Molloy, Charles (d.1767) (DNB00)

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MOLLOY, CHARLES (d. 1767), journalist and dramatist, born probably at Bir in King's County, was educated in Dublin. The statements that he was a member of Trinity College, Dublin, and the Middle Temple are erroneous. On 23 May 1764, being then a resident of St. Anne, Soho, London, he became a student of Gray's Inn (Register, ed. Foster, p. 384).

Molloy was author of three dramas: 1. 'The Perplex'd Couple; or, Mistake upon Mistake,' 12mo, London, 1715, a comedy mostly borrowed from Moliere's 'Cocu Imaginaire.' It was brought out at Lincoln's Inn Fields on 16 Feb. 1715, and acted three times, with little success (Genest, Hist. of the Stage, ii. i 567). 2. 'The Coquet; or, the English Chevalier,' 8vo, London, 1718, a comedy ' acted with applause at Lincoln's Inn Fields; on 19 April 1718 and two following nights, and revived at the Haymarket on 23 Nov. 1793 with alterations (ib. ii. 630). 3. 'The Half-pay Officers,' 12mo, London, 1720, a comedy founded in part on Sir William Davenant's 'Love and Honour.' It was first performed at Lincoln's Inn Fields on 11 Jan. 1720, and ran seven nights (ib. iii. 35). Much of its success was due to the fact that Peg Fryer, an actress of Charles II's days, who was then eighty-five, and had not appeared upon the stage for fifty years, took the part of Widow Rich. She acted admirably, and at the close of the performance danced a jig with wonderful agility.

Molloy ultimately adopted whig journalism as his profession, and became the principal writer in 'Fog's Weekly Journal,' the successor of 'Mist's Journal,' the first number of which appeared in October 1728 (Fox Bourne, English Newspapers, i. 122). He was also almost the sole author of another periodical, entitled 'Common Sense; or. the Englishman's Journal,' a collection of letters, political, humorous, and moral, extending from 5 Feb. 1737 to 27 Jan. 1739, afterwards collected into 2 vols. 12mo, 1738-9. To this journal Dr. William King, Lord Chesterfield, and Lord Lyttelton were occasional contributors. His papers are remarkable for their bright style, knowledge of affairs, and closeness of reasoning.

He died in-Soho Square on 16 July 1767 (Probate Act Book, P. C. C., 1767), and was buried on the 20th at Edmonton, Middlesex. In July 1742 he had married Miss Sarah Duffkin (1702-1758) of Nuneaton, Warwickshire, who brought him an ample fortune. He had no issue (Robinson, Hist. of Edmonton, pp. 72, 105).

[Baker's Biog. Dramat. 1812; Lysons's Environs, ii. 262, 272; Will of Sarah Molloy, formerly Duffkin, in P. C. C. 47, Button; Will of Charles Molloy in P. C. C. 174, Legard.]

G. G.