'Mrs. Cargill' [ Ann Cargill, née Brown ] (1760-1784), opera singer; 'Mrs. Bishop' [ Elizabeth Sarah Bishop, née Lyon ] (1787–1831), actress, wife of Sir Henry Rowley Bishop (1786-1855), composer
[ From the Morning Post, London. ] Cuttings relating to Cargill, dating from between 1777 to 1784. Those relating to Bishop and others, London, 1809-1831.
A total of 93 newspaper cuttings, 87 of which are laid down on eleven 4to leaves of wove paper, the other six cuttings being loose, with one playbill. The cuttings - around two-thirds of which relate to Cargill, most of the rest relating to Bishop - are in fair condition, lightly-aged with a handful worn, on aged leaves worn at edges. Most of the cuttings are dated, and on the few occasions the source is given it is 'M P', i.e. the Morning Post. The first leaf carries a trimmed-down playbill for a benefit performance for 'Mrs.
Julian Sharman, 'Promoter' of the Soakers' Club, Covent Garden, London [ The Chiswick Press, London ]
'Printed at the Chiswick Press' [ Chiswick Press: - Printed by Whittingham and Wilkins, Tooks Court, Chancery Lane ]. 1874. [ Sharman's address dated from 'Covent Garden, | May, 1874.'
 + 13pp., 12mo. Stitched. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. A tasteful production in grey printed wraps. Elaborate pseudo-seventeenth-century design to title-page replicated on front cover. Five-page 'Promoter's Address'' to 'My Friend and Pitcher', signed in type by Sharman, followed by a page listing the five members of the 'Committee, 1874-5' (Julian Sharman; Henry S. Leigh; Bourchier F. Hawksley; Jas. J. Railston; F. W. Robinson), and five pages carrying the club's fourteen rules.
John Philip Kemble, eminent English actor, manager of the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden [ John Foster senior (1758-1827), Liverpool architect ]
The letter dated 'April 23d. 1802. | No. 89 Great Russel [sic] Street | Bloomsbury Square [ London ].' The copy letter of the same date, without place.
2pp., 4to. The letter takes up one side of the leaf, and the copy letter the other. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper. Docketted by recipient. In the letter he explains that he is enclosing 'a Letter I have had from Mr. Forster, and on the opposite Page my Answer to it.' (Forster's letter is not present as Kemble asks the recipient to return it.) He concludes: 'we both beg to be remembered to Mr. Currie'. The copy letter, headed '(Answer.)', is thirty lines long.
H. Leigh [ Miss Mary Leigh; New Hummums Coffeehouse, Covent Garden, London ]
'New Hummums [ the New Hummums Coffee House, Covent Garden, London ] | Friday night | 1/2 past 11'. Postmark of 18 February 1834.
4pp., 4to. Bifolium. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper, with seal in black wax and two postmarks. Addressed to 'Miss Mary Leigh | 3 | Blandford Square | Regents Park'. The letter is addressed to 'My dearest soul', and begins: 'I am now, as I have been so many hundreds of times, without profiting by the experience, bitterly suffering for my excitement and agitation.
[ The Vestris Family, dancers on the London stage; Royal Italian Opera, Covent Garden ]
On letterhead of the Royal Italian Opera, Covent Garden. 6 June 1866.
1p., landscape 12mo. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper. Reads, with manuscript text in square brackets: 'Royal Italian Opera, | Covent Garden. | [Madle Vestris] | Londres, [Le 6 Juin] 18. | Recu de M. Gye la somme de [£40 - -] | [G Vestris | B.V, | £[40 : - : -']'.
William Charles Macready (1793-1873), English actor, manager of Covent Garden Theatre, London [ John W. Anson (1817-1881), Scottish actor ]
5 Clarence Terrace, Regent's Park, London. 13 October 1849.
1p., 16mo. Mourning border. In fair condition, on aged paper, with minor traces of mount adhering to corners on reverse. 'Whether I may be able to visit Dundee or no, I cannot at present say; but with every wish to make my arrangements, if possible, serviceable to you, I have made a memorandum in case I should have any nghts, that I can perform there - and if I should be able, I will duly apprize you.' He ends by sending his regards to Mrs Anson.
