Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Williamson Square theatre

Dear Liverpool History Society,

I was recently told that on the site of JBB Sports store in Williamson Square stood a theatre. Do you know what the theatre was called or anything about it history.

Best wishes

Perry Martin (Ex Pat)
San Francisco

1 comment:

  1. Hello Perry,

    In 1768 Mr Gibson of the Drury lane theatre lobbied for a Theatre Royal in Liverpool. The House of Lords at first refused his request but later changed their minds and he was granted Letters patent in 1771 for twenty one years. Mr Gibson died not long afterwards and his mistress Mrs Bennett inherited it. She rented the theatre to two Liverpool theatre managers, Joseph Younger and George Mattocks.

    The Theatre Royal was built at 8 Williamson Square in 1772 by Sir William Chambers and rebuilt in 1802 by Foster and opened on the 5th of June 1772 with the 'Tragedy of Mahomet'. The Theatre was demolished in the mid 1960s. It was still vacant eight years later. The Theatre was used as a cold storage depot for a while. After the death of Joseph Younger in 1784 and Mattocks retirement, George Case took up the lease and Frances Aitkin became the manager. There were serious riots at the Theatre Royal in 1820 & 1824.

    The Theatre Royal in Williamson Square is not to be confused with the Theatre Royal in Breck Road which was built in 1891 as the Theatre Royal Palace Of Varieties by W. Redman.


    Rob Ainsworth

    Rob Ainsworth

    Programme Secretary & Web Administrator

    Liverpool History Society
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