Henry James Montague

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Henry J. Montague
Henry James Montague.jpg
Henry James Montague in 1875
Born Henry John Mann
(1843-01-20)January 20, 1843
Staffordshire, England
Died August 3, 1878(1878-08-03) (aged 35)
San Francisco
Occupation Entertainer, actor, singer, producer, Shepherd of The Lambs Club

Henry James Montague was the stage name of Henry John Mann, (January 20, 1843 – August 13, 1878), an American actor born in England.[1][2]


Montague was born January 20, 1843, in Staffordshire, England.[1]

After playing as an amateur he appeared at Astley's Theatre under Dion Boucicault, enacting on 26 January 1863, the Junior Counsel for the Defence in the 'Trial of Elfie Deans,' extracted by Boucicault from the 'Heart of Midlothian.' At the St James's Theatre on 11 January 1864, he appeared with Charles Mathews in the 'Adventures of a Love Letter,' an adaptation by Mathews of M. Sardou's 'Pattes de Mouche,' was Faust in Mr. Burnand's burlesque 'Faust and Marguerite,' 9 July, and 1 October, Christopher Larkins in 'Woodcock's Little Game.' [3]

On 29 June 1865 he was the original Launcelot Darrell, a murderer, in 'Eleanor's Victory,' adapted from Miss Braddon by John Oxenford ; at the Olympic, 9 December, the original Clement Austin in 'Henry Dunbar, or the Outcast,' adapted by Tom Taylor from 'L'Ouvriere de Londres,' itself founded by M. Hostein on Miss Braddon's novel ; on 25 April 1866 was the first Sir Charles Ormond in Leicester Silk Buckingham's ' Love's Martyrdom ;' and on 27 September 1866, the first Captain Trevor in Tom Taylor's 'Whiteboy.' On the production of Wilkie Collins's 'Frozen Deep,' 27 Oct. 1866, he was Frank Aldersley, and he played Mars in Mr. Burnand's burlesque 'Olympic Games' on 25 May 1867. [3]

Montague's first appearance at the Prince of Wales Theatre under the Bancroft management took place as Dick Heartley, an original part, in Boucicault's 'How she loves him,' 21 December 1867, and Frank Price in Robertson's 'Play' followed, 15 February 1868. At the Princess's, 12 Aug. 1868, he was the original Sir George Medhurst in 'After Dark,' an adaptation by Boucicault of 'Les Oiseaux de Proie' of D'Ennery and Grange. Back at the Prince of Wales's he was, 12 December 1868, the original Waverham in Mr. Edmund Yates's 'Tame Cats,' and on 16 January 1869 made his first distinct mark as Lord Beaufoy in Robertson's 'School.' [3]

In partnership with David James (died 1893) and Mr. Thomas Thorne, he opened the Vaudeville Theatre on 16 April 1870, speaking an address by Shirley Brooks, and playing George Anderson in Andrew Halliday's comedy 'For Love or Money.' In Albery's 'Two Roses,' 4 June 1870, he made a hit as Jack Wyatt to the Digby Grant of Mr. Henry Irving. [3]

In 1871, he seceded from the management, and became sole lessee of the Globe, opening 7 October 1871 with Henry James Byron's 'Partners for Life,' in which he played Tom Gilroy, a young barrister. Here he played numerous original parts, among which were : Claude Redruth in Albery's 'Forgiven,' 9 March 1872; Walker in Byron's 'Spur of the Moment,' founded on Hooke's 'Gilbert Gurney,' 4 May 1872; Lord Chilton in Frank Marshall's 'False Shame,' 4 November 1872; Wilfrid Cumberledge in 'Tears, Idle Tears,' adapted by Mr. Clement Scott from the 'Marcel' of Jules Sandeau, 4 December 1872; King Raymond in Albery's 'Oriana,' 5 February 1873 ; Sir Henry Gaisford in Byron's 'Fine Feathers,' 26 April 1873; Toots in 'Heart's Delight,' adapted by Halliday from 'Dombey and Son,' 17 December 1873 ; and Alfred Trimble in 'Committed for Trial,' Mr. Gilbert's adaptation of 'Le Reveillon,' 24 January 1874. This was the last original character he played in England. [3]

He had also been seen in the 'Liar,' had played Max Harkaway in 'London Assurance,' Cyril in Byron's 'Cyril's Success,' Felix in Jerrold's 'Time works Wonders,' John Hawksley in 'Still Waters run deep' and Claude Melnotte in the 'Lady of Lyons'. He also gave dramatic readings at Hanover Square Rooms. [3]

He appeared in Thomas William Robertson comedies in London. In 1870 he was one the founders of the Vaudeville Theatre with David James and Thomas Thorne. Lester Wallack brought him to the United States in 1874.[4]

Montague was a founding member of The Lambs (of London) and became its Shepherd (president) in 1873. He became the first Shepherd of The Lambs Club, an actors club founded in New York City in 1874.[5] He played the role of Captain Molineux in the premiere of The Shaughraun in 1874 and later appeared in Caste, Diplomacy, and The Overland Route.[4]

In 1875, Montague was sued by actress Rose Massey for breach of promise to marry. The case ended once Montague died.[6][7] He was in London in 1876, and assumed for a benefit, 27 July 1876, his original part of Jack Wyatt in 'Two Roses.' [3]

Montague subsequently returned to America, dying in San Francisco, California on 11 August 1878 of a pulmonary hemorrhage. He was playing the role of Lord Arthur Chilton in False Shame.[1]

He was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery on August 21, 1878.[8]


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainKnight, John Joseph (1894). "Montague, Henry James". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 38. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

  1. ^ a b c "Montague Dies Suddenly. Seized With Fatal Hemorrhage In San Francisco. The Favorite Actor's Last Moments. How His Illness Began. What His Friends Say. The Story Of His Professional Career. His Career as an Actor". New York Times. August 13, 1878. Retrieved 2014-12-30. On Friday evening, while playing the part Lord Arthur Chilton, in "False Shame," for his benefit, Mr. Montague was taken suddenly ill from hemorrhage of the lungs. ... 
  2. ^ "The late Henry J. Montague". New York Times. August 14, 1878. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Knight 1894.
  4. ^ a b "Henry James Montague". The Oxford Companion to American Theatre. Answers.com. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  5. ^ http://www.The-Lambs.org
  6. ^ The Rialto A Generation Ago, Theatre Magazine (August 1912, p. 58-60)
  7. ^ (17 July 1875). Odds and Ends, Otago Witness
  8. ^ "Final Tributes To Montague. Thousands Of Friends Attend His Funeral Services. Rev. Dr. Houghton Speaks Of His Life. A "Straw" Bail Man In Custody". New York Times. August 22, 1878. Retrieved 2007-08-21. The mortal remains of Henry J. Montague were laid to rest yesterday within the quiet precincts of Green-Wood Cemetery. No elaborate ceremonies were performed over the coffin, but a thousand mourners, many of them weeping attend the services in "The Little Church Around the Corner," and as many more followed the hearse to the cemetery. The funeral services were carried out in accordance with the programme previously arranged.