Sunday, May 31, 2020

Cartesians: Jessie Rose invades the 'C's!

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Today was scheduled as 'C' day, but I got 'turned from my wayfaring' by a post from Katie Barnes which queried the birthdate of Savoyard Jessie Rose. I just had to go in search of it ... doubtless 'Jessie Rose' wasn't her real name ..

Oh, yeah? It was.

Jessie Kate ROSE (b Uxbridge Moor 18 November 1875; d Sunningdale, Berks 27 May 1928) was the daughter of Henry Rose, whitesmith, and his wife Ellen. She was sent as a boarder to a Mrs Sarah C M Gulliver at Ealing for her education, where it seems that she was taught her music by a Miss Forlence G Sherwood. In 1893 she moved to the Royal Academy of Music (bronze medal)


and in 1896 to the Savoy Theatre. She would spend most of her career as a professional singer and actress, as detailed by David Stone (G&S archive), there.


In 1897 (5 August), Jessie married a muso called Percy Elliott (1870-1932), a fellow student at the RAM. There were two children born, before the couple split and ultimately divorced






Jessie remarried, hotel manager Henry Joseph Ford in 1910, and, after a last tour in The Mountaineers, did retire from the stage.

 And now, resisting all temptations to remain amongst the roses, I return to letter 'C'. I have dealt in my Emily Soldene years with W T Carleton, Aysley and Alice Cook, Laura Carthew, and in my Victorian Vocalists phase with Ella Collins, Gertrude Cave Ashton,  Emily Cross, Gerard Coventry, the Corri family, Fanny Harrison and her daughters, and Edward Connell .. but that still leaves a heap of mostly middle-sized to minor folk for me to attack.

Augustus (Oliver) CRAMER (b Victoria Terrace, Rochester Square, Camden 5 May 1864; d St Mary Abbott's Hospital, 2 April 1927) is a familiar name to me. He had a fine and long career as a player in the musical theatre. I didn't realise he had played for Carte.


He was born in Camden, the son of musician William Oliver Cramer, musician, and his wife Sarah Jame née Bailiff, and joined the ranks of the Carte companies in 1884 to play in Pricess Ida on tour. He went on the from there to play a very young Marquis de Pontvert in Violette Melnotte's Erminie tour, but then was reduced to taking part in a tiny operetta company, alongside Bessie Armytage, run by one J Sheppard to showcase his own little pieces. Between 1887-90 he played the star roles in Hans the Boatman and My Sweetheart, taking time out from these barnstorming crowd-pleasers to play Tom Strutt in Dorothy. Dorothy brought him a wife, Mary [Salmon] Webb (b London 5 November 1863; d Kensington 1915), ex-of the D'Oyly Carte companies and currently playing Phyllis, the little bride. In 1890 (27 October) he played Ned Nolledge in a Carlisle comic opera named Dolly 'based on The Country Girl' and attempitng to clone Dorothy.


The couple took a brief turn into variety, and then launched back into Dorothy. Mary was Phyllis again, but Augustus was now 'Hayden Coffin'. Given his staunch baritone voice and handsome physique, it was inevitable, and over the years to come he would appear in the provinces in Coffin's roles in The Geisha, A Greek Slave, and The Country Girl. For the meanwhile he took the juvenile leads in Morocco Bound  and The Lady Slavey, before being summoned to London to create the part of Dr Tortenssen in His Excellency. He and Mary travelled to America with the company that presented the show there, and Mary, understudy to Ellaline Terriss, was called on to play the role.


Back in London, Augustus took over featured roles in Arthur Roberts's Biarritz and The Gay Parisienne, then headed back to the circuits as Harry Goldfield in A Gaiety Girl. He and Mary supported Roberts in a first attempt to get Campano off the ground, and then travelled to America again where he played another handsome baritone in Monte Carlo. 
In the following years, he toured Britain in The Topsy-Turvey Hotel, My Lady Molly, and in the three Hayden Coffin roles, but my only major sighting of him, after 1905, is taking over a part in The Girls of Gottenburg at the Gaiety (1908).


Mary died in 1915, and Augutus's name is seen occasionally thereafter, touring in 1917 and 1920 in a provincial show The Maid of the Midnight Sun -- still billed as 'late D'Oyly Carte', or in 1921 in a variety sketch, 3am, before he disappears from stage view. He died in 1927, leaving an estate of 447L.

[William] Milroy COOPER (b Edinburgh 30 August 1847; d St Joseph's Home, Hackney 18 April 1917) was a Scotsman, the son of William Cooper of Edinburgh and his wife Margaret Stavert née Oliver. He worked as a commercial traveller until, some time in the 1870s, he brought his tenor voice to the English Theatre. The first time I spot him on stage, he is already in his thirties, playing Juvigné is Le Petite Mademoiselle and Robert in La Fille du Tambur-Major for Charles Bernard in 1880. for the next twenty-five or so years, he didn't stop. When a stage role wasn't available, he sang on the halls, or with drawing room entertainments, acted in minor provincial plays, verged on opera,  ...

