Episode 48

Pantomime Chaos

There was an enormous crowd, all eager to get inside and see the new pantomime 'Robinson Crusoe' in one of the best theatres in the country, and as soon as the pit and gallery doors were opened, they all rushed in. Hundreds of people, keen to get a good seat. During the first few minutes, a woman falls over, then another and before long chaos and panic was all around.

the full list of those who sadly perished includes...

  • Joseph Smith, 15 years of age, 9, Phoenix-street, Barton-hill, Charles Pring, 17 years of age, Mill-lane, Bedminster.
  • Mary Ellen Sherwood, aged 16, domestic servant, of 10, Alfred-hill.
  • John Merchant, aged 18, of St. James's-back.
  • Eliza Lucas, aged 18, of 2, Marsh-lane, St. Philip's.
  • Patrick Donovan, aged 17, of 2, Jacob-street, St. Philip's.
  • Alfred William Kew, aged 18, of 11, Clark-street, Philip-street, Bedminster.
  • Thomas Pearson, aged about 21, shopman to Mr Seth Thomas, glass and china dealer, of High-street. Pearson had only been in Bristol about a fortnight. He is a native of Blackpool, near Liverpool.
  • George Potter, son of Samuel Potter, of Mead-lane, Bedminster.
  • Samuel Hill, aged 13, of 21, Lamb-street, St. Jude's.
  • Ellen Jones, aged 15, daughter of James Jones, carrier between Bristol and Weston-super-Mare, of Regent-street, Weston. Also her sister (aged 19), since dead.
  • Sarah Ann Gilby, of West-street, Bedminster.
  • A middle-aged man, named Vining, of 41, Stanley-street, Euston-road.
  • William Alden, assistant to Mr Thomas, High-street, Bristol. Catherine Brewer, aged 16 years, Kingsland-road, St. Philip's. 'Charles Talbot, aged 10, Hotwells.
  • John Davies, aged 13 years, 19, Castle-ditch.
  • Elizabeth Hall, aged 59, Croft's-end, St. George's, Gloucestershire.


This podcast has been specially edited from a Bradley Stoke Radio show in Bristol, England. 

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Glasgow Herald - Tuesday 28 December 1869

Liverpool Mercury - Tuesday 28 December 1869

Exeter Flying Post - Wednesday 29 December 1869

Leeds Mercury - Thursday 30 December 1869

Glasgow Herald - Friday 31 December 1869

Arthur Lloyd


Sound Effects by zapsplat.com

Intro music by The Model Folk 


About the Podcast

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The BackTracker History Show

About your host

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Alice The Backtracker

Hello there! My name is Alice and this is The Backtracker History Show Podcast where I ask you to join me on a meander down through the archives to find out more about the people, places and events from the past.

From tales of pirates and privateers to murderers, tragic accidents to war time escapades, this podcast has it all.
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