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Help with occupation

I've found John J Ridge b 1863 on the 1901 census living at 41 Bramber Street but I cannot understand his occupation. It appears to be something to do with the theatre.

In 1911 he is a hand bill distributor.

I'm also unsure which theatre was referred to in 1911.

Any help appreciated as always


Re: Help with occupation

Hi Jenny,

1901 - I read the occupation as Super Master.
Super is maybe an abbreviation for supernumerary - this can be an actor who’s basically an extra and doesn’t speak any lines.


Re: Help with occupation

There were three departments in a theatre, the heads of which reported to the stage manager: property-master, stage-carpenter and super-master (and in a huge theatre also a wardrobe-mistress. The super master kept a list a names and addresses of people who may be required as "extras" or "supers" on an "as-and-when" basis (ie supernumerary). They would drill these "extras" on an almost military approach.

I can't see any theatre or employer referred to in 1911, in 1901 he was at the Royal Theatre

In July 1895 he had been employed as a warehouseman at More and Gambles (he was resident at Bramber street). He brought a charge of assault (in Brunswick road)against two women who lived in Lansdowne Road, though it was dismissed.

Re: Help with occupation

Thanks so much for your replies it makes it much clearer.

Where was the Royal Theatre the same as the Theatre Royal as I can't seem to locate it?

Re: Help with occupation

The Theatre Royal burned down in the 1930s. The Crucible was later built on the same site

Re: Help with occupation

Thanks Dave.