Monday, July 10, 2023

Cartesians: Who Did You Think You Were


Mid-July. Winter. Fire on. Below zero. Sun struggling to tear away the grey clouds ...  I think he may succeed. Eventually. (He did)

In the meanwhile ... let's find out if I can identify a few more C19th Cartesians. You never know!

Surprise.  Here is a bundle of names and numbers to add, mostly as headers, to the articles in the G&S Archive! Their D'Oyly Carte credits are listed on Some of the lies and pretences have, hopefully, been here excised from 'accepted knowledge'!

Edwin Bowers EVE (b St Pancras 16 December 1849; d Christchurch, Hampshire 1887). By John ex Anne. Father died soon after his birth. Worked as a merchant's clerk when not chorussing.

Edward Hall DAVENPORT (b Handsworth 17 March 1855; d Essex 1899) son of Henry J Davenport, floorcloth maker, and his wife Amelia. Husband of Florence Hennessy. Worked latterly as a newspaper reporter.

Henry George COLEMAN (b Birmingham 1849; d Headington Quarry, August 1935) son of shoemaker turned chapel-keeper William Coleman and his wife Ann Austin. Originally a collector for the waterworks. Married Elizabeth Mary Allen. Latterly became a manufacturer of toilet brushes, and by 1911 was a Superintendant of a Home for Crippled Boys.

Clara Deveine [DAVIE, Clare] (b Aberdeen September 17 September 1856 or 7; d Kensington 1945) by James Davie ex Clara Mackay. Illegitimate daughter 1877. Married Arthur du Pasquin Yates of the Carte Company, son of the well-known theatre author and manager Edmund Yates. A son was killed aged 21 in the great War, soon after the parents had separated (1910). Clare had a fine dozen years in the theatre, singing at the Philharmonic, with Joseph Eldred, with Emily Soldene at the Alhambra, with Edward Cotte in operetta, in several Carte tours (Saphir, Leila), and latterly in drama.

Clara Deveine

Lena DWELLY [DWELLY, Helena Toynbee] (b 123 Heyworth St, Everton 1874; d Golders Green 11 March 1951) draper's daughter. Married Arthur Maynard Crickett (draper).

Arthur de JONG (b 13 December 1866) Spent much time in South Africa as a producer and entrepreneur, and was latterly 'director of entertainments' at Hove. I see him in 1940 heading off on an umpteenth sea voyage to Cape Town ... in 1945 he is at his home in 25b Selbourne Rd, Hove, with one Alexandra Maude Deegan, housekeeper ..

Caroline de KOVRIGIN [WRIGHT, Caroline Gertrude] (b Marylebone 1861; d Bayswater 10 September 1935) dancer, elocutionist, vocalist, musichall performer, teacher in turn.

Maude DIGBY [VICKERY, Leonida Maude] (b St Helier, Jersey 6 May 1855; d Epping 1950). Daughters of 'l'écrivain de la Cour Royale'. Went to Australia, young, with her sister. They performed there successfully as Solange Novaro and Andrée Novaro. 'Solange' (ie Maude) married Frederick Henry Digby, editor of a Christchurch newspaper and the couple returned to Britain.

Solange Novaro

Louise de MERVALE [CHAMBERS, Louisa Margaret] (b Birmingham 6 October 1870; d Birmingham 25 July 1959) daughter of William (carriage dealer) and Louisa Jane Chambers, wife of Cartesian Thomas Lewis Campion. She remarried in 1902 one George Harry Cooper LUKE, leather merchant, had issue (Nora Marguerite) and lived to be nearly 90.

Louise de Mervale

Alice CARLE (b Portland, Maine 10 October 1855; d Portland, 28 August 1934) daughter of Charles Edward Carle and Sarah A née Shaw. Wife of Charles E Seaver of Cambridge, Mass.  Well-known contralto actress in American musical theatre.

Alice Carle

Nita or Annie COLE [COLE, Annie Gertrude] (b Shoreditch 1867; d 1 Durrington Avenue, Wimbledon, 2 November 1957) Daughter of Richard Townsend Clarke, cheesemonger's foreman, and a singer from an early age, 'Nita' married widowed stockbroker Egerton Harry John Clarke in 1893 and retired to a well-heeled future. The marriage was notable for the fact that Nita's witness for the occasion was Richard D'Oyly Carte.

Nita Cole

Edith [Gladys] COURTNEY (b 143 Grays Inn, Rd 2 May 1870; d Worthing 8 May 1942) A busy actress who sang on British and colonial stages for many years.

[Mary] Kathleen CORRI (b Shoreditch 20 January 1857; d Brixton 1936) The original Phoebe of Billee Taylor, and a scion of an enormous British musical family. Her husband, Charles Lord, was a sometime hotel owner in Folkestone.

Joseph RITTE [RITTENBERG, Joseph] (b Edinburgh 24 April 1872; d Thorpe Bay 6 July 1950) chorister brother of the better-known 'Philip Ritte'.

Ernest F[rancis] LAWS (b Battersea, London 7 March 1881; d Vancouver, Canada 18 November 1954). Son of London metal worker, went on the stage in his teens in the provinces  The Adventures of Lady Ursula etc) as an actor, and with the aid of a stout baritone voice, played in The Emerald Isle (Earl of Fessenden, Black Dan) with the Carte/Greet company. He subsequently was seen on the road as the hero of the musical A Trip to Japan. He married Margaret Louise Madeline Hirschberg, from St Leonards, and their son Don was born in 1905, at which time Laws was still describing himself as 'actor'. He seems to have been the 'Laws' of quick-change musical act on the halls from 1905-1909. The family emigrated, soon after, to Canada where Laws worked as a land agent and occasional concert promotor. 

I think my identifications are right. It is hard to be sure when part-time old-time thespians used different names, ages, occupations, husbands and wives et al on various documents. And it is so easy, 150 years on, to make a mistake. I think I have just found a booboo in an identification I made last year ...

It came about thus. I realised that I had never investigated the why and what of the fine singer Charles ROWAN who was prominent in the British musical theatre in the 1880s and 1890s. His performance cv began in 1880, as a tenor with a variety of Minstrel and Diorama troupes in England and Ireland. By 1881 he had moved into comic opera appearing in the provinces is Les Cloches de Corneville, La Princesse de Trébizonde, and La Mascotte. While appearing in the last-named, he was summoned to the Savoy (August 1883) to dep for Durward Lely as Tolloller in Iolanthe. Within weeks, he had married (29 September 1883), and begun a good stint with the Carte companies, playing the tenor roles in Princess Ida, The Sorcerer, Trial by Jury and The Mikado over several seasons.

