The Many Characters of Frederick Henry Yates


Unknown artist, Mr. Yates in the Characters of His Entertainment called ‘Reminiscences’, [1827?]. Hand colored lithograph. GC021 British Cartoons and Caricatures Collection. Gift of Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895

The life and career of actor Frederick Henry Yates (1797-1842) is closely tied to that of actor Charles Mathews (1776-1835). They met in the winter of 1817-18, when Mathews convinced Yates to become an actor. After a successful early career, Yates purchased and managed the Adelphi Theatre in London in partnership with Mathews, while also continuing to perform.

Mathews developed a one-man play called At Home, in which he revived each of his most successful roles in a single evening. Yates attempted the same format, which he called Yates’ Reminiscences, first performed in Edinburgh in 1827. The genre has been called a monopolylogue and this print shows the various roles Yates would play during the evening, including Mrs. Pry, Bob Major, Nathaniel the Cobbler, Peter Snick, Fleix Fact, Solomon Rushbottom, Mrs. Rushbottom, and Brush-flyettn.

For more information, see: Charles Mathews (1776-1835), Mathews & Yates At Home: Mr. Mathew’s new entertainment, being a lecture on perculiarities and manners entitled, The spring meeting … also, Mr. Yates singular report of a breach of promise of marriage … called Love among the lawyers, or, Courting in court .. to which is added, a monopolylogue, called Harlequin & Mr. Jenkins, or, Pantomime in the parlour … (London: J. Duncombe, [1829]). Rare Books: Theatre Collection (ThX) 3851.66.361

Frederick Henry Yates (1797-1842), Yates’ Reminiscences; or, Etchings of Life and Character: Consisting of Sketches from Life, Manners, & Peculiarities. As performed with the most unqualified success, at the Adelphi Theatre; including anecdotes of living characters, tales, and the six original comic songs. Of masquerading. Vauxhall Gardens, with humourous recitation. Smithfield Cattle Shew, with all the speaking. Pawnbroker’s shop. Humours of an election, with laughable speaking parts. Theatrical fund dinner, with all the speaking, imitations, speeches, &c. Also, A monopolylogue, called Mr. Chairman: embellished with a coloured plate (London: Printed and published by John Duncombe, and sold by all other booksellers [1826]) Rare Books: Theatre Collection (ThX) 3851.66.361