LAST MODIFIED Saturday 25 November 2017 8:29

Maria Taylor, vocalist and actor

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "Maria Taylor, vocalist and actor", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 19 July 2018

TAYLOR, Maria Madeline

(Maria Maudelina HILL; Miss HILL; Mrs. John TAYLOR; Mrs. TAYLOR; Maria TAYLOR; Madame Maria DHERMAINVILLE)

Soprano vocalist, actor ("daughter of the late Mr. Hill, of Covent Garden")

Born ? c.1814 (daughter of James Hill and Eliza Atkins)
Married John Taylor, St. Mary, Newington, Southwark, 7 February 1831
Arrived Hobart, 23 October 1833 (free per Lonach, from London, 19 June)
Arrived Sydney, March 1834
Departed Sydney, 25 December 1839 (per Prince George, for Calcutta)
Died Calcutta, 13 May 1841, aged 27 years (TROVE public tag)

Hill family

HILL, John (died Jamaica, June 1817)


HILL, Charles John (born London, 1 February 1803; baptised St. Paul, Covent Garden, 5 January 1804; died New Jersey, 23 September 1874)

HILL, John B.

HILL, Maria Maudalina

John Hill and Eliza Atkins seem likely to have met, if not earlier, then at Bath, where John certainly was working at the Theatre Royal by 1796. They both later claimed to have been pupils of the singer Venanzio Rauzzini (1746-1810), and Eliza also of Rauzzini's pupil, the pianist Jane Guest (Mrs. Abraham Miles) (c.1762-1846), while Hill was also a pupil of David Richards, leader of the band (and brother-in-law of the singer John Braham). ames Hill, whose brief but successful London career as a tenor vocalist and actor ran from 1798 to 1806. He is probably According to his obituary, he died in Jamaica in June 1817, having apparently separated from his common-law wife, and former co-performer, Eliza (born WARRELL), who continued to be known on stage by her former name, Mrs. Atkins. Maria was presumably her daughter. Eliza was first referred to as "Mrs. Hill, formerly Mrs. Atkins" in 1807, after she and James had left the Covent Garden theatre. After their separation, from as early as 1817 until at least 1821 (and possibly until as late as the early 1830s), a "Mrs. MELVILLE, late Mrs. Hill, of the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden" advertised as a teacher of singing, herself as a pupil of Venanzio Rauzzini and Mrs. Miles (Jane Guest) of Bath, and in due course also her daughters, the Misses Hill, as co-performers in concerts. In 1829-30, there were also advertisements for "Mrs. EDWARDS, late Mrs. Hill, of the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden". It is not yet clear whether either, both, or neither, of these was Maria's mother.

In April 1837, Maria had reportedly received letters from her brother, Mr. C. Hill (of Covent Garden and Surry Theatres), stating that he, Mrs. C. Hill, and their daughter Miss Rosalia Hill, and also their brother, Mr. John B. Hill, and Mrs. J. B. Hill of the Exeter Theatre, intended leaving for Australia. But instead, Charles Hill (d.1874), his wife Ann (Fairbrother) ( and their daughter Rosalie, emigrated to Nortn America, first to New York in 1840, before settling in Montreal in 1843

Documentation and references:

"THEATRICALS", Caledonian Mercury (4 August 1806), 3

On Saturday Bickerflaff's admirable opera of LOVE IN A VILLAGE was performed in a stile of superior excellence. A Mr. HILL, who, we understand, was a pupil of Rauzzini's, was a great favourite at Bath, (where he made his debut) and who, for near ten years, has supported a first line of musical business in Covent Garden, played Young Meadows, with univerial approbation - he is a good manly figure, with an agreeable countenance, and (which is not always the case with the musical tribe) he is a good speaker; his voice is both melodious and comprehensive; his graces are not crowded, but judicious; and his cadences are the effect of the most exquisite taste. Mrs. ATKINS, also from Covent Garden, appeared as Rosetta. - We recollet this Lady in our Theatre about seven or eight years ago, when she was a great favourite - she shuld therefore now be doubly so, because she was then a mere girl, and, comparatively a novice in the science of music - Since that period she has had much experience; and, "upon her mended judgment" now lays claim to our highest encomiums. - She is a beautiful women; has a charming voice, with most captivating tones, a delicate taste, and happy execution.

