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Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Mary Charlotte (née Moore), Lady Wyndham (1861-1931), Actress and theatre manager; former wife of James Albery, and later wife of Sir Charles Wyndham

Actress and theatre manager; born 3 July 1861 in Islington, London. Family faced financial ruin in 1870s, compelling her to collect rents from slum houses in Hoxton; joined chorus of The Bohemian Girl and other shows at Gaiety Theatre c.1876; married dramatist James Albery 1878 (widowed 1889) and bore three sons; returned to the stage mid-1880s owing to her husband’s ill health and alcoholism, approaching Albery’s associate Charles Wyndham, who cast her in small parts at Criterion Theatre, then leading roles of Lady Amaranth in Wild Oats and Ada Ingot in David Garrick, both 1886; became Wyndham’s business partner 1896 in the building of Wyndham’s Theatre (1899) and New Theatre (1903, now Noël Coward Theatre), between St Martin’s Lane and Charing Cross Road; married Wyndham 1916 after death of his first wife; following his death in 1919, devoted herself to managing the two theatres; died 6 July 1931 in London.

Her friend T. Edgar Pemberton (rather flatteringly) describes her presence on stage in Wild Oats in 1886:

The part is not an easy one to play, but she endowed it with a peculiar charm and invested it with a sympathy that were alike invaluable. Her sweet face suggested all that is beautiful and pure in woman, and her acting was at once captivating and beyond criticism … Truly did a critic say, ‘Few of those who saw Miss Moore in this character will soon forget her musical intonation of the catch-phrase, “my pleasant cousin”, given to Lady Amaranth.’ [1]

Elizabeth Heath

Footnotesback to top

1) T. E., Pemberton, Sir Charles Wyndham: a biography, London 1904, p.153.

Referencesback to top

Cheshire 1989
Cheshire, D., Portrait of Ellen Terry, Oxford, 1989.

Donohue 1971
Donohue, J.W., Jr, ed., The Theatrical Manager in England and America: Player of a Perilous Game, Princeton, 1971.

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

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

Pemberton 1904
Pemberton, T.E., Sir Charles Wyndham: A Biography, London, 1904.

Trewin 1980
Trewin, W., All on Stage: Charles Wyndham and the Alberys, London, 1980.

Trewin 2004
Trewin, W., ‘Moore, Mary Charlotte [married name Mary Charlotte Wyndham, Lady Wyndham] (1861–1931)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004.

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