THIS PAGE FIRST POSTED 24 JUNE 2016

LAST MODIFIED Thursday 7 December 2017 11:57

Mrs. Chester, singer and actor

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


THIS PAGE IS CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "Mrs. Chester, singer and actor", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia): http://sydney.edu.au/paradisec/australharmony/chester-marian-maria.php; accessed 14 December 2017


Thanks:

To John Bishop, September 2016, for finally establishing the details of Mrs. Chester's second marriage and death.



CHESTER, Marian Maria (Miss CRAWFORD; Mrs. CHESTER; Mrs. ROLLAND)

Soprano vocalist, actor

Born ? Dublin, Ireland, c.1810-12
Moved to England, by November 1829
Married William CHESTER, St. Pancras Old Church, London, 16 March 1830
Arrived Hobart Town VDL (TAS), 22 July 1835 (free per Medway from London, 16 March)
Departed Sydney, NSW, 11 October 1836 (per Pegasus for Calcutta, India)
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 23 November 1841
Departed Sydney, 20 December 1859 (for England, per Blackwall)
Arrived ? Australia, 1860
Married Robert ROLLAND, VIC, 1861 (1861/3140)
Died Newcastle, NSW, 18 August 1867, "aged 51 years"

http://trove.nla.gov.au/result?l-publictag=Marian+Maria+Chester (TROVE public tag)

http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-1585341 (NLA persistent identifier)


Biographical summary

Dublin, Ireland (? c.1810-19)

According to a January 1830 report of her first English season, Miss Crawford was a native of Dublin. At her death in 1867, her age was recorded as 51, and her birth year therefore c.1815/16; however since she can hardly have been only 3 on her first advertised appearance as a child dancer at Dublin's Theatre Royal late in 1818, a birth year of c.1810-12 is perhaps more likely. The indexer of the Currency companion to music and dance in Australia bravely hazarded a birth date of "c.1799", but this must almost certainly be at least a decade too early.

Nothing certain is known about her family, though at one Australian source claimed that she was related to the Wallaces and Ellards, plausibly given that she, Maria Logan (Ellard), and William Vincent Wallace all arrived in Hobart from Dublin in 1835. Mention in a notice of her subsequent arrival in Sydney that "Several other professionals we hear, may shortly be expected in Sydney" may plausibly be a reference to the impending arrival there of the Wallaces. Considering a possible Wallace-Ellard family connection, and that she was later organist of a Presbyterian church, it is worth noting that two protestant Mary Crawfords were baptised in Dublin (on 22 April 1806 and 1 June 1809), and a Mary Ann Crawford (19 November 1812).

On the occasion of her benefit in June 1824, she advertised that tickets could be had from her at her address, 62 Exchequer Street, near Grafton Street, Dublin; and on the basis of this, her father (or at least a close male relative) can be tentatively identified as W. H. Crawford, agent, whose office was at 62 Exchequer-street in 1819 ([Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (15 January 1819), 4).

Her first advertised appearances, from December 1818 and through the 1819 season, were as part of a troupe of child dancers under the tutelage of the dancing masters Mons. Simon and Mons. St. Pierre; and at her first benefit, in June 1819, she was billed as a pupil of St. Pierre.

St. Pierre, otherwise unidentified, first appeared in London bills in 1798. According to Charles Dibdin (Memoirs, ed. Speaight, 42) he "was one of the best Dancers off the Opera Stage; he went to Dublin subsequently, married and settled there, and was for some seasons principal dancer and Maitre du Ballet at the Theatre Royal, Crow Street". He is perhaps the Paul Pierre who married Catherine Fowler at St. James's (COI), Dublin, on 3 October 1814. A Miss St. Pierre was advertised as dancing with our Miss Crawford at he first appearance in December 1818. A Master T. St. Pierre was later another one of her dancing partners.

She continued to dance with the St. Pierres until April 1820 or later, but then disappears from Theatre Royal bills for 1821.

Meanwhile, in November 1820, a Miss Crawford advertised her school for young ladies, in which a Miss E. Crawford, a trained Logerian, taught music. What, if any family connection these two had with the theatrical Miss Crawford is unclear. Some further problem is introduced by the description of another Miss E. Crawford, in her September 1819 marriage notice, of being "of the Theatre Royal, Dublin". Was this a younger sister of our Miss Crawford, or was there some confusion between the newlywed and her theatrical sister, who was in the same month making her first appearances in England.

Our Miss Crawford next appeared in the Dublin bills in January 1823, from which time onward she featured chiefly as a vocalist. Announcing her benefit in June 1823, a Dublin paper recommended her as "A clever and interesting little candidate for popular favour". Later notices in Australia mention that she had studied singing in London for two years with the composer Alexander Lee (1802-1851). However, it was in Dublin around this time that she first came into professional contact with Lee.

By late in 1827 a Miss A. Crawford also begins to appear in the bills as a singer and occasional actor; since she is always listed with her forename initial, she was (according to convention) probably Marian Crawford's younger sister. She continued to appear on Dublin stage during 1830, but by November 1831, she was reportedly taking London by storm. Two newspaper reports give her full name as Amelia Crawford. According to her marriage record, her full name was Amelia Eliza Mary Crawford; she married Thomas Snelson, at St. Martin in the Fields, London, on 9 February 1834, at which ceremony Marian was listed as a witness.

Thus, it would appear that Amelia cannot necessarily be confused with the Miss E. Crawford, "of the theatre Royal, Dublin" who married Thomas Hanlon in Liverpool, England, in September 1829. This "Miss E. Crawford" may well have been another sister, and perhaps not an actress at all, if, as seems possible, the report partly confused her with her elder sister Marian, who that same month has started touring the English provinces. Another possibility is that it was Amelia Eliza who married in 1829, and that her first husband died shortly afterwards.


London, and the provinces, England (1829 35)

Marian was last billed performing in Dublin in mid August 1829, and she may well have arrived in England in time to attend Miss E. Crawford's wedding in Liverpool on 9 September, before reportedly appearing on stage at Cambridge later that month. Even if, as a report seems to suggest, she was back in Ireland performing at Tipperary in October, she certainly made her debut at Norwich Theatre in December, as was reported in the Dublin press in January.

Back in London, Marian Maria Crawford and William Chester, who were both described as "of this parish", were married at St. Pancras, Old Church, Camden Town, London, on 16 March 1830.

According to the Sydney Empire in 1859, the late William Chester's sister was the once very popular actress "Miss Chester" ("reputed mistress of the duke of Buckingham"). Whether they were in fact siblings, or perhaps more likely not, their shared surname may explain why Marian continued to use her maiden name professionally, as "Miss Crawford", until mid-1832. (On the famous Eliza Chester (1799-1859), see profiles in The daughters of Thespis, 1841, 140

Our actresses, 1844, 297

the relationship with the Duke of Buckingham, mentioned above, is not elsewhere attested; she was, rather, for over 10 years the mistress of the politician John Calcraft (1765-1831), until rumour had it that had become a regular "visitor" to George IV at Windsor).

Confirmation that the Dublin and London actors were one and the same came in a report in the Dublin press in September, noting that "Miss Crawford, alias Mrs. Chester, who has been singing at Sadler's Wells, is engaged at Drury-lane in the operatic department."

Thereafter, apart from an intervening season at Oxford in Autumn 1831, she remained at Drury Lane for the remainder of her time in England. She performed there for the last time in mid February 1835, and a month later she and William embarked from London on the Medway, bound for Australia. Given that she reportedly died of an asthma attack, her decision to leave London may have been at least partly for reasons of health.


Hobart Town and Sydney, Australia (1835-36)

The Chesters arrived in Hobart in July 1835, where, if she was indeed related to the Ellards, Marian would have found a cousin Maria Logan (Ellard) also recently arrived. They went on to in September to Sydney, where Francis Ellard had been was established as a music dealer for three years. She made her Sydney debut in the title role of Clari, the maid of Milan on 1 October, and singing Bishop's "Home Sweet Home", and then she and her husband returned to Hobart in November, plausibly to join the Wallaces there.


Calcutta, India (1836-41)

Towards the end of 1836, after a little over a year in Australia, though reportedly intending to return, the Chesters departed for India, where they took over the Chowingee Theatre at Calcutta. Mrs. Chester appeared in many notices there before the theatre was destroyed in a fire.


Australia (1841-67)

She and her husband and child returned to Tasmania in 1841.

She came out of six years "retirement", spent as a schoolmistress at Bothwell, Tasmania, in 1848.

Thereafter she gave several concerts on the island before she and her husband sailed for Melbourne.

She returned to the Sydney stage briefly in 1849, whereafter the Chesters then spent several years at Newcastle-Maitland, appearing in and presenting several concerts in Maitland in 1849-50, and briefly teaching dancing.

Mrs. Chester returned again to Sydney to work in Frank Howson's company for a season running from August 1854 until February 1855, in which time she also appeared with Catherine Hayes, and in Melbourne early in 1856.

After two years of serious illness, she reportedly left Sydney to return to England in December 1859.

However, she was back in Melbourne two years later, where in August 1861 she made her last advertised stage appearance.


Stage roles, co-performers, and vocal repertoire

- UNDER CONSTRUCTION -






Documentation


Dublin, Ireland (?- until 1829)


? Mary Ann Crawford, baptised 19 November 1812, Dublin, St. Mary, daughter of John and Anna Crawford

https://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/details/39b0780136603 


? Mary Crawford 1

http://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/details/4f2b900115695


Mary Crawford 2

http://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/details/3c28470174048


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (23 December 1818), 3

THEATRE ROYAL. FIRST CHARITY BENEFIT ... THIS Evening ... A new set of Quadrilles, composed by Mons. Simon sen. will danced Mons. Simon, sen. will be danced by Mons Simon, sen., St. Pierre, Mr. St. Albin, Mons. Simon, jun., Miss Rock, Miss Treby, Miss St. Pierre and Miss Crawford. The Ballet and Music composed by Mon. Simon, sen. ...


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (13 January 1819), 3

THEATRE ROYAL ... On THURSDAY EVENING ... a favourite Ballet, entitled L'AMOUR ET LE POISON Will be danced by Messrs. Simon, Mr. St. Albin, Master St, Pierre, Messrs. Reid and Good, Miss Rock, Miss Aylet, Miss Crawford, &c. &c. ...


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (3 June 1819), 3

THEATRE ROYAL ... THIS EVENING ... After which, (composed by Mr. St. Pierre,) a set of NEW QUADRILLES, By Master and Miss St. Pierre, Master and Miss St. Clair, Master and Miss Cassidy, Master T. St. Pierre, and Miss Crawford ...


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (23 June 1819), 3

THEATRE ROYAL ... This Evening ... THE DUENNA ... After which ... A favourite Hornpipe by Miss Crawford ...


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (24 June 1819), 3

THEATRE ROYAL ... MISS CRAWFORD (Pupil of Mons. St. Pierre,) BEGS leave, most respectfully, to announce to the Nobility, Gentry, her Friends and the Public, that her BENEFIT is fixed for FRIDAY, JUNE 25 ... the admired Opera of ROB ROY MAC GREGOR, Or, Auld Lang Syne ... End of the Play, The Minuet de la Cour and Gavotte, By Master St. Pierre and Miss Crawford ... After which, New Ballet, (composed for the occasion by Mons. St Pierre), called, ERIN'S ISLE; OR, Paddy's love. Jemmy, (Father to Paddy), Mons St. Pierre; Paddy, Master St. Pierre; Dolly (Mother to Norah,) Monsieur Simon; Norah, Miss Crawford. in the course the Ballet will be introduced A PAS DE DEUX, By Master St. Pierre and Miss Crawford. A PAS-DE-QUATRE, By Miss Cassidy, Miss St. Pierre, Miss St. Clair, and Miss Crawford. ... A Reel, by Eight Children; Who will dance a new Set of Quadrilles (compoacd by Mons. St. Pierre, expressly for this Night) ...


