Author Topic: May Holt (actress)/Abortionist?  (Read 2999 times)

Offline humanracer

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May Holt (actress)/Abortionist?
« on: Sunday 05 November 17 21:39 GMT (UK) »
Does anyone have more/further information on the above and a date of death?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_Holt

She was born in 1849, the daughter of actor Clarance Holt. She played Eponine in an early theatrical version of Les Miserables. According to the book Fifty Years of Make Believe she  "was the antithesis of her mother, up to date, young, more than pretty and with advanced ideas on the conduct of woman. She read French novels, smoked cigarettes on the sly and played the principal "boys parts'' in burlesque."

She married Reginald Fairburn in 1880 and quit acting. She then wrote her own plays including Every Man For Himself and Waiting Consent. She sometimes used the name Mrs R Fairbairn. She had a daughter named Ada. She moved to Australia for a bit in the 1880s and had success there as did her brother Bland Holt, who became very popular.

Little is written about her activity in the 1890s but according to the below article she is the same person as Madame Harpur, a notorious abortionist:
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/839061

The below article stays the same and castigates a newspaper for confusing her with daughter of Bland Holt, reaffirming she is actually his sister.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/148073554?searchTerm=%22may%20holt%22%20%22bland%20holt%22&searchLimits=exactPhrase|||anyWords|||notWords|||requestHandler|||dateFrom|||dateTo|||sortby

The full story of "Madame Harpur" is told here:
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:u26SPUAPkmMJ:www.sahistorians.org.au/175/bm.doc/madam-harpur-the-trials-and-tribulations-of-an-adelaide-doctoress.doc+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

The last mention in any Australian newspapers I can find on the Trove site is in 1909 after her most recent court case.

The article has no further information on her whereabouts after 1909. It also states she and her husband parted ways after a rocky relationship yet they both appear as husband and wife on the 1911 census on Ancestry:

Residence
02 Apr 1911 • Great Clacton, Essex, England
Age: 57; Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Wife
1 Source

Another conundrum is that the above article states that "Her partner was known as Samuel Brierly, Dr Brierly Fairburn, Dr Brierly and Dr Fairbairn.". This Dr died in 1898 according to the article yet Ancestry states Reginald Fairburn died in 1921.

Her father Clarance Holt, who was known for productions of Les Miserables and Count of Monte Cristo, died in 1903.

Any ideas? Thanks for Allister for his help on this and other Australian actors/actresses.

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Offline CaroleW

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Re: May Holt (actress)/Abortionist?
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 05 November 17 23:05 GMT (UK) »
Her birth registration shows her as Elizabeth May Holt b 1849 Bury St Edmunds Suffolk

She has "knocked" 5 yrs off her birthyear in 1911
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Offline CaroleW

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Re: May Holt (actress)/Abortionist?
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 05 November 17 23:09 GMT (UK) »
Possibility for her death??

Elizabeth M Fairbairn aged 83  Dec 1934 Edmonton 3a 622
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Offline majm

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Re: May Holt (actress)/Abortionist?
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 05 November 17 23:33 GMT (UK) »
Hi,

Just confirming

According to the following South Australian newspaper article,  Melissa FAIRBAIRN otherwise known as Madam Harpur:   
The Advertiser, 17 April 1903.  http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/4938346

Melissa FAIRBAIRN, otherwise known as Madam Harpur acquitted.
Evening Journal 10 June 1903 http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/207977324

31 Dec 1908   The Register http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/57001292
Melissa FAIRBAIRN (Madame Harpur) was sent on to the June sessions by the Coroner on a charge amounting to wilful murder in connection with the death of a young woman, Laura Tucker, but a nolle prosequi was entered by the Crown Solicitor.

