LAST MODIFIED Monday 15 November 2021 15:01

Worgan family in Australia and New Zealand

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "Worgan family in Australia and New Zealand", Australharmony (an online resource toward the early history of music in colonial Australia):; accessed 24 January 2022

Page contents

Biographical summaries:

* George Boucher Worgan (1757-1838)

* George William Worgan (c.1797/1800-1862)

* George Worgan (1802/03-1888)


* Family background (mainly concerning John Worgan)

* George B. Worgan and sons (England and Australia)

* George Worgan (son of Joseph Worgan, England and NZ)


* Bibliography and resources


WORGAN, George Boucher

(Geogre Boucher WORGAN; George Bouchir WORGAN; George Bouchier WORGAN)

Naval surgeon, amateur musician, pianist, music teacher

Baptised St. Andrew's Holborn, London, 3 May 1757; son of John WORGAN (1724-1790) and Sarah MACKELCAN (c.1732-1795)
Arrived Port Jackson, NSW, 26 January 1888 (surgeon per Sirius, from Portsmouth, 13 May 1787)
Departed Sydney, NSW, 27 March 1791 (per Waaksamheyd, for England)
Married Mary LAWRY (c.1764-1846), Liskeard, Cornwall, England, 23 May 1793
Died Liskeard, Cornwall, England, 4 March 1838, "aged 80", "aged 78"; according to death certificate of apoplexy; but according to Boase and Courtney 1878, he hung himself (NLA persistent identifier)

WORGAN, John Parsons

(John Parsons WORGAN; J. P. WORGAN)

Born Liskeard, Cornwall, England; baptised 12 March 1805; son of George Boucher WORGAN (1757-1838) and Mary LAWRY (c. 1764-1846)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 20 April 1830 ("William Worgan", free per Elizabeth, from London, 9 September 1829)
Last heard of on release from Darlinghurst Gaol, Sydney, NSW, 14 March 1849 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

WORGAN, George William

(George William WORGAN; Mr. WORGAN; Mr. G. W. WORGAN)

Music master, professor of music, pianist, tenor vocalist, organist, composer

Born Liskeard, Cornwall, England, ? 1797; baptised at Morval, 9 January 1800; son of George Boucher WORGAN (1757-1838) and Mary LAWRY (c. 1764-1846)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 3 August 1838 (passenger per Forentia, from Plymouth 30 April)
Married Mary TUOHY, St. James's Church, Sydney, NSW, 1847 (NSW BDM V184764 32C/1847)
Died Sydney, NSW, 11 June 1862, aged 65 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Vocalist, chorister

Born Ireland, c. 1825/27; daughter of Anthony TUOHY (d. 1854) and Bridget MULVIHILL (d. 1853)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, August 1840 (per Adam Lodge, aged 14)
Married (1) George William WORGAN, Sydney, NSW, 1847
Departed Sydney, NSW, 18 March 1851 (per Alert, for San Francisco)
Married (2) James BOLAND, San Francisco, c. 1853
Died San Francisco, California, 30 July 1870, aged "43" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Born Woolloomooloo, NSW, 30 December 1849; daughter of George William WORGAN and Mary TUOHY (NSW BDM 217/1849 V1849217 141)


Group including Richard Worgan (at piano), and group including the artist John Constable; drawing by John Harden (1772-1847), sketched on 3 September 1806, and finished 19 September; London, British Museum, 1957,0413.3 (see Note 1) (DIGITISED)

George Boucher Worgan (1757-1838), was a naval surgeon, agriculturalist, and amateur pianist.

He was a son of the London musician, organist and composer, John Worgan (1724-1790); a brother of the composer and farmer Richard Worgan (c.1759-1840) and the Anglican priest Joseph Worgan (1768-1825); and a half-brother of the composer-musician Thomas Danvers Worgan (1774-1832).

He entered the navy at 18 in 1775, qualified as surgeon's second mate, third-rate, on 5 February 1778, and was gazetted a naval surgeon on 18 March 1780. He served for two years in the Pilote, a ship that had been captured from the French in 1779, and in November 1786 joined the Sirius (Cobley ADB 1967; Clarke 2015, 180-81).

The Sirius having sailed with the First Fleet from Portsmouth in May 1887, he landed at Port Jackson on 26 January 1788, having brought a piano with him on the voyage. Arthur Bowes Smyth, sailing on the Lady Penrhyn, recorded en route at Rio de Janeiro on 7 August 1787 (Bowes Smyth 1787) :

. . . This day Mr. Wogern Surgeon of the Sirius dined on board, to whom I was introduced by Mr. Watts, & rec'd a pressing invitation to dine on board the Sirius while we ly [page] in harbour, & to hear him play on the Piano Forte. He has a very fine one on board, is the Son of Dr. Wogern D: Mus: & seems a very agreeable good kind of Man.

Before departing the colony to return to England in March 1781, he gave the piano to Elizabeth Macarthur, wife of lieutenant John Macarthur of the New South Wales Corps, and also gave her some elementary lessons on it, as, she reported, teaching her to play God save the king and Foot's minuet.

Two of surgeon Worgan's sons, and one of his nephews, later settled in Australasia.

John Parsons Worgan (1805-after 1849) arrived free on the Elizabeth in April 1830 (named Parsons after the husband of his aunt Charlotte, the musician and magistrate William Parsons). His father had written to George Murray, the colonial secretary in London, asking that John be given a government position, and on arrival in NSW he was duly appointed by governor Ralph Darling as clerk to the bench of magistrates at Hyde Park Barracks on 13 September 1830, being still listed in the post in 1836. There is no record of him engaging in any musical activity in Australia. He was last documented in March 1849; thought to be insane, he was brought before the police office bench for stealing from the shoemaker James Rofe (d. 1870), and kept for a week's examination in Darlinghurst Gaol, his occupation then still given as "clerk".

George William Worgan (1797/1800-1862), an organist, pianist, tenor singer, and composer, and elder brother of John, arrived in Sydney, free on the Forentina in August 1838 (see below).

George Worgan (1802-1888), an organist, pianist, and teacher, a first cousin of the Worgan brothers above, arrived at Wellington, New Zealand, on the Carnatic in January 1854 (see below).

Surgeon Worgan's First Fleet journals and letters

In 1835 John Lhotsky reported that he had obtained from John Parsons Worgan in Sydney a copy of his father's First Fleet journal, apparently now lost (Lhotsky 1835). From Lhotsky's description, it was evidently not the copy that now survives in the State Library of New South Wales, a letter and journal sent to his brother Richard in mid 1788 (Worgan 1788 MS). Rather, it may have been one of the other copies that Worgan mentioned in the closing journal entry of the surviving source, on 11 July 1788 (MS page 38).

One of these, he told his brother, was addressed to his friend Thomas Mein (1748-1815):

I have written a very long letter, similar to this to my Friend Mr. Mein of Fowey . . .

And towards the bottom of the same page, Worgan mentioned another copy still in his possession:

I am keeping by me an Account of the Voyage &c. &c. in a Series of Letters which You shall have the Reading of when I return Home, They are something fuller & more accurate than this.
Believe Me your very affectionate Brother G. B. Worgan
P.S. I have sent you 2 Letters beside this in different Ships

However, he also said in the same entry, that unlike Watkin Tench and David Collins, both of whom were keeping journals for publication, he himself had neither the time and access to information, nor the skill, to produce something similar:

My Situation on Board the Ship will not admit of my collecting all the Incidents Occurrences, Remarks &c. and if I had Matter, I have neither Genius nor Abilities to Relate it in a tolerable Manner.

Nevertheless, of two or possibly three different copies of Worgan's journal material, and at least four letters, all extant in 1788, only the letter-and-journal manuscript, now in the State Library of New South Wales, is known to survive.

In 1856 John Allen, Worgan's earliest biographer, reported (Allen 1856):

He wrote an interesting account of the voyage and colony: it was however never published, and has been mislaid.

And, in their later account, Boase and Courtney 1878 listed among his works:

Account of Botany Bay. By G. B. Worgan. MSS.

Surgeon Worgan and music

George Boucher Worgan presumably had received some formal training as pianist, perhaps from his father, though this is not known for sure. On the basis of Worgan's father's two London editions of Scarlatti's sonatas (Worgan 1752, 1771), the late Roger Covell whimsically imagined that it was "a matter of record" that, in addition to his piano, Worgan brought with him "a creditably antiquarian enthusiasm for the music of Domenico Scarlatti" (Covell NG2 2001). In fact, there is no known record of the sort of music that surgeon Worgan knew, liked, or might have played, apart from the two elementary pieces he set Elizabeth Macarthur to learn.

Worgan's only musical observation in the extant journal, was to judge Sydney's Indigenous people largely un-musical, because of their lack of sustained interest in European music (MS page 12):

Only two of Them have ventured to visit our Settlement . . . The Drum was beat before them, which terrified them exceedingly, they liked the Fife, which pleased them for 2 or 3 Minutes. Indeed Music of any kind does not attract their attention, long together, they will sometimes jump to it, and make a grunting Noise by way of keeping Time to the Tune.

By comparison, the musical observations of, for instance, chief surgeon John White and of another trained musician among his colleagues John Hunter (a pupil of Charles Burney), were both more substantial and interesting.

Worgan's piano received its first published notice in 1893, when Frank Bladen edited Elizabeth Macarthur's letter in his Historical records of New South Wales (HRNSW 2 1893).

Thereafter, it was noted in print in London (Becke and Jeffrey 1899), and in Sydney by old colonist and historian H. W. H. Huntington (1848-1926) (Huntington 1899).

For much of the 20th-century, from Percy McGuanne in 1901 onward (McGuanne 1901), Worgan and his piano were frequently cited in foundational narratives of Australian music history (see for instance Stirling 1944, Hall 1951, and Orchard 1952).

George William Worgan

George William Worgan was one of early colonial Sydney's less talented and successful professional musicians, and his story make a disappointing end to the Worgan family's Australian story.

He was born at Morval, Cornwall, and baptised on 9 January 1800, a son of George Boucher Worgan and Mary Lawry.

Little is known for certain of his life in England, apart from two incidents reported in the press in the 1830s. In September 1832, at Liskeard, he caused a serious accident when, having given his loaded gun to a servant at the Fountain Inn, it went off "discharging the whole of its contents into the knee of Mrs. Cragg, a sister of Mr. Lynn, the landlord." And again at Liskeard in March 1837, he and two other men were fined for "committing depredations by breaking various gates".

He claimed to be a member of the Royal Society of Musicians (of which his cousin George was also a member), but no other record of his musical training, or earlier music career has been identified.

Worgan sailed for NSW at the end of April 1838, on the Forentia, and arrived in Sydney on 3 August. He immediately advertised as a "Singing Master, and Teacher of the Pianoforte". By October he was singing in the choir of St. Mary's cathedral, and was engaged with several local amateurs in forming a music class at the Mechanics' School of Arts.

He made his first solo concert appearance at Eliza Wallace's benefit on 17 October, singing a song by Rodwell and accompanying himself on the piano. From the first, the local press were mostly disappointed in his voice, noting the lack of power and volume, though acknowledging his evident musicianship. He nevertheless continued to appear regularly in public concerts, singing solo songs and in vocal ensembles during 1839 and into the early 1840s, for the Deanes, Bushelles, Gautrots, and Isaac Nathan. From 1839 if not earlier, he also worked as a piano tuner, first for Francis Ellard and later for his successor James Grocott.

In 1842, in succession to Isaac Nathan, he briefly served as organist of St. Mary's. In December that year, Ellard engraved and published Worgan's only known composition, How sweet those tuneful bells, a "cantata" for solo voice and piano, written in anticipation of the cathedral's first peal of bells, and dedicated to the vicar general, Francis Murphy. During the 1840s he also regularly performed as a pianist and vocalist at convivial civic and masonic events. In 1847, in his late 40s, at St. James's church, he married a fellow concert and choir singer, Mary Tuohy, and on 30 December 1849 a daughter, Mary, was born.

Along with so many others in the depths of the depression, Worgan had been declared insolvent in June 1843, and was still probably suffering financially when, in 1849, as organist of St. Patrick's Church Hill, he advertised for an articled pupil at the unrealistic fee of £200. Perhaps of a piece with his earlier run ins with the law in Cornwall, in 1840 he was brought before the Sydney bench, along with two other men, for being drunk and disorderly. By 1850, if not earlier, his marriage was failing, probably due to his own habitual drunkeness and violence. In August 1850 he was ordered by the bench to pay 15shillings weekly in support for his deserted wife and child. And at a further hearing in February 1851, by which time the payments were 18 pounds overdue, a witness testified to Worgan's continuing brutality.

In March 1851, his wife, Mary, finally left him, and sailed for San Francisco, where she remarried.

During the Easter holidays in April 1851, Worgan was briefly playing the piano to accompany James Grocott's "dissolving views", whereafter he disappears completely from the documentary record for 10 years. He finally advertised again in Sydney in November 1861 as a piano tuner, only to die, seven months later, in June 1862.


[1] At the suggestion of David Pike Watts (1754-1816), formerly of Storrs Hall on the east side of Lake Windermere, John Constable visited the Lake District in September-October 1806. During this he received hospitality from John Harden and his wife Jessy, and he and his travelling companion Daniel Gardner (1750-1805), stayed briefly with one of Watts' former Windermere neighbours, Richard Worgan, before moving on around 8 September (see Constable, John, Wordsworth Trust).

Documentation (John Worgan and family background)

Trials for adultery, or, the history of divorces, Being select trials at Doctors Commons . . . volume 2 (London: Printed for S. Bladon, 1780), [several paginations]

JOHN WORGAN, AGAINST SARAH WORGAN. LIBEL given in the 13th of June, 1768. IN the above-mentioned Libel, John Worgan, of the parish of St. Andrew, Holborn, in the county of Middlesex, sets forth, that, on or about the first of September, 1753, he and Sarah Mackelcan, (now Sarah Worgan) were joined together in holy matrimony; that such marriage was consummated, and they lived and cohabited together as husband and wife: that, for several years last past, the said Sarah Worgan hath given herself up to a vicious, loose, and scandalous life and conversation, and hath frequently committed the foul crime of adultery, fornication, or incon- [2] -tinency, with one or more strange men, particularly with one Rowe, a married man, and communicated the foul disease to the said John Worgan, &c. he therefore prays to be divorced from bed, board, and mutual cohabitation with the said Sarah Worgan, by reason of adultery committed by her, &c.

Robert Southey, letter to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 27 November 1804 (modern edition online)

I have met a very odd homo by name [Richard] Worgan whom if you have not seen you will for he is going to Acton this Xmas. he does wonders upon the piano-forte. oddly enough he played & sung the Old Mans Comforts [Southey's poem of 1799] in a large company, & after praising the music they fell to praising the poetry, which nobody knew to be mine. He himself fancied it was Bowless - so I set him right.

NOTE: Richard Worgan (c.1759-1840), farmer, musician, resident of a cottage at Storr's Hall, Windermere, who composed A set of sonnets (1810), and hymns, one of which, Windermere, was included by his nephew George Worgan in his Gems of sacred melody (1841).

See also Robert Southey, letter to Henry Herbert Southey, 21 November 1804 

Mr. Worgan & I pun against one another with great glory. Alas what will not the world lose for want of a Boswell!

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Southey (poet)

"MEMOIR OF THE LIFE AND WORKS OF JOHN WORGAN, MUS. D.", The quarterly musical magazine and review 5 (1823), 113-34 (DIGITISED)

. . . The father of Dr. Worgan was a surveyor, and we believe a Welchman; or at least of Cambrian extraction . . .

. . . The father to the subject of these memoirs left six children, James, Mary, Charles, Hannah, John, and Elizabeth [FOOTNOTE: * The order of their births is not exactly known], slenderly provided for, and chiefly dependent on the musical abilities of James, who could do little more for his brothers and sisters than instruct them in his own art. James was the organist at Aldgale, and St. Dunstan's in the East: when he died, John succeeded him at Aldgate, and Mary at St. Dunstan's. At this church Mary's playing soon won her the heart and hand of a thriving tradesman. Charles went to Jamaica, and settled there in trade; he was also organist at Port Royal. Hannah married a Mr. Clarkson, in the silk business. Of Elizabeth there is no certain account; but it is thought that she married and went to Jamaica; and John, the subject of these memoirs, lived with his brother James, under whom he was initiated in the study of music . . . John always acknowledged gratefully the debt of a substantial ground-work to his brother; who was indeed, both practically and theoretically, what is termed significantly a sound musician: but the transcendancy of the younger brother was irresistible; and James, who then played the organ at Vauxhall Gardens, resigned it to his brother about the year 1751. James died in the year 1753, and in the same year John supplied his place as organist at Aldgate. [FOOTNOTE: Mr. John Worgan took his musical degrees at St. John's College, Cambridge; his Bachelor's in the year 1784 [sic]; and his Doctor's in 1775.] . . .

[128] . . . His son-in-law, SIR WILLIAM PARSONS, often acknowledged that he had, in certain points of science, learned more from the Doctor than any other master.

[133] . . . Dr. Worgan married three times. By his first wife he had nine children, of whom three sons and two daughters are now living. By his second wife he had two sons, of whom one is living. By his third wife, who was a widow when he married her, he had no offspring. This lady survived him, but is now dead, and has left two daughters by her former husband . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Parsons (John Worgan's son-in-law)

"WORGAN (John)", in [John Sainsbury] (ed., comp.), A dictionary of musicians from the earliest ages to the present time . . . vol. 2 (London: Sainsbury, 1824), 546-48 (DIGITISED)

WORGAN, (JOHN) doctor of music. His parentage, in common with that of most builders of a name, is involved in impenetreble and inconsequential obscurity. His father, the unheeded slave of his offspring, sunk unobserved to the grave. The family records, even of deathless names, may generally be limited to a few lines. The father to the subject of these memoirs left six children, James, Mary, Charles, Hannah, John, and Elizabeth, slenderly provided for, and chiefly dependent on the musical abilities of James, who could do little more for his brothers and sisters than instruct them in his own art. James was the organist at Aldgate and St. Dunstan's in the East: when he died, John succeeded him at Aldgate, and Mary at St. Dunstan's. At this church Mary's playing soon won her the heart and hand of a thriving tradesman. Charles went to Jamaica, and settled there in trade; he was also organist at Port Royal. Hannah married a Mr. Clarkson, in the silk business. Of Elizabeth there is no certain account, but it is thought she married and went to Jamaica; and John, the subject of these memoirs, lived with his brother James, under whom he was initiated in the study of music.

The dawn of genius is commonly either remarkably brilliant, or obscured by mists that deceive the vigilance of tuition. The mental character of John Worgan was of the latter cast; working its own way, and apparently impervious to the access of regular instruction. The friendly brother was disheartened, and almost hopeless, particularly when he found the ear of his pupil seemingly so defective as to be incapable of comprehending that important branch of musical practice called time. One day, when the brothers were sitting at dinner, after a morning to all appearance lost in fruitless toil, John suddenly paraphrased unwittingly the exclamation of Archimedes. "I have it," cries the pupil. "Have what?" said James. "The time," replied the other. "I am glad of it," rejoined the master; "but come, let us see what you have." They went immediately to the harpsichord, and John surprised and gratified his brother with a practical proof of his acquisition. From that moment the mental [547] clouds of the élève began to disperse, and it is reported that eventually James did not behold the rapid advances of his brother without envy. Be that as it may, John always acknowledged gratefully the debt of a substantial groundwork to his brother; who was, indeed, both practically and theoretically, what is termed significantly a sound musician; but the transcendency of the younger brother was irresistible; and James, who then played the organ at Vauxhall gardens, resigned it to his brother about the year 1751. James died in the year 1753, and in the same year John supplied his place as organist at Aldgate. About this time his talents in composition, and execution on the organ, began to attract that popularity so essential to the profitable success of every kind of talent. But he was not a man to be contented with the popularis aura, which he courted merely as a means of advancing bis fortune, and afterwards readily assigned to the little eagerness of less ambitious competitors. He was indeed "a mighty genius, born to grapple with whole libraries" of musical classics, to sport with practical difficulties, and to explore the intellectual depths of an art yet unfathomed, and perhaps unfathomable.

It is not to be supposed that such a mind could be satisfied with ordinary attainments. He got from old Roseingrave all that such an eccentric enthusiast could give, and from him imbibed a reverence for the genius of Domenico Scarlatti, who transmitted him the compositions, of which, accordingly, he was afterwards the editor. But Palestrina was the God of his youthful idolatry, to the memory of whom, he once, at a convivial meeting, poured a libation on his bare knee; a youthful freak that, in England, is a subject for ridicule; not so in Italy. "When," says Dr. Burney, "he became acquainted with Geminiani, he swore by no other divinity; and the profession credited him for an exclusive attachment to Handel." But these were both partial and erroneous representations of a mind, that, to have been understood, must have been carefully and constantly studied. Another light would have shown him the votary of Blow; another of Purcell; another of Arne; of the Italian school, or of the German. All, however, who knew him, allow that he had an original vein, "quite his own," as Dr. Burney phrases it.

The first book of Dr. Worgan's Vauxhall songs was published in the year 1753, and he continued to supply the gardens with vocal music till the year 1761, when the proprietor thought fit to try the effect of new names. After an interregnum of nine years, when the changes were rung on Arne, Potter, Arnold, and others, Worgan resumed his vocal tasks in the year 1770; but it is reasonable to suppose that the composing for Vauxhall audiences grew more and more irksome to him; for, like his illustrious prototype Handel, he now began to ascend the heights of science and sacred song, as he approached the termination of his terrestrial toil, and consequently to turn with distaste from the vulgar flowers of the plains. The organ at the gardens was now surrounded by professors, and the cognoscenti, who followed him in throngs to his churches at St. Mary Axe and Aldgate. Here indeed he was in his element, and the gardens evidently were no longer his proper sphere. Of this, indeed, his admirers and the town began to talk so loudly, that the tattle, according to custom, evaporated in caricature, and Apollo was represented kicking him out of heaven, for wasting celestial energies on the profanum vulgus. This disorderly state of things could not last long, and in the year 1774 his engagement with Tyers closed; but alas! he was yet harassed with didactic drudgery, the most profitable and disgusting branch of professional duty, unless a professor could select his pupils. To the mere master, indeed, it may be, with some exceptions, a

"Delightful task
To teach the young idea how to shoot;"

and in certain instances it may be so to the finished performer; but to the creative mind the toil of tuition must be a crown of thorns; and should the subject of these memoirs [548] ever be fairly known as a composer, the infliction of this heavy penalty on the neglected sufferer, will be followed by an ample tribute of generous but fruitless regret.

The rest of Dr. Worgan's life was to the public a blank, his attendance at St. Mary Axe and Aldgate excepted. His compositions, indeed, attracted a little circle of intelligent admirers, but the beams of patrician patronage passed over the unfashionable Englishman to foster exotic plants, and he descended to the grave to await the tardy and barren retribution of posthumous justice.

He did not however expire without an effort. His manuscripts had accumulated, and he could not but know their value; nor was he without the generous ambition that is ever a prominent characteristic of genius. Accordingly, a few years before his death, he invited the reputed patrons of music to a series of private concerts at his house, consisting of sacred music, and called by the Italians concerti spirituali; but he sung to adders. Haydn and Pleyel had intoxicated the town, and the revival of Handelian sublimity and science was confounded with servile imitation. Not indeed but that the selections the doctor made might have been rendered more effective by the substitution of that affecting and intelligible simplicity, in which he abundantly excelled, for the learned labour to which he was perhaps too partial; but from the rock on which Milton split, what mental supremacy is an infallible security? What Alcides ever rescued genius from himself?

Dr. Worgan's constitution was naturally sound, but gradually undermined by that dreadful malady the stone.

The increasing paroxysms of his disorder determined him at length to undergo a surgical operation in his sixty-sixth year, which he endured with heroic fortitude; but it failed in the object, though eventually it terminated all his worldly sufferings. He was buried at the church of St. Mary Axe, opposite the left side of the communion table, as approached from the aisle. At his funeral the church was crowded with respectable parishioners and mournful spectators. As the body entered the church, Mr. Charles Wesley, one of his favourite pupils, played the Dead March in Saul on the organ; and the instrument, which in the doctor's time had fascinated thousands, thundered forth a volley, as its unconscious master descended into the grave. Such was the flitting scene that honoured his remains, and vanished: and now, "not a stone tells where he lies."

"John Worgan", in The Georgian era . . . (London: Vizetelly, Branston and Co., 1834), 4, 314-15 (DIGITISED)

JOHN WORGAN was born in the year 1724. He was brought up under the care of his brother James, organist at Aldgate and St. Dunstan's in the East, and was, at first, so unpromising a pupil, as far as his ear was concerned, that his instructor gave up all hope of teaching him time. One day, however, when the brothers were sitting at dinner, after a morning of apparently fruitless toil on either part, John suddenly rose and exclaimed, "I have it!" "Have what?" inquired the brother. "The time;" rejoined the pupil. "I am glad of it," said his instructor; "but come, let us see what you have." They immediately went to the harpsichord, and John surprised and delighted his brother with a practical proof of his acquisition. From this moment the spell seemed broken, and his progress then became so rapid, that it is said, James, who was both theoretically and practically, a good musician, could not behold [315] his success without envy. In 1751, however, his brother resigned to him his situation of organist at Vauxhall Gardens; and on his death, in 1753, John was elected organist of Aldgate. In the same year he published his first book of Vauxhall songs; and he continued to supply the gardens with vocal music till 1761, when the proprietor thought fit to try the effect of new names. At the end of nine years, however, after the changes had been rung upon the names of Arne, Potter, Arnold, and others, Worgan was selected to resume his situation of composer, in 1770. He was, however, less popular in the orchestra than in the church; and his fine playing being little appreciated by a Vauxhall audience, his continuing to preside there gave rise to a caricature, in which Apollo was represented as kicking him out of heaven, for wasting celestial energies on the profane vulgar. He quitted Vauxhall finally in 1774, and continued to teach and play from that time until his death, in 1790, after he had undergone an operation for the stone.

Worgan derived his chief celebrity from his performances on the organ; for although his accomplishments as a composer are said to have been of a superior order, he was, in that character, little appreciated. "His compositions, indeed," says one of his biographers, "attracted a little circle of intelligent admirers; but the beams of patrician patronage passed over the unfashionable Englishman, to foster exotic plants, and he descended to the grave to await the tardy and barren retribution of posthumous justice." He was an enthusiast in his art, and sucessively became the worshipper of Domenico, Scarlatti, Palestrina, Geminiani, and Handel. To the memory of Palestrina, we are told, he once, at a convivial meeting, poured a libation on his bare knee; a youthful freak, that in England, as his biographer observes, "is a subject for ridicule; - not so in Italy." As a teacher of, and performer on, the organ, he was not inferior to Stanley; and he has the honour of having had for his pupil the celebrated Charles Wesley. His published compositions consist of two oratorios, some organ pieces, and a thanksgiving anthem, a set of canzonets, and several sets of songs; all abounding in taste, learning, and genius.

