J. Hastings Batson

Abraham John Hastings Batson (8 November 1841 – 18 April 1921), usually credited as J. Hastings Batson, was an English stage actor of the Victorian and Edwardian era who went on to become a character actor in silent movies.

Batson was born in Clerkenwell, London, in 1841.[1] In October 1881 he played Iago in Othello, at Kilburn Town Hall, and was credited as John Hastings Batson.[2]

In 1908 and 1909 he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Actors' Union, founded in 1907.[3]

Batson played the leading role in The German Spy Peril (1914), a silent war propaganda film based loosely on the Guy Fawkes plot of 1605, with German spies planning to blow up the Houses of Parliament.[4]

He died in the West Middlesex Hospital, Isleworth, Middlesex, on 18 April 1921, aged 79, leaving effects worth £50. At the time of his death his address was 26, Mountfield Road, Ealing.[5]



  1. Register of Births for the Holborn registration district, Oct-Dec 1841, Volume 2, p. 141: Batson, Abraham John
  2. The Theatre, a monthly review and magazine Vol.1 (new series, 1881), p. 312
  3. John Parker, The Green Room Book; Or, Who's who on the Stage (1909), p. 654
  4. Paul M. Edwards, World War I on Film: English Language Releases through 2014 (2016), p. 93
  5. "Batson, John Hastings", in Probate Index for 1921 at probatesearch.service.gov.uk, accessed 1 August 2016
  6. Robert B. Connelly, The Silents: Silent Feature Films, 1910-36, Volume 40, Issue 2 (December Press, 1998), p. 118
  7. Robert Connelly, Jay Robert Nash, Stanley Ralph Ross, Motion Picture Guide Silent Film 1910-1936 (1988), p. 132: "JUST A GIRL** (1916, Brit.)... J. Hastings Batson (The Duke)"
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