Search within this description

Contents

THM/71 - Millie Howes, actress, and "The Devil Bird", theatre sketch: papers
About this page

Millie Howes, actress, and "The Devil Bird", theatre sketch: papers

Archives described on the Archives Hub are held in repositories across the UK

  • this Description
  • View XML | View Text
This material is held at Victoria and Albert Museum: Theatre Collections
Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71
Dates of Creation ca.1840-ca.1940
Name of Creator Millie Howes
Language of Material English
Physical Description 2 boxes (42 items)

Scope and Content

This archive consists of music scores; manuscripts; legal documents of ownership; contracts of actors; photographs and other documents relating to the sketch The Devil Bird.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Devil Bird was a musical theatre sketch owned, adapted and performed by the actress and music hall performer Millie Howes. Millie Howes was the stage name of Jane Bartlett (neé Tiplow), who bought the sketch from its author, Frederick Bowyer, in September 1886 with her husband, John Bartlett. The sketch had music and songs composed by J. Baker for a 10 part orchestra.

The Devil Bird was a sketch that required three actors, for which Millie Howes employed Leo Harmont and Florrie Frederick. The Devil Bird Company toured musical halls, we have evidence of performances at the Canterbury Theatre of Varieties; Varieties, Hoxton and The Metropolitan Music Hall.

There is also evidence that Millie Howes had some difficulty confirming her sole ownership of the sketch after buying the rights entirely from Frederick Bowyer after finding that the sketch was being performed by Lottie Collins in America. A note also shows that there were simlarities made between the sketch of The Devil Bird and another entitled The Country Squire.

There is no clear note as to when the production of The Devil Bird ended.

Jane Bartlett (Millie Howes) died February 3rd 1942.

Arrangement

  • THM/71/1 Personal papers of Millie Howes
  • THM/71/2 Photographs
  • THM/71/3 Scripts and other material relating to The Devil Bird
  • THM/71/4 Music Manuscripts for The Devil Bird
  • THM/71/5 Business and legal papers relating to The Devil Bird
  • THM/71/6 Publicity and Marketing relating to The Devil Bird

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for consultation in the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance's Reading Room, which is located at Blythe House, 23 Blythe Rd, Olympia, London, W14 0QX. The Reading Room is open Tuesday to Friday between 10.15 am and 4.30 pm. Access to it is by appointment only. To request an appointment please email tmenquiries@vam.ac.uk or telephone 020 7942 2698.

Access to some of these files may be restricted. These are identified at file level.

Conditions Governing Use

Archival material may not be photocopied. Arrangements can be made to photograph material in the reading room using non-flash photography.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs D. Salsbury-Potter in 1995.

Accruals

No further accurals are expected

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Theatre and Performance Department. Material relating to Millie Howes, as well as The Devil Bird in general may be found in several collections, including the biographical, productions, company and photographs files.

Subjects

Theater - Great Britain - History - 19th Century
Howes, Millie -- Archive
Actors -- Great Britain.
Music-halls (Variety-theaters, cabarets, etc.)
Bowyer, Frederick.

Cataloguing Info

Title Millie Howes, actress, and "The Devil Bird", theatre sketch: papers
Sub-title Catalogue of records in the Victoria & Albert Museum: Department of Theatre and Performance
Author Catalogued by Guy Baxter
Revisions

Personal Papers of Millie Howes

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/1
Dates of Creation June 26 1880/Feb 3 1942
Language of Material English
Physical Description 2 items

Scope and Content

This series consists of personal papers relating to Jane Bartlett née Tiplow (stage name - Millie Howes), the eventual owner of the sketch, The Devil Bird.


Marriage certificate of Jane Tiplow and John Bartlett

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/1/1
Dates of Creation June 26 1880
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Photocopy of the marriage certifcate of Jane Tiplow (Millie Howes) and John Bartlett for a marriage solemnised in the Parish of St. John, Hoxton.


Death Certificate of Jane Bartlett (Millie Howes)

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/1/2
Dates of Creation Feb 3 1942
Physical Description 1 Item

Scope and Content

Photocopy of the Jane Bartlett's (Millie Howes) Death certifcate, having died aged 85.


Photographs

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/2
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Name of Creator Millie Howes
Physical Description 7 items

Scope and Content

This series contains seven photographs relating to The Devil Bird.


