EVENT – Professor Morley’s Lecture

Accreditation, the Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 29/01/1874.


          Yesterday (28/01) evening, a demand was made on the intellectual capacity of Redcar, Coatham, and Saltburn, which was all me feebly responded to considering the attainments of the lecturer and the interesting character of the subject. For some weeks passed advertisements, handbills, and circulars have announced the coming of Professor Henry Morley to deliver a series of lectures on the Dramatic literature of the Elizabethan period, and hopes were entertained by the project is of the scheme that a discerning public would appreciate their endeavour to organise lectures on literary and scientific subjects. Doubtless the early hour fixed for the delivery of the lecture (6.30 p.m.) Hinted some persons engaged in business from attending, and if this was the case to any extent it was not compensated for by any appreciate above number of people from Saltburn, and by few or none from Middlesbrough, notwithstanding the fact that the hour was specially arranged for their convenience. Perhaps the impending election, the tactics thereunto belonging, and the consequent interests involved, may further account for the absence of gentlemen who might fairly have been expected to honour the assemblage with their presence. Our readers must not support from these remarks that the room was empty, this was by no means. The case, for a select and appreciative audience, in which the fair sex largely predominated, had the pleasure of listening to the first lecture, which has the syllabus set forth was on “, the origin of our drama, and the first players.” being in fact strictly introductory. The Professor controverted the notion that the English drama grew out of medical players and morality plays which proceeded the time of Queen Elizabeth. With great perspicuity it was shown that each of these had their design and origin, and that they continued to exist after the drama, properly so-called, was established. The lecturer gave and interesting and amusing sketch of the play “Ralph Roister Doister,” written by the Master of Eaton for his pupils on the model of the Latin players of Terence, through which Professor Morley takes to be the origin of the drama, the idea was extended, and plays were written for a larger circle, first for the upper classes, the servants of nobleman representing them for the pleasure of their masters and guests; afterwards for the populace, the performances taking place in the marketplace and inn yards. Students and University men wrote plays for acting and shared the proceeds with the actors. It did not pay in those days to write for the press, the number of readers being so few. The civic authorities in London imposed restrictions as to the days and hours of performance, and players were acted on Sundays during the intervals of service and on other festivals, until at a Sunday afternoon performance, a gallery crowded with people, fell and caused the death of several which was on all hands accepted as a Divine judgement against the Sunday acting, and henceforth it was, and has ever since continued to be, prohibited. The lecture was of a very interesting character, and such as to lead the heroes to expect much from the succeeding ones, when in dealing with the first dramatists themselves the subject, will be increasingly interesting as marketing the rise of a most important branch of English literature.

            We suggest to the promoters that tickets should be issued for admission to single lectures, which would have the twofold advantage of attracting those who cannot possibly attend the whole course, and of inducing some to attend one lecture which. Might interest them in the subject and would probably lead to their constant attendance


Lol Hansom September 11, 2013 Education, Classes, Clubs & Organisations