Published by Primary Source Microfilm
The history of the English stage after the Restoration is intimately related to the fortunes of London's Theatres Royal at Covent Garden, Drury Lane and Lincoln's Inn Fields.
The Theatres Royal were institutions of immense historical and cultural significance. They derived their authority from Charles II's Letters Patent issued in 1662. Strengthened further by the Theatres Act of 1737 (the Haymarket was added to their number, for summer seasons only, in 1776), they had a monopoly on the performance of "legitimate" drama, which lasted until 1843.
Part One contains 50 volumes from the British Library's Additional Manuscripts, and is devoted to the accounts and ledgers of Covent Garden during the period from the late 1780s to 1849, with supporting material related to the Drury Lane Company (eight volumes) in 1733-35 at the Little Theatre in the Haymarket and in 1787-1802, during R.B. Sheridan's proprietorship, at Drury Lane.
Part Two (58 volumes from the Egerton Manuscripts) also concentrates on Covent Garden, with a core of 53 volumes of further accounts and ledgers for the period 1736-1822, this material being supported by early 18th-century documentation from Lincoln's Inn, Drury Lane and the Haymarket.
The full volume description from the Catalogues of the Additional Manuscripts is reproduced on each reel.