Charles Rowan

During that time he had a daughter. I was sure it was the right Charles Rowan when I saw that the child was christened Ida. Ida Minna. Minna? But his wife was Emily. Emily Lewis Toplis. Well, she was born that way. But the 1891 census lists her as 'Minna'. Wait a minute ... MINNA LEWIS Rowan?  And who do we have in the Carte company ... Miss Minna Louis. Umm. And Mrs Rowan is an 'actress'?  Indeed. I think I've nailed that one!

Charles worked on through the 80s, co-producing and starring in touring productions of Nell Gwynne, Les Manteaux noirs, La Mascotte, Olivette playing with the Vokes Family, and in the 90s moving into musical comedy -- Morocco Bound, The New Barmaid, Newmarket (1897) ... and directing amateurs ..

Minna died in the saddle, as a clever character actress, aged 40, in 1900. Charles ... Well, when Ida married in 1917 she said her father was deceased. Lots of brides have said that, truthfully or no. Usually when the parents' marriage has split up. I don't know.

Further found facts about Charles. Son of Henry Rowan, Birmingham/Sheffield silversmith. And Hannah née Jay. Family all silversmiths/metalworkers ..

C81 boarder 'professional artist' aged 27. Wife ... Jessie. JESSIE? 23 b Liverpool ... So in 1883 Minna was a second wife ..

C91 they are running a pub in Brighton

Is it he singing comic songs in Scotland during the Great War?

This is a page in progress.  I need help. Hmmm. 

Ida became a shorthand typist and Mrs Harris and died in 1970.

Reginald CROMPTON (b Almondbury, 14 July 1870; d 12a New North Rd, Exeter 10 December 1945) Solicitor turned singer/actor with considerable success. Less success as a husband.

Isabella Laura CROMBIE (b Sunderland 12 August 1904; d Sunderland 2003) wife of William Alan E Ward of the Carte organisation.

Oh, I thought I'd done Isabelle MUNCEY (eig Isabella) (b Hoxton 9 February 1859; d Cheltenham 13 August 1950). Eldest daughter of Stevenage builder Thomas Muncey and his wife Harriet née Weston. There were heaps of siblings. 

Ah! I see why I held back. Cheltenham 1877. 'Mrs Muncey a vocalist well-known in private circles of the Metropolis ..' Mrs? Isabella was single and a teenager. 'Mrs Parker Muncey' singing 'The Jewel Song'? Er .... 'pupil of Signor Giveedoni'? Who? I think that's 'Gilardoni'. And again, singing 'Softly Sighs'? It is not she. This lady was singing in 1871 when Isabella was a pre-teen. Wipe her. Red Herring.

Our Isabelle started singing in her teens and was apparently a chorister and understudy for Carte in The Sorcerer (Mrs Partlett, Spectre Knight). Thereafter, she went out with Mrs Paul playing second to her in A Battle Royal and as Lucy Lockit to her Macheath in The Beggar's Opera and alongside her in her troupe through Southend, Sheffield et al in company of Fred Clifton, Rutland Barrington, and Emily Cross. After Mrs Paul's death, she returned to Gilbert and Sullivan in the Imperial Theatre production of HMS Pinafore, playing Hebe, following up in the role of Cunégonde in Vasseur's Marigold and then as Madame Pompéry in May Bulmer's seasons of Le Voyage en Chine at the Connaught and the Phil.

She took part in the tour of George Fox's operetta The Captain of the Guard (the other contralto was Lucy Franklein of the Carl Rosa), then in another tour by a company playing The Beautiful Galatea, The Waterman, Prizes and Blanks et al before returning to the D'Oyly Carte management to play Iolanthe's Fairy Queen and Lady Jane et al, on tour. At, if my identification is correct, at the ripe age of 24. Age don't show when you are a fairy. 

Oddly, she doesn't seem to have gone on from there. She played Fairy in pantos at Cardiff 1885, Babes in the Wood), and Exeter (1886, Humpty Dumpty), took part in the tryout tourlet of the comic opera The Royal Watchman (11 April 1887). It ended 7 May. And there, I wot, ended the stage career of Miss Muncey. From 28 June, she was Mrs Thomas John Glover ...

If it were she. I know, I know ... its a 99.9% yes, BUT I don't have paperproof ... 

You need paperproof, because oh! how folk lie. My next fabulous fibber is the lady who worked (see G&S archive) as Lena LEIBRANDT [NASH-LEIBRANDT, Helena Woodley] (b Hereford 15 August 1874; d London 1949). Her grave stone insists she was born in 1883. She'd been insisting something of the sort for several decades, since her second marriage to a much younger man.

Helena's father's name was John Tullock NASH (b 11 April 1829; d 57 Somerlyton Rd, Brixton 3 February 1906. His wife was Eleanor Maria(n) Townshend SMITH (1847-1918) daughter of the Exeter Cathedral Orgnaist, George Townshend Smith. Dina Margaretta LEIB(B)RANDT was his Dutch South African mother. Mr Nash was an army officer in India and South Africa, and wrote clear-eyed books about his experiences -- Volunteering in India, Men of the Mutiny, Fighting with the Bengal Yeomen Cavalry -- which are still in print today. As the Nash family travelled to his army postings. it grew Alice (1865), Clayton (Darjeeling 1867), Norman (1871 Hereford), William and George (Kensington, 1873) and then Helena ... It seems that they part of the family which was not on service resided with the widowed Reverend Robert Dixon MA, formerly of the Cathedral School, then of Aylesbeare Vicarage (d 13 February 1893) whose wife had been Eleanor's sister, Ada Blanche Townsend Smith.

So we move on after a pause to say the family historians have made a bronosaurus's breakfast of this family ... one had Helena Woodley Nash and Lena 

So. Lina or Lena otherwise Helena. Clearly, given the Smith family's musical background some of the children must have had a leaning towards the arts? Yes. There is 20 year-old Lena singing in a concert mounted by the charlatan Charles Bishenden at the Exeter Working Men's Club in 1894. There's brother Clayton, active with the local amateur operatics until he weds and scoots off to South Africa. Lina rose to a principal role as Chopinette in Paul Jones, but it was agreed 'her voice is not strong'. However, she was decidedly pretty.

