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: O-R


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: O-R”, Austral Harmony (a resource for music and musicians in colonial Australia), @; accessed [INSERT DATE]

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OAKEY, Alfred
Pianist, composer, cornet-a-piston player, professor of music
Arrived Melbourne, by July 1853
Died Wellington, NZ, 7 December 1896

OAKEY, Mrs. Alfred

Summary: Alfred Oakey’s Crystal Palace Valse was played by Winterbottom’s band at Rowe’s Circus in Melbourne in July 1853, while Oakey himself appeared with Julia Harland and George Peck in the New Music Room at the Dixon Hotel. At Rowe’s Circus in January 1854, he introduced two new descriptive dance sets of his own, The Melbourne and Brighton Railway Galop (an entirely new galop) [with list of numbers] and The Highland Polka (introducing favourite Scottish Airs) [airs listed]. In December 1854 he was advertising: “VICTORIA THEATRE, late Rowe’s Circus. The most efficient Melo-dramatic Company in the Colony. Proprietor, Alfred Oakey.” The couple was in Ballarat at the Star Concert Hall in September 1855. At James Mulholland’s benefit there in September 1856, three songs with words by Mulholland and “music composed by Mr. Oakey” were sung, Song for the Bush (sung by Mrs. Oakey), Ballarat Proper (Mr. D. Golding), and The Forthcoming Election (Mulholland). They were back in Melbourne in  June 1857 at Dilke’s Concert Hall, where “Composer and Musical Director”, Oakey introduced his The Colonies: The new Local Chorus (“composed and arranged by Alfred Oakey, esq.”). Back in Ballarat in April 1859, Mrs. Oakey billed as “the Ballarat favourite” made her “first appearance these three years” in April 1859. They were still in Australia in mid-1863, but were already appearing in New Zealand, with Madame Vitelli-Thatcher in January 1864, Alfred at the time also being briefly committed for “mental affliction”. They settled there; Alfred died in 1896.

Obituary: “Many old citizens of Nelson will learn with deep regret of the somewhat sudden death in Wellington to-day of Mr. Alfred Oakey, of Bridge-street, Mr. Oakey had been ailing for a couple of years, and had been accompanied by Mrs. Oakey to Wellington for his health a few weeks ago, but no one thought that the end would be so sudden. Mr. Oakey when in good health was closely associated with musical movements in Nelson. He came here from Melbourne with the late Richmond Tatcher [?Charles Thatcher] in the year of the Nelson Exhibition, and he joined the local volunteers at that date. He was thereafter bandmaster of the Garrison Band for 15 years. Mr. Oakey was in Victoria in the early mining days and he was present in the stirring scenes of the Ballarat riots, being at that time a close companion of the late Sir Peter Lalor. In Nelson Mr. Oakey was greatly liked and much respected for his quiet unassuming geniality and for his fortitude under great suffering. He has left a widow and a family of five […].”

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (29 July 1853), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (30 July 1853), 8:; “THE QUEEN’S THEATRE”, The Argus (15 October 1853), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (28 January 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (8 December 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Star (22 September 1855), 1:; [Advertisement], The Star (30 August 1856), 3:; [Advertisement], The Age (1 June 1857), 2:,6223429; [Advertisement], The Star (19 April 1959), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (14 April 1863), 3:; “NEW INSOLVENTS”, The Star (27 April 1863), 3:; “DRAMATIC AND MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT”, Portland Guardian (29 June 1863), 2:; “MR. AND MRS. OAKEY AT THE LYCEUM”, Portland Guardian (2 July 1863), 2:; [News], Southland Times (4 January 1864), 2:; “RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT. RECOVERED”, Southland Times (18 January 1864), 3:; “DEATH OF MR. ALFRED OAKEY”, Nelson Evening Mail (7 December 1896), 2:

Extant musical works: Annie of the vale (London: John Turner, n.d.): The Crystal Palace Waltzes (London: John  Oakey’s, n.d.):

Disambiguation (?):; DAAO: Alfred Oakley [sic]

Other: [Playbill, Rowe's American Circus, Melbourne, 1853]:

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



O’BRIAN, Patrick
Vocalist (St. Patrick’s Church choir)
Active Melbourne, 1866

References: “CITY COURT”, The Argus (5 October 1866), 7:



OELMANN, Hermann (also OEHLMANN)
Tenor vocalist
Arrived SA, c.1857 (by November 1859)
Died Adelaide, 25 January 1889, aged 48

Summary: About 18 years of age at the time, Oelmann’s first solo concert appearances were for Cutolo in November 1859, and the following month he participated in the first public performance of Linger’s Song of Australia.

Obituary 1: Mr. Hermann Adolph Theodore Oelmann, the noted tenor singer, who was well known and much respected throughout South Australia, aged 48; a native of Brunswick, Germany, and came to the colony about 1857; leaves a widow, three sons, and a daughter.

Obituary 2: Yesterday [27 January] there was consigned to his final rest one whom possibly many of your readers may have known, whose remarkably fine voice many may have heard — Mr. Hermann Oelmann, formerly, I believe, a partner in the firm of G. & R. Wills & Co., latterly of the King of Hanover Hotel. As a musician he never grudged his services to any good cause, and thousands assembled to pay the last tribute of respect to his memory. The Liedertafel, of which he was a member sang Mendelssohn's beautiful, “ It is decreed,” in the chamber of their departed friend, ere they bore their old comrade’s coffin to the hearse. In the funeral cortege the members of the United Order of Odd fellows led the way, while the Liedertafel, headed by their banner draped with crape, followed the hearse; over a hundred mourning and private carriages, containing the relatives and friends of the deceased, coming next, whilst the streets were thronged with pedestrians who accompanied the mournful procession to the cemetery. The Rev. J. C. Woods conducted the service at the grave, the Liedertafel singing with much pathos “Grabe’s Ruha” [sic] at their commencement, and ere turning away from the open grave, the appropriate song “ Sleep well our comrade.” Many members of the Masonic fraternity, of which Mr. Oelmann was a brother, were present.

References: [Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (1 November 1859), 1:; “SIGNOR CUTOLO’S CONCERT”, South Australian Register (5 November 1859), 2:; “GRAND CONCERT AT THE GAWLER INSTITUTE”, The South Australian Advertiser (14 December 1859), 3:; “Concert”, Süd Australische Zeitung (4 October 1862), 3:; “DEATHS”, South Australian Register (27 November 1879), 4: “DEATHS, South Australian Register (26 January 1889), 4:; “OBITUARY”, South Australian Register (28 January 1889), 7: ; “Our Adelaide Letter”, The Inquirer & Commercial News (15 February 1889), 3:

Associations: Schrader family (related)



O’FLAHERTY, Henry Charles
Professor of the violin and Spanish guitar, theatre-band violinist, actor, comic vocalist
Departed Australia, 1 April 1846 (per Kinnear, for London)
Died London, 1854

Summary: In July and August 1840, O’Flaherty widely advertised his commencement in Sydney as a “professor of the violin and Spanish guitar”. He probably joined the theatre orchestra around this time, for by December it was evidently well known that he and the leading lady, Eliza Winstanley, were to marry. On 30 December, a local youth, thought to have been in the pit at the theatre that night, threatened Eliza as she left the theatre at about midnight. O’Flaherty intervened to protect her. Brought to court the following morning, the defendant Charles Davis, “a lad about sixteen years of age, a native of the colony” was reported to have been wearing a “cabbage-tree hat”. This tale of theatrical chivalry inspired the Monitor to print that same day, the first part of a humorous poem on “The battle of the Cabbage-tree”, in which O’Flaherty was cast as “The Knight of the Fiddle, Champion of the fair Eliza … (not his first appearance in that character)”. Richard Fotheringham suggests that the author may have been O’Flaherty himself. The couple were married at St. James’s, Sydney, on 6 February 1841, and Eliza is first referred to in the press as Mrs. O’Flaherty shortly afterward. O’Flaherty is listed among the theatre band for Maria Prout’s concert in March 1841, made his stage debut in character at Eliza’s benefit in May, and was in the band again for Nathan’s oratorio in July. On 9 July he left for Hobart to join Eliza at the theatre there. At Eliza’s benefit in August, Henry “on the Spanish Guitar, shewed that he was a master of the instrument, although it was in such bad order, that he was unable to go through with his Solo, to the great disappointment of all present”. Henry took his benefit later that month before the company departed for Launceston. Back in Sydney in February 1842, he was declared insolvent. By May 1842, he had taken over as manager of the Olympic Theatre. Having finally been discharged from insolvency in February 1846, the couple left for London.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (28 July 1840), 1:; “BREACH OF THE PEACE”, Australasian Chronicle (31 December 1840), 3:; “THESPIS IN AUSTRALIA, OR, THE STAGE IN DANGER”, The Sydney Monitor (31 December 1840), 2:; “The battle of the Cabbage-Tree, A POEM. CANTO I. THE ASSAULT”, The Sydney Monitor (6 January 1841), 2: ttp://; “The battle of the Cabbage-Tree, A POEM. CANTO II. THE BANQUET”, The Sydney Monitor (11 January 1841), 2:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Gazette (18 February 1841), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (24 march 1841), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (6 May 1841), 3:; “Summary of Public Intelligence”, The Sydney Gazette (6 May 1841), 2:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (5 June 1841), 3:; “DEPARTURES”, Australasian Chronicle (10 July 1841), 2:; “THE THEATRE”, Colonial Times (10 August 1841), 3:; “THEATRE”, The Courier (27 August 1841), 3:; “INSOLVENT ESTATES”, The Sydney Herald (19 February 1842), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (17 May 1842), 2:; “INSOLVENCY PROCEEDINGS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 January 1846), 2:; “DEPARTURES”, Morning Chronicle (4 April 1846), 3:; “THEATRICALS”, Sydney Chronicle (24 April 1847), 2:

Web: N. M. Robinson, Eliza O’Flaherty (1818-1882), ADB 2 (1967)

Bibliography: Richard Fotheringham, Australian plays for the colonial stage: 1834-1899:



Teacher of piano and singing (Berlin Conservatory of Music)
Active Australia 1871-81

Pianist (pupil of Henri Kowalski), sculptor
Born Ballarat, ? 1867/1870 (daughter of C. H. Ohlfsen-Bagge and his wife Kate)
Died Rome, Italy, 1948



1896: Amateurs of music will regret to hear that Miss Dora Ohlfsen-Baggé, the young pianist who left this city to study at Berlin, has been obliged to give up work for a time in order to recruit her health (says a Sydney contemporary). Miss Ohlfsen-Baggé studied at Berlin under Herr Moskowski and Fraulein Emma Koch until last autumn, when she broke down, and went to visit friends at Aromenbaun, on the Gulf of Finland. The young artist has now settled for a time at St. Petersburg, where she has met Glazounow, a new Russian composer, “tall, solemn, pale, who does not walk but moves,” supposed to be the successor of Tschaikowsky.

References: [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (8 June 1871), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 April 1872), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 January 1876), 2:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (12 October 1878), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (31 December 1879), 1:; [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (4 April 1881), 1:; “ENTERTAINMENT AT KOGARAH”, The Sydney Morning Herald (25 August 1894), 7:; “A SYDNEY MUSICIAN”, The Inquirer & Commercial News (6 November 1896), 14:; “Local and General”, The Campbelltown Herald (26 June 1901), 2:

Resources: ?; Dora Ohlfsen-Bagge, DAAO; Elizabeth Ashburn, Ohlfsen, Dora, in Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon (eds.), Who’s who in gay and lesbian history from antiquity to World War II (London: Routledge, 2001), 333



OLDHAM, Mary (Mrs. Thomas HARBOTTLE)
Amateur composer, pianist, vocalist
Active Hobart, 1862

References: “COLONIAL MUSIC”, The Mercury (26 June 1862), 3:; “THE TASMANIAN YACHT CLUB POLKA”, Launceston Examiner (26 June 1862), 5:  ? “MARRIAGES”, The Mercury (23 November 1865), 2:; “CONCERT”, The Mercury (3 May 1870), 2:; “CONCERT IN THE TOWN HALL”, The Mercury (6 July 1881), 3:

Work: The Tasmanian Yacht Club Polka (Hobart Town: J. Walch & Sons, [1862])



OLDHAM, William C.
Amateur musician, bandmaster, conductor, composer
Born Dublin, Ireland, 9 February 1811
Arrived South Australia, 1838 (per Lord Godrich)
Died 1885, aged 75

Obituary: […] He was, moreover, an earnest lover of music, and his practical mind soon caused his love for the art to show itself in useful woik. He trained the band of the Mine Rifles, which earned for itself a reputation which has deservedly outlived it; also as conductor of the Philharmonic Society he was for years engaged in raising the standard of music in the town […]

References: “NEW MUSIC”, South Australian Register (12 January 1861), 3:; “COLONIAL MUSIC”, South Australian Register (26 December 1861), 5:; “NEW MUSIC”, South Australian Register (10 February 1871), 5:; [Advertisement]: “THE MARION WALTZ”, South Australian Register (17 February 1871), 1:; “KAPUNDA”, South Australian Register (22 August 1873), 7:; “DEATH OF MR. W. OLDHAM, OF KAPUNDA”, South Australian Register (4 July 1885), 7:

Works: The Kapunda Rifle Volunteers’ Schottische ([Adelaide: Penman and Galbraith, 1861]); The Kapunda Rifles Schottische (Adelaide; Sims and Elliott, [??]); The Kapunda Rifle Schottische (Adelaide: S. Marshall & Son., [??]); The Marion Waltz (“composed by Mr. W. C. Oldham, of Kapunda”) ([Adelaide: For private circulation, 1871])



Music teacher
Active Melbourne, 1869

1869: MISS E. SMITH wishes to communicate with Mr. Oliver, music teacher.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (12 July 1869), 1:




Musician, convict, political prisoner
Born UK, 1768/74
Arrived Sydney, Australia, September 1818, per Isabella
Died Sydney, 25 August 1840, aged 72

See main entry: John Onions



ONN, Madame
Mezzo-soprano vocalist, pianist, ballad singer, songwriter, composer
Active Victoria, by 1855
Died Geelong, 21 December 1876

Obituary: Madame Onn, a well-known teacher of music, met with a very sudden death on Thursday night at her residence, in Geelong. She was playing the piano in apparently good health, when a kind of paralysis suddenly seized her, and on rising she fell down, and expired before medical aid could be obtained.

Work: The Grecian Polka ([Melbourne, 1873], no copy identified)

References: “BALLARAT”, The Argus (20 August 1855), 7:; “MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE SOIREE”, The Star (27 April 1857), 2s: [Advertisement], The Star (3 October 1857), 3: [Advertisement], The Argus (25 August 1868), 8: [Advertisement], The Argus (18 September 1868), 8: [News], The Argus (24 November 1873), 5:; [News], The Argus (23 December 1876), 7:; “VICTORIA”, The Mercury (2 January 1877), 3:



Active Adelaide, by July 1850; Melbourne, by April 1852

Summary: Osborne was leader of the Adelaide Choral Society for its July concert in 1850. Osborne made his “first appearance” in Melbourne playing a violin solo at a Thursday Concert in April 1852, part of a recent musical migration that also included Huenerbein and Mater.

References: [Advertisement], South Australian (12 July 1850), 1:; [News], South Australian Register (1 August 1850), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (21 May 1851), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (14 October 1851), 1:; “THURSDAY’S CONCERT”, The Argus (7 April 1852), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (5 June 1852), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (31 July 1852), 5:


OSBORNE, Ferdinand W.
Violinist, professor of music (pupil of Baillot and Toulbecque, Paris Conservatoire)
Active Beechworth, VIC, by 1857
Died Urana, NSW, 23 November 1898

1881: FERDINAND OSBORNE (Solo Violin. Mr. A. Mellon’s Concerts, Royal Italian Opera, Covent Garden; Royal Opera, St. Felice, Cadiz, &c.) will be in Sydney about the 22nd instant. Will organise Concert Company for New Zealand, &c.

Obituary: We regret having to record the death at Urana on the 23rd ult. of Professor Ferdinand Osborne. Mr. Osborne, who was a highly cultivated musician and pupil of some of the leading violinists of 40 years ago, had resided for many years in the Border districts. In 1860 he was at Myrtle Creek, and he subsequently removed to Bright where he resided for a long time, and practised as a teacher of vocal and instrumental music. Subsequently he crossed the river into New South Wules and for a considerable period occupied the position of private tutor in the family of Mr. Warhurst, of Hidewell. A few years ago he took a trip to the old country, and upon returning retired from the active practice of his profession, to live on a small annuity left him by a brother. By some misfortune the capital sum representing the annuity was lost, and he had to again fall back upon his art. This, however, was only for a short period, as an attack of illness, added to the burden of advanced years, soon afterwards terminated a long and active life. Mr. Osborne was a very well informed man, more especially in all matters connected with music, and he had been on intimate terms with several of the most celebrated composers of the middle of the century. He was a kind hearted, genial, upright man, generally respected by all who knew him.

References: [Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (7 January 1857), 1:; [Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (16 March 1857), 3:; [Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (15 February 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (14 October 1858), 1:; “BUCKLAND POLICE COURT”, Ovens and Murray Advertiser (27 December 1862), 4:; “MURRUMBURRAH”, Australian Town and Country Journal (31 January 1880), 39:; [Advertisement], Australian Town and Country Journal (24 December 1881) 2:; “A PROMINENT VIOLINIST”, Albury Banner and Wodonga Express (10 December 1897), 23:; “DEATH OF AN OLD BORDER RESIDENT”, Albury Banner and Wodonga Express (16 December 1898), 23:; “DEATHS”, Albury Banner and Wodonga Express (16 December 1898), 40:

Associations: Teacher of Edie Warhurst (see 1897 above)



OSBORNE, Robert James
Comic vocalist, actor, convict
Active Launceston, by April 1846

Summary: “MONSIEURS [sic] OSBORNE (From the London Theatres)” took the Olympic Theatre in Launceston in April 1846. There in May, Osborne was presenting a company described as the Sable Minstrels, perhaps one of the earliest actual companies of black-faced minstrels to appear in Australia. In June he was billed in a “COMIC SONG, “The Werry Identical Flute”, by MR. OSBORNE, with drum and whistle accompaniment, by Masters F. and W. HOWSON, pupils of Mr. Osborne”. On 10 July, “Mr. Howson and Song” (presumably then Francis senior and Masters F. and W.) took their benefit, which included:

SONG, “Parody on the Misletoe Bough”, Mr OSBORNE
AIR, with Variation (Violin) MR. HOWSON
By particular desire, SONG, “Parody on Buy a Broom, Mr. OSBORNE.
By particular deiire, NAVAL HORNPIPE, by MR.COONEY
VENETIAN STATUES By Masters W. & F. Howson, pupils of Mr. Osborne.

Osborne was still at the Olympic in 1849, but had moved to Sydney and was lessee of the Olympic Arena there by 1854.

References: [Tickets-of-leave], The Cornwall Chronicle (5 July 1845), 4:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (29 April 1846), 330:; “THE THEATRE”, The Cornwall Chronicle (20 May 1846), 384:; “THE THEATRE”, The Cornwall Chronicle (10 June 1846), 439:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (10 June 1846), 440:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (17 June 1846), 461:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (4 July 1846), 512:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (8 July 1846), 522:; [Conditional pardons], The Cornwall Chronicle (5 December 1846), 948:; “SYDNEY POLICE COURT”, Empire (25 May 1854), 2:



Teacher of music, composer
Active Sydney, 1876

Work: Neredah Galop (dedicated to Miss Neredah Robinson, Government House) ([Sydney: printed by S. T. Leigh, 1876]) NO COPY IDENTIFIED

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (31 August 1876), 1:; “MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 September 1876), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 October 1876), 1:



OUGH, Thomas
Musician, bandmaster (The Adelaide Brass and Reed Band)
Active Adelaide, 1855
Died Mount Pleasant, SA, 15 July 1870, aged 71, a colonist of 31 years

1855: The plaintiff deposed that on the evening of June 21 he was engaged as a musician at the Black Swan. He left at half-past 9 with two other men. In passing through Light-square, the defendant drove up, with himself and two other men in his cart, and on their rounding a corner he was knocked down by the cart, and received serious bodily injury. He had a double bass Saxe-horn under his arm, which cost him £12. It was also run over, and damaged. Its repair cost him £2 10s. He was a mason, and in consequence of the injury he had sustained he lost eight weeks’ work […] This was corroborated by the evidence of Wm. Jenkins and Wm. Denton, the plaintiff's musical companions.

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (29 March 1854), 1:; “LAW AND CRIMINAL COURTS”, South Australian Register (9 November 1855), 3:; “Mount Pleasant”, South Australian Register (24 October 1861), 3:; “DEATHS”, South Australian Register (20 July 1870), 4:



Teacher of the Pianoforte
Active Melbourne, by 1857

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (4 April 1857), 6:; [Advertisement], The Argus (12 June 1857), 8:;  [Advertisement], The Argus (27 August 1859), 6:; [Advertisement], The Argus (9 July 1862), 8:; ? “DESTRUCTIVE FIRE IN EAST KYNETON”, The Argus (3 March 1866), 3:



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:

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PABST, Louis
Pianist, teacher, composer
Born Konigsberg, Germany, ? 1847

PABST, Madame Von Englehardt

Arrived Melbourne, April 1885 (per R.M.S Lusitania)
DDeparted Melbourne, ? 1894

July 1892: An interesting feature of the entertainment was the recitation of a translation of Madame Pabst’s powerful and pathetic poem, Der Harfner, by Mrs. Alfred Cornish, with a picturesque and dramatic commentary upon the narrative by Herr Pabst on the piano. The lines were feelingly delivered by the lady and graphically illustrated by the composer of the music.

References: “Arrival of the English Mail”, Australian Town and Country Journal (18 April 1885), 13:; “HERR LOUIS PABST”, The Argus (23 June 1885), 6: [biography]; “HERR PABST’S HISTORICAL CONCERT”, The Argus (5 July 1886), 6:; “THE RISVEGLIATO”, The Argus (15 December 1892), 3:; [News], The Argus (22 July 1892), 5:; “A YOUNG PIANIST. MASTER PERCY GRAINGER”, South Australian Chronicle (4 August 1894), 8:; “MUSICAL AND DRAMATIC NOTES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 July 1894), 13:

Associations: Teacher of Adelaide Burkitt and Percy Grainger




1853: I am now suddenly compelled to close. as I am distracted. My eldest daughter, a pupil of Packer’s, is strumming upon that remnant of Barnacle gentility - our decayed piano - that everlasting “Ben Bolt” (would I was a “Bolter!”); my second, a “colonial youth,” is pathetically invoking me to “carry her back to Ole Virginny” […] I am, Sir, your obedient Servant, ZACHARIAH MOULDES.

Reference: “OFFICIAL SALARIES. To the Editor”, The Courier (3 June 1853), 2: 


PACKER, Augusta (GOW)
Musician, music teacher
Born Edinburgh,13 July 1815
Arrived Hobart, 10 July 1852 (per Sylph from London, 2 March)
Died Hobart, 23 February 1893, aged 77

Summary: Daughter of the Edinburgh musician and composer Nathaniel Gow, and reportedly herself a pupil at the Royal Academy of Music in London (presumably c.1830), in July 1837 she married another former RAM student, Frederick Alexander Packer. Her appointment, in late 1840, as wet nurse to the infant princess royal, Victoria (her mother, queen Victoria, anyway famously averse to breast feeding) occasioned her first premature notice by the Australian press in W. A. Duncan’s Chronicle in Sydney in April 1841:

“Mrs. Packer, who has been appointed wet nurse to the princess royal, is a native of Edinburgh, where she was well known as Miss Augusta Gow. She is a daughter of the late Nathaniel Gow, of this city, and grand-daughter of the celebrated Neil Gow. Mrs. Packer studied music at the Royal Academy, London, with the view of becoming a public singer, in which character she appeared here at several concerts. Mrs. Packer has, or at least had, a splendid figure, and no doubt possesses all the qualifications requisite for the proper performance of the duties of her important office.-Scotsman.“

She herself arrived in Hobart in July 1852, with her husband and family, including musician son Frederick Augustus Packer. For several years after her husband’s death in 1862, she advertised as a teacher “giving instruction in Italian and English Singing, and on the Pianoforte (either to beginners or to those who may require finishing lessons) … Mrs. Packer will also give lessons (separately) in Scottish Songs and the Music peculiar to Scotland.”

Obituary: PASSED AWAY. Our obituary notices of to-day record the death of Mrs. Augusta Packer, a colonial of many years, who passed away yesterday, deservedly beloved and respected. The deceased lady,  who died full of years, even beyond the allotted ‘three score and ten’, was stricken by paralysis some years ago, but retained her faculties in singular brightness up to within two days of her decease. As the grand-daughter of Scotland’s famous musician, Niel Gow, aid the daughter of his equally famous son, Nathaniel Gow (composer of Caller Herrin’) it is not to be wondered at that her own musical abilities were of the highest order. At an early age—when Miss Gow—she studied at the Royal Academy of Music, and was regarded as one of its most accomplished students, Costa, Moscheles, and Cipriani Potter, the most celebrated men of the day, being among her instructors. The deceased lady leaves a large family, nearly all of which are married and settled in Tasmania, including Mr. F. A. Packer (Clerk of Parliament), Mr. John Packer (Under Treasurer), Mr. A. H. Packer (H.M. Customs), Mr. H. E. Packer (Ministerial Secretary), and Mr. R. K. Packer of the Queensland Telegraph Service.

References: “Mrs. Packer …”, Australasian Chronicle (3 April 1841), 4:; “LATEST NEWS FROM EUROPE”, South Australian Register (10 April 1841), 5:; “SHIPPING NEWS”, The Courier (14 July 1852), 2:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (18 December 1862), 3:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (10 January 1863), 1:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (29 December 1864), 1:; ? [Advertisement], The Mercury (19 July 1888), 1:; “DEATHS”, The Mercury (24 February 1893), 1:; “PASSED AWAY”, The Mercury (24 February 1893),  2:



PACKER, Charles S.
Pianist, vocalist, conductor, composer


Summary: On arrival in Hobart from Norfolk Island, Packer's was assigned as a passholder to judge Algernon Sidney Montagu (1802-1880), at the latter's request. Montagu described Packer as “a gentleman of extraordinary musical genius“, and, instead of putting him to work on his estate at Rosny, permitted him to work independently as a professor of music, taking pupils and giving concerts. This arrangement was considered irregular enough to be used against Montagu by his opponents in the lead up to his dismissal in 1848. According to Jane Reichenberg (1923), he was organist of St. Joseph's Church, Hobart, in succession to her father Joseph Reichenberg, presumably in the brief period between Reichenberg's death and Packer's departure for Sydney. Packer's two major Australian works were the oratorios David, three numbers of which were performed in concert in December 1869 (the score, now lost, was once in the possession of August Huenerbein junior), and Crown of Thorns, which was performed complete several times in Sydney and Melbourne before being published posthumously by the Huenerbeins for the Packer Memorial Fund; according to William Stanley's obituary (1902), “on the death of the late Charles Packer that composer’s sacred cantata, “The Crown of Thorns”, was completed by the late Mr. William Stanley“, probably indicating that he at least edited the manuscript for publication.

1848 (Turnbull, Colonial Treasurer): The Puisne Judge’s explanation as to the transaction between the convict pass-holder “Packer” and himself reveals, as it appears to me, a case of collusive, or as he styles it, nominal hiring between that person and himself for the purpose of defeating the regulations of the government, with reference to the class of convicts to which “Packer” belonged.

 Obituary (Sydney, 28 July 1883): Charles Sandys Packer, one of the most accomplished musicians Australia has known, died on July 13. He had reached the advanced age of 73 years, being born in Reading, Berkshire, England, in 1810. While very young, Charles Packer envinced such a love and talent for music that his father, himself a musician, placed him at the Royal Academy of Music, where he achieved the highest honours that institution was capable of bestowing, carrying off the   best prizes awarded for composition, pianoforte playing, and singing. His masters were: for composition, Dr. Crotch, Regius Professor at Oxford, Mozart’s pupil Attwood, Bochsa, the great orchestral master, and Weber, the celebrated composer, and for singing, Crivelli and Veluti. He was selected, when but a youth, to compose an opera for the opening of the new Royal Lyceum Opera House, a building erected in place of one which was destroyed by fire; and his literary coadjutor was Mary Russell Mitford, the authoress of “Our Village”. The production was a successful one, and enjoyed a long run; and Mr. Packer’s composition was favourably noticed bv the most eminent critics of England, France, and Germany. The young composer was favoured by the notice and friendship of such men as Thalberg, Hummel, and Weber; and he was the chosen accompanist of such great singers as Mario, Giulia Grisi, and Lablache. He frequently had the distinction of playing duets with her Majesty Queen Adelaide, consort of William IV, both of them being pupils of Hummel. His first composition was an aria, “Basta, Basta!” the words being from Metastasio’s “Morte d’Abelle , and when, in 1825, this was performed at a concert given in the Hanover Square Rooms, the Harmonicon, the best journal of the day as regards musical criticism, spoke of it in terms of the highest praise, and predicted a bright future for the composer. His “Crown of Thorns” and “Song of the Angels”, and some lighter efforts, are widely known and as widely admired. Mr. August Huenerbein has the scores of “David”, an oratorio and of many other compositions, which will yet be published, and which will long preserve Charles Packer’s name from oblivion. His life was a chequered one. […]

References: “THE MONATGU DESPATCH”, Launceston Examiner (16 December 1848), 2:; “DESPATCH”, Launceston Examiner (16 December 1848), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 December 1869), 8:; “ORGANIST’S UNIQUE RECORD”, The Mercury (1 September 1923), 15:; “SOCIAL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 July 1883), 11: 

Resources: E. J. Lea-Scarlett, Packer, Charles Sandys Stuart Shipley, Australian Dictionary of Biography 5 (1974)

Bibliography: P. A. Howell, “Of ships and sealing wax: the Montagus, the navy and the law“, Tasmanian Historical Research Association 13/4 (August 1966), 101-128



PACKER, Frederick Alexander (senior)
Professor of music, music master, organist, composer
Born Reading, England, 7 May 1814
Arrived Hobart, TAS, 10 July 1852 (per Sylph with wife and 8 children)
Died Hobart, TAS, 2 July 1862, aged 48 years

Summary (compositions): In October 1855, having earlier that year had to correct rumours that he was leaving the colony, Packer released the first of his compositions to be published in Australia, The Queen of the Polkas (lost). The Colonial Times judged it: “A little disfigured by repetition, or sameness, it is, nevertheless, without doubt, the best piece of the kind we have yet seen produced in this island.” At St. David’s Cathedral on Christmas Day 1859, a Psalm Chant by him was sung at morning prayer, and in the evening a canticle setting Deus Misereatur by his son. Until now, the hymn setting Nearer to thee, possibly his last surviving Australian composition, has also usually been incorrectly assumed to be the work of Frederick junior (and also attributed to his brother Charles). But both it and a Mazurka for piano belong, certainly, to Frederick senior. They were first published in May 1861, not in Hobart, but in Melbourne, where the Argus greeted them as “decidedly as original and talented as any colonial musical productions we have heard”, and congratulated itself “on having in Australia so talented a composer as Mr. Packer”. Nearer to Thee was reportedly sung, under Packer senior’s direction, at an ordination service at St. David’s, Hobart, in July 1861. It went into a second edition by the end of the year, and in January 1862 it was sung at a concert by the Opheonist Society in Sydney (possibly programmed by his brother Charles Packer). Though a copy of the original 1861 edition has not been identified, an 1866 reprint Nearer to Thee (Hymn CIX) is extant. Meanwhile, no copy of the 1861 print of the Mazurka has been identified either; however, it may have been identical with Packer’s earlier Mazurka, published in London. Another pre-Australian publication by him was The Eglantine Polka (London, [1851]); copy at British Library, Music Collections h.967.(32.) [004565780]. 

Obituary (July): The public will learn with deep regret the death of this gentleman, which melancholy event took place after a few days severe illness, yesterday evening. Mr. Packer had suffered for some time past from an affection of the chest and other complaints associated with it, but it was not until a day or two back that serious apprehensions were entertained by his family. On Tuesday his eldest son [Frederick Augustus] arrived in town from Launceston, and with the exception of a married daughter, the whole of his children were present, we believe at the time of his decease, just prior to which the sacrament was administered to him by the Venerable Archdeacon Davis. Mr. Packer was an old resident in Hobart Town, and a gentleman greatly respected for his many estimable qualities. He has been for many years Organist of St. David’s Cathedral, and had attained some eminence beyond the limits of the colony as a musical composer. Mr. Packer has left a widow and family of twelve children, the majority of whom are of too tender an age to provide for themselves under the melancholy circumstances of bereavement in which they are placed.

Obituary (September): Handel’s Oratorio of the Messiah was rendered last evening at the Theatre Royal, the occasion being for the benefit of the family of the late Mr. F. A. Packer. A very large number of lady and gentlemen amateurs volunteered their assistance for the furtherance of this object; the leader being Mr. Russell, and the conductor Mr. Tapfield. […] The occasion is not inopportune for recording some brief notes of the career of a very gifted and accomplished man, who has been removed from our midst in the prime of life. Frederick Packer was in every sense a thorough musician, possessing to an extent rarely equalled, a profound knowledge of harmony, and a refined elegance of melody. His style as a composer was distinguished for its scientific counterpoint and striking and modulations and transitions. Possessing “a mind of Music’s own”, and a sweet though not very powerful tenor voice, he became a student of the Royal Academy of Music which has produced some of the first masters of Europe, and thus received a thorough musical education under some of the most celebrated professors of the day. Amongst his masters may be named Dr. Crotch, and Mr. Goss, for Harmony and Composition; Potter, for the Pianoforte; Crivelli, for Singing; and Bochsa and Alvars, for the Harp. The latter was Mr. Packer’s solo instrument; and it will be long before those who have heard his performances on it will forget his mastery of the most difficult passages, and the inexpressible sweetness and elegance which characterised his manipulation of this instrument. The highest of all compliments was always awarded him, viz., the breathless silence of his audience until the close. Whilst playing Irish or Scottish airs, especially, the falling of a leaf might have been heard. As a Composer Mr. Packer ranked highly. We believe he has left numerous MSS. in the hands of his family, which were composed during the last few years. He has given few works however to the public since he left England. There he was constantly engaged on new publications, and several [of] the leading London publishers were purchasers of his copywrights [sic]. The beautiful hymn “Nearer to Thee”, composed about two years ago, was his latest contribution to our sacred music, and bears signs of being the production of a master mind. For a considerable period of his life, upwards—we believe of fifteen years, Mr. Packer was a resident of Reading in Berkshire, where he was Organist of St. Mary’s Church. He was induced with a view of providing for his increasing family to seek a more extended field in Australia, leaving a large practice and bringing with him substantial marks of the kindly estimation in which he was held at home. Whilst at Reading he was a constant guest at the evening entertainments at Strathfieldsaye, being a great favorite of the late Duke of Wellington; and on one occasion at Windsor Castle, was surprised by the Queen whilst playing one of his own songs, “Maureen”, who paid him the compliment of requesting a copy of it. Amongst Mr. Packer’s pupils in England were the present Duchess of Wellington, to whom he taught the Harp; the Duchess of Buckingham, the Ladies Lyttleton, the present Duke ot Newcastle, and members of the family of the Earl of Yarborough, Sir Robert Peel, the Earl of Chichester, and others. In Tasmania Mr. Packer had suffered much from repeated attacks of asthma, which greatly impeded him in the practice of his profession, and occasionally involved him in embarrassments that troubled him greatly. But he has left behind him a memory endeared to his family, and the reputation of an honorable as well as accomplished man, and an unassuming but true christain [sic]. The large audience which filled the Theatre last night must be in the highest degree gratifying to the feelings of his friends, as a testimony of public esteem.

Reading Mercury (21 December 1889): Old residents of Reading [writes a correspondent] will remember the Packer family, which has been associated with Reading and the county of Berkshire since the middle of the last century. Mr. Charles Packer, sen., was a well-known professor of music in Reading in the early part of the present century, and was for many years organist of the Minster [St.Mary's]. On leaving Reading for London he was succeeded by his second son, Fredk. Alex.Packer, who also was organist of St. Mary’s, and who subsequently emigrated to Tasmania with his family, where he died in 1862. It will be very gratifying to those who remember him [and many will for his most genial character] to hear that his sons have made positions for themselves in Australia that reflect honour upon them and upon this their native town. 

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Courier (14 July 1852), 2:; [Advertisement]: “MR. FREDERICK A. PACKER”, Colonial Times (20 July 1852), 1:; “OFFICIAL SALARIES. To the Editor”, The Courier (3 June 1853), 2:; “A NEW POLKA”, Colonial Times (12 October 1855), 3:; “ROYAL SOCIETY OF VAN DIEMEN’S LAND”, The Courier (16 November 1855), 2:; “THE ORGAN AT ST. DAVID’S CATHEDRAL”, The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (28 December 1859), 2:; [News]: “We have received […]”, The Argus (21 May 1861), 5:; “ORDINATION”, The Mercury (26 July 1861), 2:; “AMUSEMENTS, FINE ARTS, &c.”, The Mercury (22 August 1861), 3:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (19 December 1861), 1:; “SECOND CONCERT OF THE ORPHEONIST SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 January 1862), 4:; “DEATH OF MR. F. A. PACKER”, The Mercury (3 July 1862), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Mercury (4 July 1862), 1:; “THE ORATORIO OF THE MESSIAH”, The Mercury (2 September 1862), 3:




PACKER, Frederick Augustus Gow (junior)
Organist, conductor, composer
Baptised Reading, England, 14 September 1839
Arrived Hobart, TAS, 10 July 1852 (per Sylph)
Died Parramatta, NSW, 1 August 1902


Obituary (Hobart): It will be heard with great regret that Frederick Augustus Packer, formerly Clerk of the House of Assembly, Tasmania, died on the 1st inst, at Sydney, where he had resided for some years past. Mr. Packer was the fourth generation of a race of musicians, on the mother’s side. His great grandfather was Mr. Neil Gow, a Scotch musician of some celebrity in his day, and his grand-father was Mr. Nathaniel Gow, the composer of the favourite Scotch song, “Caller Herrin’”—in itself sufficient to give fame. Mr. Packer’s mother was, in early life, a student at the Royal Academy of Music, where, among her masters, were the famous Moscheles, Cipriani Potter, and Sir Michael Costa. Miss Gow became the wife of Mr. Frederick Alexander Packer, R.A.M., of Reading, Berkshire, and died at the Military Barracks, Hobart, on the 23rd February, 1892, aged 77 years. Amongst her children, as well as the son who died on the 1st, were the late Mr. John Packer, Under-Treasurer; Mr. A. H. Packer, of the Customs Department, Mr. R. K. Packer, of the Queensland Telegraph Service; and Sir. H. E. Packer, now Secretary for Public Works. Mr. F. A. Packer, who has just died, was well-known as the composer of a number of admired songs, the best-known of which is “I am listening”. He will be long remembered in Hobart musical circles as an organist of much capability. He had been in bad health for a long time past, and his death was hardly unexpected.

Obituary (Sydney): We have to record the death at Parramatta on Friday last of Mr. Frederick Gow Packer, the well-known songwriter and composer. The deceased gentleman, who was born at Reading, Berkshire, came of musical stock. He came to Australia in his early manhood, and subsequently held for about 16 years the office of clerk of the House of Assembly, Hobart. About five years ago he retired on a pension and settled in Sydney, where, for about six months—during Mons. Wiegland’s visit to Europe—he held the latter gentleman’s position as organist at St. Patrick’s. Shortly after paralysis set in, and now, after a weary struggle of four yours, the end is come. As a composer Mr. Packer excelled in the gift of melody. His ballad “Listening” and his “Ave Maria” aro probably known throughout the English-speaking world. he also set to music Longfellow’s “Wreck of the Hesperus”, several fine cantatas for public functions, and a comic opera, “Sweet Simplicity”, performed at the Hobart and Launceston theatres. He was organist at St. David’s Church, Hobart, for many years. No musical movement in that city seemed complete without him, and he worked hard in assisting to raise the funds necessary to purchase the Hobart Town Hall and St. David’s Church organs. He was twice married, leaving a grown-up family by his first wife, and two little boys by the young widow who survives him.

References: “DEATH OF MR. F. A. PACKER”, The Mercury (2 August 1902), 5:; “DEATH OF MR. F. G. PACKER”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 August 1902), 5:

Resources: R. L. Wettenhall, Packer, Frederick Augustus Gow (1839-1902), Australian Dictionary of Biography 5 (1974)



PACKER, (Edward Henry) Wallace
Born 28 September 1865
Arrived South Australia, 1888
Died Kensington Park, SA, 13 February 1944, aged 77 [sic]

1935: Mr. Wallace Packer, of Childers street, North Adelaide, today celebrated the seventieth anniversary of his birth. He has had a distinguished musical career, and has held executive positions in several local musical organisations. Mr. Packer began his musical education at the choristers’ school at Eton College. He came to South Australia in 1888, and was choirmaster and organist at Christ Church, North Adelaide, for 43 years.