After the Bernard engagements, I see him as King Rat in the Glagow panto (1880), then on the road with Lizzie Mulholland in La Fille de Madame Angot, Le Petit Duc and Pom, in a modest South Opera Company 'of Her Majesty's Theatre, Covent Garden' wot!), before he was hired by Carte to play Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance and Ralph Rackstraw for three months on the road. He played, and he left for a job singing Luis in Les Manteaux noirs with the T D Yorke combine. He was recalled to the Carte management, for a month, to sing Cyril in Princess Ida (1884, and 62 not out with the cricket team) and was next seen at the Metropolitan Music Hall, singing in a John D'Auban scena Vif.
He toured as Valentin in Olivette, again in La Fille de tambour-major, and then switched back to the halls, and variety troupe (Fred Bowyer's Margery), took a turn in the Venus company, and then joined a tour of Nell Gwynne. But the return to the theatre was only temporary: Frank Hall's sketch troupe, a tenor-ish Mephistopheles in the Portsmouth panto, a spot at the Empire Leicester Square, and then -- an engagement with Ilma Norina's Opera Company with Edmund Rosenthal, Alice Barth, Lucy Franklein, tenors Fred Wood and Francis Gaynar ... Well, Ilma Norina, producer and prima donna, was actually the same Josephine Muntz with whom he'd sung in Olivette, but it was a healthy line up (Miss Franklein had been the oroginal first contralto with the heyday Carl Rosa company). I don't know what he played exept that Ms Muntz produced a flop opera revamped as The Rose of Windsor. Wood played the jeune premier: Willie Cooper was Henry VIII.
I think more than his physiognomy may have changed, When the tour finished, her went back int variety billed as 'character vocalist and instrumentalist'. Between 1890-4 he didn't see much of the stage. I see him singing and sketching with Arthur Lloyd's company, the Vokes company, at the Brighton Alhambra and at Day's, Birmingham with his 'refined and clever' musical entertainment' ... and in 1894 he even took a brief trip to America where he played the part of Cholly Montrose in a variety melodrama The Crossroads of Life. However, on his return, he moved into a different and muchloftier realm.
It is a maxim much proven (notably, by me in my days as a musical-theatre agent) that if a good, strong tenor can survive to grey-haired age, he will work and work and work ... Willie was hired by the George Edwardes organisation to play Lawrance d'Orsay's original role of the Earl of Thamesmead in the tour of An Artist's Model. He was engaged for the American production, as well, but in the end D'Orsay went, and Willie continued to play the British provinces. Edwardes subsequently used him as a take-over in the town production of The Circus Girl, in Colin Coop's role of Sing Hi in the touring San Toy, in The Country Girl, and as a provincial Boobhamba in The Cingalee. But in between Edwardesian jobs, Willie was not idle. He played in Fun on the Bristol, he did his variety act, he played character parts in minute productions of such plays as Our Boys, The Abesnt-minded Beggar and Pink Dominos, created the part of Angus McNab in the short-toured Where's Uncle (1904), played opposite Claudia Lasell in her Peggy Machree ...
I don't see him after 1907, except in the 1911 census. 'Single', yes. 49, no. He was 64. And 71 when he died



I'm not sure whether I ought to include Hetty CHAPMAN (b ?London ?1862) here, because I haven't found all her answers. But she is such a grand character, that I think I must, and someone else can sort her details out. The London? and 1862? come from the one census in which she used her stage name (Blackpool 1901). In that census, she also says that she is married. One provincial paper reckoned she was Mrs Harry Monkhouse, Well, if she were, she was Emma from Yeovil aged 51 with three children... I think not!
Hetty gave a lovely tongue-in-cheek interview to The Era, in which she carefully skirted all family details, but she did clarify her beginnings on the stage -- and, like so many young singers, she owed them to a Carte company -- in the chorus at the Opera Comique, in HMS Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance. At the same time, she was singing in concerts at the Aquarium as 'Victoria Matheson' and she even appeared in their 1878 pantomime, Aladdin. In 1881, she was promoted to the role of Ella in Patience on tour, but the previous owner of the role apparently decided against retirement, so a disappointed Hetty was out of a job. However, she was hired to play Fiametta to the Mascotte of Kate Santley, ended up doing off-stage singing for her replacement and ultimately being given the part. She enoyed its fun much more than her next role: Germaine in Les Cloches de Corneville. In between annual pantomime engagements, she played in A Bunch of Keys with Willie Edouin, in Dick at the Globe and Empire Theatres and on the road, rising from the part of Edgar to take over the booming Gladys Homfrey's role at the Princess, in the burlesque Little Lohengrin (Ortruda), and on the road with Monkhouse in in Checkmate and Claribel, with Nellie Farren in Ariel and Aladdin, and with John L Shine in Don Juan jr. In 1887, she took over the role of Maria in Monkhouse's successful touring musical comedy, Larks, in 1888 she toured in My Brother's Sister with Minnie Palmer, and each Christmas brought another Abdallah ...
In 1889 she took a change in direction, and began at career in the music halls -- the Empire, Deacon's,  the Oxford. She was a class act ('a characteristic vocalist of distinction'), in ballads ('Caller herrin' was her standby) and in serio-comic songs ...


And she rode triumphantly through that period of a stagelady's life, when she is neither a juvenile, nor a character lady, except at Christmas time when she donned tights and rolled out her ageless principal boy. Then, in 1895, she began what was to be probably the best period of her career. As a komische Alte for the George Edwardes organisation: another Lillie Belmore, Connie Ediss or Gladys Homfrey. She began playing poor Lillie's part of Ada Smith in The Shop Girl, on the road. After Lillie's death, Alice Barnett took on the part, and then Hetty was summoned from the provinces. When she went off to create the equivalent role in My Girl ('the performance of the night'), creating the song 'When my husband is Sir Tom', Connie succeeded her. Connie also played My Girl in town, and made a hit with 'Sir Tom'. And, for the next half-dozen years, Hetty played the 'Connie Ediss roles' and 'the Gladys Homfrey roles' all round Britain: The Circus Girl, A Greek Slave, San Toy, The Messenger Boy, Kitty Grey (succeding to Homfrey's superb role in town) and then The Silver Slipper ... then it stops. I spot her in 1907, playing Penelope Pyechase in The Dairymaids and then ..?
So, I don't know where Hetty came from, and I don't know where she went ... I wish she had done another interview (the first one can be read in The Era of 19 August 1892) ...
Anyway, here she is: yet another teenaged Cartesian chorister made good ... I wish I knew who she were! 

