LAST MODIFIED Thursday 8 March 2018 11:57

Stephen and Henry Marsh and family

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "Stephen and Henry Marsh and family", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 15 November 2018

MARSH, Stephen Hale (S. H. MARSH; S. H. A. MARSH; Stephen Hale MARSH; Stephen Hale Alonzo MARSH)

Pianist, harpist, composer

Born Sidmouth, Devon, England, 4 February 1806; baptised St. John the Baptist, Colaton Raleigh, 9 November 1811
Married (1) Eliza
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 14 February 1842 (per Edward Paget, from Cork, 16 October 1841)
Married (2) Harriet Turner, Sydney or Melbourne, ? 1856 or earlier
Departed Melbourne, VIC, via Sydney, November 1872 (for Yokohama, Japan)
Died San Francisco, USA, 21 January 1888 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier)

MARSH, Eliza

Pianist, ? harpist

MARSH, Maria Heathilla (Miss MARSH; Mrs. John Skinner PROUT; Mrs. PROUT)

Musician, harpist, pianist, music teacher

Born Sidmouth, Devon (? Marlborough, Wiltshire), 14 April 1807; baptised baptised St. John the Baptist, Colaton Raleigh, 9 November 1811
Married John Skinner Prout, St. John the Baptist, Colaton Raleigh, 19 June 1828
Arrived Sydney, 16 December 1840 (per Royal Sovereign, from Plymouth, 1 August)
Departed Hobart, 11 April 1848 (per Derwent, for England)
Died Camden Town, London, England, 2 November 1871 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

MARSH, Henry (Henry Charles MARSH)

Composer, pianist, conductor, music teacher, music publisher

Born Sidmouth, Devon, England, 1824; baptised Walcot St. Swithin, 7 November 1824
Married Louisa Dawson, St. Clement's, Truro, Cornwall, 7 July 1845
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 12 February 1849
Departed Sydney, NSW, July 1874 (per British India, for San Francisco)
Died ? San Francisco, USA, ? 1900 or after (? 1902)

MARSH, Louisa (DAWSON; Mrs. Henry MARSH)

Amateur vocalist

Born c.1826 (daughter of James Theophilus DAWSON 1799-1878)
Died California, USA, after 1900

Portrait of S. H. Marsh, [by Walter Mason], The Illustrated Sydney News (4 March 1854), 4

Stephen Hale Marsh, directing a performance with seven harps, ? California, c. late 1870s; copy of photograph courtesy of the Marsh family

Summary (England)

Stephen, Maria and Henry Marsh were the children of John Marsh and his wife Mary Ann. At Sidmouth in the late 1810s and early 1820s John was a bookseller, stationer, and librarian, but in the register at Henry's baptism in 1824, his occupation was given as cabinet maker.

John Prout, Maria's father-in-law, was a piano tuner from the London firm of Stoddart, who regularly toured Devon in the 1830s and 1840s.

Documentation (England)

[Advertisement], Exeter Flying Post (21 August 1817), 4

Public Subscription Rooms, Sidmouth. John Marsh has the honour of respectfully announcing to the Nobility and Gentry that the newly-erected Music and Ball Rooms will be open on Tuesday the 26th instant with a Concert of Vocal & Instrumental Music ... the Storm Concerto by Master Marsh.

The Sidmouth guide: or, An accurate description of the situation, picturesque beauties, salubrious climate, &c., of that much admired watering place, and the circumjacent country within fifteen miles (Sidmouth: Printed for John Marsh, at his Library and Public Rooms; and sold in London by Rivington & Co., St. Paul's Churchyard; Ackermann, Strand, and all the Booksellers, 1818; Printed by R. & A. Taylor, London), 21 (transcribed Tony Brown)

The Libraries: Previous to the year 1809 no library of sufficient consequence to engage the attention of visitors, as a place of amusement and social conversation, existed in Sidmouth; one of two small book shops furnished a few novels and newspapers, but they laboured under the disadvantages of confined space and accommodation. These considerations induced Mr. John Marsh to begin a new structure, combining the advantages of an uninterrupted view of the sea and magnificent range of coast with those of an extensive library, furnished with every appropriate article of utility and fancy; where the morning lounge might be made agreeable by the airiness and comfort of a spacious room, the aid of newspapers and magazines, the prospect of the ocean, beach &c. The principal nobility and gentry, residents or visitants of Sidmouth, patronised the establishment, and still continue their favour and countenance. After Mr. M. has commenced building a short time, another library was began by Mr. Wallis, who had previously kept a smaller one. This building is a more contracted scale; the views from it are good, but rather inferior to those from the library of Mr Marsh. Many residence and visitants having expressed a wish that a new Ball and Music Room should be established, J. Marsh, aided by the subscriptions of several of the nobility and gentry, has completed a most beautiful structure, with anti-room, card room &c. It was opened in August 1817. Suitable refreshments are provided in the Anti-room for those ladies and gentlemen who may choose to partake of them. The regulations of the ball and card rooms may be seen at the Library.

