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Gwilym Beechey

revised by Linda Troost

Member of Linley family

(b Bath, Jan 27, 1771; d London, May 6, 1835). English composer and director of theatre music, son of Thomas Linley (i). The youngest of the Linley children, he was educated at Harrow and St Paul’s School, and studied music with his father and with the composer and viol player C.F. Abel. He had a fine singing voice that inspired Coleridge to write a sonnet about him. He was a civil servant in India, 1790–96 and 1801–6. In the late 1790s he took over his father’s post as composer to Drury Lane and wrote musical works of mostly limited success, often supplying his own librettos. He also provided the incidental music to the famous Shakespeare forgery Vortigern (1796). He settled in London in 1807 and wrote several sets of songs, elegies, glees, and some sacred music, and in 1816 issued a two-volume anthology of settings of Shakespearean lyrics by various composers. He was a member of many clubs and won a Glee Club prize in ...


Gillian Rodger


(b New York, NY, 26 April 1833; d Elmhurst, NY, 26 Aug 1908). Circus performer and variety manager.

He was the third of six children of a Spanish immigrant barber, Antonio Pastor, and his American wife Cornelia Pastor (née Buckley). He was apprenticed to John Jay Nathans, a circus equestrian, in 1847, but gravitated towards a career as a clown. In the latter role he was expected to sing and dance as well as take part in comic minstrel and pantomime skits, which were a standard part of 19th-century circus entertainments.

By the end of the 1850s Pastor had moved into variety entertainment. It was not uncommon for variety theaters to hire circus acts, and Pastor found his first steady employment with Frank Rivers, a Philadelphia manager, and then with Robert Butler, the manager of the American Music Hall in Manhattan. Pastor worked with Butler for several seasons and established himself as a hugely popular performer with a diverse range of skills. A new theater licensing law in ...