Social Victorians/1896-05-01 Charles Wyndham Celebration

Celebration in Honor of Charles Wyndham at the LyceumEdit


  • 1896 May 1, Friday
  • At the Lyceum, Criterion and the not-yet-opened Hotel Cecil

Related EventsEdit

  • At the Lyceum in the afternoon
  • At the Criterion in the afternoon
  • Supper (afterwards?) at the not-yet-opened Hotel Cecil

Who Was PresentEdit

Performers People Present at the CriterionEdit

  1. Seymour Hicks
  2. Harry Nichols
  3. J. L. Shine
  4. Kate Rorke
  5. Dorothea Baird
  6. Annie Hughes
  7. Maude Millett
  8. Fay Davis
  9. Charles Wyndham
  10. Esmé Beringer
  11. Vera Beringer
  12. Mabel Beardsley
  13. Enid Spencer Brunton
  14. Miss Mabel Berry
  15. Fay Davis
  16. Hettie Dene
  17. Vane Featherston
  18. Gwendolen Floyd
  19. Lily Hanbury
  20. Hilda Hanbury
  21. Ada Marius
  22. Evelyn Millard
  23. Decima Moore
  24. Eva Moore
  25. Mabel Lewis
  26. Mona Oram
  27. Katie Seymour
  28. Emily Brinsley Sheridan
  29. Minnie Terry
  30. Doris Templeton
  31. C. W. Somerset
  32. E. Dagnal
  33. W. Blakeley
  34. Alfred Maltby
  35. E. W. Gardiner
  36. J. H. Barnes
  37. Kenneth Douglas
  38. E. Vining (Miller)
  39. Emily Miller
  40. Mary Moore
  41. George Grossmith
  42. C. P. Little
  43. Charles Cartright
  44. E. J. Lonnen
  45. Edward Righton
  46. John L. Shine
  47. W. Blakeley
  48. G. W. Anson
  49. H. De Lange
  50. Brandon Thomas
  51. Mr. Edmonds
  52. Mr. H. Paulton
  53. Alfred Bishop
  54. Tom Thorne
  55. Florence St. John
  56. Decima Moore
  57. Carlotta Addison
  58. Sophie Larkin

