Richard Brinsley Sheridan papers connected with the Drury Lane Theatre
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Extent1 linear feet (2 boxes)
Among persons represented here are: Sir Robert Barclay, Richard Peake, Thomas Shaw, John Grubb, George Coleman, and Samuel Whitbread.
Many items have been pasted onto other sheets of paper.
Biographical / Historical
Richard Brinsley Sheridan was born in Dublin, Ireland and raised in 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 theater 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 theater burned in 1809, Sheridan was deeply in debt and had to agree for Samuel Whitbread to take charge of funding and rebuilding the theater. 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. Letters from Sheridan to others
- II. Thomas Shaw's claims
- III. Deeds and agreements
- IV. Miscellaneous letters to Sheridan and others
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Some of this material was included in Phillipps MS.25786.
- Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, 1751-1816. Richard Brinsley Sheridan papers connected with the Drury Lane Theatre, 1768-1825: Guide.
- Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
- Description rules
- EAD ID
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