The Humorous Magistrate is a seventeenth-century satiric comedy extant in two highly distinctive manuscripts.
This, the earliest and clearly working draft of the play is bound with three other plays (including The Emperor's Favourite, published by the Malone Society in 2010) in a volume in the library of the Newdigate family of Arbury Hall, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.
The second version, showing yet another stage of revision not found in the Arbury manuscript and orientated towards performance, was purchased by the University of Calgary from the English antiquarian Edgar Osborne in 1972.
The relationship between the manuscripts was discovered in 2005.
The anonymous play has been attributed to John Newdigate III (1600-1642).
Like The Emperor's Favourite, it takes aim at the court; its particular object of satire is governmental strategies under the Personal Rule of Charles I.
The play appears in print for the first time in these separate editions.
The volumes are illustrated with several plates, some provided for comparative purposes. -- .