UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Augustus Henry Glossop Harris, 1852-1896

Nationality: British
Date of Birth: 1852
Place of Birth: Paris
Date of Death: 1896.06.22
Place of Death: Pavilion Hotel, Folkestone

Identity:

Sir Augustus Henry Glossop Harris was an actor, playwright and theatre manager. He was the son of the actor and theatre manager Augustus Glossop Harris (1825-1873) and Maria Ann Harris, née Bone. He had two sisters, Ellen ('Nelly') and Maria, and a brother, Charles, who were all connected with the stage. On 8 November 1881 he married Florence Edgecombe Rendle.

Life:

In 1876 Harris staged Blanchard's Sinbad the Sailor in Covent Garden Theatre. In 1877 he played the part of Harry Greenlanes in Pink Dominoes at the Criterion. He acquired the lease of the Drury Lane Theatre in 1879 where he was responsible for the success of many pantomimes and operas. He also managed three other London theatres, Her Majesty's Theatre, Covent Garden Theatre and the Olympic Theatre. He was the first member of the London County Council for the Strand Division and was appointed Sheriff of the City of London in 1890-1891. He was also a member of the committee on theatres and music halls.

Harris was friendly with JW, who on occasion was a guest of Harris' at Drury Lane. JW described him as 'charming' (#12357). In October 1890 both he and JW attended a dinner at the Mansion House in London for the International Literary and Artistic Congress. Harris sat beside Edmund Gosse and Oscar Wilde and across the table from Sheriff Farmer. Harris was knighted in 1891.

Bibliography:

Dictionary of National Biography, London, 1891, supplement, vol. 2; http://www.coventgarden.uk.com/freemason.html (accessed 2003).