B. F. Stevens [Benjamin Franklin Stevens] of Vermont, London-based American bookseller, 17 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden [The Chiswick Press, Whittingham and Willkins, Tooks Court, Chancery Lane]
B. F. Stevens, 17 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London, England. [1874.] [Chiswick Press: Printed by Whittingham and Wilkins, Tooks Court, Chancery Lane, London, England.]
Not paginated. pp., 16mo. Internally good and tight, elegantly printed in red and black. In original heavily-worn green leather binding. Small leaf, printed on both sides, advertising the book, loosely inserted. In the twenty-two lines on the reverse Stevens states that 'The price of all these books in substantial andn ornamental bindings of great variety, with leather, calf, morocco or russia backs and corners, and muslin on paper sides, is Four Hundred Guineas (420l.) If with full leather backs and sides, very handsome, the price is Four Hundred and Fifty Guineas (472l. 10s.)'.
H. Appleton of Boston [Sir John Bernard Burke (1814-1892), genealogist; John Miller of 24 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, 'the American bookseller in London'; Abbott Laurence (1792-1855); book trade]
Boston. 23 February 1853.
2pp., 12mo. On bifolium. Very good, on lightly-aged paper. Addressed to 'J. B. Burke' and signed 'H. Appleton' (a member of the Boston firm of publishers?). The letter reads: 'My dear Sir | I find that the 2d. part of your work "The visitation of Great Britain" has been published some time but I have not received mine. Will you be good enough to put one under cover with my name & an outer cover to address of the Hon Abbott Laurence Boston [businessman and philanthropist], and send it to John Miller Esq. No: 24 Henrietta St.
[Sir Henry Irving [John Henry Brodribb] (1838-1905), British actor-manager; Messrs. Christie, Manson & Woods, London auction house; Christies auctioneers]
Revised Edition. Messrs. Christie, Manson & Woods, at their Great Rooms, 8 King Street, St. James's Square. Monday, December 18, 1905 and following day.' [London: Printed by William Clowes and Sons, Limited.]
8vo., 69pp. Unbound as issued. In fair condition, on lightly-aged and worn paper, with worn and chipped printed front wrap still present, with ownership inscription at head (''). 482 lots, with several of the books ticked in pencil. Included, as lots 95 to 112A, are 'specially printed copies of the various Lyceum Plays, as arranged for the Stage by SIR HENRY IRVING; they contain numerous manuscript alterations in the text in the handwriting of the great Actor, and are in consequence of very great interest'.
Sir Henry Rowley Bishop (1786-1855), English composer, best-known for his song 'Home! Sweet Home!' [Frederick Gye the elder (1781-1869), proprietor of Vauxhall Gardens, London
'TRDL' [i.e. the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane]. 5 December 1831.
4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. Good, on lightly-aged paper, with slight creasing to bottom outer corner of both leaves. Bishop begins by asking Gye to confirm 'the excuse which Mr Barton has given for his absence the whole of Friday Evening last: & which having being [sic] noticed to me officially, I am obliged to enquire particularly into: - He says that he was at the Old Bailey Trial in consequence of your invitation that day!
Dame Emma Albani Gye [née Marie Louise Cécile Emma Lajeunesse] (1847–1930), Canadian soprano
On letterhead of Southmoor, Dean Park, Bournemouth. 'Friday' [no date].
2pp., 12mo. Good, on lightly-aged paper, with a couple of unobtrusive creases. 'We shall be very pleased to come to tea with you on Sunday - I hope you will not mind if we are a little late - I shall be so glad to see Mrs. Arkwright also. With kind regards and many thanks | Believe me | Yours very sincerely | [signed] Emma Albani Gye'.
George Colman the Younger (1762-1836), English dramatist, joint-manager of the Haymarket Theatre, London, with Thomas Harris
'7 March 1815 | Melina Place Westr Road'.
