From his humble beginnings as a painter, Frederick had an interest in theatrical performances. He became a conjurer and showman, well known in the west of England as “Professor Burnette, The Modern Magician”. Fredrick married twice, with both of his wives being theatrical performers. His second wife, Emily D’Arc was the sister of William D’Arc who was also a performer and shareholder of the Picture House. Fredrick’s varied occupations show that he had a wide skill set. He was also a very astute businessman, becoming manager of several Cinemas and the owner of the Theatre de Luxe in Rothesay.
Allanna Brough (May 2017)
|Biography File: People of the Picture House|
|Full Name||Frederick Rendell Burnette|
|Maiden name / other names||Born: Samuel John Rendell|
Career name: Professor Burnette
|Birth date||1860||Birth place: Maiden Newton, Dorset|
|Death date||June 10th 1940||Death place: Rosemount Cottage, Ardbeg Road, Rothesay|
|Father’s full name||Thomas John Rendell|
|Mother’s full name|
(maiden name in brackets)
|Spouse(s)||(1) Jessie Rose Cottle, married St Peter’s Church, Twerton, Somerset 1884|
(2) Emily D’Arc, married Blythswood, Glasgow 1938
|Places of residence|
|External source references (e.g. census, BMD, valuation rolls, probate index, wills, parish records etc.) include ref. numbers|
|CPH archive or object collection reference||Shareholders Ledger|
|Other notes||The earliest listing found naming Frederick Rendell Burnette as “Professor Burnette” is from the Western Gazette and The Shepton Mallet Journal, dated 3 September 1868 where he is described as a “Wizard”.|
In 1888 he was presenting his show of “Parisian Wonders” and his “Cabinet of Mystery” both listed in The Weston Super Mare Gazette. In the same newspaper dated 20 October 1888, he is listed as a Mind Reader.
By 1891, listed in the Gloucester Citizen, he is presenting a show called “She at the Stake”.