Guests Invited to the Supper at the Hotel CecilEdit

  1. the Duke and Duchess of Abercorn
  2. the Marquis and Marchioness of Granby
  3. the Marquis and Marchioness of Tweeddale
  4. the Earl and Countess of Arran
  5. the Viscount and Viscountess of Galway
  6. Mr Forbes Robertson
  7. Lord and Lady Kilmorey
  8. Lord and Lady Lathom
  9. Lord Sandwich
  10. Mrs Patrick Campbell
  11. Lord Cork
  12. Mr and Mrs George Alexander
  13. Lord Dungarvon
  14. Lady Duncannon
  15. Mr and Mrs Arthur Bourchier
  16. Lord and Lady Westbury
  17. Sir Arthur Sullivan
  18. Lord and Lady William Nevill
  19. Mr and Mrs Bancroft
  20. Lord and Ladv Rosslyn
  21. Lady Violet Greville
  22. Lord and Lady Esher
  23. Lord and Lady Russell
  24. Lady Hothfield
  25. Lord and Lady Morris
  26. Sir Francis and Lady Jeune
  27. Mr and Mrs Beerbohm Tree
  28. Sir Seymour and Lady King
  29. Sir John Puleston
  30. Lady and Miss Grant
  31. Lady and Miss Mackenzie
  32. Admiral Sir Reginald M'Donald
  33. Mr and Mrs Joseph Hatton
  34. Mr Justice and Lady Barnes
  35. Sir Spencer Ponsonby Fane
  36. Sir Francis Knollys
  37. Sir Arthur and Lady Haliburton
  38. Sir Edwin and Lady Arnold
  39. Sir John and Lady Heron Maxwell
  40. Mr and Mrs Cyril Maude
  41. Sir Lepel and Lady Griffin
  42. Mr and Mrs Clement Scott
  43. Sir Arthur and Lady Blomfield
  44. Sir F. Milner
  45. Sir Walter De Souza
  46. General, Mrs and Miss Swaine
  47. Signor and Madame Arditi
  48. Sir Douglas Straight
  49. Sir W. and Lady Houldsworth
  50. Sir George and Lady Lewis
  51. Sir John and Lady Monckton
  52. M. and Madame Blumenthal
  53. Sir Henry and Lady Tuson
  54. Sir Frank and Lady Lockwood
  55. Sir Augustus and Lady Harris
  56. Colonel and Mrs FitzGeorge
  57. Sir Blundell and Lady Maple
  58. Sir William and Lady Priestley
  59. Lieut.-Colonel Arthur Collins
  60. Colonel Newnham-Davis
  61. Right Hon. Mr and Mrs Chamberlain
  62. Mr Alfred De Rothschild
  63. Captain and Mrs Silver
  64. Captain and Mrs Sandford
  65. Major and Mrs Patton-Bethune
  66. Colonel Edgar Larking
  67. Mr and Mrs Asquith
  68. Captain and Mrs Somerset
  69. Mr Hermann Vezin
  70. Mr and Mrs Labouchere
  71. Mr Bret Harte
  72. Mr and Mrs Wilson
  73. Mr and Mrs Farjeon
  74. Mr and Mrs E. W. Gardiner
  75. Mr and Mrs Lesage
  76. Mr and Mrs Orchardson
  77. Mr Henry Hamilton
  78. Mr and Mrs Reuben Sassoon
  79. Mr G. R. Sims
  80. Mr and Mrs Henry Arthur Jones
  81. Mr and Mrs F. C. Burnand
  82. Mr and Mrs Oscar Beringer
  83. Captain Wombwell
  84. Mr and Mrs A. W. Pinero
  85. Mr and Mrs Carl Meyer
  86. Mrs Hodgson Burnett
  87. Mr and Mrs William Yardley
  88. Miss Irene Vanbrugh
  89. Mr and Mrs T. P. O'Connor
  90. Miss Esther Palliser
  91. Mrs Ronalds, Fanny Ronalds
  92. Mr Alfred Beit
  93. Mr and Mrs J. H. M'Carthy
  94. Mr and Mrs Michael Gunn
  95. Mr and Mrs Haddon Chambers
  96. Mr and Mrs Faudell Phillips
  97. Major Coventry
  98. Mr Coningsby Disraeli
  99. Mr and Mrs Godfrey Pearse
  100. Mrs Charles Matthews
  101. Mr and Mrs Brough
  102. Mr and Mrs Louis N. Parker
  103. Mr Murray Carson
  104. Mr Philip Burne-Jones
  105. Mr Johannes Wolff
  106. Mr Laurence Irving
  107. Mr Wilson Barrett
  108. Mr and Mrs Hermann Klein
  109. Mr and Mrs Henry Lucy
  110. Miss Fanny Brough
  111. Mr and Mrs Ivan Caryll
  112. Miss Clo Graves
  113. M. Tivadar Nachez
  114. Mr and Mrs James Fernandez
  115. Mr and Mrs George Edwardes
  116. Mr and Mrs Brandon Thomas
  117. Mr and Mrs Harry Nicholls
  118. Mr and Mrs Cecil Raleigh
  119. Mr and Mrs Barrington Foote
  120. Mr and Mrs Weedon Grossmith
  121. Mrs John Wood
  122. Miss Rose Leclercq
  123. Mr Newton and Lady Lilian Ogle
  124. Sir William and Lady Robinson
  125. Mr and Mrs Willard
  126. Mr and Mrs G. Redford
  127. Mr James R. Roosevelt
  128. Mr and Mrs Marjoribanks
  129. Mr and Mrs Charles Cartwright
  130. Mr and Mrs R. C. Carton
  131. Miss Dorothea Baird
  132. Mr Hamilton Aïde
  133. Mr Gilbert Farquhar
  134. Hon. Aubrey Fitz-Clarence
  135. Mrs and the Misses Heather-Bigge
  136. Mr and Mrs F. Horner
  137. Mr Penley
  138. Miss Kate Phillips
  139. Mr and Mrs Seymour Hicks
  140. Mr Tom Thorne
  141. Mr Lionel Monckton

Not PresentEdit

  1. Mr and Mrs Kendal
  2. Toole
  3. John Hare
  4. Ellen Terry
  5. Henry Irving


At the LyceumEdit

<quote>The gold cigar box presented at the Lyceum to Mr Charles Wyndham on Friday afternoon, May 1st, by Mr Comyns Carr, on behalf of the actor-manager's friends and comrades, is without embellishment of any kind save the monogram "C. W." in diamonds on the lid. The colour is dead gold, the precious metal being 18-carat. The box, which may be said to be magnificent in its simplicity, somewhat resembles that presented by the dramatic profession to the Prince of Wales a few years since. It was designed and manufactured by the Goldsmiths' and Silversmiths' Company, of 112, Regent-street, within the space of five days. Nearly forty ounces of gold were used in the making. The inscription on inside of lid is as follows: — "To Charles Wyndham, from his friends and comrades, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of his career as a manager in London."

