Henry Jones

1721-1770; b. Drogheda; patronised by Lord Chesterfield; much poetry, and successful plays, The Earl of Essex, 1753 and The Heroine of the Cave, 1775; died in a cart accident in London after heavy drinking; Garrick wrote his epitaph. RR CAB ODNB PI NCBE DIW OCIL

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J. W. Foster, Colonial Consequences (Dublin: Lilliput Press 1991), Henry Jones, Irish topographical poems, e.g., ‘Rath-Farnham’ by the hapless Henry Jones [14]. Jones made a career of exaggerated panegyric formulae of topographical poetry. [16] Died from injuries incurred when run over in St. Martin’s Lane after two day binge. Dismissed by Chesterfield after borrowing from a servant for drink.

T. Percy Kirkpatrick, on Paul Hiffernan, in Irish Book Lover (Jan. 1931), p.17, In 1775 Hiffernan was asked by the actor Reddish to adapt a play which had been left to him by Henry Jones, the Bricklayer poet, called The Cave of Idra ... founded on ... a true story which had been published in the Gentleman’s Magazine, about the quick-silver mines of Austria. The Heroine of The Cave was played at Drury Lane on March 19, 1764 ... three times revived at Bristol [and] Drury Lane; published in London [as by] Paul Hiffernan, M.D., with dedication ‘To All Virtuous Wives,’ and reissed in Dublin in the same year.

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Dictionary of National Biography: b. Beaulieu, nr. Drogheda; Chesterfield warmly recommended The Earl of Essex, finished in 1752, to Colley Cibber; revised by Chesterfield and Cibber, it was brought out with Barry in the title role, in Feb. 1753, and played seventeen nights; ‘its literary quality is of the poorest’; its success ruined Jones. See also Richard Ryan, Biographia Hibernica: Irish Worthies (1821), Vol. II, p.343-45.

D. J. O’Donoghue, The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical Dictionary (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co 1912), lists Philosophy, a poem (1746); The Relief, or Day-Thoughts [BML 1754]; The Invention of Letters [BLM 1755 Dublin]; Clifton; Vectis, The Isle of Wight (all poems); Harold, trag (Lon 1775)

Brian Cleeve & Anne Brady, A Dictionary of Irish Writers (Dublin: Lilliput 1985): 1721-?1770, according to some authorities, the yr. of his death was 1773. Earl of Essex (1753); Heroine of the Cave (1775). ‘He enjoyed a greater success than any other London playwright achieved throughhout the 18th century.’

Charles A. Read, The Cabinet of Irish Literature (London, Glasgow, Dublin, Belfast & Edinburgh: Blackie & Son [1876-78]), selects from Earl of Essex; MS of Harold was burned by Reddish, the mad manager of Drury Lane

Peter Kavanagh, Irish Theatre (Tralee 1946), His patron Chesterfield persuaded CG to produce The Earl of Essex (21 Feb 1753). Life in European Magazine, Vol. 25 (1798). His Cave of Idra enlared into The Heroine of the Cave by Hiffernan.

G. C. Duggan, The Stage Irishman (1937), Henry Jones, b. Beaulieu, nr. Drogheda, in 1721, turned playwright, dedicated his Earl of Essex to Lord Chesterfield, “who took me out of my original obscurity”; the epilogue spoken by Mrs Cibber, “News, news! good folks, rare news and you shall now it -/I’ve got intelligence about our poet./Who do you think he is? You’ll never guess - /An Irish bricklayer, neither more nor less.” (Duggan, p.170).

British Library (1956 Cat.) lists, Clifton, 2 cantos inc Bristol and env. (1767); Earl of Essex (Lond 1753, Dublin 1756), with numerous editions in British Theatre, London Stage, British Drama, etc.; Memoirs of the Life of Robt. Devereux ... being a full explanation of .. the new tragedy (1753); Epistle to Lord Orrery [on] reading his trans. of Pliny’s epistles (1751); Heroine of the Cave, with adds. by P. Hiffernan (1775); Inoculation, or the Beauty’s Triumph, a poem (Bath 1768); The Invention of Letters, and the Utility of the Press (Dublin 1755); Isle of Wight [see Vectis] (1782); Kew Garden (1767); Merit (1753); Poems on Several Occasions (Lon 1749); The Relief etc. (1754); Vectis, the Isle of Wight (Lon 1766); Verses to the Duke of Newcastle on the death of Rt Hon Henry Pelham (Lon 17540.

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