THIS PAGE FIRST POSTED 15 OCTOBER 2017

LAST MODIFIED Wednesday 10 April 2019 7:44

James Pearson

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


THIS PAGE IS ALWAYS UNDER CONSTRUCTION


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "James Pearson", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia): https://sydney.edu.au/paradisec/australharmony/pearson-james.php; accessed 23 April 2019





PEARSON, James

Organist, pianist, teacher of music, composer, shopkeeper

Born ? Liverpool / Manchester, England, 18 September 1795
Married Eliza DOODEY (1799-1879), St. Nicholas, Liverpool, 16 October 1822
Arrived Hobart, TAS, 2 July 1824 (passenger per Prince Regent, from England, 29 January, via Bahia)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 12 March 1825 (per Deveron, from Hobart, 3 March)
Died Cowpasture, NSW, 13 July 1841, age "43"

http://trove.nla.gov.au/result?l-publictag=James+Pearson+1795-1841 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


See also all early items tagged Music at St James Church Sydney:

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/result?q=&l-publictag=Music+at+St+James+Church+Sydney&sortby=dateAsc (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)



Summary

James Pearson was the fourth son of Thomas Pearson (1760-1827), and of his wife Elizabeth Brierley (d.1821) of Manchester (Burke's colonial gentry, 1891). According to James himself (death notice, Sydney, 1829 below), his father was a priest, and for a time a schoolmaster at Liverpool, and some of his former pupils were now in the colony. James's cousin, John Norman Pearson (1787-1865) was also a clergyman, and author, who in 1825/26 became founding principal of Islington College of the Church Missionary Society.

James and his wife, Eliza, and their infant daughter, arrived in Hobart Town in July 1824, and the Van Diemen's Land government accounts for 1825 include an unspecified annual payment to "J. Pearson, Conductor of Church Music". Notwithstanding, the Pearsons sailed from Hobart for Sydney on the Deveron early in March 1825, and his first professional advertisement duly appeared in the Sydney press on 17 March:

MR. JAMES PEARSON, Teacher of the Piano Forte, and Professor of Thorough Bass. Mr. Pearson's Plan of Instruction is to unite Science with Practice, that his Pupils may thoroughly understand the Elements of Music. They are taught the Rules of Modulation; the practical Use of the major and minor Keys, as connected with Modulation and the playing of Extempore Preludes; with the Method of adding to a Melody the proper Accompaniments, from a figured or thorough Bass. Exercises in Outline are given to his Pupils, with appropriate Rules and Examples, to enable them to write on each Part of the Science, from its most simple to its highest Branches, and so to familiarize the whole, that they may attain a complete Knowledge of the theoretical as well as practical Part of Music . . .

He relocated from lodgings to 22 Castlereagh-street in May, when he advertised again that:

Mr. P. has at present Leisure to attend to 2 Pupils on Tuesday and Friday Afternoons, after 3 o'clock, at their own Residences, Pianofortes, tuned and repaired, in the most complete Manner. It is Mr. P.'s intention shortly, to arrange some of Handel's Chorusses, Fugues, and Airs for the Pianoforte, in a familiar Style. Should this Attempt to forward the Progress of Musical Science in the Colony meet with Encouragement, it will be followed by others of a more extended Nature.

Pearson notably came to the assistance of an Indigenous woman who was being assaulted by a group of whites in January 1827.

By early March 1827, he had taken over from John Edwards as leader of the choir at St. James's Church (though this was also the subject of some dispute in letters to the press), the Monitor reporting:

The choir of St. James's Church, will chaunt on Sunday evening next, the Magnificat, arranged by Mr. Pearson, who has accepted the office of leader.

In April Pearson advertised for sale "an elegant cabinet piano", and also that he was seeking:

A COPY of HANDEL'S MESSIAH, arranged by Dr. Clarke, of Canterbury. Any person willing to dispose of a copy may meet with a purchased by applying to Mr. Pearson, teacher of the Piano.

When the church's first organ arrived from London in September 1827, Pearson took charge of its erection, and was reportedly the first musician to perform on it in public. He was officially appointed organist early in October, his predecessor as choir leader, John Edwards, having been the only other candidate.

As reported in July 1830:

That beautiful piece of sacred music adapted to the responses in the Communion Service, and sung by the choir of St. James's Church, is the composition of Mr. PEARSON, the Organist.

He appears to have continued in as organist and choir leader at St. James until mid 1831. Richard Hill, the incumbent, advertised the post of organist as vacant early in July 1831.

Early in 1833, the Monitor noted:

Mr. Pearson, music master, has commenced silvering mirrors, and is the first person in this Colony who has attempted this portion of the useful arts. The great difficulty of bringing over mirrors and looking-glasses from England without injury to the silver, will, we should imagine, obtain for Mr. P. profitable employment in this branch of business. Mr. P. was the organist of St. James's Church. Ever since he was dismissed his situation, the music of St. James's has not been worth listening to. It is indeed painful to all Iovers of organ-music, to hear so fine an instrument murdered.

Pearson's latest musical notice was in November 1834, when John Lhotsky advertised his A song of the women of the Menero tribe near the Australian alps, "arranged with the kind assistance of several Musical Gentlemen for the Voice and Piano Forte . . . Pe[a]rson, Josep[h]son and Sippe".

Pearson resettled in the country, where by April 1835 he was clerk of the bench at Cawdow and Cowpasture near Camden. He died there suddenly in July 1841.


With thanks to Peason descendent Lynne Smith, for sharing her ongoing research (October 2016).




Documentation
Hobart Town, VDL

"SHIP NEWS . . . PASSENGERS PER PRINCE REGENT", Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (2 July 1824), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1090243 

Arrived this morning from England, the ship Prince Regent, Captain W. B. Lambe, with 55 passengers . . .

J. Hone, Esq. Master in Chancery for Van Diemen's Land, Mrs. Hone, Miss Hone, Miss H. Hone, and Miss M. Hone; W. Carter, Esq. Master in Chancery for New South Wales, Mrs. Carter, and Miss Carter, J. Stephens, Esq. Solicitor-General for New South Wales, Mrs. Stephens, Miss Stephens, Miss M. A. Stephens, Miss C. Stephens, Master Stephens, and Master G. Stephens; J. Baker, Esq. Mrs. Baker, G. Butler, Esq. Mrs. Butler, Mrs. Leach, Miss Ash, A. Macpherson, Esq. Mrs. Macpherson, E. Abell, Esq. (for India), Master Smith, Mr. J. Thompson, Mr. H. Armistead, Mr. J. Allanby, Mrs. Allanby and child, Mr. J. Pearson, Mrs. Pearson and child, G. Blaxland, Esq., A. Macleod, Esq., N. Lawson, Esq., Mr. T. Carlisle, Mr. Carlisle, Mr. Ward, Mrs. Ward and Miss Ward.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Stephen (solicitor general); Gregory Blaxland


? [Advertisement], Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (10 December 1824), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1090431 

SALES BY AUCTION . . . By Mr. J. C. Underwood, On the Premises, on Monday, the 20th Instant, at 12 o'Clock precisely, THAT House in Liverpool-street, lately occupied by Mr. Pearson, Smith and Farrier, next door to Mr. Mather's.


[Advertisement], Hobart Town Gazette (11 February 1825), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1090531

Mr. James Pearson, leaving the Colony by the Deveron, requests Claims to be immediately presented.


3 March 1825, departed Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

"Ship News", Hobart Town Gazette (11 March 1825), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1090595

Sailed on Friday last the brig DEVERON, Captain BILLETT, for Port Jackson, from whence she will return to this Port prior to her departure for England. - Passengers, Captain Wilson (owner), Mrs. Wilson, and Mr. and Mrs. Pearson.


