Autumn is doing a good imitation of Winter today ...
and a few leaves have been falling in my Cartesian well. Not all where I would wish them to. A bit of a session where one mystery was inclined to lead to another ... not many guns, divorces and only one car (carriage, actually) crash ...
The day started well. Contact with a real, live granddaughter of a C19th Cartesian. Alas, she had only one very faded, old, latter-day photo to send me ...
but she was, obviously, able to tell me the real name of
Madge CHRISTO [HARDMAN, Margaret] (b Fireman's Row, Tonder Iron Works, Hirwaun, Glamorgan, x 23 September 1860; d Camden March 1907).
Madge was the daughter of colliery enginesmith William Hardman and his wife Margaret, born during the few years the family spent in Wales -- after Stafford, before Bristol, Aberdeen and ultimately London, where Madge attended the Royal Academy of Music. I see her singing in concert at Uxbridge with one Miss Etherington (Marie Tempest), I see her singing the contralto solos in Christ and his Soldiers (1886) with the Holborn Temperance Choir, and in the same year joining the company at the Savoy Theatre. I see her at Herne Bay playing in a sketch, His Son in Law, and I see her, in 1890, touring in a 'drama' The Golden Band, of which the cast included an actor named Rob Wing. The following year Robert James Wingham and Margaret Hardman were wed.
They toured together in the musical drama Jack in the Box (1891), Manhood (1891, in which she sang), The Follies of the Day (1892-3), Love's Battle (1893), The Secretary (1893), The Line of Fate (1894, producer: R Wing), Driven from Home (1895) before Madge was brought to bed with her first infant, Roland Charles William Frederick Wingham (Chiswick 1895). A second son, Henry James (b Chiswick 6 July 1897).
The beginning of a family marked the ending of a career, for both spouses. Rob became a shorthand writer, Madge house kept ... sadly, for only a dozen years. Madge died, aged 46, in 1907, and Rob the year after...
Fowler THATCHER [THATCHER Walter] later THATCHER Walter Fowler Cecil (b 1863; d 62 Shap Street, Shoreditch 5 January 1925) also lived in Chiswick. Quite where he was born, and as what, is not so clear. He said twice that he was born in Egremont, Cheshire. Once that he was born in India. He said on his marriage certificate that he was plain Walter, and his father was Walter Fowler Thatcher.
And he and Mary reckoned they were married ... well, they advertised as such in 1885, and their first child was born in 1886. So the veracity of the family is hardly to be trusted! Well, I can find no Walter Thatcher anywhere (else), and no Fowler Thatcher until our man begins his stage career ... only a Thomas Fowler Thatcher, hosier, in Sunderland, and a Charles Fowler Thatcher in Newbury ...
That stage career seems to have begun with the Majiltons troupe around 1881. That troupe included a young lady who called herself 'Maud[e] Murray', and yes, she was Miss Sangster (b Lambeth 1861) tardily to become Mrs Thatcher. Both Walter and Mary were to have forty-year careers in the theatre ... only a few weeks of which were, on his part, spent with the Carte organisation ... and they were forty years which embraced all sorts of entertainments: drama, comic opera, comedy, pantomime, musical comedy, farce comedy, variety ... so I shall summarise.
He toured with several 'comedy and burlesque' troupes -- the Majiltons, H D Burton, Kate Fellowes, Arthur Ricketts -- played p[antomime (Queen Suchawayo in Robinson Crusoe at Leicester, Jack the Giant Killer at Liverpool), played a programme, including Creatures of Impulse, with Addie Conyers, before, in 1884, he played, for the first time, the role which he would professedly play 2500 times in twenty years: Gobo in Les Cloches de Corneville.
During the 1880s, his musical engagements included several tours as Don Jose in Les Manteaux noirs, Dudley Harcourt in My Sweetheart, Weasel in Nell Gwynne, Augustus in Muldoon's Picnic and when Les Cloches de Corneville was revived in London, he went along as understudy to Shiel Barry in the star role. A position I suspect he had always filled. In between times, of course, there was panto time -- when, usually, Maud-Mary came too, and comedy roles in drama (A Mother's Sin, Siberia, A Sailor's Knot) ... always returning, again and again, to Gobo. The management released him from Cloches to allow him to play Baboo Currie in The Nautch Girl for Carte.
