LAST MODIFIED Sunday 5 November 2017 13:44

Maria Logan

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "Maria Logan", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 15 December 2017

LOGAN, Maria (Maria ELLARD; Mary ELLARD; Mrs. C. D. LOGAN; Maria LOGAN)

Pianist, professor of music, organist, composer

Born Dublin, 1808 (daughter of Ann and Andrew ELLARD)
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 15 February 1835 (per Sarah)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 1842
Died Darlinghurst, NSW, 25 December 1886, aged 78 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

See also family mainpage:

LOGAN, Charles David (Mr. C. D. LOGAN)

? Transcriber of Indigenous song

Born ? Dublin, Ireland, c.1803/4
Died Pimlico, England, 8 February 1864 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Maria Logan was a daughter of Dublin music-seller Andrew Ellard and his first wife Ann, a sister of Francis Ellard of Sydney, and a first cousin of William Vincent Wallace and Eliza Wallace Bushelle. Charles Logan (who had witnessed Andrew Ellards second marriage), had organised two shiploads of female emigrants from Dublin, and the Logans accompanied the first of these, on the Sarah, to Hobart Town, arriving there on 15 February 1835. Charles founded a "Hobart Town Public Library", while Maria, as "Mrs. C. D. Logan", established herself as a concert performer and teacher, of "Pianoforte and Singing, combining the principles of Thorough Bass and Composition".

According to her later pupil, the singer Lucy Chambers, Logan had herself been a pupil in Dublin of John Bernard Logier.

On Logier and the Wallaces and Ellards, see: 

Late in 1835, Logan collaborated with her cousin Vincent Wallace in his Hobart appearances, and by the time she gave her last Hobart concert in June 1842, the reviewer of The Courier had concluded that:

... in addition to the possession of talent in herself, she has also the happy method of imparting it to so many of her pupils, we have no hesitation in pronouncing her intended departure from these shores as a loss to the rising generation on this side of the island.

Logan also "presided at the seraphine" at the consecration of St. George's Church, Battery Point, in 1838, the instrument built by her father in Dublin, as is recorded not only in fact, but in fiction (in the title story to English novelist Penelope Fitzgerald's book of short stories, The means of escape).

One very important musical record of the Logan's activities in Hobart survives, in two manuscript copies of a Song of the Aborigines of Van Diemen's Land (arranged by Mrs. Logan) (see details below). George Augustus Robinson's journal for Sunday 22 October 1836 records:

Spent the evening at Logan's in Macquarie Street. Mr. Logan set to music a song of the aborigines, POPELLER etc., the first ever attempted. Spoke of Dr R; censured Mrs. Jackson, Mrs. Ross, Mrs. Lempriere.

Referencing Alice Moyle, in the notes to his edition of the journal Brian Plomley registered Maria's professional musical activities and her published song (see below), and with the ascription on the manuscripts in mind, speculated that she "may also have been the one who transcribed the aboriginal song, Popeller, and not her husband." Equally possible, however, is that Charles did indeed transcribe the melody, and his wife made the arrangements.

A second musical work, but now lost, was a song, The vow that's breathed in solitude, published in Hobart in 1839, "the music arranged by Mrs. Logan" to words by Robert Stewart, author previously of the words to a Vincent Wallace song dedicated to the self-same Mrs. Logan. The Hobart Town Courier greeted it as the "first Van Diemen's Land melody" (if certainly not the first colonial composition, it was the first in print):

A song, entitled The vow that's breathed in solitude, the words by Mr. Stewart, the music arranged by Mrs. Logan" has been forwarded to us, and, according to our judgment, affords a very creditable specimen of 'immortal music married unto verse'. This is the first Van Diemen's Land melody it has been our fortune to encounter, and is well worthy of being hailed by all the lovers of song and of Tasmania, with all the gladness and rejoicing of a new birth.

Meanwhile, The Hobart Town Advertiser advised:

We must not pass lightly by the music of Mrs. Logan, a lady who has the merit of being the first musical compositor in the colony.