"WESLEY, THE ORGANIST", The Sydney Monitor (9 February 1838), 4 

From the SPECTATOR, October 14 [1837] Samuel Wesley, the great organist, died on Monday. From a memoir of his life, which appeared simultaneously in most of the morning papers, we extract the pith . . . His favourite contemporaries were Clementi and Woelfi; his models in early life were Battishill and Worgan, on the organ; and subsequently Sebastian Bach . . .

Registrum collegii Exoniensis: register of the rectors, fellows, and other members on the foundation of Exeter College, Oxford (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1894), 210 (DIGITISED)

Joseph Worgan (s. John, Mus. D., of S. Andrew Undershaft, London), b. Marylebone, ed. Eton, commoner 30 Oct. 1787 to 3 Jan. 1795, Reynolds, M. 26 Oct 1787 age 19, B.A. 22 June 1791, testimonials for orders June 1791, V. of Pebworth, Glouc. 1822, d. 1825.

Frederick George Edwards, "Worgan, John", Dictionary of national biography 63 (1900), 27-28,_John_(DNB00) (modern edition online) (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

WORGAN, JOHN (1724−1790), organist and composer, of Welsh descent, and the son of a surveyor, was born in London in 1724. He became a pupil of his brother, James Worgan (1715−1753), organist of Vauxhall Gardens, and he subsequently studied under Thomas Roseingrave [see under Roseingrave, Daniel] and Geminiani. John Worgan speedily took a foremost place as a skilful organist. In succession to his brother James he was organist at St. Mary Undershaft with St. Mary Axe, about 1749, at Vauxhall Gardens, 1751 to 1774, and at St. Botolph, Aldgate, in 1753. He subsequently became organist of St. John's Chapel, Bedford Row, in 1760; and, in succession to his brother, he held the post of 'composer' to Vauxhall Gardens from 1753 to 1761, and again from 1770 to 1774. He took the degree of bachelor in music at Cambridge in 1748, and the doctorate in 1775. He died at 22 (now 65) Gower Street on 24 Aug. 1790, and was buried in St. Andrew Undershaft on 31 Aug., when Charles Wesley (1757−1834) [q. v.], one of his favourite pupils, presided at the organ.

Four interesting tributes are extant to the remarkable powers of Worgan as an organist, whose performances always attracted great crowds of both professors and amateurs [28] Handel said: 'Mr. Worgan shall sit by me; he plays my music very well at Vauxhall.' Richard Cecil [q. v.] wrote: 'Admiration and feeling are very distinct from each other. Some music and oratory enchant and astonish, out they speak not to the heart. . . . Dr. Worgan has so touched the organ at St. John's that I have been turning backward and forward over the prayer-book for the first lesson in Isaiah and wondered that I could not find Isaiah there!' Martin Madan (1726−1790) [q. v.], in a satirical song upon Joah Bates [q. v.], issued anonymously, and set to music by Samuel Wesley (1766−1837) [q. v.], entitled 'The Organ laid open, &c.,' placed him as a player upon an equality with Handel:

Let Handel or Worgan go thresh at the organ.

Burney refers to him as 'a very masterly and learned fuguist on the organ.' As a composer Worgan was not great. His compositions, now forgotten, include two oratorios: 'Hannah' (King's Theatre, Haymarket, 3 April 1764) and 'Manasseh' (Lock Hospital Chapel, 30 April 1766); "We will rejoice in Thy salvation," a thanksgiving anthem for victories (29 Nov. 1759); many songs for Vauxhall Gardens, of which thirteen books (at least) were published; psalmtunes, glees, organ music, and sonatas and other pieces for the harpsichord. Some of his manuscripts are in British Museum Addit. MSS. 31670, 31693, 34609, and 35038.

Worgan is persistently credited with having composed the Easter hymn. As a matter of fact the tune appeared (anonymously) in Lyra Davidica (1708) sixteen years before Worgan was born.

[Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review, v. 113 (a very full memoir); Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, iv. 486; biographical preface to Rev. Henry Parr's Church of England Psalmody; Barney's Hist, of Music, iv. 665; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Musical Times, August 1888, p. 490, for a reference to Worgan's grandson, George Worgan.]

"John Worgan", Wikipedia 

Musical sources:

"Worgan, John", IMSLP,_John 

A collection of new songs and ballads sung by Miss Burchell, Mr. Lowe & Miss Stevenson at Vaux Hall, set by Mr. Worgan (London: Printed for the author and sold by J. Johnson, 1754)

Copy at the British Library (DIGITISED)

The favourite new songs that have been sung in Vaux-Hall Gardens by Miss Burchell, never before published, set to music by John Worgan, bachelor of music (London: Printed for the author, [1756])

Copy at the British Library (DIGITISED)

A collection of the new songs sung at Vauxhall by Mrs. Vincent & Mr. Lowe set to music by Mr. Worgan, book the IX 1760 (London: Printed for the author by J. Johnson, 1760)

Copy at the British Library (DIGITISED)

Hannah, an oratorio, as perform'd at the Kings Theatre in the Haymarket, set to music by Mr. Worgan, Opera Prima (London: Printed for the author by Mrs. Johnson, 1764)

Copy at the British Library (DIGITISED)

Pieces for the harpsichord, composed purposely for forming the hands of young pupils to that instrument with the proper instructor, by Dr. Worgan (London: Printed for the author and sold by W. Owen, [1780])

Copy at the British Library (DIGITISED)

John Worgan's Scarlatti editions (book 1, 1752; book 2, 1771):

Libro de XII sonatas modernas para clavicordio compuetas por el Señor D. Domingo Scarlati . . . [libro I] (London: Printed for the editor and sold by J. Johnson, [1752])

Copy at the British Library (DIGITISED)

Libro de XII sonatas modernas para clavicordio compuetas por el Señor D. Domingo Scarlati . . . libro II (London: Printed and Sold by Wm. Owen . . . and at the Editors house No. 23 Rathbone Place; where may be had Libro I . . . John Worgan, [1771])

Copy at the British Library (DIGITISED)

Documentation (George Boucher Worgan and George William Worgan)

3 May 1757, baptism of George Bouchir Worgan

Christenings in . . . May 1757; registers of St. Andrew's, Holborn

George Bouchir son of John & Sarah Worgan Millman street - 3 [May]


7 August 1787, First Fleet at Rio de Janeiro

Arthur Bowes Smyth, manuscript journal, 1787-89; copy 1, original; National Library of Australia

Entry, on board Lady Penrhyn, Rio de Janeiro, 7 August 1787 (DIGITISED) (bottom of page) (DIGITISED) (top of page)

[Tuesday 7 August 1787, Rio de Janeiro] . . . This day Mr. Wogern Surgeon of the Sirius dined on board, to whom I was introduced by Mr. Watts, & rec'd a pressing invitation to dine on board the Sirius while we ly [page] in harbour, & to hear him play on the Piano Forte. He has a very fine one on board, is the Son of Dr. Wogern D: Mus: & seems a very agreeable good kind of Man.

Journal of Arthur Bowes Smyth 7 August 1787

Copy 2, State Library of New South Wales, fair copy (pictured above), 38 (DIGITISED)

[Tuesday 7 August 1787] This day Mr. Wogan Surgeon of the Sirius dined on board, to whom I was introduced by Mr. Watts, & rec'd an Invitation to dine wt. him in the Sirius, & to hear his Piano Forte; he is a Son of Dr. Wogan D: Music: &: seems a very sensible good kind of man.

ASSOCIATIONS: Arthur Bowes Smyth

See also chronicle entry on the above: 

20 January to 11 July 1788, Botany Bay and Port Jackson, NSW

George Boucher Worgan, manuscript journal (20 January to 11 July 1788), and letter (12 June to 11 July 1788) to his brother Richard Worgan; State Library of New South Wales

Original digitised and transcript (DIGITISED) (TRANSCRIPT)

Donated to the State Library of New South Wales in 1955 by Mrs. Margot Gaye of Guildford, Surrey, England, who found the MS among the possessions of her late aunt, Miss Agnes E. Batley (c.1862-1953).

Transcript, after Journal of a first fleet surgeon (1978), at SETIS, University of Sydney 


Letter to Bridget Kingdon, from Elizabeth Macarthur, Sydney, 7 March 1791, page 9; State Library of New South Wales

Letter, from Elizabeth Macarthur, Sydney, 7 March 1791, to Bridget Kingdon, page 9; State Library of New South Wales (PAGE 9 IMAGE)

. . . I shall now introduce another acquaintance, Mr. Worgan, to you, a gentleman I have not hitherto named. He was surgeon to the Syrius, and happened to be left at this place when that ship met with her fate at Norfolk. It is not improbable this Gentleman may himself deliver this letter to you. He is well known to Doctor [illegible]. I assure you in losing him a very considerable branch of our society will be lopped off. I shall now tell you of another resource I had to fill up some of my vacant hours. Our new house is ornamented with a pianoforte of Mr. Worgan's; he kindly means to leave it with me, and now, under his direction, I have begun a new study, but I fear without my master I shall not make any great proficiency. I am told, however, that I have done wonders in being able to play off God Save the King and Foot's Minuet, besides that of reading the notes with great facility. In spite of musick I have not altogether lost sight of my botanical studies . . .

See also first modern edition by Frank Bladen in HRNSW 2 1893, 499

And Macarthur Onslow 1914, 29 

ASSOCIATIONS: Elizabeth Macarthur

See also chronicle entry on the above:


George Boucher Worgan and Richard Worgan, correspondence to Arthur Young, 1807-09; London, British Library, Add.35129, fols. 369-70, 391-2, 440-41, 482-3; Add.35130, fols. 39, 297-8

G. B. Worgan, General view of the agriculture of the county of Cornwall (London: Printed by B. McMillan, 1811) (DIGITISED)

[v-vi] PRELIMINARY OBSERVATION. WHATEVER merit may appear in the following attempt, to draw up a statement of the Agriculture of the County of Cornwall, must be attributed to the very liberal and ready communications which I have universally met with in collecting the information and facts contained therein. From the very extensive and rapid improvements, which have of late years been made in every department of the Agriculture of Cornwall, it is obvious, that the Gentlemen of the County are fully convinced of the utility and importance of this noble science to the community at large. It seems to be pretty generally admitted, that the adventurous spirit of mining, particularly in the western part of Cornwall, has in some measure withdrawn the industry, attention, and capital, from Agriculture; but since the establishment of that excellent Institution, "The Cornwall Society for the Encouragement of Agriculture and Industry," in the year 1793, no County in England has, perhaps, advanced more in Agriculture, nor exhibited more striking proofs of the beneficial effects to be derived from Gentlemen of property and consequence, and of liberal and enlightened minds uniting with the practical respectable Yeomanry, in promoting rural industry and improvement on the best principles. I hope it will be found, that I have in this Report approached the object I had constantly in view, a faithful relation of every material circumstance concerning the husbandry of that interesting district. It has not been in my power to comply with my inclinations and wishes, by calling upon every respectable individual in the County; yet I am convinced of the general good will of all, towards the promotion of the laudable views of so useful an Institution as the National Board of Agriculture. I beg to return my most grateful acknowledgment to all those Gentlemen, who have so kindly assisted me in my arduous undertaking. To many I feel and profess myself under very particular obligations. G. B. WORGAN. Bodmin, Nov. 30, 1808.

And dedication, vii-ix

. . . We beg to add, that we believe Mr. Worgan to have been very diligent in collecting materials for his Work. It happened however unfortunately, that he was obliged to perform the greater part of his Survey during winter, by which he not only endured much hardship, but was also forced to take many things upon trust, of which at a more favourable season, he might have been an eye witness. We have taken great liberties with his manuscript, and generally suppressed what was deemed redundant; but after considerable erasements, alterations, and additions, a large portion of the original is preserved; and to obviate the inconvenience of notes and references, we have in some measure identified ourselves with Mr. Worgan in the body of the Work; taking care that wherever we have made observations, or stated facts, for which we alone are answerable, the initials of our respective names are subjoined.
We are, GENTLEMEN, With much respect,
Your obedient humble Servants, Robert Walker. Jeremiah Trist. Charles Vinicombe Penrose. Cornwall, May 1, 1810.

Also [second edition] (London: Printed by B. McMillan, 1815) (DIGITISED)


Pigot's directory of Cornwall, 1830, 148-50 (pages 16 and 17)

Liskeard. A market and borough town, and parish, in the hundred of West, is 225 miles from London, 49 from Exeter, and 32 from Truro . . . Gentry & Clergy . . . WORGAN, George Boucher. Gent. West Street . . .


"SERIOUS ACCIDENT", The morning chronicle [London] (15 September 1832), 4

On Wednesday evening last, M[r]. G. W. Worgan, of Liskeard, having been out shooting in the course of the day, took his gun, leaded, into the Fountain inn, but having, as he states, first shaken off the cap from the lock. He gave the piece to a female servant of the Inn, telling her it was not loaded. After pointing the gun to two or three individuals, then in the inn, she turned it in another direction, and it went off, discharging the whole of its contents into the knee of Mrs. Cragg, a sister of Mr. Lynn, the landlord. Many persons were standing in a direct line with Mrs. Cragg, but no further injury was done; hopes are entertained that amputation will be unnecessary and that Mrs. C.s life may be preserved.- Cornubian.


John Lhotsky, A journey from Sydney to the Australian alps (Sydney: Sold by J. Innes, 1835), footnote 12-13 

Amongst a collection relating to the history of New South Wales - a collection which I am daily increasing, I possess a very valuable Manuscript in 2 vols. under the following title; "An account of the first Colonization of New South Wales - also, of that part of the Country colonised, its inhabitants &c. &c., in a series of letters to a friend, by G. B. Worgan, Esq., surgeon in His Majesty's Ship SIRIUS." This manuscript communicated to me by the son of the author, (Mr. John P. Worgan,) will, when published, afford much information, and complete the - as it were, primordial narratives of Captain Phillips, Hunter, Collins, &c.


[News], Royal Cornwall gazette (31 March 1837)

On Thursday last Messrs. Geo. Worgan, jun., Nicholas Clemence, and Joseph Elford were brought before the Liskeard Borough Magistrates charged with committing depredations by breaking various gates &c. on the night of the preceding Saturday. After an investigation of the case, which lasted several hours, the parties were fined 5 pounds each, besides the costs and repairs.

"LOSTWITHIEL CONCERT AND BALL", Royal Cornwall gazette (23 June 1837), 2

On Tuesday evening, Mr. Lutman gave a concert and ball at the Talbot Inn, Lostwithiel, which was most respectably attended. The selection of music did credit to his taste and judgment, and was executed in manner highly deserving the applause with which it was, throughout, received. Among the performers who most distinguished themselves on the occasion were Mr. Butman, Mr. Worgan, Mr. Hempel, jun., Mr. Parkyn, and Mr. Dowrick, whose talents were, perhaps, never exerted to greater advantage.


4 March 1838, death of George Boucher Worgan, Liskead

"LISKEAD", Falmouth express and colonial journal (10 March 1838), 5

The fair at Liskeard on Monday week last was well attended, and cattle sold at good and advanced prices. Mr. George Boucher Worgan, of Warland Cottage, near Liskeard, died on Sunday last suddenly, aged 78, having complained of only a pain in his stomach. He was Surgeon in the Navy, and the first that went out to New South Wales to establish colony there, in the ship commanded by Admiral Tench, uncle of John Sargent Bedford, Esq., of Pendrea, Penzance, Cornwall.

"DEATHS", The United Service Magazine 26 (April 1838), 576

March 4, at Liskeard, aged 81, G. B. Worgan, Esq., retired Surgeon, R.N.

England and Wales, civil registration death index, 1838 first quarter

Worgan / George Bouchier / Liskeard / [volume] IX [page] 117

"QUARTERLY NAVAL OBITUARY", The Australian (14 August 1838), 4

. . . Surgeons - George B. Worgan . . .

Headstone, St. Martin's churchyard, Liskeard, reads:


Sydney, NSW (from 3 August 1838)

To call up all the TROVE tagged newspaper items for 1838: 

3 August 1838, arrival in Sydney of George William Worgan

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Sydney Herald (6 August 1838), 2 

From Plymouth, on Friday last, having sailed 31st April the ship Forentia, Captain Deloitte, with merchandise. Passengers - . . . Messrs. Moore, Packett, and Bond, shepherds; Mr. Henderson, baker, Mr. Worgan, music master, and Mr. Mitchell, confectioner.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (8 August 1838), 3 

To the Ladies and Gentlemen and Inhabitants of Sydney and its Vicinity.
Member of the Royal Society of Musicians, London, Singing Master, and Teacher of the Pianoforte,
BEGS respectfully to acquaint the Ladies, the Gentlemen, and Inhabitants of Sydney and its Neighbourhood, that he had just arrived from London,
and intends giving instruction in the above branches of his Profession.
For terms, &c., apply at Mr. Francis', Prince street, opposite the Military Hospital.
*** Schools attended
The Pianoforte tuned by Mr. G. W. W. an improved principle.

Last run: [Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser (17 December 1838), 4 

ASSOCIATIONS: Henry Francis (d. 1856)

"Mechanics' School of Arts", The Australian (9 October 1838), 2 

Amongst the other sources of mutual instruction it this increasing and useful Institution, there will in future be a Weekly Musical Class, on the same principle as the Wednesday Evening Debating Class. The days of meeting are not yet decided on, but we understand, that Mr. Worgan has offered his services as Leader of the Class and, as that Gentleman has acquired a high character for his musical attainments, the Class is likely to be of a superior description.

14 October 1838, dedication of St. Mary's chapel (cathedral), Sydney

"Roman Catholic Chapel", The Australian (16 October 1838), 3 

Sunday was set apart for the dedication of this edifice which is nearly completed. The entire roof is inlaid with cedar, highly polished and has a handsome appearance; and the galleries are also panelled with carved cedar. In consequence of the announcement of a high festival the chapel was crowded. The Bishop attended by the Priests, richly robed, ascended the altar, and the service commenced with "Comfort ye my People" and "Every valley," by Miss Wallace. The choir has been covered in with massive cedar pannelling, which has deadened the sound considerably, and Miss W.'s powerful voice was indistinctly heard in some of the most beautiful passages. The instrument by which she was accompanied appeared out of order, and contrasted strangely with the full melody of Mr. Wallace's flute. The first part of the performance consisted chiefly of pieces which have been sung repeatedly, but an "Agnus Dei" (Mozart's) sung by Mrs. Clancy, Mr. Bushell and Mr. Worgan, whose voices blended most harmoniously, was a rich treat, as were also the choruses at the closes of the service, which contained some beautiful fuges, cleverly executed. The "Agnus Dei," however, was the masterpiece, the rich deep tones of Mr. Bushell were finely contrasted with the swelling tenor of Mr. Worgan when he took up the part, and when the three voices swelled in the body, the harmony was rich. A Credo, which we had not before heard, was also fine, as was "O Jesu Deus," a soprano solo by a lady, was sung with great taste, and in a musically soft, though rather weak voice. The choir was assisted by all the musical talent in Sydney, and they were lavish in their exertions . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Eliza Wallace (soprano vocalist); Spencer Wellington Wallace (flute); Elizabeth Clancy (vocalist); John Bushelle (bass vocalist)

18 October 1838, meeting to form a music class, Mechanics' School of Arts, Pitt Street, Sydney

"MUSIC CLASS", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (20 October 1838), 2 

A meeting of gentlemen interested in the formation of a musical class was held at the School of Arts, Pitt-street, on Thursday evening. About thirty gentlemen were present, Mr. R. Windeyer in the chair. It was resolved that a class for the encouragement of vocal and instrumental music should be formed, and about a dozen gentlemen immediately signed their names and became members. A committee, consisting of the following gentlemen was appointed: Messrs. R. Windeyer, Sea, Worgan and Spyers, to draw up rules and regulations and to report the progress at a general meeting, to be called on the subject on Thursday next.

"MUSIC CLASS", Commercial Journal and Advertiser (20 October 1838), 2 

A Meeting was held at the Mechanics' School of Arts, on Thursday evening last, for the purpose of forming a Musical Class, for the practice of which, when properly organized, the Theatre will be allowed two nights in each week. The business of the meeting was commenced by calling Mr. Windeyer, the barrister to the Chair, and he having announced the objects of the proposers of this class, the visitors, comprising about thirty individuals, members of the Institution and gentlemen amateurs, proceeded to make arrangements to expedite the formation of the class. Several gentlemen present immediately put down their names, with the instruments they were willing to perform upon, and a committee was formed for the purpose of drawing out the necessary Rules and Regulations, composed of the following gentlemen : - Messrs. Windeyer, Spyer, Sea, and Worgan, with power to add to their number. After a little pleasant discussion, the meeting adjourned to Thursday evening next, when the committee will lay before the members the Rules and Regulations for their adoption or acceptation. It is to be hoped that the lovers of music and harmony will come forward to lend their aid towards this class, which certainly, if property conducted, will be more beneficial to the members of this Institution than any of the others.

ASSOCIATIONS: Richard Windeyer (lawyer, amateur musician); Henry Sea (amateur musician); Lawrence Spyer (merchant, amateur musician)

17 October 1838, Eliza Wallace's concert

[Advertisement], The Australian (9 October 1838), 3 

Under Distinguished Patronage. MISS WALLACE BEGS to inform her Friends and the Public, that her Concert of Vocal and Instrumental Music, will take place on the 17th instant, in the Saloon of the Royal Hotel; on which occasion she will be assisted by Mr J. P. Deane and family, a celebrated Vocal Amateur, Mr. Worgan, Mr. W. Stanley, Mr. Sippe, Miss A. Winstanley, and Mr. Wallace . . . PART 1ST . . . 2. Trio - Notte Giorno - MOZART. Miss Wallace, Mr. Worgan, and Amateur . . . PART 2ND . . . 7. Song - RODWELL. Mr. G. W. Worgan . . .

"Concert", The Australian (13 October 1838), 2 

The Musical World is on the qui vive, in anticipation of the concert, Miss Wallace is about to give . . . The bill of fare, is not only novel, but highly attractive . . . Mr. Worgan is, we understand, a singer of great sweetness as well as a scientific musician . . .

"MISS WALLACE'S CONCERT", The Sydney Herald (17 October 1838), 2 

The lovers of Italian music will enjoy a treat by attending Miss Wallace's concert at the Royal Hotel this evening. The performance will consist of three Italian airs by Miss Wallace, two by an amateur well known to the frequenters of the Catholic Chapel, a song by Mr. Worgan a professional gentleman lately arrived, a song by Miss Ann Winstanley, a solo on the flute by Mr. W. Wallace, a solo on the violin by Master Deane and several duets and trios. Colonel Wodehouse has kindly allowed the band of the 50th Regiment to attend, and they will play Auber's celebrated overture to the opera of the Bronze Horse.

"CONCERT", The Sydney Herald (22 October 1838), 2 

Miss Wallace's Concert, on Wednesday, was well attended, and the whole of the performances went off with considerable success . . . A gentleman named Worgan, who has recently arrived, sang a simple little ballad, accompanying himself on the piano-forte; Mr. W. displayed much taste, but his voice is so low and weak that, at the lower end of the room, he was nearly inaudible; but from the way in which he acquitted himself, there can be no doubt of his being an excellent musician . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Philip Deane (violinist) and family; "celebrated vocal amateur" = John Bushelle (bass vocalist); Anne Winstanley (vocalist); William Stanley (pianist); George Sippe (cellist)

MUSIC: Notte e giorno (from Don Giovanni, act 1 scene 1, Mozart); song by George Herbert Rodwell (1800-1852)

21 November 1838, John Philip Deane's concert (postponed, due to influenza outbreak, until 23 January 1839, see below)

[Advertisement], The Australian (20 November 1838), 1

CONCERT. MR. DEANE BEGS to inform his Friends and the Public, that his CONCERT OF VOCAL & INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC, will take place at the Saloon of the Royal Hotel, on Wednesday Evening next, the 21st instant, on which occasion he will be assisted by Miss Wallace, Mrs. Clancy, the Vocal Amateur whose performance elicited such unqualified applause at the last Concert, Mr. Worgan, Mr. Leffler, and Mr. Wellington Wallace. PROGRAMME CONCERT. PART I . . . 4. Trio - The Red Cross Knight - Callcott . . . Mrs. Clancy, Mr. Worgan, and Amateur . . . PART II. . . . 8. Song - White Squalls [sic] . . . Mr. Worgan . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Edmund Leffler (pianist)


To call up all the TROVE tagged newspaper items for 1839: 

23 January 1839, John Philip Deane's concert (rescheduled, due to influenza outbreak, from 21 November 1838)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (23 January 1839), 1 

CONCERT. MR. DEANE BEGS to inform his Friends and the Public that his CONCERT if Vocal and Instrumental Music will take place in the Saloon of the Royal Hotel, on WEDNESDAY EVENING, the 21st instant [sic, rected 23rd], on which occasion Mr. Deane will be assisted by Miss Wallace, Mrs. Clancy, the Vocal Amateur whose performance elicited such unqualified applause at the last Concert, Mr. Worgan, Master Deane, and Mr. Wellington Wallace. PROGRAMME CONCERT. PART I . . .
4. Trio - The Red Cross Knight - Callcott - Mrs. Clancy, Mr. Worgan, and Amateur . . .
PART II. . . . 4. The flocks shall leave the mountain - Handel - Mrs. Clancy, Mr. Worgan, and Amateur . . .
8. Song - The White Squall - Mr. Worgan . . .

"CONCERT", The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser (25 January 1839), 2 

We are happy to say for the honour of "the art divine," that Mr. Dean's concert on Wednesday evening at the Royal Hotel was attended by a room full though not crowded . . . Mr. Worgan was getting on beautifully with the "White Squall," when, missing a line, and the accompaniment on the piano proceeding onwards, he spoilt the conclusion. This gentleman's voice is heard to best advantage in solos. But his pronunciation of certain words is illiterate . . .

"THE CONCERT", Commercial Journal and Advertiser (26 January 1839), 2 

. . . The Red Cross Knight (Callcott) by Mrs. Clancy, Mr. Worgan and Amateur, was very good, but the voices of the two former were drowned by that of the latter. Mrs. Clancy and Mr. Worgan, there is no doubt are very good musicians but their voices are not adapted for a Concert, where their voices are heard solus . . .

