A1r

The
Case
of
Mrs. Clive.

Price Six Pence.

A A1v A2r

The
Case
of
Mrs. Clive

Submitted to the Publick.

London:
Printed for B. Dod at the Bible and Key in Ave-
Mary-Lane
near Stationers-Hall. 1744MDCCXLIV.

Price Six Pence.

A2v A3r

The
Case
of
Mrs. Clive

Submitted to the Publick.

In order to put an End to
some false Reports, which
have been raised in Relation
to my not acting this Season,
as well as to bespeak the Favour
of the Publick, I have, by the Advice
of my Friends, ventured to address
my self to them, from whom I
have received many and great Marks of A3v 6
of Favour, and whose further Protection
I now stand in need of.

I know Appeals of this Nature,
which relate to Disputes that happen
at a Theatre, are by some thought
presuming and impertinent, supposing
they are too trifling to demand
Attention: But, as I persuade my self,
that Injustice and Oppression are by
no means thought Matters of Indifference
by any who have Humanity, I
hope I shall not be thought to take
too great a Liberty. I am the more
encouraged to hope this from Experience;
it having been observed, that
those Performers, who have had the
Happiness to please on the Stage, and
who never did any thing to offend
the Publick, whenever they have been
injured by those who presided over
Theatres, have seldom, if ever, failed
of Redress upon representing the
Hardships they met with: And, as
I at this time, apprehend my self to A4r 7
to be greatly oppressed by the Managers
of both Theatres, I hope I
shall be justified in taking this Method
of acquainting the Publick with my
Case, submitting it to their Determination.

Before the Disputes happened betwixt
the Manager of Drury-Lane
Theatre
and his Actors, I had articled
for Five Years to receive Three Hundred
Pounds a Year, tho’ another
Performer on that Stage received for
Seven Years Five Hundred Guineas,
per Year; and at the Expiration of my
Agreements the Manager offered me
an additional Salary to continue at that
Theatre.

And since I have mentioned those
Disputes, which ended so greatly to
the Disadvantage of the Actors, I
must beg Leave to endeavour to set
that Matter in a clear Light, which
hitherto has been misrepresented to
the Publick: I think my self obliged to A4v 8
to this, as the Hardships I at present
labour under are owing to that Disagreement;
if any think I treat this
Matter too seriously, I hope they will
remember, that however trifling such
Things may appear to them, to me,
who am so much concerned in ’em,
they are of great Importance, such
as my Liberty and Livelihood depend
on.

As only two Theatres were authorised,
the Managers thought it was in
their Power to reduce the Incomes of
those Performers, who could not live
independant of their Profession; but
in order to make this appear with a
better Face to the Town, it was
agreed to complain of the Actors
Salaries being too great, and accordingly
a false Account was published of
them in the daily Papers, by whom I
will not say: Whether, or no, some
particular Salaries were so, I will not
pretend to determine; yet, in the whole, they B1r 9
they did not amount to more than
had been allowed for many Years,
when the Theatre was under a frugal
and exact Regulation; when the Managers
punctually fulfilled, not only
all Engagements to their Actors, but to
every other Person concerned in the
Theatre, and raised very considerable
Fortunes for themselves.

But supposing the Expence of the
Theatre too high, I am very certain
it was not the Actors refusing to submit
to a proper Reduction of them,
which made so many of them quit
the Stage, but from great Hardships
they underwent, and greater which they
feared would happen from an Agreement
supposed to be concluded betwixt
the two Managers, which made
’em apprehend, that if they submitted
to act under such Agreements, they
must be absolutely in the Managers
Power; and the Event has proved B that B1v 10
that their Fears were not ill-grounded,
as I doubt not but I shall make appear.