No such problems with Charles CHILDERSTONE (b Enfield Highway 3 July 1872; d North Hill, Highgate 29 May 1947). His parents were Frederick Childerstone, lockfitter, and Emma née Everett. I see them in Enfield in the 1871 census, with no occupation listed, and a 4 year-old daughter, Adelaide. I wonder if this is the Frederick Childerstone who later took to singing and/or playing the flute in St Leonards.
Charles began working as a clerk in a gun factory, and studied music at the Guildhall. I see him in 1894 'of Lower Clapton' taking 3rd prize in the tenor section at a Stratford East Festival. I wonder what became of the first two prizewinners. He joined the Savoy chorus in 1896 and, as nearly his whole time of a good half-dozen years with Carte and William Greet was in town, I wonder if he kept his day job. Perhaps not. He proudly claims himself 'operatic vocalist' in the census.
Although he mainly filled chorus, forepieces and small parts during those years, he did get to briefly play Ralph Rackstraw at the Savoy, but his merriest moment came when he was cast as Will Weatherley, one of the 'Four Jolly Sailormen' of A Princess of Kensington. He took part in Greet's productions of The Earl and the Girl (1903-4) and of Little Hans Andersen, covered and stepped in for Bobbie Evett in his The Talk of the Town (1905), My Darling (1907)  ...


I next spot him in 1908, teaming with Walter Passmore in his music-hall sketch The Constable and the Pictures, then touring, again with Passmore, in Merrie England, this time as the Earl of Essex. He played in The Chocolate Soldier (alongside Loe Sheffield and W A Peterkin) in 1911, and went on the halls in a double act 'musical interlude' with Winifred Hare (1913), before launching into a series of Concert Parties (The Follies) and the virtual variety bills that called themselves revue, under such titles as Hello, Everybody, Eyes Front, Fall In, Pleasure Bound et al. He staged a scena called A Whiff of the Briny (1919) for the Exeter Hippodrome, and advertised that Edward German had granted him permission to use 'Four Jolly Sailormen' in the score. 



He made a rare foray into the straight theatre in a druggy melodrama called The Man Who Came Back (1921), and then -- his physique must have lasted well! -- was cast as the sexy Ardimedon in the botched and bowdlerised Phi-Phi for C B Cochran. It must have been a fairly brutalised version, for it was played as a twice-nightly attraction. From there, Charles progressed to The Co-optimists (1925, 'an entertaining comedian'), the tour of Katja the Dancer (1926-7, Count Orpitch), the 'great crook play' Broadway' and regressed to 'revue' in Lew Lake's What Price the Navy? (1929). In 1939, aged 77, he appeared in the musical comedy Under Your Hat at the Palace Theatre.


He appeared in films from silent days (The Cry for Justice) to the 1930s (The Thirteenth Candle, Perfect Understanding, Betrayal, I'll Stick to you, Double Bluff, Brown on Resolution, Murder in the Family, Take Cover, Peg of Old Drury with Anna Neagle and Cedric Hardwicke).
He also penned the odd theatre piece (The Sailor and the Nursemaid music Hamish McCunn).

Childerstone married twice. First, in 1901, to Mary Muir McGee (d 1944), by whom he had a son, Clifford Louis Muir Childerstone, and in later years (1945) to Ethel Maud Odd, with whom he had been living some time.

There's more to find ... there must be portraits out there... but it's after midnight ..... C you tomorrow ...






Friday, May 29, 2020

Cartesians: B for Burville, Breedon, Beebe ...

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Alice [Julia] ['Madelina'] BURVILLE (b 24 Nelson St, Mile End Old Town,  Stepney 11 July 1856; d The Convent, East Street, Littlehampton 4 July 1944) was an attractive and talented ingenue soprano who played many leading roles in comic opera on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1870s and 1880s.

Alice was born in Stepney, the pre-marital child of Wood Burville (b Ash, Kent 1831; d London 9 February 1899) and Julia Mitchell ... I've written her up briefly in my Encyclopaedia of the Musical Theatre, so I can simply reproduce my article here, adding the odd expansion of detail:

 'The daughter of a London photographer, pretty young Alice Burville took to the stage at a very early age and went on to become a favourite ‘principal girl’ soprano of the 1870s and early 1880s British and American stage. She began her West End career in the tiny rôle of a Maid of Honour in La Branche cassée (1874), and continued through roles in Ten of 'em (Zehn Mädchen un kein Mann) and the 1874 pantomime (Kohinoor in Aladdin) at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and burlesque (Meenie in Young Rip van Winkle 1876 opposite Nellie Farren), to take the leading ingénue rôles in London presentations of Dagobert (1875, Princess Fleur d'amour 'really sweet voice'), Fleur de thé (1875, Fleur de thé), The Duke's Daughter (La Timbale d'argent, 1876, Malvina), La Chanson de Fortunio (1876, Laurette) and Le Petit Duc (1878, la petite Duchesse, opposite Alice May). She also took over as Rosalinde in London's first Die Fledermaus (1877) and as Josephine in the original production of HMS Pinafore and played the title-rôle in a major revival of Geneviève de Brabant. 
 In 1877 she visted America as a member of Lydia Thompson's troupe playing Polly Hopkins in Robinson Crusoe, Suzel in Oxygen, Joconde in Piff-Paff, Fatima in Bluebeard etc ('one of the most agreeable voices ever heard here in burlesque'), and she subsequently went round the United States with Nat Goodwin’s Froliques (Minnie Clover/Constance in Hobbies, 1880), being adjudged by the local press ‘an excellent specimen of an English burlesque actress, fair and buxom and a capital songstress’. She also appeared on Broadway as Arabella in Billee Taylor (1881) and Lady Angela in Patience (1881-2). She returned home, amongst scandalous rumours of a paid-off marriage to Howell Osborne, the actress-chasing son of a hugely wealthy stockbroker, C J Osborne, where she appeared as Fiametta in the British production of Boccaccio (1882), but this was her last major London rôle, her work thereafter being largely in the provinces where she appeared in the title-rôle of Merry Mignon, composed by her newly acquired (1883) husband, John Crook, and took the lead in the provincial musical The Bachelors (1885). She was last stage-sighted playing in pantomime at the suburban Standard Theatre in 1887 and at Leicester at Christmas 1893 when she played Drogan in Geneviève de Brabant alongside a couple of other veterans of that famous show’s earlier productions.
Prior to her marriage to Crook, and to the stockbroker scandal, Miss Burville was briefly married (4 March 1876) to the actor and singer W H Denny. He divorced her for adultery in 1879-81.



