Poster for Hughes' Circus
Mid to late 19th century
Museum no. S.3776-1995
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
This is the circus of Edwin Hughes who boasted a 'Grand Oriental Equestrian Establishment' which toured to Hastings and Derby in 1845 and Limerick and Birmingham in 1847. Hughes also had a season at Drury Lane in 1847 where Queen Victoria came to see the circus. In the same year his stables at St Austell caught fire from a candle falling on the straw, and his valuable mare, Victoria, was badly burnt. At the end of his 1847 season he disposed of his equestrian and zoological stock. He is reputed to have made £20,000 from his circus enterprises when he retired, and to have made another fortune as a banker. He died in Surrey in 1867 but is buried in Liverpool. This poster is beautifully illustrated with woodcut images, and is specially designed for a tour since a space has been left blank in which to insert the name of the town to be visited.