"MR. JAMES HILL", The New Monthly Magazine 8 (1 October 1817), 262

MR. JAMES HILL. Died in June last, at Morant's Bay, Jamaica, Mr. James Hill, vocal performer. He was a native of Kidderminster, in Worcestershire. Having lost his father at the age of 4 years, he was educated by an uncle, and apprenticed at the age of 10 to a painter. On the expiration of his indentures he visited London, where he remained about a fortnight, and then went to Bristol. There he was introduced to the manager of both that and the Bath theatre, to whom he communicated his wish to attempt the stage, but was informed that the company was already filled, and that there was no prospect of a speedy vacancy. He then requested permission to perform one night, to gratify his inclination, with which the manager complied, and he appeared in June 1796 as Belville, in Rosina, when he experienced such a flattering reception, that full as his company was, the manager contrived to make room for him; he was, accordingly, engaged for five seasons, during which time he became acquainted with Signora Storace, who recommended him to Rauzzini, by whose advice Mr. Hill placed himself under the tuition of Mr. Richards, the leader of the band at the Bath theatre, and having received a few lessons from Ximenes and others, finished his instructions with Rauzzini. He performed a variety of vocal characters here the two first seasons with increased approbation; and Mr. Harris, wishing to engage him for Covent-Garden, applied to Mr. Diamond to release him from his articles, with which that manager obligingly complied. His first appearance in London was in 1798, as Edwin in Robin Hood, in which he met with the approbation of the public. He continued at Covent Garden till the end of the season 1804-6, when he left the theatre for some fancied injury, and performed in the country. He visited Norwich and other places, became a complete humourist, was we believe at one time manager of a strolling company, and, after an absence of some years, appeared at the Regency theatre. It is presumed that he was not above the age of 40 at the time of his death. His private character would not have added to the respectability of the theatrical profession; and his conduct, in leaving Mrs. Atkins and his family, although it was no more than the lady had a right to expect, is deserving of that animadversion which he met with, when his performance was not allowed to proceed at the minor theatre just mentioned.

[Advertisement], The Northampton Mercury (24 March 1821), 3

MRS. MELVILLE (late Mrs. Hill, of the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden), RESPECTFULLY announces to the Ladies and Gentleman of NORTHAMPTON and its VICINITY, that she Purposes giving Instructions in SINGING to those who may please to Favour her with their Commands. Mrs. M. having been a pupil of the Celebrated Rauzzini, and likewise of Mrs. Miles, of Bath (who has been so eminently Distinguished for her musical Talents, and who had the Honour of instructing her late Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte of Wales and Saxe Cobourg), flatters herself that her Method of Teaching will be found to answer the most sanguine Expectations of her Pupils. Schools and private Families attended in Town and Country. The Quarter will commence MONDAY the 26th of March instant. Mrs. M. and her daughters, the Miss Hill's, will give A CONCERT, at WELLINGSBOROUGH, on MONDAY next. Particulars, respecting Terms, &c known by applying to Mrs. MELVILLE, at Mrs. HILLYARD's, College Street, Northampton.

[Advertisement], The Sheffield Independent (23 May 1829), 2

CONCERT. MRS. EDWARDS, late Mrs. HILL, from the Theatre-Royal, Covent-Garden, and Miss HILL, beg leave inform the Inhabitants of this Town and its Vicinity, that they intend giving CONCERT MONDAY next, MAY 25, 1829, in the MUSIC-HALL, Sheffield, and not in the Assembly-Rooms, as announced in the Bills. The Songs, &c., will be accompanied the Piano-Forte, by Mrs. Edwards. Doors to be opened Seven o'Clock, and the Performance to commence at Half-past. ADMISSION, 3s. Tickets to had at the INDEPENDENT Office, and of Mrs. EDWARDS, at No. 10. Cheney-row.

