Tales O Kirrie Toon

Click here to edit subtitle

Passing Trades

Visiting Comedians 

In the1841 Census, four comedians and their families were listed in Kirrie. They must have been a travelling troupe. 

Hurray, hurray, we’ll see a play, the players have come tae toon

Romeo shoutin oot his love tae Juliet tae come doon

Auld Macbeth knee-deep in blood, Othello the jealous fella

Here comes the comedians, which tale will they tell us?

Ewan McVicar


In Ogilvy’s Close, the male householder was a publican. In his house were actor / comedian Isabella Johnston aged 39, and her children Samuel Johnston aged 10 and John Johnston aged 6.

In Roods, the male householder was a grocer, family of six were also there, and actor / comedian James Bayne, aged 30.

At Mary Well, staying with a couple called Lamb, were the Cannivalies - Joseph 37, Mary 26, Jean 5 and Mary Ann 3.

The below story from an Arbroath newspaper of 1847 shows how travelling companies arrived in a town, and that though they were called 'comedians' they also undertook the big Shakespearean pieces.