The Penders

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.


However, if you came here looking for information on Cary Grant, you may well be disappointed as he doesn’t really feature greatly on this site.

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.

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

Having looked at the information on the ‘Fairground Heritage Trust’ web page (no longer active) topic for ‘Pender Troupe’ I was beginning to get confused by references to people’s relatives without qualifying names, so I decided to try and pull together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

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.

My Great Great Grandmother, Margaret Lomas, was the aunt of Robert Lomas.

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.
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)


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

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

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