MUSIC: The red cross knight (Callcott); The flocks shall leave the mountain (from Acis and Galatea, Handel); The white squall (Barker)

27 February 1829, Eliza Wallace's concert

[Advertisement], Commercial Journal and Advertiser (27 February 1829), 3

MISS WALLACE HAS the honor to announce that her Concert of Vocal and Instrumental Music, will take place on WEDNESDAY EVENING, February 27, 1839, in the Saloon of the Royal Hotel, on which occasion she will be assisted by Miss Ellard, lately arrived from England, (the vocal amateur received with such enthusiastic applause at the two last Concerts), Mr. Worgan, Mr. W. Stanley, Mr. S. W. Wallace, and (by the kind permission of Col. Wodehouse), the Band of the 50th Regiment.
2. Opening Scene from Don Giovanni, solo and trio - Mozart - Miss Wallace, Mr. Worgan, & Amateur . . .
4. Through the Forest, Weber, Mr. Worgan . . .
PART II . . .
8. My Boyhood's Home, Rooke, Mr. Worgan . . .

"The Concert", The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser (1 March 1839), 2 

Miss Wallace's concert was well attended. The Governor, lady, and suite; Sir Maurice O'Connell, lady, family, and suite; and many of the principal families of Sydney, were present. Both Sir George and Sir Maurice were well received. The singers being few, the duties of the evening fell chiefly on Miss Wallace and the Amateur; which, on account of their superior talents, was felt to be no great loss . . . Mr. Worgan sings a good song, but his style of singing is not in our opinion adapted to a concert room. He is inferior to another amateur whom we saw in the room, and who assisted at the oratorios. He did not please us in the song of "Through the forest." . . .

"THE CONCERT", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (2 March 1839), 2 

. . . Mr. Worgan's voice does not appear adapted for a solo, that sung by him was barely respectable, he would appear to more advantage as second in a duet. Mr. Worgan seems to be of the same opinion for, much to the satisfaction of the company, he did not attempt a second solo set down for him. The amateur (Bushell) was in excellent voice . . .

"THE CONCERT", The Colonist (2 March 1839), 3 

. . . The opening scene was not to our liking; the bass voice of the Amateur [John Bushelle] was too powerful for Mr. Worgan, and who it struck us was also a little out in the harmony. Miss Wallace deserves considerable praise for her execution ot Rossini's celebrated "Tu che i Miseri conforti." It was sung with great taste - the accompaniment was excellent. Mr. Worgan cannot sing a ballad - his voice is any thing but melodious, and his cadences any thing but tasteful . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Barbara Ellard (pianist); Band of the 50th Regiment

MUSIC: Through the forest (from Der Freischütz, Weber); My boyhood's home (from Amilie, Rooke)

2 October 1839, George Peck's concert

[Advertisement], Commercial Journal and Advertiser (2 October 1839), 1 

. . . MR. PECK BEGS to inform his Friends and the Public that he will give a GRAND CONCERT OF Vocal and Instrumental Music AT THE Royal Victoria Theatre PITT-STREET, THIS EVENING, October 2nd . . .
Glee - Five Voices - "Blow gentle Gales," accompaniments full orchestra - Mrs. Bushelle, Mrs. Clarke, Mr. Bushelle, Mr. Worgan, and Mr. Griffiths - H. R. Bishop . . .
PART II . . .
Comic Glee Finale to the First Act of Guy Mannering - Five Voices "The Fox jump'd over the Parson's Gate" - Mrs. Clarke, Mrs. Bushelle, Mr. Bushelle, Mr. Worgan, and Mr. Griffiths - Bishop . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Peck (violinist); Anne Remens Clarke (vocalist); William Griffiths (vocalist)

MUSIC: Blow gentle gales (from The slave, Bishop); The fox jump'd over the parson's gate (from Guy Mannering, Bishop)

13 November 1839, the Gautrots's concert

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (13 November 1839), 1 

GRAND CONCERT - MONSIEUR and MADAME GAUTROT have the honor to announce that their CONCERT will take place on WEDNESDAY EVENING, November 13, in the Saloon of the Royal Hotel. Monsieur and Madame Gautrot will have, on this occasion, the valuable assistance of Mrs. Bushelle, Mr. Bushelle, Mr. Worgan, Miss Fernandez, Mr. S. W. Wallace, Mr. Peck, Mr. Leggatt, Mr. Deane and Sons, and, by permission of Colonel Wodehouse, the Band of the 50th Regiment will attend.
PROGRAMME. Part I . . .
1. Trio - "Mid these shades," (from II Crociato) Meyerbeer - Mr. and Mrs. Bushelle and Mr. Worgan . . .
Part II . . .
8. - "Laughing Glee," Martini - Mr. and Mrs. Bushelle and Mr. Worgan . . .

[W. A. Duncan], "M. GAUTROT'S CONCERT", Australasian Chronicle (15 November 1839), 1 

. . . Mr. Worgan should never attempt to laugh, for he is a "melancholy man." . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph and Madame Gautrot (violinist and soprano vocalist); Lucy Fernandez (vocalist, pianist); William Augustine Duncan (editor, music reviewer, member of St. Mary's choir)

MUSIC: 'Mid these shades (Nel silenzio) (from Il crociato in Egitto, Meyerbeer); Vadasi via di qua (Laughing trio) (Martini)

[Advertisement], The Australian (26 November 1839), 3

To the Inhabitants of the Hunter and Paterson Rivers.
F. ELLARD begs to acquaint the Inhabitants of the above districts that he and Mr. George William Worgan, will be in Maitland on or about the 1st of December, for the purpose of tuning and repairing Pianofortes. All commands by Letter, left at the Post-office, will be punctually attended to. Music Saloon, George-street, Sydney, Nov. 25, 1839.

18 December 1839, Eliza Bushelle's concert

[Advertisement], Commercial Journal and Advertiser (18 December 1839), 1 

Royal Victoria Theatre. MRS. BUSHELLE BEGS to inform her Friends and the Public, that her of CONCERT OF Vocal and Instrumental Music, On the same extensive scale as her last one, will lake place, at the Theatre Royal, on WEDNESDAY, the 18th December. She will be assisted by Madame Gautrot, Miss Deane, Mr. Bushelle and Amateurs; Monsieur Gautrot, Mr. S. W. Wallace, Mr. Leggatt, Mr. Deane, Mr. Worgan, Masters J. and E. Deane, Mr. Wallace senior, Mr. Sippe, Mr. Curtis, Mr. Walton, several Amateurs, all the Theatrical Band, and, by permission of Colonel Wodehouse, the BAND of the FIFTIETH REGIMENT.
1. The celebrated Polacca from "I Puritani," Solo and Quartet, with full orchestral accompaniments - Mrs. Bushelle, Mr. Leggatt, Mr. Worgan, and Mr. Bushelle . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Leggatt (instrumentalist, arranger); Humphrey Walton (instrumentalist); Richard Curtis (cellist); John Deane junior (violinist); Edward Deane (cellist)

MUSIC: Array'd for the bridal (Son vergin vezzosa) ("the celebrated Polacca", from I puritani, Bellini)


To call up all the TROVE tagged newspaper items for 1840: 

3 March 1840, Elizabeth Clancy's concert

[Advertisement], The Australian (3 March 1840), 1 

. . . MRS. CLANCY has the honour to announce, that her CONCERT will take place in the Old Court House, Castlereagh-street, on TUESDAY EVENING, March the 3rd, 1840, on which occasion she will be assisted by Madame and Monsieur Gautrot, Mr. Worgan, Mr. Deane, and family, Mr. Leggett, Mr. Curtis, Mr. Sippe, and the Cecilian Society, who have kindly offered their assistance.
Leader of the Orchestra, Mr. S. W. Wallace; Pianoforte, Mr. Johnson, who have kindly given their assistance.
PROGRAMME CONCERT. PART I . . . 3. Duett - When thy bosom heaves the sigh - Mrs. Clancy and Mr. Worgan . . .

[W. A. Duncan], "LOCAL", Australasian Chronicle (6 March 1840), 2 

Mrs. CLANCY'S CONCERT on Tuesday was well attended, and, upon the whole, went off in a very satisfactory manner . . . The young gentlenan who sang Some love to roam, made an excellent debut . . . Neither the other amateur, nor Mr. Grifliths should ever sing out of their own families, and Mr. Worgan, unless he can got a new diapason to his organ, should at once and for ever stop its bellows; we believe in other departments he is a fair musician.

ASSOCIATIONS: Cecilian Society (music club); Mr. Johnson (piano, one of the Johnson brothers)

MUSIC: When thy bosom heaves the sigh (Braham)

"Police Incidents. SATURDAY APRIL 4", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (9 April 1840), 2 

(Before Captain Innes and Mr. Windeyer) William Worgan, musician, William Golding, clerk to Mr. Norton, and a man named William Sharp, were brought up, the two former charged with being drunk, and the latter with stopping the Constable in the execution of his duly. The charge not being fully proved, they were discharged.

ASSOCIATIONS: Richard Windeyer (police magistrate)

26 May 1840, Eliza Bushelle's concert

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (26 May 1840), 1 

. . . MRS. BUSHELLE HAS the honor to announce, that her CONCERT will take place on TUESDAY, the 26th instant, at the THEATRE ROYAL, she will be assisted by Miss Deane, Mr. Worgan, Mr. Deane and Sons, Mr. Leggat, Mr. Sippe, Mr. Curtis, Mr. Walton, Mr. Parbury, all the Members of the Theatrical Orchestra, Mr. Wallace, Mr. W. Wallace, and Mr. Bushelle . . .
PROGRAMME . . . PART II . . . 4. The celebrated Polacca, Solo and Quartett, "Son vergin Vezzosa" - Bellini - Mrs. Bushelle, Mr. Leggatt, Mr. Worgan, Mr. Bushelle . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Parbury = Benjamin Portbury (instrumentalist)

8 July 1840, John Philip Deane's concert

[Advertisement], Commercial Journal and Advertiser (8 July 1840), 1 

. . . MR. DEANE BEGS to inform his friends and the public that, under the above distinguished patronage his CONCERT of Vocal and Instrumental Music, on a very extensive scale, will take place at the Theatre Royal, on WEDNESDAY, the 8th instant. He will be assisted by Mrs. Bushelle, Madame Gautrot, Miss Deane, and Mrs. Clancy, Mr. Bushelle, Mons. Gautrot, Mr. Worgan, Mr. Wallace, Mr. E. Deane, Mr. Sippe, Mr. Curtis, Mr. Walton, Mr. Parbury, Mr. J. Deane (of Parramatta), all the members of the Theatrical Orchestra, and several Amateurs who hate kindly offered their assistance. Leader of the Orchestra, Mr. S. W. Wallace. Conductor, Mr. Leggatt . . .


To call up all the TROVE tagged newspaper items for 1841: 

24 March 1841, Maria Prout's concert

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (24 March 1841), 1 

GRAND CONCERT, under the distinguished patronage of Lady Gipps, Lady Mitchell, Mrs. Deas Thomson, Mrs. Barney, and several other ladies of rank, who have all signified their intention of being present.
Mrs. J. S. PROUT, Pianist, begs to announce that her Concert of Vocal and Instrumental Music will take place at the Royal Victoria Theatre, THIS EVENING, March 24.
She will be assisted by Mrs. Bushelle, Mr. Bushelle, Mr. Worgan, several vocal amateurs, Mr. S. W. Wallace, Mr. T. Leggatt, Mr. Wallace, Mr. Deane, Mr. E. Deane, Mr. Sippe, Mr. Walton, Mr. O'Flaherty, Mr. Curtis, Mr. Portbury, Mr. Pappin, Mr. Downes, and the other members of the theatrical orchestra. Colonel French has also kindly allowed the use of the excellent Band of the 28th Regiment.
Leader, Mr. S. W. Wallace; Conductor, Mr. Leggatt.
A Book containing the Italian Songs with a correct translation, may be had at the doors of the theatre.
Overture to Don Giovani, Mozart - Full orchestra
1. Opening Scene and Pastorale, "Notte Giorno" and Giovanette, from Mozart's celebrated Opera
"Don Giovanni;" full Orchestral Accompaniments - Mr. & Mrs. Bushelle, Mr. Leggatt, Mr. Worgan, Mr. Griffiths
2. Song, "What is the Spell?", Rooke - Mr. Worgan . . .
6. Quintett, "When Winds breathe soft" - All the Vocalists . . .
PART II . . .
1. Solo, "Joy's bright Fountain;" Chorus, "Hail to the Queen!" full Orchestral Accompaniments - Mrs. Bushelle and all the vocalists . . .
6. The favourite Polacca in Il Puritani, Solo and Quartett, with Orchestral Accompaniments - Mrs. Bushelle, Mr. Bushelle, Mr. Worgan, Mr. Leggatt . . .

"MRS. PROUT'S CONCERT", Free Press and Commercial Journal (27 March 1841), 3 

On Wednesday evening we attended Mrs. Prout's Concert, and passed a couple of hours very pleasantly. The novelty of the evening was of course Mrs. Prout, and all agreed to her exceeding talent as a Pianist. The songs of the evening have all been heard and written of before. Mr. Bushelle created a hearty laugh as usual; Mr. Worgan's song was rather a failure; altogether the concert went off well.

"MRS. PROUT'S CONCERT", The Australian (27 March 1841), 2 

. . . The next piece, What is the Spell, certainly added nothing to the pleasure of the evening. We would seriously recommend Mr. Worgan to confine himself to pieces within the compass of his voice, it would at least save him from making himself ridiculous . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Maria Prout (pianist, harpist)

MUSIC: What is the spell (from Amilie, Rooke)

30 June 1841, Isaac Nathan's oratorio for the opening of St. Mary's organ

"THE ORATORIO", Australasian Chronicle (3 July 1841), 2 

THIS splendid entertainment took place, as announced, on Wednesday, in the Cathedral. The evening was fine, and the audience, in number about 800, presented a constellation of elegance and respectability which had never been before seen in this part of the world, and the tout ensemble of which has seldom been surpassed anywhere . . .

. . . The magnificent " Kyrie Eleison," from Beethoven's first mass (quartette by the Misses Nathan, Mr. Worgan, and amateur, with chorus), was executed with a good general effect, although those acquainted with the piece could observe the tenor part wandering a little in search of the notes . . .

. . . The beautiful quartette " On Jordan's banks" was sung by Misses Nathan, Mr. Worgan, and amateur, in excellent style . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Isaac Nathan (composer, conductor); Jane Nathan (vocalist); Rosetta Nathan (vocalist)

MUSIC: Kyrie (from Mass in C, Beethoven); On Jordan's banks (Nathan)

31 August 1841, solemn mass (St. Augustine of Hippo), St. John's church, Campbelltown

"CAMPBELLTOWN CHURCH", Australasian Chronicle (2 September 1841), 2 

ON Tuesday last a solemn high mass was celebrated by the Vicar General, assisted by Deacons Kenny and Grant, in St. John's church, Campbelltown. There were also present the Rev. Messrs. Goold, Sumner, Slattery, Marum, Hogan, Fitzpatrick, Dunphy, and Magennis, besides a number of gentlemen from Sydney, and a very numerous and respectable congregation. The Rev. Mr. Hogan preached an admirable sermon, into which he embodied with great taste and accuracy the principal traits in the extraordinary life of the great St. Augustine, whom he proposed as a model to the penitent, and a lasting object of honor and veneration in the church of God. The choir performed Webbe's Mass in G., Mr. Worgan presiding, with considerable skill, at the seraphine. After the service nearly £40 were collected towards finishing the tower and spire of the church, which are in a state of considerable forwardness. The church is situated upon a beautiful eminence, commanding a view of the town and the surrounding district; which wants nothing but a good river or canal to make it one of the very finest and most picturesque in the world. A sumptuous dinner was prepared at Mr. Hurley's inn, by order of the Campbelltown church committee, at which the gentlemen from Sydney were entertained, and which added not a little to the festivities of the day. Campbelltown is evidently a prosperous village, and the inhabitants appear to be highly industrious. There are no better buildings in the colony than some of those we inspected there.

ASSOCIATIONS: Vicar general = Francis Murphy

MUSIC: Mass in G (Samuel Webbe), from A collection of sacred music used in the chapel of the king of Sardinia in London (London: Novello, n.d.), 17-33 (DIGITISED)

28 September 1841, Royal Victoria Theatre, Joseph Simmons appearing for the Australian Harmonic Club

"THEATRICALS", The Australian (30 September 1841), 2 

. . . Tuesday evening presented an overflowing house on the occasion of Mr. Joseph Simmons' appearance on behalf of the Harmonic Society, who had engaged the Theatre. The Larboard Fin, with Married and Buried, were selected for the entertainment, with a sort of operatic interlude. Mr. Simmons, as an old and popular favourite, was received with acclamation. If he had never been a favourite before, his exertions on this occasion would have made him one. He sustained both of the characters allotted to him with that zeal and freshness which are peculiar to him. His Irish comic song was quite refreshing; it afforded especial amusement to the audience, for they encored it three times - which Mr. Simmons, we opine, thought rather too complaisant. We only regret that Mr. S. is not at home a little oftener. Madame Vielburn [sic] danced with peculiar elegance. The several songs, glees, and chorusses were very creditably performed by the respective amateurs - infinitely better than we anticipated. Mr. Worgan presided at the piano with that effect which we expected from so clever a musician. Indeed, we are sure that the whole evening's entertainment was highly satisfactory to all parties.

29 September 1841, supper, Australian Harmonic Club

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

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

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Simmons (actor, vocalist); Madame Veilburn (theatrical dancer); Apollos Joseph Slatterie (chairman); Australian Harmonic Club

27 October 1841, Isaac Nathan's concert, Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (27 October 1841), 1 

Programme of MR. NATHAN'S GRAND VOCAL and INSTRUMENTAL CONCERT (first of the series), to take place THIS EVENING, WEDNESDAY, the 27th of October, 1841.
The Misses Nathan, Miss Pettingell, Miss F. Pettingell, Miss Strickland, Mrs. Cook, Miss Jones, Miss Mears, Miss Lynch, Miss White, Miss Tuohy, Miss Donnelly, Miss Thomson, Miss Dolan, Master Tuohy, Master Reilly, Master Allen, and Master Temple Nathan.
Mr. Worgan, Mr. Allen, Mr. Falchon, Mr. Boyce, and Mr. Nathan.
Mr. Griffiths, Mr. Callaghan, Mr. Alfred Nathan.
OVERTURE. Rossini.
Quartetto and Chorus - The Wild Gazelle - Nathan.
Song - Meet me in the Willow Glen - Lee.
Song - Drink and a Fig for all Sorrow - Nathan.
Glee to the same words, composed expressly for the Sydney Harmonic Club - Nathan.
Trio - Hark, 'tis the India Drum - Bishop.
Duet (comic) - No, Mr. Gimbo, as sung by Mr. Harley and Miss Love in the "Illustrious Stranger" - Nathan.
Song - The Aboriginal Mother, a new Colonial composition, the words written by Mrs. Dunlop - Nathan.
Song (comic) - Skippity Whippity Nippity Hop - Nathan.
Solo and Full Chorus - Now with grief no longer bending, the celebrated finale to Cinderella - Rossini.
Overture - The Illustrious Stranger - Nathan.
Song - Bid me discourse - Bishop.
Song (comic) - Since 'tis plain you disdain, in character by Miss Jones (originally sung by an old Duenna, supposed to be seventy-five years of age, in the Opera of "Birds without Feathers," at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket - Nathan.
Duet - Vederlo sol Bramo - Paer.
Song (comic) - My Grandfather was a most wonderful man - Benedict.
Trio - Hope once more - Nathan.
Duet (comic) - How can you abuse an easy woman so? as sung by Mr. Liston and Madame Vestris in the Opera of "Sweethearts & Wives"
Song (by desire) - Where is the Rover - Lee.
Finale - Long live Victoria - Nathan.
The Band, assisted by that of the 28th, by the kind permission of Colonel French, will be select and complete.
Leader - Mr. Deane. . .

"Mr. Nathan's Concert", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (30 October 1841), 2 

We had a rich musical treat on Wednesday evening; it had been in perspective for some time, and we have now but to acknowledge that our most sanguine anticipations were to the fullest extent realized. Mr. Nathan seemed to have spared no pains either in the selection, orchestral arrangements or drilling, for the concert; and the effect must have been highly gratifying to him, as it was to us, and the audience generally . . .

. . . "Drink and a fig for sorrow," a new composition of Mr. Nathan's followed. It was sung by Griffiths with much spirit. It would be unfair to criticise this gentleman's singing, as we would that of Phillips, Ransford, or Seguin on the English stage - but we must allow him a considerable degree of merit. He decidedly improves, and sang correctly in time and tune. His terminating cadence was introduced with very good taste and effect. The song as a composition, pleased us much. We know no bass solo of modern production to compare with it. The air is bold - much in Shield's style - while the accompaniment is full and effective a la Mozart, but our readers must hear in order to appreciate it. The glee to the same words, (composed for the Sydney Harmonic Club,) was rich in melody and harmony, and gave us great delight - it was well sung by Messrs. Griffiths, Worgan, Allen, &c. &c. . . .

MUSIC: Drink and a fig for all sorrow (glee, Nathan), see: 


To call up all the TROVE tagged newspaper items for 1842: 

24 February 1842, masonic dinner


On Thursday last the brethren of this very highly respectable Lodge dined together at the Royal Hotel, to celebrate the Sixth Anniversary of the establishment of the Order in New South Wales. The dinner provided by Mr. Sparke (and which was got up in his ablest manner . . .) . . .

P. G. M. Moffitt, presided, supported by G. M. Williams, and N. G. Howard; V. G. Ellard, occupying the lower chair. Brothers Worgan, Allen, Alderson, Howard, Walker, &c., added greatly to the pleasure of the evening by their eminent vocal powers. After the first toast "the Queen," the following version of "God save the Queen," (altered by a brother for the occasion,) was sung by Brother Worgan, the brethren joining in chorus.

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the Queen!

Hail! glorious Sol divine!
May'st thou ne'er cease to shine
Over this land.
Emblem of every good,
Giver of light and food,
By Odd Fellows understood,
With heart-in-hand.

Come, then, ye sons of light,
In joyous song unite,
God save the Queen!
Long may Victoria reign,
Queen of the azure main,
Odd Fellows shout the strain,
God save the Queen!

The following toasts were afterwards drank: -

2. "Prince Albert and the Royal Family." Air - Victoria March.
3. "The Grand Master and Board of Directors of the Manchester Unity, and the Lodges in connexion with them." Air - Should auld acquaintance be forgot? . . .
4. "The Duke of Wellington and the Army." Air - Duke of York's March.
5. "The Wooden Walls of Old England." Air - Hearts of Oak.
6. "His Excellency Sir George Gipps." Air - British Grenadiers.
7. "Lady Gipps, and the Ladies of the Colony." Air - Here's a health to all good Lasses.
8. "The Members of the Legislative and Executive Councils." Air - Money in both pockets!
9. "The Judges of the Colony." Air - Balance a straw.
10. "The Magistracy of the Colony." Air - a March.
11. "Our Absent Brethren." Air - Burns' Farewell.
12. "Currency Lads and Lasses." Air - The Australian Waltz.
13. "Prosperity to the cause of Odd Fellowship throughout the World." Air - Odd Fellow's Holiday.
14. "The Stewards." Air - Fly not yet . . .

MUSIC: The Australian waltz = unidentified

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (22 June 1842), 1 

MISS RENNIE'S School Quarter for Young Ladies commences on the 1st July.
Terms in advance, £3 3s. a quarter, including the accomplishments of Drawing, Music, (three lessons a-week),
singing by Mr. Worgan, the Organist of St. Mary's,
Ornamental Needlework, French, Italian, Classics, Sciences, and Philosophy, Etiquette, &c.,
with no extras except £1 Is. a quarter for Dancing taught in the first London style by Mr. J. Chambers . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 September 1842), 1 

MISS RENNIE respectfully announces that her School quarter for Young Ladies commences on the 1st October.
Terms paid in advance £S 3s., which includes, along with all the common branches, the higher and fashionable accomplishments of music (two lessons per week), taught in the first style by Mrs. Logan, Organist of St. Andrew's;
Singing by Mr. Worgan, Organist of St. Mary's;
Drawing, Ornamental Needlework, French, Italian, Classics, Sciences and Philosophy, including Botany, by Mr. J. Rennie, M.A.
Arithmetic, with Mathematics and Algebra, by Mr. E. A. Rennie and Mr. T. L. Dodd.
No extras for any branch except £1 1s. per quarter for Dancing, taught by Mr. J. Chambers, in the newest London style . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Miss Rennie = daughter of James Rennie (school master); Maria Logan (music teacher); Joseph Chambers (dancing master)

John Rae, St Mary's and belfy, c.1842 (?43)

John Rae, Hyde Park, St. Mary's Cathedral and Belfry, "1842" (more likely 1843-44) 

"THE BELL TOWER", Morning Chronicle (30 December 1843), 2 

Sydney, St. Mary's bell tower, designed 1842, built 1843

Sydney, St. Mary's bell tower, designed 1842, built 1843; photo c. 1860s

WORGAN How sweet those tuneful bells (Ellard 1842)

How sweet those tuneful bells (1842)

How sweet those tuneful bells: a cantata written and composed by G. W. Worgan, organist of St. Mary's, respectfully dedictated to The Very Rev'd F. Murphy, V. G. (Sydney: Published by F. Ellard, [1842])

Words by William Lisle Bowes, 1787, uncredited; see Bowes 1802, 15 (see below)

Copy at State Library of Queensland (DOWNLOAD PDF)

See also checklist entry on the above: 

For the text, see William Lisle Bowes, "Sonnet XI. At Ostend, July 22, 1787", Sonnets and other poems (London: Printed for Cadell and Davies and J. Mawman, 1802), 15, note 163-64 (after Cowper: "How soft the music of those village bells") (DIGITISED)

How sweet the tuneful bells' responsive peal!
As when, at opening morn, the fragrant breeze
Breathes on the trembling sense of wan disease,
So piercing to my heart their force I feel!
And hark! with lessening cadence now they fall!
And now, along the white and level tide,
They fling their melancholy musick wide;
Bidding me many a tender thought recall
Of summer-days, and those delightful years
When from an ancient tower, in life's fair prime,
The mournful magic of their mingling chime
First wak'd my wond'ring childhood into tears!
But seeming now, when all those days are o'er,
The sounds of joy once heard, and heard no more. (DIGITISED)

"NEW MUSIC", Australasian Chronicle (6 December 1842), 2 

"How sweet those tuneful bells." A Cantata. Written and composed by G. W. Worgan, Organist of St. Mary's. Dedicated to the Very Rev. F. Murphy, V.G. Sydney; F. Ellard. A careful examination of this composition has tended very much to enhance our estimation of Mr. Worgan's musical abilities. The instrumental part contains passages of striking and ingenious imitation, and the frequent repetition of the peal of bells has a pleasing effect. Of the melody we cannot speak so favourably. It is indeed improperly styled a Cantata, being a piece of Recitative nearly throughout. But the whole is subservient to the instrumental part, which may be played with much satisfaction independent of the words. Upon the whole we must pronounce it superior to the average of new compositions, and well worthy of the attention of our musical readers. It may be as well to state the unusual but important fact, that it is within the practice of any amateur.

