Frederick Jones

Life
1759-1834 [Frederick Edward Jones]; b. Vestington, Co. Meath; ed. TCD; acquired lease on Fishamble St. Theatre; opened it with The Beggar’s Opera, 6 Mar. 1793; gained royal patent from Daly, 12 Aug. 1797; opened Crow St. 29 Jan. 1798 with The Merchant of Venice, after lavish remodelling at the expense of £1,200; sold one-eighth shares to Edward Tuite and Thomas Crampton, c.1803; moved to London and co-managed Drury Lane with R. B. Sheridan’s son [Thomas Sheridan up to the fire in 1809; resumed the Crow St. management to the riot of 1814; on death of Anthony Roche, a deputy manager, c.1815, he returned to riots and lawsuits; patent expired in 1819 and patent granted to Henry Harris; Jones’s management of the theatre savagely aspersed by J. W. Croker in Familiar Epistle on Irish Stage (1804), pseud.; the eponymous owner of Jones Road, Dublin, he occupied Clonliffe House, formerly Fortick’s Grove, later to become the Catholic diocesan house and seminar, and the scene of a celebrated burglary by a gang of ‘highwaymen’ in which Jones, being forewarned, defended his property with blunderbusses, leading to the death of some of the assailants and the hanging of others shortly after. ODNB DIB

[ top ]

References
Peter Kavanagh, The Irish Theatre (Tralee: The Kerryman 1946), notes that he was at Trinity College with the Earl of Westmeath; proceeded to decorate Fishamble St. ‘with a degree of excellence hitherto unknown in Ireland’ (Hibernian Mag., March1793), and open the theatre for ‘the improvement of scholars and critics’ (see Thespian Dictionary) with The Beggar’s Opera (6 March 1793); Daly surrendered the patent and theatre to Jones, 12 Aug 1797; Jones promptly closed Fishamble St. and managed Crow St. for the next 21 years; opened Crow St. on 29 Jan. 1798 with The Merchant of Venice after extensive alterations; after the 1798 Rebellion and the Emmet Rising, he sold one-eighth shares to Edward Tuite and Thomas Crampton; retired to London where he co-managed Drury Lane with R. B. Sheridan’s son [Thomas, ‘Tom’]] till it burnt down; resumed the Crow St. management till a riot of 1814, caused by the audience’s disappointment at the withdrawal of an advertised afterpiece; management conducted next by Crampton and then Anthony Roche, a deputy manager who died before the 1815 season opened; Jones returned to face further riots and lawsuits before his patent expired in 1819; renewal refused; patent granted to Henry Harris of London; last performance at Crow St. was Richard the Third (13 May 1820). See also footnote ( Kavanagh, op. cit., p.392) to the effect that the Theatre Royal, Abbey St., was build by Buck Jones, without licence for proper drama under the management of one Mr. Calvert.

[ top ]

References
John Gilbert, MRIA, History of the City of Dublin, 3 vols. (Dublin: Duffy 1861), Vol. 2, contains as Appendix V, “Memorial relative to the Government Allowance to the Theatre Royal circa ad 1799 [former propertyof R. T. Jones, Esq.]: ‘[...] There is lodged to the Bank of Messrs La Touche Stock in the Irish 5 per cents, to the amount of £6,000, for the purpose of securing the payment of an annuity to Mr Daly and children of £300 per annum: this stock to revert to Mr Jones or his assigns at the death of Mr Daly and his children. Mr Jones as patentee of the Theatre Royal, to receive annually from the Government the sum of £350, which has been paid for the last sixty years. [However] Mr Jones, in consequence of the very heavy expenses he has incurred for procuring a suitable entertainment for the Public, and the heavy losses he sustained during the Rebellion, how solicits [for] the reversion of the stock of £6,000 for ever to the public upon receiving an issue of £5,000 in Government debentures at 5 per cent for the payment of the interest of which he consents to relinquish £250 per annum of the annual sum so paid as aforesaid, and which £250 is now paid by the Public.’

[ top ]

Notes
Alamo Jones: The narrative of robbery and defence of Jones's house [Clonliffe] at Jones's Road, given in Sir Jonah Barrington’s Memoirs, is reiterated in Weston St. John Joyce, Neighbourhood of Dublin (1939).

[ top ]