References: “CHATS WITH MUSICIANS. No. 6.- E. H. WALLACE PACKER”, Daily Herald (21 December 1912), 1s:; “Mr. Wallace Packer, 70”, The Mail (28 September 1935), 17:; “Death of Mr. Wallace Packer”, The Advertiser (14 February 1944), 5:



PADULA, Michel Angelo (Michael)
Harpist, jeweller
Born 1848/9
Arrived Adelaide, c. 1871
Died Cobar, NSW, 10 March 1945, aged 96

References: “General-Post-Amt.”, Süd Australische Zeitung (4 July 1871), 5:; “MONTHLY SHIPPING SUMMARY FOR ENGLAND”, The South Australian Advertiser (19 April 1877), 16:; “LOCAL AND GENERAL”, Western Star and Roma Advertiser (30 November 1878), 2:; “CONCERT”, The Darling Downs Gazette (12 February 1879), 3:; “Nymagee. Concerts”, Australian Town and Country Journal (11 June 1892), 16:; “St. Patrick’s Day. The Concert”, The Cobar Herald (18 March 1910), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 June 1936), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 March 1945), 10:



Vocalist, pianist, composer
Active Adelaide, 1858

Summary: At her own “grand concert“ in February 1858, Mrs Paine introduced a Polka (“New Original, composed by Mrs. Paine”).

References: “EAST TORRENS INSTITUTE”, South Australian Register (29 October 1857), 3:; “THE CHORAL SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, South Australian Register (22 December 1857), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (15 February 1858), 1:; “MRS. PAINE’S CONCERT”, South Australian Register (19 February 1858), 3:; “SOUTH AUSTRALIA”, The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (2 March 1858), 2:



PALIN, L. F. (Herr, Mons., Mr.)
Flute and piccolo player, pianist, teacher
Active Melbourne, by 1855; Ballarat, by 1857

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (26 February 1855), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (14 February 1857), 8:; [Advertisement], The Star (21 May 1857), 1:; [Advertisement], The Star (29 September 1858), 3:; “MONTEZUMA PROMENADE CONCERTS”, The Star (6 October 1858), 2:; “WIFE-BEATING”, The Star (4 February 1858), 2:; “COUNTY COURT”, The Star (5 April 1859), 2:



PALING, William Henry
Violinist, pianist, music retailer, music publishser, composer
Born Woerden, Netherlands, 1 September 1825
Arrived Melbourne, by early 1855; Sydney, September 1855
Died Stanmore, 27 August 1895

PALING, Richard John
Music retailer, music publisher
Active Melbourne, by June 1856
Died Bondi, NSW, 6 March 1914, aged 84

Summary: Seven pianos imported by Paling were landed in Melbourne in February 1855, and in March the Argus reported that Paling himself, “a musical professor recently arrived, will give a concert at the Grand Junction Hotel, St. Kilda […] assisted by Mrs. Testar and others of our musical celebrities […] We understand, Mr. Paling is unsurpassed in this colony in his execution on the piano and violin […]”. He was in Ballarat with Emile Coulon and Maria Carandini in May, according to the Star, “by far the greatest musical treat ever experienced by a Ballaarat audience […] at the Golden Fleece, on the town-ship”, and in July was accompanying Miska Hauser and Octavia Hamilton. At his first concert in Sydney in September (with William Stanley as accompanist) he introduced his own The  Last Rose of Summer, for the Violin […] “Thema, with modulations and sounds harmoniques; variation for two violins, without piano accompaniment; finale brillante, con Arpeggio ot Pizzicato” and also announced: “W. H. Paling will also introduce several Irish and Scotch Airs, purposoly arranged by him for this Concert.” For the opening of the Sydney Railway, on 26 September, and played for the first time at the Railway Ball, he produced the Sydney Railway Waltz , published by Woolcott and Clarke in October. The same publishers advertised in December his song Thoughts of Home (“words by Henry Halloran, Esq., the music composed and dedicated to the Baron Heiness, By W.H. PALING”). In January 1856, William was also reportedly involved in the preparation for publication, following Bochsa’s funeral, of a harmonised setting of the harpist-composer’s final sketch, Requiem aeternam (Rest, great Musician, rest) (“a mournful refrain […]  adapted by Mr. Frank Howson, and harmonised in four parts by Mr. [W. H.] Paling”); if it ever appeared, however, no copy has been identified. Richard was in business importing Erard pianos into Melbourne, and as a tuner, by mid-1856. An early instance of a W. H. Paling publication was The AUSTRALIAN MELODIES (“by Miss Brickwood, Newtown”), advertised in December 1864 (no copy identified), and of a joint Sydney-Melbourne publication by both brothers, Charles Elsässer’s Joy (Galop Brilliant) in November 1866. 

Obituary: […] Mr. W. H. Paling, the head of the well-know firm of Messrs. W. H. Paling and Co., Limited, musical instrument and music importers, died somewhat suddently at his residence at Stanmore, on Tuesday night. The cause of doath was heart disease, from which Mr. Paling had suffered for some years. Mr. Paling was 70 years of age. His wife died about a year since and five children are left to mourn their loss. Mr. W. H. Paling was born near Rotterdam, and was the son of the piauoforte maker and musician of that name. He early embraced music as a profession, and studied the violin under the famous Tours, of whom he was a favourite pupil. He then studied and taught in the Conservatory of Music at Rotterdam for three years, when he left for Australia where he arrived some time between 1853 and 1854. He gave concerts, and then entered into the music businoss, and as a teacher enjoyed considerable success. His business increasing year by year, he, in 1883, formed it into a limited company. Mr Paling was a Justice of the Peace for some years, and prior to the appointment of stipendiary magistrates did duty on the Bench in Sydney. He also acted as alderman and Mayor of the borough of Petersham. He was well known to be an earnest and diligent advocate of all sanitary improvements. Mr. Paling was a speculator both in land and mining, and experienced his share of the failures and successes consequent thereon. Mr Paling’s chief characteristics were his indominatble enorgy, great keenness of perception and decision of character, combined with unswerving honesty and integrity […] Mr. Paling’s generosity and liberality to all public charitable undertakings were well known, and his loss will be widely mournod by all classes of the community. […]

References: “IMPORTS”, The Argus (23 February 1855), 4:; “GRAND CONCERT”, The Argus (30 March 1855), 5:; “BALLARAT”, The Argus (16 May 1855), 6:; [Advertisement], Empire (17 January 1856), 1:; [News], The Argus (19 July 1855), 7:; “MISKA HAUSER”, The Argus (31 August 1855), 5:; “MISKA HAUSTER”, The Argus (31 August 1855), 6:; “GRAND CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (22 September 1855), 4:; [Advertisement], Empire (27 September 1855), 1:; “GRAND EVENING CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 September 1855), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 September 1855), 3:; “SYDNEY”, The Argus (4 October 1855), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 October 1855), 8:; “SYDNEY RAILWAY BALL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 October 1855), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 October 1855), 10:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 December 1855), 8:; “DEATH AND OBSEQUIES OF THE LATE M. BOCHSA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 January 1856), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (9 January 1856), 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (20 June 1856), 3: h; NOTES OF THE WEEK”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 December 1862), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 December 1864), 1:;   [Advertisement], The Argus (20 November 1866), 2s:; “W. H. Paling”, in Australian men of mark, vol. 1 (Sydney: Charles Maxwell, 1889), 409-13:; “DEATH OF MR. W. H. PALING”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 August 1895), 4:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 August 1895), 1:;“DEATH OF MR. W. H. PALING”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 August 1895), 4:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 March 1914), 22:

Web: Andrew D. McCredie, Paling, William Henry (1825–1895), Australian Dictionary of Biography 5 (1974)



PALMER, (Emily) Gertrude
Pianist, teacher
Born Newtown, NSW, 1 February 1866
Died Darlinghurst, NSW, 8 January 1925

Obituary: Miss Gertrude Palmer, L.R.A.M., died yesterday morning at a private hospital in Darlinghurst. This lady, though of late years somewhat retired from active concert-room life, made frequent appearances here, both as solo pianist and as accompanist, and in both capacities displayed interpretativeo sympathy in alliance with technical achievement. Miss Palmer belonged to a distinguished musical family, as her father, Mr. William H. Palmer, long years ago was one of the early organists of St. Philip's Church, York-street. Her mother, Miss Aldis, was a brilliant Sydney pianist, who played at the festival opening of the University Great Hall, and she was not only a cousin of Professor Karl Straube. who prepared the design for the colossal organ at the Breslau City Hall, but also of the late Dr. Charles Steggall, formerly one of the directors of the Royal Acadomy of Music (London). Some fifteen years or so ago Miss Palmer attended the Royal Academy for the full three years' as a student, and secured her diploma, and in 1914 shea visited London again, and, being cordially introduced by M. Charlier (Governor of the French Pacific possession of Tahiti) to Camille Saint-Saens, that great composer-pianist arranged dates for two recitals which the Australian was to give in the concert hall of the Paris Conservatoire. The outbreak of war, however, cancelled the engagement. Since her resumption of her duties as a teacher in this city Miss Palmer gradually diminished her public appearances, which latterly ceased altogether, owing to an attack of neurosis. Always ready to assist freely in the cause of charity, Miss Palmer throughout her career was highly esteemed in musical circles and in social life.

References: “BIRTHS“, The Sydney Morning Herald (3 February 1866), 1:; 'BIRTHS“, Illustrated Sydney News (16 February 1866), 14:; “CONCERT AT WOOLLOOMOOLOO”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 September 1876), 5:; “Mrs. Palmer’s concert”, The Sydney Morning Herald (23 October 1884), 10:;“THE METROPOLITAN LIEDERTAFEL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 August1884), 8: ; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 February 1885), 2: “MISS GERTRUDE PALMER’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (24 November 1897), 10: ; MISS GERTRUDE PALMER’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 December 1900), 3:; “MISS GERTRUDE PALMER”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 January 1925), 10:; “MISS GERTRUDE PALMER”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 January 1925), 16: 

Associations: Daughter of Hannah Aldis and W. H. Palmer; grand-daughter of W. H. Aldis



PALMER, Rodber
Lecturer on music
Active Sydney, 1861
Died Albury, NSW, 1887

(1861): A LECTURE WAS delivered last evening, in the School of Arts, St. Leonard’s, by Mr. Rodber Palmer […] Mr. Conrad Appel’s band of German musicians were present, and illustrated the lecture by the performance of a variety of pieces. Some Chinese musicians, whose attendance Mr. Palmer had made great exertions to secure, and who had promised to attend did not come, much to the regret of the lecturer and the audience. There were fully 230 persons present.

References: “Marriages”, The Maitland Mercury (17 December 1851), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 September 1861), 1:; “LECTURE ON MUSIC”, Empire (24 September 1861), 5:; [Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press (13 July 1872), 3:



PALMER, William Henry
Flute player (Royal Lyceum), amateur vocalist, organist
Active Brisbane & Sydney, 1860s

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 August 1861), 1: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (12 December 1862), 1:; “MARRIAGES”, Empire (24 November 1863), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 April 1864), 1: h

Associations: Married Hannah Aldis (1863); son-in-law of WW. H. Aldis; father of Gertrude Palmer



PALMER, William J
Soprano vocalist
Active Sydney, 1851-54

Summary: Isaac Nathan’s ornamented versions Sarti’s Lungi dal caro bene and Handel’s Angels ever bright and fair were advertised as “arranged expressly for Mr. Palmer” and “his extraordinary voice”. In the latter case, however, it may well have been identical with the item Nathan advertised for performance in 1842 as “With the original ornaments, as expressly written by Mr. Nathan for Madame Malibran”. “Master Palmer”, the “young Soprano singer”, anyway performed both several times for Nathan at St. Mary’s Choral Society concerts during 1852 and 1853. At Coleman Jacobs's concert in October 1853, The Illustated Sydney News observed wryly: “Master Palmer has a nice veluti in speculum sort of voice, and which, if not injured by injudicious treatment or culture, will be of some value in Sydney.“ He then made his theatrical debut at the Royal Victoria for John Gibbs’s benefit in January 1854 singing an unattributed song The Maids of Happy Sydney. He appeared again at the theatre in February, and gave his own first (and possibly only) concert, assisted by Flora Harris and Charles Packer. His own bound album of printed songs, including works by Nathan and Stephen Marsh, is at SL-NSW.

1851: But we must […] announce to the public of Australia, the existence of a perfect Musico on our shores. So unusual an occurrence calls for a word of notice; and although we are not inclined to go into the history of that class of singers who are technically designated by the title of Musico, we may briefly state that a young man made his appearance at the concert on Monday evening, who, if we mistake not, will prove a resuscitation of the world-wide célébrité, Veluti. Accidental circumstances, the details of which are “caviare to the general”, but which can be easily ascertained by the curious in musical arcana, have brought before the public this candidate for vocal distinction; and although Mr. Palmer is but a tyro in the art, the strength and compass of his soprano voice are a certain guarantee that, with assiduous cultivation, he will become a very great acquisition to the musical world. The lower tones are exceedingly full, and the high notes of a richness and clearness which only soprano singers can boast. But there is in the medium considerable weakness, which, however, may fairly be ascribed to want of proper training. We understand Mr. Palmer intends to cultivate the gift he possesses, with the ultimate view of benefitting himself and of contributing to the support of a widowed mother. We shall be glad to have another occasion of commenting upon Mr. Palmer’s vocal powers; and in the meanwhile we are sure that, for the scientific cultivavation of his talent, and for the development of the voice, he cannot be in better hands than Mr. Nathan’s.

References: “ST. MARY’S CHORAL SOCIETY”, Empire (26 November 1851), 2:; “MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 March 1852), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 April 1853), 3:; [Advertisement]: “St. Mary’s Choral Society”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 May 1853), 1s:;  [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 August 1853), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 October 1853), 2:; “MR. COLEMAN JACOBS’S CONCERT”, Illustrated Sydney News (29 October 1853), 6:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 December 1853), 1s:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 December 1853), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning  Herald (23 January 1854), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 February 1854), 1:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 February 1854), 4:; “MR. W. J. PALMER’S CONCERT”, Illustrated Sydney News (25 February 1854), 3:

Musical sources: (1) Palmer’s bound collection of printed sheet music (including inscriptions to Palmer from Edwin Ransford in London (c. late 1840s), Stephen Marsh in either London (1847-49) or Sydney, and Isaac Nathan in Sydney:;
(2) Isaac Nathan’s arrangement from Sarti’s Giulio Sabrino of Lungi dal caro bene ( “Sung by MR. PALMER, As newly harmonised, corrected and revised, with appropriate symphonies and accompaniments; and with VARIATIONS composed expressly for his extraordinary soprano voice by I. NATHAN”); copy at NLA; Trove Bookmark:, but see [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (24 May 1842), 3:;
Angels ever bright and fair (“from Handel’s Theodora; sung by Mr. Palmer, at St. Mary's Choral Society; as arranged with variations &​c., expressly for his extraordinary soprano voice ​by I. Nathan”), Copy at NLA; Trove Bookmark:



Violinist, band-leader, composer, arranger
Arrived Melbourne/Ballarat, ? 1853/55
Departed Melbourne, 18 February 1861 (per Peru, for London)

Summary: According to a report from the Mauritius papers early in 1853: “On the 23rd February the Bright Planet, which had sailed on the previous Sunday for Australia, returned to Port Louis, in consequence of having sprung a leak which threatened the safety of the ship. Among the numerous passengers were four theatrical per formers, Mme Beaugrand and MM. Delmary, Alexandra, and Paltzer, whom our Port Louis contemporary describes as ‘artistes de la dernière troupe dramatique.’” A M. Paltzer Sivorini was to be among the company at Melbourne’s Queen’s Theatre in October 1853, and M. Paltzer directed the music for Queen’s Birthday celebrations in Ballarat in 1855. In August 1856, “Palzer’s Celebrated Band” was advertised as being “Composed of the twelve first Musicians in the Colony”. At the Charlie Napier Theatre in February 1857, for the “operatic burlesque” Othello Travestie (“Operatic burlesque”) there was “a NEW OVERTURE Introducing the Airs from the Burleqsue Composed by Mons. Paltzer”, and Castle Spectre, or The Haunted Oratory (“Dramatic Romance”) was “Produced with new music, arranged by Mons. Paltzer”.  At Ballarat’s Royal Victoria Theatre in June 1857, The Wood Demon, Or The Hour Of One, was produced with “The whole of the choruses and the original music arranged and composed by Monsieur Paltzer, expressly for this occasion.” About to go on tour with the Bianchis, Paltzer put his house up for sale prior to leaving Ballarat in May 1860, arriving in Sydney in the same month where “Mons. A. Paltzer” (the initial perhaps misheard) was to be conductor for the opera season, opening with Il Trovatore, at the Prince of Wales Theatre. In June 1860, anyway, the Empire noted the recent publication in Melbourne of the opera conductor, J. Paltzer’s Lola Montez Schottische, “a pleasing dance in honour of the once renowned countess-danseuse, of whom the title-page presents a portrait”. Later that year Paltzer toured with the Bianchi/Gregg/Winterbottom company to Tasmania. Back in Ballarat with the Bianchis, he received his farewell benefit on 8 February 1861 (“The Theatre Royal was well attended last night, when the Opera La Traviata […] [was] produced for the benefit of M. Paltzer, who has long been known as an accomplished violinist in Ballarat.”), before sailing from Melbourne for England.

References: “MAURITIUS”, South Australian Register (22 April 1853), 3:; “THE QUEEN’S THEATRE”, The Argus (15 October 1853), 5:; “BALLARAT”, The Argus (1 June 1855), 6:; “MARRIAGES”, The Argus (1 October 1855), 4:; “LOLA MONTES”, South Australian Register (18 March 1856), 2:; [Advertisement], The Star (24 July 1856), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (12 August 1856), 1:; “WESLEYAN BAZAAR”, The Star (7 January 1857), 2:; [Advertisement], The Star (23 February 1857), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (28 February 1857), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (8 June 1857), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (3 September 1857), 3:; “BALLARAT”, The Musical Times (1 November 1858), 334:; [Advertisement], The Star (17 April 1860), 3:; “EASTERN POLICE COURT”, The Star (15 May 1860), 2:; “SHIPPING”, Empire (21 May 1860), 4:; [Advertisement], Bell’s Life in Sydney (26 May 1860), 3:; “COLONIAL SUMMARY. NEW SOUTH WALES”, The Moreton Bay Courier (31 May 1860), 4:; “A Schottische is by no means calculated …”, Empire (16 June 1860), 4:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (13 October 1860), 5:; “HOBART TOWN”, The Musical World (2 February 1861), 79:; [Advertisement], The Star (8 February 1861), 3:; “NEWS AND NOTES”, The Star (9 February 1861), 2:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Argus (23 February 1861), 4:

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



Ballad vocalist, guitarist
Arrived Melbourne, by September 1850

References: ? “DUBLIN. THEATRE ROYAL”, Theatrical Times (22 July 1848), 240:; [Advertisement], The Argus (25 September 1850), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (17 December 1850), 2:; [Advertisement]: POST OFFICE. List of Letters […] Unclaimed”, The Argus (10 January 1851), 1:; [Advertisement], The Argus (3 June 1853), 3:



PAPPIN, Mr. (? Stephen)
Orchestral bugle player, French horn player
Active Sydney, 1835-43
PAPPIN, Mr. (junior)
French horn player

Summary: Pappin played bugle (presumably a keyed bugle) in the orchestra of the Theatre Royal Sydney for the season commencing in May 1835; notably, Thomas Stubbs, who also played keyed bugle, was at time playing flute in the band. Pappin was regularly listed in the theatre band in 1841-43 under Thomas Leggatt and S. W. Wallace. He is possibly Stephen Pappin.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (2 May 1835), 3:; “To the Editor”, The Sydney Monitor (31 March 1837), 3: [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (6 February 1841), 3: [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (17 February 1842), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 March 1843), 1:



PAPPIN, Thomas G.
Vocalist, pianist, harmonium player,orchestral trombonist, tuner and repairer of pianos
Active Adelaide, by 1859
Died Perth, 20 June 1912, aged 71

Summary: Pappin, a piano tuner and orchestral musician by trade, also sang for George Loder in concerts in 1866 and as Don Jose in James Shakespeare’s production of Maritana. He moved to Perth in 1902, continuing in business there as a piano tuner.

References: “SALISBURY”, The South Australian Advertiser (20 October 1859), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (13 May 1863), 1:; [Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (29 May 1866), 1:; “THIRTY YEARS IN STAGELAND. BY J. H. L. XI. MUSICAL ADELAIDE”, South Australian Register (22 September 1900), 10:; [Advertisement], Sunday Times (5 May 1907), 7:; “DEATHS”, The West Australian (21 June 1912), 1:; “FUNERAL REPORT”, The Daily News (25 June 1912), 1:; “Theatre Royal Orchestra”, Chronicle (22 June 1939), 66:



PARIS, Eugene (Mons.)
Double bass player, dancing master, secretary (Adelaide Choral Society; founder of Sydney Philharmonic Society)
Arrived Adelaide, 2 June 1849 (per Royal Sovereign, from Plymouth, 17 February)

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian (5 June 1849), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian (9 July 1850), 3:; [News], South Australian (29 August 1850), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian (23 September 1850), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (20 January 1851), 2:; “ADELAIDE CHORAL SOCIETY”, South Australian Register (24 January 1851), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (7 April 1851), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian (19 August 1851), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (28 October 1851), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 September 1852), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 March 1854), 2:; “PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (17 June 1854), 2:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (20 January 1855), 3:; “SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 August 1855), 5:; “SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY. To the Editor”, The Sydney Morning Herald (5 April 1856), 7:



PARK, Alexander Archibald
Music lithographer
Active Sydney, by 1856
Died Sydney, 13 April 1863, aged 62

Summary: Park, then of 89 Yurong-street, did the music and cover lithography for at least six extant music prints published in Sydney by Jeremiah Moore. In November 1856, Moore advertised “that he has made arrangements to reproduce in a handsome manner, and much superior to anything of the kind hitherto produced in this colony, a series of the newest and most popular pieces of music, at less than half the English price. The following pieces are already published at the annexed prices:

1. The Lancer’s Quadrilles
[2]. The Sultan Polkas
3. Then you’ll remember me (Song by Balfe)
4. King Pippin’s Polka
5. Lilly Dale (Park’s Edition No 5)
6. The Postman’s Knock  (Park’s Edition No 6)
7. Moonlight Polka
8. Old Folks at Home
9. Shells of the Ocean (Park's Edition No 9)
10. Young England Quadrille (Park’s Edition No 10)
11. Cushla Machree
12. Oh Steer my Bark to Erin’s Isle
13. I’m leaving thee Annie (Park’s Edition No 13)
14. By the Sad Sea Waves
15. The Egyptian Polka

All of these were probably Park’s work, as was one other Moore print, Annie Laurie (“a favourite ballad, as sung by Mrs. St. John Adcock), “No 25”, though whether in the same series is unclear. It sold for 1 shilling, and therefore may have been issued to undercut Woolcott and Clarke’s 2/6 edition of Annie Laurie (“as sung by Mrs. St John Adcock”) which they had published in September 1855. ([Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 September 1855), 5: The last trace of Park’s work is an advertisement he placed on 24 May 1862: “THIS DAY is published, a lithograph PORTRAIT of a N.S.W. Volunteer Rifleman. Price 1s. By A. PARK, 39, Park-street, Sydney.”

References: [Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (29 November 1856), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 May 1862), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 April 1863), 1:

Web: Archibald Park, DAAO



PARK, George Gethin
Flautist, bandmaster, conductor, composer
Born ? 1867/68
Active Sydney, by 1895
Died Coogee, NSW, 31 May 1932, in his 65th year

Obituary: Mr. George Gethin Park, who died recently, in his 65th year, was well known in the musical life of Sydney. As far back as the time of the late Signor Hazon he was flautist with the Sydney Amateur Orchestral Society, the Philharmonic Society, and other musical societies. He organised and was secretary of the New South Wales State Military Band. Mr. Park gave much time in later years to conducting and training church choirs […]

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (31 August 1891), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 July 1895), 2:; “RANDWICK MUSICAL SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 May 1910), 14:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (6 June 1932), 6:; “OBITUARY. GEORGE G. PARK”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 June 1932), 15:

Musical works: Original overture, The Surfers (1910); Budgeree Corroboree (A Jolly Australian Song) (1922); A Song of Sydney (1927); Who are the brave? 




Professor of Music
Active Gippsland, 1865

References: [Advertisement], Gippsland Times (28 January 1865), 1:



PARSONS, Harry (Henry)
Master of the band (NSW Corps), Leader of Church Music (St. Philip’s, Sydney)
Born Stoke Damerel, Plymouth, 29 August 1868
Arrived Sydney, 29 January 1788 (marine, per Sirius)
Died Sydney, 1 May 1819

Summary: A marine on the First Fleet, Parsons was reassigned to the NSW Corps in 1792, at which time he was described as: “height 5’7”, fair complexion, hazel eyes, light-brown hair, round visage”. In 1809 he was a member of Band of the NSW Corps (UK, PRO, WO12/9904, fols. 299r, 319r, 339r, 359r; WO12/9905, fol. 3r) and probably also in 1808, therefore playing in the procession on the day of governor Bligh’s arrest. Parsons stayed on in NSW as a sergeant in the Veteran’s Company when it was withdrawn in 1810. Parsons took parts in theatrical productions of The Recruiting Officer, The Virgin Unmasked and Henry IV in Sydney in March and April 1800. He was well known for his charitable works. He appears in the government establishment accounts in August 1818: “[…] Serjeant Parsons, for Musician’s Performance of Sacred Music in St. Phillip’s Church, at Sydney. - 5 5 0”. His daughter was the singer Mary Curtis, and his grandchildren Teresa Meillon and Henry (Anselm) Curtis OSB were also musicians.

Obituary: “The death of Serjeant Harry Parsons who arrived here in the Marines a mere youth thirty years ago, took place three weeks since at Sydney. He went from the Marines into the Colonial Corps, afterwards the 102d Regiment of the Line; was Master of the Band; and remained in each succeeding Regiment on account of his very great utility to the Colony as Instructor of Sacred Music to the little female Orphans, and their constant leader at divine worship. He was a much respected man; and at his funeral received the parting honours of his military profession, accompanied by the deepest regret from all who knew him.”

References: “AUXILIARY BIBLE  SOCIETY OF NEW SOUTH WALES”, The Sydney Gazette (28 June 1817), 1:; “GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS […]”, The Sydney Gazette (16 August 1817), 2:; “GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS […] SALARIES”, The Sydney Gazette (6 June 1818), 2:; “GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS”, The Sydney Gazette (15 August 1818), 1:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (8 May 1819), 3:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (22 May 1819), 2:


Bibliography: Claire C. Evans, “Harry Parsons—Early Sydney Musician”, Descent 4 (1967), 109-11; Mollie Gillen, The founders of Australia: a biographical dictionary of the First Fleet (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), 277;; Robert Jordan, Convict Theatre, 244-245, 322



PASCOE, William
Active Port Augusta, SA, 1865

1865: Henry Julien Colman, otherwise Hall, was indicted for indecently assaulting Wm. Pascoe, a young man lately in his employ as a musician, at Port Augusta. Mr. Downer defended the prisoner, and, from the fact which came out in evidence, that Pascoe was locked up one night at the instance of the prisoner for drunkenness, put the case as one of malice on the part of the prosecutor out of revenge for being locked up.

References: “INDECENT ASSAULT”, South Australian Weekly Chronicle (20 May 1865), 7:



PATEK, Rudolph
Cellist, bandmaster, composer (member of Vienna Conservatory)
Arrived Melbourne, 1880
Active Sydney, until end 1886 (in USA by 1889)

References: “THE AUSTRIAN STRAUSS BAND”, The Argus (11 October 1880), 6:; “THE AUSTRIAN STRAUSS BAND”, The Argus (18 October 1880), 6:; “MARRIAGE”, The Brisbane Courier (29 December 1881), 2:; “Herr Patek’s Band”, Evening News (25 February 1886), 5:; “THE SYDNEY BAND”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 March 1886), 11:; “Notes”, Daily Alta California (31 March 1889), 2:; “ROBBED OF HIS WIFE AND BADLY BEATEN”, San Francisco Fall (14 November 1898), 10:

Musical works: Railway Galop (composer by R. Patek; “Composed by Herr Patek of the Austrian Band”) ([Sydney?:  ?, 188-?])



Teacher of music and singing
Died Yokohama, Japan, 7 January 1912, aged 80

PATTON, Reginald Holdroyd
Pianist, composer
Active Melbourne, 1877
Died Melbourne, 20 May 1886, in his 23rd year

References: “THE LILY AND THE ROSE WALTZES”, The Mercury (25 August 1877), 2:; “REVIEW”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 September 1880), 7:; [News], The Mercury (23 November 1880), 2:; “THE VICTORIAN SCHOLARSHIP AT THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF MUSIC. TO THE EDITOR”, The Argus (16 May 1884), 7:; “Deaths”, The Argus (21 May 1886), 1:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 February 1912), 18:; “Death of Mrs. Emily S. Patton”, South Bourke and Mornington Journal (29 February 1912), 2:

Works: Emily S. Patton, Harmony simplified for popular use (“an original method of applying the first principles of harmony to the object of accompanying the voice on the pianoforte”) (London: Novello, Ewer; Melbourne: Allan &​ Co. (Wilkie’s), 1880); The Lily and the Rose Waltzes (“composed by Reginald Holroyd Patton (who is only 13 years of age) and dedicated to the wondrous children, Lily and Rose Dampier”) (Melbourne: W. F. Dixon &​ Co., [1877])

Resources: Robin S. Stevens, Emily Patton: an Australian pioneer of tonic sol-fa in Japan, Research Studies in Music Education 1414 (June 2000), 40-49



PAUL, George
Amateur vocalist, merchant
Active, 1826 (Sydney Amateur Concerts)
Died Pyrmont, NSW, 21 December 1847, aged 49

(October 1826): “[…] a comic song by Mr. G. Paul, closed the first act.”

References: “MR. SIPPE’S BENEFIT CONCERT”, The Monitor (13 October 1826), 5:; “DIED”, The Sydney Morning Herald (22 December 1847), 3:



PAUL, Mrs. John, senior (Tempest Margaret HUGHES)
Soprano vocalist, composer
Born St. Marylebone, London, 20 August 1780
Active Sydney, by 1826
Departed Australia, 1837 (for England)
Died Southampton, England, 25 April 1857, aged 76

Summary: John and Tempest Paul returned to England at least twice between their first arrival in Australia c.1821 and final departure in 1837. In 1826, just as the first Sydney Amateur Concert series was underway, the couple held a private ball and concert in the ballroom of their new Sydney residence. The Australian reported that: “The enlivening contre-danse was for some time superseded by the treat which Mrs. Paul afforded her numerous fair female and male visitants, in the performance of several different pieces and accompaniments on the piano- forte. Among other delightful airs, “Home, sweet home” was given, with those touching tones of sweet-ness and expression which thrill to the heart, which irresistibly, may be said to “take the prisoned soul and wrap it in Elysium”--- tones peculiar to a Madame Vestris, Catalani, or our English vocalist, Miss Stephens. “The soldier tired”, with its difficult and rapid passages, its alternate swells and cadinces was sung and played over with the same ease and success as the other pieces […] Five of the Buffs’ band attended in the ball-room in a neatly fitted-up orchestra, and contre-dancing, which was only interrupted for a short time by a visit to the supper room, was kept up with spirit by fifteen to twenty couples, to an early hour of Saturday morning, when the company by degrees took leave of their courteous host and hostess.” It was plausibly this performance that inspired the Lines occasionaed by hearing “Home Sweet Home” Sung by a Lady, also published in the Australian in June, as later in August On Hearing a Lady Sing The Soldier Tired of War’s Alarms, in the Monitor. Tempest Paul also appeared as a soprano soloist in the public Amateur Concerts for John Edwards’s benefit on 23 August, again singing Arne's bravura and Bishop’s air, both first documented public performances in Sydney, accompanying herself at the piano at least in Home, Sweet Home. According to the Monitor: “But the most pathetic and delightful song produced in the course of the Evening was “Home, sweet Home”. Every line of this charming composition found its way to the heart in a manner peculiarly interesting. The voice of the Songstress may be safely pronounced perfect melody.”  She repeated The Soldier Tir'd in December at the concert in aid of the Benevolent Institution, also singing in several other songs, duets, and glees, including Horn's Cherry Ripe. (See also the other main female vocalist of the series, Mrs. JONES). On the Pauls’ imminent departure for England late in 1827, the Monitor wrote: “Mrs. Paul will be missed by her musical friends. We have always regretted that this lady's musical science, vocal as well as instrumental, has been confined to so private a circle. Those who remember her performance at the Amateur Concerts, are still desirous to re-establish those innocent sources of public recreation.” Back in Sydney, in 1832 John Paul was importing music and instruments for sale, including one of the first documented seraphines. In 1834, Mrs. Paul appeared in concert again with her daughter Mrs. (Isabella) Bird: “Mrs. Paul was the main attraction of the night; and we had much pleasure in observing that she has lost little of her powers since we heard her sing, several years ago, at the most truly social concerts ever got up in Sydney-we mean the amateur concerts. Her song of The Soldier Tired was pitched in rather too high a key, but otherwise it was given with very considerable power and effect.” Having by then ceded the stage to more seasoned professional singers, notably Maria Taylor and Mrs. Chester, Mrs. Paul’s final musical notice is in connection with one of Vincent Wallace’s solo performances in Sydney in February 1836: “He ended that performance with “Currency Lasses” (as composed by our talented towns lady, Mrs. John Paul senior,) adding to it some extemporaneous variations; many ladies and gentlemen were to be seen with scraps of music in their hands ready to present them, bul being so well satisfied, no doubt did not wish to trouble him.” A tune called Currency Lasses is mentioned in Sydney press reports from 1825 onward, notably among the titles in Thomas Kavanagh’s Australian collection of January 1826, though only here is it attributed to her.

References: [News], The Sydney Gazette (24 June 1826), 2:; “LINES. OCCASIONED BY HEARING ‘HOME, SWEET HOME’ SUNG BY A LADY”, The Australian (26 July 1826), 3:; “Mrs. Paul’s private concert”, The Australian (28 June 1826), 3:; “MR. EDWARDS’S BENEFIT”, The Monitor (25 August 1826), 5:; “ON HEARING A LADY SING THE SOLDIER TIRED OF WAR’S ALARMS”, The Monitor (25 August 1826), 5:; “THE CONCERT”, The Australian (26 August 1826), 3:; “Sydney Amateur Concert”, The Sydney Gazette (26 August 1826), 3:; [News], The Monitor (24 November 1826), 4:; “The Concert”, The Sydney Gazette (6 December 1826), 3:; “THE CONCERT”, The Monitor (8 December 1826), 3:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (12 October 1827), 2:; “AUCTIONEERING”, The Monitor (24 December 1827), 8:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (7 July 1831), 2:; “Shipping Intelligence”, The Sydney Herald (22 August 1831), 4:; [Advertisement], The Australian (20 April 1832), 1:; “TO THE EDITOR”, The Sydney Monitor (18 August 1832), 3:; “Concerts”, The Sydney Gazette (2 August 1834), 2:; [News], The Sydney Herald (14 August 1834), 3:; “CONCERT”, The Sydney Gazette (21 August 1834), 2:; “LAST FRIDAY EVENING’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Gazette (1 March 1836), 3:; “DEPARTURES”, The Colonst (6 April 1837), 7:; [Unreferenced death notice, UK, April 1857, from family history webpage]: “On the 25th inst., at Kelstone, Millbrook, Southamton, Mrs Tempest Margaret Paul, relict of the late John Paul, Esq., formerly of Sydney, New South Wales, aged 76.”



Vocalist, Scottish balladist
Toured NSW, 1854

(Bell’s Life): A gentleman named Paxton, recently arrived from the “Auld Countree”, has been lecturing with considerable success upon Scottish music, at the School of Arts. His oratory is decidedly inferior to his singing, which, despite the disadvantages of the theatre selected, was exceedingly sweet and effective. His songs, the “Kail brose o’auld Scotland”, and “Wha wadna fecht for Charlie?” were given with forceful truth, as were also two Irish melodics “Norah, the Pride of Kildare”, and “Widow Machree”. In the latter, and “Caller Herrings”, Mr. Paxton evinced great comic powers. Taken as a whole, the entertainment is entitled to public patronage. We would beg to remind Mr. Paxton, that he gives himself unnecessary trouble in explaining some Scottish words. There are few Southerns who do not know that a’ means all, sma’, small, and ha’, hall.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 January 1854), 8:; “SCOTTISH ENTERTAINMENT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 January 1854), 4:; “SONGS OF SCOTLAND”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (28 January 1854), 2:; [Advertisement], Illustrated Sydney News (28 January 1854), 3:; [Advertisement], Empire (18 March 1854), 8:; “SCOTTISH ENTERTAINMENTS OF MR. PAXTON”, The Maitland Mercury (12 April 1854), 2:; [Advertisement], Empire (30 August 1854), 8:



Organist, pianist, teacher of music, composer
Arrived Hobart by early 1825; Sydney, March 1825
Died Cowpasture, 13 July 1841

Summary: The Van Diemen’s Land government accounts for 1825 include an unspecified payment to “J. Pearson, Conductor of Church Music”. James Pearson and his wife sailed from Hobart for Sydney on the Deveron early in March 1825, and his first advertisement duly appeared in the Sydney press on 17 March: “MR. JAMES PEARSON, Teacher of the Piano Forte, and Professor of Thorough Bass. Mr. Pearson‘s Plan of Instruction is to unite Science with Practice, that his Pupils may thoroughly understand the Elements of Music. They are taught the Rules of Modulation; the practical Use of the major and minor Keys, as connected with Modulation and the playing of Extempore Preludes; with the Method of adding to a Melody the proper Accompaniments, from a figured or thorough Bass. Exercises in Outline are given to his Pupils, with appropriate Rules and Examples, to enable them to write on each Part of the Science, from its most simple to its highest Branches, and so to familiarize the whole, that they may attain a complete Knowledge of the theoretical as well as practical Part of Music […].” He relocated from lodgings to 22 Castlereagh-street in May, when he advertised again that: “Mr. P. has at present Leisure to attend to 2 Pupils on Tuesday and Friday Afternoons, after 3 o'clock, at their own Residences, Pianofortes, tuned and repaired, in the most complete Manner. It is Mr. P.’s intention shortly, to arrange some of Handel’s Chorusses, Fugues, and Airs for the Pianoforte, in a familiar Style. Should this Attempt to forward the Progress of Musical Science in the Colony meet with Encouragement, it will be followed by others of a more extended Nature.” Pearson notably came to the assistance of an Indigenous woman who was being assaulted by a group of whites in January 1827. By early March, he had taken over from John Edwards as director of the music at St. James’s Church (though this was also the subject of some dispute in letters to the press), the Monitor reporting: “The choir of St. James’s Church, will chaunt on Sunday evening next, the Magnificat, arranged by Mr. Pearson, who has accepted the office of leader.” In April Pearson advertised for sale “an elegant cabinet piano”, and also that he was seeking “A COPY of HANDEL’S MESSIAH',arranged by Dr. Clarke, of Canterbury. Any person willing to dispose of a copy may meeh with a purchased by applyling to Mr. Pearson, teacher of the Piano”. As reported in July 1830: “That beautiful piece of sacred music adapted to the responses in the Communion Service, and sung by the choir of St. James‘s Church, is the composition of Mr. PEARSON, the Organist”. Early in 1833, the Monitor noted: “Mr. Pearson, music master, has commenced silvering mirrors, and is the first person in this Colony who has attempted this portion of the useful arts. The great difficulty of bringing over mirrors and looking-glasses from England without injury to the silver, will, we should imagine, obtain for Mr. P. profitable employment in this branch of business. Mr. P. was the organist of St. Jarnes’s Church. Ever since he was dismissed his situation, the music of St. James’s has not been worth listening to. It is indeed painful to all Iovers of organ-music, to hear so fine an instrumnent murdered.” Pearson’s latest musical notice was in November 1834, when John Lhotsky advertised his A Song of the Menero tribe near the Australian Alps, “arranged with the kind assistance of several Musical Gentlemen for the Voice and Piano Forte […] Pe[a]rson, Josep[h]son and Sippe“. Pearson retired to the country, where during his last years he was clerk of the bench at Cowpasture near Camden. He died there suddenly in July 1841.