Photograph showing a full-length portrait of a woman holding a rifle

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/2/1
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Black and white photograph


Photograph of the cast of The Devil Bird

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/2/2
Dates of Creation ca.1886
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Black and white photograph with pencil writing on the back stating " The Devil Bird cast" and the photgraphers details ,"H Carpenter & Co / Artists & Photographers / 120, Mile End Road, E."


Photograph showing the full length portrait of a woman wearing a corset and motar-board like cap.

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/2/3
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Black and white photograph from "Agustus W Wilson & Co Photographers"


Photograph showing Millie Howes wearing a beaded head dress

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/2/4
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Black and white photograph from "Augustus W Wilson & Co Photographers". On reverse hand written note in pencil "Millie Howes" and in biro "Mother".


Photograph showing a full length portrait of Millie Howes holding a gun.

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/2/5
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Coloured photograph with pencil note: "Millie Howes", and printed on reverse "From the studio of W. [Dalwin], Holly Bank, Nether Edge, Sheffield.


Full length photograph of a woman wearing buckle shoes and a cap

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/2/6
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Black and white photograph


Full length photograph of a man and woman in a forest scene

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/2/7
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Black and White photograph. Printed "H Carpenter & Co., Artists & Photographers 120. Mile End Road, E. Pencilled note on the reverse, unreadable.


Production and creative information for The Devil Bird including scripts.

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/3
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 4 items

Scope and Content

Creative notes on the production of Millie Howes, The Devil Bird, including scripts, set design, character notes on the part of "Eric" and another sketch that bears a resemblence to the plot of The Devil Bird.


Watercolour sketch of The Devil Bird set

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/3/1
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Watercolour sketch of The Devil Bird set.

Watercolour on paper with ink writing on reverse: " Devil Bird Scene / Property of Millie Howes".


Exercise book detailing the part of "Eric" in The Devil Bird.

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/3/2
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Exercise book with handwritten inscription on the cover detailing the part of "Eric" in The Devil Bird. "Property of Millie Howes."

Pink ripped paper front cover (back is missing), with 14 paper pages of handwritten notes


Script of the musical sketch The Devil Bird.

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/3/3
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Script of the musical sketch The Devil Bird.

26 pages of lined paper in linen paper wrapper. Black ink handwriting throughout and some pencil notes as well.


Note commenting that a sketch entitled The Country Squire bearing simlarities to The Devil Bird.

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/3/4
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Note of the plot of a sketch entitled The Country Squire with a note top left by "HA" in a different hand to the effect that this "bore a resemblance to The Devil Bird".

2 pages lined paper with handwritten black ink.


Music Manuscripts for The Devil Bird composed by J. Baker

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/4
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 10 items

Scope and Content

Various instrumental parts for the music of the sketch The Devil Bird composed by J. Baker


Music for the part of the Bass for The Devil Bird

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/4/1
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Black cover with golden writing with "Basso" and " The Devil Bird Co" and a white label with Millie Howes. Inside handwritten music in black ink and some pencil notes.


Music for the part of the Clarinet for The Devil Bird

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/4/2
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Black cover with golden writing with "Clarionet" and "The Devil Bird Co" and a white label with Millie Howes. Inside handwritten music in black ink and some pencil notes.


Music for the part of the Cornet for The Devil Bird

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/4/3
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Black cover with golden writing with "Cornet" and "The Devil Bird Co" and a white label with Millie Howes. Inside handwritten music in black ink and some pencil notes.


Music for the part of the Drums for The Devil Bird

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/4/4
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Black cover with golden writing with "Drums" and "The Devil Bird Co" and a white label with Millie Howes. Inside handwritten music in black ink and some pencil notes.


Music for the part of the Flute for The Devil Bird

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/4/5
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Black cover with golden writing with "Flute" and "The Devil Bird Co" and a white label with Millie Howes. Inside handwritten music in black ink and some pencil notes.


Music for the part of the Piano for The Devil Bird

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/4/6
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Marbeled cover with leather bindings and two labels - "Piano" and damaged " Devil [Bird] Millie Howes"


Music for the part of the Trombone for The Devil Bird

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/71/4/7
Dates of Creation ca. 1886
Physical Description 1 item

Scope and Content

Black cover with golden writing with "Trombone" and "The Devil Bird Co" and a white label with Millie Howes. Inside handwritten music in black ink and some pencil notes.