Emmeline Blanche Paine's hand embroidered table-cloth of theatrical autograph's
Linen tablecloth embroidered with red cotton
82 embroidered autographs which are listed in an accompanying key. They are (in alphabetical order):
"George Alexander, Oscar Asche, Jennie Benson, Lily Brayton, Gwendoline Brogden, Vivian Brough, G D Burnaby, Clara Butt, Hall Caine, Paul Callan, Howard Carr, Albert Chevalier, Harry Claff, William Clarke, Herbert Clayton, Arthur S Cleaver, Louie Collier, Colin Coop, Will Cornish, E Dagnall, E Daras, R H Douglass, T E Dunville, Paddy Duprés, Michael Dwyer, Gus Ellen, J Forbes-Robertson, Louie Freear, Melville Gideon, Lottie Govell, Winifred Govell, Evie Greene, Lyn Harding, Martin Harvey, Seymour Hicks, Baliol Holloway, Stanley Holloway, Edith Housley, Minnie Hunt, Henry Irving, Mary Kendall, Norman Latham, Dan Leno, Alice Lethbridge, Marie Lloyd, Violett Lloyd, Lockwood (?), Elsa MacFarlane, Phil May, Gertie Miller, Horace Mills, Julia Neilson, Edmund Payne, Sam Poluski, Will Poluski, Maud Prenton, Billy Rawlins, Gabrielle Ray, Ada Reeve, George Robey, E Perry Rogers, Frederick Rosser, G Bernard Shaw, Sammy Shields, Marie Studholme, Swete (?), Godfrey Tearle, Ellaline Terris, Ellen Terry, Fred Terry, A Rhys Thomas, Harry Tich, Valli Valli, Irene Vanbrugh, Violet Vanbrugh, Harriett Vernon, Sidney Watson, Stratton Wells, Huntly Wright, Lewis Waller, (unidentified)" (embroidered in red cotton; "Flora Robson" (embroidered in darker red cotton)
Presented to the Garrick Club by (Emmeline Blanche Paine's grand-daughter)
The tablecloth is accompanied with the following description:
"MY GRANDMOTHER’S TABLECLOTH
My grandmother, Emmeline Blanche PAINE, was born 13 October 1865 at 69 Globe Road, Mile End Old Town, in the East End of London.
On 9 July 1883, before her 18th birthday, she married, at St. Botolph’s, Aldgate, Andrew Sellar JEHU, incurring the anger of her father Samuel PAINE, who had forbidden her to continue to meet Andrew. Her father had refused her return to the home; which is why Emmeline stated on her marriage certificate that her father was 'deceased' when he was still very much alive.
Andrew proved to be a chronically unfaithful husband; consequently, about 1900 and after having borne six children, she left her home & family and went on the stage. Although she never attained any prominence, she was (- I have been told -) quite a competent actress. She acted under the stage-name of 'Barbara STEELE’; and, when 'resting', used the name 'Mrs HUNTER'.
She first played in George Edwardes' musical comedies, and toured with the 'Silver Slipper' show in 1901/3. Shortly afterwards, she was in 'Julius Caesar' at the Haymarket Theatre, in London. In 1909, she inherited a small legacy from her mother and started her own concert party' (which she called 'La Scala’) at Troon, Scotland. I have seen photographs of this group, and it is what was later called a ‘pierrot show'. After a few years, her manager absconded with all her money; and thereafter she toured with repertory companies. During the 1920s, she played in 'The Best People', 'The Rotters' and 'Tons of Money' (in which she took the part of Miss Benita Mullet). Her last stage appearance was in 1934, at the age of 68, as the Dancing Mistress in 'Children in Uniform'.
During the 1930s, I occasionally visited her in her theatrical 'digs' in Mornington Crescent, North London, and at 62 Crowndale Road, London NW1, where she was living in 1938. Quite often, her eldest child, my aunt Edith (SHAW) was living with her; and it is from my aunt that I obtained these sparse details of my grandmother's stage career.
Early in 1939, Edith persuaded her parents to live again under the same roof, though they did not live together. My grandfather moved to 23 Acris Street, Wandsworth, where he occupied the ground floor. My grandmother lived on the first floor, as his tenant; and my aunt Edith, and her niece (my cousin) Eileen, each had rooms on the second floor. I visited this extraordinary household, with my parents, a few months before the outbreak of World War II; and that was the last time that I saw my grandparents - he standing in the hall, and she at the top of the stairs - both simultaneously saying 'Goodbye' to us, but neither speaking to the other.
Shortly after War broke out, the household was evacuated to 25 King's Road, Henley-on-Thames, where both my grandparents died. The Wandsworth house was later completely destroyed in the 'Blitz’. My grandfather died 8 November 1940 aged 82 years, and my grandmother died 17 April 1942 aged 76 years.
During the long idle hours of her stage life, my grandmother embroidered this linen tablecloth, on which she collected the autographs of 81 people connected with the stage, and with each of whom she was, at some time & in some way, connected.
The autographs are listed below, alphabetically, [see inscription] & numbered 1-51.A because I omitted one name in the original listing. In order to locate the signature on the cloth (-and vice versa, to identify a name on the cloth -), 1 made in 1948 a Key showing the cloth divided into XII clockwise segments.
My grandmother started to collect these autographs at the outset of her stage career: Phil May died in 1903, Dan Leno died in 1904, and Sir Henry Irving died in 1905. The cloth was completed by about 1920; and was given to my father when his mother died. On 4th December 1948, I went with my parents to the Bournemouth Pavilion to see Shawls 'Captain Brassbound's Conversion'. The part of Lady Cicely Wayn