References: [Advertisement], Hobart Town Gazette (11 February 1825), 4:; “Ship News”, Hobart Town Gazette (11 March 1825), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (17 March 1825), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (12 May 1825), 1:; “GOVERMENT ORDER”, Hobart Town Gazette (25 February 1826), 1s:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (3 January 1827), 3:; [News], The Monitor (6 January 1827), 4:; [News], The Monitor (9 March 1827), 8:; “To the Editor” , The Australian (31 March 1827), 2:; “To the Editor” , The Australian (3 April 1827), 2:; “TO THE EDITOR” , The Monitor (6 April 1827), 5:; “To the Editor” , The Australian (7 April 1827), 2:; [Advertisement], The Monitor (13 April 1827), 1:; “ST. JAMES’S CHOIR”, The Monitor (8 June 1827), 8:; [News], The Monitor (15 June 1827), 8:; “ST. JAMES’S CHOIR”, The Monitor (24 July 1827), 3:; [News], The Australian (26 September 1827), 2:; [Editorial], The Monitor (7 May 1828), 7:; [Editorial], The Monitor (12 July 1828), 2:; [Editorial], The Monitor (11 October 1828), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Gazette (17 February 1829), 3:; “A MUSICAL BAROMETER”, The Sydney Gazette (13 June 1829), 2;; [News], The Sydney Gazette (6 July 1830), 3:; [News], The Australian (22 July 1831), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (30 November 1831), 3:; “TO THE EDITOR”, The Sydney Monitor (18 August 1832), 3:; [News], The Sydney Monitor (8 December 1832), 3:; [News], The Sydney Monitor (13 February 1833), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (20 July 1833), 4:; “TO THE EDITOR”, The Sydney Monitor (10 August 1833), 4:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (18 July 1833), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (10 April 1834), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (29 November 1834), 1s:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (8 February 1838), 3:; [News], The Sydney Monitor (4 March 1835), 2:; “NEWS FROM THE INTERIOR”, The Sydney Herald (28 July 1841), 3:

Bibliography: Graeme Rushworth, Historic Organs of New South Wales (1988)



PECK, George Henry
Violinist, composer, music-seller, music publisher, artist, craftsman, fine-arts dealer
Born (? Hull), 1810
Arrived (1) Hobart, 27 June 1833 (per Warrior); Sydney, until mid-1839
Active (2) Melbourne, by June 1853 (from ? Hobart); Sydney, by November 1858
Died Sydney, 20 September 1863, aged 52


Summary: Margaret Glover’s otherwise excellent article now in DAAO (1992/2011) contains some misleading information, including the confusion with George Washington PECK (qv). It also does not seem that Peck was back in Hobart as early as 1848. In November 1833 Peck, just 23 years old, presented a concert and played a violin Solo of his own composition, “collected and diversified from various works of Mayseder, De Beriot, Paganini, &c.” Peck later advertised that he was a “pupil of Sivori, Dr. Camidge, and John Thirwall, senior”. Peck remained based in Hobart and Sydney until 1839, after which he returned to England, and his hometown of Hull. By 1851 he had left for California. He is probably the George Peck who published several pieces of music there, including The San Francisco quadrilles, “arranged from the most favourite negro melodies for the piano forte” (1852). Having meanwhile returned to England, he and his family arrived back in Hobart in 1853. They were in Melbourne by June 1853, when he advertised: “violinist and Professor of Music, from London, pupil of Thirwall and latterly of the celebrated Sivori, formerly leader of the orchestra of the Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney, theatres and concerts Hobart Town and Launceston, and member of many musical societies, begs leave to announce to his old friends and patrons in the Colony, and the public of Victoria, his arrival in Melbourne, and his intention of establishing himself as a teacher of the Violin, Concertina, Guitar, etc. ; also to undertake the management or leading of concerts or orchestra for theatres, or other public entertainments where music is required, or to perform his popular solos on the violin.” In August 1853, he also advertised as a “Professional Violinist and Pianoforte Tuner, Peck’s Music Warehouse, 117, Swanston-street”, and later, in 1857, as “The Australian Paganini” playing “nightly, on a Violin with one string”. He relocated to Sydney in November 1858, apparently to become leader of the orchestra at the Prince of Wales Theatre. From his Sydney Music Repository in 186o-61 he published the serial Peck’s Australian Musical Bouquet. At his concert in December 1862, his son Felix made his first appearance playing the violin fantasia Introduction and variations on the Exilt's Lament composed by G. Peck.

(Sydney, September 1839): We understand […] that Mr. Peck, one of the leading orchestra musicians of the Victoria theatre, will soon be setting out for England to exhibit his model of Hobart Town there, and that he intends before his departure to get up a farewell Concert. The lovers of music know and appreciate Mr. Peck’s talents as a musician, and will no doubt testify their good wishes for his welfare […]

References: [Advertisement]: “CONCERT”, The Hobart Town Courier (25 October 1833), 3:; “At Mr. Peck’s concert […]”, The Hobart Town Courier (1 November 1833), 2:; “Mr. Peck’s concert [...]”, Colonial Times (5 November 1833), 2:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (7 January 1834), 1:; “MODEL OF HOBART TOWN”, The Sydney Monitor (14 January 1839), 1s:; “THE MUSICAL WORLD”, The Colonist (25 September 1839), 2:; [News], The Australian (21 January 1841), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 May 1853), 3:; “ROYAL SOCIETY OF VAN DIEMEN’S LAND”, The Courier (14 May 1853), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (2 June 1853), 6:; [Advertisement], The Argus (30 August 1853), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (23 December 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (14 February 1855), 8:; “GOLD FIELDS OF THE OVENS DISTRICT”, Portland Guardian (7 May 1855), 3:; “MR. PECK’S ART UNION”, The Argus (3 July 1855), 5:; [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (7 February 1856), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (27 October 1856), 3:; “THE FIRST VICTORIAN ART-UNION”, The Argus (15 May 1857), 6:; “SOUVENIR ART UNION CONCERT”, The Argus (6 November 1857), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 November 1858), 12:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 November 1858), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (31 March 1859), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 January 1860), 8: ; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 March 1860), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 April 1860), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 July 1860), 10:; “THE AUSTRALIAN MUSICAL BOUQUET”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 October 1860), 5:; [Advertisement], Empire (22 March 1862), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 December 1862), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (17 December 1862), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 August 1863), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 August 1863), 7:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 September 1863), 1:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 October 1863), 9:

Musical works:
The Australian Masonic Waltzes (“in this waltz are introduced the Entered Apprentice Song and the very popular airs Willie we have missed you [Spagnoletti] and Ever of thee”) (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1859])
Silent Tears (words: Henry Kendall; “A song of affection”; “Dedicated with permission to Lady Stephen, Lyon’s Terrace, Hyde Park”) ( Sydney: Peck’s Music Repository, [1859])
Sempre libera: Let me bask in every pleasure ([from] Verdi's popular opera La Traviata [...] transposed and arranged for the Australian Mus. Bouq. by G. Peck”). (Sydney: George Peck, 1860; in The Australian Musical Bouquet New Series 1)
Should auld acquaintance be forgot (Auld Lang Syne), Polka (“vocal Polka, newly arranged with chorus”; “newly arranged for the pianoforte with vocal accompaniment by George Peck”) (Sydney: George Peck, 1860; in The Australian Musical Bouquet New Series, 1)
The Banjo Waltzes (“founded on favourite Negro Melodies”; “Arranged by G. Peck”) (Sydney: George Peck, [1860] (in Peck’s Australian Musical Bouquet New Series 3) 

Web: Margaret Glover, “George Henry Peck”,



PECK, Felix
Violinist, Professor of Music, musicseller
Born Hull, ? 1848 or 1852

PECK, Sophia Winifred
Born 1819
Died Picton, NSW, 2 November 1882, aged 63

Summary: Master Felix Peck made his first Sydney appearance in public as a solo violinist at his father, George Peck’s concert in December 1862. On George Peck’s death in September 1863, his widow Sophia (Wilkins) took over the running of his music business as “Mrs. George Peck and Son” for several months. Later Mrs. Robert Shoobridge, she died in 1882 in Picton. The Pecks’ daughter, Rosetta (1839-1921), was from 1864 Mrs. H. T. Clarke, of Hunter’s Hill. Shortly after George’s death, Felix advertised as a violin teacher. Despite his apparent youth (probably no older than 16), by August 1864 he was advertising the family business under his own name alone, first from 103 Elizabeth Street, and by November from 178 Pitt Street. In October 1864, the St John’s Church, Darlinghurst Young Men’s Society gave a “Grand complimentary benefit … to their musical director, Mr. Felix Peck”. He reportedly built new business premises in mid-1868. In the 1881 UK census Felix Peck is listed as a “professor of music”, aged 33, at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in the 1901 census as a “music publisher” in Yorkshire, and in 1911 he was in London, now admitting only to the age of 59, a “Music traveller retired”.

References: [Advertisement], Empire (17 December 1862), 1:; “CONCERT IN THE MASONIC HALL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 December 1862), 7:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 February 1864), 9:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 August 1864), 8:; “MARRIAGE”, Empire (29 August 1864), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 October 1864), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 November 1864), 12:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 December 1864), 12:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 December 1864), 8:; “CITY AND SUBURBAN IMPROVEMENTS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 July 1868), 6:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 November 1882), 1:

Bibliography: Robyn Lake, “George Peck, purveyor of the fine arts”, The East Yorkshire historian (journal of the East Yorkshire Local History Society) 7 (2006), 33-64



PECK, George Washington
American traveller, music critic (founder of Boston Musical Review, 1845), amateur violinist
Born Rehoboth, Massachusetts, 1817
Visited Melbourne, May-July 1853
Died 6 June 1859 Melbourne 1853

1854: Melbourne boasts a Mechanics’ Institute, which occupies a conspicuous building in an excellent situation at the upper end of Collins street […] I was almost a daily visiter here, and am indebted to Mr. Paterson, the Secretary, and to Mr. Millar, the Librarian, for more than merely official courtesy […]One end of the hall was a raised platform, used as an orchestra, or place for the lecturer's rostrum. Here stood a grand piano, and here on Saturday evenings, listen ye who think of Melbourne as a paradise of rogues, meets a little club of amateur musicians, who strive to drag the spirits of Hadyn and Mozart out of elysium. When I inform them that the performance is almost as painful as that of the Euterpians, or the Music Club of Boston, our dilettanti will understand to what an intolerable degree of civilization the other end of the world has arrived. The native corrobories, described and sketched in Wilkes, where the dancers are shewn imitating a dance of skeletons, was but a rude attempt at the refined horrors of amateur music clubs. I helped them do (for) a symphony of Mozart’s, (the one in C, number four, with the beautiful andante and the bold and characteristic presto finale,) one evening, and am entitled to speak. I did not shine particularly on the occasion. The instrument was too weak. Give me a good new violin that never was touched, and a long strong bow, and I flatter myself I can hold my own with most amateurs in point of tone; though I am rather too conscientious about putting in all the notes, and there are those who excel me in time, coming out ahead in spite of all I can do. Perhaps I might not fail, however, with my coat off; or if I had had some previous training at wood sawipg. Amateurs, be it understood, play for honor, and each one as the Gow Chrom fought, “for his own hand”, the world over. There are some very good concerts in Melbourne. The advertisement of one in a paper before me, opens with the first movement of Beethoven’s second symphony, followed by airs from Masaniello and Lucia, second part Zampa, Adelaide, ballads, and God save the Queen. There are not wanting good violinists, and the wind instruments from the band of the fortieth regiment, are as respectable as those in most of our orchestras. At the theatre was a German double bass player, whom I had known in Boston [? Handorff]. Some time in June, a solo violinist arrived, whose name was like my own [George Henry PECK], and my few American friends began to fancy from his advertisement, that I was about to make my debut, a step higher in that branch of art, than I ever reached. I called on my namesake, found him to be from London, and about commencing business as a dealer in music, and instruments; he was amused at the coincidence of name, and what was most singular, had found near him still another namesake, a stranger to him also, as both were to me, so that there were almost a bushel of us. We called upon the third Richmond, and said “when shall we meet again!” My artists double furnished me with the arms of the family; according to the authorities, we go back to a knight who fought in the Holy Land, and the effigies of some of our ancestors may still be seen in churches in Derby and Lincolnshire […]” (120-23):


Works:  Melbourne, and the Chincha Islands : with sketches of Lima, and a voyage round the world (New York; Scribner, 1854); Trove Bookmark: ; also

Bibliography: American National Biography 17, 224; Frank Luther Mott, A history of American magazines: 1741-1850 (Harvard University Press, 1930), 435:; Dave Hollett, More precious than gold: the story of the Peruvian guano trade (Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, 2008), 125:



PECK, Richard
Active Sydney, 1859

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



PEDLEY, Ethel Charlotte
Music teacher, choir director, composer, author
Born London, 19 June 1859
Arrived Sydney, July 1873
Died Darlinghurst, NSW, 6 August 1898

References: “PASSENGERS FROM LONDON”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 July 1873), 4:; “DEATH OF MISS PEDLEY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 August 1898), 3:; “RETURN OF MISS PEDLEY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (16 May 1896), 7:

Resources: M. Norst, Pedley, Ethel Charlotte (1859-1898), Australian Dictionary of Biography 11 (1988); Obituaries Australia:



PEEL, Francis Robert
Violinist, guitarist, conductor, teacher, composer
Active Sydney, by 1884
Died Woolwich, NSW, 20 November 1918

PEEL, Frances M. (Miss)
Violinist, guitarist, teacher
Born 1886

Musical works:

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 October 1884), 2:; “AMATUER BANJO AND GUITAR SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 October 1893), 10:; “MR. DRAKE’S VIEWS. KEEP THE RACE PURE”, The Argus (10 December 1903), 5:; “AMATEUR MANDOLIN SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (23 October 1907), 12:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 November 1918), 6:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 February 1920), 3:



Teacher of Singing (pupil of Virgilini)
Active Melbourne, 1861

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (31 January 1861), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (1 March 1861), 8:



Town Crier, Cryer (Sydney), bell-man, convict
Arrived Sydney, 27 June 179o (per Neptune)
Active Sydney, from 1813

Obituary: An old man named Pendray [sic], one of the “first-fleeters“ [recte Second Fleet], and who followed the occupation of town-crier, some years ago, was found near the King's wharf, on Sunday last, quite dead. It was supposed he had died from the decay of nature, being upwards of 90 years of age.

References: “CIVIL DEPARTMENT”, The Sydney Gazette (17 July 1813), 1:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (29 April 1824), 2: “... Old Pendy, the bellman“; [News], The Sydney Gazette (27 June 1827), 2:; “PENSIONS PAID IN THE COLONY”, The Sydney Gazette (8 September 1829), 3:; “DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE”, The Sydney Herald (27 July 1835), 3:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (12 July 1836), 2:

Resources: Michael Flynn, The second fleet: Britain's grim convict armada of 1790 (Library of Australian History, 1993), 121



Active Newcastle, 1871

References: “NEWCASTLE POLICE”, The Newcastle Chronicle (5 October 1871), 2:



Active Hobart, 1832

(1832): Mr. Penfrith’s  song of *' Time is ever changing,“ was loudly and deservedly applauded.

References: [News ], Colonial Times (24 July 1832), 2:



PERRY, Joseph
Overseer of bell-ringers, convict
Arrived Sydney, 1803/3 (per Grafton)
Active Sydney, 1810-11

References: 1810 Oct 13; 1811 Jan 19 Overseer of bell ringers. Salary paid from the Police Fund; also appears as Parry (Reel 6038; SZ758 pp.108, 165);




Soprano vocalist
Active Adelaide, by 1859; Melbourne, from August 1863; Adelaide, by 1871

Summary: Mrs. Perryman, “a young lady (a pupil of Mr. [J. W.] Daniel)”, sang at the quarterly soiree of the South Australian Institute in September 1859, and again at Cesare Cutolo’s Adelaide farewell in December. Having arrived from Adelaide in August 1863, she appeared as a soloist for the Melbourne Philharmonic, along with Octavia Hamilton, in October.

References: “SOUTH AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE”, South Australian Register (7 September 1859), 3:; [Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (1 December 1859), 1:; “ADELAIDE YOUNG MEN’S PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY”, South Australian Register (8 January 1862), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (1 July 1862), 1:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Argus (17 August 1863), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (3 October 1863), 8:; [News], The Argus (6 October 1863), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (19 October 1865), 8:



Choral conductor (Geelong Choral Society, Geelong Sacred Harmonic Society)
Active Geelong, 1856

Geelong 1870: The music class, so long conducted by Mr. Person, had ceased to exist, owing to that gentleman’s removal from Geelong.

References: “THE GEELONG SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, Geelong Advertiser (27 February 1856), 2:; [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (7 March 1856), 3:; [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (28 March 1856), 3:; “CONCERT”, Geelong Advertiser (25 July 1856), 2:; [News], The Argus (15 January 1870), 5:

Other: [Performance wordbook] Handel’s Oratorio, The Messiah: Tuesday evening, Feb. 19, 1856, in the McKillop Street Chapel, in aid of the funds of the Mechanics’ Institution (Geelong: The Geelong Harmonic Society, 1856):



PETERS, William
Professor of music
Active Ballarat, 1865

References: “NEW INSOLVENTS”, The Argus (31 March 1865), 5: “William Peters, of Eureka, Ballarat East, professor of music. Causes of insolvency Pressure of creditors, losses sustained on a professional tour, and want of engagements. Liabilities, £37.2s,.8d. ; assets, £9; deficiency, £28.2s.8d.”; Ballarat and Ballarat District Directory (1865), 28, 183:



Active Melbourne, 1864

Summary: Petrick composed The Lyre-Bird Schottische, published in The Illustrated Melbourne Post on 24 September 1864. Was he a local amateur? I have anyway no clue yet as to his identity.




White-settler singer of Indigenous songs
Born Edinburgh, Scotland, 31 January 1831
Arrived Australia, October 1831
Died Pine Creek, QLD, 26 August 1910

Summary: In her 1904 memoir of her father, Tom Petrie, Constance Campbell Petrie gives the text and music of two indigenous songs, along with commentary: Song (Jabalkan wadli) (“One of the songs my father can sing was composed by a man at the Pine, and was based upon an incident which really happened. Father heard of the happening at the time, and afterwards learnt the corrobboree. Here is the whole story […]”) and Song (Mina loranda) (“A Manila man (who afterwards died at Miora, Dunwich, and whose daughter lives there now) once taught a song he knew to the Turrbal blacks. They did not understand its meaning in the least, but learnt the words and the tune, and it became a great favourite with all. My father also picked it up when a boy, and it has since soothed to sleep in turn all his children and two grandchildren. Indeed Baby Annour (the youngest of the tribe) at one time refused to hear anything else when his mother sang to him. “Sing Mi-na “ (Mee-na), he would say, if she dared ;try to vary the monotony. Here is the song[…]”).

References: Constance Campbell Petrie (comp.), Tom Petrie’s reminiscences of early Queensland (Brisbane: Watson, 1904), 25, 28; see also comments on corroboree singing and dancing 19ff)

Resources: Noeline V. Hall, Petrie, Thomas (1831-1910), Australian Dictionary of Biography 5 (1974)



PETTINGEL, Miss (Marianne Eliza)
see Mrs. St.John ADCOCK


Active Sydney, 1842

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



PETTMAN, Mary Ann (Miss PETMAN) (Mrs. William SMART)
Soprano vocalist
Active Adelaide, by 1852
Died Albany, WA, 3 April 1909

(1854): Miss Petman sang Nelson’s “Forest Queen” in the first part, and we think was never heard to greater advantage.

(1861): A concert was given at the Town Hall, Norwood, on Tuesday evening, November 25, by Mrs. Smart, late Miss Petman, at which she was assisted by the Philharmonic So ciety and the principal vocal and instrumental talent of Adelaide. The concert, which was very successful, consisted of instrumental music, with songs and choruses, which were all riven with eclat. “Kathleen Mavoumeen”, by Mrs. Smart, in the first part, was an especial favourite.

(Obituary): Mrs. William Smart, nee Pittman [sic], who was well known in South Australia as a musician and singer, died recently in Western Australia. Early in the fifties Mrs. Smart and her sister (afterwards Mrs. J. N. Perry) were members of the choir of the Pirie-street Methodist Church. A sacred concert took place in the church, the purpose being to raise further funds to assist in paying off the debt due on the organ. Mrs. Smart sang “My Saviour I am thine”. Herr Carl Linger composed the song and dedicated it to Mrs. Smart, who sang it for the first time at the concert. A purse of sovereigns subscribed for by the committee was subsequently given her. She was one of the founders of the Choral Society and the Philharmonic Society.

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (21 December 1852), 1:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (19 October 1853), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (2 April 1854), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (15 July 1854), 1:; “THE CHORAL SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, South Australian Register (23 December 1854), 3:; “CONCERT OF SACRED MUSIC”, South Australian Register (9 May 1857), 2:; “MRS. PAINE’S CONCERT”, South Australian Register (19 February 1858), 3:; “MISS PETTMAN’S CONCERT”, South Australian Register (21 September 1858), 3:; “SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY”, South Australian Advertiser (31 December 1858), 2:; “MARRIED”, South Australian Register (18 June 1859), 2:; “NORWOOD PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, South Australian Register (22 July 1861), 3:; [Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (19 November 1861), 1:; CONCERT”, South Australian Register (30 November 1861), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Advertiser (1 May 1909), 8:; “DEATHS”, Western Mail (8 May 1909), 31:; “OBITUARY”, Chronicle (8 May 1909), 44:



First governor of NSW, Commodore of the First Fleet
Born London, 11 October 1838
Arrived Botany Bay, 18 January 1788
Departed Sydney, 11 December 1792 (per Atlantic)

Summary: Phillip personally is not usually considered to be a musical figure. However, among his general administrative and military duties, he had overall management of a “band of music”, which he duly deployed in the interests of government and diplomacy. Several instances are documented, of which two examples here. On the voyage out, at the Cape colony on 11 November 1787, the surgeon-general and diarist John White recorded: “Previous to the commodore's embarkation he gave a public dinner to some of the gentlemen of the town and the officers of his fleet. The Dutch governor was to have been of the party but by some unforeseen event was detained in the country, where he had been for some days before. Commodore Phillip had his band of music on shore upon the occasion, and the day was spent with great cheerfulness and conviviality.” (99). At Sydney, on 4 June 1788, “This being the anniversary of his Majesty's birth-day, and the first celebration of it in New South Wales, his excellency ordered the Sirius and Supply to fire twenty-one guns at sun-rise, at one o'clock, and at sunset […] After this ceremony had taken place, the lieutenant-governor, with all the officers of the settlement, civil and military, paid their respects to his excellency at his house. At two o'clock they all met there again to dinner, during which the band of musick played “God save the King“ and several excellent marches.

References: White’s Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales (facsimile edn.), 99:; 169:; John White, Journal of a voyage to New South Wales (London: J. Debrett, 1790):

Resources: B. H. Fletcher, Phillip, Arthur (1738-1814), Australian Dictionary of Biography 2 (1967)



Pianist, composer
Active Adelaide, 1858

Summary: At the “quarterly concert” of the East Torrens Institute in April 1858, Mr. Phillips was billed to play fantasias on the piano to open both the first and second parts of the evening’s entertainment. According to the Register, the first “was brilliantly executed” and “in acknowledgment of a subsequent encore this gentleman played a lively and spirited polka, which was understood to be his own composition.” At the anniversary of the Gawler Institute in October, it was reported that “the performance com menced at 8 o’clock with an overture upon the piano by Mr. Phillips, of Adelaide.”

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (23 April 1858), 1:; “EAST TORRENS INSTITUTE”, South Australian Register (26 April 1858), 3:; “ANNIVERSARY OF THE GAWLER INSTITUTE”, South Australian Register (18 October 1858), 3:



PHILLIPS, Benjamin Jowett
Church organist
Arrived Australia, 1879
Died Pambula, NSW, 1912

PHILLIPS, Richard Edward
Church organist, choirmaster (St. Stephen’s Macquarie Street, 1880-1883)
Born Liverpool, England, 1842
Arrived Australia, 1879
Died Sydney, 1897

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 August 1879), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 February 1884), 3:; “LOCAL AND GENERAL”, The Bega Budget (6 November 1909), 2:; “A Mourning Widower”, The Roanoke Times (13 September 1893), 2:




Conductor, composer
Arrived Melbourne, April 1892 (per Ophir, from England)
Departed Sydney, 10 March 1894 (per Ophir, for England)

Summary: [? related to / ? son of Bristol-born London cellist and composer William Lovell Phillips (1816-1860)] The London Gaiety Burlesque Company, with its musical director Lovell Phillips was brought out to Melbourne by George Musgrove in April 1862. Phillips collaborated on several shows with Bert Royle.  Regarding the 1893 dance work Turquoisette, Or A Study in Blue (Grand Ballet Divertissement in one act), several later sources claim that Leon Caron arranged and partly composed the music of the ballet (and that he conducted the opera on the same program, I Pagliacci); however contemporary sources make it clear that, in Melbourne, Adelaide, and Sydney, Phillips was music director of the ballet, and Nicolo Guerrera of the opera. 

References: “THEATRES AND ENTERTAINMENTS”, The Argus (23 April 1892), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 September 1893), 8:; [Advertisement], The Advertiser (14 October 1893), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 November 1893), 2:; “THE LONDON GAIETY COMPANY”, Evening Post (24 April 1893), 4:; “THE LORGNETTE”, Observer (10 March 1894), 10:

Works: Turquoisette Mazurka (composed by Lovell Phillips) (Sydney: W. H. Paling &​ Co., [189-?]
I’ve chucked up my push for the donah (Australian Larrikin song) (Sydney & Melbourne versions complete; written by Bert Royle; music by Lovell Phillips (Sydney: W. H. Paling &​ Co., [189- ])

Resources: Lovell Phillips:; Turquoisette:



Violinist (“The Australian Paganini”; “The Great American Picco”)
Active Melbourne, by November 1856

References: “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Argus (25 November 1856), 4:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (4 March 1857), 3:; “ABBOTT’S LYCEUM”, Bendigo Advertiser (27 September 1858), 3:; “THE VICTORIA THEATRE”, Bendigo Advertiser (19 April 1859), 2:; “THE MASONIC BALL. To the Editor”, Bendigo Advertiser (25 June 1859), 3:



PICKERING, Mrs. Phelps ([? Mary] Jane)
Teacher of Practice and Theory of Music
Active Sydney, 1848

Summary: Wife of the pardoned convict and insolvent William Phelps Pickering (1815-NZ 1877; per Portenia), she advertised herself in Sydney in January 1848 as “formerly pupil of Kalkbrenner, and J. B. Logier” offering  “class instruction in Practice and Theory of Music”.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (5 February 1838), 3:; [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (15 March 1839), 3:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (15 February 1845), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 January 1848), 1s:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 November 1848), 3:



PIERCE, Mr. J. O. (also E. V.; J. C.)
Musical director (New York Serenaders), minstrel performer, multi instrumentalist, concertina and flutina player
Active Sydney, by March 1851
Departed August 1861 (for India)

(Hobart, April 1851): On this occasion the selection from the overture of “La Figlia” and “The Bohemian Girl”, afforded the leading instrumentalists, Messrs. White and Pierce, an opportunity for displaying their talents. Mr. White's execution on the violin was faultless; his part was played with infinite skill, taste, and feeling; whilst the tone and fingering on the flute in the selection from the “Bohemian Girl”, which was deservedly applauded, and drew down a rapturous encore, were so soft and remarkable for precision, as to convince the most sceptical that Mr. Pierce is a master of his instrument.

(Hobart, November 1851): Mr. Pierce, the musical “Nigger of all, woik,“ plays the German Flute, the French Accordion, add the Turkish Tambourine.

References: [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (1 March 1851), 133:; “NEW YORK SERENADERS”, The Courier (22 March 1851), 2:; “THE SERENADERS”, Colonial Times (1 April 1851), 2:; [Advertisement], Bell’s Life in Sydney (5 July 1851), 3:; “DEPARTURES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 October 1851), 2:; “THE NEW YORK SERENADERS”, The Courier (15 November 1851), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 August 1852), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 September 1852), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 June 1853), 3:; “NEW YORK SERENADERS”, Illustrated Sydney News (29 October 1853), 6:; ? [Advertisement], Illustrated Sydney News (11 March 1854), 6:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (9 September 1854), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (24 February 1855), 8:; “TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT”, The Cornwall Chronicle (10 December 1859), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (26 June 1861), 8:; [Comment], The Queenslander (31 August 1867), 8:



Professor of the Harp, Pianoforte, and Guitar
Arrived Sydney, 23 January 1838 (per Marquis of Hastings, from London and Cowes, 20 September 1837)
Died Sydney, [? 5] August 1849, aged 65

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVALS”, The Sydney Herald (25 January 1838), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (15 February 1838), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (20 July 1838), 1:; [Advertisement], The Colonist (29 December 1838), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (1 July 1839), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (28 October 1839), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (2 February 1841), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 June 1844), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 July 1847), 1:; “DIED”, The Sydney Morning Herald (6 August 1849), 3:



Leader of a juvenile temperance band
Active Adelaide, 1856

(1856): A number of juvenile musicians, who have been for some months past under training by their superintendent, Mr. Piesing, of Tynte-street, North Adelaide, occupied a prominent position on the orchestral platform, and with their “merry, merry fifes and drums”, made the spacious hall reverberate with dulcet harmony.

References: “THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT”, South Australian Register (4 November 1856), 2:; “TEMPERANCE MEETINGS”, South Australian Register (4 November 1857), 3:




Professor of Music, Pianoforte, Violin, Accordion, Singing
Arrived Melbourne, by June 1849 (from Berlin)
Died Sydney, 3 February 1898, aged 78

Summary: A “Professor of Music from Berlin” and a “pupil of Mendelsoohn”, Pietzker first appeared in a Melbounre concert in June 1849 as a pianist playing Beethoven, and in December playing second violin in Haydn’s Emperor Quartet under Joseph Megson. He is last billed in Melbourne among the violins in the Philharmonic Band in December 1854. By 1859, he was in Fiji, and by 1863 in Brisbane. He was teaching in Sydney by 1871 and as late as 1886. In 1880, under her maiden name, his daughter Florence (Mrs. MARTIN) launched her career a pianist and teacher in Tasmania.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (8 June 1849), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (17 July 1849), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (29 September 1849), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 December 1849), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (31 July 1850), 1:; [Advertisement], The Argus (7 December 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Courier (5 October 1863), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 April 1871), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 January 1880), 1:; [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (17 January 1880), 3:; “MUSICAL”, Launceston Examiner (20 February 1880), 2:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 February 1898), 1:



Teacher of music, school teacher
Born Dover, England, 1808
Arrived Hobart, December 1832
Died Hunter’s Hill, Sydney, NSW, 25 June 1892, aged 84 years

Summary: Mary Ann Igglesden came to Tasmania in 1832 to join her future husband, a transported convict Frederick Le Geyt Piguenit. They married on 18 February 1833; the painter William Charles Piguenit (1836-1914) was their son. She ran a school for young ladies teaching French, music, and drawing.

References: [Advertisement], Colonial Times (28 June 1836), 2:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 June 1892), 1:

Bibliography: Mary Ann Piguenit DAAO; William Piguenit ADB; William Piguenit DAAO; William Piguenit Wikipedia



Professor of Music, Cosmopolygraphicon pianist
Active Melbourne and Ballarat, 1855-71
Professor of Music
Active Melbourne, by 1855
Died Ballarat, 19 March 1872

Summary: Data is presented here for possibly two different mother and daughter pairs that I have so far been unable to separate. If Henrietta Pilkington (as pictured, above, later, by her friend Margaret Thomas) was the young lady pianist appearing at the Victorian Society of Fine Arts in 1856 she would have been very young indeed, though she may well not have been musical at all. It is also possible, indeed perhaps more likely from the references collected, that there were two daughters of one Mrs. Pilkington.

References: ? “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Argus (21 June 1854), 1s:; [Advertisement], The Argus (4 June 1855), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (12 July 1855), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (28 February 1856), 6:; “VICTORIAN SOCIETY OF FINE ARTS”, The Argus (16 December 1856), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (12 January 1857), 8:; “SIGNOR CUTOLO’S CONCERT”, The Argus (1 July 1858), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (29 December 1858), 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (28 December 1859) 7:; “SOCIAL”, The Star (24 August 1863), 1s:; “ST. GEORGE’S HALL”, The Argus (3 December 1866), 5:; [News], The Argus (26 August 1869), 4:; “MARRIAGE”, The Argus (14 June 1871), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (4 September 1871), 8:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (22 March 1872), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (22 March 1872), 3:

Web: Henrietta M. Pilkington, DAAO:;; Marjorie J. Tipping, Thomas, Margaret (1843-1929), ADB 6 (1976)




Active Melbourne, 1858

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (2 August 1858), 8:



Conductor, pianist, vocalist, bandleader (The European Band)
Active Melbourne, by 1856; Ballarat, from May 1858

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (1 January 1856), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (24 March 1856), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (12 March 1857), 8:; [Advertisement], The Star (22 May 1858), 3: [Advertisement], The Star (8 September 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (25 November 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (19 March 1859), 3:; “NEWS AND NOTES”, The Star (8 July 1861), 2:; “THE SHORT HOURS SOIREE”, The Star (21 November 1862), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (12 December 1864), 3:



Chorister, organist, composer
Active Melbourne ? 1840s, by 1850s until 1889

Summary: Plaisted, later (1869) said to have been a pupil of George Pringle, was already organist of St. Stephen’s Church Richmond in November 1855. In 1872 W. H. Williams publihsed his Jerusalem the Golden (‘The favourite hymn sung at the Intercolonial Musical Festival … the music composed by P. C. Plaisted”. His  New Tunes to Favorite Hymns was published by W. H. Glen in January 1878. He continued his public career as church and concert musician into the mid 1880s. In May 1889, having been an inmate at the Kew Lunatic Asylum, he murdered his wife at Box Hill. He pleaded guilty and was returned to Kew. At the time, the Argus printed a summary of his career, that would, in the event, have to serve as his own, albeit premature, obituary:

Mr. Plaisted is the son of an old colonist, and when he first came to the colony he was only eight years old. From his childhood he showed passionate love for music, and as a boy sang as one of the principal choristers in St Peter’s Church, Eastern Hill […] The organ was the instrument he loved. Its rich full tones seemed to soothe and comfort his excitable nature, but organs were scarce in those days, and stories, full of pity now, are told by those who knew him then, of the eager, passionate way in which he pleaded to be allowed to practise on the organ in St Peter’s Church, where he had so long sung as a choir boy. The permission was granted him, and he advanced so rapidly in his studies that he was permitted to preside at the organ during one of the services. From that time he became  a slave to music. He developed a deeply religious trait in his character, which only found expression when he was playing church  music on his favourite instrument. […] he went to Messrs. James Henty and Co ‘s employ as bookkeeper, and it was while here that his playing attracted the attention of Mr, Charles Horsley, a well known London organist, who was then on a visit to the colonies. He advised him strongly to go home and devote himself to the study of the organ, prophesying for him a brilliant future. The enthusiasm of the young man was so much admired by his employers that they generously undertook, to assist him in carrying out this plan. Accordingly he and his young wife, who was a Miss Alice Waller, the daughter of a Gippsland squatter, started for England. He studied there under Mr George Cooper who was spoken of by Mendelssohn as the greatest of organists, and he won his veteran masters warm approval. When his period of study was completed Mr Cooper pressed him to remain in England  but he refused to do so and returned once more […] He was appointed organist at St Stephen’s Church, Richmond and his services were eagerly sought after for all sorts of charitable purposes. He never grudged them but played night after night in different places. The great strain began to tell on him and the first symptoms of the lamentable disease which  has brought the present calamity on the family began to assert itself. […] The fatal disease, which the doctors at the asylum attribute to softening of the  brain, seized him again and again, but no sooner did he recover from an attack than, in spite of his infirmity one of the churches was always ready to receive him as organist. He acted as honorary organist to the Melbourne Liedertafel and it was at one of their concerts that he first played Lemmen’s organ fantastia, The Storm. The success which greeted this performance was so great that he repeated it three or four times. On the last occasion of its performance his mind was just wavering, and he played as he had never played before, but next day he had once more to be taken to the asylum. Since then his periods of intelligence time been less frequent, and it is only about eight months since he was last discharged. The family were in somewhat straitened circumstances, but a few of his closest friends started a subscription privately, and a goodly sum was collected. This was vested in trustees and they have been allowing him so much a week. Mr. Fuller, the organ builder of Kew, placed an organ at his disposal, and on this he used to instruct hiss pupils. For the past few weeks he has been exceedingly melancholy, and it was feared that another attack was coming on, but no such terrible seizure was anticipated as the one which has caused the present calamity. Such is briefly the career of a man who, with a little more constitutional strength, might have ranked as one of the world’s greatest musicians who unquestionably possessed that genius which is so akin to madness, and who now lies in prison charged with the murder of his wife.

References: [News], The Argus (16 November 1855), 4:; [News], The Argus (29 April 1869) 4: [Advertisement], The Argus (12 January 1878), 8:; “THE CALAMITY AT BOX HILL. FURTHUR AFFECTING PARTICULARS. HOW THE DEED WAS COMMITTED. MR PLAISTED’S CAREER.”, The Argus (11 May 1889), 10:; “AN APPEAL ON BEHALF OF THE PLAISTED FAMILY”, The Argus (14 May 1889), 6:; “SUMMARY OF EVENTS”, Illustrated Australian News and Musical Times (1 June 1889), 2:; [News], The Argus (31 May 1889), 4:; “THE PLAISTED FAMILY FUND”, The Argus (26 September 1889), 8:



Active Sydney, 1857-59

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 March 1857), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (12 February 1858), 7:; [Advertisement], Empire (10 April 1858), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 January 1859), 4:



PLATTS, Charles George Eastland
Musician, music teacher, pianist, organist, music-seller
Arrived Adelaide, by April 1839
Died Mitcham, SA, 14 November 1871, aged 58

Summary: In April 1839, Charles Platts, “late Organist of St. Mary’s, Aldermary, and St. Paul’s Chapel, Great Portland-street”, announced his arrival from London, and begged “to offer his services as teacher of the Piano Forte, which he has studied under the most eminent foreign and English masters”. In September he was organist of Trinity Church. In October Platts, “the organist”, played the Dead March from Saul at the funeral of Colonel Light, delivered “a lecture on the Music of the 17th Century” at the Mechanics’ Institute (with illustrations including “a concerto from Corelli” and Purcell’s song Mad Tom) and was billed as “Director of the Music” (and Philip Lee leader of the orchestra) for Cameron’s Dramatic Entertainments. In December, he and another recent arrival, George Bennett, were advertising jointly as “Professors and Teachers of the Pianoforte, Violin and Singing” as well as offering music and instruments for sale, along with tuning and repairs. In February 1840 they advertised Adelaide’s “first professional concert”. However, by August 1843, he was curtialing his musical activities, as reported: “We regret to learn that the congregation of Trinity Church are deprived of Mr Platts's performances on the Seraphine. He has been for four years a practical and able director of the congregational singing. The tasteful pieces which he executed pleasingly filled up those long intervals which occur between certain portions of the Church of England service. The great liabilities of the Trustees, is we believe the cause of their dispensing with the instrument.“ Platts became the town‘s leading bookseller, and in 1860 assisted Cesare Cutolo in publishing his song God bless you, farewell  and his piano work Remembrances of the Pyramids (Nocturne). Having spent some years in Britain, Platts resumed his business in Adelaide, but was insolvent by early 1871, and he died in November. According to his obituary: “His kindly spirit and quaint and genial humour attracted all who knew him intimately, and he received a gratifying proof of the esteem in which he was held in the number of friends who rallied round him in his late misfortunes. His love of music and his skill in that science brought him into connection with the profession very soon after his arrival; but in after years his in- creasing business connections absorbed the whole of his attention.”

