1818 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Francis Godolphin Waldron

Anonymous, Obituary in Gentleman's Magazine 88 (March 1818) 283-84.



March ... Died, in his 75th year, Mr. Francis Godolphin Waldron, an old and respectable member of the Theatrical profession. He belonged to Drury Lane Theatre in the time of Garrick, by whom he was appointed to the charge of the Theatrical Fund. Mr. Waldron was for some time manager of the theatres at Windsor and Richmond, and other Provincial companies; and was also prompter at the Little Theatre in the Haymarket. Few men were so well acquainted with the Dramatic Literature of this Country, or the theatrical history of his own times. He possessed also poetical talents, which, if he had not been occupied in the necessary duties of his life, might have enabled him to rise into distinction. He had taste and judgment, which he displayed in several original compositions, as well as in judicious alterations of some old Plays. He had prepared for the Stage an alteration of Massinger's Fatal Dowry, which had received the approbation of the learned Editor of that Author, Mr. Gifford, and which was to have been brought forward. — Rowe took his Fair Penitent from this Play; but it is much below the original. In private life, Mr. Waldron was one of the kindest men that ever existed. Nothing could gratify him more than an opportunity to render services of any description, but particularly of a literary nature, and he was indefatigable in his researches for that purpose. In the humble range of characters assigned to him on the Stage, he always manifested a full knowledge of his author, and sustained the part with judgment, truth, and nature; and, on the whole, was a very worthy and intelligent man. Mr. Waldron carried on the business of a bookseller with reputation for some years in London. He obtained the materials which Mr. Whalley had collected for an edition of Ben Jonson's Works; and communicated an interesting memoir of Thomas Davies, the bookseller and actor, to Mr. Nichols, who inserted it in his Literary Anecdotes, and who added "his feeble testimony to the modest unassuming worth of his intelligent friend."

Mr. Waldron published the following works: The Maid of Kent, Com. 1778, 8vo. — The Sad Shepherd of Ben Jonson completed, 1783, 8vo. — The King in the Country, a Drama, 1784, 8vo. — Literary Museum, or Antient and Modern Repository" 1792, 8vo. — The Biographical Mirror, published by Harding, 1793, 4to. — Heighho for a Husband, com. 1794, 8vo. — The Prodigal, a dramatic piece, 1794, 8vo. — Free Reflections on the supposed Manuscripts of Shakespeare in the possession of Samuel Ireland, 1796, 8vo. — The Loves of Troilus and Cressida, written by Chaucer, with a commentary by Sir Francis Kynaston, never before published, 1796, 8vo. — The Virgin Queen, a drama, 1797, 8vo. — Shakespearian Miscellany, 1802, 4to. He was also author of the following Dramatic pieces which have not been printed: — The Contrast, a farce, 1776. — The Richmond Heiress, a comedy altered from D'Urfey, 1777. — Imitation, a comedy, 1783. — Love and Madness, a dramatic piece, 1795. — 'Tis a Wise Child knows its own Father, a comedy, 1795. — Man with Two Wives, dramatic farce, 1798. — Miller's Maid, comic opera, 1804. His Library, we are informed, will be speedily sold by auction; and we know that it abounds in curious articles relative to the Drama and History of the Stage. The Works of our most eminent Dramatic Writers are enriched by him with ample MS notes and illustrations.