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" To clap or hiss all have an equal claim,

" The cobler's and his lordship's right the same j

" AW ]om for ttmr subsistence ; all expect

'< Free leave to praise their worth, their faults correct."

Churchill's apoloot.

The hurly-burl/s done !"







Galubin and Marchant^ Printers^
Ingram-Court, London.


George^ Earl of Dartmouthy K. G.


Sfc. Sfc. Sfc,




Is respectfully dedicated,



No. 41, PalLMal
Ajml29, 1810.


Preface 17,

Destruction OF THE OLD THEATRE 33

Account of the rise of covent garden new


Ceremony of laying the foundation-stone 45

Explanation of the sculptured bas-relief on the front of the

theatre • • 50

Succinct HISTORY OF THE contest 63

Journal OF THE NIGHTLY occurrences 14/

Account of the proceedings at the Public Office, Bow-street,
against persons taken into custody, at Covent Garden
Theatre, on charges of riot, &c. 306


No. 1. Advertisement of the proprietors, previously to open-
ing the new theatre 3/5

No. 2. Covent Garden Theatre, from Mr. Redhead Torke's

Political Review, Sept. l6 377


No. 3. The necessity of lowering, instead of advancing, the

prices, at Covent Garden Theatre, from the same • • • • 385
No. 4. Theatrical amusement, by an Old Scene-Shifter,

from the same 389

No. 5. Address, intended to he spoken by Mr. K«mble, on

the opening of the New Theatre, Sept. 18, 1809 • • • • ^9^
No. 6. Speech of Mr. Leigh, to the audience, Sept. 19 • • 397

No. 7- Speech of the same gentleman, Sept. 20 399

No. 8. Mr. Kemble's address to the audience of Covent Gar-
den Theatre, subsequently to his interrogatory of

" What do you want?" Wednesday night, Sept. 20 •• 403
No. 9. A parody on the four last lines of the Covent Garden

address, from the Times, Sept. 21, IS09 405

No. 10, To, the Editor of the, Morning.Chronicle, Sept. 21,

by A Frequenter of the Theatre 405

No. 11. Advertisement of the proprietors, on Thursday,

the 21st of September 407

No. 12. Query of the Morning Chronicle, same date • • • • ib.
No. 13. To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle, Sept. 21,

I8O9, by John Doe 408

No. 14. To Mr. Redhead Yorke, September 21, I8O9, by

An Old Scene-Shifter 411

No. 15. From the Morning Chronicle, Sept. 22, by R. . . 420
No. 16. Song and Chorus, by Messrs. Harris and Kemble,

at the New Theatre, from the same, by Histrirnicus • • 422
No. 17. Mr. O'Reilly's Speech to the Audience of Cpveot

Garden Theatre, Sept. 22, I8O9 .....•/•,••,• ••^•f^%*,f.* 423
No. 18, To the Editor of the Times, September 22, I8O9,

by No Party Man 425


No. 19. A song, founded upon Mr. Kemble's opening ad- '
dress, from the same, Sept. 23, I8O9 427

No 20. Occasional address, intended to be spoken at the
New Theatre, Govent Garden, by Mr. Kemble, on
Madame Gatalani's first appearance, from the Morning
Post, Sept. 22 429

No. 21. The house that Jack built, from the General Even-
ing Post, Sept. SIS, by Bow-wow 43 1

No. 22. To the Editor of the Times, Sept. 23, by S. B. E.- . 432

No. 23. From the Morning Chronicle, Sept. 25, by Histrio-

nicus • • 435

No. 24. From thfe same ib.

No. 25» New Theatre Royal, Covent Garden 436

No. 26. Affidavit made before the Lord Mayor, by the trea-
surer of Covent Garden Theatre, preparatory to the
submitting of their accounts to the gentlemen who un-
dertook to examine them • ib.

No. 27. Impromptu on the two statues in front of Covent
Garden Theatre, from the Morning Chronicle, Sept. 27,
by I. 437

No. 28. The Bona Roba's lamentation, upon seeing some of
the richer sisterhood in the private boxes, from the
Morning Chronicle, Se|Dt. 29 438

No. 29. The New Chevy Chase, from the same, Sept. 30 • • ib.