"GOVERMENT ORDER", Hobart Town Gazette (25 February 1826), 1s

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8790505

Secretary's Office, Hobart Town, February 20, 1826. HIS EXCELLENCY the LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR has been pleased to direct the following STATEMENT of the COLONIAL FUND, for the Year ending 31st December, 1825, to be published for general Information . . .
CLERICAL AND SCHOOL DEPARTMENT. SALARIES Paid . . . one year to 31 December . . . Ditto, Organist, Hobart Town . . . Ditto, J. Pearson, as Conductor of Church Music [no sum indicated]




Sydney, NSW

12 March 1825, arrived Sydney, NSW

"SHIP NEWS", The Australian (17 March 1825), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37072240 

On Saturday last the brig Deveron, Capt. J. T. Billett, from the Derwent the 3d instant. Lading, sundries. Passengers, Captain and Mrs. Wilson, Mr. Smith, Mr Young, Mrs. Heany and family, Mrs. Holland, Mr. and Mrs. Stirling and child, Mr. and Mrs. Pearson and child, Mr. and Mrs. Wickham and child, Mr. Fisher.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (17 March 1825), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2183832

MR. JAMES PEARSON, Teacher of the Piano-Forte, and Professor of Thorough Bass,_ _ _
Mr. Pearson's Plan of Instruction is to unite Science with Practice, that his Pupils may thoroughly understand the Elements of Music.
They are taught the Rules of Modulation; the Practical Use of the major and minor Keys, as connected with Modulation and the playing of Extempore Prejudes; with the Method of adding to a Melody the proper Accompaniments, from a figured or thorough Bass.
Exercises in Outline are given to his Pupils, with appropriate Rules and Examples, to enable them to write on each Part of the Science, from its most simple to its highest Branches, and so to familiarize the whole, that they may attain a complete Knowledge of the theoretical as well as practical Part of Music.
Cards of Mr. Pearson's Terms may be had at the Gazette Office; Mr. Campbell's Music Warehouse; and at Mr. P's present Residence, No. 16, Pitt-street.
The most respectable References given.
Piano fortes tuned and adjusted.
Square Piano-fortes tuning - 10s.
Cabinet ditto - 12s. 6d.
Grand ditto - 15s.

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Campbell


[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (12 May 1825), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2184026

MUSICAL INSTRUCTION -- Mr. JAMES PEARSON, Teacher of the Pianoforte, has removed from his Lodgings to No. 22, Castlereagh-street. Mr. P. has at present Leisure to attend to 2 Pupils on Tuesday and Friday Afternoons, after 3 o'clock, at their own Residences. Pianofortes, tuned and repaired, in the most complete Manner. It is Mr. P.'s intention shortly, to arrange some of Handel's Chorusses, Fugues, and Airs for the Pianoforte, in a familiar Style. Should this Attempt to forward the Progress of Musical Science in the Colony meet with Encouragement, it will be followed by others of a more extended Nature.

1827

1 January 1827, Pearson witnesses the gang rape of an Aboriginal woman

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (3 January 1827), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2187263

On Monday evening last, as Mr. James Pearson, of Castlereagh-street, was crossing the old Race-ground, his attention was attracted by the cries of a female, and, on approaching the spot whence the sound proceeded, he perceived an aboriginal native woman on the ground, surrounded by seven or eight ruffians, one of whom held her down, whilst another was in the act of forcing her person. Mr. Pearson immediately went in search of some constables, whom, after some little lapse of time, he succeeded in procuring, and having conducted them to, the scene of outrage, found only two of the fellows remaining with the unfortunate woman, one of them still holding her, whilst the other was in the very act of effecting his brutal purpose. After some struggle, they were secured; but on the way to the watch-house, one of them, whose name has since been ascertained, James Wright, effected his escape; the other, named James Hunter, was yesterday brought before the Police, and the depositions of Mr. Pearson and the constables having been taken, the case was remanded, in order to take the opinion of the Acting Attorney General, as to the mode of procedure.

[News], The Monitor (6 January 1827), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31758099

FOR the honour of Englishmen we would hope that the outrage we are about to narrate does not often find a parallel. An unfortunate native woman straying from her tribe on the evening of Monday, was surrounded by a gang of ruffians, some seven or eight in number, who successively proceeded to use a species of violence to the poor lone creature which we cannot name. Mr. Pearson, a professional gentleman, residing in Castlereagh Street, being attracted by the cries, of the victim of their barbarity, immediately procured the assistance of Constables, who on their arrival at the spot found the monsters still continuing to mal-treat their wretched victim. Two of the monsters were secured, but one of the two afterwards got away. The other named Hunter has been committed to take his trial. We hope if the lives of the Hunter's River Blacks, male and female, adults and children, be considered of no value, the persons of our Sydney Blacks will be held to be under the protection of the law. But we are afraid not; because if the greater be not under the protection of the law, why should the lesser? The system adopted by the British Government in regard to our sexes is most admirable. They send out one woman for ten men to a counptry in latitude 33° --- they herd them in gangs---shut them up at night by the score--- transport lots to Port Macquarie where they scarcely see a woman---(at Norfolk Island they never see one)---and then expect the Colony to prove a place of moral reformation!!! In England, when Colquhoun last wrote on the population, there were nearly three quarters of a million more females than males. It is allowed by all writers on the subject that either an excess or a deficiency of females operates in favour of prostitution and licentiousness. Yet England will neither transport her female delinquents through the erroneous benevolence of Mrs. Fry and other mistaken Philanthropists, nor will she encourage her surplus free females to emigrate. We will be bold enough to assert, that if the streets of London were cleared every night of prostitutes, and the contents shipped off to New South Wales and placed under proper regulations, the annihilation of the vilest crimes and the increase of marriages would immediately be the consequence in New South Wales. Prostitutes are better than no women at all, for there are thousands of guilty females in England who, would rejoice to give up their wretched mode of life to obtain husbands. It is calculated by Colquhoun that 50,000 females earn their livelihood in whole or in part in London by unchastity. One fifth of the number transported, to these Colonies would make more converts to virtue than the preaching of ten thousand Archdeacons, or the endowment of the remaining moiety of our land in another education Corporate Body.

NOTE: On Hunter's prosecution, see "Sydney Quarter Sessions . . . THIRD DAY, THURSDAY, Jan. 18th", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (19 January 1827), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2187433 


March 1827, Pearson appointed choir leader at St. James's Church

[News], The Monitor (9 March 1827), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31758255

THE choir of St. James's Church, will chaunt on Sunday evening next, the Magnificat, arranged by Mr. Pearson, who has accepted the office of leader.

"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Monitor (9 March 1827), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31758262 

THE Organ for St. James's Church may be hourly expected, and that for the new Church, Launceston, ordered a few week's before, is now on board the Midas in Sydney Cove . . .


"To the Editor", The Australian (31 March 1827), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37072327

SIR, - As an admirer of perhaps the greatest of sciences - music - I cannot but congratulate the visitors to St. James's Church, on the very great and rapid improvement that has been effected within the last few Sundays in the Orchestre. The discord that did so long grate on the ears of the congregation, has, at last, given place to harmony; this excellent management is, I understand, entirely owing to the exertions of a gentleman of the name of Pearsons, who is indeed deserving of every encouragement. P.


"To the Editor", The Australian (3 April 1827), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37072757

Sir, - I could not help smiling, when I saw in your paper of Saturday, a letter, written in praise of the singing at Saint James's Church, and signed "P." It strikes me very strongly, that the individual name is the writer of that letter - the sounder of his own praise. What pride! Surely there cannot be any credit due to Mr. Pearson, when it is well known that another individual has had the care and instruction of the choir, for months. Mr. P. has got into the good graces of the Minister and has reaped for himself, the benefit of another's labours.
Yours, Consistency.
Sydney, 31st March.

