Crofton, Cecil Frederick

Scope and Content

Biographical scrapbook, compiled by Cecil Frederick Crofton, including the following: correspondence, cuttings, watercolours and exam papers from Crofton's time at Forest School, near Snaresbrook, including cuttings of poems and articles by Crofton in the school magazine, exam papers, watercolours and illustrations of areas surrounding the school and correspondence with the headmaster regarding fees and attendance, 1874-1876; playbills, cuttings, posters, programmes and illustrations from a majority of Crofton's performances both as an opera singer and actor, both amateur and professional, also including dinner and engagement cards and illustrations and small watercolours by Crofton of theatrical scenes and fellow performers, 1877-1913; Cuttings and illustrations regarding the funeral of the Duke of Devonshire, 1908; correspondence, cuttings and illustrations regarding Sir Nevil Macready, 1919.

Administrative / Biographical History

Cecil Frederick Crofton (whose real name was Frederick Martin) was a versatile actor who appeared in a large variety of parts in the chief London theatres and the provinces, along with parts in pantomimes during the 1880s and 1890s. After considerable experience on the amateur stage, he made his first professional apearance in 1882 in Wilson Barrett's Lights o'London company at the Old Princess' Theatre. After further performances at the Royalty and the Avenue (now the Playhouse) he went on to tour the country as Charles II in Nell Gwynne , shortly after followed by appearances in The Countess and the Dancer and Camille at the Olympic in 1886. In 1889, he took the part of George Ralston in Jim the Penman at the Shaftesbury Theatre, which was also to go on tour in 1893. He took the part of Spooner in the revival of Formosa in 1891, and followed with parts in The Prince and the Pauper at the Vaudeville and Brighton at the Criterion. He played Montague Helston in Watching and Waiting , which he produced at the Vaudeville, and he was also Antony Crabb in The Custom House at the same theatre. In 1894, he went on tour in The Late Lamented , and, after appearances in The Middlemen as Epiphany Danks and in The Professor's Love Story as Dr Yellowlees, it could be said that his career effectively came to a close. Crofton died in November 1935.


The items were placed in the scrapbook by the author and follow a chronological pattern.

Access Information

Access to the items in the collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Access to archive collections may be restricted under the Freedom of Information Act. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Purchased by the University of London Library from antiquarian book dealer, A.R.Heath of Bristol in January 2004.

Other Finding Aids

Collection Level Description

Archivist's Note

Conditions Governing Use

Material cannot be copied due to the fragile nature of the material. Photographic copies may be made on request. See Palaeography Room staff for details.

Corporate Names