1p., 4to. 31 lines. Fair, on aged paper. On paper with watermarked date of 1814. Initialled 'G. C.'; with the words 'Copy to Morris' in the top left-hand corner. Docketed on reverse 'Copy to Morris March 1815'. Colman writes that is is now his intention, 'as it ever has been, to use every effort in my power for the interest of the Theatre, by carrying on the business in the best manner that the continual obstacles opposed to my plans will permit'. He states that he is 'in treaty with various Performers for the approaching Summer'.
Frederic Clay [Frederic Emes Clay] (1838-1889), English composer [Hon. Henry Wodehouse (1834-1873); Tom Taylor (1870-1880), English dramatist; Theatre Royal, Covent Garden]
With ownership inscription of Hon. Henry Wodehouse, 24 Upper Brook St, London. Undated, but from between the piece's composition, c.1862, and Wodehouse's death in 1873.
Scored on two facing pages, on two 25 x 34 cm leaves of music paper attached to one another along one edge with a thin strip of glue. Good, on lightly-aged paper, in red card folder with white label. Scored for voice and piano, with the two verses of libretto by Tom Taylor. Signed at end 'Frederic Clay. / Tenor Ballad from "Court & Cottage".', with ownership inscription alongside: 'Henry Wodehouse / 24 Upp. Brook St.' (According to the Survey of London, Hon.
Daniel Egerton (1772-1835), English actor-manager of Sadler's Wells [Pierce Egan (1772-1849), author of 'Tom and Jerry'; Robert Keeley (1793-1869), actor-manager; John Fawcett (1768-1837), actor]
Sadler's Wells; 27 June 1822.
1p., small 4to. Very good: trimmed and neatly laid down on backing. Egerton has had 'some communication with our Managers', and if Egan will 'write a Farce, with a good part for Keeley, in his way, perhaps some sort of continuation of Jerry', he knows it will 'be accepted, & put into training'. He asks to hear from Egan by return, as he wishes to see the managers on the subject 'previous to Mr. Fawcetts leaving Town on Tuesday next, or the matter must rest three months'.
Hon. Rosa Hood (d.1922), Lady in Waiting to Queen Victoria [Mrs Elizabeth Gye, wife of the manager of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Frederick Gye]
Hood's letter: On letterhead of Osborne [Isle of Wight]. 8 January 1891. Mrs Gye's draft reply: without place or date.
Both items good, on lightly-aged paper. Rosa Hood's sister Adelaide Fanny was the wife of Herbert F. Gye, and letter and reply are written informally. Hood's letter: 3pp., 12mo. She received Mrs Gye's letter that morning, 'and the Queen has read it' and is 'quite pleased with your reply'.
George Colman the younger (1762-1836), playwright and manager of the Haymarket Theatre, London [James Winston (1773?-1843), acting manager at the Haymarket Theatre]
Melina Place, London; 21 July 1814.
1p., 4to. On aged and grubby paper. The letter provides an interesting insight into the niceties of Regency theatrical practice. Colman peremptorily addresses it to 'Madam', before expressing his displeasure and defending his imposition of a penalty, as a result of the non-attendance of the recipient (apparently an actress) at a performance at the Haymarket.
Robert William Elliston (1774-1831), actor and theatre manager [Rev. Dr William Elliston (1732-1807), Master of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge; William Henry West Betty (1791-1874), actor]
[London]; 15 December 1804.
3pp., 4to. Bifolium, addressed, with postmark, on reverse of second leaf, to 'Revd Dr Elliston | Sidney College | Cambridge'. Fair, on aged and worn paper. An interesting, informative letter, written to one of the two uncles who had acted as Elliston's childhood guardians. At the time of writing, Elliston, having thrived at the Theatre Royal, Bath, had moved to London, replacing Kemble on 20 September 1804 as leading actor at Drury Lane. The present letter shows Elliston's plans to branch out into management.
Thomas John Dibdin (1771-1841), playwright, illegitimate son of dramatist Charles Dibdin (1745-1814), brother of songwriter Charles Dibdin (1768-1833) [George Bolwell Davidge (1793-1842)]
Dramatic Author's [sic] Society, 42 King Street, Covent Garden; 5 March 1838.
