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: U-Z


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

- U -


UHR, William Cornelius
Amateur vocalist, composer, songwriter, lawyer
Born ? England, 1818/19/20 (17 May 1819 in one family history; 1820 ? on gravestone, Ashfield)
Arrived Sydney, by 1842 (sailed for New Guinea, November 1842)
Active Sydney, 1850s
Died Fivedock, NSW, 6 March 1896, in his 79th year

UHR, George Richard
Amateur composer, Sheriff of NSW
Born England, 1822 (family history)
Arrived Sydney, 24 July 1837 (per Abel Gower, from Portsmouth 28 March)
Died Concord, NSW, 11 September 1864, in the 43rd year of his age

Summary: The sentimental song You love me not (“Air and Words composed by W. C. Uhr and dedicated to the Ladies of Sydney, was published in Sydney by W. J. Johnson in August, 1853, having been “sung with Rapturous Applause by Madame Sara Flower and Mr. John Howson” at the Royal Victoria Theatre. Five years later, in 1858, Uhr and his song reappear in the diary of the 15-year-old Blanche Mitchtell (1843-1869), daughter of the late Sir Thomas:

“Wednesday 17 March 1858: St. Patrick’s day […] Campbell [her brother] brought Mr. Uhr home with him, and some shrimps […] I shall never forget Mr. Uhr tonight singing. His affectation was extreme. I will describe his absurd songs. First ’Tis not on the battlefield, suitable song, I wrote to Alice [her sister], for present feelings, one line is particularly affecting: “A soldier knows how to brave a soldier’s death.” Do not scream so loud, Mr. Uhr, we will have the constable in to ask who is howling! Now change your song, that is right. After that affecting song about soldiers, certainly Grim Death is really too touching. What! is Grim Death too unsentimental, ah! You love me not. Pray who are you addressing? Can’t sing You love me not! poor fellow! his voice fails him, he recovers it again, but alas! Not to continue, the latter song was too touching. Sentiment now sings I do not ask to offer thee. What? we are all anxious to hear. Please, we may accept it, but alas! a groan follows, then a screech, now a howl, and oh, what a hullabaloo. Hurrah! it has ceased. Praises resound (some from me). The flushing youth rises overcome, but is forcibly held down, and after a great many coughs, hems, and sounding chords, unfortunates sings Those bells of Shenandoh. Well, something like it. At last he is finished. The last note echoes on the breeze, and inwardly we exlaim, what a blessing! …  

Uhr also contributed words to a moving memorial song to another young Sydney debutante, In memory of Jane Elizabeth Balcombe (“who died in the eighteenth year of her age on the morning of the 26th day of December A. D. 1858”) (song: “lines written by William Cornelius Uhr and set to music by Frederic William Meymott”) ([Sydney]: [?], [1859]). A reference also exists to a musical work by his brother, George Uhr, then deputy Sheriff, later Sheriff of NSW: The Australian Rifle Corps March (for the pianoforte; by George Uhr, Esq.”) (Sydney: Johnson and Son, [1854]); NO COPY IDENTIFIED.

References: “Shipping Intelligence”, The Australian (25 July 1837), 2:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Australian (9 November 1842), 2:; “MUSICAL REVIEW”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (6 August 1853), 2:; “YOU LOVE ME NOT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 August 1853), 5:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, Empire (12 August 1853), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 August 1853), 1:; [Advertisement]: ‘THE RIFFLE [sic] CORPS MARCH”, The Sydney Morning Herald (13 October 1854), 1:; “NEW MUSIC”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (28 October 1854), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 December 1858), 1:; “MARRIAGES”, Empire (10 March 1860), 4:; “DEATHS”, Empire (12 September 1864), 1:; “DEATH“, The Brisbane Courier (24 September 1864), 4:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 March 1896), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 July 1893), 2:; “MARRIAGES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 December 1909), 8:

Resources: On death of Elizabeth Balcombe, see:; “CONSTANCE”, The Christian Lady’s Magazine new series 11 (August 1856), 511:; Edna Hickson (ed.), Blanche: an Australian diary 1858-1861: the diary of Blanche Mitchell (Sydney: John Ferguson, 1980), 57-58; (after original MS diary, SL-NSW, ML MSS 1611: Papers of Blanche Mitchell:; see also Uhr family correspondence, 1843-1873: SL-NSW, MLMSS 946:  



Vocalist, minstrel, delineator (Howard’s Serenaders)
Active NSW, 1853

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 January 1853), 3:; [Advertisement], Empire (2 March 1853), 1:; ? [Advertisement], The Courier (28 May 1853), 2:



URIE, Louisa
Soprano vocalist, Scotch ballad singer
Active Melbourne, by 1853

References: “THE QUEEN’S THEATRE”, The Argus (15 October 1853), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (31 August 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (16 December 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (16 June 1855), 8:; “PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS AT MELBOURNE”, The Courier (22 June 1855), 3:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (26 May 1856), 3:; “WALLACE MONUMENT CONCERT”, Bendigo Advertiser (14 April 1857), 3:; “A SCOTTISH HAMELY SANG”, Bendigo Advertiser (15 December 1857), 3:; “THE CONCERTS”, Bendigo Advertiser (3 June 1859), 2: 



URSO, Camilla
Violinist, impresario
Born Nantes, France, 13 June 1842
Arrived (1) Sydney, 30 September 1879 (per R.M.S. Australia, from San Francisco, Honolulu and Auckland)
Departed (1) Sydney, 8 April 1880 (per Rotorua, for Auckland)
Arrived (2) Adelaide, 2 May 1894 (per Ville de la Ciotat)
Departed (2) Melbourne, late November 1894
Died New York, NY, USA, 20 January 1902, aged 60


1879: By the next San Francisco mail there comes to us an artiste whose fame has for years resounded through the capitals of Europe, and wherever music finds an echo in the hearts of the people. Lady violinists are very rare, the difficulties to be overcome in attaining anything like proficiency in the art of playing this instrument being so great as to discourage any but those who have genius and a large share of patience and perseverance; and the number of those who have attained to eminence in the front rank of artistes is small indeed. The sisters Milanolo astonished the world 30 years ago. Mdlle. Neruda (now Madame Norman Neruda), has long been one of the reigning favourites of the musical world; later “our own” (as she was called, having been so great a favourite here), Jenny Claus, are the only names that can be recalled during the present age; but that of Camilla Urso has reached far and wide as one of the purest and most graceful players that has ever appeared in public. Musical papers speak of her as an artist by nature as well as by skill and culture; and the greatest masters of music have testified to her bright intellectual powers. Desirous of extending her conquests, Camilla Urso has arranged for a tour through Australia, and we shall very shortly have the opportunity of appreciating her merits.

Sydney 1880: Madame Camilla Urso has just brought another brilliant and profitable series of concerts to a close; and, after a tour through New Zealand, is to leave us for America. Night after night of late, in the worst possible weather, the Masonic Hall was crowded by delighted listeners, who recalled the artiste again and again after she had performed tho solos set down for her on the programme. Urso is undoubtedly the greatest violinist that has over visited Australia, and though to some of us Joachim, Ole Bull, and others of the phenomenal violinists of the age are memories, the lady has won from everybody cordial recognition of her earnest study and natural genius. Both qualities have combined to make her what she is, and both may be traced in the extensive range of her musical knowledge, and the power of intense expression, which add such a charm to her wonderfully accurate execution […].

References: “Camillo [sic] Urso”, Evening News (13 September 1879), 5:;  “SHIPPING”, Australian Town and Country Journal (4 October 1879), 36:; “MADAME CAMILLA URSO”, The Mercury (28 October  1879), 2:; “CAMILLA URSO”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 January 1880), 6: [biography]; “MUSIC AND THE DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 April 1880), 8:; “Shipping”, Evening News (8 April 1880), 2:; “ADELAIDE”, The Argus (3 May 1894), 6:; “MADAME CAMILLA URSO’S FAREWELL CONCERT”, The Argus (28 November 1894), 6:; “PERSONAL NOTES FROM ENGLAND”, The Register (17 March 1902), 6:; “MUSIC AND DRAMA”, The Brisbane Courier (22 March 1902), 9:

Relevant works: Call me thine own (song; music by Halévy; Sung by Madame De Vere Sapio, at the Sapio-Urso concerts; violin obbligato arranged by Madame Camilla Urso) (Sydney : Nicholson &​ Co., [1894]) [cover image of the 2 artists]




USHER, Alfred
Violinist, theatre orchestra leader, composer
Active Sydney, by 1857
Died Invercargill, NZ, 1864

USHER, Alfred
Musicseller, choral singer
Died Randwick, NSW, 11 September 1915, aged 63

Obituary 1864: The Southland papers announce the death of Mr. Alfred Usher, the musical director of the Invercargill Theatre. Mr. Usher, who was an accomplished musician, was connected with some well known members of the dramatic profession. His father was Mr. Richard Usher, the architect, and his mother a sister of Mr. Henry Wallack. Mr. Alfred Usher’s sister is the well-known Mrs. Alfred Wigan, and he was connected by marriage with the Keeley’s. He was leader of the orchestra in Sydney when Madame Anna Bishop appealed in the opera company.

Obituary 1913: Mr. Alfred Usher, who started his business career with Messrs. Elvy and Co., and continued it with 33 years’ service in a position of trust at Messrs. W. H. Paling’s music warehouse, passed away after a few days illness from pneumonia, at a private hospital in Randwick late on Saturday afternoon. The deceased, who was 63 years of age, was widely esteemed in musical circles for his kindly and unselfish disposition. He was one of the oldest members of the Royal Sydney Liedertafel, and sang with them at the brilliant send-off concert to Mrs. Armstrong (Mme. Melba) in 1885, and in 1889 he was with that choir when it assisted the Philharmonic in the memorable Charles Santley performance of  “Elijah”. […] His wife, Mrs. Brandon Usher, was away visiting her daughter Mrs. Gilchrist (formerly known on the comedy stage as Beatrice Usher), in Western Australia. His only other daughter, the wife of Commander Balkie Simpson, R.N.R., a pianist prominent here as Constance Brandon Usher was also absent as she settled with her husband in Yokohama some weeks back.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 August 1857), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 September 1858), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (2 July 1859), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 November 1859), 1:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (7 December 1860), 1:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (22 July 1861), 1:; [News], The Argus (5 July 1864), 4:; “DEATH OF ALFRED USHER”, The Sydney Morning Herald (13 September 1915), 10: 


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VALERA, La Senora de (VALERO)
Vocalist (late Amateur, pupil of Madame E. Wallace Bushelle)
Active Sydney, 1864

19 December 1864: […]it will not be out of place to say a few words as to one of the chief sources of musical attraction, La Senora di Valero, to whose merits we regret not to have been able to do justice on her recent appearance, owing to the crowded state of our columns. This lady emerged from the privacy of her domestic relations for the purpose of gratuitously assisting in a charitable object. Entirely unknown here, her appearance resulted in one of the most extraordinary and enthusiastic successes ever known. The audience seemed entranced. Instead of one piece, she sang four. But La Senora di Valero must not be supposed to be a mere amateur, however talented. Connected with a high and noble and, at the same, very musical family of old Spain, she received a musical education from the first masters, in order, as in the case of Piccolomini, to humour her desire for adopting the career of an artist. Subsequent to the tuition in her native land, she received, in Paris, instruction from Duprez, and, in London, from Arditi. Enjoying the friendship of a lady high at the Court of Spain and connected with the Imperial family of France, she was introduced to the notice of the Emperor Napoleon and the Empress Eugenie, and had the honour of singing before them at St. Cloud. Engagements having been offered her for her Majesty’s Theatre and other opera houses, she would undoubtedly have appeared, but that domestic arrangements prevented her adoption of the stage professionally. Senora di Valero is merely passing through Sydney, having made the transpacific voyage in company with her husband, a gentleman of high standing in one of the learned professions; and the good fortune is thus accorded to a Sydney public to hear this artiste before her return to Europe.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 December 1864), 8:; “COMPLIMENTARY CONCERT TO SIGNOR CUTOLO”, Empire (19 December 1864), 5:; “MUSIC AND THE DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 December 1864), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 December 1864), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 January 1865), 7:  



Amateur organist, organ builder
Arrived Tasmania, 1839 (per Derwent)
Died Campbell Town, TAS, 2 December 1876, aged 68

1858: Dr. Bedford reminded the meeting that Huon pine organ pipes sent to the London Exhibitlon of 1851 by Dr. Vallentine, of Campbell Town, had been spoken of in the highest terms.

Obituary: Mr. Valentine, a gentleman of considerable fame in Tasmania, and particularly in the neighbourhood of Campbell Town where he resided, died in that township on the 2nd December, rather unexpectedly, although he had been suffering a good deal and had been confined to his bed. Mr. William Valentine was an Englishman by birth, and became a L.S.A., London, in 1829. Subsequently he held the position of surgeon of the Nottingham Infirmary, where he improved on, and was the first Englishman to successfully apply the French invention for crushing stone in the bladder. At that time, had he removed to London and practised his profession, he might have made a fortune ; but unfortunately for his future prospects, he turned his attention to botany, which he studied very zealously, partly because he was fond of the pursuit, and partly because he hoped to obtain the secretaryship of the Linnaean Society. It was not a profitable occupation; however, and in 1839 he was induced by Captain Langdon, who was a very great friend of his in England, to go to Tasmania, and he came out with his family in the Derwent, commanded by Captain Riddell. After living a few months in New Town, he removed to Campbell Town, where he has resided ever since, practising the medical profession. Had he followed that profession with the zeal which he brought to bear in other matters, he might have done well; but he was a man somewhat diversified in his pursuits. Possessing excellent mechanical talents, he spent much time and money in making two organs. The first he did not like; and it was accordingly put on one side; and though more successful with the second, on the very day that he had finished it, it was lost in the fire that destroyed his house in 1864. […] As one of the moat zealous advocates for the discontinuance of transportation, Dr. Valentine’s name will long be remembered; while his strong opposition to ritualism and his epistolary warfare with the present Bishop, are fresh in the memory of our readers […]

References: “ROYAL SOCIETY”, Launceston Examiner (22 May 1858), 2:; “ORGAN FOR THE LAUNCESTON TOWN HALL”, The Mercury (22 March 1878), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Mercury (4 December 1876), 1:; “OBITUARY”, The Mercury (23 December 1876), 3s:

Resources:; David Shield, “The organ at ‘The Grange’, Campbell Town, Tasmania. the residence of Dr. William Valentine”, OHTA News 37/1 (2013), 23-29 



Baritone-tenor vocalist (co-artist with Ali-Ben Sou-Alle)
Arrived (1) Melbourne, by June 1853; departed 20 February 1855 (for Auckland)
Arrived (2) Sydney, 28 May 1855 (from Auckland); departed ? Sydney, after June 1855

References: “ALI-BEN-SOU-ALLE”, The Argus (26 July 1853), 5:; “CLEARANCE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 February 1855), 4:; “ARRIVALS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 May 1855), 4:; “MORE CONCERTS”, The Moreton Bay Courier (16 June 1855), 3:; “ALI BEN SOU ALLE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 June 1855), 5:



Bellman, bell-ringer (St. John’s, Parramatta)
Died Parramatta, 5 October 1829

References: “CORONER’S INQUEST. HORRID MURDER”, The Sydney Gazette (8 October 1829), 2:



Violinist, publican (Britannia Hotel)
Active Beechworth, VIC, by 1857

1857: Britannia Hotel, Upper Woolshed … Grand Concert & Ball Every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday … A Full Band Every Evening. ORCHESTRA. 1st violin, Mons. Myer Fransie; 2nd ditto, Herr Vandeberg; Concert Flute, Herr Varherr; Clarionet, Herr Schlu; Cornet-a-piston, Mr. Fitzhenry; Harp, Mr. Wicks; Basso, Herr Martin; Leader of the Band, Her Weishmann [Weichmann], from the Olympic Theatre, Melbourne.

References: [Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (29 January 1857), 1:; “BEECHWORTH COUNTY COURT”, Ovens and Murray Advertiser (14 August 1857), 3:; “INSOLVENT COURT”, Ovens and Murray Advertiser (23 July 1858), 2:



Professor of the Piano, Flute, Accordion, Singing
Active Sydney, 1856-57

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 February 1856), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (31 October 1857), 2:



VARLEY, Nugent
Concert manager (Winterbottom’s Band)
Born England, 1827
Active Sydney, by April 1853

VARLEY, Violet
Born Talbot, VIC, 1871
Died Melbourne, 2 June 1895

Image: Violet Varley (c.1895):; Violet Varley (c.1890):

Summary: Nugent Varley, “late director of the Exeter Hall Concerts”, was manager for John Winterbottom’s band and concerts in Sydney and Melbourne in 1853. In Sydney in April he advertised “that he is instructed to engage the following artistes for a lengthened period, viz., eight first violins, eight second violins, four violas, two violoncel- los, two double basses, two flutes, one flageolet, two clarionets, one oboe, one bassoon, two cor- net-a-pistons, two horns, three trombones, one ophocleide, one side drum, kettle drum, and grosse caisse. Applications to be addressed care of Hy. MARSH and Co.”. And on 9 April he advertised for “two carpenters, to erect a large orchestra”. Varley settled in the Victorian goldfields. His daughter, the operetta vocalist Violet Varley (Mrs. Joseph Tapley) was, through her mother Louisa (m.1851), grand-daughter of John Distin, perhaps the bandsman and musical-instrument-maker (1798-1863). Violet was touring in juvenile roles as early as 1883, and was later a pupil of Lucy Chambers. W. J. Turner composed the song The Passing Show in her memory.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 April 1853), 1: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 April 1853), 8: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 April 1853), 2: [Advertisement], The Argus (19 August 1853), 8:; ? “DETERMINED SUICIDE AT BACK CREEK (FROM THE AMHERST AND BACK CREEK ADVERTISER)”, The Argus (1 December 1859), 6:; ? “VICTORIA”, Launceston Examiner (10 January 1865), 3:; “MARRIAGES”, The Argus (14 April 1894), 1:; [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (24 March 1883), 1:; “DEATH OF MISS VIOLET VARLEY”, The Argus (4 June 1895), 6:; [News], The Argus (26 June 1895), 5:

Web: Related: DAAO



Professor of music and dancing
Active Albury, 1861  

References: ? “SCENE IN A NEW-YORK POLICE OFFICE”, The Perth Gazette (27 March 1841), 3:; “NEW SOUTH WALES”, Launceston Examiner (8 June 1861), 4:



Instrumentalist (theatrical orchestra), ? kettle drummer
Active Sydney, 1845-50

VAUGHAN, Robert (Vaughan junior)
Instrumentalist (theatrical orchestra), flautist
Active Sydney, 1850-54

Summary: Vaughan senior, a member of the theatre band during the 1840s, and Vaughan junior appeared together in the band for John Deane’s concert in Sydney in April 1850. A pupil of John Gibbs, Robert played a solo, The Swiss Boy with Variations, at the theatre in August 1852, and in September 1854 for Catherine Hayes: “The flute obligato of Mr. Vaughan, to Miss Hayes’s song of the Happy Birdling, was a great triumph to a young musician who has had so few opportunities or advantages of  taking such a prominent position. He played sweetly and correctly; and the ‘Sydney natives’ may be well proud of their ‘fellow’ so distinguishing himself.”

References: “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 April 1845), 2:; [Advertisement], Morning Chronicle (28 May 1845), 3:; [Advertisement], The Australian (29 November 1845), 1:; [Advertisement], Bell’s Life in Sydney (24 March 1849), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 April 1850), 1:; “Royal Victoria Theatre”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (21 August1852), 2:; “MISS CATHERINE HAYES”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (30 September 1854), 2:; [Advertisement], Empire (2 July 1859), 3:



VAUTIN, James Theodore

? Musician
Arrived Hobart, 26 October 1842 (per Janet Izat, from London, 24 June)
Active Hobart, until 1852 or later
James died Stoke Newington, England, 15 November 1857, in his 82nd year

Summary: James Vautin (formerly of the Bank of England) and his son John Vautin arrived in Hobart in 1842. In 1844, one of them was noted, along with a Mr. Marshall and Joseph Reichenberg, as supporting the Hobart Town Choral Society. John Vautin was proprietor of the new Hobart Observer in 1845, and in September was advertising music for sale, apparently full orchestral scores of “Grand Concertos” by Moschelles, Steibelt, Hummel, Beethoven (3 separate titles), Dussek, and Kalkbrenner. In “O liberty” from Handel’s Judas Maccebeus for the choral society in July 1846, “the violoncello obligato accompaniment of Mr. Vautin, was marked by peculiar neatness and excellent judgment”. The musician is perhaps more probably the elder James Vautin, who was a Clerk in the Audit Office in Hobart in 1850, when John was in Launceston.

References: “ARRIVED”, The Courier (28 October 1842), 2:; “To the Editor”, The Courier (29 October 1844), 3:; [Advertisement], The Observer (19 September 1845), 1:; “SUPPLEMENTARY REPORT OF THE CHORAL SOCIETY”, Colonial Times (15 March 1845), 2: ttp://; “THE CHORAL SOCIETY”, The Courier (18 July 1846), 2:; “MARRIED”, Launceston Examiner (16 August 1848), 6:; “CHORAL SOCIETY”, The Courier (6 April 1850), 2:; “THE MUSICAL LECTURE”, Colonial Times (13 February 1852), 3:; “DEATHS”, Launceston Examiner (13 March 1858), 2:; “ROYAL SOCIETY”, Launceston Examiner (22 May 1858), 2:



Arrived Sydney, by August 1840

Summary: Jane Penner, known as Madame Veilburn, made her Sydney theatrical debut in August 1840 and in October gave “for the first time in this Colony, the Scarf and Wreath Dance”. Her co-artist is referred to as her pupil and neice. She late worked in Melbourne, Adelaide and Geelong, and is last billed as appearing in Bathurst in June 1854.

References: [Advertisement], The Colonist (18 August 1840), 3:; “THEATRE. MISS WINSTANLEY’S BENEFIT”, The Sydney Gazette (22 August 1840), 2:; [Advertisement], The Australian (10 October 1840), 3:; “POLICE COURT”, South Australian Register (1 November 1848), 3:; [Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press (17 June 1854), 3:



VERSO, Joseph
Trombone and horn player (Lyster’s orchestra, Melbourne Philharmonic)
Born Dublin, 18 September 1825
Arrived VIC, 1854
DDied Northcote, VIC, 10 June 1899, aged 73

Obituary: Mr. Verso was a native of Dublin, Ireland, and was born in 1825. He came to this colony in 1854. By occupation he was a builder, but also was an ardent musician, being a member of the orchestra of the Lyster Opera Company for a great many years.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (23 December 1862), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (19 December 1864), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (22 December 1865), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 November 1866), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (4 May 1867), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 May 1868), 8:; “THE ITALIAN OPERA”, The Argus (29 April 1872), 5:; “THE OPERA. BARBE BLEU”, The Argus (10 June 1873), 6:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (12 June 1899), 1:; “THE LATE MR. JOSEPH VERSO”, Evelyn Observer (23 June 1899), 5:




Bandsman (Brunswick Band, Schrader’s band)
Arrived Adelaide, 5 July 1858 (per Westminster, from London)


References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (8 July 1848), 3:; “GAWLER TOWN RURAL FETE AND PICNIC. THE BAND CONTEST”, The South Australian Advertiser (7 November 1862), 3:; “MACCLESFIELD”, The South Australian Advertiser (18 March 1865), 3:; “TOPICS OF THE DAY”, The South Australian Advertiser (12 July 1866), 2:; “COMPLIMENTARY DINNER TO MAJOR BAKER”, South Australian Register (22 May 1867), 2:; “FUNERAL OF THE LATE MR. G. LODER”, South Australian Register (17 July 1868), 2:



Musician, bandmaster
Died Sydney, September 1885, aged 37

References: “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 September 1885), 1:; “FUNERALS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 September 1885), 16:



VINCENT, John Rimmer
Professor of music, pianist, composer
Active Castlemaine and Daylesford, Victoria, 1861-62
Died Greymouth, NZ, 23 November 1866, aged 32

(1861): “Amongst other pieces the Castlemaine Band played a march composed expressly for the corps by Mr. Vincent”

Reference: “VOLUNTEER REVIEW AT CASTLEMAINE. THEATRE”, The Argus (28 May 1861), 6:; “NEW INSOLVENTS”, The Star (21 October 1862), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Australian News for Home Readers (27 December 1866), 16:



VITELLI, Giovanni Whittle
Professor of Music, Professed Trainer of public and Amateur Singers
Arrived Melbourne, by 8 July 1854
Died Richmond, Melbourne, 20 April 1859, aged 34

VITELLI, Annie (Miss DAY; Mrs. Charles THATCHER)
Vocalist, pianist, teacher of singing and music
Baptised London, 7 May 1837
Arrived Melbourne, 23 September 1854 (per Oliver Lang, from Liverpool, 29 June)
Departed Australia for England, 1870
Returned Melbourne, by 1889

Summary: The Launceston Examiner in December 1851 reported the English news: “Signor Giovanni Vitelli, ‘professor of music,’ having got into the insolvent court, turns out to be ‘John Whittle’!” Whittle had been before the court in London in June: “From the examination of the insolvent it appeared that he was a professor of music, elocution, singing, &c. and he had gone by the name of Signor Vitelli. To aid him in obtaining celebrity in his professional pursuits he had published a treatise on the voice. The printer sent him the books when printed, and he sold them. He paid 14/. for the first thousand, and after that 5/. for the following thousand. He had only 2,000 printed, and had sold 800 copies in all. He had sold them at a profit, but his object was by no means to gain a livelihood. He bought some copies at 1/. a hundred, and sold them at the rate of 4/. a hundred. He meant to make as large a profit as he could to enable him to advertise. He had sold 1,200 to booksellers, music-sellers, and his pupils. He would sell copies to any one who would pay for them […] he had written the MS., had it printed, paid for the copies, and made a profit by selling them.” The book in question was a 16-page pamphlet, Vitelli’s Art of Singing and New System for the Cultivation of the Voice, which, by April 1853, he claimed to have sold to Cramer, Beale and Co, and to which he was now adding new “Monthly Numbers”. It was the same book that was to be reprinted on subscription in Melbourne in 10 August 1854, to accompany his public lectures. Advertising that he was “of the Royal Academy of Music  […] late Choir Master of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal”, and author of “several books” on singing, Vitelli and George Allan announced in July 1854 the launch of their singing classes at Melbourne’s Mechanics’ Institute. In August Vitelli advertised a lecture on the art of singing, “Accompanied with Vocal and Instrumental Illustrations by Mr. Vitelli, also Miss O. Hamilton, Herr Elsasser and M. Winterbottom”. The singer, Annie Day married Vitelli in Melbourne in July 1855. She had arrived in Melbourne with her parents in September 1854, and already in October was in Tasmania as pianist with Ali-Ben Sou-Alle. With flautist Creed Royal and his wife, the Vitellis gave a concert in April 1856, and, as Madame Vitelli, Annie was a featured artist at Henry Coleman’s Lyceum in June. During 1857 and 1858 Vitelli regularly presented concerts variously marketed as “cheap” and “grand”, as well as continuing teaching, while Annie was a popular star on the Victorian goldfields. Vitelli died on 20 April 1859, but by mid-May Annie was back in Ballarat, appearing under Alfred Oakey with “the inimitable Local Comic Singer THATCHER”. Annie married Charles Thatcher in February 1861, and continued to appear onstage as “Mrs. Charles Thatcher”. They toured New Zealand extensively, and left for England in 1870, however, Charles having died in 1878, Annie was back teaching in Moone Ponds, Melbourne, in 1889. George Thatcher, musician, was their son.

References: “PROTECTION CASE. Re JOHN WHITTLE”, The Law Times 18/443 (27 September 1851), 10:; “MISCELLANY”, Launceston Examiner (17 December 1851), 6:; [Advertisement], The Musical Times (1 April 1853), 161:; “ERRATUM”, The Musical Times 5 (1 May 1853), 187:   “THE ART OF SINGING”, The Argus (8 July 1854), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (8 August 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (10 August 1854), 8:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Argus (25 September 1854), 4:; “THE TURKOPHONE”, The Courier (13 October 1854), 2:; “SINGING CLASSES AT PRAHRAN”, The Argus (11 October 1854), 5:;  “MARRIED”, The Argus (16 July 1855), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (26 April 1856), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (24 June 1856), 8:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (3 May 1859), 4:; [Advertisement], The Star (12 May 1859), 3:; [Advertisement], North Melbourne Advertiser (9 February 1889), 2:; [Advertisement], North Melbourne Advertiser (4 October 1889), 2:

Web: Hugh Anderson, “Thatcher, Charles Robert (1831–1878)“, Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976); Robert H. B. Hoskins. “Vitelli, Annie”, Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. TeTe Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 1-Sep-10



Pianist, composer
Born Hermannstadt, Transylvania, 24 January 1852
Active Australia, June 1881 to December 1885 (for the USA)
Died New York, 10 June 1916

VOGRICH, Alice (Alice REES) (“The Australian Nightingale”)
Soprano vocalist
Active Melbourne, by 1877
Died Brighton, Melbourne, 29 December 1923

Image (Alice Rees):

Joseph Gillott, Melbourne 1890: Sir -In your to-day’s issue there is a short  criticism upon the abovenamed oratorio. Perhaps it may be of interest to the very numerous musical readers of The Argus to know that “The Captivity” was composed in Australia. The Argus criticism  does not say in what form the work has again reached this country, but I presume it to be a compressed instrumental score with voice parts in full. The work was composed in Sydney during the year 1885, the last year that Mr. Vogrich spent in Australia. During one of my visits to his temporary residence at Annadale he spoke of his oratorio. I expressed a desire to see it. He produced the MS, and finally took his place at the piano and went through the whole of it, his wife, whom we all knew as Miss Alice Rees, singing the soprano vocal part, the composer and myself assisting as far as our limited powers of vocalisation would permit us. The work is very dramatic and powerful, combined with such an amount of originality as to amount to real genius. I beg to endorse every word which your critic says of this   work, the product of one of the two or three greatest musicians which have visited Australia. On another occasion about the same time, Mr. Vogrich, his wife, and myself went through a MS. opera entitled “Guinevere,” founded on Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King,”  also by Mr. Vogrich. This work was composed in Australia, and I suppose we may shortly hear of its production in America or elsewhere. The libretto was also by the composer being an adaptation in German. Mr. Vogrich has attained a great reputation in America as a composer of church music and the firm of Schirmer and Co. accept his numerous pianoforte compositions with much profit to both composer and publisher.- I am  &c. JOSEPH GILLOTT. Dec. 2.

Tchaikovsky, New York (Letter 16 April 1891): We heard an oratorio, The Captivity, by the American composer Max Vogrich. Most wearisome.

References: “MR. SIEDE’S BENEFIT CONCERT”, The Argus (1 October 1877), 6:; “THE CALIFORNIAN MAIL. AUCKLAND”, The Argus (27 June 1881), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 June 1881), 2:; “THE WILHEMMJ CONCERTS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 July 1881), 5:; [News], The Age (18 December 1882), 6:; “THE MELBOURNE MUSIC FESTIVAL”, The Argus (28 December 1882), 6:; “AMUSEMENTS. PROTESTANT HALL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 September 1883), 6:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 October 1883), 2:; “The Theatres”, The Australasian Sketcher (16 December 1885), 199:; “THE CAPTIVITY. AN ORATORIO BY MR. MAX VOGRICH”, The Argus (2 December 1890), 7:; “THE CAPTIVITY – AN ORATORIO BY MAX VOGRICH. TO THE EDITOR”, The Argus (4 December 1890), 9:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (14 June 1916), 1:; “PERSONAL”, The West Australian (27 June 1916), 7:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (1 January 1924), 1:

Relevant musical works: Grand Festival March and Chorus (for the Melbourne Music Festival, December 1882); Staccato Caprice (“for the piano; To my friend W. H. Paling”) (Sydney: W. H. Paling, [1883]) 



Musician, concert flute player
Active Adelaide, SA, 1854; Beechworth, VIC, 1857

1854: GRAND HARP CONCERT. The Vorherr Family have the honour to announce their FIFTH GRAND HARP CONCERT will take place at the Blenheim Hotel, This Evening. 

1857: [1] H. Worheer v. J. V. De Berg. Amount claimed £6 for services as musician. The defendant denied the services being performed. Verdict for defendant. [2] W. Martin v. J. V. De Berg, No appearance. Struck out. [3] H. Worheer v. W. Hill. No appearance. Struck out.