JM

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Offline CaroleW

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Re: May Holt (actress)/Abortionist?
« Reply #4 on: Monday 06 November 17 00:33 GMT (UK) »
Ada's birth reg - no christian name shown but GRO maiden name search confirms Ada and mmn Holt

Births March qtr 1882   
Fairbairn    Female Marylebone    1a   668
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Offline CaroleW

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Re: May Holt (actress)/Abortionist?
« Reply #5 on: Monday 06 November 17 00:45 GMT (UK) »
1881 census - May was over 6yrs older than Reginald

Reginald Fairbairn   25 barrister at law b Manchester
May E. Fairbairn   27 b Bury St Edmunds Suffolk
plus 2 servants
Emily Payne   23 
Maria Rowe    37
RG11 Piece 164 Folio 39 Page 29

Births March qtr 1856 
FAIRBAIRN    Reginald        Manchester    8d   328

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Offline majm

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Re: May Holt (actress)/Abortionist?
« Reply #6 on: Monday 06 November 17 01:00 GMT (UK) »
....
Another conundrum is that the above article states that "Her partner was known as Samuel Brierly, Dr Brierly Fairburn, Dr Brierly and Dr Fairbairn.". This Dr died in 1898 according to the article yet Ancestry states Reginald Fairburn died in 1921.

Reginald was a barrister.  :)  :) and he died in  1921.
Reginald FAIRBAIRN of 4 West Cliff, Whitstable, Kent died 3 January 1921, Administration London 14 January 1926 to Elsie May FAIRBAIRN, spinster.  £1811/2/8 and his death: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVH9-DMSF

Elsie May Fairbairn noted as Melissa Fairbairn’s daughter in South Australian newspapers including:
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/213885876 Murchison Advocate 11 April 1908.

Reginald and May E FAIRBAIRN in 1881 https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q273-2N7R
May E FAIRBAIRN death in 1926 https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVHZ-QKVH
Elsie May FAIRBAIRN in 1911 with a Bathurst NSW connection https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XW2F-XQG

JM
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Offline majm

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Re: May Holt (actress)/Abortionist?
« Reply #7 on: Monday 06 November 17 01:05 GMT (UK) »
Is it possible that May HOLT and Melissa FAIRBAIRN were two people ?

JM
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Send me a PM to seek my express permission to use any information I post. Wait for my reply, do not take for granted you have any authority to copy paste my words.
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Qui scit et non docet.    Qui docet et non vivit.    Qui nescit et non interrogat.   
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Offline majm

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Re: May Holt (actress)/Abortionist?
« Reply #8 on: Monday 06 November 17 01:18 GMT (UK) »
1952
Will Emily TYLEY, formerly of 14 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, England who left England prior to March 1942, and is now believed to be residing in Australia, communicate with ……. In the Estate of Elsie May FAIRBAIRN, deceased.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/168012405 Truth 6 July 1952.

From NSW BDM online index:
http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/Pages/family-history/family-history.aspx

BIRTH registered Bathurst in 1882 # 11369
Emily TYLEY
Father as James Thomas
Mother as Teresa Caroline

DEATH registered Katoomba in 1960 #28122
Emily TYLEY, aged 82 years, died Wentworth Falls.

From NSW State Archives online index:
https://www.records.nsw.gov.au/archives/collections-and-research
Emily TYLEY Died 23 July 1960, Probate granted 21 December 1960 (Series 4-517379)


Ada FAIRBAIRN and Elsie May FAIRBAIRN - two separate people?

ADD
Emily TYLEY, a spinster.
Emily Tyley, late of Wentworth Falls, formerly of Katoomba,  N.S.W., spinster, died on 23rd July, 1960, intestate;
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/220242541 NSW Govt Gaz. 6 Jan 1961

JM
The information in my posts is provided for academic and non-commercial research purposes. 
Send me a PM to seek my express permission to use any information I post. Wait for my reply, do not take for granted you have any authority to copy paste my words.
Random Acts of Kindness Given Freely are never Worthless for they are Priceless.
Qui scit et non docet.    Qui docet et non vivit.    Qui nescit et non interrogat.   
All Census Look Ups Are Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk