The Crippen - Crippin Connection - Jerome K Jerome

The CRIPPEN - CRIPPIN Connection - Contents

  Jerome K Jerome

And the question is -  What possible connection with the Crippen family can this famous author have?

John Ramsdale, a fellow Crippin researcher, spotted that the 1881 Census had a certain Jerome Klapka Jerome lodging at 36 Newman Street, St. Marylebone, Middlesex. Aged 21, his occupation was Shorthand Writer to Solicitors etc. The Head of the household was a George Crippen, an Equestrian Performer who was accompanied by his wife, Annie and 4 children. Born in London, George was married and died in Devon; 3 of his children were also born there.

Following an article in the June 2000 issue of Practical Family History: "Circus Family Histories" by Dr. J. M. Turner, John Ramsdale obtained the following information:

  DELEVANTI, George.

Acrobat and somersault rider. Apprentice of John Delevanti, from 1854, and a member of the Delevanti Troupe, from the 1860s onwards. Real name George Crippin, born 1848, in London. One of the smartest tumblers and somersault riders of the day. Famous for his marvellous leap through a series of hoops. Champion somersault rider, at Hengler's, Liverpool, 1876-77, Dublin, 1877. At one time partnered by Miss Marie Jee. Performed in nearly every part of the world, at one time leading equestrian at Renz's circus, Berlin. Noted at Oscar's International Circus, July 1881, in a leaping and somersault act on horseback. Suffered an accident in 1885, and retired from the profession. Died 3rd May 1887, at Plymouth.

(Whiteley, H. A. A. "Memories of Circus..."; Boase, F., vol. 1, p.853; World's Fair, 29/5/1937, p.40, col.3.)

  Jerome K Jerome mentions Newman Street twice in his Autobiography 'My Life and Times':

Page 61.' Writing letters to The Times, according to Barrie, is - or was in our young days - the legitimate ambition of every Englishman. Barrie was lodging in a turning out of Cavendish Square, and I was in Newman Street nearby.'

Page 85.' George Wingrave, now a respectable Bank Manager, I met when lodging in Newman Street...'
George Wingrave was the model for 'George' one of the three men in the boat.

JKJ's play 'The Passing of the Third Floor Back' is set in a lodging house - quite possibly Newman Street.

For more information go to the Jerome K Jerome website or contact Tony Gray, Hon. Sec., The Jerome K Jerome Society

This page was first created Sunday, June 09, 2002.

 © John Crippen, 2002

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