No. 30. Imitations of two odes of Horace, from the Monthly

Mirror for September, by J. 442

No. 31. Imitation of book 2, ode 1, of Horace, from the

same, by H. • 444

No. 32. The O P Garland, from the Morning Post • 446


No. 33. Covent Garden Theatre, form the Morning Chron-
icle, Oct. 2 . • . . ♦ 449

No. 34. Proprietor's advertisement of Oct. 2, I8O9 ib.

No. 35. Estimate of the expenses of a theatre, from the

Morning Chronicle, Oct. 3 451

No. 36. Interesting objections to the accuracy of the report
made by the Covent Garden committee, from the Morn-
ing Chronicle, Oct. 3 453

No. 3"^. Statement of the accounts of Covent Garden
Theatre, for the last six years, most respectfully offered
to the public 455

No. 38. Proprietors advertisement, appended to the fore-
going statement, Oct. 4, I8O9 456

No. 39. Treatment of Mr. Pope, from the Morning Chron-
icle, October 4 • ••• 458

No. 40. Epigram, from the same, Oct. 4, by Blaze ib.

No. 41. Don John and the bank clerks, from the Times,

Oct. 5 459

No. 42. Proprietors advertisement. Covent Garden Thea-
tre, Oct. 6, I8O9 ib.

No. 43. Plan for a New Theatre Royal, by subscription,

from the Morning Chronicle, Oct. 7 46*0

No. 44. To the Editor of The Times, Oct 11, I8O9, by

John Tackle 468

No. 45. Theatricals, from the Examiner, Oct. S. by Pan-
gloss • 469

No. 4>6. Veteres aviae ; or, the phoenix, an ode for mana-
gers, from the Times, Oct. 9 472

No. 47. To the Editor of the Times, Oct. 10, I8O9, by


P. G. Patmorejun. 474

No. 48. The rival managers, from the Morning Chronicle,

Oct. 12 477

No. 49. To the Editor of the Times, Oct. 7, I8O9, by A

Friend to the New Prices • 478

No. 50. Humourous Hand-bill circulated through the

House on Wednesday, Oct. 1 1, I8O9 481

No. 51. Song, circulated on the same evening 483

No. 52. To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle, by Fair

Justice, Oct. 11 484

No. 53. To the Editor of the Constitutional Review, by A. F.

Oct. 11. 485

No. 54. Two Letters to the Editor of the Times, by a Con-
stant Reader, Oct. 1 1 and 12 496 and 502

No. 55 Projectors' Advertisement, from the Morning Chro-
nicle, Oct. 12. 508

No. 56. To the Editor of the Times, by James Powell, Oct.

10, I8O9 508

No. 57' On the misplacing one of the Ornaments in Covent

Garden Theatre, from the Morning Chronicle, Oct. 14 510

No. 58. Song. A New History of the Stage to an Old Tune,

from the same • • 511

No. 59' Letter to the Managers of Covent Garden Theatre,

from the same, Oct. 15, ISO9 513

No. 60. To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle, by Blest,

Oct. 15, I8O9 514

No. 61. To the Editor of the Times, by Samuel Frampton

Stallard ^^.}^^ 515

No. 62. To the same, by an Auditor, Oct 15, I8O9. ..... 517


No. 63, To the same, by Berkley Craven, Ott 15 • • • • • • 518

No. 64t, Handbill circulated in the Theajtreon the mght-6f ^^''

the l6th October -...,**** ^ ,**..**...*.*.. 520

No. 65. To the Editor of the Times, by Candidus, Oct. l6 J»S4
No. 66, To the same, by a Layman of the Church of Chfist

as established according to the laws of this realm ••• • -* 52B
No. 67. To the Editor of thd Morning Chronicle, by J.

Brandon, Oct. 17 • 53!^

No. 68. To the same, by Investigator, Oct. l8'-»«*».... 534
No. 69, Parody on " God save the king,'' circulated in th6

theatre on the night of Oct. 18* * • • • • ...... -....* 5S6

No. 70. To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle, by Jam^

Powell, Oct. 18, I8O9 • 6S7

No. 71. To the Editor of the Times, by Pax, Oct. 18. •• . 539

No. 72. To the same, by J. Loraine, Oct. 19. 540

No. 73. To the Editor of the Times, Oct. 19, by A Friend

to Order 54/

No. 74". To the Conductor of the Times, Oct. 20, 1809, hy

A Friend to the Old Prices 549

No. 75. Hand-bill circulated through Covent Garden The-
atre, on the Night of Octdber 20 551

No. 76. To the Editor of the Times, Oct. 20, I8O9, by

Publicola * • • • 554

No. 77' New Grand Imperial incombustible Theatre, from

the British Press, Oct. 20, l)y Gregory Grill 555

No. 78. From the Morning Chronicle, Oct. 21, I8O9, by

Moderator 559

No. 79* To the Editor of the Constitutional Review, by

J.K 564


No. 80. To the Editor of the Times, Oct. 21, 1809 • • • • 569
No, 81. A new song, to the tune of Derry Down, from the

Morning Chronicle, Oct. 21 •• 571

No. 82. Theatrical amusements, from Redhead Yorke, 21st

and 28th of October, by An Old Scene Shifter .... 572
No. 83. To the Editor of the Times, Oct. 21, by An

. Enemy to Hired Ruflfians * • ^MftM ^^^

No. 84. To the Editor of the Times, Oct. 22, 1809, by

T.Bish ib.

No. 85. Pillage and Honestus — ^a dramatic extract, from

the Morning Chronicle, Oct. 22 582

No. 86. The professional opinions of the Covent Garden

Theatre committee, from the Examiner, October 22 583
No. 87. Soliloquy of the Moor of Covent Garden, from the

Examiner, Oct. 22 ib.

No. 88. Auacreon in Bow-Street, from the Examiner • - • • 584

No. 89. Projectors Advertisement, Oct. 23 585

No. 90. To the Editor of the Times, Oct. 23, By the

Wearer of the Watch Ribbon 587

No. 91. To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle, Oct. 23,

I8O9, by Moderator • 588

No. 92. To the Editor of the Times, Oct. 24, by IV. D. . • 592
>{a., 9.3.. Advertisement from the proprietors of Covent Gar-
den Theatre, Oct. 25 595

No. 94 To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle, Oct. 25^

by Moderator 597

No;, 9,5. To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle, Oct. 27,

I8O9, by Moderator 605

No. 96. To the Lord Clximberlain, from the Sunday Adver-
tiser, Oct. 29, by The Town 6O8


No. 97. To the Editor of the Times, Oct. 30, by William

Dwyer 6ll

No. 98. Mode proposed to raise a sum for the erection of
a third winter theatre in the metropolis, from the Times,
Oct. 30 6l2

No. 99. Theatrical Intelligence Extraordinary, from the

Morning Chronicle, Oct. 30 6l4

No. 100. O. P. and M. T. offered to the notice of J. K. from

the Morning Chronicle, Oct. 31, 1809, by H. G. .... 6l5

No. 101. To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle, by Mo-
derator • 6l6

No. 102. Advertisement, Nov. 2, 1809, by Henry Fry,

Solicitor 624

No. 103. To the Editor of the Times, Nov. 2, 1809,byW.T. 625

No. 104. For the Morning Herald, Nov. 3, 1809, by R. F. 628

No. 105. To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle, Nov. 4,

1809, by Moderator 629

No. 106. Covent Garden Theatre, from Redhead Yorke,

Nov. 4, by a Lover of Justice 636

No. 107. Holy Insurrection in Covent Garden Theatre, from

Redhead Yorke, Nov. 4 637

No. 108. To the Right Hon. the Earl of Dartmouth, from

the Times, Nov. 7, 1809, by an English Gentleman . • 657

Nov. 109. King John in a Cocked Hat, or Heigh Ho says
Kemble — a parody on the famous Grimaldian song,
called " the Frog in the Opera Hat," from the Morn-
ing Chronicle, Nov. 7, I8O9 66S

No. 110. New Theatre, from the same, Nov. 8 665

No. 111. To the Editor of the Times, Nov. 9, by Mercator 667


No. 112. Rolla's Address from the Tragedy of Pizarro paro-
died, from the Statesman, Nov. 9 669

No. 113. Irregular Lines upon Irregular Proceedings, from
the Morning Chronicle, Nov. 10, by Signor Secca Cog-
lioni. Plebeian 671

No. 114. To the Editor of the Times, Nov. 12, by Michael

Thomson • • • • ♦ • • • • • • • ...... 673

No. 115. To the Editor of the Times, Nov. 14, by John

J^iller 676

No. 116. To the. Editor of the Times, Nov. 14, by An

Englishman 679

No. 117. Ship-News Extraordinary, from the Morning

Chronicle, Nov. 14, 1 8O9 682

No. 118. Inventory of Theatrical Property, from the Morn-
ing Chronicle, Nov. 16, byO. P. 684

No. 119- On a late Exhibition in the Pit of Covent Garden
Theatre, from the Public Ledger, Nov. 16, by O. P. Q.
in a Corner 688

No. 120. To the Editor of the Constitutional Review, Nov.

23, by J. K. ib.

No. 121. John Kemble, in the Character of Coriolanus,

addressing the Plebeians, from the Morning Chronicle 69 1

No. 122. To Mr. Fry, Solicitor to the proposed Subscription
Theatre, from the Times, Nov. 23, by the Man in the
Iron Mask 693

^0. 123. Dryden's Ode to Music imitated, &c. or, the Co-
vent Garden Row, from the Morning Post, Nov. 25,
by J.. 694

No. 124. Copies of the Affidavits on which the Motion for a

Conspiracy against Mr. Clifford and others, was founded 698


No. 125. Elegiac Verses on the Decease of Old Prices, from

the British Press, Nov. 27, by Hodge Podge. 703

No. 126. On the nightly Uproar at Covent Garden, from the

Public Ledger, Nov. 25, by H. 705

No. 127. Private Boxes, from the same, by J. •... 706

No. 128. Covent Garden Theatre, Dec. 7, by Wm. Cobbett 707

No. 129. Gray's Bard— (A Parody), from the Morning Post,

Dec. 8, by Falkland 710

No. 130. Covent Garden Theatre versus Shakspeare, from

the Morning Chronicle, by Wigsby •••...• • ••. 715

No. 131. Tho Progress of Civilization. — On the Conduct of
a certain Barrister, in the Pit of Covent Garden Thea-
tre, on Friday Night, from the Britbh Press, Dec. 13,
byN.P. ib.

■No. 132. Playgoing Wigs. — To the Editor of the Morning

Chronicle, Dec. 14, by Kate Caxon 716

No. 133. The new-built Playhouse, O ! from the Morning

Chronicle 717

No. 134-. The O P Victory, from the Morning Chronicle,

Dec. 16, byC.B. ..* 718

No. 135. Trial of Mr. Clifford, by No Votary 719

No. 136. Mr. Clifford's Action against Brandon, from Cob-
bett, Dec. 16 736

No. 137. Covent Garden Theatre, from Cobbett, Dec. 16.. 754

No. 138. Death of OP, from the General Evening Post,

Dec. 19 •» 770

No. 139. O P. — ^The Grand Reconciliation Dinner, a Dra-
matic Vision, from the Morning Herald, Jan. 4, by
Marmaduke Muzzy . . . , 773

No. 140. Description of the Grand Theatrical Medal • • • • 782


No. 141. Amount of Subscriptions . . . • • •••••• 783

No. 142. A List (which is supposed to be correct) of the

Proprietors and Tenants of the Private Boxes. • • 796

No. 143. The projected third Theatre, from the Morning

Post, March 26, IHQ, from a Correspondent ?*f ?f • 797

Scraps ••..•* 799

Finale 805

Postscript • V«V» • •••••• •••'• * • • • • SH


': ..IIP-: iT hv(U'-. .\^i .^■^.



1 Exterior View of the Theatre (page 50) Frontispiece.
$ Grand Stair-case (page 55).
5 Saloon to the Private Boxes (page 56).
4 Interior View of the Theatre (page 57) Frontispiece to
VoL 2, when the work is divided.

When it is desired to bind the Work in 2 Vols, the Binder will
begin the Second Volume with signature a a.


Page 49, line l6,/or Copeland read Copland.

Page 66, line 4 from the bottom, /or western read eastern.

Mq tn THE




1 HE influence of the stage upon tlie morals,
the manners, and the public principles, of a
people, has been a point so often insisted upon,
and so universally allowed, that it would be
needless to descant upon it here, or to detain
the reader's attention from the interesting nar-
rative, upon which he is about to enter, by idle
details of long-established principles and truths.
The bulk, however, which the following vo-
lume has assumed, and the importance which
thus becomes attached to a matter, which may
have appeared to some, from the ephemeral
mode adopted of communicating the circum-
stances attending it, merely a temporary and



fortuitous concern, requires, from the editor, a
few previous remarks, as well in vindication of
himself as of the permanent and important in-
terest which it is the object of the present pub-
lication to give to the subject which it handles.

Had the late histrionic war happened in the
days of Holinshed, it would, indubitably, have
afforded an accession to that magazine of black-
letter information so eagerly ambitioned Jby the
present taste, and, indeed, under every circum-
stance of human appetite for research, so laudably
promoted in the ranks of literature.

Facts are, not unfrequently, now considered
by the squeamish epicures of the present day
as blunting that sharp interest which attaches to
a well-told tale. In the pompous wordiness of
the transatlantic tourist, Moore, (see his Poeti-
cal Epistles,) they would not

contumace the appetite's acidities^-; j^jj};

No, no, — The Muse too delicate bodied is
for such commodities.'*

The object of the editor has been to methodize
and arrange such documents of public opinion
as would convey, to the future reader, an idea
of the judgement formed, in the nineteeth cen-
tury, on dramatic right, and on the necessities of
the stage.

To compass this intention, he has sedulously


consulted the progressive comments and narra-
tives as they appeared in the leading newspapers
of the metropolis, and has, he trusts, so far
gratified the popular curiosity, that, from the
date of the destruction of the late, to the com-
pletion of the present. Theatre Royal Covent-
Garden, those even who have not seen shall
still be well acquainted with it.

The struggle which has taken place between
the proprietors of Covent Garden Theatre, on
the one hand, and their masters, the public, on
the other, is, perhaps, a subject of as lively and
important interest and concern, both to the pre-
sent and future generations, as ever occurred
without the pale of legislative discussion ; and
would certainly have come, as it may still do,
under the consideration of parhament, if a truce,
though an unsatisfactory one, had not taken
place between the high-contending parties. We
call the truce which has taken place unsatisfac-
tory, because, after the stand the pubhc were
compelled to make against the arrogant claims
of tyranny and avarice, they were entitled to
see the whole, instead of a part, of their object
attained; but which cannot be said to be the
case, while the higher visitors of the theatre are
compelled to pay an advanced and unjust price
of admission, and while the lower description of
them are, in effect, shut out altogether from their
station in the theatre.

B 2


This naturally leads us to consider the mode
and the authority by which the existing arrange-
ments were brought about.

Of the many interesting features with which
this transaction abounds ; of the many instances
of hardihood and presumption which it records ;
the proceedings of the self-elected junta at the
Crown-and-Anchor, and the unauthorized re-
cognition of its authority by the managers,
are, perhaps, the most remarkable.

