Actors, Musicians and Theatre Personalities with Scottish Links ~ Corbet Ryder ca.1770 - 1839

1. Arbroath

Corbet Ryder ca.1770 - 1839

The Trades Hall, Arbroath.  Old entrance from Horner's Wynd, from a sketch by P Charles Carragher, published in Red Light Recollections 40 Years of Fairport from the Footlights, Arbroath 1906.

Corbet and Jessie Ryder's Theatre Company

In 1788 a statute permitted plays to be performed at certain theatres during a short theatrical season. At other times the theatres were engaged in musical recitals and popular activities akin to music hall.

It was during these times that Corbet and Jessie's company travelled around the northern parts of Scotland, known as 'The Northern Circuit'.

They would leave Aberdeen when the theatrical season ended, then they would travel to Perth, where they would perform for the next two months. At the end of June, they would leave Perth and play for a few weeks in Montrose.

At the beginning of August they would open at the Dundee Theatre, situated in Castle Street. During August and September they would play a season at Dundee together with performances at the Trades Hall in Arbroath. At the end of September they would return to Aberdeen.

In 1829 Corbet and Louisa's son, Thomas, joined the travelling company and took over the running of the company which allowed Corbet and Jessie to concentrate on their acting. 'The Northern Circuit' was extended to include the towns of Forfar, Stonehaven, Inverness and many smaller places. This company continued to tour 'the Northern Circuit' for 30 years.

[Based on material published by Carol McNeill and the Biographical Dictionary of Actors.]  For further information, please follow this LINK


2. Dundee Theatre

Corbet Ryder ca 1770 - 1839

2.   Theatre Royal, Castle Street, Dundee, 1816.  [Reproduced The Story of the Scots Stage by Robb Lawson, 1919.  Image in the public domain.]

After Louisa's death, in or around 1819, Corbet married Jessie Fraser.  Corbet and Jessie had five children: Auchton; Corbet Auchton; Edwin John; Janet (Jessie); and Emma (who later married Edward Price, an actor/ manager).

Jessie Fraser was born in Paisley and was a member of a theatrical family. Her father was John Fraser, who was the manager of the Theatre Royal in Aberdeen from 1812 until 1817.

Jessie first went on the stage at the age of 15 and eventually became Corbet Ryder's leading lady. After her husband, Corbet Ryder, died, Jessie managed the Theatre Royal, Aberdeen for a while, then married a member of her company, John Pollock. John Pollock died in 1854 and Jessie continued to manage the theatrical company until her retirement in 1862.  She died in 1875.

[Based on material published by Carol McNeill. The Story of the Scots Stage by Robb Lawson, 1919, Electric Scotland and the Biographical Dictionary of Actors.]  For further information, please follow this LINK.




Ryder Anecdotes

Top ~ Theatre in Aberdeen  ~  Arbroath  ~  Old Trades Hall, Arbroath  ~ 

Top  ~