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Title: The Case of Mrs. Clive
Author: Clive, Catherine, 1711-1785
Language: English
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_Introduction by_



H.T. Swedenberg, Junior

_founder, protector, friend_

    _He that delights to_ Plant _and_ Set,
    _Makes_ After-Ages _in his_ Debt.

    Where could they find another formed so fit,
    To poise, with solid sense, a sprightly wit?
    Were these both wanting, as they both abound,
    Where could so firm integrity be found?

The verse and emblem are from George Wither, _A Collection of Emblems,
Ancient and Modern_ (London, 1635), illustration xxxv, page 35.

The lines of poetry (123-126) are from "To My Honoured Kinsman John
Driden," in John Dryden, _The Works of John Dryden_, ed. Sir Walter
Scott, rev. and corr. George Saintsbury (Edinburgh: William Patterson,
1885), xi, 78.

       *       *       *       *       *


William E. Conway, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
George Robert Guffey, University of California, Los Angeles
Maximillian E. Novak, University of California, Los Angeles
David S. Rodes, University of California, Los Angeles


Richard C. Boys, University of Michigan
James L. Clifford, Columbia University
Ralph Cohen, University of Virginia
Vinton A. Dearing, University of California, Los Angeles
Arthur Friedman, University of Chicago
Louis A. Landa, Princeton University
Earl Miner, Princeton University
Samuel H. Monk, University of Minnesota
Everett T. Moore, University of California, Los Angeles
Lawrence Clark Powell, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
James Sutherland, University College, London
H.T. Swedenberg, Jr., University of California, Los Angeles
Robert Vosper, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
Curt A. Zimansky, State University of Iowa


Edna C. Davis, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library


Jean T. Shebanek, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library

Typography by Wm. M. Cheney


Among other things, the licensing act of 1737 stipulated that Covent
Garden and Drury Lane exclusively were the patented and licensed
theaters (respectively) in London, a fact directly related to the revolt
of prestigious players six years later. Although there were sporadic
performances of "legitimate" drama in unlicensed playhouses between 1737
and 1743, full-time professional actors and actresses were in effect
locked into the approved theaters during the regular theatrical season.
Suspecting a cartel directed against them personally and professionally
by the "Bashas" Rich at Covent Garden and Fleetwood at Drury Lane,[1]
the players from Drury Lane in the summer of 1743 banded together and
refused to perform the next season until salaries and playing conditions
improved. Tardy and partial payment of salary was the surface sore
point, unprincipled and unwarranted manipulation by the managers the
underlying one. As the Macklin-Garrick quarrel attests,[2] the conflict
was not only between labor and management; but the latter confrontation
is central to the conflict in 1743 and the subject of _The Case of Mrs.
Clive Submitted to the Publick_, published in October, 1744, by which
time Catherine (Kitty) Clive had established herself as not only first
lady of comedy but also as somewhat of a patriot of the acting
profession and the Drury Lane company.

Coming to Drury Lane in 1728 while still in her teens, Kitty Rafter
(1711-1785) quickly became a favorite of the town by virtue of her
singing voice, vivacity, and gift for mimicry. Admired first as a
singing actress, Miss Rafter in 1731 gave unequivocal notice of her
considerable talent as a comic actress in the role of Nell in Coffey's
_The Devil to Pay_, one of several hundred she mastered. Her
specialties: Flora in _The Wonder_, Lady Bab in _High Life Below
Stairs_, Lappet in _The Miser_, Catherine in _Catherine and Petruchio_,
Mrs. Heidelberg in _The Clandestine Marriage_, and the Fine Lady in
_Lethe_. Mrs. Clive's (on 4 Oct. 1733, Miss Rafter married George Clive,
a barrister) popularity as comedienne and performer of prologues and
epilogues is indicated by the frequency of her performances and long
tenure at Drury Lane (she retired in 1769) and documented by the
panegyrics of Fielding, Murphy, Churchill, Garrick, Dr. Johnson, Horace
Walpole, Goldsmith, fellow players, contemporary memoir writers, and
audiences who admired her.[3] Dr. Johnson, I feel, gives the most
balanced, just contemporary appraisal of Mrs. Clive the actress: "What
Clive did best, she did better than Garrick; but could not do half so
many things well; she was a better romp than any I ever saw in
nature."[4] Part of the half she could not do well were tragedy roles,
attested to by Thomas Davies, who comments on her performances as
Ophelia in _Hamlet_ and Zara in _The Mourning Bride_: "Of Mrs. Clive's
Ophelia I shall only say, that I regret that the first comic actress in
the world should so far mistake her talents as to attempt it." And on
Zara, "for her own benefit, the comic Clive put on the royal robes of
Zara: she found them too heavy, and, very wisely, never wore them
afterwards."[5] Part of the half she could do well is noticed, once
again, by Davies: particularly adroit and distinguished in chambermaid
parts, Mrs. Clive

     excelled also in characters of caprice and affectation, from the
     high-bred Lady Fanciful to the vulgar Mrs. Heidelberg; in country
     girls, romps, hoydens and dowdies, superannuated beauties, viragos
     and humourists; she had an inimitable talent in ridiculing the
     extravagant action and impertinent consequence of an
     Opera-singer--of which she gave an excellent specimen in _Lethe_.
     Her mirth was so genuine that whether it was restrained to the arch
     sneer, and suppressed half-laugh, or extended to the downright
     honest burst of loud laughter, the audience was sure to accompany
     her [my punctuation].[6]

Mrs. Clive's stature as a comic actress would, then, seemingly make her
a prize for Rich or Fleetwood, but they did their best to thwart her
career and happiness at their theaters.

