Samuel Phelps (1804-1878), actor-manager at Sadler's Wells, London
'T[heatre]. R[oyal]. Worthing'. No date [ 1836 ].
2pp., 4to. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper. The letter begins: 'My Dear Sir/ | I should like much to visit Exeter, but the distance is so great & travelling (with my family) so confoundedly expensive - that I had made up my mind, this summer should end my wanderings - however as Exeter is in the "land of my nativity" [he was born at Devonport] it is a strong temptation for me to winter with you'. He refers him to 'Mr Hughes' with regard to his 'capability', and states his terms 'for myself & wife who can play little chambermaids &c - and be useful on all occasions'.
George Grossmith (1847-1912), author and comedian, brother of Weedon Grossmith (1854-1919) [ George Reeves-Smith, manager of the Brighton Aquarium ]
The three letters from London: two on letterhead of the Beefsteak Club, King William Street, Strand, W.C., and one on letterhead of 31 Blandford Square, N.W. 8 and 17 February . The undertaking from 31 Blandford Square, and undated.
The four items in good condition, on lightly-aged paper. The first two items originally pinned together. The signature on the first letter clearly written out, the other three signatures more hurried. ONE: 8 February . 1p., 12mo. 'I am going to take a rest. Supposing I can give you a week (two sketches an evening) between Feb 21 & March 13th. What will you stand?' TWO: Signed undertaking. 1p., 12mo. Not addressed. Begins with quotation: 'Right you are says Moses'. States: 'This is an equivalent for booking you for 23rd. 7 performances'. THREE: 17 February .
James F. L. Wood, Assistant Manager, Society for the Suppression of Mendicity [Mendicity Society] [Sir Alexander James Beresford Beresford Hope (1820-1887), Conservative politician; R. Ferguson]
On letterhead of the Begging Letter Department, Mendicity Office, Red Lion Square. 3 April 1856.
3pp., folio. Bifolium on grey paper. Addressed on reverse of second leaf to 'A. J. B. Beresford Hope | Esq | Arklow House', with Penny Red stamp and postmarks. In good condition, on aged paper, with some discoloration to the reverse of the second leaf. Printed in red at the head of the first page: 'THIS REPORT IS STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.
Frank Rothsay, Victorian actor-manager of the Tyne Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne, and the Borough Theatre, Stratford
Tyne Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne. 5 October 1889.
1p., foolscap 8vo. Stained, worn and creased, but a unique memento of a Newcastle institution and Grade I listed building, founded in 1867 as the Tyne Theatre and Opera House, and now bearing the euphonious name of the Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre.
[Montague Shaw, production manager, Faber & Faber Ltd]
[Undated. London: Faber & Faber, 1950s?]
The text area is about 13.5 x 30 cm, on the top half of a slip of paper around twice as long. Text clear and complete. Good, on lightly-aged paper. The lower half of the slip is blank apart from the pagination 196. Headed 'EPILOGUE | COWKEEPER'S TUNE', and beginning 'Unless your window is fitted with very strong iron bars and, just to make sure, your window locks, | Do not attempt to keep a Dexter cow in your window box.' Signed in type at end 'M.
Sir John Martin-Harvey (1863-1944), English actor-manager
4 June 1899; on letterhead of the Prince of Wales Theatre, Coventry Street, London W.
12mo, 4 pp. Bifolium. On grey paper. Text clear and complete. Good, with one minor stain not affecting text. Two punch holes at head through both leaves. He congratulates her 'on the success of yr. most clever little play!', and wishes she 'had been there to see it, we had to add a little here and there to fill it out for a big stage [...] it went wonderfully well and the notices are fine!' Proposes, with her permission, to do it again 'at a Lyceum matinee Joe Hurst'. Ends by informing her that 'Mr. Mellish was simply fine.'
Sir David William Smith (1764-1837), property manager for the Duke of Northumberland [Farne Islands, Northumberland]
21 July 1834; Alnwick.
4to bifolium: 2 pp. Good, with slight loss to second leaf from breaking of red wax seal, traces of which still adhere. Twenty lines of text. Docketed in pencil and ink on second leaf. Asks them to furnish him with 'all the particulars relative to the Farne Islands [...] who the Lessee? - their estimated quantiy or extent? - Rent? length of lease? - [...] whether Birds, feathers, down, Eggs, Rabbits - Kelp, or Seaware, fish &c? all which I should hope you would be able to obtain from some of your Bamburgh friends? - or from Blackett, at N. Sunderland? - how they are protected?
