William Bullock (actor)

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William Bullock (c. 1657 – c. 1740) was an English actor, "of great glee and much comic vivacity." He played at all the London theatres of his time, and in the summer at a booth at Bartholomew Fair.

Life[edit]

Bullock's name is mentioned in Downes's "Roscius Anglicanus." He first appears in the cast of Colley Cibber's "Love's Last Shift," produced by the associated companies of Drury Lane and Dorset Garden, 1696. In Cibber's piece he played Sly. He had joined the companies the previous year. Among his original characters were Sir Tunbelly Clumsy in the "Relapse," 1697, and Soto in "She would and she would not," 1702. He also played with success many parts in the plays of John Dryden, William Wycherley, Thomas Shadwell. Until 1706, he was at Drury Lane. He then went to the Haymarket, returning to Drury Lane in 1708. After another brief migration to the Haymarket, followed by a new return to Drury Lane, he quitted definitely the latter theatre, 1715–16, for Lincoln's Inn Fields, where he remained till 1726. [1] He was the original Clincher in Farquhar's Constant Couple (1699), Boniface in The Beaux' Stratagem (1707), and Sir Francis Courtall in Pavener's Artful Wife (1717). [2]

His death is said to have taken place on 18 June 1733, a date which has been accepted by most subsequent writers. He had a benefit, however, at Covent Garden on 6 January 1739, described on the bills as 'his first appearance on the stage for six years,' when he played Dominic in Dryden's "Spanish Fryar." In his address to the public he pleaded his great age, upwards of threescore and twelve, as a reason for indulgence. He played again on 25 April 1739, for the benefit of Stephen, the Host in the "Merry Wives of Windsor,' a favourite character. He had, according to Genest, in the summer a booth at Bartholomew Fair, at which he acted. After this no more is heard of him. [1]

Family[edit]

William Bullock had three sons, all actors, of whom the eldest was Christopher Bullock (c. 1690–1724), who at Drury Lane, the Haymarket and Lincoln's Inn Fields displayed "a considerable versatility of talent."

Christopher created a few original parts in comedies and farces of which he was the author or adapter:—A Woman's Revenge (1715); Slip; Adventures of Half an Hour (1716); The Cobbler of Preston; Woman's a Riddle; The Perjurer (1717); and The Traitor (1718).

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