Brothers Mellor

June 7, 2013

Brothers Mellor (fl. 1870-1893), ‘Eccentric Negro-Artists’
(photos: Joop & Liebe, Dresden, probably late 1870s)

The Brothers Mellor were Charles William Mellor (b. 1853), Alfred ‘Alf’ Mellor (b. 1855) and Henry Mellor (1856-1889), the sons of John Mellor (b. circa 1829), a French polisher who became publican of The Harp, 84 King Street, Cambridge, and his wife, Emma (née Cook, 1826?-1903), who were married in 1851.

* * * * *

‘THE BROTHERS MELLOR (Three in number), at the CAMBRIDGE MUSIC HALL, CAMBRIDGE, Eccentric Negro Artists. Immense applause greeted their last productions, ”Handsome Nigger Band,” ”Happy Darkie Boys,” and ”Jenny Ryling.” No vacant dates until Easter. Address as above.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 11 February 1872, p. 14a)

Albert Hall music hall, Plymouth, week beginning Monday, 8 July 1872
‘… Mr Davis walks across the ceiling like a veritable human fly; and the Brothers Mellor dance clog hornpipes with boots nearly a yard long.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 14 July 1872, p. 6c)

‘Danzer’s Orpheum [Vienna] began its campaign on the 4th [September 1877] with a goodly array of talent, amongst whom the Majiltons must be mentioned foremost, their humorous and elegant performance eliciting nightly an enthusiastic ovation. The Hernandez troupe, in a scene entitled Brazilian Monkey Games; those wonderful acrobats the Elbin family; Mdlle. Camille Dupont, a French chansonnière; the three Brothers Mellor, English minstrels; and the comique Emil Klein are the most popular members amongst the rest of the numerous company.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 23 September 1877, p. 13d. See also ‘Ed. Danzer’s ORPHEUM, Rossau, Wasagass 33… . die engliscgen Minstrels 3 Brothers Mellor,’ Die Bombe, Vienna, 9 September 1877, p. 2b, advertisement, and until the end of December 1877)

‘Eccentric Comedians
Grotesque Artistes,
great success
at the
‘Commanded to appear before his Imperial Majesty the Sultan, who was so pleased with their performances that he personally complimented them on their success, and gave each the Médaille des Beaux Arts, also a present of £100.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 11 December 1886, p. 23b, advertisement)

‘MR HENRY MELLOR (the youngest of the Brothers Mellor) died on the 27th ult. [i.e. 27 September 1889], at the age of thirty-two. The Brothers Mellor (Charles, Alfred, and Henry) have been performing on the continent for the past nineteen years – first as Anglo-American artistes, and of late years as Tyrolese artistes.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 5 October 1889, p. 15c)

‘Henry Mellor, of the famous ”Mellor Brothers,” died a few days ago at the age of thirty-two years, at Cambridge, Eng. The ”Mellor Brothers” were well known as minstrels. They have appeared before H.I.M. The Sultan of Turkey, who presented each of the brothers with decorations.’
(The National Police Gazette, New York, Saturday, 16 November 1889, pp. 5 and 14, with portrait)

Parola Restaurant, Belgrade, August 1893
‘The Brothers Mellor, two well-known English knockabout artistes, send us the following from Belgrade, where they are now performing:- ”The other night a lunatic paid a visit to the National theatre, and there, after insulting a lady, attempted to strangle her. For this the police promptly took him into custody, but instead of confining him in a cell, allowed him to stay in the prison yard, whence, as the wall was not more than six feet in height, he very quickly escaped. He then made his way to the Parola restaurant, where we were giving our performance. As one of us was giving a mocks beating to the other with one of the noisy but harmless instruments used for stage assaults, the madman leaped upon the platform and snatched away the weapon. He then hit out right and left at us, but we were too nimble to allow him to do us much damage, and after a short struggle escaped to our dressing-room. Some of the audience, and a policeman or two, then wet on to the stage and tried to persuade the unfortunate man to retire quietly. This he refused to do, and when they attempted to remove him, slipped, and forced his arm through a window, sustaining such severe injuries as to necessitate his removal to the hospital. It is to be hoped the police will manage to prevent any repetition of his alarming vagaries.”’|
(Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper, London, Sunday, 27 August 1893, p. 8f)

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