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Colonel Stodare

Colonel Stodare

Colonel Stodare
the presenter of the far-famed Sphinx illusion, a masterpiece of its kind.

* Please read the information below from Prof. Edwin A. Dawes of the Magic Circle

The mystic with the military title, Colonel Stodare. however, never smelt powder, nor directed the manoeuvres of a regiment of red-coats. His title was self-assumed, to bedazzle the English public. He never wielded .any weapon save a wooden wand, tipped with ivory. But he did that to perfection.

He was born in *Liverpool June 28, 1831. His real name has been given as Joseph or Jack Inglis, although he also called himself William Bullock*. (William Bullock's venture fails, his collection of natural wonders is sold. He will take the name Colonel Stodare by 1860 and have a short performing career,) He had a brother *Alfred Inglis who is sometimes confused with Jack. (Alfred worked with Jack and continued with the show after Jack had died which is where the confusion of names probably comes from.) He used the title ''Colonel'' to suggest an adventurer or explorer of foreign mysteries.

He was a ventriloquist and magician and his first appearance was at the Egyptian Hall, London, on Easter Monday April 17, 1865. when he introduced for the first time in England those celebrated illusions the "Mango Tree" and the "Indian Basket." On October 16, 1865, on Stodare's 200th appearance at the Egyptian Hall, he presented for the first time his Sphinx Illusion, invented by Thomas Tobin, which at once attracted crowds. On Tuesday evening, November 21, 1865. he had the honour to appear before Queen Victoria, at Windsor Castle on the occasion of the birthday of H. R. H. the Princess Royal, afterwards the Empress Frederick of Germany.

Stodare died at the height of his success of consumption (tuberculosis) after suffering a fatal haemorrhage of the lungs on October 22, 1866 in London. He is buried at Highgate Cemetery West, London.

This came in May 31st, 2017 from Prof. Edwin A. Dawes
Historian and Hon. Vice-President,
The Magic Circle

Colonel Stodare was the derived name of Joseph Stoddart, born at Great Salkend, Cumbria, not *Liverpool. His younger brother Alfred Stoddart (1840-1893) was born in Liverpool after the family moved there from Cumbria. Alfred also became a conjurer, initially as Alfred Inglis/English, and in 1865 was employed as stage manager for Joseph at the Egyptian Hall. When Joseph fell ill in May 1866 Alfred adopted the name of Stodare and struck out on his own with his brother’s illusions, causing an irreparable rift between them. The confusion between the brothers was further compounded by their very similar features.

There is no evidence that Stoddart ever called himself Bullock. *William Bullock, who built the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly in 1812 for his museum of curiosities, sold the premises in 1819 long before Joseph was born. His first recorded appearance was as Mr Stoddart in 1850 at Liverpool. His appearance at the Egyptian Hall in 1865 was his first in London.

Thank you Prof. Dawes.


He wrote two small treatises on magic: "The Art of Magic" (1865), and "Stodare's Fly-Notes" (1867).

First Essay written by Gloria Hazell from various sources

Colonel Stodare
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