Monthly Archives: October 2017

This is Halloween… Old Halloween Superstitions and Beliefs


This is Halloween…

Old Halloween Superstitions and Beliefs

Burning nuts on an open fire place is an old Scottish All Hallows Eve tradition. It is used as a divination tool to discover if another person will fall in love with you.
the nuts are placed on the fire, and given names, one for the person asking the question, the other for the person they wish to be with, or have fall in love with them.
 If the two nuts burn nicely together, it is supposedly an indication of true love, but if the two nuts jump away from each, crack, explode or bounce of the fire, it is seen as a bad omen. These two people are not made for each other!
 The Irish once had a similar custom, but three nuts were used, instead of two. The three nuts (usually Hazel Nuts) were put into the fire grate, with two being named as the potential lovers (or a couple already together).
If the nuts popped, jumped or cracked, an infidelity would occur, if they stayed much the same, a mutual respect would be in place, but if they burned together, or burned brightly, a marriage would occur.
Another odd act of potential love divination was for a girl to find a pea pod with 9 perfect peas inside. The young lady would take the pod home and secretly place it above the doorway of the house. The first unmarried man to walk through the doorway would be her future suitor!
 The Irish seemed to have many All Hallows Eve traditional “love spells”, another involved a young lady pealing an entire apple in one strand, she would then throw this long peel over her left shoulder, and when it landed, it would spell out the initials of her future husband!
Another custom, which is thought to have originated in Ireland, was the sewing of hemp seeds to divine a future lover.
On Halloween night, a male or female would secretly make their way to the local cemetery, and at midnight they would sow a handful of hemp seeds, whilst saying the following rhyme;
Hemp seed, I sow Thee; Hemp seed, I sow thee
And him (or her) that’s my true love
Come after me and pou’ thee
Another variation of the poem is:
Hemp seed I sow, hemp seed must grow;
Whomever my true love, come after and mow.
After saying the rhyme a few times whilst sowing the seeds, the asker would look back over their left shoulder, and see an apparition of the person who loves them, cutting the grown hemp with a scythe!
 Another traditional love spell for Halloween, was for a young lady to carry two lemon peels, one in each pocket. Before going to bed that night, she would rub the four posts of her bed with the peel, and then slip them under her pillow. In her dreams that night, her future husband would appear.
One final Halloween love spell – The Three Dishes, which comes out of England. 
Three dishes are to be placed next to each other on a table, one contains dirty water, one contains clean water and the last contains nothing.
The person wanting to know their future, is blinded folded, then led towards the dishes. Whichever dish the person puts their hand in first, decides their future lover.
 The clean water, the person will marry a maiden or master, whichever the case may be.
The dirty water, the person will marry a widow or widower.
The bowl with nothing in it, the person will remain a bachelor or bachelorette…
…and you thought Halloween was all about ghosts, goblins and trick or treating!
Happy Halloween!

This is Halloween… Old Halloween Superstitions and Beliefs


This is Halloween…

Old Halloween Superstitions and Beliefs

Burning nuts on an open fire place is an old Scottish All Hallows Eve tradition. It is used as a divination tool to discover if another person will fall in love with you.
the nuts are placed on the fire, and given names, one for the person asking the question, the other for the person they wish to be with, or have fall in love with them.
 If the two nuts burn nicely together, it is supposedly an indication of true love, but if the two nuts jump away from each, crack, explode or bounce of the fire, it is seen as a bad omen. These two people are not made for each other!
 The Irish once had a similar custom, but three nuts were used, instead of two. The three nuts (usually Hazel Nuts) were put into the fire grate, with two being named as the potential lovers (or a couple already together).
If the nuts popped, jumped or cracked, an infidelity would occur, if they stayed much the same, a mutual respect would be in place, but if they burned together, or burned brightly, a marriage would occur.
Another odd act of potential love divination was for a girl to find a pea pod with 9 perfect peas inside. The young lady would take the pod home and secretly place it above the doorway of the house. The first unmarried man to walk through the doorway would be her future suitor!
 The Irish seemed to have many All Hallows Eve traditional “love spells”, another involved a young lady pealing an entire apple in one strand, she would then throw this long peel over her left shoulder, and when it landed, it would spell out the initials of her future husband!
Another custom, which is thought to have originated in Ireland, was the sewing of hemp seeds to divine a future lover.
On Halloween night, a male or female would secretly make their way to the local cemetery, and at midnight they would sow a handful of hemp seeds, whilst saying the following rhyme;
Hemp seed, I sow Thee; Hemp seed, I sow thee
And him (or her) that’s my true love
Come after me and pou’ thee
Another variation of the poem is:
Hemp seed I sow, hemp seed must grow;
Whomever my true love, come after and mow.
After saying the rhyme a few times whilst sowing the seeds, the asker would look back over their left shoulder, and see an apparition of the person who loves them, cutting the grown hemp with a scythe!
 Another traditional love spell for Halloween, was for a young lady to carry two lemon peels, one in each pocket. Before going to bed that night, she would rub the four posts of her bed with the peel, and then slip them under her pillow. In her dreams that night, her future husband would appear.
One final Halloween love spell – The Three Dishes, which comes out of England. 
Three dishes are to be placed next to each other on a table, one contains dirty water, one contains clean water and the last contains nothing.
The person wanting to know their future, is blinded folded, then led towards the dishes. Whichever dish the person puts their hand in first, decides their future lover.
 The clean water, the person will marry a maiden or master, whichever the case may be.
The dirty water, the person will marry a widow or widower.
The bowl with nothing in it, the person will remain a bachelor or bachelorette…
…and you thought Halloween was all about ghosts, goblins and trick or treating!
Happy Halloween!

