Ireland, W. H. (William Henry), 1777-1835

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1777-08-02
Death 1835-04-17
Britons
English, French

Biographical notes:

English forger of Shakespeare manuscripts.

From the description of Autograph forgery in the form of an autograph receipt signed by William Shakespeare : [London], [n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 269518423

English forger.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : [London], to Mrs. Colepeper, 1825 July 28. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 269528697

William Henry Ireland, English writer and literary forger.

From the description of W. H. Ireland manuscript material : 1 item, 1834 (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 436942877

Epithet: of Add MS 24014

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001295.0x000223

Forger.

From the description of A collection of the Ireland fabrications, 1805. (Indiana University). WorldCat record id: 56116532

William Henry Ireland was the son of author and engraver Samuel Ireland. Before he was twenty, Ireland had written several works that he claimed were newly discovered Shakespearian documents, including a play, Vortigern and Rowena, produced by Richard Brinsley Sheridan at his theater in Drury Lane in March 1796. He also purchased about 80 late 16th and early 17th century English books and tracts in which he forged Shakespeare's autograph and made notes purportedly in Shakespeare's hand. The Shakespeare scholar Edward Malone challenged the authenticity of these works in his Inquiry into the authorship of certain miscellaneous papers ... (1795), and in May 1796 Ireland admitted to the forgeries in An authentic account of the Shakespearian manuscripts (1796) and again in his Confessions (1805).

From the description of Ireland's Shakespearian [sic] library : list of titles offered for sale, [1805?]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122685971

In 1794, at age 19, William Henry Ireland "discovered" a cache of William Shakespeare manuscripts, which he presented in a series of gifts to his father, including two previously unknown plays, Vortigern and Henry II. An edition was published under the title of Miscellaneous Papers and Legal Instruments under the Hand and Seal of William Shakespeare. Vortigern was produced at the Drury Lane Theatre in April 1796, but by this point, the manuscripts were increasingly regarded as forgeries. William Henry Ireland, exposed as the actual author of the Shakespeare manuscripts, embarked on a long literary career, and sold several extra-illustrated mansucript copies of his forgeries.

From the description of Papers, 1593-1824 (inclusive), 1794-1813 (bulk). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 612885549

Forger of Shakespeare manuscripts.

From the description of Papers, 1796-1835. (University of Iowa Libraries). WorldCat record id: 28410845

Epithet: of Stowe MS 994

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001295.0x000236

In 1794, at age 19, William Henry Ireland "discovered" a cache of William Shakespeare manuscripts, which he presented in a series of gifts to his father, engraver Samuel Ireland. The manuscripts included legal documents, correspondence, and two previously unknown plays, Vortigern and Henry II. By 1795, many of the manuscripts were on display at the Ireland home, and were the talk of London. In December, an edition was published under the title of Miscellaneous Papers and Legal Instruments under the Hand and Seal of William Shakespeare. Vortigern was produced at the Drury Lane Theatre in April 1796, but by this point, the manuscripts were increasingly regarded as forgeries, and the production was hooted off the stage on opening night. William Henry Ireland, exposed as the actual author of the Shakespeare manuscripts, embarked on a long literary career. In 1805, he published The Confessions of William-Henry Ireland. He also sold several extra-illustrated manuscript copies of his own forgeries.

From the guide to the Papers, 1593-1824 (inclusive), 1794-1813 (bulk)., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

Loading...

Loading Relationships

Information

Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6fj2g2t
Ark ID:
w6fj2g2t
SNAC ID:
32698912

Subjects:

  • Literary forgeries and mystifications--18th century
  • Forgers--19th century--Correspondence
  • Authors, English--19th century--Correspondence
  • Forgery of manuscripts
  • Literary forgeries and mystifications
  • English literature
  • English literature--Parodies, imitations, etc.--19th century
  • Chron.: 1771
  • Chron.: 1796

Occupations:

  • Collector
  • Forgers--Great Britain

Places:

  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)