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1 Elmsleigh Road, Staines TW18 4PM

Colonel Stodare

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

The mystic with the military title, Colonel Stodare. however, never smelt powder, nor directed the maneuveres 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 honor 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 hemorrhage of the lungs on October 22, 1866 in London. He is buried at Highgate Cemetery West, London.

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

Essay written by Gloria Hazell from various sources

Colonel Stodare


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1 Elmsleigh Road, Staines TW18 4PM
Phone: 01784 461 804

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