The following is the full text of Mr Charles Wyndham's speech in acknowledging the presentation on the 1st inst.: —

"Your Royal Highnesses, ladies and gentlemen, my dear Carr, my dear friends and comrades, — For unique occasions there should be developed a unique language, and I venture to think that when a man is unexpectedly called upon to address simultaneously two differently constituted audiences when he looked forward to addressing only one, an occasion is created which is unique, meriting language unique, if not strong. But as poor humanity can only have recourse to current terms to express emotion, I do not know how I can adequately reveal to you the depth and sincerity of my gratitude. Even Shakespeare himself, on one occasion, could only express such feeling by thanks (to audience), thanks (to Mr Carr), and again thanks (to actors). But, perhaps, I may succeed in disclosing what lies beneath the surface in me if I disclose what I see beneath the surface in yourselves. I see the forms and features of a kind and sympathetic audience and of a community of fellow-workers in art. But I see much more than this. I see twenty years of kind and sympathetic audiences. I see my first night in management and all its succeeding first nights, when I have been cheered with the hearty good-will of many of you before me and the hearty co-operation from many of you beside me. The Norwegian dramatist tells us that every man carries within himself a ghost; so does the audience. You have within you — visible to me, though not to yourselves — the phantoms of your predecessors. I regard you as representing and incorporating them. When I speak to you I speak to them — to those who are absent as well as to those who are present; to those I have never known as well as to those whose acquaintance it is my privilege to enjoy--one and all I am trying to thank. Each of them and each of you have at some time or other been a friend, for when across the footlights two minds have been drawn together by the magic of communicative thought, those two, if only for a moment, have been friends. In the lack of imaginative communion the actor is paralysed; in its existence he grows and expands. Judge, then, for yourselves the measure of my gratitude to you. But if such is my sentiment towards you, what is my sentiment towards these — my fellow artists? I am sure you will acquit me of disrespect when I say that, glorious and welcome as is your sympathy, it must be accounted vain and hollow unless endorsed by them. How, therefore, can I thank you, my dear friends, for so charmingly and sweetly rallying round me to-day? I owe you all a deep debt of gratitude — an equal debt. I dare not particularise, and I am sure the greatest of you, under such circumstances, would only like to stand upon the level with the least. What shall I say to you, my dear Carr, the spokesman of so many good and true friends - the man whom I have known for so many years; so, many, indeed, that I daresay you have forgotten our first chat in life on a memorable after-dinner moonlight drive from Hampton Court? But I remember that the silken thread of friendship which links that day to this has never once been strained. How can I thank you for the graceful manner in which you have discharged the duty imposed upon you? And how can I thank you, my dear friends and colleagues, for this very substantial, very handsome testimony of your regard? Believe me, you have made me very happy. The cigarettes which this box will hold may, like our ambitions, all end in smoke; but the sentiment you have inspired will be as lasting and as sterling as the golden metal which will enclose them. A debt of gratitude is due also to many who by force of circumstances are unable to be present. I hold telegrams in my hands from too many to enumerate, but I may, perhaps, mention Mr and Mrs Kendal; my friend and your friend, dear old Toole; and cables from a still greater distance, from your favourite and the object of my great admiration — John Hare; and last, but not least, from Ellen Terry and Henry Irving, I think it peculiarly appropriate that, through the courtesy of Messrs Forbes Robertson and Harrison, one-half of the celebration takes place in this temple of art, for Irving and I began life together, cooled our heels till they were almost frozen at managerial doors, worked together, rose in life together. Do not fear that I am going to trouble you with a retrospect of the past; I prefer to look to the future, and indulge in the reflection that though twenty years of management have given me much to look back upon, there is still left me much to look forward to. I hope to see you often across the footlights, and I am delighted to think that, barring human chances, the curtain which will fall to-night upon the drama that you and I are acting will not be a final curtain, but only an act-drop serving to divide one section of a career, one stage of friendship, from the next."</quote> (CWCTheEra, Cols. 2–3)