Five Years of the Haunts of Adelaide: History, Mystery and the Paranormal


Five Years of the Haunts of Adelaide: History, Mystery and the Paranormal

 

The Haunts of Adelaide: History, Mystery and the Paranormal turns 5 years old this week!
When I first started writing this blog back in 2012, I never foresaw myself writing it for 5 years! 
At the end of 2016, I had a little hiatus from writing, due to a number of other project taking up my time, but I returned at the beginning of 2017, and despite paranormal investigation, writing for MEGAscene, writing for the Kapunda History and Eidolon Paranormal blogs, working on the Developing the Ghosts & Ghouls Tour with Adelaide City Libraries, and studying two diplomas, I somehow found the time to keep this blog running…I’m not sure how I did it…passion, dedication, sheer determination, a love of history and writing? 
I’m not really sure myself, but here I am 5 years later still writing!
 So, I hope someone is still reading! (actually, I know exactly how many people read each story, Blogger tells me, and so far the most read story is this one: http://hauntedadelaide.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/muzyk-murder.htmlwith just under 20, 000 reads).
On average the blog gets about 4000 reads a month, which isn’t bad I guess for a collection of South Australian based stories.
The audience is made of predominately readers in Australia. Outside of Australia, the top 10 list of reading countries where readers live, is as follows:  United States, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Canada, Poland and lastly India and China.
 The blog has led to many great discoveries, and some invitations, including it being archived by the National Library of Australia, and a recent invitation by Trove to write a guest blog – which is an amazing honour in my eyes, as Trove is probably the website I visit most outside of social media websites!
I do have future plans for the blog, which include going through and editing spelling and grammar errors from earlier posts, and adding the correct citations to photos and writings, but that will need to wait until my workload decreases just a little, as its just a little too much work right now!
Here are the top five most read blogs on the Haunts of Adelaide:
5.  Carclew House, Montefiore Hill,  “Sinister by Design” Part Two- http://hauntedadelaide.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/carclew-house-montefiore-hill-sinister.html
The least read blog surprised me a little bit, it’s a recent blog, so it’s numbers will most likely go up as its discovered, but as it sits at the moment  this is the least read blog post on the Haunts of Adelaide: http://hauntedadelaide.blogspot.com.au/2017/09/sir-arthur-conan-doyle-in-adelaide-part.html
I’d just like to say thank you to each and everyone one of you that takes the time to read my blog. I doubt I’ll still be writing it in another 5 years – but who knows!
Here’s to 5 years of The Haunts of Adelaide!
Thanks – Allen Tiller

Five Years of the Haunts of Adelaide: History, Mystery and the Paranormal


Five Years of the Haunts of Adelaide: History, Mystery and the Paranormal

 