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (1 September 1854), 5:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (4 September 1854), 1:; “UNCLAIMED LETTERS”, South Australian Register (18 June 1855), 3:; [Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (29 January 1857), 1:; “BEECHWORTH COUNTY COURT”, Ovens and Murray Advertiser (14 August 1857), 3:; “LETTER LIST”, Ovens and Murray Advertiser (8 May 1858), 2s:



Professor of music, conductor, composer
Active Melbourne and Sydney, 1891-93

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (15 August 1891), 16:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Argus (1 June 1893), 3:; “AMATEUR ACTORS”, Evening News (8 July 1893), 5:; “New Music”, Australian Town and Country Journal (16 September 1893), 43:; “Births”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 September 1893), 1:; “Paling’s Christmas Annual”, Evening News (19 December 1893), 3:; “AUSTRALIAN MUSICIANS IN LONDON”, The Inquirer (7 February 1896), 8:; “THE AUSTRALIAN XI”, The Mercury (28 June 1909), 6:

Works: The Australian Waltz (composed by Carl Vorzanger) (Sydney: Elvy &​ Co., [1893])


- W -


Professor of Music, band-master, clarinettist
Active Hobart, by 1858

May 1869: Conrad Wackeldiene, of Warrnambool, Villiers, professor of music. Causes of insolvency: Want of sufficient employment for self and family, and inability to pay off debts incurred in consequence of losses sustained through the wreck of a boat called tho Leisure Hour, off Tasmania, in 1867. Liabilities, £89.15s.; assets, £23.5s. ; deficiency, £66.10s.

July 1869: The “Rogue’s March” police case, says the Hamilton Spectator, has excited some interest, the court being crowded with spectators. It was a charge of insulting behaviour preferred by Mr. Irving, the drill-instructor of the volunteers, against Mr. Wadley, the landlord of the Royal. It appears the Foresters, of which body Mr. Irving was a member, had resolved to remove their court from the Royal Hotel to the new Oddfellows’-hall. This is presumed to have given offence to the landlord of the Royal; but whether that be the case or not, the Foresters, on the conclusion of their meeting, were met in the passage by Wadley, playing the Rogue’s March on the poker and shovel, the bandmaster playing the accompaniment on the clarinet. In his evidence, Irving said he had been in the army, and the Rogue’s March was one of the worst symbols of disgrace a military man could be subjected to. C. Wackeldiene gave evidence that at the suggestion of somebody in the hotel that night he played a certain march, but he had always known that time by the name of the “Twopenny Post- man”. With the kind permission of the Bench he would play the tune, so that it might be recognised. Amid roars of laughter, Mr. Wackeldiene pulled out his clarinet, and gave a few bars of the well-known “Rogue’s March”. The Bench inflicted a fine of 10s.

References: [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Mercury (20 May 1858), 3:; “ST. JOHN-SQUARE”, Launceston Examiner (8 November 1859), 3:; “CAMBRIDGE PLOUGHING MATCH”, The Mercury (14 October 1864), 3:; “CONCERT”, The Cornwall Chronicle (1 June 1867), 5:; “NEW INSOLVENTS”, The Argus (15 May 1869), 5:; [News], The Argus (24 July 1869), 5:; “VICTORIA”, The Mercury (27 July 1869), 3:; “BRASS BAND”, Border Watch (6 August 1870), 2:;  “ANNIVERSARY OF THE LOYAL MOUNT GAMBIER LODGE”, Border Watch (17 September 1870), 2:; [Advertisement], Portland Guardian (1 January 1872), 1s:; “MOUNT GAMBIER’S EARLY BRASS BANDS”, Border Watch (27 July 1940), 4:



WADDY, Lizzie Anne
Born 1845
Died Killara, NSW, 31 May 1920, aged 75

Work: The Poonah Waltz (for the Pianoforte by L. A. Waddy […] Dedicated to her father J. E. Stacey, Esquire, F.R.C.S.L.) (Sydney: Elvy & Co., [1878])

References: “MARRIAGES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 October 1870), 6:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 January 1878), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 June 1920), 6:

Resources: Waddy, Percival Stacy (1875-1937):; Stacy, John Edward (1799-1881):

See also: Colonel Waddy of the 50th regiment passed through Australia for NZ in 1863; arrived in Sydney 1866; Alfred Anderson dedicated his The Queens Own Galop to Colonel Waddy in 1867



WADE, Richard
Steeple-keeper and bell-ringer (St. Philip’s Church, Sydney), convict, shoemaker
Transported to NSW, December 1789 (per Neptune, Scarborough or Surprize)
Buried Sydney, 4 December 1831, aged 67

References: [Government notices], The Sydney Gazette (1 February 1812), 2: “Richard Wade as Steeple Keeper. 2/10/0”; The Sydney Gazette (24 November 1821), 1s: “Thomas Tabor, Parish Clerk - Richard Wade, Steeple-keeper”; “DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE. CORONER’S INQUESTS”, The Sydney Herald (12 December 1831), 4: “On Saturday […] an Inquest was convened at the Woodman, Prince-street, on the body of Richard Wade, an old man for many years bellringer to St. Philip’s Church, who died suddenly that morning. The Jury returned a verdict of ‘Died by the visitation of God’.”


Bibliography: Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain's grim convict armada of 1790 (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1993), 589



WADHAM, Walter T.
Pianist, composer
Active Launceston, by 1879
Died London, 9 November 1922

Obituary: There are yet residents in Launceston many of his boyhood friends and acquaintances who will regret to learn of the death in London on November 9 of Mr. Walter Wadham, one of Tamania’s most distinguished musicians, whose   career in England was but the natural  development of the brilliant promise of his youth in Tasmania. […]

References: “TASMANIAN TELEGRAMS. LAUNCESTON”, The Mercury (23 June 1879), 2:; “CONCERT. MR. WALTER WADHAM’S CANTATA”, Launceston Examiner (8 September 1880), 2:; “CONCERT. WALTER WADHAM’S CANTATA”, Launceston Examiner (21 September 1880), 2:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Mercury (26 March 1881), 2:; “MUSICAL CRITICISM. TO THE EDITOR”, The Mercury (6 April 1881), 3:; “THE HEART OF C’CONNELL”, Launceston Examiner (31 October 1882), 2:; “TASMANIANS ABROAD. TO THE EDITOR”, Launceston Examiner (17 April 1886), 1s:; “MR. WALTER WADHAM”, Launceston Examiner (5 April 1887), 2:; “LAUNCESTONIANS will learn …”, Launceston Examiner (20 September 1893), 4:; “About People”, Examiner (4 January 1923), 5:

Extant works: She shall be mine (words by Philip Barnes; music by Walter T. Wadham; Recit. and air; Dedicated by permission to the Marchioness of Normanby) (Melbourne: W. H. Glen &​ Co., [1881])



Flute maker, musical instrument maker
Arrived Sydney, 23 September 1853 (per Gypsy Queen, from London, 27 May)
Died Newtown, NSW, 10 August 1884, aged 86

Summary: A 3-piece “Wainright-London” flute, c. 1840s, was offered for sale in October 2011. Wainright was living at St. Sepulchre at the time of the 1851 UK census.

1859: MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. J. WAINWRIGHT, from London, manufacturer of flutes, clarionets, flageolets, &c. Instruments repaired with new Joints, keys, and mountings; various Instruments for solo, from one to thirteen keys, warranted; a superior ebony B clarionet, thirteen sterling silver keys, by Key. Charing-cross, London; a highly-finished (Rudall and Rose) flute, eight sterling silver keys and mountings; a genuine (Nicholson) flute, eight sterling silver keys and mountings. 711, George-street South, opposite Christ Church.

References: “ARRIVALS”, Empire (24 September 1853), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 December 1855), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 July 1859), 8:; “COMMERCIAL […] Imports Entries”, Empire (12 December 1860), 4:; “A NUISANCE”, Empire (29 December 1860), 5:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 August 1884), 1:; “Funerals”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 August 1884), 12:; [Advertisement] : In the Will of JORDAN WAINWRIGHT […] Musical Instrument Maker, deceased”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 August 1884), 2:

Extant instruments:;;



WALCH, James Henry Brett
Music seller, music publisher
Born India, 1828
Arrived Hobart, 1842 (per Royal Saxon)
Died Hobart, 5 November 1897, in his 70th year

Summary: Major James W. H. Walch, late of 54th Regiment, retired from the army and settled in Tasmania with his family in 1842, taking over Samuel Tegg’s Hobart book business in January 1846, from 1850 trading as J. Walch and Sons, stationers and booksellers, a trade which included some music retailing. On the elder Walch's death in 1852, the business passed to his son James Walch, junior, later in partnership with his brother Charles Walch. Walch also became a general publisher. Possibly the earliest of the firm's many musical publication was a song by Launceston composer John Adams, called Just a smile in the face of nature, circulated to the press and advertised for sale by Walch in February 1858 (no copy identified). It was followed by J. S. La Mont’s Our own Tasmanian Home (National Song) in October 1859, and Floating Away by “A. T. A.” in April 1860, both set and printed in Melbourne by Clarson, Shallard and Co.. Later issues used local tradesmen, notably Mary Oldham’s The Tasmanian Yacht Club Polka, issued in June 1862, which was lithographed and printed by John Alvarez, and Frederick Buck’s The Young Recruit March, lithographed by M. L. Hood. In August 1866, the publication of Frederick Augustus Packer’s Curacoa Valse (set and printed by R. Harris, music printer of Launceston) marked the beginning of a lasting association between composer and publisher, Packer becoming virtually the Walch house composer for the remainder of the century.

References: [Advertisement], The Courier (31 December 1845), 3:; “DIED”, Colonial Times (26 March 1852), 2:; [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (23 February 1858), 3:; “LITERATURE”, The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (26 February 1858), 3:; “NATIONAL SONG”, The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (25 October 1859), 2:; “FLOATING AWAY”, Launceston Examiner (12 April 1860), 2: ; “COLONIAL MUSIC”, The Mercury (26 June 1862), 3:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Mercury (22 August 1866), 2:; “DEATH OF MR. JAMES WALCH”, The Mercury (6 November 1897), 3:


Resources: J. Walch and Sons, Records,

Bibliography: Wallace Kirsop, “The Walches as sellers of music and their customers in 1840s”, in Georgina Binns (ed.), Music Printing and Publishing in Australia:



Violoncello player
Active Sydney, 1845
(possibly James Walker (1), below)

References: [Advertisement], The Australian (29 November 1845), 1:



Professor of Music, Bandmaster (The Tasmanian Band), clarinet and piccolo player, composer
Arrived Launceston, by February 1854

WALKER, William
Bandmaster, bellringer (Walker Family of Bell Ringers)
Active Tasmania and New Zealand, from 1855
Died Deloraine, TAS, 1 June 1920

Summary: “The excellent Tasmanian Band”, of the Tasmanian Teetotal Sociery, was already several years old when, in February 1854, Mr. G. W. Walker, “recently arrived from England” took over its direction for the remainder of that year. He composed “symphonies” to accompany the band’s performance of the song Ben Bolt, and The Supply Mill Polka, and the Rechabite Quick Step (“composed by Mr. G. W. Walker, and dedicated to the Star of Tasmania Tent”). A Scotch Quick March by G. W. Walker was played by a band in Melbourne in November 1865. In 1867, “G. W. Walker, late BANDMASTER of Iba Geelong Artillery. Address Harnock-vale, Geelong” advertised his availability t0 direct volunteer bands. Hi brother, William Walker, was also a member of the band. Later himself a bandmaster, he was also director, in the 1880s, of the popular Walker Family of Bell Ringers.

References: “THE FETE AT ENTALLY”, The Cornwall Chronicle (12 January 1850), 27:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (1 February 1854), 4: “TASMANIAN BAND”, The Cornwall Chronicle (25 February 1854), 4:; “GALA AT THE HORTICULTURAL GARDENS”, The Cornwall Chronicle (1 March 1854), 3:; “EXHIBITION OF FIREWORKS“, The Cornwall Chronicle (4 March 1854), 5:; “PUBLIC MEETING AT THE TEMPERANCE HALL”, The Cornwall Chronicle (25 March 1854), 5:; “MUSIC”, The Cornwall Chronicle (1 April 1854), 4:; “TEMPERANCE”, The Cornwall Chronicle (22 April 1854), 5:; “TASMANIAN BAND”, The Cornwall Chronicle (23 August 1854), 5:; [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (21 April 1855), 3:; [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (19 June 1855), 2:; “SPECIAL SERVICE”, The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (11 February 1859), 3:; [News], The Argus (11 November 1865), 5:;  [Advertisement], The Argus (17 March 1865), 1:; [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (31 July 1895), 4:; “AN OLD-TIME MUSICIAN. HALF A CENTURY'S EXPERIENCE”, Examiner (29 December 1905), 6:; “ABOUT PEOPLE”, Examiner (2 June 1920), 6: 



WALKER, James (1)
Musician (Prince of Wales Theatre)
Died Sydney, January 1865

References: “FUNERAL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 January 1865), 10:



WALKER, James (2)
Amateur flautist (pupil of Joseph Gautrot, perhaps son of James Walker (1))
Born Cork, Ireland, 5 November 1836
Arrived Sydney, 21 March 1841 (per Woodbridge)
Died Maryborough, QLD, 27 March 1934, aged 97

Summary: At the age of 90, Walker recalled for the press in Queensland his earliest musical experiences in Sydney in the early 1840s. “He was born in South Ireland and came to Sydney when 4 years of age, with his parents. At the age of 7 he had learned the flute under the great French master, M. Longchamp [recte Jean Francois LONCHAMP], and later he studied under another equally famous Frenchman, the violinist M. Guthrow [i.e. Joseph GAUTROT]. The latter had been Napoleon's first violinist. Mr. Walker played in opera in Sydney, and took a prominent place in his accompaniments under Mr. Vincent Wallace [recte Spencer W. WALLACE, brother of], the composer of Maritana. He also played his flute in The Barber of Seville, Il Trovatore, and William Tell.“

References: “A GRAND OLD MUSICIAN”, The Brisbane Courier (16 March 1926), 11:; “LIVED IN FOUR REIGNS. MARYBOROUGH”, The Courier Mail (9 November 1933), 14:; “Mr. James Walker”, The Courier-Mail (31 March 1934), 11:



Active Adelaide, by 1855

April 1855: Mrs. Wallace, a pupil of Mrs. Mitchell’s, was also well received; she possesses a sweet voice, and a charming manner […].

October 1856: Mrs. Wallace gave great satisfaction in her song, “Slumber, my darling”, and was pleasing, although not quite so effective, in “Auld Robin Gray”.

References: “MRS. MITCHELL’S CONCERT”, South Australian Register (10 April 1855), 3:; “ADELAIDE CHORAL SOCIETY”, South Australian Register (3 October 1856), 2:; “VICTORIA THEATRE”, South Australian Register (24 October 1856), 2:; “SIGNOR CUTOLO’S CONCERT AT GLENELG”, South Australian Register (11 March 1859), 3:



WALLACE, Alexander
Bandmaster, conductor, composer
Arrived Melbourne, 1872
Died Brighton Beach, VIC, March 1937, in his 91st year

1877: All our best musical talent kindly gave their services, and the new city band appeared for the first time in public, playing three times very creditably. Amongst their performances was a gallop, composed by the bandmaster, Mr. Wallace, and called by him the Tasmanian Main Line Galop, which was very deservedly applauded by the audience.

Obituary: The death has occurred of Mr. Alexander Wallace, musician, of Canterbury-place, Brighton, in his 91st year. Mr. Wallace, who was a native of Dundee, Scotland, arrived in Victoria with his wife in 1872, and later went to Launceston, where in 1876 he founded the Launceston City Band and the Musical Union. The City Band first appeared in public at Westbrook’s auction mart in Paterson-street in 1877. Among the players was Mr. John H. Edwards, who afterwards became bandmaster in succession to Mr. Wallace, and who is the father of Mr. Chester Edwards, the present bandmaster. It has always been a very fine band, although it does not go in a great deal for competitions, because the founder held the opinion that competitions meant some degree of dislocation in the work of the band. One of the lead ing bands in Tasmania, it proved its quality by winning the open championship of Australia in 1887, and it was also well placed in other con tests. In 1892, Mr. Wallace returned to Melbourne, and was the first conductor of the Victorian Railways Band. In addition, he founded the Lyric Club and was its conductor. […] He was a very fine cornet soloist in his earlier years. […]

References: [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (26 August 1874), 1:; “OUR LAUNCESTON LETTER”, The Mercury (24 July 1877), 3:; “MR. WALLACE’S CONCERT”, The Mercury (16 July 1879), 3:; “MUSICAL ENTHUSIASM”, Examiner (11 November 1926), 4:; “THE BAND’S FOUNDER. MR. ALEXANDER WALLACE”, Examiner (13 November 1926), 10:; “WEDDED SIXTY YEARS TODAY”, Examiner (24 September 1928), 9:; “IN 91st YEAR. Death of Mr. A. Wallace”, Examiner (15 March 1937), 6:




WALLACE, Caroline (Miss GREEN; Mrs. S. W. WALLACE; Mrs. BATTERS)
Soprano vocalist, actor
Married S. W. Wallace, Sydney, 4 November 1841
Departed ? Sydney, 28 June 1849 (per Star of China, for California)
Died ? California, March 1850

Summary: Caroline Green was described as “late of Pitt-town” when she married Spencer Wellington Wallace at St. James’s Church Sydney on 4 November 1841. She made her first appearance at the theatre at her husband’s benefit on 16 December, singing Rodwell’s cavatina I seek her on every shore and Lover’s song The Magical Maydew. She next assisted her sister-in-law Eliza Bushelle at her concert in February, singing the Rodwell song again with “orchestral accompaniments”, with Bushelle in Blangini’s duet Near to the Willow, and additionally with John Bushelle in Cimarosa’s “Grand Quarrelling Trio”. According to the Gazette: “Mrs. Wallace astonished us by her excellent singing, recollecting as we did, her far from successful debut three months ago. This lady has improved wonderfully since that period, and reflects infinite credit upon whoever instructed her, for instructed she must have been, which was very apparent in her being repeatedly and most enthusiastically applauded  nem. con. This was especially observable in that splendid song “I seek her on every shore”.” Early in March, it was reported that the Bushelles and “Mrs. Wallace” (clearly Caroline) had been engaged at the Victoria Theatre, and with Eliza as Julia Mannering, she made “her first appearance in character” as Lucy Bertram in Bishop’s opera Guy Mannering at the end of the month. Duncan in the Chronicle judged: “The character of Lucy Bertram by Mrs. Wallace, likewise a first appearance, was, considering that circumstance, decidedly good.” She appeared as Fanny in Nagel's Mock Catalani in May. Among her later appearances at the Victoria was as the as “Fairy Queen (assuming the character of Alidor”) in Rossini’s Cinderella in March 1845. She and Spencer Wallace appear to have separated by the time he accompanied his sister Eliza Bushelle to Europe in March 1847. By 1848 she appears to have either married, or affected to be the wife of the Melbourne, and latterly Geelong actor Richard Batters. Certainly, in November 1848 she was billed at the theatre in Geelong as “Mrs. Batters (Late Mrs. Wallace)”. She and Batters then sailed for California in June 1849. In June 1850, a correspondent for the Sydney Herald reported: “There are many smart young gentlemen of my Sydney acquaintance down here, not carrying  ‘de fiddle and de bow’, but the pickaxe and the hoe. We have some of your sons and daughters of Thespis arrived, and flourishing in all the majesty and glorification of sock and buskin. Nesbitt and his wife, under their own name of McCron, Mr. Hambleton and his wife, and the quondam Mrs. Wallace, under the euphonious appellation of Mrs. Batters, are astonishing the sympathies and purses of the San Franciscans.” But in July, the Herald also reported: “Mrs. Wallace, formerly an actress at the Sydney Theatre, died in California in March last.”

1846 (J. S. 1890): On the 27th of July [1846] a Mrs. Wallace made her most successful debut as a singer ever yet witnessed on our local stage. She has a voice of surprising compass, which she used with refined taste and great musical skill. In a word, she is pronounced to be “Melbourne’s prima donna”. I think this lady must have been the wife of Mr. [Spencer Wellington] Wallace who was at this time giving concerts in Sydney. He was the brother of Vincent Wallace, the composer of “Maritana”, who came out to Australia for the benefit of his health about the year 1834 [...]

References: “MARRIED”, The Sydney Herald (9 November 1841), 3:; “THEATRE”, The Sydney Herald (16 December 1841), 2:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (16 December 1841), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (22 February 1842), 3:; “BUSHELLE’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Gazette (26 February 1842), 2:; “Theatrical Chit-chat”, The Sydney Gazette (3 March 1842), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (31 March 1842), 2:; “THE VICTORIA THEATRE”, Australasian Chronicle (2 April 1842), 2:; “Theatricals”, The Sydney Gazette (12 May 1842), 3:; “Theatricals”, The Australian (15 March 1845), 3:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Australian (18 March 1845), 2:; [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (25 November 1848), 2:; “THE PROTESTANT HALL”, The Argus (6 February 1849), 2:; “DEPARTURES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 June 1849), 2:; “CALIFORNIA”, The Argus (3 July 1849), 1s:; “CALIFORNIA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 June 1850), 2:; “MULTUM IN PARVO”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 July 1850), 5:; “THE MELBOURNE STAGE IN THE FORTIES. By J. S. No. III.”, The Argus (31 May 1890), 4: 





WALLACE, Isabella (Mrs. William Vincent WALLACE)



WALLACE, Spencer
Professor of music, violinist, former bandmaster (28th Regiment)
Born Kilalla parish, Co. Mayo, Ireland, 22 February 1789
Arrived NSW, by 1 March 1836
Died (? Parramatta), 1846, aged 57 [NSW-RBDM, V1846115 31B/1846]

Summary: According to an online family history of the composer Wallace (posted Ireland 2010), a Spencer Wallace was born in Kilalla parish, Co. Mayo, on 22 February 1789 to Jacob Wallace. This date fits exactly with his reported age on death. According to a press report on 1 March 1836 on William Vincent's latest appearance: “Mrs. Wallace, Miss Wallace, as also his brother and father are all in the colony; they are excellent musicians, and in conjunction with Mrs. Taylor, and Mrs. Chester, could give concerts.“ Spencer senior, Eliza and Wellington appear to have moved together to Parramatta by May 1837, and the latter two moved back to Sydney during 1838. Spencer either stayed on or returned to Parramatta where he was later remembered as a shopkeeper. Alfred Cox was one of his pupils. 

References: “LAST FRIDAY EVENING’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Gazette (1 March 1836), 3:; [Advertisement], The Australian (12 May 1837), 1:



WALLACE, Spencer Wellington (S. W. WALLACE)
Professor of music, orchestra leader, violinist, flautist, arranger, composer
Arrived NSW, by 1 March 1836
Died Geelong, VIC, 15 August 1852


Sydney, 1838: We scarcely know how to speak of Mr. Wellington Wallace’s Fantasia on the flute; it was such a compound of extraordinary tone, facile execution, and chaste feeling, that all that could be said on the subject would convey a faint idea of the impression it produced on the company. It brought forcibly to the recollection of all present the witchery of his brother’s violin, and the plaudits between each variation must have been gratifying to that gentleman.

Geelong, 1852: The anusements at this place are spiritedly maintained. Good houses seem to reward the indefatigable exertions of Mr Deering to adorn rational amusement for the people. This, with the masterly manner in which Mr. Wallace (brother of the author of Maritana) conducts the musical department, renders the Geelong Theatre second to none in the colonies, in point of interest or talent.

Obituary, Geelong: On Sunday, August 15th, Mr. S. W. Wallace, late of the Theatre. The death of this celebrated musician will he a considerable loss to the musical circles of these colonies. Mr. Wallace was brother to the composer of the popular opera of Maritana.

References: “LAST FRIDAY EVENING’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Gazette (1 March 1836), 3:; “THE CONCERT”, The Australian (1 June 1838), 2:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, Geelong Advertiser (11 March 1852), 2:; [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (19 April 1852), 2:; [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (14 May 1852), 2:; [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (14 June 1852), 2:; [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (14 July 1852), 3:; [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (31 July 1852), 2:; [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (16 August 1852), 2:; “DIED”, Geelong Advertiser (17 August 1852), 7:   

DISAMBIGUATION: Several much later accounts confuse Spencer Wallace with his more famous brother; there is also some confusion with his father, Spencer senior; after his brother left Sydney, Wellington is referred to occasionally both as “Mr. S.“ and “Mr. W“; by the early 1840s he appears to have set upon “S. W.“ as his preferred styling, though again at Geelong in 1842, he is usually “Mr. S.“; he is once referred to in a press report as “Spencer Washington Wallace“

References: “THEATRICAL AND MUSICAL NOTES”, Otago Witness (22 September 1898), 47:



WALLACE, William Vincent
Violinist, pianist, professor of music, composer
Born Waterford, Ireland, 1812
Arrived Hobart, 1835
Departed Sydney, 1838
Died France, 1865


Summary: To the best of my knowledge, Wallace is not documented as having himself used his later second name “Vincent“ in Australia (though it is perhaps likely that it was a name taken on his earlier conversion to catholicism).

Resources: Catherine Mackerras, Wallace, William Vincent (1812-1865), Australian Dictionary of Biography 2 (1967)



Vocalist, actor
Born England, 1819
Arrived Sydney, 22 May 1854 (per Matchless, from San Francisco, 17 March and Honolulu, 17 April)
Departed Melbourne, November 1855
Died New York, 28 February 1899

Summary: Actors Emma and Daniel Waller, “from the principal Theatres of London, Dublin, and the United States” toured Australia in 1854-55, opening in Sydney in June 1854 playing Ophelia and Hamlet. She was also an accomplished singer, and was regularly billed for songs, as in the farce Loan of a Lover later in the month, when she sang several solos and a duet with Frank Howson. Emma’s last Ophelia was in Melbourne, to G. V. Brooke as Hamlet, in November 1855, whereafter they cut short their intended stay and returned to Europe. Shortly after their departure, W. J. Johnson in Sydney published John Winterbottom’s The Bird Song (as “Sung by Mrs Emma Waller”) (copy at Historic Houses Trust NSW Library). 


References: “ARRIVALS”, Empire (23 May 1854), 2:; “MORE AMERICAN STARS”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (27 May 1854), 2:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 June 1854), 4:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (22 June 1854), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (5 November 1855), 8:; “MELBOURNE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 November 1855), 2:; [Advertisement], Empire (26 november 1855), 6:




Bass vocalist, pianist songwriter, composer
Born Manchester, England, 7 November 1819
Arrived Sydney, 1826 (per
John Barry, from Plymouth, 2 February)
Died Botany, NSW, 6 February 1871, in his 52nd year

Summary: At James Johnson’s lecture on the “History and Science of Music” in Sydney in September 1845, according to the Australian, one of the “most prominent features [was] Leichhardt’s Grave, by Mr. Waller”. Despite, or perhaps even because of, this service to the composer, Isaac Nathan, it was very likely Nathan himself who wrote the discouraging 1846 review quoted below. Waller continued performing, nevertheless, presenting several concerts with William Stanley. He introduced his own patriotic song, Britain, at a concert in Sydney in 1850. Another patriotic song, Australia, first sung in 1859, exists in both a printed edition, Australia (a patriotic song) (“Dedicated to the Volunteer Forces of Australia […] written and composer by James Waller”) (Sydney: W. J. Johnson, [1863]), and an MS copy (Australia (a patriotic song).

1846, [review by ? Isaac Nathan]: Mr. Waller sang Handel’s glorious, “For behold! Darkness shall cover the Earth”; and Pasiello’s masterly, “Fall of Zion”, spiritedly. Mr. Waller has a fine, mellow-toned bass voice, which, if it had been cultivated, would have qualified him to give effect, and to do justice, to any composition. he is a good timist, and generally sings in tune; but his very defective articulation, and (in particular instances) more than imperfect intonation , resulting from his evident ignorance of the art of managing his voice, disqualify him for solo singing. […] We have no desire to be severe on Mr. Waller. His voice is good, as we before observed, and, at this remote distance from England, invaluable to join in chorus; but we hope he will never again attempt to sing a solo, unless he sings so low that we may not hear him.

Obituaries: Mr. Waller evinced a singular taste for high-class music, and developed vocal powers which, in spite of all difficulties, he assiduously cultivated, year after year, with a constantly increasing ability, until in the path he chose for himself he achieved an unexampled success. In the compositions of those great masters, whoso names are household words in England, America, and Germany, our late fellow-townsman took an unwearied delight, and especially in that class of music wherein the genius of Handel is so endeared to all Englishmen—the sublime music of the oratorio—for the execution of solos in which his voice was so peculiarly adapted. Many of the masterpieces of Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, and the most eminent of our old church composers have here long found their fittest exponent in that voice now silent for ever […] James Waller was born on the 7th November, 1819. He was brought to this colony when only seven years old. At an early ago, he was sent to Mr. W. T. Cape’s school; and under that excellent teacher, who trained a very large number of our citizens, and will long be remembered as the instructor of some of the foremost men of the country, he made rapid progress in learning. His friends afterwards sent him to the King’s School, Parramatta, where he was under the late Dr. Forrest. There he carried off several prizes. He left the King’s School in 1831, when about fifteen years of age [sic]. He chose a commercial life, and soon manifested a special fitness for business; by unflagging perseverance and conscientious attention to his duties, he steadily rose to the attainment of a competence. In 1842 he entered into partnership, in the building trade, with his brother-in-law, Mr. Beaumont. During twenty-eight years this partnership continued, and unbroken harmony existed between the partners. Among those with whom business or other mutual pursuits brought Mr. Waller into association, his integrity of purpose, his large-hearted philanthropy, his sincerity and independence of mind, and his agreeable manner won for him many firmly attached friends […]

References: “MRS BUSHELLE’S CONCERT”, The Australian (12 October 1843), 3:; “INSOLVENCY PROCEEDINGS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 November 1843), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 September 1845), 1:; “SCHOOL OF ARTS”, The Australian (16 September 1845), 3:; “MR. JOHNSON’S CONCERT”, The Australian (17 October 1846), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 December 1850), 1:; “MUSICAL STAR“, The Argus (14 October 1852), 6:; “MUSICAL“, The Argus (5 November 1852), 5:; “MR. WALLER”, The Argus (19 November 1852), 5:; [Advertisement], Empire (18 January 1853), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 January 1853), 3:; “CONCERTINA SOIREE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (16 February 1853), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 December 1859), 1:; “AUSTRALIA: A PATRIOTIC SONG BY MR. JAMES WALLER”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 December 1859), 5:; “PATRIOTIC SONG”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 November 1863), 7:; “MUSIC AND DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 November 1863), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 February 1871), 1:; “DEATH OF MR. JAMES WALLER”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 February 1871), 7:; “DEATH OF MR. JAMES WALLER”, The Sydney Morning Herald (24 February 1871), 7:; “MR. JAMES WALLER”, Empire (27 February 1871), 4:; “OLD AUSTRALIAN PATRIOTIC SONGS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 August 1915), 10:



WALLERSTEIN, Henri (Henry)
Active Bendigo, 1857-59

Orchestral trumpet player
Active Melbourne, 1861

References: “SOIREE AT THE MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE, CASTLEMAINE”, Bendigo Advertiser (26 October 1857), 2:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (8 December 1857), 3:; “GRAND CONCERT”, & [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (4 February 1858), 3:; “WAGES”, Bendigo Advertiser (9 February 1858), 3:; “A CURIOUS REFLECTION”, Bendigo Advertiser (14 May 1858), 2:; “CERTIFICATES [To insolvents]”, The Argus (6 September 1859), 6:; [Advertisement], The Argus (22 May 1861), 8: [orchestra list]

Disambiguation: London-based composer Ferdinand Wallerstein; see “ART AND LITERARY GOSSIP”, Empire (8 April 1863), 5:



WALTON, Mr. H. W. (Humphrey)
Professor of music, viola (tenor) player
Arrived Sydney, 24 February 1838 (per Upton Castle, from Plymouth, 16 October 1837)
Died Redfern, Sydney, 16 June 1871, in his 50th year

Summary: Humphrey Walton, perhaps a descendent of the English piano builder of that name, was only 16 years old on arrival in Sydney, appearing on the shipping lists as “musician“. He was listed among the (? string) instrumentalists at Eliza Bushelle's concerf in December 1839, and at Isaac Nathan’s Oratorio in Sydney in June 1841. He was possibly the Walton listed as an organist of St. Mary’s Cathedral c.1848-54. In December 1842, he advertised: “Pianoforte Wanted […] a very superior Instrument. Apply […] to Mr. Walton, Professor of Music”. Walton was “principal tenor” player at the first of Nathan’s Australian Philharmonic Concerts in May 1844. With S. W. Wallace as leader, “Mr. Walton” was “Conductor” of the band at Maria Hinckesmann’s concert in October 1846. In June 1855, an advertisement appeared in the Herald: “Mr. H. W. WALTON, Professor of Music and Pianoforte tuner, begs to notify that he has removed from Prince-street, to No. 42, Palmer street, Woolloomooloo”. The same Walton had previously advertised in Brisbane, QLD, in September and October 1852 as a piano tuner and regulator. He was at Redfern-street, Redfern in 1863, and died there in June 1871. Though I am by no means certain, I am assuming for now that all these references are to one person.