Performance at the CriterionEdit

<quote>So widespread was the public interest in the Charles Wyndham celebration that, when the theatrical history of the nineteenth century comes to be written, the dramatic events of May 1st, 1896, should have a chapter to themselves. We have already chronicled the brilliant function at the Lyceum in the afternoon; scarcely less interesting was the evening portion of the celebration at the Criterion. The exceptional importance of the occasion was marked by the presence of the Prince of Wales and the Lord Chief Justice of England, and distinguished members of the world of art, literature, and science occupied the stalls and dress-circle. There were a number of pretty "highwaywomen," who with the sweetest manners possible levied toll at the entrance to the stalls. Here it may be as well to put on record that the sum realised by the programme sales — at the Lyceum and the Criterion — reached £120. The charming volunteers whose persistency and attractiveness did so much to bring about such a result included Miss Esmé Beringer, Miss Vera Beringer, Miss Mabel Beardsley, Miss Enid Spencer Brunton, Miss Mabel Berry, Miss Fay Davis, Miss Hettie Dene, Miss Vane Featherston, Miss Gwendolen Floyd, Miss Lily Hanbury, Miss Hilda Hanbury, Miss Ada Marius, Miss Evelyn Millard, Miss Decima Moore, Miss Eva Moore, Miss Mabel Lewis, Miss Mona Oram, Miss Katie Seymour, Miss Emily Brinsley Sheridan, Miss Minnie Terry, and Miss Doris Templeton. The exceptionally early hour of the commencement of the bill — seven o'clock — was arranged specially to meet the convenience of the actors and actresses whose other engagements prevented them taking part later in the evening, and it is seldom indeed in theatrical annals that the audience is "played in" by such a distinguished cast as appeared in the farce by T. J. Williams entitled

Cyril Dashwood . . . Mr SEYMOUR HICKS
Mr Prattleton Primrose . . . Mr HARRY NICHOLS
Squire Brushleigh . . . Mr J. L. SHINE
Rose . . . Miss KATE RORKE
Sylvia . . . Miss DOROTHEA BAIRD
Minuetta . . . Miss ANNIE HUGHES
Musidora . . . Miss MAUDE MILLETT

Arabella . . . Miss FAY DAVIS

The most amusing incident in the performance of this really old-fashioned specimen of curtain-raisers was a slip of the text made by Mr Seymour Hicks in young Cyril Dashwood's love scene with the demure Rose (Miss Kate Rorke). He referred to himself as wife instead of husband, and neither he nor Miss Rorke could quite conceal their laughter, and the spirit of mirth communicated itself to the audience. Mr Harry Nicholls as Mr Prattleton Primrose, whose matrimonial fate is so uncertain, was amusingly made up, and quite entered into the spirit of the farce, Mr J. L. Shine being an excellent Squire Brushleigh. With Miss Dorothea Baird as Sylvia, Miss Annie Hughes as Minuetta, Miss Maude Millett as Musidora, and Miss Fay Davis as Arabella, the revival of the farce was quite justified, and the delightful acting of each of these ladies would have made a worse piece interesting. In the Helen and Modus scene from The Hunchback, which followed the farce, with what archness and coquetry did Miss Marion Terry invest the part of Helen - so much, indeed, was this the case that Sheridan Knowles's lines seemed to glow with new life. Mr Leonard Boyne acted with the necessary stolidity and absent-mindedness as Modus, and his remark that Helen's nose was Grecian — the remark having extra point given to it by Miss Marion Terry's stress on the word "Indeed!" in reply — caused a ripple of merriment to agitate the house. Both were recalled at the conclusion of the scene. There was then a rather long wait, but at last the curtain rose on the drawing-room at Simon Ingot's, the first scene of Tom Robertson's


David Garrick . . . Mr CHARLES WYNDHAM
Simon Ingot . . . Mr C. W. SOMERSET
Squire Chivey . . . Mr E. DAGNAL
Smith . . . Mr W. BLAKELEY
Brown . . . Mr ALFRED MALTBY
Jones . . . Mr E. W. GARDINER
Garrick's Servant . . . Mr J. H. BARNES
Ingot's Servant . . . Mr KENNETH DOUGLAS
Mrs Smith . . . Miss E. VINING
Miss Araminta Brown . . . Miss EMILY MILLER

