LAST MODIFIED Monday 4 June 2018 17:20

Joseph Reichenberg and family

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "Joseph Reichenberg and family", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 14 December 2018


Master of the band of the 40th Regiment, professor of music, clarinet-player, composer

Born ? Naples, Italy c.1789/92
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 27 October 1824 (per Mangles, with headquarters of regiment, from Portsmouth 13 July)
Died Hobart, 31 January 1851, aged 59 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier)

REICHENBERG, Angelica (Mrs. Joseph REICHENBERG (1) )

Died Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 23 January 1843

REICHENBERG, Eliza Frances (O'MEAGHER; Mrs. Joseph REICHENBERG (2) )

Choral singer (St. Joseph's Choir)

Born Dublin, c.1820
Arrived Hobart, VDL (TAS), by 1836
Married Joseph REICHENBERG, St. Joseph's, Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 16 October 1843
Died Hobart, 9 June 1899, in the 80th year of her age


Organist, vocalist

Born Hobart, 1848
Died Sandy Bay, TAS, 8 July 1932, aged 86


UK, National Archives, WO 97/565/81 

JOSEPH RICHENBERG. Born NAPLES, Italian States. Served in 40th Foot Regiment; Chasseurs Britanniques. Discharged aged 40

1824 - 1829

For all TROVE items tagged Joseph Reichenberg for 1820s: 

For all TROVE items tagged Band of the 40th Regiment for 1820s: 


[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (28 October 1824), 2 

Colonel THORNTON, of H. M. 40th Regiment, with the Headquarters of that fine body of men, has arrived per the Mangles. The disembarkation took place yesterday afternoon at three o'clock. The detachment of the 40th already here, paraded under arms on the king's wharf, in order to welcome their "brethren in arms" on the distant shores of Australia. The 3d Regt, and other Troops, were drawn up in Barrack Square to welcome their companions.

"AUSTRALIAN SOCIAL LODGE, 260", The Australian (30 December 1824), 3 

Monday being St. John's day, the brethren of the above lodge assembled, according to custom, at two o'clock at brother Payne's. They went in procession to St. James's church, where a sermon was preached by the Rev. R. Hill, and a collection entered into for charitable purposes. They were attended to and from church by the band of the 40th Regt . . .

1830 - 1839

For all TROVE items tagged Joseph Reichenberg for 1830s:


Edward Markham (1801-1865), journal entry, February 1834; State Library of New South Wales; ed. Stieglitz 1952 (DIGITISED)

[Hobart, February 1834]: I met a German music master who had married a Neopolitan, an ugly Diva. But he was pleased to find another person who understood something of his language.

1840 - 1849

For all TROVE items tagged Joseph Reichenberg for 1840s:

"Married", Colonial Times (31 October 1843), 2

1850 - 1851

For all TROVE items tagged Joseph Reichenberg for 1830s:

"DIED", Colonial Times (31 January 1851), 2

Died: This morning, at his late residence, Davey-street, Mr. JOSEPH REICHENBERG, Professor of Music, aged 59 years. Friends are respectfully informed that his funeral will take place on Monday next, the 3rd February, from St. Joseph's Church, Macquarie-street, at 3 o'clock p.m.

After 1851

"DEATHS", The Mercury (24 June 1899), 2s

"ORGANIST'S UNIQUE RECORD", The Mercury (1 September 1923), 15

A record, probably unique for Australia, has been achieved in Hobart by Miss Jane Reichenberg, who a few days ago completed 55 years of service practically without a break, as organist of St. Joseph's Church. In the year 1866 Miss Reichenberg and her sister, both natives of Hobart, joined the choir of St. Joseph's as vocalists, and two years later the younger of the two was appointed organist in succession to the late Mr. Edmund Roper, who later took a similar position at St. Patrick's, Sydney. Under the conductorship of the late Mr. Henry Hunter, Miss Reichenberg had an excellent training in the high-class sacred music which was so well rendered by the small, but efficient choir of St. Joseph's Church, as to earn some fame for it even beyond Tasmania, and the young organist became a proficient exponent of the church music of Mozart, Haydn, Gounod, and other masters. Notwithstanding such long service, Miss Reichenberg is still capable of efficiently rendering such difficult compositions. Her career, like the history of the church in which she has spent so much of her life, has some interesting associations with the musical history of Hobart. Her father, Mr. Joseph Reichenberg, who died in 1851, was band-master of H.M. 40th Regiment, and conducted the first musical concert of which there is a record in Hobart as far back as 1826. In 1841, when the church of St. Joseph was first opened, he became its first choirmaster and organist, and among his successors prior to his daughter taking her position were the late Charles Packer, uncle to the well-known musical family of that name and a musician of the highest degree; also Mr. Edmund Roper, Mr. Hook, and other musicians of 60 years and more ago. Past and present congregations of St. Joseph's have initiated, and the musical community of Hobart generally is heartily co-operating in a movement to celebrate in a worthy manner Miss Reichenberg's most worthy record. This is to take the form of a musical festival to be held in the Town-hall, at which the artists of the city, professional and amateur, will appear. The event will be under the patronage of His Excellency the Administrator, their Graces the Archbishop of Hobart, Dr. Delany, and the Coadjutor Archbishop (Dr. Barry), the Mayor, all the church organists of Hobart, and representatives of musical organisations. Further particulars will be announced in a few days.

"MISS REICHENBERG'S JUBILEE", The Mercury (16 August 1928), 3

"DEATHS", The Mercury (9 July 1932), 1

"OBITUARY. MISS JANE REICHENBERG", The Mercury (11 July 1932), 6

"THE LATE MISS REICHENBERG", The Mercury (13 July 1932), 6

With deep regret the death of Miss Jane Reichenberg is recorded. She was born at Hobart Town in 1846, her father being Mr. Joseph Reichenberg, who was at one time bandmaster of the Chasseurs Britanniques at Messina, and left Italy to join the 40th Regiment in England. He came out with a detachment to Sydney, and in 1825 to Hobart Town, where he left his regiment and settled down as a music-teacher. He founded St. Joseph's choir, and was the first organist. In the choir Miss Reichenberg's mother sang. This lady was born in Dublin, a daughter of Patrick Meagher, who was a close friend of Father Connolly, Tasmania's first priest. Miss Reichenberg began to sing under Mr. Henry Hunter in St. Joseph's choir 69 years ago, and was organist of that church for well over 60 years. She was a foundation member of the Choirmasters' and Organists' Fellowship, and was greatly esteemed by all with whom she came into touch.

Musical works

- - - - - -

Bibliography and resources

- - - - - -

© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2018