References: “MUSICAL”, South Australian Gazette (13 April 1839), 4:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (21 September 1839), 3:; “DEATH OF COLONEL LIGHT. THE FUNERAL”, South Australian Register (12 October 1839), 4:; “MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE”, South Australian Register (19 October 1839), 4:; [Advertisement], South Australian (30 October 1839), 2:; “FIRST PROFESSIONAL CONCERT IN ADELAIDE”, South Australian Register (15 February 1840), 6:; [News], South Australian (4 August 1843), 2:; “PROVINCIAL GRAND LODGE OF MASONS”, South Australian Register (16 November 1854), 3:; “DEATHS”, South Australian Register (15 November 1871), 4:; “OBITUARY”, South Australian Register (5 December 1871), 6s:

Bibliography: George Loyau, Notable South Australians, 259:



Musician, professor of music, band leader, composer, arranger
Born Hesse Cassel, Germany
Active Victoria, by 1855
Died Windsor, Melbourne, 2 June 1903, aged 78 years

Summary:  A notice in The Argus in 1900 records the golden anniversary of the wedding of Adam Plock and Louisa Hickling at the parish church, St. Ann’s, Jamaica, on 2 October 1850. His name appeared in a testimonial from a Mrs. Thom among an impressive list of “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Theatrical and Musical Profession in Melbourne” in December 1855. He was an elector at Emerald Hill, Victoria, in July 1859, and for most of the 1860s was a clothier, outfitter, and tobacconist. At the Fourth Anniversary of the German Gymnastic Association on 1 May 1863, “Mr. A Plock next gave—“Victoria, the Land of our Adoption”, probably a toast rather than a song. He advertised in a meeting of the musicians engaged for the Freesmasons’ Ball in August 1869, and appearing as a witness in a court case in June 1871 was described as a “musician”. In April 1872, he organised a benefit concert for George Coppin after “his late severe losses by the burning of the Theatre Royal” (at which he was assisted by Siede, Schott and Herz) and in April 1873 a concert featuring several of his own and other teachers’ pupils. According to a report in September 1877: “Herr Plock, of Melbourne, has formed a ladies' band, of whom three play violins and one violoncello”. He appears to have had in-house associations with W. H. Glen & Co., since as early as 1875 when “the excellent baud of Messrs. Glen and Plock” was mentioned, and as conductor by 1876 of Nicholson and Ascherberg's Band, a string and brass ensemble of 80 men. At his death in 1903 he left “real estate valued at £1,110 and personal property valued at £1,156 in trust for the benefit of his widow, children, and grandchildren”.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (21 December 1855), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (23 July 1859), 3:; [News], The Argus (2 May 1863), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (11 August 1869), 8:; “SECRETS OF THE MISTLETOE”, The Argus (22 June 1871), 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (25 April 1872), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (30 April 1873), 8:; [News], The Argus (10 March 1875), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (4 September 1876), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (9 February 1877), 8:; “Marriages”, The Argus (26 May 1877), 1:; “MELBOURNE GOSSIP“, Gippsland Times (14 September 1877), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (18 January 1878), 8:; “HERR PLOCK’S MATINEE MUSICALE”, The Argus (19 January 1878), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (17 January 1880), 12:; [Advertisement], The Argus (20 August 1881), 16:; “MARRIAGES”, The Argus (6 October 1900), 9:; “Deaths”, The Argus (3 June 1903), 1:; “WILLS AND ESTATES”, The Argus (30 July 1903), 6:; [Advertisement], The Argus (26 August 1903), 2:

Select musical works:
Plock’s Little Footsteps Galop (Melbourne: J. C. W. Nicholson, [1876])
Queen of the Woods Waltz (“introducing the admired melodies To the wood, and Breathe not at parting”) (Melbourne: W. H. Glen & Co., [1877])
Elsa Waltz on airs from Lohengrin (“by A. Plock”; “Respectfully dedicated to Miss Bowen”) ([Melbourne]: A. Plock, [1878]):
Stolen Kisses Waltz, in Glen’s Exhibition Album (Melbourne: W. H. Glen, [1880]):
The Age Polka (Melbourne: W. H. Glen & Co., [1880])
New Highland Schottische (“arranged by A. Plock”) (Melbourne: W. H. Glen & Co., [1881])
The Bulletin Polka (Supplement to the Melbourne Bulletin (3 March 1882))
Fatinitza Polka (“arranged by A. Plock”) (Melbourne: W. H. Glen & Co., [1881]):



Composer, music critic, choral director, conductor, teacher
Born 1840/1848
Arrived Melbourne, June 1878
Departed Melbourne, February 1891
Died London, 2 April 1902

TASCA, Carlotta (Mrs. Alfred PLUMPTON)
Pianist, organist, lyricist, songwriter

Summary: An Alfred Plumpton, a London vocalist, appeared in Sydney in 1869, by 1871 his promoters billing him as “the great Tenor, the Sims Reeves of Australia”. Was this perhaps Alfred’s father (mentioned in his later publicity)? Or even Alfred himself?  Alfred and his wife, the pianist [check] Carlotta Tasca anyway arrived in Melbourne in June 1878 from Bombay. The patriotic song To Arms, to Arms “composed by Mr. Alfred Plumpton, the words by Madame Tasca, both of whom are now in this city” (Carlotta Tasca his wife) was introduced by Emily Soldene that month.  He was musical director at Presbyterian Ladies' College (1883-86) where he taught the pianist-novelist Henry Handel Richardson, and choir director at St. Francis’s Church and St. Patrick’s Cathedral; music critic for the Melbourne Age and Leader (from 1882), and the Victorian Review (1882-83); and president of the Society of Musicians of Australasia (1890). At a banquet in Melbourne Town Hall on the departure of the governor and his wife for Mauritius in 1879, his setting of Marcus Clarke's poem Victoria’s Farewell to Lady Bowen (See other Clarke setting below) was sung, and Tasca played his piano fantasia Hibernian Echoes. His Mass in G for choir and orchestra, first performed at the cathedral in January 1881 and repeated several times that year, has disappeared, though some organ works have survived. Other larger compositions included the cantatas The Apotheosis of Hercules (1882) and Endymion (1882), and The Victorian Jubilee Ode (words by Edwin Exon) for the Metropolitan Liedertafel in 1887. His two-act opera, I Due Studenti was premiered by the New Italian Opera Company in December 1887. In 1890 he conducted a season with Nellie Stewart's opera company, and in 1891 Stewart, Plumpton and Tasca left for England. Later, in 1895, J. C. Williamson’s toured the operetta An Arcadian Eve (libretto: Huan Mee) to Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. He was a prolific composer of published songs both in London and Australia, many with words by Tasca.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 July 1869), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 December 1871), 4:; “THEATRE ROYAL. BENEFIT AND FAREWELL OF MISS SOLDENE”, The Argus (29 June 1878), 8:; [News], The Argus (20 February 1879), 5:; “PLUMPTON’S MASS”, The Argus (10 January 1881), 6:; “MR. PLUMPTON’S CANTATA THE APOTHEOSIS OF HERCULES. TO THE EDITOR”, The Argus (25 February 1882), 11:; “THE MELBOURNE MUSIC FESTIVAL. ENDYMION”, The Argus (27 December 1882), 7:; “THE OPERA I DUE STUDENTI”, The Argus (28 December 1887), 5:; “THE EVENING CONCERT”, The Argus (5 October 1888), 10:; [News], The Argus (13 February 1891), 4:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, South Australian Register (2 July 1895), 6:; “OBITUARY. MR. ALFRED PLUMPTON”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 April 1902), 7:; “MUSICAL AND DRAMATIC NOTES”, The West Australian (5 April 1902), 4:

Marcus Clarke settings: This is love (“song; words by Marcus Clarke”), in Nicholson’s Australian musical magazine 41 (1897)
Those vanished years (“song,​ written by Marcus Clarke […] sung by Maggie Stirling”) (Melbourne: Marian Clarke, 1898)
What hopes the patriot’s bosom holds (“written by Marcus Clarke”), in Nicholson’s musical magazine 58 (1901)

Other works (selection): Overture Macbeth (for orchestra; performed Melbourne, October 1888); Darling (words: Carlotta Tassa; “Sung by Mr. Armes Beaumont”), The Illustrated Australian News and Musical Times (1 July 1889), 12-13; Oh, Lovely Voices of the Sky (Hymn for Christmas) (words: Mrs. Hemans; “Dedicated to Miss Fraser, Toorak”), The Illustrated Australian News and Musical Times (1 January 1890), 12-13




Professor of music, organist, pianist, piano tuner
Arrived Adelaide, 5 March 1849 (per Athenian, from London)
Died Norwood, SA, 27 August 1886, in his 68th year

1849: One object of the special services at St. John’s Church, as advertised in another column, is a reduction or extinction of a debt of £181. His Excellency has signified his intention to the present, and Mr. Plumstead, an eminent organist lately arrived from England, will preside at the organ. 

References: “ARRIVED”, South Australian Register (7 March 1849), 2:; [News], South Australian Register (26 May 1849), 2:; [News], South Australian Register (30 May 1849), 3:; “LOCAL INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (24 November 1849), 2:; [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (30 April 1852), 3:; “THE ST. PAUL’S TEA MEETING. To the Editor”, Geelong Advertiser (2 June 1855), 2:; “CONCERT”, Geelong Advertiser (25 July 1856), 2:; “ANGASTON”, The South Australian Advertiser (22 November 1869), 5:; “POPULAR CONCERT AT PORT ADELAIDE”, South Australian Register (18 July 1882), 5:; “DEATHS”, South Australian Register (28 August 1886), 4:



PLUNKETT, John Hubert
Amateur violinist, lecturer on ancient Irish music, attorney general of NSW
Born Roscommon, Ireland, June 1802
Arrived Sydney, June 1832 (per Southworth)
Died East Melbourne, 9 May 1869


Summary: According to Maloney (The native-born: the first white Australians, 165), Plunkett was “an authority on Irish music. His main recreation was that of playing Mozart and Haydn on his Cremona violin”. In 1865 he gave his own violin to the touring blind violinist Joseph Heine: “nearly 250 years old, having been made in thee year 1610, by Galpard Duippo, an Italian. On the sides is a Latin inscription: “When I was alive I was silent—now I am dead I speak”. The back of the violin is beautifully inlaid with choice woods, representing a township in Italy; and a carved head surmounts the scroll. To-night, at Mr. and Mrs. Heine's farewell entertainment this instrument will be played on […]”. His neice, Georgina Keon dedicated her The Twofold Bay Waltzes to Plunkett and his wife in 1864.

Sydney, 1858: The honorable and learned John Hubert Plunkett made his first bow on the stage last Tuesday evening as “The Ancient Bard of Ireland”, the performances being in aid of the Fund for the distressed tenanthry at Donegal, in Ireland. The Muses greeted the honorable debutant in a terrible shower of rain, through which rushed young and old, and great numbers of the Sydney fair who disregarded such trifles as mud and wet in their laudable eagerness to support by their eighteenpences and their countenances, the debutant in his generous exertion to do good. Without pretending to compare the Hon. Mr. Plunkett either to Paganini or Miska Häuser, we award him the meed of being a “first fiddle”, too good for such a place as Toogood’s, for instance. Several ladies and gentlemen amateurs assisted the hon. debutant with both vocal and instrumental music; but we must confess to having sustained some disappointment at hearing no song from Mr. Plunkett himself, having attended with all our Staff for the express purpose of joining in the “coal-box”. However, the entertainment elicited enthusiastic applause throughout, the house being crowded in every part.

1865: We understand that the hon. John Hubert Plunkett, of Sydney, has presented to Mr. Joseph Heine a magnificent violin, nearly 250 years old, having been made in the year 1616, by Galpard Duippo [sic], an Italian. On the sides is a Latin inscription: “When I was alive I was silent; now I am dead I speak.” The back of the violin is beautifully inlaid with choice woods, representing a township in Italy; and a carved head surmounts the scroll. 

References: “OUR LYCEUM”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (9 October 1858), 2:; “TO THE EDITOR”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 July 1859), 7:; “LECTURE ON ANCIENT IRISH MUSIC”, Empire (12 March 1861), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 March 1862), 1:; [News], The Brisbane Courier (23 October 1865), 2:; [News], Empire (26 October 1865), 4:

Resources: T. L. Suttor, Plunkett, John Hubert (1802–1869), Australian Dictionary of Biography 2 (1967)

Note: The violin “maker” named is probably rightly Gasparo Duiffopruggar (Italianised form of Tieffenbrucker) active in the mid-1500s as a viol maker. Most instruments bearing his “label” mid and late 19th-century Parisian reproductions.



Harpist, teacher of the harp
Arrived Melbourne, 20 July 1849 (per Hydaspes, from Liverpool, 31 March)

References: “ARRIVED”, The Argus (21 July 1849), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (24 January 1850), 3:

Web: perhaps connected with Henry or William Poingdestre, later active in New Zealand:



Died (murdered) Murray region, WA, 21 February 1844

1842: […] I knew deceased had borrowed a book of songs. I found the book of songs in the deceased’s bed at the time I went to his bedside. The next day I looked into the book to find the words I had heard him singing, but could not. Afterwards my daughter found the words in a page glued to another page by blood. […] I have often heard deceased singing out of the book produced. I never heard prisoner express any dislike to any song in the book. […] Cross-examined : I never heard prisoner sing or read out of the book produced. I have heard deceased sing songs out of it in prisoner’s hearing, who did not appear at all annoyed at the songs, but continued with whatever he was about […]

References: “CONFESSION OF THE MURDER OF GEORGE POLLARD”, The Perth Gazette (6 April 1844), 3:; “QUARTER SESSIONS”, Inquirer (10 April 1844), 2:




Baritone vocalist, Professor of Italian and English Singing, the Pianoforte, and Composition, music retailer, songwriter, composer
Active Melbourne and Bendigo, by 1857

Summary: Pollard, “of the Royal Academy of Music”, made his first appearance in Melbourne in March 1857 as co-artist to Anna Bishop. His vocal quartet The Violet was given for the first time in July 1862. Was he the father of James Joseph Pollard below? If so he was born in London on 14 August 1808, and died in Melbourne 9 December 1896.

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:; “THE CHORAL SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, Bendigo Advertiser (5 July 1859), 2:; “THE PHILHARMONIC ONCE MORE. TO THE EDITOR”, Bendigo Advertiser (12 March 1860), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (7 July 1862), 8:




POLLARD, James Joseph
Pianoforte maker, musical instrument maker (from Collard and Collard, London), opera conductor and musical director
Born London, 10 June 1833
Active Tasmania, by 1856
Died Townsville, QLD, 1 May 1884

POLLARD, James Joseph
Opera conductor and musical director (Pollard’s Lilliputian Opera Company)
Died Rangoon, India, 15 September 1883, aged 27

Died August 1906, aged 59

POLLARD, Frederick Nelson
Vocalist, flautist
Died Sydney, 9 July 1933, in his 69th year


Opera company director
Born Launceston, TAS, 28 April 1857
Died Christchurch, NZ, 10 August 1922

Obituary 1883: A Fatal Accident. Under this heading the Rangoon Times of the 15th September last, gives the following account of the death of a well-known Tasmanian: The good folks of Rangoon received a very painful and startling shock yesterday morning. Just about 2 o’clock the report of a pistol was heard in the British Burma Hotel, and on the inmates of the building turning out to see what was the matter, they found Mr. James Joseph Pollard, the musical director of Pollards Lilliputian Opera Company lying on his face at the head of one of the back staircases, with a revolver shot wound through his head, and a newly discharged revolver with two chambers still loaded, lying underneath him. The unfortunate man, who was quite insensible, was at once removed to his bed […] the sufferer lingered till 10 minutes past 7, when he died, not having ever once recovered consciousness in the interval. The unfortunate man’s death is believed to have been purely accidental. He was somewhat addicted to toying with firearms […] Mr. Pollard was only 27 years of age. R.I.P.

Obituary 1884: Yesterday afternoon Mr. Sub-Inspector Sullivan received a telegram from his son, Mr. T. Sullivan, who has been the business manager for a longatime past of Pollard's Liliputian Opera Troupe, stating that Mr. J. J. Pollard had died at Charters Towers, Queensland, where the company have recently been appearing. Mr. Pollard was, in failing health for some time prior to leaving India, and the death at Rangoon of his eldest son was a great blow to him. Mr. Pollard was widely known in Tasmania as he had been a resident of Launceston for some thirty years, carrying on his profession as piano forte tuner and teacher of music prior to entering into the operatic line of business. He had a very large family, some sixteen in all, whom he brought up creditably; and as a musical family we supposo they could not be equalled in the colonies. His success in the production of “Pinafore“ in Launceston, with a company almost entirely composed of amateurs, led to his repeating this popular opera with a company of local junveniles with equal success, and he afterwards organised the juvenile company with which he has travelled through most of the Australian colonies, and visited India, Burmah, and Singapore, and he was retuining home through Queenslanid at the time of his death.

References: [Advertisement], Colonial Times (17 March 1856), 3:; “INSOLVENT COURT”, The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (31 March 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (14 November 1865), 5:; “INSOLVENT COURT”, Launceston Examiner (16 December 1865), 3:; “PERJURY”, Launceston Examiner (9 August 1870), 5:;  “OUR LAUNCESTON LETTER”, The Mercury (11 February 1881), 2:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (5 March 1881), 3:; “POLLARD’S LILLIPUTIAN OPERA COMPANY”, Launceston Examiner (11 March 1881), 2:; “A FATAL ACCIDENT”, The Mercury (3 November 1883), 2:; “DEATH OF MR. J. POLLARD“, Launceston Examiner (6 May 1884), 2: ; [News], Australian Town and Country Journal (5 July 1884), 18:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (30 March 1889), 1:; “PERSONAL“, The Advertiser (22 August 1906), 6:; “DEATHS“, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 July 1933), 8:; “THE LATE F. N. POLLARD“, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 July 1933), 8:; “OBITUARY … MR. F. N. POLLARD”, The Mercury (22 July 1933), 11:

Resources: Peter Downes, The Pollards: a family and its child and adult opera companies in New Zealand and Australia, 1880-1910 (Wellington NZ: Steele Roberts, 2002):; “Pollard, Tom“, The Encyclopedia of New Zealand:; May Pollard at SL-NSW:;; Pollard's Lilliputian Opera Company:

Associations: Albert Francis Weippert; Emma Weippert (sister of Corunna), Lilliputian Opera Company, Alfred Hill



Cornet a piston player (New Queen’s Theatre)
Active Adelaide, 1848

References: [Advertisement], South Australian (29 February 1848), 2:



Amateur bass-viol player, vocalist
Active Adelaide, 1840s

References: “AMATEUR CONCERT”, South Australian (1 July 1842), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian (7 November 1843), 3:; “AMATEUR CONCERT”, South Australian Register (11 November 1843), 3:;  “MR. BENNETT’S CONCERT”, South Australian Register (5 January 1844), 3:



POOLE, G. F. (George, junior)
Lecturer on music
Died Moggill, Brisbane, 6 May 1853

Summary: Poole, a chemist and druggist, who had been based in Sydney in the late 1840s, was in Brisbane by  also a musical enthusiast. He lectured on the “Pleasures and Advantages of Music” at the Brisbane School of Arts in 1852, assisted by John Humby.

References: [Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (23 October 1852), 3:; “LECTURE AT THE SCHOOL OF ARTS”, The Moreton Bay Courier (30 October 1852), 2:; “DIED”, The Moreton Bay Courier (7 May 1853), 3:



POOLE, W. Ebenezer
Horn player, bandsman (99th Regiment)
Regiment active Australia, 1843-56

(1851): “The final concert of a series was given at the Militaiy Barracks by Messrs T. Martin, A. Hill, W. Bromley, and W. Poole, of the band of the 99th Regiment, on Thursday evening, before a numerous company. In front of the stage we noticed Capt. Pratt and other officers of the garrison, Mr. and Mrs. Balfe, and many ladies. The musical performance, as must be the case with military bands men, was very good, especially the opening piece, the overture to Guy Mannering.”

References: “THE BAND OF THE 99TH”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 September 1844), 3:; [Advertisement], The Australian (29 November 1845), 1:; “MISCELLANEA”, The Courier (8 November 1851), 2:; [Advertisement], The Courier (31 October 1855), 3:



PORTBURY, Benjamin
Violoncellist, double bass player, violinist
Active Adelaide by March 1838; Sydney by February 1841; Melbourne, 1845-53

Active Sydney, 1844

Summary: Portbury was billed a “Leader of the Orchestra” at the Theatre Royal, Adelaide in June 1838, having earlier advertised that “his present employment will enable him to devote a portion of his time” to his trade as an upholsterer and paper hanger. He was also a printer, a collecting agent for the South Australian Gazette, and honorary secretary of the Adelaide Land Company. In June 1839, he held a subscription ball, but shortly afterward absconded with funds from the land company, as was later long remembered. By February 1841 he was in Sydney, listed regularly throughout that year and next as a member of the theatrical band. He also advertised again as an upholsterer in December 1841, and, as upholster, was listed insolvent in November 1842. In the meantime having worked for Dalla Case, he told the court in December: “I ascribe my insolvency to the slackness of the times […] I hope that in time I will be able to pay all my debts […] I can earn from £5 to £6 per week if I had the work; I have 30s, per week for playing in the orchestra in the theatre; I was married last June by Dr. Lang.” He narrowly avoided imprisonment, and went on during 1843 and 1844 playing with the theatrical band, and briefly, in June 1844, as a member of the band at Coppin’s Saloon. However, he sailed for Melbourne in July 1845. There he imported a cello from London in October 1849. In Melbourne in August 1852 he was playing violin in Joseph Megson’s band, and was last listed playing cello for Megson in April 1853.

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Gazette (17 March 1838), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian Gazette (16 June 1838), 1:; [Advertisement], South Australian Gazette (14 July 1838), 1:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (29 June 1839), 4:; [News], South Australian (14 August 1839), 3:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (6 February 1841), 3:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (26 June 1841), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (14 December 1841), 3:; “INSOLVENT ESTATES”, Australasian Chronicle (19 November 1842), 3: ttp://; “EXAMINATIONS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (3 December 1842), 2:; ‘INSOLVENCY BUSINESS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (5 January 1843), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 May 1844), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 June 1844), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 June 1844), 3:; “CLEARANCES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 July 1845), 2:; “IMPORTS”, The Argus (13 October 1849), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (7 August 1852), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (20 April 1853), 12:



PORTER, William A.
Born Hartford, Conn., USA, 4 May 1822
Active Australia 1855-59
Died Johnsonburg, NY, USA, 18 January 1907

1911: William A. Porter, one of the earliest members of E. P. Christy’s Minstrels, made his first theatrical appearance as a supernumary in the old Chatham Theatre, New York, in the fall of 1841. His debut as a black-face performer occurred in the Spring of 1844 with the Clark Brothers Panorama Show. Mr. Porter made his first appearance with E. P. Christy’s Minstrels at the Eagle Street Theatre, Buffalo, N. Y., April 5, 1845. February 15. 1847, he opened with the company at Mechanic's Hall, New York, and remained there until 1853, after which, in the Fall of that year, he became a member of George Christy and Henry Wood’s Minstrels. Mr. Porter subsequently went to California and identified himself with Backus’ Minstrels there. Early in 1855 he rejoined E. P. Christy’s Company in San Francisco, acting as business manager. In August, same year, he set sail for Australia with Backus’ Minstrels; he remained in that country until 1859, during which period he engaged in mining and mercantile pursuits, as well as following his profession. Mr. Porter returned to New York about September, 1870, later making his home at Johnsonburg, N. Y., where he died January 18, 1906. William A. Porter was born in Hartford, Conn., May 4, 1822.

References: “PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 June 1856), 10:

Resources: Edward Le Roy Rice, Monarchs of minstrelsy from “Daddy” Rice to date (New York: Kenny Publishing Company, 1911), 38-39:


Songwriter, lyricist
Arrived Melbourne, 23 December 1855
Departed for Britain, by 1887
Died Norwich, England, 8 January 1891, in her 81st year

Summary: The NLA’s digitised copy of the 1872 reprint of Advance Australia has attached to it an unidentified article Postle wrote that included autobiographical details and texts of several songs.

1887: Mrs. Eliza Postle, whom many of our readers may remember as the author of the song “Advance, Australia,” has written to the Queenslander as follows : “After a residence of over twenty-five years in tho colonies I returned to England, and have had the honour to receive the Queen’s acceptance of my “Jubilee Tribute,” a copy of which I send you.

References: “FEMININE NOTES”, The Brisbane Courier (24 October 1887), 3:; “Deaths”, The Argus (19 February 1891), 1:

Works: Advance Australia (words by Eliza Postle, music by S. Nelson); The Bivouac (war song, 1866); Blue Jackets; Comrades to arms (volunteer war song written by Eliza Postle; composed by J. Summers)

Resources: AUSTLIT:


POTTER, Samuel
Town crier/cryer (Sydney), convict
Died Sydney, 6 August 1811

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.”

Bibliography: Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain's grim convict armada of 1790 (Library of Australian History, 1993), 475, 483, 597



POUNSETT, Henry Rothwell
Amateur musician, organist, composer
Arrived Adelaide, 1839 (per Seppings)
Died Willunga, SA, 27 July 1891, aged 82

POUNSETT, Eleanor Maud
Amateur composer
Active Adelaide, 1887

1867: The entertainment closed with a burlesque opera, “The Black Brigade”, written by Mr. Diamond, the music being arranged and partly composed by Mr. H. Pounsett. This caused great diversion, and gave opportunity also for the introduction of some well-known opera music. The “Soldiers’ Chorus” (Faust) was well sung until towards the close of it, when some of the notes got astray, and the last bar or two was scrambled through. On the whole, however, the singing was good, and all present went away, apparently well pleased […]

Obituary: Another pioneer has passed away in the late Mr. Henry Rothwell Pounsett, whose death, at the age of eighty-two, took place at Willunga on Monday, July 27. The deceased arrived in June, 1839, in the passenger-ship Seppings, and started farming on a large scale, which, however, proved a failure owing to stagnation of trade. After that he followed the legal profession, but was again unsuccessful in consequence of previous losses. In 1859 the late gentleman joined the Civil Service, and in 1861 was appointed Post and Telegraph Stationmaster at Willunga, in which position he remained and performed his duties till within ten days of his death. Being of a retiring disposition, the late Mr. Pounsett did not enter into public matters, although by his many kindnesses he was beloved by every one in Willunga and its neighbourhood. The deceased gentleman for a number of years occupied tho position of honorary organist at St. John’s and St. Paul’s Churches in Adelaide. He was the son of the late Mr. Henry Rothwell Pounsett, of Surrey, England, an uncle of Grant Malcolmson, who won the Victoria Cross for saving the life of a brother officer in the Indian War, a picture of whom was exhibited in the Adelaide Jubilee Exhibition, and also an uncle of the present Lord Erskine, of Restormel Castle, Cornwall.

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (3 April 1841), 2:; “TO CORRESPONDENTS”, South Australian (4 February 1845), 2: ; “VOLUNTEER’S SONG”, The South Australian Advertiser (9 November 1860), 3:; [Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (9 November 1860), 1:; “COLONIAL MUSIC”, South Australian Register (26 December 1861), 5:; “MUSICAL”, South Australian Register (23 May 1865), 2:; “TOPICS OF THE DAY”, The South Australian Advertiser (13 August 1867), 2:; [News], South Australian Weekly Chronicle (17 August 1867), 7:; “THE ORIGINAL AMATEUR CHRISTY MINSTRELS”, South Australian Register (15 December 1868), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (9 February 1869), 1:; “TOPICS OF THE DAY”, The South Australian Advertiser (11 February 1869), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (10 July 1869), 1:; “NEW MUSIC”, South Australian Register (16 August 1869), 2:; “MARRIAGES”, South Australian Register (24 February 1885), 4:; “MUSICAL”, South Australian Register (11 July 1887), 4:; “DEATHS”, South Australian Register (4 August 1891), 3:; “THE LATE MR. H. R. POUNSETT”, South Australian Register (4 August 1891), 3:

Musical works:
Hail to the Rifleman (Volunteer’s Song) (words: Donald McLeod) (Adelaide: W.H. Hillier, 1860)
The Herald Polka, The Adelaide Musical Herald 1/2 (16 January 1863), 13
Wedding Hymn (words: James Fawcett) (Adelaide: B. Sander, 1865)
Faust (operatic burlesque) ([…] written by Mr. A. Diamond, the music being composed and arranged by Mr. Pounsett) [August 1867; December 1868; February 1869]
You’ll remember me; or The magic cup (“song from the burlesque opera Faust”) (Adelaide: Sims & Elliott, 1869)
Robinson Crusoe (pantomime, 1870)
The Exhibition Polka (by E. Maud Norton (nee E. M. Pounsett)) ([Adelaide, 1887])



Violinist, composer, music teacher
Born Château-Gontier, France, ? 11 June 1829
Arrived (1) Melbourne, August 1861; departed Melbourne, 26 July 1864 (per Bombay, for Point de Galle)
Arrived (2) Melbourne, August 1883; arrived (3), 1886
Died Sydney, 12 September 1898, aged 71


Obituary: Amateurs of music will learn with regret of the death of M. Horace Poussard, the well-known violinist, which occurred at his residence, in the Now South Head-road, about 8 o’clock last night. M. Poussard was almost to the last in active work, as he gave a lesson to a pupil on Saturday evening, and then at midnight had an apoplectic seizure, which rendered him unconscious until his death […]  M. Horace Poussard formed a link with a very interesting musical past, which takes us back to the days of Habeneck, the famous French violinist (born 1781), who numbered amongst his pupils at the Paris Conservatorium such great artists as Alard, Clapiscon, and Leonard. Somewhere in the twenties Charles Poussard distinguished himself under Habeneck’s tuition, and early in 1849, the year of the great maestro’s death, Horace Poussard, son of the abovementioned, joined Habeneck’s class, and carried off the first prize for violin. Horace Poussard, who was born about 1827 at Chateau-Gontier, Mayenne province, France, was then transferred to the care of Professor Dolphin Alard, who was then, and remained so for nearly 20 years later, the great representative of the French school of violin playing. At the end of his three years’ study at the Conservatoire Poussard took first prize, and he then travelled for five years through Germany, Hungury, Greece, aud Turkey. Subsequently he toured through England (where be played before the Queen), Australia, New Zealand, Ceylon, Mauritius, India, and the Cape of Good Hope. M. Poussard’s first tour in Australia, about 30 years ago, was under Mr. B. S. Smythe’s management, who at the same time introduced Rene Douay, the celebrated ‘cellist. The pair starred [in] New Zealand and Tasmania succossfully, but on their reappearance in Melbourne, where they were engaged by Barry Sullivan to play solos between the tragedy and the farce at the leading playhouse, Douay suddenly went mad, and the tour terminated. Accordingly in 1869, M. Poussard was again in Paris, where he appeared with Signor Bottesini, the great contra-bassist, before the Empress Eugenie.  This concert, the last he gave at Paris before the war, led to the publication in a Paris paper of a cartoon, in which Paganini rose from his tomb to congratulate his successor. This cartoon was reproduced by the Sydney “Bulletin” in 1883. From 1870 to 1879 Poussard directed the orchestra of the Boulogne Casino, previously controlled by Alexandre Guilmant, the great French organist, and in 1886 he returned to Australia and settled permanently in Sydney. His style, which was essentinlly French and marked by much brilliancy, won him great popularity on the platform, and he did excellent work here, not only as a teacher, but as leader of the Beethoven quartette in connection with the Orpheus Society, and as leader of the Sydney quintette of which Mme. Charbonnet Kellermann was the pianist. Latterly the deceased appeared but seldom in public. In private life he was genial and vivacious, and was widely esteemed in artistic circles […]

References: [News], The Argus (19 August 1861), 5:; [Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (10 June 1862), 1:; “TOPICS OF THE DAY”, The South Australian Advertiser (19 June 1862), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 November 1863), 1:; [Shipping], The Australian News for Home Readers (25 August 1864), 15:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (23 July 1883), 4:; [News], The Argus (24 August 1883), 4:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (13 September 1898), 1:; “DEATH OF M. POUSSARD”, The Sydney Morning Herald (13 September 1898), 5:

Musical works:
The Dead Heroes (“Grand musical drama”, “musical poem”, composed in memory of Burke and Wills, and dedicated to John McDougall Stuart) [June 1862]
Song of Australia (duet [for violin and cello?]) [November 1863]

Musical works by Fred. Packer “with violin obligato as played by Poussard”:
Unforgotten (words: Frances Nicholson) (Hobart: J. Walch & Sons, [1893])
Thou comest not back again (“waiting, watching, longing“) (words: Adam Lindsay Gordon ) (Hobart: : J. Walch & Sons, [1893])
Ave Maria (preghiera for soprano with violin obbligato) (Hobart : J. Walch &​ Sons, [1893])

Bibliography: Peggy Lais, “Horace Poussard and Dead Heroes: a musical tribute to Burke and Wills”, Context: Journal of Music Research 23 (Autumn 2002), 23-32



POWELL, (Edward) Septimus
Songwriter, surf-swimmer, pharmacist
Active Paddington, NSW, by 1885
Died Bondi, NSW, 3 February 1912, in his 54th year

1897: Rouse ye Britons is the title of a patriotic song, words and music by Mr. E. Septimus Powell, of this city, that has been forwarded to me. It is dedicated, by permission, to Major-General Sir Charles Holled-Smith, K.C.M.G., C.B., and the sentiment conveyed in the words is entirely in touch with the feelings of loyalty that have found such emphatic expression during this week.

References: “PADDINGTON”, Evening News (16 September 18850, 6:; “MUSIC. CONCERTS, &c.”, The Australasian (26 June 1897), 35:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (5 February 1912), 8:



POWER, Bartholomew Hyacinth
Priest, musician, composer
Born Ireland, 1 January 1827
Arrived Melbourne, 1857
Died Geelong, 6 August 1869, aged 42

Obituary (Melbourne): Mr. Power was a native of the city of Cork, born in 1826 [?1827], under the shadow of Shandon bells. At an early age, he went to the Dominican Convent of Corpo-Santo, in Lisbon, where he distinguished himself in his studies. For several years he shed a lustre on the order to which he belonged in his native city, by his eloquence in the pulpit and his genial manner in the social circle. His naturally delicate constitution was sorely tried by the severe winters of Ireland, and he resolved to seek a sunnier and more genial clime. He arrived here early in 1858 [?1857]. The funeral of the late Rev. B. H. Power, for magnitude and solemnity, surpassed any previous one in Geelong, at all events. The procession, which left St. Mary’s after the solemn mass for the dead, could not have numbered less than three thousand, and the concourse of townspeople on either side to the cemetery numbered about two thousand more […] Arrived at the cemetery, the coffin was borne to the vault beneath the mortuary chapel, and here, with the orphan children ranged on either side, the final service was”chaunted”.

Obituary (Portland): […] It will be a sad loss to the musical world, for he was quite a musical genius, and his compositions can be found scattered about in both the Old World and the New […]

1887: […]a highly-accomplished Irish priest, the Rev. B. H. Power, one of the most accomplished preachers the Victorian church has possessed, a musician and composer of acknowledged attainments, and in his younger days a skilful editor of the Sydney Freeman's Journal.

References: “TOPICS OF THE DAY”, The South Australian Advertiser (1 October 1868), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (8 February 1869), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 March 1869), 9:; [News], The Argus (11 August 1869), 5:; “DEATH OF THE REV. FATHER B. H. POWER”, Portland Guardian (12 August 1869), 2:; [News], The Queenslander (28 August 1869), 11:; James Hogan, The Irish in Australia (1887);

Musical works: Alas, despite the claims of his obituarists, I have to date found only one of Power’s compositions, Norah Mullane (“Irish ballad, written and composed expressly for Miss Rosina Carandini, by the late Rev. B. H. Power (Geelong, Victoria)”) (Melbourne: Wilkie, Webster, &​ Allan, [c.1869])

Bibliography: Hugh Fenning, “Irishmen ordained at Lisbon, 1740-1850”, Collectanea Hibernica 36/37 (1994/1995), 140-158: “POWER, Bartholomew Hyacinth OP. T. and MO. 11 April 1846. SD. 2 June 1849. Ord. bp Barco. D. 23 Feb. 1850. Ord. bp Rodrigues da Silva. No indication of place. [Died in Australia, 1869.]”




Flutina player

Vocalist, banjo player (New Orleans Serenaders)
Active Sydney, by 1852

References: [Advertisement], Bell’s Life in Sydney (14 February 1852), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 January 1853), 3:



PRICE, Henry Francis
Lecturer on music, vocal instructor (Hullah’s system)
Died Whyte Yarcowie, SA, 1 September 1881, in his 53rd year

PRICE, Mary Frances (Mrs. Henry F. PRICE)
Composer, teacher of pianoforte, singing and composition, school-teacher
Arrived Adelaide, 13 June 1857 (per Adele, from London, 28 February)
Died Adelaide, 4 September 1915, in her 82nd year

Summary: The Prices arrived in Adelaide in 1857. Both were active musically from 1860, when Henry started a Hullah vocal class, and Mary advertised as a music teacher. Henry being a member of the volunteer Kent Rifles, Mary’s only published composition The Kent Rifles polka (“dedicated to Captain Herford by Mrs. Henry F. Price”) was published by Penman &​ Galbraith also in 1860. In Henry was engaged by the South Australian Institute as its vocal instructor, and in 1864 gave a lecture “The Progress of Music … (With vocal illustrations by the Upper Hullah Class)”. An accountant by profession, Henry was newly insolvent in July 1865. However, in December 1868: “A complimentary concert to Mrs. H. F. Price was riven in the Town Hall, Norwood [… ] The baton was ably wielded by Mr. Henry Francis Price, who for several years past has made strenuous endeavours to popularize music in the metropolis by his Hullah Classes at the South Australian Institute.”

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (15 June 1857), 2:; [Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (24 February 1860), 1:; “MUSIC”, South Australian Register (3 August 1860), 3:; “THE KENT RIFLE POLKA”, The South Australian Advertiser (4 August 1860), 2:; “ERRATUM”, The South Australian Advertiser (6 August 1860), 3:; [Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (21 August 1860), 1:; “COLONIAL MUSIC”, South Australian Register (26 December 1861), 5:; “SOUTH AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE QUARTERLY SOIREE”, The South Australian Advertiser (29 September 1863), 3:; “SHAKSPEARE TERCENTENARY COMMEMORATION”, South Australian Register (26 April 1864), 7:; “SOUTH AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE”, South Australian Register (14 October 1864), 3:; “WEEK’S INSOLVENTS”, South Australian Register (21 July 1865), 2:; “INSOLVENCY COURT”, The South Australian Advertiser (29 August 1865), 3:; “BENEFIT CONCERT”, South Australian Register (5 December 1868), 2:; “DEATHS”, South Australian Register (14 September 1881), 2s: “PERSONAL”, The Mail (4 September 1915), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Register (9 September 1915), 11:

Note: Mrs. Price's polka, along with other Adelaide volunteer pieces, were lampooned by Robert Harrison, Colonial Sketches: or, Five years in South Australia, with hints to capitalists and emigrants (London: Hall, Virtue, and Co., 1862); “When the Volunteer movement reached Australia it became the fashion for one or two enterprising people to publish a little music adapted to the cause, such as the Adelaide Drum Polka, dedicated to Capt. Turncoat; and the Bugle Rifle Galop, dedicated to Capt. Crawler (by special request); and a waltz […] copied note for note from one of Strauss’ the colonial composer, not taking the trouble even to alter the key or change a note of the music.”



Secretary (Australian Harmonic Club)
Active Sydney, 1845-46

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 November 1845), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 March 1846), 1:; [Advertisement], The Australian (20 June 1846), 2:; [Advertisement], The Australian (9 July 1846), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 October 1846) 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 November 1846), 1:

Disambiguation: Not the Pitt-street engraver, John Price, who died in July 1844, aged 40



Church musician, convict
Active Windsor, NSW, 1824
Died Windsor, 15 June 1856

References: 1824 Dec 31 Paid from the Colonial Fund for performing sacred music at Windsor Church (“John Primrose, for performing sacred music, July 7”) (Reel 6039; 4/424 p.418); “DISBURSEMENTS. ECCLESIASTICAL ESTABLISHMENT”, The Sydney Gazette (3 October 1825), 1:




PRINCE, Henry (Sergeant)
Cornet player, bandsman, bandmaster (12th Regiment)
Born Gibraltar, Spain, 22 March 1827
Arrived Melbourne, 19 October 1854 (per Camperdown, with the regiment)
Died Waratah, NSW, 22 April 1872

Summary: Sergeant Henry Prince was a member of Douglas Callen’s band of the 12th Regiment, and, according to a much later recollection (1917), was “considered an excellent cornetist, and was dubbed the ‘Prince of cornet players’.” Like Callen, he was apparently free to take on a variety of freelance musical engagements in Melbourne in 1855. At a Grand Fancy Ball in Hobart in September 1857, “The chamber band of the 12th Regiment, led by Mr. Prince, were stationed in the gallery”. He replaced Callen as bandmaster (or at least conductor) of the 12th in 1862. While still in the regiment, he was also bandmaster of the No. 1 Battery of Volunteer Artillery, Sydney, in May 1862. He was bandmaster of the Volunteer Rifles Band in Rockhampton, Queensland in 1865, and from 1867 until his death in 1872 was bandmaster of the West Maitland Volunteer Rifles.

