Cundells on the Stage

Saturday, 8 December 2018 06:08 PM GMT

Contributed by: Jerry Green

Cundells on the stage in the 18th & 19th centuries are related to me. See John's Will. I am still looking into whether they are descendants of Henry who was on the stage in the 16th & 17th centuries.

 Dictionary of National Biography  Edited by Leslie Stephen  Volume XI London Smith, Elder & Co 15 Waterloo Place 1887

CONDELL, HENRY (d. 1627), actor and one of the two editors of the first folio edition of Shakespeare's plays, was one of the ten 'principal comedians' performing in Ben Jonson's 'Every Man in his Humour,' 1598, and 'Every Man out of his Humour,' 1599. The names only of the actors in these plays, and not the parts played by each, are supplied by the old lists; but Sir. J. P. Collier has suggested that Condell created the part of Captain Bobadil In the' plat,' or programme (dating before 1589), of Tarleton's 'Second Part of the Seven Deadly Sins' [see , TARIETON, RICHARD] the role of Ferrex is 'assigned to 'Harry,' and Steevens identified the actor with Condell. Although this identification is highly doubtful, the fact of Condell's appearance iu Jonson's comedies is proof that be had many years' experience as an actor at the close of the sixteenth century. A statement made in 1729 that Condell was originally a printer is entirely unconfirmed by contemporary evidence. "With Shakespeare and Burbage, Condell was a member of the company of players known as the lord chamberlain's men at the end of Elizabeth's reign; and when in May 1603 this company was formally enrolled as 'the king's servants,' Condell's name stood sixth on the list of members. In 1599 Hichard Burbage [q.v.] and his brother Cuthbert built the Globe Theatre. Condell became 'a partner in the profits' of that theatre, and bis prominence in the lord chamberlain's company also secured for him an important share is the profits of the Blackfriars Theatre. In 1604 Condell acted in Marston's' Malcontent;' in Webster's 'Induction' to that play he is brought on the stage, together with Burbage, Lowin, and other actors, under his own name, and several; speeches are assigned him. He acted in Ben Jonson's ' Sejanus,' 1603, in his ' Volpone,' 1605, in his Alchemist,' 1610, and in his 'Catiline,' 1611, and his name appears in the lists of actors who took leading parts in Shakespeare's and Beaumont and Fletcher's chief plays. In 1613 he was acting at the Globe in 'All is True' (probably identical with 'Henrv VIII') when the playhouse caught fire. In the ballad issued to commemorate the event, the two lines—
The riprobates, thoughe drunk on Munday, 
Pray'd for the foole and Henry Oondye— 
refer to Condell. The role of the Cardinal in Webster's ' Duchess of Malfi ' was frequently filled by him before 1623. On 27 March 1618-19 a new patent to his company places his name third on the list, John Heming [q.v.1 and Richard Burbage (then just dead); alone preceding it. When Charles I renewed the company's privileges on his accession to the throne in 1625, Condell is the second actor named. Condell is traditionally associated with leading comic parts, but it is probable that, he occasionally appeared in tragedy. 
Condell's theatrical engagements brought him into close relations with Shakespeare, In the great dramatist's will, dated 5 March 1615-16, 26s. 8£ is bequeathed to ' my fellowes, John Hemynges, Richard Burbage, and Henry Cundell... to buy them ringes.' In 1623 Heming and Condell combined to do their friend's memory the justice of publishing the first collected edition of his plays. They both sign the dedication to the brothers, William, earl of Pembroke, and Philip, earl of Montgomery. "We have but collected them [i.e. the plays],' they write, and done an office to the dead to procure his orphans guardians,without ambition otherwise of selfe-profit, only to keepe the memory of so worthy a friend and fellow alive, as was our Shakespeare, by humble offer of his playes to your most noble patronage.' An address 'to the great variety of readers,' signed by both Heming and Condall, follows; here they express regret that Shakespeare had not lived to supervise the printing of his work, and remark that the manuscripts, which, are in their keeping, have 'scarce ... a blot' or erasure upon them. Their full recognition of Shakespeare's pre-eminence is tbe most remarkable characteristic of their compositions. 
Condell was prosperous in his profession, and while actively engaged in it lived in a house of his own in the parish of St. Mary Aldermanbury. He was 'sidesman' there in 1606. About 1623 he retired from the stage. In 1625, while the plague was raging in London, Thomas Dekker issued a biting prose satire on those who had fled from the infection, entitled 'A Rod for Run-aways.' An anonymous reply was issued immediately, entitled ' The Run-aways' Answer,' with a dedication 'to our much respected and very worthy friend, Mr. H. Condell, at his country house at Fulham.' The writers, whose initials only are appended to the dedication, state that they are actors who have been assailed by Dekker with especial fury, that they left London on a professional tour, and not from fear of the plague, and that Condell, whom they beg to arbitrate between themselves and Dekker, entertained them royally before their departure. Condell remained at his country house at Fulham till his death, whicn took place in December 1627. He was buried in the church of St. Mary Aldermanbury on 29 Dec.
