The Battle of Hexham, or Days of Old

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The Battle of Hexham, or Days of Old is a three-act historical musical comedy by George Colman the Younger (1762-1836)[1].

Originally entitled simply The Battle of Hexham, but later renamed.

The original text

There is evidence of an earlier play called The Battle of Hexham, written by one Barnabe Barnes (1607), but the manuscript appears to have been lost (see the Lost Plays Database[2]).

Colman's play opened at the Haymarket Theatre on 11 August 1789, running for 20 performances and was frequently revived and reprinted afterwards. Probably first published (as The Battle of Hexham) by J. Cumberland in 1789, but the first dated version was printed in Dublin by P. Byrne in 1790 and again in 1796. A new version, now with the now standard title The Battle of Hexham, or Days of Old, and containing an explanatory preface by the author and a foreword by Mrs Inchbald , was published by Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme in 1808.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1818: Performed by the Gentlemen Amateurs (Garrison Players) with the help of Mr Cooke and his company of ladies, in the African Theatre, Cape Town on 10 October, with The Jew and the Doctor (Dibdin).


Lost Plays Database (

Facsimile version of the 1808 text of Colman's play , The Battle of Hexham, or Days of Old - Google E-book[3]

F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [4]: pp. 155

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