Thursday, April 30, 2020

A Cartesian couple: I love ya honey, but the tour is over. You keep the baby.

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Well, well, well .... persistence pays ...

I was disappointed when I failed, a few articles back, to sort out Minnie Keene. I like the name 'Minnie' ... we have a Minnie in our family


Well, I put Miss Keene unwillingly aside, and moved on. But she was there all the time, being coy, and last night I busted her. In the marriage registers. And whaaaat! Marrying another Cartesian: Mr John Carrington. I hadn't yet gone into him, for 'Carrington' had the airs of a pseudonym. But it wasn't ... and neither was Keen[e] ...


So I delved ...

John CARRINGTON (b Cottingworth, Yorks 1867; d Rampoa, NY 13 August 1932). Son of clergyman-schoolmaster Thomas Carrington (b Longford, Derbyshire 1842; d Chipping Camden 24 July 1911) and his wife Ellen, John was brought up in the various places to which his father's employment led him. Apparently from Keston, Kent, to Cottingworth, to Docking, Norfolk, to Lambeth, London. Aged 13, in Lambeth, he is a church chorister. Aged 23, he is at King's College, Cambridge as a 'singing man'. Age 24, he is a different kind of chorister ... with the D'Oyly Carte. Apparently he joined up in March 1892, so he must have been a quick worker: he married chorus lassie Minnie in July. And they had a daughter, Dorothy Nelle (b Lambeth 12 November 1893; d 21 Byron Avenue, Coulsdon 24 January 1970) the following year. John continued singing with the company until mid-1895. And then he dropped wife and baby and, in 1896, scarpered to America, alone. He turns up at the Castle Square opera in 1898 ('the well-known bass of the D'Oyly Carte company') playing Private Willis and Samuel, and singing 'The Brave Rough Riders' at a Theodore Roosevelt rally  .. he got a job as a church singer at Trinity Chapel, Manhattan, sang at St Anne's in the Heights, Brooklyn, and seems to have settled back into a life as a church singer ... . and, on the way he acquired a (bigamous?) wife named Anne née Egan, and an (illegitimate?) daughter named Barbara (b California 17 November 1906). I see him church singing in St Mark's Lutheran, San Francisco ('until recently Trinity Chapel'), in 1905 and he remained 'the popular baritone' in the area ('Professor John Carrington') until 1911 when he returned to New York. I see him still singing in 1919, but in 1930 he is listed as 'schoolmaster'.
In 1900 Witmark published some sacred songs he had written with Nat D Mann ('The Great Beyond', 'Promises of Light').



Meanwhile, back in Britain. Minnie KEEN (b Hoxton ?19 September 1864; d ?Croydon 1951) was the third daughter of one John Hopkins Keen (b Mear, Somerset, corn dealer; d Chelsea 1895) and his wife Henrietta née Jacobs. Mr Keen gave up corn, and became 'traveller for a photographic store', and 16 year-old Minnie was employed as a 'photographic packer'. However, at some stage she entered the theatre, and in 1889 she can be seen touring for Lingard and van Biene as Minna in Falka. 1891 I spot her in digs in Norwich with producer Charles Wibrow and family and two colleagues, 'Marguerite Lillian' and Lizzie Williams. Well, at that stage Wibrow was touring Paul Jones, and had been for some time. I imagine the girls were in the chorus. I also imagine (lot of imagination, carefully applied, need here) that she joined Carte around the same time as Carrington. We've had the story of the marriage and the child, and in the 1901 census I see little Dorothy is being looked after by the Rev Carringtons, at his new fief of Chipping Camden. Minnie is not in evidence. But I find her again in 1911. She's living at 77 Palace Road, Lambeth, with her widowed mother and aunt, sister Esther ('shopkeeper facy goods'), brother Ernest, and daughter Dorothy ('student, civil service'), and listed as 45 years old and a widow. Which, of course, she wasn't. A further member of the household was boarder John Alexander Tulloch (b Ireland 22 October 1862; d Palace Road, Tulse Hill 8 March 1941). Mr Tulloch and Mrs Carrington were still sharing a home 30 years on, so ...   Dorothy married, in 1916, Captain Arthur Lindsay Horsburgh (16th London Regiment) and declared that her father was 'deceased' and a 'gentleman'. He was, of course, neither. Put not thy faith in public documents.

The marriage certicate above was interesting. Married on tour, eh? No mum and dad or siblings as witnesses. Those witnesses look like workmates to me. I'd definitely seems M Forbes Wilson before. But none of the names appeared in the Archive, So I searched a bit. 'Maggie Forbes WILSON' [WILSON, Margaret, b 1861] was definitely a sometime Cartesian. I see her in 1900, collecting raffle money in the company. And in 1891, she had played in In Summer Days, with a bundle of other Carte players. Florence [Frances Mathilda] D'ALQUEN (1870-1951) was a pianist and vocalist, daughter of Frank d'Alquen, singer, and very likely a company member as well. William Webster Payne (?1862-1906) I don't know about. But he can't have been very bright. He couldn't even spell his own signature.

So, there is the tale of yet another couple, whose marriage lasted the length of a Cartesian contract ... they kept my at my task until 1am ... but I got them in the end ....


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Cartesians: The smaller they are, the harder they fall (into my net) ....

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Well, I started out, yestermorn, to clean up, as well as I could, that 1894 Utopia Company as itemised on George Low's pay sheet. I didn't do badly, but, of course, I got sidetracked, so my offering, 24 hours later, is a bit of a mishmash of Cartesians from all over ...

Samuel [Inman] SCHOFIELD (b Oldham 23 January 1862; d USA) was a member of the Carte companies for five years, 1890-5, as a chorister and small part-player. He was born in Oldham, son of  cotton-mill manager, Henry Schofield, and his wife Sarah Ann, and initially worked as a secretary in the mill, before trying his hand at the stage. He dubbed himself 'operatic vocalist' when 2 July 1894 he married Susan Mellis Carlin (b 26 October 1866; d Fulham 1948) from Waterloo, Lancs. A son, Henry William Mellis Carlin was born at 91 Drayton Gardens 6 March 1898, and soon after both marriage and stage career ended. By the 1901 census, Sam is back being a 'clerk' in Willesden; Susan at the baby are in Broadstairs. In 1907, Sam scarpered to America, declaring himself single and childless. I see him living alone in West 136th street 'legal bookkeeper' in 1930 ...  As a teenager, baby Henry joined the Indian Army and sailed out of my ken ...



Another who made of his time with the Carte his whole career as a professional singer was [William] Crosby HOPPS (b Easingwold 14 August 1869; d Los Angeles 25 December 1941). The son of John George Hopps and his wife Elizabeth née Jepson, he was engaged as an assistant schoolmaster at Tockwith, Yorkshire, and from the age of 20 began to be featured in local concerts as a tenor singer. York Penny Concerts, York Corn Exchange, Easingworld People's Concerts etc. In 1892, he tried the experience of professionalism, and spent some three years with the Carte tours ..


Then, he too, headed for Canada and America (1898). In 1900 I see him (and his mother) in Minneapolis. He has, on the way, acquired a wife, Harriet née Lunn, a daughter, Kathleen, and what? A fourteen-year-old 'son' named Don. In 1900 he is a vocal teacher, in 1910, now in Missouri, he has a music shop, in 1920 he is a 'salesman', in 1930, in Los Angeles, he and his wife have a tea-rooms ... the days of Pedro Gomez, Sir Bailey Barre and night, in 1895, he went on for John Macauley as Captain Fitzbattleaxe must have seemed like a dream.

John [Brereton] MACAULEY (?USA; d ?3 November 1915) is a wee bit of a puzzle. The date of death I've pinched from the Archive. The only documentation I had was his 1911 census entry. He says  -- at least I assume it's he -- he's 42, a music-hall artist (character vocalist), born USA and, under married he's put 'grass widow' which a humourless official has altered to 'married'. So I followed up ... and found him a middle name ...



