J.W. Fairbridge

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Dr J.W. Fairbridge (17**-18**) was a surgeon and "accoucheur" (male midwife or obstetrician) stationed at the Cape in Town in 1830s.

His involvement in theatre and cultural activities derived largely from his charitable commitments in the colony. For example, he was one of the "committee of gentlemen" listed as under whose direction All the World’s a Stage put on a production of The Cure for the Heart Ache (Morton) and Raising the Wind (Kenney) on 21 July, 1832. The production was in aid of the "Philantropic Society for the emancipation of female slave children" , which sought to raise money to buy the freedom of the children.

Fairbridge was also an outspoken supporter and a member of the first provincial executive committee of the of the newly formed Cape of Good Hope Temperance Society[1], founded on 28 January, 1832. While its main focus was naturally alcohol abuse and licentiousness in Cape Town, the society also at one time sought to ban theatrical presentations. Because of this role, he was one of the local dignitaries satirized by Charles Etienne Boniface in De Nieuwe Ridderorde of De Temperantisten (lit. "The New Knighthood or the People of the Temperance Movement"), being named "De Kozak Barbarubra" in the play, typified as "Groot Gezant der Orde, en Tweede Kampvechter" ("Great Delegate of the Order and second Champion").


F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [2]: pp. 222, 302-4

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