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Victoria, Vesta, 1873 - 1951



  • Existence: 26 November 1873 - 7 April 1951


Victoria Lawrence aka Vesta Victoria was born on 26 November 1873 in Leeds, England to music hall entertainers Joe Lawrence and his wife Emma Thompson. Victoria made her first appearance on stage with her parents aged six weeks as Baby Victoria. She continued using that name, appearing on stage with her parents singing and dancing, until 1883 when she change it for Little Victorian for her first London appearance. She used that stage name until she finally changed it to Vesta Victoria in 1892 to initiate her solo career.

Although Victoria was from Yorkshire, she developed a Cockney character for her performances, which made her into one of the most successful and best paid British music hall singer and comedians at the turn of the twentieth century, not only in England but also in America, where we travelled widely.

The painter Walter Sickert (1860–1942) painted her portrait entitled Vesta Victoria at the Old Bedford, c1890.

Vesta retired after the First World War, only to return to stage in 1926. However, by this time, both music halls and her popularity were in decline. She continued working through the 1930s and 1940s recording some of her old hits and appearing in films and variety theatres and in 1932 she was part of the Royal Variety Show at the Palladium. Vesta died of breast cancer in Hampstead, north London, on 7 April 1951.

Found in 5 Collections and/or Records:

A Pretty Little Song for Pretty Little Children Song Booklet, 1892

Reference code: 178Z64.17
Scope and Contents Bown and white illustration on front cover showing a woman's portrait in the centre, a domestic scene on bottom laft with dogs and cats and a girl walking with a dog on top right containing the lyrics and sheet music for Daddy Wouldn't Buy me a Bow-Wow, sung by Miss Vesta Victoria, written and composed by Joseph Tabrar, also containing Francis & Day's newest comic songs. Printed by Francis, Day & Hunter, 195 Oxford Street, V. Publishers of Smallwood's celebrated pianoforte tutor....
Dates: 1892

Bill Barnes Collection

Reference code: NFA0172
Scope and Contents

Programmes, posters and photographs mainly related to the Poole family's travelling Myriorama show.

Dates: 1881 - 2017

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

Programmes , 1881 - 2016

Reference code: 178K53
Scope and Contents

Pre-Film and variety and music hall programmes mainly related to the travelling shows of Joseph Poole and Harry Poole, Harry H. Hamilton, Mapleston Brothers and Adams but it also includes other showmen.

Dates: 1881 - 2016

The Tivoli Programme, 24 September 1902

Reference code: 178K53.40
Scope and Contents Miss Marie Wilton, Burnetti, The Missouris, Mr Gorge Mozart, Miss Vera Vere, Florence and Lillian, Mr James Fawn, Miss Ida Rene, Forest and King, Miss Dollie Ravensberg, Clack and Hamilton, Mr George Robey, Tom and Lily English, Miss Vesta Victoria, Mr R.G. Knowles, Miss Ada Willoughby, Mr R.H. Douglass, Mdlle Eugenie Fougere, Mr George Bastow, Sisters Levey, Miss Vesta Tilley, Mr Dan Leno, Cross and Holden. Three fold programme with colour illustration of a woman in a yellow dress with red...
Dates: 24 September 1902