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (18 December 1819), 2

THEATRE ROYAL ... THIS EVENING ... the Opera of GUY MANNERING ... in Act II ... A Pas de Trois, by Miss St. Pierre, Miss Crawford, and Master T. St. Pierre ...


[Advertisement], Freeman's Journal (21 January 1820), 1

ROTUNDA. GRAND FANCY BALL. MISS CRAWFORD, (Pupil of Monsieur St. Pierre,) Has the honour of announcing to her Friends and the Public, that her GRAND FANCY BALL WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE ROTUNDA, On THURSDAY, the 27th instant, Under the Patronage of several persons of distinction ... [Tickets] To be had of Miss Crawford, 11, Crow-street; at all the Principal Music Warehouses; ...


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (27 January 1820), 3

MISS CRAWFORD RESPECTFULLY informs her Friends and the Public, that in consequence of the lamented death of his Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, her Fancy Ball, which was to hare taken place this Evening, is unavoidably postponed until further notice. No. 11, Crow-street, Jan. 27, 1829.


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (24 February 1820), 3

GRAND FANCY BALL. ROTUNDA. MISS CRAWFORD ... This Evening, the 24th inst ...


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (14 April 1820), 3

THEATRE ROYAL ... On Tuesday Next, April 18, 1820 ... End of the Comedy, a variety of Dancing by Master T. and Miss St. Pierre, Miss Crawford, and Master and Miss St. Clair ...


? [Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (18 November 1820), 3

ENGLISH, FRENCH, AND MUSICAL SEMINARY, No. 72, NEW-STREET. MISS CRAWFORD apprises her Friends, that having enlarged her Day School, she is enabled to accommodate a greater number of Pupils than heretofore. She flatters herself with the hope of giving perfect satisfaction to the Parents and Friends of such young Ladies may be placed under her care, to be educated in useful and Polite Literature, necessary and Ornamental Needle Work. The Musical Department conducted by Miss E. CRAWFORD, who has studied under the most celebrated Master of the Logerian System, and attends Ladies at their own Houses. - Terms will be found moderate.


? [Advertisement], Freeman's Journal (10 September 1821), 2

NEW MUSIC. This Day is Published, BY I. WILLIS, At the Harmonic Saloon and Musical Circulating Library, NO. 7, WESTMORLAND STREET ... THE CORONATION QUADRILLES, with new Figures, and composed by Miss Crawford. Price 3s. ...


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (28 January 1823), 3

NEW THEATRE-ROYAL. BENEFIT OF MISS STEPHENS ... THIS EVENING ... End of the Opera, the Song of "The Cabin Boy," Miss Crawford ...


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (22 May 1823), 3

NEW THEATRE-ROYAL ... This Evening ... the Musical Play of HENRI QUATRE ... Page to Florence, Miss Crawford ... Miss Bedford and Miss Crawford will sing the Duet "My Pretty Page Look out afar." ...


"THE THEATRE", Saunders's News-Letter (6 June 1823), 2

To-morrow night will the last performance until Mr. Braham's arrival. A clever and interesting little candidate for popular favour - Miss Crawford - makes her appeal; it being a fashionable night, she will doubtless receive the reward of merit.


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (2 June 1824), 3

A CARD. THE Vintnrers of the City of Dublin are respectfully informed, that Tieckets for Miss Crawford's Benefit (which takes place on Friday Evening, the 4th June, instant,) are ready for delivery at the Houses of Mr. Alleb and Mr. Thornton, Lower Liffey-street, Mr. Brereton's, No. 1, Great Britain-street, and of Mr. Peter Kelly, Wood-quay.


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (3 June 1824), 2

THEATRE ROYAL. MASTER AND MISS ST. CLAIR (PUPILS OF MR. MONTAGUE,) Have the honor to announce ... that their BENEFIT is fixed for THIS EVENING ... END OF THE PLAY, THE MINUET DE LA COUR, and GAVOTTE, OF VESTRIS, by Master and Miss St. Clair. SONG - "LO HEAR THE GENTLE LARK," [sic] by Mrs. H. Corri - "WHERE HAS MY LOVER STRAYED," by Miss Crawford - and a COMIC SONG, by Mr. Smollet. After which, a NEW BALLET, Composed by Mr. Montague, called LE TONNELIER. Martin, Master St. Clair ... Henri, Master St. Pierre; Fanchette, Miss St. Clair; Nannette, Miss St. Pierre; Ninna, Miss Crawford ...


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (4 June 1824), 3

THEATRE ROYAL ... MISS CRAWFORD, with deep regret, informs the numerous friends of her Father, that he has been seriously indisposed several weeks, in consequence of which domestic calamity, all assistance on his part is ENTIRELY LOST on this occasion. Miss Crawford, therefore, respectfully solicits their kind support on this Night. BENEFIT OF MISS CRAWFORD. ON THIS EVENING, June 4, 1824, will be performed, the Opera of THE SIEGE OF BELGRADE ... To conclude with THE LIBERTINE. Zerlina, Miss Crawford (her first appearance in that character.) Tickets to be had of Miss Crawford, 62, Exchequer-street, near Grafton-street; of Mr. Lowther, at the Theatre, and at all the Music Shops.


"THE THEATRE", Dublin Morning Register (2 September 1825), 3

... The duet "Together let us range the fields," by Mr. Sapio and Miss Forde, received deserved applause. A young Lady, whose name we understood to be Miss Crawford, acquitted herself, prettily of a little air that was assigned to her ...


[Advertisement], Dublin Morning Register (12 December 1825), 1

THEATRE-ROYAL ... THIS Evening ... (2d time) the Grand Opera (which has long been in preparation) called TARRARE, The Tartar Chief, The Music by the celebrated Salieri, with the exception of the introduced songs ... Director of the Music, Mr. A. Lee ... Tartar Chief ... Mr. Braham; ... Elamir, one of the Children of the Oracle, Miss Crawford ...


"THE THEATRE", Dublin Morning Register (28 March 1826), 3

... As we are speaking of the Ladies, may as well here, good naturedly, recommend Miss Crawford, who has, we are sure, capabilities to lead her to cleverness, to play any character she may in future sustain, with originality. This young Lady has chosen a model whom we need not describe by name, but whose forte is not certainly in acting, although in other respects she would be a very excellent prototype.


[Advertisement], Dublin Morning Register (28 November 1826), 1

THEATRE-ROYAL. THIS Present Evening ... the Opera of ROB ROY MACGREGOR ... Dianna Vernon, Mrs. Waylett ... Helen Macgregor, Mrs. Vaughan; Kattie, Miss Crawford ...


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (29 December 1826), 3

THEATRE-ROYAL. ON This Evening ... the Romantic Drama of THE CASTLE SPECTRE ... The Vocal Parts by Messrs. McKeon, Plumer, Brough, Smollett; Mesdames Hallande, Brwone, A. Jones, Crawford, Stanfield. &c ...


[Advertisement], Dublin Morning Register (3 April 1827), 1

THEATRE-ROYAL. REVIVAL OF THE GRAND OPERA OF OBERON. THIS EVENING ... OBERON; Or, the Charmed Horn. The Music by CARL MARIA VON WEBER. Fairies: Oberon, Miss Cramer; Puck, Mrs. Browne; Fairy, Miss Crawford; Titania, Miss A. Crawford; Sea Nymph, Miss Halland ...


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (2 August 1827), 3

THEATRE-ROYAL. Last week but one of the Engagement of Mr. Braham ... THIS present Evening ... the Grand Romantic and Fairy Opera, entitled OBERON; OR, THE CHARMED HORN. Oberon, Mr. McKeon; Puck, Miss Crawford; Sir Huon of Bordeaux, Mr. Braham, as originally performed by him ...


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (30 October 1827), 3

THEATRE ROYAL. MR. BUNN, HAVING become Lessee of this Establishment, begs respectfully to announce that the Season will commence On SATURDAY NEXT, NOV. 3. 1827 ... The following is a list of the company engaged for the Season: - ... Mrs. Vaughan, Mrs. H. Com, Miss Garbois. Miss A. Crawford, Mrs. Johnson, Miss Yates, Miss Debarr ...


[Advertisement], Dublin Morning Register (14 November 1827), 1

THEATRE-ROYAL. THIS EVENING ... will be repeated (With considerable alterations and additions,) Rossini's celebrated Opera of the BARBER OF SEVILLE ... Marcellina, Miss Crawford. In order to give every possible effect to the performance of the Opera, an arrangement has been made with Signor Castelli, who will preside at the Piano-Forte on this occasion ...


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (30 May 1828), 3

THEATRE-ROYAL. THIS Evening, May 30, 1828, will be performed the Grand Serious Opera of ARTAXERXES. Artaxerxes, Mrs. H. Corri; Artabanes, Mr. Philipps; Arbaces, Mr. Melrose; Rimenes, Mr. Smollett; Samira, Miss Crawford; Mandane, Madame Feron ...


[Advertisement], Dublin Mercantile Advertiser, and Weekly Price Current (17 December 1827), 1

THEATRE-ROYAL. THIS present EVENING ... Shakspeare's Historical Tragedy of JULIUS CAESAR ... Lucius, Miss Crawford ... Virgin Mesdames Mahon, Sullivan, A. Crawford, Debar, Johnston, &c ...


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (7 April 1828), 3

THEATRE-ROYAL. First Night of a New popular Comic Piece ... This Evening ... DAMON AND PYTHIAS; Or, the Force of Friendship ... In Act 3d, an Epithalamium will be sung by Mesdames Hamilton, H. Corri, Crawford, Norman, Johnson, Mahon, Sullivan, De Barr, A. Crawford - Messr. McKeon ...


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (15 July 1828), 3

THEATRE ROYAL. Third appearance of the celebrated Madame Vestris ... THIS Evening ... the Comedy of PAUL PRY .... Marion, Miss Crawford; Phoebe, Madame Vestris ... in which character she will introduce "The Lover's Mistake," "Cherry Ripe," and "I've been Roaming" ...


[Advertisement], Dublin Morning Register (26 July 1828), 1

THEATRE-ROYAL. MADAME VESTRIS has the honour of announcing ... that her BENEFIT takes place THIS EVENING ... The Entertainments will conclude ... with THE INVINCIBLES ... Desire, Miss Crawford; Eliza, Miss A. Crawford ...


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (26 December 1828), 3

THEATRE ROYAL. First nght of the New Grand Spectacle. ON This Evening ... the Play of THE CASTLE SPECTRE ... The Vocal parts by Miss Hamilton, Mrs. H. Corri, Miss Chalmers, Miss Crawford, Miss A. Crawford ...


[Advertisement], Saunders's News-Letter (27 June 1829), 3

THEATRE ROYAL ... ON This Evening ... Sheridan's Opera of THE DUENNA. Don Carlos, Madame Vestris ... Agnes, Miss A. Crawford ...


[Advertisement], Dublin Morning Register (14 August 1829), 1

THEATRE ROYAL. MOST POSITIVELY THE LAST WEEK OF THE PRESENT SEASON ... ON THIS EVENING, August the 14th ... To conclude with the Farce of MORE BLUNDERS THAN ONE; OR, THE IRISH VALET ... Susan, Miss Crawford ...