Charles having recently been bankrupted, the Logans moved to Sydney (with five children, and a servant), and Maria was organist of St. Andrew's Church and teaching music in a private lady's academy by the end of 1842. Her later pupils included Thomas Livingstone Mitchell's daughter Blanche Mitchell (1843-1869), whose diaries included many references to her; see State Library of New South Wales, MLMSS 1611

Another young pianist, Sarah Cross Little (1832-1909), made a manuscript copy (dated "Sydney, 29 January 1853") of the popular song Those evening bells arranged by Mrs. Logan, which is probably hers (see State Library of New South Wales, MLMSS 7115 

Musical works and arrangements:

Song of the Aborigines of Van Diemen's Land arranged by Mrs. Logan; MS, copy, ? c.1840s, original Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery; Archives Office of Tasmania, holographic copies (digitised by State Library of Tasmania) (TROVE PAGE 1) (DIGITISED PAGE 1) (TROVE PAGE 2) (DIGITISED PAGE 2)

This earlier copy dates perhaps from the 1840s, though copying errors suggest that it was not made by Logan herself.

Song of the Aborigines arranged by Mrs. Logan; MS, copy, 1890s, at University of Tasmania Library (the catalogue record dates this sketch MS to 1856) (TROVE)

This later copy appears to have been made, c.1890s, by Henry Lloyd, of Prahran, VIC.

See checklist entry on the above 2 manuscript sources: 


Alice Moyle, Tasmanian music, an impasse?, edited by W.F. Ellis, in records of the Queen Victoria Museum (Launceston: Museum Committee, Launceston City Council, 1968)

N. J. B. Plomley (ed.), Weep in silence: a history of the Flinders Island Aboriginal settlement with the Flinders Island Journal of George Augustus Robinson, 1835-1839  (Hobart: Blubber Head Press , 1987), 391, 657 note

A. J. Hammerton, "'Without Natural Protectors': Female Immigration to Australia, 1832-36," Historical Studies 16/65 (1975), 539-66 (re Charles Logan 549-550, 563)


"TRADE AND SHIPPING", The Hobart Town Courier (20 February 1835), 3

[News], The Hobart Town Courier (27 March 1835), 2

 [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (12 June 1835), 3

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (4 August 1837), 1

"Domestic Intelligence", Colonial Times (29 May 1838), 7

[News], The Hobart Town Courier (25 May 1838), 2

[News], The Hobart Town Courier (1 June 1838), 3

[News], The Hobart Town Courier (26 April 1839), 2

The Hobart Town Advertiser (10 May 1839)

[Editorial], The Hobart Town Courier (17 April 1840), 4

[News], The Hobart Town Courier (26 April 1839), 2

[Advertisement], The Courier (5 November 1841), 3 

IN the matter of the Insolvency of Charles David Logan, of Macquarie-street, Hobart Town, Gentleman. Notice is hereby given, that the above-named Charles David Logon did, on the 30th day of October instant, present a petition to William Sorell, Esq., Commissioner of Insolvent Estates for Hobart Town, praying that the petitioner might be declared insolvent, that a provisional assignee of his estate and effects might be appointed, and that the same might be distributed generally among his creditors, pursuant to the provisions of the Act of Council ...

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (4 January 1842), 1 

MRS. LOGAN begs to announce, that her Vacation having terminated, she will resume Tuition in Music on Monday, the 3rd January, 1842, at her residence, 20, Macquarie-street. Dec. 31, 1841.

"Van Diemen's Land", Australasian Chronicle (22 January 1842), 2 

... When St. George's church opened, the Rev. Mr. Ewing, the first "incumbent" (if that word can be applied to the ecclesiastical tenure of any colonial chiaplain), was introducing that service, and Mrs. Logan was forming a very attractive choir; the jubilate and some of the responses were chaunted, and it was understood that regular cathedral service was in the course of introduction. Circumstances impeded this for the time ... - Murray's Review.

[Advertisement], The Courier (3 June 1842), 1

CONCERT. - Mrs. LOGAN Begs to announce that she will give a CONCERT of VOCAL and INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC on THURSDAY EVENING, the 9th instant, at the HALL of the MECHANICS' INSTITUTE, the use of which has been kindly allowed by the Committee for this occasion. A programme of the performances will appear immediately. June 2.

"INTENDED CONCERT", The Courier (3 June 1842), 2 

We understand that it is Mrs. Logan's intention to give a farewell concert, under the patronage of Lady Pedder, on Thursday evening next, in the Mechanics' Institute, which the Committee have kindly placed at her disposai for that purpose. The entertainment augurs well, since in addition to this lady's acknowledged musical talent, the assistance of the numerous singers belonging to the Albert Rooms has been procured: though we doubt not but the numerous friends which Mrs. Logan has conciliated during her sojourn in this town will feel pleasure in affording a last testimonial of good-will, independently of what they may reasonably hope of the intrinsic merits of the performances.

