The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Camille Dubois

Camille Dubois

A carte-de-visite portrait of the burlesque actress and singer Camille Dubois (1851-1933).

Camille Wilhelmina Henriette Reyloff was born in London in 1851, though she later claimed she was born in Paris. She was a daughter of Edmond (sometimes Edward) Reyloff (1821-1889), born in Belgium, and his wife Caroline, born in Saxe-Coburg. Her father was a pianist, conductor and composer and her mother was a concert singer. At the time of the 1871 census, the family were living at 96 Stanley Street (now Alderney Street) in Pimlico. Having already made her stage debut a year earlier, under the professional name Dubois, Camille’s profession was recorded as ‘Actress.’ Later that year, she was appearing in a production of Bluebird on Broadway in New York with Lydia Thompson’s burlesque troupe. The following year she appeared in New York again, still with Lydia Thompson’s troupe, this time in a production of Kenilworth.

On 30 October 1877 at St George’s in Hanover Square she married the Honourable Wyndham Edward Campbell Stanhope (1851-1883), fourth son of the 7th Earl of Harrington. For the first two years of their marriage the couple lived with Camille’s mother at her house in Warwick Street, Pimlico. The new Mrs Stanhope continued her theatrical career, travelling to Australia with her husband and appearing with considerable success on the stage in Melbourne.

Stanhope suffered from poor health; he and his wife were spending the winter of 1881-82 in Madeira when they were befriended by Lieutenant Walter Adye of the Royal Irish Rifles. When the lieutenant returned to London, Mrs Stanhope soon followed. On 21 August 1882 her husband began divorce proceedings on the grounds of his wife’s adultery, citing Lieutenant Adye as the co-respondent and demanding £2000 in damages from him. Intimate details of Mrs Stanhope’s affair were widely reported not only in the British press but also as far afield as Australia and New Zealand. A decree nisi was issued on 11 May 1883 but Stanhope died, aged only 32, on 27 July 1883 at Stanhope Lodge on the Isle of Wight before a decree absolute could be issued, leaving Camille a widow rather than a divorcée. Her late husband's estate was valued at a little under £16,000.

At St Michael’s Church in Pimlico on 8 January 1884 Camille married, secondly, Lieutenant Walter Adye (1858-1915), by whom she later had two children. By the time the 1901 census was taken her new husband had risen to the rank of Major. The family were living at 117 St George’s Square, Pimlico. Adye eventually rose to the rank of Colonel and died, aged 56, on 3 September 1915 at the Queen Alexandra’s Military Hospital, Millbank.

Mrs Camille Adye died, aged 82, at 3F Artillery Mansions, Victoria Street in London on 15 May 1933. She left effects valued at £1028.

Photographed by Elliott and Fry of London.


Code: 126783
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© Paul Frecker 2018