This image is part of a growing collection of photographs, drawings, scans, etc, relating to the Huddersfield area.

Huddersfield Chronicle 21 June 1856 - Pablo Fanque's Circus


As immortalised in John Lennon's lyrics for "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" from the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album, Pablo Fanque's Circus was one of the most popular in Victorian Britain for around 30 years.

This advert appeared in the Huddersfield Chronicle in June 1856 for performances at the Piece Hall in Halifax. Prior to that, his circus had performed in Huddersfield.

It is sometimes reported that Fanque (born William Darby) spent his early years in a workhouse and this may well have been the reason why he wrote to the Huddersfield Board of Guardians offering to let all the children in the local workhouses attend his circus for free. The Board voted on his offer, but the result was tied. The chairman, M. Sykes, cast the deciding vote in favour of accepting Fanque's offer and noted that "he had once been a child himself."

The following year, Fanque invited the inmates of the Huddersfield Workhouse to attend his circus for free.





This page was last modified on 5 August 2016 and has been edited by Dave Pattern.

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