"MRS. LOGAN'S CONCERT", The Courier (10 June 1842), 2

Last evening, Mrs. Logan, assisted by Mrs. Clarke and the elite of her company, afforded a musical entertainment, which every person present seems disposed to pronounce one of the best of which Hobart Town has ever boasted. The room, being large aud sonorous, showed to advantage the vocal powers of the different singers, on whose part we have never before witnessed such evident exertions to do their utmost. The orchestra told well, and performed their overtures with, as it appeared to us, more than ordinary effect; indeed, for the antipodes, nothing remained to be wished for. Of Mrs. Logan's proficiency on the pianoforte we had heard much, and, in due ratio, expected much; but our anticipations certainly fell short of the pleasing reality which broke upon us in her solo upon that instrument. Her precision of fingering is not more remarkable than the taste which she so happily bestows on each and every part of the musical theme, and without which the execution of a Hertz may surprise, but cannot gratify. But it was more especially in the act of accompanying that this lady bestowed in contestible proofs of intuitive talent; we say " intuitive," because excellence on this point, depending on a l'on ne sait quoi which the experienced singer, without being able to define, immediately appreciates in the person by whom he is well accompanied, cannot be acquired by practice, but is innate with its possessor. Without appearing to drag far behind, Mrs. Logan can allow full scope to the taste of the vocalist; and catching, as it were, the outline of his musical feeling, with him she can pass through the various gradations from the pianissimo to the fortissime. In Hertz's duo à quatre mains, for the pianoforte, Mrs. Logan performed the treble part, and one of her pupils, a young lady not exceeding ten or eleven years of age, the bass. The manner in which the latter went through her task, was as highly creditable to herself as it spoke unequivocally to the system of tuition followed by her teacher. It was evident, from the truth of time, the freedom of touch, and, above all, the exemption from that mechanical musical-snuff-box style so ordinary with young performers, that Mrs. Logan begins her tuition at the beginning, and by paying attention to the groundwork of the accomplishment, lays a solid foundation for future excellence. Without possessing a strong voice, this lady knows well how to modulate her tone so as to make the most of it. Indeed, by exquisite taste and judgment, her melliflowing sounds are such as, with attention, to ensure the highest gratification. Her duet with Signor Carandini, "Che veggio" was deservedly encored: the two voices blended well together, and Signor C's certainly never before sounded to such advantage as it did on that occasion. "Kathleen Mavourneen" also received the entire quantum of expression of which this favourite song is so susceptible. On the subject of the other performers, space will not allow of our noticing the individual exertions of each,and to singularise may appear invidious: we will, therefore, confine ourselves to expressing our opinion of the credit due to Mrs. Clarke for the gratuitous assistance which she contributed, by herself aud company, to the attractions of the evening, and to each member of that company for the unceasing exertions of which they gave proof, to enhance the general effect. Mrs. Stirling, whose classic style has always pleased us in her vocal performances, exhibited an additional talent, for which we had uot till then given her credit, in the piano accompaniment, which she disposed of with apparent ease, though containing operatic passages requiring a certain degree of fingering.

Now that we have had an opportunity of judging for ourselves that Mrs. Logan's reputation amongst us has not exceeded her merits, and that, in addition to the possession of talent in herself, she has also the happy method of imparting it to so many of her pupils, we have no hesitution in pronouncing her intended departure from these shores as a loss to the rising generation on this side of the island. However, since such is to be, we regret that, for her farewell entertainment, the weather should not have been more propitious, as, had it not been for the rain, we doubt not but that the attendance (about two hundred and fifty) would have been far more numerous.

The above, reprinted as "MRS LOGAN'S CONCERT", The Sydney Herald (23 June 1842), 3 

"MRS. LOGAN'S CONCERT", Colonial Times (14 June 1842), 3 

On Thursday evening last, Mrs. Logan held her farewell concert in the Lecture-room of the Mechanics' Institute, which was kindly lent her for the occasion. She was assisted by Mrs. Clarke and her company. We were unable to attend from indisposition; but from all that we can learn, it is generally allowed to have been one of the best ever given here. The manner in which Mrs. Logan's talents is appreciated was clearly evinced from the fact, that notwith[standing ... ] one who could hot obtain a vehicle from arriving at the Concert Room without being thoroughly drenched, there were upwards of 250 persons present.

