Townsend, George Henry (DNB00)

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TOWNSEND, GEORGE HENRY (d. 1869), compiler, was grandson of John Townsend [q. v.] and first cousin once removed of George Townsend [q. v.] He was chiefly known as a literary compiler and journalist. A conservative in politics, he made himself conspicuous in the general election of 1868 by his exertions for his party, and in consequence received a promise of preferment. Unfortunately Disraeli's government resigned before this pledge was fulfilled, and Townsend felt the disappointment deeply. He committed suicide at Kennington on 23 Feb. 1869.

He was the author of: 1. ‘Russell's History of Modern Europe epitomised,’ London, 1857, 8vo. 2. ‘Shakespeare not an Impostor,’ London, 1857, 8vo. 3. ‘The Manual of Dates,’ London, 1862, 8vo; 5th edit. by Frederick Martin [q. v.], 1877. 4. ‘The Handbook of the Year 1868,’ London, 1869, 8vo. 5. ‘The Every-day Book of Modern Literature,’ London, 1870, 8vo. He also edited, among other works, ‘Men of the Time,’ 7th edit. London, 1868, 8vo.

Besides these works, Townsend between 1860 and 1866 wrote several pamphlets containing selections of madrigals and glees for John Green, the proprietor of Evans's music and supper rooms, 43 Covent Garden. As these pamphlets purport to be compiled by John Green, some confusion has arisen, and Green has been regarded as a pseudonym of Townsend. The two are, however, entirely distinct. John or ‘Paddy’ Green (1801–1874), born in 1801, was an actor at the Old English Opera House, London, and at Covent Garden. He became manager of the Cider Cellars in Maiden Lane, Strand, and took part, as a singer, in the entertainments there. In 1842 he became chairman and conductor of music at Evans's Hall, and in 1845 succeeded W. C. Evans (d. 1855) as proprietor. In 1865 he sold the concern to a joint-stock company for 30,000l. In 1866 he gave evidence before a parliamentary committee on theatrical licenses. He died in London at 6 Farm Street, Mayfair, on 12 Dec. 1874. His collection of theatrical portraits was sold at Christie's on 22 July 1871. The Cider Cellars and Evans's Hall were the originals of Thackeray's ‘Cave of Harmony’ (Boase, Modern Biogr.)

[Register and Mag. of Biogr. 1869, i. 317; London Review, 27 Feb. 1869; Allibone's Dict. of Engl. Lit.]

E. I. C.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.267
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
105 i 7 Townsend, George H.: for Henry read Herbert
8 for nephew read grandson of John Townsend [q. v.], and first cousin once removed