraction afforded by the opening of the gold mines, labour of various descriptions is highly remunerative, so that if the emigrant should fail in their anticipations of enriching themselves at the "diggings," they will be able to turn their voyage to account in other respects.

On Monday evening, a meeting convened by public advertisement, for the purpose of taking into consideration the subject of emigrating to Australia, was held at the Town Hall; and the large room at the bottom of the Hall was crowded to suffocation. So numerous a meeting has not taken place in this town for a very long time. On the motion of Mr. COLBRON, surveyor, Mr. THATCHER [senior] was called to the chair.

The CHAIRMAN (after reading the notice convening the meeting) said they were called together to consider the subject of emigration to Australia: and he felt exceedingly gratified in meeting so many on the present occasion, as it evidently showed the deep interest in emigration. It was well known that, in this country, men might toil all their lives; and, after all, past the evening of their days in the workhouse. But there had sprung up a land of Goshen, a land flowing with milk and honey. ("Ob, oh.") Some person appeared to dissent; but he could prove that it was no idle fable. It was country touched by the wand of no ideal magician. ("Hear, hear.") They heard of it last year, and he then thought it a sham and a cheat; but now, not a newspaper, or a letter from Australia, could be read without hearing the fact, that it was a land full of gold, a land full of cattle, with fleeces on their backs and no one to shear it, where there were vessels in harbour, and nobody to bring them home; for every one was gone to the "diggings." It was a land calculated to make life comfortable; and where the blessings of Providence flowed to relieve individual necessities. He hoped to shew them by a plan which they had in contemplation, that they might reach the colony very cheaply. It was only for him to state this fact, which was beyond all contradiction, that there was an abundance in Australia waiting for the sickle of the reaper; and if they emigrated, in all probability instead of sitting down in a parish workhouse unknown, they might be receiving blessings of Providence as God intended it. They would endeavour to use all their energies to get the best ships; and, as a Brighton band, to go out united, and those who remained behind would look forward with interest to the intelligence they would receive. The Chairman concluded by calling on Mr. Stevens to read the REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE . . .

24 November 1852, arrival in Melbourne, VIC, of Charles Thatcher

Passengers by the Isabella . . . bound for Port Phillip, 1852; Public Record Office Victoria (PAYWALL)

Thatcher Chas. R. / 22 / [Clerk] . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (6 December 1852), 8

MESSRS DE GREY, C. WILKIE, AND GREGG, Beg to announce that their second CONCERT WILL take place THIS EVENING . . .
VOCALISTS - Miss Lewis, (From Her Majesty's Theatre, she has had the honor of singing before Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, and Royal Family,)
Signor Georgi, (From the Opera House, Paris,)
Mr. Moseley, (From the London Concerts) and
Mr. John Gregg.
Mr. Salamon, Pianist, (from the London Concerts)
Mr. Thatcher, Flautist, do, do.
Mr. Charles Wilkie, Concertinist.
Mr. De Grey, Cornet-a-Piston . . .
PROGRAMME . . . PART II . . . Solo, Flute - "Cavatina," Mr. Thatcher . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry De Grey; Charles Wilkie; John Gregg; Annie Lewis; Edward Salaman


January-February 1853, letters sent from Melbourne to families in Brighton, Sussex

"THE BRIGHTON EMIGRANTS TO AUSTRALIA", The Brighton gazette [England] (2 June 1853), 5

In another part of the paper will found extracts from letter with which we have been favoured by the parents or friends of those who have emigrated to that land of promise, the gold fields of Australia. We say favoured, because many of those who receive letters from their relatives abroad do not wish to appear desirous of parading their names before the public. The publication of these letters, however, is actually a boon to the public, because they are characterised by a truthfulness unmistakeable, and must have weight with those who have thoughts of emigrating. Many who have received letters by the "Sarah Sands" are most averse to seeing them in print.

Our readers may gather from the letters which we publish to-day that the gold diggings continue to be perfect lottery, but that the odds are completely against the emigrants with few exceptions, such as carpenters, bricklayers, and persons employed in building. How many a clerk who left a comfortable home to seek his fortune in Australia, bitterly repents the hour when he made up his mind to leave his native land. But even now we believe that hale, hearty and sinuous persons are capable of realising a good living in Australia; it is the hardy sons of toil who are most likely to enrich themselves. All accounts agree in the fact that murder and rapine stalk that country unmolested; and a singular instance of bare-faced robbery and violence is given in the letter of Mr. Godden.

It is, perhaps, rather remarkable that not one of the Brighton party appears to have been successful at the diggings. Some have laboured hard, whilst others have scarcely put a spade into the ground, when they have either given up in despair or become disgusted with the scenes around them, and returned to Melbourne almost penniless. Mr. Hamblin, head cook at the Bedford Hotel, has received letter from his brother, who left good situation to go out to Tahiti; but having the gold fever must needs try his luck at the diggings. He failed, as many hundreds have done besides, and has written to say that he is now returning to Tahiti, where has a brother in business. Three companions who went out in the same ship with him had £35 each, when they landed in Australia; and they were soon reduced almost to beggary.

Mr. Thatcher's son has sent a letter to his parents, on the King's Road, giving a very discouraging account of the country, more especially of the state of society. This letter is fully corroborated in that respect by another received from the son of Mr. Evans, green grocer and fruiterer, Western Road. Among other letters received here, we learn that Mr. Tucker, son of Mr. Tucker, Western Road, and Mr. Alfred Chate, son of Mr. Chate, Bedford Place, are playing at promenade concerts, the former as leader, at £5 5s. a week, the latter, at £4 4s. We believe that Thatcher's son is also with them, deriving a similar emolument from music. Mr. Bryer, the dancing master, is in Melbourne, under the assumed name of Jones; and Mr. John Fleeson has taken the name of Fortune . . .

"THE GOLD DIGGINGS", Brighton Gazette (2 June 1853), 7

Extract of a letter to Mr. Pointer, of the Windmill Inn . . .
Port Phillip, Melbourne, Jan. 23d, 1853.
My dear friend, . . . I am now staying at Melbourne . . .
Thatcher and Tucker are playing at a sort of cider cellar, and get 30s. per night . . .
Your sincere friend, ALBERT GOODEN.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward (John) Tucker; Alfred Chate

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

PROMENADE CONCERTS, Circus, top of Bourke-street east.
In consequence of the Popular Excitement and Immense Success attending this series of Musical Soirees, they will be continued for ONE MONTH LONGER!
ON MONDAY-EVENING Will be presented a Magnificent Entertainment, which will display all the first Musical Talent in the Colony.
PRINCIPAL VOCALISTS: Miss Lewis; Mr. Gregg; Mr. C. Walsh.
Contra-Basso - Herr Elze.
Flute - Mr. Thatcher.
Ophecleide - Mr. Hartigan.
Clarionet - Mr. Johnson.
Bassoon - Mr. Winterbottom . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Winterbottom; Charles Walsh (Pugh); Joseph Maffei; Henry Johnson; Joseph Hartigan

[Advertisement], The Argus (18 May 1853), 12 

FLUTE. - Mr. Charles R. Thatcher, pupil of Clinton, Professor at the Royal Academy, has commenced giving instructions on the Flute; applications to be addressed to him at the Queen's Theatre.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Clinton; Thatcher was probably also playing in the orchestra at the Queen's Theatre, which was then under the leadership of Andrew Moore

Mid (? May-June) 1853, Melbourne

"LETTER FROM A BRIGHTON EMIGRANT", Brighton Gazette (6 October 1853), 7

I beg to forward, per Mr. Alfred Martin, a few incidents respecting Brighton friends and the colony, according to a promise made to several people at Brighton before leaving.
John Tucker has gone to Sydney, to play at the concerts.
Alfred Chate ditto ditto Henry Edwards (King's Road) ditto
Stephen Cotterill ditto to assist ditto . . .
William Pritchard has just arrived with Brighton Gold Company.
Joshua Vines, ditto, and is in the Treasury.
Evan Evans, (Western Road), at McEwan and Co.'s, Ironmongers.
Nias (East Street) has gone home to England.
John Vincent (Surrey Street) is assistant to a grocer.
James Bickford arrived here per ship Africa. He called on me, and told the following: -
"I have left England unknown to anyone; not even does my wife or her friends know of my coming . . . I send his own words, thinking they may throw some light on his sudden departure.
Richard Millsom Butcher has been doing nothing here; and is, I believe, living in a tent, or gone to the Diggings.
Henry Scarborow is working at his trade here.
Henry Pepper and Den. Killick are doing well at sash making.
Thus much do I know of some of the Brighton party. As source of congratulation, I have not heard of single death among any of your townsmen here . . .
Now for colonial news. Ships arrive in numbers; and I am sorry to add that thousands land here, sometimes in the drenching rain, without money, and no place lay their heads. Think of that, ye Brightoners, who may be discontented with your condition. Truly Shakespeare's lines are applicable:
"Better by far to bear the ills we have.
Than fly to others that we know not of."
And never will you know the miseries of being houseless and in a foreign country till you are actually experiencing the same. Bank or other clerks should keep at home, perched on their respective stools; or they may be "off their perch" when they arrive. A man, named Snow, starts from this port to day, in a search after Franklyn [Sir John Franklin]. Drinking kills its thousands here; but misery and privation its tens of thousands.
Milk and potatoes are great luxuries here. Now for a list of present prices:
Bread, 1s 6d. the 41b. loaf; butter, 3s. 6d. a pound; fresh ditto, 4s. 6d.; cheese, 2s. 6d.; milk, 2s. quart (think of that, old maids, when yon take in your ha'porth); potatoes, 3d. pound; eggs, 7d. each; rabbits, 15s. each; ducks, 16s.; mutton, 5d. a pound; beef, 4d.; English ale, 2s. quart; currants, 2s. pound; sugar, 3 1/2 d; apples, 1s, and 1s. 6d. a pound; coffee, 1s. 6d.; tea, 2s.; two-roomed houses let for £3 to £5 per week.
Now in conclusion, people of Brighton, look before you leap. Many have done right in coming, myself among the number; others curse the day they left.
Remember - "Fools rush in Where angels fear to tread."
Your obedient servant, CHARLES R. THATCHER.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward (John) Tucker; Alfred Chate

[Advertisement], The Argus (8 September 1853), 8 

MELBOURNE Thursday Concerts. - Thursday, Sept. 8th. MECHANICS' INSTITUTION. Vocalists - Miss Lewis and Mr. John Gregg. Instrumentalists - Cornet-a-Piston, Mr. G. Chapman, M. Tucker, M. Edwards, M. Tranter, M. Boullermere [sic], M. Touthust [sic], M. Harrison,
M. Thatcher, M. Wigney, &c.
Pianist, M. Salamons.
Leader of Orchestra, M. Tucker.
Conductor, M. Winterbottom.
Programme - PART I. Overture- Il Barbiere - Rossini
Valse - Ladies of England - Montgomery
Song, (first time) - Man the Life Boat - Mr. John Gregg - Russell.
Solo, Violin, (first time) - M. Tucker - De Beriot
Quadrille - Le Bon Temps - Montgomery
Song - Erin my Country, Miss Lewis - Loe [? Lover]
Polka - St. Valentine's Day - Montgomery
Quadrille - La Guerre des Femmes - Bosiscio
Duet - List to the Convent Bells, Miss Lewis and Mr. John Gregg - Blockley
Valse - Fuschia - Barrett
Song - Constance, Miss Lewis - Linley
Song, (first time) - Will-o'-the-Wisp, Mr. John Gregg - Gregg
Solo, Bassoon, (first time) - Una Voce Poco Fa, M. Winterbottom
Galop - The Queen's - Tinney
Stalls, 5s; Back seats, 1s 6d . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Chapman; George Tolhurst; William Tranter; William Wigney; Mons. Boullemier

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

ROWE'S AMERICAN CIRCUS. Grand Promenade Concert. Saturday Evening, 12th November, 1853.
Under the direction of Mr. Alfred Oakey.
In announcing he the inhabitants of Melbourne the first of a Series of Saturday Evening Promenade Concerts, Mr. Rowe begs to state that he feels great confidence in submitting the Evening's Entertainments to his patrons . . .
The Monster Band
Will embrace all the available talent in Melbourne, assisted by several members of the band of the 99th regiment.
Miss Hartland, her first appearances.
Mr. Walsh
Mr. Foster, (his first appearance)
Herr Rahm and Herr Gross . . .
Grand Pianoforte - Mr. Alfred Oakey.
Violin Primo - M. Tucker and Mr. Peck.
Violin Secondo - Mr. Howson and Mr. Mathers.
Viola - Mr. Boullimeir.
Violoncello - Mr. J. Chapman.
Contra Bass - Mr. Tranter and Mr. Chate.
Flute - Mr. Hill and Mr. Thatcher.
Cornet Primo and Saxe Clavicore - Mr. P. C. Burke.
Saxe Horn - Mr. Hore and Sons.
Clarionet Primo - Mr. R. Martin.
Clarionet Secondo - Mr. J. Bull.
Ophecleide - Mr. Wigney.
Trombone - Mr. Freeman.
Tambour and Triangle - Mr. Sharp.
Gran Cassa Cymbals - Mr. Shottan.
Leader, Mr. Edward Tucker.
Conductor - Mr. Alfred Oakey.
- Madame Sara Flower is hourly expected . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Andrew Rowe (proprietor); Alfred Oakey (conductor); Arthur Silvester Hill (flute); Robert Martin (clarinet); George Peck (violin); Viet Rahm (zither); Band of the 99th Regiment


"BENDIGO (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT) Sandhurst, January 18th, 1854 . . . THEATRE ROYAL", The Argus (23 January 1854), 4 

Our pretty little theatre, which was opened so auspiciously, has gone on in a very favorable and satisfactory manner; and I think that Mr. Cairncross's experiment to supply the people of Bendigo with a respectable and rational evening's amusement has been highly successful . . . Since the theatre has been opened, there has been a performance every evening; and, generally speaking, there has been a very fair attendance, with very good houses two nights at least in the week . . . Mr. Walsh performs excellently in comic characters, singing a capital comic song, and represents bluff, hearty fellows first-rate . . . Mr. Gregg is a gentlemanly actor, and Messrs. Dias and McGowan play respectably. So ends the list. I must not omit noticing Mr. Thatcher's songs respecting the diggings - composed and sung by himself. They are really good, full of point and local allusions, humorous and well written, and elicit tremendous applause.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Walsh (Pugh); John Gregg

"LITERATURE AT THE GOLD FIELDS", The Argus (7 April 1854), 5

One of the chief attractions at the theatre here has been the songs composed and sung by Mr. Charles Thatcher, a digger, who has been engaged as a member of the orchestra. These songs have been extremely popular, and by their point and general merit, caught the notice of Mr. McDonogh, when on a professional visit to Bendigo. This gentleman had copies of some dozen of the best printed in Melbourne, and they have since been circulated here. They bear the test of careful reading, much better than could have been expected, seeing that they were written merely for the passing moment. They are all humorous, abounding in local allusions, as a matter of course; and if circulated in England, would give a much better idea of life on the gold-fields than most of the elaborately written works upon them do.

ASSOCIATIONS: ? Maurice McDonogh (? barrister)

"BENDIGO (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT) Sandhurst, June 12th, 1854 . . . THEATRICALS", The Argus (16 June 1854), 4 

. . . A Mr. Greville sings humorous local songs, a la Thatcher. He is a better singer, and has more comic humor in his singing, than the last gentleman, but in point of merit his songs in general will not bear comparison . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Rodger Greville

"BENDIGO", The Sydney Morning Herald [NSW] (30 June 1854), 2 

The following is the letter of a correspondent to one of our Melbourne contemporaries, under date the 15th instant: . . . The Bendigo district is at present oppressed with a general dullness . . . there is no new feature worth recording - no new Golden Gully "has yet turned up" as Thatcher's song anticipates. We go on thankfully washing the stuff . . .

Bendigo Times (1 July 1854)

[News], Brighton Gazette [Brigthon, England] (26 October 1854), 8

We observe by the Bendigo Times, which has recently reached England, and bears date, July 1st, 1854, that Mr., Mrs., and Miss Wooldridge, who emigrated from this town to Australia some two years ago, are now performing at the "Theatre Royal, Bendigo." the paper speaks flatteringly of the performances of the Wooldridges. In the same journal we observe that an entertainment took place at the Criterion Hotel, at which young Mr. Thatcher (the poet-laureate of the diggings), ton of Mr. Thatcher, King's Road, Brighton, was present. One of his poetical effusions was sung, and met with ma[r]ked applause.

ASSOCIATIONS: Wooldridge family

"CONCERT", Mount Alexander Mail [Castlemaine, VIC] (15 July 1854), 4 

Mdlles. Lewis and Woolridge, and Messrs. Greg [sic], Walsh, Ramsay, and Thatcher have been giving two concerts during the past week, at the Hall of Castlemaine . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Annie Lewis; Harriet Wooldridge

[Advertisement], Mount Alexander Mail (22 July 1854), 5 

GREAT ATTRACTION!! Victoria Hotel, Castlemaine. For One Night Only.
MR. & MRS. GILL have the honor to announce to the residents of Castlemaine and its vicinity, that
A GRAND CONCERT will take place at the above Hotel, on Monday evening, July 24, when the following talented vocalists will appear:-
Mrs. Gill, Miss Davis, Their First Appearance.
Mr. Thatcher, - the Diggers' Poet.
Mr. Novello, - Comic Singer; Mr. Gill. Instrumentalists: Mrs. Gill, Miss Davis, Pianoforte.
Mr. Thatcher, - Flute . . .

"CONCERT AT THE VICTORIA HOTEL MUSIC ROOM", Mount Alexander Mail (29 July 1854), 5 

. . . Mr. Thatcher taxed the risibility of his audience to its highest pitch of endurance in his "Green New Chum," in which he inadvertently pointed to the youngest commissioner present; the song "Where's your License?" illustrative of the various "dodges" practised on the "traps," and his "Paris Exhibition," to which he purposes to send a "civil" post-office clerk, a "trap" who has been sober on duty for two consecutive days, and a "Diggings Homily on Teetotalism," all of which elicited roars of laughter . . . Mrs. Gill and Mr. Pohl alternately presided at the piano-forte, which is one of Broadwood's best construction . . . The concert was a miniature fac simile of some of our best conducted English concerts . . .

23 September 1854, arrival in Melbourne of Annie Day, with her parents

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Argus (25 September 1854), 4

September 23. - Oliver Lang, ship, 1275 tons, H. Manning, from Liverpool 29th June. Passengers - cabin: Mr. and Mrs. G. W. F. Grylls, Mr., Mrs. and Miss Day . . .

"MARYBOROUGH PRICE CURRENT (September 23rd, 1854)", Mount Alexander Mail (29 September 1854), 5 

We have now several places of amusement open on these diggings . . . We have two theatres - one in connection with the Diggers' Arms Hotel, under the management of Mr. Woolridge from Bendigo; and one in connection with the Pick and Shovel Inn, under the direction of Mr. Thatcher, the well-known digger's poet. The Melodeon, the concert room in connection with the Royal Hotel . . . has also been opened . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (8 December 1854), 1 

PECK, Violinist, is requested to leave his address for C. Thatcher, at Tankard's Temperance Hotel, Lonsdale-street.

[Advertisement], The Argus (9 December 1854), 1 

WANTED Pianist and Lady Vocalist for an Engagement in the Country. Apply to C. Thatcher, Tankard's Temperance Hotel, between two and three this afternoon.


[Advertisement], The Age (9 December 1854), 1 

ASTLEY'S AMPHITHEATRE, Spring Street. Solo Lessee - Mr. George Lewis.
Saturday, December 9, 1854. GRAND MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT comprising all the available Vocal and Instrumental Talent to be had in Melbourne.
Miss Stewart; Miss Hamilton; Miss Warde; Mr. H. Benham (The celebrated Basso, from the Queen's Concerts, London)
Mr. C Thatcher, (The Diggers' Poet from Bendigo,) Will make his First Appearance . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Octavia Hamilton; Kate Warde; Henry Benham; George Lewis


[Advertisement], The Argus (2 January 1855), 8 

GRAND Concert every evening at the European Concert Rooms, Fitzroy street, Collingwood. - Mr. A. Beavais, proprietor . . .
First week of the engagement Mr. C. Thatcher, the diggers' poet, from Bendigo, who will sing several of his local effusions every evening, including the case of Mackay v. Harrison, Despatches from Ballaarat, &c.
Admission free. Managing Director, Mr. G. Baker.

[Advertisement], The Argus (6 January 1855), 6 

EUROPEAN SALOON - Messrs. Thatcher and Baker will sing the new duet, entitled "The Unemployed New Chum."
EUROPEAN SALOON . . . Mr. Thatcher, the celebrated poet of Bendigo, in three new songs . . .

"BALLARAT (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT) . . . April 27", The Age (28 April 1855), 5 

The collection in favour of the Lalor Fund is progressing favorably, and a benefit at the Adelphi Theatre has been volunteered for the gallant citizen soldier, whose arm, uplifted in defence of constitutional liberty and the rights of freemen, was smitten down by the last spasmodic attempt to wield the sword of a cruel yet petty despotism. Monday night, the 30th April, has been appointed for this benefit to come off, and the use of the Adelphi has, in the handsomest manner, been given gratuitously by the proprietors, whilst the company vie with each other in who shall be first upon the stage in volunteering their services for so laudable an object. Sheridan's splendid play of "Rolla1" has been selected, and some of the best musical talent in the colony will be forthcoming, viz.: - Mrs. Creed Royal, Mr. Thatcher and Mr. Creed Royal, as well as some amateurs, amongst whom Signor Rafaello, the late State prisoner, will sing the Marseillaise . . .

"BALLARAT (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT) May 3", Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (4 May 1855), 2 

A benefit night was given to Lalor, on Monday last, in the Adelphi Theatre, the professionals and the proprietors of the Adelphi, Messrs Moody, Nicholas & Co., gave their services and the house free. The pieces chosen for the occasion were "Pizzaro," and "My Neighbour's Wife," between which came several airs played by Richty's splendid band, just arrived in the colony, and at present giving concerts in the Prince Albert Hotel. Then came Raeffelo with the Marsailles [sic], Creed Royal with several solos on the flute, and Thatcher with his comic songs. The music was encored most determinedly.

ASSOCIATIONS: Peter Lalor; Mary Royal (vocalist); Creed Royal (flautist); Charles Raffaelo; Carl Richty

Concert room, Charlie Napier Hotel, Ballarat, June, '55, Thatcher's popular songs, S.T.G. (Samuel Thomas Gill); National Library of Australia

Concert room, Charlie Napier Hotel, Ballarat, June, '55, Thatcher's popular songs, S.T.G. (Samuel Thomas Gill); National Library of Australia (DIGITISED)

"BALLARAT (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT) . . . 11th June, 1855", The Argus (16 June 1855), 4 

The diggers find amusing and delightful recreation at the "Charlie Napier," nightly. Mrs. Hancock's sweet and thrilling ballads, Mr. Thatcher's inimitable local travesties, and Herr Rahm's singular but musical notes on the zitter [zither], form a tout ensemble rarely to be met with. Mr. Underwood, the proprietor, enforces the greatest order and decorum . . .

"BALLARAT (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT) . . . June 19", The Age (21 June 1855), 4 

Since the desertion and downfall of the stage in the now roofless and bottomless "Adelphi" and "Queen's" Theatres, concerts have become very popular. The saloons of the Charley Napier and Royal Mail draw full houses, to hear the local songs of Thatcher, and the sweet voice of Mrs. Hancock; as also the humorous and comic performances of Golding, who represents Irish wit and humor in genuine style. An Amateur Musical Society has been lately organised, which promises well, as, on a late occasion, it came out very creditably, in the Golden Fleece, in conjunction with Mrs. Hanmer and her daughter, Miss Julia Hanmer. These ladies were well and deservedly received in the pieces of the "Waterman" and the "Maid of all Work," being ably assisted by amateur talent, in the persons of well known literary and professional characters.

[Advertisement], The Argus (30 June 1855), 8 

CHARLIE NAPIER HOTEL, Ballaarat. - Concerts for the People.
Open Every Evening. Enlargement of the Grand Concert Room.
Mrs. Hancock, Mr. Hancock, Mr. Lyall and Mr. Thatcher.
Mr. Owen presides at the Pianoforte. Admission, 1s. Reserve Seats, 2s. 6d.

ASSOCIATIONS: Mary Ellen Hancock (soprano vocalist); Edward Hancock (bass vocalist); Veit Rahm (zither player); Daniel Golding (comic vocalist); Charles Lyall (tenor vocalist); Robert Owen (pianist)

4 July 1855, marriage of Annie Day and John Whittle (Giovanni Vitelli), Richmond, VIC

"MARRIED", The Argus (16 July 1855), 5

On the 4th inst., by license, at St. Stephen's, Richmond, by the Rev. C. T. Perks, Giovanni Whittle Vitelli, Esq., of Richmond, late of London, to Anne Day, only child of Francis John Day, Esq., also of Richmond, late of West Hill Grove, Wandsworth, Surrey, England.

"BALLARAT (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT) August 23rd, 1855", The Age (25 August 1855), 4 

. . . Dancing schools and periodical balls have been introduced by Mr. Powell to the Mechanics' Institution, and a Casino has taken the place of the Concert Room at the Royal Mail, whilst Thatcher is giving his farewell songs at the Charlie Napier Concert Room, as he purposes leaving Ballarat; and Mrs. Hancock, and Miss King, the juvenile prodigy, assisted by Paltzer's unequalled band, still pour forth their melodious treats at the Charlie. The Star has received a great accession to its large company of artistes in the arrival of the popular Barlow, with his "Blue Tailed Fly," "Gridiron," "Music Box," &c. . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Juliana King; Robert Barlow

[Advertisement], Mount Alexander Mail (31 August 1855), 3 

THATCHER, the highly popular Vocal delineator of Colonial life, and who has drawn crowded houses at the Charlie Napier Concert Hall, Ballarat, for 164 nights, will make his appearance shortly at Castlemaine for a few evenings only.

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (1 September 1855), 3

THATCHER, The highly popular vocal delineator of colonial life, and who has drawn crowded houses at the Charlie Napier Concert Hall, Ballarat, for 164 nights, will appear shortly on Bendigo for one week only.

"MOUNT BLACKWOOD (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT) Tuesday, September 11, 1855", The Age (20 September 1855), 6 

. . . Messrs. Reynolds, Shearcroft and company are about giving an entertainment here . . . Mr. Thatcher is announced to appear on Thursday.

ASSOCIATIONS: Edwin Shearcroft

[Advertisement], The Star [Ballarat, VIC] (22 September 1855), 1 

STAR HOTEL. RE-APPEARANCE Of the Inimitable THATCHER. MR. McCREA begs to announce that he has effected an Engagement with the celebrated THATCHER, Who will make his Appearance at the Star Concert Hall, On MONDAY, OCTOBER 1st. New Songs, Duets, &.c W. McCREA, Proprietor.

"STAR CONCERT HALL", The Star (4 October 1855), 2 

This favorite place of entertainment, notwithstanding the fearful state of the roads, continues nightly to be filled with large and delighted audiences, the renowned Barlow and inimitable Thatcher vieing [sic] with each other for the public edification. Last night we were pleased to find that the accomplished Miss Stewart had so far recovered from her recent severe indisposition as to appear again in public. While we were pleased once more to listen to this lady, we could not help thinking that she had been somewhat too venturesome in thus early risking a relapse. For, notwithstanding the loud and deserved applause she received, we could not fail to observe that it was only by the greatest exertion that success was obtained, and even then the higher notes fell far short of the requisite perfection, we have been wont to admire. Messrs. Golding and Perceival continue to increase in public estimation, and the Pianist Mr. Owen is highly appreciated.

ASSOCIATIONS: Percival (? vocalist)

"BENDIGO (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT) Sandhurst, 26th Nov., 1855", The Argus (29 November 1855), 6 

. . . Burton's Circus company are performing here just now, and Mr. Thatcher, formerly of Bendigo, has paid us a visit, and is giving concerts. Miss Hamilton sings nightly at the Shamrock concerts, and is very popular . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Burton; Octavia Hamilton


"CRESWICK (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT), January 26th, 1856", The Argus (31 January 1856), 5 

. . . Perhaps the most remarkable feature of this gold field is the extraordinary support it bestows upon first class amusements. To look round the township you would imagine that it was an utter impossibility to fill even the most Lilliputian place of entertainment and yet but few professionals who have the courage to try their luck find occasion to regret their decision. For the past fortnight Madame Onn and Messrs. Thatcher and Collins have been giving nightly concerts in Collins's new theatre to eager and delighted audiences that but few would imagine could be collected in apparently a "deserted village" . . .

"FIERY CREEK (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT), 5th Feb., 1856", The Age (7 February 1856), 3

. . . The celebrated Thatcher has arrived; and assisted by Madame Onn and Mr. Collins, gave the first of a series of concerts on last Saturday evening, at the London Hotel . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Constantia Onn

"BALLARAT, CLUNES, DAISY HILL, &c. FROM A CORRESPONDENT", Bendigo Advertiser (11 March 1856), 2

At Ballaarat I visited the site of the Eureka Stockade, and saw many of the "boys" who were concerned in that affair . . . Several old Bendigo favorites are performing at Ballaarat - Miss Wernham, the Nelson family, the Websters, Messrs. Ramsay, Shearcroft, Thatcher, &c. . . .

"BALLAARAT (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT) Friday, 18th April, 1856", The Argus (23 April 1856), 6 

. . . The Star Concert all was reopened with a powerful company last Saturday evening among whom is the deservedly popular favorite, Mrs. Hancock, who was greeted upon her reappearance with enthusiastic applause, as were also Messrs. Barlow, Thatcher, and Hancock. The house has been crowded ever since it reopened . . .

"BALLARAT. From our own Correspondent. June 2nd", Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (4 June 1856), 2 

On Friday last a grand morning concert was given at the Charlie Napier Hotel, on behalf of the funds of the Mechanics Institute. It was attended by some 150 of the most respectable persons on Ballarat, Mr. Turner, the newly appointed Stipendiary Magistrate, being present. The entertainment was one of an excellent and refined kind, and was under the direction of Mr. Paltzer. The singers were Mr. Jo. Gregg, Mrs. Hancock, Madame White, Mr. Golding, and the inimitable Thatcher, whose local songs are as piquant and amusing as they ever where . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Jacques Paltzer; Emilia Arnati White; Nelson family

"MR. C. R. THATCHER. To the Editor of the . . .", Mount Alexander Mail (15 August 1856), 5 

Sir - I shall feel greatly obliged by your insert ing the following: - On my arrival here yesterday from Ballarat, I learned with much surprise that a report was in circulation to the effect that I should not appear, according to advertisement and bills, at the Theatre. I have traced the origin to certain interested parties who feared that an entertainment of their own might thereby suffer. In justice to myself I must say that as yet I never disappointed the public, and although nearly drowned in crossing a creek, still I managed to be here according to my advertisement in last week's Mail. - I remain, sir, CHARLES R. THATCHER. Wednesday, Aug. 14, 1856.

"SHAMROCK CONCERT HALL", Bendigo Advertiser (15 August 1856), 3 

Last evening, this popular place of amusement was crowded by a large and respectable audience, attracted by the talented artistes whom the proprietors have introduced. Mrs. Hancock was in excellent voice, and sang with her usual taste and success. Mr. Lyall has very much improved since his former visit, and will evidently be a favourite with the Bendigo public. His voice is a tenor, clear and of a good quality. Mr. Howson is evidently an accomplished musician, possessing a rich bass voice, over which he has thorough command, and he is quite at home in the most delicious musical pieces. By the introduction of such superior talent, the public can avail themselves of a musical treat, such as is not to be obtained in any other portion of the colony. Our old friend Thatcher, with his inexhaustible store of piquant local songs, appears nightly at the Concert Hall, and we need not say that his really clever and humorous productions elicit repeated encores as of old.

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (19 August 1856), 3 

The following Artistes will appear - Mrs. Hancock, Miss Urie, Mr. Lyall, Mr. Frank Howson, Mr. Hancock, Mr. Leeman,
Mr. Thatcher, Mr. Dixon, Mr. R. Kohler, Mr. A. Kohler [sic], Mr. E. Salaman . . .
The under-mentioned carefully selected Programme will be presented: -
PART I . . . Song (comic local) "The Bendigo Daguerrotypes," written expressly for this occasion - Thatcher - Thatcher . . .
PART II . . . Duet - (By particular desire) "The Runaway," for the last time - Thatcher - Thatcher and Pierce . . .

"SHAMROCK CONCERT HALL", Bendigo Advertiser (22 August 1856), 2 

Last night the entertainments at this popular place of amusement were for the farewell benefit of Mr. J. O. Pierce . . . It would be invidious to single out any particular artiste, where all are so well known and appreciated by the public, but we feel compelled to notice two new songs introduced by our old friend Thatcher. The first was "The Bendigo Daguerreotypes," in which our chief localisms were most cleverly and aptly depicted. The second was only composed by Mr. Thatcher after the close of the election meeting of yesterday, and was a very graphic and terse representation of the labors of the two last candidates for the Upper House, and the happy results attending Mr. Hitchcock's visit, who according to the song was accommodated by Sergeant Richards with a seat in the "upper house" on the Camp Hill . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Lyall (tenor vocalist); Frank Howson (baritone vocalist); J. O. Pierce; Louisa Urie; Frederick Leeman; Frederick Dixon; Kohler brothers

NOTE: On the election meeting, see "ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE", Bendigo Advertiser (22 August 1856), 2 

Yesterday afternoon we had a second edition of the laughable farce of the previous evening, in which Mr. Hitchcock appeared as the chief performer. On this occasion that gentleman was assisted by our worthy M. L. C., Mr. Benson, who seems to have been quite unconscious that he was doing anything unbecoming in presiding at such a pitiable exhibition. Before the close of the entertainment, however, Mr. Benson's position became evident even to himself, and he vacated the chair, which was very appropriately, and, let us add, very excellently, filled by the comic singer, Mr. Thatcher, who remained at his post until the audience quite tired of buffoonery, and ceased to feel any amusement in the exhibition . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Hitchcock (d. 1867)

"ORIGINAL POETRY", Bendigo Advertiser (21 August 1856), 3 

DOGGRELS FROM HUNTLY BY A Dogged Digger, To Charles Thatcher, Esq., (By favor of the Bendigo Advertiser.)

Dear Sir, when next you write upon
That canine curse of Canaan,
We trust you'll spit your spite upon
The remnant yet remaining . . .

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (6 October 1856), 3 

Messrs. HEFFERNAN and CROWLEY, Proprietors of the above popular place of amusement, hereby notify to the Public of Bendigo that, at considerable expense, they have made engagements with the following eminent Artistes, late of the Theatre Royal, Melbourne:
as also those well-known and old Favorites, MR. and MRS. HANCOCK.
and the Inimitable Local Comic Singer, THATCHER . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Crowley (proprietor); Maria Carandini; Lewis Henry Lavenu

"THATCHER'S BENEFIT", Bendigo Advertiser (11 October 1856), 3 

On Monday next this Shamrock favorite takes his benefit, on which occasion we understand an excellent programme will be given. Several new songs relative to the elections, and other local matters, are to be sung by the composer, Mr. Thatcher. He is an old acquaintance on Bendigo, and deservedly liked by all who listen to his songs - so full of local hits and humorous sarcasm. He has always in his singing capacity been popular with the miners, chiefly on account of his ready wit in retailing their "woes-and pleasures" in rhyme, so as to make his points almost household words. It is unnecessary to say that such a deserving favorite will receive a bumper house.

[Advertisements] and "BENEFIT OF MR. THATCHER", Bendigo Advertiser (13 October 1856), 3 

THATCHER will sing at his benefit to-night his crack song (for the first time)
Also, his laughable song, for the first time, THE NATIONAL SYSTEM OF EDUCATION.
And a new ditty, THE CHINESE JOSS HOUSE.
FOUR New Songs to-night by Thatcher, at his benefit at the Shamrock.
THATCHER'S BENEFIT. THIS Night only, Thatcher's Screaming Song, entitled,

This popular comic singer and author lakes his benefit to-night at the Shamrock Hotel, and, as will be seen by our advertising columns, a great variety of musical novelties will be presented. As Mr. Thatcher is so general a favorite, we have no doubt that there will be a bumper house on the occasion, and it is only fair to that gentleman to say that he richly merits it. His songs are beyond question the cleverest of their kind in the colony, and he finds in passing events a never-failing fund of matter to excite interest and amusement. The talent that is displayed in throwing off these clever verses might, if properly applied, produce something worthy of having more than an ephemeral existence. Mr. Thatcher first distinguished himself in this line on Bendigo upwards of two years ago, and we are sure that the Bendigonians will show their appreciation of their comic poet, whose best verses are linked with local recollections, by gathering round him on the occasion of his benefit.

"THATCHER'S BENEFIT", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (15 October 1856), 5 

We were pleased to see the Shamrock Concert Hall crowded last night on the occasion of the benefit taken by Thatcher, the inimitable local comic singer. A very large proportion of the fair sex were present, and were apparently highly delighted with the rich treat afforded them. Madame Carandini and Sara Flower were in excellent voice, as also Mr. Lyall. Sara Flower in the ballads of "Constance" and "The Sad Sea Waves," was most deservedly encored, and Mr. Lyall displayed his fine voice to perfection in the ballad of "I love her," from Balfe's Enchantress. Mr. Kohler was encored several times, as was the beneficiare of the evening, who sang several of his local songs with great eclat, and introduced four entirely now ones, amongst which was one entitled "Why don't you shine? or, Protherro v. Hutchinson." The room was as full as it was possible to be, and the company seemed highly delighted with the entertainment provided for them. - Bendigo Advertiser, 14th Oct.


"ASSAULT UPON MR. THATCHER", The Age (30 October 1856), 5 

The Bendigo Advertiser says - We understand that yesterday an assault, or rather two assaults, were committed upon Mr. Thatcher, but as the matter will be brought before the Police Bench this morning we forbear from stating the particulars which have come to our knowledge. We may state, however, that the first assault was by Mr. Besnard, and the second by Captain Robertson, the husband of the well-known actress Mrs. Brougham.

"COURT OF PETTY SESSIONS. Wednesday, 29th October . . . HORSEWHIPPING MR. THATCHER", Bendigo Advertiser (30 October 1856), 2 

Thos. Pope Besnard appeared to answer the complaint of Charles R. Thatcher, the well known comic singer at the Shamrock Concert Hall, for that he upon Tuesday had violently assaulted the said C. R. Thatcher at the Criterion Hotel. The defendant pleaded guilty, but stated that when the Bench heard his evidence of Mr. Thatcher, they would see that he was justified in acting as he had done.

Charles R. Thatcher was then sworn, and stated that he should first of all inform the Bench that during the past five or six weeks he was very ill and had been under medical treatment. On yesterday morning he was reclining on a sofa in the drawing-room of the Criterion Hotel. The defendant and Captain Robertson came into the room, and Besnard began talking about his singing at the benefit of defendant. Besnard had a whip in his hand. Some little altercation took place about his (Mr. Thatcher's) refusing to sing at the benefit. He then came up in a threatening attitude with the lash of the whip round his hand; but with all due deference to the Bench, he (Mr. Thatcher) wished them to take the medical certificate of Dr. Hunt.
The Bench : We can take that, afterwards.
Mr. Thatcher: He then aimed a blow at my head, which I warded off with my arm. He struck me two or three times. He struck me several times over and about the thighs. Two or three persons then came into the room, and the affair ended.
Cross-examined by Mr. Besnard: You asked me before you assaulted me, whether I had said anything about your daughter; and I said, that Mrs. Howard should be called to answer that question.
Mr. Besnard: Did you say that Mrs. Howard was the person who mentioned my daughter, and not you?
Witness: Mrs. Howard did mention your daughter. Mrs. Howard said that it was very strange that a theatrical man, who was always running down theatrical people, should ask for a benefit. I will swear that Mr. Robertson came into the room with you. Mr. James Mandelick was reading in the arm-chair at the time.
Mr. Besnard: Did you state that it would be better for my daughter, who was a loafer, to go and put her hands in the wash tub, and make her own living?
Witness: No. What I said was this - That your daughter was in the habit of abusing the profession, and the time might come when she would have to put her arms into the wash tub and work for her own living.
By the Bench: This conversation took place, at the public dining table, and there were from fifteen to twenty persons present.
Mr. Besnard: Before I assaulted you did I not ask you whether you had made use of those expressions, and desire you to stand up like a man?
Witness: No.
The Bench: Have you got any witnesses Mr. Thatcher? If so, call them.
Mr. Thatcher: No. My bruises are my best witnesses.

This being the case for the prosecution, Mr. Besnard then stated in justification that about a week ago he was advised by a few friends to have a benefit and he asked Mr. Thatcher to sing for him on the occasion. He consented, but only on condition that there should be a good house. After this, it came to his knowledge that Mr. Thatcher had been speaking disrespectfully of him; for that he did not care, but when he (the complainant) came to speak about his daughter, he felt it to be the duty of a father to chastise the man who did so. On the occasion, referred to, he went into the room alone; he took off his coat and hat and laid them on the sofa, and he laid on the top of both his hunting-whip, and then said to him,
"You are a strapping young fellow, and I am a man of fifty-four, and I have come to take satisfaction for your abuse of my daughter."
He did not appear to shape, but threw the blame upon Mrs. Howard. After he (Mr. Besnard) had given him a lick or two, Mr. Thatcher threw up his hands and said he would sing for me or do anything; but immediately added "he would give me three months for it;" and so he (Mr. Besnard) then gave him a parting touch or two about the legs by the way of a remembrance. That was all that happened.
The Bench: Are we to understand that it was in consequence of what Mr. Thatcher said of your daughter that the assault took place?
Mr. Besnard: Yes, it was.
Mr. James Mandelick stated that when Mr. Besnard came into the room he was alone. He took off his coat and hat, and placed them and his whip upon the sofa. Mr. Besnard then said to Mr. Thatcher,
"I understand you have been speaking disrespectfully of me and my daughter, I and I ask you if it is true?"
He said, "It was not me, it was Mrs. Howard."
Mr. Besnard said he came there to resent what Mr. Thatcher had said. Mr. Thatcher did not fall on the ground. There was a scuffle, but witness had his back turned at the time. Mr. Thatcher did at the public dining table of the hotel make use of Miss Besnard's name in a very disrespectful manner.
By the Bench: He could not recollect the precise words, but it was about her being an idle girl and loafing about the town, and that she ought to seek employment. That was the substance of it.

Mr. Thatcher then left the Court, and returned in about half an hour with a medical certificate, which stated that he had the appearance of having received a blow about the region of the thigh. The Bench, in deciding the case, commented upon the reprehensible conduct of Mr. Thatcher in discussing ladies' characters at public dining tables; but as an assault had been committed they would fine Mr. Besnard £5. The fine was instantly paid, and the parties left the Court.

"COURT OF PETTY SESSIONS. Thursday, 30th October. ASSAULT UPON MR. THATCHER", Bendigo Advertiser (31 October 1856), 2 

James Robertson, the husband of Mrs. Brougham, was brought up and charged with having assaulted, on the 28th instant, Charles R. Thatcher. Mr. Robertson pleaded cuilty to a certain extent, but that the assault was committed under gross circumstances of provocation.

Charles R. Thatcher, sworn, stated that shortly after the assault committed upon him by Mr. Besnard, or rather about three o'clock, he was passing the billiard-room close to the Criterion Theatre. He looked into the billiard-room. The door was open at the time. Mr. Robertson said, "I wish to talk to you." Mr. Robertson was playing at billiards at the time. He said, "I shall want to speak to you at night." I then left and returned in about five minutes. He was still playing, and I waited some time. He then came up to me and asked one 1uestion. The question was - "Did you say that I or Mrs. Brougham were to be paid for playing at Mr. Besnard's benefit?" I replied that I had said so. Immediately he then struck me, and forced me against the billiard-table. He then leant with his whole weight upon me, as I lay he struck me several blows on the head and on the temple. I had a very severe blow on the mouth which filled with blood in an instant. The whole affair did not occupy more than two or three seconds. After it was over I left the billiard room. I did not return any blows, for I had no time.
The Bench: You, Mr. Robertson, have to a certain extent admitted the assault. Now, what hare you to say in justification?

