Joe Miller



Joseph Miller (1684 – 15 August 1738) was an English actor, who first appeared in the cast of Sir Robert Howard's Committee at Drury Lane in 1709 as Teague. Trinculo in The Tempest, the First Grave-digger in Hamlet and Marplot in Susanna Centlivre's The Busybody, were among his many favourite parts. He is said to have been a friend of Hogarth. In 1715 he appeared on bills promoting a performance on the last day of April, where he played Young Clincher in Farquhar's comedy, "The Constant Couple or a Trip to the Jubilee". On 25 April 1717 he played Sir Joseph Whittol in William Congreve's "Old Batchelor". Tickets for this performance were adorned by a design by William Hogarth showing the scene where Whittol's friend Captain Bluffe is kicked by Sharper whilst his friend Bellmour tries to pull him away. This is described as a "very valuable engraving" in 1868. This ticket design was used for Joe Millers benefit performance on 13 April 1738. In "vacation periods" between working at Drury Lane, he performed for William Pinkethman's company. He frequented the "Black Jack" tavern on Portsmouth Street in London, which was a favourite of the Drury Lane players and those from Lincoln's Inn Fields. Allegedly he was very serious in the bar and this led to an in-joke whereby all his companions ascribed all new jokes to him. His final performance was on 13 April 1738. On his death on 15 August he was buried at St Clement Danes on Portugal Street, London. This churchyard was later built over by King's College Hospital. The grave is therefore lost.

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