He was Ruler of the Navee!
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Written by SeacoastNH Archive


Henry Clay Barnabee/ SeacoastNH.com from PPL
SeacoastNH.com Presents
Historic Portsmouth #258

"A man should be proud of the place of his nativity, whether he is born there or not," wrote comic actor Henry Clay Barnabee. "I am from Portsmouth, of Portsmouth and for Portsmouth." (Continued below)




The son of a local stagecoach driver, Barnabee (1833- 1916) worked in a dry goods store before achieving fame onstage. He was a founder of the light comic opera troupe The Bostonians, and traveled widely playing a host of costumed roles. Here he portrays Admiral Porter in Gilbert and Sullivan's "HMS Pinafore". Barnabee published his autobiography "My Wanderings" in 1913. He bequeathed his collection of theatre ephemera to the Portsmouth Library and is buried in South Cemetery. He once wrote: "I must admit that the word PORTSMOUTH spells out the height and depth, length and breadth of many tender memories." (Photo courtesy of Portsmouth Public Library)

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Henry Clay Barnabee in Pinafore / Portsmouth Public Library

Henry Clay Barnabee as Sheriff of Nottingham / SeacoastNH.com