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1870s Trapeze artist in London

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1870s Trapeze artist in London

Postby nlarkin1 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:20 pm

I'm trying to find out some info about my ancestor who was supposedly a part-time trapeze artist (along with his wife) and the story goes that he died from falling off the trapeze.

Edward Bishop's death certificate showed that he died from a violent fractured spine from an accidental fall on June 5, 1871, at London Hospital. It shows an inquest was held by John Humphrey on June 9, though I can't seem to find any inquest record, or even a mention of it in any newspaper from that time. The death certificate shows he was a wood carver, and there's no mention of anything trapeze related.

The only evidence I can find of him linked to that kind of life is a newspaper article from January 1870, where he's a witness to a robbery at the Standard Theatre. The article states that he's a wood carver, but also employed at the theatre in the pantomime.

Does anyone know of any other resource that may help me find more evidence/info on his performing career, and which may help me get more info on his death? I'd love to be able to prove the story about him, see when and where he performed etc. His wife Sarah Ann Bishop died a few years later, supposedly of a broken heart.

Many thanks
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Re: 1870s Trapeze artist in London

Postby JMcK » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:48 pm

It does seem most odd there is nothing in the papers considering around the time there were other inquests held in various London hospitals for less exciting reasons. Not to mention the trapeze artist who dived into the Thames and rescued that man overboard. That coroner/lawyer seems to get good coverage too.
I checked the papers for a few weeks after the inquest date as well incase it was reported as a filler. But nothing. Sorry.
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Re: 1870s Trapeze artist in London

Postby Rosemary Collins » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:13 am

Just to say you should make sure you get our latest issue, which comes out on 1 August and includes a feature on tracing circus ancestors!
Rosemary Collins
Editorial Assistant
Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine

rosemary.collins@immediate.co.uk
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Re: 1870s Trapeze artist in London

Postby nlarkin1 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:03 pm

Hi - thanks for the help. Yes it is strange that nothing is reported in any of the papers. Also, I've tried for the inquest papers, but the London Metropolitan Archive say there aren't any for that coroner for what I'm looking for, as he most likely destroyed them or they've been lost.
I'll be sure to get the latest issue of the magazine too. Surely there must be some record of the accident (assuming there was one) somewhere. Since I also know that he was working at a particular theatre at some point, would there be any record of who performed and in what capacity for each day?
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Re: 1870s Trapeze artist in London

Postby nlarkin1 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:11 am

Thanks - I have searched newspapers and looked at the few theatre programmes I can find online, but no mention of him so far. I can only assume that his parts weren't big enough to be listed, or that he used a different name. I also have to assume the possibility that he wasn't an actual trapeze artist (possibly performing something similar) and that the 'trapeze' bit was the closest description passed down by older generations. I do know he performed at the Standard Theatre in January 1870 in some capacity, so I'll keep looking for posters/programmes etc.
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