ASSOCIATIONS: "Another individual" = John Edwards


"TO THE EDITOR", The Monitor (6 April 1827), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31758316

SIR, CONSISTENCY's Letter in the Australian of Tuesday censuring Mr. Pearson for presumption, would be just if the accusation set down were true. We believe Mr. P. however to be quite incapable of the deed there attributed to him. The fact is, Mr. Edwards, after devoting many months to the training of the St. James's Choir, gratis, ascertained that his servies were not duly appreciated by the Clerical Authorities, and accordingly, with a just regard to his own feelings and independence, he withdrew his professional aid. The Choir had no Leader for some months. Mr. Pearson then offered his services, and they were accepted, but we have been given to understand chiefly on the ground of his taking the trouble not only to practise the Choir on week-days, but also to lead them in person on Sundays, both morning and evening. Mr. Edwards did not do the latter. We do not wonder at it. No professor would do it unless he were either a very zealous religionist or were allowed a handsome salary for his labours. Mr. Pearson however does do it. Whether he does it from religion, love of sacred music, or in hopes of obtaining a salary some future day, either of the three motives in our opinion are unexceptionable - they are excellent, individually or collectively. Therefore, we wish Mr. Pearson success as we would have done Mr. Edwards in like circumstances. The improvement he has effected, is doubtless the result of Mr. Edwards's former labours, at least in the greatest measure. It must be, allowed however that Mr. P's. leading the Choir in person enables the Choristers to put in practice Mr. Edwards's instructions, which they never did before. So far then Mr. P HAS entered into other men's labonrs, but the said entry has been made by him in our opinion with strict honour. We hope Mr. P. will keep the bass and tenor singers under the trebles and counter. They are still too strong for the latter. All singers invariably love to drown their brother Choristers and hear themselves. But listeners do not like this plan. Auditors like to hear all the parts SUBSERVIENT TO THE LEADING AIR. Parts are of service to harmony, only as they increase the richness of the lending air. At St. James's, the Bass and Tenors often lead, while the Air may be said to be a mere Second or Counter to the Bass.
We are Sir, &c. &c.
CONCORD AND HARMONY.


"To the Editor", The Australian (7 April 1827), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37073646

Sir, - in reply, to a letter dated the 31st March, signed Consistency, alluding to the singing at St. James's Church, I beg to state that Mr. Pearson is wholly exonerated from having any knowledge of the letter of the one signed P. as a frequenter of the Church. I will assert that till Mr. P. undertook the management of the orchestre, it was any thing but music. I am only sorry that in speaking in praise of a deserving individual, it should rouse the feelings of one, who I rather suspect was either the conductor or a principal assistant at the late musical uproar. P.
April 3, 1827.


[Advertisement], The Monitor (13 April 1827), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31758342

WANTED TO PURCHASE.
A COPY of "HANDEL'S MESSIAH," arranged by Dr. Clarke, of Canterbury. Any person willing to dispose of a copy, may meet with a purchaser by applying to Mr. Pearson, teacher of the Piano Forte.
ON SALE, AN ELEGANT CABINET PIANOFORTE.
Piano-fortes tun'd and repaired.
No. 22, Castlereagh Street, Sydney.

MUSIC: Published edition by John Clarke-Whitfield


"ST. JAMES'S CHOIR. TO THE EDITOR", The Monitor (8 June 1827), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31758444

SIR, I beg permission to state in Answer to a letter in your paper of Friday last, signed "Concord and Harmony," that the Individuals now constituting the Choir at St. James's Church, were not there at the time when Mr. Edwards attended, nor did they ever receive any instructions from that Gentleman; nor have more than one or two of the tunes previously sung at the Church, been in use since the Choir was under the direction of Mr. P.
Your obedient servant,
SOPRANO.


"ST. JAMES'S CHOIR", The Monitor (8 June 1827), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31758444 

The psalmody, of this spacious and not inelegant Church, is greatly improved within the last two months. A female singer, who takes the second of the duets, which Mr. Pearson has introduced in many of the psalm tunes, having a strong, clear, mellow voice, rendered the last psalm sung in the evening, quite delightful to all lovers of sacred harmony. We are happy to see among the singers in general, a most becoming emulation in improving the most interesting part of the service of the Deity. It is really a good work they are engaged in.


"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Monitor (15 June 1827), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31758470

WHILE in our last number we had occasion to compliment Mr. Pearson on the great improvement made by him in the present choir at St. James's Church; we ought, perhaps, in justice to Mr. Professor Edwards to state, that this gentleman most handsomely presided at the choir previously to Mr. Pearson's taking charge, twice a-week, for a twelvemonth, GRATIS. And that towards the end of the said twelvemonths, the choristers entirely absconded, so that Mr. E. was in a manner compelled to abandon his undertaking.


[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (20 June 1827), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2188451 

The organ for St. James' Church, is daily expected from England. Those who have never had an opportunity of experiencing its influence, can scarcely form an idea of the sublime effect produced by the deep full tones of the organ in addition to the voices of the choristers, in the performance of sacred music.
"Devotion borrows music's tone, and music takes devotion's wing,
And like the bird that hails the sun, they soar to heaven, and soaring sing."


"ST. JAMES'S CHOIR", The Monitor (24 July 1827), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31758663

On Sunday morning the Venerable the Archdeacon read the Communion Service, and afterwards preached. He delivered a very good discourse. We could not help reflecting on the superiority of such a duty as preaching the gospel, to the vain heartless politics of this heartless world. We wish like Mr. Scott, we had our choice between preaching and legislating; between pleading for the Saviour of men and discussing acts of government. We know which we should choose. If the Archdeacon were to give us such a sermon every Sabbath as we heard last Sunday morning, we know too who would soon be his converts. As if the discourse were to have every advantage, the minds of the congregation had been just previously brought into a calm and devotional frame, by a beautiful psalm lately introduced into the St. Jame's [sic] choir by Mr. Pearson. If the female who sang the air had given more scope to her voice, (naturally strong) the effect would have been still more delightful . . .


[News], The Australian (25 July 1827), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37072403 

The Venerable the' Archdeacon preached on Sunday at St. James's Church at noon service . . . it possessed, a proper epic brevity, in duration not appearing to exceed twenty-five to thirty minutes; requisites, in which extemporaneous clerical rhetoric is, commonly speaking, greatly or entirely deficient. The choral department of St. James's Church has of late undergone very considerable improvement. Each singer appears to understand his own part, and is content to chaunt his stave in but one key at a time - not any longer "grating harsh discord." The melody of a female voice has been superadded - a very exquisite addition.


"CLERICAL VISITATION", The Australian (7 September 1827), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37073005 

Yesterday, according to promise, the Venerable the Archdeacon held his annual visitation at St. James's Church. - Nearly all the Clergy of New South Wales attached to the Established Church, attended the ceremony. There were besides a considerable congregation of the laity; of dissenting ministers and dissenters; and the children of the various public charity schools, which were ranged along the gallery. - When the Rev. Mr. Hill had gone through the morning, service, and the choir were in the course of chanting some verses of a psalm, the Rev. Mr. Wilton ascended the pulpit, and after a prefatory prayer, proceeded to address his discourse to the congregation. The Rev. Gentleman derived his text from a chapter of St. Matthew, "Let all things be done decently and in order" . . .


[News], The Australian (19 September 1827), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37071512 

In the absence of the Rev. R. Hill, the Archdeacon performed divine service in St. James's, Church on Sunday Iast, and read a discourse taken, from the XII. St. Paul to the Romans, 18v. "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." The discourse lasted about twenty minutes.

The glazing of the windows of St. James's Church, facing the east, has been lately stained red and blue, in rather a pleasing way.

The organ for St. James's Church, which was subscribed for so generally some time ago, has arrived by the Cambridge.


[News], The Monitor (24 September 1827), 7

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31758936 

The Cambridge brings out the Organ for St. James's Church. The cost of this instrument it is said exceeds the sum subscribed. We congratulate the lovers of sacred music on this accession to the psalmody.


