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Snippets from the 1870's

Taken from the book

"The Life and Reminiscences of E.L Blanchard

*With notes from the Diary of W.M Blanchard"

compiled by Clement Scott and Cecil Howard

Published 1891

1870s  1870  1871   1872   1873   1874   1875   1876   1877   1878   1879

Deaths and Obituaries from Theatrical Circles
E.T Smith
Charles Dicken's death


4th January 1870

Charles Mathews Farewell benefit at Covent Garden Theatre.  Begins at 2.30 p.m. and over by 5 p. m    'The Critic' the best, and Mrs Keely best in The Critic.  The crowded house laugh and applaud, but the effect the whole entertainment has on myself is to render me profoundly melancholy.

Annotation by William Blanchard

The programme consisted of a scene from "The House on the Breach", the examination scene from 'School'; cottage scene from the Lady of Lyons; scene from 'Not Such a Fool as he Looks'; the second act of 'The Critic';or 'The Tragedy Rehearsed', with Alfred Wigin as dangle; Barry Sullivan, sneer; Charles Mathews, Puff; Charles Mathews, Jr, under prompter; and Arthur Sketchley, prompter.  The programme was amusingly drawn up and there was no orchestra, the space being taken up by the audience; but Julius Benedict, Arthur Sullivan, J. L. Hatton, German  Reed, Mr Betjemann, and Ferdinand Wallerstein assisted with the music.  Charles Mathews made a most witty speech.

7th January 1870

Write Charles Mathews article and memoir of Mrs Honner  (Mrs F. Morton).

Annotation by William Blanchard

She was a Miss MacCarthy, and was born in the town of Enniskillen in Ireland, in the year 1808, and appeared when she was only 15 years old as the tiny hero of juvenile tragedy.  Made her first appearance in London at the Pavilion in 1831.  In 1833 went to the Coburg afterwards to the Surrey.  Married Mr R. Honner, May 21st 1836 and acted with him at the Surrey till Whitsuntide 1838, when Honner and Greenwood became lessees of Sadler's Wells.  In 1845 Honner and his wife returned to the Surrey.  Mrs Honner was married a second time to Frederick Morton, the well-known actor, but had sometime previous to this retired from the stage.  Died 4th January 1870.

10th January

To the dinner to Charles Mathews' at Willis's Rooms.  He taking the chair; about 250 present.

Annotation by William Blanchard

About 50 actors were present, and Edmund Yates, Lord Houghton,  Captain Bedford Pim, Lord Raneleigh, G.A Sala, Mr Archdeckne, Mr Creswick, Arthur Sketchley, and General de Bathe were the principal speakers.


17th January 1870

 Leigh Murray died this day.

Annotation by William Blanchard

Born in Sloane Street, Chelsea, October 19, 1820.  Real name at Wilson.  Was intended for the church, but got the stage fever, and in 1838 began as an amateur to play such characters as the Buckingham, Casio, Iago, etc.  He was then a clerk in the city, but finding he was likely to succeed as an actor, he joined the stage and obtained his first engagement at the Theatre Royal, Hull, where he appeared December 2nd 1839, and remained on the York  circuit till September 1840, when he joined the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh as Horatio in Hamlet.  He remained there five years.  Made his first London appearance at the Princess's, April the 19th 1845, as Sir Thomas Clifford in the 'Hunchback'.  Played second to Macready at the Surrey.  Was the principle of the Lyceum, Olympic, and Strand companies and then made a great hit as Raphael in 'The Marble Heart' at the Adelphi.  Married in 1841 Elizabeth Lee, daughter of Henry Lee, 50 years manager of the Western circuit, who proved to him  the best and most affectionate of wives, nursing him through his long illnesses with the most patient solicitude.  Made his last appearance at Drury Lane on Tuesday morning, June 27, 1865, when a complimentary benefit was given to him  by his brother artists.  Ill-health perhaps prevented him from becoming one of our greatest actors, but he always did credit to any part he undertook, and in such characters as Gustavo de Grignon in that 'The Ladies Battle', Prince Maurice de Saxe in 'The Reigning Favourite', Harry Dornton  in 'The Road to Ruin' and Birchall in that the 'Vicar of Wakefield', parts in which he was associated with Mrs Stirling as the heroine, he was inimitable.  He was buried at Brompton Cemetery.


