This article was originally published in Encyclopedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, Volume XVII. Anonymous. Cambridge: University Press, 1911. p. 259-60.

MACKLIN, CHARLES (c. 1699-1797), Irish actor and playwright, whose real name was McLaughlin, was born in Ireland, and had an adventurous youth before coming to Bristol, where he made his first appearance on the stage as Richmond in Richard III. He was at Lincoln's Inn Fields about 1725, and by 1733 was at Drury Lane, where the quarrel between the manager and the principal actors resulted in his getting better parts. When the trouble was over and these were taken away from him, he went to the Haymarket, but he returned in 1734 to Drury Lane and acted there almost continuously until 1748. Then for two seasons he and his wife (d. c. 1758), an excellent actress, were in Dublin under Sheridan, then back in London at Covent Garden. He played a great number of characters, principally in comedy, although Shylock was his greatest part, and Iago and the Ghost in Hamlet were in his repertory. At the end of 1753 Macklin bade farewell to the stage to open a tavern, near the theatre, where he personally supervised the serving of dinner. He also delivered an evening lecture, followed by a debate, which was soon a hopeless subject of ridicule. The tavern failed, and Macklin returned to the stage, and played for a number of years in London and Dublin. His quick temper got him into constant trouble. In a foolish quarrel over a wig in 1735 he killed a fellow actor in the green room at Drury Lane, and he was constantly at law over his various contracts and quarrels. The bitterest of these arose on account of his appearing as Macbeth at Covent Garden in 1772. The part was usually played there by William Smith, and the public would not brook a change. A few nights later the audience refused to hear Macklin as Shylock, and shouted their wish, in response to the manager's question, to have him discharged. This was done in order to quell the riot. His lawsuit, well conducted by himself, against the leaders of the disturbance resulted in an award of £600 and costs, but Macklin magnanimously elected instead that the defendants should take £100 in tickets at three benefits--for himself, his daughter and the management. He returned to Covent Garden, but his appearances thereafter were less frequent, ending in 1789, when as Shylock, at his benefit, he was only able to begin the play, apologize for his wandering memory, and retire. He lived until the 11th of July 1797, and his last years were provided for by a subscription edition of two of his best plays, The Man of the World and Love in a Maze. Macklin's daughter, Mary Macklin (c. 1734-1781), was a well-known actress in her day.

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