Graeme Skinner
Under construction
as of 10 July 2014 at
as last updated in April 2014, can for a short while still be consulted here
A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians A-B
A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians C-D
A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians E-G
A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians H-J
A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians K-L
A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians M-N
A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians O-R
A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians S-T
A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians U-Z
An organisational register of colonial Australian music and musicians A-Z
Chronological checklist
A chronological checklist of colonial compositions 1788-1840
A chronological checklist of colonial compositions 1841-1850
A chronological checklist of colonial compositions 1851-1855
A chronological checklist of colonial compositions 1856-1860
A chronological checklist of colonial compositions 1861-1865
A chronological checklist of colonial compositions 1866-1870
Other content
A bibliography of colonial Australian music
Readings in colonial Australian music history
Nineteenth-century musical sources online
Searching for Stephen Marsh's The Gentleman in Black
1888 Melbourne Centennial Exhibition Orchestral Series
John Onions
convict musician
George Skinner
{fl. 1844-48}
Sydney Catch Club
Emile Coulon
Windsor Band
A lost colonial opera archive
Beethoven in Australia 1827


A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians: A-B



This register complements and updates data available in my
doctoral thesis. It serves as a checklist of vocalists, instrumentalists, dancers, conductors, orchestral players, bandsmen and bandmasters, professors of music, singing and dance, teachers, composers, arrangers, orchestrators, songwriters, librettists, lyricists, music publishers, musicsellers, instrument tuners, repairers, makers, and builders, music reviewers and journalists, music memorialists and historians, writers and lecturers on music, members of musical associations and societies, professional and amateur, agents and impresarios, venue owners and managers, entrepreneurs, active in Australia, whether in public or private, between 1788 and approximately 1860. However, later individuals are also gradually being included, with a view to covering the whole pre-Federation period (to the end of 1900). Entries on more tractable minor figures tend to be far more complete than on major figures who await fuller biographies.

These are the names that my initial scans of the period have produced. But I'd be pleased to hear from anyone who knows of others.


Graeme Skinner, “A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians: A-B”, Austral Harmony (a resource for music and musicians in colonial Australia), @; accessed [INSERT DATE]


- A -



Violinist, musician (Backus Minstrels)
Toured Australia, October 1855 to April 1856

December 1855: Mr. Abbott is a violinist of superior ability, besides being in every respect an accomplished musician. The part music is deliciously rendered […].

References: [Advertisement], Empire (29 October 1855), 4:; “COPPIN’S OLYMPIC”, The Argus (17 December 1855), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 April 1856), 1:



Amateur musician, bandmaster
Active Beechworth, VIC, by 1857
Died Beechworth, 16 May 1861

References: “PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, Ovens and Murray Advertiser (14 March 1857), 2:; “DIED”, Ovens and Murray Advertiser (18 May 1861), 2:; “FUNERAL OF MR. ELI ABBOTT”, Ovens and Murray Advertiser (22 May 1861), 2:



ABECCO, Raffaele
Tenor vocalist, harpist, minstrel
Born 1836
Arrived Sydney, by February 1865
Departed Bunbury, WA, June 1869 (per Sea Ripple for Singapore)
Died Chicago, USA, 3 January 1879, aged 42

1867: Many persons will remember a stout gentleman of Saxon countenance rejoicing in the rank and name of Signor Raphael Abecco, who, in the early part of the year, visited Wellington with a musical company. Mr. Abecco is now in Melbourne as manager of some Christy’s Minstrels, at whose hands, by all accounts, he has suffered very badly in purse and in person. The Minstrels, it would appear, have made an unsuccessful tour through the Western districts of Victoria, and poor Abecco had not the wherewithal to pay their salaries. The members thereupon waxed wroth and took their moneys worth out of him by an assault. Abecco appealed to the law, and his assailants were fined £5 each, with the alternative of 6 weeks imprisonment. One of them, named Taylor, was unable to pay, but offered the Bench his gold watch ; unaccountably, however, the presiding justice declined converting the Court into a Mont de Piete, and refused the security.

1911: Sig. Raphael Abecco gained distinction in minstrelsy chiefly for his excellent performance on the harp: but was also a fine tenor singer, and a composer of repute.  As early as October 20, 1857, he was with Matt. Peel’s Minstrels, and continued with Peel until the latter’s death in 1859. August 27, 1860, he began a season's engagement at Sanford's Minstrels in Philadelphia; in the Spring of 1861 fulfilling a short season with Unsworth’s Minstrels; he returned to Sanford's for the season of 1861-62. July 7, 1862, he opened with Wood’s Minstrels in New York City, and in 1863 Birch, Cotton, Wells and Abecco’s Minstrels inaugurated their season in San Francisco. In 1865 he sailed for Australia and remained abroad until 1872. January 9, 1875 he opened with Simmons and Slocum’s Minstrels in Philadelphia, and the following season was a member of Simmons, Slocum and Sweatnam’s Minstrels in the same city. His last engagement was with Emerson's Minstrels, December 25, 1878. Sig. Abecco was of foreign birth; he died in Chicago, Ill., January 3, 1879; age 42 years. 

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 February 1865), 1:;  [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 February 1865), 1:; “THE CHRISTY’S MINSTRELS”, Empire (21 February 1865), 4:; “THE ORIGINAL CHRISTY’S”, The Sydney Morning Herald (25 February 1865), 7:; “THE ORIGINAL CHRISTY’S MINSTRELS”, Empire (27 February 1865), 5:; “CHRISTY’S MINSTRELS”, Portland Guardian (23 September 1867), 2:; [News], Evening Post (24 October 1867), 2:; “SIGNOR ABECCO’S CONCERT. TO THE EDITOR”, The South Australian Advertiser (24 February 1868), 2:; “STRATHABLYN”, South Australian Chronicle (30 May 1868), 7:; “WELLINGTON”, The Inquirer & Commercial News (23 June 1869), 3:; “BUNBURY”, The Perth Gazette (25 June 1869), 2:; “WEST AUSTRALIAN THEATRICALS. (To the Editor …)”, The Western Australian Times (13 February 1877), 2:; “SIGNOR ABECCO”, The Western Australian Times (25 April 1879), 2:

Resources: Edward Le Roy Rice, Monarchs of minstrelsy from “Daddy” Rice to date (New York: Kenny Publishing Company, 1911), 118:



Arrived Sydney, 7 December 1848 (per Rover’s Bride from London)

Summary: “Miss Abrahams […] from the Royal Academy [of Music], London” made her first and only documented appearance in Sydney at John Philip Deane’s concert in March 1849.

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Maitland Mercury (13 December 1848), 2:; [Advertisement], Bell’s Life in Sydney (24 March 1849), 3:; “MR. DEANE’S CONCERT”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (24 March 1849), 2:; “MR. DEANE’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (6 April 1849), 3:;  “MR. DEANE’S CONCERT”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (7 April 1849), 2:



ABRAHAMS, Isaac (“Ikey the Fiddler”)

Musician, convict
Born Middlesex, England, 1798
Arrived Hobart, 1826 (per Earl St Vincent, from UK 20 April)

1831: THE undermentioned prisoner having absconded from their places of residence […]  Isaac Abrahams, 5 ft, 5½ ins, dark brown hair, dark brown eyes, aged 33 years, a musician, tried at Middlesex in Sept. 1825, sentenced 7 years, per Earl St. Vincent, native of Middlesex, scar on forehead  over left eyebrow, scar back of left arm, absconded from G. C. Clark, Esq. Dec. 1831. Reward £2.

1838: Isaac Abrahams, alias “Ikey the Fiddler”, a well known character, was fined £10 and costs, for harbouring a female assigned servant of Mr. Pyle’s. 

References:; [Government gazette], Colonial Times (14 December 1831), 4:; “APPREHENDED”, The Hobart Town Courier (17 December 1831), 2:; [Public advertisement], Colonial Times (12 March 1833), 4:; “LAUNCESTON POLICE”, The Cornwall Chronicle (17 November 1838), 3:



ADALL, Richard
Active Melbourne, 1856

References: “POLICE”, The Argus (12 December 1856), 6:



ADAMS, Frederick
Choral conductor, amateur vocalist
Active Longford, TAS, 1860s

1895: […] the first society was started here about 35 years ago, under the joint conductorship of Mr. [John] Adams, of Launceston, and Mr. Horace Laws, of Longford, Mr. Fred. Adams subsequently taking the command. This was named the Philharmonic Society, and included in its ranks members of some of the old Longford families, such as the Misses Kirby, Clerke, Archer, Noake, Paton, and others, rehearsals and concerts being held in an iron store, near the site of the old windmill, just off Wellington-street.

References:  [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (25 April 1860), 7:; “LONGFORD”, Launceston Examiner (29 April 1895), 6:



Instrumentalist (theatrical orchestra)
Active Sydney, 1845

References: “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 April 1845), 2:; [Advertisement], Morning Chronicle (28 May 1845), 3:; [Advertisement], Bell’s Life in Sydney (24 March 1849), 3:




Composer, professor of music, choral conductor
Born UK, 1822/23
Arrived Launceston, Tasmania, by 1853
Died Launceston, Tasmania, 11 August 1861, aged 38


1853: PIANOFORTES. - The undersigned having made the necessary arrangements with the most eminent London manufacturers, with whom he has been professionally connected for some years, is prepared, during his stay in the colonies, to execute commissions for the above instruments [...]  John ADAMS, Late of Her Majesty's Chapel Royal, Windsor. March 26.

1859: We stated in our last that we had received from Mr. Adams a piece of music composed for his class. The music itself is excellent, and well adapted for the purpose:— that is to give the time. We shall not comment upon the verses more than to observe that it is wonderful how Mr. Adams could find music for them so harsh and discordant as they are. The music is beautifully lithographed we believe by Mr. Allen, of Charles-Street, and may be had for 6d. each piece.

1862: The entertainment commenced with the performance on the organ of The Tasmanian Anthem, by the late Mr. John Adams [...]. 

References: [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (29 March 1853), 2:; “MUSIC FOR THE MILLION”, Launceston Examiner (9 April 1859), 2:; “To the Editor […] MUSIC FOR THE MILLION”, The Cornwall Chronicle (21 May 1859), 5:; “TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT”, The Cornwall Chronicle (25 May 1859), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Mercury (22 August 1861), 2:; “ST. ANDREW’S YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION”, Launceston Examiner (1 November 1862), 4: 

Musical works online:
No jewelled beauty is my love (Sydney: Woolcott & Clarke, [1856])
A Night Song (I’m thinking o’er the short sweet hour) (Sydney: Woolcott & Clarke, [1856])
Volunteer Song (There is a sound of war) [composer’s MS, dated 8 October 1860]; 
Riflemen form! (printed edition, Hobart: J. Walch and Son, [1861])



ADAMSON, David Beveridge
Violin maker
Born Hawick, Scotland, 22 March 1823
Arrived South Australia, 19 September 1839 (per Recovery)
Died Adelaide, 23 June 1891, aged 68

Summary: Adamson claimed (in 1876) to have made the first violin in South Australia in 1841.

References: “CHAMBER OF MANUFACTURERS”, The South Australian Advertiser (21 December 1876), 6:; “DEATHS”, South Australian Register (24 June 1891), 4:

Resources: Julie Evans, Adamson, David Beveridge, Australian Dictionary of Biography suppl. (2005); Alan Coggins, Violin and bow makers of Australia (?: for the author, 2009), 25;



ADCOCK, Mrs. St. John
(PETTINGELL, Marianne Eliza)
Professor of music, pianist, singer, organist, arranger
Born Paddington, London, England, 12 August 1821
Arrived Hobart, 4 September 1834, per Thomas Laurie
Died Cootamundra, NSW, 28 November 1890, in her 70th year

Arrived: With her parents; father was Joseph Pettingell (1799-1859), tailor “late of Mount-St., Grosvenor Square, London”, [Advertisement], Colonial Times (14 October 1834), 3:; see also Diary of Joseph Pettingell, MS at NLA:; [Advertisement]: “Theatre of Arts”, Colonial Times (28 April 1835), 3: “GRAND CONCERTO, PIANO-FORTE, By Miss Pettingell, A Young Lady only 12 years of Age [sic], Pupil of the celebrated ‘Panorma’ ” [perhaps Francis Panormo, or Ferdinand Charles Panormo, see Sainsbury, A dictionary of musicians, 260:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (27 January 1838), 15:; “LOCAL NEWS”, The Australian (9 March 1839), 3: “Music. — By an advertisement in another column, we perceive that Miss Pettingell, professor of music, has arrived from Launceston, and has opened a Music Seminary in Elizabeth-street […]”; Miss Pettingell sang in concerts for Nathan and others in 1841, see also: “A CARD—MISS PETTINGELL”, The Australian (9 March 1841), 1:; in later life, for many years, Mrs. Adcock was organist of St. Paul’s Church, Redfern.

Married: “MARRIAGE”, The Sydney Herald (20 May 1842), 3: “By special license, on Thursday, the 19th instant, at Saint Lawrence’s, by the Rev. R. Sconce, Mr. St. John Adcock, to Marianne Eliza, eldest daughter of Mr. Joseph Pettingell, Law Stationer, of this town.”

Died: “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 December 1890), 7: “DEATHS. ADCOCK.—November 28, at Cootamundra, in her 70th year, Marianne Eliza Adcock.”

Works: La Favorita Polka ([Donizetti] “arranged by Mrs. St. John Adcock”) (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1857, repr. after 1858]); see also: Annie Laurie (a favorite ballad, as sung by Mrs. St. John Adcock) (Sydney: J. Moore, [? 1855/6]); also an (?earlier) Woolcott & Clarke edition, 1855  




Active Adelaide, 1850

References: [Advertisement], South Australian (9 July 1850), 3:



ADDISON, Glentworth (Walsh Fraser)

Songwriter, composer
Born Manchester, England, 22 April 1831
Arrived Melbourne, 1850
Died Hunters Hill, NSW, 17 November 1903, aged 72

Summary: Addison was associated with the Melbourne Herald in 1854. He was the first composer to set a lyric by the poet Henry Halloran.

References: [Family history], [source of image above]; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 November 1903), 8: “DEATHS. ADDISON.—November 17, 1903, at his residence, Doonbah, Hunter’s Hill, Glentworth Walsh Fraser, late senior stipendiary magistrate, Sydney, eldest son of the late Lieutenant-Colonel H.R. Addison, formerly 2nd Dragoon  Guards (Queen’s Bays), aged 72 years.”; “Obituary”, Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (19 November 1903), 2:

Obituary. MR. G. W. F. ADDISON.  After a well-spent life of 72 years, Mr. Glentworth Walsh Fraser Addison, late senior stipendary magistrate of Sydney, passed peacefully away at Sydney on Tuesday evening. The deceased gentleman, who was one of the best known figures in the city, was a son of the late Lieutenant-Colonel H. R. Addison, of the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen’s Bays). His son Mr. G. Addison, is the present Clerk of Petty Sessions at Bathurst. In 1850, just about the time of the Victorian gold rush, he, then a young man, arrived in the southern State. After a few years spent there he came to Sydney and entered the Lands Department, and was subsequently transferred to the northern district, being appointed Sub-Gold Commissioner […] Mr. Addison was the oldest living relative of the poet Addison, his grandfather, Judge Addison, British Resident of Borea (India) being the heir-at-law and collateral relative of the poet.

Musical works online:
Heartsease (Words: “Geraldine“) (Sydney: Sandon, [1858])
Lost Marguarite (words: Henry Halloran) (Sydney: James Fussell, [1861]; in The Australian Musical Bouquet)



ADNEY, Marcus Leopold
Composer, songwriter
Born Wareham, Dorset, England, December 1853
Active Sydney, 1899-1900
Died ? NSW, 1901

References: “NEW MUSIC”, Evening News (21 March 1899), 8:; [News], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 March 1900), 4:

Works: Rise! Australia (Australian national anthem written and composed by Marcus Leopold Adney) (Sydney: Andrews &​ Cook, 1899)
Heroes of Mafeking (patriotic verses entitled “Tom Daring,” to the tune of “Tom Bowling”) (Sydney: John Sands, printer, [1900]); for Dibden’s tune, as arranged by Jules Riviere, see Tom Bowling




Chinese musician
Active Ballarat, 1856

1856: THE CELEBRATD CHINESE MUSICIANS, O-Wai and A-Fou, Principal Musicians to the O-ho of Tibet, Lassa, will perform SOLOS, DUETS, &c. During the evening on the KAI-PI! and HUC-MUC!

1856: Our reporter being unable to obtain admission at the Montezuma last night, writes—Proceeding outwards to the Celestial entertainment we met with a more benign reception. The great attraction of the evening was the performance of six Chinese upon certain musical instruments The number of persons present was about 2000, there being a great muster of Celestials. The principal performers were O-Wai and A-Fou, but what particular instruments they played we are at a loss to say. Out of the six musicians three performed on what bears some remote resemblance to an English violin; the bow used being somewhat similar to that used with a violincello. Two others performed on instruments played in the same fashion as a guitar, and the sixth had a small basket placed before him, fixed on three pieces of wood, which was evidently meant to represent a drum. This basket the performer beat with two very small drumsticks occasionally accompanying the action by singing. To say that these six Chinese ‘discoursed most eloquent music’, would be to make a great mistake, as the sound produced reminded us of certainly nothing terrestrial which we ever heard before. The novelty of this entertainment drew a large company, together, but the music was far too peculiar to be generally appreciated.

References: [Advertisement], The Star (30 November 1856), 3:; “THEATRES”, The Star (4 November 1856), 2:; “A CHINESE CONCERT ON BALLARAT”, The Argus (5 November 1856), 5:; “A CHINESE CONCERT ON BALLARAT”, The Perth Gazette (16 January 1857), 4:



Drum-major (96th Regiment), bandmaster (St. Joseph’s Band, 1845-49)
Born Dundalk, Louth, Ireland, c.1814
Arrived NSW, ? 1841 (with regiment)
Died East Maitland, NSW, 12 October 1892, aged 78 years

AGNEW, James V.
Born Lahore, India
Died West Maitland, 28 June 1919

Obituary 1892: Our obituary in last issue contained the name of John Agnew. Mr. Agnew had for many years been lockup keeper in East Maitland, but at the time of his death was living on the pension well-earned by attention to duty. He was one of the worthiest of the older police force that we have known; always courteous, punctilious in the discharge of duty, and precise and regular in his ways, as became a man whose army training had left an impress on his manners and formed his habits. A good old man has gone to his rest. The following particulars of Mr. Agnew’s career will not be without interest. He enlisted in the 96th Regiment and served nearly thirty years, including eight years of service as a boy. He served in England, Ireland and Scotland, in Halifax, Jamaica, East India and Norfolk Island. He was in New South Wales with a detachment of his regiment early in the forties - when the military were required to control the convicts. He went thence to Launceston, where in 1845 he formed the oldest brass band in Australia - St. Joseph’s Brass Band, which is still in existence. From Launceston he went to East India, where he remained until he left the army on a pension and with a long service and good conduct medal. In 1855 he returned to New South Wales, where he joined the police force in 1857. He was stationed four years in Largs and 21 years in East Maitland, till he was pensioned in 1882.

1895: […] St. Joseph’s Band was formed in July, 1845, in connection with St. Joseph’s Total Abstinence Society, and may therefore be said to be the oldest association of its character in the colonies […] The first bandmaster was the late Mr. John Agnew, of the 96th Regiment, and the original members were Messrs Charles Galvin, John McKenzie, William Mainsbridge, Andrew Skate, Arthur McIver, Francis McIver, Morgan O’Meara, William O’Meara, David O’Keefe, Thomas Keogh, Thomas Leary, John Murphy, and Bernard Lynch.

Obituary 1919: Born in Lahore, India, the late Mr. Agnow arrived in Australia with his parents when only a few yeays of age. He followed the occupation of a carpenter and joiner, and for a number of years was employed by James Wolstonholme, Limited. He was one of the founders of the Mnltland Federal Band, in which he always took a great interest, and was well-kuown in musical circles generally.

References: “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 November 1872), 1:; “DEATHS”, The Maitland Mercury (15 October 1892), 1:; “THE LATE JOHN AGNEW”, The Maitland Mercury (15 October 1892), 4:; “ST. JOSEPH’S BAND. FIFTY YEARS’ HISTORY”, Launceston Examiner (6 July 1895), 3:; “Death of Mr. J. Agnew”, The Maitland Mercury (28 June 1919), 4:; “The World’s Oldest Band Celebrates Its Centenary”, Examiner (25 August 1945), 11:



Chinese singer, government interpreter
Active Ballarat, by late 1850s
Departed c.1880s (for China)

1863: At about nine o’clock Mr. Lang, the assiduous president of the institute, brought up to the orchestra a band of some tea or a dozen Chinese, whose services he had enlisted in the good cause. It had been announced that Mr. Ah Coon, the Government interpreter, would favor the company with songs in the Malay, Amoy, and Chin Choo dialects, but Mr. Ah Coon, it appears, did not feel himself in sufficiently robust health to trust his reputation as a vocalist to the hazard of an attempt that evening, confining himself to heralding to the audience the performances of his compatriots. With Chinese music and musical instruments our readers are somewhat familiar, but we dare say they will not be sorry to have the comments of an explanatory paper handed to us on Saturday evening by the president. From this we learn that Ge Sin played on the Kong-wai. The drums covered with buffalo skins were played by Ah Kow, and the gong by Le Tak. The Chinese guitar, or moot-kem, a flat circular instrument with four strings, played on by means of a small piece of bone, was manipulated by Lee-Sem. Wee-Pin played with bone the Sam-yen, a guitar like instrument of three strings, the sounding board being covered with snake-skin. The pan-ewoo, a flat disc of wood for the purpose of keeping time, was beaten by sticks. The shap-ar, a small oblong piece of hardwood six inches by three, was also used for marking time. Wee-Pin played the cymbals or cha, well known to dwellers in Ballarat East. Lee Tak also played the gong or laur, “very effective”, as Mr. Lang says, “in producing loud music”. Lee Yeng and Lee Chok played the tee-uh or tuk-tie, which produced sounds similar to the Scotch bagpipes, or Scotch organ, as Ah Coon calls the instrument. As we have before stated, Mr. Ah Coon did not sing, but Lee Tak and Kong Wai did. The first sang in his natural voice, and the second in falsetto; but, owing to the ponderousness of the accompaniment, neither could be heard. At the conclusion of the songs, the party retired amidst the applause which courtesy, if not appreciation demanded.

References: [Advertisement], The Star (3 October 1863), 3:; NEWS AND NOTES”, The Star (5 October 1863), 2:; “CHINESE SINGING AND PLAYING”, Bendigo Advertiser (7 October 1863), 3:; “BALLARAT”, The Argus (5 June 1866), 5:; “A VISIT FROM THE DEAD”, The Maitland Mercury (22 July 1871), 2:



Chinese musician
Active Ballarat, 1863

References: [Advertisement], The Star (3 October 1863), 3:; “NEWS AND NOTES”, The Star (5 October 1863), 2:; “CHINESE SINGING AND PLAYING”, Bendigo Advertiser (7 October 1863), 3:



AKHURST, Walter Frederick
Printer, lithographer, music publisher
Born North Adelaide, 2 January 1854 (son of William Mower Akhurst)
Died Sydney, 6 April 1904, aged 50

Summray: Having worked previously for Charles Troedel’s lithographic and printing business, Akhurst established his own Sydney firm, Walter Akhurst and Co. (also “W. Akhurst and Co.”) in May 1881, when Troedel moved to Melbourne. Over the next 20 years the company published much sheet music in Sydney under its own name, as well as printing for other houses.

References: [News], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 May 1881), 5:; [News], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 April 1904), 6:; “DEATHS’, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 April 1904), 6: p://; “DEATHS”, The Argus (8 April 1904), 1:

Bibliography: Prue Neidorf, “A Guide to Dating Music Published in Sydney and Melbourne, 1800-1899” (M.A. thesis, University of  Wollongong, 1999), 124-25:; [Family history]:



AKHURST, William Mower

Dramatist, lyricist, composer
Born Hammersmith, London, England, 29 December 1822
Arrived Adelaide, South Australia, 20 June 1849 (per Posthumous)
Departed Australia, 1869/70
Died on return voyage to Australia, 6/7 June 1878


Arrived: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian (22 June 1849), 2: “ARRIVED […]  June 20. The barque Posthumous, 890 tons, B. Davison, from London and Plymouth. Passengers: […] Wm. Akhurst wife and infant”

Departed: “MR. W. M. AKHURST”, The Argus (27 January 1870), 6: “Mr. W. M. Akhurst, a gentleman who has been intimately connected with the press and dramatic institutions of this city for the past 10 years, is about to return to England […]” [a detailed resume of his Australian career]

Died: See Victorian Year-book (1878-79), 344: “Mr. W. M. Akhurst, author of several pantomimes and burlesques for the Melbourne stage, died on his return voyage from England”; “DEATH OF WILLIAM MOWER AKHURST”, The South Australian Advertiser (22 August 1878), 5:; “OPERA HOUSE. THE AKHURST BENEFIT”, The Argus (21 March 1879), 6:

Musical works include:
The Acacia Waltz (In The Illustrated Melbourne Post (24 March 1864))
Beautiful Swells (“celebrated duet […] in Mr. W.M. Akhurst’s burlesque extravaganza King Arthur) (Melbourne: For the author by C. Troedel, [1868])
My dear girls she’s a pal of mine (“duo piquant in The Siege of Troy; the words by W. M. Akhurst”) (Melbourne: C. Troedel, [1868])




ALDIS, Hannah (Mrs. W. H. PALMER)
Pianist (pupil of Boulanger)
Born Sydney, 1839
Died Sydney, 25 November 1912, aged 73

Summary: Two published prints were dedicated to her, Miska Hauser’s impromptu Australian Flowers in December 1856, and the Rosalind Schottische, “dedicated to Miss Aldis by the composer Douglas Callen”  in 1859.

Obituary: The death took place on Monday at her residence, Ocean street, Woollahra, of Mrs. Hannah Hay Palmer, at the age of 73 years. Mrs Palmer was a native of Sydney. Her father was Mr. W. H. Aldis, a merchant of this city in the early days. Old colonists will recollect Mrs. Palmer as a lady of high musical talent. There is a link connecting her with Chopin. She was a pupil of Boulanger, and he, in turn, was a pupil of the great composer. Miss Aldis was a brilliant pianist, and when a girl of 14 she gained distinction by her playing at the opening of the Sydney University. For many years Miss Aldis (afterwards Mrs. Palmer) took part in the leading concerts of Sydney, and was a prominent figure in the musical world […] Her daughter is Miss Gertrude Palmer, who is a well-known solo pianist and accompanist […].

References: “REVIEW”, The Sydney Morning Herald (24 December 1856), 5:; “SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 April 1857), 4:; “MARRIAGES”, Empire (24 November 1863), 1:; “MRS. W. H. PALMER’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 May 1869), 4:; “Mrs. Palmer’s concert”, The Sydney Morning Herald (23 October 1884), 10:; “THE METROPOLITAN LIEDERTAFEL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 August1884), 8:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 November 1912), 8:; “PERSONAL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 November 1912), 18:

Associations: Daughter of W. H. Aldis; pupil of Edward Boulanger; wife of W. H. Palmer; mother of Gertrude Palmer



ALDIS, William Henry
Amateur vocalist
Born ? UK, 1805
Active Sydney, 1828-1867
Died Sydney, 21 January 1872, aged 67 years

Summary: By May 1828 William Aldis was collector or monies for The Sydney Gazette, later for The Sydney Herald, and afterward town collector. “Mr. Aldis” appeared a glee singer with Maria Taylor and Conrad Knowles in George Gordonovitch’s concert in January 1835, and took over Gordonovitch’s tobacco business in 1837. He was one of the principal vocalists in Deane’s concert in May 1836, and in Wallace’s oratorio at St. Mary’s in September. He sold tickets for Deane’s concert in 1842, though later was in business for while in Brisbane. He was a friend of Ludwig Leichhardt, and, by Leichhardt’s own accound, the first to recognise the explorer on his unexpected return to Sydney in 1846. Aldis was honorary treasurer of the Sydney Philharmonic Society in 1860 and the Sydney Vocal Harmonic Society in 1861. He was declared insolvent in 1867, and died in 1872 “an old and much respected colonist”. His daughter Hannah Aldis (Mrs. W. H. Palmer) (above) and granddaughter (Miss Gertrude Palmer) were both professional musicians.

Leichhardt 1846 (Argus 1865): An intelligent, much-liked tobacco merchant, named Aldis, had assisted me when I started before most friendly and strongly, and he was the first whom I met when I landed. When he had recollected me (and this took a pretty long time) he gave vent to his feelings in such a glorifying welcome that I did not know what to think of it. And when he accompanied me to Lynd’s house, and called out to everybody in the street. “There is Leichardt, whom we buried long ago, about whom we sang songs of death; he comes from Port Essington, and has con- quered the wilderness.”

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (14 May 1828), 1:; “MR. GORDONOVITCH’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Gazette (22 January 1835), 2:; “CONCERT”, The Australian (23 January 1835), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (12 May 1836), 3:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (14 March 1837), 3:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (10 September 1842), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 December 1861), 1:; “LEICHHARDT’S LAST HOME CORRESPONDENCE”, The Argus (13 September 1865), 5:; “DIED”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 January 1872), 1:

Bibliography: William Henry Aldis, DAAO

Associations: Father of Hannah Aldis (Mrs. W. H. Palmer), grandfather of Gertrude Palmer



Professor of music, pianist, composer
Active Melbourne, by 1861
Died Launceston, 20 April 1876, aged 36

Obituary: Mr. Alexander was a native of Norwich, England, and he resided for some time at Melbourne, for a few years at Hobart Town, and in Launceston for the last five or six years. We are informed that Mr. Alexander had his life insured in one of the life offices. It is to be hoped, for the sake of his widow and family, that he had.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (15 April 1861), 8:; “DEL SARTE’S ROOMS”, The Mercury (5 December 1868), 3:; “VICTORIAN SCHOTTISCHE”, Launceston Examiner (23 May 1871), 2:; “MISS SHERWIN’S CONCERT”, Launceston Examiner (5 October 1872), 5:; “MISS SHERWIN’S CONCERT AT THE MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE”, Cornwall Chronicle (7 October 1872), 2:; “MR. ALBERT ALEXANDER’S CONCERT”, Cornwall Chronicle (25 June 1873), 3:; “DEATHS”, Launceston Examiner (22 April 1876), 2:; “THE SUDDEN DEATH OF MR. ALBERT ALEXANDER”, Cornwall Chronicle (21 April 1876), 2:; “THE LATE MR. ALBERT ALEXANDER”, Launceston Examiner (22 April 1876), 5: 



ALFORD, Madame
Professor of Music, pianoforte
Active Melbourne 1854

Summary: A pupil of Henri Herz, advertised only briefly in Melbourne, otherwise unidentified.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (19 June 1854), 8:



ALFRED (prince; H.R.H. Duke of Edinburgh)

Musician, violinist, pianist, composer
Born Windsor, England, 6 August 1844
Arrived Adelaide, 31 October 1867 (per Galatea)
Departed 26 June 1868 (private second visit 28 January 1869 to early 1871)
Died Germany, 30 July 1900

November 1867: NEW MUSIC -The visit of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh has set the musicians of this and the neighbouring colonies at work composing to his honour, and the result has been the production of some good music, the most striking being the “Galatea Waltz,” by Mr. Charles Edward Horsley. The first in the field was Mr. C. W. Rayner, with an “Ode” to the Prince, well harmonised and very pleasing. Mr. Jackson has written a decidedly smart , and, in point of construction, original galop, enlitled, “The Brave Boys.” A lady amateur presents the public with the “Duke of Edinburgh Schottische,” striking if not original, the theme, apparently, taken from the song “Oh, my courage,” in the opera of “Maritana.” Mr. Alfred Anderson contributes a set of quadrilles styled “The Royal Visit”- which are pronounced to be excellent; the title page contains a highly   finished photograph of Prince Alfred, from Adelaide (through Messrs. Elvy and Co.). We have received two pieces composed in that city - one a polka brilliante “the Galatea,” by Mr. F. Ellard, and the other, the Prince Alfred Waltz, by Mr. George Loader [Loder] - both possessing merit, but certainly not, as the Adelaide papers have it, superior to any other composition. In addition to those above enumerated, Mr. John Hill, whose name is well-known in musical circles in London, has two galops the “Galatea” and “Prince Alfred” in the press, and Mr. Henry Marsh and Mr. Gassner (bandmaster of the 50th Regiment) are also busily engaged in paying a musical tribute to his Royal Highness. To enter into a detailed criticism of each composition is scarcely necessary; all possess more or less merit, and show that we have in Australia a constructive as well as an auricular taste for music.  

References: “NEW MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (23 November 1867), 4:; J. G. Knight, Narrative of the visit of his royal highness the duke of Edinburgh to the colony of Victoria, Australia (Melbourne: Mason, Firth, 1868):; “AN ANECDOTE OF PRINCE ALFRED”, The Ballarat Star (16 October 1868), 3:; “THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH’S VISIT TO NEW ZEALAND”, Bendigo Advertiser (24 June 1869), 3: 

Knight 193-94: The Melbourne Philharmonic Society (the oldest musical association in Victoria) employed its well-organised strength in giving a high-class concert, at which his Ro)al Highness and suite, his Excellency the Governor and family, and all the leading members of the community were present. Mendelssohn's “Athalie” was the principal work on the programme, and this was rendered in the most effective manner by a band and chorus of four hundred and fifty performers. The great hall of the Exhibition Building was crowded, and his Royal Highness, who is himself an accomplished musician, expressed his gratification at finding classical music so highly appreciated in Victoria.

NZ 1869: At a concert given by the Auckland Choral Society, the Prince, we are told, “kindly assisted, playing first violin, with Colonel Balneavin and others.” The Prince, it is added, “subsequently took part in Mozart’s symphony, and in other full orchestral pieces, in all of which he acquitted himself most admirably.

Resources: H. J. Gibbney, Edinburgh, Duke of (1844–1900), Australian Dictionary of Biography 4 (1972)

Musical works:
Waltz (Sydney: J. H. Anderson & Son, [1868])
Waltz: The Return of Galatea (composed by H. R. H. The Duke of Edinburgh) (Sydney: J. H. Anderson & Co., [1868])
The Return of the Galatea (A New Waltz)  (Second Edition) (Sydney: J. H. Anderson & Co., [1868])



Professor of Music (Singing and Pianoforte), school teacher
Active Sydney, 1854

Summary: One or perhaps two Miss Allan(s) active in Balmain in 1854. Later in the decade two Miss Allans ran a school in Woolloomooloo.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 January 1854), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 January 1854), 3:



ALLAN, George Leavis
Singing master, musicseller, music publisher
Born London, 3 September 1826
Arrived Melbourne, 1852
Died East St. Kilda, Melbourne, 1 April 1897, in his 71st year

ALLAN, George Clarke
Musicseller, music publisher (Allan & Co.)
Born Melbourne, 3 May 1860
Died Portsea, 29 October 1934

Obituary 1897: Members of the musical profession and old colonists will learn with regret of the death of Mr. George Leavis Allan, of Allan’s music warehouse, Collins-street, which took place yesterday at his residence, Landsdowne-street, East St. Kilda. Just before Christmas Mr. Allan had a paralysis seizure, and a general break-up of the system followed, the immediate cause of death being failure of the heart’s action. The late Mr. Allan, who was a colonist of 44 years and aged 71, was formerly a member of the Impend civil service, but came to search for gold, and spent some time on the diggings. On coming to Melbourne he was appointed a singing master under the Government, and later held the chief position as inspector and master. During that time he held his classes in St. Paul’s schoolroom, and amongst his pupils were many who won distinction as artists. Mr. Allan also conducted with much success the great annual musical gatherings in the old Exhibition building. Later on he entered into partnership with the late Mr. Joseph Wilkie and Mr. Webster, and on the death of these gentlemen became the sole proprietor in the business. The depression of late years brought disasters to him, as to other Melbourne men, but throughout his business integrity was never in doubt, and he lost nothing of the esteem gained in long years of active and honourable work. He was naturally intimately acquainted with all the leading musical artists who for years past have visited Australia, and took a leading part in every movement for the advancement of music in Melbourne. The late Mr. Allan leaves a widow and family of six sons and two daughters, all grown up. The interment will take place this afternoon.

References: “THE ART OF SINGING”, The Argus (8 July 1854), 5:; “SINGING CLASSES AT PRAHRAN”, The Argus (11 October 1854), 5:; “DENOMINATIONAL SCHOOL MUSIC PERFORMANCE”, The Argus (23 December 1854), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (4 June 1857), 8:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (2 April 1897), 1:; [Obituary], The Argus (2 April 1897), 4:

Web: Kenneth Hince, Allan, George Leavis (1826–1897), Australian Dictionary of Biography 3 (1969);



ALLAN, William
Choirmaster (St. Mark’s Church)
Active Melbourne, 1856

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (31 May 1856), 1:



Tenor vocalist, amateur
Active Sydney, 1836-42

Summary: “Mr. Allen”, an amateur, sang Braham’s dramatic scena The Death of Nelson (see a later edition) at John Philip Deane’s concert in May 1836, when his “strong Scotch idiom” was remarked upon. He may be connected with the Allen who was a scene painter in July that year, as also previously his son, for Barnett Levey’s theatres. A Mr. Allen was also a soloist in the first Sydney performance of Handel’s Messiah for Johnson and Leggatt in August 1842, and last appeared in Sydney for John Philip Deane in September 1842. Accordingly, this Allen may be one of the father and son pair below. Supporting this, both a Mr. Allen and Master Edward Allen sang in Nathan's oratorio in July 1841.

References: “CONCERT”, The Sydney Herald (19 May 1836), 3:; “THEATRICALS”, The Sydney Gazette (7 July 1836), 3:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (5 June 1841), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 August 1842), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (12 September 1842), 3:

Resources: H. Allen, DAAO



Active Adelaide, 1850

References: [Advertisement], South Australian (9 July 1850), 3:



ALLEN, Master (later Mister ? & Mr. D. ALLEN)
Treble (boy soprano), later tenor vocalist(s)
Active Hobart, 1844-48

Summary: A Mr. and Master Allen arrived in Hobart from Sydney in December 1843, perhaps the Allens, father and son, active in Sydney in the 1830s (above). Reporting on Master Allen’s singing of “O thou that tellest” from Messiah for the Hobart Town Choral Society in January 1845, The Courier feared he “will probably soon be lost to the musical world in the parts he now takes, accomplished very neatly, though wanting in mellowness of tone and evidently deficient in the delicate refinements of the art.” Nevertheless, a year later, the Colonial Times could not “pass over the singing of Master Allen, who is almost a colonial ‘phenomenon’. His style is good, chaste, and tasteful, and his intonation distinct and perfect. He reminds us a good deal of Master Longhurst, so much admired many years ago at Covent Garden and the London concerts.” According to the Colonial Times, a tenor singer Mr. D. Allen was one of five “young men of the Hebrew religion” who formed the choir for the opening ceremonies of Hobart Synagogue on 4 July 1845. Some of the music sung at the service survives in keyboard arrangements published as Joseph Reichenberg’s Ancient Hebrew Melodies (Hobart: Thomas Browne, [1847]). Allen was a vocal performer for the Gautrots’ concert in November 1844. For them again in December 1845 he sang Barker’s The White Squall (see US edition) and Isaac Nathan’s Byron setting Tambourgi. A Mr. Allen appeared in Charles Packer’s May Day concert in 1848, and sang Haydn’s In native worth for the Hobart Choral Society in November 1848.

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, Colonial Times (19 December 1843), 3:; “HOBART TOWN CHORAL SOCIETY”, The Courier (22 October 1844), 2:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (16 November 1844), 1:; “CHORAL SOCIETY”, The Courier (23 January 1845), 2:; [News], Colonial Times (8 July 1845), 2:; “THE SYNAGOGUE”, Colonial Times (11 July 1845), 3:; “THE CHORAL SOCIETY”, The Courier (18 October 1845), 2:; “MONSIEUR AND MADAME GAUTROT”, The Courier (20 December 1845), 2:; “CHORAL SOCIETY”, Colonial Times (23 January 1846), 3:; “ST DAVID’S CHURCH, HOBART TOWN”, The Courier (4 February 1846), 2:; “THE ORATORIO”, The Courier (23 May 1846), 3:; “THE CHORAL SOCIETY”, The Courier (5 December 1846), 2:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (25 April 1848), 2:; “CHORAL SOCIETY”, The Courier (2 August 1848), 2:; “CHORAL SOCIETY”, Colonial Times (17 November 1848), 2:



ALLEN, Edward
Music lithographer, surveyor (? amateur choral singer)
Active Launceston, 1859

1859: We stated in our last that we had received from Mr. Adams a piece of music composed for his class. The music itself is excellent, and well adapted for the purpose:— that is to give the time. We shall not comment upon the verses more than to observe that it is wonderful how Mr. Adams could find music for them so harsh and discordant as they are. The music is beautifully lithographed we believe by Mr. Allen, of Charles-Street, and may be had for 6d. each piece.