In 1894 he appeared in Eastward Ho! at the Opera Comique, tripped to America with Lillian Russell's The Queen of Brilliants, and toured in Flashes, in 1895 he but together a burlesque Corsican Brothers scena with George Walton, which proved so successful that they took to the Empire, toured in Mamma, and in 1896 the Cloches company varied itsd repertoire with a piece called The Black Squire.
In 1897-8, he and Maud toured together in A Voice from the Grave, the musical comedy Dorcas (he as Lubin Mugby ('It's awkward when you can't', 'I arrived in time to get it'), she as Griselda, and True Blue, znd when there was a gap, he went on the halls as as a vent!
Over the next years he played Algy Aldgate in The White Blackbird, Major Tiffin in A Trip to Chicago, in the revamped The Lady Detective, Titus Thomas in Cissy, several more lots of Gobo ... and in between threw in the odd Abanazar and a stint with the Waterloo Pierrots at Bridlington!
The Casino Girl, Alice in Wonderland, more Gobo, The Swiss Express ... in his forties the jobs were a tad less substantial ... but there was the annual Little Red Riding Hood, Mother Goose or Aladdin, and now he was performing readily in music-hall sketches. But he got to tour in The Glad Eye and in the musical Theodore & Co in 1918. I see what seems to be Maud-Mary still on the halls in 1917 ...
The couple had a son, Claude Mark Henry Macgregor Fowler Thatcher (b 15 September 1886; d 14 February 1956) and a daughter, Izra Marion Margaret (25 February 1888). Claude? Macgregor? Izra? clues ...?
Oh, Mary? She was the second daughter of Fergus Allan Sangster and Mary Ann née Britton and born Old Brentford 27 May 1860 ... Fergus was a professor of music, but he had been a nurseryman until he bankrupted in 1858 ... they lived latterly in Isleworth, and there wasn't a Claude or a Macgregor or an Izra among them.
If Mr Thatcher was a pain, what to say of the lady who played with the Carte organisation, and through twenty years of very visible career as Marion GRAHAME. Was that her real name? In the 1881 census, on tour with Carte as Constance in The Sorcerer, sharing digs with Adelaide Gracey and Beatrice Young, she says that she is Marion E Grahame, 22, and born St Pancras. Is that a true entry, or a landlady's guesstimate? The 'r' on Grahame and the middle initial. I hied me to the birth registers, and yes: there's a Marian Helen Grahame born in 1858 in St George's Hanover Square ... (Helen=Ellen) ... and then: dead end.
Well, if she's not going to play my game, I'm going to pot her. First sighting 1880, Little Red Riding Hood at Birmingham. Second sighting, D'Oyly Carte, rising to Aline, Josephine, Phyllis and Patience by the end of 1884 when she shoots off to Dublin for panto. 1885: Katrina in Rip van Winkle, a brief West End adventure in a small part in Fay o' Fire and panto at Edinburgh; 1886 another West End flop in Frivoli at Drury Lane, then panto at Leeds.
And in 1887, it all changed. She went to the Continent. I see her singing at Ronacher in Vienna (and the Prince of Wales turned up!), but she also visited Berlin for three months, Dresden, St Petersburg, et al, and when she came home Mr Didcott could advertise her as 'the celebrated continental cantatrice' ...
Marion never, as far as I know, appeared in a theatre again, not even in a panto. For the next fifteen years she sang in the music halls, including most of the best -- the Alhambra, the Oxford et al -- as a 'ballad vocalist'. In 1894-5 she visited South Africa for the Searelles. But in 1896 she was no longer being advertised as the celebrated cantatrice, she was 'late prima donna with D'Oyly Carte's Opera Company'. Late? Like a dozen years late!
Marion delivered 'Whisper and I shall hear', 'Anchored' 'Come back to Erin' e tutti quanti in 'a mezzo-soprano voice of admirable quality', but her showpiece was Michael Maybrick's 'The Holy City' ('a delight to the audience to listen to such a cultivated vocalist') which 'admirably displays her rich voice'. Goodness, I remember Moira Anderson singing 'The Holy City' in front of a stained glass backdrop at the Blackpool Sunday concerts in the 'seventies. I see Marion last in 1905 at the Manchester Tivoli .. she is in the smaller print of a bill topped by Vesta Victoria.
Well, a good career, but the personal details are missing. And I've wasted enough time looking for them .. but Birmingham ...
George King MORGAN (b 36 Lower Gardiner St, Dublin 15 March 1859; d Kensington April 1926). Should be easy, eh? Well, it wasn't. Do you know how many Morgans called their sons George King? Was he a character of mythology, or something? But this is our one ... son of John Morgan Esq (oooh!) and his wife Leonida Darcy. They must have been a weeny bit grand, because George's marriage and children got into the London papers. Married Blanche Gertrude Alma Catania Felgate 17 July 1882. Charles Rowley Stanley King Morgan born 22 October 1883 .... all those names! Well, at the time of those events, father was a Cartesian chorus boy.
He didn't stay a chorus boy, though. From 1889, he toured for Henry Leslie's companies as a leading man: Dorothy, Doris, The Red Hussar ... in 1890 he sang Leander in Richard Temple's Mock Doctor production ... in 1893 he went out in F J Harris's Morocco Bound tour, in 1895 as Erding in His Excellency. In 1897-8 he worked with Albert Chevalier in his musical The Land of Nod and is concerts ... and then he retired. For a year, he was manager of Brighton's Eden Theatre ... then I suppose elsewhere. In 1911 he is calling himself, still, 'theatrical manager'. Blanche (b Paddington 27 October 1861; d 1941) is there with the other two of their surviving children, Leonida May (21 May 1889) and George Patrick King (b Brighton 1899).
He seems to have died in 1926 'in the open air' 'aged 67' at Kensington.
Time for a bit of scandal? We've been terribly uxorious up till now ... so we'll go to another fairly ephemeral Cartesian. One from Canada.
Attalie CLAIRE [SMITH, Attalie Claire] (b Toronto ?1866; d NYC 12 July 1936) was the daughter of Richard Archibald Smith and his wife Rebecca Alexander Taylor. Although born in Toronto, she was brought up in Albany, NY, and educated at St Agnes's Convent. She studied singing with England's Alberto Laurence (Jack Marshall) and at Mrs Thurber's National Conservatory, which must have helped her to her first job with Mrs Thurber's American Opera Company (Siebel, Frasquita). From that unfortunate company, she progressed to the Boston Ideals, and in 1890 she was hired by James W Morrisey for a series of operas at the not-grand Grand Opera House (26 May). She sang Arline Siebel, Carmen ... alongside one-time Cartesian Edward Connell.
I haven't discovered what prompted Attalie's English venture. I suspect that, after their huge hit with American Agnes Huntington in Paul Jones, the Carl Rosa Light Opera thought they could duplicate that success with another transatlantic mezzo. So Attalie got to be Captain Thérèse in Planquette's new piece. She was no Agnes, and was replaced by local Violet Cameron. However, she was hired for the remake of America's Robin Hood, and then by D'Oyly Carte, who had had pleasure from American Lenore Snyder, for The Nautch Girl.
And now things started to go downhill. Attalie (and her family) went home, and she was cast to play sweet Charlotte to the La Cigale of Lillian Russell. But then a stupid college boy, who had inherited a million from his late father, wrecked her career. His floral posturings (detailed lovingly and at length by the press) became an embarassment, caused a breach with la belle Lillian ... end of La Cigale. And Attalie, bedazzled, became Mrs $$Frederick Alfred Kayne, retired from the stage, had a daughter ...
And it didn't work.
So, Attalie started singing again. She appeared in London in an unsuccessful operatic Rip van Winkle. Then she returned home and went for a drive in Purling, NY, with her parents and her daughter. The carriage smashed, mother was killed, father badly hurt, but Attalie and little Selene (b 20 May 1894; b Lawrenceburg Tenn 17 January 1958) reportedly survived unscathed.
Attalie appeared in the title-role of Dorothy at the Castle Square opera, and then on the music-halls at Proctor's ... and in 1899 the loving Mr Kayne filed for divorce. I wonder what his grounds were. They were still together in the 1900 census. Anyway, he got his divorce, and custody of the child, so I guess Attalie had in some way proven hersef a wicked woman. She lasted a couple of years more in variety houses and then ..
Well, in 1920 she is a 'roomer', alone, on West 107th. In 1930, claiming 50 years of age, she is in a rooming-house, on West 117th, with a 19 year-old Italian dance-hall hostess and a waitress ...
Nellie RICHARDSON [RICHARDSON, Ellen Bokenham] (b Bury St Edmunds 1865; d 4 Camarthen Drive, Glasgow 3 April 1957) only ventured onto the professional stage for a short while. She was one of the musical daughters of Thomas Bentick Richardson, musician and music teacher, of 35 Crown Street, Bury, and his wife, Ellen née Cheeper, and she began performing as a pianist from her youngest teens. But she also sang, and I see her singing the contralto solos in The Ancient Mariner with the local choir, and giving 'The Gay Tomtit' in concert.
