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Music Hall Troupe 'The Eight Lancashire Lads'

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Music Hall Troupe 'The Eight Lancashire Lads'

Postby Mick Loney » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:48 am

Twins William & James Cawley (born 1888, Golborne, Lancashire) were part of the Music Hall Troupe 'The Eight Lancashire Lads'.

Does anyone have any personal details about this Troupe?

I've seen lots of information concerning Charlie Chaplin's time with this troupe, but have found very little information about other members, including the Cawley twins and the part they played.

I believe William (Bill) Cawley was a co-founder, but how did he relate to the twins?

Mike
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Re: Music Hall Troupe 'The Eight Lancashire Lads'

Postby ColinB » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:41 am

Hi Mike,

I Googled ' "Eight Lancashire Lads" AND Cawley ' and came across this page
referring to a book Grace, Beauty and Banjos by Michael Kilgariff. Under the
heading 'Artistes" it says that George Cawley and his twin brothers, Jim and
Billy, were members of the Eight and that Chaplin joined when one of the
brothers fell ill. (It does say that the list of Artistes refers to those not
featuring substantively in the book , so probably no point in trying to find
a copy !)
http://www.michaelkilgarriff.co.uk/grace.htm

There are lots of hits for Eight Lancashire Lads on the BNA website but you
would need to buy a credit package to explore further.

Colin
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Re: Music Hall Troupe 'The Eight Lancashire Lads'

Postby callbrian » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:55 am

Hi
Obviously not knowing what you already have.
The following may or may not be helpful:
Photgraphs of the "Lads" http://charliechaplininmusichall.com/photopages.html
http://www.flickr.com/photos/41343470@N00/2602093118/

EIGHT LANCASHIRE LADS, THE (fl1896-c1930)
Established by John William Jackson snr. Original troupe: John William jr (d1952), his brothers Herbert, Alfred and Stephen with their sister Rosie. Making up the eight were George Cawley with his twin brothers Jim and Billy, one of whom fell ill and was replaced by (Sir) CHARLES CHAPLIN. Later Lads were JACK EDGE and Tommy Handley (1894-1949).



Brian
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Re: Music Hall Troupe 'The Eight Lancashire Lads'

Postby Mick Loney » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:25 am

Colin & Brian,

Thanks for that, but I've already done google searches, and all results seem to be about Charlie Chaplins' involvement.

I'm really after details of the other members, specifically the parts the Cawley's played in the troupe.

I do know the troupe was co-founded by JW Jackson and William (Bill) Cawley, but not sure how Bill relates to George and the Twins. As the Cawley's form part of my grandson's family tree, I'm more interested in them than Charlie. I'm hoping a descendant of one of the other members has a bit more information, perhaps even personal photo's, which would be a welcome addition.

Regards

Mike
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Re: Music Hall Troupe 'The Eight Lancashire Lads'

Postby ColinB » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:55 am

Hello again,

Have you seen this article about children working in the theatre ? It describes how the
eight were formed. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/di ... id=8481997

This paragraph might be of interest :
Eight Lancashire Lads
Some companies did not aspire so highly.
John Willie Jackson was a white-lead worker
and paper stainer who taught clog dancing
to children in his village of Golbourne near
Manchester. A widower with four children,
Jackson had remarried and had another son.
In 1896 the family went to Blackpool where
they won a clog-dancing contest at the
Central Pier. The pier’s manager, Robert
Bickerstaffe, offered the group a twelveweek
contract which persuaded the family to
relocate to Blackpool and to increase their
number to eight, with the inclusion of three
more children, the sons of Bill Cawley, a
family friend from Golbourne.
The troupe had a series of successful
engage ments and were noted by the Era at
Rochdale. By April 1897 they were appear -
ing at Gatti’s music hall on the Westminster
Bridge Road in London:

The article goes on to talk about the family's difficulty in obtaining an extension
to their licence and mentions the three Cawley children being taken out of
their father Bill's direct care , describing him as a miner . It seems to me
that Bill Cawley's involvement in "founding" the Troupe was simply in
providing the additional 3 members.

Colin
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Re: Music Hall Troupe 'The Eight Lancashire Lads'

Postby Mick Loney » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:25 am

Colin,

Well done, I hadn't found that article, very illuminating.

They are obviously referring to the same family, (i.e Thirteen children and from Golbourne), and in 1901, whilst James was in Brixton with JW Jackson, his brother William was in Blackburn with Elizabeth Jackson, who I assume was the wife mentioned in the article.

However, their father was called 'George' (not Bill, as stated) and was consistent throughout the censuses. I can only assume he used the name William/Bill to distinguish him from his father, who was also called George.

Somehow though, it doesn't feel quite right. I'm hoping that someone who know the family can shed some light. It certainly need further investigation.

Mike
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