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July 13, 2013

Marquez de Gonza (né George Edwin Algar, 1847?-1885), English gymnast and trapeze artist, as he appeared at the Crystal Palace
(carte de visite photo: J. Norris, Upper Norwood, circa 1870)

‘IMPORTANT ARRIVAL.
‘MESSRS. PARRAVICINI and CORBYN announce the arrival in England of the renowned Artistes, Senores GONZA and ROMAH, the “Mexican Athletes of the Golden Wings,” from El Teatro Rubio, in the city of Mexico. The most simple and truthful description of the marvellous feats of these extraordinary Artistes would surpass all powers of belief. They must be seen to be credited. They make their first appearance in Europe at the CRYSTAL PALACE on Monday next, October 31st [1870]. sole and exclusive Agents, Messrs Parravicini and Corbyn, 49, Duke-street, St. James’s, London, S.W.’
(The Era, London, 30 October 1870, p. 14c, advertisement)

‘GRAN CIRQUE LOISSET, CHEMNITZ, SAXONY.
‘MARQUEZ DE GONZA, the World-famed Gymnaste, of the Golden Wing, and his confrere DESMONTI and DARIAN VOLTA, have just finished the most enormously successful Engagement imaginable in Dresden. “Vast crowds thronged the Theatre for two months.” M. De Gonza did not exhibit his new sensation in the Teatro Italiano, Prague, as arranged, owing to the Direction breaking up. Is now Nightly creating a most marvellous sensation at the above celebrated Cirque.
‘Engaged in Leipzig for July, at a salary of £480 per Month.
’M. De Gonza has pleasure in announcing that he had Engaged the World-renowned flying Trapeze Artiste, Mademoiselle AZELLA!
‘Managers wishing their receipts doubled for sure, Address Marquez DE GONZA, as above.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 19 Mary 1876, p. 13c, advertisement)

‘Accident to Marquez de Gonza.
‘This famous gymnast, who has been for many months past attracting and astonishing thousands at the Paris Hippodrome, has been the victim of an accident which will necessitate an abstention from professional labours for some weeks to come. Towards the end of last week, prior to the opening of the establishment for the evening performance, Gonza, according to custom, climbed up a rope to adjust a trapeze. When forty feet from the ground the rope broke and the gymnast fell with a heavy thud into the arena. On examination it was found that happily no bones were broken, but a severe contusion of the right food had been sustained. The escape from more serious injuries was simply marvellous, and the gymnast, while receiving the sympathy of many, will have the congratulations of many more upon the fact that “it might have been worse.”’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 25 August 1878, p. 4b)

‘MARQUEZ DE GONZA, the famous gymnast, with the graceful Azella and Mons. Lunardi, has been creating a great sensation at Gordon’s Palace, Southampton. The startling feats of he daring rio will very shortly be reintroduced to the London public at the “Canterbury.”’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 23 March 1979, p. 4b)

‘An inquest was held at Luton, on Saturday [9 May 1885], on the body of the celebrated gymnast the Marquis de Gonza, who died suddenly on the previous day. The marquis, whose real name was Algar, was well known among actors and other entertainers, and a few years ago was the leading figure in his profession. He had travelled over nearly all the world, and possessed a medal and autograph letter which he received from the Empress of Germany, before whom he had appeared, as well as many other sovereigns. It was found that the cause of death was syncope.’
The Liverpool Mercury, Liverpool, Monday, 11 May 1885, p. 5f)

‘An inquiry was held by the coroner for Bedfordshire, at Luton, on Saturday afternoon [9 May 1885], into the death of the celebrated gymnast the “Marquis de Gonza,” who died somewhat suddenly. The “Marquis,” whose name was George Edwin Algar, resided principally in London. He was associated with Lunardi, and Azella, and had travelled nearly all over the world, Recently he was connected with Mr. Wilson Barrett’s company, and appeared on the stage of the Princess’s [Oxford Street, London] in “Claudian” last year. He had been in delicate health for some time, and it was found that the cause of death was syncope.’
(Berrow’s Worcester Journal, Saturday, 16 May 1885, p. 6e)

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