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Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No. 1862, Sunday, December 11, 1831

Parsons v. Chapman.

This was an action in the Court of King's Bench, under the statute of the 10 Geo. I, c.28, to recover penalties for representing, or causing to be represented, theatrical entertainments, without letters patent or licences. The action was brought at the instance of the proprietors Drury-lane and Covent Garden theatres, against Mr. Chapman, the acting manager of the Tottenham-street theatre, where, in March, 1830, several of the stock pieces of the two patent theatres were represented with only very slight variations from the originals, and a change of title. Among these were Guy Mannering, A Cure for the Heart-ache, The Beggars' Opera, and The Irish Tutor. The two copyists of the Drury-lane and Covent-garden theatres spoke to the fact of the above pieces and several others being performed at the Tottenham-street theatre; and Mr. Gattie, the comedian, proved that he performed at that theatre, and that the defendant, Mr. Chapman, paid him his salary, and finally dismissed him. Mr. J. Williams, for the defendant, contended that the evidence against him was inconclusive. Lord Tenterden told the jury that so long as the statute remained unrepealed, they were bound to give effect to it. The jury having consulted for a few minutes, found a verdict for seven penalties of 50l. each.