London, and provincial tours, England (by early 1830 to February 1835)


? [News], Cambridge Chronicle and Journal (11 September 1829), 3

Our theatre will open on Monday next, when the fascinating and elegant actress, Miss Foote, will appear for the first time before a Cambridge audience ... A Miss Crawford takes the lead in the vocal department ...


? "MARRIED", Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser (17 September 1829), 3

On Wednesday the 9th inst. at St. George's Church, Everton, Mr. Thomas Hanlon, of this town, to Miss E. Crawford, of the Theatre Royal, Dublin.


"FASHION AND TABLE TALK", The Pilot [Dublin] (6 November 1829), 2

The officers of the 70th, quartered in Tipperary, assisted by several the resident gentlemen, have set on foot amateur plays during the winter ... Mrs. McCullogh, and Miss Crawford, from the Theatre Royal, Dublin, are performing. - Tipperary Free Press.


"THE THEATRE", Dublin Morning Register (12 November 1829), 3

Yesterday evening, the Theatre opened for the regular winter season ... Miss M. Glover was another debutante. As an actress and singer, her pretensions are third-rate. She is, we suppose, engaged to fill the characters of Miss Crawford ...


"THEATRE", Norfolk Chronicle (19 December 1829), 2

This evening (Saturday) our Theatre opens for the season with (among other pieces) the nautical drama of BLACK EYED SUSAN, which has proved so remarkably attractive in the metropolis ... the same evening the vocal character of Rosina will be undertaken by Miss Crawford, a debutante ...


"THEATRE", Norfolk Chronicle (26 December 1829), 2

Our Dramatic season has commenced earlier than for several years past, and so in fact has the winter. The result of this coincidence on Saturday evening was, that the curtain drew before an audience of very scanty numbers ... The performers as they respectively appeared, although the night was cold, received a very warm reception. After a Pas de Deux, very gracefully danced by Mr. Hayes and Miss Purton, the opera of "Rosina" (by the late Mrs. Brookes, with Shield's ever-delightful music), introduced two new performers to this stage - a Miss Crawford, as Rosina, and a Mr. M'Keon, as Mr. Belville. The lady possesses a powerful and well-cultivated voice, of great compass; and her opening of the trio - "When the rosy morn appearing," with her two following songs, were loudly applauded by the audience, whose numbers then had considerably increased ...


[News], Dublin Morning Register (16 January 1830)

Miss Crawford, a native of Dublin, and who was lately a promising actress at Hawkins's-street, had made her debut at the Norwich Theatre. The Norwich Mercury has the following notice of her first appearance there: - "She is a valuable acquisition to provincial theatre, and when time has bettered her experience, she will make, we little doubt, considerable advances in her profession. What we have heard her do has the recommendation of modesty and propriety, with sufficient display of natural endowment and skill.


Camden, St. Pancras, Old Church, marriage register, 16 March 1830

No. 143 / William Chester, of this Parish and Marian Maria Crawford, of this Parish, were married in this Church by Banns ... this sixteenth Day of March in the year [1830] ...


"SADLER'S WELLS," The Times (7 June 1830), 2

First Appearance of Miss Crawford (from the Theatre Royal, Dublin) as Apollo. SADLER'S WELLS ... THIS EVENING, and during the week, to commence with the amusing burlesque operatic drama, entitled MIDAS. Apollo by Miss Craword ((from the Theatre Royal, Dublin), in which character (in addition to the songs of the piece) she will introduce the beautiful airs of "Hasten by the starlight," "My own blue bell," and "Alice Gray;" Pan, Mr. Andrews; Midas, Mr. W. H. Williams; Nysa, Miss Holme; Daphne, Miss Adami ...


"SADDLER'S WELLS", Dublin Evening Packet and Correspondent (15 June 1830), 3

Midas was brought out here on Monday last, (and has been repeated throughout the week,) for the purpose introducing as Apollo Miss Crawford, from the Theatre Royal, Dublin. She assumed the character with much ease and grace, and sang the music with power and great musical precision, as well as the introductory airs - "Hasten by the Starlight" - "My own Blue Bell" - and "Alice Gray" - all of which were called for a second time. She most valuable acquisition. - Sunday Times.


The Theatrical Observer (July-December 1830, many

https://archive.org/stream/theatricalobserv183002lond#page/n303/mode/2up/search/crawford 


"THEATRICAL CHIT CHAT", The Pilot [Dublin] (22 September 1830), 1

... Miss Crawford, alias Mrs. Chester, who has been singing at Sadler's Wells, is engaged at Drury-lane in the operatic department ...


[Advertisement], The Theatrical Observer (26 October 1830), 4

https://archive.org/stream/theatricalobserv183002lond#page/n403/mode/2up 

Marian Maria Chester's first appearance at Drury Lane, as Miss Crawford, in Figaro; on the same evening "Miss (Eliza) Chester" as Lady Teazle in School for scandal.


[Advertisement], The Tatler (26 October 1830), 180

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=YioTAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA180

THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY LANE. This evening ... the Comic Opera of MARRIAGE OF FIGARO. Countess Almaviva, Miss S. PHILLIPS; Susanna, Mrs. WAYLETT; Barbarina, Mrs. NEWCOMBE, Marcellina; Miss BUTLINE; Cherubino, Miss CRAWFORD. Count Almaviva, Mr. VINING; Fiorello, Mr. BLAND; Basil, Mr. BEDFORD; Antonio, Mr. HARLEY: Figaro, Mr. LATHAM, Sebastian, Mr. DOWSING.


[Advertisement], The Tatler (18 November 1830), 260

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=YioTAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA260

THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY LANE. This evening ... (2nd time this Season) a Comic Opera, in two Acts, called THE NATIONAL GUARD [By MR. PLANCHE] Pauline, Mrs. WAYLETT; Cecile, Miss CRAWFORD; Nina, Miss S. PHILLIPS ...


[Advertisement], The Tatler (26 November 1830), 288

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=YioTAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA288

THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY LANE. This evening ... GIOVANNI IN LONDON ... Squalling Fan, Miss CRAWFORD ...


"THE LONDON DRAMA", The Edinburgh literary journal (6 November 1830), 297

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=IfdPAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA297

... A Miss Crawford, from a place not mentioned, has made a very promising debut as the Page Cherubino, in "Figaro," at Drury Lane ...


"Drury Lane Theatre", The Theatrical Observer (7 December 1830), 1

https://archive.org/stream/theatricalobserv183002lond#page/n543/mode/2up 

[Last evening] ... and John of Paris concluded; an apology was made for Mrs. Waylett, who was prevented by indisposition from taking the part of Olivia, which caused great disappointment, particularly as she was to have introduced some favorite songs. Miss Crawford was the substitute; she was good humouredly accepted by the audience, and received with applause ...


The Theatrical Observer (January-June 1831), many instances

https://archive.org/stream/theatricalobserv183101lond#page/n9/mode/2up/search/Crawford



"THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY LANE", The Tatler (9 February 1831), 544

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=k4E3AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA544 

... THIS EVENING ... NO SONG NO SUPPER! ... Louisa, Miss Crawford ...


"THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY LANE", The Tatler (4 April 1831), 728

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=k4E3AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA728 

... THIS EVENING ... a new splendid Tale of Enchantment, called THE ICE WITCH; OR, THE FROZEN HAND. Ulla, Miss Crawford. Minna, Mrs. WAYLETT ...


"DRURY-LANE", Evening Mail (6 April 1831), 2

After the tragic play of Pizarro, a new and very successful Easter piece was last night produced. It is entitled The Ice Witch; or, the Frozen Hand ... Druda, by her magic power, transforms the bleak and steril coast into scene of surpassing beauty and splendour, and endeavours, by her enchanting blandishments, to win the affections of Harold, and drive from his recollection Ulla (Miss Crawford), the daughter of Sweno, a Norwegian chief, to whom he was betrothed ...


"THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY LANE", The Tatler (9 April 1831), 748

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=k4E3AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA748 

... THIS EVENING ... The Opera of ROB ROY MACGREGOR (Adapted by Mr. POCOCK) ... Mattie, Miss Crawford ... To conclude with ... THE ICE WITCH ... [By Mr. BUCKSTONE] Ulla, Miss Crawford ...

From later advertisement: "THE ICE WITCH ... The Overture (MS.) composed by H. Marschner. The rest of the Music composed ans selected by Mr. T. Cooke.]


"THEATRE ROYAL, COVENT GARDEN", The Times (21 May 1831), 2

Whitsun-Eve, Under the immediate direction of Mr. Alexander Lee. THIS EVENING, a Grand, Miscellaneous, and Popular SELECTION of VOCAL and INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. Conductor, Mr. H. R. Bishop. Principal vocal performers:- Miss Inverarity ..., Miss Hughes, Miss Pearson, Miss Riviere (her first appearance at these performances), Miss Bruce, Miss S. Phillips, Miss Byfeld, Miss Russell, Mrs Bedford, Miss Harrington, Miss Crawford, Miss Levol, Mrs. Mapleson, and Mrs. Waylett; Mr. Braham, Mr. Sinclair, Mr. T. Cooke, Mr. Horn, Mr. Bedford, Mr. Robinson, Mr. G. Smith, and Mr. Phillips.


"THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY LANE", The Tatler (3 June 1831), 936

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=k4E3AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA936 

... THIS EVENING ... a petite Historical Drama, called THE LITTLE CORPORAL, OR THE SCHOOL OF BRIENNE. Josephine, Miss Crawford ...


"THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY LANE", The Times (6 June 1831), 2

... THIS EVENING, THE EXILE ... After which THE WATERMAN. Tom Tug, Mr. Braham; Bundle, Mr. W. Bennett; Robin, Mr. Hayley; Mrs. Bundle, Mrs. C. Jones; Wilhelmina, Miss Crawford ...


The Theatrical Observer (July-December 1831), many, from 319 onward, for both "Miss Crawford" and "Miss A. Crawford"

https://archive.org/stream/theatricalobserv183102lond#page/n319/mode/2up/search/crawford 

[24 September] ... Madame Vestris's list of performers looks quite formidable. The names of Liston, James Vining, Horn, J. Cooper, Mrs. Glover, Miss Sydney, and Miss Crawford, are among the old established favorites ...

Recte not "Miss Crawford", but her sister, the newcomer "Miss A. Crawford"


"THE THEATRE", Oxford Journal (30 July 1831), 3

... And on Tuesday evening was performed (for the first time) the interesting burletta, called The Wreck Ashore ... Mrs. Barnett, as Alice, was very effective, and played with considerable truth and feeling; while Miss Crawford, as Bella, and Mrs. Renaud, as Dame Barnard, contributed much to the success of the piece ...


"THE THEATRE", Oxford Journal (27 August 1831), 3

... The most attractive piece of the week, however, has been Miss Mitford's beautiful tragedy of Rienzi. In the banquet scene Miss Phillips and Miss Crawford introduced the pleasing duet "As it fell upon a day," which they sang in so sweet and correct a style that it was loudly and rapturously encored by the whole house ...


"Theatre", Oxford University and City Herald (27 August 1831), 3

... The duett, brought in with great propriety the nuptial banquet, and sung by Miss Crawford and Miss Phillips, delighted the audience. They are both them very much improved ...


[News], Oxford University and City Herald (3 September 1831), 3

Since our last account of Mr. Barnett's theatricals, this gentleman has treated us with a continued series of novelties, in Play and Afterpiece. We have so often spoken of the merits of the different performers, that eulogy would be repetition, and censure is uncalled for. How the performers can learn many parts, changing every evening, we cannot conjecture; and occasional incorrectness should neither excite surprise nor disapprobation. We cannot refrain, however, from mentioning the admirable acting of Mr. Cathcart, in King Lear, and the irresistible risibility of Mr. Barnett's Dozey, in "Past Ten o'Clock." On Thursday evening, both Miss Crawford and Miss Phillips sang delightfully ...


