Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Ivy: the girl who married Sherlock Holmes

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Today is market day. And I have a dinner outing with the family scheduled. So I decided I wouldn’t do an article today. Tidy up the house. Tidy up the computer. Put away some of those having-been-used files which are cluttering my desktop …

What’s this? Oh. The ship-list for the D’Oyly Carte Utopia Limited company, going to America, in 1894. Many a name which means nothing or little to me. Ephemeral chorines, long-serving chorines … well, there is just one amongst them that I know rose above the ranks: Ivy Hertzog. So, maybe, just peek and see if the web has anything to say about her and about her actor husband, ‘Julian Royce’. Oh, dear. She is nowhere, but he has one and a half lines in Wikipedia and the IMDB: ‘Julian Royce (26 March 1870 – 10 May 1946) was a British actor. He was born Julian Gardener in Bristol and died in London at age 76’. Is it really possible to make four mistakes in 1 ½ lines …


 That’s me a goner. I don’t suppose anyone cares much, these days, about ‘Ivy’ and ‘Julian’, but  egregious errors of fact, as the theatre-history world knows, get on my wick. So…

‘Ivy’ first. She was born in Greenwich, in 1870, as Bertha Emilie Herzog. Yes, obviously no ‘t’. Her father was Frederic Eberhard Herzog (1844-1907) a wood-engraver from Stüttgart and her mother the very young Lavinia née Sandwell from Rotherhithe. She began on the stage as a chorus girl with Carl Rosa, George Edwardes and D’Oyly Carte, and on her return from the Utopia jaunt, went out on Edwardes’ tours in Britain (A Gaiety Girl) and to South Africa. She played in The Gay Parisienne in London, at Fulham in Milton Bode’s Aladdin … but her chorus days were coming to an end …

In March 1898 she turns up at Oldham cast as Norah, the juvenile heroine of Sporting Life starring Leonard BoyneIn April they are playing at Hull (‘with great tendresse and grace’) and Nottingham (‘a delightful performance’), and in May at Edinburgh and Newcastle (‘a very winsome heroine’). The role of the evil Malet de Carteret was played by 32-year-old ‘Mr Julian L Royce’. Yes, enter the husband-to-be.


 So, Mr ‘Royce’. Yes, he was born Gardener. Yes he was born 26 May. No, he was not christened Julian, no it wasn’t Bristol, and no it wasn’t 1870. So 40% right? He was born (26 May 1866), or at least christened, in Chorlton-upon-Medlock, by the name of William Leonard Gardener, and under that name he was married, in 1889, to a young actress, Elizabeth Mary Day (‘Nora Day’), who had just started on a very promising career. I see them touring and advertising together in 1891, ‘aristocratic, heavy and juvenile leads’. Already ‘Julian’ and ‘Nora’. In 1897, they played together in The New Magdalen with Nora in Ada Cavendish’s great role as Mercy Merrick (‘genuine emotional power’), and in January 1898 they appeared in Sporting Life at the Shaftesbury. Julian was de Carteret, Nora was Lady Belton, and Sybil Carlisle played Norah. In February1898, while Julian went on the road in his villainous role,  Nora took the star role in In the Ranks(’with fervour and true womanly feeling’): on 26 June, she died, of cancer, aged 40, at 26 Wilton Street, Manchester.

Now, I’m not going to detail Julian’s career because it is detailed minutely in The Eraof 9 April 1898, along with a photo which shows him behind a ferociously fashionable moustache. 

When the next tour of Sporting Life went out, Julian was cast opposite Vera Beringer, but I see Miss Iva Hertzey still in the cast – understudy, perhaps? Anyway, round about the same time that Julian dropped the L from his stage name, he was married to Miss Herzog (29 July 1899), and they continued on their careers together …


 In 1900, the couple travelled to America with Mrs Langtry, and played Sir William and Lady Saumarez in The Degenerates, on their return Ivy went back to the Gaiety to play the naughty Lady Punchestown in The Messenger Boy. When the show went on tour, Julian joined her, to play the villainous Pyke.


Villains were clearly Julian’s speciality (thus, doubtless, the moustache) but he cleaned up decisively when Charles Frohman cast him in William Gillette’s famous role of Sherlock Holmes on tour in Britain. Ivy played nasty Madge Larrabee, through 1902-3. And so it went on. I see them touring with Mrs Patrick Campbell, visiting America again in 1912 to play Passers-By for Frohman, and again in 1919 … 

Ivy went into retirement in the 1920s, but Julian played on, and the reason that he is included on the IMDB is that he appeared in a good handful of 1930s movies. Julian died at Hailsham 10 May 1946, aged 80 – not 76 – and Ivy followed him just a few months later, after two successful careers and nearly 50 years of marriage.

Well, I’m glad I followed up Mr and Mrs Gardener. I think their story is a nice story. I must find a picture of her… there will surely be one in the Messenger Boy edition of Play Pictorial …

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