Under such circumstances, you might have expected the 26 year-old Lena, having decided to go on the stage, to turn up in the line at the Gaiety rather than the Savoy, but the Savoy it was who hired her and at the Savoy and its subsequent Adelphi season under William Greet that she played from 1900-1903. During that time she married the company's fine baritone Marcellus Raymond 'Jack' Morand (16 December 1901), and later bore him a daughter Mary Ursula (17 July 1906-1923). Morand had a good career as an actor and singer. Lena walked across a few years of stages in some fine dresses ... and began discovering the highlife which Exeter and the vicarage had not offered. The 'highlife' was a married (to a Rt Hon) and retired army officer and Nottingham MP from Basildon Park, James Archibald Morrison, with money to spend and passion not quite spent. There were divorces all round ... 

Lena did well out of it. She picked up Sir Edward Cripps, stockbroker, eleven years her junior and, to all evidence, lived happily ever after, as Lady Cripps. Her husband outlived her by half a dozen years, until 1955. Morand did all right too. He got £5,500 damages ... Mr Morrison lived on, with a poppy and a lily ...

Edward Kelly LYSTER (b London 1847; d Hanwell 10 June 1895) son of Irish house-painter Henry Lyster and his wife Bridget. Died in the Hanwell lunatic asylum still professing to be a professional vocalist.

Henry Joshua NEGUS (b Godmanchester 4 June 1851; d Leeds 21 December 1909) painter and vocalist.

Florence Violet May DALY (b Dublin c 1862; d Tonbridge Wells 18 December 1927) Daughter of engineer Richard Daly. Married the well-known composer of ballad music, Hermann Löhr. 12 June 1897 she promoted her own concert with guests Marie Duma, Kennerley Rumford, Joseph O'Mara, Alice Davies et al, under the management of Napoleon Vert.

[ADAM] CLINTON ELDER (b Detroit 28 September 1864; d Ypsilanti 18 December 1939)

Born in Wayne, Michigan one of the children of a Scottish gilder and merchant, Adam Elder (1816-1875), he took to music early on and was a member of the Ideal Opera Company, behind Agnes Huntingdon in the mid-1880s (Florac in The Musketeers). He subsequently became the tenor of St Thomas's, Fifth Avenue, increasingly well-regarded and well-paid, singing in concerts, at private parties, in the surrounding towns and I spy him in 1891 at an Irish concert at Steinway Hall.  In that same year, he took a brief trip to London, with his new bride, banker's daughter and musician Fannie née Bogardus, and there he appeared at a concert given by the inevitable Fanny Ronalds, alongside Nordica, Medora Henson, Lucille Saunders et mostly American al.

Back in America, he rejoined Miss Huntington, playing Philip in Captain Thérèse and Rufino in Paul Jones for a long tour before he and Fanny returned to Ypsilanti to take over the music at the local Methodist Church.

In 1894 he appeared as Fitzbattleaxe in Utopia (Ltd), as well as François in Madeleine, Fritz in La Grande-Duchesse, Reginald in Westward Ho! all at the Boston Tremont, before following Camille D'Arville to New York for the remade A Daughter of the Revolution and more successfully as the tenor (Honoré) of an American adaptation of Le Roi Carreau with Francis Wilson and Christie Macdonald. Half a King proved a winner on the touring circuits

In the following years, Elder appeared in vaudeville, in opera at the Castle Square (Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Fritz in La Grande-Duchesse, Valentine in Olivette, Jacquino in Fidelio, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliette, Slender in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Fritellini in La Mascotte, Eugene in Erminie atque atque) where one of his roles was the Defendant in Trial by Jury, alongside Lizzie McNicholl and Edward P Temple.

Stints in The French Maid, and Princess Chic with Christie McDonald, a visit to the Casino Theatre for more Erminie with the classic cast of Wilson, Dixey, Pauline Hall and Jennie Weathersby ... and, in 1900, a date at the not yet posh Metropolitan Opera House to share Ralph Rackstraw and Arturo ...

In 1901 he played summer season, with his wife, at Uhrig's Cave ..

The socially-acceptable couple then moved to St Louis ('the leading tenor of St Louis') where he joined the St Thomas Second Baptist Church Choir. He continued to sing for many years, while teaching and concerting. 

Latterly the couple moved to Wyandotte and environs. Fannie died in 1936 (Battle Creek) and Elder, in Ypsilanti, three years later.

And on they come ....

John Henry JUPP (b Arundel August 1857; d London 1 January 1919). Son of a labourer, worked early on as a gardener, tenor Jupp joined the chorus of the D'Oyly Carte in 1884. In 1886 he went on tour with Cornélie d'Anka in La Grande-Duchesse, Madame Favart and La Fille de Madame Angot, then joined Violet Melnotte for The Lily of Léoville. In 1889 he returned to Carte for The Mikado and The Yeomen of the Guard (Leonard), but seems to have left the company before his marriage in 1893 to Alice Maude ROE (b Lambeth 1864; d London 31 March 1949), a former principal with  the Children's Pinafore (Hebe) and the Children's Cloches de Corneville (Germaine). Alice would sing with the Carl Rosa (Siegrune in Valkyrie) and the spouses toured for several years with a 'Royal Court Combination' (bass: George A Fox) purveying operatic selections in halls and music halls, before John Henry switched to beerselling and tobacconisting, in the favoured tradition of the clapped-out singer.

Edith Maud QUARRY (b London 28 January 1872; d Bournemouth 17 July 1956) called for investigation when a present-day distant relative mentioned her on the Sullivan site as such. The G&S Archive had only her Cartesian credits, so I peeked. Daughter of a bank clerk named Pythagoras Quarry, she worked in the post office as a telegraphist before joining the Carte companies. In 1897 she toured in The Geisha before marrying Herbert Victor Merton [Russell] Cotes, son of a commercial knight, Sir Merton Cotes, of the Bath Hotel, Bournemouth. Hotel and marriage both prospered and Edith was latterly apparently known as 'Lady Russell-Cotes'.

