JOHN TOBIN (1770-1804), English dramatist, was born at Salisbury on the 28th of January 1770, the son of a merchant. He was educated at Bristol Grammar School, and practised in London as a solicitor. From 1789 he devoted all his spare time to writing for the stage. He submitted no fewer than thirteen plays before, in 1803, he got an unimportant farce staged. In 1804, having just submitted his fourteenth play, a romantic blank verse drama entitled The Honey Moon, to the Drury Lane management, he came to the conclusion that it was useless to continue playwriting and left London to recruit his health. The news that his play had been accepted came too late. He had long had a tendency to consumption, and was ordered to winter in the West Indies. He left England on the 7th of December 1804, but died on the first day of the voyage. In the following year The Honey Moon was produced at Drury Lane, and proved a great success. Several of Tobin's earlier plays were subsequently produced, of which The School for Authors, a comedy, was probably the best.
See also The Memoirs of John Tobin, with a selection from his unpublished writings, by Miss Benger (London, 1820).
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