Mr. Robertson: For some time past Mr. Thatcher has been in the habit of speaking disrespectfully of Mrs. Robertson and myself; and on the day in question, whilst remonstrating with him upon the impropriety of his conduct, and about the many rudenesses he had shown to Mrs. Robertson, I received the lie direct from him, and then I thrashed him. That is all.
Mr. Thatcher: I deny that.
Mr. Robertson: The only charge which I know of is one of aiding and abetting Mr. Besnard, and Mr. Thatcher's oath yesterday is quite different from the oath to-day.
The Bench then took the second charge of aiding and abetting Mr. Besnard in his assault upon Mr. Thatcher.
Mr Robertson denied the charge in toto.
C. R. Thatcher deposed that on Tuesday he was laying on the sofa in the drawing room of the Criterion Hotel. Mr. J. Mandelick was there also. Mr. Besnard.and the defendant entered the room together, but he could not say which came in first. Whilst Besnard was striking him over the thighs, the defendant, said, "Why don't you strike him over the head?" Besnard then made a blow at his head, which he (Mr. Thatcher) warded off with his arm. The defendant made no further observations, and left the room immediately the assault was committed.
Mr. Lysaght observed that as amicus curee in this matter, he might draw the attention of the Bench to the fact that the charge of aiding and abetting would not lie under the information.
The Bench, however, found upon reference to the Act that the word "counselling" was in the information, and therefore it brought the offence under the meaning of the Act.
Mr. Robertson then applied for a remand in order to bring up rebutting evidence as to the later charge, and evidence to prove the justification of the former.
The case was then remanded till this day.

"COURT OF PETTY SESSIONS. Friday, October 31st . . . THE GREAT ASSAULT CASE", Bendigo Advertiser (1 November 1856), 2 

. . . Mr. Lysaght said this closed the case for the defence to the charge of aiding, abetting, and counselling Mr. Besnard in assaulting the complainant, and the Bcnch would perceive that the charge was entirely disproved, with respect to the assault to which his client pleaded guilty to on Thursday, he had some witnesses to produce in mitigation, who would prove that Thatcher had charged, in a place of public resort, the defendant and his wife with keeping false keys and opening people's boxes. When his client came home his wife told him what had been said, when he went down and charged the complainant with it, who gave him the lie direct, when the defendant at once inflicted chastisement on him. He considered Thatcher ought to be glad he had fallen into the hands of one who had used him so leniently, as many men would have broken his head. At any rate he hoped it would be a lesson to him, and teach him to guard his tongue for the future. He then called Daniel MacClenaghan, who deposed, that on the 28th instant, between 9 and 10 o'clock, he heard a conversation between Mr. Wolfe and Thatcher at the bar of the Criterion Hotel. The words he particularly noted were, "Do you think Mr. Wolfe that I will play with persons who keep false keys and open other people's boxes?"
Mr. Wolfe replied, "To whom do you allude?"
Thatcher rejoined, "Mr. and Mrs. Robinson,"
When Wolfe replied, "You are a liar."
Thatcher then said, " Sam. Howard had told him so."
Mr. Wolfe was called, and fully corroborated the last witness.

This being the wind-up of the matter, The Bench in deciding observed there had been two charges preferred against the defendant, which were partly heard yesterday, and were remanded for the production of witnesses. Those witnesses had now been produced, and the defendant to the charge of assault had pleaded guilty under aggravating circumstances. After hearing the two last witnesses, they must say Thatcher had used language that was highly impolitic and injudicious - in fact, accusing the defendant and his wife of felony. They were not surprised the defendant had felt the matter keenly, but that did not justify him in taking the law in his own hands, he had his proper remedy in another way. From their own observation and also by what they saw in the public prints, they were sorry to remark that these kind of breaches of the peace were becoming common in Sandhurst. It appeared that any money or pecuniary penalty had very little effect in these cases, as private subscriptions had been gathered to pay the money, which therefore was no punishment. The public ought to be aware that the Bench had a discretionary power vested in them in these cases, and if they found that fines were of no use, they would fall back on imprisonment. They gave the public warning, that in the very next case of the kind brought before them, they would inflict a term of imprisonment. As money seemed to have little value on this goldfield, they would try if a few days on bread and water might not have a salutary effect. In the defendant's case however, they were free to admit that it had been proved; that his feelings had been most grievously outraged by the complainant, they would therefore fine him one farthing. The charge of aiding, abetting, and counselling, had been disproved, and from that charge the defendant was dismissed.

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Pope Besnard; James Robertson, husband of the actor Emma Brougham; Mrs. Howard (Sara Flower), wife of Sam Howard

"FRACAS AT THE SHAMROCK", Bendigo Advertiser (6 November 1856), 2 

Late on Tuesday night, at the conclusion of the concert, a disturbance took place outside the Concert Hall at this hotel. It appears Mr. Besnard was present during a portion of the evening, and after the performances were over, came across Mr. Thatcher, and, from the evidence of several witnesses, favored that well-known individual with sundry sneers, all the more cutting when given in Mr. Besnard's best style. The consequence was that Thatcher knocked him down with his fist, and his head struck against a table. Mr. Heffernan here came up and took hold of Thatcher, and cleared him out. On returning he found Besnard on his legs, vowing vengeance and making preparations to inflict condign punishment on his opponent. When Heffernan insisted on having their quarrels settled outside his house, Besnard caught him by the throat and swore he would lather him, and struck several blows, in parrying which the thumb of Mr. Heffernan's right hand was put out. He then floored Besnard, and a general scrimmage ensued, when one of the barmen caught hold of Besnard, and pitched him out of doors. Before order was restored several parties had hit the dust.

Yesterday morning warrants were issued, on the information laid by Besnard, against Thatcher and the barman, which information was taken by Captain O'Hara, who visited Besnard for that purpose. Dr. Aston was called in, and visited Besnard by desire of Captain O'Hara in order to examine him to see if it was necessary to give a certificate of his being in a dangerous state! The doctor examined him, but could find no ribs broken or anything dangerous about him. In the afternoon he was asked by Captain O'Hara to visit him and examine him again, and Dr. Roche accompanied him, but the two doctors could discover no signs of fracture, and the impression of Dr. Aston was that Besnard was making the most of it. There is no doubt that he got a severe thrashing, but from what we hear it was not Thatcher that gave it him, as Mr. Heffernan parted them as soon its he heard the disturbance.

The warrant was served on the barman about twelve o'clock yesterday, and he was at once taken in custody to the Camp. Thatcher, who came in soon after, on hearing what had occurred, and that a warrant was out for his apprehension, immediately went to the Camp and gave himself up. He was at once put in the Log Hut. Captain O'Hara, who was on the Bench, let out the barman on bail, but decidedly refused to take bail for Thatcher, although several highly respectable townsmen offered bail to any amount. In the course of about two hours, Mr. Clissold, the Barrister, waited on the Captain with bail, and insisted on the Magistrate taking it, pointing out to his notice a clause in the Act, which makes it compulsory on the Magistrate to do ss. Bail was then taken, and Thatcher was discharged from the lock-up. We hear that Mr. Besnard is not seriously hurt, and the whole affair seems to been merely a row and a scuffle.

"COURT OF PETTY SESSIONS, Monday, 10th November . . . CHARGE OF ASSAULT. Besnard v. Thatcher", Bendigo Advertiser (11 November 1856), 2-3 

Charles R. Thatcher and Jeremiah Heffernan were next charged with having committed a violent assault upon the person of Thomas Pope Besnard, at the Shamrock Concert room, on the night of the 4th inst. Mr. Lysaght appeared for the prosecution; Mr. O'Loughlin for the defendant Heffernan, and Mr. Clissold for Thatcher. The defendants pleaded not guilty . . .

The Bench, in delivering judgment, lectured Mr. Thatcher upon the impropriety of his conduct, which seemed to be but part of a series of assaults, in which more than one person was engaged. In the first place, it was Mr. Besnard assaulting Mr. Thatcher, and then another assault arose between Capt. Robertson and Mr. Thatcher which he adjudicated upon himself; and in fact, it seemed to him that from that time to this Mr. [3] Thatcher had been brooding upon the result of that case. His worship then reviewed the evidence, and concluded by stating that he looked upon this assault more particularly as on the last occasion he had notified that on the recurrence of this offence he should visit it with imprisonment. There had recently been such a number of assaults in the neighborhood of Bendigo, that it appeared to him that an assault epidemic had seized upon the people. But he was resolved to put down the system of taking the law into the hands of those who fancied they were aggrieved. He was sorry for the position which Mr. Thatcher now occupied -
Mr. Thatcher: Will your worship allow me to say a few words?
The Bench: No. The public and the welfare of society demand that this predilection for personal assaults should be put down. It is with great reluctance that I do consign such a young man to prison. Nothing but the stern necessity of duty could compel me to do so; but, nevertheless, these disgraceful scenes must be put a stop to. The sentence of the Court is, that you be imprisoned in her Majesty's gaol at Sandhurst, for the period of - 48 hours.

"A POET IN DURANCE VILE", Bendigo Advertiser (11 November 1856), 2 

As will be seen, by a detailed report in another column, the case of Mr. Thatcher was disposed of yesterday, and that luckless son of Apollo was consigned to the tender mercies of the lockup keeper for forty-eight hours . . . We hope Mr. Thatcher will turn his leisure time during his captivity to good account. Let him be sustained by the remembrance of the many illustrious poets who have passed months and years in prison. Why not imitate Tasso, and turn his cheerless dungeon into a dream-land of beauty and romance, penning sonnets to a royal mistress. Or follow Leigh Hunt's example, and convert his cell into a dainty paradise redolent of rich colours and fragrant flowers . . . What says he to an epic written with the despatch of Southey and with the genius of the author of "Jerusalem Delivered." But we forget the term of imprisonment is only forty eight hours. Pshaw, how annoying, Mr. McLachlan, that you did not "cabin, crib, and confine" the poet for at least six months, and Bendigo, and Thatcher would have been immortalised. As it is, what can expected in forty-eight hours, on bare logs, under a canvas rood? We are afraid that the Muses have never been used to such habitation, and that there is small chance of our Bendigo lock-up being enlivened by such a visit. A glorious chance has been lost, Thatcher. Six months' imprisonment, and you would have won immortality. Now you must follow your destiny, and sing witty doggrel in public-houses, enlivening the company with your forty-eight hours' expedience in the Bendigo lock-up.

"THATCHER'S EXPERIENCE OF THE BENDIGO GAOL", and "THE BENDIGO GAOL. To the Editor of the Herald", Bendigo Advertiser (24 November 1856), 2 

"CRITERION HALL", Mount Alexander Mail [Castlemaine, VIC] (12 November 1856), 3 

Some disappointment was occasioned to a crowded audience in this concert room last night by the non-appearance of Mr. Thatcher, who had been advertised to sing there for two nights. His absence was explained during the evening by a letter from Sandhurst, in which it was stated that he was unexpectedly enduring 48 hours' incarceration in the lock up there for an assault, but that he expected to keep his engagement on Wednesday, evening. The novelty of the excuse probably contributed to its favorable reception by the audience, who contentedly enough relied for amusement on the ordinary corps . . .

"THEATRES, CHARLIE NAPIER", The Star (29 November 1856), 2 

Mrs. Sinclair and Mr. Sedley having finished their engagement at this theatre, the succeeding source of attraction is Mr. Thatcher, the well-known comic vocalist, who made his re-appearance last Thursday evening. He was greeted with enthusiastic applause, and on each occasion of his singing was encored four times. His songs are deservedly popular, from the fact that they generally make most happy allusions to the actual state of Colonial society, and each man feels that they contain truths which his own experience can endorse. The dramatic portion of the entertainment consisted of the play of "Time Tries All" . . .

"SHAMROCK CONCERT HALL", Bendigo Advertiser (10 December 1856), 2 

We observe that Mr. Thatcher, the favorite comic singer, has been engaged for a few nights at the Shamrock concerts. Mr. Thatcher only made a brief sojourn at Ballaarat, where he was favorably received, and has been giving singing entertainments at different places between this and Ballaarat.

"CHRISTMAS SPORTS", Bendigo Advertiser (26 December 1856), 2 

. . . At the Shamrock Concert Hall, in addition to the staff of eminent artistes, we find Miss Urie, and Mr. Leeman returned, as also "the inimitable Thatcher," who in a new local will give "his experience" in the log hut . . .


"NEW YEAR'S SPORTS", Bendigo Advertiser (1 January 1857), 3 

Old English sports appear to be the rage on Bendigo at present, as a reference to our advertising columns will prove. There are to be great doing to-day at the Sydenham Gardens in the way of boxing and hornpipe dancing. Races are to take place at the Apelles Hotel, on the Campaspe. Mr. Heffernan, at his Shamrock the second, at Epsom, gives a series of entertainments during the day, and Thatcher sings about them at night . . .

"MUSIC AND THE DRAMA", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (19 January 1857), 5 

. . . Our old favorites, Madame Carandini, Miss Urie, M.M. Laglaise and Lavenu, have for months being fulfilling a highly successful engagement at the Shamrock Concert Hall, Sandhurst. They are assisted by Thatcher and Gibson, the comic singers . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: J. W. Gibson (Irish vocalist); Jean-Baptiste Laglaise

"THE SHAMROCK CONCERTS", Bendigo Advertiser (6 March 1857), 3 

The large room at the Shamrock continues to be crowded every night. Thatcher has introduced a new song about the Local Court, which, though by no means complimentary to that worshipful body, was very well received, and is in reality very witty.

"THE SHAMROCK CONCERTS", Bendigo Advertiser (9 May 1857), 3 

Although we do not notice these very admirable entertainments so frequently as they deserve, we are not the less impressed with their excellence, and it is only because they are so constantly and densely attended, and consequently well known, that we do not oftener allude to them. From their earliest establishment they have been a source of delightful relaxation and amusement to the mining and commercial community resident in Sandhurst and its neighborhood; and they have certainly never been more attractive or worthy of attention than at the present time. We have now the delightful and superior attraction afforded by the master hand of Miska Hauser, and the sweet minstrelsy of Julia Harland. We by no means forget, nor would we for one moment disparage the merits of the old favorites, who still add a charm to that much frequented hall. Carandini and Sarah Flower have departed, but the silvery toned Hancock, and the animated Urie remain. Mr. Leeman, Mr. Hancock, and Thatcher the comic, are yet there, and sorry indeed should we be to see them depart. The elder Kohler is prospecting the Ovens, but his brother supplies his vacant place, and very well indeed does he perform on the cornopean. A new grand piano has been purchased by Mr. Heffernan, and is ably presided over by the present talented conductor Mr. Linley Norman [sic]. In fact nothing is left undone to render these concerts the most delightful entertainments either on the goldfields or in the whole colony.

ASSOCIATIONS: The elder Kohler = Richard Kohler; his brother, John Kohler; Linly Norman

"SHAMROCK CONCERT HALL", Bendigo Advertiser (10 July 1857), 2 

. . . Miss Urie has sung two new Scotch songs recently, " I cannot leave my Highland glen," and a Jacobite song, "Wha wadna fecht for Charlie"; and, we need not say, that they have been received with the greatest applause. This lady sings a local comic duet with Mr. Thatcher, composed by that gentleman, "Bonnets versus Billiards," which is highly clever and amusing . . .


[News], The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News [Perth, WA] (17 July 1857), 2 

We have received two pamphlets from Melbourne - one the very opposite to the other. "An Enquiry into the Principles of Representation," by Edward Wilson is an advocacy of the principle of a representation of interests - not of numbers . . . "Thatcher's Colonial Songster, is a collection of his own songs by a professional gentleman, who proposes visiting this Colony. The songs are such as we have little doubt have produced golden results for their author at his concerts at the various diggings, but we believe would not be successful here, where the population is but small, and of a very different kind to that of Victoria. We fear Mr. Thacker [sic] would find here but small audiences and a poor return for his exertions.

"CONCERT IN AID OF THE LEAGUE", Bendigo Advertiser (4 August 1857), 2 

A grand concert is announced to take place on Wednesday evening, at the Shamrock Concert in aid of the funds of the Bendigo Land League. We feel sure that we have only to direct attention to the object of this entertainment to ensure a crowded house. The programme is unusually attractive. Carandini is a host in herself, and a few songs from her are worth the price of half a dozen tickets at least. We are happy to be able to state that our old favorite, Thatcher, does not conclude his engagement for another week. This concert will afford his admirers an opportunity of hearing him again before his departure.

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (10 August 1857), 1 

SHAMROCK CONCERT HALL. Open for the Million.
MESSRS. HEFFERNAN AND CROWLEY, Proprietors of the above popular place, of amusement, hereby notify to the Public of Bendigo that, at considerable expense, they have made engage ments with the following eminent Artistes; -
The renowned Violinist, MISKA HAUSER,
And the local comic singer MR. THATCHER.
MONS. LAVENU, Pianist . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Louisa Swannell; Miska Hauser; Joseph Henry Pollard

"BROKEN OUT IN A FRESH PLACE", The Age (27 August 1857), 5 

Everybody on Ballaarat remembers Mr. J. C. Byrne, better known by his alias of "Big Byrne," on whom Thatcher wrote, and everybody sung, and whose face was familiar alike to the vendor of spirituous liquors, and the habitues of the Insolvent Court. Like other great men he vanished from Ballaarat . . . Ballarat Times.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Charles Byrne; see on Byrne and Thatcher, "BALLARAT CHRONICLES AND PICTURES. BY W. B. WITHERS", The Ballarat Star (4 June 1888), 2 

. . . Thatcher was at that tune in his glory as a singer of his own comic improvisations, and he made a song out of the tiger and Big Byrne affair, and sang it nightly to delighted audiences of lusty diggers at the Charlie Napier theatre or concert room. Byrne, with whom, years before his advent here, I had quaffed sherry in his Natal-land selling office in Pall Mall, London, is dead. Thatcher, the idol of the fun-loving diggers of the fifties, is dead . . .

"ARARAT (To the Editor of the . . .]", Bendigo Advertiser (29 August 1857), 3 

Sir - Having just returned from Mount Ararat, I am able to give a pretty accurate description of the new gold-field. From this place I went to Ballaarat, which is rising rapidly in importance, and is in fact quite a city. From Ballaarat to Ararat is a charming country, the scenery is magnificent. You pass by Lake Burrumbeet, a nice sheet of water about eight miles across and twenty miles round, Lake Learmouth is to the right. After leaving Fiery Creek Mount Cole is the prominent range in the landscape; the Ninety Mile Plains extend from the foot of this fine range, stretching out in the direction of Portland Bay. After traversing about ten miles of this plain Piccaninny Mount Cole, rears its two sharp peaks, and after crossing the Hopkins the smoke of the diggings, although nine miles off, is plainly visible. Mount Ararat diggings do not lie very high, being on a small rise from the plain; there are several main streets, all crowded with stores and grog shops; in the principal street frontages are eagerly sought for, and Masters, our Bendigo hairdresser, has been offered £100 for his stand: the Golden Age seems to be doing the best business. On Sunday the place was like a fair, the bagatelle tables were going all day, besides shooting galleries, &c.; some black lubras created great excitement, and were followed by a great crowd. It is very dangerous moving about at night, as there are deep holes in several places in the road, and no less than six bodies have been taken out, and there is reason to fear that there has been foul play in more than one instance. As regards the permanency of the gold-field that is the vexata quaestio. Another month will test it. One thing is certain, that unless Ararat turns out very rich there will be a grand smash amongst the hundreds of speculators who have erected public houses, stores, &c. Money is, in my opinion, rather tight. Thousands are doing nothing, and business is flat. As a proof of the glut of goods, candles, sperm, fetched only 1s. 2d. by auction. The rush still continues; and but few are returning as yet. The distance from Bendigo is 99 miles through Maryborough and the Avoca. The roads are bad, especially 10 miles out of the diggings.
I will, when I have leisure, write a more detailed account.
I remain, &c.,

"OLD FAVORITES", The Age (7 September 1857), 5 

. . . The Bendigo papers say: - "A new attraction has been provided for the lovers of harmony by our indefatigable caterer for musical excellence and novelty Mr. Heffernan, in the shape of instrumental quartettes. Of Miska Hauser's capabilities as a violinist, it is needless to speak; but Mons. Lavenu's performance on the chief of stringed instruments - the violoncello - certainly took us by surprise: he fingers it in a masterly manner, and the effect produced is really good. Mr. Thatcher, with a little more practice, will be a good flautist, and certainly shows an aptitude for concerted music we did not give him credit for. The playing of Mr. Pollard (piano-forte) cannot be praised too highly: his taste is good, his execution brilliant, and his conception true."

"CONCERT IN AID OF THE NEW EPSOM PROSPECTING ASSOCIATION", Bendigo Advertiser (10 September 1857), 2 

The entertainment generously given by Messrs. Heffernan and Crowley, in aid of the above movement, took place yesterday evening, at the Shamrock Music Hall. The attendance was not so good as might have been expected on such an occasion. In the early part of the evening there were upwards of 100, which number increased towards the close of the entertainment. The performances, both vocal and instrumental, were all that could be desired. The lady performers were in fine voice. Madame Carandini's artistic execution of "Softly sighs the voice of evening" (with orchestral accompaniment) was in itself a treat, and developed that lady's taste and power of execution. Miss Swannell sang some ballads with her wonted expression. The gentlemen it would be invidious to particularize; all gave satisfaction. We must remark that our friend Thatcher, with his accustomed tact in catering for the public amusement, brought out a novelty, a song with humorous sketches of what would now be the case if gold had not been discovered in Australia. He also sang "The Bendigo Bazaar," a perfect screamer, which was received with roars of laughter and applause. The instrumental arrangements reflect credit on the gentlemen engaged. Miska Hauser, as usual, brought out "linked sweetness" from his wonderful Cremona, Straduarius, or whatever name it may bear . . .

"PHRENOLOGY", Bendigo Advertiser (10 September 1857), 3 

We beg to remind our readers that Mr. Hamilton delivers a lecture on Phrenology this evening, at the Mechanics' Institute, on which occasion several well-known Sandhurst gentlemen - among others, we believe Mr. Thatcher - will have their characters told from their phrenological development . . .

"SHAMROCK CONCERT HALL", Bendigo Advertiser (14 September 1857), 3 

The additional novelty presented by the spirited proprietors of these popular concerts are undoubtedly exciting increased favor and gratification among the numerous audiences nightly assembling there. We cannot, however, too strongly deprecate the conduct of some of the audience, who, on a Saturday evening especially, obstruct the entertainment by their turbulent cries for Mr. Thatcher. Mr. Heffernan's endeavors to systematize and vary the entertainment should not meet with such interruptions. Mr. Thatcher is deservedly a great favorite, but his admirers cannot reasonably require him to monopolise the whole concert. To expect it would be unjust to the other talented artistes at this popular place of amusement, and also to himself, as his performances, since the introduction of the instrumental portion of the concert, have been considerably more arduous and fatiguing. The interruption on Saturday evening was so great that Mr. Heffernan was compelled to inform the audience that those parties who were not satisfied with what he had provided for them were at liberty to leave the room. This announcement was received with general applause, and we trust will effectually put a stop to any future attempt to interrupt the settled musical programme.

"SHAMROCK CONCERT HALL", Bendigo Advertiser (23 September 1857), 3 

We are glad to observe that the evening concerts at the Shamrock Hall are crowded, and beyond question they well deserve the patronage that is accorded to them. In addition to the vocal music, instrumental performances take place in which the best pieces of music are excellently given. The artistes are as great favorites as ever, and their songs are received with unbounded applause. Various novelties have been introduced by Madame Carandini and Miss Swannell, in addition to new glees and concerted pieces. Mr. Thatcher has composed some new songs on local topics, such as the Governor's visit, the extension of McCrae-street, and the begging-for-subscriptions mania, which are written with his usual talent, and received with unbounded applause. In the last song Mr. Thatcher introduces an imitation of Mr. Benson, which is one of the most perfect specimens of mimicry we ever listened to. The illusion is complete so far as voice was concerned, and the clever imitator can scarcely proceed in consequence of the shouts of convulsive laughter with which every few words are greeted.

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Benson (d. 1860)

"THATCHER TURNER GOLD BROKER", Bendigo Advertiser (25 September 1857), 3 

Our readers will be somewhat surprised to notice by our advertising columns that the comic poet has turned his attention to trading pursuits, and that, in addition to his vocal avocations, he intends doing a little in the gold broking way. If he is as successful in his new business as in the other, he will have no cause to complain, though he should remember the old saw about too many irons in the fire.

"SACRED AND SECULAR CONCERT", Bendigo Advertiser (2 October 1857), 2-3 

The splendid Concert Hall of the Shamrock Hotel was last night filled with the most numerous and respectable audience we have ever seen within its walls on any similar occasion . . . We need hardly say that the performances passed off with great success and gave universal satisfaction. The company at the Shamrock is now, without exception, the most complete musical company in Australia. Since the departure of Madame Anna Bishop, Madame Carandini is unquestionably the prima donna in these colonies. Miss Swannell is a young lady with a very pleasing voice, and much natural taste, which, it is to be regretted, have not been cultivated by a better musical education. Of Miska Hauser we need say nothing, except that he is the renowned violinist, who may be equalled in Europe, but it is questionable whether he can be excelled. M. Laglaise has a fine tenor voice, well adapted for operatic pieces, in which this gentleman is very successful, Mr. Leeman's fine bass is an important auxiliary in a concert, and Mr. Dixon, though his voice has suffered deterioration, sing an alto-tenor accompaniment to advantage. Mr. Pollard's voice is not so attractive as is his piano-forte playing, at which he is an adept, only inferior to M. Lavenu himself, who on the violoncello makes us forget even his brilliant execution on the piano-forte. The inimitable comic Thatcher adds to his other talents that of being a good performer on the flute. With such a company success in whatever they might attempt could safely be predicted. Speaking critically, however, they were not quite at home in the Sacred pieces . . . Thatcher sang a new local song, "Mr. Blowhard of McCrae-street," and also the one lately composed on Bridge-street. Notices were affixed to the walls, staling no encores could be allowed; this rule was broken in the case of Mr. Thatcher . . .

"SHAMROCK CONCERT HALL", Bendigo Advertiser (14 December 1857), 3 

This very popular establishment was literally crowded on Saturday night last. Miss Urie sang some of her favorite ballads with taste and humor, and was deservedly encored. Mr. Thatcher did good service in his own style by giving some of his old favorites, and some of his later compositions created a perfect furore of applause. The duets between Miss Urie and the above gentleman were received with roars of laughter. Messrs. Dixon and Pollard also sang with good effect selections from their several repertoires.


"BENDIGO", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (23 January 1858), 2 

The Shamrock still holds its own on Sandhurst - its congregation of musical and vocal talent being unsurpassed on any other diggings. Miss Urie, the celebrated Scotch ballad singer, nightly charms a crowded room. The old Bendigo favourite, Leman, has returned, and by the style in which he sings H. Russell's songs commands continuous encores. But the great attraction is Thatcher; his ready wit and sarcastic hits on men and manners nightly call forth shouts of laughter, and send all visitors home with light hearts and merry faces.

"THE GREAT NOSE CASE", Bendigo Advertiser (26 February 1858), 3 

At the Shamrock, Thatcher, with his usual energy in seizing upon and extemporising our little local incidents, has brought this cause celebre again before the public in a more harmonious shape than when it was produced the other day at the Police Court. From the very severe handling which the plaintiff's nasal feature receives in Mr. Thatcher's rhymes, and the liberties taken by his allusions, we should hardly be surprised if the plaintiff were again to make them the subject of a public complaint.

"MUNICIPAL POLICE COURT. Wednesday, March 31st . . . ORPHEUS WAGES BATTLE WITH THE BULL", Bendigo Advertiser (1 April 1858), 3 

Charles Thatcher, and Richard Stevens (the proprietor of the Bull and Mouth Hotel) appeared before the Bench, charged with disorderly conduct and fighting in the public street, on the previous evening. The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge . . . The Bench then fined the defendant Stevens 40s. or three days' imprisonment, and the defendant Thatcher 10s. or twelve hours' imprisonment. The fines were immediately paid.

"TOPICS OF THE DAY", Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser (6 April 1858), 2 

An amusing fracas occurred at Bendigo between Thatcher, the well-known vocalist, and Stevens, the landlord of the Bull and Mouth. which ended in their both being taken in charge and brought up to the Police Court. It appeared that Thatcher had been amusing his audience at the Shamrock with some of Steven's peculiarities, in consequence of which the latter had twice challenged him to fight. The second time the vocalist accepted the challenge, and to the immense delight of a large crowd the combatants retired to the camp reserve, where they commenced operations. The entertaining sport was soon interrupted by a watchful constable, who came up and found the publican in a position which indicated that he had just received a knock-down blow, and Thatcher standing triumphantly over him. The Bench after mating some severe remarks, fined the singer 10s„ and the publican 40s.

"A SUGGESTION (To the Editor of the . . .)", Bendigo Advertiser (9 April 1858), 3 

Sir, - When a bachelor I have often, with much pleasure, resorted to the Shamrock Hall of an evening, especially bent on hearing Thatcher, the inimitable, with his inexhaustible subjects of song. Since changing my estate, my wife has sometimes expressed the same wish: but, Sir, you must be aware that it would be giving too much scope to "colonial ways" to escort a lady to a place, thronged as it is, by every variety of men, imbibing and smoking to such an extent as is generally carried on; it would, at all events, when the novelty of the scene had passed, be unpleasant to a female any way sensitive, and the recurrence of the same would be a nuisance. I am one of Mr. Thatcher's admirers, and such an individual must be greatly admired, who can, night after night, so successively and successfully excite the risibilities of the people of Bendigo, and send them to their homes in such a pleasant tone of mind as he does. But, Mr. Editor, I wish you kindly to give publicity to this in order that Mr. Heffernan should look still further to his interests, by setting apart some small portion of his hall, or by forming a gallery, to contain, say, a score of ladies and gentlemen, that they may be somewhat retired from the gaze of the multitude. Many persons come here from the country, and finding no theatre or other such entertainment available, would be delighted to resort to the Shamrock Hall could such arrangement as I have mentioned be made. It would be worth Mr. Heffernan's while, and would afford, I am sure, a considerable amount of satisfaction to many persons seeking a little recreation.
I am, Mr. Editor, yours obediently,
31st March, 1858.

"BENDIGO (From the Mercury) . . . A LUCKY FIND", Mount Alexander Mail (18 June 1858), 5 

Our friend Thatcher, who, in addition to his other accomplishments, is a most enthusiastic sportsman, was out yesterday with his gun, in company with Mr. John Young, in search of wattle birds. In crossing the ranges about two miles from the town, Mr. Young observed something glittering on the ground, and stooping down to examine it, found he had lighted on a very handsome nugget, weighing 2oz. 13 dwts. We were shown the nugget last night . . .

"SHAMROCK CONCERT HALL", Bendigo Advertiser (25 June 1858), 3 

Although the proprietor of this popular place of amusement last night fixed the price of admission at one shilling, instead of the rule of admitting the public froa of any charge, the price did not seem to produce much diminution from the preceding evening. The Hall was, perhaps, not quite so crowded as on the former night, but every available seat was filled, and the audience present uproariously applauded the classic dancing of Madame Strebinger and her pupil, Miss Earle. The Instrumental portion of the entertainment would alone repay a visit; some of the overtures performed by M. Strebinger, Mr. Salaman and Mr. Thatcher were played with great taste and correctness. As the engagement of these talented artistes is for a very limited period, we would recommend the public to visit the Shamrock before it terminates.

"SHAMROCK CONCERT HALL", Bendigo Advertiser (26 June 1858), 3 

The really elegant and fascinating performances of Madame Strebinger and Miss Earle last evening still maintained their attractive influence on the public, and a room well filled by delighted spectators was the result. The performances of both those ladies (Madame Strebinger in particular) is indeed artistic, yet natural and easy. The movement, brilliant and sylphlike as it may be, appears to be executed without exertion, and indeed to be pleasurable rather than fatiguing to the danseuses . . . A new song of Thatcher's, on the "Dancing Mania," was received with most uproarious applause, and even Heffernan himself (case hardened as he is to the drolleries of our Thatcher) declared that he "could not stand it," and retired to indulge in a good burst of laughter in the bar. Monsieur Strebinger also appeared . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Therese Strebinger (theatrical dancer); Tilly Earl (her pupil); Frederick Strebinger (violinist); Edward Salaman (pianist, musical director)

"THE SHAMROCK", Bendigo Advertiser (28 July 1858), 3 

The Concert Hall at the Shamrock is still the great magnet of amusement, and nightly continues to draw numbers who are in pursuit of amusement and relaxation after the business of the day. Thunders of applause still greet the Terpsichorean performance of the talented danseuses, Madame Strebinger and Miss Earle. Madame Sara Flower's singing it is impossible to be weary of, or the Scottish songs of Miss Urie. We might suggest that if they were to treat the audience to an occasional duet, the united harmony of their voices would have an excellent effect. The return of Thatcher from Melbourne - in whose absence the Shamrock, even with all its varied attractions, appeared to want some thing - was hailed by such a welcome as the public bestow on the re-appearance of an old favorite. He comes up primed with fresh and funny ideas, which he improvises in a local ditty. It is needless to say that it was received with uproarious applause. The following is the concluding verse of the song:-

The Mercury tries to do Mackay quite brown,
Asserting his leaders are written in town;
And a great deal of praise to the fellow belongs -
He's the very same cove that composes my songs.

ASSOCIATIONS: Angus Mackay (d. 1886)

"SHAMROCK CONCERT HALL", and "MR. THATCHER", Bendigo Advertiser (16 August 1858), 3 

This place of amusement on Saturday night received more than its usual "cramming" - the press being greater, doubtless, from the fact of its having being announced as the last night of our "inimitable Thatcher" for some time. Regrets for his departure did not, however, prevent his friends from allowing their merriment its full sway, for his humorous vocalisation "set the benches in a roar," and was repeatedly encored. Madame Sara Flower was in splendid voice . . .

We understand that this old established favorite intends revisiting Europe at an early date, for the benefit of his health. We think that previous to his leaving, it would be but a graceful recognition of his services in so long catering for the amusement of the public, and a tribute only justly due to his exertions (to which his present ill-health may be mainly attributed) to give him previous to his departure, a complimentary benefit on Bendigo, where he has been so long and favorably known. The suggestion, we are sure, will meet with a prompt response, for there are few who have not been indebted to him for many pleasant hours. Thatcher and his songs are identified With the district, and have a claim on our cordial recognition.

"SHAMROCK CONCERT HALL", Bendigo Advertiser (17 August 1858), 3 

. . . Thatcher is slill delighting his admirers with his witty ditties, notwithstanding the announcement that Saturday night was to be his last . . .

"SHAMROCK CONCERT HALL", Bendigo Advertiser (21 August 1858), 3 

. . . The great card of the evening was a song from Mr. Thatcher on the lamentable circumstance of a "Jolly Tar," well known in this town, who has lately acquired no little notoriety. His exploits have been the subject for scandal for several weeks, and Mr. Thatcher has embodied them in a song which will certainly immortalize both the composer and the subject on Bendigo. The "inimitable" was of course loudly applauded, and the hits at one of our magisterial functionaries, though scarcely complimentary, were certainly decidedly marked . . .

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (17 August 1858), 4 

PRELIMINARY NOTICE. W. BUCKNALL begs to announce that, he has received instructions from Mr. Thatcher, who is about to proceed to England by the Marco Polo, to offer for sale, on an early day, His pleasantly situated cottage and land, with handsome furniture and effects necessary for a substantial and comfortable dwelling house, - consisting of Buhl cabinets, marquetrie tables, walnut bookcases, pictures, fine gilt clock, Dresden china, harmonium by Alexandre, and a splendid library. Particulars in future advertisements.

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (23 August 1858), 3 

THIS DAY. SALE OF THE BONA FIDE EFFECTS THE PROPERTY OF MR. CHARLES R. THATCHER (WHO IS LEAVING THE COLONY.) W. BUCKNALL is instructed by Mr. Charles R. Thatcher to sell by public auction, on the premises in Forest-street, on Monday, 23rd August, The following valuable property, consisting of - The substantial cottage and allotment of land, 33 feet by 108, pleasantly situated at the top end of Forest-street, above Barnard-street. Also, Magnificent drawing-room furniture, consisting of two superb walnut and tulipwood bookcases, pair of buhl cabinets, superior to any in the colony; three French gilt clocks, with shades and stands complete; fine Florentine bronzes; Dresden china figures; three marquetrie inlaid work tables; harmonium, by Alexandre, of Paris, a sweet-toned instrument; library of valuable books; besides a magnificent collection of shells from all parts of the world, collected by the proprietor during the last ten years. Maybe viewed two days prior to sale, and catalogues had of the Auctioneer, Hall of Commerce, Pall Mall. Sale twelve o'clock precisely. Entirely without reserve.

"IMPORTANT AUCTION SALE", Bendigo Advertiser (23 August 1858), 3 

We see, by reference to our advertising columns, that the effects of Mr. Thatcher will be submitted to public competition this day. We would advise all persons interested in the collection of curiosities, articles of vertu and art, or rare books, to be in attendance at the sale, as all the property will, we are informed, be sold without reserve.

"SANDHURST COMMERCIAL. Advertiser Office, Monday Evening", Bendigo Advertiser (24 August 1858), 2 

W. Bucknall, auctioneer, reports a very numerous and respectable attendance at the sale of Mr. C. R. Thatcher's property yesterday. The bidding, in many instances, was most spirited, and, with few exceptions, the lots realised satisfactory prices. Two very elegant tulip-wood bookcases were knocked down for L.23; an Indian writing table for L.8 8s.; three handsome gilt clocks fetched from L.4 10s. to L.S 8s. each. Some Florentine bronze figures sold from L.4 10s. to L.8 per pair. The figures in Dresden china went off extremely well, and a large collection of shells excited considerable competition, selling from 10s, to L.2 per pair, and one trumpet shell at L.2 5s. The house and land were bought in at L.185.

NOTE: For another Alexandre Pere et Fils harmonium, of similar date and construction, see Object 2004/21/1 at Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney.

"MR. THATCHER'S BENEFIT", Bendigo Advertiser (23 August 1858), 3 

The friends and admirers of Mr. Charles Thatcher, will not require much persuasion, we feel assured, to give him a hearty farewell this evening. This, his last performance on Sandhurst, previous to his departure for a distant land, will, of course, be numerously attended, and many will visit the Shamrock as much from feelings of friendship and of regret at the loss of one who has afforded them constant amusement for the last two or three years, as for the purpose merely of enjoyment. It will be a long time, we suspect, before Thatcher's place will be filled among us. As a comic poet and singer he has hitherto been unequalled in the Colonies, and we may say that many an evening rendered highly pleasing and entertaining by his efforts, would have been passed in but a dreary manner in Sandhurst wanting him. In common gratitude, then, the public, to whom he has been a constant fund of amusement, should this evening testify, their appreciation of his ability by filling the Shamrock Hall in every corner. For our part, while we wish him a bumper house and successful benefit, we feel bound also to express a sincere wish for his early return to Bendigo, from the countries he is about to visit. We believe it to be his intention in the first place to proceed to New Zealand, whence it is probable he will take his departure for Old Eagland, thus carrying out the words of the song, so often heard and applauded in the Shamrock:-

"I'll not stop here, for p'raps I might croak - there's no knowing.
To my London companions I'll get back again;
And if I but live till the next vessel's going,
I'll be off to Old England and Petticoat-lane."

Let those who wish him well look in to-night and prove that they do so.

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (23 August 1858), 1 

THATCHER'S BENEFIT, Being positively his Last Appearance previous to his leaving the Colony.
Part I.
Overture - "Semiramide" - Messrs. Salamon, Thatcher, and Strebinger.
Scotch Ballad - "Caller Herring" - Miss Urie.
Pas Chinois - Madame Strebinger.
Song - "Madeline" - Madame Sara Flower.
Waltz - "Amelia" - Messrs. Salamon, Thatcher, and Strebinger.
Comic Song - "Thatcher's Farewell" (first time) - Mr. Thatcher.
An interval of ten minutes.
Part II.
Quadrille - " Court of St. James's" - Messrs. Salamon, Thatcher, and Strebinger.
Ballad - "Katey's Letter" - Madame Sara Flower.
Violin Solo - "Fantaisie," by De Beriot - Mr. Strebinger.
Spanish Dance - "La Manola," - Madame Strebinger and Miss Earle.
Comic Duet - Miss Urie and Mr. Thatcher.
An interval of ten minutes.
Part III.
Operatic Selection - Messrs. Salamon, Thatcher and Strebinger.
Scotch Song - "Hail to the Chief" - Miss Urie.
Polka - "Trumpet Major" - Messrs. Salamon, Strebinger, and Thatcher.
Dance - "La Giselle" - Madame Strebinger and Miss Earle.
Comic Song - "Bendigo Prospects" (first time) - Mr. Thatcher.
Waltz - "Songe de bonheur" - Messrs. Salamon and Strebinger.
Finale - "God Save the Queen."
Admission - Five Shillings.

"MR. THATCHER'S BENEFIT", Bendigo Advertiser (24 August 1858), 3 

There was not so numerous an attendance at the Shamrock last night as we had expected there would have been to see our old friend Thatcher on his last legs. Still the room was not badly filled, and the array of bonnets, if they did not out-number, at all events equalled that of the hats. It would be but travelling over ground we have trodden times out of mind before to praise each particular performance of those who lent the aid of their talents to Mr. Thatcher's farewell entertainment. Shall we say that Madame Sara Flower was excellent in her execution of those sweet songs in which all know that she excels, or that Miss Urie was pathetic, comical, arch, or enthusiastic, as the nature of her role required? Shall we dilate on the beauties of the Pas Chinois of Madame Strebinger, of the La Minola or La Giselle of herself and the pretty Miss Earle? Need we speak in glowing terms of the execution of Salamon, Strebinger, and Thatcher, in the overtures, quadrilles, and operatic selections with which they commenced the various parts of the concert? Or, is it required of us that we should record the numerous encores to which each, particular performer unhesitatingly replied? Not at all. Every frequenter of the Shamrock, and every admirer of the excellent entertainments nightly provided by its liberal host, can well imagine all this. It is with the lion of the night, the beneficiare Thatcher, that we have principally to deal. To say that he sang with his usual spirit would be superfluous, and that the two new songs of the evening bore all the characteristics of those of their able author would be no more than our readers would naturally look for. In the first place he took a general review of the celebrities of the district, whom he had so frequently immortalised in song, in the last, entitled "Thatcher's Farewell," he seemed to be anxious to impress his audience that there was every probability of his return to Australia, after he had feasted his eyes on the glories of London, and his craving appetite on the fried fish of the buxom old Jewess of Petticoat-lane. At the conclusion of the entertainment he came on the stage, and in a neat but very brief speech, returned thanks for the attendance on the occasion, and for the general support he had received during his sojourn on Bendigo. We understand that he leaves Bendigo on Thursday. We can only add that we might have better spared a better man.

"LOCAL INTELLIGENCE . . . . THATCHER'S CONCERTS", The Kyneton Observer (26 August 1858), 2 

To-night Mr. Thatcher gives the first of his series of Concerts, assisted by Miss Urie, a Scotch vocalist of some celebrity. Mr. Thatcher is preeminently the songster of the gold-fields, and many of his humorous ditties have become like household words in the tents of the diggers. Mr. Thatcher will, this evening, introduce a number of new songs written by himself. Miss Urie will also sing a favorite collection, and new duets are announced rich in local reference. Mr. Thatcher has certainly been successful in making a name for himself; and in the early days of the gold discovery, he, perhaps, contributed more than any other individual to the domestic enlivenment of the vast masses who were then all but destitute of enjoyment. We wish him success in his visit to Kyneton.

[Advertisement], Mount Alexander Mail [Castlemaine, VIC] (30 August 1858), 1 

Tuesday and Wednesday Evenings, 31st August and 1st September.
THE inimitable delineator of Life on the Gold Fields, and author of the Colonial Songster, will appear as above, positively for two nights only, previously to his departure for England, assisted by
MISS URIE, the renowned Scotch Vocalist.
During the entertainment Mr. Thatcher will introduce his latest popular songs, written hy him, entitled,
"The melancholy adventures of Tom Jones, a linen draper on the Gold Fields
"The laughable story of the Lady and the Bullock driver Bullocks require hard swearing
"The Crazy Digger, or Digging for Gold at Brompton
"The Dog Registration Act
"Life of an Insolvent
"Life of a Warden on the Gold Fields
And other songs too numerous to mention.
MISS URIE, Will have the honor to introduce her celebrated songs -
"Caller Herein, The Gold Digger's Bride
"Nora Macrea, Barney Avournen, Sonnd the Pibroch
And the last new ballad, "Katey's Letter";
Mr. Thatcher and Miss Urie in the following laughable Medley Duets, written by Thatcher: -
"The Quartz Reefer and his extravagant wife
"A Colonial Tour.
"The Colonial Servant Girl
"Love on the Diggings
"The pleasures of St Kilda" - Introducing parodies on the popular songs Bobbin Round, Keemo Kimo, Katey Darling, &c., &c.
Mr. Woodin will preside at the pianoforte. Flute, Mr. Thatcher.
Doors open nt half-past seven, commence at eight.
Admission - 2s 6d. Front seats, 4s.