According to his will, where lie styles himself 'gentleman' and spells his name Cundell,he owned, besides his shares in the Blackfriars and Globe theatres and his dwelling-houses at Fulham and Aldermanbury, land and tenements in Helmet Court, Strand, in the parish of St. Bride, Fleet Street, and in the parish of St. Mary Aldermanbury; John Heming and Cuthbert Burbage were two of the overseers of his will.   His widow was executrix and chief legatee.
Condell married before 1599. Nothing is known of his wife except that her name was Elizabeth, and that she was buried at St Mary Aldermanbury on 3 Oct. 1635. Entries in the registers of St. Mary's Church ahow that Condell had nine children baptised there ' between 27 Feb. 1598[9]and 22 Aug. 1614, but only three, Henry, William, and Elizabeth, survived their father. The daughter married Herbert Finch, and Henry died in March 1629-30.
[Collier's Lives of the Actors (Shakespeare Soc.), reprinted without alteration in Collier's Hist. Dramatic Poetry, iii, 370-9; Variorum Shakespeare, ed. Boswell, 1821, iii.; Fleay's Actor Lists in Transactions of Royal Historical Society, ix; Halliwell-Phillipps's Outlines of Life of Shakespeare; John Marston's "Works, ed. Bullen, i.] S. L. L.
 CONDELL, HENRY (1757-1824), violinist and composer, was bom in 1757. Nothing is known of his parentage or early life, but about the beginning of the century he was a prominent member of the orchestras of the King's Theatre, Drury Lane, and Covent Garden. In 1803 he wrote an overture to Dimond's historical play 'The Hero of the
North' (produced at Dmry Lane 19 Feb. 1803) and in 1804 for Fawcett's ballet The Enchanted Island' (played at the Haymarket). In 1808 he set the musical farce 
' Who wins, or the Widow's Choice' (Covent Garden, 25 Feb.), and in 1810 wrote music for F. Reynolds's 'Bridal Ring' (Covent Garden, 16 Oct.) In the same year ' Transformation,' ascribed to Allingham, with music by Condell, was produced by the Drury Lane company at the Lyceum (30 Nov.) In 1811 he gained a prize at the Catch Club for his glee' Loud blowe the wyndes.' Condell also wrote overtures to 'The House to be sold,' probably Kelly's opera, which was played at Drury Lane in 1802, and to 'Love laughs at Locksmiths,' besides some incidental music in 'Aladdin' performed at Covent Garden,a set of six songs dedicated to Lady Lake, and a few harpsichord duets. He died at Cave House, Battersea, after a severe and lingering illness, on 24 June 1824.
[Grove's Dict, of Music, i. 389 b; Baker's Biographia Dramatica, vol. iii.; Gent. Mag. for 1814, 199, and 1824, 645; European Mag., June 1824.] W. B. S.
From "A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers and Otherr Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800
By Philip H. Highfill, Kalman A. Burnim, Edward A. Langhans
Condell, Charlotte   d. 1759, actress.
Miss Charlotte Condell, the daughter of the Covent Garden boxkeeper John Condell the elder (d. 1779) by his first wife Jane, born Wilcox, shared in benefit tickets at Covent Garden on 30 April 1755 and 19 May 1756, but for what reason is uncertain. The London Stage suggests she may have been the "Young Gentlewoman who never appeared on any Stage" who acted Semanthe in Ulysses on 23 March 1756. In her second appearance "on any stage" she played Ismene in Phaedra and Hippolitits on 1 November 1756.
That season she also acted Dorinda in The Stratagem on 15 December, Lucilla in The Fair Penitent on 21 February, and Serina in The Orphan on 25 April, and shared a benefit with the prompter Carmichael, Holtom, and Miss Helm on 30 April 1757. The Theatrical Examiner (1757) regretted that Miss Condell was "hourly ruining herself by attention to John Rich's instructions and by copying Mrs Woffington's manner of speaking: "the little part of Lucilla in [The Fair Penitent} shews it. ... She has other means in her power."
In 1757-58 she acted Rutland when David Ross (1728-1790) made his first appearance at London in the title role of The Earl of Essex on 7 October. She also played Dorinda and Serina again and Angelica in Love Makes a Man on 7 November, Drusilla in The Prophetess on 1 February, Philadelphia in The Amorous Widow on 11 March, Volumnia in Coriolanus on 14 March, Clariana in The Country House on 3 April, and Lady Diana Talbot in Anna Bullen on 10 April. The treasurer paid out £4 4s on 11 February 1758 for a pair of earrings for her, and on 8 April she took £9 1s 6d. as her share of benefit tickets. Her last performance at Covent Garden was as Philadelphia on 28 April 1758. Evidently too ill to play in 1758-59, Miss Condell died on 23 May 1759 and was buried at St Margaret's, Westminster, on 28 May 1759.
Charlotte was the sister of John Condell (fl. 1779-1784) the younger, also a boxkeeper at Covent Garden, and the half-sister of the musician Henry Condell (1757-1824).
Condell, Henry   c. 1757-1824, barpsichordist, violinist, composer
Henry Condell was born at London about 1757, the son of Covent Garden box-keeper John Condell (d. 1779) by Ann Wilson, his common-law wife from about 1752. for information on Henry Condell's parentage and family see the entry of John Condell.
How Henry Condell became educated in music is not known. No doubt he benefited from the associations and friendship which
his father must have enjoyed among the personnel of Covent Garden Theatre and by living with his family for some years, at least between 1773 and about 1790, at Cross Court, Bow Street, in the heart of Covent Garden. He gave his first performance in public, billed as Master Condell, on 23 May 1771, playing a concerto on the harpsichord at Covent Garden Theatre. Two years later, or, 25 May 1773 at the same place, he performed another concerto on the harpsichord, this one of his own composing, for his father's benefit.
By the time Condell was recommended by the musician John Parke, on 4 January 1778. as a proper person to be admitted to  the Royal Society of Musicians, he had practiced music for a livelihood for at least seven years and was still a single man. He was elected on 1 March 1778. During his mature years Condell served the Society regularly as a member of the Court of Assistants, between 1793 and 1818. In 1815 he was a member of the committee for the annual concert at St Paul's and of the house committee.
By 1783, Condell was engaged as a member of the band for the operas at the King's Theatre. In May and June 1784, he was a first violinist in the Handel Memorial Concerts given at Westminster Abbey and the Pantheon; he was in the band as first violinist when the King's Theatre company played at the Pantheon in 1790-91. By 1794, according to Doane's Musical Directory, he was living at St Alban's Street and, in addition to the appointments already mentioned, was also a participant in the Concerts of Ancient Music and the Professional Concerts.
Between 1800 and 1818 Condell continued as a musician at the King's Theatre at a salary of £2 5s. per week in 1801 and £3 per week by 1807-8. According to The Dictionary of National Biography, he also played during this period at Drury Lane and Covent Garden. About 1785 six of his songs were published, including a setting of Edward Jerningham's poem "Matilda," but most of his composing took place after the turn of the century. In 1802-3 he provided overtures for Michael Kelly's new operas, A House to be Sold, The Hero of the North, and Love Laughs at Locksmiths, and music for Fawcett's ballet The Enchanted Island at the Haymarket on 20 June 1804. 
Condell set music for Allingham's musical farce Who Wins, or, the Widow's Choice, at Covent Garden, 25 February 1808. In 1810 he wrote music for Reynolds's The Bridal Ring at Covent Garden on 16 October and for Transformation, attributed to Allingham, produced by the Drury Lane company at the Lyceum on 30 November. With other composers he furnished tunes for T. J. Dibdin's Up to Town, at Covent Garden on 6 November 1811. He contributed incidental music for Aladdin, or The Wonderful Lamp, 19 April 1813, and for the younger Charles Dibdin's The Farmers Wife, 1 February 1814, both at Covent Garden. In 1811, Condcll had won a prize at the Catch Club for his glee "Loud blowe the wyndes." A number of his songs as well as several harpsichord duets were published after 1810.
On 7 December 1823, it was reported to the Royal Society of Musicians that Condell was suffering  an  illness  which prevented him from attending the meetings. He lingered six months, until his death at Cave House, Battersea, on 24 June 1824. In his will, dated 5 April 1821, Condell described himself as of Frith Street, Soho, but late of St Alban's Street, Pall Mall. Evidently his wife and his daughter Jane (mentioned in the will of her grandfather John Condell) had died before him, as neither they nor any other issue were mentioned in his will.
To his executors and nephews, Edward Long of Limehouse and William Long of the Bank of England, sons of his sister Ann Long and the musician John Long, he left all his funded properties in trust to carry out his several bequests; an annuity of £30 and his diamond ring to his "best of friends," Sophia Varle (?), of Frith Street, the sum of 19 guineas to Caroline Sherwood, who lived with the aforesaid Sophia (Sophia Varle may have been the Mrs Varley who was a dresser at the King's Theatre in 1783), and 19 guineas each to the executors Edward and William Long and to his niece Elizabeth Long. To the latter he also gave his silver watch, the ground rent for his property in New James Street, Oxford Road, amounting to £29 per year, the lease of his house at Battersea, with the furnishings, pictures, wardrobe, musical instruments, and manuscripts of his own composing. Condell also mentioned another nephew, the late John Long, and his widow Elizabeth and their children, of Beaufort Row, Chelsea.
A portrait of Henry Condell by John Opie, in the possession of H. F. Long early in the nineteenth century, was twice sold by Puttick and Simpson, the dealers: on 4 March 1864 and on 15 November 1866. Its present location is unknown.
Condell,  John    d.   1779,  boxkeeper,
John Condell (sometimes Cundell) was a boxkeeper at Covent Garden Theatre for at least 33 years from 1746 to 1779. His name was in the pay list at 2s. per day. or I2s. per week, in 1746-47 and remained at that level throughout his career. Despite this low salary, other emoluments made him quite well off financially (and suggest incidentally, the advantage to which box-keepers could put their conspicuous positions to curry favor with the public). His annual benefit, usually taken with several other house servants, brought him handsome amounts if the figure of £238 9s., which he shared with Green and Vaughan on 16 May 1760, is typical. In May of 1758 and 1759, he was given payments of 10s 6d as salary for serving as a house servant for the performances of the Messiah at the Foundling Hospital.
Moreover Condell had fruit concessions at Covent Garden from 1760-61 and at Drury Lane from at least 1771-72 to the end of his life, paying each theatre £60 per year in rent for the sales space. He also sold "books" of the oratorios at Covent Garden from his address in Cross Court, Bow Street. In his later years he seems also to have established himself in the jewelry trade.
Condell may have come into a substantial annuity through a bequest in the will of his friend John Hardham, who was for many years an under treasurer at Drury Lane and a well-known snuff merchant. By his will dated 6 February 1772 and proved in October of that year, Hardham left the dividends and interest of £15,500 in three-percent bank annuities to his housekeeper Mary Binmore and after her death to John Condell "for and during the term of his natural life," after which the principal was to go to the town of Chichester "to ease the inhabitants" in their poor rate. The bequest became available to Chichester in 1786, suggesting that Mary Binmore had outlived Condell. For John Condell died at Battersea on 11 December 1779.
By his first wife, born Jane Wilcox, who died about 1752, he had a son, John Condell, who also was a boxkeeper at Covent Garden in the 1770s and 1780s, and a daughter, Charlotte Condell, who acted at Covent Garden in the 1750s and died in 1759. His common-law wife Ann Wilson (niece of Richard Chadd, a jeweler in New Bond Street), was described by Condell in his will dated 3 November 1779 as the woman "who has lived and cohabited with me as my Wife from about the year one thousand seven hundred and fifty two or thereabouts and is now called Ann Condell." By Ann he had a son, the musician Henry Condell (1757?-1824) and a daughter Ann, who became the wife of the Covent Garden musician John Long. John Condell's will was proved on 24 December 1779 at which time administration was granted to Henry Condell and Ann Wilson, otherwise Condell, "spinster". In the will, the younger John Condell was to receive £300 "to be paid to him within two years after my decease"—provided he did not "molest" Ann Condell, the executrix, in the performance of her duty. Henry Condell received £300, upon trust,
to buy securities in his name, the interest of which was to be paid to Henry's daughter Jane. John Condell's brother, James Condell of Leith, received 10 guineas, his sister Jane Marshall 10 guineas, and his servant Martha Brandon 80 guineas. The rest of his estate, including his leasehold at Battersea, was bequeathed to the said Ann Wilson Condell. After her death half of the estate was to pass to his son Henry Condell and the other half was to be placed out at interest for his daughter Ann Long and then to her children.
Condell, John   1fl, 1729-1784,   box-keeper.
John Condell, the younger, was the son of the Covent Garden boxkeeper John Condel, by his first wife Jane Wilcox Condell, who died before 1752. The younger Condell also became a Covent Garden boxkeeper by 1779-80, perhaps earlier, at a fixed salary of 12s. per week at least through 1783-84. On 20 May 1780 and 24 May 1782, he shared benefits with several other boxkeepers.
In his father's will, dated 3 November 1779 and proved on 24 December 1779, John was left £300, to be paid him within two years after his father's death, provided he did not interfere in the duties as executrix of the father's second wife, Ann Condell. Details of his other relatives are found, in the entries of John Condell (d 1779) and Henry Condell (1757-1824),

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