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Professor Nomis 1867 to 1956

Summary of the life of Simon Cross (Professor Nomis) 1867-1956

Having been born in Christ Church, Cambridge, at the age of 12 years, Simon walked to Leicester in order to seek out one of his elder brothers. He entertained his school friends with sleight of hand tricks and in 1879, when considered good enough, appeared at The Winter Gardens in Leicester. His first major breakthrough appears to have been in 1881 when he was billed as Professor Nomis – the Great Wizard King, at Leicester’s Empire Theatre.

During the 1880’s and 1890’s, ventriloquism became a new craze and Professor Nomis had the desire to be rated with the best, working hard to put together a great performance. He gained the opportunity to appear with a Vaudeville Company enabling him to tour the country, giving shows of his own in counties such as, Leicestershire, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.

Leaving Leicester towards the end of 1889 and taking work as a Trawler Fisherman in Spalding, he joined The Charles Bullmore’s Theatrical Company during 1890, playing at the Corn Exchange in Spalding. It was whilst on this engagement that he married Rose Hannah Smith, setting up home and raising their family on Commercial Road. Her father William Thomas Smith was the Innkeeper of the George & Dragon, being known around town as ‘Dragon Smith’. Simon and Rose Hannah moved to Edward Road in 1937.

10th February 1892 a Public Tea and Grand Entertainment was held to raise funds for at St John Baptist National Schools, Spalding and the following week he put on a show at the Masonic Hall

From 1894 Simon’s career now includes acting, as one playbill shows him playing the role of The Marquis de Couragemont in the production of Belphegor held at The Pavilion Theatre, Piedcalf Yard, Spalding.

Simon was intiated into the R.A.O.B. in 1900, being Secretary of the Spalding Lodge for many years Over a period of time, he was founder of thirteen Lodges and affiliated to forty two minor Lodges. Over the years he visited Lodges in Leicester & Syston, amongst others, where he was received with great respect, being well renowned for entertaining other members with his magic. Still being an active member and having held the position of City Secretary for over 40 years, his Golden Jubilee was celebrated at the grand old age of 84 years

Over the years he appears in Fancy Dress Parades, a notable one being in May 1935 on the day of the celebrations for the Jubliee of King George V and Queen Mary, involving The Anchor Hackers and Roaring Bulls.

Having survived two world wars, he continued to do his best to lighten the lives of people, joining many times at the Spalding Corn Exchange with other local entertainers, such as Beezo Pepper and Syd Swain.

The public and press alike have quoted that Professor Nomis was the Best Manipulator of the day. He was the holder of more medals and presentations than any other Artist exhibiting this class of entertainment.

Professor Nomis was greatly blessed with the ability to make others happy and that is surely the greatest of rich blessings!

Written by Veronica Liquorish his Great Granddaughter. Veronica would love to get your memories please comment or email or send your thoughts to the Spalding Guardian.

To read article in Spalding Guardian click here

Vistor comments

19 Responses

  1. Hello all
    My name is Jeff Cox and reside in Australia
    It seems although we are related as I am also a great grand son from my mothers side
    My mother was Simons daughters daughter

    Thank you to all

    1. Hi I am not related but I know a lady who is and and has wealth of information.i will email her email address. Regards Geoff

      1. Hi please tell us more. I have another relative can I forward your email.
        Regards
        Geoff

  2. Hello, I am also a relative, I think my great great grandfather. My father was son of lily, Simon’s granddaughter!

  3. hi im also a relative im the daughter of the son of lily who is the granddaughter of simon

  4. Good afternoon please could you email me some information as I am really interested in y family history

    1. Are you interested in Professor Nomis specifically? If yes I have a contact of a lady who has done a lot of research. Keep safe. Geoff

        1. Hi Michelle,

          Having been researching my Great Grandfather for many years, it’s great to know of family who I haven’t yet come across. I’ve attempted to find your connection and believe it to be through my 2nd cousin Tony & his wife Linda. Please correct me if I am wrong. I had the joy of meeting them both for the first time in May 2010. After that we kept in contact via e’mail, occasional telephone calls and of course Christmas. I look forward to hearing back from you.

          Kind regards,

          Veronica

          1. Hi veronica thank you so much for getting back to me please feel free to contact me direct. I would love to find out more about my family how would you like to exchange contact details many thanks Michelle

        2. Hi Michelle,

          I sent you an e’mail on the 1st of May. As I haven’t heard back from you I was wondering if you are OK, particularly bearing in mind the current situation we are all experiencing.

          Do hope to hear from you. Best wishes,

          Veronica

  5. I am Michelle’s sister Angela and would also love to make contact with other family members

    1. Hi Angela,

      Having been researching my Great Grandfather for many years, it’s great to know of family who I haven’t yet come across. I’ve attempted to find your connection and believe it to be through my 2nd cousin Tony & his wife Linda. Please correct me if I am wrong. I had the joy of meeting them both for the first time in May 2010. After that we kept in contact via e’mail, occasional telephone calls and of course Christmas. Having just sent a message to your sister Michelle, I look forward to hearing back from you also.

      Kind regards, Veronica

  6. Hi Veronica . I am Michael Cross great grandson of Professor Nomis . I have been trying to post a comment on this site but it has failed to go through ,. I would love to hear from you . Can you let me if you receive this . Kind regards .

  7. I believe that Simon Cross was my great great grandfather. I believe that I have communicated with Veronica previously whilst researching Simons grandson (my grandfather), Frank Wing jr.

  8. Hi Ryan,

    Our communication goes back a long way. Would I be correct in thinking that your parents were Elsie May (nee Wing) & Frederick Arnold Freeman?

    I trust that you are keeping well and safe.

    Veronica

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Simon & Ally Sloper's Half Holiday c 1891