Nine Points of the Law

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Nine Points of the Law is a comedietta in one act by Tom Taylor (1817-1880)[1].

In his index, F.C.L. Bosman lists the play as Nine Points to the Law.

The original text

According to a note in the original 1859 publication, the original idea for the play was taken from the novelette Clover Cottage by M.W. Savage (Marmion Wilme Savage, 1803-1872)[]. The novelette was published in 1856 under the title Clover cottage, or I can't get in.

Taylor's play was first performed at the Royal Olympic Theatre, London, on 11 April, 1859 and published by Thomas Hailes Lacy in the same year (as Volume 40 of Lacy's Acting Edition).

The text later also published by H. Hartung as Issue 69 of Modern English Comic Theatre (1863) and by Samuel French as Issue 680 of 19th century British drama (ca. 1890).

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1877: Performed in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, by Disney Roebuck and company as Nine Points of the Law on 7 December, with The Chimney Corner (Craven)


Facsimile version of the 1856 first edition of the novelette Clover Cottage[2]

Facsimile version of the 1859 first edition of the play Nine Points of the Law[3]

"Online Books by Tom Taylor", The Online Books Page[4]

D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1932. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.322, 363

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