References: [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (13 June 1857), 1:; “MUSIC FOR THE MILLION”, Launceston Examiner (9 April 1859), 2:; “To the Editor […] MUSIC FOR THE MILLION”, The Cornwall Chronicle (21 May 1859), 5:; “TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT”, The Cornwall Chronicle (25 May 1859), 5:



ALLEN, Francesca (Madame ALLAN)
Soprano vocalist
Arrived Sydney, by mid December 1850
Active Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Maitland until June 1853

Summary: A pupil of Crevelli and Pinna, “from the London concerts”, Madame Allen advertised her first Sydney concert on 14 December 1850. A selection of songs from her concerts are among the only items of sheet music known to have been issued by John Gibbs during his shortlived publishing venture (with George and Elizabeth Hudson) as J. Gibbs and Co.. She was in Adelaide by March 1851, and, after having sung in Mrs. Jupp’s concert in April 1851, was incorrectly identified in a review as Madame Caradori Allen (1800-1865), the great veteran London soprano. She may have been connected in some way with Maria Caradori Allen, however, since in 1853 Francesca sang in several concerts with Harriet Fiddes, who, as Miss Cawse, had regularly appeared with Caradori Allen in London. In Adelaide her repertoire including a cavatina by Bellini and Jenny Lind’s “favorite song” My Father Land. And by February 1852, when she sailed for Melbourne, the Register was calling her “The Australian Nightingale” (the earliest known use of the term). She sang in concerts in Melbourne from May 1852, and sang with Fiddes and Flora Harris at Henry Marsh’s concert in Sydney in May 1853. Fiddes and Allen then toured the Maitland district in May and June, after which she disappears from Australian record. She next appears in British press advertisements in 1859.

Kooringa, April 1851: Mr. Bambrick’s second concert took place on Saturday, the 26th instant, when Madame Allen again appeared. Her reception on this occasion was most triumphant; one universal feeling of inexpressible rapture prevailed; every song was loudly encored, and the lady resumed her seat amidst great applause […] This little Jenny Lind of the Burra seems to have quite infatuated the elite of the North.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 December 1850), 1:; “MADAME FRANCESCA ALLEN’S CONCERT”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (21 December 1850), 2:; [Advertisement], Bell’s Life in Sydney (21 December 1850), 3:; “MADAME ALLEN’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (23 December 1850), 2:; “MADAME ALLEN’S CONCERT”, South Australian Register (7 March 1851), 3:; “CONCERT IN AID OF THE GERMAN AND BRITISH HOSPITAL”, South Australian Register (19 September 1851), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (14 October 1851), 1:; “MRS. JUPP’S CONCERT”, South Australian Register (11 April 1851), 2:; “KOORINGA CONCERTS”, South Australian Register (30 April 1851), 3:; “THE AUSTRALIAN NIGHTINGALE”, South Australian Register (2 February 1852), 3:; “IS IT AN ERROR”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (6 March 1852), 2:; “THE CONCERT”, The Argus (13 March 1852), 5:; “THE SATURDAY CONCERT”, The Argus (1 May 1852), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (11 September 1852), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 May 1853), 1:; “MRS. FIDDES’ CONCERT”, The Maitland Mercury (28 May 1853), 2:



ALLEN, George Benjamin
Professor of Music, composer
Born 1822
Arrived Melbourne, June 1870
Died Brisbane, QLD, 30 November 1897

ALLEN, Alice (Miss Alice MAY)


1872: Mr. G. B. ALLEN, Mus. Bac. Oxon., composer of the Comic Opera “Castle Grim,” played with great success 40 consecutive nights in London, “Goat Bells,” ”Little bird so sweetly singing,” Madlle. Liebhart’s great song - “Who can tell,” and many other songs sung by Parepa Rudersdorff, Sherrington, Sainton Dolby, Louisa Pyne, at the leading concerts in London and the United States. 

Obituary: Mr. G. B. Allen, Mus. Bac, passed away at his residence, West End, South Brisbane, early yesterday morning. Mr. Allen, who was a distinguished musician, was aged 75 years […] As a boy of 8 years he sang in the choir of St. Martin’s Church, London, and at 10 he entered the Westminster Abbey as chorister, taking precedence to many older boys. At 12 he had the honour of taking Clara Novello’s place at a grand concert in Her Majesty's Theatre, and there sang through a new mass at sight. On the subsequent change of voice he deputised at St. Paul’s Cathedral until appointed at Armagh Cathedral. During his stay in Ireland he created and conducted a large choral society in Belfast, producing the great oratorios for the first time in the Ulster Hall, which was built expressly for his society. He afterwards returned to London, and occupied himself with original composition. In conjunction with R. Reeve he composed the music of a comic opera—not a burlesque–entitled “Castle Grim”, which was very successful. Mr. Allen was a fertile composer of all descriptions of music, operas, anthems, songs, &c. His opera “Wicklow Rose” was first produced by Madame Soldene in Manchester, while some of his anthems are very often sung in Westminster Abbey. Since his arrival in Brisbane he composed an opera, “Fayette”, to Mr. Brunton Stephens’s libretto, on entirely Australian subjects, which has as yet only been heard as an “opera di camera”. The music is charming and highly descriptive […] The deceased gentleman, who came to Queensland about nine years ago, leaves a widow and young family.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (19 March 1870), 8:; [News], The Argus (8 June 1870), 5:; “POPULAR CONCERT AT THE PRINCESS’S”, The Argus (20 June 1870), 6:; [Advertisement], The Argus (28 July 1870), 3: [News], The Argus (1 August 1870), 4:; “MR. ALLEN’S BALLAD CONCERT”, The Argus (29 September 1870), 6:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 December 1872), 10:; “THE OPERA-HOUSE. CASTLE GRIM”, The Argus (12 June 1875), 7:; “A QUEENSLAND OPERA. FAYETTE; OR, BUSH REVELS”, The Brisbane Courier (1 February 1892), 6:; “FAYETTE: A QUEENSLAND OPERA. MR. G. B. ALLEN’S BENEFIT CONCERT”, The Brisbane Courier (24 March 1892), 5:; “DEATH OF MR. G. B. ALLEN”, The Brisbane Courier (1 December 1897), 7:

Works: Castle Grim (comic opera; London, 1865; first Australian performance, Melbourne, 1875); A Wild Night (poetry: Henry Kendall; music composed expressly for and sung by Mrs. Cutter by G. B. Allen) (Melbourne: Lee & Kaye, [1870]); O paradise (Hymn, arranged and partly composed by George B. Allen) (Melbourne: Wilkie, Webster, &​ Allan., [1871]); Fayette, or, Bush revels (an original Australian comic opera, in three acts written by J. Brunton Stephens; composed by G. B. Allen) (Brisbane: Watson, Ferguson &​ Co., 1892)

Resources: “Allen, George Benjamin. 1822-1897”. in The American history and encyclopedia of music: musical biographies (London: 1918), 11:; “G. B. Allen”, AUSTLIT:; AusStage:



ALLEN, James
Drum major (96th Regiment)
Active with regiment NSW, 1841-43; Tasmania, 1843-49
Died Cressy, TAS, 28 April 1858, aged 49

References: “DEATHS”, The Courier (30 April 1858), 2: ht



Music master (Model Schools)
Active Melbourne, 1865

References: “DISTRIBUTION OF PRIZES AT THE MODEL SCHOOLS”, The Australian News for Home Readers (25 January 1865), 6:



ALLEN, Thomas Henry
Fiddler, shoemaker
Died Adelaide, 9 July 1882

1878: Thomas Henry Allen was charged with having played on a certain musical instrument, namely a violin, after having been requested by a constable and by Mr. W. T. Flint to depart from the neighborhood of Mr. Flint’s shop, on account of its interfering with his business, on April 19 […] The defendant made lengthy address to the Bench, in which he slid the case must fall through because Mr. Flint had not proved that he was a householder or that he had any right to order him away. The fact that such a large crowd had gathered together showed that his music had been appreciated. Mr. Flint being a harsh unsympathetic kind of character, could not ap preciate it— (laughter)— and he would ask the Bench, as Mr. Flint was in such a decided minority, to dismiss the case. Being an old colonist and a John Bull, he had as much right to play in the streets as any foreigner.

References: “INSOLVENCY COURT”, South Australian Register (19 April 1878), 3:; “POLICE COURT”, The South Australian Advertiser (24 April 1879), 7:



ALLPRESS,  George Rivers
Violinist, pianist, Professor of Music, Teacher of Violin, Viola and Piano
Born Sandhurst, VIC, 1864
Died Johannesburg, South Africa, 8 April 1918

Summary: Edward Calon was reportedly first teacher of a talented musical youngster, George Allpress, aged 11½ when he made his public debut in September 1876. Allpress spent 1879 working in orchestras in New Zealand. Working in Brisbane in 1884 with Caron’s opera company, the Queensland Figaro described him as “that ladylike violinist, Mr. Rivers Allpress!”.

References: “A YOUNG MUSICIAN”, The Maitland Mercury (28 September 1876), 3:; “MUSIC”, The Argus (4 October 1876), 2s:; “A Peep at the Shows”, Queensland Figaro (5 April 1884), 15:; “A popular Sydney Musician”, Australian Town and Country Journal (13 April 1889), 28:; “DEATH OF RIVERS ALLPRESS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 July 1918), 14:

Images: above:; painting by Tom Roberts (c.1895), NGV:



Music lithographer, printer
Active Victoria, by 1860
Died Sydney, 17 May 1903, aged 78

Summary: John Alvarez lithographed at least two musical prints issued in Hobart. For George Rolwegan, Caller Herrin (“The Celebrated Scotch Song”) published in December 1861, and for James Walch, The Tasmanian Yacht Club Polka, by Mary Oldham, issued in June 1862.

References: “NEW INSOLVENTS”, The Argus (20 June 1860), 5:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Mercury (31 December 1861), 2:; “MUSIC”, Launceston Examiner (2 January 1862), 5:; “THE TASMANIAN YACHT CLUB POLKA”, Launceston Examiner (26 June 1862), 5:; “INSOLVENCY COURT”, The Mercury (17 March 1864), 2:; “ASSINGNMENTS”, South Australian Register (8 October 1880), 4:; “DISTRICT COURT”, The Brisbane Courier (9 March 1889), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 May 1903), 4:




Pianist, composer
Born Launceston, Tasmania, 1848 (son of James Henri  ANDERSON)
Died Melbourne, Victoria, 1876

Image: Powehouse, Sydney:

Son of James Henri Anderson (see next entry below), born in Tasmania in 1848.
1853: Made his public stage debut at the age of 4 and a half; see “GRAND CONCERT”, Colonial Times (9 July 1852), 2:
1856: In Sydney he studied piano with Charles Packer, and in 1857 departed for London where he studied at the Royal Academy of Music; “ALFRED ANDERSON, THE YOUNG AUSTRALIAN MUSICIAN”, The Empire (18 August 1859), 3:
1860: Returned to Australia and made his adult Sydney debut, “ALFRED ANDERSON’S DEBUT”, The Empire (31 October 1860), 4:
1867-68: Anderson was honoured during the visit of prince Alfred with the title of “Pianist to H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh”, and the family firm J. H. Anderson and Son was allowed to publish the prince’s own compositions in Australia; on 7 April 1868 Anderson again embarked for England; “TOWN AND COUNTRY: MR. ALFRED ANDERSON, R.A.M.”, Sydney Mail (18 April 1868), 5:,5035895
He returned to Sydney in July, with a letter of recommendation from his teacher, the Austrian pianist Ernst Pauer; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 July 1869), 1:; “AN ANECDOTE OF PRINCE ALFRED”, The Ballarat Star (16 October 1868), 3:
1875: In Sydney on 29 December, Anderson married the toruing singer Mlle. Ilma De Murska; “NEW SOUTH WALES”, The South Australian Advertiser (31 December 1875), 5:
1876: Anderson died less than four months later, at his father’s house 1 Lansdown-terrace, East Melbourne, on 22 March 1876; [News of the day], The Argus (23 March 1876), 4: A letter to the editor of the Argus from Anderson senior addressed accusations printed in the earlier notice that De Murska had been barred access to her husband by his family; see “THE LATE MR. ANDERSON”, The Argus (25 March 1876), 5:; many years later, De Murska’s manager De Vivo went into print in the New York Sun claiming that, during Alfred’s final illness, the Anderson family had effectively swindled Murska of £2000. According to De Vivo, when she last tried to see her husband: “[...] she found the old Jewish father sitting at the door, a bottle of wine at his side, and when she attempted to enter the door he stretched out his cane and told her his son was too ill to receive her”, see “THE LOVES OF A CANTATRICE”, Kalgoorlie Western Argus (11 March 1897), 10: Less than two months later, on tour in Dunedin, New Zealand, on 15 May 1876, De Murska remarried, her new husband Anderson’s former friend and collague, John Thomas Hill.

Musical works online:
The Sydney Polka [Australian edition] (Sydney: J. H. Anderson, [1861?])
The Challenger Galop (6th edn) (Sydney: J. H.Anderson, [1867])
The Queen’s Own Galop (Sydney: J. H. Anderson & Son, [1867])
The Royal Visit Quadrilles [second edition only extant] (Sydney: J. H. Anderson & Son, [1867])
The Belmore Galop (Sydney: J. H. Anderson, [1868])
Star of love (valse de salon on favourite themes from Lurline) [W. V. Wallace] (Sydney: J. H. Anderson, [1868])
Also The New England Polka (composed by J. H. Thee; arranged for the piano-forte by Alfred Anderson) (Sydney: J. H. Anderson, [1864])



Piano-forte maker
Active Victoria, 1851-55

Melbourne 1851: ANDREW ANDERSON, PIANO FORTE MAKER (From London.) BEGS to acquaint his friends, and the public, that he is prepared to undertake the repair of any description of Piano Forte, having been engaged in this business in London for upwards of twenty years, where he obtained a practical knowledge of every branch of it […]

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (20 August 1851), 3:; [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (25 September 1855), 4:

Resources: Martha N. Clinkscale, Makers of the piano: 1820-1860 (1999), 8: “An Andrew Anderson was listed at 83 Great Titchfield Street, Oxford Street, London, from 1843-1850”; but see also Nancy Groce, Musical instrument makers of New York (1991), 4:    



ANDERSON, James Henri
Professor of music, pianist, composer, organist, music retailer, music publisher
Born UK, 1822/23
Arrived Hobart, by 4 February 1842
Died Melbourne, 30 April 1879, aged 56


Brisbane 1870: Mr. J. H. ANDERSON, member of the Royal Academy of Music, London, and for many years well and favorably known in the Southern colonies us a music teacher, has recently taken up his residence amongst us, and announces that he is prepared to receive pupils for the piano- forte and singing. Mr. Anderson brings a long list of references including our present Premier, and nearly all the old residents of standing in the city and neighbourhood.

Rockhampton 1871: Mr. Alfred Anderson will be assisted to-morrow evening by his fathe, Mr. J. H. Anderson, whose performance on the concertina, are too well and favourably known to need any comment from us.

Melbourne June 1879: GEORGE RUSHALL has received instructions from Messrs J. Barnet and Saml. Lyons, executors in the estate of J. H. Anderson, R.A.M., deceased, to SELL by PUBLIC AUCTION, on the premises as above, Fine toned cottago piano, by Aucher Frères, a valuable collection of instrumental music and operas, selected with great care by deceased [...]

References: [Advertisement], The Courier (4 February 1842), 3:; “TO THE EDITOR […] PSALMODY”, Launceston Examiner (4 September 1850), 4: [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (3 April 1852), 7:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (6 July 1870), 1:; [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (24 December 1870), 1:; “MR. J. H. ANDERSON”, The Brisbane Courier (31 December 1870), 4: ; [News], Rockhampton Bulletin (26 December 1871), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (8 May 1879), 1:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 May 1879), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (5 June 1879), 2:

Albert AlexanderMusical works online: The Lays of the Hebrews (“A Selection of Hebrew Melodies as Sung at the Consecration of the Sydney Synagogue […] Arranged for the Piano Forte by J. H. Anderson”) (Contents: 1 Psalm 91 [by Matthew Moss (England 1795-1868)]); 2 Psalm 24 [Matthew Moss]); 3 Awake! Awake!; 4 Come my beloved) (Sydney: Francis Ellard, [1844]); The Fitzroy Quadrilles (“dedicated by permission to His Excellency Sir Charles A. Fitzroy, K.C.B., in honor of his visit to Melbourne”) (Sydney: James T. Grocott, for the composer, [1850])



Professor of music, musicseller, piano tuner
Active Melbourne, by 1866
Died Melbourne, January 1887, aged 56

Obituary: An inquest was held by Dr. Youl at Carlton on Wednesday, on the body of Thomas Anderson, a dealer in musical instruments, aged 56. The deceased had been partially paralysed all his life, and often expressed a wish that he was dead. He recently went to England for the sake of his health, but returned without being benefited. On Tuesday he retired at 11pm and nothing more was known of his movements until about 8am on Wednesday, when his dead body was found hanging by the neck in the bathroom of his house. A verdict of suicide whilst of unsound mind was returned. 

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (13 January 1866), 8: ; “BIRTHS”, Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (16 May 1868), 14:; “SUICIDE BY HANGING” , The Argus (27 January 1887), 9:; “Funerals”, The Argus (27 January 1887), 1:



ANDREWS, Edward R. G. W.
Teacher and composer of music, orchestral conductor, reviewer, examiner
Born ?, 1862/3
Active Bendigo and Melbourne, 1887
Died Canterbury, VIC, 25 February 1930, aged 67

1887: Mr. E. R. G. W. Andrews. This gentleman, who is well-known in musical circles, will take his departure today by the afternoon train for the metropolis, where it is his intention to practice his profession as a teacher and composer of music. His office will be in Mr. Glen’s musical establishment in Collins street. Mr Andrews, it will be remembered, lately won the prize for the musical composition to the cantata to be performed at the opening of the Adelaide Jubilee Exhibition.

References: [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (4 February 1886), 4:; “MR. E. R. G. W. ANDREWS”, Bendigo Advertiser (5 March 1887), 2:; “THE MUSIC CRITICISED”, South Australian Register (22 June 1887), 6:; “MUSIC OF THE CEREMONIAL”, South Australian Weekly Chronicle (25 June 1887), 7:; “THE EAGLEHAWK MUSICAL COMPETITION”, Bendigo Advertiser (8 October 1895), 3:; “MR. E. R. G. ANDREWS’S CONCERT”, Bendigo Advertiser (30 October 1897), 5:; “NIKISCH, THE GREATEST LIVING CONDUCTOR”, Bendigo Advertiser (29 May 1907), 6:; “MARSHALL-HALL CONCERT”, Bendigo Advertiser (19 May 1908), 6:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (26 February 1930), 1:

Works include: Adelaide Jubilee International Exhibition Cantata (words by G. H. Cossins) (Adelaide: E. Spiller, Government Printer, 1887)
Mariette, or, The rule of the fairies (an entirely original romantic opera in two acts written by E. G. L. Sweet) (libretto, Melbourne: Universal Printing Company, [1888?])


Associations: Conductor of Bendigo Orchestral Society, Bendigo Lyric Orchestra, and Bendigo Liedertafel



ANDREWS, Mrs. Frank
Mezzo-soprano vocalist, Professor of Singing
Active Sydney, by December 1853; until July 1857

Summary: At Henry Marsh’s Musical Academy in Sydney, as advertised on December 1853, “the vocal department [was] under the direction of Mrs. ANDREW, pupil of Garcia”. However, by March 1854 she was advertising alone, from her address in Forbes Street Woollomooloo. She gave her second annual concert in Sydney in June 1855, assisted by Flora Harris, Sara Flower, Frank Howson and Coleman Jacobs. She toured into country NSW in 1856, visiting Bathurst and Maitland. In Maitland she sang “the beautiful ballad of Willow Glen”, followed by an encore Kate Kearney.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 December 1853), 7:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 March 1854), 1:; “MRS. FRANK ANDREWS’ CONCERT”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (30 June 1855), 2:; “BATHURST. THEATRICALS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 April 1856), 4:; [Advertisement], “The Queen’s Theatre”, Maitland Mercury (19 August 1856), 3:; “QUEEN’S THEATRE”, Maitland Mercury (23 August 1856), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 July 1857), 9:



ANGUS, Silvanus
Bass vocalist (Melbourne Philharmonic Society)
Active Melbourne, by 1857
Died Mornington, VIC, 13 March 1897, aged 69

Summary: Angus made a good impression in one of his earliest solo appearances for the Melbourne Philharmonic in Haydn’s Imperial Mass in 1857. The Qui tollis peccata was “taken by a Mr Angus, a new basso of much promise, and who possesses a voice of more than average power, and of a quality for steadiness and richness not often met with in an amateur. This gentleman's singing formed decidedly one of the most agreeable features of the concert”. Angus was also a soloist in the first Australian performance of Molique’s new oratorio Abraham by the Philharmonic in December 1862.

References: “THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY’S FOURTH CONCERT”, The Argus (2 September 1857), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (21 December 1861), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (5 December 1862), 8:; [News], The Argus (1 October 1863), 4:; “THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Argus (1 December 1869), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (16 March 1897), 1:; “IN MEMORIAM”, The Argus (13 March 1899), 1:



Comic vocalist, songwriter
Active Picton, NSW, 1863

1863: The local comic song by Alex. Antill, Esq., elicited much deserved approbation, some of the “hits” were certainly most apropos, more particularly that having reference to one of the late Contractors on No. 2, Railway Extension.

References: “PICTON”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (18 July 1863), 3:



ANTONI, Pietro di
Basso vocalist
Arrived Melbourne, by December 1867
Died 19 October 1868, at sea (on the Alexander Duthie, from Sydney to San Francisco)

Summary: Antoni was Primo Basso of La Compagnia Lirica Italia, Lyster’s Italian Opera Company (with Giuseppe Bertoloni, Ugo Devoti, Ida Vitali, and Guilia Colombo), that opened in Melbourne with Ernani in January 1868. According to The Argus: “We have no hesitation in pronouncing Signor Antoni one of the best artistes we have had here for many a day, and as we have before said, no basso equal to him (with the exception of one, perhaps) has ever been heard in this part of the world. We should like to hear him in German opera—as Marcel, or Caspar. His voice is admirably suited for the aria di portamento and is comparatively lost to the world of Italian opera solely.” He did duly appear in Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots as the Sydney Herald reported: “The German school of composition is not that in which Signor Antoni might be expected to appear to the greatest advantage, but his Marcel was by no means ineffective—indeed it proved that the public estimation of his powers as a fine artist is fully deserved; and when it is considered that it was his first appearance in the character it must be considered successful.” Antoni died en route from Sydney to San Francisco in October.

References: [News], The Argus (4 December 1867), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (2 January 1868), 8:; “THE OPERA. ERNANI”, The Argus (7 January 1868), 5:; “THE OPERA. L’ELISIR D’AMORE”, The Argus (13 Januray 1868), 5:; “PRINCE OF WALES OPERA HOUSE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 June 1868), 4:; “DEATH OF SIGNOR ANTONI”, The Sydney Morning Herald (25 January 1869), 4:



APPEL, (Johan) Conrad
Bandmaster (dance bands), cornet player
Born Liebenburg, Hannover, 10 January 1825
Arrived Melbourne, September 1856 (per Morning Light)
Active Sydney, from 1857
Died Glenn Innes, NSW, 14 June 1905

Summary: Appel, accompanied by several fellow musicians, arrived in Sydney from Melbourne in February 1857. At various times Appel advertised his “Parisian Band” and “Brass Band” (Sydney’s Cremorne Gardens, 1857), “Quadrille Band” (1859), “splendid GERMAN BAND” and “magnificent Brass BAND” (1863). In September 1861, “George Coliver was found guilty, on the prosecution of Conrad Appel, of having thrown stones at him and others, members of the German Band, to their common danger, and was ordered to pay 2s. 6d penalty, with 8s. 4d. for costs.” In May 1860, Appel and five other musicians formed the band for some or all of a voyage from Suez to Sydney on the Malta. One of the few records of their actual repertoire appears in a report of a dinner at which they played at Windsor in November 1864, when the toast airs they played were Fine Old English Gentleman, Here’s a health to all good lasses, and [?Spagnoletti’s] The Cornstalk Galop. In June 1866 Elizabeth Appel advertised that Appel had “entirely withdrawn from the present German Band, as he is in Queensland”. In the 1869 General Election, Appel signed a November petition of support for James Martin and Henry Parkes. A “Herr Appel was in attendance with his cornet” at dances in Brisbane in February and April 1886. Appel’s son John was then living in Brisbane; earlier both father and son had worked with circus companies.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 April 1857), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 July 1857), 1:; “ST. ANDREW’S DAY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 December 1857), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 April 1859), 1:; “CENTRAL POLICE COURT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (5 September 1861), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 December 1863), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (31 December 1863), 1:; “BALL AT THE VICTORIA BARRACKS”, Empire (24 June 1864), 4:; “THE DINNER AT WINDSOR”, Empire (30 November 1864), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 June 1866), 1:; “DOUBLE BAY REGATTA”, Empire (2 January 1867), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 November 1869), 2:; [Advertisement], Australian Town and Country Journal (11 February 1882), 1:; [News], Queensland Figaro and Punch (27 February 1886), 33:; [News], Queensland Figaro and Punch (3 April 1886), 33:

Resources: February 1857: Appell, C.; Rosekranz, H.; Fretoth, F.; Meir, F.; Meir, A.; Wagner, F.;  Spohr, W.; Spohr, H.; Marheine, C.; Oppermann, H.; Meir, L.; May 1860: FREDERICKS, Christian (Bandmaster, 31, Hanover); SPOHR, Henry (Musician, 22, Brunswick); APPEL, Conrad (Musician, 35, Hanover); ROSENKRANZ, Henry (Musician, 30, Hanover); HAUSE, Christopher (Musician, 20, Hanover); OPPERMAN, Henry (Musician, 30, Hanover); 

My thanks: To Karen Hughes for information from her great-great-grandfather's marriage (1858), naturalisation (1904), and death certificates, and from her other research.



Blind violinist, ex convict
Active Maitland, 1843

1843: John Applewhite was indicted for having in his possession a stolen order for £6 13s 9d, on the 14th January last. […] The prisoner was in Lumley’s public house the night before the robbery at the same time the procecutor was there; he is a blind man, and had a fiddle with him […] The prisoner said he had received the orders from George Hall, but he had not the slightest knowledge of their being stolen […] He had been free thirteen years, and lost his sight in government service; he had never seen anything since he was free, and obtained a livelihood by playing upon a violin […] the prisoner was then sentenced to be imprisoned in Newcastle gaol for three calendar months.

References: “RECOVERY OF STOLEN ORDERS”, The Maitland Mercury (21 January 1843), 2:; “COURT OF QUARTER SESSIONS”, The Maitland Mercury (15 April 1843), 2:



ARABIN, Frances
(Laverty) (MACKEY)
Actor, vocalist
Active Hobart, from 1837; later Sydney, Adelaide, Maitland
Died West Maitland, 10 October 1848, aged 40

Summary: The daughter of Mrs. A. M. Dieckman, of West Maitland (by a previous marriage), she had married the actor Gustavus Arabin (d.1857) and was in Hobart appearing at the theatre by 1837. The couple came with Anne Clarke’s company to Sydney in 1838. She was frequently billed as singing songs and duets. In 1847 she returned to her family in Maitland, and in March was “about getting a room at the Rose Inn […] fitted up as a theatre, and hopes by Easter to have it ready for performances by a mixed company, of amateurs and actors, under the management of herself and her husband, now in Sydney”. In due course in May, it was reported: “Mrs. Arabin, as usual, gave great satisfaction. In the song, Perhaps it’s as well as it is, she was rapturously encored, and although labouring under a severe cold and hoarseness, she contrived to delight the audience with her good humour and spirit.”

References: “THEATRE”, The Hobart Town Courier (15 December 1837), 2:; “ARRIVALS”, The Sydney Herald (15 March 1838), 2:; “THEATRICALS”, The Maitland Mercury (6 March 1847), 2:; “THE THEATRE”, The Maitland Mercury (15 May 1847), 2:; “Deaths”, The Maitland Mercury (18 October 1848), 3:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (29 September 1848), 3:; “Maitland District Court”, The Maitland Mercury (19 September 1849), 2:; “CIVIL SITTINGS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 September 1849), 2:; “DEATH”, The Courier (13 February 1857), 2:



Active Sydney, 1853-54

Summary: Her performance of Crouch’s ballad Art thou in tears for the St. Mary’s Choral Society in February 1852 was, according to the Empire, “Sung with great elegance and purity of taste by a young lady of very high promise”. She also appeared in Coleman Jacobs’s farewell concert in October 1853, and later “particularly distinguished herself” in further concerts for the St. Mary’s Choral Society.

References: “ST. MARY’S CHORAL SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, Empire (24 February 1852), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 October 1853), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 October 1853), 2:; “MR. COLEMAN JACOBS’S CONCERT”, Illustrated Sydney News (29 October 1853), 6:; “MR. COLEMAN JACOBS’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 October 1853), 5: “SUMMARY FOR ENGLAND”, Illustrated Sydney News (7 January 1854), 2:



Active VIC, 1853-58


1856: Maryborough Hospital …  At Dunolly a concert was given at the Golden Age for the same laudable purpose, Madame Arnati White, Madame Vitelli, and Messrs. White, Leeman, and Gibson, giving their services gratuitously. The receipts amounted to £62.

References: “THE WEEKLY CONCERTS”, The Argus (2 February 1853), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 October 1853), 8:; “MARYBOROUGH”, The Argus (28 November 1856), 6:; [Advertisement], The Star (14 October 1857), 3:; “MADAME ARNATI WHITE’S CONCERT”, The Star (29 March 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (19 July 1858), 8:



ARNDELL, Rowland Randolph
Pianist (student of Charles Packer), organist, composer
Born Maitland, 9 November 1857 (son of Thomas and Harriet Arndell)
Died ? QLD, 1920

NLA:; Wikitree:

References: [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (21 August 1862), 1:; “BATHING IN A PUBLIC PLACE”, The Maitland Mercury (18 February 1871), 3:; “MAITLAND”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 February 1874), 2:; “LOCAL MUSIC”, The Maitland Mercury (12 August 1876), 4:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 March 1878), 5:; “Amusements”, Evening News (13 June 1878), 3:; “A BROKEN HEART”, The Maitland Mercury (12 June 1879), 5:; “New Music”, Newcastle Morning Herald (30 August 1879), 5:; “THE CATHEDRAL”, Freeman’s Journal (16 June 1883), 14:; “SOCIAL”, The Brisbane Courier (10 November 1913), 9:



ARNOLD, Edward
Music publisher, bookseller
Active Melbourne, by c.1850

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (5 December 1853), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (3 September 1859), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (7 October 1859), 2s:; [News of the day], The Argus (21 November 1859), 4:

Musical publications:
Frank HOOPER: Hark to the strains that triumphant are swelling (“a patriotic song on the separation of Port Phillip from New South Wales; written by W. J. D. Arnold, respectfully dedicated to His Excellency Charles Joseph La Trobe, esq., Governor of Victoria;  the music composed by Frank Hooper”) (c.1850)
Sidney NELSON: The Light from the Mountain (“Favorite Ballad by an Australian Lady, The Music by S. Nelson, As Sung by Miss O. Hamilton” (1859)
J. SUTHERLAND: Aurora Australis Polka (1859)



Band leader (The European Band)
Active Sydney, 1859

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 April 1859), 12:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 December 1859), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 December 1859), 1:



ARNOLD, Thomas
Itinerant musician
Active Hobart, 1859

1859: George Hull was charged by Constable Smith with being at an early hour this morning on the premises of Thomas Arnold, itinerant musician, Goulbourn-strcet for an unlawful purpose.

References: “POLICE COURT. Unlawful Purpose”, The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (13 December 1859), 2:



Pianist, accompanist, composer, music publisher, musicseller
Born Dresden, 1843
Arrived Melbourne, by May 1867 (from Germany)
Departed Melbourne, ? 1878
Died London, 28 May 1908

Summary: Trading as Nicholson and Ascherberg (Melbounre) by November 1874; trading as Messrs. E. Ascherberg and Co. (London) by ? 1878

References: “THE QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY”, The Argus (25 May 1867), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (27 June 1867), 8:; [News], The Argus (27 June 1867), 5:; [News], The Argus (30 May 1871), 5:; “THE GERMAN LIEDERTAFEL”, The Argus (27 February 1872), 5:; [News], The Argus (30 March 1874), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (3 November 1874), 7:; [News], The Argus (15 September 1879), 5:; “CABLE MESSAGES”, The Brisbane Courier (17 March 1883), 5:; [Bankruptcies], The London Gazette (29 May 1883), 2828:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Argus (16 April 1885), 6:; “MUECKE-CROSSLEY WEDDING”, The Advertiser (16 May 1905), 6:; “Re EUGENE ASCHERBERG, Deceased”, The London Gazette (2 October 1908), 7157:; “Eugene Ascherberg’s Estate”, The Music Trade Review (3 October 1908), 1:

Published works:
Two songs (“O calm thyself, my heart”, and “Mother, oh sing me to rest”) (“dedicated to Madame Escott”) (Melbourne: Charles Troedel, [1867])
Until this heart shall break (“Wolle Keiner mich fragen”; composed by Eugene Ascherberg; German words by R. Prutz ; English words by H. Puttmann (Melbourne: Nicholson &​ Ascherberg, [ca. 1879])

Notable publications:
Dear old words (Ballad; composed by Franz Abt; Composed expressly for Nicholson &​ Ascherberg) (Melbourne: Nicholson &​ Ascherberg, [1876])
List! the birds are singing (song; by Franz Abt; Dedicated to Signora Antonietta Link ... composed expressly for Nicholson &​ Ascherberg) (Melbourne: Nicholson &​ Ascherberg, [? 1879]) 
Giorza’s Exhibition Album (Sydney: Nicholson &​ Ascherberg, [1879]

Resources: Kerry Murphy, “‘Volk von Brüdern’: the German-speaking Liedertafel in Melbourne”, Ninteenth-century music review 2/2 (2005), 55-75



ASHTON, Michael
Formerly of Liverpool, England
Arrived Melbourne, ? January 1853 (per Winchester)
Died Mornington, VIC, 19 July 1872, aged 84 years

References: “MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Argus (1 August 1855), 4:; “MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Argus (4 March 1857), 6:; “THE MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Argus (25 December 1878), 6:; “DEATHS”, South Australian Register (10 August 1872), 8s:; [News], The Argus (13 August 1872), 4:

Bibliography: W. A. Carne, A century of harmony: the official centenary history of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Society (Melbourne: Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Society, 1954);; scanned reprint, Organ Historical Trust of Australia:



ATKINSON, Sarah (Mrs. John)
Professor of Music
Arrived Swan River Colony, WA, 1829
Arrived Hobart, 30 January 1831 (per Eagle)
Died Hobart, 1842, aged 43

Summary: Sarah Atkinson, wife of  a former army officer and artist, taught music at Ellinthorpe Hall in 1831. She also taught music privately, and was evidently already running a school of her own when, in December 1833 she took over Stanwell Hall in Richmond. Her husband’s recent insolvency and dismissal as schoolmaster at Richmond was perhaps the cause of Sarah again seeking specifically musical employment in April 1836: “MRS. JOHN ATKINSON, Professor of Music, begs most respectfully to offer her services to the inhabitants of Hobart town in that department (as well as in French). She was a pupil of Mr. Attwood, who presided at the organ of St. Paul’s, London, and was finished by Mr. J. B. Cramer. Her terms may be known by reference to Dr. Ross or at her residence, No. 25, Collins street. She also begs to state, she had the honour to attend at Government House, where she gave every satisfaction”. John set up as an architectural draftsman and teacher of drawing at the same address in May 1836, and died in 1839.

References: “SHIP NEWS”, Colonial Times (1 February 1831), 2:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (24 December 1833), 1:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (26 January 1836), 8:; [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (22 April 1836), 3:; [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (20 May 1836), 3:

Resources: Margaret Glover, John Atkinson, DAAO; G. F. Stilwell, “Mr. and Mrs. George Carr Clark of Ellinthorp Hall”, Tasmanian Historical Research Association 11/3 (April 1963), 72-109 (82)



Professor of music, pianist, organist singing class instructor
Active Brisbane, by 1863

References: [Advertisement], The Courier (29 June 1863), 3:; [News], The Courier (22 December 1863), 2:; [News], The Courier (23 December 1863), 2:; [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (24 October 1864), 1:



Music copyist
Active Sydney, 1854

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 September 1854), 1: To THE LADIES. - Music copied on reasonable terms. Mr. ATTFIELD, 70, Hunter-street.



AULD, Isabella (Mrs. Patrick R. SCOTT)
Teacher of music
Arrived Sydney, 16 January 1840 (per Charlotte, from Leith, 18 August 1839, and Hobart, 11 January)

February 1840: FROM EUROPE. MISS J. AULD, Pupil to the most eminent Masters, will give instruction in the following branches of Music; both to Juvenile, and also to finishing Pupils, víz:- Piano-forte, Harp, Guitar, and Singing, either English, Scotch, or Italian, in the most perfect and fashionable style. Will be happy to shew satisfactory references if required […]

References: “Hobart Town Shipping”, Launceston Examiner (2 January 1840), 4:; “PASSENGERS PER CHARLOTTE”, Colonial Times (14 January 1840), 3:; “CHARLOTTE”, The Sydney Monitor (17 January 1840), 3:; [Advertisement], The Colonist (22 January 1840), 3:; “MARRIED”, The Sydney Herald (26 April 1841), 3:



AUSTIN, John Gardner
Music lithographer, printer
Arrived Sydney, 12 June 1834 (per Bristol)

Music prints:
A Song of the Women of the Menero Tribe (“Arranged with the assistance of several Musical Gentlemen […] by John Lhotsky”) (I. G. Austin, Litho[graphe]r, Sydney, [1834]
Echo’s Song (“by Will[ia]m Wallace”) (Printed by J. G. Austin, [1837])

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (3 November 1834), 1:; “Domestic Intelligence”, The Australian (7 November 1834), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (11 November 1834), 3:; “MUSIC”, The Sydney Herald (2 February 1837), 2:; [News], The Colonist (2 February 1837), 2:; [Sydney news], The Hobart Town Courier (17 February 1837), 2:; “INSOLVENT ESTATES”, Australasian Chronicle (5 April 1842), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 May 1849), 1:

See also:

Resources: Richard Neville, John Gardner Austin, Design & Art Australia Online (1992; 2011); Prue Neidorf, A Guide to Dating Music Published in Sydney and Melbourne, 1800-1899 (M.A. thesis, University of  Wollongong, 1999), vol. 2, 134-35: 

Return to top of page

- B -


Priest, singer, choral director

Born Paderborn, Germany 15 February 1811
Arrived Adelaide, 6 November 1846 (per Mazeppa from Batavia), Sydney, 5 December 1846 (per Dorset)
Died Bendigo, VIC, 7 September 1882

December 1846: The music was exquisite, being exclusively in the  solemn and majestic Gregorian tone; the choir was conducted by the Rev. Dr. Backhouse, who excels in his knowledge, and practice of sacred music.

September 1847: On Tuesday last a Solemn Dirge and High Mass was celebrated at the Metropolitan Church of St. Mary, for the repose of the soul of this great and good man […] The Rev. Dr. Backhouse presided in the Choir, where he was assisted by the Messrs. Howson, and the organ being wholly silent, as is usual on such occasions, the hearers had a full opportunity of Appreciating the power and melody of the choristers, as they poured forth the solemn and majestic notes of the Gregorian Chaunt. 

