Bernard Partridge Drawings Collection

Scope and Content

This collection includes drawings of Henry Irving in some of his most famous roles, including Shylock, Hamlet, Mephistopheles, Dubosc and Lear.

Administrative / Biographical History

Bernard Partridge (1861-1945) was a painter and illustrator who became the principal cartoonist of Punch magazine. He acted at the Lyceum in his youth, using the name Bernard Gould. He made many drawings of Henry Irving, some which appeared in the theatre's souvenir programmes. His work has provided both a record of costumes and scenery and of the dramatic effect of Irving's performances.

Henry Irving (1838-1905) actor-manager had one of his greatest successes with Faust, a version of Goethe's play by W.G.Wills. The spectacular production opened at the Lyceum Theatre on 19 December 1885 with Irving as Mephistopheles, and proved enormously popular with the public.

Access Information

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here:

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Acquisition Information

Given by the British Theatre Museum Association.

Other Finding Aids

Items have been given museum numbers which range from S.320-2011 to S.345-2011. Individual item records may be found on

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here:


No accruals expected.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Theatre and Performance Department. Material relating to Henry Irving in general may be found in several collections, including Sir Henry Irving Archive THM/37, the biographical, productions, company and photographs files.

Please ask for details.