Professionally, Macauley seems to have started out in Ivanhoe and La Basoche at the English Opera House, before replacing Courtice Pounds at the Savoy as John Manners in Haddon Hall, and then going on tour in Haddon Hall, The Vicar of BrayUtopia (Limited) and Mirette. In 1896 I spot him playing in a small compay playing wild-west drama (One of the Bravest, On the Frontier), in 1897 at the Clapham Washington Theatre of Varieties 'late principal tenor Royal English Opera House and Savoy Theatre' and in 1898 at the Johannesburg Empire ('operatic singer'). Over the next decade he pops up at the Crystal Palace in their Café Chantant and as Santa Claus in their Christmas show, at the London Pavilion, at the Alexandra Palace ballad concerts, and later at various Hippodrome and Empires ('character actor and vocalist') ... Surely, its the same man .. 42 years old? Well ... we were all young once. Oh, I see that Violet Eugenie (b 6 July 1885; d Salisbury 1941) married again in 1921: a Czech 'artiste' Frantisek Gebhart (b 13 January 1876)  and they were still professing 'music-hall artiste' in 1939 ..


Back to the Utopia list. Florence HUNTER. Unfortunately, there were two simultaneous theatrical 'Florence Hunter's, but our one apparently didn't go on after her Carte engagement of nearly three years. Except to motherhood et al Florence was born into a complicated family as Florence Tulk HART (b Bow 2 or 10 March 1865; d Stockley Cross, Stanton-on-Arrow, Kingston 15 October 1950).  Sometimes father Arthur Marmaduke Hart called himself Hart, sometimes Tulk, sometimes more expansively Tulk-Hart. Marmaduke was a doctor from Walham Green and his wife seems to have been Helen Gwynne née Symes. I'm not going into the Harts or Tulk-Harts, I shall just say that Florence was the eldest of four daughters ...  So. Our Florence joins Carte, and there she finds her (immediate) future. She married the tenor. And yes, it was going to turn out a typical flop. [J] Van Rensselaer Wheeler (b Pennsylvania 1869; d 304 New York W 74th Street, 15 February 1919) was a young American vocalist who had arrived in London in 1893 (3 June) and swiftly got a job as leading tenor with Carte's touring company. Amost as quickly, he got married to Florence. A son, Edmund van Rensselaer Morrison Wheeler was born in High Holborn 26 February 1895, a daughter Helen Constance the following year, by which time the Wheelers had returned, it seems, to America where Wheeler was to have a fine career as a leading man in comic opera and musical comedy between 1896 and 1917. I suspect the marriage lasted much less time. In the 1900 USA census, Wheeler is living with his mother, Charlotte Dolliver (father: van Rensselaer Morrison) in New York, and Florence can be seen crossing the Atlantic with her two babies. Helen died in 1909 aged 13. In 1911, Florence and Edmund (1895-1976) are also back living with her mother ... temporary or permanent? The latter, I feel ...  Wheeler died 'of acute indigestion' aged 50, and his obituary remarked only 'he is survived by his mother'. Florence lived another 40 years ...


Let's have one that survived his Carte years. I was going to wait with Arthur WATTS until I had some dates with which to decorate him, but there are so many Arthur Wattses ... one much more famous than he ... and tracking him down proved excessively boring. Even though the famous AW called himself 'Arthur Williams' for his stage triumphs (Lurcher in Dorothy) and marital misdemeanours. So all I can offer, for our Arthur, is a summary of his quarter of a century as a fine musical-theatre comedian. I first spot him in 1884 'character comedian', then in pantomine as King Rat at the Price of Wales, Liverpool. He played Bogumil in The Beggar Student at the Comedy Theatre (1886), toured in leading comic roles in Erminie, Little Jack Sheppard and Les Manteau Noirs. He was cast as Zeberdy Slim in a trashy piece, Madcap Midge, at the Opera Comique, but made up for that by supporting Willie Edouin in Our Flat. He went back on the provincial circuits for In Summer Days (Mons Jacques) and Madame Cartouche starring Guilia Warwick in 1891, teamed with Watty Brunton in the Crystal Palace Babes in the Wood, and took up the role of Curro in the rewritten The Magic Ring for its brief life. He was playing in variety for John Tiller before he took on his job with the D'Oyly Carte to play Phantis in Utopia (Ltd).
He played pantomime in Dublin and Bradford, split by an engagement to play in Buttercup and Daisy for William Greet, before, in 1896, he created the role of his career, as the French gendarme, Paul Lecuire in the hit musical, The French Maid. He would return to his role over and over again in the next five years. In between times her played in All Abroad, The New Barmaid, Washington Quincey Queerpoint Porgan in a written-in comic role in The Belle of Cairo', Lt Lambton in The Houp La Girl (1904) and I last see him playing in S'Nero with M R Morand at the Coliseum (1906). And never a hint as to his life, his wife, his abode ...  shucks!

When I was doing George Cockburn, child actor, I spotted him on tour in Scotland in the 1881 census: accompanied by a more notable child, the Joseph Porter KCB of the juvenile troupe. George had fibbed about his age to make himself more prodigy-ous, so I wondered if Edward had too. He had. And the Archive alerted me to the fact that there may be two little Master Pickerings. And there were.
[James] Edward PICKERING (b St Martin in the Fields 6 April 1868; d 118 Els Rd, Clapham Common 7 August 1920) and [Edward] Albert PICKERING (b 6 April or June 1870; d ?Eltham 26 February 1943) were amongst the children of James Mark Pickering, a wine merchant from Bethnal Green, and his wife Sarah née Halford. The boys stayed in the theatre after their childish experience, Edward is censussed as a 'box office manager', Albert as a 'theatrical manager', or in 1939 'cinema manager'.


Edward married Rosina Ellen Wilkins, and sired a Phyllis Rosina and a William Henry, Albert married ... yes, well there are several Edward Albert marriages, and at least two of them appear to be our man ...

And, to finish, one more ephemeral Cartesian, who started her teenage career as a teeange chorus girl in Carte's Continental tour and went on to make the occasional splash. Daisy BALDRY [BURTON, Daisy] (b Norwich 4 January 1868; d ?Norwich 1937) was the daughter of Frederick Charles Burton, sometime a lay clerk, and Sarah née Baldry, a sometime music teacher. After her early experience with Carte, she was engaged for the Greenwich pantomime, and caught at least one eye 'tall and fair to see, with a quiet style and refined enunciation not too often foundon the pantomime boards, look classically beautiful and sings her ballad 'For You' with great delicacy and feeling'. Pantomime would become an annual event for Daisy...


She followed up with a leg-role in The Brigands, Bacchus/Proserpine for Augustus Harris to the Venus of Kitty Loftus then Belle Bilton, Lieutenant Wright in Beauty and the Beast, and Orphues and Peurydice. Also a member of the Harris troupes was one Thomas Dalton Walker, a clown known as 'Whimsical Walker': Daisy married him ..


Between pantomimes, she played Vesta in Willie Edouin's Binks the Downy Photographer, Flo Honeydew in The Lady Slavey (1894-6), Countess de la Blague in Morocco Bound (1895), Nellie Pinder in Albert Chevalier's The Land of Nod (1897), alongside Decima Moore and Frederick Ranalow in The Runaway Girl (1898), and Cora Angelique in The Belle of New York (1900), before taking a short turn in drama (The Law and the Man) and Fred Karno's troupe (Her Majesty's Guests). Then she returned to The Belle of New York for a long stint. The reason was to become obvious: Blinky Bill. The gentleman who whistled as 'Mack Olive'. Mr Whimsical Walker sued for divorce, naming names, Daisy counter-attacked, feathers flew, penny-a-liners rubbed their hands ... and I guess the divorce happened, for in 1916 Daisy officially became the wife of James Smith Fleetwood of Ramsgate with whom she had been living since, and who, I presume, was 'Mack Olive' as they'd been doing a music-hall whistling act together (The Candy Store) since the divorce ... I don't know when he died, but Daisy seems ultimately to have returned to Norwich ...


And now I suppose I have to have another go at bloody Fred Drawater


Drawater (right) with Jessie Rose, Strafford Moss and Clara Dow, madrigalling in The Mikado ...

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Cartesians: Tell a tale of cock and bull ....?