The Haunts of Adelaide: History, Mystery and the Paranormal turns 5 years old this week!
When I first started writing this blog back in 2012, I never foresaw myself writing it for 5 years! 
At the end of 2016, I had a little hiatus from writing, due to a number of other project taking up my time, but I returned at the beginning of 2017, and despite paranormal investigation, writing for MEGAscene, writing for the Kapunda History and Eidolon Paranormal blogs, working on the Developing the Ghosts & Ghouls Tour with Adelaide City Libraries, and studying two diplomas, I somehow found the time to keep this blog running…I’m not sure how I did it…passion, dedication, sheer determination, a love of history and writing? 
I’m not really sure myself, but here I am 5 years later still writing!
 So, I hope someone is still reading! (actually, I know exactly how many people read each story, Blogger tells me, and so far the most read story is this one: http://hauntedadelaide.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/muzyk-murder.htmlwith just under 20, 000 reads).
On average the blog gets about 4000 reads a month, which isn’t bad I guess for a collection of South Australian based stories.
The audience is made of predominately readers in Australia. Outside of Australia, the top 10 list of reading countries where readers live, is as follows:  United States, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Canada, Poland and lastly India and China.
 The blog has led to many great discoveries, and some invitations, including it being archived by the National Library of Australia, and a recent invitation by Trove to write a guest blog – which is an amazing honour in my eyes, as Trove is probably the website I visit most outside of social media websites!
I do have future plans for the blog, which include going through and editing spelling and grammar errors from earlier posts, and adding the correct citations to photos and writings, but that will need to wait until my workload decreases just a little, as its just a little too much work right now!
Here are the top five most read blogs on the Haunts of Adelaide:
5.  Carclew House, Montefiore Hill,  “Sinister by Design” Part Two- http://hauntedadelaide.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/carclew-house-montefiore-hill-sinister.html
The least read blog surprised me a little bit, it’s a recent blog, so it’s numbers will most likely go up as its discovered, but as it sits at the moment  this is the least read blog post on the Haunts of Adelaide: http://hauntedadelaide.blogspot.com.au/2017/09/sir-arthur-conan-doyle-in-adelaide-part.html
I’d just like to say thank you to each and everyone one of you that takes the time to read my blog. I doubt I’ll still be writing it in another 5 years – but who knows!
Here’s to 5 years of The Haunts of Adelaide!
Thanks – Allen Tiller

The Palace of Wonders – Adelaide Arcade Waxworks


The Palace of Wonders – Adelaide Arcade Waxworks

Discovering the location and any information about the waxworks that were once housed inside the Adelaide Arcade have been a labour of love for me over the past few years. I first discovered a little information about the waxworks when researching the death of Sydney Byron Kennedy, and the subsequent aftermath that followed.
 The Kennedy’s lived in the upstairs section of shop 11 (now The Manhattan Drycleaners) and worked from a shop on the ground floor, showcasing their style of psychic offerings and phrenology. The Kennedy’s were not the perfect couple, and Michael soon absconded to Tasmania, leaving Bridget Kennedy distraught.
Bridget sent a private detective to retrieve her son, who returned without him, but with the location of where to find him. Only a month later, young Sydney would be found dead inside the living room of the Arcade residence, and seven months later in August 1902, Bridget Kennedy, would also be found dead in the Adelaide Parklands (you can read about the case in greater detail here: http://hauntedadelaide.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/adelaide-arcade-part-four-madame-kennedy.html)

The first advertisements for the Arcade Waxworks (sometimes referred to in the newspapers as “Kennedy’s Waxworks”) appear in local newspapers in December 1901. In The City of Adelaide: A Thematic History, (McDougall and Vines 2006), on page 104, it states that the waxworks were positioned in the basement.
 This would make sense, as the Kennedy’s lived on the top floor and held their psychic productions on the ground floor, so most likely utilised the basement, for other purposes. It being cooler, and out of site from onlookers who didn’t want to pay, made it the prime location for it to be housed.
After his scandalous affair and the death of his wife and child, Michael Kennedy returned to the Arcade and ran the waxworks, which had become a major attraction in the city. 
In a weird coincidence of the macabre, the Adelaide Wax Works, inside the Adelaide Arcade, in 1904 featured a wax effigy of convicted murderer Thomas Horton. Thomas Horton killed his wife, Frances Horton at the Rundle Street (Mall) end of the Adelaide Arcade on February 27th, 1904.
Thomas was hung for his crime in the Adelaide Gaol on May 12th, 1904, when justice was much swifter, and brutal than today’s standards.[1]
Professor Michael Kennedy ran the Arcade Waxworks until his death in 1908. The waxworks were then taken over by a lady, also a psychic, named Madame Phyllis.
Madame Phyllis had 75 wax figures displayed in her version of the waxworks, so one would think, that possibly, the collection was now housed on the ground floor and in the basement.
When a guest would arrive at the waxworks, a tour guide would show the guest around the displays and give a detailed explanation of the real person’s life, and why they had been chosen by Madame Phyllis to be put on display.
Notable waxworks from this period included Queen Victoria, Sir Hector McDonald, Ned Kelly and his sister Kate.
After Madame Phyllis, the next owner appears to be Mrs Brown. In a 1935 article printed in the local News, retiring caretaker of 50 years (who took over after the death of Francis Cluney), Mr Jonah Benjamin, stated of Mrs Brown:
“She was a queer old soul, some people didn’t like her. She was hardy and independent, but she had a good heart and many a time I have seen her walk out of her works and give some poor fellow a couple of shillings to go on with.”[2]
I believe the next owner, Mr A. Netter, either bought the waxworks or leased it from Mrs Brown in 1941, but at this stage in my research, this is hard to confirm.
In 1942, a visiting group of soldiers to the Adelaide Arcade Waxworks, stole a full-sized effigy of Adolf Hitler.[3]
In 1953, The waxworks were removed from the arcade, but they didn’t go without a fight! As Mr Yeend, a carpenter, was removing the lifelike figures, one fell forward and pinned him to the floor, in the wax effigies hand was a sharp blade, which landed on Mr Yeend’s throat – as it turned out, the effigy was one of a murderer. Mr Yeend survived, with an incredible story to tell his grandchildren![4]
Believe it or not, this is probably one the local, former Adelaide attractions I am most often asked about by news reporters, as there is so little information available about it in local history archives.

