Subscription books of the Cambridge Garrick Club, 1833-1843

Scope and Content

The collection comprises:

Subscription book containing an alphabetical index of members in the front and a record ofpayments and subscriptions made to the club by members at the back, 1833-1836 (MS 265/1).

Receipt book recording payments and subscriptions made to the club, 1833-1843 (MS 265/2).

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1830, a drama society known as 'The Shakespeare Club' was established in Cambridge, England byMr W.H. Smith. Early disagreements resulted in some members leaving to set up the rival 'CambridgeGarrick Club' in about 1833. The club was named after David Garrick (1716-1779), actor, writer, andtheatre owner, and the theatrical club founded in London in 1831 that bore his name.

From the account books described here and The Album of the Cambridge Garrick Club,published in 1836, it is possible to piece together a little of the Club's activities. In 1836, theClub had 25 honorary members (including dramatist, James Sheridan Knowles, and theatrical managers,William Charles Macready and Charles Kemble), 15 patronesses, 9 life members, and 134 quarterly andannual subscribers. Members performed plays at theatres in Cambridge and other towns in East Angliaincluding Newmarket and Barnwell. It is not known where in Cambridge the club met to rehearse and toperform or when the club ceased its activities.


The volumes have been arranged chronologically.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Other Finding Aids

This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright in the description belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Conditions Governing Use

COPYRIGHT: Permission to make published use of any material from this collection must be soughtin advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections(email TheDepartment will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but this can be difficult and theresponsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the person wishingto publish.


Custodial History

The Club's comprehensive reference library of books about theatre and drama were given toCambridge City Libraries in the late nineteenth century by Henry Thomas Hall, together with theprinted books constituting the Cambridge Shakespeare Collection. Both of these collections, withadditional materials on the same subjects, were presented by Cambridge City Libraries to theUniversity of Nottingham in 1960. They now form named collections in the Department of Manuscriptsand Special Collections. The subscription book volumes are separately managed within theDepartment's manuscript collections.

Related Material

  • University of Nottingham: Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections; Cambridge Drama special collection containing 1700 published items.
  • Cambridge University Library; Department of Manuscripts and University Archives: minutes of the Cambridge Garrick Club, 1833-1839. Add 5048-5049


Cambridge Garrick Club, Album of the Cambridge Garrick Club (W H Smith, Cambridge,1836)

Corporate Names