Charles Mayne Young

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

An 1822 print of Charles Young

Charles Mayne Young (1777–1856), English actor, was the son of an eminent London surgeon. Young's first stage appearance was in Liverpool on 20 September 1798, as the character Young Norval (or the character Douglas according to some of his biographers)[1] in Home's blank verse tragedy Douglas. Young's first London appearance[2] was in 1807 as Hamlet with his friend Charles Mathews playing Polonius. "With the decline of John Philip Kemble, and until the coming of Kean and Macready, he was the leading English tragedian".[3] He retired in 1832 in a farewell performance playing Hamlet with, as a special honour to him, Mathews as Polonius and Macready as the Ghost.[4]

Young's first appearance in Liverpool[edit]

"A passage in 'Gore Advertiser' for Thursday 20 September 1798, says: 'A young man (whose name we understand is Green) appeared for the first time in public last night at our theatre, in the part of Young Norval. He was received with great applause, and equitted himself in a manner highly creditable.' The player referred to Charles Mayne Young, one of the brightest ornaments of the British stage."[5]

Washington Irving's opinion of Young in London[edit]

I am delighted with Young, who acts with great judgment, discrimination and feeling, I think him much the best actor at present on the English stage. His Hamlet is a very fine performance, as is likewise his Stranger, Pierre, Chamont, etc.[6]

Young's wife and son[edit]

Julia Ann Grimani[7] was Young's wife. From the famous Grimani family of Venice,[4] she was famed for her youthful beauty and talent. At the Theatre Royal, Liverpool, on 20 October 1803, The Belle's Strategy was presented with Charles Mayne Young as Doricourt and Julia Ann Grimani as Letitia Hardy; this was the first stage performance of the two together.[5] She made her London stage début in 1804 as Juliet. In October of that year, she contracted to play at the Theatre Royal, Liverpool, as Juliet to Young's Romeo. On 9 March 1805, she and Charles married at St. Ann's Church, Liverpool.[4] They contracted for a twelve-month on the stage at Manchester. The next year, after giving birth to her son, Julian Charles Young, she fell victim to puerperal fever, dying on 17 July 1806 at the age of 21.[4]

Young gave custody of his son Julian to the care of the daughter of one Captain Forbes of the Royal Navy. "Although he survived her fifty years he never married again, and her memory remained green and beautiful to him through all that time. As he grew old this feeling intensified. He would at times take her miniature from the recesses of a secret drawer, and, as he gazed upon it until the tears ran down his furrowed cheeks, he would deplore its unworthy presentment of her sweet face, and then he would produce from a cherished morocco case a long tress of chestnut hair."[8]

Julian took holy orders, serving as Chaplain at Hampton Court Palace and Rector of Ilmington, Warwickshire, and married, on 26 April 1832, Elizabeth Anne Georgiana, daughter of James Willis (of that family of Atherfield, Isle of Wight), Consul-General- later Governor- of Senegambia. They had three sons and two daughters. Julian published in 1871 'A memoir of Charles Mayne Young, tragedian: with extracts from his son’s journal’.

Theatrical obituary written by Edward Leman Blanchard[edit]

"Charles Mayne Young was born January 10th, 1777, in Fenchurch Street. Was educated at Eton and Merchant Taylors'. Was in a merchants' house, Longman[9] & Co., for a short time, and first appeared under the name of Green, as Douglas, at the Theatre Royal, Liverpool. His success was so marked that the same winter he played lead at Manchester, and returned to fill the like position at Liverpool the following summer, from 1800 to 1802. Mr. Young made his London debut as Hamlet at the Haymarket, June 22nd, 1807; joined the Covent Garden Company in 1810, as second to John Kemble, and lead when he was absent. He even surpassed Kemble in many of the characters, which were supposed to be the great tragedian's own. Young was almost as good in comedy as he was in tragedy. He bade adieu to the stage as Hamlet at Covent Garden, May 30th, 1832. He was a great favourite in society, was an accomplished gentleman, and a good sportsman. Some interesting memoirs of him were written by his son, the Rev. Julian Charles Young, rector of Ilmington."[10]

See also[edit]



  • Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Young, Charles Mayne" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 939.
  •  Knight, John Joseph (1900). "Young, Charles Mayne" . In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 63. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 365–368.