"POETICAL EPISTLE TO MRS. BARNETT", Oxford University and City Herald (10 September 1831), 4

...

Miss Crawford's heavenly Goddess,
Too bright for these regions below
I think ev'ry night of her boddice,
And dream of her bosom of snow:
Kind Nature's indulgence has blest her
With beauty surpassingly fair;
Alas! she is going to Chester,
To act in the Honey Moon there.

...


"THEATRE", Oxford Journal (24 September 1831), 3

... The musical entertaininent of "Paul and Virginia" was performed on Tuesday evening; and as Yarnold and Miss Crawford but seldom appear on the stage, we must not neglect to notice their admirable singing and acting in this interesting piece.


"THEATRE", Oxford Journal (1 October 1831), 3

During the past week the celebrated play called Clari, has been performed: Mrs. Barnett as Clari, and Cathcart, (her father), made a poweful impression ... In the admired comedy of Charles the Seconed we know not which to admire most, the gay intriguing of the merry Monarch, Cathcart, and Rochester, (Courtney), the bluntness of Capt. Copp, (Renaud), or the artless simplicity of his daughter, Mary, Miss Crawford - all were so well sustained, that we know not which to select for especial commendation ...


[Advertisement], Morning Post (5 November 1831), 2

THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY-LANE. THIS EVENING the Comic Opera, in two Acts, called THE LOVE CHARM; or, The Village Cocquette. Signor Furbaroso, Mr. Seguin (his 2d appearance on this Stage,) ... Louise, Miss Crawford.


[Advertisement], Morning Post (12 January 1832), 2

THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY-LANE. THIS EVENING ... the Opera of LOVE IN A VILLAGE ... Madge, Miss Crawford.


"MISS A. CRAWFORD", Dublin Evening Packet and Correspondent (29 November 1831), 3

The beauty of this young Lady (late of the Dublin stage) seems to have attracted the admiration of the Londoners. We extract the following from the Age: "Who is the beautiful Amelia Crawfbrd, about whom half a dozen lovers pester us with stanzas? We must positively be compelled to Advise Andrews of our gracious intention to occupy a private box some night next week, for the gratification of looking at this divinity."


"MADAME VESTRIS'S OLYMPIC THEATRE", Dublin Evening Packet and Correspondent (6 December 1831), 3

... the talented widow has no greater admirers than ourselves. She has also among her corps dramatique others that greatly attract the attention of the town; and if we were to tell the handsome Amelia Crawford all we receive about her in the course of a week, we should set her brains "pretty particularly" on the alert. - Age.


The Theatrical Observer (January-April 1832), many, from 28 January onwards

https://archive.org/stream/theatricalobserv183201lond#page/n97/mode/2up/search/crawford 


The Theatrical Observer (May-September 1832), for "Miss Crawford", until 1 June

https://archive.org/stream/theatricalobserv183202lond#page/n111/mode/2up/search/crawford


[Advertisement], Morning Advertiser (9 May 1832), 2

THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY-LANE. THIS EVENING ... THE MAGIC CAR; or, Three Days' Trial ... Bedia, Miss Crawford.


The Theatrical Observer (September-December 1832), for "Mrs. Chester", from 22 September

https://archive.org/stream/theatricalobserv183203lond#page/n9/mode/2up/search/Mrs+Chester 


[Advertisement], Morning Post (18 September 1832), 2

THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY-LANE. The Public is most respectfully informed that this Theatre will OPEN for the SEASON on SATURDAY next, Sept. 22, when will be performed the Comedy of THE SOLDIER'S DAUGHTER ... To which will be added the Interlude of THE IRISH TUTOR ... Mary, Mrs. Chester ...


[Advertisement], Morning Advertiser (5 November 1832), 2

THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY-LANE. THIS EVENING ... To conclude with, GIOVANNI IN LONDON. Don Giovanni, Miss Ferguson; Leporello, Mr. Harley; Proserpine, Mrs. Brudenel; Miss Constantia Quixote, Miss Cawse; and Mrs. Leporello, Mrs. Chester ...


The Theatrical Observer (January-June 1833), many, from 4 January, until 26 June (687, pictured above)

https://archive.org/stream/theatricalobserv183301lond#page/n23/mode/2up/search/Mrs+Chester 


Playbill, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, 19 October 1833

http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/Hansen/id/49

THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY-LANE. This Evening ... the Play of The STRANGER. The Stranger, Mr. MACREADY; Charlotte, Mrs. GIBBS; Annette, Miss H. CAWSE; Claudine, Mrs. CHESTER ...


The Theatrical Observer (July-December 1833), many, from 5 October, including 11 November (pictured above)

https://archive.org/stream/theatricalobserv183302lond#page/n359/mode/2up/search/Mrs+Chester 


Playbill, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, 31 October 1833

http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-52721489 


The Theatrical Observer (January-April 1834), several, from 11 March

https://archive.org/stream/theatricalobserv183401lond#page/n245/mode/2up/search/Mrs+Chester 


Marriages solemnized in the parish of St. Martin in the Fields in the county of Middlesex in the year 1834 (9 February 1834), 113

No. 58 / Samuel Snelson, a Bachelor / and Amelia Eliza Mary Crawford, a spinster of this Parish / were married in this Church by Licence this Ninth day of February [1834] ... In the presence of Charles Perks [and] Marian Maria Chester.


The Theatrical Observer (May-August 1834), several, from 30 May (on which night she was billed to appear miraculously at both Drury Lane and Covent Garden) until 26 June

https://archive.org/stream/theatricalobserv183402lond#page/n107/mode/2up/search/Mrs+Chester 


[Advertisement], Morning Advertiser (30 May 1834), 2

THEATRE ROYAL, COVENT-GARDEN. THIS EVENING ... THE BARBER OF SEVILLE. Count Almaviva, Mr. Templeton ;Doctor Bartolo, Mr. Seguin; Figaro, Mr. H. Phillips; Rosina, Miss Inverarity; Marcellina, Mrs. Chester.


Playbill, Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, 16 June 1834

http://apollo.ram.ac.uk/emuweb/pages/ram/display.php?irn=4412


The Theatrical Observer (September-December 1834), many, from 11 October

https://archive.org/stream/theatricalobserv183403lond#page/n149/mode/2up/search/Mrs+Chester 


The regent, a comedy in two acts by J. R. Planché, first performed at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Saturday, October 18th, 1834 (London: John Miller, 1834)

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=JVQLAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA60 


"DRAMA. DRURY LAND and COVENT GARDEN", The Literary Gazette (22 November 1834), 788

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=NExRAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA788 

... We now turn to the Red Mask, a grand three act opera, the adaptation by Mr. Planché, and the music of Marliani (called "the celebrated Marliani"), under the supervision of Mr. T. Cooke. What related to bringing the Red Mask before an English audience could not, therefore, have been in abler hands ... and the music of "the celebrated Marliani," - who is known for having produced this single opera, to exhibit the talents of his friend Mdlle. Grisi. With all these advantages, we cannot speak highly of this opera: and when repeated on Monday night, with Massaniello as an afterpiece, it really sunk by the comparison into a heavier and duller Massaniello ... Miss Shirreff sang admirably in every thing allotted to her, and Seguin, Templeton, Bedford, and Yarnold, sustained their parts with much ability; while in the acting, Cooper, Warde, Younge, Diddear, Mathews, Mrs. Chester, &c. were all that their characters required. Of Miss E. Tree we have already spoken, - nothing could surpass her effective scene with the Doge ...


The Theatrical Observer (January-June 1834), January only

https://archive.org/stream/theatricalobserv183501lond#page/n7/mode/2up/search/Mrs+Chester 


[Advertisement], Morning Post (11 February 1835), 2

THEATRE ROYAL, COVENT-GARDEN. THIS EVENING will be performed the Dramatic Poem of MANFRED. Count Manfred, Mr. Denvil; ... Atropos, Mrs. Chester; The Phantom of Astarte, Miss Clifton; The Witch of the Alps, Miss E. Tree.





Hobart Town, VDL (TAS, July and August 1835)


"TRADE AND SHIPPING", The Hobart Town Courier (24 July 1835), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4179697

Arrived on Wednesday [22 July], the ship Medway, 450 tons, Captain Wight, from London, 16 March, with goods. Passengers, Capt., Mrs, and Miss Miller, Mr. and Mrs. Chester, Mr. and Mrs. Williamson, Mr. Kimbolton, Mr. Grant, Mr. Horrolls, and Miss Burdett.


[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (24 July 1835), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4179709

THEATRE, ARGYLE ROOMS. Mrs. Chester from the Theatres Royal Drury lane, and Covent Garden ...


"Domestic intelligence", Colonial Times (28 July 1835), 7

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8648358 

The great star, Mrs. Chester, performed last evening at the Argyle Theatre, and the most sanguine were not disappointed. We have never before heard a first rate singer in Van Diemen's Land. Mrs. Chester evidently laboured under considerable disadvantage, she was rather hoarse from the effects of a cold, and not accustomed to the company or the Theatre. On Wednesday, she will perform in a piece more suited to her than "Mary Copps." ... Mrs. Chester's "Come where the aspens quiver," was a delicious treat, and worth double the entrance money. We shall offer a few observations on this lady's singing in our next, till then the public must judge for themselves. The Theatre was crowded to excess, and respectably attended. The ladies will do well to go very early on Wednesday, or they will not obtain seats.


"The Theatre", The True Colonist Van Diemen's Land Political Despatch (31 July 1835), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article200329212 

During the past week the Theatre has been crowded, in consequence of the engagement of Mrs. Chester, (formerly Miss Crawford) from the Theatres Royal, Covent Garden and Drury Lane. Mrs. Chester's singing is a combination of richness, compass and extraordinary execution; and she articulates with great taste and feeling. The Theatre has undergone some improvement in the scenery and dresses, which heretofore were very carelessly looked after, and the performers are generally more perfect and correct in their delineations, and consequently obtain favour with the Public. This evening Mrs. Chester plays Maggy, in the "Highland Reel," and will sing some of her choicest songs.


"Domestic Intelligence", Colonial Times (4 August 1835), 6-7

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8648380 

The Theatre has been remarkably well attended since the arrival of Mrs. Chester, and, we may say, more respectable assemblages were never witnessed in Hobart Town, either at the Argyle or the Freemasons Theatre. The performances for the most part have been excellent, but got up in too hurried a manner - many of the actors being exceedingly imperfect in their parts. Last evening, the Green Eyed Monster was performed for the benefit of Mrs. Chester, and was very much applauded ... [7] ... Mrs. Chester's, and Mrs. Clarke's) duett, "As it fell upon a Day," was excellent, and was rapturously encored. Mrs. Clarke is an old favorite, therefore on her singing, we need offer no remarks. Mrs. Chester's voice is remarkably round, and melodiously soft, she has a vast range, and her decending cadences are extremely neat and elegant; she excels most in the softer passages, and her pianissimo cadences, cannot be equalled by any singer in this Colony. As an actress, Mrs. Chester is not nearly equal to Mrs. Cameron, but then her voice preponderates so greatly in her favor, that if she remains here, she will be sure to become quite as great a favorite. With regard to her person, Mrs. Chester is rather too "embonpoint" for a showy figure, and this is a great draw back - but then the gentlemen say, she has the prettiest foot and ancle in the Colony.





