Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 24.djvu/412

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Harley
Harley
398


company at that house. He soon returned to his old quarters at Drury Lane; he was with W. C. Macready at Covent Garden in 1838, and afterwards with Madame Vestris and Charles Mathews when they opened the same establishment two years later. He was with Alfred Bunn at Drury Lane from 1841 to 1848, and finally, when Charles Kean attempted to restore the fortunes of the legitimate drama at the Princess's Theatre in 1850, Harley became a permanent member of the company. He was master and treasurer of the Drury Lane Theatrical Fund after the retirement of Edmund Kean in 1833. In humour and versatility he almost equalled Bannister. In 1816, when ‘Every Man in his Humour’ was revived in order that Edmund Kean might play Kitely, Harley sustained the part of Bobadil, and was thought the best exponent of the character that had appeared since Woodward. In the Shakespearean clowns he had a rich natural humour peculiar to himself. Not even Munden or Liston excited more general merriment. On Friday, 20 Aug. 1858, he acted Lancelot Gobbo at the Princess's Theatre; as he reached the wings on going off the stage he was seized with paralysis, and being removed to his residence, 14 Upper Gower Street, London, died there on 22 Aug. His last words were a quotation from the ‘Midsummer Night's Dream,’ ‘I have an exposition of sleep come upon me.’ He was buried at Kensal Green cemetery on 28 Aug. Eccentric and thrifty to all outward appearance, he died penniless. He had a passion for collecting walking-sticks, canes, &c., and after his death more than three hundred varieties were included in the sale of his personal effects.

[Oxberry's Dramatic Biography, 1825, i. 69–77, with portrait; Theatrical Inquisitor, September 1815, pp. 163–4, with portrait; British Stage, July 1821, pp. 201–2, with portrait; Cumberland's British Theatre, 1828, xiv. 7–8, with portrait, and xviii. 6–7, with portrait; Actors by Daylight, 5 May 1838, pp. 73–5, with portrait; Metropolitan Mag. October 1836, pp. 126–31; Dramatic Mirror, 14 April 1847, p. 5, with portrait; Theatrical Times, 4 Dec. 1847, p. 377, with portrait; Valentine's Behind the Curtain, 1848, pp. 38–42; Tallis's Drawing-Room Table Book, part xiv. June 1852, with portrait; Illustrated London News, 27 March 1858, p. 321, with portrait; Era, 29 Aug. 1858, pp. 9, 10; Illustrated News of the World, 4 Sept. 1858, pp. 145, 147, with portrait; Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, 13 Sept. 1879, pp. 629–30, with portrait; Planché's Extravaganzas, 1879, ii. 63, with portrait; Stirling's Old Drury Lane, 1881, ii. 115; Cole's Life of Charles Kean, 1860, ii. 12, 307–12; Pollock's Macready's Reminiscences, 1876, pp. 254, 282, 376, 377.]

G. C. B.

HARLEY, Sir ROBERT (1579–1656), M.P. and master of the Mint, born at Wigmore Castle, Herefordshire, and baptised on 1 March 1579, was son of Thomas Harley, esq., of Brampton Bryan Castle, Herefordshire, by his first wife, Margaret, daughter of Sir Andrew Corbet, knt., of Morton-Corbet, Shropshire. Thomas Harley (l545?-1631) was sheriff of Herefordshire under Elizabeth and James I, and was employed on the council of William, lord Compton, president of the marches of Wales. Robert Harley, whose mother died when he was young, received instruction from his uncle, Richard Hurley. He was for four years at Oriel College, Oxford, and took the degree of B.A. In 1641 his arms were as a compliment plaeed in a window of the new hall of his college. His tutor there was the Rev. Cadwallader Owen, reputed a great disputant, and known as ‘Sic Doceo.’ Hearley resided in London at the Temple till the coronation of James I (25 July 1603), when he was made knight of the Bath. On 15 July 1604 he obtained a ant for life of the keepership of the forest of Boringwood (or Bringwood), Herefordshire, and also of the keepership of the forest of Prestwood (Cal. Stale Papers, Dom. 1603-l0, p. 133). In the seventh year of James I he obtained a grant for himself and his heirs of a weekly market and an annual fair at Wigmom in Herefordshire. For some time he lived at Stanaige Lodge, in the parish of Brampton Bryan, arming and actin as magistrate and deputy lieutenant of Herefordshire. In the 1st and 12th of James I he represented the borough of Ibdnor in parliament, and sat as representative of Herefordshire in the 21st of James and the 15th and 16th of Charles I. On 6 Sept. 1626 he was appointed master and worker of the Mint, with it starry of 500l. per annum (ib. 1625-6, p. 573; cp. pp. 469, 577), and held the office till Aug. 1635 (ib. 1036-7, p. 445). He was reappointed by an ordinance of parliament on 5 May 1643, but was discharged from the office on 16 May 1649, on his declining ‘to stamp any coin with any other stam than formerly. He had already coined for the parliament, but now refused to strike money with the parliamentary 'types’ (ib. 1649-50, p. 142; Ruding, Annals, i. 408, note 6). A trial of thc pix was at the same time ordered to be made at his expense (Cal, State Papers, Dom. 1649-50, p. 142; Ruding, i. 72). During the Long parliament Harley served repeatedly on important committees of the House of Commons ‘Journals of House of Commons,’ cited in Lewis's Letters of Lady B. Harley, p. viii). He was entrusted with the preparation of the order to prohibit the