Hulet, Charles (DNB00)

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HULET, CHARLES (1701–1736), actor, an apprentice to Edmund Curll [q. v.], the bookseller, found his way on to the stage and acted one season in Dublin and several in London. No list of his performances appears in Genest. He played at Lincoln's Inn Fields,13 June 1722, the First Tribune in the 'History and Fall of Domitian,' an alteration of Massinger's 'Roman Actor,' and on 3 May 1723 Achilles in 'Troilus and Cressida.' At Lincoln's Inn Fields he remained until 1732, enacting, among many other parts, Kent in 'Lear,' Metaphrastus in the 'Mistake,' Salisbury in 'Sir Walter Raleigh,' Sotmore in Fielding's 'Coffee-house Politician,' Cassander in the 'Rival Queens,' Oronooko, Cacofogo in 'Rule a Wife and have a Wife,' and Flip in the 'Fair Quaker.' He was the original Downright in an alteration of 'Every Man in his Humour,' produced 11 Jan. 1725, Theron in Philip Frowde's 'Fall of Saguntum' and Craterus in his 'Philotas,' Magician in Theobald's 'Orestes,' Doubtful in Hippisley's 'Honest Welshman,' Zeno in Tracy's 'Periander,' and Momus in 'Momus turned Fabulist,' On 2 Oct. 1732 he appeared at Goodman's Fields as Falstaff in 'King Henry IV.' He remained at this house until his death, playing Gloucester in 'King Lear,' Henry VIII in 'Virtue Betrayed,' Serjeant Sly in the 'Mad Captain,' Clytus, Othello, Cassius, King in the 'Mourning Bride,' Timophanes in 'Timoleon,' Lord Rake in 'Britannia,' Macheath, Falstaff in 'Merry Wives of Windsor,' Montezuma in 'Indian Emperor,' Freehold in 'Country Lasses,' and for his benefit Richard III. Freehold, played 3 Dec. 1734, is his last recorded character. He probably played in the following season (1735-1736) at Goodman's Fields and at Lincoln's Inn Fields, to which the company migrated. He seems to have been in Dublin in 1727-8.

Hulet was endowed with great abilities, was 'happy in a strong, clear, melodious voice, and was an excellent Macheath,' in which he sang better than Walker, the original representative. Davies considers his Clytus equal to that of Quin. His figure was grossly corpulent, he lacked application, and was irregular and crapulous in life and sordid in person, but facetious, good-natured, and an admirable mimic. His Henry VIII was much praised. Davies speaks of him as an eminent actor (Dramatic Miscellanies, iii. 100). His death was caused by a practical joke. He was fond of crying 'Hem' in a sonorous voice in the ears of non-observant neighbours for the purpose of startling them. Practising this trick in the theatre at rehearsal in 1736, he broke a blood-vessel, was taken home, and died. At the charge of Henry Giffard, his manager, he was buried in St. Mary's Church, Whitechapel. [The chief authorities are Chetwood and Davies's Dramatic Miscellanies. Davies obtained the story of his death from `Honest' Lyon, a comic actor who was present. The list of characters is gleaned from various records of Genest.]

J. K.