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Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Sir Squire Bancroft (né Butterfield) (1841-1926), Actor-manager

Actor-manager; born Squire White Butterfield 14 May 1841 in London. Made stage debut Birmingham 1861 as Squire Bancroft (to which changed name by deed poll 1867); married Marie Effie Wilton 1867 and with her developed successful career at Prince of Wales’s and Haymarket theatres, specializing in modern comedy; retired on the profits 1885; founder-subscriber to Actors’ Benevolent Fund; from 1895 enjoyed success with public readings for charitable causes from the works of Charles Dickens; knighted for theatrical services 1897; published three volumes of memoirs (1888, 1909, 1925); died 19 April 1926 in London.

Genial and sociable but also businesslike, Bancroft was described as ‘the shrewdest of all theatrical managers of our time and one of the most popular and best of our actors’, who remained ‘picturesque and well-known’ to the end of his life. [1] He especially enjoyed confounding expectations by playing military men, ‘swells’ and fops, then revealing his actual sophisticated, urbane self.

Dr Jan Marsh

Footnotesback to top

1) Furniss 1925, pp.130–32.

Referencesback to top

Ashton 1997
Ashton, G., Pictures in the Garrick Club, ed. K.A. Burnim and A. Wilton, London, 1997.

Bancroft 1925
Bancroft S., Empty Chairs, London, 1925.

Bancroft 1939
Bancroft, G.P., Stage and Bar: Recollections, London, 1939.

Bancroft & Bancroft 1888
Bancroft, S., and M.E. Bancroft, Mr. & Mrs. Bancroft on and off the Stage, 2 vols, London, 1888.

Bancroft & Bancroft 1909
Bancroft, S.B., and M.E. Bancroft, The Bancrofts: Recollections of Sixty Years, London, 1909.

Beardsley 1912
Beardsley, A., The Early Work of Aubrey Beardsley, rev. ed., London and New York, 1912.

Beerbohm 1958
Beerbohm, M., Max’s Nineties: Drawings 1892–1899, London, 1958.

Blomfield 2013
Blomfield, C., The Bancrofts on and off the Victorian Stage, Kew, 2013.

[Cassell] 1900
[Cassell & Co., pub.,] Royal Academy Pictures 1900: illustrating the hundred and thirty-second exhibition of the Royal Academy, London, 1900.

Coleman 1890
Coleman, J., The Truth about the Dead Heart, London, 1890.

Downey & Downey 1890–94
Downey, W., and D. Downey, The Cabinet Portrait Gallery: Photographs by W. & D. Downey, 5 ser., London, 1890–94.

Furniss [1915–16]
Furniss, H., The Garrick Gallery Caricatures, privately printed, London, n.d. [1915–16].

Furniss 1925
Furniss, H., Paradise in Piccadilly: The Story of Albany, London, 1925.

Goddard 1891
Goddard, A., Players of the Period: A series of anecdotal, biographical, and critical monographs of the leading English actors of the day, London, 1891.

Hall 1997
Hall, N.J., Max Beerbohm Caricatures, New Haven and London, 1997.

Hart-Davis, 1972
Hart-Davis, R., A Catalogue of the Caricatures of Max Beerbohm, London, 1972.

Hiatt 1899
Hiatt, C., Henry Irving: A Record and Review, London, 1899.

Lucas 1932
Lucas, E.V., Reading, Writing and Remembering: A Literary Record, London, 1932.

McKibbin 1956
McKibbin, D., Sargent’s Boston, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1956.

Mander & Mitchenson 1957
Mander, R., and J. Mitchenson, A Picture History of the British Theatre, London, 1957.

Melville 2006
Melville, J., Ellen Terry, London, 2006.

Pemberton 1895
Pemberton, T.E., John Hare, Comedian, 1865–1895: A Biography, London, 1895.

Stedman 1996
Stedman, J.W., W.S. Gilbert: A Classic Victorian and His Theatre, Oxford, 1996.

Sutro 1933
Sutro, A., Celebrities and Simple Souls, London, 1933.

Tait & Walker 2000
Tait, H., and R. Walker, The Athenaeum Collection, London, 2000.

Taylor 2004
Taylor, G., ‘Bancroft, Marie Effie, Lady Bancroft (1839–1921)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004.

Thorpe 1932
Thorpe, J.H., Phil May: Master-Draughtsman & Humorist, 1864–1903, London, 1932.

Trumble & Rager 2013
Trumble, A., and Rager, A.W., Edwardian Opulence, exh. cat., Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2013.

Victoria and Albert 1950
Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design & Department of Paintings, Accessions 1939, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1950.

Walery 1888–96
Walery [Stanislas Julian, Count Ostrorog], ed., Our Celebrities: A Portrait Gallery … Portraits by Walery, 5 vols (vol.1 ed. L. Engel), London, 1888–96.

Whyte 1898
Whyte, F., Actors of the Century: A Play-Lover’s Gleanings from Theatrical Annals, London, 1898.

Zatlin 2016
Zatlin, L.G., Aubrey Beardsley: A Catalogue Raisonné, 2 vols, New Haven and London, 2016.