When the Actors Affairs obliged
’em to return to the Theatres last
Winter, under such Abatements of
their Salaries as hardly afforded the
greater Part of them a Subsistence, I
was offered, by the Manager of Drury-
Lane Theatre
, such Terms as bore no
Proportion to what he gave other
Performers, or to those he had offered
me at the beginning of the Season.
They were such as I was advis’d not
to accept, because it was known they
were proposed for no reason but to
insult me, and make me seek for
better at the other Theatre; for I
knew it had been settled, by some
dark Agreement, that Part of the Actors
were to go to Covent-Garden
Theatre
, and others to Drury-Lane; I
did, indeed, apprehend I should meet with B2r 11
with better Terms at Covent-Garden,
because that Manager had made many
Overtures to get me into his Company
the preceding Season, and many
times before: But when I apply’d to
him, he offered me exactly the same
which I had refused at the other Theatre,
and which I likewise rejected, but was
persuaded to accept some very little
better, rather than seem obstinate in
not complying as well as others, and
yielded so far to the Necessity of the
Time, as to Act under a much less
Salary than several other Performers
on that Stage, and submitted to pay
a Sum of Money for my Benefit,
notwithstanding I had had one clear
of all Expence for Nine Years before;
an Advantage the first Performers
had been thought to merit
for near Thirty Years, and had grown
into a Custom.

B2 When B2v 12

When I was fixed at that Theatre
I determined to stay there; I did, in
all things which related to my Profession,
submit intirely to that Manager’s
Direction, and, with the help of
other principal Performers, did greatly
promote his Interest, as was evident
from the Audiences after we went
to Act there; but I found, by his
Behaviour to me, it was designed I
should not continue with him, but
return the next Season to Drury-
Lane
.

The Agreements betwixt that Manager
and me were verbal, but made
before two Gentlemen of Character
and Fortune, on whom I must depend
for the fulfilling of them; they
were for one Year. At the end of the
Acting-season the Manager sent an
Office-keeper to me with some Salary
that was due, who required a
Receipt in full; I told him a very great Part B3r 13
Part of my Agreements were yet due,
and requested to see the Manager,
who came and acknowledged them,
and promised to bring one of the
Gentlemen who was present at our
Ingagements in a Day or two and
pay me, and then he said he had
done with me; but he has not paid
me, nor have I ever seen him since,
or as much as heard from him.

It has always been a Custom in
Theatres, that if ever any Actor or
Actress was to be discharged, or their
Allowance lessen’d, they were acquainted
with it at the End of the Season;
the Reason of this will appear to be
the giving them a proper Notice to
provide for themselves: This the Manager
of Covent-Garden did to all his
Company whom he designed to discharge,
or whose Allowance was to
be lessen’d, except to me, which made
me actually then conclude he determinedmined B3v 14
I should continue with him,
’till I was undeceived by his Play-Bills
with the Names of other Actresses in
Parts I used to perform; so that he
had not only broke thro’ the Customs
of the Theatre, but those in practice
almost every where, in dismissing me,
and has done me a real Injury in
such an unprecedented Act of Injustice;
for had I been informed of
his Design at the End of the Season,
I could have made Terms to have
acted in Ireland, where I had met
with most uncommon Civilities, and
received very great Advantages, which
I shall ever remember with the utmost
Gratitude, and take this and
every other Opportunity to acknowledge.

As I have said, it has been a Custom
to give Actors Notice of a
Discharge: I must at the same time
observe, That it never was a Custom to B4r 15
to discharge any, but upon Neglect of
their Business, or such as were obnoxious
to the Publick; this Maxim
extended even to those of the lowest
Class; but to those, on whose Performances
the Town had been pleased
to stamp a Value, by their Indulgence
and Applause, the Stage was
always a Support, even after Age or
any Accident had made ’em incapable
of their Profession; for the then
Patentees thought it as great a Piece
of Insolence to deprive the Publick
of their Pleasures, as of Cruelty and
Injustice to deny those a Subsistence
who had contributed towards ’em;
for they knew and acknowledged,
that the Publick was the only Support
of all, consequently had an indisputable
Right to be pleased in the
best manner possible.

It is pretended by the Managers,
that they have the same Right to dischargecharge B4v 16
an Actor that a Master has
to turn away a Servant, than which
nothing can be more false and absurd;
for, when a Master dismisses a
Servant, there are many thousands besides
to apply to; but when the Managers
dismiss an Actor, where are
they to apply? It is unlawful to act
any where but with them; Necessity
or Inclination brings every one to the
Stage; if the former happens to be
the Case, they will not readily find
an Employment; and if the latter,
they will not be fit for one; so that
it will appear an Act of great Injustice
and Oppression. If it should
be objected, That the Actors Demands
are so exorbitant, that the
Managers cannot comply with ’em?
I have already endeavoured to show,
that tho’ two or three Salaries might
be thought so in general, they did
not amount to more than had been allowed C1r 17
allowed, and very considerable Profits
arising to the Patentees. But there is
a very melancholy Instance, that the
Actors Demands is not the Reason
of dismissing ’em, but the Will of
the Manager alone; since last Season
an Actor and Actress returned to
Drury-Lane under such Abatements as
that Manager thought proper, and
such as were in no degree equal to
their Merit; and yet, at the beginning
of this Season, were dismissed,
after having been from their Infancy
on the Stage, and having no other
Professions to live by, and very numerous
Families to support.