Florence PLOWDEN [EGERTON Serena Ann] (b Lyndhurst, Hants x 11 May 1851; d St Leonards on Sea 15 February 1890) is listed in the G&S Archive, apparently without singing, because she appeared in a forepiece in a Carte tour in early days. Daughter of a labourer/mail carrier from Hampshire, she was married at 19 to clerk John Robinson (b Clifton Lodge x 30 June 1849; d London 14 December 1882). The pair then went on the stage, under the names of Florence Plowden and Vyner Robinson and soon won engagements at a number of London theatres and in good tours. If their theatrical success was good, health was not. Vyner died aged just 33 and Florence retired to the seaside where she became a leading light in local amateur theatricals until her premature death from pneumonia aged 38.

William PLIMMER (b Birmingham 1854) was the first son (of a bunch) of a Birmingham tin plate worker, Thomas Plimmer and his wife Agnes née Bryan. He followed his father into the metal trade, married ?Mary Ann Phillips (1876) of Birmingham and then ... gave up metal for the stage. His singing career seems to have been largely as a Carte chorister (1881-1887) before his premature death in ?1888.

Another who seems to have died young was teenaged Alice PILON (b 11 January 1868) who sang with the company in 1886. She died in 1888, at the age of 20.

Reginald Alfred Scrope QUENTIN [DAVIES, Reginald Scrope] toured with the Carte in 1902.  He was born in Hornsey in 1873 and married Carte chorine Julia Margaret Willis (b Nenagh Tipperary 13 September 13 September 1876; d Battersea 14 July 1954) in 1902. They both continued working, she gave birth to a son, Aubrey, in Blackpool (why?) 28 May 1903 and other children thereafter... and through his lifetime he went under various versions of his putative name. Oh, the original Scrope Davies was a crony of the Byron-Shelley gang of dandies, so Reggie either had an ambitious mamma or changed his name for the stage. Reggie was alive in 1911 and dead in 1939 ....  but by 1907 they were scraping the bowl:

No, that is not our Muriel Harding!

Clarence [William] HUNT (b Sutherland House, Walworth x 26 March 1862; d London Dec 1919-Jan 1920). Son of Dr Richard Hunt, and his wife Sarah Davis née Cathrall, he was evidently not the Clarence Hunt who ran concerts with a Mr Sparrow at Shoreditch and Southend in the 1870s. However Mr Clarence Hunt (tenor) did appear on the Pier at Southend in 1880. Our Clarence appeared in La Vie Parisienne at the Avenue, in Boccaccio, The Pet of Newmarket, Indiana, as Twitcher in the Sims Reeves Beggar's Opera, as Pomponio in La Béarnaise, Barbe-Bleu (1888) and in the latter year married Alice Russell who would bear him a number children.
He played Petit-Pierre in the long Carl Rosa tour of Paul Jones, and in 1892 Pietro in Horace Sedger The Mountebanks before featuring in Allwood's The Piper of Hamelin and Solomon's Sandford and Merton at the Comedy Theatre.  Thereafter he worked as a composer and arranger for pantomime and burlesque, directed and managed various companies, as listed in the Archive. 
In October 1916 and again in 1917 he was admitted to the Lambeth workhouse, his second son was killed at Flanders in 1917, wife Alice died in 1919 and Clarence only months later ... 

John WHITNEY (b Holborn c1825; d unknown) was one of the eight children of an elder John Whitney (shoemaker) and his wife, Maria.  He began working in his father's trade, married the daughter (Elizabeth Mocroft) of another local cordwainer, and then threw in shoes and took up singing. In 1864 he was singing with Harry Templeton's blackface minstrel troupe, in 1867-8 he was the tenor of a glee party at Gatti's Music Hall, in 1872-3 he was featured tenor ('admirable voice') and sometime chairman at the Star Music Hall, in 1874 he appeared at the Albert Hall in Irish concerts ... and finally he ended up as a chorister with Carte. In 1881 he is 'vocalist' and 'widower'; in the 1891 census he dubs himself 'stage manager' ... after which I lose him ...

Alice [Charlotte] GREGORY (b Newark, Notts 1858; d Sheffield 30 September 1897). Daughter of turner/engine-fitter Robert Gregory and his wife Mary Ann née Clarke. Chorister with Carte in the 1880s. Married Sheffield dentist Arthur Frederick Wilson in 1890 and died thereafter.

Charles SAVIDGE (b Lambeth, x 5 May 1850; d Lambeth 1902)  First son of a commercial clerk, Charles Savidge and his wife Anne Catherine née Watkins, Charles jr had an unfortunate start in his working life when, at 17, he was had up for fraudulently endorsing a banker's cheque. In his twenties, he changed career and by 1877 he was touring with Alice May in La Grande-Duchesse and with Rose Bell in South's opéra-bouffe repertory company. He spent periods with D'Oyly Carte, Kate Santley (La Cosaque, La Mascotte), with Percy Compton (Prisoners at the Bar), in The Punch Bowl, Dorothy (Tom Strutt), Girouette (Amadis de Gaul) and Gladys Heathcote's Mascotte company (Fritellini) on the road, and switched latterly to non-musical productions (Dr Bill, A Noble Brother). His wife, Sarah Grace née Harding having died in 1899, he himself died, aged 51, leaving an orphaned son.

Ellen CHARD (b Kingston Surrey 21 November 1862; d Hampstead 4 March 1948). Sister to the better-known Kate Chard, 'Nell' appeared in the company of her brother-in-law, Deane Brand after her stint with the D'Oyly Carte. In 1900, she married Phineas Simon Abraham MA MD, bore a daughter, Eileen Alvarenga Abraham (Mrs Wayman), and after her husband's death in 1921 lived out her widowed days in Hampstead.

Colin COOP [COOP, Joseph Collinson] (b Newton Heath x 24 February 1864; d Sydney Street, Chelsea 7 August 1937. Comic actor and singer whose name is enshrined in British musical-theatre history for having created the role of 'Brown from Colorado' in The Shop Girl at the Gaiety Theatre. Born in Manchester, the son of Alfred Thomas Coop (articled clerk) and his wife Sarah Ann née Collinson, he began as a vocalist in venues such as the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, and in pantomime. His time with Carte was brief, but at the end of the '80s he was advertising as 'primo baritono' for opera, comic opera and concerts. His moment was soon to come ... And for thirty years he remained a prominent performer on English stages.  Coop married Marian Plowman (d 1959) and was the father of Norah Marian Nita Coop. 

Florence BEECH (b Preston 1881; ? said to have d 1955). A daughter of music teacher Thomas Beech and his wife Mary Ann née Swallow, Florence joined the Carte touring company and promptly (Sheffield, 1902) married fellow Cartesian, George 'Villiers' Arnold, son of Rip van Winkle, J A Arnold and sacked soprano Blanche Ellerman. A daughter, Blanche Florence Gladys Arnold was born the following year. Florence's name surfaces occasionally in the following years: The Prince of Pilsen (1906), and a Spanish scenario with her husband (1908) befored they separated. Arnold left for Australia in 1914, and died there 20 May 1921. Florence appeared in provincial plays into the 1920s (The Story of the Rosary, The Ninth Earl) after which I lose proven trace of her.

Ethel BEECH (b Preston 1882; d unknown) was apparently Florence's sister. She did have a sister Ethel. The family historians have played all sorts of havoc with her.  Anyway, this Ethel attended RADA, joined the Carte in 1901 ('a sweet singer and a sprightly actress'), after which she went on tour with the musical The School Girl. Thereafter, I see her only in variety ('soubrette, comedienne') programmes, through until 1920 (Fred Karno). On some of these dates I notice she shared a bill with Mr 'Cecil Curtis', a former Cartesian, to whom it is averred that she was married. He, too, whatever his real name, can be seen advertising as 'the sensible singer, with a voice' in 1904, and taking part in The Casino Girl (1901), The Dandy Fifth (1899-1902), The Beauty of Bath (1907 with Ethel), My Mimosa Maid (1908), The Quaker Girl (1913) and The Lady of the Rose (1923-4) on tour. He cannot be seen on any document. Curtis worked on till the 1930s, 'winsome' Ethel seems to have retired. 

Ethel Beech

Constance ['Connie' Geraldine] HILLIARD (b Delhi 23 October 1886; d Epsom 22 January 1962) was the daughter and granddaughter of Indian army men. Mother: Hannah Jemima Lewis, father Lt-Col John Chinnery Hilliard. She grew up in Bayswater where she made her first appearances as a teenager in concert and the Chapel. She joined the chorus of the Carte in 1906 for a season, and followed up in The Catch of the Season, and in the Olympian Concert Party alongside fellow Cartesian baritone 'Alec Johnstone' [Alfred Augustus JOHNSON] whom she married 23 January 1908 ('a charming ballad singer with a voice of sympathetic quality and artistic style'. The two appeared with a variety of concert groups, separately and together, while producing half a dozen infants. I see her/tham frequently in Wales, in 1915 Connie played Pekoe in Aladdin at Worthing, in 1917 she toured in  The Maid of the Mountains, and in 1920 created the role of Korab in the long-touring musical The Rose of Araby in what seems to have been a coda to her career.

'Alec' however, continued baritonically into the 1940s, and died at their longtime home in Epsom 29 February 1944.

Carl RISSON [HARRISON, William] (b Goole c 1842; d Poplar 18 June 1912). 'Monsieur Risson' must have had a giggle when folk congratulated him on his native French accent as Mons Bonsor in The New Barmaid. He was Willie from Goole. He had been apparently on the stage since his teens appearing ('C Risson') in Don Quixote in 1876, and evidently remained at the Alhambra into the 1880s. I spot him in 1882 ('W Risson') in the cast of Babil and Bijou and as 'an orderly' in The Merry War. He appeared at the Empire in Solomon's Pocohantas (1884) and Giselle, and in The Lady of the Locket, and on tour as Brissac in Erminie and The Barrister tryout, before joining the Carte company for a tour in Ruddigore. Over the next decade he amassed a series of musical credits -- Witgills the jester in Marjorie, Helene V Juno in Cartouche & Co, Don Trocadero in Captain Thérèse, Tabby in the pantomine Babes in the Wood at Manchester, Conever in Atlantis, Mathew Shore in Jaunty Jane Shore, U R Slick in That Terrible Girl, King Timothy the Tenth in Crusoe the Cruiser, leading up to that long engagement in the touring The New Barmaid. In the 1901 census (as Risson) he admits to Goole and claims 55 years of age. He died in 1912 (as Risson) when he was said to be 70. I am wary of these 'facts', as it seems unlikely that he entered the Alhambra company at 13-14. On the other hand, you wouldn't say you were born in Goole if you wer'n't!

Edith FARROW (b Weybridge, Surrey 1868, x 2 December; d Barnes 9 March 1928).  There were at least two or three Edith Farrows operating in the 1890s, but I am pretty sure this is our one. Daughter of John C Coupland, house painter and decorator and Mary née Tomlinson. Seemingly studied at the Guildhall, and sang in concerts in Walton, Southsea, Eastbourne (with Durward Lely, Amy Sherwin, Meredith Elliot &c) in the late 1880s and early 1890s, before her brief flirtation with professionalism. In 1898 she married William Alfred Chalmers, wine and spirits wholesaler, so I guess she was not the Miss Farrow at the Guildhall in the later 1890s, and with Walter van Noorden in 1900.

Caroline ['Carrie'] [Mary] FISHER (b Edinburgh 17 October 1870; d Dunoon 1 August 1966) was born into a theatrical family. Her grandfather was David Fisher of Ixion and Orpheus in the Haymarket, her father was Walter Fisher -- not the great Walter of Trial by Jury et al but a homonym (see full story on earlier blog)  -- her mother Caroline Rinton. Carrie spent time with the Carte troupes, and later on the music halls, before exiting the business. In the 1911 census, she is a 'clerk' in Erdington.

Rachel [Mary] SANGER (b Lichfield St, Soho 3 July 1847; d 50 W 26th St New York 22 September 1884). Daughter of undertaker turned theatrical Alfred Sanger, Rachel was an appreciated as a burlesque and pantomime performer from the age of 10, in her home town of Brighton where father was stage manager of the theatre. After eight years as a member of the Brighton company, she moved out, via burlesques at the new Alexandra Theatre and Birmingham  to Liverpool, teamed with Pattie Oliver' at the head of the bills, and at Christmas to the English Opera House, in the title-role of Aladdin. From then on the young actress appeared widely in all sorts of productions, from drama to burlesque, in town and country. In 1873 she married James ('Jemmy') Clegg Scanlan, manager for Alexander Henderson sometime of the Prince of Wales Liverpool and some times of Lydia Thompson fame, and the couple crossed to America. Rachel took the part of Arabella in Scanlan's production of Billee Taylor, but was forced out of the run by rheumatic knees. She chaperoned his juvenile company of Patience, took various roles ... and died suddenly at her home in New York at 37 years of age.