Sydney, NSW (September, October 1835)


"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE: ARRIVALS", The Sydney Gazette (19 September 1835), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2200293


[News], The Sydney Herald (17 September 1835), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12853056

Mrs. Chester, the vocalist, who has for some time past appeared with much success at Hobart town, arrived yesterday in the Maria. Several other professionals we hear, may shortly be expected in Sydney.


"THE THEATRE", The Sydney Gazette (3 October 1835), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2200475

THE THEATRE. - On Thursday evening last, agreeably to previous announcement, Mrs. Chester, formerly of the Theatres Royal Drury Lane and Covent Garden, made her first appearance on the Sydney boards in the character of Clari, in the operatic piece called the Maid of Milan. As a vocalist of superior ability, power, and taste, Mrs. Chester confessedly ranks first here in her profession; it is very evident that with a powerful natural voice, Mrs. C. has had the opportunity afforded her of superior instruction, combined with considerable musical skill, and much persevering application. This lady sang Home, sweet home, with a chasteness of expression and style we have seldom heard equalled, and never surpassed. In Rossini's difficult song of Tyrant soon I'll burst thy chains, she shewed the powerful addition which highly cultivated art had given her as a vocalist of natural ability. Her cadences evinced much command and taste, and her execution of them was very effective. Mrs. Chester was encored in this song, as she was likewise in that beautiful ballad, O say not woman's heart is bought. But we confess that the song which we most admired, was, Come where the aspen's quiver, which Mrs. Chester sang with the most delightful softness and expression of tone. As an actress, it would be scarcely fair to pronounce judgment on Mrs. Chester at first sight. Her intonation is deeply sonorous, her delivery precise, but her articulation appears slightly defective, betraying a sort of thickness of expression, which being perhaps a natural imperfection, will imperceptibly wear off after her auditors have become more accustomed to hear her. Her performance of Clari was more studious than natural-rather labored than easy: yet notwithstanding it proved she had both observed and profited by all those requisites to constitute a successful performer, more commonly known as "stage tact." Mrs. Chester was well received by a tolerably numerous and respectable audience, and both her singing and acting met will much justly bestowed applause. But while we record the public approbation of a new candidate for theatrical fame, we have also the pleasing duty to perform of bearing testimony to the strong manifestation of popular remembrance of an old, an often approved, an useful, and a deserving favorite in the person of Mrs. Taylor. This lady's song of, O Love was a mischievous boy, and her comic duett with Mr. Simmons of When a little farm we kept were loudly applauded, as was likewise the whole performance of both them, and the rest of the company, who appeared on this occasion to exert themselves to the uttermost in order to compete with a powerful rival for theatrical honors. It would perhaps be esteemed unjust to draw a full length comparison between the two first rate female performers on the Sydney stage, but we cannot avoid saying, that if, on the present occasion, we yield the preference to Mrs. Chester as a vocalist, indebted more to art than to nature for her superiority over Mrs. Taylor; yet, as an actress of prepossessing appearance, and fascinating manner, we should unquestionably acknowledge the superiority of the latter over the former lady. Whatever opinion we may have heretofore entertained and expressed, and may still perhaps do so, as to the effects which Mrs. Chester's partial engagement at the Theatre during the season of benefits, may produce over the interests of those more particularly concerned in the question, we cannot help awarding the meed of praise towards those to whom it is eminently due, as connected with this subject. We allude to the gentlemen composing the lessees of the establishment, who are entitled, not merely to the dry thanks, but to the liberal patronage of the public, for having secured, doubtless at a great additional expense to themselves, a person of Mrs. Chester's superior vocal talent, and general ability. We repeat what we have before asserted, that "we know the lessees are considerably out of pocket by their bargain," and it reflects no little censure on the slate of public spirit, that they should be suffered to be so. When a few gentlemen are joined together for the laudable purpose of promoting a patriotic view, in the adequate equipment of one of the first places of popular amusement, it is a shame to the community that their patriotism should be rewarded by a heavy pecuniary loss. It is, therefore, to be hoped, that the public may, by their liberal support of this infant institution during the remainder of the present season, not only reimburse the lessees of the Theatre for their outlay, but give them something more than bank interest for the investment of their capital. By the bye, before we quit this theatrical topic, a word or two with those sluggish gentlemen, the members of the orchestra. We have before told them of their merits, and of their exertions, but they appear to have quite forgotten our lecture. They are, we know, most liberally-liberally to a fault, paid for their services; and it is but reasonable to expect a suitable return from them. This is, however, any thing but the case, and the fault appears rather to be gaining ground, than diminishing. We were taught to expect very great things from the highly talented gentlemen who were to compose the orchestra upon its present formation, but we rather surmise that both the proprietors and the public have been most miserably disappointed in this particular. We need only advert to the worse than wretched accompaniament to Mrs. Chester on Thursday evening, and our strictures on the inefficiency of the present instrumental company, will then be acknowledged to be well founded. Mrs. Chester was, in point of fact, the leader of the band; and in being so, it was pretty generally acknowledged that she displayed more musical judgment than the united phalanx of the orchestral body. We invite all those who are fond of any thing like rational amusement to visit the Theatre this evening, where they cannot fail of being highly gratified by Mrs. Chester's Page, Mrs. Taylor's Rosa, (she having in a most lady-like manner resigned the other character to Mrs. Chester, at the request of the latter) and Mr. Simmons's Pedrigo Potts, in the operatic piece of John of Paris. Such pieces in the hands of such performers ought to attract full houses, or public taste is vitiated, and public spirit is dead!


"MRS. CHESTER", The Sydney Herald (8 October 1835), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12853204

MRS. CHESTER. It is with some degree of gratification that we witness persons of respectability and science joining our infantile corps dramatique, and lending their talents for the rational entertainment of the community - for by such means alone will the drama flourish and eventually arrive at maturity, or the speculators in theatricals find their undertaking to be advantageous. These remarks are elicited by the recent engagement at the Sydney Theatre of Mrs. Chester, who, having received a theatrical education in Europe, has emigrated to this Colony for the purpose of following her profession. The Lessees of the Theatre - who certainly deserve every credit for their exertions in the public service - at once made the necessary arrangements with Mrs. Chester, for her appearance, and on Thursday last she made her debut in the Opera of Clari. In a strange land, and before such an audience of strangers, we considered that Mrs. Chester laboured under many disadvantages on Thursday night, and calculating the embarrassment under which Mrs. C. must have laboured on her first interview with the public, we considered that her performance on this occasion was not a fair criterion for judging of the merits of this actress; we therefore resolved to see her when she had become more "at home" with the audience. Many a bright genius in theatricals has been consigned to the shades (or, as the London writers would say, "damned") by the false judgment of superficial critics, who allow their senses to be carried away, and former erroneous conceptions from first impressions. Mrs. Chester appeared on Saturday, and again on Tuesday last, when we had the pleasure of beholding her performances in the Opera of Clari; and, as the Page in John of Paris, (very opposite lines of character) in both of which she strengthened the opinions we had formed of her talents. Mrs. Chester's acting is natural, and unaffected, without any violent exertion to give effect, unlike some of our performers, who are all rant and noise, and therefore unnatural; her emphasis and precision in the relation of the author were remarkably beautiful. We thought her rather too sombre in both characters, in the Page she wanted much more vivacity. As a vocalist Mrs. Chester is superior to any on the boards. Her voice is a full round-toned Soprano, not so powerful as Mrs. Taylor's, but of a more, pleasing mellow quality. Mrs. Chester's upper notes, - say above, G in Alt, appeared laboured, but this might have originated from a slight affection of the lungs at this particular season of the year. Her runs, cadences, and shakes, were executed with neatness and taste, although the latter we thought, in some of her songs, were used too frequently, but perhaps Mrs. Chester merely wished to let us know what she could perform, rather than exhibit the real beauty of the composition in question. As a ballad singer, we have no doubt Mrs. Chester will be unrivalled on the Sydney boards for some time to come; and as an actress, in a general line of business, (although we would say light Comedy is her forte) her services will be invaluable. We intended to have done justice to the exertions of some of the performers in Clari and John of Paris, but our "sand has neatly run out" for this publication; we must not, however, close without deprecating the miserable attempt that was made in the Orchestra to accompany Mrs. Chester. Had there been no rehearsals? if the orchestra is weak, it is no excuse for being imperfect. In the plaintive song of "Home, Sweet Home," we never heard such timeless, unfeeling, discordant, strumming, the musicians, we perceived, played "from ear," and a fertile imagination they displayed! We hope better things of the Orchestra for the future.





Hobart Town, VDL (November and December 1835)


Arrivals by ship; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:412864; MB2/39/1/2 P401

https://linctas.ent.sirsidynix.net.au/client/en_AU/names/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fNAME_INDEXES$002f0$002fNAME_INDEXES:412864/one 

Mrs. Chester / to Hobart Town, 20 November / on the Champion from Sydney


[Advertisement], The Tasmanian (4 December 1835), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article232801175

MR. WALLACE'S CONCERT ... AT THE ARGYLE ROOMS, THIS EVENING ... On which occasion he will be aided by the talents of Mrs. Chester and Mrs. Logan, and also some Gentlemen Amateurs ...


[Advertisement], The Tasmanian (11 December 1835), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article232801189

MRS. CHESTER, BEGS to announce to her friends and the public generally, that her CONCERT OF VOCAL AND INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC WILL BE GIVEN ON FRIDAY EVENING, DECEMBER 11, 1835; on which occasion MR. WALLACE ... will afford his valuable assistance ... [and] MRS. LOGAN ...


"TRADE AND SHIPPING", The Hobart Town Courier (8 January 1836), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4177805 

The Siren, Capt. Marten, sailed on Monday [4 January] with goods and colonial produce for Sydney passengers - Mr. H. C. Bates, and Mr. and Mrs. Chester - ...





Sydney, NSW (January 1835 to October 1836)


"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVALS", The Sydney Herald (14 January 1836), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12853744 

From Hobart Town, on Monday last [11 January], having sailed from thence the 4th instant, the brig Siren, Captain Hayle, with sundries. Passengers, Mr. Chester, Mrs. Chester, ...


"POETICAL EFFUSION - ORIGINAL", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (26 March 1836), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2203444 

A FROLIC OF THE GODDESS OF SONG.

To Mrs. Chester, Theatre Royal, Sydney.

POLYHYMNIA, once in frolic mood,
A strange eccentric whim pursued,
That there should be of glee no dearth,
Amongst the children of the earth.
'Twas at a meeting in the sky,
When all the potentates were nigh;
In all their regal symbols crown'd,
While airs delicious floated round,
And beams of lustre filled the place,
And kindled every latent grace,
Amidst a pause of deep debate,
While Jove relaxed his brow of state,
The mirthful Goddess turned her head,
And thus to her tuneful sisters said,--

"I'll quick to yonder earth repair,
"Surrounded with dense fogs, and there
"The human character assume,
"And dissipate it's native gloom.
"In various shapes, and various airs,
"The manners, and the characters,
"Of mood, meaning, and intent,
"Of each gay bard I'll represent.
"In different forms and suits appear,
"Even 'from lively to severe.'
"In fair 'Rosetta' I will shew
"What cunning can with dotage do;
"As 'Lady Freelove,' perplex'd with strife,
"Depict the wayward youthful wife;
"Then 'Don Giovanni's' lesson proffer,
"Worth all the gold in Pluto's coffer;
"In 'Copp's' fair run may broil and bluster,
"And 'John of Pariss' troop oft muster:
"Show vice and folly each in measure,
"By holding the 'mirror up to nature.'
"In 'Margaretta', 'Clari,' 'Zelinda,' prove,
"Resistless is the shaft of love.
"These, and a thousand other things,
"To waken rapture's lively springs,
" 'I'll do,' she said, 'with action bland,
" 'And then to Apollo gave her hand.
" 'No toil, no effort, will I spare,
" 'And CHESTER is the name I'll bear !' "

The group o'erheard, the purpose lauded,
And, with cheers, her intent applauded.
Long and loud did they praise the dame
"CHESTER''--Polyhymnia, are now the same.

