FINANCING SHERIDAN

Pizarro

On February 7th, 1799, Messrs Sheridan, Grubb and Richardson, Proprietors of Drury Lane Theatre, wrote Louis a bill of exchange (effectively a post dated cheque) for ₤60/15/6, to be cashed 10 months after the cheque was written.  Two days later they wrote another for the same amount, to be cashed 11 months afterwards.  The play Pizarro (adapted by R. B. Sheridan from Kotzebue’s Spaniards in Peru) was presented at Drury Lane on the 24th of May, 1799, so no doubt these sums were to help finance it. Years of unpaid debts had put Sheridan in the position of having few people left to borrow from. According to his ledger in Coutts’ Bank, Louis had previously paid “Mr Sheridan” ₤614/-/- in January, 1797.  Pizarro ran for an unprecedented thirty-one nights, but despite its great success, it was Sheridan’s last production, and heralded the theatre’s effectively going into receivership.  It is most unlikely that Louis was ever repaid, but this was small change to him. 

The above cartoon shows ‘Sherry’ gloating over the profits from Pizarro.  His share of the profits apparently came to £1,000.

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