2pp., 12mo. The letter is on the recto of the first leaf of the bifolium, with the list, in three columns, on the recto of the second. Fair, on lightly-aged paper. Dibdin reminds Davidge that at his 'first Anniversary Dinner' he expressed a great wish to serve Dibdin by his patronage, but that 'absence from Town' prevented him. 'The Company were so well pleas'd that each present sign'd a Paper to come again - it is now fix'd for my Birthday (the 21st. Inst) and I take the freedom of enclosing you a List of the Patrons in the Hope I may be allow'd to add yours and enclose you a Ticket'.
Thomas John Dibdin (1771-1841), playwright, illegitimate son of dramatist Charles Dibdin (1745-1814), brother of songwriter Charles Dibdin (1768-1833) [Regency dress; Georgian clothing; fashion]
Undated [circa 1802?].
2pp., 4to. Good, on lightly-aged paper. Divided into eight four-line stanzas, each with the same two-line refrain. The first stanza: 'Fashion was formed when the World began, | And Adam I am told was a very smart man, | As for Eve I shall say nothing more or less. | |But that Ladies of Fashion now copy her dress. | Yet barring all pother of this that & tother we all bow to Fashion in turn'. Containing witty references to the fashion for hunting boots and crops, New Bond Street, Tudor and Stuart clothing, Whigs and Tories.
john Baldwin Buckstone (1802-1879), actor, playwright, and manager of the Haymarket Theatre [Maull & Polyblank, London Victorian photographers]
'Photographed by MAULL & POLYBLANK, 55 Gracechuch Street, and 187a, Piccadilly, London.' Undated [published in January 1859].
Albumen print, 14.5 x 19.5 cm, with arched top, laid down on original cream backing paper, 18.5 x 24.5 cm, with border to photograph and company details all printed in gold. A good photograph, showing Buckstone staring at the viewer, while seated in a plush chair at a writing table with tablecloth, his right hand holding a pen over a piece of writing paper. The print is in good condition, on slightly grubby backing. Buckstone has signed 'John Baldwin-Buckstone', in black ink at the foot of the mount.
John Campbell (1796-1862), 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane, Lord Chamberlain from 1848 to 1852) [Frederick Gye (1810-1878), manager of the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden [now the Royal Opera House]
Lord Chambelain's Office [London]; 10 November 1849.
1p., folio. Good, on lightly-aged paper, with slight staining to blank reverse. Fairly written out on a piece of Britannia laid paper. 'Lord Chamberlain's Office | 10th. November 1849. | The Lord Chamberlain thinks it right to draw the attention of the Manager of the Theatre Royal Covent Garden to The Queen's Proclamation of the 6th. Instant, in which Her Majesty, for the Reasons therein stated, earnestly exhorts that the Public Day of Thanksgiving, the 15th. Instant be reverently and devoutly observed'.
Charles Mayne Young (1777-1856), actor [William Charles Macready (1793-1873); Theatre Royal, Drury Lane]
Ashbourne Hall, Ashbourne, Derbyshire; 16 November 1841.
3pp., 12mo. 37 lines. Fair, on worn and discoloured paper. An interesting letter, casting light on the relationship between two great actors who, according to the Oxford DNB, 'disliked but respected each other'. Macready is not named, but Young ends by sending his 'Kind Comts to Mrs Macready'. Macready had taken over at Drury Lane on 4 October 1841, but the season would not begin until 27 December. The letter begins 'My dear Sir!
Alfred Bunn (1796-1860), theatre manager, lessee of Drury Lane and Covent Garden Theatres [Anne Mathews [nee Jackson] (d.1869), second wife of the actor Charles Mathews (1776-1835)]
6 Maddox Street, Bond Street; 11 August 1840.
3pp., 12mo. Fair, on aged paper. Mathews begins by quoting contradictory passages from letters of Charles Mathews, one from Mrs Mathews' 'Memoirs of Charles Mathews, Comedian' (1839) and the other from Bunn's 'The Stage: Both before and behind the Curtain' (1840).
