Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series I. John Mayes, 1908-2004

Series II. Esther McPherson, 1897-1965

Series III. Quinton McPherson, 1879-1955

Series IV. Frank Milray, 1908-1992

Series V. Herbert Pearson, 1885-1955

Series VI. 1939-1956

University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

John Mayes:

A Preliminary Inventory of His Family Papers in the Performing Arts Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center



Creator: Mayes, John, 1921-
Title: John Mayes Family Papers
Dates: 1879-2004
Abstract: The John Mayes Family Papers, circa 1879-1970s, document the lives and lengthy careers of three generations of British actors, writers, and artists. Among the primary family members were brothers Herbert Pearson (1866-1955, born McPherson) and Quinton McPherson (1871-1940); Quinton’s daughter Esther McPherson (1897-1965) and her husband Frank Milray (1888-1936, born Mayes); and the son of Esther and Frank, John Mayes (1921- ). John Mayes, who acted with the well-known Shakespearean actor-manager Donald Wolfit, brought together his family’s papers with his own, including his research and notes about the family.
Extent: 12 document boxes, 2 oversize folders (5 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Scope and Contents

The John Mayes Family Papers, circa 1879-1970s, document the lives and lengthy careers of three generations of British actors, writers, and artists. Among the primary family members were brothers Herbert Pearson (1866-1955, born McPherson) and Quinton McPherson (1871-1940); Quinton’s daughter Esther McPherson (1897-1965) and her husband Frank Milray (1888-1936, born Mayes); and the son of Esther and Frank, John Mayes (1921- ). John Mayes, who acted with the well-known Shakespearean actor-manager Donald Wolfit, brought together his family’s papers with his own, including his research and notes about the family. The papers are organized into six series: I. John Mayes; II. Esther McPherson; III. Quinton McPherson; IV. Frank Milray; V. Herbert Pearson, and VI. The Spotlight Casting Directory.

John Mayes’s papers in Series I. contain correspondence and programs concerning his own career, as well as correspondence from Donald Wolfit, programs and clippings about Mayes and Wolfit, writings about Wolfit, and even souvenirs such as moustache and beard pieces used by Wolfit.

The papers of Mayes’ mother, Esther McPherson, in Series II. contain some correspondence and management papers, her review cuttings, photographs, and editions of Shakespeare plays with her parts marked.

Quinton McPherson, the grandfather of John Mayes, is represented by materials in Series III. These comprise mainly correspondence, programs, and his press cuttings book, but also photographs, an address book, and other personal objects.

Series IV. contains the papers of Frank Milray, husband of Esther McPherson and father of John Mayes. Included are manuscripts of his works, original art, clippings of articles, photographs, programs, and a theatrical address book. Also present are Temple editions of fifteen Shakespeare plays, with Milray's parts underlined.

The papers of John Mayes’ great-uncle, Herbert Pearson, contain correspondence, several of Pearson’s works, and photographs, as well as papers relating to his relationship with actress and author Florence Marryat, and with actress and wife Katherine Clark.

The final series contains The Spotlight casting directories for 1939, 1950 and 1956. Photographic portraits of Quinton McPherson and Esther McPherson are found in the Summer 1939 issue. The second volume of Autumn 1956 also contains images of Esther McPherson.

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Restrictions

Access:

Open for research

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Administrative Information

Acquisition:

Gift, 2004 (Gift no. 12394)

Processed by:

Antonio Alfau, 2005

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John Mayes Family Papers--Folder List

 

Series I. John Mayes, 1908-2004

Box Folder
1 1 Booklets listing theatrical contacts and lodgings, 1949-1952
Correspondence
Box Folder
1 2 Platt, Lorna, 1948, 2004, undated
3 Wolfit, Donald, 1947-1955
4 Various managements employing Mayes, 1947-1953
5 Postcard collection, English stage beauties, circa 1908-1910
6 Programs, English theatre, 1947 to 1970s
Programs and clippings, Mayes and Wolfit
Box Folder
1 7 1947
Box Folder
2 1 1947-1949
2 1950
3 1950-1952
Box Folder
3 1 1952-1953
Wolfit, Donald
Box Folder
3 2 Moustache and beard pieces used by Wolfit
3 Programs, circa 1947
4 Tour of Jonson and Shakespeare plays, 1950
Writings about Wolfit
Box Folder
3 5 Brahms, Caryl. "Donald Wolfit: A Profile," published essay, undated
6 Mayes, John. "Donald Wolfit," typescript, 1969
7 Parker, R. B. "Wolfit's Fox," typescript setting copy and proofs of article, UTQ, 1976

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Series II. Esther McPherson, 1897-1965

Box Folder
4 1* Correspondence and management papers, 1940-1965 (*undated "Certificate of Honour" removed to Oversize Folder)
2 Cuttings book, 1916-1957
Photographs
Box Folder
4 3 Circa 1897-1898
4-5 1900-1936, undated
Shakespearean plays, marked copies
Box Folder
5 1 Comedies, 1921
2 Tragedies, 1913

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Series III. Quinton McPherson, 1879-1955

Box Folder
5 3 Address book and other personal objects, 1917-1939, undated
4 Clippings, 1955
Correspondence
Box Folder
5 5 1896-1903
6 1915-1925
Box Folder
6 1 1938-1939
2 1940
3 Photographs, 1879-1939
4 Programs, 1888-1901
5 Programs and cuttings book, 1902-1939
6 Miscellaneous, 1897-1903

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Series IV. Frank Milray, 1908-1992

Box Folder
7 1 Address book, theatrical landladies
2 Articles about Frank Milray, 1986-1992
3 Correspondence, 1920-1935
Milray writings and linocuts
Box Folder
7 4 "Kate Parr's Tyme," 1927
5 "Ruin of Katherine Parr, The," 1927
6* Photographs, 1908-1929 (*photograph of Milray as "Soapy Marks" in Edgar Wallace's "The Terror," removed to Oversize Folder)
7 Photographs by Frank Milray, 1910-1925
8 Programs and clippings, 1919-1964
Box Folder
8 1-15 "Temple Shakespeare" marked copies of various plays

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Series V. Herbert Pearson, 1885-1955

Box Folder
9 1 Correspondence and other papers, 1896-1909
Personal papers
Box Folder
9 2-5 Clark, Katherine, 1894-1955
6 Marryat, Florence, 1885-1899
Photographs
Box Folder
9 7 Portraits, 1880s-1900
8 Production photographs, 1908-1935, undated
Writings
Box Folder
10 1 "Bosom Friend, The," post-1900
2-3 "Brought to Bay," 1903
4 "Castaway, The," circa 1894
5 "Shadows on the Heart," undated
6 Miscellaneous, 1918-1919, undated

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Series VI. The Spotlight Casting Directory, 1939-1956

Box Folder
11 1-3 1939 and 1950
Box Folder
12 1-2 1956

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