Addendum et extensum:
Before her appearance in London in La Branche cassée, Alice had already played in Nemesis in the provinces, to where she returned, between London engagements, in later 1876, with Richard South's Opera Company as Wanda to the Grande-Duchesse of Selina Dolaro and Clairette in La Fille de Madame Angot.
The Thompson trip to America was made along with her younger sister, [Rachel Se]Lina Burville (b Prince's Street, Chelsea 15 June 1858; d Keswick 30 November 1935) who stayed behind when Alice reurned to Britain, but was also seen in London in Geneviève de Brabant and The Prima Donna (1889) .
At Christmas 1882 Alice played Zorilda in Sinbad with Lina at the Theatre Royal, Manchester, in 1883 she was Sir Aintree de Waterloo in Beauty and the Beast at the Prince of Wales, Liverpool where she repeated in 1884, in 1885 the fairy in Robinson Crusoe at Birmingham, in 1887 Polly Perkins in Fee Fi Fo Fum at the Standard Theatre ('excelled in her vocalism'), in 1888 as principal Girl at Edinburgh's Dick Whittington.  In 1892, she went on tour with Augustus Harris's troupe, alongside J L Shine and Kate Sullivan, playing the comic opera The Young Recruit.
After being separated from Alice, Howell Osborne moved his attentions to Fay Templeton. She inherited largely at his death.

Wow! I see that my Encyclopaedia article has been plundered widely on the Internet (chuckle, my rather .. er .. individual phraseology shines out ...) ... where's the fun in barefaced 'borrowing' without credit? That's when it stops being 'borrowing' and becomes um .... ah well, at least that way the facts get correctly transmitted!

Well, Alice being mostly second-hand (MY hand!), I've got a few hours to try those other folk ...

Arnold BREEDON [BREEDEN, George Arnold] (b Newington 1853; d King's Norton 1926) spent less than a decade on the stage, and much of it in one role. 
He was born in London, to Birmingham brass-founder Joseph Breeden and his wife Eleanor née Jepson, who spent some years in London before returning to home base in King's Norton. He began his working life as a clerk, but seems to have spent a little time in Italy -- presumably taking singing lessons: for in 1879 he married a young Italian lady named Rosvinda. In 1880 I see him -- now Arnold Breedon -- playing in a tour of the operetta Lover's Knots. The Carte organisation and Teddy Solomon were both noted for their choice of handsome to aristocratic (very) light tenors for the heroes of their shows, and this time they went well and truly to form. The inexperienced Breedon was shoved straight into the title-role of the hit musical Billee Taylor for its New York premiere. He was not a success: 'Mr Dreedon has a weak voice, and his attempts to embellish his singing make it appear less effective than it would otherwise be. He is the only really poor actor in the company ...'.


Billee Taylor was a splendid success, but George soon went home. He turned up next in the ephemeral The Wreck of the Pinafore, and then was called on to repeat his Billee Taylor in a series of matinees and the Gaiety. This time his singing was liked, but. his acting judged 'very stiff and amateurish'.  However, Breedon and Billee stuck together for several more seasons, by the end of which he was acclaimed as 'the original' (that had been the disastrous Frederic Rivers) and as perfect in the role.
In between Billees, opposite Lucille Meredith , Annie Poole,, Marion Hood, Rosie St George, Agnes delaPorte ... he toured as Luis in Les Manteaux noirs ('an American tenor ... posseses a most agreeable voice, accompanied by a fine stage presence') and played in the first and fourth attempts to get the comic opera Estrella off the ground.
His final attempt on the musical stage seems to have been in the comic opera Rhoda,a London flop revamped for the provinces by Deane Brand and featurng the producer and his wife, Kate Chard. Thereafter, George, Rosavina and their growing family retired to King's Norton where he taught singing at a local Institute.  He died in 1926, but Rosavina survived to the age of 90, dying in 1950.

Mary BEEBE (b Columbus, Ohio 27 February 1859; d Brookline 8 October 1902) is remembered for one role: Josephine in the Boston Ideal Opera Company's superior production of HMS Pinafore. But, in spite of problems, personal and marital, and something of a scandal, she played a list of other roles with the Ideals, and went on to several years further of leading soprano parts.
She was the daughter (the first, after four sons) of New Yorker James Henry Beebe, the state law librarian of Columbus and his wife Eilzabeth née Knapp. She began appearing in Boston concerts about 1877 (Napier Lothian's Sundays, Tremont Temple), and the tale has been oft told of how she was hired at short noitce to play Josephine in Miss Ober's production of Pinafore (14 April 1879). She had to resgin her post at the Clarenden Baptist Church, the management refusing to have anything to do with the wicked stage, triumphed in her theatrical debut, and thenceforth became meat for the gossip columnists who chronicled her every doing or not really doing. She appeared as Lydia in Fatinitza, as Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance et al, she sang with H C Barnabee's Concert Party, and then announced her retirement for 20 November, prior to her marriage with Mr Richard G Haskell. They were married 11 December, early in the new year Mary moved out, came back, moved out again ... the marriage was clearly doomed. Mary sought solace elsewhere, Haskell divorced her ... and the virtuous Ideal Opera Company (whose other leading soprano was the wife of an influential member of the troupe) ousted her.


