The Pender Troupe were a group of performers who travelled extensively within the UK and the USA.
Their most famous member was Archibald Leach, later to become well known as Cary Grant.

My name is Dave Simpson and I am researching my family tree. In the course of this I was alerted to a possible connection to the Pender Troupe.

Details regarding the genealogy of the Penders/Lomases can be found in the Genealogy section in the sidebar.

I’ve created this site to try and bring together a miscellany of information from several sources.

Apologies if it seems a bit disjointed in parts, this is due to information coming from varying sources – some of which is contradictory. It is not helped by the use of the stage name Pender for many in the troupe.

Having looked at the information on the ‘Fairground Heritage Trust’ web page (no longer active) topic for ‘Pender Troupe’ I was beginning to get confused by references to people’s relatives without qualifying names, so I decided to try and pull together this information so that those interested can look at it and review it. 

I have not attempted to take all the information from the Fairground Heritage Trust topic but rather a distillation of that information.

The main focus of this site is on the troupe itself and its less well known members.

Where the name Pender came from I have no idea.

Firstly, the Penders were Bob Pender, his wife Margaret and their daughter Doris. Their real surname was Lomas.

Our first problem is how do we refer to the man? Bob Pender or Robert Lomas?
This is difficult as the two names are used interchangeably, so there is no simple answer .

The Pender Troupe comprised a varying number of people depending on the circumstances. 

At times the members (including the non-related ones) would give their name as Pender rather than their real name.

This hampers research as you don’t always know who is who. Also at this time (end of the 19th, start of the 20th centuries) travel using a pseudonym didn’t appear to be a problem.

Bob Pender’s real name was in fact Robert Lomas.

He was my 1st cousin, 3 times removed.

My interest is through the Lomas family.

Robert Lomas’ grandparents were my Great, Great, Great Grandparents.

Several people had said that Bob Pender and Robert Lomas were one and the same person and I wanted to prove this and part of the original purpose of this site was to investigate that premise.

The starting point for the connection was a reprint of an article by Cary Grant about his life. Archie Leach by Cary Grant (00)

Whilst Cary Grant doesn’t feature greatly on this site, his links to the Pender Troupe have proved useful in finding information about the Troupe.

The following extract points to the first source of useful information:

“..and one day Bob Pender announced the longed-for news that he’d booked an engagement for himself and a company of eight boys to appear in a Charles Dillingham production at the Globe Theatre in New York City!
And who do you think was one of those eight boys selected to go? I was. I. That’s who.
In July, 1920, we sailed for America on the S.S. Olympic and cloud eight”

From this starting point I was able to begin some research on the Pender Troupe.


Over the years a number of people have contributed to the information given here, including:

Rosie Jones
Pat Palmer
Diane Hatwell
Victor Watts
Nigel Dixon
Jon Harrington
Lesley Harrington
Linda Ayling
Mike Salter
Patsie Martin (nee Riscoe)
John Place

Much of the information on this site was originally available as forum posts on the ‘Fairground Heritage Trust’ site. This forum appears to have now disappeared (May 2009).

However you can see many of the posts by selecting ‘Pender Forum Posts’ in the sidebar.

I have attempted to summarise the information in a more cohesive format.

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