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Sydney Herald (26 February 1838), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (17 December 1839), 1:; “The Oratorio”, The Sydney Monitor (2 July 1841),  2:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (10 September 1842), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 December 1842), 3:; [Advertisement], The Australian (29 May 1844), 2:; [Advertisement], The Australian (24 June 1844), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 September 1846), 3:; [Advertisement], The Australian (27 October 1846), 2:; [Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (25 September 1852), 3:; [Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (9 October 1852), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (11 June 1855), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 August 1863), 7:; “DEATHS”, Empire (20 June 1871), 1:

Bibliography: Edward F. Rimbault, The Pianoforte, its origin, progress, and construction (London: Rob. Cocks & Co., 1860), 150:; E. J. Lea-Scarlett, “Music, Choir and Organ”, in Patrick O’Farrell (ed.), St. Mary’s Cathedral Sydney, 1821-1971 ([Sydney]: Devonshire Press for St. Mary's Cathedral, 1971), 161:




WALTON, Thomas
Active Geelong, 1850s

References: [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (12 February 1852), 1:; “THE ST. PAUL’S TEA MEETING. To the Editor”, Geelong Advertiser (2 June 1855), 2: [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (7 February 1856), 3:; “MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT”, Geelong Advertiser (12 February 1856), 2:



Born Sydney, 12 March 1858
Died Sydney, 4 January 1921

1875: The large attendance at the Victoria Theatre on Saturday night showed that Signor Baldassari’s humorous presentation of Crispino, in Celli’s opera buffo, “Crispino e la Comara,” had not been forgotten. But for the Sydney public there was double attraction in the first appearance on the stage of a new Australian singer, a native of Sydney, Miss Emma Wangenheim, who appeared in this opera in the vole of Annetta. Miss Wangenheim received a rapturous reception, and sustained her part very creditably. Her acting was spirited and graceful, and her singing was on the whole satisfactory. Miss Wangenheim’s voice is sweet rather than of great compass, but perhaps the nervousness incident to a first appearance robbed it of its full power. During the performance a number of rich bouquets were offered as a tribute to this talented debutante.

References: “BIRTH”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 March 1858), 1:; “THE OPERA”, Freeman’s Journal (22 May 1875), 12:; “MISS WANGENHEIM’S OPERA COMPANY. GIROFLE-GIROFLA”, Morning Bulletin (8 August 1890), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (5 January 1921), 10:



WANLESS, Charles
Blind musician (?amateur)
Died Melbourne, 10 February 1864, aged 36

References: “CORONER’S INQUEST”, The Argus (15 February 1864), 5:



WARD, Henry
Vocal pupil (Witton)
Active Melbourne, 1862

References: [Advertisement], The Courier [Brisbane] (24 October 1862), 1: “HENRY WARD (Vocal), Moor-st,, Fitzroy.” [pupil of Henry James Witton]



WARD, Emma
Contralto vocalist
Active Ballarat, 1859

1859: Miss Chalker and Miss Ward—the former s soprano and the latter a contralto voice—and artistes not unknown to fame, and as professionals rank high in public estimation.

References: [Advertisement], The Star (12 September 1859), 3:; “CRITERION CONCERT HALL”, The Star (19 September 1859), 3:; “MISS ADA WARD. THE STAGE AND THE ‘ARMY’, A Romantic History”, NZ Truth (11 May 1907), 7: 



WARD, Seth Frank
Choirmaster, organist, school master (Christ Church)
Active Sydney, by 1862
Died Sydney, 7 March 1894, in his ? 69th year

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 April 1862), 2: “CHRIST CHURCH SCHOOLS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 June 1863), 2:; ? [Advertising], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 February 1866), 1:; “CHRIST CHURCH MUSICAL AND LITERARY INSTITUTE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (22 November 1866), 5: ; [Advertising], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 March 1868), 1:; “ST. JOHN’S, BISHOPTHORPE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 March 1868), 4: ; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 March 1894), 1:; “CHRIST CHURCH SCHOOLS AND RECTORY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (5 September 1905), 3:



WARDE, Kate (Mrs. James H. VINSON)
Actor, vocalist
Active Sydney, by 1856
Died Fitzroy, VIC, 20 June 1872, aged 35

Summary: Kate Warde first appeared at the Royal Victoria Theatre in Sydney in April 1856, and in July at Andrew Torning’s newly renamed English Opera House (Prince of Wales Theatre), she sang Blockley’s Hearts and Homes and Barker’s I’m leaving thee in sorrow, Annie in a concert Annie, and also in La Sonnambula, in which: “Miss Warde played Lisa in a very charming and natural manner, and is deserving of commendation for her painstaking endeavour to make the most of the character”. The actor Kate Vinson was her daughter.

January 1857: Thin houses and meagre “benefits” constitute the summary of the week. Mrs. Guerin’s “benefit” on Monday, and Miss Kate Warde’s on Thursday, were exceedingly equivocal tributes to the acknowledged talents of those ladies, and can only be attributed to the pressure of the times which enforces the relinquishment of luxuries on the part of the bees of the public hive.

References: “VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 April 1856), 4:; [Advertisement], Empire (7 July 1856), 1:; “ENGLISH OPERA HOUSE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 July 1856), 2:; “ENGLISH OPERA HOUSE. LA SONNAMBULA”, Empire (14 July 1856), 5:; “THE DRAMA. ROYAL VICTORIA”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (24 January 1857), 2:; “MISS KATE WARDE AT THE TOWN HALL”, The Cornwall Chronicle (15 April 1870), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (21 June 1872), 4:; “Funeral Notices”, The Argus (22 June 1872), 8:; “MISS KATE VINSON’S BENEFIT”, Bendigo Advertiser (28 August 1878), 3:; “MISS ADA WARD. THE STAGE AND THE ‘ARMY’, A Romantic History”, NZ Truth (11 May 1907), 7:




Violin maker
Active Melbourne, 1853 (perhaps James Warden, below)

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



Violinist, violoncellist, Scotch vocalist, composer
Active Bendigo, 1854
Died Bendigo, 16 August 1870, aged 65 (“father of Miss Geraldine Warden“) 

1854: […] the Schottische is composed by Mr. Warden [...]

References: “BENDIGO […] OUR LOCAL EXHIBITION”, The Argus (18 September 1854), 5:; “BENDIGO”, Colonial Times (21 September 1854), 2:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (19 February 1856), 1:; “HAYMARKET THEATRE“, Bendigo Advertiser (12 July 1858), 3:; “PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY“, Bendigo Advertiser (17 September 1859), 3:; “THE SANDHURST ATHENAEUM”, Bendigo Advertiser (21 September 1859), 2:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (15 October 1859), 1:; “MISS GERALDINE WARDEN“, Bendigo Advertiser (11 October 1867), 2:; “DEATHS“, Bendigo Advertiser (17 August 1870), 2:



WARDEN, Geraldine
Soprano vocalist
Active Bendigo, by 1859; Melbourne, by 1863

1867: Debut of Miss Geraldine Warden. The Age reporter thus notices the debut of this promising artiste:—“The special attraction of the evening was the first appearance of a young lady, Miss Warden, well and favorably known in the colonies as a concert singer, but who has only recently been inducted in the mysteries of opera. Miss Warden is a very young lady, who made her first appearance on any stage at an amateur concert in Sandhurst, some six years ago. She received a sound rudimentary musical education from Mr. Otto Linden, then a professor of music in that township. In company with her sister and father, she shortly after made a tour of the principal goldfields, giving concerts in each. The proficiency she showed for her art then was remarked by all who knew her; and as she was a most ardent and indefatigable student, and had, though little more than twelve years of age, a remarkably good voice, there were not a few who predicted for her a brilliant career. When about fourteen, Miss Warden appeared at the Lyceum Theatre, Sandhurst, in a burlesque part, in which she achieved some success as a vocalist, but she did not then show any capacity as an actress, and, after playing a few nights, retired. After spending some time at home, Miss Warden resolved on adopting music as a profession, and accordingly look several engagements in the provinces. Mr. Harvey, of the Christy Minstrels, was the first manager who discovered Miss Warden’s great talent, and he engaged her to travel with his company. This she did, and it was under that gentleman’s auspices that she was established as a permanent favorite in Melbourne. Here she was not content to remain a mere concert singer. Placing herself under the direction of Signor Castelli she resumed her studies with a determination to conquer the disabilities which had rendered her first appearance on the dramatic stage a failure. Her aim was opera, and that alone. She had some difficulty in obtaining an appearance, but at last Mr. Lyster consented to engage her for his last Adelaide season. There she made her debut as Amina in “La Sonnambula”, and was immediately taken into public favor. Her second part was the one she sustained last evening—the Princess Isabella; and in this her success was even more decided […] Her voice is a high soprano, particularly powerful in the upper notes, and in the lower clear and bell-like.

References: “THE CHORAL SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, Bendigo Advertiser (5 July 1859), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (25 March 1863), 8:; “LYSTER’S OPERA COMPANY. DEBUT OF MISS GERALDINE WARDEN”, Bendigo Advertiser (23 November 1867), 2: 



Bandsman (14th Regiment), cornet and saxe-horn player, band master
Born Brighton, Sussex
Arrived Melbourne, c.1867 (with regiment from New Zealand)
Died Richmond, Melbourne, 25 January 1896

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (12 June 1869), 8: [Advertisement], The Argus (2 September 1969), 8:; [Advertisement], Alexandra and Yea Standard (27 Ferbaury 1885), 4:; [News], The Argus (12 February 1890), 7:




WATERLAND, Blythe (alias of Henry BURTON)
Vocalist (Waterland’s Ethiopian Serenaders, &c)
Active Sydney, by March 1850

Hobart, 1855: The Circus in Murray-street will be opencd on Monday evening next. The manager of the present troupe is Mr. Burton, already so well in in the colonies for the highly respectable and proper manner in which the performances under his management have been conducted. He is best known under his American cognomen, Blythe Waterland.

1874: Our first recollections of Mr. Burton’s public life extend back some years. In 1847 he appeared professionally as Mazeppa in Cook’s circus, in the city of Edinburgh [..] Mr. Burton’s first connection with amusements in these colonies commenced in 1851, in which year he introduced the first company of serenaders, known as Blythe Waterland’s Troupe […] the name of Burton has been so intimately associated with circuses that it’s only necessary to say that he has traversed the whole of the settled parts of the continent from Rockhampton on the north, to Adelaide on the west; and during his travels he has gone many thousands of miles by land and sea, and though he has met at times with serious reverses through impassable roads, drought, bad seasons, and all the other ills that can attend the Australian traveller, Mr. Burton has always merited the respect and patronage of the public, and has given over two thousand pounds to the charities of the colonies.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 March 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 Sydney Morning Herald (21 May 1850), 1:; “BLYTHE WATERLAND’S SERENADERS”, The Maitland Mercury (29 May 1850), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 June 1850), 1:; “THE CIRCUS”, The Courier (5 May 1855), 3: ; “MR. HENRY BURTON, MR. ROBERT TAYLOR”, Australian Town and Country Journal (11 July 1874), 24:



Musician (late 4th Regiment of Foot)
Active ? Sydney, 1838

References: “UNCLAIMED LETTERS”, The Colonist (24 November 1838), 3:



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

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



WATKINS, James (Rev. Mr.)
Choir director
Born 1794
Arrived Sydney, 1835
Died 1869

Summary: Eyewitness Columbus Fitzpatrick recollected “the Rev. Mr. Watkins, who took charge of the choir” at St. Mary’s, Sydney.

Bibliography: C. J. Duffy (ed.), Catholic religious and social life in the Macquarie era: as portrayed in the letters of Columbus Fitzpatrick (1810-1878) (Sydney: Catholic Press Newspaper Company, Ltd., 1966), 17-19; Patrick O‘Farrell, Documents in Australian Catholic history: 1788-1883 (Sydney: G. Chapman, 1969), 32-33

Other sources: 



WATSON, George
Pianoforte and Organ Tuner
Active Sydney 1855-57

6 October 1857: PIANOFORTE, Organ, tuning and repairing. Mr. G. WATSON, from London, with twenty years’ practical knowledge of the above, and the last two years and four months in the employ of W. J. Johnson, of Sydney, as tuner or repairer. He is now at liberty to undertake all orders conferred upon him, by addressing Mr. G. WATSON, post- office, Paddington. - N.B. Pianos, organs erected, removed, and all kinds of musical musical instruments tuned and repaired.

7 October 1857: NOTICE.-In reference to the advertisement by GEORGE WATSON, notifying that he is now at liberty to undertake all orders in relation to organ and pianoforte tuning and repairing, I beg to state that the said George Watson is under an agreement to serve me as Pianoforte and Organ Tuner, &c, for the term of three years, which term will not expire until May next, and, consequently, I am still entitled to his services. He is now absent from my services without my sanction or authority; and all parties employing him will be accountable to me. W. J. JOHNSON, 57, Pitt-street, Sydney

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 October 1857), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 October 1857), 1:



WATSON, (Robert) R. H. L. (R.A.M.)
Singing instructor, organist, composer
Active Bendigo, by 1870; Sydney, 1872-73

Summary: At a grand concert for the Queen’s Birthday in bendigo in May 1870, Charles Horsley conducted a New Mass composed by Watson.

References: [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (31 January 1870), 3:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (3 May 1870), 1:; “REPETITION OF MR. WATSON’S CONCERT”, Bendigo Advertiser (9 June 1870), 2:; “GRAND SACRED AND SECULAR CONCERT”, Bendigo Advertiser (7 July 1870), 2:; “ORGANIST OF ST. FRANCIS’ CATHEDRAL”, Bendigo Advertiser (2 May 1871), 2:; “MUSICAL”, Bendigo Advertiser (3 May 1871), 2:; “ACCIDENT TO MR. R. H. L. WATSON”, Bendigo Advertiser (20 July 1871), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 February 1872), 12:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 March 1872), 3: ; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 April 1872), 12:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 August 1872), 9:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 January 1873), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 january 1873), 1:; “MELBOURNE”, Empire (22 November 1873), 2:

Mass in C [Bendigo, 1870]
My Silent Grief (“that favourite song”) (Sydney: L. Moss, [1872])
Put me in my little bed (“Pianoforte transcription of the popular song”) (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1872])
Naida: Grand galop de concert (“dedicated to … Lady Robinson”) (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1872])
Let there be light (words: Mrs. E. B. Parnell; “composed especially for Andrew Fairfax”) (Sydney: J. Reading, [1873])
My Dream (song; “sung by Mr. H. Ackland”) (Sydney: J. Reading, [1873])
Don’t vex mama (words: Mrs. E. B. Parnell) (Sydney: Jas. Reading and Co., [? 1873]



WATTS, J. (Mr.)
Violinist, teacher of dancing, quadrille master, bandmaster
Active Melbourne, 1857-58

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (14 April 1857), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (24 June 1857), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (12 September 1857), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (2 August 1858), 8:



WEAVERS, Masters
Boy vocalists

WEAVERS, Master C. (? Charles)
Boy vocalist

? Born Sydney, 1827
Active Sydney, 1839-42

February 1841: On Sunday last the Reverend Mr. Steel, at St. Peter’s Church, Cook’s River, delivered and excellent and pathetic address to his Congregation […] on Mrs. [Cornelius] Prout, a lady highly esteemed, and suddenly taken from a lovely young family and an affectionate husband. […] The music as part of the service on this occasion was admirably conducted by Mr. Deane, “Vital Spark” was well performed and sung, the principal Vocalist was Master C. Weavers.

June 1841: […] the names of parties who do not intend to sing there, and who, moreover, have never been even asked, are blazoned to the public as performers “to be about to be”, at the approaching Oratorio—the name of'Master C. Weavers is an instance. 

References: [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (1 November 1839), 4:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (12 November 1839), 3:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (29 November 1839), 4:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (6 December 1839), 4:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (3 January 1840), 4:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (5 June 1841), 3:; “FUNERAL SERMON”, The Sydney Herald (16 February 1841), 3:; “The Oratorio”, The Sydney Gazette (8 June 1841), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (24 May 1842), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (31 August 1842), 1:



Active Campbelltown, 1844

1844: A prize was also awarded, by Mr. Webb, (who officiates as Organist to the Church), to Miss Sarah Warby, for her proficiency in the choir. 1845: Mr Webbe, who lately arrived in the Emma, from Sydney, was for some time organist of the Catholic Church, Campbelltown. He is to superintend the vocal and instrumental music of the Cathedral shortly to be erected in Adelaide.

References: “CAMPBELL TOWN SCHOOL”, Morning Chronicle (13 January 1844), 3:; “THE CATHOLICS”, South Australian Register (1 February 1845), 3:



WEBB, Peter
Active Sandy Creek, VIC, 1857

1857: Matthias Slingsby was charged with uttering base coin. A considerable time was spent in taking the evidence in this case, which was very voluminous. It appeared the prisoner was a gentleman at large, and when apprehended by Sergeant Ryall, close to Sandy Creek, his swag was found to contain the usual tools of the professional smasher. He had scattered his handy-work in all directions, and among his victims was Peter Webb, one of the musicians of the Bird-in-Hand Hotel. He indulged the prisoner’s taste for music by performing certain favorite tunes, for which he was paid in counterfeit shillings.

References: “A COLONIAL SMASHER”, Bendigo Advertiser (4 July 1857), 3:



WEBER, Adelaide von (baroness von Schleisz)
Composer Active NSW, by 1858
Died Darlinghurst, NSW, 2 March 1901, in her 85th year  

Summary: Wife of Adalbert Weber, superintendant of roads at Braidwood, from 1870. In July 1870, J. R. Clarke published her  setting of Hail! Glorious Light of Life (a morning hymn, composed and arranged for four voices by Madame Adelaide von Weber, the words by the Rev. W. B. Clarke, of the North Shore).

References: “BIRTHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 December 1858), 1:;“NEW MUSIC”, Evening News (26 July 1870), 3:; “Dramatic and Musical Review”, Australian Town and Country Journal (17 September 1870), 21:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 March 1901), 1:



WEBER, Albert
Musician, professor of music, pianoforte maker and organ builder
Active Hobart, by April 1858
DDied Melbourne, before 1883

1866: […] Last to be mentioned, but not nearly least worth notice, is a vertical grand piano, a patent invention of its manufacturer, Mr. Albert Weber, of 77 Gertrude-street, Fitzroy, and late of Tasmania, he having made his first piano of colonial woods, at Hobart Town, so long ago as 1856. In his father’s manufactory, at Hanover, he paid considerable attention to wood as a sound-producing agent; and this piano, the first he has manufactured here, is of colonial wood, even to the smallest part of the mechanism, his experience having taught him that seasoned colonial woods will endure the climate better than the imported article. Unlike other exhibitors, Mr. Weber has furnished visitors with the means of knowing what colonial woods he has used, and they are stringy bark, red mahogany (Eucalyptus rostrata), Huon pine, sassafras, cedar, red myrtle, and bark […]

References: [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (22 April 1858), 3:; “THE TASMANIAN TIMBER. TO THE EDITOR”, The Mercury (14 July 1863), 3:; “INSOLVENT COURT. In re JOHN ALVAREZ”, The Mercury (21 April 1864), 2:; “THE INTERCOLONIAL EXHIBITION”, The Argus (22 December 1866), 5:; “INSOLVENT COURT”, The Argus (13 June 1867), 6:; [News], The Argus (15 October 1873), 5:; “Marriages”, The Argus (24 March 1883), 1:



WEBER, Albert G. C.
Pianist, organist, choral conductor, teacher of music
Died Adelaide, 22 November 1935, aged 76

Obituary: Mr. Albert Weber, of Flinders Park, who was prominent in the early musical life of Adelaide, died at the age of 76 last week. He began, his musical career as a boy chorister in the German Church, Finders street, and later studied the organ and piano under Mr. I. G. Riemann, at the Adelaide College of Music, which was the forerunner of the Adelaide Conservatorium now under the control of the Adelaide University. Mr. Weber served as organist at many Adelaide churches. He first played at the German Church, and, after 15 years at St. Cuthbert’s Church, Prospect, he was organist for All Souls’ Church, St Peter’, St. Theodore’s Church, Rose Park and St. Luke’s Church, Whitmore square. Mr. Weber was instrumental in raising the standard of singing in the choirs he controlled, and arranged many of the well-known oratorios to make them suitable for church choirs. For 30 years he was associated with Werthiems Ltd. In his position as head of the tuning and repair department, he became associated with many of the leading musicians who visited Adelaide, and with local professional musicians. Mr. Weber is survived by his widow, who was formerly Miss Sophie Berryman, a well-known Adelaide singer, six daughters, and two sons.

References: “DEATHS”, The Advertiser (25 November 1935), 14:; “Death of Mr. Albert Weber”, The Advertiser (2 December 1935), 17:



WEBER, Emil Rudolph (Emile)
Pianist, organist, vocalist (Melbourne Liedertafel), publican
Born ? Germany, 1827/28
Arrived Adelaide, 20 August 1849 (per Wilhelmina Maria, from Hamburg)
Died Schwarzburg, Germany, 8 October 1892 (late of Melbourne and Sydney), aged 64

References: “ARRIVED”, South Australian Register (1 September 1849), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian (5 July 1850), 1:; “ARRIVALS”, Empire (25 September 1851), 2:; [Advertisement], Bell’s Life in Sydney (13 December 1851), 3:; “MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE”, The Star (25 February 1861), 4:; [Advertisement], The Star (5 April 1864), 3:; “NEWS AND NOTES”, The Star (5 April 1864), 2:; “NEWS AND NOTES”, The Ballarat Star (16 January 1865), 2:; “Unsere Nachbar-Colonien. Wochenbericht aus Victoria”, Süd Australische Zeitung (10 April 1867), 6-7:; [News], The Argus (10 September 1868), 4:;“Facts & Scraps”, The Australasian Sketcher (18 April 1874), 14:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 October 1875), 10: ; “Insolvency Court”, Evening News (30 June 1882), 2:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 November 1892), 1:



WEBER, Peter
Clarionet player (Theatre Royal, H. Schrader’s Band)
Active Adelaide, 1869-90

1869: Grand Aria— “Gratias Agimus Tibi”— (Guglielmi) —Madame Anna Bishop. Clarionette Obligate, Herr Weber.

1882: Mr. PETER WEBER, Late Solo Clarionette, Theatre Royal, and principal Clarionette in the late H. Schrader’s Band, purposes forming an AMATEUR BRASS AND REED BAND, also an INSTRUC TION CLASS for preparing Pupils desirous of joining the same.

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (18 May 1869), 1:; “TOPICS OF THE DAY”, The South Australian Advertiser (10 June 1870), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (31 May 1882), 1:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (2 June 1882), 1:; “POPULAR CONCERT IN THE TOWN HALL”, The South Australian Advertiser (24 July 1882), 6:; [News], Gippsland Times (23 May 1884), 3:; “A CHARITY CONCERT”, The Advertiser (23 August 1890), 6:



WEBSTER, John Campbell
Musicseller, music publisher
Active Melbourne, by August 1862 (as “Wilkie, Webster and Co.”)
Active Melbourne, by January 1869 (as “Wilkie, Webster, and Allan”)
Died Moonee Ponds, VIC, 20 January 1875, aged 64

1862: The undersigned begs to intimite to his numerous customers and the public that he has this day ADMITTED Mr. J. C. WEBSTER as MANAGING PARTNER in the music business which has been carried on by himself for the last 12 years. Mr. Webster has had great experience in the business in England, having been for upwards of 20 years in the celebrated house of Messrs. John Broadwood and Sons, and will, by attention to business, endeavour to secure to himself that confidence which has so long been placed in the undersigned … JOSEPH WILKIE, I5 Collins-street east. (Obituary): The death of Mr J. C. Webster late of the firm of Wilkie Webster, and Allan in Collins street east makes another break in the chain connecting the present musical generation with the past. A period of nearly 40 years of service in the great London house of Broadwood and Sons brought him in contact with all the musical celebrities of the time whether of the French, German, Italian or English schools. A friend of Ries, the favourite pupil of Beethoven, he was also intimate in those circles wherein Smart and Stevenson were leaders. No man in this country was master of a greater fund of anecdote in connexion with the musical world of his day than the late Mr. Webster and his conversation amongst his intimates on such subjects was always full of interest and entertainment. He died at his place at Moonee Ponds on the 20th inst., aged 64 years.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (29 August 1862), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (9 January 1869), 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 April 1870), 8:; “Deaths”, The Argus (21 February 1875), 1:; [News], The Argus (27 January 1875), 1s:



Chinese musician
Active Ballarat, 1863

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



WEHLE, Charles (Karl)
Pianist and composer
Born Prague, 17 March 1825
Arrived Melbourne, June 1870 (per mail steamer Geelong from Europe)
Departed Sydney, 1 January 1871 (for New Zealand)
Died 3 June 1883

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Summary: Wehle came from a wealthy merchant family in Prague. He studied piano with Moscheles, and with Theodor Kullak in Berlin, before settling in Paris. From there he undertook a round the world tour for the piano maker Pleyel, spending approximately six months in Australia before sailing, via New Zealand, for San Francisco. At his last Sydney concert he was billed to give the Australian premiere of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor, Op.37, with the opera orchestra, though in the event he played only one movement. Also of note is his letter of appreciation of Charles Horsley's Euterpe publihsed in the Melbourne Argus in August 1870.

Sydney, October 1870: Herr Charles Wehle, the pianist, has appeared at two concerts at the School of Arts (the third having been withdrawn), each of them being very thinly attended. An artist of great renown throughout the musical world of Europe, whom many heard in London and Paris in 1848, though only travelling through the colonies for health and pleasure, should certainly have made his first appearance here under more favourable auspices, and should have commanded the support of all musical connoisseurs. For a quarter of a century Herr Wehle’s name has been in the foremost ranks of composers and executants. His fame is grounded more especially on his compositions than on his performances. He is a very brilliant player, his execution being full of fire and remarkably accurate. His touch is firm, perhaps not quite so delicate as to produce great contrast in light and shade; but in passages requiring vigour Herr Wehle’s manipulation has not been excelled, if equalled by any artist whom we know in this country. The dirge-melody of Chopin’s “Marche Funebre” lost effect by being taken in rather too quick time. In playing his own compositions Herr Wehle displays great animation; they are written in the best school of classical instruction, and are remarkably characteristic of their intended delineation. A “Marche Cosaque” is very original—quite Polish in style; the “Impromptu Styrienne”, a “Canzonetta” (quite Bohémienne), and a drinking-song “Chant des Buveurs”, very stirring and effective. In the latter case an encore could not be resisted; Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March”, was full of dashing brilliance […].

Sydney, December 1870: People can easily appreciate the beauty of a good thing in art without positively understanding it. There is something in the beauty of classical music which, if adequately rendered, will attract the senses though the mind may not compass its positive merits. No greater proof could be given of M. Wehle’s merits as a pianist than the reception given to him at what may, in reality, be called his first appearance here at the benefit of Mr. Lascelles, at the opera, before a remarkably full house on Tuesday evening. The pianoforte usually makes but little effect in a large theatre where half its sound is lost amongst the wings and other openings of the stage, still less when accompanied by an orchestra, which, though assisting in a measure the solo instrument by combining the various harmonies, nevertheless frequently overpowers the vibrating strings. Even still less when classical music is played to a usually unsympathising audience; but it is a fact almost unparalleled in the history of music (quite so with regard to Australia) that a classical concerto by Beethoven — that in C minor — should not only have been encored, but with the most spontaneous warmth, and though, when we consider the state of music in this country, it must be acknowledged that the enthusiasm was due to the great merits of M. Wehle’s execution; yet something must be placed to the account of the grandeur of the piece itself, and the capability of the audience to understand music of this description. The concert was by no means caviare to the multitude. Of course, in a miscellaneous performance like that of Tuesday, an entire concerto occupying usually over half an hour, would, to most people, have been wearying; the executant wisely confined himself, therefore, to one movement […]

Boston, April 1871: M. Charles Wehle, pianist and composer has arrived in San Francisco, via Australia, from Paris.

1880: Some ten years since Pleyel sent an artist of exceptional skill (Charles Wehle) with some of his instruments on a tour through Australia, New Zealand, Honolulu, and America. In all places concerts were given, and the merits of the pianos made known in the most agreeable manner by a musician thoroughly capable of appreciating and interpreting them.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (23 April 1870), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (14 June 1870), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (30 June 1870), 8:; “MR. C. WEHLE’S CONCERT”, Bendigo Advertiser (6 August 1870), 2:; “MONS. CHARLES WEHLE’S CONCERT”, The South Australian Advertiser (31 August 1870), 3:; “MR. HORSLEY’S CANTATA. TO THE EDITOR”, The Argus (11 August 1870), 7:; [Advertisement], Empire (3 October 1870), 1:; “Dramatic and Musical Review”, Australian Town and Country Journal (8 October 1870), 21:; “Dramatic and Musical Review”, Australian Town and Country Journal (10 December 1870), 20:; “Dramatic and Musical Review”, Australian Town and Country Journal (17 December 1870), 21:;  “ARRIVAL OF THE CITY OF MELBOURNE”, Auckland Star (6 January 1871), 2:; “NOTES”, Folio [Boston] (April 1871), 81:; “PIANOFORTES IN THE EXHIBITION.-VI.”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 January 1880), 5:




Violinist, composer, ? bandmaster
Arrived Adelaide, 1855

WEICHMANN, Master C. (or G.)
Active Melbourne, 1865-66

Summary: The Celebrated BAND new arrived by the Ship August, from Hamburg, gave a Grand Concert at Adelaide’s Hotel Europe on 18 May 1855, the program including three compositions by H. Weichmann, notably Sehnsucht nach Australien March, the Grand Polonaise Remembrance, and The Waves Waltz. The Weichmann Family gave a musical entertainment at Adelaide’s Hamburg Coffee-House a few days later. In Melbourne, in April 1865, Master C. Weichmann, aged 7, performed a violin solo at a meeting of the German Gymnastic Association, and the following year appeared in concert with Julius Herz. G. Weichmann, Junior, “the well-known violinist“ was advertising in Nelson, NZ, in March 1867.

1857: HEINRICK WEICHMANN, (Solo Violinist of Theatre Royal, Melbourne) BEGS to inform the public that  he is always ready for Engagements of Musicians for Balls, &c. Address, Freemasons Arms, High-street, Beechworth.

1862: The causes heard yesterday in the County Court were of no public interest, with the exception of Weinmann [sic] v. Lauher and Wife, which disclosed a state of things which it is to be hoped is not usually met with. The plaintiff, a German purveyor of street music, in the year 1857 imported with him from his native land five young females, who were articled to him as apprentices, to learn from him, as best he could teach them, the art (frequently heard to perfection in Melbourne streets) of abusing the powers of instruments intended to be used for the production of musical sounds. The plaintiff and his youthful apprentices duly reached Melbourne, where their labours proved highly profitable to the plaintiff, until, as it appeared from the evidence, through his having established relations with the female defendant which were quite inconsistent with the sixth article of their agreement, “that he should be towards her a faithful protector,” she was compelled for a time to seek shelter in the Lying-in Hospital. On leaving this asylum, she determined to leave the plaintiff's service, but he refused to allow her to take away her clothes or her banjo until she had signed an IOU (produced in court), purposing to be an acknowledgement for so much of her passage-money as was then, according to plaintiff's calculation, not repaid to him by her services to that date […] 

1862: This insolvent was the German importer of singers and performers of street music, whose actions brought against two of the latter in the County Court excited some attention a few weeks since.