Rachel Sanger

William Eckford [Nelson-] SMITH (b ?Denholm 5 January1869; d Point Haney, Canada, 3 July 1935).  One of that name married Kate Hitchens (1902). There are not very many Eckfords about. And he doesn't seem to have sung professionally for long. At his marriage, he was a 'medical electrician'. Oh ... that one's from Lewisham ... grrr ...    1894 he travelled to America with the Carte Co

Edith Maud[e]('Maude') RICHARDSON (b Bury St Edmunds 1 September 1870; Leicester, 22 January 1960) was a daughter of Thomas Bentinck Richardson organist of St Mary's, Bury and his wife, Ellen née Cheeper. Her career is a bit tricky to follow, as the were two or three 'Maud(e) Richardson's in the theatre of the late 19th century. She seems to have been the one who joined the cast of Mynheer Jan (Ludwig) in 1887, and the chorus of Doris in 1889, while singing the soprano roles in such as Christ and his Soldiers and The Messiah back home. In her seasons with Carte, she appeared in The Vicar of Bray, Utopia (Limited), and in Haddon Hall, where she deputised for Esme Lee as Dorothy Vernon.
She returned to Bury, fulfilling regular and oratorio and concert dates there, in Ipswich, NewcastleFarmlingham et al, with occasional theatre dates professional (Fairy Queen at Sheffield, Lady Phyllis Crusoe at Stratford) and amateur (HMS Pinafore, Cloches de Corneville) while, for a few years, teaching dancing in Bury.  In 1901 she married Gerald Hayden Ellis, a manufacturer of mantles, by whom she had four children. They had a long married life, before Maude died in 1960.
For her sister Nellie RICHARDSON [RICHARDSON, Ellen Bokenham] (b Bury St Edmunds 1865; d 4 Camarthen Drive, Glasgow 3 April 1957) see my blog

William Alexander LINDSAY (b Dundee 29 December 1860; d Waterloo, Lancs 30 December 1925) briefly took to the stage as a member of the Carte chorus. He married 'Rose Hervey' (eig Sullivan) by whom he had three children.

Cora Menzies LINGARD (b Edinburgh 8 August 1880; d Pulborough 12 August 1966) and her sister, Ruby Parr LINGARD (b Edinburgh 15 June 1878; d South Africa 1966) were the daughters of Edinburgh musician George William Lingard, and began singing locally in their teens. Cora was Mabel in the local The Pirates of Penzance (1900) and they were Yum Yum and Pitti Sing the following year. Cora seems to have entered professionalism in the touring company of The School Girl, and, in 1903-4, both girls spent time in the Carte. Subsequently Cora toured in good roles in such as Three Little Maids and The Cirus Girl,  before moving into provincial 'French' revue. The musical director was one Jacques Sennoi (otherwise William Percy Low from Scotland) whom she married in 1901. 'Monsieur' had an ancestor who had fought in the Maori Wars and the newspapers blazed that he was thus heir to millions. Like most of such stories, it fizzled out. They carried on being French Scots up till the war, and then ..
Ruby did less well. She seems to have accomplished little after her stint with Carte, bar the odd variety/revue engagement, and she married a rotter by name James Davies with a wandering willy. She ended up with a few children and in South Africa. I see he was asm at the Alhambra ..

Ivy HERTZOG [HERZOG, Bertha Emilie] (b Deptford 11 or 18 November 1870; d Hailsham 12 November 1946).  Daughter of German engraver Eberhard Herzog and his wife Lavinia née Sandwell, 'Ivy' began as a chorister with the Carl Rosa Light Opera, and subsequently moved briefly to the Carte Utopis (Ltd) company and to the George Edwardes management playing in England (Cinderellen up-too-late, The Gaiety Girl) and South Africa. In 1896 she appeared in a supporting role in the highly successful The Gay Parisienne, and in 1898 played Princess in Milton Bode's Aladdin at the Fulham Grand. She turned to the non-musical theatre in The Sporting Life and The Ambassador with George Alexander's company, during which time she met and married William Leonard Gardener, known to the stage as 'Julian Royce'. The newlyweds were hurried to America to take up the roles of Sir William and Lady Saumarez in Mrs Langtry's The Degenerates, But on their return Ivy once again took to musical comedy as Lady Punchestown in The Messenger Boy (1900-1). The Royces were back together again for Sherlock Holmes (Mrs Larrabee, 1902sq) after which I spot her playing in The Mountain Climbers (1906) and both of them in Charles Frohman's production of Passers By. Royce played on into the 1930s, but Ivy seems to have taken her leave of the stage.

[Eliza] Alice IMMS (b Islington 1857; d Hove 7 November 1927). Daughter of millinery-maker Robert Imms and his wife Mary Ann née Preece, Alice went on the stage in her teens. I see her in Kate Santley's company in Cattarina, Princess Toto, Orpheus in the Underworld and Happy Hampstead (1876-7), and then in Selina Dolaro's company in The Dragoons and La Périchole, before joining a third megastar troupe, that of Emily Soldene with whom she played The Naval Cadets and as Frasquita in Carmen. She travelled to America with a disastrous company, and flitted promptly back home. There, she joined the Gaiety Theatre (Mesrour in The FDorty Thieves, Hal in Whittington and his Cat, Hy-Son in Aladdin, and encountered another disaster. She married Henry Pottinger Stephens, librettist and lad-about-town. The marriage lasted but a few years. She took part in the Empire Theatre spectacular Round the World in 1886, and in 1887 starred, under the name of 'Alice Allison', as Abdallah in Nottingham and Leicester's Forty Thieves before remarrying. Husband no2 was Ben Ginsburg MA LLM of Grey's Inn. Marriage no2 lasted 20 years, but ended sadly. Alice kicked him out and cried when he wouldn't come back. Her plea for 'restitution of conjugal rights' was rejected by the courts. She died twenty years later in a nursing home on the south coast.

