Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hawley, Frederick

HAWLEY, FREDERICK (1827–1889), Shakespearean scholar, son of Benjamin Buck Hawley, who served through the Peninsular war, was aide-de-camp to Lord Hill in the battle of Waterloo, became a captain of the 51st King's own on 7 April 1825, sold out 3 April 1835, and died in London on 15 July 1838. Frederick was born at Portsea on 10 Jan. 1827, was brought up to the law and was admitted a solicitor in 1852, at that time being secretary to the Great Eastern Steamship Company. He became an actor under the name of Frederick Haywell, and made his first appearance at the Marylebone Theatre on 5 March 1855, as Florizel in ‘A Winter's Tale.’ Shortly afterwards he accompanied J. W. Wallack's company to the Théâtre Impérial des Italiens in Paris. For five seasons he was a member of Phelps's company at Sadler's Wells, playing Sebastian, Prince Escalus, and other parts. As Prince Escalus he appeared, under Phelps's management, before her majesty at Windsor Castle in November 1859. He then played the leading business at Dublin, Brighton, Manchester, Bristol, Bath, Nottingham, and Birmingham. He took part in Charles Calvert's Shakespearean revivals at the Prince's Theatre, Manchester, and was stage manager at the Theatre Royal, Manchester. In London Hawley was at the Olympic for a season in 1875–6, appeared at the Princess's as Lord Dalgarno in the ‘King o' Scots,’ as Master Ford at the Gaiety, Iago at the Opéra Comique, Mercutio at the Olympic, and as Asa Trenchard at the Haymarket. Two of his plays were produced at the Gaiety, London: ‘Agnes of Bavaria,’ in blank verse, the dedication of which was accepted by Louis, king of Bavaria, and ‘Found,’ a society drama. On 17 May 1886 he was appointed librarian of the Shakespeare Memorial Library at Stratford-on-Avon. His courtesy and learning fitted him for the post, and under his management valuable additions were made to the library. Early in 1889 Hawley completed a manuscript catalogue of all the known editions of Shakespeare's plays in every language. It is the most complete catalogue in existence. He died at Stratford-on-Avon, 13 March 1889, and was buried in Highgate cemetery, London, on 18 March. He was the author of ‘The Royal Family of England. Remarks on the Royal Succession, with a Genealogical Account of the Royal Family,’ 1851.

[Pascoe's Dramatic List, 1880, p. 170; Stratford-on-Avon Herald, 15 March 1889, and 26 April, p. 3; Times, 18 March 1889, p. 10; Era, 23 March 1889; information from Richard Savage, secretary to the trustees of Shakespeare's birthplace.]

G. C. B.