Charles James Mathews (1803-1878), British actor-manager [The Lyceum Theatre, London; Covent Garden]
Dated 'Lyceum, Feb. 12.  C. J. MATHEWS'.
Printed for display, on one side of a piece of paper 24.5 x 49.5 cm. Text clear and complete. On aged and creased paper, with one closed tear and bottom right-hand corner lacking, causing slight loss to the last letter of Mathews' name at foot of document. Heading in bold type in a variety of point sizes. Giving a 'brief statement of my fourteen years' struggle and of my latest difficulty'.
'Commencing Novr. 1st. 1947, and thereafter so long as supplies shall last!'] 'Smudgeham & Fowlem, Steam Printers, The Cut, Waterloo.' [i.e. The Strand Electric & Engineering Co., Ltd., 24 Floral St, Covent Garden, London.]
Irregular (12 x 23.5 cm), 32 pp. In fair condition, aged and lightly worn. In original wraps, with cover design, in a variety of types and point sizes, imitating an early nineteenth-century handbill, stating that 'all Profits for the Benefit of the Deserving Actors' Orphanage. | Free list entirely suspended | Fees payable in advance are 2s. per copy'.
Lord Charles Spencer-Churchill (1794-1840), aristocrat and army officer, second son of the fifth Duke of Marlborough [London theatres]
3 May [1835?]; 24 Pulteney Street, Bath.
4to, 3 pp. Bifolium. Fifty lines of text. Clear and complete. Good, on lightly-aged and worn paper. He is willing 'to become a Patronizer' of the 'Society', and gives directions regarding shares. Suggests that 'the Committee should be a little more dovetailed with men of Rank & M.P.s as People always look at the Names in a Committee [...] I trust the Theatre will be West of Regent Street if Possible or of the Pantheon, & that the Committee Room may likewise be in the West'.
C. J. Mathews [Charles James Mathews] (1803-1878), son of Charles Mathews, English actor and playwright [John Hollingshead (1827-1904), English journalist and theatre manager]
23 November 1865; 25 Pelham Crescent, London.
12mo, 1 p. Fair, on aged paper, with traces of previous mount adhering to the corners of the blank reverse. Of course Hollingshead should 'wait till the last night of "used up" ' before writing to Mathews, who has 'hunted up Buckstone - hunted up Turpin - but in vain. Not a box to be had'. He has sent 'the best I could get': '3 Dress Circle to Mrs Smiles with "Mr Hollingshead's best compliments." '. In a postscript states that if Hollingshead wants 'a box for the "Overland Route" before the last night' he will be 'too happy'. 'There is always a run on last nights.'
Francis Barrington Foote [Frank Barrington Foote] (born c.1850; fl. 1911), English singer
On piece of laid paper (roughly 13 x 11 cm). Aged and chipped. Reads 'Yours truly | Frank Barrington Foote'. Chipping to the outer edge, very close to the last couple of letters of the signature. Foote, who frequently sang with Adelina Patti at Covent Garden, ended his days destitute in New York City.
The collection as a whole is in good condition on aged paper. ITEM ONE: 90-page typescript headed 'II | ANTECEDENT', beginnning 'It has become a commonplace of musicology, at least in this country, that the first two decades of the Twentieth Century show an immense increase of creative activity in the composition of works of music by an astonishingly rich group of their [sic] young composers.
Robert Buchanan [Robert Williams Buchanan] (1841-1901), English playwright, poet and novelist [George Manville Fenn (1831-1909), English novelist; Harriett Jay (1863-1932), Scottish actress and write]
18 December [no year]; 5 Larkhill Rise, Clapham.
12mo, 1 p. Text clear and entire, on lightly creased blue paper, with a thin docketed strip neatly cut away at the foot of the letter. Traces of cream paper mount adhering to the blank reverse. Presumably refers to the play 'Alone in London', which debuted at the Olympic Theatre in 1885. Buchanan trusts that Fenn 'will be present in production of my new play & Miss Jay's debut on Wednesday next'. He asks whether to send the stalls, 'or do you get them from the Office? It will be indeed disappointing if you do not come, this time.'