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Lord George Sanger Circus (Established c1880)



  • Existence: Established c1880


Lord George Sanger Circus was founded by George Sanger after disolving his business partnership with his brother John Sanger.

George and John were the founders of the Sanger Allied Circus in 1854, which they operated with a few family members and friends. The business grew from strength to strength and by 1858 Sanger’s circus could boast of presenting the largest stud of horses ever seen in the European continent. By the 1860s the Sanger emporium owned ten permanent circuses between Plymouth and Aberdeen.

The Sanger brother’s acquired two of the most famous and reputable circus venues in London; the Royal Agricultural Hall at Islington in 1870 and Astley’s New Royal Amphitheatre in 1871.

George and John eventually decided to go their separate ways and split their various business ventures amicably.

During his career as a circus proprietor George Sanger presented two Royal performances before Queen Victoria, the first at Sandringham on 8 January 1885 and the second at Balmoral Castle on 17 June 1898.

George Sanger was a respected member of the showland community and although he spent most of his later life in the circus, he maintained a strong link to his fairground roots and was elected the first President of the Showmen's Guild of Great Britain in 1890, a post he held until 1909.

George Sanger was murdered on 28 November 1911, at Park Farm by one of his employees for unknown reasons. His circus and effects were auctioned off by showman Tom Norman aka ‘The Silver King’.

Found in 89 Collections and/or Records:

Articles and Monographs, c1880 - 1899

Reference code: 178B39
Scope and Contents

Script for Cinderella and Life of George Sanger booklets.

Dates: c1880 - 1899

Catalogues of Sale, 1905 - 1912

Reference code: 178J11
Scope and Contents

Catalogues for the sale of George Sanger's equiptment and animals.

Dates: 1905 - 1912

Circus Friends Association Collection

Reference code: NFA0122
Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a large library of books and journals, as well as archival material including posters, programmes, photographs, films, handbills, research material, scrapbooks, original artwork and many other items of ephemera relating to British, Irish and European circuses

Dates: 1795 - 2020

Circus Photographs Scrapbook, 1934 - 1975

Reference code: 178G21.58
Scope and Contents

Scrapbook of photographs, relating to multiple circus and acts including Chapman's Bertram Mills, Lord George Sanger's, Chipperfield's and Bostock and Wombwell's, 37p.p.

Dates: 1934 - 1975

Correspondence, c1900 - 1999

Reference code: 178F31
Scope and Contents

Items of correspondence including personal and business letters and Christmas greetings.

Dates: c1900 - 1999

Correspondence, c1900 - 2008

Reference code: 178F20
Scope and Contents

Items of personal correspondence and correspondence related to the Sanger and Ohmy families.

Dates: c1900 - 2008

Correspondence Between John Everet Sanger and the Ohmy Family, c1936 - 1989

Reference code: 178F20.18
Scope and Contents

Correspondence between John Everton Sanger and the Ohmy family, mainly his mother and grandmother while John was serving in the Royal Navy during World War II and from Vicky during the 1970s-1980s, also some from other acquaintances, other correspondence and empty envelopes.

Dates: c1936 - 1989

Correspondence Related to the Ohmy and the Sanger Families, c1900 -1999

Reference code: 178F20.20
Scope and Contents

Various pieces of correspondence related to Ohmy and Sanger family members.

Dates: c1900 -1999

Cyril Critchlow Collection

Reference code: NFA0089
Scope and Contents The Cyril Critchlow collection contains programmes, posters, handbills, books and magic journals, many of which relate to shows in Blackpool where Cyril resided and includes material on entertainment venues such as Blackpool’s North Pier, Central Pier, South Pier, Tower Circus and a small collection of programmes from other national venues. Additionally, it contains circus photographs and postcards mainly of the Ohmy Circus and Sanger Circus including individual circus troupes and performers...
Dates: c1837 - 2008

Den Curtis' Photographic Albums, 1936 - 1969

Reference code: 178C108.329-332
Scope and Contents

Photographic albums put together by Den Curtis, containing black and white photographs of circuses, performers and animals with annotations, including Sanger, Chipprefields, Bertram Mills, Smarts, Hoxie Bros., Blackpool Tower, Belle Vue, Robert Bros., Fossett and Luckens Continental Circus and others, also some loose photographs removed from the albums.

Dates: 1936 - 1969

Early Circus Programmes, c1800 - 1999

Reference code: 178K43.1-28
Scope and Contents

Early British circus and variety programmes including Astley's, Batty's and Lord George Sanger's circus.

Dates: c1800 - 1999

Early Circus Scrapbook, 1876 - 1893

Reference code: 178G21.77
Scope and Contents

Scrapbook of newspaper cuttings and black and white illustrations, relating to multiple circuses and acts including Sanger's, Ginnett's and Barnum's, 80p.p.

Dates: 1876 - 1893

Early Circus Scrapbook, 1879 - 1898

Reference code: 178G21.78
Scope and Contents

Scrapbook of newspaper cuttings, programmes and black and white illustrations, relating to multiple circuses and acts including Barnum's, Chiarini's Royal Italian Circus, Ginnett's and Sanger's, 128p.p.

Dates: 1879 - 1898

Empire Programme, Week of Monday 26 February 1934

Reference code: 178K43.563
Scope and Contents

Shepherds Bush. Lord George Sanger's Circus Sensation. Blue and white type on white and blue background on front cover, inside commercial advertising and programme. Printed by Advertising Agents, Geo. J. Smith and Co., Ltd, 20 Easy Row, Birmingham, 4p.p.

Dates: Week of Monday 26 February 1934

George Sanger Circus Female Performers Photographs, c1897

Reference code: 178C114.179-181
Scope and Contents

Black and white photographs of Mrs Emma Coleman, Georgina Coleman and a troupe of five female bareback riders including Emma Coleman.

Dates: c1897

George Sanger Circus Performers Photographs, c1850 - 1910

Reference code: 178C114.157-178
Scope and Contents

Black and white photographs showing George Sanger Circus, performers and staff, living wagons, street parades and circus tents.

Dates: c1850 - 1910

George Sanger Circus Photographs, c1850 - 1945

Reference code: 178C114.182-188
Scope and Contents

Black and white photographs of George Sanger's Circus, including a head and shoulders framed portrait of George Sanger.

Dates: c1850 - 1945

George Sanger Circus Scrapbook, c1865

Reference code: 178G51.2
Scope and Contents

Scrapbook containing newspaper cuttings about George Sanger's Circus, some pages are empty, 31p.p.

Dates: c1865

Grand Annual Christmas Pantomime Script, c1800 - 1899

Reference code: 178Z54.2
Scope and Contents George Sanger's Grand National Amphitheatre, late Astley's, Westminster Bridge Road. 16th Annual Grand Comic Christmas Pantomime entitled Robison Crusoe or Harlequin Man Friday and the King of the Cannibal Islands, starring Miss Bella Brian, Miss Annie Craston, Miss Alice Rees, Mr H. Bu Val, Miss Marie Brian, Miss Ellen Sanders, Mr J. F. Brian, Mr James Holloway, Mr Harris, Mr Harry Elliston, Mr Fred Stone, Mr William Walton, Miss Lillie Woods, Collins & Anderson, Mr E. O'Grady, Mr J....
Dates: c1800 - 1899

Important Announcement Proclamation, 12 March 1888

Reference code: 178S5.1
Scope and Contents

Announcement of speaches and appearances regarding the horse killing wolves at Lord George Sanger's theatre in London where Alpine Charlie captured the Siberian wolves. Navy blue type on off white background.

Dates: 12 March 1888