I am keen to continue researching this fascinating attraction in the Adelaide Arcade, and would love to know what became of the waxwork effigies, and if any still survive. If you have any information about the former waxworks, or a photo, please get in touch!
Researched and written by Allen Tiller ©2017

Bibiliography
1905 ‘Advertising’, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), 3 March, p. 2. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5039998

1908 ‘AMUSEMENTS.’, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), 10 September, p. 14. , viewed 28 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5181306

1909 ‘AMUSEMENTS.’, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), 3 March, p. 11. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5178688

1909, The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 – 1922), 3 March, p. 3. (4 o’clock.), viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page23039181(Madame Phyllis photo)

1917 ‘WAXWORKS’, Daily Herald (Adelaide, SA : 1910 – 1924), 2 January, p. 8. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article105384205

1935 ‘CARETAKER HAS WATCHED CITY ARCADE FOR 50 YEARS’, News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 – 1954), 4 April, p. 11. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128824259

1942 ‘”HITLER” VANISHES’, Mirror (Perth, WA : 1921 – 1956), 23 May, p. 2. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article75890802

1953 ‘S.A. Waxworks Dismantled’, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 – 1954), 31 July, p. 3. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48272067

Find A Grave, 2012, Thomas Horton, Find a Grave, viewed 18 Sept 2017, https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=90947852

McDougall and Vines 2006, The City of Adelaide : a thematic history, page 104, McDougall & Vines, Norwood, S. Aust

 


[1]Find A Grave, 2012, Thomas Horton, Find a Grave, viewed 18 Sept 2017, https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=90947852

[2] 1935 ‘CARETAKER HAS WATCHED CITY ARCADE FOR 50 YEARS’, News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 – 1954), 4 April, p. 11. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128824259

[3]1942 ‘”HITLER” VANISHES’, Mirror (Perth, WA : 1921 – 1956), 23 May, p. 2. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article75890802

[4] 1953 ‘S.A. Waxworks Dismantled’, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 – 1954), 31 July, p. 3. , viewed 28 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48272067

The Palace of Wonders – Adelaide Arcade Waxworks


The Palace of Wonders – Adelaide Arcade Waxworks

Discovering the location and any information about the waxworks that were once housed inside the Adelaide Arcade have been a labour of love for me over the past few years. I first discovered a little information about the waxworks when researching the death of Sydney Byron Kennedy, and the subsequent aftermath that followed.
 The Kennedy’s lived in the upstairs section of shop 11 (now The Manhattan Drycleaners) and worked from a shop on the ground floor, showcasing their style of psychic offerings and phrenology. The Kennedy’s were not the perfect couple, and Michael soon absconded to Tasmania, leaving Bridget Kennedy distraught.
Bridget sent a private detective to retrieve her son, who returned without him, but with the location of where to find him. Only a month later, young Sydney would be found dead inside the living room of the Arcade residence, and seven months later in August 1902, Bridget Kennedy, would also be found dead in the Adelaide Parklands (you can read about the case in greater detail here: http://hauntedadelaide.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/adelaide-arcade-part-four-madame-kennedy.html)

