[ Thomas Gilliland, London theatrical journalist, to 'Rainy Day' Smith. ] Autograph Note Signed ('Thos Gilliland'), sending from his 'Fruit Basket', the 'Apple' of Smith's 'Eye'.

Thomas Gilliland (fl. 1804–1816), London theatre journalist [ John Thomas Smith [ 'Antiquity' Smith; 'Rainy Day' Smith ] (1766-1833), artist and Keeper of Prints at the British Museum
Publication details: 
Fitzroy Square [ London ]. 17 March 1823.
SKU: 20722

An uncommon theatrical signature from the era of Lamb and Hazlitt. Gilliland was a professional journalist, liked by Monk Lewis and Thomas Moore. His presence in the green-room of Drury Lane Theatre as a 'spy' caused objections from Charles Mathews the elder and other actors. Gilliland was alive in 1816, in which year his name appears in the Biographical Dictionary of Living Authors. There is an 1807 engraving of Gilliland by Thomas Cheesman, after Samuel De Wilde. The present item is 1p., landscape 12mo. In fair condition, on aged paper with wear to extremities. Small bibliographical cutting laid down beneath signature, with manuscript note beneath. Gilliland's note, presumably referring to a print from his collection, reads: r Smith | In order that you may sleep to night, I have sent from my Fruit Basket “the Apple of your Eye.” - !| Truly yours | Thos Gilliland'. Addressed on reverse, with remains of seal in red wax, 'To | J. W. [sic] Smith Esqr. | Print Room | Museum ? Great Russell St | Bloomsbury Sqre'. Signed note at bottom right: 'Monday March 17th 1823 | To be sent up to him directly | Thos Gilliland'.