Mary Jane Warner, "FAIRBROTHER, Anne (1804-1896)", Dictionary of Canadian Biography 12 (1891-1900), 305-306 

Mary Jane Warner, "Anne Fairbrother Hill: a chaste and elegant dancer", Theatre Research in Canada 12/2 (Fall 1991) 

Paul F. Rice, Venanzio Rauzzini in Britain: castrato, composer, and cultural leader (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2015), 192 ("Mr. Hill"), also many references to Jane Guest/Jane Miles

Select documentation

Marriage register, St. Mary, Newington, Southwark, 7 February 1831

John Taylor, Bachelor, of this Parish and Maria Maudelina Hill, Spinster a Minor, of this Parish were married in this Chruch by Banns with the Consent of Her Mother / Father deceased / this Seventh Day of February [1831] ...

"TRADE AND SHIPPING", The Hobart Town Courier (25 October 1833), 3

[News], The Hobart Town Courier (25 October 1833), 2

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (25 October 1833), 3

[News], Colonial Times (29 October 1833), 2

We have been agreeably surprised with the enchanting voice of a professional lady singer, who has lately arrived among us. We abstain from commenting too much on the abilities of Mrs. Taylor - wishing the public first to have an opportunity of deciding for themselves, as to that lady's abilities. Mrs. Taylor will sing two songs at Mr. Peck's Concert, tomorrow evening - "Come where the Aspens quiver" and "O merry row the bonnie Bark." The Concert is certain to be well attended. We believe His Excellency intends to be present.

"The Concert", The Colonist and Van Diemen's Land Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser (5 November 1833), 3 

The public expectation, which was so much excited on the occasion of Mr. Peck's first Concert, has not been disappointed; and, we may safely say, that the entertainments of Wednesday evening were superior to any which have preceded them in Hobart Town ... This splendid Concerto [played by Rosalie Deane] was succeeded by the "great lion" of the evening - the new Vocalist's (Mrs. Taylor's) debut. On ascending the Orchestre, she was received with the most gratifying testimonials of public approbation; and no sooner did the piano-forte commence the symphony of Lee's "Come, where the Aspen's quiver," than the most breathless stillness prevailed. The peculiar difficulties of this simple song are not generally known, but those who do know them, will form a good idea of Mrs. Taylor's execution and flexibility of voice, when they learn, that she sung every note of it unassisted by the Orchestre. It was unanimously encored. Mrs. Taylor is a pleasing lively little brunette, with a sparkling, and expressive black eye, not particularly prelty, and still far from plain. Her voice is powerful, and of great compass - has been evidently well trained, and possesses considerable sweetness. ln singing the song the first time through, she was rather above the piano-forte, but the second time she was in perfect tune. This lady certainly exceeded our expectations, and there is no doubt of her being a great favorite with the Public ... Mrs. Taylor's second song, "Oh! merry row the bonnie bark" by Parry, confirmed the Public opinion in favor of that Lady's talents. She is really a fine and an exquisite singer. The, song was enthusiastically encored, which it richly deserved ...

"Domestic Intelligence", The Hobart Town Magazine 2/9 (November 1833), 163

Mrs. Taylor appeared, for the first time, before a Van Diemen's Land public. She sang two songs - Lee's "Come where the Aspens quiver," and "O merry row the bonnie bark." The former, a very difficult performance - the latter, somewhat more of a ballad. With respect to this lady's singing, it will, of course, be expected that we should offer a few remarks. Mrs. Taylor, if we mistake not, is the daughter of Mr. Hill, who some twenty-five years or more since, was the only rival dreaded by the English Apollo - as he has been termed by some of the admirers - Braham, and, as might naturally be expected, a daughter of such a musician Mrs. Taylor is perfect in all the mysteries of harmonic science. Her voice, however, is much more adapted for the showy difficult performances, than it is for plaintive melody - Rossini should be her favorite composer. Jackson, Arne, nay Bishop, and such like gentry are not worthy of her consideration: her tonation is distinct, and in the rapid movements of a cadenza, every note strikes on the ear as distinctly as though it had been produced by a keyed instrument: she has great range, and her upper notes partake not of that shrill harshness, which is so common with most female vocalists. We have not heard Mrs. Taylor in a private room, but judging from her performance on Wednesday, we should consider her voice much more adapted for a concert than for amateur singing - but we may be judging wrongly. She was, of course, encored in both songs; but the first was much more adapted to her voice, than was "O merry row."