10th  June 1870

Stunned by sad intelligence of Charles Dickens's death on Thursday.

Annotation by William Blanchard

Charles Dickens was seized with an apoplectic fit on Wednesday evening and died at a quarter past six, June 9, 1870. Was born at Portsmouth in 1812, the son of John Dickens of the Navy pay department. His life is too well known to be entered on here, it is only necessary to say that he wrote a farce called 'The Strange Gentleman' produced at the St James Theatre on the opening night of the season September 29th 1836, in which Harley was the hero. He wrote the libretto of 'The Village Coquettes' of which Hullah composed the music, produced at the same Theatre, Tuesday December 6th, 1836. At the same house on March 6th 1837, was produced his farce "Is She His Wife?' or 'Something Singular', in which Harley played Felix Tapkins.  He married the daughter of Mr George Hogarth.  He was one of the founders of the Guild of Literature and was a very clever amateur actor.

14th of June 1870

Charles Dickens buried this morning in Westminster Abbey with great privacy

24th of June 1870

We walk onto the Falstaff at Gadshill hearing much of the goodness of Charles Dickens to his neighbourhood and some sadly interesting particulars of his death and burial.

1st July 1870

Walk at night to Gadshill and I give the Falstaff folks the promised Dickens portrait for which thanks from Miss Trood.

6th July 1870

Look in at Christie and Manson's sale-rooms and see Charles Dicken's pictures etc; sorry sight.

Annotation by William Blanchard

The sale realised £8,935 pounds. Among the pictures, are portrait by Egg of Dickens in the character of Sir Charles Coldstream in 'Used Up', fetched 170 guineas; Frith's "Dolly Vardon", 1000 guineas; Maclise's portrait of Dickens, 660 guineas; Dickens stuffed Raven, the 'Grip" of Barnaby Rudge fetched 120 guineas; the Pickwick ladles fetched:- the Pickwick ladle £69 ; Jingle £30 ; Winkle £23 ; Sam Weller £64; Old Weller £51; and the Fat Boy, £34.

10th of August 1870

The Charles Dickens sale at Gadshill; walk down through heavy showers and write account of it for Era.

Annotation by William Blanchard

The articles did not hit extraordinary prices, perhaps the largest amounts were realised by a billiard cue which had been used by Dickens the £3 and some ice vases and champagne glasses bought by Frank Toole for his father, and the Cerberus Club glasses which realised nearly eight guineas apiece.

2nd September 1870

The Emperor of France surrenders!!!! All London startled by the news.

3rd October 1870

Buy a lot of the new halfpenny postage stamps issued first time on Saturday.



28th January 1871

The capitulation of Paris announced.

31st January 1871

Farini, the gymnastic professor, calls and gives a thrilling account of his crossing Niagara some seven years ago on stilts; he was educated as a physician at Toronto.

6th February 1871

To Amphitheatre; see Lulu, who was formerly known as El Nino Farini: she performed first time in public in England the feat of bounding upward twenty-five feet – a really surprising trick.

18th March 1871

The London Figaro ceases to exist this day as a daily paper, having attained its two hundred and sixty third number; I shall miss it much.

16th April 1871


24th May 1871

Derby Day, Zephir colt (Favonius) winner.

24th June 1871

Meet Clement Scott at Tilbury, on Ransgate boat, The Prince of Wales; on to Ramsgate; arrive at 5pm., walk on to Pegwell Bay, then walk to Sandwich over the sand hills to Deal, and stop at Royal Hotel – good house, nice beds etc; very tired after our long walk of thirteen miles. Next day on to Dover, through Walmer, Kingsdown and past South Foreland lighthouse.

25th June 1871

Walk with Scott over the hills and cliff to Dover, going by perilous paths to castle; stop at Castle Hotel, where we dine and sleep; Scott goes back to town by train.

26th June 1871

I walk back by footpath from Dover to Deal through St Margaret’s and drop again on the beach by Kingsdown; stroll about Deal until quite tired; weather at night very cold, and having no company, very cheerless; sleep at Royal Hotel again.