Ada Ingot . . . Miss MARY MOORE

There was the hush of expectation in the air, and when the worthy alderman's servant announced "Mr David Garrick" and Mr Wyndham walked with springy step upon the stage enthusiastic cheers rent the air, the greeting lasting quite a minute. It was at once seen that the Criterion actor-manager, notwithstanding the exceptional demands upon his endurance that had been made in the earlier part of the day, was in excellent fettle. In Garrick's interview with the Alderman Mr Wyndham was subdued and gentle, evincing that old-world courtesy which is of the very essence of the character. The great scene of the second act was attacked with irresistible energy, and there was no greater moment in Mr Wyndham's delineation of the part than the momentary revulsion of feeling when Garrick, loathing himself, gives rein to his natural love for the heroine. There was the customary fervour, too, in the interview between the actor and his romantic adorer in the third act. Miss Mary Moore was all gentleness as Ada Ingot. In the first act she seemed to be in that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts bring sad thoughts to the mind. The distress of the love-sick girl in the second act was very naturally expressed, the tenderness and filial devotion of Ada in the final secene between father and daughter being indicated, too, with much truth. Mr C. W. Somerset, an excellent actor of old men, was discreet, careful, and finished as Alderman Ingot, the impersonation having something of the body that we look for in eighteenth century characters. A clever piece of work, too, was Mr E. Dagnall's Squire Chivey. It is so easy to exaggerate the boorishness and bibulousness of the part. His was a natural, easy rendering of an exceedingly difficult character. Mr W. Blakeley made Smith's remarks as amusingly disagreeable as possible; Mr Alfred Maltby as the inebriated Brown was droll; and Mr E. W. Gardiner made the few points possible in the part of the stuttering Jones. Miss E. Vining as Mrs Smith, the mother of seven blessed children and "the baby," evoked laughter; and Miss Emily Miller cut an exceedingly whimsical figure as Miss Araminta Brown. Mr J. H. Barnes was content to play the very small part of Garrick's servant, Mr Kenneth Douglas being Ingot's servant. The curtain was raised several times, both after the second and the third acts. The proceedings of the evening came to a conclusion with a performance of the second act of Sheridan's farce


Dangle . . . Mr C. P. LITTLE
Don Whiskerandos . . . Mr E. J. LONNEN
Earl of Leicester . . . Mr EDWARD RIGHTON
Sir Walter Raleigh . . . Mr JOHN L. SHINE
Lord Burleigh . . . Mr W. BLAKELEY
Governor of Tilbury Fort . . . Mr G. W. ANSON
Master of the Horse . . . Mr H. DE LANGE
Sir Christopher Hatton . . . Mr BRANDON THOMAS
Prompter . . . Mr EDMONDS
Sentinels . . . Mr H. PAULTON
Beefeater . . . Mr Tom THORNE
Tilburina . . . Miss FLORENCE ST. JOHN
First Niece . . . Miss DECIMA MOORE
Second Niece . . . Miss CARLOTTA ADDISON
Confidante . . . Miss SOPHIE LARKIN

? "Gag" of a very up-to-date nature seems to be considered "the thing" in festival representations of Sheridan's piece, and Friday night's performance was no exception to the established precedent. There was no greater sinner in this respect than Mr George Grossmith as Puff. He even went so far as to interpret Lord Burleigh's mysterious thoughts to run as follows: — "We don't want to fight, but, gadzooks, if we do," &c. Mr E. J. Lonnen as Don Whiskerandos and Miss Florence St. John, a really good Tilburina, got up a very amusing impromptu dispute between them as to professional jealousy; and Mr Righton's leadenweighted delivery as the Earl of Leicester was not the least whimsical part of the performance. Mr Brandon Thomas and Mr J. L. Shine were stolidly impassible as Sir Christopher Hatton and Sir Walter Raleigh, and the traditional comic business between the sentinels was conscientiously introduced by Mr Harry Paulton and Mr Alfred Bishop. Mr Charles Cartwright's Sneer and Miss Sophie Larkin's confidante were other amusing and clever impersonations. It was nearing midnight when, in answer to continual calls for a speech, Mr Wyndham came forward and said: - "Ladies and gentlemen, - At this late hour of the evening it is not my intention to inflict a speech upon you. I have great pleasure, however, in stating that through your assistance and great kindness I shall be able to hand over to a charity in which I am much interested - the Actors' Benevolent Fund - a cheque for £2,300."</quote> (CWCTheEra, Cols. 1–2)

Dinner at the Hotel CecilEdit

<quote>Mr and Mrs Charles Wyndham entertained a large number of friends at supper at the new Hotel Cecil on the 1st inst. The courtyard and corridors of the hotel were splendidly decorated with flowers, and brilliantly illuminated by the electric light. The reception took place in the room which will be the public restaurant of the hotel, to the music of the band of the Grenadier Guards. ...

Supper was laid in the suite of Indian rooms on the ground floor of the hotel. Mr Wyndham's health was proposed by the Lord Chief Justice, and was drunk with enthusiasm by the assembled guests.</quote> (CWCTheEra, Cols. 2–3)

Questions and NotesEdit