I suspect that their motivation in so doing was fear that her temper,
her influence with other actors and her audiences, and her strong
loyalty to her profession would hinder their legislated power to control
absolutely London theaters, players, and audiences in 1743. Not much
investigation is required to see Mrs. Clive at her clamoring best, at
various times head to head with Susannah Cibber, Peg Woffington,
Woodward, Shuter, or Garrick. Her letters to Garrick show that as late
as the sixties she was quite capable of vitriol when she felt that she
or her friends were unjustly treated. Tate Wilkinson was surely correct
in describing her as "a mixture of combustibles; she was passionate,
cross, and vulgar," often simultaneously.[7] If this were the case in
mere greenroom tiffs or casual correspondence, how the ire of "the
Clive" must have been excited by the cartelists, who did their utmost to
keep her out of joint and almost out of sight.

In 1733, Fielding, who furthered Mrs. Clive's career by writing and
editing parts of his plays for her and publicly praising her as a woman
and as an actress, wrote the following encomium on her professional
integrity in his "Epistle to Mrs. Clive," prefatory to _The Intriguing

     The part you have maintained in the present dispute between the
     players and the patentees, is so full of honour, that had it been
     in higher life, it would have given you the reputation of the
     greatest heroine of the age. You looked on the cases of Mr.
     Highmore and Mrs. Wilks with compassion, nor could any promises or
     views of interest sway you to desert them; nor have you scrupled
     any fatigue ... to support the cause of those whom you imagine
     injured and distressed; and for this you have been so far from
     endeavouring to exact an exorbitant reward from persons little able
     to afford it, that I have known you to offer to act for nothing,
     rather than the patentees should be injured by the dismission of
     the audience.[8]

Fielding is, of course, referring to the 1733 dispute in which Mrs.
Clive (and Macklin) among the principal players stayed with the
ineffective proprietor of Drury Lane, John Highmore. Jealous that
Highmore and not he gained control of Drury Lane after former
shareholders either died or sold out, Theophilus Cibber demanded, among
other things, that Highmore share profits with his players rather than
pay fixed salaries. He then led the Drury Lane players in revolt in the
autumn of 1733 to the New Haymarket where they played without a license
until March of the 1733-1734 season, at which time they returned to
Drury Lane under the new management of Fleetwood. The actors at least
partially won this battle, and although Highmore tried to have the
vagrant act enforced, the players returned to Drury Lane unscathed. With
Highmore gone, a period of uneasy peace obtained. The players, however,
were not to win so easily the next dispute, the one that took place
after the passage of the licensing act.[9]

Mrs. Clive's decision to stay with Highmore rather than defect was
probably made because "two women--Mrs. Wilks, the widow of her [Kitty's]
old theatrical idol, and Mrs. Booth--were in he direction of the
theater.[10] But in light of Fielding's words and her actions and
statements in regard to the welfare of Drury Lane and its actors
throughout her career, I believe that Mrs. Clive, although not pleased
with aspects of Highmore's reign, also refused to defect because she
felt that the manager was basically in the right, that her fellow
players would be destitute or at least open to hardship without
employment there, and that the audiences would take offense at such
unprofessional and selfish behavior from their "servants." The "Town,"
as her own play _The Rehearsal_ (I.i. 159-170) shows, was always her
judge in matters professional.

Fielding's prologue to his revised _Author's Farce_ (1734), spoken by
Mrs. Clive, compares the settled, prosperous former days at Drury Lane
with those of 1734, when "... _alas! how alter'd is our Case!/ I view
with Tears this poor deserted Place_."[11] With few exceptions, the
"place" continued strangely in decline even with a competent company and
often with a full house. The falling-off continued until the advent of
Garrick, who with Lacy in 1747 co-managed the theater into a new era.

From the mid-thirties until 1743, Mrs. Clive appears in roles she had
made famous as well as those newly written with her particular talents
in mind. Fielding, turning more and more to political satire and soon to
another literary form, had little need of her services;[12] but others
did, and the years between the licensing act and 1743 find Mrs. Clive in
demand as the affected lady of quality, speaker of humorous epilogues,
performer in Dublin, and singer of such favorites as "Ellen-a-Roon,"
"The Cuckoo," and "The Life of a Beau." This period is also marked by
Mrs. Clive's first professional venture with David Garrick, in his
_Lethe_, the beginning of a relationship to become one of the most
tempestuous and fruitful in all theater history.

As I intimated at the outset, the licensing act mainly troubled the
London players because of the power of monopoly it invested in Fleetwood
and Rich. Not only were the forums for dramatic presentation now
restricted, but so was professional freedom. The problem, therefore, was
as much philosophical as it was geographical. From the sixteenth century
to 1737, English players had some freedom (albeit limited) to rebel from
intolerable authority and to form their own company.[13] This freedom,
this choice, as Lord Chesterfield pointed out in his speech against the
act, was severely attenuated in 1737, and was to remain so in varying
degrees until the monopoly the act allowed was legislated dead in 1843.
But it was a cartel between the managers that the players most feared,
and there is evidence in the pamphlets growing out of the struggle of
1743 that such a fear was well-founded.