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (19 November 1833), 1

Concert. MRS. TAYLOR most respectfully informs the Inhabitants of Hobart Town and its vicinity, that she intends giving a Concert of vocal and instrumental music, on Monday Evening, Dec. 2nd, 1833, assisted by Mr. J. P. DEANE and Family, Mr. Peck, and the professional Talent of Hobart Town, together with the splendid Band of the 63rd Regt. ; further particulars of which will be announced in a future advertisement. Nov. 19, 1833. Notice. MRS. TAYLOR, having received a thorough musical education, will be most happy to give lessons in Music and Singing. For cards of address, apply at this Office. Nov. 19, 1833. 

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (17 December 1833), 1

[News], The Hobart Town Courier (27 December 1833), 2

[News], Colonial Times (31 December 1833), 3

Next to Mrs. Cameron, comes our old friend, Mrs. Taylor, who made her first appearance, on any boards, on Tuesday last. She performed the part of Charlotte [in The Stranger], and, although that part does not allow the opportunity of shewing any great degree of talent, Mrs. Taylor performed so exceedingly correct, and so naturally, the character cast for her, that we have no doubt she will be able to perform anything that may hereafter be required. She looked remarkably pleasing; but we have seen Mrs. Taylor before, and the public, as well as ourselves, term her an old friend (if calling a young lady an old friend is not misapplying the word old), we need say no more. Her plaintive song, I have a silent sorrow here, was particularly pathetic, and caused universal approbation.

"THE THEATRE", The Sydney Gazette (11 March 1834), 2

The theatrical public may congratulate themselves on the arrival of Mrs. Taylor, who has afforded sufficient to convince that she will prove an acquisition of no mean worth to the Sydney boards. She made her debut thereon last Saturday evening, when she sang Bid me discourse  and Kate Carney. The house was a full one, probably from the intimation which had been pretty general, that Mrs. T. would exhibit her vocal talents, although not announced in the bills of the day. Her figure is good, and her person altogether pleasing in point of stage attraction, and when Mr. Levey introduced her between the first and second acts of Luke the Labourer, she was received with universal acclamation; which, although flattering of course to the susceptibility of the fair stranger, had the effect of rendering her somewhat hurried in the first song. Her voice however, displayed both compass and sweetness, and is altogether far superior to any that has yet gratified the ears of a Sydney audience. Mrs. Taylor had fully regained her self-possession. when she appeared between the pieces to sing Kate Carney, in which she was eminently successful, and encored. Mrs. Taylor possesses the important advantage of a Drury Lane education, being the daughter of Mr. Hill, the celebrated vocalist of that establishment; and it is by no means prophetical to augur that her "fair fame" will suffer no detraction in the exertions of his daughter among the votaries of song in Australia.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (6 April 1835), 3 

TO THE PUBLIC. MR. LEVEY feels it an imperative duty to inform the Public, that at the solictation of Mrs. Taylor, through the medium of Messrs. Sippe and Stubbs for an engagement at his Theatre, and he, Mr. Levey, thinking that the addition of Mrs. T. to his dramatic corps might have met the wishes of his Friends and the Public generally, he engaged her on her own terms, viz., one pound per night, in the presence of the above-named gentlemen; and further gave her choice of characters to appear in, when she selected the part of Mrs. Haller, in the play of the Stranger for Monday next. Judge then the surprise and astonishment with which a note was received by Mr. Levey, saying she could not engage. This after an engagement made at her own request and before two respectable gentlemen, only three days prior to her promised appearance as specified in the bills and advertisements, certainly discreditable, to say nothing of dishonourable, obliges Mr. Levey to publish this plain and honest statement to the Public at large, in order to prevent the possibility of any sinister tongue making false statements. The gentlemen referred to attach their certificate, as to the veracity of the foregoing. We, the under signed, hereby certify that the facts contained in the above are wholly true. [signed] GEORGE SIPPE. April 3, 1835.

