The Mountaineers, A play in three acts

Scope and Content

Manuscript copy of The Mountaineers, a play in three acts by George Coleman the Younger (1762-1836). There is a note on the fly-leaf: This copy was made by Stokes the copyist of the Theatre D[rury] L[ane] for G[eorge] Coleman who has corrected some errors in it. Stokes has not been identified.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Coleman the Younger (1762-1836) was the most popular English dramatist at the turn of the nineteenth century. His father was also a successful playwright, but Coleman the Younger became famous on his own as a gifted writer of comedy and farce. He aimed to please not the literary scholars but the public. By the summer season of 1790, Colman himself had become the official licensee for the Haymarket Theatre.

The Mountaineers, a play by George Coleman the Younger, was first performed at the Haymarket Theatre on 3 August 1793. The play is based loosely on two stories from Don Quixote, and was very successful, playing more than twenty-five performances in its first season, and frequently revived in later years. The Drury Lane house had been closed for rebuilding, and its company temporarily relocated to the King's Theatre, Haymarket, in 1791. Two years later, displaced even from its temporary house, the company arranged for Colman to conduct its business from his Little Theatre. He did so in popular fashion, keeping prices well below what the public would have paid for admission to either winter house in a normal season.

Source: William J. Burling, 'Colman, George, the younger (1762-1836)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. By permission of Oxford University Press --

Conditions Governing Access

The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by the John Rylands Library as part of the Bradshaw Dramatic Collection (predominantly printed items), formerly belonging to Mrs Rylands.


Description compiled by Henry Sullivan, project archivist, and Elizabeth Gow, with reference to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article on George Colman.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1928 (English MS 108).