John Sanger Sr.

From the list of elephant persons Family: Sanger

John Sanger Sr.
Profession circus director
Personal details
Born about 1815 Chew Magna in United Kingdom
Dead 1889-08-22 Ipswich, Suffolk in United Kingdom

Spouse(s) Elizabeth Sanger

Country United Kingdom

Title owner 1851-1884
Location at Circus Sanger in United Kingdom

Biography details

John Sanger Sr., circus director in United Kingdom

Born about 1815 in United Kingdom dead 1889-08-22 in United Kingdom , son of assistant director James Sanger and assistant director Sarah Elliott .

John was born about 1819-1821 at Newbury, Berkshire, England the son of James Sanger, a traveller.

Contradictory records:

John Sanger married Elizabeth Atkins 2nd May 1848 at St. Mary, Whitechapel, Middlesex, England. John Sanger, bachelor, traveller, of Church Lane {Whitechapel}, son of James Sanger (traveller) and Elizabeth Atkins, spinster, daughter of Samuel Atkins (traveller). Witnessed by William Goddard & Elizabeth Osbourne.

John Sanger married Elizabeth Atkins (1825-1892), the daughter of Sam Atkins, the owner of the Liverpool Zoological Gardens, in June 1848. They had five children; John (1854-1929), Lavinia (b. c1858), William (1866-1893), George (1870-1947) and James (b 1871).

"John Sanger, the circus proprietor, died at Ipswich on Thursday night {22nd August 1889}. He had arrived there on Friday last, when his circus performances were given for two days, but he was too unwell to leave the town on Sunday with his company. Mr. Sanger contacted a violent cold while travelling to Ipswich and, not withstanding the attendance of several medical men, he died of pneumonia. He was the eldest of of the three brothers in the profession, and was 70 years of age {b. 1819}"

His obituary in the "Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News" states "By the death of Mr. Sanger, a well known member of the circus world has passed away. The majority of the proprietors of these establishments , like the Cookes, Battys, Newsomes, Henglers, and others are bought up to the business; but the Brothers Sanger were the architects of their own fortunes, and little is known of their early history. They were however, supposed to have had a long connection with shows. At any rate the Sanger family had a large stud of horses and ran a circus on the tenting system thirty or forty years ago, long before they were known to London audiences, and together with Mr. Hengler were formidable rivals of Howes and Cushing's , which came to England from America early in the fifties.

Mr John Sanger was the proprietor of the Hall by the Sea {later Dreamland}, Margate in which town he was very popular, and for the poorer inhabitants of which he did a great deal

Probate: 12th November 1889. The will of John Sanger formerly of Sanger's Ampitheatre, Westminster Bridge Road in the County of Surrey, Theatrical manager and Circus proprietor but late of St. Ann's Road, Stamford Hill in the County of Middlesex who died 22 August 1889 at Ipswich in the County of Suffolk was proved at the Principle Registry by Elizabeth Sanger, widow the relict and John Sanger, Circus proprietor, the son both of St. Ann's Road two of the exectutors.


Total: 4 children

  1. 'Lord' John Sanger. Born: 1854. Dead: † 1929-09-00
  2. Lavinia Sanger. Born: 1858?.
  3. Georg Sanger Jr.. Born: 1870. Dead: † 1947
  4. James Sanger Jr.. Born: 1871. Dead: † 1964-02-21


Siblings through the father James Sanger (1778 -- about 1849):

  1. George Sanger Born 1827-12-23 Dead: † 1911-11-28
  2. William Sanger Born 1826 Dead: † 1901
  3. Sara Sanger Born ?

John Sanger Sr. s ancestral Ahnentafel:


John Sanger Sr.
Born: about 1815

James Sanger

Born: 1778

Paternal Grandfather:

Paternal Great-grandfather:
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Paternal Grandmother:

Paternal Great-grandfather::
Paternal Great-grandmother:

Sarah Elliott

Born: 1787

Maternal Grandfather:

Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Maternal Grandmother:

Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-grandmother:

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). director John Sanger Sr. in United Kingdom. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 23 June 2024 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

  • "England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1996 of John SANGER" 1889 Index image available at Gov.UK probate Index Accessed 5th Dec 2017

Selected publications

Links about James Sanger Jr.

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Categories director | circus | Circus Sanger | Sanger family | Born abou | Dead 1889 | People from United Kingdom

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