"CASTLEMAINE. THATCER AND MISS URIE", Bendigo Advertiser (3 September 1858), 3 

These two well known vocalists have been singing for the last two evenings at the Mechanics' Institute. Thatcher has been before the Castlemaine public on other occasions, but Miss Urie has not, we believe, sung here before. The songs were for the most part of a comic character. They were especially success ful in the comic medley duets, some of the effects in which were irresistibly ludicrous. Mr. Thatcher is better known at Bendigo than here, and it is not to be wondered at that he succeeds better there than anywhere else, his intimate knowledge of men and events enabling him to indulge in a vein of satire that constitutes him a sort of Sandhurst Pasquin, elsewhere he has to deal in generalities, and his excellent powers of mimicry do not so well come into play. - Miners Right.


. . . The amusements of Pennyweight, during the past week have consisted of a ball and supper, given by Mr. Church of the Balmoral Hotel, and the entertainments of Thatcher and Miss Urie. . . . The concert, although fairly attended, did not please so well as it would have done in Bendigo. His local allusions fall almost fruitless on the ears of an audience living at a distance from the spot where they refer, and become stale by constant exhaustion . . .

ASSOCIATIONSL Frederick Woodin (pianist)

"HAYMARKET THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (11 October 1858), 3 

. . . The "musical travestie of the "Lady of Lyons fallowed. The burlesque is not, like the original drama, in five acts . . . Miss Fanny Young enacted the part of Claude Melnotte, in a very spirited manner . . . Thatcher, too, not satisfied with his reputation as a vocalist at the Shamrock made his appearance on the stage as Beuseant in the burlesque, and was almost as successful as a performer as in poetising. The part he sustained included the singing of very smart ditties; and here, as might have been expected, he was "all there" . . .


"THE SHAMROCK CONCERT HALL", Bendigo Advertiser (11 October 1858), 3 

The San Francisco Minstrels performed on Saturday to as crowded an audience as they have had since their appearance on Bendigo . . . The re-appearance of Thatcher was greeted with the most hearty welcome. He treated his admirers with a new "local," in which he touched off in his usual happy style the various little incidents which have occurred since his departure for Port Curtis, which place he never reached, for the reasons he humorously assigns in his song . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: San Francisco Minstrels

"ABBOTT'S LYCEUM THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (22 November 1858), 3 

. . . on Saturday night . . . Miss Urie and Mr. Thatcher, we venture to assert, have never, since their first appearance on Bendigo, been received with warmer applause . . . The great card of the first part was the comic duet singing of Miss Urie and Mr. Thatcher, which commenced with "A Voyage Home," and did not end until the audience had encored the singers so many times that common decency forbade them to ask another. They were, however, obliged to an extent that must have considerably tried the powers of both songstress and singer . . . Mr. Thatcher sung two new songs - one depicting the woes of a comic singer, the other the position of Bendigo, social and otherwise, in the year of our Lord, 1858. He had a cut at the Mining Board, and the pugilistic propensities of the members; another at the pugnacity of two of our local lawyers, and the "unkindest cut of all" at "Benson's dilapidated political castor" . . .

"LYCEUM THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (25 November 1858), 3 

. . . The operatic company at present performing there comprises Miss Urie . . . Thatcher, of "inimitable" memory; Leeman, another old favorite from the Shamrock; and Mr. Small . . . Thatcher . . . in his local effusions, and virility of humorous ideas, makes his reappearance, after hia recess, "like a lion refreshed," and last night, amongst other hits at passing events, introduced an original, in which the late laches of our slightly, erratic Coroner are rather severely, but withal good-humoredly handled . . .


"SHAMROCK THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (16 December 1858), 3 

. . . The San Francisco Minstrels gave their part of the performances with their usual success, introducing however several novelties, which, considering the long time the same caste has been before the audience, says much for their power of invention. Thatcher was of course up to the mark, and sang a variety of songs - among them, a most piquant reference to his rival, "No. 2" of the family, which was received with loud applause, and, of course, encored. "The Coroner" was, as usual, a great card, and that much-abused functionary had many a laugh raised at his expense last evening.

ASSOCIATIONS: E. H. Clements ("Thatcher No. 2")

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (20 December 1858), 4 

W. BUCKNALL jas received instructions from Mr. Chas. R. Thatcher to sell by public auction, on the premises, top end of Forest-street, on Tuesday, 2lst December, The whole of his valuable freehold property, furniture, and effects, comprising -
Desirable weatherboard cottage and land, advantageously situated and securely fenced in. Household furniture of every description Water color drawings, by eminent artists, India, China, and articles of vertu. Valuable library of 400. vols. Select collection of bronzes, French clocks, framed engravings, shells, and curiosities. Sale unreserved, at 12 o'clock.
TO-MORROW, TUESDAY. THATCHER'S "RELICS" AND LITERARY REMAINS WILL be sold by public auxtion positively without any reserve . . .

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (21 December 1858), 3 

ABSTRACT OF SALES BY AUCTION. THIS DAY. W. Bucknall, on the premises, Forest-street, at twelve o'clock-Cottage and land, furniture, books, &c., the property of Mr. C. R. Thatcher.

"SHAMROCK THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (28 December 1858), 3 

Last evening one of the largest houses that has for some time assembled at the Shamrock, gathered to give Burbank a good bumper on the occasion of his benefit . . . Burbank was as usual "great" in impromptu witticisms, and burlesque dancing, while Thatcher was encored in a number of songs.

ASSOCIATIONS: Otto Burbank (San Francisco Minstrels)


10 and 11 January 1859, Annie Day Vitelli's first public appearances with Thatcher, Shamrock, Bendigo

"SHAMROCK CONCERT HALL", Bendigo Advertiser (11 January 1859), 3 

Mr. Heffernan, who it seems will never tire of providing for the folks of Sandhurst the best talent that the colony can produce, introduced to the public last evening Madame Vitelli, a lady who has gained for herself some renown in the musical circles in Melbourne, and who, if we can judge from the reception she met with, is likely to become a great favorite with pleasure seekers here. Her voice and manner are pleasing, and the way in which she rendered some of the old English ballads, "The Old Arm Chair," "Little Nell," &c., proved her to be a vocalist of no mean merit. She was assisted by Messrs. Thatcher and Fairchild, who materially enhanced the success of the evening's entertainment. The latter gentleman is almost an entire stranger on Bendigo, but as he evidently is, if not a first class, at any rate a really good singer, we trust that we shall have many more opportunities of hearing him. We see by advertisement that Madame Vitelli's engagement is limited to this evening, so that we advise all who have not heard her to take perhaps the only opportunity they may have of doing so.

"SHAMROCK CONCERT HALL", Bendigo Advertiser (12 January 1859), 3 

This place was last evening crowded from roof to ceiling, indeed it was almost as full during the latter part of the evening as during the grand crush at the conclusion of the municipal election. It would seem that the proprietors of the Shamrock have made a decided "hit" in the engagement of Madame Vitelli. This lady's voice is one of peculiar sweetness, and has evidently been extremely well cultivated. She moreover possesses a range of notes seldom to be met with. There is nothing affected about her singing, but she evinces the most correct, taste, and in the very simplicity and want of adornment with which she renders an English ballad consists the great charm. In the beautiful song of "Constance" she was loudly encored, when she indulged the audience with the well-known song of "Norah Machree," which she sang with a piquancy peculiarly her own. Thatcher sang several songs, in which he was encored. He came before the audience and apologised for not being able to sing a song on the late municipal election, for which his name appeared in the bills, as he had not had time to compose it, owing to the late hour at which the proceedings terminated, but promised to sing it on the following evening.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Fairchild (senior)

MUSIC: Constance (Linley); Norah Machree = ? Widow Machree (Lover)

"ILL-TIMED JESTING", Bendigo Advertiser (12 January 1859), 2 

WE cannot allow the proceedings at the declaration of the poll last evening to pass without alluding to an incident that occurred which was felt as an insult by the respectable portion of the meeting. During the uproar consequent upon Mr. Burnside's persevering attempts to express his "pity" for the portion of the ratepayers who had been led astray by designing persons, Mr. Thatcher, of comic singing celebrity, must needs make his appearance on the platform vis-a-vis to Mr. Burnside, at the call of those rattle-headed people whose only object in attending such meetings is amusement at any cost. The result may be imagined. There ensued indescribable uproar, during which Mr. Thatcher's song was repeatedly called for. Meanwhile the automaton Chairman sat powerless, Mr. Burnside stood puzzled, and the dignity of the Municipality was sacrificed to a piece of buffoonery. Let it be remembered that this was no mere candidates' meeting, but that it was a duly authorised municipal meeting met to discharge a public duty, and those who thus converted the proceedings into a burlesque, insulted the whole body of ratepayers. We do not deny that some portions of the proceedings were ridiculous enough, and hardly required professional assistance to make them more so. But that is a result which unfortunately cannot be guarded against, as long as human nature has its weaknesses. Facetious gentlemen, however, must not make the mistake that such occasions afford an opportunity for them to indulge in congenial buffoonery. Let comic singers confine themselves to their own sphere. If they are to be allowed to come into such public assemblies and add a new element of absurdity and disorder, why not allow the clown of a circus, or the comic individual, who does the business of grinning through a horse-collar. Since Thatcher was called for, and he came, the public may feel thankful that the Serenaders in a body did not take possession of the stage, and eject the performers of the grand farce Municipal from the room. Had the Chairman done his duty, which he did not appear to understand, he would have handed over the disturber of the meeting to one of the police present, who seemed placed like the broken china on the cottagers shelves, more for ornament than use. The occurrence is highly suggestive of the impropriety of holding such meetings in public houses. Since the necessary protection cannot be obtained in such places from such interruptions, some other place should be provided for the purposej where the necessary proceedings for the sustaining-of local self government shall not be converted into mere travestie and screaming farce. We cannot but strongly blame the Chairman for his extraordinary supineness, and his weak toleration of this contemptuous treatment of the chair.

"A COMIC REPUDIATION", Bendigo Advertiser (15 January 1859), 2 

In yesterday's issue of our contemporary, a letter appears from Mr. Thatcher, in which he complains of our having, in a recent article, made a "grave assertion, which has not been corroborated by facts," with regard to his motive in appearing on the platform at the declaration of the poll on the termination of the Municipal Elections . . .

"SHAMROCK THEATRE". Bendigo Advertiser (18 January 1859), 3 

The arrival of a novelty on Bendigo has evidently as much attraction from pleasure seekers as in the palmy days of "lucky diggers." It would scarcely have been possible for the Shamrock Theatre to have been more crowded than it was last, night, upon the advent of the new cantatrice, Miss Chalker, who made her debut last night. This lady though, we believe, not very well known in this colony, is a great favorite in Adelaide, where she has sung at many fashionable concerts . . . Madame Vitelli was equally successful last evening as on Saturday night. Her correct taste and expression in ballad singing is one of her most fascinating points. She sang last evening, with her usual simplicity and gracefulness; indeed, we require but another "gentle songstress" to complete the three Graces on the Shamrock stage, a place which, but for his sex, the "inimitable Thatcher would, perhaps, kindly assume. Mr. Thatcher sang a new song last night upon the current topic of "Sly grog Informers," though he did not seem to have had sufficient time to prepare it, as none of the telling points of the cases of the morning were brought out. However, though not one of his happiest hits, it was very passable. The instrumental part of the performance, to which Mr. Kohler contributed considerably, was well deserving of favorable notice.


"MUNICIPAL AND SUBURBAN NEWS", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (26 March 1859), 5 

On Monday evening an amateur concert was given at the Mechanics' Institution, in aid of the sufferers from the late fire in North Melbourne. The attendance was encouraging, and the amusements of the evening passed off with considerable success. Mr. C. R. Thatcher's comic song detailing "John Thomas's Journey" was the source of much merriment.

20 April 1859, death of Annie Day's first husband, John Whittle (Giovanni Vitelli), Richmond, VIC

"DEATHS", The Argus (3 May 1859), 4

On the 20th ult., at Richmond, Mr. G. Vitelli, aged 34 years.

[Advertisement], The Star [Ballarat, VIC] (12 May 1859), 3

Great Novelty. HOUSES CROWDED EVERY NIGHT to hear the distinguished favorites,
Mrs. Alfred Oakey, Madame Vitelli, Miss Chalker,
And the inimitable Local Comic Singer, THATCHER.
Pianist and Conductor - Mr. OAKEY.

ASSOCIATIONS: Eliza Oakey (vocalist); Alfred Oakey (pianist, musical director); Charles Walsh (vocalist, manager)

"CRITERION CONCERT HALL", The Star (16 May 1859), 3 

The closing of the Charlie Napier has added not a little to the success of this popular place of entertainment, though during the past week this success has been the more marked owing to the engagement of two old friends on Ballarat, to wit, our old friend Thatcher and Madame Vitelli. This former prolific comic song writer has devised a new description of entertainment in which he and Madame Vitelli take part. This consists of a sort of duet embracing as a general topic such subjects as the plague of servants, the desagrément of the diggings and the like, and parodies of popular airs without number follow each other thick and fast. The audience get quite excited in their demand for encores. Miss Chalker and Mrs. Oakey, however, still retain their old position in the admiration of the love's of genuine English ballads.

"NEWS AND NOTES", The Star (23 May 1859), 2 

. . . We understand that Mr. Thatcher and Madame Vitelli appear at the Charlie Napier Theatre this evening, in conjunction with M. Fleury's excellent band. A number of new local songs and duets will be performed, together with some instrumental pieces.

ASSOCIATIONS: Achille Fleury

Ararat, VIC (June to August 1859)

"MISCELLANEOUS NEWS", Bendigo Advertiser (17 June 1859), 3 

The Ararat Advertiser has the following: - "The Shamrock last evening was immensely crowded, upon the occasion of the first appearance of Madame Vitelli and Mr. Thatcher. The popularity and well known excellence of these vocalists could demand nothing less than an enthusiastic reception from the Ararat folks, and that afforded them last evening was in every way flattering."

"POLICE COURT, ARARAT. The Queen on the prosecution of Boyle v. C. R. Thatcher", Geelong Advertiser (11 August 1859), 2 

ON Thursday morning the usually quiet Police Court at Ararat was crowded to excess, in consequence of an information having been laid by Mr. Boyle, Barrister at Law, against Thatcher the renowned comic singer," the Poet Laureat of the Diggings," (but better known in consequence of having published a book of songs, as the Colonial Minstrel.) The information charged the defendant with designedly and maliciously causing placards to be posted through the district, to the effect, that he (Thatcher) on a certain date mentioned in the placards, intended singing at the Bull and Mouth Hotel, a song written by himself and entitled "The Petty-fogging Touting Ararat Lawyer." As was anticipated, the examination before the Bench of Magistrates, excited to the utmost the risible fibres of the audience, especially as one of the witnesses, a well known character, displayed comical powers, almost equal to the inimitable Thatcher himself.

The case for the prosecution was opened by Mr. F. W. Owen, who vehemently declaimed against such ignoble terms as touting and pettyfogging being applied to a profession, "he," but his client especially, had the honor to be a member of.

A great many witnesses were examined for the plaintiff, amongst whom was Mr. Tallerman, an auctioneer, who stated he knew the defendant. Heard a song repeated to him by Mr. Samuels, articled clerk, to F. W. Owen, Solicitor, who said he was glad to hear a song was going to be sung about Mr. Boyle. Did not know if the placards referred to Mr. Boyle or not.

Mr. Tricker, Bailiff of County Court, on examination, proved hearing the song sung at the Bull and Mouth, and that in consequence of allusions to a certain event which occurred some four years back between Judge Barry and Mr. Boyle, when the latter was practising his profession in Melbourne, was decidedly of opinion, the lawyer mentioned in the song meant Mr. Boyle; but thought this gentleman was of too high a standing to be in the least affected by a rubbishing song.

Mr. Tripp, solicitor, examined: Went to hear Thatcher sing a song called the Petty-fogging Touting Ararat Lawyer. Every one said it meant Mr. Boyle. Supposed what everybody said must be true. Cannot tax his memory with the words; would like to hear Thatcher sing the song in court to refresh his memory. Thought the words pettyfogging and touting nasty expressions to be used to any gentleman, but would not take law proceedings if applied to self. Mr. Langley, Superintendent of Police; Mr. Yates, Deputy Sheriff; Mr. Barry, Clerk of Court, gave evidence similar to the above. Also heard a song composed by Thatcher, called the "Ararat Swells," or "Snobs," in which they were under the impression reference was made to them and others; but the idea of taking an action against Thatcher in consequence never entered their minds. The town crier, who also describes himself as bill-sticker, author, news runner, and shoe-maker, proved sticking the obnoxious placards, and calling personally on Mr. Doyle to apologise for so doing, as he posted the bills only in discharge of his duties. The proprietor and editor of the Ararat Advertiser were examined by Mr. Owen at considerable length, the latter proving the ordering and paying of the placards by Thatcher; also, his declining to print a copy of the song, considering it too personal towards Mr. Boyle. Mr. Owen endeavored to show from the evidence of the various witnesses that the words pettyfogging, touting lawyer, specially implied his client, .Mr Boyle: but Mr. Haines, during his cross-examination, elicited from nearly all the witnesses "The fact" that it was vague and public rumour "alone" which led them to attribute the words, "Pettyfogging, touting lawyer to Mr. Boyle; also, after hearing the song sung at the Bull and Mouth they were of opinion the above objectional terms applied to the professional gentlemen on Ararat generally.

The case occupied the whole day and was adjourned till the following morning at ten o'clock. After the examination of one or two more witnesses, and Mr. Owen quoting extracts from eminent authority respecting the law of libel, especially drawing the attention of the bench to certain passages indicating that bringing a person into contempt or ridicule was an indictable offence.

Their worships retired to consider their decision after a short absence returned, announcing through their chairman, Mr. Weston, that they were unanimously of opinion there was not sufficient evidence to go before a jury.

ASSOCIATIONS: James Boyle (barrister)

"THE INIMITABLE", Bendigo Advertiser (1 September 1859), 2 

We see that our old friend Thatcher has again turned up in our midst, and accompanied by Madame Vitelli, makes his bow on Saturday evening, at Abbott's Lyceum, supported by a host of talent, and we have no doubt that a very tolerable crowd may be anticipated to welcome the old favorite.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Henry Abbott (1830-1904, theatre proprietor)

"ABBOTT'S LYCEUM", Bendigo Advertiser (3 September 1859), 2 

We observe that the "inimitable Thatcher," supported by Madame Vitelli, Mrs. Oakey, Mr. Leeman, and a strong instrumental company, commence a campaign this evening at the above place of entertainment. Mr. Thatcher, we perceive, comes prepared with some bran new locals, viz., "Warden Anderson v. Wizard Anderson, or the Mysterious Disappearance," and "The Bendigo Waterworks." These will no doubt (unless the bays of "our own" have sadly withered) prove great cards, and a crowded house will greet his return.

"LYCEUM THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (5 September 1859), 3 

On Saturday night the Lyceum Theatre was re-opened with a talented little company consisting of Mrs. Oakey, Madame Vitelli, and Messrs. Thatcher and Leeman. The former lady, who made her first appearance on Bendigo on Saturday, is a vocalist of considerable ability, and her performances were so cordially applauded that we may safely predict she will be as great a favorite as she has been in Melbourne. She has a very clear soprano voice, and a pleasing style of singing that is very attractive. Of Madame Vitelli's vocal abilities it is needless to speak; they have lost nothing of their power of pleasing since she was so lately at the Shamrock, and in the duets with Thatcher she proved herself as worthy and able a coadjutor as ever did Miss Urie, and that is saying a great deal. The appearance of the "Inimitable" himself was welcomed most heartily by his host of admirers. He comes amongst us again like the resuscitation of a "local institution," that we thought had been lost for ever, and which has been missed as much as the departure of the "Veteran Benson," or any of the celebrities that were coeval with the existence of Bendigo. His budget of songs and scenas is as full as ever, and the numerous localisms at the more prominent incidents which have occurred amongst us lately, would almost lead us to believe that although bodily absent his spirit had been in our midst "taking notes." He certainly has a wonderful knack of stringing lines together, and a wonderful power of adapting them to airs of every character, and albeit his poetry seldom reaches the sublime, and frequently degenerates into the doggerel, it never fails to be appreciated. That his "hits" are oftimes rather too personal is an objection never raised except by the individual hit, but, on the contrary, renders his effusions all the more agreeable to the audience. On the score of propriety we believe, however, that the great majority of the audience on Saturday night must have objected to the introduction of one or two doubles entendres in his rhymes as being of rather too broad a nature. In all good feeling we hint at this, as many of the lady members of our community would hesitate about going to hear them, and as there is a good opportunity of their going to bear Thatcher now, at the Lyceum, in the more reserved portion of the house, it would be a pity that they should be deprived of the pleasure of being agreeably entertained by hearing a humorous song, by the introduction of any coarseness or ribaldry. In the course of the evening Mr. Leeman introduced some of his selections from the Russell repertory in a very effective style. The orchestral department was under the director ship of Mr. Alfred Oakey, than whom, we believe, there is not a more efficient accompanist on the piano in the colony. Mr. Burgess on the violin, and Mr. Oakey on the pianoforte, also did service in the introduction of overtures, &c., in the intervals of the programme. The house was crowded, as it deserved to be, and we hope the re-opening of the Lyceum will be a success.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Bird Burgess

"LYCEUM THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (9 September 1859), 2 

. . . Thatcher seems determined that there shall be no lack of novelty in his portion of the performances. Last night he added another clever and humorous song to his list, written on the present "sharebroking money mania," as he terms it, and quotes an imaginary letter to the local journals on its symptoms and cure, which is as wittily written as any similar production to be found in the columns of Punch. Either of the songs is worth going to hear, and as we see that he will introduce them to-night, we would recommend a visit to the Lyceum . . .

"LYCEUM THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (19 September 1859), 3 

Despite the great number of places of amusement open in Sandhurst, on Saturday night, a very large audience was present at the Lyceum Theatre, and the bill-of-fare provided was in no way inferior to that set before the public at any of them. It included two now productions of Thatcher's, who introduced another local hit at our absent Territorial, in the shape of a parody on "Barney Avourneen," which he styles "Nixon Avourneen," and contains some humorous allusions to the worthy (?) magistrate's doings improper. Thatcher also poetized the subject of "Lansell's Nuisance" in a new song which was received, with shouts of laughter . . . Mr. Leeman in the course of the evening sang several of his best songs, and was encored, and in the glees which were performed by himself, Thatcher, and Madame Vitelli, his fine bass voice was most effective . . .

"LYCEUM THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (20 September 1859), 2 

This theatre was last night very numerously attended. An excellent evening's diversion was afforded, which concluded with a new dramatic production of Thatcher's, entitled "The Colonial Servant Girl," in which the colonial mistress, Mrs. Butterfly, is enacted by Madame Vitelli, Mr. Butterfly by Mr. Thatcher, and the Colonial Servant, by Mrs. Oakey. The Vaudeville (as it is termed) has no pretensions to the intricacy or working out of a regular farce or dramatic production, but is only intended as a comic medium for representing some of the disagreeables of colonial domestic life, and for giving the author an opportunity of travesting popular songs and airs, in which he is very successful. The Colonial Servant was played by Mrs. Oakey with great archness and humor, and in her acting she gained as much applause as in her singing. As is always the case on the occasion of the success of a new piece, the author (Mr. Thatcher), and subsequently the whole of the dramatis personae, were called before the curtain.

"ABBOTT'S LYCEUM", Bendigo Advertiser (3 October 1859), 3 

The attendance at Abbott's Lyceum on Saturday night was equal in point of numbers to that at any other place in Sandhurst, and the amusements were of the usual standard of excellence. Thatcher's new song in reference to the company making mania, was very successful, and the various hits contained in it at the numerous dodges and dodgers which it has caused to spring into existence, were well made and loudly applauded . . .

"LYCEUM THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (4 October 1859), 2 

Last night at the Lyceum the new burletta of "The Return Home," by Mr. Thatcher, was produced for the first time, with considerable success. The incident of the piece merely consists of the return home of a lucky Bendigo digger, Tom Smithers (Mr. Thatcher), who in digging costume, and with colonial manners and freedom of speech, creates some degree of astonishment in the unsophisticated minds of his sweetheart, Miss Lucy Saville (Madame Vitelli), and his sister, Miss Clara Smithers (Mrs. Oakey.) In the dialogue of such a piece, as might be supposed, there is great scope for the introduction of very humorous allusions, and the Bendigo digger's description of his adventures and misadventures on the goldfields, related in phraseology little understood at home, was very amusing. The piece also contains a number of those witticisms and local hits which generally constitute the chief attractions in the productions of the "Inimitable." The various subjects of mining companies, waterworks shares, safe robberies, &c., are humorously introduced, and puns made to any extent. Mrs. Oakey, as she always does, acted with vivacity and humor, and sang capitally. Madame Vitelli also sang some of the airs incidental to the piece with good taste and execution. The acting of Thatcher in the part of Tom Smithers would have been more successful if he would only infuse a little more spirit and energy in his style, with not so much monotony in his tone of "reading" the part. On the whole, with another rehearsal, the burletta bids fair to become as great a hit as the "Colonial Servant," and to have as long and as successful a run. The house was very well attended.

"PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS. ABBOTT'S LYCEUM", Bendigo Advertiser (10 October 1859), 3 

This house was crowded to excess even at the commencement of the performances, and as the evening wore on, certain circumstances attracted a large addition to the audience, and kept both the Theatre and Hotel full in every part to the hour of closing.

The performances commenced with the usual vocal selections, and Madame Vitelli and Mrs. Oakey were in excellent voice, and received the usual encores and double encores. Thatcher's budget of locals followed, which were, of course, uproariously applauded, and the first part of the entertainments ended by his singing, for the second time, a song about a recent alleged indiscretion. In this song, although names were not mentioned at full length, enough was said to make the identification of the persons alluded to perfectly easy. The song, which is clever enough (putting the taste and propriety or the thing out of the question,) was also well received, although some two or three amongst the audience, notwithstanding that they were in a woful [sic] minority, hissed the singer most conscientiously. No sooner was the curtain down than a rumor circulated through the house that there was about to be a scene performed which was not down in the bills, and it was not long before the rumor received its first instalment of confirmation. At about ten o'clock, some time after the song had been sung, Mr. Heffernan, the landlord of the Shamrock, and Mr. Costello, of the Axedale Inn, entered the Hotel. Mr. Heffernan was in a state of great excitement, and used violent language towards Mr. Abbott for permitting the singing of the song alluded to. Mr. Abbott behaved with a coolness which, under the circumstances, was highly commendable, and Mr. Heffernan at last went away. Up to this time Costello did not particularly commit himself, further than by delivering himself of some violent threats as to what he would do with Thatcher if he could find him. Not finding Thatcher in the house, Costello walked through the theatre, went behind the scenes by the entrance which communicates with the orchestra, and abruptly entered the room where Madame Vitelli and Mrs. Oakey were dressing, alarming those ladies not a little by his intrusion and the violence of his language. Not succeeding, however, in finding Thatcher, Costello retired, and for the time all fears of a disturbance seemed to be over; and "The Return Home" was performed without interruption.

On Thatcher's next appearance, on the stage, however, Costello, who was then standing at the bar end of the room, challenged him in gross terms to come down. Thatcher, accordingly, left the stage, and was asking Costello what he wanted, when the latter struck him heavily, a compliment which was immediately returned, and a scrimmage ensued, in which Costello got severely handled. He was almost immediately given in custody of a policeman, but was bailed out in the course of the night. This incident caused the greatest excitement, and several minor skirmishes occurred during the evening. The denouement of this improvised dramatic novelty will take place at the Police Court this morning.

"LYCEUM THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (11 October 1859), 2 

Last night, at this place of amusement, in consequence of the great excitement which had been occasioned on Saturday night (alluded to in yesterday's ADVERTISER) the audience was one of the most numerous that had ever assembled within its walls, the all-absorbing question with whom was, would Thatcher sing, or suppress the song which had occasioned this civil warfare. After Mr. Leeman and Mrs. Oakey had sung their portion of the programme, Mr. Thatcher sang two of his popular travesties, and on a second encore being called for, he came forward, and after stating that they were all aware of the proceedings which had taken place since he had sung the song on the two previous occasions, he said when he wrote the song he had no intention to create dissension in the mind of anybody. He was quite prepared to contend that there was nothing licentious or wrong in the song, as one of the papers had said; and he would state that he had never brought forward on one occasion anything that had not met with the entire approbation of the public. He only wished to say that certain parties in town, who had nothing to do with this matter, wished to make the quarrel their own, and came prepared to - (A voice - "To fight I suppose.") If the ladies and gentlemen in the room thought that it would be prudent in him not to sing the song he would do so. Ever since he had been on Bendigo he had always submitted himself to the public, and he would have been hissed from the stage if he had done anything wrong. After alluding to the "scene" which had taken place between himself and a certain party in the theatre on Saturday night, Mr. Thatcher again stated that there was nothing licentious or wrong in the song. He said he would (as they did at great meetings) put the motion to the meeting whether he should sing the song or not, and let it be decided by a show of hands. Mr. Thatcher then put the question in the orthodox style of proceeding at a public meeting, and the motion for the song to be sung was carried amidst great applause, which, indeed, had accompanied him throughout his explanation. No hands were held up (that could be distinguished) to negative his motion, although one or two hisses were audible near the stage. The song was then sung; but although Mr. Thatcher had been very explicit in stating that the song in question contained nothing "licentious or wrong," we may remark that in the song produced last night, certain passages, which were, to say the least of them, "objectionable," were very carefully expunged. In fact the song sung last night was merely a garbled version of that which has caused all the disturbance, and it was sung without the by-play and gesture which gave such vivid effect to the singing. At least one whole verse was omitted, various objectionable phrases were expunged, and fictitious names introduced instead of the real ones. It was like an expurgated edition of Martial's Epigrams. Mr. Thatcher's attempted vindication of the song, and his taking the opinion of the audience whether he should sing it, were all so much bunkum; since, after all, he did not venture to give the song of Saturday night. This is the best refutation of himself. By submitting this garbled milk-and-water version of the song to the audience, he, in fact, confesses that it is licentious and unfit to be sung before a respectable assembly.

"A PUBLIC NUISANCE (To the Editor of the . . .)", Bendigo Advertiser (10 October 1859), 3 

Sir, - Walking along Pall Mall on Saturday evening I dropped into Abbott's to hear a song, and, to my annoyance, heard Thatcher vomiting his obnoxious, defamatory aspersions. Now, Sir, it is time that the authorities of Sandhurst should put a stop to this evil. To a certain class of the community it may be very captivating, and fill the pockets of host Abbott, but it is not commendable for a town councillor to encourage and employ such a nuisance for pecuniary ends. There is not a right-thinking man who does not condemn this pandering to the low tastes of a portion of the public; and I appeal to my fellow citizens who are of the same mind, if this evil could not be eradicated out of Sandhurst.
Your obedient servant
9th October, 1859.

"THE POET'S APPEAL (To the Editor of the . . .)", Bendigo Advertiser (10 October 1859), 3 

Sir, - As you are probably aware, my late song has given considerable offence to one of the parties concerned. I wish, however, through the medium of your journal, to show how the matter stands, and leave a discerning public to say whether I have stepped out of the path of my legitimate functions or not.

In the Advertiser of Friday last, a somewhat vague report of the late occurrence was published, and accordingly I judged that if the Bendigo Press could touch on the affair, a fortiori, I, in my capacity of poetical newsmonger, might be allowed to dilate upon it. Everybody looked naturally enough for a new local, and accordingly the song was advertised. On the same day a certain "interested party" waited personally on me, and intimated his desire that the subject should not be alluded to by me. I assured him that as the song was advertised I should not think of disappointing the public. He then asked me to name my own terms not to touch upon the matter at all. I replied that I was bound to keep faith with the public, otherwise it was drawing a house by false pretences, and I firmly refused to accept any pecuniary consideration as an equivalent for the suppression of the said song. I assured him that, like the Press, I would mention no names, and that the song should be merely a laughable account of the supremely ridiculous affair. I leave it to the large audience of Saturday to say whether I have not kept to my promise to Mr. ----. Now, Sir, I wish the public distinctly to understand that I could have had L.60 - nay, even L.100 - to break my faith with them, - but cui bono? The people and Press of Bendigo would have condemned such corruption on my part, and it would then have appeared that I made money, not by my profession, but by levying a kind of black mail. It was also sneeringly said by one or two parties that Thatcher had been bought off, and that I had been well tipp'd not to produce the song.

Of the two courses open to me I consider I chose the honest straightforward one, and if I have erred, it has certainly been against my pecuniary interest. I have acted, as I imagine, conscientiously, and with this explanation I leave the matter with the Bendigo public, who have always hitherto appreciated the strenuous efforts made for their amusement by
Your obedient servant,
Belvidere Hotel, Sunday Evening.

[Editorial] "THE POET'S LICENSE", Bendigo Advertiser (10 October 1859), 2 

The disgraceful proceedings at the Lyceum Theatre on Saturday evening challenge public attention to a subject which indeed could not much longer pass without notice, even had they not taken place. Several letters have been addressed to us in reference to this matter, and amongst them is one from Mr. Thatcher, endeavouring to exculpate himself from blame. The account of the row, or rather rows, which we give in another column, by no means comprises all that occurred. There seems to have been quite a rioting epidemic on Saturday evening, and rumor speaks of various episodes which have grown out of the main quarrel. It is really with very great reluctance that we notice the subject at all, and so far assist in keeping up any excitement that exists, but it is high time for the public journalist to denounce a discreditable exhibition when the public peace has been broken, a strong feeling of exasperation caused, and if we are not mistaken, the seeds of future violence and outrage sown.

The violent proceedings of Saturday evening were caused by a song, composed and sung by Mr. Thatcher, in reference, to a piece of scandal obscurely hinted at in a paragraph in this journal a few days since. This composition, it seems, far transgresses the ordinary license allowed to satirical writers and singers. It is not only coarse and licentious, but involves particular individuals, with hardly the thinnest veil cast, over their names and identity. How muchsoever some of the persons implicated may deserve the lash, there is at least one person involved in it - and that a woman - whose character is most unfairly compromised by this production. Can we then wonder at the result? The comic singer, whose profession is to trade upon the follies and the foibles of mankind, stands ever on the verge of a dangerous precipice, which any indiscretion may precipitate him into. Mr. Thatcher in this instance has transgressed the bounds of decent reserve, and the result is, as a matter of course, violence. If we lived in America, probably it would be a case of revolvers and bowie knives, but as we are a British community it is only a matter of fisticuffs and of the lock-up. We may congratulate ourselves that so far the disorderly proceedings have, not assumed a very serious aspect, but if report speaks truly there is every probability that worse is to come, and no one knows where the matter will end. If these quarrels among us seldom culminate in a tragic result, it is because public opinion steps in and checks further offence and exasperation. We trust that public opinion will have this effect now, and will cause such timely moderation and forbearance as will put an end to the dissensions that have commenced, and that are very likely to produce deplorable results. It should be enough that the peace has been already broken, to induce every right thinking man to discountenance that which has led to this deplorable result. The personal attack is so scurrilous and licentious, and it is so evident who is referred to, that there should not be any hesitation in at once withdrawing the song from the programme of the amusements of the Lyceum. If the author is reckless of consequences, Mr. Abbott, at all events, has a character to lose, and it is, commercially speaking, not a profitable transaction for him to sustain serious injury in certain vital respects for the sake of the paltry profit that may be reaped by a successful satirical song.

Something may be said about the latitude which should be allowed in these matters. It has been urged that many previous songs have been sung, severely reflecting upon individuals, but in these cases the individuals were public men, and consequently were amenable to the public. If a magistrate chooses to make himself the scandal of the district by escorting Cyprians home from the Court where he has been presiding, he insults the public whose servant he is, and his conduct is open to comment, and to animadversion. Not so in the case of a private individual, who is left to choose his company according to his taste. If incidents of a peculiar or a comic description, or which illustrate phases of human nature, occur in private life, the satirist who ventures to make use of them must do so with no ordinary circumspection. He is walking on a mine, which may at any time explode and blow him into the air. In every community circumstances constantly occur of so serious and so delicate a character that any attempt to make them matter of public comment and jest would at once rouse the worst passions and cause deplorable results. People have the common sense and the forbearance, or the prudence, not to drag these matters into open day, and make them the subject of vulgar scoff and jeer. Human nature, depraved as it is, has some of the finer feelings left, and it recognises some things as too sacred to be trifled with. There are certain decent reservations, which by common consent are made, and the man who disregards them must expect to find himself treated as a common nuisance. A sense of self-preservation leads people to take this course, for who amongst us that gloats over the exposure of another's follies would like the dissecting-knife to be employed upon ourselves. "There is a skeleton in every house," is the remark of one well acquainted with human nature. The satirist who oversteps the limits of his province, and drags the private affairs of individuals before the public, must expect to be served with the same sauce. Were this rule enforced in the present instance, what an excruciating operation could be performed upon the songster himself! We commend this consideration to Mr. Thatcher, and it may induce him when shooting folly as it flies, however faithful the likeness of the individual, not broadly to indicate him. A good artist has no reason when he has painted chanticleer, to write under it, "this is a cock"! When it is necessary for effect to be personally scurrilous, it indicates the absence of real merit. It does not require a mind very much above that of a Billingsgate fishwoman to secure a certain amount of eclat in abusing people by name and fixing upon them the worst epithets.

We are strongly of opinion that in this case the utmost latitude that can be granted has been very far passed, and that it is necessary for the sake of decency and the preservation of the peace to put a stop to this nightly outrage upon private feelings, and this daily parading before the public of an intimation which is the cause of discord in private families. Let the nuisance be put a stop to before any further scandal is caused.


At the Sandhurst Police Court on Monday, Michael F. Costello was charged with fighting in a public place.

Senior-constable Sherson stated that he was on duty in Pall Mall at about a quarter to 11 o'clock, and hearing of a disturbance he went into the Lyceum, and found Messrs. Thatcher and Costello fighting. Costello was put out, and ho then took him into custody.

Cross-examined by Mr. O'Loughlin. He took the smallest into custody. Did not take any one else

Joseph Henry Abbott deposed that on Saturday night, shortly after 11 o'clock, he was fetched into the concert room, and found Messrs. Thatcher and Costello fighting. The police, who were in the room, took charge of Costello. The police were in the room because of the threatening language of Costello.

By the Bench. - Did not give the prisoner in charge. Would have done so, but the police said it was unnecessary. Witness did not consider the song sung was an improper or a libellous one. He was no judge of poetry, but he was of opinion that it was not an improper song. He would swear that he did not know there were any allusions to a respectable female. He had been asked to prevent the "ribald verses" being sung.

Cross-examination renewed. - Witness believed that the row arose from a combination of circumstances. The song, no doubt, formed one.

Joseph Burgess deposed to having seen Costello strike Thatcher first. Heard Thatcher first say to Costello, "Do you want me?" In cross examination, he said that he had heard more improper songs sung at the Shamrock by Thatcher.

Mr. O'Loughlin, for the defence, stated that he was instructed that a very improper song had been sung, in which Mrs. Costello's name had been made use of very freely, and an allusion made reflecting on her character as a respectable woman. In the songs which Mr. Thatcher had hitherto penned, he (Mr. O'Loughlin) was happy to say that he had been satisfied with satirising men. (The Chairman of the Bench. "And women, too.") Yes, in one case, as to the Bullock Creek and the leeches. (Laughter.) But that was not indecent. He (the counsel) was sorry to see a gentleman like Mr. Abbott occupying the position of a Town Councillor, and a respectable man, lending himself, in allowing the singing of the song, to pander to a morbid taste to draw a crowd to his house to hear a gross libel on a respectable family. It was bad taste to take up Mr. Costello, who had done no more than any married man, or any man who had a sister, or could recollect a mother, would have done under the circumstances, and he would most respectfully submit to the Bench that it would be bad taste to fine him for it. It had been stated by a witness that worse had boon done at the Shamrock. He (Mr. O'Loughlin) had never heard it (the Chairman thought he had), but that was no argument, and any man with the spirit of a man would have acted as his client had. If men were to be allowed to sing such songs, and the parties reflected on had the spirit of men, they would resent it, and he thought that the Bench, if they had the spirit of men, would dismiss the case, instead of holding out a premium to come and write such libellous songs, or to parties to allow them to be sung in their establishments.

Mr. Edward O'Keefe was here observed by the counsel, and pounced upon as a witness. He was at the Lyceum on Saturday night. He heard part of the "Amorous Banker," and he never heard anything so scurrilous and improper; there could be no mistake as to the party alluded to. Had his wife been so sung of he would not have shaken hands in a very friendly manner with the singer.

John Hasker was similarly "stuck up" and compelled to give evidence. Heard a portion of the song referred to. It was not a proper song to be sung in a public place. He would be annoyed if any one sung the same about his wife. He was no judge, and did not know whether it was proper or improper, but it certainly was not a pleasant song for those parties concerned. If he had not heard the rumour previously he should not have known to whom it alluded.

The magistrates then retired for about 30 minutes, and on their return the Chairman stated that the Bench considered, under all circumstances, the ends of justice would be answered by a light fine, and accordingly fined Costello 1s. only.

"A MOTHERLY SUGGESTION TO THE 'INIMITABLE' ((To the Editor of the . . .)", Bendigo Advertiser (12 October 1859), 3 

Sir, - You will excuse my writing to you on this occasion; but, Sir, I feel as a wife ought to feel who has any regard for her husband. I am told my husband was at Abbott's Lyceum on Saturday evening, and was heard to laugh at Thatcher's song. Oh, had I been there, I would have hissed the singer off the stage, and shown my husband that he ought not to countenance an individual of the kind.

One fact my husband has told me - that he was to be pitied, as he had ne other method of living. I pity the creature, and if Mr. B, and Mrs. J. (who are, Mr. Editor, my most intimate friends) will assist me in getting up a subscription to enable Thatcher to live by a more lawful calling than the wretched means by which, he now exists, it will be the means of preventing my husband, and every other married man on Bendigo, from listening to Thatcher's vulgar songs.
I am, Sir, yours,
11th October, 1850.

"SUMMARY OF GENERAL NEWS", Bendigo Advertiser (15 October 1859), 2 

. . . At Abbotts Lyceum the Inimitable Ihatcher is warbling his original and local ditties to admiring audiences. Mrs. Oakey, Madame Vitelli, and Mr. Leeman, are also singing there, and are nightly encored. In reference to the former performer, we may allude to a slight disturbance which took place the other evening. The circumstance, which may be briefly told, was, although slight in itself, the cause of a serious fracas: - One of our "influentials" had, it appears, while taking his ease at his inn, offered some rudeness to the buxom landlady of the hostelrie, while she, Lucrecce-like, resisting this Tarquin mode of making love, screamed most lustily. The consequence was (so it is said) the husband rushed in, while the other jumped out of the window; a pursuit - a capture - an administering of corporeal punishment, and a termination to the affair by the husband's injured feelings being healed by a plaister in the form of a cheque for L.200. Such a subject was of too interesting a nature for our scandal-loving community for our local satirical poet, Thatcher, to let escape him, nnd he forthwith immortalised all the parties in a poetical romance. On the second occasion of the song being sung, the husband attacked the singer in the Theatre; previous to which, however, Mr. Heffernan, of the Shamrock, had used warm language to Mr. Abbott, of the Lyceum, for allowing the song to be sung in his place, and on the second occasion alluded to there was such a fracas in the place with poets, publicans, and pugilists, that the Lyceum appeared to be transformed for the nonce into a place designated by quite a different name. The poet, however, on being attacked, shewed that he could strike out from the shoulder," as well as "strike the lyre," and his opponent was taken off to the lock-up in rather a dilapidated condition, instead of coming off victorious. The conclusion was a fine of a shilling, inflicted at the Police Court on the following Monday morning. Mr. Thatcher thought it judicious, however, to clean so his song of some of the rather too strongly pointed allusions, and he continues to sing it nightly to crowded houses.

ASSOCIATIONS: Michael Francis Costello

"SATURDAY NIGHT'S AMUSEMENTS", Bendigo Advertiser (24 October 1859), 2 

. . . Thatcher produced several original compositions on the most noticeable of passing events, the latest of which is a good hit at the "New Chum Company," and another little ditty embodying the incident that occurred the other day of a well known solicitor, aiding a constable to convey a refractory subject to the lock-up, in which the unusual conjunction of law and justice is very wittily treated . . .

