Print of Mr. Hewlett as Richard III in imitation of Kean

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Prints Ports (Hewlett, James)


circa 1825


I. Scoles


Portrait Prints (James Hewlett), Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University
James Hewlett was Elizabeth Marshall's brother and hence my great-great-great-granduncle. His life is shrouded in mystery. But what we do know about him is that he became a play actor and performed the roles of Richard III and Othello among others at the African Grove Theater in the 1820s and 1830s. He also had several brushes with the law. His behavior was considered highly disreputable by the black elite and he was pretty much disowned by my family.


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I. Scoles, “Print of Mr. Hewlett as Richard III in imitation of Kean,” Black Gotham Archive, accessed July 10, 2018,