Mr Rathbone (1798?-18??) was an amateur theatre enthusiast and possible actor in Grahamstown.
However, a 22 year old carpenter named James Rathbone is mentioned by the Geni website as arriving in Cape Town in 1820 with his wife Susanna (Burling) as part of "Willson's Party" and according to RootsWeb.com as arriving in Grahamstown in 1823. Apparently he later also married an Elizabeth Willans and returned to live in the United Kingdom about 5 years after that..
Given his age and his trade, this is quite possibly the same person. He would have been about 49 years of age when he is recorded as working in the theatre in Grahamstown.
Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance
Cited as "Rathbone" in the Prologue of a performance of The Rivals, he is reported to have helped construct the first performance space for the Grahamstown Amateur Company in 1837, performing under the motto Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense. He presumably also participated in the performances.
P.W. Laidler. 1926. The Annals of the Cape Stage. Edinburgh: William Bryce.
"James Rathbone" in Geni website, at https://www.geni.com/projects/1820-Settlers-Willson-s-Party/9965
"James Rathbone" RootsWeb.com at http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/SOUTH-AFRICA-EASTERN-CAPE/2006-03/1141831421
"James Rathbone" RootsWeb.com at http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/SOUTH-AFRICA/2003-09/1062572271
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