Obituary: Henry Prince, whose untimely death from injuries received by a fall from his horse on Saturday last, and whose funeral, with military honours, you have published an account of during the week, was born on the 22nd March, 1827, at Gibraltar, in Spain, his father, also named Henry, being bandmaster of the 12th Regiment of infantry. At a very early age, the late Mr. Prince appears to have been passionately fond of music, and soon showed great aptitude for performing upon several instruments with great skill and excellence; so that here we have an instance of the inheritance and acquirement of musical powers in a professor who has ranked far above the common. At 19 years of age, he was bandmaster of his regiment, and was called the youngest bandmaster in the British army. As the following copy of his discharge will show somewhat of his history, I have copied it from the original, in possession of his widow:— “Discharge.— 1st Battalion, 12th Kegitncnt of Infantry.— These are to certify that 1407 Sergeant Henry Prince was born in the parish of Gibraltar, near the town of Gibraltar, in the kingdom of Spain; was enlisted at Brecon for the 12th Regiment of Infantry, on the 6th day of November, 1839, at the ago of 13 years. He has served in the army for 19 years and 155 days— at the Cape of Good Hope, 94 days; at the Mauritius, 4 years and 210 days; and in the Australian colonies, 9 years and 257 days, being discharged in consequence of being unfit for further military service.— JOHN F. KEMP, 12th Foot.— Dated at Sydney, N.S.W., 8th December, 1863.— Horse Guards, 12th day of April, 1864. - F. H. TIDY, Assistant Adjutant-General.” “Character.— His character has been exemplary.— JOHN FRANCIS KEMP.” — Going out to the Mauritius in 1842 to relieve the 87th, and calling at the Cape for water and provisions, the Kaffirs had just rebelled; they were kept at the Cape for 94 days; then went on to the Island of .Mauritius, 'and arrived 11the June, 1842, at Port Louis; remaining there nearly five years; from thence to Portsmouth, for home service, and was quartered in Ireland; leaving England in 1854 for the Australian colonies. During his residence in Ireland he became a member of the Most Ancient and ltight Worshipful Lodge of St. John; Lodge No. 3, Belfast Co. Antrim, of True and Accepted Masons, holding a certificate on parchment, written in English and Latin, and registered 15th, Nov., 1853; year of masonry, 5853. During his service in Tasmania, he was presented with an address, drawn out in parchment; as follows: — “Presented to Sergeant Henry Prince, of the 12th Regiment Band, by the members of the United Victoria and Hope of Rechab Band: — “Dear Sir — We, the undersigned members of the above band, desire to express our deep regret at your unexpected departure from amongst us, and wish most heartily to thank you for the patient and unremitting attention bestowed on us during the time you have so efficiently and satisfactorily been our instructor, and we take the opportunity of assuring you that your kind and gentlemanly manner will ever be remembered by us. In taking leave of you then, we would express our earnest hope that in the colony to which you are going, you may enjoy that best of blessings, health, and that all temporal and spiritual prosperity may be yours. With our best, wishes for yourself, Mrs. Prince, and family, we beg to subscribe ourselves, dear Sir, your affectionate pupils, [here follows fifteen signatures.] — JOHN CAREW, secretary, Hobart Town, Tasmania, April 6th, 1858.” Mr. Prince was married in 1853 to Miss Lucy Laurence, daughter of the Lieutenant and Adjutant of the 12th Regiment, who had been born in the regiment, the same as himself; he was sergeant in the band at a very early age, and has been instructor of twenty bands— the Naval Brigade of Newcastle being the last of the twenty. At West Maitland, while instructor of the volunteer band, and about to leave for Waratah, they presented him with a silver cornet, mounted with gold, costing twelve guineas. He has been teaching successively the following bands in the district, namely: — Waratah, Wallsend, Lambton, Artillery and Naval Brigade Newcastle, and the volunteer band at West Maitland. He leaves a widow and six children, the oldest being about sixteen years and the youngcst about two years, there being only one son and five daughters. He was an amible, gentlemanly man, passionately fond of his family, was always pleasant and humourous, and has left many sad friends to mourn his untimely end. On leaving the army he was admitted an out pensioner of her Majesty’s Royal Hospital at Chelsea on the 12th of - April, 1864, at a pension of one shilling and sixpence per day, which will, of course, die with his death. As stated at the inquest, Mr. Prince was a member of the Sons of Temperunce benefit society, Waratah, from whence his widow will be entitled to a donation of £20. The late Mr. Faning began, and it was left to Mr. Prince to carry out successfully the formation of bands of instrumental music at the various collieries, and between them, now that they have both gone hence to be no more seen, they have instilled into our young men a love for music, which is creditable alike to the teachers and the pupils, and the memory of them both will ever he held in veneration. The remarks passed at the open grave by the Rev. Mr. Selwyn gave great pain, and are bitterly protested against as being out of place and uncalled for in the presence of a mixed multitude of people of different religions, and if he will persist in such a line of conduct on such occasions, he need not be astonished to find himself insulted as thoroughly as he insults others, and creating a disturbance at the grave not provided for in the rubric. Great credit is due to the Traffic Manager for his kindness in allowing a special train to convey those who had attended the funeral home to Waratah again, at six o’clock; although I heard several complaints against the station-masters for charging the Volunteers and bandsmen full fares, the same as ordinary passengers, especially the volunteers, and I hear an enquiry will be made at headquarters as to why the usual rule of free passages by rail for volunteers on duty was departed from.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (24 February 1855), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (10 April 1855), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (21 June 1855), 8:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Argus (19 July 1855), 5: “TASMANIA”, Empire (9 October 1857), 3:; “ST. BENEDICT'S CATHOLIC YOUNG MEN'S SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 December 1859), 5:; “VOLUNTEER CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 May 1862), 5:; “CONCERT AT BALMAIN”, Empire (14 May 1862), 5:; “BOTANIC GARDENS”, Empire (8 July 1862), 4:; [Advertisement], Empire (9 June 1863), 1:; “OUTER DOMAIN”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 August 1863), 5:; [News], Rockhampton Bulletin (10 August 1865), 2:; “THE CORPORATION BALL”, Rockhampton Bulletin (28 September 1865), 3:; “WEST MAITLAND VOLUNTEER RIFLES”, The Maitland Mercury (26 March 1868), 4:; “DEATH OF MR. PRINCE, THE LATE WELL-KNOWN BANDMASTER”, The Newcastle Chronicle (23 April 1872), 3:; “DEATH OF MR. PRINCE, THE LATE WELL-KNOWN BANDMASTER”, The Newcastle Chronicle (27 April 1872), 7:; “WARATAH. OBITUARY OF THE LATE MR. PRINCE”, The Newcastle Chronicle (27 April 1872), 6:; “WEST MAITLAND VOLUNTEER RIFLES”, The Maitland Mercury (18 January 1873), 2:; “MUSICAL DAY, HISTORY OF THE HOBART BANDS. SOME INTERESTING NOTES”, The Mercury (30 August 1917), 2:; “MISS E. A. PRINCE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 October 1931), 6:

Bibliography: Ken Larbalestrier, 12th Regiment of Foot (East Suffolk): service in Australia and New Zealand 1854-67;




PRINGLE, George R. G.
Organist, teacher of organ, pianoforte, singing, composer
Active Melbourne, by 1858
Died Leipzig, Germany, January 1873

Summary: Pringle first presented Madame Stuttaford (Charlotte Mary Anne Pringle b. 16 May 1829, Scotland), perhaps his sister, when she arrived in Melbourne in February 1861. He left Melbourne after a benefit farewell on 30 September 1870.

References: “SOUTH HACKNEY CHORAL SOCIETY“, The Musical World 33 (22 December 1855), 826:; [Advertisement], The Argus (15 June 1858), 8:; “CONCERT”, The Argus (22 October 1858), 5:; [News], The Argus (28 February 1861), 4:; “ART TREASURES EXHIBITION”, The Mercury (13 January 1863), 2: “Mr. Pringle, the accomplished organist of St. Peter’s, Melbourne […] played the following selections in that masterly style for which he is distinguished: […] Variations on Home Sweet Home, J. R G. Pringle, Polka Brilliante, J. R. G. Pringle […] Mr. F. Packer also played several pieces in charming style.”; [News], The Argus (6 December 1865), 4:; “MR. PRINGLE'S FAREWELL CONCERT“, The Argus (30 September 1870), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (11 March 1873), 4:

Musical works: Polka Brilliante (“Dedicated to his pupils the Misses M. F. &​ M. E. Symonds, Seagrove Villas, St. Kilda”); and later editions: Sea Grove: Polka Brilliante (2nd edition) Sea Grove: Polka Brilliante (3rd edition) Sea Grove: Polka Brilliante (4th edition)



PRINZ (Mr., M., Herr)
Leader, orchestrator/arranger
Active Melbourne, by 1853

PRINZ (Herr)

Summary: A Herr Prinz was leader of the band at Braid’s Assembly Rooms in Melbourne in May 1853, where he introduced his own German Quadrille, as well as imported works, the Opera Schottische by Youens and an old favourite, Matthew P. King’s Overture to Timour the Tartar. Apparently another Herr Prinz, a vocalist, made “his first appearance in Melbourne” in February 1855. At Catherine Hayes’s Melbourne Exhibition Building performance of Rossini’s Stabat Mater in May 1856: “A small but efficient orchestra under the direction of M. Prinz, to whom the public are indebted in this instance for the production of Rossini’s music as he scored the whole of the orchestral parts from the only pianoforte copy to be had—rendered the introductory music to the great satisfaction of everybody”.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (24 May 1853), 12:; [Advertisement], The Argus (12 February 1855), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (15 February 1855), 7: “MISS HAYES’S CONCERT”, The Argus (6 May 1856), 5:; “MISS CATHERINE HAYES’ FAREWELL CONCERT”, The Cornwall Chronicle (17 May 1856), 3:



Active Melbourne, 1848-50

References: “CONCERT”, The Argus (17 November 1848), 2:; “THE CONCERT”, The Argus (20 April 1849), 2:; “THE CONCERT”, The Argus (11 December 1850), 3:



Bandmaster (H.M.S. Galatea)
Active Australia, 1867-68, ? 1869-70

Summary: Pritchard and one of his bandsman, John Harding, witnessed the attempted assassination of prince Alfred in Sydney in March 1868, and testified in the ensuing inquiry and trial.

References: “THE MAGISTERIAL INQUIRY”, Empire (14 March 1868), 4:; “The Attempted Assassination of the Prince”, Empire (17 March 1868), 2:; “THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH PRELIMINARY MAGISTERIAL INQUIRY”, The Australasian (28 March 1868), 20:; “TRIAL OF THE PRISONER H. J. O’FARRELL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (22 April 1868), 7:; “ON BOARD THE GALATEA”, The Inquirer (3 March 1869), 4:; Votes and proceedings of the Legislative Assembly [NSW] during the season of 1869 (Sydney: Thomas Richards, 1869), 340:



Bandsman (Burton’s Band)
Active, 1856

1856: 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.

References: “MOUNT BARKER”, South Australian Register (7 November 1856), 3:


PROUT, Maria Heathilla (MARSH)
Musician, harpist, pianist, music teacher
Born Sidmouth, Devon, England, 14 April 1807
Arrived Sydney, 16 December 1840 (per Royal Sovereign, from Plymouth, 1 August)
Departed Hobart, 11 April 1848 (per Derwent, for England)
Died Camden Town, London, England, 2 November 1871


References: “THE ARTS”, The Sydney Herald (18 December 1840), 2:; [News], The Australian (6 March 1841), 2:; “THE FINE ARTS”, Australasian Chronicle (16 March 1841), 3:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (23 March 1841), 3:; “CONCERT”, The Sydney Herald (24 March 1841), 2:; “MRS. PROUT’S CONCERT”, Australasian Chronicle (23 march 1841), 2:; “MRS. J. S. PROUT”S CONCERT”, The Sydney Monitor (24 March 1841), 2:; “Mrs. Prout’s Concert”, The Sydney Gazette (12 March 1842), 2:; “CONCERTS”, The Sydney Herald (4 June 1842), 2:; [Advertisement], The Australian (17 October 1843), 2:; “PORT OF HOBART TOWN”, The Courier (9 February 1844), 2:; “SYDNEY ILLUSTRATED”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 March 1844), 2:; “MELANCHOLY ACCIDENT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (22 March 1845), 2:; [Advertisement], The Courier (25 March 1848), 3:; “MUSICAL SOIREE”, The Courier (5 April 1848), 3:; “PORT OF HOBART TOWN”, Colonial Times (14 April 1848), 2:; “MULTUM IN PARVO”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 April 1848), 3:  

Resources: Maria Prout, DAAO:; V. W. Hodgman, Prout, John Skinner (1805-1876), Australian Dcitionary of Biography 2 (1967)

Also: J. S. Prout, Journal of a voyage from Plymouth to Sydney, in Australia on board the emigrant ship Royal Sovereign (with a short description of Sydney. by J. S. Prout, to which is added a brief account of Port Phillip) (London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1844)

Associates: Sister of Stephen Marsh



PYECROFT, Joseph (PIECROFT) (“Joe the Fiddler)
Professor of music, cellist, contrabassist, violinist, bass vocalist
Active Hobart 1844-48; Jettamatong and Goulburn, 1862-64

Summary: Pyecroft, on the contra bass or cello, was a stalwart of Hobart theatre and concerts from 1844. Apparently only recently arrived from homeland Britain (probably free), his erratic behaviour, however, began to get the better of him as early as 1845. After sailing for Melbourne in September 1847, he (himself a Catholic) became a nuisance to a local Catholic congregation, and attempted to drown himself twice. Thereafter he disappears from record until 1862 in rural NSW, when and where, as “Joe the fiddler”, he was sentenced to 2 years in Goulburn Gaol for a malicious shooting.

References: [Advertisement], Colonial Times (30 April 1844), 1:; [Advertisement], The Courier (22 October 1844), 1:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (16 November 1844), 1:;  “CHORAL SOCIETY”, The Courier (23 January 1845), 2:; “HOBART TOWN POLICE REPORT”, The Courier (1 March 1845), 2:; [Advertisement], The Courier (17 June 1845), 3:; “JUVENILE FETE”, The Courier (15 August 1846), 3:; “GRAND BALL AND BANQUET”, The Courier (2 January 1847), 3:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Melbourne Argus (12 September 1848), 2:; “PORT PHILLIP”, Colonial Times (29 September 1848), 3:; “PORT PHILLIP”, The Courier (8 November 1848), 4:; “THE LATE CASE OF SHOOTING AT JELLAMATONG”, Empire (22 July 1862), 2:; “GOULBURN CIRCUIT COURT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 September 1862), 5:



Amateur vocalist (Melbourne German Liedertafel), printer, translator
Born Elberfeld, Germany
Active Hobart TAS, by 1855
Died Richmond, VIC, 24 December 1874

Orchestral music, teacher of music (violin, singing, harmony, composition), music seller, composer
Born 1843
Active Adelaide, SA, by 1866
Died Edwardstown, SA, 12 January 1899, aged 54

1866: SINGING In today’s issue will be found an advertisement announcing that Mr. Loder, with the assistance of Mr. C. Puttman, intends to form singing classes on a new system invented and perfected by himself.

References: [Advertisement], The Courier (14 August 1855), 4:; [Advertisement], The Courier (8 September 1856), 4:; [Advertisement], Bunyip (28 July 1866), 1:; “SINGING”, South Australian Register (11 August 1866), 2:; “MARRIAGES”, South Australian Register (31 December 1866), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (31 December 1866), 1:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (13 October 1865), 1:; “LAW AND CRIMINAL COURTS,” South Australian Register (3 February 1869), 3: [News], The Argus (3 June 1869), 4:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (26 December 1874), 1:; “JUBILEE ODE TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN”, The South Australian Advertiser (20 June 1887), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Advertiser (13 January 1899), 4:; “DEATH OF HERR PUTTMANN”, The Advertiser (13 January 1899), 7:

Works: Let memory guide us (dedicated to the memory of Capt. Sturt; written and composed by C. PÜTTMAN) (Adelaide: Published by S. Marshall, [between 1870 and 1890]); The leather sphere (written by H. Congreve Evans, and inscribed to his friend, Stanley E. Evans, Secretary South Australian Football Association; composed by C. Püttmann) ([Adelaide]: South Australian Football Association, 1894); On boys, with merry song (music by V. E. Becker ; English words, by H. Pütmann) (Melbourne: Nicholson &​ Ascherberg, [? late 187os])



PYNE, Caroline (Mrs.)
Vocalist, Professor of Singing and Pianoforte
Arrived Sydney, 9 December 1850 (per Blackwall, from Portsmouth 16 August)

Summary: In March 1851, Mrs. Pyne “just arrived from the London, Bath, Bristol, and Clifton concerts” made the first of her regular performances that year in Abraham Emanuel and George Hudson’s weekly popular “Casino” promenade concerts at the Royal Hotel. In December she sang Donizetti and Gugliemi (the latter a duet with James Waller) in Andrew Moore’s concert, and reappeared after a long absence in December 1853 for Charles Packer. She first advertised as a teacher in March 1851, and in July 1856 announced her removal from 6 Upper Fort-street, Sydney, to Pyne Cottage, Datchett-street, Balmain. Mrs Pyne and her husband, William J. Pyne, suffered the deaths of at least three of their children, at ages 3 months, 4 years and 18 years. W. J. Pyne was still at Balmain in 1867, a decade after Caroline disappears from record.

References: “ARRIVALS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 December 1850), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 March 1851), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (14 March 1851), 4:; “MR. EMANUEL'S PROMENADE CONCERT“, Bell's Life in Sydney (29 March 1851), 2:;  [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 April 1851), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 November 1851), 3:; [Advertisement], Empire (14 December 1853), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 July 1856), 8: h


- Q -


QUIN, Michael
Bugler (21st Regiment)
Active Perth, 1835

References: “MAGISTRATE’S COURT”, The Perth Gazette (22 August 1835), 549: “Michael Quin, a bugler in H. M.’s 21st Regt, was, charged with having taken away three planks of native mahogany, the property of William Ward […]”;“MAGISTRATE’S COURT”, The Perth Gazette (29 August 1835), 555:



QUINN, Michael
Bandmaster (18th Royal Irish Regiment)
Active Australia, March-August 1870 (en route from New Zealand to England)

References: “The Band of the 18th Royal Irish …”, Empire (26 April 1870), 2:; “BOTANIC GARDENS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (17 May 1870), 4:; “HAND BALL MATCH”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (25 June 1870), 2:; “BOTANIC GARDENS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 August 1870), 4:




QUON, Ah-Lok
“Chinese theatrical performer and singer”
Active Castlemaine, 1861

References: “NEW INSOLVENTS”, Bendigo Advertiser (6 July 1861), 2: Quon ah Lok, of Castlemaine, Chinese theatrical performer, and singer, now a prisoner in Her Majesty's gaol, Sandhurst. Causes of insolvency-An adverse judgment in County Court, and pressure of creditors, Assets, £66; liabilities, £456.4s.; deficiency, £390. 4s.”


- R -


Clarionettist (band of the 51st Regiment)
Arrived Hobart, with regiment, by late March 1839
Departed with the regiment, 8 August 1846 (for India)

References: [Advertisement], Colonial Times (9 June 1840), 2:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (21 July 1840), 3:; [Launceston news], Colonial Times (11 May 1841), 4:; “MR. BUSHELLE'S CONCERT“, The Courier (24 February 1843), 2:; “HOBART TOWN EXTRACTS“, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 March 1843), 4:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (16 November 1844), 1:; “THE THEATRE“, Colonial Times (29 March 1845), 3:; [Advertisement], The Courier (19 June 1845), 1:; “THE 51ST REGIMENT“, Colonial Times (23 September 1845), 3:; “DEPARTURE OF THE 51ST REGIMENT“, Launceston Examiner (8 August 1846), 4:



RADFORD, William
Musicians, violinists, composer(s)
Active Melbourne, 1853-56

Summary: In 1853 was advertised: “New Music, composed by Radford, expressly for Braids’ Rooms: The Argus Polka, Braids Assembly Polka, Herald of Hope Valses, Express Galope, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evening”, In October 1854, the Radfords led the band at the Melbourne Casino and played “a duet on one violin, first time in Australia”, and in November and December they were among the violinists for concerts at the Victorian Exhibition. William was playing violin with Austin Saqui in Beechworth in mid 1855, and was at Bendigo playing with Edward Salaman in October. In Melbourne “Mr. Radford“ was leader of the Criterion Band at the Casino in January 1855, and of the band at the Salle de Valentino in in February 1856.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (19 August 1853), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (19 October 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (29 November 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (7 December 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 January 1855), 8:; “BENDIGO. PATRIOTIC BALL”, The Argus (1 October 1855), 6:; [Advertisement], The Argus (15 February 1856), 8:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (5 March 1858), 3:



RAHM, Veit
Zither player, “Tyrolese Minstrel”, composer
Arrived Melbourne, May 1853
Departed ? Melbourne, ? January 1857

Summary: In Australia Rahm’s programs included several of his own works, including Aria The Evening Bells with Variations (hand fantasia; zither) [see also Veit Rahm, Music of the Tyrol (1. Evening bells; 2. A Tyrolese air), arr. for pianoforte by J.O. Smith (London: [1852]), copy at British Library, Music Collections h.970.(13.) [004597311], The Tyrolese Postilion (national song; in imitation of the trumpet; zither), and The Crying Peasant (comic song).

(Sydney, May 1856): The chief attraction was the vocalization and instrumental performance of Mr. Rahm on the zither, a stringed instrument of his own invention. The songs sung by the Tyrolese minstrel were selected from his own compositions. They were meritorious productions, but they defy tbe efforts of every one not possessing a voice of very great compass. In the Tyrolese Minstrel, Mr. Rahm gives an excellent imitation of the sound of the trumpet, only surpassed by his performance of the Nightingale, with imitations. The grand aria on the zither, the Mountain Bells, and the Last Rose of Summer, with variations, were exquisite performances, requiring delicate and yet brilliant manipulation. The comic song, the Crying Peasant, produced the usual exliilirating effects. Mr. Rahm proved himself deserving of the encores and applause he received.

References: “MUSICAL”, The Argus (4 May 1853), 9:; “HERR VEIT RAHM”, The Courier (19 October 1854), 3:; [Advertisement], The Courier (13 November 1854), 3:; “HERR VEIT RAHM’S CONCERT”, The Courier (18 November 1854), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 February 1855), 1:; “KILMORE”, The Argus (18 January 1856), 5:; “HERR VEIT RAHM’S FAREWELL CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 May 1856), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (1 January 1857), 8:



Teacher of dancing
Active Sydney, 1830

Summary: Mrs. Raine ran both a boarding school for young ladies and a “Dancing Academy” in Sydney in 1830.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (10 July 1830), 1:



RAINER, J. C. (John Cragin)
Vocalist, musical director (Rainer’s Minstrels; Rainers’s Serenaders), theatre manager
Born New York, 1820
Arrived Sydney, 19 September 1852 (per Speed, from San Francisco, 28 July)
Died Coburg, VIC, 27 November 1889, aged 69

Image: J. C. Rainer, 1849:

(California, July 1852): This evening this excellent and popular band of Minstrels make their last appearance in California prior to the departure for the Australian colonies. Mr. J. C. Rainer, the leader of tins famed troupe of serenaders, takes a benefit, and for which an unusually interesting programme is announced.

(1867): I see that Mr J. C. Rainer, the original proprietor of Rainer’s Christy Minstrels, has, after a life of comparative inaction as a licensed victualler at Daylesford, again taken the field, or rather the boards, this time as conductor of the Campbell troupe. Any one who knew Mr Rainer’s vocal ability in former years, and hears how little time has impaired his really fine voice, will be glad to learn that he has again resumed his profession.

References: “RAINER’S SERENADERS”, Daily Alta California (25 July 1852):; “ARRIVALS”, The Maitland Mercury (25 September 1852), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 October 1852), 1:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Courier (14 April 1853), 2:; [Advertisement], The Courier (14 April 1853), 3:; “CLEARANCES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (6 September 1855), 4:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (6 September 1856), 4:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (19 December 1859), 1: “MELBOURNE”, Bendigo Advertiser (11 June 1867), 2:; [Advertisement], Daily Southern Cross (3 March 1870), 1:; “RAINER’S DIORAMA”, Bendigo Advertiser (12 March 1881), 2s:; “THE AMERICAN WAR”, South Australian Register (12 June 1882), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (28 November 1889), 1:

Related prints:
Ben Bolt (as sung by M. W. White of Rainer’s Minstrels, arranged by J. C. Rainer) (Sydney: H. Marsh and Co., [185?])
Old Folks at Home (arranged by J. C. Rainer) (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [18??])
Old Folks at Home (as sung by by T. Brower of Rainer’s Minstrels, as arranged by J. C. Rainer) (Sydney: For the author by H. Marsh. [185?])
H. Marsh & Co.’s Ethiopian Melodies, As Sung by the New York & Rainer’s Serenaders (list)

Resources: Benjamin Miller, The fantasy of whiteness: blackness and Aboriginality in American and Australian culture (Ph.D thesis, University of New South Wales, 2009), 128-29.



RAINFORD, T. H. (Thomas)
Basso vocalist, composer, songwriter
Arrived Melbourne, by February 1863
Died Glebe, NSW, 9 November 1906, aged 75

Obituary: THE LATE TOM RAINFORD. For six years Mr. Rainford was principal basso with Lyster's famous opera companies, appearing in 15 different operas. His repertoire ranged from Mephisto, Count Arnheim, Don Jose (“Maritana”), and parts in “La Sonnambula”, “Daughter of the Regiment”, “Der Freischutz”, “Martha” and “Satanella”, to the lightest opera bouffes by Offenbach and others, one of his famous characters being General Boom in “The Grand Duchess”. Besides singing in the “Elijah” with the Melbourne Philharmonic Society in 1870, Mr. Rainford toured for six months with Mme. Arabella Goddard in 1874, with Mme. Christian in 1875, and Mme. Ilma de Murska in Ï876—a records which shows that his talents were freely recognised in what may be termed classic circles. The late Tom Rainford lived to such a ripe old age (75 years) that the various accounts of his career dealt chiefly with the latter part of it, prominence being given to the connection of the basso with the original Christy Minstrels in London, and with various comic opera companies in Australia. Miss Eva Rainford, who attended her father to the last, reminds us that he was an accomplished musician and “theorist”, who could score for full band from a pianoforte setting. In his earlier years the basso appeared five times before Queen Victoria, and, arriving in Australia in 1863 he sang at the concert to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1868, and at Calcutta before the present King during his visit to India as Prince of Wales in 1870.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (10 February 1863), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 September 1867), 8:; “Music at the Great National Fair”, The Sydney Mail (5 September 1891), 9:; “SERIOUS ILLNESS OF MR. RAINFORD”, Singelton Argus (7 July 1903), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 November 1906), 12:; “THE LATE TOM RAINFORD”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 November 1906), 3:

Musical works:
Beneath the Southern Cross (patriotic song; words by E. Mullarkey ; music by Thos. H. Rainford (“Sung by Mr. Warwick Gainor with great success“) (Sydney: Troedel, [1888])
Christmas bells by Thos. H. Rainford, in Violet's musical album (Sydney : H. J. Samuell, 1894)

As sung by T. H. Rainford:
Oh! boyhood's days (“words by Frank Younge; music by George Loder; As sung by T.H. Rainford” (Melbourne : W.H. Glen &​ Co., [188-?])
Ring the bell watchman (“composed by H.C. Work; Sung by T. Rainford of Weston &​ Hussey's Minstrels“) (Melbourne: W. H. Glen, [? 1870s]) = tune later adapted to Click go the shears
Sons of new Britannia (“Australian patriotic song; words by W. T. Goodge; music by Nicholas J. Gehde (Sydney: Nicholson &​ Co., [1899])



Active Melbourne, 1858

1858: During the evening, Mr. Ramage, who fill lately has very kindly given his gratuitous services as Precentor, was presented with a handsome mahogany writing-desk and a bible.

References: “UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, COLLINS STREET”, The Argus (8 January 1858), 4:



RANDALL, John (“Black Randall”)
Musician, bandsman (Band of the New South Wales Corps)
Arrived Sydney, 26 January 1788 (convict per Alexander, from Portsmouth 13 May 1787)

After Statham and Fairall: Randall was an Afro-American, from New Haven, Connecticut, born about 1764. He was convicted in Manchester, England, on 14 April 1785 for stealing a steel watch chain and sentenced to seven years transportation. He was sent to the Hulk Ceres early in 1786 and transferred to the Convict Transport Alexander on 6 January 1787. His name was recorded as Reynolds when mustered aboard, though he was arrested and tried as Randall. He enlisted in the NSW Corps at Sydney on 17 November 1800 and was discharged on 24 April 1810. He was accordingly serving in the Corps at the time of the convict insurrection at Vinegar Hill (5 March 1804) and the Rum Rebellion, 26 January 1808. Records suggest that he was stationed at the Sydney Barracks, and paysheets for the Corps (Mitchell Library) record that he received an allowance for playing in the Corps Band for at least a year (1806).

Resources: Pamela Statham (ed.), A Colonial Regiment: New Sources relating to the New South Wales Corps 1789-1810 ([Canberra]: P. Statham, 1992); Ray Fairall, The Afro-Australians: The Randall/Martin Families and the First Fleet, Sydney 1788, A work in Progress (revised 25 October 2008):



RANGONI, Signor (? pseud.)
Trombone player
Active Beechworth, VIC, 1855-57

References: [Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (26 May 1855), 6:; [Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (16 March 1857), 3: 



Violinist, merchant
Born 1819
Arrived (1) Adelaide, by April 1846; departed Sydney, 3 September 1846 (per Emerald Isle, for Calcutta)
Arrived (2) Sydney, 22 October 1852 (per Formosa, from Southampton, 7 August)
Died Darlinghurst, 12th January 1873, aged 54 years

RAWACK, Madame Amalia (Amalie MAUTHNER)
Pianist (pupil of Thalberg and Liszt)
Born Pest (Budapest), 1832
Arrived Sydney, by April 1858
Departed Sydney, 6 February 1861 (per Duncan Dunbar, for London)
Died Vienna, 1916

Summary (Leopold): On the basis of the 1873 testimony below, I am assuming for the moment that the violinist Leopold Ravac who toured in 1846 is the Leopold Rawack who returned to set up a business with his brother in 1852. Ravac had played in Hong Kong in May 1845 ([Advertisement], The Friend of China and Hong Kong Gazette (28 May 1845), 796) and in February 1846 in Singapore ([Advertisement] & “MR. RAVAC’S ENTERTAINMENT”, The Straits Times (21 February 1846), 2:;, in both places with an associate artist named Fiebig. However, he arrived in Adelaide in April 1846 to team up with pianist Julius Imberg, who had himself arrived from Bremen in January. In Sydney he founda new associate in Stephen Marsh, and the two left for Calcutta in September. Marsh reported to friends in Sydney that they quarelled and separated, though both went on to London. Leopold Rawack was later on the organising committee of the Sydney University Musical Festival in July 1859.

Summary (Amalie Rawack; after Bergman/Babbe): Amalie was daughter of Zacharias Mauthner and pupil of pianist-composer Anton Halm (1789—1872). In 1853 in Vienna, she met Leopold Rawack (1819-1873), and they married shortly after and moved to Australia. “All the world congratulated the charming, high educated, but impecunious Miss Mauthner when they heard that she was going to marry a rich merchant from the gold mining district of Australia“ (Journal of Dr. Karl Scherzer). She came to notice in Sydney playing for the Philharmonic Society in 1858 and at a concert in 1859 to honor the officers of the Austrian frigate Novara, in Sydney during its circumnavigation of the world. According to Scherzer, Amalie intended from first arrival in Australia to return to Vienna as soon as finances allowed. Among was probably responsible for introducing a number of important major European instrumental works, as for instance in Sydney in May 1858, when, with “a gentleman amateur“ violinist (probably her husband Leopold) and cellist Edward Deane, she gave the first partial local performance of Mendelssohn's D-minor Trio, Op.49 (minus the first movement). Apart from the concert performances, she was successful teaching: “The most prestigious and richest families in Sydney's regarded it as a special favor and weighed it in gold to have their children trained as pianists by Mrs. R.” (Scherzer, 65f.). She separated from/? divorced Leopold, and returned to Vienna in 1861. There in 1865 she married the pianist Julius Epstein (1832-1918). Though it was not published until 1862, after she had left Australia, Edward Boulanger dedicated his Impromptu Polka to Amelia.

Austria 1861: And now let us come to the principal novelty of this truly splendid entertainment, the re-appearance, after her return from the Antipodes, of Madame Rawack, who, even as a young girl, excited the most intense interest in the artistic world of Vienna, from her extraordinary talent as a pianist, but from whom Hymen doomed us to so long a separation. Madame Rawack played Thalberg's “Sonnambula Fantasia,“ in what with truth may be said to be a masterly manner. Her execution now combines a full, powerful, and marked emphasis with the most delicate fingering; the most brilliant bravura skill united to a truly classical, but yet expressive repose in the development of the greatest difficulties -qualities but too seldom found in the modern examples of the world of virtuosi.

Sydney 1873: SIR. With the remaiks of your critic on the performance of the Musical Union yesterday evening, I think everyone present will agree; he is, however, in error, in stating that “stringed quartettes are an entirely new feature in concerts here”. I heard very good performances by the Deanes and othees thirty years ago in Sydney; later by a quartette, of which the late Mr. Rawack was the leader, and quartettes of the Chamber Concerts given by Mr. and Mrs. Herman [? Herwyn]. Many persons spent very pleasant evenings it the residence of a well-known musical chemist here, where Beethoven and Mozart ruled the hour, through the interpretations of musicians of ability on stringed instruments. I remain, sir, yourss, &c, MUSIC OF OLD TIMES. June 1.”

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (15 April 1846), 1:; “LOCAL INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (22 April 1846), 3:; “LOCAL INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (25 April 1846), 3:; “MUSIC”, The Australian (26 May 1846), 3:; “THE CONCERT”, The Courier (17 June 1846), 2:; “MR. RAVAC’S Concert”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 August 1846), 2:; “MUSICIANS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (31 August 1846), 2:; “MR. MARSH’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 September 1846), 2:; [Advertisement], The Australian (5 September 1846), 2:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, Sydney Chronicle (5 September 1846), 3:; “MR. MARSH”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 May 1847), 2:; “MULTUM IN PARVO”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 August 1848), 2:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (22 October 1852), 1s:; “INSOLVENCY OF RAWAK AND COMPANY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 August 1856), 4:; “MADAME RAWACK’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 April 1858), 4:; “MADAME AMALIA RAWACK”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 May 1858), 5:; “MADAME AMALIA RAWACK'S CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 May 1858), 7:; “MUSIC AND THE DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 August 1858), 11:; “Die ‘Novara’ unde die Deutschen in Australien”, Magazin für die Literatur des Auslandes (17 March 1859), 129:; “MUSIC AND THE DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (13 May 1859), 9:; “DEPARTURES”, Empire (19 February 1861), 3:; “MADAME RAWACK IN AUSTRALIA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (3 December 1861), 5:; “THE EXPLOSION IN BRIDGE STREET”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 March 1866), 2:; “INSOLVENCY COURT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 January 1867), 2:; “CENTRAL POLICE COURT”, Empire (2 June 1870), 3:; “DEATHS”, Empire (14 January 1873), 1:; “Musical and Dramatic Review”, Australian Town and Country Journal (21 June 1873), 21:; “STRINGED QUARTETS. TO THE EDITOR”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 June 1877), 5:

Web: Hanna Bergmann/Annkatrin Babbe 



RAY, Edgar
Tenor vocalist
Active Melbourne, by December 1852

Summary: In Melbourne in December 1852, Ray advertised that “THE CITY OF LONDON GLEE AND MADRIGAL UNION” was available for engagements, also noting that his colleagues Mr. W. C. Lyon and Mr. E. Hancock, “professors of the Royal Academy of Music, London” would give lessons in singing, pianoforte and harmony. That month, too, the three appeared in the UNION's inaugural concert with other recent arrivals including Harriet Fiddes. By 1855 Ray was a publisher and printer (of, among others, Melbourne Punch), though from 1856 he again took to the stage, as, for instance, in June 1856, for a charity benefit at the Olympic Theatre in which the cast also included Punch contributor R. H. Horne.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (4 December 1852), 1:; [Advertisement], The Argus (13 December 1852), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (17 January 1853), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (2 June 1856), 8:

Bibliography: Marjorie J. Tipping, Sinnett, Frederick (1830–1866), Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976)



RAY, Joseph
Actor, comic vocalist
Arrived Hobart, October 1832
Departed 12 December 1832 (per Arethusa, for London)

Summary: Where he had come from is unclear (had he been a convict?), but Ray spent two months in Hobart in late 1832 and gave at least two entertainments with, among others, Mrs. Davis and Mr. Deane. According to the Colonial Times: “Mr. Ray does not shine as a musician, his voice is rather powerful in the lower notes, and the falsetto decent, especially the upper tones, but he has little idea of cleverly passing from his natural voice to the falsetto—there is a degree of difficulty when he arrives at passages requiring the blending of the two—beside one very serious drawback to Mr. Ray, being considered a good musician, is that, his ear is by no means perfect, and he frequently gives whole passages far from being in tune.” Nevertheless, another paper found him “successful in delighting the audience, particularly in the song of the Spider and fly, which he gave with considerable comic effect”. For an 1844 US edition of the popular song, words by Thomas Hudson, see:; or

References: [News], The Hobart Town Courier (19 October 1832), 3:; [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (16 November 1832), 3:; [News], Colonial Times (20 November 1832), 2:; “VAN DIEMEN’S LAND”, The Australian (7 December 1832), 3:; [News], Colonial Times (30 December 1832), 2:; “TRADE AND SHIPPING”, The Sydney Gazette (25 December 1832), 3: 



RAYNER, C. W. (? Charles)
Basso vocalist, Professor and Teacher of Vocal Music, composer, songwriter
Arrived Sydney, February 1865
Departed Sydney, by 1870

Summary: The Smith, Brown, and Collins “original” Christy’s minstrel troupe, in which Rayner was “an eminent basso and first class musician” arrived in Sydney “after a most successful tour through India, China, Java, Batavia, &c.” in February 1865. With a mixed program including black-face minstrel numbers and operatic burlesque, they toured to Melbourne in March, Bendigo in April, Adelaide in May, Tasmania in July, and gave their farewell season for the reopening of the Victoria Theatre in Sydney in December. In January 1866, J. H. Anderson and Son issued Dear Mother I’ve come home to die, “the popular song sung by C. W. Rayner” (see Anderson’s 3rd edition Dear Mother I’ve come home to die), while Rayner himself, having stayed on after the rest of his troupe returned to Europe, advertised as a “Professor of Singing” (“pupil of Signor Randegger and Henry Drayton”) care of Alfred Anderson. Anderson assisted by writing “accompaniments” of the first song Rayner published in Sydney, probably necessarily, because later it was reported that Rayner “for some time has been studying the theory of music with Gassner”. Gassner, bandmaster of the 50th Regiment, made and played band arrangements of several of Rayner’s pieces, as well as his own March on Rayner’s Southern Cross (1867). Rayner was last billed to appear in concert in June 1869, and a year later was reported to be in Virginia City, USA.

References: “THE ORIGINAL CHRISTYS’ MINSTRELS”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (4 February 1865), 2:; [Advertisement], Empire (13 February 1865), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (18 February 1865), 1:; “THE ORIGINAL CHRISTY’S”, The Sydney Morning Herald (25 February 1865), 7:; “RE-OPENING OF THE VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 December 1865), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 January 1866), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 January 1866), 12:; [Advertisement], Empire (8 February 1866), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 February 1866), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 June 1866), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 June 1867), 7:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 August 1867), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (12 October 1867), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 November 1867), 1:; “New Song”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 May 1868), 6:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 July 1868), 7:; [News], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 August 1868), 4:; “Colonial Extracts”, Quenbeyan Age (15 August 1868), 3: ; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 February 1869), 1:; “AUSTRALIAN PATRIOTIC ASSOCIATION SOIREE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (17 June 1869), 4:; “ELLA ZOYARA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 July 1870), 5:

C. W. Rayner's elementary system, and course of study for singing classes (“with examples in the art of phrasing, also exercises for the development of the voice”) (Sydney: F. White, Machine and General Printer, [1866])
Speak Gently (song; words: D[avid] Bates; accompaniments by Alfred Anderson) ([Sydney]: Rayner, [1867])
One word (song; words: Miss Parkes, music C.W. Rayner) (Sydney: To be had from the author [Rayner], [1868])
The Australian Belles (Caballetta) ([Sydney: Rayner, 1867])
I will brighter be tomorrow (romanza) ([Sydney: Rayner, 1867])
Australia’s Welcome to Prince Alfred (“Ode to Prince Alfred”) (words: J. H. Rucker)(Sydney: Published by the composer, [1867])
The Southern Cross (Sydney: Published by the Composer, [1868]); The Southern Cross (5th edn.)
There’s No Such Word as Fail (words: F. S. Wilson) (Sydney: Published by the Composer, [1868])
The Australian Stockman’s Song (A Bush Lyric; words: F. S. Wilson) (Sydney: Published by the composer, [1868])



RAYROUX, Adolphe Francois
Professor of Music and Languages (University of Paris), pianist, composer
Active Melbourne, by 1864
Died Melbourne, 4 August 1895

1868: An amateur vocal and instrumental concert was given in the Sale Mechanies' Institute on Thursday evening by the local amateurs, in aid of the fund for the purchase of the piano now used in the hall […]Mons. Ad. Rayroux presided at the piano, and the band was comprised as follows:-1st violin, Mr J. H. W. Pettit; 2nd violin, Mr S. Lang; 1st flute, Mr W. T. Sprod; 2nd flute, Mr S. Slater; violincello, Mr T. Thew […]The concert was opened with an overture from “Massaniello”, very creditably performed by the band […] A quadrille “Le jour de naissance”, composed by Mr. W. Legge was rendered by the hand in an inspiriting manner […] The Waltz “L'Etoile du Berger”, composed by Mr. Rayroux was also performed by the orchestra and elicited applause.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (28 July 1864), 3:; [Advertisement], Gippsland Times (12 January 1867), 4:; “AMATEUR CONCERT”, Gippsland Times (5 December 1868), 3:; “M. RAYROUX. TO THE EDITOR”, Gippsland Times (20 April 1869), 3:; “CONCERT”, Kerang Times (14 September 1877), 2:; “INSOLVENT COURT”, The Argus (21 March 1881), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (5 August 1895), 1:



REA, Alex
Professor of Music, organist, pianist, composer
Active Sydney, by 1862
Died Enmore, Sydney, 13 March 1909, aged 79

References: “CONGREGATIONAL MISSIONARY SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 July 1862), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 July 1863), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 June 1864), 1: ; “THE CHROMATIC RONDO”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 November 1864), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 December 1864), 12: “CATHEDRAL ORGAN OPENING”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 July 1867), 5: ; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 February 1874), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 February 1874), 1:;  “NEW MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 February 1874), 7:; “MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 October 1874), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 October 1874), 1:; [News], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 June 1879), 5:; “MESSRS. WEEKES AND CO.”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 March 1882), 5:; “THE CENTENNIAL ORGAN. TO THE EDITOR”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 September 1889), 13:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 July 1902), 6:; “FUNERALS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 March 1909), 12:; “Mr. Alexander Rea …”, The Sydney Morning Herald (16 March 1909), 6: “SYDNEY COLLEGE OF MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 April 1909), 12:

Selected musical works:
Chromatic Rondo (a study for the pianoforte) (Sydney: Reading &​ Wellbank, [1864])
Grand Octave Waltz (for the pianoforte) (Sydney: Reading &​ Wellbank, [1864])
Gathering Rosebuds (a song written and composed by Alexander Rea) (Sydney: Elvy &​ Co., [1874])
Caprice (“for the Pianoforte, composed and dedicated to Miss E. M.Woolley”) (Sydney: Elvy and Co., [1874])
The Promenade Rondo (for the pianoforte) (Sydney: Elvy &​ Co., [1879])
Sonatina for the pianoforte No. 1 in C ([Sydney] London: Weekes &​ Co., [1882])
The Chatterbox Rondo (for the pianoforte) ([Sydney] London: Weekes &​ Co., [1887])
Reverie (song, the words by Albert G. Dawes) ([Sydney] London: Weekes &​ Co., [1888])
Good night, good night (song , the words by Albert G. Dawes) ([Sydney] London: Weekes &​ Co., [1888])
Beneath a broad elm tree  (song, the words by Albert G. Dawes) ([Sydney] London: Weekes &​ Co., [1888])
Consolation (melody for the pianoforte) (Sydney: W. H. Paling &​ Co., [1902])



READ, Beaumont
Alto vocalist (student of John Hullah), songwriter
Born Dorset, England
Arrived Sydney, December 1874 (from London)
Died Unley Park, Adelaide, SA, 5 January 1910, aged 77

Melbourne, January 1875: Amongst these names the most interesting on the score of novelty will be that of Mr. Beaumont Read who sings with a voice which is rarely heard amongst men in these days. Of mature age he appears to have still preserved the fresh and high voice of a boys voice which has grown into power without that break which marks the period of adolescence. His selections were The Maid of Athens by Allen and this being encored he sang Little Sweetheart come and kiss me (a song noticed lately as being published in Melbourne). In the second part he sang another ballad of the plaintive kind suited to his exceptional voice entitled Please give me a penny, the composition of Siebert and as sung by Mr. Read as touching an appeal as any mendicant might hope to trade upon. This was very well sung indeed and it was encored with great warmth by the audience, who, by their applause, were evidently interested by the novelty of the singer’s voice.

