The Kenyon Family

Eileen Charlotte Le Feuvre Kenyon

Birth: 1908, in Ryde, Isle of Wight, England

Baptism: 11 July 1908, in All Saints, Ryde, Isle of Wight, England

Father: Leslie Kenyon

Mother: Daisy (Kilroy) Kenyon

Notes: Eileen and her mother are found on the manifest of the Cincinnati which departed from Southampton, arriving in New York on 24 October 1910. She is described as being of fair complexion with fair hair and brown eyes.

Eileen was commissioned as 2nd subaltern (equivalent to a second lieutenant) in the Auxiliary Territorial Service on 11 March 1942 (London Gazette 7 April 1942 p1601). 221597


Leslie Kenyon

Leslie Kenyon
Leslie Kenyon
Birth: 1868/9, in England

Father: George Kenyon

Married: Daisy Kilroy on 3 July 1907, in All Saints, Ryde, Isle of Wight, England
Leslie Kenyon is recorded as aged 42, the son of William Serigens Blissley. Daisy Kilroy is recorded as aged 26, the daughter of Philip Lefevre Kilroy.
The Medical Press 10 July 1907 p50:
KENYON—KILROY.—On July 3rd, at All Saints' Church, Ryde, Leslie Kenyon, to Daisy, youngest daughter of the late Philip Le Feuvre Kilroy, Lieut.-Colonel., R.A.M.C., and Mrs. Kilroy, Fairfield, Ryde.

Children:  Occupation: Actor
Leslie was a well-known actor on the London stages in the late 1800's, before jumping to Broadway early in the new century, where he continued a successful career until his sudden death in 1914.
Sketch: A Journal of Art and Actuality, 26 May 1897 p174:
Mr Leslie Kenyon, who is now appearing with such success as Dr. Brooke in “The Physician,” has only recently returned from a tour in South Africa. Though he now appears to-day in a character-part, cleverly played, he is also a very excellent comedian. He has played and succeeded equally in such parts as Felix Roach in “The New Boy,” Wilding in “Captain Swift,” the Laird in “Trilby,” Lord Bletchley in “A Woman's Reason,” and Dick Phenyl in “Sweet Lavender.” Other parts in which he has been almost as successful have been Hummingtop in “The Arabian Nights,” Sir John Harding in “The Idler,” and old Todman in “Liberty Hall.” Mr Kenyon spent six seasons with Mr. Edward Terry in London and the provinces, and would have gone round the world with him had the arrangements been completed, and he has also scored in two productions at the Royalty Theatre. His first engagement was with Miss Louise Moodie.

Leslie then began a long career on Broadway, with credits in The Degenerates (Jan-Feb 1900), Julius Caesar (Dec 1902 to Jan 1903), Old Heidelberg (Oct-Nov 1903), Ivan the Terrible (Mar 1904), Beau Brummell (Mar-Apr 1905), The Misanthropes (Apr 1905), Beau Brummell (Mar-Apr 1906), Nurse Marjorie (Oct-Nov 1906), Girls (Mar-Jun 1908), The Sins of Society (Aug-Sep 1909), Daddy Dufard (Dec 1910 - Jan 1911), The Only Son (Oct-Nov 1911), The Man from Cook's (Mar-Apr 1912), The Woman Haters (Oct-Nov 1912), The Man with Three Wives (Jan-Mar 1913), Rosedale (Apr-May 1913) and The Passing of the Idle Rich (May 1913).

Leslie wrote a funny article The Health of Actors published in The Green Book June 1910 pp1296-9 which includes this description of a night playing Julius Caesar:
  Apropos of acting in trying circumstances, the most severe experience that I ever went through on the stage took place one night when I was acting the part of Csar, with Richard Mansfield.
  It was a hot, humid night, and while I was lying there supposedly dead, two flies lit on me. One hovered about my nose, and the other about my ears, and the agony of feeling that they were going to crawl into my head was perfectly harrowing.
  I knew that I couldn’t move a muscle without making the audience laugh and spoiling the scene; and the business of lying motionless in those circumstances took more self-control than I was ever forced to use on any other occasion in my life.
  Fortunately some one came to my relief, slightly, for when one of the Romans drew near I said: “Flies.”
  It wasn’t much, but it was a good deal for a dead man to say, and at that the other actor saw what was the matter and brushed his toga against me in a way that frightened them for the moment.
  But flies are the most persistent pests in the world, and they kept coming back and crawling over me, and the only thing that relieved me at last was the drop of the curtain.

A review of The Woman Haters in The South Amboy Citizen 5 October 1912 p12
  A tremendous hit has been scored by Mr. Leslie Kenyon in the character of an Englishman with decidedly opposite views from “The Woman Haters.” Mr. Kenyon has the faculty of portraying the stage Englishman without unnecessary burlesquing of the character, and his handling of this particular one is simply artistic. “The Woman Haters” is one of the very best comedies that has come from foreign sources, and that it will be a lasting success at the rehabilitated Astor theatre there is not the shadow of a doubt.  

and from American Magazine February 1913 p65
The company is well chosen, and at least one player, an English actor named Leslie Kenyon, gives a performance of real distinction, his humor being subtle and unforced, while in the final scene he introduces without any straining for effect a note of real pathos, as surprising as it is welcome, for it lifts the story into reality for the moment and immensely heightens the romance. It is a far cry from such a scene as this to the vaudeville “turns” which used to be strung together a few years since and called a musical comedy.

Death: 3 January 1914, at Miss Alston's sanatorium in West Sixty-first Street in Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States, aged 45, after suffering a stroke at the Lambs Club in New York on 1 January.

