Charles Coffey

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For others named Charles or Charlie Coffey, see Charlie Coffey (disambiguation).

Charles Coffey (died 1745) was an Irish playwright and composer.

His best-known opera is probably The Beggar’s Wedding (1729), which capitalizes on the success of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (1728). The Beggar's Wedding opened at the Haymarket on 29 May 1729.

His best music includes:

  • The Devil to Pay, or The Wives Metapmorhos’d (1731), from a play by Thomas Jevon.
  • Ellen A Roon (1729), now sung to new words and known as Robin Adair.


  • A Wife and No Wife, a play, (published 1732, never acted)
  • Devil Upon Two Sticks, or the Country Beau, a ballad opera, (1728)
  • The Beggar’s Wedding, a ballad opera, (1729)
  • Southwark Fair, or, The Sheep-Shearing, a short ballad opera, (1729)
  • Female Parson, or, Beau in the Sudds, a balled opera (1730)
  • The Devil to Pay, or, The Wives Metamorphos'd, a ballad opera written with John Mottley, based on Thomas Jevon's The Devil of a Wife (1731)
  • The Boarding-School, or, The Sham Captain, a ballad opera based on Thomas D'Urfey's Love for Money, or, The Boarding-School (1733)
  • The Merry Cobler, or, The Second Part of the Devil to Pay, a ballad opera (1735)

See also[edit]


  • The Irish Theatre from the Earliest Period up to the Present Day by Peter Kavanagh (1946)
  • "Charles Coffey" in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography by Joseph Knight, revised Yvonne Noble.

External links[edit]