[News], The Australian (26 September 1827), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37072374

A meeting of the subscribers to the Organ for St. James's Church, lately arrived, takes place on Friday. The expences of putting up the organ and employing an organist, are not as yet provided for; Mr. Edwards, as possessing considerable musical talent, is considered by some, as likely to be appointed organist, and Mr. Pearson by others. Before the organ can be properly put up, it is thought part of the gallery at the west end of the church will have to be lowered.

"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Monitor (27 September 1827), 7

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31758951 

A HOT canvas is going on for the situation of Organist; the Candidates at present on the list, are Mr. Edwards, and Mr. Pearson.

[Advertisement], The Monitor (27 September 1827), 7

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31758946 

To the Subscribers to the Organ of St. James's.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
TO-MORROW MORNING a Meeting has been appointed respecting the Organ of St. James's lately arrived. A late accident has prevented my waiting upon you in person, to solicit your patronage as Organist, which I trust I am competent to fill. Permit me therefore respectfully, to request by this means your vote and interest, in the election which I presume will take place; and to say, that if by your kind offices I am appointed to the situation to which I now have the honour to aspire, I shall ever feel a most grateful sense of the obligations you will thereby lay me under.
I have the honour to subscribe myself,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Your faithful Servant,
JOHN EDWARDS.
George Street, Sept. 27th, 1827.


"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Monitor (4 October 1827), 7

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31758977 

The Organ of St. Jame's is placed, for the present, in the North East corner of the Church. The gallery, it appears, must come down, the space between it and the ceiling not being at present sufficiently deep to admit the Organ. The new gallery, it is said, is to be brought forward nearly,as far as the communion table.

[News], The Australian (5 October 1827), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37073530 

The putting together of the recently imported organ, is now effected. It is for the present placed close to the communion table of St. James's Church, and on the north side, of it, where it is intended to remain, till the gallery, at the other end of the church, can be prepared for its removal. The organ rises to a height-of eighteen feet and a half. It is built of English oak, but not yet varnished, and is on the whole neatly finished, light and compact. Its tones are full and harmonious. The pipes are not as yet completely fitted up; but is expected to prelude and accompany the quoristers at next Sunday's service. An organist has not as yet been nominated.

At a meeting of the subscribers to the organ in St. James's Church on Friday, it was proposed to raise a sum of a thousand pounds among the parishioners, for the construction of an entirely new gallery, which was to be continued round the church. One end was proposed to be set apart for the children of the different public charity schools, and the other for the choral department. We hear it was proposed to pay the thousand pounds by a mortgage on church and school lands.

"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Monitor (8 October 1827), 6

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31758984 

The new Organ. Whether this delightful instrument attracted the congregation yesterday at St. James's, we cannot say, but the fact was, the pews were unusually well filled. We have heard the Organ in St. Paul's Cathedral, the one at Rowland Hill's Chapel, and that at the Magdalen; and with the impression those instruments have still on our memory, we think we shall sufficiently compliment the Proprietors of the new organ, if we say, we were very fully gratified with the effects which the St. James's Organ produced yesterday. We do not pretend to be judges of Organs, but we think we are judges of nature, and we must say, if mellowness and sweetness of tone, conjoined with great volume of sound, be delightful to listen to, we certainly think the congregation had yesterday wherewithal to congratulate themselves. As the election of the Organist has not yet taken place, and as there is more than one Candidate for the office, we shall not prejudice the public in favour or against either of the Gentlemen who are now soliciting the public patronage, by making any remarks on the skill of the player.

"ORGANS", The Monitor (8 October 1827), 7

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31758983 

[Article gives a brief history on church organs in England, concluding] . . . The Organ has now arrived at a great degree of perfection [and] there are many celebrated builders, amongst whom is Gray of London, the builder of the Organ in St. James' Church, this instrument is built on the full Church Organ scale, and has two distinct sets or rows of keys, one being used when the great organ is played the other when the swell or soft organ is required.
The Great organ contains - 580 pipes
Open Diapason
Stopt do.
Principal
Fifteenth
Cornet
Sesquialtra and
Mixture.
The Swell contains - 185 Pipes.
Open Diapason
Stopt do.
Principal
Fifteenth
Hautboy
Total 765 Pipes.

"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Monitor (8 October 1827), 8

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31758986 

The erection of the Organ at St. James's Church, by Mr. Pearson, proceeds rapidly. We understand that it is a promising instrument. The exterior is of oak. It is expected to be ready for use next Sunday. In the absence of stained glass, we consider glass, in its native transparent state, to be preferable to any other. At St. James's Church there is a sad attempt at effect; the windows being painted. Scarlet drapery would have been more in taste.

[News], The Australian (10 October 1827), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37072595 

St. James's new organ pealed its notes of praise for the first time at noon service on Sunday, to an overflowing congregation, more numerous perhaps than any congregation St. James's had ever before witnessed. The organ was not in perfect harmony, owing, in a great measure, to its yet incomplete state. Its intonations, however, in many instances, was full, rich, and harmonious, and those of the congregation were not a few who felt its tones swell on the ear like the welcome voice of a long parted friend!

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (10 October 1827), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2189136 

Mr. Pearson has been appointed to fill the situation of organist to St. James' Church. A Meeting of the Committee of Subscribers to the organ of St. James' Church, took place on Monday, to consider on the means to be adopted to raise a fund for building a gallery, and for other purposes connected with the erection of the organ.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Gray (d. 1849), organ builder, London


"TO THE EDITOR OF . . .", The Monitor (18 October 1827), 7

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31759021 

SIR, THE Gazette reports that Mr. Pearson has been appointed oganist. This seems yery odd to me, because I am a Subscriber to the Organ, and I consider I am entitled to a pipe or two in it as my share, and that so far I have a right to be consulted, as to who shall play those pipes. It is true, the Parishes in England pay the Organist's salary. So far as the Church Corpo- ration pay our Organist's salary, so far they ought to have a voice too. But the Organ belongs to the Sub- cribers, and it is their property; and to have elected an Organist to play upon our property without the consent of a majority of our body, appears to me to be unhand- some; and in fact contrary to the implied undersanding which subsisted between us and the Venerable and the Reverend the Clergy attached to St James's. I have nothing to say against Mr. Pearson. As the successful Ieader of our vocal choir, he has a fair claim on the con- gregation. But still, I think the appointment of Organ- ist, if it have taken place, is an unhandsome assumption of authority, and what can not in law be supported.
I am, Sir, your obedient Servant,
CANDOUR.


The original organ of St. James's Church, Sydney, in its final position at the centre of the west gallery; engraving c. 1840s

1828

"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Monitor (7 January 1828), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31759348 

The Gallery of St. James's Church is undergoing considerable alteration to admit of the Organ being removed to its proper place. The expense we are given to under stand will be but trifling, some £30 or £40. The improvement in the economy of the Church will be very great and the public will presently be able to form a correct opinion of the merits of the Instrument, which, from its present disadvantageous position, independent of the inmperfect state which of necessity it remains in, until permanently erected, it is totally imnossible to form. Sunday is to be the last day it is to be played on, until removed.

[News], The Australian (25 January 1828), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37073047 

The organ of St, James has been removed from the east to a niche in the west end of the church - formed by the removal of part of the gallery. It is not yet sufficiently prepared for playing upon in its new quarters.

"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Monitor (28 January 1828), 6-7

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31759439 

THE new Organ fixed in the western gallery of St. James's Church, looks extremely well, and its effect is of course improved. It is certainly a very sweet-toned instrument. Persons who were seated close to it at the North-eastern angle of the Church, perceive however, no great superiority of sound since its removal, such is the intrinsic softness of its tones. Mr. Pearson [7] played yesterday a voluntary, after the first lesson both morning and evening, and which be executed in a most pleasing style. Mr. Smith performed service both morning and evening, and preached two excellent sermons . . . THE effect of the organ in St. James's, is improved by its removal from the floor of the chancel, to the western gallery, not to mention the still greater improvement in the appearance of the Church, by the fixing this majestic looking instrument above the heads of the congregation. The immediate space of the gallery, which receives the organ, has been lowered several feet; and a neat circular gallery projects in front of the instrument, to admit the choristers. Altogether, the removal is an improvement, as well in the appearance of the Church, as in the accommodation of the choir.