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE: ARRIVALS", The Sydney Herald (26 July 1842), 2

FROM Hobart Town yesterday, having left the 21st instant, the barque Eden, 523 tons, Captain Jones, with Government stores, &c. Passengers - Mr. and Mrs. Logan, five children, and servant ...

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (29 July 1842), 3 

MUSICAL TUITION. MRS. LOGAN, PROFESSOR of the PIANOFORTE and SINGING, begs to acquaint the public that she intends as early as possible to open an academy, for instruction in music, combining its theory and practice. In the mean time, Mrs. Logan will be happy to receive pupils at the house of her brother, Mr. Ellard, George street. Sydney, July 28.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 August 1842), 3 

COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL. MISS RENNIE begs to announce that she has engaged Mrs. Logan (sister of Mr. Ellard), who is reputed to be highly accomplished in music, to teach the pianoforte in her establishment. Terms, in advance, £3 3s. a quarter, including music and the higher accomplishments, without extras. Miss Rennie has room for one boarder.

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

COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL. MISS RENNIE respectfully announces that her School quarter for Young Ladies commences on the 1st October. Terms paid in advance £3 3s., which includes, along with all the common branches, the higher and fashionable accomplishments of music (two lessons per week), taught in the first style by Mrs. Logan, Organist of St. Andrew's; Singing by Mr. Worgan, Organist of St. Mary's ...

"BIRTH", Australasian Chronicle (4 April 1843), 3 

At College-street, Hyde Park, on the 2nd inst., Mrs. Logan, of a son.

"SYDNEY CHORAL SOCIETY", The Australian (22 April 1845), 3 

A preliminary meeting of this society took place at St. Lawrence school-house, on Friday evening last ... The meeting then formed itself into a general committee, when the following gentlemen were elected : president, Rev. Mr. Walsh; secretary, Mr. Hatch; treasurer, Mr. Hirst; conductor, Mr. Johnson; leader, Mr. W. Johnson. An active committee of management was also formed, composed of - Mr. Hatch, Mr. Hirst, Dr. Nathan, Mr. Sincombe, Mr. Logan, Mr. Deane, and Mr. W. M'Donell. A vote of thanks was awarded to Mr. Hatch, as the active originator of the society, and to Mr. Purchase for his strenuous co-operation, and for his efforts in the cause of music ...

"IRISH EMIGRATION TO AUSTRALIA", The Sydney Morning Herald (5 January 1850), 3 

On Wednesday a meeting was convened in the Court-house, Cavan, for the purpose of hearing an address from Charles Logan, Esq., explanatory of the objects and regulations relating to emigration ... The society with which Mr. Logan is connected affords peculiar facilities for emigration, which Mr. Logan, who had been fourteen years in Australia, would state to the meeting ... To remedy the evils of the want of emigration, the inhabitants of what is called the Middle District of New South Wales raised a fund for the purpose of aiding industrious people of good character, who were starving in Ireland, to go out there, and that is the fund he (Mr. Logan) has at his disposal; therefore all emigrants assisted by this money would be sent to that part of the colony. The money was originally raised for tho relief of Irish distress, and forwarded to the Hon. F. Scott. That gentleman, conceiving it better to appropriate it to emigration, as the surest remedy for distress, applied for leave to that effect, and got it. He (Mr. Logan) had to come to Ireland on private business, when his friend Mr. Scott requested him to seek out for deserving parties whom they could send out or aid to emigrate ...

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 July 1854), 2 


? [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 January 1855), 6 

Excellent Household Furniture. Brilliant-toned Semi-grand Pianoforte by Broadwood; Square Piano by Tomkison. And other effects. MR. EDWARD SALAMON will sell by Auction, at the residence of Mrs. Logan, Bligh-street, on MONDAY, January 8th, at 11 o'clock, All the superior household furniture (principally of Lenehan's manufacture) and effects, comprising ...

