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Famous Actor And Actress

posted by Helena Wojtczak on 05 Dec 2009 at 8:55 am

Not a lot of people know that a century ago Cyril Maude and Winifred Emery, a very famous actor and actress who were household names in their day, lived at Little Common, the site of their house is now covered by Grey Horses.

Miss Emery died in the house and is buried at St Mark's where her grave is easily seen, being right near the gate on the main road.

I don't know much about Cyril Maude (google him) because my research focuses on women, and in my new book I give this brief biog of Winifred:

(Maud) Winifred Emery (1861–1924) actress.

A Mancunian, she came from a theatrical family and appeared on stage at age eight. From her West End d?but in 1874 she enjoyed a brilliant, fifty-year career as a versatile and popular actress. A specialist in Shakespeare, Shaw and Wilde, she could make an audience laugh or reduce them to tears with her skills in comedy and pathos.
In 1888 she married actor-manager Cyril Maude and lived in a large, posh house in Kensington looked after by five resident servants. During a seven-year maternity break she had three children and adopted her brother’s daughter Winifred after he abandoned his family in 1895. (In 1911 the librettist Sir W.S. Gilbert died while swimming with her other niece, Isabel.)

From 1903 they lived at The Corner, Barnhorn Road, Little Common, an eight-bedroomed house in an acre of beautiful gardens. She died there, and was buried at St Mark’s Church, Bexhill, as Winifred Emery, having never taken her husband’s surname. Such was her eminence that George V and Queen Mary sent Mr Maude a telegram of condolence. He put The Corner on the market within four weeks. A complex of flats called Greyhorses now covers the site, though the boundary of their garden is still clearly defined and an outbuilding remains (Chevrons Cottage).

Hope this is of interest!

Helena Wojtczak
Author, Notable Sussex Women

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