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]

  • Margaret Elizabeth married the Rev Alexander Petrie Campbell OBE (1881–1963) who was an Australian-born 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
  • Ruth
  • Reginald Hugo
  • Ronald Matheson
  • Francis Edgar
  • Rupert Octavius
  • Harold Strangman
  • Octavius Cyril
  • Hilda Dorothea
  • Mary
  • Hector
  • Florence

On his death in a motor vehicle accident in Stroud, New South Wales, Beale was survived by his second wife and ten children.[7]


  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. ^ "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]