Moore and Burgess Minstrels


Established in 1865, the Moore and Burgess Minstrels performed at St. James' Hall, Piccadilly in one continuous season for more than thirty five years. They billed themselves as 'The Oldest Established Entertainment in the World'.  They performed every night and gave matinees three times a week.  The company also toured and the newspaper cutting below contains a review of their performance in Dublin and an interview with Arthur Gallimore.

The photograph of the full company was taken at St Leonards' Pavillion on 16th June 1900 at their final performance as the Moore and Burgess Minstrels.  While they were on tour that summer the Mohawk Minstrels had moved from Islington and taken over the lease of St. James' Hall.  The other photograph below is of Arthur, Johnny Danvers and Fred Lynne.

Arthur remained with the, then renamed, Mohawk Moore and Burgess Minstrels until at least 1901.  The Mohawk Minstrels came to an end in 1904 but by then Arthur was with Fred Karno's Company.  Anyone interested in the history of Minstrelsy should read Harry Reynolds book 'Minstrel Memories'.  In it he describes Arthur (due to a typographical error it says Alf Gallimore) as 'a bright and amusing comedian and a very fine dancer'.

  Sheet Music

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Photographs and Review

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Moore and Burgess Minstrels Full Company Arthur Gallimore, Johnny Danvers and F.Lynne Review from Irish newspaper

Review from Irish Newspaper

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Programmes 1898 to 1900

The Moore and Burgess Minstrels' programmes had two parts with only a three minute interval in between.  Below are links to some first part and second part programmes.  From these pages it can be seen that the complete programmes contained lists of Moore and Burgess song albums and an order coupon.   The musical albums could be purchased in the hall from the attendants, or by post, for sixpence.  You will see from the programmes that theatre-goers could even consult railway timetables in the manager's office!

Anniversary Programme 1899 Part One

Follow the links to see the programmes.

  1. June Programme 1898 Part One
  2. June Programme 1898 Part Two
  3. Programme circa 1898 Part Two
  4. Easter Programme 1899 Part One
  5. Easter Programme 1899 Part Two
  6. Whitsun Programme 1899 Part One
  7. Irish Programme 1899 Part One
  8. Scotch Programme 1899 Part One
  9. Anniversary Programme 1899 Part One
  10. Anniversary Programme 1899 Part Two
  11. Christmas Programme 1899 Part One
  12. Irish Programme 1900 Part One
  13. Christmas Programme 1900 Part One
  14. Programme Part Two circa 1900
  15. Programme Part Two circa 1900
  16. Programme Part Two circa 1900

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As Sung by Arthur Gallimore

The words to ten of Arthur's songs are given below.  I have left them unedited with some trepidation as some would not be, in this day and age, considered politically correct.  Even though I find some words associated with Minstrelsy offensive I have left them uncensored (as with item titles in some of the programmes) in the name of historical accuracy.

It can be seen that nearly every song has a chorus so audience participation must have been encouraged.  The programmes gave the page number for the words of each song so the audiences were presumably encouraged to purchase the albums and sing along.  Sister Mary Jane's Top Note must have been real fun to join in with!

Words to Sister Mary Jane's Top Note

Follow the links for the words of the songs.

  1. Sister Mary Jane's Top Note
  2. She Is the Belle of New York
  3. The Belle of Honolulu
  4. Chin, Chin, Chinaman
  5. Jubilee Medley
  6. Just Pay Our Respects To MaGuiness
  7. Mammy's Carolina Twins
  8. The Darkies' Jubilee
  9. The Nigger and the Bee
  10. Nancy Clancy

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