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (7 November 1846), 3:; “MISCELLANEOUS”, South Australian Register (11 November 1846), 3:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVALS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 December 1846), 2:; “THE LATE POPE”, Sydney Chronicle (19 December 1846), 2:; “THE LATE MR. O’CONNELL”, Sydney Chronicle (30 September 1847), 2:; “THE CHURCH”, Sydney Chronicle (16 October 1847), 2:; “DEATH OF DEAN BACKHAUS”, The Argus (8 September 1882), 5:

Resources: A. E. Owens, Backhaus, George Henry (1811–1882), Australian Dictionary of Biography 3 (1969)



BAILEY, Amelia (Mrs. R. S. SMYTHE)
Soprano vocalist
Born London, 5 November 1842
Active Melbourne, 1860s
Died Deepdene, VIC, 29 July 1932, aged 89

Summary: A pupil of Charles Elsasser, Bailey made her debut in Melbourne in 186. In 1862 she toured as an associate artist with Poussard and Douay, and later that year with the eclocutionist Miss Atkins and pianist Marquis Chisholm. With them in Launceston in January 1863 she was billed singing Riflemen Form, perhaps the setting by local composer John Adams. Bailey and Chisholm sailed for China in May 1863 with their agent Robert Smythe (whom she married during 1863). By late 1864 she was in Ceylon and Bombay giving concerts with Poussard. Still in India, early in 1866 the Lahore Chronicle had spoken “very favourably of Miss Bailey’s talents, and asserts that no vocalist equal to that lady has visited India since poor Catherine Hayes sang in Calcutta some seven or eight years ago”. She finally reappeared in Sydney, from Mauritius, in October 1869, giving concerts with comic vocalist Florence Calzoda accompanied by harpist Edwin Cobley. She was performing in Adelaide in 1876.

May 1860: Mrs. Hancock and Miss Bailey were the lady vocalists, and gave several airs, much to the satisfaction of the audience. Miss Bailey is a young lady, who, it will be remembered, lately made a promising debut at the Philharmonic Society’s concert. She sang very well last evening, but it was unnecessary and injudicious on the part of a section of the audience to compel her to accept two encores.

May 1862: Poussard and Douay are accompanied by a very talented soprano vocalist, Miss Amelia Bailey, who has been performing for some lime past with great success at the various concert-rooms in Victoria.

Obituary: The musical history of early Melbourne is recalled by the death on Friday evening at her residence in Deepdene-road, Deepdene of Mrs R. S. Smythe, formerly Miss Amelia Bailey. Mrs Smythe would have reached the age of 90 on November 5 of this year. She was a native of London and arrived in Melbourne with her parents at a very early age. She was attending St James’s Sunday school when her singing attracted the notice of Mr. Allan, the founder of the music firm of Allan and Sons. He obtained her admittance to the Philharmonic Society at the age of 13 years and before she was 16 she had been appointed principal soprano. That was in 1858. She was the leading soprano of Victoria for a number of years until she lost her voice owing to a throat affection. One of her early performances was in “The Messiah” in Geelong. Mr. H. Byron Moore was conductor. He used to tell that if the ages of the five principals had been added the total would not have been 100 years. They included Miss Bailey, Mr. Armes Beaumont the noted Melbourne tenor, and himself. Miss Bailey was married in 1863 to Mr. R. S. Smythe, who conducted concert tours and presented celebrities for many years. Under his management, with the celebrated Miss Arabella Goddard, the English pianist, as “star” she toured the East and South Africa. Mr. Smythe died in 1917. Mrs Smythe has three children, two of whom survive her. Mrs Edgar Bell and Miss Adelaide Smythe. Her son Mr. Carlyle Smythe died while on a Continental tour with his wife six or seven years ago. He had earned a high reputation in Melbourne journalism, particularly in musical criticism and his early death was much regretted.

References: [News], The Argus (23 May 1860), 5:; [News], The Argus (4 July 1860), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (22 April 1861), 8:; [News], The South Australian Advertiser (21 May 1862), 2:; “MONDAY EVENING’S CONCERT”, South Australian Register (27 May 1862), 2:; [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (1 January 1863), 5:; “WEEKLY REGISTER”, Empire (30 May 1863), 3:; [News], The Argus (12 November 1864), 5:; “MUSICAL”, South Australian Register (25 May 1865), 2:; “DRAMATIC AND MUSICAL”, South Australian Register (3 April 1866), 2:; “MUSICAL AND THEATRICAL”, South Australian Register (9 July 1867), 2:; “ARTISTES AND THEIR WANDERINGS”, The Mercury (13 September 1869), 3:; [Advertisement], Empire (30 October 1869), 3:; [Advertisement], Empire (1 November 1869), 8:; “SCHOOL OF ARTS”, Empire (9 November 1869), 2:; “FIRST ST. CLAIR CONCERT”, The South Australian Advertiser (10 January 1876), 7:; [News], The Argus (8 January 1855), 5:; “A Musical Pioneer. By S.H.J.”, The Argus (2 July 1932), 6:; “OBITUARY”, The Argus (1 August 1932), 6:



BAILEY, William
Professor of music and dancing
Active Sydney, by 1860
Died Surry Hills, NSW, 19 February 1873, aged 48 

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 January 1860), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 October 1860), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 February 1862), 1:; “FUNERAL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (25 July 1866), 8:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 February 1873), 1:



Bellman, bellringer
Active Launceston, 1836

References: “LAUNCESTON: POLICE INTELLIGENCE”, The Cornwall Chronicle (2 January 1836), 2:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (17 March 1838), 43:



BAKER, William Kellett
Music engraver, lithographer, printer, publisher
Arrived Sydney, 1835
Active musically, 1840s (Hibernian Press)
Died Maitland, 16 January 1857, aged 49

References: “SUDDEN DEATH OF A PERSON BELIEVED TO BE MR. WILLIAM BAKER OF SYDNEY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 January 1857), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 January 1857), 1:

Musical prints:
? A Book of Psalm Tunes for the Presbyterian Church (“neatly executed and arranged for three voices”) (Sydney: 1844) [cited in Neidorf]
NATHAN: Sweet smiles and bright eyes (Sydney: W. Baker, Hibernian Press, 1845)
NATHAN: Oh, for the Olden Time (Sydney: W. Baker, Hibernian Press, 1845)
? HINCKESMANN: The Grand Fancy Ball ([Sydney: William Baker, 1845]) [no copy identified]
NATHAN: Leichhardt’s Grave; An Elegiac Ode (Sydney: William Baker, Hibernian Press, 1845) NATHAN: Sir Wilfred (Sydney: William Baker, [1845])
NATHAN: The Lord’s Prayer (Sydney: William Baker, Hibernian Press, 1845)
HINCKESMANN: A Dream of the Mayor’s Fancy Dress Ball, in Heads of the People (10 July 1847) (Sydney: William Baker, 1847)
WALLACE (arr.): Walze Favorite du Duc de Reichstadt (Sydney: W. Baker, [184-?]) (compare earlier print by Fernyhough)

Resources: Richard Neville, William Kellett Baker, Design & Art Australia Online (orig. 1992); Prue Neidorf, A Guide to Dating Music Published in Sydney and Melbourne, 1800-1899 (M.A. thesis, University of  Wollongong, 1999), vol. 2, 135-36:



BALDWIN, Samri Samuel
The celebrated thought reader, songwriter, composer
Born 1848
First active Australia by May 1878

1887: We have received from S. Baldwin, a copy of a national song for Australia, Australia by the Sea, the words and music by that talented gentleman, are written with a desire for colonial confederation.

References: [News], Kyabram Union (18 November 1887), 2:; [News], North Melbourne Advertiser (19 November 1887), 2:; [News], The Telegraph (26 November 1887), 6:;

Works: Australia by the sea (words and music by Professor S. S. Baldwin, the celebrated thought reader) ([Melbourne: Fergusson &​ Mitchell., lith., [1887])



Active Sydney, 1835

Summary: In May 1835, Ball was listed as bassoon player for the ensuing Sydney Theatre Royal season.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (4 May 1835), 3:



BALY, Edward
Flute player, music teacher, schoolmaster
Born ? UK, 1819
Arrived Sydney, early 1840s
Died Sydney, 28 April 1897, in his 79th year

Summary: Formerly tutored by Robert Lowe at Oxford, and a student of the flautist Richardson, Edward Baly arrived in Sydney to teach at Sydney Grammar School on Lowe's recommendation. After having also been second master at St. James’s Grammar School, Baly opened his own Academy for boys in 1845, which he continued to run until 1850 when he was declared insolvent. It was then he turned to concert performance. Having postponed his own planned first concert, he appeared for Stephen and Henry Marsh in May 1850, playing a flute solo by Nicholson. He then presented the recently arrived Sara Flower (along with John Deane, George Worgan, and William Stanley) in concert in June, and in turn appeared in her concert. In July he advertised the reopening of his school, at which time he also offered “instruction on the Flute” to gentlemen, describing himself as “a pupil of the Celebrated RICHARDSON”. In 1853, he played several times with Winterbottom's Band. He was founding secretary of the Parramatta Harmonic Society in 1861-62.

References: “NEW INSOLVENT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 January 1850), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 May 1850), 1:; “CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 May 1850), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 June 1850), 1:; “MR. BALY’s CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 June 1850), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 July 1850), 1:; “MR. MOORE’S MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT”, Empire (25 March 1852), 2:; [Advertisement], Empire (20 May 1853), 1:; “PARRAMATTA […] HARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (22 November 1861), 6:; [Advertisement], Empire (5 June 1862), 1:; “DIED”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 April 1897), 1:; “NEWS”, Queanbeyan Age (8 May 1897), 2:




Flautist, musician
Arrived Adelaide, 10 October 1849 (per Cheapside, from London)

References: “ARRIVED”, South Australian Register (13 October 1849), 3:; “KOORINGA CONCERTS”, South Australian Register (30 April 1851), 3:; “KOORINGA”, South Australian (2 May 1851), 3:



BANBURY, Florrie (Florence Maud)
Active Brisbane, 1890s
Died Nundah, QLD, 21 March 1933 

References: “ALL HALLOWS CONVENT. PRIZE DISTRIBUTION”, The Brisbane Courier (29 April 1891), 5:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 January 1897), 4:; “WOMAN’S COLUMN”, Freeman’s Journal (16 January 1897), 10:; “GOSSIP FROM WOMAN’S CLUBLAND”, Queensland Figaro (12 January 1905), 6:;; “DEATHS”, The Brisbane Courier (30 March 1933), 10: 

Works: The Ariel Waltz (dedicated to Mr. W. H. Wilson, president of the Brisbane Liedertafel) (Brisbane: W. H. Paling, [1897])



BANCROFT, R. (? Richard)
Basso vocalist
Born Wakefield, Yorkshire, 1819
Arrived Adelaide, 5 December 1848 (per Hooghly, from London and Portsmouth)
Arrived Melbourne December 1851 (per Tory, from Adelaide)
Died Fitzory, Melbourne, 18 October 1856, aged 36

Summary: Bancroft was a soloist for Adelaide Choral Society concerts in 1849. He appeared in several other concerts in Adelaide in 1850, giving the likely first performance of Andrew Moore’s Falling Leaves in September. He gave a farewell benefit in October 1851 and in Decemver he and his wife (Elizabeth Ann Johnson, married Adelaide 19 December 1849) sailed for Melbourne. During 1852 he appeared regularly in Melbourne concerts, his fellow artists including two other recent arrivals from Adelaide, Francesca Allen and violinist W. F. Osborne. He was a soloist for the Philharmonic Society in August 1854, and played Ascanio for Anna Bishop and Lewis Lavenu in their Melbourne Lucrezia Borgia in July 1856. Since he disappears from the musical record thereafter, he may well have been the Richard Bancroft, formerly of Wakefield, Yorkshire, who died in Fitzroy in October 1856.

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (6 December 1848), 3:; “CHORAL SOCIETY'S CONCERT”, South Australian (21 September 1849), 3:; “CONCERT OF THE CHORAL SOCIETY”, South Australian (11 December 1849), 1s:; “LOCAL INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (23 May 1850), 3:; [News], South Australian Register (19 September 1850), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (14 October 1851), 1:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (11 December 1851), 2: ; “THE CONCERT”, The Argus (13 March 1852), 5:; “THURSDAY’S CONCERT”, The Argus (7 April 1852), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (21 April 1852), 2:; “THURSDAY’S CONCERT”, The Argus (29 April 1852), 5:; “THE SATURDAY CONCERT”, The Argus (1 May 1852), 5:; “THE CONCERT”, The Argus (6 May 1852), 5:; “PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Argus (29 August 1855), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (15 July 1856), 8:; “DIED”, The Argus (21 October 1856), 4:




BANKS, Thomas
Professor of music, buffo singer, pianist, composer, music retailer
Born [UK] 1820/21
Arrived Sydney, by April 1855
Died Balmain, NSW, 19 March 1890, aged 69 years

Arrived: Banks was first listed in professional concert programs in Sydney in April 1855, see [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 April 1855), 1:, and was still being reported as a “new vocalist” in November, “ROYAL POLYTECHNIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 November 1855), 8: He continued to appear in public with artists of high calibre, including Sara Flower, Frank and John Howson, John Gregg, and the young Alfred Anderson as late as 1863, see [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 January 1863), 1: By early 1859, he was also a piano retailer and tuner with a warehouse in Lower William Street, near the Australian Museum, [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 February 1859), 4:; he later relocated his Pianoforte Warerooms to 201 Castlereagh Street. In 1859 he was billed in a concert program as “Musical Director of St. Mary’s Cathedral”, [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 September 1859), 1:;   according to Errol Lea-Scarlett, Banks hailed from Preston, Lancashire.

Died: “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (2o March 1890), 1:; “Funerals”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 March 1890), 12:

Works: Les Graces (The Graces) Three Polkas Brilliantes (“composed and dedicated to his esteemed friend, E. B. Gowland, Esq., by T. BANKS”) (Sydney: T. Banks, [1861])



BANKS, Thomas Philip
Born London, 1848/49 (son of Thomas BANKS (senior))
Arrived Sydhey, with family by April 1855
Died Sydney, 13 May 1888, aged 39

Obituary: […] Mr. Banks was born in London, and so early gave promise of musical talent that at four years of age he received regular lessons from his mother. Before he was seven he became a pupil of Anthony Lejeune, the organist of Moorfields Chapel. Two years later he left England for Sydney with his parents, and upon his arrival became a pupil of Mr. Charles S. Packer. Thence he passed on to Mr. Cordner, and finally to the tuition of Mr. Charles Edward Horsley. The first appointment held as organist by Mr. Banks was at the Convent of the Sacred Heart; afterwards he was organist at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and since 1877 he filled the same post at St. Mary’s Cathedral […] Mr. Banks was greatly respected and esteemed by a large circle of friends and musicians; he was very unassuming, and devoted in an unostentatious manner to his profession. He was 39 years of age.

References: “Funerals”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 May 1888), 14:; “In Memoriam”, The Sydney Morning Herald (22 May 1888), 1:; [News], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 May 1888), 7:



BARLOW, Edward David
Music lithographer, printmaker, visual artist
Arrived Sydney, 30 August 1836 (per Lord Goderich)

BARLOW, Maria Sarah Lyons
Teacher of Music and Pianoforte
Active Newtown, Sydney, 1844-45

Summary: Recently arrived, Barlow, “from Brighton, England”, took over part of George Gordonovitch’s shop in George-street as base for his business “House Painting, Writing, Graining and Gilding in all its varieties”. In February 1845 he was engaged in litigation with his estranged wife, the music teacher Maria Lyons Barlow, for maintenance and the recovery of her piano. He then relocated, temporarily. to Maitland where in December among his services he offered “Lithography done accurately and with speed. Music Copied, 6d. per page” and “Profiles, 2s. 6d. each (Illuminated, and warranted Likenesses). Music copied. Lithography executed at an hour’s notice”.

References: “ [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (3 October 1836), 3:; “CLAIM FOR MAINTENANCE BY A WIFE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 February 1845), 3:; “CLAIM FOR MAINTENANCE BY A WIFE. To the Editors”, The Sydney Morning Herald (13 February 1845), 3:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (6 December 1845), 3:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (13 December 1845), 3:

Resources: Edward David Barlow, DAAO



Active ? Melbourne, 1855; Beechworth, VIC, 1858

? 1855 (Astley’s Circus, Melbourne): Leader of the Band. Mr. J. Barlow.

Beechworth 1858: John Barlow claimed £i for services as a musician from John Brock landlord of the Hibernian hotel. The agreement was that complainant might absent himself on any night except Saturday or Monday, on condition that he found a substitute; he had absented himself one night without complying with the term of the agreement, defendant therefore refused to pay him. [also] Zeplin v. Brock. Griffith v Brock.

1858: QUADRILLE—Hibernian, with Solos for Cornet and Flageolet, by Messrs Barlow and Kholer [Kohler]—Jullien.

References: ? [Advertisement], The Argus (16 April 1855), 8:; [Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (16 March 1857), 3:; [Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (3 August 1857), 1:; “WOOLSHED”, Ovens and Murray Advertiser (21 October 1857), 2:; “POLICE COURT”, Ovens and Murray Advertiser (6 January 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (17 March 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (23 June 1858), 3:; “AMUSEMENTS”, Ovens and Murray Advertiser (1 December 1858), 3:



BARLOW, Robert (“Billy”, William)
Ethiopian  singer, Rock Harmonicon player, musician
Born ? England, 1819
Active Melbourne, by September 1852
Died Gympie, QLD, 17 February 1907

Dismbiguation: By no means a first appearance, a song called Billy Barlow was included in a collection of popular theatrical songs called the Melodist, and mirthful olio (London: H. Arliss, 1828), 155:; see also an American songsheet, Billy Barlow published in Philadelphia in 1836 and words only in The United States Songster (Cincinnati, 1836), 206: Apparently, the character Barlow was originally an Irishman, as was still the case for the Philadelphia songsheet in 1836; however, by the late 1830s, the name had been adopted by an American stage performer, possibly a black-faced minstrel, as noted in The Southern Literary Journal in 1837: “Jim Crow, and Billy Barlow … Such are the noms du guerre, of two famous, or rather infamous, stage singers […] It is enough to say that they disparage human nature, not to speak of American nature, most terribly. Jim Crow is more notorious than the other monster, and his portrait is in the windows of most picture dealers.” Again far from being an actual first, the first documented Australian performance of the song Billy Barlow was in Launceston in August 1838, by a Mr. Munyard. However, the character and song came to wider popularity when introduced to Sydney audiences by George Coppin in March 1843: “With reference to Mr. and Mrs. Coppin, we have much pleasure in saying that since writing our notice of their arrival […] we have seen several English and Irish papers of recent date, in which their efforts are reviewed in the most flattering terms. The CORK SOUTHERN REPORTER designates Mr.Coppin ‘the most humorous of the new school of actors,'’ and adverts in extravagant terms to his manner of singing ‘Billy Barlow,’' a song which, we learn from THE TUAM HERALD, was sung by him 250 times in Dublin with extraordinary success.” Coppin’s arrangement of Billy Barlow was immediately published in Sydney by Thomas Rolfe. The song that our Barlow became most famous for in Australia was the BlueTailed Fly, better known by its chorus Jim Crack Corn I don’t Care, first published in the USA c.1846: It was introduced to Sydney in April 1850 by the so-called OHIO SERENADERS (a vocal and instrumental band headed by Frank Howson at the Royal Victoria Theatre).

Summary: The probably English-born Robert Barlow was in Melbourne appearing at Rowe’s American Circus by September 1852, billed as “the justly celebrated Mr. Barlow, whose surpassing delineation of negro oharaoter has obtained for him from the London audiences and the Press the appellation of Prince of Ethiopian Comedians, in the original Juba Dance […]”. This dance had been popularised in London by the Negro performer known as Master Juba, possibly William Henry Lyne, who was in London with the Ethiopian Serenaders, and who disappears from the English record at about the time that Barlow appears in Australia. In February 1853 at T. P. Brower’s benefit he was billed as: “Mr. Barlow, the celebrated Ethiopian singer, by kind permission of Mr. J. A. Rowe, will perform several popular airs on the Rock Harmonicon, formed of common pieces of stone, and played upon with sticks. The above curious invention created a complete furor in England upon its first discovery, and is now being played with great success through-out the world. Mr. Barlow will also sing a popular Ballad,  accompanied by the full band of the Ethiopian Serenaders.” “Mr. Barlow, the favorite Vocalist” was billed to sing Negro melodies and ballads at Rowe’s American Circus in June 1853. He appeared again playing the Rock Harmonicon for John Winterbottom Promenade Concerts in Melbourne in July 1854. According to the Argus, when Barlow’s admirers were about to present him with his portrait in September 1854: “There never has appeared on the colonial stage a more versatile and popular singer than Mr. Barlow.” The advertisement for the event read: “Presentation Benefit to Mr. Barlow, The celebrated and world-renownad vocalist, on which occasion he will introduce several new characters, new local songs, new chime band of harmonicons, new musical instrument, the flutonion […] Mr. Barlow begs to Inform his patrons that it is his intention to present each and every visitor on his Benefit night with his last new song Forty Shillings, and Take Him Away(the words had already appeared in the Victoria Songster in April). A Mr. W. Barlow, “Leader of the Orchestra”, took his benefit at Astley’s Amphitheatre in June 1855 with a performance of the Dramatic Equestrian Spectacle of Mazeppa. Either the same William Barlow, or a relation, was billed there in July as “The Premiere Equestrian of Australia”. In November 1855, at the Salle de Valentino, Barlow starred in the Burletta, The Siege of Sebastopol, with songs written for him by James Mulholland. In January 1867, the Argus reported: “Mr. William Barlow, a vocalist whose popularity in Melbourne and Victoria dates fully fifteen years back, has returned to this country, via New Zealand, after a protracted visit to the British Isles.” Before his Launceston performance in February, the pree there welcomed “the well known comic vocalist … it is almost unnecessary to say anything about Mr. Barlow’s powers, to enliven and charm an audience he is too well known. But it may be mentioned that he has lately been on a tour through the various ports of the Indian and China Seas and there he has collected, from observation, manners and customs he intends to delineate and ridicule. He also intends giving ‘a narrative in song and verse of his perilous adventures when shipwrecked and attacked by pirates in the Chinese Seas’.” An Otago advertisement in November 1866 had described him as: “WILLIAM BARLOW, The inimitable negro delineator, musician, and vocalist.” Barlow appeared in Sydney again in 1873 billed as “the original Blue Tailed Fly”, perhaps confirming Joy Hildebrand’s identification of him with Robert “Billy” Barlow, born in England in 1819, and the likely source for George Coppin’s Billy Barlow. She traced his death to Gympie, Queensland, on 12 February 1907.

1853: Notwithstanding the crowds at this concert, the Salle Valentino was filled to overflowing, and Mr. Barlow, with his monster key, unlocked the lands and gave little farms to all with his usual liberality and humor.

1855: MONDAY, 22nd OCTOBER. Richmond, Near the Cremorne Gardens. Sale by Auction, Not of Shakspeare’s House, But the Residence of Robert Barlow, Esq., Of Blue-tail’d Fly Notoriety, Who is leaving for the interior.

Obituary: Mr. Robert Barlow, who was better known by the stage name of ‘Billy’ Barlow, died here this morning, aged 87 years. The deceased in his time sang before audiences in England, on the Continent, and in China, and his song, The Blue Tail Fly, was of world-wide reputation. He opened the Apollonian Hotel in Gympie in 1868, and celebrated his diamond wedding last year, his widow being four years his junior. Mr. Barlow was in fair health until a couple of weeks ago. He had been suffering from rheumatism. and the heat of the last few days accelerated his end

Disambiguation references: “FASHIONS IN DRESS”, The Southern Literary Journal (August 1837), 529:; [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (16 August 1838), 2:; “THEATRICALS”, The Australian (17 March 1843), 2:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE’, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 April 1850), 2:

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (8 September 1852), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (20 October 1852), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (7 February 1853), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (30 June 1853), 4: ttp://; “PROMENADE CONCERTS”, The Argus (1 August 1853), 5:; “ASTLEY’S AMPHITHEATRE”, The Argus (28 September 1854), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (29 September 1854), 8:; “MR. WINTERBOTTOM’S PROMENADE CONCERTS”, The Argus (25 July 1854), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (26 April 1855), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (22 June 1855), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (3 July 1855), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (19 October 1855), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (8 November 1855), 8:; [Advertisement], Otago Daily Times (26 November 1866), 1:; [News], The Argus (1 January 1867), 5:; [News], Launceston Examiner (4 February 1867), 2:; “THE TWO BARLOWS”, The Argus (11 April 1868), 7:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 May 1873), 8:; “The inimitable Barlow”, Empire (21 July 1874), 3:; “‘BILLY’ BARLOW. DEATH AT GYMPIE”, The Brisbane Courier (18 February 1907), 5:; “MOUNT MORGAN”, The Capricornian (24 November 1894), 29:; “TELEGRAMS”, The Northern Miner (4 May 1910), 4:

Musical sources: ? Barlow’s Nigger melodist: a choice collection of all the original songs, as sung in America, and by the Ethiopian serenaders and celebrated banjo players, at the London theatres and concerts (London, 1846); see listing:

Resources:; Joy Hildebrand, Hey ho rageddy-o: a study of the Billy Barlow phenomenon, at:;



Drum player (New Queen’s Theatre)
Active Adelaide, 1848

References: [Advertisement], South Australian (29 February 1848), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian (9 July 1850), 3:



Vocalist, teacher of singing
Active Sydney, 1841

Summary: At Isaac Nathan’s oratorio on 30 June 1841, the vocal performers included “Miss Baron, Miss Sullivan (pupil to Miss Baron)”.

References: “The Oratorio”, The Sydney Monitor (2 July 1841), 2:



BARRE, Mons. A.
Tenor vocalist
Active Victoria, 1853-57

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (5 April 1853), 12: ; [Advertisement], The Argus (25 April 1853), 10: ; [Advertisement], The Argus (3 June 1854), 8:; THEATRE ROYAL. LUCREZIA BORGIA”, The Argus (8 December 1855), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (23 August 1855), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (24 January 1856), 8:; “THE THEATRES”, The Argus (4 February 1856), 5:; [Advertisement], The Star (23 October 1857), 3:



Vocalist (pupil of Mrs. Davis)
Active Hobart, 1833-34

Summary: Miss Barron, “only 10 years of age” (elsewhere reportedly 8), gave her first performance in July 1833, “a pupil of Mrs. Davies, who sung two songs, haying acquired in so short a period of instruction so much of the style and manner of her teacher, both gratified and surprised every one”. In October 1834, due to the indisposition of Sophia Davis, Miss Barron appeared as leading female vocalist for George Gordonovitch’s Hobart concert.

References: [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (26 July 1833), 3:; “The Fourth Concert of Mr. Deane and Mrs. Davis …”, Colonial Times (30 July 1833), 2-3:; [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (24 October 1834), 3: ; “Mr. Gordonovitch’s concert …”, The Hobart Town Courier (31 October 1834), 3:



BARROW, George

Music-seller, music publisher, composer, artist
Born England 1833
Arrived Swan River Colony, 15 February 1863
Departed 16 September 1870 (for Mauritus)

Summary: The first, and apparently shortlived Western Australian musical journal, The Minstrelsy of the West, was published in Fremantle in 1864 (no copies known to survive). Possibly the earliest music of any sort published in the colony, its first issue (of only three documented) consisted of a song Success to the West! Though the reviews of the issue omitted to name the composer, it may well be that the song was the work of the young publisher himself, the lithographer and music-seller George Barrow, a convicted forger, transported to the colony. The West Australian Times, however, at least explained why his efforts would fail, for the time being, to win success: “The music and words are both original, and do credit to the author and composer. The little work displays much taste in the style in which it is brought out. We are truly glad on all occasions to hail and applaud those who, under circumstances of difficulty and depression, strive to make their talents contribute to their support by honest and legitimate means. It is difficult for all to win subsistence in times like the present. How much harder for those who, unused to mere manual labour, have to wage an uphill fight with the world, in an unfruitful field—who have character, trust, and position to regain, whilst struggling for the mere necessaries of life! In the condition of our colony, such a spectacle is far from uncommon. Unfortunately the public are not in circumstances to give much substantial encouragement to literary labourers, but we will hope that success may attend the steps of this infant periodical […].” Barrow later published the first 113 issues of Western Australia‘s first daily newspaper, The Express, before leaving the colony for Mauritius in mid-1870.

References: The Proceedings of the Old Bailey; “GEORGE HAMMOND, GEORGE BARROW, Deception & forgery, 10th May 1858”:; “THE MINSTRELSY OF THE WEST”, The West Australian Times (7 July 1864), 2:; see also “GENERAL INTELLIGENCE”, The Perth Gazette (22 July 1864), 2:; of a second issue, with the song Wake me early by W. J. Robson [presumably imported], see “GENERAL INTELLIGENCE”, The Perth Gazette (22 July 1864), 2:, and [News], The West Australian Times (25 August 1864), 2:; a third, and possibly last, issue may not have contained any music, “GENERAL INTELLIGENCE”, The Perth Gazette (16 September 1864), 2:; The Express, microdilm copy at SL-WA; Permalink:

Resources: George Barrow, DAAO:



BARRY, William Hawesworth
Bandmaster, schoolmaster (Kyneton)
Active Kyneton, VIC, before 1858

1858: The insolvent was examined. He had been Denominational schoolmaster at Kyneton […] Insolvent explained this debt by stating that the people of Kyneton some time ago took it into their heads to get up a band. Witness had been a band-master of old, and was appointed to the same post in the Kyneton band that was to be. He acted as Chairman of the preliminary meetings, in which capacity he ordered the instruments for which he was now held accountable. The history of the band was, that after a few months existence the members of it dispersed to various localities, the instruments for the most part disappearing along with them, and the bandmaster was left to pay the bill […]

References: “LAW REPORT”, The Argus (28 April 1858), 6:



BARTLETT, Flora Adelaide
Composer of music
Born Perth, 1885/6

1899: Under the heading of “An Independence for 5s.” we publish the announcement of Bartlett’s Monster Property Distribution, of 40,000 subscribers at 5. The object for which the distribution has been instituted is a most laudable one, being that Mr. C. Bartlett, the proprietor, may secure the wherewithal to send his daughter, Miss Flora Adelaide Bartlett, aged 13, who is a composer of music, to Europe, where she may have every opportunity of obtaining the best possible tuition in the development of her remarkable gift. We have received two of the little lady’s compositions- the “Federal Waltz” and the “Grand Triumphal March,” the latter being in commemoration of America’s victory over Spain. Miss Bartlett composed a piece, entitled the “Trilby Waltz,” when only nine years of age […] The registered address, where tickets may be obtained, is C. Bartlett, 12 Royal-Arcade, Perth.

References: “PROPERTY DISTRIBUTION”, West Australian Sunday Times (10 September 1899), 7: “COMPLIMENTARY PERFORMANCE”, Kalgoorlie Miner (16 August 1900), 8:



BARTON, Charles Hastings

Journalist, politician, songwriter, composer
Born Vevey, Switzerland, 11 Dec 1828
Arrived Adelaide 1853
Died Maryborough, Queensland, 16 June 1902, aged 73

Biographical data:;;; see also “THE NEW LABOUR CANDIDATES”, Worker (15 February 1902), 4:; “Death of Labor Member Barton”, Worker (21 June 1902), 2:; see also John Tidey, “Charles Hastings Barton, colonial journalist”, Australian Studies in Journalism 12 (2003), 34-47

Summary: Barton was active in musical circles at Tanunda, South Australia, and on record as composer and/or lyricist of three lost songs. Two credited to him alone are From the North Sea’s dark waves (song; “Composed expressly for the occasion by Mr. Barton”), see “TANUNDA [...]”, South Australian Register (13 March 1858), 3:; and There dwellest a spirit in yonder stream (“Mr. Barton was both the writer of the words and the composer of the music”), “TANUNDA [...]”, South Australian Register (13 March 1858), 3: A third, with Ferdinand Draeger was Advance Australia (“the words by Mr. Charles Barton, of Tanunda, and the music by Mr. Draeger”), was published in 1858, see “NEW MUSIC”, South Australian Register (31 August 1858), 2:; and “TANUNDA”, South Australian Register (6 October 1858), 3:



Active Sydney, 1851

Summary: A “young gentleman named Barton, who evidently did his best to please the audience”, supported Caroline Pyne and Elizabeth Emanuel in Abraham Emanuel and George Hudson’s weekly “Casino” concerts in March, April, and May 1851.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 April 1851), 1:; “THE CASINO”, Empire (14 April 1851), 2:



Organist, musical instrument tuner and repairer
Active Bendigo, by 1857

References: [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (4 February 1857), 3:; “WALLACE MONUMENT CONCERT”, Bendigo Advertiser (14 April 1857), 3:; “CHURCH OF ENGLAND”, Bendigo Advertiser (20 July 1859), 2:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (30 July 1861), 4:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (19 June 1863), 3:; “COUNTY COURT”, Bendigo Advertiser (4 July 1865), 2:



BARWISE, Jackson (John)
General and musical retailer
Active Sydney, 1828-29

Summary: In August 1828, apparently having obtained at least some of his stock from John Edwards, John (or Jackson) Barwise, as Barwise, Jackson and Co. (his wife’s name was Jackson, and he was later in partnership with his brother-in-law as Barwise and Weller) advertised  from his premises at 97, George-street, Sydney: “To the Lovers of Harmony … two magnificent and fine-toned Pedal Harps, and two elegant portable Royal Harps … instruction books, pieces of music for harp and piano, and some hundreds of the newest and most fashionable songs and quadrilles; a superior Spanish guitar made by Panarmo [sic], flageolets, &c […]” and seven Broadwood pianos “consisting of Grand Pianofortes; Harmonic ditto; Cottage ditto; Round cornered Square ditto”. Edwards again recommended Barwise and Weller’s musical stock in October 1829. Famously, Barwise later claimed to have found gold in NSW in that very year, 1829.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (15 August 1828), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (10 October 1829), 1:; “WHO FIRST DISCOVERED GOLD IN AUSTRALIA”, The Argus (25 November 1867), 3:



Music instructor (fife and drum band)
Died Willunga, SA, 4 February 1875, aged 64

Obituary: The late Mr. J. B. Bassett, whose decease was lately announced, was an old colonist and resided here for 27 years. He established a school under the auspices of the Board of Education, and from the first maintained a first-class position, and the yearly examinations were red-letter days in the town. Mr. Bassett in some cases educated two generations, and many of his former pupils were at his funeral. The deceased was often at the front in philanthropic movements, and was remarkable for the energy and zeal he threw into anything he took in hand. Amongst many other things was the establishment of a Band of Hope, which for years has been kept together by his almost unaided exertions, for in the surrounding districts they soon collapsed for want of such a staunch supporter. He established a Drum and Fife Band, and personally instructed the members in music at his residence.

References: “DEATHS”, South Australian Register (5 February 1875), 4:; “WILLUNGA”, South Australian Register (17 February 1875), 3:



Vocalist, musical memorialist
Baptised London, 22 September 1818
Arrived Adelaide, 1853
Died North Adelaide, 10 September 1883, aged 65

Extracts: “After a time I was summoned by the Bishop, and told it was my duty to join the choir. I explained that I was but a poor scholar, and did not understand English, much less Latin; but he introduced me to Father Maurice Lencioni, a good man, who held the office of choir singing-master and confessor, and whose duty it was to visit the sick, bury the dead, and bring young people together for marriage. Everybody liked this priest, myself particularly. He was an Italian, a splendid musician, and gifted with a good voice; he undertook to teach me the Latin service, and he had his work to do. It was a long time before I could manage it; but at length I succeeded fairly well, but never became A1.”

“About this time that great singer Madame Anna Bishop paid a visit to Adelaide, accompanied by Mr. George Loder, an accomplished musician. They took apartments at the York Hotel, kept by a Mrs. Bray, who conceived such a liking for Madame that in her will she bequeathed her a legacy of one thousand pounds, besides making her other presents. Madame required a local agent, and Mrs. Bray, knowing me, recommended me to her. I was accordingly sent for and engaged to make myself generally useful, to sing when required, and to act as money taker at her concerts, and White’s Rooms were fixed upon and engaged by me from the proprietor, Mr. Geo. White, on behalf of Madame. The bank authorities allowed me the privilege of taking the engagement of White’s Rooms so long as I did not neglect my duty at the bank, and by such engagements I was brought into the society of all the leading artists who visited Adelaide. Perhaps it would not be out of place to mention some of their names, viz., Madame Caley, fellow pupil of Jenny Lind, Richard W. Kohler, Miska Hanser, the greatest violinist that ever came to Australia, Linly Norman, Richard White, Madame Carandini, Walter Sherwin, Madame Goddard, the premier pianist, W. Montgomery, B. Fairclough, and many others.”

[Bastard also gives a detailed account of his musical experiences on the Victorian goldfields in 1853.]

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (14 November 1853), 2:; “THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL”, South Australian Register (2 April 1861), 3:; “DEATHS”, South Australian Register (11 September 1883), 4:

Bibliography: Thomas Bastard, The Autobiography of Cockney Tom (Adelaide: McClory and Masterman, 1881):




BAT, James (“dictus Noctivagus”) (pseudonymn)
Columnist, poet, songwriter
Active Sydney, 1840s

Summary: The poems and opinions of James Bat, “dictus Noctivagus” (“night wanderer”, or perhaps sleepwalker), are discussed in a loose, irregular series of whimsical, satirical columns in the Sydney Herald between 1845 and 1848. At first a suburban poet, from Pyrmont, Bat later finds work in the bush, “a congenial duty in keeping off the dingoes or native dogs from the flocks” at the Warragal Station.

1847: The Squatter’s Song of Triumph
Come tell me now of hill and dale,
Of grassy plain and flowing river;
Of banks, where mighty trees prevail,
And creeks their wintry wealth deliver;
Of ridges sheltering from the gale,
And gullies that from neighbours sever,
Our squattage there we will entail,
To us and to our heirs for ever.

Come speak of stations and of stock,
Of bullocks talk and tale deliver,
The weaning and the fattening flock,
The rams and ewes that fail us never,
Make not of milkless tea a mock.
For doughy damper praise the giver.
Our squattage now no power shall dock,
But be to us and ours for ever!

References: “ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 June 1845), 2:; “ORIGINAL POETRY. THE SEPTEMBER MUSQUITO”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 September 1845), 3:; “COLLOQUIES AND SOLILOQUIES OF A SILK-GROWER”, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 December 1845), 2:; “SUBURBAN POERTRY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (5 November 1847), 2:; “POETRY FROM THE CROWN LANDS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (23 December 1847), 2:; “THE SICK MAN’S DREAM”, The Sydney Morning Herald (24 May 1848), 3:



Organist, choirmaster
Active Maitland NSW, 1859-60

References: “PHILHARMONIC CONCERT”, The Maitland Mercury (6 August 1859), 2:; “MAITLAND SCHOOL OF ARTS”, The Maitland Mercury (3 September 1859), 3:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (12 November 1859), 1:; “THE PHILHARMONIC INSTITUTE”, The Maitland Mercury (9 February 1860), 3:; “MAITLAND PHILHARMONIC INSTITUTE”, The Maitland Mercury (12 April 1860), 2:; “MAITLAND PHILHARMONIC INSTITUTE”, The Maitland Mercury (16 May 1861), 2:



Teacher of music
Active Sydney, 1833

Summary: Together with William Cavendish (for dancing) and George Sippe, Miss Bates was a music teacher on as on the prospectus of Mr. and Mrs. Davies’s Boarding and Day School in Sydney in 1833.

Reference: [Advertismement], The Sydney Gazette (20 August 1833), 3:



BATES, Joseph
Street singer, vagrant
Active Sydney, 1850

1850: WHY ARE YOU WANDERING HERE I PRAY? —Far advanced in years and remarkable, peculiarly remarkable, for his very disagreeable style of countenance and dingy costume, Joseph Bates, (better known in the vicinity of the Rocks as the “Girl I left behind me,” for his continual patronage of that sweet Irish melody) [...]

References: “THE POLICE REGISTER”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (22 June 1850), 2:



Music teacher, contralto vocalist (Melbourne Philharmonic)
Active Melbourne, by 1857

1858: It is to be regretted that the work does I not contain more than the one contralto passage which was assigned to Mrs. Batten, for this lady’s voice is of the purest and most equable quality, and with a little more practice will exhibit a power of which at present the possessor is scarcely aware.

References: “PRAHRAN MECHANICS’ INSTITUTION”, The Argus (27 January 1857), 5:; “MR. KROM’S BENEFIT CONCERT”, The Argus (3 December 1857), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (27 July 1857), 7:; “THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Argus (22 September 1858), 5:; [News], The Argus (4 July 1860), 4:; “THE MESSIAH. THE PHILHARMONIC”, The Argus (26 December 1862), 5:



BAXTER, Mrs. T. P.
Teacher of music
Active Maitland, 1846

References: [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (26 September 1846), 3:; “Married”, The Maitland Mercury (18 August 1847), 3:



Contralto vocalist
Active Melbourne, 1857

Summary: Baxter, a “professor of singing at the Royal Academy of Music”, made her first appearance in Melbourne in March 1857 as co-artist to Anna Bishop.