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Lovely autumn day for New Zealand's first day of marginal liberty. So I've been out pulling the odd weed, dead-heading the odd rose (behind locked gates, we don't want to disobey the Baroness!), and lethargically bashing away, between times, at some of the really anynomous Cartesians of whom I expected nothing. So far, 3pm, I've got just about that. Onlt two or three hits. But on my travels, I find the odd curiosity. Such as this 1909 article.


The reporter seems dubious as to the truth of the man's story. And I suspect that most of his readers had a disbelieving giggle, as well. But, apart from the list of credits, I can prove every single word true. So why should those paltry credits be lies?

Martin Edward Townsend was born in Sculcoates, in 1859, the son of a warehouseman, William Townsend and his wife, Mary Ann née ?Dooley. By 1891 he is 'professional operatic' (father is now an 'oyster vendor'). But he soon left the profession and moved to Wales, where he met a lady named Maude Mary Maund, the widow of a local gentleman. Mrs Maund was baby-blue-blooded, as he said ... her maiden name was Arundell... one of the Arundells of Wardour ..

Arundell, Theodore (1828-68). Only son of Henry Raymond Arundell (1799-1886) and his first wife, Mary Isabel, daughter of Sir Thomas Constable, bt., born 17 June 1828. An officer in the 80th Regiment. He married, 24 October 1854, his cousin, Louisa (c.1824-1907), daughter of John Hussey of Nash Court (Dorset) and had issue:
(1) Agnes Mary Arundell (1855-1912), born in Guernsey, 21 August 1855; died unmarried, 29 February 1912; will proved 7 May 1912 (estate £1,419);
(2) Raymond Robert Arundell (1856-86), born 11 November 1856; died unmarried at Cannington, 14 February 1886; will proved 21 May 1886 (estate £6,233);
(3) Blanche Mary Arundell (1857-1928), born in Guernsey, 8 December 1857; a nun at Taunton (Somerset); died 6 November 1928;
(4) Edgar Clifford Arundell (1859-1921), 14th Baron Arundell of Wardour (q.v.);
(5) Gerald Arthur Arundell (1861-1939), 15th Baron Arundell of Wardour (q.v.);
(6) Maud Mary Arundell (1864-1924), born at Cannington (Somerset), Jul-Sept 1864; married 1st, 9 August 1887, William Maund (1866-96), son of John Maund, wine merchant; and 2nd, 1896 (sep. after 1902), Martin Edward Townsend (1859-1931), actor; she reverted to her first married name after her separation, and died in Bristol, 8 March 1924; will proved 4 June 1924 (estate £1,461).

So not very well-heeled aristocrats. Anyway, sometime after 1901 (when they can be seen in Chepstow together) she bolted ... seemingly a serial bolter, she'd done the same to her first husband ... and Martin ended up making mats in the best little workhouse in Wales.

Sadly, none of George Low's pay lists include a Townsend, and I have disposed of all my programmes, but if anyone spots a Mr chorus Townsend on a Cartesian programme of the 80s or early 90s, do tell me. It will be Martin the Mat-Maker. (Blast! Now I'm humming 'Matmaker, matmaker, make me a mat...').

I spent a lot of time on George William COCKBURN (b Newington, c January 1868). Firstly because the 1906 Green Book gives him a birthdate some two years later (but, seemingly, no one notices his death), and secondly because he had a huge career as an actor, reaching over thirty years and nearly three pages of credits. Yes, I winkled them all out, just in case there were any musical ones. And there were.
George was born in Walworth, where his father, George was a hatter. His mother was Louisa Ann née Fussell, and she bore four daghters before giving George sr his namesake.  I see them at 60 Stamford Street in 1871, where George is plainly marked as being three years old. In 1881 he is in Scotland 'aged 12'. He is an 'operatic vocalist'. That means he is on tour with the Carte Juvenile HMS Pinafore company. His digs mates are [James] Edward Pickering who played Sir Joseph and Carte advance agent Vincent Wyld Oxberry.


He seems to have started his almost-adult career in 1895 with Adeline Montagu's touring troupe, and among a plethora of jobs in dramas and melodramas, including a series at the Standard Theatre I spot him playing the Grand Vizier in Aladdin (1887, with electrical tricks), singing the title-song as hero Richard Carlyon in the old-fashioned melodrama True Heart and taking a tour to South America with Edwin Cleary's Comic Opera Troupe (1890, prima donna: Leonora Braham), whilst playing in such as Proof and Theodora at the Princess's and the Olympic. In 1891 he created the role of the Marquis de Beaumont in A Royal Divorce with Murray Carson and 'Grace Hawthorne' as Napoléon and Josephine. A dozen years later, he was still playing A Royal Divorce in the provinces, giving his 'celebrated' performance as Napoléon. But in between times he had been seem in a galaxy of dramas at the Adelphi, the Princess's, the Shaftesbury, the Pavilion , he played Claudius and Banquo in London and Germany with Forbes Robertson and Mrs Patrick Campbell, and he took a turn right back to where he had started when he toured for Carte as Scaphio in Utopia (Ltd). Unfortunately he sprained his ankle, and Mr Stewart had to deputise for a while.
For a number of years he toured for W W Kelly in A Royal Divorce, even brushing London with performances at the Scala Theatre, as late as 1906. That same year he played in The Forty Thieves at the Coronet Theatre ...  he was still not yet forty ... but thereafter I see him only at Hull, in late 1910, playing in a fifth-class melodrama of popguns and what Dame Edna would call 'colour and movement', The King of the Wild West ... His mother, with whom he was still living, died that year ... and George goes beyond my ken. And everyone else's apparently...

I've meant, for a long time, to look into Jose[phine] SHALDERS (b Sydenham 1870; d Cape Town 25 January 1936). It seemed as if it ought to be a real name. Well, it was: sort of. Her mother was born Lucy Steele in 1835. In 1862 she married an elderly, widowed master-builder, Richard Shalders, with whom she had been living for some years, and by whom she had had two children. Two more were to follow before Mr Shalders imploded in 1864, leaving his widow his wealth. On condition that she did not remarry. So, what was a girl to do. Lucy and her four little ones shacked up with one Henry Johson, gent -- younger than Lucy, this time -- and produced three more children, before the 'couple' split up. And the last of these was Jose. Christened Johnson, she now reverted to being Shalders. And, in 1889 began her theatrical career with the Carte companies as a 'daintily coquettish' Phoebe Meryll. I see her in 1892 as the Princess in Aladdin at the Manchester Prince's, in 1893 with Amy Augarde as Aladdin at Glasgow, but in between times she had moved to the Savoy Theatre where she played in The Nautch Girl, Jane Annie, The Vicar of Bray, and The Gondoliers, before going back on the road. In 1894 she was hired for Hendersons' Extravaganza Company, and voyaged to America. And there she met a man. Arthur Ernest Attride. They were married in Chicago 5 September 1894, and divorced in 1898. Jose accused him of adultery and cruelty. He said nonsense she was 'a woman of violent and ungernable temper and drunken habits'. I lean to her version: his subsequent life (major fraud, bankruptcy) was not edifying.




The Extravaganza Co played Aladdin Jr in New York for 48 performances, after which Jose joined a touring A Trip to Chinatown company (1896), and then returned home where she moved into the role of one of the Trois Cousines in Florence St John's La Périchole at the Garrick. But that was it. She tried a serio-dancer act in variety, a male impersonator act, and one more pantomime, Dick Whittington at Stratford East (1899) ... she got rid of the bankrupted husband 'of Thavies Inn, Holborn, merchant'  ... and sailed for South Africa. There, in 1922, she remarried (as did Attride, back in England), and died, as Mrs William Colclough, in 1936. 

Having sorted Jose, I thought I would have another go at the lass from whom she took over the role of Banyan in The Nautch Girl, Miss Louise ROWE. Alas, I failed.

Percy Anderson design for Miss Rowe as Banyan.
The Archive tells us Louise was born in Redruth, but that leaves several possibilities and no clues. So her four years with Carte -- Phoebe Meryll ('a charming voice and a pleasing figure'), Tessa to the Gianetta of Carrie Donald, Banyan and later Chinna Loofah in place of Jessie Bond, Cynthia in The Vicar of Bray -- between 1889 and 1893 remain her only references.



