"Merry Andrew: MERRYMAN. The jack pudding, jester, or zany of a mountebank, usually dressed in a party-coloured coat.
--1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, by Francis Grose.
"August 29. Met my wife in a coach, and took her and Mercer and Deb. to Bartholomew Fair; and there did see a ridiculous obscene little stage-play called Marry Andrey, a foolish thing, but seen by everybody."
--Diary of Samuel Pepys, 1668
Throughout the years there are references to actors starting their careers, or sometimes building a whole career, on playing Merry Andrew. We do not, however, know what this entails.…