Adelaide, 1903: When did I come to Australia? Let me see. It must have been 1874. I have a vivid remembrance of my Australian debut in Sydney. I was engaged to appear at the Exhibition Building on Christmas night, and I gave “He was despised”. It happened that Madame Anna Bishop was also singing, and she was so pleased with my voice that she waited at the wings of the platform for me and arranged that I should make a tour of Australia with her company. At the conclusion of this trip I spent two years in New York, and came back to Australia, where I have remained ever since. I came to reside at Adelaide 11 years ago on the death of my wife, and immediately formed a male quartet consisting of Messrs. Holder, Nash, Middleton, and myself. We were a successful combination, and I think won considerable popularity while we were together.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 December 1874), 10:; [Advertisement], The Argus (9 January 1875), 12:; “MADAME ANNA BISHOP’S CONCERT”, The Argus (13 January 1875), 6:; “MR. BEAUMONT READ”, The Register (4 April 1903), 3:; “AFTER FIFTY YEARS. RETIREMENT OF A PUBLIC SINGER, MR. BEAUMONT READ”, The Register (9 April 1903), 7:; “A NOTABLE SINGER”, The Register (6 January 1910), 7:; “A PROMINENT SINGER. MR. BEAUMONT READ DEAD”, The Advertiser (7 January 1910), 8:

Associated songs: Don’t go, Molly Darling (ballad; “music by Edward Kearns; words by F. Mears”; “especially composed for Mr. Beaumont Read of Madame Bishop’s company”) (Melbourne: W. H. Glen & Co., 1875)
Please give me a penny ( by Wm. Seibert, as sung by Beaumont Read) (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1875])
Sweet by and by (words by Fillmore Bennett; music by J. P. Webster; as sung by Beaumont Read of the Kelly and Leon Troupe) (Melbourne: Nicholson &​ Ascherberg, [1877])
For the old land’s sake (written and sung by Beaumont Read; music by N. La Feuillade) (Sydney: W. H. Paling &​ Co., [1885])



READ, Mrs. Charles
Professor of Music and Dancing, Drawing from Nature (formerly of the Royal Leamington Spa), composer
Active Sydney, by 1853

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 October 1853), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 January 1854), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (29 December 1855), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 February 1856), 1:; “COURT OF REQUESTS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (24 July 1856), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 November 1859), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 February 1865), 6:; “THE MUSICAL FESTIVAL”, The Argus (9 April 1867), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 December 1868), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 January 1869), 1:; [Advertisement], Australian Town and Country Journal (30 January 1875), 11:; “THE AUSTRALIAN BALL-ROOM GUIDE”, The Maitland Mercury (29 January 1876), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 July 1888), 2:

Musical compositions:
The Irrestistible Galop (“for the pianoforte composed by Mrs. C. Reed”) (Sydney: Elvy & Co., [1865]);
The Sydney Quadrilles (“arranged by Mrs. Charles Read”) (Sydney: J. Reading & Co., [1868]) (“composed and arranged by Mrs. Charles Read, on tho most popular airs of Sydney, dedicated, by permission, to Mrs. James Martin”) (2nd ed. January 1869)

Other works: Mrs. Chas. Reed’s Australian Ballroom Guide (? 1st edn. 1875); later edns.;



Music-seller, music publisher, stationer, printer
Active Sydney, by 1843
Active as “Reading and Wellbank”, 1853-68
Active as “J. Reading and Co. Music Publishers and Sellers”, 1868-78/79
Died ? Sydney, 17 June 1878, aged 67; or after 1884

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 March 1843), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 October 1853), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 October 1854), 6:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 July 1868), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (12 October 1868), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 February 1879), 10:; ? “DEATHS“, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 June 1878), 1:

Sample publications:
Under the Holly (cantata; words: R.P. Whitworth; music: James Churchill Fisher) [wordbook only] (Sydney: Reading &​ Wellbank, 1865)
I’ve waited and watched (ballad; from cantata Under the Holly, above) (Sydney: J. Reading, [1868])
Royal Sailor Waltzes (by the composer Edward Lord, Jnr) (Sydney: Reading and Wellbank, [1868])
The Molly Asthore Waltzes (by Douglas Callen) (Sydney: Reading and Wellbank, [186-?]) 



READING, J. W. (James W.)
Vocalist, banjoist (Ethiopian Serenaders; New York Serenaders)
Active Sydney, by 1850

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 April 1850), 1:; [Advertisement], Bell’s Life in Sydney (6 April 1850), 2:; “ETHIOPIAN SERENADERS”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (6 April 1850), 3:; [Advertisement], The Courier (31 August 1850), 1:; “THE SERENADERS”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (9 November 1850), 2:; [Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (23 November 1850), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 December 1850), 3:; [Advertisement], Empire (4 April 1851), 1:; “DEPARTURES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 October 1851), 2:; “THE NEW YORK SERENADERS”, The Courier (15 November 1851), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 December 1853), 5:; ? “BIRTHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 October 1855), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 August 1856), 1:



REED, Thomas

Violinist, orchestra leader, composer, music retailer
Active Melbourne, before 1850
Died Fitzroy, Melbourne, 19 June 1871, aged 76

Summary: Reed “formerly of Islington, and of the Haymarket Theatre, London” was father of the composer Thomas German Reed (1817-1888). On relinquishing his post as musical director at the Haymarket in mid 1849, it was reported: “Mr. Reed received a handsome ring from the members of the orchestra of the Haymarket Theatre; he is about to quit England for Port Philip.” He was already in his 50s when he arrived in Melbourne. He had established a music warehouse in Bourke Street by 1850, from which in November he published The Song of Victoria (“Written and Composed with Original Music, by Thomas Reed”), now lost, celebrating Separation. At a concert in May 1830 he presented his son’s Plantagenet Polka, as well as his own Fantasia on Italian Operatic Airs and Pasticcio, introducing the Yarra Yarra Schottische and Port Phillip Aerial Galop (written for and performed at the recent Royal Birthnight Ball).

References: “AMATEUR CHORAL SOCIETY”, The Musical World (22 October 1840), 266:; “ISLINGTON AMATEUR SOCIETY”, The Musical World (10 December 1840), 375:; “INTELLIGENCE, MISCELLANEA, ETC.”, The Dramatic and Musical Review (August 1849), 221:; “CONCERT“, The Argus (27 November 1849), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 December 1849), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (1 January 1850), 3: [Advertisement], The Argus (28 February 1850), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (4 March 1850), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (8 March 1850), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (30 May 1850), 3:; [Advertisement], T. REED’S MUSICAL REPOSITORY […] Just Published”, The Argus (20 November 1850), 3:; “HAM’S ILLUSTRATED AUSTRALIAN MAGAZINE”, The Courier (11 February 1851), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (20 June 1871), 4:; “Deaths”, The Argus (7 May 1888), 1:

Bibliography: Thomas German Reed (DNB)



Contralto vocalist, oratorio singer (pupil of Castelli)
Active Melbourne, 1864-68

Summary: Fanny Reeves made her major Melbourne debut singing in the Christmas Messiah in 1864. In a review of a concert in August 1865, she was described as “a pupil of Castelli, and a debutante of some promise. Shs is a mezzo-soprano, very pleasing, particularly in the lower notes, and gave evidence, in the singing of the Maid of Judah, and the Parting, by Mendelssohn, of cultivation and good taste.” She also sang for the Orpehus Union. Her last major Melbourne appearance was again in the Christmas Messiah in 1867, when the Argus reported: “Miss Fanny Reeves, the contralto of the evening, was […] unsteady at first, but soon rallied, and her He was despised was a delicious rendering of that delightful air.”

Disambiguation: There were several Miss Fannie Reeves active in Britain during the second half of the century. Blanche Whiffen (1845-1936) recalled that at the Royalty theatre in London,in 1865, she was asked to step in to Prince Amabel when “Miss Fanny Reeves, who sang the contralto role in the opera, was taken ill”. An opera singer of the same name was active at Drury Lane in the late 1850s, later possibly Mrs Elliott Galer (died 1897); another was a niece of Sims Reeves (she was born in 1852). The latter may be the “Miss Fannie Reeves, of the London Concerts” who was advertised to make “her first appearance in Australia in Brisbane in August 1872.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (24 May 1864), 8:;  [News], The Argus (19 December 1864), 5:; “THE MESSIAH, ON CHRISTMAS EVE”, The Argus (26 December 1864), 5:; [News], The Argus (27 February 1865), 4:; “MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY. THE CHRISTMAS PERFORMANCE OF THE MESSIAH”, The Argus (26 December 1865), 5:; “THE ORPHEUS UNION CONCERT”, The Argus (15 October 1867), 7:; “THE MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Argus (25 December 1867), 5:

Disambiguation references: “DRURY LANE”, The Musical World (29 March 1856), 204:; [Advertisement], The Musical World (2 January 1864), 1:; [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (5 August 1872), 1:; “WHAT WOMEN ARE DOING”, The Brisbane Courier (2 December 1897), 7:; [Blanche Whiffen] Mrs. Thomas Whiffen, Keeping off the shelf (New York:Dutton, 1928), 36:



Choral singer (St. Joseph’s Choir)
Born Dublin, c.1820
Arrived Hobart, by 1836
Died Hobart, 9 June 1899, in the 80th year of her age

Organist, vocalist
Born Hobart, 1848
Died Sandy Bay, TAS, 8 July 1932, aged 86

1923: A record, probably unique for Australia, has been achieved in Hobart by Miss Jane Reichenberg, who a few days ago completed 55 years of service practically without a break, as organist of St. Joseph’s Church. In the year 1866 Miss Reichenberg and her sister, both natives of Hobart, joined the choir of St. Joseph’s as vocalists, and two years later the younger of the two was appointed organist in succession to the late Mr. Edmund Roper, who later took a similar position at St. Patrick’s, Sydney. Under the conductorship of the late Mr. Henry Hunter, Miss Reichenberg had an excellent training in the high-class sacred music which was so well rendered by the small, but efficient choir of St. Joseph’s Church, as to earn some fame for it even beyond Tasmania, and the young organist became a proficient exponent of the church music of Mozart, Haydn, Gounod, and other masters. Notwithstanding such long service, Miss Reichenberg is still capable of efficiently rendering such difficult compositions. Her career, like the history of the church in which she has spent so much of her life, has some interesting associations with the musical history of Hobart. Her father, Mr. Joseph Reichenberg, who died in 1851, was band-master of H.M. 40th Regiment, and conducted the first musical concert of which there is a record in Hobart as far back as 1826. In 1841, when the church of St. Joseph was first opened, he became its first choirmaster and organist, and among his successors prior to his daughter taking her position were the late Charles Packer, uncle to the well-known musical family of that name and a musician of the highest degree; also Mr. Edmund Roper, Mr. Hook, and other musicians of 60 years and more ago. Past and present congregations of St. Joseph’s have initiated, and the musical community of Hobart generally is heartily co-operating in, a movement to celebrate in a worthy manner Miss Reichenberg’s most worthy record. This is to take the form of a musical festival to be held in the Town-hall, at which the artists of the city, professional and amateur, will appear. The event will be under the patronage of His Excellency the Administrator, their Graces the Archbishop of Hobart, Dr. Delany, and the Coadjutor Archbishop (Dr. Barry), the Mayor, all the church organists of Hobart, and representatives of musical organisations. Further particulars will be announced in a few days.

Obituary: With deep regret the death of Miss Jane Reichenberg is recorded. She was born at Hobart Town in 1846, her father being Mr. Joseph Reichenberg, who was at one time bandmaster of the Chasseurs Britanniques at Messina, and left Italy to join the 40th Regiment in England. He came out with a detachment to Sydney, and in 1825 to Hobart Town, where he left his regiment and settled down as a music-teacher. He founded St. Joseph’s choir, and was the first organist. In the choir Miss Reichenberg’s mother sang. This lady was born in Dublin, a daughter of Patrick Meagher, who was a close friend of Father Connolly, Tasmania's first priest. Miss Reichenberg began to sing under Mr. Henry Hunter in St. Joseph’s choir 69 years ago, and was organist of that church for well over 60 years. She was a foundation member of the Choirmasters’ and Organists’ Fellowship, and was greatly esteemed by all with whom she came into touch.

References: “Married”, Colonial Times (31 October 1843), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Mercury (24 June 1899), 2s:; “ORGANIST’S UNIQUE RECORD”, The Mercury (1 September 1923), 15:; “MISS REICHENBERG’S JUBILEE”, The Mercury (16 August 1928), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Mercury (9 July 1932), 1:; “OBITUARY. MISS JANE REICHENBERG”, The Mercury (11 July 1932), 6:; “THE LATE MISS REICHENBERG”, The Mercury (13 July 1932), 6:



Master of the band of the 40th Regiment, professor of music, composer
Born Italy c.1789/92
Arrived Sydney, 1824
Died Hobart, 31 January 1851, aged 59


Died: This morning, at his late residence, Davey-street, Mr. JOSEPH REICHENBERG, Professor of Music, aged 59 years. Friends are respectfully informed that his funeral will takeplace on Monday next, the 3rd February, from St. Joseph's Church, Macquarie-street, at 3 o'clock p.m.

References: “DIED“, Colonial Times (31 January 1851), 2:



REID, Serjeant
Master of the band of the 48th Regiment
Regiment’s NSW tour of duty, 1817-24

September 1818: A few evenings ago a Concert was given by His Honor Lieutenant Governor ERSKINE to a numerous Party of Ladies and Gentlemen, which was succeeded by a splendid Ball. His EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR, and Mrs. MACQUARIE, participated in the elegancies of the festival, as did likewise all the principal Officers, Ladies, and Gentlemen in Sydney and its vicinities; the company being in number 80 persons. At about eleven a cold collation was served up in a style of peculiar delicacy. The full Band of the 48th attended upon the amusements of the evening; and several singers, who were introduced in masquerade, added not a little to its harmonies. At the end of the collation dancing resumed; and the sprightly partie did not separate until 3 or 4 in the morning, each Lady and Gentleman taking leave of their worthy HOST, and returning their acknowledgments for the kindness of his entertainment.

December 1819: On Thursday last, the 2d inst. a fete champetre was given by Captain PIPER at Elizabeth Henrietta Point […] The day proved favourable; and the scene of boats in the water, accompanied by the Band of the 48th Regiment, had a delightful effect. About one hundred Ladies and Gentlemen sat down to dinner; after which, the “merry dance” commenced, which was kept up with great spirit.

St. Phillip’s Church: “Paid Serjeant Reid, and others of the band of the 48th Regt, for performing sacred music, from 1st April 1823, to 1st April 1824”

References: [News], The Sydney Gazette (12 September 1818), 3:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (4 December 1819), 2:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (11 November 1820), 2:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (28 July 1821), 3:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (27 February 1823), 2:; “DISBURSEMENTS. ECCLESIASTICAL ESTABLISHMENT”, The Sydney Gazette (3 October 1825), 1:



REID, James Aquinas (Dr. J. A. REID; Dr. Aquinas RIED [sic])
Musician, organist, composer, surgeon, naturalist, explorer, diarist
Born Scotland, 7 September 1809
Arrived Sydney, 1 March 1839 (per Augustus Caesar)
Departed Norfolk Island or Sydney, late 1843 or early 1844 (for Valparaiso)
Died Chile, 1869

Image: Dr. Aquinas Ried, in the uniform of the Valparaiso German Firebrigade, c.1860


Introduction: I have been trying to flesh out the biography of the mysterious Dr. J. A. Reid since writing about his brief Australian musical career (March 1839-March 1840) in my doctoral thesis. I had then already made contact with Scot’s researcher Shelagh Noden (University of Aberdeen), who has traced some of Reid’s musical and medical career in Aberdeen and Glasgow during the 1830s, and found letters and later copies of some of his compositions in the Scottish Catholic Archive. It was only after I had submitted my thesis that I discovered that, in March 1840, Reid had gone to Norfolk Island as an assistant colonial surgon under the new commandant Alexander Maconochie, and had become a key contributor to the implementation of Maconochie’s famous reform system, and very plausibly the real source of the latter’s oft-reported interest in music as a reformative tool (see below). Though I was still collecting what information I could find about his Norfolk Island sojurn, I had no idea of what happened to him after around 1844-45. I had wondered whether a Dr. James Reid, who was later a goverment medical officer in Victoria, first at Portsea, and during the 1860-70s at Pentridge Gaol, was the same man; however, that turns out not to have been the case.

Then, early in November 2012, I received an email from Robert Wills, of Brisbane, who has been researching some convict memoirs in the State Library of New South Wales. The catalogue record for this collection refers to Dr. J. A. Reid also as “Dr. Aquinas Reid”, and a quick google search led me directly to a very unexpected conclusion: that Reid and the “Dr. Aquinas Ried” [sic] of Valparaiso, Chile, were one and the same person. I had for some time suspected that the medical historian, the late Brian Gandevia, had taken an interest in Reid, and this crucial clue also led me to material he had collected on “Aquinas Ried” now in the library of the Royal Australian College of Physicians in Sydney.

There is a mass of references to Aquinas Ried (as it is always spelt there, a Spanish variant of his original surname) in Chilean and other American sources, literature both primary and secondary, historical and contemporary. In Chile, Ried is not only himself clearly considered to be something of a minor national hero (a civic leader, medical pioneer, explorer, naturalist, founder of fire brigades), but he also fathered a family prominent in Valparaiso affairs. As a musician, he is credited with having composed the first Chilean “national opera”, Telésfora (the libretto only of which now survives), and he also composed several more operas there, including one, Valkyria, that he had already started working on in Norfolk Island. Chilean accounts seem to agree that he had been born in Germany. In fact, he was born in Scotland into a prominent Scots Catholic family, and was sent to be schooled at the Scots College in Regensburg. According to his countryman and fellow Catholic, the Sydney journalist W. A. Duncan, who had met him previously in Scotland, Reid had composed an oratorio based on Milton’s Paradise Lost that was performed in Glasgow. Among works composed by Reid that were performed in Sydney during 1839 were a Mass in C, sung at  St. Mary’s Catherdal, and excepts from an opera Zriny, performed in a concert. Reid appears to have got into serious financial trouble after contracting to buy the business and stock of the Sydney music retailer Andrew Ellard (not to be confused with his son Francis Ellard) early in 1840, when, after having spent only a year in Sydney, Ellard sold up and returned to Dublin. In an inspired move, Reid contracted to sell off much the stock to his new employer Maconochie, for use by the Norfolk Island prisoners, but was evidently still saddled with other debts to Ellard, which dogged him for several years to come, as recorded in a series of 9 letters (now in the SLNSW) written from Norfolk Island to his friend, the artist Henry Curzon Allport.

After having been Maconochie’s highly valued assistant early in his reform project, Reid had a spectucular falling out with his employer after Maconochie’s daughter, Mary Ann (Reid had been her music teacher) conceived a passion for him, which he eventually returned, leading to her father charging him with breach of parental trust. Mary Ann was of marriagable age, and one might have thought that Reid, a well-educated and cultured surgeon and musician, might have been considered a good catch, were it not that his debts disqualified him. Reid later claimed that the affair with Mary Ann was only a pretext, and that Maconochie was eager to distance himself in order to be able to blame Reid for the failure of his reforms. Reid was moreover vindicated when, shortly afterwards, Miss Maconochie similarly conceived a passion for her new music teacher, the convict Charles Packer, and had to be sent back to London and the custody of an aunt. A long and detailed letter from Reid to the Anglican chaplain T. B. Naylor, charting the history of his relationship with Miss Maconochie, is now in the SLNSW, as, in a different collection, is a letter from Maconochie to Reid reprimanding him for being too lenient with prisoners.

There is, I suspect, considerably more to the story of Reid’s time on Norfolk Island than I have yet been able to document. There would seem to be some evidence that he went there originally partly at the behest of the Catholic vicar-general Bernard Ullathorne, to provide assistance to Maconochie, if at all possible, in his reforms, a project of crucial importance to the Catholic party in Sydney. He also appears to have acted as a Norfolk Island correspondent for the Catholic newspaper the Australasian Chronicle, then being edited by W. A. Duncan. Interestingly, after bishop Bede Polding removed Duncan from the editorship of the Chronicle late in 1842, Reid was encouraged by a clerical friend (possibly the priest Joseph Platt) to consider returning to Sydney to take up the editor’s chair, combining that job with the organistship of St. Mary’s. That this never eventuated (not that it was ever likely to) was yet another of the many disappoinments Reid suffered, before making late in 1843 the radical - and as it turns out, personally transforming - decision to seek his future in South America.

Regensburg, Scots College (1817-1829): Anno 1817. 1ma Novembris sub conductu Rvdi. P. Galli ex Scotia ad nos venerunt: 97. James McNaughten, natus 1802, 8 Martii. (Rediit in Scotiam a 1828, ibique missionarius ordinatus est; 1862 in America.); 98. John Lament, natus anno 1805, 13 Decemb. (A 1828 abiit Monachium, postea Observatorii Regii Conservator.); 99. James Reid, natus anno 1809, 7 Septembr. (A 1829 in patriam reversus est.)

1842: I should mention that the men are paid in “marks“ for their labour; so many count towards their freedom, and all extra have a certain money-value, for which they get their food and clothing, as they like best themselves. If they don't work they get no marks, consequently no food but bread and water. There are no idlers; many will work all night for extra marks. They have got an evening school, where 180 have learned to read; each man subscribing so many marks a-month, which pay their teachers—the better educated among themselves [...] Music is encouraged among them, and you would be astonished at our band. Dr. Reid, the medical man for the new hands, has been brought up in Germany, and is a thorough musician, literally able to play on every instrument. He has taught, with other assistance, thirteen who, six months ago, did not know a note. They now astonish all who hear them. I have heard no such band in the Colonies. There are flutes, clarionets, French-horns, bassoons, trombones, &c. &c., and they are now manufacturing a drum. They play every Thursday in the Settlement. They are capital glee-singers—and our churchmusic is quite beautiful. The men in their leisure hours meet for improvement; and so eager are numbers of them, that they beg for task-work at so many marks, getting up at four in the morning, and having it done by ten or eleven—so that the rest of the day is their own, to read or sing, play, or work at some ingenious fancy of their own   

(After Izquierdo, 2011) (based on family documents in the care of Dona Ana Maria Ried Undurraga, and part of their own family research, and information based on letters to and from Ried found in Australia, copies of which were brought to Chile by the Australian medical historian Dr. Bryan Gandevia, who was attending a medical conference):  According to family members, have been born in the castle of Strahfels in Bavaria, in 1810, although there is further discussion about the place and year. There are claims his parents died during the Napoleonic Wars […] The castle was actually in those years a refugee Scottish Catholic monastery. This would explain, for example, why he studied medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in London, where he was recognized with merit as Dr. “James Aquinas Reid“. That the author of our “first national opera“ is an alien is a vital factor in our considerations […] How Chilean or indeed German, is Aquinas Ried? […] In England left Ried at least two sisters (Cate and Mary) and a promising career as a doctor under the auspices of Lord Wellington. For unknown reasons, possibly political, enlisted as an army doctor coming to the desolate island penal colony of Norfolk, which called “the paradise inhabited by the scum of this earth”. He established a system of musical education to reform inmates who, by their success, still remembered in those places. However, frustration was high, accompanied only by a flute and a few books. He tried to take the post of organist of Sydney, to no avail. He also sought ways to make their sisters were installed in these new lands. In Australia Ried always signed his letters as James A. Reid, and we can only know that indeed it is he, for they include mentions of his plans to sail for Valparaiso, and also of a project later finalised in Chile, the opera Valkyria. In addition, the similar style of writing in the letters cannot be ignored. Ried's story in that other part of the southern hemisphere, however, came to an end after some personal problems. After a romance and subsequent “altercation” with the commandant’s daughter, he embarked on a whaling ship coming to Valparaiso around 1844. With all these travails, it is hard to think that within a couple of years of arrival he had completed an opera.

MS resources relating to Reid (SLNSW):
[1] Autograph letter signed by Dr. James A. Reid, written from Norfolk Island, to Reverend Thomas Beagley Naylor, relating to his relationship with Mary Ann Maconochie, with quoted extracts from her letters and journal, 30 January 1842:
[2] Norfolk Island convict papers, ca. 1842-1867
(The author of [a typescript] 'The Ironed Gang' based on the boxed items appears to be Evans. He ascribes the collection of the original manuscripts by the convicts to Dr. Aquinas Reid, of whom no public record has been located. Dr. James Reid was appointed Colonial Assistant Surgeon at Longridge Gaol, Norfolk Island in 1840 and was reprimanded by Captain Maconochie with the endorsement of Surgeon Graham for being too lenient to the prisoners)
[3] 9 Letters from Dr. Reid to H. C. Allport, 1840-1843
[4] Documents regarding convicts at Norfolk Island collected by Sir William Dixson, 1 April 1840-28 July 1843
(Item 1: Monthly, quarterly and annual numbers of cases of dysentery treated in Longridge Cascade Hospital, 1 April 1840 to 31 December 1842; Item 2: Letter, dated General Hospital, Norfolk Island, 26 July 1843, to Captain Maconochie, about treatment of prisoners; Item 3: Letter, dated Norfolk Island, 28 July 1843, from Alexander Maconochie to Colonial Assistant Surgeon Aquinas Ried, about his indulgences to the prisoners)
[5] Reverend Thomas Beagley Naylor papers, May 1829-30 June 1849
(DLMS 134: a. Commonplace book, May 1829-1842. Unpaged. Bookplates of Rev. W. Carthithen D. D. and Sir William Dixson; Contents include diary entries, sermon outlines, his experiences with convicts at Norfolk Island and outline of scheme for reforming convicts; DLMSQ 363: b. Papers, 18 December 1838-30 June 1849, n.d. 80 p. Contents include letters (7) to Naylor, farewell addresses from parishioners, miscellaneous notes concerning convicts and transportation in several hands and a poem found with the Naylor papers but not necessarily by him); (on Naylor, see “THE REV. T. B. NAYLOR. B.A.”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 April 1850), 2:

Printed sources: Records of the Scots Colleges at Douai, Rome, Madrid, Valladolid and Ratisbon, Volume 1: Registers of Students (Aberdeen: Printed for the New Spalding Club, 1906), 255:; “Norfolk Island—Reform in Convict Treatment”, The Phrenological Journal and Miscellany 15 (Edinburgh: John Anderson, 1842), 22-32:; Diario del viaje efectuado por el Dr. Aquinas Ried desde Valparaiso hasta Lago Llanquihue (7 de Febrero de 1847 al 20 de Junio del mismo año) (Santaigo de Chile: Imprenta Universitaria, 1920): a PDF copy of the original freely downloadable from:; Franz Fonck, Dr. Aquinas Ried: Lebensbild einus Deutschen in Chile (Concepcion : Alemana, 1927):

Resources: [1] “Aquinas Ried”, Wikipedia:
[2] José Manuel Izquierdo König, “Totaleindruck o impresión total: La Telésfora de Aquinas Ried como proyecto político, creación literario-musical, reflejo personal y encuentro con el otro”, Revista Musical Chilena 65/215 (Enero-Junio 2011), 5-22:; 



Conductor, composer
Active Bendigo, by 1871
Died New York, USA, 6 February 1904

Music retailer
Born Bendigo (cousin of the above)
Died Dunedin, NZ, 20 August 1916

References: “A COMPLIMENTARY CONCERT”, Bendigo Advertiser (31 August 1871), 2:; “THE EXHIBITION”, Bendigo Advertiser (5 February 1887), 3:; [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (5 December 1891), 3:; “MELBOURNE NOTES. BY ONLOOKER”, Otago Witness (16 October 1901), 57:; “WILLIAMSON AND MUSGROVE’S ‘SIGN OF THE CROSS’ CO.”, Bendigo Advertiser (2 December 1898), 3:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Brisbane Courier (31 March 1902), 6:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (13 February 1904), 10:; “OBITUARY”, Bendegonian (21 November 1916), 20:

Associations: Pupil of William Gollmick



REIFF, Anthony (junior)
Conductor (Lyster’s company), composer, arranger
Arrived Melbourne, 1 March 1861 (per Achilles, from San Francisco)
Departed Sydney, September 1863
Died USA, ? 1916 

Summary: Reiff came to Australia as musical director for Lyster’s opera company in 1861. Several of his own compositions are documented, begining with songs composed for his Lyster co-artists, Village Bells (words: L. L. Lewis) (for Lucy Escott) [September 1862], and To look upon her face once more (ballad; composed expressly for his friend Henry Squires) (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1862]). Perhaps his most interesting Australian composition, historically, was the Funeral Ode in Memory of the Deceased Explorers of Australia, Burke and Wills (“Back from the Lonely Grave”) (words: James Smith) (in 6 movements: Chorale; 4 solos; Quartette). [January 1863], the words only of which survive in The Illustrated Melbourne Post (24 January 1863), 15. Two other works were The Poet Laureate’s Welcome to Alexandra (music composed expressly for this occasion [marriage of HRH Prince of Wales]) [June 1863] and, at his Sydney farewell, Souvenir d’Australie (Grand Mazurka de Concert) (pianoforte) [September 1863].

References: “BOUND TO AUSTRALIA”, Empire (28 February 1861), 2: ; [News], The Argus (2 March 1861), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 September 1862), 1:; “MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (3 September 1862), 5:; [Advertsisement], The Argus (22 January 1863), 8:; “THE OPERA”, The Argus (22 January 1863), 5:; “THE FUNERAL ODE”, The Argus (23 January 1863), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 June 1863), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 September 1863), 1:

Bibliography: Katherine K. Preston, “Notes from (the road to) the stage (Travel narrative)”, The Opera Quarterly 23/1 (Winter 2007), 103-17; Zoltán Román, Gustav Mahler’s American Years, 1907-1911: a documentary history, 239 note 92



REILOFF, Madame, see JACKSON, Madame Reilloff



REKEL, Jeanne

REKEL, Joseph
Pianist, composer (accompanist and manager of Jenny Claus)
Arrived Melbourne, 19 March 1873 (per Racer, from Mauritius)
Departed Brisbane, 19 June 1875 (per R.M.S. Brisbane, for Batavia)

March 1873: A fresh addition to the musical talent of the colony has just been made by the appearance of M. Rekel and Miss Rekel, and Miss Claus, who arrived from Mauritius yesterday, in the barque Racer. Each of the three has a specialty, Miss Claus having a reputation as a violinist, Miss Rekel as a vocalist, and M. Rekel as a pianist and composer; and from journalistic records in their possession, their performances in London, Paris, and elsewhere seem to have been meritorious.

References: [News], The Argus (20 March 1873), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 April 1873), 8:; “A crowded and fashionable audience …”, Empire (18 April 1873), 2:; “DEPARTURES”, The Queenslander (26 June 1875), 12:



Violinist, composer
Born Miskolc, Hungary, 17 January 1828
Arrived Melbourne, September 1884
Departed Brisbane, September 1885
Died San Francisco, USA, 15 May 1898

Brisbane, August 1885: This evening M. Remenyi will perform the following solos, namely: - “Concerto Romantique,” [Benjamin] Goddard - (1) Allegro moderato, (2) Recitativo and adagio non troppo, (3) Canzonetta, (4) Allegro molto - being its second performance in the colonies; “Invitation à la Valse,” Weber; “Hommage a Paganini,” Remenyi ; and in addition to the above selections, M. Remenyi will execute his new “Australian Hymn,” composed by himself during his tour through New Zealand, and, by special request, his soul-stirring “Liberty Hymn,” assisted by the members of the Remenyi concert party.

Rockhampton, 9 September 1885: The applause that followed the conclusion of the several pieces was an indication that there are many in our midst who can appreciate high-class music rendered by an artist of such ability as M. Remenyi, and that Rockhamptonites are willing to recognise genuine talent. The most pleasing number was the Carnival de Venice with introduction and improvisation by M. Remenyi, and the storm of applause that succeeded it could only be stopped by that gentleman re-appearing.

References: “ARRIVAL OF THE SAN FRANCISCO MAIL”, The Argus (26 September 1884), 5:; “EDUARD REMENYI”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 September 1884), 8:; “M. EDOUARD REMENYI ON POPULAR MUSIC”, The Argus (6 October 1884), 6:; “REMENYI’S CONCERT”, The Brisbane Courier (27 August 1885), 3:; “Farewells”, Queensland Figaro and Punch (5 September 1885), 6:; [News], Morning Bulletin (9 September 1885), 4:; “SHIPPING”, The Brisbane Courier (9 September 1885), 4:


Associations: Isidore Luckstone (pianist), Hattie B. Downing (soprano vocalist), Rudolf Himmer (tenor vocalist)



REYHER, Oscar F. V.
Professor of music, composer
Arrived (1) Adelaide, by August 1854; departed January 1872 (for London)
Arrived (2) Adelaide, late 1873
Died Adelaide, 4 July 1908, in his 80th year

Summary: Reyher advertised in Adelaide in August 1854 as a “Teacher of Music, Tuner of Pianos”. In June 1858, he introduced his Kangaroo Polka (“Polka de Concert, pour le Piano, dediée a Madame Bentham Neales, par O. F. V. Reyher”) and in July advertised: “KANGAROO POLKA and EMU POLKA, by O. F. V. REYHER, to be had by all Book and Music sellers in Adelaide”. In November 1871, Wigg and Son advertised: “We have purchased from Herr Reyher, who is leaving the colony, the whole of his Music, consisting of NEARLY2,000 PIECES, of high-class Music, chiefly Operatic and Classical, by Foreign Composers and Publishers. Also a Good Selection of Instruction Books. This collection is well known as being unrivalled for quality.” He later gave his surname as “Von Reyher” and “De Reyher”.

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (31 August 1854), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (15 June 1858), 1:; [Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (26 July 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (28 November 1871), 3:; “PASSENGERS FOR LONDON”, South Australian Register (3 January 1872), 6:; “THE STRANDING OF THE YATALA”, South Australian Register (3 June 1872), 5:; “HERR OSCAR REYHER”, South Australian Register (10 July 1873), 5:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (9 January 1874), 1:; “DEATHS’, The Register (6 July 1908), 4:


Active Melbourne, 1849-50

References: “THE CONCERT”, The Argus (26 January 1849), 2:; “THE CONCERT”, The Argus (20 April 1849), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (24 January 1850), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (26 January 1850), 3:



RICE, Walter John
Viola player, violinist, orchestra leader
Active Sydney, by 1859
Died Paddington, NSW, October 1898

RICE, Herbert H.
Violinist, orchestra leader, conductor, teacher of the violin, viola and piano
Born 1865 (Son of Walter John RICE)
Died ? 1954

Summary: George Hubert Hall was one of his pupils.

1882: At this concert an efficient and well balanced orchestra, under the leadership of Mr. Walter Rice, performed the well-known overture to “Masaniello”. 

References (Walter): [Advertisement], Empire (2 July 1859), 3: ; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 November 1859), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 December 1869), 9:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 January 1870), 4: “NEW DANCE MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 July 1871), 4:; “Music and the Drama”, Australian Town and County Journal (21 January 1882), 13:; “Funerals”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 October 1898), 12:

Works: Up in a Balloon Galop (by Walter J. Rice, Conductor of Orchestra, Prince of Wales Theatre (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1870]);
Grand Galop: The Shoo Fly (Shoo! Fly Galop) (by Walter J. Rice) (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1871])

Resources: Loyau, Notable South Australians, 185

References (Herbert): “THE METROPOLITAN LIEDERTAFEL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 November 1886), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 January 1888), 4:; “THE OPRHEUS SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 September 1889), 10:; “MR. H. H. RICE’S PUPILS’ CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (13 December 1890), 10:; “SYDNEY QUINTET SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 March 1895), 12:; ? “THE RICE BROTHERS IN LAWN TENNIS”, Arrow (8 September 1921), 11: 



Tenor vocalist

Active Sydney, 1842

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



Vocalist, actor

Active Launceston, 1843; Adelaide, 1848

References: [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (29 March 1843), 5:; “MRS. NAIRNE’S ORATORIO”, Launceston Examiner (14 June 1843), 3:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (23 September 1843), 3:; [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (16 November 1843), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian (29 February 1848), 2:



Teacher of psalmody
Active Hobart, 1845

1845: […] witness had engaged ( Mrs. Richardson to teach the children of his school Psalmody […] I selected Mrs. Richardson for this purpose from motives of compassion, and because I myself did not believe the accusations against her: I saw no reason why I should not have employed her teaching the children music.

References: “SUPREME COURT”, Colonial Times (22 March 1845), 2:



Baritone vocalist, singing teacher (pupil of Furtado and Garcia)
Active Melbourne 1866-79

1866: The successful performance of “II Trovatore” by the opera company, at the Theatre Royal, on Saturday evening, was marked by the debut of Mr. Albert Richardson, the new baritone of the troupe. […] Mr. Richardson’s appearance warrants an expression of pleasure in that the Australian public have a new and  able performer in a style that is very grateful […] representation of Il Conte di Luna proved him to be possessor of a sweet cultivated baritone voice, capable of much expression, and perhaps force. It is not robust; and its resonant quality has been scarcely developed, but experience will give it more freedom.

1879: A farewell benefit concert was given last night in favour of Mr. Albert Richardson, a gentleman who has for many years past maintained a prominent position m Melbourne musical circles as teacher of the art of singing, and who now brings his professional career to a close in this place in the midst of a large number of friends, who have been his former pupils.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (23 December 1865), 8: ; [Advertisement], The Argus (5 January 1866), 8:; [News], The Argus (6 January 1866), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (23 April 1868), 8; “THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY. MARITANA”, The Argus (6 December 1876), 6:; “MR. ALBERT RICHARDSON’S FAREWELL CONCERT”, The Argus (28 February 1879), 7:



Organ builder
Born London, England, 25 July 1847
Arrived Sydney, October 1882
Died Stanmore, NSW, 22 May 1926

Resources: G. D. Rushworth, Richardson, Charles (1847-1926), Australian Dictionary of Biography 11 (1988)



Concertina player
Arrived Melbourne, by November 1852

Melbourne, 1852: MR. WALLER. This gentleman’s entertainment, so novel to a Melbourne audience, came off on Wednesday evening, and we must congratulate him upon the success attending his debut. He is fully deserving of the high opinion expressrd by our Sydney neighbours. We could scarcely expect such a diversity of musical talent in one born and bred on the soil, and therefore not being in a position to partake of those advantages enjoyed by our English vocalists, by having continually before him as examples such men as Duprez, Mario, Lablache, and others. Russel’s fine scena, “The Ship on Fire”, was rendered with a fine combination of passion and artistic skill; but to particularise any one song would be almost doing an injustice to the others. Mr W. has a fine voice, not of very great compass, but full and round in tone. Between each of his performances Mr. Richardson entertained the audience upon the concertina in a very creditable manner, considering it was his first appearance.

