George Colman was born in Florence. After education at Westminster School (where he befriended William Cowper) Colman entered Christ Church Oxford in 1751 (B.A. 1755, M.A. 1758). He was enrolled at Lincoln's Inn in 1752 and called to the Bar in 1757. At Oxford he became friends with Thomas Warton and founded The Connoisseur with Bonnel Thornton (1754). David Garrick persuaded him to abandon the law for a career in the theater. In addition to writing successful plays, Colman was manager at Covent Garden (1767-74) and at the Haymarket (1777-89).
Poems by eminent ladies [ed. Colman and Bonnell Thornton]. 2 vols, 1755.
The connoisseur. 4 vols, 1757.
Two odes: 1, to obscurity; 2, to oblivion [with Robert Lloyd]. 1760.
Polly Honeycombe: a dramatick novel. 1760.
The jealous wife. 1761.
Critical reflections on the old English dramatick writers. 1761.
The musical lady. 1762.
The deuce is in him. 1763.
A fairy tale, taken from Shakespeare. 1763, 1777.
The comedies of Terrence translated into familiar blank verse. 1765.
The clandestine marriage. 1766.
The English merchant. 1767.
The Oxonian in town. 1769.
The history of King Lear. 1768.
T. Harris dissected. 1768.
Man and wife: or the Shakespearean jubilee. 1770.
The portrait: a burletta. 1770.
The fairy prince from Ben Jonson. 1771.
Comus, altered from Milton. 1772.
The man of business. 1774.
An occasional prelude. 1776.
The spleen: or Islington Spa. 1776.
New brooms! an occasional prelude. 1776.
The sheep shearing: a dramatic pastoral taken from Shakespeare's A winter's tale. 1777.
The Spanish barber: or the fruitless precaution. 1777.
The works of Beaumont and Fletcher. 10 vols, 1778.
The manager in distress: a prelude. 1780.
Q. Horatii Flacci epistola de arte poetica. Translation with commentary, 1783.
Prose on several occasions, accompanied by some pieces in verse. 3 vols, 1787.
Posthumous letters, from various celebrated men; addressed to Francis Colman, and George Colman the elder, ed. George Colman the younger. 1820.