Between 1883-6  I see her appearing in various venues with the Chicago Church Choir troupe (Iolanthe), with the Hess-Acme company (Princess Ida), with Henry Laurent in Le Petit Duc, in Patience at Haverley's, in Baltimore in repertoire (The Merry War, Giroflé-Giroflà, The Bohemian Girl, Fatiniza, The Pirates of Penzance), in John Stetson's Mikado company ... until she remarried (23 June 1886), Mr Ethan Horace Cutler (b Amherst 18 March 1848; d 3 December 1923), left the stage for real this time, and largely vanished from the gossip columns. Well, in 1901-2 she did sue Cutler for divorce a few months before her death, but it turned out she had a brain tumour ...

That's enough for the Bs. I feel like another letter ... but we're chewing away at this list bit of Who's Whoing ...

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Cartesians: B for Back with a Bang ...

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I've dragged myself, with difficulty, out of that Victorian photo box, and back on to the trail of those 'lost' players of the C19th D'Oyly Carte companies. I don't know why I landed in letter 'B', but it proved decidedly fruitful ... so, here we go ...

Florence BANKHARDT [HAWKSWORTH, Florence Emma] (b Eccleshill, Bradford, Yorks 1 December 1867; d London 1901). Father Alfred Hawksworth 'wool sorter', mother Mary née Greaves, married a couple of months before Florence's birth. Followed by Eleanora (b Bradford 8 January 1873) and Mabel (b 1875).
Around 1880, Alfred shot off to Australia, where he became The Big Expert on wool-classing to the New South Wales government (Australian Sheep and Wool) and remained for the rest of his life. Mary 'retired inkeeper' and the girls seemingly stayed home. I see them in West Bank, Heaton, Yorks in 1881. Alfred divorced Mary 'at present in Italy' (Florence went to take lessons from Mazzoni in 1887! ) in 1897.
All three girls would, from their teens, go in for the theatre: Florence as a singer, Ella as a dancer who sings, and Mabel as an 'actress'. I see them 'the sisters Bankhardt' in pantomime at Brighton in 1886.
Ella went on tour with van Biene and Lingard's Falka company in 1888, and Florence went further and tripped to America for Lydia Thompson (Calypso in Penelope). On her return, she was last-minute hired for Cardiff's Aladdin and the Welsh went mad with their advertising


In 1889, however, she was off again, this time to South Africa as prima donna of Searelle's Opera Company. She played in pantomime at Manchester -- Alice to Bessie Bonehill's Dick Whittington --  and alongside Ella's Cinderella, for Ella now had made herself a small name as a member of the George Edwardes Gaiety Company (Donna Elto in Ruy Blas and the blasé roué).  
In 1891 Florence took on the lead role of Hollee Beebee in the tour of The Nautch Girl ...



and Ella got a husband. Mr Edward Arthur Maund, who was embroiled in African affairs, from Matabele to Mashonaland to Mozambique, is said to have followed the teenaged Ella from South Africa, they were married in London (12 April 1892), and Ella exchanged her dancing shoes for five children and eight servants in Ipswitch and Sunningdale. They made it to the press pages in 1907 when their painting, Hoppner's 'Portrait of a Lady' was the subject of a court case. The 1911 census shows they had subsequent disagreements


Maund died 17 August 1932, Ella 17 May 1964 at Barnstaple, Devon.
She had survived Florence by more than sixty years. After The Nautch Girl, Florence created the title-role of Hayden Parry's comic opera Cigarette. The piece did nicely at the Lyric Theatre, but when it transferred to the Shaftesbury Mrs Bennett-Edwards, the producer, recast with the starry Geraldine Ulmar ... and Florence, reportedly, went off to Paris to Madame Marchesi to have 'one or two notes in her voice' improved. La Marchesi must have botched the job: Florence was never, as far as I know, seen on stage again.
I wonder why she died in London in 1901, 'aged 32'. She was 34, but maybe trying to cover up her parents' pre-marital indiscretion. I also wonder what happened to Mabel.

Mildred [Gertrude Mary] BAKER (b St Saviour 14 June 1878; d Lennard Hospital Bromley 6 April 1975) was one of the ten children of Thomas Baker, London railway porter, and his wife Sarah Wise née Leach.


I first see her singing on the bill at the Washington Palace of Varietes, Battersea in 1895, and the following year she joined the Savoy company, playing Olga in The Grand Duke. She remained at the Savoy, appearing, at the same time, in a few outside programmes with H Scott Russell and Richard Temple (The Rose of Auvergne),  until 1901, after which she took over from Hilda Jefferys as understudy to Edna May in The Little Maids, covered Violet Cameron as the Mother Superior in The School Girl and took over the role for the American production, and played in La Poupée.
In 1904 (27 August) she married Swanage stonemason Harry Hubert Phippard (b 19 January 1882) and, after a final tour in The Prince of Pilsen, retired to a long private life.

Post scriptum: Katie Barnes and Vincent Daniels have supplied these grand photos of Mildred in The Grand Duke and The School Girl ...






Carrie [Isabella] BURTON (b Cambridge, Mass 10 September 1858; d New Jersey October 1931) was born in Massachussetts, the daughter of Edward Burton, a brass finisher, and his wife Nancy M Dunlap.