The playing conditions at Drury Lane in the early forties were not good,
a situation directly attributable to the ineptitude and highhandedness
of Fleetwood (and his treasurer Pierson) and his refusal to pay salaries
in full and on time. The manager's accommodating side-show performers in
his company did not help. Macklin, as Fleetwood's lieutenant, had to try
to pacify actors, workmen, creditors; as actor he commiserated with the
players. With the coming of Garrick from Goodman's Fields to Drury Lane
late in the 1741-1742 season and with a progressively disgruntled Clive
all the principals in the revolt are under one--leaky--roof.

In light of the number and variety of the published commentary which
accompanied the revolt, perhaps a highlighting of Clive's _Case_ would
be the most efficient way to elucidate some of the major difficulties
involved. After addressing herself to "the Favour of the Publick," with
encouragement from her friends,[14] Mrs. Clive strikes the key note of
her essay: injustice and oppression, specifically seen in the cartel's
threat to "Custom," an iterative word throughout the essay. Mrs. Clive
first speaks of salary, a matter obviously important to her "Liberty and
Livelihood."[15] One writer on the dispute, in a quasi-satirical tract,
denounces the managers in this regard and in so doing echoes Mrs. Clive:
"When there are but two Theatres allowed of, shall the Masters of those
two Houses league together, and oblige the Actors either to take what
Salary or Treatment they graciously vouchsafe to offer them, and to be
parcelled out and confined to this House or t'other, just as they in
their Wisdoms think meet; or else to be banished the Kingdom for a
Livelihood? This is Tyranny with a Vengeance--but perhaps these generous
noble-spirited Masters may intend their Performers a Compliment in it,
and by thus fixing them to one Place, effectually wipe off that odious
Appellation of Vagabonds, which has been sometimes given them."[16] The
licensing act, subsequent cartel, and mistreatment of players were then
not only in the mind of Mrs. Clive. Treated in most of the arguments for
or against the players was salary, but it was only a cover hiding an
underlying malaise.

Implying that the managers set out to ruin certain performers, including
herself, Mrs. Clive accuses them of putting on "a better Face to the
Town" by publishing (inaccurate) salary figures--a ploy to get public
sanction for lower salaries. Mrs. Clive alludes to salaries published
ostensibly by Fleetwood in the papers (e.g., _Gentleman's Magazine_,
XIII, October 1743, 553), where the pay of such lights as Garrick,
Macklin, Pritchard, and Clive in the 1742-1743 season is made to seem
higher than the salaries of such worthies as Wilks, Betterton, Cibber,
and Oldfield in the 1708-1709 season. The actors, in presenting their
case (_Gentleman's Magazine_, XIII, November 1743, 609), hit at
Fleetwood for citing 1708-1709 salaries, for "the Stage [then] both of
_Drury-Lane_ and the _Hay-market_, were in so wretched a Condition ...
as not to be worth any body's Acceptance." The players use instead
salaries of the 1729 players "to place the salaries of the present
Actors in a true light," since the stage in that year flourished. In
1729, Wilks, the highest paid actor, earned more than his later equal,
Garrick. All other principals' salaries were comparable.

The main complaint of Fleetwood's company, then, was not only base
salary but the "Fallacy" of the manager's account and his "setting down
besides the Manager's Charges, every benefit Night, what is got by the
Actor's own private Interests in Money and Tickets, as also the Article
of 50L for Cloaths, added to the Actresses Account, which is absolutely
an Advantage to the Manager, as they always lay out considerably more."
This evidence, if not in itself damning to Fleetwood's designs toward
his actors, at least indicates the internecine breach at Drury Lane.
(The inter-theater conflict, important for its effect on repertory and
morale, is adequately examined in theater histories and lies outside my
interests in this essay.)

Mrs. Clive admits, however, that reduced, unpaid, or "handled" salaries
were not the first fear of the actors; it was instead, she says, the
fear of what "would happen from an Agreement supposed to be concluded
betwixt the two Managers, which made 'em apprehend, that if they
submitted to act under such Agreements, they must be absolutely in the
Managers Power." As the writer of _The Case Between the Managers_ (p.
11) presents it, a conversation between a personified Covent Garden and
Drury Lane would have gone like this: "Well, but, Brother _Drury_, we
can manage that matter [how to keep audiences]--Suppose you and I make a
Cartel; for instance, agree for every other Theatre, and oblige
ourselves by this Cartel to reduce by near one half the Salaries of our
principal Performers--I'gad, we may cramp 'em rarely this way--they must
serve us at any rate we tax their Merit at, for they'll then have no
where else to go to." Drury Lane responds, "D--n me, if that is not
divinely thought--my dear Friend, give me a Kiss."

