St Matthew's Anglican Church
Hamilton, South Australia
B 1914 J.E. Dodd. 3m, 21spst, 10c, tub.pn
Action electrified 1992 George Stephens.
Gt: 126.96.36.199.4. Sw: 188.8.131.52.8.4.8. Ch: 184.108.40.206.4.8. Ped: 16.16.8
From the 2009 OHTA Conference Book, David Shield wrote:
St Matthew’s Anglican Church at Hamilton is a memorial church. Built and furnished in 1896, at the expense of one man, it replaced an earlier structure built in 1857. It was built by a nephew for his uncle, a husband for his wife, and, especially, by a father grieving the loss of his only daughter. It has possessed two fine organs, the first being relocated to St Oswald’s Anglican Church in Parkside, an Adelaide suburb.
Henry Dutton was the son of William H. Dutton who, with his brother Frederick, developed large pastoral leases in New South Wales and South Australia early in the 19th century. Using managers, Frederick, with another brother Francis, worked the South Australian property initially known as Pudna, then Anlaby.1 Frederick did not marry and lived most of his life in England. Brother Francis, with Charles Bagot, found copper in 1842 at Kapunda, sold his share in the mine and followed other pursuits, eventually becoming Agent-General for South Australia in London. It was he who handled the arrangements in connection with the Hill & Son organ for the Adelaide Town Hall.2
William died in 1849 and his young son was sent to be educated at St Peter’s College in Adelaide. For the 30 years following his schooling, Henry was associated with the Bank of South Australia. He married Helen Elizabeth Thomas.3 In 1890 his bachelor uncle Frederick died and Henry, being the only surviving son of William, succeeded to Anlaby.4
In 1892 tragedy struck. The family had been holidaying at Victor Harbor when Henry’s 15-year-old daughter fell on Granite Island. The news was telegraphed to the media in Adelaide and published on Tuesday 9 February:
Fearful Fatality at Granite Island (By Telegraph).
Victor Harbour February 8. This afternoon Miss Dutton, daughter of Mr Dutton of Anlaby fell over the cliffs off Granite Island, a depth of about 80 feet. She was dashed on the rocks below and then into the water. The body was recovered.5
Her funeral left Christ Church, North Adelaide for the North Road cemetery on Wednesday and a “large number followed the remains to the grave”. The following day there appeared the notice of death of Ethel da Silva Dutton from an accidental fall from the rocks Granite Island, the beloved and only daughter of Helen and Henry Dutton aged 16 years.6
He might well have lost his wife as well. Whether induced by the tragic death of her daughter or owing to natural cause, Mrs Dutton became practically an invalid, suffering from heart disease. She withdrew from society and was not widely known. She died of her illness on 8 October 1901.7
One can only imagine the sorrow that led Henry to construct the church at Hamilton at no expense and present it to the Kapunda parish. The foundation stone was laid with due ceremony on 11 September 1896. Dutton had already given many beautiful fittings and ornaments to the church of 1857 that were to be removed to the new church at its consecration.8 The church is described as of a simple Norman design, the original architect was F.T. Naish, the builders E. James & Co. Walter Bagot supervised later additions. No expense was spared, the three lights of the eastern window came from Powells of London while the nave windows came from Percy Bacon & Bros, London, a firm which also supplied lamps for the nave, brass angels bearing candles to adorn the reredos and designs for the reredos itself. The oak fittings and carvings (including a superb traceried rood screen), were imported from London and Sir Thomas Jackson, the English artist and architect, designed the elaborate chancel roof. The splendid silver fittings were made by Mappin & Webb, London.9
It comes as no surprise that a large organ was placed in the church, though why Frederick Taylor was chosen as the builder is unknown. Henry Dutton was an organist in his own right. In 1871 he had initiated the ordering of the Gern organ for Christ Church, North Adelaide.10 At the consecration of St Matthew’s in December 1896, he led the musical portion of service and he often presided at the organ on other occasions.11 Taylor had been apprenticed to Fincham starting his own business in 1900. His first new organ was completed in 1903 for St David’s Presbyterian Church, Geelong so the Dutton instrument must have been one of his earliest.12 The Revd G. Griffiths dedicated the organ on Sunday 11 December 1904.13
What motivated Henry to purchase a second organ becomes clear in the correspondence of Dodd. Even allowing for professional jealousy, it would seem that the Taylor organ was giving trouble. In a letter to the organist in Mount Gambier, he says “the instrument appears to have not given the old gentleman very great satisfaction, and, as it required rebuilding, he decided to have a new instrument which would not be a continual source of expense.” He went on to say, “this organ we are rebuilding throughout and it is going to St. Oswald’s Church”.14 In a letter to the Rector and Church wardens of St Oswald’s, Dodd outlined those faults he intended to rectify. These included a faulty wind supply and unsound soundboards. Revoicing, especially in the wood stops and a complete re-regulation was included as was the reconstruction and resetting out of the console [assumed, original words indecipherable] which had been “built in total opposition to all existing standards of organ design and planning, and, as at present, from a players standpoint is not workable.”15
Negotiations had begun with Dodd as early as August 1913, Dutton wanting the case to be to be designed by G.K. Soward, an Adelaide architect.16 The majority of the work had been machined by November, the ordering of the pipes being delayed by differences between builder and architect with regard to the case. Soward wanted no compromise for the building; Dodd wanted none for the organ. Once this was resolved there was a delay in the delivery of the pipes, Dodd blaming Meeks his reed voicer who “will not under any circumstances increase his staff to meet special demands”. At the beginning of July, Dodd expected to dismantle the old organ in the first week in August and thanked Dutton for the preliminary arrangements made to accommodate the erecting staff.17
Henry’s death itself was also somewhat of a tragedy. He died on 25 August 1914 on the eve of the installation of his new organ which cost £9220.127.116.11
Notified by cable, his son and daughter-in-law, who were in London, arrived back in Adelaide on Saturday 17 October. The organ was opened a week later on Sunday 24 October. Mrs H.H. Dutton, a competent musician herself, played the voluntary and recessional and Mr C. de N. Lucas presided at the organ during the service.19 The organ was the last of the many beautiful gifts that Henry Dutton made to the Hamilton Church.
