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Lambeth Cemetery

Records from the London Borough of Lambeth's Lambeth Cemetery in south London are now available to view on www.deceasedonline.com

Lambeth Cemetery, originally known as Tooting Cemetery, is home to a great many species of wildlife, including goldcrests, sparrowhawks, and woodpeckers, and provides the final resting place for over 250,000 people, including many famous music hall Victorians.

Lambeth Cemetery

The music hall was a popular Victorian brand of theatrical entertainment, and involved songs, comedy, speciality acts, and variety entertainment. 

One giant figure of music hall was George Wild Galvin, better known as Dan Leno (1860-1904), who was buried in Lambeth Cemetery. Dan Leno was a leading comedian and musical actor within music hall, and was also well known for his pantomime dame roles. His first solo stage appearance was at nine years old and, as a teen, he became the star of his family's act. By the late 1800s, Dan Leno was one of the highest-paid and most popular comedians in the world and, in 1901, he performed a sketch for King Edward VII at Sandringham, who was thoroughly impressed. 

Leno was generous and charitable, particularly to the benefit of other performers in need, but increasing alcoholism and widespread rejection of his desires to become a serious dramatic actor led to a mental breakdown in 1903. He was committed to an asylum, to be treated by a Dr. Savage with 'peace and quiet and a little water colouring'. He was discharged later that year and performed again, but from there, his health further declined and he died in November 1904 aged only 43.

We would love to hear of any of your ancestors or other interesting people whose records you have found in the collection. Do leave a comment in the box below, or contact us via our Facebook or Twitter pages!

The photograph above was gratefully sourced from Wikimedia Commons. Author Irid Escent kindly shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.


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