We are very fortunate that JK Green nearly always dated the imprint on his works. Looking at the plays he released following his re-appearance in 1832, we can see that Green favoured a limited number of special days to release his plays. 17 were published on the 1st of the month. 12 were published on Boxing Day and 5 were published on his birthday. The publication may have been chosen in advance, but as JK Green continued his rogue policy of copying other peoples work and pre-dating the original, it is more likely that the date was chosen for more devious reasons. However, there are some plays, which only JK Green was known to produce. These may have had dates that had more personal meaning to JK Green, like those of April 15th, JK Green’s own birthday.
So far I have been able to determine that he only celebrated his daughter, Clara’s and his own birthdays. He did not celebrate his other children’s birthday; Sarah 19th October 1833, John Kilby (junior-1) 10th March 1835, died 24th July 1835, John Kilby (junior-2) 22nd September 1836 and Ellen 17th September 1848. I have yet to find George’s actual birth date or JK Green’s wife, Susannah’s birth date. Perhaps one or two of the dates shown below commemorate these.
Here’s a monthly breakdown.
January yielded just 3 plays all published on the 1st of the month.
1834 - Miller & his Men (one penny size)
1841 – Aladdin
1857 – Sixteen String Jack
February produced one fewer than January with only 2 plays.
1838 – Wapping Old Stairs
1836 – Robert Macaire
March was yet another quiet month. It would appear that the work producing the plays was carried out at this time, with the imprint date known long before release. Just two plays were released in March.
1837 – State Secrets
1853 – Uncle Tom’s Cabin
April was a far more productive month, with no less than 12 plays released.
1st (All Fools’ Day)
1837 – Lord Mayors Fool (Obviously, released to coincide with All Fools’ Day.)
1839 – Lord Darnley (Easter Monday)
1836 – Red Rover (Easter Monday)
1847 – Flying Dutchman (Easter Monday)
10th (Daughter’s birthday (Clara was born 10th April 1845))
1849 – Timour the Tartar (Clara’s 4th birthday)
1855 – Battle of Balaclava & Inkerman (Clara’s 10th birthday)
15th (JK Green’s own birthday? – 15th April 1790)
1840 – Rookwood (JK Green’s 50th birthday)
1842 – Blue Jackets
1849 – Cinderella (second print)
1851 – Belphegor the Conjuror
1854 – Life of a Soldier
1836 – Ali Baba & the Forty Thieves
May was the only month without a released play.
Just two plays were published in June. The Battle of Waterloo was published on Battle of Waterloo Day 1842, and was almost certainly released after this date as the address given on the sheets was 34 Lambeth Square and 16 Park Place. When in fact the Green family don’t appear to have moved to 16 Park Place until after December 1842. I suspect this happened because JK Green wanted the imprint date to be 18th June, but didn’t actually finish the engraving and printing until early 1843 and did not want to wait until 18th June 1843 before releasing the play.
1837 – Wreck Ashore
1842 – Battle of Waterloo (Battle of Waterloo Day)
Again just two plays were released in July and both on the 1st of the month.
1841 – Maid and the Magpie
1852 – Mary the Maid of the Inn
Another two play month.
1854 – The Corsican Brothers
1833 – Jonathan Bradford (1d size)
Five plays were published in September.
1842 – Woodman’s Hut
1851 – Richard III
1857 – Daughter of the Regiment
1841 – Silver Palace
1836 – Brigand
Just three plays were published in October.
1840 – Children in the Wood
1844 – Cinderella (First Print)
1854 – Tom Thumb
Four plays were released in November.
1st (Bank holiday?)
1834 – Douglas
1835 – The Miller and his Men
1851 – Blackbeard the Pirate
1840 – Waterman
The most prolific month for releases with 17 plays published. 12 on Boxing Day, 2 on Christmas Day and 1 on Christmas Eve.
1837 – Bluebeard
1840 – Black Eyed Susan
24th (Christmas Eve)
1847 – Harlequin & St George
25th (Christmas Day)
1841 – Harlequin & the Giant Helmet
1842 – Harlequin Riddle-me-ree
26th (Boxing Day)
1836 - Harlequin Guy Fawkes
1839 – Jack Sheppard
1843 – Harlequin Robin Hood
1845 – Therese
1846 – Forest of Bondy
1850 – Sleeping Beauty
1852 – Harlequin Oliver Cromwell
1853 – Dick Whittington & his Cat
1854 – Battle of Alma
1854 – Jack the Giant Killer
1855 – Rob Roy
1856 – Dred
Goody-Goose was undated but believed to be late December 1859.