I think an early night tonight. I won't get on to James Thomson Macmillan ... that's a whole day job ... or Peter Flucker ... and I stumbled over Alfred Adams and a whole shipload of Cartesians on their way to America in 1939 (way out of my period! what was I doing there?) which may throw up something of interest to someone


Well, maybe just ONE more dig ....  


Sunday, April 26, 2020

Cartesians: Brickwalls and birthdates ...

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Yesterday was a frustrating day. I shouldn't have got into George Low's 1894 paysheet for Utopia (Ltd). I ended up swimming in choristers about whom there was little to exhume but births, deaths and marriages, although even there there were one or two surprises. Largely, I got the ones who performed under approximations of their own names, but at least they can be crossed of my 'warrant for the arrest of' list. To wit:

Henry WIGLEY (b Worcester 7 May 1843; d Brighton 22 January 1935) by John Wigley cordwainer ex Sarah, bootbinder. Married Ellen ('Nellie') Cowell of Droitwich. By 1861 he is following his father's trade, in Blockhouse. Some time in the 1870s he spent time in America, and it was there that his daughter, Sarah 'Sadie' Lydia (b Philadephia 30 October 1874; d Hendon 1962) was born. Sadie WIGLEY also spent time with the Carte companies, played a chorus role in The Queen of Brilliants at the Lyceum Theatre (1894), danced in the tour of King Kodak (1895, leading lady Josephine Findlay), a long tour as Musette in Trilby (1895-6) and can be seen dancing Columbine in Puss in Boots at the Garrick (1889-90). On 15 August 1900 she wed John Robert Cobbing (1871-1955) of Brixton Hill.


Strange how an hotelier and a singing chorister become 'gentlemen' on public documents. Anyway, the couple had over half a century of married life, much at the Crown Hotel, Framlingham, and (among four children) a daughter, Sadie Evelyn Sydney (b Framlingham 23 October 1907, Mrs Donald L Fuller) who also went in for dancing. Henry can still be seen chorussing in Monte Carlo at the Avenue Theatre in 1896.

Next, Edward Louis Desiré BISHOP (b Marlborough, Wilts x 18 November 1868; d ??1942). The 6f 3ins Mr Bishop was the son of John Bishop, a customs officer, and his wife Louisa Rosabella née O'Dwyer from Ripon. They moved to Southampton, then to Millbrook ... and apparently he was a member of the Carte chorus from 1890. Anyway, he is on the 1894 paylist. I spot him rarely: at King Edward VI Grammar School, Southampton in 1882-5 (fifth form, second prize mathematics, chemistry, electrcity, magnetism .. Cambridge Entrance) ... I don't know when he dumped a savant chemical career in favour of one as a chorusboy, but hereafter I see him mainly in Cartesian cricket teams in the 90s, and, in 1899, as 'Cancan a citizen' in The Lucky Star. However, he did make the faits divers columns when his wife, née Sophie Madeleine Lacy (b Chelsea 9 February 1866), sued him, in 1899, for non payment of maintenance. Which was a bit cheeky, because she was the one who was wandering. He promptly divorced her (1900) and revealed the name of her paramour, Mr JamesYorke Scarlett Rae of the Edinburgh amdrams. I see him with the comany in Bury in 1901, but I don't know what became of him after that. Or her. Or their two children, Charles Leslie (b 7 December 1893) and Dorothy (b 23 March 1895). Lost, one 30-something chorus boy.

I thought I would find 'Fred DRAWATER' easily enough, but no go. He's on a 1905-6 shiplist going to South Africa with a mixture of known and not-yet-known Cartesians, and the Archive tells us he had a career of some forty years. So he's in there somewhere. But I gave up when he wasn't easy. I'll have another go later.


While I was on that ship list, I decided to have ago at another seeming sitting duck: Mr Flamsteed. Yup. Cyril Leonard Dodsley FLAMSTEAD (b Lambley, Notts 1872; d St David's Home, Castle Bar, Ealing 30 December 1938) was the son of the vicar of St George's Bristol. He lists himself as a singer in 1901 and 1911. And single.

I put the shiplist aside -- after all, it's outside my 'Victorian' timeframe -- and returned to the Utopia (Ltd) paylist.

Henri or Henry Charles DELPLANQUE (b 196 Kensington Park Rd 23 September 1862; d Ealing 1949). Father Hildebert Charles D, dancing master ('Cours de danse at Almack's' 1843, bankrupt 1864)  mother Anne Lawrence. Married 1905 Alice Skene. Children Phyllis Cécile (1908) and Veronica M (1909). Sister dance teacher at Ancaster House School, St Leonard's.  ..  The Archive tells us that he Carte-d from 1892-5. I see him first playing Quite an Adventure with Robert Rous, Alfred E Rees an 'Ré Stephanie' in Glasgow with The Vicar of Bray. In 1895 he is teamed with Hewson and E L D Bishop as the sons in Pricess Ida. After leaving the company, I spot him rarely (The Free Pardon at the Olympic, 1897) but in 1901 he still declares himself an actor, so I guess he's in there somewhere. Then marriage, children, 1911 census and then the 1939 census: Gunnersbury Lane. Henri is now a cloakroom attendant, Alice (b 1 April 1883) is a canteen assistant, sister Emily is doing the housework, Phyllis is a clerk in an electrical company and Veronica a ladies' hairdressing assistant. .After Henry's death, Alice and the two unmarried girls carried on living in Gunnersbury Lane where I see them yet in 1964 ... Alice died in Cornwall aged 96 in 1979.

Next, Henry's colleague Robert ROUS (b Holyhead, Anglesey 1867; d Toxteth Park 17 February 1919). His father, Thomas, was a coastguard and mariner, his mother, Mary Anne née Carterbrook a dressmaker. In between times at sea and guarding the coast, Thomas spent time fathering at least eight children, of which Robert was number seven. The Rouses moved from Anglesey to Liverpool's Mount Pleasant, to Toxteth Park, where 24-year-old Robert can be seen working as a shipbroker's clerk (1891). But not for long. By 1892 he is on the road with The Vicar of Bray (John Dory). He would stay with the company for most of the next decade. During his couple of seasons away, I see him touring in Wallace Erskine budget musical In Search of a Father (1897, Captain Troupardin). His connection with the Carte organisation apparently ended in 1903, but in 1911 he is still 'actor on tour'.   I see him on tour with The Earl and the Girl (1906, Mr Talk), and then got to play the star role of Sammy Gigg in The Toreador (1907) alongside Sydney Granville. He was back to supporting roles in The Merry Widow (1909) and The Belle of Brittany tours, after which I lose him ..


Vena ROSENBAUM was a must. Rosenbaum was my great-grandmother's name, and her descendants (including several memorable folk) and I are a neat little club, from Brazil, to New Jersey, to California, to Chile, to England ... I'd like to think that Vena was one of my Rosenbaums, but her father came from Germany rather than Austria-Hungary, so I think not. Malvena Florence ROSENBAUM was born in Finsbury in 1871, the daughter of German jeweller Henry Rosenbaum and his wife Florence née Dowling from Hereford. I don't see her anywhere other than the Carte companies (1891-6, The Nautch Girl, The Grand Duke etc), at the Southend Empire. Leiston &c with the 'Savoy Quintette (1899-1900), and at the Alhambra soon after, except getting married in 1900 to one named Rooke or Rourke. His prenames seem to vary. After which ... zilch.

Pattie [Louise] REIMERS (b Marylebone 21 or 26 February 1873) was one of three singing sisters, the daughters of Henry Frank Reimers, a German watchmaker, and Adelaide George Davies, his English wife. The sisters in question were twins Susannah Georgina ('Susie') and Pattie Louise and Hilda (b 1879) .. then came Sydney John, Fredrica Adelaide, Henry Frank, Bertrm Lewellyn and lastly Eric Victor (b 1889). The papers of the 1890s don't always specify which Miss Reimers they are talking about, but I see Susie taking over the role of Lady Pilkington Jones in Gentleman Joe at the Prince of Wales (1895), and Pattie and Hilda spent a number of years in the Savoy chorus.  Susie (Dorset William Lawrance) and Hilda (d 1955, m Pierre William Albert Carr Goiffon) married, Pattie didn't, and in 1911 she is living with mother, who died the following year. Pattie was still alive in 1938. Oh ... and little Victor? He went on the Cartesian stage too, as a child, playing the midshipman in HMS Pinafore. 

