Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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HENRY, John, actor, born in Ireland about 1738; died at sea in 1795. He was educated at Trinity college, Dublin, appeared at Drury Lane theatre in London in 1762, and later went to the island of Jamaica, W. I., where he joined the "American company" of actors. He then married Miss Storer, one of the members of that company, who was burned to death on the voyage from Kingston to New York city. Henry first appeared on the opening night of the newly built John street theatre in New York, on 7 December, 1767, as Aimwell in the "Beaux's Stratagem," and shortly afterward, in connection with Lewis Hallam, the second, became joint manager of the theatre. It was a large wooden structure, painted red, situated on the site of Nos. 15 and 17 John street, about sixty feet in the rear of the present line of buildings, and approached by a wide passageway. In 1773 Henry married his wife's sister, and after her death married the third Miss Storer in 1786. During his management in 1773, the Reverend Dr. Myles Cooper, president of King's college, wrote the prologue for the opening of the theatre. At the beginning of the Revolution the company of actors went to the British West Indies, where they remained several years. Their entertainments for a long time were replaced by the amateur performances of British officers, among whom were Major James Moncrieff, Major John Andre, Lord Cathcart, and General Burgoyne. On the return of peace, Hallam and Henry resumed their management of the John street theatre. In 1793 the latter sold his interest to John Hodgkinson. His last appearance was in New York city in 1794. Henry was a good general actor, and an industrious manager. He played in a wide range of characters, from old men's parts to Shakespeare's heroes of tragedy. One of his favorite parts was Othello, in which he was blacked like a negro, and dressed in the uniform of a British officer. on "off nights " it was his habit to appear as one of the players in the orchestra.--The third Mrs. Henry had some talent, both for speaking and singing'. Dunlap says:" She usually came full dressed to the theatre, in the old family coach; and the fashion of monstrous hoops worn at that day made it necessary for Mr. Henry to slide her out sideways, take her in his arms, and carry her." Her last performance was in New York in 1794. On the announcement of the death of her husband she was so overcome as to lose her reason, and died a maniac on 25 April, 1795.
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