William Thomas Moncrieff

William Thomas Moncrieff

William Thomas Moncrieff (August 24, 1794December 3, 1857) was an English dramatist.

He was born in London, the son of a Strand tradesman named Thomas. The name Moncrieff he assumed for theatrical purposes. Moncrieff's first success was at Astley’s circus with "The Dandy Family" an equestrian drama, and in 1820 "The Lear of Private Life", with Junius Brutus Booth as hero, enjoyed a long run. He supplied Drury Lane with a romantic melodrama called "The Cataract of the Ganges; or, The Rajah’s Daughter" which gave the national theatre an opportunity of displaying upon its stage both real horses and a real waterfall. This work became very popular with performances at provincial theatres throughout England. But his most popular production was "Tom and Jerry" (1821), a dramatization of "Life in London" by Pierce Egan, whose "Boxiana" Moncrieff had begun to publish in 1818. He managed Vauxhall Gardens in 1827 and in 1833 leased the City Theatre. Soon afterward his sight failed, and in 1843 he became totally blind. The following year he entered the Charterhouse in London. Moncrieff's theatrical reminiscences were published in the "Sunday Times" in 1851. He edited "Selections from Dramatic Works" (London, 1850), containing 24 of his own plays.


* The New Century Cyclopedia of Names, ed. Clarence L. Barnhart (Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York, 1954). p.2788


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