M. S. S.


Playbill, Theatre Royal, Sydney, 25 April 1836 (State Library of New South Wales MRB/F37)

http://www2.sl.nsw.gov.au/archive/discover_collections/society_art/jewish/arts/levey/image06.html 


"DRAMA", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (4 October 1836), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2206991 

On Saturday evening the operatic farce of "No Song no Supper" was performed, in which Mrs. Chester took the part of Margueretta, being the last time of that lady's appearance previous to her departure for India. This piece has not been played before this season, owing to the absence of those performers who were necessary to sustain the characters. Mrs. Chester sung "Meet me by Moonlight," with great pathos and simplicity, and also "Should he upbraid," which is a song peculiarly adapted for her powerful and and melodious voice, combined with so much execution as Mrs. C. possesses. The other songs by this lady also gave universal approbation, and gained the applause they merited. Although Mrs. Chester does not possess any great degree of talent as an actress, still as a vocalist she was unrivalled on the Sydney stage, where, we think, she certainly excels, and it is much to be regretted the Proprietor of the Theatre could not come to terms with this lady, as her vocal abilities alone, considering the very great deficiency of this kind of talent among the present "corps," would have rendered her a useful ornament there ... We must not omit stating that the orchestral accompaniments to Mrs. Chester, was execrable, and was quite sufficient to put the lady out of tune.


"DEPARTURES", The Sydney Monitor (12 October 1836), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32152462 

Yesterday, the bark Pegasus, Howlett, master, for Calcutta, with sundries Passengers - Judge Cracroft, Mr. and Mrs. Chester, Mrs. and Miss Howlett.


"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Sydney Herald (20 October 1836), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12863852 

We understand that a musical gentleman of Sydney has written to Hobart Town for two celebrated violin-players, and the leading female vocalist of that place, the latter to fill up the vacancy occasioned by the departure of Mrs. Chester.





Calcutta, India (1837-41)


[News], The Sydney Herald (30 April 1838), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12861466

Mrs. Chester, the vocalist, was still at Calcutta, at the end of January.


[News], The Sydney Gazette (28 July 1838), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2539296

Mrs. Chester intends returning again to Sydney from India. It also appears her change did not turn out so advantageous as she anticipated, theatricals being on the decline in India.


"Mr. and Mrs. Chester", The Australian (21 March 1839), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36863687 

We have been favoured with the perusal of a letter from Dinapore, dated the 16th instant, announcing the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Chester, and the success of the latter, both vocally and histrionically. Notwithstanding the unusual inclemency of the weather, Mrs. C's soiree at Dinapore and a play attracted a large assembly of both civil and military - the former from Patna, affording their liberal patronage to the vocal voyageuse. Mrs. Chester we understand, played Dolly in "Fortune's Frolic" and Distaffina in "Bombastes Furioso" with the men of H. M. 31st, with great success, and quite bewitched the tympana Patna and Dinaporiles with her favorites "Buy a Broom" and "the Dashing White Serjeant." We heartily wish these thespic adventurers every success in the further prosecution of their travels. - Madras Paper.


"BURNING OF THE CHOWRINGHEE THEATRE", Calcutta Monthly Journal and General Register (June 1839), 264

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=xRcYAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA4-PA264 

... Not an atom of the furniture and of other appurtenances of the Theatre, has, as far as can be learnt, been saved from destruction, and but a small part of the Secretary's furniture has been preserved. Mrs. Chester and her little boy escaped in safety, and we have not as yet heard of any accident affecting life or limb ... No one seems to know how the fire originated. Mr. Chester's account is, that, shortly after he had retired to rest, and when he had just fallen asleep, he was aroused by one of his servants, and on going towards the door of communication betwixt his house and the stage, encountered a volume of dense and suffocating smoke.


"THEATRICALS", The Sydney Herald (25 October 1839), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12855825

Mr. and Mrs. Chester, formerly of this Colony, appear to have been unfortunate in the East Indies, for by the Calcutta paper of July, we perceive that a subscription had been entered into on their behalf, and that upwards of two thousand rupees (£200) had been subscribed. A performance of amateurs for their benefit was to have taken place at Allahabad, but a few hours before the performance was to have commenced, the roof of the Theatre fell in. The Chowingee Theatre, concerning which Mr and Mrs. Chester had entered into some speculations, was burnt down accidentally.


"THE CHOWINGHEE THEATRE", Asiatic journal and monthly miscellany (1839), 177

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=nbtAAQAAIAAJ&pg=RA1-PA177

The Chowringhee theatre is no more, or exists but as a crumbling and ghastly skeleton of its former self. Between one and two o'clock in the morning of the 31st ult., it was discovered to be on fire, and in about an hour was a blackened and empty shell ... We are glad to see a spirit of kindness abroad, which leads us to hope that some provision will be made for the sufferers by the late conflagration of the Chowringhee theatre ... we allude to Mrs. Francis, the oldest performer attached to the theatre, by which she was always scantily rewarded; to Mrs. Black, who is nearly of the same standing, and has lately been left a widow, in indigent circumstances; and more especially, to Mr. and Mrs. Chester (the secretary and his wife), who have not only, like Mrs. Francis and Mrs. Black, lost the employment upon which they depended for support, but have also been deprived, by the devouring element, of their little all of personal property; they have, we are assured on the best authority, scarcely a change of raiment, or a plate or spoon, or article of furniture of their own. We are delighted to see that their deplorable case has attracted the charitable consideration of the Lord Bishop, the Archdeacon, the managers of the late theatre, and a few others ...


[Advertisement], Launceston Advertiser (21 October 1841), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article84754501





Hobart-Launceston-Carlton, VDL (TAS) - 1841-c.1845


"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Courier (26 November 1841), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2955197

PORT OF HOBART TOWN. Arrivals ... 23 - the bark Britith Sovereign, 491 tons, Cow, from Calcutta and Madras, with a general cargo-passengers, Dr. Ford, lady, and three servants, Mr. and Mrs. Chester and child ...


Chester, Herman; birth, 16 March 1843, Hobart; Tasmanian Names Index; NAME_INDEXES:1067829; RGD33/1/1/ no 1373

https://stors.tas.gov.au/RGD33-1-1-p412j2k 


Chester, Ernest Stevens; birth, 14 September 1844, Hobart; Tasmanian Names Index; NAME_INDEXES:1068815; RGD33/1/2/ no 546

https://stors.tas.gov.au/RGD33-1-2-p517j2k 




Bothwell, VDL (TAS) - c.1845-1848


"BOTHWELL", The Courier (8 April 1848), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2969444

BOTHWELL. It is said that Mrs. Chester, our talented schoolmistress, intends to give a musical concert very shortly in Hobart Town. It may not be generally known to the musical world of Hobart Town, so well as to us of this district, the power and pathos of this lady's voice. She displays great taste and much science in the performance of all she sings; whether it be a ballad, or a higher order of musical composition. Until her arrival, it may be said that singing was almost a dead letter among us; she has, however, revived and established a taste for it, and many private parties have been got up for the purpose of hearing her sing. The church music may be mentioned also as a pleasing result of her exertions, which has lately undergone a complete change. The choir in the Presbyterian congregation was organised, taught, and still continues to be conducted by her. Mrs. Chester retired into private life about 6 years ago, on her return to this colony from a tour through India, but has been induced to come again before the public; when her friends (and she has many) will no doubt give her a hearty welcome. Communicated.


"CONCERTS", The Courier (3 May 1848), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2969228 

CONCERTS. - Mrs. Chester, after a lapse of twelve years, made her appearance once more before a Hobart Town assembly on the evening of Friday last, and attracted a numerous audience, desirous of hearing a singer of whom report spoke most favourably. Nor were they disappointed. Mrs. Chester possesses a naturally fine voice of great extent and power, united with skill and accomplishment in her art. In her first song, "Bid me discourse," she at once proved her science, although she filled in some of the passages from nervousness. The ice once broken, she gradually improved. "Di Pacer" was well sung, and reminded us of the days of "Auld Lang Syne," carrying our imaginations home to Old England. The beautiful ballad of "Auld Robin Gray," although well sung, wanted that depth of pathos with which this touching Scotch melody is capable of being endued. Its charm lies in its simplicity, and the notes should be given without turn or ornament. Mrs. Chester, however, secured an encore. Ballads invariably come home to the feelings of an English audience, and we cannot but wonder they are not oftener introduced at public concerts. Mrs. Chester's last effort was the song of "Do not mingle," which she gave in excellent style, and with such effect that she was rapturously encored. The military hand acquitted themselves in their usual creditable way. We were particularly pleased with the performer on the flute in the last overture. His notes were singularly rich and sweet, and his time admirable. The duet, piano Herr Imberg and cornet-a-piston by one of the band, was exceedingly well played. Miss Duly sings prettily, but wants power for a concert room. The glee, "See our Oars," wanted in precision, and consequently in effect. Altogether Mrs. Chester may congratulate herself at the result of her re-appearance; and we hope in a few weeks to have the pleasure of hearing her again.

On Monday evening Mr. Pucker gave a concert at the Music Hall, in Collins-street . . .


"Mrs. Chester's Concert", The Cornwall Chronicle (13 September 1848), 19

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65978982

Mrs. Chester's Concert. - On Friday evening, Mrs. Chester made her first appearance before a Launceston audience, as a Concert singer. and although the was evidently labouring under a severe cold, her debut was successful. On Mrs. Chester's advance to the platform, she was universally applauded, and after the performance of an Overture by the Band of H. M. 96th, she sang the famous ballad of "The Rover's Bride," by A. Lee, the Professor under whom we understand Mrs. Chester studied the art of singing for about two years. In this performance the daring of the bold outlaw, contrasted with the mild and plaintive accents of the confiding bride were well expressed, and the ballad was gone through with excellent effect. A couple or Scotch ballads - "Auld Robin Gray," and "John Anderson my Jo," were also tastefully given, and (the latter in particular), much applauded. "The joyous days of Childhood" was another sweet ballad, which, spite of the singer's harassing cough, was touchingly sung. The concluding song, "The Wild White Rose" was unavoidably interrupted by a violent cough, but upon the whole the taste displayed, in Mrs. Chester's selection, and performance was admirable. The Piano Forte used was not in first-rate tune, and the accompaniment was consequently somewhat deficient. A celebrated Sinfonia by Haydn was performed by a portion of the Band, assisted by Mr. Beckford, who lent the music for the occasion. Mr. Bishop the master of the Band, and Mr. Howson, Senr., displayed much ability in this portion of the entertainment. Several glees were sung by Amateurs during the evening, and gave general satisfaction, "Lightly tread" being the favorite. We hope Mrs. Chester's speedy restoration to health will give another opportunity to the inhabitants to witness her talented exertions.


