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Aguzzi, Elizabeth Clarice [Lizzie] (1856–1938), equestrian performer, was born at 3 Felix Street, Lambeth, London, on 4 February 1856, the daughter of Antoni Aguzzi, an equestrian performer, and his wife Helen, née Smith. Her circus performances, as a bareback and trick act rider, were first noted in the 1870s. Playbills for her performances at ...

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See Astley, Philip

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Astley, Philip (1742–1814), equestrian performer and circus proprietor, was born on 8 January 1742 at Newcastle under Lyme, one of three children of Edward Astley (fl. 1725–1772), cabinet-maker and veneer cutter. Apprenticed to the family trade at nine, the forthright Astley had a traumatic relationship with his father and when he was seventeen left to join the ...

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Philip Astley (1742–1814) by unknown engraver © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bannister, James (1758/9–1836), circus proprietor, is of unknown parentage and upbringing. He was one of the earliest circus owners to take his show, Bannister's Equestrian Troupe, on tour. In 1804 they were at Stamford in Lincolnshire for the mid-Lent fair and soon afterwards performed at ...

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See Bannister, James

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See Bannister, James

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W. P. Courtney

revised by S. J. Skedd

Berenger, Richard (bap. 1719, d. 1782), courtier and equestrian, was baptized on 17 December 1719 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, the eldest of the three sons of Moses Berenger, a wealthy London merchant, and Penelope, youngest daughter of Sir Richard Temple, third baronet (1634–1697)...

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Blight [Bright], Ellen Eliza [Helen] (1833/4–1850), lion tamer, was the daughter of John Blight (or Bright), a bugle player and bandleader with George Wombwell's menagerie, and his wife, Elizabeth, the daughter of Samuel Wombwell and so George Wombwell's sister. As a young child ...

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Boswell [married name Cattle], Nellie [Ellen Clara] (1858/9–1938), equestrian performer, was born in Paris, one of the three daughters of James Clements Boswell (1826–1859), an acrobatic circus clown, and his wife, Rebecca (1814–1898), the daughter of the circus proprietor Thomas Taplin Cooke...