Posts Tagged ‘equestrienne’


Little Mollie Brown, ‘The only Female Somersault Rider in the World’

August 12, 2013

carte de visite photograph of Little Mollie Brown (fl. 1870s/1880s), American equestrienne, ‘The only Female Somersault Rider in the World
(photo: Watkins, San Francisco, circa 1874)

‘And Little Mollie Brown! … after her performance, she went around through the audience and sold her pictures …’
(Mrs Edith Fay Cartner, at the age of 82 in 1944 reminiscing about her visit when she was 11 to Montgomery Queen’s circus, Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, 11 June 1944, editorial and features section, p. 1e)

‘Montgomery Queen’s Great World’s Fair Coming to Oakland – Thursday and Friday next, Day and Evening.
‘The gigantic zoological and equestrian exhibition will be in Oakland this week, to perform on the afternoons and evenings of Thursday and Friday. The menagerie and circus is said to be one of the most extensive concerns traveling. We do not believe there is a man, woman or child in this city who has not read or heard of the great show. It is a newly organized, gorgeously equipped and most brilliant equestrian company, and spoken of by the press in the highest terms.
‘Little Mollie Brown, whose equal does not exist, is the only lady somersault rider in the world, and her acting is alone worth the price of admission. Then there are Leopold and Geraldine, the great trapeze artists; the two inimitable clowns, Nat Austin and Billy Burke; Romeo Sebastian, an old favorite although so young, the great Anglo-American somersault rider; Charles and Carrie Austin, the famous musket drill artists, and a full troupe of equestrians, acrobats, voltigeurs, gymnasts, etc.
‘The menagerie comprises a large collection of rare animals, among which are a genuine black-maned African lion, the largest ever captured; monster royal Bengal tigers, African lionesses, eland, genuine Barbary zebra, sacred cow and calf, Japanese swine, river hog, Peruvian Hama, Kangaroo, Bengal and Cheetah leopards, the largest elephant ever in California, panthers, hyenas, and many others of equal rarity.’ (Oakland Evening Tribune, Oakland, California, Tuesday, 25 August 1874, p. 3c)

‘Big Elephant Show.
‘Two circuses – two rings – two menageries – museum-aquarium, &c.- Sublime beyond parallel – The marvelous sensation of the age – All bareback riders.
‘The famous Grand Circus Royal English Menagerie, Astley Museum, &c. is to visit Fort Wayne, Thursday, June 2 [1881]. Their claim to superiority seems justified, judging from the very complimentary terms in which the press of the entire country speaks of them. Below will be at once seen the popularity of Miss Mollie Brown:
”’The charming Mollie Brown’s feats of somersaults, backward riding and pirouettes, are not only par excellence, but the inimitable perfection of grace.” – San Francisco Bulletin.
”’Nothing seems too daring for Miss Mollie to undertake, or too difficult for her to accomplish. She is, in all respects, a most remarkable phenomenon. In her arduous role she has no superior.” – San Francisco Call.
”’This lady displays the very poetry of motion; also possessing an attractive face and lovely form.” San Francisco Chronicle.
(Fort Wayne Daily Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 25 May 1881, p. 1d)


Martha Cashmore

March 29, 2013

a cabinet photograph of Martha Cashmore (fl. late 1870s-mid 1920s), English equestrienne and circus performer
(photo: Henry Morgan, Crockherbtown, Cardiff, circa 1885)

‘Notice to Circus Proprietors, Managers of First-class Concert Halls, and Others.
‘IKE CASHMORE, Clown; Madame CASHMORE, Champion Tight-Rope Dancer of the World and Scene Act Rider; Miss MARTHA CASHMORE, High Stilts; and Little JOE, one of the Smallest Tumbling Clowns of the day, now fulfilling a Four Months’ successful Engagement with Messrs Powell and Clarke. Will be at Liberty on the 16th. Glad to hear from old friends. Letters to Mary-street, Cork, Ireland. N.B. – Wardrobe and Apparatus good. No objection to America. Should this meet the eye of Mr Joseph Ashby, Equestrian, by sending his address he will hear of something to his advantage.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 10 March 1878, p. 16 d, advertisement)

‘WANTED, Proprietors to know Joseph Henry Cashmore, Comic Knockabout Clown, High Stilts, Juggler, Running Globe, Vaulter, &c., and his talented sister, Martha Cashmore, Slack Wire Artist, also Louisa Cashmore, graceful Tight Rope Dancer, will be at Liberty Oct. 18th for at Home or Abroad. Good dresses and a good appearance. None but responsible Managers treated with. Private address, No. 3, Albert-street, Folkstone.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 25 September 1886, p. 20c, advertisement)

Leicester, March 1890
‘CIRCUS. – Proprietor, Mr. Edwin Croueste. – Nero, with his trained elephant Gipsy, is the big attraction a this place of amusement. Other fresh arrivals are Wallancini, who does some clever tumbling; Joe Cashmore, with his stilt performance; and Miss Martha Cashmore, in her marvellous equilibristic act. The charming spectacle Cinderella continues to be a special feature of the entertainment.’
The Era, London, Saturday, 22 March 1890, p. 15e)

For further information about Martha Cashmore, her father, the equestrian clown Ike Cashmore, and other members of the Cashmore family, see John Turner, Victorian Arena, The Performers, Lingdales Press, Formby, Liverpool, 1995, vol. I, p. 23.