27th June 1871

Up at 7; lovely morning, breakfast and off by train to Margate; catch the Margate boat; find D.M Aird on board, and reach Tilbury at 2.30.

10th July 1871

Look in at Olympic Theatre and see a clever little boy named Master John Manby play Tom Tug in The Waterman – but a melancholy sight notwithstanding.

*He was said to be an Australian.  He also played Arthur to his father’s Hubert in King John.

15th July 1871

Arundel barge trip.  Meet Joseph Knight at Tilbury; pleasant trip to Herne Bay, where Green and I get bedded out from ship.  Amusing scenes at the Brunswick with an impractical landlord, where Nairn at night accidentally breaks looking-glass.

16th July 1871

Sail to Margate; dine at the Crown and Anchor; and Sterry, Green, Price and self stop at Royal Hotel, Deal.

17th July 1871

Walk on to St Margaret’s Bay – curious effects of sea mist – and see Leopold, Ostend packet, run ashore under the South Foreland, and wonderful walk over the boulders with Price; back to dinner at Deal and meet Cullington, a solicitor who is staying there with his family; he sups with us and we again get beds at the Royal.

18th July 1871

By rail to Sandwich; wander about with Green and Sterry; walk on to Ramsgate; then train to Margate; visit Hall by the sea; there meet E. Murray, Green and Sterry; they start for town by rail; I stay at Crown and Anchor, now Franklin’s – a very good house, and see old lady, Mrs Cockton, and chat with Tom Talfourd; up to town by Hilda from Margate.

22nd August 1871

Write to a youth, aged fourteen, Charles Edward Henry, of Kensington, about a MS opening of a pantomime that he has forwarded to me.

2nd September 1871

Horrified at hearing that Walter Montgomery shot himself last night.  Inquest held, and verdict “unsound mind”.  Buried afterwards at Brompton Cemetery

*Real name Richard Tomlinson. He was born at Gawennis, Long Island USA. August 25th 1827. He was fond of theatricals and acted with Western Dramatic Society.  Made a name at Bath and Bristol and in the provinces generally.  Made a successful Australian and American tour.  He experienced severe losses at the Gaiety Theatre which appeared to have preyed on his mind.

He was married on August 30th at St George’s Hanover Square to Miss Laleah Burpre Bigelow.  On Friday, September 2nd, late at night, he shot himself through the brain.

 2nd November 1871

I buy a terrier named ‘Tiny’ for 10s from Dr Gould’s coachman.

8th December 1871

All London startled by the danger of the Prince of Wales.

26th December 1871

Drenching rain.


29th February 1872

Hear of the attempted assassination of the Queen.

*This was the presenting of a pistol by a youth named Arthur O’Connor, aged 18, at the Queen.  She was on the point of alighting from her carriage at the Garden Gate, when the prisoner tried to force his way towards her.  He was seized by John Brown, the Queen’s attendant, and the pistol dropped from his hand.  Prince Arthur, Lady Churchill, and Prince Leopold were in the carriage.

14th May 1872

Meet Crane who gives me a curious history of the Sunday Times: Elcoate still alive, and working in office (an old man, learned types at Spottiswoode’s picking up ‘stamps’), and hear of Barnett’s recklessness and Seale’s parsimony.

24th May 1872

Gravesend: We start via Shorne to the Falstaff, where we dine; then walk on to Strood, then to Herne Bay; stay at Ship. Next morning long stroll to Reculvers, and on across the marshes to Birchington, about 14 miles.  Arrive at Margate and dine at Crown and Anchor.  I stay the night.

27th May 1872

Stroll about Margate, meeting Ryder on jetty; train to Strood; on to Rochester, dine at Bull; back to Gravesend by Flower of Kent in evening.

25th June 1872

At night to Rochester by evening train, staying at Bull, meeting the Gaiety Comedy Company, Loveday manager.

26th June 1872

To Rochester Castle in morning then to Ivy Cottage, Strood Hill, and dine with Wood and his daughter (Weekly Dispatch).  Off in fly from Rochester to Gravesend with Mr and Mrs Toole, Miss Wood and Loveday.  We stop at Gadshill, and go over Charles Dickens’s house.  I meet Mrs Charles Dickens and her younger sister, Mrs Orridge, her six children, and the younger Dickens – a memorable visit. 

