Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Collier John Payne

Collier, John Payne (1789-1883), a Shakspearian critic and commentator, who was the cause of much controversy upon the point whether he did or did not forge some alleged old marginal notes in a copy of the Second Folio of Shakspeare (1632) called, from the name on the cover, "the Perkins folio." He strenuously denied it, but the weight of evidence againt him seemed overwhelming. He was the son of a reporter and journalist, who was a companion of Lamb, Hazlitt, Coleridge, and Wordsworth. The boy took to writing at a very early age, and became a parliamentary reporter. In 1829 be was called to the bar. It was in 1820 that he made his first serious effort in literature by the publication of a Poetical Decameron. He next produced a History of English Dramatic Poetry to the time of Shakspeare and the annals of the Stage to the Restoration; and in consequence of this work he became librarian to the Duke of Devonshire, and so gained access to valuable MSS. and early editions. From 1835 to 1839 he brought out new facts as to the life and works of Shakspeare, and in Shakspeare's Library he gave the poems, tales, and novels upon which Shakspeare based his plays, and from which to some extent he drew his materials. He did much editing for the Camden Society Papers and for the Shakspeare Society. His Notes and Emendations contained the alleged forgeries, which involved him in a great amount of trouble and odium. The British Museum experts reported on them very unfavourably to him in 1860. In 1847 he was appointed secretary to the Royal Commission on the British Museum, and in 1850 he retired to Maidenhead. He produced many other works besides those mentioned.