I decided to do a large search through the British newspapers for mentions of the family, specifically their life in Henley-on-Thames. I was expecting a lot for George Paulin, who was very active in municipal politics, becoming the town’s mayor in 1880, but was hopeful that there was more. Fortunately I was right.
When the Paulin family moved to Victoria, BC they were really active in local musical theatre, and I wondered where this came from. I knew that Mary Cutler Paulin’s family was musical, but apparently the Paulins were as well. Throughout the 1860s Frederick Paulin was active in the amateur theatre in Henley-on-Thames. I thought that it would be easiest to just put all of the accounts I found together to show what kind of performer he was. He seemed to have been the most active with the “Henley Elocution Society,” where he frequently was called upon to sing, but he also gave recitations from Shakespeare.
Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette, 29 February 1868, page 8
Elocution Society – The entertainment which took place at the Town Hall on Monday evening last, was attended by a very large audience, attracted, perhaps more than the usual by an excellent programme, which contained a very humorous collection. The moral attached to the piece “Friendship” was much appreciated and everything passed off with credit to the amateurs. It is expected the Society will give one more evening, and, if so, a repetition of “Friendship” will be acceptable. The following was the selection: song, “The Mermaid,” Mr Jennings; reading, Act 1 Scene 1, Merchant of Venice, Mr Williams; song “My Pretty Jane,” Mr W Crouch; recitation “The Death of Rufus” Mr Cole; song “O! Poor Old Man” Mr J Hunn.
“Friendship,” Mr Fox (Managing Clerk at a Banking House) Mr Bye; Messrs Smith, Brown, Jones and Robinson, his friends Messrs C Clements, Handley, Savage and Cole – Song “The Peddlar” Mr F Paulin; reading Act 1 Scene 4, Richard III, Mr Williams; song “Faithless Maria” Mr C Clements; recitation “The Frenchman and the Rats” Mr Handley; song, “I am one of the Olden Time” Mr Jennnings.
Concerted piece – “Cherry Bounce” Mr Clements – Mr Bye; Gregory Homespun (his man) – Mr Cole; Gammon (farmer) Mr J Hunn; Spinage (farmer) Mr Savage; Doctor’s Boy- Master Miller; Old Homespun (Gregory’s father) Mr J Paulin. National Anthem.
Oxford Journal, 19 March 1864, page 8
Penny Readings – Another of the penny readings took place at St Mary’s Hall, New Street, by kind permission of the Bishop Coadjutor of Edinburgh, on Monday evening last, JS Burn Esq in the chair. The following was the programme – “The Retreat from Moscow” (Alison) Rev Dr Godby; “the enchanted net” (an adaptation from the German) Rev J Hodges; song “The Bashful young gentleman” (Glover) Mr F Paulin; “Hamlet” Act 1st Scene 2nd (Shakespeare) Mr EM Williams; “The Diverting History of John Gilpin (Cowper) Mr Robinson; “A Reading” Rev J Hodges; song “The Pilot” (Nelson), Mr Partridge; “Selections from Southey” Rev Dr Godby. The songs were accompanied on the pianoforte by Mr A Towsey. At the conclusion Mr F Paulin gave a second song, there having been a loud call for an encore of his first, which was not yielded; the latter was also received with much applause. The popularity of these readings is evinced by the increased numbers of the audience; the Society’s room in Bell Street soon became too small and now the large building, St Mary’s Hall, is found insufficient to accommodate all.
Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette, 12 November 1864, page 8
Henley Reading, Chess and Music Society – This society gave another agreeable evening’s entertainment, called Penny Reading, on Wednesday evening last at St Mary’s Hall, New Street. The programme as follows, was sustained very creditably by “The Northern Farmer” (Tennyson) Mr Lister; “The Dream of Eugene Aram” (Hood) Mr Rawlins; Song “The Anchor’s Weighted} (Braham) Mr Walter Crouch; Song “Smuggles and Poachers” (Crabbe) Mr John Cooper; Song “Kitty Tyrrell” (CW Glover) Mr Frederick Paulin; “Odes on the Deaths of the Prince Consort and the Duke of Wellington” (Tennyson) Mr Lister; “The Highland Boy” (Wordsworth) Mr Rawlins. The songs were accompanied by Mr A Twosey who performed on the pianoforte.
Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette, 3 February 1866, page 7
Elocution Society – The continued increasing attractiveness of this Society’s entertainments could not be more forcibly exemplified that it was on Monday evening last. The chair was kindly and ably filled on the occasion by Mr W Plumbe. The concerted piece was admirably gone through, and elicited constant and genuine outbursts of laughter; the song with instrumental quartett [sic] accompaniment was loudly encored and repeated. The other items in the programme were exceedingly well rendered. Programme: Reading, a sketch from “Artemus Ward’s Travels in America” Mr EM Williams; recitation, “Ginevra” (Rogers) Mr Bye; quartett[sic] “Isle of Beauty” (Harmonised by WH Birch) – Masters Sparks and Cooper, Messrs Paulin and Simmonds; reading, “A Politic(al) Flight of Lord John Russell” with Punch – Mr Tagg; song “Better late than never” (Geogbegan) – Mr C Clements; recitation “The Better Land” (Mrs Hemans) Master Sparks; song “Never mind the rest” (H Fase) Mr F Paulin; recitation “The Red King’s Warning” (TW) Mr Hunn; reading “Elegy Written in a Churchyard” (Gray) – Mr EM Williams; song “The Charge of the Light Brigade” (instrumental quartett[sic] accompaniment) Mr F Paulin; recitation “The Common Path” (JE Carpenter) Mr C Clements; glee, “The Chough and Crow” (Sir H Bishop) – full chorus; concerted piece “A Martyr to Science, or Wanted, a Confederate” – Tweezer (a retired chiropodist), Mr Bye; Dick (his son), Mr Simmonds; Humphrey Davy Tattleton (MHES and MSIMPB, Peripatic Lecturer on Magnetico-Photographico-Biology), Mr Hunn; Drudgely (a lawyer) Mr F Paulin. National Anthem. The songs were accompanied by Mrs Godfrey, Reading Road.
Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette, 22 December 1866, page 7
An entertainment, much similar in character to those sustained by the Elocution Society last winter, has been given a few remaining efficient members of that society with the aid of some fresh comers to the town. It is to be regretted, doubtless, that the general desire to repeat last season’s doings as regards magnitude, and which has been so frequently expressed by the numerous patrons of this Society cannot be met in the way it is wished. An additional proof of the esteem in which the members of the Society above mentioned are held was afforded by the presence of a more than crowded and select audience which collected in good times on Monday evening last in the Town Hall. The programme, as heretofore, comprised a choice selection: recitation and reading being followed by song and duett[sic] &c. The duett[sic] “The Larboard Watch,” by Messrs Thomas and F Paulin, pleased immensely, and was determinedly encored. The whole terminated with a concerted piece entitled, “The Man with the Carpet Bag,” and did not fail to highly amuse the company. The chair was kindly and efficiently filled by Mr W Plumbe.
Oxford Journal, 9 February 1867 page 8
Entertainment – A capital entertainment (the second of the season) was given on the evening of the 4th inst at the Town Hall, by some members and friends of the late Elocution Society; the Hall was much crowded. The programme included various readings, recitations, songs &c in which Messrs EM Williams, Jennings, Coles, C Clements, Hunn, F Paulin, Bye, Tagg and Thomas took part, and their exertions were most enthusiastically acknowledged by the audience. The entertainment concluded with a concerted piece, “The Spanking Legacy” which was capitally got up and rendered by Messrs Bye, Hann, Coles, Bailey, and Potts. The piano solo was most artistically executed by Mr Henly, who also accompanied the songs and duetts[sic]. At the close a vote of thanks was given to the Chairman, EM Williams Esq, and likewise to the Mayor for the use of the Hall.
Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette, 16 March 1867, page 7
Elocution Entertainment – the third of this season’s series – perhaps the most successful and justly-called popular entertainment given – took place in the Town Hall on Monday evening last, and was accepted as a provision of what can not be found elsewhere by that large class of intelligent townspeople and their friends, who are equally distinguishable for their sincerity and individuality of character, or for their honest appreciation of that which is really worth hearing. The night was most unpropitious, but that was no barrier to those who upon these occasions eagerly crowd in to witness and heartily applaud the happy efforts made for their amusement. It is literally true to say that every foot of room was occupied and as heretofore, an amount of decorum was observed by the low-priced visitants, which is particularly observable at these meetings. The Mayor (G Paulin, Esq) very kindly occupied the chair upon the occasion, and expressed to the committee the pleasure it gave him to do so, remarking that the promoters of these very agreeable evenings were deserving of thanks. The programme consisted of recitations, readings, songs, and two concerted pieces, which was disposed of without a hitch, and with an amount of éclat which is not likely can be surpassed by any amateurs. Mr Jennings was encored in each of his songs, Mr F Paulin was encored in his song, “Come Home, Father,”; Messrs E Thomas and F Paulin were encored in the duett[sic] “The Larboard Watch,” which was sung by desire, having been encored on a former occasion. Some scenic aid, executed by Mr F Paulin also produced no contemptible effect in the concerted piece “The Harvest Storm.”
Oxford Journal 7 December 1867, page 7
Elocution Society – The members of this Society gave another of their entertainments at the Town Hall on Monday evening: EM Williams in the chair. The programme was as follows: Pianoforte solo by Miss Smith; recitation “Modern Logic” Mr Cole; Song, Mr F Paulin; recitation “Tim Turpin” Mr Bailey; song Mr J Hunn; recitation “The Widow and Son” Mr Bye; song Mr W Hearne; reading “The Story of the Vineyard” Mr Paulin; reading,”The Zoo-logical Saints” Mr Tagg; song Mr Sykes; concluding with the concerted piece, “The Turned Head”. The whole of the pieces were given with much effect, and were very favourably received by the audience, which although large, was not so numerous as usual, but this may fairly be attributed to the severity of the weather.
Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette, 1 February 1868, page 7.
Henley Elocution Society – The fourth of the season’s entertainments given by this popular society took place on Monday evening last, the 27th Instant. The weather was singularly unpropitious, but, notwithstanding this, as usual a large company attended to witness the disposal of a well-assorted and attractive programme. Mr Wm Plumbe occupied the chair, and took the opportunity of introducing the store of amusement with some very complimentary and suitable observations. The varied list terminated in “The Turkish Bath,” which in spite of and in the absence of scenic accessories called forth the repeated plaudits and laughter of the audience, and fittingly closed a very successful evening. The following is the programme: – Pianoforte, Miss Smith; recitation “Bernardo del Carpio” Mr Cole; song, Mr Jennings; recitation “The Razor Seller” Mr Bailey; duett [sic] “Sound, Sound the trumpet,” Messrs F Paulin and J Hunn’ reading, extract from “Shakespeare” Mr F Paulin; song “cruel Mary Holder” Mr C Clements; recitation “The Force of Love,” Mr Bye; song “Merry and Wise,” Mr Hunn; recitation “The Bewitched Breeches” Mr WE Cole; catch “The Sneezing Catch,” Messrs F Paulin, J Hunn, and C Clements; reading, “The Brigs of Ayr or Caversham” (Burns) Mr Tagg; song, Mr Jennings. In the concerted piece, “The Turkish Bath” Messrs Bye, Clements, Cole, Paulin, Savage, Hanley and Bailey Took part; National Anthem.