About the Archive
This website features digital photographs and transcriptions of materials from three volumes labelled “Astley’s Cuttings From Newspapers, 1768-1833” held at the British Library (Th. Cts. 35-37). The materials were collected by James Winston (1779-1843) around 1817. A “mildly successful” actor turned manager (A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians Philip H. Highfill, Kalman A. Burnim, Edward A. Langhans, p. 188) and author of The Theatric Tourist (1805), Winston had planned to compile a comprehensive history of the theatre. His theatre materials were auctioned off in a 3-day sale in 1849 by Puttick and Simpson and were purchased by "the Folger, Henry E. Huntington, Birmingham Reference, and British libraries, the Harvard Theatre Collection, and the Garrick Club" (A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers 188). The Astley volumes were acquired by the British Library in 1882.
etching of James Winston from The Monthly Mirror (August, 1805)