Carrie made what seems to have been her stage debut in 1877 as the mezzo-soprano in Anna Granger Dow's opera company, with Adeliade Randall, Herbert Brown, Louis Pfau, John E Brand and Edward Payson. The following year, Mrs Dow, Carrie and Miss Randall played with L M Ruben's company, which performed at the Grand Opera House (Buda in The Bohemian Girl, Maritana). In 1879, when Pinafore mania hit, she appeared as, variously, Hebe and Josephine, alongside Digby Bell. In 1880, she played at the Bijoue Theatre as Susan Bumpus in Charity Begins at Home and Viola in The Spectre Knight then went on tour with E E Rice's Bijou company (Pirates of Penzance, Charity Begins at Home &c). In 1881 she took the star role of Phoebe in Billee Taylor and the title-role of Patience at the Standard Theatre, in 1882 was Constance in Claude Duval, and Phoebe again, but didn't play the part of Constance, as intended, behind Lillian Russell, in The Sorcerer and went on the road with James Barton's company playing Iolanthe, with Walter Pelham.


I see her thereafter playing Alexina in Falka at the Casino Theatre, in Zanita in Boston (1884) and, in 1889, in McCaull's company of Clover at Palmer's Theatre and the subsequent tour ...
She married an Hungarian ex army Captain (otherwise a beef-packer and a real estate agent) widower Theodore G Korony, and had two children, Edith Burton Korony (Mrs Hachenberg) and Theodore jr. Korony died in 1907, Theodore jr was killed at the Somme ...


Carrie lived, latterly, with her daughter and, at the death in 1931 was buried in the Hachenberg family plot ..


Carrie's older sister, Lizzie M BURTON (1856-1939) also worked in the musical theatre, and was for a time, a member of the Boston Ideal Opera Company (Louise in The Musketeers, The Fortune Teller in Fatinitza etc). She married vocalist Herndon Morsell.

Mae BRUCE (BRUCE, Mary Abbott) (b Salem, Mass 1865) was the daughter of Robert P Bruce, architect of Salem, Mass and his wife, Mary E.
At 21, she was touring with the Moulton and Bennett troupe in a repertoire of Gilbert and Sullivan pieces (Pitti Sing, Josephine) plus Olivette (Bathilde), La Mascotte (Bettina). as second leading lady to Louise Eissing, the following year she played in Ruddigore, and a season at St Louis's Schnaider Gardens, and was announced to marry conductor William Barter Johns. Myabe she did, if so, they went through the ceremony all over again in London 15 July 1890. Between 1890-2 they fulfilled two South American tours with Edwin Cleary, in 1893 they played with Loie Fuller and at the Eden Musée, and in 1894 they joined Rose Leighton, Henry Hallam et al in something called the Murray Light Opera Company. The last time is see Mae is in the 1901 census at London's 49 Springfield Rd. She is 35. I don't know what became of her. In 1909, Johns married someone else ...

Alfred BEERS (b Newcastle x 22 February 1874; d Sheffield 18 December 1933) was the son of Dutch violinist and conductor Joseph Henri Beers and his English wife Elizabeth née Rowntree. He, too, was trained as a violinist, and in the 1891 it is sister Mimi who is the family vocalist. Alfred is a '?music carrier'. In 1894, already, he show up singing at Wallsend's St Luke's Church and at Morpeth where 'Mr Alfred Beers of Newcastle contributed much to the amusement of the audience by his musical sketches ...


He seems to have begun his theatrical career in 1899, covering Simms Bull as Phantis in The Grand Duke then C H Workman as Jack Point and Koko, on the Carte tours. But he would not be an understudy for long. As soon as his Carte contract ended, he went on tour in the star comic role of Li in San Toy ('immense success' 'double encores') for George Edwardes. The job lasted some four years.  He appeared at Glasgow as Widow Twanket at Christmas 1905, then went back to musical comedy in Willie Edouin's role of Moolraj in The Blue Moon (1906-7). His father died in 1907, and Albert disappears for almost a decade. Overseas? Well, in the 1911 census there he is, with wife Beatrice Elizabeth née Holton (19 July 1902) and son Harold Alfred (1905-1966) in Wood Green, labelled 'actor'. I don't know where.


But in 1916 he resurfaces, touring as of old in the musical comedy Tina. I suspect he may have covered star WH Berry in London, for he fulfilled that job in Berry's shows The Boy (1917) and Who's Hooper (1920). He toured in High Jinks (1917, Col Slaughter), played Levy in The Street Singer (1924) and took A W Baskcombe's role of François on tour, took part in The Lady of the Rose, The Naughty Princess (Nitchevo), and played Mr Burke in The Girl Friend (1928-30), forty years on from his first venture ...
Beatrice had died in 1926, Alfred died in 1933, not that long after his last theatre job.

Cecil BURT [BUTTERFIELD, Charles Robert] (b Kent Road 1 April 1852; d Camberwell 26 June 1916) Son of Robert Steven Butterfield, a secretary in the Home customs Office, and his wife Louisa Sarah.