A[ndrew] J[ames] LEVEY (b Ireland 1852) is a 'musician' in the 1871 and 1881 censi, a musical conductor in 1891. He was by Andrew out of Margaret, related to the Farrells, the Kings, the Gillilands ...  and thus of the family of the well-known musician W C Levey (ie O'Shaugnessy). He was a member of the Drury Lane orchestra by age 20, a second violin under J T Carrodus, in the Glasgow Choral Union, solo violin at the Aquarium under Sullivan, conductor at the Royalty Theatre, and in 1880 visited India. He composed burlesque music, ran the Berner's Musical Academy, conducted for the Kendals at the Court... but as far as I know, was never a singer! 

E[dward] P[ercy] TEMPLE (b NYC 7 March 1861; d Pelham  NY 22 June 1921) has always been a little bit of a puzzle. Born in New York? Really? Well, it is indeed possible, for his father, Silas Henry Temple, was that most wandering of species: a ship's captain. His mother, Ellen, née Ryan clearly went along too, for his sister, Ada, was also born abroad. By the age of 3, however, Edward was back in Britain being baptised, at age ten the two children can be seen being cared for by Ellen's parents in London's Golden Square. Ellen had, I think, got sick of the sea and was heading for a new husband. Silas, too. As for the children ... between 1871 and 1877 they were invisible to me, but in 1878 Edward turns up in Kate Santley's company at the Royalty Theatre. I see him thereafter in Southampton, in panto at Oxford, then playing the role of Loren Herz in A Wild Love. And from there, he moved to the Carte management...and the g&s archive tells the tale. 
His young wife, Mary died aged 22, in childbirth, and he married another Mary, seemingly née Singer, vocalist.  They had two daughters, and Mary outlived him, to the age of 87, dying in January 1949.

Madeleine Clara (or Clare) GALTON (b Mayland Rd Shepherd's Bush 1873; d London 5 August 1939) was a member of a famous musical family. Her father, post office clerk Joseph Courtenay Gregory Galton, was a son of Mary Anne Pyne, sister to the celebrated Louisa Pyne, of the Pyne and Harrison Opera Company, which meant that Madeleine was a cousin to Susie Galton and Blanche Galton (Mrs Whiffen). An accomplished pianist, after her flirtation with the professional theatre in the 1890s (His Excellency, Spirit of the Lamp in Aladdin in Dublin, &c), she was for many years accompanist to the Barnes Operatic Society. Unmarried, she lived latterly with her married sister Harriet Mary (Mrs Broad) in her native Shepherd's Bush.

Winifred [Bridget] GUNN (b Dublin 29 January 1872) was another with a musical theatre pedigree. She was the daughter of John Gunn and his wife Mary Frances née Hodges, and thus a niece of Michael Gunn, Dublin theatre magnate and producer of Billee Taylor, and a relative of the Gaiety Theatre's George Edwardes, whose effect and influence on the Carte establishment is not to be underestimated. Miss Gunn went from the Carte tours, to Her Majesty's Theatre (1st Fairy in A Midsummer Night's Dream) to a tour or two of Mice and Men ...

Also related to Edwardes and the Gunns was Emma GWYNNE [PUTNEY, Emma] (b York Rd, Islington 4 October 1855; d New Malden 13 January 1923), whose sister, Julia, became Mrs Edwardes. Emma was chorister with the Carl Rosa Company, then sang with Carte, and went on to a thorough career as an actress. She married actor Edward Sass.

And another. Mabel Lilian GILLENDER (b Greenwich 19 December 1884; d Clacton on Sea 10 June 1975). Mabel grew up in her mother's home town of Reading, and, while playing in the local amdrams, studied at the Royal College of Music. She spent periods at Daly's Theatre and with the Carte, but spent most of her career with such groups as 'The Brigands', 'The Pansy Trio', 'The Merry Thoughts', and 'The Purple Pom' entertaining in the country. She continued to use her maiden name, although she was, in fact, latterly Mrs Archibald M Cheesman.

Madge VINCENT [BUNN, Margaret] (b Geat Yarmouth, Norfolk 13 February 1877; d Hove 18 December 1952)
daughter of butcher Henry Vincent Bunn and younger sister to star soprano [Amy] Ruth Vincent,  joined the Carte establishment at twenty-one, and had a fine career there and thereafter. She married the company's Harry FRANKISS (Franckeiss).

Lotti TEMPEST [KEEPING, Lotti] (b Pancras 1861; d Harrow 5 March 1936) was bred to music and the theatre. Her parents were James Keeping ka Tempest and his wife/companion/common-law wife, who were a supporting feature – usually as ‘second bass’ and ‘third contralto’ -- of a multitude of touring operatic companies in the 1860s and 1870s. She was on the stage in 1880, touring in Hughnott's Fledermaus company, did her stint with the Carte, then married the widowed John Whitfield Beckwith (1882) 'late acting manager of the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin'. He had been, from 1879, acting manager front of house at the Opera Comique and the Savoy.

[Charles] Leslie WALKER (b Aberdeen 30 April 1863; d Hampstead October 1935), son of Charles and Elizabeth (née Leslie) was destined for a career as a civil engineer. However, when he was transferred from his Aberdeen surveying job to London's Wood Green Local Board he, in parallel, enrolled at the RAM. His first public engagement seems to have been with a programme of 'Songs From the West' under the aegis of Sabine Baring Gould (1893). The following year, he travelled to America with Carte, and then joined the Carl Rosa with whom over the following years he appeared as Rashleigh in Rob Roy, Wagner in Faust, Benoit in La Bohème, Reinmar in Tannhäuser, Dancairo in Carmen, Fafner in Siegfried, Devilshoof in The Bohemian Girl, Father Tom in The Lily of Killarney et al. In between Rosa stints, she played in the musical comedy Sport (1896) and Baring Gould's musicalisation of his own West Country novel The Red Spider (1898). In 1900, he visited America for Maurice Grau, after which he seems briefly to have joined the Moody-Manners company (Telramund in Lohengrin). My last sighting of him on stage is as Major Galbraith in his native Scotland, before he returned to his civil engineering, his three sisters, and his bachelor life.

Time for a wee pause, I think. Let the David Stone archive catch up!

