Jimmy Glover

Last updated

James Mackey Glover (18 June 1861 – 8 September 1931), originally James Mackey, and known as Jimmy Glover, was an Irish composer, conductor, music critic, and journalist, most notable as Director of Music and conductor at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, from 1893 to 1923.

Theatre Royal, Drury Lane West End theatre building in Covent Garden, London, England

The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, commonly known as Drury Lane, is a West End theatre and Grade I listed building in Covent Garden, London, England. The building faces Catherine Street and backs onto Drury Lane. The building is the most recent in a line of four theatres which were built at the same location, the earliest of which dated back to 1663, making it the oldest theatre site in London still in use. According to the author Peter Thomson, for its first two centuries, Drury Lane could "reasonably have claimed to be London's leading theatre". For most of that time, it was one of a handful of patent theatres, granted monopoly rights to the production of "legitimate" drama in London.


Born in Kingstown, Dublin, he was the son of James Mackey, of Templemore, County Tipperary, [1] a commercial traveller, [2] and of Mary Jane Glover, of Carlow, [3] and a grandson of John William Glover (1815–1899), one of the editors of Thomas Moore's Irish Melodies. [4] Educated at the Catholic University School and Belvedere College, [3] he was then apprenticed to a Dublin druggist, Cornelius Mannin, [5] [6] but in 1879 Jimmy travelled to France with his grandfather, spent three months in a monastery at Caen to improve his French [7] (later reported incorrectly as the Lycée de Caen [3] ), then learnt to play the violin under a master in Paris, while also acting as unpaid Paris correspondent of an illustrated London paper called The Entr'acte. [8] In that capacity, he obtained an interview with Victor Hugo. [9] He adopted the name of Glover and followed in his grandfather's footsteps, becoming a composer and conductor. In February 1880 he arrived in London and gained his first position as Musical Director in Charles Colette's burlesque company. [10] By 1893 he was at the height of his career as Director of Music at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Over a 30-year period Glover worked alongside Arthur Collins and arranged the music for most of his productions, including the Drury Lane pantomimes, and became a significant figure in London's West End. He formed friendships with many leading actors and musical theatre performers and wrote books of memoirs which captured this side of his life. [11] He was also Mayor of Bexhill-on-Sea in 1906–07 and managing director of the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, between 1912 and 1918. [3]

Dún Laoghaire Town in Leinster, Ireland

Dún Laoghaire is a suburban coastal town in County Dublin, Ireland, about 12 km south of Dublin city centre. It is the county town of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown. Formerly a major port of entry from Great Britain, it was known as Dunleary until 1821 when it was renamed Kingstown in honour of King George IV's visit that year, and in 1920 was given its present name, the original Irish form of Dunleary.

Templemore Town in Munster, Ireland

Templemore is a town in County Tipperary, Ireland. It is a civil parish in the historical barony of Eliogarty. It is part of the parish of Templemore, Clonmore and Killea in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly.

Carlow Town in Leinster, Ireland

Carlow is the county town of County Carlow, in the south-east of Ireland, 84 km (52 mi) from Dublin. At the 2016 census, it had a combined urban and rural population of 24,272.

Glover was a friend of the novelist George Augustus Moore. According to Arnold Bennett, Glover told Bennett in 1930 that he was the original of Montgomery in Moore's novel A Mummer's Wife (1885). [12]

George Moore (novelist) Irish novelist, short-story writer, poet, art critic, memoirist and dramatist

George Augustus Moore was an Irish novelist, short-story writer, poet, art critic, memoirist and dramatist. Moore came from a Roman Catholic landed family who lived at Moore Hall in Carra, County Mayo. He originally wanted to be a painter, and studied art in Paris during the 1870s. There, he befriended many of the leading French artists and writers of the day.

Arnold Bennett English writer

Enoch Arnold Bennett was an English writer. He is best known as a novelist, but he also worked in other fields such as the theatre, journalism, propaganda and films.

His first wife was Alba Fricker, of Buckingham. [3] On 27 August 1910, at Westminster Cathedral, Glover married secondly Kathleen Collins, [13] [14] a daughter of R. Graatz Collins, of Montreal. [1] In 1924, his address was 19, Sackville Street, W1, and he was a member of the National Liberal and Eccentric Clubs. [1]

Westminster Cathedral Church in London

Westminster Cathedral, or the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in London is the mother church of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Montreal City in Quebec, Canada

Montreal is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. It has a distinct four-season continental climate with warm to hot summers and cold, snowy winters.