[News], Exeter Flying Post (26 August 1819), 4

Bankrupts - From list in Tuesday nights Gazette, John Marsh of Sidmouth Devon, Bookseller.

Pigot's dictionary of Cornwall & Devon, 1822/3

Bookseller and Stationers - John Marsh (& Royal Library)
Professors & Teachers - Stephen Marsh (music) ...

Baptisms solemnized in the Parish of Walcot in the County of Somerset; register Walcot St. Swithin, 1824-1828, page 12

[Baptised] [1824 November] 7 / Henry son of John & Mary Anne Marsh / No. 10 Chapel Row / Cabinet Maker ...

Pigot's dictionary of Devon, 1830

Bookseller & Stationer - Marsh John, York Terrace
Professors & Teachers - Marsh Stephen A. (Harp, piano and singing) High Street

Pigot's commercial directory of Cornwall for 1830, 157.

Professors & Teacher - Prout, J.S. (drawing) Cornwall Terrace (Penzance)
........."................"...... - Prout Maria H (music)

[Advertisement], Somerset County Gazette (10 August 1839), 1

THE GOLDEN BAND and Wheal Chance United Tin Mining Company, PENZANCE, CORNWALL .... Managing Director. - J. G. BECKERLEG, Esq., (late Comptroller of the Tin Coinages, Duchy of Cornwall.)
Directors. - EDWARD BLOUNT, Esq.; THOS. MAY, Esq.
Trustees. - W. J. P. WILKINSOn, Esq.; STEPHEN HALE MARSH, Esq ...

Baptisms solemnized in the parish of St. Pancras, in the county of Middlesex, in the year 1840

No. 50; [baptized] 1840, January 11; [name] Stephen; [parents] Stephen Hale Alonzo, Eliza, Marsh; [abode] South Bow; [profession] Professor of Music; [birth] 4 December 1839

1841 England Census; Cornwall, Madron, Penzance, District 9

Regent Terrace ... Henry Marsh / [Age] 18 ... / Professor of Music ...

"HELSTON HARMONIC SOCIETY", Royal Cornwall Gazette (23 December 1842), 2

The fourth subscription concert which took place on Wednesday evening the 14th inst., was numerously and fashionably attended. The music was well selected, and the overtures to Fauchon, Le Nozze di Figaro, La Cenerentola and Semramide were played with great precision and effect, particularly Figaro, which was worked up in brilliant style by the leader Mr. James, who also played in the course of the evening a Concertante Duett with Mr. Marsh of Penzance for violin and piano-forte, which was rapturously applauded throughout, and a violin solo accompanied by Mr. Marsh, which was deservedly encored. We must again congratulate the Helston Harmonic Society on having such a leader as Mr. James, who is not only master of that difficult instrument, the violin and the piano-forte, but has also shevn himself to be an efficient performer on the violoncello. Griffin's Concert was played by Mr. Marsh on the piano-forte with great taste and brilliancy, and met with loud and rapturous applause. Mr. Bevan, in the course of the evening, played an extempore solo on the flute in his usual style, and met with that applause which he so well deserves. We cannot omit to mention a Quartette by Pleyel, which was played with great judgment and precision by the amateurs. Several glees and songs were sung during the evening with great taste and judgment, and added considerably to the effect of the evening's entertainment.

"HELSTON", Royal Cornwall Gazette (28 April 1843), 2

Harmonic Society. On Wednesday evening se'nnight, the last Concert for the season was given at the Assembly Rooms. The company wes numerous. In addition to the amateurs and professional gentlemen who usually cater for the public entertainments here, were Messrs. Marsh and Bevan, from Penzance, and Monsieur Nollet from Truro. The pieces were admirably performed, and warmly applauded. These concerts have been throughout the season respectably attended, and the musical department, under the able leadership of Mr. James, has given entire satisfaction to the audiences.

