Thomas Bennett was the father of Sarah Melvena Bennett. He was born in 1833 at Astwood Bank, Redditch, Worcester, England, and married to Eliza Unknown (born in 1834) in 1855 at Astwood Bank, Redditch, Worcester, England. Thomas is 48 in the 1881 Census of Worcestershire.
(Astwood Bank is just a few miles to the south of Redditch.) The family resided at Astwood Bank sometime between 1865-58, as the 1881 Census indicates Richard was born at Astood Bank in ca 1868. However it indicates that Martha, age 10, was born also in Redditch. Perhaps mother Eliza stayed with her mother when she was expecting and when she delivered Martha.
1. Sarah Malvena Bennett, born 1861 Dudley,
, Worcester, England5-68
Bennett - in the 1881 Census
BENNETT Head M Male 63 Tardibigge, Worcester, England Retired Finisher
BENNETT Birth Year <1833> Birthplace Redditch, Worcester, England - Age
BENNETT M Female 47 Redditch, Worcester, England Needle Wrapper
The above indicates (compare births of Frank and Richard) that the family moved from Redditch to Astwood, between 1865 and 1868.
Other Bennetts in the area who may have been relatives (as per the 1881 Census):
BENNETT Head M Male 50 Redditch, Worcester, England Foreman Needles
BENNETT Head W Male 73 Redditch, Worcester, England Needle Finisher
BENNET Head U Male 64 Redditch, Worcester, England Needle Manufacturer
BENNET Head M Male 50 Headless Cross, Worcester, England Labourer (Headless
Cross is where the Bradshaws lived in the s. part of Redditch.)
W. BENNETT Head M Male 35 Tardebigg, Worcester, England Engine Driver
BENNETT M Male 27 Wooton Under Edge, Gloucester, England Raily Drayman
Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation
BENNET Head M Male 50 Alcester, Warwick, England Needle Maker
There is a Richard Bennett, Birth: 1587 Redditch, Worcester, England - Spouse: Sophia - Marriage: 1607 Redditch, Worcester, England.
The name Bennet means 'blessed' (from the Latin: benedictus) and was a popular name during the middle ages.
There was a 'famous opera singer' Mavis Bennett, born in 1900, (of Redditch) who was a relative (possibly the daughter (or grandaughter of of Richard). . .
May (Mavis) Bennett (1921-22) - [Born Redditch, Worcestershire 28 Mar 1900, died Stalbridge, Dorset 28 Jan 1990]
May Bennett began singing in local concerts at the tender age of nine, and in amateur operatic productions at 14. She next went to Birmingham to study singing, and subsequently audition with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. She joined the D'Oyly Carte Repertory Company chorus in March 1921. During the 1921-22 season she shared the small roles of the Lady Ella in Patience (with Elsie Griffin) and Kate in The Yeomen of the Guard (with Elsie Griffin and Helene Francois). When she was still sharing Ella and Kate in October 1922, she left the D'Oyly Carte.
She appeared on the concert stage and in several London shows over the next few years, most notably in opera at the Old Vic under the name of Mavis Bennett, but she became an overnight sensation through the medium of radio. She was chosen to appear as vocalist with the Dutch violinist De Groot for his first BBC broadcast in 1925, and her voice lit up the switchboards. Acclaimed as "The Nightingale of the Wireless," she was soon appearing regularly on radio both in England and on the Continent, and became a frequent recording artist for HMV.
The D'Oyly Carte belatedly recognized the talent that got away, and in 1927 she was invited to participate in the Company's first electrical recording of The Gondoliers. She accepted and sang the role of Casilda.
Mavis Bennett's radio and gramophone career ended in 1939 when an operation damaged her throat. She then turned to vocal teaching, a career that brought her much satisfaction. A detailed account of her life and professional career is contained in Michael Walters' periodical Gilbertian Gossip (No. 25, Winter 1990-91).
England Census Record
1901 England Census Record
Bennett, Age: 1
Mavis Bennett, was born, lived and taught in Redditch for many years . . .
Mavis Bennett, the popular coloratura soprano, married Mr Allan Levin, a Swedish engineer, in 1933, and then used the professional name of Mavis Bennett-Levin. She was born at Redditch, and from a very early age determined to make her name as a singer. She overcame all difficulties and joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Co, came to London, and was chosen by DeGroot from among sixty candidates as vocalist for his first broadcast in 1925. Success was instantaneous. She also broadcast from continental stations in the commercially sponsored programmes of the International Broadcasting Company.
April 1925 brought a repeat performance of Rose of Persia, a remarkable undertaking on such a small stage. The later famous Redditch soprano, Mavis Bennett, ‘starred’ in this show.
Bessie and Mavis Bennett the famous opera singer from Redditch were good friends and did war work together in Terry's Springs factory. .
The April 1990 issue of To-ron-to-ra To-ron-to-ra (official dialogue? newsletter of the Toronto Gilbert and Sullivan Soci ety) mentions that Mavis Bennett, who appeared as "Casilda" in the 1927 recording of Gondoliers, died at the age of 89. She made many cuneiform [in the G&S operas, that is, recordings, but a throat operation in 1940 ended her singing career, though she did teach.
Vintage Gilbert & Sullivan::: Mavis Bennett, Music, Sanctuary, Audio CD
Songs from past - From the archive, first published Wednesday 9th Aug 2000.- I WAS very pleased to see the photograph of Mavis Bennett's Songsters (Memory Lane, July 26). I studied singing with her at the studio in Birmingham above Crane's music store in Priory Square, then later at the Horsefair Studio. She was married to the famous conductor/composer Stanford Robinson, brother of Eric Robinson of TV fame. She helped her former pupil John Hanson in his career.
Entertainer - short film or newsrexel: Mavis Bennett - singer 1932 Pathetone 10 (SONG: Bird Of Love Divine)
In 1917 Rupert D'Oyly Carte, the son of Richard D'Oyly Carte, agreed to supervise a series of complete Gilbert and Sullivan recordings for HMV with well-known recording artists of the day such as George Baker, Peter Dawson, etc., rather than with D'Oyly Carte stars. "In selecting the singers for these important records, due regard has been paid to the recording as well as the musical qualities of their voices" a contemporary advertisement proclaimed, "and the personal co-operation of Mr. Rupert D'Oyly Carte has ensured that the traditional renderings are faithfully reproduced". A few D'Oyly Carte artists began to appear, however, in the later recordings of this series and, with the advent of the electrical recording process in 1925, a new series of D'Oyly Carte recordings was undertaken, beginning with The Mikado, featuring Henry Lytton, Bertha Lewis and Leo Sheffield. Another recording of The Mikado was made in 1936 with Sydney Granville in the role of Pooh-Bah. This was the last D'Oyly Carte recording made to feature an artist whose career dated back to the days of Gilbert.