William Evans Burton, an English actor, born in London in 1804, died in New York, Feb. 9, 1860. He was the son of William George Burton, author of " Biblical Researches." Intended for the church, he received a classical education, but at the age of 18 assumed the direction of his father's printing office and edited a monthly magazine. His success as an amateur performer led him to become an actor, and after several years of experience on the Norwich circuit, he appeared with success at the Haymarket in 1832. He wrote several dramatic pieces, one of which, "Ellen Ware-ham," was played at five theatres in London on the same evening. He came to America in 1834, and at different times was the lessee and manager of theatres in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. In Philadelphia he erected the National theatre, and started in 1837 the "Gentleman's Magazine." In 1841 he became manager of the National theatre in New York, which was consumed by fire in May of that year. He managed Burton's theatre, previously known as Palmo's opera house, in Chambers street, New York, from 1848 to 1856, when he leased the Metropolitan theatre in Broadway. This, under the name of Burton's new theatre, he continued to manage till 1858, when he began a starring tour.
Mr. Burton was an accomplished scholar, and had collected a large and valuable library. He gained great success as a manager, while as an actor he excelled in a wide range of comedy characters, being especially identified with those of Captain Cuttle, Toodles, Aminadab Sleek, Mr. Micawber, Poor Pillicoddy, Paul Pry, Tony Lumpkin, etc. He was a frequent contributor to magazines, edited for several years the Philadelphia "Literary Souvenir," and published a " Cyclopaedia of Wit and Humor" (2 vols., New York, 1858).