Gertrude AYLWARD is a 'case unproven'. Not the career, which is far more substantial than these others, but the identity. Let's start. Stream of consciouness stuff. There's a batch of musical Aylward siblings in Salisbury and the Isle of Wight in the 1870s -- Amy Metzler Aylward RAM (b 1852 'professor of singing'), Leila Jane ARAM (b 19 September 1839; d Salisbury 1905), Gertrude Mary (b New Canal, Salisbury x 11 October 1848, Mrs Fuller), William Henry, Augustus Albert, plus father William Price Aylward professor of music and music-seller -- but surely that is rather too early for our Gertrude, who is RAM-ming in the late '80s! Amy, by the way, won a bronze medal alongside Annie Albu and Ellen Orridge, then a silver with Annie Butterworth, and I see her singing The Seasons at Worcester and as vocalist to Arabella Goddard at Sheffield, The Building of the Ship at Hull, Hoffmann's Cinderella at St James's Hall, Stainer's  The Daughter of Jairus at Gloucester &c&c as part of a tidy career which ends just as Gertrude RAM makes her first appearances. Is it her elder sister? I doubt it. A niece? Augustus had a daughter, Gertrude. 1879. Too late. Sigh. William H (professor of music/'cellist) had a daughter Gertrude Mary .. 1868! Just right. Born St Pancras. Age 2, the White House, Upton with Chalvey. age 12 ... local orphan asylum! William had died, aged 43, in 1878, and mother had taken the two oldest children to London's Cavendish Square and set up as a boarding housekeeper ... well, there's fair chance that's our girl.


All Gertrude's earliest engagements are in Yorkshire. Which must mean something. The May Queen at Hovingham with Eleanor Rees, The Messiah at Bedale, Elijah and Acis and Galatea at York. But she is 'of London' and RAM now. I see her singing at Steinway Hall alongside Edward Lloyd, at Prince's Hall for one Hermann Heydrich, at St George's Hall in Coward's The Fishers, at the Covent Garden Proms, and in a concert of her own at the Portman Rooms, before she opted for a steady job and joined the Carte organisation (1893-4) playing Nekaya in Utopia (Ltd). She went from there to play Bianca in His Excellency at the Lyric Theatre, and Jessie Bond's role of Nanna in the New York production. On her return, however, engagements of that quality did not recur. She sang in concert, appeared in a brief provincial Osmond Carr piece The Celestials with a cast full of ex-Cartesians, sang Fairy Queen in the Islington Grand Babes in the Wood, and a matinee in a 1-act piece The Scribe at Sydenham (1899). And then I lose her for a bit. And when she resurfaces, she's changed genre: Caroline in The Orchid (1905), succeeding to Connie Ediss's part in The Spring Chicken, playing the Tivoli with the old forepiece from His Excellency, The House of Lords with J J Dallas, Irene Verona and G H Snazelle (1907), touring in The Belle of Brittany ...
And on the personal front? Gertrude Mary Marc Aylward (20) married Randolph Payne (21) in 1890. With permission of her mother, [Katherine Mary] Teresa née Scott (d 1913). I have no idea who Mr Payne was or what became of him. Teresa is, in the 1901 and 1911 censi, with her elder daughter, [Jea]netta Katharine, now Mrs Alfred Roger Ackerley in Herne Bay, then (3 children, 4 servants) in Richmond .. but no Gertrude, no Randolph ... bah! Where do all these folk go to ...

Which led me, somehow to William Simms BULL (b Burston Staffs 6 July 1866; d 176 Oxford Gardens, London 3 August 1944). Son of a civic worthy ('prominent conservative councillor and alderman') of the same name and his wife Mary née Adams, he was brought up in Cheltenham, where the 'living on own means' family was added to largely. However, aged 25, young W S, who had been playing comedy roles, including the Lord Chancellor, with local amateurs,  got himself a job as an actor/singer with the Carte tours. He held that engagement  (see Archive for details) till 1900. In the 1901 census he can be seen with his widowed father in Barmouth, Wales. Father (d 16 February 1919) has bought a slate quarry, and William jr is 34, comedian.  Over the next years I see him only touring in a bit part in The Earl and the Girl, before he rejoined Carte in the capacity of stage director, and later business manager. Bull married Isabella Stuart Miller (b 19 March 1879; d 14 July 1949) and fathered, amongst others, another William Simms Bull (23 February 1913; d 30 August 2006) ...




Latterly, the marriage seems to have dissolved. In the 1939 census, Isabella and her sister Jessie are working as servants ... W Simms jr is in advertising ...

Louise LANCASTER [LANCASTER, Louisa Mary Ann] (b London 1869) was the daughter of engraver Henry Lancaster, and his wife Mary Ann née Hopkins, haberdashery shop keeper. She attended the RAM, and I see her first at the Chesham Saturday Popular Concerts in 1891, singing 'Dreamlight', 'Whisper and I shall hear', 'Six o'clock in the bay', 'The Gift', 'Daddy' and Killarney, while Mr George Haddon recited. She made several visits to the Portsmouth Town Hall Concerts (organist: W A Griesbach) ('O thou that tellest') billed as 'of the Lyceum Theatre' (?!) (1892-5) and, in between, fulfilled a contract as contralto with D'Oyly Carte. She was well liked, but she went back to her intermittent concerts ('medallist RAM') and a tourlet with Charles Butler's English Opera Singers, before she married her reciter, George Haddon Tomkins (1898), retired, and gave birth to a daughter, Elsie. By 1911, George had given up reciting and become a manager of a motion picture theatre in Deptford. They later lived in Lewisham, and Greenwich, where George died in 1934.  After that .. well I'd be guessing ..



Next, two for the price of one. Yes, another Cartesian marriage. Albert Edward REES and Dorothy Elsie DUNCAN. This pair have proven rather documentarily shy, and have, I believe, suffered from a bad case of landlady or lies. In the 1901 census of Blackpool, he is given as 39, born London, actor and she is born Tunbridge Wells aged 25. In fact, she was born in the City of London. He, maybe in Northumberland. But the ages seem right.
Dorothy Elsie Duncan was born, seemingly in Chelsea, to Scots George and Elsie Duncan. Father was a telegraph clerk, and there was a younger brother George and sister, Cecilia (1891 census). She was born around 1876, but doesn't seem to have made it to the registrar's office. Cecilia did. Cecilia is clear as a summer sky. She went on to become an organist and a chorister and turns up punctually where she ought. But not Elsie. Especially after that 2 July 1895 marriage to Mr Rees, which is my main piece of evidence


Not much help on Elsie (though it seems mother came up to Liverpool to be a witness), rather better on Albert. Father William a deceased customs collector? In which case he is not 31, but 33. William Rees, coastal officer, from Pembroke Yorks, living Waterloo, Northumberland can be seen in the 1871 and 1881 censi with his wife, Eliza, and his son Albert Edward, born Blyth, Northumberland. Christened at Blyth 20 April 1862. That will do me, and damn the Blackpool landlady.
The careers? Well, Elsie was with the Carte from 1895 to 1900, and my last stagesight of her is in the chorus of the pre-London Kitty Grey in 1900-1.
Albert is a Cartesian for most of the period 1892-1900 playing small roles, and getting his best reviews for his policeman's song in Quite an Adeventure. He was added to the named cast of Kitty Grey as the Mayor of Biarritz and understudied. And then the two of them vanish, Yes, another air of vanishing actors. I can track Cecile, but nor Albert and Elsie. Why? The law of the Cartesians ...