20th July 1872

The annual barge trip of the Arundel Club; hot day, no wind; they pick me up at Tilbury at 4pm. Not getting as far as Southend, drift back to Gravesend, which reach at 2.30 next morning.

31st October 1872

Oxford Music Hall burnt down.

*The fire was discovered at four o’clock in the morning but had probably been burning for some time.  Though the building was gutted, the saloons, containing some valuable pictures and statues and some musical instruments, were saved.  No lives were lost.

 21st December 1872

Felix Whitehurst of the Daily Telegraph died this day at Baden.

26th December 1872

I go to Adelphi: Milward’s Jack and Beanstalk.  Write notice after midnight, and then sup at Arundel with Fred Vokes, Toole, Charles Dickens, and others: dawn before we depart.


6th January 1873

Drury – to partake of the annual Twelfth Cake.

*This was the Twelfth Cake that was annually supplied from the legacy bequeathed by Robert Baddeley, who died in November 1794, rather suddenly.  The evening before his death he was actually dressed to appear as Moses in The School for Scandal.  Was buried in St Paul’s, Covent Garden.  His will bore the date April 1792, and in it he left “One hundred pounds, Three Per Cent. Consolidated Bank Annuities,” the interest to be expended in the purchase of “a twelfth-cake with wine and punch, which the ladies and gentlemen of Drury Lane Theatre are requested to partake of every Twelfth Night, in the great green room”

 [Twelfth night of Christmas – January 6th]

 He also left his cottage at Hampton to the Theatrical Fund, in trust that it should elect four fund pensioners who might not object to living sociably under the same roof; and in order that the decayed actors, who should be chosen by the committee as tenants of the house, might not appear in the eyes of the neighbourhood like dependents on charity, he left a sum to be distributed by those tenants to the needy around them.  He also left money for erecting a small summer-house for them, which was to be situated so as to command a view of the temple of Shakespeare erected by Mr Garrick.

20th February 1873

To Hengler’s Circus and meet J.M Levy and his family: Prince and Princess of Wales and their four children.

22nd February 1873

Attend Prince of Wales’s, Wilkie Collins’s Man and Wife;  piece admirably acted and mounted, but not, I think, destined for a long run.  A wonderful gathering of celebrities.

 *This play was written by the author to illustrate the imperfections of the Scotch Marriage Law, and also that athleticism carried to an undue degree brutalizes the inner feelings.

24th March 1873

The Hour, a new daily penny paper, first published on this day.

19th April 1873

Hear of the death of Augustus Harris, senior.

 *He died at his residence, 2 Bedford Place, after a few days illness aged only forty-seven.  He was born at Naples, June 12th 1826, his mother having been the distinguished operatic vocalist, Madame Feron. Left a widow, Madame Auguste; two sons, Augustus and Charles; three daughters, the Misses Patience, Nelly, and Maria – the latter two being well known on the stage.

27th April 1872

Macready died at Cheltenham; write memoir for Daily Telegraph.

*Born in Charles St Fitzroy Square, March 3rd 1793, his father being then an actor at Covent Garden Theatre.  Was twice married, first to Miss C.M Atkins, a clever young actress; his second wife, whom he married in 1860 was Miss Cecile Spencer.  The best records of his life will be found in “Macready’s Reminiscences and Selections from the Diaries and Letters,” edited by Sir E Pollock, and in the ‘Eminent Actors’ series in which his life is edited by W. Archer.

9th June 1873

Alexandra Palace burnt down this day.

 *It had only been open three weeks, and the fire was caused by the upsetting of a plumber’s “devil”.  It broke out about mid-day and the whole place was in ruins by three o’clock. Mr Kelsey, the head plateman to Messrs. Bertram and Roberts, lost his life and several were injured.  The building was insured for £150,000, only a small potion of the cost of the palace and its contents.

11th October 1873

Opening of the National, late Holborn, Ampitheatre, under F. Strange’s management.

