KevinParticipant5 Sep 2021 at 6:46 amPost count: 4
Dear Forum Members,
Would anyone be able to assist with information or reference to “Duckworth and Hogans” small one pole circus, that toured Australia circa 1911? The outfit toured for just a few years before joining with “West’s Circus” The people associated with the circus are, Billy and Kate Duckworth also Charlie and Rose Hogan, who are my forebears and are proving to be a genealogical “brickwall”. Any help would be much appreciated.
Regards Kevin DohertyMark St LeonParticipant5 Sep 2021 at 10:21 pmPost count: 16
You will find a photograph of Hogan & Duckworth’s Circus, c1910 in my book, Circus: The Australian Story (Melbourne Books, 2011), at page 89.
Other references that you could follow up:
Extracts from “Circus Memories” by Charles Frederickson (manuscript in State Library of Victoria)
“… Tom and Dan [FitzGerald] two very fine gentlemen, they ran a splendid show, always so clean and refined. It was a road show. The wagons were always painted red with scrawls and yellow wheels with good harness and horses, the outfit always looked new. The last time I saw them was at Bendigo, it was Show Week. They were pitched in the Mall at the Showground entrance and what a circus. All the men performers were wearing bell toppers and frock coats and the lady performers were dressed lovely and Jack Grahame the lion tamer in a white military uniform and white helmet and leggings and a brand new tent, it looked wonderful. They had a great show. Charley Hogan the Aboriginal Jockey rider, Paddy Racoon, Jimmy Francis, Ernest Shand, Bill Duckworth and the greatest tumbler of all time Joe Morris (Dutchie) and old Bartile, the man that used to back bend and nearly shake his head off. They had a fine menagerie and splendid horses and ponies of all colours …”
Extract from interview with Mrs Sadie St Leon, 1975:
“… Duckworth and Hogan’s wasn’t a big circus, but it was a nice little circus. Charlie Hogan was a very good bareback rider. Duckworth and his wife done a very good juggling and acrobatic act… Bert Houten was with Duckworth and Hogan’s. When I joined St Leon’s, they didn’t have a bass player, I just casually said, “I know a very good bass player with Duckworth and Hogan’s. I know his address – he lives in St Kilda.” So Reg said, “… Oh, I wonder if he’ll come with the circus?” I said, “Well, he was with Duckworth and Hogan’s.” … You see, St Leon’s approached me in one town and I said I wouldn’t leave Duckworth and Hogan because I would be leaving them stuck because girl performers were hard to get… The Duckworths were lovely people, I liked them. Anyhow, Mrs Hogan used to hit the grog a bit. I don’t know whether someone told her I was going with St Leon’s or what. She attacked me one night and said, “And you’re leaving us and going with St Leon’s too.” I said, “No, I’m not, Mrs Hogan. I have been approached… but if you think like that I will go because it’s a bigger show and better money.” Mrs Duckworth was a very lovely woman. She was Mrs Hogan’s sister. But there was as much difference as chalk and cheese … ”
Entries for Hogan and Duckworth in my database as follows:
Duckworths, The Acrobatic, at Gaiety Theatre Melbourne VIC 09-May-12
Hogan & West’s Circus combined Allora QLD 04-Jun-13
Duckworth Mons Australia leaper Sydney, NSW FitzGerald Bros’ 15-Apr-1905
Duckworth William Australia leaper Maryborough, QLD FitzGerald Bros’ 5 Aug 1896
Duckworth Australia tumbler Newcastle, NSW Mongomery’s & Moreni’s 13 Jul 1893
Duckworth Australia tumbler Melbourne, VIC Eroni Bros’ 6 Apr 1901
Duckworth Australia Sydney, NSW FitzGerald Bros’ 7-May-1906
Duckworth Australia Sydney, NSW FitzGerald Bros’ 22 Dec 1897
Duckworth Australia Sydney, NSW FitzGerald Bros’ 22 Mar 1902
Duckworth William Australia Sydney, NSW FitzGerald Bros’ 8 Sep 1900
Duckworths The Australia acrobats Melbourne, VIC Gaiety Theatre 9-May-1912
Hogan Chas equestrian Nyngan, NSW Broncho George’s 10-Oct-1905
Hogan equestrian Wagga Wagga, NSW FitzGerald Bros’ 10 Dec 1892
Hogan Charles equestrian Wagga Wagga, NSW Hamilton’s 20 Jun 1895
Hogan Charles Ballina, NSW Baker’s 24-Aug-1906
Hogan Charles Collarenabri, NSW Ashton’s 22-May-1907
Hogan Charles Allora, Q Hogan & West’s 1-Jun-1913 (Referee, 4/6/1913)
Hogan Charles Melbourne, VIC Hamilton’s 13 Apr 1895
Hogan C Sydney, NSW FitzGerald Bros’ 22 May 1893
Hogan Charles Collarenabri, NSW Ashton’s 22 May 1907
Hogan Charles Adelaide, SA Woodloch’s 26 Dec 1894
Hope this helps
Mark St LeonKevinParticipant6 Sep 2021 at 4:07 amPost count: 4
Thank you very much for the references etc. I’ve read most of your works and have thoroughly enjoyed them.
I have a photocopy of the picture of the Duckworth and Hogan circus from circa 1911. I believe that the couples in the picture are the Duckworths and Hogans. Did Sadie St.Leon take the photo? I don’t suppose you know where it was taken or exactly who are in it? My connection is.. Kate and Rose Dougherty are my great-aunts who did indeed “run away” to the circus about 1890. Once again thank you for the information.
PS don’t suppose you know where the original photo got to ?
Regards Kevin DohertyMark St LeonParticipant6 Sep 2021 at 8:10 pmPost count: 16
The people in the picture are difficult to make out but I would imagine that Sadie “Onzalo” (Sadie Rowe, later Sadie St Leon) is the young woman on the right. The bass player, fifth from the right, could be Bert Houten. Charles Hogan could be the fourth from the right. Could be Billy & Kate Duckworth on the left. Rose could be the lady in the middle. Charles Hogan could be 4th from the right. The bandwagon on the far left with the name “Duckworth” painted across of the front. I don’t know who took the photo, or where it was taken, but Sadie had it pasted in her album when I first visited her in 1975. She died in 1989, aged 97. I imagine the album has been passed down in her family but I have lost touch with them.
BTW, I did some work on the Hogan and Duckworth family tree after my communication yesterday. I will send the link to you shortly in a follow-up email.
Mark St LeonMark St LeonParticipant6 Sep 2021 at 8:13 pmPost count: 16
Mark St LeonKevinParticipant7 Sep 2021 at 7:38 amPost count: 4
Again, many thanks for your reply. I must have a slightly different copy of the picture in question !!
I don’t have the wagon with “Duckworth” painted on it. I have a very old, poor quality newspaper print of Kate that seems to confirm your observation of which person could be her. The extract from Sadie’s interview comments, shines some light on the personalities of Kate and her sister that reinforces my assumption of them.
I much appreciate your reply and time.
Regards KevinMark St LeonParticipant7 Sep 2021 at 9:56 pmPost count: 16
You’re welcome. Drop me a line any time.
Mark St Leon
The Penny Gaff
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