Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Grave of William Fay

William Marion Fay was a partner in the Davenport Brothers act. He joined them in 1864 as tour manager and would fill in for the often sick, William Henry Davenport. He clearly had a bigger role than just a fill-in however because his name actually appears on the billing as "The Davenport Brothers and Fay".

In 1873, Fay left the Davenport Brothers and went with fellow employee Harry Kellar to start FAY & KELLAR. Some books say that the brothers were retiring, others claim that Kellar had a falling out with William Davenport and left and took Fay with him. Regardless, the two went off on their own and performed together until they lost all of their props and money in a shipwreck in the Bay of Biscay.

William Fay rejoined the Davenports in 1873 and stayed with them until William Henry Davenport died in Australia in 1877. Fay remained in Australia and purchased a farm. He came out of retirement briefly to try and resurrect the Spirit Cabinet act with Ira Davenport, but it was unsuccessful.

He died on July 16th, 1921. William Fay is buried in Melbourne General Cemetery, Church of England grave number NN214, 215. To find the grave, enter by the south gate to South Avenue. Turn off South Ave into path directly opposite the grave of Amalia Hirshfeld which is on the right hand side of South Ave coming from the south gate.
The Davenport Brothers with William Fay (center)
 The photos are courtesy of Kent Blackmore. To read more about the Davenport Brothers and William Fay check out this article by Kent.

Also to get a slightly more in depth biography of William Fay, check out my blog: 


  1. Melbourne Cemetery is GREAT (I know that sounds weird but it is). It is the resting place of so many prominent figures they conduct regular tours. You could spend hours there ... but you might want to leave before it gets dark.

  2. If/When I ever get to Australia I'm going there!