 *The now famous Sisters Vaughan appeared in the “grand ballet of Furies.”  Miss Kate Vaughan headed the troupe, and she startled the spectators not only by her graceful and really marvellous movements, but by appearing in black skirts and black tights relieved by gilt trimming.  This was an innovation in the ballet.

There was also some tumbling by the brothers Elliot and Kellino, and an exhibition of giants.

8th November 1873

Attend Criterion, private view in Piccadilly, ‘everybody’ present; magnificent theatre and establishment, where a thousand people or more entertained with princely hospitality.

 *This included the restoring of the theatre, the latter horse-shoe in shape, accommodating eight hundred visitors; the decorations were in white and gold with blue stain hangings.  It was completely under the level of the street.  The whole was built for Messrs. Spiers & Pond from the designs of Mr Thomas Verity, architect, of Northumberland Street, Strand.


26th January 1874

In evening papers a telegram of Livingstone’s death.

28th February 1874

The Tichborne trial concluded and Arthur Orton gets fourteen years.

6th March 1874

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh expected at Gravesend tomorrow. Carina and I take early train to Gravesend, town in great excitement.  We arrange to take the front of a house in London Road. With happy thought Carina tastefully contrives a device “Welcome from New Zealand”

7th March 1874

Up early, Carina, Mrs Gibbons and myself decorating the house.  Safe arrival of the Duke and Duchess at Gravesend, and as they pass our decorated house Carina throws a bouquet into the carriage.  All the press people down for the occasion.

 12th March 1874

See entry into London of the Duke and Duchess with the Queen; deep snow on the ground.

20th May 1874

In Birmingham letter, include my reminiscences of J.L Toole, who this week closes his engagement at Globe by his farewell appearances in Paul Pry and The Spitalfields Weaver, before going to America.

3rd June 1874

Derby Day, box at Gaiety to see Charles Mathews in The Critic, great falling-off from what I can remember.  I wish he would retire – he is now seventy-one.

30th July 1874

Record the death of Mrs Walter Lacy

 *Well known as Miss Taylor. She could play almost in any range of character. Married Walter Lacy in 1839. Made her last appearance at Olympic in 1845.  She was of great value as a singing actress.  Was sixty-seven years of age at the time of her death.

12th October 1874

At Rosherville.  Lovely weather, bright October day.

30th November 1874

To Princess’s; Hamlet, the Hysterical; A Delusion in Five Spasms, by Mr Snow – at least not vulgar or offensive and occasionally clever.

1st December 1874

To Quebec Institute to hear Miss Emily Faithfull’s lecture on emigration to New Zealand, Charles Clifford in chair.


6th February 1875

Read and record destruction of Edinburgh Theatre.

 *This was the Theatre Royal, originally known as the Adelphi. Burnt down May 24th 1853 when Mr Wyndham was lessee, and was re-opened in 1855 by him under the name of the Queens.  This building was removed to make way for the new Post Office.  Another one was built, which was called the Royal, and which was again destroyed by fire, January 14th 1865, and six lives were lost.  This fire, like the one now recorded, also occurred during the run of the pantomime.

The fire broke out at 2pm, and the building and scenery fittings were utterly destroyed by 4.  Some of the property only were saved.

11th February 1875

My dear wife appointed on the staff of the Queensland Government Emigration.

14th April 1875

Drury; see Salvini, the Italian tragedian, in Othello.  He is very good, but the effect of crossing the scimitar in last act I object to.

19th June 1875

Early to Crystal Palace with large party, to attend fete given in honour of the Sovereign of Zanzibar.  A brilliant display of fireworks.

8th July 1875

Recording the death of Mrs Addie, whom I knew in the old Olympic days as Miss Fanny Hamilton.

*She died on July 4th; aged fifty-nine. One of her best characters was that of Mrs Nickleby.

 13th September 1875

To Gaiety, re-opening after a short vacation, with Charles Mathews in My Awful Dad.  A disagreeable farce, but well played.  Charles Mathews looking, in his seventy-second year, wonderfully youthful.  Meet Charles Morton of Canterbury Hall; tells me he lost £8,000 in America.

4th October 1875

The Echo comes out as a halfpenny morning paper, as well as evening.