A NEW WAY TO SERVE OLD FRIENDS. THE HAYMARKET THEATRE (To the Editor of the . . .)", Bendigo Advertiser (22 November 1859), 3 

Sir, - Wishing to see Mr. G. V. Brooke's fine impersonation of Sir Giles Overreach, I went to the Haymarket Theatre to-night, and to my astonishment was refused admission. On remonstrating with the doorkeeper, who knew me perfectly well, he informed me it was by Mr. G. V. Brooke's express command. I can scarcely believe that that gentleman would refuse admission to an old stager, who has often had the pleasure of playing in the orchestra in London while he performed on the stage. Trusting that this arbitrary regulation will be repealed.
I remain, Sir, your obedient servant,
21st Nov., 1859.

"THE LYCEUM THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (28 November 1859), 3 

Saturday night this place of amusement was no exception to previous ones, the house being crowded . . . Thatcher had during the past few days "kittled up a thairm" as Burns says, about a brother professional who had offended him, and most certainly the legitimate drama got the worst of it on this occasion, as evinced by the roars of laughter among the audience, to the majority of whom the incident referred to in the song was no secret.

ASSOCIATIONS: Gustavus Vaughan Brooke

"LYCEUM THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (26 November 1859), 2 

The performances which were given last night at the Lyceum Theatre, for the benefit of the funds of the Hospital, were of a superior and more entertaining description than on other ordinary nights. The concert included, in addition to Mrs. Oakey, Madame Vitelli, the assistance (volunteered on the occasion) of Messrs. Leeman and Bennett . . . In the course of the evening Mr. Thatcher delivered the following address, composed by himself.

Welcome, my friends, methinks you have done right
In lending us your presence thus to-night.
The sacred cause of Charity is ours,
And bids us now exert our feeble powers.
Smile on our efforts, for we do our best,
Happy if we can succour the distressed.
The digger toils to get his share of wealth,
Cheerful is he if only blessed with health.
In spite of broiling suns, he works away,
And when Sol sinks, homeward he bends his way;
There in the distance, see his little tent,
Where all his happiest moments have been spent;
His wife with smiles receives him at the door,
His children greet him - what can he want more?
This is the bright side of the picture : now
Behold him stretched with agonized brow
The earth has cav'd in, buried him beneath,
And by a miracle he's saved from death.
His leg is broken, and his mourning wife
Sees with dismay their sole support of life
Struck to the ground - alas! deprived of power
Ah! Who shall aid them in their bitter hour?
Their means are small; to pay a doctor's fee
Would soon reduce them to dread poverty.
Be it our task to tell them aid is near
How sweet to wipe away the mourner's tear!
Shall it be said that this land, rich in gold,
Where in its pristine form lies wealth untold.
Could not support the suff'ring sons of toil?
It must not be; our temp'rate blood would boil
If tauntingly it ever should be said
The sick and dying vainly asked our aid.
What changes take place here from day to day!
Riches make to them wings and fly away.
The merchant here may find unto his sorrow
Himself a ruined man upon the morrow.
Amidst prolusion, bankruptcy oft lurks,
There's our Commissioner of Public Works
Gone to the dogs: the firm is short of cash.
If thus a "King" comes down with such a crash,
How can we, humble individuals, say
We mayn't be like this Minister some day.
If we have wealth, oh! let us not abuse it,
But in a proper manner always use it.
Charity covereth multitudes of sins;
Some say that charity at home begins;
Let it not end there - lend a helping hand
To those who need it in this golden land.
Uphold these blessed institutions here -
Protect the poor, the sick, and dying cheer.
Let each one give all that he can afford,
And charity will bring its own reward.

That the Theatre on this occasion was so poorly attended speaks volumes for the want of charity in the district. We can only state that we are sorry for it, and hope that those who refused to give a helping hand to the Hospital may never be in a position to require its aid.

"LYCECM THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (2 December 1859), 2 

An original farce by Mr. Thatcher was produced for the first time last night at the Lyceum Theatre. The farce, which is entitled "Where's my Peter," makes up in cleverly written dialogue what it wants in intricacy of plot, which merely consists of the illustration of an incident, probably too common in the colony. A faithless Peter Brown (Mr. Thatcher) leaves his first Mrs. B. at home, and emigrates to Australia. He, of course, follows the colonial custom, and makes a second matrimonial venture (Madame Vitelli), and after a few years finds his bargain questioned by the appearance of a Mrs. Brown (Mrs. Oakey), who is searching for her runaway husband, also bearing the euphonious name of Peter Brown. Severa1 amusing incidents were manufactured out of the case of mistaken identity, but ultimately the Mrs. Brown from home finds out that she has made a mistake, and the farce ends by her disconsolate appeal to the audience to inform her "Where's my Peter?" The acting of the several performers was very fair, particularly the humorous performance of Mrs. Oakey, although the introduction of a song or two, we think, would have been of considerable value to the piece.

"LYCEUM THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (17 December 1859), 2 

We see that Mr. Thatcher and Madame Vitelli will make a farewell appearance to-night at the Lyceum Theatre, they having accepted an engagement at Castlemaine for some time. An engagement has been made with Mr. Small, who will make his appearance to night at the Lyceum . . .

"THE THEATRE", Mount Alexander Mail [Castlemaine, VIC] (26 December 1859), 3 

Saturday evening, the theatre was re-opened for the Christmas season with an unusually attractive programme. Madame Vltelli, a very pleasing vocalist; Mr. Thatcher, surnamed the "Inimitable", whose colonial songs, general and local, are so well known; Mr. Leeman, ballad singer; with Burbank, Dave Carson and other heroes of the sable stage: all contrive in their respective roles to make up a very pleasant and amusing entertainment. This was the first occasion, we believe of Madame Vitelli's appearance in Castlemaine, and the impression she has made is decidedly favorable in the highest degree. Thatcher was announced to sing a comic song upon local subjects, and a good deal of expectation was afloat as to the topics that would be introduced. Somewhat to the disappointment of many of the audience, it was found to be confined to a few sarcasms on Mr. Bruce, and "the German Importations." Mr. Thatcher will find more material for "funny" songs on the report of a certain interview which appeared in our paper not very long since, but which perhaps has escaped his notice. This gentleman was well received by the audience; his voice is not entitled to much commendation for melodious qualities, but the humour of his songs, and the arch drollery with which he gives expression, fully compensate for any deficiency that may be discernible in other respects. The minstrels were greeted with a shout ot hearty welcome directly they made their entrance on to the stage. Burnbank is as vigorous as ever in his exhibitions of the saltatory art, as supposed to be commonly practised among diggers, and Carson's grotesque comicalities are irresistible. The whole entertainment is eminently diverting, and it will be well patronized we should think during the Christmas holidays . . .

"THE THEATRE", Mount Alexander Mail (30 December 1859), 5 

One of the greatest hits made by Thatcher was on Wednesday evening, in his comic song entitled "The Railway Strike." It was received with shouts of applause, and Mr. Thatcher had to repeat it three times. This gentleman possesses a great deal of talent in versification with a keen perception of the humourous, and the originality and wit of his local comic songs invariably secure for them a warm reception from the audience who have the pleasure of listening to them. Madame Vitelli's charming ballads are among the most pleasing features of the entertainment, which is amusingly diversified by the mirth-provoking eccentricities of the "darkies," - Carson, Burbank and Co.

ASSOCIATIONS: Dave Carson (San Francisco Minstrels)


"LYCEUM THEATRE", Bendigo Advertiser (10 January 1860), 2 

Last night at the Lyceum, Mr. Murray made a very successful first appearance in the character of Tim Moore, in the farce of the "Irish Lion" . . . Miss Josephine Fiddes also made a very successful debut in the character of Mrs. Fizgig . . . Mr. Thatcher made his reappearance here last night, and in a new song gave a fresh edition of the late Scottish Gathering. The song is not written in Thatcher's happiest or most humorous vein; but some of the allusions to the displays of our celebrities were well received by the audience.

ASSOCIATIONS: Dominick Murray; Josephine Fiddes (from 1863 Mrs. Dominick Murray)

"THE THEATRE", Mount Alexander Mail [Castlemaine, VIC] (16 January 1860), 3 

On Saturday evening Madame Vitelli, Mr. Thatcher, Mr. Leeman, and the serenaders, commenced another engagement for a week at the Theatre . . .

"THE THEATRE", Mount Alexander Mail (18 January 1860), 3 

The concerts at the Theatre will be enlivened by a "local sketch" from the pen of Mr. Thatcher. We are not acquainted with the subject, but that it will be universally diverting we have not the slightest doubt. Last night Mr. Thatcher sang a very clever song, in which mention was made of several of our municipal councillors, of their doings in their Council, and of their proceedings out of it. Mr. Morley, also came in for mention, and the allusions to him were received with roars of laughter. Mr. Thatcher will repeat the song "with additions" to-night.

ASSOCIATIONS: Serenaders = San Francisco Minstrels

"GOLDEN AGE THEATRE", Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser (27 February 1860), 3 

The concerts given on Friday and Saturday evening by the celebrated Thatcher and company, were very successful, especially on Saturday evening when the house was crowded. Madame Vitelli, and Messrs. Leeman and Owens assisted and contributed to render the concert very interesting. Two local comic songs, one touching on the Garrick Club, Dr. Laidman's snake bites, &c., and the other on the Mining Board Election, and the consternation of the husband of Queen Victoria on hearing that German miners were not allowed to vote, were sung by Mr. Thatcher amidst shouts of laughter.

ASSOCIATIONS: Frederick Leeman; Robert Owen

"AMUSEMENTS AT INGLEWOOD", The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (13 April 1860), 6 

. . . The Theatre Royal has been open, and Thatcher and company continue their entertainments at the Olympic. We are glad to notice that in the latter that the pianoforte has been placed in better position: a series of trio performances for piano, violin, and flute, in which Thatcher appears in a new character, as flautist, have been introduced. Leeman has taken his place as basso, but his voices is not heard to anything like the advantage it would be if the acoustics of the room were slightly improved. The singing sounds as dead as if he were placed immediately before a brick wall, and as a consequence the efforts of the singer are not appreciated. Thatcher has introduced other new songs, amongst which "April Fools Day," on the tricks played upon the doctors, - and "The Lawyer's Quarrel," are received with due enthusiasm. Madame Vitelli still continues as great a favourite as ever, - Advertiser.

"LAMPLOUGH", Bendigo Advertiser (14 May 1860), 3 

About a week ago a Mr. Kilmartin entered into an arrangement with the manager of the Theatre Royal to produce a three-act melodrama entitled "Hirem and Marian," of which he is the author. The piece was produced on Thursday night last, and was witnessed with considerable amusement by a rather numerous audience. Hardly had the first scene been gone through before the author publicly stated that the company was so far wandering from the original text as to mystify the audience and to mar the plot of his piece. Subsequently a difficulty arose behind the curtain, between the author on the one part, and the company on the other part, which resulted in Mr. Dale appearing before the green baize and informing the audience that the melodrama was so peculiarly and vaguely written as regarded any plot, the consequence of Mr. Kilmartin not being accustomed to writing for stage representation, as to compel the manager to cut out certain passages and make other alterations which he deemed necessary to preserve unity, &c. Mr. Dale further stated that the manager would leave it to the audience to decide whether the company should read their respective parts from the book in order to give the author due justice, or to trust to memory as heretofore. A majority of the audience were in favor of the parts being read, and consequently the curtain rose disclosing the figures on the stage each with a book in hand, and so the piece proceeded and was brought to a termination. It must be confessed that the audience at the close of the play were about as well informed as to the plot of the melodrama as previously to its production on the stage, but whether this mysticism arose from the dramatis personae not attending to the text, or that the author's imagination is somewhat of a vague nature, is a problem that the wisest among us have scarcely yet solved.

However, an erratic ballad singer generally known by the appellation of the "inimitable" Thatcher, chose on Wednesday evening to introduce, in the course of his entertainment at the Theatre Royal, a satirical song on the merits of this identical melodrama, the language of which being deemed by Mr. Kilmartin, who was present, libellous and malicious, he forthwith instructed Mr. McDonogh to commence legal proceedings against the writer and singer, which that sage of the law has obeyed by summoning Mr. Thatcher to appear at the Police Court on Monday when the case will be gone into. This proceeding has created much amusement, and will lead to such a crowding of the Police Court as has not been known since its opening. - M. and D. Advertiser.

"MELBOURNE (From our Own Correspondent) 14th May", The Star (16 May 1860), 3 

. . . Of all the converts to conservatism in these latter days, the most notable example is Mr. Thomas Carpenter, member for Mandurang, - formerly assayer to the Bank of Victoria at Sandhurst, and immortalised in song under the soubriquet of "Fighting Tommy." Thus sang Thatcher, - he that of old was wont to warble on Ballarat . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Carpenter (d. 1882)

"LAMPLOUGH", Mount Alexander Mail (18 May 1860), 5 

Thatcher, the comic singer, has been performing here for four nights last week, to well-filled houses. The song which was most vociferously applauded was "Off to Snowy River," and in this manner the diggers gave vent to their opinion of that to-be great rush. He gave us a local song or rather doggerel, in which Mr. Kilmartin and his "Hirem and Marian" were related as the butts. The angry poet, at once engaged Mr. McDonogh to raise an action; and took out a summons. He was afterwards advised not to set the summons, but to have his tu quoque by inditing a rhyme against the insulting Thatcher. This he is going to do, and it will be sung on the occasion of Mr. Bennet's benefit on Monday next . . .

"MR. THATCHER'S CONCERT", Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (9 June 1860), 2 

The Hamiltonians have really this week had a treat, and we should think Mr. Thatcher must also have been pleased with the crowded rooms and applauding audiences which have nightly greeted his efforts to amuse. It is positively exhilarating to the mental, and, consequently, to the moral nature, to get one's spirits roused into pleased exertion from the dull monotony of Hamilton life. When you hear Thatcher, you must laugh; he is a natural punster as well as song-writer, and his jokes and hits are excellent. In the duets with Madame Vitelli, his by play is the very essence of quiet Comic acting; and, at the same time, with all the slang introduced into his digging ditties, his singing and acting is still gentlemanly throughout. By Madame Vitelli and Herr Schott, he is ably supported; indeed, in the opinion of most hearers, Madame Vitelli's singing is the chief attraction of these concerts. She is par excellence a ballad singer, and that, too, in our humble and unsophisticated idea, is superior to bravura. She sings with sweetness, and great taste and feeling; articulating each word, nay, each syllable, clearly and distinctly - a quality very rare indeed amongst the so-called best vocalists in Melbourne. We prefer, and we fancy most folks do, like to be carried away, not by the tones alone, but with the tender words which the music but clothe. Both are required to the full enjoyment of a song. The words speak to the understanding, while the music of the voice or instrument carries their meaning to the heart. It would be invidious to single out any one of her many lays with which she enraptured her audience on Thursday evening, all were so good; but we cannot help paying a tribute to her effective giving of "Little Nelly," "Leonora," and "Sound the Pibroch," the first two especially. Madame Vitelli's notes in the minor key are her best, but on the whole she is perfect mistress of her delightful art. Herr Schott is a first-rate pianist, and played the accompaniments with great skill. His performance on the oboe, when he imitated the Scotch bagpipe, convulsed the house with laughter, and nearly set the Caledonians present wild with excitement; if he had continued a little longer, we firmly expected to have seen a reel on foot. We wish them every success in their tour.

ASSOCIATIONs: James Arthur Schott (pianist, oboist)

"MR. THATCHER'S CONCERTS", Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (20 June 1860), 2 

The highly popular entertainments were continued on Monday and Tuesday evening last to crowded houses, and with well sustained success. Mr. Thatcher was ably supported by Madame Vitelli's distinguished vocal performances and by Herr Schott at the piano. Mr. Thatcher's comic songs, which abound in skilful touches of wit, give a graphic and most amusing description of colonial life and manners, from squatter life to bullock-driving and were greeted with enthusiastic applause from a most fashionable audience. Madame Vitelli's soprano singing was much admired, and Herr Schott's pieces and accompaniments, occasionally assisted on the flute by Mr. Thatcher were of a first-class order. Last night Mr. Thatcher gave several new songs, and amongst them an original one composed for the occasion, on the "Portland Rifle Brigade," the wit and good taste of which elicited unbounded applause. The encores were repeated and hearty. The company perform again this evening, as will be seen by advertisement in the proper column.

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC . . . BELFAST", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (7 July 1860), 2     

On Wednesday, 27th June, Mr. Thatcher gave the people of this township a taste of his quality, and was greatly relished; Madame Vitelli was prevented from singing through sudden indisposition, and her absence was sorely regretted.

"INGLEWOOD", Mount Alexander Mail (24 August 1860), 4 

Since the departure of Mr. and Mrs. Heir for Castlemaine, the Theatre Royal has been opened by Mr. Thatcher, who drew an excellent house on Monday evening, but very poor ones since . . . Mrs. Oakey and Madame Vitelli, who accompany him, are spoken highly of.

"INGLEWOOD POLICE COURT. Friday, 24th August, 1860 . . . SINGULAR ASSAULT. - Samuells v. Harons", Bendigo Advertiser (27 August 1860), 3 

. . . One of his witnesses (Mr. Miller the sheriff) was engaged selling the property on his (Mr. Samuells) behalf, when the defendant came behind him and smothered his face with a plaster, composed of mustard diluted with water . . . The Bench considered the assault a most unprovoked one, and the conduct of Mr. Samuells, however reprehensible, had nothing to do with it . . . He should not wish to ruin the defendant by giving heavy damages, but would inflict a fine of L5 and 5s costs. Mr. Samuells presented the amount as a donation to the poor box, but applied to the Bench that the defendant might be kept in custody till the amount was paid, or a warrant of execution issued. A subscription was afterwards got up by Mr. Thatcher, and the fine was paid. In the evening Thatcher sang a song at the theatre, composed on the occasion, which was received with bursts of applause.

"THATCHER'S ENTERTAINMENT", Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (8 September 1860), 3 

The above entertainment was repeated at the Theatre Royal on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday last. On the last named day the house was very well filled, and both the "Colonial Servant" and the "Return Home" were produced. The latter piece is decidedly the best of Mr. Thatcher's productions, notwithstanding the fact that the "Colonial Servant" was honored with the longest "run" on Bendigo. The dialogue is sparkling and witty, and abounds in puns, and the music is far superior to that of the other piece. Of the duets, those of "Welcome Home" (from Lucia di Lammermoor) and "When we keep a Station" are particularly noticeable; and the trio at the finale, "My dear Australian Home," was most beautifully rendered, the effect being considerably heightened by the last verse being sung pianissimo. Of the local songs, those of the "Inglewood Lawyer," the "Tree Decker," and the "Mustard Plaster," have been more than the others received with thunders of applause. The incidents of these songs are sufficiently ridiculous to ensure a warm reception, and the house during Mr. Thatcher's delivery of them has been kept nightly in roars of laughter. Madame Vitelli and Mrs. Oakey, also, have made themselves great favourites with the people of Inglewood for their effective ballad and duet singing. We understand that Mr. Thatcher and company proceed from this place to Back Creek, where they have announced a series of concerts at the theatre. - Inglewood Advertiser.

"THATCHER IS COMING", Ovens and Murray Advertiser [Beechworth, VIC] (6 October 1860), 3 

Mr. Charles Thatcher, the celebrated vocalist and composer, is on his way to the Ovens District, and will shortly be in Beechworth. His progress was impeded by the flooding of the Campaspee, that over having overflowed its banks from the late heavy rains, which appears to have been general. Mr. Thatcher is attended by an efficient staff, including Madame Vitelli, and Mr. and Mrs. Oakey.

"STAR THEATRE", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (31 October 1860), 2 

Mr. Thatcher and his talented company appeared before a Beechworth audience for the first time on Saturday night. The house was crowded in every part by a respectable audience, whose rapturous plaudits testified their appreciation of the performances. The singing was excellent on the part of the ladies, but Mr. Thatcher's style of singing - considering him solely as a comic singer - is susceptible of improvement. Perhaps his "Trip to the Ovens" had something to do with the apparent defect. His local song upon the Municipal Council was good, and excited the risible faculties of his hearers to a degree which must have been quite pleasing to the author. The water scheme and the 84 sluice-heads were happily burlesqued, several Councillors being jocosely alluded to. It was a great hit, and will bear repetition. The various songs of Madame Vitelli and Mrs. Oakey were well received, and met with an encore. The musical burletta entitled "Colonial Servants," concluded the entertainment, which was protracted to a late hour. Altogether Mr. Thatcher and his associates succeeded admirably, and will incline him to think that his "Trip to the Ovens" will be productive of tangible benefit to his deserving company. On Monday night there was a decided improvement in Mr. Thatcher's style, and yesterday evening he was even more successful in his exertions. The house was well filled on each occasion, the audience testifying their approbation by repeated plaudits. Mr. Thatcher purposes performing this evening, "positively the last appearance", on which occasion an entirely new programme will be submitted for the approbation of the audience, including a new piece entitled "the Return Home."

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC . . . CHILTERN", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (10 November 1860), 2 

Madame Vitelli, Mrs. Oakey, and Thatcher were at Chiltern at the end of last week; they betook them thence to Wahgunyah.

"WAHGUNYAH NEWS (From The Murray Advertiser) THATCHER'S LAST NIGHT AT RUTHERGLEN", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (17 November 1860), 3 

We have printed elsewhere a new local song (the Emperor of Wahgunyah) sung by the celebrated Thatcher on Wednesday evening, at the Star Theatre, Rutherglen, when the company also played a new musical burletta entitled "The Return Home," representing a gold digger (Thatcher in a red shirt) returning to London with a thousand pounds in his pocket, and how to take a "rise" out of his sweet heart (Madame Vitelli) and his sister (Mrs. Oakey.) It is altogether well conceived, and was well played on Wednesday evening by Thatcher and the two amiable and talented ladies of his company. Mrs. Oakey was very happy in her part, and Madame Vitelli acquitted herself most creditably, although we fear from her delicate appearance that she was suffering from a slight indisposition; both ladies have splendid voices, and what is more, they know how to use them. As for Thatcher, he is the same happy fellow all the world over - no one can sing like Thatcher - no one can write a song like Thatcher. The Emperor of Wahgunyah is a good hit, Foord is a really good fellow, and the song was received with tremendous applause. The company play at the Star Theatre, Chiltern, for the remainder of this week, and then proceed to Albury . . .

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (29 November 1860), 5 

At Albury, there is a police magistrate renowned for his eccentricities, and the extraordinary manner in which he performs his judicial functions. Thatcher, the vocalist, has been giving entertainments in Albury, and as his wont, lampooned some of the public celebrities in doggrel verse. For this offence Captain Brownrigg has found means to have him expelled the district. Thatcher, writing to the Ovens Constitution, says: - "Captain Brownrigg, has suddenly discovered some obsolete clause of the Publicans Act, which is so ridiculous in its nature, that it has long fallen into disuse, and actually prohibited my giving any more entertainments in that town."

"ALBURY DESPOTISM. To the Editor of the . . .", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (1 December 1860), 3 

SIR,- You will, doubtless, observe by the Albury papers that, after my giving two most successful performances in Albury, at the last of which there was not even standing room, the Police Magistrate, a Captain Brownrigg, has suddenly discovered some obsolete clause of the Publicans' Act, which is so ridiculous in its nature that it has long fallen into disuse, and actually prohibited my giving any more entertainments in that town. The fact is that in the exercise of my vocation as a travelling Charivari, or local Pasquin, I had occasion to comment on some of the public celebrities of Albury (in their public capacity) who make themselves eminently ridiculous, including a soi disant editor of the Banner, a paltry and narrowly circulated journal, and that in a spirit of vindictiveness, only to be paralleled by Austrian despotism, the Police Magistrate has virtually expelled me across the frontier. Now, sir, after such tyranny, I wish to know if Australia can be called a land of liberty. And what shall we say of a magistrate who so lowers his official dignity as to descend to distort the laws and rake amongst the ruins of bygone enactments to gratify feelings of revenge merely because he and other public characters of Albury were mentioned in a song? But what can we expect after the late case of Brownrigg v. McGill, where the magistrate acted, Cerberus like, as "prosecutor," "witness" and "judge?" Are we living in enlightened times, or are the days of the Inquisition to be revived? The obsolete clause in the Publicans' Act before mentioned was never enforced in New South Wales or Victoria before, and Captain Brownrigg in his unwarrantable outrage on public opinion, has no precedent whatever to quote. I leave New South Wales disgusted with such tyrannical treatment, where, throughout that colony, I have won golden opinions from all in my capacity of vocalist, and enjoyed that freedom which is the bulwark of the press and so dear to the heart of every British subject. I am happy to see that the Albury public, with but two or three exceptions, have risen as one man to denounce such an unwarrantable interference with the liberty of the subject, and to repudiate such an infamous abuse of authority on the part of the magistrate.
I remain, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
25th November, 1860.

ASSOCIATIONS: Marcus Freeman Brownrigg (d. 1884)

13 December 1860, death of Charles Thatcher senior, and 1854 sale of the stock-in-trade of the family business

"DIED", Brighton Gazette [Sussex, England] (20 December 1860), 5

On the 13th inst., at 57, King's Road, Brighton, after a short illness, Mr. Charles Robert Thatcher, aged 59, deeply regretted and much respected by all who knew him.

"OBITUARY", Bendigo Advertiser (19 February 1861), 2 

In the Home News, received by the last mail, we note the death of Mr. C. R. Thatcher, of Brighton, England, the father of the well known local singer. The deceased gentleman was one of the earliest and most zealous advocates of emigration to this colony in the year 1852, and many persons now resident on this goldfield, in Melbourne, and other parts of the colony, formerly inhabitants of Brighton, will well remember his activity and interest at several public meetings held in that town on the subject of emigration.

[Advertisement], Brighton Guardian [Sussex, England] (26 October 1864), 8

VALUABLE COLLECTION OF ARTICLES OF VERTU. SIX DAYS' SALE. 57, KING'S ROAD, BRIGHTON. The above Premises haring been Let on Lease, MESSRS. BARTLETT & ROE have the honour to announce that they are instructed by the Proprietor to Sell by Public Auction, on the Premises, 57, King s road, Brighton, on MONDAY, October 31st, and TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, and FRIDAY, Nov. 1st, 2nd, and 4th, and on MONDAY and TUESDAY, Nov. 7th and 8th, commencing each day at Twelve o'clock precisely,
THE EXTENSIVE AND VALUABLE COLLECTION OF ARTICLES OF VERTU, selected by the late C. R. Thatcher, consisting of Oriental, Sevres, Dresden, Berlin, Hochst, Furstenberg, and other Continental Porcelain, Wedgwood, and various English manufactures, groups and figures in bronze, porcelain, and pottery, marqueterie tables, ebony and other cabinets, Roman first, second, and third brass coins, a large assemblage of provincial tokens of the last century, medals, &c., choice shells, fossils, minerals, and ores, polished agates, great vanety of very fine specimens of amber, from Mozambique, in Africa, with enclosed insects, mosses, and weeds, a large assortment of gold and silver mounted Malacca and other canes, blackthorn and other walking sticks, paintings, portraits, framed drawings and engravings, Indian, Chinese, and other choice scarfs and handkerchiefs.
Also, the whole of the valuable SHOP FIXTURES . . .

"AN EXPLANATION. To the Editor of the . . .", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (22 December 1860), 2 

Sir, - You will favour us by stating in your next issue that the only parties in our two-wheeled trap were myself, Mrs. Oakey and boy. We were imprudently travelling on a bad road when the light had nearly gone. Mrs. Oakey alone sustained injury, having her left arm broken near the wrist. She was conveyed to the Lone Star Hotel where Dr. Hawkins, who was in immediate attendance, replaced the bone, and I am happy to say that under his careful treatment and unremitting attendance, Mrs. Oakey is rapidly recovering. As your informant states that Mr. Thatcher met with a very serious accident, and Madame Vitelli had broken her arm, we are fearful the error may occasion alarm to their friends.
Yours obediently,
Morse's Creek. Dec. 19th, 1860.

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC . . . BEECHWORTH", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (29 December 1860), 2 

Mr. Thatcher and his company returned from Morse's Creek early in the week, and have been performing at the Star since Christmas-Day.


"CHRISTMAS SPORTS AT VIOLET TOWN", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (12 January 1861), 2 

. . . New Year's Day was celebrated with a cricket-match, foot races, &c., and the Christmas holidays were most delightfully concluded with a musical entertainment given by that amusing vocalist Mr. Thatcher, and his charming companions Mesdames Oakey and Vitelli.

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC . . . BENDIGO", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (30 March 1861), 2 

. . . At the Lyceum, on Saturday, Mr. Thatcher, Madame Vitelli, and Mrs. Stuart Ellis, made their reappearance at the promenade concerts, when the singing of both the ladles was honoured with an encore. Thatcher, in addition to his old favourites, sang two new local songs, in which all the gossip and scandal of Bendigo were introduced, and, as might be expected, "took" amazingly. During the intervals of the concert the floor was occupied by the dancers, amongst whom might be reckoned almost all present.

ASSOCIATIONS: Eliza Stewart Ellis

"CONCERT AT CALIFORNIA GULLY", Bendigo Advertiser (1 July 1861), 2 

We see that to-night Thatcher, with Madame Vitelli, will give their last concert on Bendigo - for some time at least - at the White Horse Hotel, California Gully. Mr. Leeman will also sing on this occasion.

"LYCEUM THEATER", Bendigo Advertiser (16 July 1861), 2 

The entertainment at this place last evening consisted of a concert, with dancing; but the feature of the night was Thatcher's electioneering performances. "The Flower of Mandurang" was a happy hit at a certain renowned M.P., whom we observed in the boxes, and who appeared to enter into the enjoyment of the piece with great good humour. Indeed, there was nothing whatever offensive in the song, which, as a composition, struck us as being something beyond the usual slipshod style of current versification. The following stanza is a fair specimen of the whole piece:

It blossomed once a bloomy Rose,
And showed its budding poorer;
When trodden on it quickly turned
Into a passion flower.
And though 'twas frequently shut up
By a Parliamentary gang,
It opened on them afterwards
Sweet flower of Mandurang.

A requisition from 1750 electors of Mandurang to Thos. Carpenter, Esq., and Mr. Carpenter's reply thereto, followed, after an interval, and caused great amusement; though, from the poor acoustic properties of the house, and the position of Mr. Thatcher - in the front of the boxes - neither this nor his songs were heard to the best advantage. There was a pretty fair attendance, and the audience seemed to enjoy themselves.

[News], Bendigo Advertiser (9 August 1861), 2 

THE LYCEUM THEATRE drew a tolerably good attendance last night to hear some of Thatcher's local songs; amongst which one on yesterday's Review of the Volunteers was well received. Several others on the elections were also sufficiently well seasoned with allusions to make them relished by the audience.

"THEATRE ROYAL", Bendigo Advertiser (13 August 1861), 2 

The new burlesque of "The Miller and His Men" was produced for the first time, last night, at the Royal; and, notwithstanding that it has been allowed to be one of the best of the authors - Byron and Talfourd - it was evident that the audience last night did not endorse such an opinion. The piece was also well filled with very good local hits, by Thatcher, which, in many instances, were well appreciated; but despite that, and the addition of very humorous acting by the majority of the principals, the piece went dreary and fell somewhat flat . . .

PIECE: The miller and his men (burlesque) (Francis Talfourd and Henry J. Byron)

[News], Bendigo Advertiser (26 August 1861), 2 

THATCHER'S LAST appearance at the Lyceum, for some time at least, was made on Saturday night, and as if he had determined on leaving a favorable impression, he extemporised the occasion in a farewell song, reviewing the various leading incidents that he had satirized during his engagement at the theatre. Although the theatre is to be turned over for the performance of music of a more elevated character, perhaps, we doubt not but Thatcher and his singing will he missed by many of the frequenters of the Lyceum Theatre, to whom he has afforded so many opportunities of laughing at their neighbors. Thatcher proceeds to Deniliquin, where, with Madame Vitelli and a pianoist [sic], he intends amusing the Borderers for some weeks.

NOTE: Thatcher was succeeded at the Lyceum by Eugenio Bianchi's Italian opera company

"LOCAL INTELLIGENCE", Gippsland Times [Sale, VIC] (23 October 1861), 2 

Last night we had a treat at Sale, Mr. Thatcher, accompanied by Madame Vitelli, and Mr. Livingstone, pianist, gave an entertainment at the Royal Exchange Hotel. Madame Vitelli sung several Scotch songs with much feeling and great power of exposition of the national music, but her great hit of the evening was A Che le Morte, from Il Trovatore, which she rendered in a style that has hitherto been unequalled in Sale. Mr. Thatcher, whose flute was a perfect concert itself, sung several comic songs of his own composition, but none could compete with his local sonato of "Wood sold here." Not having space or time to review the whole, we give the last verse as a sample of the versatile powers of the singer.

"Poor Wood, the squatter friend, alas!
To dire defeat is fated,
I reckon he must go where Wood
Is more appreciated.
Otago is the place for him,
So he should cross the water;
The want of wood is only felt
In that New Zealand quarter."

THIS evening Mr. Thatcher will sing two local songs. His talents for local satirism are so well known, and is ready wit so thoroughly appreciated, that we may expect to hear of a large assemblage at the entertainment.

"MR. THATCHER AND MADAM VITELLI", Gippsland Times (30 October 1861), 2 

During the last week we have been entertained by these two popular singers, who have played six consecutive nights to crowded and delighted audiences. Mr. Thatcher's well of invention seems to be continually overflowing in the shape of local songs, many of them not taking more than a few minutes to compose, and occurrences of the most recent date turned into satirical rhyme, almost as soon as their existence became known. His song of "The Local Celebrities of Sale" introduces many of the public characters who are well known; and their eccentricities delicately but not offensively handled. A little duelling with red currant jam, and a case of arson against two puppies, two of the incidents introduced, caused considerable laughter. "The solitary digger who voted for Wood" at the Crooked River, an impromptu composition introducing the burning of the correspondent and editor of the Guardian in effigy, was also well received, and created much amusement. We are afraid we have overstepped the bounds of all etiquette, and omitted speaking of Madame Vitelli, whose personal appearance is not the least of her attractions. During her visit here she has sung selections from "Lurline," "Il Trovatore," and other operas, with much success, besides her rendering of Scotch ballads, which seems to be her forte, so as to please the ear of those enthusiastic sons of Caledonian who ignore Mozart and Rossini, with the whole host of modern composers, and find more music in "My Boy Tammy" than in "deh Conte." Mr. Livingstone accompanied the singers on the piano, and he and Mr. Thatcher gave us a treat in the way of the overture of "La dame Blanche," performed on the piano and flute, rather a stupendous undertaking for such materials. Mr. Thatcher plays at Stratford on Thursday and Friday and at Bairnsdale on Saturday and Monday next. We append a copy of Mr. Thatcher's election song, entitled JOHN DENNISTOUN MY JO . . .

"LOCAL INTELLIGENCE", Gippsland Guardian (22 November 1861), 3 

THATCHER, the inimitable comic singer, made his first appearance on Saturday evening last, at the Ship Inn, Port Albert, and with Madame Vitelli, on Monday evening, before a well-filled house, Livingston presiding at the harmonium, which he managed with a masterly hand; in fact, the accompaniment upon such an instrument was infinitely better than could possibly have been expected. Mr. Thatcher succeeded, as usual, delight his audience with musical fun, humor, and satire. His electioneering songs were given with great effect, exciting roars of laughter, every little feature and incident of the election was given with stirring humor, and we could not but think that Mr. Thatcher had been a great acquisition to the friends of Dr. Mackay in securing that gentleman's election. Dibdin long since gave ample proof that ballad singing told with greater force than speeches in influencing the public mind. It is an agreeable way of being convinced and an admirable channel for pourtraying the ridiculous. His song of "Local Celebrities" caused one continuous roar of laughter. Madame Vitelli was suffering under a severe cold and was in fact not in a fit state to appear; but appear she did, evidently suffering greatly by the effort. Songs and comic duets were all that could be desired, and it must have been gratifying to receive such evident signs of satisfaction from her audience as succeeded every song.

ASSOCIATIONS: Livingstone (pianist, piano tuner)

Hobart and Launceston, TAS (2 to 24 December 1861)

"MISCELLANEOUS", Launceston Examiner [TAS] (3 December 1861), 4 

HOBART TOWN, 2nd December, 1861, - Arrived City of Hobart, from Melbourne. Passengers . . . Thatcher, Mrs. Thatcher . . .

[Advertisement], The Mercury (4 December 1861), 1 

WANTED-Two men to stick bills. Apply early to-day to Mr. THATCHER, at the Macquarie Boarding Houae, Macquarie Street.

"HOBART TOWN AND THE SOUTH", Launceston Examiner [TAS] (5 December 1861), 5 

Mr. Thatcher and Madame Vitelli have arrived from Victoria and announced a series of musical entertainment at the Temperance Alliance Rooms.

"THEATRE ROYAL", Launceston Examiner (12 December 1861), 5 

Mr. Thatcher, the celebrated comic vocalist, and Madame Vitelli, made their first appearance in the Theatre Royal, yesterday evening. The attendance was rather limited, but all the songs elicited the warmest applause, and encores were frequently demanded. Madame Vitelli has a very rich soprano voice, and Mr. Thatcher made some decidedly good hits in his local songs. Montagu ably presided at the piano-forte . . .

We do not think the many lovers of good music this town proverbially contains could have known of the rich treat they have missed, who have not visited the Theatre, during the last three evenings. It is seldom a Launceston public has had set before it an entertainment superior to that of Mr. Thatcher, who is himself well known all over the colony of Victoria, and his talented original songs and local hits so highly appreciated. Mr. Thatcher, en passant, through this colony having heard that the folks of Launceston were fond of a really genuine entertainment, was induced to take the Theatre for one week, and those few who had the privilege and pleasure of hearing him, declare they have never been more delighted in their lives. Mr. Thatcher's fund of humour is illimitable. In fresh songs he recounts all the wonders of Hobart Town, the Champion Races, the Regatta, in short all that took place whilst he sojourned there. But he is quite at home with all the events of our own little town, and the account of Mr. Bartley's prize cow, the rival coaches, and all the other funny things that have been lately going forward. But the greatest treat of all is that of Madame Vitelli, who is without exception the most accomplished lady vocalist that has appeared in Launceston. Her rendering of some of the gems from the Operas of Travetore, Lurline, Traviata, &c., is delightful. Madame Vitelli's versatality is wonderful, as she draws down as hearty encores in the Cantinser [?] "The Child of the Regiment," or "Cherry Ripe," as in that deeply pathetic song 'Auld Robin Gray," and is equally attractive in "Yankee Land," or any of the numerous comic duets she takes part in with Mr. Thatcher. She charms the ear and entrances the listener . . .

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle [Launceston, TAS] (14 December 1861), 5 

THEATRE ROYAL . . . THIS EVENING . . . THATCHER . . . and Madame Vitelli . . .
Pianist and Conductor - Mr. Montague . . .
H. P. LYON, Agent.

"SHIPPING", The Cornwall Chronicle (25 December 1861), 4 

Dec. 24 . . . Passengers per Steamer Black Swan, for Melbourne . . . Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher . . . Messrs. Montagu . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Alfred Montague; Harry Percival Lyons (born "Lyon")

New Zealand (February 1862 to November 1865)

For the most part, copious NZ documentation of the Thatchers' activities there has not been included below, only occasional reports in the Australian press, including those concerning their 1863 return visit to Victoria

"Shipping Intelligence", Otago Daily Times [NZ] (26 February 1862), 2 

. . . Passengers per Mary Scott - Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher, Mr. Thatcher, jun. . . .

The Mary Scott arrived in Otago on 26 February, having been cleared out from Melbourne on 5 February

[News], Otago Daily Times (28 February 1862), 2 

We observe that Mr. Thatcher, of considerable repute as a vocalist in the Victorian mining districts, is announced to make his first appearance before the public of Dunedin, accompanied by Madame Vitelli, on the evening of Saturday next.

"MELBOURNE TO TUAPEKA. IN DUNEDIN", Mount Alexander Mail [Castlemaine, VIC] (14 April 1862), 2 

. . . During my stay at Dunedin those enterprising caterers for the public . . . Messrs. Jones and Bird (whilome of Sandhurst) opened two places of public amusement, a theatre and a concert room. The former is comically and very ingeniously brought into existence every night. Imagine a large sale yard with a lofty roof, and a range of stalls for horses on either side. By day the central area is occupied with horses brought for sale, and groups of eager buyers and still more eager sellers . . . To be sure, a hypercritical nose might object to the strong smell of ammonia, whereof the atmosphere is redolent, for
"The horses have taken stall tickets, they say,
In this magical transformed the-ay-tre."
Thus sings Thatcher of Bendigonian fame, who with Madame Vitelli has fairly taken Dunedin by storm, at the Commercial Hotel Concert Room (the theatre is at the Provincial). The perversity of the old chums, and the freaks of the new comers, the peculiarities of the "Dunedin Loafing Society" (who to the number of some hundreds, thrive and grow fat on cockles and watercress, both of which may be had for the picking up), the doings of Mr. Commissioner Brannigan, and such like small commodities, form the staple of Mr. Thatcher's budget; whilst Madame's Scotch ballads are nightly applauded by the canny folk who flock to listen, and to drink "gude whiskey" at the bar craftily set forth at the end of the apartment . . .

"NEW ZEALAND NEWS FOR GEELONG. Dunedin, June 6, 1862", Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser [VIC] 5 July 1862), 3 

. . . The early settlers in this place (mostly Scotch) have been immortalised in poetry by the inimitable Thatcher, the Victorian songster, who, in a racy and humorous ballad, calls them the "Old Identity." I can assure you they are not at all pleased at this pleasantry on the part of the indefatigable Thatcher . . .

"LOCAL NEWS", Gippsland Times [Sale, VIC] (4 July 1862), 2-3 

We have been shewn this week a letter our old friend Thatcher, who says he has been doing wonders in Dunedin, where, it appears the people have had the good taste to appreciate his rare talents, indeed we hear that wherever he goes he is appreciated, but that in Dunedin the estimation of the people had assumed a more solid shape than mere applause. We hardly feel ourselves at liberty to detail the golden results of his harvest, but we know that, many here would feel pleased at hearing that with Mrs. Thatcher's assistance he has cleared over £50 per week for weeks and [3] weeks together. Mr. Thatcher speaks of his trip to Gippsland with a pleasing recollection, and says that "never before, or since, the time passed so pleasantly." Dunedin, according to his description, is a most miserable place, almost always rainignwith a little variation of hail and snow. Accompanying his letter is the second number of his Dunedin songster . . . Of Mr. Thatcher's local songs we need not say much, we have heard them, and to hear is to appreciate their merit. The Dunedin papers also speak in high terms of Mrs. Thatcher's singing, and that lady has come in for her due share of praise. We regret that we shall not again have the pleasure of being amused with the one and pleased with the other, as Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher talk of going to California in the spring, and thence to Canada. We can only add our best wishes for their success wherever they may stray in their perigrinations, and many times our thoughts will wander back with pleasure to the days when we heard the "Solitary Digger" and the "Sale Celebrities."

"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle [Melbourne, VIC] (9 August 1862), 2 

Mr. Thatcher and Madame Vitelli having performed upwards of 100 nights at Dunedin have changed their quarters to Lyttleton.


"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (26 January 1863), 5 

The Bendigo Advertiser indulges in an amusing article on those injured innocents who salve their wounds with the law of libel. Our contemporary would seem to have received some of the compliments of the season: -

"In our innocence a week or two since we gave currency to a rumor that the 'inimitable' Thatcher had been placed in durance vile for over free versifying in re the Governor of New Zealand, and was proportionably sorry at the Iobs thereby entailed upon society. Thatcher is at once in arms and eager for the fray, and a double-barrelled intimation has reached us that the protection of judicial ermine is about to be sought by the injured innocent. This probably reads as a good joke. The idea that Thatcher should ever prosecute any one for libel necessarily striking the readers of the statement as the best jest - and it is but a sorry one - ever perpetrated by this itinerant Wamba."

The force of fooling surely cannot further go.

Return visit to Victoria (August to October 1863)

"BIRTH", The Argus (26 August 1863), 4 

THATCHER. - On the 20th inst., at sea, on board the Aldinga, the wife of Mr. C. R. Thatcher of a son.

From Dunedin, New Zealand, 18 August

[News], Bendigo Advertiser [VIC, Australia] (2 September 1863), 2 

MR. C. R. THATCHER is paying a visit to Sandhurst. Mr. Thatcher, we believe, does not intend to remain in Sandhurst, but will return shortly to New Zealand, where he purposes becoming a permanent settler.