Chester, Marian (with husband and 2 children); departures, Hobart, 21 September 1848, per British Sovereign, for Port Phillip; Tasmanian Names Index; NAME_INDEXES:533702; POL220/1/1 p32

https://stors.tas.gov.au/POL220-1-1 (page 32)






Melbourne, NSW (VIC) - 1848-1849


"LOCAL INTELLIGENCE", The Melbourne Daily News and Port Phillip Patriot (12 October 1848), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225693294 

MRS. CHESTER'S CONCERT came off at the Mechanics' Institution, on Tuesday evening, under the patronage of their Honors the Superintendent, the Judge, and his Worship the Mayor. The attendance was a very numerous one, and every seat was occupied. There was much in the programme that has not been recently performed at previous concerts. The instrumental part went off very fairly, notwithstanding one or two accidents in the shape of violin (primo) and violoncello strings breaking. [The overture to] "Guy Mannering" (in which Mr. Megson elicited deserved applause) gave great satisfaction. Mrs. Chester made her debût in "Joyous days of childhood" (Anna Bolina,) but from [? perceptible] nervousness sang a little sharp. In the cavatina Di piacer, her voice [? exerted] much power and execution. Mrs. Chester's concluding effort, "Do not mingle" from "Somnambula," was by far her best, and had it been sung in the same style in a theatre (where, by-the-bye, Mrs. Chester's abilities would have appeared to much greater advantage) would have [encountered] a warm "encore." The character, [? facility], tone, and power of his lady's voice, and the style of her performance, are infinitely better calculated for "the Boards" than for "the Concert room" - unless that "Concert room" be of much larger dimensions than any building this city affords. On the whole, we should say that Mrs. Chester has not yet done justice to her own abilities. We are satisfied that her powers are far beyond what we have yet heard. We have heard a more talented vocalist make a far interior first appearance to that of Mrs. Chester ...


"THE THEATRE", The Melbourne Daily News and Port Phillip Patriot (27 October 1848), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225693226 

A great variety of entertainments was exhibited at the Queen's Theatre on Wednesday evening. The most attractive was the first appearance of Mrs. Chester, who fully justified the judgment we formed, at the concert, of her ability. She is undeniably the best vocalist that has ever publicly appeared in this city - and despite the frightful accompaniment of a wretched orchestra, elicited rounds of applause front the audience. The "Dashing White Sargeant" Mrs. Chester sang with spirit, brilliancy, and expression. Her extreme nervousness interfered with her voice at the commencement, but after the first verse she conquered this obstruction, and when concluding the song, received an unanimous encore. But again we would observe that no singer could exert themselves with confidence with such an execrable band to assist them. By-the-bye, these "incurables," while mangling the "Flaxen headed Cow Boy," produced such a discordant clamour, (as if the first violin and double bass were in hysterics, and the rest of the instruments enjoying the joke,) that the risibilities of the audience were pretty generally and loudly excited.


"THE THEATRE", The Melbourne Daily News (29 December 1848), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225707001 

Friday night is devoted to selections from Shakspere, and is designed principally for a box audience - the programme is injudicious so far as the performances are not relieved by any light interlude. Again, Mrs. Chester wastes her abilities upon songs of the old school - "Black eyed Susan" and "Cherry ripe" were all very well twenty years ago or when Miss Paton was "ow'r young to marry yet." With "Black eyed Susan" we will not quarrel as the ballad is a very superior one but "Cherry ripe" is at this time of day positively repulsive. We would as soon think of listening to "The merry Swiss boy," "Sally of our alley" or "The flaxen headed cow boy." - Modern writers afford plenty of material for such a voice as Mrs. Chester's and she is neither doing herself nor her audience justice in confining her abilities to such "stock" scores as she has hitherto indulged in.


"MRS. CHESTER'S BENEFIT ...", The Melbourne Daily News (21 February 1849), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226473298 

MRS. CHESTER'S BENEFIT for to-morrow evening is under the patronage of the Bar, and the performances selected are Mr. Belfield's new and successful drama "Retribution" with an interlude of singing and dancing, to conclude with the Brigand. Mrs. Chester has certainly not had a lengthened acquaintance with the public, but short as the intimacy has been, we think the satisfaction has been mutual. This lady is a clever "vaudeville " style of actress with a good voice which is generally thrown away upon music than has been hacked out and threadbare for the last half century. The Brigand we need scarcely say is a first-rate piece, if even tolerably performed.


"CLEARED OUT", The Melbourne Daily News (21 May 1849), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226471860 

May 19. - Shamrock, steamer, 200 tons, G. Gilmore, commander, for Sydney. Passengers (cabin) - ... Mr. and Mrs. Chester ...





Sydney, NSW - 1849


"SYDNEY", The Courier (30 June 1849), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2965600 

A ci-devant London actress, Mrs. Chester, made her first appearance last Saturday as Madame Galochard, in the King's Gardener: her acting is naive and piquant, and malgre the severe cold under which she evidently laboured, her ballad singing was pleasing, although of a school rather passee. Her speaking voice is remarkably melodious and euphonie, and as for as we can judge from so early an acquaintance with her qualifications for the stage, we consider her an acquisition. - Sydney Atlas, June 9.





Maitland, NSW - 1849-1850





Newcastle, NSW - 1850-1860


John Askew, A voyage to Australia and New Zealand, including a visit to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Hunter's River, Newcastle, Maitland, and Auckland (London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co., 1857), 290

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=dcUNAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA290

Mr. [Joseph] Spragg's next appearance before the public was in the character of a comic singer at a public concert given in the court-house by Mr. Chester. Mrs. Chester was the principal and only female singer. She had been a professional both in London and Sydney. Mr. Chester was a clerk at a store, and had only been a short time in the city. Concerts were rare things in Newcastle; and when the night came, the house was crowded with all the fashion and beauty of the city and neighbourhood. Mr. Spragg, in order to be in full trim for the occasion, had two nights of rehearsal in his own drawing-room. A short time before the concert hour, the kitchen was turned into a green-room. I lent him a long pair of ridge-and-furrow Scotch stockings, which he drew on over white trousers and fastened at the knees with pieces of red ribbon. A loose shooting-jacket was thrown across his shoulders, and a rustic hat well floured, crowned the whole man. As a finishing-stroke, his face was coloured with rouge, and his hair was dusted with whiting. He spent an hour at this evening's toilet. His duty was to shine in the character of a country clown; and before a large glass on the chimney-piece he studied his part so well, that he was "perfect" by the time he was called upon. Mrs. Chester sung several popular songs, accompanied by the piano; Master Sydney Chester, a boy of 14 years, sung several nigger melodies; Mr. James Hannel sung an Irish song; and then came Mr. Spragg, who sung the "Country Fair." This song elicited a hurricane of applause, which died away in the gruff sounds made by some clever imitator of a braying donkey. The whole of the proceedings passed off so well, that there was another concert on the following week, at which Mr. Spragg appeared in the same character, and Mr. Rogers, grotesquely attired, sung his usual ditty.


"NEWCASTLE. PULICANS' LICENSES", Northern Times (24 April 1858), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128761414 

William Chester, Metropolitan, Watt street, Newcastle, the house lately occupied by Captain Bingle, nearly opposite the Bank of New South Wales.


"THEATRICAL", Northern Times (12 June 1858), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128760219 

THEATRICAL. - We have much pleasure in announcing that the amateurs of Newcastle are about to give a performance for the benefit of Mrs. Chesier on her retirement from the stage. Shakespeare's tragedy of Romeo and Juliet had been selected, in which that lady will sustain the character of the Nurse; and our favorite amateur, Capt. Absolute, will appear as Romeo. Mr. Byers and company will also kindly assist. We understand that Mrs. Chester was the first professional lady who visited the colony, and before that time was a singer and actress of some celebrity at "Old Drury." Her first appearance in Sydney was in 1836, at the old Theatre Royal, in George-street, in the musical drama of "Clari." She afterwards played there for several months until her departure for Calcutta. She has subsequently appeared in conjunction with some of the brightest stars who have graced our histrionic hemisphere and gladdened many a dull scene, and caused many a hearty laugh, as several of us can testify. Fickle fortune has, however, tossed her about, sometimes high and sometimes low, through various shades from grave to gay - and now on her exit from professional life, commences a new drama entitled "Mine Hostess," and bids farewell to all pomp and circumstance of "gaudy show." For although Mrs. Chester retires from the stage, she will continue before the public, and on the 1st of July, at the Metropolitan, the curtain will rise to an entire change of performance, where she purposes to give daily such an entertainment as shall please the most delicate or fastidious tastes. We trust that the contemplated tribute to her talent and standing among us will be such that she can look back to the "fall of the curtain" on her professional career with pleasure and satisfaction.


"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (23 June 1859), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13026684 

On the 15th instant, at his late residence, Bolton-street, Newcastle, Mr. William Chester, after a long and painful illness, in his 49th year, son of the late Edward Yates Chester, Esq., of Holyport, Berkshire, England, and brother of Granado Chester, Esq., late surgeon of the 5th Madras Light Cavalry. He was much respected and deeply regretted by all who knew him. English papers please copy.

Edward Yates Chester (c.1776-1851), William Chester, born 30 January 1812 in Bray, Berkshire, England


"ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION", New South Wales Government Gazette (24 June 1859), 1417

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article228718135 

In the Supreme Court of New South Wales. ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION. In the Goods, Chattels, and Credits of William Chester, late of the City of Newcastle, in the Colony of New South Wales, publican, deceased. NOTICE is hereby given, that fourteen days after this notice, Marian Maria Chester, widow and relict of the above-named William Chester, deceased, will apply to this Honorable Court, that Letters of Administration of the goods, chattels, and credits of her late deceased husband, may be granted to her. - Dated this twenty-first day of June, A.D, 1859. HENRY BAKER Proctor for the said Marian Maria Chester. By Iceton and Pownall, his Agents. 1630 4s. 6d.


[News], Empire (10 November 1859), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64092699

One of the oldest professionals of Sydney claims the sympathies of the public. Mrs. Chester, formerly one of our best vocalists, being afflicted with paralysis, and desirous of returning to England, is about to give a concert, in the Exchange, under the patronage of his Excellency the Governor-General and Lady Denison. Madame Jaffa, Miss Brady, Madame Flora Harris, Messrs. Charles Packer, J. and E. Deane, Kohler, Frank Howson, and others, give their services to this charitable cause; and the concert will undoubtedly receive the warmest support from the musical world and general public of Sydney.


[News], Empire (21 November 1859), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64093318

It is now about twenty-three years, since the arrival of Mrs. Chester threw the musical world of Sydney into considerable excitement. That lady was the first veritable "star" that had deigned to visit the colony. Fame spoke favourably of her vocal powers, and many who bad witnessed the beautiful performance of the celebrated Miss Chester (now Duchess of Buckingham) wondered who Mrs. Chester could be, until the manager of the Sydney theatre announced her as Mrs. Chester late Miss Crawford, of the London theatres. She was accompanied by her husband, brother of the Miss Chester above alluded to, a gentleman of whom those who had the pleasure of his acquaintance spoke in the highest terms; he brought letters of introduction to the chief officers of the Government, and up to the period of his death (now about five months since) held a responsible situation at Newcastle. Mrs. Chester made her first appearance before the Sydney public in the character of "Clari, or the Maid of Milan," and her beautiful singing of "Home, sweet home," and "Tyrant, soon I'll burst thy chains" at once proved her to be a vocalist of much ability. Mrs. Chester was engaged to sing three nights in each week, at a salary of ten pounds per night, and the management, at that time reaped a golden harvest from her labours. A reference to Doctor Loetzby's [Lhotsky's] Review on music in New South Wales, published in 1837 will shew the estimation in which Mrs. Chester was then held by a delighted public. About two years afterwards she was induced by promises of great patronage to visit India, and shortly after departed with her husband for Calcutta, where for a time her professional efforts were crowned with complete success, she was honoured with the friendship and patronage of the highest families and personages in the "City of Palaces," and was on the high road to independence, when misfortune in a fearful form overtook her, and at once blighted her prospects and her hope, by a terrible catastrophe. She was awoke in the middle of the night by the cry of "Fire!" and had scarcely time to envelop herself in a blanket, with the assistance of her husband, and leap from the window of the hotel, when the fearful thought that her infant son, whom she had entrusted to a servant, was still in the burning house, took possession of her mind. No assurance on the part of her husband could, in her state of excitement, convince her of the contrary, and in the midst of her screams for her child, the building fell in with a fearful crash; from that moment her mind was in blank, reason had forsaken her, and even the sight of her infant (which had been saved long before the mother) failed to repair the awful shook. For many months Mrs. Chester remained in this state, even the sight of a lighted candle would bring on a fearful paroxysm, and fears were for a time entertained that she would never regain her reason. Mrs. Chester left India, and resided for a long time in Hobart Town, where she slowly recovered her faculties, and in her strictly retired position, and private life, endeared herself to all within the circle of her acquaintance. Mrs. Chester afterwards returned to New South Wales and introduced here from Van Diemen's Land the talented family of the Deanes, and afterwards resided with her husband at Newcastle, but an attack of paralysis has now entirely incapacitated her from further professional exertion. Destitute, and a widow, Mrs. Chester now appeals to the sympathies of the musical public, and we heartily trust that her appeal will not be made in vain. Mrs. Chester is now desirous of returning to her friends in England; we hope that her benefit at the Exchange Rooms, tomorrow evening, will furnish her with the means of doing so. We have only to add that the programme is one most attractive, and will be patronised by his Excellency the Governor-General, Sir George F. Bowen, Governor of Queensland, and the Masonic body of Sydney.