[Advertisement], Royal Cornwall Gazette (12 January 1844), 1

Mr. PROUT, Piano Forte Tuner, Repairer, &c., (FROM STODDARTS, LONDON), BEGS to announce to the Nobility and Gentry of Cornwall, his intention of commencing his periodical journey the beginning of the next week ... Orders may be left at Mr. Heard's Music Warehouse, Truro; ... and at Mr. Marsh's, Organist, Penzance. 2, Union-street, Stonehouse, January 8, 1844/

"MUSIC AND DANCING", Royal Cornwall Gazette (9 August 1844), 2

On Wednesday evening, Mr. Dawson and his family gave an interesting concert of vocal music, at the Assembly Rooms, Truro, which was very respectably patronized. Much of the singing, particularly that by Miss. L. Dawson, was neatly executed. Mr. Dawson, an old favourite in Truro, gave several comic songs, especially Parry's Blue Beard: with excellent spirit and humour. Mr. Marsh presided at the piano forte, and gratified the audience with his solo, performed with tba left hand only. After the singing, a variety of fashionable dances were given with much grace and poetry of motion, by Mr., Miss, and Miss H. Dawson. The celebrated Polka concluded the performances.

"LOCAL INTELLIGENCE", ? [Cornish] Weekly News (16 August 1844)

MR. DAWSON'S CONCERT - On Wednesday evening, the 7th inst., Mr. DAWSON gave a concert at the Assembly-room, Truro, in which he was very ably assisted on the piano by MR. MARSH, of Penzance. There was a tolerably good company, and the singing of Mr. DAWSON, Miss DAWSON, Miss L. DAWSON, and Master DAWSON, was of a very superior character. Miss L. Dawson sang several popular ballads in a style that bids fair to establish her reputation as one of the best of our local songstresses. The "As I view those scenes so charming," was exquisitely sung, and would doubtless have been encored, as several of her previous songs were, if she had not been so much engaged throughout the evening. Mr. MARSH played a left-handed solo on the piano with great ability and with excellent taste and spirit. The evening's entertainments concluded with some very spirited and elegant dancing, including the now popular and fashionable Polka, and the whole of the performances went off with great éclat.

"LISKEARD", Royal Cornwall Gazette (22 November 1844), 2

A very handsome organ has been erected in Liskeard Church, by Mr. Bishop, organ builder to Her Majesty. It will be opened on Sunday next, the 24th inst., by Mr. Marsh, late Organist at Penzance.

Marriage of Henry Charles Marsh (son of John Marsh) and Louisa Dawson (daughter of James Dawson), St. Clement's, Truro, Cornwall, 7 July 1845 (FHL Film Number: 1545392)

{News], Royal Cornwall Gazette (6 February 1846), 3

The Penzance Harmonic Society gave their second conrert, at the New Hall, Prince's Street, on Tuesday evening, to an unusually numerous, and highly respectable company, who were most gratified by the evening's entertainments. - The orchestral performances for the evening, were "Le Nozze di Figaro" and the "Caliph of Bagdad." The vocalists were Miss Roach, Messrs. Raubem and Gard, and, in comic songs, Mr. Dawson. Mr. T. Weaver performed an admirable solo on the violin. Mr. Marsh presided at the piano; and some flute music was ably executed by Messrs. Bevan and Trythall.

Marian Eliza Marsh; baptised St. Clement's, Truro, 16 July 1847

"MUSIC", Royal Cornwall Gazette (21 January 1848), 3

In our advertisement columns will be found news of concerts to be given this (Friday) evening, at Falmouth, and on Monday evening, under the patronage of the Earl of Falmouth, at Truro. The performers are Mrs. Henry March, Mr. S. H. Marsh, Mr. Dawson and Mr. T. J. Prout.

[Advertisement], Royal Cornwall Gazette (21 January 1848), 3

BY PARTICULAR DESIRE. A CONCERT will be given on the Evening of FRIDAY next, the 21st, at the POLYTECHNIC HALL, Falmouth, and on MONDAY, the 24th, in the ASSEMBL ROOM, Truro, for the only occasion previous to Mr. S. H. MARSH'S return to London. Mrs. Henry Marsh, Mr. Dawson, Mr. T. J. Prout, and Mr. S. H. Marsh, will sing favorite Songs, Duets, Trios, &c., and Mr. S. H. Marsh will perform a New Selection of Harp and Piano-Forte Music with Mr. Henry Marsh, who will preside at the Piano-Forte. TO COMMENCE AT EIGHT O'CLOCK PRECISELY.

"MUSIC", John Bull (4 November 1848), 12

Hail to Victoria Queen of the Ocean. The Australian National Anthem; Composed by S. H. Marsh, Esq. The words by John Rae, Esq., Town Clerk of Sydney.

The Australian Waltz. Composed for the opening of Government House, Sidney; by. S. H. Marsh.

The Traveller's Return. A Song, composed on the occasion of Dr. Leichhardt's retutn to Sidney, and dedicated to Members of the Royal Geographical Society. By the same.

T. Boosey, and Co.

Here is music from the Antipodes! The above compositions are interesting in more than a musical point of view: they are proofs of the cultivation, in one of the remotest settlements of the British Empire, of the arts which indicate advanced civilization and refinement of manners. They are, moreover, possessed of great intrinsic merit, and evidently proceed from the pen of a skilful and accomplished musician. The "Australian National Anthem" has been received as such in the colony, and is habitually performed on great public solemnities. It is well worthy of the honour: the poetry is loyal, patriotic, and vigorous; and the melody is (as it ought to be) plain and simple, yet bold and full of character. Each verse is repeated in chorus, richly harmonized in six vocal parts. - The "Australian Waltz" is a pleasing piece for the pianoforte; brilliant and effective without being too difficult. "The Traveller's Return" is in celebration of the return of Dr. Leichhardt from his journey of discovery in the interior of Australia; one of the most wonderful and important achievements of modern times; an achievement which, in the words of a recent writer on Australia, "has virtually added a vast and valuable province to the British empire, and has greatly extended the domain of civilized man." The song before us is an elegant poetical and musical tribute to the merits of this accomplished traveller.

[Advertisement], Windsor and Eton Express (29 December 1849), 1


George Clement Boase and William Prideaux Courteney, Bibliotheca cornubiensis, a catalogue of the writings, both manuscript and printed, of Cornishmen, and of works relating to the county of Cornwall ... volume 1 A-O (London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1874), 336

MARSH, Henry. b. Sidmouth, 1824. Now resident in Sidney, Australia.

The Duke of Cornwall's Waltzes for the piano-forte. Composed and dedicated to Mrs. Pidwell Batten by Henry Marsh. Lond., R. Cocks and Co., [1842,] fol., pp. 6, 3/-.

The Mount's Bay Quadrilles for the piano-forte. Composed and dedicated to Miss Fanny Scobell by Henry Marsh. Lond., Chappell and Co., [184-,] fol., pp. 6, 4/-.

NOTE. - Mr. Marsh married a dau. of Mr. James Dawson, Comedian, of Truro.

Documentation (Australia)

"THE ARTS", The Sydney Herald (18 December 1840), 2

[News], The Australian (6 March 1841), 2

"THE FINE ARTS", Australasian Chronicle (16 March 1841), 3

[Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (23 March 1841), 3

"CONCERT", The Sydney Herald (24 March 1841), 2

"MRS. PROUT'S CONCERT", Australasian Chronicle (23 March 1841), 2

"MRS. J. S. PROUT'S CONCERT", The Sydney Monitor (24 March 1841), 2

"Mrs. Prout's Concert", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (12 March 1842), 2

"CONCERTS", The Sydney Herald (4 June 1842), 2

[Advertisement], The Australian (17 October 1843), 2

"MUSICAL REGISTER. MR. MARSH'S CONCERT", The Weekly Register of Politics, Facts and General Literature (21 October 1843), 196 