The first advertisements for the Arcade Waxworks (sometimes referred to in the newspapers as “Kennedy’s Waxworks”) appear in local newspapers in December 1901. In The City of Adelaide: A Thematic History, (McDougall and Vines 2006), on page 104, it states that the waxworks were positioned in the basement.
 This would make sense, as the Kennedy’s lived on the top floor and held their psychic productions on the ground floor, so most likely utilised the basement, for other purposes. It being cooler, and out of site from onlookers who didn’t want to pay, made it the prime location for it to be housed.
After his scandalous affair and the death of his wife and child, Michael Kennedy returned to the Arcade and ran the waxworks, which had become a major attraction in the city. 
In a weird coincidence of the macabre, the Adelaide Wax Works, inside the Adelaide Arcade, in 1904 featured a wax effigy of convicted murderer Thomas Horton. Thomas Horton killed his wife, Frances Horton at the Rundle Street (Mall) end of the Adelaide Arcade on February 27th, 1904.
Thomas was hung for his crime in the Adelaide Gaol on May 12th, 1904, when justice was much swifter, and brutal than today’s standards.[1]
Professor Michael Kennedy ran the Arcade Waxworks until his death in 1908. The waxworks were then taken over by a lady, also a psychic, named Madame Phyllis.
Madame Phyllis had 75 wax figures displayed in her version of the waxworks, so one would think, that possibly, the collection was now housed on the ground floor and in the basement.
When a guest would arrive at the waxworks, a tour guide would show the guest around the displays and give a detailed explanation of the real person’s life, and why they had been chosen by Madame Phyllis to be put on display.
Notable waxworks from this period included Queen Victoria, Sir Hector McDonald, Ned Kelly and his sister Kate.
After Madame Phyllis, the next owner appears to be Mrs Brown. In a 1935 article printed in the local News, retiring caretaker of 50 years (who took over after the death of Francis Cluney), Mr Jonah Benjamin, stated of Mrs Brown:
“She was a queer old soul, some people didn’t like her. She was hardy and independent, but she had a good heart and many a time I have seen her walk out of her works and give some poor fellow a couple of shillings to go on with.”[2]
I believe the next owner, Mr A. Netter, either bought the waxworks or leased it from Mrs Brown in 1941, but at this stage in my research, this is hard to confirm.
In 1942, a visiting group of soldiers to the Adelaide Arcade Waxworks, stole a full-sized effigy of Adolf Hitler.[3]
In 1953, The waxworks were removed from the arcade, but they didn’t go without a fight! As Mr Yeend, a carpenter, was removing the lifelike figures, one fell forward and pinned him to the floor, in the wax effigies hand was a sharp blade, which landed on Mr Yeend’s throat – as it turned out, the effigy was one of a murderer. Mr Yeend survived, with an incredible story to tell his grandchildren![4]
Believe it or not, this is probably one the local, former Adelaide attractions I am most often asked about by news reporters, as there is so little information available about it in local history archives.

I am keen to continue researching this fascinating attraction in the Adelaide Arcade, and would love to know what became of the waxwork effigies, and if any still survive. If you have any information about the former waxworks, or a photo, please get in touch!
Researched and written by Allen Tiller ©2017

Bibiliography
1905 ‘Advertising’, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), 3 March, p. 2. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5039998

1908 ‘AMUSEMENTS.’, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), 10 September, p. 14. , viewed 28 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5181306

1909 ‘AMUSEMENTS.’, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), 3 March, p. 11. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5178688

1909, The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 – 1922), 3 March, p. 3. (4 o’clock.), viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page23039181(Madame Phyllis photo)

1917 ‘WAXWORKS’, Daily Herald (Adelaide, SA : 1910 – 1924), 2 January, p. 8. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article105384205

1935 ‘CARETAKER HAS WATCHED CITY ARCADE FOR 50 YEARS’, News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 – 1954), 4 April, p. 11. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128824259

1942 ‘”HITLER” VANISHES’, Mirror (Perth, WA : 1921 – 1956), 23 May, p. 2. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article75890802

1953 ‘S.A. Waxworks Dismantled’, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 – 1954), 31 July, p. 3. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48272067

Find A Grave, 2012, Thomas Horton, Find a Grave, viewed 18 Sept 2017, https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=90947852

McDougall and Vines 2006, The City of Adelaide : a thematic history, page 104, McDougall & Vines, Norwood, S. Aust

 


[1]Find A Grave, 2012, Thomas Horton, Find a Grave, viewed 18 Sept 2017, https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=90947852

[2] 1935 ‘CARETAKER HAS WATCHED CITY ARCADE FOR 50 YEARS’, News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 – 1954), 4 April, p. 11. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128824259

[3]1942 ‘”HITLER” VANISHES’, Mirror (Perth, WA : 1921 – 1956), 23 May, p. 2. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article75890802

[4] 1953 ‘S.A. Waxworks Dismantled’, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 – 1954), 31 July, p. 3. , viewed 28 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48272067

Ruby Davy : South Australian Icons

A somewhat forgotten icon of the northern suburbs, who reading this blog would know the life and times of Dr Ruby Davy, of Salisbury, South Australia?
Ruby Claudia Emily Davy was born on the 22ndof November 1883, in Salisbury. Her father, William Davy was a local shoemaker, and her mother, Louisa, a singer and music teacher. Ruby grew up in a home full of music, not only was her mother an accomplished singer, but her father was an excellent brass instrument player. Their house was full of instruments, and young Ruby was encouraged to play them all.