The instrument is of note for its very fine casework, its romantic-symphonic tonal design, with two undulating ranks, and its luxurious console, the only one constructed by J.E. Dodd with solid ivory drawstops. The action was originally tubular-pneumatic throughout but this was carefully electrified in 1992 by George Stephens, but without any external alteration.
The first pipe organ, built by Frederick Taylor, Hawthorn, Victoria, was dedicated 11 December 1904:20
Frederick Taylor 1904
3 manuals, 17 speaking stops, mechanical & tubular-pneumatic action
Lieblich Stop Diap
wood bass, metal trebles
Balanced swell pedals to swell and Choir
4 composition pedals
Pipework on Great and Swell of spotted metal
J.E. Dodd 1914; action electrified George Stephens Pty Ltd 1992
3 manuals, 21 speaking stops, electro-pneumatic action
Swell to Great
Choir to Great
Swell Super Octave
Tremulant by trigger pedal
CHOIR ORGAN (enclosed)
8 gvd.bass CC-BB
Choir Sub octave
Choir Super octave
Swell to Choir
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Choir to Pedal
3 thumb pistons to Great
3 thumb pistons to Swell
2 combinations by trigger pedals
Balanced swell pedals to Swell and Choir
Photos: Trevor Bunning (Oct 2009)
1 The property was efficiently run by four managers to 1901, the first being Mr Alexander Buchanan (died 21 May 1865 Register 22 May 1865). He was followed by H. Morris, P.M. Miller and Mayoh Miller, his son – Pascoe, J.J., ed. History of Adelaide and Vicinity (1901), p.429
2 Pascoe J.J., op.cit, p.428
3 The surname can only be determined from the birth registrations of the two children Ethel de Silva Dutton 3 February 1876 and Henry Hampton Dutton 13 February 1879. The marriage registration requires further research.
4 Three brothers had died: William Broughton Dutton died aged 25 in June 1863 – Register, 29 June 1863; Ewen Wallace C. Dutton in October 1864 aged 17 – Register, 27 October 1864; and Charles George C.Dutton July 1887 aged 45 – Register, 15 July 1887, p. 4.4
5 Register, 9 February 1892, p. 6.2
6 Funeral – Register, 10 February 1892, p. 2.1; report – Register, 11 February 1892, p. 5.1; death notice Register, 11 February 1892, p. 4.3
7 Register, 10 October 1901, pp. 4.2,4.9; Kapunda Herald, 11 October 1901, p. 3.1; Chronicle, 19 October 1901, p. 3.1
8 Laying the foundation stone, Kapunda Herald, 11 September 1896, p. 2.2
9 Andrews, Brian, Gothic in South Australian Churches (1984), pp.44-46
10 Bulbeck, A.L. This Stone Which I Have Set Up (1949), pp.42, 45
11 Dedication was Wednesday 2 December by Bishop Harmer, Kapunda Herald, 4 December 1896, p. 3.6
12 Rushworth, Graeme D.,. Historic Organs of New South Wales (1988), p.196
13 Smith, Revd L.G. (comp.), Dutton Memorial Church 1896-1956
14 Dodd to Mrs Sampson 21 October 1914: DLB 1913-16, pp.164-166
15 Dodd to Rector & churchwardens, St. Oswald’s Church, 18 August 1913: ibid., pp.195-199
16 Dodd reveals his first knowledge of Soward’s involvement in a letter to Dutton’s executors dated 21 October 1914: DLB 1909-1914, pp. 154-157. Soward was also the architect for the Soldiers’ Memorial Hall at Tanunda where the Hill & Son organ is housed.
17 Ibid., Dodd to Dutton 10 November 1913, pp.19-20; ibid., 2 April 1914, pp.79-80; ibid., 3 July 1914; ibid., 7 July1914, p.110.
18 Kapunda Herald, 28 August 1914, p. 2.5
19 Kapunda Herald, 16 October 1914, p.2.4; ibid., 23 October 1914, p. 2.5; ibid., 30 October 1914, p. 2.6
20 In Smith, op.cit. and stop names based upon those existing at St Oswald’s, Parkside.