Perry Brothers Circus in Australia

Perry Brothers Circus
The young elephant bull Tommy
The young elephant bull Tommy

Local name Perry's Jubilee Circus

Owner -: Mary Atkins
-: Jim Perry Jr.
-: Nellie Perry
-: Vera Perry
-1976: James Perry
-1993: Tony Maynard
-1993: Cathy Maynard
1889-: William George Perry
1976-1993: Robert Perry
1976-1993: Alby Perry
Opened for public1889
Last elephant left1993
Closed down1993
Country Australia
Website Website


Key People -: Eliza Jane Sole (artist)
-: Robert Perry (artist)


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Perry Brothers Circus, Australia , opened for public in 1889. The last elephant left in 1993. Perry Brothers Circus closed down in 1993.

Comments / picturesMerge of Perry\'s Jubilee Circus and Eronis Circus, after the death of Charles Henry Perry.

It was on the banks of the Barcoo River near Blackall that the Perry Bros Circus started in 1889. After a decade of life as a publican, William Perry was eager to get back to his family\'s roots as variety show entertainers. He swapped the Northampton Hotel "The Half-Way Hotel", between Tambo and Blackall in Western Queensland, for a bullock team and decided to take the show on the road.

Not long after, 12-year-old Mary Ellen Atkins, who was working in a store in Blackall, went to a Perry Bros performance that would change her life. Six years later she had married the boss\'s son. She became the Matriarch of the Perry Bros Circus and … became known as the 'Grand Old Lady of the Circus' all throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Perry Brothers <a href='location2.php?location_id=4' title=''></a>
Circus in Australia AustraliaThis would have to be my favourite picture of Perry Bros Circus.
My grandfather left Perth in 1966 and decided to head back to QLD.
Before this trip all other circuses would either go back east on the train or over the Nullarbor to SA but he and my grandmother decided to attempt to head to Darwin by heading into the wild north of WA and on to Darwin then back to QLD.
No other show had ever gone via this route before and it must have been very daunting as back then, vast distances between towns and basically only goat tracks for roads and sometime like the pic tells, no road at all.
This shows the pioneering spirit of all the early show people as back then no mobile phones or help if you got into trouble hundreds of miles from nowhere.
You had to rely on your own ingenuity to get you though.
I think the greatest thing about this, is this would have been the first time many people living up in those isolated towns and communities would have ever seen the likes of Elephants, Lions, hyenas, monkeys and leopards which they took with them on this epic journey.
Every time I look at this pic it fills me with admiration for my Grandparents and Parents and their Perry Bros Circus .
Tony Maynard

Perrys circus at one stage had 7 elephants they were poisoned in Melbourne some of them died. (Tony Ratcliffe)

1976: Robert William Perry and his brother Alby Perry (Albert Perry) took over the business.

In the 1980s, Mr Perry operated a three-ring show and attracted the talent of Tommy Hanlon.

1993:Perry Bros circus was sold to the Lennon family in 1993 and this became Stardust circus.

References for records about Perry Brothers Circus

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2023). Perry Brothers Circus, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at (archived at the Wayback machine)

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Litterature about Perry Brothers Circus

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