(Copy of Mr. Stubbs' Note to Mr. Levy.) Rose Cottage, Druitt street, Saturday. Sir. - In reply to your's of this morning, I beg leave to say, that Mrs. Taylor particularly solicited my interference with you in her behalf, to re-engage her services at your Theatre, and I can bear testimony to the handsome manner with which you met her proposals, and the readiness that lady accepted the engagement of One Pound per night, and her promise to appear on Monday. I am Sir, Your very humble servant, THOMAS STUBBS. To Mr. B Levy, Theatre Sydney.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (7 April 1835), 3 

To the Editor of the Sydney Gazette. SIR, IT has never been my wish to enter into a newspaper controversy; but finding myself attacked in a most ungentlemanly manner by Mr. Levey, in the Gazette of this day, I feel compelled to refute the slander he has circulated respecting me. In order to vindicate myself, and for the satisfaction of my friends I shall make a concise statement of the facts, so far as they concern myself with the abovenamed GENTLEMAN.

On Thursday morning last Nr. Stubbs called on me on the part of Mr. Levey, whose wish it was that I should return to the Theatre (and not at my solicitation, as stated by him) and appointed a meeting at the house of Mr. Sippe, as Mr. Levey objected to call upon me ... I remain, Sir, your obedient Servant, M. M. TAYLOR. Pitt-Street, 4th April, 1835.

"THE THEATRE", The Tasmanian (8 May 1835), 7 

... We have mentioned already, that Mr. Cameron had written to Sydney, offering very liberal terms to several of the performers there, particularly to Mr. and Mrs. Taylor - the former as stage manager, and the latter in that line, her eminence in which obtained her so much of the public favor last year. Mr. Taylor has arrived, and Mrs. Taylor will follow him as soon as her re-engagement for five nights, under the new management of the Sydney theatre, is completed ...

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (12 May 1835), 2 

For the Benefit of MR. SPENCER. ON WEDNESDAY EVENING will be presented SHAKSPEARE'S Tragedy of KING RICHARD III. Gloster. MR. SPENCER. Richmond. MR. TAYLOR. Lady Anne. MRS. CAMERON. SONGS: "To win the Love of Thee," Mrs. Clarke. "The Horn of Chase," Mr. Jacobs. "Why did I Love," Mrs. Henson. After which, MR. TAYLOR will give some imitations of "Mr. Gordonovitch" ...

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (29 March 1836), 3

"Original Poetry", The Colonist (31 March 1836), 7 

John Thomas was a Shropshire man

John Thomas was a Shropshire man

To be Sung at the next Concert,
TUNE. - We'll run the risk for a' that.

JOHN THOMAS was a Shropshire man,
And eke a worthy nailer;
He had a stout-built portly frame,
And his flame she was a Taylor;
Who, though she tried to fasten John
In Hymen's pleasant noose,
Found to her cost; alas! that he
Was not a Taylor's goose.

She bound him with a silken cord,
And then a cord of cotton;
But silk and cotton; flax and tow,
Snapp'd as if each were rotten!
She took to pouting then and vow'd
She'd sooner die of hunger,
Than e'er be bound with bullock chains,
Or wed an Ironmonger!

"What is't you say? said he, as she
Stood bolt upon the boards;
You're tenfold happier than if kept
By half a dozen lords.
There's not a show-room in the place
Can be compar'd with mine;
There's not a woman on the town
Has such a lot as thine.

"Why, there's the Sydney Theatre,
Its owners wish to let it;
'Twould be the noblest spec of all,
If we could only get it.
We'd take it either by the week,
Or by the month or year;
And there's my good friend B ... n,
Will back us out, my dear."

Said Parson H--- one day, as they
Were riding in their carriage,
"Why, you'll disgrace us all, friend John
If you don't make this a marriage.
The thing has got about the town
In fearful notoriety;
And, mind, we'll turn you out of each
Religious Society."

