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Harvey Teasdale (1817–1904) was a Victorian performer best known for his success as the ‘man-monkey’ stage character. Teasdale was born in Sheffield to a family of cutlers. He performed several times as the clown in pantomimes and harlequinades before cultivating a reputation for playing the ‘man-monkey’. Teasdale toured the United Kingdom with this act with much success. His most famous stunt was his attempt to sail down the River Don, Sheffield, in a barrel pulled by ducks. As well as performing, Teasdale managed several theatres.

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  • Harvey Teasdale (1817–1904) was a Victorian performer best known for his success as the ‘man-monkey’ stage character. Teasdale was born in Sheffield to a family of cutlers. He performed several times as the clown in pantomimes and harlequinades before cultivating a reputation for playing the ‘man-monkey’. Teasdale toured the United Kingdom with this act with much success. His most famous stunt was his attempt to sail down the River Don, Sheffield, in a barrel pulled by ducks. As well as performing, Teasdale managed several theatres.
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  • Harvey Teasdale
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  • Harvey Teasdale (1817–1904) was a Victorian performer best known for his success as the ‘man-monkey’ stage character. Teasdale was born in Sheffield to a family of cutlers. He performed several times as the clown in pantomimes and harlequinades before cultivating a reputation for playing the ‘man-monkey’. Teasdale toured the United Kingdom with this act with much success. His most famous stunt was his attempt to sail down the River Don, Sheffield, in a barrel pulled by ducks. As well as performing, Teasdale managed several theatres. In 1862, Teasdale's wife, Sarah, separated from him, taking their two daughters with her. Teasdale discovered Sarah's whereabouts and attacked her with an empty pistol before a neighbour intervened. He was convicted of attempted murder and served two years in Wakefield Prison (1862-1864). Teasdale came out of prison a ‘converted clown’, having become a devout Christian. He gave up the theatre and joined the Hallelujah Band in Sheffield. In 1878 he published his autobiography, The Life and Adventures of Harvey Teasdale, the Converted Clown and Man Monkey, with his remarkable conversion in Wakefield Prison, and by 1881 he purported to have sold over 40,000 copies. During his later life Teasdale preached Methodism in and around Sheffield. He was reunited with Sarah and lived with her until she died in 1883. He remarried in 1886. Teasdale died in 1904 in Firvale Workhouse Asylum and is buried in the General Cemetery, Sheffield.
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