Marie Wilton, Lady Bancroft (1839-1921)

Marie Effie Wilton, an actress and theater manager, was the child of provincial actors and performed on stage from a very young age. Her London debut was in 1856, when she shone as Perdita in "The Winter's Tale." Wilton continued to perform in burlesque, particularly at the Strand. Deciding to go into theater management, Wilton borrowed one thousand pounds and renovated an old theatre nicknamed the "Dust Hole." Renamed the Prince of Wales's, it opened in 1865. The new theatre became one of the most popular in London. In Wilton's company was an actor named Squire Bancroft who had performed with her before. They married in 1867. Wilton and Bancroft initiated many positive reforms in theatre management, raising salaries and providing wardrobes. In 1880 the couple took over the Haymarket Theatre and made it a great success. Knighthood was conferred upon Squire Bancroft in 1897, for the couple's contribution to their profession, but ironically Wilton received no such honor. Here the actress poses beside a potted plant at the Elliott & Fry studio in London.

1875 circa 15 years
Original Format:
Carte de Visite
Elliott & Fry (London)
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