Sydney, 1852: MR. HENRY RICHARDSON, Professor of the Concertina, (Pupil of Signor Guillo Regondi and Mr. George Case) who has recently rarrived from London, is desirous of giving publicity to his intention immediately to commence the practice of his profession. As the Concertina has never been heard at a public performance in this colony, the greater portion of the community are necessarily un-acquainted with the merits and capacity of this delightful instrument; the facility of execution, purity of intonation, harmonic effect, and variety of expression, in every style of composition, sacred and secular, of which it is capable, have secured for it an unqualified supremacy in the higher circles in the United Kingdom, where it is now practised, by both ladies and gentlemen, to a wonderful extent, its recent invention considered. With the view of affording an opportunity to judge of the merits of the instrument, Mr. Richardson purposes giving a Concert, (in conjunction with Mr. Waller, the eminent vocalist) upon which occasion he will perform some of the most admired compositions, selected from popular operas […]

References: “MR. WALLER”, The Argus (19 November 1852), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (10 December 1852), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (21 December 1855), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 December 1852), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (18 January 1853), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 January 1853), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 January 1853), 3:; “CONCERTINA SOIREE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (16 February 1853), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 August 1853), 7:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, Empire (21 January 1854), 4:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 March 1854), 4:

Associations: James Waller, John Howson, pupil of George Case



Active Sydney, 1853-60

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 April 1853), 1:; “GRAND CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 September 1857), 7:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 December 1858), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 January 1860), 8:; “MR. FREDERICK ELLARD’S CONCERT”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (21 January 1860), 3:



Pianist, composer
Born 1835
Arrived Victoria, early 1850s
Active Geelong, 1859
Departed Melbourne, 1888 (for Germany)
Died Munich, Germany, 26 November 1896

RICHARSON, Ethel Florence (Henry Handel RICHARDSON)
Pianist, music teacher, composer, novelist
Born Fitzroy, VIC, 3 January 1870
Died Hastings, England, 20 March 1946

Musical works (Mary Richardson): Chamber of Commerce Galop (“Composed by request, and respectfully dedicated to the stewards of the Chamber of Commerce Opening Ball, Geelong, 1859“) (Geelong: [?], [1859])

Musical works (Henry Handel Richardson): NLA, Guide to the Papers of Henry Handel Richardson, MS 133, Series 7 Songs

Resources: Dorothy Green, Richardson, Ethel FlBoorence (Henry Handel) (1870-1946), Australian Dictionary of Biography 11 (1988); Jodi Clark, “Music in the life of Henry Handel Richardson: a provisional catalogue of her musical compositions: work in progress”, Australasian Music Research 1 (1996), 353-363:; Elizabeth Webby and Gillian Sykes (eds), Walter and Mary: the letters of Walter and Mary Richardson (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2000):; Michael Ackland, “Only 'a well-schooled interpreter': Henry Handel Richardson's final year at the Leipzig Conservatorium and its authorial recasting”, Australian Literary Studies 22/1 (May 2005), 51-60:



Singing master (Board of Education)
Active Melbourne, until 1863

1863: Mr. W. A. Richardson, late singing-master under the Board of Education, who is about to leave for Italy, gave a concert at Hockin’s Hotel last evening.

References: [News], The Argus (23 April 1863), 5:; [News], The Argus (24 April 1863), 5:




Violinist, band/orchestra leader, composer, teacher
Active Ballarat, by 1857
Died ? Adelaide, ? 1888

Summary: Richty was leader of the band at Ballarat’s Charlie Napier Theatre by March 1857. He took his benefit there in August, and later that month, with Adolphe Fleury as his assistant leader, he brought together a “Monster Band” for a “grand musical treat a la Jullien” (see advertisement for complete list of personnel). When his engagement with the theatre came to an end in November 1858, he advertised for other engagements. He was directing the Star Orchestra at the Alhambra in Bourke-street, Melbourne, in May 1862, and in 1869 was victim of an assault in Carlton. He continued to work in Melbourne throughout the decade, toured to Sydney with the Lyster Opera in 1870, and played in Zelman’s opera orchestra in Melbourne in 1873. According to his own later account, he was the first teacher of the young Melbourne-born violin virtuoso, Johann Secundus Kruse. He directed and arranged music for many light theatrical productions, during one of which, in Sydney in June 1871, his own composition, The New South Wales Anthem (lost) was given for the first time. He also toured to New Zealand in 1868 and 1879, and to Tasmania in 1878. In semi-retirement in Adelaide in 1886, he advertised: “HERR CARL RICHTY, the first teacher of the greatest violinist in Europe (Herr Kruse) is desirous of giving instructions to a few pupils, either at their own homes or at his private residence, No. 6. GRENFELL-STREET EAST.”

References: [Advertisement], The Star (7 March 1857), 3:; “CHARLIE NAPIER”, The Star (6 August 1857), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (18 August 1857), 3:; “THE TORCH LIGHT PROCESSION”, The Star (20 January 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (16 September 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (5 November 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (29 May 1862), 8:; [Advertisement], Grey River Argus (18 July 1868), 3:; “INTERCOLONIAL NEWS”, Grey River Argus (16 February 1869), 3:; “SHIPPING”, Australian Town and Country Journal (29 October 1870), 28:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 June 1871), 8:; [News], The Argus (27 February 1873), 4:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Mercury (28 august 1878), 2:; [Advertisement], Auckland Star (26 June 1879), 1:; [Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (25 February 1886), 1:

Bibliography: Anne Doggett, 'And for harmony most ardently we long': musical life in Ballarat, 1851-1871 (Ph.D. thesis, University of Ballarat, 2006):



Comic vocalist, actor, music hall impresario, philanthropist
Born London, 4 December 1843
Arrived Melbourne, 28 November 1871 (per Lammermuir, from London, 6 September)
Died London, 13 October 1911

References: [News], The Argus (30 September 1871), 4:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Argus (29 November 1871), 4:; “THE LATE MR. HARRY RICKARDS. DEATH IN LONDON YESTERDAY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 October 1911), 17:; “THE LATE MR. HARRY RICKARDS. A REPRESENTATIVE FUNERAL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (25 December 1911), 5:; “THE HARRY RICKARDS DINNER”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 December 1911), 6:

Relevant musical items: Doing the block (music by Henry Benjamin; words by Marcus Clarke; sung by Harry Rickards)

Prints with portraits of Rickards: My darling mignonette (song; words by William Carlton; music by E. N. Catlin; sung by Harry Rickards) (Melbourne: W. H. Glen, [1872]); Walking in the starlight (written by W. H. Delehanty; composed by E. N. Catlin; Sung ... by Harry Rickards) (Melbourne: W. H. Glen, [1873])

Resources: Martha Rutledge, Rickards, Harry (1843-1911), Australian Dictionary of Biography 11 (1988)



Master of the band of the Royal Artillery, ? bandsman (40th Regiment), ophicleide, trombone, horn player, composer
Born Lewes, Sussex, England
Arrived (with 40th Regiment), 1852
Died Sydney, April 1872

Summary: Riddett served in the 40th Regiment from 1829. Presumably a member of the band on arrival in Australia late in 1852, he then took his discharge in 1853. He was master of the band of the Royal Artillery in Sydney from 1858 to 1860, possibly longer. He played professionally in orchestras, including for Lyster during 1865 and 1866. By 1869 was landlord of the Imperial Hotel, East Sydney. His documented compositions are a Bohemian Quadrille and a National Quick March

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 December 1858), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (2 July 1859), 3:; [Advertisement], Empire (4 July 1859), 6:; “FUNERAL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 November 1859), 8:; “BOTANIC GARDENS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 March 1860), 5: “BOTANIC GARDENS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (23 March 1860), 5:; [Advertisement], “YOUNGE’S ATHENAEUM”, The Sydney Morning Herald (25 March 1863), 1:; “Newcastle Volunteer Artillery Band …”, The Newcastle Chronicle (19 December 1863), 3:; “CLEARANCES”, Empire (16 August 1865), 4: h; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (8 September 1865), 1: h; [Advertisement], The Mercury (3 January 1866), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 March 1866), 8: h; “SHIPPING NEWS”, The South Australian Advertiser (20 September 1866), 2:; [Advertisement], Empire (29 November 1866), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 July 1869), 8: “FUNERALS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 April 1872), 10:; “JURORS FINED FOR NON-ATTENDANCE AT A CORONER’S COURT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 April 1872), 4:

Resources: ?  



Active Sydney, 1842

RIELY, Master
Boy vocalist
Active Sydney, 1844

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (24 May 1842), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 June 1844), 3:



Orchestral musician
Active Sydney, 1854

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



Active Sydney, 1842

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



Active Hobart, 1855

References: “THE FIRST IN BATHURST STREET”, Colonial Times (24 July 1855), 3:



RILEY, John Augustus
Tailor and Professor of Music
Active West Maitland, NSW, 1857

References: “MARRIED”, The Sydney Morning Herald (13 August 1857), 1:



RILEY, William Russell
Composer, songwriter, musicseller, publican, newspaper editor
Born London, 1829
Arrived Sydney, 1847
Active Goulburn, NSW, by 1855
Died Goulburn, NSW, 11 August 1910

June 1855: AT the Goulburn Herald Oflice, price 2s., “THE GOULBURN POLKA.” COMPOSED BY W. R. RILEY.

October 1855: Mr. Sigmont Presided at the pianoforte […] The Chairman, in proposing the health of His Excellency the Governor-General, remarked that Sir William Denison was evidently a man of talent and energy. Although comparatively a stranger amongst the colonists, he was favorably known to them by his anxiety to promote railway communication, and, therefore, he deserved to be regarded as a friend of the people. (Loud applause, and drank with all the honors.) Air: The Railway Galop. On the motion of the Noble Grand, three cheers were given for the Railway. Air: The Goulburn Polka.

1900: WE have received a copy of “Australia Fights for Britain’s Rights,” composed by Mr. Percy F. Hollis, conductor of the Goulburn Liedertafel. The words are by Mr. W. R. Riley, and, as their title implies, reflect the prevailing warlike sentiment of the time […] The song is one of the best which the present national feeling has brought forth.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 July 1853), 2:; [Advertisement], The Goulburn Herald (23 June 1855), 3:; “COMPLIMENTARY DINNER TO DR. GERARD”, The Goulburn Herald (6 October 1855), 2:; [Advertisement],  The Goulburn Herald (19 April 1856), 5:; “COMMERCIAL. GOULBURN”, Goulburn Herald (2 February 1891), 3:; “New Music”, Goulburn Evening Penny Post (7 April 1900), 2:; “DEATH OF MR. W. R. RILEY. A VETERAN JOURNALIST”, Goulburn Evening Penny Post (11 August 1910), 2:

Also: Selections from the humourous [sic] writings of W. R. Riley (Goulburn: Herald Works, Goulburn, 1884):

Resources: Ransome T. Wyatt, Goulburn writers and literature [manuscript], NLA:



Song composer
Active Melbourne, 1854

January 1855: We have received a copy of an original song, published by Mr. Cyrus Mason. which has for its title The Song of the Bush. It is illustrated by a lithograph of rather primitive execution, which depicts four hirsute bush men, engaging themselves with a smoke and bottled beer, in the foreground a fifth frying chops, and three old men kangaroos hopping about in the distance. The melody of the song, which is in C, is light and pretty, but the poetry may be excepted to in some few particulars […]

Works: Australian Song: The Song of the Bush (“words by Velocipede, ”) ([Melbourne: Cyrus Mason, lithographer, 1854]) [NO COPY IDENTIFIED]

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (22 December 1854), 1:; [Advertisement], The Argus (26 December 1854), 8: “THE Song of the Bush. Tonight, at the Theatres, principal Grand Concert, and Assembly Room”; “NEW SONG”, The Argus (23 January 1855), 5:



Professor of Music (Pianoforte, Singing, Harmony, Composition)
Active Melbourne, 1855

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (28 September 1855), 3:



RISLEY, Monsieur
Dancer, acrobat
Active Launceston, 1846

(1846): Monsieur Risley’s “posturing feats” are extraordinary, and gave unlimited satisfaction. Mr. Newton's dancing in the ancient highland fling was good, but was witnessed on Monday under the disadvantage of certain vociferations by the “gods” which we will not further allude to. [Thereafter, the Sailor’s Hornpipe was billed to Risley.]

References: [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (2 May 1846), 340:; “THE THEATRE”, The Cornwall Chronicle (20 May 1846), 384:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (10 June 1846), 440:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (17 June 1846), 461:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (4 July 1846), 512:



Active Melbourne, late 1850

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (28 November 1850), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (5 December 1850), 3:



ROACH, Charles
Teacher of Pianoforte and Singing
Active Adelaide, 1859 (“A pupul of F. Rees and Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Dresden”)

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (23 June 1859), 1:



ROACHE, John Smyly
Cornet and cornopean player, bandsman (99th Regiment)
Regiment active Australia, from 1843
Died Hobart, 29 Septeber1848, aged 23

1846:  [… ]we must make mention of the Solo on the Cornopean, by a Bandsman named Roach, which was beautifully executed, and which displayed a mastery over the instrument seldom equalled, if ever excelled.

Note: A memorial plaque at Anglesea Barracks, Hobart, reads: Sacred to the memory of John S. ROACHE Late of the band 99th Regt. Who died on the 29th Septr 1848 Aged 23 years.

References: “THE BAND OF THE 99TH”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 September 1844), 3:; [Advertisement], The Australian (29 November 1845), 1:; “MRS. BUSHELLE’S FAREWELL CONCERT”, The Australian (18 June 1846), 3:; “CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 June 1846), 2:; “DEATHS”, Launceston Examiner (4 October 1848), 6:




ROBBIO, Agostino
Arrived Melbourne, October 1862
Departed Sydney, March 1863 (for New Caledonia)

(Melbourne 1862): A musical celebrity has recently arrived in this Colony, on a professional visit, whose credentials are of the highest order. We refer to Signor Robbio, a violinist, who may be remembered as having been introduced to a London audience by Mr. Harris, at the Royal Italian Opera, in 1851. A number of the Gazzetta di Genova, for March, 1838, is lying before us, in which Signor Robbio’s successful début at the Genoese Academy is recorded; and it is added that he was the favourite pupil of Paganini, by whom his musical gonius was regarded with so much approbation that the maestro presented young Robbio with a medal, and, what was of still greater value, devised him the master’s own violin. Since then, Signor Robbio has visited every part of the civilized world, and seems to have been everywhere hailed as a great artiste […]

(Sydney 1863): Coming to events of a more pretentious character, we have to note in the fírst place a concert given jointly by Messrs. Boulanger and Robbio. This took place in the Masonic Hall on the evening of the 10th instant, in the presence of a very numerous and fashionable audience. The performance commenced with a grand trio by Beethoven in C minor (for piano, violin, and violon cello), a beautiful and elaborate compositioa in which the united talent of M. Boulanger on the piano-forte, Signor Robbio on the violin, and Mr. Edward Deane on the violoncello, was made conspicuous, and hailed with well deserved applaus […]  The concert terminated with the Valse Diabolique, by Signor Robbio, the composition [his own] being most effectively rendered. […] At the present time, Signor Robbio is fulfilling a short engagement at the Lyceum Theatre, the management of that establishment having conceived the idea that they would be doing good service by familiarising the humbler classes with performances at once so refined and elevating as those which have placed the name of Robbio so high upon the scroll of distinguished musicians.”

References: “ISLE OF FRANCE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (17 March 1860), 5: [News], The Argus (20 October 1862), 5:; “SIGNOR ROBBIO’S CONCERT”, The Argus (29 November 1862), 5:; “SIGNOR ROBBIO’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 December 1862), 13: “MUSIC AND THE DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 February 1863), 9:; “NEW SOUTH WALES”, The Cornwall Chronicle (1 April 1863), 5:

Web: “NIZZA”, Il Pirata (Giornale di letteratura, belle arti … ) 4/48 (14 December 1838), 197:; Francesco Regli, Storia del violino in Piemente (Torino: Enrico Dalmazzo, 1863), 192:



Church musician, music copyist
Active Sydney, ? 1824/25

Summary: In the government’s disbursements (reported in October 1825), the accounts for St. Philip’s Church included a payment to “Mr . Roberts, for ditto [conducting psalmody on Sunday mornings] and writing music, from 8th Sept. to 7 Dec. [? 1824/25]”. Also to Robert Howe the Government printer, a payment for “10 quires of medium paper for music, 50s. from 25th Dec. 1823, to 13th June, 1824.”

References: “DISBURSEMENTS. ECCLESIASTICAL ESTABLISHMENT”, The Sydney Gazette (3 October 1825), 1:



Active Bathurst, NSW, 1846

1846: On Monday evening, another party was invited by Mr. Lawson to meet his Excellency [Fitzroy], which was numerously attended; after which a ball Dancing was kept up until a late hour—the party did not separate until four A.M. The music was provided by Mr. Roberts, of the town of Bathurst, and did him much credit, and gave general satisfaction.

References: [News], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 November 1846), 3:



Musician (pupil of Hullah), bandmaster
Died Maitland, 21 February 1898, aged 60

Obituary: […] The deceased gentleman, who was 60 years of age last May, was an old colonist. Born in Maidstone, Kent, England, he was educated at Chelsea College, London, where he was fortunate in receiving personal instruction in mathematics from the noted Dr. Colenso, and in music from Hullah. Passing a competitive examination required by the New Zealand Government, he landed in that colony in 1857. After some three years of teaching in New Zealand, Mr. Roberts came over to New South Wales in 1861, and for 34 years he was connected with the Education Department, in the capacity of head master at various schools on the South Coast, in New England, and in this district. While stationed at Scone, Mr. Roberts was correspondent for the Mercury. […] He was very fond of music, and was a good performer on different instruments. He was for some time an organist in England, and he initiated a band in Inverell and in Walcha, and personally instructed the members.

References: “Death of Mr. A. R. Roberts”, The Maitland Daily Mercury (22 February 1898), 2:; “Death of Mr. A. R. Roberts”, The Maitland Weekly Mercury (26 February 1898), 10:



Active Sydney, by 1878
Died Rose Bay, NSW, March 1944

Obituary: MUSICIAN OF FORMER DAYS DEAD. Mrs. Annie O’Connor, a prominent musician in the Sydney of the 1880’s, has died at her Rose Bay home. Born in Brisbane 78 years ago, she was the daughter of William Roberts, manager of Christopher Newton’s warehouse, and of Asenath Elworthy, niece of George Elworthy, of Sydney, and granddaughter of Major-General Elworthy, of Exeter, England. She studied the piano under Charles Packer and Sydney Moss, and showed such marked promise that at the early age of nine she played at a concert given by Madame Ilma Di Murska. Later she was among those who played at the Garden Palace Exhibition in 1879. Mrs. O’Connor is survived by a son and two daughters.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 December 1878), 2:; “AMUSEMENTS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 December 1878), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 December 1882), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 November 1883), 2:; “MUSICIAN OF FORMER DAYS DEAD”, The Sydney Morning Herald (25 March 1944), 12:



ROBERTS, Edith Annie
Amateur composer, pianist
Active Melbourne, 1867

Summary: She was a daughter of Mr. William George Roberts (d.1876) and his wife Margaret (d.1901), proprietors of a Ladies Institute in Hotham Street East Melbourne, who published her The Royal Galatea Waltz (by “a young [ ] of seventeen”), which first appeared in November 1867, celebrating the visit of prince Alfred, the duke of Edinburgh. It went into several editions, including a fourth (The R0yal Galatea Waltz) and, considerably outlasting the Galatea’s stay, by February 1869 a sixth.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (28 December 1859), 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (31 October 1867), 3:; [News], The Argus (4 November 1867), 5:; “THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH IN MELBOURNE. THE ROYAL LEVEE”; [Advertisement], The Argus (30 January 1868), 6:; [Advertisement], The Argus (1 February 1869), 4s:; [News], The Argus (11 March 1869), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (1 November 1870), 8:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (1 July 1901), 1:



Leader of the A.Y.M.S. Orchestra
Active Adelaide, early 1880s

1882: Sir, In your columns of yesterday you drew attention to the meeting which is called by His Worship the Mayor for the purpose of discussing on Friday evening the mode of dealing with the communication received from His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales re the establishment of a Royal College of Music. As an Australian born, a member of the musical profession, and the descendant of a pupil of the late distinguished musician Mr. G. F. Anderson, (Her Majesty’s private bandmaster), I take a deep interest in the cause. In this letter it will lie impossible for me to enlarge upon the subject as I should like to do, bat I desire to point out, and it is my most earnest wish that we, as Australians, should make it a national matter, and take the subject in hand unitedly. It is possible (although I hope it may never occur) we may be called upon to shoulder arms in our own defence and show our loyalty to our Queen and the Crown, which we shall undoubtedly do; but in this matter we can distinguish ourselves as a nation, and show that we are possessed of a sentiment and a desire to promulgate the art of music. It has always been my wish that we should establish a national college of music in Australia, but I think the time has not yet arrived for doing so. We have many distinguished professors of the divine art in the colonies, but none sufficiently qualified to be placed in the premier position. Those who have established themselves in the colonies have done good service, but they are wanting in the abilities of high class instructors. As Australians we are noted for possessing an extraordinary ability for appreciating musical talent. Madame Anna Bishop and Madame A. Goddard have both told me that in no part of the world did they ever meet with such severe and sincere critics as in Australia. We have bad amongst us most of the world’s celebrities as vocalists and instrumentalist, but when we think of the humble origin of many of the stars of great brilliancy, undoubtedly there is a great future for Australia, and I think by uniting in this matter we shall be able to distinguish ourselves, and show tlat our heart is in the cause. I may state, as far as this city is concerned, that the A.Y.M.S. Orchestra will assist in any movement that may be approved of by the committee. – I am, &c., GEO. ROBERTS, Leader of the A.Y.M.S. Orchestra.

References: “ROYAL COLLEGE OF MUSIC. TO THE EDITOR”, The South Australian Advertiser (18 August 1882), 7:; “FANCY DRESS REUNION”, The South Australian Advertiser (14 December 1882), 5:



Dancing master
Active Launceston, 1859

References: “NEW INSOLVENTS DURING THE MONTH”, Launceston Examiner (11 June 1859), 2:



ROBERTS, Oliver D.
Bandmaster, cornet player
Active VIC, 1880s

1888: Some months ago we referred to the fact that a town like Warragul had not a brass band to number as one of its institutions, and we are now glad to notify that Mr. Symonds has informed us that the members y of the local branch of the M. U. Oddfellows have determined to establish a band of that description, and have secured the services of Mr. Oliver D. Roberts as bandmaster. Mr. Roberts has very good credentials as a e musician, and has filled similar positions I before, his last appointment, which he held for two years, being master of the Numurkah brass band.

References: [News], Warragul Guardian (23 October 1888), 3:; “THE WARRAGUL AMATEUR MINSTRELS, AT NEERIM” , Warragul Guardian (26 April 1869), 3:; “BERRIGAN”, Albury Banner (27 August 1897), 17:



Active Sydney, 1843

References: [Advertisement], The Australian (11 January 1843), 3:



ROBINSON, Charles E.
Amateur musician, composer
Active Sydney, 1860s

Summary: Robinson’s song No jewell’d beauty is my love (words: Gerald Massey; ““Ballad set to music and published expressly in aid of the Building Fund of the Hunter's High School, June 3rd, 1861”) was published in Sydney by W. J. Johnson in 1861. At least two other musical works by him are documented, a Christmas Hymn (“simple arrangement”) in 1864, and a Bridal Ode (“composed and arranged as a quartette”; words and music: C. E. Robinson), sung by the principals of the Lyster Opera Company after their performance of Maritana on 11 June 1863, to mark the marriage of HRH Prince of Wales, the words only of which survive. Also on that program were Anthony Reiff’s The Poet Laureate’s Welcome to Alexandra, and Henry Marsh’s Australia’s Wedding March.

References: “PARRAMATTA”, Empire (31 May 1861), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 June 1863), 1:; “COMMEMORATION ODE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 June 1863), 4:; “MUSIC AND DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 November 1864), 5:



ROBINSON, Mary Ann (Mrs. A. B.; Miss Clark)
Choral singer (pupil of F. A. Packer)
Born Hobart, January 1851
Died Hobart, 20 April 1944, in her 94th year

1933: She was born at Hobart in January, 1851, and was educated at Beauland House, Collins-street, when Mrs. Searle was head mistress. She joined the Church of England old St. David’s Sunday School at the age of six years, when  Lady Gore Brown, the wife of the Governor of Tasmania, was the teacher. At the age of twelve years Mrs. Robinson became a member of the church choir, when Mr. F. A. Packer was the organist and her music teacher. At the age of fourteen years she sang her first anthem in the church. When she married she joined the Union Chapel with her husband, and afterwards joined the choir, Mr. A. J. Dentith being the organist. She became the leader of the choir, and continued so for 25 years. She sang at the opening of the new Town Hall at Hobart. When H.M.S. Galatea arrived with the Duke of Edinburgh on board there was a grand concert given in his honour, at which Miss Sarah Sherwin, Mrs. Propsting, Mrs. A. W. Haume, and Mrs. Robinson sang the principal parts. Mr. Packer held the concerts in aid of the organ fund at Del Sartes Rooms (now called the Tasmanian Hall), which was purchased by Mr. John Davies, sen., and committee. For some years Mrs. Robinson assisted Mr. Arnold at the Bethel on Sunday afternoons, and when the English traders were in port there was a good attendance. She also assisted by singing on several occasions at concerts in St. Peter’s Hall, Lower Collins-street, in aid of St. Mary's Cathedral, Mr. McCann, sen., being conductor.

References: “MARRIAGE”, The Mercury (30 December 1873), 1:; “DIAMOND WEDDING … Governor’s Wife as Sunday School Teacher”, Examiner (23 December 1933), 9:; “DEATHS”, The Mercury (21 April 1944), 8:



Died Parramatta, 20 November 1826, aged 70

Obituary: At Parramatta, on Monday the 20th November, aged 70, Michael Robinson, a fiddler. — An Inquest was held on the 21st instant. Verdict, died by the visitation of God. Michael was a free man, and had neither friends nor money ; and it was not until Thursday that his remains were interred. Charity was at its lowest ebb, and the common-wealth did not take the expense upon itself. Application was made to the Rev. Samuel Marsden, he referred the applicants to the Police Magistrate, Dr. Harris, who gave no orders. Mr. Aird, the Superintendent, said he could not order a coffin. The Clergyman at last paid for one ; and all that was left of the poor object, was enclosed in it, and removed from the house where he had died. (From the Colonial Times' of Nov. 10..)

References: “DIED”, The Australian (25 November 1826), 2:



ROBINSON, Michael Massey
Singer, songwriter, convict (first Australian Harmonist)
Born England, 1744
Arrived Sydney, May 1798 (convict per Barwell)
Died Sydney, 22 December 1826, aged 92

Summary: Robinson, a convict, was unofficial colonial bard from the early 1810s onwards; the texts of his annual odes for the King’s and Queen’s birthdays, as recited (some perhaps also sung) by him, were regularly reprinted in the press. Of songs sung specifically, for anniversary dinners (26 January) in 1820 he produced “Alive to the strain that gay fancy inspires”,  and in 1822 (the dinner postponed until the 31 January, the former governor Lachlan Macquarie’s birthday) his song was “Philosophers say, and experience declares”. At the Anniversary Dinner in January 1825, Robinson sang his song, “The Annals of London’s emporium have told”, to the tune of Derry Down (there was another song, by the unidentified “Avec Franchase … in his best style … the company … indebted to him for a sample also of his vocal powers”). At a dinner for the outgoing governor, Thomas Brisbane, in November 1825, “many excellent songs” were given, one Song “in particular, composed and sung by that old son of the Muses, Mr. Michael Robinson”:

The trophies of freedom transcendent have shone,
In graceful reflections from Britain‘s bright throne:
And the star she diffus‘d—with munificent smile,
Has glimmer‘d at last on Australia‘s Isle […]

According to his obituary in the Gazette: “Mr. Robinson, and not Mr. Justice Field, was the ‘first Austral Harmonist’.”

References: “THE KING AGAINST MICHAEL ROBINSON”, Cases in crown law: determined by the twelve judges, by the Court … Volume 2 (London: J. Butterworth and Son, &c., 1815), 749: h; [News], The Sydney Gazette (5 February 1820), 3: [News], The Sydney Gazette (8 February 1822), 3:; “SONG FOR THE COMMEMORATION DINNER”, The Sydney Gazette (5 February 1824), 2:; “ANNIVERSARY MEETING”,  The Australian (3 February 1825), 3: “PUBLIC DINNER TO HIS EXCELLENCY”, The Sydney Gazette (10 November 1825), 3:; “Sydney Intelligence”, Colonial Times (2 December 1825), 4:; “ANNIVERSARY DINNER. SONG BY MR. M. ROBINSON”, The Sydney Gazette (1 February 1826), 3:; “DEATH”, The Australian (23 December 1826), 2:; “Death”, The Sydney Gazette (23 December 1826), 3:

Resources: Donovan Clarke, Robinson, Michael Massey (1744–1826), Australian Dictionary of Biography 2 (1967)



ROBINSON, William Charles (Rev. W. C.)
Composer, hymn writer, Congregational pastor
Arrived Melbourne, by November 1857
Active Hobart, 1863-82
Died Ashfield, Sydney, 2 July 1904, aged 84

Summary: Robinson was born in London, trained at Hackney Congregational College, and entered the Independent ministry in 1845. After serving his first pastorate near Bedford, his health broke down, and, in consequence, in 1857 he sailed for Victoria, where in November he became pastor at Williamstown. The Rev. W. C. Robinson first visited Hobart in November 1862 and returned in January to become pastor of the Brisbane Street Congregational Church, where he remained until 1882. He was both a hymn writer and composer. In August 1863, he advertised that at a special Sunday school service “Hymns, composed for the occasion, will be sung”, and at a missionary farewell in 1866, it was reported: “Another hymn composed and printed for the occasion, read by the Rev. W. C. Robinson, was then sung”. His Anthem: Hundredth Psalm, published by J. Walch and Sons in Hobart in March 1864, had been “Composed for the Bible and singing class meeting at Brisbane Street Chapel, Hobarton by the Rev. W. C. Robinson, and presented to the members of the class at their social meeting, January 1864”. His publisher, James Walch, was also a deacon in Robinson's congregation.

References: “OPENING OF THE INDEPENDENT CHURCH , WILLIAMSTOWN”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 November 1857), 5:; “HOBART TOWN AND THE SOUTH”, Launceston Examiner (8 November 1862), 4:; “CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH BRISBANE STREET”, The Mercury (19 January 1863), 2:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (8 August 1863), 1: [Advertisement], The Mercury (11 March 1864), 1:; “SACRED MUSIC”, The Mercury (11 March 1864), 2:; “FAREWELL SERVICE ON BOARD THE JOHN WILLIAMS MISSIONARY SHIP”, The Mercury (26 June 1866), 2:; “OUR PREACHERS. REV. W. C. ROBINSON”, The Mercury (22 April 1882), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 July 1904), 6:; “OBITUARY”, The Mercury (28 July 1904), 5:; “CONGREGATIONAL UNION OF TASMANIA”, The Mercury (8 March 1905), 7:




ROBINSON, William F. C. (Sir)
Composer, pianist, colonial governor
Born, Rosmead, Westmeath, Ireland, 13 January 1834
Governor Western Australia (1), January 1875-September 1877
Governor Western Australia (2), from April 1880
Governor South Australia, from February 1883
Acting Governor of Victoria, March-November 1889
Governor Western Australia (3), October 1890-March 1895
Died London, England, 2 May 1897


Obituary: “Sir William Robinson was a musician of some eminence, and he composed a number of popular songs, among which the best known are Remember Me No MoreI Love Thee SoImperfectusSevered, and Thou Art My Soul.”

Summary: His comic opera Predatoros played in Melbourne in November 1894. At the time of his death he was working on a new opera The Nut-Brown Maid, which was to have been staged in Melbourne.

References: “PREADTOROS, OR THE BRIGAND’S BRIDE”, The Argus (12 July 1894), 6:; “PREDATOROS IN MELBOURNE”, The West Australian (14 November 1894), 5;; “THE WEST AUSTRALIAN OPERA”, The West Australian (1 January 1895), 6:; “SIR W. F. C. ROBINSON AT HOME”, The West Australian (23 February 1897), 10:; “MUSIC AND DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 March 1897), 4:; “THE LATE SIR WILLIAM ROBINSON. A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH”, South Australian Register (4 May 1897), 5:; “DEATH OF SIR WILLIAM ROBINSON”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 May 1897), 5:

Other works:
A Garland of Roses (words from the German) In The Illustrated Australian News and Musical Times (2 September 1889), 12-13
Dear faded flower (song) (Sydney : W.H. Paling &​ Co., [????])
Palace of Dreams (new song; words: J. P. Douglas) (London : Wickins &​ Co. ; Melbourne : W.H. Glen &​ Co., [189-?])
If I only knew (words: Mary L. Pendered) (Melbourne : W.H. Glen, [18--?])
Unfurl the flag (patriotic song; words: Francis Hart) (Melbourne : W.H. Glen, […])
Predatoros, or, The brigand’s bride [libretto only] (serio-comic romantic opera, in two acts written by Francis Hart; composed by Sir W.C.F. Robinson) [Melbourne, November 1894]

Resources: F. K. Crowley, Robinson, Sir William Cleaver Francis (1834–1897), Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976)



ROCHLITZ, Julius Albert (Bela)
Composer, music teacher, photographer
Born Rozsnyo, Hungary, 1824
Active Victoria, 1852-64
Died Budapest, 1886

Summary: In 1866 through the presses of Schott and Co. in London, Julius Albert von Rochlitz (“late Captain Hungarian General Staff”) published The Geelong Melbourne Railway Polka, “composed and dedicated to his friends in Australia”. He was victim of a robbery in March 1855.

References: “GENERAL SESSIONS”, The Argus (26 April 1855), 6:; “SHOCKING OCCURRENCE AT THE STAR HOTEL”, The Argus (22 November 1856), 5:

Web: Bela Rochlitz, DAAO:



Bandsman (Burton’s Band)
Active, 1856

(1856): 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.

References: “MOUNT BARKER”, South Australian Register (7 November 1856), 3:



RODIUS, Charles
Tenor vocalist, artist, convict
Born Cologne, Germany, 1802
Arrived Sydney, December 1829 (convict per Sarah)
Died Liverpool, NSW, 7 April 1860, aged 56

Summary: Transported for seven years for stealing a reticule outside the Royal Opera House in in London, Charles Rodius (also Rhodius) was assigned on arrival to the Department of Public Works, but came to public note in his own right as early as March 1830 with his lithographic portrait of Bungaree. He was perhaps a member of the Roman Catholic chapel choir. As a solo singer, he appeared in Vincent Wallace’s concert and oratorio in September 1836. At the former, the Australian reported: “The Amateur, Mr. Rhodius, was an object of some attraction, in consequence of his performance on a recent occasion. He sung n pleasing little French song, by Boildeau, in a very plaintive style, without any attempt at display, either of compass of voice or power of execution, and was rapturously encored. He possesses neither of the latter great requisites, but the absence of these qualifications is well supplied by an uncommon sweetness of voice and flexibility of intonation.” In July 1838, Rodius, who suffered from “paralytic” attacks, sold up as he was “leaving Sydney for the benefit of his health”. However, in December, his 17-year-old wife, Harriet, died in Sydney. He was back in Sydney, recovered, in December 1839.  In June 1849, at the second exhibition held by the Society for Promoting the Fine Arts in Australia, one of the pictures on show was: “No 171. Portrait of Monsieur Gautrot. Rodius. Property of Mr. Rodius. A free, light, loose sketch, full of artistical talent, and a very striking likeness.” Though his Gautrot portrait is not known to survive, that of another musician, judge Joshua Frey Josephson, does (

References: “Domestic Intelligence”, The Sydney Monitor (6 March 1830), 2:; “THE CONCERT”, The Australian (16 September 1836), 2:; “MR. WALLACE’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Gazette (17 September 1836), 2:; “THE ORATORIO”, The Australian (23 September 1836), 2:; “The Oratorio”, The Sydney Monitor (24 September 1836), 2:; “THE ORATORIO”, The Sydney Gazette (24 September 1836), 2:; “THE ORATORIO”, The Sydney Herald (26 September 1836), 2:; “THE ORATORIO”, The Colonist (29 September 1836), 2:; “The Concert given by Messrs. Wallace and Deane …”, The Colonist (2 February 1837), 2:; “Mr. Wallace’s Concert”, The Sydney Monitor (2 October 1837), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (2 July 1838), 3:; “Death”, The Sydney Herald (17 December 1838), 3:; [Advertisement], The Colonist (7 December 1839), 3:; “MARRIED”, The Sydney Herald (2 April 1841), 2:; “CERTIFICATES OF FREEDOM”, The Australian (17 March 1842), 3:; “SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING THE FINE ARTS IN AUSTRALIA: SECOND EXHIBITION”, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 June 1849), 3: “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 April 1860), 1:; “ART, MUSIC AND THE DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 February 1890), 7:

Web: Jocelyn Gray, Rodius, Charles (1802-1860),  ADB 2 (1967); “Charles Rodius”, DAAO:; Image: Canberra, National Portrait Gallery: Joanna Gilmour, “Fine and Dandy”, Portrait 36:



Pianist, composer
Active Australia, by January 1856, until ? after September 1857

Summary: Roeckel appeard in Sydney accompanying Frank Howson, John Winterbottom and others at the piano in Sydney in January 1856. In July and August he was advertising as teacher of a beginners music class in Ipswich, Queensland. He returned to Sydney from Brisbane in December 1856. In Sydney in March 1857, J. R. Clarke advertised “In preparation, new dance music, by M. Armand Roeckel, viz, a Polka Mazurka, and La Varsoviana (The Favourite Varsoviana) (La Favourite)”. Roeckel himself is last documented as being still in Sydney in March 1857, however, on circumstantial evidence he was probably still there in September when Clarke published his Iris Varsoviana (named after the ship H.M.S. Iris, then in port). In May 1858 Clarke announced The Australian Polka Mazurka , which had actually been published previously in London, under the title “Souvenir de Cork” (Clarke later also included it in his Australian Musical Album for 1863). In addition to copies of the Australian Polka Mazurka and Souvenir de Cork, the British Library in London has copies of 5 musical prints by Armand Roeckel. His works are not to be confused with those of Joseph Roeckel, which also circulated in Australia (and whose daughter married here in 1874); thought they were perhaps related.

References: [Advertisement], Empire (2 January 1856), 1:; [Advertisement], The North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser (8 July 1856), 1:; [Advertisement], The North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser (26 August 1856), 1:; “THE CHORAL SOCIETY”, The North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser (25 November 1856), 4:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, Empire (20 December 1856), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 February 1857), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 March 1857), 5:; “AN EVENING WITH SHAKSPERE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 March 1857), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 September 1857), 1:;  [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 September 1857), 7:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 April 1858), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 May 1858), 7:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 July 1859), 10:; “MUSIC AND DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 February 1863), 9:; “MARRIED”, The Argus (25 November 1874), htt



ROEDIGER, Carl Gustav
Composer, vocalist
Arrived Adelaide, 1849
Died Gawler, SA, 24 September 1898

Obituary: […] Thoroughly straightforward and honourable, he commanded the respect of all who were associated with him. Mr.Roedigcr possessed musical gifts of no mean order, and when a boy was in great demand as a singer in his native city in Germany […] The remains were conveyed to Buchsfelde, and interred in the burying-ground of St. Paul’s, which Church his late brother, the Rev. Julius Roediger, presided over for so many years.