While we're on Cartesian marriages, here's one which took no lucubration to find. More Bulls. Ernest Henry BULL otherwise 'BERESFORD' (b Hereford 4 May 1855; d Dollis Hill, 13 October 1939) was on the staff of the Carte companies from 1887, but it's his wife I'm interested in. Rhoda MAITLAND [FRYER, Rhoda Jane Trimble] (b Exeter 12 April 1862; d 1 Ashley Gardens 16 January 1951) was the daughter of John Fryer, schoolmaster and his wife Elizabeth née Trimble, brought up in Devon and Somerset. She made her first appearances under her own name: I see her singing The Creation with the Bristol Musical Association and Harper Keaton (18 October 1884, 'a very pleasing but not powerful voice'), at a Grantham Festival billed as RAM, at Bristol's Saturday Concerts with Hannah Jones and Lawford Huxtable, at the Crystal Palace (12 November 1886), at Bath with Tableaux vivants (December 1886), at Melton Mowbray (January 1887), and at a concert by the pupils of J B Welch at Prince's Hall. She was amongst the also-sangs, although the programme included only Henry Piercy who would climb to 'fame'. She returned to the Crystal Palace 3 September 1887, and then 'Rhoda Fryer' was retired and 'Rhoda Maitland' took flight. See the Archive.


After her marriage, she retired to motherhood, resurfacing only to fill in on occasion for an ailing soprano.


But she was not forgotten. When her brother died, she got full mention as a Cartesian ...


The Bulls had two daughters, Winifred Mary (b London 12 August 1893; d Malvern 13 August 1976), a dispensing chemist, and Margaret Lucy (b Wolverhampton 16 March 1900; d Oxford 1 November 1984), who professed singing, but left a cool 78K in her will.

Florence [Elizabeth] LAMBERT (b Glasgow 11 March 1865) was a very ephemeral Cartesian, but she had her little place in musical-theatre history. She was the third child of Henry Albert Lambert, originally of Portsmouth, Glasgow City Organist and Conductor of the Glasgow Choral Union and the Balmoral Choir, and one of his wives. The first, Louisa Hurley (quickly gone, as was their child d 1854), gave way to Harriet Duckett who was de facto for many years before, after 6 children, getting wed in 1887.


I see Florence singing at her father's concerts from 1882, and by 1885 she was a Cartesian. For just a matter of months. Her next job was at the Gaiety Theatre, and there she created the role of Phyllis Tuppitt in the memorable Dorothy. However, she did not stay around the Edwardes organisation: I next see her playing Bo Peep in panto at Doncaster, singing at Sydney Smith's Prince's Hall concert with the two Dorothys, Florence St John and Marie Tempest, and in 1887 going on the road as Bianca to the La Béarnaise of Agnes Delaporte, for two tours. She then took a step into opera, and although she spent weeks in a couple of fourth rate troupes ('Signor Ristori's Grand English Opera Company') she settled in for something like five years as a mezzo in the J W Turner troupe. Josephine Yorke was for a while a member of the company, so, until her departure Florence did not get the usual mezzo roles, but I see her playing Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Alice in Robin Hood, Anne Chute in The Lily of Killarney, Martha in Faust, Nancy in Martha, the Marchioness in La Fille du Régiment, Lazarillo in Maritana &c.
In 1895, H A Lambeth died, and Florence returned to Scotland. She sang in occasional concerts, featured as Highland Maggie (with songs) in a drama called For Bonnie Scotland and gave ballads in variety. In 1898 she seemingly went with a variety troupe to South Africa. While she was there, the Pollard Troupe of semi-children was in town. They played Dorothy. I say 'seemingly' because I'm not entirely sure if there were not two or even three Florence Lambeths around over the decades to come. One of that name played Mrs Bissett in The Swashbuckler at the Duke of Yorks (1900) and in The Admirable Crichton on tour (1904). One sang in variety (1909). One toured as Lucienne Touquet in Kissing Time (1922, 'beautiful soprano voice') and in the revue Our Dad with Johnny Danvers. One became a panto favourite on stage and radio, and one knocked them out with 'My Hero'. In 1935. She would have been seventy! So where does our Florence stop and the other(s) begin? I have no answer, although the Archive says she died in Scotland in 1943. So, maybe.

Talk of Dorothy brings me to another Cartesian whose career peaked in the original production of that show. I wasn't going to include her, yet, because she's another Millie Vere. Fake name, astutely hidden. Oh yes, purposely. I have an interview where it is revealed that she is married, but no name is given. She called herself Florence DYSART. Right from her pupil days, which may have been RAM, but in any case were with J B Welch. Now, 'Florence' started advertising in 1881, and she gave her contact address as 147 Ladbroke Grove. Well, I know who lived there. Phineas E van Noorden, musician and supremo of the girly minstrel team, the Blondinette Minstrels. Alas, he hasn't got a teenaged music student as a boarder. Just a widow, a spinster, two servants and his young family. It's just a contact address. The van Noorden connection is confirmed by her first sighted concert in June 1881, with Phineas and Mrs Dukas (née van Noorden). She played the part of Nina in Mosieur Jacques and was criticised as 'Very nervous, very uncomftable, very inaudible'. Yet a few months further on, she was a member of the Carte company, playing Lady Ella in Patience. At Christmas 1883 she was reported to be 'recruiting her health' at Exeter. She rejoined the Carte company to play Princess Ida, but I see that in a performance at Derby she had to hand over the title-role to Marie Wynter after Act 2. But she was well enough to join the Savoy company for the revival of Trial by Jury (October 1884) for some six months.
I see her as Alice in Dick Whittington at Dublin, that Christmas, featured back in London in Oliver Grumble, singing in Houp La, the forepiece to Helen Barry's The Esmonds of Virginia at the Royalty, and then it was Dorothy. Marion Hood was Dorothy, one of the two lasses at the heart of the piece, and Miss Dysart was the other. The role of a lifetime. George Edwardes retained her for the burlesque Frankenstein (1887), she took over from Marion Hood in the title-role of Miss Esmeralda (1887), and after a trip to Drury Lane as Maid Marian in Babes in the Wood was back at the top of the West End musical entertainment world, playing the 'baddie' Barbara Bellasys to Marie Tempest's Kitty Carroll. She took over the role of Marie, Queen of France in Joan of Arc, and then went to the Trafalgar Square Theatre to play her original role in Dorothy (1892). It was too soon for another Dorothy, and it lasted little, so Florence went over to the Shatesbury to dep for a few weeks for the holidaying Violet Cameron in Morocco Bound. When her stint was done, the management staged another company, Miss Dysart featured, at the Islington Grand, and sent it on the road.

With Marion Hood in Dorothy
But things thereafter went less well. Miss Dysart advertised 'disengaged' regularly, in May 1894 she gave an interview bemoaning the replacement of real comic opera by semi-sung 'musical comedy' (the interview where she skirted revealing her identity and history) and her current resultant periods of unemployment. She played more Morocco Bound in 1895, took over Ethel Sydney's roles of Melissa Banks and Beatrix Bartrum in My Girl (1896), appeared as the Plaintiff and Lydia Hawthorne  in Benefits, and in 1897 went on the road in a 'sensational drama' A Fast Life (Julia Maria Jenkins).
And that was it. No one asked what had become of her, at probably not yet forty. Nobody mentioned her husband, any children, her death .. her name just appeared in endless paragraphs about 'The History of Dorothy'. And it was just that, a name. Which it was my mission to fill out with human detail. Well, I haven't done it. Into the 'Geraldine St Maur'-'Millie Vere' box with you, my girl. No, its not a rubbish box, it's a One Day I'll Get You box ....

Right, what else is in the dregs of this Tried-To-Do box. Minnie KEENE from the Utopia (Ltd) 1894 company. Spotted her touring with Charles Wibrow in 1891 (23, born London). I suppose she might be the one who died in 1946 aged 78 in Sussex. (later note FOUND!)  [Edith] Maude RICHARDSON also of Utopia.  She's better. Born Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds ?1 September 1870, daughter of Thomas Bentinck Richardson (d 13 April 1893), professor of music, from Salisbury and his wife, Ellen. Children Ida, Kate, Amy, Ellen, Charles, Mabel, Arthur ... Maud is at boarding school. Well, it's at least a possibility.


Ré or Rachel STEPHANIE bah! bunkum! Eva FAWCETT. Miss ?PISETU. Maude MAY. Misses NATHAN, MORRIS, CROSS ... Josie SHALDERS, Messrs Henry FOUNTAIN, A STEWART, John CARRINGTON, Samuel SCHOFIELD, ALDRIDGE, WARREN ... that's the left overs of the chorus ... the prncipals, of course, will be easier ... Florence HUNTER, Bobbie EVETT who rose to metropolitan fame, Charles USHER, John MACAULEY, Arthur WATTS, George COCKBURN and oh! J T MacMILLAN whom I investigated decades ago ... I hope Microsoft hasn't eaten his file ... van Rensselaer WHEELER I shall leave to the Americans ...