"NEW MUSIC", The Sydney Morning Herald (8 December 1842), 2 

"How sweet those tuneful bells:" published by Ellard. Mr. Worgan has made this oft tolled theme the subject of a very pretty Cantata. We strongly recommend every musical person to get it; it is simple, pleasing, and good, and has the additional, and by no means immaterial advantage of being most easy of performance.

ASSOCIATIONS: Francis Murphy (dedicatee); Francis Ellard (engraver, publisher)

12 December 1842, requiem mass for the duke of Orleans. St. Mary's cathedral, Sydney

"THE LATE DUKE OF ORLEANS", Australasian Chronicle (13 December 1842), 2 

YESTERDAY a solemn High Mass, pro defunctis, was celebrated in the Cathedral of Sydney, at the request of the French Consul and the Captain of the French corvette L'Embuscade, for his Royal Highness the late Duke of Orleans. The intelligence of the Prince's death was first communicated to the officers of the Embuscade on their arrival in this port, and naturally caused a strong sensation . . .

At ten o'clock yesterday, the Office for the Dead and High Mass commenced. A catafalque was erected at the western end of the nave of the Cathedral, around which were placed the officiating clergy and the officers and crew of the Embuscade. The High Priest was the Rev. Mr. Coffey, assisted by the Rev. Mr Kenny, as Deacon, and the Rev. Mr. Grant, as Sub Deacon. There were also present the Rev. Messrs. Macencroe, Brennan, and Fitzpatrick, with acolytes, thurifers, &c..

In the choir the solemn Gregorian Missa pro defunctis was beautifully chaunted by the Very Rev. Vicar-General Murphy, as cantor, assisted by the Rev. Mr. Magennis, Mr. Duncan, and Mrs. Curtis, and a select choir, and accompanied on the organ by Mr. Worgan. The "Requiem," "Kyrie eleison," " Dies irae," "Sanctus," "O Salutaris," "Agnus Dei," together with the preface, pater noster, and the versicles and responses followed in succession, and the whole service, which is of the most solemn and deeply religious character, produced a marked effect upon the assembly, among whom were observed the greater portion of the foreign residents of Sydney, together with numbers of our own countrymen, some of whom had known his late Royal Highness in his early years, and who were led by former recollections to perform this last act of Christian charity in his behalf.

At the conclusion of Mass the choir chaunted the psalm "De profundis," while the clergy, accompanied by the officers of the Embuscade, again proceeded from the high altar to the catafalque to perform the ablutions [absolution], with which the solemnity concluded . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Ferdinand Philippe de Orléans (d. France, 13 July 1842); Patrick Magennis (priest, singer); William Augustine Duncan (choir singer); Mary Curtis (choir singer)


To call up all the TROVE tagged items for 1843: 

"NEW INSOLVENTS", The Sydney Morning Herald (27 June 1843), 2 

George William Morgan [sic], professor of music, Pitt-street, Sydney. Debts, £35 14s 6d. Assets - personal property, £3 10s; outstanding debts £15 7s. Balance deficiency, £16 17s 6d.

"In the Insolvent Estate of George William Worgan", New South Wales Government Gazette (30 June 1843), 852 

In the Insolvent Estate of George William Worgan, of Pitt-street, Sydney, professor of music.
Whereas the Estate of George William Worgan was, on the 14th day of July, 1843 placed under Sequestration in my hands, by order of His Honor Sir James Dowling, I hereby appoint a Meeting of the Creditors of the said George William Worgan to be holden at the Supreme Court House, Sydney, on Friday, the 14th day of July next, to commence at 10.30, a.m., and end at 11, a.m., for proof of Debts and election of a Trustee or Trustees, for the collection, administration, and distribution of the said Insolvent's Estate; and unless at the said Meeting it be shewn that the goods and effects of the Insolvent exceed £100, the Commissioner will summarily proceed to rank the Debts which shall be then proved, and will direct the proceeds to be distributed by the Trustees accordingly. - Dated this 28th day of June, 1843.
Chief Commissioner of Insolvent Estates.

"INSOLVENCY BUSINESS. FRIDAY, JULY 14, 1843", Australasian Chronicle (18 July 1843), 3 

In the estate of William Worgan, a single meeting was held, and the claim of J. Clancey, for 12l 11s was proved.

"INSOLVENCY BUSINESS", The Sydney Morning Herald (20 July 1843), 2 

. . . The CHIEF COMMISSIONER moved that the following trustees be confirmed:
Estates / Trustees . . .
George William Worgan / Thomas Clancey . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Clancy (husband of Elizabeth Clancy)

16 October 1843, teetotal concert

[Advertisement], Morning Chronicle (14 October 1843), 3 

GRAND TEETOTAL FESTIVAL ON MONDAY EVENING, October the 16th, 1843, a GRAND AND AMUSING FESTIVAL will be held at the Old Court House, Castlereagh-street,
For the Benefit of St. Patrick's Band . . .
Upon which occasion, the Band will use every exertion to render the evening's entertainment worthy the public patronage. In the course of the evening several Popular Airs, got up expressly for this occasion, will be performed by the Instrumental Department; together with a great variety GLEES, DUETTS, SOLOS, &c., &c.
VOCAL PERFORMERS. Mrs. Bushelle, Miss Hinckesman, Mrs. Clancy, and Mrs. Curtis; Mr. Griffiths, Messrs. Allen, Worgan, Beattie, Callaghan, Commins, Caughlan, and Jibby [Tibby] . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: St. Patrick's Band; Maria Hinckesman (pianist, music teacher)

John Worgan, 9 November to 25 December 1843; entrance and description book, Darlinghurst Gaol, 1831-1849; State Records NSW 

1485 / John Worgan / [ship] Elizabeth / 1830 / free / [born] Cornwall / [Protestant] / Clerk / [Admitted] Nov. 9 / [Police] / [for] Trial / Trial acquitted 25, 12th D'r 1843

"POLICE COURT BUSINESS - WEDNESDAY", The Sydney Morning Herald (10 November 1843), 3 

This Court was opened at half past nine by the Mayor . . . There were sixteen charges on the general list . . . John Worgan for stealing a £ note . . . committed for trial . . .


To call up all the TROVE tagged newspaper items for 1844: 

14 June 1844, masonic dinner


On Friday last, the G. M., and Board of Directors, of the Australian Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows gave a dinner to P. U. M., Moffitt, to welcome his return from England, and as a mark of their esteem and approbation of his efforts in behalf of the order in the the mother country. About fifty brethren and visitors, friends of P. G. M. Moffitt, sat down at the "Cricketers' Arms Hotel," and partook of a superior dinner, served up in Host Green's usual first-rate manner . . . After the cloth was drawn, the usual loyal and patriotic toasts were drank, and the evening was enlivened by the exquisite taste and skill of Mr. Worgan, who presided at the pianoforte, and by several excellent vocalists. The company separated at a late hour, highly delighted with "the feast of reason and the flow of soul," which usually mark the entertainments given by this respectable order.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Moffitt


To call up all the TROVE tagged newspaper items for 1845: 

17 August 1845, dinner for the first anniversary of the consecration of Sydney synagogue

"DINNER", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 April 1845), 2 

About sixty members of the Hebrew Faith dined together at the Saracen's Head Inn, in the Odd Fellows' Banqueting-hall, on Thursday evening last, to celebrate the anniversary of the Sydney Synagogue, on which occasion that spacious room was most brilliantly lighted up and tastefully decorated. The dinner was served up in first style, by Mr. P. J. Cohen; and every delicacy of the season was provided for the dessert. The town band was in attendance, assisted by Mr. Worgan at the piano, and charmed their hearers with some sweet music. After the cloth was removed, Mr. Isaacs, the Reader, chaunted grace in a most effective manner, after which the Chairman proposed the usual national and local toasts, all of which were most heartily and loyally responded to . . .

"ANNIVERSARY OF THE CONSECRATION OF THE SYDNEY SYNAGOGUE. PUBLIC DINNER", Commercial Journal and General Advertiser (19 April 1845), 2 

. . . The excellent town band, assisted by Mr. Worgan at the piano, gave additional piquancy to the banquet, the whole of which was in the best taste. The cloth having been removed, and grace having been chaunted by Mr. Isaacs, the Reader, in a very effective manner, the Chairman proposed the usual Loyal, National, and Local toasts, which were enthusiastically received . . .

"To the Editors", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 April 1845), 2

GENTLEMEN, In the Herald of to-day, I am represented as having assisted the Town Band, on the night of the Jewish Festival. I did no such thing; but was a guest on that occasion, if you please. For the sake of my friends, (I care not), will you kindly give this a corner in your valuable paper? I am, Gentlemen, Your obedient servant, JOHN WORGAN. April 19.

ASSOCIATIONS: Jacob Isaacs (reader, Sydney synagogue)

30 May 1845, Maria Hinckesman's concert

[Advertisement], Morning chronicle (28 May 1845), 3 

(Under distinguished Patronage.)
MISS HINCKESMANN RESPECTFULLY informs her Friends and the Public, that she intends giving a
Of Vocal and Instrumental Music at the above Theatre,
ON FRIDAY, MAY 30, 1845.
The following talented Performers have most kindly promised their valuable assistance:
AND MISS TUOHY, (Pupil of Miss Hinckesmann, her first appearance);
Leader, MR. GIBBS - Conductor, MR. JOHNSON, (Organist of St. James's.)
First Part,
1 - Glee, "The Chough and Crow," Mrs. Ximenes. Mrs. Gibbs, Mr. Waller, and Chorus - H. Bishop.
2 - The Bandit's Song, Mr. Turner - Russell.
3 - Duet, "What Fairy-like Music," Mrs. Jervis and Mrs Gibbs - De Pinna.
4 - Glee, "The Wreath," Miss Tuohy, Mrs. Jervis, and Mr. Waller - J. Mazzinghi
5 - Solo. (Pianoforte) Miss Hinckesmann, (by desire) - Steibelt.
6 - Song," - -" Mrs. Ximenes
7 - Grand Scena, "When I think of the wrongs he hath done me," (the celebrated Agitato), Mr. Waller - Parr.
8 - Scotch Ballad, "John Anderson, my Jo," (by particular desire), Mrs. Gibbs
9 - Glee, "The Curfew," Mrs. Ximenes, Mrs Gibbs, and Mr. Griffiths
Second Part.
1 - Glee and Chorus, "Life's a Bumper," Messrs. ---
2 - Song, "The Queen of the Fairy Band," Mrs. Jervis
3 - Song, "The Oak and the Ivy," Mr. Turner - E. Ransford.
4 - Solo (Violin), Mr. Gibbs - De Beriot.
5 - Ballad, "The Light of other Days," Miss Tuohy - Balfe
6 - Glee, "The Witches," Messrs. Worgan, Griffiths, and Turner - M. P. King.
7 - Song, "I'll be no submissive Wife," Mrs. Gibbs
8 - Song. "The Land," Mr. Waller - Neukomm.
9 - Ballad, "--," Mrs. Ximenes
Finale, Myriam's Song, "Sound the loud Timbrel," by all the Vocalists.
** The Theatrical Band will comprehend Messrs. O'Flaherty, Deane, E. Deane, W. Deane, Turner, Friedlander, Westrip, Adams, Wright, Vaughan; and will be assisted by the Members of St. Patrick's Band . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Gibbs (violinist, leader); Eliza Gibbs (vocalist); Ann Winstanley Ximenes (vocalist); Mrs. Jervis (vocalist); James Waller (vocalist); John Turner (vocalist); James Johnson (conductor, pianist, organist); Henry O'Flaherty (violinist); William Deane; William Friedlander; Mr. Adams; Mr. Wright; Mr. Vaughan

18 June 1845, masonic dinner, Windsor, NSW

"ODD FELLOWSHIP", Hawkesbury Courier and Agricultural and General Advertiser [Windsor, NSW] (19 June 1845), 2 

The little town of Windsor was agreeably delighted yesterday by a Procession of the Odd Fellows, in connection with the Australian Supreme Grand Lodge, who had visited the Town for the purpose of establishing a Branch Lodge of the Order, under the designation of "The United Loyal Hawkesbury Lodge." After the Lodge was opened at Host Coffey's - the Daniel O'Connell Inn - the Brethren formed in procession, headed by the Town Band, and proceeded to St. Matthew's Church, where Service was performed by the Revd. H. T. Styles, aided by the Revd. T. W. Bodenham . . .

At five o'clock the Brethren met at Host Coffey's where an excellent Dinner was prepared, at which between seventy and eighty Members of the Order and Visitors, sat down. The following are the Toasts which were given:

1. - Her Majesty the Queen. - Air and Song - God save the Queen.

2. - Queen Dowager, Prince Albert, Albert Prince of Wales, and the Royal Family. Cobourgh March - Song - Mr. Griffiths.

3. - His Excellency the Governor. - British Grenadiers. - Glee - "When Albion."

4. - The Army and Navy." - Victoria March. Glee - "How merrily we live."

5. The Ladies of the Colony - Song - "Here's a health to all good lasses," Glee - "Here's a health."

- The Revd. Mr. Styles, and thanks to him for his very excellent Sermon.

6. - "Prosperity to the cause of Odd Fellowship throughout the world" - The brave old oak - Song - "British oak."

7. The Supreme Grand Lodge of Australia. Odd Fellow's Holiday. - Glee - "Hail to the Craft."

8. - Success to the "United Loyal Hawkesbury Lodge" of the Independent Order nf Odd Fellows. - Hail Australia. Glee - "Hail smiling morn."

9. - Our respected Visitors, - How happily we meet. Song - Mr. Worgan.

10. - Our absent Friends. - Should auld acquaintance. - Song - "Auld lang syne."

11. - Currency Lads & Lasses - Australian Waltz. - Glee - "Crows in a cornfield."

12. - The Stewards. - O fly not yet. - Song - "Alderman thumb" . . .

"WINDSOR. ODD FELLOWSHIP", The Australian (24 June 1845), 4 

. . . Several local and friendly toasts wore then given and responded to, and some excellent Glees, Quartetts, and Songs were sung, and the party separated about half-past eleven, highly gratified with the evening's entertainment.

We cannot speak in terms of too high praise of Messrs. Tibbey, Sen. and Jun., James Waller, and Griffiths, who so ably lent their vocal aid towards the amusement of the company. Mr. Worgan presided at the Piano-Forte with his accustomed brilliancy.

ASSOCIATIONS: Tibbey sen. & jun. (vocalists); James Waller (vocalist); William Griffiths (vocalist)

20 June 1845, teetotal concert

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 June 1845), 3 

AT the Right Worshipful the Mayor's Grand Teetotal Festival, that will be held in the Victoria Theatre, This Evening, the following Vocal and Instrumental Music will be performed.
1. OVERTURE - Band
2. Song - George and Victory - Messrs. Howson
3. Song - She wore a wreath of roses - Mrs. Wallace
4. Song - A Lady
5. Song - The old Irish Gentleman - Mr. Turner
6. Song - The City of Sligo - Mr. Ellis
7. Song - Adam was a Gentleman - Mr. Griffiths
8. Song. Mrs. Gibbs
9. Song. - After many roving years - Mr. J. Howson.
10. Duetto. - As it fell upon a Day - Mrs. Gibbs and Mrs. Wallace.
11. Song. - The Land of my birth - Mr. F. Howson.
12. Chorus. - The Chough and Crow
1. OVERTURE - Band.
2. Song. - I'm a poor Shepherd Maid - Mad. Carandini.
3. Song. - The old Water Mill - Mr. F. Howson.
4. Song. - Tell me my heart - Mrs. Wallace.
5. Duet. - I know a Bank - Mrs. Gibbs and Mad. Carandini.
6. Song - A Lady.
7. Song. - Paddy Rambles - Mr. Ellis.
8. --- Band.
9. Song - Convent Bell - Mrs. Gibbs.
10. Song. - I resign thee every token - Mr. J. Howson.
11. Duet. - On anticipations of Switzerland - Mad. Carandini and Mrs. Gibbes.
Conductor, Mr. Deane. Pianist, Mr. Worgan.
The Bands of the Sydney and St. Patrick's Total Abstinence Societies will be in attendance . . .

"THE MAYOR'S PARTY", The Sydney Morning Herald (23 June 1845), 2 

. . . While the tea, &c, were being disposed of, one of the bands (there were two bands in attendance, the St. Patrick's and the Total Abstinence) played an overture, and then commenced the concert, which was under the management of Mr. Deane, Mr. Worgan presiding at the piano. Every song was applauded, and two, which were in praise of teetotalism, were received with raptures . . .

"THE MAYOR'S TEA PARTY", Morning Chronicle (25 June 1845), 2 

The Mayor's Grand Tea Party was held in the Victoria theatre, on Friday evening last, when upwards of two thousand persons were present, amongst whom were his Excellency the Governor, Lady Gipps, the Chief Justice, the Attorney General, several members of the Legislative Council, the members of the City Council, the French Consul, several Cathollc clergymen, and a number of dissenting ministers. Two bands were in attendance viz. the St. Patrick's, and the Sydney Total Abstinence Societies; and after the tea and cakes had been disposed of, the music struck up, and an overture was played by the two bands in excellent style. The concert was under the management of Mr. Deane, Mr. Worgan presiding at the piano; the singers were Mrs. Gibbes, Mrs. Wallace, Madame Carandini, and the Messrs. Howson. The concert lasted until ten o'clock, when his Excellency the Governor left, and shortly after, the Mayor as it was the anniversary of her Majesty's accession, proposed three cheers for the Queen, which were heartily given, and his Worship then retired. Dancing was then commenced and kept up with some spirit for the remainder of the night.

ASSOCIATIONS: George Allen (mayor of Sydney); Maria Carandini (soprano vocalist); Frank Howson (bass vocalist); John Howson (tenor vocalist); Caroline Wallace (soprano vocalist)

17 September 1845, Deane's concert

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 September 1845), 1

ROYAL HOTEL. CONCERT. MR. DEANE begs most respectfully to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen of Sydney and its vicinity, that he intends giving a CONCERT OF VOCAL AND INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC, At the Royal Hotel, George-street, on WEDNESDAY, 17TH SEPTEMBER, 1845, On which occasion he solicits their patronage.
PART I . . . 8. Song - Mr. Worgan . . .
PART II . . . 10. Grand Finale, Solo, and Chorus, "Rule Britannia," by Mrs. Bushelle and all the Vocalists.
Leader - Mr. J. Deane; Conductor - Mr. Deane . . .

"MUSIC", The Australian (20 September 1845), 3 

Mr. Deane's Concert on Wednesday evening was extremely well attended, and the entertainments were highly satisfactory . . . Mr. Worgan sang "The Death of Nelson" with treat taste, skill, and effect, and was unanimously encored. With this gentleman's vocal qualifications, we are surprised that he so seldom appears in public musical entertainments . . .

19 November 1845, ward dinner

"WARD DINNER", The Weekly Register of Politics, Facts and General Literature (22 November 1845), 244 

On Wednesday, about fifty of the electors of Bourke Ward gave a dinner at Toogood's to their newly elected representative, Mr. Councillor Brown, in order to mark their approbation of his independent conduct in the City Council. Mr. Councillor Thurlow was in the chair. The dinner and wines were of the first order, and the usual loyal and patriotic toasts called forth a number of excellent speeches from the gentlemen present, chiefly demonstrative of the popularity of the recent elections. Several good songs were also sung by Mr. Nathan, Mr. Worgan, and others, and the evening passed off with great glee.

23 December 1845, Handel's Messiah (with Mozart's accompaniments)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 December 1845), 3 

PRINCIPAL VOCAL PERFORMERS - Mrs. Bushelle, Mrs. Stirling, Mrs. Gibbs, Madame Carandini, Mrs. Wallace, Miss Hincksmann, Miss Tuohy, Mr. Howson, Mr. J. Howson, Mr. Waller, Signor Carandini, Mr. Worgan, Mr. Griffiths, Mr. Salter, &c., &c., assisted by a large and efficient chorus . . .

ASSOCATIONS: Theodosia Stirling (vocalist); Mr. Salter (vocalist)


To call up all the TROVE tagged newspaper items for 1846: 

17 June 1846, Eliza Bushelle's "farewell" concert

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 June 1846), 1 

GRAND EVENING CONCERT, UNDER DISTINGUISHED PATRONAGE. MRS. BUSHELLE HAS the honour to inform her friends, and the residents of Sydney, that her FAREWELL CONCERT (previous to her departure for England), will take place on WBDNFSDAY EVENING, 17TH INSTANT, IN THE SALOON OF THE ROYAL HOTEL . . . Principal Vocal Performers - Madame Carandini, Mrs. Gibbs, And Mrs. Bushelle; Signor Carandini and Mr. Worgan . . .
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . 4. Recitative and Aria, "The beams that fill those gentle eyes," - Balfe - Mr. Worgan . . .

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

. . . We had forgotten, in the hurry of writing, to mention Mrs. Gibbs' English Ballad, and the Irish Ballad of Kitty Creagh. The first was very well sustained, but we could not help regretting that the latter had not been assigned either to Mr. Ellard, junior, or to Mr. Worgan, who could either of them have given it the raal brogue. Only fanthy the pathetic strains of Sthweet Kitty Creagh being lithped by Mrth. Gibbths.

"Music. MRS. BUSHELLE'S FAREWELL CONCERT", The Spectator (20 June 1846), 261-62 

. . . [262] . . . Of Signor and Madame Carandini, Mrs. Gibbs, Mr. Worgan, and the instrumental solo performers, Messrs. Hill, and Roach, we are also enabled to speak in terms of much approval . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Gerome Carandini (vocalist); Frederick Ellard (vocalist); Arthur Silvester Hill (flautist, 99th regiment), John Roache (cornet player, 99th regiment); Band of the 99th Regiment

MUSIC: [Recit.] The beams which fill those gentle eyes / [air] Dear maid when thou art sleeping (Balfe, from Joan of Arc)

15 July 1846, the Gautrots's "farewell" concert

[Advertisement], The Australian (7 July 1846), 4 

GRAND CONCERT. UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF SIR MAURICE O'CONNELL, K. C. B. MONSIEUR AND MADAME GAUTROT, about to proceed to Calcutta, beg respectfully to announce their intention of giving a Grand Vocal and Instrumental Entertainment, in the Saloon of the Royal Hotel, on Wednesday, the 15th Instant. On this occasion will be engaged all the available musical talent in the colony, amongst which will be Solos performed by Mesdames Bushelle, Gautrot, Clancy, and Carandini; Messieurs S. W. Wallace, Gautrot, F. Ellard, Jun., F. and J. Howson, Worgan, Turner, Carandini, and an Amateur. The programme, with full particulars, will be published in a few days.

Worgan's name did not appear, however, on the program as finally advertised:

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 July 1846), 1 

28 October 1846, Maria Hinckesman's concert

[Advertisement], The Australian (27 October 1846), 2 

ROYAL CITY THEATRE. UNDER DISTINGUISHED PATRONAGE, MISS HINCKESMANN'S SOIREE MUSICALE WILL TAKE PLACE TOMORROW EVENING, OCTOBER 28, 1846, At the City Theatre, Market-street. VOCAL PERFORMERS.: Mrs. Bushelle, Madame Gautrot, Mr. J. Howson, Mr. F. Howson, Mr. Worgan, and several Amateurs, who have kindly volunteered their services . . . Programme: - PART I . . . 6. Ballad, - "The Fairy Boy," Mr. Worgan - Lover . . .

MUSIC: The fairy boy (Lover; Sydney: Ellard edition)


During the 3 years, 1847 to 1849, Worgan was rarely mentioned in the Sydney press; those few so far identified are transcribed in full below. Like many of his musical colleagues, Worgan was probably suffering financially from the colony's ongoing economic troubles, a state of affairs barely concealed by his almost certainly fruitless attempt in 1849 to earn £200 by advertising for an articled pupil.

11 August 1847, masonic concert

"CONCERT", The Australian (14 August 1847), 3 

On Wednesday last a Concert was held in the Australian Grand Lodge Hall of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and was numerously and respectably attended. As the performers on the occasion were mostly amateurs, it would be ungracious to comment, with a critic's severity, upon their individual, or concerted, efforts, we cannot, however, pass over without notice, the flute solo, which, to our ear, was beautifully executed. This amateur has much improved since we last had the pleasure of hearing him. Mrs. Gibbs and Madame Carandini, as usual, delighted their hearers, both in their respective songs, and in their duet Sol fa. "The spell is broken," was sung with considerable pathos, and elicited an encore. A gentleman amateur, who, could not attend through indisposition, had his place filled by a professional, in the person of Mr. Horncastle, who favoured the company with three of his happy songs. We cannot conclude without noticing, in terms of approbation, the voluntary performance, by Mr. Worgan, on a new instrument called the Harmonian [sic], which is far more powerful than the Seraphine, and its tones considerably sweeter. This instrument is well suited for small churches, and chapels of ease.

ASSOCIATIONS: Frederick Horncastle (vocalist)

NOTE: Developed from the physharmonicon and seraphine, the English patent harmonium was first advertised in London by Luff and Co. from late 1844 onward; French harmoniums were first imported into NSW in July 1847; see for instance:

[Advertisement], The musical world (26 June 1847), 418: (DIGITISED)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 July 1847), 1 


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 February 1848), 3 

J. T. GROCOTT has much pleasure in informing his patrons that he has engaged the permanent services of Mr. G. W. WORGAN, in the above branch of his business.
One word in favour of Mr. W.'s well-known superiority would be unnecessary.
Music Saloon and Pianoforte Warehouse,
486, George-street.
A Spring Van and steady men always at hand.

ASSOCIATIONS: James Turner Grocott (Grocott had recently taken over Francis Ellard's business)


St. Patrick's Church, Charlotte Place, Sydney (S. T. Gill, lithographed Allen and Wigley, Sydney 1856); National Library of Australia (DIGITISED)

[2 advertisements], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 March 1849), 1 

MR. G. W. WORGAN, Organist of St. Patrick's Church, is prepared to receive into his house, a youth of respectability, about thirteen years of age, as an Articled Pupil, for the term of FOUR YEARS. He will receive a sound Theoretical, and Practical Education in the Science of Music; and his studies will be strictly confined to the works of the most eminent misters, ancient and modern. Premium. £200. For particulars address Mr. WORGAN, at Mr. Grocott's Music Saloon, 486, George-street.

MR. G. W. WORGAN begs respectfully to remind the numerous Families who have given his method of Tuning so decided a preference, that the two following months should not be passed over without their pianofortes being tuned. All sound instruments accorded within the above period by Mr. W. warranted to remain in tune during the winter months. Pianofortes selected by Mr. W. at a charge of five per cent on purchase price, and all repairs done by him, or under his immediate superintendence, Warranted, and the instruments fortified against climate. Address Mr. WORGAN, at Mr. Grocott's Music Saloon, 486, George-street.

