Howe, Henry (DNB01)

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

HOWE, HENRY (1812–1896), actor, whose real name was Henry Howe Hutchinson, was born of quaker parents in Norwich on 31 March 1812. After some experiments as an amateur under the name Halsingham, he made his debut at the Victoria theatre in October 1834 as Rashleigh Osbaldistone. At east-end and suburban theatres he played Antonio in the 'Merchant of Venice,' and Tressel in 'Richard III;' and at the Strand, under J. W. Hammond in 1837, was Winkle in a piece called 'Pickwick.' Many years later he played Mr. Pickwick in Albery's play at the Lyceum. The same year he acted with Macready at Covent Garden, and he participated in the original performance of the 'Lady of Lyons' (15 Feb. 1838). He also played Mark Antony in 'Julius Cæsar.' Joining the Haymarket under Webster, he remained there without a break in his engagement for the almost unprecedented term of forty years. Among innumerable original parts were: Brandon in Lovell's 'Look before you Leap' on 29 Oct. 1846, Ernest de Fonblanche in the 'Housed Lion' on 15 Nov. 1847, Lord Arden in Lovell's 'Wife's Secret' on 17 Jan. 1848. His characters included Fazio, Sir George Airy in the 'Busy Body,' Lord Townley in the 'Provoked Husband,' Archer in the 'Beaux' Stratagem,' Benedick, Joseph Surface, Sir Anthony Absolute, Sir Peter Teazle, Malvolio, Jaques, Macduff, Harry Dornton. He used to state that there were pieces (such as the 'Lady of Lyons') in which, during his gradual rise, he had played every male part from the lowest to the highest. On 16 Aug. 1879, at the Vaudeville, he was the first Rev. Otho Doxey in Richard Lee's 'Home for Home,' and played Farren's part of Clench in the 'Girls.' Soon afterwards he took (Sir) Henry Irving's role of Digby Grant in a revival of Albery's 'Two Roses.' On 26 Dec. 1881, as Mr. Furnival in same piece, he appeared at the Lyceum, with which his closing years were connected. Here he played characters such as Old Capulet, Antonio in 'Much Ado about Nothing' and 'Twelfth Night,' Germeuil in 'Robert Macaire,' Farmer Flamborough in 'Olivia,' Burgomaster in 'Faust,' and very many others. He accompanied Sir Henry Irving to America, where he died on 10 March 1896. He was a thoroughly conscientious actor, and an exceptionally worthy and amiable man, whose one delight was to cultivate his garden at Isleworth. His son. Henry A. Hutchinson Howe, musical and theatrical critic on the 'Morning Advertiser,' predeceased him, dying on 1 June 1894, aged sixty-one.

[Personal recollections; The Player, 12 May 1860; Pascoe's Dramatic List; Scott and Howard's Blanchard ; Scott's From the Bells to King Arthur; Era Almanack, various years; Sunday Times, various years; Theatrical Notes, 1893.]

J. K.