Miss Nellie Stewart
Miss Nellie Stewart
Postcard. Author’s Collection.

In the middle of the herb garden at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens is located a memorial plaque to one of Australia’s most popular stage actresses. Born in Woolloomooloo in 1858, Eleanor Towzey Stewart, better known as ‘Nellie’ became a household name during her career in song and on stage which lasted over .. years.

Nellie was a passenger on the Wimmera on several occasions, all of which as a member of dramatic companies on tour between Australia and New Zealand. She first travelled on the Wimmera in March 1905, when, at the end of a season of ‘Sweet Nell of Old Drury’ at the Sydney Lyceum, she and other members of ‘Mr. Musgrove’s Dramatic Company’ departed for Dunedin to open a new season at…

The company remained in New Zealand for several months, performing in …

Nellie Stewart and the Company had just completed a tour of New Zealand playing in Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, Marton, New Plymouth, Hawera, Wanganui, Christchurch… with “Old Heidelberg”, “Sweet Nell of Old Drury”, “Pretty Peggy” after returning earlier from across the Pacific following a tour of the United States. Unfortunately Sweet Nell’s tour of New Zealand was marred by the theft of jewellery and valuable papers which were taken from her hotel room in Auckland.
Nellie and members of Musgrove’s (“Sweet Nell” Theatrical) Dramatic Company (or the Nellie Stewart Company) (or Mr George Musgrove’s New English Dramatic Co.) joined the Wimmera again on 7 August when they departed Bluff for Hobart to open a short season in Tasmania. After disembarking the Wimmera in Tasmania she played to audiences in Hobart and Launceston before continuing on to Melbourne.

Nellie Stewart
Nellie Stewart
Photograph. Author’s Collection.

In January 1911 Nellie Stewart was again a passenger on the Wimmera, arriving in Sydney from New Zealand…

Actress Nellie Stewart and members of Musgrove’s (“Sweet Nell” Theatrical) Dramatic Company (or the Nellie Stewart Company) (or Mr George Musgrove’s New English Dramatic Co.) journeyed from Bluff to Hobart aboard the Wimmera in early August 1905. Nellie Stewart and the Company had just completed a tour of New Zealand playing in Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, Marton, New Plymouth, Hawera, and Wanganui with “Old Heidelberg”, “Sweet Nell of Old Drury”, “Pretty Peggy” after returning earlier from across the Pacific following a tour of the United States.

Unfortunately Sweet Nell’s tour of New Zealand on this occasion was marred by the theft of jewellery and valuable papers which were taken from her hotel room in Auckland.

After disembarking the Wimmera in Tasmania she played to audiences in Hobart and Launceston before continuing on to Melbourne.

The memorial to Nellie Stewart in the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney
‘IN MEMORY OF A BELOVED AUSTRALIAN ACTRESS NELLIE STEWART DIED 21ST JUNE 1932’
The memorial to Nellie Stewart in the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney
Author’s photograph. 19 December 2018.

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