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Autograph Collection


Collection of volumes and papers assembled or maintained primarily for their autograph interest and presented by their various compilers/creators to the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre between 1880 and 1930.

Please note: this collection contains references to events or attitudes, that may cause concern, distress or offence. Please check individual entries for details and please advise members of staff if you have any queries or concerns.

/1: Davis Collection (formerly A1, A2, A3, A4) four volumes containing letters, envelopes, autographs, photographs, drawings, printed ephemera, news-cuttings etc., 1779-1923

The first three volumes have separate indexes: the fourth has an index bound in.

/2 (formerly A5): miscellaneous letters and manuscript notes from various sources, 1790-1964, including a batch of letters from F.R.Benson to members of the Flower family on Shakespeare Memorial Theatre business; letters of Marie Corelli; letters and papers relating to the Royal Shakespearian Club of Stratford-upon-Avon; a few letters from Lord Ronald Sutherland Gower to John O'Connor, scenic artist at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre etc.

/3 (formerly A6, known as the Garside Collection): box of papers collected by Harrison Garside, a photographer living in Manchester in the late nineteenth century, comprising a batch from the actor, John Langford Pritchard, 1799-1850, and other letters etc., 1779-1907, arranged A-Z by author, of a theatrical, or literary nature, some from, or relating to Henry Irving and Thomas Carlisle.

/4 (formerly A7, known as the T.P. Holmes Collection); collection of c.90 loose letters, notes and signatures (mainly theatrical and literary figures), 1840-1908, collected by Thomas P. Holmes in the late nineteenth century: arranged alphabetically by signatory

/5 (formerly A8): book of autographs kept by James Vincent Davis, Southern Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon (formerly A8), mostly of visiting theatrical figures but including some of local dignitaries, c.1902-1942.

/6 (formerly A9): Autograph album inscribed 'F.M. Dawes, 11a Portland Place, London', viz. Mrs Florence Mary Dawes (previously Thornton), born c.1864, and by 1912 widow of Frank Dawes of Marylebone, solicitor (died 1910).

/7 (Formerly A10): Autograph book, with entries dated between 1906 and 1943, bequeathed to the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre by Mrs Alice Crowhurst (nee Rainbow), wife of John Veness Crowhurst. She retired in 1947, after more than fifty years service as Box Office Manager at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre.

/8 (formerly M1,M2,M3,M4 ); Collection of autograph letters and signatures, 1816-1907, presented or bequeathed to the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre by Mrs Rose Maslin, wife of Victor Maslin and daughter of George Ellis, Master of Ceremonies at Windsor Castle. Most of the writers are literary or dramatic figures.

/9: 57 letters (formerly M4B) relating to a proposed dinner in honour of Benjamin Webster (1797-1882), actor and dramatist, on the occasion of the completion of the new Adelphi Theatre in London in 1859.