Vesta Victoria

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Vesta Victoria
Vesta Victoria 001.jpg
Vesta Victoria ca. 1908
Born Victoria Lawrence
(1873-11-26)26 November 1873
Leeds, Yorkshire
Died 7 April 1951(1951-04-07) (aged 77)
Hampstead, London
Other names Baby Victoria
Little Victoria
Occupation Music hall singer & comedian, film actress
  • William Herbert Henry Terry 1912–1926 (divorced); one daughter.
  • Frederick Wallace McAvoy; 1897 (divorced); one daughter.

Vesta Victoria (26 November 1873 – 7 April 1951) was an English music hall singer and comedian. Although born in Leeds, Yorkshire, Vesta adopted a Cockney persona on stage. She began her career as a small child appearing with her father.

The painter Walter Sickert made a portrait of her performance Vesta Victoria at the Old Bedford, in about 1890.

Her solo career took off in 1892 when Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me a Bow Wow became a hit. Vesta's comic laments delivered in deadpan style were as popular in the United States as in her homeland and she toured and recorded in America in 1907, where she was one of the most highly paid vaudeville stars. Between appearances, she lived on a houseboat, moored on the Thames near Hampton Court, southwest London.

Vesta retired after World War I but re-recorded many of her hits in 1931 in a series of Old-Time Medleys, and appeared in the Royal Variety Show of 1932.

She also appeared in a number of films in the 1930s. She died at Hampstead, north London, on 7 April 1951, and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, where a lilac tree (no longer in existence) was planted in her memory.

A one-woman show based on her life and work by the actress Helen Fraser toured during the 1990s.


Her songs are among the best-remembered music hall performances.

  • Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me a Bow Wow
  • He Calls Me His Own Grace Darling
  • It's All Right in the Summertime
  • It Ain't all Honey and It Ain't all Jam
  • Waiting at the Church aka My Wife Won't Let Me
  • Poor John
  • Now I Have to Call Him Father
  • Look What Percy's Picked up in the Park


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