New York Times 6 January 1914 p5:
Lillian Sinnott Ends Life on Day of Betrothed's Burial.
  Lillian Sinnott, a young actress, who was better known in other cities than she was in New York, killed herself early yesterday morning at the home of her mother, Mrs. Louise Sinnott, at 512 West 123rd Street, a few hours before the time set for the funeral of Leslie Kenyon, an English actor, who was to have married her after obtaining a divorce from his wife. Kenyon, who was stricken with apoplexy at the Lambs Club last Thursday night, died at Miss Alston's Sanitarium on Saturday morning. He was buried from The Little Church Around the Corner yesterday morning.
  Miss Sinnott, who was 24 years of age, had been appearing in a company playing “Baby Mine” on the road. When she heard of Mr. Kenyon's illness she hurried to New York, but the actor died without recovering consciousness. Early yesterday morning Mrs. Sinnott, who is a cripple as a result of injuries received in an automobile accident a year ago, foud her daughter sitting in the dining room of their apartment writing letters. The young actress declared that she was not able to sleep, but that she was all right, and was simply attending to some correspondence. At breakfast time, when she looked for her daughter, Mrs. Sinnott found the dead body of the young woman in the bath tub with her throat and wrists cut.
  Miss Sinnott left two notes. One simply said that she left all of her effects to her mother. The other read:
  Dear Mother: Forgive me for doing this, for you know how I loved Les. A fortnight before his death he was not well, and said he wuld be glad to go if I went with him.
  You have now won your case. They are now going to appeal it, but there is not an honest Judge that won't notice that you are a cripple for life and dependent on Florence (a married daughter of Mrs. Sinnott.) But she, I know, will give you the best of care. Good-bye, dear. God bless you. Your daughter,
  Miss Sinnott's mother is in a serious condition as a result of the shock following her daughter's death. 

Reading Times (Reading, Pennsylvania) 7 January 1914 p2:
Kenyon's Wife, Here, Ignorant of Actor's Plans to Divorce Her

  New York, Jan. 6. Strikingly unusual are the circumstances that appear in the romance and tragedy of Leslie Kenyon, a middle-aged actor of repute, and Miss Lillian Sinnott, more than twenty years his junior, a talented comedienne who succeeded Marguerite Clark in the leading role of "Baby Mine."
  Mr. Kenyon was stricken with apoplexy at the Lambs Club a week ago and was taken to Miss Alston's sanatorium in West Sixty-first Street, where he died Saturday. Miss Sinnott was at his bedside nearly every hour of his illness and saw him die. Yesterday morning as Mr Kenyon was being borne by fellow players into "The Little Church Around the Corner", for the funeral services Miss Sinnott lay dead in her home at No. 612 West One Hundred and Twenty-third street. She had loved Kenyon so greatly that the thought of life with out him was intolerable. So, slashing her wrists and throat with a razor that had belonged to him, she had died. When Kenyon was dying his wife came to this city in answer to a telegram, Miss Sinnott refused to leave his bedside and steeled herself to face the wife's reproaches. But no such ordeal presented itself. Instead Mrs. Kenyon was quickly touched by the girl's obvious intensity of grief and acted and spoke in the kindest way to her. She even said that she could understand readily how Kenyon had fallen in love with so charming a young woman. She had realized in their long separation that Kenyon might be lost to her. Dr. Oscar M. Leiser, of 263 West Forty-fifth street, who attended Mr. Kenyon, was present when the women met... "When they left, it was in sorrow, not in anger," he said last night to a reporter. "All the time they were together not one harsh word was spoken." Kenyon had made his home with Mrs. Louise Sinnott, the girl's mother, and it had been announced among their friends that as soon as he could induce his wife to divorce him he would marry the young, slender actress. When, she came from Kenyon's death-bed Saturday to her home she was utterly distraught. Sunday night her mother sat up with her, hoping finally to quiet the girl. But in the end the mother dropped off to sleep in a chair in. the parlor. She last saw her daughter writing letters at a small table. One letter left by the actress ran: "Dear Mother Forgive me for doing this, for you know how I loved Leslie. A fortnight before his death he was not well and said he would be glad to go if I went with him. You have won your case. They are now going to appeal it, but there is not an honest judge who won't relieve you, a cripple for life and dependent on Florence. She, I know, will give you the best of care. Goodby, dear, and God bless you. "LILLIAN." The reference in the letter to "your case" applied to the suit of Mrs. Sinnott against a bakery company. One of its automobiles ran her down and she is permanently crippled. She won a heavy verdict, but the company appealed. Since the accident Mrs. Sinnott has been practically helpless and depended on her daughters Florence and Lillian for support.
  The lover, who died on Saturday, was Leslie Kenyon, whose wife has been living for some time at Mount Penn. Mrs. Margaret Kilroy Kenyon is her name, and her home is London, England. She has been the guest for some months of Mrs. H. M. Dowie and daughter Reta, of Kelmscott Studio, Mount Penn. Mrs. Kenyon was informed on Saturday of her husband's sudden death at the Lambs' Club, New York. She at once left for New York to arrange for the funeral. Mr. Kenyon was a well-known portrayer of Shakesperean roles. For several years he played with Richard Mansfield. He also supported Ethel Barrymore. He was 52 years old. It appears that Miss Sinnott was devoted to him and expected to marry him after he had obtained a divorce from his wife. Mrs. Kenyon, however, seems to have known nothing about this expected divorce, and she regarded her husband with loyal affection.

Buried: 5 January 1914, in Evergreen cemetery, New York, New York, United States

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