The Censorship of British Theatre, 1737-1843

Project Overview

Welcome to this award-winning website which explores the topic of theatre censorship in Britain 1737-1843. This digital resource hosts a selection of manuscripts of plays submitted to the Examiner of Plays, the office established by the Lord Chamberlain in the wake of the Stage Licensing Act of 1737, who had the primary responsibility of safeguarding the morals of theatre audiences. The manuscripts are drawn from the Larpent Collection (Huntington Library, San Marino) and the Lord Chamberlain’s Plays (British Library) and have been carefully selected to show the variety of reasons a play might be deemed inappropriate through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The website was awarded the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Prize for Digital Resources (2022).


David O’Shaughnessy, NUI Galway


David O’Shaughnessy

Trinity College Dublin Ireland
Huntington College
The British Library
European Commission, H2020