James Ashton

From the list of elephant persons Family: Ashton

James Ashton
James   Ashton

Personal details

Spouse(s) Elizabeth Critchley

Country Australia

Title owner 1850-1889
Location at Ashtons Circus in Australia

Biography details

James Henry Golden Ashton , circus director in Australia

Born 1820 in Australia dead 1889-01-17 in Australia .

James Henry Ashton was a trick and bareback rider equestrian, who was the first Ashton to perform in Australia with Robert Radford's circus in Tasmania, 1848.

He was son of Golden Ashton (1779-1833) and Charlotte Hardy or Hodskss (1790-1869).

James Ashton married circus performer Elizabeth "Mary" Critchley. Together they had seven children, three boys and four girls. In 1889 James Henry Ashton died at the Metropolitan Hotel in Gladstone, QLD, aged 70 and was buried in the local cemetery. At the time of his death he was still on the road.

From memorial plaque was erected by the Hanging Rock community in appreciation of the support of Ashton`s Circus during the 150th anniversary celebrations:

James Henry Ashton, the son of an English circus owner founded Jimmy Ashton's Royal Olympic Circus in Tasmania in the 1840s. After the discovery of gold at Hanging Rock, he visited the Goldfields in August 1852. During this visit his wife Mary (an equestrian rider) gave birth to a baby daughter Mary Ann Catherine, only to pass away 11 days later on the 27th August 1852 aged 19 years. The baby died at West Maitland two months later.

In May 1853, James married Elizabeth Critchley of Hanging Rock and gave the first performance of his Royal Olympic Circus. The veteran showman whose circus was transported by a caravan of bullock wagons and approximately 100 packhorses remained on the diggings for fourteen days showing every night except Sunday. In an amazing display of showmanship James Henry Ashton would stand on the back of two horses as they galloped around the circus with a Miss Irvine and Mongo Mongo, one of his Aboriginal troupe on his shoulders. A native of Tamworth, Mongo Mongo was better known in the Northern areas of New South Wales as "Little Alick." Other members of the performing troupe included Mr & Mrs McIvetel and Messrs Robertson and Devere.


Total: 2 children

  1. James Ashton Jr.. Born: 1861. Dead: † 1918
  2. Fred Ashton. Born: 1866-09-28. Dead: † 1941-02-17

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). director James Henry Golden Ashton in Australia. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 20 April 2024 at https://www.elephant.se/person.php?id=750. (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Selected publications

Links about Fred Ashton

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Categories director | circus | Ashtons Circus | Ashton family | Born 1820 | Dead 1889 | People from Australia

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