Sackville Street, London street in London

Sackville Street is a street in central London which today is mainly composed of offices and the rears of retail premises, but once was the home to several important medical figures.

According to one account, Glover considered the height of his career was being commanded by King George V to arrange a performance in May 1911 of Edward Bulwer-Lytton's play Money , in honour of a visit to England by the Emperor and Empress of Germany. [15]

Royal Command Performance any theatrical or musical performance requested by a monarch

A Royal Command Performance in the United Kingdom is any performance by actors or musicians that occurs at the direction or request of a reigning monarch.

George V King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India

George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton British statesman and author

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, PC was an English writer and politician. He served as a Whig MP from 1831 to 1841 and a Conservative MP from 1851 to 1866. He was Secretary of State for the Colonies from June 1858 to June 1859, when he selected Richard Clement Moody to be founder of British Columbia. He was offered the Crown of Greece in 1862 after the abdication of King Otto, but declined it. He became Baron Lytton of Knebworth in 1866. His son was the statesman Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton, who served as Governor-General of India and British Ambassador to France, and wrote poetry under the pseudonym Owen Meredith. Bulwer-Lytton's literary works were highly popular; his novels earned him a fortune. He coined the phrases "the great unwashed", "pursuit of the almighty dollar", "the pen is mightier than the sword", and "dweller on the threshold". Then came a sharp decline in his reputation, so that he is known today for little more than the opening line "It was a dark and stormy night", the first seven words of his novel Paul Clifford (1830). The sardonic Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest attempts to find the "opening sentence of the worst of all possible novels".

Glover's second wife died in November 1929. [16] In retirement alone, Glover lived at the Albany Hotel, Robertson Terrace, Hastings, and he died on 8 September 1931, [17] having been visited on his death bed by a brother, described as "Mr. M. J. Glover Mackey, of Liverpool". [18] He left an estate valued at £247. [19]

Hastings Town and Borough in United Kingdom

Hastings is a town and borough in East Sussex on the south coast of England, 24 mi (39 km) east of the county town of Lewes and 53 mi (85 km) south east of London. It has an estimated population of 90,254.

Selected publications

Related Research Articles

Julian Glover British actor

Julian Wyatt Glover is an English classical actor, with many stage, television and film roles since commencing his career in the 1950s. He is a recipient of the Laurence Olivier Award.

Julius Benedict German-born composer and conductor

Sir Julius Benedict was a German-born composer and conductor, resident in England for most of his career.

Lupino Lane British actor

Lupino Lane was an English actor and theatre manager, and a member of the famous Lupino family, which eventually included his cousin, the screenwriter/director/actress Ida Lupino. Lane started out as a child performer, known as 'Little Nipper', and went on to appear in a wide range of theatrical, music hall and film performances. He is best known for playing Bill Snibson in the play and film Me and My Girl, which popularised the song and dance routine "The Lambeth Walk".

Alberto Randegger composer

Alberto Randegger was an Italian-born composer, conductor and singing teacher, best known for promoting opera and new works of British music in England during the Victorian era and for his widely used textbook on singing technique.

William Dance was an English pianist and violinist.

Henry Hamilton (playwright) British dramatist and critic

Henry Hamilton was an English playwright, lyricist and actor. He is best remembered for his musical theatre libretti, including The Duchess of Dantzic (1903), The School Girl (1903), Véronique (1905) and The Little Michus (1907), often adapting foreign works for the British stage.

Alfred Butt British politician

Sir Alfred Butt, 1st Baronet was a British theatre impresario, Conservative politician and racehorse owner and breeder. During a fourteen-year tenure as manager of London's Palace Theatre, beginning in 1904, Butt built a theatre empire, expanding firstly with the Alhambra Theatre, Glasgow in 1910, followed by the London Victoria Palace a year later, to rival that of Edward Moss and others. He became managing director of several London West End theatres beginning in 1914, including the Adelphi Theatre, the Empire Theatre, the Gaiety Theatre and the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, as well as theatres outside London. He continued as a theatre impresario until 1931.

John DAuban English dancer and choreographer

Frederick John D'Auban was an English dancer, choreographer and actor of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Famous during his lifetime as the ballet-master at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, he is best remembered as the choreographer of many of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas.

William Howard Glover (1819-1875), was an English musical composer and writer.

