Sheridan-Grubb papers concerning the Drury Lane Theatre
- Majority of material found within 1795-1806
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
1 linear feet (3 boxes)
Includes: autograph manuscripts by Sheridan and others; manuscript legal documents; manuscript literary compositions related to the Theatre including prologues; manuscript invoices, receipts, construction agreements, account statements, legal documents, financial records, and deeds.
Biographical / Historical
Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816) was a playwright, theatre proprietor, and politician. He was born in Dublin, Ireland and later moved to London. He became the manager and part-owner of the Drury Lane Theatre in 1776. He wrote several plays, including the comedies The Rivals (1775) and The School for Scandal (1780). He also served as a Minister of Parliament from 1780 to 1812.
Sheridan negotiated to buy David Garrick's controlling share of the second Drury Lane Theatre, and in September 1776, the theatre opened under Sheridan's management. From 1791 to 1794, Sheridan was involved in the rebuilding of the third Drury Lane Theatre and became involved in complicated financial dealings and debts to fund the venture. Other proprietors at this time were Joseph Richardson and John Grubb; all three were later involved in civil law suits concerning financial mis-management. When the third theatre burned in 1809, Sheridan was deeply in debt and had to agree for Samuel Whitbread to take charge of funding and rebuilding the theatre. When the fourth Drury Lane Theatre opened in 1811, Sheridan was excluded from any share in the management. Sheridan died penniless in 1816.
John Grubb of Horsenden (1751-1812) was a friend of Sheridan's and an investor and joint-proprietor in the third Drury Lane Theatre.
- I. Correspondence with Richard Brinsley Sheridan (Volume I: items (1) - (123))
- II. Letters to John Grubb (Volume 1: items (124) - (138))
- III. Other letters (Volume I: items (139) - (141))
- IV. Documents concerning the Drury Lane Theatre (Volume II: item (142) - (184); and Volume III: item (185))
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection was originally cataloged in 1952 and included this processing note: "The division into lots arranged for the [Sotheby] sale has not been preserved in this list." Collection was recataloged in 2008, and the arrangement established in 1952 was retained, but the description was enhanced.
- Sheridan-Grubb papers concerning the Drury Lane Theatre,1765-1841: Guide.
- Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
- Description rules
- EAD ID
Part of the Houghton Library Repository
Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA