The mysterious mother, a tragedy

handwritten title page

A manuscript copy, in an unidentified hand, of Horace Walpole’s tragedy. The text appears to follow the original 1768 edition, including the postscript and without the introduction.

  • Author: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797, author.
  • Title: The mysterious mother, a tragedy : manuscript / by The Honble. Horace Walpole.
  • Production: England, late 18th century?

Catalog Record

LWL Mss Vol. 274

Acquired March 2022

The Cambridge chronicle and journal

printed newspaper

  • Title: The Cambridge chronicle and journal.
  • Publication: Cambridge [England] : Printed by T. Fletcher & F. Hodson, at their office on the Market-Hill, and near the Senate-House: where all sorts of blank warrants, orders of removal, … &c. are printed elegantly and correctly; with every other kind of business on the letter and rolling press, 1767-1836.

Catalog Record

Folio 61 C178

Acquired July 2021

[Collection of newspaper clippings of advertisements]

A collection of contemporary newspaper cuttings with advertisements for and reviews of eighteenth-century theater performances, concerts, and other entertainment as well as notices for recently published books and plays, most pasted onto five folio leaves, with two loose clippings. Venues in London include: Theatre in Little Lincolns-Inn, Sadler’s Wells, Drury-Lane, Covent Garden, Theatre Royal Richmond Green, Spring Gardens Vauxhall, and Almack’s; and in Dublin the Theatre Royal. There are a number of productions of Shakespeare in the 1770s (Cymbeline, As You Like It, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Tempest) and at Covent Garden in 1755 (Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Henry IV, Hamlet, and Julius Caesar, among others). Popular entertainment includes farces and pantomimes. Included among the cuttings is an account of the actress Frances Abington performing in Dublin. Other sources of entertainment include a lecture on perpetual motion; an exhibited scale model of the Alps; an exhibition of tumbling, dancing, and singing at Sadler’s Wells, along with ‘Rope-Dancing, by Signora Mariana, and Mr. Ferzi’ (undated); and an equestrian showcase at Astley’s Amphitheatre in Lambeth, featuring ‘a Lady from St. Sebastian in Spain, and twelve others of the most capital performers in Europe’ (1770). Also included is a clipping from the Chronicle; The Evening-Post for 10 March 1767 covering a number of topics including taxation, the poor, notices for rental properties and recently published books, advertisement for “Pine bud tea”, letters to the editor as well as an advertisement for a housekeeper.

  • Title: [Collection of newspaper clippings of advertisements for theater, performances, and recently published books.
  • Production: London ; Dublin, [1718-1800]

Catalog Record 

File 61 C697 718+

Acquired July 2019

The beaux nurses, or, The modern cramers


An allegorical representation of the nationalistic riot occasioned by a troupe of French comedians in London. This satirical print refers to the controversy and protest surrounding a French theatrical company, nicknamed the ‘French Strollers’, who applied for and were granted a licence to perform at the Haymarket in the winter of 1749. Their arrival occasioned much discontent; as the Scots Magazine reported, they were ‘bitterly pelted in the news-papers’. Asserting their right to perform, they persisted in a show on 14 November, but were met by an audience intent on sabotage. An eyewitness account of the incident appeared in the Monthly Review some years later (July 1761): ‘People went early to the Theatre, as a crouded House was certain … I soon perceived that we were visited by two Westminster Justices, Deveil and Manning. The Leaders, that had the conduct of the Opposition, were known to be there; one of whom called aloud for the song in praise of English roast beef, which was accordingly sung in the gallery, by a person prepared for that purpose; and the whole house besides joining in the chorus, saluted the close with three huzzas! This, Justice Deveil was pleased to say, was a riot’. Despite the Justice’s assertions that the play was licensed by the King’s command, the crowd had come prepared to produce disruption. They were equipped with instruments which they played discordantly as an accompaniment to their jeers, catcalls, and Francophobic songs: ‘as an attempt at speaking was ridiculous, the Actors retired, and opened instead with a grand dance of twelve men and twelve women; but even that was prepared for, and they were directly saluted with a bushel or two of peas, which made their capering very unsafe’. Unable even to dance, and following another abortive attempt by the magistrates to assert the King’s authority, the curtain fell for the final time. The eyewitness evidently relished the outcome, venturing ‘that at no battle gained over the French, by the immortal Marlborough, the shoutings could be more joyous than on this occasion’. The print embodies similar sentiments; the French strollers attack British theatrical establishment–represented by an affronted Britannia–who stands between them and British theatre-goers. In the foreground stands a perplexed Othello, lamenting the loss of his occupation, and an injured man a man lies on the floor ‘Almost kill’d for not understanding French’.

  • TitleThe beaux nurses, or, The modern cramers [graphic] : acted at the French Theatre in the Haymarket Novr. [the] 14th.
  • Publication[London : publisher not identified, not before 1749]

Catalog Record & Digital Collection


Acquired July 2016


Progress of a player

Progress of a player

Progress of a player section 2

Progress of a player section 3

Progress of a player section 4

A satire on the theatre, an aspiring actor is shown in eight separate scenes.
  • Author: Newton, Richard, 1777-1798, printmaker.
  • Title: Progress of a player/ designed & etched by R. Newton.
  • Published: [London] : Pub. by W. Holland Feb. 11, 1793 No. 50 Oxford Street, [11 Feb. 1793].

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Acquired June, 2011 by the Lewis Walpole Library.

Wynnstay Theatre.

Wynnstay Theatre

An engraved ticket for a program of four plays present in 1781 by Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, the wealthy fourth baronet devoted to private theatricals. This ticket, an oval design in a rectangular frame, is for the 1781 performance of Rule a wife and have a wife, Bon ton, Richard III, and Lyar.

  • Title: Wynnstay Theatre.
  • Published: [England : s.n., 1781].

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Acquired May, 2011 by the Lewis Walpole Library.