Late in the summer of 1743, several months before the salary figures
described above, Garrick, Macklin, Clive, and Mrs. Pritchard among the
principal players attempted to obtain another license to set up their
own company in the Haymarket: shades of 1733. They applied to the
Chamberlain Grafton--who denied it, in part perhaps because put out that
Garrick commanded over L500 a year. There was no chance, therefore, to
sidestep the monopoly effected by the licensing act. Leading the
secession, Garrick agreed with his colleagues to stay out until redress
was forthcoming. Redress did not come, the defectors lost, Fleetwood
won. He starved them in not out, Garrick was persuaded to return to
Drury Lane (which he does in early December, 1743) by the entreaties of
several of the destitute seceded players who asked him to accede to
Fleetwood's terms. As Garrick explains to Macklin (see note 2), he did
so because he had the economic welfare of his fellow actors at heart.
Macklin infuriated with him and Clive disappointed in him, both refused
to accept Garrick's decision, and hence became renegade. Macklin,
uninvited back by Fleetwood, admired Olive's decision to have no part in
signing a petition presented to her by her fellow defectors who
understood that the refusal of a separate license dissolved their bond.
Macklin writes in his Reply to _Mr. Garrick's Answer_ (p. 27) that "it
ought to be known that when this Letter was carried to Mrs. Clive, and
her Name to it desired, she had the Honour and Spirit to refuse, upon
any Consideration, to be made so ridiculous a Tool to so base a

Others were not so generous as Macklin. The author of _The Disputes
between the Director of D----y, and the Pit Potentates,_ one "B.Y.,"
champions the cause of the non-principal players against such as Mrs.
Clive, "for the low-salary'd Players are always at the labouring Oar,
and at constant Expence, while the rest are serv'd up once or twice in a
Week each, as very fine Dishes," one of whom, he says, is Mrs. Clive, an
"avaritious" person whom he is confident "has found, and feels, her
Error by this Time."[17] The writer then details the particular
hardships of Mrs. Roberts, Mrs. Horton, and Mr. Mills, hardships caused
by such greedy principals as Clive. B.Y. obviously chose to ignore the
compassion of Mrs. Clive for the low-salaried players expressed in her

Evidence that Mrs. Clive was in no position to be avaricious and that a
debilitating cartel in fact existed is found in her own essay. When the
defected players returned to Drury Lane (except Macklin, whom Fleetwood
considered the cause of the theater's troubles) late in 1743, Fleetwood
offered Mrs. Clive a salary incompatible with her talent and lower than
his previous "agreements" with her. Clive says, "They were such as I was
advis'd not to accept, because it was known they were proposed for no
reason but to insult me, and make me seek for better at the other
Theatre; for I knew it had been settled, by some dark Agreement, that
Part of the Actors were to go to Covent-Garden Theatre, and others to

Led to believe that she would find comfort and acceptance at Covent
Garden based on previous encouragement by Rich to have her join his
company,[18] Mrs. Clive realized that the dark agreement was a fact, for
"When I apply'd to him, he offered me exactly the same which I had
refused at the other Theatre." She managed a bit more salary, however,
and out of necessity agreed to play. More rankling to Mrs. Clive than
basic salary was her being forced to pay for her benefit. The extant
Clive-Garrick correspondence points to the pride she took in not only a
"clear" benefit but one held during that part of the month she dictated.
As is the case with salary, the basis for this complaint was
unreasonable manipulation by the managers, loss of freedom, and an
unjustified break with tradition: "I had had one [a benefit] clear of
all Expence for Nine Years before; an Advantage the first Performers had
been thought to merit for near Thirty Years, and had grown into a

Mrs. Clive did not regularly play for Rich until December 1743, from
which time she "determined to stay there," doing all in her power to
please her audiences and him. Yet she "found, by his Behaviour to me, it
was designed I should not continue with him." Clive's specific
exposition of Rich's mistreatment of her is a portrait of an actress
aware of her worth and of a manager at his worst. Fired from Covent
Garden--against custom and justice--at the end of the season without
being told, Mrs. Clive could not arrange to play in Ireland, where she
was a great favorite,[19] for Rich's cheat did not become clear to her
until summer was too far advanced. Clive says it all when she observes
"it is unlawful to act any where but with them." Fleetwood was the only
alternative for the next season, and he still owed her £160. 12s. At the
time of Clive's Case (October, 1744) Fleetwood had not yet contacted her
for engagement at Drury Lane even though he could not "but know I am
disengag'd from the other Theatre." Nor could have Clive expected much
of a salary from him even if he did call on her since the last season he
offered her "not near half as much as he afterwards agreed to give
another Performer, and less than he then gave to some others in his
Company." Mrs. Clive could not but conclude that the managers were in
league to distress her.[20] In the final third of her essay, Mrs. Clive
presents a rather touching account of the personal costs of a piece of
legislation which was itself manipulated and "interpreted in the narrow
sense of forming the legal safeguard to the patent monopoly."[21]

The "Ladies" who had promised their protection to Mrs. Clive obviously
were influential in convincing Rich to re-hire her, for less than one
month after the appearance of Clive's Case the Prince of Wales and his
Princess sponsored at the Haymarket a concert for her benefit,[22] and
her name is regularly listed in the Covent Garden playbills soon after.
The absence of publicity from Mrs. Clive, or about her, suggests that
her second short year at Covent Garden was fairly acceptable to all
concerned, although Portia in _The Merchant of Venice_ was hardly her

The next season finds her back at Drury Lane, where she reigns
uncontested queen of comedy for more than twenty years. In addition to
the return of Clive, the 1745-1746 season (one poor in attendance and
new plays) at Drury Lane is noteworthy because of a reinstated Macklin,
a de-throned Fleetwood, a new manager (Lacy), a well-balanced company
soon to be augmented by player-manager Garrick, prospects for a bright
future--and a theatrical monopoly stronger than ever.[23] In the latter
regard Mrs. Clive's case is revealing in that it gives a new emphasis to
the epithet His Majesties' Servants.[24]

Indiana State University
Terre Haute


[1] _The Dramatic Congress_ (London, 1743). Throughout I use short

[2] Three major documents concerning this quarrel are published under
the title _Mr. Macklin's Reply to Mr. Garrick's Answer_ (London, 1743).

