Corey, John (DNB00)

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COREY, JOHN (fl. 1700–1731), actor and dramatist, came of an ancient family in Cornwall, and was born in Barnstaple. He was entered at New Inn for the study of the law, but abandoned that profession for the stage. In 1701 he produced at Lincoln's Inn Fields ‘A Cure for Jealousy,’ 4to, 1701, a poor comedy which met with no success. It was followed at the same house, 2 Oct. 1704, by ‘Metamorphosis, or the Old Lover outwitted,’ 4to, 1704, a farce said by the author to be taken from Molière, but in fact extracted from ‘Albumazar’ by Tomkis. These were his only dramatic essays, though ‘The Generous Enemies,’ 4to, 1672, by another John Corey, licensed 30 Aug. 1671, has been erroneously ascribed to him. His first recorded appearance as an actor took place on 21 Oct. 1702, when at Lincoln's Inn Fields he played Manly in ‘The Beau's Duel, or a Soldier for the Ladies,’ by Mrs. Carroll, afterwards Mrs. Centlivre. For twenty-nine years he played at this house, the Haymarket, or Drury Lane, acting at first young lovers in comedy, and afterwards characters in dramas, but seldom apparently in his long career being troubled with a part of primary importance. Dorante in the ‘Gamester,’ an adaptation of ‘Le Joueur’ of Regnard, 22 Feb. 1705; Seyton in ‘Macbeth,’ 1708; Numitorius in Dennis's ‘Appius and Virginia,’ 5 Feb. 1709; Egbert in Aaron Hill's ‘Elfrid, or the Fair Inconstant,’ 3 Jan. 1710; Gonsalvo in the ‘Perfidious Brother,’ claimed by Theobald and by Mestayer, 21 Feb. 1716, and Amiens in ‘Love in the Forest,’ an adaptation of ‘As you like it,’ 9 Jan. 1723, indicate fairly his range. According to Isaac Reed's unpublished ‘Notitia Dramatica’ he played 26 April 1725 Macbeth for his benefit. He is unmentioned in the ‘Apology’ of Cibber, with whom he constantly acted. He was short in stature and his voice was poor, but he was otherwise a fair actor. The ‘Biographia Dramatica’ says he died ‘about 1721.’ He was on the stage, however, ten years later, since on 31 May 1731 his name appears as filling the part of Sir William Worthy in ‘Patie and Peggy,’ an alteration by Theophilus Cibber of Allan Ramsay's ‘Gentle Shepherd,’ and it is to be found in the playbills of intervening years.

[Genest's Account of the English Stage; Baker, Reed, and Jones's Biographia Dramatica; Isaac Reed's MS. Notitia Dramatica; List of Dramatic Authors; Appendix to Whincop's Scanderbeg, 1747.]

J. K.