Octavius Beale

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Octavius Beale (23 February 1850 – 16 December 1930) was an Irish-born Australian piano manufacturer and a philanthropist.[1]

Beale formed a company to import sewing machines and pianos in 1879, after which he established Australia's first piano factory in Annandale, 1893.[2]The factory ceased production in 1975.[3]

He served as president of the New South Wales Chamber of Commerce and a trustee of the Australian Museum, and the Bank of New South Wales (Westpac).[4]

In 1903, Beale was appointed one of twelve members of a Royal Commission into the decline of the birth rate in New South Wales. He later conducted, at his own expense, a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Secret Drugs, 1905-1910. The two-volume report records the criminal unscrupulousness of manufacturers and advertisers.

Marriage and family[edit]

Beale married Elizabeth (Lilly) Baily (1856 – 1901) at the Congregational Church, Woollahra, New South Wales, and they had thirteen children. After Lily's death he married her sister Katherine on 4 March 1903. The children from the first marriage were:[5]

  • Mado Beale
  • Margaret Elizabeth (1875–1964)
    Margaret married the Rev A.P. Campbell OBE (1881–1963), a Congregational church minister and chairman of the Congregational Union of Australia and New Zealand from 1937 until 1939. They had a daughter and three sons.[6]
  • Lionel Charles (1877–1961)
  • Ruth Beale (1879–1964)
    Ruth married R.T. Lamble
  • Reginald Hugo (1880–1924)
  • Ronald Matheson (1882–1866)
  • Edgar Francis (1884–1918)
  • Rupert Octavius (1887–1957)
  • Harold Strangman Beale (1889–1936)
    Harold was educated at Newington College[7] commencing in 1904.[8]
  • Octavius Cyril Beale (1891–1969)
    Cyril was educated at Newington College commencing in 1904. He was a Gunner in the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade serving during WWI from February until August 1917.[9] He married Alice Gertrude Marion Burford (1886–1925) on 11 November 1914. She was a daughter of William Burford of Adelaide.
  • Dr Hector Llewellyn Beale (1892–1959)
    Hector was educated at Newington College commencing in 1904. He graduated MB ChM from the University of Sydney in 1916. He was a medical officer serving during WWI from 1917 until January 1919. He married Florence Henderson in Aberdeen.[10]
  • Hilda Dorothea Beale (1896–1970)
  • Mary Patricia Beale (1898–1972)

On his death in a motor vehicle accident in Stroud, New South Wales, Beale was survived by his second wife and ten of his 13 children.[11]


  1. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography – Octavius Beale
  2. ^ Irish in Australia
  3. ^ Robert Palmieri; Margaret W. Palmieri (2003). The Piano: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-415-93796-2. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Michael Atherton (December 1990). Australian made, Australian played: handcrafted musical instruments from didjeridu to synthesiser. New South Wales University Press. p. 42. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Family Free
  6. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography – Rev A P Campbell
  7. ^ Newington College Register of Past Students 1863-1998 (Syd, 1999) pp11
  8. ^ "DEATHS OF OTHER CITIZENS.". The Sydney Morning Herald (30,755). New South Wales, Australia. 29 July 1936. p. 10. Retrieved 18 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  9. ^ AWM Octavius Cyril Beale Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  10. ^ Australian Doctors on the Western Front Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  11. ^ "MR. O. C. BEALE.". The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954). NSW: National Library of Australia. 17 December 1930. p. 13. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 

See also[edit]