[3] Mrs. Clive's four afterpieces, with their allusions to her
personality and career, are equally revealing. I treat this subject in
"An Edition of the Afterpieces of Kitty Clive," Diss. Duquesne Univ.
1968, and "The Textual Relationship and Biographical Significance of Two
Petite Pieces by Mrs. Catherine (Kitty) Clive," RECTR, 9 (May 1970),
51-58, and "Kitty Clive as Dramatist," _DUJ_, N.S., 32 No. 2 (March
1971), 125-132.

[4] James Boswell, _Boswell's Life of Johnson_, ed. George Birkbeck
Hill, rev. L.F. Powell (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934-1950), IV, 243.

[5] _Dramatic Miscellanies_ (London, 1785), III, 131, 376.

[6] Quoted by [John Genest], _Some Account of the English Stage_ (Bath:
H.E. Carrington, 1832), V, 230.

[7] _Memoirs of His Own Life_ (York, 1790), II, 257. See _Theatrical
Correspondence in Death. An Epistle from Mrs. Oldfield_ (London, 1743),
p. 7.

[8] _The Complete Works of Henry Fielding, Esq._, ed. William Ernest
Henley (New York: Croscup & Sterling Co., [1902]; reprinted Barnes &
Noble, 1967), X, 277-278.

[9] For a useful exposition of the 1733 and 1743 disputes in terms of
the licensing act see Watson Nicholson, _The Struggle for a Free Stage
in London_ (Cambridge, Mass.: Archibald Constable & Co., 1906.).

[10] Percy Fitzgerald, _The Life of Mrs. Catherine Clive_ (London: A.
Reader, 1888), p. 24. P.J. Crean, "The Life and Times of Kitty Clive,"
Diss. Univ. of London, 1933, is, however, the authority on Clive's life.
I am indebted to Professor Crean.

[11] Quoted in Mary E. Knapp, _Prologues and Epilogues of the Eighteenth
Century_ (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961), p. 69.

[12] Yet, with Fitzgerald (_Life_, p. 34), I believe that Fielding could
have helped Mrs. Clive ready her Case for the press. Certainly the
"correctness" of that printed text could not have been achieved by her
alone. Cf. Clive's MS letters, Appendix, "An Edition of the

[13] See Crean, "Life and Times," p. 215. A pertinent example of actors'
seeking redress is, of course, the revolt of 1694-1695, described by
John Downes, _Roscius Anglicanus_ (London. 1708), pp. 43-44; Augustan
Reprint Society publication number 134 (Los Angeles, 1969), with an
Introduction by John Loftis, is a facsimile of the first edition.

[14] See Arthur H. Scouten, "Introduction," _The London Stage_
(Carbondale, III.: Southern Illinois University Press, 1961), Pt. 3,
xcv, cxlvii, and Dramatic Congress, p. 20.

[15] Cf. James Ralph, _The Case of our Present Theatrical Disputes_
(London, 1743), pp. 3, 48.

[16] _The Case Between the Managers of the Two Theatres, and their
Principal Actors_ (London, 1743, misdated 1713), p. 20. Cf. _An
Impartial Examen_ (London, 1744), pp. 10-11, 21-22. See also the three
_Queries_ pamphlets: _Queries to be Answered by the Manager of
Drury-Lane_ (London, 1743); _Queries upon Queries_ (London, 1743); _A
Full Answer to Queries upon Queries_ (London, 1743).

[17] (London, 1744), pp. 15-16.

[18] _Dramatic Congress_, p. 22. Thomas Davies, _Memoirs of the Life of
David Garrick_, 3rd Ed. (London, 1781), I, 90, says of Rich: he "seems
to have imbibed, from his very early years, a dislike of the people with
whom he was obliged to live and converse."

[19] See Clive's afterpiece _The Faithful Irish Woman_ in "An Edition of
the Afterpieces."

[20] See _Mr. Macklin's Reply to Mr. Garrick's Answer_, pp. 18, 29-30,
and _An Impartial Examen_, pp. 10-11.

[21] Nicholson, _Struggle for a Free Stage_, p. 124; see, too, pp.

[22] Crean, "Life and Times," p. 254 n. 1, points out that on the very
day of this benefit (2 Nov.) a second notice of Mrs. Clive's Case

[23] See Nicholson's concluding chapter. For other effects of the
licensing act see Scouten, _London Stage_, cxlvii, and Ralph, _Case of
the Present Theatrical Disputes_, pp. 22, 43.