The Bury newspaper noted proudly, in 1891, that she was playing Banyan in the Nautch Girl tour. But Nellie came home, and took up again teaching music to the local children and, in 1895 (2 July), she married Pontefract chemist Herbert Arundel. They removed to Almondbury, Huddersfield, where 'Mrs Herbert Arundel of Croft House' 'a soprano of much power' was heard in local concerts, and where their two children -- Reginald Bokenham (7 January 1899-28 March 1968) and Vera Bokenham Arundel (b 20 May 1902) -- were born, and subsequently to Glasgow. But in between babies, Mrs Arundel returned to the stage (see the G&S archive). Oddly enough, the Arundels are censussed, in 1901, in Almondbury ...
Herbert died 8 September 1938 at The Bungalow, Station Rd, Monkton, Ayrshire. I see Nellie (12 Huntly Gardens, Glasgow) heading, the following year, to Canada. I wonder why. But she came back and spent her nearly 20 years of widowhood in Glasgow.
I didn't go far into Margaret OAKLEY [HODGKINSON, Margaret] (b Belfast 1862; ?d Farrington, Lancs 28 July 1890), sixth child of a Lancashire laundryman ('employing 4 men, 9 women'). She shows up with the company in Devon, sharing digs with Margaret Evans and Harry Cooper, in 1881, but I fear she was the Margaret Hodgkinson who died, aged 28, in 1890.
Similarly, I didn't investigate Ina REPTON [REPTON, Mary Regina T F deW] (b London 4 October 1871; d 1947) and her handful of years on the stage. I note that in 1891 she is living in Holdenhurst with mother and siblings Leila Maud Mary (b 25 May 1869; d 1954) and Bernard F C (born France) 'on own means', and in 1901 with mother, Leila and a brother Philip John C at Albany Mansions Battersea, in 1911 at Uplyme Devon with Mamma .. in 1939 she is alone at The Lodge, Tendring, Essex ... Mamma (née Tyrwhitt) is always 'married', but there is never a sign of Papa. Mr Edmond Henry Repton (b 17 January 1844) 'theatrical artist'. After five children, he'd seemingly skedaddled.
Leila also went on the stage, playing behind George Alexander, H B Irving, at the St James's Theatre and on the road in The Ambassador, The Prisoner of Zenda, A Man of Forty, In Days of Old &c, and E S Willard in England and America. Brother Charles Edmund A W was killed in the Great War.
Oh, all those initials? Me Repton's daddy was George Henry Repton, minor canon of Westminster, mummy was Lady Annabella Cecilia Perry, an Irish Viscount's daughter ... so I suppose their were lots of relatives to be mollycoddled ... alas, lots of initials do not a man make. Nor an actor.
And now a maddening one. You would think that a performer named Duncan John MORLEY would just pop into my basket .. well, I thought he had. Born Warren Street 7 March 1851; d 18 Cavendish Rd 25 May 1915. Father George a wheelwright then a dairyman, mother Caroline ... married Eva Davies Lyons (b 31 October 1856) on 22 October 1876. 'Actor'. Chorus of Patience March to July 1884. Sounds fair, yes? 'Actor' often meant chorus boy. BUT ... the family historians tell us that Duncan took a stage name, and he did it as early as 1880 when he played in King Lear with Creswick at the Surrey. He was 'Charles Cartwright'. And as Charles Cartwright he had played prominently at the Princess's, in Pinero's Low Water, in Odette and on tour in his own company in Moths. Why would he backtrack to his old name and to the chorus of a comic opera? Odd. Mr Cartwright evidently could sing. He created the role of the Emperor of Morocco in Edward Jakobowski's Dick. But he didn't make a habit of it. It just don't compute!
Duncan J Morley makes another appearance in September 1892. He's a witness at the very private marriage of Lady Mabel Brudenell Bruce 'sister of the Marquis of Ailesbury' ... how? why? Is it 'Charles Cartwright'?
Well, Charles and Eva ('actress') had a daughter Edith E A Morley (b Chelsea March 1880) who also went on the stage. As, of course, 'Edith Cartwright'
'Charles' left L39 10s 1d to his widow. But quite a track record. Whether he is Mr J D Morley of the Patience chorus and the S[i]evier marriage is another question. Oh, the 'wealthy' Sieviers were hauled into court by a moneylender a year or two later ... and she tried to divorce him in 1898.