By the age of 5, Ruby was improvising, and composing on the family piano. By the age of 13, Ruby was teaching 27 students at the Salisbury School of Music. By the age of 20, Ruby had begun studying at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, and also earned an Associate of Music.

 Ruby graduated in 1907, at the age of 24 with a Bachelor of Music, she still taught music in Salisbury, was now also teaching at the Allen’s Music shop in Rundle Street, Adelaide.
        Ruby Davy was the first Australian woman to receive a doctorate in music from the Adelaide University, one of many firsts, which also included:

  •  First woman to receive a doctorate in faculty at the University of Adelaide.
  •  First person in Australia to become a Licentiate of the London College of Music (1913).
  • First Australian woman to become a fellow of Trinity College of Music, London (1921), the first to be awarded outside England.
Ruby’s outstanding achievements also included, having a Diploma in Elocution from the

London College of Music, an Honorary Fellowship of the Victorian College of Music (the first person to be awarded with this honour outside of England)

Ruby’s life changed dramatically in 1929, first her mother, Louisa, died in April, aged 78, and only a month later her father, William died aged 82. Ruby, an only child, fell into a deep depression, which led to a nervous breakdown, and the closing of her music school at Prospect, as she learned to live without her parents.
 It took four years to recover from the blow of losing her parents, but with support from Pastor John Hewitt, Ruby returned to her first love in 1993, and by 1934 she had returned to performing in the public.
 Ruby soon found herself giving performances on radio, and through 1934 to 1938 found herself touring through Victoria.
In 1939, Ruby toured England and selected part of Europe and Canada and the United States giving lectures and recitals.
In 1941, she founded the Society of Women Musicians of Australia, which she presided over until 1949.
Ruby was described as a frail woman with haunting dark eyes, she usually wore long black dresses and black clothing, probably in mourning for her beloved parents. 
In 1947, Ruby suffered a tragedy she would never recover from. Diagnosed with breast cancer, she was given a full mastectomy, which negatively impacted her playing. Ruby fell into another deep depression and never recovered, she died on the 12th of July 1949.
 Her body was returned to Adelaide, and she was buried in the West Terrace Cemetery
.
Ruby Davy collection held at the University of Adelaide:
https://www.adelaide.edu.au/library/special/mss/davy/
Memorabilia for Ruby Davy can be found in the local history room of the Len Beadell Library in Salisbury, South Australia.
 
Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2017

Bibliography. 
1929 ‘MUSICIAN AND ATHLETE’, News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 – 1954), 17 May, p. 15. (HOME EDITION), viewed 26 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129141051

Joyce Gibberd and Silvia O’Toole, ‘Davy, Ruby Claudia (1883–1949)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/davy-ruby-claudia-5918/text10081, published first in hardcopy 1981, accessed online 26 September 2017

1934 ‘Dr. Ruby Davy’s Concert’, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 – 1954), 14 March, p. 18. , viewed 26 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74082657

1949 ‘DR. RUBY DAVY DEAD’, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), 13 July, p. 3. , viewed 26 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18122279

1940 ‘DR. RUBY DAVY’, News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 – 1954), 25 July, p. 9. , viewed 26 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article131420359

Ruby Davy : South Australian Icons

Ruby Claudia Emily Davy

Ruby Claudia Emily Davy was born on the 22nd of November 1883, in Salisbury. Her father, William Davy was a local shoemaker, and her mother, Louisa, a singer and music teacher. Ruby grew up in a home full of music, not only was her mother an accomplished singer, but her father was an excellent brass instrument player. Their house was full of instruments, and young Ruby was encouraged to play them all.

By the age of 5, Ruby was improvising, and composing on the family piano. By the age of 13, Ruby was teaching 27 students at the Salisbury School of Music. By the age of 20, Ruby had begun studying at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, and also earned an Associate of Music.

 Ruby graduated in 1907, at the age of 24 with a Bachelor of Music, she still taught music in Salisbury, was now also teaching at Allen’s Music shop in Rundle Street, Adelaide.
        Ruby Davy was the first Australian woman to receive a doctorate in music from The Adelaide University, one of many firsts, which also included:

  •  First woman to receive a doctorate in faculty at the University of Adelaide.
  •  The first person in Australia to become a Licentiate of the London College of Music (1913).
  • First Australian woman to become a fellow of Trinity College of Music, London (1921), the first to be awarded outside England.
Ruby’s outstanding achievements also included earning a Diploma in Elocution from the

London College of Music, and an Honorary Fellowship of the Victorian College of Music (the first person to be awarded this honour outside of England)

Ruby’s life changed dramatically in 1929, first, her mother Louisa died in April, aged 78, and only a month later her father, William died aged 82. Ruby, an only child, fell into a deep depression, which led to a nervous breakdown, and the closing of her music school at Prospect.
 It took four years to recover from the blow of losing her parents, but with support from Pastor John Hewitt, Ruby returned to her first love in 1993, and by 1934 she had returned to performing music in public.

