William Lingard

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William Horace Lingard, c. 1868

William Horace Lingard (1839–1927) was a 19th century English comic singer.

Immigration to America[edit]

In 1868, Lingard immigrated to America (along with his wife, Alice Dunning Lingard). He made his comic debut in New York City that year. After this debut—held at the Theatre Comique, on 6 April 1868—Lingard became known as one of the funniest men of the time.[1] He continued his career in New York, and later became manager of Wood's Theatre there.

William Lingard, dressed as a woman on one of his song sheets. (circa ~1870)


Lingard often appeared on stage in drag, in the high fashion style of the era. Additionally, he mastered the art of quick change, eventually becoming able to act the part of six characters, with only a few seconds for each costume change.

Major role[edit]

Song sheet for Lingard's "Captain Jinks" performance, circa 1868.

Lingard is chiefly remembered for the well-known vaudeville song, "Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines", sometimes shortened to simply "Captain Jinks." Lingard wrote the lyrics, and the music is attributed to T. Maclagan.[2] It was a popular song of the 19th century, and is still sung to this day, having entered the country-western and bluegrass repertory. The song later became the basis of a stage comedy of the same title, written by Clyde Fitch, and a 1975 opera by Jack Beeson. The song has various renditions.


  1. ^ Franceschina, John (2003). David Braham. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-93769-8.
  2. ^ Captain Jinks at library.duke.edu/
  • E. J. Khan, The Merry Partners: the Age and Stage of Harrigan & Hart, 1955, pg. 152

External links[edit]