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North family collection of letters and papers relating to Tate Wilkinson, Mrs. Siddons, and the North family of York

Identifier: N67436

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the call numbers Y.d.618 (1-38).

Series 1: Letters to Tate Wilkinson of the Theatre Royal, York, from Anna Maria Hull, Agnes Maria Bennett, William Thomas Lewis, Edward Barlow and John Collins, 1796-1801, and 2 invitation cards to ladies of the Siddons and Wilkinson families from the Countess St. Antonio and Mrs. Horace Twiss, (1-10). The 3 letters from W.T. Lewis and Edward Barlow to Tate Wilkinson, [April?]-Dec. 1800 (3-5), refer to the complaint of certain actors against the manager of Covent Garden, Thomas Harris. Also, letters to the North family of York from Mrs. Mary Siddons, H.G.I. Siddons (great-grandson of Sarah Siddons) and Sydney C. Carter, ca. 1870-1955, (11-21).

Series 2: Includes 2 scrapbooks of Jane and Anne Wilkinson (Tate Wilkinson's granddaughters), 1821-1842, (22-23); 2 theatrical scrapbooks of the Wilkinson family, ca. 1765-ca. 1845, including a facsimile of a letter from Barton Booth, Nov. 5, 1732, the autograph of George Cruikshank, a poem by R.B.B. Sheridan, and a song sung by Miss Wilkinson in 1827, (24-25); 2 notebooks with details of the Siddons, Kemble and Wilkinson families by Miss M[ary] North, ca. 1920, (26-27). Poems, quotations, playbills and many engravings fill the scrapbooks.

Series 3: 1 daguerreotype and 3 silhouettes of the Wilkinson family, 2 photographs of Mrs. Scott-Siddons and 2 of Mrs. Mary Siddons, (28-36).


  • 1732-1955



Collection is open for research.


38.0 items

Language of Materials



Collection of material relating to Tate Wilkinson (1739-1803), his descendants, and the York Theatre, especially the Siddons acting family; 2 scrapbooks of theatrical engravings including several York playbills; 5 letters to Wilkinson; 10 letters between H.G.I. Siddons and Mary North concerning North's collection of Siddons memorabilia; 2 commonplace books of Anne and Jane Wilkinson; photographs and silhouettes of members of the Wilkinson and Siddons families, and other miscellaneous material.


The collection is arranged into three series: 1. Correspondence; 2. Scrapbooks and notebooks; 3. Photographs. Series 1 is subdivided into two subseries: 1. letters to the Wilkinson family; 2. letters to the North family.


Belonged to Miss Mary North of 25 East Parade, Heworth, York (see Y.d.618 (13) and Y.d.618 (20)), and possibly later to Miss Lily North of York. According to an old Sotheby's bill removed prior to the 1985 sale of the collection, it was consigned by Mrs. R. Smailes of Huddersfield, who also consigned lots 90, 92, 94, 98, 104, 107, 108, 109, and 150 at Sotheby's (London), July 4, 1974.

Acquisition Information

The North family collection of letters and papers relating to Tate Wilkinson, Mrs. Siddons, and the North family of York was acquired by the Folger Shakespeare Library from Sotheby's (London), May 25, 1985, lot 867.

Separated Materials

Printed materials have been transferred to the book collection of the Folger Shakespeare Library. Two items were removed from Y.d.618 (24) and cataloged as books: 1) a prompt copy of Songs, chorusses, &c. which are introduced in the new entertainment of The Jubilee at the Theatre-Royal, in Drury-Lane, 1776, partly in Tate Wilkinson's hand, according to preliminary list (PR2923 1769 .G3 1776 Cage copy 2). 2) The Diary or Woodfall's Register, September 6, 1791, a newspaper.

See Curatorial File for odds and ends that previously accompanied the manuscripts, including Sotheby Catalog for sale of July 4, 1974, and note by T[ed] H[offman] that lots checked in catalog are from the estate of Mrs. R. Smailes of Huddersfield (Mrs. Smailes possibly a member of the North family). None of the items checked are in present collection, but most concern Tate Wilkinson.

Additional access

For the collection-level record, and / or to conduct additional research in the catalog, see

Poems listed in the Union first line index.

Guide to the North Family Collection of Letters and Papers relating to Tate Wilkinson, Mrs. Siddons, and the North family of York Folger MS Y.d.618 (1-38)
Unverified Full Draft
Finding aid prepared by Folger Library Staff. Revised by Miranda Marraccini and Nadia Seiler, 2011.
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • July 2011: Revised by Miranda Marraccini and Nadia Seiler, 2011.

Repository Details

Part of the Folger Shakespeare Library Repository

201 E. Capitol St. SE
Washington DC 20003 USA