This select committee, it is reasonable to sup-
pose, was formed of persons whose circumstan-
ces place them between the highest and lowesc
seats in a theatre ; and it was, therefore, with
true selfish arrogance, that, in their parley and
treaty with the managers, they wisely overlooked
altogether the frequenters of the boxes and upper
gallery, who have a just and undoubted right to
protest against the decision of an assembly in
which they were unrepresented. By what right
the managers could think they had authority
to recognise, in this tavern-crew, that public,
whom their writers had all along been denying
was to be found within the walls of the theatre,
we are unable to account for in any other man-
ner than from the common observation of the
near connection that generally exists between
upstart arrogance and grovelling meanness ; and
thus we have seen, in the present instance, the
same persons one day threatening to play the


fire-engines upon a British audience, the next
day meanly cringing to a self-elected crew of
political maniacs, and (all but self-) reform-
ers.* All that these persons have effected has
been to mar what the public themselves would
have entirely accomplished.

Whether the subject will be again agitated in
Covent Garden Theatre will depend, in all pro-
bability, upon the conduct of the managers, who,
should their avarice tempt them to deviate from
the fair and literal interpretation which can alone
be put upon the cession of the private boxes,
will have again a storm to contend with, which,
it is to be hoped, will only be allayed by a
proper, full, and decent, submission to the
public, in the theatre. But another, and perhaps
a third, theatre remains to be built, and it is to
its erection and management that the subject of
the present volume points with the strongest
and most lively interest. In this theatre, every
thing, but the theatre itself, must be old. The
price of the boxes must remain as before ; and,
above all, such an upper gallery must be built
as will restore to the lower orders of society
their antient, just, and indubitable right of at-
tending theatrical representations at a price

* The commiltee arc said to have consisted of the same per-
sons who conducted Sir Francis Burdett's election for Westnain-
ster ! ! !


suited to their finances, and the salutary relaxa-
tion from laborious employment. When these
objects shall have been accomphshed, in either
of the theatres which remains to be built, the
managers of Covent-Garden will feel them-
selves obliged, however reluctantly, to give way,
and yield those points upon which the gentlemen
at the Crown-and-Anchor saw no occasion to

The most important feature in the following
discussion, undoubtedly, is that of the private
boxes. Laying out of the question all facility
to improper conduct, which they were said
to afford, it was a matter of the highest na-
tional concern, w^hether an attempt to sepa-
rate, for ever, the higher and middHng ranks
of society, in the only place where they appear
upon an equality, should be yielded to or re-
sisted ; and that it has been effectually resisted
"will form a lasting monument to the existence,
the rectitude, and the firmness, of that old British
spirit, w^hich so many persons are for ever telling
us is wholly lost and extinguished. Were there
no other reason for placing upon a permanent
and imperishable record the fleeting circum-
stances which led to such an important result,
this alone would be sufficient.

There is another and a more painful topic,
which appears but too prominent in this work,
but which it is equally necessary and im-


portant to preserve : we mean the apparently
unwise and unpopular use of the power opposed
to the public voice upon this memorable occa-
sion. We call this, most truly, a painful subject,
partaking as we do, in common with our coun-
trymen, in a reverential feeling and respect for
every species of constituted authority, emanating
from the glorious constitution under which it is
our pride and happiness to live ; and being
anxious more especially to see those parts of the
government most pure, unimpeachable, and
blameless, with which the bulk of the people
have the most frequent and familiar intercourse.
From whatever cause it arose, whether from an
error in judgement, from an over anxiety to do
right, or from some error inherent (or only /br a
time inherent) in its establishment, we fear, how-
ever, it cannot be denied, that the police com-
pletely mistook its course upon this occasion,
and has brought upon itself a degree of dis-
credit and unpopularity, which must shake, to a
certain degree, the confidence of the people in
this part of the government. Unfortunately,
too, on this occasion, its efforts, being misdi-
rected, only tended to aggravate the mischief
and the ferment it was its object to allay. Upon
this branch of the subject it has always appeared
to the editor, that there was a line for the police
to pursue, which he should call the most ob-
vious, were it not that it seems to have es-


caped the notice of any of those intrusted
Math the exercise of this important machine.
How far it might have been proper or advisable
for the poHce to have abstained altogether
from interfering in the matter ; or, in other
words, whether a private knowledge is reconcila-

Online LibraryJohn Joseph StockdaleThe Covent Garden journal .. → online text (page 1 of 44)