"Misfortunes never come singly," says the adage: we, of Sydney experience, are disposed to say the same of concerts, or rather to substitute concerts for misfortunes. The lowering times were, we feared, inimical to anything like an harmonious meeting; and with our notice of Mrs. Bushelle's recent concert, we thought we had disposed of one of those "few and far-between" visitations which we Sydneyites hardly dare look for. We were calculating, however, without Mr. Marsh, whose affiche for Wednesday last drew to the Royal Hotel a numerous audience - including his Excellency and Lady Gipps, the Mayor and many of the élite of this City. The chief attraction was the mustering of "all hands" to the piano-fortes and harps, to the number of twenty-six, belonging to thirteen individuals, most of them young ladies of very comely and amiable appearance, but whose chief occupation seemed to be to jump their fingers from the dominant to the key-note, as opportunity might offer, during the time that Mrs. Marsh, Mrs. Prout and others, were playing from multiplied copies, the overture to "Les Diamans de la Couronne" arranged as a duet for the piano with harp accompaniment. There certainly was some paucity of talent visible in this arrangement, but the performers were irresistable, and were most gallantly encored. Mrs. Bushelle was decidedly not in voice, and sung with more effort than usual. Mrs. Wallace has not improved in style, nor learned to sing with correct emphasis. Mr. Wallace's violin, however, Mr. Marsh's harp, and the amateur's violoncello, delighted us much.

"PORT OF HOBART TOWN", The Courier (9 February 1844), 2

"SYDNEY ILLUSTRATED", The Sydney Morning Herald (20 March 1844), 2

"MELANCHOLY ACCIDENT", The Sydney Morning Herald (22 March 1845), 2

[Advertisement], The Courier (25 March 1848), 3

"MUSICAL SOIREE", The Courier (5 April 1848), 3

"PORT OF HOBART TOWN", Colonial Times (14 April 1848), 2

"MULTUM IN PARVO", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 April 1848), 3  

[Advertisement], The Argus (10 April 1852), 5

[Advertisement], The Argus (21 April 1852), 2


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 September 1854), 1

Conrad Martens, Wanstead, residence of Stephen Marsh, 30 April 1853

Conrad Martens, sketches in Australia, 1835-65; 8. "Wanstead; Stephen Marsh Esq., April 30 1853"; State Library of New South Wales (detail above) (IMAGE)

[Advertisement], Empire (18 March 1862), 1 

RANDWICK ASYLUM for DESTITUTE CHILDREN. - Programme of the Concert given by Signor CESARE CUTOLO, in aid of the funds of the above Institution, at the Masonic Hall, THIS (Tuesday) EVENING, March 18th, assisted by Miss Brady, Miss M. Brady, a Gentleman Amateur (Mr. Waller), Mr. Sussmilch, and the Gentlemen Amateurs of the German Glee Club, Mr. T. Brooks, Mr. Henry Marsh, the Band of H. M. 12th Regiment, and a Lady Amateur (Mrs. H. Marsh) who has kindly consented to sing for this benevolent occasion (her first appearance).

PART I ... 4. - Song - "The Adieu" - Lady Amateur (Mrs. Marsh) - Roch-Albert ...

PART II ... 5. - Song - "The Wanderer" - Lady amateur (Mrs. Marsh), Schubert ...

"SIGNOR CUTOLO'S CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 March 1862), 5 

... Several songs were very pleasingly sung by Mrs. Marsh in the course of the evening - the " Adieu," of Roch Albert; the " Gondalotto," and the "Wanderer," of Schubert ...

Documentation (California)

[Advertisement], San Francisco Call (2 April 1890), 5


[Advertisement], San Francisco Call (17 January 1891), 5

1900 USA Census

Henry (head), Louisa (wife), Alameda Precinct 8, Alameda, California

"Death of Mrs. Gore", San Francisco Call (28 May 1906), 4

ALAMEDA, May 27. - Mrs. Matilda Hale Gore, wife of Dr. Arthur Gore, passed away yesterday at her home, 1702 Paru street. She was a native of Australia, 45 years of age, the daughter of Henry Marsh, the late composer, and sister of Frank and Frederick Marsh, Mrs. Ellis Read, Mrs. Robert Collins and Miss Eva Marsh. Her funeral is to be held tomorrow afternoon from Christ Episcopal Church.

Musical works (Stephen)

Musical works (Henry)

The duke of Cornwall's waltzes for the piano-forte. Composed and dedicated to Mrs. Pidwell Batten by Henry Marsh (London: R. Cocks and Co., [1842])

Copy at British Library

The Mount's Bay Quadrilles for the piano-forte. Composed and dedicated to Miss Fanny Scobell by Henry Marsh (London: Chappell and Co., [184-,])

Copy (in album belonging originally to Sara Flower) at State Library of New South Wales

Bibliography and resources

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

The autobiography of Mr. James Dawson (Truro: J. R. Netherton, 1865)

Maria Prout, DAAO

V. W. Hodgman, Prout, John Skinner (1805-1876), Australian dictionary of biography 2 (1967)

© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2018