English impressario (1872-1951), nicknamed "Cocky", closely associated with Noel Coward, knighted in 1948. All one page, five with the letterhead Charles B. Cochran, 49 Old Bond Street (three 8vo and two 4to), and one, 12mo, with the letterhead of the Midland Hotel, Manchester. One in stamped addressed envelope. All thanking Bass (of 22 Delta Street, Lightbourne, Moston, Manchester) for his letters praising the Manchester performances of Cochran's revue.
English art critic and dramatist (1849-1916). One page, octavo. Very good. On grey Truslove, Hanson & Comba paper. Entitled 'Sailor's Chorus', the piece consists of two stanzas of eight lines each. It begins 'Above the mast one single star, | Still loiters in the dawn!' and ends 'Ere the swallows keel shall touch the shore | Yeo Ho! Hearts Ho! Yeo Ho! Haul away!' Signed 'J. Comyns Carr' in bottom left-hand corner.
no date, on letterhead of the Hyde Park Hotel, Knightsbridge.
English actor-manager (1837-1919), knighted in 1902. One page, 12mo. "I am glad to hear you are getting better. There has been a bond of sympathy between us. I myself have been off colour all the week & locked up in my room yesterday and to-day."
2 January 1901, on letterhead of Wyndham's Theatre, Charing Cross Road.
English actor-manager (1837-1919), knighted in 1902. 2 pp, 8vo. "Dear Mrs Dickens / When I spoke the other night of an autograph I meant that of your husband: I did not dream of such an acceptable present as you have forwarded me / I think I shall alter your plan. I will still send the book for the autograph of the eminent Q. C. & shall that of his celebrated father / With a thousand thanks / Yours truly / Charles Wyndham". In reasonable condition, with a few creases and small tears.
Theatre manager (died 1926). The first, typewritten, to John Cabourn, 1 February 1906, on letterhead of Haymarket Theatre, one page, 8vo. "I would see you with pleasure, but I am sorry to say that I am too busy to do so at present." The second, in autograph, to [?] Pryce, 21 June 1916, on the letterhead of the Haymarket Theatre ("LESSEE & MANAGER MR. FREDERICK HARRISON"), 1 page, 12mo. He says he has been thinking about his correspondent, and hoping that he would come. "I enclose with pleasure two stalls" (not present). Traces of mount glued to reverse. Two items,
no date, on letterhead of the Criterion Theatre, Piccadilly.
English actor-manager (1837-1919), knighted in 1902. One page, 8vo. "One never makes a mistake in telling the truth / Charles Wyndham / The Liar." Perhaps a reference to Wyndham's outstanding performance in Jones's "The Liars" (1897).
1 April 1892, on the letterhead of the St James's Theatre, King Street, St James's.
English actor-manager (1858-1918), knighted in 1911. "The actors Benevolent Trust is our institution for relief of deserving cases - if your friend will apply to me by letter & state her case freely I will lay it before the committee of which I am a member." Traces of previous mounting on reverse of blank second leaf.
25 May [no year], on the letterhead of the Haymarket Theatre.
English actor-manager (1853-1917), knighted in 1907. 2 pp, 12mo. "My dear Merivale. / I have induced a friend to vacate his Box for you - Of course I wanted Mrs Merivale to come - I thought you had stalls. / I hope you will think we are behaving well Tomorrow night. / Yours sincerely / Herbert Beerbohm Tree / Kindly return stall ticket". The signature is splendidly sprawling. Traces of adhesive tape, glue and mount to blank reverse of second leaf.
30 May 1896, on the letterhead of the Criterion Theatre, Piccadilly.
English actor-manager (1837-1919), knighted in 1902. One page, 8vo. "I shall be delighted to come and lunch with you on Thursday, June 11th., if that will suit your convenience, and the invalid promises to be quite well by that time!" Traces of mount glued to reverse of blank second leaf.