Well, I shall tackle that bunch tomorrow. I fear that some are hopeless cases, but you never know!

PS Don't forget. All the details of these folks's Cartesian careers are to be found on David Stone's G&S Archive. From whence most of these illustrations come. Teamwork ...

Friday, April 24, 2020

Cartesians: Who do you think you are ...?

.
There's no method in today 'discoveries'. One person sort of leads you into another and so forth ... but I started off with a couple of folk who hid themselves behind pseudonyms ...

FREDA BEVAN [WILKINS, Florence Bruton, later Florence BUTLER] (b Bath 1855; d Fulham 1949).
Florence Butler Wilkins was one of a gaggle of daughters of dentist Thomas Butler Wilkins and his wife Eliza née Stockburn: they were Renee Marianne Hephzibah (Mrs Ayres), Florence Bruton, Lottie Butler (Mrs Meredydd Evans), Kate Margaret, Eleanor Sophia ('Nellie') and Hope Sarah Augusta (Mrs Leonard Miller), and they all indulged largely in musical and theatrical activities ...


Mother was the daughter of a sometime mayor of Northampton, and it was there that the family settled. Father, when not dentisting, was active in conducting school and other choirs, organising concerts et al. He gave a performance of Farmer's Christ and his Soldiers in which daughter Florence sang the contralto solos. In 1882, Florence became Freda Bevan and joined the Carte tours. She stayed until 1885, and then went home to private life. Lottie died after two babies in 1888, mother later the same year, father in 1892 ...  Florence and Nellie moved to Fulham, reduced to earning their living by dressmaking, and died there in 1949 and 1955 respectively.

Another who flashed across the Cartesian sky for a few seasons, as leading lady, and then disappeared from the professional singing scene was Bessie WILKINSON. My identification of her is uncertain, given that the Archive gives her birth in 1863 at Penge, whereas the Bessie I have latched on to was born in Scotland and lived in Willingar Doe. Bessie 'of the Savoy Theatre' can be seen playing Trial by Jury at Brentwood in December 1887, and in 1892 accompanying Millie Vere, Lucy Carr-Shaw, Robert Fairbanks and W R Morton in Mr Welbye Wallace's Concert and Opera Party (Quits, Widows Bewitched) at Southsea, and in concert at Preston (5 March).  My Scottish farmer's daughter Bessie can be seen in concert 10 October 1889 at Ongar (with Albert Visetti on piano), then at Chelmsford and Willingar Doe ('pupil of Randegger'). Are they the same Bessie. I've no idea. It may not even have been her real name.

One who hid behind a very definite pseudonym was the gentleman known, through thirty years of Carteing as George SINCLAIR. His real name was Atillio Richard Hutchinson MELANDRI (b London 1858; d 21 Helena Rd, Hastings 10 December 1936), and he was the son of Vincenzo Melandi, an Italian cook and restaurant-keeper and his wife Elizabeth née Hutchinson. Not surprisingly, he began life as a waiter before taking to the stage. Most of his working life, from 1887 (or1884 if he is the George at the Prince's Manchester in that year), was spent with the Carte companies, although the Archive loses tracks of him in the early 'nineties. Unfortunately, there is another George Sinclair, baritone, operating at the same time. At least, I assume it's another one, as he is singing mostly when Atillio is Carteing -- Van Biene's proms in 1887, La Prima Donna and The Field of the Cloth of Gold at the Avenue (1889-90), the title-role in Paul Jones for Charles Wibrow in 1891, Captain Meredith in The New Mephistopheles (1897), Prince Quahn in The Celestials (1898), In Gay Piccadilly (1899) ... and is that he singing opera in Australia in 1889? 


Atillio remained a bachelor, and I see him sharing digs with another mature and long-serving Cartesian bachelor, both on tour in 1891 and again (still?) in 1911 at 80 Portland Place. Edward A 'Paddy' WHITE (b Ireland c1862) appears more frequently in the theatrical cricket columns than in reviews. He was one of the country's outstanding theatre cricketes, and even got invited, with Herbert Marchmont, to play in the county teams in a Notts v Staffs match. 
White also had several spells away from the Carte companies -- in 1887 he toured as Blueskin in Little Jack Sheppard, in the eternal Dorothy (captain of the cricket team), in 1896 he was Joe Jaffrey inJ Hermann Dickson's A Merry Madcap, in 1897 he played Brown from Colorado in Morell and Mouillot's Shop Girl tour. Then he shuffled back to 63 Drumcondra Rd, Dublin, until he rejoined Carte. He apparently left the company in 1914. If he, too, went to Hastings, there was an Edward A White died there, aged 67, in 1928. If he didn't, maybe the one in Holborn aged 59 in 1920?

Sometime, the folk who use their real name for the stage are as hard to decipher as those who don't. I got into a muddle with the two Bemister sisters, from Southampton where most Bemisters come from. The muddle was caused by their first names, which led me to wonder if the two were actually one ... until I found them on different continents at the same time. The girls were the daughters of Frederick George Bemister (d 30 June 1897), sometime postmaster and undertaker at Eastleigh, and his wife Clara née Murray. Their eldest daughter was Clara Louise Bemister, who I see was a member of the Theosophical Soicety, spent time in India and wrote a vegetarian cookbook of some note. Second daughter was Ada Amelia BEMISTER (1862-1918) and the third Adele Lucia Florence BEMISTER later Lucy Florence BEMISTER (b 1865), known as Lucy and Florence for the stage.

Ada took her first steps with the D'Oyly Carte touring company of The Mikado (see George Low's salary list) and got her chance to go on at Llandudno as Yum Yum. She was praised by the local press as 'charming appearance, pleasant and full soprano voice ...'. And, indeed, she was promoted to the part of Yum Yum and Patience for the continental tour in 1887. On her return, she played at the Avenue Theatre in Don Juan jr (Gulbeyah) and at Glasgow in Babes in the Wood, but in 1889 she went travelling again, this time to South Africa for Gilbert Tate. She stayed through the whole of 1890 as leading lady in the vast range of musical pieces played by the Edgar Perkins Opera Company and was acclaimed 'the mainstay of the company'. On her return to England, however she seems to have found little work: I see her in variety, as Dick Whittington at Glasgow, and the Archive tells us that she actually rejoined Carte, in the chorus, between 1895-7. 
In 1896 she married Charles W Tayleur 'of independent means', in 1901 she lost him, at the age of 37. and in 1904 she remarried Alexander Thomas. 

So Clara for India, Ada for Europe and South Africa, and Florence ...? She largely made her theatre career in America. I spot her singing at Mabel Bourne's underpar concert in London in 1881, and she next shows up in New York in 1882 playing Zelia (!) in Iolanthe. She played Ella to the Patience of Lillian Russell, An officer in Lieutenant Helene of the Guards in Philadelphia, in the Marie Vanoni Orpheus and Eurydice, Lady Psyche in Princess Ida, one of the General's daughters in Polly and, ultimately, the title-role in Iolanthe with J H Ryley and Miss Russell (1887). She returned to Britain in time for the 1891 census, when she was at home in Southampton with mother ('Lucy Bemister') after which I lose her ...