"TOWN TALK", Gippsland Times [Sale, VIC] (11 September 1863), 2 

We are sure many will be pleased to hear that about the close of this month we shall receive a visit from C. R. Thatcher, whose musical satires gave so much amusement during the late contested election for North Gippsland. It may be as well to give candidates for municipal honors a hint that Mr. Thatcher, like Mr. Punch, is very fond of dishing up municipal councillors, and serving them highly spiced to his audiences. We would, therefore, highly recommend any candidates who may be too thin skinned to stand Thatcher's cooking, to withdraw quietly from the field.

"SALE NEWS", Gippsland Guardian (23 October 1863), 3 

Mr. Thatcher and Madame Vitelli are, of course, the most popular people in Sale just now. Their concerts are given in a new house lately erected by Mr. Atkinson opposite the Royal Exchange Hotel, and admirably adapted for the purpose to which it is now applied. The lady's delightful ballads, Mr. Thatcher's wonderfully humorous compositions, and Mr. Born's excellent accompaniment have quite taken the town by storm, and it seems doubtful how long our north country friends will insist upon retaining them amongst them.

"TOWN TALK", Gippsland Times (30 October 1863), 3 

Since our last issue Mr. Thatcher treated us with four more of his inimitable entertainments, and on every evening added a new batch to his local celebrities. On Monday there was a select morning performance, which was well attended, the greater part of the audience which was composed of the elite of the district - being ladies. Mr. Thatcher has now left us for New Zealand. and very probably he will a not be again heard in this district; but we cannot let him depart without bearing testimony to his inimitable witticisms, his gentle treatment of his brother men's foibles, and his extraordinary readiness in turning the ridiculous and absurd into a mild corrective lesson.

"SALE POLICE COURT. THATCHER'S SONGS", Gippsland Times (6 November 1863), 3 

"THATCHER'S SONGS AGAIN", Gippsland Times (13 November 1863), 3 


"Correspondence. LOCAL HITS. TO THE EDITOR", Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle (14 January 1864), 2

"TOWN TALK", Gippsland Times [Sale, VIC] (5 July 1864), 2 

A report was in circulation in Sale this week, that Mr. C. R. Thatcher had died suddenly in Auckland, of heart disease. We are glad to say that we believe the report to be without the slightest foundation.



. . . both the Lady Darling and Omeo parted their cables about the same time, and had to put to sea with loss of an anchor and chain each . . . After the Omeo had returned from sea, she received the remaining portion of that vessel's cargo and passengers, the latter including Mr. Thatcher, Madame Vitelli, and several women with their families . . .

"A CRUEL SELL", Bendigo Advertiser (29 September 1865), 3 

In the recent issue of the West Coast Times we find the following: - "A party of gentlemen met together last evening, at the Empire Hotel, for the purpose, as announced, of presenting Mr. C. R. Thatcher, who is about to leave Hokitika, with a gold watch, and chain. About twenty were present, and Mr. J. R. Anderson occupied the chair. Some time was spent in speechmaking and singing, during which Thatcher's health, with three-times-three, was given and responded to, before the presentation took place, which was made by Mr. Nash (of the firm of R. Reeves and Co); and, when the case containing the gift was opened, it was found to contain a child's paper-and-brass toy watch! We feel bound, in justice, to remark that there were many present who were quite incognisant of the fraud, and who were as much surprised and hurt at seeing the nature of the gift as the recipient himself."

"Shipping Intelligence. PORT OF WELLINGTON . . . DEPARTURES" Evening Post (10 November 1865), 2 

November 10 - Albion, s.s., 453 tons, E. Kidney, for Lyttelton, Otago, the Bluff, and Melbourne . . . PASSENGER LIST . . . Per Albion: Cabin - Madame Vitelli . . . Messrs. F. Thatcher, E. Thatcher [sic] . . .

"THATCHER", Wellington Independent (11 November 1865), 5 

The "Inimitable's" company are broken up. He himself, in company with Madame Vitelli, left yesterday in the s.s. Albion for Melbourne, and Small quitted connection with the company the previous day, when he left in the s.s. Wanganui to fulfil an engagement in Wanganui. We have thus seen the last for some time of the talented company.

Australia (26 November 1865 to March 1869)

"SHIPPING", The Age (27 November 1865), 4 

Albion, s.s. 800 tons, E. Kidney, from Dunedin, 18th inst., via Bluff Harbor 19th. Passengers - cabin: . . . Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher . . . Miss Thatcher . . . Messrs. . . . Thatcher . . .

NOTE: PROV shipping index gives the ages of the four as 37, 31, 7 and 15 respectively

"CURRENT TOPICS", Geelong Advertiser (29 November 1865), 2 

Under the heading "Thatcher in a new Character," the Nelson Colonist speaks of the "Inimitable" as being in a transition state between a comic vocalist and a chorister, and indulges in a spirit of prophecy with reference to our old friend, who is to be transformed into a sort of musical Stiggins; - Private letters from Wellington state that the celebrated satirist and lampooning rhymer, Thatcher, has seen the error and vanity of his profession, and has given it up. He had been attending the ministrations of Mr. Deck, and had resolved to give up his profession entirely. The change does not appear to have been sudden; for we learn that at Hokitika, where Thatcher and Madame Vitelli used to assist Mr. Harpur, Wesleyan minister, on Sundays, by leading the psalmody, he had stated to Mr. Virtue that he need not be surprised to see him (Thatcher) some day preaching the Gospel from his pulpit. Let us hope that the conversion is sincere. Mr. Thatcher's comic sketches were sometimes more than tinged with strong personal lampoons, which he indulged in for many years with impunity, and from which, and his knack of ready rhyming (which though "a clever, is not at all a high gift), he has contrived to gather something like a fortune. As the tree is known by its fruits, we shall, should Mr. Thatcher really change his vocation to that of a preacher, look for certain evidence of his sincerity, in his change of life and different walk and conversation.

[Advertisement], The Argus (6 December 1865), 1 

CABINET. - WANTED, a CABINET, with numerous drawers. C. R. Thatcher, care Charlwood and Son, Bourke-street.


"MR. C. R. THATCHER", Bendigo Advertiser (2 January 1866), 2 

We see that Mr. C. R. Thatcher, who in the early days of Bendigo earned the title of the "inimitable," is at present on a visit to the scene of his former triumphs. Mr. Thatcher has just returned from the inhospitable shores of the West Coast of New Zealand, where, as our readers will recollect, it was reported that the comic poet and vocalist had turned preacher, quitted the stage for the more elevated position - the pulpit. Such, however, was a rumor entirely without foundation, the humorous element in the composition of the "inimitable" being evidently too much for the gravity of the church. We are not aware of the nature of Mr. Thatcher's visit, but if it is with an eye to professional matters, we can only say that the present elections would afford an extensive field for his peculiar talents.

"TORQUAY (From our own Correspondent)", The Cornwall Chronicle (16 May 1866), 4 

On Wednesday morning the "Ant" screw steamer arrived in the Mersey, from Melbourne, via Circular Head . . . A public dinner was given the same evening by the residents and settlers of the District, to the Captain, Agent, and Officers of the "Ant' . . . and Mr. Thatcher, the celebrated Victorian vocalist and song writer, crowned all by singing a local song composed in the room, having for its principal figures the "steamer," her trip, and the little peculiarities of several of the guests assembled. The applause was tremendous . . .

"COUNTRY INTELLIGENCE. CIRCULAR HEAD. [From our own Correspondent]", Launceston Examiner (27 July 1866), 2 

A person of the name of Thacher, an adventurer from Victoria, lately came over to Circular Head, representing his object to be that of collecting shells - very poor excuse. The night before he left by the Samson he imposed on the inhabitants to attend at the Freemasons' Hotel, first filching them of the sum of 2s. 6d., to witness a grand entertainment, which turned out to be a very low song (only fit for the tap-room), reflecting on the character and private affairs of some of the residents at Stanley, holding them up also to derision and ridicule, and attacking them in a low and gross style (no doubt be was well tutored beforehand by two or three persons equally in mind an low as himself). This man's behaviour han given very great offence to a number of persons, and it is a very lucky thing for him he made his escape from the place before first receiving a sound thrashing for his conduct. It is a wonder that a breach of the peace did not actually take place in the room on the night in question. The police should certainly have interfered and stopped such a meeting instead of countenancing it. Nothing is more likely to cause a disturbance amongst a community than that of lampooning its members. It doubtless afforded pleasure to some few (who assisted in giving information) to hear their neighbors ill spoken of and slandered.

"CONCERT AT CIRCULAR HEAD. To the Editor of the . . .", Launceston Examiner (8 August 1866), 3 

SIR, - Having lately been at Circular Head collecting objects of natural history for the Paris Exhibition, I was asked by a number of influential residents to give a night's entertainment, and, with the assistance of the Brass Band, I did so. Four local songs were sung, in which a pompous policeman, a sleepy police-clerk, and several of the black sheep of the district figured conspicuously. "Our own Correspondent" no doubt came in for his share: "Hinc illae lachrymae." As regards the imposition of charging half-a-crown, I must observe that the band are in the habit of charging this sum for their regular concerts, and their performance without my songs was well worth the money. The best of it is that "Our own Correspondent" and a few others were not present at the concert (knowing what was in store for them), so they must not complain of being done. After the concert I was assured by Mr. Ford and other influential resident that if I would give two more concerts at double the money I could fill the room. As I gave the concert on a Tuesday, and left by the Samson very late on Wednesday, there was amply time for retaliation on the part of anyone who felt themselves aggrieved.
I remain, Sir, your obedient servant,
Melbourne, August 3.

"MR. THATCHER'S ENTERTAINMENT. To the Editor of the . . .", Launceston Examiner (10 August 1866), 3

Circular Head, Aug. 4th, 1866.
SIR, - "Fiat justicia ruat coelum" is a noble motto, and one by which we should steer by as close as possible; and having read in your issue of the 27th ult. a communication from your "Own Correspondent" at Circular Head, giving an account of a concert a held here by Mr. Thatcher, which is calculated to mislead the public, and which is at utter variance with the true facts of the case, I trust you will give publicity in your widely circulated paper to a true statement of the facts.

Your "Correspondent" says that a person of the name of Thatcher, an adventurer from Victoria, came over here representing his object to be that of collecting shells, and that he imposed on the inhabitants to attend a concert, filching half-a-crown from them, and further goes on to say "that the performance turned out to be a very low affair, and only fit for a taproom." Now, Mr. Editor, I happened to attend this. "low and vulgar affair," which your "Own Correspondent" stigmatises as "only fit for a taproom," and not only was the room crowded by about 120 of the most respectable people of the place, but the whole performance was a great success, the place being in a roar of laughter the whole time; the local songs, which your "Own Correspondent," attacks so unmercifully being characterised by good-nature, sarcasm, and greatly enjoyed by the audience. As to the story of Mr. Thatcher filching from those that attended the sum of half-a-crown, I believe I am perfectly correct in stating that with hardly a single exception those who attended the concert would gladly have given twice the money for the sake of spending so pleasant an evening.

Of your correspondent's personal attack on Mr. Thatcher I will not say much; but this I will say, that he (Mr. Thatcher) was only induced to give the concert at the repeated request of several inhabitants; his motive for coming to Circular Head being merely to collect shells. I may further add, Mr. Editor, that is there is anything low in the whole affair, it is your "Own Correspondent's" gratuitous attack on a respectable man.

In conclusion, Mr. Editor, I have to apologise for trespassing so much on your valuable space, but trust that you will find room for the enclosed song, which is one of those sung by Mr. Thatcher on the night in question, and which seems to have given so great an offence to your "Own Correspondent." It is a full, true, and particular account of an agitation that has lately been got up here in favour of a municipality by the ex-policeman referred to in the song, and which has been completely upset, a counter petition having been sent to the Government signed by 100 persons amongst which figure 38 out of the 52 who signed the other petition.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant

[The verses enclosed contain nothing brilliant and smack rather of vulgarity, but some skill has been expended in reducing to rhyme local incidents and characters. Mr. Thatcher enjoys the reputation of having a remarkable facility for this style of composition; but it is a dangerous art, and may be carried too far: indeed, the hardest "hits" are generally those most approved. The song sent by our correspondent is not very severe, and though it might pass as a feature of an evening's entertainment and be soon forgotten, it would be improper to give it the permanency of a newspaper record. - ED. L. E.]

"To the Editor of the . . .", Launceston Examiner (10 August 1866), 3 

Circular Head, Aug. 4, 1866.
SIR, - Having just perused a letter in your issue of the 27th ult. concerning a concert given by Mr. Thatcher on Tuesday, July 17, I hope, for the sake of fair play, you will insert the following, that I may contradict the many mis-statements made by your "Own Correspondent." In the first place, he says "an adventurer named Thatcher" has visited this place. Now Mr. Thatcher has been "before the public" of Australia, and especially New Zealand for several years, and during that time his entertainments were on several occasions honored by the presence of his Excellency Sir George Grey, the Judges, many members of the Assembly, as well as officers high in command of her Majesty's army and navy; therefore his reputation is not likely to suffer from the criticisms of even so great a personage as your "own correspondent." Then as to his "pretence of gathering shells being a poor excuse," the show cases of the Melbourne Museum as well as those of the British Museum, will testify as to whether his conchological researches have been in vain; moreover Mr. Thatcher has a collector constantly travelling for him, and has correspondents in all parts of the colonies, and the means that enable him to bear this expense are the proceeds of his popular entertainments. It was at the request of many influential gentlemen in Circular Head that Mr. Thatcher gave the concert in question, as he has retired from the stage nearly twelve months, and would scarcely come to a small place like this, and sing to a flute accompaniment, when larger fields are open to him, if he wished to reap any pecuniary benefit. The audience certainly did not seem to consider their admission money as a half-a-crown filched from them, as the roars of laughter at the four songs - not "one song" as stated by your "own Correspondent" - were highly flattering to the vocalist. I am not acquainted with the gentleman who does Circular Head for the Examiner, and after perusing his letter I do not want an introduction to him; but if he was at the entertainment, which I doubt, he must know that not one mark of disapprobation was shown; and had any one been inclined to commit a breach of the peace, ample opportunity was afforded by Mr. Thatcher, who promenaded the streets of Circular Head the whole of the day following - not in bravado, but receiving the congratulations of dozens of people on the success of his debut, and wishing him to give them another night.

I believe some jokers did excite a poor half witted old man into saying he would knock Thatcher's head off, after the steamer had left; by telling, him that the singer had called him a rogue; but as the assertion was not true and caused the poor fellow pain, the joke was not creditable to the wags.

I will not encroach more on your space, but hoping that for the future your "own Correspondent will confine himself to the truth.
I remain, your obedient servant,

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Button (editor, Launceston Examiner)

"THE NAUTILUS SHELL. TO THE EDITOR OF . . .", The Argus (24 November 1866), 5 

Sir, - In your report of to-day of some curiosities displayed in the South Australian Court of our Intercolonial Exhibition, you mention a group of nautilus shells, and say "they are singular, as the habitat is the semi tropical seas of the Fiji, Solomon, and other islands in the Pacific." This is correct as regards the common nautilus, but not so with the paper nautilus (argonauta), which is the particular variety exhibited, and is widely distributed. I have four magnificent specimens, got by my brother on Flinders Island, and the same day he obtained them no less than twenty-six were blown ashore. I should have exhibited the four specimens referred to, in conjunction with the largest and finest collection of Australian, New Zealand, and Tasmanian shells in this part of the world, having devoted fourteen years to antipodean conchology, besides supplying the museum with the rarest and most valuable volutes, &c., but the amount of space and the quantity of glass cases required have debarred me from doing so.
I remain, Sir, your obedient servant,
51A Hanover-street, Fitzroy.

"TOPICS OF THE WEEK", South Australian Weekly Chronicle [Adelaide, SA] (15 December 1866) 4 supplement 

Mr. Thatcher gave the first of his entertainments at White's Rooms, on Thursday evening. There was a tolerably good attendance. Mr. and Mrs. Loder took part in the evening's proceedings, Mrs. Loder singing some of her most popular songs with excellent effect, and Mr. Loder accompanying all the music in his usual admirable manner. Mr. T. G. Pappin also sang several songs which were very well received. Mr. Thatcher sang several local comic songs with great humor, and made several telling hits, which were applauded to the echo by the audience, who insisted upon an encore for every song. His style of singing cannot fail to be appreciated, and though some of his allusions hit hard, there was an evident good nature about them, which deprived them of any irritating effect. A very pleasant couple of hours could he spent at the entertainment, but Mr. Thatcher only advertises another, and therefore those who wish to hear him should avail themselves of the opportunity.

"ADELAIDE (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT) December 17", Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser [Hamilton, VIC] (22 December 1866), 3 

Thatcher, whose comic vocalism once took the diggings by storm, is just now paying us a visit. He is, however, by no means drawing crowded houses, though he is assisted by the best professional talent. The fact is, Thatcher was one time just the thing on the diggings, in his faithful representation of rough digger life; but for an Adelaide public of the present day, with a taste improved by repeated acquaintance with good opera music, and the performances of clever musical professors, his coarse, slangey style, although interspersed with some good things, will not go down. Until now, it is some seven or eight years since I last saw Thatcher, and in the interval, time has wrought wonderful changes in him. The tall, thin, young-looking, genteel figure that "he used to was," has grown into a stout, pompous, gentlemanly one - that, with the tinge of grey that sprinkles his locks, makes him almost venerable-looking. In my opinion, Thatcher's songs could never lay any claim to literary merit. He was felicitous on being the songster of a class which some cleverer and less fortunate men are not, and this was the secret of that success which at first must have surprised himself. But this class of miners having passed away or become scarce, the peculiarities and hits that used to bring down the house, now fall with dull and heavy coarseness on an unappreciative audience.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Loder; Emma Neville Loder; Thomas Green Pappin


[Advertisement], The Herald [Melbourne, VIC] (3 May 1867), 2 

Conductor: Mr. SIEDE . . . GRAND ORCHESTRA . . . Flutes - Mr. Creed Royal, Mr. Thatcher . . .
MONDAY EVENING, 6th MAY, 1867, Will be given for the only time, Wallace's grand Opera, MARITANA . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Member of orchestra of the Lyster opera company; Julius Siede (conductor); Creed Royal (flautist)

"PENNY READINGS. PRAHRAN", The Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (17 August 1867), 3 

On Tuesday night Prahran's Town Hall was thronged by eager visitors, and long before the doors were opened might be heard whisperings amongst the crowd - "Thatcher's coming to-night," reminding one of the days on Bendigo when the first theatre on the gold-fields was started by those indefatigable gentlemen Messrs. Tates and Gregg, under whose auspices we believe Mr. Thatcher made his first bow . . .

"THE ORPHEUS UNION CONCERT", The Argus (15 October 1867), 7

. . . Mrs. Perryman sang Bishop's "Lo, here the gentle lark", fairly enough, but the best part was the flute accompaniment of Mr. Thatcher, whose real powers as an instrumentalist were new to those who had only heard of him as a comic singer . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Caroline Peryman; Orpheus Union; Thomas Ford (conductor)

[News], The Argus (23 October 1867), 5 

Many persons have attempted to construct an "entertainment" the main subject of which should be our gold-lields, but always without success, the causes of failure being the poor wits of the entertainer, the weakness of his descriptions, and the wretched workmanship of the "panoramas" displayed. It will therefore gratify many to learn that the private rehearsal of Mr. C. Thatcher's new musical and panoramic entertainment, "Lion the Gold-fields," at the Manchester Unity hall, Swanston-street, on Monday evening last, afforded ample evidence that an extremely valuable addition has been made to our public amusements. Few amongst the residents and especially the early ones of our goldfields will forget "the inimitable Thatcher," as he was called in the placards, by far the most popular comic singer we ever had here, and from whose facile pen streamed hundreds of songs bearing comic reference to the events of the day, especially if that event were the misconduct of a "Camp" official. Mr. Thatcher has for some years retired from public life, having earned, we believe, no inconsiderable amount of profit by his performances, and his name has since been more than once honourably connected with efforts at acclimatisation. Now, however, he has reverted to his old profession, and has availed himself of his vast stores of experience to place that together which gives a wonderfully accurate and comprehensive idea of what gold-fields' life was ten or a dozen years ago in Victoria, and five or six years ago in New Zealand. His panorama is truthful and picturesque, and his lecture is original, sparkling and witty. Of course, he has largely copied the styles of Albert Smith and Artemus Ward, but the imitation is not a slavish one, and the thing itself is full of fun, which, if not of a very high order, is fresh and mirth-provoking. Of course, we cannot reproduce his peculiar style here, but many of his remarks are most comically appropriate. Oddly enough, the songs were very inferior to the text. We feel certain that our country contemporaries will endorse our opinion of Thatcher's entertainment, which it is to hoped he will give in Melbourne before he starts on a trip into the towns of the interior.

"THATCHER'S ENTERTAINMENT", Bendigo Advertiser (29 October 1867), 2 

The new character, in which Mr. Thatcher appeared last night at the Lyceum Theatre - that of an humorous and musical lecturer on "Life on the Goldfields," is one which will likely earn for him the title of "inimitable," as deservedly as ever did his vocal efforts in the olden times he refers to in his panoramic entertainment. Looking at the panorama alone, without the accompanying viva voce descriptions of the lecturer, a stranger to the goldfields wouid be able to form a very correct idea of what was seen in the early days of the diggings. Commencing the first tableau in the diorama with the entrance of the emigrant ship into Hobson's Bay, and the landing of the "new chum" in '52, the successive pictures show the different phases of life in those rude but golden days. We are shown the road to the diggings, the vicissitudes and mishaps of the journey, the dangers of the far-famed Black Forest, the bogging of the heavily laden bullock drays, and the picture of "Camped for the night." Then we have the new chum's first sight of Forest Creek, a sketch of the then popular official game of "License hunting," a goldfield postoffice with its incidental events, jumping the new chum's claim, a court of justice in the early days, a funeral on the diggings, and various other sketches. In all of the foregoing tableaux, there is, although the pictures are but small, a very vivid and graphic illustration of the scenes they represent, and as works of art are deserving of great commendation. To those who have only become acquainted with such scenes of the early days by description the pictures convey an excellent idea of their reality, while to the old residents on the diggings they are at once recognised being so truthful. As regards the descriptive explanation with which Mr. Thatcher accompanies the progress of the panorama, it fairly bristles with wit, humor, and drollery, and in many portions causes the audience to roar with laughter. The descriptive songs of the renowned John Parry, the wit and humor of the late Albert Smith in his panoramic lectures on Mount Blanc, are equalled by the funny witty and humorous descriptions of Thatcher, and by the local parodies he intersperses his entertainment with. Many of the latter are, no doubt, the same that he wrote years ago, but as a good song never loses by being twice sung, and they are happily appropriate to the scenes of the panorama, they were well received. In showing life on the goldfields, Mr. Thatcher, of course, draws largely on his Bendigo experience, so that to the Bendigonians who formed his audience last night the scenes and incidents were readily recognised, and highly appreciated. The incidents, connected with the arbitrary rule of camp officials, goldfields commissioners, and magistrates - particularly the doings of "Bendigo Mac" - as he loves to be called now-a-days - were all humorously touched off, and a pictorial illustration of the "grim magistrate" in the old temple of justice, which was held in those days in a large tent, elicited a loud and hearty shout of recognition for the faithful portraiture conveyed in the picture. Another attraction in the entertainment, is the introduction of allusions to recent local events which Mr. Thatcher with his old and happy knack humorously brings in, and as a conclusion to the entertainment, he gave an excellent and humorous song on "England and the Council," which, told admirably. The lower portion of the theatre was but moderately filled, and the dress circle and upper portion very poorly patronised. That there was such a scanty audience upstairs, may be accounted for by the doubts which many entertained, first of the excellence of the entertainment, and secondly of Thatcher's inability to prevent the introduction of some slight ribaldry in his effusions. A visit, however, would remove both doubts, for the entertainment throughout does not contain a reference or inuendo which the most fastidious could find fault with. It is smartly and wittily written, prettily illustrated, accompanied by appropriate music, and delivered by Thatcher with all the descriptive humorous talent for which he has become so justly celebrated.

"THATCHER'S ENTERTAINMENT", Bendigo Advertiser (31 October 1867), 2 

There was a marked improvement in the attendance at the theatre last night, the lower part of the house being well filled, and the dress circle and boxes, being also satisfactorily patronised. The programme was similar to that of the two previous nights, but interspersed with many additional local allusions, the names of most of our leading townsmen being jocosely introduced at every opportunity, creating immense hilarity amongst the audience. Some of the, songs with which the entertainment abounds wore given in a remarkably happy manner, "The Bullock Driver" and the "Returned Digger" being much applauded, "The Quack Doctor" also taking the fancy of the audience immensely. Mr. Thatcher seems to have a peculiar grudge against the medical profession, and also the sharebroking fraternity, giving them some very hard rubs, but in a jocular way. He likewise passes some smart strictures upon the disputatious schoolmasters, advising a little letting of blood instead of such a large flow of ink. An amusing story is told of Messrs. Casey and Carpenter on their Mandurang canvass, and the panoramic entertainment closes with a capital song entitled "The Shearing Season."

After a few minutes intermission the song of "England and the Council" is given, the references to recent events in the borough creating roars of laughter. Last night a song relating to the Duke of Edinburgh's expected visit to Sandhurst was also sung, and Mr. Thatcher's suggested form of the proposed procession was highly amusing, our local celebrities being placed in most singularly inharmonious positions. A vociferous recall by the house called forth another song upon the Agricultural Show, which must evidently have been composed since the morning, as many incidents which occurred on the ground and at the luncheon formed a part of it. The entertainment is to be continued during the remainder of the week, and now that the public have discovered Mr. Thatcher to be as versatile in his sayings and songs as in days of yore, we predict good houses during the continuance of his stay in Sandhurst.

"MR. THATCHER'S NEW ENTERTAINMENT", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (18 November 1867), 5 

On Saturday evening, Mr. Thatcher introduced his now entertainment to the Melbourne public, at the Polytechnic Hall. Mr. Thatcher has long been known as one of the most original and amusing of the many candidates who at one time or another have sought the patronage of the public. In the old days there was hardly a new rush but made his acquaintance. His songs of digger life and adventure were familiar as household words, and his published book of songs, "Thatcher's Songster" can still be met with on most book stalls. His experience of mining in the palmy days, and his acute observations of things in general, eminently qualify him for the new character in which he has chosen again to appear in public, that of a lecturer on "Life on the Gold-fields." His lecture is illustrated by fourteen paintings, representing familiar scenes, such as "Port Phillip Heads," "A Bullock Dray Bogged," "Mount Macedon," "License Hunting," "Jumping a Claim," "The Lucky Digger," and "A Squatting Station." Starting with the arrival of the emigrant vessel at Port Phillip Heads, Mr. Thatcher proceeds to describe the arrival of one Tom Noddy in the land of gold in search of a fortune. The adventures of Mr. Noddy, though alluded to continually, throughout the entertainment, form but a small part of it, and only serve as a kind of path to which the speaker can return after some humorous digression relative to the incidents of digger life. Mr. Thatcher introduces many witty allusions to the passing events of the day, and as all his hits are given right and left, without any bias as to the social or political status of the individual, they never fail of raising a hearty laugh. His humor somewhat resembles Josh Billings's or Artemus Ward's, and his "Essay on bullocks, their peculiarities," and the aboriginals are worthy of either of those prolific writers. "A dissertation on mining companies," that pay a dividend of six pence to three calls of a shilling each, and support the directors and manager at the expense of the shareholder, was not the less relished because of its being a slight exaggeration of actual fact, which doubtless Mr. Thatcher would declare with Artemus Ward "was the chief recommendation of the truth of the whole." Mr. Thatcher introduces an amusing song, "The Collins-street Sharebroker," quite in his old style. There is hardly an incident or scene that old colonists are familiar with from actual experience or hearsay, from "the prevailing epidemic - adulterated brandy and bad water" to "sand flies and Chinese hen-roost robbers," but is mentioned by the lecturer. "The prevailing epidemic" still exists, and indulgence is continually asked on behalf of his artist by Mr. Thatcher, who describes him as a man suffering from delirium tremens, and unable to give such graphic representations of Australian scenery as he otherwise might if he did not belong to the temperance society. During the entertainment, Mr. Thatcher sang several songs illustrative of various portions of his subject, all of which mot with much approval. At the close be introduced a song, "The Procession," in which the principal personages expected to take part in the interesting ceremony of receiving H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh were cleverly hit off. The entertainment was a thorough success, and any one who wishes for a couple of hours' quiet fun cannot do better than pay a visit to the Polytechnic while it continues.

[News], The Herald [Melbourne, VIC] (2 December 1867), 2 

There was a tolerably fair attendance at the Polytechnic-hall on Saturday night, to witness Mr. Thatcher's pictorial and humorous entertainment, entitled "Life on the Goldfields." The usual performance passed off very satisfactorily, and at the close Mr. Thatcher gave an original and humorous composition in rhyme of the scenes at the Free Banquet, graphically expressing in song the indignant feelings of the numerous visitants to the Zoological Gardens.

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY . . . POLYTECHNIC HALL", The Age (9 December 1867), 5 

Mr. Thatcher's entertainment, "Life on the Gold-fields," continues to be favorably received. Mrs. Thatcher made her first appearance on Saturday last, and sang a Spanish song entitled "Vo Danzar," by Tito Mattei, and composed for Carlotta Patti; also the ballad of the "Skipper and his Boy," both of which met with unqualified approval. The new local song founded on the Free Banquet caused great amusement. There was a crowded house.

"PANORAMA - LIFE ON THE GOLD FIELDS", Ovens and Murray Advertiser [Beechworth, VIC] (26 December 1867), 2 

Every one has heard of Thatcher, poet, improvisatore and singer, whose songs have delighted so many colonial audiences, and become household words, as it were, throughout the mining districts of Victoria. This evening, that gentleman makes his appearance at St. George's Hall, Beechworth, and we may therefore conclude that every one will haste thither to view his panorama illustrative of life on the gold fields, and listen to his songs and sketches descriptive of the scenes placed before their eyes. Of course we cannot speak positively as to the merits of Mr. Thatcher's entertainment, not yet having witnessed it, but this much we can say, that everywhere the Press has spoken of it in the very highest terms, as being something altogether out of the common run of entertainments. Mr. Thatcher is no stranger in this portion of the colony, having visited Beechworth before on two separate occasions, on both of which he had no reason to regret his sojourn amongst us.

"LIFE ON THE GOLD FIELDS", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (31 December 1867), 2 

Mr. Thatcher improves upon acquaintance. Although the Hall was not so full as the entertainment deserved on Saturday night, the attendance Was pretty fair and evidently highly amused. Mr. Thatcher's local hits are smart and telling, and show that he picks up as a rule the very essence of the points which he so cleverly caricatures. One or two of them have been, we understand, thought ill-natured by the persons alluded to, but we are sure the audience who applauded were not influenced by any sentiment of satisfaction that some persons feelings were hurt - a sentiment which, however, undoubtedly prevails in all general assemblages. "The Beechworth Procession," namely a description of an imaginary display on the problematic arrival of the Duke of Edinburgh, is really very telling and set those present in roars of laughter.


"LIFE ON THE GOLD FIELDS", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (18 January 1868), 2 

Mr. Thatcher gave an entertainment in St. George's Hall, last evening, to a moderate house. He was exceedingly well received, and gave a new local song, which was highly appreciated by the audience. He repeats his entertainment at the hall this evening, and as this is positively his last appearance in Beechworth, the public will do well not to miss the treat.

"LIFE ON THE GOLD FIELDS", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (21 January 1868), 2 

Mr. Thatcher's entertainment at St. George's Hall, on Saturday evening, was so good that it certainly deserved better patronage on the part of the public, but we suppose the weather is in some degree accountable for the rather scanty attendance. The only features in the entertainment, differing from those previously given, were two local songs, one a running commentary on the names of the Beechworth traders, and the other entitled a Summary for England. In these Mr. Thatcher bestowed some hard raps pretty freely, but so good naturedly and in the true Thatcherian-style that the audience were fairly convulsed with laughter. Mr. Ballard and Mr. Hubert Stanley sang one or two songs in a pleasing manner, the playing of the latter gentleman likewise showing that he is an accomplished musician. Last evening Mr. Thatcher gave an entertainment at the El Dorado with a fair degree of success, at which place he will again repeat it this evening; on Wednesday (to-morrow) and Thursday he appears at Wangaratta; on Friday, at Myrtleford; on Saturday, at Growler's Creek; on Monday, 27th instant, at Bright; on Tuesday, at Tarrawingee; and on Wednesday, at Benalla. As these are positively his last entertainments in the Ovens district, we advise the public not to allow the opportunity of enjoying a real treat to pass without taking advantage of it.

"ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE. To the Editor of the . . .", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (13 February 1868), 3 

"ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE. To the Editor of the . . .", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (25 February 1868), 4 

Sir. - Your Bright correspondent - or rather your correspondent at Bright - has been giving himself a great deal of trouble to prove in your columns that he did give the information embodied in my local song. Had I known at the time that his talent was so versatile I should have solicited him to have put his thoughts into rhyme for me, and thus save me trouble. As regards the song, there was nothing objectionable in it and it was given in its entirety and without any elimination the second night; and so well were the public pleased with it, that I had pressing invitations by several influential inhabitants to stay another night, although your correspondent did not hear this deputations. With this explanation, I decline any further controversy with this Bright jack-of-all-trades and Ministerial wire-puller.
I remain, Sir,
Your Obedient Servant,
Melbourne, 19th February.
[We trust this stupid controversy will now cease. - Ed., O. and M. Advertiser.]

"THE DRAMA", Leader [Melbourne, VIC] (14 March 1868), 18 

Mr. C. R. Thatcher has announced a series of his entertainments of "Life on the Gold-fields" at the theatre at Castlemaine.

"NEWS AND NOTES", The Ballarat Star (6 April 1868), 2 

Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher made their first appearance at the Theatre Royal on Saturday night in their entertainment "Life on the Gold-fields." The house was not full, but was pretty well patronised in all parts. Mr. Thatcher was very well received, both in his songs, and anecdotes, and jokes, and Mrs. Thatcher was equally well received. She has a good voice of mezzo-soprano quality, clear, and pure, and fresh, and her songs are certainly the finest portion of the entertainment. Mr. Thatcher is of course the larger contributor, and his comic songs, and puns, and jokes, are as good as they used to be, but he was unnecessarily familiar on Saturday night with names of townsfolk. It is easy to overdo that sort of thing, and unless Mr. Thatcher wishes to please the gallery only, he must cultivate discretion as well as humor in those matters. Interspersed with his anecdotes and jokes there was a coarse levity now and then in allusion to drinking, temperance, and other things which is hardly suitable to a prominent house of entertainment in Ballarat of the present day. In fact, the Thatcher of to-day is so much the Thatcher of ten years ago, that he is now a little behind the requirements of that large class which opera, the higher drama, the classic concert, and other entertainments of similar rank in art, have been delighting for a long time in Ballarat. But having said so much, it is also our duty to state that his entertainment as it is will please a very large class, and might easily be made to please all but the hyper-fastidious. There is a panorama of views of emigrant and gold-fields life - painted by Hennings, of Melbourne - and these pictures are worth seeing. As each view is turned on, Mr. Thatcher, in a melange of pun, joke, anecdote, and song, illustrates the illustration, and a pianist accompanies him as he sings. Mr. Thatcher slashes all round him, poking his gibes at parliament and people, and from an exhaustless fund of fact and fiction, spiced with wit and humor, he brings out a succession of stories and songs that keep the house merry. There were fourteen pictures exhibited on Saturday night, and each was a peg on which the exhibitor hung a string of his merry nonsense and jolly songs, encores of the latter being frequent. At the close, Mrs. Thatcher sang the "Ah che la morte" in English, and, in response to an encore, a Scotch song. Both were charmingly given, but Mr. Thatcher's flute accompaniment to the aria from Verdi was no improvement, as the voice and instrument were not always in accord. Mr. Thatcher wound up by a delightfully absurd burlesque of newspaper monthly summaries. He is, as he used to be, a fellow of great humor; his voice is as sonorous and racy as of old; he has in the pictures the products of a facile artist to assist him, and in Mrs. Thatcher a singer whom every visitor will be pleased to hear and be disposed to hear again and again, for with [? without] some little peculiarities of expression which are not entirely in keeping with her general style, her singing is really agreeable. The entertainment will be repeated every evening till further notice.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Hennings (scenic artist, painter)

"CURRENT TOPICS", Geelong Advertiser (30 April 1868), 2 

Mr. Thatcher gave the first of his panoramic and descriptive entertainments in the Mechanics' Hall last evening, to but an indifferent audience, the room being not more than half filled. From the earliest days of the Australian gold fields Thatcher's entertainments have held a prominent and permanent place amongst the diggers' popular amusements. After some sixteen years' catering for the pleasure seeking population at the various diggings, he now turns the result of his experiences and observations to account in a series of racy sketches delivered in quaintly humourous and well chosen language, bristling through out with witty local and general hits which last evening elicited a continuous burst of laughter and were evidently thoroughly enjoyed, even by those present whose little peculiarities happened to be touched upon. Mrs. Thatcher sang two songs very effectively, and gained an encore at each appearance. The entertainment altogether, illustrated by numerous paintings, used more as text to dilate upon than self-recommended as a part of the programme - deserves to he well patronised, and will no doubt command a larger audience this evening, when it will he repeated with variations. Those who can enjoy a good laugh should certainly go and see Thatcher.

"CURRENT TOPICS", Geelong Advertiser (1 May 1868), 2 

"THE INIMITABLE THATCHER", Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (6 May 1868), 3 

A Pleasant Creek correspondent of the Ararat Advertiser writes : - "I notice that Mr. Thatcher writes you explaining to the public of Pleasant Creek his reasons for leaving here so abruptly. In the first place his statement will not bear inspection; as for as the outside public besieging the place, &c., I did not notice more people than usual who invariably assemble round about the Assembly Room of the Commercial Hotel on the occasion of any entertainment. The fact is he had a bad house for one thing, and no doubt a prick of conscience (if he has any) for another, in singing a most scurrilous song in reference to the town and institutions of Ararat, including the Press. He might have been under the impression that such abuse in shape of a song, especially when rendered in a cracked trumpet kind of voice, would go down here at Pleasant Creek, but he evidently must have found out his mistake. One of his reasons for leaving here so abruptly, so he said, was to enter an action of libel against the proprietors of the Ballarat Star, or whoever wrote the paragraph which appeared, I think, in the Star of the 20th inst.

"ENTERTAINMENTS", The Australasian [Melbourne, VIC] (30 May 1868), 18 

Mr. Schott - I beg his pardon, Herr Schott, though why Herr Schott I do not know, since he speaks English without the slightest German accent . . . did more than place before his audience a varied programme . . . and Herr Schott is quite warranted in congratulating himself on the success of his musical gathering. The occasion Was further specialised by what the bills termed "the farewell appearance of Mrs. Thatcher," a lady who, though perhaps bettor known in the provinces than in Melbourne, is very well worth the knowing, and if even she were not known at all, the fact of her being the wife of so eminent a humourist as Mr. Thatcher should always secure for her an attentive hearing. But as theatrical and musical farewells are seldom to be taken in their entirely literal significance, it is feasible you may have the pleasure of hearing Mrs. Thatcher many times before she quite goes away.

ASSOCIATIONS: James Arthur Schott (pianist, oboist)

New South Wales and Queensland (June 1868 to January 1869)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 June 1868), 8 

PIANIST. - Wanted, a competent PIANIST. Apply Mr. C. R. Thatcher, 61, Hunter-street.

"THATCHER'S ENTERTAINMENT", The Sydney Morning Herald (22 June 1868), 4 

Mr. Thatcher gave his pictorial and humorous entertainment, entitled "Life on the Gold-fields," for the first time in Sydney, on Saturday evening, in the hall of the School of Arts. He was not patronised by a very large audience; but judging from the manner in which his novel entertainment was received, there can be little doubt that, as it becomes better known, he will meet with the same amount of success in this colony that he met with in Victoria. The entertainment consists for the most part of a humourous sketch of colonial life. The emigrant's arrival in Melbourne, the strange sights which meet his eye, the manner in which the new chum is "fleeced," his journey to the gold-fields, the incidents of the journey, the hardships he has to endure, are all portrayed with a facetiousness and a pleasantry that keep the audience in constant laughter; and this part of the entertainment is further diversified and enlivened by a number of original comic songs. A musical medley, entitled "The Fight in the Assembly," which was written by Mr. Thatcher expressly for the occasion of his visit to New South Wales, abounds with wit, waggery, and satire, and sets forth the whole of the incidents connected with the memorable affray between Messrs. Lee and Macpherson, and the subsequent trial at Court, and the success of Mr. Macpherson's demurrer. The audience were in roars of laughter during the singing of this medley, and were very loud in their appreciation of its merits. Another song, having a local application, "The Sydney Summary for England," is also a very facetious and mirth-provoking production. The attraction of the evening, however, was the exquisite singing of Mrs. Charles Thatcher. She possesses a powerful, clear, and flexible voice, and sang some ballads and operatic airs with great taste. The audience encored her on each occasion, and testified in a very marked manner their admiration of her vocal talents. In addition to the pianoforte accompaniments, she was, in three of her songs, also accompanied by Mr. Thatcher on the flute, the effect being very beautiful.

"GYMPIE", Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser [QLD] (22 August 1868), 3 

The inimitable Thatcher is giving his "Life on the Gold-fields", and hitting off our local celebrities with success. The Leopolds have opened the new Varieties Theatre, and Ashton's Circus is again amongst us. Up to yesterday the number of reefs registered was 130.

"MARY RIVER GOLD FIELDS. GYMPIE", Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser [QLD] (25 August 1868), 2 

Inimitable Thatcher, and the peerless Blue Tailed Fly (Barlow), have amalgamated, and instead of following the frenzied crowd now crowding around the police camp at Surface Hill have selected a splendid site for business on Caledonian Hill, where they will open an establishment for the diffusion of amusement and delight to onr sons of toil, and the gueid wives and wee ones, and the dear lassies not yet adorned with the plain gold ring.

"SUMMARY OF NEWS", Border Watch [Mount Gambier, SA] (16 September 1868), 3 

According to a telegram in Saturday's Argus, Cobb's coach was stuck up when three miles out from Gympie by three armed men, who robbed the passengers and plundered the mails, and then decamped. Mr. Power, of Melbourne, and Mr. Thatcher, the vocalist, were two of the victims who were relieved of their money and valuables.

"MR. THATCHER'S ENTERTAINMENTS", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser [NSW] (12 November 1868), 3 

The attendance at the Olympic Theatre at Mr. Thatcher's entertainments was pretty fair on Monday and Tuesday, and the sparkling humour of his descriptive lecture, and the happy hits contained in his new local song, which has been amplified on each successive night of its delivery, were duly appreciated. Mrs. Thatcher's ballads were also very loudly applauded. The entertainment is announced for this evening in East Maitland, and to-morrow night in Morpeth.


"MR. HOFFMANN'S CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (1 January 1869), 5 

A very excellent concert, for the benefit of Mr. Hoffmann, whose talents as a vocalist are known and appreciated by many amateurs of the "gay science," was given at the Masonic Hall last night. The audience was not so large as Mr. Hoffmann's friends could havo desired, but the paucity of the attendance was no doubt owing to the many counter attractions afoot on New Year's Eve, and not to want of taste on the part of the public. The performances were excellent. Mr. Horsley played several piano solos in splendid style, and a duet with Mr. Klein, who played the violin. Mr. Hoffmann, sang the "Battle Prayer" and the "Volkslied" with good taste and discretion; Mrs. Charles Thatcher sang a couple of ballads with her usual success . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Hoffmann; Charles Edward Horsley; John Klein

"MELBOURNE . . . January 6", Mount Alexander Mail (7 January 1869), 3 

We find the old goldfields favourites, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Thatcher, having tired of the pleasant (?) excitements of bushranging visitations, and very limited provincial success, have come again into the land of civilization, and are singing in Sydney.

"VOCAL AND INSTRUMENTAL CONCERT", Empire (14 January 1869), 2 

Mr. Hoffmann gave the second of his series of vocal and instrumental concerts, last evening, at the School of Arts, assisted by Messrs, C. E. Horsley, Hodge, E. Deane, Mrs. Charles Thatcher, and some gentlemen amateurs . . . Mrs. Charles Thatcher's rendering of Madame Anna Bishop's favourite ballad, "My bud in Heaven," and the celebrated song "The skipper to his boy," elicited great applause . . .

