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Keith, Charlie, 1836 - 1895



  • Existence: 1836 - 1895


Charlie Keith was a famous British clown, that achieved international fame in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Charlie was born in Clerkenwell, London in 1836. He began his performing career as a child tumbler and soon started performing in the London music halls. As he gained recognition for his performance and developed it into a clowning act, Charlie started to tour around the music hall theatres of the UK. By 1868, already a successful performer, Charlie established his own static circus, The Grand Cirque Imperial at Exeter, which featured feats of equitation accompanied by performances in juggling, gymnastics and clowning. He also travelled his circus troupe internationally, building temporary circus structures patented by himself wherever they went and performing for the novility and European royalty.

Charlie died in 1895 in Bury, Lancashire aged 59.

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

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 Research Material, 1891 - 1935

Reference code: 178B30.37
Scope and Contents A large volume of typed and handwritten material referring to information published in newspapers and journals including the Strand Magazine, The Royal Magazine, McClure's Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine, The Bookman, The World Magazine, Cassells's Magazine, American Magazine, The Toronto Star Weekly, Everybody's Magazine, Collier's Illustrated Weekly, St. Nicholas Magazine, Popular Science Monthly, Pearson's Magazine and Saturday Evening Post on animal training and other aspects of wild...
Dates: 1891 - 1935

Monographs, Articles, Manuscripts and Research Material, c1795 - 1999

Reference code: 178B30
Scope and Contents

Compilation of monographs, articles, manuscripts and a range of research material about circus companies and performers in the United Kingdom, Europe and other parts of the world by various authors, the research was mainly compiled by Hal Thomas.

Dates: c1795 - 1999

Additional filters:

Archival Object 2
Collection 1
Acrobats 2
Aerialists 1
Art 1
Boxing 1
Circus workers 1