26 February to 14 March 1849, John Parsons Worgan held for theft at Police Office and Darlinghurst Gaol

Bench of magistrates, Sydney, alphabetical charge book, 1848-1850; State Records NSW (from microfilm 3403/2648) (DIGITISED)

Worgan John / [prosecuted by] James Rofe / Stealing / [hearing date] 5 [March] / Insane

1849, Gaol description and entrance book; State Records NSW (from microfilm 854) (DIGITISED)

[Gaol Anuual No.] 241 / John Worgan / [Arrival] Elizabeth / 1830 / [On arrival] Free / [On entering Gaol] Free / [Native Place] Cornwall / [Religion] Protestant / [Trade or calling] Clerk / [Admitted] Feb'y 26 / [Whence] Police [Office] / [Purpose] Exam[ination] One Week / [Disposed of] Exam[ined] R. P. O. 14 March 1849

30 December 1849, birth of Mary Worgan

"BIRTH", The Sydney Morning Herald (3 January 1850), 3 

BIRTH. At Woolloomooloo, on Sunday, December 30, Mrs. George William Worgan, of a daughter.


To call up all the TROVE tagged newspaper items for 1850: 

7 June 1850, Edward Baly's concert

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 June 1850), 1 

GRAND CONCERT. MR. BALY begs to inform his friends and the public that he intends giving a Concert of Vocal and Instrumental Music, in the Saloon of the Royal Hotel, ON FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 1850, when he will be assisted by MISS SARA FLOWER, Messrs. Deane, Worgan, Stanley, and a highly talented Amateur. Mr. Stanley will preside at the Pianoforte.
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . Ballad - "Gone is the Calmness," with Flute Obligato Accompaniment, W. V. Wallace - Mr. Worgan . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Edward Baly (flautist); Sara Flower (contralto vocalist)

MUSIC: Gone is the calmness (from Matilda of Hungary, Willian Vincent Wallace)

Roll of the electors for the electoral district of Sydney, in Cook Ward, for the year 1850-51, 14 May 1850; State Records Authority of NSW (PAYWALL)

684 / Worgan George William / dwelling house / Crown-street


To call up all the TROVE tagged newspaper items for 1851: 

12 February 1851, police court, Sydney

"Police Office. Wednesday, February 12 . . . FAMILY DIFFERENCES", Empire (13 February 1851), 3 

Mr. George William Worgan appeared on summons, for neglecting to comply with an order of the Bench, dated 26th August, 1850, at which hearing he was ordered to pay a weekly sum of 15s. for the support of his deserted wife. Mr. Little, who appeared for the defendant, satisfied their worships by the most palpable testimony, that since the making of the order, the parties had been living together as man and wife, therefore, he contended, the complaint was completely absurd. The Bench, after alluding to the unsettled state of the law upon this particular, refused to make an order. Mr. O'Reilly, who had been retained for the prosecution, upon hearing this decision, shook his mane, and winked at Paddy Driscoll.

"MAINTENANCE TO A WIFE", The Sydney Morning Herald (13 February 1851), 2 

In the month of August last, Mrs. Worgan, wife of George William Worgan, of William-street, musician, complained to the Bench of Magistrates that her husband had deserted her, and although well able to afford her a maintenance had neglected or refused to do so. A summons was accordingly issued against Worgan; and after hearing the case, an order was made for the payment to Inspector Pearce of 15s. per week. Yesterday Worgan appeared before Mr. Dowling, on summons, for having failed to comply with the order made in the matter, the sum of £18 4s. 6d. being now due. Mr. O'Reilly conducted the case for the complainant, and Mr. Little for the defence. The witnesses for the prosecution proved the making of the order by the justices, and that no payment whatever had been yet made. Mr. Little, for the defendant, said, that subsequent to the making of the order the parties had been living together as man and wife, and submitted that the order of the magistrates was thereby rendered a nullity, and that the only course now open to Mrs. Worgan was to make application to the Court for a fresh order. He called upon Mr. Smith, who deposed that he resided near to the defendant, and that since the date of the order he had been six or eight times in defendant's house, and saw Mrs. Worgan there; he saw her there on each occasion, the motive which induced him to go there being merely to protect her from his brutality; he had frequently during that period allowed Mrs. Worgan temporary shelter in his house; on leaving it she returned to the defendant. Mr. Dowling then declined making any order in the case.

"SEPARATE MAINTENANCE", The People's Advocate and New South Wales Vindicator (15 February 1851), 3 

Some months since, a Mrs. Worgan the wife of Mr. Worgan, organist, applied to the Bench against her husband, of whom she complained that he had deserted her, and refused her maintenance, although he was in circumstances to do so. A summons was granted, and on the case being called on, an order was made for the payment of the sum of 15s. per week to Mr. Inspector Pearce. On Wednesday. Mr. Worgan appeared before the Police Magistrate on summons, for having failed to make any payment according to the order, upwards of eighteen pounds being now due - in defence it was argued that since the decision the parties had lived together, and that it was necessary that the case should be brought on again and a fresh order made. Evidence having been produced to corroborate this statement, his Worship refused to make any order in the case.

"THE DISCORDION", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (15 February 1851), 2

This new musical instrument, which is found in a vast number of Sydney families, is the invention, we believe, of that celebrated musician, Mr. George William Worgan, who keeps one continually in his own house. Mrs. W. and himself are much used to play duetts upon it; and, at times, he does the fortissimo to such an extent that she is compelled to rush into the cottage of her next door neighbour, Mr. William Richard Smith, to get the din out of her ears. About six months ago she invited the George-street authorities to join in the family concert; they politely accepted her offer, and ordered Mr. Worgan to give her three-fourths of a note, weekly, to enable her to leave his organ-loft and play her own tune in another locality. Mr. Inspector Pearce was also deputed to be the tube of communication, and Mr. W. the bellows which raised the wind. When it was found by the enraged musicians that things were above concert pitch, they consented to try the more harmonious "Accordion" instrument, and sang themselves softly to sleep in each others arms, under the same roof, leaving the order of the magistrates to its fate. - But oh! for the instability of human affairs -
"Once, more war's tumults sound with direful crash;
The brazen trumpet frights; the cymbals clash -"

Mrs. W. again left her domestic circle and sought the interference of Mr. Smith, and the legal assistance of Mr. Edward Dormer O'Reilly. Mr. Worgan, not to be behind hand, claimed the friendly offices of Mr. Little. Fortunately for the musician he did so, for that gentleman played upon his legal pipe so skilfully that the magistrate refused to make any order upon the question, and recommended the parties to forget their discords and play an harmonious concerto in future. During the discussion, Mr. Little insisted upon putting the book into Mr. Smith's hand; and that dapper little gentleman could not help proving that, after the making of the order, Mr. and Mrs. W. had lived together like Darby and Joan, though the quiet tenor of their lives was occasionally interrupted by the bass growlings of connubial thunderstorms.

"MAINTENANCE", Empire (19 February 1851), 3 

Mrs. Mary Worgan appeared through her solicitor, Edward Dormer O'Reilly, Esq., one of the &c., to press a charge of desertion against her husband, whose interests Mr. Nichols advocated. O'Reilly's mode of cross-examination forcibly reminded us of the Adelphi Play Bill where a lapse of "fifteen minutes" is occasionally stated to be allowed. The testimony of the dissatisfied dame went to show that her liege lord could "whistle and cherip, and tune and chaunt," but that he was decidedly averse to "shouting," and their worships holding that the latter essential was indispensable, ordered the musician to pay into the hand of Inspector Pearce, the sum of fifteen shillings per week for the support of his
"betrothed, betrayer and betrayed."

"DESERTED WIVES AND CHILDREN", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 February 1851), 2 

. . . George William Worgan, of William-street, Woolloomoolloo, was next charged by Mary, his wife, with having deserted her, and refusing to contribute to her maintenance. This defendant was ordered to pay the sum of 15s weekly, for the period of six months.

18 March 1851, departure of Mary Worgan for San Francisco

"CLEARANCES", Empire (19 March 1851), 2 

March 18. - Alert, barque, 39 1/2 tons, Captain Hubert Milne, for San Francisco. Passengers . . . Worgan Mary.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 April 1851), 1 

EASTER HOLIDAYS. A Treat for the Young Folk and Children OF LARGER GROWTH. OPEN THIS DAY, from 3 to 5 o'clock, and THIS EVENING from 8 to 10 o'clock, GROCOTTS DISSOLVING VIEWS. These beautiful views were purchased in London, from Carpenter and Westley, by the late Captain Stanley, of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, regardless of expense, and are admitted to be fully equal to the views shown daily in London, at the Polytechnic. Showing a radius of 15 feet. The Saloon has been fitted up to accommodate 150 persons, and in addition to the above the rooms are full of beautiful pictures. The whole of the views occupy in showing one hour and a half, during which appropriate music is played by Mr. G. W. Worgan . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 April 1851), 1 

After April 1851, George William Worgan disappears from the newspaper record until a final reappearance in 1861, and his death the following year.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 November 1861), 9

MR. WORGAN, professed Tuner of the Pianoforte, having returned to Sydney, respectfully requests all orders for him to be left with Mr. WILLIAM KING, Pianoforte Warehouse, Market-street.


Burials in the parish of Camperdown in the county of Cumberland in the year 1862; Burial register, 1854-67, St. Stephen's, Newtown; Sydney Anglican Diocesan Records 

10311 / George Worgan / [Address] Infir[mary] / [died] June 11 / [Buried] June 16 / 56 / Organist


WORGAN, George

Musician, pianist, conductor, organist, composer, grazier

Born Chipping Camden, Gloucestershire, England, 1802; baptised St. James's Church, Chipping Camden, 18 January 1803; son of Joseph WORGAN (1768-1825) and Jemina HARTLAND (c.1767-1830), grandson of John WORGAN (1724-1790) and Sarah MACKELCAN (c.1732-1795)
Married Harriet Elizabeth BUCKLAND, St. Pancras Old Church, London, 28 September 1833
Arrived Wellington, NZ, 8 January 1854 (per Carnatic, from London, 22 August 1853)
Died Wellington, NZ, 2 April 1888, aged 85

WORGAN, Harriet Elizabeth (BUCKLAND)


Born Hampstead, London, England, c.1812
Married George WORGAN, St. Pancras Old Church, London, 28 September 1833
Arrived Wellington, NZ, 8 January 1854 (per Carnatic, from London, 22 August 1853)
Died Wellington, NZ, 21 January 1883, aged 71

WORGAN, George Tovey Buckland

Born Camden, England, 9 September 1834; baptised St. Pancras, 5 October; son of George WORGAN and Harriet BUCKLAND
Arrived Auckland, NZ, 20 March 1851 (per Creswell from London, 15 November 1850)
Died Gisborne, NZ, 8 September 1904



George Worgan was born at Pebworth, Gloucestershire (now in Worcestershire), in 1802/03, a son of the vicar of the parish, Joseph Worgan, and a grandson of the organist and composer John Worgan.

What can be reconstructed of his early musical career depends on Worgan's own account as given, late in life, to his much younger Wellington colleague, Robert Parker. However, only a few details as relayed by Parker his obituary of Worgan can be strictly true. Of these, Worgan may well have been introduced, while still a youth, to Samuel Wesley, and he was much later, probably around 1840, appointed organist of Camden Chapel, Camden (not Portman Chapel, as Parker stated), a post held briefly by Wesley in the 1820s.

Assuming he was in London by the early 1820s, Worgan probably did take piano lessons from John Baptist Cramer, but he was not a contemporary, let alone a fellow pupil, of John Field, who was, rather, 20 years older. Field was a pupil and protege of Muzio Clementi, not (in Parker's account) of Cramer, but Worgan might anyway have known Field in London in the early 1830s. Chronologically, Parker's claim that Worgan gave piano lessons to Clementi's daughters might indeed be correct, as, of these, Cecilia was born in 1815 (d. 1871), and Caroline in 1819 (d. 1897), also may well have been in close contact with Clementi himself (who died in 1832) in his late years.

Worgan evidently told Parker that he was greatly assisted in establishing himself professionally in London by his socialite aunt, Charlotte Sophia (1761-1853), widow of the musician (and later Bow Street magistrate) William Parsons.

He may well have attended the premiere season of Weber's Oberon in 1826, and witnessed London performances by Paganini (1821), and Jenny Lind. He may have been a member (even if only an associate member) of the Philharmonic Society, and could well have witnessed, as he told Parker, seasons conducted by Ignaz Moscheles, Louis Spohr, and George Smart, and have attended the first London performance by Mendelssohn of his G minor Concerto.

Worgan married Harriet Buckland, at St. Pancras Old Church, London, on 28 September 1833, his elder brother, John Hartland Worgan (c.1800-1882) the officiating minister.

Of firmly established details, Worgan was elected a member of the Royal Society of Musicians in 1835. His earliest documented composition was a patriotic song setting, Victoria - an address, which he advertised on 26 June 1838, two days before news queen's coronation.

Three years later, in April 1839, he was "conductor" (i.e. piano accompanist for the vocal items) at a soiree at Willis's Rooms given by Mrs. Henry Mason, a pianist, harpist, and composer, with the assistance of the violinist Joseph Dando.

In the 1841 census he and Harriet were living in York Street, Regent's Park. Towards the end of the year, George, described as "Organist of Camden Chapel, Camden Town", was listed as a member (and subscriber to the publications) of the recently formed Musical Antiquarian Society.

His only known surviving publication, Gems of sacred melody, a collection of psalm and hymn tunes and simple anthems, is dated July 1841, though it did not appear until November 1841, with a generous list of subscribers, notably including his aunt Charlotte, Lady Parsons, of Somerset Street, Portman Square. Worgan dedicated the volume to the minister of Camden Chapel, Edward Pett Hannam, his assistant, S. H. Field, and to the congregation, giving as his address 12, Camden Street South, Camden Town.

The collection includes one tune, Feversham (PM), by his grandfather (and another attributed to him); one, Somerset, by his aunt's husband, William Parsons; and one, Windemere (LM), by his uncle Richard Worgan (1759-1840).

George Worgan himself contributed the four original hymn tunes, Pebworth (CM), Tatton (CM), Thoresby (CM), and Sunbury (DSM), and four double chants (nos 2, 3, 5, and 19).

Worgan was next heard of in 1847, claiming 20 years' experience as a musical instructor, when he advertised for the first time as a music teacher in Reading, Berkshire, where he and his wife settled for the next six years, for at least the first few years probably also with their son George junior.

New Zealand

The younger George arrived in Auckland on the Creswell in March 1851, aged 16. George senior and Harriet were still then in Reading, as recorded in the 1851 census in March. In November 1851, "George Worgan, music master" was a successful candidate for election to the local municipal corporation. An advertisement for the sale of the Worgans' household effects in Reading on 12 August 1853 revealed that they were leaving for New Zealand, and, following their son, they duly arrived on the Carnatic at Wellington on 8 January 1854, with several other prominent Reading emigrants.

Documentation (George Worgan, of London and New Zealand)

18 January 1803, baptism of George Worgan

Chipping Camden, St. James's Church, [register of] Baptisms from March 26 1790 to Dec'r 30 1809 . . .The Year 1802 [sic], Gloucestershire Archives, P81 IN 1/5 

Mr. George the Son of the Rev'd Joseph & Jemima Worgan was Christened the 18th of Jan'y 1803


"DIED", The Worcester journal (25 August 1825), 3

Monday se'nnight, after two day's illness, the Rev. Joseph Worgan, Vicar of Pebworth, aged 58 years. His daughter's marriage took place a few days before, as mentioned in our last.


"DIED", The Worcester journal (14 January 1830), 3

At Leamington, Jemima Little Worgan, relict of the Rev. Joseph Worgan, Vicar of Pebworth, in the county of Gloucester.


[Register of] Marriages solemnized in the Parish of Saint Pancras . . . in the year [1833]; London Metropolitan Archives 

No. 668 / George Worgan, Bachelor, of this Parish and Harriet Buckland, Spinster, of this Parish, were married in this Church by License . . . this twenty-eighth Day of September in the year [1833] by me John H. Worgan, Officiating Minister . . .

"MARRIED", The morning post (1 October 1833), 4

On the 28th September, by the Rev. John H. Worgan, M.A., George, younger son of the late Rev. Joseph Worgan, Vicar of Pebworth, Gloucestershire, to Harriet Elizabeth, second daughter of the late Mr. James Buckland, of Hampstead.


1835, Worgan joined the Royal Society of Musicians

See Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain (London: George Woodfall & Son, 1843), 20 

[PROFESSIONAL MEMBERS . . . The Date of Election as Members of the Society] . . . George Worgan - 1835 . . .


[Advertisement], The morning post (26 June 1838), 1

VICTORIA. - AN ADDRESS to her Most Gracious Majesty Queen VICTORIA. The Words by a Lady, the Music by George Worgan. Published by the Author, No. 11, York-street, Park-street, Gloucester Gate; and to be had of Cramer, Addison, and Beale, 201, Regent-street.

NOTE: Victoria's coronation took place on 28 June 1838, a year after her accession


19 April 1839, annual meeting of the Royal Society of Musicians, London

"ROYAL SOCIETY OF MUSICIANS", The morning post (22 April 1839), 3

The annual commemoration of this society was celebrated on Friday evening at the Freemasons' Tavern. The object which the society has in view, and the means by which those objects are accomplished, must equally excite the sympathy and support of all who lay claim to charitable and benevolent dispositions, and of all who boast of any musical taste, or pride themselves on the progression of any musical talent . . .

The origin of the institution was purely accidental, and being well known, requires but a slight mention. Kytch a celebrated oboe-player, was found dead in St. James's Market, having led a life of fatal improvidence. His two sons were left destitute; and the noble and generous exertions of some eminent musicians of the period, 1738, on their behalf, established this society. From that time success has constantly attended its progress, and prosperity rewarded the efforts of its supporters. The commemoration of Friday night exhibited no diminution in their number, and no deficiency in their zeal. The appearance of the room argued increased prosperity; and the agreeable custom, introduced for the first time at the centenary festival of 1838, of the introduction of ladies to the dinner, added to the comfort of all present, and will, we are sure, increase in no inconsiderable degree the funds of the society.

His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge graciously consented to preside, and was supported by Lord Burghersh . . . The treasurer announced the names of the donors and subscribers to the institution, including her Majesty, the Queen Dowager, the Duke of Cambridge, &c. &c. The following is an accurate list of the professionals present. The one published in the programme of the evening was partially incorrect: -
Mrs. Anderson, Miss R. B. Hawes, and Mrs. Knyvett; Messrs. Anderson, Bellamy, Bradbury, Burrowes, Blagrove, Blackburn, Cramer, T. Cooke, Calkin, Collyer, Challoner, Dance, Elliott, Francis, Griffin, Horsley, Hawes, Hobbs, Knyvett, King, Kollmann, Lord, Lord, jun., Manvers, Moxley, Mackintosh, jun., Neate, Neild, Parry, jun., Rovedino, Sale, Stretton, Terrail, Vaughan, Wood, Watts, T. Wright, Walmisley, Worgan, Moscheles, and Sir George Smart Wind instruments - Messrs Willman, Green (a gentleman amateur from Ipswich, pupif of Mr W.), Key, Bowley, Card, Hill, Cooke, Harvey, Platt, Roe, Denman, Baumann, Harper, Irwin, Albretcht, Ponder, &c. Messrs. Knyvett and Horsley accompanied the vocal performances, on the pianoforte . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Royal Society of Musicians

23 April 1839, Mrs. Henry Mason's concert, London

[Advertisement], Bucks gazette (20 April 1839), 1

MRS. HENRY MASON, BEGS to inform her Friends, That her MUSICAL SOIREE will take place,
Conductor - Mr. George Worgan . . .

[News], Bucks herald (27 April 1839), 3

Mrs. H. Mason's Soiree Musicale took place last evening at Willis's Rooms, King-street, St. James's. The great room was crowded in every part by the company, amongst whom were the Duchess of Somerset, the Duchess of Buckingham, and many others of the nobility. The vocal performers were Signor Giubilei, Mr. Handel Gear, Miss Cawthorne, Miss Bruce, Miss Dolby, &c. The instrumental were Mr. Dando, Mrs. H. Mason, &c. Mr. George Worgan acted as conductor. The performances of Mrs. H. Mason herself, both on the pianoforte and the harp, were good, and were received with the loud approbation of the audience. This concert, which is understood to be the first of series for the purpose of showing the proficiency of this lady both as a practical musician and as a composer, was got up considerable expense, and in a manner much to the credit of the judgment and taste of those by whom it was arranged. The whole of the performance went off eclat. - Times of Wednesday.

ASSOCIATIONS: Mrs. Henry Mason, a pianist, harpist, and composer (The vocal souvenir for 1835), was described at the time of her 1841 London concert as "formerly of Aylesbury"; her 1839 concert was also reviewed, though without mention of Worgan, here:

"Mrs. Henry Mason's Musical Soiree", The literary gazette and journal of the belles lettres . . . (27 April 1839), 268 


10 April 1840, annual meeting of the Royal Society of Musicians

"ROYAL SOCIETY OF MUSICIANS", The musical world (16 April 1840), 241 

The one-hundred-and-second anniversary festival of this excellent institution was celebrated in the Freemason's Hall, on Friday, the 10th inst., H. R. H. the Duke of Cambridge in the chair, supported by Lord Burghersh . . . About two hundred persons dined, and there were about a hundred ladies in the hall and gallery. Nothing could exceed the arrangements of the day; every thing went smoothly and harmoniously off: but in order that our readers may form an idea of the musical entertainment, we shall give a programme of it.

Non Nobis Domine - sublimely sung by a host of vocalists. God save the Queen - accompanied by Her Majesty's band. Callcott's glee - "Queen of the valley." Horsley's glee - "When the wind blows in the sweet rose tree." Grand March - composed for the Society by Haydn. Mozart's duet - "Ah perdona,' - charmingly sung by Madame Stockhausen and Miss Bildstein, and encored. Festa's madrigal - "Down in a flow'ry vale," - encored. Duet, pianoforte and violin - Mrs. Anderson and Mr. Blagrove - excellently performed. A set of Waltzes, by the band. Ballad, of her own composition, by Miss M. B. Hawes - "As I walk'd by myself," - encored. Grand March - composed by Winter for the Society. Glee - full choir - Webbe's "Mighty Conqueror." Scottish ballad - "John Anderson, my Jo," - sweetly sung by Mrs. A. Toulmin, and loudly encored. A set of Waltzes, by the band. Duet - "The Miners of the Lake Leman," - by Madame Stockhausen and Miss Bildstein, accompanied by the composer, M. Stockhausen, on the harp, and encored.

Messrs. Knyvett, Horsley, and Lord, jun., accompanied the vocal pieces on the pianoforte. The professionals present were, Messrs. Anderson, Burrowes, Bellamy, Bennett, Blackbourn, Bradbury, F. Cramer, T. Cooke, Calkin, Collyer, Chapman, Elliott, Francis, Griffin, Horsley, Hawkins, Hawes, Knyvett, King, Kollman, Lord, Lord jun., Moxley, Mackintosh, Moscheles, Neate, Parry, Rovidino, Sale, Spencer, Stretton, Terrail, Worgan, Walmisley, Wood, Watts, Vaughan, Sir George Smart, and several of the Chapel Royal young gentlemen. Mr. Parry, Honorary Treasurer, read a long list of donations, among which were 25l. from the Duke of Cambridge, and 100l. from the Messrs. Broadwood. As a proof of the good feeling which this Society bears towards other institutions, the following was among the toasts of the day: - "Prosperity to the New Musical and Choral Funds; also, to the Royal Society of Female Musicians, lately formed with the same benevolent objects in view as this and the other Societies have." . . . The sum appropriated by the Society last year to charitable purposes, amounted to 2351l. 16s. 1d.; and the claimants on its funds at present consist of twelve members, who receive 60 guineas a-year each; thirty-three widows, 30 guineas each; and fifteen children, 12 guineas each.

"DIED", The morning chronicle (28 April 1840), 4

Thrusday, April 23, suddenly at Holloway, in his 81st year, Richard Worgan, Esq., late of Prestbury, near Cheltenham. He was the last surviving son of the celebrated organist and musician, Dr. Worgan.


Camden Chapel in 1828 (now All Saints, Camden Town), where George Worgan was organist in 1840-41

Metropolitan improvements; or, London in the nineteenth century . . . from original drawings . . . by . . . Mr. Thos. H. Shepherd . . . (London: Jones & Co, 1830), plate; see also description, 162 (DIGITISED)

1841 (6 June), England census, St. Pancras, Regents Park; UK Archives; HO 107/684/8, 36 

York Street / George Worgan / 35 / Professor of Music
Harriet [Worgan] / 25

George Smart (ed.), Madrigals and motets for five voices, composed by Orlando Gibbons . . . and now printed in score . . . (London: For members of the Musical Antiquarian Society, by Chappell, [1841]), 112 

[MEMBERS OF THE FIRST YEAR] . . . Worgan, George, Esq., Organist of Camden Chapel, Camden Town . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: The Musical Antiquarian Society was formed by William Chappell in October 1840; it was issued after the first annual general meeting, on 1 November 1841, so as to include as an appendix the first annual report, and the first list of members.

Gems of sacred melody . . . selected, arranged, and composed by George Worgan (1841)

Gems of sacred melody, being a choice collection of psalm and hymn tunes, chants, etc. etc. both ancient and modern, with the addition of several original compositions, selected, arranged, and composed, by George Worgan, (grandson of the celebrated organist and composer, John Worgan, Mus. Doc.) organist of Camden Chapel, and Professor of the Pianoforte (London: S. Low, 1841)

Copy at the British Library (DIGITISED)

[Advertisement], The musical world (11 November 1841), 318 (also 317) 

GEMS OF SACRED MELODY; being a choice Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes, Chants, &c. &c., both ancient and modern; with the addition of several original compositions, selected, arranged, and composed, by George Worgan, (grandson of the celebrated organist and composer, John Worgan, Mus. Doc.,) Organist of Camden Chapel, and Professor of the Pianoforte.

This Work is particularly intended for general use, being equally adapted to afford delight in the drawing-room, as to the more dignified objects of the sacred edifice. The words are published entire, and the measure of each tune is so clearly marked, that it may be sung to any poetry, (whether Psalms or Hymns,) of a corresponding nature; consequently, this Work is especially suitable to every description of congregation.

London: published by S. Low, 42, Lamb's Conduit-street; & sold by all the principal Music sellers.

[Review], The musical world (9 December 1841), 375 

Gems of Sacred Melody. A choice collection. George Worgan. S. Low.