New Zealand (March 1869 to mid 1870)

"Shipping Intelligence . . . ENTERED INWARDS", Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle (31 March 1869), 2 

29, steamer Rangitoto, 449, Hagley, from Melbourne, via West Coast. Passengers: saloon - Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher and child . . .

"THE COUNTRY", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (13 August 1869), 2 

JAMES HERBERT THATCHER, brother to Mr. Thatcher, the celebrated vocalist, died in the Sandhurst Hospital on Saturday, at the early age of thirty-seven, from disease of the heart and lungs. The deceased was for a length of time employed as a clerk in the office of Mr. Flegg, solicitor, in Sandhurst, and was afterwards the landlord of the Fountain Hotel, at the White-hills.

Charles Thatcher, NZ, November 1869; Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand

Charles Thatcher, NZ, November 1869; Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand (DIGITISED)

"BIRTH", New Zealand Herald (11 November 1869), 4 

On November 7, at Albert street, the wife of Mr. Charles R. Thatcher, of a daughter.

"THE THATCHER COMPANY", The Herald [Melbourne, VIC] (31 January 1870), 2 

This company, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher, Mr. John Small, Mr. Daniels, and Mr. Salaman (pianist), after a more than average season at Canterbury and Nelson, arrived at Dunedin, from the north, by the Tararua, and were shortly to open in Dunedin.

"DUNEDIN (From our own Correspondent) March 17th, 1870", Cromwell Argus [NZ] (23 March 1870), 5 

. . . Mrs. Thatcher has re-joined her husband, and their talent nightly draws a thumping audience to the Masonic Hall . . .

"MR. THATCHER'S LATEST EXPLOIT [From the Oamaru Times], The Mercury [Hobart, TAS] (2 June 1870), 3 

. . . Mr. Thatcher gave his farewell performance on Tuesday evening, in the Masonic Hall. During the day he made the mistake of ringing about the town the name of a gentleman well-known in Oamaru, as the proposed subject of a local song, and was rewarded with a very thin house. Messrs. Small and Daniels were loudly applauded in all their songs, and Mr. Thatcher as loudly hissed, and when the Inimitable appeared to sing the last song of the evening, he was hooted, and hissed, and pelted with bad eggs and rotten apples.

"THE 'INIMITABLE' ON HIS TRAVELS", West Coast Times (27 September 1870), 3 

August 22. My dear ---, Since writing my last, letter I have had ample leisure to form permanent impressions of Honolulu . . . I leave the place not without regret at leaving many whose acquaintances was to me a real pleasure.
- CHARLES R. THATCHER. - My next letter will be from San Francisco.

"Theatricals in California (From the Australasian)", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Chronicle (26 November 1870), 3 

The latest dates (Sept. 13), from the city of the golden gate, San Francisco, supply several interesting items of gossip in the dramatic world of that metropolis . . . Mr. Charles Thatcher, comic singer, author, and conchologist, as he is called by many people, arrived here by the last steamer from New Zealand. He has not yet shown, but is in treaty for Maguire's Opera House for a season . . .


"THE VICTORIAN IN LONDON [FROM OUR, LONDON CORRESPONDENT] 24th March", Leader [Melbourne, VIC] (20 May 1871), 23 

. . . A less distinguished individual, the once "inimitable" Thatcher, has recently arrived in town from the United States. Mr. Thatcher is now a speculator in works of art and articles of virtu, and visits the continent occasionally as a purchaser of this description of merchandise . . .

"THE THEATRES AND MUSIC", The Ballarat Courier (15 May 1871), 3 

. . . The "inimitable" Thatcher was lately seen in London. He had recently arrived from America, via the Pacific railway, and was on the eve of leaving for the Continent, to embark in mercantile speculations . . .

"A SKETCH FROM PARIS", Daily Southern Cross (31 May 1871), 3 

The following extract from a letter written by Mr. C. R. Thatcher, the "inimitable," will probably be read with interest: - Paris, Rue Cujas, March 12, 1871 . . . I leave Paris for Rotterdam on Tuesday, and shall be glad when I am again on Belgic soil . . .

"CHARLES THATCHER", Bendigo Advertiser (11 July 1871), 2 

The following extract from a letter from Mr. Thatcher appears in the Southern Cross (New Zealand paper) dated from Paris: - "On Sundays one is shocked to see the total desecration of the Sabbath. All the shops are open, and it seems the most profitable day for business. Whether this want of conformity to and deference to the Divine law has anything to do with the present deplorable condition of France I leave others to determine. I believe myself that no nation in the long run can be prosperous where the Sabbath is totally ignored as a day of rest." Near the end of his letter he says: - "I am not likely to return to the colonies, but am going to start in business in the West End of London; and it has been to buy goods that brought me abroad."

September 1871, Melbourne, VIC

[Advertisement], The Herald (13 September 1871), 2 

TOWN-HALL, MELBOURNE. SATURDAY EVENING, 10th SEPTEMBER, At 8 o'clock. GRAND POPULAR CONCERT In aid of the Widow and Family of the Late Herr STAAB. Given by his Professional Brethren . . . The following ladies and gentlemen will kindly contribute their services:- Miss Carandini, Miss Amelia Bailey, Mrs. C. R. Thatcher . . .
J. A. SCHOTT. Hon. Sec.

ASSOCIATIONS: Franz Staab: Amelia Bailey; James Arthur Schott

[Advertisement], The Argus (24 October 1871), 8 

BUZ! - Madame VICTORINE PETT'S Grand CONCERT, vocal, instrumental, comical. To-night, Richmond Town-hall . . .
BUZ! - Miss AMELIA BAILEY will sing . . .
BUZ! - Mrs. THATCHER will sing - "Vo Danzar," and "Canticlieer" (cornet and violin, Warnecke and Schnelling). To-night . . .
BUZ! - BARLOW'S original BLUE-TAILED FLY will buz for the last time . . . R. Smythe, Manager.

ASSOCIATIONS: Victorine Pett; Robert Barlow; Robert Smyth

2 November 1871, letter from Charles Thatcher, in London

"THE 'INIMITABLE' IN LONDON", Daily Southern Cross [NZ] (12 January 1872), 3 

We have received the following characteristic letter from Mr. C. R. Thatcher, which will be read with interest by his many friends in the colonies: -

Please contradict the report that I am about to bring a panorama to the colonies, I have no such intentions, having given up all ideas of the kind. As regards my troubles when in Paris, I have only to say that my visit to that city in such critical times was, to a certain extent, disastrous, and I might have lost my life. As it was I suffered plunder, but it was worth all the risks to see the last of the fighting. I hope to return some time or other to the colonies, as I have seen no country in the world equal to New Zealand for its climate, or the cordiality of its people. In London you may hang, shoot, or drown, and it is of not the least consequence to anyone but yourself. When poor Montgomery suicided, the general remark was a grunt, and the gruff exclamation, "Poor devil - shouldn't have got married or played Shakespeare in London." While on the subject of the theatres, I must state that I have been to some half-dozen of the leading houses, for though as a rule I do not care for theatres, I wanted to see what our London actors and actresses can do in the histrionic line . . .

A short time since I bethought me of an old theatrical crony, Charley Walsh, with whom I sang in the first theatre that was opened on Bendigo in 1854, and hearing that he was playing at the Pavilion, in the Whitechapel Road, I went there, found him out before the play commenced, and he introduced me to the proprietor, an Israelite, and a smart business man, who generously presented me with a ticket to the boxes to see a four-act drama, entitled "£20,000 a-year." As my friend Charley was to appear in it, I resolved to sit it out reckless of consequences. Let me say that the Pavilion Theatre is one of the largest in London, about the same size as the Theatre Royal, Melbourne, but has not the same number of tiers. The piece de resistance I have already said was "£20,000 a-year," and we find that next to being in possession of that coveted sum, the best thing is to see and envy those who are. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Act 1st, shews us the heir, Gage Mortimer, just come into the possession of the estate with an enormous rent-roll, and an unjust steward, and my friend Charley Walsh dressed (as a virtuous fanner should be) in an antideluvian velveteen coat, a figured waistcoat a yard and a quarter long, a chapeau, (a cross between a cocked-hat and a wide-a-wake), and top boots that breathed integrity. The honest rustic complains to the squire that the steward has deprived him of his farm, and Gage Mortimer, the said squire, tells him he shall have it back, to the deafening cheers of the clodpoles around . . . The theatre "was crowded in all parts, and the greatest applause was manifest when any virtuous sentiments were expressed; and when my friend, the honest farmer, on being bribed by the unjust steward, says "One greater than the Squire has planted honor and honesty," putting his hand on his large-figured waist-coat, there was loud cheering. Such is the pabulum which an East End audience crowds to see. I must say that the acting was good, and the scenery, dresses, and appointments first-rate. As regards music halls you are everlastingly commanded to "give your orders." The men singers are mostly very good hornpipe dancers, and the females betraying more leg than is warranted by the cold weather. The music of the songs is very good, but the words trashy. The most enjoyable entertainment of late has been the Promenade Concerts at Drury Lane, with high tone singers, and a orchestra of 70 or 80, with Benedict conducting . . . But must conclude. -
Believe me, yours faithfully, CHARLES R. THATCHER. - London, 2nd November.

26 December 1871, first appearnace of Annie Day as Lydia Howarde, Sydney, NSW

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", Sydney Punch (30 December 1871), 7 

Mr. Garnet Welch's Fairy Extravaganza "Trookulentos, the Tempter" was produced on Monday evening to a house crowded in every part . . . The swell of the period was very ably depicted by Miss Alicia Mandeville, and it was to be regretted that there were not more opportunities of seeing and hearing her. Miss Lydia Howarde as Placida, carried off the honors of the evening. Possessed of a fine voice, a commanding presence, and an agreeable manner, this lady will prove a great acquisition. She was very warmly welcomed and frequently applauded . . . The orchestra has been under the superintendence of Mr. J. Hill, by whom also the music has been written and arranged . . .

"TROOKULENTOS", Empire (2 January 1872), 3 

. . . Miss Lydia Howarde, as 'Placida,' the Fairy Queen, is the mainstay of the piece. Her rendering of the songs entrusted to her has astonished not less than it has gratified her auditors. To a pure, clear, and resonant soprano voice she adds the advantages of a good figure, and an accurate conception of the effective in costume. We do not think Miss Howarde has faced the foot-lights very long, our suspicion being that the lady is more familiar with the concert room than the stage. Nevertheless she has a good idea of stage 'business,' and acts her part well; and we doubt not will prove an acquisition to the colonial drama . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Garnet Welch; Alicia Mandeville (sister of Agatha States); John Hill

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (11 January 1872), 1 

On the 4th instant, at St. Alban's Church, Musclebrook, by the Rev. Canon White, RICHMOND, son of the late CHARLES ROBERT THATCHER, Esq., of Brighton, England, to MARIA, eldest daughter of GEORGE BLUNT, Esq., of Sodwalls and Musclebrook.

[Sydney news], The Herald [Melbourne, VIC] (23 March 1872), 2 

The amusements of Sydney are looking up, so says a communication of last date from that city . . . The Victoria will have at Easter, as the novelty, "Orpheus and Eurydice," with some of Offenbach's music, introduced by Lydia Howard (Mrs. Charles Thatcher) and Miss Alicia Mandeville (Madame Agatha States' sister) . . .

"THE STAGE", Weekly Times [Melbourne, VIC] (3 January 1874), 9 

At the Opera-house an Australian pantomime has been produced that is specially interesting, because it is entirely a colonial production, and treats of Australian subjects. Mr. Garnet Walch is the author, and the title of tbe pantomime is "Australia Felix, or Harlequin Laughing Jackass and the Magic Bat" . . . Miss Lydia Howard e makes her debut in Victoria as Mirth. She comes to us with a good reputation from Sydney, and is sure to secure a large number of admirers. She dresses handsomely, has a good well developed figure, sings far better than most actresses, dances neatly, and has plenty of vivacity. There is a hardness of expression about her, and a too rapid utterance, but these will probably pass away as she becomes more accustomed to the stage of the Opera-house . . .

"The Theatres", The Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil (24 January 1874), 187 

. . . The piece [Australia Felix] has served, also, to bring out in Melbourne an actress who ought long ago to have been well known in this city, but who has only just now made her appearance for the first time - though, having enjoyed a continued popularity in New Zealand and the provinces of Victoria, she has acquired an agreeable ease and finish, both in acting and singing, which at once put her on good terms with the audience. From this time, however, Miss Lydia Howarde may reckon Melbourne among the places where she has many friends.

Thatcheria mirabilis, figures 1a and 1b; G. F. Angas 1877

G. F. Angas. "Descriptions of a new genus of gasteropodous Mollusca from Japan, and of a new species of Bullia from Kurachi", Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London (1877), 529-30, and plate 54 (DIGITISED)

Subfamily FUSINAE. THATCHERIA, new genus . . . THATCHERIA MIRABILIS (Plate LIV. figs 1 a, 1 b) . . . This very remarkable shell, quite unlike anything hitherto met with, was recently brought from Japan by Mr. Charles Thatcher. The specimen is believed to be unique . . .

"A NEW CONCHOLOGICAL SPECIMEN", Brighton Herald [Sussex, England] (4 August 1877), 4

Mr. C. R. Thatcher, an old Brightonian, well-known for his taste for natural history specimens, has just returned to England, after a five years collecting journey through China, Japan, the Phillipine Islands, and Australia, during which he has procured a specimen of a new species of shell. Nature says the specimen was described, at the June meeting of the Zoological Society, by Mr. George French Angas, by whom it is proposed to give it the name Thatcheria, in honour of its discoverer.

ASSOCIATIONS: George French Angas; see also Thatcheria mirabilis (Angas, 1877)

30 November 1877, letter from Charles Thatcher, London

[News], Glen Innes Examiner and General Advertiser (6 March 1878), 4 

The Western Independent says: - The following letter has been received from a well-known colonial celebrity who has been lost to the view of the public of these parts for some years: -

"London, November 30th 1877.
- Although you may not have heard of the ex-comic vocalist, I must say I have not been idle all these years. By a catalogue I post to you, you will see that the great auctioneers, Christie, Manson, and Woods, are selling my collection. I have travelled extensively in the interior of China and Japan, learnt both languages, and had many curious adventures, which some day I may give in a book. I was brought up by my father to the study and sale of old China, but unfortunately I fooled my time away on the stage. I have made far more money at my legitimate profession than in the palmiest days of my vocation as a vocalist. I return back to China and Japan in January. I mean, if all goes well, to go a thousand miles up the Yellow River in China to explore for old porcelain. I have sold at present in London old porcelain to the value of £10,000, and have a large collection yet not sold. I am so full of business that I have to be brief. Remember me to all. -
Believe me, yours faithfully, Charles R. Thatcher."

[Advertisement], The academy (12 January 1878), 22 (DIGITISED)

The Remaining Portion of the Collection of Chinese and Japanese Porcelain and Curiosities of C. R. Thatcher, Esq. MESSRS. CHRISTIE, MANSON, & WOODS respectfully give notice that they will SELL by AUCTION, at their Great Rooms, King Street, St. James's Square, on MONDAY, January 24, at 1 precisely, the Remaining Portion of the valuable Collection of CHINESE and JAPANESE PORCELAIN and CURIOSITIES, formed by C. R. Thatcher, Esq., during six years' travel in the Interior of China and Japan, comprising Old Nankin, Turquoise Crackle, enamelled, and other Oriental porcelain, carvings in crystal and Jade, Japan lacquer, bronzes, and enamels.

"OLD ACQUAINTANCES", Bendigo Advertiser (8 June 1878), 2 

We have not heard of our old friend Charles Thatcher for some time, and Sandhurst residents who remember him in the good old days of the Shamrock free concerts will be glad to hear of his well doing. A correspondent of the Argus in China, in a late communication, states that he met him in a steamer on a trip from Hong Kong to Canton. He says that "in his present avocation of a 'curio' collector and exporter he is well and profitably employed."

17/18 September 1878, death of Charles Thatcher, Shanghai, China

[News], The Argus (8 November 1878), 5 

A Shanghai paper just received records the death of Mr. C. R. Thatcher, formerly of Sandhurst and New Zealand. Mr. Thatcher died of cholera, and was not ill more than a few hours. He was a brother of Mr. Richmond Thatcher, agent of Miss Ada Ward, who is now at Adelaide. As a comic vocihat he was, some years ago, quite an institution at Sandhurst, on account of the facility with which he took up local subjects and humorously dealt with them in the songs he used to sing. More lately he had profitably employed his ability as a naturalist in making collections in India and China for private museums and other purposes.

"ENTERTAINMENTS", The Australasian (9 November 1878), 18 

. . . in connexion with "Macbeth," I have to mention that the part of Hecate will not be played by Miss Lydia Howarde, in consequence of her having received the news of the death of her husband, Mr. C. R. Thatcher, at Shanghai, on the 18th of September, of cholera. Mr. Thatcher was formerly well known in Victoria and afterwards in New Zealand, as a vocalist, humourist, and composer. Latterly, he has lived a -good deal in India and China, where he has been engaged in making collections of shells and curiosities generally.

"NOTES", Nature (7 November 1878), 16 (DIGITISED)

IT is with regret we announce the death of Mr. Charles R. Thatcher, the well-known conchological collector. It will be remembered that we alluded a few months ago to the number of genera and species of shells lately described, due to the indefatigability of this gentleman, including the unique and wonderful Thatcheria mirabilis, described in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society by Mr. G. F. Angas, and the Delphinulopsis Lesourdi, described by Mr. Bryce-Wright in the Journal de Conchyliologie, Paris. Mr. Thatcher started, a few months ago, on a five year collecting tour, and had made the most perfect arrangements for deep-sea and shallow dredgings. He was attacked suddenly by fever, and died a few days after his arrival at Shanghai. There is no greater loss to conchological science than this gentleman's death, as he was undoubtedly the most successful collector of the day.

"DEATH OF MR. C. R. THATCHER", Bendigo Advertiser (9 November 1878), 3

To many of the present residents of Sandhurst Charles Thatcher will only be known by name. But by all old Bendigonians he will be well remembered, and the news of his death from cholera at Shanghai will be received by them with deep regret. In the glorious days of gold-digging, when through the enterprise of Mr. William Heffernan the public of Sandhurst were supplied nightly with free concerts at the Shamrock Hotel, the performers at which consisted of the very highest talent, male and female, vocal and instrumental, obtainable in the colony, the appearance of Mr. Thatcher on the stage was always looked for with interest and often with impatience. He was always ready with a song of his own composing on some local subject, and so happy were his hits, and so racy and piquant was his style, although he had only an indifferent voice, that amongst vocalists of the highest order he ranked as first popular favorite, and was generally known as "the Inimitable Charley." He has left the colony for some years, and has been travelling in China and Japan, where he employed him self in making valuable collections of curios, by which means it is said he made a good deal of money. It is to be feared the following notice of his death, which we clip from the Argus, is only too true, although we would fain indulge the hope that there may be some mistake. Mr. Thatcher, whilst one of the most clever and amusing public performers we ever met with, was withal a thoroughly steady and saving man, and a good citizen. We can only say we have read the subjoined paragraph with a very sad feeling, as will every one who had the pleasure of knowing the deceased gentleman: - "A Shanghai paper just received records the death of Mr. C. R. Thatcher, formerly of Sandhurst and New Zealand. Mr. Thatcher died of cholera, and was not ill more than a few hours. He was a brother of Mr. Richmond Thatcher, agent of Miss Ada Ward, who is now at Adelaide. As a comic vocalist he was, some years ago, quite an institution at Sandhurst on account of the facility with which he took up local subjects and humorously dealt with them in the songs he used to sing. More lately he had profitably employed his ability as a naturalist in making collections in India and China for private museums and other purposes.

"THE MIRROR", Saturday Advertiser [NZ] (23 November 1878), 13 

. . . There is another old stager, although in a different line, whose name will recall to thousands in this colony vanished scenes and associations. C. R. Thatcher, the prince of local song-writers, has gone home to his fathers, Thatcher, "the inimitable," as he loved to style himself, has made his exit from the stage of life. Himself and his songs are now but things of the past, for the fame which he acquired by his rhyming squibs was but ephemeral. He scribbled and warbled to please the whims of the passing throng, and to accumulate, money; and he succeeded in both. He was not one of your flighty dreamers, ever soaring after a chimera, and living for fame beyond the grave. Thatcher lived for this life and sang for this life. He caught the substance of fame like a sensible man, and left its shadow to the aspiring fools whose thoughts wander beyond the tomb. He possessed a happy knack of hitting off the foibles of the day; but, to do him justice, he seldom descended to vulgarity or bitterness in his satirical effusions. There was generally a good-natured ring about his verses, which had the effect of disarming the persons lampooned by him. I have no doubt many of my readers can picture in their "mind's eye" the good looking, smartly dressed, and cheeky minstrel, standing on the stage of the old Shamrock concert hall, Bendigo, and narrating, with nasal lyric-dramatic effect, the startling adventures of
Cock-eyed Fan,
The girl who diddled the Chinaman,
or the no less wonderful incident in connection with, the history of Stephen Cain, that nice young man,
Who went to Bendigo, In the days when Eaglehawk was young;
or that remarkable episode in the annals of "Bullock Creek," where the leeches took such remarkable liberties with the lady bathers. That ever popular (at least to Cockneys) melody, "Petticoat Lane," will also be green in the recollections of Bendigonians, and some of them would
Like now to drop into old Harry Potter's,
Where they served up the slap-bang so stunning and hot;
or to
Satisfy soon their most craving desires,
Do their pennorth o' puddin' again and again;
And slip into the fried fish of old Mother Myers,
That buxom old Jewess in Petticoat Lane."
Although but a lad in these times, I can recall a number of snatches of his songs yet, and these bring the form of C. R. Thatcher as fresh before my vision as when I beheld him in propria persona, over twenty years ago. Poor Thatcher, although you could hardly lay claim to the title of poet, even in a minor degree, still you were not altogether destitute of the poetic faculty. As humorous chronicles of strange persons and events in connection with the "golden days," your verses are still interesting. Peace to your manes, Thatcher; peace to your manes. You did good work in your time by your witticisms and drolleries. You made thousands of hearts light with laughter in your day, so your life was not spent in vain. Peace to your manes!

"Dramatic and Musical . . .", Otago Witness [NZ] (30 November 1878), 13 

The Bendigo Advertiser has the following lines about the late Mr. C. R. Thatcher, so well known in New Zealand and Victoria as a ballad writer on topical subjects: - [As above]

"THE LATE C. R. THATCHER", Journal of conchology 2 (1879), 172 (DIGITISED)

Our readers will regret to learn of the recent decease of this well-known conchological collector. Several months ago he started on a five years' collecting tour, and had made the most careful arrangements for deep-sea and shallow dredging. Attacked suddenly by fever he died a few days after reaching Shanghai. His loss is almost irreparable and his abilities were great. To his indefatigability we owe the discovery of the unique Thatcheria mirabilis (Angas, P.Z.S.), which will now be his most enduring memorial; also of Delphinulopsis Lesourdi, described by Bryce Wright in the French Journal de Conchyliologie. Many other interesting forms are due to his labors.

NOTE: On Thatcher's other discoveries, see also James C. Cox, "On three new species of Australian marine shells", Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London (13 May 1869), 358, and plate 26 (DIGITISED)

"DRAMA IN AUSTRALIA (FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT) SYDNEY, NOVEMBER 4, 1878", The Era [London, England] (2 February 1879), 7

MR. CHARLES THATCHER, topical vocalist and song writer, is dead, leaving Miss Lydia Howarde a widow.

National probate calendar (UK), 26 March 1879 (PAYWALL)

THATCHER Charles Robert / Personal Estate under £7,000. / 26 March. The Will of Charles Robert Thatcher late of Bernard-street Russell-square in the County of Middlesex Foreign Dealer who died 17 September 1878

"LATE TELEGRAM", Auckland Star [NZ] (5 May 1879), 2 

Nature, a high-class scientific journal, published in England, has a very eulogistic obituary notice of the late Charles Robert Thatcher, who will be well remembered as a vocalist on the Australian diggings and throughout New Zealand. After referring to his discovery of an entirely new genus of shell, which Mr. G. F. Angas named "Thatcher mirabilis." The notice concluded - "There is no greater lost to conchological science than this gentleman's death, as he was undoubtedly the most successful collector of his day." It appears from this that Mr. Thatcher was something more than a mere rhymester.

After 1878

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 July 1883), 2 

MISS LYDIA HOWARDE, Teacher of Singing and Pianoforte, 270, Victoria-street, Darlinghurst.

14 October 1883, death of Sophia Matilda Thatcher, senior

"DEATHS", Evening News (24 December 1883), 4 

THATCHER. - October 14, at Brighton, England, Sophia Matilda, relict of the late Charles Robert Thatcher, of Brighton, and mother of the late C. R. Thatcher, of Victoria, improvisatore, and of Richmond Thatcher, of Sydney, journalist. "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away." Rev. XXI. 4 V.

"Mr. Richmond Thatcher", Australian Town and Country Journal (20 September 1884), 29 

MR. Richmond Thatcher, Grand Primo of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, a branch of an English organisation for the promotion of philanthropy and good fellowship, which has taken a strong hold in this colony, is the son of a town councillor of Brighton, the queen of English watering-places. He was born there in 1842 [sic, 1841]. At a very early age he went to sea as a midshipman in the service of Mr. Duncan Danbar, and in that capacity visited India, China, the Cape of Good Hope, and Western Australia. In 1861 Mr. Thatcher joined his brother, the goldfields poet and improvisatore, and followed the New Zealand rushes. When the poetry of gold seeking failed, under the auspices of Professor McCoy, the eminent scientist, curator of the Melbourne University museum, Dr. Cox, of this city, and other naturalists, Mr. Thatcher travelled the coasts of Australia in search of specimens of conchology, and succeeded much in assisting to make the scientific world acquainted with our wealth of beautiful shells. In Fiji, in 1870, Mr. Thatcher, who had previously contributed to SYDNEY PUNCH and other periodicals, assumed the editorship of the FIJI TIMES, and also acted as secretary to Mr. Sydney Burt, Premier for Thakambau, King of that realm. Returning to Sydney in the following year he adopted literature as a profession and started the UPPER HUNTER COURIER and MURRURUNDI TIMES, next he edited the WESTERN INDEPENDENT, at Bathurst, and afterwards accepted a position on the staff of the Sydney EVENING NEWS, which he occupied till he left in order to pilot Mrs. Scott Siddons through the colonies. In that new vocation Mr. Thatcher acted as agent to the Davenport Brothers, Mr. J. K. Emmet, Levy the cornet player, and Miss Ada Ward, whom he accompanied to England, the European Continent, and South Africa. Three years age he again visited England in advance of a colonial minstrel organisation and returned with a dramatic attraction. Although now a licensed victualler, Mr. Thatcher is a voluminous contributor to the press. The accompanying portrait is from the pencil of Mr. Charles Turner, the well-known artist, cut by Mr. Wragge.

"LATEST SPECIAL TELEGRAMS", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (19 March 1887), 4 

A divorce case, by Thos. Dorn, who has been imprisoned for 28 months for contempt of court, owing to his being unable to pay 30s a week to support his children, came before the Court to-day. Petitioner's wife is said to have left the colony and gone to Melbourne with the actress Lydia Howard, under an assumed name, and cannot now be found.

[Advertisement], North Melbourne Advertiser (9 February 1889), 2

MRS. CHARLES THATCHER, TEACHER SINGING AND MUSIC, 'Layton,' Ardmillan Rd., Moonee Ponds. At Home Wednesday Afternoons.

9 June 1891, death of Richmond Thatcher

"Death of Richmond Thatcher", Evening News [Sydney, NSW] (10 June 1891), 6 

We regret to have to announce the death of one well known in journalistic and dramatic circles. Mr. Richmond Thatcher, Dick Thatcher, as he was best known, was for many years connected with journalism in New South Wales and in other colonies, and had made his mark as a facile and forcible general writer, with considerable talent for description and for dramatic criticism. He was a native of Brighton, England, and his first newspaper experience was in Fiji, where he for a short time edited a paper. He travelled through all the colonies, and had some connection with newspapers in most of them, but the only one in which he eyer settled down to regular press work was the mother colony, where for several years he made his home. Among other engagements he fulfilled was that of editor of the Bathurst INDEPENDENT, and he was afterwards for some years on the literary staffs of the EMPIRE, the EVENING NEWS, and the TOWN AND COUNTRY JOURNAL. These papers he left to undertake the duties of theatrical agent to Mrs. Scott-Siddons after that distinguished actress had fulfilled her Sydney engagements. Thereafter he was variously connected with the stage in the capacity of agent, and with the press. Towards the close of the year 1888 his health began to fail. His brain gave unmistakable signs of giving way, but careful treatment brought him round, and not long since he appeared to be in excellent health. Two months ago he was induced by a friend to accept a situation at the New Hebrides in connection with the island trade, but the trip proved disastrous to his health. He contracted fever and ague, and last Friday he returned to Sydney by the Rockton, and, in addition to the malady named he was found to be suffering from Bright's disease. Dr. Muskett attended him; but his case was hopeless, and he succumbed yesterday at 1 o'clock p.m. He leaves a widow and one son. His remains will be interred in the Waverley Cemetery on Thursday afternoon. The funeral will leave 132, Castlereagh-street, where poor Dick breathed his last, at 2.30 p.m. The deceased was 49 years of age. His eldest brother, the late Charles Thatcher, who will be remembered in the Australian colonies for his flute-playing and his almost impromptu local comic songs, died some years ago in Hongkong at the same age [sic].

18 June 1917, death of Annie Day (Lydia Howarde)

"REMINISCENCES OF THE STAGE . . . BY VALENTINE DAY", Referee [Sydney, NSW] (27 June 1917), 14 

Lydia Howarde, Mrs. Charles Thatcher, the clever burlesque actress and vocalist, recently eulogised in our Tivoli series, died on Monday, June 18, at her home, Moonee Ponds, Melbourne. She died apparently from bodily weakness, following an operation for cataract of nearly two years since, but was able to read and write up to the last.

[Advertisement], The Argus (29 June 1917), 1 

NOTICE is hereby given, that after the expiration of fourteen days from the publication hereof application will be made to the Supreme Court of the State of Victoria, in the Probate jurisdiction, that PROBATE of the LAST WILL and TESTAMENT of LYDIA ANN THATCHER, late of "Layton," Ardmillan road, Moonee Ponds, in the said State, widow, deceased, be granted to Cecile Florence Miriam Thatcher, of "Layton," Ardmillan road, Moonee Ponds aforesaid, spinster, the sole executrix appointed by the said will.
LYNCH and MACDONALD, Collins House, 360 Collins street, Melbourne, proctors for the applicant.


[Arthur Leslie Bourcicault], "Selling a Singer", The Daily Northern Argus (11 July 1877), 3 

Who has not heard of Thatcher - Thatcher the inimitable, Thatcher the irrepressible? Few old colonists but will remember him; amongst the rising generation his name may be not so well known, so, for their information, I will give a short sketch of the hero of his anecdote.

Thatcher was a comic singer, and writer of local songs, who flourished at the time when diggers ate bank-notes in sardines, and committed other ridiculous and indigestible feats. His popularity was unbounded, and his broad allusions and local hits, through the medium of his songs, were highly relished and loudly applauded by the horny-handed diggers who attended his nightly levees. He had a happy knack of stringing together rhymes, and working his highly-seasoned bits of scandal, that hit the popular taste amazingly; and Thatcher waxed fat on the fruits of his brains and voice. Truth compels us to taste that his allusions were sometimes not over delicate; but digging society was not over squeamish in those days - they required their pabulum highly spiced, and they had it. I remember on one occasion he announced a new song called "The Amorous Bank Manager," the subject being certain love passages, that were supposed to have taken place between a well-known Melbourne banker and the wife of a certain vocal celebrity, who nightly delighted large audiences as an Ethiopian Serenader. The banker and his friends in vain endeavoured to prevent it being sung; they threatened, and tried to bribe the inimitable with a large sum of money - report said £200 ; but Thatcher withstood the temptation, saying that he never disappointed the public, and sung it was to a crowded house, the audience, most of whom knew the facts, insisting on having it repeated three times. Years went on, but for a short time Thatcher held the premier position as comic vocalist throughout the colonies - the tidal wave of Christy minstrelsy deluged the land, and Thatcher's popularity waned.

About this time the rush to New Zealand set in, and the inimitable sought fresh fields and pastures new. Again he was the idol of the hour, and the primitive inhabitants of New Zealand writhed under his witticisms, whilst the sturdy Victorian miners, who had overrun the land, laughed at the rage of the old identities, as the early Dunedin settlers were called. When the rush to Hokitiki took place, Thatcher was among the first to arrive, and as soon as a building could be had, resumed his professional career. Society on the West Coast was at this time in a rather chaotic state; people had not yet shaken down into their positions. Thatcher, however found plenty of material for his local songs, the not well-defined, or rather doubtful relations between some of the leading men and their so-called wives, affording him ample scope for his peculiar talent. The female population were rather limited, consequently the supply was not equal to the demand. The consequence was, ladies whose lives had been chiefly passed in dispensing nobblers to the thirsty diggers, or whirling through the mazy dance at some of the dancing saloons, found themselves sought after by men who, under other circumstances would have scarcely condescended to notice them. Some married well, and others obtained positions as house-keepers, which, in many cases, was but preliminary to holding the more important one; loud-voiced scandal reigned supreme in this not too moral community. Thatcher was in his glory. Subjects were plenty and audiences numerous and delighted. In fact, the inimitable coined money.

It is not to be supposed that those who supplied the material for his songs were equally pleased, but the fear of more ridicule attaching to them if they showed themselves affected by what was considered rare fun, prevented them making any offensive demonstration. Many was the hand-shake, and many the nobbler, Thatcher received from men who, but for the fear of making themselves a laughing stock would have sooner knocked him down. Thatcher's popularity suffered a decrease on the advent of a theatrical company, and he announced his approaching departure.

Dick Reeves, the auctioneer,' one of the most popular and genial fellows on the West Coast, thought he saw a way of paying off old scores, he having been one of the sufferers by Thatcher's wit. He imparted his plans to a few choice spirits, and they immediately put them into execution. A public supper was announced to be given to the witty one, as also a valuable presentation. The supper took place, at which all the leading men attended, the affair being a great success. After the supper, toasts, &c., &c., the real business of the evening commenced. R. Reeves, Esq., after a very neat speech, proposed the health of the soon-departing Thatcher, which was drunk amidst loud applause; then taking in his hand a small morocco case said:

"Mr. Thatcher, in making you a presentation this evening, I should hardly be doing my duty to those who have contributed towards it, if I neglected the opportunity of making a few remarks in reference to your approaching departure, and also in returning the thanks of the community for the pleasure and amusement you have afforded us. During your stay here you have endeared yourself to all of us, not only from the above causes, but from the way in which you have searched out blots in our social system, and so fearlessly exposed them. It is to such men as you society are indebted for improvement in their moral tone; and, in making you this present in the name of the community, we thank you. Think of us all when you wear it, for I can assure you that it represents, if such a thing can represent, our opinion of you, and the esteem you are held in by all of us."

He then presented the case to Thatcher, who received it with a smile, And Dick Reeves sat down amidst loud cheers and "He is a jolly good fellow." Thatcher, who appeared much affected, got up, still holding the case in his hand, and replied:

"Gentlemen," said he, "to say I thank you from my heart for this mark of your good feeling towards me, would but faintly express what I feel, I am happy to find I have made so many friends during my residence among you; I am also sorry that the pursuit of my profession makes it necessary my leaving you (here he put his handkerchief to his eyes). This testimonial will be handed down to my children as a precious possession, and every time I look upon it myself it will remind me of old friends and kind faces. If I have made any enemies among you, I beg they will forgive me. In the pursuit of my calling, I dare say I have trod rather heavy on some peoples corns; but we are all open to the public criticism, and my object has been to always put the most laughable aspect upon anything I wrote about. In conclusion, I again repeat, that when I look upon this valuable present I shall pride myself on the place I hold in your esteem, and - and - "

. . . here he opened the case, looked into it for one moment shut it with a click, threw it on the ground, and bolted from the room, in which room, for about five minutes after nothing could be heard but roars of laughter. The fact was the whole of the affair had been nothing but a sell concocted by that arch conspirator Reeves and his coadjutors. The case had been purchased by them for two-and-sixpence, and a watch and chain, such as can be bought at a toy shop for sixpence, had been placed inside. Thatcher's disgust at the sell may be imagined, as also the merriment of those in the swindle. For many weeks it was the cause of much mirth and hundreds of West Coast men, now living in Queensland, can endorse the facts contained in this anecdote. This happened a good many years ago, and for a long time I never heard of Thatcher. A friend told me lately that he had gone into the local preaching business. I should think he ought to be successful; I know no man more capable of pointing out the pitfalls of this wicked world, from his own personal experience than the inimitable Thatcher.

ASSOCIATIONS: Arthur Leslie Bourcicault

"RECOLLECTIONS OF THE STAGE. BY AUSTRALIAN", The Daily Telegraph [Sydney, NSW] (27 June 1884), 8 

. . . To give some idea of the prevalence of drink upon tbe diggings in those days, I may mention that upon one of the mining townships there was a large concert hall where there were constantly engaged such artistes as Lavenue, Geo. Loder, Farquharson, Mdme. Carandini, Mdme. Vittelli, and "the inimitable Thatcher," brother of our Richmond, and a host of others . . . Waiters were constantly in attendance among the audience, and, notwithstanding the quantity of liquor consumed, it is pleasant to be able to record that the establishment was always conducted with the strictest order. I will here mention a circumstance illustrative of the power of favouritism on the diggings in those times. "The inimitable" Thatcher was a writer of local songs, and singer of the same; he had a positively wonderful facility for putting into rhyme to some cheerful and appropriate air any event likely to be of the slightest public interest. He would also hit off in the happiest manner any peculiarity noticeable in well-known personages, and in his merry-jingling rhymes keep the public constantly informed of all that was worth knowing politically, socially, and otherwise, especially otherwise. So great a favourite was Charles Thatcher, that I have seen him recalled six and seven times a night. Well, Charles had a misunderstanding with the proprietors upon one occasion, and withdrew his services. Saturday night came the audience assembled, and after a while, cries were heard for Thatcher, or, as the multitude used to pronounce it, That-cheer. 'Twas in vain that other artistes attempted to proceed with the performance. Some one on behalf of the proprietors remonstrated and explained. 'Twas useless. "That-cheer!" they shrieked. "But, gentlemen - "That-cheer," howled the great unwashed, "I assure you." "That-cheer!" bellowed the many-headed. At length the proprietors saw that remonstrance was useless, and finally they promised that the idol of the crowd should be restored. The sons of toil then kindly permitted the performances proceed. "The inimitable" was sent for, just as they have to send for Sir Henry Parkes when they get into trouble in the House; and when later in the evening Charles R. appeared, his supporters went into ecstasies. They clapped their hands, stamped their hoofs, and went into a fury of delight. They were determined to have their own way, and they had it. This was the only occasion upon which I ever heard a disturbance in that hall, filled though it was nightly by a vast concourse of "all sorts of people," and then it was only the expression of a good-natured determination to stick to their favourite.

[George Mackay] "BENDIGO SINCE '51. By a Young Bendigonian. No. LIX - The Drama on Bendigo", Bendigo Advertiser (19 April 1890), 3 

. . . In April [1854] the Royal Victoria Theatre, of which Mr. C. H. Rignold was the proprietor, was opened with "Schinderhames, the Robber of the Rhine," and in the following month, while the Theatre Royal was under the management of Messrs. Ramsay and Walsh, Mr. Gibson the Irish comedian, and Mr. Thatcher with his local comic songs were delighting the public at the Royal Victoria Theatre. These local songs took so well, that at the Theatre Royal on the occasion of Shearcroft's benefit, Mr. J. R. Greville, the popular comedian of later years, sang an original local song also . . .

George Mackay, The history of Bendigo (Melbourne: Printed for the publishers, Mackay & Co., Bendigo, by Ferguson & Mitchell, 1896), 20, 172 (DIGITISED)

[18] . . . In 1853 . . . Mr. Lachlan McLachlan, or "Bendigo Mac," as he was more familiarly styled, appeared upon the scene, and administered the law with a rigour and severity which brought upon him censure from many quarters . . . [20] . . . Mr. McLachlan commonly dealt very summarily, and the usual sentence, "Fined forty shillings; take him away," formed the burden of one of the popular local songs of the late Mr. Charles Thatcher, whose rendering of his own ballads at the Shamrock free concerts, obtained for him the soiibrujuet of "the Inimitable" . . . (DIGITISED)

. . . The first theatre on Bendigo was the Royal, which was opened in January, 1854, by Mr. J. Carncross, The Lady of Lyons performed on the occasion. The Royal was on the site of the Shamrock. At about the same time concerts were held at the Casino, a tent on the site of the Lyceum. In April, 1854, the Royal Victoria Theatre was opened near the site of the present Town Hall, Mr. C. H. Rignold being proprietor. It was here that Mr. Charles Thatcher scored his early successes as a local topical songster, and his popularity led to Mr. J. R. Greville, the popular comedian of later years, singing original local songs also, at the Royal. Mrs. Wooldridge and Miss Wernham appeared at the Royal. Later on in 1854, the Princess' Theatre was opened at the Criterion Hotel, and in September was patronised by Sir Charles and Lady Hotham. Coleman's Criterion Theatre was opened in 1856. A tier of boxes elevated twelve feet above the pit, ran round the house, and the proscenium opening was twenty-five feet wide. Concerts were also held nightly at the Shamrock Concert Hall, which was under the management of Messrs. Heffernan and Crowley. In April, 1856, when Lola Montes was playing at the Criterion [173] it was Struck by lightning, and that actress, after calming the fears of the audience, said it was the first time she had played the part of "The Little Devil" to real thunder and lightning. Mr. G. V. Brooke appeared at this theatre in May, 1856, in Shakespearian and other characters, this being the first of several visits paid by him to Bendigo. The Criterion was afterwards known as the Haymarket.

The Lyceum Theatre, known to theatre-goers of later years, was erected in 1860; but a smaller building on the same site had been known as the Lyceum previously. At the same time the Shamrock Concert Hall was enlarged and transformed into a theatre. For many years the Lyceum was the principal place of amusement. It was 115 feet in length, over fifty feet in width, and nearly forty feet high, with pit, stalls, and dress circle capable of accommodating nearly 2,000 persons. The stage was fifty-five feet in depth. It was closed as a place of amusement in 1872 . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Mackay (1860-1948)

"THE INIMITABLE THATCHER", in Thomas Bracken, Dear old Bendigo: a sketch of the early digging days; and, Rogers of Eaglehawk (Bendigo: John Robshaw, [1892]), 19-22 (DIGITISED)

In 1857 Mr. C. R. Thatcher was a good-looking though rather effeminate young man of twenty eight or thirty years of age. He had a wonderful gift for rhyming, and all events of any consequence were worked into verse by him and set to popular airs. Now and then he got into trouble through his songs, and I remember on one occasion a Mr. Costello, from the Axe Creek, took him to task rather severely for some satirical rhymes which the "Inimitable" had written. Thatcher possessed a very fair voice and the crowded audiences that used to assemble nightly at the Shamrock Concert Hall, were enthusiastic in their approval of his efforts. Miss Urie, the best singer of Scottish ballads we have ever had in the colonies, contributed greatly to Thatcher's success on the stage. She used to sing duets with him, and as these were on local subjects they always "took" with the diggers. As an illustration of the merit of these productions, I quote an extract from one of them . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Bracken

"A Veteran Singer [Troy Knight]", The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (19 April 1902), 992-93 

. . . At our request Mr. Knight jotted down this skeleton record of his career . . . In returning through Bendigo, I met Mr. Robert Heir, who persuaded me to play Gaspar in "The Lady of Lyons" for just one night. The actor was ill, and they were in a fix. I played three nights, and met with a great reception, because I was well known. Thatcher at that time was giving concerts at Heffernan's and was the meanest man I ever knew in the profession. He actually shouted for me, and I wondered what was the matter, but in the morning I was leaving my bedroom door open and in walked Thatcher to get me to stop for his benefit and join him for a month, £20 a week and expenses. I told him I had done with the profession as I had promised my wife, so I went home next morning.


[J. M. Forde] "MUMMER MEMOIRS . . . No. [91]", Sydney Sportsman (30 October 1907), 3 

Apropos Miss Lydia Howarde, Mr. H. P. Lyons kindly writes: - "I see in 'Mummer Memoirs' you mention Miss Lydia Howarde. She was the wife of the late Charles Thatcher, the poet of the gold fields of the fifties, older brother of Dick Thatcher, journalist, etc. She was Madame Vertelli in the early days, an eminent vocalist on the concert platform of those days. I was their agent. The lady is still alive, and, when I last saw her, looking as young as ever . . .