References: “THE MELBOURNE HOSPITAL CONCERT”, The Argus (30 March 1857), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (30 March 1857), 8:; “GRAND CONCERT IN AID OF THE FUNDS OF THE MELBOURNE HOSPITAL”, The Argus (31 March 1857), 4:; “MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Argus (29 April 1857), 5:



BAYER, Louis
Musician, composer, librettist
Born Germany, 1858
Arrived Victoria, c. 1873
Died Warrnambool, VIC, 28 October 1907

Obituary: A man who was possessed of many good qualities, rare musical gifts, warm-hearted generosity, and the exceptionally strong personal magnetism that gains numerous friends, passed away at Warrnambool on Monday night in Mr. Louis Bayer. His death occurred under particularly sad circumstances. Some months ago he wrote and composed an opera, The Golden West, which, musically, had much to recommend it. It was produced under unfavourable conditions in various   district centres and, though financially unsuccessful, met with an amount of appreciation which Mr. Bayer considered warranted another attempt. He, therefore, engaged a professional company and   arranged to play at Warrnambool during show week, with the neighbouriug towns to follow. This enterprise proved even more disastrous than the former, and, worse still, entailed an amount of work   and worry which completely prostrated   him. He collapsed completely when in Camperdown last week and was removed to Warrnambool, where he grew worse and death ensued on Monday. The late Mr. Bayer was a native of Germany, but came to Victoria a young man. From Melbourne, where he had been professionally engaged, he came to Cobden about 28 years ago. After a residence there of about 12 months he went to New South Wales, and spent some time as a trapper. He returned to this district in 1883. On 24th October of that year, according to an old diary of Mr. W. Fielder’s, a meeting was held in the Mechanics’ Institute (now the Mechanics' Chambers) for the purpose of forming a music society. […] Mr. Bayer afterwards wrote and composed the opera, Federation, which was produced for the first time on 21st June, 1887, to a crowded house […] In May the following year, Muutchaka was produced, and was repeated in Warrnambool. These operas found great favor, and for several years after were played with much success. The late Mr. Bayer went to reside at Warrnambool in August, 1891, and afterwards wrote the operas Dora, The Barber of Krugersdorp and The Golden West. He was a devout lover of nature in all its varied forms. The bush life of Australia appealed to him strongly and furnished his subjects and inspired his music, which is thoroughly descriptive of, and thoroughly in harmony with the spirit of the Australian bush […]

References: “PERSONAL”, Camperdown Chronicle (31 October 1907), 3:

Works: The Leura Waltz (arranged by L. Bayer) (Lithography by Troedel &​ Co)
Federation  (opera in 2 acts; ​ libretto and music by L. Bayer) (Libretto: Melbourne : Kemp and Boyce, 1887
Muutchaka ; or, the last of his tribe (opera in 2 acts; libretto and music by L. Bayer) (Libretto: Melbourne: Kemp and Boyce, 1888)
The Moon Shine’s Bright (Serenade from the opera Federation) and Weep with me (Prayer from the opera Muutchaka) ([Melbourne: lithography by Troedel &​ Co., 1888])
The Irishman’s song (from the opera Dora; words and music by Louis Bayer (Warrnambool: R. A. Philp, [1895]) Exhibition Cantata (words: J. S. Stanley; music: L. Bayer) [Warrnambool, 1896]
The Barber of Krugersdorp (comic opera; word book) ([Camperdown/Warrnambool: 1900])

Resources: Eric Irvin, “Louis Bayer (1858-1907), composer to the man on the land”, Southerly 48/3 (September 1988), 284-297:




Teacher of Music, Violin, Viola and Violoncello
Active Melbourne and Sydney, 1852

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (5 June 1852), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 December 1852), 1:



BEAUMONT, Edward Armes
Tenor vocalist
Born ? 1840; baptised Ingham, Norfolk, England, 15 December 1842
Arrived Melbourne, 1848
Active publicly by May 1860
Died North Melbourne, 17 July 1913

Vocalist (sister of the above)

BEAUMONT, Sarah Hannan (see Mrs. J. H. FOX)
Soprano vocalist (sister of the above)



1860: The tenor music was alloted to Mr. Beaumont, a young singer of no great style or power of voice, but with qualities which culture will develops into usefulness. He gave the air, In native worth, with a good deal of sweetness and expression, and was most deservedly encored.

References: “Members of the newly-formed Fitzroy Musical Union …”, The Argus (11 May 1860), 5:; [News], The Argus (5 October 1860), 4:; [News], The Argus (10 June 1862), 4:; “TOPICS OF THE DAY”, The South Australian Advertiser (22 July 1863), 2:; “SINGER OF BYGONE YEARS. DEATH OF MR. ARMES BEAUMONT. FINE CAREER CLOSED”, The Argus (18 July 1913), 5:; “ARMES BEAUMONT. GREAT TENOR DEAD“, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 July 1913), 10: 

Resources: Kenneth Hince, Beaumont, Edward Armes (1842–1913), Australian Dictionary of Biography 3 (1969); Obituaries Australia:



BECKER, Franz Louis Leopold, R.A.M.
Professor of Music, pianist, organist, composer
Born Germany, c.1840
Active Newcastle, by 1870
Died Bundaberg, QLD, 27 July 1897

Summary (family history): BECKER Franz Louis Leopold, R. A. M. son of Prof. Louis BECKER, Kapellmeister to the King of Hanover; born c.1840 Germany; was a “welcome visitor to the palace, joining the younger branches in duets etc. He was a student at the Leipzig conservatorium for 6 years, (the highest musical college in the world) and passed with grand eclat after his performance before 5000 auditors. His sound knowledge of theory music could not be surpassed on this side of the globe”; conducted Madame Agatha States Opera Co. through America, California and Chile and also Madame Anna Bishop’s grand concerts …

Obituary: Herr Becker, who was born in Hanover in 1840, came to the colonies in the middle of the seventies, having previously travelled almost in every part of the globe, and spent several years in Chile. From Melbourne he came up to Charters Towers, where he remained for six years, and eventually came to Bundaberg with his wife and her family in 1883. With the exception of a few months, when he removed to Sydney, he lived continuously in this town, giving instructions in music. As a brilliant pianist he had no equal in this district, and in musical circles his presence will be greatly missed. A widow and four children, ranging in age from thirteen to four years, are left to mourn their irreparable loss.

References: [Advertisement], The Newcastle Chronicle (20 January 1870), 1:; [Advertisement], The Newcastle Chronicle (10 February 1870), 1:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (25 October 1870), 1:; ; “Myrtle Villa Polka”, The Newcastle Chronicle (22 January 1876), 4:; “Herr Franz Becker of Newcastle …”, Evening News (28 March 1876), 2:; “Musical Composition”, The Newcastle Chronicle (1 April 1876), 4:; [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (23 June 1883), 8:; “New Music”, Queensland Figaro and Punch (22 August 1885), 22:; “New Music”, Queensland Figaro and Punch (11 May 1889), 10s:; “New Music”, Evening News (8 January 1897), 3:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 January 1897), 4:; “NEW MUSIC”, Australian Town and Country Journal (16 January 1897), 44:; “WOMAN’S COLUMN”, Freeman’s Journal (16 January 1897), 10:; [News], Morning Bulletin (31 July 1897), 5:; [Probate], The Brisbane Courier (21 August 1897), 10:; “EARLY MUSIC ON CHARTERS TOWERS”, The Northern Miner (30 May 1945), 8:

Musical works: Love’s Philosophy (ballad ; poetry by Shelley; music by Franz Becker; Sung by Madame Anna Bishop) (Sydney: Elvy &​ Co.; Melbourne: W. H. Glen, [? 1870]); The W.K.L., or, Myrtle Villa Polka (composed for the pianoforte by Franz Becker) (West Maitland: H. Paskins, [1876]); The Merry Brewer of Bundaberg (morceau de danse; dedicated to Gustav Steindl, brewer, of Bundaberg) (Sydney/Brisbane: W. H. Paling, [1897])



BECKER, Ludwig
Transcriber of Indigenous songs, ? birdsongs, artist, naturalist
Born near Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 5 September 1808
Arrived Launceston, TAS, 10 March 1851
Died Bullo Rover, QLD, 29 April 1861

Summary: According to his Lady Denison, with whom Becker stayed, “he is one of those universal geniuses who can do anything … a very good naturalist, geologist … draws and plays and sings, conjures and ventriloquises and imitates the notes of birds so accurately”. He wrote and illustrated his own Ein Australisch Lied (Melbourne, 1860) (“to be sung when one is well, to the tune: “Mannheim eine schöne Stadt […]”). Becker joined Burke’s exploring expedition, leaving Melbourne on 20 August 1860, and in a despatch sent back from Menindee to the Royal Society of Victoria on 27 November, he included 2 Indigenous songs, YAAM-SONG (CORROBOREE SONG) (translation), and ANARUKA-SONG (CREEK-SONG) (text, music, translation). He died with his colleagues William Purcell and Charles Stone at the expedition's camp on the western bank of Koorliatto Waterhole, Bulloo River in 1861.

References: “ROYAL SOCIETY OF VICTORIA”, The Argus (11 December 1860), 5:; “FUNERAL HONOURS BY AN EYE-WITNESS“, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 February 1863), 5:

Resources: Marjorie J. Tippling, Becker, Ludwig (1808-1861), Australian Dictionary of Biography 3 (1969);; Ludwig Becker, DAAO (Design & Art Australia Online):



BECKER, Richard (Carl Richard)
Violinist, teacher of violin (Conservatoire of Music, Stettin, Germany), conductor
Born ? Stettin, Germany
Active Yea, VIC, by 1891 to Manly, 1935 or later 

Died Manly, NSW, 26 December 1935, aged 59

References: “CORRESPONDENCE”, Alexandra and Yea Standard (11 September 1891), 2:; [Advertisement], Yea Chronicle (8 June 1893), 2:; “MARRIAGES”, The Argus (23 December 1895), 1:; “YEA ORCHESTRA CONCERT”, Yea Chronicle (27 May 1897), 2:; “SOCIAL ITEMS”, Evening News (22 November 1902), 3s:; “CLARENCE TOWN”, The Maitland Mercury (8 December 1909), 6:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 December 1935), 6:




BECKFORD, Thomas Leeman
Organist, amateur musician
Active Launceston, 1840s
Died Launceston, November 1852

Summary: Beckford, “an old and highly esteemed fellow colonist” was reduced to the “state of absolute penury” by an investment disaster in 1842. He was one of the orchestra for John and Eliza Bushelle’s Launceston concert in March 1843. He gave a subscription concert with Joseph Megson in November 1844. Himself deputising in the position, Beckford wrote a letter to the press in July 1845 concerning Joseph Megson’s appointment as organist at St. John’s, mentioning also Mrs. Nairn, Edmund Leffler, and Francis Howson senior. At Mrs. Chester’s concert in September 1848, “A celebrated Sinfonia by Haydn was performed by a portion of the band, assisted by Mr. Beckford, who lent the music for the occasion. Mr. Bishop the master of the Band, and Mr. Howson, Senr., displayed much ability in this portion of the entertainment.”

June 1848: We may just observe, that the chanting and singing at St. John’s was very good, and Mr. Beckford, the Organist, deserves praise for his attention to this portion of the Church service. The Miserere was tastefully performed.

References: [Advertisement], Launceston Advertiser (21 April 1842), 2:; [Advertisement], Launceston Advertiser (27 May 1842), 2:; [Advertisement], Launceston Advertiser (30 March 1843), 1:; [Advertisement], The Cornwell Chronicle (20 November 1844), 2:; “ORGANIST”, Launceston Examiner (12 July 1845), 3:; “ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE”, The Cornwall Chronicle (19 July 1845), 9:; “SERMONS AT ST. JOHN’S AND TRINITY”, The Cornwall Chronicle (21 June 1848), 2:; “Mrs. Chester’s Concert”, The Cornwall Chronicle (13 September 1848), 19:; “Church Music”, The Cornwall Chronicle (2 February 1850), 77:; “The late Mr. Beckford”, The Cornwall Chronicle (24 November 1852), 780:; [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (24 November 1852), 2:; “REMINISCENCES. [BY. B]”, Launceston Examiner (12 November 1892), 2:



BEDFORD, Virginia M. (Miss)
Amateur musician, composer
Active Hobart, c.mid 1850s

References: “MARRIAGES”, The Hobart Town Mercury (12 July 1859), 2:

Work: The Forget Me Not Waltz (“Affectionately dedicated to Mrs. Bedford”) (Hobart Town: Huxtable and Deakin, [185-?])

Resources: Peter Bolger, Bedford, Edward Samuel (1809-1876), Australian Dictionary of Biography 3 (1969)



BEE, Walter John
Singing master, organist, school teacher
Active Victoria, by 1875

References: [News], The Record and Emerald Hill and Sandridge Advertiser (23 July 1875), 2:; “MARRIAGES”, Illustrated Australian News (19 January 1876), 14:; “LITTLE RIVER”, The Bacchus Marsh Express (4 October 1879), 3:; “A MODEL SCHOOL TEACHER”, Bendigo Advertiser (18 April 1882), 2:



BEHDAN, Mr. (? Behdau)
Violinist, composer
Active Bendigo, 1867

Bendigo (1867): ... of all the performances of the evening commend us to the one on a single stringed violin by Mr Behdan, accompanied on the piano by Mrs Fatherley. It was rapturously applauded, and another piece of his own composition given with like effect.

References: “COMPLIMENTARY CONCERT TO MRS. ELLIS”, Bendigo Advertiser (5 October 1867), 2:; “COMPLIMENTARY CONCERT TO NORTHCOTT’S BAND”, Bendigo Advertiser (15 November 1867), 2:



BELBIN, William
Amateur bass vocalist, politician
Born Hobart, 1825
Died Sydney, NSW, 26 June 1892, aged 66


References: “THE ORATORIO”, The Courier (23 May 1846), 3:; “THE CHORAL SOCIETY”, The Courier (5 December 1846), 2:; “CHORAL SOCIETY”, Colonial Times (17 November 1848), 2:; [Advertisement], The Courier (21 July 1849), 3:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 June 1892), 1:; “MR. WILLIAM BELBIN”, Launceston Examiner (28 June 1892), 3:



Comic vocalist, songwriter, playwright
Active NSW, by 1846
Died Redfern, NSW, 13 April 1883, aged 61

1861: Francis Belfield, late of Redbank, near Avoca, comedian, now a prisoner in Her Majesty’s Gaol, Inglewood. Causes of insolvency - Losses in theatrical speculations, pressure of creditors, and imprisonment. Assets, £27; liabilities, £412 4s. 6d.; deficiency, £385 4s. 6d.

Obituary: BELFIELD.—April 13, at the residence of his son-in-law, Mr. John Brown, 42, Burnett-street, Redfern, Francis Belfield, for many years connected with the theatrical profession in Victoria and Sydney, greatly respected by all who knew him, aged 61 years.

References: “SINGLETON”, The Maitland Mercury (17 June 1846), 2:; “SINGLETON. THE THEATRE”, The Maitland Mercury (17 April 1847), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 December 1847), 1:; “LITERARY”, The Argus (16 February 1849), 2:; “RETRIBUTION, OR THE DRUNKARD’S CURSE”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (21 June 1851), 2:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 July 1852), 2:; “NEW INSOLVENTS”, The Argus (30 September 1861), 6:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 April 1883), 1:

Extant plays: Retribution, or, The drunkard’s curse (a domestic drama in two acts) (Melbourne: printed at the Daily News office, 1849); The rebel chief  (a play in three acts by Francis Belfield; this drama was first produced December 14th, 1849, at the Queen’s Theatre, Melbourne) (Melbourne: William Clarke, Printer, Morning Herald office, 1850)



Pianoforte maker, carpenter
Arrived Sydney, 14 October 1833 (per Indianna, from London, 20 March)
Died Sydney, 17 October 1845, aged 61

BENHAM, Daniel
Pianoforte maker, repairer and tuner
Departed Sydney, 21 April 1849 (per Spencer, for San Francisco)

July 1835: John Benham examined: I am a piano-forte maker, and have repaired the piano two or three months ago; it was a very good one, worth £68; an old instrument that stands the climate is as valuable as a new one, because a new one cannot be depended on.

December 1835: MR. JOHN BENHAM begs to acquaint the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Colony, that he has just commenced Business as a Piano Forte Maker and Repairer, at his Premises, No.5, Liverpool-street, East, where he has on hand an assortment of Cottage Cabinet, &c. Piano Fortes, of Australian Materials and Manufacture ready for inspection, which he can satisfactorily recommend to those who may be disposed to encourage Colonial Workmanship.

October 1845: NOTICE OF REMOVAL. THE Widow and Son of the late Mr. John Benham, Pianoforte-maker, in thanking their friends and the public for past favours, beg respectfully to acquaint them they have removed from their late residence in York-street, to the house in Bridge street, lately occupied by Mr. Barlow, where the business will for the future be carried on. Pianofortes carefully tuned and repaired.

1849: MR. DANIEL BENHAM, Pianoforte Maker, late of Bridge-street, being about to leave Sydney, begs to return his sincere thanks to those ladies and gentlemen to whom he is indebted for support during his stay in the colony, and to inform them that he has made an arrangement with Mr. W. J. Johnson to take the above business […]

References: “ARRIVALS”, The Sydney Herald (17 October 1833), 2:; “SUPREME COURT”, The Sydney Gazette (9 July 1835), 3:; “SUPREME COURT”, The Sydney Herald (13 July 1835), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (10 December 1835), 3: “DIED”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 October 1845), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 October 1845), 1:; “CLEARANCES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (23 April 1849), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 April 1849), 1:




Professor of music; teacher of pianoforte, harmonium, and concertina; composer
Active Melbourne, by April 1868

May 1872: The performer who presided at the harmonium on this occasion was not that great composer, Henry Benjamin, who, it appears, is the official harmonium-grinder to this lodge.

July 1872: Mr. Harry Rickards was sued in the County Court yesterday by Mr. Henry Benjamin, professor of music, for £100, alleged damages for breach of contract, and money due for work and labour done. The plaintiffs case was that he had been engaged to give music lessons to the defendant and his wife, and it was agreed while he was so engaged that he should set to waltz music some of the airs which Mr. Rickards had sung in Melbourne, the music to be written by the plaintiff, and the profits to be divided between him and the defendant. When he had finished the waltz music Rickards approved of it, but afterwards said he would have nothing to do with it because plaintiff had put on it that it was arranged, and composed by Henry Benjamin, and he (defendant) thought it should have only been stated that it was arranged and compiled by Benjamin. He considered he had suffered great loss through the conduct of the defendant, because the airs which he composed the music from were very popular at the time, and it would have sold well. The music lessons he had given he charged £4 4s. for. He denied that when he played the waltz music to Rickards, the latter told him to take it home and boil it, and said he had made an application to join the Musical Association of Victoria, who had offered to accept him. For the defence, Mr. Rickards stated that one evening at Gorton’s Hotel, the plaintiff said he would like to compose a waltz on his melodies, and it was agreed he should do so, the music to be published, if approved of by defendant, at the joint expense of the two. The waltz, which the plaintiff wrote was merely four of his (defendant’s) melodies strung together, and as they were all in waltz time there was no composition needed. When plaintiff played the waltz to him he pulled him off the stool, told him he never heard such rubbish, and he had better take it home and boil it. Benjamin afterwards said he would publish the waltz, but defendant told him not to do so, as the songs it was compiled from were copyright. Benjamin had never given him music lessons, but he had given Mrs. Rickards some, and there was an amount owing to him, which would have been paid if an account had been rendered. Mr. Harcourt Lee, a member of the Victorian Musical Association, described the waltz as rubbish, which would not sell in Melbourne. He also said the association would not admit the plaintiff into it, and that plaintiff took one quarter’s lessons from Herr Schott, and then set up as a professor of music. His Honour Judge Forbes returned a verdict for plaintiff for £4 4s with 10s. costs.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (24 April 1868), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (28 August 1869), 8:; [News], The Argus (17 September 1869), 5:; “POLICE … FITZROY”, The Argus (4 February 1870), 6:; [Advertisement], The Argus (30 December 1870), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (3 January 1871), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (10 February 1872), 8:; “MUSIC IN MELBOURNE. May 15”, The North Eastern Ensign (17 May 1872), 2:; [News], The Argus (17 July 1872), 5:

Works: Wilt thou be mine (sung by J. A. Herman, the silvery tenor) (Melbourne, [? Author], [1869]); The Knight’s Return (Words by Chas. Bright; sung by T. Rainford) (Melbourne, [? Author], [1871/72]); Doing the block (music by Henry Benjamin; words by Marcus Clarke; sung by Harry Rickards) (Melbourne: Henry Benjamin, [1872])  



BENNELONG (Woollarawarre)
Singer, songmaker
Born Eora country [Australia] c.1764
Died Sydney, Australia, 3 January 1813

Resources: ABD Bennelong; Keith Vincent Smith, “Bennelong among his people”, Aboriginal History 33 (2009):; Kate Fullagar, “Bennelong in Britain”, Aboriginal History 33 (2009):

Summary: Fittingly it is an Indigenous man, Bennelong, who is documented as the foundational figure in colonial Australian musical composition. He was the subject of what was perhaps the very first documented new song made after European settlement, and was the joint singer-songmaker of the first ever notated and documented musical work, A Song of the Natives of New South Wales, transcribed during Bennelong’s visit to England in 1793.

New song: In November 1790, Governor Phillip ordered that a small brick house be built for Bennelong, on what is now Bennelong Point, the site of the Sydney Opera House. Then, in December 1790, John Hunter recorded:

Bannelong […] had lately been at Botany-Bay, where, he said, they danced, and that one of the tribe had sung a song, the subject of which was, his house, the governor, and the white men at Sydney.

Source: John Hunter, An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island: with the discoveries which have been made in New South Wales … (London: Printed for John Stockdale, 1793), 493; SLNSW online facsimile:; searchable text:

“A song of the natives of New South Wales”, transcribed from the singing of Bennelong and Yemmerrawanne in London in 1793 and arranged by Edward Jones, Musical Curiosities: or a Selection of the most characteristic national songs and airs […] consisting of Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Danish, Lapland, Malabar, New South Wales […] (London: Printed for the author, 1811), 15.

Full title: “A SONG OF THE NATIVES OF NEW SOUTH WALES; Which was written down from the Singing of BENELONG, and YAM-ROWENY, the two Chiefs, who were brought to England some years ago from Botany Bay, by Governor Phillips [sic]. The subject of the Song, is in praise of their Lovers; and when they Sang, it seem’d indispensible to them to have two sticks, one in each hand to beat time with the Tune; one end of the left-hand stick rested on the ground, while the other in the right hand was used to beat against it, according to the time of the notes.

Source: Copy at British Library, London, R.M.13.f.5, scanned by SL-NSW, in Keith Vincent Smith (curator), exhibition guide, Mari Nawi: Aboriginal Odysseys 1790-1850, 20 September-12 December 2010 (Sydney: State Library of New South Wales, 2010), 20: Keith Vincent Smith dated the performance to sometime in 1793, at the singers’ then lodgings at the home William Waterhouse at 125 Mount Street, Mayfair, near Berkeley Square, London; Smith discovered that Jones, a Welsh harpist and bard to the Prince of Wales (later George IV), lived at 122 Mount Street.

Later edition: in Carl Engel, An Introduction to the Study of National Music (London, Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1866), 26-27:




Singer, pianist, organist, concert presenter, composer
Born UK c.1817
Arrived Adelaide, South Australia 1839
Died Adelaide, 22 September 1854, aged 37

Summary: In October 1839, two recent arrivals “from Chichester”, William Ewens and George Bennett assisted at Charles Platts's lecture on music. In February 1840, Platts and Bennett jointly advertised “FIRST PROFESSIONAL CONCERT IN ADELAIDE”, South Australian Register (15 February 1840), 6: At celebrations of the anniversary of the colony in Gawler in 1851, Bennett himself concocted a song, now lost, a South Australian Anthem (“Let all our cares and griefs be drowned”) reportedly “composed expressly for the occasion […] the intrinsic merit of the music exciting very general admiration”, see “OLD COLONISTS‘ FESTIVAL”, South Australian Register (28 March 1851), 2:; also “CONCERT AT GAWLEER TOWN”, South Australian Register (26 April 1851), 2: Bennett‘s concert programs suggest he was a capable conductor and pianist in oratorio and middle-brow operatic numbers. Press reports, by the early 1850s, mainly register his voluntary musical contributions to convivial Masonic and civic gatherings, or indeed convivial gatherings of any sort. Visiting a butcher friend who had just returned from the gold-fields in 1852, Bennett was playing a polka on the piano for the assembled company in what was, actually, probably a sly-grog shop, when a fight broke out with his host. He lost two teeth—deemed a serious blow for a professor of singing—and was awarded damages when the matter ended up in court. “LOCAL COURT. ADELAIDE. BENNETT V. FOREMAN”, South Australian Register (19 August 1852), 3: Two years later, he was dead.

Adelaide, 1849: Mr. George Bennett acted as Provisional Grand Organist. An appro priate anthem was chanted in very good style.

Obituraries: “DIED”, South Australian Register (25 September 1854), 2:; “THE LATE MR. BENNETT“‘, South Australian Register (25 September 1854), 2:

The Late Mr. Bennett. — An obituary notice in our present publication records tin; decease of Mr. George Bennett, professional musician. He was a native of Wiltshire, and received his musical education from his uncle, the late Mr. T. Bennett, for many years organist of Chichester Cathedral, of which the deceased was in his youth a chorister. Mr. Bennett possessed an unusual degree of natural talent, which, combined with the teaching of a first-rate master, constituted him a leader of ability. He arrived in this colony by the Prince Regent in 1839, since which period, to within a few months of his death, he was, almost exclusively, the leader of all concerts and musical societies, both public and private, in the colony, and for the last year or two he was organist at the Wesleyan Chapel, Pirie street. Deceased was in the 37th year of his age. He has left a widow and one child, a boy about eight years old. The funeral will take place at the Cemetery this morning, at 11 o’clock”

FUNERAL OF MR. G. BENNETT”, South Australian Register (26 September 1854), 2:

Funeral of Mr. G. Bennett.— The funeral which took place yesterday at 11 o’clock, was numerously attended by the brethren in Freemasonry of the deceased and other mourning friends, to the number of sixty or seventy persons. As the procession entered Trinity Church, the symphony to Knapp’s funeral anthem was performed by Mr. Daniel, who presided at the seraphine, and the service was read with due solemnity by the Dean. Pope’s Ode was sung at the Church by members of the Choral Society and some pupils of the vocal class of Mr. Daniel.

References: “MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE”, South Australian Register (19 October 1839), 4:; “FREEMASONRY (From S.A. Gazette)”, The Cornwall Chronicle (31 January 1849), 340:



Amateur pianist, arranger
Active Launceston, 1858

Summary: The Nightingale Varsoviana, honouring the heroine of the Crimea, Florence Nightingale, must have become popular at around the time an enterprising young architect, Horace Bennett, left England for Tasmania. In Hobart, Bennett’s early interests included mining speculation, and public entertainment. On arrival in May 1858, he advertised for “a Large room … easily converted into a LARGE HALL for public entertainment”, and in July announced the publication of some music to fill it: “Just Published,-Price 2s. 6d. THE NIGHTINGALE VARSOVIANA being the original music of this new and favourite dance, arranged for the piano forte by Horace Bennett. May be had of the principal music sellers of this city.” Bennett’s place of entertainment, the Polytechnic Bazaar, which eventually opened in 1862 soon ran into trouble with the local authorities for failing to be sufficiently “select” in its clientele. Bennett contributed designs towards the roof of the Launceston Town Hall in 1864. Meanwhile, it also appears he contracted a bigamous marriage in Launceston in November 1858.

References: [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (27 May 1858), 3: [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (10 July 1858), 6:; “MARRIAGES”, Launceston Examiner (11 November 1858), 2:; “MUNICIPAL COUNCIL”, The Mercury (17 June 1862), 3:; “POLYTECHNIC BAZAAR, HOBART TOWN”, Launceston Examiner (19 June 1862), 5:; “INSOLVENCY COURT”, Launceston Examiner (20 September 1862), 2:; “MUNICIPAL COUNCIL”, The Cornwall Chronicle (6 January 1864), 5:; “TOWN HALL ROOF”, Launceston Examiner (11 May 1867), 3:; “A WILL CASE”, The Mercury (9 December 1926), 3:



Active Wangaratta, VIC, 1863

References: “WANGARATTA”, Ovens and Murray Advertiser (6 June 1863), 2:; “THE ORGANIST OF TRINITY CHURCH AND THE LADY”, Ovens and Murray Advertiser (11 June 1863), 4:



Violoncello pupil (of Henry Witton)
Active Melbourne, 1862

References: [Advertisement], The Courier [Brisbane] (24 October 1862), 1: “W. R. BENNETT (Violoncello), Barnard-st.” [pupil of Henry James Witton]



BENSON, Mrs. L. C.
Organist, vocalist
Born Hobart, TAS, 1 March 1860

References: “70 YEARS A MUSICIAN. Mrs. L. C. Benson’s 80th Birthday”, The Mercury (1 March 1940), 5:



BENT, Andrew
Musical album bookbinder, printer, publisher
Born London, 1790
Arrived Hobart, 2 February 1812 (convict per Guildford and Ruby)
Died Sydney, 16 August 1851

Summary: “MUSIC. Mr. BENT having received a Quantity of very handsome Marble Paper by the late arrival, of different Patterns, begs to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen of Hobart Town and its Vicinity, who may wish to have Music bound, of the cicumstance. Mr. BENT feels assured, that the elegance of his Patterns, and the lowness of his Charges, not to mention the superior Workmen he employs, will ensure him the commands of the Lovers of Sweet Sounds.” Bent was also a Hobart newspaper proprietor.

References: [Government expenses], Hobart Town Gazette (4 March 1826), 1s:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (18 January 1828), 2:

Resources: E. R. Pretyman, Bent, Andrew (1790-1851), Australian Dictionary of Biography 1 (1966);



Active 1850s

Summary: Mrs. Bently first appeared in Melbourne in December 1851 as a solo pianist and probably also as accompanist for the soprano Mrs. Testar. She accompanied Harriet Fiddes and Francesca Allen in concerts in Sydney and Maitland district in 1853. Perhaps she was the same Mrs. Bentley teaching music and dancing at Maitland in 1859.

References: “THE CONCERT”, The Argus (11 December 1851), :; “MRS. FIDDES’ CONCERT”, The Maitland Mercury (28 May 1853), 2:; “MRS. FIDDES’ CONCERT”, The Maitland Mercury (1 June 1853), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 July 1853), 1:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (26 May 1859), 1:



Pianist, professor of music
Active Sydney 1861-62

Summary: Julia Bentley, formerly Julia Monk of Exeter, arrived in Sydney with her husband Charles Thomas Bentley (married 1857) in 1860. A “pupil of Thalberg and Miss [Arabella] Goddard”, she advertised as a piano teacher in Sydney in January 1861. She was billed to appear for Douglas Callen and the Sydney Philharmonic Society on 30 April, playing Dohler’s Fantasia on Vivi tu, and Madame Oury’s Fantasia on La Traviata, however did not actually appear for the Society until 14 May, when the Herald and Empire reviewed her favourably. She was billed to appear again for the society on 27 May 1862 playing Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata, however, due to a disturbance on the night of the concert, the performance did not take place. The Society publicly apologised to her in an advertisement on 31 May. However, in a letter in the press on 4 June, her husband gave details of a malicious campaign of correspondence waged first against her, and then also against her supporter Edward Boulanger, that escalated to serious assault. Cesare Cutolo was among those accused of responsibility, however, even though the case reached the Legislative Assembly, it was never satisfactorily solved. However, Julia Bentley’s public career was effectively over.

April 1862: £100 (ONE HUNDRED POUNDS) REWARD. The above reward will be paid to any person who will (by letter or otherwise) give such information as will lead to the conviction of the author of numerous anonymous letters addressed from time to time, during the last twelve months, to the heads of certain influential families in Sydney, having for their object the circulation of false and malicious charges against a Lady Professor, resident in the city, and also of certain anonymous communications recently written with the same object, and directed against an Eminent Artist of the musical profession lately returned to the colony. It is known that the letters alluded to have been written by an amanuensis, and information given by that person will entitle him to the reward. Apply to the parties concerned; or to Messrs. JOHNSON and JOHNSON, solicitors, Pitt-street

References: [Advertisment], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 January 1861), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 April 1861), 1:; [Advertisment], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 May 1861), 1:; “SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 May 1861), 5:; “MUSIC AND THE DRAMA”, Empire (21 May 1861), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 April 1862), 1:; [News], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 May 1862), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 May 1862), 1:; [Advertisment], The Sydney Morning Herald (31 May 1862), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 June 1862), 8:; [News], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 June 1862), 5:; “LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY. THE BENTLEY CASE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 July 1863), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 September 1868), 1:; “OUR STRANGE PAST: WHO SCARED MRS. BENTLY”, The Mail (28 March 1953), 4s:



BERG, Charles (Carl Reinhold)
Trombonist, tuba basso player, mining speculator
Born ? Sweden, 1825/26
Active Melbourne, from 1854
Died Sandringham, VIC, 8 May 1890, aged 64

Summary: In October 1854 Berg and Lundberg, a clarinettist, both “from the King’s Theatre Stockholm” appeared with Sidney Nelson and family at the Queen’s Theatre. They appeared again there a few days later, along with John Winterbottom, to play for Catherine Hayes and Lewis Lavenu, when it was reported: “An instrumental duet, for clarionet and valve trombone, given by Herrn Berg and Lundberg, two Swedish musicians, was much applauded, although it appeared somewhat slow amongst the more exciting performances of the evening”. He is surely the “Mr. Berry“ the Argus (mis-)reported as playing at the Theatre Royal in July 1855. Berg also played in Lyster’s Opera Orchestra from 1861, and in the Melbourne Popular Concerts in the 1880s. He is probably the “Charles Berg, a musician, living at Sandridge” who was victim of a petty theft in Melbourne in 1862.

Obituary: It is with deep regret that we have to announce the demise of Mr. C. R. Berg, who was apparently in good health a few days ago, but who died suddenly yesterday morning. Mr. Berg has been a member of the orchestra (tuba) since its formation, and also took part in the Exhibition concerts. He was well advanced in years, and was well known and much respected as a musician, and also in private life, by all who were in any way associated with him.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (21 October 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (26 October 1854), 8:; “QUEEN’S THEATRE—MISS CATHERINE HAYES”, The Argus (30 October 1854), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (11 November 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (9 July 1855), 8:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Argus (19 July 1855), 5:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Argus (30 July 1855), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (29 September 1859), 8:; [News], The Argus (22 April 1861), 4: “CHARGE OF STEALING FROM THE PERSON”, The Argus (1 March 1864), 6:; [Advertisement], The Argus (22 April 1862), 8:; The Victoria Post Office Directory (1866), 13:; [News], The Argus (30 October 1867), 5:; [News], The Argus (31 January 1870), 4:; “MELBOURNE POPULAR CONCERTS”, The Argus (15 June 1882), 9:; [Advertisement], Bairnsdale Advertiser (4 November 1884), 3:; “Deaths”, The Argus (9 May 1890), 1:; “VICTORIAN ORCHESTRA. SEVENTY-SEVENTH CONCERT”, The Argus (9 May 1890), 6:; “Deaths”, The Argus (9 May 1890), 1:; “Deaths”, The Argus (3 October 1891), 1:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (19 June 1903), 1:



Guitar pupil (of Henry Witton)
Active Melbourne, 1862

References: [Advertisement], The Courier [Brisbane] (24 October 1862), 1: “H. BERINGAR  (Guitar), Fitzroy-st., Collingwood.” [pupil of Henry James Witton]



Cornet player, bandsman
Active Adelaide, by 1872
Died Adelaide, February 1897

Died Broken Hill, November 1921

References: “FAREWELL TO MR. J. S. J. BERMINGHAM”, The Advertiser (4 February 1897), 6:; “THE LATE MR. J. J. BIRMINGHAM RECORD OF THE CITY BAND”, Barrier Miner (23 November 1921), 3:



BERRY, Zachariah
Bandsman 3rd Regiment (Buffs)
Arrived Sydney, 29 August 1823 (per Commodore Hayes, from England)
Departed Sydney, 28 January 1827 (per Woodford and Speke, for India)

References: London, National Archives, PRO, WO12/2118: 3rd Regiment of Foot (Buffs) payrolls 1824-26; microfilm copy at SL-NSW: PRO Reel 3695; “SHIP NEWS”, The Sydney Gazette (4 September 1823), 2:; “Shipping Intelligence”, The Sydney Gazette (30 January 1827), 3:



Pianist, organist, composer, “blind musician”
Born Brunswick, Germany c.1864
Arrived Adelaide, 25 July 1881 (per Catania, from Hamburg 18 May)

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (26 july 1881), 4:; “A BLIND MUSICIAN”, South Australian Register (10 August 1881), 5:; “ORIGINAL MUSIC. THE NEW YEAR—A CANTATA”, South Australian Register (20 February 1895), 3:; “BLIND PIANO TUNERS”, The Register (13 April 1922), 6:; “FINGERS THAT SEE”, The Mail (3 September 1927), 1:; “BLIND ORGANIST. THIRTY-TWO YEARS’ SERVICE IN ADELAIDE CATHEDRAL”, Barrier Miner (4 January 1929), 3:

Works: The wind in the trees (descriptive song; words by Emma E. Holden; music by Hans Bertram); The empire’s own (words by Noel Webb; music by Hans Bertram)



BEST, Edwin
Composer, amateur musician
Active Adelaide, by ? 1877
Died Adelaide, 13 June 1936, aged 71 years

1885: We have received a copy of the Estienne Vocal Waltz, which we referred to soma time ago as the production of an Adelaidean, Mr. Edwin Best. The composition is a very creditable one, with better pretence to variety, life, and color than many pieces of the valse character. It has a bold introduction of runs and chords in E major, and a chromatic lead into the vocal air in G major, “Love true as thine thine.” The words by the way might have been improved upon […]

1888: Amongst the number of scores sent in for the Melbourne Exhibition Cantata was one by Mr. Edwin Best, of Adelaide, an amateur who has made music a study for several years past, and whose work bears testimony of good reading, intelligent conception, and some practical acquaintance with the art. The Cantata opens with an overture in four movements, which leads to a chorus in five parts, “Welcome to visitors,” followed by a recit. and aria for soprano with obligato for violoncello and flute; than a cavatina, “O’er leagues,” for the contralto, and “Solitude” again as an intermezzo in E flat major […] [detailed description continues]

1890: THE VICTORIAN ORCHESTRA. TO THE EDITOR. Sir — The above body has given at least one good concert before leaving the colony, but in my humble opinion it is to be regretted that Beethoven appeared to a disadvantage by the preponderance of Wagner numbers. If three works by each master had been given it would have been nearer the mark. My reason for writing this is to show that Wagner cannot be understood unless his aim is comprehended, for Wagner’s music was founded on Beethoven’s principles. It was not until Wagner had heard one of Beethoven’s symphonies that he finally adopted musical composition. Both the masters’ styles are romantic, and if it be asked what is their difference it should he stated that Beethoven was inspired by nature, but Wagner drew his ideas from the supernatural world, and employed them in the musical drama. It is here where Wagner’s genius shines. Beethoven had only music without scenery and effects to show his genius. In music alone, independent of poetry and painting, Beethoven is a genius, because he invented, whereas Wagner is a talent, because be adopted another’s principles. Those who think that the phrase “the music of the future” means anything are mistaken, because Wagner did not intend to give anything new in sound, but only to show what could be done by the union of music (Beethoven’s principles) and the mythical drama. I am, Sir, &c, PASSING NOTE (Edwin Best). September 15.

References: “News of the Week”, South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail (2 June 1877), 6:; “NEW MUSIC”, South Australian Register (9 December 1885), 4:; [Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (10 December 1885), 1:; [News], The South Australian Advertiser (12 December 1885), 4:; [Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (16 December 1885), 1:; [News], The South Australian Advertiser (9 June 1888), 5:; “DR. MACKAY AND HENRY RUSSELL. TO THE EDITOR”, The South Australian Advertiser (19 December 1888), 7:; “THE VICTORIAN ORCHESTRA. TO THE EDITOR”, South Australian Register (16 September 1890), 7:; “DEATHS”, The Advertiser (15 June 1936), 16:

Works: Estienne Vocal Waltz (written and composed by Edwin Best) (Adelaide: Cawthorne &​ Co., [1885])



BEVERLEY, Florence (Miss Florence CALZADO)
Contralto vocalist, burlesque comedian
Active Victoria, by 1863; Sydney, until 1873

1865: We learn from Bell’s Life in Victoria that Mr. and Mrs. R. Smythe (late Miss Amelia Bailey), Mons. Poussard, and Miss Florence Beverley, after a successful tour through India and Chins, will shortly return to Melbourne.