[News], The Australian (30 January 1828), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37071690 

The removal of the organ of St. James's Church, to its present and its proper position, at the west end of the aisle, has added considerably to the internal appearance of this neat church. The tones of the organ have been rendered by it much more chastened and mellow to the ear than before. The choir, however, evidently needs strengthening, the voices being scarce felt at times above the pealing of the organ.


"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Monitor (26 March 1828), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31759695 

ABOUT £60 were collected on Sunday week from the congregation of St. James's, on which the Rev. R. Hill congratulated his hearers on Sunday last.

SEATS on either side the Organ are erecting to accommodate the children of our public Schools, which will give the west gallery a pleasing appearance, and at the same time, ease the congregation of the noise of their responses, which, close at hand, are infinitely too loud; and are also enunciated in a tone which makes it clear to all observers, that not only do the children not understand what they are saying, which we do not expect of them, but do not feel any reverence in performing their part of the worship, a little of which we should expect of them.

The singing at this Church is not improving. The choristers seem to want practice. The Organ, however, and Mr. Pearson's choice of tunes and his pleasing symphonies, make up for their deficiencies.

ASSOCIATIONS: Richard Hill (clergyman)


[News], The Monitor (7 May 1828), 7

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31759893

If the choristers at St. James's Church go back, the Organist improves. The instrument is certainly a very fine one. Its tones are beautiful, and Mr. Pearson in his symphonies exhibits them to great advantage. The new galleries on each side the Organ for the male and female Sunday schools, are now completed, and the appearance of the youthful assembly in their new birth, is very pleasing, reminding us of the churches in our native land.

THE tunes played by the bands in going to and coming from Church, are in very bad taste, being any thing but pathetic or solemn, as suits the occasion. They are perhaps very martial, but they are also very noisy, and tend to create, any feelings but those of veneration and devotion.


"Domestic Intelligence", The Monitor (28 June 1828), 6

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31760288 

The choir of St. James's attempted the psalm of Jubilate Deo, on Sunday morning. This anthem used to be performed remarkably well by the band of the 46th regiment some years ago at St. Phillip's Church. It is, when well performed, one of the sweetest pieces of sacred music that can edify a plain congregation. The choir of St. James's appeared to us, however, to fail in their performance of this anthem, as compared with the singers of the band of the 46th. The effect was not half so good, although the organ must be considered a greater assistant than four or five ordinary instruments. The 46th used to sing this psalm nearly as quick again, as it was sung on Sunday last. We think the heavy dragging effect of Sunday was owing to the slow time in which the anthem was sung. The counter singer, finding himself unsupported by the treble, lost courage, and at length sang out of tune. He was also too loud, though with proper support, this would have been no fault. The only remedy we can suggest at present is, that the anthem, the next time it is attempted, should be sung nearly as quick again, and that the organ should play under the voices. With these alterations, we feel confident Jublilate Deo will be as well performed at St. James's, as it used to be at St. Phillip's. Nunc dimittis is very well sung in the evening by the St. James's choir.


[Editorial], The Monitor (12 July 1828), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31760361

. . . The proceedings of that Sabbath we have already narrated. We suppose the constables will be ordered to attend in the aisle of St. James or about the Parishioner's pew, next Sabbath-day, to keep out the gentleman. The scoffer and the deist will doubtless be highly diverted with the running light and the light infantry movements of the Knights of the Staff, and the Parishoner and his family. The native youth of the Colony we understand, have it in their minds, to muster strong on the occasion. The Parishioner has eight children, six daughters and two sons, all born and reared in this land; and the eldest son wishes, it seems, to become a spectator of the contests in order to imbue his mind with a due veneration for a Church, whose Archdeacons so zealously uphold her honour. In short, a very crowded congregation may be expected at St. James's to-morrow morning, the charms of a game at fisty-cuffs in such a place, being more attractive even, than Mr. Pearson's organ.

ASSOCIATIONS: The parishioner evicted from his pew by order of the archdeacon, Thomas Hobbes Scott, was the editor of the Monitor, Edward Smith Hall, himself


"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Sydney Monitor (11 October 1828), 5

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31760808 

THE choir of St. James's, after attempting Jubilate Deo, in which they failed, have lately ventured in the evening upon Deus Misereatur. They succeed in this just as perfectly as they fail in the other. Both pieces are exquisite compositions. If a preference be to be *given, it is perhaps to Jubilate Deo, because while the harmony, originality, and adaptation of sound to sense, are equad to those of Deus Misereatur, the chorus's are more contrasted, and consequently the effect is greater. In Jubilate Deo, we can never hear Mrs. Lancaster, whose voice, from its strength and clearness, is well adapted to anthems. In Deus Misereatur, it is strong and effective. We cannot undlerstand how the same talents, which succeed so well in the one anthem, fail so completely in the other. The counter in Jubilate Deo, appears to be the air, because Mrs. L. and those who ought to sing the air, cannot be heard. Hence the fine effect of a counter is lost, for the counter makes a bad first part. If the first and second part were full, the voice of the counter-singer, which is really good if he dare put forth his strength, would produce a delightful effect. But by itself, the counter of course sounds artificially, and makes poor harmony.

[Editorial], The Monitor (11 October 1828), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31760806

. . . That going to see Shakespeare's Henry the Fourth, or the tragedy of George Barnwell, and eating on a Sunday, a quince tart or a loquette pie, will not subject them to transportation for life and that provided they do not go to Mr. Levy's Theatre, they may sing what songs they like, at the Agricultural dinner and need not go every Sunday to hear Mr. Pearson's organ, nor shew themselves to the Governor when His Excellency visits St. Phillip's or St. James's.

ASSOCIATIONS: Barnett Levey (theatrical promoter); Ralph Darling (governor)

1829

Colonial Secretary LC, Cash vouchers 1829, State Archives NSW, 4/296 (transcr. Rushworth 1988, 363, corrected)

[St. James's Church], Chaplain Hill, £250 [per annum]; Clerk, 20; Collector of Pew Rents, 5; Sexton, 20; Beadles (2), 15 each; Pew openers (2), 10 each; Teacher of the Choir and Organist, Mr. Pearson, £26; ditto, for tuning the organ, 8; Singers, Harriet Edmonds, 10; Ann Lancaster, 5; E. Hoare, J. Parton, G. Shepherd, Wm. Aldis, R. Cooper, S. Pawsey, 5 each; Organ blower, Geo. Mills, 4 6s 8d; Watchman, 13; Grave Digger, 13.

ASSOCIATIONS: Harriet Edmonds; Edward Hoare; William Henry Aldis; Samuel Pawsey; George Mills


"DEATHS", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (17 February 1829), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2191842

Lately, at Totness, near Plymouth, in the 63d year of his age, the Rev. THOMAS PEARSON, A. M. father of Mr. JAMES PEARSON, of this town. Mr. P. was a Venerable and highly respectable Clergyman of the Church of England; and to his eminent abilities and engaging deportment as a tutor, some of his pupils, now in this Colony, can bear an affectionate testimony. He formerly resided in Liverpool, (England), where his seminary was in great repute. He was a man of most amiable disposition and unspotted reputation, and, by a very large circle of enlightened friends, was greatly esteemed and beloved, and has been sincerely lamented.


