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Images from the Footlight Notes Collection Picture Archive are available on request
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FOOTLIGHT NOTES
no. 574

updated
Saturday, 13 September 2008

FOOTLIGHT NOTES
images of theatre and other popular entertainment
1850s-1920s

Agnes Beckwith
two carte de visite photographs of Agnes Beckwith (b. 1862), English swimmer,
daughter of 'Professor' Frederick Beckwith (b. 1823), English swimmer and swimming instructor and promoter

Miss Beckwith's swimming attire in these photographs would suggest
that the statement that she wore 'a full-skirted dress, petticoats, pantaloons and stockings'
for her swim from London Bridge to Greenwich in 1875 is incorrect.

(photos: above, Lombardi & Co, Brighton & London, 1875;
below, unknown, mid 1880s)

'Miss AGNES BECKWITH, aged fourteen years, daughter of Mr. Beckwith, of the Lambeth Baths, swam yesterday from London Bridge to Greenwich, a distance of five miles, in an hour and nine minutes.'
(The Pall Mall Gazette, London, Thursday, 2 September 1875, p. 4b)

Agnes Beckwith

Agnes Beckwith, 'the well-known ornamental swimmer'
who was sometimes billed as the 'Premier Lady Swimmer'

(photo: unknown, mid 1880s)

The Baths, Bournemouth, August 1892
'On the 22d inst. a specially strong programme was produced, the occasion being the benefit of Miss Agnes Beckwith. Miss Beckwith met with a flattering and enthusiastic reception from her many friends and admirers. Several novel items were introduced, among them being the swimming through the figures of a quadrille by Miss Beckwith and her troupe of lady swimmers. An interesting and highly attractive feature in the entertainment was the appearance of Mr Arthur Ring in a mimetic sketch. Mr Henry Nathan accompanied in a highly effective manner.'
(The Era, London, Saturday, 27 August 1892, p. 13e)

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