16th November 1875

See the death of George Belmore in America yesterday and write memoir.

 *He died in New York, November 15th, after a severe illness.  His real name was George Benjamin Garstin, and he had been on the stage about 23 years. His last London character was that of Newman Noggs, in Nicholas Nickleby, at the Adelphi.  He married Miss Alice Cooke, daughter of William Cooke, formerly proprietor of Astley’s Amphitheatre, April 16th 1862.

16th December 1875

The laying of the foundation stone of the new opera house on the Embankment.

 *The stone was laid by H.R.H the Duke of Edinburgh; but, as is now well known, the building which was intended for Mr Mapleson was never finished.


7th January 1876

Hear of the sudden death yesterday of Sam Joyce, aged 59.

 *A well-known barrister and Queen’s Counseller, and a good genial member of the most popular literary and theatrical clubs.

23rd March 1876

Notice to quit our rooms in Southampton Street at June quarter as the new landlord wishes to raise the rent £160.

6th May 1876

*Go as one of 250 guests, of both sexes, to dine with the Lord Mayor at Mansion House, to meet the representatives of Literature.  Too crowded for much enjoyment; and putting out gas on my return chair slipped and gave me an ugly fall on my head.

22nd May 1876

Have to record the death of Julia Mathews in New York.

*She died on 19th aged about thirty-four.  Was born in Australia, and made her first appearance at Dunedin, Otago.  Married Mr William Mumford in 1864.  She left three children.

21st August 1876

See Saturn’s ring from our windows by telescope.

16th September 1876

Queen’s Theatre opens with John Coleman manager.

17th October 1876

The Lord Mayor Cotton’s great banquet (lunch) at Mansion House to the members of the dramatic profession.  I return thanks for ‘Dramatic Critics’ and reception from the guests most gratifying.

29th November 1876

Record the deaths of Lizzie Conquest (Mrs Thomas Beard), Henry Mellon and Henry Lomas Arnold (known as H.T. Arden)
*‘Lizzie’ was the daughter of George Conquest. Was but eighteen years of age and had only lately been married. She was a clever young actress, and was both beloved and esteemed. She died November 24th.

Henry Mellon died November 25th.

H.T. Arnold died November 26th aged only thirty-six. Was the author of several pantomimes, farces and burlesques.


23rd February 1877

The Tattler comes out this day.

10th March 1877

Miss Rosina Vokes marries this day.

 *Theodosia Rosina Vokes was married to Cecil Clay.  The Earl of Dudley presented the bride with a silver breakfast service. Arthur Sullivan and Alfred Cellier presided at the organ, and Mrs Clay was remembered in the shape of some offering by every member of the Drury Lane company.

31st March 1877

Prince of Wales’s; Clement Scott’s pretty adaption of The Vicarage, a fireside story by ‘Savile Rowe’, and London Assurance, house crowded; all the notabilities present.

*London Assurance was the first playbill in which ‘Marie Wilton’ was not added in some shape or other to that of Mrs Bancroft, she from this date appearing under the latter name only.

6th April 1877

Chronicle for Era the death of Mrs Lovell, authoress of Ingomar; she would have been about seventy-four.

*Maria Anne Lovell was born July 16th 1803, died April 2nd, was a tragic actress of some note. Retired from stage on her marriage to G.W Lovell, but had written some plays since.

14th September 1877

Miss Emily Faithfull’s new ‘West End Gazette’ published this day.

18th September 1877

I am banished from home through workpeople.  My wife makes me go to for change to Rosherville; take walk to Singlewell, where meet Plowman of Arundel Club and his friend, Nugent.  Take them through Cobham Wood to Rochester; dine at Spong’s; market day, and place crowded. Back to Gravesend by train.

20th September 1877

Wet day.

15th October 1877

At night to see Romeo and Juliet at the Park Theatre; Madame St Claire (Mary Marshall) playing Romeo, her daughter, Blanche Louise, Juliet; not so bad as I expected.

2nd November 1877

Splendid effect of Mars and Saturn from our window.

13th December 1877

See Temple Bar being removed.


10th January 1878

See Woods, of Army and Navy Gazette, and arrange to supply for next week a theatrical column.

