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William Rufus Blake Passes Away

Today in Masonic History William Rufus Blake passes away in 1863.

William Rufus Blake was a Canadian stage actor.

Blake was born in England on September 18th 1797. He was baptized on December 5th, 1805. At the age of thirty he emigrated to Canada.

He began his acting career in England. Once in Canada, he quickly established himself as a popular actor in Toronto and other Canadian cities. He was known for his versatility and his ability to perform a wide range of roles, from Shakespearean tragedies to popular comedies.

He also gained a reputation as a skilled performer in the United States. In the 1830s and 1840s, he traveled to various cities to perform in theaters, including New York and Boston. He spent a considerable amount of time in the United States during the 1840s, performing with various theater companies and earning critical acclaim for his work.

It's difficult to determine who the first actor to receive a curtain call was, as the practice of acknowledging performers at the end of a performance has been a part of theater traditions for centuries. A popular anecdote suggests Blake may have been the first actor to receive a curtain call in Canada. According to the story, Blake was performing in a play in Montreal in the 1830s when he unexpectedly received applause from the audience at the end of his performance. This was apparently the first time an actor in Canada had been acknowledged in this way, and the practice of giving actors a curtain call became more common in Canadian theaters in the following years. While it's difficult to verify this story, it is clear Blake was a highly respected actor helping to establish many of the theatrical traditions still in use in Canadian theaters today.

In 1863 it is believed Blake had a stroke. At the time he was protrying Sir Peter Teazle in School for Scandal. He passed away the next day on April 22nd, the cause of death listed is paralysis.

Blake was a member of Independent Royal Arch Lodge No. 2 in New York City, New York.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.