Author Topic: Charles Dillon (actor)  (Read 2277 times)

Offline Christine53

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Re: Charles Dillon (actor)
« Reply #45 on: Monday 27 March 17 19:46 BST (UK) »
You're welcome , humanracer. It's been fascinating .

Christine
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Offline Allister Hardiman

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Re: Charles Dillon (actor)
« Reply #46 on: Sunday 05 November 17 03:02 GMT (UK) »
"Stars, especially early ones, are apt to leave stories of their origins that, to charitably put it, are untrue. Charles Dillon was a slight exception, in that it was always implied that he was illegitimate, but the account was rouged and powdered: pathos even in memory.

In the ERA I found some accounts by a commercial clerk, who, after Dillon's death took to writing fond reminiscences of Dillon, and the theatre. The ERA correspondent's name was Algernon Sydney Roalfe Cooper, and in one letter he declares himself to have been Dillon's cousin and offers even a short story of his boyhood days, lamenting Dillon's never-written memoirs.

Algernon S.R.Cooper was indeed Charles Dillon's cousin, on his mother's side; Algernon was born in 1822 to John Cooper and Melicent [sic] Roalfe, whose sister, Eliza Mary Roalfe had married actor Arthur Dillon in 1822. Both girls were London born daughters of I believe Clement Roalfe (1758-1802) of Little Earl Street, Seven Dials, London (a victualler Lord, the numbers of stage folk whose social uterus was a Hotel or Public House is beyond counting!) and Elizabeth Harris (they married at Bethal Green) in 1780.

Eliza Mary Roalfe was born in Piccadilly, Middlesex and became pregnant by a comedian, John James Church between 1818-1819 with young Charles John being the result. Charles John "Church" despite being born in Diss (which straddles the border between Norfolk and Suffolk) in 1819, is not listed not on the IGI, nor would I expect him to be if his parents were never married. There was a Charles James Church christened on the 8th of August, 1819 in Newport, Shropshire with the right parental names, and it must be said that with strolling players, their children's birthing couch and christening font are sometimes not within respectable distance. Some research into the theatre in these places at that time will have to be done.

John James Church was a drunkard, and I cannot find his age (but he started his London stage career in 1813 under Elliston), but he abandoned Eliza for greener fields because J.J.Church married in Norwich in 1821 to Emma Louisa Forster, and he was said to have been the son of Dr. Church of City Road, London. Why was he in Norwich?

Well, less that a year later Eliza Roalfe married Arthur Yates Dillon, an actor, whom Algernon recalled was a 'bit of a tyrant.' Arthur stated in a census that he was born in the East Indies, and perhaps he was; there was a definite Arthur Dillon christened in Madras of 1802, which would make him 20 when marrying Miss Roalfe who was 34 not an impossible age gap and in theatrical circles, a common one: perhaps she had charms. Perhaps it is not him, but of interest is that Arthur Dillon was not an unknown name in the early 19th century and the name was from an Irish family caught up in the Revolution and their Arthur Dillon ended up under the guillotine, and I suspect young Arthur Yates Dillion was from that family, though possibly of consanguinous distance (one of the Irish Dillons was Governor of Tobago)

John James Church died, impoverished, during 1864 in Chelsea, having been very ill since 1859 a year in which he had collapsed with hunger and exposure, and was taken to a hospital and aided by several actors. Arthur Dillon established his acting agency in 1840 where he first started using the middle name Yates; was it is to use, or was this just the advantage of associated glory? He died on November 24th 1856.

Roalfe is such a rare name, and of Kentish origin, and I believe that was where Charles Dillon's maternal line hailed from.

Of the wives of Charles Dillon, and of the offspring, I will say more later."

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Offline humanracer

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Re: Charles Dillon (actor)
« Reply #47 on: Sunday 05 November 17 20:42 GMT (UK) »
"Stars, especially early ones, are apt to leave stories of their origins that, to charitably put it, are untrue. Charles Dillon was a slight exception, in that it was always implied that he was illegitimate, but the account was rouged and powdered: pathos even in memory.

In the ERA I found some accounts by a commercial clerk, who, after Dillon's death took to writing fond reminiscences of Dillon, and the theatre. The ERA correspondent's name was Algernon Sydney Roalfe Cooper, and in one letter he declares himself to have been Dillon's cousin and offers even a short story of his boyhood days, lamenting Dillon's never-written memoirs.

Algernon S.R.Cooper was indeed Charles Dillon's cousin, on his mother's side; Algernon was born in 1822 to John Cooper and Melicent [sic] Roalfe, whose sister, Eliza Mary Roalfe had married actor Arthur Dillon in 1822. Both girls were London born daughters of I believe Clement Roalfe (1758-1802) of Little Earl Street, Seven Dials, London (a victualler Lord, the numbers of stage folk whose social uterus was a Hotel or Public House is beyond counting!) and Elizabeth Harris (they married at Bethal Green) in 1780.

Eliza Mary Roalfe was born in Piccadilly, Middlesex and became pregnant by a comedian, John James Church between 1818-1819 with young Charles John being the result. Charles John "Church" despite being born in Diss (which straddles the border between Norfolk and Suffolk) in 1819, is not listed not on the IGI, nor would I expect him to be if his parents were never married. There was a Charles James Church christened on the 8th of August, 1819 in Newport, Shropshire with the right parental names, and it must be said that with strolling players, their children's birthing couch and christening font are sometimes not within respectable distance. Some research into the theatre in these places at that time will have to be done.

John James Church was a drunkard, and I cannot find his age (but he started his London stage career in 1813 under Elliston), but he abandoned Eliza for greener fields because J.J.Church married in Norwich in 1821 to Emma Louisa Forster, and he was said to have been the son of Dr. Church of City Road, London. Why was he in Norwich?

Well, less that a year later Eliza Roalfe married Arthur Yates Dillon, an actor, whom Algernon recalled was a 'bit of a tyrant.' Arthur stated in a census that he was born in the East Indies, and perhaps he was; there was a definite Arthur Dillon christened in Madras of 1802, which would make him 20 when marrying Miss Roalfe who was 34 not an impossible age gap and in theatrical circles, a common one: perhaps she had charms. Perhaps it is not him, but of interest is that Arthur Dillon was not an unknown name in the early 19th century and the name was from an Irish family caught up in the Revolution and their Arthur Dillon ended up under the guillotine, and I suspect young Arthur Yates Dillion was from that family, though possibly of consanguinous distance (one of the Irish Dillons was Governor of Tobago)

John James Church died, impoverished, during 1864 in Chelsea, having been very ill since 1859 a year in which he had collapsed with hunger and exposure, and was taken to a hospital and aided by several actors. Arthur Dillon established his acting agency in 1840 where he first started using the middle name Yates; was it is to use, or was this just the advantage of associated glory? He died on November 24th 1856.

Roalfe is such a rare name, and of Kentish origin, and I believe that was where Charles Dillon's maternal line hailed from.

Of the wives of Charles Dillon, and of the offspring, I will say more later."
Brilliant post (and blog). Can't wait to read more.