Ashtons Circus in Australia

Ashtons Circus

Owner -: Doug Ashton
-: Joseph Ashton
1850-1889: James Ashton
1889-: Fred Ashton
Opened for public1847
Last elephant left2002
Address PO Box 569
Zip-code 2219 NSW
Place Sans Souci
Country Australia
Website Website

Directors: Elizabeth Critchley (assistant director)
: James Ashton Jr. (director)
: Joe Ashton (assistant director)
: Ivy Ashton (assistant director)
: Nelly Ryan (assistant director)
: Cecil Ashton (assistant director)
: Nikki Hicks (assistant director)
: Michelle Jarman (assistant director)
: Elizabeth Ryan (assistant director)
-2000: Phyllis Ashton (assistant director)

Key People: Manuela Gasser (artist)
: Manuela Gasser (artist)
-: Mervyn Ashton (artist)
-: Lorraine Ashton (artist)
-: Jan Ashton (artist)
-: Merrik Ashton (artist)
-: Jordan Ashton (artist)
-: Dorothy Ashton (animal trainer)
-: Jack Hay (artist)
-: Mickie Ashton (artist)
-: Charles Perry (animal trainer)
1879-1881: John Wirth Jr. (artist)
1879-1881: Harry Wirth (artist)
1879-1881: Philip Wirth (artist)
1879-1881: George Wirth (artist)
1879-1881: Marizles Wirth (artist)
1879-1881: Edith Wirth (animal trainer)
1879-1881: May Wirth (animal trainer)
1968-1971: Frank Gasser (artist)


Elephant department

Head keepers
of elephants
1978-: Marcel Peters
(elephant trainer)

Elephant keepers -: Douglas Quay
Record history
History of updates2023-03-05

Latest document update2023-03-05 04:56:10
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Ashtons Circus, located at PO Box 569, in Sans Souci, Australia , was founded in 1847, opened for public in 1847. The last elephant left in 2002.

Comments / picturesThe circus was founded in Hobart, Tasmania in about 1849 by Thomas Mollor, and acquired in February 1850 by James Henry Ashton, a man schooled in the tradition of English circus and who had experienced the hard times of the nineteenth century. The circus operated as the Royal Amphitheatre or Royal Circus. When founder James Henry Ashton died in 1889, his son Fred, then aged 22, inherited the circus. The circus continued to be handed down throughout the family, and today it is run by the 6th generation of Ashtons.

A branch of the family emigrated to United States, and came over on The Queen Mary in the 1950\'s from Australia.

Ashtons Circus in Australia AustraliaAshtons' elephant truck 1950s

At its peak in the 60s, the Ashton Circus had four elephants, 25 lions and tigers, zebras and giraffes and more than 40 family members.

1963: Ashton had 3 elephants: Jumbo, Abu and Johora. (Ratcliffe)
1978: Elephants were trained by Marcel Peters.

References for records about Ashtons Circus

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2024). Ashtons Circus, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

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