Let's go out with an impossible one. Miss ARDLEY. Her summary in the archive reads simply: Miss Ardley was a touring chorister with Mr. D’Oyly Carte’s "2nd Pinafore Company" in February 1880. Not many clues there! Cast a wide net. Well, there is a Miss Ardley singing in concerts around that time. Mr Thomas Ardley of Long Melton (corn dealer) and his family took part in local concerts ... sons and HOW MANY daughters? Eight! Ellen, Fanny Anne, Alice Louisa, Jessie Jane, Kate Agnes, Minnie Maude, Lucy Emily, Blanche Mary ... 'Miss Ardley' should by rights be Ellen (b 16 November 1851), but the first reference I find in concert is to Miss F[anny] (contralto) (b 1852; d Ipswich 11August 1931) singing 'Barney O'Hea', The Ash Grove', 'The Message' et al in 1876-7. But Fanny was no longer 'Miss' by 1880. She was Mrs Harry Samuel Steel, wife of a local comic singer, and appearing as Mrs Steel alongside her brothers and husband. But Miss unspecified Ardley continues to appear in Long Melford. Chelmsford, Atherstone, Ipswich, Billericay ... Kate and Lucy in piano duets, Kate as a vocalist get initials .. Jessie apparently belonged to the local choir for she married farmer Mr Henry Cooper of that group in 1884. Alice (b 20 February 1855; d Billericay 1929), too, married a farmer (Gardiner) ... but wait! A Miss Alice Ardley can be seen in concert at London's Novelty Theatre for Mrs J F Brian in 1891. Lucy and Kate went on to run a ladies' school, Blanche became a nurse ... Sigh. 
A Miss Ada Ardley turns up in the late 80s with the Maskelynes ... and there's still a Miss Ardley concertising in Chelmsford as late as 1911 ..  am I right or am I wrong? I tried!

Oh. Here's an odd one. Thomas ('Tom') MOSS (b Halifax, Nova Scotia c 1844; d unknown). He has made his way into the archive because he was with the Carte company in the census of 1881. As what? A singer or a musician? Or both?  Tom was the son of another Tom, from Harewood, Yorks. A joiner. All his siblings were born at home, so why did Tom the joiner go to Canada in the 1840s? I suspect the army. And young Tom began his working life in the Horse Guards. Probably not for very long, because in 1863 he is 'comique' at Woolwich, 1864 I 'political parodist' 1865 performing the songs of Henry Russell. In 1866, I see what I assume is him 'tenor and comic character vocalist' at the Croydon Music Hall, then teamed with an 'Annie St Claire'. In 1869, at Maunder's Music Hall in Wednesbury. And in 1870 at Rotherham taking for wife Miss Sarah Ann Kimberley. 1871 still 'comic songs', but then at 138 London Rd, Manchester. He is a music-seller, playing euphonium in the local proms and getting sacked by Jules Rivière for skipping rehearsal. In 1876 he went bankrupt. And in 1881 he turns up in Tomorham seemingly with the Carte company. My only sightings of him thereafter are with that euphonium, at Llandudno, in the proms there with the apparently forgiving Rivière. In the 1891 census he is still 'musician', with Sarah and their four children ..  I don't know what became of Tom (and I'm presuming that To the comic tenor and Tom the euphonium were one and the same). Sarah died in 1895, daughter Elizabeth died in 1904 aged 30, youngest son Thomas Nathan Kimberley Moss of the Welsh Fusiliers was gassed and died in the Great War, eldest son Harry Edwin Gold Moss (b 25 October 1871-15 April 1941) became a 'cellist, son John Frederick survived them all (d 27 April 1952) ... but Tom?  Lost and gone.

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Fanny's Bloomers


Winter morn. Cold. Fire on. Milo made. What's on ebay today? Not much. A nice Miss Woolgar. The King of Holland. That'll be the one who 'married' prima donna Algeria 'Emilie Ambre'. 'Mlle Locatelli' who sang supporting roles in the London opera houses for three seasons ... and Julia Gwynne?  As David Lovell commented, given the apparent (and later proven as 1865) date of the photo, Julia would have been 8 or 10, which age the lady in the photo definitely is well past.

I take a look at the back of the photo, which the vendor has intelligently included. 'Miss Gwynne'. Ah ha! There's been a bit of guesswork going on here. And it's wrong ... Bad Charles. Julia Gwynne (ps, Mrs George Edwardes) was not half as celebrated as this Miss Gwynne.

This is Miss Fanny Gwynne. Not her real name, of course. She was born Frances Gairdner, daughter of cabinet-maker Edward John Gairdner and his wife Frances Mercer nee Crosby, in London's Warren Street, 26 June 1841. She made her name, and a ghastly mistake in 1864, in Liverpool ... just before this photo was taken. How do I know that? Because Mr Henry Mullins, photographer, of St Brelade, Jersey only worked in London for little more than a year between 1864-5.

And Fanny? She only came to London in the second half of 1864, after having established herself as a first class juvenile leading lady at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Liverpool. Her first London role was none less that the juvenile lead in Boucicault's The Streets of London ...

With Henry Forrester in The Streets of London

The mistake? The usual one. A man. One Richard Barnes Howson Rowlinson (b Liverpool 7 January 1837; d Lansfield Terrace, Wandsworth 1919). Ensign 45th Lancashire Rifles. Briefly. Cotton broker. Bankrupt. Colonial broker. Bankrupt. They were swiftly divorced, he married the co-respondent, had a bunch of daughters and a long re-married life, while Fanny married the more consequent Robert Alfred Brooks in 1871, played a little longer in good roles in classy theatres (Azéma in The Palace of Truth), resided in Cavendish Square, inherited a fortune ... He died in 1886 .. she? I'll have to look harder ..

I suppose my next job is to find out in which piece, 'Fanny Gwynne' wore those ginormous bloomers ... hardly The Streets of London! Tomorrow, I think .. I've bypassed the cocktail hour by two hours!

Ahha! Charles's 'bundle' contains several players from the original Streets of London ...

Here's John Nelson ... labelled as !! William Wilson???

Please e-bay vendors (and this is one of the best), if you don't KNOW ... don't guess. This is a grand photo, and I weren't such a persistent old curmudgeon I would have missed it ...  

BINGO! One up for Charles! He has found Fanny's death notice. July 12 1930. 'of Winterbourne, Babbacombe, Torquay'. Widow of Robert Alexander Brooks. Alexander?  Another belt buckled. Team work!