John Thomas blush'd and said " 'twas strange
How idle people CAVILL,
But he would tell him all the truth
And the whole case unravel.
He would have married long ago;
(He's of the marrying kidney:)
But when one has a wife at home,
He can't have one in Sydney."

"THE COLONIST", The Sydney Monitor (6 April 1836), 2

"THE THEATRE", The Colonist (4 August 1836), 6

We had occasion lately to allude to an outrage perpetrated on the Sydney Stage by that brazen-faced strumpet Mrs. Taylor, unparalleled we believe in the annals of theatrical entertainments, whether we consider it in reference to the prostitution of the purposes of which, theatricals are designed, or as an evidence of her utter callousness of  feeling to every sense of shame ... having reference to the conduct of this very female with her paramour, the notorious John Thomas Wilson, we designated the playgoers of Sydney, generally, as a set of "wretched creatures in the shape of ladies and gentlemen who frequent that sink of iniquity the Sydney Theatre."

John Dunmore Lang, An historical and statistical account of New South Wales, volume 1 (London: A. J. Valpy, 1837), 434-447, especially:

[News], The True Colonist Van Diemen's Land Political Despatch (7 April 1837), 524 

Mrs. Taylor has received letters from her brother, Mr. C. Hill (of Covent Garden and Surry Theatres), stating that he, Mrs. C. Hill, and their daughter, Miss Rosalia Hill, and also their brother, Mr. John B. Hill, and Mrs. J. B. Hill of the Exeter Theatre, intended leaving for here, and are now daily expected. From a "file of bills" that we have had a sight of, that talented family have been playing very prominent characters in the wide range of the drama at home, and, we have no hesitation in saying, they will be a great acquisition. We have every reason to hope, that with such an addition of talent, the gagging system will be entirely abolished.

[Advertisement], The Australian (3 April 1838), 1

? "DEPARTURES", The Colonist (4 September 1839), 2

"THE VICTORIA THEATRE", The Sydney Gazette (19 October 1839), 2

[Advertisement], The Australian (21 November 1839), 3

"DEPARTURES", Australasian Chronicle (27 December 1839), 4

"BARRATRY", The Sydney Herald (14 June 1841), 2

BARRATRY. - Our readers will remember that about two years since a splendid French ship, called the Ville de Bordeaux, of 800 tons burthen, put into Sydney to repair, having been ashore at New Zealand. After some time she was sold by auction in Sydney, and not having a British register, and there being doubts as to the captain's authority, sold for the small sum of £ 3000. (She is the vessel that has recently been seized by the Customs at South Australia.) The captain, after remaining in the colony for some months, went to Calcutta in the ship Charles Jones, taking with him an actress, named Taylor, with whom he had been living for some time. This affair has caused some excitement in France . . .

"EAST INDIA", The Sydney Monitor (23 August 1841), 2

(from Indian papers): It will be seen by the advertisements that Mrs. Dhermainville (Taylor), who made her appearance lately at the Town Hall, is to present herself to the Sans Souci audience this evening for the first time. The character which Mrs. D. has selected is one which she performed with distinguished success at Sydney, and as she will be well supported by Mrs. Leach and Mrs. Bartolo in the next principal characters, there can, we should think, be little doubt of her making a favorable impression here. [Agricultural South Report].

"DEATHS", The Sydney Herald (27 September 1841), 3

"Calcutta", Asiatic Journal (September 1841), 8

Mrs. Dhermainville, it appears, had been upon the stage at Sydney, and eloped from her husband (a person named Taylor) with the master of a ship, who robbed his owner, and appeared at Calcutta as "Count Dhermainville."