Charles Joseph CUBITT (b Putney x 25 December 1857; d 120 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia 1945) was the son of William Duncan Cubitt 'manager of a music business' and his wife Anne Margaret née Leaver. I don't know much more about him, as he seems to have been a chorister only. He is a 'vocalist' in Sheffield in 1881, apparently with Carte, and, again, at home with the family in 1891. He subsequently emigrated to Melbourne, where he worked as a fruiterer, then to Sydney 'commercial traveller', where he died at the age of 87.
Reginald CHRISTIAN (b Reen, Kenmare 1856; d Dublin 1924) was the son of Denis O'Sullivan Christian and his wife Flora Mary Aldworth, and the brother of the better-known Albert Christian. The boys both studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music (1879) and sang in concert in Dublin (Mrs Lalor-Ireland's) and both joined the Carte organisation for a while. Reginald sang tenor leads off and on between 1882-4, but while Albert continued on, he seems to have disappeared back to Ireland and into vocal retirement.
Herbert A[rthur] CRIPPS (b St Mary Cray, Kent 6 December 1852; d NYC 19 February 1931) is a more satisfying chap to end this collection on. He had a grand theatre career of over forty years, just a little of it in D'Oyly Carte productions, but altogether more in the comic operas of Messrs Gilbert and Sullivan, and of many other folk.
Herbert was born near Bromley, the son of William John Cripps, chemist and druggist, and his wife Emma née Battersby. As a teenager, he went to work as a clerk for a cheesemonger, but at the age of twenty he renounced cheese, and sailed for Boston. And took up the stage. His first employer was none less than Lydia Thompson, with whose troupe he played in 1873-4 Mephisto, Sinbad), his next was the Boston Theatre, where he played every kind of entertainment, for some six years, as a member of the stock company. One week it was The Merchant of Venice, another the burlesque Evangeline, one week he sang 'Gold, gold, gold' in the Sardou drama André Fortier, or played Mikailoff in The Exiles, another the vast Vernicular spectacle Voyagers in the Southern Seas (Captain Wilson) was produced, and exported to New York. And sometimes there was comic opera: HMS Pinafote, Fatinitza ..
It was comic opera where Cripps would find his opportunities. He took over the role of Sir Mincing Lane in Billee Taylor at the Standard Theatre, and joined the Comley-Barton company with whom he played Olivette (Marvejol), depped for John Howson in Madame Favart, played in Patience and Manola et al through a season. When The Vicar of Bray was produced in New York, Herbert was the stage director, when it was replaced by more Billee Taylor, he fulfilled the same task. In 1883, he was hired as the star of an operation called the Chicago Ideal Opera Company. It wasn't wholly Ideal: Jessie and Josie Bartlett were the only future names on the bills: but Herbert staged and starred in Iolanthe, The Sorcerer and Patience and saved the furniture.
In 1884 he played Sergeant Dumont in Desirée, directed and played in Wanted a Partner at the Park Theatre, and joined John McCaull's staff directing and mostly playing in pieces such as Falka, Indiana, The Begum, Lorraine, Boccacio, Clover, Captain Fracasse, The Beggar Student, The Queen's Mate, Prince Methusalem between 1885 and 1890. In 1890, he became stage director to de Wolf Hopper (Wang, Castles in the Air, The Lady and the Tiger, Dr Syntax, El Capitan, The Charlatan), After a spell at San Francisco's California Theatre, he continued on through The Rounders (1900-1), a visit to England for The Fortune Teller, a take-over of the chief comic role in The Sleeping Beauty and the Beast and in 1907-8 a return to Hopper for Happyland and What Happened then? In 1912, he was back performing, supporting Billie Burke in The Runaway, and in 1914 Hopper and William Brady called on him one more time to direct his touring company in a repertoire of Gilbert and Sullivan works. In 1915, the team played The Sorcerer, The Yeomen of the Guard, Trial by Jury, The Mikado, The Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore and Iolanthe at the 48th Street Theatre.
Herbert Cripps married twice. The first time in 1880 (26 September) to Sarah Hoernle, who appears to have died soon after, and secondly to Emma Elizabeth Pratt (1893) by whom he had a daughter, Gladys (d 11 February 1935). In his retirement, he became a musical salesman, then a real estate agent, he moved to Westchester and then to Richmond, NY, his 1931 death certificate called him 'retired musician'.
Well, ups and downs with this little bunch ... now to find out if Annie ('Nita') Clutterbuck was really the Annie who bigamously married a confidence trickster ...