1865: The performance by Master C. Weichmann, a musician of the tender age of seven years, of a violin solo must not be overlooked. The piece selected for the display of the juvenile talent was a polonnaise by Mayseder, which was executed in a manner that showed, on the part of one so young, a surprising amount of musical knowledge.

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (18 May 1855), 1:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (23 May 1855), 1:; [Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (11 July 1857), 2:; [Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (21 July 1857), 1:; [Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (14 November 1857), 4: “THE GERMAN GYMASTIC ASSOCIATION”, The Argus (18 April 1865), 5:; [News], The Argus (25 March 1862), 4:; “INSOLVENT COURT”, The Argus (16 April 1862), 6:; [News], The Argus (3 July 1866), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (2 August 1862), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (3 July 1866), 8:; [Advertisement], Nelson Evening Mail (27 March 1867), 3:



Teacher of music and singing (pupil of Thalberg and Garcia), vocalist, pianist
Active Adelaide and Melbourne, 1866-67

1867: Madame Wienbarg, whose voice when untaxed by extraordinary exertion is musical and tolerably sonorous, sang the last bars of the recitative “And suddenly there was” nearly half a tone above the proper note, causing a thrill of agony to pervade the audience, and unmistakable indications of deprecation to proceed from them. In the soprano sequence to “He shall feed His flock” the vocalist recovered her lost ground, and the plaudits which followed testified to the favourable impression produced by her. She was less fortunate in her delivery of “I know that my Redeemer”, which was again painfully sharp.

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (22 November 1866), 1:; “TOWN HALL, PORT ADELAIDE”, South Australian Register (30 November 1866), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (5 December 1866), 1:; “THE  MUSICAL FESTIVAL”, The Argus (20 April 1867), 6:; [Advertisement], The Argus (25 April 1867), 8:



WEINRITTER, George Mitchell (Michelle)
Singing master, dancing master, composer
Arrived Melbourne, by 1856
Died St Kilda, VIC, 22 February 1873, aged 55

Summary: Weinritter was a music master at the Model Schools in Victoria Parade, Melbourne by April 1856, teaching “English, French, Italian and German singing”, when he also “presided at the pianoforte” at the meeting of the Collingwood Glee Club. Weinritter was still teaching in St. Kilda in January 1873, the year of his death. His (?) widow, who had remarried the chemist and goldminer Mica Smith in 1875, died in 1884.

1857: MR. WALTER BONWICK'S EASY AND PROGRESSIVE SONGS. Five original melodies composed by Mr. Weinritter for the use of the pupils in the various national schools are published in the first number of the above named musical serial, a work which will be of considerable service to singing masters. The words are well chosen, and their selection is creditable to the taste of Messrs. Bonwlck and Weinritter, by whom most of the melodies of the first part have been composed.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (2 April 1856), 3:; “COLLINGWOOD GLEE CLUB”, The Argus (26 April 1856), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (21 February 1857), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 February 1857), 1:; [Review], The Journal of Australasia 3/11 (May 1857), 236:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Argus (1 May 1857), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (4 May 1857), 7:; “MR. WALTER BONWICK’S EASY AND PROGRESSIVE SONGS”, The Argus (11 July 1857), 5:; [Advertisement]: “NEW SONG”, The Argus (29 June 1858), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (30 June 1858), 8:; “Victoria”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 September 1859), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (15 January 1873), 7:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (8 March 1873), 4:; “MARRIED”, The Argus (11 June 1861), 4:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (8 May 1884), 1:; “MARRIED”, The Argus (14 March 1896), 1:

Musical works:
Kangaroo Hunt Polka (Melbourne: Joseph Wilkie; Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1857])
The Pic-Nic Point Schottische (Melbourne: For the author by Joseph Wilkie, [1857])
The Yarra-Yarra Waltzes ([Melbourne: Joseph Wilkie, 1857]) NO COPY IDENTIFIED
The Melbourne Varsovienne (Melbourne: Published for the Author by Joseph Wilkie, [? 1857/58])
Rose of England, fare thee well (song dedicated to His Excellency the Governor; sung by Octavia Hamilton; “composed on the occasion of the Princess Royal’s marriage”) ([Melbourne, Joseph Wilkie, 1858]) NO COPY IDENTIFIED
Thirty-three easy songs (in two or more parts (principally original) compiled for the use of the Australian youth by G.M. Weinritter and W. Bonwick) (Melbourne : W. H. Williams, 1858)
An Original Hymn in Honour of the 99th Anniversary of the birth of Humboldt (words: Dr. Migeod; for the Victorian Liedertafel) [September 1859]

Resources: Report of the Minister of Public Instruction (Melbourne: Victorian Department of public Instruction, 1880), 178, 182

Resources: J. Alex. Allan, The old model school: its history and romance (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1934):




WEIPPERT, Albert Francis
Musician, pianist, piano tuner
Active Launceston, by 1865

WEIPPERT, Emma (Madame) (Mrs. PATEY)
Active VIC, by 1867
Died Melbourne, 25 July 1939, aged 89 years and 10 months

Summary: On the evidence of her mother’s death notice (1889), the singer Emma Weippert was not the daughter of the famous John Weippert, but of (? his son) William Weippert. She had a small but respectable career as a character singer in Melbourne theatres. Albert Weippert, probably her brother, first advertised in Tasmania as a former member of Weippert’s band. Emma's sister Corunna was also in Australia, and married James Joseph Pollard. Their mother, also Corunna, William's widow, died in Melbourne in 1889.

References: “ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF MR. WEIPPERT, QUEEN’S HARPIST”, The Perth Gazette (15 June 1844), 2:; [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (26 September 1865), 5:; “EVANDALE”, The Cornwall Chronicle (7 February 1866), 5:; “INSOLVENT COURT”, Launceston Examiner (16 December 1865), 3:; “THE EMU CONCERT HALL”, The McIvor Times (18 January 1867), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (2 October 1867), 8:; “THE HOSPITAL BENEFIT”, The McIvor Times (24 April 1868), 2:; “POPULAR EVENINGS AT THE MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE”, Bendigo Advertiser (27 May 1868), 2:; [News], The Argus (23 December 1868), 5:; “The Spring Creek Rush”, Warwick Examiner (20 February 1869), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (9 October 1869), 8:; “RE-OPENING OF THE HAYMARKET THEATRE”, The Argus (16 May 1870), 5:; “THEATRE ROYAL. BENEFIT FOR THE DRAMATIC ASSOCIATION”, The Argus (25 December 1871), 6:; “OPENING OF THE NEW BILLIARD ROOMS”, The North Eastern Ensign (13 September 1872), 3:; “THE INFANT MOZART CONCERT”, Launceston Examiner (20 August 1878), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (30 March 1889), 1:; “Mother at Daughter’s Golden Wedding”, The Argus (3 June 1938), 1:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (26 July 1939), 10:; “STAGE ASIDES”, Townsville Daily Bulletin (27 September 1939), 3:

Associations: James Joseph Pollard



Songwriter and composer, teacher of pianoforte and singing, organist
Born Edinburgh, 4 March 1858
Arrived Adelaide, 29 August 1883 (per Sir Herbert Maxwell, from Port Natal, 23 July)
Died Sydney, 25 August 1942


Summary: He was son of German musician Frederick A. L. Weierter (b. Nassau, 1826) who arrived Scotland, c.1850, and Sarah Kay (b. Dundee, 1838). Weierter wrote songs for Williamson’s Sydney Christmas pantomimes Little Red Riding Hood in 1899 (the patriotic song and chorus Children of the Empire survives) and in 1900 for Australis, or the City of Zero.

Obituary: The death took place yesterday of Frederick William Weirter, until recently editor of “The Scottish Australian,” who had had a varied and adventurous career as soldier, musician, and journalist. He was born in Edinburgh more than 80 years ago, where his father, a teacher of music, instructed him in the organ, the piano, and theory. He was studying medicine when, in consequence of a disagreement with his father, he enlisted in the British Army, and saw service with the Hussars in India and South Africa. He fought against the Zulus in 1878. Later he fought with the Boers in a native rebellion. He served with the Natal Carabineers against the Boers in the first Boer War, acting as galloper to Sir Evelyn Wood. In 1883 he came to Australia, arriving in Adelaide in a 220-ton barquentine. His first job was as a church organist at Mount Gambier, but a year later he moved to a similar job in Williamstown, Victoria. His next venture was with a dramatic company to Gippsland. Afterwards he accepted a post as church organist in Sale, where he married. In 1890 he joined the theatrical firm of Williamson and Musgrove as composer, and songs, choruses, ballets, and pantomimes from his pen became favourites of the day. With J. F. Sheridan he toured Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. In the Great War he became a drill instructor. But his later years led him to journalism. He was on the staff of “The Sydney Morning Herald” for some years.

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (30 August 1883), 4:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (3 September 1883), 1:; [Advertisement], Border Watch (31 October 1883), 4:; “MARRIAGE”, Gippsland Times (28 October 1887), 3:; “Tasmanian International Exhibition”, The Mercury (13 May 1895), 3:; “NEW DANCE MUSIC” The Mercury (29 July 1899), 2:; “PATRIOTIC MATINEE”, Evening News (6 December 1899), 4:; “AMUSEMENTS”, Evening News (23 December 1899), 3:; “STAGELAND”, Evening News (15 December 1900), 8s:; “DEATH OF MR. F. W. WEIRTER”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 August 1942), 9:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 August 1942), 14:

Associations: With Leon Caron (co-composer) and Bernard Espinasse (librettist) on J. C. Williamson’s Sydney Christmas pantomimes, Little Red Riding Hood (1899), and Australis, or the City of Zero (1900)



Music-seller, music publisher, printer, stationer
Active Sydney, 1853-67, as “Reading and Wellbank” (with James READING)
Died Glebe, Sydney, 10 December 1867

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 October 1853), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 December 1867), 7:



WELLER, Ann (Miss)
Amateur pianist, vocalist, collector of sheet music
Active Sydney, ? c.1845-53

Resources: SL-NSW: Album of 19th-century printed music, owned by Miss Ann Weller (whose signature appears on various pieces) and was bound by Kern &​ Mader, Hunter St., Sydney [1845-53]:



Professor of Dancing
Active Melbourne, 1852

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (5 November 1852), 3:



WESTON, George
Violinist (“The Australian Paganini”; “The Victorian Paganini”)
Born Victoria
Active by 1862-63 (“aged 6 years”)
Died Melbourne, 3 November 1923, aged 68

Summary: Little George Weston, who made his debut in 1862, went on to become the colony of Victoria's foremost violinists, notably leading the orchestra for the Centennial Exhibition concert seeries under the conductor Frederick Cowen.

Obituary: The death occurred at a private hospital in Melbourne on Saturday of Mr. George Weston of Parkville who (says the Argus) will be remembered as one ef the finest violinists heard in Australia. He was born in Victoria, apeared before the public at the early age of six years and a year later went to England and the Continent to study. He returned to Australia at the age of 23 years. Mr. Weston was leader of the Melbourne Exhibition orchestra in 1880, Sir Frederick Cowen’s orchestn at the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition 1888 and later of the New Zealand Exhibition orchestra. He was also associated with August Wilhelmj, Sir Charles Halle, and Max Vogrich. He leaves a family of of five sons and three daughters, his wife having died eight months ago.


References: [Advertisement], The Argus (7 July 1862), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (16 February 1863), 8:; “NEWS AND NOTES”, The Star (16 October 1863), 2:; “PERSONAL”, The Mercury (8 November 1923), 6:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (10 November 1923), 17: 



Flute player
Active Sydney, 1841-45

WESTROP, William
? Actor-vocalist (4th or King’s Own Regiment)
Active Sydney, 1836

Summary: A man (probably a young soldier or bandsman) named William Westrop played stage roles for entertainments mounted by the King’s Own Regiment (or 4th Regiment of Foot, Australian service 1832-37) in Sydney in July and October 1836. If he stayed on after the regiment departed (as did at least one other soldier Westrop, Zachariah) perhaps he was also the Westrop first listed as a member of the Theatrical Band at the Royal Victoria in February 1841, and regularly thereafter, often designated as flautist. He also played in the band at Coppin’s Saloon in Sydney in June 1844, when it was advertised he would “perform several SOLOS during the evening”.

References:  [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (12 July 1836), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (13 October 1836), 1:; “To the Editor”, The Sydney Monitor (31 March 1837), 3:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (6 February 1841), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 June 1844), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 June 1844), 4:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 April 1845), 2:; [Advertisement], Morning Chronicle (28 May 1845), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 December 1845), 1:; “COMMITTALS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 June 1847), 3:



Baritone vocalist (Lyster Opera Company), teacher of singing
Arrived Australia, by July 1862
Died Manchester, England, 26 September 1870, aged 35

October 1862: The opera season was opened on the 13th instant with Donizetti’s Favorita. There was an overflowing house, and the old favourites were all well received. In noticing; the debut of Mr. Wharton, the Argus says :- “Mr. Wharton was loudly cheered. This was his first appearance in Melbourne, and from the perfect style in which he acquitted himself, we predict that he will be a great favourite with the habitues of the opera. Mr. Wharton is gifted with a splendid baritone voice, full, round, and flexible, and from his performance last night it is apparent that his training has been of a very high order. In the song: “Thou flower beloved” he was encored, but, with excellent taste, the stranger merely came forward and bowed his acknowledgments, without repeating the song. The Age and Herald are equally loud in his praise.

February 1867: The Lyster Opera Company gave a concert on Saturday, in the Masonic-hall, for the benefit of their late fellow artiste, Mr. Henry Wharton, who, being at present physically incapacitated from pursuing his profession, is anxious to return to Europe. It was a great success.

Reference: “THE OPERA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 June 1862), 5:; “OPERA. THE ROSE OF CASTILE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 July 1862), 8:; “VICTORIA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 October 1862), 5:; [News], The Argus (19 February 1867), 5:; “DEATHS”, Empire (27 December 1870), 1:



American pianist, conductor, composer
Arrived Melbourne, April 1858
Departed Sydney, September 1859

Work: Niminy Pym Polka (“Respectfully dedicated to Miss Emma Stanley”) (Melbourne: Joseph Wilkie, [1859])

Summary: Arriving and departing with her, Wheaton was pianist and conductor on actor-singer Emma Stanley’s Australian tour. He was probably the J. B. Wheaton active in the USA in the 1850s and 1860s; e.g.: [News] Brooklyn Eagle (20 August 1857): “THE PIANO CASE. The case of Mr. J. B. Wheaton, a music teacher, who was arrested last week on a complaint of Charles Bunce, who charged him with having stolen a piano worth $150, was called up before Justice Boerum yesterday afternoon, when the complainant failed to appear, and the accused was discharged.”

References: “ATLANTIC THEATRICALS”, The Argus (7 November 1856), 5:; “VICTORIA”, Launceston Examiner (20 April 1858), 3:; “SHIPPING NEWS”, The Courier (30 August 1858), 2:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (2 November 1858), 2:; [Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (17 November 1858), 1:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (2 December 1858), 2:; [Advertisement], “NIMINY PYM POLKA. Just published”, The Argus (17 February 1859), 3:; “CLEARANCES”, Empire (30 September 1859), 4:


Cornet player, theatre musician, bandmaster, basso vocalist
Arrived Melbourne, by 1851
Died Ballarat, 9 February 1878, aged 52


Obituary: The death of Mr. S. T. Wheeler, a native of Oxford, and one of the oldest residents of Ballarat, is recorded by the Star. The deceased was brother to Mr. D. D. Wheeler, of the Hansard staff, who some twenty-two or twenty-three years ago started the Ballarat Trumpeter, and was for some time afterwards attached to the staff of the Ballarat Times, the Star, and other newspapers. Mr. Wheeler had also for some years filled engagements on the local Press as a reporter, but he was more widely known and welcomed as a professional musician. He had an exquisite taste in music, and his love for the art was a passion.

References: “MECHANICS’ INSTITUTION MUSIC CLASS”, The Argus (12 June 1851), 2:; “THE LOVERS OF MUSIC”, The Courier (27 May 1854), 2:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (13 September 1854), 4:; “PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE”, Empire (14 December 1855), 5:; [Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press (14 June 1856), 1:; “MR. WHEELER’S CONCERT”, Bathurst Free Press (25 June 1856), 2:; [Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press (13 September 1856), 1:; “MR. WHEELER’S CONCERT”, Bathrust Free Press (20 September 1856), 2:; [Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press (11 October 1856), 3:; “THE HIPPODROME”, The Courier (14 January 1859), 3:; “SHORT HOURS SOIREE”, The Star (21 November 1861), 2:; “Deaths”, The Argus (12 February 1878), 1:; “VICTORIA”, The Mercury (16 February 1878), 3:



Pianoforte tuner and repairer
Active Tasmania, 1850s

References: : [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (30 November 1853), 3:; “INSOLVENT COURT”, Launceston Examiner (31 January 1856), 3:; [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (19 October 1858), 1:; “MUSIC”, Launceston Examiner (15 February 1859), 2:; “LUNACY”, The Mercury (9 January 1861), 2:



Theatre musicians
Active Sydney, 1837

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


WHITE, Clement
Vocalist, songwriter, composer
Arrived Sydney, 19 December 1853 (per Anglesea, from Plymouth, 3 September, via Melbourne)
Departed ? Melbourne, late 1854
Died London, 1873

Summary: Having retired from a reasonably distinguished career as a principal singer on some of London’s best musical stages, Irish-born tenor and widely published composer and songwriter Clement White sailed for the Australian colonies in 1853. His tour was a subject of interest in the London journal, The Musical World, where White’s friends James W. Davison (1813-1885) was editor and Desmond Ryan (1816-1868) sub-editor. The Musical World reported several times in advance of White’s departure, and again after his arrival in Sydney. Davison’s memoirs, compiled posthumously from his papers by his son Henry (whose mother, Davison’s then wife, was pianist Arabella Goddard), are also the main source for what little is known of “Clem White” biographically. They also print a long letter White sent Davison from Sydney early in 1854, reporting on the voyage and conditions in the colony. Henry Davison mentions White’s departure, along with that of another of Davison’s valued friends, in his father’s memoirs for 1853:

This year Clement White and Jullien left England to seek their fortunes elsewhere. White, ruinous through dissipation and improvidence, set out for Australia to give lectures there, nichts wi “Burns, Dibdin, Moore and the modern song-composers, including Bennett, Macfarren and Davison. Jullien, with pockets unfilled by the production at the Royal Italian Opera of his Pietro il Grande, set out for America, there to be accompanied as secretary, agent or interpreter, by another victim of the nature of things, Bowlby, occasionally of the Times, deeply and unluckily involved in the railway speculations that had excited the public mind […].

[…] Sydney may seem a far cry, a somewhat abrupt swerve and digression. It is made at this point not merely as a reminder that the world of British music was wide, even fifty years ago, or for the sake of a glimpse at the shifts to which a British musician, of sorts, might be put in his search for a livelihood, but for other reasons. Davison made friends with most sorts and conditions of men. If a character seemed to offer some quaintness or originality, he soon detected, appreciated and cultivated it. “I can stand Davison,” observed some man of position, “but not his followers”—this in reference to some “familiar” of the time being — probably Clement White. “Clem” had left England to seek better luck at the Antipodes. From him, early in 1854, Davison received a letter, extracts from which are here made to illustrate the oddities of one of Davison's early intimates, as well as to give body and shape to a figure more than once noticed in these pages, and to let a fresh ray fall on the names of several of Davison's entourage.

From Sydney, January 7, 1854 […] we arrived in Hobson's Bay on December 3, down by the “Yarra Yarra”. Lavenue [sic] is there—here he could do nothing, he is with Ellice [Ellis] at the Cremorne gardens. I did not go ashore, the expense was too great and the flies too strong, we threw out anchor here [Sydney] on Monday morning at half past six, Dec. 19, and after wandering about I found a bed at a public house, where the land-lord fleeced me and the mosquito stung me, at length the change threw me on a sick bed, I was then removed  to a dark back room where the black fly attacked me, closing up my eyes and swelling my lips, at last the ship got room at Walker's Wharf and I was allowed to take away my things, which had been well rifled. On my way home with the man and cart, we were struck by a southerly blister followed by a hot wind, he threw himself down to avoid its blighting influence and I held hard by a gate, after some time he got up and began to drink, I entreated him to proceed, he told me to go to hell and lead the horse myself, I seized the reins and did so through the city without shame or confusion, this one job cost me £2. In three weeks my money was out, entertainments were out of the question, four persons have just now tried them but couldn’t manage to get ten persons into the room (an unsightly one) so I pawned my opera glass and watch for support, I left mine host of the “Public”— (a felon) and am now living at Wooloomooloo [sic] in a quiet cottage. Stone masons have 35/- per day while gentlemen and artists are really starving, ’tis shocking to witness, my pictures will keep me above water for some time, the Penningtons have been kind — but warmhearted souls ! they are poor, he has got me one pupil, a fine young man, I have given him three lessons. [William G. Pennington was treasurer of the School of Arts]

White's first “Vocal Entertainment”, at Sydney’s Mechanics’ School of Arts, on 21 March, was notable for its second half, devoted entirely to songs either newly composed or adapted by White himself to Australian themes. His “SONGS OF AUSTRALIA” included three original and presumably newly written items: The Australian Lover, Down by the Yarra Yarra, and what he described as a National Song, simply called Australia. There were also two songs described as “adapted by C. W.“, from Henry Russell's popular Amercian far west entertainment, The Emigrant’s Progress; the songs in question were Since the weary day (Long parted have we been) and Far, far upon the sea (Far, far upon the sea), White’s adaptation no doubt a topical reworking of Charles Mackey’s original words with new local Australian subject matter and allusions. White repeated The Australian Lover at his last Sydney concert on 19 April, whereafter—unfortunately—none of these lost songs is heard of again (Stephen Marsh was pianist for at least one of White’s Sydney appearances). White sailed for Melbourne in June, and was billed to appear at the Salle de Valentino in July, and in August at the Mechanics’ Institute with the touring actor Emma Brougham, though in the event she was indisposed. His last documented Australian engagement was at the theatre in Geelong, where he was based from September to November. He perhaps sailed eastwards, because his friends at The Musical World next recorded him appearing in Vancouver and Oregon in mid-1857.

References: The Musical World (30 April 1853), 277:; The Musical World (23 July 1853), 460:; The Musical World (27 August 1853), 541:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 December 1853), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 January 1854), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (18 March 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 March 1854), 8:; “VOCAL ENTERTAINMENT”, Empire (22 March 1854), 2:; “MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (23 March 1854), 5:; “MR. CLEMENT WHITE’S ENTERTAINMENT”, Illustrated Sydney News (25 March 1854), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 April 1854), 1:; “VOCAL ENTERTAINMENT”, Empire (7 April 1854), 3:; “MR. CLEMENT WHITE”, The Musical World (17 June 1854), 407:; “Shipping Intelligence”, Empire (26 June 1854), 4:; “SALLE DE VALENTINO”, The Argus (8 July 1854), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (18 August 1854), 8:; “MR. CLEMENT WHITE’S ENTERTAINMENT”, The Argus (22 August 1854), 5:; “THE THEATRE”, Geelong Advertiser (9 November 1854), 4:; “VANCOUVER’S ISLAND”, The Musical World (19 September 1857), 599:; [Henry Davison], Music during the Victorian era: From Mendelssohn to Wagner: being the memoirs of J. W. Davison, forty years music critic of “The Times” (London: W. Reeves, 1912);



WHITE, Edward
Bandsman 3rd Regiment (Buffs)
Arrived Sydney, 29 August 1823 (per Commodore Hayes, from England)

Summary: White (b. c.1785) is believed to have either stayed on in, or returned to Australia; he died in 1837.

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



WHITE, Mr. J. C.
Active Bathurst, 1855

1855: The singing throughout the evening was conducted in a very effective manner by some of the members of the Bathurst singing class, under the direction of Mr. J. C. White, Precentor of St. Stephen’s Church.

References: “THE SYNOD OF AUSTRALIA’S CHURCH EXTENSION SCHEME (From the Bathurst Free Press, October 6)”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 October 1855), 2:



Surgeon-general, first fleet diarist, observer of Indigenous singing and dancing
Born UK, 1856
Arrived Sydney, 26 January 1788
Departed Sydney, 17 December 1794 (per Daedalus)
Died Worthing, England, 20 February 1832

At Botany Bay, March 1788: The women and children kept at some distance, one or two more forward than the rest excepted, who came to the governor for some presents. While he was distributing his gifts, the women danced (an exercise every description of people in this country seem fond of), and threw themselves into some not very decent attitudes. The men in general had their skins smeared all over with grease, or some stinking, oily substance; some wore a small stick or fish-bone, fixed crossways, in the division of the nose, which had a very strange appearance; others were painted in a variety of ways, and had their hair ornamented with the teeth of fish, fastened on by gum, and the skin of the kangaroo. (9th March 1788): The governor, with two long boats manned and armed, returned from Broken Bay, situated a little to the northward, which he had been exploring for several days. It affords good shelter for shipping, and the entrance is bold; it cannot, however, be compared to Port Jackson. While he was there, he saw a great many of the natives, some of whom he thinks he had observed before, either at Botany Bay or in the neighbourhood of Port Jackson. One of the females happened to fall in love with his great coat; and to obtain it she used a vareity of means. First, she danced, and played a number of antic tricks; but, finding this mode ineffectual, she had recourse to tears, which she shed plentifully. This expedient not answering, she ceased from weeping, and appeared as cheerful as any of the party around her. From this little incident it may be seen that they are not a people devoid of art. (29 July 1788): About ten or twenty yards from the shore, among the long grass, in the shallow water, he struck and took with his fish-gig several good fish; an acquisition to which, at this season of the year, it being cold and wet, we were unequal […] While they were thus employed, one of the gentlemen with me sung some songs; and when he had done, the females in the canoes either sung one of their own songs, or imitated him, in which they succeeded beyond conception. Any thing spoken by us they most accurately recited, and this in a manner of which we fell greatly short in our attempts to repeat their language after them. While we were thus amicably engaged, all on a sudden they paddled away from us. On looking about to discover the cause, we perceived the gunner of the Supply at some little distance, with a gun in his hand, an instrument of death, against which they entertain an insuperable aversion. As soon as I discovered him, I called to him to stay where he was, and not make a nearer approach; or, if he did, to lay down his gun. The latter request he immediately complied with; and when the natives saw him unarmed they shewed no further fear, but, returning to their employment, continued alternately to sing songs and to mimic the gentlemen who accompanied me.”

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

Resources: Rex Rienits, White, John (1756-1832), Australian Dictionary of Biography 2 (1967)



WHITE, Mr. M. W. (also Mr W.)
Tenor vocalist, banjoist, musical director (White’s Serenaders; Rainer’s Minstrels)
Arrived Sydney, 19 September 1852 (per Speed, from San Francisco, 28 July)

1860: SIR, Your correspondent Veritas has in his communication of to-day accused me of blasphemy, in singing my song of A Hard Road to Travel over Jordan. Now, Sir, will your correspondent be kind enough in some future contribution to define the word blasphemy. Was Milton guilty of blasphemy when he wrote “Paradise Lost?” Was Byron guilty of blasphemy when he wrote “Cain a Mystery?” Am I guilty of blasphemy, when, in the pursuit of my profession, which is to delineate the peculiarities of the negroes of the Southern States, I give verbatim et literatim a song I heard sung by a slave, in a slave gaol in Richmond, Virginia? […] I am. Sir, yours, &c.. M. W. WHITE. Star Hotel, 19th March.

References: “ARRIVALS”, The Maitland Mercury (25 September 1852), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 November 1852), 3:; [Advertisement], The Courier (14 April 1853), 3:; “RAINER’S ETHIOPIAN SERENADERS” and “ELECTRO-BIOLOGY”, The Courier (25 April 1853), 3:; “BEN BOLT, AS SUNG BY MR. M. W. WHITE, OF  RAINER’S ETHIOPIAN SERENADERS”, The Cornwall Chronicle (18 June 1853), 2s:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (19 June 1857), 1:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (5 March 1858), 3:; “STAR CONCERT HALL”, The Star (20 December 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (11 February 1859), 3: ; “THE SINGING AT THE STAR HOTEL. To the Editor”, The Star (21 March 1860), 3:

Related publications: Ben Bolt (as sung by M. W. White of Rainer’s Minstrels, arranged by J. C. Rainer) (Sydney: H. Marsh and Co., [185?])



WHITE, Richard Baxter

Violinist, pianist, Professor of Music
Born Adelaide, 26 August 1839
Died St Vincent's Gulf, probably by 4 July 1872

Summary: Son of George White of Adelaide (proprietor of White's Rooms, a concert venue) and a pupil of Mrs. Murray and Spencer Wallace, at 13 he embarked for London where he was the first native Australian colonist to study at the Royal Academy of Music. He had returned to Adelaide by 1859, when he advertised as a professor of music. He was leader of the Philharmonic Society, directed the choir of the Catholic Cathedral and also played for Lyster's Opera Company. He disappared in St Vincent's Gulf in July 1872, presumed drowned. He reportedly (1885) played a Ruggerius violin, later acquired by George Hubert Hall.

1852: Master R. B. White: Among the passengers to England, per A. R. M. S. N. Co.’s Steamer Sydney, is Master Richard Baxter White, (son of Mr. George White, if King William-street), who is so favourably known to the South Australian public, through his remarkable musical gifts and acquirements. Master White has only just completed his 13th year, but his performances as a pianist ind violinist are admirable, and give bright promise of future excellence in a profession, to the cultivation of which be seems thoroughly devoted. His voyage to England is undertaken with the intention of his becoming a pupil at the Royal Academy of Mnsic, and as he embarks under the auspices of John Hart, Esq., M.L.C., and is accom panied by a kind mother, his prospects may be regarded as fair and promising in no ordinary degree. Master White is a native of South Australia, and seems to possess a teachable disposition as well as natural capabilities. We confidently hope he will prove a credit to his native land, and trust he will return to it with all the improvements and graces which are attainable in a school of undoubted excellence. Those who have had opportunities of witnessing the performances of Master White, will have felt anxious, as we have done, as to his opportunities for practice, on both instruments during tbe voyage, and will, therefore, be pleased to hear that a good piano, on board the Sydney, will be as available to him as [is] his own fine-toned violin, which is the more immediate companion of his voyage. We cannot conclude this notice without referring to those who so successfully undertook the musical instruction of this promising youth. His acquirements as a pianist may be solely attributed to the assiduous culture of Mrs. Murray, of Adelaide, aad for his skill as a violinist the youthful aspirant for musical fame will certainly have to remember with gratitude, although he cannot requite, the  care of his able instructor, the late Mr. [S. W.] Wallace, formerly musical professor of this city, and a brother of the still more distinpusbed English professor. 

References: [Advertisement]: “MR. FREDERIC ELLARD”, South Australian Register (27 October 1851), 2:; “MASTER R. B. WHITE“, South Australian Register (16 December 1852), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (17 February 1858), 1:; “SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY”, South Australian Advertiser (31 December 1858), 2:; [Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (21 January 1859), 1:; [News]: “ADELAIDE, THURSDAY“, The Argus (5 July 1872), 5:; “MR. R. B. WHITE“, South Australian Register (13 July 1872), 3:; [News], The South Australian Advertiser (29 May 1885), 4-5:; “DEATH OF TWO OLD COLONISTS“, South Australian Register (3 September 1888), 2s:; “OLD-TIME MEMORIES”, South Australian Register (10 August 1891), 6:



Professor of Music, pianoforte tuner
Active Gippsland, 1862

References: [Advertisement], Gippsland Times (14 February 1862), 3:



WHITE, Mr. W. H.
Violinist (New York Serenaders)
Active Hobart, 1851

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.

Hobart, November 1851: Mr. White, who, we believe, possesses the absorbing but quiet enthusiasm for music, is a violinist of high order. His play is not less remarkable for extraordinary volume and power, than for sweetness, and oiliness of touch.

References: [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (1 March 1851), 133:; “THE SERENADERS”, Colonial Times (1 April 1851), 2:; “DEPARTURES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 October 1851), 2:; “THE NEW YORK SERENADERS”, The Courier (15 November 1851), 3:



Tenor vocalist
Active Sydney, 1842

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



Former drum major (28th Regiment)
Active Sydney, 1836

References: [News], The Sydney Herald (6 October 1836), 2: 



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

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




Amateur vocalist, stock agent, amateur jockey, author
Arrived Hobart, 4 May 1826 (per Albion, from Falmouth, 8 December 1825)
Departed Hobart, September 1827 (per Admiral Cockburn, for England)

1826: HOBART TOWN CONCERT […] The Songs, “Death of Nelson” [Braham] and “In this Cottage” [“Twas in the green forest”, E. Knight], were sung by Mr. Widowson.