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (13 November 1867), 1:;“THE LATE MR. C. G. ROEDIGER”, South Australian Register (27 September 1898), 3:

Musical works: Huzza for Prince Alfred, huzza (words by G. Nott ;music by C. G. Roediger) (Adelaide: W. C. Rigby, [1867])



ROGERS, Edwin John
Musical memorialist, singer, bell-ringer (mayor of Hobart 1926-27)
Born c.1859
Died Hobart, 23 February 1951, aged 92

ROGERS, Ada Alice (Miss BELBIN)
Pianist Active Hobart, by 1878
Died Sandy Bay, TAS, 14 December 1945, aged 83

Image (? Ada):

(1929): The young folks of to-day fail to understand that in earlier days people in Hobart enjoyed the same productions as Melbourne and Sydney, because of the direct connection which then existed between the mainland, Tasmania, and New Zealand. We had a weekly service from Melbourne by way of Hobart to New Zealand, and also a steamer the other way about. It followed from this that all the noted operatic and theatrical artists who were travelling between Melbourne and New Zealand called at Hobart, and stayed a week or a fortnight. We had all Lyster’s grand operas with magnificent Italian companies […] I first saw [Armes] Beaumont with Alice May in a whole series of English operas, such as “Maritana” and “The Bohemian Girl”. Simonsen’s Opera Company came here. He was a magnificent violinist and his wife was one of the finest sopranos ever heard on the Australian stage. She was well over 50 years old, and yet would play a girl’s part quite charmingly […] Other visiting companies were the Grace Plaister Opera Company, the Emily Melville Opera Company, the German Opera Company, with “Tannhauser” and “Lohengrin”, and the Gonsalez Italian Opera Company, the last to come. Amy Sherwin made her first appearance as an operatic singer in a little opera that used to be produced by the late W. Russell, “Zillah”. It was given at Delsarte’s Rooms, later called the Tasmanian Hall, and now the home of the Royal Yacht Club. She then decided to go on the stage, and joined Lyster’s Opera Company […] Lempriere Pringle, the famous bass, is another Tasmanian […] He became Carl Rosa’s leading bass, and one of the finest Mephlstopheles on the stage. At one time he sang with the Hobart Orpheus Club […] Turning to players of Instruments, Mr. Rogers recalled such artists as Sir Charles Halle, the pianist, his wife, the violinist [Wilma Neruda], and Levy, the great cornetist, and W. H. Jude, organist and composer. Speaking of Herr Schott, the German musician who came to Hobart to organise the Artillery Garrison Band, Mr. Rogers said that he was one of the finest all-round musicians that ever came to Tasmania. He could pick up the instrument of almost any player and show him what to do. He was the finest oboist in Australia, and conducted the Orchestral Union almost until his dying day. He never had a failure in all that he produced. Outstanding members were the Misses Barclay, Hunt, Foster, Hogg, Henry, Reichenberg (the organist), Mrs. E. J. Rogers, formerly Miss Belbin (the pianist), and Mr. James Dear. Mr. Rogers was one of the founders of the Hobart Orpheus Club, and is now the president, but aside from his work as a singer in this and other bodies and in private life, with the help of Mrs. Rogers, a born musician, he had as manager of the Theatre Royal for 20 years […] 

References: [Advertisement], The Mercury (9 November 1878), 3:; “THE ORPHEUS CLUB CONCERT”, The Mercury (18 November 1879), 2:; “MUSIC AND MUSICIANS Alderman E. J. Rogers A Chat About Old Times”, The Mercury (28 August 1929), 5:; “GOLDEN WEDDING”, Examiner (9 April 1934), 8:; “ENGLISH BELLRINGERS ANNIVERSARY AT HOBART”, Examiner (16 September 1937), 7:; “DEATHS”, The Mercury (15 December 1945), 21:; “MR. E. J. ROGERS’ DEATH ENDS LONG CAREER”, The Mercury (26 February 1951), 19:; “Funeral of Prominent Hobart Businessman”, The Mercury (27 February 1951), 8:



ROGERS, Emma (Miss YOUNG; Mrs. George Herbert ROGERS)
Dancer, vocalist, actor
Arrived Hobart, 28 January 1842 (per Sydney, from the Downs, 3 October 1841)
Died Coogee, NSW, 15 October 1862, aged 47

Summary: Emma Young was one of Anne Clarke’s party of new talent for Hobart theatre, including the Howsons and Gerome Carandini, that arrived in January 1842. She was sister of the actor, vocalist and dancer Charles Young. She married the actor G. H. Rogers (see below) They first appeared in Sydney in January 1848.

References: “SHIP NEWS”, Colonial Times (1 February 1842), 2:; [Advertisement], The Courier (18 February 1842), 3:; “THE ALBERT THEATRE”, The Courier (18 March 1842), 2:; [Advertisement], The Courier (20 January 1843), 1:; “THE THEATRE”, Colonial Times (7 February 1843), 3:; “THE THEATRE”, The Courier (1 September 1843), 2:; “THE THEATRE”, Colonial Times (24 September 1844), 3:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, Colonial Times (4 August 1846), 2:; “DEATHS”, Empire (17 October 1862), 1:; “RANDOM REMINISCENCES”, Launceston Examiner (22 December 1894), 3s:



ROGERS, George Herbert
Actor, comic vocalist
Born St. Albans, England, July 1820
Arrived Hobart, 11 July 1839
Active Sydney, from 1848
Died Fitzroy, Melbourne, February 1872

Summary: At his benefit at the royal Victoria Theatre in March 1851, Rogers gave the Comic Song (first time) Country Fair, “introducing the Cries of Sydney, with a great variety of other novel entertainments”. It was later separately billed as a comic song Sydney Cries and Cries of Sydney.

References: [Advertisement], Bell’s Life in Sydney (22 March 1851), 3:; “THE DRAMA. THE BENEFIT SEASON”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (29 March 1851), 2:; “Royal Victoria Theatre”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (12 April 1851), 2:; “Funeral Notices”, The Argus (14 February 1872), 8:; “RANDOM REMINISCENCES”, Launceston Examiner (22 December 1894), 3s:

Resources: Rogers, George Herbert, Dictionary of Australian Biography 2 (1949);



Choral conductor (Geelong Sacred Harmonic Society)
Active Geelong, 1854-55

References: “THE GEELONG SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY”, Geelong Advertiser (24 February 1855), 2:; “THE GEELONG SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY”, Geelong Advertiser (3 March 1855), 2:; “CHORAL SOCIETY. To the Editor”, Geelong Advertiser (9 June 1855), 2:; [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (26 June 1855), 2:; “SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY”, Geelong Advertiser (4 February 1856), 2:; “THE GEELONG SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, Geelong Advertiser (27 February 1856), 2:



ROLFE, Thomas (junior)
Organist, pianist, piano tuner, music publisher, music seller
Arrived Sydney, 10 January 1842 (per Duke of Roxburgh, from Cork, 4 September 1841)
Active Launceston, until 1847

Summary: Thomas Rolfe junior, “agent for William Rolfe and Sons, Cheapside, London”, probably grandson of William and perhaps son of Thomas Hall Rolfe, first advertised new music for sale and pianos tuned in Sydney in February 1842. As early as April 1842 he was printing music locally, advertising: “This day is published, by T. Rolfe, 4, Hunter-street, THE EAGLE CHIEF and THE ABORIGINAL MOTHER, Australian Melodies. Nos. I and 2: Poet, Mrs. Dunlop; Composer, I. Nathan”, and also “the celebrated Prince Albert’s Band March, as played by the military bands, arranged for the pianoforte by Stephen Glover.” This latter drew adverse comment from the Herald, which noted: “Our music press has again been to work, and has issued, not an Australian composition calculated to undeceive those who imagine that we can only deal and barter, but a reprint of a very trashy piece for the pianoforte, called Prince Albert‘s Band March—the catchpenny title of which would be sufficient to deter any common-sensed amateur […] But are these the things we are to have reprinted in Australia? Certainly not.” Perhaps to atone for this, a fortnight later Rolfe advertised that he would publish “all the songs“ from Charles Nagel’s “Sham Catalani”, or Mock Catalani, and four songs were issued: A Sensitive Plant, It was but a dream, The Pretty Bark Hut in the Bush, and Wellington. In June he released No. 1 of a projects series, The Australian Musical Bijou, which contained imported songs by Knight, Russell, and Bellini and which W. A. Duncan in the Chronicle judged “far superior to any lithographed music yet produced in the colony“ despite several errors. In 1843, Rolfe was offering to supply the instrumental needs of both military ensembles and “Teetotal, and other Bands”, a section of the musical economy that George Hudson would later also target. In July that year we also learn of a personal misfortune; his wife, variously Rachael or Rosetta Mears, whom he had married in Sydney on 23 August 1842, was charged and tried for bigamy. Having moved first to Pitt-street and then to George-street, Rolfe continued trading through the first half of 1844. But between July and September he relocated his business to Hobart, and by early 1845 to Launceston. There he was appointed organist of St. John’s Church in September 1845, and in 1846, along with James Henri Anderson, was one of the pianists assisting at Madame Gautrot’s Launceston concert. He disappears from record after leaving Launceston for Melbourne in August 1847. The notorious novelist Frederick Rolfe (Baron Corvo) (1860-1913) was born at the family firm’s address, 61 Cheapside, London, son of James Rolfe (c.1827–1902) who was probably Thomas’s brother.

(Launceston, 1845): We understand that considerable exertions are being made by the new organist of the Church, for the improvement of the children in Sacred Psalmony; but as Mr. Rolfe has only been in Launceston a few weeks, it would be unfair to give an opinion about their proficiency. […] We have heard that the Bishop was pleased to compliment Mr. Rolfe on the performance of Sunday. The voluntary played at the commencement (selected from one of Casalis’ Masses) was truly grand and soul-inspiring, and was executed in a manner highly creditable to the performer.

References: “ARRIVED”, Australasian Chronicle (11 January 1842), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (21 February 1842), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (24 February 1842), 3:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (28 April 1842), 3:; “Music”, The Sydney Herald (5 May 1842), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (19 May 1842), 3:; “NEW MUSIC”, Australasian Chronicle (12 May 1842), 2:; “NEW MUSIC”, Australasian Chronicle (18 June 1842), 2:; “CHARGE OF BIGAMY”, Australasian Chronicle (22 July 1843), 2:; [Advertisement], The Weekly Register 1/3 (12 August 1843), 38:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 January 1844), 3:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Australian (9 April 1844), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 July 1844), 1:; [Advertisement], The Courier (7 September 1844), 1:; “PIANOFORTES”, The Cornwall Chronicle (29 January 1845), 3:; “ORGANIST OF ST. JOHN’S CHURCH”, The Cornwall Chronicle (24 September 1845), 186:; “SAINT JOHN’S CHRUCH SUNDAY AND DAY SCHOOLS”, The Cornwall Chronicle (1 November 1845), 294:; “MADAME GAUTROT’S CONCERT”, The Cornwall Chronicle (18 February 1846), 132:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (16 September 1846), 715:; “NEW YEAR’S DAY”, The Cornwall Chronicle (2 January 1847), 6:; “TO THE EDITOR … LITERARY DISTINCTION”, Launceston Examiner (30 January 1847), 5: ; “SHIPPING NEWS”, The Courier (25 August 1847), 2:

Extant publications:
Hunter St., April 1842:, in addition to the two Nathan works above:
Child of earth with the golden hair (cavatina composed by Charles E. Horn) Pitt Street (December 1842-January 1843)
Billy Barlow (arranged by George Coppin, Published by Thomas Rolfe, Music Seller, 26 Pitt-street, 1843) [though this cannot in fact have been published earlier than March or April]
George-Street (January-July 1843)
Had I a boat on some fairy stream  (ballad composed by John Rogers)
The rover’s bride (a ballad T.H. Bayly; composed by A. Lee)

Bibliography: Martha Novak Clinkscale, Makers of the Piano, Volume 2: 1820-1860 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 312-13:; Prue Neidorf, A Guide to Dating Music Published in Sydney and Melbourne, 1800-1899 (M.A. thesis, University of  Wollongong, 1999);

Web: Exeter Working Papers in British Book Trade History; The London book trades 1775-1800: a preliminary checklist of members. Names R: “ROLFE, William, music seller and publisher and pianoforte maker, 112, Cheapside 1797-1830. Trading: alone 1797-1807; as William Rolfe and sons 1808-1816; as William Rolfe and Co. 1817-1826; as William Rolfe and sons 1827-1830. Previously partner in Culliford, Rolfe and Barrow. Humphries and Smith.”



Music publisher, bookbinder
Born Glasgow, 11 December 1812
Arrived Hobart, 26 August 1833 (per Othello)
Died Bay of Biscay, 10 January 1866 (in wreck of the London)

Summary: A Scot himself, Hobart bookbinder and occasional publisher probably issued only this single lithographed musical print, Caller Herrin (“The Celebrated Scotch Song ... as sung by Mr. J. R. Black, with symphony from Knapton’s variations”) on 31 December 1861. Notably, he made no mention of the fact that his fellow townswoman, Augusta Packer, was daughter of the song’s composer, Nathaniel Gow, though her son Frederick Packer junior did deputise as pianist for John Reddie Black on one occasion.

References: [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (17 November 1837), 1:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (31 December 1861), 3:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (1 January 1862), 1:

Other: SL-TAS (TAO): George Rolwegan NG1326 [Records] [manuscript];



ROPER, Edmund Alphonsus
Organist, pianist, arranger
Born Nottingham, England, 23 June 1846
Arrived Hobart, ? c.1855
Died Glebe, NSW, 28 March 1874, aged 27

Obituary: The musical profession has lost a very promising young member in the death of Mr. Roper, the late organist of St. Patrick’s Church, who died on Saturday evening after an illness of only a few days. Mr. Roper was well known in connection with the popular concerts given in Sydney, more particularly those of a sacred character.”

1878: “WE have received from Mr. J. R. Clarke, the publisher, a copy of “O Salutaris Hostia”, as sung by Miss E. A. Moon. It was arranged by the late E. A. Roper (sometime organist of St. Patrick’s Church). Many of our readers will no doubt be glad to obtain this arrangement of a much-admired air by Mercadante.

References: “READING AT NEW TOWN”, The Mercury (9 June 1868), 2:; “MARRIAGES”, The Mercury (17 August 1868), 1:; “RESIGNATION OF MRS. E. A. ROPER”, The Cornwall Chronicle (3 October 1868), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 December 1871), 8:; “SYDNEY CHORAL SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 June 1873), 4:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 March 1874), 1:; “DEATH OF MR. ROPER”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 March 1874), 4:; “NEWS OF THE DAY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (25 November 1878), 5:; “ORGANIST’S UNIQUE RECORD”, The Mercury (1 September 1923), 15:




Pianist, composer
Active Sydney, by 1853

Summary: In Sydney in September 1853, Ferdinand Rosenstein, “The celebrated pianist … from Hamburgh”, advertised as a Quadrille pianist, appeared in concert with Flora Harris and John Howson, and saw his lost The Remembrance Polka (“dedicated with permission to the Hon. Mrs. Keith Stewart”) published by Woolcott and Clarke. In December he was in Bathurst, advertising as local agent for Woolcott and Clark. He was in Melboure by December 1854.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 September 1853), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 September 1853), 7:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (12 September 1853), 1:; [Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press (10 December 1853), 1:; [Advertisement], The Argus (29 December 1854), 3:; “BIRTHS”, The Argus (27 September 1856), 4:



ROSENSTENGEL, Ferdinand Nikolaus
Professor of Music, pianist, composer
Active (? Geelong, 1858-60) Brisbane, by 1863
Died Towong, Brisbane, February 1890

Summary: A Mr. F. Rosenstengel was teaching Singing and German at Geelong’s National  Grammar School between July 1858 and December 1860. F. N. Rosenstengel advertised as a “Professor of Music” in Brisbane in January 1863, having arrived at Moreton Bay onboard the ship Duke of Newcastle (from Cork and Liverpool). If they are the same person, he must have returned to Europe in the interim. At his concert in Brisbane in July 1864 the band played an unattributed Bendigo Polka, and his own Neptune Schottische. As conductor he collaborated with pianist Silvester Diggles in the Brisbane Philharmonic Concerts in 1867. A review of his Our Nellie’s Schottische (Brisbane : Gordon & Gotch, [1885]) imputing plagiarism prompted him to defend himself in print.

Obituary: “A large circle of musical friends will read with regret of the death of Herr Rosenstengel, the clever pianist and teacher of music, who has practised and taught in Brisbane for something like a quatter of a century. Among other positions which he filled was that of teacher to the choirs of St. Stephen’s Cathedral and St. Patrick’s Church, Fortitude Valley. The deceased gentleman’s funeral took place yesterday afternoon and was largely attended. The procession was headed by a band composed of those anxious to do honour to so old a musician.”

References: [Advertisement], The Star (7 July 1858), 4: [Advertisement], The Argus (26 December 1860), 8:; [Advertisement], The Courier (30 January 1863), 3:; “PRESENTATION TO THE REV. W. J. LARKIN”, The Courier (5 February 1863), 2:; [Advertisement], The Courier (8 June 1863), 3:; “MR. P. C. CUNNINGHAME’S entertainment”, The Courier (12 June 1863), 2:; [Advertisement], The North Australian (26 September 1863), 4:; “NOTES AND NEWS”, The North Australian (19 July 1864), 2: ; “THE PHILHARMONIC CONCERTS”, The Queenslander (30 March 1867), 12: [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (16 July 1864), 1: “LADIES IN PARLIAMENT. TO THE EDITOR”, The Brisbane Courier (23 April 1870), 5: “MARRIAGES”, The Queenslander (29 March 1879), 385: [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (28 May 1883), 1:; [News], The Brisbane Courier (29 June 1883), 5:; [News], The Brisbane Courier (16 June 1885), 5:;“OUR NELLIE'S SCHOTTISCHE. TO THE EDITOR“, The Brisbane Courier (18 June 1885), 5:; “NEW MUSIC”, Queensland Figaro and Punch (12 February 1887), 3: [News], The Brisbane Courier (27 February 1890), 4:; [Advertisement; probate], The Brisbane Courier (29 March 1890), 2:



ROSENSTENGEL, Ludwig, junior
Oboist, violinist, composer, Teacher of Music
Active Brisbane, from 1883

Summary: Ludwig Rosenstengel, nephew of F. N. Rosenstengel and “a pupil of Herr Ton, chef d’orchestre of the private orchestra of H.R.H. the grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar” made his first Brisbane appearance at his uncle’s concert in May 1883.

1888: NEW MUSIC. Reminiscence of the Ruins of Pompeii. Nocturne, for piano, by Ludwig Rosenstengel, junior. Gordon & Gotch, publishers, Brisbane. The latest candidate for public favor in the shape of local musical composition is the nocturne, by our townsman, Herr Rosenstengel, the well-known oboe player. The general character of the piece is in ; strict keeping with its title, being a graceful idyll phrased in simple, dreamy style. The melody is clear and well marked, and within the reach of the veriest tyro on the keyboard, and, barring a few clerical errors, is worth including in every music portfolio. Herr Rosenstengel, I believe, makes his first bow to a Queensland audience as a composer in this instance, and from such a promise I think he will issue yet something of a more ambitious and enduring nature. The frontispiece is hardly up to the best productions of the publishers, otherwise the get-up is passable. For the benefit of the beginner, I ought to mention that the nocturne is written throughout in six-eight time, in E flat major, with a brief modulation in the relative key of B flat after the orthodox rule.

References: [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (28 May 1883), 1:; [News], The Brisbane Courier (29 June 1883), 5:; [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (5 September 1883), 1:; “NEW MUSIC”, Queensland Figaro and Punch (14 January 1888), 11s: 



ROSS, Thomas Andrew
Singing master (late Organist of St. Nicholas Church, Dundalk), Teacher of Vocal and instrumental music
Active Brisbane, by 1865
Died Brisbane, 1892

References: [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (6 December 1865), 1:; [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (11 November 1865), 1:; “COURT OF REQUESTS”, The Brisbane Courier (5 December 1867), 2:; [Advertisement – probate], The Brisbane Courier (16 July 1862), 7:



ROSSI, Madame Elena
Soprano vocalist
Active Melbourne, 1854

Summary: Madame Elena Rossi, a “Pupil of Signors Garcia and Crevelli … just arrived from England” first appeared in concert in Melbourne for John Winterbottom on 30 January 1854, singing a scene from Ernani, and again for him in a concert at Prahran in June. Otherwise unknown, her explanation that her teacher Garcia was also “singing master to Jenny Lind and Madame Sontag” may be a clue as to her identity, as Henriette Sontag (who, coincidentally, almost two years into her tour of America, died in Mexico in June 1854) was also widely known by her married name of Madame Rossi.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (23 January 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (27 January 1854), 10:; [Advertisement], The Argus (28 January 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (7 June 1854), 3:



ROWE, Miss (Louisa Jane) (Mrs. John PARKIN)
Vocalist (pupil of Carl Linger), pianist
Active Adelaide, from 1858
Died Adelaide, 29 November 1919, aged 76 years, a colonist of 76 years

Summary: A pupil of Linger, Rowe notably sang in the first public performance of Linger's Song of Australia at Gawler in December 1859, and on the same program gave the first performance on the piano of Linger's lost Fantasia on the Song of Australia.

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (14 July 1854), 1:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (15 July 1854), 1:; “GRAND CONCERT”, South Australian Register (17 July 1854), 2:; “MRS. MITCHELL’S CONCERT”, South Australian Register (15 February 1855), 3:;“MR. R. B. WHITE’S CONCERTS”, South Australian Register (11 March 1858), 4:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (13 June 1859), 1:; “SIGNOR CUTOLO’S CONCERT”, The South Australian Advertiser (16 June 1859), 2: ; “GAWLER INSTITUTE”, South Australian Register (14 December 1859), 3:; “GRAND CONCERT AT THE GAWLER INSTITUTE”, The South Australian Advertiser (14 December 1859), 3: “MARRIAGES”, South Australian Register (4 June 1866), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Advertiser (2 December 1919), 6:; “OLD PUPIL OF CARL LINGER”, The Advertiser (16 March 1936), 20:; “CHIT CHAT FOR WOMEN”, The Advertiser (4 October 1927), 8:



ROYAL, Creed
Flautist, composer
Born England, ? 1807/8
Arrived 1853
Died Fitzroy, Victoria, 15 March 1876, in his 68th year

ROYAL, Miss Creed (Mrs. O’HARA)
Died Rockhampton, 2 May 1876

ROYAL, Bonnie

Piano tuner

Image: (sketch by Gordon McCrae):

Summary: Creed Royal was active in Melbourne by February 1853 and later that year settled in Geelong. A Splendid NEW SCHOTTISCHE (“Patronised by Lady Barkley”) composed by him, published by George Chapman, was advertised in Melbourne in February 1857 (no copy identified), and his The Governor Musgrave Schottische (Adelaide: J. Woodman) appeared in October 1873. There are also later (posthumous) references to a Fantasie Brillante for flute composed by Creed Royal. In the opera Lucia in Melbourne on the evening of 6 march 1876, the Argus noted: “Mr. Creed Royal waa greatly missed from the band in the early part of the work last night; but in the “Mad Scene”, the flute obligato part waa played with consummate skill by Signor Giammona.” Royal died a week later.

Obituary: Mr. Creed Royal died yesterday, at an advanced age, after having I been for years past one of the leading flautists in the operatic orchestra. He was kindly thought of by all who knew him, and was a man of large experience. He played under Mendelssohn when that great master first produced his oratorio “Elijah“ at Birmingham, in 1847. The late Mr. Creed Royal leaves a widow in feeble health.

References: “INSOLVENT DEBTORS”, The Jurist 13/658 (18 August 1849), 305:; [Advertisement], The Argus (19 February 1853), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (22 February 1853), 8:; “ARE WE TO BE A MUSICAL COMMUNITY”, Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (31 August 1853), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (17 February 1857), 8:; “New Music”, South Australian Register (11 October 1873), 5:; “THE OPERA. LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR”, The Argus (7 March 1876), 7:; [News], The Argus (16 March 1876), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (18 March 1876), 1:; “THE LATE MR. CREED ROYAL”, Launceston Examiner (1 April 1876), 3:; “ROCKHAMPTON”, The Sydney Morning Herald (3 May 1876), 5:; “NORTHERN NEWS”, The Queenslander (20 May 1876), 8:; [News], The Argus (13 October 1876), 5:; “MRS. CREED ROYAL. TO THE EDITOR”, The Argus (26 October 1876), 10:; [Advertisement], Morning Bulletin (23 October 1878), 3:; “CARMEN”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 August 1879), 6:



ROYLE, Bert (Albert)
Baritone vocalist, librettist, songwriter
Born England, 1860/1
Arrived Australia, c. 1889
Died NZ, 18 September 1929, aged 68

Obituary: […] An Englishman by birth, Mr. Royle came to Australia about 40 years ago with an English opera company, in which he sang baritone roles. After this company had departed he remained here, and became well known in character parts in “straight“ drama, such as the role of Hardress Cregan in “Colleen Bawn.“ He wrote the libretto for a number of the J. C. Williamson musical productions of 35 years ago, including “Djin-Djin“ and “Matsa,“ and superintended the details of the staging.

References: “Green-room Gossip”, Illustrated Sydney News (18 February 1893), 19:; “THE LATE MR. BERT ROYLE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (17 September 1929), 12:

Songs: There’s something about ’er as fetches yer (written by Bert Royle; composed by Hewetson Burne) (Melbourne: W. H. Glen &​ Co., [between 1891 and 1899])
It may be love (words by Bert Royle; music by Leon Caron) (Sydney: Nicholson &​ Co., 1897)
I’ve chucked up my push for the donah (Australian Larrikin song) (Sydney & Melbourne versions complete; written by Bert Royle; music by Lovell Phillips (Sydney: W. H. Paling &​ Co., [1893])

Resources: Bert Royle, @ Australian Variety Theatre Archive:



“Musician”, piano tuner, ? convict
Active Launceston, 1838

(1838): John Rukely, a regular barn-door bred bumpkin, was complained of by his master, for neglect of duty. Mr. Chittleburgh stated that nothing more was required of the fellow than to keep clean a couple of rooms, and occasionally to chop a little wood, neither of which he would do. The fellow, when called on for his reason, said, he was never accustomed to washingrooms. No, he was a MUSICIAN. And pray, said the magistrate, on what instrument do you play? Oh! answered the clod-pole, I tunes pianny fortes, but all my family are musicians. Had he said he was a milliner, his appearance could not have more blankly contradicted his assertion. The magistrate sentenced this Orpheus to try if he could not make the stones jump to the music of his hammer, for the space of two months.

References: “LAUNCESTON POLICE”, The Cornwall Chronicle (31 March 1838), 1:



RÜMKER, Christian
Amateur pianist, astronomer
Born Stargard, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Germany, 18 May 1788
Arrived Sydney, 7 November 1821 (in the suite of governor Thomas Brisbane)
Departed, January 1829 (for London)
Died Lisbon, Portugal, 1862

Summary: Governor Thomas Brisbane’s private astronomer, Rümker was also a keen amateur musician; in a letter in 1822, Elizabeth Macarthur recorded: “I have already said that we are much pleased with Sir Thomas Brisbane and His Family. The Governor himself is fond of scientific pursuits, and is devoted to astronomy in particular. He brought with him a number of valuable instruments, which are set up in an observatory which he has had built near the Government House at Parramatta. Mr. Rumker a Gentleman well known in the annals of science, and a German by birth came to this country with Sir Thomas. He is domiciled with the family and has charge of the Observatory […] 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. The Germans are passionately fond of music.”

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: G. F. J. Bergman, Rümker, Christian Carl Ludwig (1788–1862), Australian Dictionary of Biography 2 (1967)



Conductor, choral trainer
Arrived Melbourne, 1853
Died Melbourne, 2 August 1872, aged 67 years

1855: In October, 1853, the members of the choir of the Wesleyan Church, Collins-street, in conjunction with a few other lovers of choral music, requested Mr. John Russell to aid them in the formation of a musical society, and to become its conductor. That gentleman, whose extensive experience, taste, and indefatigable zeal in the diffusion of musical knowledge pre-eminently qualified him for such an office, having given his cordial assent to the proposal, the Melbourne Philharmonic Society was formed.

1872: A number of old colonists, identified in various ways with the earlier history of Victoria, have lately passed away. One of these was Mr. John Russell, who was extensively known and much respected, especially in the musical profession, as a most enthusiastic lover of music, not only in Australia, but also in England and America. He was one of the original fenders of the Philharmonic Society of Liverpool, his native town, and he founded also the Harmonic Society of Brooklyn, America, in 1849. From thence he came to Melbourne in 1853, and was the pioneer of music in this city, having been the founder of the present Philharmonic Society of Molbourno. He was for many years secretary to the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce, but was of late years out of business. He died at the age of 67.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (5 October 1853), 8:; “MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Argus (1 August 1855), 4:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (3 August 1872), 4:; [News], The Argus (13 August 1872), 4:; “SUMMARY FOR EUROPE”, The Argus (13 August 1872), 1s:; “MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC CELEBRATES 90TH BIRTHDAY NEXT FRIDAY”, The Argus (2 October 1943), 3s:

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:



Teacher of piano (pupil of Mr. Packer)
Active Sydney, by 1876

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 January 1876), 2:; “The Euphonic Orchestral Society …”, Evening News (19 June 1874), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 January 1879), 3:



RUSSELL, William
Professor of Music, composer, double-bass player
Born ? Scotland, 1798/99
Arrived Hobart, 30 May 1832 (per Ann Jamieson, from Leith, 12 December 1831)
Died Hobart, 3 October 1892, in his 94th year


References: “SHIP NEWS“, Colonial Times (5 June 1832), 2: ; [News], The Courier (29 June 1832), 2:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (3 July 1832), 1:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (23 September 1834), 3:; [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (26 September 1834), 3:; “Mr. Gordonovitch’s concert …”, The Hobart Town Courier (31 October 1834), 3:  [Launceston news], Colonial Times (11 May 1841), 4: “EPITOME OF NEWS”, The Mercury (4 October 1892), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Mercury (5 October 1892), 1: 



RUST, Mrs. (Margaret)
Soprano vocalist, Professor of Singing
Arrived Sydney, by 20 April 1835
Died 19 November 1840, aged 45

Summary: “Professor of Singing, Pupil of the Royal Academy, London, and Member of the Philharmonic Society of Milan”, Margaret Rust (wife of wholesale butcher and grazier George Rust) was newly arrived in Sydney when she first sang at Thomas Stubbs’s concert in April 1835. It was reported in July that she was to give a concert of her own, but this did not eventuate, perhaps because she was pregnant (she gave birth to a daughter, Jane, sadly short-lived, in January). This did not prevent her from singing in the meantime at bishop Bede Polding’s inauguration at St Mary’s Chapel in September. During 1836 she was regularly mentioned singing at St. Mary’s, both during services, and in Wallace’s Oratorio in September. Thereafter, while probably continuing to sing at St Mary’s, she disappears from record during 1837 and 1838. She again announced a concert in September 1839, but it too never eventuated. Having given birth to a son, William, she died in November 1840. A clue to her possible identity, a Margaret Morgan was among girls elected to the Royal Academy of Music, though she was noted only as a harpist, a pupil of Bochsa.

September, 1839: […] there has been some talk in the papers of Mrs. Rust giving a Concert, in which she was to be assisted by the vocal powers of Mr. Rust himself. This we have the best authority for saying is a gratuitous invention either of the papers or their informants, originating probably with some over-zealous and imprudent admirers of Mrs. R.’s distinguished talent as a vocalist. There was a day when Mrs. R. was more in the musical world than she had been of late, and when she would not perhaps have refused to fulfil the expectations of her friends by getting up a Concert; but Mrs. Rust and her husband are now in independent circumstances, and are not to be expected to engage in any such public entertainments. As for Mr. Rusts assisting on such an occasion, why the gentleman’s vocal powers have been employed for a good while back rather in the way of hallooing after cattle through the bush, than in “breathing the soul of melody and song”. We should indeed be happy if Mrs. Rust could be persuaded, and would condescend to gratify the wishes of her admirers, either by singing at some respectable Concert, or at one got up according to her own legitimate taste, by herself.

References: “ROYAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC”, The Harmonicon 1/5 (May 1823), 71:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (20 April 1835), 3:; “MR. STUBBS’S CONCERT”, The Australian (24 April 1835), 2:; “THE CONCERT”, The Sydney Herald (23 April 1835), 2:; [News], The Australian (10 July 1835), 2:; “DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE”, The Sydney Herald (21 September 1835), 3:; “Domestic and Miscellaneous Intelligence”, The Australian (22 September 1835), 2:; “BIRTH”, The Sydney Gazette (23 January 1836), 3: ttp://; “ROMAN CATHOLIC CEREMONIES”, The Sydney Gazette (5 April 1836), 2:; “DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE”, The Australian (24 May 1836), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (17 September 1836), 1:; “THE ORATORIO”, The Colonist (29 September 1836), 2:; DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE”, The Sydney Herald (20 September 1839), 2:; “A brief Chronicle of Passing Events”, Australasian Chronicle (24 September 1839), 1:; “THE MUSICAL WORLD”, The Colonist (25 September 1839), 2:; “DEATH”, The Sydney Herald (21 November 1840), 2:

Bibliography: William W. Cazalet, The history of the Royal Academy of Music compiled from authentic sources (London: T. Bosworth, 1854), 80 (& other mentions):



RUTTER, George O.
Barrister, amateur vocalist, composer
Born England, c.1819
Arrived Melbourne, by July 1856 (from Manchester, England)
Departed Melbourne, 6 May 1869 (per Lincolnshire, for London)

References: “SUPREME COURT”, The Argus (10 July 1856), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (15 August 1856), 8:; “AMUSEMENTS”, The Argus (16 September 1857), 6:; “MELBOURNE”, The Musical Times (1 March 1857), 11:; “MELBOURNE”, The Musical Times (1 January 1858), 175; [Advertisement], The Argus (8 September 1859), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (22 June 1860), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (10 September 1863), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (25 February 1864), 8:; “GOOD FRIDAY CONCERT”, The Argus (26 March 1864), 6:; [Advertisement]: “MR. RUTTER’S MASS”, The Argus (19 October 1867), 7:; “CLEARED OUT”, The Argus (7 May 1869), 4:; “FUNERAL OF THE LATE HON. J. P. FAWKNER”, The Argus (9 September 1869), 6:; “THE MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY: I”, The Argus (25 December 1878), 6:; “THE MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY: II”, The Argus (13 January 1879), 6:

Extant colonial musical works:
Beauty, sweet beauty bright (written by C. E. Gibbs; composed by G. O.Rutter) (Melbourne: Joseph Wilkie, [18-?])
Mass in D (London: Novello, 1866; paid for by local subscription, Melbourne: Lee & Kaye, 1867): copy at St Francis's Church, Melbourne



RUXTON, Henri W.
Professor of Music
Active, Melbourne, by August 1854

Summary: Henri W. Ruxton, late member of the Philharmonic Society, Liverpool, pupil of Henri Rosellen, and Balsir Chatterton, Harpist to the Queen, first advertised in Melbourne in August in 1853. His son’s death notice (1930) described him as “late … professor of music Ballarat”.

Ovens, 1865: Passing of an Old Resident: We yesterday had the pleasure of learning that Mr. Henri W. Ruxton, so long known as a professed pianist and teacher of music in the Ovens district, has returned from Melbourne after creditably passing an examination which has obtained for him a certificate from the Board of Education entitling him to act as singing master in any of the common schools in the colony. We congratulate Mr. Ruxton on his success.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (2 August 1852), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (19 April 1854), 6: [Advertisement], The Argus (10 November 1854), 8:; “MARRIED”, The Argus (29 January 1856), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (4 March 1857), 8:; “PASSING OF AN OLD RESIDENT”, Ovens and Murray Advertiser (7 February 1865), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (16 October 1930), 1:



Pianist, vocalist, professor of the pianoforte, harmonium, and singing
Active Sydney by 1860

RYALL, Florence (Mrs . SCOTT)
Sister of the above

References: ? [Advertisement], Bell’s Life in Sydney (3 March 1855), 3:; “MUSICAL SOIREE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 April 1860), 5:; [Advertisement], “YOUNGE’S ATHENAEUM”, The Sydney Morning Herald (25 March 1863), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (2 August 1865), 1:; “MUSIC AND DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 August 1865), 3:; “MUSWELLBROOK. DRAWING-ROOM ENTERTAINMENT”, The Maitland Mercury (20 October 1866), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 December 1869), 8:; “THEATRICALS”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (11 June 1870), 3:; “ADVANCE AUSTRALIA MUSIC CLUB”, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 March 1873), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 September 1872), 4:; “MARRIAGES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 December 1873), 1:



RYAN, Miss
Mezzo-soprano, contralto vocalist
Active Sydney, 1859-62

Summary: An amateur, and pupil of Mrs. Bridson, Ryan made her first appearance at T. V. Bridson’s Concert for the People in November 1859. Her short public career, during which she often sang beside Sara Flower and for the Orpheonist Society, appears to have come to an abrupt end in June 1862.

June 1862: We are requested to state that in consequence of a severe domestic calamity, Miss Ryan did not take part in the society’s concert on Thursday evening.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 November 1859), 1:; “CONCERTS FOR THE PEOPLE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 November 1859), 5:; [Advertisement], Empire (14 January 1860), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 May 1861), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 January 1862), 1:; “SECOND CONCERT OF THE ORPHEONIST SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 January 1862), 4:; ? [Funeral notice], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 June 1862), 8:; “ORPHEONIST SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 June 1862), 4:



RYAN, Timothy
Musician, violinist, pub fiddler
Active Sydney, 1853

1853: Nine persons were in custody on suspicion of being either the actual murderers of the deceased, or participators in the fray wherein he met his death. Their names are Maurice Malsh, landlord of the Beehive, public-house, in Campbell-street, near the Haymarket; Bridget Maria Walsh, wife of the former prisoner; a musician named Timothy Ryan, and some labouring men […].

1853: This was the case against the prisoners; and Mr. Johnson agreed that he had not adduced any evidence against Hopkins, the cook ; and after some remarks from Mr. Nichols, as to there being no evidence against Ryan, who was playing the fiddle when the affray began, and who had run away before the police arrived, the Coroner directed that these two men should be remanded under their former warrant to the custody of the police, with the view to their legal discharge out of custody.

References: “THE LATE FATAL AFFRAY IN CAMPBELLSTREET”, Empire (15 April 1853), 2:; “WILFUL MURDER”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 April 1853), 2:



RYDER, Joseph
Teacher of singing on the Hullah system
Born ? 1815/16
Arrived Adelaide, 26 December 1849 (per Asiatic, from London and Plymouth)
Died Glenelg, SA, 23 October 1892, aged 76

1926 (this is a long and detailed account of great interest, only a short extract here): […] a book was lent to me containing the reminiscences in writing of a steerage passenger by that ship which, as Mr. Williams came in the saloon, with every comfort, gives both sides of the voyage. The writer is Mr. J. Ryder, who for some years lived in Nairne, and was the first clerk of that district council. The father of Mr. Ryder was a shoemaker in the parish of Upton cum Chalvey, Bucks, England, when, on July 31, 1816, the writer was born, his mother being a Devon woman named Bond, who was brought to Windsor at an early age. Mr. Ryder (the writer) was the youngest of a family of seven. The father was originally a farm labourer, but seems to have been an intelligent and enterprising man, although he had no schooling. […] When the writer was about two the family removed from Chalvey to Windsor, and the first thing the writer could remember was the tolling of the Windsor Castle bell at midnight, announcing the death of George III. When he was seven years old he went to a school, the master of which was a competent but cruel nan. At 14 he was apprenticed till his twenty first birthday to a master tailor, Richard Cobden, Thames street, Windsor. Mr. Cobden was first cousin to the renowned Freetrader of the same name. In October, 1838, Ryder married, after considerable difficulty, a young woman named Hill, for the young couple were dissenters, and many legal obstacles were then (as in South Australia for many years) put in the way of dissenters who desired to be married by their own ministers. The writer worked at his trade, and the wife worked as milliner and dressmaker, largely or the upper servants of Windsor Castle. In 1842 Ryder applied for admittance into the British and Foreign School Society’s Training College, London, and after a stiff training for several months, passed, and was appointed to a school in North Wales in December, 1842, and arrived there early in 1843. He had studied vocal music, and started a class on the Hullah system, which was a success. Some friction with a local magnate caused Mr. Ryder to resign, and after a short holiday at Windsor with his wife and family, he went to Lancaster, having been appointed head master of the British school there at £90 a year, which he supplemented by a Hullah singing class, and by doing clerical work for a Lancaster shipowner. Mrs. Ryder and their three children were then brought to Lancaster, where they remained for about four years, when, as the climate of Lancaster did not suit Mr. Ryder, he obtained charge of the British school at King’s Lynn, Norfolk. The school secretary at Lynn was a Mr. Wigg, a relative of the Wigg family, of Adelaide, and Mr. Wigg, on Good Friday, 1849, suggested migration to South Australia, as in his opinion the climate of Lynn would be fatal to Mr. Ryder. Ultimately, Mr. Ryder and his wife decided to go to Adelaide, but how was the question. He applied, to be sent as a free emigrant, but was refused, as he had too many, young children, and then applied to be sent as schoolmaster in an emigrant ship, but there were so many on the list before him that he could not wait. Mr. Wigg and others then assisted Mr. Ryder to raise £80 for the cost of a steerage passage for him, his wife, and their four children. The family left Lynn on Saturday, 24/8/1849, for London, and on the following Sunday they went on board the Asiatic in the East India Docks, which next day went to Gravesend, where a terrible event happened. A fellow passenger at breakfast was suddenly seized with cholera, which was raging in London. The face and hands of the poor man turned a ghastly blue; he was in great agony and fearfully convulsed, and died at 4 p.m. His body was taken ashore for burial. Dr. Maurau, the ship’s sur geon, decided that the case was English cholera, and the Asiatic sailed […] They sighted Kangaroo Island on 24/12/1841, arrived at the lightship at noon of 20/12/1849, and went to Port Adelaide on the same evening. […] 

References: “ARRIVED”, South Australian Register (29 December 1849), 2:; “LOCAL INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (9 January 1850), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian (17 January 1851), 1:; “HULLAH’S SYSTEM OF MUSIC”, South Australian Register (31 May 1851), 3:; “DEATHS”, South Australian Register (24 October 1892), 4:; A. T. Saunders, “ANOTHER COLONIST OF 1849”, The Register (1 July 1926), 6: 



Graeme Skinner © 2014