To our knowledge the contents of this partnership agreement have remained confidential until now. The parties to the agreement were J.N. and Nevil Maskelyne (the Maskelynes) and David Devant. Devant was managing partner. The Maskelyne and Cooke Provincial Company made annual tours of Great Britain from 1899 to 1905. The Entertainment Bureau supplied high class entertainments for many years. There is much of interest in the partnership agreement and Anne’s article is a useful summary.

The two parties to this partnership agreement were J.N. and Nevil Maskelyne (the Maskelynes) and David Devant. Devant was the managing partner. The Maskelyne and Cooke Provincial Company carried out annual tours around Great Britain from 1899 to 1905. The Entertainment Bureau operated for many years supplying high class entertainments. There is much of interest in the agreement, including the agreement on profit sharing. Anne Goulden has produced a useful summary of the main points covered by the agreement in an Article on this website which can be found here.

Hand dated 20 April 1901. The bill includes the sketch ‘The Entranced Fakir’, the first performance of which was on 6 April 1901, according to the book on the Maskelynes at the Hall by George Jenness. The date must therefore be no earlier than this, consistent with the hand written date on the programme. It was in ‘The Entranced Fakir’ that Maskelyne first showed his latest, world beating, levitation. Valadon was also on the bill and Animated Photographs were shown, ‘Projected by a New Apparatus, the invention of Mr. Nevil Maskelyne’. On page 3 of the programme Maskelyne has an article making it clear why he is so annoyed by people who try to imitate his illusions, particularly mentioning his Box Trick and Levitation Mystery. [In his page 3 article JN rather exposes the Aga levitation.]

The bill includes Lewis Davenport. Programmes of this type have the printer’s date at the bottom right of the front page. Also given is the fact that 2000 were printed. The date when this programme was presented to the public is not given. The pages illustrated are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8.

The advertisement on page 4 includes financial figures for year ending 25 March 1889. On 21 October 1889, Holden was at the Hall for about a month, according to Jenness. The date 7 Nov 1889 has been written on page 2 of the programme. The letters ‘H Ev’ are also written on page 2, probably written by Henry Evanion. This date is very probably correct.
J.N. Maskelyne did not appear to be on this bill.