Oscar Wilde In America


DETAiled verification of Oscar Wilde’s lecture tour of North America

Moncton

New Brunswick


Ruddick’s Hall

Thursday, October 12, 1882


The Decorative Arts

VERIFICATION

Newspaper report

The Daily Transcript (Moncton, NB), October 13, 1882, 2

[Original unseen—as noted by Kevin O’Brien in Oscar Wilde in Canada: An Apostle for the Arts, 1982, p. 138 (note p. 190).]


The audience gave, “…an ovation to a young man who came upon the platform with a water pitcher and a goblet.”






Venue


Ruddick’s Hall

Between Robinson and Church Streets, at Queen Street, Moncton, NB


Building: Methodist Church, dedicated January, 1849

Enlarged: 1853 

Auditorium opened: December, 30 1878, as Ruddick's New Hall (Andrew Ruddick)

Seating: 400-500

Description: "well lighted with gas, and well ventilated," with "ample stage accommodations," an "inclined plane galley aisle" and seating arrangement "enabling the audience to have a first class view of the stage from any part of the building" (Daily Transcript, December 31, 1878)

Destroyed (fire): 1914


Replaced by: new Central Methodist Church, 1916

Extant as: Central United Church, 150 Queen St, Moncton, NB E1C 1K8, Canada

Accommodation


No record has been found of Wilde’s accommodation while in Moncton.

YMCA


The YMCA in Moncton had made an offer to Wilde to lecture there on Friday 14 but Wilde was not available that evening. Unfortunately, the YMCA officials failed to respond to telegram to that effect, so Wilde lectured at Ruddick’s Hall instead.


This led to spurious claims against Wilde by the YMCA. However, despite reports at the time to the contrary (later corrected), Wilde was not arrested but rather spoken to by the police, and neither Wilde nor his manager paid any compensation to the YMCA.  The officials, who had acted without the authority of their committee, were later rebuked and the writ was withdrawn.

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Oscar Wilde In America | © John Cooper, 2020