"A MUSICAL BAROMETER", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (13 June 1829), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2192651

In Saint James's Church there is an immense barometer, erected in the gallery: this is none other than the organ, which, by the variations of its tone and touch, is a faithful reporter not only of actual, but even of approaching changes in the weather. Mr. PEARSON, the talented organist, assures us, that whenever he wishes to know whether it is likely to be fair or wet, he has only to ascend the organ-loft, and pass his fingers over the keys. It would be well for Mr. PEARSON to favour the public, through the medium of the GAZETTE, with a weekly report of prognostications. The organ would then subserve temporal as well as spiritual purposes!


[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (21 July 1829), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2192937 

A valuable opportunity is now presented to a few steady persons, of either sex, who may be willing to join the choir of St. James's Church; Mr. Pearson having offered to instruct, in the beautiful science of music, any who will lend their services on the Sunday, and attend the weekly practices.


{News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (15 August 1829), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2193184 

At a Meeting of the subscribers to the organ at St. James' Church, held during the last week, it was agreed that an additional stop, called the "Trumpet" should be sent for by the Pyramus.

"Domestic Intelligence", The Sydney Monitor (22 August 1829), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32072278 

We are happy to learn, that the fine organ of St. James's Church is to he improved, by having a trumpet-stop added to its pleasing powers as soon as the same can be had from London.

"Domestic Intelligence", The Sydney Monitor (5 September 1829), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32072365 

Some rats have made free with the bellows and some of the pipes belonging to the organ at St. James's it is under repair in consequence.


[News], The Australian (23 September 1829), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36867664 

Archdeacon Broughton, we hear, has expressed his intention to promote public harmony in more ways than one, and among others by patronising with his presence, Mr. Levey's next concert. We give the Venerable Gentleman every praise for his friendly intentions, and hope the old mammon which has kept people by the ears for many a long day past will not prove too strong for his benevolent agency. What shall be said when it is known that two persons, a man and female, who gained a livelihood by singing in the choir at St. James's Church, have been discharged from their situation within this week past by the officiating Minister, for assisting as performers at the late concert? This is a delightful method of promoting unity. This is fulfilling the philanthropic desires of the new Archdeacon with a vengeance. Such fanaticism is so despicable, we feel more need not be said to inform the Public.

[News], The Australian (25 September 1829), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36868203 

The two choristers dismissed a few days since by the officiating Chaplain at St. James's Church, from their places, for the crime of singing at the late Public Concert, which the Venerable Archdeacon Broughton, it was expected, would have favoured with his presence, have not forfeited their means of obtaining a livelihood, as inferred by a paragraph in our last publication, we are glad to hear; the compensation allowed these singers amounting annually to but a trifle. Still the singularity of their abrupt dismissal remains unaltered. We hear the puritanical Pastor being too good and evangelical to live among the worldly going folk here, who can discover no soft of moral harm in a liitle innocent recreation betimes, will be treated with a rustication shortly.

"Domestic Intelligence", The Sydney Monitor (28 September 1829), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32072495 

The Reverend Mr. Hill has dismissed two of the choir singers at St. James' Church, for contaminating their voice and persons, by being present at Mr. Levey's last Concert, at which the Judges were present. The public are in ardent expectation, that this Reverend Gentleman will be invited to give way to some University-bred Clergyman, whose mode of preaching will be equally plain and a little more connected.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Grant Broughton


[News], The Australian (9 December 1829), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36866871 

The mitre ornaments belonging to the organ at St. James's Church, are ordered to be replaced by Mr. Archdeacon Broughton.

1830

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (6 July 1830), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2195472

That beautiful piece of sacred music adapted to the responses in the Communion Service, and sung by the choir of St. James's Church, is the composition of Mr. PEARSON, the Organist.


{News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (11 November 1830), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2196485 

The performance of sacred music at St. James's Church, under the direction of Mr. Pearson, the organist, is highly creditable to that gentleman and to the choir generally: indeed we question if it is excelled in many of the smaller churches in England. At the morning service on Sunday last, an anthem appropriate to the occasion was sung by the choir in a highly impressive manner, taken from the Book of Revalation,| c. 14 v. 13:
"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."


Interior of St. James Church, Sydney, 1831, drawn by William Bradridge, Senior Architect; National Library of Australia

https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/15092338 

1831

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (7 July 1831), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2201411 

SAINT JAMES'S CHURCH.
THE situation of ORGANIST being vacant, Persons desirous of applying for the same, may obtain information an to the salary, and other particulars, by application to the Rev. Richard Hill, Castlereagh-street


[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (19 July 1831), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2201593

The Organ presented to the Church at Liverpool, by Mr. Moore, was purchased from Messrs Berry and Wollstonecraft, not from Hughes and Hosking. Mr. Pearson, the late organist of St. James's Church, has been at Liverpool for some days past, superintending the erection of the new organ.

[News], The Australian (22 July 1831), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36865501

The organ which Mr. Moore, of Liverpool, has so munificently presented to the choir of that town, was purchased by Mr. M. from Messrs. Hughes and Husking, and is said to be an instrument of a good size and mellow tone. Mr. Pearson, late organist at St. James's, Sydney, is now actively engaged in putting up the new organ at Liverpool.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (30 November 1831), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32076384

MR. J. PEARSON having a good Piano-Forte at his Residence, would have no objection to give a limited number of Ladies instruction in Music by the Quarter or single Lesson.
*** Piano-Fortes Tuned and Repaired.
84, Pitt-street.


"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE", The Sydney Herald (5 December 1831), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12843808 

The beautiful organ at St. James's Church, Sydney, will no longer remain shut up for the want of a performer; a gentleman of the name of Merritt, who arrived in the Lotus, having been engaged for that purpose. Mr. M. is quite blind, but is a perfect master of the organ. He entered upon his duties yesterday. We are informed that the trumpet-stop has come out, by a late arrival, and will be fixed up as soon as possible.

[News], The Sydney Monitor (7 December 1831), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32076435 

The Choir of St. James's Church are once more assisted by the Organ, which has for a length of time been a mere ornament to the Church. The present organist is a son of Mr. William Merritt of George-street, who has lately emigrated to the Colony. His Excellency the Governor attended divine service at St. James's Church on Sunday last . . .

[News], The Australian (9 December 1831), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36864429

A Mr. Merritt has been inducted into his duties of the organ loft at St. James's. He made his coup d'essai on Sunday last, from which we should not be at all disposed to infer that the unuse [?] has gained by the succession of this gentleman to Mr. Pearson. A trumpet-stop recently arrived will add to the mellow base of this organ. Mr. Merritt by no means belies his name, however, for though stone blind, his faculties of locomotion, dexterity of finger, and fineness of ear are [?] mediocrity.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Merritt

1832

[Notice], New South Wales Government Gazette (11 July 1832), 177

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article230388737 

RETURN OF FEMALE CONVICTS ASSIGNED TO SETTLERS AND OTHER PERSONS FROM THE FACTORY AT PARRAMATTA, AND THE SHIP "PYRAMUS," ON ARRIVAL,
BETWEEN THE 1st OF JANUARY AND THE 31st MARCH. 1832 . . .
50. Cassidy Sophia, Forth, house maid, to Jas. Pearson, 84, Pitt-street, Sydney . . .


"Domestic Intelligence", The Sydney Monitor (7 April 1832), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32077322 

Mr. James Pearson, of Pitt-street, has finished a reflector of uncommon magnitude. Mr. P. is now fitting up a telescope which will be a rich treat to the Colonists. If the proprietor were to advertise the phenomena which afford good observations at Sydney, and charge a price for the use of his instrument, there is little doubt but that he would benefit the Colonists, and at the same time remunerate himself for his labours. It is reported that a scientific gentleman, a native of the Colony, is about to purchase the instrument.


