Play Dates


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.