Andrew Cherry

Life
1762-1812; b. Limerick; son of John Cherry, printer who lost his fortune; apprenticed to Mr. Potts, printer, in Dublin, and began to act; joined Mr Martin’s provincial midlands touring company as travelling theatre-manager, left penniless during low season; narrowly avoided starvation (4 days without food), and saved by cottage woman and caterer, living in dank room shack; returned to printing; rejoined players’ company, working for Knipe in Belfast, then for Richard Daly in Crow St.; worked for Ward and Banks in Drury Lane, and wrote the famous note, ‘I have been bitten once by and will not give [you] the opportunity to have another bite of ... A Cherry’; became manager of Theatre Royal, Swansea; died Swansea [?18 Feb. 1812]; plays incl. Harlequin in the Stocks (1793), pantomime; The Outcasts or Poor Bess and Little Dick (1796), unpublished opera; The Soldier’s Daughter (1804), which played for 35 nights at Drury Lane; All for Fame, or A Peep at the Times (1805), comic sketch; Spanish Dollars, or the Priest of the Parish (1806), set in the West of Ireland, with music by Davy; also The Travellers, or Music’s Fascination (1806), with music by Corri, in which the style of each country on the hero’s itinerary is imitated from Galway to China; and Peter the Great, or the Wooden Walls (1807), music by Jouve; best remembered for the song “Dear Little Shamrock” [recte “Green Little Shamrock of Ireland”]; also a poem, Thalia’s Tears (1806); d. on tour with his company in Monmouth, Wales; there is a biographical sketch in a portrait in Walker’s Hibernian Magazinei (April 1804); six songs anthologised in Hercules Ellis’s Songs of Ireland (1849). RR CAB ODNB PI JMC DBIV DIW DIB RAF OCIL FDA

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Works
Harlequin on the Stocks (Hull Theatre, 1793); The Outcasts or Poor Bess and Little Dick (Crow Street, 1 Mar. 1796) [not printed]; The Lyric Novelist or Life Epitomised (1804) [unacted but printed]; The Soldier’s Daughter (Drury Lane 7 Feb. 1804); All for Fame or A Peep at the Times (Drury Lane, 15 May 1805) [unprinted]; The Travellers or Music’s Fascination (Drury Lane, 7 Feb. 1806); Thalia’s Tears, a sketch (Drury Lane, 7 Feb. 1806) [not printed]; Spanish Dollars or the Priest of the Parish (Covent Garden, 9 Apr. 1805) [printed 1806], set in West of Ireland; Peter the Great or the Wooden Walls (Covent Garden, 8 May 1807) 1807; A Day in London, com. (Drury Lane, 9 Apr. 1807) [not printed]. [See Peter Kavanagh, The Irish Theatre, 1946.]

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Commentary
Peter Kavanagh, The Irish Theatre (1946): Besides his authorship of “The Dear Little Shamrock” [sic] ... Cherry’s plays have no originality and nothing whatever to recommend them’ (p.407).

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References
Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 1: selects ‘The Green Little Shamrock of Ireland’, 488; biog. comm. confined to Hogan’s Dictionary (1979), 494;

Irish Literature, Justin McCarthy, ed. (Washington: University of America 1904); songs incl. ‘Niam’, and six others; Shamrock’ [‘This dear little plant that springs from our soil,/When its three little leaves are extended,/Denotes from one stalk we together should toil,/And ourselves by ourselves be befriended.’] ALSO Ellis [Eyeles] and in Cooke’s Dublin Book of Irish Verse.

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Notes
satirical lines on Cherry’s ‘tinsel’ in E. S. Barrett, All the Talents. See also Richard Ryan, Biographia Hibernica: Irish Worthies (1821), vol. I, p.462 and Irish Book Lover, Vol. 7.

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