1827: The evening was spent with the greatest harmony and conviviality; and the party were delighted with some very excellent songs given by Messrs. Widowson and Cathcart.

1827: In addition to the persons we last week noticed as going home by the Admiral Cockburn, we have to mention […] Mr. Widowson, late one of the agents of the Horse Breeding Company, also goes home by the above vessel. Should Mr. W. return to the Colony, which we understand is his intention, we trust he will be more fortunate, than he has been; having during his stay among us, suffered severely by two shipwrecks, and on one occasion nearly lost his life.

References: “TASMANIA”, The Sydney Gazette (24 May 1826), 2:; “MELANCHOLY AND DISASTROUS SHIPWRECK”, Hobart Town Gazette (22 July 1826), 2:; “Hobart Town Concert”, Colonial Times (29 September 1826), 3:; “HOBART TOWN CONCERTS”, Hobart Town Gazette (7 October 1826), 4:; “Tasmanian Turf Meeting”, Colonial Times (13 April 1827), 4:; “The Natives”, Colonial Times (6 July 1827), 4:; “Dinner to Captain Cooling”, Colonial Times (17 August 1827), 3:; [News], Colonail Times (14 September 1827), 2:; “THE LAST OF MR. WIDOWSON’S BOOK”, The Hobart Town Courier (25 July 1829), 4:

Works: Henry Widowson, Present state of Van Diemen’s Land (comprising an account of its agricultural capabilities, with observations on the present state of farming, &c. &c. pursued in that colony: and other important matters connected with emigration) (London: S. Robinson, 1829)



WIEGAND, Auguste
Organist, composer
Born Liege, 16 October 1849
Arrived Sydney, 22 June 1891 (per Orizaba)
Departed Adelaide, July 1900 (per Armand Behic)
Died Oswego, NY, USA, May 1904

Obituary: “Le Matin,” Anvers, of May 31, records the death of Auguste Wiegand, an event stated as having Just taken place at Oswego, U.S.A. The Antwerp daily gives a sketch of the distinguished organist’s career, and mentions amongst other things that he was elected to play at the opening of “our universal exhibition” of 1887. The news of M. Wiegand’s decease will be received with especial regret in Sydney, where the talented player will long be remembered as the first city organist, a post he filled from 1891 to 1900. Chevalier Wiegand, who was one of the most brilliant exponents of the French school of organ playing of the present generation, gave four farewell recitals to densely crowded audiences at the end of his long term of office, making his final appearance at the Town Hall on July 7, 1900. His afternoon recitals were largely classic, almost always including a Mendelssohn sonata and a Bach fugue in each programme, but the real trend of his genius was towards pieces of the romantic and popular style. In his special department there can be no doubt that he had acquired a star position in the organ world of Europe, and that his fame was justly founded on his colossal executive power and in his feeling for tender colouring in his tone-combinations. Auguste Wiegand was born at Liege, Belgium, on October 16, 1849, and at the age of seven years was organist of St. Giles' Church in that city. He entered the Royal Conservatorium, Liege, at the age of 10 years, and a long list of student distinctions was crowned by the gold medal for piano and the gold medal for organ in 1869. For six years he was a professor at the Liege Conservatorium, after which a special Government bursary enabled him to study at Brussels under Alphonse Mailly, organist to the King of the Belgians. The Belgian Government then bestowed on him the coveted appointment of Member of the Jury of the organ competitions. From that time M. Wiegand became noted throughout France and England as a concert organist, playing at the Paris, Antwerp, and other exhibitions, and at all the principal churches and public halls of the United Kingdom. During his residence in Sydney M. Wiegand was made an officier de l’Academie des Beaux Arts by the French Republic (1898), and in 1900 a Chevalier de l’Ordre Royal de Mérite de Leopold (Belgium). At the time of his death M. Wiegand was attached to the Church of St. Paul, Oswego (N.Y.), at a salary of £600 a year. He was to have played the gigantic new organ at the St. Louis Exhibition, and the French paper, referring to this, suggests that he died before his appearance there. He leaves a widow and several children.

References: “MR. AUGUSTE WIEGAND”, The Sydney Morning Herald (6 March 1891), 4:; “THE CITY ORGANIST OF SYDNEY. ARRIVAL OF AUGUSTE WIEGAND”, Freeman’s Journal (27 June 1891), 19:; “CHEVALIER WEIGAND’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (25 June 1900), 3:; “M. WIEGAND’S DEPARTURE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 July 1900), 3:; “CHEVALIER WIEGAND”, Evening News (17 October 1900), 7:; “DEATH OF M. WIEGAND”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 July 1904), 5:

Resources:; biography (1894):; Robert Ampt, “The City of Sydney Organists”:



Violinist (“The Australian Paganini”)
Born Fitzroy, VIC, 22 December 1865
Died Adelaide, 10 September 1885, aged 19 (son of Tom Weiland, clown)

References: “BIRTHS”, The Argus (6 January 1866), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 February 1877), 8:; [News], The South Australian Advertiser (17 September 1885), 4:; [News], South Australian Register (21 September 1885), 1s:



Sergeant-bandmaster (73rd Regiment)
Born Bridport, Dorset, England, 1779
Arrived Australia 1803
Died Hobart, before 17 July 1811

WIGGINS, Thomas (senior)
Violin maker Born at sea (per Calcutta, enroute for VDL), 11 June 1803
Died Sorrell, TAS, 27 September 1884, aged 81

WIGGINS, Thomas (junior)
Violin maker
Born Sorrell, TAS, 13 October 1842
Died 1914

References: “LIST OF UNCLAIMED LETTERS”, Launceston Examiner (3 May 1830), 1:; “FROM THE HOBART TOWN GAZETTE”, Launceston Advertiser (30 June 1836), 4: “Deaths”, The Mercury (29 September 1884), 1:; “OBITUARY”, The Mercury (12 October 1899), 2:

Resources: Freda Gray, “Music of the early settlements of the 1800s”, Papers and Proceedings (Tasmanian Historical Research Association) 43/2 (June 1996), 59-62:;;; Kath Lonergan, The Wiggins of Wiggins Town, Van Diemen’s Land : the family of Colonial Marine Samuel Wiggins, circa 1750 to 2003; Pennington family history; the violin makers; Wiggins family stories; more Wiggins but not ours (New Town: K. Lonergan, 2003):; Allan Coggins, Violin and Bow Makers of Australia (online):



Born Usingen, Germany, 21 September 1845
Toured Australia, June 1881-June 1882
Died London, 22 January 1908


References: “THE CALIFORNIAN MAIL. AUCKLAND”, The Argus (27 June 1881), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 June 1881), 2:; “THE WILHEMMJ CONCERTS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 July 1881), 5:; [News], South Australian Register (7 June 1882), 7:; “WHAT’S IN A NAME”, The Mercury (17 July 1884), 2s:; “AUGUSTE WILHELMJ. GREAT VIOLINIST DEAD”, The Argus (27 January 1908), 5:



WILKES, William Charles
Journalist, newspaper editor, convict, songwriter
Born Surrey, England, c.1816
Arrived NSW, 21 November 1833 (convict per Neva)
Died Sydney, 13 May 1873

Summary: At the opening on 6 December 1847 of the Loyal Brisbane Lodge of the Australian Supreme Grand Lodge of The Independent Order of the Odd Fellows, Thomas Dowse first sang the song “The Merry Boys of Brisbane” written for the occasion by William Wilkes.

1892 (Bartley, Opals and agates, 158-59): Wm. Wilkes edited the “Courier” newspaper, in Brisbane, before and after the Crimean war. He was a racy humorist, and a bit of a democrat as well. The following song, called “The Merry Boys of Brisbane,” to the fine old “romping” air of “Loudon’s Bonny Woods and Braes,” was often sung by him on festive occasions, and, it is needless to state, that he was, also, the writer of it: — “Cares we have, many / But we care not for any / While our pockets bear a penny, / We're the merry boys of Brisbane …”

References: “MORETON BAY. ODD FELLOWSHIP”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 December 1848), 3:; “OLD TIMES. THE SETTLEMENT”, The Queenslander (21 August 1869), 2:

Resources: Nehemiah Bartley, Opals and agates; or, Scenes under the Southern Cross and the Magelhans: being memories of fifty years of Australia and Polynesia (Brisbane: Gordon and Gotch, 1892), 158-59:; Rosilyn Baxter, Wilkes, William Charles (1816–1873), Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976)



WILKIE, Charles
Concertina player, music retailer
Active Melbourne, from October 1852
Died Melbourne, 17 December 1858, aged 27

Summary: Brother of Joseph Wilkie, Charles made his local debut in October 1852. By early 1853 he was advertising concerts in “Charles Wilkies' Cider Cellars“ at the Royal Hotel, with co-artists including John Gregg, Edward Salamon, and Andrew Moore. But in May 1853 he announced suddenly that he was “retiring from Professional Life, and is not connected with any concerts”. In mid-1856, Wilkie had taken over William Clarke’s Music Warehouse at 67 Collins-street, but this venture seems to have lasted only a few months. His death in December 1858 reportedly followed on a long and severe illness.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (13 October 1852), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (14 October 1852), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (23 November 1852), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 December 1852), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (3 February 1853), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (2 May 1853), 12:; [Advertisement], The Argus (23 May 1853), 11:;  [Advertisement], The Argus (18 June 1856), 7:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (20 December 1858), 4:



WILKIE, Joseph
Musicseller, music publisher, composer, piano tuner, member of parliament
Arrived Melbourne, 16 January 1850 (per Minerva, via Adelaide)
Departed Melbourne, 1871
Died Chelsea, London, 10 December 1875

Summary: Recently arrived in Melbourne, Joseph Wilkie, “late of Messrs. Broadwood and Sons, piano manufacturers”, London, began advertising as a piano tuner and regulator in February 1850. A reference from Broadwood attested that Wiklie, “who was brought up in our Establishment, is an excellent Tuner, and thoroughly acquainted with the mechanism of pianofortes.” By May he had opened his own “Music and Pianoforte Saloon, Collins-street”, offering “the inhabitants of Port Phillip […]his immense and well-selected STOCK OF MUSIC, including all the most popular and fashionable Polkas, quadrilles, waltzes, mazurkas, galops, Duetts, Italian, German, French, English, and Scotch songs, Fantasias and overtures for the pianoforte, Negro melodies, instruction books, musical dictionaries, &c. Several brilliant toned new Pianofortes, by Broadwood and Sons, and others. Fine old Italian violins, flageolets, fifes, and flutes of all descriptions, cornopeans, accordions, and everything connected with the Music Trade.” During the Victorian Separation celebrations, in November 1850, the Argus recorded Wilkie’s contribution to the festivities: “J. Wilkie, music warehouse.—A transparency representing a lyre, and the words “Rejoice with music for Separation”. A band played during the evening, and a large crowd collected in front of the shop.”  First performed at the Separation Ball, Melbourne, November 1850, Joseph Wilkie’s The Separation Polka was published, by himself, in December. In December, too, Wilkie also gave a concert, featuring “two celebrated Lady Vocalists (who have just arrived from London)”, Mrs. Testar and Mrs Rivers, at which his polka was again played. Other examples of his publishing output are listed below. Wilkie formed a loose publishing partnership with Stephen Marsh in 1859, issuing several prints with Henry Marsh in Sydney, and later with Elvy in Sydney only as “Wilkie, Elvy and Co” (1863-65). In August 1862 Wilkie admitted J. C. Webster as managing partner, trading as “Wilkie, Webster and Co.”, and in 1869 George Allan became a third partner. Wilkie served for many years as an elected member of the Victorian legislature.  After failing at his last election attempt, in March 1871 reports revealed that Wilkie had “become insane, requiring to be confined to an asylum”. His wife took him to England for care. He was wrongly reported dead in 1872, but died insane in London in December 1875, predeceased by his partner Webster.

References: “Shipping Intelligence”, The Argus (17 January 1850), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (4 February 1850), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (21 May 1850), 1:; “SEPARATION REJOICINGS”, The Argus (19 November 1850), 1s:; [Advertisement], The Argus (28 November 1850), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (5 December 1850), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (17 December 1850), 2:; “CONCERT”, The Argus (18 December 1850), 1s:; [Advertisement], The Argus (18 December 1850), 1:; “To the Editor […] THE CONCERT AND THE CRITICS”, The Argus (24 December 1850), 4:; “PORT PHILLIP”, Colonial Times (24 December 1850), 3:; “HAM’S ILLUSTRATED AUSTRALIAN MAGAZINE”, The Courier (11 February 1851), 3: (see also Godfrey Charles Mundy, Our Antipodes, or, Residence and Rambles in the Australasian Colonies, with a Glimpse of the Goldfields, Volume 3 (2nd edn; London: Richard Bentley, 1852), 283:; “CONCERT”, The Argus (27 February 1851), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (14 March 1851), 3:; “THE GALLERIES”, The Argus (18 October 1854), 5:; “THE SCHOMBERG. To the Editor”, The Argus (1 March 1856), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (29 August 1862), 8:; [News], The Argus (1 August 1870), 4:; [News], The Argus (4 March 1871), 5:; [News], The Argus (20 March 1871), 4:; [News], The Argus (9 June 1871), 4:; [News], The Argus (23 November 1872), 5:; “DEATHS” The Argus (16 December 1875), 1:

Sample publications:
The Victoria Polka (by H. St. Mordel Williams) (Melbourne: Joseph Wilkie, [1854])
The Morning Light Polka (“Composed on the Voyage to Melbourne”; by W. B. Wray) (Melbourne: Joseph Wilkie, [1857])
Il Balen; or the Tempest of the Heart (from the opera of Il Trovatore, with English words, composed by Signor Verdi (Melbourne: Joseph Wilkie, 1859)
The Captive’s Child (ballad by Charles S. Packer) (Sydney: H. Marsh; Melbourne: S. H. Marsh &​ Joseph Wilkie, [1859])
The life of Handel: a sketch (compiled by Charles Elsasser) (Melbourne: Joseph Wilkie, [1859])
Beauty, sweet beauty bright (words; C. E. Gibbs; composed by G. O. Rutter) (Melbourne: Joseph Wilkie, [18??])
Home! Sweet Home (popular ballad; words by J. H. Payne; music by Sir Henry Bishop) (Melbourne: Joseph Wilkie, [18??])
The Musical Gem […] Volume V (“containing the choicest and most appropriate airs, easily and carefully arranged, for the violin, flute, sax horn ... etc., etc. […]) (Melbourne; J. Wilkie, [186-])     
The Song of Freedom (a national song! by I. Nathan; “Composed and, with every sense of loyalty, respectfully dedicated to Prince Alfred Ernest Albert, Lieutenant in the British Navy“) (Sydney: Wilkie, Elvy and Co.; Melbourne: Wilkie, Webster &​ Co.; [1862])
O paradise (Hymn, arranged and partly composed by George B. Allen) (Melbourne: Wilkie, Webster, &​ Allan., [1871])


WILKINS, William
Cryer (Criminal Court)
Active Sydney, 1820

References: “GOVERNMENT GENERAL ORDERS”, The Sydney Gazette (17 February 1821), 1s: “Mr. William Wilkins, Cryer Criminal Court, Salary from 6th September to 31st December [1820] – 8/6/8.”



WILKINS, William
Choirmaster, amateur vocalist, school teacher (master of the Model School), music educator
Born London, 16 January 1827
Arrived Sydney, by January 1851
Died Guildford, NSW, 7 (?10) November 1892

NLA persistent identifier:

Summary: Wilkins took over the elementary class of the new St. Mary’s Choral Society in September 1851, while Isaac Nathan continued to direct the main choir. But by February 1852, Wilkins had taken over as conductor of the main choir, with William Sigmont as organist. He was involved in the establishment of a Sydney Vocal Harmonic Society in November 1858.

1852: [...] Possessing then, as our growing population decidedly do, tastes and capabilities for an art so fraught with moral benefits, so directly bearing on the domestic character of a people, and where the necessary means and appliances are easily and at once available, we think the National Education authorities should as speedily as possible, in country districts at all events, add to their course a liberal system of tuition in instrumental music, as well as in a higher class of vocalisation than that which at present obtains. With the acknowledged abilities as a musician of Mr. Wilkins, the director of the Model School, we think this might be forthwith practicable. We can imagine a people of Anglo-Saxon descent, reared amid the shadows, the solitude, and the sylvan vastness of our inland territory, beneath the magnificence of southern constellations, and with a musical education, which should in time give birth to a national music of their own, characterised by the grandeur and the loneliness below, and the hopeful glory above. And this people, we can imagine, gradually and insensibly to receive from these musical tastes and acquirements of theirs, a now clement of character composed of cheerful earnestness and sturdy self-reliance.

ADB: Wilkins was also an executive member of the Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts in the 1850s. He was an active member of the Wesleyan York Street chapel and choirmaster until 1869. Interested in music and a talented singer, in 1854 he was a member of the Sydney Philharmonic Society.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 September 1851), 1:; “ST. MARY’S CHORAL SOCIETY”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (28 February 1852), 2:; “MUSICAL EDUCATION IN AUSTRALIA”, Empire (9 March 1852), 2:; “ST. MARY’S CHORAL SOCIETY”, Empire (14 September 1852), 2:; “ST. MARY’S CHORAL SOCIETY”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (18 September 1852), 2:; “THE SYDNEY VOCAL HARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 November 1858), 6:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 April 1859), 1:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 November 1892), 7:; “DEATH OF MR. W. WILKINS”, Freeman’s Journal (19 November 1892), 8:

Resources: Cliff Turney, Wilkins, William (1827-1892), Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976)



Teacher of Pianoforte, Harmonium, Organ and Singing (of the Societies’ Concerts, Dublin)
WILKINSON, Mrs. (late Miss A. J. BYRNE)
Teacher of Italian Singing and Pianoforte (Principal Contralto to the Antient and Madrigal Societies, Dublin)
Arrived Melbourne, 1855-56

Reference: [Advertisement], The Argus (13 November 1855), 6:; [Advertisement], The Argus (27 February 1856), 7:



Active, Sydney 1810

Summary: At the Subsciber’s Ball in Sydney in October 1810, a Mr Williams, one of the stewards, gave a Song, prepared for the festive occasion sung to the tune “To Anachreon in Heaven”.

References: “THE SUBSCRIBERS’ BALL”, The Sydney Gazette (20 October 1810), 2:



Master of the Band of the 63rd Regiment
Active Western Australia, May-June 1830
Arrived Hobart by October 1830
? Departed late 1833 (for India)

Summary: The 63rd regiment arrived in Tasmania to replace the 40th gradually during 1829, in a period of martial law decreed by the governor Arthur in response to the ongoing warfare between  settlers and aboriginal inhabitants. Bandmaster Joseph Reichenberg of the 40th resigned and stayed on in Tasmania, while his role as chief local military bandmaster was taken over by Mr. Williams, master of the band of the 63rd. The regimental headquarters of the 63rd arrived in Hobart in March 1830, however in May and June, the band was apparently still in Western Australia; it is recorded as having performed for the Queen’s Birthday and the first anniversary celebrations of the colony. The band was in Hobart by October, however, when the Colonial Times noted: “A Correspondent has noticed to us ‘that some of the band boys of the 63d regiment, have but little to do at the present crisis'.“ The band nevertheless played for the government celebrations of the accession of William IV in December. Williams and 3 of his bandsmen assisted John Philip Deane in a concert given in September 1831. At the government's Queen's Birthday celebrations in Hobart in 1832, the Courier noted “the striking up at intervals of the band of the 63rd, brought to such perfection since its arrival under the Bandmaster, Mr. Williams“;  and by mid-1833 the Courier was listing him among Hobart’s musical “old favorites … Messrs. Reichenberg, Deane, Russel, Marshall, Williams, of the 63d.” According to a much later recollection (1917): “One of our oldest inhabitants remembers the band of the 63rd Regiment (now 1st Manchester) about the year 1828 [sic]. Williams was band-master. The instruments used at that period were principally the key-bugle and the serpent (bass). There was a band sergeant named Cassidy, who was an expert on the former; he was often seen taking his rambles around the town playing his bugle. The 63rd left Tasmania in December, 1833.”

References: [News], Colonial Times (22 October 1830), 2:; [News], Colonial Times (10 December 1830), 2:; [Advertisement]: “STATEMENT OF COSTS OF CONCERT”, Colonial Times (28 September 1831), 1:;  [News], The Hobart Town Courier (3 March 1832), 2:; “Van Diemen’s Land News”, The Sydney Gazette (13 March 1832), 3:; [News], Colonial Times (20 November 1832), 2:; [News], The Hobart Town Courier (5 July 1833), 2:; “DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE”, The Hobart Town Magazine 2 (reprinted 1834), 163:; “MUSICAL DAY, HISTORY OF THE HOBART BANDS. SOME INTERESTING NOTES”, The Mercury (30 August 1917), 2:

Bibliography: Manning Clark, A history of Australia: New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land, 1822-1838 (Melbourne University Press, 1968), 269; Pamela Statham-Drew, James Stirling: admiral and founding governor of Western Australia (University of Western Australia Press, 2003), 174, 179


Organ tuner
Active Hobart, 1846

Summary:  Probably John Williams, pianoforte maker, below.

References: “ST DAVID’S CHURCH, HOBART TOWN”, The Courier (4 February 1846), 2:



Violinist, vocalist, actor
Active Maitland, 1847

(February, 1847): Between the pieces, Mr. Williams sang “Auld Robin Gray”, and “John Anderson my Jo”; and in both songs was loudly applauded.

(April, 1847): In [Belfield’s farce] “Australian Assurance”, Williams, as Tim Murphy, kept the house in a constant roar […] Mr. Williams’s benefit is fixed for Tuesday next, on which occasion Mrs. Arabin will make her second debut before a Singleton audience in the character of Fortunato Falcone, the Brigand’s Son, in which she will introduce the admired ballad Some love to roam, accompanied on the violin by Mr. Williams.

References: “THE THEATRE”, The Maitland Mercury (6 February 1847), 2:; “THE THEATRE”, The Maitland Mercury (24 April 1847), 2:



Vocalist, oratorio and psalmody singer, teacher of sacred music
? Arrived Hobart, 1834 (convict per William Metcalf, from England, 23 May 1834)
Active Hobart 1838-39

Summary: A Daniel Williams was convicted at Middlesex for a term of 7 years on 26 November 1833. In August 1838, a Daniel Williams made a complaint against a man who had threatened him “if he would come out, he would kick him, and spoil his singing. As singing was part of his profession, and defendant being a large man, and himself a little one, he feared he might enforce his threat, and therefore prayed for justice.” On the Queen’s Birthday in May 1839, the convict Daniel Williams was granted a ticket of leave, and, his sentence having expired on 26 November 1840, his certificate of freedom.  In December 1839, the singer Williams advertised: “Sacred Music. DANIEL WILLIAMS, Leader of Music in St. Andrew’s Church, and Member of the Liverpool Festival Choral Society, most respectfully begs leave to acquaint his friends and the public of Hobart Town, that he intends to open a School or Academy of Sacred Music, at his house, No. 31, Elizabeth-street, so soon as an adequate number of Pupils assemble, of which due notice will be given in a future advertisement. He trusts from his experience in Oratorio Singing and Psalmody, that he is competent to instruct Pupils in the delightful science of Sacred Music …”

References: “Hobart Town Police Report”, Colonial Times (14 August 1838), 7:; “Tickets of Leave”, The Hobart Town Courier (31 May 1839), 2:; “GOVERNMENT NOTICE. No. 276”, The Courier (3 November 1840), 2:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (31 December 1839), 2:; [Advertisement], The Courier (22 December 1840), 3:


WILLIAMS, H. St. Murdel
Active Melbourne, 1854

Work: The Victoria Polka (“composed in honor of the Paris Exhibition”) (Melbourne: Joseph Wilkie, [1854])

Note: Nothing further for certain is known about this musician. A “Mordel H. S.” appears as no 598 in a list of unclaimed letters in the Victorian Government Gazette (3 July 1855), 1560. However, a “Mr. St. Mordel” advertised as a musician in 1874.

References: “THE GALLERIES”, The Argus (18 October 1854), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (19 January 1855), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (24 August 1874), 1:


WILLIAMS, Horatio W.
Vocalist, pianist
Active Sydney, January 1840

References: “News and Rumours of the Day”, Australasian Chronicle (3 January 1840), 1:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (7 January 1840), 1:; “MR. WILLIAMS’ CONCERT”, Australasian Chronicle (14 January 1840), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 July 1844), 3:



Harpist, “Blind harper”
Active Ballarat, 1863

 Summary: With harpist Thomas Llewellyn and the Sebastopol Welsh Choir, Williams, “the blind harper from Williamstown”, elsewhere described as being from Ballarat, participated in a Welsh Eisteddfod in Ballarat in December 1863. Williams, as judge, awarded Thomas the 10 pound harp prize, and the two played together the Caerphili March “with wonderful effect”.

References: “NEWS AND NOTES”, The Star (26 December 1863), 2:; “THE WELSH EISTEDDFOD”, The Star (30 December 1863), 4:; “SOCIAL”, The Star (25 January 1864), 1s:; “VICTORIA”, The Brisbane Courier (11 January 1865), 2:; “CELEBRATIONS OF ST. DAVID’S DAY”, The Australian News for Home Readers (18 March 1865), 6:



Pianoforte Maker
Arrived Hobart, 17 April 1840 (per Majestic, from Liverpool, 18 November 1839)
Died Hobart, 30 January 1865, aged 60

Summary: Williams first advertised as a “Pianoforte-maker (from Broadwood’s, London) … Ten years’ experience in the first house in London …” in Hobart on the day of his landing, 17 April 1840. By May 1843, he was selling pianos “all of colonial produce (except the strings and the brass), which he warrants to be equal in tone and more durable than any imported from England”, and by January 1845, it was reported: “Mr. Williams, the celebrated pianoforte-maker or Hobart Town, has succeeded in manufacturing several first-rate instruments wholly from colonial material: they are represented to be exact copies of Broadwood’s, and equally good, which Mr. Williams sells considerably below London prices”. He continued to trade into the 1860s.

References: “Shipping Intelligence”, The Hobart Town Courier (24 April 1840), 4:; [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (17 April 1840), 1:; [Advertisement], The Courier (6 October 1840), 1:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (31 May 1842), 1:; “PIANO FORTE MANUFACTURE”, Colonial Times (23 May 1843), 3:; [Advertisement], The Courier (29 October 1844), 1:; “COLONIAL-MADE PIANOFORTES”, The Cornwall Chronicle (29 January 1845), 3:; “ROBBERY DETECTED”, Colonial Times (18 December 1846), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Cornwall Chronicle (1 February 1865), 4:



Singer, songwriter, composer
Active Hobart, 1861

1861: Original songs written for the entertainment; the music composed by Mr. J. M. Williams PANORAMA OF THE OVERLAND ROUTE […] Mr. Edward Macready has been employed for some time past in the preparation of an entertainment illustrative of the Overland Route. It will comprise a series of paintings introducing all the places of note at which the mail stops, with incidental scenes and appropriate songs. Mr. Macready will undertake the descriptive portion of the entertainment, and the songs will be sung by Mr. J. M. Williams, who is also the composer of the music. It is probable that the entertainment will be ready at an early period.

References: “THE OVERLAND ROUTE”, The Mercury (2 September 1861), 2:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (6 September 1861), 1:



Active Melbourne, October 1852

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (13 October 1852), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (14 October 1852), 5:



Precentor, teacher of psalmody
Active Lake Learmouth, until 1860

1860: Mr. R. B. Williams, of Lake Learmouth, being about to leave the district for Smeaton, it has occurred to a number of his friends there that they should invite him to a social entertainment before he goes […] As secretary for the Agricultural Society, precentor and teacher of psalmody in the Presbyterian Church, and in other ways, Mr. Williams has become well known to the community in the farming dis tricts, and on all sides he is universally esteemed. His nature prevents the possibility of his making any enemies. He and his estimable wife will be long remembered in the community, and especially in the congregation of which he has been a highly worthy and useful member.

References: “News and Notes”, The Star (4 February 1860), 2:



Wandering musician
Active Tasmania, 1859

References: “POLICE COURT”, The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (1 November 1859), 3: 



WILLIAMS, William Henry
Tenor vocalist, music printer and publisher
Active Melbourne, by 1853

Summary: Williams was honorary secretary of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society in March 1855, and regularly appeared as a vocal soloist in Philharmonic and other concerts through to the late 1880s. In 1854 he printed 1000 copies of the Rules of the Melbourne  Philharmonic Society at his own expense. In October 1856, as “W. H. Williams, Music and General Printer, 94 Bourke Street East, Melbourne”, he issued Walter Bonwick’s new ballad The Irish peasant girl (“Sung with great applause by Madame Anna Bishop”) published “for the benefit of the Benevolent Asylum”.  Possibly predating it slightly was George L. Allan’s A Collection of Thirty Standard Psalm Tunes in Vocal Score, probably printed for use by Allan’s singing classes. In 1856 Williams began printing George Slater’s The Illustrated Journal of Australasia, the second volume of which (January to June 1857) featured monthly music supplements, including new songs by Stephen Massett, Sidney Nelson, George Tolhurst, William Tolhurst, and Walter Bonwick. Williams collected and reprinted these later as toward the end of the same later in Williams’s Australian Musical Annual and Australian Skecth Book for 1858. Also in 1858 he published Bonwick and George Weinritter’s Thirty-Three Easy Songs (“in two or more parts (principally original): compiled for the use of the Australian youth”) (see: Williams also printed music for other publihsers.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (8 November 1853), 1:;  [Advertisement], The Argus (12 March 1855), 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (27 October 1856), 8:; [Advertisement]: “MUSIC: WILLIAMS’S AUSTRALIAN MUSICAL ANNUAL. 10 pieces […]”, The Argus (14 September 1858), 3:;  [Advertisement], The Argus (23 March 1863), 8:; [News], The Argus (1 October 1863), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (27 February 1865), 8:; “Early Melbourne Liked Music: Record of the Philharmonic Society”, The Argus (17 August 1846), 17:

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



Active Adelaide, 1850 (? 1893)

Referencs: [Advertisement], South Australian (9 July 1850), 3: “CHURCH INTELLIGENCE”, The Advertiser (6 November 1893), 7:


Professor of Dancing
Active Sydney 1835-38

(1836): Balls and races arc the order of the day. A Subscription Ball is talked of. Campbell Town Races are proposed. Mr. Wallace’s next Concert is fixed for Wednesday night, and we perceive that Mrs. Williamson, the only accomplished female professor of dancing in Sydney, is about to “astouish the natives” in the course of the present moath with a brilliaut Ridotto or bal masque. […] FROM A CORRESPONDENT. Mrs. Williamson has intimated her intention of giving a fancy ball in the saloon of the Royal Hotel, on Wednesday, the 20th instant. Our old respected colonist, Captain Piper, is the patron on the occasion. As this is the first public attempt at an entertainment of the kind, Mrs. W., it is to be hoped, will meet with every success, it being a fascinating and innocent amusenmnt when conducted in a manner respectable and select. The excellent band of the 4th Regiment will be in attendance in the ball room.

(1838): We understand that Lady Gipps attended at Mrs. Williamson’s Dancing Academy on Wednesday last, and expressed herself highly delighted with the proficiency of the young ladies in that graceful accomplishment.

References: [Advertisement], The Australian (12 January 1836), 1: h; [News; 2 items], The Sydney Gazette (9 July 1836), 2:; [News], The Sydney Monitor (20 July 1836), 2:; [Advertisement], The Australian (23 January 1838), 1:; [News], The Australian (11 September 1838), 2:; [News], Colonial Times (22 May 1838), 5:



Active Sydney, 1859

References: [Advertisement], Empire (4 July 1859), 6: 



WILLIMOFF, Julian Emil de
Violinist, orchestra leader
Arrived Melbourne, 3 November 1883 (per Gabo, from London, 7 September)
Died (? suicide) Sydney, 1907

1883 (NZ): Another violinist has arrived in Melbourne, Julian de Willimoff. He was formerly conductor for Soldene’s Opera Company.