[24] Since the pamphlets cited here are scarce, some rare, perhaps the
following list of locations will prove helpful. Full titles and partial
bibliographical information are available in Robert W. Lowe, _A
Bibliographical Account of English Theatrical Literature_ (London: J.C.
Nimmo, 1888), p. 95.

_Dramatic Congress_, Univ. Chicago, Austrian Coll., PR 3346. C3D7 1743.

_Mr. Macklin's Reply_, Newberry Library, V1845. 54.

_Theatrical Correspondence in Death_, Harvard, Thr 417. 43. 12.

_Case of Present Theatrical Disputes_, Newberry Library, Rare Book Room.

_Case Between the Managers_, Univ. Chicago, Austrian Coll., PN 2596.

_An Impartial Examen_, Harvard, Thr 465. 20. 23.

_Queries to be Answered_, Harvard, Thr 465. 20. 22.

_Queries upon Queries_, Harvard, Thur 465. 20. 12.

_A Full Answer to Queries_, Harvard, Thr 465. 20. 12.

_Disputes between the Director_, Univ. Chicago, Austrian Coll., PN 2596.


The facsimile of _The Case of Mrs. Clive_ (1744) is reproduced from a
copy of the first edition (Shelf Mark: PN 2598. C45A2) in The Lilly
Library, Indiana University. The total type-page (p. 9) measures 145 X
78 mm.

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Submitted to the PUBLICK.

In order to put an End to ſome falſe Reports, which have been raiſed in
Relation to my not acting this Seaſon, as well as to beſpeak the Favour
of the Publick, I have, by the Advice of my Friends, ventured to addreſs
my ſelf to them, from whom I have received many and great Marks of
Favour, and whoſe further Protection I now ſtand in need of.

I know Appeals of this Nature, which relate to Diſputes that happen at a
Theatre, are by ſome thought preſuming and impertinent, ſuppoſing they
are too trifling to demand Attention: But, as I perſuade my ſelf that
Injuſtice and Oppreſſion are by no means thought Matters of Indifference
by any who have Humanity, I hope I ſhall not be thought to take too
great a Liberty. I am the more encouraged to hope this from Experience;
it having been obſerved, that thoſe Performers, who have had the
Happineſs to pleaſe on the Stage, and who never did any thing to offend
the Publick, whenever they have been injured by thoſe who preſided over
Theatres, have ſeldom, if ever, failed of Redreſs upon repreſenting the
Hardſhips they met with: And, as I at this time, apprehend my ſelf to
be greatly oppreſſed by the Managers of both Theatres, I hope I ſhall be
juſtified in taking this Method of acquainting the Publick with my Caſe,
ſubmitting it to their Determination.

Before the Diſputes happened betwixt the Manager of _Drury-Lane_ Theatre
and his Actors, I had articled for Five Years to receive Three Hundred
Pounds a Year, tho' another Performer on that Stage received for Seven
Years Five Hundred Guineas, _per_ Year; and at the Expiration of my
Agreements the Manager offered me an additional Salary to continue at
that Theatre.

And ſince I have mentioned thoſe Diſputes, which ended ſo greatly to the
Diſadvantage of the Actors, I muſt beg Leave to endeavour to ſet that
Matter in a clear Light, which hitherto has been miſrepreſented to the
Publick: I think my ſelf obliged to this, as the Hardſhips I at preſent
labour under are owing to that Diſagreement; if any think I treat this
Matter too ſeriouſly, I hope they will remember, that however trifling
ſuch Things may appear to them, to me, who am ſo much concerned in 'em,
they are of great Importance, ſuch as my Liberty and Livelihood depend

As only two Theatres were authoriſed, the Managers thought it was in
their Power to reduce the Incomes of thoſe Performers, who could not
live independant of their Profeſſion; but in order to make this appear
with a better Face to the Town, it was agreed to complain of the Actors
Salaries being too great, and accordingly a falſe Account was publiſhed
of them in the daily Papers, by whom I will not ſay: Whether, or no,
ſome particular Salaries were ſo, I will not pretend to determine; yet,
in the whole, they did not amount to more than had been allowed for
many Years, when the Theatre was under a frugal and exact Regulation;
when the Managers punctually fulfilled, not only all Engagements to
their Actors, but to every other Perſon concerned in the Theatre, and
raiſed very conſiderable Fortunes for themſelves.

But ſuppoſing the Expence of the Theatre too high, I am very certain it
was not the Actors refuſing to ſubmit to a proper Reduction of them,
which made ſo many of them quit the Stage, but from great Hardſhips they
underwent, and greater which they feared would happen from an Agreement
ſuppoſed to be concluded betwixt the two Managers, which made 'em
apprehend, that if they ſubmitted to act under ſuch Agreements, they
muſt be abſolutely in the Managers Power; and the Event has proved that
their Fears were not ill-grounded, as I doubt not but I ſhall make