Much simpler to decipher was Rudolph LEWIS (b 20 Fan Street, Cripplegate 2 March 1846; d London 21 November 1917). Yes, it was his real name. And whereas so many principal artists are ignored by wikipedia, he has an article. Well, a curios sort of an article. It is really just a copy of David Stone's Archive piece with a couple of extra facts poked in, and nearly all the man's non-Carte career (decidedly more substantial than the Carte bits) omitted. So, here's the full story. Without the Carte details eumerated in the Archive.
Father Joshua Lewis, furrier, who later took up the bonnet- and straw-hat business of his wife, Elizabeth née Costin, who came from the cradle of straw-bonneting, Hertfordshire. While his sister went into the bonnet business, Rudolph became a wood-engraver, married Miss Frances Dalton, fathered two children, and took singing lessons from Giovanni Febo Alfeo Gilardoni. His first pulbic appearance as a bass singer seems to have been in 1882, in a concert performance of Faust, by the Signor's pupils. He 'made 'the success of the evening' as Mephistopheles. It was apparently in 1884 that he and his rich bass voice joined the Carte company, where he played several little parts and sang in the chorus up until 1893. During that time, he played the occasional Benefit and concert date, singing Mr Molehill in Won By A Trick, with Richard Temple and Josephine Findlay at the Gaiety Theatre for Meyer Lutz's Benefit (1885) and Sparafucile to Temple's Rigoletto alongside Rose Hersee and Durward Lely (1886).
He left the Carte Company to join the Carl Rosa Opera (1893), where the kind of roles he was due came his way. Ramfis in Aida with Ella Russell and Barton McGuckin, one of the Anabaptists in The Prophet, one of the Knights in Tannhäuser et al. But then it was back to the touring theatre -- the Vizier in Morocco Bound (1894-5), Moran in Robbery Under Arms  (1895), John Brown in The Shop Girl (1896), Skipped by the Light of the Moon (1897), John Mayfield in Kitty (1897), Donald in Little Miss Nobody (1899) and a London engagement at the Adelphi Theatre in Two Little Vagabonds (1900). At the end of that engagement, having crammed in enough shows and enough roles to compensate his tardy beginning, he rejoined the Carte company (Executioner in The Rose of Persia, 2nd Footman in The Vicar of Bray, t/o Sergeant Pincher in The Emerald Isle, The tinker in Merrie England, Jem Johnson in A Princess of Kensington with its 'Four Jolly Sailormen') and continued with many of the company into The Earl and the Girl (t/o Rossiter) and Little Hans Andersen (The Witch). He was still to be seen touring in Little Hans Andersen in 1909.


In 1905 he played in London's The Talk of the Town (Juddy Wuddy Ah), joined with the other three original sailors to give 'Four Jolly Sailormen' at the Palace Music Hall, and was seen as 'First Footman' in The Catch of the Season out of town. As late as 1914, knocking seventy, I see him yet on the road in George Edwardes's tour of The Marriage Market.
At some stage, Lewis lost his wife and in 1888 he married a second time. He and Alice Maud née Wharton don't seem to have stayed together ... Daughter Frances Louisa Elizabeth Lewis (b Argyle Street, Clerkenwell 29 July 1881) was registered a homeless pauper in 1911. Rudolph had left her in the care his eldest sister, Amy Eliza, at the age of eight, but Amy had died in 1903, and Frances had gone from one servent's place to anothe, and repeatedly to the workhouse ('father: Rudolph 19 Bath House, Newington Causeway'), before ending up at Ellis and Turner in Aldersgate. Then it shut. I leave her in yet another workhouse infirmary in 1912 'destitute'.  Son Rudolph was working in an iron foundry ...
Rudolf Lewis may have been a fine basso, but he was a lousy father ...

The role of John Mayfield in Kitty (a veritable rip-off of Dorothy), which had included a number of ex-Cartesians in its cast (Albert James, Lindsay Grey, Harry Tebbutt, J J Dallas) as well as Dorothy's Furneaux Cook was latterly taken over by yet another Cartesian 'Hugh SETON'. Now, I'm 99% sure of my nifty identification of this fellow, but he vanishes from censi in the active years of his stagelife, didn't marry, so I've had to pull out all stops to winkle him out. Here's my version of what I believe to be the facts.
Arthur Seaton MORRICE (b Swansea October 10 1858; d Honiton 1943) was the son of Scotsman John Edwars Morrice, secretary to a coal company, and his Welsh wife Eilzabeth Ann née Arthur. He was already on the musical stage by 1878, in Round the Clock, as 'Mr Seaton Morrice', but before he joined the Carte company in 1884 he had become 'Hugh Seaton', pupil of W H Cummings RAM. Of course, give or take a comma, it was Cummings, not Seton who was RAM.  The Archive tells us he stayed from Feb 1884 to June 1885, playing Florian and Sir Marmaduke. He appeared in 1885 in  play The Landlord, sang in a Carte-flavoured concert at Tiverton with Florence Dysart and Richard Purdon, in the Sunderland panto The Invisible Prince (with W O Billington), in 1886 as General Knickerbocker in the Mikado-ish The Little Tycoon and Canterbury's Robinson Crusoe, and in 1887 as a replacement in The Royal Watchman before returning to the Cartemanagement for a second stint of just over a year. 
From 1889-91 he toured in Dorothy comanies (Tuppitt, Bantam), in 1892-3 as Pasto in The Mountebanks, before taking another year in Dorothy. He played the Sultan in a provincial piece named The Saucy Sultana (1895), and took over the part of Colonel Claymore in the endlessly-touring The New Barmaid for nearly two years. The year of 1897 saw him taking on another job: as a writer. Cast as Major Haliwell in the touring piece The Bicycle Girl, he was also credited with additional lyrics, and he turned out two libretti a one-act operetta A Royal Roundhead given a matinee showing at St George's Hall (April 17 1897) with Roland Carse and Templar Saxe in the cast, and a for-the-provinces musical comedy The American Belle produced by Milton Bode with Cissie Saumarez in its title-role. It managed eight weeks. 
Seton next took up the Kitty role, and at Christmas 1897 directed the panto at Portsmouth, with Agnes Molteno satrred and Waldeck Hall in the cast. Then he went back to Kitty. I see him playing in The White Heather in 1899, and back in The New Barmaid in 1900 .. I don't see him again until I come upon A Morrice Seaton 'theatrical profession' born Swansea 1858, single, boarding in Manchester. And then, in 1939, Morrice A Seaton 'actor and author' born 1858 ..  I think I've been quite generous leaving 1% of doubt, but I wish I could find him in 1891 etc. 

Well, I've just got time to add a few more bald facts. Some of which aren't news, but -- unless its an obvious waste of time -- I like to do my checking from primary sources ...

The Sheffield brothers, whom we all know were WILSON brothers from Maltonand Norton in Yorkshire. Sons of James Walker Wilson, house-painter, and his wife Alice née Sheffield 'dressmaker'. Eldest brother Wilson SHEFFIELD [WILSON, Edward Sheffield] (b 1865; d South Africa 20 July 1903) married Emily Warrington. Second brother Thorpe SHEFFIELD [WILSON, Robert Thorpe] (b 20 November 1866; d Malton 1908) married [Ada] Jane Hills. Third brother Leo SHEFFIELD [WILSON, Arthur Leo] (b 15 November 1873; d Kingsbury 3 September 1951) married Claire Bland.


Harry Ernest BELLAMY is a slight puzzle. We know that his later, mangerial work for the Carte organisation was the most important part of his time with the company. But ... well, can someone prove that the H E Bellamy who sang was the same person as the H E Bellamy who managed?  Conventional wisdom says yes. Born b 57 John Street, Oxford 7 February 1861. Died Cheltenham 12 February 1932. Harry (not Henry) of Oxford has been minutely documented up to 1881 'second assistant at Radcliffe observatory'. He is then said to have gone to America and married one Frances M G Machell, of whom I find no later trace, except that our singing Harry says in 1891, in digs with Lawrence Gridley, that he's 28, born Oxford and married. OK Harry of the observatory = Harry the singer. 
The next censorial sighting has Harry E Bellamy, manager, rooming with Ada Seaton at Accrington. More D'Oyly Carte you don't get. But he says he was born in Ross, Herefordshire. That doesn't fit. VSE? (Victorian Scribal Error?). We see him floating home from South Africa in 1906. Let's go to 1911. He insists, Ross, Herefordshire. And a wife named Ellen. Married 1899. Er...  where was he then? So, career apart, Harry annoys me. Yes, it ought to all be the same Harry, but what's this Herefordshire business?


And with that dilemma I leave you for tonight ... with Louise Rowe, Marguerite Breydel, Leon Lawrence, Agnes King, J W Elmore and, dammit another mysterious contralto, 'Annie Bernard'. No, she's not the Annie Bernard wife of Charles ... that's 'Annie Alleyne' (eig Allen) ... and, anyway, his real name was West. Come on guys and gals, a little assistance .. a few pointers ...