"Domestic Intelligence", The Sydney Monitor (2 May 1832), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32077505 

Mr. Pearson has completed several sounding boards for Piano Fortes whose boards have been damaged so as to render the instrument either useless or of very inferior tone. Mr. P. is the first person who has attempted this line of business in the Colony, and his application to the mechanical part of the operation is likely to be repaid by extensive patronage. Within the last week, he has reorganized four instruments, which now have tones equal to their original ones. The calls on him for tuning Piano Fortes are very numerous.


"TO THE EDITOR . . . THE SERAPHINE", The Sydney Monitor (18 August 1832), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32141913

Sir, Observing in one of your late papers an account of a new musical instrument called the Seraphine; I had the curiosity to call at Mr. Paul's to see it. I was not only surprised but delighted with it. The tones of the Seraphine are of very different qualities; the lower notes resemble those of the bassoon, the middle, those of the horn, and the upper, those of the hautboy. From its grave character, it appeare peculiarly adapted for the performance of Church music. Any music in the Cantabile style, can be given with great effect. In my humble opinion it is capable of much expression, in the mode of touch as well as by the mechanical means attached to the instrument. I consider it quite powerful enough for the Church of St. Phillip, and sufficient, in proper hands, of leading a choir of singers; it is not however near so loud as the organ of St. James's. We should have a proper opportunity of judging, if the two instruments were placed beside each other. It is however fully adequate for the performance in public, of every kind of Sacred music, and I think will soon be used in all the small Churches and Chapels in England. With an organ front, few persons could distinguish it from that superb instrument.
I am Sir,
Your Obt.
JAMES PEARSON.


[News], The Sydney Monitor (8 December 1832), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32142666

Mr. Pearson the Organist is making an additional barrel for the Organ at Liverpool.

1833

[News], The Sydney Monitor (13 February 1833), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32143108

Mr. Pearson, music-master, has commenced silvering mirrors, and is the first person in this Colony who has attempted this portion of the useful arts. The great difficulty of bringing over mirrors and looking-glasses from England without injury to the silver, will, we should imagine, obtain for Mr. P. profitable employment in this branch of business. Mr. P. was the organist of St. James's Church. Ever since he was dismissed his situation, the music of St. James's has not been worth listening to. It is indeed painful to all Iovers of organ-music, to hear so fine an instrument murdered.

A fine little barrel-organ, built by Bryceseon and Co. London, has been put up in the neat little Chapel at Kissing Point; the instrument will play 33 Psalm tunes, and attracts large congregations.


[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (18 July 1833), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2212980 

Mr. Pearson, formerly the organist of Saint James', now confines himself solely to giving instructions on the pianoforte. He is spoken of by his respectable pupils of possessing a very happy and judicious method of imparting his instructions, thereby removing at once all difficulties as they present themselves. Several young ladies whom he has scarcely attended 6 months, are now tolerable performers.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (20 July 1833), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32144180

THE
PIANO FORTE.
J. PEARSON has leisure to instruct a few more Pupils on the Piano Forte Attendance twice a week, lessons of one hour each.
Terms, per quarter, Two Guineas and a half.
** PIANO FORTES TUNED.
No. 67 South-end of Elizabeth-street.


"TO THE EDITOR", The Sydney Monitor (31 July 1833), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32144259 

"TO THE EDITOR", The Sydney Monitor (10 August 1833), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32144299

Monday, August 5, 1833.
SIR, HAVING been publicly questioned by a relation of Mr. Merrit's, the organist of St. James's if I was not the author of a letter containing some observation on that gentleman's organ playing, and which appeared in your Paper of Wednesday last, signed X. Y. Z. I hope, you will do me the justice to state, that you never received from me a single line or statement either regarding Mr. Merrit's playing, or the mode in which the singing part of the service is conducted. I always considered it too delicate a matter for a person who was once organist of St. James's, to criticise publicly the performance of another, filling the same situation. The question put to me I consider a very rude one, and the party, from his liberal education, ought to have known better, especially, as he had a direct mode of ascertaining the truth, by application to you.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
JAMES PEARSON.

[Mr. Pearson was not the author of the letter alluded to. We hope Mr. Merrit will not take it amiss, but adopt the writer's suggestions, in which we fully agree. We have ourselves been anxiously waiting to hear the trumpet stop ever since it was put up, but as the greatest volume of sound of late never exceeded what we used to hear when Mr. Pearson used to play the organ, we suppose Mr. Merrit seldom or never plays this grand stop. The thunder of a pealing organ borders on the sublime when a congregation joins. See Walter Scott's description of CONGREGATIONAL singing in Rob Roy. -ED.]

1834

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (10 April 1834), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12849084

NOTICE THE FIRST.
I SHOULD be obliged to a Mr. Pearson, Music Master, of Sydney, to return my TELESCOPE, repaired or not repaired. It is now three months since he has had it in hand; the last time I saw it at his house, it had every appearance of being untouched.
J. HOLLAND.
Elizabeth-street, Sydney.


27 November 1834, first notice of publication of A song of the women of the Menero tribe

A song of the women of the Menero Tribe arranged with the assistance of several musical gentlemen for the voice and pianoforte, most humbly inscribed as the first specimen of Australian music, to her most gracious majesty Adelaide, queen of Great Britain & Hanover, by Dr. J. Lhotsky, colonist N. S. Wales (Sydney: Sold by John Innes, [1834])

Copy at the State Library of New South Wales

http://digital.sl.nsw.gov.au/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE3727874 (DIGITISED)


[Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (27 November 1834), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32147678

AUSTRALIAN Philosophical Repository . . . Published at this establishment. 1. A Journey from Sydney to the Australian Alps . . . 2. A Song of the Menero tribe near the Australian Alps, arranged with the kind assistance of several Musical Gentlemen for the Voice and Piano Forte, and most humbly inscribed to Her Most Gracious Majesty, Adelaide, Queen, &c. The collaborating at this song of such able musicians as Pearson, Josephson and Sippe demonstrate clearly that it is neither (as some of my enemies say) a Portuguese air, nor any thing else than a wild air, carrying however a great depth of feeling. Several families having expressed their wishes to buy this Air for their children, its present price at Sydney is one shilling and sixpence. J. LHOTSKY. Castlereagh-street, near Hunter-street, Nov. 25th 1834.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Lhotsky; Joshua Frey Josephson; George Sippe

1835

[News], The Sydney Monitor (4 March 1835), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32148398

The parishioners of St. James's will regret to hear, that their request for the re-appointment of Mr. Pearson, as organist, cannot be complied with, in consequence of a letter which the Archdeacon addressed to the Rev. Mr. Marsden, forbidding it even under any circumstances.

The organ was purchased by subscripton; and heavy rentals are paid for the pews; we cannot, therefore, conceive with what right the Archdeacon is vested, as regards such appointment. Mr. Pearson was organist and manager of the choir, before his dismissal, and gave general aatislaction; especially as he introduced some fine voices - and the proper mode of singing. Some misunderstanding, however, with one of the singers, brought him in collision with the Archdeacon; who, it is stated, refused any explanation, and instantly dismissed him, notwithstanding the positive recommnendation of the Rev. Mr. Hill, that he should continue in office; and the well-known fact of his popularity with the congregation.

In Sir Thomas Brisbane's time, there were Churchwardens, of whom we have heard, but in one instance, since their creation - the Corporation beiug defunct, Church and State, we suppose, are combined: and, therefore, this, a far more important ecclesiastic concern, must take the common chance.

ASSOCIATIONS: Samuel Marsden


[Notice], New South Wales Government Gazette (22 April 1835), 231

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article230655180 

. . . By order of the Bench,
JAMES PEARSON,
Clerk to the Bench.
Cawdor, April 6, 1835.


"To the Editor", The Australian (16 October 1835), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article42005245 

SIR,
I am lover of congregational singing, and with, through the medium of your paper, to give a hint to the esteemed minister of St. James's church on this subject.

Is it not strange, "passing strange," that any one professing to understand the delightful science of music should play every thing to the tune of "the dead march in Saul" and thus produce weariness instead of giving, as it were, a new impulse to our expiring devotion?