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 June 1855), 1

EDUCATION. - Miss B. RANDALL'S Establishment for YOUNG Ladies will re-open on MONDAY, 9the July. No. 19, Elizabeth-street North. Miss B. R. has lately received from England the whole of Logier's system of Instruction in music, and from the proficiency most of her pupils have made in that branch of education, she can safely solicit a share of public patronage. Private lessons may be given after 4 pm. Miss B. R. will have the assistance of a young lady for some time a pupil of Mrs. Logan's. One or two young ladies can be accommodated as boarders.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 January 1864), 4

MRS. LOGAN begs to inform ber Pupils that she purposes REMOVING on tho 16th instant to the house now occupiod by Mr. Garrick, Viotoria-street North.

"DEATHS", Sydney Mail (23 April 1864), 9 

LOGAN - February 8th, at Warwick-street, Pimlico, Charles D. Logan, Esq., late of Sydney, New South Wales, aged sixty.

"MISS LUCY CHAMBERS", The Sydney Morning Herald (2 May 1864), 5 

... [The above statements have been forwarded to this journal for publication. It may not be generally known that Miss Chambers was for many years a pupil of Mrs. Logan, musical artist, of this city.

"THE SYDNEY MONTHLY OVERLAND MAIL", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 May 1864), 5 

Miss Lucy Chambers - the new Australian contralto, Who has made such a successful debut at Florence - is a native of this colony, the daughter of Mr. C. H. Chambers, solicitor, and was for many years a pupil of Mrs. Logan, musical artist of this city.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 December 1867), 3 

MUSICAL TUITION. - Mrs. C. D. LOGAN begs to intimate to her pupils that she will be prepared to receive them again on MONDAY next, the 30th instant. Rialto-terrace, Upper William-street S., Woolloomooloo.

"Madame Lucy Chambers", The Argus (25 November 1884), 7

"DEATHS", The Sydney Morning Herald (28 December 1886), 1

"THE LATE MRS. C. D. LOGAN", The Daily Telegraph (3 July 1888), 3 

[News], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 July 1888), 9

As a memorial of the esteem and affection, with which the late Mrs. C. D. Logan was regarded, some of the pupils and friends of that lady propose to found an annual prize, bearing Mrs. Logan's name, in connection with St. Andrew'- Cathedral Choir School. The reason this form has been chosen is that Mrs. Logan, who taught music for 51 years in Australia, was one of the first organists of St. Andrew's Cathedral. By reference to our advertising columns it will be seen that subscriptions will be received by Lady Martin and Miss Hogarth Pringle.

"LOGAN MEMORIAL FUND", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 February 1894), 6

Some years ago a meeting was called of the former pupils of the late Mrs. C. D. Logan with the object of perpetuating her memory in some suitable way. Miss Maud Hogarth-Pringle, of Parramatta, organised the movement, with the result that a small fund has just been placed in the hands of the Primate, to be expended in the presentation of two yearly prizes for music to the choristers of St Andrew's Cathedral. Mrs. Logan was for long identified with the musical progress of the colony in its earlier days. Originally this lady arrived at Hobart in the year 1835 by the immigrant ship Sarah, of which her husband was superintendent. Mrs. Logan remained in the Tasmanian capital until 1842, and soon became one of the principal resident teachers of music" on the "Logerian system". She officiated first as organist of St. David's Church (where the Cathedral now stands), and later as honorary organist of St. Georges Church, Battery Point. In February, 1842, Mrs. Logan arrived in Sydney, was appointed organist of St. Andrew's pro-Cathedral, and trained the choir. The Rev. Mr. Watson was then incumbent. Mrs. Logan continued to officiate when well advanced in years, during Canon O'Reilly's time. Altogether Mrs. Logan carried on her valuable work as a teacher dining a period of 46 years, numbering amongst her pupils the daughters of the Hon. Mrs. Keith Stewart (daughter of Governor Fitzroy), of Sir Alfred Stephen, Sir Edward Deas-Thomsom, Sir Thomas Mitchell, the Right Hon. W. B. Dalley, Mr. W. C. Wentworth, Sir James Martin, Archdeacon Cowper, Sir Roger Therry, the Hons. Robert Campbell and Robert Fitzgerald, Mr. Alexander Gordon, Mr. James K. Fairfax, and many other well-known Australian families. Mrs. Logan, who passed away on Christmas Day, 1886, was a first cousin of Vincent Wallace, the eminent composer.

© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2017