23 February [no year], with the letterhead 33 Brompton Crescent.
English actor-manager (1862-1951). 3 pp, 12mo. "Things are so terribly 'uncertain' with me just now. I am exceedingly busy every day arranging about a Syndicate which is to back us in a Theatre this Autumn added to this the latest play at the Comedy is not a success & we may be plunged into Rehearsals any day. When things 'calm down' a bit I will let you know if we can come. I should like to very much if we can manage it."
July 2 and 5 1890, both on letterhead of the Criterion Theatre, Piccadilly.
English actor-manager (1837-1919), knighted in 1902. The first, signed on Wyndham's behalf by "A. R. S." "I find that instead of putting down Sir Robert Morier's address in my note-book, I simply noted down the evening. Will you kindly send me the address." The second, "Very many thanks. If my rehearsals for my "off season" piece permit me, I shall be very happy to come. Will you kindly grant me a few days' grace to ascertain." Both letters with damage to blank second leaf, including traces of glue and mount. Two items,
2 June [no year], with letterhead 33 Brompton Crescent.
English actor-manager (1862-1951). One page, 12mo. "Dear Mrs. Merivale, / I fear that it is not in our power to purchase rights in Charlotte Corday now, much as I should like to. / Yrs faithfully / Cyril Maude". Negligible traces of previous mounting.
in envelope postmarked 6 December 1910, and on the letterhead of the Hyde Park Hotel, Knightsbridge.
English actor-manager (1837-1919), knighted in 1902. One page, 12mo, in stamped envelope addressed in autograph. "At present & for some time past I am & have been absorbed in work preparing a New Year production. In 2 weeks, I go out of the & will then go into the play untrammeled by other matters."
28 December [no year], with letterhead of the Criterion Theatre, Piccadilly.
English actor-manager (1837-1919), knighted in 1902. "I find that Mrs Wyndham & I am assured myself also, pledged ourselves not to see The Two Roses without Mrs Sabrialli & Mrs. Albery - the same kind of pledge I made to you I have therefore resolved to keep both promises if you have no objection - & shall throw the two boxes I have reserved for all of us into one, so as to make a family party. / We cannot however this evening go to supper with you.
1 June [no year], on letterhead of Wyndham's Theatre, Charing Cross Road.
English actor-manager (1837-1919), knighted in 1902. 2 pp, 8vo. "I will let you know tomorrow. I have been working towards a certain goal - The T of P with the original cast. There has been a little uncertainty about an artist & I have been tempted to try other actors. I shall know by tomorrow". Smuding to recto, but signature not affected.
14 July 1904, on letterhead of the Haymarket Theatre.
English actor-manager (1862-1951). One page, 12mo. "I am very sorry that I have never written before to thank you for your very kind letter about the performance. I am so glad the poor people liked it. It is a great blessing to be able to do anything for them."
May 20 [no year], on letterhead of the Criterion Theatre, Piccadilly.
English actor-manager (1837-1919), knighted in 1902. One page, 8vo. "Dear Lady Ashbourne / Will you & Lord Ashbourne sup with me next Monday at 34 Piccadilly Circus at 11.30 and confer great pleasure on, amongst others, / Yours sincerely / Charles Wyndham"
English actor-manager (1862-1951). One page, 8vo. "Dear Madam / I regret to say that I cannot seemy [sic] way to recommending the enclosed plays to a Manager for production on my account. / I remain / Yours truly / Cyril Maude"
English actor-manager (1837-1919), knighted in 1902. One page, 12mo. "I have much pleasure in granting your complimentary request & hope you will be able to read my writing". Not in best of condition, with traces of mount glued to the reverse.
17 December 1908, on letterhead of The Playhouse, Northumberland Avenue, Charing Cross.
English actor-manager (1862-1951). One page, 4to. "My dear Drury, / Will you sup with me to meet some members of the company next Wednes day night at 11-45. [in MS] at the Service Club" With postscript in MS, "And to wish you bon voyage you know". Not in best of condition, with creasing and slight staining to MS portion.
English actor-manager (1853-1937), knighted in 1913. One page, 12mo. "Dear young friend, / Thank you for your kind & interesting letter. I will try to get a souvenir for you, but I fear there are none left. With every good wish".