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Francois DeVilliers

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Francois DeVilliers
Borncirca 1854

Francois DeVilliers (c.1854 - 1929), born in Malta to French parents, was an illusionist well known on the lyceum and vaudeville stage in the United States as "The Great Villiers".


He traveled with a French circus as a youth, later going to India as a British soldier. In Spain , he fought under Don Carlos and was captured by Government forces. He was tried as a rebel and condemned to be shot, but British Ambassador intervened on his behalf be caused the sentence to be changed to banishment.

In 1883, he went to the United States and eventually became a citizen and made his home in New York City. There were numerous mentions of his performances in Mahatma. He was also a charter member of the Society of American Magicians.

Soon afterward in 1903, he toured South Africa, Italy and Australia. He eventually settled down to retire in India by 1928.

In 1929, it was reported by Eddie Joseph in the Linking Ring that DeVilliers was found dead in a room filled with coal-gas. He left a letter in which he said he was down and out, having lost a lot of money in bank crash.


  • Here, There and Everywhere (a play)


  • Mahatma Vol 6, No 6 (December 1902)
  • Linking Ring March 1930.
  • Studies in Conjuring Literature "HERE. THERE AND EVERYWHERE", by Edgar Heyl in Linking Ring Vol 46 No. 12 (December 1966)