1887: First Appearance in Sydney of CARON’S STRING QUARTETTE. First Violin, Mons, de Willmoff; Second Violin, Mr. White; ’Cello, Mr. Summerhayes; Viola, Mons. Leon Caron.

1893: More than usual interest was centred in the first appearance in Adelaide as a solo violinist of Herr J. de Willimoff, the conductor of the Theatre Royal orchestra. Herr Willimoff was for some years resident in Sydney, and his performance on Saturday night showed that the reputation which preceded him was in no wise exaggerated, his opening solo, the famous “Andante and finale” from Mendelssohn’s “Concerto” being played with such artistic grace and finished execution as to evoke a perfect storm of applause. Herr Willimoff used a violin made by Herr Fiebig, of this city, the tone and quality of the instrument coming as a surprise […]

1907: An elderly Frenchman named Julian Emil Willlmoff was charged at the Water Police Court this morning with converting to his own use a violin valued at £100, the property of Francis Robert Peel … , violin teacher […] Willimoff was subsequently sentenced to 12 months, with hard labor, in Goulburn Gaol.

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Argus (5 November 1883), 8:; “FOOTLIGHT FLASHES”, Observer (24 November 1883), 15:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (8 July 1884), 1:; “GRAND CONCERT IN THE SYDNEY EXHIBITION BUILDING”, South Australian Register (15 August 1884), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 October 1887), 2:; “SATURDAY’S POPULAR CONCERT”, The Advertiser (12 June 1893), 6:; “DEATHS”, The Advertiser (19 June 1893), 4:; “THE OPERA SEASON. ARRIVAL OF THE MONTAGUE TURNER COMPANY”, Auckland Star (26 June 1894), 5:; “Mons. Willimoff”, Observer (27 October 1894), 15:; “THE RAND CASE”, South Australian Register (5 April 1895), 6:; “MUSICIAN COMMITTED FOR TRIAL”, Evening News (17 May 1907), 5:; “A Well-known Violinist. CONVICTED OF THEFT”, Evening News (5 June 1907), 5:; “PARS ABOUT PEOPLE”, Observer (22 June 1907), 4:; “PERSONAL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (13 March 1908), 6:



WILSON, (Miss) E. C.
Active NSW, 1861

Works: The Australian Volunteer Galop (“composed and dedicated to the volunteers of Australia by Miss E. C. Wilson”) (Sydney: Lewis Moss, [1861]); The Gocup Polka Mazurka (“composed and dedicated to Mrs. Archer Broughton by [Miss] E. C. Wilson”) (Sydney: Lewis Moss, [? c.1861]) [Note: Mrs. Archer Broughton lived at Gocup, near Tumut, NSW, c.1860]

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 July 1861), 14:


WILSON, Mr. (initials variously given as  F., and either T. H. P. or H. P.)
Musician (? violinist), leader of the theatrical band
Active Sydney, 1833-38, and see also below

Summary: According to The Herald, a “swellish sort of chap”, called John Wilson was arrested on a Sunday morning in March 1833 “having been found, during Church hours, practicing some of Mr. Cavendish de Castells‘s new steps”. Perhaps this was John Thomas Wilson, of Sydney theatre, partner of actor-singer Maria Taylor, and later certainly, if not this early, a friend of Cavendish. What relationship if any this Wilson bears to the musician is unclear. John Lhotsky first reports in April 1833, that “Messrs. Edwards, Sippe, Cavendish, F. Wilson, &c. are connected with the institution of the Philharmonic Society”, if the initial F. is accurately reported Wilson could perhaps be Felix Wilson, of the merchant step-brothers Messrs C. and F. Wilson of George-street. At a concert in August 1834 it was reported that “A Quintette for two violins, tenor, flute, and violincello, by Messrs. Wilson, Sippe, Josephson, Lewis, and another performer whose name we have not heard, was received with much applause”. At Thomas Stubbs’s concert in April 1835, the Australian was “indebted … to Messrs. Stubbs and Wilson for the pleasure their masterly style of playing afforded”. Again in concert in July 1836: “The quintette by Messrs. Wilson, Stubbs, Deane, and two Master Deanes, was very well performed, but too lengthy.” Wilson was also one of the leaders of the theatrical band, as early as October 1834, when for a pantomime called The Demon, or The Magic Rose it was advertised: “The Music by Messrs. Sippe and Wilson”. Still working alongside Sippe, in October 1836, for instance, Wilson was “Leader of the Orchestra” at the Theatre Royal. After a period during which John Philip Deane had led the theatre band, in December 1837, the Gazette reported: “Messrs. Sippe and Wilson […] are engaged to conduct the orchestra for the ensuing season. If this be true, it will be quite enough to damn the Theatre to all intents and purposes. After the able manner in which Mr. Deane and his talented family have conducted this department, the play-going public will never tolerate Messrs. Sippe and Wilson as their substitutes. A more injudicious arrangement could not have been devised.” Again, in October 1838, for the Victoria Theatre, the Gazette reported: “[George] Peck is engaged as leader, and Wilson and Sippe added to the strength of the orchestra, while Dean[e] and his talented boys are excluded.”

References: “POLICE INCIDENTS”, The Sydney Herald (21 March 1833), 3:; “PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY IN SYDNEY”, The Sydney Gazette (27 April 1833), 3:; “CONCERT”, The Sydney Gazette (21 August 1834), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (21 October 1834), 1:; “Police Office”, The Sydney Monitor (13 December 1834), 3:; “MR STUBBS’S CONCERT”, The Australian (24 April 1835), 2: ttp://; “To the Editor”, The Sydney Gazette (2 May 1835),; “To the editor”, The Sydney Gazette (1 August 1835), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (16 June 1836), 3:; “MR. DEANE’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Herald (11 July 1836), 3:; “To the Editor”, The Sydney Monitor (31 March 1837), 3:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (14 December 1837), 2:; “The Theatre Royal”, The Sydney Gazette (29 March 1838), 3:; “Victoria Theatre”, The Sydney Gazette (25 October 1838), 2:



Active Sydney, 1842-48, and see also above

Summary: Perhaps this Wilson is the same musician as the above. If so, regarding the possible identification with Felix Wilson, it is interesting to note that he, Felix, was declared insolvent in 1842, the year that our Wilson returns to the musical record, as one of the instrumentalists who played in John Philip Deane’s concert in September 1842 (nevertheless, see also John Wilson below). Wilson was first violin at Coppin’s Saloon in Sydney in June 1844, and since several others in the band there were theatrical orchestra players, he may well have been a member of the theatre orchestra too. He is almost certainly the Mr. Wilson who, with John Edwards, played first violin for Nathan’s Australian Philharmonic Society concert that same month. Again, he is perhaps also the Wilson who (? with Jonah Daniell) was reported at the Bachelors Ball at Windsor in June 1848: “The music , was of a superior description and the performers, Messrs. Daniels and Wilson from Sydney, deserve the highest encomiums”.

References: [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (10 September 1842), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 September 1842), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 June 1844), 4:; [Advertisement], The Australian (24 June 1844), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 December 1845), 1:; “WINDSOR”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (24 June 1848), 3:



WILSON, Frederick Sydney
Amateur guitarist, author, songwriter, poet, short-story writer, Anglican priest
Active Sydney, by 1863
Died Dubbo, 25 March 1901

Summary: An amatuer guitarist who played in public, Wilson was also editor of the Illustrated Sydney News and a prolific author whose poems and stories (notably the serialised Woonoona: an Australian tale of the city and the bush, 1865-66), appeared regularly in the press in the 1860s. His lyrics were set by C. W. Harwood (Only of Thee, Love, 1864), and C. W. Rayner (The Australian Stockman’s Song and There’s No Such Word as Fail, both 1868)

References: “AUSTRALIAN BUSH-BALLADS”, Empire (3 June 1863), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 October 1863), 1:; “CELEBRATION OF ST. DAVID’S DAY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 March 1864), 5:; “NEW MUSIC’, Empire (1 August 1864), 4:; “New Song”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9  May 1868), 6:; [News], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 August 1868), 4:; “Colonial Extracts”, Quenbeyan Age (15 August 1868), 3:; “ADVANCE AUSTRALIA. AN AGRICULTURAL ODE”, Illustrated Sydney News (13 May 1869), 10: “Flotsam and Jetsam: Songs of the Bush”, The Queenslander (15 September 1894), 500:; “OBITUARY. DEATH OF ARCHDEACON WILSON“, The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate (27 March 1901), 2:; “Death”, The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate (3 April 1901), 3:;

Literary works:  Frederick Sydney Wilson, Australian songs and poems (Sydney: Gibbs, Shallard and Co., 1870):;



Active Moruya, NSW, 1863

References: [Court reports] “SECOND DAY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 July 1863), 5: “Henry Wilson sworn: I am a musician, and live at Moruya , and sometimes at the Gulf, I played at a ball given at Moruya on the 27th May last, I saw the prisoner Sims on the following Saturday night between nine and twelve o’clock in the evening, at Mr. Flannigan’s, at Shannon View, I was playing there.”



WILSON, John Thomas
Amateur vocalist, “musical swindler“, ? guitarist
Active Sydney, 1833-40

Summary: Friend and business associate of William Joseph Cavendish, and notoriously partner (“paramour“) of actor-singer Maria Taylor, Wilson was referred to in the press in March 1833 as a “swell, John Wilson, of Sydney theatre [...] arrested on Sunday morning―having been found, during Church hours, practicing some of Mr. Cavendish de Castells‘s new steps”. Though his other musical interests (real or perhaps merely metaphorical) can only be surmised, a last notice perhaps of him, early in 1840, perhaps suggests he sometimes accompanied Taylor on the guitar: “A musical swindler has lately bolted to New Zealand, guitar and all, leaving various creditors in the lurch. The credulity of the parties who have suffered considerably diminishes the pity which we should otherwise entertain for them. The runaway is said to have declared that he was going to make purchases of land in New Zealand. He will take very good care, we suspect, to forget Sydney, “Oh no we never mention it“, and will ‘strike the light guitar’ in that land which, until very lately, has been in the strict sense of the word, the refuge for the destitute.” If as is likely this indeed refers to Wilson, however, he and Taylor had not left for New Zealand, but for Calcutta.

References: “POLICE INCIDENTS”, The Sydney Herald (21 March 1833), 3:; “THE THEATRE”, The Colonist (4 August 1836), 6:; John Dunmore Lang, An historical and statistical account of New South Wales, Volume 1 (London: A. J. Valpy, 1837), 434-447; especially:; ? “DEPARTURES”, The Colonist (4 September 1839), 2:; [News], The Australian (26 October 1839), 2:; [News], The Australian (29 October 1839), 2:; [Advertisement], The Australian (21 November 1839), 3:; “DEPARTURES”, Australasian Chronicle (27 December 1839), 4:; “NEW SOUTH WALES”, Southern Australian (2 January 1840), 4:; “J. T. WILSON. To the Editor”, The Sydney Herald (8 January 1840), 2:; [News], The Australian (24 March 1840), 2:

Web: A. F. Pike, Wilson, John Thomas, Australian Dictionary of Biography 2 (1967)



Died Sydney, 28 August 1852

References: “DIED”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 August 1852), 3:; “CORONER’S INQUESTS”, Empire (1 September 1852), 2:



English concertina pupil (of Henry Witton)

Harmonium pupil (Witton)

WILSON, William
Flute pupil (Witton)
Active Melbourne, 1862

References: [Advertisement], The Courier [Brisbane] (24 October 1862), 1: “J. WILSON (English Concertina), Condell-st., Fitzroy ... W. H. WILSON (Harmonium), Argyle-st. east, St. Kilda [...] “WILLIAM WILSON (flute), George-st., Fitzroy.” [pupils of Henry James Witton]



Professor of music
Active Ipswich, QLD, 1862

References: “WEEKLY EPITOME”, The Courier (18 January 1862), 2:; “LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. MR. WILSON”, North Australian and Queensland General Advertiser (10 July 1862), 3:; “MUSICAL”, North Australian and Queensland General Advertiser (18 October 1862), 2:; “CONCERT”, North Australian and Queensland General Advertiser (23 April 1863), 3:



WILSON, Marmaduke Henry
Professor of music, pianist, composer
Born ? Scotland, 1833/4/5
Arrived Sydney, by January 1859
Died East Maitland, NSW, 17 May 1871, aged 36/37


Scotland 1858: TO THE CREDITORS OF MARMADUKE HENRY WILSON , Professor of Music , residing in Balmoral Terrace, Kilmarnock . THE said Marmaduke Henry Wilson has presented a Petition to the sheriff of Ayrshire , praying to be discharged of all debts and obligations contracted by him , or for which he was liable at the date of his sequestration , on the 13th February 1858 [...]

Sydney January 1859: HERR W. CARL SCHMITT, of Munich, and Mr. MARMADUKE H. WILSON, of London, give their Grand CONCERT TO-NIGHT, at the PIER HOTEL, Manly Beach. Steamer will leave at 2.30 p.m. Admission, four shillings, fare there and back included.

Obituary: Thursday [second day of the Annual Agricultural and Horticultural Show] waa a fine bright day, occasionally gloomed by clouds, and during the afternoon a brief shower fell. Far away in the west there was a heavy storm in the forenoon, but it did not come near the town It was holiday weather, and a large number of people made holiday accordingly, about three thousand visitors being on the ground. The publicans' and refreshment booths thrived well, and the man with the merry-go-round must have made a harvest out of the children. From the grand-stand the Volunteer Band sent forth at intervals its enlivening strains, which however were exchanged for the solemn tones of the “ Gloria“ as the funeral procession of the late Mr. Marmaduke Wilson came down Devonshire-street, and halted at St. Paul's Church. The incident induced not a few of the friends of the deceased to bestow a passing thought of regretful sadness upon one who was “a good fellow,“ well-liked by all who knew him.

References: “COURT FOR THE RELIEF OF INSOLVENT DEBTORS“, The London Gazette (March 1855), 1166:; “TO THE CREDITORS ...“, The Edinburgh Gazette (2 April 1858), 673:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 January 1859), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (12 January 1859), 1:;  “ANNUAL SHOW OF THE HUNTER RIVER AGRICULTURAL AND HORTICULTURAL ASSOCIATION. SECOND DAY, THURSDAY“, The Maitland Mercury (20 May 1871), 2:; “DEATHS“, The Sydney Morning Herald (13 June 1871), 1:; “THE LATE MR. MARMADUKE H. WILSON“, The Maitland Mercury (21 September 1871), 2:; “THE LATE MR. MARMADUKE H. WILSON“, The Maitland Mercury (21 November 1871), 3:



Itinerant musician, strolling fiddler
Active Ararat, VIC, 1869

1869: What a man may come to in Victoria received another illustration at the Ararat Police-court on Friday last. R. G. Wilson, a man shabbily dressed and generally in ill condition, was placed in the dock, charged with stealing a violin belonging to a “ mate“ with whom he had been tramping through the country as itinerant musicians. On Thursday these men dissolved their partnership and went “on the spree,” and Wilson sold the instrument in question in the belief that he was authorised to do so by his comrade, but absorbed the proceeds himself. The police-magistrate dismissed him from custody, and almost immediately afterwards the two were together again “hob-nobbing” as usual. But the remarkable thing is that this man Wilson, whose manner indicates a better condition, should have descended to this vagabond life. Originally a surgeon, he subsequently became dispenser at the Melbourne Hospital, and now turns up as a strolling fiddler, living alternately upon the road and in the public-house, with no higher ambition than to get drunk as often as possible.—Ararat Advertiser.

References: “DEGREDATION”, The Ballarat Star (18 June 1869), 4:



WILSON, Thomas
Amateur musician, organ builder, solicitor, mayor of Adelaide
Born UK, 5 December 1787
Arrived Adelaide, July 1838 (per Duke of Roxburgh)
Died Kensington, SA, 31 March 1863


Obituary: Death has removed another old colonist - one who may well be ranked amongst the pilgrim fathers of South Australia, and remembered as one of the most active of our many citizens. Mr. Thomas Wilson, whore decease took place at the residence of his son, Mr. C. A. Wilson on Tuesday, 31st March, arrived in this colony in 1838. He was for many years partner in the firm of Smart and Wilson, solicitors, and at the time of his death was the oldest member of the legal profession in South Australia. […] Music had in Mr. Wilson an enthusiastic student, and he attained considerable practical skill in organ-building. This was with him a favourite recreation at his town residence, and he there planned and named the Clarabella stop. As an author Mr. Wilson is favourably known to the literary world by his “Catalogue of an Amateur” and his “Illustrated Catalogue of the Works of Rembrandt;” also by his “Shakspeare Illustrated,” which was valued at 1,000 guineas. In this colony he published several poems, remarkable for their sparkling imagery and polished versification. He was a keen but kindly observer of passing events, and, as a prose-writer, delighted in that good-natured satire which loves to play, not wound. We know that there are several unpublished compositions upon which Mr. Wilson expended considerable care and attention, Fortunately, he has left sons who are fully competent to collect and edit a complete issue of his literary works.

References: “THE LATE MR. THOMAS WILSON”, South Australian Register (7 April 1863), 2:

Resources: Wilson, Thomas (1787-1863), Australian Dictionary of Biography 2 (1967); Thomas Wilson : miscellaneous articles and lectures /​ [compiled by the National Gallery of Australia Research Library]:



WILSON, William
Music engraver, printer
Arrived Sydney, 1828 (per Arab)

Summary: Wilson is connected with only one music print, but in the chronology of colonial production it is next after Lhotsky’s 1834 Song, and a significant one. Alas, no copy of Thomas Stubbs’s The Minstrel Waltz for 1836 has been identified.

(1836): Rarely have we been more truly gratified at any literary present, than by this unique New Year’s Offering to the Muses. The composer of the piece is Mr. Thomas Stubbs. The artist who engraved and printed it is Mr. Wilson, of Hunter-Street, Sydney. We do not say too much when we set down this little work as a chef d'ouvre in its way, considered as a Colonial production, and the first thing of the kind yet published here […]

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (20 October 1828), 3:; [Advertisement], The Colonist (1 January 1835), 8:; “THE MINSTREL WALTZ”, The Sydney Gazette (5 January 1836), 3:

Resources: William H. Wilson, Design & Art Australia Online



Contrabass player

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (8 September 1865), 1:



WINTER, Melchior (Melchor; Thomas William)
Tenor vocalist
Born Hereford, England, 28 October 1818
Arrived NZ, by 1869; Melbourne, by December 1872
Died Christchurch, NZ, 28 August 1920, aged 102

Obituary: Mr. W. G. Atack, hon. secretary of the New Zealand Boxing Council, thoughtfully sends along the following information. The matter was referred to in the Referee a few weeks since. Mr. Atack gives additional particulars: “The Christchurch papers of August 30 contained the following death notice: Winter — August 28, 1920, at Christ church, Thomas William, in his 102nd year. Obituary notices dealt with the public career of the deceased, who, for many years, was well known in musical circles. He appeared on the platform as Melchior Winter, in operas and at concerts, both in Australia and New Zealand. After three years in the British Navy he left to take up music and singing, and made his debut at Bath in 1859. Shortly afterwards he left, for Australia. What was not mentioned in the obituary notices, possibly because it was only known to a comparatively few, was that Melchior Winter was the son of the old English champion, Tom Spring, whose name, as you know, was Thomas Winter, Spring being a name conferred on him in London, whither he went to seek fame and fortune in the ring. Tom Spring died on August 20, 1851, and if you turn up Pugilistica you will see it there mentioned that the chief mourner at his funeral was his only surviving son, Melchior Winter, the centenarian who has just passed away, a few weeks short of reaching his 102nd birthday.

References: [Advertisement], The Economist (14 April 1860), 415:; [Advertisement], New Zealand Herald (15 October 1869), 1:; [Advertisement], The Argus (3 December 1872), 8:; [Advertisement], Press (10 April 1873), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 February 1875), 12:; “LAUNCESTON”, The Mercury (17 May 1875), 2:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The South Australian Advertiser (9 April 1883), 5:; “WINTER V. SIMONSEN”, The Sydney Morning Herald (31 May 1888), 9:; [News], The Argus (7 April 1892), 4:; “MADAME WINTER”, Free Lance (6 February 1919), 4:; “A CENTENARIAN ACTOR”, Referee (19 November 1919), 9:; “MELCHIOR WINTER, TOM SPRING’S SON”, Referee (22 September 1920), 10:



Extended family of English military band and orchestral musicians (19th - early 20th century)


WINTERBOTTOM,  Frank Midwinter King
Cellist (Adelaide String Quartet), composer, conductor, arranger, military band director
Born England, 21 March 1861
Active Adelaide, 1881-82
Died January 1930

1880: Mr. F. Winterbottom afterwards played on the violon-cello with his accustomed good taste and expression one of Schubert’s songs and Gounod’s “Berceuse,” the latter being especially masterly, and eliciting loud applause.

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (18 September 1880), 1:; “CONCERT  OF THE ADELAIDE LIEDERTAFEL”, South Australian Register (13 October 1880), 6:; “ADELAIDE STRING QUARTET”, The South Australian Advertiser (27 April 1881), 6:; “ADELAIDE STRING QUARTET CLUB”, The South Australian Advertiser (12 May 1881), 8: ; “SONG AND DANCE”, The Mail (27 June 1914), 9:

Resources:; The heritage encyclopedia of band music (1991), vol 2. 289; Self-portrait of Percy Grainger, 20:



Bassoonist, conductor, entrepreneur, bandmaster, composer
Born England, 1817
Arrived Melbourne, by January 1853
Departed Melbourne, 17 December 1861 (per Result, for London)
Died England, 1897



Summary: A member of a British military-musical family, Winterbottom was a business man, as much as a musician. He made an instant impact with newly cashed-up Sydney and Melbourne audiences, entrepreneuring not one-off concerts, but month-long seasons of nightly “Grand Promenade Concerts A La Jullien”, advertising himself as “the sole projector of these popular concerts in the Australian colonies”, and a regular cohort of featured soloists. For these and his later trademark “Monster Concerts”, new prosperity delivered not only large mixed audiences, but also allowed him to fill his orchestra with other hopeful recent arrivals; as he claimed: “[…] the vast influx of population has enabled him to form a band, selected from the finest orchestras in the world, artistes as well capable of interpreting the sublime compositions of Handel, Beethoven, or Mendelssohn, as to delineate music of a lighter character.” His rather unexpected transformation from a London instrumentalist into a colonial entrepreneur was newsworthy even back in Britain, earning “AUSTRALIA” one of its earliest notices in the The Musical Times: “Mr. Winterbottom, the performer on the bassoon, is catering for the mixed public of Melbourne by giving promenade concerts, in close imitation of M. Jullien, to vast audiences, and with corresponding profit to himself.” Winterbottom also started selling himself as a composer. For a “monster concert”, with “100 performers”, in Sydney on 26 May 1853, he announced his “intention of presenting each Lady in the Reserved Stalls” with a New Polka, “beautifully illustrated by Walter Mason” (who, formerly of the Illustrated London News, was also part of the recent “vast influx”, having come from England in 1852). Probably in response to market forces, Winterbottom’s programs increasingly rationed the “sublime compositions” of the masters, though what The Musical Times called his “mixed public” seems to have welcomed his virtuoso bassoon solos as a Classical curiosity. Numerous musical prints of works by other composers, both local (notably Edward Boulanger) and imported, were billed as, for instance, “[performed] with immense success, at Winterbottom’s Promenade Concerts”, or “Played by Winterbottom’s Unrivalled Band”. From being an opportunistic outsider at first, within two years of arrival, Winterbottom was part of the theatrical establishment. At the Royal Victoria Theatre in Sydney on 22 August 1855, he composed music for “a new Electro-Biological Burlesque Operatic Extravaganza”, Alonzo the Brave, Or, The Fair Imogene (to a libretto by Sidney Nelson’s son-in-law, H. T. Craven).  And on 26 August 1856, at the Lyceum Theatre, the evening‘s performance commenced with “the new Dramatic story”, Eva, Or Leaves from Uncle Tom’s Cabin: “[…] (second time) [...] The overture and entire music composed and arranged by M. Winterbottom [...] the nigger dances and serenades by the Ethiopian Minstrels engaged expressly to give effect to the delineation of slave life!” In Hobart, when the new Theatre Royal opened in summer 1857, Winterbottom directed the music and composed an Overture Theatre Royal, which the Mercury described as “a spirited composition […] extremely well performed by the Orchestra”. He was also credited with having “composed the Music of the drama”, billed as Cinderella. Winterbottom later also directed the music at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Sydney, where in November 1858 he introduced a new “Grand Musical Burlesque”, The Yellow Dwarf, or The King of the Goldmines, “Music by Winterbottom”. Recently published in Sydney in March 1857 were his Hermione Valse. Apart from these, only two more Australian printed compositions survive, both issued close to the end of his Australian stay, The Lady Don Valse, and The Zoe Galop. The first was introduced at the Royal Victoria in Sydney in June 1861, to celebrate the last night of the season there by the visiting British burlesque artiste William Don, and his wife Emily in Sheridan's The Rivals. Four days later, Winterbottom took his first Sydney “farewell”, at the Masonic Hall with the Howsons and bandmaster Douglas Callen as his co-conductor,  only to turn up again at the Lyceum in July with a performance of the Zoe Galop “dedicated to the owner of that celebrated race-horse, Mr. John Tait”. Winterbottom and his wife took their final Melbourne benefit on 26 November, “on the eve of departing for Europe”.

Sydney, May 1854: On the evening of Monday last, M. Winterbottom’s Musical Festival collected in the Bazaar-Saloon of the Royal Hotel a more crowded and brilliant assemblage than is often brought together for any purpose in Sydney. Indeed, the sitting accommodation was quite inadequate, and not a few were compelled to stand during the entire performance. Mrs. Hancock and Miss Flora Harris delighted the audience with their “most sweet voices” – but we must say that the pleasure would have been still greater if the selection had been more judicious. M. Winterbottom’s bassoon-playing, however, constituted the chief attraction; and, certainly, that gentleman’s complete mastery of this very difficult instrument was something marvellous. M. Winterbottom, in fact, seems to have in his chest a sort of “Inexhaustible Bottle”, from which issue in bewildering profusion the very eccentricities of an intricate and yet most harmonious melody. We trust that we shall often have the pleasure of attending M. Winterbottom’s Concerts. If due attention be paid to the selection of the programme, they cannot fail to become the most fashionable entertainments of our city.

Sydney, July 1861: We feel confident that it is only necessary to advert to the fact that, owing to several unsuccessful speculations in the neighbouring colony, Mr. Winterbottom will return to England, after many years of unremitting toil and assiduous catering for the public amusement.

Ballarat, December 1861: To-morrow evening that accomplished swordsman and equally accomplished performer on the bassoon, will take a farewell benefit at the Theatre Royal, previous to his departure for England in the Result. The entertainment, which is under the patronage of Major Wallace, Captains Campbell, Smith, and Drury, and the Ballarat Rifle Rangers, is to consist of a comedy, followed by a vocal and instrumental concert; the strains of the Rangers’ Band; an assaut des armes, involving the presentation of a prize medal for the best broadsword player; Mr. Winterbottom’s own feats of skill in swords-manship; and a new burlesque! With such a dainty and tempting bill of fare, surely it cannot be necessary for us to urge our readers to be at the feast, though we rather think that the better motive will actuate them - that of visiting the theatre out of compliment to an accomplished and worthy man.

1892: Mr. John Winterboltom, who has complete 21 years of service in the Royal Marine Artillery as bandmaster, has just retired from it to take up the appointment of bandmaster of the 20th Middlesex (Artists) Volunteer corps. From 1799 to the present time, Mr. Winterbottom’s family, who came from Saddleworth, Yorkshire, have (according to a writer in Lloyd’s News)  put in the unique service, in the army and navy, of 213 years. His great uncle (John Winterbottom), who enlisted as a private in the 52nd Regiment in 1799 was given a commission as ensign and adjutant for gallant conduct in the Peninsular War m 1808, having fought with great distinction at Badajoz and also at Waterloo. His maternal grandfather was 30 years in the 1st Life Guards, and as quartermaster of the regiment fought also at Waterloo. His father served 21 years in the 1st Life Guards, and was the first sword instructor of the army; his portrait, by command of William IV, was painted and hung in the Waterloo Gallery at Windsor. Mr. Winterbottom’s three brothers have all been bandmasters, and the four have put in a hundred years’ service. The elder generation may remember the subject of this notice as a solo player at Julien’s promenade concerts at Drury Lane; at the Monday Populars at St. James’s Hall; and at one time as musical director of the Olympic Theatre; while Australians will not forget his carrying out a concert in 1856, at Sydney, for the benefit of the survivors of the Monumental City, which went down with nearly all on board. During a residence of ten years in Australia Mr. Winterbottom earned the esteem of all classes, and left, as he does at Portsmouth, the record of an honourable and distinguished name.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (25 January 1853), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 April 1853), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 May 1853), 2:; “AUSTRALIA”, The Musical Times (1 August 1853), 235:; “WINTERBOTTOM’S LAST CONCERT”, The Courier (10 November 1853), 3:; “M. WINTERBOTTOM’S GRAND CONCERT”, Illustrated Sydney News (6 May 1854), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (18 August 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (1 September 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 August 1855), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 August 1856), 1:; “THE DRAMA. ROYAL VICTORIA”, Bell‘s Life in Sydney (1 December 1855), 2:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Hobart Town Mercury (11 March 1857), 2:; [Advertisement], Bell‘s Life in Sydney (13 November 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 April 1858), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 June 1861), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 June 1861), 7:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 June 1861), 1:; “MR. WINTERBOTTOM’S BENEFIT”, Empire (8 July 1861), 4:; “OPENING OF THE LYCEUM THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 July 1861), 5:; [News], The Argus (26 November 1861), 4:; [News], The Star (2 December 1861), 2:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Argus (17 December 1861), 4:; [News], The Argus (23 December 1869), 5:; “A FAMILY OF BANDSMEN”, The Mercury (12 May 1892), 2:; “A REMARKABLE RECORD”, Timaru Herald (23 May 1892), 3:

Resources: NLA:; Lyndesay Graham Langwill, The bassoon and contrabasson (London: E. Benn, 1965), 180;



Orchestral musician, double-bass player
Active Melbourne, 1888-89

February 1889: This was an action to recover a double bass-violin, valued at £35. Mr. Winterbottom was one of those gentlemen Mr. Cowen brought out from England for the Centennial orchestra. He went to lodge with his wife at Mr. M'Williams'. They paid their board regularly, but Mr. Winterbottom having to leave rather unexpectedly for England, told his landlady that he would be obliged to go. This did not please Mrs. M'Williams, who at once demanded a week's board merely in lieu of a week's notice. Mr. Winterbottom refused the demand, and the irate landlady seized the unoffending “double bass,“ and banged its unfortenate neck against the wall and broke it [...]

References: “WINTERBOTTOM V. M'WILLIAMS“, Fitzroy City Press (1 February 1889), 3:

Resources: (William Winterbottom (1821-1889), trombonist)



WISDOM, Robert
Songwriter, poet, journalist, politician
Born Blackburn, Lancashire, England, 31 January 1830
Arrived Sydney, August 1834 (per Arab)
Died Sydney, 16 March 1888

References: [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (21 December 1844), 3:; “DEATH OF SIR ROBERT WISDOM”, The Sydney Morning Herald (17 March 1888), 11:

Works: “AUSTRALASIAN ANTHEM: ADVANCE AUSTRALIA”, The Maitland Mercury (14 June 1851), 2:; “AUSTRALIAN SONGS”, Bathurst Free Press (25 October 1851), 2:; “AUSTRALIAN ANTHEM. THE SUN OF AUSTRALIA”, Empire (17 October 1854), 3:


Resources: Elizabeth Guilford, Wisdom, Robert (1830-1888), Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976)



Bandmaster (German Band)
Active Sydney, by 1866
Died Annandale, NSW, 22 December 1888, in his 56th year

References: [Advertisment], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 October 1866), 1:; “TO THE EDITOR”, Empire (5 March 1868), 3:; [Advertisement], Empire (24 October 1868), 1:; [Advertisment], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 December 1871), 4:; [Advertisment], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 January 1872), 7:; [Advertisment], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 January 1873), 9:; [Advertisment], The Sydney Morning Herald (31 October 1874), 9:; [Advertisment], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 October 1880), 18:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (3 Januray 1889), 4:

Note: In Sydney in December 1871, Wissell already had on his band program the Pipele Waltzes by Alberto Zelman, who was only recently arrived in Australia.