[J. M. Forde] "MUMMER MEMOIRS . . . No. 93", Sydney Sportsman (13 November 1907), 3 

An old friend and welcome (always) correspondent writes: - "Dear Hayseed . . . Intended writing you information re Lydia Howarde, but my old friend, Harry Lyons, has saved me the pleasure. Miss Lydia Howarde and myself were firm friends. I taught her some step dancing and gave her a few lessons on the side drum. She was associated with Solange Navarno and her sister for some time, and travelled New Zealand with them. I first remember her as Madame Vertelli (Mrs. Charles Thatcher), at the School of Arts Sydney, with Charles Diorama, in 1867 [recte 1868] . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: The author the the letter was evidently Harlow Wickes (see also below); Joseph Michael Forde; Harry Percival Lyons (1840-1913, theatrical agent, born "Lyon"; he was their agent in Tasmania in 1861)

"Annals of Bendigo (By G. MACKAY). 1878", Bendigo Advertiser (18 April 1913), 3

The following paragraph appeared in the Melbourne "Argus" in November, 1878:

"A Shanghai paper just received records the death of Mr. C. R. Thatcher, formerly of Sandhurst and New Zealand . . ."

In the early days, through the enterprise of Mr. William Heffernan, the public of Sandhurst were supplied nightly with free concerts at the Shamrock Hotel, the performers at which consisted of the very highest talent, male and female, vocal and instrumental, obtainable in the colony. The appearance of Mr. Thatcher upon the stage was always looked for with interest, and often with impatience. He was always ready with a song of his own composing on some local subject, and so happy were his hits, and so racy and piquant was his style, although he had only an indifferent voice, that amongst the vocalists of the highest order he ranked as first popular favorite. Mr. Thatcher, whilst one of the most clever and amusing public performers we ever met with, was withal thoroughly steady, and saving man, and good citizen."

Mr. Harlow H. Wickes, of Traralgon, who knew Mr. Thatcher intimately, sends us the following: -

"The inimitable 'Thatcher' was my bosom friend, and when I was a boy and a new chum, took me, as it were, under his wing, and was my first and best friend in Australia. When I first met him he was singing (together with Madame Vitelli, Fred. Leman, and others, at the Shamrock Hotel, early in 1858. When the Bendigo Rifles were organised, an advertisement appeared in the 'Advertiser' inviting those in favor of forming a band in connection with the Rifle Corps to meet in a building, which had formerly been a hay and corn store, in Hargreaves-street, near Mundy-street. I had told my friends Thatcher and Leman that I could play the side-drum, and they advised me to attend the meeting. I being rather diffident, and knowing no one. did not like the idea of going by myself, when Fred. Leman said, | 'Come on, Harlow, I will go with you.' We attended the meeting, and there was only one instrument there (a side-drum). After two or three had tried their hands at it, I was induced to do so, and it seems I surprised the meeting, for the next morning there appeared in the 'Advertiser' a report of the meeting, in which it was stated that 'there was one young man, whose name we were unable to ascertain, who seemed a perfect miracle on sheepskin.' If I ever visit Bendigo again, I intend to call at the office of the 'Advertiser' and see if I can find that paragraph. I can remember a good incidents of that period - one, in particular, of Bendigo Mac. When the Town Hall in Market-square was finished, there was a grand ball held to commemorate the occasion. Bendigo Mac. was there in all his glory. One of the dances on the programme was a schottische, and the band played one that was more suitable for a band than for dancing, and poor Mac., who was dancing with his wife (I think), could not negotiate it at all. In the course of the dance he worked his way around to where the band was stationed, and I, being the nearest to him, he leaned over and whispered in my ear, 'Strike up Bullock Creek' (one of Thatcher's songs, which I still have, and which, at the time was very popular as a schottische). We did so, and on the instant it seemed to put new life into Mac., and he whirled his partner round with a vim, which plainly showed that the music was just to his liking. Another very funny incident that I remember was at the opening of the Big Hill tunnel, when the guests and band all had to sit at the table together, the table being laid right through the tunnel. The dinner was partaken of in a hurry, as we all had to jump in the cabs and get back to Bendigo to take part in some other function in connection with the opening. The toasts, with the appropriate music for each, were laid on the table, and on the toast of one of the Ministers being given, in the hurry the bandmaster took the number following and struck up "The Perfect Cure." In an instant a roar of laughter echoed from one end of the tables to the other" . . .

We have received the following further letter from Mr. H. H. Wickes -

"Traralgon, 12/4/13. Dear Sir. - I am in receipt of your letter of the 8th inst.; also the "Annals of Bendigo - 1851 to 1857." It is indeed most interesting, and contains the names of many people I knew . . . When I first arrived in Bendigo in the latter part of 1857, Thatcher's greatest draw was the 'Bullock Creek picnic,' which had occurred shortly before I arrived, and it drew immense houses nightly at the Shamrock. I was much surprised, as well as pleased, to see my name in your report of the performance by the Volunteer Rifle Club of the Siege of Sebastopol (on page 73). I represented the character of a French drummer boy on that occasion. On the same page you make mention of Sir William and Lady Don at the Lyceum in 'The Daughter of the Regiment' and 'Rough Diamond.' They also brought out the burlesque of 'Aladdin or the Wonderful Scamp' for the first time (I think). I was playing in the orchestra at the time witrh Mr. Solomon [Salaman], of Bridge-street, as leader, Thatcher (flautist), Nat Hallis [Hallas] (cornet), old Jimmy Warden (who was a great character at that time, double bass viol). I forget who was the violinist. Thatcher had been on a trip up about Deniliquin just before that time, and brought me a piece of myall wood, from which I had made (to special order) a pair of beautiful drum sticks, and Lady Don took such a fancy to them that I was perforce bound to make her a present of them, which I did . . . I may mention that I have a book that Thatcher gave me, containing most of his songs up to 1861. After he left Bendigo he went home [sic] to Brighton, England, and had a panorama painted of early life on the diggings, depicting the arrival of the new chums at Sandridge, his short life at Canvas Town, and journey up to Bendigo. For every picture he sang one of his old songs, appropriate to the occasion. For instance, the picture of the bullock dray bogged in the Black Forest, he illustrated with the song "The Lady and the Bullock Driver," which I still have -
Harlow H. Wicks."

"BACK TO BENDIGO (The Editor . . .)", The Bendigo Independent (30 March 1917), 4 

Sir, - Enclosed is a letter, which at the present juncture may serve of some local interest . . .
S. F. MILLS, Hon. Secretary Bendigonian Society.

Traralgon, 27/3/17.
Dear Mr. Mills, - Yours of the 22nd inst. came duly to hand . . . I have only been there [Bendigo] once since the sixties. I may say that I was side drummer for the Bendigo volunteers, and also in the orchestra in the Lyceum Theatre at the time Sir William Don and Lady Don were playing there, also the Inimitable Thatcher, who was my bosom friend, and with whom I went up to Inglewood when the rush was on and opened the Olympic Theatre with Madam Vitilli [sic], Fred. Lemen and Bennett. I also accompanied the band to the Castlemaine and Werribee encampment, played also at the opening of the Big Hill tunnel. I have a very pleasant recollection of old "Bendigo Mac." Thatcher was the lion of the day, his name being a by-word all over Victoria. I also know all or most of his songs that he sang while in Bendigo, as well as when he came here for the second time from Brighton, England, [sic] and brought a panorama of early life on the diggings, opening at the School of Arts, Sydney . . .
faithfully yours (signed) H. H. Wickes.

ASSOCIATIONS: Harlow Hine Wickes; Edward Salaman; Nathaniel Hallas; James Warden

"REMINISCENCES OF THE STAGE . . . BY VALENTINE DAY", Referee (6 June 1917), 14 

. . . The company then included Barry O'Neil, the Irish comedian and vocalist; Alfred Romer, who had a very sweet voice, and who in private life was Alf. MacLaren, a Ballarat pugilist; and Lydia Howarde, a particularly handsome woman, with a high, reputation in burlesque and opera bouffe as an actress, and a talented vocalist. She sang -
Why did she leave her Obadiah?
Why did she go without saying Adieu?
Saying she loved me, she looked so much hi-ah -
Isn't it funny what money will do?
She also sang Jeremiah, Don't You Go to Sea! which I read somewhere recently was originally Marie Lloyd's song; but as Marie, whose real name is Matilda Wood, was born on February 12, 1870, obviously she could not have preceded Lydia Howarde (Mrs. Charles Thatcher) in 1873-4 as a singer of the song in question . . .


. . . A BUSH POET. "Dick" Thatcher, a really remarkable man, was flautist, singer, poet, and conchologist. His collections and his knowledge of shells were unique. It was, however, as a bush poet that he was known through the length and breadth of the mining districts. His songs "Bullocks Won't Go Without Swearing" and "The Drunken Parson" were sung at hundreds of camp fires. I travelled with him on one of his tours. We would arrive about 6 o'clock in the evening. He would go at once to the principal hotel, get into touch with the landlord or barman, and learn all the recent happenings at the camp, and anything else of local interest. I had a book containing popular tunes, and with the help of his rhyming dictionary he would before 8 o'clock have composed half a dozen sets of verses on local topics, describing to the astonished audience their latest doings. There might not be a full house the first evening, but we were sure of one on the next.

ASSOCIATIONS: Alfred Montague

Published songs
Single sheets (broadsides)

7 separate titles identified (of "some dozen" reported), 2 unattributed (perhaps earlier), 5 attributed Thatcher (Melbourne, printed by John Nutt Sayers, reportedly for McDonagh, 1854)

The new aristocracy

The new aristocracy (Melbourne: Victoria Press, J. N. Sayers, Printer, [1854])

Copy at the State Library of Victoria (DIGITISED)


Australia's a very queer place,
Folks in England perhaps may deny it,
Australia's very queer place,
Folks in England perhaps may deny it,
If they do so, why, all I can say
Is, they better come out here and try it.
When the Regent Street Swell arrives here,
It puts him quite into a panic,
To see that the class that's best off
Is the hard-working man and mechanic . . . [7 more verses]

Rush away

Rush away (Melbourne: Victoria Press, J. N. Sayer, Printer, [1854])

Copy at the State Library of Victoria (DIGITISED)


You've heard of the wond'rous rush no doubt,
To which every body is turning out,
Rush away.
And the fav'rite spot as I've heard say
Is about eight and twenty miles away.
CHORUS - Rush, my jolly pals, rush away,
To Bryant's Ranges, rush away . . . [5 more verses]

The Bendigo milling match

The Bendigo milling match, a new original song written and sung by Mr. Thatcher at the Bendigo Theatre (Melbourne: Victoria Press, J. N. Sayers, Printer, [1854])

Copy at the State Library of Victoria (DIGITISED)

New Original Song, written and sung by Thatcher at the Bendigo Theatre.
Tune - Bow-wow-wow.,

Oh, you may talk of Bryant's run,
And try to make us stare
But there's a nobby rush, no flies.
Up the near Golden Square
The whips stand there as thick as flies,
The holes around they're sinking
And the washing stuff is coming up,
In buckets just like winking . . . [6 more verses]

Bryant's Ranges ("Oh what a curious world is this . . .")

Bryant's Ranges, new original sung written and sung by Mr. Thatcher at the Bendigo Theatre (Melbourne: Victoria Press, J. N. Sayers, Printer, [1854])

Copy at the State Library of Victoria (DIGITISED)


Oh what a curious world is this
So various in its changes;
i'm now alluding to the rush,
Down there on Bryant's Ranges.
The diggers all are hastening there,
As fast as they are able;
With tent and pick, and puddling tub,
And dish, and spade, and cradle . . . [6 more verses]

Bryant's Ranges, O ("Most blackley looked the weather. . .)

Bryant's Ranges, O, parody on the Bay of Biscay, O, written and sung by Mr. Thatcher (Melbourne: Victoria Press, J. N. Sayers, Printer, [1854])

Copy at the State Library of Victoria (DIGITISED)

Most blackley looked the weather,
The showers down did gush;
As Joe and I together,
Were tramping to the rush:
We slept beneath a tree,
Our swags wet as could be,
And there we lay,
Till next day,
On the road to Bryant's Ranges O . . . [3 more verses]

Two years ago

Two years ago, new original sung written and sung by Mr. Thatcher at the Bendigo Theatre (Melbourne: Victoria Press, J. N. Sayer, Printer, [1854])

Copy at the State Library of Victoria (DIGITISED)

The light of other days burns dim,
And in the shade is cast,
You'll own I'm right, if you will just
Look back upon the past;
It's glories all are faded,
And each of you must know
That times ain't what they used to be
About two years ago . . . [7 more verses]

Where's your license

Where's your license, a new parody on the Gay Cavalier, sung with deafening applause by Mr. Thatcher at the Bendigo Theatre (Melbourne: Victoria Press, J. N. Sayer, Printer, [1854])

Copy at the State Library of Victoria (DIGITISED)


The morning was fine,
The sun brightly did shine,
The diggers were working away;
When the inspector of traps,
Said now my fine chapes,
We'll go license hunting to-day.
Some went this way, some that,
Some to Bendigo Flat,
And a lot to the White Hills did tramp;
Whilst others did bear,
Up towards Golden Square,
And the rest of them kept round the camp . . . [3 more verses]


"LITERATURE AT THE GOLD FIELDS", The Argus (7 April 1854), 5

One of the chief attractions at the theatre here has been the songs composed and sung by Mr. Charles Thatcher . . . These songs have been extremely popular, and by their point and general merit, caught the notice of Mr. McDonogh, when on a professional visit to Bendigo. This gentleman had copies of some dozen of the best printed in Melbourne, and they have since been circulated here . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: ? Maurice Travers McDonagh (? lawyer, arrived Adelaide 2 June 1849 per Childe Harold, active VIC until c. 1859)

The Victoria songster, parts 1-4, 1855-56

List of contents of The Victoria songster, parts 1-4

The Victoria songster (5 parts; Melbourne: Charlwood, 1855-58; new edition of part 5, 1859; second edition of part 5, 1860)

The Victoria songster, containing various new and original colonial songs together with a choice selection of the most popular songs of the day from the best authors [part 1] (Melbourne: Charlwood & Son, 1855)

Copy at State Library of New South Wales; incomplete (not digitised) 

CONTENTS - PART I (pages 3-36)

Villikins and his Dinah (page 3)

Where's your licence . . . [Thatcher] (5)

'Tween decks (7)

Bond Street swell . . . [Thatcher] (9)

The Englishman (11)

Cockney emigrant (12)

The new aristocracy . . . [Thatcher] (15)

Far, far upon the sea (17)

Two years ago . . . [Thatcher] (18)

Ben Bolt (20)

Here's a health (21)

Song of the gold miners (22)

Katty Avourneen (23)

Speak of a man, &c.(23)

Farewell to England (24)

When Bibo thought fit (24)

Forty shillings, and take him away (25)

Barrister at Melbourne (27)

Cheer, boys, cheer (27)

The slave chase (29)

Trials and successes of the persevering gold digger (30) [Laberne]

Lilly Dale (32)

Who deeply drinks, &c. (32)

Unlock the lands (33)

Annie Laurie (34)

A holy friar (35)

My bed of cabbage (35)

Parody on Ben Bolt (36)


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

NOW READY, Part I, of the Victeria Songster, containing several new and original Colonial Songs; together with a choice selection from the most ptpulur authors of the day. Price One Shilling. Charlwood and Son, 7 Bourke-street east.

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

THE VICTORIA SONGSTER contains Villikins and his Dinah, original version; Forty Shillings and take him away.
THE VICTORIA SONGSTER: New Songs - Cockney Emigrant, Song of the Gold-miners, Where's your License, Lilly Dale.
THE VICTORIA SONGSTER; Original Songs - New Aristocracy, Persevering Gold-digger, Unlock the Lands; Barrister at Melbourne.
THE VICTORIA SONGSTER, price 1s., contains a choice selection of Colonial Songs, Charlwood and Sons, 7 Bourke street east.

"VICTORIA SONGSTER", The Argus (25 April 1855), 5 

A collection of favorite songs, with a large infusion of ditties of colonial authorship, has been published by Messrs. Charlwood and Sons, of Bourke-street. The book contains a well-executed cut of Coppin, singing "Villikins and his Dinah."

The Victoria songster . . . [part 2] (Melbourne: Charlwood & Son, 1856)


Bill Muggins (38)

They've all got a down upon me (39)

I'll away with my swag (41)

Thou art gone from my gaze (41)

Come all you merry diggers (42)

Pizarro's chaunt in explanation (43)

The queen's letter (43)

The worked-up gully (44)

The fare-ye-well bow (45)

The forbidden word Joe (46)

The house on fire (47)

Colonial contrariety (48)

Off to the diggings (49)

Jack Jolt (51)

The comforts of a voyage (52)

The digger's bride (52)

Mr. Brigg's dream (54)

May heaven defend the right (57)

The fairy car (58)

Lilly Bell (58)

The English emigrant (59)

To the west! To the west (60)

The Russian war (61)

Old folks at home (63)

Quite colonial (64)

Foreigners in Melbourne (66)

Happy land (68)

Jollification of Toorak (70)

Merrily goes the mill (71)

Lads of Australia (72)


[Advertisement], The Argus (7 July 1855), 7 

THE VICTORIA SONGSTER. New Songs in No. 2: Foreigners in Melbourne, The Worked up Gully, Lilly Bell.
THE VICTORIA SONGSTER. Original local Songs in No. 2: I'll away with my Swag, Jack Jolt, Happy Land.
THE VICTORIA SONGSTER, No. 2, contains They've all got a Down upon me, Brigg's Dream, Lads of Australia.
THE VICTORIA SONGSTER - Choice songs in No. 2: Fairy Car, Thou art gone from my Gaze, The Russian War.
THE VICTORIA SONGSTER, No. 2, will be published on Monday. Price One Shilling.
Charlwood and Son,7 Bourke-street east: and all booksellers.

The Victoria songster . . . [part 3] (Melbourne: Charlwood & Son, 1855)


Lightly tread (74)

The star-spangled banner (77)

The return to England (78)

The digger's invitation (79)

Jack Robinson (79)

The new chum (79)

Hail Columbia (81)

Dig! Dig! Dig! (82)

Colonial experience (84)

Miss Biggs (85)

Conversation between a nugget and a sovereign (86)

Victoria songster medley (86)

Oh, in Australia, &c. (90)

Advance, Victoria (91)

Ballad (91)

The new constitution (92)

Parody on She wore a wreath (93)

Desperate unlucky digger (94)

I would I were a boy again (95)

Niggar, put down that jug (96)

Barney O'Keefe (97)

Red, white, and blue (99)

Land! Land! Land! (101)

Ratcatcher's daughter (102)

Brighter days are coming (104)

Australia as it is (106)

The digger bold (106)

Shaking the washing stuff (107)

Advance, Britannia's sons (108)


[Advertisement], The Argus (24 December 1855), 7 

THE VICTORIA SONGSTER No. 3, now ready, price Is. Charlwood and Son, 7 Bourke-street, and all booksellers.
THE VICTORIA SONGSTER contains The Adventures of Barney O'Keefe in Australia, and Shaking the Washing-Stuff.
THE VICTORIA SONGSTER No. 3 contains the Pathetic Recital of the Loves of Lilly-white Sand and the Ratcatcher's Daughter, with a first-rate Engraving.
THE VICTORIA SONGSTER. - New Songs, The New Constitution, Advance Victoria, Hail Columbia, Star-Spangled Banner, Jack Robinson.
THE VICTORIA SONGSTER contains A Conversation between a Nugget and a Sovereign, Miss Briggs, The Digger Bold.

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (1 August 1856), 1 

On Sale at the ARGUS STATIONERY DEPOT, THE VICTORIA SONGSTER, Containing Parts 1, 2, and 3, amongst which will be found several of Mr. Thatcher's favorite Songs, New and Original Colonial Songs; also, a choice Selection of the most Popular Songs of the day.

The Victoria songster . . . [part 4] (Melbourne: Charlwood & Son, 1856)

Copy at State Library of New South Wales, pp. 110-32, incomplete at end 

CONTENTS - PART 4 (109-144)

Billy Barlow (110)

Sunshine after rain (112)

I'll steer my bark (113)

Stay where you are (113)

Queen of the south (115)

The harp that once thro' Tara's halls (115)

Nineteen hundred and fifty (116)

Minnie Grey (118)

Spriggins and his guv'nor (119)

New version of Katty Darling . . . [Thatcher] (121)

"All there" (122)

John Chinaman my jo . . . [Thatcher] (123)

Answer to Lilly Dale (125)

Home, sweet home (125)

Walk round and show your muscle . . . [Thatcher] (126)

Dear Australy (127)

What a life has a poor little maid (128)

Coming down the flat . . . [Thatcher] (129)

Low-backed car (130)

Colonial travelling; Horrors of Corduroy Road . . . [Thatcher] (131)

Who's your hatter (133)

The slave (135)

Norah McShane (136)

Song to Australia (137)

Long parted have we been (138)

Young folks at home (139)

The light brigade (140)

Rouse! Brothers, rouse! (141)

New black and white list (142)

Trifle of gold (143)

Pull away cheerily (144)


[Advertisement], The Argus (18 August 1856), 7

THE VICTORIA SONGSTER. - This Day is Published, price one shilling, the 4th number of the Victoria Songster. Also, may be obtained, stitched in a neat wrapper, price 2s. 6d., the first three numbers of the above popular Song Book, containing the best selection of colonial songs ever published. CHARLWOOD and-SON, 7 Bourke-street, and all booksellers in town and country.
THE VICTORIA SONGSTER, No. 4, contains - "The New Black and White List," "All There," "Billy Barlow," "Minnie Grey."
THE VICTORIA SONGSTER, No. 4, contains - "Who's your Hatter?" "John Chinaman, My Jo," "Walk round and show your muscle."
THE VICTORIA SONGSTER, No. 4, contains - "Colonial Travelling on the Corduroy Road," "Coming down the Flat," "Norah McShane."

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (25 August 1856), 4 

THATCHER'S SONGS. VICTORIA SONGSTER, No. 4, Containing Six Original Songs by Thatcher, including "Bendigo Runaway." GEO. SLATER, Bookseller, Three doors from the Shamrock.

The Victoria songster . . . [part 5] (Melbourne: Charlwood and Son, 1858; new edition, 1859; second edition, 1860)

Copy (second edition, 1860) at National Library of Australia (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

Copy second edition, 1860) at Stanford University, facsimile (Libraries Board of South Australia, 1964) (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

PART 5 - CONTENTS (147-80):

Advertising - A new original song, written and sung by Thatcher; Tune - "Guy Fawkes" (The march of intellect just now . . .) (147-48)

How lightly the vessel (148-49)

Going to shout - New original song by Thatcher; Tune - "Maypole" (I'm a green new chum just lately come . . .) (149-50)

Willie, we have missed you - As sung by Miss Emma Stanley, at the Princess' Theatre (151)

The affecting narrative of Chink-A-Li (One Chink-a-li, a Chinaman . . .) (152-53)

I'm the pet of my papa - As sung by the inimitable Sprightly, with vociferous applause; Tune - "Low-back'd car" (When first I saw my papa . . .) (154-56)

Land, ho! Land, ho! (How welcome the sound of the mariner's cry . . .) (156)

Reminiscences of Brighton (Brighton, dear Brighton, still I think of thee . . .) (157-59)

The Cameron men (There's many a man of the Cameron clan . . .) (159)

Things you don't often see - A new original song, as written and sung by the inimitable Thatcher; Tune - "Things I don't like to see" (Kind friends, once again I appear before you . . .) (160-61)

Bobbing around (In August last on one fine day . . .) (161-62)

Australian humbugs - Written by Mr. Mulholand; Tune - "The king of the cannibal islands" (If attentive ears you'll yield to me . . .) (163-65)

A cheerful glass - New original song, written and sung by Thatcher, with immense applause; Tune - Original (What a colony this is for drinking! . . .) (165-66)

English imitations - A new original song, written and sung by Thatcher with great applause; Tune - "Guy Fawkes" (As I rode down the Melbourne road . . .) (166-68)

The white-washed Yankee - Written by Mr. Mulholand; Tune - "The old English gentleman" (I'll sing you quite a novel song, made by a colonial brick . . .) (168-69)

The disappointed girl - New original song, written and sung by Thatcher with immense applause; Tune - "Susan had lover" (In London there once lived in Finsbury Square . . .) (170-71)

I'm leaving thee in sorrow, Annie (171)

Yankee fixins - As sung by Mrs. Barney Williams; Tune - "Old dog Tray" (I don't mind telling you . . .) (172)

The voyage to Australia; Tune - "Bow-wow-wow" (Left Plymouth one day in July . . .) (173)

Encore verses to Petticoat Lane (My pleasures are gone, and it makes me feel moody . . .) (174-75)

My Mary Anne (Fare you well, my own Mary Anne . . .) (176-77)

Smoke not - A parody on "Love not" (Smoke not, smoke not your weeds or pipes of clay . . .) (177)

Wait for the waggon (Will you come with me, my Phyllis dear, to yon blue mountains free? . . .) (178)

Toll the bell for Lilla Dale (My Lilla dear is sleeping . . .) (179)

Old dog Tray (But unless my watch is fast . . .) (180)


[Advertisement], The Argus (25 August 1858), 8 

THE VICTORIA SONGSTER. - The FIFTH NUMBER of this popular songbook, just published, contains, in addition to a variety of best local songs by Thatcher, the only correct version of "Old Dog Tray," "Willie, we have missed you," "My Maryanne," "Bobbing Around," "Wait for the Waggon," &c. Charlwood and Son, 7 Bourke street, and all booksellers in the colony.

[Advertisement], The Argus (18 July 1859), 7 

THE VICTORIA SONGSTER. - In consequence of the great demand for this popular song-book, a new edition of the fifth number has been published, which contains, in addition to the choice selection of colonial songs, the popular ballads of "Willie we have missed you," "Ever of Thee," "Good News from Home," and Tennyson's new war song, &c, price 1s. each number, or four parts in a neat wrapper, 8s. 6d. sold by all booksellors in the colony. Charlwood and Son, 7 Bourke-street east.

Thatcher's colonial songster (3 parts; Melbourne, Charlwood, 1857-58)

Thatcher's colonial songster, containing all the choice local songs, parodies, &c., of the celebrated Chas. R. Thatcher [Parts 1 and 2] (Melbourne: Charlwood & Son., 1857)

Copy at State Library of New South Wales; 72 pages (not digitised) 

Thatcher's colonial songster . . . [part 1] (Melbourne: Charlwood & Son., 1857)

Copy at State Library of Victoria (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

CONTENTS - PART 1 (3-36):

When first I landed here - A new original song, by Thatcher; Tune - "When first I went to see" (When first I landed here . . .) (3-5)

Chinese immigration - Original song - Written and Sung by Mr. C. R. Thatcher; Tune - "Dickey Birds" (You'll doubtless read the papers . . .) (5-6);

London and the diggings - A new original song, written and sung by Thatcher, with great applause; Tune: "Things I don't like to see" (What a difference exists between London and here . . .) (7-8)

Buying land - An original song by Chas. R. Thatcher; Tune - "Calder Fair" (I came out here two years ago . . .) (9-10)

Billy Nutts in Australia - New original song by Thatcher (I'm Billy Nutts wot always cuts . . .) (10-13)

Life of an auctioneer - New original song by Thatcher; Air - "The teetotaller" (Mister Brown was an auctioneer, highly respectable . . .) (14-15)

The leary boy - New original song, by Thatcher; Tune - "The learned man" (Come all you lads both great and small . . .) (15-18)

The green new chum - New original song by Thatcher; Tune - "Nice young man" (Come all of you assembled here . . .) (18-20)

John Chinaman's marriage - A new original song by Thatcher, as sung by him for 400 nights; Tune - "County gaol" (Good people all give ear, I pray . . .) (20-21)

Stephen Cain - Parody on "Tubal Cain," by THATCHER (Oh, Stephen Cain was a nice young man . . .) (22-24)

The bullock-creek picnic - New original song, written and sung by Thatcher, with great applause; Tune - "Kitty Jones" (An excursion in the summer is a pleasant kind of thing . . .) (24-26)

The digger's grave (The sun brightly shone upon gully and hill . . .) (. . . CHAS. R. THATCHER) (26-27)

Life of a colonial quack doctor - New original song by Thatcher; Air - "Tatur Can" (I'll give you my whole history now . . .) (28-29)

"It's all right" - New original song - Written and sung by Mr. C. R. Thatcher; Air - "Speaking automaton" ((What curious expressions are going . . .) (30-31)

The unsuccessful swell - An original song by Chas. R. Thatcher; Tune - "Bow, wow, wow" (I'll sing now of a fine young man . . .) (31-33)

Colonial education - New original song, written and sung by Thatcher; Tune - "Drops of Brandy" (Oh, what a discussion there's been . . .) (33-35)

Hints to candidate - Thatcher's celebrated Election Song, as sung by him at the "Shamrock"; Tune - "Bob and Joan" (Candidates draw near . . .) (35-36)


"THATCHER'S SONGS", The Age (25 April 1857), 4 

We have received from the publishers, Messrs. Charlwood and Son, copies of he first part of "Thatcher's Colonial Songster." The number, which is exceedingly well got up, contains seventeen of the vocalist's best compositions, and is exceedingly well worthy public patronage.

"NEW PUBLICATION", Bendigo Advertiser (25 April 1857), 3 

We have to acknowledge the receipt of Part I, of "Thatcher's Colonial Songster," containing an immense number of local songs and parodies, composed and sung on the goldfields by that well known gentleman. The collection comprises the whole of his compositions, and needs no puffing at our hands to induce our mining friends to possess themselves of it. Mr. Thatcher's humorous and sarcastic abilities have rendered his songs so popular, that we feel certain his little book will meet with a ready sale. It is published by Charlwood and Son, Bourke-street, Melbourne; and is to be obtained from Mr. Thatcher himself, and at Slater's, Bookseller, Pall Mall.

Thatcher's colonial songster . . . [part 2] (Melbourne: Charlwood & Son., 1857)

CONTENTS - PART 2 (37-72): . . .


[Advertisement], The Age (12 August 1857), 3 

THATCHER'S COLONIAL SONGSTER. - No. 2 now ready. All Colonial Songs. Charlwood, 7 Bourke street, and all Booksellers.

[Advertisement], The Argus (12 August 1857), 8 

THATCHER'S COLONIAL SONOSTER contains Faithless Nursemaid, The Fight at the Rush, Lake Burrumbeet, Life of a Loafer.
THATCHER'S SONGSTER contains Mary's Dream, and the celebrated song of Petticoat lane (sung by him 275 nights at the Charlie Napier, Ballaarat; Rifle Brigade.
THATCHER'S COLONIAL SONGSTER contains Scrumptious Young Gals, Song of the Trap, State of the Markets.
THATCHER'S COLONIAL SONGSTER No. 2, contains The Chinaman, Tom Jones. Price one shilling. All new colonial songs.
THATCHER'S COLONIAL SONGSTER. - Nos. 1 and 2 are now ready; also the Victoria Songster Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4. Price one shilling each, or the four parts of the Victoria Songster, stitched in a neat wrapper, may be had for 8s. 6d. The above are, without exception, the most popular Song Books ever published. CHARLWOOD and SON, 7 Bourke-street east, and all Booksellers.
THATCHER'S COLONIAL SONGSTER, No. 2. containing- "Ballaarat in 1855," "Best Way to Spend Your Pile."
THATCHER'S COLONIAL SONG, No. 2, contains "Blatherskyte," "By-and-bye," "Changes since 1852," "Chinaman's Fate."
THATCHER'S COLONIAL SONGSTER, Second Number, contains - "Cockney's Lament," "Colonial Curiosities," "Dream of Home," "English Notions of Diggings Life."

Thatcher's colonial songster . . . [part 3] (Melbourne: Charlwood & Son., 1858)



"REVIEW", Bendigo Advertiser (2 July 1858), 2 

THATCHER'S COLONIAL SONGSTER: - Charlwood and Sons, Melbourne.

A week or two since we gave a passing notice of the last publication of this amusing and interesting production, containing parts 1, 2, and 3, and including all the choice local songs, parodies, &c., written by Mr. Thatcher. The work, how ever, deserves something more than a mere record of its appearance, and we gladly take an opportunity of devoting some further space to its notice. Mr. Thatcher's career as a songster, is bound up with the goldfields, and more especially with Bendigo, where, we believe, he first gained that applause which has since become general.

The first notice of Mr. Thatcher's productions we find in the Argus, in January, 1854, in which the Bendigo correspondent, writing on the 18th of that month, in allusion to the Theatre Royal, recently opened, says:

"I must not omit noticing Mr. Thatcher's songs, respecting the diggings composed and sung by himself. They are really good; full of point and local allusions, humorous and well written, and elicit tremendous applause."

The notice applies, word for word, to the songs which the inexhaustible resources of the comic Thatcher still furnish. A month or two subsequently to the above notice appeared another with reference to a publication of Mr. Thatcher's songs, in which it was added that "they bore the test of careful reading," " and if circulated in England, would give a much bettor idea of the goldfields than most of the elaborately written works upon them do.

If these remarks were applicable to the unpretending publication in question, still more applicable are they to that before us. During the four or five years that have elapsed, the author has extended his knowledge of the goldfields and of the colony, and his productions have consequently a wider range of subjects, and a more general interest. The publication before us comprises songs upon almost every phase of a digger's life, many of them most laughable parodies, with occasional colonial sketches not strictly belonging to the goldfields. Nor does the author confine himself to the Comic Muse, for we meet with occasional pieces of a more ambitious character. It is hardly fair to judge Mr. Thatcher's powers by these, for the habit of writing facetious songs has evidently trammelled the efforts of a graver kind. All the pieces display the quality of graphic sketching of life and manners, with a profusion of verbal wit and happy hits, and occasionally touches of real humor. Everything is off hand, pointed, and dazzling, but very often the songs will not bear close scrutiny. There are very serious faults to be noticed in the various pieces regarding them as compositions. There is a great deal of the commonest and often very unmeaning slang introduced, and a vitiated taste is too often pandered to for the applause of the moment. Then we constantly meet with disjointed ideas, dragged in for the sake of the rhyme, tagged on at the end of the line; and occasionally a whole verse is introduced in which there is hardly any relevant idea. These are all faults incidental to the hurried style of composition, and to the leading idea of producing effect as a vocal production, from which latter circumstance it must be clear that many of the songs lose on being read very much of the effect they have when sung by the author.

We have thus impartially stated the merits and demerits of the productions before us, but, on the whole, we cannot but highly estimate racy sketches like these, which impart such lively ideas of life and manners at the goldfields. In these humorous songs and clover sketches a digger's life, with its peculiarities and vicissitudes, is happily pourtrayed to persons at a distance, and will be familiar to future generations when the digger of the days of rushes, eight feet claims, and rich piles got out in a few days, will be only known by tradition. The goldfields have some reason to be proud of a poet who so happily and graphically illustrates their characteristics; and we believe that already Mr. Thatcher has established a reputation through out the various mining districts of the colony.

We shall take an early opportunity of making a few selections from the songs before us, and at present we make one or two extracts from songs of a more serious and sentimental character than those by which Mr. Thatcher is best known.

From " Ballarat, in 1855," we take the following, verses:

How volcanoes in commotion
Liquid fire around did throw,
And how hills, likes waves of ocean,
Oscillated to and fro;
How the earth with noise like thunder,
Shaken to its centre rolled,
Bursting solid rocks asunder,
Pouring streams of molten gold.

But a few years since how lonely!
Natives then, with weapons rude,
Roamed thy wildernesses only
To procure their daily food.
But the solitude is banished;
Hills and valleys teem with life;
Dusky savages have vanished,
And all now is noise and strife.

Knolls, where the untutored savage
Rested 'neath the tall tree's shade,
Green no longer, shew the ravage
Of the busy pick and spade;
Thousands too, from distant nations,
Hearing of thy hidden worth,
Leaving former avocations,
Pierce the bowels of the earth.

This extract from "Mary's Dream," will be interesting and suggestive:

One evening as I mournful sat
Within our little tent,
On my infant in the cradle
My tearful eyes were bent;
Desponding thoughts came o'er me,
And I said in mental pain,
"I hate this wretched country,
Would I were home again."

"I slept, and had my wish fulfilled -
Again I was at home,
And with my dearest children
Through London's streets did roam -
I wandered on midst rain and cold,
With no shelter to my head,
And my little ones cried bitterly,
And pined for want of bread.

My husband could get no employ,
And with features full of woe,
To keep us from starvation,
To a workhouse we did go!
They tried to separate us -
I woke up with a scream,
And heard the windlasses at work
Thank God! 'twas but a dream."

We conclude with the following verses from "The Digger's Grave," which show that the comic humor which is so successful in calling forth shouts of laughter, is allied to a living susceptibility of the deeper feelings of our nature.

Each evening we'd sit round the bright blazing fire,
And our talk would be always of home;
And how we'd return to our dear native town,
With our kindred and friends of our youth settle down
And for riches no more have to roam.

In fancy we'd cross the wild stormy main;
In the arras of affection be clapsed;
Whilst objects; but dimly remembered, would rise,
And suddenly gladden our wondering eyes,
And our hands by kind friends would be grasped.

But alas ! oh, how short and how fleeting is life!
Poor James, our mate, sickened one day;
Prompt assistance we got, but it proved all in vain,
No human aid could give relief to his pain,
For his life fast was ebbing away.

The cold film of death was now glazing his eye,
As he beckoned me to his bedside;
"Tell my mother," said he, "I loved her to the last,"
And then a faint smile o'er his pallid face passed,
And in my arms calmly he died.

On the ranges, beneath a wide spreading gum tree
Where in peace the wild kangaroo dwelt;
The mortal remains of poor James there we laid;
And although not a word by our party was said,
Bitter scalding tears showed what each felt.

And although to our birthplace we've got back again
And in safety have crossed the wild wave,
We think of poor James; and fond Memory still
Recals the gum tree on the top of the hill,
Which marks the poor digger's lone grave.

Thatcher's colonial minstrel (3 parts, Charlwood, 1859-61; reissue under single cover, 1864)

Thatcher's colonial minstrel; new collection of songs by the inimitable Thatcher, only authorized edition of his songs [parts 1-3] (Melbourne: Charlwood and Son, 1859-61)

Thatcher's colonial minstrel; new collection of songs by the inimitable Thatcher, only authorized edition of his songs [parta 1-3] (Melbourne: Charlwood and Son, 1864) 

Copy at the State Library of New South Wales; 108 pages (PARTLY DIGITISED - 8 pages only) 

Copy at Stanford University (108 pages) from facsimile (Libraries Board of South Australia, 1964) (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

Thatcher's colonial minstrel [part 1] (Melbourne: Charlwood and Son, 1859; 1864) (DIGITISED)

PART 1 - CONTENTS (3-36):

Taking the census - A New Original Song, as written and sung by Thatcher, with deafening applause, at the "Shamrock"; Air - "Miser's Man" (When the census is taken, of course . . .) (3-4)

An old acquaintance; or, Ten days' later news - An entirely New Original Song, as written and sung by Thatcher, at the "Shamrock," Bendigo; Air- "Irish Historian" (From England I've just had a letter . . .) (5-6)

Who wouldn't be a digger? - New Original Song, written and sung by Thatcher; Air - "Ratcatcher's daughter (A decided stop there's been of late . . .) (6-7)

Colonial courtship; or, Love on the diggings - A New Original Song, written and sung by Thatcher; Air - "Drops of Brandy" (What a rum lot the gals are out here . . .) (8-9)

The loafers' customs - A New Parody on "My Father's Customs," as written and sung by C. R. Thatcher (Come, come along, old fellow, I never saw you shout . . .) (9-10)

Take 'em by surprise - An Original Song, written by Thatcher, and sung by him with unbounded applause; Air - "Unfortunate man" (Tom Jones was a draper, his paternal abode . . .) (11-12)

The lady and the bullock driver: a real fact!!! - A new original song, written and sung by Thatcher, with immense applause; Air - "Drops of Brandy" (A squatter who lived Bathurst way . . .) (13-14)

Parody on The grenadier - Written and sung by Thatcher with great applause (Bill Spriggs for his young wife sent down . . .) (15)

The rowdy mob - New original song, written and sung by Thatcher; Tune - "Green grow the rushes" (This Ballarat's a curious spot . . .) (16-17)

Chinaman in court - A new original song, written and sung by Thatcher; Tune - "Bow-wow-wow" (These Chinese are a curious race . . .) (17-19)

Life of a warden - A new original medley, as written and sung by Thatcher, at the "Shamrock"; [1st] Air - "I'd be a gipsey" (I'd be a warden merry and free . . .) (19-21)

Bendigo races - New original song, as written and sung by Thatcher; Air - "The maypole" (To the races t'other morning . . .) (21-22)

Laying information - New original song, written by C. R. Thatcher; Air - "Standard bearer" ('Tis twelve at night, and there upon the camp . . .) (23)

Hurrah for Australia - New original song, on the land question, as written and sung by Thatcher, with immense applause; Air - Original (Hurrah for Australia the golden . . .) (24)

Sailors on the diggings - New original song, as written and sung by Thatcher; Air - "Dicky birds" (I've often wondered to myself . . .) (25-26)

Cricket - New original song, written & sung by Thatcher, at the "Shamrock"; Air - Original (As I've been asked to sing a song . . .) (26-27)

The dog nuisance - New original medley, written and sung by Thatcher, with tremendous applause; [1st] Air - "Guy Fawkes" (What a crusade's carried on against . . .) (28)

Sergeant Bullfrog's song; [1st] Air - Low-back car (When last I went out courting . . .) (29-30)

London cries - New original song, written by Thatcher; Air - Original (On the diggings here I wander . . .) (30-32)

The public man - A new original parody on the "Learned man", written and sung by Thatcher (Come politicians one and all . . .) (32-34)

Getting colonized - New original song, written and sung by Thatcher; Tune - "Green grow the rushes" (To all new chums in here tonight . . .) (34-35)

Trotters O! - A new original parody on the "Caller Ou" (When day has closed, and all is dark . . .) (36)


[Advertisement], The Argus (13 June 1859), 8 

THATCHER'S COLONIAL MINSTREL. On Wednesday will be published (price one shilling) the first number of a new collection of SONGS by the inimitable Thatcher, to be completed in three numbers, uniform with Thatcher's famed Colonial Songster. Sold by all booksellers in town and country Charlwood and Son, booksellers, stationers, and printers, 7 Bourke-street east.
THATCHER'S COLONIAL MINSTREL. - The first number of a new collection of SONGS by the inimitable Thatcher.