1867: We observe from the Cape papers to hand by the mail that the Poussard-Bailey party, who were driven from Mauritius by the prevalence of the fever there, were performing with great success in Cape Town, drawing crowded houses nightly. The Cape Argus remarks respecting them: “M. Poussard is a violinist and pianist of first-class ability, while Miss Amelia Bailey is most enthusiastically received. The comic songs, in character, by Miss Calzado take immensely, and night after night she is vociferously encored.”

References: “NEWS AND NOTES”, The Star (10 January 1863), 2:; [Advertisement], Empire (30 September 1863), 1:; [Advertisement], Bell’s Life in Sydney (27 February 1864), 3:; [News], The Argus (9 June 1864), 5:; [News], The Argus (17 June 1864), 5:; “MUSICAL”, South Australian Register (25 May 1865), 2:; “DRAMATIC AND MUSICAL”, South Australian Register (3 April 1866), 2:; [News], The Argus (17 June 1867), 4:; [News], The Argus (31 August 1869), 5:; “ARTISTES AND THEIR WANDERINGS. II”, The Mercury (13 September 1869), 3:; “POPULAR CONCERTS AT ST. GEORGE’S HALL”, The Argus (27 January 1870), 6:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 February 1873), 10:



BEYER, Augustus
Organist, ? violinist    
Arrived Adelaide, 31 March 1848 (per Pauline, from Bremen)
Died Cox’s Creek, SA, 23 November 1858, in his 53rd year

Music teacher

March 1848: Passengers - Augustus Beyer, organist; Mrs. Beyer and five children

July 1848: The daughter of a German teacher, seventeen years of age, seeks an engagement in a respectable family for teaching young children. Besides the usual objects of instruction, she can give lessons in the French language, in drawing, and in the rudiments of music. Apply to A. BEYER, Gawler-place.

1856: MISKA HAUSER. — We understand this inimitable artist is likely to carry away from Adelaide a prize which he himself considers would alone have amply recompensed his visit to South Australia. It came to his knowledge that Mr. Beyer, of Freeman-street, had an old violin to which its former owner, the late Mr. [Spencer Wellington] Wallace, a musician of great colonial celebrity, attached immense value. Mr. Beyer, however, had formed a more moderate estimate of its worth, and actually sold it for £10 a few days before Miska Hauser heard of it. The purchaser of the violin from Mr. Beyer was found, and, as he consented for a trifling advance on his outlay to part with the instrument, the Hungarian master found himself possessed of a veritable chef d’oeuvre of Stravidare, of Cremona. The tone of this instrument under the magic touch of Miska Hauser is, we understand, so surpassingly exquisite that its enthusiastic owner calculates upon achieving greater triumphs  than ever in his divine art through its agency. 

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian (4 April 1848), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (12 July 1848), 1:; “MISKA HAUSER”, South Australian Register (18 January 1856), 3:; “DIED”, The South Australian Advertiser (29 November 1858), 2:; “DEATHS”, South Australian Register (16 August 1888), 4:   

See also: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian (7 November 1848), 2: which lists “1 organist”, anonymous, among the German emigrants on board the Victoria, from Hamburg.


BEYER, Franz
Violinist (Tanunda School Band)
Active Tanunda, SA, 1853

References: “TANUNDA SCHOOL EXAMINATION”, South Australian Register (29 March 1853), 2:



BIAL, Charles (Carl, Karl)
Pianist, accompanist, musical director, composer, arranger
Born ? Germany, 1833
Active Melbourne, 1854-59; Adelaide 1855-56
Died ? Germany, 1892

Summary: Herr C. Bial was “Conductor and Accompaniest” at Astley’s Amphitheatre in Melbourne for Octavia Hamilton’s benefit in October 1854. He was accompanist for Miska Hauser in June 1855, also travelling back to Adelaide with Hauser. Back in Melbourne by May 1856 advertised then that he would henceforth “devote his time to the Musical Instruction of advanced pupils on the Piano”. He appeared in concert with Edward Boulanger in July 1859 playing piano duet arrangements of Beethoven symphonies and as his solo a Thalberg fantasia. “Being about to quit the colony for Europe”, Bial gave a farewell concert in December 1859. After our Bial’s departure, in Sydney in October 1860, the song setting When we two parted by “Herr Karl Bial” was sung by Miss G. McCarthy at Madame Jaffa’s concert. Unexpectedly, it seems likely that Charles Bial was indeed none other than the German pianist, composer and arranger Carl Bial (1833-92), into whose later care the young Melbourne pianist John Kruse was placed in Berlin in 1878. Back in Herlin in 1863, he had a piano work, Souvenire de Caire, Polka Brillante pour piano, published in Berlin by Peters, under the name “Charles Bial” (compare Cutolo's Remembrances of the Pyramids; he was once also compared with Cutolo, in a letter to the Adelaide press in December 1858). “Herr Bial (Berlin Conservatoire)” and “E. Boulanger (Paris Conservatoire)”, the latter by then very late, were listed as former teachers of a Mr. C. W. Russell, from the “Royal Conservatoire of Music, Stuttgart”, when he set up his teaching practice in St. Kilda in July the same year, 1878. Rodolphe Bial was his brother.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (11 October 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (29 November 1854), 8:; “MISKA HAUSER”, The Argus (1 June 1855), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (21 June 1855), 8:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (24 June 1858), 1:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (28 June 1858), 2:; “MISKA HAUSER’S CONCERT AT THE PORT”, South Australian Register (22 December 1855), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (23 February 1856), 8:; “MISS EMILIE SMITH’S CONCERT”, The Argus (26 February 1856), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (12 May 1856), 3:; “SIGNOR CUTOLO. TO THE EDITOR”, South Australian Register (2 December 1858), 3:; [News], The Argus (13 July 1859), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (10 December 1859), 8:; [Advertisement], Empire (29 September 1860), 1:; [Advertisement], The Argus (15 July 1878), 8:; “THE KRUSE FUND”, The Argus (13 September 1878), 3:

Musical works: Fackeltanz aus der Oper Der Landfriede von Ignaz Brüll; arr. von C. Bial.



BIAL, Rodolphe (Rudolf)
Violinist, pianist, composer
Born Habelschwerdt, Silesia, 26 August 1834
Arrived Melbourne, by July 1857
Died New York, 13 November 1881

Summary: “Mr. Rodolphe Bial, Violinist, late Musical Director at Berlin, having just arrived from Germany” announced a concert at Melbourne’s Mechanics’ Institution on 6 August 1857, assisted by his brother Charles Bial, Charles’s piano pupil Miss Emilie Smith, and Julius Siede. At Ballarat’s Charlie Napier in October: “M. Rodolphe Bial played with exquisite taste his variations on the air of The Old Folks at Home, and in reply to the enthusiastic encore tendered in a finished and highly artistic manner, the well known refrain of Yankee Doodle.” He is last documented in  Australia as leading the band for a New Year’s Eve ball in Ballarat on 31 December 1857. Perhaps dating his Australian visit, however, are his Yarra Songs Waltzes, published twenty years later (New York: Edward Schuberth, 1879; online:;,_Rudolf%29).

References: “A NEW VIOLINIST”, The Argus (28 July 1857), 6:; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 August 1857), 8: [Advertisement], The Star (21 October 1857), 3:; “CHARLIE NAPIER”, The Star (27 October 1857), 2:; [Advertisement], The Star (19 November 1857), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (29 December 1857), 3:

Works (German sources):




BIANCHI, Eugenio (Signor)
Tenor vocalist

BIANCHI, Giovanna (Signora)
Soprano vocalist
Arrived Melbourne, by January 1860 (from California)
Departed Sydney, 11 January 1862 (per Iconium, for San Francisco)

References: “THEATRICAL CHITCHAT”, The Courier (5 May 1859), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 June 1859), 1:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Argus (17 January 1860), 5:; “THE THEATRE ROYAL ON SATURDAY. TO THE EDITOR”, The Argus (23 January 1860), 5:; “LAST NIGHT OF THE BIANCHIS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 January 1862), 4:; “CLEARANCES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (13 January 1862), 4:; “MUSICAL AND DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 January 1862), 4:; “THE BIANCHIS IN CALIFORNIA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 November 1862), 5:

Bibliography: George W. Martin, Verdi at the Golden Gate: opera and San Francisco in the Gold Rush years (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1993), 118:; 286:; George W. Martin, Verdi in America: Oberto through Rigoletto (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2011), 119:



BIGGS, Jesse
Musician, bassoon player, organist, organ builder, and pianoforte tuner
Born England, 13 November 1819
Arrived Melbourne, by 1856
Died Launceston, 23 August 1872, aged 53

Summary (after OHTA): Jesse Biggs was born in London on 13 November 1819. After training with Gray & Davison in London, he is known to have built one organ in Britain, at St Margaret’s Church, Stanford Rivers, Essex, but this appears no longer to exist. Arriving in Melbourne in 1856, he built the first organ in Holy Trinity Church, Williamstown, Victoria, opened in July 1857 and in 1859 moved to Hobart, Tasmania where he erected major organs at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Hobart, the Mechanics’ Institute, Launceston and Hobart Town Hall. He also “perfected” the imported organ at St. David’s Cathedral, Hobart. He is likely to have provided assistance to the Launceston organ-builder Samuel Joscelyne. He was also said to be the most competent exponent of the bassoon in Tasmania. In 1871 he returned to Geelong to carry out work at Christ Church and All Saints’ Church. According to contemporary newspapers now available online, Biggs appears now to have built a number of organs in Victoria and Tasmania, of which only a handful survive intact.

1864: Mr. J. Biggs, organ builder, has just completed, at his residence Upper Brisbane-street, a beautiful chamber organ, which he built to order for a gentleman in the country. This, we believe, is the first organ actually manufactured in Tasmania, the metal pipes being the only portion of it imported from England. It contains 6 stops :—l open diapason, 2 Dulciana, 3 stop diapason, wood bass, metal treble, 4 principal, 5 fifteenth, and 6 flute. The sound board is made of New South Wales cedar and American clear pine, which is equal to the Honduras mahogany, so generally used in England for this purpose. The bellows are made on an improved principle, which renders the labor of blowing so light that a child of seven years of age can perform it with ease. The case, which is not yet finished, is to be of cedar with silk panels. The whole of the work, turning included, has been performed by Mr Biggs, in addition to his usual duties of tuning and repairing pianos, &c., since the 23rd February. Having a supply of metal pipes on hand, Mr. Biggs intends to build other organs for sale, and in a short time few places of worship in this colony will be without that most appropriate of all instruments for sacred music— a good organ.

1866: CHURCH ORGAN FOR SALE, containing 8 stops, and one octave, of Bourdon pedal pipes, 16 feet tone; two octaves of German pedals, acting on the keys. Will be sold a bargain. J. Biggs, Organ Builder, Brisbane-street. 15 July.

Obituary: The death of Mr. Jesse Biggs, musician and organ builder, has given another opportunity for the exercise of genuine charity. Through no fault of his own Mr. Biggs has left his family totally unprovided for, so much so that a few personal friends had to see that the last services rendered to him were properly and decorously carried out. Steps are now being taken towards holding a monster popular concert on behalf of his wife and family, and as the matter is in good hands, and the public of Launceston is not ungenerously inclined, it will doubtless be a success. Mr. Biggs, having superintended the erection of the organ at St. David’s and the Town Hall in your city [Hobart], is consequently not wholly unknown in the South, and possibly there may be found some amongst those who will read this little notice of the deceased inclined to help the widow and the orphan. I had some slight acquaintance with Mr. Biggs, and believe that from the time the question of obtaining an organ for the Melbourne Town Hall was first mooted he cherished the hope of being in one way or another connected with that magnificent instrument. But for disease and ultimate death, who knows but his humble aspiration might have been fulfilled?  Requiescat in pace.

September 1872: On Monday evening a grand vocal and instrumental concert was given in the hall of the Mechanics’ Institute in aid of the widow of the late Mr. Jesse Biggs. The large ball was well filled by a fashionable audience, though all classes were well represented. […] The conccrt commenced with Auber’s overture to “Masaniello,” by ten performers – Mr. Thos. Sharp, Mr. Abbott, and Mr. Chick (violins), Mr. Wm. Sharp (double bass), Mr Joscelyne and Mr. A. Hart (violoncellos), Mr. C. Galvin (clarionet), Mr. J. M. Davies (flute), Mr. A. Day and Mr. R. D. Harris (cornets), and Mrs. H. B. Nickolls presided at the pianoforte. The overture was excellently performed, in perfect time, and with fine effect. It gave entire satisfaction, and elicited universal applause […] The second part opened with the overture “L’ltaliana in Algeri,” by the performers of the first overture with the addition of Mr. J. H. Melvyn, making a fourth violin, but using a tenor or viola. It was remarkably well performed, but the piece itself has not the swelling grandeur, force, body, and variety of the overture to Masaniello […]

References: [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (25 March 1862), 5:; “MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE”, Launceston Examiner (20 January 1863), 5:; “TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT”, The Cornwall Chronicle (11 May 1864), 4:; “TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT”, The Cornwall Chronicle (25 June 1864), 4:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (25 July 1866), 16:; “OPENING OF THE NEW TOWN HALL”, The Mercury (25 October 1866), 3:; “LONGFORD”, Launceston Examiner (18 June 1867), 5:; “INSOLVENCY COURT”, Launceston Examiner (7 September 1867), 5:; [News], Launceston Examiner (13 February 1869), 4:; “COMPLIMENTARY BENEFIT TO MR. BIGGS”, The Mercury (30 June 1869), 2:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (10 July 1869), 1:; “SIGNOR GAGLIARDI’S BENEFIT CONCERT”, The Mercury (12 July 1869), 2:; “PROMENADE CONCERT”, The Mercury (13 July 1869), 2:; “NEWS OF THE WEEK”, Launceston Examiner (2 October 1869), 2:; “MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE. THE ORGAN”, Launceston Examiner (9 September 1871), 5:; “DEATH”, The Cornwall Chronicle (28 August 1872), 2:; “OUR LAUNCESTON LETTER”, The Mercury (30 August 1872), 2:; “GRAND CONCERT AT THE MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE”, The Cornwall Chronicle (4 September 1872), 2:

Resources: “Jesse Biggs – organbuilder”, OHTA News 26/ 2 (April 2002), 4; also: UK, National Archives, Biggs Family Letters,  Z 895: Z 895/1/Letter fourteen(pages 42-4), 25 December 1851, from Abraham to brother William: Mentions Jesse’s diligence and skill in baking bread and building organs; Z 895/1/Letter fifteen(pages 45-47)  18 February 1852, from Abraham to brother William: Sent small box of various colonial woods(for the “Organ Builder”).



Irish bagpiper
Active Sydney, 1823

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (2 January 1823), 4: “IF BIGLEY, the Irish Bagpiper, will call at the GAZETTE OFFICE, he will hear of something to his advantage.”

Web: ?



BINDER, Marion
(Miss M. A. [sic]; Mrs. Edward HURST)
Pianist, vocalist, music teacher, composer
Active Ballarat, VIC, by 1862

1862: MISS BINDER will give Lessons in Singing and Music after the most approved method of the best English masters, on moderate terms. Schools attended. Apply, Upton House Establishment for Young Ladies, Clarendon street, off Lydiar-street, Soldiers’ Hill; or at Evans Brothers, next Bath’s Hotel, Lydlard street. N.B.-Mrs BINDER is anxious to solicit the attention of the public to her collection of Music now for sale, which she will add to by every mail.

1866: Miss Binder had been appointed organist of the Ballarat Harmonic Society, in the place of Mrs W. Little, retired. Miss Binder is an accomplished musician, whose public performances on the piano-forte some concerts back will be fresh in memory. The society is at present rehearsing Handel’s serenata, “Acis and Galatea,” and Romberg’s “Lay of the Bell,” with a view to their production at a public concert to be held towards the close of June.

1877: Mrs. Edward Hurst, the wife of a gentleman well-known in connection with various public movements in Sandhurst, appears to be making a name for herself as a musical composer. A number of the musical profession and other gentlemen assembled at Harrison’s music warehouse. Ballarat, on the evening of the 20th ult., at a rehearsal of two musical compositions by Mrs. Hurst, music teacher of Creswick road, entitled “The Henrietta Waltz” and “The Ballarat March” respectively. The opinion expressed by those present way that the waltz was much superior to the ordinary run of terpsichorean music. The march, too, has a good martial, vigorous melody throughout; and both productions show that Mrs. Hurst possesses, besides her skill as a pianiste, some ability as a musical composer.

References: [Adverisement], The Star [Ballarat] (15 April 1862), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star [Ballarat] (7 May 1862), 3:; [Advertisement]: “THE BALLARAT GRAMMAR-SCHOOL”, The Ballarat Star (7 January 1865), 1:; “NEWS AND NOTES”, The Ballarat Star (14 May 1866), 2:; “MUSIC IN BALLARAT”, The Musical World 44/42 (27 October 1866), 690:; “MARRIAGE”, The Ballarat Star (6 January 1870), 2:; [News], The Bendigo Advertiser (31 October 1877), 3: 

Resources: Anne Doggett, “And for harmony most ardently we long”: Musical life in Ballarat 1851-1871 (Ph.D thesis, University of Ballarat, 2006);

Works: The Ballaarat Waltz (in The Illustrated Melbourne Post (25  January 1865))



Orchestral musician
Active Sydney, 1854

References: [Advertisement], Empire (25 August 1854), 1:; [Advertisement], Bell’s Life in Sydney (26 August 1854), 3:



Town Cryer (Sydney), convict
Active Sydney, until 1813

References: [Notice], The Sydney Gazette (10 August 1811), 1: “HIS Excellency the Governor has been pleased to appoint John Bingham to be Public Town Cryer at Sydney, in the room of Samuel Potter, deceased”; “CIVIL DEPARTMENT”, The Sydney Gazette (17 July 1813), 1:

Resources: Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain's grim convict armada of 1790 (Library of Australian History, 1993), 475



BINNING, Thomas Bains
Pianist (pupil of Mr. C. S. Packer), teacher of music, composer
Born ? Sydney, 1853
Active Sydney, by 1879
Died Ashfield, NSW, 15 August 1925, aged 70

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 March 1879), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 July 1880), 9:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 July 1880), 2:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (17 January 1885), 1:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 May 1887), 8:; “AUSTRALIA, a new song”, Australian Town and Country Journal (18 June 1887), 10:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 August 1925), 8: 

Works: Only to love (music by T. B. Binning; words by Charles Sandys Packer) ([18-?]); Australia (song; words by J. I. Marshall; music by T. B. Binning) (Sydney: Gibbs, Shallard, &​ Co., [1887])

Associations: pupil of Charles Packer; accompanist for Equitable Musical Society



BIRD, Isabella Tempest (Miss PAUL; later Mrs. RICH)
Vocalist, teacher of singing and pianoforte, and thorough bass
Born England, 21 July 1801
Arrived Sydney, 21 March 1833 (per Gulnare from London)
Died Hobart, 20 April 1847

Summary: Isabella Bird was a daughter of Mrs. Paul, the soprano soloist in the 1826 Sydney Amateur Concerts. With her husband Isaac Bird (married 1822) and four children she arrived in Sydney, some years after her mother, in March 1833. A letter to The Sydney Gazette in May 1834 observed: “I believe a Mrs. Bird in this colony well calculated to sing at concerts”. In May and June, she advertised to young ladies as a teacher of “Singing, Piano-forte and the Elements of THOROUGH BASS”. In August, she and her mother announced a concert, intended to be the first of a series.

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Sydney Gazette (23 March 1833), 2:; “[Letter] To the editor”, The Sydney Gazette (1 May 1834), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (5 July 1834), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (30 June 1834), 3:; [News], The Australian (5 August 1834), 2:; [Advertisement], The Australian (15 August 1834), 3:; “CONCERT”, The Sydney Gazette (21 August 1834), 2:; “Mr. Lewis’s Concert”, The Sydney Monitor (20 December 1834), 2:; “MARRIED”, The Sydney Herald (29 November 1839), 3:; “DIED”, Launceston Examiner (24 April 1847), 6:



BIRKETT, Richard
Composer, songwriter
Active Australia, 1867

1867:The Australian Digger’s Song” has been published by Messrs. Clarson, Massina, and Co., at their Sydney establishment. The air and words are by Mr. Richard Birkett, who has had the assistance of a professional gentleman in arranging the music. We are unable to compliment the author on the words of his song, which are superlatively stupid.

References: [Advertisement], Empire (1 October 1867), 1:; [News], The Argus (5 November 1867), 4:



BISHOP, Mr. (? William)
Bandmaster (96th Regiment)
Active Sydney and Parramatta, by 1842; Launceston and Hobart, 1843-49

Summary: The band of the 96th Regiment was active in NSW in 1842. Bishop and his band were in Launceston in March 1843, when they assisted at John and Eliza Bushelle’s concert there. He and two other musicians assisted James Henri Anderson at the opening of the Launceston Synagogue in 1846. Hobart heard the band for the first time in October 1846: “On Saturday, a detachment of this regiment, with another of the 51st, were brigaded in the Domain […] and the attendance of spectators was rather numerous. For the first lime, we heard with attention the fine Band of the 96th, which, under the able and talented mastership of Mr. Bishop, will prove a source of great delight to all lovers of music. It is indeed to be hoped that the performances of this Band will become more frequent, so that our good citizens may derive as much pleasure from the same, as did our neighbours of the northern capital. The Drum-Major, who marches in front as a Drum-Major should do, keeps time with his staff in a very stately manner: the lesser Band is of drums and fifes, and not of bugles, &c , and it is a very good one.” At Mrs. Chester’s Launceston concert in September 1848, “A celebrated Sinfonia by Haydn was performed by a portion of the band, assisted by Mr. Beckford, who lent the music for the occasion. Mr. Bishop the master of the Band, and Mr. Howson, Senr., displayed much ability in this portion of the entertainment.” According to a much later recollection (1917): “The band of the same had a great number of clarionets, and was very sweet toned. Mr. Bishop was bandmaster.”

References: [Advertisement], Launceston Advertiser (30 March 1843), 1:; “MADAME GAUTROT’S CONCERT”, The Cornwall Chronicle (18 February 1846), 132:; “THE JEWS. OPENING OF THE SYNAGOGUE AT LAUNCESTON”, Launceston Advertiser (2 April 1846), 2:; “THE 96TH REGIMENT”, Colonial Times (13 October 1846), 3:; “SECOND DAY”, The Cornwall Chronicle (17 April 1847), 303:; “THE REGATTA”, Colonial Times (3 December 1847), 3:; “Mrs. Chester’s Concert”, The Cornwall Chronicle (13 September 1848), 19:; “THE 96TH”, The Cornwall Chronicle (31 January 1849), 340:; “MUSICAL DAY, HISTORY OF THE HOBART BANDS. SOME INTERESTING NOTES”, The Mercury (30 August 1917), 2:



Soprano vocalist
Born London, 9 January 1810
Died New York, 18/19 March 1884

THIS ENTRY IS A STUB, to document arrival and departure details for her 3 Australian tours (1855-57; 1868-69; 1874-75)

First tour: Arrived Sydney, 3 December 1855 (per Kit Carson, from San Francisco); departed Sydney, 21 September 1857 (per Manitou, for Callao)

Second tour: Arrived King George Sound (for Adelaide), 8 May 1868 (per Geelong, from Point de Galle); departed Sydney, 16 December 1868 (per Hero, for Auckland, New Zealand); arrived Melbourne, 24 February 1869 (per Alhambra, from Wellington, NZ); departed Adelaide, around 24 May 1869 (per mail steamer, for Europe)

Third tour: Arrived Sydney, 9 November 1874 (per City of Melbourne, from San Francisco); departed Sydney, 7 August 1875 (per Osyth, via Melbourne and Cape Town, for London)

References (1): “MADAME BISHOP”, Empire (4 December 1855), 5:; “GRAND CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 September 1857), 7:; “CLEARANCES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (22 September 1857), 4:

(2) “ARRIVALS”, The South Australian Advertiser (13 May 1868), 2:; “CLEARANCES”, Empire (17 December 1868), 2:; “MADAME ANNA BISHOP”, South Australian Register (17 April 1869), 2: “Since her visit to the colony [South Australia] in June last, Madame Bishop has visited Melbourne, Sandhurst, Echuca, Castlemaine, Daylesford, Kyneton, Geelong, Ballarat, Sydney, Newcastle, Maitland, Brisbane, Ipswich, Auckland, Nelson, Christ Church, Lyttelton, Dunedin, Launceston, Hobart Town, and back again to Melbourne”; “MAIL STEAMER”, South Australian Register (24 May 1869), 2:

(3) [News], Empire (10 November 1874), 2:; “DEPARTURES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 August 1875), 4:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Mercury (14 August 1875), 2:

Obituaries: “DEATH OF MADAME ANNA BISHOP”, The Sydney Morning Herald (3 May 1884), 6:; “MADAME ANNA BISHOP”, The Argus (3 May 1884), 10:

Note: Some previous histories have stated or implied that, at the time of her first visit in 1855, Bishop was reduced to visiting outposts like Australia because she was unwelcome in homeland Britain, on account of her adulterous relationship with Bochsa. Yet I doubt very much, from contemporary sources I have seen, that this is an adequate account of the truth. Henry Bishop’s death in 1855, followed by Bochsa’s early in 1856 at the outset of her tour, may have precluded wider discussion of any perceievd immorality on her part. Notwithstanding, when Anna left Australian for South America in 1857, her musical director and agent, George Loder and Rees, made for London, presumably there to organise her return. And in December 1858, having perhaps tested the waters in the colonies, she appeared again on a London stage for the first time in 10 years.

References: “MUSICAL MATTERS IN MELBOURNE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 July 1856), 5: ; “DEPARTURES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 September 1857), 4:; “MADAME ANNA BISHOP’S CONCERT”, The Musical World (18 December 1858), 804:; “EXTER HALL-MADAME ANNA BISHOP’S CONCERT”, The Illustrated Magazine (25 January 1859), 52:; “Bishop. Lady Anna”, in Edward Walford, Men of the time: a biographical dictionary of eminent living characters (including women) (London: Routledge, Warne, & Routledge, 1862), 71-72:

Resources: Richard Davis, Anna Bishop: the intrepid prima donna (Sydney: Currency Press, 1997); Alison Gyger, Civilising the Colonies (Sydney: Pelinor, 1999)



Musician (European Band)
Active Sydney, 1858

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 September 1858), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 October 1858), 10:



BITTON, Edward
Music hall proprietor, publican
Active Sydney, 1869

September 1869: At a Licensing Court held yesterday, applications were made by Edward Bitton, of the “Melodian,” Pitt-street, and Henry Greig, of the Bush Tavern, corner of Park and Elizabeth streets, for the renewal for the present month of licenses permitting them to have music and singing in their public-houses. Objections were brought against the granting of licenses in both cases, on the ground that these music halls were the resort of women of ill fame, &c. The Bench in both instances declined to grant a renewal.

October 1869: Edward BItton, of 182, Castlereagh-street, late publican. Cause of insolvency: Loss of music license, depression of trade, and pressure of creditor. Liabilities, £488. Assets, £55. Deficiency, £433, Mr. Mackenzie, official assignee.

References: “LICENSING COURT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 September 1869), 2:; “INSOLVENCY COURT”, Empire (26 October 1869), 4:



BLACK, John Reddie
Vocalist, photographer
Born Dysart, Fyfe, Scotland, 8 January 1826
Active Adelaide, by 1858
Died Yokohama, Japan, 11 June 1880

Summary: Having been briefly an Enfield resident and Adelaide businessman, Mr. J. R. Black was “not unknown to his auditors” when he appeared at Kensington Institute in Adelaide in July 1858. Though “few perhaps who have admired his occasional songs or duets imagined him capable of arresting the attention of an audience for an entire evening”, nevertheless, as accompanied by the talented young pianist Richard Baxter White, RAM, “in this he was completely successful”. He toured themed programs of Scotch and Patriotic songs, interlarded with anecdotes, that became surprisingly popular. In Sydney in November 1859, a complimentary benefit was organised on his behalf with patronage at the highest level. Later in Sydney, W. J. Johnson published John  Blockley’s Tennyson song Break, break, break as “Sung by Mr. J. R. Black”, perhaps coinciding with his performances of the song there in April 1861 (Johnson also issued the song without the reference to Blockley; see In Hobart, the bookbinder George Rolwegan issued Caller Herrin as “The Celebrated Scotch Song ... as sung by Mr. J. R. Black, with symphony from Knapton’s variations”, first advertised on 31 December 1861. He had apparently left Australia by early 1863, and by 1864 was in Japan, where he worked as a photographer and publisher of English language newspapers including The Japan Herald and The Far East. He also published a book Young Japan. His son, Henry James Black, born in Adelaide on 22 December 1858, reportedly became Japan’s first foreign-born Kabuki actor.

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (29 June 1858), 1:; “MR. J. R. BLACK’S ENTERTAINMENT”, South Australian Register (1 July 1858), 2:; [Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (26 July 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (7 January 1859), 3:; “THE NATIONAL MELODIES OF MANY LANDS”, Empire (28 September 1859), 8:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 November 1859), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 November 1859), 1:; “SOCIAL”, Empire (12 November 1859), 4:; [Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (28 July 1860), 4:; [Advertisement], Empire (23 April 1861), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 April 1861), 1:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (31 May 1861), 1:; “MR. J. R. BLACK” & “MR. T. P. HILL”, The Mercury (5 June 1861), 2:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (31 December 1861), 3:; “OLD-TIME MEMORIES”, South Australian  Register (10 August 1891), 6:




Pianoforte maker and tuner
Active Melbourne, by December 1859
Died Malvern, VIC, 24 September 1914, in his 83rd year (“pianoforte expert; a colonist of 62 years”)

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (23 December 1859), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (7 April 1860), 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (4 June 1860), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (20 October 1860), 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (20 February 1861), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (26 September 1914), 1:



Arrived Adelaide, by October 1853

1853: Miss Blackhurst, nine years a pupil in the Royal Academy of Music, London, respectfully informs the Ladies and Gentlemen of Adelaide, that a Grand Soiree Musicale will be held in the Royal Victoria Theatre, on Wednesday, 19th October […] Instrumental Performers — Messrs. Thurloe, Lillywhite, John Cobbin, Swift, John Cobbin, jun., M’Cullagh, Walker, Tuxford, Smith, Mantegeni. Vocal Performers — Messrs. Blackhurst, Walker, Risely, Allen, Knight, Mrs. Hastings, Miss Petman, Miss Blackhurst. Leader: Mr. Chapman. Mr. Solomons Grand Piano will be used for this occasion.

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (19 October 1853), 2:



Bombardon player, bandsman (99th Regiment)
Regiment active Australia, 1843-56

References: “THE BAND OF THE 99TH”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 September 1844), 3:; [Advertisement], The Australian (29 November 1845), 1:




Contralto, pianist, composer
Active Wollongong, NSW, by 1889


References: “CONCERT AT WOLLONGONG”, Evening News (16 January 1889), 3:; “NEW MUSIC”, Australian Town and Country Journal (15 September 1894), 45:; “MISS SYLVIA BLACKSTON”, The Sydney Morning Herald (6 January 1904), 7:; “MUSIC AND DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 November 1911), 6:; “AUSTRALIA’S GREAT ONES OF THE STAGE”, Arrow (9 November 1917), 3:



BLAIR, Robert
Musicseller, general storeholder
Active Maitland, by 1852/3
Died Maitland, September 1884

References: [Advertisement]: “MUSIC”, The Maitland Mercury (6 April 1858), 3:; “THE LATE ROBERT BLAIR”, Singleton Argus (24 September 1884), 3:



Active South Australia, 1859

1859: For £10 10s, musician’s bill […] the plaintiff, who stated that he was a musician had played, according to tbe instructions of the defendant, at various places in the country. He had performed 26 nights altogether. The price agreed upon was 15s. per night.

References: “BLAKE v. CRESWICK”, South Australian Register (22 September 1859), 3:



Bandsman 3rd Regiment (Buffs)
Arrived Sydney, 29 August 1823 (per Commodore Hayes, from England)
Departed Sydney, 28 January 1827 (per Woodford and Speke, for India)

References: London, National Archives, PRO, WO12/2118: 3rd Regiment of Foot (Buffs) payrolls 1824-26; microfilm copy at SL-NSW: PRO Reel 3695; “SHIP NEWS”, The Sydney Gazette (4 September 1823), 2:; “Shipping Intelligence”, The Sydney Gazette (30 January 1827), 3:



Amateur tenor vocalist, former convict, musical instrument repairer
Born England, 1784
Arrived Sydney, 18 January 1816 (as convict per Fanny)
Died Sydney, 27 October 1841, aged 57

Summary: At the Sydney Amateur Concert in July 1826, Blanch, making a first appearance, sang Braham’s Dulce Domum. He repeated Dulce Domum at the 1827 Anniversary Dinner, and he and Barnett Levey provided songs for the 1831 dinner. He was probably the James Blanch who arrived as a convict in 1816; who advertised as a “Mathematical and Philosophical Instrument Maker“ in 1822 and later as a musical instrument repairer, brass founder, and ironmonger; and who died in 1841.

July 1826: Mr. Blanch (a first appearance), gave Braham's delightful ballad of Dulce Domum, in a manner which evinced, in his conception and execution, a style of uncommon purity and elegance, and manifested unquestionable pretensions to vocal excellence.

September 1826: A comic glee, When Arthur first at Court, by Messrs. Clark, Blanch, and Edwards, concluded the first part […] Mr. Blanch sang the Thorn, with considerable taste and feeling.

1827: A Patriotic song by Mr. Hill, and Dulce Domum by Mr. Blanch were greatly applauded, the style of singing of each being well adapted to his subject. Mr. Blanch certainly breathes forth sweet tones, which in the lofty new Court House sounded like a flute.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (8 February 1822), 2: “THE AMATEUR CONCERT”, The Monitor (21 July 1826), 5:; “SYDNEY AMATEUR CONCERT”, The Sydney Gazette (22 July 1826), 3:; “Amateur Concert”, The Sydney Gazette (9 September 1826), 3:;  “THE ANNIVERSARY DINNER”, The  Monitor (27 January 1827), 5:; “AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY”, The Sydney Gazette (29 January 1831), 2:; “DIED”, The Sydney Monitor (1 November 1841), 3:

Bibliography: Julian Holland, “James Blanch: Australia’s first meteorologist?”, The Australian Metrologist 21 (May 2000), 3-4



Vocalist, licensed singing master (Department of Education)
Active Melbourne, by 1863
Died Deepdene, VIC, 11 September 1918, aged 81

1866: The second concert of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society for the present year was given last evening, in St. George’s-hall […] The first part consisted of Spohr’s sublime and original oratorio of the “Last Judgment”. It is about a quarter of a century since the late Edward Taylor Gresham, professor, translated the original into English, and presided over the performance of the oratorio in Norwich, and afterwards in all the principal towns in England. The impression created soon after by the works of Mendelssohn caused a partial eclipse of Spohr’s works for some time, but the interest therein has revived, and the author’s claims are now fairly appreciated. It is a bold enterprise for any but the most efficient choral societies to attempt to do strict justice to the productions of either of these modern masters, but the sudden, original, and surprising modulations and transitions which characterised Spohr, severely test the skill of performers, both vocal and instrumental; and this should be considered in any fair criticisms on the attempt. The society had to rely on local talent for the principal vocal parts. Mrs. J. C. Ellis, Miss M. Liddle, Mr. C. A. Donaldson, and Mr. Charles Blanchard, undertook nearly the whole of these, and as professional vocalists of high attainments were not accessible, we think the musical public should fairly appreciate the valuable aid of the amateur principals at such concerts. […] Mr. C. Blanchard gave the solos “I am the First and the Last,” “I know, saith the Lord,” and “Come, said a voice,” with excellent effect.

1876: Mr. Charles Blanchard has been appointed by the Minister as singing master at the Sale, Maffra, and Stratford schools.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (28 July 1863), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (14 September 1864), 8:; “PHILHARMONIC CONCERT”, The Argus (12 September 1866), 6:; “PHILHARMONIC CONCERT”, The Argus (17 July 1867), 7:; “SALE. Tuesday”, The Argus (31 May 1876), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (12 September 1918), 1:; “WILLS AND ESTATES”, The Argus (10 October 1918), 4:



BLIZZARD, William (Corporal) (BLIZARD)
Master of the Band of the 48th Regiment
Born c.1784
Arrived Sydney, 3 August 1817 (per Matilda)
Died Bathurst, 18 February 1832

Summary: Blizzard arrived with his regiment on the Matilda in August 1832. He had enlisted in the 48th in 1793 at St. Vincent in the West Indies as a 10 year old boy drummer, his father being the master of the band. He arrived with the regiment in Sydney in August 1817. His band was recorded as playing with “delightful effect” at a fete champetre held by Captain Piper in 1819, and again in 1820. Given this association, it is possible that Blizzard was later a member, perhaps even master, of Captain Piper’s Band of Music. He remained in NSW having taken his discharge on 25 June 1824, and received a grant of land in 1825. He was appointed a constable in Sydney in 1828. He was active as a freemason (Lodge of Australia No.820, English Constitution, 6 April, 1829) and was publican of Golden Fleece Inn , Kelso.

Obituary: Died. On Saturday, after a short illness, Mr. William Blizard, landlord of the Golden Fleece Inn, and formerly Master of the Band of W. M. 48th Regiment. The deceased has left behind him the reputation of a good soldier, and an honest man.

References: [News], The Sydney Gazette (4 December 1819), 2:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (11 November 1820), 2:; “Government notice”, The Sydney Gazette (28 January 1828), 1:; “BATHURST”, The Sydney Gazette (28 February 1832), 3:

Bibliography: Sargent, The colonial garrison; “Blizzard, William”, Colonial Secretary Index, 1788-1825:; “Private William Blizzard”:; “A brief Australian masonic history: the Irish connection”:



Cornopean and cornet-a-piston player
Active Melbourne, 1853

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (5 March 1853), 1:; [Advertisement], The Argus (17 March 1853), 12:; ? “BAKERY HILL SOIREE”, The Star (30 June 1857), 3:



BLOUET, Emile (? pseud.)
Active Sydney, 1888

References: “Cremorne Galop”, Australian Town and Country Journal (9 June 1888), 33:; on the name Blouet, see “The Week”, South Australian Weekly Chronicle (11 February 1888), 11:



BLOXHAM, Ada (Beatrice)
Mezzo-soprano vocalist, teacher of singing and Sol-fa
Born Jolimont, East Melbourne, 13 July 1865


Summary (after Stevens, with additions): Bloxham was a pupil of Emily Patton in Melbourne  from whom she learnt Tonic Sol-fa. She won the first Clarke Scholarship to the newly-established Royal College of Music in London where she spent four years studying with Madame Otto Goldschmidt (Jenny Lind) and gained the Associate diploma (ARCM). She returned to Melbourne in mid-1888, and made her debut return at a Saturday popular concert in Cowen’s Centennial Exhibition concert series in August. She practised at a teacher in Coburg before going to Japan where she taught Tonic Sol-fa with Emily Patton at Yokohama and in Tokyo. She then went to South Africa where she married in 1901 (Mrs. John Edwin Palmer). By 1912 she was teaching Tonic Sol-fa in the south of England but returned to South Africa in the early 1920s, resuming her Tonic Sol-fa teaching at Durban.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (26 January 1880), 8:; “SIR W. J. CLARKE MUSICAL SCHOLARSHIP”, Illustrated Australian News (21 February 1883), 27:; “MISS ADA BEATRICE BLOXHAM”, The Australian Sketcher (11 April 1883), 58:; [News], The Argus (12 February 1887), 8:; “SPECIAL TELEGRAMS”, The Argus (21 May 1888), 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (18 August 1888), 20:; “MUSIC AT THE EXHIBITION […] EXHIBITION POPULAR CONCERT”, The Argus (20 August 1888), 8:; “THE TONIC SOL-FA ASSOCIATION”, The Argus (8 October 1888), 10:

Resources: Biographical notes by Robin S. Stevens.



