Author Topic: George Melville Robbins, actor and theatre proprietor  (Read 497 times)

Offline ChrisWd

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George Melville Robbins, actor and theatre proprietor
« on: Thursday 16 November 17 13:29 GMT (UK) »
I've found an interesting connection in my family tree to this chap who was born around 1825 in the St George Southwark area of south London.  He married Jane Beckett Chase on 2nd April 1864 at St Pancras church, his father's name is given as Andrew Robbins. His wife was born 1836 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, daughter of John Chase & Mary Dunn Beckett.   I've included a couple of links below which I think gives some interesting background to George Melville Robbins' family:

https://www.kent.ac.uk/library/specialcollections/theatre/melville/biography/index.html

http://www.its-behind-you.com/melvilles.html

I've found him in the census returns from 1851 to 1891.  He apparently left his parents home at a very young age to join a touring theatre company.  He moved his family to Swansea in 1869 where he took over the Theatre Royal, and with his son, Andrew Melville Robbins, opened & ran the New Star amphitheatre.  He died in 1898 in Brighton.  I believe in total he had 8 children, some of the children were born quite a few years before George & Jane married.

Frustratingly I've not been able to locate a baptism record to confirm his parents names, so would appreciate any help in this respect.  Also I can't find his wife's death record....she apparently live on after his death in 1898.  In fact I haven't been able to locate her beyond the 1871 census.

Any help greatly appreciate.

Regards,
Chris
Ward, Darby, Drake, Willmott, Barnato

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Offline Milliepede

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Re: George Melville Robbins, actor and theatre proprietor
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 16 November 17 15:19 GMT (UK) »
Just says his father is dead on the marriage doesn't it so not much to work with. 

Is George down as married after 1871?  Who are the young children with if Jane isn't to be found?

An obituary should name her as his widow if she lived on after him. 
Hinchliffe Huddersfield Wiltshire

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Offline rosie99

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Re: George Melville Robbins, actor and theatre proprietor
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 16 November 17 15:24 GMT (UK) »
Possible death
Mar qtr 1902 
Jane Beckett M Robins 
age    67   
Swansea    11a   623

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Offline Milliepede

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Re: George Melville Robbins, actor and theatre proprietor
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 16 November 17 15:26 GMT (UK) »
I see he is Robins in 1871 but after that under Melville.

I wonder if Jane was in an institution of some kind  :-\
Hinchliffe Huddersfield Wiltshire

Offline Milliepede

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Re: George Melville Robbins, actor and theatre proprietor
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 16 November 17 15:31 GMT (UK) »
1881 has a Jane R Melville 42 born 1839 Yarmouth Norfolk married lodger with the Boult family in Marylebone

1891 she is in Swansea married age 50 lodg - bit odd she is away from husband and children.
She is down as wife but no husband there just boarders

Hinchliffe Huddersfield Wiltshire

Offline jennifer c

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Re: George Melville Robbins, actor and theatre proprietor
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 16 November 17 15:55 GMT (UK) »
Have found a baptism for a Mary Robins 10/11/1819. St George the martyr Southwark parents Andrew and Alice occ. gardener.

1841 census  Hertford St St.Pancras

Andrew Robins 50 gardener born Ireland
Mary 40 not born in the county
George 15 gold beaters app.

Jennifer
Stevens /Godfrey /Rudgley /Claridge/ Gipson /George /Bliss
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Offline jennifer c

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Re: George Melville Robbins, actor and theatre proprietor
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 16 November 17 15:59 GMT (UK) »
An Andrew Robins died st.Pancras 1860.

Jennifer
Stevens /Godfrey /Rudgley /Claridge/ Gipson /George /Bliss
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Offline jennifer c

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Re: George Melville Robbins, actor and theatre proprietor
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 16 November 17 16:07 GMT (UK) »
1851 census 22 Hertford St St Pancras

Andrew Robbins wid 61 gardener Ireland
Sarah dau 23 housekeeper St Pancras
Mary Atkinson 23 book folder islington

Jennifer
Stevens /Godfrey /Rudgley /Claridge/ Gipson /George /Bliss
Census information is Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline ChrisWd

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Re: George Melville Robbins, actor and theatre proprietor
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 16 November 17 16:13 GMT (UK) »
Many thanks for these useful inputs.

I found an obituary for George Melville in a theatrical newspaper called The Era dated 31 st December 1898.  It says the deceasedís wife survived him, as did six of their 10 children: Jessie (Rutter), Alice, George, Harry, Hubert and Florence (Shuttlewood).

Their eldest son Andrew who lived in Swansea had died two years before George and may have been a reason for George falling into ill health.  Florence Shuttlewood and her husband Percy also lived in Swansea.  Itís not surprising Jane is shown living in Swansea in the 1891 as she had a lot of family living there.  I believe George was still touring quite close up to his death, despite poor health.

In 1891 George was living at 129 Dalston Lane in Hackney with two grandchildren, shown as married.

Iíve read (not sure if true) that George ran away from home aged 9 years old to join a touring theatre troupe.

Thanks again,
Chris
Ward, Darby, Drake, Willmott, Barnato