Burt started his working life as a clerk with an insurance company, and I haven't found any record of his performing before his engagement, in 1884, to play Hilarion in Princess Ida with Carte. A year of that was followed by a year as Arthur to the Falka of Giulia Warwick, a lesser tour as The Little Tycoon, and then four years as Geoffrey Wilder in Dorothy. Dorothy also brought him a wife, Miss Lucinda Frances Shaw ka Lucy Carr Shaw, who was playing Dorothy (17 December 1887). Miss Shaw was the sister of Mr G B Shaw, who frequently scorned the musical theatre in bigoted print.
Burt appeared in London as Risotto in The Mountebanks, and then went to India for a season (1892-3).
On his return, he appeared in pantomime at Paisley for Eade Montefiore, toured with Millie Vere's sketch co (with Lucy), and then was signed to play in South Africa with George Edwardes and Frank Wheeler's company. This was followed by tours in The Gay Parisienne (Hans) and five years as Doc Sniffkins in The Belle of New York. During this tour, Lucy decided she was frail, and needed the air of Germany (?!) for her health. She disappeared only to resurface in 1909 to claim that during her decade on the Continent Cecil had been unfaithful. What did she expect? The co-respondent was a lady stagenamed 'Constance Barclay' who may have been Mrs Eade Montefiore.
Burt toured in 1905-6 with Sergeant Brue ... but I see him not thereafter. Except for the 1911 census: Cecil Burt. actor, 57, single, boarder in the house of a boot salesman in Brixton ...



After such success, I thought I'd try a few tiny folk. 'Impossibles'. I got just enough to make it worthwhile ... as follows:

G[eorge] S BRADSHAW was evidently eigentlich something else. I've tracked his career from the little Isidore de Solla opera co in 1872, through his stint with D'Oyly Carte (1879-80), through the post-Soldene Philharmonic (1881) to his appearances actually with Emily Soldene (1882-3), and a couple of little engagements at Hastings up to 1885. Then nix.

J W BIRTLEY. Well, it depends if he's John or Joseph. I see him only twice. Singing in the Theatre Chorister's Assocaiation concert in 1895, and in 1906, at the Gaiety Theatre understudying Harry Grattan in The New Aladdin. 

Marie BALFOUR [SIMKINS, Mary] (b Carrington, Notts 1856) to William and Harriet Simkins, lace-makers ...

Olivia BENYON 'a Birmingham young lady'. Made her stage debut in the Birmingham panto of 1884, 1886-7 with Carte, 1887 panto Babes in the Wood for T W Charles at Nottingham ... vanishes back into stagenameinity ..

Steve BLAMPHIN (b Tewkesbury Gloucs 1855). Well, I've searched for his real name, but for the moment, he's winning. Blamphin? Why? There was the harpist and songwriter Charles Blamphin, there's a Blamphin who plays the bass trombone in the north, there's one that sings in Minsrel shows ..  But Steve? Not a favoured name in 1850, as in 2020, when every second tradesman who comes round is 'Steve'.  Well, whoever he was, he toured in Marjorie in 1890, sang in concerts in Chester and Doncaster, and from 1893-7 toured with Carte. In 1897, he created the role of Ben Smith, the sailor, in Dandy Dan, the Lifeguardsman 'a rough seafaring man with a voice that would be heard amidst the thunder of the mightiest wave ever seen in mid-ocean'. But after that it was 'Steve Blamphin and Fred Verte's variety company, and pantomimes at the Lyric Hammersmith, at Hull (singing 'The Absent-minded Beggar') and at Burnley ...
He described himself as 'single' in 1891, 'widower' in 1901 ... and that's all I know.

Winifred [Agnes] BASTICK (b 16 Aslkham Road, Kensal New Town, Bayswater 12 April 1873; d 5 Russell Rd, Kensington 1965) daughter of Samuel Archibald Bastick, lace-maker, and his wife Tamosine née Moyle. Mother lived to be over 90,... and left her 210L to ... oh! Winifred Agnes HILBERT wife of [Friedrich Emil] Max Hilbert (d Russell Rd, Kensington 1940) ...  well, where has she been all the intervening years?

Kate Oscar BYRNE [BYRNE, Kathleen] (b Chelsea 6 March ?1854; d Islington 1940) the daughter of Oscar Byrne and Abigail née Mahoney later Martin. Studied RAM, 1891 'vocalist English National Opera'. In 1875, she appeared with David Fisher at the Mirror Theatre, in 1876 touring with the Payne Family in pantomime, in 1883 with the D'Oyly Carte, in 1885 playing at Preston (Lady Gay Spanker, Jack in the Beanstalk), in 1886 with Kate Santley in her Vetah, in 1888 singing at the Irish exhibiton (she was of Irish extraction), in 1891 in South Africa with a company headed by Agnes Delaporte and George Temple (Lazarillo, Siebel, Allan a Dale)...

There is no need for me to tackle Leonora Braham, Alice Barnett, Rosina Brandram, Fred Billington, Rutland Barrington and the like .. I have written huge articles on George Bentham, John Broccolini, Frank Boyle ... blogged already Nelly Bromley, Billie Barlow, Frederick Bovill, Jessie Bond ... delved deeply into Henry Bracy[e]y and family in my books, included Robert Brough and many of the above in my Encyclopaedia, bought a grave monument for the partner of Miss [Julia] Barber ... so, who is left?  I'm not even going to attempt 'Mr Brown', Mr Boyd or 'Miss Buckingham', 'Miss Burgess', 'Miss Bartlett' and the like ... I've failed with such as Marguerite Breydel and Annie Bernard ..
I could have a go at Arnold Breedon or the Deane Brands, or, on the American side, Emma Mabella Baker, Flora Barry, Mary Beebe or G H Broderick ... but I think I'll say 'Bye' to the Bs with the lovely Alice BURVILLE. Tomorrow ... midnight tolls ...

Monday, May 25, 2020

Reuniting families ... 150 years later

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For my last dig around in the photographic debris of the 19th century I'm going to put a few folk, who've been scattered round ebay, back with their families. Already this little game has reunited two photographed folk with their descendants ... maybe another?

The biggest bundle is the Poland family: a selection from three generations ... George Alfred POLAND (d Florence Lodge, Streatham Hill 29 January 1883) and his wife Hetty Rosina née ESQUILANT (b Rathbone Place, St Pancras 9 December 1818; d Florence Lodge 25 November 1888)




George, as you can see from his fancy dress (civic? guild? mason?) had a colourful life, and a successful one. Professionally, he was in the clothing business. His father, George (b c 1796; d Camden 10 May 1860), was a furrier at various addresses, all in Oxford Street, and young George, who in the 1851 census, described himself as a strawhat maker and Hetty as a milliner, joined and took over his father's business. On his 1842 wedding certificate he describes himself as 'furrier'. The founding father of the firm and family was John George Poland, and furrier of -- since 1804 -- 90 Oxford Street (b Hof, Germany December 1764; d 24 September 1816). His brother Peter [Raymond] Hof also operated in the wholesale skin and fur business.
There must have been money in furs, because I see that G A owned his own freehold house in Portman Square before his marriage. Maybe it was Hetty, whose father was a fringemaker, who was into straw hats. He seems to have been a fur man. Even though he became Grand Master of the Guild of (Wallpaper) Painters and Stainers. Which may have been the excuse for the above robes. He also seems to have been quite deeply involved in civic affairs and (Liberal) politics, and shortly before his death he was, briefly, a member of the Metropolitan Board of Works. When he and Hetty died, the extent of his investments in property could be seen


On top of all these activities, he was an impenitent breeder. Both of show pigeons and of children. I have lost count of the numbers of his children, but I spot a Maria (Mrs South), Emily Julia (Mrs Harrington, partner of Charles Poland, architect), Hetty Jane (Mrs Ord), Rosina Jane, Sidney Michael, Henry Gordon, Charles Ernest, Frederick William (1860-1934) pictured below


and George Edward POLAND (d Leaverdon Asylum, Watford 7 January 1907), hereditary furrier, pictured here with his wife Mary Anne Eliza née BAKER


Fred started working life as one of the many assistants in the drapery of Octave Lamare, court dressmaker, in Conduit Street, Mayfair (I lived some years just a bobbin's throw from that address!) and by 1911 is listed as an agent in leather goods. He was married to Mary Elizabeth Hosking.

George and 'Marian' gave bith to a son, George Victor Poland (b Oxford Street 3 June 1874), who continued in the fur trade, and to a daughter, Lillian Maud Marian (b Oxford Street 24 August 1879; d 11 Spencer Hill, Wimbledon 24 July 1950). Here is 'Lily' ...


There are a hundred peregrination to be made into the Poland family -- Peter's son became High Sheriff of London and was dubbed --  but I shall just stick to the pictures ... and send you for further information to http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/31598/1/hope.david_phd.pdf for the story of the Poland brother's large part in the 19th century fur trade.


Oh, number 90 Oxford Street (between Dean Street and Wadour Street) survived well over a century as a furrier's, until it became a Dorothy Perkins shop. Apparently is now 'The Sunglasses Hut'. How the glorious are fallen: from the heights of furry fashion to the pits of pseudo-fashion!

Husband and wife only this time ..

Samuel BRAME (b Bedale 1838; d West Bromwich 1909) and his wife Marie née BALL (d 1879)



Samuel Brame was born in Yorkshire, the son of John Brame, town missionary, and his wife Ann, and worked from his earliest teens as a japanner. He ventured to London (see him in Hatton Garden in 1861, listed as 'commercial'), but settled in Birmingham, where he married Marie (b Birmingham 1841; d Birmingham 1879) the daughter of Charles Ball, gold chain manufacturer, and set up as an emigration agent for New Zealand (1864-8). That proving unsuccessful, he joined his father-in-law's firm, which became Ball and Brame, 'employing 14 men' and occupied himself with the local church schools. A son, Charles Samuel died aged two, daughter Zillah Marie aged nineteen, a second son, Ernest William survived to become a canvasser for Lever Brothers, and two further daughters(Nellie B and Miriam Evangeline) arrived before Marie died in 1879.

The firm went bankrupt in 1880 (8s in the pound) and was liquidated in 1883.



Samuel remarried, Alice Matilda Boston, of Acock's Green, in 1882 (21 January), and switched to a new career, as a political agent. I don't know what he actually did ... but he did it for the rest of his visible life, up to his death aged 71.

The next family, to my surprise, I had already encountered in my work on D'Oyly Carte singers. This is Margaret ENGLISH née ABRAHAM (b Carlisle 20 December 1816, d 1872)    wife (1845) of Liverpool shipbuilder's clerk (later shipowner and broker, Charles John English (b 1820; d Upper Parliament Street, Liverpool 10 May 1898).


The Englishes had seven children: Margaret Orpah, Charles Robert, Rebecca (Mrs Burdon), Mary Condliff (Mrs Isaiah De Zouche), Evangeline (Mrs Walter Norris Jones), Robert Abraham and Francis George. Alas, there is no photo of eldest daughter 'Madge Inglis', contralto of the Carte companies, but we have three of her siblings.

Francis in 1879
Francis George ENGLISH (b Liverpool 1859; d unknown). A shipping clerk in Liverpool at the age of 22 ... is this the answer?




Robert in 1876
Robert Abraham ENGLISH (b Liverpool 1857; d Bournemouth 19 July 1901) attended the Royal Indian Engineering College, Staines, and went out to India as a civil engineer.
Rebecca in 1867
Rebecca ENGLISH (b Birkenhead 1851; d 26 Kingsley Terrace 4 June 1914) 'music teacher', married John Burdon, physician, 1886, son John Hinton Burdon, settled in Elswick, Northumberland. Survived by her husband and son ('solicitor').

Well, it's a whole week, now, that I've been digging in this photo box. It's been fun, it's been interesting, but it's time to get back to the Victorian theatre.

I've still got a folder of folk, uninvestigated, in my Dropbox, so maybe I'll return to them one day ... and, of course, more will surface daily ...