BLUETT, Thomas
Music printer and lithographer
Born Ireland, c.1819
Arrived Wellington, NZ, 23 April 1841 (per Olympus from Gravesend, 9 December 1840)
Arrived Sydney, by December 1841 (? per Lalla Rook)
Arrived Hobart, by mid 1843
Departed Hobart, late 1844 (for Hong Kong)
Died London, 11 May 1846, aged 27

Summary: Bluett arrived in Sydney via New Zealand late in 1841. The inscription “T. Bluet. Print.” appears with the picture engraving on the cover of the undated Savourneen deelish for Francis Ellard, and very early in 1843 for Isaac Nathan he lithographed the songs Australia the wide and the free and The Aboriginal Father. Bluett moved on to Hobart by mid-1843, where he worked for James A. Thomson, and thus probably had a hand in Thomson’s edition of John Howson’s first set of Tasmanian Waltzes in July. By October, he was advertising in his own name offering “Lithographic Drawings, Maps, Plans, Music … &c.” and it may have been him who issued John Howson’s second set of Tasmanian Waltzes in November. His last known musical print in March 1844 was Joseph Gautrot’s Josephian Hymn. Bluett was in Hong Kong by late March 1845. He died in London in May 1846 as the result of an accidental gunshot wound.

My thanks to Paul Barton for sharing his research findings.

References: [Unclaimed letters], Australasian Chronicle (11 July 1843), 4:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (18 July 1843), 1:; [Advertisement], The Courier (6 October 1843), 1:; [Advertisement], The Courier (21 July 1843), 1:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (7 November 1843), 1:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (21 November 1843), 2:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (19 March 1844), 1:; [Advertisement], The Courier (5 April 1844), 3:; “SACRED MUSIC”, The Courier (5 April 1844), 2:; [News], The Courier (31 October 1846), 3:

Bibliography: Paul Barton, “Thomas Bluett, lithographer”, Australiana (May 2006), 20-26:

Web: Thomas Bluett, DAAO:



BOAM, Phillip
Theatre musician, orchestra leader, violinist, composer
Active Melbourne, by 1855; Sydney, until 1866

Summary: “Mr. Boam’s Celebrated Quadrille Band” was active in Melbourne in 1854, and Boam was leader of the orchestra at Sydney’s Royal Lyceum Theatre in March 1855, the proprietor even taking out an advertisement warning off poachers: “Caution. I, AUGUSTUS LEOPOLDT, having, by written agreement enguged Mr. BOAM, musician, for a certain period from the date of the 17th March, 1855, this is to give notice to all parties not to engage the said Mr. Boam, or legal proceedings will be instituted against them by me.” Boam was in Hobart leading the orchestra at the Theatre Royal in 1857, as well as offering to teach violin, and appeared in Maitland in 1862 with Marmduke Wilson. At the Victroia Theatre in Sydney in April 1863, he was in charge of the orchestra with no less a musician than John Gibbs playing under him. He returned from London on board the Great Britain by June, bringing with him copies of “the last sensational works, viz. : - East Lynne, Henry Dunbar, The Mariner's Compass, Orange Girl, Lost in London, &c. The abovenamed dramas, purchased by Mr. Boam with the solo right of disposing of them to any of the managers in the Australian colonies, protected by the Dramatic Authors Society […] P. Boam, musical director, Prlnce of Wales Opera House, Sydney.” In that same month, at the Victoria Theatre, the season was “closed by Mr. Charles Walsh singing a very pretty song entitled Father dear, come home, composed by Mr. Boam”.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (16 August 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], Empire (17 March 1855), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 March 1855), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 March 1855), 4:; [Advertisement], The Hobart Mercury (13 April 1857), 2:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (28 January 1862), 1:; “OLYMPIC THEATRE”, The Maitland Mercury (28 January 1862), 2:; “LYCEUM THEATRE”, Empire (16 January 1863), 4:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, Empire (7 April 1863), 4:;  [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 September 1863), 1:; “THE VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (25 June 1866), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 June 1866), 1:



Concert vocalist, teacher of music
Arrived Sydney, 19 January 1833
Departed Sydney, 23 May 1837 (per Fortune, for London)

Summary: From April 1834, Mrs. Boatright offered board and tuition to young ladies at her Bunker Hill Establishment. She sang, along with Juana Ellard, in the Philharmonic Society concert in September 1834, in Maria Taylor’s concert at the Pulteney Hotel in March 1835, and again for Thomas Stubbs’s concert in April. She embarked for London in May 1837.

References: “ARRIVALS”, The Australian (25 January 1833), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (7 April 1834), 3:; “THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Sydney Monitor (3 September 1834), 3:; “Mr. Lewis’s Concert”, The Sydney Monitor (20 December 1834), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (21 March 1835), 3:; “CONCERT”, The Sydney Monitor (28 March 1835), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (20 April 1835), 3:; “THE CONCERT”, The Sydney Herald (23 April 1835), 2:; “SHIP NEWS”, The Sydney Gazette (23 May 1837), 2:; but see also, re Mr. J. Boatright, “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Sydney Herald (6 October 1836), 2:; “LAW INTELLIGENCE”, The Sydney Herald (29 June 1837), 2:



BOCHSA Nicholas Charles
(The Chevalier)
Harpist, pianist, conductor, composer, teacher
Born Montmédy, France, 9 August 1789
Arrived Sydney (from San Francisco, per Kit Carson), 3 December 1855
Died Sydney, 6 January 1856

Pronunciation: He was son of a Bohemian musician, Charles (Karl) Bocshsa, and his name was generally pronounced BOX-sa by his homleand British, Amercian, and Australian contemporaries; see, for example: “A FRENCHMAN”, The Courier (28 May 1841), 4:

Summary: A former teacher in England of later Australian residents Lewis Lavenu, Stephen Marsh, Charles Packer, Ernesto Spagnoletti (senior), and Madame De Storr, the harpist-composer Nicholas Bochsa arrived in Australia via the Pacific route, with his lover, the singer Anna Bishop, on 3 December 1855 (“MADAME BISHOP”, Empire (4 December 1855), 5: Copies of Bochsa’s music had been advertised for sale in Launceston as early as 1834. Early Australian performances of Bochsa’s music included those given by the Gautrots (songs, 1839), Joseph Reichenberg (a “concerto” for clarinet with orchestral accompaniment, 1841), John Howson, Richard and Mrs Curtis and G. F. Duly (Concertante for flute and harp, 1842; and Quartetto for harp, piano, flute, and cello, 1842, played again by Maria Prout and Julius Imberg with amateurs in 1848), and by his former pupils Maria Prout and Stephen Marsh (1842). In Sydney in November 1845, the band of the 99th regiment accompanied Marsh in “a Grand Fantasia, on the Harp, of Bochsa’s (performed for the first time in the southern hemisphere), entitled, “Recollections of Wales”, introducing several very favouriteWelsh Airs.”

Bochsa’s and Bishop’s Sydney programs included one recent American work by Bochsa, A characteristic Fantasia for the orchestra based on Bochsa’s own “Mexican song”, La Pasadita. Another recent work, and possibly a first performance, was “Bochsa’s new Whimsical Overture for full Orchestra”, The Past and the Present. Bochsa was reportedly already ill on arrival in Sydney, and Stephen Marsh, already engaged as piano accompanist for Bishop’s Sydney concerts, took over as musical director after the first concert. Bochsa’s condition worsened, and he died in Sydney shortly afterward. He was buried in the churchyard at St. Stephen’s, Camperdown (now Newtown). One item of his funeral music was arranged from a tune that he had reportedly written on his deathbed. According to the press report of his obsequies. This “dying chant” was shortly to have been published, to a specially-written English text, as Rest, great Musician, rest! But, if so, it does not survive. After Bochsa’s death, Bishop continued to perform his music in Australia, notably the Mexican “castanet” song La Bajadere, also printed locally in W. J. Johnson’s Sydney Harmonicon (no copy survives, but see US edition:

Early references in Australian sources: “LIBEL.-BOCHSA v. FISHER AND SMITH”, The Sydney Gazette (2 May 1827), 4:; ROYAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC”, The Sydney Gazette (11 May 1827), 4:; “THE KING v. FISHER AND ANOTHER”, The Sydney Gazette (23 May 1827), 4:; “THE PRESS AND THE LAW OF LIBEL”, The Monitor (8 June 1827), 2:; “ELOPEMENT”, Australasian Chronicle (6 December 1839), 4: “MORI AND BOCHSA BECOME ITINERANT MUSIC-MONGERS”, The Sydney Monitor (24 January 1840), 4:; “A FRENCHMAN”, The Courier (28 May 1841), 4:

Bochsa’s compositions in Australia: [Advertisement], Launceston Advertiser (11 September 1834), 1:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (10 December 1839), 3:; [Advertisement], The Australian (31 August 1841), 4:; [Advertisement]: “PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE […] MADAME ANNA BISHOP”, Empire (22 December 1855), 1:; [Advertisement]: “SYDNEY HARMONICON”, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 February 1856), 9: [with complete listing of the contents of issues 1-7]; “THE SYDNEY HARMONICON”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 February 1856), 5:; [Advertisement}: “MADAME ANNA BISHOP”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (29 December 1855), 3:; “PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE”, Empire (3 January 1856), 4: h

Obituaries: “DEATH AND OBSEQUIES OF THE LATE M. BOCHSA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 January 1856), 4: : “[…] Bochsa, three days before his death, also compose[d] a mournful refrain […] Madame Bishop was struck with the solemnity and appropriateness of the air […] Accordingly, the Latin Requiem from the Catholic Ritual was adapted by Mr. Frank Howson, and harmonised in four parts by Mr. Paling […]  The dying chaunt will shortly be published, the following stanzas having been written thereto [prints text]”; “DEATH OF CHEVALIER BOCHSA”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (12 January 1856), 2:; “THE LATE CHEVALIER BOCHSA”, Empire (9 January 1856), 5:; [Letter from Stephen Marsh, Sydney]:“THE LATE BOCHSA”, The Musical World (24 May 1856), 326:

Images: Above, Bochsa’s tomb, cemetery, St. Stephen’s, Newtown; also “Monument in memory of N. C. Bochsa, erected by Anna Bishop over his grave in Camperdown Cemetry, 1856”:

Resources: E. J. Lea-Scarlett, Bochsa, Robert Nicholas Charles (1789-1856), Australian Dictionary of Biography 3 (1969); Richard Davis, Anna Bishop: the intrepid prima donna (Sydney: Currency Press, 1997)



Soprano vocalist
Born Nižbor, Bohemia, 1843
Arrived Sydney, by 1877; Melbourne, December 1879
Died South Yarra, VIC, 16 March 1922


Summary: Jan Stockigt, who has researched this artist’s life, informs me that Boema had a child in Milan before she came to Sydney, by 1877 with her partner, the basso Arturo Steffani. She later claimed to have first arrived in Australia in Melbourne in December 1879 (from a tour to Batavia)  with her parents, however Stockigt says mention of the parents was probably a ruse to deflect some scandal in Sydney. She made her official first public appearance in Australia in Melbourne, on 10 January 1880, billed as “Prima Donna Drammatica Assoluta from the Imperial Theatre of Moscow, La Scala of Milano, Pagliano Florence &c.”, as an associate artist with violinist Camilla Urso. She and Steffani were away from Australia again from November 1883. She made a second tour of the United States (she had first performed there in the mid-1860s), but she had returned to Melbourne by December 1885. She was a principal vocalist for Frederic Cowen in the orchestral concert series at the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition in 1888.

December 1879: We were favoured on Saturday afternoon by hearing a new singer who gave a private exhibition of her powers as a vocalist before a select circle in Messrs. Nicholson and Ascherberg’s rooms m Collins street. Signora Gabriella Boema comes to Australia by way of India and the East, bringing with her a well won continental reputation as an operatic prima donna. Her performances on Saturday afternoon were in every way satisfactory, and showed her to advantage as an artist well adapted to the concert platform. The following were the selections she sang, namely - 1. “Non Torno” (Italian), by Mattei, song, accompanied by Alfred Plumpton; 2. “Am Meere” (German) by Schubert, song, accompanied by Julius Herz; 3.  “Frühlingslied (German), by Mendelssohn, song, accompanied by Julius Herz, and [4] “Ritorno vincitor (Italian), by Verdi, from the opera “Aida”, grand scena, accompanied by Alfred Plumpton. In these selections Signora Boema displayed the possession of a soprano voice of an attractive quality, and an artistic method in using it which met with general approval. Her tones are of a clear and ringing quality, not wholly free from vibration. They evince quick sensibility on the part of the singer, and are very sympathetic in effect. Her delivery is easy and her pronunciation clear. She produces the effect of force without exertion, and exercises a genuine control over her hearers even in the very finest shades of expression, and she was equally successful in each of the above named selections, which were sufficiently varied to form a comprehensive test. When the opportunity occurs Signora Boema will be heard by the public with pleasure.

Obituary: The death last week of Madame Boema Steffani at her home in South Yarra revives memories of one who a generation ago was held in high esteem in Melbourne as a dramatic soprano. Born in Prague, Bohemia, in 1843, Madame Boema, to use her stage name, came to Australia with her parents in November, 1879, after a tour of Java, Manila, and the East, with an operatic and concert company organised by her husband, M. Steffani, who survives her. On her arrival in Melbourne Madame Boema accepted an engagement with Mr. W. S. Lister, the impressario [sic], and appeared in several operas. She sang with Trebelli, mother of Antonia Dolores, and Julia Coy, mother of Signorina Coy, in “Don Giovanni”, “L’Africaine”, “Norma”, and “Les Huguenots”. The operatic season in Melbourne was not of long duration, and Mme. Bowma began teaching, in which she gained immediate success. She afterwards accepted a position, on the teaching staff of the University Conservatorium, and was a singer in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Her remains were interred in the Kew Cemetery.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 October 1877), 8:; “ARRIVALS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 October 1879), 4:; [News], The Argus (15 December 1879), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (5 January 1880), 8:; “CLEARED OUT”, The Argus (3 November 1883), 8:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (28 March 1822), 1:; “PERSONAL”, The Argus (29 March 1922), 10:; “DEATH OF MME. STEFFANI”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 March 1922), 7:

Resources: J. Lukeš, “La Boema – kdo te je”, Nižborský List 3 (September 2009), 7-8



Active Maitland, 1861

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 April 1861), 1: “March, March. Keep Yourselves Ready Boys - Dr. Bolton of Maitland - Australian Patriotic Song”




BONNAR, Charles Fawcett (BONNER)
Vocalist, guitarist
Born Scotland, 1811
Arrived Sydney, 17 November 1834 (per James from London)
Died Adelaide, 5 February 1848, aged 37 years

Summary: Charles Bonnar, bookbinder, arrived in Sydney in November 1834. In Maria Taylor’s concert in March 1835 he accompanied himself on the guitar singing a Scotch song and The Guitar of Spain. Having worked as a compositor for The Colonist, The Monitor, and The Herald, “Mr. C. F. Bonnar, Compositor” departed for South Australia on the Hope on 26 January 1838, and by May was “Stage and Acting Manager” at the new Theatre Royal, Adelaide.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (15 December 1834), 1:; “CONCERT”, The Sydney Monitor (17 December 1834), 3:; ‘Mr. Lewis’s Concert”, The Sydney Monitor (20 December 1834), 2:; [Advertisement], The Australian (20 March 1835), 3:; “DEPARTURES”, The Colonist (27 January 1838), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian Gazette (19 May 1838), 2:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (26 July 1838), 2:; “Deaths”, The Maitland Mercury (19 July 1848), 3:



Active Hobart, 1852

References: “New Organist”, The Cornwall Chronicle (24 April 1852), 260:; [Advertisement]: “TO THE CONGREGATION OF ST. DAVID’S”, The Courier (11 September 1852), 1:; “[Advertisement]: “To the Editor”, The Courier (25 September 1852), 4:




New Zealand musician, composer, violinist, music retailer
Born 1830
Arrived New Zealand before 1852
Died 1883

Summary: One work by Bonnington, The Emmeline Polkas was published in London in 1849 [date from BL catalogue]; he was a “music master” near Nelson in New Zealand by 1852. He published at least two works in Australia.

References: The Emmeline Polkas for the P.Forte, by Charles Bonnington (London, [1849]), BL  Music Collections h.943.(37.); Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle (7 February 1852), 4: “LIST of PERSONS qualified to serve as JURORS, in the District of NELSON, New Zealand, for the Year 1852-53: […] Bonnington, Joseph, waimea east, shoemaker; Bonnington, Charles, welwyn place, music master”; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 April 1853), 1: “NEW PUBLICATION. In a few days, The Georgiana Polka, by M. C. Bonnington”; [Advertisement], The Argus (7 March 1860), 2s: “SOUTHERN CROSS SCHOTTISCHE, beautifuly illustrated, just published, price 2s. Joseph Wilkie, 16 Collins-street”; [Advertisement], Taranaki Herald (4 May 1861), 2: “The Band of H.M. 57th Regiment …. PROGRAMME … Schottische … The Southern Cross … Bonnington”; Bonnington was later a music retailer at Lambton-quay, Wellington, see [Advertisement], Manawatu Herald (22 June 1880), 4:; for a NZ music print sold from Bonnington’s premises, see:

Resources: John Mansfield Thomson (ed.), The Oxford history of New Zealand music, 45: “[…] Charles Bonnington had a music shop and music rooms in Cathedral Square and composed popular pieces”; 48, [at Nelson] “A short-lived Philharmonic Society, conducted by Charles Bonnington, arose in 1852”; Edmund Bohan, Blest madman: Fitzgerald of Canterbury (Canterbury: Canterbury University Press, 1998), 300: “Fanny herself sang, ‘in admirable style’, Regret with the accomplished Charles Bonnington’s violin obligato”.

Works (Australia): The Georgiana Polka (“dedicated to Miss Richmond of Nelson, New Zealand”) ([Sydney: Woolcott & Clarke, 1853]) NO COPY IDENTIFIED; Southern Alps Schottische (“R(“Respectfully dedicated to W. M. Stanton, Esq. Nelson”) ([?; ?]); Southern Cross Schottische ([Melbourne: Joseph Wilkie, 1860]); copy at London, British Library, Music Collections h.1485.c.(24.)




Musician, music educator, composer
Born Southwark, England, 21 November 1824
Arrived Melbourne, by early 1855
Died Melbourne 1883

Summary: Brother of the journalist and historian James Bonwick, he was senior singing master for Victorian public schools from 1855 until his death in 1883. As a composer he published both in his own right and in collaboration with George Weinritter.

Obituary: [News], The Argus (15 September 1883), 9: “The death of Mr. Walter Bonwick, senior singing master, has deprived the Educution department of an old und valued oflicer. He was employed as instructor of singing under the National Board of Education as far back as 1851 [?], and when the two boards—the national and denominational—were merged in the department of Public Instruction his services were retained. He brought high qualifications and a zealous spirit to bear upon his work, which has produced valuable fruit. He was, it may be said, not only an instructor but a composer. His musical writings included several books of songs for children, which were extensively used in the public schools. He was for many years organist of Christ Church, Hawthorn, where he resided until recently […].”

References:; [Advertisement]: “MR. WALTER BONWICK’S EASY AND PROGRESSIVE SONGS”, The Argus (11 July 1857), 5:

Resources: Guy Featherstone, Bonwick, James (1817-1906), Australian Dictionary of Biography 3 (1969); Beverley Maclellan, Walter Bonwick (1824-1883): Walter Bonwick and the establishment of music teaching in the national schools of Victoria, 1855-1856 (M.Ed thesis, University of Melbourne, 1990);; Beverley Maclellan, Walter Bonwick and the place of music in the curriculum of the national, common and state schools, 1854-1883 (Ph.D thesis, University of Melbourne, 1996);; Beverley Maclellan, The brothers Bonwick ([Melbourne]: Author, 1996):

Works: The Irish peasant girl (“The new ballad […] Sung with great applause by Madame Anna Bishop”) (Melbourne: W.H. Williams for the benefit of the Benevolent Asylum, [1856]); In memory of thee (song; words: Mrs. Alex. Newton) (originally published in The Illustrated Journal of Australasia 3/13 (July 1857); here as reprinted in Williams’s Musical Annual and Australian Skecthbook for 1858 (Melbourne: W. H. Williams, 1858), 21-23)

Other: The Australian School Song Book (containing sixty-six original songs composed by Walter Bonwick) (Melbourne: Clarson, Massina, 1871); with George Weinritter, Thirty-Three Easy Songs (“in two or more parts (principally original): compiled for the use of the Australian youth”) (Melbourne: W. H. Williams, 1858)



BOOM, Richard William
Professor of music, cricketer, bandmaster (brass band, Boom's Quadrilles Band, Prahran State School fife and drum band), flautist
Born Launceston, TAS, 1840
Active Melbourne, by 1868
Died Prahran, VIC, 1898

October 1882: A movement has been initiated amongst the pupils attending the Malvern-road State School […] to collect a sufficient amount with which to establish a fife and drum band. With the pronounced proclivities of young Australians, there need be no fear as to the success of the band; and if under the guidance of an experienced bandmaster like Mr. Boom, there is reason why there should not be, at no distant time, a band contest between the St. Kilda and Prahran bands. 

References: “MARRIAGES”, The Argus (8 January 1868), 4:; “SOUTHERN V. RICHMOND”, The Argus (13 November 1871), 6:; “LICENSED VICTUALLERS’ ASYLUM”, The Argus (29 October 1875), 6:; “SERVICE OF SONG IN THE TOWN HALL”, The Telegraph, St. Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (15 July 1882), 5:; “Local News”, The Telegraph, St. Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (7 October 1882), 4:; [News], The Argus (24 November 1883), 8:



BOOTH, William
Bandsman 3rd Regiment (Buffs)
Arrived Sydney, 29 August 1823 (per Commodore Hayes, from England)
Departed Sydney, 28 January 1827 (per Woodford and Speke, for India)

References: London, National Archives, PRO, WO12/2118: 3rd Regiment of Foot (Buffs) payrolls 1824-26; microfilm copy at SL-NSW: PRO Reel 3695; “SHIP NEWS”, The Sydney Gazette (4 September 1823), 2:; “Shipping Intelligence”, The Sydney Gazette (30 January 1827), 3:



BORSOTTI, Paolo (Signor; Pablo)
Bass vocalist
Arrived Melbourne, 7 December 1855 (per Melbourne, from Concepción, Peru, 12 September)

Summary: Paolo Borsotti, “from the Italian Opera Lima and Valparaiso” made his first Australian appearance on 7 January 1856 at Melbourne’s Theatre Royal, part of Lewis Lavenu’s opera season in which, with Clarisse Cailly, Sarah Flower, Maria Carandini, Mons. Barre, and Emile Coulon, he starred in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and Daughter of the Regiment, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, and Bellini’s Norma. In February he made his Melbourne concert debut with Elizabeth Testar, Miska Hauser, and pianist Emilie Smith. In June 1857, on a bill with Anna Bishop, Borsotti was reportedly suffering some infirmity, though was last billed in Melbourne to appear that month with Bishop as Dr. Dulcamara in the local premiere of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. He reappeared briefly in Sydney in June 1858, advertising in the Herald: “SlGNOR BORSOTTI, First Bass Singer, from the Italian Opera, Milan, Paris, Madrid, London, America, and Melbourne, and Just arrived.” I have as yet found no reference at all to Borsotti outside Australia.

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Argus (8 December 1855), 4:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Argus (31 December 1855), 5:; “THEATRICAL AND MUSICAL”, The Argus (9 January 1856), 5:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Argus (9 January 1856), 6:; [Advertisement], The Argus (9 January 1856), 8:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Argus (10 January 1856), 5:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Argus (15 January 1856), 5:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Argus (31 January 1856), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (23 February 1856), 8:; “M. LAGLAISE’S BENEFIT, The Argus (5 June 1857), 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (11 June 1857), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 June 1858), 1:



BOSTOCK, John Arthur
Organ builder, convict
Arrived, 13 February 1832 (per Asia, from England, 29 September 1831)
Died ? Liverpool, NSW, 1871, aged 70

Summary: When assigned as a servant on arrival in Sydney, Bostock was described as “organ builder and gardener”. In January 1840, after the conclusion of his 7 year sentence, the Sydney organ builder John Kinloch advertised: IF JOHN AUTHER [sic] BOSTOCK, who eight years ago was in the employment of Renn and Boston, Organ Builders, Manchester, will apply to Mr. John Kinlock [sic], Organ Builder, Prince-street, Sydney […] he will hear of something to his advantage.”

References: “Arrivals”, The Sydney Monitor (18 February 1832), 4:; “RETURN OF CONVICTS ASSIGNED”, The Sydney Gazette (14 June 1832), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (24 January 1840), 3:

Related material: “The Convict’s Burial. Written on board the Asia Prison Ship on her passage to New South Wales (from the East India Magazine)”, The Australian (8 June 1832), 4:



Violinist, musician
Active Melbourne, 1850

References: “THE LATE MURDER”, The Argus (5 July 1850), 2: John Bott (musician). I was at the Angel Inn playing the violin on the night of the 24th June last; the landlord employed me so to act ...



Songwriter, comedian, journalist
Arrived Melbourne 18 July 1840 (per Theresa, from London via Plymouth 24 March)
Died Sydney, 21 July 1894, aged 76

Active Melbourne, by 1893

Adelaide 1850: Mr Ellard was then called on for a song. He sang one which was encored but instead of repeating it, he gave one, called “The Irish Dragoon”. Certainly we heard nothing in it of an obscene or improper character, but we were at the top of the room and the singer at the bottom ; those near him describe it as one of a most unfit kind to be introduced in decent society, and his lordship, who before the song, had risen to go, leaving the room when it was concluded, considerable excitement was the consequence; indeed, from the time of the first interruption order had not been fully restored. (Argus): Mr. F. Ellard, the musician, who was formerly in this province, appears to have given great offence, by singing an indecent song at the dinner of the St. Patrick’s Society, in the presence of the Roman Catholic Bishop. Mr. Ellard denies the soft impeachment, and states that the song was written by his esteemed friend Arthur Leslie Boucicault [Boursiquot], brother of Dion Boucicault , of London, the author. This Monsieur Leslie Boucicault is also an old Port Phillipian, and will be recollected by many here.

References: “To the Editor”, The Melbourne Argus (16 February 1847), 3:; “THE DINNER”, South Australian (3 May 1850), 2:; “LOCAL NEWS”, South Australian (7 May 1850), 2:; “SOUTH AUSTRALIA”, The Argus (15 May 1850), 2:; [News], The Argus (3 August 1893), 4:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (23 July 1894), 1: ; “AUSTRALIANS ABROAD”, The Brisbane Courier (1 March 1906), 2: Web:



(Edouard Desirée)
Pianist, composer
Born Paris, France, 1829
Arrived Australia, 12 January 1855 (from London per Lydia)
Married Katharina Jane Fitzsimmons, St, Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, 31 May 1856
Departed Sydney ? March-May 1863
Died Shanghai, China, 18 July 1863

Pianist, music teacher
Born Calcutta, India, 1837/38
Arrived ?
Married Edward Boulanger, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, 31 May 1856
Died Grafton, New South Wales, 29 June 1872, aged 34

Summary: A pupil of Chopin, Edward Boulanger had worked in England and America before arriving in Australia in January 1855. In December 1855 he published Boulanger‘s Musical Keepsake for 1856, the first single-composer collection of piano music produced in Australia, full of unusually difficult music, in a thoroughly up-to-date European idiom. The Keepsake was twice noticed in the Herald, once, without undue exaggeration musically, as “beyond all question the most admirable publication to which our country has given birth”. Elsewhere, signally under the heading “AUSTRALIAN MUSIC” (apparently not considered a premature claim), the Herald predicted that Boulanger’s set would “throw all other colonial musical publications into the shade, nothing of so high a classical character having before been presented to an Australian public”. Perhaps curiously, then, not a single surviving copy has been identified of the book, nor of later editions of most of the contents by J. R. Clarke. Boulanger and his wife, Kate, were in court pressing assault charges on a third party in mid-1862, but in March 1863 Kate was claiming separate maintenance from Edward. That month Edward was also before the insolvency court, perhaps the reason for his departure in May to make a concert tour of Asia. His wife and child remained in Sydney; as “Madame Boulanger”, Kate later advertised as a piano teacher in Sydney (1864-65) and Melbourne (1866). After remarrying twice, she died in Grafton, destitute, in 1872.

References: “SHIPPING: ARRIVALS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (13 January 1855), 4: “Mr Broulanger” [sic]; “M. BOULANGER”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 January 1855), 4:; “MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 February 1855), 4:; Mr. E. Boulanger’s grand evening concert on Monday, June 11, 1855, at the Prince of Wales Theatre:; “AUSTRALIAN MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (3 December 1855), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 February 1856), 1:; “REVIEW”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 February 1856), 5:; “MARRIAGE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 June 1856), 1:; “M. BOULANGER AND HIS FAMILY”, The Star (29 August 1862), 2:; “CENTRAL POLICE COURT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 March 1863), 7: “In Boulanger v. Boulanger, a suit for a separate main tenance, an order was made for the payment of 35s a week; “INSOLVENCIES DURING THIS MONTH”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 March 1862), 9: “Edward Desiree Boulanger, of Surry Hills, Sydney, professor of the pianoforte […]”; “DEATH”, Empire (21 October 1863), 1:; “THE LATE M. BOULANGER”, The Sydney Morning Herald (24 September 1863), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 September 1863), 1:; [Benefit concert for] “MADAME BOULANGER’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 October 1863), 13:; “DEATH”, Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (23 February 1869), 2: “BOULANGER — On the 2nd of October, 1868, at Paris, Catterine la comtesse de Boulanger, nee Rouseaux, mother of the late Monsieur E. D. Boulanger, aged sixty seven”; “DEATH OF A SYDNEY NOTOREITY: MRS. BOULANGER”, Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (9 July 1872), 2:

Obituary (SMH): The following is an extract from a letter received in Sydney, from a gentleman lately residing here, who was at Shanghai at the time of  Mr. Boulanger’s death. The writer says: It is my painful duty to have to send you the sorrowful intelligence of the death of poor Boulanger, which took place on Saturdav the 18th of July, after a sad and lingering illness, duung the greater part of which I was almost entirely with him, being alas, the only friendhe had in Shanghai, which to him, was mdeed a land of strangers. M Boulanger on his arrival here, came to the same hotel in which I was staying. His illness first commenced with a cold, caught at one of his concerts, which was followed by a severe remittent fever […] The dread that he had of being overtaken by the cholera […] seems to have reduced him to such a state, that at last his sensos left him, and he was out of his mind for some time previous to his death.[…] He frequently spoke of his friends and Sydney, and often wished he bad never left your city; (Empire): BOULANGER, At Shanghai, July 18th, Monsieur Ed. D. Boulanger, the celebrated composer and pianist, aged thity three, song of M. Antonio Boulanger, of Paris, private secretary to the late PrinceTalleyrand, and first cousin of the Duc de Montobello, leaving a wife and child to deplore their loss.


Works online: Nocturne de Concert (“Composed for the Pianoforte, Respectfully Dedicated to Lady Stephen”) (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1857 or later]); The Last Rose of Summer (Caprice for the Piano) (“composed and dedicated to his friend M. Hauser”) (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, 1857; in Australian Album 1857); The Cricket Match Schottische (“played by Winterbottom’s unrivaled band”) (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1857]); The Oneida Polka (“Dedicated to the G. &​ A.R.M. Company &​ to the Commander &​ Officers of the S.S. Oneida”; “Played by Winterbottom’s unrivalled band”) (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1857]); The European March (“Dedicated to Captain Parfitt and the officers of the A.R.M.S.S. European”) (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1857]); The Columbian Mazurka  (“Dedicated to the Captain &​ Officers of the E. &​ A.R.M. Comp. SS Columbian”) (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1857]); Impromptu Polka  (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1862]); Lurline (Caprice de salon) (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1862]; and in Clarke’s Australian Album for 1863)



BOULLEMIER, M. (? Anthony)
Active Melbourne, December 1852
? Died Maryborough, 29 August 1865

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (10 December 1852), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (3 October 1865), 7:



BOULT, Arthur
Organist, choirmaster
Born Manchester, 1850/1
Arrived Melbourne, 23 April 1873 (per Yorkshire, from London, via Plymouth, 29 January)
Departed for New Zealand, 1893
Died Auckland, New Zealand, 21 September 1926, aged 75

1884: In a special piece of correspondence headed “Cathedral Music in Australia,” in a recent Globe, the writer puts Adelaide at the top of the tree. He gives the most unqualified praise to Mr. Boult for his excellent training and management of the choir, and as an evidence of it he mentions certain historical nine practices in one week for the Lent music of this year, and Arthur Everard’s singing “Oh, rest in the Lord.” In a comparison of intercolonial cathedral music to a South Australian, who knows that while cathedral music has always been carefully fostered in Adelaide, and that it has received little or no encouragement in most other dioceses, however much the comparison may be in favour of Adelaide, it is not worth so much as a complimentary comparison with the old and richly-endowed cathedrals of England. The recent visitor declares Adelaide music to be fast in the footsteps of St. Paul’s in London, and that the musical part of the service in the Adelaide Cathedral has reached to a great state of perfection, which fairly places it in the front rank with some of our most noted cathedrals at home. 

Charles Halle (Adelaide, 18 August 1890): In the evening we went to hear the Cathedral choir and they sing really well and have beautiful voices. Afterwards we had supper with Mr. Arthur Boult, who has taught the choir; he hails from Manchester; his father was one of the directors of the Concert Hall in 1849, and I believe one of the members of the first committee of the Classical Chamber Music Society.

Obituary (NZ): Much regret will be felt by a wide circle of friends at the death of Mr. Arthur Boult, of “Hilltop,” Khyber Pass Road, Auckland, who passed away yesterday at the age of 75. Born in Manchester, he early developed a talent for music, and received tuition from such well-known men as Drs. Percival and Mathias Field, of Liverpool. In 1876 he was appointed organist to the Adelaide Cathedral, and he held that post for nearly sixteen years, during which period the choir attained the premier position in Australia. Mr. Boult was very active in promoting the success of a number of bodies connected with music. He founded the Adelaide Philharmonic Society and the Adelaide Stringed Quartet Club. It was also due in no small measure to his advocacy and influence that a chair of music was established at the Adelaide University College, and for some years he held a position on the Board of Musical Studies. In 1880 Mr. Boult married the granddaughter of Colonel Gawler, the first constitutional Governor of Australia. About thirty years ago he was advised to try Rotorua for rheumatism, to which he was a martyr. He found the treatment so beneficial, and liked New Zealand so much, that he decided to remain here. He made his home in Auckland, and the family has ever since been prominent in the musical world. Mrs. Boult was closely associated with him in his work as a musician, and wide sympathy will be extended to her and their two daughters. Mr. Boult had suffered from rheumatism for a number of years, but managed to get on wonderfully well and cheerfully in spite of this drawback. He was keenly interested in everything connected with his art right up to the end. He was present at the last concert given by Bachaus, the pianist, and upon returning from the performance he had a stroke, from which he rallied, but never regained his strength, and passed away yesterday.

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Argus (24 April 1873), 4:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (23 March 1874), 1:; “NEWS BY THE SORATA”, South Australian Register (6 August 1884), 6:; “Mr. Arthur Boult at the Cathedral”, The Inquirer & Commercial News (17 July 1889), 8:; “DEATH OF MR. ARTHUR BOULT”, Auckland Star (22 September 1926), 8:; “THE LATE MR. ARTHUR BOULT”, The Register (27 September 1926), 12:

Associations: Cecil Sharp was his assistant organist at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Adelaide.



Amateur musician (Dilletanti Society)
Active Sydney, 1840

References: ? “ARRIVALS”, The Colonist (26 January 1839), 2:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (28 January 1840), 3:



Professor of Music
Arrived Sydney, 29 March 1852 (per Earl of Charlemont, from Liverpool, 12 December 1851)
Active Sydney, 1853-56

Summary: Boulton commenced an elementary singing class, on Hullah’s system, at the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts in March 1853, and in April also advertised as a private teacher of “Pianoforte, Organ, Singing, Musical Composition, &c, No. 188, Elizabeth street North”. He began presenting weekly concerts in the summer of 1854-55. In August 1855 he advertised as a teacher of pianoforte on Logier’s system.

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, Empire (30 March 1852), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 April 1852), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 March 1853), 3:; [2 advertisements], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 April 1853), 1:; “CONCERT OF THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, Empire (28 December 1854), 4:; [Advertisement], Empire (16 August 1855), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (1 January 1856), 1:



Arrived Sydney, 30 May 1851 (per Windsor, from London, 15 February)

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, Empire (31 May 1851), 2:; “STRANGERS TAKEN IN AND DONE FOR”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (7 June 1851), 3:



BOWEN, Charles
Violinist (Royal Lyceum Theatre)
Active Sydney, 1861

References: [Advertisement], Empire (5 August 1861), 1:



Orchestral musician
Active Sydney, 1837

References: “To the Editor”, The Sydney Monitor (31 March 1837), 3:



BOYLE, George E.
Singing-master, choirmaster, teacher of singing and piano
Born ? Ireland
Active Sydney, by 1884 (recently arrived from New Zealand)
Died ? Sydney, 12 January 1936

BOYLE, Lizzie
Pianist, piano teacher
Died Sydney, 7 July 1936

BOYLE, George Frederick
Pianist (pupil of Mark Hambourg, Busoni), teacher, composer
Born Woollahra, NSW, 29 June 1886
Died Philadelphia, USA, 20 June 1948

1886: Mr. G. E. Boyle, teacher of singing, is really doing good work in promoting a knowledge of vocal music among us, and is cultivating the ability to sing at sight. He has about 400 pupils receiving instruction from him, and he teaches them to sing on the old system of notation, which, when properly taught, is just as easy as any other […]

1892: SINGING and Piano. - Mr. and Mrs. BOYLE, have resumed tuition, 142 D’hst,-rd or Paling’s, Geo-st.

1897: A choral concert was given by Mr. Boyle’s singing class in the Y.M.C.A. Hall on October 2, and was largely attended. The pupils were assisted by Miss Marion Llewellyn, Mr. J. T. Brown, Mr. T. H. Massey, and Signor Priora. Mrs. Ruffy Hill gave a recitation, and Master George Boyle played several piano solos, showing precocious talent and careful teaching.

1900: Master George Boyle, pianist and accompanist to the Marie Narelle Concert Company, is only 14 years age. Passed the Senior Royal Academy Examination at the early age of 12, when the examiner pronounced him the most talented piano student he had ever examined, and predicted a great future for him. Master Boyle played at numerous concerts in Sydney, and received flattering press notices. Up to the time of his going on tour with Miss Narelle he had studied solely with his mother.

1907: Mr. George F. Boyle, who made his mark here as a composer, and also gave promise as a pianist, before his departure in Octobor, 1905, has since studied a good deal in Berlin under Signor Busoni, and in England under Mr. Graham-Moore. He began his professional career this year by touring Holland as solo pianist with the operatic soprano, Mme. Nevada. He is now in London, whence he forwards programmes and press cuttings to show that he is not idle.

1910: Mr. George Boyle, son of the well-known singing master, Mr. G. E. Boyle, of Sydney, has been appointed Professor of the Piano-forte at the Peabody Conservatorium at Baltimore (U.S.A.). Mr. Boyle left Australia several years ago. He was frequently heard in Sydney as a pianist. He had admirable technique, and his studies and performances were always characterised by an intense earnestness. His compositions include a book of songs published by the Novello Music House, of London.

References: “AUCKLAND PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, New Zealand Herald (21 March 1882), 5:; “Shipping”, Evening News (4 August 1884), 4:; “Singing Class”, Evening News (6 September 1884), 6:; [Advertisement], Freeman’s Journal (27 December 1884), 12:; “Boyle’s Singing Clasess”, Evening News (8 January 1886), 3:; “Births”, The Sydney Morning Herald (31 July 1886), 1:; [News], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 December 1887), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 January 1892), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 May 1895), 2:; “Concerts”, Australian Town and Country Journal (9 October 1897), 34:; “MASTER GEORGE BOYLE”, Freeman’s Journal (10 November 1900), 12:; “MR. GEOGRE BOYLE’S FAREWELL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 August 1905), 14:; “MUSICAL JUBILEE”, Freeman’s Journal (21 January 1905), 25:; “MUSIC AND DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 July 1907), 4:; “PERSONAL”, Freeman’s Journal (7 July 1910), 23:; “MUSIC AND DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (22 November 1913), 4:; “ORCHESTRAL SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 November 1913), 10:; ? “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 January 1936), 14:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 July 1936), 8:

G. F. works include: Piano Concerto in D minor (New York: Schirmer, 1912): see also: (NB: first Australian performance, Sydney 1913)

Resources:,_George_Frederick; Irene W. Peery, George F. Boyle: pianist, teacher, composer (Thesis, D.M.A., Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, 1987):;



Drum major (57th Regiment)
Active Sydney, 1829

References: “Supreme Court”, The Sydney Gazette (15 September 1829), 3:; “FLOGGING”, The Australian (30 December 1831), 3:



Secretary (Cecilian Society), carpenter-builder
Arrived Sydney, 1824 (free per Aguilar)
Died Sydney, 18 February 1868, aged 65

References: “THE CECILIAN SOCIETY”, Australasian Chronicle (16 February 1841), 3:; “THE CICILIAN [sic] SOCIETY”, The Sydney Herald (6 August 1841), 2:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (7 August 1841), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 February 1868), 1:

Works: “Interior of St. James Church, Sydney, 1831 drawn by Wm. Bradridge, Sen. Archt”:




Music copyist
Active Sydney, 1862

1862: “JOHN BRADY, Music Copyist, Bay-street, Woolloomooloo, copyist to the Orpheonist Society. All music copied with neatness, cheapness, and dispatch.”