WITTENOOM, Mr. (? F. D. or Revd. J. B.)
Amateur musician
Active Perth, 1840s

References: [Advertisement], Inquirer (23 December 1846), 4:; [Advertisement], Inquirer (3 February 1847), 2:; “CHORAL SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, The Inquirer (20 January 1869), 3:



WITTON, Henry John (R.A.M.)
Professor of Music, composer, music and instrument retailer and repaire, band-master
Arrived Tasmania, 15 February 1833 (convict per Circassian, from Plymouth, 14 October 1832)

Summary: Found guilty of having obtained under false pretences musical instruments worth upward of £100, Witton was convicted at Bristol City Quarter Session for a term of 7 years on 2 January 1832, and transported per Circassian, for Van Diemen’s Land. He received a ticket of leave in June 1838, and on 13 November it was advertised that he was due to be given his certificate of freedom in January 1839, seven years to the day after his sentencing. Having meanwhile advertised in Hobart as a “musical instrument repairer, piano forte tuner, oboe, bassoon, and clarionet reed maker”, with “two Piano Fortes, also a quantity of music for piano, flute, violin, violoncello, &c. &c.” for sale, and claiming to be “A Pupil of the Royal Academy of Music ready to “give Instructions in singing the Psalms of David”, nevertheless on 14 November 1838 he allegedly forged and utttered a note for the sum of £5. Rearrested for this offence on 12 January 1839, on 11 February he was convicted in the Supreme Court to be transported for life to Norfolk Island. He was extraordinarily fortunate to arrive there during the first months of Alexander Maconochie’s commandantship, where he was well placed to benefit under the musical programs pursued by Maconochie and James Reid, and as a result he was a leading participant (perhaps the leading participant) in the theatrical and musical performances there on the Queen’s Birthday in May 1840. One of the songs he sang on that occasion, Old England for ever, may have been his own; for free again, in Sydney in 1846, he sent a printed copy of Old England I live but for you (“the poetry by F. Drake, Esq.; an officer late of H.M. Service; composed and arranged with accompaniments for the piano forte, by H. J. Witton, R.A.M.”) for review by the Morning Chronicle. He married in Sydney in August 1846, and he and his wife had moved to Adelaide by early 1847. Concerts there in February and March 1847 included three of his compositions, My gallant bark (song), Heki’s address to his country the evening before he was attacked by the British Forces (“Song […] Written and composed by H. J. Witton”), and The New Zealand Chieftains’ Battle Song (“Heki and Kawita“). He also formed and directed an Adelaide Town Band. He was in Melbourne from 1853, where in 1860 he advertised that he had been teaching music for 30 years. An advertisement taken out in Brisbane in 1862 reprinted a testimonial signed by nine of his Melbourne students, with their respective instruments. Back in Melbourne in 1865, he advertised the impending publication of Witton’s Twelve-Lesson Theory of Music. His last known address was the Christian Israelite Sanctuary, Fitzroy, in 1866.

References: “Tickets of Leave”, The Hobart Town Courier (1 June 1838), 1:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (13 November 1838), 3:; “GOVERNMENT NOTICE”, The Hobart Town Courier (28 December 1838), 2:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE. NORFOLK ISLAND”, The Sydney Herald (24 June 1840), 2:; “NEW MUSIC”, Morning Chronicle (24 January 1846), 2:; “MARRIED”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 August 1846), 3:; “A NORFOLK ISLANDER”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (17 October 1846), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (17 February 1847), 1:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (13 March 1847), 1:; “POLICE COURT”, South Australian (8 August 1848), 3:; “RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT”, South Australian (20 October 1848), 1s:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (7 July 1849), 1:; “PROFESSOR WITTON’S BAND”, South Australian Register (26 December 1849), 4:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (18 February 1850), 2:; “DECLARATION OF CONFIDENCE IN MR. JOHN STEPHENS”, South Australian Register (7 March 1850), 1s:; [3 advertisements], The Argus (22 August 1853), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (7 September 1855), 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (28 December 1859) 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (18 January 1860), 3:; “VICTORIAN EXHIBITION, 1861”, The Argus (20 August 1861), 6:; [Advertisement], The Courier [Brisbane] (24 October 1862), 1:; [Advertisement], The Argus (8 July 1865), 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (24 July 1866), 1:; [Advertisement], The Argus (2 August 1866), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (21 January 1867), 1:; [Advertisement], The Argus (1 February 1867), 7:

Web: Convict details:; description:,232,56,C,43; conduct record:,247,197,L,58 


WIVELL, Edward James
Professor of Dancing, photograher
Active Melbourne, by 1856; active Adelaide, by 1863

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (28 August 1856), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (26 September 1857), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (4 January 1858), 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (22 August 1859), 8:; “INSOLVENT COURT”, The Argus (27 July 1865), 6:; “ASSEMBLY”, South Australian Register (18 April 1867), 3:; “CHARGES OF THEFT. TO THE EDITOR”, South Australian Register (19 November 1867), 2:; “TALK ON THE FLAGS”, South Australian Register (25 November 1867), 2:; “ADELAIDE. LATE ROBERRIES”, The Argus (22 November 1867), 5:; “THE BALL-ROOM COMPANION”, South Australian Register (10 May 1873), 5:

Bibliography: E. J. Wivell, The ball room companion and pupil's self-help ([Adelaide]: [Author], [1873]):; E. J. Wivell, The six square dances, or, fashionable quadrille (Adelaide : [E.J. Wivell], 1891):

Web: Edward James Wivell,  DAAO:




WOOD, Mrs.
Dancing instructor
Active Sydney, 1821

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (20 January 1821), 4:



WOOD, James
Town Crier
Active Parramatta

Obituary: “James Wood, a resident of Parramatta, about 75 years of age, and known for many years as the town crier, left his home on Saturday last, and was missing until Wednesday, when he was discovered on the road to Liverpool in an exhausted state, and partially eaten by the native dogs. He was conveyed to the Liverpool Hospital, no hopes being entertained of his recovery. It was reported on Thursday that he was dead.“

References: “NEWS OF THE DAY”, The Sydney Monitor (2 July 1838), 2:



Indigenous guide, “a great man at corroberries”
Active, c. 1842-46

Summary: Joseph Townsend, in his Rambles and observations, names “Jimmy Woodbury“ as one of his most admired native guides; Woodbury was “a great man at corrobbories […] and I know that he has walked fifty miles, in one day, in order to join in a dance at night (89, also 97).

References: Joseph Phipps Townsend, Rambles and observations in New South Wales with sketches of men and manners, notices of the Aborigines and glimpses of scenery, and some hints to emigrants (London: Chapman and Hall, 1849), 91; “REVIEW (From the Colonial Magazine for June)”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 October 1849), 3-4:



WOODRIFF, Daniel James
Amateur flautist, naval captain
Born England, 1788
Arrived Australia 1804
Died Old Charlton, Kent, England, 20 January 1860

NLA Persistent Identifier: (Woodriff senior)

 Music collection:

Summary: Daniel Woodriff (1756-1842) first came to Australia as Naval Agent on the convict transport Kitty in 1792, and a second time in 1803-04 as captain of HMS Calcutta for David Collins' abortive expedition to found a new settlement in Port Phillip (the Sorrento landing). His three sons, Daniel James junior), John and Robert all served on the Calcutta in 1803-04 under him. Woodriff family papers, including a diary kept by Daniel junior, a keen flautist, are in the SL-NSW (; Daniel James’s son, also Daniel James (d.1865), came to Australia and settled at Penrith. The family library of flute and other music, preserved in the NLA among Woodriff family papers (, consists of c.16 printed books, the earliest important colonial personal music collection to survive (

References: John Marshall, Royal Naval Biography; or, Memoirs of the Services of All the Flag-officers … Whose Names Appeared on the Admiralty List of Sea Officers at the Commencement of the Present Year 4/2 (1835), 104-05:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 April 1860), 1:; “DEATHS”, Empire (27 November 1865), 1:

Resources: Douglas Campbell Tilghman, Woodriff, Daniel (1756–1842)Australian Dictionary of Biography 2 (1967):; Freda Gray, “Music of the early settlements of the 1800s”, Papers and Proceedings (Tasmanian Historical Research Association) 43/2 (June 1996), 59-62:;; Heather Clarke, “Captain Woodriff & The Wheatstone Manuals”, Australian Colonial Dance (20 September 2012):



Amateur musician, convict
Died (executed) Melbourne, 3 August 1864

Obituary: On Wednesday morning, at 9 o’clock, the sentence of death was carried into effect upon Christopher Harrison, Samuel Woods, and William Carver, convicted at the late Criminal Sittings of the Supreme Court in Melbourne— Harrison of murder, and the others, Woods and Carver, of robbery in company and wounding […] Samuel Woods, as he chose to call himself, but that was not his real name, was born at Bath, in 1823, and was a shoemaker by trade. His history is a peculiar one, and shows that the unfortunate man had been familiar with crime in all its phases from a very early age. […] He was very fond of singing, and previous to his condemnation copied a lot of music. He also used to play the harmonium in the Gaol. His music-book he gave to the senior warder. Woods was said to be generous in some of his actions. He has written an autobiography, which he has disposed of to some enterprising publisher; the proceeds are to be given to a poor blind man and his daughter, who had been kind to him in other days.

References: [News], The Mercury (8 August 1864), 2:; “VICTORIA”, South Australian Register (9 August 1864), 3:; “THE CONVICT WOODS”, The Argus (10 August 1864), 5:; “THE IMPOUNDED AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF THE CONVICT WOODS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 August 1864), 4:

Resources: SLNSW:



Trombone player
Active Sydney, 1859

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



WOOLCOTT, Charles Henry
Amateur singer, musician, secretary (Australian Harmonic Club), Town Clerk of Sydney
Born Exeter, England, 1821
Active Sydney, by 1846
Died Berry’s Bay, NSW, 23 August 1905, in his 84th year

NLA persistent identifier:  


Obituary: The death is announced of Mr. Charles Henry Woolcott, formerly town clerk of Sydney. The deceased gentleman was for many years closely identified with the municipal life of this city. He took much interest in matters relating to the early history of Sydney, and some years ago the City Council accepted from him a gift of pictures which give a good idea of Sydney as it appeared  in the early days. The late Mr. Woolcott passed away at his residence, Ivy Cliff, Berry’s Bay, yesterday, in his 84th year.

References: “INSTALLATION OF HIS EXCELLENCY SIR CHARLES FITZROY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 August 1846), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 July 1845), 1:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (24 August 1905), 6:; “PERSONAL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (24 August 1905), 6:

Resources: DAAO:; SL-NSW:;

Associations: William Woolcott (brother), member of Australian Harmonic Club



WOOLCOTT, William Prout
Music publisher and retailer
Active Sydney, 1851-56 (as Woolcott and Clarke)
Died Sydney, 30 September 1887, aged 61

August 1856: NOTICE is hereby given that William Prout Woolcott and Jacob Richard Clarke, of George-stveet, Sydney in the colony of New South Wales, stationers and book-sellers, and of the Cremorne Gardens at the North Shore, did, on the nineteenth day of August Instant, duly make and execute an assignment of all their real and personal estate, credits and effects whatsoever to John Godfrey Cohen, of George-street, in Sydney, aforsesaid, auctioneer,one of the firm of Messrs. Cohen and Harbottle, of the samc place, auctioneers, and John Sands, of  George-street, in Sydney aforesaid, bookseller and stationer, one of the firm of Messrs. Sands and Kenny, of the same place, booksellers and sattioners ; in trust for the benefit or all their creditors […]

Obituary: WE regret to have to announce the death of Mr. W.P. Woolcott, sen., house and land agent, which occurred suddenly yesterday afternoon. Mr. Woolcott at the time of his death, was on his way from his office, Fitz-Evan-chambers, Castlereagh-street, to join his brother (the late town clerk), when he dropped dead, it is supposed from an attack of apoplexy.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 April 1851), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 July 1851), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 December 1854), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 August 1856), 6:;“NEWS OF THE DAY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 October 1887), 13:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 October 1887), 1:

Associations: Charles Woolcott (brother), Jacob Clarke (business partner, 1851-56)



WOOLLEY, Emmeline Mary
Pianist, organist, music teacher, choir leader, composer
Born England, 1843 Arrived Sydney, 9 July 1852
Died Darlinghurst, NSW, 18 March 1908

Obituary: Both in musical and in social circles, the death of Miss Emmeline M. D. Woolley, which occurred at 5.30 a.m. yesterday, after several months’ illness, at her residence in Upper William-street (now Woolcott-street), Darlinghurst, will be deeply regretted. A long and charitable life, marked by innumerable acts of unostentatious benevolence, more especially extended to the young and helpless   of her own sex, is thus closed, and with it an artistic career, the influence of which stimulated nearly every local movement in the higher interests of music that has been set on foot during the past 30 years. Miss Woolley was the oldest daughter of the late Rev. Dr. Woolley, who was the first principal of Sydney University [who] arrived in Sydney with his wife and youug family, in July, 1852. […] Miss Woolley developed a talent for music at an early age, and accordingly completed her musical education as a pianist in Germany. Besides this, she spent two years in Florence, and eventually returned to Sydney accomplished in both languages, and with a sound knowledge of, and vivid interest in, the art and literature of Italy. During her earlier professional career in this city, Miss Woolley was recognised as a pianist with a style at once scholarly and sparkling, whilst as an organist she officiated brilliantly at St. John’s Church, Darlinghurst, working with success to replace tho old-fashioned instrument of that period with one equipped with the latest improvements. In many other ways, this lady was prominently and unselfishly concerned in the cause of music. In the late seventies she endeavoured to secure a subsidy for open-air concerts with cheap refreshments for the people in the Garden Palace grounds; she joined her partner and friend, the late Miss Pedley, in a journey to England in 1895, as the outcome of which the Royal Academy and Royal College of Music extended their Associated Board Examinations to this country; and she ardently supported Signor Hazon in founding the Sydney Amateur Orchestral Society, on the committee of which she remained to the end. Her last attendance at a public concert was, indeed, at the recent farewell to the Italian conductor in September. Miss Woolley was interested in kindred musical bodies, and be- sides organising concerts (with Miss Pedley) in aid of the Women’s College, the Thirlmere Consumptives’ Home, the Women’s Industries' Exhibition (1888), and other institutions, she actively assisted Lady Mary Lygon in the elaborate “Sydney Musical Competitions” which took place at the Town Hall In 1900. As a composer, Miss Woolley exhibited the gift of graceful melodic expression in several separate works, published in London, such as “The Serenade” and “The Wind and the Beam”, but her principal composition was “The Captive Soul”, a poetic fairy romance, written by Miss Pedley. Both ladies were concerned in founding the St. Cecelia Choir in 1884, and it was this fine body of female voices which produced the new cantata (under Miss Pedley’s baton) in 1895. This stamped the composer as a musician capable of considerable melodic inspiration, and the choral dirge, “Hush the Spindle, Hush the Loom”, made a deep impression upon all who heard it. The manuscript was at once purchased by the famous publishing house of Novello, Ewer, and Co., whose expert pronounced it “an exceedingly clever work”, and it has since been performed in many of the great musical centres of England. Two years ago “The Captive Soul” was rendered in Adelaide at the University by the students of the Elder Conservatorium. The death in 1898 of Miss Pedley, in concert with whom she had produced for the first time here Greig’s “C Minor Sonata”, and the one in F, Bargiel’s trio, and other works, proved a severe blow to Miss Woolley, but she conducted the St. Cecilians until failing health increased the difficulty of keeping the once fine semi-chorus before the public.  

References: “A short poem …”, The Sydney Morning Herald (31 May 1873), 9:; “MUSICAL AT HOME”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 June 1895), 8:; “DEATH OF MISS WOOLLEY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 March 1908), 6:

The Wind and the beam (words: Bulwer Lytton) London: London Music Publishing Co., [1870s?]
The King’s Highway (words: “Australie”) ([?]: [?], [1873])
The captive soul (cantata for soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto and tenor soli and chorus of female voices /​ the words written by Ethel C. Pedley; the music composed by E. M. Woolley) (London: Novello, Ewer and Co., 1896) COPY AT BRITISH LIBRARY [the copy listed in Trove as being at the University of Western Australia is reported missing]

Resources: Martha Rutledge, Woolley, Emmeline Mary Dogherty (1843-1908), ADB 12 (1990); K. J. Cable, Woolley, John (1816-1866), ADB 6 (1976)



WORGAN, George Bouchier
Surgeon, amateur musician, pianist, music teacher
Baptised London, 3 May 1757
Arrived Sydney, 26 January 1888 (surgeon per Sirius)
Departed Sydney, 1791 (per Waaksamheyd for England)
Died Liskeard, Cornwall, England, 4 March 1838

Summary: He was a son of respected London musician, organist and composer John Worgan (1724-1790). He became a naval surgeon, and thereby his piano, brought with him on the Sirius, was the first landed in the colony in 1788. According to Heather Clarke: “The Broadwood Piano Archives record that a Mr. Worgan purchased one of their early square pianos on 10th April, 1783”. He later gave his piano to Elizabeth Macarthur, wife of lieutenant John Macarthur of the New South Wales Corps, and also gave her lessons on it before he returned to England in 1791.

(Letter to Miss Kingdom, from Elizabeth Macarthur, Sydney, 7 March 1791): “I shall now introduce another acquaintance, Mr. Worgan, to you, a gentleman I have not hitherto named. He was surgeon to the Syrius, and happened to be left at this place when that ship met with her fate at Norfolk. It is not improbable this Gentleman may himself deliver this letter to you. He is well known to Doctor [illegible]. I assure you in losing him a very considerable branch of our society will be lopped off. I shall now tell you of another resource I had to fill up some of my vacant hours. Our new house is ornamented with a pianoforte of Mr. Worgan’s; he kindly means to leave it with me, and now, under his direction, I have begun a new study, but I fear without my master I shall not make any great proficiency. I am told, however, that I have done wonders in being able to play off God Save the King and Foot’s Minuet, besides that of reading the notes with great facility.”

Worgan, presumably, received some musical training from his father. But the only musical observation he hazarded in his Sydney journal was to judge Indigenous people largely un-musical because of their lack of sustained interest in European music:

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

By comparison, the musical observations of chief surgeon John White and of another trained musician among his colleagues John Hunter (a pupil of Charles Burney), are both more enlightened and more interesting. Nevertheless, from McGuanne in 1901 onward, it has been Worgan and his piano that are most frequently cited in foundational narratives of Australian music history (e.g. Lorna Stirling, “The Development of Australian Music”, 1944; James Hall, “History of Music in Australia”, 1951; Arundel Orchard, Music in Australia, 1952). The vocalist, organist and composer George William Worgan, who arrived in Sydney in 1838, was probably of the same family.

References: George Bouchier Worgan, Journal [kept on a Voyage to New South Wales with the First Fleet, with Letter Written to his brother Richard, 12 - 18 June 1788], 12: original manuscript and transcript, SL-NSW online; “QUARTERLY NAVAL OBITUARY”, The Australian (14 August 1838), 4:; J. P. McGuanne, “The Humours and Pastimes of Early Sydney”, The Australian Historical Society Journal and Proceedings 1 (1901), 40-42; “EARLIEST WOMAN AGRICULTURIST”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 February 1911), 5:; “EARLY DAYS. A BANQUET IN 1790”, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 November 1933), 10:

Resources: John Cobley, Worgan, George Bouchier (1757–1838), Australian Dictionary of Biography 2 (1967); Pamela McGairl, “Worgan”, Grove Music Online (Oxford Music Online); James Hall, “History of Music in Australia (1)”, The Canon 4/6 (January 1951), 277–281; Heather Clarke, The History of Music and Dance in Australia, 1788-1840:;



WORGAN, George William
Professor of music, pianist, tenor vocalist, organist, composer
Born England, 1796/7
Arrived Sydney, 1838
Died Sydney, 1862, aged 65


1861: MR. WORGAN, professed Tuner of the Pianoforte, having returned to Sydney, respectfully requests all orders for him to be left with Mr. WILLIAM KING, Pianoforte Warehouse, Market-street.

References: “THE DISCORDION“, Bell's Life in Sydney (15 February 1851), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 November 1861), 9:



WRATHALL, Miss (Charlotte or Mary Ann)
Arrived Hobart, 2 April 1831 (per Rifleson, from London, 20 October 1830)

Summary: A daughter of a recently arrived Hobart butcher, Stephen Wrathall (died 1872 aged 93), she appeared in Deane’s concert in July 1832.

(1832): Miss Wrathall’s “Oh, say not”, wanted only a little more art to render it a most brilliant performance; her song was deservedly encored.

(1832): The sweetness of Miss Wrathall’s voice delighted every one.

References: “SHIP NEWS”, Colonial Times (8 April 1831), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (21 May 1831), 4:; [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (4 June 1831), 3:; [News ], Colonial Times (24 July 1832), 2:; [News], The Hobart Town Courier (27 July 1832), 3:; “Soiree XII”, The Sydney Gazette (1 September 1832), 3:; ? “MARRIAGE”, Launceston Examiner (3 October 1857), 2:  



Organist, pianist, composer
Arrived (1) Melbourne, 2 November 1857 (per Morning Light, from Liverpool); departed April 1858 (for England)
Arrived (2) Melbourne, 1 September 1860 (per Champion of the Seas, from Liverpool)
Died Brighton, VIC, 7 April 1861, aged 36

Juvenile musicians, vocalists
Departed for England, November 1862

Summary: Wray arrived in Melbourne for the first time from Liverpool on the ship the Morning Light on 2 November 1857, and a week later Joseph Wilkie advertised publication of his The Morning Light Polka (“Composed on the Voyage to Melbourne”). He advertised as a teacher of music in December billing himself as “late Organist of the Blind Asylum, Liverpool, late Conductor of the Torquay Choral Society; Organist of the Sacred Harmonic Society, Liverpool, 700 performers,)”, and as otherwise open to engagement. Wray sailed again for England in  April 1858, but returned to Melbourne in September 1860, on board the Champion of the Seas, likewise recording that voyage with his The Champion of the Seas Polka (“Composed expressly for &​ respectfully dedicated to the owners of that magnificent vessel”) ([Melbourne]: [Joseph Wilkie], [?1860]). On his return, Wray brought his large family of young performers with him, the Wray Family, or “The Little Nightingales” (for their names, details, and concert repertoire, see Melbourne advertisement September 1860; also Bendigo review December 1860).  One other musical work by him, published in England, is The Charm Schottisch (“companion to the Gem Polka”) (“Dedicated to the gentlemen of Birkenhead”) (Liverpool [UK]: W. P. Draper, [?1857]).

Obituary: We regret to have to announce the death, at 6 o’clock yesterday morning, of Mr. W. B. Wray, a gentleman well known to the musical world as an accomplished organist, and to the public generally as the father of “The Little Nightingales”. Mr. Wray was formerly organist at the Blind Asylum in Liverpool, but was compelled to resign his appointment by the state of his health, to ameliorate which he resided for some years at Torquay on the coast of Devonshire. The peculiar nature of his complaint, consumption, subsequently induced him to visit this colony nearly three years ago. Many will remember with pleasure his performances upon the organ during his short stay, and while he had the post of organist of Brighton Church. He returned to England for the sake of advancing the professional interests of his young family but was again compelled to emigrate, and once more chose Victoria as his home. On his arrival here he gave seven concerts, which met with a liberal share of public patronage, and was, to the gratification of his friends, reinstated in his old situation. He was to have commenced his duties on the very day on which his career was terminated by tho hand of death. On Thursday last the deceased gentleman was suddenly seized with a coughing fit while in the railway, and broke a blood-vessel. The accident terminated in his death. He has left a widow and seven children to deplore his loss.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (9 November 1857), 6:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Argus (16 November 1857), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (3 December 1857), 8:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Argus (16 April 1858), 4:; “MELBOURNE: DEPARTURES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (23 April 1858), 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (12 September 1860), 8:; [News], The Argus (6 September 1860), 5: ; “SOCIAL”, The Star (24 November 1860), 2:; ‘THE WRAY FAMILY”, Bendigo Advertiser (8 December 18600, 2:; “LOCKING PASSENGERS IN CARRIAGES. TO THE EDITOR”, The Argus (28 February 1861), 5:; [News], The Argus (12 March 1861), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (8 April 1861), 4:; [News], The Argus (8 April 1861), 4:; “Funeral Notices”, The Argus (9 April 1861), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (15 April 1861), 8:; [News], The Argus (20 April 1861), 5:; [News], The Argus (18 October 1861), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (24 November 1862), 2:



WREDE, Robert W.
Music and musical instrument importer, speculator
Arrived Sydney, February 1838 (per Upton Castle, from Plymouth, 16 October 1837)
Died Melbourne, 19 October 1857, aged 40

Summary: Robert Wrede, among many other speculative imports (including wines and building materials), brought in a stock of music and instruments in February 1838, evidently on behalf of his father, Herman Wrede, a piano and wind instrument maker of London. In a letter to his father (Sydney, 24 March 1838), Robert writes:

I have disposed of all my small Musical Instruments and Music to Ellard at invoice price with the exception of Music paper for which I charged him 5o/- per Ream, but I will give you particulars. I first sent him the goods he ordered in his last letter, amounting to £87. 1 .6 according to list of prices sent through Dettmer: of this he will pay me the balance of the £50 in ready money. I next sent him the residue of Instruments in his first order amounting to £101.13.o also according to Dettmer’s prices, this to be paid before I leave the Colony; lastly I have sold him the whole of my Musical Instruments, Piano Fortes and Seraphines excepted amounting to £391.15.3 invoice price, and Music amounting to £110.12.7 at ½ price, to be paid in 2 bills of 6 and 12 months. I hope you will not think I have been too hasty in the matter. I can assure you I have done my best—the fact is that Ellard is the only man in the Colony who is able to take such a large invoice, he having the whole of the Music business in his own hands—as for dividing it, the most saleable articles would have been withdrawn and the rest left on my hands .... I think I may consider the best square Piano Forte as sold for £75 but nothing is sure till you have the money in your hands … Every day in the Colony discloses to me fresh means of making money, of which I hope hereafter to benefit. Oh! that I had £5,ooo placed now at my disposal, I would pledge myself to double it in 2 years, and that in the easiest manner possible. […] This is now Saturday the 31 March, on Monday next I shall go into the interior for 1o days or so, and hope on my return […] I shall be able to tell of sales of Piano Fortes, as several of them are at present under consideration, they do not go off as quickly as I expected.

At least one Herman Wrede instrument sold by Francis Ellard survives at the the Powerhouse Museum: Wrede pianos were freqently advertised in the Australian press, usually for resale, during the 1830s and 1840s. Robert again imported musical instruments into Melbourne in 1847.

References: [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (10 February 1837), 3:; “Ship News”, The Sydney Gazette (10 February 1838), 2:; “IMPORTS“, The Melbourne Argus (12 November 1847), 2:; “DIED”, The Argus (21 December 1857), 4:

Bibliography: Eric Halfpenny, “Music Trading in the Antipodes in the Early Nineteenth Century”, The Galpin Society Journal 20 (March 1967), 100-102:; also:;

Other sources: Papers of Robert Wrede and John Hodgson (1840-57), at Sl-VIC:



Instrumentalist (theatrical orchestra), bassoonist
Active Sydney, from 1845 (? to 1863)

References: “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 April 1845), 2:; [Advertisement], Morning Chronicle (28 May 1845), 3:; [Advertisement], Bell’s Life in Sydney (24 March 1849), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 April 1850), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (2 July 1859), 3:; [Advertisement], Empire (4 July 1859), 6: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 August 1861), 1:; [Advertisement], “YOUNGE’S ATHENAEUM”, The Sydney Morning Herald (25 March 1863), 1: 



Teacher of the violin
Active Melbourne, 1859

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (25 April 1859), 8: 



WYATT, Dr. (William))
Amateur flautist, vocalist
Active Adelaide, 1840s
Died Kurralta, SA, 10 June 1886, aged 81

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:;  “ADELAIDE. FRIDAY’, The Argus (12 June 1886), 11:; “DEATHS”, The South Australian Advertiser (15 June 1886), 4:




Active Sydney, 1860

1860: There was a large choir of ladies and gentlemen, who, under the direction of Mr. Wylie, precentor of the church, performed several sacred pieces.

References: “ST. JOHN’S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, PADDINGTON”, Empire (6 November 1860), 4:  


- X -


Actor, vocalist, dancer
Arrived Sydney, 2 May 1833 (per Adventure)
Departed Sydney, 12 April 1849 (per John Calvin, for London)

Summary: THIS ENTRY IS A STUB. Daughter of the theatre scene-painter William Winstanley (d. February 1842) and sister of the leading actor Eliza (later Mrs. O’Flaherty), Ann made her Sydney theatrical debut with her sister at the Theatre Royal in October 1834. She appeared outside the theatre at a vocalist for Eliza Wallace’s concert in October 1838, and was increasingly regularly billed as a singer. In July 1841 she married Henry Ximenes, a Lieutenant of the 16th Regiment who arrived in the colony in 1840 having applied for discharge on the grounds of insolvency. Her appearance in a pants-role, as Florestein in Balfe’s The Bohemian Girl in July 1846 was especially noted. Her last appearance, before departing for England in March 1849, was as Lisa in Bellini’s La Sonnambula.

References: “THEATRE”, The Sydney Monitor (22 April 1835), 2-3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (10 October 1838), 3:; “THE VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Gazette (17 October 1839), 2:; “THEATRE. MISS WINSTANLEY’S BENEFIT”, The Sydney Gazette (22 August 1840), 2:; “MRS. O’FLAHERTY’S (LATE MISS WINSTANLEY) BENEFIT”, The Sydney Monitor (5 May 1841), 2:; “INSOLVENT DEBTOR’S COURT“, The Australian (11 May 1841), 2:; “MARRIED”, The Sydney Monitor (14 July 1841), 3:; “Theatricals”, The Sydney Gazette (10 February 1842), 2:; “Theatricals“, Bell’s Life in Sydney (25 july 1846), 2:; “MUSIC. To the Editors”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (31 July 1847), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 January 1849), 2:; “DEPARTURES”, The Sydney Monitor (13 April 1849), 2:; “THE DRAMA”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (31 March 1849), 3:; “SELECTIONS FROM AUSTRALIAN POETS. No. O. MRS. XIMENES”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (7 April 1849), 3:

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


- Y -


YARNTON, George Swinerton
Amateur church musician, solicitor
Born 1814
Active Sydney, by 1836
Died Surry Hills, NSW, 17 April 1883, aged 69

YARNTON, George William
Organist, choirmaster (St. Stephen’s Macquarie Street, 1883-1890), ironmonger, composer
Born Newtown, 1842
Died Newtown, 1912

1856: THE AUSTRALIAN PSALMIST. - The first part of the “Australian Psalmist,” a collection of Psalm and Hymn tunes, edited by Mr. G. S. Yarnton, has just been published by Messrs. Johnson and Co. We annex the editor’s preface, which fully explains the nature and objects of the work: The editor of this small Tune Book has, during many years, been deeply interested in sacred music - he attaches a very high value to the exercise of praise as a part of public worship - in his opinion, nothing can atone for its absence, or for its inefficient performance, indeed, the whole of the service must be comparatively spiritless without energetic and effective singing. These remarks are obvious, and require no confirmation. The editor may be asked, “why issue another book of tunes, since there are so many now in existence which are acknowledged to be excellent?” His reply is, that some of these books are in advance of most of our ordinary congregations, and that it is not easy to find in any one book tunes suitable for the numerous peculiar metres found in several of the Hymn Books. The editor thought that he could select from various sources a limited number of tunes which would meet the necessities of any ordinary congregation, and (besides a few short anthems, and some chaunts) it did not seem to him that more than about a hundred, including peculiar metres, were called for. He intends to avoid tunes containing fugue passages, as not consistent with the simplicity and solemnity of public worship, and as otherwise objectionable. Should this humble attempt to pro- mote the cultivation and improvement of the “Service of Song in the House of the Lord” be successful, his object will be secured. He submits his little work to the candour of the Christian public and to the blessing of God.

1898 (Auguste Wiegand organ recital): The request number look the form of G. W. Yarnton’s “Sunset Melody,” a sweet and dreamy piece, in which the vox humana and reed combinations were largely employed.

