Letters of Brook & Bulmer, Solicitors (Trustees of the Theatres Royal of the York circuit)

Scope and Content

This collection comprises letters sent to John Brook of Messrs Brook & Bulmer, solicitors of York, who were trustees of the Theatres Royal of York, Leeds, Hull, Doncaster and Wakefield (the York Circuit). The letters come from a variety of people and largely concern the finances and tenancy agreements of the theatres. Some of the letters concern the finances of John Wilkinson. Reference is made to the building of scene rooms and the installation of gas lighting. A letter of M C Cummins of Hull to T Wilson explains the disastrous season at Hull in 1829 in terms of ruined wardrobes and scenery and cheap tenancies in rival theatres let to small, 'low class' travelling companies who charge low prices.

Administrative / Biographical History

John [Joseph Tate?] Wilkinson may have been the son and successor of Tate Wilkinson (1739-1803) who was actor and manager of the York circuit of theatres from 1766 to 1803. John Wilkinson is recorded as having acted and been involved in the production of plays on the York Circuit from 1779. His wife, a Miss Reynolds, was also involved in theatre productions. Messrs Brook & Bulmer acted as trustees for the theatres on the Wilkinsons' circuit of Theatres Royal which hosted many touring companies.

Access Information

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Custodial History

Purchased from AE Cox, 21 Cecil Road, Itchen, Southampton, 1 August 1978

Related Material

U DDX/16/6-9, 18-2;

playbill collection

U DP208/1-2 York Theatre Royal Circuit Accounts, 1828 - 1830

Related material in other repositories:

Playbills, York Minster Library


  • Fitzsimmons, Linda & McDonald, Arthur W, The Yorkshire Stage 1766-1803 (1989)
  • Hogan, Charles Beecher, An index to the wandering patentee (1973)
  • Johnson, R J & Pyle, Ruth, 'Sweeping the dust from the boards: dramatic pieces', Paragon Review, 5 (1996)
  • McDonald, Arthur Warren, An analytical study and calendar of performances of the Yorkshire circuit of Tate Wilkinson 1775-1784 (1976)
  • Wilkinson, Tate, The wandering patentee (rep. 1973)