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 September 1862), 1: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 December 1862), 1:



BRADY, Mary Ann (Miss M. Brady)
Soprano vocalist
Active Sydney 1859-62

References: “UNIVERSITY MUSICAL FESTIVAL”, Empire (6 July 1859), 5:; “SYDNEY UNIVERSITY FESTIVAL. FIRST DAY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 July 1859), 4:; “SYDNEY UNIVERSITY FESTIVAL. SECOND DAY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 July 1859), 5:; “TO THE EDITOR”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 July 1859), 7:; “SYDNEY VOCAL HARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Australian Home Companion and Band of Hope Journal (5 November 1859), 23:; “MARRIAGES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (25 September 1863), 1:



BRAID, Charles
Teacher of Pianoforte and Singing
Active Melbourne, 1853

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (1 March 1853), 3:



BRAIN, Mr. (junior)
Boy soprano vocalist
Active Launceston, 1843

References: “MRS. NAIRNE’S ORATORIO”, Launceston Examiner (14 June 1843), 3:; “CRIMINAL SITTINGS”, Launceston Examiner (12 October 1844), 2:



BRAITHWAITE, Frederick Nelson
Active Melbourne, by 1856
Died Richmond, TAS, 18 June 1904, aged 71

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (15 July 1856), 1:; “ASSAULT”, The Mercury (22 September 1868), 2: “DEATHS”, The North Western Advocate (23 June 1904), 2: 



Amateur comic vocalist
Active, Sydney 1848

Summary: Branagan having previously performed it in January as the “Original Comic Song The Sydney Cries”, at the St. Patrick’s Total Abstinence Society Musical Festival in Sydney in April 1848, as Cries of Sydney it “elicited roars of laughter”.

References: “GRAND MUSIC FESTIVAL”, Sydney Chronicle (6 January 1848), 3:; “TEETOTAL FESTIVAL”, Sydney Chronicle (11 January 1848), 2:; “ST. PATRICK’S TOTAL ABSTINENCE SOCIETY”, Sydney Chronicle (25 April 1848), 2:



Teacher of Music
Active Melbourne, by 1865

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (14 January 1865), 6:; The Victoria Post Office Directory (1866), 18:



BRANDON, James Lucas
Clarinet-player, [clarionet], farmer
Active Mudgee, NSW, 1853-54
Died Mudgee, October 1876

1854: Maurice Dalton was indicted for the wilful murder of William Oxley on the 29th April last, at Mudgee. He pleaded not guilty and was defended by Mr. Holroyd. Attorney - Mr. Serjeant. James Lucas Brandon deposed that about 1 o’clock of the morning of the 29th April, he was proceeding homeward, playing a clarinet, when the prisoner walked up to him and after asking him what he wanted playing that b----y thing, knocked him down.

References: “HIGHWAY ROBBERY”, Bathurst Free Press (25 January 1851), 6:; “WILFUL MURDER”, Bathurst Free Press (4 March 1854), 2:; “BATHURST CIRCUIT COURT”, Empire (4 March 1856), 3:; “INQUESTS”, Freeman’s Journal (4 November 1876), 9:



Professor of Music
Active Maitland, NSW, 1853

Summary: “MR. S. BREMER, Professor of Music AND DANCING, ORGANIST, &c, Rose Inn, West Maitland. Piano Fortes Tuned and Repaired”; otherwise unidentified.

References: [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (8 June 1853), 3:



BRENNI, J. W. (later Mr. D. BRENNI, and Mr. BRENNY)
Vocalist, minstrel, delineator (Howard’s Serenaders)
Active NSW, by 1853

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 January 1853), 3:; [Advertisement], Empire (2 March 1853), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 August 1854), 1:; “HALL THE WIZARD, AND THE SERENADERS”, The Maitland Mercury (24 November 1855), 2:; [Advertisement], Empire (5 February 1856), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 August 1856), 1:]



BREWER, Francis Campbell (F. C. Brewer)
Tenor vocalist, choral conductor, music and drama reviewer, journalist
Born Stourbridge, England 1826
Arrived Sydney, October 1834
Died Sydney, 23 November 1911

BREWER, Frank (Francis Patrick)
Tenor vocalist, music teacher
Born Sydney, ? 1855 (son of the above)
Died Sydney, 15 July 1943

BREWER, Elizabeth Mary (HARRISON; Mrs. Frank BREWER)
Music teacher
Married 1880
Died Summer Hill, 7 April 1935, aged 79

Sydney 1882: The Opening of St. Mary’s Cathedral […] The Mass sung was Haydn’s No. 3, known as the “Imperial” Mass […] In the “Gloria” Mr. Frank Brewer sang the tenor solo with great purity of intonation […]

Sydney 1889: Brewer and Wife v. Marshall. — It was an action in which Francis Patrick Brewer (of Summer Hill) and his wife Mary sued William Marshall, of George-street, Sydney, for £23 10s 6d, for the instruction of the defendant’s wife in singing and instrumental music. A verdict was given for the full amount, with the expenses of one witness.

1891 (letter, F.C.B.): In 1835, I think it was on December 12, I commenced my career on the press under Mr. [Edward Smith] Hall, who was then and had been for some years the proprietor and editor of the Sydney Monitor.

References: “MARRIAGES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 December 1880), 8:; “The Opening of St. Mary’s Cathedral”, The Maitland Mercury (12 September 1882), 3:; “District Court”, Evening News (23 August 1889), 8: “ EDWARD SMITH HALL. TO THE EDITOR”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 August 1891), 7:; “PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED”, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 August 1892), 6:; “A PIONEER JOURNALIST. DEATH OF MR. F. C. BREWER. A MEMORY OF EARLY SYDNEY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (24 November 1911), 8:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (24 November 1911), 8:

Works: F. C. Brewer, The drama and music in New South Wales (Sydney: Charles Potter, Govt. Printer, 1892) (“Published by authority of the New South Wales Commissioners for the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893”)




BRICKWOOD, Winifred Amelia (Mrs. John CALLAGHAN)
Born ? Devon, England, c.1839
Active Sydney, early-mid 1860s
Died Mosman, NSW, 5 August 1922, aged 83 years

Summary: Miss W. A Brickwood’s The Randwick Mazurka (Sydney: W. J. Johnson) was published in August 1863. A second print, “the AUSTRALIAN MELODIES, by Miss Brickwood, Newtown,” was published at W. H. Paling’s, Wynyard-square, in December 1864. Unfortunately, no copy has been identified, but given its title and timing the print may well have been a setting of some of the recently published “Australian Melodies” by poet J. Sheridan Moore (husband of the singer Flora Harris). Moore’s collection had been reviewed in The Sydney Morning Herald in August that year. W. J. Macdougall had previously set two of the poems, The Wail from England in 1862 (lost), and The beauty that blooms in Australia (“No 1 of Australian national Melodies”) (Sydney: Wilkie & Elvy, 1863). On 2 January 1865, Winifred Amelia Brickwood became Mrs John Callaghan. The couple were living at Holyrood House, Kingston, Newtown in 1873, and in Botany-street, Moore Park in 1887. She died at her residence, Warrawee, Mosman, in 1922.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 August 1863), 6:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 December 1864), 1:; “MARRIAGES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 January 1865), 1:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 August 1922), 8:

Resource: J. Sheridan Moore, Spring-life: lyrics and Australian melodies (Sydney: Reading and Wellbank, 1864);; on the genesis of the “Australian Melodies” see also: vii; Frances Devlin Glass, Moore, Joseph Sheridan (1828–1891), Australian Dictionary of Biography 5 (1974); [Family history]: (her father, Arthur Peter Brickwood, R.N., had contracted a bigamist marriage in Honolulu in 1846, and died there in 1886)



Bass vocalist
Active Sydney, 1842

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (24 May 1842), 3:



BRIDSON, Sarah Ann (BELL; later KINLOCH)
Vocalist, Professor of the Pianoforte and Singing (pupil of Logier)

BRIDSON, Thomas Vicary (T. V. Bridson; Thomas Vicarez)
Conductor, organist, organ builder
Died Rockhampton, QLD, 14 August 1869

1856: We have been to hear the splendid organ just erected in the English Opera House by Mr. T. V. Bridson. It is undoubtedly one of the finest instruments of the kind in these colonies. The tone is of the roundest and richest quality; and under the delicate touch of Mr. Packer, its effect is truly thrilling.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 March 1854), 2:; “THE HERWYN’S FAREWELL CONCERT”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (9 September 1854), 2:; “SYDNEY’S PROGRESS IN MUSICAL SCIENCE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 August 1856), 4:; “NEW ORGAN”, Freeman’s Journal (30 August 1856), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 January 1859), 2:; “MUSIC AND DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 November 1859), 8:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 September 1869), 9:; “MARRIAGES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 August 1870), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 April 1872), 3:;

Resources: Rushworth, Historic Organs of New South Wales, 81-83



BRINKMANN, Elias Frederick Louis
Active Sydney, 1871

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 October 1868), 1:;  “MARRIAGES”, Empire (5 June 1871), 1:



BRISTOW, William

Bugler (51st Regiment)
Departed Hobart, August 1846 (for Bangalore)

References: [News], The Courier (12 August 1846), 3:; “THE 51ST IN INDIA”, The Courier (10 November 1847), 2:



Amateur vocalist, pianist

Arrived Sydney, 7 November 1821
Departed Sydney, November 1825

1822: We continue to like our present Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane. Lady Brisbane and her sister Miss Macdougall are gentle and amiable — perfectly unaffected in their manners and habits, yet possessing all the acquirements of wellborn and well educated persons. […] The ladies are fond of and live in great retirement. They mix little in society and give none of those large entertainments, which Mrs. Macquarie used to do. They have a Dinner Party once a week. Their table is handsomely set out, and served in a manner superior to anything we have yet seen in the Colony. Lady Brisbane has a good Piano, on which she occasionally plays, and accompanies the instrument with her voice. Miss Macdougall plays the Harp, and Mr. Rumker the Piano in turn. 

References: Sibella Macarthur Onslow (ed.), Some early records of the Macarthurs of Camden (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1914): (Letter from Elizabeth Macarthur, Parramatta, 4 September 1822, 373-374:

Resources: J. D. Heydon, Brisbane, Sir Thomas Makdougall (1773–1860), Australian Dictionary of Biography 1 (1966)



Professor of music
Active Melbourne, by 1855
Died Fitzroy, VIC, November 1866

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (3 August 1855), 1:; “Funeral notices”, The Argus (17 November 1866), 8:



BROADHURST, William Gore
Professor of music, pianist, organist, composer
Born London, 4 November 1838
Active Sydney, by August 1867
Died Melbourne, 31 January 1914, aged 74

Obituary: Mr. W. G. Broadhurst, of 68 St. Vincent Place, South Melbourne, died at St. Vincent’s Hospital at an early hour on Saturday morning. For the past 26 years the late Mr. Broadhurst held the position of organist at SS. Peter and Paul’s .Church, South Melbourne, and composed a special Mass for the opening of the additions to the church by Archbishop Carr in April of last year. Prior to coming to Australia he was a choir boy at Westminster Abbey. Mr. Broadhurst, who was 74 years of age, leaves a widow, and grown up family of two sons and five daughters.

References: “ENTERTAINMENT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (3 August1867), 7:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 August1867), 8:; “NAVAL RECEPTION OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 December 1867), 13:; “MARRIAGES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 January 1869), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 July 1871), 6:; “NEW INSOLVENTS”, The Argus (27 May 1893), 9:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (2 February 1914), 1:; “PERSONAL”, The Argus (2 February 1914), 9:; [News], Record [Emerald Hill, Vic] (7 February 1914), 2:

Extant works: Maribyrnong Park Estate Waltz (South Melbourne: Broadhurst, [n.d.]); Rouse ye Britons (patriotic song; words and music by Edwd. Septimus Powell; arr. by W. G. Broadhurst; Composed in honor of Her Most Gracious Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, 1897) (Albert Park, Melbourne : E.S. Powell, [1897])



Dancer, actor
Active Sydney, 1842

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (5 February, 1842), 3:; “OLYMPIC THEATRE”, The Sydney Herald (18 March 1842), 2:



Musician, violinist
Active Ballarat, 1865  

References: [Advertisement], The Star (6 September 1864), 3:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Star (24 October 1864), 2s:; Ballarat and Ballarat District Directory (1865), 68:



BROMLEY, William James
Clarinettist, bandsman (99th Regiment)
Died Hobart, 30 July 1855, aged 33

References: [Advertisement], The Australian (29 November 1845), 1:; “MISCELLANEA”, The Courier (8 November 1851), 2:; “SOLDIER’S FUNERAL”, Colonial Times (2 August 1855), 3: “The remains of William James Bromley, the bandsman, were yesterday interred at St. David’s burying ground .The band of the regiment, of which deceased had been an esteemed member, attended, and as the funeral procession moved on, played the Dead March in Saul […]”

Note: A memorial plaque at Anglesea Barracks, Hobart: “The stone was erected by his Brother Musicians as a tribute of respect. Also Wm. JA. BROMLEY Musician in the same Corps who departed this life 30th July 1855 Aged 33 years. Affection weeps Heaven rejoices.”



Active Australia, 1860-62

Summary: In Hobart in January 1860, Rosina Carandini and Brooks played Stephen Glover’s The Blind Girl to her Harp. The military march referred to below is probably Bochsa’s Favourite March in imitation of a military band at a distance.

March 1862: The harp has for many years gone out of vogue, its place being taken by the piano-forte, the cause of which has, no doubt, been that efficiency in playing upon the latter instrument can be acquired far more easily than that in playing on the former. The circumstance of the harp being now seldom heard has the effect of rendering such performances as those of last evening a grateful variation upon the staple of concerts, the music possessing, in addition to its other charms, those of novelty and freshness. The harp playing of Mr. Brooks displayed his thorough mastery over a most difficult instrument, and his power of producing all the varying effects required by the music. The wondrous variety of thrilling and of delicate tones which the skilful harspit pioduced at pleasure excited the regret that this elegant accomplishment, which was once so popular, should be now so entirely neglected, and also that Mr. Brooks’ services should not be more frequently enlisted at the public concerts in Sydney. Mr. Brooks, besides accompanying several of the vocalists, gave two solo performances on the harp, both of which were rapturously encored. The first was the popular Irish melody Believe me if all those endearing young charms with variations, a very brilliant piece of playing. The encore exhibited the power of the harpist even more signally. It represented the march of a military band; the stirring effects produced by their gradual approach and retreat while playing being most dexterously described by the crescendo and diminuendo movements.

References: “GRAND CONCERT”, The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (31 January 1860), 2:; [News], The Argus (23 May 1860), 4:; “TO THE EDITOR”, Empire (29 August 1860), 5:; “THE DINNER”, Empire (29 August 1861), 5:; “DR. McGREGOR’S ENTERTAINMENT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 November 1861), 4:; “MR. T. H. BROOKS’ CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 March 1862), 5:; “MUSIC AND DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 March 1862), 7:



BROOKE, Rev’d W. A.
Organist, pianist, Anglican priest
Active Tasmania, by 1854
Died England, 1906

Summary: Brooke, late of Trinity College Cambridge, was senior fellow at Christ’s College, Hobart in 1854. An appendix to Stoney’s A Year in Tasmania (306) reprints a press report of the Annual Commemoration (? in 1854): “Shortly after eleven, the proceedings of the day commenced with the usual morning service in the chapel, at which the late Warden said prayers, and the lessons were read by the Divinity Fellow in waiting for the week (Mr. Adams). Those who are admirers of sacred music had a great treat in the performance on the organ by the Rev. W. A. Brooke, whose accompaniments to the chanting of the service were of a very superior description, adding very much to the impressiveness of that solemn and beautiful ritual.”

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (8 June 1854), 8:; “George Town”, The Cornwall Chronicle (20 January 1869), 3:; “GRAND AMATEUR CONCERT AT THE MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE”, The Cornwall Chronicle (24 July 1872), 2:; “CHURCH MUSIC”, The Argus (17 March 1876), 7:; “EARLY LAUNCESTON. MR. WHITFIELD’S LECTURE No.4”, Launceston Examiner (7 July 1897), 7:; “SCHOOL SPEECH DAYS. THE GRAMMAR SCHOOL”, Examiner (22 December 1906), 11:



Vocalist, violinist (Rainer’s Minstrels)
Arrived Sydney, 19 September 1852 (per Speed, from San Francisco, 28 July)

References: “RAINER’S SERENADERS”, Daily Alta California (25 July 1852):; “ARRIVALS”, The Maitland Mercury (25 September 1852), 2:; “THE LAST APPEARANCE OF THE SERENADERS”, The Courier (21 April 1853), 3:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE. RAINER’S SERENADERS”, Empire (1 September 1853), 2:

Related prints: Old Folks at Home (as sung by T. Brower of Rainer’s Minstrels, as arranged by J. C. Rainer) (Sydney: For the author by H. Marsh. [185?])



Musician, orchestra leader
Active Sydney, 1853

November 1853: We would again suggest to Mr. Brown the necessity of an improvement in the music, and a greater variety. The music, on Tuesday night, during Cardoza’s performance, was wretched. If Mr. Brown wishes to maintain his character as a musician, there must be a decided   change in the orchestra.

References: “MALCOLM’S AMPHITHEATRE”, Illustrated Sydney News (22 October 1853), 2:; “MALCOLM’S AMPHITHEATRE”, Illustrated Sydney News (19 November 1853), 6:; [Advertisement], Illustrated Sydney News (3 December 1853), 6:




Violin and guitar maker and repairer, composer
Active Sydney, by January 1857 (? arrived per La Hogue)

Violin maker
Active Melbourne, 1880

BROWN, Walter James, junior
Violin maker and repairer
Born London, c. 1823
Arrived Sydney, 6 February 1857 (per Walter Hood, from London)
Died Melbourne, 16 June 1899, aged 77 (“a colonist over 40 years”)

Sydney January 1857: LA HOGUE POLKA, composed by A. BROWN, dedicated to Captain Neatby and Officers of the ship, to be published on SATURDAY next Price 2s 6d. W. J. JOHNSON and CO, 57, Pitt-street

Sydney 1857:  A. BROWN, Violin Maker and Repairer, from Joseph Panormo's, London Sydney

1858: VIOLINS. W. J. BROWN, Jun., violin maker and musical instrument repairer, No. 149, Pitt-street North, late of Bishopagate, London.

Melbourne 1876: W. J. BROWN, From Brown and Son, London, VIOLIN MAKER and REPAIRER, 56 Little Collins-street east, Melbourne. N.B.-All kinds of musical instruments repaired. For antecedents of Brown and Son, London, see Sandy's and Forster’s, “History of Violin.”

Melbourne Exhibition 1880: J. Brown, of 57 Lygon street, exhibits a case of his “Carltonia” violins. It is doubtful if this early naming of violins is the surest way to make a fame for them. It is the verdict of posterity which stamps upon any particular kind an unquestionable value. Mr. Brown’s exhibits consist of three violins, with the date of manufacture attached to each. They are of good form, but being under lock and key the “varnishing” and other points in connexion with the make are not open to minute description. The next case is very interesting, and in some sense illustrates what we have just said about the verdict of posterity. It is the exhibit of W. J. Brown, dealer and repairer, 50 Little Collins-street east, and it contains violins as follows namely, Gaspard di Salo, A.D. 1597; Paolo Maggini, A.D. 1600;  another by the same maker, A.D. 1624; Nicholas Amati, A.D. 1671; Ruggierius, A.D. 1680; Joseph Guarnerius, A.D. 1699; and  Guadagnini, A.D. 1724; and there is also in the same case a little “Kit”.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 January 1857), 8:; [Advertisement]: “LA HOGUE POLKA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 January 1857), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 May 1857), 10:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 June 1858), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 January 1857), 4:; “INSOLVENCY COURT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 June 1859), 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (22 January 1876), 12:; “VICTORIA. XI. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS”, The Argus (23 December 1880), 58s:; “MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION MEDALS. JURY 6. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS”, The Argus (17 May 1881), 7:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (17 June 1899), 5:

Resources: William Sandys and Simon Andrew Forster, The history of the violin and other instruments played on with the bow … (London: William Reeves, 1864), 354-55:

Associated with the name of Kennedy, as fiddle-makers, are James Brown, the elder and younger, both of whom, in early life, were silk-weavers, particularly the father, and lived in the locality of Shoreditch. About 1804 an intimacy arose with the Kennedy family, whereby James Brown the elder acquired some knowledge of fiddle-making; and, being made more perfect in the use of the tools by Thomas Kennedy, he at length became a repairer and maker of instruments for future support. About 1830 he slipped down the stairs of his dwelling-house, in Wheeler Street, Spitalfields, and broke one of the ankles; the fracture being most severe, the relatives were advised to take him to the hospital. Within a week of the accident, mortification set in, and he died at the age of seventy-five years, in September 1830 or 1834; the son does not remember the date accurately, but he thinks the former year; and he says they (father and son) resided in Wheeler Street for forty-six years, but not always in the same house. James Brown, the younger, was born November 1786, and learned to make fiddles of his father; but, to assist in other branches of the trade, he was mostly employed in making the various bows for the instruments. Since the death of his father, the greater attention has been given to the manufacture of violins, violoncellos, and double basses. This person died in 1860 at his residence in White Lion Street, Norton Folgate, in his seventy-fourth year. The father and son were good average workmen, but no marked style of finish. A son of this last person learned to make instruments of his father; but, when about twenty years of age, he quitted the business to play the contra-basso at theatres; and it is believed he now has some professional engagement in Australia, as success did not attend his exertions at “the Diggins.” “


Violinist, vocalist, composer
Active Bathurst, NSW, 1850

1850: Polka— Composed by J. Brown.

1850: A miscellaneous concert, composed of sentimental and nigger songs, took place at Mr. Minehan’s music room, on Monday, night week. Several of the senitmental songs were very creditably gone through, and the solos on the violin, by Mr. Brown, were exquisitely performed […]

References: [Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press (7 September 1850), 5:; “BATHURST SERENADERS”, Bathurst Free Press (12 October 1850), 4:



Double-bass player
Active Sydney, 1865

Summary: Brown played double-bass in Lavenu’s orchestra for the Sydney University Musical Festival in 1859, and in George Loder and Charles Eigenschenck’s orchestra for Lyster’s Opera at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Sydney, in 1865.

References: [Advertisement], Empire (4 July 1859), 6:; [Advertisement], Empire (17 April 1865), 1:



Active Hobart, 1900

1900: Mr. J. Brown will, with the Vice-Regal Band, play a piece which he has composed, entitled “The Southern Cross,” and composed in honour of the members of the expedition. The waltz is full of melody, and was played last year by special request at the Government House ball.

References: “THE ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION”, The Mercury (18 April 1900), 2:



BROWN, Jim (alias of George KING)
Musician (“nigger vocalist”)
Active Sydney, by 1843

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 January 1843), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 May 1844), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 February 1845), 3:; “ASSAULT IN THE CITY THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (17 July 1848), 3:; “STEALING IN A DWELLING”, The Maitland Mercury (26 September 1849), 3:; “NEW YEAR’S DAY RIOTS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 January 1850), 2: A coloured man, well known in the city under the name of Jim Brown, following ostensibly the profession of musician at various low public-houses in the city, was yesterday committed for trial at the Quarter Sessions, for acting as a leader in the riotous mobs which disturbed the peace of the city on New Year’s night - Herald, Jan. 30.; “KNOCKING AT THE DOOR”, Bell’s Life In Sydney (2 February 1850), 1s:; “TURTLE, TORTISE, OR TURPIN”, The Sydney Morning Herald (16 May 1851), 2:



Active Beechworth, 1861

1861: A musical barber. - John Brown of Ford street, summoned Montague Murray for the sum of £1, for services rendered as a musician at the Star Theatre on Saturday last. Complainant said the music put before him was wrongly written, and he could not play it. Had not been invited to “dry up,” or “lie down.” Had not played an Irish jig to the audience, and set them all dancing. Had not been told by the defendant that he (complainant) had injured defendant’s reputation very much.

References: “BEECHWORTH POLICE COURT”, Ovens and Murray Advertiser (7 December 1861), 3:



BROWN, John (? pseud.)
Songwriter, poet
Active Bendigo, 1862

References: “SQUATTER’S SONG”, Bendigo Advertiser (26 July 1862), 3:



BROWN, Mr. T. F.
Precentor, conductor of psalmody
Active Mortlake, VIC, 1859

Resources: J. E. Murdoch, Fifty Years of Presbyterianism in Mortlake, 1847-1897 (Mortlake: Printed at the Dispatch Office, 1917):; online:



BROWN, Walter James (see ABOVE)



BROWNE, Thomas
Music printer and publisher
Born London, 10 March 1816
Active Launceston c.1835-44, Hobart from 1844
Died Hobart, 23 December 1870, aged 54

Summary: in October 1845 the Hobart Courier noted that Browne, a general printer, had already “published one or two pieces of approved music”, neither of which have been identified. He went on to issue Joseph Reichenberg’s Ancient Hebrew Melodies in 1847; Francis Hartwell Henslowe’s four Songs of Zion, Where is thy home and The Campbell-Town Waltzes in 1849, and Julius Imberg’s lost Tasmanian Quadrilles in 1851.

References: “TASMANIAN PUBLICATIONS”, The Courier (4 October 1845), 2:; [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (25 January 1851), 6:; “MR. IMBERG’S QUADRILLES”, Colonial Times (28 January 1851), 2:; “DEATH”, The Mercury (24 December 1870), 1:

Bibliography: “Thomas Browne” (1816-1870)”, DAAO:



BRUCE, Donald
? Active Sydney, 1835 (but perhaps fictional)

References: “POLICE INCIDENTS”, The Sydney Herald (5 February 1835), 2:



BRUCE, Peter (“Captain”)
Bagpiper, Highland dancer
Active Beechworth, by 1855
Died near Benalla, VIC, 1 September 1889, aged “about 70”

Beechworth, May 1855: Mr. Peter Bruce will perform a grand Invocation of Scottish National Music, on the Scotch Pipes, in full Highland costume, as played before the Duke of Buccleuch and the whole court of Queen Victoria, in Scotland.

Obituary: Mr. Peter Bruce, better known as “Captain” Bruce, a very old resident of Benalla district, died at his residence on Sunday last, the cause of death being a general break-up of the constitution. Deceased, who was about 70 years of age, was a native of the Highlands of Scotland, and settled down here at farming pursuits many years ago. Although an old man, he was fond of Caledonian sport, and was reckoned one of the best “pipers” in the colony. He was always noted for a genial nature, for his industry and energy in his capacity of farmer, and for a most neighborly and obliging disposition. His remains will be interred in the local cemetery to-day.

References: [Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (26 May 1855), 6:; “THE SCOTTISH GAMES AT GEELONG”, The Argus (4 January 1860), 5:; “THE LATE CALEDONIAN GATHERING”, The Argus (7 December 1860), 5:; “THE EASTER FESTIVAL”, The North Eastern Ensign (16 April 1884), 2:; [News], The North Eastern Ensign (3 September 1889), 2:



BRUCE, Robert (“R. B.”)
Songwriter, composer, poet, pastoralist
Born England 1835
Died North Adelaide, 4 November 1908, in his 73rd year

Summary: A pastoralist (at Wallelberdina and Coondambo), Bruce was a prolific poet, songwriter and novelist, active from the 1870s. Works include his story collection The dingos and other tales (Adelaide: Printed at the Advertiser and Chronicle offices, 1875) and a verse collection A voice from the Australian bush (Adelaide: Frearson and Bro., 1877)

Musical works: The mistletoe (song written and composed by Robert Bruce); Whispering wind bring your message to me  (written and composed by Robert Bruce); I am a zephyr free (song written and composed by Robert Bruce); Let’s be happy while we’re young (song; words and music composed by R. Bruce; harmonized by Hans Bertram)

References: “DEATHS”, The Advertiser (5 November 1908), 8:; “DEATH OF MR. ROBERT BRUCE”, The Register (6 November 1908), 5:; Robert Caldwell, “ROBERT BRUCE (The Poet of Coondambo)”, The Advertiser (28 November 1908), 13:



Singing instructor, schoolmaster
Active Melbourne, by 1849
Died NZ, 17 May 1900

1849: It is proposed to form a class for instruction in singing, on the Hullah system, with a view to the improvement of congregational psalmody. The class will be conducted, under the superintendence of the clergy of St. Peter’s parish, bv Mr. Brunton, of the Church of England School, Collingwood, and will meet every Monday and Friday evening, at the Protestant Hall.

1856: A course of lectures on music, given gratuitously in this church by Mr. Brunton, of Collingwood, concluded on Thursday evening […] The instruction given has been of the most practical character, elucidating the beauties of the plain chaunt, which is so well adapted for the services of the Church of England.

1856/57: […] During the last few weeks, a class numbering nearly three hundred persons has met in Chalmers’ Church for the practice of psalmody […] The conductor of these classes is a Mr. Brunton, whose skill as a teacher had been before commented in this Journal, and in other  publications. The present course consists of six lectures, and is preliminary to more extensive classes which the lecturer proposes to open in Melbourne and Collingwood …

Petherick 1911: In the middle of the ’fifties there were a few private schools and three or four good public schools in Collingwood [including] Mr. Brunton’s at St. Mark’s […] Mr. Brunton’s was considered the best, but being a dissenter he had soon to remove his “Eton” public school from St. Mark’s to the United Free Methodist Chapel in George-street; and Mrs. Snow, wife of Alfred Snow, architect of Oxford-street Church, followed with her public school for girls to the school-room adjoining. Both schools had the same singing and drawing masters and received the most efficient teaching then in vogue in any Denomination. Mr. Brunton was a kind and considerate, though very strict master; a counsellor on whose judgment his elder pupils could rely with confidence; a master always associating with them as a friend and companion […] A large number of surviving pupils now scattered over the Commonwealth and New Zealand, still revere the memory of their old Master, Alfred Brunton.

References: “CONGREGATIONAL PSALMODY”, The Argus (21 November 1849), 2:; “LAYING THE STONE OF CHRIST CHURCH SCHOOLS, EAST COLLINGWOOD”, The Argus (27 November 1855), 6:; “ST LUKE’S CHURCH, EMERALD HILL, PRESENTATION”, The Argus (5 April 1856), 5:; “AN EXPLANATION. To the Editor”, The Argus (16 July 1856), 6:; “SERVICE OF SONG” [from Journal of Australasia, December 1856], Launceston Examiner (10 January 1857), 3:; “ST. MARK’S SCHOOL COLLINGWOOD”, The Argus (2 October 1858), 5:; ? “A BANKRUPT CLERGYMAN AND HIS CREDITORS”, Bendigo Advertiser (16 November 1888), 3:; ? “NEW ZEALAND NEWS”, The Queenslander (1 December 1888), 1012:; “DEATH OF AN EVANGELIST”, Wanganui Chronicle (18 May 1900), 2:

Resources: Edward A. Petherick, “Early Collingwood: recollections of the ’fifties and ’sixties of last century”, The Victorian Historical Magazine 1/1 (January 1911), 5-18  

Associations: taught Edward Augustus Petherick (late 1850s)



Professor of dancing
Arrived Sydney, by April 1828
Died, Sydney, 28 February 1830, aged 40

Summary: Probably a son of the English theatrical entrepreneur, Thomas Brunton, lately “Ballet Master at the King’s theatre, London”, also “late Ballet master of the Surrey Theatre”, was recently arrived and teaching dancing in Sydney in April 1828. According to the Monitor, in May he had been engaged to be “ballad [sic] master” at Levi’s new Sydney Amateur Theatre. He advertised regularly in the press through 1829. However, he died on 28 February 1830 after being thrown by his horse. His inquest heard that “Mr. Brunton was a man of cheerful, social habits, and just 40 years of age. He married, only three or four months ago, the young widow of the late Mr. William Underwood, whose death, in several particulars, resembled that of the unfortunate Mr. B.” As a result for Brunton’s death, a Mrs. Raine advertised that she would be opening a dancing school. Brunton’s wife, Mary, died 2 years later.

References: [News], The Monitor (19 April 1828), 7:; [Advertisement], The Australian (14 May 1828), 1:; [News], The Monitor (21 May 1828), 5:; [News], The Horbart Town Courier (28 June 1828), 4:; “TO THE EDITOR”, The Monitor (3 November 1828), 8:; “MARRIAGES”, The Asiatic Journal (August 1830), 226:; “SUDDEN DEATH OF MR. BRUNTON”, The Sydney Gazette (2 March 1830), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (13 April 1830), 1:; “DIED”, The Sydney Herald (24 May 1832), 4:



Vocalist (pupil of Cutolo)
Active Adelaide, 1859-60

June 1859: The piece which followed was a trio - “Desolate is the dwelling of Norma”- by Miss Rowe, Mr. Daniel, and Miss Bryan; the latter an amateur vocalist, and this her first appearance in public. The performance of this piece was loudly encored. Miss Bryan displayed some excellent and accurate tones of voice, as well as a degree of animation which indicated proficiency in her part and taste in its delivery. A solo on the harp by Miss Horn, selected from Meyerbeer, followed. Miss Bryan then sung “Bright things can never die.” Throughout both of these songs she developed tones of voice and an animation in her delivery which took the spectators quite by surprise. She was interrupted several times by the applause of the audience, and was enthusiastically called upon for an encore, when she substituted “I do not ask,” which was rendered in an unexceptionable manner and with great feeling. We venture to state that for volume of tone and expression in delivery this young lady has not her equal in the colony.

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (13 June 1859), 1:; “SIGNOR CUTOLO’S CONCERT”, The South Australian Advertiser (16 June 1859), 2:; “SIGNOR CUTOLO’S CONCERT”, The South Australian Advertiser (9 November 1859), 2:; “SOUTH AUSTRALIA”, The Argus (30 November 1859), 3:; “SIGNOR CUTOLO’S FAREWELL CONCERT”, South Australian Register (5 December 1859), 3:; “SOUTH AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE”, The South Australian Advertiser (31 May 1860), 3:; “WHITE’S ROOMS”, South Australian Register (22 December 1860), 3:



BRYAN, Thomas
Arrived Fremantle, 1863
Died Launceston, TAS, 16 February 1896, aged 76

BRYAN, Thomas
Active Perth
Died Melbourne, 10 May 1901, aged 49

References: “AMATEUR THEATRICALS”, The Inquirer & Commercial News (5 September 1866), 2:; “PERTH BAND”, The Inquirer & Commercial News (10 October 1866), 3:; [News], The Perth Gazette (8 January 1869), 2:; “OBITUARY”, Launceston Examiner (17 February 1896), 4:; “BANDMASTER BRYAN. DEATH FROM HEART DISEASE”, West Australian Sunday Times (12 May 1901), 1:; “DEATHS”, The West Australian (5 June 1901), 4:



BRYANT, Master
Boy vocalist
Active Melbourne, 1864-65

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (9 November 1864), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (2 May 1865), 8:



Vocalist, lecturer on national music
Active Brisbane, 1850-51

1850: For nearly three hours Mr. Buchanan entertained his audience by alternately tracing from history theantiquity and power of music, and illustrating itseffects upon the feelings through the means ofnational airs. The songs were English, Irish, and Scotch. Mr. Buchanan has a clear andpleasing voice, more particularly adapted to the plaintive old airs of Scotland and Ireland.

References: “SCHOOL OF ARTS”, The Moreton Bay Courier (5 January 1850), 2:; “MUSICAL LECTURE”, The Moreton Bay Courier (26 January 1850), 2:; “LECTURE ON MUSIC”, The Moreton Bay Courier (4 May 1850), 2:; [Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (4 January 1851), 3:; [Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (27 April 1850), 1:



BUCK, Frederick
Pianist, organist, composer
Born Germany 1827
Arrived Australia c. early 1850s
Died Tasmania, December 1901, aged 74

Obituary: Herr Frederick Buck died on Saturday, aged 74. Though feeble from declining years, he had, up to within a few days of his death, been able to keep about in the open air, and his end was somewhat unexpected. He was an old Tasmanian resident, having arrived here some 50 years ago, and as a talented musician he occupied a prominent and useful position in the community, and had at one time possessed a nice little property in the Glenorchy district, where he had hoped to find a permanent home. Misfortunes, however, befell him. He accepted the position of immigration agent for the Tasmanian Government, went home to his native country, and was instrumental in bringing to the colony many useful German families, who, settling down to industrial pursuits, have become prosperous members of the community. The undertaking did not bring much profit to Herr Buck, but rather involved him in trouble, the result of his too sanguine aspirations to do something that should place his name on the scroll of fame. Meanwhile, his position as one of the premier musicians of Tasmania became weakened. Younger and more pushing competitors entered the field, and, with advancing years, the once popular musician, step by step, dropped into the rear ranks, and friends became few. He was a good linguist, and accomplished in many ways outside his musical profession, and as long as he had means, was liberal handed, even beyond the limits of discretion. His name will long be honoured with that of Herr Schott. They were contemporaries in musical circles some twenty years ago, and both, in their special spheres, did much to advance musical culture in Hobart.

References: [Advertisement], “NEW MUSIC. TOR SALE AT THE GUARDIAN OFFICE”, Portland Guardian (21 May 1866), 3:; “OBITUARY”, The Mercury (30 December 1901), 2:

Works: The Young Recruit March (“Introducing Kucken’s favorite air, for the pianoforte”) (Hobart: J. Walch, [by 1866]); copy at SL-TAS; Trove Bookmark:



BUCKE, Walter Francis
Baritone (pupil of Garcia and Santley, London), Teacher of Singing
Arrived Melbourne, by April 1873 (with Arabella Goddard)

BUCKE, Isa (Mrs. W. F. BUCKE; Miss STEELE)
Pianist (pupil of Hartmann of Leipsic), Teacher of Pianoforte

1878: Walter Francis Bucke, 30, was charged at the Adelaide Criminal Court, on the 15th, with attempting to procure abortion. Prisoner pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr. T. K. Pater. His Honor called attention to the circumstance that prisoner had been committed on the charge of wilful murder, and he asked Mr. Pater if he was prepared to meet the reduced charge […]

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (28 April 1873), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (31 May 1873), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (31 December 1873), 2:; [Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (17 October 1876), 1:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (1 June 1877), 2:; [Advertisement], Northern Argus (3 November 1876), 3:; “ARREST OF F. W. BUCKE AT ALBURY”, The Goulburn Herald (24 November 1877), 7:; “POLICE COURTS”, South Australian Register (27 November 1877), 3:; “The Charge against Bucke the Musician”, Evening News (21 March 1878), 2:



Comedian, actor, singer
Born England, c.1810
Arrived Sydney, by mid 1833

Vocalists and instrumentalists
Active Australia, 1850s

BUCKINGHAM, George (junior)
Both drowned Nelson, 19 August 1864

Summary: Buckingham, who described himself as a “comedian”, married Anne JESSOP in Sydney on 21 July 1834, and their daughter, Rosetta (later Mrs. Bully HAYES), was born in 1843. Buckingham was based in New Zealand after 1843, but also continued to work in Australia.