Summary (after Peter Meyer, 2011): GGeorge William was born in Newtown in 1842. In 1863, George William Yarnton & Co, Ironongers had premises at 44 Market Street. He was organist at St John’s, Ashfield (1869-78) where he then lived, and entered the first Sydney Organ Competition just before his thirtieth birthday in 1872. In 1889 he was elected secretary of the Summer Hill Choral Union at its foundation. He advertised for sale a Richard Lipp piano in 1887, but it seems not to have been sold, because it was listed in his deceased estate in 1912. In 1902 he claimed the qualification ALCM (Associate of the London College of Music). In 1904 Yarnton attended the civic welcome for the famous blind British organist, Alfred Hollins.

References: “To the Editor”, The Australian (7 October 1836), 2:; “THE AUSTRALIAN PSALMIST”, Freeman’s Journal (27 September 1856), 3:; “THE AUSTRALIAN PSALMIST”, The Sydney Morning Herald (24 September 1856), 8:; “ORGAN CONTEST AT THE EXHIBITION BUILDING”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 May 1872), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 April 1883), 1:; “ST. STEPHEN’S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 September 1888), 4:; “TOWN HALL ORGAN RECITAL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 March 1898), 6:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 January 1912), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 February 1912), 14:




Parish clerk
Active Sydney, 1829

References: [News], The Sydney Monitor (17 March 1829), 3:



YOUNG, Charles
Dancer, vocalist, comedian
Born Doncaster, England, 5 April 1819
Died Woolloomooloo, NSW, 29 January 1874

YOUNG, (Jane) Eliza (THOMSON)
Dancer, vocalist, actor
Born Tasmania, 1828/29
Died Margate, England, 17 April 1902

 Hobart 1846: DANSE LA POLKA […] MR. & MRS. YOUNG feel great pleasure in announcing to the Ladies, Gentlemen, and Families of Hobart Town, &c, that they have just received from Mr. BARON NATHAN, (one of the most eminent professors of Dancing in London) a complete and accurate analysis of the last new POLKA COTILLON and QUADRILLES, the whole of which (in addition to the original POLKA) will be taught at their Establishment; as also will the NEW BOHEMIAN POLKA, “REDOWA” and “KALAMAIKA” […] those who may honour them with their patronage, they may rely with confidence upon being taught the TRUE POLKA, precisely in the same style as it is now danced by the elite of England and France in the saloons of London and Paris. “Dancing contributes in a most essential degree to the preservation of health. Children weak and feeble in limb, will by this exercise imperceptibly acquire new vigour; on the other hand, when the pupil is healthy and strong, the practice of dancing will retain and encrease his strength. The early moulding of the body to the most polished attitudes, lends to youth the graceful carriage of mature age; and ease of manners once attained in early life, it is impossible to lose in after years.” […] Melbourne 1849: Two additional stars have this week been added to the list, in the persons of Mr. and Mrs. Young, who left many favorable impressions here during their former visit in Coppin's days. They have both undergone a very marked improvement since then, however, and now combine talents as dancers, which are quite refreshing after the way in which we have   been dosed with the Chambers family, with a proficiency in light comedy parts, which we have rarely seen equalled in votaries of Terpsichore.

References: “MARRIED”, The Cornwall Chronicle (7 June 1845), 2:; “PANTHEON WARD”, The Courier (26 September 1846), 3:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (17 November 1846), 1:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (25 February 1848), 1:; “THE THEATRE”, The Argus (11 May 1849), 2:; “VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Courier (27 July 1850), 2:; “THE MELBOURNE STAGE IN THE FORTIES. By J. S. No. IV.”, The Argus (7 June 1890), 4:; “THE MELBOURNE STAGE IN THE FORTIES. TO THE EDITOR”, The Argus (25 June 1890), 6:; “THE MELBOURNE STAGE IN THE FORTIES. TO THE EDITOR”, The Argus (19 June 1890), 10:; ”THE MELBOURNE STAGE IN THE FORTIES. TO THE EDITOR”, The Argus (21 June 1890), 10:; “DEATH OF MR. CHAS. YOUNG”, The Argus (30 January 1874), 6:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (31 January 1874), 1:; “DEATH OF MR. CHARLES YOUNG”, The Mercury (4 February 1874), 3:; “THE LATE CHARLES YOUNG, COMEDIAN”, Illustrated Sydney News (28 February 1874), 10:

Resources: Martha Rutledge, Young, Charles Frederick Horace Frisby (1819-1874), Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976)



YOUNG, Florence
Soprano vocalist, actor
Born Melbourne, 2 October 1870
Died Melbourne, 11 November 1920

References: ? “JUVENILE PANTOMIME”, Bendigo Advertiser (20 January 1881), 2:; “MELBOURNE LIEDERTAFEL”, The Argus (8 July 1890), 6:; “MISS FLORENCE YOUNG. Her Death Announced”, The Argus (12 November 1920), 6:; “THE LATE FLORENCE YOUNG”, The Daily News (18 November 1920), 3:

Resources: Joan Maslen, Young, Florence Maude (1870-1920), Australian Dictionary of Biography 12 (1990)



YOUNG, Jacob
Bandsman (Burton's Band); musician band-master (German Band)
Active, 1856-58

1858: Charles Schlue was charged with stealing two shirts, the property of his employer, a German musician named Jacob Young, living at North Melbourne. The prisoner was one of a German band, and the prosecutor, on the previous night, had locked him up in a room, in consequence of his being drunk, and unable to play his part …”

References: “MOUNT BARKER”, South Australian Register (7 November 1856), 3:; “POLICE. CITY COURT”, The Argus (21 July 1858), 1s:



Musician, harpist
AcActive Melbourne, 1856; Sydney, 1857

1857: Thomas Dwyer was found guilty of having wilfully and maliciously broken a harp, the property of John Young. It appeared that complainant is an itinerant musician, and was last night exercising his vocation in Bathurst-street, when defendant asked him for a certain tune, with which he was accommodated; he then asked for another, which complainant declined to play, whereupon Dwyer said that he would smash his harp, and at the same time gave it a severe kick which broke off a portion, to repair which will require at least £5.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (29 March 1856), 10:; “CENTRAL POLICE COURT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 September 1857), 4:



YOUNG, R. Bentley
Editor of hymnbook, journalist, agent
Active Australia, 1891-92; 1902

1892: We have received from the compiler, Mr. R. Bentley Young, au interesting collection of 78 Australian hymn tunes, already, we are informed, largely used in Australian churches and Sunday schools, and deserving to become widely and favourably known. We append the names of the composers, many of whom are well known to our readers, they are as follow - Sir W. C. Robinson G.C.M.G., the Rev. D. H. Ellis, B.D , LLD , Mus Bac., the Rev. Dr Torrance, Professor J Ives, Mus Bac, Messrs Neville G. Barnett, F Y. Benham, Colin A. F. Campbell, W. Bowen Chinner, Seymour Dicker, Charles Eyres, George Herbert, T. H. Jones, Geo. F. King, Henry J. King, Guglielmo Lardelli, V. Lloyd, John Massey, Ernest E. Mitchell, W. Sanders, Cecil J. Sharp, and T. N. Stephens. The collection is published by Novello, Ewer, and Co.

References: “CHURCH MUSIC”, South Australian Register (4 March 18920, 5:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Argus (14 March 1892), 7:; “CHURCH INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Chronicle (19 March 1892), 9:; “Australian Hymn Tunes”, Australian Town and Country Journal (14 May 1892), 10:; “DRAMATIC NOTES”, The Register (22 February 1902), 9:

Works: Seventy-eight Australian Hymn Tunes (compiled by R. Bentley Young) (London : Novello, Ewer and Co., [1892])

NLA persistent identifier:



YOUNGE, Mrs. Frederick (Emma Jane CORRI)
Vocalist, actor (daughter of Haydn CORRI)
Born Dublin, c.1830
Married 19 December 1852
Arrived Melbourne, February 1858
Departed Melbourne, May 1865

YOUNGE, Frederick
Comic vocalist, actor

Summary: Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Younge arrived in Melbourne in early 1858. At the Theatre Royal in June, Mrs. Younge introduced a “new Railway Song “Rosin the Beau” written by Mr. Charles Bright for this occasion”, and her husband sang “A New Song to an Old Tune, written expressly for this evening, by Mr. W. M. Akhurst”. At a theatrical benefit in aid of the United Fire Fighter’s fund in October 1858, Mrs F. Younge, “surrounded by the brigades in full uniform”, introduced THE FIREMAN’S SONG, Composed for the occasion”.

February 1858: Amongt the passengers by the Norfolk are Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Younge, the former a brother of Mr. Richard Younge, stage manager of the Theatre Royal […] Mr. Frederick Younge, whoso theatrical career at Drury Lane and Sadler's Wells has deservedly rendered him a favourite with the London public, will prove a most valuable acquisition to the Melbourne boards. - Melbourne Herald.

References: “VICTORIA”, The Courier (12 February 1858), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (14 June 1858), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (28 October 1858), 8:; “DEATH OF MR. HAYDN CORRI”, Bendigo Advertiser (15 May 1860), 3:; “BENEFIT OF MRS. FREDERICK YOUNGE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (22 August 1862), 5:; “MRS. F. YOUNGE’S ENTERTAINMENT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (23 January 1864), 4:; [News], The Argus (29 April 1865), 5:  




YOUNGE, Richard
Actor, vocalist, songwriter
Active Australia, 1854-60
Died London, 1887

1855: Mr. R. Younge sang a descriptive patriotic song, written by himself, on the departure of the British Guards from London for the East. The exciting and appropriate music was arranged by Mr. Winterbottom. The description of the varied circumstances attendant upon the departure, the march, the halt, the muster, the exchange of farewells by the wife and husband, the embarkation, and the first charge, followed by a prayer, was admirably illustrated both vocally and instrumentally, and obtained an enthusiastic encore.

References: “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 July 1855), 5:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, Empire (11 July 1855), 4:; “THE DRAMA”, Empire (31 October 1860), 4:; “DEATH OF MR. RICHARD YOUNGE”, The Argus (8 June 1887), 8:



YOUNGER, Charles
Amateur cellist, organist
Arrived Sydney, 18 December 1836 (per Alexander Robertson)
Died St Leonards, NSW, 26 June 1875, aged 68

YOUNGER, Montague (senior)
Organist, pianist, composer
Born Sydney, 25 June 1836
Died Sydney, 26 December 1899, aged 64

YOUNGER, Montague (jnr)
Born Sydney, 1869
Died 1947

Works: The Nervous Cures (as danced by the celebrated Christy's Minstrels arranged for the pianoforte by M. Younger) (Sydney: W. J. Johnson, [1868]); Nervous Cures Galop (“The Veritable Christy's nervous cures galopas played at the nobility's and gentry's balls”) (Sydney: W. J. Johnson, [1868]); Thanksgiving Hymn for the Preservation of the Duke of Edinburgh (from the attempt upon his life) (words: L.M. Harrison) [April 1868], published as Hymn: A Tribute to Prince Alfred (Words L.M. Harrison)

1865: Mr. Montague Younger-well known in musical circles as an amateur mubician of great genius and a gentleman who enjoyed the.personal respect and esteem of a large number of friends-has left Sydney to settle in Queensland.

1899: Mr. Montague Younger, Jun. At the Freemasons’ ball, held at the Town Hall, Sydney, on July 27, a new waltz, composed by Mr. Montague Younger, jun., second son of the well-known organist and musician of this city, appeared in the programme. There has been a plethora of this class of dance music for the last few years In Sydney, although of the many candidates for public favor few are advanced to the stage of appearing in print, or obtain the coveted honor of being orchestrated by M. be Groen and played by his celebrated band. But this waltz is making an auspicious entry into public life. His Excellency Lord Beauchamp has permitted its dedication to himself, and the piece has been entitled “The Earl”. It goes without saying that the composition is a meritorious one to have won its way thus far, and, as it is just being brought out by Messrs. Paling and Company,  musical people will soon have an opportunity of judging for themselves. Mr. Montague Younger, jun., is essentially a son of the soil—a veritable cornstalk as his father is himself a native of Sydney, being the second son of Mr. Younger, of stove-making fame, who came to New South Wales in the early days to open an ironmongery store in conjunction with Mr. Levick, who travelled with him from England, for the purpose. To believers in heredity, it is curious to note how this young composer;s grandfather was himself a musician, finding time, when not engaged in his business, to play the ‘cello. He also had a liking for organ music, presenting St. Thomas's Church, North Sydney, with its first instrument, a seraphim, when he held the position there of trustee and churchwarden, the other trustee being Mr. James Milson. Mr. Younger played this instrument himself for some time, his young sons singing in the choir, the second one (Montague) being later on promoted to the positon of organist when 10 years of age at a salary of £10 a year. Although intended for business, this juvenile organist eventually took up music as a profession in 1865, and after a short sojourn in Queensland, where he filled important musical positions, was appointed organist and choir master at St. Andrew’s Pro-Cathedral in 1868, and has filled the same position from its consecration to the present time. It is not, however, as a public performer that his son, Mr. Montague Younger, jun., hopes to come to the front. From an early age he has had a taste for musical composition, and a long illness keeping him from the business life for which he was intended, induced him to turn his attention exclusively to music. In addition to “The Earl” waltz. Mr. Younger has two songs ready for publication, and his many friends in Sydney will watch his future career with great interest.

1932: […] The final place of business the firm having then changed its name to Younger and Son was located where the Bulletin office now stands in George street. There was an added interest attached to this house. Here a great part of the oratorio The Crown of Thorns by Charles Packer was composed. Mr Packer was on intimate terms of friendship with the family […] The family was very musical the father being a good performer on the piano, organ and cello and all the sons and daughters played instruments and sang. Mr Younger who was one of the founders of St Thomas Church North Sydney was its first organist and was succeeded by his son Montague at the juvenile age of 12.

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 December 1832), 2: [Advertisement], Bell’s Life in Sydney (22 May 1852), 3:; “Aquatics in 1853”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (21 January 1854), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 June 1864), 1:; “ANNUAL MEETING OF THE SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (17 August 1864), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 February 1865), 2:; “MARRIAGES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (31 October 1865), 1:; [News], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 November 1865), 5:; “IPSWICH”, The Queenslander (24 February 1866), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 November 1867), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 November 1867), 1:; [News], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 April 1868), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 June 1875), 1:; “ST. ANDREW’S CATHEDRAL”, Empire (28 February 1872), 2:; “Mr. Montague Younger, Jun.”, Australian Town and Country Journal (29 July 1899), 41:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 December 1899), 1:; “MEMORIAL SERVICE OF MR. MONTAGUE YOUNGER”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 January 1900), 9:; “CHURCH OF ENGLAND”, The Sydney Morning Herald (17 November 1900), 12:; CHARLES YOUNGER. Just a Hundred years Ago”, The Sydney Morning Herald (17 December 1932), 9:

Resources: E. J. Lea-Scarlett, Younger, Monatgue Thomas Robson (1836-1899), ADB 6 (1976); Peter Hughes, “Montague Younger: first organist of St. Andrew’s Cathedral Sydney”, The Sydney Organ Journal (December 1999), 21-22:



YRIGOYTI, Francis de
Active London, 1850s

Summary: Francis de Yrigoyti, so far as is known, never came to Australia. However, he composed several popular compositions that are testament to colonial gold fever’s grip in London in the early 1850s. The new song Dig! Dig! Dig! was “Composed & dedicated to all merry gold diggers”; according to reviews quoted on the back cover of the second edition: “This song may serve to shed a gleam of satisfaction to our Australian friends”, “we hope it may find its way to Geelong”. Yrigoyti followed the song with the Dig! Dig! Dig! Polka ( The song and his The Great Nugget Polka were on sale in Australia by mid 1854.

References: “New Music”, The Ladies’ Companion and Monthly Magazine 3 (1 April 1853), 222:; “THE GREAT NUGGET POLKA”, The Ladies’ Companion and Monthly Magazine 3 (1 June 1853), 330: ; [Advertisement], The Musical Times 5 (1 February 1854), 346:; [Advertisement], “THE GREAT NUGGET POLKA, embellished with a veritable nugget […] WOOLCOTT and CLARKE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 May 1854), 6:; “CHARACTERISTIC MUSIC”, The Courier (1 June 1854), 3:; the title also appears in a long list of music for sale from Robert Blair, [Advertisement], “MUSIC”, The Maitland Mercury (6 April 1858), 3:


- Z -


Dancers, vocalists, actors
Arrived Sydney, June 1871 (per Nebraska, from California)
Departed Sydney, January 1872 (per Nebraska, for Auckland, NZ)

Born England, c.1834 (mother of Emmeline and Alice)

ZAVISTOWSKI, Emmeline (Mrs. Julius SHAILER)
Born Pennsylvania, c.1850

ZAVISTOWSKI, Alice (Mrs. Marshall WEBB)
Born New York, c.1852

Summary: The Zavistowski Sisters (actually Christine was Emmeline and Alice's mother) toured Australia for an intensive six months from mid-1871, before moving  on to New Zealand in January 1872.


3 June 1871: The Zavistowski sisters (three in number), burlesque actresses, singers, and dancers have been engaged by Mr. George Coppin to visit Australia. They are said to be the most expensive stars that have ever yet visited the colonies.

Sydney, 24 June 1871: Great reputations may fill a theatre for one night to see Burnand’s burlesque of Ixion, and as was the case on last Saturday night, many persons may be unable to obtain admission, but to draw large audiences in inclement weather, without changing the bill requires something more than a name. That these ladies have done so, proves that they have convinced the playgoers of their talent, and are appreciated. They are considered the cleverest trio of burlesque artists seen here, and from their first entrance to the fall of the curtain the excitement never flags, nor is there an opportunity afforded for adverse criticism. Miss Christine as Jupiter, dances admirably, and acts with great animation, and the Misses Emmeline and Alice as Ixion and Mercury fulfil every requisite of the part with immense eclat. They have been nightly encored, and are already as popular as if they had been old favourites.

Sydney, 24 June 1871: The most lithe and easy is the youngest, I think, Alice, who has a naïve manner, and a very piquant countenance, totally unlike either of the others. The general appearance of the girls, their dresses, and a sort of brilliance, add to a passable share of good looks, very necessary for burlesque actresses. On hearing Alice sing “Love among the Roses”, it is easy to see whence Miss Bessie Gregory borrowed her style of singing the song. Emmeline is the best comic vocalist; “Moet and Chandon” will, of course, be the rage of those who are addicted to show themselves the worse for indulging in the beverages. The “Shoo Fly”, with which the present edition terminates, is a novelty, and about the most amusing part of the piece, and very characteristic of the kind of thing that will draw in San Francisco for “seventeen consecutive weeks”.

Sydney, July 1871: NEW DANCE MUSIC. Mr. Henry Marsh has issued a waltz entitled the “Zavistowski”, with an introduction including the air “Love among the roses”. This composition will be found very lively, and in Mr. Marsh’s usually effective style. The popular nigger melody, “Shoo fly”, furnishes Mr. Walter Rice, the leader of the Prince of Wales Opera House band, with the basis of an excellently arranged galop, set in E, and A sharp. It is very pleasing, and well marked. The latter is published by Mr. J. R, Clarke, music-seller, of Hunter street.

Melbourne, January 1872: NEW MUSIC .We have received from Professor Hughes’s Academy of Music, Collins street east, a copy of “Dora Fair”, just published, as sung by our esteemed friend, Madlle. Emmeline Zavistowski, in the burlesque of the Field of the Cloth of Gold. By special request an acquaintance of ours kindly went through the music, which is set with pianoforte accompaniments, and to our uncultivated ear the performances sounded very nicely.

Obituary of Antonio Zavistowski, New York Clipper (20 April 1901): Through Col. T. Alston Brown we learn of the death of Mons. Antonio Zavistowski  which occurred Jan. 24 at Morris Plains, NJ, aged seventy-six years. He was a well known ballerina master to old timers. He was at Covent Garden, London, Eng. for some time and came to America with his wife (Christine Ludlam), a well known premiere danseuse, in November 1848. He appeared with his wife in the small theatre called the Amphion, adjacent to the old Broadway Theatre. He then went to Philadelphia and appeared at Ellsbee's Lyceum They then came back to the old Bowery Theatre, this city. Returning to Philadelphia, they appeared at the Arch Street Theatre in 1853, dancing between the plays. For Zavistowski's benefit, June 27, 1854,  the pantomime of “Too Many Cooks“ was acted, when his wife first appeared in pantomime. The season of 1858-9, Zavistowski was at the Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia. Leaving Philadelphia, they traveled as the Zavistowski Family, consisting of Mrs. Zavistowski (Christine Ludlam) and their two daughters, Alice and Emmeline. As the family, they were at Pike's Opera House, Cincinnati in the season of 1864. They traveled through the country until they went to San Francisco, Cal. with the spectacle “Snow Flake“  and appeared at the Grand Opera House (now Morosco's), under the management of Fred Bert. Then Zavistowski went to Australia with Annie Pixley. He retired from the stage about 1881 and for years resided at Ridgewood New Jersey. When “Michael Strogoff“ was done at Booth's Theatre he had charge of the ballet.

References: [News], Australian Town and Country Journal (3 June 1871), 6:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 June 1871), 4:; “Dramatic and Musical Review”, Australian Town and Country Journal (10 June 1871), 20:; “THE PRINCE OF WALES OPERA HOUSE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (24 June 1871), 5:; “Dramatic and Musical Review”, Australian Town and Country Journal (24 June 1871), 20:; “NEW DANCE MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 July 1871), 4:; “THEATRE ROYAL. THE ZAVISTOWSKI SISTERS”, The Argus (11 September 1871), 6:; “NEW MUSIC”, Williamstown Chronicle (20 January 1872), 5:; “SYDNEY SHIPPING”, The Maitland Mercury (25 January 1872), 1:; “THE ZAVISTOWSKI SISTERS”, Daily Southern Cross (5 February 1872), 3:

Related publications: Zavistowski Waltz (by Henry Marsh) (Sydney & Melbourne: n.p., [1871]); Grand Galop: The Shoo Fly (Shoo! Fly Galop) (by Walter J. Rice) (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1871]); Moet and Chandon Waltz  (arranged by Percy Fitz Stubbs; Dedicated to Miss Emmeline Zavistowski. Arranged from the air and suggested by her artistic representation of IXION) (Sydney : n.p., [?1871/2])



ZEIGLER, Herr C. (? Charles)
Double bass player, musician
Active Adelaide, 1848-51; ? Melbourne, 1852

References: “RESIDENT MAGISTRATES COURT”, South Australian Register (10 June 1848), 4:; [Advertisement], South Australian (9 July 1850), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (7 April 1851), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (3 June 1852), 5:



Bandmaster (Herr Ziem’s band)
Active Sydney, 1857-1862

ZEIM, William (ZIEM)
Bandsman (Concordia Band)
Died Strathalbyn, SA, October 1872  

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 January 1857), 1:; “WOLLONGONG”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 February 1857), 3:; “NEWTOWN”, The Sydney Morning Herald (25 May 1860), 4-5:; “CONCERT AT THE MASONIC HALL”, Empire (31 December 1862), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 January 1863), 12:; “DEATH FROM APOPLEXY”, South Australian Register (8 October 1874), 5: 



ZELMAN, Alberto
Pianist, organist, teacher, conductor, composer
Born Trieste, Italy, 1832
Arrived Sydney, 28 August 1871 (per Rangoon, from Calcutta)
Died Melbourne, 28 December 1907

ZELMAN, Alberto (Samuel Victor Albert) (junior)
Violinist, conductor
Born Melbourne, 15 November 1874
Died Hawthorn, Melbourne, 3 March 1927


Summary: In Sydney in December 1871, bandmaster Julius Wissell already had the only recently arrived Alberto Zelman’s Pipele Waltzes on his band program.

Musical works (jnr): Soldiers of the willow (Song; words by Geo. Essex Evans [1901]; music by Alberto Zelman [? jnr.]) ([Melbourne]: For the author by Allan & Co., [1903]) 

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 December 1871), 4:

Web: Thérèse Radic, Zelman, Alberto (1832–1907), Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976); Thérèse Radic, Zelman, Samuel Victor Albert (Alberto) (1874–1927), Australian Dictionary of Biography 12 (1990)


All except George Frederick arrived Melbourne, August 1859 (per Black Swan)
ZEPLIN, George (senior)
Born Middlesex, c.1812
(m. Jane Margaret Chamberlain (1817-1881))
Died Melbourne, 29 September 1881, aged 69
ZEPLIN, George Frederick
Born UK, 1832 (m. Bridget Shea (1833-1877), 1855)
Arrived Melbourne, October 1852 (per Nepal)
Died Melbourne, 21 October 1884
Born Stepney, UK, 1843
(m. Ada White, September 1889; Argus 30.9.89)
Died Melbourne, 21 May 1899, aged 57
ZEPLIN, Frederic[k] George
Born UK, 1834
(m. (i) Rebecca Mary Jones (c.1833-1886), 24 January 1869; (ii) Julia Ada Marshall (1866-1897), 16 March 1889)
Died Melbourne, 24 September 1906, in his 73rd year
ZEPLIN, Thomas
Born Stepney, c. December 1840
(m: Louisa nee Wilson (1845-17), 1868; children: Arthur John (1872- 1940), George (1871-1908), Thomas (1870-1897))
Died Melbourne, 10 August 1913, aged 72

Summary: In the Melbourne Argus on 10 September 1859, the Zeplin Family (G. Zeplin and Sons) advertised that they had just arrived from London per ship Black Swan, and elsewhere on the same page it was already announced that Zeplin’s Celebrated Quadrille Band was engaged for a Plain and Fancy Dress Ball at Trade’s Hall, and that at Edward Wivell’s Assembly Rooms “the celebrated Enlgish instrumentalists, the Zeplin Family, will perform the newest dance music, selection from the new opera Satanella [Balfe], Jullien’s latest composition, the Fern Leaves Waltz, &c.”. Thereafter, as “Zeplin and Sons’ Quadrille Band”, they also advertised “Violin, harp, flageolet, Pianoforte taught”. In October 1861, the “Band of the Messrs. Zeplin” appeared with the visiting artists Poussard and Douay at an afternoon promenade concert at the Victorian Exhibition. Thereafter “Zeplin’s Band” played regularly at prominent Melbourne events, like the Governor’s Ball in June 1864. In August 1864 it was announced that “Mr. F. Coppin and M. Zeplin” would be first violins in Frank Howson’s orchestra at the New Haymarket Theatre. Two son were billed at the Theatre Comique in June 1867, “Musical Director, Mr. F. Zeplin … Leader of the Orchestra, Mr. Tom Zeplin”. Probably one or other of them directed the orchestra at the Governor’s Ball again in November 1867, when it was reporred: “The music was provided by Mr. Zeplin, whoso admirable band comprised 30 performers, and the programme included the Duke of Edinburgh Galop, a spirited and effective composition by Mr. Zeplin himself.” Having been lessees of the Varieties Theatre, George senior and Frederick were before the Insolvency Court in June 1876. That year Thomas Zeplin released, through W. H. Glen and Co., his first published compositions, The Lily Waltz in July, and Autumn leaves: suite de valses in November. Zeplin also composed music for several stage productions, a published offshoot of one of which was Round the world in 80 day: potpourri (“arranged by Fred. Lyster & Tho's. Zeplin ; on airs wirtten for this ... drama by Giorza, Zeplin, Fred. Lyster, Mrs. W. S. Lyster, etc.”).

Note: My thanks to an old friend, Phillip (Alban) Nunn, for kindly sharing his findings on the Zeplin family, part of his researches into the emigrants on the ship Nepal in 1852, assisted under Caroline Chisholm's emigration scheme. Phillip's great-great-great uncle was a fellow passenger of George Frederick Zelpin on the Nepal, Thomas Winnett (1827-1853). Winnett’s shipboard diary, which Phillip is editing along with material from other diarists on the same voyage, describes musical instruments (some damaged during a storm) and music-making on board. The Nepal was typical of the Chisholm ships which were models of social engineering, the emigrants a combination of professionals, artisans, artists, clergy and labourers.  

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (10 September 1859), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (17 January 1860), 3:; [Advertisment], The Argus (12 October 1861), 8:; “THE GOVEROR’S BALL”, The Australian News for Home Readers (25 June 1864), 13:; “THE NEW HAYMARKET THEATRE”, The Argus (5 August 1864), 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 June 1867), 8:; “THE GOVERNOR”S BALL”, The Argus (26 November 1867), 5:; “MARRIAGE”, The Argus (28 January 1869), 4:; “INSOLVENT COURT. SPECIAL EXAMINATION”, The Argus (17 November 1876), 1s:; [Advertisement], The Argus (15 July 1876), 12:; [Advertisement], The Argus (18 November 1876), 12:; [Advertisement], The Argus (27 March 1877), 8:; “ROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS”, The Argus (29 March 1877), 5:; [Advertisement]: “NEW MUSICAL PUBLICATIONS”, The Argus (23 June 1877), 12:; Deaths”, The Argus (30 September 1881), 1:; “Funeral Notices”, The Argus (23 October 1884), 1:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (22 May 1899), 1:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (25 September 1906), 1:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (11 August 1913), 1:




ZERBINI, John Baptist
Viola player, quartet founder, pianist, organist, accompanist
Born St. Panrcas, London, 1839
Arrived Adelaide, 1 May 1885 (per R.M.S. John Elder, from London)
Died North Carlton, VIC, 28 November 1891, aged 52


Obituary: Mr. Zerbini, who was born in 1839, was for many years closely associated with the London Monday Popular Concerts in St. James’s Hall, both as viola player in the string quartets and as pianoforte accompanist. To show the position that he held it is sufficient to mention a few of the names of his confreres such as Herr Joachim, Lady Halle, Mr. L. Ries and Signor Piatti. His residence in Melbourne gave an impetus to quartet playing, the value of which cannot well be over estimated, and had a great deal to do with raising the general musical taste of the community; his long experience in the old country and consequent knowledge of the correct tempi, &c., rendered him invaluable, and his death causes a heavy loss. Mr. Zerbini’s accomplishments were varied. He was a good pianist and shone as an accompanist; he was also a capable organist, but as a viola player he was exceptionally gifted. He came to Melbourne six years ago, and has since exerted a potent influence in creating a taste for clumber music. He founded the Zerbini Quartet, which formed the great attraction of the Melbourne Popular Concerts promoted by Mr. T. H. Guenett, and he was conductor of the party appearing at the series of entertainments now being carried on by Mr. Max Klein. He was a most valued member of the Victorian Orchestra as it was originally constituted, and he had been a prominent figure at nearly every concert which has been given in Melbourne for years past. Among the positions which he filled at the time of his death was that of organist of St. Francis Roman Catholic Church. Formerly he was organist of St. George’s Church, Carlton. He was 52 years of age.

References: “THE METROPOLITAN LIEDERTAFEL” , The Argus (26 September 1876), 5:; “PASSENGERS FROM EUROPE”, Australian Town and Country Journal (9 May 1885), 14:; [News], The Argus (30 July 1885), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (3 October 1885), 16: [first advertisement for Zerbini Quartet]; “THE ZERBINI QUARTET PARTY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 July 1886), 8:; “Our Melbourne Letter”, Morwell Advertiser (10 February 1890), 3: [on an incorrect cable report that Zerbini had suicided in London; it was, in fact, his father, John Baptist Zerbini (1818-December 1889)]; “DEATH OF MR. J. B. ZERBINI”, The Argus (30 November 1891), 6:; “Deaths”, The Argus (30 November 1891), 1:

Resources: British musical biography: a dictionary of musical artists, authors, and composers born in Britain and its colonies (1897), 462: Zerbini, John Baptist violinist and pianist, son of an Italian musician (J. B. Zerbini, member of the London Philharmonic  orchestra, died December 27, 1889), was born in London in 1839. He began his career in the band at Drury Lane when he was seventeen, and in 1867 joined Mr. Chappell’s string quartet at the Popular Concerts as viola player, and also as pianoforte accompanist. He married Anna Patey, who was for a long time amanuensis and secretary to the eminent geologist, Sir Charles Lyell. His wife died in June, 1884, and Zerbini, in failing health, went to Australia. He soon established himself as a teacher of repute; directed Chamber concerts at Victoria, in 1887; and died at Melbourne, November, 1891. He was a man of quiet, unassuming manners, an excellent accompanist, and a good all-round musician. His brother, Leander, a native of London, was a vocalist and composer.

Graeme Skinner © 2014