(Stratford, 1843-Londres, 1911)

rickards harry

Jean-Claude SEGUIN 


Benjamin H. Leete épouse Mary Ann Leete. Descendance:

  • Benjamin Harry Leete dit "Harry Rickards" (Stratford, 04/12/1843-Londres, 13/10/1911)
    • épouse (Bromley, 10/03/1862. Divorce: 27/01/1880) Caroline Hayden (a) Carrie Tudor.
    • épouse Kate Roscoe (Melbourne, [1858]-). Descendance:
      • [adopté] Sabju Khan (Natal ([1867)}
      • Noni Leete Rickards (Plymouth, 10/1880-Woollahra, 24/03/1921) épouse (Darling Point, 25/04/1905) Edward Harold Maas (Rotterdam, 25/05/1881-Rose Bay, 15/08/1957). Descendance:
        • Harry Rickards Maas (Woollahra, 23/01/1906-Belrose, 05/04/1990) épouse Marjorie Joyce Rice (1907-1998)
        • Noni Rickards Maas (1907-1981)
        • Dorothy Ada Rickards Maas (1909-)
        • Edward Rickards Maas (1919-1988)
        • enfant
      • Madge Adelaide Rickards Harwood
  • Emma Leete (1859-)
  • John, Charles Leete


Fils d'un conducteur de locomotive, Benjamin Harry Leete est né dans le quartier londonien de Stratford en 1843. La famille est recensée à Strood en 1851. Dès 1859, il entame une carrière d'artiste de music-hall. Il réside, en 1861, à Bromley. Puis, il reprend le Swiss Cottage Music Hall (South Hackney). Entre 1871 et 1874, "Harry Rickards", son nom de scène, fait une longue tournée en Australie et en Nouvelle-Zélande avant de partir pour les États-Unis en 1874-1875 (San Francisco, New York). Il est recensé à Londres en 1881. En 1885, il organise une nouvelle compagnie et une autre tournée en Australasie. De nouveau en Australie en 1888, il s'y installe quatre ans plus tard. À Sydney, il loue l'Opera House (inauguration le 10 décembre 1892).

L'animatograph (theatrograph) (1896)

Harry Rickards dispose alors d'un réseau de salles en Australie qui vont accueillir le célèbre prestidigitateur Carl Hertz qui a fait l'acquisition d'un animatographe (théâtrographe), inventé par le britannique Robert W. Paul. En provenance d'Afrique du Sud, l'artiste arrive à Melbourne où il présente, pour la première fois dans le pays, un appareil de projections de vues animées. Entretenant la confusion sur la dénomination du projecteur, ce dernier est présenté sous le nom "cinématographe".

Melbourne. 3 janvier 1896. Passagers.

Sydney. 16 septembre 1896. Passagers.

Le 22 août 1896, Carl Hertz présente son cinématographe en Australie dans les théâtres de Harry Rickards, à Melbourne et à Sydney.

Au début de l'année 1897, il se rend avec les siens en Europe et voyage en France, en Italie et en Égypte comme il le raconte lui-même :

"I arrived in London," he said in course of conversation with an Advertiser representative on board the Polynesien," on March 31. It was a very cold, rainy, foggy day, and I caught a very severe cold and influenza. I engaged the Kentucky quintet and the Avolo brothers, who have been a great success in Australia since their arrival, but I became so ill that my doctor ordered me to leave England until the weather became warmer, so I went to Paris, Genoa, Rome, and Naples, where I joined the R.M.S. Oruba and sailed for Egypt, touring the land of the Pharaohs, seeing Port Said, Ismailia, and Cairo, remaining there a week, reaching Suez in time to meet my wife and children on board the F.M.S. Ville de la Ciotat, returning to London with them quite recovered in health and ready to settle down to business.

The Advertiser, Adelaide, mardi 17 août 1897, p. 5.

Le Biograph (1897-)

À son retour à Londres, il fair l'acquisition d'un Biograph, nouvel appareil de l'American Mutoscope Company, société américaine, qui a connu le succès au Palace Theatre : 

I do not think any Australian manager has ever made so many important and expensive engagements as I have. I am paying in some cases as much as £200 a week for a turn. The following are some of the artists I have engaged, and who are considered the cream of the Vaudeville profession.
"First of all I may mention that I have got on board with me a Biograph—the wonder of the century. It has taken all London by storm, where it has been played at the Palace Theatre for the last six or seven months with such success that it is impossible to get a seat there without booking two or three weeks ahead. The Biograph is a great advance upon Lumiere's Cinematographe. It is a Cinematographe on an enormous scale, I hardly know how to express it. It is the same kind of thing, only it fills the whole stage, and the vibrations are reduced to a minimum. I am going to open the Palace Theatre, Sydney, with it, assisted by Miss Fanny Wintruth, England's greatest society entertainer. She is a magnificent pianist, and has a splendid voice, and could sit and entertain a company for an entire night if need be, but she will not be alone in Sydney.T

he Advertiser, Adelaide, mardi 17 août 1897, p. 5.

En août 1897, la famille repart en Australie à bord du Polynesien qui appareille de Marseille. :

ADELAIDE, Monday. — Mr. Harry Rickards and his wife and family returned to Australia to-day by the French steamer Polynesien, after an absence of about six months. He has entered into engagements with the best vaudeville artists to appear in Australia during the next two years.

The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, mardi 17 août 1897, p. 6.

Le Chronophone ([1906])

En 1906, c'est également dans le circuit de ses salles de spectacle que Harry Rickards propose des séances de chronophone :

THE CHRONOPHONE. The Gaumont Invention to the Fore. We learn that Mr. Harry Rickards, the well-renowned Australian manager and proprietor, has purchased a number of Chronophone singing and talking picture machines from Messrs. Gaumont A Co., and has contracted with the same firm for sole rights with the Chronophone for Australia for six months; for which privilege he has paid a handsome premium. Mr. Harry Rickards lirst saw the Chronophone on his last visit to Europe, twelve months since, and was very much impressed with it. He could not, however, at that time obtain immediate delivery of machines, he was fully booked up. The matter was not forgotten, however, and having been in constant correspondence with Messrs. Gaumont A Co. on the subject, Mr. Rickards made it his lirst business on arriving in Europe this year to secure the novelty. Messrs. Gaumont have made a very good year’s progress with their programme of talking and singing subjects since Mr. Rickards first saw the machine, and there can be no further doubt that the mechanism of this marvellous instrument has now reached perfection in its simplicity and reliability, while the pictures which the inventors and proprietors are now able to show are simply wonderful. We hear of many developments in connection with this machine in the near future, and predict that the Chronophone will be seen and heard in many quarters during the coming autumn. That enterprising concern, the St. Louis Animated Picture Co., owned by Messrs. •I. 11. lies and Co., have just completed one of the most successful tours in which animated pictures have figured, and they attribute their unprecedented success to the Chronophone. Messrs, lies and Co. are putting out a duplicate company with a second Chronophone this autumn. This is, in itself, a sufficient indication of their success with the first.

London and Provincial Entr'acte, Londres, vendredi 13 juillet 1906, p. 11

Il décède en 1911 et son testament donne une idée de son patrimoine.


31->31/03/1897 Grande-Bretagne Londres    
>31/03/1897-<16/08/1897 France Paris    
>31/03/1897-<16/08/1897 Italie Gênes    
>31/03/1897-<16/08/1897 Italie Rome    
>31/03/1897-<16/08/1897 Italie Naples    
>31/03/1897-<16/08/1897 Égypte      
16->16/08/1897 Australie Adelaide