[News], Empire (24 November 1859), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64093443

As a musical entertainment, the Concert of Mrs. Chester, at the Exchange, on Tuesday evening, was undoubtedly one of the best of the season; and this, as well as the peculiar cause for which it was given - aid to so deserving and unfortunate a member of the musical profession - makes us regret that it was not more successful in a pecuniary point of view. That a concert of this description should not have been better supported, does not say much for the musical taste of Sydney, now endeavouring to take its place in the musical world by means of a number of musical societies. One thing is also apparent from the limited attendance, that the system of patronage no longer succeeds in materially contributing to the success of an entertainment; many seemed disappointed at the non-appearance of the two Excellencies. Nearly the whole of the programme of Tuesday evening was artistically and spiritedly executed, and though totally opposed to the practice of compelling artists to do double duty, and of unnecessarily lengthening an already long programme by repeated encores, yet we must acknowledge that on this occasion they were richly merited. Every musical connoisseur will readily concede the palm of excellence to Osborne's duo concertante for the pianofortes (part II., No. 1), executed by Messrs. Charles S. Packer and F. Ellard. It excited a burst of enthusiastic applause, but owing to the length of the piece, the encore was judiciously declined. The piece is not threadbare, but comparatively new to the Sydney Concert Room, and will prove a favourite. One could not help admiring the easy and elegant style and slightness of touch displayed by Mr. Packer - there is no mistaking in him the genial artist, thoroughly imbued with the spirit of music. The part-song "Oh hills, Oh vales," (Mendelssohn), admirably sung by the members of the People's Vocal Association, though not encored, deserves next in order to be warmly mentioned. The light and shade in the execution was beautifully kept up. The duett, "Sainted Mother," from Wallace's opera of "Maritana," was exceedingly well sung by Miss Brady and Mrs. Cordner; it was encored, but the piece substituted was less effective. Frank Howson sung a German ballad by Schondar, "When the quiet Moon," with great taste; he was encored in this, as also in the famous buffo song from Rossini's Cenerentola, "My Tormentors," proving Mr. Howson still to be one of our most favourite concert vocalists. The other encores were Madame Flora Harris in Mrs. Nortons "Juanita," a song which, by her beautiful rendering, she has made quite her own. Miss Nina Spagnoletti in Linley's ballad of "Ever of Thee," charmingly executed, and wisely substituted for the hacknied scena from "Robert le Diable," the vocalist giving for the encore Wrighton's "Sweet Home," equally well sung; and Mr. R. Kohler's concertina solo, which was rapturously received. Mr. Packer's "Hunting Song" was also very artistically given by the chorus. Mr. F. Ellard sang Balfe's ballad "The Bells," with excellent voice, but provoked the risibility of the audience by the display of some of his peculiar eccentricities, real or affected. In consequence of indisposition, Madame Jaffa was compelled to conclude her pianoforte solo (the Rondo from Beethoven's Concerto in E flat) very suddenly. This was much to be regretted, as, from the talents of this lady, in this particular style of music, it would otherwise have undoubtedly proved one of the gems of the evening.


"AMUSEMENTS", Empire (13 December 1859), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64094323

. . . In other amusements we have had the concerts above-mentioned, with poor vocal, but very good instrumental music, the result of the union of two orchestras. The oratorio of Judas Maccabeus, very well given by the Sydney Vocal Harmonia Society; an extremely successful complimentary benefit to Mr. J. H. Black; and a concert on behalf of Mrs. Chester, one of our oldest vocalists, formerly Miss Crawford, of London, and wife of the Duchess of Buckingham's brother; who has been suffering severely from paralysis, and is about returning to England.


"DEPARTURES FOR ENGLAND", The Sydney Morning Herald (13 January 1860), 9

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28629260

December 20. - Blackwall, ship, 831 tons, Captain Stewart, for London. Passengers - Colonel and Mrs. Percival, 2 children and servant, Miss Hodson, Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell, Master Mitchell, Mr. and Mrs. Rossiter, 3 children and servant, Mrs. Clarke and 2 children, Mrs. Farras and 6 children, Mr. Wainwright, Mr. and Mrs. Barnett, Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins, Mr. and Mrs. King, Master Pratt, Mr. and Mrs. Travers, Mrs. Chester ...



"DRAMA IN AUSTRALIA", The Era (19 February 1860), 10

[From the Sydney Empire, as above] ... and a concert on behalf of Mrs. Chester, one of our oldest vocalists, formerly Miss Crawford, of London, and wife of the Duchess of Buckingham's brother; she has been suffering severely from paralysis, and is about returning to England,




? London, England - 1861






Melbourne, VIC - 1861


[Advertisement], The Argus (3 August 1861), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5702677

COMPLIMENTARY BENEFIT And LAST APPEARANCE On the Stage of Mrs. CHESTER, For many years a member of the Theatres Royal, Drury Lane, Covent Garden, Dublin, &c.; also, of the Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney; and the Theatre Royal, Melbourne.

In consequence of the prolonged Indisposition of the above lady, so well known for many years on the Victorian stage, several gentlemen belonging to the profession, as well as amateurs of the Garrick and Histrionic Clubs, have offered their services gratuitously on her behalf, at the Theatre Royal,

On MONDAY evening next, the 5th inst.; the use of the theatre having also been most kindly and gratuitously conceded by Mr. Kyte, and it now only remains for the admirers and supporters of the drama in this city, by their patronage on this occasion, to render the event substantially beneficial to an actress who in at present, through bad health and other suffering, in the most pressing need of assistance.

The Performances will commence with Bulwer Lytton's play of THE LADY OF LYONS.
Claude Melnotte ... Mr. Hayward.
Colonel Damas ... Mr. Harwood.
Beauseant ... Mr. Buckingham.
Glavis ... Mr. J. W. Manvers.
Gaspar ... Mr. Donald.
Deschappelles ... Mr. Weedow.
Landlord ... Mr. Nealor.
Pauline ... Miss Emma St. Clair.
Madame Deschappelles ... Mrs. Phillips.
Widow Melnotte ... Mrs. Chester.
Jeanette ... Miss Jones.

Dance ... Miss Amy Chambers.

To be followed by A PETITE CONCERT, In which Miss OCTAVIA HAMILTON and Mrs. FREDERICK YOUNGE, who have with, great kindness given their valuable aid, will appear.
Duet (From "The Rose of Castile") Mrs. Frederick Young and Miss Octavia Hamilton.
Spanish Song, "Sweet Love Arise," Mrs. Frederick Younge.
Favorite Ballad, Miss Octavia Hamilton.

To conclude with TEDDY THE TILER.
Lord Dunderford ... Mr. J. Manly.
Teddy the Tiler (on this occasion) Mr. J. Simmons.
Henry ... Mr. R. Campbell.
Frederick ... Mr. Collingwood.
Notary ... Mr. Wilmot.
Richard ... Mr. Smith.
Tim ... Mr. R. A'Beckett Evans.
Lady Dunderford ... Mrs. Chester.
Oriel ... Miss Bush.
Julia ... Miss R. A'Beckett Evans.
Flora ... Miss St. Clair.


Marriage of Robert ROLLAND and Marian Maria Chester, VICTORIA BDM - 1861/3140

https://online.justice.vic.gov.au/bdm/indexsearch.doj


"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 November 1861), 10

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13057298 

CHESTER - October 26th, Sydney Yates, eldest son of the late Mr. William Chester, of Newcastle, New South Wales, aged 24 years.





Newcastle, NSW - 1867


"DEATHS", Empire (26 August 1867), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60844084 

ROLLAND - On the 18th instant, at her son's residence, Wolfe-street, Newcastle, of Asthma, Mrs. M. M. Rolland, aged fifty-one years, mother of Mr. E. S. Chester, of that city.


"RECOLLECTIONS OF THE THEATRE ROYAL", The Argus (21 March 1872), 7

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5860845 

Mrs. Chester, an excellent actress of old women, who played Mrs. Candour, is, we believe, dead.





? "Literary Notes, Etc.", The Maitland Weekly Mercury (16 January 1897), 13

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article126324112 

The authorship of the famous song "Kathleen Mavourneen' having often been questioned, Mr. Stephen Massett, in 1893, obtained from Professor Crouch this statement: -

"The music of the song "Kathleen Mavourneen" was composed by me in Plymouth, England in 1839. The words by their exquisite beauty attracted my attention in the Metropolitan Magatine, published in London, and written by Mrs. Marian Crawford, wife of an English barrister. I immediately called upon the lady and said, 'I want the words of this Song of yours as my property. In this envelope are Bank of England notes for £30.' The lady gave me a receipt for the amount, and the song was mine. It was then published by D'Almaine and Co., 20 Soho-square, London, and was first sung by me at a concert given at Plymouth, England, by Mr. E. P. Roe, the publisher of music in the town and subsequently presented out and out by me to his wife, Mrs E. P. Roe. Since that time, over fifty-four years ago I have not received ten cents' profit from the song, though it has been issued by thirty different publishers in America and England, and made many in dependently rich."

When he signed the foregoing statement Professor Crouch was in his eighty-fifth year. He afterwards died at Portland, Me.





Bibliography

Hall 1951-54 (also reprinted as Hall 1991)


"Notes and queries: Mrs. Chester, Sydney Theatre 1835, but formerly of Covent Garden and Drury Lane", STR Theatre Notebook 20/2 (Winter 1965/66)


Beedell 1992, 257, 262, 263, 276


Hall and Cripps ("Osric") 1996, 37, 38, 39, 133, 154, 155, 160, 171, 271


Greene 2011, Theatre in Dublin, 1745-1820: a calendar of performances, volume 6, 4403, 4404, 4382, 4394, 4430, 4433, 4439,

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=boLmd-KxZ9oC&pg=PA4403 


Skinner 2011


Bishnupriya Dutt and Urmimala Sarkar Munsi, Engendering performance: Indian women performers in search of an identity (New Delhi: SAGE, 2010), 28-33

http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/37449477

Chapter 1: Actresses of the colonial space; English actresses in India (1789-1842), 3-46






© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2017