When the Actors Affairs obliged 'em to return to the Theatres laſt
Winter, under ſuch Abatements of their Salaries as hardly afforded the
greater Part of them a Subſiſtence, I was offered, by the Manager of
_Drury-Lane_ Theatre, ſuch Terms as bore no Proportion to what he gave
other Performers, or to thoſe he had offered me at the beginning of the
Seaſon. They were ſuch as I was adviſ'd not to accept, becauſe it was
known they were propoſed for no reaſon but to inſult me, and make me
ſeek for better at the other Theatre; for I knew it had been ſettled, by
ſome dark Agreement, that Part of the Actors were to go to
_Covent-Garden_ Theatre, and others to _Drury-Lane_; I did, indeed,
apprehend I ſhould meet with better Terms at _Covent-Garden_, becauſe
that Manager had made many Overtures to get me into his Company the
preceding Seaſon, and many times before: But when I apply'd to him, he
offered me exactly the ſame which I had refuſed at the other Theatre,
and which I likewiſe rejected, but was perſuaded to accept ſome very
little better, rather than ſeem obſtinate in not complying as well as
others, and yielded ſo far to the Neceſſity of the Time, as to Act under
a much leſs Salary than ſeveral other Performers on that Stage, and
ſubmitted to pay a Sum of Money for my Benefit, notwithſtanding I had
had one clear of all Expence for Nine Years before; an Advantage the
firſt Performers had been thought to merit for near Thirty Years, and
had grown into a Cuſtom.

When I was fixed at that Theatre I determined to ſtay there; I did, in
all things which related to my Profeſſon, ſubmit intirely to that
Manager's Direction, and, with the help of other principal Performers,
did greatly promote his Intereſt, as was evident from the Audiences
after we went to Act there; but I found, by his Behaviour to me, it was
deſigned I ſhould not continue with him, but return the next Seaſon to

The Agreements betwixt that Manager and me were verbal, but made before
two Gentlemen of Character and Fortune, on whom I muſt depend for the
fulfilling of them; they were for one Year. At the end of the
Acting-ſeaſon the Manager ſent an Office-keeper to me with ſome Salary
that was due, who required a Receipt in full; I told him a very great
Part of my Agreements were yet due, and requeſted to ſee the Manager,
who came and acknowledged them, and promiſed to bring one of the
Gentlemen who was preſsent at our Ingagements in a Day or two and pay me,
and then he ſaid he had done with me; but he has not paid me, nor have I
ever ſeen him ſince, or as much as heard from him.

It has always been a Cuſtom in Theatres, that if ever any Actor or
Actreſs was to be diſcharged, or their Allowance leſſen'd, they were
acquainted with it at the End of the Seaſon; the Reaſon of this will
appear to be the giving them a proper Notice to provide for themſelves:
This the Manager of _Covent-Garden_ did to all his Company whom he
deſigned to diſcharge, or whoſe Allowance was to be leſſen'd, except to
me, which made me actually then conclude he determined I ſhould
continue with him, 'till I was undeceived by his Play-Bills with the
Names of other Actreſſes in Parts I uſed to perform; ſo that he has not
only broke thro' the Cuſtoms of the Theatre, but thoſe in practice
almoſt every where, in diſmiſſing me, and has done me a real Injury in
ſuch an unprecedented Act of Injuſtice; for had I been informed of his
Deſign at the End of the Seaſon, I could have made Terms to have acted
in _Ireland_, where I had met with moſt uncommon Civilities, and
received very great Advantages, which I ſhall ever remember with the
utmoſt Gratitude, and take this and every other Opportunity to

As I have ſaid, it has been a Cuſtom to give Actors Notice of a
Diſcharge: I muſt at the ſame time obſerve, That it never was a Cuſtom
to diſcharge any, but upon Neglect of their Buſineſs, or ſuch as were
obnoxious to the Publick; this Maxim extended even to thoſe of the
loweſt Claſs; but to thoſe, on whoſe Performances the Town had been
pleaſed to ſtamp a Value, by their Indulgence and Applauſe, the Stage
was always a Support, even after Age or any Accident had made 'em
incapable of their Profeſſion; for the then Patentees thought it as
great a Piece of Inſolence to deprive the Publick of their Pleaſures, as
of Cruelty and Injuſtice to deny thoſe a Subſiſtence who had contributed
towards 'em; for they knew and acknowledged, that the Publick was the
only Support of all, conſequently had an indiſputable Right to be
pleaſed in the beſt manner poſſible.

It is pretended by the Managers, that they have the ſame Right to
diſcharge an Actor that a Maſter has to turn away a Servant, than which
nothing can be more falſe and abſurd; for, when a Maſter diſmiſſes a
Servant, there are many thouſands beſides to apply to; but when the
Managers diſmiſs an Actor, where are they to apply? It is unlawful to
act any where but with them; Neceſſity or Inclination brings every one
to the Stage; if the former happens to be the Caſe, they will not
readily find an Employment; and if the latter, they will not be fit for
one; ſo that it will appear an Act of great Injuſtice and Oppreſſion. If
it ſhould be objected, That the Actors Demands are ſo exorbitant, that
the Managers cannot comply with 'em? I have already endeavoured to ſhow,
that tho' two or three Salaries might be thought ſo in general, they did
not amount to more than had been allowed, and very conſiderable Profits
ariſing to the Patentees. But there is a very melancholy Inſtance, that
the Actors Demands is not the Reaſon of diſmiſſing 'em, but the Will of
the Manager alone; since laſt Seaſon an Actor and Actreſs returned to
_Drury-Lane_ under ſuch Abatements as that Manager thought proper, and
ſuch as were in no degree equal to their Merit; and yet, at the
beginning of this Seaſon, were diſmiſſed, after having been from their
Infancy on the Stage, and having no other Profeſſions to live by, and
very numerous Families to ſupport.