 Ruby soon found herself giving performances on radio, and through 1934 to 1938 found herself touring through Victoria.
In 1939, Ruby toured England and select parts of Europe, Canada and the United States giving lectures and recitals.
In 1941, she founded the Society of Women Musicians of Australia, which she presided over until 1949.
Ruby was described as a frail woman with haunting dark eyes, she usually wore long black dresses and black clothing, probably in mourning for her beloved parents. 
In 1947, Ruby suffered a tragedy she would never recover from. Diagnosed with breast cancer, she was given a full mastectomy, which negatively impacted her playing. Ruby fell into another deep depression and never recovered, she died on the 12th of July 1949.
 Her body was returned to Adelaide, and she was buried in the West Terrace Cemetery
.
Ruby Davy collection held at the University of Adelaide:
https://www.adelaide.edu.au/library/special/mss/davy/
Memorabilia for Ruby Davy can be found in the local history room of the Len Beadell Library in Salisbury, South Australia.
 
Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2017

Bibliography. 
1929 ‘MUSICIAN AND ATHLETE’, News (Adelaide, SA: 1923 – 1954), 17 May, p. 15. (HOME EDITION), viewed 26 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129141051

Joyce Gibberd and Silvia O’Toole, ‘Davy, Ruby Claudia (1883–1949)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/davy-ruby-claudia-5918/text10081, published first in hardcopy 1981, accessed online 26 September 2017

1934 ‘Dr. Ruby Davy’s Concert’, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA: 1931 – 1954), 14 March, p. 18. , viewed 26 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74082657

1949 ‘DR. RUBY DAVY DEAD’, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW: 1842 – 1954), 13 July, p. 3. , viewed 26 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18122279

1940 ‘DR. RUBY DAVY’, News (Adelaide, SA: 1923 – 1954), 25 July, p. 9. , viewed 26 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article131420359

Trading in Sorrow – Criminal Clairvoyants


Trading in Sorrow – Criminal Clairvoyants 

In a move they didn’t see coming a number of self-proclaimed psychics, clairvoyants, palm readers and other meta-physicists were rounded up by South Australia police, and charged with “Trading in sorrow”
The year was 1917, and Australia was well and truly entrenched in the Great War (WWI). Australian women, often with husbands or sons fighting overseas, were anxious about the fate of their loved ones, and were particularly susceptible to psychic’s who traded upon that vulnerability.
Psychics, claiming to possess the occult powers that could tell their clients the where abouts, or upcoming movements of their loved ones, was a regular occurrence. The newspapers at the time stated that women of the era were “interested in the war, such haphazard guesses (by psychics) were apt to be singularly appropriate.”
 The meaning of this statement is quite clear. The authorities of the time were worried that these self-proclaimed psychics were keeping up to date with war news via the newspapers, and when a client came asking about their significant loved one at war, the psychic would make an educated guess as to where the loved one might be; thus the client would believe the psychic was really getting these messages from spirit, and would return to spend more money…and on the cycle goes.
 The first psychic to face the courts was Madam Fitzsimmons, who was accused of working her charms on a lady named Maude Wilcher.
This psychic had claimed that Maude’s husband was alive and well, and she would see him very soon. She claimed the husband was in Egypt, not France, and fighting among the Turks. She also claimed the couple would have, that another baby.
 Prosecutor Shierlaw laid the information through section 67 of the Police Act 1916. The Act proclaimed that rogues and vagabonds are liable to imprisonment with hard labour, for a period not exceeding three months, such people as pretended to tell fortunes, practice palmistry etc, in order to deceive the public.
 This act was handed down to South Australian War from our English ancestry. It came directly from the English Vagrant Act of 1824 (George IV), which put in place protections against fortune tellers.
In basic terms, the act made it illegal to practice in connection to a craft, means or device beyond physical dexterity, to employ some invisible agency to deceive and impose upon others. Fortune telling could only be sold as an amusement, not as a truthful piece of information.
As it turned out, Maude Wilcher’s husband had already departed, she was a widow, and her visit was part of a small sting operation by the Women’s Police Department. Fitzsimmons was found guilty and fined 10 pounds. (About $1000 in today’s money).
Other psychics found guilty in the trial included Madame Amalia, madam Phyllis, Madam Rosa, Mrs Vear, Madam Mora, Charabella Fisher, Mrs Hamilton, Mrs Glennie and Mrs Loftus – all of whom were find 9 pounds.
 The following psychics all pleaded not guilty, and went to further trial: Madam Luna, Professor Mernox, Madam Illah, Mrs Kennedy, Mrs Barr, Madam Zillah, Miss Melrose, Madam Thelma, and Mrs Duguett. (At this point I do not know the outcomes of their trials, perhaps that will be another blog.
In South Australia, the current laws still take into account fraudulent psychics claims. 
40—Acting as a spiritualist, medium etc with intent to defraud A person who, with intent to defraud, purports to act as a spiritualist or medium, or to exercise powers of telepathy or clairvoyance or other similar powers, is guilty of an offence.
Maximum penalty: $10 000 or imprisonment for 2 years.
Researched and written by Allen Tiller ©2017