Thatchers's colonial minstrel [part 2] (Melbourne: Charlewood and Son, 1859/61; 1864) (DIGITISED)

PART 2 - CONTENTS (37-72):

Colonial curiosities - A new original song, as written and sung by Thatcher with great applause; Tune - "Drops of brandy" (How fond all these people are here . . .) (37-38)

The song of the trap - Written by Thatcher, and sung by him in the foot-police costume; [1st] Tune - "I'm afloat" (I'm a trap, I'm a trap, and up here I abide . . .); [2nd] Air - "Rosin the beau" (The diggers here used to assail us . . .); [3rd] Tune - "Norah Creina" (Hey for glorious by-gone days . . .) (38-41)

Blatherskyte - New original song, written by Thatcher; Air - "Ivy green" (A curious thing is blatherskyte . . .) (41-42)

The dream of home (How sweet is slumber, when the mind . . .) (. . . CHAS. R. THATCHER. Ballarat, Feb. 10, 1856) (42-43)

Lake Burrumbeet - New original song by Thatcher; Air - "One-horse Shay" (Mister Jones the other day . . .) (43-45)

Tom Jones - As sung, with great applause, by Mr. Thatcher, at the Shamrock; Tune - "Dicky birds" (Tom Jones he was a lawyer's clerk . . .) (45-47)

Scrumptious young gals - A new parody on "Beautiful leaves;" as written and sung by Thatcher at the "Shamrock" (Scrumptious young gals, oh, you're togged out so finely . . .) (48)

Mary's dream - Parody on "The wife's dream," by Thatcher (Come, tell me, Mary, how it is that you can look so gay . . . ) (49-50)

Ballarat in 1855 (Ballarat, great hive of nations . . .) (50-51)

Petticoat lane - Thatcher's celebrated song, as sung by him for 275 nights at the Charlie Napier, Ballarat; Air - "Norah McShane" (I've left dear old England a long way behind me . . .) (52-54)

State of the markets - A new original song, as written and sung with great applause by Thatcher at the Shamrock, Bendigo; Tune - "The maypole" (Come, all you business men, attend . . .) (54-55)

The Chinaman - A new parody on "The Englishman," as written and sung by Thatcher (There's a land that bears a well-known name . . .) (56-57)

The rifle brigade - New original song, as written and sung with great applause by Thatcher; Tune - "The low-back car" (When first I saw Bill Jenkins . . .) (57-58)

By-and-by - New original song - by Thatcher; Air - "Kitty Tyrrell" (Times are bad, there's no denying . . .) (58-59)

Changes since 1852 - A new original song, as written and sung by Thatcher with great applause; Tune - "Wealth is an invention (Wherever now you range . . .) (60-61)

The best way to spend your life - A new parody by Thatcher; Tune - "Ten thousand a year" (How I wish that I had a snug pile, Gaffer Green . . .) (62-63)

Life of a loafer - new original Medley, as written and sung by Thatcher with great applause; [1st] Tune - "The return of the admiral" (Oh, some of you may wonder . . . ); [2nd] Tune - "I'm afloat" (I'm afloat, and swamped out, in my hole on the flat . . .); [3rd] Tune - "Rob Roy Macgregor, O" (Who of gold don't earn an ounce? . . .); [4th] Tune - "Norah Creina" (Then poor as any starving mouse . . .); [5th] Tune - "The maids of Merry England" ( Oh, the loafers of Australia . . .) (63-65)

English notions of a digging life - A new original song by Thatcher; Tune - "Unhappy Jeremiah" (I was digging some few months ago . . .) (65-66)

The faithless nursemaid - A new original song, as written and sung by Thatcher at the Shamrock; Tune - "Normandy Maid" (I once knew a stunning nursemaid . . .) (67-68)

The fight at the rush - A new original song, as written and sung by Thatcher on Ballarat; Tune - "Guy Fawkes" (Just read the papers, and you'll find . . .) (68-70)

The cockney's lament - An original parody on "Meet me by moonlight," written and sung by Thatcher at the "Shamrock" (Take me to London again . . . ) (70-71)

The Chinaman's fate - New original song by Thatcher; Air - "Mistletoe Bough" (The cradles were rocking one fine summer's day . . . ) (72)

Thatchers's colonial minstrel [part 3] (Melbourne: Charlwood and Son, 1861; 1864) (DIGITISED)

PART 3 - CONTENTS (73-108):

A new chum's letter, picked up last week in Bourke-street - A new original song, as written and sung by Thatcher with great applause; Tune - "Miser's man" (As you're craving for something that's new . . .) (73-75)

Poll the grogseller - A new parody on "Philip the Falconer," as written and sung by Thatcher at the Shamrock (Big Poll the grogseller gets up every day . . .) (75)

When we're out upon the spree - New parody to "Far, far upon the sea," written and sung by Thatcher (When we're out upon the spree . . .) (76-77)

Moggy's wedding - New original song, written and sung by Thatcher; Tune: "Joe Buggins" (Jemmy Ball, a lucky digger . . .) (77-79)

the fine fat saucy Chinaman - A new parody on the "Fine old English gentleman," as written and sung by Thatcher (I'll sing a little ditty, which . . .) (79-80)

I remember - A new original parody, as written and sung by Thatcher loud great applause; Air - "I remember" (I remember, I remember . . .) (81-83)

The abode of happiness (Oh, happiness! say, where dost thou abide? . . .) (. . . Ballarat, May 22nd, 1856) (83-84)

To the West End - Parody on Russell's "To the West," written and sung by Thatcher (To the West, to the West End, that fair lovely spot . . .) (85-86)

A Chinese barney on the diggings - A new original song, as written and sung by Thatcher, at the "Shamrock," Bendigo, with immense applause; Tune - "Two years ago" (The Chinese are proverbial . . .) (86-87)

A natural history of the loafer - New original song by C. R. Thatcher; Tune - "Drops of Brandy" (If you ever go up the main-street . . .) (88-89)

Making a pile - A new original song, by Thatcher; Air - "All 'round my hat" (My spirits now are low, and I fell quite down-hearted . . .) (89-91)

England (England, dear land that gave me birth . . .) (. . . C. R. THATCHER. March 2, 1856) (91-92)

Look out below - A new original song, as written and sung by thatcher; Tune - "Smuggler king" (A young man left his native shores . . .) (93-94)

Parody on "The death of Nelson" - Written and sung by Thatcher (Recitative: In Pentridge now, with silent grief opprest . . .; Air: 'Twas out in Hobson's Bay . . .) (94-95)

That'll tell you about emigration - Written on Ballarat, by C. R. Thatcher; Air - "Drops of Brandy" (What a curious country this is . . .) (95-96)

Poor Ching Chong - New original song, by Thatcher; Air - "Terry O'Rann" (Oh, poor Ching Chong . . .) (97-99)

Australia versus England - New original song, by Thatcher; Tune - "Bob and Joan" (Gold's a curious thing . . .) (99-101)

The rising generation - New original song, by Thatcher; Tune - "Green's balloon" (On the diggins you'll allow one meets . . .) (101-03)

New original song, by Thatcher; Air - "Days we went Gipsying" (Oh, the days when we went shepherding a long time ago . . .) (103-05)

Grand meeting of the dogs on Bendigo - New original song, by Thatcher; Tune - "Very wife for me" (The new dog registration . . .) (105-107)

Take me back - Parody on the celebrated song of "Steer my bark to Erin's Isle," written and sung by Thatcher (Oh, I have passed through many lands . . .) (108)


"THATCHER'S COLONIAL MINSTREL", Ovens and Murray Advertiser [Beechworth, VIC] (16 March 1861), 2 

We have received No. 3 of Thatcher's Colonial Minstrel; comment on this work is needless, as Mr. Thatcher is well known as a song writer of the first class, the humorous style of his writing is admired by all, and in this series he has displayed more than ordinary ability. We would advise all who wish to make themselves acquainted with the history of the colony for the last eight years to purchase a copy of this little work, and they will never have cause to regret the expenditure of a bob.

"THATCHER'S COLONIAL MINSTREL", Bendigo Advertiser (16 March 1861), 2 

The indefatigable rhymster and collector of colonial slang, Thatcher, has added a third to his two previously published books of song. We cannot compliment "The Inimitable" upon this last production, several ditties in which can only raise a laugh by their equivocal character. The pabulum which might go down in 1854 is hardly suited to the intellectual market of 1861. Mr. Thatcher ought to be able to do better than this, unless he has written himself out.

"NEW PUBLICATION", Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (18 March 1861), 2 

We have received a copy of "Thatcher's Colonial Minstrel," No. 3. It contains some of Thatcher's best song, collected from Punch, for which they were originally written. The songs display considerable talent and humour.

Thatcher's Dunedin songster (Dunedin, NZ, 1862)

"LOCAL NEWS", Gippsland Times [Sale, VIC] (4 July 1862), 2-3 

We have been shewn this week a letter our old friend Thatcher, who says he has been doing wonders in Dunedin . . . Accompanying his letter is the second number of his Dunedin songster, which to us loses half its zest from ignorance of the people and the place; there are two characters, however, whose names we find mentioned more than once in the songs, Mr. Pyke, late member for Castlemaine, and Mr. Pendergast, the barrister who attended here during the last October Sessions as Crown Prosecutor. The latter gentleman, Mr. Thatcher says, made £450 at the Dunedin sessions, having over forty defended cases, for some of which he got fess of from £30 to £50. The songster is, however, not very flattering to Mr. Pendergast, and hit rather severely at that learned gentleman's well known failing. We copy the following verses from a medley, called the "Testimonial Dinner":

Now Mr. Taylor then proposed
"The Bar," when Pendergast"
Rose and responded to the toast
That had been given last.

He said he knew the Melbourne bar,
And the Geelong bar as well,
His experience too of other bars,
It strikes me he could tell.

He stuck up like bricks for the bar
And a good many people there are,
Who are ready to swear, affirm, and declare,
He'll never desert the bar . . .

[Advertisement], Otago Daily Times (1 August 1862), 3 

THATCHER! THATCHER!! THATCHER'S Dunedin Songster, third number. Published this day. Besemeres's, George-street, opposite Royal George.

Thatcher's Lake Wakatipu songster (NZ, 1863)

"THATCHER'S LAKE WAKATIPU SONGSTER", Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle (20 June 1863), 3 

Thatcher's Invercargill minstrel (NZ, 1864)

Thatcher's Invercargill minstrel; first number: containing several of the popular local songs as written and sung by him at the Theatre Royal, Invercargill (Invercargill [N.Z.]: Printed at the "Invercargill Times" Office, [1864])

Copies at National Library of Australia and State Library of New South Wales (not digitised) 

See also: "Correspondence. LOCAL HITS. TO THE EDITOR", Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle (14 January 1864), 2 

Thatcher's Auckland songster (NZ, 1864)

The Auckland songster, containing songs and recitations, as written and sung with immense applause by Charles R. Thatcher (Auckland: J. Harris, 1864).

Copy at State Library of New South Wales (not digitised) 

Thatcher's Otago songster (Otago, NZ, 1865)

[News], Bruce Herald (16 February 1865), 9 

Thatcher's Adelaide songster (Adelaide: G. H. Egremont-Gee, 1866)

Thatcher's Adelaide songster, containing the principal local songs as written and sung by him at White's Assembly Rooms (Adelaide: G. H. Egremont-Gee, [1866])

Copies at State Library of South Australia and State Library of New South Wales (not digitised) 


The civic election

The fancy bazaar

The insolvent court

The sticking up cases

English intelligence


[Advertisement], The Adelaide Express (29 December 1866), 2 

THATCHER'S ADELAIDE SONGSTER; all his newest and best Songs. Price, Sixpence. Published and sold By G. H. Egremont-Gee, 68 Rundle-street; and also sold by Chas. Platts, Hindley-street.

"GENERAL NEWS", The Adelaide Express (29 December 1866), 2 

Mr. G. H. Egremont-Gee has issued an edition of Thatcher's new Adelaide Songster, containing the principal local songs written and sung by him at White's Rooms. There is certainly plenty of humor in them, and most readers will enjoy a hearty laugh although most likely some of those at whose expense [3] the jokes are cracked will "wonder what on earth people see to laugh at."

Thatcher's local songs (Auckland, NZ, 1869)

Thatcher's local songs, as Written and sung by him at Auckland and the Thames (Auckland: William Atkin, 1869)

Copy at National Library of Australia and State Library of New South Wales (not digitised) 


"THATCHER REDIVIDUS", Bendigo Advertiser (4 October 1869), 2 

We have to acknowledge the receipt of a little pamphlet entitled "Wit and Humor," the production of that old Bendigo poetic humorist, C. R. Thatcher. Mr. Thatcher we see is located at Auckland in New Zealand, and the incidents on which he rhymes with his old accustomed talent, are the daily occurrences in the lives of the public of that place and of the neighboring goldfield at the Thames, Many of the songs remind us of that pleasant jingling rhyming on local matters with which Thatcher used to amuse us in the old days of Bendigo.

Beautiful Kobe, a poetical satire by the author of "Shanghai lyrics", "The Hongkong distillery, a rum burlesque" &c., &c., &c. ([no details]); cover: "Charles R. Thatcher is author of 'The Hongkong distillery, a rum burlesque', published in Hong Kong by Hong Kong Times Office in 1871."

Copy at National Library of Australia (not digitised) 

Individual songs and other works, and broadsides

Statu quo (7 April 1853)

"ORIGINAL POETRY", The Argus (18 May 1853), 9

The driving rain was pouring down,
And cold and cheerless was the night,
And through the streets of Melbourne town,
The torrent rushed with all its might.
Though stealthy time still onward creeps,
There is no drainage yet, you know;
Our model Governor still sleeps.
And things remain "in statu quo" . . . [5 more verses].

"STATU QUO", Brighton Gazette [Sussex, England] (13 October 1853), 3

From the Melbourne Argus, May 18, 1853.
The following lines are from the pen of a son of Mr. Thatcher, King's Road.

The driving rain was pouring down . . .

The deluded emigrant (6 May 1853)

[Advertisement], The Argus (6 May 1853), 12 

Studley Arms, Wellington street Collingwood
GRAND CONCERT On Saturday May 7th instant
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . Mr. Laberne (comic) - The Deluded Emigrant - Thatcher . . .
Pianist and Musical Director - Mr. Trevor . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Laberne (comic buffo vocalist); Mr. Trevor (pianist)

The new aristocracy (early 1854)

"THE DIGGINGS", Brighton Gazette [Sussex, England] (24 August 1854), 8

Mr. Thatcher, of the King's Road, received gratifying letter from his son in Australia, last week, accompanied with the following poetical effusion, for which the son states he has had a capital sale in the colony:-

THE NEW ARISTOCRACY. By C. R. Thatcher, Jun., of Bendigo.

Australia's very queer place,
Folks in England perhaps may deny it,
If they do so, why, all I can say
Is, they better come out here and try it.
When the Regent Street Swell arrives here,
It puts him quite into a panic,
To see that the class that's best off
Is the hard-working man and mechanic . . . [7 more verses]

License hunting extraordinary (Castlemaine, November 1854)

"LICENSE HUNTING EXTRAORDINARY", Mount Alexander Mail [Castlemaine, VIC] (10 November 1854), 4 

Ballarat as it is [1] (1 March 1855)

"ORIGINAL POETRY. BALLARAT AS IT IS", The Age (5 March 1855), 5 

Dear sir, I write to let you know
The very way affairs now go
On Ballarat—the noted place
Of crime and everything that's base . . .

Ballarat as it is [2] (2 April 1855)

"ORIGINAL POETRY. BALLARAT AS IT IS (From our Poetical Correspondent)", The Age (12 April 1855), 6 

Dear Sir, my silence pray excuse,
Doubtless you have expected news
From Ballarat ere this, but stay -
To Melbourne I have been away . . .

Ballarat in 1855 (2 August 1855)

"ORIGINAL POETRY. BALLARAT IN 1855", The Age (23 August 1855), 6 

Ballarat, great hive of nations,
Vast gold-field where thousands toil,
Shunning previous occupations,
To extract the golden soil.
Place of wonderment to sages,
Who to understand thee full,
Could'st thou speak of bygone ages,
Thou might'st tell a wondrous tale . . . [5 more verses]
C. R. THATCHER. August 2nd, 1855.

The digger's grave (Ballarat, 23 September 1855)

"ORIGINAL POETRY", The Age (8 October 1855), 3 

The sun brightly shone upon gully and hill,
And our party were all in high glee,
For we'd stumbled at length on a piece of good luck;
The lead we'd long fought for at last had been struck.
And the gold in our claim we could see . . . [7 more verses] . . .
CHARLES R. THATCHER. Ballarat, 23rd September 1855.

A striking likeness (Ballarat, 26 September 1855)

[Advertisement], The Age (2 October 1855), 8 

And did you not hear of an Ex-Gold Commissioner
Who on the Bendigo used to reside,
Whose portrait so well by Punch, junior, was taken
That the little boys in the streets after him cried.
The people in Melbourne looked at him so steadily,
"That's the cove wot's in Punch" they all said so readily,
And go where he would they'd so earnestly stare,
That this gentleman vowed twas'nt treating him fair . . . [2 more verses] . . .
CHARLES R. THATCHER. Ballarat, 26th September.

The loafing society; Daguerreotype portaits; Why don't they mend the roads (Bendigo, 1856)

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (30 August 1856), 4 

THE LOAFING SOCIETY, AND THE DGAUERREOTYPE PORTRAITS, Two new and original Song, written and song by THATCHER, at the Shamrock Concert Hall, on Sale at the ARGUS STATIONERY DEPOT.

[Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (11 September 1856), 2 supplement 

Three new and original Songs, written and sung by THATCHER, at the Shamrock Concert Hall, on Sale at the ARGUS STATIONERY DEPOT.

"THE LOAFING SOCIETY", Bendigo Advertiser (1 September 1856), 3 

A correspondent writes to us to know why Thatcher has done so much injustice to the Wardens and Chinese Protectors as not to include them in the honorable Society of Loafers. We have no doubt that the clever satirist will do these official idlers full justice.

The rush to Dunolly (Bendigo, January 1857)

"THE RUSH TO DUNOLLY", Bendigo Advertiser (20 September 1856), 3 

"THE RUSH TO DUNOLLY", (A new original Song, as written and sung by Thatcher, at the Shamrock.)
Tune - "Over the water to Charlie."

Oh what a great row is kicked up just now;
Strange reports all about here are flying;
New diggings are found, and to rush to the ground
Great numbers of people are dying.
They don't wait to enquire, but seem all on fire;
But to hurry away thus is folly,
For numbers they say come back every day,
And give bad accounts of Dunolly . . . [5 more verses]

Scrutator (Bendigo, 24 September 1856)

"ORIGINAL", Bendigo Advertiser (24 September 1856), 3 


A vaunt Hitchcock, Allan and Thompson as well
And Mitchell, political prater,
Doctor Candler is come, he's a man of great note
In the Herald those wonderful letters he wrote
He's the dashing, sarcastic, Scrutator . . . [6 more verses] . . .
C. R. T.

Hints to candidates (Bendigo, 4 October 1856)

"HINTS TO CANDIDATES", Bendigo Advertiser (4 October 1856), 3 

HINTS TO CANDIDATES. A new Election Song, written and sung by Thatcher, at the Shamrock, with loud applause.
Air - "Rob and Joan."

Candidates, draw near,
We'll soon have the Elections;
Listen and you'll hear
A few of my directions.
Mind, I require no fees,
So grant me your attention,
And to would-be M. L. C.s
A dodge or two I'll mention . . . [7 more verses]

The election (14 October 1856)

"THE ELECTION", Bendigo Advertiser (October 1856), 3 

(Written and Sung by Thatcher at the Shamrock.)
Tune - "Tight Little Island."

There has been here all day quite the devil to pay,
For they've flocked here from every direction;
Man, woman, and child have each one gone wild,
About this eventful election.
Oh, what a stunning election,
A regular rowdy election,
There's no place I know can lick Bendigo
Whenever they hold an election . . . [5 more verses]

The late election (13 October 1856)

"ORIGINAL AND SELECT POETRY", Bendigo Advertiser (17 October 1856), 3 


The election's over. - Grant again is in.
Pall Mall resumes its former peaceful state.
The streets no longer echo with a din,
And noisy politicians cease to prate . . . [7 more verses] . . .
C. R. THATCHER. October 13th, 1856.

A voice from the logs (Bendigo, 11 October 1856)

"A VOICE FROM THE LOGS. Not by Tennyson", Bendigo Advertiser (13 November 1856), 3 

[Mr. Thatcher lins not been unprofitably employed during his sojourn in the Jail, and judging from the following verses, it would seem that his solitude has been cheered by a visit from those capricious ladies, the Muses. The gentlemen whose names are introduced will, we are sure, forgive the liberty that is taken, in consideration of the honor of being mentioned in a production that is intended to be immortal.]

Caged in McLACHLAN's famed hotel,
He paces up and down the yard -
Views his unfurnished little cell,
And thinks his sentence precious hard.
With nought to occupy the mind,
Through the Stockade in vain he looks;
Deprived of liberty and books,
For two long days to be confined,
Then said he, This is very dreary;v It aint the cheese, he said,
Incarceration makes me weary-
Would I were home in bed! . . .

The twinkling stars begin to show,
And then he knows it is the hour
That Carnndini down below
Warbles with famous Sara Flower,
What pleasure would a song afford! . . .

. . . Although my fate perhaps is hard,
He might have forced me, by the powers,
To undergo for two long hours
The Irish singing of Besnard.
In that case then it would be dreary;
'T would sew me up, he said;
Of "Two Hours in Ireland" I'd be weary,
And wish myself in bed.

C. R. T. Tuesday. [8 verses in all]

Bendigo Mac (Bendigo, 2 January 1857)

"ORIGINAL", Bendigo Advertiser (6 January 1857), 3 

Thatcher's last New Original Song, as sung by him at the Shamrock Concert Hall with great applause.
Air - "Widow Machree."

Bendigo Mac! the old proverb doth say,
Oh, oh, Bendigo Mac,
That every dog in this world has his day,
Oh, oh, Bendigo Mac.
This Municipal town
Is fast doing you brown,
And no wonder you frown because things are so slack;
And soon, I tell you,
You'll have nothing to do,
Oh, oh, Bendigo Mac . . . [6 more verses] . . .
January 2nd, 1857.
[The preceding song is very clever and amusing, and we will be bound that "Bendigo Mac" will laugh as heartily at it as any one else. - ED.]

The lost mail bags (Bendigo, 9 January 1857)

"ORIGINAL", Bendigo Advertiser (12 January 1857), 3 

THE LOST MAIL BAGS. (Suggested by Byron's description of the Battle of Waterloo.) There was a sound, a murmur to the night,
And Sandhurst loungers had all gathered then
To meet Cobb's coach with evident delight,
A crowd of eager and expectant men.
And there they all looked anxiously, and when
There passed along some shabby, seedy swell,
Soft laughter rose, then all was still again,
The coach rears up, the passengers arrive quite well.
But hark! - a murmuring noise is heard half down Pall Mall . . . [6 more verses] . . .
C. R. THATCHER. January 9th.

Sweet revenge (Bendigo, 10 January 1857)

"ORIGINAL", Bendigo Advertiser (10 January 1857), 3 


Tell me on consideration,
If a grudge you owe some man,
What's your best retaliation,
To be even, what's your plan? . . . [4 more verses] . . .
C. R. T.

Stanzas on the fire brigade (Bendigo, 16 January 1857)

"STANZAS ON THE FIRE BRIGADE", Bendigo Advertiser (16 January 1857), 3 

When Corporations stoop to folly,
And find that Cataracts betray,
What charm can soothe their melancholy?
To set things right, which is the way?

In future they must be more heedful,
And, when a new machine they buy,
The purchaser will find it needful
To have no "Cataract" in his eye.

C. R. T.

Lansell's case (Bendigo, 20 May 1857)

"ORIGINAL VERSES". Bendigo Advertiser (20 May 1857), 3 

A new Original Song, as written and sung by Thatcher, at the "Shamrock."
Air, - Nora Creina.

View Point boasts a curious tribe
In the heart of the Municipality,
Listen now while I describe
The inhabitants of this locality.
View Point has some splendid shops,-
Harbours too a tallow melter,
There's Brown, who sells us lollypops,
And there's also Carpenter, the smelter . . . [6 more verses]

The hunted Bendigo J.P. (Bendigo, 29 September 1857)

"THE HUNTED BENDIGO J.P.", Bendigo Advertiser (29 September 1857), 3 

To his Confidential Servant.

Out John, out John, what are you about, John?
If you don't say out, at once, you make the fellow doubt, John.
Say I'm out, whene'er he calls, and if you're not a flat, John,
Always be particular, and hide my coat and hat, John.
Tell the cove in blue, another J.P. he must seek, John,
For only half an hour ago I went to the Back Creek, John.
Out John, out John, &c. . . . [4 more verses] . . .
C. R. T.

The lay of the informer (Bendigo, 24 May 1858)

"THE LAY OF THE INFORMER. FROM THE BENDIGO ADVERTISER", Ovens and Murray Advertiser [Beechworth, VIC] (1 June 1858), 3 

Oh, dear! what a hard fate is mine!
To stay in this place is a bore,
My billet I think I'll resign
And be an informer no more.
The Camp is a prison to me,
From its precincts I really daren't stray -
How happy and jolly I'd be
If I could go out for a day . . . [6 more verses] . . .
C. R. THATCHER. May 24th, 1858.

The drayman's life (Bendigo, 29 May 1858)

"ORIGINAL", Bendigo Advertiser (29 May 1858), 3 


Oh!, the drayman's life is a chequered one,
'Tis spent upon the road;
To watch him, Oh, what glorious fun!
Whenever he's stuck with a load.
'Tis then he learns to use his voice,
And he blesses Strawberry's eyes,
And his imprecations are so choice
' That they fill one with surprise . . . [5 more verses] . . .
C. R. T.

The maiden's lament (Bendigo, 8 June 1858)

"ORIGINAL", Bendigo Advertiser (8 June 1858), 2 supplement 


I gazed upon her merry face,
Those eyes so full of joy,
And thought how free from care is youth!
How pure without alloy! . . . [5 more verses] . . .
C. R. T.

A lady's address to her lost puppy (Bendigo, 12 June 1858)

"ORIGINAL", Bendigo Advertiser (12 June 1858), 3 

Oh, darling Fido! for thee I am yearning;
Where art thou gone; do strangers now detain thee?
Unto thy kennel pray be soon returning;
How foolish of me was it to unchain thee.
Perhaps with other ours now thou art larking;
How glad I'd be to hear thy well known barking . . . [8 more verses] . . .

That beats me (Bendigo, 23 August 1858

"ORIGINAL", Bendigo Advertiser (25 August 1858), 3 

New Song, written for his Benefit by Mr. Charles R. Thatcher.

Why Thatcher still for home keeps yearning,
That beats me.
When to the Shamrock he'll be returning.
When he comes back to this location,
To sing again to the population,
Will he find any alteration?
That beats me . . . [8 more verses]

The crushing machine (Bendigo, 9 November 1858)

"ORIGINAL", Bendigo Advertiser (9 November 1858), 3 


When first as a new chum on Sandhurst I settled,
To me it appeared a most unwelcome change;
And, like other new chums, I felt very nettled,
The Bendigo diggings to me seemed so strange.
Unsuccessful and lonely, I cursed emigration,
And thought what a stupid to come out I'd been;
But the thing that excited my fierce indignation,
And stirred up my wrath, was a crushing machine . . . [4 more verses] . . .

Grogselsior (not by Professor Longfellow) (Bendigo, 24 November 1858)

"GROGSELSIOR", Bendigo Advertiser (24 November 1858), 3 


The shades of night were falling fast,
Through Ararat's main street there passed
A sharp informer, dressed so nice,
And in his eye lurked this device,
Grogselsior . . . [6 more verses] . . .

Oh! Nelly, it is I, dear (answer to "Willie we have missed you") (? Bendigo, mid 1859)

"Answer to Willie we have Missed You", Ovens and Murray Advertiser [Beechworth, VIC] (18 July 1859), 3

Answer to "Willie we have Missed You."
As written for Madame Vitelli by Charles R. Thatcher.

Oh! Nelly, it is I, dear, safe, safe at home,
No longer shall you sigh dear, no more shall Willie roam;
For years I've been away, 'neath Australia's sunny skies,
I've toiled and brought back glittering gold to feast your wondering eyes,
And I've brought a faithful heart across the briny foam,
Oh! Nelly, it is I, dear, the wanderer's safe at home . . . [ 2 more verses]

MUSIC CONCORDANCE: Willie we have missed you (Foster)

On the loss of the shareholders in the Provincial Banking Company (Bendigo, 3 November 1859)

"ORIGINAL POETRY", Bendigo Advertiser (4 November 1859), 2 


Toll for the bank!
The bank that is no more,
Whilst faces now look bank
That smiled with glee before . . . [7 more verses] . . .
C. R. T. 3rd November, 1859.

My broker (Bendigo, 9 November 1859)

"MY BROKER", Bendigo Advertiser (9 November 1859), 3 


Who lives a few yards from Pall Mall,
And manages to cut a swell,
And always has some shares to sell?
My broker! . . . [8 more verses] . . .
C. R. T.

The cocky; or, A warning to dilatory subscribers (Bendigo, 11 November 1859)

"THE COCKY", Bendigo Advertiser (11 November 1859), 3 

BY C. R. THATCHER. (Continued.)

Then I had a queer suggestion, thinks I'll ask him a question;
'Twon't be well for his digestion if he answers as before.
"Mister Cocky, now come tell me, - mind, however, you don't sell me;
All my doubts at once dispel me, - tell me, Cocky, I implore,
Will my 'New Chum' shares e'er pay me; or the spec shall I deplore?"
"Advertiser" he did roar . . . [6 more verses] . . .
6th November, 1858.

Thatcher's farewell to Hamilton (Hamilton, 7 June 1860)

"THATCHER'S FAREWELL TO HAMILTON", Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (9 June 1860), 2 

We cannot resist inserting the following new local song, given by Mr. Thatcher at the concert on Thursday evening: -

AIR - "I'll throw myself away."

I'm going away to Portland,
But I shan't forget the fun
I've had with all you jolly chaps,
Up here in Hamilton.
The fine sea-breeze of course will be
A very welcome change;
But believe me, when I tell you that,
I shan't forget the Grange . . . [6 more verses]

The Portland rifle brigade (Portland, 19 June 1860)

"MR. THATCHER'S CONCERTS", Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (20 June 1860), 2 

. . . Last night Mr. Thatcher gave several new songs, and amongst them an original one composed for the occasion, on the "Portland Rifle Brigade," the wit and good taste of which elicited unbounded applause . . .

"THE PORTLAND RIFLE BRIGADE", Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (27 June 1880), 4 

Air - Barney O'Keefe.

There's been a great talk of a foreign invasion,
Which fills the young men here with great indignation;
No matter what business, what rank, or what station,
They all of them form in a Rifle Brigade . . . [19 more verses]

Portland celebrities (Portland, 25 June 1860)

"PORTLAND CELEBRITIES", Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (25 June 1860), 2 

AIR - Dicky Birds.

This Portland is a quiet town,
There's nothing here occurring,
No ships are in the harbor,
Stagnation only stirring;
I went to-day about the town,
But what struck me as queer,
Waas the curious appellations
Of many folks up here . . . [5 more verses]

Hamilton topics (Hamilton, 28 July 1860)

"'HAMILTON TOPICS", Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (28 July 1860), 2 


I'm back to Hamilton at last;
How jolly quick six weeks have passed!
The place has gone a-head, I see,
Thanks to your Municipality . . . [9 more verses]

Thatcher's dream (Hamilton, 28 July 1860)

"THATCHER'S DREAM", Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (28 July 1860), 2 

Air - "Duck Leg Dick."

Last night I'd too much sherry
I felt queer in my head,
So I went and god my candle,
And toddled off to bed;
Undressed and blew the light out,
And, though strange it may seem,
I fell into a slumber
And had the following dream: . . . [8 more verses]

Kerferd's rifle brigade (Beechworth, 31 October 1860)

"ORIGINAL POETRY", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (31 October 1860), 3 

AIR.- "The Low Back Car."

Beechworth is a pleasant town,
Your Council is "all there;"
And an indefatigable cove,
Named Kerferd's in the chair;
The interest of this little spot
This brewer has at heart -
I'm told he thinks that Beechworth ought
To play a martial part,
And get up a Rifle Brigade.
For fear foreign foes may invade;
So now, Volunteers,
Dispel all your fears
And join Kerferd's Rifle Brigade . . . [4 more verses]

The emperor of Wahgunyah (Rutherglen, 14 November 1860)

"WAHGUNYAH NEWS (From The Murray Advertiser) THATCHER'S LAST NIGHT AT RUTHERGLEN", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (17 November 1860), 3 

We have printed elsewhere a new local song (the Emperor of Wahgunyah) sung by the celebrated Thatcher on Wednesday evening, at the Star Theatre, Rutherglen . . .

"POET'S CORNER", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (17 November 1860), 3 

Air - King of the Cannibal Islands.

I won't detain you very long,
But I mean to come out rather strong,
The title of the present song
Is the Emperor of Wahgunyah
I can't give you his pedigree,
For I'm not well up in history,
But still I don't believe that he
Comes of a Royal family;
So we'll leave his coat of arms alone,
Also his right unto a throne;
Go where you will he's always known
As the Emperor of Wahgunyah.

Chorus (each verse.)
With some Kings there's the devil to pay,
But we've no tyrant to obey,
For we live beneath the gentle sway
Of the Emperor of Wahgunyah.
Now Kings are tyrants, oft indeed,
That they can do no wrong's their creed,
But of a very different breed
To the Emperor of Wahgunyah . . . [3 more verses]

Squatter tyranny; or, The dairymen of Yackandandah (Yackandandah, 1 December 1860)

"SQUATTER TYRANNY; OR, THE DAIRYMEN OF YACKANDANDAH", Ovens and Murray Advertiser [Beechworth, VIC] (1 December 1860), 3 


Three miles from Yackandandah,
A squatter of renown,
Upon a splendid station
For years has settled down
His name, I think, is Osborne,
And there's such jolly rows
Between him and the people,
Who happen to have cows . . . [6 more verses]

The municipal council (Beechworth, 8 December 1860)

"THE MUNICIPAL COUNCIL", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (8 December 1860), 5 

Air, - Guy Fawkes.

Since I was here I see you've had
A Municipal election,
A draper, and a digger,
For a seat had an affection;
T'was "another awful sacrifice"
For Littlewood you'll say,
For Yoxall with his digger friends
Licked him, and won the day . . . [5 more tunes and verses]

Thatcher's treatment at Albury (Beechworth, 8 December 1860)

"THATCHER'S TREATMENT AT ALBURY", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (8 December 1860), 5 

A new song was sang lately by Mr. Thatcher containing the history of his visit to Albury.
We append the last two verses of the same: -

This J.P. (supposed to be crack'd)
To oblige this incensed deputation
Went and raked up some obsolete act,
And pronounced songs a great innovation;
So the singing he stopped, 'pon my word,
Which put Thatcher quite in a flurry,
But, however, things just as absurd
Have been done to'ther aide of the Murray.

The Alderman's now in high glee,
For there's no one to shew up his blunders,
And the imbecile ancient J.P.
Believes in his heart he's done wonders;
The Bunny sends out for more beer,
A fresh pot his 'devil', is bringing,
And Shylock the Jew auctioneer
Says, s'help me, ve've stophed all de shinging.

Yackandandah J.P.s and peelers (Yackandandah, 15 December 1860)

"YACHANDANDAH J.P.'s AND PEELERS", Ovens and Murray Advertiser (15 December 1860), 5 

BY R. C. THATCHER [sic].
Air, - Bottle More.

This Yachandandah's very slow,
For just walk down the street,
You'll see but little signs of life,
And scarce a soul you'll meet;
Stores so quiet that you'd think
No purchases were made,
But still in spite of all, they do
A thriving little trade . . . [6 more verses]

A trip to New Zealan; or, A message from the sea (October 1861)

"A TRIP TO NEW ZEALAND", The Herald [Melbourne, VIC] (15 October 1861), 5 

AIR - "There's nae luck."

Greenhorn was a digger, and
He toiled at Pleasant Creek,
And a tidy living he contrived
To knock out every week;
But in New Zealand's golden fields
He was a firm believer;
His "auri sacra fames" was
Decided yellow fever . . . [8 more verses] . . .

John Dennistoun my Jo (Sale, October 1861)

"MR. THATCHER AND MADAM VITELLI", Gippsland Times (30 October 1861), 2 

We append a copy of Mr. Thatcher's election song, entitled JOHN DENNISTOUN MY JO

John Dennistoun my Jo' John,
When we were first acquaint;
You were a decent sort of cove,
But now, alas, you aint'.
You've had such bad companions, John,
As your career will shew;
And now you feel the bad effects,
John Dennistoun my Jo' . . . [8 more verses]

An address to Blondin (New Zealand, December 1862)

"AN ADDRESS TO BLONDIN", Bendigo Advertiser (10 February 1863), 3 


All hail! illustrious Blondin ! man of nerve,
Whose skill upon the rope is wondrous great;
Though oft our blood run cold to see thee swerve
Thou ne'er hast fallen from thy high estate . . .
C. R. THATCHER. [?] December, 1862.

Patriotic song (Castlemaine, March 1868)

"PATRIOTIC SONG", Mount Alexander Mail (16 March 1868), 2 


What a burst of indignation is flashing thro' the land!
A cowardly assassin has dared to lift his hand
Against our youthful Sailor Prince, who lately crossed the sea
To view Australia and accept our hospitality! . . . [3 more verses]

Other sources

Papers of Charles Robert Thatcher, c. 1850 - c. 1870; State Library of Victoria, MS 5004 (FINDING AID)

Collection of ballads and songs of goldfields by entertainer Charles Thatcher comprising Australian and New Zealand ballads (including many MS ballads in Thatcher's hand), manuscript articles, a variety of press cuttings, a comic duologue, "Operatic servant gal", dated August 1861 and notes written by Thatcher to accompany dioramas of life on the goldfields, 1866-1867, 2 copies, bound.


Advice to race frequenters

Ancient regime

Avoca celebrities

Avoca races

Ballarat comic alphabet

Black doctor, The

Blissful ignorance

Bobbies, The

Cameron and Byrne

Carpenter the Smelter, or a scene in the local court

Cases of insanity

Castlemaine (1)

Castlemaine (2)

Cheeky young men

Chinese revolution on Bendigo

Competition! Cork leg

Daily Times, The


Daylesford Bouncer, The

Deputation of dogs to Macadam

Dismal swamp, St. Kilda, The

Doggrel Dunolly celebrations

Fire Brigade

Fire brigade dinner, The

Fire in Bridge Street, The

Geelong celebrities

Grand gift enterprize, The

Great goat case, The

Gutter, The

Heinsley's creditors

Hospital case, The

Improvements in Sandhurst

Lion, The donkey and the fox

Loafing Society

Lord of Barrandown, The

McLachlan in court - McLachlan's farewell


Miling match, The

Mining board, The

New comic duet by Lavern and Thatcher

New market, The

Paris Exhibition, The

Photographic pictures

Pleasures of London

Private despatch of Captain Bumble

Rainbow excursion

Robbing a man of his boots

Sandhurst local court, The

Scamperdown, The (1)

Scamperdown, The (2)

Shipping agents, The

Sly grog sellers, The


Talbot bouncer, The

Thatcher's address to the Governor

Thatcher's dream (1)

Thatcher's dream (2)

Thatcher's farewell

Things you don't often see

Town Board, The

Trotting match

Unhappy jurymen

What shall I sing?

Why don't you mend the roads?

Why don't you shave?

Woes of a Post Office clerk, The

Untitled: commencing "Tom Truman you must know".

NEW ZEALAND BALLADS (30): Address (1)

Address (2)

Auckland opening address

Auckland's contribution to the Otago Exhibition

Bakers, The

Caledonian Society

City buffet

Court: Port Chalmers, The

Down by Fat Macready's Dunedin races

Dunedin Town Board

Farley's Arcade

Flood in the Arcade

Gold fever in the Southern Provinces

Inter-provincial cricket match, The

Loafing society

Major Croker

Old identity

"Our special correspondent" at the seat of war

Polishing of the Maoris

Railway celebration Row at the Waikato

Rush to Okitiki

Seat of Govt

Commissioners, The

Shadrach's departure

Sights at Grahamstown

Summary, The

That beats me

Thatcher's dream

Wakamarina, The

Bibliography and resources

Anderson 1958

Hugh Anderson, Goldrush songster, selected songs of the diggings (Ferntree Gully: The Rams Skull Press, 1958)

Anderson 1960

Hugh Anderson, The colonial minstrel (Melbourne: F. W. Cheshire, 1960)

Anderson 1976

Hugh Anderson, "Thatcher, Charles Robert" and "Thatcher, Richmond", Australian dictionary of biography 6 (1976)

Hoskins 1977

Robert Hoskins, Goldfields balladeer: the life and times of the celebrated Charles R. Thatcher (Auckland: Collins, 1977)

Hoskins 1990; 2014

Robert H. B. Hoskins, "Thatcher, Charles Robert", Dictionary of New Zealand biography (1990), updated April, 2014; Te Ara - The encyclopedia of New Zealand 

Reeves 2004

Keir Reeves, "A songster, a sketcher and the Chinese on central Victoria's Mount Alexander diggings: case studies in cultural complexity during the second half of the nineteenth century" Journal of Australian colonial history, 6 (2004), 175-92;dn=200503861;res=IELAPA (PAYWALL)

Pinner 2017

Mark Pinner, "Charles Robert Thatcher's songsters: politics on the goldfields of Victoria, Australia", in Paul Watt, Derek B. Scott, and Patrick Spedding (eds), Cheap print and popular Song in the nineteenth century, a cultural history of the songster (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017) (PAYWALL) (PREVIEW)

Gänzl 2018

Kurt Gänzl, "Giovanni Vitteli and Annie Vitelli", in Victorian vocalists (New York: Routledge, 2018), 728-31 

See also Kurt Gänzl, "Lydia Howarde: Australia's Emily Soldene", Theatre heritage Australia (last modified 2019) 

Charles Robert Thatcher, Wikipedia 

Thatcher, Rootsweb 

A chronicle of Thatcher's New Zealand career and songs

Notes and references

John Clinton (c. 1809/10-1864)

Clinton's flute works: a select catalogue of music, consisting exclusively of J. Clinton's compositions and arrangements for the flute . . . (London: Joseph Mallet, [n.d.]) (DIGITISED)

"Clinton, John", in James Duff Brown, Stephen Samuel Stratton (eds), British musical biography (Birmingham: S. S. Stratton, 1897), 94 (DIGITISED)

Niall O'Loughlin, revised by Robert Bigio, "Clinton, John", Grove music online

Mr. Calverley (London, c. 1851-64; ? Bendigo, c. 1854)

The musician Calverley, mentioned by Hugh Anderson, has never been satisfactorily identified. He was perhaps the Calverley, or related to the Calverley, who was leader of the band (and later sole manager and director) of the Crystal Hall, a dance hall in St. Martin's Lane, London, in 1851-52; and, if he was indeed briefly in Victoria, had evidently returned to London by 1858.

"CRYSTAL BALL ASSEMBLY ROOMS", Sun [London] (20 August 1851), 7

A very elegant Terpsichorean Saloon has just been opened bearing the above title on the site of the Apollonicon Rooms, in St. Martin's-lane, under the proprietorship and management of Mr. J. Cranbrook Gregory. It is most tastefully fitted up, the walls presenting a series of picturesque decorations, executed in a masterly style by Mr. Wilson (from her Majesty's Theatre), assisted by Messrs. Shalders and Philips, whilst glittering crystal lustres, and gigantic mirrors . . . Quadrilles, waltzes, polkas, &c. follow in uninterrupted succession throughout the evening to the strains of an excellent orchestra of thirty performers, ably directed by Mr. Calverley, who wields his baton with the spirit and efficiency of a Jullien. It would, indeed, be difficult to find a band better calculated than Mr. Calverley's to please the practitioners of the choregraphic art . . .

[Advertisement], Morning Advertiser (25 August 1851), 1

CRYSTAL HALL SUBSCRIPTION DANCING ACADEMY, 101, St. Martin's-lane. - This magnificent place of Amusement will be thrown OPEN THIS EVENING, the 25th of August, and Every Night during the Week. The Hall is splendidly decorated, and contains upwards of 2,000 feet of plate glass, crystal fountains of elegant and chaste design diffuse coolness and fragrant streams of Eau de Cologne around. The band, under the able direction of Mr. Calverley, numbers upwards of forty performers. First-rate refreshments at strictly economic prices. Single night's practice 1s. - An efficient corps of M.C.'s will watch over the etiquette of the salle de danse.

[Advertisement], The era (25 April 1852), 1

CRYSTAL HALL, 101, ST. MARTIN'S-LANE.- Sole Manager and Director, Mr. CALVERLEY - This magnificent place of amusement will OPEN for the SEASON tomorrow (MONDAY), April 26, 1852, On a scale of splendour never before attempted in this establishment. Mr. Calverley takes this opportunity of informing his patrons that his celebrated Band, which created so much sensation on the first opening of the Hall, will have the honour of appearing, and perform all the new and most fashionable Dance Music of the day. Doors open at Half-past Eight. Single night's practice, One Shilling.

"SUNDAY MUSIC IN VICTORIA PARK", East London Observer (19 June 1858), 4

The people's subscription band, under the direction of Mr. Calverley, gave its first performance of the season on Sunday evening last, from six to eight o'clock. The announcement of this addition to the ordinary attractions the park, joined with the great beauty of the weather, attracted crowds of pleasure seekers - the number, we should think, fully equalling that of any of the Sunday gatherings last summer. The music was of the usual varied description, comprising the "Cujus Animam" from Rossini's "Stabat Mater," two Verdian selections, including the inevitable Trovatore one, the overture to Massaniello, and some of the lighter music of Jullien and D'Albert . . .

"THE TERRACE AND PIER GARDENS" [Gravesend], Kentish Independent (13 September 1862), 8

. . . Calverley's band continues to give general satisfaction . . .

"ROSHERVILLE GARDENS", London Evening Standard (23 May 1864), 3

. . . There is a promenade concert, and under the direction of Mr. Calverley some excellent music is performed. During the past week the programme has comprised the overture to Masaniello, airs from the Barbiere de Seville, Valse - Faust, polka quadrille, cornet obligato, and other popular pieces . . .

© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2021