Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Archer, Thomas (d.1848)

ARCHER, THOMAS (d. 1848), actor and dramatist, was the son of a watchmaker, and acted at Bath and Birmingham. He made his first appearance at Drury Lane in 1823, as the King in the 'First Part of King Henry the Fourth.' In the same season he personated Appius Claudius in 'Virginius,' Polixenes in the 'Winter's Tale,' Gloster in 'Jane Shore,' Bassanio in the 'Merchant of Venice,' and Claudio in 'Measure for Measure,' and other characters; and took part in the melodramas of the 'Cataract of the Ganges' and 'Kenilworth.' he was the original representative of Opimius and Gesler in Sheridan Knowles' plays of 'Oaius Gracchus' (1823) and 'Willam Tell' (1825). He visited the United States, and was engaged in the management of several theatres there. He was afterwards a member of the English company of actors performing in Paris with Miss Smithson. At a later period he led a company to Belgium and Germany, and presented certain of Shakespeare's plays at Brussels, Antwerp, Cologne, Aix-la-Chapelle, Frankfort, Hamburg, &c. He was again a member of the Drury Lane company, under the management of Mr. Hammond, in 1839, and in 1845 was appearing at Covent Garden Theatre, then under the management of M. Laurent, as the blind seer in the tragedy of 'Antigone.' He was the author of many successful dramas, adaptations from the French, including the 'Black Doctor,' the 'Little Devil,' produced at the minor theatres, and of one original play of historical interest, entitled 'Blood Royal, or the Crown Jewels.' Of this production he was accustomed to represent the hero, Colonel Blood.

[Genest's History of the Stage, 1832; Theatrical Times, 1847.]

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