"DEATH OF MRS. TAYLOR", The Sydney Gazette (28 September 1841), 2

It is our melancholy duty to record the death of Mrs. Maria Taylor, formerly of the Sydney Theatre, which took place at Calcutta on the 13 th May last. As an actress this lady was more successful than any other that ever trod the Sydney boards. The versatility of her talents and the elasticity of her spirits knew no bounds. In private life, whatever indiscretions she might have been guilty of, were rather the result of a volatile and giddy disposition, inseparable from her professional pursuits, than of a bad heart-on the contrary, we have known acts of private charity and benevolence done by this unfortunate lady, which, in our opinion would out-weigh a thousand faults. But enough, the last sad scene in her drama of life is closed, and let us not draw up the curtain upon her frailties or her faults. Requiescat pace!

"THICKENING OF THE 'VILLE DE BORDEAUX' PLOT", Southern Australian (14 December 1841), 3

WE have been kindly favored with a copy of the "FRIEND OF INDIA" of the 20th of May last, from which we make the following extract: Mrs. Dhermainville has just died of cholera. The grave has closed on her transgressions, and it may be called uncharitable to unveil them. But her course as described in the Englishman may well serve as a warning to others. She went out to Sydney with her husband, one Taylor, a dissipated creature, who never obtained or deserved employment. She went on the stage for her bread, acted three times a week, took strong stimulants, and injured her voice. She then ran off with a man of the name of Largetot, who, in true Botany Bay fashion, ran away with his owner's vessel. The guilty pair came to Calcutta, and passed themselves off as Dhermainvilles, he taking the addition of Count. He died of cholera soon after his landing. She appeared on the stage immediately after. Then came the connection with Capt. Cox, who recently shot himself; then deep dissipation and lastly, the cholera. The extent to which the name of Largeteau has figured in connexion with the recent Ville de Bourdeaax transactions is still fresh in the recollection of our readers, and we should hardly have felt it necessary to have [??] on it again, but for the fearful appropriateness of much of the above to the cloud which has gathered round the parties connected with this vessel since her arrival in this port. At the time the inquest was sitting in Adelaide upon the unfortunate Campbell, whose suicide was attributed to the conduct of the parties connected with this vessel, it was little thought that Largeteau, the original plunderer of the Ville de Bourdeaux, had then fallen a victim to cholera in India, that the paramour of Largeteau's mistress had indicted a letter to the jury preparatory to the commission of suicide, or that Largeteau's mistress herself had sunk beneath the accumulation of evils which had gathered around her and her ill-fated paramours. Our views of Divine Providence are in no degree tinged with the superstitious, but we cannot overlook such plain indications as the above, nor can we close our eyes to much that has passed around us in connexion with this vessel since her seizure by the Collector of Customs in February last. By a good deal of manouvreing and hard swearing, the declaration of the forfeiture of this vessel was delayed, but that event has now taken place, and the ostensible master of her has been cast into prison for debt. What may be the next chapter in this melancholy history, we must leave time to disclose. For the present, we have but little time or space to comment on the remarks put forward on this subject on Saturday last. The lachrymose strain in which those remarks are penned, and the reluctant admission which is now tardily made of the utter hopelessness of all further efforts to ward off the deserved condemnation of the vessel, are only to be equalled by the savageness of the attack renewed on the Advocate General. In the latter of these points, as in many other cases we could easily point out, the gratitude of this writer is in an inverse ratio to the depth of his obligations. If any reliance is to be placed upon public report, the date of this writer's first attack upon the Advocate General is to be traced to a transaction as honorable to the latter as it was discreditable to the former. Of this, however, more anon.

"NEW BURIAL GROUND, CIRCULAR ROAD", The Bengal Obituary: Or, a Record to Perpetuate the Memory of Departed Worth (Calcutta: J. Thomas, 1851), 280

Sacred to the Memory of Maria Madeline Taylor, who died 13th May 1841, aged 27 years.

Select bibliography

"Sketches from Real Life By OLD BOOMERANG. BOLTERS IN BYGONE DAYS", The Sydney Mail (12 November 1870), 7

E. W. Madge, "A forgotten Calcutta actress: Madame Maria Dhermainville", Bengal past and present 2/2 (1908), 497

C. Bede Maxwell, Wooden hookers: epics of the sea history of Australia (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1940), 51, 122, 123

Beedell 1992

Gyger 1999

Skinner 2011

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

© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2018