Joseph Ashbury

Life
1638-1720 [var. Astbury]; b. London, Educated Eton, officer in Ireland during Protectorate; took part in capture of Dublin Castle on the eve of the Restoration and rewarded with captaincy, appointed deputy master of Revels under Ormonde; spent much time thereafter in London, Clarke’s Early Irish Stage (1955), recording from the Lawrence Transcriptions (Public Office material), that he mounted numerous plays including Othello at the Smock Alley Royal Theatre, where he was actor manager, from 1660; in Dec. 1670 [var. 1671], the galleries of Smock Alley Theatre collapsed, killing a girl; took the Royal Theatre on successful tour to Oxford and later to Edinburgh, where he trained Princess Anne (later Queen) in the role of Semandra[?ia] in Nathaniel Lee’s Mithridates; Ashbury resumed acting in Dublin with performance of Othello (Christmas 1691), playing the part of Iago opposite Robert Wilkes in the title role, repeated at the reopening of Smock Alley to the public on 31 March 1692, as part of victory celebrations. ODNB

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Criticism
William Smith Clarke, The Early Irish Stage: The Beginnings to 1720 (Oxford: Clarendon 1955; rep. Greenwood, 1973); Christopher Morash, A History of Irish Theatre 1601-2000 (Cambridge UP 2002), p.30ff.

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References
A. N. Jeffares, Anglo-Irish Literature (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan 1982); remarks upon the number of theatres in Dublin in the post-Reformation period; the warrant investing Ogilby as Master of the Revells specifically precluded the building of any other theatre than the Royal, and Ogilby actually built his new theatre in Smock Alley rather than continuing - or taking up again - at Werburgh St.; Ashbury was deputy master of the Revells.

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Notes
Theatrical disaster: In Dec. 1670 [var. 1671], the galleries of Smock Alley Theatre collapsed, killing a girl.

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