The Manager of Drury-Lane, tho’
he can’t but know I am disengag’d
from the other Theatre, has not made
any Application to me to act with
him, which he has done to several
others who quitted that Stage at the
Time I did: The Reasons which C obliged C1v 18
obliged me to leave him still subsist:
He owes me a Hundred and Sixty
Pounds, twelve Shillings, which he
has acknowledged to be justly due,
and promised Payment of it by last
Christmas to a Person of too great
Consequence for me to mention here,
the greater Part of it Money I expended
for Cloaths for his Use. He
offer’d me, last Season, not near half
as much as he afterwards agreed to
give another Performer, and less than
he then gave to some others in his
Company; so that I must conclude, as
every one knows there are Agreements
betwixt the Managers, that
there is a Design to distress me, and
reduce me to such Terms as I cannot
comply with.

I am sorry I am reduced to say
any thing in favour of myself; but,
as I think I merit as much as another
Performer, and the Managers are so C2r 19
so desirous to convince me of the
contrary, I hope I shall be excused;
especially when I declare, that at this
time, I am not in the least vain of
my Profession.

As to my Performances, the Audience
are the only proper Judges:
But I may venture to affirm, That
my Labour, and Application, have
been greater than any other Performers
on the Stage. I have not only
acted in almost all the Plays, but in
Farces and Musical Entertainments;
and very frequently two Parts in a
Night, even to the Prejudice of my
Health. I have been at a very great
Expence in Masters for Singing; for
which Article alone, the Managers
now give five and six Pounds a Week.
My additional Expences, in belonging
to the Theatre, amount to upwards
of one Hundred Pounds a Year, in
Clothes, and other Necessaries; and C2 the C2v 20
the pretended great Salaries, of ten
and twelve Pounds a Week, which
have been so artfully and falsly represented
to the Town, to the Prejudice
of the Actors, will, upon Enquiry,
appear to be no more than
half as much, since they performed
last Season, at the Theatres, very seldom
above three or four Days a
Week; so taking in the long Vacation,
when there are no Plays at all,
to those Days the present Managers
omit acting, a Salary which appears
to be great, will be found, in effect,
to be very moderate; and those which
are less, not a Sufficiency.

I have now finished all I propos’d;
I have shown in how aggravating a
manner, without any Reason assigned,
and at a Time a very considerable
Sum of Money was owing. to me,
I have been turn’d out of Covent-
Garden Theatre
. The Manager of Drury- C3r 21
Drury-Lane, tho’ he can’t but know
what just Reasons I had for quitting
him, has never apply’d to me to return,
nor made the least Excuse for
not paying my Arrears, tho’ due so
long, and after promising Payment
near a Year, notwithstanding I have,
for many Years, not only endeavour’d,
but succeeded, in greatly promoting
that Manager’s Interest, as is known
to himself and his whole Company.

The Reason of my taking the
Liberty to communicate these Things
to the Publick, is most earnestly
to interceed for their Favour and
Protection, from whom I have always
met with great Generosity and
Indulgence: For, as I have already
declared, in a Letter published by me
last Year in the Daily Papers, that
I had not a Fortune to support me,
independent of my Profession, I doubt
not but it will appear, I have not made C3v 22
made any considerable Acquisition to
it since, having not received two
Hundred Pounds Salary for acting in
Plays, Farces, and Singing; tho’
other Performers have received more
than twice that Sum. I have, in
Consideration of these Hardships, been
promised the Protection of many Ladies,
to whom I have the Honour to
be personally known, and will not
doubt the Concurrence of the Publick,
in receiving my Performance in
the best manner I am, at present, capable
of, which I shall always most
gratefully Acknowledge.

C. Clive.

Finis.