Papers relating to the Theatre and Papers of Charles Hamilton-Simms

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

This small collection comprises late 18th century and early 19th century theatre material. In the hand of Myrton Hamilton there is a manuscript volume of The dangers of a lea shore: or an impartial view of the Bath Theatre in the year 1759 (1760) by J Brownsmith. There is also a xerox copy of the printed version, as well as xerox copies of photographs of 19th century playbills, for example, of The Mummy played at the Daventry Theatre in 1847. There is a newspaper cutting of Uncle Tom's Cabin at Sunderland's Theatre Royal in 1853. In addition, the collection contains the papers of Charles Hamilton-Simms comprising a sketchbook of watercolour sketches of scenery and landscapes (with a frontispiece date of 1825), some miscellaneous poetry and engravings in a scrapbook, a theatre admission ticket and five manuscripts of plays: Weaving the spider's web, The secret avengers, Universal harmony, Old and young and another untitled play. Separate volumes contain charades and conundrums by Simms, as well as some comic songs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Myrton Hamilton first appeared in Smock Alley, Dublin, 1729 and became manager of a small theatre company in Ireland. He opened a playhouse in Belfast in 1778. Charles Hamilton Simms (presumably a descendant) was an illustrator, actor and playwright. He did some of the decorations for the North Shields Theatre in 1846 and did scenery painting in Beverley and was also possibly the author/illustrator of Landscape sketches from nature (1853). He lived in the north of England and worked for the Theatre Royal at Sunderland and the Theatre Royal at Scarborough. He was possibly the maternal grandfather of George Hamilton Simms.

Conditions Governing Access

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Custodial History

Purchased from Mrs W Castle-Brown, Flat 2, Ellingham, Westgate-on-sea in 1974