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Charles Dickens's ivory theatre pass when he was editor of 'The Daily News'



Object number (per part)

DH359, 1974

Object name (per part)


Production date



An ivory theatre pass (or 'bone' as it was called) to Her Majesty's Theatre, Haymarket, London used by Charles Dickens when he was editor of The Daily News in 1846. The pass worked like an annual season ticket, allowing Dickens access to watch performances for free at the theatre. The pass is accompanied by a red case.

Other number

2335 (2009 DH object access database number)

Physical description

A small square token made from ivory, with inscriptions on both sides, alongside a red case.

Object history note

This ivory pass belonged to Dickens in his capacity as the editor of The Daily News in 1846 and would have allowed him free entry to watch performances at Her Majesty's Theatre, Haymarket, London.

The Daily News was set up in 1846 with Dickens as its first editor. However, he soon discovered that he wasn’t suited to the constant grind of daily news editorship and he stood down after less than a month, with his friend John Forster replacing him as editor. In spite of this, Dickens continued to write for the paper. This meant that he could continue to use this pass and indulge one of his favourite pastimes: a night out in London watching the latest new play.

On 31 December 1974, the retiring manager of the Daily News Ltd, Mr GB Crossfield, visited the Charles Dickens Museum and gifted the token to House, along with the ‘Charles Dickens chair’ from the Daily News Offices (DH335) and three letters written by Dickens (one of which is A698).

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