Wagga 1859: This very talented family arrived here on Saturday and played on the same night to a crowded house. at Mr. Byrnes’ Hotel. Their fame came before them and therefore it was not to be wondered at, claiming as they did at a few hours notice, the numerous attendance that appeared in the saloon of the Hotel. This clearly demonstrates how the good people of' Wagga Wagga are desirous of patronising anything in the shape of genuine talent. It is needless to speak of their ability, as their claims have been acknowledged in every town and by every person who may have heard them. The public press also has been lavish in their praise. The precosity of the juvenile portion of the family are astonishing. Master Walter in particular, as the “0ld Musketeer”. There he may be seen with the violin, again at the flute, then at the. piano; in fact he seems au fait in whatever may come in his way. Then we have the picaninny, whose “Billy Crow” is the most comical thing our readers can imagine. “Barber Brown,” “Beautiful Boy,” “Paddy Malone,” are all of the same class. His performance on the flute in company with his brothers is excellent. Again where shall we find a better player than the elder son George on the flute? Who can forget the exquisite tones in that beautiful melody “Home. Home,” rendered by him, with others of a  similar character. We must not forget to make particular mention of Miss Rosa Buckingham, whose performance on the piano, (which was kindly lent for the occasion by George Forsyth, Esq.), was excellent; she also sang the song of “Molly Asthore.” On Wednesday evening the performance took place in the large ball room attached to Mr Fox’s Squatters' Hotel, and notwithstanding the heavy rain the room was crowded [...]

References: [Letter] “To the editors”, The Sydney Herald (18 July 1833), 2:; [Letter] “To the editors”, Empire (17 September 1856), 7:; “THE BUCKINGHAM FAMILY”, Wagga Wagga Express (29 January 1859), 2:; “AN INCIDENT IN THE ADVENTURES OF THE CELEBRATED BUCKINGHAM FAMILY”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (2 April 1859), 4:





Teachers of the Pianoforte, Italian and English Singing, Dancing
Active Hobart, 1841-42

References: [Advertising], The Courier (27 August 1841), 1:; [Advertising], Colonial Times (16 August 1842), 1:



BUCKLEY, Florence (Mrs. CARTER)
Pianist, accompanist, piano teacher (pupil of Louis Pabst)
Active Melbourne, by 1885
Died Hampton, VIC, 9 February 1934

References: “ST. GEORGE’S CATHOLIC SCHOOLS”, Fitzroy City Press (21 November 1885), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (2 April 1892), 12:; “OBITUARY”, The Argus (13 February 1934), 6:



Violinist, fiddler
Active Launceston, 1854

References: “WHAT IS A MUSICIAN”, The Cornwall Chronicle (3 June 1854), 5: What is a Musician?— In answer to a question put by the Chairman of Quarter Sessions during the trial of John Beck, to a witness named Bucknell, concerning the mode in which he earned his living, witness replied that he was a musician. The Chairman, “What is commonly called a fiddler?” Witness, — “Yes Sir.”  It appears Bucknell procures a livelihood by playing the violin in the tap-rooms of public-houses.



BUDD, Thomas
Bandmaster, sax-a-phonist (for the first time in Sydney)
Active Sydney, by 1869
Died Sydney, 5 October 1874

1869: On Monday evening the Philharmonic Society gave their first grand concert for the season, in the hall of the Exchange; the programme was an attractive one, and the spacious room was filled to the doors. Mr. Budd’s (for the first time in Sydney) “Sax-a-phone”, was evidently appreciated by the audience, who insisted upon an encore.

References: “SYDNEY CORRESPONDENCE”, The Maitland Mercury (5 June 1869), 2:; “M. GUILLAUME JONSON’S CONCERT”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (7 August 1869), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 December 1869), 9:; “COMPLIMENTARY CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 July 1872), 5:; “FUNERALS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 October 1874), 8:;“NAVAL BRIGADE FUNERAL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 October 1874), 4:; [News], Illustrated Sydney News (17 October 1874), 15:



BUDDEE, Julius
Professor of Music
Born Germany, c.1823
Arrived Adelaide, 28 March 1849 (per Louise, from Hamburg);
Arrived Melbourne, by July 1849
Died, Glebe Point, NSW, 9 September 1890, aged 67 years


Obituary: THE news of the death of Mr. Julius Buddee will be received with sincere regret in musical circles. For many years he was esteemed in Melbourne as one of the first among teachers of the pianoforte, besides being recognised as a truly artistic performer of classical music. Failing health led him to remove to Sydney some four years ago, since which time he has held a high place among the professional musicians of this city. Growing weakness has been apparent for some time, but he was sufficiently well on Monday to continue teaching throughout the day, and the announcement of his decease at about 3 a.m. yesterday caused no less surprise than sorrow.

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (28 March 1849), 3:; [2 advertisements], The Argus (7 July 1849), 3:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 September 1890), 1:; [News], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 September 1890), 7:; [News], The Argus (29 September 1890), 5:



BUIST, David
Music retailer and publisher, pianoforte and harnmonium makers, repairers and tuners
Died Stanmore, 26 October 1876, in his 71st year

BUIST, William David
BUIST, George

Summary: David Buist traded as “D. Buist and Sons”, from 6 Bridge Street, from as early as 1852. By October 1857 they had moved to 254 George Street (in some advertisements in 1858 as “David Buist and Son”), remaining there until after June 1862, relocating to 235 George Street by October 1862. The firm was dissolved by the partners, David and William, on 23 March 1874. David died in 1876.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 October 1849), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 June 1852), 1:; “MARRIAGE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 August 1856), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 October 1857), 10:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 November 1858), 1:; Advertisement]: “JUST PUBLISHED, CORNSTALK GALOP”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 April 1859), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 April 1859), 3:; “ALARMING FIRE IN GEORGE STREET”, The Sydney Morning Herald (6 February 1860), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 June 1862), 12:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 October 1862), 1:; “LAW. SUPREME COURT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 July 1863), 5:; “MARRIAGES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (3 December 1866), 1:; “LAW. SUPREME COURT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 May 1868), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 April 1874), 4:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 October 1876), 1: “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 August 1888), 1:

Musical publications:
Good News from Home (“Second Edition”; “As sung by Christie’s Minstrels”) (Sydney : D. Buist &​ Son's Pianoforte &​ Harmonium Warerooms, [between 1858 and 1861?]; the almost identical first edition had been issued by Henry Marsh and Co. in 1859, followed by a Marsh “second edition” in November 1859)
SPAGNOLETTI, Ernesto snr, The Cornstalk Galop (“Respectfully dedicated to his pupils, Spagnoletti, R.A.”)) (Sydney: D. Buist and Son, [1859])
SPAGNOLETTI, Ernesto snr, The Cornstalk Polka (“as played every night at the Prince of Wales Theatre by Winterbottom’s celebrated band”). ([Sydney: D. Buist and Son, 1859]; NO COPY IDENTIFIED (“polka” perhaps a misprint for the above Galop)



BULCH, Thomas Edward (Mr. T. E. Bulch)
Musician, bandmaster, composer
Born 1862/3
Died Mascot, NSW, 13 November 1930, aged 67

Pseudonyms include: LASKI, Henri (from 1892)
Les fleurs d’Australie Valse (composed by Henri Laski; arr. by Tom Howard)

Other pseudonyms: Arthur Godfrey, Eugene Lacosta, Arthur Laski, Godfrey Parker, Henri Laski, Pat Cooney, Carl Volti, Theo Bonheur, Charles Le Thiere.


Pre 1900 works include: The Jubilee March (1887); Grand March, The Giant (1887) Grand March, The Typhoon (1887) Tonguing Polka, The Gumsucker (1887) March, The Battle of  Eureka (1891) Happy Thoughts Schottische; Postman’s Parade Quick March; Austral Overture (by 1894); later printed edition (band parts): Austral Overture

References: “JUBILEE MARCH”, Portland Guardian (10 June 1887), 2:; “BRASS BAND CONTEST. TO THE EDITOR”, South Australian Register (3 October 1887), 6:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (3 October 1887), 1:; ; “ROTUNDA CONCERT”, South Australian Register (4 October 1887), 5:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (20 February 1891), 1:; [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (13 August 1894), 5:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 March 1898), 4:; “A.N.A. BAND CONTEST. A CHAT WITH MR. BULCH”, The Advertiser (29 January 1902), 6: ; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 November 1930), 14:

Resources: Eric S. Tomkins, Thomas Edward Bulch, musician: a family history  (rev. ed.: Castle Hill: Author, 2009)



Pianoforte pupil (of Henry Witton)
Active Melbourne, 1862

References: [Advertisement], The Courier [Brisbane] (24 October 1862), 1:; “F. BULL (Pianoforte), Smith-St., Collingwood.” [pupil of Henry James Witton]



BUNCE, Mrs. James
Professor of Music, vocalist
Active Ballarat, 1860s

1863: A new amateur presented himself [sic] last evening in the person of Mrs. James Bunce, who sang the beautiful and rather glowing song from Bishop Bid me discourse and sang it so well to be encored. Mrs. Bunce has long been known as an accomplished musician in private circles and her appearance in public last night proved that she has a faculty for pleasing a still larger circle.

References: “NEWS AND NOTES”, The Star (14 August 1863), 2:; “NEWS AND NOTES”, The Star (18 August 1863), 2:; “CHRIST CHURCH ORGAN”, The Star (15 November 1864), 2:; Ballarat and Ballarat District Directory (1865), 44, 183:



BURDON, George
Musician, band musician
Active Melbourne, 1850

References: “THE VAGRANT ACT”, The Argus (12 December 1850), 2: George Burdon […] was charged […] with being a vagrant, having been fourteen days in Melbourne without having any other visible means of subsistence that that of going about from one public-house to another playing “music” and asking alms. The defendant arrived from Van Diemen’s Land in company with four others of the same stamp, who figured at the Collingwood Election as “a band of musicians” […]



BURGESS, Joseph Bird
Violinist, orchestra leader, composer
Active Bendigo, by 1856
Died Geelong, VIC, 20 March 1907, aged 77

1856: Sir—Will you be kind enough to allow me to correct an error that appeared in your issue of this morning, relative to my ball. The “Octavia Polka” was written by Mr. E. Salaman and not by me as you have stated. The “Casey Polka” was composed by me for the same occasion, and both Polkas were produced for the first lime, at the opening ball, Wellington Hotel, Epsom. Trusting you will excuse me for so far trespassing on your valuable space, I am. Sir. Yours obediently, JOSEPH BURGESS, Late of Mons. Jullien and Winterbottom’s Bands. Epsom, 22nd Jan., 1856

1870: We hear that two more songs of Mr Burgess’ are in the hands of the publishers. He is also preparing a volume of his sacred compositions for the press, which is to be published by subscription.

References: “ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE. To the Editor”, Bendigo Advertiser (24 January 1856), 3:; “THE MASONIC BALL. To the Editor”, Bendigo Advertiser (25 June 1859), 3:; “OUR MUSICAL TALENT”, Bendigo Advertiser (6 August 1859), 2:; “NEW INSOLVENTS”, The Argus (21 March 1860), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (20 March 1870), 4:; [News], The Argus (19 July 1870), 5:; “NEW SONG”, Bendigo Advertiser (23 July 1870), 2:; [News], The Argus (11 November 1870), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 April 1907), 6:

Published works:
Rest, rest, thou gentle sea (new song, composed and dedicated, by special permission, to His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, by Joseph Bird Burgess, of Moama) ([Melbourne: Paling, 1870])
The stars sink one by one from night (song; the poetry from the Dublin University Magazine) (Melbourne: Troedel, [1870])
A selection of sacred music (composed, arranged &​ dedicated to Viscount Canterbury, KCB, by Joseph Bird Burgess) (? London: Chappell &​ Co., [? 1875-6])
The Ulupna Schottische ([?]: [?], [?])



BURGH, Henry (de)
Amateur vocalist, pianist, composer
Arrived Perth, 21 July 1841 (per James Matthews, from London)
Departed Perth, 1846 (for England)

Gazette, 1844: The intervals between the toasts were occupied by the performance of some choice music, amongst which was an original glee for four equal voices, written for the occasion by Brother Henry Burgh, who presided at the piano. This very able production was beautifully sung by the brethren.

Inquirer, 1844: The usual Masonic toasts were given, and cordially responded to, accompanued by some excellent songs and glees, perfoimed by several of the Brethren, and appropriate to the sentiment of cach; among thr rest, a Masonic glee, composed expressly for this occasion by Brother Henry Burgh, and which is acknowledged on all hands to be a composition of very great musical merit. A very beautifully executed copy of this glee was presented to Brother Hutt, and as it is unquestionubly worthy of publication in any part of the world, we look to have the pleasure of some day seeing it in print, when we are sure it will become a universal favourite among the brethren.

References: “FREEMASONRY”, The Perth Gazette (28 December 1844), 2:; “MEETING OF FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS IN PERTH”, Inquirer (1 January 1845):; “WESTERN AUSTRALIA”, Freemason’s Quarterly Magazine (30 September 1845), 369:; “CHORAL SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, The Inquirer (20 January 1869), 3:

Other resources: Henry de Burgh’s Diary (28 March 1841-3 February 1844, from England to the Avon Valley, WA):; The Celtic Lodge, Edinburgh and Leith, No.291, Extract of Minutes 1841 – 1846 “28th November 1846 […] Bro The Honourable Henry Burgh, Naas, Ireland, 712 Western Australia Lodge was admitted an Honorary Member of the Celtic Lodge.”

Note: For an earlier Masonic Glee. see 2 pages after 472:



BURNE, Hewetson
Active (? Queensland), 1886-92

References: “New Music”, Queensland Figaro and Punch (12 February 1887), 3:

Works: The Pioneer Schottische, or, The Alligator Hop (by Hewetson Burne) (Melbourne : Gordon &​ Gotch, [1886/7]) (“Performed by the Band of the Grenadier Guards at the Colonial &​ Indian Exhibition, dedicated to the pioneers of Australia”);
There’s something about ’er as fetches yer (written by Bert Royle; composed by Hewetson Burne) (Melbourne: W. H. Glen &​ Co., [by 1892])



BURKITT, (Annie) Adelaide
Pianist, teacher
Active Melbourne, by 1888
Died Melbourne, 10 April 1945

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (23 July 1888), 12:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (11 April 1945), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (13 April 1945), 2:; “MUSICAL SACRILEGE [To the editor]”, The Argus (15 October 1942), 5:

Associations: Pupil of Louis Pabst; teacher of Percy Grainger



BURNS, William (alias Edward Byrne)
Singing teacher
Active Bendigo, 1865

References: “A CHARGE OF ABDUCTION”, Bendigo Advertiser (13 October 1865), 2:; “ABDUCTION”, Bendigo Advertiser (13 October 1865), s2:; “CHARGE OF ABDUCTION”, The Argus (23 October 1865), 6:



BURNETT, George W.
Professor of music
Active Sydney, 1863

References: [Law reports], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 January 1863), 5:



Band sergeant (40th Regiment)
Died Melbourne, 31 April 1857

References: “VICTORIA”, The Cornwall Chronicle (6 May 1857), 3: James Burnett, band sergeant of the 40th Regiment, died on Thursday morning from disease of the brain. The deceased, though comparatively a young man, served with the regiment at Candahar, Ghusnes, Cabul, and Maharajapore, and was decorated with a medal and bronze star.



Born Ottery St Mary, Devon, England, 1862
Arrived Australia, 1875
Died Melbourne, 1937

Brisbane 1888: Mr. Frank Burrough, the well-known flute soloist of this city, has just accepted an engagement in the orchestra of the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition. We learn that Mr. Burrough does not intend returning to Brisbane; his departure will therefore create a gap in the musical circle which will not be readily filled.

References: [birth and death details provided by a family historian]; “BRISBANE LIEDERTAFEL CONCERT”, The Brisbane Courier (5 November 1885), 6:; “MARRIAGES”, The Brisbane Courier (4 January 1886), 1:; “The Deutscher Club …”, The Brisbane Courier (6 February 1888), 5:; [News], The Queenslander (23 June 1888), 965:; “THE ORCHESTRA”, The Argus (2 August 1888), 5s: Associations: Centennial Exhibition Orchestra (player);



BURTON, Henry (see also Blythe WATERLAND)
Vocalist, showman, circus performer, proprietor of Burton’s Band
Born England, 1823
Arrived Adelaide, 23 December 1849 (per Constant, from London)
Died Fitzroy, VIC, 9 March 1900, aged 76

Mudgee, NSW, 1852: Mr. Burton’s band ably performed their part as musicians, relieved occasionally by some of the ladies, who sung, and played upon the piano to admiration. Mr. Nathan, from Sydney, likewise played and sung to the great delight of the company.

Mount Barker, SA, 1856: Tuesday. November 4. Before Dr. Walker, J.P., and Mr. Lachlan Macfarlane. J.P. Jacob Young, Jacob Düne, Conrad Sander, Heinrich Rodenbout, Carl Leonhardt, Daniel Müller, and Christian Prothenbuck, known as “Burton’s Band”, appeared to answer the complaint of Mr. Henry Burton, for that they having contracted to serve the said Henry Burton as musicians, and having entered into bis service, did neglect and refuse to fulfil the same. Henry Burton, sworn, said the defendants, who had played for him in Victoria, were engaged by his agent to play for him in Adelaide and South Australia at £16 per week, their own terms (agreement put in and acknowledged). That the day before the Circus left Port Adelaide, after they had received their week’s wages, £16 (receipt put in), they said they would not go into the country with witness, unless he paid them £3 per week extra. […] The defendants were ordered to return to their duties and pay the costs, or to be committed to Gaol for one month. They paid the costs and promised to return to their duties.

Obituary: MR. HENRY BURTON, who was well-known in the early days as the proprietor of Burton’s Circus, died at the Dramatic Homes on March 9, and was buried in the St. Kilda Cemetery. Mr. Burton, at one period of his life, had become fairly wealthy, and in his opulence he acquired quite a reputation for his extensive charities. He afterwards met with reverses (says a Melbourne paper), and about eighteen months ago found shelter in the institution for which he himself had done so much.

References: “ARRIVED”, South Australian Register (26 December 1849), 3:; “MUDGEE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 May 1852), 3:; “MOUNT BARKER”, South Australian Register (7 November 1856), 3:; “ARRIVED”, South Australian Register (19 September 1859), 2:; “DRAGGED”, South Australian Register (22 November 1869), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (12 March 1900), 1:; “MR. HENRY BURTON”, Bathurst Free Press (19 March 1900), 3:

Resources: Ruth Teale, Burton, Henry (1823-1900), Australian Dictionary of Biography 3 (1969)




Summary: This entry is the barest STUB on four members of one of colonial Australia’s most important musical families, former convict bass-singer John Bushell, his wife Eliza, sister of William Vincent Wallace, and their sons Toby and John. Other musical relatives of Eliza in Australia included her brother, Spencer Wellington Wallace, father Spencer Wallace, and cousins Francis Ellard (and his son Frederick Ellard), Maria Logan (Ellard), and Mrs. Chester. Thomas Leggatt, Francis Ellard’s brother-in-law, has also been reported to be a cousin.


BUSHELLE, John (James)
(“The Knave of Diamonds”)
Bass vocalist, choir leader, professor of music, dancing, and languages
Born ? Limerick, Ireland, c.1805
Arrived Sydney, 15 July 1828 (convict per Phoenix, from England 4 March)
Died Hobart, 19 July 1843


Summary: According to the account he gave to James Reid (see below), and such as I have been able independently to verify, James Bushell was the natural son of Benjamin Bushell, of Limerick, and his wife Margaret Butler, the only daughter of Theobald Butler of Wilford Kilkenny. Sources mention the couple had a daughter Mary (b. 1799) and “youngest” son, Theobald (b.1806). At around the age of 3, Bushell, however, was adopted by his childless uncle, John Bushell, a Dublin business-man who was later in partnership in London with Myles and John MacDonnell, as “MacDonnells, Bushell, and Co.” After having been educated in London, his uncle sent him, probably around the year 1826, travelling in Europe. During the tour, according to Reid’s account, Bushell was befriended by a swindler, a Frenchman, and back in London became his accomplice in several robberies in 1827. Bushell was apprehended, and tried in two cases at the Old Bailey, both heard on the same day, 13 September 1827. Both trial transcripts name the Frenchman as Perren; Bushell is called John in one (on which he was aquitted), James in the other (sentenced to death, age 21). On 26 November, along with 32 others sentenced  to death at the Old Bailey that month, Bushell’s conviction was commuted to life transportation. He arrived in Sydney on the ship Phoenix, on 16 July 1828 (from London, 4 March), and his Australian prison career is reasonably well-documented (the following, however, since I have yet to view the documents, only from catalogue summaries): assigned as a house-servant in 1829 he was described as a “good singer; he served terms at Wellington Valley (1830), but appears to have been refused leave to return to Sydney (perhaps on account of the atheistical principals Reid mentions); a Revd. Mr. Keane of Bathurst applied to have him for a servant in 1831 mentioning his musical abilities;  at Moreton Bay (1831-33; where he was employed “as clerk, also excellent linguist”), and at Port Macquarie. He was evidently settled back in Sydney by mid 1836, when he was reported in the press as singing in the choir of St. Mary’s Cathedral: “The offertory was extremely beautiful, the treble by Mrs. Rust, the tenor by Mr. Clark, and the bass by Mr. Bushell. We have never heard this gentleman before - his voice is a very fine bass, and he sung the last mentioned piece in admirable style.” He was granted a ticket of leave in December that year. John Bede Polding, wrote in a letter to Thomas Paulinus Heptonstall on 25 June 1838 ( Birt, Benedictine Pioneers in Australia, vol. 2, 213-214; also O‘Farrell, Documents, 110-11): “Under the care of Mr. Bushell our Choral Department shines brightly. We have Mozart and Haydn’s music every Sunday […] Bushell has a splendid Bass Voice. I have never heard such a Voice, and he wants some bass Solos […]”.

Note: Among the set of manuscript convict memoirs, mostly collected by James Aquinas Reid while he was an Assistant Colonial Surgeon on Norfolk Island  (1840-44), and now at the SLNSW, perhaps the most valuable is Reid's own manuscript biography of John Bushelle. Since Bushelle was never at Norfolk Island, Reid presumably wrote it up later from notes he took direct from the subject while they were both engaged in the choir of St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, in 1839. Reid, interestingly, gives his forename as James, as do half of the documents concerning his conviction. My thanks to Robert Wills from bringing this document to my attention.

1839/40: James Aquinas Reid, “James Bushelle”, written ? Norfolk Island, c.1840-43, SL-NSW MS. DLMSQ 168, item 4 (Norfolk Island convict papers, ca. 1842-, collected by Dr. J. A. Reid)

[1] James [sic] Bushelle
    This man was the son of Benjamin Bushell of Limerick in the Kingdom of Ireland merchant; and of Miss Butler, of a respectable family in the County of Tipperary. He had an uncle Mr. John Bushell, who went early in life to Spain; and succeeded in forming a commercial establishment in Alicant and other parts, of considerable importance. On revisiting his native country about the year 1800 after an absence of many years, he formed a commercial connection with the Mr. MacDonnells of Dublin, then at the head of the commercial body in that city; and established the very respectable firm of MacDonnells, Bushell & Co. of Broad-street Court, London; at the same time keeping up the several establishments in Spain, as branches of the London House. This firm were agents for Several Banking Houses, and commercial firms in Ireland; and because of their Honorable dealings, of great eminence in the mercantile world. Mr. John Bushell having married a Miss Lynch of Galway, after a romantic and a [2] protracted courtship of twenty years; being both rather advanced in years, and no prospect of a family; in consequence he sent for his nephew James from Limerick, then a child of three years old, this was about 1812, to educate him and rear him up as his intended heir. With this view, he spared no expence in giving him the best education which London could afford; and having resided in Queens Square, Bloomsbury, he had an opportunity of moving in a genteel circle of professional and commercial neighbours; and of cultivating and improving his manner.
    When James had arrived at a certain age, his indulgent uncle, not wishing to spare any expence in giving him a polite, as well as a solid education, sent him on a tour to the continent, to acquire that finish and easiness of address peculiar to France & Italy; he also provided him with means to employ the best masters in music and polite literature; he soon became a proficient in music, and spoke and wrote [3] the French, Spanish, Italian, (and German)  languages, (correctly and) fluently with the (accent ?) of a native, and acquired some other accomplishments.
    In the course of his travels, he met a Frenchman , who noticing the youth and good addresss of the young Bushell, immediately fixed his eye upon him, as a very likely person to prove a useful companion in his future pursuits. This man was a broken down gambler, who had spent a fortune at hazard in Paris; and now was in quest of other games, to replenish his coffers; he easily inveigled Bushell under large promises, to adopt his schemes; after some further unsuccessful efforts at gambling, he persuaded (him) Bushell to accompany him to London; to cheat the Diamond merchants, by substituting mock, in room of real diamonds; by dexterity and by attaching gum to their fingers. He spoke to Bushell in the shops in London, in German; and introduced him as a Polish prince; and that [4] he himself was his Tutor. They carried on a successful trade for some time; but were at length discovered; when the Frenchman fled with the booty, and left Bushell to bear the burden of several prosecutions for stealing Diamonds, upon which he was found guilty; and forwarded to N.S.Wales for life.
   Upon arriving at N.S.Wales he was forwarded with other Specials (a name given to educated convicts) to Wellington Valley, a distance of about three hundred miles from Sydney in the interior; where they were obliged to proceed on foot through a bush road; so unlike the mode of travelling he was accustomed to in Europe; and held under a very strict surveillance. In this solitary residence, his youth and acquirements enabled him to bear up under his great reverses, but after some time, when that establishment was broken up, to make way for an aboriginal establishment; he was recommended for the most distant penal settlement, Moreton Bay; [5] five thousand hundred miles from Sydney on the northern coast, subject to all the horror of the  most rigid penal discipline; his overseer having reported him of being possessed of atheistical principles, and therefore unfit to be suffered at large in the colony.
   Here he was under the necessity of drawing upon his [???] acquirements to obtain some relaxation; the military officers in charge of the settlement, hearing of his knowledge of music and the languages, gladly availed themselves of this opportunity of irksome leisure, to impose themselves; he became a great favourite, and taught them music, dancing, drawing, fencing, and French, Italian, Spanish, and German languages to their great delight, better than those branches could be taught in London at the public schools. He now made a happy exchange, from an excess of severity, to an excess of kindness: a convincing proof that a penal settlement is not, nor ever was, what it is intended to be, a place of [6] of reformation of convicts. [A]fter remaining here a considerable time, he was recommended by the officer in charge as deserving of some indulgence; whereupon he was removed to Port Macquarie, formerly a Penal Settlement, but thrown open to settlers, where there was still kept up an Establishment for Invalid Convicts, and f0r specials, which gave it the appearance of a demi penal settlement, with a Police Magistrate, and an Ironed Gang, [ ? ] the streets of the Town.  Here Bushell commenced instructing the Young Ladies both married and single, in music, dancing, French and Italian, and shortly established a social intercourse among the newly arrived Emigrant settlers, hitherto strangers, who met occasionally to enjoy the pleasures of a German waltz or a Spanish quadrille in this recent excavation from the Forest; where hitherto the sound of music, or the voice of merriment, had never been heard, [7] where no sounds, but the cooee and howlings of the Black Man, the groans of the convict under the excruciating lash, or the creaking of the wild cockatoo, ever pierced the skies, or disturbed the ambient air.
    He was soon after [ ? ] to a settler about seventy miles distant in the Bush, to instruct his young family; where he remained until the period of eight years were expired when by the regulations he became entitled to a Ticket of Leave; for the purpose he obtained a pass to proceed to Sydney, where he fell into good practice as a musician; he became leader of the choir at St. Mary’s Cathedral; taught music in private families, and instructed the military bands. He got certificates of good conduct from all those persons; but Governor Bourke would not grant him that indulgence; having referred to his character on the books, and found the charge of atheism, affixed to his name, he was therefore [8] obliged to undergo a further probation of twelve months at Port Macquarie, under strict surveillance over his conduct. After this period he returned to Sydney, and resumed his former occupations; and appeared as an amateur in several concerts where he established himself in public estimation, as a vocal and instrumental musician.
    When he obtained his certificate he married Miss Wallace, a vocalist of some celebrity in Sydney, together with whom he now enjoys a high reputation as a musician among the Sydney public.            
    It remains now to shew how this young man got the odious epithet of atheism attached to his name. It seems that on becoming acquainted with the Frenchman mentioned above, that wily politician found that he could not make his dupe subservient to his views, without first sapping the foundation of religion; he then might [ ? ] himself could he but accomplish that, he could have him [9] at his [ ? ]; for this purpose he set his hellish engines to work to accomplish that detestable object; in the polite and fascinating language of France and Italy, he infused into his unsuspecting [ ? ] that French philosophy best known in England as French principles, meaning these poisonous seeds disseminated by Voltaire and his school, [ ? ] upon [ ? ] upon religion, and government, which [ ? ] in the anti-Christian conspiracy, and in [ ? ] the Altar and the Throne. Bushell spoke freely upon these subjects among his companions, and hence this most unpleasant appellation. It would however  be a gross libel upon education to suppose that it leads to atheism; when the contrary is known to be the fact – true science and religion go hand and hand; because they are indisputably founded upon truth itself, from which source they each derive their information; for which reason they uniformly concur in confirming each other; it is when education received a wrong bias, by losing the [ ? ] of religion [10] or, being as in the present instance, undermined by peculiar principles, that [ ? ] becomes a prey to atheism: and scoffers therefore take occasion to conclude that education is inimical to religion, and leads to Atheism! whereas nothing can be more [ ? ] than such an unsupported conclusion!    

(October 1842): The duet which [Eliza] she sang with Mr. Bushelle, “Quanto Amore“, was spirited and melodious in the extreme, and excited in the audience an enthusiasm almost equal to that animating these incomparable singers. Mr. Bushelle had a deafening encore in that delightful song from “Amilie,“ “What is the spell?“ Every word appeared to come from his heart; his intonation was pure, and the bright eyes of his fair auditors were suffused with “liquid diamonds“, at his warm eulogium of “woman's love“. His “Madamina“ was splendid, and his Irish serenade irresistibly comic; it sent the audience away in high glee.

(Therry, 1863): Bushell—known by the sobriquet of the “Knave of Diamonds“—was a convict of very varied accomplishments. He spoke German and French as fluently as English. His knowledge of German facilitated the commission of the fraud for which he was transported. Personating a Prussian baron, well moustached and disguised in suitable costume, he gave an order to an eminent jeweller (Hamlet) to provide him with diamonds of the value of several thousand pounds. Whilst the order was in progress of execution, he gave another order to a jeweller to provide him with lowpriced imitation diamonds, and to prepare a box similar to the one containing the pure ones. Afterwards, by extraordinary dexterity, on the occasion of one of his visits to Hamlet, he contrived to substitute the mock box for the real and valuable one, and with it escaped to the Continent, where he was detected with either the diamonds or the proceeds he obtained from the pawnbroker to whom he had transferred them. I have not met with a report of Bushell's trial, but this is the tale of his adventures current in the Colony. Bushell had a voice almost equal to Lablache, to whom in size and person he bore a strong resemblance. He was the principal singer for many years at our theatres and concerts in Sydney. There, he made a respectable connexion by marriage, and led, I believe, a reputable life. He died a few years ago in easy circumstances. 

References: John Bushell, Old Bailey, London, 13 September 1827, before Mr. Justice Gazelee (case 1628):; James Bushell, same day (case 1639):; [News], The Australian (16 July 1828), 2:; [News], The Australian (30 July 1828), 3:; “ST. MARY’S CHURCH”, The Colonist (2 June 1836), 4:; “Tickets-of-Leave Sydney, 28 December, 1836. COUNTY OF PORT MACQUARIE”, New South Wales Government Gazette 255 (28 December 1836), 986:; “Roman Catholic Chapel”, The Australian (16 October 1838), 3:; “AN HARMONIOUS UNION”, The Colonist (15 May 1839), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (17 August 1839), 3:; “Concert”, Australasian Chronicle (23 August 1839), 1:; [Advertisement], The Australian (24 August 1839), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (10 September 1839), 1: “CONCERTS”, Australasian Chronicle (10 September 1839), 1:; “MRS. BUSHELLE’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Monitor (13 September 1839), 2:; “CONCERT”, Australasian Chronicle (13 September 1839), 1:; “CONCERT”, The Sydney Gazette (14 September 1839), 2:; “ABSOLUTE PARDON [...] Sydney, 14th April, 1842”, New South Wales Government Gazette 30 (15 April 1842), 569:;  
“Miss Hinckesmann’s Concert”, The Sydney Gazette (15 October 1842), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (3 August 1843), 3:; “DIED”, Australasian Chronicle (5 August 1843), 3:; “MR. BUSHELLE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 August 1843), 4:; “MR. BUSHELLE”, The Courier (21 July) 1843), 3:; Roger Therry, Reminiscences (1863), 113: 

More on the Bushelle myth: Therry’s brief account of John Bushelle was not the only one of the colonial era. A play script dating from 1843, Life in Sydney, or the Ran Dan Club, though refused permission for production by the Colonial Secretary on the grounds that it was libellous, briefly mentions both William Vincent Wallace, “our Australian Paganini” and his brother-law Bushelle, as “Joe Bushon”; see A Burletta in one act, by FOCH [Henry C. O’Flaherty], written expressly for the Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney, July 31st 1843; submitted for approval by H. C. O'Flaherty. An adaptation of W. T. Moncreiff's Tom and Jerry, or Life in London (1821). (Play enclosure to 43/6965; covering letters with 43/6965 in [4/4562.2], microfilm copy SR Reel 2256; play at [SZ60], microfilm copy of play SR Reel 29):; see modern edition, in Richard Fotheringham (ed.), Australian plays for the colonial stage: 1834-1899 (Brisbane: University of Queensland Press, 2006), 61: p. 73 note 41; Fotheringham seems to assume, mistakenly, that “Elizabeth Wallace” was John Bushelle’s “second” wife (and presumably that, rather than William Vincent Wallace’s sister, Eliza was his first wife!). However, worse confusions of fact and fiction were perpetrated earlier. A notable instance is the tale “A WIFE’S CONSTANCY: A Touching Romance”, supposedly related by the English actress Alice Dunning Lingard (1847-1897), which seems to recount in an extremely garbled form Bushell’s reputation as a diamond thief. See “A WIFE’S CONSTANCY: A Touching Romance Related by Alice Dunning Lingard”, The Providence Sunday Star (20 April 1882), 3:,5026131: “During our last visit to Australia, I took some lessons from the celebrated vocal teacher, Madame X, sister of the late Vincent Wallace, the composer of Maritana and Lurline. She resides in Sydney and enjoys a very large patronage […] Madame X., you must know, was in her youth a prominent singer of the Royal Italian Opera in London, and her husband was one of the leading tenors …” As the story progresses, we learn than the husband had stolen some diamonds from a London jeweller, and was in due course sentenced to transporation to Australia. Madame X then followed him to Australia, became a land owner, and then organised to have her convict husband assigned to her service, and thus the couple was reunited.



(Wallace, Bushell, Wallace-Bushelle, Bouchelle)
Soprano singer, teacher
Born Waterford, Ireland, 1814
Arrived Sydney, by March 1836
Married John Bushell, by August 1839
Away from Australia in Europe and the USA, 1847-63
Died Sydney, 16 August 1878, aged 56 years [sic]

Summary: Apart from her manifest attainments as a singer, Eliza Bushelle is also on record as having composed at least two lost works, the Gondolier’s Song “composed by Mrs. Bushelle”, see [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 September 1845), 1:; and the song, The Destruction of St. Mary’s, first sung by G. F. Jackson (who also wrote the words) at the Orpheonist Society’s concert in aid of the cathedral restoration fund in August 1865, see [Advertisement], Empire (2 August 1865), 1:; “CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (3 August 1865), 4:



BUSHELLE, John Butler (junior)
Baritone singer, teacher
Born Sydney, 5 November 1843
Died Sydney, 14 September 1891, aged 51 [sic]

Summary: John Bushelle junior was born several months after his father's death. Having been with his mother in Europe and America since the late 1840s, he was, according to one report, with his uncle, William Vincent Wallace, at the time of his death in 1865.

London 1866: […]  Mr. J. B. Bushelle […] is nephew of the late William Vincent Wallace, and son of Madame Bushelle, a favourite concert-singer some years back in London, and sister of Mr. Wallace. Mr. Bushelle is a pupil of Signor Randegger, and possesses a deep bass voice of admirable quality. He has been singing at the principal concerts in Sydney, N.S.W., of which country he is a native, and if the colony can only send us a few more voices of the same calibre and excellence, we in the old country will feel ever obliged. Mr. Bushelle sang Mozart’s little known aria “Per questa bella mano,” in a style which won universal approval.    

Family references: “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (3 August 1843), 3:; “MR. BUSHELLE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 August 1843), 4:; “BIRTHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 November 1843), 3:; “BEETHOVEN’S ROOMS, HARLEY-STREET”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 August 1866), 6:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 August 1878), 1:; “OBITUARY: MADAME WALLACE BUSHELLE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 August 1878), 8:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 September 1891), 1:; “DEATH OF A FAMOUS SINGER”, Australian Town and Country Journal (19 September 1891), 43:



BUSHELLE, Tobias Vincent
Amateur bass vocalist, insurance agent, music reviewer
Born Sydney, 6 March 1840 (son of John and Eliza BUSHELLE)
Died Dunedin, NZ, 24 August 1889, aged 48 [sic]

Brisbane, 1881: The concert to be tendered to Mrs. Arthur Rawlins this evening, at the Albert Hall, judging from the number of seats already reserved and the very attractive programme published, will be a great success […] Mr. Bushelle is set down for the aria, “Hear me gentle Maritana”.

Spencer Browne, Brisbane 1924: [on writers for the Brisbane Observer] […] Theobald Vincent Wallace Bushelle, a son of the famous Madame Bushelle and that great basso, her husband, who was at one time in England considered a rival of Lablacho. “Toby” Bushelle was a nephew of Vincent Wallace the composer of “Maritana”  - his mother’s brother – and he did most of his musical and dramatic notices for the “Observer”, besides pursuing the elusive advertisement. He was a very fine singer, a basso, like his father and his brother John. The last named old Sydnevites will remember. “Toby” had toured with many companies, including the Carandinis. He helped me a great deal in the matter of voice-training.

Spencer Browne, Brisbane 1926: In later years I heard many of the little songs of Vincent Wallace from my old friend “Toby” Bushelle, who was Theobald Vincent Wallace Bushelle, a nephew of the composer. One, “The winds that waft my sighs to thee”, was published in later years, and I saw a copy of it at the house of Mr. and Mrs. George Chaffey, at Renmark, in the later days of 1888. It was brought from the United States. Another very charming Vincent Wallace thing was “When the children are asleep”. My friend “Toby” Bushelle had learnt them from his mother, the famous Madame Bushelle, wife of the basso Bushelle, who was the rival of Lablache.

References: “Birth”, The Australian (10 March 1840), 3:; [Advertisement], Empire (2 August 1865), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 August 1865), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 October 1865), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 October 1869), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 February 1870), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 December 1879), 2:; [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (14 December 1880), 1:; [News], The Brisbane Courier (2 October 1881), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (16 September 1889), 1:; “A JOURNALIST’S MEMORIES. THE OBSERVER IN 1881”, The Brisbane Courier (29 March 1924), 18:; “A JOURNALIST’S MEMORIES”, The Brisbane Courier (27 December 1924), 16:; “SONGS OF THE ’SIXTIES. By SPENCER BROWNE”, The Brisbane Courier (30 October 1926), 16:



Professor of Music, harpist, pianist
Active Melbourne, 1854-57

Summary: Buxton, late member of the Philharmonic Society, a pupil of Henri Rosellen and J. Balsir Chatterton, Harpist to the Queen, advertised in August 1853 as a teacher of the Pianoforte, Harp, Organ, and Singing, having taught in Liverpool for the previous 8 years; on his first concert appearance in Melbourne in February 1854, he was also described as “from the Royal Academy of Music”.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (1 August 1853), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (4 February 1854), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (11 February 1854), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (7 September 1855), 7:



BYRNE, Stephen
Trombonist (honorary secretary, Hallas’s Band), printer
Active Bendigo, by 1860

References: “MUNICIPAL POLICE COURT”, Bendigo Advertiser (15 May 1860), 2:;  “PRESENTATION TO CAPTAIN SKENE”, Bendigo Advertiser (16 September 1863), 2:; “THE PHILHARMONIC CONCERT”, Bendigo Advertiser (18 November 1865), 2:



BYRNE, George (alias)
Violinist, musician
Active Melbourne, 1856

References: “INDECENT ASSAULT”, The Argus (27 September 1856), 6:; “INDECENT ASSAULT”, The Argus (30 September 1856), 5:; “A TWO FOOTED BEAST”, The Maitland Mercury (7 October 1856), 3: The person described on the charge sheet, under the assumed name of George Byrne, but who is really a German, and one of the first violinists in the colony, and who was convicted at the City Police Court on Friday, of grossly indecent conduct towards two girls attending tho Colingwood National Schools, was again brought up on Saturday. The prisoner had been remanded in consequence of it being understood that there were several more cases against him […]



Graeme Skinner © 2014