19th February 1878

The thousandth night of Our Boys ant the Vaudeville: look in behind the scenes; meet Byron and everybody; receipts £300

13th May 1878

Give some ‘Early Literary Recollections’ at Shorthand Writers’ Association, St John’s Street: a gratifying success, and speeches most complimentary.

23rd May 1878

Send round manuscript to Routledge’s, ‘Lizorella, the Enchanted Princess’ for Every Girl’s Annual.

11th July 1878

We go to a garden party at Mrs Crow’s (Miss Bateman) at the Grange, Brook Green, meeting Toole, Irving, Mrs Charles Kean, Walter Lacy, Madam Taglioni, Mrs Keely.

1st August 1878

Take Mrs Keely down to the fish dinner at Billingsgate, with Mrs Bacon (Miss Poole), Mr and Mrs Edward Ledger, and a number of others – Miss Poole never having seen the celebrated Wapping Old Stairs, of which she has sung so often.  Greatly disillusioned.

8th August 1878

Meteoric displays very fine (‘Tears of St Lawrence’)

19th September 1878

Record the death of the poor old clown, Paul Herring, who expired last night.

 *He was seventy-eight years of age when he died. Served his apprenticeship at Richardson’s Show.  From that got on to the regular theatres. Joined Osbaldiston as clown at the Victoria.  Last appearance in that character at the St James’s in 1859, but still appeared as a pantaloon for years afterwards.

9th November 1878

The last night of Argyll Rooms at Haymarket announced but they were not open at all and a great crowd assembled in the neighbourhood.

31st December 1878

Requiem Mass at Catholic Cathedral at Kensington for poor Madame Beatrice who died aged forty. Up early, I go to see impressive ceremony then go down Fleet Street, through much mud and rain.

 *Marie Beatrice Binda, born at Lucca in Italy, August 5th 1839; died December 2nd 1878.  Was the daughter of Chevalier Binda, who was for many years British Consul at Florence and Leghorn.


28th January 1879

To Crystal Palace to hear Bret Harte, the American Lecturer, deliver ‘Argonaut of ‘49’; not as good as I had hoped.

4th February 1879

As I am going out to the Agricultural Hall to Myer’s Great American Circus, find large bills to announce that Drury is shut up.  Walk on pondering this disastrous event, through Chatterton’s sudden stoppage, and back by 11 pm to ruminate over my losses.

8th March 1879

In memoriam: Edward Norris Hogarth, aged forty-five, the youngest son of the late George Hogarth; and Matilda Hogarth, his wife, died at the same hour four days previous, aged thirty-seven.

10th May 1879

Hear this day of the death of two dear, old friends:  John Moore, of the Post Office and T.L. Greenwood, of Sadler’s Wells memory, aged seventy-three.

*Thomas London Greenwood was born in the year 1806.  He was the son and grandson of clever scene-painters.

15th May 1879

On this memorable, wet day wife and I go by Great Western to the cemetery at New Southgate to attend the funeral of our dear old friend, T.L. Greenwood.

24th June 1879

A presentation dinner at the Junior Garrick; my portrait subscribed for and presented to the club.  Tom Swinbourne in the chair; about sixty present.  The whole thing passes off very agreeably, and the compliment paid to me very gratifying.

27th August 1879

Off through the rain to Park Theatre for J Willing’s version of Jane Eyre; well written and well acted.

14th September 1879

Died on this day, my old friend Thomas Littleton Holt, who started the Morning Gazette in 1837; seventy-five years of age.

8th December 1879

My dear young friend Frank Laurence Toole yesterday sank under the surgical operation, the saddest thing I have for a long time recorded.

 *His death was the result of an accident received when playing football at school, from which he never recovered.  He was only twenty-three when he died and had entered for the Bar.  A strong affection existed between him and his father.  The mental strain had bought on an attack of gout on Mr J.L. Toole, and he had to be carried to his only son’s deathbed to exchange his last parting words with him.

From the Heir Apparent downwards, everyone sympathised with Mr and Mrs Toole in the loss they had sustained.

25th December 1879

A singularly dense for (Christmas Day) that prevents our joining the family party at Notting Hill.

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