Read MR. CHARLES JOHNSON of The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) Vol. V, free online book, by Theophilus Cibber, on

Mr. Charles Johnson was designed for the law; but being an admirer of the muses, turned his thoughts to dramatic writing; and luckily being an intimate of Mr. Wilks, by the assistance of his friendship, Mr. Johnson had several plays acted, some of which met with success.  He was a constant attendant at Will’s and Button’s coffee houses, which were the resort of most of the men of taste and literature, during the reigns of queen Anne and king George the first.  Among these he contracted intimacy enough to intitle him to their patronage, &c on his benefit-nights; by which means he lived (with oeconomy) genteelly.  At last he married a young widow, with a tolerable fortune, and set up a tavern in Bow-street, which he quitted on his wife’s dying, and lived privately on the small remainder of his fortune.

He died about the year 1744.  His parts were not very brilliant; but his behaviour was generally thought inoffensive; yet he escaped not the satire of Mr. Pope, who has been pleased to immortalize him in his Dunciad.

His dramatic pieces are,

1.  The Gentleman Cully, a Comedy:  acted at the Theatre-Royal, Covent-Garden, 1702.

2.  Fortune in her Wits, a Comedy; 1705.  It is a very indifferent translation of Mr. Cowley’s Naufragium Joculare.

3.  The Force of Friendship, a Tragedy, 1710.

4.  Love in a Chest, a Farce, 1710.

5.  The Wife’s Relief; or, the Husband’s Cure; a Comedy.  It is chiefly borrowed from Shirley’s Gamester, 1711.

6.  The Successful Pirate, a Tragi-Comedy, 1712.

7.  The Generous Husband; or, the Coffee-house Politician; a Comedy, 1713.

8.  The Country Lasses; or, the Custom of the Manor; a Comedy, 1714.

9.  Love and Liberty; a Tragedy, 1715.

10.  The Victim; a Tragedy, 1715.

11.  The Sultaness; a Tragedy, 1717.

12.  The Cobler of Preston; a Farce of two Acts, 1717.

13.  Love in a Forest; a Comedy, 1721.  Taken from Shakespear’s Comedy, As you like it.

14.  The Masquerade; a Comedy, 1723.

15.  The Village Opera, 1728.

16.  The Ephesian Matron; a Farce of one Act, 1730.

17.  Celia; or, the Perjured Lovers; a Tragedy, 1732.