Drury Lane pantomime

Drury Lane pantomime is a long tradition at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, dating from the early 18th century. In every Christmas season, a pantomime is produced which has a leading place among the many other pantomimes of the capital. Other pantomimes are sometimes produced during the rest of the year.

Winifred Emery British actress

Winifred Emery, born Maud Isabel Emery, was an English actress and actor-manager of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She was the wife of the actor Cyril Maude.

<i>Money</i> (play) comic play by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Money is a comic play by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. It was premièred at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, on 8 December 1840.

Theatre productions of Dan Leno

Dan Leno was an English comedian and stage actor of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, famous for performing in music hall. As a child, he was known for his clog dancing, and in his teen years, he became the star of his family's music hall act throughout Britain. He was an increasingly popular solo artist during the late 1880s and 1890s. He also performed in pantomimes and a few Victorian burlesques and comic plays and musicals, especially in the last two decades of his career.

Herbert Campbell English musical theatre actor

Herbert Campbell born Herbert Edward Story was an English comedian and actor who appeared in music hall, Victorian burlesques and musical comedies during the Victorian era. He was famous for starring, for many years, in the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane's annual Christmas pantomimes, predominantly as a dame.

Thomas Percival Montague Mackey, better known as Percival Mackey, was a British pianist, composer and bandleader. He is particularly known for his work as a composer and musical director for films during the 1930s and 1940s.

Arthur Pelham Collins (1864–1932) was an English playwright and theatre manager. He was perhaps best known for his many Christmas pantomimes produced at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, which he managed during the late Victorian and Edwardian era.

John William Glover was an Irish composer, conductor, organist, violinist, and teacher.

Sydney Valentine English actor

Sydney Valentine Nossiter, stage name Sydney Valentine, was an English actor of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. He was President of the Actors' Association and was remembered for negotiating what became the standard contracts for actors in the West End and on tour.

<i>The White Heather</i> (play)

The White Heather is an 1897 melodrama by playwrights Cecil Raleigh and Henry Hamilton. The climactic scene of the play portrays a fight between two underwater divers.


  1. 1 2 3 Sir Francis Cowley Burnand, The Catholic Who's Who and Yearbook, Volume 34 (Burns & Oates, 1924), p. 195
  2. J. M. Glover, Jimmy Glover—His Book (1911), p. 18
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Glover, James Mackey", in Who's Who (London: A. & C. Black, 1919), p. 964
  4. "Three generations of Irish musicians: a chat with Mr James Mackay Glover", in British Musician, vol. 8 (1895), pp. 276—278.
  5. Glover (1911) pp. 18—19
  6. John Parker, Who's Who in the Theatre, Volume 3 (Pitman, 1930), p. 400
  7. Glover (1911), p. 49
  8. Glover (1911), p. 50
  9. Glover (1911), p. 52
  10. Glover (1911), p. 58
  11. Peter Gammond (ed.): The Oxford Companion to Popular Music (Oxford University Press, 1991), p. 228.
  12. M. C. Rintoul: Dictionary of Real People and Places in Fiction, p. 447, quoting Reginald Pound: Arnold Bennett: A Biography (London: Heinemann, 1952), p. 67.
  13. Register of Marriages for St George's Hanover Square registration district, volume 1a, p. 1189.
  14. Bexhill-on-Sea Observer (East Sussex), dated 3 September 1910: "MARRIAGE. Glover —Collins.—On August 27th, the Roman Catholic Cathedral, Westminster. James Mackey Glover, of Bexhill (director at Drury Lane), to Kathleen Collins, daughter of Mrs. R. Grants Collins, of Montreal, Canada."
  15. Harold Orel (ed.): Gilbert and Sullivan: Interviews and Recollections (Springer, 2016), p. 207
  16. "DEATH OF MRS. J. M. GLOVER" in Bexhill-on-Sea Observer dated 16 November 1929: "Sincere and widespread sympathy will be felt for Mr. James M. Glover in the bereavement has sustained the death of his wife, Mrs. Kathleen Glover, which took place Hastings on Tuesday, after a fortnight's illness, due to pneumonia."
  17. The London Gazette dated 10 November 1931, p. 7282
  18. "Mr J. M. GLOVER" (obituary) in Hastings and St Leonards Observer dated 12 September 1931
  19. "Glover, James Mackey", in Probate Index for 1931 at probatesearch.service.gov.uk. Retrieved 31 July 2016