1917 ‘CLAIRVOYANTS IN COURT.’, The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 – 1929), 23 June, p. 10. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59147540

1917 ‘FORTUNE TELLING AND CRYSTAL GAZING’, Daily Herald (Adelaide, SA : 1910 – 1924), 23 June, p. 6. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article105413057

Trading in Sorrow – Criminal Clairvoyants


Trading in Sorrow – Criminal Clairvoyants 

In a move they didn’t see coming a number of self-proclaimed psychics, clairvoyants, palm readers and other meta-physicists were rounded up by South Australia police, and charged with “Trading in sorrow”
The year was 1917, and Australia was well and truly entrenched in the Great War (WWI). Australian women, often with husbands or sons fighting overseas, were anxious about the fate of their loved ones, and were particularly susceptible to psychic’s who traded upon that vulnerability.
Psychics, claiming to possess the occult powers that could tell their clients the where abouts, or upcoming movements of their loved ones, was a regular occurrence. The newspapers at the time stated that women of the era were “interested in the war, such haphazard guesses (by psychics) were apt to be singularly appropriate.”
 The meaning of this statement is quite clear. The authorities of the time were worried that these self-proclaimed psychics were keeping up to date with war news via the newspapers, and when a client came asking about their significant loved one at war, the psychic would make an educated guess as to where the loved one might be; thus the client would believe the psychic was really getting these messages from spirit, and would return to spend more money…and on the cycle goes.
 The first psychic to face the courts was Madam Fitzsimmons, who was accused of working her charms on a lady named Maude Wilcher.
This psychic had claimed that Maude’s husband was alive and well, and she would see him very soon. She claimed the husband was in Egypt, not France, and fighting among the Turks. She also claimed the couple would have, that another baby.
 Prosecutor Shierlaw laid the information through section 67 of the Police Act 1916. The Act proclaimed that rogues and vagabonds are liable to imprisonment with hard labour, for a period not exceeding three months, such people as pretended to tell fortunes, practice palmistry etc, in order to deceive the public.
 This act was handed down to South Australian War from our English ancestry. It came directly from the English Vagrant Act of 1824 (George IV), which put in place protections against fortune tellers.
In basic terms, the act made it illegal to practice in connection to a craft, means or device beyond physical dexterity, to employ some invisible agency to deceive and impose upon others. Fortune telling could only be sold as an amusement, not as a truthful piece of information.
As it turned out, Maude Wilcher’s husband had already departed, she was a widow, and her visit was part of a small sting operation by the Women’s Police Department. Fitzsimmons was found guilty and fined 10 pounds. (About $1000 in today’s money).
Other psychics found guilty in the trial included Madame Amalia, madam Phyllis, Madam Rosa, Mrs Vear, Madam Mora, Charabella Fisher, Mrs Hamilton, Mrs Glennie and Mrs Loftus – all of whom were find 9 pounds.
 The following psychics all pleaded not guilty, and went to further trial: Madam Luna, Professor Mernox, Madam Illah, Mrs Kennedy, Mrs Barr, Madam Zillah, Miss Melrose, Madam Thelma, and Mrs Duguett. (At this point I do not know the outcomes of their trials, perhaps that will be another blog.
In South Australia, the current laws still take into account fraudulent psychics claims. 
40—Acting as a spiritualist, medium etc with intent to defraud A person who, with intent to defraud, purports to act as a spiritualist or medium, or to exercise powers of telepathy or clairvoyance or other similar powers, is guilty of an offence.
Maximum penalty: $10 000 or imprisonment for 2 years.
Researched and written by Allen Tiller ©2017

1917 ‘CLAIRVOYANTS IN COURT.’, The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 – 1929), 23 June, p. 10. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59147540

1917 ‘FORTUNE TELLING AND CRYSTAL GAZING’, Daily Herald (Adelaide, SA : 1910 – 1924), 23 June, p. 6. , viewed 18 Sep 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article105413057