A delicate dish for the devout, a bonne bouche for such as haunt conventicles, a choice collection from the masterpieces of Wheall, Major, Jones, Madan, Whitton, Coombes, E. S., Sir William Parsons, Dr. Heighington, Knapp, and other unheardof celebrities who indulged in the vein ecclesiastic. As these are already famous, and impervious to critical attack, we gladly avail ourselves of their impregnability, and say nothing about them, our business being solely with Mr. Worgan, who, suffice it to say, has been judicious in his selections, and has added some creditable specimens of his own. He is fully entitled to the gratitude of such as run the race of godliness, and gird up their loins in the temple of the upright; of such as fast and pray, and contemn carnalities, cutting carnivorous confarreation on Fridays. He who runs may read; he who pays twelve shillings may have his bellyfull of biblical blubberings.

"Gems of Sacred Music", The morning post (13 December 1841), 5

Mr. S. Low, of Lamb's Conduit street, has just published a choice selection of psalms, hymns, tunes, and chants, edited, arranged, and composed by Mr. George Worgan, of Camden Chapel. The volume, which is in large octavo, and of convenient size, forms a valuable assemblage of the gems of our church psalmody, with words judiciously selected and adapted. Most of the tunes are, of course, well-known favourites, others are original, or new adaptations. The airs are cleverly harmonized, with accompaniments for the pianoforte or organ, so as to render them particularly convenient for the religious exercises of families. It is an unexceptionable work for the music-desk or drawing-room on Sunday evenings.


[Advertisements], Reading Mercury (23 October 1847), 3

Son of the late Rev. J. Worgan, Vicar of Pebsworth, Gloucestershire,
BEGS to inform the Nobility and Gentry of READING, that is desirous of increasing his connexion in the MUSICAL PROFESSION in this Vicinity. Mr. W. is Member of the Royal Society of Musicians, and during 20 years has given instruction families of the highest distinction, from whom he has received testimonials of the most gratifying and flattering character.
Mr. WORGAN trusts that his long experience in teaching and knowledge of Music, both practically and theoretically, will render him acceptable either Schools or Private Families. -


[2 advertisements], Reading Mercury (15 April 1848), 3

MR. GEORGE WORGAN, PROFESSOR OF MUSIC, M. R. S. M., begs to inform the Gentry and inhabitants of Reading and its vicinity, that he has REMOVED from 69, London Street, to No. 6, COLEY HILL. Mr. WORGAN will continue his Instructions upon Scientific Principles of the Theory and Practice of Music, on the following terms: - Private Lessons at Mr. Worgan's House, 5s.; at the Pupil's Residence, 7s.; any distance exceeding 3 miles from Reading, 10s. per Hour, or Two Hours 15s.; Lessons per Quarter, 3 Guineas. Schools attended on the usual terms.

WAX FLOWERS. MRS. GEORGE WORGAN takes leave to inform her friends and the Inhabitants of Reading and neighbourhood, that she has REMOVED from London Street, to No. 6, COLEY-HILL, where she will continue to Give Lessons in the Elegant Art of WAX FLOWER MODELLING. Terms. - Four Lessons, One Guinea; at the Pupil's Residence, 6s. per Lesson. Specimens, Vases, and Materials, at Mr. Lovejoy's, and 57 London-street.

NOTE: Surely pure happenstance, this small book by a George Worgan, entitled The art of modeling flowers in wax, was published in New York in 1869 

7 November 1848, Worgan's lecture on music

"LITERARY AND MECHANICS' INSTITUTION", The Berkshire chronicle (11 November 1848), 2

On Tuesday evening a lecture on music was delivered by Mr. Worgan, assisted by Mrs. Worgan, Messrs. Lovelock, Harris, Stevens, and Skinner. The lecturer commenced by making practical suggestions on the present system of musical education, especially that of young ladies, whose performances on the pianoforte or harp form such a conspicuous feature in our social recreations. After noticing the time and expense devoted to their musical education, he observed that there were two errors into which they generally fell. The first was that either they were too idle, or too diffident to continue playing at home what they had learned at school, or that having played such difficult and intricate music as to give no pleasure to the general hearer, they abandoned the practice of this delightful accomplishment. The other was that they were continually playing unmeaning and therefore uninteresting compositions, giving no pleasure to their friends, and being in fact a waste of time. His advice was that they should practice difficult passages, but only that they might thus acquire mastery over the instrument, and having acquired this power, they should play only those melodious and pleasing airs which would conduce the delight the social circle. Mr. and Mrs. Worgan then performed a selection of favourite airs from Bellini, in very masterly and correct manner, and elicited great applause. These were followed by songs, glees, and other compositions, in which the amateurs already mentioned gave great effect the various compositions, among which we have only space to notice a fine MS. glee, by Dr. Corfe, " Down the bourne," a splendidly harmonised melody, and which, as did Mr. Worgan's instrumental performances, elicited unanimous encore. Upon the whole it may be said that this was most interesting lecture, and the audience, which was unusually numerous, testified the most unqualified satisfaction.

"MUSICAL LECTURE", The Reading mercury (11 November 1848), 3

On Tuesday evening, a lecture of a very attractive character, upon Music, was delivered to the members of the Literary and Scientific Institution, by Mr. Worgan, of Coley Hill, in this town. A promising programme of illustrations induced the attendance of a very large and most respectable audience, and shortly after the commencement of the address, upwards of 700 persons were assembled in the hall. The lecture itself was very brief, embracing some general remarks upon the science of music, and its value as an accomplishment and as a means of promoting social enjoyment; the lecturer's chief aim appearing to be to induce a taste for music of a simple and harmonious character, in preference to those complicated and difficult compositions the chief object of which appeared to be to show off fine touch or brilliant execution. The address concluded with some significant hints to musical young ladies who will always be playing their pianos, in season and out of season; and to others who cannot be prevailed on to open their instruments at all: and some general advice to amateurs not to be too ambitious to execute music which can only be properly performed by those who have made music their constant and unceasing study. Mr. Worgan then proceeded with the illustrative portion of his lecture. It commenced with some favourite airs from Bellini's opera of Puritani, arranged as duets, which were executed with great taste and precision by Mr. and Mrs. Worgan: they were followed by Balfe's song "In this Old Chair," by Mr. Lovelock, which was extremely well received; but the performance which met with the warmest approval was the Glee, "Lützow's Wild Hunt," by Weber, performed by Messrs. Lovelock, Skinner, Harris, and Stevens, with an harmonious combination in tone, an accuracy in time, and force, vigour, and appropriateness of expression, which produced an unanimous encore. The gem of the second part also was the glee "Down the Bourne," sung by the same gentlemen, which was honoured with a similar compliment. A song, "The Stormy Petrel," by Mr. Lovelock, and a Capriccio performance on the pianoforte, were also loudly cheered; the concert terminating with a cleverly-executed duet by Mr. and Mrs. Worgan, "Herold's Overture to Zampa." The lecture throughout appeared to afford general gratification; and both Mr. and Mrs. Worgan and the gentlemen above named as vocalists received the cordial thanks of the directors of the institution for their handsome gratuitous services. Next week, the lecture will be delivered by the late Secretary of the institution, Mr. George Grossmith, on "Genius, with especial reference to the Imitative Faculties."

[Advertisement], The Reading mercury (9 December 1848), 3

MR. WORGAN (Member of the Royal Society of Musicians) continues to give INSTRUCTION the PIANO and ORGAN. For terms (according to time and distance) apply to Mr. Worgan, 6, Coley Hill, Reading. Mr. W. is engaged at Newbury on Fridays, and Henley, on Saturdays.


27 February 1849, lecture on music

"MR. HERSEE'S MUSICAL LECTURE", The Berkshire chronicle (3 March 1849), 3

On Tuesday evening last, Mr. Hersee delivered a lecture to the members of the Literary and Scientific Institution, on "The modern vocal music of Europe," illustrated by numerous productions of the Italian and English schools . . . Mr. Hersee also noticed the cant of many of the modern musical critics, and glanced at the productions of Bellini, Donizetti, Mercadante, [and] Verdi, comparing them with the productions of Sir H. Bishop, Rodwell, and Balfe. The lecturer in the course the evening gave several Italian and English songs in a most delightful manner, and we must not omit to mention that he was assisted by our talented townsman and artiste, Mr. Worgan, who played the accompaniment on the pianoforte in the most finished style to the delight and gratification of a crowded audience . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: H. Hersee (vocalist)

8 May 1849, concert, Reading

[Advertisement], The Reading mercury (5 May 1849), 3

beg to announce that they have made arrangements for AN EVENING CONCERT of Vocal and Instrumental Music, to take place at the NEW HALL, London-street, on TUESDAY NEXT, the 8th instant.
They have made an engagement with MISS MESSENT, of the Theatres Royal, Drury Lane and Covent Garden, Jullien's Concerts, &c, who will sing several pleasing and popular songs; in addition to which,
MR. F. A. PACKER has consented to sing some of his delightful Ballads, and also in a Duet with Miss Messent.
The Principal Instrumental Performers will be
The Instrumental portions of the Concert will be sustained by a highly efficient Orchestra of Twenty Performers, composed chiefly of Gentlemen, professional and amateurs, resident Reading, and belonging to the "Instrumental Music Society" in connection with the Institution, who have very kindly volunteered their services for the occasion.
Overture, by full orchestra, "L'ltaliana in Algieri" - Rossini.
Quadrille, "Figurante de Paris," full orchestra - Musard
Song, Miss Messent, "Maiden Gay," - Curschman
Polka, " Brunow Polka," full orchestra - Tinney
Ballad, Mr. Packer, "Phillis is mv only joy" - Hobbs
Solo, Mr. A. H. Tull, Flute, "There is nae luck about the House" - Richardson
Vocal Duet, Miss Messent and Mr. Packer
Waltz, " Dalkeith Waltzes," full orchestra - Labitzky
Overture, by full orchestra, II Barbiere - Rossini
Grand Concertante, Harp, Pianoforte, Voice and Flute (Mr. PACKER, Mr. WORGAN, Miss MESSENT, and Mr. TULL), "Les Adieux de Raoul de Coucy" - Holst
Quadrille, "The California," full orchestra - J. H. Beale
Ballad, by Mr. PACKER
Solo, Violin, Mr. Beale, with piano forte accompaniments by Mr. Worgan, "The Seventh Air, with variations" - De Beriot
Song, Miss Messent, "Jock o' Hazledean" - Scotch
Polka, "The Eclipse Polka," full orchestra - Koenig
Waltz, "Fidelie Burger Waltz," full orchestra - Bossisio
"God Save the Queen."
Sittings will be provided for upwards of 300 persons, the centre portion of the Hall being left open for Promenaders.
Concert to commence at 8 o'clock. Admission, 1s. each. W. E. ALGAR, Hon. Secretary.

"EVENING PROMENADE CONCERT", The Berkshire chronicle (12 May 1849), 3

On Tuesday evening last, one of these delightful entertainments was given at the New Hall, London street, being for the benefit of the Literary and Scientific Institution. The attendance was verv numerous, upwards 400 being present, including several of the gentry and families of the leading tradesmen, the majority being of the fair sex . . . Precisely at eight o'clock the concert commenced with Rossini's overture, "L'ltaliani in Algieri," by a full orchestra, conducted by Mr. Worgan, and ably led Mr. Beale . . . The second part commenced the overture to "II Barbiere di Seviglia," followed by the "California Quadrilles," a spirited composition by Mr. J. H. Beale, both of which developed the full power of the orchestra, and gave great satisfaction. Mr. Packer then sung another favourite ballad in very creditable manner; after which Mr. Tull again came forward, and performed Drouet's brilliant variations on "God save the Queen," accompanied by Mr. Packer on the pianoforte . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Frederick Alexander Packer

"RAILWAY LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY", The Berkshire chronicle (6 October 1849), 3

On Friday week Mr. Worgan, the agent of the company, delivered a lecture upon the subject of railway assurance, at the Town hall . . .


"ANNIVERSARY FESTIVAL OF THE READING CHESS CLUB. From the Reading Mercury", The chess player's chronicle (1850), 55 

On Tuesday last, the 15th inst. [January], the Reading Chess Club held its second anniversary and soiree at the New Public Hall, London-street. The president, G. Worgan, Esq., several members of the Club, and a select party, dined at the Broad Face Inn, with the visitors, H. Staunton, Esq., and several gentlemen from Oxford and elsewhere . . .

"MISS HAY'S CONCERTS", The Berkshire chronicle (4 May 1850), 3

On Monday last this talented young lady gave two concerts in our Town hall . . . In the miscellaneous pieces we must distinguish the "Song of the lark," composed by Miss Hannah Binfield, as executed in a style worthy of its intrinsic merits; the variety and expression of the air being sustained throughout, while the enthusiastic demand of an encore testified to the pleasure it afforded the audience. It would be unjust were we omit all mention of Mr. Worgan's piano forte accompaniment, manifesting as it did such perfect appreciation of the character the melody, and such high artistical skill combining its details with the vocalisation of the singer. This was undoubtedly the gem of the evening . . . There was, however, . a little bill issued, in which Mr. Hay states that "owing to a misunderstanding" (possibly Mr. H's.) Mr. Packer will not appear, as announced, but that Mr. Worgan has kindly consented to preside at the piano forte, and that from the great talent of that gentleman, the audience will not sustain the slightest diminution of gratification, from what might otherwise have proved an untoward mistake" . . .

"PAPAL AGGRESSION. COUNTY MEETING AT READING", The Windsor and Eton express (30 November 1850), 3

On Thursday [28 November] a meeting of the freeholders and inhabitants of the county of Berks, convened by the High-Sheriff, in compliance with a requisition most influentially signed, was held the Town Hall, Reading, "for the purpose of addressing her Majesty on the subject of the recent aggressive conduct of the Bishop of Rome" . . . a large number of persons had assembled . . . [Among the many speakers] . . .Mr. Worgan, a humble member of the Church of England, the son of one clergyman and brother of another, desired to see that church purged of every leaven of Catholicism ["No, no; Romanism!] Well, semi-Romanism [hear, hear]. He would suggest that this was an opportune season for petitioning her Majesty to order a revision of the Prayer-book [cries of "Oh, oh!" "No, no!"], that it might made to assimilate as closely possible to the simplicity and evangelical character of the New Testament ["Oh, ho!"] . . .

"PAPAL AGRESSION . . . To the EDITOR of . . .", The Reading mercury (7 December 1850), 1

SIR, - Your insertion of the following few lines will greatly oblige the humble individual, whose name is subscribed below, and may also tend to the further advancement of the glorious Protestant spirit now animating the laity of this country, from John O'Groat's to the Land's End.

At our noble County Meeting held yesterday at the Town Hall, I suggested that the present was a favorable opportunity to petition our Gracious Sovereign to order revision of the book of Common Prayer, that it might be made more consonant, to the simplicity and evangelical character of the New Testament. The interruption with which I was met so disconcerted me, and put to flight my ideas, that I forgot the most important part of that which I had intended to say. It would have been, however, to this effect. That without presuming to take upon myself the position of apologist for the Romanizing proceedings of many of the high church party, I could not but admit, when they pointed to the rubric as their authority for what they had done, it did appear to me somewhat unfair, and unjust, to accuse them of deliberate treachery and hypocrisy for carrying out in practice that which they had been sworn to obey. It would be the very height of illiberality and all uncharitableness not to believe, that many of the Puseyite clergy have been actuated by conscientious motives in the course they have thought fit to adopt, and much as I deplored their proceedings I could not but think that the Rubric should be revised, or the Puseyites stand acquitted of wilful falsehood and dissimulation.

Such, Mr. Editor, was the substance of what I would have said, and I cannot believe that any person (however zealous a Protestant) can, upon reflection, consider that the suggestion was other than friendly and legitimate. Be that however as it may, satisfied with my own integrity of purpose, and yielding to none in my love of perfect liberty of conscience, and admiration of true Christian principles, I leave to worthier individuals the duty of insisting (at opportune season) upon that amendment in the book of Common Prayer, which the exigency of the times imperiously requires.

I have the honor to remain, Sir, Your obedient servant,

GEORGE WORGAN. Coley Mill, Reading, Nov. 29th, 1850.


18 December 1850, Christmas concert

[Advertisement], The Reading mercury (14 December 1850), 3

. . . THE AMATEUR MUSICAL SOCIETY . . . 18th December . . . Mr. G. WORGAN will preside at the Pianoforte . . .

"AMATEUR MUSICAL ASSOCIATION", The Reading mercury (21 December 1850), 3

The first concert for the present season, and the third since the reorganization of this society, took place at the New Hall, on the evening of Wednesday last . . . The first part consisted of a selection from Handel's sublime "The Messiah" . . . Miss Lizzy Stuart, from the Exeter Hall Concerts, made her first appearance . . . Mrs. Alexander Newton . . . was most enthusiastically cheered making her second appearance before a Reading audience . . . the second part opened with Rossini's overture to "Semiramide," which was very effectively rendered. The charming duet "The May bells," by Mendelssohn, followed: it was sung by Mrs. Newton and Miss Stuart, accompanied on the piano by Mr. Worgan . . .


"BERKSHIRE AND READING CHESS CLUB", The illustrated London news (8 March 1851), 12

Wednesday evening week, a most agreeable reunion of this Club took place in the New Hall, Reading . . . The annual dinner had previously taken place at the George Inn: George Worgan, Esq., presided; the vice-chair being filled by the hon. secretary, Mr. W. Hodges, jun. After the removal of the cloth, the health of "Her Majesty the Queen" was given from the chair, and drunk with the usual honours. Mr . Worgan, in an able speech, proposed the health of their distinguished visitor, "H. Staunton, Esq., and success to the great Chess Congress in 1851" . . .

20 March 1851, ? George Worgan junior (aged 16), arrived Auckland, NZ

"SHIPPING LIST", Daily Southern Cross (21 March 1851), 2 

Arrived. March 20. - "Cresswell," 574 tons, John Williams, master, from London 15th November, and Gravesend 19th November. Passengers . . . Worgan

"To Capt. JOHN WILLIAMS of the barque Cresswell", New Zealander (5 April 1851), 2 

We, the undersigned, intermediate passengers by the Creswell, from London to New Zealand, feel great pleasure in expressing to you our satisfaction with your unremitting attention to the duties of the ship, to our immediate comforts during the voyage, and also with your great anxiety to meet out wishes whenever practicable . . . We remain, Dear Sir, Yours' sincerely . . . George Worgan . . . Auckland Harbour, March 30, 1851.

30 March 1851, England census; Reading St. Mary, Berkshire; UK Archives, HO 107/1692 

6 Coley Hill / George Worgan / Head / 48 / Professor of Music / [Born] Glou. Campden [sic]
Harriett [Worgan] / Wife / 39 / Middx. Hampstead
Harriott Buckland / Lodger / 69 / Land Prop'tr . . . [and 2 other lodgers]

8 April 1851, amateur concert

"AMATEUR CONCERT", The Berkshire chronicle (12 April 1851), 2

The fourth Amateur Concert took place the Public Hall, on Tuesday last, and it must have been very gratifying to the committee management to see so large an attendance, between 500 and 600 persons being present. The first part consisted of Haydn's popular and beautiful oratorio "The Creation" . . . The second part comprised a number of secular pieces . . . A trio by Hummel for piano forte, violin, and violoncello, by Messrs. Worgan, Dibley, and Reinagle, was, in our opinion, the gem of the evening. A very pretty air ran throughout this charming morceau, and kept up the interest of the piece through a considerable time. The performers rendered it in a most brilliant and tasteful manner, and received the loudly expressed approbation of the audience . . .

"THE MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS", The Reading mercury (1 November 1851), 3

. . . . In Castle Ward, Mr. H. James submits himself for re-election, his term having elapsed: the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Mr. H. Adams, has brought two candidates into the field - Mr. Charles Benwell, stationer, Minster-street, and Mr. George Worgan, music master, Coley Hill . . .

[Advertisement], The Reading mercury (8 November 1851), 3

BOROUGH OF READING. TO THE BURGESSES OF CASTLE WARD . . . to thank you for the honour you have conferred upon me in electing me one of your Representatives at the Municipal Board . . . Your obedient Servant, GEORGE WORGAN, Coley-hill, Nov. 7, 1851.


[Advertisement], The Berkshire chronicle (6 March 1852), 4

IMPROVED SYSTEM OF MUSICAL INSTRUCTION. MR. G. WORGAN, Professor of Music, M.R.S.M., begs the Gentry and Inhabitants of Reading and its vicinity to accept his best acknowledgments for the support he has received during his residence among them (now a period of nearly Five Years), and hopes the success which has hitherto attended bis system of tuition, will secure him the increased patronage which he is so anxious to obtain, especially as he is permitted to refer to several Pupils who are ready to certify the superiority of his knowledge of Music, and his skill in teaching the science, both practically and theoretically. 6, Coley Hill, Reading. March 4th, 1852.

20 May 1852, concert

"HERR SOMMER'S CONCERT", The Berkshire chronicle (22 May 1852), 5

in accordance with the announcement made, Herr Sommer gave his concert in the Town Hall on Thursday night, accompanied by several Reading artistes, and Miss Poole from the metropolis . . . The performance of Herr Sommer on his "Sommerophone" is beyond all eulogy. It was perfectly surprising to witness the ease and facility with which he produced on the brazen lungs of his instrument the most soft and witching music, blended with the deepest and most sonorous bass . . . The gem of the evening in all probability was the duet between Mr. Worgan on the pianoforte and Herr Sommer, which drew forth warm plaudits from the audience. Miss Stephens' singing was greatly applauded, and this lady received several encores. Miss Poole, from London, sang "Kathleen Mavourneen," but as she was labouring under severe cold our gallantry will forbid criticising. Mr. Worgan most ably and efficiently presided at the pianoforte.


[Advertisement], The Berkshire chronicle (6 August 1853), 4

MR. HODGES is favoured with instructions by GEORGE WORGAN, Esq., (who is leaving this country for New Zealand) to dispose of by AUCTION, without reserve, on the Premises, on Friday, the Twelfth day of August, 1853, at 11 for 12 o'clock precisely, all the Neat and Appropriate HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE and Effects of the above-named gentleman, comprising 4-post and other bedsteads and furniture, capital feather beds, bolsters, and pillows, French wool mattresses, mahogany and other chests of drawers, dressing tables, rosewood ditto, mahogany frame chairs, rosewood ditto, superior mahogany sideboard, couches, sofa, elegant alabaster vases, and very superior wax flowers, with shades and ebony stands, Brussels carpets and rugs, chimney glasses, an excellent COTTAGE ROYAL PATENT EQUAL TENSION PICCOLO PIANOFORTE, from F to G, by Wornum, various music books, handsome china tea and dessert services, together with numerous miscellaneous culinary articles.
To be viewed on the day previous to the sale, and catalogues to had upon the premises, and of the auctioneer, 12, Oxford street, Reading.
N.B. - By permission the Auctioneer will offer for Sale a PHAETON in good condition, with moveable head and German blinds, and which can also be used as an open summer carriage.

22 August 1853, the Worgans sailed for New Zealand

[News], The Berkshire chronicle (27 August 1853), 4

On Monday last "the good ship Carnatic" left the East India Docks, and dropped down the river to Gravesend, from whence she sailed on Tuesday for New Zealand, having on board several emigrants of high respectability, including from Reading alone Mr. and Mrs. H. Compigne and family, Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Chase and family, Mr. and Mrs. Worgan, and Mr. G. Weedon. The Carnatic, which is a fine first-class vessel, belonging to Messrs. Green, was reported as passing Deal on Wednesday with a favourable wind. The voyage, we trust will be a prosperous one. Yesterday afternoon we received a note from one of the passengers on board, dated "Off Dungeness, Wednesday night," in which it is stated, that being so highly favoured by the wind, they hoped to clear, and drop the pilot, at the back of the Isle of Wight at midnight.

"READING EMIGRANTS TO NEW ZEALAND", The Berkshire chronicle (10 December 1853), 5

The friends of the emigrants from this locality, among whom it may be recollected are Mr. J. H. Compigne, barrister, Mr. Worgan, and Mr. Weedon jun., of this town, will be glad to hear that the ship Carnatic has been twice "spoken with," since her departure in August last . . . The letters give rather conflicting accounts of the pleasures of the voyage, some being quite cheerful, and others in a very complaining tone, but it may easily be imagined that in the variety of temperament which exists on sea well as at home, grievances and hardships present a very different appearance even to those embarked in the same vessel.

New Zealand (from 8 January 1854)

8 January 1854, George and Harriet Worgan arrived Wellington, NZ

"Shipping Intelligence", New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian (11 January 1854), 3

ARRIVALS . . . January 8 - Ship, Carnatic, 632 tons, Smart, from London via Otago. Passengers . . . Mr. and Mrs. Worgan . . .

"Shipping Intelligence . . . DEPARTURES", New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian (11 March 1854), 2 

March 7 - Schooner Salopian, 40 tons, Douglass, for Ahuriri. Passengers . . . Mr. and Mrs. Worgan . . .


"AHURIRI", Daily Southern Cross (14 April 1857), 4 

Ahuriri, February 28th, 1857.
To William Seed, Esq., Sub-Collector of Customs and Postmaster, Ahuriri.
Dear Sir, - We, the undersigned, settlers at Ahuriri . . .
Dear Sir, Yours faithfully, . . . George B. Worgan . . . Geo. Worgan . . .


[Advertisement], Hawke's Bay Herald (16 July 1859), 2 

THE UNDERSIGNED begs to notify that he has taken his son, Mr. GEORGE WORGAN, JUNIOR, into partnership with himself in the business of Sheep-farming. All monetary transactions on and after this date in respect to the above will be at the risk and control of GEORGE WORGAN, Senior. Spring Hill, Rua Taniwha, July 15, 1859.


"LIST of PERSONS qualified to serve as JURORS for the PROVINCE OF HAWKE'S BAY, for the Year 1860-61", Hawke's Bay herald (24 March 1860), 6 

. . . Worgan George, Ruataniwha, grazier
Worgan George, jun., Ruataniwha, grazier . . .


. . . George Worgan / Assessment for 1859 / [CONTENTS] - / [PAYMENTS] [£]2 7 6
C. S. Gully On G. Worgan's Run / [CONTENTS] 370 0 0 / [PAYMENTS] 185 0 0

"Shipping Intelligence . . . SAILED", Wellington Independent (14 September 1860), 2 

September 13, s.s. White Swan, 198 tons, Wilson, for Napier and Auckland. Passengers - Mr. and Mrs. Kaine, Mr. and Mrs. Worgan . . .

"To the Editor of the . . .", Hawke's Bay Herald (12 January 1861), 3 

SIR, - A less hurried and more careful perusal of the scurrilous effusions of your correspondent Rua Taniwha, renders it imperative on me, in deference to public opinion, that I should take further notice of the malice prepense and moral assassination therein exhibited . . .

. . . Farewell! Preserve the liberty of the press, but do not let it become the vehicle for the indulgence of private malice and individual spite.
I am, &c. GEORGE WORGAN. Mangaone, Dec. 31, 1860.