Such dolorous sounds have the same effect on the mind and spirits, as a wet blanket would have on a half smouldered fire! Is it not plain to common sense, that when we stand up to chant the praises of our King, it should be with simultaneous and rapturous bursts of joyful harmony? It is true that music itself fails at times to make the heart glad. We sometimes are forced to "hang our harps upon the willows," and in such a state of feeling it even encreases our depression. But surely in a place where numbers are assembled, we may hope that but a very small portion are shut out from the enjoyment of this joyous exercise. At St. James's, it seems ever as if some gloomy spirit presided over the organ resolved to make it utter only sounds of woe. I never hear a psalm in that church that does not produce in me dejection - and much as I wish to use my feeble voice in swelling the tide of harmony, I find I have not strength for the exertion; for, the time given to each note is so long, and the pause between each so lengthened out, that I doubt if Stentor himself would have had lungs enough for such an effort.

Comparisons, Mr. Editor, are odious, or I might revert to the playing of the late organist, Mr. Pierson, who certainly understood the management of the organ, and charmed the ear, while (in many cases perhaps) he caused the flame of devotion to burn more highly. Could the present organist be induced to follow in his steps, and give us good tunes in good time, we should soon perhaps listen to the ascending voices of hundreds, when now only here and there we distinguish a faint accompaniment. We should never forget, that instrumental music, in a church at least, is for the express purpose of assisting the voice.

We generally reverse this order of things; but the Roman Catholics who wish to make religion attractive, are well aware of the influence of vocal music, and they follow in this respect the example of the "sweet Psalmist of Israel."

A hint from you, Sir, may perhaps induce our worthy minister to reform this part of the service, which would give universal satisfaction, and to no one more sincere pleasure, than to
Your humble servant,
A LOVER OF HARMONY.

1838

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (8 February 1838), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2536274

MR. JAMES PEARSON, late Organist of St. James's Church, now Clerk to the Bench where Major Antill presides, Cowpasture, is informed that his wife's second letter, like his own promises, addressed to the son of the owner of the three Music Books, who could know nothing of the loan of said Books being selected by Pearson alone, in 1832, from a number before him, at the house of the owner, and his promising always to return the three books, and not one only as Mrs. P. proposes, and what can she know of the Books, or even the Book which she has again failed to return as promised a fortnight ago? It is very immaterial, how well her reputation or that of her husband may stand at the Cowpasture, they may be persons who keep what they borrow, but that will not do, the Books are wanted, so will the money for three Advertisements.
5th February, 1838.

1840

"Police Office, Stonequarry", New South Wales Government Gazette (9 September 1840), 870

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article230138507 

"Police Office, Stonequarry", The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser (14 September 1840), 2

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32185142 

"PUBLIC POUND. Police Office, Stonequarry", The Sydney Herald (2 February 1841), 4

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12867634 

1841

July 1841, death of James Pearson

NSW, BDM, 1232/1841 V18411232 25B, age 43 (= born c.1798)

"NEWS FROM THE INTERIOR. STONEQUARRY", The Sydney Herald (28 July 1841), 3

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12870235

. . . Mr. Pearson, who has been clerk to the Bench at Stonequarry and Cawdor, for the last seven years, died very suddenly about a week ago. Mr P. was at one time organist of St. James's, in Sydney.

1879

"Deaths", The Sydney Morning Herald (29 May 1879), 1

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13435629 

PEARSON. - May 26, at her residence, Post-office, Camden, ELIZA, relict of the JAMES PEARSON, aged 76 years.




Bibliography

Fitzpatrick 1865

[Columbus Fitzpatrick], "REMINISCENCES OF CATHOLICISM IN THE EARLY DAYS OF THE COLONY", Freeman's Journal (25 November 1865), 741

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115451063 

. . . In 1825 there were a great number of soldiers in this country and as it happened, the Bandmaster (Mr. Cavanagh) of the 3rd Buffs was a Catholic, as also the Bandmaster (Mr. Richenberg) of the 40th Regiment, an Italian and a great musician. Both regiments were stationed in Sydney at that time, and as Mr. Richenberg was only a hired bandmaster to the 40th regiment he used to devote all his leisure hours to the instruction and formation of a real good choir and I can say with truth that his exertions were crowned with success, for he had taught us to sing with his bandsmen, and it was a common thing to have five or six clarionets, two basoons, a serpent, two French horns, two flutes, a violincello, a first and tenor violin, and any amount of well-trained singers, all bursting forth in perfect harmony the beautiful music of our Church. Oh! it makes my heart thrill when I think of those happy days. I have since then heard the organ of St. Mary's; I have seen Dr. Reid, who was a great man, assisted by his sisters and Miss Lane and a great body of singers, but they could not equal the choir formed by Richenberg. I never heard anything like it except once, that was the day on which our venerated Archbishop first landed in Sydney. On that occasion Dr. Ullathorne, now Bishop of Birmingham, had made every preparation for a grand High Mass, and poor Cavendish (who was drowned with his sister off Bradley's Head in after years) had charge of the choir; he exerted himself to the utmost and secured the assistance of a great cantratrice (Mrs. Rust) who happened to be in the colony at the time. Mr. Clarke the architect, who was a fine singer, also lent his aid, and these with the assistance of the regular choristers quite astonished the, Bishop. Dr. Polding was only bishop, at that time and he did not expect to hear Mozart's Mass sung in Botany Bay, and well sung too: he was accompanied by several rev. gentlemen, some of whom were fine singers, amongst these were the Rev. Mr. Spencer, who afterwards went home, and the Rev. Mr. Sumner, who was the first priest ordained in these colonies. He could sing very sweetly at that time, but neither these nor the Rev. Mr. Watkins, who took charge of the choir, could ever equal Mr. Richenberg's choir, for he had so many bandsmen, and they played with such precision that finer music could not be found out of Europe. There being as I said before two Catholic bandmasters in Sydney at that time, there was a spirit of emulation in the bands to see who could, do most for the Church, and as Mr. Cavanagh the band master of the Buffs was a fine singer, he gave us the benefit of his voice in addition to playing the violincello. Such choruses I have never since heard; we used to disturb Archdeacon Scott who used to officiate at times with Parson Hill at St. James's, for our services were performed in the schoolroom in Castlereagh-street, which is quite close to Saint James's, and although Archdeacon Scott and Parson Hill did all that men could do to seduce by promises of payment, by Government patronage or any other means, they never could induce one of our singers to apostatize, and although the bandsmen were allowed so much extra per day if they played in the church they would sooner play in the chapel for nothing, and; I never knew of but one man who turned recreant, and even he got ashamed and came back after a while. I well remember how poor Pearson the organist of St. James's used to look after having his puny choir disturbed by one of our choruses, perhaps of a Christmas Day when our Gloria would be given with all the strength of the choir. Rich and poor, government officials and independent Protestants all came to hear the singing at Catholic Chapel, and often have I heard them say "Well, really it is wonderful how these people can manage to get such a fine choir - we can't come near them." - Nor could they; Father Therry had such a persuasive manner that if there was a man or woman worth having he would get them and that without payment too; for out of the men and women who played or sung I never knew but one man who accepted and remuneration for their services and that was poor old Charlie Kelly, and he got very little, for Father Therry got but little for himself in those days, yet his funds were like the widow's oil - they never became exhausted . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Columbus Fitzpatrick; Thomas Kavanagh; Joseph Reichenberg


Bernard Burke, A genealogical and heraldic history of the colonial gentry . . . vol. 1 (London: Harrison & Sons, 1891), 88

www.archive.org/stream/genealogical01burk#page/88/mode/2up 


Rushworth 1988, Historic organs of New South Wales, 28, 29, 30, 105, 363-64


Skinner 2011, First national music, 113-116

http://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/7264 (DIGITISED)







© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2019