Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Halliday, Andrew (1830-1877)

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HALLIDAY, ANDREW (1830–1877), whose full name was Andrew Halliday Duff, essayist and dramatist, born at the Grange, Marnoch, Banffshire, early in 1830, was son of the Rev. William Duff, M.A., minister, of Grange, Banffshire, 1821–44, who died 23 Sept. 1844, aged 53, by his wife Mary Steinson. Andrew was educated at the Marischal College and the university, Aberdeen. On coming to London in 1849 he was for some time connected with the ‘Morning Chronicle,’ the ‘Leader,’ the ‘People's Journal,’ and other periodicals. He soon became known as a writer, and discarded the name of Duff. In 1851 he wrote the article ‘Beggars’ in Henry Mayhew's ‘London Labour and the London Poor.’ He wrote for the ‘Cornhill Magazine,’ and was a constant contributor to ‘All the Year Round.’ To the latter periodical he furnished a series of essays from 1861 onwards, which were afterwards collected into volumes entitled ‘Everyday Papers,’ ‘Sunnyside Papers,’ and ‘Town and Country.’ His article in ‘All the Year Round’ called ‘My Account with Her Majesty’ was reprinted by order of the postmaster-general, and more than half a million copies circulated. As one of the founders and president of the Savage Club in 1857, he naturally took an interest in dramatic writing, and on Boxing night 1858, in conjunction with Frederick Lawrence, produced at the Strand Theatre a burlesque entitled ‘Kenilworth,’ which ran upwards of one hundred nights, and was followed by a travesty of ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ In partnership with William Brough he then wrote the ‘Pretty Horsebreaker,’ the ‘Census,’ the ‘Area Belle,’ and several other farces. In domestic drama he was the author of ‘Daddy Gray,’ the ‘Loving Cup,’ ‘Checkmate,’ and ‘Love's Dream,’ pieces produced with much success by Miss Oliver at the Royalty Theatre. The ‘Great City,’ a piece put on the stage at Drury Lane on 22 April 1867, although not remarkable for the plot or dialogue, hit the public taste and ran 102 nights. The opening piece at the new Vaudeville Theatre, London, 16 April 1870, ‘For Love or Money,’ was written by Halliday. He also was the writer of a series of dramas adapted from the works of well-known authors. These pieces were: ‘Little Em'ly,’ Olympic Theatre, 9 Oct. 1869, which ran two hundred nights; ‘Amy Robsart,’ Drury Lane, 24 Sept. 1870; ‘Nell,’ Olympic Theatre, 19 Nov.; ‘Notre Dame,’ Adelphi Theatre, 10 April 1871; ‘Rebecca,’ Drury Lane, 23 Sept.; ‘Hilda,’ Adelphi, 1 April 1872; ‘The Lady of the Lake,’ Drury Lane, 21 Sept.; and ‘Heart's Delight,’ founded on Dickens's ‘Dombey and Son,’ Globe Theatre, 17 Dec. 1873. He possessed a remarkable talent for bringing out the salient points of a novel, and his adaptations were successful where others failed. Charles Dickens warmly praised the construction of ‘Little Em'ly.’ From 1873 Halliday suffered from softening of the brain. He died at 74 St. Augustine's Road, Camden Town, London, 10 April 1877, and was buried in Highgate cemetery on 14 April. His printed works were:

  1. ‘The Adventures of Mr. Wilderspin in his Journey through Life,’ 1860.
  2. ‘Everyday Papers,’ 1864, 2 vols.
  3. ‘Sunnyside Papers,’ 1866.
  4. ‘Town and Country Sketches,’ 1866.
  5. ‘The Great City,’ a novel, 1867.
  6. ‘The Savage Club Papers,’ 1867 and 1868, edited by A. Halliday, 2 vols.
  7. Shakespeare's tragedy of ‘Antony and Cleopatra,’ arranged by A. Halliday, 1873.

In Lacy's ‘Acting Edition of Plays,’ the following pieces were printed: in vol. xliii. ‘Romeo and Juliet travestie,’ and in vol. lxxxv. ‘Checkmate,’ a farce. The farces by William Brough and A. Halliday were: In vol. l. the ‘Census,’ in vol. li. the ‘Pretty Horsebreaker,’ in vol. lv. ‘A Shilling Day at the Great Exhibition’ and the ‘Colleen Bawn settled at last,’ in vol. lvii. ‘A Valentine,’ in vol. lx. ‘My Heart's in the Highlands,’ in vol. lxii. the ‘Area Belle,’ in vol. lxiii. the ‘Actor's Retreat,’ in vol. lxiv. ‘Doing Banting,’ in vol. lxv. ‘Going to the Dogs,’ in vol. lxvi. ‘Upstairs and Downstairs,’ in vol. lxvii. ‘Mudborough Election.’ ‘Kenilworth,’ a comic extravaganza, by A. Halliday and F. Lawrence, and ‘Checkmate,’ a comedy, were also printed. In a publication called ‘Mixed Sweets,’ 1867, Halliday wrote ‘About Pantomimes,’ pp. 43–54.

[Illustrated Review, 4 Feb. 1874, pp. 81–2, with portrait; Era, 15 April 1877, p. 12; Cartoon Portraits, 1873, pp. 88–9, with portrait; The Theatre, 17 April 1877, pp. 140–1; Illustrated London News, 21 Aug. 1877, p. 373, with portrait; Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, 21 April 1877, pp. 105–6, with portrait; Inglis's Dramatic Writers of Scotland, 1868, pp. 49, 132.]

G. C. B.