Probably George Worgan junior

[Advertisement], Hawke's Bay Herald (17 August 1861), 4 

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that by a Deed dated on or about the third day of August, 1861, and made between George Charlton of the first part, William Bowler of the second part, George Tovey Buckland Worgan of the third part, George Worgan of the fourth part, and Massey Hutchinson of the fifth part, all that Run called the Patoka Station, in the Province of Hawke's Bay, was assigned to the said Massey Hutchinson: And notice is further given that, by the same Deed, 1050 sheep of all classes, not less than twelve months old, and the increase thereof, now depasturing on the said Run, were absolutely sold and assigned to the said Massey Hutchinson. Dated this ninth day of August, 1861. J. N. WILSON, . Solicitor to the said Massey Hutchinson.

"TEA PARTY IN AID OF THE WESLEYAN CHURCH FUND", Hawke's Bay Herald (21 September 1861), 3 

On the evening of Wednesday last, a large part of the population of Napier - men, women, and children, repaired to the Council Chamber, as well to witness the novelty in this part of the world of a tea party on a large scale, as to enjoy the good things which were so abundantly provided by the ladies who had undertaken the duty of furnishing the tables, and the more intellectual entertainment which it was understood would follow . . . Neither the instrumental nor vocal performers were very numerous; but, under the persevering leadership of Mr. Robjohn, the very most had been made of the amateur portion of the materials; while he had the able assistance of such thorough artistes as Mr. Robottom and Mr. Worgan. The harmonium, under the masterly touch of the latter, had a magnificent effect in the sacred pieces; indeed many* we feel assured, were to that moment ignorant of the quality of " sweet sound " which this instrument could be made to produce. A solo on the flute by Mr. Robottom, of the execution of which nothing need be said, accompanied by Mr. Worgan on the piano forte (which instrument, by the way, was kindly lent for, the occasion by the Messrs. Yates) was the next on the list; followed by "I waited patiently" - anthem from the 40th Psalm . . . A solo on the harmonium, by Mr. Worgan, succeeded. Its execution gave a striking illustration of the use of the "stops" - the dexterous management of which had a very surprising effect in varying the strain . . . The thanks of the public are certainly due to the presiding ladies, as well as to Messrs. Robottom, Worgan, Robjohn and the other vocal and instrumental performers - all of whom, we need scarcely say, were volunteers - for their exertions in catering for the public entertainment . . .

[Advertisement], Hawke's Bay Herald (28 September 1861), 11 

NAPIER CHORAL SOCIETY. THE COMMITTEE beg to announce that the Second Concert of the FIRST SEASON will take place on Wednesday, the 16th October, 1861, in the THE COUNCIL CHAMBER . . .
Mr. WORGAN has kindly consented to preside at the Pianoforte . . .

"CHORAL SOCIETY", Hawke's Bay herald (19 October 1861), 3 

. . . Of the instrumental part of the programme we need say little more than that Mr. Worgan presided at the harmonium (the Clive school instrument), and Mr. Robottom played a flute and violin solo in his usual exquisite style. Mr. Worgan's selection was "With verdure clad," from the Creation, and it was given with the effect of a master . . .

"THE CHORAL SOCIETY'S CONCERT", Hawke's Bay times (24 October 1861), 3 

. . . We can scarcely conclude this notice without the addition of our small meed of admiration to the performances of Mr. Worgan during the whole evening, and also to Mr. Robottom.

Napier, NZ, c. 1870s; photograph by Frank Coxhead; Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand (DIGITISED)


"NAPIER CHORAL SOCIETY", Hawke's Bay Herald (11 January 1862), 2 

On the evening of Wednesday, the 8th inst., a public rehearsal in aid of the building fund of the Church of England, was given in the Council Chamber by the Napier Choral Society . . . The absence from the programme of an instrumental overture was regretted by many, more especially by those who were present at the concert in aid of the Athenaeum, in which Mr. Robottom took so prominent a part; but the audience were agreeably disappointed at seeing Mr. Worgan take his seat at the harmonium. The piece selected by that gentleman (who fortunately had just come to town) was Haydn's Grand March - the execution of which was that of a master. It was not, however, quite the style of music for this instrument - some of the quick movements and piano passages being entirely lost. A piece of slower time would have been more effective, and afforded more pleasure to the audience . . . The second part opened with "Pastel," an overture on the harmonium, by Mr. Worgan. The music was grand but the audience (a very decorous one in general) shewed bad taste by talking, &c. during the performance . . .


12 February 1863, Worgan's concert

[Advertisement], Hawke's Bay herald (11 February 1863), 1 

"Local Intelligence', Hawke's Bay herald (14 February 1863), 3 

Mr. Worgan's Musical Soiree came off on Thursday night and proved a decided success. The chamber was as well and respectably filled as we have ever seen it. The brilliant overture II Barbiere di Seviglia a piano forte duett by Mr. Worgan and a lady, with instrumental accompaniment was splendidly executed and received with rapturous plaudits. The first of the vocal programme was that very pleasing composition "Oh who will o'er the downs so free," which was very creditably executed. The touching melody "Her bright smile" was feelingly sung by Mrs. Welch, and was well received. The next was an instrumental trio Piano Forte, Violin, and Violincello Cujus Animam a truly sublime composition by Rossini, yet one to try the powers of the performers. It was very effectively executed. "The King of the Sea," a song by Mr. Lyndon, followed, and was received with loud encores. Bishop's favourite glee "When winds whistle cold" was well given and very warmly received. The first part closed with a fantasia on the piano forte by Mr. Worgan. This was an extempore piece, with several airs introduced, such as "Home, sweet home," "Auld Lang Syne," "Oh where, tell me where," and Haydn's grand March, written for the Royal Society of Music, but never published. The execution was that of a master, and was listened to with breathless attention by the audience. It was received with a loud and prolonged encore, to which Mr. Worgan responded. The second part opened with the 4 part song, "The Hunt is up," which was followed by a fantasia on the flute by Mr. Robottom, which was highly and deservedly appreciated and loudly encored. The pleasing glee "Winds gently Whisper" and the solo and chorus "Come where my love lies dreaming," creditably rendered, were followed by the best effort of the vocalists, "Poculum elevatum," which was well and humorously given. The fantasia on the violin and violincello by Mr. Robottom and son was exquisite, and was loudly encored. Mendelssohn's fine composition "When evening's twilight" was sung with great taste and sweetness and "Mynheer Van Dunck," given with much spirit, concluded the performance, upon the decided success of which we have to congratulate Mr. Worgan, and have in conclusion to express a hope that a gentleman so distinguished in his profession will be induced to forego his intention of leaving the province.

"THURSDAY NIGHT'S CONCERT", Hawke's Bay times (16 February 1863), 2 

Mr. Worgan's Soirée Musical was, as we intimated in our last number, a decided success, so much so indeed that to a stranger it is a matter of wonder that so much musical talent can be found in so small a place as Napier to carry through to a successful issue such a difficult undertaking.

The overture with which the evening's entertainment began, "II Barbiere di Seviglia," by Rossini, was undeniably executed in a most masterly manner. The duett on the piano by Mrs. Sealy and Mr. Worgan was most admirably executed. The part taken by that accomplished lady was executed with a brilliancy of touch and refinement of execution which did great justice to the talents both of the composer and of the performer. Mr. Worgan, as usual, shone in this piece, as in others which we shall presently notice, as a star of the first magnitude.

The madrigal of "Oh, who will o'er the Downs so free" was sung with effect by Mrs. Welch, accompanied by Messrs. Wilkinson, Hitchings, Thomas, and Harris. Mrs. Welch's execution of "Her bright smile" was received with merited warmth. It is a charming little song, and was sung with much effect and feeling by that lady. The trio, pianoforte, violin, and violoncello, "Cujus animam," by Rossini, is a grand piece, and really was performed in a manner which stamps at once those gentlemen who executed it, Messrs. Worgan, Wilkinson, and Robottom, as each on his instrument a musician of no ordinary sort.

The songs which followed this masterly production were delivered with good taste and evident desire to please, Mr. Lyndon singing Paxton's noted song "I'm King of the sea" with remarkable force and accuracy, and it was, as it deserved, loudly and cordially applauded and encored. Now came the treat of the evening, Mr. Worgan's fantasia pianoforte, which really, for exquisite harmony and for excellence of style and beauty of expression, was beyond comparison the finest piece of piano music we have heard for many years. Mr. Worgan introduced those charming and familiar airs "Home, sweet home," and "Auld lang syne," with variations, concluding this masterly performance with Haydn's celebrated Military Grand March, composed expressly for the Royal Musical Society in London. We need hardly add that this piece was enthusiastically applauded.

Mr. Robottom's fantasia on the flute was so brilliantly and beautifully performed that that clever amateur musician was compelled by the unbounded plaudits to repeat it, which he kindly did, with, if possible, greater effect than ever.

The glee "Winds gently whisper," was well received, and, considering the disadvantages of the position held by the singers on that queer-looking rostrum whereon they are compelled to stand, was executed with striking effect.

"Poculum elevatum," a classical but convivial chorus, was admirably sung, and loudly that most inimitable of basses the Dr. coming out strong in the solo parts, to the great delight of his audience.

The fantasia on the violin, with piano accompaniment by Messrs. Robottom and Worgan, was another delightful piece, executed with masterly expression and calling forth an encore, which was answered by Mr. Robottom substituting a fresh piece, in which he was accompanied by his son on the bass viol.

The whole wound up with Bishop’s popular glee "Mynheer Van Dunck," which was sung admirably, and was highly appreciated. Thus ending one of the most charming musical evenings which we have ever yet enjoyed in Napier, and one that we sincerely hope will be the beginning of a series of such entertainments, which are in their influence on society most admirably calculated to promote kindly and good feeling by introducing and keeping alive a taste for refined and intellectual amusement.

The thanks of the inhabitants of Napier are due to Mr. Worgan for getting up this pleasant evening for their amusement, to those ladies and gentlemen who so kindly and with so much good taste lent their aid to carrying out this excellent object, and to Mr. Bridge particularly for his indefatigable exertions to bring the whole to so successful and triumphant an issue.

"To the Editor of the . . .", Hawkes Bay times (16 February 1863), 2 

SIR, - May I be permitted to avail myself of a small space in your columns, to express my best thanks and warm appreciation of the great kindness and valuable assistance rendered to me by the Napier amateurs, both ladies and gentlemen, on the occasion of my recent musical soiree; and I cannot but attribute my success in a great degree to the interest taken by them in furthering my objects. Neither can I refrain from expressing my obligations to those gentlemen who so kindly joined in the instrumental performances, and so ably executed their part in the entertainments. Lastly, I most emphatically thank my friend Mr. Bridge, who spared no pains or labor in effecting the arrangements indispensable to a successful issue. I am, &c.,
G. WORGAN. Napier, Feb. 13, 1863.

[Advertisement], Hawkes Bay herald (18 February 1863), 2 

MR. WORGAN begs to inform the gentry and inhabitants of the Town of Napier and its vicinity that he proposes to reside some time in Napier, when he will be happy to give Instructions in the ART of PIANOFORTE PLAYING and SINGING on Scientific principles.
TERMS (IN NAPIER): - HALF-GUINEA a Lesson; or if Two Pupils under the same roof, 7s. 6d. each.
Per Quarter, SIX GUINEAS each Pupil.
Apply to Mr. J. WOOD, Herald Office; or to Messrs. YATES, Times Office.

Napier Athenaeum; photograph by Burton Brothers; Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand (DIGITISED)

13 July 1863, opening of the Napier Institution

"MECHANICS' INSTITUTE AND ATHENAEUM", Hawke's Bay times (17 July 1863), 3 

Monday evening last was devoted to the opening of the Napier Institution. At eight o'clock the Masonic Hall was filled to overflowing. The proceedings commenced by a speech from His Honor the Superintendent, the substance of which was the importance of education and the steady pursuit of knowledge . . . Mr. Worgan then performed on the pianoforte "Andante," from Hadyu’s Second Grand Symphony.

The Bishop said that His Honor the Superintendent had pointed out the main objects of an institution such as this . . . Dr. Hitchings then gave Callcott's heroic song “ Friend of the brave,” from Campbell's "Pleasures of Hope." After which, Mr. Worgan played an extemporary introduction, "The Flower of the Valley" waltzes, and concluded with Weber's valse from Freychutz . . .

"HAWKE'S BAY (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT) Napier, July 17, 1863", Daily Southern Cross (22 July 1863), 3 

The Athenaeum was inaugurated on Monday last, the 13th instant. His honor the Superintendent delivered an address to a crowded auditory upon the importance of mental culture and other topics suitable to the occasion. He was followed by the Bishop of Wellington (Archdeacon Abraham, when residing in Auckland), who took as his subject the axiom that knowledge is power, and treated it very happily. The proceedings also included several pieces of music by an accomplished pianist (Mr. George Worgan), an old settler here, but who is likely, from reverses of fortune, to return to his profession, and to seek your city as a field for his exertions . . .

"NAPIER ATHENAEUM", Hawke's Bay herald (25 July 1863), 3 

. . . Mr. Worgan, who had kind}y volunteered his services on the piano, played "Andante," from Haydn's second grand symphony. Upon being again called upon by the audience, he gave the Military movement," from the twelfth symphony both in his usual masterly style . . . Dr. Hitchings then sang Calcott's celebrated heroic melody "Friend of the Brave," from Campbell's Pleasures of Hope and Mr. WORGAN, on the pianoforte, gave an extempore introduction, followed by the Flower of the Valley' waltzes, by Dalby. The efforts of both gentlemen were warmly received.

23 July 1863, Mrs. Welch's concert

[Advertisement], Hawke's Bay herald (22 July 1863), 2 

"MRS. WELCH'S MUSICAL SOIREE", Hawke's Bay herald (29 July 1863), 2 

. . . which want of space prevented us from noticing on Saturday, was a decided success. The Council Chamber was respectably filled; and the performance seemed, to be well appreciated. The concert opened with a duett taken from Beethoven's fine symphony in D, arranged for two performers on the pianoforte. The piece was artistically executed by Mrs. Welch and Mr. Worgan, and warmly applauded. The glee for four voices, "From Oberon in Fairy land" was very well rendered. Mr. Lyndon then sang "Madoline," a song. very suitable to that gentleman's mellow voice. Glee "The Gipsy Tent" was encored - the ladies, in this, as in the other concerted pieces, manifesting a decided improvement in precision and intonation over former efforts of the kind. Mrs. Welch then sang "Summer" very sweetly. The glee "May day" was much admired. The next on the programme was a pianoforte duett by Mrs. Welch and Mr. Worgan - Martha de Flotow. It is a very tasteful composition and its execution elicited great applause. Dr. Hitchings then sang Russell's "Rouse, Brothers, Rouse," which was encored; when the Doctor substituted "The Troubadour." The first part closed with the new solo and chorus, "God bless the Prince of Wales;" a composition, we think, that will improve upon acquaintance. The solo part was by a gentleman (Mr. Ellison) who has hitherto taken no part in our musical re-unions, but who is evidently a proficient in the art. Thus ended the first part.

The second opened with a solo on the pianoforte, being a selection from Mendelshon's "Lied in Worte" (song without words.) Mr. Worgan, before taking his seat at the instrument, explained to the audience the intention of the composer. It was a fine performance; but we suspect that the charming melodies which followed - "O Nannie" and "Donald" - yielded more pleasure to the majority than the wild melodies and complex harmonies of the mighty master. Doubtless, every fresh hearing would lead to a better appreciation of such high class music. The song "Bright Things" was charmingly sung by Mrs. Welch, and encored. The glee, "Harvest Time," was given With great spirit and warmly encored. The duett, "Flow, gently, Dee," was excellently sung by Dr. Hitchings and Mr. Lyndon, and vociferously encored. Solo and chorus, "Home Again," was exceedingly well done - the young lady who took the solo part having done so very creditably indeed, and been well supported in all the choral parts. Dr. Hitchings next gave "The Slave Ship " in excellent style, which, together with the splendid accompaniment, called forth the loudest applause. Mr. Ellison then sang, with great taste, "The Green Trees whispered." It was followed by " Hark the Lark," which was executed with precision and drew forth a hearty encore. "God save the Queen" wound up the entertainment of the evening, which, if not wholly without fault, was such as to afford high gratification to the listeners. Mr. Worgan presided at the pianoforte; and we congratulate him and Mrs. Welch, together with the other ladies and gentlemen who took part in the proceedings, upon the deserved success which crowned their artistic efforts.

9 September 1863, Worgan's concert

[Advertisement], Hawke's Bay herald (9 September 1863), 5 

"CONCERT", Hawke's Bay herald (12 September 1863), 3 

Mr. Worgan's musical soiree came off on the night of Wednesday last. The Council Chamber was well filled, and the performance was such as to give very general satisfaction. The concert opened with Haydn's Grand March, played by Mr. Worgan in his own effective style. "Down the Bourne," the first vocal piece of the evening, is a charming old Scotch air, harmonized for four voices by Dr. Corfe, of Salisbury. It was very steadily sung and was highly effective. "Comin' through the Kye," sung by Mrs. Robson, was encored, although it was evident that this lady's really fine voice was temporarily impaired from nervous trepidation. The glee, "The Hardy Norseman," and the duett, "I've wandered in Dreams," were very nicely rendered. Beethoven's splendid composition, "Know'st thou the Land" was done ample justice to by the fine voice and accurate rendering of Capt. Withers, and was warmly encored - the vociferous calls of "As you were" being thought a great hit by the small wits at the rear. Mrs. Robson then sang "The Skipper and his Boy," which would no doubt have been better appreciated, had it been more generally known. Trio, "To the Mountains" was admirably given by those veterans of the art, Messrs. Hitchings, Lyndon, and Harris, and was loudly applauded. Mrs. Webb having nicely sang the pretty ballad "The Orange Bower," the audience were preparing to retire for the interval, when they were taken, aback at seeing those old stagers, Doctors Hitchings and English, make their appearance on the platform. They were received with thunders of applause; and supplemented the first part of the programme with T. Cooke's spirited duett of "Love and War," the masterly execution of which, with the fine florid piano accompaniment, elicited a unanimous call for a repetition.

The second part commenced with Osborne's brilliant fantasia upon the pianoforte, "The Shower of Pearls," which was well received, although it was to be regretted that Mr. Worgan had not an instrument more worthy of his powers of execution. We hope the time is not far distant when Napier can boast the possession for public purposes of a piano better suited to the hands of a professional performer. Mrs. Welch followed with "Katty Darling," which was pleasingly sung, as was also the glee, "Mary's Dream." That fine old English air, not the less welcome because of its antiquity, "Sally in our Alley," was given by Mr. Lyndon with great taste and feeling, and was much applauded. The favorite duett, "I know a Bank," was effectively rendered by Mrs. Welch and Captain Withers, and loudly encored. We were glad, at this juncture, to see Mr. Robottom, whose high musical talent has so often been in requisition by the people of Napier, join Mr. Worgan in the instrumental trio, Tenor, Bass, and Pianoforte, from Bellini's Norma. It was a gorgeous piece of music, and drew forth a warm encore, which was complied with Master Johnny effectively doing his part on the violincello. Mrs. Robson gave Wallace's touching air, "Sweet Spirit," with much feeling, clearly demonstrating the tine quality of her voice. The song was encored, and given the second time with even better effect than the first. The duett, "Flow gently, Deva," the song, by Miss Curtis, "Gay young Spring," and the lively glee "Harvest Time," were exceedingly well done, but a commotion in the room, consequent on the news of the steamer Auckland being aground, interfered materially with the enjoyment of the concluding portions of the programme. This virtually concluded the performance; but a pleasing addition was afforded in that glorious old duett, "Could a man be secure," which was sung with great spirit by Doctors Hitchings and English. The entertainment - and it was such in reality - was wound up with "God save the Queen" - Mrs. Robson admirably executing the first solo, and all the singers and the audience joining in the chorus. The second part was very charmingly taken as a quartette, followed of course by the full chorus. We never heard the national anthem so well sung in Napier as on this occasion: nor do we recollect of any amateur concert being, on the whole, more successful.

October 1863, Mrs. Robson's concert

[Advertisement], Hawke's Bay herald (10 October 1863), 2 



"THE MUSICAL SOIREE . . . ", Hawke's Bay herald (2 September 1865), 2 

. . . for the benefit of the Athenjeum Library, took place on Thursday evening . . . Mr. Worgan, who had fortunately arrived from the Wairoa, opened the music by a performance on the harmonium, a small instrument, which, however, in his hands proved a more effective one than we should have given it credit for. We cannot venture to criticise in detail the various performances on the piano, for where so many ladies joined in the entertainment it would be invidious to particularise . . .

[Advertisement], Hawke's Bay herald (5 September 1865), 2 

Musical Notice. MR. WORGAN, Sen., expecting to be some time in Napier, begs to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Town and vicinity that he will be glad to give Musical Instruction, either on the Pianoforte or Harmonium, and has made arrangements for receiving pupils at Mr. Robottorn' s New Music Room, Shakespeare-road, where, application can be made for terms of instruction.
N.B. - Mr. Worgan will be happy to wait on his pupils at their own residences, if desired. To and from the Eastern Spit.

"ATHENAEUM", Hawke's Bay herald (21 October 1865), 3 

We learn that the appointment of librarian has been conferred upon Mr. G. Worgan.

"CHURCH OF ENGLAND SUNDAY SCHOOL", Hawke's Bay herald (30 December 1865), 2 

Thursday last witnessed the celebration of the Church of England School festival . . . The adults assembled on the lawn in front of the parsonage, several of whom engaged in the (apparently) interesting game of croquet, while all listened to the sweet sounds which came alternately from the Band of the 12th, and from a party of ladies and gentlemen who, with Mr. Worgan presiding at the piano, sang some anthems and other pieces . . .


"CONCERT", Hawke's Bay herald (5 January 1867), 2 

On Thursday evening last, a concert was given in the Council Chamber, in aid of the building fund of the Church of St. John the Evangelist. It was well supported by a good audience, and by a strong muster of our musical amateurs under the direction of the accomplished pianist and conductor of the Philharmonic Society, Mr. Worgan. We recognised in the programme several selections from previous concerts, in the rendering of which great improvement was visible - in the vocal department especially, from the strength of the trebles. Our leading tenor gave effective assistance ih two songs - "Knowest thou the land" (Kennst du das land wo die citronen blumen), the well known song of Mignon in Wilhelm Meister by Goethe, the music by Beethoven; and the old favorite from II Trovatore - "Ah che la morte." A short selection, from Meyerbeer's Huguenots as a piano forte duett was given in finished style by one of our lady pianists and Mr. Worgan. Haydn's charming song "My mother bids me bind my hair," was charmingly sung by a lady to whom lovers of music are greatly indebted. We cannot refrain from complimenting the conductor upon his admirable reading of the masterly accompaniment. The second part opened with our old favorite, the overture to "Il Barbiere di Siviglia." For graceful melody combined with sparkling vivacity, it is unsurpassed. Considering the small force of the violins, the performance was very satisfactory. The audience appeared to be well pleased with the entertainment, and we trust the church funds may reap a solid benefit from it.

[Advertisement], Hawke's Bay herald (5 January 1867), 2 

Musical Notice. THE undersigned has on sale, from Mr. A Charles Russell's Instrument Repository, Wellington - Pianette Pianofortes, Violins, Cornets, and Flutes all of the best manufacture by the first London makers, at very moderate prices, Also, Violin strings, Music, &c. GEORGE WORGAN. Napier, Oct. 1, 66.

17 January 1867, concert

[Advertisement], Hawke's Bay herald (12 January 1867), 2 

Hawke's Bay Philharmonic Society. THE THIRD CONCERT of the above Society will take place on THURSDAY, the 17th January, 1867 . . . GEORGE WORGAN - CONDUCTOR . . .

1 March 1867, concert

"THE LATE CONCERT", Hawke's Bay herald (5 March 1867), 2 

The entertainment given on Friday evening was exceedingly successful in every sense. The programme numbered some six glees and twelve songs, and, considering that it was almost an impromptu affair - only two rehearsals having taken place - and that there were no female voices, the effect was exceedingly good - a pleasing impression having been left on the minds of almost all, if not all, who were present. Some of the songs, amongst which may be named the "Eily Mavourneen" of a Canterbury gentleman, and the "Slave Ship" of Dr. Hitchings, were warmly applauded and encored. A handsome sum - probably about £18 - was netted to the charitable purpose for which the concert was given, and much credit is due to Mr. Worgan and the other gentlemen who took a part in the affair.

20 June 1867, concert

[Advertisement], Hawke's Bay herald (11 June 1867), 1 

Hawke's Bay Philharmonic Society . . .
PROGRAMME. Part I . . .
DUETT - Fairy Sisters - PACKER . . .
R. MACFARLANE, Conductor; G. WORGAN, Pianist . . .

MUSIC: Fairy sisters, by Frederick Alexander Packer, a former colleague of Worgan's in Reading

[Advertisement], Hawke's Bay herald (22 June 1867), 2 

TENNYSON HOUSE Ladies' Boarding and Day School, Conducted by Misses BATHAM and BOYLE, WILL be OPENED on MONDAY, the 1st July . . .
Music from Mr. Worgan - Two Guineas and a half.
Singing from Mr. Worgan, two lessons weekly - Two Guineas and a half.
Ditto, ditto, one lesson weekly - £l 5s . . .

"THE CONCERT . . .", Hawke's Bay herald (1 October 1867), 2 

. . . on Friday evening, given by some gentlemen amateurs for the benefit of Mrs. Shepherd and family, proved, to be a great source of attraction . . . Mr. Worgan presided at the piano, giving his services gratuitously.

1 November 1867, concert

[Advertisement], Hawke's Bay herald (1 October 1867), 2 

Hawke's Bay Philharmonic Society . . .
R. MACFARLANE, Conductor; R. W. I. CARVER, Sub-Conductor; G. WORGAN, Pianist . . .

"TENNYSONG HOUSE LADIES' SCHOOL", Hawke's Bay herald (24 December 1867), 2 

Conducted by Misses Boyle and Batham. The examination of this school took place on Thursday the 19th inst. The Bishop of Waiapu (who, happily for Napier, takes the greatest interest in the cause of education), conducted the general examination - Mr. Worgan and Mr. Macfarlane the musical . . .
Music - Extra prize (gift of Mr. G. Worgan), Miss Ormond.
Singing - A prize (gift of Mr. G. Worgan), was awarded to Miss Reynolds.
Three extra prizes (two given by Mrs. Tiffen) were awarded to the Misses Kennedy, Hitchings, and Worgan.


[Advertisement], Hawke's Bay herald (25 February 1868), 2 

PIANOFORTE FOR SALE. MR. WORGAN has on Sale an excellent PIANOFORTE, by Chappell, nearly as good as new, at a moderate price. Also, an excellent VIOLIN and case. Napier, Feb. 25, 1868.

