BYGONE SUSSEX - online book

Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

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HORACE WALPOLE visited Herstmon-ceux Castle in 1752. "They showed us," he says, " a dismal chamber, which they call Drummer's Hall, and suppose that Mr. Addison's comedy is descended from it." Herstmonceux is now more ruinous than it was in Walpole's day, but a fragment of this room still remains for the inspection of the curious. How far the claim that The Drummer had a Sussex origin can be made good will appear from the following inquiry into its literary history.
The Drummer was first produced at Drury Lane, March 10th, 1716, and although the players were actors of consummate ability, it was received "with cold disapprobation." The name of the author was not stated. The piece ran only three nights. Its subsequent stage history has not been much more fortunate. It was produced at Lincoln's Inn Fields, February 2nd, 1722, with Hippisley as Vellum. When again brought out at Drury Lane, October 3rd, 1738, it ran for three
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