The Manager of _Drury-Lane_ tho' he can't but know I am diſengag'd from
the other Theatre, has not made any Application to me to act with him,
which he has done to ſeveral others who quitted that Stage at the Time I
did: The Reaſons which obliged me to leave him ſtill ſubſiſt: He owes
me a Hundred and Sixty Pounds, twelve Shillings, which he has
acknowledged to be juſtly due, and promiſed Payment of it by laſt
_Chriſtmas_ to a Perſon of too great Conſequence for me to mention here,
the greater Part of it Money I expended for Cloaths for his Uſe. He
offer'd me, laſt Seaſon, not near half as much as he afterwards agreed
to give another Performer, and leſs than he then gave to ſome others in
his Company; ſo that I muſt conclude, as every one knows there are
Agreements betwixt the Managers, that there is a Deſign to diſtreſs me,
and reduce me to ſuch Terms as I cannot comply with.

I am ſorry I am reduced to ſay any thing in favour of myſelf; but, as I
think I merit as much as another Performer, and the Managers are ſo
deſirous to convince me of the contrary, I hope I ſhall be excuſed;
eſpecially when I declare, that at this time, I am not in the leaſt vain
of my Profeſſion.

As to my Performances, the Audience are the only, proper Judges: But I
may venture to affirm, That my Labour, and Application, have been
greater than any other Performers on the Stage. I have not only acted in
almoſt all the Plays, but in Farces and Muſical Entertainments; and very
frequently two Parts in a Night, even to the Prejudice of my Health. I
have been at a very great Expence in Maſters for Singing; for which
Article alone, the Managers now give five and ſix Pounds a Week. My
additional Expences, in belonging to the Theatre, amount to upwards of
one Hundred Pounds a Year, in Clothes, and other Neceſſaries; and the
pretended great Salaries, of ten and twelve Pounds a Week, which have
been ſo artfully, and falſly repreſented to the Town, to the Prejudice
of the Actors, will, upon Enquiry, appear to be no more than half as
much, ſince they performed half Seaſon, at the Theatres, very ſeldom
above three or four Days a Week; ſo taking in the long Vacation, when
there are no Plays at all, to thoſe Days the preſent Managers omit
acting, a Salary which appears to be great, will be found, in effect, to
be very moderate; and thoſe which are leſs, not a Sufficiency.

I have now finiſhed all I propoſed; I have ſhown in how aggravating a
manner, without any Reaſon aſſigned, and at a Time a very conſiderable
Sum of Money was owing to me, I have been turn'd out of _Covent-Garden_
Theatre. The Manager of _Drury-Lane,_ tho' he can't but know what juſt
Reaſons I had for quitting him, has never apply'd to me to return, nor
made the leaſt Excuſe for not paying my Arrears, tho' due ſo long, and
after promiſing Payment near a Year, notwithſtanding I have, for many
Years, not only endeavour'd, but ſucceeded, in greatly promoting that
Manager's Intereſt, as is known to himſelf and his whole Company.

The Reaſon of my taking the Liberty to communicate theſe Things to the
Publick, is moſt earneſtly to interceed for their Favour and Protection,
from whom I have always met with great Generoſity and Indulgence: For,
as I have already declared, in a Letter publiſhed by me laſt Year in the
Daily Papers, that I had not a Fortune to ſupport me, independent of my
Profeſſion, I doubt not but it will appear, I have not made any
conſiderable Acquiſition to it ſince, having not received two Hundred
Pounds Salary for acting in Plays, Farces, and Singing; tho' other
Performers have received more than twice that Sum. I have, in
Conſideration of theſe Hardſhips, been promiſed the Protection of many
Ladies, to whom I have the Honour to be perſonally known, and will not
doubt the Concurrence of the Publick, in receiving my Performance in the
beſt manner I am, at preſent, capable of, which I ſhall always moſt
gratefully Acknowledge.



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The Augustan Reprint Society



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115. Daniel Defoe and others, _Accounts of the Apparition of Mrs. Veal_.

116. Charles Macklin, _The Covent Garden Theatre_ (1752).

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118. Henry More, _Enthusiasmus Triumphatus_ (1662).

119. Thomas Traherne, _Meditations on the Six Days of the Creation_

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142. Anthony Collins, _A Discourse Concerning Ridicule and Irony in
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143. _A Letter From A Clergyman to His Friend, With An Account of the
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144. _The Art of Architecture, A Poem. In Imitation of Horace's Art of
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145-146. Thomas Shelton, _A Tutor to Tachygraphy, or Short-writing_
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149. _Poeta de Tristibus: or the Poet's Complaint_ (1682).

150. Gerard Langbaine, _Momus Triumphans: or the Plagiaries of the
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151-152. Evan Lloyd, _The Methodist._ A Poem (1766).

153. _Are these Things So?_ (1740), and _The Great Man's Answer to Are
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154. Arbuthnotiana: _The Story of the St. Alb-ns Ghost_ (1712), and _A
Catalogue of Dr. Arbuthnot's Library_ (1779).

155-156. A Selection of Emblems from Herman Hugo's _Pia Desideria_
(1624), with English Adaptations by Francis Quarles and Edmund Arwaker.

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