24 September 1868, concert

[Advertisement], Hawke's Bay herald (19 September 1868), 2 

R. W. IND CARVER, Conductor; G. WORGAN, Pianist . . .

19 November 1868, concert

[Advertisement], Hawke's Bay herald (14 November 1868), 2 

Instrumental Conductor - R. MACFARLANE.
Vocal Conductor - R. W. IND CARVER.
Pianist - G. WORGAN . . .


[Advertisement], Hawke's Bay herald (19 January 1869), 2 

THE undersigned invite cooperative assistance in the reconstruction of the above society: and suggests that Mr. Worgan be pianist; Mr. McFarlane, instrumental conductor; Mr. Carver, vocal conductor; Mr. Gully, secretary and librarian; and Mr. J. M, Wood, treasurer - names which will be sufficient guarantee of the efficiency of the arrangements.

Letter, from George Tovey Buckland Worgan, 15 March 1869, Wairoa, to Donald McLean, Napier City; 

This is only part of a large collection of digitised correspondence, which can be accessed here: 


"MR. KEMP'S BENEFIT", Hawke's Bay times (3 January 1870), 2 

We were much gratified on Friday evening with the entertainment provided by the members of the Garrick Club for the benefit of Mr. Tom Kemp, scenic artist. Mr. Worgan and several gentlemen of the Hawke's Bay Philharmonic Society kindly volunteered their services on the occasion, and performed some choice pieces of music, viz., the overture to "Semiramide," which was beautifully rendered; "La Dame Blanche," (overture); "The Woman in White" waltzes; "La Grand Duchesse" quadrilles; also several songs and a duett . . .

[Advertisement], Hawke's Bay herald (26 July 1870), 2 

Pianist - Mr. Worgan.
GRAND PERFORMANCE ON Wednesday Next, July 27. COMEDY ! INTERLUDE !! FARCE !!! . . .

[News], Evening Post [Wellington] (15 November 1880), 2 

Mrs. Jordan's singing bee in the Tinakori road school-room on Saturday evening attracted a crowded audience, including most of the leading residents of Thorndon, and proved a very great success. Mr. Sidney Wolfe, R.A.M., to whom great praise is due for the indefatigable way in which he labored to bring about this result, contributed some brilliant pianoforte selections, and songs were given by various local amateurs. The prizes were distributed by Mr. Worgan.

[News], Evening Post (25 May 1881), 2 

The detective authorities are at present engaged in endeavoring to unravel the circumstances connected with an occurrence at the house of Mr. George Worgan, Tinakori-road, on Monday night. The servant, a girl named Minnie Petherick, was about to retire to rest, when she had her attention attracted to a glare outside the house. Subsequent investigation proved that a rag had been steeped in kerosene and, after being placed underneath the house, set fire to. With the assistance of neighbors the flames were speedily extinguished, and the matter reported to the police on the following day.

[News], Evening Post (28 May 1881), 2 

. . . After a careful and searching enquiry, the detective has arrived at the conclusion that the affair was not an attempt to set fire to the house, and the matter will now be allowed to drop.

"DEATH", New Zealand Times (12 January 1883), 2 

WORGAN. - On November 17th, 1882, at Northbrook House, Newbury, Berkshire, England, the Rev. John Hartland Worgan, M. A., aged 85 years, a distinguished scholar, and author of the two wellknown works "Via Media" and "The Divine Wit." Country papers please copy.

"DEATH", Wairarapa Standard (24 January 1883), 2 

WORGAN. - At Molesworth-street, on the morning of the 21st of January, 1883. Harriet Elizabeth, the beloved wife of George Worgan, aged 71 years.

[News], Daily Telegraph (30 January 1883), 2 

The announcement appears in the Wellington papers of the death of Mrs. George Worgan at the age of 71 years. Mrs. Worgan was very well known in Napier, she and her husband being amongst the early settlers of Hawke's Bay. For many years Mr. Worgan was sheepfarming in this provincial district, but insufficiency of capital, together with low prices for wool and high rates of interest, compelled him to relinquish the pursuit. Being an able and professional musician Mr. Worgan came into Napier and taught his art for a living, Mrs. Worgan acting as librarian at the Athenaeum. Mr. Worgan is now over eighty years, and is nearly blind, yet is still pursuing his calling at Wellington according to a letter he recently wrote to a friend in Napier. Many here cherish a kindly feeling for the old gentleman, and will sympathise with him in his loneliness.

[2 advertisements], Evening Post [Wellington] (24 February 1883), 3 

MONDAY, 26th FEBRUARY, At 2 o'clock p.m. PRELIMINARY ANNOUNCEMENT. IMPORTANT AUCTION SALE. At the Residence of G. Worgan, Esq., Molesworth-street, in the City of Wellington. DWAN & CO., have been favoured with instructions from G. Worgan, Esq., to sell by auction, on the premises, Molesworth-street, the whole of his household furniture and effects, and consisting in part of the following articles . . .

It is needless to describe the above Furniture in any other than plain language, as such high falutin' terms as "high-class furniture," "high-toned furniture," and such trash, are calculated more to ridicule the articles sought to be plainly advertised than otherwise. Yet yielding to a pleasing desire, to use one of these slangy expressions, we say that the Piano, as advertised, is a high-toned one. The character of the owner is a just guarantee of its genuineness. DWAN & CO.

MR. GEO. WORGAN'S compliments to the ladies and gentlemen of Wellington, and begs leave to draw their attention to his Sale of FURNITURE on MONDAY NEXT, the 26th of February, 1883, at 2 o'clock, under the conduct of Messrs. DWAN & CO., Auctioneers. In addition to the numerous articles mentioned in Messrs. Dwan & Co.'s advertisement, the undersigned begs to draw special attention to the following Works of Art: -

First - A portrait of Dr. Livingstone, the celebrated African Explorer.
Second - Two superior oleographs.
Third - A premier art union prize by Mr. A. De B. Brandon - the Gorge at the head of Lake Wakatipu - a real gem of Art.
Fourth - A lovely copy of the magnificent picture, now in the National Gallery, London, of the "Madonna Dolorosa," by Domenichino.
Fifth - A panel painting of the Cathedral at Bruges, in the Netherlands.
Sixth - A beautiful water-colour painting of the Bala Lake, with the Snowdon Mountains in the back ground.
Lastly - A piano by Bold, already advertised, which requires no flowery language to describe, as its intrinsic value may be estimated from the fact that it never falls below concert pitch.
Yours, respectfully. GEO. WORGAN.

"CHESS IN WELLINGTON", New Zealand Mail (18 January 1884), 4 

An interesting skirmish between Messrs McTavish and Worgan. King's Gambit Refused. White . . . (Mr. A. J. McTavish); Black . . . (Mr. Geo. Worgan) . . .

"DIRECT TAXATION. TO THE EDITOR OF THE . . .", New Zealand Mail (21 August 1885), 25 

[News], New Zealand Times, (10 February 1885), 2 

Mr. George Worgan, whose name was inadvertently spelt "Morgan" in Saturday's issue, has returned to Wellington, and is prepared to receive music pupils. Terms can be obtained at Reichardt's music warehouse.

[News], Daily Telegraph (5 August 1885), 2 

Mr. Charles Thomas, the author of the words and music of the cantata to be performed at the opening of the industrial branch of the Wellington Exhibition, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Thomas, who are amongst the oldest residents in Napier. Mr. C. Thomas was educated in this town, and after obtaining a rudimentary knowledge of music from his father, became the pupil of Mr. George Worgan, and at an early age showed great proficiency on the violincello . . .

"MR. ROBERT PARKER'S CONCERT", New Zealand Times (15 November 1887), 5 

Mr. Robert Parker's eighth annual concert took place last evening in St. John's schoolroom, and passed off with brilliant success. Notwithstanding the strong counter-attractions there was a large and enthusiastic audience, and the performances throughout were of a very high order of merit. The salient feature of the evening, of course, was the production for the first time in Wellington of Beethoven's immortal work, the Sixth, or "Pastoral," Symphony, which in itself constituted an important musical event . . . During the interval Mr. Worgan, as the oldest musician in New Zealand, asked the audience to allow him to express his acknowledgments to Mr. Parker for the treat offered that night, and for the valuable services he had rendered to the cause of music in Wellington. (Cheers.)

"Mr. Robert Parker's Annual Concert", Evening Post (15 November 1887), 3 

"DEATH", Wairarapa Daily Times (3 April 1888), 2 

WORGAN.- On the 2nd April, at the residence of Mrs. Carpenter, Tinakori-road, George Worgan, aged 85 years.

Robert Parker, "CORRESPONDENCE. MR. GEORGE WORGAN. TO THE EDITOR", The Musical Times (1 August 1888), 490-91 (PAYWALL)

SIR, - On Easter Monday there died in this city a musician concerning whom a few words may be of interest to some of your readers.

Mr. George Worgan was grandson of the celebrated Dr. Worgan (whose portrait, I believe, still hangs in the Hall at Christ Church, Oxford), and son of a Gloucestershire rector. He was born in 1802, and had, therefore reached the ripe age of eighty-six. His memory was unclouded and his enthusiasm for music undimmed to the day of his death, and I have known no greater pleasure than listening to his rich store of musical reminiscences, some of which I will briefly mention.

When quite a young lad he was one day taken to see Mrs. Charles Wesley, widow of the famous preacher, and during his visit was introduced to her two sons, Charles and Samuel, who were already elderly men. A few years later he deputised at the organ (at Portman Chapel, Mayfair) for the famous Samuel Wesley, whom he succeeded as organist. Many times has Mr. Worgan spoken with enthusiasm of "old Wesley's" fugue playing, which is now famous as a matter of history.

At the pianoforte Mr. Worgan's master was famous John Cramer, and he had as fellow-pupil the celebrated John Field, whose awkward appearance and exquisite playing my old friend described most graphically. Field went to Russia, and Worgan settled in London as a fashionable pianoforte teacher, his social and professional position being greatly helped by his aunt, Lady Parsons (wife of the Chief Magistrate at Bow Street) who had been a great favourite at the Court of George III. He taught in the families of many of the leading nobility, and was at one time nearly having the honour of teaching the Princess Victoria, our present Queen. Among his pupils were the daughters of the great Clementi, whom he has often described to me, and with whom, as indeed with all the well-known names from 1820 to 1850, he was on terms of intimacy. As a member of the Philharmonic Society Mr. Worgan attended the seasons conducted by Moscheles, Spohr, Smart, Mendelssohn, &c., and I have seen him almost wild with excitement when describing the first performance by Mendelssohn of his G minor Concerto, and its electrical effect on the audience. But (to go back still earlier) he would at another time tell of Weber and "Oberon," and how he went night after night to Covent Garden to hear the fairy opera and see its great composer, who was even then in the clutches of death; while his reminiscences of Paganini, and Jenny Lind, and Braham [491] and all the famous players and singers and literary men and women of half a century ago were simply legion.

Mr. Worgan retired with a competence about 1850, and soon afterwards came to New Zealand, where he bought a sheep-run. Fortune was unkind to him in this rough and strange land, and after many vicissitudes and heavy losses he took up his old vocation as a music-teacher, in which he laboured until a few years back. His last appearance in public here was at a concert of my own a few months ago, when, after a performance of Beethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony, he rose and spoke words of kind approbation and encouragement to the orchestra and myself. His familiar figure and polished courtesy of manner will long be missed by his many friends in New Zealand.

I am, yours, &c., ROBERT PARKER. Wellington, New Zealand, May 10, 1888.

[News], New Zealand Times (16 October 18880, 4 

The following interesting notes relative to the late Mr. George Worgan, of this city - from the pen of Mr. Robert Parker - appear in the last number of The Musical Times: . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Parker (1847-1937)

"MARRIAGE", Wanganui chronicle (2 October 1888), 2 

RYDER - WORGAN - At Holy Trinity Church, Woodville, on Friday, September 28th, by the Revd. Edward Robertshawe, Abraham St. George Ryder, eldest son St. George Ryder, of Canterbury, New Zealand, to Ellen Worgan, adopted daughter of the late George Worgan, senr., of Wellington.

8 September 1904, death of George Worgan junior

"TOWN EDITION", Poverty Bay Herald (9 September 1904), 3

An old resident of this district named George Worgan, licensed interpreter, aged 68, died in the Hospital last night.

Bibliography and resources

Worgan, George Tovey Buckland, 1834-1904; papers, National Library, New Zealand 

Allen 1856

John Allen, The history of the borough of Liskeard and its vicinity (London: William and Frederick G. Cash, 1856), 525-26 (DIGITISED)

George Boucher Worgan, having lived at Liskeard during his latter years, died in 1838, at the age of 80. Of his birthplace or parentage no particulars have been obtained. In 1778 [sic], while young, he went out as surgeon in the first expedition with convicts under Commodore Phillips, to Botany Bay, then hut little known. He wrote an interesting account of the voyage and colony: it was however never published, and has been mislaid. Having married Lawry of Liskeard, and settled in the district, he took the farm of Bray, and afterwards of Glynn; but being very theoretical in the management, and having some difficulty in the holding, which he attributed to entails, he quitted both estates with considerable loss. In 1808, he was engaged by the British Board of Agriculture to survey the husbandry of Cornwall; his report of which, revised by three country gentlemen, and published in 1811, is considered a good authority. (See page 365.) He was a man of extensive reading, and for several years conducted a national school at Liskeard. His sister married Sir W. Parsons, Master of the King's Band. A brother lived near Cheltenham. Two sons went to Australia.

Boase and Courtney 1878

George Clement Boase and William Prideaux Courtney, Bibliotheca Cornubiensis: a catalogue of the writings, both manuscript and printed, of Cornishmen . . . volume 2, P-Z (London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1878), 906 

WORGAN, George Boucher. Surgeon R.N. in Commodore Arthur Phillip's first expedition to Botany bay 1778 [recte 1788]; Lessee of the farms of Bray and Glynn near Liskeard; Engaged by British Board of Agriculture to survey the husbandry of Cornwall 1808; Master of a National sch. at Liskeard. hung himself at Liskeard 4 Mch. 1838, aged 80. bur. Liskeard ch. yard, where is gravestone, m. Mary Lawry of Liskeard. She d. Liskeard 14 Dec. 1846, aged 82. cf. Allen's Liskeard pp. 525-26.

General view of the agriculture of the county of Cornwall. Drawn up and published by order of The board of agriculture and internal improvement. By G. B. Worgan . . . Lond. printed by B. McMillan, sold by G. and W. Nicol; Liddle, Bodmin; Tregonning, Truro and Vigurs, Penzance 1811, 8o. pp. xvi, 192 with map and 15 plans and plates, 12/-. Note. - Advertisement signed "G. B. Worgan, Bod-[907] min Nov. 30 1808." This word was revised by "Robert Walker, Jeremiah Trist, C. V. Penrose. Cornwall, May 1, 1810.

Account of Botany Bay. By G. B. Worgan. MSS.

HRNSW 2 1893

Frank Murcott Bladen, Historical records of New South Wales: volume 2, Grose and Paterson, 1793-1795 (Sydney: Govt. Printer, 1893), 499

[First publication of Elizabeth Macarthur's letter of 1791]

Becke and Jeffrey 1899

Louis Becke and Walter Jeffrey, Admiral Phillip: the founding of New South Wales (London: T. Fisher, 1899), 218

[Elizabeth Macarthur's letter of 1791]

Huntington 1899

H. W. H. Huntington, "HISTORY OF PARAMATTA & DISTRICT . . . The First Piano in Australia", The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (8 November 1899), 1

Glancing through the private diary of Mrs. Macarthur, the writer found mention of Elizabeth Farm House being ornamented with a pianoforte which was brought to the colony by Doctor Worgan, of the H.M.S. Sirius, and presented to Mrs. Macarthur. This instrument was the first of its kind in the colony and was considered "a great wonder" by the leading colonists who often assembled at Lieutenant Macarthur's residence. Mrs. Macarthur was an amiable and accomplished lady, fond of music, astronomy, natural history, painting and above all the art of husbandry . . .

McGuanne 1901

J. P. McGuanne, "The humours and pastimes of early Sydney", The Australian Historical Society Journal and Proceedings 1 (1901), 40 

. . . We always had a piano in Sydney. When Surgeon Worgan left the colony in 1790 he left the first piano as a present to Mrs. Macarthur, but the instrument was silent for want of a player - the only Government House lady was not a musician . . .

Davey 1909

F. Hamilton Davey, Flora of Cornwall, being an account of the flowering plants and ferns found in the county of Cornwall (Penryn: F. Chegwidden, 1909), xxxviii

1815. A work of considerable local interest, but of small botanical value, was put into circulation this year. It was called General view of the Agriculture of the country of Cornwall, and its author was GEORGE BOUCHER WORGAN, who had acted as surgeon in Commodore Arthur Phillip's first expedition to Botany Bay in 1778. In 1808 Worgan was engaged by the Board of Agriculture to, survey the husbandry of Cornwall, the result of which subsequently appeared in the volume already mentioned. Worgan hanged himself at Liskeard on March 4, 1838, when in his eightieth year. His book adds Medicago sativa, Trifolium repens and T. pratense to Cornwall.

SMH 1911

"EARLIEST WOMAN AGRICULTURIST", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 February 1911), 5

. . . The first piano in Australia was her property being given to Mrs. Macarthur by Surgeon Worgan, of H.M.S. Sirius, in 1790 to ornament her new house, which Governor Phillip had specially erected for her comfort. There was no teacher of music of any kind in Australia, so she set to work to learn from an old Italian Instruction book which was full of small rondos, overtures, and little tunes. Speaking of her first playing, she writes: "I am told I have done wonders in being able to play off 'God Save the King' and 'Foote's Minuet,' besides being able to read the notes with great facility." She sang to her own accompaniment, and had little musical evenings (the first in the colony), when her guests were Mrs. King (wife of the third Governor, then on his way to Norfolk Island), Mrs. Paterson, and Mrs. Johnstone, also the wives of other officers in the settlement. She was among the first women to organise picnics on the harbour . . .

SMH 1933

"EARLY DAYS. A BANQUET IN 1790", The Sydney Morning Herald (2 November 1933), 10

. . . [as] related by Mr. Aubrey Halloran at the Rotary Club luncheon at the Caraleon Hall, Parramatta yesterday . . . In those far off days a knowledge of music was the rarest of accomplishments as evidenced by the fact that when Surgeon Worgan departed for England in 1790 he left a piano as a present for Mrs. Macatthur, but it subsequently transpired that there was no one in the colony able to play the instrument . . .

Stirling 1944

Lorna Stirling, "The development of Australian music", Historical studies: Australia and New Zealand 3 (October 1844 to February 1849), (58-72), 58-59

. . . Australia's musical history may be said to date from the very moment of colonization, for it appears that along with Governor Phillip, his convicts, his men and his gear, there was landed on the [59] shores of Port Jackson in 1788 a piano. The piano, you may recall, was the property of Surgeon Worgan of the H.M.S. Sirius, and the fact that he owned such an instrument suggests him to have been an amateur of progressive not to say radical tendencies; for the piano in 1788 was a relatively new invention, and one still held in distrust by conservative harpsichordists. It had made its first public appearance in London, before a gaping Covent Garden audience, only twenty years earlier, and now here it was, in all its glossy sophistication, ready to sound the first civilized musical note in a savage and silent land.

"All history," says Keyserling, "is perforce mythology, because all remembrance is romance." I quote him to justify a little imaginative reconstruction on my own part, for I confess that I like to think of Surgeon Worgan at that piano, easing his heart by playing - what? Almost certainly Handel, whose long life in London had closed in 1759 and whose music has already been absorbed into the English blood-stream: airs from the popular "Beggar's Opera," perhaps, revived time and again during the past fifty years: or perhaps some of the song-hits of the day which he had heard in the theatres or at Vauxhall Gardens - Linley's "Here's to the maiden of bashful fifteen," from Sheridan's latest comedy; or "Heart of Oak" with its tune by Dr. Boyce, conductor of George III's band and its verses by David Garrick; or that other new bit of rousing sea-doggery, Dr. Arnes "Rule Britannia," the first eight notes of which, as Wagner was to point out later, so aptly express our national character. No doubt, too, there would be times when the surgeon's hearers would coax him back to the familiar simplicities of English folksong and the hymns of Watts and Wesley, feeling acutely in that strange land the mood Thomas Hardy was to know when he wrote:

Newest themes I want not
On subtle strings,
And for thrillings pant not
That new song brings:
I only need the homeliest
Of heart-stirrings.

I some such fashion as this did the music of our great-great-grand-fathers come to Australia.

Nearly fifty years later, in 1836, behold another pioneering instrument floating precariously to the South Australian shore through the surf of Holdfast Bay, this one destined for the use of Mrs. Hindmarsh, wife of the first governor . . .

Hall 1951

James Hall, "History of Music in Australia (1)", The canon 4/6 (January 1951), (277-281), 277-78

. . . Australia's musical history, however, really begins with the arrival of the First Fleet, when in January 1788, Captain Phillip [278] landed approximately 1000 people at Port Jackson - 717 of them being convicts. For on board the Sirius, Surgeon George Bouchet [sic] Worgan had brought with him a piano.

We learn of this from a letter which Mrs. Macarthur wrote from Sydney to a friend in England on 7th March 1791 [footnote to HRNSW 2]. She says: "I shall now introduce another acquaintance, Mr. Worgan . . . [quotes from letter, ending] . . . besides that of reading the notes with great facility."

Worgan was apparently an unusual person, for it must have been quite an extraordinary thing for anyone in the eighteenth century (especially a man) to take a piano on board ship as part of his personal possessions. It is a pity his stay in the colony was not a more lengthy one, as no doubt he could have exerted a considerable musical influence . . .

Reprinted Hall 1989

Orchard 1952

W. Arundel Orchard, Music in Australia: more than 150 years of development (Melbourne: Georgian House, 1952), 1-2 (DIGITISED)

In New South Wales, well known as the Mother Colony, are found the earliest records of cultural activity in Australia, one of which mentions a piano that was landed at Circular Quay, Sydney, in 1790 from H.M.S. Sirius whose surgeon, to whom the piano belonged, evidently had some musical ability. The incident is referred to in a letter written from Camden by Mrs. Macarthur in which she refers to "Mr. Worgan, who was surgeon to the Sirius and happened to be left behind when that ship met her fate at Norfolk Island. Our new house is ornamented with a new pianoforte of Mr. Worgan's and he kindly means to leave it with me and now, under his direction, I have begun a new study. I am told, how-[2]-ever, that I have done wonders in being able to play off "God Save the King and Foot's "Minuet," besides that of reading the notes with great facility.:

This event records what was most probably the landing of the first piano in Australia . . .

Cobley ADB 1967

John Cobley, "Worgan, George Bouchier (1757-1838)", Australian dictionary of biography 2 (1967)

Cobley 1967

John Cobley, "Lesser known surgeons of the First Fleet (Annual post-graduate oration", Bulletin of the Post-graduate Committee in Medicine, University of Sydney 23/9 (December 1967), 289-305

Covell 1967

Roger Covell, Australia's music: themes of a new society (Melbourne: Sun Books, 1967), 10, 42

Lea-Scarlett 1971

Errol J. Lea-Scarlett, "Music, choir and organ", in O'Farrell (ed.), St. Mary's Cathedral Sydney, 1821-1971 ([Sydney]: Devonshire Press for St. Mary's Cathedral, 1971), 162-63, 175 

North 1982

Christine North, "George Bouchier Worgan", Devon & Cornwall notes & queries 35 (1982), 6-12

A transcript made by Matt Hall in June 2019 can be read here: (ONLINE)

Concerning surgeon Worgan's journals, North wrote:

During his stay [in Australia] he kept a journal, and sent copies to his family and friends. Unfortunately his longest and most detailed account, comprising two volumes, has not been traced since the nineteenth century [History of Liskeard, John Allen, 1856, p. 526] but a copy made by Worgan of that part of his diary relating to events between November 1787 and June 1788, and which he sent to his brother Richard in England is, with the letter which accompanied the journal, safely in the care of the Mitchell Library in Sydney . . .

While in Australia he had corresponded regularly with a fellow Naval surgeon named Mein, who for a time lived at Fowey with his family [Typescript article by John Keast on Joseph Thomas Austen, Cornwall Record Office; DD.TF 997]

Rushworth 1988

Graeme D. Rushworth, Historic organs of New South Wales: the instruments, their makers and players 1791-1940 (Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1988), 69, 460 (endnotes) 

McGairl NG2 2001

Pamela McGairl, "Worgan" [family], New Grove 2 (2001), Grove Music Online (Oxford Music Online) (2001)

James Worgan I (1713-1753), Organist, composer; Mary Worgan (1717-1768), Organist, composer; John Worgan (1724-1790), Organist, composer; Richard Worgan (1759-1812), Composer; James Worgan II (1762-1801), Composer; Thomas Danvers Worgan (1773-1832), Composer, writer on music; George Worgan (1802-1888), Composer, teacher (PAYWALL)

Skinner 2008

Graeme Skinner, "George Worgan", Dictionary of Sydney, posted 2008 (ONLINE)

Clarke 2011

Heather Clarke, "Australia's first piano", Australian colonial dance, first posted 6 May 2011 (ONLINE)

Covell NG2 2001

Roger Covell, "Australia. II. Western art music. 1. 18th century", New Grove 2001; Grove music online (PAYWALL)

. . . The establishment of a first European settlement at Sydney Cove from 26 January 1788 coincided with the full flowering of the Viennese Classical style, a circumstance which inevitably meant that a settlement struggling to survive inappropriate farming methods and forms of stock mustering unsuited to a vast, unfenced frontier would not discover this music until much later in its history. Mozart's composition of his final trio of symphonies in the summer of 1788 coincided with major concerns in the Sydney community for the straying of the colony's precious cattle well beyond the confines of the existing settlement. It is, however, a matter of record that the surgeon of the flagship of the First Fleet, George Bouchir Worgan, a member of a prominent London musical family, took a fortepiano and a creditably antiquarian enthusiasm for the music of Domenico Scarlatti to the new colony . . .

Skinner 2011

Graeme Skinner, First national music (2011), 63, 67, 146-47, 155, 182, 256-58, 270, 308, 454 (DIGITISED)

Hall 2014

Matt Hall, "Could the Worgan diary have survived?", Random genealogy, posted 2 August 2014

Matt Hall, "Children of George Worgan", Random genealogy, posted 9 August 2014

Clarke 2015

Robert Clarke, Vanguards of empire: the lives of William Dawes, Watkin Tench and George Worgan (Ph.D thesis, Australian National University, 2015) (DIGITISED)

Lancaster 2015

Geoffrey Lancaster, The first fleet piano (2015) (vol 1 DIGITISED) (vol 2 appendices DIGITISED)

Hall 2019

Matt Hall, "George Bouchier Worgan in Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries", Random genealogy, posted 9 August 2014 (ONLINE)

"George Bouchier Worgan", Wikipedia 

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